The Maysilo Estate Scammers are at it AGAIN!

It seems the Maysilo Estate Scammers, that are peddling their OCT. 994 dated April 19, 1917, are working their evil once again.

It is important to read this article to revive our memories on these scammers. #MaysiloEstate


Save the titling system

MANILA, Philippines – You may recall that on Feb. 20, 2006, I wrote about a legal fight (“The value of a title”), just one of many cases in Caloocan where land-grabbing threatens to seriously undermine the credibility of the land titling system in our country. Property owners who acquired their properties in good faith, developed them, paid taxes on them, suddenly faced a claim by a lawyer that he, in fact, owned their properties.

That lawyer, Jose B. Dimson, claimed ownership of a very large property on the basis of a land title of doubtful authenticity but which, he claimed, predated the (up to that point) original title on which the subsequent titles of the property owners were based. Thus one claim affected dozens of properties. Despite evidence to invalidate that claim, Dimson’s case kept winning in the courts. Property owners doggedly fought the spurious claim. One such group is composed of the Araneta Institute of Agriculture, Manotok Realty, Inc., Sto. Niño Kapitbahay Association, Inc. and CLT Realty Corp.

The legal fight between the group I mentioned above, and the person claiming their land, has revealed some interesting details since I last wrote about it.

The lawyers of the claimant, Dimson, besides admitting he’d never actually possessed the lands he claimed, said he had never paid taxes on them either (which is a way of asserting responsible ownership). What’s more, Dimson’s own lawyers admitted their client had never been a lawyer at all. So how could he have obtained ownership of the properties he said he earned by way of lawyers’ fees?

Not to mention the impossibility of Dimson’s claims as to the person who transferred the land to him being entitled to do so. Dimson said he got his title to the land as attorney’s fees from a certain Bartolome Rivera. Rivera alleged in turn that he inherited his title as an heir of Ma. Concepcion Vidal. The courts, in the case of Republic v. Lilia Sevilla and Jose Seelin, held that “[t]hus, it is physically and genetically impossible for him [Bartolome Rivera] to be the grandson of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal.” The Land Registration Commission, in a report dated August 3, 1981, pointed out that “[i]f Bartolome Rivera was 65 years old in 1963 or thereabouts, he was born on or before 1898. If Maria de la Concepcion Vidal was 9 years old on or before December 3, 1912, she was born on or before 1903. Could a grandson be older than his grandmother?”

Not to mention Dimson basing his claim on a title that, he claimed, predated the title of the Araneta Institute of Agriculture group. He said his OCT was dated Apr. 19, 1917. Those whose lands he wanted to take away could only point to an OCT dated May 3, 1917. But when Dimson’s people were asked to produce their title, they could produce none. On the other hand, the aggrieved property owners demonstrated to the Supreme Court recently that only one OCT No. 994 existed: issued on May 3, 1917. No less than the Solicitor General then, Antonio Nachura, personally and formally presented to the Supreme Court en banc the original OCT No. 994 issued on May 3, 1917 (the original copy itself taken from the Land Registration Authority vault).

Reports of the Department of Justice and the Senate Fact-Finding Committee had also previously pointed out that Dimson’s (alleged) OCT was fraudulent. The Senate, upon investigating the matter, said Dimson’s so-called title was “a fabrication perpetrated by Mr. Norberto Vasquez, Jr., former Deputy Registrar of Deeds of Caloocan City” and by Atty. Yolanda Alfonso, Registrar of Deeds of Caloocan City, who “consented to the acquisition of the property by … her children adopting 19 April 1917 as the date of registration of OCT 994 knowing the same to be erroneous … is a clear case of dishonesty, malice and bad faith.” We know Alfonso did these things, because the Court of Appeals affirmed the dismissal ordered by the Office of the President. The Supreme Court upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals.

The Department of Justice then issued a report stating that the two contested OCTs (Dimson’s fake and the one present property owners derived their titles from) were never actually presented to the Supreme Court. What the Supreme Court used as the basis for saying there were two OCT Nos. 994 were the certifications appearing on the faces of the TCTs submitted by the two sides: but in truth, only one OCT No. 994 existed, issued on May 3, 1917.

