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Heirs Uberas vs. CFI of Negros Occidental G.R. No.

L-48268, 86
SCRA 145 (October 30, 1978)

FACTS: Siblings Segundo, Albino, Francisca, Pedro, and Alejandra Uberas inherited a
parcel of land from their parents. Petitioners (children and successors in interest of
Segundo Uberas and Albino Uberas) filed a complaint against respondents (surviving
spouse and children of Pedro Uberas and Alejandra Uberas) for quieting of title,
recovery of possession and ownership, partition, and reconveyance with damages of the
property in suit. Defendants sought for dismissal on the ground that the action is barred
by prescription. But plaintiffs argued that the action is imprescriptible because it is to
quiet the title to the property in question, for partition, and for declaring heirship and
deed of sale executed by defendants as void ab initio. The RTC dismissed the case on the
ground of prescription, holding that the action is essentially for reconveyance based
upon an implied trust resulting from fraud. In this case, plaintiffs aver that Pedro Uberas
executed the declaration of heirship with malice and bad faith to deprive the
compulsory heirs.

ISSUE: Whether the case is one for quieting of title and therefore imprescriptible.

RULING: This case is an action for quieting of title, which is imprescriptible. The teaching
in Faja vs. CA applies, that is, an action to quiet title to property in the possession of
plaintiff is imprescriptible and that where there are material facts to be inquired into
and resolved on the basis of evidence adduced by the parties which will determine the
legal precepts to be applied, as in this case, the complaining party should be given full
opportunity to prove his case. RTC should not have summarily dismissed the case on the
alleged ground of prescription notwithstanding contrary factual averments in the
complaint which would clearly rule out prescription. The SC set aside respondent courts
order of dismissal and remanded the case to respondent court for trial and
determination on the merits.

Actions to quiet title to property in the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
The subject property was originally owned by Sapto (this Sapto was a Moro, so only one
name) and located in Alambre, Toril, Davao City. He died, leaving three sons Samuel,
Constancio, and Ramon. The latter predeceased his brothers, leaving no heirs. Samuel
and Constancio executed a deed of sale for a portion of said property in favour of
Fabiana in consideration of P240.00. The sale was approved by the governor of Davao
but was never registered. The property was transferred to Fabiana and from then on he
enjoyed possession from 1931 until the case was filed.

Constancio died with no issue, leaving Samuel as sole administrator of the property.
Upon the latters death, his widow and two children filed the present action for
recovery of the parcel of land sold by their predecessors to defendant. The CFI held that
although the sale between the Sapto brothers and Fabiana was never registered, it was
binding valid and binding upon the parties and the vendors heirs. The CFI also ordered
the petitioners to execute the necessary deed of conveyance in favour of the defendant.
Hence this appeal.
Whether or not the CFIs order of conveyance in favour of Fabiana was valid.

The SC first affirmed the validity of the sale between the Sapto brothers and Fabiana,
ruling, that even though it was never registered the sale was valid, binding, and effective
upon the heirs of the vendor. According to the court, actual notice of the sale served as
registration. Futher, that the transfer and possession of the property was a clear
indication of the validity of the sale.

Regarding the issue on the validity of the order of conveyance, the SC ruled that it was
valid. In assailing the order, the Sapto heirs claimed that the CFI cannot order the
conveyance because the defendants cause of action had already prescribed.

The SC ruled however, that the action for conveyance was actually one to quiet title. In
ruling so, the SC cited American jurisprudence and Art. 480 of the New Civil Code, which
states, that actions to quiet title to property in the possession of the plaintiff are
The judgement is affirmed, cost against appellants.

If a person claiming to be the owner of a wrongfully registered parcel of land is in actual
possession, then his right to seek reconveyance does not prescribe.

