F&E v. Olasco (G.R. No. 183349; September 14, 2011)

CASE DIGEST: F&E DE CASTRO CORPORATION, ELISA DE CASTRO and FEDERICO DE CASTRO, Petitioners, vs. ERNESTO G. OLASO and AMPARO M. OLASO, Respondents. (G.R. No. 183349; September 14, 2011).

FACTS: Forfom Development Corporation (Forfom) is the registered owner of the 114-hectare Villa Olympia Subdivision in Barrio San Vicente, San Pedro, Laguna. Forfom entered into a Subdivision Project Agreement with petitioner F&E De Castro Corporation (F&E Corporation) by which agreement the latter undertook to finance the development of Villa Olympia Subdivision into a first class residential subdivision.. Forfom entered into yet another contract with F&E Corporation, this time for the development of Phase II of the same project. As F&E Corporation incurred delays in the completion of said phases of the project, Forfom decided to rescind the Subdivision Project Agreement. F&E Corporation demanded payment from Forfom for the expenses it purportedly incurred in the development of the subdivision project. Charging that Forfom refused to heed its demands, F&E Corporation instituted an action for Delivery of Lot Titles, Sum of Money and Damages which was docketed as Civil Case No. SPL-0356. Awaiting for the decision in Civil Case No. SPL-0356, the Olasos filed a complaint for Damages, Cancellation of Lis Pendens and Writ of Preliminary Injunction against F&E Corporation, Elisa De Castro and her husband, Federico De Castro, as well as the Register of Deeds of Calamba, Laguna, which was docketed as Civil Case No. SPL-0991.

ISSUE: Is a prejudicial question present?HELD: First, the subject matter or res involved in Civil Case No. SPL-0991 is different from those in Civil Case No. SPL-0356. F&E Corporation seeks to recover subdivision lots located in Phase 1 and 1-A of Forfoms subdivision while the Olasos seek to recover their fully paid lot in Phase VI between the developer, F&E Corporation, and the subdivision owner, Forfom, while the parties in the of the same subdivision.

Second, the parties in both cases are different. The litigation in Civil Case No. SPL-0356 is proceedings in Civil Case No. SPL-0991 are F&E Corporation.

Third, the prayers are different. In Civil Case No. SPL-0991, the Olasos want to cancel the annotation of the Notice of Lis Pendens stamped on their certificate of title over the piece of property. In Civil Case No. SPL-0356, the prayer was for the delivery of the certificates of title over 37 lots situated in Phase 1 and 1-A of the same subdivision and the payment of a sum of money and damages. DENIED.