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[ GR No. L-13090, Nov 27, 1959 ]



106 Phil. 538

[ G.R. No. L-13090, November 27, 1959 ]




This is an appeal from the  order dated June 14, 1957, of the Court of First  Instance  of  Negros Occidental  in Cadastral Case  No. 31 (L.B.C. Case No. 446, Lot No. 102) directing the issuance of a writ  of possession in favor  of "herein petitioner-appellee.

Lot  No. 102  (with an area  of 5755 square meters)  of San Carlos  Cadastre  was-originally decreed in Cadastral Case  No. 31 of the province of  Negros  Occidental  in favor  of Susana,  Numeriano, Dolores,  Tranquilino  and Ricardo,  all surnamed Tabares, in equal shares.  Original Certificate of Title No. 22339 in their names was issued on July 25, 1927  (Exh.  3).

Subsequently,  Numeriano Tabares and  Susana Tabares, of 2/5 shares of said lot consisting of 2,302 square meters, sold their rights, title, and interest to the spouses Martin Antonio  and Eugenio Cayas, who,  in turn, sold a portion of  180 square  meters thereto to  Florentina Pastrana on July 3, 1928.  When Pastrana tried to register her  deed of sale, the same was  returned to  her  by the Register of Deeds because the transfer of the 2/3 portion to the Antonio spouses, of which the 180 square  meters in question were a part, did not as yet appear annotated on the original certificate of the Tabares.   Pastrana, however, took possession of the 180  square meters area and built her  house thereon.  Later, upon  her  death,  her daughter  Angela Ducay succeeded her.

On July 13, 1948, Angela sold said  180 square meters to herein appellant Carmen Rocamora.  Rocamora thereupon constructed a bodega within the  180 square meters purchased by her, to house a corn  mill costing P10,000.00, wherein  Cipriano C.  Antonio,  son of the  spouses Martin Antonio and Eugenia Cayas used to  mill  his own corn.

Subsequently, Cipriano C. Antonio acquired the  2/3 undivided portion of his  parents and  succeeded in  having issued on  July 16,  1949, a transfer certificate of title No. T-4813 in the names of himself, Cipriano C. Antonio (2/5 shares), Jose Hormillosa (2/3  shares)  and  the spouses Eladio Tan and Petra D. Tan (Vs share), the latter coowners apparently the  successors-in-interest of the three other Tabares brothers and  sister, original owners.

On September 30,  1950, Cipriano C. Antonio apparently having agreed with  his  registered co-owners to partition and  segregate their  undivided portions,  filed a petition with the  Court of First Instance in the same Cadastral Case  No.  31,  for the  approval  of  a subdivision plan, Psd-29938, and the  issuance of a separate title over his 2/5 portion now designated as Lot No. 102-A  in the subdivision plan.  Carmen  Rocamora, having learned  about this move of Cipriano Antonio, filed her opposition to said petition on October 11,  1950, in so far as her portion  of 180 square meters of the segregated lot  No,  102-A was concerned,  asserting her right of  ownership and  actual possession of said portion.

On December 9, 1950, the court dismissed the opposition of Carmen Rocamora as being not well-founded and approved the subdivision plan and ordered the register of deeds  to  cancel Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-4813 and to issue new  separate certificates  of title, one in favor  of  petitioner  Cipriano C. Antonio  covering the segregated  lot No. 102-A representing his 2/5  previously undivided portion, and another in the names of the other registered co-owners, covering the new segregated lot No. 102-B  representing  their  3/5 undivided  portion  in  the bigger lot No. 102.

Carmen Rocamora filed two motion for reconsideration of the order of the  court of December 9, 1950, both of which were denied the last, however,  only on January 30, 1957.  Because  of the  delay in the disposal of  her motion for reconsideration, Rocamora filed an ordinary civil action, Civil Case No. 4119 docketed on November 12, 1956, entitled "Carmen Rocamora vs. Candelaria Y. Vda. de Antonio"  (Cipriano C.  Antonio  having died in the meantime), wherein she  claimed ownership and possession of the 180  square  meters portion of  lot  No. 102-A  and sought the annulment of the order  of December 9, 1950, directing  the issuance  of a new certificate of  title over the entire lot No. 102-A in favor of Cipriano C. Antonio.

