Republic of the Philippines
G.R. No. 161223 September 12, 2005
VIRGILIO A. CADUNGOG, Petitioners,
JOCELYN O. YAP, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
CALLEJO, SR., J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision1 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 72761 which reversed and set aside the Decision of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Oslob, Cebu, Branch 62, in Civil Case No. OS-96-46.
Franklin Ong and his sister, Jocelyn Ong-Yap, are first cousins of Virgilio Cadungog. Cresenciano Ong Aranas, the Municipal Mayor of Ginatilan, Cebu, from 1955 to 1978,2 is their uncle.
On August 17, 1979, Virgilio executed a Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase3 in which he sold to his cousin, Franklin Ong, the following six parcels of land located in Ginatilan, Cebu for ₱7,144.28:
Parcel Number Tax Dec. No. Area
1,170 square meters
1,444 square meters
4,257 square meters
1,140 square meters
980 square meters
1,020 square meters
Parcel Nos. 5 and 6 are located in Sitio Cayam, Ginatilan, Cebu.4
Under the deed, Virgilio had the right to repurchase the property within 10 years from the said date.5
Virgilio failed to redeem the property. Nevertheless, upon the prodding of Franklin, Virgilio, who was merely a letter-carrier, executed a Deed of Absolute Sale6 in favor of Jocelyn in which it appears that he sold Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3 for the price of ₱5,000.00. Virgilio declared therein that he inherited Parcel Nos. 2 and 3 from his mother, Soledad, who inherited the same from her parents, Jose Aranas and Basilia Rocaberte, under a Deed of Partition executed by their heirs. Franklin signed as one of the witnesses to the deed.7
On December 23, 1996, Cresenciano Ong executed a Deed of Absolute Sale of Parcel No. 2 in favor of the APC Group, Inc. for ₱32,380.00. Cresenciano declared that he was the sole and absolute owner, in fee simple, of the said lot.8 On January 23, 1997, Virgilio executed a Deed of Absolute Sale of Parcel No. 1 in favor of the APC Group, Inc. for ₱35,400.00, alleging therein that he was the sole and exclusive owner of the property.9
When Franklin learned of the said sales, he objected. Virgilio, thus, delivered to Franklin Check No. 000099710 dated May 24, 1997, drawn and issued by Cresenciano against his account with the Prudential Bank, in the amount of ₱25,000.00. Virgilio also delivered to Franklin Check No. 000099911 drawn and issued by Cresenciano against his account with the same bank in the amount of ₱25,000.00. On May 26, 1997, Franklin signed Receipts dated May 25 and 26, 1997, embodied in a piece of paper.12 In the Receipt dated May 26, 1997, Franklin acknowledged to have received the ₱25,000.00 check "representing full payment for the refund of the lot sold in Ginatilan."13
When Jocelyn learned that Virgilio had sold Parcel No. 1 to the APC Group, Inc., she filed a criminal complaint for estafa against him. After the requisite preliminary investigation, an Information for estafa was filed against Virgilio with the RTC.
By way of riposte, Virgilio filed a Complaint before the RTC, on December 8, 1998, against Jocelyn for the declaration of nullity of the September 30, 1991 Deed of Absolute Sale. He alleged therein that he had executed the subject deed in favor of Jocelyn only because her brother, Franklin, had requested him to do so "to lessen Jocelyn’s tax liability in Canada." He also alleged that he agreed to execute the deed on the belief that it would not be notarized, as no consideration was involved. He further claimed that he informed Franklin’s emissary (who brought the deed for his signature) that he owned Parcel No. 1, Cresenciano owned Parcel No. 2, and he did not know who owned Parcel No. 3. To his surprise, Jocelyn filed a criminal complaint for estafa against him before the Provincial Prosecutor’s Office, and later an Information before the RTC of Oslob, Cebu. He further claimed that he and his wife signed a one-page document; the acknowledgment page was merely added to it, as it, in fact, did not contain their signatures.
