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Requisites of Petition to Quiet Title

Petitioners and respondents are siblings. Their parents, who had already passed away in 1999, were the owners of the subject property covered by Transfer Certificate Title (TCT) No. 318717. Sometime in 2002, respondent siblings brought an action for partition against petitioners which was dismissed byt the RTC for failure of the parties, as well as their counsels, to appear despite due notice.

Having failed to secure a favorable decision for partition, respondent siblings instead resorted to executing a Deed of Adjudication to transfer the property in favor of the ten (10) siblings. As a result, TCT No. 318717 was canceled and in lieu thereof, TCT No. 390484 was issued in its place by the Registry of Deeds of Tarlac in the names of the ten (10) heirs of the Ibarra spouses. Subsequently, respondent siblings sold their 7/10 undivided share over the property in favor of their co-respondents, the spouses Recto and Rosemarie Candelario.

Petitioners filed a complaint for Quieting of Title and Damages against respondents wherein they alleged that during their parents’ lifetime, the couple distributed their real and personal properties in favor of their ten (10) children. Upon distribution, petitioners alleged that they received the subject property and the house constructed thereon as their share. They likewise averred that they have been in adverse, open, continuous, and uninterrupted possession of the property for over four (4) decades and are, thus, entitled to equitable title thereto. They also deny any participation in the execution of the aforementioned Deed of Adjudication and the Agreement of Subdivision. Respondents countered that petitioners’ cause of action was already barred by estoppel when one of petitioners offered to buy the 7/10 undivided share of the respondent siblings. In addition, they claimed that Bienvenido and Escolastica Ibarra mortgaged the property but because of financial constraints, respondent spouses Candelario had to redeem the property in their behalf. Not having been repaid by Bienvenido and Escolastica, the Candelarios accepted from their co-respondents their share in the subject property as payment.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the petitioners were able to prove ownership over the property

RULING:
NO. For an action to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on the title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or efficacy.

In the case at bar, the petitioners’ cause of action must necessarily fail mainly in view of the absence of the first requisite. Their alleged open, continuous, exclusive, and uninterrupted possession of the subject property is belied by the fact that respondent siblings, in 2005, entered into a Contract of Lease with the Avico Lending Investor Co. over the subject lot without any objection from the petitioners. Petitioners’ inability to offer evidence tending to prove that Bienvenido and Escolastica Ibarra transferred the ownership over the property in favor of petitioners is likewise fatal to the latter’s claim. On the contrary, on May 28, 1998, Escolastica Ibarra executed a Deed of Sale covering half of the subject property in favor of all her 10 children, not in favor of petitioners alone.

G.R. No. 210252 , June 16, 2014
VILMA QUINTOS, represented by her Attorney-in-Fact FIDEL I. QUINTOS, JR.; FLORENCIA I. DANCEL, represented by her Attorney-in-Fact FLOVY I. DANCEL; and CATALINO L. IBARRA, Petitioners, vs. PELAGIA I. NICOLAS, NOLI L. IBARRA, SANTIAGO L. IBARRA, PEDRO L. IBARRA, DAVID L. IBARRA, GILBERTO L. IBARRA, HEIRS OF AUGUSTO L. IBARRA, namely CONCHITA R., IBARRA, APOLONIO IBARRA, and NARCISO IBARRA, and the spouses RECTO CANDELARIO and ROSEMARIE CANDELARIO, Respondents.
VELASCO, JR., J.

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