MAYSILO ESTATE: The Simple Solution

The solution to this controversial Maysilo Estate double-titling mess is simply:

THERE IS ONLY ONE OCT NO. 994 and that is the one dated May 3, 1917.

The other OCT No. 994 dated April 19, 1917 is definitely a forgery, a scam, an evil creation, an anomalous decision, and a bogus title.

If the Supreme Court will just see that the OCT No. 994 dated April 19, 1917 is dubious and the people behind this OCT have evil intentions, then this case would not have dragged this long.

Let us see if the Justice System in this country still has its integrity intact. Let us see if there is justice in this country. Or if the big bullies get away with this scam. Let us see if justice will prevail versus the people who think they are above the law.

The Justice System should go after these people behind the OCT No. 994 dated April 19, 1917 because they concocted an evil plot to steal and cheat.

The Land-Grabbing Syndicate should be stopped! This is a major scam!

Read the rest of this entry »

MAYSILO ESTATE: Anatomy of double titling

Anatomy of double titling, RD’s ‘minor inadvertence’

This may well be the anatomy of double titling of land.

“Such a minor inadvertence could not: caused any damage to any party…” said Caloocan City Registrar of Deeds Yolanda Alfonso when asked by the Land Registration Authority (LRA) to comment on the complaint of a couple whose property covered by a long transfer certificate of title (TCT) was overlapped by one of three “new titles” issued by the registrar.

Alfonso issued the “new title pursuant to an order dated September 9, 1996 promulgated by Judge Jaime D. Discaya, presiding judge of the regional trial court Branch 120, Caloocan City, in case of Rivera, et al. vs. de Sola et al., Civil Case No. C-424. The court adopted “April 19, 1917” as the date of original registration.

Alfonso admitted the “discrepancies” between the statement in the new titles that these were derived from Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 994 issued on April 19, 1917 and the LRA certification that there is no such OCT NO. 994 issued on April 19, 1917, but rather one issued on May 3, 1917 which is on file at the Caloocan registry of deeds. The latter date is the date of the issuance of OCT 994 from which the spouses’ title is derived from.

This “minor mistake” is causing the couple big trouble, the loss of their land. Not only them, but scores of landowners in Caloocan City, Malabon and a part of Quezon City whose TCT’s state that these were derivatives of mother title OCT 994 dated May 3, 1917, are in danger, if not actually facing eviction from their properties.

Even the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage Authority (MWSS) lost its 1,998 square meters compound in Caloocan City to one Jose Dimson, under a simple Supreme Court ruling.

Through their counsel, our couple said in a letter to LRA, “Records will also show that the Register of Deeds had signed letters and on numerous occasions appeared before court hearings where she testified that OCT No. 994 was issued on 03 May 1917 and not on 19 April 1917. These court appearances and letters were made prior to the issuance of TCT Nos. 314535 to 314537.”

From this, the couple’s lawyer told the LRA ‘“It appears that the curious coincidence of the use by the Registrar of Deeds of the date 19 April 1917 appears to us to be a result of more than a minor inadvertence. We believe that a more thorough investigation should be conducted on the manner by which this so-called discrepancies were committed.”

The couple said the registrar of deeds made a remark which they considered “quite disturbing”, thus:

“Besides, such minor inadvertence could not caused (sic) any damage to any party, for, if, worst came to worst, and the factual issue of original registration of OCT NO. 994 be a crucial issue, the best evidence would naturally be OCT 994, and not the subsequent titles issued, TCT Nos. 314635 to 314537 where a different date appears.”

The lawyers reminded RD Yolanda of the elementary principle in land registration that when a parcel of land is registered under the Torrens Systems, the public is supposed to rely on the certificate of title covering the registered property.

“Can the Register of Deeds honestly maintain that those who, following the law, would rely on the titles (TCT NOs 314535 to 314537) she issued will not suffer any damage ? How about those landowners/title holders, including our clients whose properties have been put in peril by these illegal issuances, must they now wage battle against holders of these new titles which overlap their properties?