Petitioners Horacio and Felisa Benito, originally, bought the land from Francisco Morales
and instituted ejectment proceedings against all of the other squatters in the land.
Respondent, Agapita Saquitan-Ruiz bought a portion of the land from petitioner on a
promise to contribute Php 6000 for the ejectment proceedings which will serve as the
consideration for the sale. On 17 April 1979, a Deed of Absolute Sale was issued in favor
of respondent, however, he failed to pay his obligation of Php 6000. Thus, the petitioner
never caused the issuance of the certificate of title despite demands of the respondent
for such issuance. Instead, petitioner subdivided the lot where respondents land was
located into five while the latter continued to possess such land. Petitioners, then
borrowed Php75,000 from a certain Basilia Dela Cruz, who later sued them for
collection. For failure to pay the borrowed money, a writ of execution was issued by the
RTC and the disputed petitioners land was sold to Dela Cruz at a public auction, in
which the latter was the highest bidder. On 25 March 1996, the assailed Certificate of
Title was issued to Dela Cruz but it was only on 27 May 1999 that the Certificate of Final
Deed of Sale was issued. On 1 April 1999, respondent filed the case for specific
performance with declaration of nullity of titles and damages.

Whether or not petitioners action to quiet title had already prescribed?

The respondent is in possession of the disputed property. If a person claiming to be the
owner of a wrongfully registered parcel of land is in actual possession, the right to seek
reconveyance does not prescribe. A petition for the quieting of title, although essentially
an action for reconveyance, should not be dismissed on the ground of prescription, if it
is alleged that the plaintiff is in possession of the property.
e, the action was seasonably filed since Dela Cruzs right to its conveyance and
possession was subject to the 12-month redemption perion provided under section 33
of rule 39 of the Rules of court. In this case, only a month had passed.

A cloud on a title is defined as a semblance of title which appears in some legal form
but which is in fact unfounded. Where a title was previously held null and void already,
an action to quiet title is not the proper remedy because the TCT (as basis of the right) is
not, on its face or otherwise, valid in the first place.

Spouses Raul and Cristina Acampado obtained loans from Metropolitan Bank and Trust
Company in the amounts of 5k and 2k. As security for the payment, Spouses Acampados
executed in favor of the bank a Real Estate Mortgage over a parcel of land registered in
their names. Subsequently a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of the TCT of the
spouses was filed by Sy Tan Se in the RTC of Valenzuela.
Despite being the mortgagee of the real property, the bank was not made a party to the
said civil case(complaint for declaration of nullity of TCT.) They werent notified as well.

The spouses defaulted in the payment of their loan and extrajudicial foreclosure
proceedings were initiated. The bank submitted the highest and winning bid. A
certificate of sale was issued in their favor.
When they were about to get their TCT from the Register of Deeds, petitioner was
informed of the existence of the decision in the aforementioned civil case (complaint for
declaration of nullity of TCT) declaring the Spouses Acampadoss TCT null and void.

The bank filed with the CA a petition for the annulment of the RTC Decision. The CA
dismissed their petition and ruled that the bank should have filed a petition for relief
from judgment or an action for quieting of title.

1. Whether or not a petition for annulment of judgment is the proper remedy available
to the bank
2. Whether or not the judgment of the trial court (declaring the Spouses Acampados TCT
null and void) should be declared null and void

HELD Both Yes
1. Petition for annulment of judgment was the proper remedy available to the bank. It
precisely alleged that Sy Tan Se purposely concealed the case by excluding petitioner as
a defendant to the civil case even if he was an indispensable party. This deprived the
bank of its duly registered property right without due process of the law. The allegation
of extrinsic fraud may be the basis for annulling a judgment.

Petition for relief (what the CA recommended) was not available to the bank since it was
never a party to the civil case.

An action for quieting of the title was also not available to the bank. An action for
quieting of title is filed only when there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest
therein. A cloud on a title is defined as a semblance of title which appears in some legal
form but which is in fact unfounded. The subject judgment cannot be considered as a
cloud on petitioners title or interest over the real property covered by TCT, which does
not even have a semblance of being a title.

It would not be proper to consider the subject judgment as a cloud that would warrant
the filing of an action to quiet title because to do so would require the court hearing the
action to modife or interfere with the judgment of another co-equal court. Well-
entrenched in our jurisdiction is the doctrine that our court has no power to do so, as
that action may lead to confusion and seriously hinder the administration of justice.
Clearly, an action for quieting of title is not an appropriate remedy in this case.

Bank cant also intervene to a case that he has no knowledge of.

