Principal petitioners SAMUEL ULEP, now deceased and substituted by his heirs, and VALENTINA ULEP are brother-and-sister. Together with their siblings, namely, AtinedoroUlep and Rosita Ulep, they are children of the late Valentin Ulep. During his lifetime, the father Valentin Ulep owned a parcel of land, identified as Lot 840 with an area of 3,270 square meters, located at Asingan, Pangasinan. Sometime in 1950, the older Ulep sold the one-half (1/2) eastern portion of Lot 840, comprising an area of 1,635 square meters, to respondent Maxima Rodico, while the remaining one-half (1/2) western portion with the same area, to his son Atinedoro Ulep married to Beatriz Ulep, and to his other daughter Valentina Ulep. On June 5, 1952, all the transferees of Lot 840, namely, Maxima Rodico (for the eastern portion) and Atinedoro Ulep and Valentina Ulep (for the western portion), were jointly issued in their names Transfer Certificate of Title No. 12525. On June 18, 1971, Atinedoro Ulep, his wife Beatriz and sister Valentina Ulep sold the one-half (1/2) portion of the area sold to them by their father to their brother Samuel Ulep and the latter’s wife, Susana Repogia-Ulep. The portion sold to Samuel and Susana has an area of 817.5 square meters. The document of sale was registered with the Office of the Registry of Deeds of Pangasinan on February 20, 1973. Later, an area of 507.5 square meters of the western portion of Lot 840 was sold by the spouses Atinedoro Ulep and Beatriz Ulep to respondent Warlito Paringit and the latter’s spouse Encarnacion Gante, who were then issued TCT No. 12688 on September 23, 1975. Evidently, all the foregoing transactions were done and effected without an actual ground partition or formal subdivision of Lot 840.
In June 1977, respondent Iglesiani Cristo (INC) begun constructing its chapel on Lot 840. In the process, INC encroached portions thereof allegedly pertaining to petitioners and blocked their pathways. This prompted Samuel Ulep and sister Rosita Ulep to make inquiries with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan.
W/N the respondent has the rights of ownership based on the rule of double sale of real property
Yes. Article 1544 of the Civil Code provides the statutory solution. Per records, the sale of the disputed 620 square-meter portion of Lot 840 to respondent INC was made on December 21, 1954 and registered with the Registry of Deeds of Pangasinan on January 5, 1955. In fact, INC was issued a title over the same portion on September 23, 1975. On the other hand, the conveyance to the spouses Samuel Ulep and Susana Repogia-Ulep happened on January 18, 1971 and the spouses registered their document of conveyance only on February 22, 1973.
Clearly, not only was respondent INC the first buyer of the disputed area. It was also the first to register the sale in its favor long before petitioners Samuel’s and Susana’s intrusion as second buyers. Although Samuel and Susana thereafter registered the sale made to them, they did so only after 18 years from the time INC caused the registration of its own document of sale.
Petitioners’ allegation of forgery relative to the deed of sale executed on December 21, 1954 by the spouses Atinedoro Ulep, his wife Beatriz and sister Valentina Ulep over the 620 square-meter portion of Lot 840 cannot be sustained. As a rule, forgery cannot be presumed and must be proved by clear, positive and convincing evidence, the burden for which lies on the party alleging it.
Digest Credit: Badeth Dc