Virgilio further stated that his uncle, Cresenciano Ong, sold Parcel No. 2, one of the lots included in the Deed of Sale dated September 30, 1991, to the APC Group, Inc. He himself then sold Parcel No. 1, with an area of 1,770 square meters, to the same vendee for ₱35,400.00.
Virgilio prayed for the following reliefs:
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing premises, it is most respectfully prayed of this Honorable Court that after notice and hearing judgment be rendered in favor of plaintiff and against the defendant declaring the aforesaid Deed of Absolute Sale as null and void from the very beginning for being without consideration and the defendant be ordered to pay the plaintiff the following:
₱200,000.00 – as moral damages;
100,000.00 – as exemplary damages;
20,000.00 – as attorney’s fee plus ₱1,500.00 per court
10,000.00 – as litigation expenses;
Other reliefs and remedies consistent with justice and equity are likewise prayed for.14
In her answer with special and affirmative defenses, Jocelyn averred that the Deed of Absolute Sale dated September 30, 1991 was genuine, and reflected the true and correct intention of Virgilio as the vendor. She pointed out that the document was notarized, a public document which carried evidentiary weight. She further alleged that Virgilio had, in fact, previously sold the questioned lots through a Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase in favor of her brother Franklin. Her brother then told her that, since Virgilio could no longer repurchase the subject properties, "it would be better for him to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale in her favor." She denied Virgilio’s allegations that the subject deed was fictitious, and averred that it was genuine in all respects and amply supported by valuable consideration.
Jocelyn further averred that the filing of the instant case was a subterfuge or a mere afterthought on the part of Virgilio, as a defense in the criminal case for estafa she had filed against him. Moreover, Virgilio was in estoppel, and could not now be heard to negate the contents of the deed of absolute sale which he had previously executed in her favor.
Alleging that the complaint was filed in evident gross bad faith and that she suffered untold mental anguish, sleepless nights, anxiety and besmirched reputation, Jocelyn prayed that the case be dismissed, and that the following amounts in damages be awarded to her: ₱500,000.00 as moral damages; ₱100,000.00 as exemplary damage; ₱50,000.00 as attorney’s fees; and ₱100,000.00 as actual litigation expenses.15
The Testimonies of the Witnesses
Cresenciano Ong Aranas testified that he was the owner of Parcel No. 2, which Virgilio had sold to Jocelyn. The said lot was part of a bigger parcel, with an area of 1,619 square meters situated in Malatbo, Ginatilan Cebu. He sold the said lot on December 23, 1996 to the APC Group, Inc., a mining company, for ₱32,380.00 as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale.16 He admitted that he allowed Virgilio to include the said lot in the Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase which Virgilio executed in favor of Franklin on August 17, 1979. He, however, admitted that he did not execute any document authorizing Virgilio to sell Parcel No. 2 since the latter was his nephew.17
Upon Virgilio’s prodding, he issued two checks: Check No. 000099718 for ₱25,000.00 on May 24, 1997, and Check No. 000099919 for ₱25,000.00 on May 26, 1997. These checks were issued to redeem Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3, the lots subject of the Deed of Sale dated September 30, 1991.20 Franklin signed receipts for said checks.21
Ricardo Acojedo, caretaker of Virgilio’s properties and that of the Yap siblings, testified that he was in Virgilio’s house when a certain Emok Dacillo brought a deed of sale to be signed by Virgilio and his wife. He saw the couple sign the document, but did not get to read it. There was no other person who signed the document. After Virgilio said "the document should not be notarized," he immediately handed it over to Emok.22
Virgilio testified that he and his wife, Rebecca, were in their house on the last week of September 1991, when Emok, an emissary of Franklin, arrived. Emok showed him the Deed of Absolute Sale dated September 30, 1991, and told him that Franklin wanted him and Rebecca to sign the deed. He read the document and was sure that it consisted of only one page. He told the emissary that he was the owner of Parcel No. 1; Parcel No. 2 was in the name of his uncle, Cresenciano; while the records of Parcel No. 3 could no longer be found at the Municipal Assessor’s Office. Nevertheless, he and his wife signed the deed. He also claimed that he was able to repurchase the lots subject of the Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase on May 26, 1997 for ₱50,000.00 at the house of his aunt, Tasiana Belarmino.
