5. University of the Philippines v Segundina Rosario

October 13, 2017 | Author: Tep Bontuyan | Category: Legal Procedure, Judiciaries, Virtue, Common Law, Public Law
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University of the Philippines v Segundina Rosario G.R. No. 136965. March 28, 2001 Facts: September 7, 1971, Datu Ditingke Ramos filed at CFI an application for registration of title covering a parcel of land situated in Quezon City, with an area of 100,000 square meters and covered by Plan (LRC) SWO-15055, as amended. UP filed an intervention claiming that the land covered by the application is within its property described in Transfer Certificate of Title No. 9462. U.P. filed with the trial court an opposition and motion to dismiss Datu Ditingke Ramos' application for registration. CFI: motion to dismiss denied since it did not encroach the land and on June 8, 1973 it granted the Application for registration of Ramos. March 19, 1974- CFI ordered the finality of decision and ordered the LRC to comply Section 21 of Act 2347. LRC issued Decree No. N- 150604 in favor of Rosario Alcovendas Vda. de Ramos, and pursuant to which the RD of Quezon issued an OCT-17 in her name. Due to some technical errors, RD of Quezon cancelled the OCT and issued TCT 223619 in the name of Ramos. February 23, 1988, Ramos issued a Deed of Sale infavor of Segundina Rosario covering said parcel in TCT. A fire razed the City hall (housing the RD) and destroyed the TCT 223619. It resulted to the reconstitution and issuance of TCT RT-78195 (223619). UP filed for the cancellation of said TCT. Segundina caused the registration of Deed of Absolute sale to the RD and it cancelled the previousTCT and issued a new TCT in favor of Segundina. U.P. filed an amended petition alleging that it is "the true, absolute and registered owner of a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 9462" of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City and that the "unlawful acts of ownership being exercised by (Segundina) and (Bugnay Construction and Development Corporation) as well as the existence of their spurious certificates of title, create a cloud of doubt on the title of (U.P.). UP also prayed that Transfer Certificate of Title No. 121042 or the reconstituted titles or derivatives thereof be declared null and void ab initio for being spurious and fraudulently issued (third cause of action) Segundina filed an omnibus motion to dismiss UP’s third cause of action and cancel the notice of litis pendens annotated in the TCT. But RTC denied the motion. MR was filed but it was again denied.

Segundina filed in CA by certiorari. CA ruled in favor of Segundina on the ground of Res judicata. UP filed for MR but denied. Hence this appeal. Issues: W/N CA erred in ruling in favor of Segundina since she has not yet proved in a "full-blown hearing" whether her reconstituted title traces its roots to OCT No. 17. W/N OCT -17 was void ab initio on the ground that CFI has no jurisduiction since the requisite "signature approval of the Director of Lands over the survey plan was nowhere to be found." Held: Petition is meritorious. No plan or survey may be admitted in land registration proceedings until approved by the Director of Lands. 29 The submission of the plan is a statutory requirement of mandatory character. Unless a plan and its technical description are duly approved by the Director of Lands, the same are of no value. Thus, the allegation that the signature approval for the survey plan was nowhere to be found is an important jurisdictional fact that must be ventilated before the trial court. Thus, as OCT No. 17 is void and Segundina traces her rights to OCT No. 17, her claim would have no basis as a spring cannot rise higher than its source. Further, the judgment in LRC Q-329 was subject to the qualification that "If the parcel of land is found to be inside decreed properties, this plan is automatically cancelled. Whether the land covered by OCT No. 17 is inside decreed property is an issue of fact that can be best determined by the trial court after an examination of the evidence. We find meritorious the trial court's rationale for denying Segundina's motion to dismiss. We quote: "To establish their respective rights over the disputed property, both plaintiff and respondents submitted documentary exhibits, the genuineness and authenticity of which can only be proved in a full blown trial. "There is no pretense that the foregoing conflicting claims entail determination of facts. It, thus, become imperative that both parties be given their day in Court to avoid the danger of committing a grave injustice if they were denied an opportunity to introduce evidence in their behalf. "It is within this context that the Court considers it appropriate under the present stage of the action to DENY the instant motion. Pending final ruling on the merits of the case, Segundina's motion to cancel the notice of lis pendens must be denied.

Case is remanded to the trial court for trial on the merits.

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