2. The judgment of the trial court should also be declared null and void because the
bank, which is an indispensable party, was not impleaded in the civil case.
The absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent actuations of the court
null and void, for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as
to those present.

ROBLES v. CA- Action for quieting of title | Free
Petitioners (all surnamed Robles) trace their ownership of a parcel of land (9,985 sq m.)
to Leon and Silvino, their grandfather and father, respectively. Upon Silvinos death in
1942, said petitioners inherited the property and started cultivation thereof. Hilario
Robles, private respondent and half-brother of the petitioners, was entrusted with the
payment of land taxes due on the property. In 1962, Hilario caused both the
cancellation of the tax declaration covering the property and its transfer to Ballane (his
father-in-law). Ballane mortgaged the property and, for some reason, the tax
declaration thereon was subsequently named to Hilario. The latter then mortgaged the
property to private respondent Rural Bank of Cardona. The mortgage was foreclosed
and said bank acquired by public bidding the property which was then sold by it to the
spouses Santos. Petitioners learned of the mortgage only in 1987. Subsequently, the
action was filed, impleading also as parties-defendant the Director of Lands and the
District Land Officer sue to an issuance of a free patent in favour of spouses Santos. Trial
court ruled in favour of petitioners, declaring null the patent, declaring the heirs of
Silvino absolute owners of the subject land. CA reversed on the ground that petitioners
no longer had title to the property.

(1) whether petitioners have the appropriate title essential to an action for quieting of
title (relevant issue) and whether title claimed by respondents is valid
(2) whether REM between Hilario and RBC is valid
(3) whether issuance of free patent is valid
(1) Petitioners have valid title by virtue of their continued and open occupation and
possession as owners of the subject property.
In this case, the cloud on petitioners title emanate from the apparent validity of the
free patent issued and the tax declarations and other evidence in favour of respondents
ultimately leading to the transfer of the property to spouses Santos. WRT title of the
spouses Santos, such is deemed invalid/inoperative insofar as it is rooted in the title and
appropriation of Hilario. Hilario could not have prejudiced the rights of his co-heirs as
co-owners of the real estate. He must have first repudiated the ownership clearly and
evidently. CA failed to consider the irregularities in the transactions involving the
property. No instrument/deed of conveyance was presented to show any transaction
between petitioners and Ballane or even Hilario.

(2) Mortgage was only valid insofar as Hilarios undivided interest is concerned there
being co-ownership between the heirs. Court also delved into gross negligence which
amounted to bad faith on part of bank by not exercising due diligence in verifying the
ownership of the land considering such was unregistered.
Free patent was also not valid, the land in question having been converted ipso jure to
private land by virtue of the adverse possession in the concept of owners since.
(3) 1916 by the petitioners. Issuance of patents covering private lands is out of the
jurisdiction of the Director of Lands or Bureau of Lands.

Hence, the sale of the property in favour of the spouses Santos WRT the share of Hiario
was valid but the patent issued was null.


An action to quiet title or to remove cloud may not be brought for the purpose of settling
a boundary dispute.

Eduardo Aviles, the predecessor of the petitioners is the bother of defendant Camilo.
They inherited their lands from their parents and have agreed to subdivide the same
amongst themselves. The area alloted (sic) to Eduardo Aviles is 16,111 square meters
more or less, to Anastacio Aviles is 16,214 square meters more or less, while the area
alloted to defendant Camilo Aviles is 14,470 square meters more or less.

Defendants land composed of the riceland portion of his land is 13,290 square meters,
the fishpond portion is 500 square meters and the residential portion is 680 square
meters, or a total of 14,470 square meters.

The Petitioners claim that they are the owners of the fish pond which they claim is
within their area. Defendant Camilo Aviles asserted a color of title over the northern
portion of the property with an area of approximately 1,200 square meters by
constructing a bamboo fence (thereon) and moving the earthen dikes, thereby
molesting and disturbing the peaceful possession of the plaintiffs over said portion.

Petitioners say that the fences were created to unduly encroach to their property but
the defendant said that he merely reconstructed the same.

Petitioners brought an action to quiet title but were denied thus this case.

