434 | Appeal | Appellate Court

Please download to get full document.

View again

of 8
All materials on our website are shared by users. If you have any questions about copyright issues, please report us to resolve them. We are always happy to assist you.
Document Description
Document Share
Document Tags
Document Transcript
  .R. No. 127382 August 17, 2004   DR. JESUS SERIÑA and ENRIQUETA SERIÑA (deceased), represented by DR. JESUS SERIÑA, JR., ANTONIO SERIÑA,VIOLETA SERIÑA TAN, REYNALDO SERIÑA and EMMANUEL SERIÑA, petitioners,vs. VICTOR CABALLERO, TEODORO DONELA, OLIVER DONELA, COURT OF APPEALS, and THE HONORABLE REGIONALTRIAL COURT, BRANCH 20, MISAMIS ORIENTAL, respondents.D E C I S I O N CALLEJO, SR., J  .:  Before us is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision 1  of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated August 23, 1996, affirming thedismissal of the complaint for quieting of title, recovery of possession, and damages by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Misamis Oriental, Cagayan de Oro City, in Civil Case No. 8716. The Antecedents  On August 11, 1982, Dr. Jesus Seriña and his wife, Enriqueta Seriña filed a Complaint for quieting of title, recovery of possession, and damages with a prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against respondents Victor Caballero andhis tenants, Teodoro Donela and Oliver Donela. When Dr. Seriña died on August 6, 1983, he was substituted by his children,petitioners Jesus, Jr., Antonio, Violeta, Reynaldo and Emmanuel. 2  The petitioners alleged in their complaint that they are the absolute owners and have been in actual and constructive possessionfor thirty-five (35) years of a parcel of land described as follows:Lot No. 3533-A, Cad-237, Cagayan CadastreTax Declaration No. 02161Location - Mantadiao, Opol,Misamis Oriental Area - 2.5000 has.Boundaries:North - Alejo SeriñaSouth - T. SabornidoEast - A. Seriña & T. SabornidoWest - F. Caballer o 3    The petitioners averred that sometime in March 1982, they discovered that respondent Caballero was claiming ownership over the said land and offering it for sale or mortgage to third parties. They also discovered that the respondents Donelas wereoccupying the land as tenants and caretakers of the land.  4  The petitioners claimed that their father, Dr. Seriña, bought the land from Lucia Vda. de Marbella who inherited it from her father,Ramon Neri. 5  They presented a Deed of Sale 6  dated August 23, 1947 showing that Dr. Seriña bought 5 hectares of ricefield,bounded on the North by Raymundo Seriña, on the East by Teofilo Saburnido, on the South by Obdelio Caballero, on the Westby Obdullo Caballero, from Lucia Vda. de Marbella. Dr. Seriña was issued Tax Declaration No. 4029 allegedly for the saidproperty. As indicated in the tax declaration and subsequent tax declarations issued in the name of Dr. Seriña, they were issuedfor Cadastral Lot No. 3533 and covered a 2.5-hectare ricefield with the same boundary owners as those in the complaint. 7  Thepetitioners also averred that they regularly paid taxes thereon since 1947 up to the present. 8  In his answer, respondent Caballero alleged that he was the lawful owner, and had been in actual physical possession of thedisputed land since time immemorial. He averred that the disputed land is part of Cadastral Lot No. 3533, C-7 of the CagayanCadastre and srcinally owned by his grandfather, Eustaquio Caballero. 9  The respondents averred that Eustaquio Caballero declared the entire parcel of land for tax purposes even before the war. TaxDeclaration No. 2442 was issued in lieu of the records that were destroyed during the war.This tax declaration indicated that the 119,490 square-meter parcel of land was located at Pontacon, Iponan, Cagayan de OroCity, bounded on North by Rustico Dablio, on the East by J. Seriña and T. Saburnido, on the South by Victor Obsioma, and onthe West by Victorino Caballero. 10   Emiliana Ibarat, respondent Caballero’s sister, testified that when Eustaquio Caballero died in 1944, the land was divided am onghis three children, Vicenta, Benita and Victorino, the father of respondent Caballero. Lot A, with an area of 39,625 square meters,was given to Victorino, which was later inherited by the respondent. Lot B, with an area of 71, 450 square meters, was given toBenita; and Lot C, with only 7,938 square meters was given to Vicenta. Lots B and C were, thereafter, sold to one Gaga Yasay.Because of the trouble between the petitioners and the respondents, Yasay agreed to buy only a portion of Lot A. 11  The land was surveyed during the trial and it was determined that it now consisted of only 23,373 square meters, 12  and not25,000 square meters as claimed b y the petitioners. Gliceria Legaspi, respondent Caballero’s other sister, also testified that the disputed land was now bounded on the North by Seriña and Nangcas, on the East by Teofilo Saburnido, on the South by GagaYasay, and on the West by Nangcas. 13  The RTC rendered judgment 14  on January 21, 1992, dismissing the complaint, and upholding the right of the respondents over the land. The dispositive portion reads:WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the defendant Victor Caballero and against the plaintiffs herein,to wit:1. Ordering the dismissal of the complaint with costs.2. Ordering the defendant Victor Caballero as the absolute and lawful owner and possessor of the land in question.3. Ordering the plaintiffs, their heirs, lawyers, servants or privies not to disturb or molest the possession and ownershipof Victor Caballero over the land in question.4. Ordering the plaintiffs to pay to defendant Victor Caballero, jointly and severally the sum of FIVE THOUSAND(P5,000.00) pesos for expenses of litigation, and THREE THOUSAND (P3,000.00) pesos for and as attorney's fees   having been compelled to retain the services of counsel to protect his interest herein.SO ORDERED. 