Add TAGS to your cases to easily locate them or to build your SYLLABUS.
Please SIGN IN to use this feature.
Highlight text as FACTS, ISSUES, RULING, PRINCIPLES to generate case DIGESTS and REVIEWERS.
Please LOGIN use this feature.
Show printable version with highlights

[ GR No. L-6251, Jan 31, 1956 ]



98 Phil. 269

[ G.R. No. L-6251, January 31, 1956 ]




As this is an appeal by certiorari, we are hereby adopting the following narration of facts contained in  the decision of the  Court of Appeals:
Plaintiffs  Leonora Manaois,  Gregorio Manaois,  Juliana Manaois and Inocencia Manaois and defendant Florencio Manaois arc brothers and sisters and, together with  a  niece,  one Francisca de  Guzman, who is not a  party to this action, were formerly  owners pro-indiviso and in  common of the  parcel of land  described in the complaint. This parcel   of land, which  is  situated  in the  barrio of  Lomboy, municipality  of Binmalcy, Province of Pangasinan, and contains an area of  18,975 square meters,  more or  less, Is rural, and  it was one of  three lots which the above named persons  inherited from Cenon Manaois, father of tho first five and grandfather of the last.

"On January 10, 1943, the properties left by Cenon Manaois were partitioned among his heirs.   In that partition, which recorded in a public deed  (Exhibit  "1"),  the lot described in complaint was  adjudicated  as  follows:  one-fourth, towards  its southeastern  side to Gregorio Manaois; one-fourth, towards its southwestern side, to Florencio  Manaois;  one-eighth,  towards its norther to Francisca de Guzman; one-eighth, towards  its northeaste side, to Leonora Manaois, and  one-eighth, towards its northweste sidet to Inocencia  Manaois.  Aftex the execution of this deed, the parties thereto entered into the possession of the portions of l respectively adjudicated to them.

"On April 2, 1943, Florencio Manaois, in consideration the sum of P500, paid  to  him by  defendant  Jose Zamora, sold and conveyed to the latter his one-fourth  share in  the above- mentioned lot, and executed for the  purpose of a public deed  of conveyance (Exhibit "2").  On the same  date, after the execution of this deed of sale, Jose Zamora constituted himself in the land conveyed to him and  took  possession  thereof in  the  presence  and with the acquiescense of Gregorio Manaois, and  the letter's brothers-in Miguel Fabia and Crescendo  Rosario,  husbands of Leonora Manaois  and Inocencia Manaois, respectively, whom  he found in the place.

"On April 30, 1043,  Zamora  went to the law firm De la Peña Cruz,  Arboleda and  Pefia, in  Lingayen,  Pangasinan, get the certificate of  title  covering  the property  acquired which, he  was told,  was  in  the possession of said  law  firm Attorney Arboleda  of  the firm  told Zamora that if he wanted to have the certificate of title he had to  bring at least one of the children of the deceased Cenon Manaois and pay the amount of P45 which said deceased  owed their firm. Thus  advised, Zamora  went back to Binmaley and  in succession  asked  Inocencia,  Juliana Leonora Manaois to accompany him to the office of Attorney Arboleda, but these sisters  refused  and referred him to their  brother Gregorio Manaoia.  The latter agreed, and  on May 1, 1943,  he accompanied Zamora to  the  office of  Attorney Arboleda, who upon being paid the sum of P45, immediately  executed the necessary deed of release and told  Zamora and  Gregorio Manaois to record  the same in the office of  the  register  of deeds, from which  they  could get the certificate of title of the property of Cenon  Manaois. Zamora  and Gregorio  Manaois presented this deed of release in the office of the register of deeds on May 3,  1943, and, after paying the necessary fees, they were  given  the owner's duplicate of two certificates of title.  Kamora retained the title which covered his property (owner's duplicate of certificate of title  No. 52914) and gave the other to Gregorio  Manaois.