“By these instances, is the integrity of the Torrens System not put into doubt more so where the primary responsibility to protect its integrity, is vested in the Register of Deeds?”

RD Alfonso, in his comment to LRA, also said she has no power to defy or reverse the orders of Judge Discaya in the face of allegations that “previous titles are in existence.”

Alfonso said, “There is therefore no semblance of authority allowing the office to defy, reverse or modify the court order in the instant case, for to do so is simply not within our power and is anathema to the rule of law, if not anarchy in practice.”

The couple’s lawyer conceded that under ordinary circumstances, this would have been a perfect defense. But, given the fact that the RD actually knew that there is no such thing as OCT No. 994 which was issued on 19 April 1917, this defense appears untenable.”

It would have been proper for the RD, the lawyer said, to formally advise the court that indeed there is only one OCT 994 issued on May 3, 1917. Consistent with the procedure under PD 1529, the Property Registration Decree, she should have inquired from the court even prior to the issuance of the questioned new titles, which titles will have to be cancelled.

By failing to do this, the counsel said, the register of deeds has caused the situation she is tasked to prevent, the existence of more than one title over the same property. Nothing also prevented her from elevating the matter in consultation to the LRA.

In this case, the lawyer said, the RD did not even bother to elevate the issue to the LRA, thus showing her utter failure to observe the procedure spelled out in the law.

‘In other words, what is claimed by the Register of Deeds as a compliance of a court order is actually an open defiance of a clear provision of law. The Register of Deeds purports to justify her issuance of the questioned titles by invoking the authority of the courts and to prevent anarchy.

“Sadly, however, her acts as well as those acting under her authority have been the primary cause of the anarchy that now reigns in the issuance of spurious titles and illegal, albeit, immoral land grabbing that is now the norm in KaIoocan City.”

What ever happened to the person who “dubiously created” this major mistake?

 

MAYSILO ESTATE: Grand kids, heirs whose granny died single!

GrandKids, heirs whose granny died single!

POOR “grandchildren,” their granny died single!

That’s the stranger-than-fiction story of Bartolome P. Rivera, Eleuteria Rivera, Pelagia R. Angeles, Modesta R. Angeles, Venancio R. Angeles, Felipe M. Angeles, Fidela R. Angeles, Josefa R. Aquino, Gregorio R. Aquino, and Rosauro R. Aquino. They had wanted so much to inherit land from their grandmother. They didn’t even know their alleged benefactor was still alive when they went to court to claim her supposed property.

Their pitiable lot, perhaps, could only come to pass in this country where almost anything goes, especially in government offices suffused by the winds of this world.

Maria de la Conception Vidal died single, without children or grandchildren and without any valid will, in Madrid, Spain at 6 a.m. on May 27, 1965. She died after a heart attack. This was certified to in the “Certification Literal de Inscripcion de Difuncion de Maria Concepcion Vidal y Delgado” issued by the civil registrar of Madrid, stating such fact on its face. The vice consul of the Republic of the Philippines issued a certificate of authentication for it on behalf of the Madrid consular district.

On October 20, 1961, or some four years and seven months before their supposed decedent actually passed away, Bartolome Rivera and Co. filed a petition with the Rizal CFI, Case No. 4557. They asked that as alleged heirs of “the late, Maria de la Concepcion Vidal,” their names be substituted in place of Vidal on the face of OCT 994.

During the strange court hearing, the Riveras presented testimonies claiming that Vidal was married to Pioquinto Rivera during the Spanish regime and both died also during the Spanish regime.