Virgilio admitted, however, that at the time he made the two payments, the period to repurchase the subject parcels of land had already expired.23
The defendant did not testify in her behalf. Atty. Emmanuel P. Rama testified for the defendant and declared that he notarized the subject deed, which to his knowledge was prepared by Franklin Ong. He was then in the office of his brother, who was the Vice-Governor of Cebu, when Franklin and Virgilio and his wife, Rebecca, arrived to have the deed notarized.24 However, Virgilio, his wife, and the witnesses to the deed failed to sign on the left margin of its second page.
Franklin, a bachelor of laws graduate, testified that he was employed as an Interpreter in Branch 14 of the Court of First Instance of Cebu;25 he prepared the deed of sale with right of repurchase which Virgilio executed on August 17, 1979 and the September 30, 1991 Deed of Absolute Sale which Virgilio and his wife executed.26 According to him, the lots subject of the complaint, together with the other lots sold under the first deed of sale, were not repurchased by Virgilio.27
Franklin further narrated that sometime in 1991, Virgilio sought financial help because his house was about to be foreclosed by the Development Bank of the Philippines. He then gave ₱7,000.00 to Virgilio,
and suggested that Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3 be sold to Jocelyn to augment his contribution. Franklin, however, agreed to buy Parcel Nos. 5 and 6 and inquired from Jocelyn if she was interested to buy Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3; Jocelyn replied that she was.28 He then prepared a Deed of Absolute Sale over Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3, which Virgilio and his wife signed on September 30, 1991 before Notary Public Emmanuel P. Rama.29 Virgilio agreed to sell the three lots for ₱5,000.00 only because the said amount was in addition to the ₱7,144.28 paid for the six parcels of land earlier sold to Franklin in 1979.30 Franklin claimed he gave the ₱5,000.00 purchase price of the property to Virgilio on September 30, 1991.31
Franklin declared that the receipts32 for ₱50,000.00 which he signed (and which Virgilio adduced in evidence) were refunds for Parcel Nos. 5 and 6 which he bought from Virgilio and later sold by the latter to the APC Group, Inc.; they were not payments for the repurchase of the six parcels of land subject of the first sale as Virgilio claimed.33 After Jocelyn purchased Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3, their sister Loreta and their mother took charge and administered the property, and paid the realty taxes thereon.34
Taciana Aranas Belarmino, an aunt of Virgilio, Franklin and Jocelyn, testified that she and her son, Fermin Belarmino, as well as her brother Cresenciano, witnessed Franklin sign the receipts dated May 25 and 26, 1997, for the total amount of ₱50,000.00, in their house. The payment was made to redeem Parcel Nos. 5 and 6, which Virgilio sold to the APC Group, Inc.35 Franklin demanded ₱200,000.00, but Virgilio had only ₱50,000.00, (inclusive of the ₱25,000.00 Virgilio borrowed from Cresenciano).36
By way of rebuttal, Virgilio presented Federico Erac, the Postmaster of Ginatilan, who testified that he (Virgilio) was a letter-carrier and was at his place of work at the post office on September 30, 1991; hence, he could not have signed the Deed of Absolute Sale of Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3 in favor of Jocelyn in the Office of the Vice-Governor on the said date before Notary Public Emmanuel Rama.37 He adduced in evidence his daily time record for September 30, 1991.38
After the trial, the court rendered judgment in favor of Virgilio. The fallo of the decision reads:
WHEREFORE, the Deed of Absolute Sale dated September 30, 1991 allegedly executed by plaintiff in favor of defendant is declared NULL and VOID.
