Fight of dead petitioners vs
dishonest developer continues
The fight goes on for two petitioners who are now dead.
They started the fight for their children and grandchildren, despite having been rejected by the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas, Branch 198, and despite having been ridiculed by the Court of Appeals for continuing an appeal labelled by their opponents as "frivolous."
That fight is intended to get back the tract of land grabbed from them by billionaire developer, Casimiro Development Corporation.
They theory of the fight of the two petitioners is that because the certificate of title of Casimiro came from a null-and-void Original Certificate of Title No. 6369, its title is also void. With this and the fact that the two petitioners occupied the land involved for more three decades in the concept of the owner, they acquired ownership under the acquisitive prescription provision of the Civil Code.
The nullity of OCT No. 6369, according to their theory, was due to the fact that the same came from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Pasay City that led to the issuance of a decree at a time when the land covered was not yet released to alienation or disposition.
To the mind of their lawyer, who is this author, it is erroneous for the RTC to rule that while it is true that there was this Forestry Administrative Order that declared this lot as open for alienation or disposition at a particular time, there was no evidence showing what was the status of the same lot prior the time of the issuance of the same Forestry Administrative Order. It is erroneous for the RTC to say that it must be established first what was the status of the lot prior to the date of issuance of Forestry Administrative Order because logic says that lots that can be declared as open for alienation or disposition are only those not yet open for alienation or disposition or are yet land of public domain. This clearly erroneous ruling made us suspect that the RTC was "fixed" by Casimiro.
Because the RTC of Las Piñas, Branch 198, denied also our Motion for Reconsideration, this lawyer filed a notice of appeal to bring the venue of the fight in the Court of Appeals.
Unfortunately, the CA also is not a good avenue. This author reserves his opinion on the justices comprising the division of the CA that dismissed the same appeal because of their opinion that the same is "frivolous."
With these statements, while the petitioners have already died, the fight is being opened to the public for scrutiny and for its opinion.
The Motion for Reconsideration is posted below, also for the purpose of education of those who are interested to learn the art of legal argument and the law.
Republic of the Philippines
Court of Appeals
CANDIDO L. MATEO Jr. and LEONARDO L. MATEO,
- versus - CIVIL CASE No. CV-12-0033
For: Declaration of Nullity
CASIMIRO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
Motion for Reconsideration
The Plaintiffs-Appellants, by the undersigned counsel, respectfully move the Honorable Court to reconsider its Resolution dated October 5, 2015 that dismissed the appeal after granting defendant-appellee’s Motion to Dismiss the appeal for being frivolous.
The Honorable Court founded said Resolution on argument the appeal is frivolous because the court a quo is right when it dismissed the complaint of the plaintiffs-appellants on the ground of res judicata as the decision of the Supreme Court in G.R. No. 175485, Quieting of Title, declared TCT No. 34540 in the name of Casimiro Development valid and subsisting and has become final and executor.
This appeal cannot be ruled frivolous and cannot be barred by res judicata because --
1. The parties in the instant case are not the parties in Casimiro Development Corporation vs Renato L. Mateo, GR No. 175485, July 27, 2011;
2. That the facts here are substantially and materially different from that recited and presumed in Casimiro Development Corporation vs Renato L. Mateo, GR No. 175485, July 27, 2011;
3. The subject matter in the instant case is Nullity of Title that is far different from Quieting of Title in Casimiro Development Corporation vs Renato L. Mateo, GR No. 175485, July 27, 2011; and
4. The causes of action in the instant case are also far compared to Casimiro Development Corporation vs Renato L. Mateo, GR No. 175485, July 27, 2011.
The Concept of Res Judicata
Before this motion tackles the grounds, let the concept of res judicata be laid out first from a decision of the Supreme Court in Philippine Farming Corp., LTD versus Alejandro Llanos, et al, GR No. L-21014, August 14, 1945, to wit:
The requisites for res judicata are: (1) court of competent jurisdiction; (2) final judgment or order on the merits; and (3) identities of parties, subject matter, and cause of action (San Diego v. Calderon, 70 Phil. 281, 283).
The Court of First Instance of Rizal clearly had competent jurisdiction in Civil Case No. 1209. The subject matter thereof was annulment or declaration of nullity of sale. And the parties came within the court's jurisdiction by the filing of the complaint and service of summons.