ISSUE: Whether or not Petitioners filed the right action

No, Petitioners filed the wrong action. This is obviously a boundary dispute and as such
the action must fail.

Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by
reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is
apparently valid or effective but is, in truth and in fact, invalid, ineffective, voidable, or
unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove
such cloud or to quiet the title.
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon a title to real
property or any interest therein.

Petitioners fail to point out any any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or
proceeding that could been a cloud to their title. In fact, both plaintiffs and defendant
admitted the existence of the agreement of partition dated June 8, 1957 and in
accordance therewith, a fixed area was allotted to them and that the only controversy is
whether these lands were properly measured.

A special civil action for quieting of title is not the proper remedy for settling a boundary
dispute, and that petitioners should have instituted an ejectment suit instead. An action
for forcible entry, whenever warranted by the period prescribed in Rule 70, or for
recovery of possession de facto, also within the prescribed period, may be availed of by
the petitioners, in which proceeding the boundary dispute may be fully threshed out.


If the action is brought by the one who is in possession of the land, the action is
imprescriptible; otherwise, it could prescribe.

Husains in this case are the heirs of Teodoro Husain. Teodoro Husain sold the land under
dispute for 30 pesos to Serapio Chichirita with the right to repurchase within 6 years.
Teodoro transferred his right to his sister, Graciana Husain. Graciana paid the
redemption price and later sold the land to Elias Gallar for a cattle. Possession of the
land, together with the owner's duplicate of the certificate of title of Teodoro Husain,
was delivered on the same occasion to Gallar, who since then has been in possession of
the land. A couple of years after, Gallar filed this suit in the Court of Instance of Iloilo on
October 10, 1960 to compel Hermenegilda and Bonifacio Husain, as heirs of Teodoro
Husain, to execute a deed of conveyance in his favor so that he could get a transfer
certificate of title. He also asked for damages. The Husains countered by saying that
Graciana already paid the redemption price thus their father had already reacquired
ownership over the same. They also claim that the action of Elias has already

1) Whether or not ownership was transferred to Gallar?
2) Whether or not the action has already prescribed?

1) YES, ownership has been transferred to Gallar. The right of repurchase may be
exercised only by the vendor in whom the right is recognized by contract or by any
person to whom the right may have been transferred. Graciana Husain must, therefore,
be deemed to have acquired the land in her own right, subject only to Teodoro Husain's
right of redemption. As the new owner she had a perfect right to dispose of the land as
she in fact did when she exchanged it for a cattle with Gallar.

2) NO, the action is imprescriptible. This action is not for specific performance; all it
seeks is to quiet title, to remove the cloud cast on appellee's ownership as a result of
appellant's refusal to recognize the sale made by their predecessor. And, as plaintiff-
appellee is in possession of the land, the action is imprescriptible. Appellant's argument
that the action has prescribed would be correct if they were in possession as the action
to quiet title would then be an action for recovery of real property which must be
brought within the statutory period of limitation governing such actions.

A vendee in an oral contract to convey land who had made part payment thereof,
entered upon the land and had made valuable improvements thereon is entitled to
bring suit to clear his title against the vendor who had refused to transfer the title to
him. It is not necessary that the vendee should have an absolute title, an equitable title
being sufficient to clothe him with personality to bring an action to quiet title.
In 1969, Pingol, the owner of a lot (Lot No. 3223) in Caloocan City, executed a DEED OF
favor of Donasco (private respondent), payable in 6 years.
In 1984, Donasco died and was only able to pay P8,369 plus P2,000 downpayment,
leaving a balance of P10,161. The heirs of Donasco remained in possession of such lot
and offered to settle the balance with Pingol. However, Pingol refused to accept the
offer and demanded a larger amount. Thus, the heirs of Donasco filed an action for
specific performance (with Prayer for Writ of Prelim. Injunction, because Pingol were
encroaching upon Donascos lot). Pingol averred that the sale and transfer of title was
conditional upon the full payment of Donasco (contract to sell, not contract of sale).
With Donascos breach of the contract in 1976 and death in 1984, the sale was deemed
cancelled, and the heirs continuous occupancy was only being tolerated by Pingol.
(1) Whether or not Pingol can refuse to transfer title to Donasco
(2) Whether or not Donasco has the right to quiet title
(1) No. The contract between Pingol and Donasco is a contract of sale and not a contract
to sell. The acts of the parties, contemporaneous and subsequent to the contract,
clearly show that the parties intended an absolute deed of sale; the ownership of the lot
was transferred to the Donasco upon its actual (upon Donascos possession and
construction of the house) and constructive delivery (upon execution of the contract).
The delivery of the lot divested Pingol of his ownership and he cannot recover the title
unless the contract is resolved or rescinded under Art. 1592 of NCC. It states that the
vendee may pay even after the expiration of the period stipulated as long as no demand
for rescission has been made upon him either judicially or by notarial act. Pingol neither
did so. Hence, Donasco has equitable title over the property.

