Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Laches not applied - G.R. No. 181812

G.R. No. 181812

"x x x.

Gaitero’s theory of laches cannot vest on him the ownership of the disputed area. To begin with, laches is a consideration in equity[17] and therefore, anyone who invokes it must come to court with clean hands, for he who has done inequity shall not have equity.[18] Here, Gaitero’s claim of laches against the Almerias can be hurled against him. When the lot that the Almerias acquired (Lot 9964) was registered in 1979, Gaitero had constructive, if not actual, notice that the cadastral survey included the disputed area as part of the land that Leon Asenjo claimed. Yet, neither Gaitero nor his mother complained or objected to such inclusion.

Worse, when Gaitero saw the subdivision plan covering Tomagan’s original Lot 9960 in 1993, it showed that the disputed area fell outside the boundaries of Lot 9960-A which he claimed. Still, Gaitero did nothing to correct the alleged mistake. He is by his inaction clearly estopped from claiming ownership of the disputed area. He cannot avail himself of the law of equity.

x x x."