The dismissal in said Civil Case No. 1209 was by a final order since thereafter nothing was left to be disposed of. The dismissal was with prejudice, hence, on the merits. It was with prejudice because the dismissal was by order of the court upon the instance of both plaintiff and defendants, on the allegation of a settlement (Exh. 14-B, Offer of Additional Documentary Evidence, Rec. on App., 89-92). Not being, therefore, a dismissal by plaintiff's mere filing of a notice (Sec. 1, Rule 30, Old Rules of Court), nor a dismissal by order of the court upon plaintiff's instance alone (Sec. 2, Rule 30, Old Rules of Court), it falls under "dismissal on other grounds" covered by Section 4 of Rule 30 of the Old Rules of Court, in which case the dismissal, unless otherwise specified (and here it was not), is with prejudice.
As to the identities required, the parties here were defendants in Civil Case No. 1209. The newly added defendants — mortgagee and purchasers of right of redemption — are only successors-in-interest and purchasers by title subsequent to the filing of the first action. Such parties are considered the same as their predecessors-in-interest for purposes of res judicata. Since their predecessors-in-interest were parties to the first case, the principle of res judicata applies even with their inclusion, since they are after all bound by the first judgment as the parties thereto.*
As regards the subject matter, the identity is undisputed, namely, the parcel of land now covered by TCT No. 19248 of the Registry of Deeds of Rizal and the annulment or declaration of nullity of the sale thereof, with cancellation of its Transfer Certificate of Title.
Similarly, the cause of action is identical. As stated in Peñalosa v. Tuazon, 22 Phil. 303, the test is: "Would the same evidence support and establish both the present and former causes of action?" In the instant case, the same evidence, namely, plaintiff's ownership of the parcel of land and that the sale thereof was fictitious, would support and establish the present and former causes of action. It is therefore identical.
All requisites for res judicata being attendant, we find no error in the order of dismissal appealed from.
Regarding the third requisite discusses the identity of parties or subject matter or cause of action.
It means that even if the parties may have been different, there must be no identity of interest between the old and the new parties in so far as the subject matter and the cause of action are concerned if only for res judicata attaches.
This is being given focus because the issues in the present case center on the issues of identity.
The Court of Appeals justices are expected to know the fine distinctions that may somehow present in order for them to arrive at just conclusions of the law in the face of the fact that Casimiro Development Corporation is a moneyed entity that has won every case the petitioners had against it at the Metropolitan Trial Court of Las Piñas, at the Regional Trial Court of Las Piñas, the Court of Appeals and even the Supreme Court.
Truth to tell, the undersigned attorney could only be shocked at how the events turned. The respondent has demonstrated victories even in questionable manners.
While it will be discussed at length below, let it be initially talked about that CDC is arguing that there has already been res judicata in so far as the present case of COMPLAINT FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF TITLE just because there was already this case of Casimiro Development Corporation vs Renato L. Mateo, GR No. 175485, July 27, 2011 that was already decided by the Supreme Court and it was already final long time ago.
The briefest statement that the petitioners can say here is that there is no identify of cause of action, no identity of parties and no identity of cause of action.
Briefly, the petitioners here are Candido Lara Mateo, Jr. and Leonardo Lara Mateo and the respondent is Casimiro Development Corporation. In the petition under GR No. 175485, the petitioner was Casimiro Development Corporation while the respondent was Renato Lara Mateo.
How are Candido, Leonardo and Renato related to each other? All of them are brothers of each other.
Let it be known in what capacity did Candido Jr. and Leonardo sue in one hand and Renato in the other hand in their respective cases?
In the present case, Candido and Leonardo claimed their own right as owners of the real property that is at issue in this case. They based their claim of ownership on the fact that they occupied the real property and their occupation has been in the concept of the owner and has ripened into acquisitive prescription under the Civil Code of the Philippines.
In the case of Renato under GR No. 175485, Renato sued for quieting of title while claiming rights to the real property at bar from his sister Laura Lara Mateo, the person who caused the issuance of Original Certificate of Title No. 6386 in her name. In his case, Renato argued upon the premise that the same OCT No. 6386 was issued validly and that Casimiro acquired its title to the real property only by means of being a purchaser in bad faith. And upon the theory that Casimiro was a purchaser in bad faith, Renato sought to quiet the title over the same real property.
