Subject of the case was a parcel of land owned by the deceased Simplicio Ilao, in a judicial settlement of Ilao’s estate, the heirs found an adverse claim annotated at the back of TCT no. 48529 claimed by certain Juanito Ibarra. Respondent filed a motion to exclude property from inventory on ground that it does not form part of Ilao’s estate having disposed of during lifetime. Petitioner’s filed a case for quieting of title and damages before the RTC of Manila. Relevantly, Ibarra filed a petition for issuance of new owner’s duplicate copy of subject property on the ground that it was lost by fire. Respondent filed a case for specific performance and declaring a nullity of Contract claiming that claim of Ibarra over the property was sold to him. Trial Court rendered decision upholding the validity of the notarized Deed of Sale due to the conflicting testimonies of the two handwriting experts. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration which was countered by an Omnibus Motion to strike out Motion for Reconsideration of petitioners being pro forma and seek a writ of execution, the latter was upheld and the former was denied hence, they appealed to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the trial courts decision and stated that the appellate court does not take cognizance of cases based on question of fact but only law via this petition for review hence, this appeal.
Whether or not the alleged forgery will invalidate the Deed of Sale?
Question on whether Ilao’s signature in the Deed of Sale was a forgery is a question of fact which requires appraisal and re-evaluation of the evidence presented by parties. Such procedure is beyond the court’s dominion because factual findings of trial courts, especially when affirmed by the Court of Appeals are binding on the Supreme Court but admits certain exceptions found under the 1997 revised Rules of Civil Procedure.
The validity of the deed of sale should, therefore, be recognized, the only opposition thereto being the alleged forgery of Ilao’s signature which, was not satisfactorily demonstrated. There is no doubt that the deed of sale was duly acknowledged before a notary public. As a notarized document, it has in its favor the presumption of regularity and it carries the evidentiary weight conferred upon it with respect to its due execution. It is admissible in evidence without further proof of its authenticity and is entitled to full faith and credit upon its face.
Digest Credit: Mark Alfed Santillan