On March 23, 1957, Candelaria Y. Vda. de Antonio, as administratrix, invoking  the  order  of the court of  December 9, 1950, filed a petition in  the cadastral case for the issuance of a writ of possession over  the controverted portion of 180 square meters included in lot No. 102-A.

On  April  16,  1957,  appellant Rocamora opposed  the motion, contending  that  (a)  the issuance of a writ of possession would be improper and unauthorized,  considering that the order of December 9, [1950] upon  which petitioner relied, concerned  merely the approval of a subdivision plan and the issuance of a new transfer certificate title and did not  involve nor adjudicate  the possession or ownership  of the lot in question; (6)  the proceedings were  not for  the granting of an original decree and the issuance of the corresponding certificate of  title, but dealt with voluntary transactions on registered land taking place subsequent to the judgment or decree  adjudicating title to the land;  and finally,  (c)  there  was  pending  in the same  court another action, Civil Case No. 4119, involving the question of ownership and  possession of the same lot.

On  June 14, 1957, the court granted the writ of possession to herein petitioner-appellee, in  the following  order:

Acting upon  the motion dated  March 18, 1957 filed by attorneys for the petitioner  Cipriano C. Antonio substituted by Candelaria Y. Antonio, praying that a writ of possession be issued against the oppositor, Carmen  Rocamora, ordering the  latter to turn "over and restore the portion of lot No. 102-A, San Carlos Cadastre, Psd29938,  actually possessed  and  occupied by  her, to the petition,  as administratrix of the estate of her  deceased husband  Cipriano  C. Antonio; the opposition thereto dated April 11, 1957 filed by attorneys for the oppositor; the reply dated April 26, 1957 filed by attorneys for the petitioner;  and  the rejoinder dated June  5, 1957 filed by attorneys  for  the  oppositor;  it appearing  that  the order  of this Court dated December 9, 1950,  approving subdivision plan Psd 29988 for lot No. 102 of the San  Carlos Cadastre and ordering the Register of Deeds  of Negros  Occidental to  cancel  Transfer Certificate  of Title No. T-4813 covering said Lot  No. 102 and  to issue in lieu thereof of new  Transfer  Certificate of Title  for  Lot No.  102-A,. Psd-29938, in the name of Cipriano  C. Antonio, is admittedly now final;  considering that although the  petition that gave rise to  the aforesaid order of  December 9, 1950 is merely an incident subsequent  to  the  original proceedings  for registration, said incident may be considered  original as  between the petitioner and the oppositor in  the sense  that they  are before  this Court for the first time; considering that the opposition interposed by Carmen Rocamora has been finally  resolved'in this subsequent proceeding and no writ of possession has heretofore been issued in favor of the-petitioner with reference to the lot in question, with the result that the cases of Yuson vs. Diaz, 42 Phil. 22, and  Manuel  vs. Rosario,  56 Phil. 365, cited by the  oppositor, are  not controlling;  considering that oppositor's contention that petitioner's remedy is to institute an ejectment proceeding against the oppositor, is not conducive to a speedy administration of  Justice; and considering  lastly that  the pendency  of the complaint filed by the oppbsitor against the petitioner in  the Court of First Instance of Negros  Occidental, Civil Case No.  4119, praying  that  the oppositor be adjudged the  sole owner of  the disputed portion of Lot No. 102-A and to order of this Court "dated December 9, 1050 declared null and void,  is not a bar to  and will not be affected by  the issuance of a writ of possession herein;  the Court resolves to direct as it hereby directs the  issuance of the  corresponding writ of possession in favor of petitioner  Candelaria  Y. Antonio and against oppositor Carmen Rocamora.

So Ordered."
Her motion for reconsideration  having  been  denied, oppositor Carmen Rocamora interposed the  present appeal claiming that the  lower court  committed an error  in prepared by a duly authorized private surveyor and subnew lots, Nos. 102-A and 102-B, had been surveyed and issuing the writ of possession directing appellant Rocamora to vacate the land  and  deliver  the same to petitioner-appellee.

