CASE DIGEST: Republic vs. Vergel de Dios

G.R. No. 170459 : February 9, 2011




Danilo, Candido, Marciana, Francisco, Leonardo, Milagros, Petra, Demetila, and Clarita, all surnamed Vergel De Dios, are the registered owners of three parcels of land (Lots 1, 2 and 3) located in Angat, Bulacan. They sold Lots 1 and 2, leaving Lot 3 with them. Out of the total area of Lot 2, a 50.01 sq m-portion was used for road widening, leaving only an area of 1,788.99 sq m, owned by them, further allotted to Jesus, Angelito and Teresita by virtue of a Kasulatan ng Partihan sa Lupa na may Kalakip na Pagmamana at Pagtalikod sa Karapatan signed by all the co-owners.

The owner’s duplicate of TCT covering the whole land was destroyed when the Angat River overflowed and caused a big flood while the original was among the documents destroyed by the fire that razed the office of the Register of Deeds of Bulacan.

Respondent Candido, for himself and as attorney-in-fact of the other respondents, Demetila, Jesus, Angelito, and Teresita, filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan, a Petition for Reconstitution of the Burned Original of the TCT. The petition alleged that the owner’s duplicate was not pledged to any person or entity to answer for any obligation; that no co-owner’s copy, no mortgagee’s copy or any lessee’s copy of the said title had been issued by the Register of Deeds; that the parcel of land is in the possession of respondents; and that no other document is pending registration in favor of third persons, except the Kasulatan.

The RTC of Malolos, Bulacan, granted the petition for reconstitution. On appeal, however, the CA ruled that the photocopies of the subject TCT, survey plan, technical description, tax declaration, and certification of the Register of Deeds were not sufficient to order a reconstitution of the lost title.

The CA, however, noted that the appeal merely questioned the order granting reconstitution; it did not question the order for the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate title. Hence, it held as final and executory the portion of the Decision ordering the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate title.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in maintaining and declaring as final and executory the order for the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate title despite its judgment deleting the trial court’s order for reconstitution.


The petition is meritorious.

CIVIL LAW: Reconstitution of title

It really does not matter if petitioner did not specifically question the order for the issuance of a new owner’s duplicate title. The fact that petitioner prayed for the dismissal of the petition for reconstitution meant that it was questioning the order for reconstitution and all orders corollary thereto. The trial court’s order for the Register of Deeds to issue a new duplicate certificate of title was only an offshoot of its having granted the petition for reconstitution of title.