Sabitsana case.pdf - G.R No 181359 August 5 2013 SPOUSES CLEMENCIO C SABITSANA JR and MA ROSARIO M SABITSANA petitioners vs JUANITO F MUERTEGUI

Sabitsana case.pdf - G.R No 181359 August 5 2013 SPOUSES...

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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-Fact DOMINGO A. MUERTEGUI, JR., respondent. Remedial Law; Civil Procedure; Courts; Regional Trial Courts; Jurisdiction; Quieting of Titles; Under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court, an action to quiet title to real property or remove clouds therefrom may be brought in the appropriate Regional Trial Court. —On the question of jurisdiction, it is clear under the Rules that an action for _______________ * SECOND DIVISION. 146 146 SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED Sabitsana, Jr. vs. Muertegui quieting of title may be instituted in the RTCs, regardless of the assessed value of the real property in dispute. Under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court, an action to quiet title to real property or remove clouds therefrom may be brought in the appropriate RTC. Civil Law; Sales; Buyer in Good Faith; The issue of the buyer’s good or bad faith is relevant only where the subject of the sale is registered land, and the purchaser is buying the same from the registered owner whose title to the land is clean. —Both the trial court and the CA are, however, wrong in applying Article 1544 of the Civil Code. Both courts seem to have forgotten that the provision does not apply to sales involving unregistered land. Suffice it to state that the issue of the buyer’s good or bad faith is relevant only where the subject of the sale is registered land, and the purchaser is buying the same from the registered owner whose title to the land is clean. In such case, the purchaser who relies on the clean title of the registered owner is protected if he is
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a purchaser in good faith for value. Act No. 3344 applies to sale of unregistered lands. What applies in this case is Act No. 3344, as amended, which provides for the system of recording of transactions over unregistered real estate. Act No. 3344 expressly declares that any registration made shall be without prejudice to a third party with a better right. The question to be resolved therefore is: who between petitioners and respondent has a better right to the disputed lot? Remedial Law; Evidence; Notarized Documents; Notarization, or the requirement of a public document under the Civil Code, is only for convenience, and not for validity or enforceability. —The fact that the sale to Juanito was not notarized does not alter anything, since the sale between him and Garcia remains valid nonetheless. Notarization, or the requirement of a public document under the Civil Code, is only for convenience, and not for validity or enforceability. And because it remained valid as between Juanito and Garcia, the latter no longer had the right to sell the lot to petitioners, for his ownership thereof had ceased.
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