In the present case, it does not need superior intelligence to understand that Candido Jr. and Leonardo, also brothers of Laura Lara Mateo, filed the instant suit upon the theory that they owned the real property upon the claim of acquisitive prescription and upon the theory that the title of Laura Lara Mateo was NULL and VOID ab initio because it was decreed to her by the Court of First Instance of Pasay City on the day when the real property was not yet declared for alienation or disposition. And if Laura’s title was null and void, then it followed that the title of Casimiro is also null and void because it has been claiming to have gotten its title from Laura’s OCT No. 6386 as the origin of its title.
It is very clear therefore that there is no identity of parties and no identity of cause of action.
That is, although the subject matter is still the same real property.
MORE IMPORTANTLY, there is no proof that Candido and Leonardo approved of the bringing of their names in the suit filed by Renato and there is also no proof that there has been a complaint for quieting of title that was filed impleading them as plaintiffs for quieting of title.
Even the Verification of the Complaint for Quieting of Title filed by Renato WAS NOT SIGNED BY CANDIDO JR. AND LEONARDO.
THE FACT REMAINS THAT CANDIDO JR. and LEONARDO DID NOT SIGN IN THE VERIFICATION of the Complaint for Quieting of Title.
To prove this fact, a certified true copy of the Complaint for Quieting of Title filed before the Makati Regional Trial Court as Civil Case No. 94-2045, entitled RENATO L. MATEO, Plaintiff, versus CASIMIRO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION and LAURA MATEO DE CASTRO, will be submitted as ANNEX “A”—MR series. In the mean time, a photocopy of the same Complaint for Quieting of Title is attached hereto as ANNEX “A”-MR series.
To prove that at the moment of filing the answer of Casimiro it already knew of the fact that it was only Renato L. Mateo who filed the same complaint for Quieting of Title, a photocopy of the ANSWER (With Compulsory Counterclaim) filed by Casimiro Development Corporation is attached hereto in the mean time as ANNEX “B”—MR series. In their Answer, Casimiro answered only against the only plaintiff, Renato L. Mateo. A certified true copy of the same Answer will be submitted as soon as obtained.
Even the Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by Casimiro Development Corporation before the Supreme Court did not implead Candido Jr. and Leonardo. A photocopy is attached hereto as ANNEX “C”—MR series. A certified true copy shall be submitted as soon as obtained.
So that it is TOTALLY ERRONEOUS FOR THE COURT OF APPEALS TO CLAIM AS A FACT THAT CANDIDO AND LEONARDO WERE CO-PLAINTIFFS OF RENATO IN THE SUIT FOR QUIETING OF TITLE.
ADDITIONALLY, the Court of Appeals must have also been prompted by the fact that the title of the case in GR No. 175485 is entitled only as CASIMIRO DEVELOPMENT CORP. VS. RENATO L. MATEO, and the CA can take judicial notice of the same. Why was it that only Renato L. Mateo was impleaded when it was the respondent, Casimiro Development Corporation, that wrote and filed the same?
To stress, Casimiro Development Corporation is in ESTOPPEL to disown that only Renato L. Mateo was its adverse party in that Quieting of Title Case.
Remember that it was Casimiro that filed the same petition for review on certiorari. So that Casimiro is in estoppel from disowning the fact that it did not even sue Candido and Leonardo in its petition for review on certiorari entitled CASIMIRO DEVELOPMENT CORP. VS. RENATO L. MATEO, GR No. 175485.
This case in the Supreme Court was too simple for the CA justices to understand that the only respondent named by Casimiro was ONLY Renato. It is therefore dumbfounding to believe that the CA justices were swayed into the bewildering sweet-talking Casimiro.
With this, the undersigned attorney is filing a disbarment case against Atty. RODOLFO DEL PRADO before the Supreme Court for ACTS OF FRAUD that even made the Court of Appeals believe in his fraudulent representations.
This is the height of unfairness he violated the Lawyer’s Oath by promoting groundless and baseless suit and causing delay for money or malice.
The Discussions Proper
It is very clear in G.R. No. 175485 that the parties are Renato L. Mateo versus Casimiro Development Corporation.
It is also very clear that in the instant case the parties are Candido L. Mateo, Jr. and Leonardo L. Mateo versus Casimiro Development Corporation.
By mere reading specific parties in two (2) cases, it is improbable to conclude that both cases have the same parties.
For the Honorable Court to believe that Candido, Jr. and Leonardo are parties in G.R. No. 175485 without even a foundation in fact is a blatant error for justices of that high caliber. There was no single piece of evidence presented to this Court by Casimiro to claim that fact.
All should be educated that allegations can never be concluded as facts, especially in determining the parties who were specifically identified in the aforestated cases.