However, complicating matters is that the Supreme Court issued a decision in another case, which upheld a Court of Appeals decision that there were two OCTs and which then upheld Dimson’s as the original one. In a sense, the Supreme Court ended up trapped by the Court of Appeals’ refusal to take judicial notice of the findings of the Senate and Department of Justice. If a court, however, took these reports into evidence, it would shatter some of the previous assumptions made by the courts.

These details, and many more, are now before the Supreme Court. It has embarked on reviewing a decision by one of its own divisions. This review presents a last chance for it to reverse the court’s upholding of the Dimson fraud. With evidence aplenty to help rectify assumptions originally made by the courts, evidence gathered by the Senate and the Department of Justice, decades of lawful property owners being harassed and imperiled can come to an end.

The Supreme Court, acting as a whole, holds the preservation of the rule of law as it pertains to the ownership of land, in its hands. It can stem the tide of chaos in our titling system. Or it can open the floodgates to an epidemic of Dimson-style land-grabbing. A title can either mean something, or mean nothing: it can either be maintained by the rule of law or the law of the jungle.



SC affirms resolution on land titles


The Supreme Court (SC) declared final Tuesday its March 31, 2009 resolution that affirmed the validity of the titles of the Manotok Realty, Inc., the Manotok Estate Corp., and the Araneta Institute of Agriculture, Inc. over about 100 hectares of prime land in Malabon City.

In a full court resolution, the SC ruled to deny with finality the motion for partial reconsideration filed by Manotok Estate Corp. “as the basic issues raised therein have been passed upon by this court and no substantial arguments were presented to warrant the reversal of the questioned resolution.”

It further ruled that “no further pleadings will be entertained” on the case.

In a resolution written by the now retired Justice Dante O. Tinga, the SC adopted the findings of the Court of Appeals (CA) that established the right of ownership of the school and the Manotok firms over the 100 hectares of land covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 994 that was registered on May 3, 1917 and not on April 19, 1917.

With the ruling, the SC nullified the certificates of title over the property in the names of the late Jose Dimson and his successors in interest, and CLT Realty Development Corp. whose titles over OCT No. 994 were traced back to April 19, 1917.

“In view of the established rights of ownership of both the Manotoks and Araneta over the contested properties, we find that the imputed flaws on their titles cannot defeat the valid claims of the Manotoks and Araneta over the disputed portions of the Maysilo Estate,” the SC said.

SC Rules on Maysilo Land Case

SC rules on Maysilo land case

Reverses decisions of trial court, CA, own 3rd division; SC ruling affects 1,342 hectares in Metro Manila

Rey G. Panaligan

The Supreme Court (SC) has reversed the decisions of the trial court, the Court of Appeals (CA), and its own third division with a ruling that the original mother title over 1,342 hectares of prime land — known as the Maysilo Estate — in the cities of Quezon, Malabon, and Caloocan was Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 994 registered on May 3, 1917, and not “OCT 994” issued on April 19, 1917.

In resolution written by Justice Dante O. Tinga, the SC ruled that there is only one OCT No. 994 that was received for transcription by the Register of Deeds on May 3, 1917, and “that should be the date which should be reckoned as the date of registration of the title.”

“Any title that traces its source to OCT 994 dated April 17, 1917, is void, for such mother title is inexistent,” the SC said.

Senior Justice Leonardo A. Quisumbing and Justices Ma. Alicia Austria Martinez, Conchita Carpio Morales, Adolfo S. Azcuna, Minita V. Chico Nazario, and Teresita J. Leonardo de Castro concurred with the resolution.

Justice Angelina Sandoval Gutierrez, who wrote the Nov. 29, 2005 decision of the SC’s third division, dissented together with Justices Presbitero J. Velasco Jr. and Ruben T. Reyes.

Justice Renato C. Corona voted to grant the motions for reconsideration filed by Manotok Realty, Inc., and Manotok Estate Corporation, and the Araneta Institute of Agriculture, Inc., and to annul the titles issued in the names of CLT Realty and the heirs of Jose Dimson.

Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno did not take part due to his relationship with one of the counsel, while Justice Antonio Eduardo B. Nachura did not take part as he had appeared in the oral arguments in the case as then Solicitor General.

