Carbonell vs Court of Appeals Case Digest

Carbonell vs. Court of Appeals, and Poncio Case Digest – G.R. No. L-29972 January 26, 1976

Carbonell vs Court of Appeals Case Digest


MAKASIAR, J.

Facts

On January 27, 1955, respondent Jose Poncio executed a private memorandum of sale of his parcel of land with improvements situated in San Juan, Rizal.

The memorandum is in favor of petitioner Rosario Carbonell. Also, he knew that the said property was subject to a mortgage in favor of the Republic Savings Bank (RSB) for the sum of P1,500.00.

Four days later, Poncio, in another private memorandum, bound himself to sell the same property for an improved price to one Emma Infante for the sum of P2,357.52. Rosario Carbonell still assuming the existing mortgage debt in favor of the RSB in the amount of P1,177.48.

Thus, on February 2, Poncio executed a formal registerable deed of sale in favor of Emma Infante. The first buyer Carbonell saw the seller Poncio a few days afterward. She was told that he could no longer proceed with formalizing the contract with her, because he had already formalized a sales contract in favor of Infante.

On February 8, 1955, Carbonell registered with the Register of Deeds her adverse claim as first buyer entitled to the property.

Meanwhile, Infante, the second buyer, was able to register the sale in her favor only on February 12, 1955, so that the transfer certificate of title issued in her name carried the duly annotated adverse claim of Carbonell as the first buyer.

The trial court declared the claim of the second buyer Infante to be superior to that of the first buyer Carbonell, a decision which the Court of Appeals reversed. Upon motion for reconsideration, however, the Court of Appeals annulled and set aside its first decision and affirmed the trial court’s decision.

Issue

Whether or not Petitioner have the superior right over the property.

Ruling

Article 1544, New Civil Code, which is decisive of this case, recites:

If the same thing should have been sold to different vendees, the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first taken possession thereof in good faith, if it should movable property.

Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property.

Should there be no inscription, the ownership shall pertain to the person who in good faith was first in the possession; and, in the absence thereof, to the person who presents the oldest title, provided there is good faith (emphasis supplied).

When Carbonell bought the lot from Poncio on January 27, 1955, she was the only buyer thereof and the title of Poncio was still in his name solely encumbered by bank mortgage duly annotated thereon.

Carbonell was not aware – and she could not have been aware – of any sale to Infante as there was no such sale to Infante then.

Hence, Carbonell’s prior purchase of the land was made in good faith which did not cease after Poncio told her on January 31, 1955, of his second sale of the same lot to Infante.

Carbonell wanted to meet Infante but the latter refused so to protect her legal rights, Carbonell registered her adverse claim on February 8, 1955. Under the circumstances, this recording of Carbonell’s adverse claim should be deemed to have been done in good faith and should emphasize Infante’s bad faith when the latter registered her deed of sale 4 days later.


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