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TitleEncias v National Bookstore
TagsEvidence Law Government Evidence Burden Of Proof (Law)
File Size40.9 KB
Total Pages3
Document Text Contents
Page 1

ENCIAS v NATIONAL BOOKSTORE

Short facts & held: Two certificates of title in the names of two different persons (ENCIAS and
NATIONAL) cover one and the same piece of land (located at the corner of EDSA and Aurora
Blvd.). A fire burned records in the Registry of Deeds so ENCIAS based her title on an order of
reconstitution by the LRA which was later withdrawn being an illegal reconstitution. On the other
hand, NATIONAL based its title on an unblemished and recorded TCT that was not burned by
the fire (NATIONAL was also able to explain how it derived its title). The question in this case is

who is the rightful owner of the property. SC ruled it was NATIONAL.

Facts:

 The disputed lot in this case is part of a larger lot owned by EUGENIO EVANGELISTA.
This large lot was then transferred to a SIMEON EVANGELISTA. When SIMEON died, it
was passed on to SIMEON’S HEIRS. The heirs sold the large lot to Sps. Paculdo and
the latter mortgaged the same lot in favor of the heirs but Sps. Paculdo were not able to
pay their debt so the heirs were able to reclaim this large lot.

 Part of this large lot was EXPROPRIATED for the expansion of Aurora Blvd. The other
part of the lot (disputed lot) was sold to respondent NATIONAL.

 A fire raged the Register of Deeds QC. Due to this fire, petitioner ENCIAS filed a Petition
for Administrative Reconstitution of Title covering the disputed lot.

 LRA, thought no overlap of titles were had, so it granted the petition and ordered a
reconstitution of title in favor of ENCIAS. Upon investigation however it found that

ENCIAS’ title was among those ILLEGALLY reconstituted. So it set aside its first order.
 NATIONAL filed a CIVIL CASE for QUIETING OF TITLE.

 RTC first ruled in favor of respondent NATIONAL. The trial court declared that while a
reconstituted title has a prima facie appearance of legality, the reconstitution of said title
is subject to the proviso that no other certificate of title covering the same parcel of land
exists in the records of the registry. A certificate of title considered lost or destroyed, if
found or recovered, prevails over the reconstituted title.

�� CAB: The srcinal transfer certificate of title covering the property, in
NATIONAL’s name, is on file with the Registry of Deeds of Quezon City and is
one of the titles which were NOT burned in the fire of June 1988.The owner’s
duplicate copy of the title is intact and in NATIONAL’s possession. Furthermore,
NATIONAL was able to show how it acquired the property from its immediate
predecessors and was able to account for the previous major transactions
involving the subject property until ownership thereof was transferred to

respondent.
�� CAB: Petitioner ENCINAS, on the other hand, failed to present any evidence to

show how she acquired ownership of the property. She merely alleged that she
was the owner in fee simple. To support her claim of ownership, she presented a
tax declaration covering the property. But it was shown that said tax declaration
was (1) tampered with and (2) apparently falsified. Petitioner Encinas relied
mainly on the presumption of validity of her reconstituted title. However, as the
trial court noted, the LRA Administrator eventually issued the Supplemental
Order of excluding petitioner Encinas’ title from the reconstitution order. To the
trial court, not only was respondent able to prove its ownership of the subject
property with preponderant evidence, but the case had already become moot
and academic by virtue of the LRA’s cancellation of petitioner Encinas’
reconstituted title.

Page 2

 RTC, in petitioner’s MR, set aside its earlier decision and ruled in favor of PETITIOENR
ENCINAS declaring that her reconstituted title is valid. According to the trial court,
petitioner Encinas’ title was registered and issued on August 25, 1972 which should
have served as constructive notice to NATIONAL whose title, was issued only on June
6, 1983. The trial court also pointed out that NATIONAL’s title is a derivative of an
srcinal certificate of title issued pursuant to Decree 917, GLRO Record 197 that referred
to a piece of land located in BATAAN, not Quezon City (subject property).

 CA REVERSED and set aside the second RTC Order and ruled in favor of NATIONAL.

The appellate court found that petitioner Encinas failed to describe the circumstances of
her ownership or possession of the land and to identify her predecessor-in-interest or the
manner by which she acquired the property. Petitioners again raised the argument that
the erroneous entry of the GLRO recor d number in respondent’s title is a fatal defect
which proves the title’s invalid source. However, the appellate court concluded that
based on the testimony of petitioners’ own witnesses, the variance was merely a
typographical or clerical error. The same witnesses testified that in cases of such
clerical errors, it is the technical description which controls. The technical description in
respondent’s title described the subject property, located in Quezon City.

o On the other hand, the technical description in petitioner Encinas’ title refers to a
different parcel of land.

o CA also observed that NATIONAL was able to present tax declarations and real
property tax bill receipts in its name and in the name of its immediate
predecessor, the Evangelista clan. While PETITIONERS also presented a tax

declaration and certification showing that petitioners had declared the
EXPROPRIATED property for taxation purposes, and not the subject.

Issue: WON petitioners ENCINAS were able to discharge their burden of proving the superiority
of their title over the title of respondent NATIONAL.

HELD: NO. CA correct, NATIONAL established by preponderant evidence it is the rightful
owner.

 IMPT: In CIVIL cases, the party having the burden of proof must establish his case by a
preponderance of evidence. “PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE” is the weight, credit,
and value of the aggregate evidence on either side and is usually considered to be
synonymous with the term “greater weight of the evidence” or “greater weight of the
credible evidence.” Preponderance of evidence is a phrase which, in the last analysis,
means probability of the truth. It is evidence which is more convincing to the court as

worthy of belief than that which is offered in opposition thereto.
 CAB: NATIONAL was able to overcome the burden of proof and prove by preponderant

evidence that it has a superior right and title to the subject property. In contrast,
petitioners seem to rely only on the alleged weakness of respondent’s evidence, without
asserting any proof other than her reconstituted title to the subject property. From the
evidence, NATIONAL was able to explain how it derived its title. From the time
NATIONAL obtained the property, it protected its interest therein by fencing off the
property and designating security guards around its perimeter. It exercised its obligation
as owner by paying real property taxes on the property it had acquired, evidenced by tax
declarations issued in its name by the Quezon City Assessor’s Office.

 In contrast, petitioner Encinas failed to disclose before any of the judicial levels how she
was able to acquire title to the property. Counsel for petitioners had manifested time and
again that petitioner Encinas herself, who was then in Detroit, Michigan, would be
presented to testify on the acquisition of the property, but the hearings terminated

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