Monday, October 4, 2010


Spouses Castro sold a parcel of unregistered coconut land in Surigao del Norte to Manuelito Palileo. The sale is evidenced by a notarized deed of sale and Palileo exercised acts of ownership through his mother and also paid real estate taxes.

Meanwhile, a judgment over a civil case was rendered agains Enriqur Castro ordering him to pay 22K to Radiowealth Finance Co.

Pursuant to this, the provincial sheriff levied upon and sold in public auction the subject land that was previously sold to Palileo. A certificate of sale was issued in favor of Radiowealth being the lone bidder and after the expiration of the period of redemption, a deed of final sale was also executed in their favor and both deeds was registered to the Registry of Deeds.

WON the sale in public auction is valid.

Had Art.1544 been applied, the judgment should be rendered in favor of Radiowealth being the one who registered the land first. But since the subject land is an unregistered land, a different rule should apply.

Under Act.3344 mere registration of a sale in one's favor does not give him any right over the land if the vendor was not anymore the owner of the land having previously sold the same to somebody else even if the earlier sale was unrecorded.

Article 1544 of the Civil Code has no application to land not registered under the torrens system. It was explained that this is because the purchaser of unregistered land at a sheriffs execution sale only steps into the shoes of the judgment debtor, and merely acquires the latter's interest in the property sold as of the time the property was levied upon. As such, the execution sale of the unregistered land in favor of petitioner is of no effect because the land no longer belonged to the judgment debtor as of the time of the said execution sale.

NAVERA V. CA (April 26, 1990)

Leocadio Navera owns a parcel of land in Albay which was inherited by his 5 children. His 3 children already have their share of the inheritance from the other properties of Leocadio. The subject land was now owned by his 2 daughters. An OCT was issued in the name of Elena Navera ( refers to his sister Eduarda Navera)

When Elena died, his share of the land was inherited by her heirs Arsenio and Felix Narez. The other portion was owned by Eduarda.

Eduarda sold her portion to her nephew Arsenio and then one year after to Mariano Navera. Both sales were made in a public instrument but both sales were also not registered in the Registry of Property.

WON the second sale of the property is valid.

Since the records show that both sales were not recorded in the Registry of Property, the law clearly vests the ownership upon the person who in good faith was first in possession of the disputed lot.

The possession viewed in the law includes not only the material but also the symbolic possession, which is acquired by the execution of a public instrument. This means that after the sale of a realty by means of a public instrument, the vendor, who resells it to another, does not transmit anything to the second vendee, and if the latter, by virtue of this second sale, takes material possession of the thing, he does it as mere detainer, and it would be unjust to protect this detention against the rights of the thing lawfully acquired by the first vendee.

In the case at bar, the prior sale of the land to respondent Arsenio Nares by means of a public instrument is clearly tantamount to a delivery of the land resulting in the material and symbolic possession thereof by the latter.

CRUZ V. CABANA (June 22, 1984)

Leodegaria Cabana sold his real propery first to Teofilo Legaspi and Illuminada Cabana and then later to Abelardo Cruz.

Legaspi and Cabana were able to take possession of the property but they were not able to register the deed of absolute sale because the property was still mortgaged to PNB. They however were able to register with the RD the sale with the right to repurchase.

On the other hand, Cruz succeeded to register the deed of absolute sale in his favor.

Even though Cruz was the first to register the deed of absolute sale, he cannot be given a better right over the property because he was a buyer in bad faith.

Cruz knew the prior sale of the property because he was informed by the RD that Legazpi and Cabana already registered the sale of the said property.

Knowledge of a prior transfer of a registered property by a subsequent purchaser makes him a purchaser in bad faith and his knowledge of such transfer vitiates his title acquired by virtue of the latter instrument of conveyance which creates no right as against the first purchaser.

TAÑEDO V. CA (January 22, 1996)

Lazaro Tañedo executed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Ricardo Tañedo and Teresita Barrera in which he conveyed a parcel of land which he will inherit. Upon the death of his father he executed an affidavit of conformity to reaffirm the said sale. He also executed another deed of sale in favor of the spouses covering the parcel of land he already inherited. Ricardo registered the last deed of sale in the registry of deeds in their favor.

Ricardo later learned that Lazaro sold the same property to his children through a deed of sale.

WON the Tañedo spouses have a better right over the property against the children of Lazaro Tañedo.

Since a future inheritance generally cannot be a subject of a contract, the deed of sale and the affidavit of conformity made by Lazaro has no effect. The subject of dispute therefore is the deed of sale made by him in favor of spouses Tañedo and another to his children after he already legally acquired the property.

Thus, although the deed of sale in favor of private respondents was later than the one in favor of petitioners, ownership would vest in the former because of the undisputed fact of registration. On the other hand, petitioners have not registered the sale to them at all.

Petitioners contend that they were in possession of the property and that private respondents never took possession thereof. As between two purchasers, the one who registered the sale in his favor has a preferred right over the other who has not registered his title, even if the latter is in actual possession of the immovable property.

ESPIRITU V. VALERIO (December 23, 1976)

Valerio filed a case to quiet title against mother and daughter Espiritu who were asserting their adversary rights over said land and disturbing his possession thereof.

Valerio presented a deed of sale from which he acquired the property while the Espiritus allege that they acquire the same from their deceased father. 

The Espiritus also presented two deeds of sale to prove that their deceased father have a legal right over the property which they inherited.

WON mother and daughter Espiritu have a better right over the property.

Apparently, this case concerns the sales of one parcel of land by the same vendor but in favor of two different vendees.

If both allegations of the parties are valid, Espiritu's contention that they have a better right than that the claimed by Valerio would seem to be meritorious in the light of the facts of the case and the provisions of Article 1544 of the New Civil Code, it not being disputed that the Deed of Sale in favor of them was registered first.

But since the deeds of sale presented by Esiritu are found to be falsified, they have no legal right to claim the disputed property.