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G.R. No.

L-6546 Yes, it is proper to register the two parcels of land, but with the
exclusion of the lots or portions of land owned by the opponents.
January 15, 1912
It does not show by decisive and conclusive proof, that the lots of
GREGORIA ARNEDO CRUZ, ET AL., petitioner-appellees the opponents are comprised within the lands of the applicants,
and that the opponents are and have been in possession of the
vs. DOMINGO DE LEON, ET AL., opponents-appellants lots in question, unduly or precariously, by tolerance of their
legitimate owners, for a less time than the required by statute for
prescription, and without any good right.
FACTS:

On August 12, 1907, Gregoria Arnedo Cruz, in her own behalf and It is unquestionable that the said four sisters are the owners and
in the name and representation of her sisters, Maria Concepcion, are in possession of the two said parcels of land, used for the
Manuela and Juana, all surnamed Arnedo Cruz, made written cultivation of rice and sugar cane and situated in the barrio of San
applications to the Court of Land Registration for the registration Miguel, of the pueblo of Calumpit Bulacan, yet they have not duly
of two parcels of land, situated in the barrio of San Miguel, pueblo established the fact that they are the owners of the portions now
of Calumpit, Province of Bulacan, of which they claimed to be in the possession of the opponents, and whether these lots are
absolute owners, and described as follows: comprised within the perimeter and boundaries of the two said
parcels of land designated on the plan under the letters A and B.
Parcel A, bounded on the north by land of Ramon delos Reyes; on
the east by that of Victoria A. Cruz; on the south by a road from From the foregoing testimony (Santiago V. Cruz and Victoria
the barrio of San Miguel; and on the west by the land of Eugenia Arneda Cruz)
de Jesus. It has an area of 222,871.23 square meters.
 Santiago V. Cruz, an agent of Teodoro
Parcel B, bounded on the north by the road from the barrio of San Tiongson, who was formerly a lessee of the
Miguel; on the east by the land of Victoria A. Cruz; on the south two parcels of land during three years prior
by the Rio Grande de Calumpit; and on the west by the land of to 1882, testified that, as such agent, he
Eugenia de Jesus. It has an area of 14,130.67 square meters. The had not collected any land rent for the lots,
estate described, composed two parcel of land, was appraised, for occupied by many houses, which were
the purpose of the last assessment, together with the buildings within the land that formed the barrio
thereon constructed. called Frances; that the lands leased by
Tiongson from the appellants' mother were
used for the cultivation of rice and sugar
Petioners’ allegations:
cane; that, at the expiration of Tiongson's
lease, the latter were taken over by Victoria
1. that there was no encumbrance on the property, nor Arnedo; and that several tenants on shares
any person entitled to any right or share therein, lived in their house built on the leased
according to their best knowledge and belief lands.
2. that they acquired this land by inheritance from their  Victoria Arneda Cruz testified that she had
deceased parents, Jose Arnedo Cruz and Maria Santos leased the said two parcels of land, used for
Espiritu the cultivation of rice and sugar cane; that
3. and that, in the unlikely event of its being impossible in the barrio of Frances there were houses,
to grant their application in accordance with the Land about fifteen or twenty in number, built on
Registration Act, they would rely upon the benefits of the lots which adjoined the lands of
chapter 6 of Act No. 926, inasmuch as they had been in Gregoria Arnedo Cruz, some of which lots
possession of the said lands for more than fifty years, are situated on the bank of the river; that in
during which period they were used for the cultivation the contract of lease executed by the
of rice, being surrounded by pilapiles, or earthen dikes. witness and the applicants' mother, the said
lots are not included, for the land leased by
LC: the former only extended to the fences of
the said lots, and this she also had been told
On February 20, 1908, the court, by an order of the same date by Teodoro Tiongson, the preceding lessee,
and after the issuance of a decree of general default, decreed the who himself had been so informed by the
adjudication and registration of the two parcels of land in the owner of the lands, the applicants' mother;
names of the sisters Gregoria Arnedo Cruz, Manuel Arnedo Cruz, that witness did not know whether the
Maria Concepcion Arnedo Cruz and Juana Arnedo Cruz. latter, during her lifetime, collected rent for
the said lots, witness, as lessee, did not
collect such rent for them; that she did not
A written petition on December 15, 1908 stated to the court that believe that these lots were comprised
Toribio de Leon, Agustin Catanghal, Fulgencio Clarin, Clara de within the lands leased by her, and, finally,
Leon, Antonio Mundo, Julian de Leon, Joaquin de Leon, Domingo that some of them, occupied by residents of
de Leon, Bernardo Reyes, Ambrosio Carlos, Pedro de Leon, that barrio, formed a part of the land
Florentina Ramos, Monica Laderas, Juana Martinez, Francisco de owned by her, adjacent to the lands of the
Torres, and Mariano Valladar were the owners and possessors of applicants, while others were a part of the
certain building lots which formed a part of the two parcels of lands of the latter.
land concerned in this case.