This was their story, as recounted in the decision of a kind judge who must have taken pity on them and swallowed it hook, line and sinker, thus:

“Maria de la Concepcion Vidal was married to Pioquinto Rivera during the Spanish regime, and to the couple were born the following children: Epifania, Pedro, Potenciana, and Severo, all surnamed Rivera, all of whom are now dead. Pedro Rivera left two daughters, Eleuteria, one of the petitioners, and Teresa. Teresa is now dead and is survived by the following children namely: Pelagia, Modesta, Venancia, Felipe and Fidela all surnamed Angeles who are named petitioners herein. Potenciana Rivera is survived by her three children: Josefa, Gregorio, and Rosauro all surnamed Aquino, also petitioners in this case. Epifania Rivera died in 1954 at the age of 116 years but left no children of her own (Exh. “F”). Severo Rivera died sometime in 1907 (Exh. “C”) and was survived by his son, Bartolome Rivera, whose mother was Luisa Pangyarihan (Exh. “G”) but she predeceased har husband Severo Rivera.

“According to the witness Daniel Villegas who is 104 years old it appears that the spouses Maria de la Concepcion Vidal and Pioquinto Rivera were well known to him as he was living on a portion of the Maysilo Estate and was paying rentals to Maria de la Concepcion Vidal and Pioquinto Rivera were well known to him as he was living on a portion of the Maysilo Estate and was paying rentals to Maria de la Concepcion Vidal, his house being close to the house of the house of the latter. The same witness identified to the Court old pictures of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal and Pioquinto Rivera, both of whom died as stated, sometime during the Spanish regime.

“From the testimony of Bartolome P. Rivera it appears that because his parents died during his infancy, it was his aunt, Epifania Rivera, who was in possession of documents and the necessary information regarding the ownership and participation of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal in the Maysilo Estate but said documents were lost during the last world war. Epifania died in 1954 when she was 116 years old. It is also a fact that the herein petitioners were presently occupying portions of the estate which they inherited from their predecessors in interest.”

What would the Riveras inherit from Vidal? In 1917, she was a registered co-owner of several parcels of land described as Original Certificates of Title (OCT) Nos. 982, 983, 984, 985 and 994 of the then Maysilo Estate.

On June 2, 1917, the Rizal court of first instance ordered that these parcels of land be partitioned among the registered co-owners. In a Proyecto de la Hacienda de Maysilo which the commissioners submitted to the court on June 12, 1917, the court approved the partition on July 3, 1917.

The share of Vidal, described as “9 years of age,” in the estate was equivalent to “one hundred eighty nine one-thousandths (1-189/1000) per cent share.” This appeared in the five OCTs of the estate. Her share, the certificates provided, “remain to the usufructuary rights of her mother, Mercedes Delgado, during her natural life.”

Under the “Proyecto de Particion” of the estate, Vidal was adjudicated portions of Lots No. 6, 10 and 11 of OCT 994 in payment of her participation in the other OCTs. Thus since this judicial adjudication, Vidal ceased to have any participation or interest in the other OCTs.

Here’s how the Verification Committee of the Land Registration Commission, predecessor of today’s Land Registration Authority (LRA), punctured the claims of the Rivera heirs.

In its reports on the dubiousness of the heir-decedent relationship, the LRC deduced from official documents and court pronouncements themselves, that Vidal was born in 1903 or in not too long a time before that date.” (A certification of the Madrid, Spain civil registrar, as authenticated by the vice consul of the Philippine embassy showed that Vidal was born on August 13, 1904.)

Both OCT 994 and Decree No. 36455 issued by the Court of Land Registration from which OCT 994 was issued by the registrar of deeds, placed Vidal’s age at “9 years of age” in 1912.

But what was vital is that, as certified through a copy of a death certificate, Vidal died single and without issue on May 25, 1965.

The Order granting the subsitution of the Riveras for Vidal as supposed heirs in OCT 994, stated that Epifania Rivera was 116 years old when she died in 1954. Thus she should have been born in 1838 and older than her supposed mother, Vidal, who was born in 1903 or, another way of saying that the daughter was born ahead of the mother.

The father of Bartolome Rivera, Severa Rivera, died in 1907 then her supposed mother, Vidal, was only four years old. The witness Daniel Villegas who was 104 years old in 1962 must have been born in 1858. Vidal was supposed to have died during the Spanish regime, but, in truth, Vidal was born in 1904 during the American occupation.