(2) Although the complaint filed by the Donascos was an action for specific
performance, it was actually an action to quiet title. A cloud has been cast on the title,
since despite the fact that the title had been transferred to them by the execution of the
deed of sale and the delivery of the object of the contract, Pingol adamantly refused to
accept the payment by Donascos and insisted that they no longer had the obligation to
transfer the title.

Donasco, who had made partial payments and improvements upon the property, is
entitled to bring suit to clear his title against Pingol who refused to transfer title to him.
It is not necessary that Donasco should have an absolute title, an equitable title being
sufficient to clothe him with personality to bring an action to quiet title.

Prescription cannot also be invoked against the Donascos because an action to quiet
title to property in ONEs POSSESSION is imprescriptible.

For one to file an action to quiet title to a parcel of land, the requisites in Art 476 of the
NCC must be complied with meaning there should be an instrument, record, claim,
encumbrance setting forth the cloud or doubt over the title. Otherwise, the action to be
filed can either be ejectment, forcible entry, unlawful detainer, accion reivindicatoria or
accion publiciana.

A 20,592 square meter parcel of land located at Barrio Titiong, Masbate is the subject
property being disputed in this case. The property is being claimed by 2 contestants,
however legal title over the property can only be given to one of them.

The case originated from an action for quieting of title filed by petitioner Mario Titong.
The RTC of Masbate decided in favor of private respondents, Vicente Laurio and Angeles
Laurio as the true and lawful owners of the disputed land. The CA affirmed the decision
of the RTC.

Titong asserts that he is the owner of an unregistered parcel of land with an area of
3.2800 hectares and declared for taxation purposes. He claims that on three separate
occasions, private resps, with their hired laborers, forcibly entered a portion of the land
containing an approximate area of 2 hectares and began plowing the same under
pretext of ownership. On the other hand, private resps denied the claim and said that
the subject land formed part of the 5.5 hectare agricultural land which they had
purchased from their predecessor-in-interest, Pablo Espinosa.

Titong identified Espinosa as the his adjoining owner asserting that no controversy had
sprouted between them for 20 years until the latter sold lot 3749 to V. Laurio. The
boundary between the land sold to Espinosa and what remained of Titongs property
was the old Bugsayon river. When Titong employed Lerit as his tenant, he instructed the
latter to change the course of the old river and direct the flow of water to the lowland at
the southern portion of Titongs property, thus converting the old river into a Riceland.

Private resps, on the other hand, denied claim of Titongs, saying that the area and
boundaries of disputed land remained unaltered during the series of conveyances prior
to its coming into his hands. Accdg to him, Titong first declared land for taxation
purposes which showed that the land had an area of 5.5 hectares and was bounded on
the north by the B. River; on the east by property under ownership by Zaragoza, and on
the west by property owned by De la Cruz. He also alleges that Titong sold property to
Verano. The latter reacquired the property pursuant to mutual agreement to
repurchase the same.
However, the property remained in Titongs hands only for 4 days because he sold it to
Espinosa. It then became a part of the estate of Espinosas wife, late Segundina
Espinosa. Later on, her heirs executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate with
Simultaneous Sale whereby the 5.5 hectares was sold to Laurio for 5,000 pesos. In all
these conveyances, the area and boundaries of the property remained exactly the same
as those appearing in the name of Titongs.

