DionisiaAlorsabes owned a three hectare land in Dao, Capiz, denominated as Lot 3603. In 1934, she sold a portion of the lot to Juanito Fuentes while the remainder was inherited by her children Paz Dela Cruz, RoselaDela Cruz, and ConsorciaArroja (an adopted child), and a grandson, Francisco Abas, in representation of his deceased mother Margarita Dela Cruz. These four heirs executed an Extra-Judicial Settlement with Sale dated February 4, 1964 wherein Consorcia sold her share with an area of 6,694 square meters to spouses BallerianoMayuga. On April 1, 1977, Paz also sold her share to Honorato de los Santos. Later, another document entitled Extra-Judicial Partition with Deed of Sale dated November 2, 1972 was uncovered wherein the heirs of Dionisia purportedly adjudicated Lot 3603 among themselves and sold their shares to Francisco. On January 9, 1978, Francisco executed a Deed of Sale over Lot 3603 in favor of TeodulfoSigaya. Thus, the title over Lot 3603 was cancelled and a new one was issued in the name of Teodulfo, predecessor-in-interest of the petitioners herein.
On October 14, 1986, the petitioners, who are the widow and children of Teodulfo, filed Civil Case Nos. V-5325, V-5326, V-5327 and V-5328 for recovery of possession and damages against DiomerMayuga, Honorato de los Santos, Sps. Jose Viva and RoselaDela Cruz-Viva, and Renato Distor, respectively, before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Roxas City.
RTC believed that the actual occupation and possession of the defendants had been satisfactorily proven which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals
W/N Teodulfo should be considered as a purchaser in good faith and thus enjoy the protection of the Torrens system
A purchaser in good faith is one who buys property without notice that some other person has a right to or interest in such property and pays its fair price before he has notice of the adverse claims and interest of another person in the same property.
Indeed, it is a well-settled rule that every person dealing with registered land may safely rely on the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of the property. However, this rule shall not apply when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect
In this case, preponderance of evidence shows that respondents had been in actual possession of their respective portions even prior to 1960. Rolly Daniel even accompanied Francisco and Teodulfo to the different houses of respondents. Hence, this Court cannot give credence therefore to the claim of petitioners that Teodulfo found no occupants in the property.
There being occupants of the property, the Court cannot ascribe good faith to Teodulfo who has not shown any diligence in protecting his rights.
Digest Credit: Abby Parwani