Again, she was supposed to have gotten married during the Spanish regime. If that were true, then she was not yet born when she got married. It is, therefore, genetically and physically impossible for the Riveras to be the children or grandchildren of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal.

What a scam! This is a classic!

 

MAYSILO ESTATE: What is happening?

The following was the announcement from Lawphil.net which was posted last February 9, 2006.

“SUPREME COURT NULLIFIES TITLES OF MAYSILO ESTATE

The Supreme Court has nullified the titles to more than 70 hectares of prime land in the cities of Malabon and Caloocan in Metro Manila registered in the names of a realty firm and its sister company, an agricultural school, and homeowners association.

In a decision written by Justice Angelina Sandoval Gutierrez, nullified were the land titles in the names of the Manotok Estate Corporation and heirs of Jose B. Dimson represented by Roqueta R. Dimson, Norma and Celso Tirado, Alson and Virginia Dimson, Linda and Carlos Lagman, Lerma and Rene Policar, and Esperanza R. Dimson.

In a 39-page decision, the Supreme Court dismissed the petitions filed by the Manotok firms, the Araneta Institute of Agriculture, and the homeowners association. It affirmed the decision handed down by the Court of Appeals that upheld the rulings issued by the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

Related Document:
– (MWSS vs. Court of Appeals, GR. No. 103558, November 17, 1992)
– (Heirs of Luis J. Gonzaga vs. Court of Appeals, GR. No. 96259, September 3, 1996)

Posted: February 9, 2006″

It is quite obvious that the Manotok Family and the Araneta Family are victims of a major land-grabbing syndicate. These two families and a lot of other families have had their titles since many decades ago and then, all of a sudden, someone claims to own the whole Maysilo Estate. There is really something dubious going on here. Powerful evil forces are at play over here.

We will be adding some articles here regarding the Maysilo Estate Land Titling Scam.

MAYSILO ESTATE: Battle over land

This was taken from the article written by Fel. V. Maragay of the Manila Standard:

“WHO says that landlords owning lands as far as the eyes can see are a thing of the past?

While vast haciendas in the provinces have been parceled and distributed to tenant farmers through land reform, it is ironic that there are individuals still owning—or claiming to own—hundreds or thousands of hectares right here in Metro Manila.

A classic example is the Maysilo Estate in Northern Metro Manila, which consists of 1,342 hectares of prime land. A huge portion of the estate supposedly belongs to Jose Dimson. And on the basis of land documents under Dimson’s name, the courts have upheld the claim of his heirs to ownership of the disputed property.

If the land titles of Dimson are authentic, his heirs would be the lawful owners of Maysilo Estate, which covers parts of Caloocan City, Malabon, Valenzuela City and Quezon City. The estate covers Monumento, where the shrine of national hero Andres Bonifacio is erected, Caloocan, parts of the Northern Luzon Expressway and Edsa. It also extends to thousands of private lots now being occupied by the Manila Central University, University of the East-Caloocan, Eternal Gardens Memorial Park and Ever Gotesco Grand Central, to name only a few.

Though the heirs of Jose Dimson have won victories in protracted court battles, the other claimants have not given up the fight. The dispute over the property is far from resolved.

Only the other day (Aug. 2), the Supreme Court held an en banc session on the case and heard the oral arguments of all parties.

One of the petitioners is the Araneta Institute of Technology, which has a pending motion for reconsideration with the high tribunal that it filed after the SC’s third division canceled its titles for a portion of the Maysilo Estate. The third division upheld the claim of Dimson’s heirs on the grounds that “not being a trier of facts, it could not anymore review findings of facts by the lower court.”

Araneta Institute’s land title is contained in Original Certificate Title no. 994, dated May 3, 1917. Of the Maysilo Estate’s 1,342 hectares, 1,174,478.90 square meters (or 117.4 hectares) belong to Jose Rato, one of the 32 co-owners of the estate. His title was previously under Transfer Certificate of Title no. 8692, which later on became TCT no. 21857. The whole property was later on sold to the Araneta Institute of Agriculture Inc. and was registered under AIA’s name under TCT nos. 7784-737 and 13574 in the late 1940s.