Justices Consuelo Ynares Santiago and Antonio T. Carpio also did not take part.

With the ruling, the SC, in effect, invalidated the titles over portions of the vast tracts of land in the three cities of Metro Manila registered in the names of CLT Realty Development Corporation and the heirs of Jose B. Dimson based on OCT 994 issued on April 19, 1917.

The Caloocan City court of first instance (now regional trial court) had validated the land titles of the Dimsons and CLT over portions of the Maysilo Estate. The trial court ruling was affirmed by the CA whose decision was upheld by the SC’s third division on Nov. 29, 2005.

But the SC said that while it is sufficient to invalidate the Dimson and CLT claims over the subject property merely on the basis of the inexistence of OCT 994 dated April 17, 1917, it decided to remand the case to the “Special Division of the Court of Appeals” for reception of further evidence. It named Associates Justice Josefina Guevara Salonga, Lucas Bersamin, Jaapar Dimaampao as members of the special division.

“Considering that the genuine OCT No. 994 is that issued on/registered on 3 May 1917, a remand would be appropriate to determine which of the parties, if any, derived valid title from the said genuine OCT No. 994,” the SC said.

It directed the CA’s special division to determine, among others, which of the contending parties are able to trace back their claims of title to OCT 994 dated May 3, 1917, and whether the imputed flaws in the titles of the Manotok Realty, Inc. and Manotok Estate Corporation, and the Araneta Institute of Agriculture, Inc., are borne by the evidence.

The remand was an offshoot of motions for reconsiderations filed by the Manotoks and the Araneta school which had asked the SC to reverse its third division decision on Nov. 29, 2005.

In her dissenting opinion, Justice Gutierrez said the majority resolution written by Justice Tinga to remand the case to the CA “grossly violates the settled rule that no new issues shall be raised for the first time on appeal.”

“The remand of these cases to the appellate court is an attempt on his part to prolong the litigation and disturb the findings of the said courts sustained by overwhelming evidence,” she said.

Justice Gutierrez stressed that the titles of Dimson and his heirs and those of CLT Realty are valid, while “the titles of the Manotok Corporations and Araneta Institute are spurious.”

“These are the findings of the three trial courts and affirmed by the three divisions of the Court of Appeals. To litigate these findings once again will entirely change the settled jurisprudence of this Court. The doctrine that there should be an end to litigation has been seriously disturbed. This is a sad day for the Court,” she lamented

Pekeng titulo ipinababasura ng residente ng Maysilo Estate sa Korte Suprema

Pekeng titulo ipinababasura ng residente ng Maysilo Estate sa Korte Suprema By: Jess V. Antiporda

MAHIGIT 300,000 residente ng 1,660-ektaryang Maysilo Estate na nakatakdang mawalan ng tirahan at kabuhayan kung hindi ibabasura ng Korte Suprema ang titulo ng mga naiwan ni Maria dela Concepcion Vidal at ng CLT Realty Development Corp.

Hiniling nila kay Chief Justice Reynato Puno na rebyuhin at rekonsiderahin ang naunang desisyon at tignan ang mga butas ng OCT 994 na may petsang Abril  19, 1917.

Hiningi nila kay Puno na rebyuhin sana ng mabuti ang kaso at tignan ang findings ng senado sa pamamagitan ng Committee Report No. 1031 noong Mayo 25,1998 at ibasura ang titulo ni Vidal at ng substituted heirs na pinamumunuan ni Bartolome Rivera.

Sinabi nila na dapat konsiderahin ng Mataas na Hukuman nag kaso dahil nakataya ang kinabukasan ng mahigit 300,000 katao at bilyung piso ang mawawala mula sa mga buyers in good faith, kabilang na ang pagsasara ng De la Salle-Gregorio Araneta University, Manila Central University, University of the East sa Caloocan at ilang bilang ng pribado at pampublikong paaralan.

Karamihan sa mga ari-arian na ito ay nagkakahalaga na ngayon ng bilyung piso kung saan nabili naman ito “in good faith”.

