G.R. No. 2123. October 03, 1905

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5 Phil. 120

[ G.R. No. 2123. October 03, 1905 ]




Prior to the 3d day of October, 1889, Marcelo Quintano Lao-Yuco was
the owner of the land in question. On the day named a public document
evidencing the sale of this land was executed in Cagayan de Misamis.
The purchaser named in this document was the plaintiff herein. As
seller there appeared before the justice of the peace, who was acting
as a judge of the Court of First Instance, with the powers of a notary
public, a person who said that he was Marcelo Quintano Lao-Yuco.

Marcelo Quintano Lao-Yuco was the husband of the defendant Crisanta
Terariray and the father of the other defendants. He died on the 4th
day of November, 1902. The plaintiff after his death brought this
action against his widow and children to recover the possession of the
land. Judgment was rendered in favor of the defendants by the court
below, and the plaintiff has brought the case here by bill of

The principal question in the case is one of fact, and it is this:
Was the person who presented himself before the notary public on the 3d
day of October, 1889, and who signed the instrument above mentioned,
Marcelo Quintano Lao-Yuco? Upon this question of fact the court below
found in favor of the defendants. After an examination of all the
evidence in the case we can not say that the preponderance of it is
against this finding. The justice of the peace before whom the document
was executed certified in it that he did not know the seller, and he
required the production of two witnesses who did know him, and the only
disinterested witness who testifies that the husband of the defendant
executed the instrument is one of these witnesses known as Nicomedes
Ebarle. The evidence shows that Marcelo Quintano, with his wife, went
to China in 1888; that he returned with her in 1891; that he was in
possession of these lands when he went away, and that when he returned
in 1891 he resumed possession of them, and that he remained in such
possession until his death. The claim of the plaintiff is that Marcelo
returned from China to the Philippines in the fall of 1889 for the
purpose of executing these instruments and obtaining a residence
license, remaining here, for about three months, and again departing
for China. He explains the continuous possession by Marcelo of the
lands in question, after his return in 1891, by producing a contract
made in Cebu on the 16th day of December, 1891, which purports to be a
lease executed by the plaintiff to Marcelo of the land for an
indefinite time. The court below must have been of the opinion that
this contract of lease was fictitious, and was never executed by
Marcelo Quintano. The present appearance of this document, the fact
that it was executed in Cebu, when the parties lived in the Island of
Camiguin, north of Mindanao, together with other circumstances which
appear in the case, satisfies us that the conclusion reached by the
court below upon this point is correct.

In addition to the present suit two other suits were brought against
the same defendants, one by Casiano Gomez Lao-Siamco and the other by
Lao-Sum Chiam. The plaintiffs in those suits relied upon public
documents executed before the same justice of the peace on the same day
and the following day, purporting to be signed by Marcelo Quintano, and
conveying to the respective plaintiffs other tracts of land of which
Marcelo was then the owner. The three cases were all tried at the same
time in the court below. In each one of the other two the plaintiff
presented a contract of lease similar to the one presented in this
case, purporting to have been executed on the same day in Cebu. No
reason is giving why these four people should have left their homes and
gone to Cebu for, as far as the evidence in this case shows, the sole
purpose of executing these contracts of lease.

The statement in the brief of the appellant that the surveyor whose
certificate appears in the record necessarily went upon the land after
this contract of sale was executed we do not think is borne out by the
evidence in the case. He was employed simply to reduce the measurements
contained in the plan attached to the deed, to the system then in force.

This deed was recorded in the registry of property, and the
appellant claims that that inscription makes him the owner of the land.
The finding of the court below, which we affirm, was that this deed was
a forgery. It therefore was null and void.

Article 33 of the Mortgage Law is as follows; “The record of
instruments or contracts which are null in accordance with the law are
not validated thereby.”

This case does not come within article 34 of that law, and the
record of the forged deed could not give the plaintiff any additional
rights. There was nothing decided in the case of the Compania General
de Tabacos de Filipinas vs. Miguel Topino, April 22,1904,[1]
which is opposed to this proposition. It is very probable that if the
defendants hereafter wish to record any instruments relating to this
land, it will be necessary for them to procure the cancellation of the
record of the deed in question, but the fact that they have not
commenced any such action does not prohibit them from proving, when
they are sued for possession of the land, that the deed under which the
plaintiff claims is a forgery.

Section 103 of the Code of Civil Procedure is also relied upon by
the appellants. Passing the question whether this action of possession
can be said to have been brought on the instrument set out in the
complaint, we hold that the section does not apply to an action brought
against the heirs of the person signing the instrument.

Reasonably construed, the purpose of the enactment appears to have
been to relieve a party of the trouble and expense of proving in the
first instance an alleged fact, the existence or nonexistence of which
is necessarily within the knowledge of the adverse party, and of the
necessity (to his opponent’s case) of establishing which such adverse
party is notified by his opponent’s pleading. With reference to this
purpose, we think the second provision of the section under
consideration applies only to an instrument upon which an action is
brought against the maker thereof, or to an instrument upon which a
counterclaim or defense against the maker thereof is founded. (Mast
& Co. vs. Matthews, 30 Minn., 441, 443; Heinszen & Co. vs. Jones,[1] Sept. 16,1905.)

The plaintiff offered in evidence an inventory of the property left
by Marcelo Quintano at his death, made by the executor, for the purpose
of showing that this land had been disposed of by Marcelo before his
death. The executor who made this inventory is the plaintiff in one of
the other cases. The judge rejected this evidence, to which the
plaintiff excepted. There was no error in this ruling. Plaintiff could
not in this way create evidence for himself after the death of Marcelo.

Plaintiff also offered in evidence another written document, which
was a protest made by the defendants against this inventory, on the
ground that it did not include the land in question. The court refused
to admit this document, to which the plaintiff excepted. The claim of
the plaintiff is that the inventory made by the executor contained the
same lands as those described in the will of Marcelo, and consequently
that the protest made by the defendants was an admission that the will
did not describe these lands. It does not appear from the evidence in
the case that the lands described in this inventory are the same as
those described in the will. There was no error in this ruling.

The motion for a new trial on the ground of newly discovered
evidence was properly denied for the reasons stated by the court below
in its order denying the same.

The judgment of the court below is affirmed, with the costs of this
instance against the appellant, and at the expiration of twenty days
judgment should be entered in accordance herewith and the case remanded
to the court below for execution of said judgment. So ordered.

Arellano, C. J., Torres, Mapa, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.

[1] 4 Phil. Rep., 31.

[1] Page 27, supra.

Date created: April 28, 2014


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