AIA and other claimants have been in peaceful and uncontested ownership and possession of the estate for decades. The other petitioners in the land case at hand, Manotok Realty and Sto. Niño Kapitbahayan, also derive their respective land titles from the same OCT no. 994, dated May 3, 1917.

The controversy began when Dimson, a lawyer, filed a case in 1977 before the Caloocan Regional Trial Court for the execution of an earlier decision issued by then Pasig Judge Cecilia Palma, confirming the Deed of Conveyance issued to him by one of the alleged heirs of Ma. Concepcion Vidal, one of the owners of the Maysilo Estate. The basis of Dimson’s land title is OCT no. 994, but dated April 19, 1917.

Dimson was said to be lawyer of one of Vidal’s grandchildren, Bernardino Rivera, and as payment for his legal services rendered, the latter gave him a Deed of Conveyance of 25 percent of his share of the estate.

Judge Palma confirmed the conveyance but disallowed the actual awarding of the property and title to Dimson in 1966 due to the opposition of Rivera’s co-heirs and the fact that his 25 percent share had already been awarded to them. This means there was no more available land to be given to Dimson.

In spite of this, Caloocan Regional Trial Court Judge Marcelino Sayo granted Dimson’s motion for the issuance of a land title to him, TCT no. R-15169, covering 500,000 meters of Lot 25-A-2 of the Maysilo Estate. Dimson then instituted a civil case for recovery of property against AIA on the grounds that the institute was “illegally occupying the land.” In 1993, the Caloocan RTC granted Dimson’s petition and ordered AIA to vacate the property. The Court of Appeals upheld the lower court’s decision.

But AIA lawyers have argued that the judicial decisions favoring Dimson were faulty on the following grounds:

There is only one OCT no. 994, which was issued on May 3, 1917 and not on April 17, 1917. The same was upheld by several officials of the Land Registration Authority and certifications issued by the Caloocan register of deeds, as well as by the Department of Justice and the Senate.

• In at least three different cases pending in different courts—two in the SC and one in the CA—the title of Dimson had been deemed “spurious, nonexistent, fraudulent and of impossible origin.”

• Dimson’s title was irregularly issued because it was made without the presentation of the owner’s duplicate certificate of the transferor.

• It is highly improbable that Dimson’s title came from OCT no. 994 because as early as 1920, the Maysilo Estate had already been partitioned and distributed to different owners.

• The Caloocan RTC had no jurisdiction to award and issue the TCT since it should have been the Pasig RTC that should have been asked to implement the order.

• The SC should have at least granted a new trial and remanded the case to a lower court.”

Is Dimson a major land scammer or is there someone bigger behind this Maysilo Land Scam.

MAYSILO ESTATE : Maysilo Claimants seek retrial

This was taken from the article of Rey E. Requejo

“LAWYERS of two clans locked in an almost three-decades-old dispute over a 70-hectare property yesterday prodded the Supreme Court to either reconsider its decision or send the case back to a trial court for presentation of evidence.

Former Associate Justices Santiago Kapunan and Ricardo Puno Sr., appearing as counsels for the Manotok and Araneta clans, respectively, asserted that their clients were the real owners of Lot 26 of the Maysilo estate, which covers parts of Caloocan City and Malabon as stated by the Original Certificate of Title no. 994 registered on May 3, 1917 and found in the registry of deeds of Caloocan City.

During the oral argument, Puno said the Court en banc should reevaluate the Nov. 29, 2005 decision of the High Court’s Third Division upholding the validity of the titles to the property in the names of CLT Realty Development Corp. and the heirs of Jose Dimson, in light of a fact-finding report submitted by the Department of Justice and the Senate that Dimson’s land title, issued on April 17, 1917, could have been fabricated considering that “there is only one OCT 994 issued, transcribed and registered on May 3, 1917.”

