[G.R. NOS. 162335 & 162605 : February 13, 2009]
SEVERINO MANOTOK IV, FROILAN M. MANOTOK, FERNANDO M. MANOTOK, FAUSTO M. MANOTOK III, MARIA MAMERTA M. MANOTOK, PATRICIA L. TIONGSON, PACITA L. GO, ROBERTO LAPERAL III, MICHAEL MARSHALL V. MANOTOK, MARY ANN V. MANOTOK, FELISA MYLENE V. MANOTOK, IGNACIO V. MANOTOK, JR., MILAGROS V. MANOTOK, SEVERINO MANOTOK III, ROSA R. MANOTOK, MIGUEL A.B. SISON, GEORGE M. BOCANEGRA, MA. CRISTINA E. SISON, PHILIPP L. MANOTOK, JOSE CLEMENTE L. MANOTOK, RAMON SEVERINO L. MANOTOK, THELMA R. MANOTOK JOSE MARIA MANOTOK, JESUS JUDE MANOTOK, JR., and MA. THERESA L. MANOTOK, represented by their Attorney-in-fact, ROSA R. MANOTOK Petitioners, v. HEIRS OF HOMER L. BARQUE, represented by TERESITA BARQUE-HERNANDEZ, Respondents.
R E S O L U T I O N
This treats of respondents' Omnibus Motion dated 5 January 2009.
Respondents convey therein that the Court's Resolution dated 18 December 2008 did not obtain the requisite number of votes for its adoption, citing in particular the Separate Concurring Opinion of Associate Justice Antonio T. Carpio, which was joined by Associate Justice Conchita Carpio Morales, and the Separate Opinion filed by Associate Justice Renato C. Corona. It would be recalled that the Resolution was penned by Associate Justice Dante O. Tinga, who was joined without qualification by four (4) other Justices namely: Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno; and Associate Justices Alicia Austria-Martinez, Presbitero J. Velasco, Jr. and Arturo D. Brion.
Associate Justice Carpio's opinion is labeled "Separate Concurring Opinion." A "concurring opinion" has been defined as "[a] separate opinion delivered by one or more judges which agrees with the decision of the majority of the court but offering its own reason for reaching that decision."1 Indeed, the tenor of Associate Justice Carpio's opinion, as well as that of Associate Justice Corona, reflects their agreement with the action taken by the Court. In addition, it can be gleaned from the Resolution that Associate Justice Carpio Morales signed the same with the statement: "I also concur with J. Carpio's
Separate Opinion."2 It is evident that by the use of "also," Associate Justice Carpio Morales manifested that she had concurred in the Resolution penned by Justice Tinga and joined the other members of the Court who were of the same persuasion as regards the Resolution.
Likewise notable is the fact that Justice Corona's Separate Opinion reaches the same conclusions and substantially favors the same relief granted by the Court. He concludes that the 12 December 2005 Decision of the Court's First Division should not be affirmed,3 as it unduly enlarged the scope of authority of the Land Registration Authority in administrative reconstitution proceedings.4
To dispel whatever misgiving, if any there be, as to whether the Resolution dated 18 December 2008 was adopted by a majority of the members of the Court en banc, the Court through this Resolution attests that eight (8) Justices have affirmed their vote in favor of the relief extended in the Resolution dated December 18, 2008, to wit:
WHEREFORE, the Decision dated 12 June 2005, and the Resolutions dated 19 April and 19 June 2006 of the Court's First Division are hereby SET ASIDE, and the Entry of Judgment recorded on 2 May 2006 is RECALLED. The Amended Decision dated 24 February 2004 in CA-G.R. SP No. 66642, the Amended Decision dated 7 November 2003 and the Resolution dated 12 March 2004 in CA-G.R. SP No. 66700, and the Resolutions of the Land Registration Authority dated 24 June 1998 and 14 June 1998 in Admin. Recons. No. Q-547-A are all REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
The instant cases are hereby REMANDED to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings in accordance with this Resolution. The Court of Appeals is directed to raffle these remanded cases immediately upon receipt of this Resolution.
This Resolution is immediately executory.
The other arguments raised in the Omnibus Motion are bereft of merit and are not cause for us to set aside the 18 December 2008 Resolution. These arguments do not detract from the Court's central ruling that neither the Land Registration Authority nor the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction to cancel certificates of title in an administrative reconstitution proceeding.
With respect to arguments that raise factual issues concerning the validity of the Barque or Manotok titles, the same can be duly brought before the Court of Appeals to which the cases have been remanded for further reception of evidence.
WHEREFORE, the OMNIBUS MOTION is DENIED with FINALITY.