DBP v. CA (Case Digest. G.R. No. 129471)

CASE DIGEST: DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and CARLOS CAJES, respondents. (G.R. No. 129471. April 28, 2000)

FACTS: Petitioner filed an ejectment suit against private respondent, claiming ownership of a parcel of land covered by a TCT, which included the 19.4 hectares being occupied by the latter. The trial court declared petitioner to be the owner of the land, but the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed the trial court. On appeal, petitioner claimed that its predecessor-in-interest had become the owner of the land by virtue of the decree of registration in his name. The Supreme Court affirmed the CA.

HELD: Taking into consideration the possession of his predecessor-in-interest, private respondent had been in uninterrupted adverse possession of the land for more than 30 years prior to the decree of registration issued in favor of petitioner’s predecessor-in-interest. Such possession ripened into ownership of the land thru acquisitive prescription, a mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights over immovable property.

A decree of registration cut off or extinguished a right acquired by a person only when such right refers to a lien or encumbrance on the land which was not annotated on the certificate of title issued thereon, but not to the right of ownership thereof. Registration of land does not create a title nor vest one. Accordingly, the 19.4 hectares of land being occupied by private respondent must be re-conveyed in his favor.