The trial court held that, since Franklin failed to consolidate his title to the parcels of land following the lapse of the 10-year period for Virgilio to redeem the same, the period for redemption was deemed extended until the said lots were repurchased on May 25 and 26, 1997, upon payment of ₱50,000.00 to Franklin. The trial court ruled that there was a need for Franklin to consolidate the title over the parcels of land by court proceedings. It also held that the Deed of Absolute Sale dated September 30, 1991 had no consideration because the ₱5,000.00 stated therein, as the price of the property, was insufficient. Since the deed was not supported by any consideration, it was null and void.
Jocelyn appealed the decision to the CA, assailing the trial court’s ruling on the following grounds:
- I -
The Honorable Trial Court erred in ruling that there was no action on the part of the defendant-appellant to consolidate the title in her name when plaintiff-appellee failed to repurchase the properties subject matter of the deed of sale with right to repurchase executed on August 17, 1979.
The Honorable Trial Court erred in ruling that on May 25 and 26, 1997 the amount of ₱50,000.00 was paid to the defendant-appellant through Franklin Ong and upon acceptance of the latter the real properties subject matter of the deed of sale with right to repurchase was deemed repurchased.
- III -
The Honorable Trial Court erred in ruling that the amount of ₱5,000.00 is not sufficient consideration for the purchase of three parcels of land.40
The CA reversed the ruling of the trial court. The dispositive portion reads:
WHEREFORE, the foregoing considered, the May 4, 2001 Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Oslob, Cebu is REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. A new one is entered declaring the Deed of Absolute Sale dated September 30, 1991 executed by Virgilio Cadungog in favor of Jocelyn Yap, valid and binding.
The appellate court held that the period to redeem the subject properties had already elapsed as early as 1989, or 10 years after the execution of the Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase on August 17, 1979. In view of Virgilio’s failure to redeem the same, he lost ownership over the disputed lots. Jocelyn acquired ownership over the property when she purchased the same from Virgilio on September 30, 1991 under the Deed of Absolute Sale. Citing Cruz v. Leis,42 the CA ruled that Jocelyn could not be faulted for not consolidating the title over the subject lots, as the act of consolidating title is not a condition sine qua non to the transfer of ownership. The appellate court declared that the ₱50,000.00 Franklin received from Virgilio on May 25 and 26, 1997 was the refund of the cost of Parcel Nos. 5 and 6 which Virgilio sold to the APC Group, Inc., the same lots sold to Franklin in 1999.
The CA further stated that the inadequacy of the purchase price does not per se support the conclusion that the contract was a loan, or that the property was not at all sold. Citing Abapo v. Court of Appeals43 and Article 1355 of the Civil Code, the CA ruled that such inadequacy of price is not sufficient to set aside the sale, unless it is grossly inadequate or purely shocking to the conscience. Moreover, except for his own self-serving testimony, Virgilio did not submit any other testimony to refute the said sale.
Finally, the CA ruled that the subject deed of sale is a public document, having been executed and attested through the intervention of a notary public; as such, it is evidence of the facts therein expressed. While Virgilio’s officemate testified that he could not have been present for the notarization of the said document because he was at work on the said date, such testimony could not negate the existence of the said deed.
Virgilio filed a motion for reconsideration, which the CA denied.
