Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. L-11061 July 18, 1918
JOSE REYES Y COBARRUBIAS, ROQUE REYES Y COBARRUBIAS and PILAR REYES Y COBARRUBIAS, applicants-appellants,
THE CITY OF MANILA, objector-appellee.
Sumulong & Estrada for appellants.
City Fiscal Paredes for appellee.
This was an action commenced in the Court of Land Registration by the plaintiffs for the purpose of obtaining the registration of certain parcels of land situated in the city of Manila. The petition was filed on the 25th day of February, 1914. Notice of the pendency of said petition was duly given. On the 30th day of April, 1914, there having been no opposition presented to said registration, a judgment by the default was rendered. On the 14th of July, 1914, a decree was entered for the registration of said parcels of land.
Knowledge having come to the city of Manila that one of said parcels (lot No. 2) belonged to it and that it had been prevented from presenting its opposition to registration of said lot by reason of the fraud of one of the applicants, a motion for a revision of the decree of July 14, 1914, was presented in the Court of Land Registration on the 7th day of October, 1914. Said petition was duly supported by affidavits and other proof. The court, after a due consideration of the petition and the facts presented in support thereof, reopened its decree of July 14, 1914, and ordered a rehearing. At the conclusion of the rehearing the lower court found that prior to the entry of the decree of July 14, 1914, there had apparently never been any dispute as to the fact that said lot No. 2 belonged to the city of Manila; that the applicant, Jose Reyes, had theretofore never made any claim to said lot. The evidence clearly showed that the applicant, Jose Reyes availed himself of his position as an employee of the city of Manila to induce some of the other employees of the city engineer's office, in charge of the matter of registration of land, from opposing his petition upon the ground that he, if the land was registered in his name, would pay the city for the same. Upon that representation, the employees of the city of Manila, whose duty it was to look after the registration of land in which the city was involved, made no opposition. Later, and after the decree of registration had been entered, the applicant, Jose Reyes, refused to comply with his promise.
While the employees of the city engineer's office may not have been entirely free from blame in the premises, their neglect to file the claim may, to a certain extent, be excusable in so far as they had a right to expect that the applicant, Jose Reyes, would be faithful to the interest of his employer and would not deliberately attempt to defraud him. The record showed that no innocent third party had acquired any interest in said lot No. 2.
Under the foregoing facts, the lower court was entirely justified in accordance with the provisions of section 38 of Act No. 496 to open the decree of July 14, 1914, and under the facts adduced during the trial of the cause, to exclude said lot No. 2 from the said decree.
Considering all of the facts of the record, we are of opinion and so decide, that the judgment of the lower court should be and is hereby affirmed, with costs. So ordered.
We deem it proper and advisable, in view of the facts of the record, to call the attention of the Attorney-General to the fraudulent acts on the part of Jose Reyes in order that such action may be taken as may be deemed wise and advisable.
Torres, Araullo, Street, Malcolm and Avanceña, JJ., concur.
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