15    The trial court ruled that it was not clearly shown that the land bought by Dr. Seriña from Lucia Vda. de Marbella was the sameland owned by Victor Caballero, and that the petitioners failed to show that Lucia Vda. de Marbella bought the land fromEustaquio Caballero, the srcinal owner and cadastral claimant of the land. It also noted that the deed of sale between LuciaVda. de Marbella and Dr. Seriña showed that the land had an area of 5 hectares, whereas, the petitioners only claimed 2.5hectares. Furthermore, the boundaries of the land stated in the complaint did not coincide with what was stated in the Deed of Sale, or in Tax Declaration No. 2442 in the name of Eustaquio Caballero. The trial court ruled that the petitioners failed to explainthese discrepancies, and that there was no showing that Tax Declaration No. 2442 was cancelled by Tax Declaration No. 4029in the name of Dr. Seriña. The trial court interpreted this to mean that Eustaquio Caballero's right as owner of the land remained.Dissatisfied, the petitioners appealed the case to the CA, which rendered a Decision 16  affirming in toto the decision of the RTC.The petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration on September 30, 1996. 17  The CA denied the motion. 18  Hence, the instant petition.The petitioners assign the following errors:1. THAT IT IS ERROR FOR THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS TO UPHOLD THE HONORABLE RTC ONTHE ISSUE THAT THE ALLEGED IDENTITY OF THE LAND IN LITIGATION IS UNESTABLISHED BETWEEN THEPARTIES-LITIGANTS.2. THAT IT IS ERROR FOR THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS TO FAIL TO APPRECIATE THE 35-YEAR ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION IN FAVOR OF THE PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS. 19  The issues in this petition are, therefore, the following: (1) whether the petitioners were able to establish the identity of the landbeing claimed by them; and (2) whether acquisitive prescription should be appreciated in favor of the petitioners.The Ruling of the CourtThe first issue deals clearly with a question of fact which is beyond the province of this Court in a petition for review on certiorari.Well-entrenched is the rule that the Court's jurisdiction in a petition for review is limited to reviewing or revising errors of lawallegedly committed by the appellate court. Factual findings of the Court of Appeals are conclusive on the parties and notreviewable by this Court — and they carry even more weight when the Court of Appeals affirms the factual findings of the trialcourt. 20  The exceptions to this rule are the following:(1) when the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculations, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inferencemade is manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion; (4) when the judgmentis based on misapprehension of facts; (5) when the findings of facts are conflicting; (6) when the Court of Appeals, inmaking its findings, went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellantand appellee; (7) when the findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court; (8) when the findingsof fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the Court of Appealsmanifestly overlooked certain relevant facts not disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, would justify adifferent conclusion; and (10) when the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are premised on the absence of evidence and are contradicted by the evidence on record. 21  We find no cogent reason to reverse the findings of the CA. None of the aforementioned exceptions is present in this case. TheCA was correct in concluding that the petitioners failed to establish that the parcel of land in the possession of the respondents isthe same as that subject of their complaint.The CA noted that the land subject of the complaint has boundaries different from the land in possession of the respondents. Infact, the land described in the complaint appears to be different from the land described in the Deed of Sale which the petitionersinvoke as the basis of their ownership. First  . The petitioners alleged in their complaint that the boundaries of their property are as follows:  North - Alejo SeriñaSouth - T. SabornidoEast - A. Seriña & T. SabornidoWest - F. Caballer o 22  On the other hand, the Deed of Sale provides that the property sold to them has the following boundaries:North - Raymundo SeriñaSouth - Obdullo CaballeroEast - Teofilo SaburnidoWest - Obdullo Caballer o 23   Second  . The complaint 24  of the petitioners states that the property they are claiming has an area of 2.5 hectares. On the other hand, the Deed of Sale 25  provides that the subject property has an area of 5 hectares. Third  . The complaint alleged that the property is located in Mantadiao, Opol, Misamis Oriental, 26  while the Deed of Sale showsthat the property purchased is located in Puntakon, Igpit, Cagayan Or. Misamis. 27  We agree with the CA that there was no showing that Tax Declaration No. 2442 in the name of Eustaquio Caballero wascancelled. Absent any specific statement therein to that effect, it cannot be presumed that Tax Declaration No. 4029 in the nameof Dr. Seriña cancelled Tax Declaration No. 2442.Moreover, the land covered by Tax Declaration No. 2442 is different from that covered by Tax Declaration No. 4029 for thefollowing reasons:The boundary owners of the land as indicated in Tax Declaration No. 2442 differ from those stated in Tax Declaration No. 4029.The boundary owners as indicated in Tax Declaration No. 2442 are as follows:North - Rustico DablioSouth -Victor ObsiomaEast - J. Seriña & T. SaburnidoWest - Victorino Caballero 28  Under Tax Declaration No. 4029, on the other hand, the boundary owners are as follows:North - Alejo SeriñaSouth - Teofilo SaburnidoEast - A. Seriña [and] T. SaburnidoWest - Eustaquio Caballer o 29  
We Need Your Support
Thank you for visiting our website and your interest in our free products and services. We are nonprofit website to share and download documents. To the running of this website, we need your help to support us.

Thanks to everyone for your continued support.

No, Thanks