The validity of CLT Realty and Dimson’s OCT 994 had earlier been upheld by the High Court in MWSS vs. Court of Appeals, et al. dated Nov. 17, 1992, and the heirs of Gonzaga versus Court of Appeals dated Sept. 3, 1996.

In those rulings, the High Court held that CLT and Dimson’s land title should be declared valid, citing legal doctrine that priority is given to the title first registered.

However, Kapunan and Puno argued that the decision was based on a wrong “assumption and presumption” that there were two OCT nos. 994, one issued on April 19, 1917 and the other one on May 3, 1917.

Based on the findings of the Senate and the justice department, there was only one OCT 994 issued, dated May 3, 1917, the lawyers said.

Puno stressed that the Manotoks and Aranetas are not asking the justices to abandon their decisions on the MWSS and heirs of Gonzaga cases since they were entirely irrelevant to the present motion for reconsiderations.

“We respectfully submit that the present case can be decided on its own facts without advertence to MWSS and Heirs of Gonzaga case, which were decided based on the preposition that there were two OCT nos. 994. The present case is different since the Senate and the DoJ are now saying there was no OCT 994 issued on April 19, 1917 and that there is only one title issued on May 3, 1917,” Puno said.”

Are we not supposed to investigate as to how an OCT No. 994 was “dubiously created” on April 19, 1917?

MAYSILO ESTATE : Lawyers argue against SC decision

This very interesting 2-part article was taken from Neal Cruz’s As I See It:

The Maysilo Estate land case
By Neal Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 02:40am (Mla time) 08/07/2006

Published on page A14 of the August 7, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

PROOF THAT THE WHEELS OF JUSTICE IN the Philippines are the slowest in the world is the land cases that take several generations to finish in the courts. Original claimants are long dead before a court case is decided, and it is his or her grandchildren and other heirs who continue the case.

One of the longest land cases on record is the ownership of the vast Maysilo Estate which covers a land area of 1,660 hectares in parts of Caloocan, Malabon, Valenzuela and Quezon City. The estate, which was previously owned by the family of Don Gonzalo Tuason y Patino was subdivided into five titles—OCTs 982, 983, 984, 985 and 994.

The present controversy, still under litigation, concerns only OCT 994, dated May 3, 1917, covering 1,342 hectares. The date has become the main issue in the controversy.

On July 3, 1917, the Court of First Instance of Rizal ordered the partition of the land covering OCT 994 among the 32 co-owners, two of whom were Jose Rato and Maria de la Concepcion Vidal.

The land acquired by Jose Rato was registered under TCT 8692 covering Lot 25-A-3 of the Maysilo Estate with an area of 1,174,468.90 square meters. Subsequently, TCT 21857 was issued in the name of Jose Rato covering the same area on May 23, 1932.

TCT 21857 was later subdivided into TCT 26538 (592,606.90 sq m) and TCT 26539 (581,872 sq m), both issued in the name of Jose Rato.

Later on, the Araneta Institute of Agriculture (AIA) acquired a portion of it—390,262 sq m—covered by TCT 26538. The same was registered under TCT (7784)-737 in the name of AIA. On the other hand, Victoneta Inc. acquired the land covered by TCT 26539, for which TCT 6196 was issued on Oct. 18, 1947 in favor of Victoneta.

Less than two years later, AIA acquired the land covered by TCT 6196 from Victoneta. On May 20, 1949, TCT 13574 was issued for that parcel of land in the name of AIA.

One of the original owners of Maysilo Estate under OCT 994 was the late Maria de la Concepcion Vidal. She was married to Pioquinto Rivera and had four children—Epifania, Pedro, Potenciana and Severo.

Epifania died in 1954 but left no children. Pedro had two daughters—Eleuteria and Teresa. Teresa is now deceased and is survived by children Pelagia, Modesta, Venancio, Felipe and Fidela, all surnamed Angeles.

Potenciana is survived by three children—Josefa, Gregorio and Rosuaro, all surnamed Aquino.