Halos 64 na barangay sa Caloocan ang bumubuo ng ikatlong bahagi ng Maysilo Estate kung saan nasasakupan nito ang bahagi ng Quezon City, Caloocan, Malabon at ang kahabaan ng North Luzon Expressway, kabilang na ang Bonifacio Monument, Bonifacio Market at daan-daang business establishments, tulad ng restaurant, motel, internet cafes, handicraft manufacturers, pabrika ng tela at damit, bodega at iba pa.

Naging batayan ng mga residente sa kanilang argumento sa pagbasura ng OCT 994 mula sa findings ng dalawang Senate panel na nagsasabing ang tumatayong heirs Vidal ay hindi puwedeng maging substitute nya dahil ang principal heir na si Bartolome Rivera, ay 65 anyos na nang tumestigo ito noong 1963 sa kaso.

Nakasaad pa sa annotations sa titutlo na si Vidal ay siyam na taong gulang nang gawin ang decree para sa 1 -899/1,000 share ng property at ginawa noong 1912. Lumalabas na si Bartolome Rivera ay mas matanda ng limang taon sa kinikilala niyang lola.

Lumalabas din na ang anak ni Vidal na nagkataon na ama ni Rivera ay mas matanda naman sa sarili niyang ina.

Manotoks fighting two land battles

Manotoks fighting two land battles
By Neal Cruz
Last updated 00:16am (Mla time) 11/16/2007

Most Read

    Now I am ready to believe that the Batasan blast was caused by methane gas.

    Why? Because of three things:

    1. Methane is produced by rotting garbage. The Batasan is full of dirt and trash, di ba?

    2. Methane is produced by shit, and members of the Batasan are full of shit.

    3. Methane is produced in a septic tank. The Batasan is one big septic tank.

    * * *

    Congressmen can now say they earned the “cash gifts” (translation: bribes) distributed in Malacañang.

    Malacañang can say the “distribution” was worth it.

    * * *

    The Manotok family is fighting land battles on two fronts: in the case involving the Maysilo Estate in Malabon-Caloocan-Valenzuela-Quezon City; and in the case involving the Manotok-Barque in Matandang Balara, Quezon City. Being prime property, the two land areas are worth billions of pesos. The portion of Maysilo Estate being contested is 300 hectares; the Matandang Balara property, beside the Ayala Heights subdivision and the Capitol Golf Course, is 34 hectares.

    The Supreme Court has already ruled on the two cases — against the Manotoks. But the family has successfully made the tribunal reopen the cases. The final Supreme Court decision will have a big impact on the country’s Torrens titling system.

    The Manotoks have sent me two letters explaining their side on the cases after I devoted two columns on them. This is their version of the cases:

    The Maysilo Estate case — More than 300 hectares of the 1,660-hectare estate are being claimed by Jose B. Dimson, a lawyer who filed his claim several years ago. Dimson says that Original Certificate of Title (OCT) 994, the mother title of 25 percent of the property he is claiming, (the bigger portion is being claimed by the so-called Rivera heirs of Maria de la Concepcion Vidal) was issued on April 19, 1917. On the other hand, the Manotoks and Aranetas have OCT 994 dated May 3, 1917. The Supreme Court has ruled that since the Rivera title antedates that of the Manotok-Araneta title, then the earlier title is superior.

    The Land Registration Authority (LRA), however, has said the Dimson OCT is spurious, that it is non-existent and that it could have been “an elaborate scam perpetrated at the Caloocan City Register of Deeds.” The register of deeds, lawyer Yolanda Alfonso, and her deputy, Norberto Vasquez Jr., admitted during a Senate investigation that they changed the date of the Rivera title to April 19, 1917 for unexplained reasons, for which reason both of them have been charged criminally.

    Testimonies in previous court cases also established that Vidal was only 9 years old when Decree 36455 over the land was issued on Dec. 3, 1912, while her supposed grandson, Bartolome Rivera, was already 65 years old when he testified in a Pasig court in 1963. “This is a fantastic case of the grandson being older than the grandmother,” said a report of the Land Registration Commission (now the LRA) in 1981.

    Bartolome was the only surviving son of Severo Rivera, a son of Vidal who died in 1907. The mother was only 4 years old when she gave birth to Severo!

