[G.R. No. L-67451. May 4, 1988.]
REALTY SALES ENTERPRISE, INC. and MACONDRAY FARMS, INC., Petitioners, v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (Special Third Civil Cases Division), HON. RIZALINA BONIFACIO VERA, as Judge, Court of First Instance of Rizal, Branch XXIII, MORRIS G. CARPO, QUEZON CITY DEVELOPMENT AND FINANCING CORPORATION, and COMMISSIONER OF LAND REGISTRATION, Respondents.
1. ID.; LAND REGISTRATION PROCEEDING; JUDGMENT; UPON FINALITY THEREOF PARTY IS ENTITLED TO THE ISSUANCE OF A DECREE UPON MOTION. — Upon finality of judgment in land registration cases, the winning party does not file a motion for execution as in ordinary civil actions. Instead, he files a petition with the land registration court for the issuance of an order directing the Land Registration Commission to issue a decree of registration, a copy of which is then sent to the Register of Deeds for transcription in the registration book, and issuance of the original certificate of title.
2. ID.; APPEALS; RULE ON PROCEDURE GOVERNING PETITION FOR REVIEW ON CERTIORARI. — Rule 42 governs appeals from Courts of First Instance to the Supreme Court. Even as Section 2 (Appeals on pure question of law) thereof requires a notice of appeal and a record on appeal, said Section 2 must be deemed to have been amended by Republic Act No. 5440 (1968). Petitions for review by certiorari of decisions of the Court of Appeals are governed by Rule 45 which, unlike Rule 42, does not require a notice of appeal nor a record on appeal.
R E S O L U T I O N
From this Court’s decision dated September 28, 1987, respondent Morris Carpo filed on October 20, 1987 a Motion to Agenda before the Court En Banc and Motion for Reconsideration. He contends that said decision of the Third Division of this Court deviated from the doctrine established in Villegas v. Fernando [G.R. No. L-27347, April 28, 1969, 27 SCRA 1119], which is alleged to be "on all fours" with the instant case, and that the Court erred in adopting the doctrine in Nacua v. de Beltran [93 Phil. 595 (1953), as to the effect of failure to reconstitute under Act No. 3110. He likewise contends that appeal and not certiorari was the proper remedy in disputing the Vera Court’s decision of March 20, 1981.
To this Motion to Agenda before the Court En Banc and Motion for Reconsideration, petitioner Realty Sales Enterprise, Inc. filed its Comment on December 8, 1987.
The Motion to Agenda and Motion for Reconsideration is without merit.
1. There is no dispute that so long as a decree of registration has not been issued, registration proceedings are still pending. The issue being raised now is whether the records of LRC Case No. 657 and of TA-G.R. Nos. 209-211 were reconstituted pursuant to Act No. 3110.
Carpo contends that the records of LRC Case No. 657 and of TA-G.R. Nos. 209-211 were not reconstituted pursuant to Act No. 3110. On the other hand, Realty claims that the records of the case were duly reconstituted in proceedings before the Commissioner for Reconstitution of Records of the Supreme Court.
Realty has not presented any Order of Reconstitution. It can therefore be said that there was failure to reconstitute. However, the more important issue is the EFFECT of failure to reconstitute on the status of the case IN ITS ENTIRETY.
This issue has been squarely dealt with in the decision now assailed by Carpo’s motion.
Carpo however persists in his allegation that the effect of failure to reconstitute is that, pursuant to the Villegas case, upon failure to reconstitute destroyed judicial records within the period prescribed by law, the parties are deemed to have waived the effects of the decision rendered in their favor and their only alternative is to file an action anew for the registration in their names of the lots in question.chanrobles.com : virtual law library
But as stated in the Court’s decision, the doctrine in Villegas, which relies on the Ambat case, which in turn merely applied Section 29 of Act No. 3110, is applicable only to cases where all the records in the Court of First Instance and the appellate court were destroyed or lost and were not reconstituted.
The facts obtaining in LRC Case No. 657, however, are different. Not all records in the Court of First Instance and the appellate court were destroyed or lost. There are authentic records of the case. Thus, as the Court ruled, it is the ruling laid down in Nacua v. de Beltran, supra, which is applicable. The parties only had to go back to the next preceding stage in the same case where records are available.
It is therefore incorrect to say that the decision of the Court deviated from the doctrine laid down in Villegas. There was no deviation. More accurately, the Ambat-Villegas doctrine is inapplicable to LRC Case No. 657; it is the Nacua doctrine which is applicable.