Severo died sometime in 1907 and is survived by his son Bartolome Rivera, whose mother was Luisa Pinangyarihan.

On Sept. 30, 1960, Bartolome Rivera and lawyer Jose Dimson entered into an agreement wherein the former assigned to the latter 25 percent of the total land area of Lot Nos. 25, 26, 27, 28-B and 29 as attorney’s fees.

On June 13, 1966, the Pasig CFI, through Judge Cecilia Muñoz-Palma, approved the Deed of Conveyance to Jose Dimson of the 25 percent of whatever Bartolome Rivera was entitled to under Lots 25, 26, 27, 28-B and 29 from OCT 994. The surviving heirs of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal asked a Caloocan court to partition their shares under OCT 994 which the court approved on Dec. 29, 1965.

But in an order dated Aug. 16, 1966, Judge Palma denied Dimson’s motion to award him the 25 percent share because there was no more portion left to be given to Dimson. In their opposition to Dimson’s motion, the heirs led by Victoria Rivera said that whatever portions of the property covered by OCT 994 which had not been disposed of by the previous owners had already been assigned and adjudicated to Bartolome Rivera and his assignees.

Eleven years later, Dimson filed a case before the Caloocan CFI to confirm the order of confirmation of Pasig Judge Palma without however presenting the Aug. 16, 1966 order dismissing his motion for the awarding of his share of the property.

Lawyers say that Dimson’s case was filed in the wrong court since his action was essentially an enforcement of an order which was issued by a Pasig judge. The case should have been filed before Judge Palma.

But on Oct. 18, 1977, Caloocan City Judge Marcelino Sayo granted Dimson’s petition despite the fact that he never presented the original copy of OCT 994 and a subdivision plan duly approved by the Bureau of Lands or the LRA, and ordered separate TCTs for Lots 25-A-1, 25-A-2, 26 and 28 in the name of Dimson.

With titles now in his name for a portion of the Maysilo Estate, Dimson then filed an action for recovery of possession with damages and annulment of TCTs against AIA, claiming that the latter’s TCT overlapped a portion of his property.

The Caloocan RTC upheld Dimson’s claims and ordered AIA to vacate the property overlapped. The Court of Appeals upheld the findings of the lower court.

AIA then filed a motion for reconsideration. The Department of Justice and the Senate, in separate reports, affirmed AIA’s contention that OCT 994 was issued on May 3, 1917 by the Register of Deeds by virtue of Decree 36455 issued on April 19, 1917 in Land Registration Case 4429. AIA then filed a motion for reconsideration and/or new trial based on newly discovered evidence (the DOJ and Senate reports).

On Aug. 5, 1998, the CA denied AIA’s motion, relying mainly on the decision of the Supreme Court in Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System vs. CA (215 SCRA 783) and Heirs of Gonzaga vs. CA (261 SCRA 327).

AIA then appealed the CA ruling to the Supreme Court on Aug. 5, 1998. On Nov. 5, 2005, the Supreme Court dismissed AIA’s petition. (To be continued)

By Neal Cruz
Inquirer
Last updated 01:34am (Mla time) 08/09/2006

Published on Page A12 of the August 9, 2006 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer

Continued from last Monday

IN THE controversy over the ownership of a portion of Maysilo Estate, specifically OCT 994, from which a number of TCTs emanated, the issue is which of two OCTs with different dates, over the same piece of land, is superior to the other. A portion of the land covered by OCT 994 was bought by the Araneta Institute of Agriculture (AIA) in the late 1940s. AIA has been in peaceful and uncontested ownership and possession of the property since then. OCT 994, from which AIA’s title came, is dated May 3, 1917.

In 1977, a lawyer by the name of Jose Dimson filed a case before the Caloocan regional trial court for the execution of a decision 11 years before by Judge Cecilia Muñoz-Palma confirming the Deed of Conveyance issued to him by one of the alleged heirs of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal, one of the owners of the vast estate (see column of Aug. 7). The basis of Dimson’s title is OCT 994 dated April 19, 1917.