The court found out that 2 surveys were made of the property. First survey was made by
Titong, while the second was the relocation survey ordered by the lower court. Because
of which, certain discrepancies surfaced. Contrary to Titongs allegation, he was actually
claiming 5.9789 hectares, the total areas of lot nos 3918, 3918-A and 3606. The lot 3479
pertaining to Espinosas was left with only an area of 4.1841 hectares instead of the 5.5
hectares sold by Titong to him.

Apprised of the discrepancy, private resps filed a protest before Bureau of Lands against
1st survey, and filing a case for alteration of boundaries before the MTC, proceedings of
which were suspended because of instant case.

Private resps. Avers that Titong is one of the four heirs of his mother, Leonida Zaragoza.
In the Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale of Estate of late Zaragoza, the heirs adjudicated
unto themselves the 3.6 hectares property of the deceased. The property was bounded
by the north by Verano, on the east by Bernardo Titong, on the south by the Bugsayon
River and on the west by Benigno Titong.
Instead of reflecting only .9000 hectares as his rightful share in the extrajud settlement,
Titongs share bloated to 2.4 hectares. It then appeared to Laurio that Titong
encroached upon his property and declared it as part of his inheritance.

The boundaries were likewise altered so that it was bounded on the north by Verano, on
the east by B. Titong, on the south by Espinosa and on the west by Adolfo Titong. Laurio
also denied that Titong diverted course of the B. river after he had repurchased the land
from Verano because land was immediately sold to Espinosa thereafter.

Whether or not Titong is the rightful owner of the subject property
The remedy for quieting of title may be availed of under the circumstances mentioned
in Art 476 of the NCC wherein it says that action to quiet title may be made as a
remedial or preventive measure. Under 476, a claimant must show that there is an
instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which casts a cloud, doubt,
question or shadow upon owners title to or interest in real property. The ground for
filing a complaint for quieting title must be instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or
In the case at bar, Titong failed to allege that there was an instrument, claim etc be
clouded over his property. Through his allegations, what Titong imagined as clouds cast
on his title were Laurios alleged acts of physical intrusion into his purported property.
The grounds mentioned are for action for forcible entry and not quieting title.

In addition, the case was considered to be a boundary dispute. The RTC and CA correctly
held that when Titong sold the 5.5 hectare land to Espinosa, his rights and possession
ceased and were transferred to Laurio upon its sale to the latter.

Thus, it is now a contract of sale wherein it is a contract transferring dominion and other
real rights in the thing sold. Titong also cannot rely on the claim of prescription as
ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession in good faith and with just title for
the time fixed by law.

Juan Oclarit purchased an unregistered land in Bohol for P100 from Macalos. This
particular land did not have specified boundaries, as it was only indicated that the
borders were a brook, lands of Gales, and another of Baja. He subsequently purchased 5
more unregistered parcels of land from Gales, one of which was an irrigated rice and
coconut lands, which is now the subject of the action.

Balasabas apparently entered the land about 15 years later and replaces the J.O. labels
on top of the trees with F.G. (Felipa Gales, his mother). The heirs of Oclarit then filed
an action for the quieting of the title and damages against Balasabas, averring that
Oclarit exercised dominion and ownership openly, peacefully, adversely and
uninterrupted. The deceased even planted coconut trees and other crops on the land,
enjoyed their fruits and even paid realty tax on the land.

RTC initially found for Balasabas after having a Commissioner survey the lands and
discovered the discrepancy between the boundaries indicated in the Deed of Sales and
the one written on the tax declarations. The CA, however, reversed the decision, and
ruled that Oclarit is the rightful owner of the land.
Whether or not the lands claimed by Balasabas are actually foreign and alien to the
lands claimed by Oclarit, making these lands actually his property?
While it is true that tax declarations are not strong proof to claim ones property as his,
it will stand in court should these tax declarations be coupled with ones exercise of
ownership, such as those proven by Oclarits heirs.

Furthermore, although what defines a piece of land is not the area mentioned in its
descriptions, but the boundaries laid down, in cases such as this one, where the
boundaries are unclear, the actual size of the land gains importance.