In G.R. No. 175485, there was neither stated as parties Candido, Jr. and Leonardo, nor stated that they were represented by their brother Renato.
The Honorable Court might have been deceived in the maze of the doctrine of res judicata that it concluded as facts the mere allegations in justifying the parties in two cases despite their non-expression by the Supreme Court.
This is very wrong!
As demonstrated above with evidence of the papers filed by the parties, nothing is more conclusive than the conclusion that Candido Jr. and Leonardo were never parties in the quieting of title case.
Different Causes of Action
The causes of action can be easily comprehended by the titles of the cases.
Their difference can never be misinterpreted.
In Casimiro Development Corporation vs Renato L. Mateo, GR No. 175485, the validity of Original Certificate of Title No. 6386 in the name of Laura Mateo, and Transfer Certificate of Title No. 34640 in the name of Casimiro Development Corporation were not contested. However, the latter’s title was tainted with bad faith by the time the property was purchased.
While in the instant case, the nullity of OCT No. 6386 and TCT No. 34640 is sought for being void ab initio.
The instant case is too far from GR No. 175485 where the plaintiffs-appellants are challenging the validity of OCT No. 6386 and TCT No. 34640.
The plaintiffs-appellants are convinced that it was very wrong to issue OCT No. 6386 in the name of Laura Mateo, the deceased sister of the plaintiffs, on November 16, 1967, because of the fact that on said date, the land, consisting of Six Thousand Six Hundred and Ninety Three (6,693) Square Meters, was not yet classified as alienable or disposable.
In fact, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) issued a Certification dated March 8, 2012 certifying that the land covered by OCT No. 6386 was within the Alienable or Disposable Land only on January 3, 1968.
Because the land was declared alienable or disposable only on January 3, 1968, it cannot be issued with land title on November 16, 1967. Hence, the issuance of OCT 6386 was null and void from the beginning.
The certification is an evidence to prove that the status of said land was inalienable and disposable on November 16, 1967, and, therefore, cannot be issued with OCT No. 6386.
So that the Court of Appeals must order RTC of Las Piñas, Branch 198, to try this case.
The reading of the Decision of the Supreme Court In Casimiro Development Corporation vs Renato L. Mateo, clearly put that Renato brought the action on claims that --
1. Casimiro was a purchaser in bad faith; and
2. Presumption that the Original Certificate of Title No. 6386 issued in the name of their sister Laura Lara Mateo was valid.
In the case at bar, the plaintiffs-appellants’ action is caused by claims that –
1. The Original Certificate of Title No. 6386 issued in the name of Laura Lara Mateo is null and void ab initio because it was issued before the land was declared alienable and disposable, and
2. Because OCT 6386 is null and void ab initio, then, TCT No. 34640 issued to Casimiro Development can never have force.
With these comparable facts, where –
1. The parties in GR No. 175485 are not the same as the parties in this case;
2. The causes of action in GR No. 175485 are not the same as the causes of action in this case; and
3. The relief sought in GR No. 175485 for quieting is not the same as the relief sought for the declaration of nullity of the certificate of title of the defendant.
Clearly, it cannot be said that this appeal is frivolous for having been barred by res judicata.
In fact, the foregoing proves in crystal clear that res judicata cannot rule this appeal.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully prayed that this Motion for Reconsideration be GRANTED and the Court of Appeals REMANDS this case back to the RTC of Las Piñas, Branch 198, for further trial.
Also, it is prayed that the CA issues an ORDER directing REINSTATEMENT of the lis pendens.
OTHER RELIEFS just and equitable under the circumstances are also prayed for. Manila, ___ October May 2015.
CAUSING SABARRE CASTRO Pelagio
Mailing Address: Unit No. 1, # 2368 JB Roxas St., corner Leon Guinto St., Malate, Manila
BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING, CE
IBP No. 949537/ 06-01-2015 / Manila IV
PTR No. 3834103 / 06-01-2015 / Manila
Roll No. 60944/MCLE No. IV – 0007338 issued 10 August 2012
ATTY. RODOLFO DEL PRADO
Del Prado Diaz and Associates Law Offices
Counsel for the defendant
4th Floor, United Life Bldg., 837 A. Arnaiz Ave., Legaspi Village, Makati City
For lack of manpower, the service and filing of this Motion for Reconsideration were done by registered mails.
BERTENI CATALUÑA CAUSING, CE