Court upholds Araneta, Manotok claims

http://www.manilastandardtoday.com/?page=news2_april6_2009

Court upholds Araneta, Manotok claims

By Rey E. Requejo

THE Supreme Court ended more than 30 years of litigation as it declared valid the land titles held by the Araneta and Manotok clans over 70 percent of the 1,342-hectare Maysilo Estate.

The high court upheld the findings of the Court of Appeals’ Special Division in an en banc resolution written by Associate Justice Dante Tinga.

The appellate court had established the rights of ownership of the Araneta Institute of Agriculture Inc., Manotok Realty Inc., and Manotok Estate Corp. over the pieces of property that were registered on May 3, 1917.

Eight justices concurred with the ruling, while Chief Justice Renato Puno, Associate Justices Consuelo Ynarez-Santiago, Antonio Carpio and Eduardo Nachura did not participate in the deliberations. Associate Justice Ma. Alicia Austria-Martinez was on leave.

The Court rejected the titles to the pieces of property held by the deceased Jose Dimson, his successors, and CLT Realty Development Corp.

“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 high court said as it quoted the appellate court’s report on Nov. 26, 2008.

The appellate court had said that the titles being held by Dimson had all been derived from the May 3, 1917 registered title.

It said that the Aranetas’ claim had been “well substantiated and proven to be superior to that of Dimson’s

One transfer certificate on the property covers a parcel of land measuring 581,872 square meters, while another covers four parcels of land with a total land area of 390,383 square meters.

The appellate court also noted that portions of the lot being disputed by the Manotoks and CLT Realty were expropriated in 1947. And because those were for resale to tenants, the Manotoks were able to establish some of their titles derived from those that had been expropriated.

“The Court has verified that the titles [of the Manotoks], as stated by the Special Division, sufficiently indicate that they could be traced back to the titles acquired by the Republic when it expropriated portions of the Maysilo Estate in the 1940s,” the Court said.

‘‘On the other hand, the Manotok titles that were affirmed by the Special Division are traceable to the titles of the Republic and thus have benefited, as they should, from the cleansing effect the expropriation had on whatever flaws that attached to the previous titles.”

On Dec. 14, 2007, the high court affirmed the validity of the May 3, 1917 registered title as the only genuine title of the disputed property stretching over the cities of Malabon, Caloocan and Quezon.

That decision set aside the Nov. 29, 2005 decision of the Court’s Third Division upholding the Court of Appeals, which in turn affirmed the ruling of the Regional Trial Court that declared as valid the title 994 issued on April 19, 1917.

The high court ruled that “there is only one title No. 994: the mother title that was received for transcription by the Register of Deeds on May 3, 1917, and that should be the date that should be reckoned as the date of registration of the title.”

The Court of Appeals had been mandated to determine, among other things, which of the contending parties were able to trace back their claims of title to title 994 dated May 3, 1917, and whether the imputed flaws in the titles of Manotok Realty Inc. and Manotok Estate Corp., and the Araneta Institute of Agriculture Inc. were borne by the evidence.

The Manotoks and Aranetas had sought a reversal of the Nov. 29, 2005 high court decision that effectively nullified the land titles in their names.

The questioned appelate court rulings affirmed the lower court’s decisions awarding to CLT Realty and the late Jose Dimson the properties being claimed by the Manotoks and Aranetas.

Dimson had claimed that he was the absolute owner of 50-hectares of land at the Maysilo Estate in Potrero, Malabon. The lower court then ruled in his favor, prompting the Aranetas to appeal to the appelate court, which in turn affirmed the lower court’s decision.

The Aranetas appealed to the high court when the appelate court also denied its motion for reconsideration.

On Aug. 10, 1992, CLT sought to recover from Manotok Realty Inc. and Manotok Estate Corp. Lot 26 of the Maysilo Estate in an action filed before the Caloocan City Regional Trial Court, Branch 129. The court granted its petition, prompting the Manotoks to appeal to the Court of Appeals, which turned them down.

The Manotoks then elevated the case to the high court, which then consolidated the two cases.

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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.