Virgilio, now the petitioner, assails the said ruling and ascribes to the appellate court the following errors:
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FOURTH DIVISION) ERRED IN REVERSING THE DECISION OF THE RTC BRANCH 62 OF OSLOB, CEBU, DECLARING THE DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1991, COVERING THREE (3) PARCELS OF LAND VALID AND BINDING AND IN NOT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT ITS FINDINGS WHICH CONSIDERED THAT THE DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1991, COVERING THREE (3) PARCELS OF LAND IS NOT SUPPORTED BY ANY CONSIDERATION AND DID NOT REFLECT THE TRUE INTENTION OF THE PARTIES, A FICTITIOUS AND SIMULATED ONE, HENCE NON-EXISTENT AND VOID AB INITIO.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FOURTH DIVISION) ALSO ERRED IN NOT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THAT THE DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1991, COVERING THREE (3) PARCELS OF LAND WAS TAINTED WITH DECEPTION AS THE CONSENT WAS OBTAINED THROUGH DECEIT AND DISHONEST MEANS.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FOURTH DIVISION) ERRED IN NOT TAKING INTO CONSIDERATION THAT SINCE THE DEED OF ABSOLUTE SALE DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1991, COVERING THREE PARCELS OF LAND, WHICH WAS COMPOSED ORIGINALLY OF ONLY ONE (1) PAGE, WAS NOT INTENDED TO BE ACKNOWLEDGED AND NOTARIZED BY A NOTARY PUBLIC, WAS ALREADY COMPOSED OF TWO (2) PAGES AND ACKNOWLEDGED AND NOTARIZED BY A NOTARY PUBLIC, THE SECOND PAGE OF WHICH DID NOT CONTAIN THE SIGNATURES OF THE PARTIES AND THEIR INSTRUMENTAL WITNESSES. APPARENTLY, THIS INDICATES A FRAUDULENT ACT WORTHY OF CONSIDERATION OF THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FOURTH DIVISION) ERRED IN NOT TAKING INTO ACCOUNT OVER THE FACT THAT RESPONDENT FAILED TO CONSOLIDATE HER OWNERSHIP OVER THE DISPUTED LAND SUBJECT TO THE FICTITIOUS AND SIMULATED SALE DATED SEPTEMBER 30, 1991, COVERING THREE (3) PARCELS OF LAND. APPARENTLY, INDICATING AN ACT CONTRADICTORY TO WHAT A NORMAL PERSON MIGHT HAVE ACTED UNDER SIMILAR CIRCUMSTANCE.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FOURTH DIVISION) ERRED IN FAILING TO UPHOLD THE FACTUAL FINDINGS OF THE RTC BRANCH 62 OF OSLOB, CEBU WHICH WAS IN THE POSITION TO EVALUATE AND APPRECIATE THE MERITS OF THE CASE AND HAD THE OPPORTUNITY OF OBSERVING THE DEMEANOR AND SINCERITY OF THE WITNESSES.44
The petitioner reiterates that the subject deed is fictitious and simulated, having been executed merely to afford respondent Jocelyn Yap a claim for the reduction of her tax liabilities in Canada. The petitioner points out that the true intention of the parties was never that of sale, but only for accommodation purposes.
The petitioner, likewise, points out that his cousin Franklin added a second page to the one-page agreement and had it notarized; the second page of the deed bore the acknowledgment of the notary public, which, however, did not contain the signatures of the supposed parties and their instrumental witnesses. According to the petitioner, Franklin, through false pretenses, succeeded in obtaining his consent in executing a simulated deed of sale over the subject parcel of land. Moreover, considering the clear and convincing evidence that he was at work on the date the deed of sale was purportedly executed, the notary public could not have notarized the document in his presence and the other parties concerned. The petitioner insists that the transaction subject of the dispute is "wantonly devoid of any consideration, did not reflect the true intention of the parties, and was obtained through fraudulent means, fictitious and simulated; hence, void from the very beginning."
The petitioner further points out that after the supposed sale, the respondent made no move to consolidate her ownership over the property, or other similar behavior or acts of dominion.
Finally, the petitioner contends that it is the findings of the trial court which should prevail, considering that it was in a better position to evaluate and appreciate the merits of the case and had the opportunity to observe the demeanor and sincerity of the witnesses presented.
The respondent, for her part, avers that the petitioner and his wife appeared before Notary Public Emmanuel P. Rama and acknowledged the Deed of Absolute Sale dated September 30, 1991. Such notarized deed enjoys the presumption of regularity; there must be clear and convincing evidence to contradict the same. The respondent insists that the petitioner failed to overturn the testimony of Atty. Rama, and that his bare denial will not suffice to overcome the positive value of the notarized document. The respondent further posits that the appellate court correctly ruled that the consideration of the three lots was ₱5,000.00, and that mere inadequacy of price is not sufficient to set aside a contract of sale.