it is concluded that, in the successive lease of the said two parcels


Opponents alleged that their respective lots were within the of land, there were not included lots which appear to have been
perimeter of the parcels of land registered in the name of the occupied by various residents of the locality, apparently the
applicants by the decree of February 20, 1908, and therefore opponents, and, inasmuch as the latter were long prior to 1882 in
asked for the annulment of the same, in so far as it affected their material possession of the lots which were occupied, without
above-described respective lots, and that the costs be assessed having made any acknowledgment of the applicants' alleged
against the applicants. ownership, nor of that of their predecessor in interest; and,
further, since there is no evidence to show how and in what
They therefore petitioned that the previous judgment on manner the opponents and their predecessors in interest began
February 20 be reconsidered and reversed, after due procedure, to occupy the lots in question and that they entered upon the
in so far as their respective lots were concerned. same through the tolerance of their alleged owners, and also
that the said lots formed a part of the two parcels of land sought
to be registered, it would be improper to hold that the disputed
ISSUE: lots should be included in the registration.

WON it is proper to register (in the Court of Land Registration) the As for all other aspects of the case, let it be borne in mind that by
aforementioned two parcels of land with the inclusion of the lots abandonment, negligence or carelessness, owners provided with
that are the subject of the oppositions the most perfect titles may be deprived and dispossessed of their
properties by usurpers who, by the lapse of the time specified by
law, acquire the same by prescription. (Arts. 1930 and 1959, Civil
RULING:
Code.)
Civil possession, according to the article 430 of the same code, is On the basis of the aforementioned favorable judgment which
the holding of a thing of the enjoyment of a right, together with was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction, Escritor
the intention of acquiring ownership of the thing or right. Every honestly believed that he is the legal owner of the land. With this
possessor has a right to be respected in his possession; and well-grounded belief of ownership, he continued in his possession
should he be disturbed therein, he must be protected or of Lot No. 2749. This cannot be categorized as possession in bad
possession must be restored to him by the means established in faith.
laws of procedure. (art. 446, Civil Code.)
As defined in the law, a possessor in bad faith is one in possession
For reasons aforesaid, and with the modification specified, the of property knowing that his title thereto is defective. 14 Here,
judgment appealed from is affirmed; but before completing the there is no showing that Escritor knew of any flaw in his title. Nor
inscription and registration of the said parcels of land in the name was it proved that petitioners were aware that the title of their
of the applicants, with the exclusion of the portions of land owned predecessor had any defect.
by the opponents, a correct survey, which must be duly approved,
shall be made of the said properties, and a plan shall be drawn, Nevertheless, assuming that claimant Escritor was a possessor in
for the purpose of the issuance of the proper title in accordance bad faith, this should not prejudice his successors-in-interest,
with the law. No special finding is made as to the costs. So petitioners herein, as the rule is that only personal knowledge of
ordered. the flaw in one's title or mode of acquisition can make him a
possessor in bad faith, for bad faith is not transmissible from one
Escritor v. Intermediate Appellate Court person to another, not even to an heir. 15 As Article 534 of the
Civil Code explicitly provides, "one who succeeds by hereditary
November 12, 1987 title shall not suffer the consequences of the wrongful possession
of the decedent, if it is not shown that he was aware of the flaws
Petition for certiorari to review the decision of the IAC. affecting it; ..." The reason for this article is that bad faith is
personal and intransmissible. Its effects must, therefore, be
Lot No. 2749, located at Atimonan, Quezon, was the subject of suffered only by the person who acted in bad faith; his heir should