We agree with oppositor-appellant that the  lower court was in error.

The initial, error of the court a quo consists in having considered the proceeding that led to the order of December 9, 1950, as original  between the parties  solely  because they were before the court for the first  time, in spite of its  recognition that the same (proceeding)  was merely an Incident subsequent to the original proceedings for  registration.   The  petition that  gave rise to the  December, 1950 order, is specifically referred to in the said order thus:
"This is a verified petition, dated September 30, 1950, for the approval  of a subdivision plan," (Italics supplied.)
This was the nature and purpose of the petition, nothing more. The order,  after setting forth the  fact  that the lot  No.  102 sought to be subdivided was inscribed in the names of the co-owners appearing in the  corresponding certificate of title, with their respective undivided portions, and the fact that the subdivision plan, delimiting the two new lots, Nos. 102-A and 102-B, had been surveyed and prepared by a duly authorized private surveyor and subsequently approved by the Director of Lands, merely approved the said subdivision plan and ordered the Register of Deeds to cancel  the  old certificate of title and issue new ones covering said  two lots Nos. 102-A and  102-B in accordance with  the  approved subdivision plan, after payment of the corresponding fees therefor.

This  is  a routinary order in  a  routinary proceeding of subdivision among co-owners resulting from an agreed determination and segregation of their previous  undivided shares or interests in  a  single parcel  of land.  It is true, and this is the cause of the misapprehension, that a short reference was made in the  order, to the  opposition  of Carmen  Rocamora which  was  dismissed, not being well founded.  But this portion of the order did  not constitute any adjudication of the  question of ownership or of possession  of the questioned small portion of 180 square meters out of the 2302 square meters in lot 102-A.  There were absolutely no findings of fact nor conclusions of law upon which such adjudication, if intended, was predicated. In fact, the record of the proceeding in 1950  does not show any evidence  presented  and the incident of the approval of the subdivision plan was submitted, as far as it can  be gathered  from the  record, only  upon the  arguments  of counsel  for the parties.  Consequently, that proceeding can if  not be likened to a  proceeding  where ownership is adjudicated.   It  was  merely  a summary proceeding  under Section  112 of Act 496, where controversial  issues can not be litigated[1]  but must  be threshed  out in an  ordinary case.[2] Having come to this  conclusion, and considering that the writ of possession authorized under section 17 of Act 496, is but the execution of a judgment or decree adjudicating title as between adversary parties in the registration proceeding, it follows that  no such writ can be issued  by virtue of  the said order of  December 9, 1950, it being not an adjudication of title or possession of the property involved.  Nor can the writ  of possession be  issued pursuant to the original decree in favor of respondent Antonio, successor-in-interest of the original applicant, although no previous writ has yet been issued, because the appellant, against  whom the writ  is sought to be  enforced,  is not an adverse party, herself being a successor-in-interest of the successful original applicant, and obtained possession of the questioned portion long after the original decree has been  issued and become final.[3] On the  relative merit of the parties respective  claims to  the ownership and right of possession of the property in  question, this Court expresses no opinion, it being unnecessary in this proceeding and it appearing that the same is being litigated in an ordinary civil action, Civil Case No. 4119, now pending in the court below.  

In  view of  the foregoing, the  order  appealed from dated June  14, 1957 is  hereby set  aside, with costs  against the appellee.   So ordered.

Bengzon, Padilla, Montemayor, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Reyes, J. B.  L.,  Endencia,  and Gutierrez  David,  JJ., concur.
Paras, C. J., concurs in the result.

[1] Castillo et al. vs. Ramos et al., 78 Phil., 809; 45 Off. Gaz., 183.

[2]  Tangunan, et al. vs. Republic of  the Philippines; 94 Phil., 171; 50 Off. Gaz., 115, and the cases cited therein.

[3] Yuson, et al. vs. Diaz etc., et al., 42 Phil., 22; Hart vs. Revilla, G.R. No. 16498, December 18, 1920; Manuel vs. Rosario, 56 Phil. 365; Sepagan vs. Dacillo, 63  Phil., 412.