    * * *

    The other case, Manotok vs Barque, also concerns two conflicting certificates of titles to 34 hectares of prime land in Quezon City, known as the Manotok Compound. The Monotoks, who actually live on the property, claim that they acquired the land from the government in 1920. The other title is held by the heirs of Homer Barque who is said to have bought the land in 1975.

    After the 1988 fire that destroyed the Quezon City Register of Deeds records, the Manotoks applied for reconstitution and obtained the reconstituted title in 1991. The Barques applied for reconstitution of their own title in 1996. This started the case that is now with the Supreme Court en banc.

    The LRA ordered the reconstitution of the Barque title. The Manotoks appealed to the Court of Appeals who sustained the LRA and ordered the cancellation of the Manotok title. The Manotoks went to the Supreme Court, raising a number of issues:

    1. Whether the LRA has jurisdiction to rule on the validity of the Manotok title.

    2. Whether the Court of Appeals may assume jurisdiction over the cases.

    3. Whether the Court of Appeals may order the cancellation of the Manotok title and the reconstitution of the Barque title.

    In a majority decision penned by Justice Consuelo Ynares-Santiago, the Supreme Court’s First Division:

    1. Upheld the LRA decision declaring the Barque title as genuine (based on the owner’s duplicate certificate of title) and the Manotok title as spurious. It added that the LRA has jurisdiction to act on petitions for administrative reconstitution. Logically, the Court said, the LRA can declare a title sham or valid on its face.

    2. Ruled that the Court of Appeals properly exercised its appellate jurisdiction over the judgment of the LRA. “No useful purpose will be served if the determination of an issue is remanded to the trial court only to have its decision raised again to the Court of Appeals and then to the Supreme Court,” it said.

    3. Said that the Manotoks were not deprived of “their property” without due process when the Court of Appeals ordered the cancellation of their title even without a direct proceeding in the Regional Trial Court. By opposing the petition for reconstitution and by submitting their reconstituted title, the Manotoks acquiesced to the authority of the reconstituting officer, the LRA, and the Court of Appeals, and recognized their authority to pass judgment on their title.

    Although the Supreme Court decision has become final and executory, the Manotoks were able to have the Court en banc reopen the case. This is now the case that the Supreme Court has to resolve.



    By Adrian E. Cristobal

    Manila Bulletin

    IN the next few days, the Supreme Court will decide once and for all the Maysilo land dispute, which has been going on in the past 47 years. Affected are thousands of individuals who have been in peaceful possession of their property within the Maysilo estate, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, government lands (450 hectares) covering the Bonifacio Memorial Circle, portions of the North Expressway up to EDSA and McArthur Highway, private institutions such as the Manila Central University, De La Salle Araneta University, and University of the East, and private commercial establishments such as the Ever Grand Central, Araneta Square, Bonifacio Market, Eternal Garden Memorial Park, including 64 barangays in Caloocan.

    Immediately affected are the Manotok family and the Araneta Institute of Agriculture, Inc., whose possession of the Maysilo property since the 1940s was challenged by Jose Dimson, a lawyer, in the 1960s. According to records, Dimson and his assignee, the CLT Development Corporation, in a series of legal actions, were able to get a favorable decision against the Manotok realty and ALA – until the case was elevated to the Supreme Court.

    The Manotok family and ALA believe that a Supreme Court dismissal of the former Caloocan register of deeds, Yolanda Alfonso, for allowing the change of registration date of Maysilo Original Certificate of Title to make it appear that there were two titles, will determine the coming SC decision.

    The Supreme Court rebuked Alfonso for “wreaking havoc on our land titling system.” Indeed, “havoc” has been with the titling system since this country’s commonwealth period.

    MAYSILO: “Mother of all land titling scandals” part 2

    ‘Mother of all land titling scandals’ (2)
    By Neal Cruz
    Last updated 02:43am (Mla time) 09/14/2007
    (Continued from last Wednesday)

    MANILA, Philippines — Claimant Jose Dimson was also able to get a favorable but highly questionable decision from the Court of First Instance of Rizal which awarded “whatever remains of Lots 25-A, 26, 27, 28 and 29 of the Maysilo Estate” to him.

    Subsequently, Lot 26 found its way into the hands of CLT Realty Development Corp. But as Lot 26 is owned by the Manotoks through expropriation proceedings, they have questioned the awarding of the lot to Dimson and subsequently to CLT.