Following a ruling in MWSS vs. CA, in which the Supreme Court said that where two certificates of title over the same land exist, the earlier prevails, the lower court upheld Dimson’s title.

But lawyers of AIA argue that:

1. There is only one OCT 994, that which was issued on May 3, 1917 and not on April 19, 1917. The same is upheld by several officials of the Land Registration Authority and the certification issued by the Caloocan Register of Deeds as well as by the Department of Justice and the Senate.

2. The Supreme Court should have made a distinction between a decree of registration and certificate of title. Section 41 of the Land Registration Act says that a certificate of title takes effect not when the decree was issued but only on the date of transcription of the decree of registration. Since the transcription of the decree of OCT 994 was made on
May 3, 1917, it should be deemed the date its certificate of title was issued.

3. The Supreme Court should have at least granted a new trial and remanded the case back to the lower court since the DOJ and the Senate reports have probative value and hold some persuasive effect since both are deemed regular acts. The same could trace the original certificates of title from which the disputed TCTs were derived.

4. The issue of whether or not only one valid OCT 994 was issued on May 3, 1917 is very important. The Supreme Court should have taken it into consideration because it involved a total of 1,342 hectares of prime land in four cities now occupied by various public and commercial buildings, residential houses and schools.

5. The Court of Appeals, in its decision, went beyond the issues raised when it concluded that AIA’s title is a nullity when it was not touched upon by the Caloocan RTC in its decision. This alone should have compelled the Supreme Court to review the findings of the Court of Appeals.

6. The MWSS case does not apply in the present case because no pronouncement on the validity of Dimson’s petition before the Caloocan RTC was made by the court because AIA was not a party in the MWSS case, and the issues raised in the MWSS are different from the present controversy.

7. The Caloocan RTC had no jurisdiction to award and issue TCTs to Dimson because the Pasig RTC should have been asked to implement its own order.

8. Dimson’s title was irregularly issued because it was made without the presentation of the owner’s certificate of the transferor (Section 55, Land Registration Act) and the corresponding subdivision plan duly approved by the Bureau of Lands or the Land Registration Authority (Section 58, Land Registration Act).

9. It is highly improbable that Dimson’s title came from OCT 994 because as early as 1920, the Maysilo Estate had already been partitioned and distributed to the different owners as shown in the cases of Bustamante vs. Tuason (47 PR 696) and Garcia vs. CA (35 SCRA 380).

10. In at least three different cases pending in different courts, two in the Supreme Court and one in the Court of Appeals, the title of Dimson has been established to be “spurious, inexistent, fraudulent and of impossible origin” (Phil-Ville Development and Housing Corp. vs. CLT Realty Development Corp; Alfonso vs. Office of the President and Phil-Ville Development and Housing Corp.; and Republic of the Philippines vs. Lilia Sevilla and Jose Seelin.

Based on the above facts and arguments, it is easy to determine which of the two parties has a better right to the land.

Property owners and legal experts have expressed apprehension over the implications of the Supreme Court ruling. They said that if the title of the winning claimant (Dimson) is upheld, it would create a crisis among the present owners of the lands originating from OCT 994 dated May 3, 1917. As things stand, most of the current owners and occupants of the lots in the areas affected by the Supreme Court ruling originate from OCT 994 dated May 3, 1917. They are asking: What will happen to our titles? Will the current titleholders be evicted? Hundreds or thousands of lot owners in the affected areas face the danger of losing their homes if Dimson’s title is upheld, they fear. If I am not mistaken, however, the land titles of “buyers in good faith” are protected by law.

But certainly, this issue has far-reaching effects not only on the validity of land titles in the country but the entire system of land registration. This will undermine the integrity of our torrens system and evoke fears that land titles that have been issued within the regular and normal process are still not fool-proof.

Hopefully the Supreme Court will side with the truth and not be pressured to create a huge mistake out of a forgery and lie.