G.R. No. 181359. August 5, 2013.*SPOUSES CLEMENCIO C. SABITSANA, JR. and MA.ROSARIO M. SABITSANA, petitioners, vs. JUANITO F.MUERTEGUI, represented by his Attorney-in-FactDOMINGO A. MUERTEGUI, JR., respondent.Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Courts; Regional TrialCourts; Jurisdiction; Quieting of Titles; Under Rule 63 of theRules of Court, an action to quiet title to real property or removeclouds therefrom may be brought in the appropriate Regional TrialCourt.—On the question of jurisdiction, it is clear under the Rulesthat an action for_______________*SECOND DIVISION.146146SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATEDSabitsana, Jr. vs. Muerteguiquieting of title may be instituted in the RTCs, regardless of theassessed value of the real property in dispute. Under Rule 63 ofthe Rules of Court, an action to quiet title to real property orremove clouds therefrom may be brought in the appropriate RTC.Civil Law; Sales; Buyer in Good Faith; The issue of the buyer’sgood or bad faith is relevant only where the subject of the sale isregistered land, and the purchaser is buying the same from theregistered owner whose title to the land is clean.—Both the trialcourt and the CA are, however, wrong in applying Article 1544 ofthe Civil Code. Both courts seem to have forgotten that theprovision does not apply to sales involving unregistered land.Suffice it to state that the issue of the buyer’s good or bad faith isrelevant only where the subject of the sale is registered land, andthe purchaser is buying the same from the registered ownerwhose title to the land is clean. In such case, the purchaser whorelies on the clean title of the registered owner is protected if he is
a purchaser in good faith for value. Act No. 3344 applies to sale ofunregistered lands. What applies in this case is Act No. 3344, asamended, which provides for the system of recording oftransactions over unregistered real estate. Act No. 3344 expresslydeclares that any registration made shall be without prejudice toa third party with a better right. The question to be resolvedtherefore is: who between petitioners and respondent has a betterright to the disputed lot?Remedial Law; Evidence; Notarized Documents; Notarization,or the requirement of a public document under the Civil Code, isonly for convenience, and not for validity or enforceability.—Thefact that the sale to Juanito was not notarized does not alteranything, since the sale between him and Garcia remains validnonetheless. Notarization, or the requirement of a publicdocument under the Civil Code, is only for convenience, and notfor validity or enforceability. And because it remained valid asbetween Juanito and Garcia, the latter no longer had the right tosell the lot to petitioners, for his ownership thereof had ceased.