The respondent further alleges that the petition is one under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Only errors of law, not of facts, are reviewable under the said rule, and in this case, no error of law was alleged by the petitioner. Moreover, the CA correctly held that the ₱50,000.00 was not a redemption price, but a refund of the costs of Parcel Nos. 5 and 6, which the petitioner sold to APC Group, Inc.
The petition is meritorious.
We note that the issues raised by the petitioner are factual. Under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari. However, the Court may delve into and resolve factual issues in exceptional cases, such as when the finding of facts and the conclusions based therein by the trial court are frontally inconsistent with those of the appellate court, or that the factual findings of the trial court and appellate court are not based on the evidence on record, or arbitrary or capricious.45
In the present case, the trial court held that the petitioner was able to repurchase the 6 parcels of land on May 25 and 26, 1997, after the lapse of 18 years from the execution of the deed of sale with right of repurchase (August 17, 1979) when he paid to Franklin the total amount of ₱50,000.00. The court held that the 10-year period fixed in the deed for the petitioner to repurchase the property was deemed extended because Franklin failed to consolidate his title over the property. On the other hand, the CA held that the petitioner failed to repurchase the property, and that the respondent acquired ownership over Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3 when the petitioner sold the same to her under the September 30, 1991 Deed of Absolute Sale.
We agree with the CA that the petitioner, as vendor a retro, failed to repurchase the property within the 10-year period fixed by the parties in the Deed of Sale with Right of Repurchase. Consequently, Franklin Ong, the vendee a retro, had acquired absolute title and ownership over the six parcels of land after August 17, 1979 when the petitioner, as vendor a retro, failed to repurchase the same within the stipulated period.
A sale with pacto de retro transfers the legal title to the vendee a retro.46 The essence of a pacto de retro sale is that the title and ownership of the property sold are immediately vested in the vendee a retro, subject to the resolutory condition of repurchase by a vendor a retro within the stipulated period.47 Failure on the part of a vendor a retro to repurchase the property within the period agreed upon by them, or, in the absence thereof, as provided for by law, vests upon the vendee a retro absolute title and ownership over the property sold by operation of law.48 The failure of the vendee a retro to consolidate his title under Art. 1607 of the New Civil Code does not impair such title and ownership because the method prescribed thereunder is merely for the purpose of registering and consolidating titles to the property.49 Franklin Ong, and not the petitioner, was the lawful owner of the six parcels of land. The petitioner, thus, had no right to mortgage or sell the same to the respondent on September 30, 1991 under the deed of absolute sale. As the Latin adage goes: NEMO DAT QUOD NON HABET.50 Hence, the ruling of the CA that the respondent acquired ownership over the three parcels of land from the petitioner under the Deed of Absolute Sale dated September 30, 1991 is erroneous. Not being the owner of the parcels of land, the petitioner could not have lawfully sold the same to the respondent.
We are not convinced that the petitioner and the respondent had agreed to the sale of Parcel Nos. 1, 2 and 3 for ₱5,000.00. The respondent was a resident of Canada on September 30, 1991. There is no evidence that on or before said date, the petitioner had talked to the respondent relative to the sale of the said lots. Although Franklin testified that he talked to the respondent relative to the sale and that the latter had agreed, no evidence was adduced to show a special power of attorney authorizing him (Franklin) to agree to the purchase of the property for ₱5,000.00. The declaration in the September 30, 1991 Deed of Absolute Sale with Right of Repurchase, that the petitioner received ₱5,000.00 from the respondent on September 30, 1991, or prior thereto, is negated by the fact that the respondent was then in Canada.
