Sunday, January 3, 2016

Holders of the Torrens title over the subject land are entitled to its possession.

"x x x.

As holders of the disputed land’s
TCT, the respondents are entitled to
its possession.

"Ejectment proceedings are summary proceedings intended to provide an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or right to possession of property. Title is not involved. The sole issue to be resolved is who is entitled to the physical or material possession of the premises or possession de facto."20 "Issues as to the right of possession or ownership are not involved in the action; evidence thereon is not admissible, except only for the purpose of determining the issue of possession."21

Thus, where the parties to an ejectment case raise the issue of ownership, the courts may pass upon that issue but only to determine who between the parties has the better right to possess the property. As such, any adjudication of the ownership issue isnot final and binding; it is only provisional, and not a bar to an action between the same parties involving title to the property.22

Here, the right of possession claimed by both parties is anchored on ownership. The respondents posited that they are the registered owners of the subject land by virtue of TCT No. T-38422 issued on July 3, 2007. They further asserted that their ownership actually dates back to August 26, 1991 when the ownership over the subject land was waived in their favor by its previous owner, Palma through an Affidavit of Waiver and Quitclaim. They have occupied and possessed it by residing thereon, building structures for commercial purposes and declaring it for realty tax purposes. Meanwhile, the petitioner contended that he and his co-heirs are the owners of the subject land having inherited it from their father, Abadilla, Sr., who in turn acquired it from the respondents themselves through an unregistered Deed of Absolute Sale executed sometime in 1991.

As between the petitioner’s Deed of Absolute Sale and the respondents’ TCT No. T-38422, the latter must prevail. A certificate of title is evidence of indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein.23"[A] title issued under the Torrens system is entitled to all the attributes of property ownership, which necessarily includes possession."24 Hence, as holders of the Torrens title over the subject land, the respondents are entitled to its possession.

x x x."

G.R. No. 199448 November 12, 2014