cadastral proceedings in the Court of First Instance of Quezon, not be saddled with such consequences. 16
Gumaca Branch, Miguel Escritor, as claimant, filed an answer
thereto declaring his ownership over the lot alleging that he Under Article 527 of the Civil Code, good faith is always
acquired it by inheritance from his deceased father. The lot having presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a
become uncontested, only Miguel Escritor appeared in order to possessor rests the burden of proof. If no evidence is presented
adduce his evidence of ownership. proving bad faith, like in this case, the presumption of good faith
remains.
On May 15, 1958, the Court rendered a decision in the
abovementioned case, Cadastral Case No. 72, adjudicating the lot Respondent Acuna, on the other hand, bases his complaint for
with its improvements in favor of claimant Escritor and confirming damages on the alleged fraud on the part of the petitioners'
his title thereto. 3Immediately thereafter, Escritor took predecessor in having the land registered under his (the
possession of the property. predecessor's) name. A review of the record, however, does not
indicate the existence of any such fraud. It was not proven in the
On August 2, 1958, Simeon S. Acuna, the herein respondent, filed cadastral court nor was it shown in the trial court.
a petition for review of the above-mentioned decision contending
that it was obtained by claimant Escritor through fraud and Respondent having failed to prove fraud and bad faith on the part
misrepresentation. 5The petition was granted on July 18, 1960 of petitioners, We sustain the trial court's finding that petitioners
and a new hearing was set for September 13, 1960. 6 While the were possessors in good faith and should, therefore, not be held
proceedings were going on, claimant Escritor died. liable for damages.

On February 16, 1971 or thirteen years after the disputed decision 14. Wong vs. Carpio
was rendered, the Court adjudicated Lot No. 2749 in favor of
respondent Acuna, ordering petitioners to vacate the land. 7 A Doctrine: The execution of a sale thru a public instrument shall be
writ of possession was later issued and petitioners voluntarily equivalent to the delivery of the thing, unless there is a stipulation
gave up their possession. 8 to the contrary.

More than four years later, or on October 13, 1975 respondent Facts:
Acuna filed with the same Court in Civil Case No. 1138-G, a
complaint for recovery of damages against petitioners for the 1972 - William Giger sold his land by virtue of a deed of sale with
fruits of lot No. 2749 which was allegedly possessed by the latter right to repurchase to Manuel Mercado.
unlawfully for thirteen years. According to respondent Acuña, the
registration of the said lot was effectuated by the deceased Nov 5, 1973 – Mercado began harvesting only the coconut fruits
claimant Escritor through fraud, malice, and misrepresentation. and he paid the taxes on the land. He went periodically to the
land to take copra but never placed any person on the land.
On Appeal to the Intermediate Appellate Court, the judgment of Neither did he reside on the land.
the lower court was reversed in a decision promulgated on
October 31, 1984, the dispositive portion of which reads: July 1976 – Ignacio Wong bought the same land also from Giger
and his wife Cecil Valenzuela, hence the title was delivered to
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing considerations, the decision him. He tried to register the pacto de recto sale with the Register
appealed from is hereby REVERSED and set aside and another one of deeds but could not be registered due to some technicalities.
entered herein, ordering the defendants-appellees jointly and Wong places laborers in the land, and built a small farm house
severally (a) to pay the plaintiff- appellant the sum of P10,725.00 after making some clearings and fenced the boundaries.
representing the value of the fruits appellees received for the 13
years they have been in unlawful possession of the land subject- Aug 1976 – Mercado knew that Wong’s laborers were in the land
matter; (b) to pay plaintiff-appellant the sum of P3,000.00 for and that they have a hut there but Mercado did not do anything.
attorney's fees and expenses of litigation, and (c) to pay the costs.
Nov 29, 1976 – Wong received a copy of the complaint for forcible
Hence this petition. entry.