"Once in the  possession of the duplicate of  certificate of title No. 52914, Zamora presented the deed of conveyance of the property in the office of the register  of deeds.  He was, however, advised that said deed cannot be recorded unless a copy of the deed of partition of the lot among the heirs of Cenon Manaois be also presented for record.  Due to  the difficulties encountered  by Zamora to secure  a copy of the deed of partition, he did  not insist  on  the registration of the  deed of conveyance  above referred to.

"However, on  July  22, 1940, Zamora went  back  to the office of the register of deeds  for Pangasinan and  once more presented the deed of conveyance above-refened to for record, advising said office why he could not file  the deed of partition.  The register of deeds, upon being advised of the situation, accepted  the deed and entered it in the entry book of his office.   On the same date, July 22, 1946, the plaintiffs commenced this action."
The action instituted by the plaintiffs  (herein petitioners)  was for legal redemption  under  Articles  1523 and 1524 of the old Civil Code.  The petitioners lost both in the Court of First Instance  of  Pangasinan and in the Court of  Appeals, and the case is  now before us  on review  by certiorari.

The Court of Appeals ruled that the deed  conveying the land in question to respondent Jose Zamora was registered on July 22, 1946, when the present action was commenced. It  also found  that the evidence "clearly shows that the plaintiffs  (herein petitioners)  had knowledge  of the sale in  question since its execution on April 2, 1943."

The petitioners  admit  that  the law involved  is Article 1524  of  the  old Civil  Code  providing  that  "the right of legal  redemption can be  exercised only within nine days, counted  from, the  inscription  in the registry, and in the absence thereof from the time the redemptioner  shall have had  knowledge of the sale,"  and that the only question to be decided is whether the nine-day period should start from July 22, 1946 (date of registration), or from April 2, 1943  (when petitioners had actual knowledge).   The Court of Appeals sustained the view  that  the  starting point is the latter date.

We agree.  The Supreme Court of Spain, in its decisions of December 14, 1905 and June 30,  1910, had already held that the date of registration was intended to be applied to all cases where the date of actual knowledge is unknown, the idea being that knowledge of the sale may be presumed from its  mere  registration; and  not to cases  where the date  of prior knowledge  is determined, otherwise a  legal presumption would be given more importance than a real fact.   The  following is the commentary of Manresa:  "El Codigo, dice la sentencia de 14 de  Diciembre de 1905, no quiere  establecer para todos los  casos de titulos sujetos a inscripcion,  un plazo uniforme de nueve dias a contar desde ella para ejercitar el retracto, sino solo para el easo de no poder acreditarse si el, retrayente tuvo o  no conocimiento anterior de la venta,  caso en el que establece una presuncion  juris  et de jure, basada  en la publicidad de registro.  Si el retrayente conocia la venta, el plazo  ha de contarse desde ese conocimiento: lo  mismo viene a afirmar, en el fondo, la sentencia de 30  de Junio de  1910.   (10 Manresa, 340, 4th  ed.)"

We can  think of no valid justification for departing from the rule  laid down  by the Supreme Court of Spain. It is  desirable that purchasers of real property  should not be left guessing or in suspense as  to the status  of  their title, so as  to allow or enable them to decide without delay on what to do with  said property.   It is true  that, as intimated by  counsel for the petitioners, the  matter of registering a  sale is within the  power of the purchaser who  should be blamed for any delayed registration.   But there may be instances where, as in the case at bar, early registration cannot be effected due to the legitimate causes beyond the  control of the purchaser.  Upon the  other hand, a redemptioner who has  actual knowledge is afforded the same,  if  not more, opportunity to  exercise his right, as a redemptioner charged with knowledge of the  sale merely in virtue of a registration.

Wherefore,  the  appealed decision is  affirmed, and it is so ordered  with costs against the petitioners.

Padilla, Montemayor, Reyes, A., Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J. B. L., and Endencia, JJ., concur.