    Instituting civil cases for recovery of possession of his property against AIA and the Manotoks, Dimson was able to get the Caloocan RTC, in 1993, to order AIA and the Manotoks to vacate the property. The basis of the order was the presentation by Dimson of a copy of OCT 994 with an earlier date than the OCT 994 submitted by AIA. Dimson’s copy of OCT 994 was dated April 19, 1917 while AIA’s was dated May 3, 1917.

    Following a decision in MWSS vs CA, in which the Supreme Court said that where there are two TCTs over the same land the earlier date prevails, the Caloocan RTC upheld Dimson’s title.

    The Court of Appeals sustained the lower court’s decision, and even the Supreme Court, on a petition for review, upheld the Court of Appeals saying it is bound by the findings of fact of the lower court because it is not a trier of facts. But what if the facts are wrong, as in this case? OCT 994 dated April 19, 1917, which was upheld by the lower court, was found out later to be fake.

    The Manotoks have also raised the following arguments:

    (1) OCT 994 dated May 3, 1917 is the real OCT as it has been upheld by the LRA, the DOJ, the Senate and the Caloocan Register of Deeds. And now with the Supreme Court itself dismissing the two registrars of deeds who illegally changed the date of registration of Dimson’s title to April 19, 1917, it is clear which claimant really owns the land.

    (2) The Manotoks have a superior right of ownership because their title emanates from the Republic of the Philippines itself in whom paramount title to the land has been vested by expropriation. And even if the title by expropriation is discounted, the Manotok title can still be traced to OCT 994 dated May 3, 1917.

    (3) The issue of whether or not only one valid OCT 994 was issued is of transcendental importance of which the Supreme Court should take cognizance because it involves a total of 1,660 hectares of prime land in Caloocan, Malabon and Quezon City where now stand various commercial buildings, high-rise condos, residential houses, schools and public buildings.

    (4) The MWSS case does not apply to the present case because no pronouncement on the validity of Dimson’s petition before the Caloocan CFI was made by the Court because AIA was not a party in the MWSS case and the issues raised in the MWSS case are different.

    (5) Dimson’s title was irregularly issued because it was made without the presentation of the owner’s duplicate TCT of the transferor (Section 55, Land Registration Act) and corresponding subdivision plan approved by the Bureau of Lands or the LRA.

    (6) 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 Tuazon (47 PR 433), Dizon vs Rivera (48 PR 996), Republic vs Gonzales (94 PR 696) and Garcia vs CA (35 SCRA 380).

    (7) In at least three 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, nonexistent, fraudulent and of impossible origin (Phil-Ville Development and Housing Corp. vs CLT Realty Development Corp.-CA-GR CV 52606, Feb. 27, 2003; Alfonso vs Office of the President and Phil-Ville Development and Housing Corp.-GR 150091; and Republic of the Philippines vs Lilia Sevilla and Jose Seelin-CA GR CV 68299).

    The Supreme Court will decide on the fate of some 300,000 individuals who have been in peaceful possession of their properties within the Maysilo Estate as well as major government institutions that have certain legal rights over the estate. The major institutions affected include government lands (450 hectares) from the Bonifacio Monument to portions of the North Expressway up to Edsa and MacArthur Highway; private institutions like the Manila Central University, De La-Salle Araneta University, and University of the East, private commercial buildings like the Ever Grand Central, Araneta Square, Bonifacio Market, Eternal Gardens Memorial Park and at least 64 barangays in Caloocan alone.

    Already, unscrupulous groups have been threatening and harassing legitimate dwellers, property owners and taxpayers within the estate.

    But the Supreme Court decision on the registrars of deeds should be enough basis for the tribunal to put an end once and for all to the legal battle and uncertainties over the Maysilo Estate. It is easy to determine which of the two claimants have a better right to the property. Dimson’s claim has no legal standing whatsoever, as the Supreme Court itself has declared that the OCT from which he is basing his claim to ownership is a spurious, falsified document.

    It is now obvious that Dimson and those claiming under him have no legal basis to claim ownership of the Maysilo Estate. They should not be allowed to wreak havoc on our land titling system.