ISSUE: WON Escritor’s possession is in good faith or bad faith? MTC – Wong had prior, actual and continuous physical possession
of the dispute property and dismissed the case.
RULING: We cannot affirm the position of the Intermediate
Appellate Court. It should be remembered that in the first CFI-Ruled in favor of Mercado, stating that Mercado has taken
decision of the cadastral court dated May 15, 1958, Lot No. 2749 possession of the property earlier in point of time and defendant
was adjudicated in favor of claimant Escritor, petitioners' was an intruder.
predecessor-in-interest. In this decision, the said court found to
its satisfaction that claimant Escritor acquired the land by Issue: 1. Who is the first to have taken possession of the
inheritance from his father who in turn acquired it by purchase, subject property.
and that his open, public, continuous, adverse, exclusive and Side Issues:
notorious possession dated back to the Filipino-Spanish 2. Whether or not entry by Wong may be considered
Revolution. under forcible entry.
3. Whether or not possession in good faith by Wong
has ceased.
Held: Manila who was the registered owner of the land in
question.
1. The SC held that under article 531 of the New Civil Code, the
execution of a sale thru a public instrument shall be equivalent to ISSUE: WON Felipe Carino is a possessor in good faith
delivery of the thing, unless there is stipulation to the contrary.
Possession passed from Giger to Mercado by virtue of the first HELD: No. CA decision set aside; CFI decision affirmed
sale and accordingly, the second sale in favor of Wong failed to
pass the possession of the property because of an impediment,  A possessor in good faith is one who is not aware that
i.e., it has already been passed to Mercado.
there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw
Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the which invalidates it. (Caram v. Laureta, 103 SCRA 7,
present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessions, Art. 526, Civil Code).
the one longer in possession, if the date of possession are the  One who acquires real estate with knowledge of a
same, the one who presents a title; and if these conditions are defect or lack of title in his vendor cannot claim that he
equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending has acquired title thereto in good faith as against the
determination of its possession or ownership through proper
true owner of the land or of an interest therein; and
proceedings. (Art. 538, CC)
the same rule must be applied to one who has
2. The SC held that, the act of entering the property and excluding knowledge of facts which should put a reasonable man
the lawful possessor therefrom necessarily implies the exertion of upon his guard, and then claims that he acted in good
force over property. faith under the belief that there was no defect in the
title of the vendor. (See Leung Yee v. FL Strong
The words “by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth” Machinery Co., 37 Phil. 644).
includes every situation or condition under which one person can
 The records show that when Dayrit executed the deed
wrongfully enter upon real property and exclude another who has
had prior possession therefrom. of' assignment in favor of the respondent, the disputed
lot was already registered and titled in the name of the
3. Possession in good faith ceases from the moment defects in the petitioner. Such an act of registration served as a
title are made known to the possessors, by extraneous evidence constructive notice to the whole world and the title
or by suit for recovery of the property by the true owner. issued in favor of petitioner made his ownership
conclusive upon and against all persons including
G.R. No. L-39044 January 3, 1985 Dayrit and. herein respondent, although no personal
notice was served on either of the latter. (See Garcia v.
MANOTOK REALTY, INC. vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and Bello, 13 SCRA 769; Demontano v. Court of Appeals, 81
FELIPE CARILLO, respondents. SCRA 286).
 Therefore, the presumption of good faith in favor of
FACTS: the respondent cannot apply because as far as the law
 Manotok Realty is the registered owner of a parcel of is concerned, he had notice of the ownership by the