Parenthetically, the Villegas case cannot be considered "on all fours" with the case at bar. Firstly, in the Villegas case, the purported copy of the Court of Appeals decision that was submitted by the appellate heirs was merely a "certified copy of another copy in the office of the Land Registration Commission which in turn was copied from a copy of the Bureau of Lands." No other authentic record of the proceedings PRIOR to the issuance of the decree of registration existed! In the case at bar, not only are there authentic records both of the CFI Decision and the Court of Appeals Decision, there is moreover an official report of the Decision of this Court in Guico v. San Pedro [72 Phil. 415], which was a petition for review on certiorari interposed by Guico, one of the litigants in the land registration proceedings before the lower court. In other words, there are records, the authenticity of which are beyond question, which may form the basis of an order for the issuance of a decree of registration. Secondly, in the Villegas case, the basis of the order directing the issuance of a decree of registration was a decision in "Civil Case No. 3726", but as noted by the Court in that case, it was not even specified what the Civil Case was about. In the instant case, the proceedings prior to the order directing the issuance of the decree of registration were admittedly land registration proceedings, which, needless to say, are proceedings in rem, and hence, are binding on the whole world.
2. The stage of LRC Case No. 657 where records are available is that stage in land registration proceedings where the court has determined with finality who the rightful owner of the property is. Applying the ruling in Nacua, the parties thereto, or their successors-in-interest, had to go back to that stage, and then continue with the case until its finality. This is precisely what the heir of Estanislao Mayuga did.
Counsel for Carpo claims, however, that: (1) The pre-war decision of the Court of Appeals may never have attained finality as the same might have been appealed; (2) Even if it be granted that the pre-war decision had become final, the petition filed by Dominador Mayuga, was not a continuation of LRC Case No. 657, and (3) If the decision in LRC Case No. 657 indeed became final, then the next step would have been for the adjudicatee to file a motion for execution in said case.
Anent the first argument, counsel does not have to engage in surmises and conjectures. The pre-war decision of the Court of Appeals was indeed appealed to the Supreme Court. But the appeal was interposed by Guico, one of the litigants in both the trial and appellate courts.
Carpo recognizes the decision of this Court in Guico, supra. As the Guico case was simply a continuation of the land registration proceedings, which are proceedings in rem, the Court’s decision therein is binding not only on Guico but on the whole world.chanroblesvirtualawlibrary
As to the second argument, suffice it to say that the fact that Dominador Mayuga’s petition was filed in LRC Case No. 976, and not in LRC Case No. 657, is not fatal. As stated in the Decision (p. 15), LRC Case No. 657 (filed by Estanislao Mayuga) was jointly tried and decided with LRC Case No. 976 (filed by Eduardo Guico) and LRC Case No. 758 (filed by Florentino Baltazar, predecessor-in-interest of Carpo), as the three cases involved identical parcels of land and identical applicants/oppositors. Thus, the petition could validly be filed in any or all of the three cases. As stated in the Decision:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
. . . (I)t cannot be overemphasized that the petition filed by Dominador is NOT a distinct and separate proceeding from, but a continuation of, the original land registration proceedings initiated by Estanislao Mayuga, Florentino Baltazar and Eduardo Guico. (Decision, p. 16.)
Lastly, upon finality of judgment in land registration cases, the winning party does not file a motion for execution as in ordinary civil actions. Instead, he files a petition with the land registration court for the issuance of an order directing the Land Registration Commission to issue a decree of registration, a copy of which is then sent to the Register of Deeds for transcription in the registration book, and issuance of the original certificate of title. [For an outline of the general procedure in ordinary land registration cases, see Republic v. Heirs of Villa Abrille, G.R. No. L-39248, May 7, 1976, 71 SCRA 57.]
3. Carpo’s claim that the Court erred in ruling that G.R. No. 56471 was an appeal under Rule 42 and not a special civil action under Rule 65, likewise deserves scant consideration.
Rule 42 governs appeals from Courts of First Instance to the Supreme Court. Even as Section 2 (Appeals on pure question of law) thereof requires a notice of appeal and a record on appeal, said Section 2 must be deemed to have been amended by Republic Act No. 5440 , which states:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
Sec. 3. The Supreme Court shall provide by rule for the procedure governing petitions for writs of certiorari to review judgments mentioned in Section seventeen of Republic Act Numbered Two Hundred Ninety-six, as amended by this Act and the effect of the filing thereof on the judgment or decree sought to be reviewed. Until the Supreme Court provides otherwise, said petitions shall be filed within the period fixed in the rules of court for appeals in criminal or civil cases or special civil actions or special proceedings, depending upon the nature of the case in which the judgment or decree sought to be reviewed, was rendered; the filing of said petition shall stay the execution of the judgment sought to be reviewed; and the aforesaid petitions shall be filed and served in the form required for petitions for review by certiorari of decisions of the Court of Appeals. (Emphasis supplied.)
Petitions for review by certiorari of decisions of the Court of Appeals are governed by Rule 45 which, unlike Rule 42, does not require a notice of appeal nor a record on appeal.
WHEREFORE, the Motion to Agenda before the Court En Banc and Motion for Reconsideration is hereby DENIED. This denial is FINAL.
Fernan (Chairman) and Feliciano, JJ., concur.
Gutierrez, Jr. and Bidin, JJ., took no part.