What is so worrisome is that Franklin, a law graduate, even induced the petitioner to execute the deed of sale in favor of his sister, the respondent herein, despite the fact that he, and not the petitioner, was the owner of the three parcels of land. Franklin even falsely declared in the September 30, 1991 deed, which he prepared for the petitioner, that the latter was the owner of the parcels of land, when he knew, for a fact, that he was the lawful owner of the property. In fact, when he learned that Cresenciano Ong Aranas had sold Parcel No. 2 to the APC Group, Inc. and that the petitioner had also sold Parcel No. 1, Franklin vehemently objected. He relented only when the petitioner gave the ₱50,000.00 to him in consideration for his agreement to the said sale of Parcel Nos. 1 and 2 to the APC Group, Inc. There is no evidence on record that the ₱50,000.00 which the petitioner paid was a refund of the purchase price of Parcel Nos. 5 and 6 as regards the sale to APC Group, Inc. In fact, there is no evidence on record to show that the petitioner had sold Parcel Nos. 5 and 6 to the APC Group, Inc.
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 72761 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The decision of the Regional Trial Court nullifying the September 30, 1991 Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the petitioner in favor of the respondent is REINSTATED. No costs.
ROMEO J. CALLEJO, SR.
REYNATO S. PUNO
MA. ALICIA AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ DANTE O. TINGA
Associate Justice Associate Justice
MINITA V. CHICO-NAZARIO
I attest that the conclusions in the above decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
REYNATO S. PUNO
Chairman, Second Division
C E R T I F I C A T I O N
Pursuant to Section 13, Article VIII of the Constitution and the Division Chairman’s Attestation, it is hereby certified that the conclusions in the above decision were reached in consultation before the case was assigned to the writer of the opinion of the Court’s Division.
HILARIO G. DAVIDE, JR.
1 Penned by Associate Justice Elvi John S. Asuncion, with Associate Justices Renato C. Dacudao and Lucas P. Bersamin concurring; Rollo, pp. 7-13.
2 TSN, 10 September 1999, p. 2.
3 Exhibit "3."
6 Exhibit "2."
7 Exhibit "2."
8 Records, pp. 10-12.
9 Id. at 13-16.
10 Exhibit "B."
11 Exhibit "C."
12 Exhibits "D" and "D-1."
13 Exhibit "D-1."
14 Records, p. 4.
15 Records, p. 26.
16 Exhibit "F."
17 TSN, 10 September 1999, p. 10.
18 Exhibit "B."
19 Exhibit "C."
20 TSN, 10 September 1999, p. 12.
21 Exhibits "D" and "E."
22 TSN, 19 November 1999, pp. 18-20.
23 TSN. 7 January 2000, p. 23.
24 TSN, 24 March 2000, pp. 4-6.
25 TSN, 23 June 2000, p. 15.
26 Id. at 17.
27 Id. at 10.
28 TSN, 23 June 2000, p. 10.
29 Id. at 5.
30 Id. at 4.
31 Id. at 31.
32 Exhibits "D" and "E."
33 TSN, 23 June 2000, pp. 12 & 14.
34 Id. at 37-40.
35 TSN, 28 September 2000, pp. 6-7.
36 Id. at 9.
37 TSN, 10 November 2000, pp. 4-5.
38 Exhibits "G" and "H."
39 Rollo, p. 44.
40 CA Rollo, pp. 18-19.
41 Id. at 50-51.
42 G.R. No. 125233, 9 March 2000, 327 SCRA 570.
43 G.R. No. 128677, 2 March 2000, 327 SCRA 180.
44 Rollo, pp. 24-25.
45 Heirs of Canque v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 119184, 21 July 1997, 275 SCRA 741 (1997).
46 De Guzman, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. L-46935, 21 December 1987, 156 SCRA 701; Solid Homes, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 117501, 8 July 1997, 275 SCRA 267.
47 Cruz v. Leis, supra.
48 De Bayquen v. Balaoro, G.R. No. L-28161, 13 August 1986, 143 SCRA 412.
49 Id. at 416.
50 Noel v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 59550, 11 January 1995, 240 SCRA 78.
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