land covered by Tax Declaration Nos. 2455 and 2456 petitioner over said lot.
issued by the City Assessor's Office of Manila with a  Furthermore, the respondent did not even bother to
total assessed value of P3,059,180.00 and by TCT inquire about the certificate of title covering the lot in
55125 (Exh. A) and TCT No. 76130 of the Register of question to verify who was the real owner thereof,
Deeds of the City of Manila. It acquired the despite the fact that his transferor, Dayrit, never
aforementioned property from the Testate Estate of showed him any title thereto; a circumstance which
Clara Tambunting de Legarda, being the highest bidder should have put him upon such inquiry or
in a sale conducted by the Probate Court investigation. His failure to exercise that measure of
 After having acquired said property, the Manotok precaution which was reasonably required of a
Realty subdivided it, but could not take possession prudent man in order to acquaint him with the defects
thereof because the whole area is occupied by several in the title of his vendor precludes him from claiming
houses among which is the one belonging to the herein possession in good faith.
appellant Felipe Carillo, Lot 143, Block 2 of the  Justice Guillermo S. Santos:
subdivision plan. o Article 256 of the Civil Code defines a
 Demands to vacate and to surrender possession of the possessor in good faith as one who is not
property were made by Manotok Realty verbally and aware that there exists in his title or mode
by publication and by circulars served to the appellant. of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.
In spite of such demands, the appellant continued to o It was incumbent on appellant to inquire
occupy the disputed lot and refused to surrender into the title of his vendor over the
possession thereof to the appellee. property.
 After the petitioner failed in its attempts to take o A purchaser cannot close his eyes to facts
possession of the lot, it filed the reivindicatory action which should put a reasonable man upon
against the respondent. his guard and then claim that he acted in
 The trial court decided the case in favor of the good faith under the behef that there was
petitioner, ordering Felipe Carino to vacate and/or no defect in the title of the vendor
surrender possession of the subject land to Manotok o Consequently, appellant cannot be deemed
Realty; and to pay the latter the sum pf P75.50 per a possessor in good faith and is not,
month from January 21, 1961 up to the time he therefore, entitled to reimbursement for
actually surrenders possession of the said parcel to the the improvements he had introduced in the
plaintiff, plus costs and atty’s fees. property in question.
 The CA reversed the trial court’s decision, and declared
that Felipe Carino is a builder in good faith with the G.R. No. 80638 April 26, 1989
right to remain in the questioned premises, free of
rent, until reimbursed by the petitioner for the
GABRIEL ELANE, petitioner,
necessary and useful expenses introduced to the land. vs.
 Hence, this petition. COURT OF APPEALS and INOCENCIO V. CHUA, respondents.
 The petitioner argues that at the time of the execution
of the deed of assignment in favor of the respondent, CASE DOCTRINES
the land was already registered in its name; and that if General Rule:Possession as afactcannot be recognized at the same time in two
the respondent were really acting in good faith, he differentpersonalities
should have verified from the Register of Deeds of Exception: in the case of co-possession
Shouldaquestion arise regarding the fact ofpossession;
1. the present possessor shall be preferred; Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be
2. if there are twopossessors, the one longer inpossession; recognized at the same time in two
3. if the dates of the possessionare the same, the one who presents a title;and different personalities except in the case of
4. ifall these conditions are equal,the thing shall be placed injudicial deposit co-possession. Should a question arise
pending determinationof its possessionor ownership through proper proceedings. regarding the fact of possession, the
NATURE: petition for review on certiorari present possessor shall be preferred; if
there are two possessors, the one longer in
possession; ...
FACTS:

Judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in toto, without


On August 16, 1961, Ordinary Residence Permit No. 1675 was
pronouncement as to costs.
issued by the Bureau of Forestry authorizing the petitioner (Elane)
to occupy four hectares of public forest land situated in Sitio
Upper Kalaklan, Olongapo, Zambales (Exhibit A), on which he Ocsio vs CA
constructed a warehouse and a gasoline station pursuant to
permits issued to him by the said bureau (Exhibits C, C-1, 1 and J), Facts: The controversy at bar arose in connection with cadastral
which on February 10, 1970 were declared for purposes of proceedings initiated by the Director of Lands, in behalf of the
taxation in his name (Exhibits E and E-1) and taxes due thereon Republic, for the settlement and adjudication of title to a large
were paid (Exhibits F-4 and F-5). tract of land measuring 261.5791 hectares, divided into 1,419 lots,
situated in the City of Iligan.
On January 19,1977, the parcel of land in question, designated as
Block V, LC Project No. 14, Olongapo City, BF Map LC 2427, Victoria Ong de Ocsio (herein petitioner) seasonably presented an
containing an area of 42,086 square meters, covered by the answer to the petition. She alleged that she was the owner, by
sketch (Exhibit G), having been declared alienable and disposable, purchase, of two (2) parcels of land with specific boundaries
the petitioner filed an application with the Bureau of Lands to comprehended in the cadastral proceeding: Lot No. 1272,
purchase it under Miscellaneous Sales Application No. (111-4) measuring 256 square meters, and Lot 1273 a road lot, measuring
9019 (Exhibit M). 21 square meters; and that as owner, she had been in possession
of both lots for fifteen (15) years, and her predecessors-in-
interest, for sixty (60) years.
On March 1, 1980, the petitioner wrote to the respondent
advising him to stop construction of the building that he was Title to the same parcels of land was however claimed by the
putting up within the parcel of land in question (Exhibit H). Religious of the Virgin Mary. In its answer, it averred that it had
bought the lots from Victoria Ong de Ocsio and had been in
On March 6, 1980, the respondent having refused to desist from possession as owner thereof for over four years, and its
constructing the building that he was putting up, the petitioner possession and that of its predecessors was immemorial.
filed the instant complaint for forcible entry in the then City Court
of Olongapo. Evidence was received on these conflicting assertions after which
the Cadastral Court rendered judgment, declaring that the
Chua’s allegations: evidence satisfactorily established that Victoria Ong de Ocsio had
in truth sold Lot No. 1272 to the Religious of the Virgin Mary in
1. That on February 15, 1980, while visiting the property, virtue of a deed of sale dated April 12, 1956, and Lot No. 1273
he discovered that petitioner was constructing a semi- was a road right of way granted to the City of Iligan.
concrete building on a portion thereof, without his
knowledge and consent. As aforestated, the Court of Appeals affirmed the cadastral court's
2. The order made by private respondent upon petitioner decision rendering judgment adjudicating Cadastral Lot 1272 to
to desist therefrom was ignored by the latter. the Religious of the Virgin Mary, but the building existing thereon
is hereby declared to be the property of claimant Victoria Ong de
Elane’s claims: Ocsio who is hereby ordered to remove Said building out of the
premises within 90 days from date hereof.
1. that he was granted a permit by the Bureau of Forest
Development over a parcel of land located at Upper
Kalaklan, with an area of 360 square meters, more or
less, designated as Block V, LC Project No. 14, Issue: Whether or not the property in question is owned by the
Olongapo City, BF Map LC 2427, as allegedly evidenced Religious of the Virgin Mary.
by a certification from the said bureau dated April 10,
1979
2. that he has been in possession and occupation of that
parcel of land continuously and uninterruptedly since Held: The Court held in the affirmative.
1970 having originally erected a hut thereon which was
later replaced by a bungalow Virginia Ong de Ocsio's version of the facts was not true-that it
3. and that the land has been declared for taxation in his was another property, not Lot No. 1272, that she had conveyed to
name and the real property taxes thereon paid by him the religious corporation but that it was indeed Lot No. 1272 that
for the years 1970 to 1979 was subject of the sale and had indeed been transferred to the
latter.
MTCC decision: dismissed the complaint
Now, findings of fact of this sort, contained in a decision of the
RTC decision: affirmed the MTCC Court of Appeals are by long and uniformly observed rule
conclusive on the parties and on the Supreme Court, as well;
CA decision: reversed the RTC and MTCC subject only to a few specified exceptions, none of which obtains
here, said findings may not be reviewed on appeal.
ISSUE:
As regards the issue of law raised by her, petitioner fares no
WON private respondent Chua has a better right over the better.
property.
The Court held that the current doctrine, first in Director of Lands
RULING: v. IAC, is that open, continuous and exclusive possession of
alienable public land for at least thirty (30) years in accordance
with the Public Land Act ipso jure converts the land to private
Yes. Having been in prior continuous possession, private property, and a juridical person who thereafter acquires the same
respondent is preferentially entitled to occupy the land. may have title thereto confirmed in its name.

In sum, private respondent was in earlier possession of the Virtually the same state of facts obtained in said case that now
contested lot; his sales application preceded that of petitioner; his obtained here. A private corporation had purchased the land
warehouse and gasoline station already existed long before originally of the public domain from parties who had, by
petitioner took possession of the parcel of land in question; and themselves and through their predecessors-in-interest, possessed
he has been paying taxes and rental fees thereon since 1968. As and occupied it since time immemorial.
provided by the Civil Code -
In the present case, Virginia Ong de Ocsio and her predecessors- corresponding decree of registration in favor of Escritor, the
in-interest having possessed Lot No. 1272 for the period and decision in Cadastral Case No. 72 having become final.
under the conditions prescribed by law for acquisition of
ownership of disposable public land prior to the sale of the On August 2, 1958, Simeon S. Acuna, the herein respondent, filed
property to the Religious of the Virgin Mary, confirmation of title a petition for review of the above-mentioned decision contending
thereto in the latter's name is, under the precedents referred to, that it was obtained by claimant Escritor through fraud and
entirely in order. misrepresentation. The petition was granted on July 18, 1960 and
a new hearing was set for September 13, 1960. While the
19. Consing vs. Court of Appeals proceedings were going on, claimant Escritor died. His heirs, the
petitioners in this case, took possession of the property.
Doctrine: The seller must deliver the thing sold in a condition
suitable for its enjoyment by the buyer for the purpose On February 16, 1971 or thirteen years after the disputed decision
contemplated. was rendered, the Court adjudicated Lot No. 2749 in favor of
respondent Acuna, ordering petitioners to vacate the land. A writ
Facts: Merlin Consing is a subdivision lot seller of Mearle Homes, of possession was later issued and petitioners voluntarily gave up
Inc and sold two parcels of her land to Caridad Santos, including their possession.
the voluntary right of way which the purchased price shall be
paid. (Installment basis, plus interest).

Santos defaulted in her payments. Consing demanded for her More than four years later, respondent Acuna filed with the same
payment and had planned to resort to court litigation. Santos Court in Civil Case No. 1138-G, a complaint for recovery of
expressed her willingness to settle her obligation. However, this is damages against petitioners for the fruits of lot No. 2749 which
upon the condition that the Consings comply with all the laws and was allegedly possessed by the latter unlawfully for thirteen
regulations on subdivision and after payment to her damages as a years. According to respondent Acuña, the registration of the said
consequence of the use of a portion of her lot as a subdivision lot was effectuated by the deceased claimant Escritor through
road. fraud, malice, and misrepresentation.

In response, the Consings submitted a subdivision plan for The lower court, however, rendered a decision dismissing Acuña's
approval to Municipal Council of Marikina which was referred to complaint for damages, finding that though petitioners enjoyed
the Department of Local Government and Community the fruits of the property, they were in good faith possessing
Development (DLGCD) wherein which the latter recommended under a just title, and the cause of action, if there was any, has
that the existing roads should be indicated on the plan as road already prescribed.
lots and corresponding areas along the side of the roads
corrected. The Municipal of Marikina approved the subdivision On Appeal to the Intermediate Appellate Court, the judgment of
plan subject to the condition of compliance with the the lower court was reversed in a decision promulgated on
recommendation of DLGCD. October 31, 1984. Hence this petition.

Subsequently, Consing wrote a letter addressed to the Municipal Issue: Whether or not petitioners should be held liable for
Council of Marikina where he admitted that the road lots are the damages.
right of way which are annotated in the certificate of titles. In the
same letter, Consing stated that the road lots annotated in their Held: The Court ruled that petitioners were possessors in good
corresponding titles ARE NOT INCLUDED in the sale of property faith and should, therefore, not be held liable for damages.

CFI found Consing liable for selling portions of the road or streets Contrary to the finding of the trial court, the Intermediate
denominated right of way, and applied a proportionate reduction Appellate Court made the pronouncement that petitioners were
of the purchase price. CA affirmed. possessors in bad faith from 1958 up to 1971 and should be held
accountable for damages. This conclusion was based on the
Consing Contention: The alleged right of way were voluntary statement of the cadastral court in its August 21, 1971 decision,
easement which they have a right to constitute by virtue of Art readjudicating Lot No. 2749 to respondent Simeon Acuna, that
619, and by doing so the portions subject to voluntary right of "Miguel Escritor forcibly took possession of the land in May, 1958,
way did not become streets or roads; that they continue to be the and benefited from the coconut trees thereon.
property of Consings but subject to an encumbrance.
The Court cannot affirm the position of the Intermediate
Issue: Whether or not the constituted right of way ceased to be Appellate Court. It should be remembered that in the first
owned by Consing and become subdivision streets or roads which decision of the cadastral court dated May 15, 1958, Lot No. 2749
the Consings have no right to sell. was adjudicated in favor of claimant Escritor, petitioners'
predecessor-in-interest. In this decision, the said court found to
Held: The court held that portions subject to the voluntary its satisfaction that claimant Escritor acquired the land by
easement of right of way were in facts road as admitted by inheritance from his father who in turn acquired it by purchase,
Consing in the letter send by her to the Municipal Council of and that his open, public, continuous, adverse, exclusive and
Marikina. Moreover, the court held that in including as part of notorious possession dated back to the Filipino-Spanish
Santos’ purchase price the value of the subdivision road, Consing Revolution.
has shifted to her the burden of providing for an access to and
from the subdivision. It is the duty of subdivision lot sellers to On the basis of the aforementioned favorable judgment which
construct necessary roads in the subdivision to serve as outlets. was rendered by a court of competent jurisdiction, Escritor
honestly believed that he is the legal owner of the land. With this
A seller’s duty is to deliver the thing sold in a condition suitable well-grounded belief of ownership, he continued in his possession
for its enjoyment by the buyer for purposes contemplated, and of Lot No. 2749. This cannot be categorized as possession in bad
proper access to a residence is essential to its enjoyment. faith.

Escritor vs IAC As defined in the law, a possessor in bad faith is one in possession
of property knowing that his title thereto is defective. Here, there
Facts: Lot No. 2749, located at Atimonan, Quezon, was the subject is no showing that Escritor knew of any flaw in his title. Nor was it
of cadastral proceedings in the CFI of Quezon, Miguel Escritor, as proved that petitioners were aware that the title of their
claimant, filed an answer thereto declaring his ownership over the predecessor had any defect.
lot alleging that he acquired it by inheritance from his deceased
father. As required, a notice of hearing was duly published, after Thus, respondent failed to prove fraud and bad faith on the part
which an order of general default was entered. The lot having of petitioners.
become uncontested, only Miguel Escritor appeared in order to
adduce his evidence of ownership.

On May 15, 1958, the Court rendered a decision in the


abovementioned case, Cadastral Case No. 72, adjudicating the lot
with its improvements in favor of claimant Escritor and confirming
his title thereto. Immediately thereafter, Escritor took possession
of the property. On July 15, 1958, the Court, in an Order, directed
the Chief of the General Land Registration Office to issue the