Real estate giants Villar, Ayala and Yulo lost a 430 hectare LANDGRABBING case in Sta. Rosa, Laguna. Only the Villar side (that got 50 hectares out of the disputed 430 hectares) filed and lost on appeal while Ayala and Yulo stood aside to wait for the decision which also affects their separate but adjacent land claims.
The final verdict was promulgated in February of 2016 but then Aquino Administration Department of the Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Paje did not release the landmark decision. With the assumption of the Duterte Administration last June 30, 2016 and a new DENR Secretary in the person of Gina Lopez, the ancestral owners of the contested land are confident that JUSTICE will prevail. The long-standing dispute has resulted in the LOSS of LIVES on the side of farmer families who have always denounced FAVORITISM on the part of government land officials, local government unit executives and the police. The real estate moguls have resorted to physical violence and legal harassment in the form of filing endless frivolous case in the barangay and municipal levels.
Sta. Rosa, Laguna has grown into a prime suburban development area with the old industrial factories now side-by-side with plush subdivisions. The greatest impact of the adverse decision against the developers is the question of whether the REAL OWNERS would take PHYSICAL CONTROL of the mall, retail and office areas as well as high-end houses that are already occupied by the unsuspecting “BUYERS” who have paid, in part or in full, for their properties. Developers, of course, have the option to purchase the land that they have already improvedand absorb huge losses in exchange for peace of mind. Otherwise, they stand to be deluged with lawsuits as well as TARNISHING their CREDIBILITY which may affect future sales in their many other projects.
LANDMARK RULING OVER TORRENS TITLES
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Ayala Land loses in Las Piñas land dispute
By JOMAR CANLAS, The Manila Times
October 2, 2017
The Supreme Court has ruled against Ayala Land, Inc.’s claim of ownership over a large tract of land in Las Piñas after finding that the corporation’s title bore erroneous land survey details.
In a 30-page decision dated July 26 but released only recently, the court’s 2nd Division granted the petitions filed by the spouses Yu Hwa Ping and Mary Gaw as well as the heirs of the spouses Andres Diaz and Josefa Mia.
It found that the numerous errors in the land survey affected the validity of the titles from which Ayala Land’s own title was derived.
Typically, a genuine land title cannot be assailed and is considered conclusive proof of ownership. In this case, however, the court came up with the exception to the effect that blatantly erroneous surveys could be cited as a ground to invalidate a title.
“To allow these certificates of title in the registration books, even though these were sourced from invalid surveys, would tarnish and damage the Torrens system of registration, rather than uphold its integrity,” the SC said.
It added: “Good faith must concur with registration because, otherwise, registration would be an exercise in futility.”
The decision was penned by then Associate Justice Jose Catral Mendoza and concurred in by Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralta, Marvic Leonen and Samuel Martires.
The property is situated inside Ayala Southvale in Las Pinas City, which was converted into the golf course of Southlinks and a materials depot.
The case stemmed from a suit filed by the spouses Yu to recover ownership over the land claimed by Ayala Land.
The property was originally owned by the spouses Diaz until it was transferred to the spouses Yu in whose favor two land titles were issued in 1993 and 1994.
However, CPJ Corp., which allegedly had an interest over the land, transferred its interests to several entities. Eventually, Ayala Land supposedly acquired a consolidated interest over the property.
A trial court earlier ruled that the Diaz spouses committed fraud when they applied for the original registration of the property without informing other interested parties such as CPJ Corp.
Ayala Land had the property fenced and prevented the Yu spouses from occupying the land. The corporation also had land titles issued in its name with technical descriptions overlapping with the properties being claimed by the Yu spouses.
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SC voids Ayala Land’s ownership of prime lot in Las Piñas
The property developer says it has filed a motion for reconsideration following the Supreme Court ruling that it is not the rightful owner of a 6.8-hectare lot in Ayala Southvale
October 2, 2017
MANILA, Philippines – Property giant Ayala Land Incorporated (ALI) lost control of a 6.8-hectare lot of prime land in Las Piñas City following a ruling by the Supreme Court (SC).
The SC, in a ruling issued last July but made public on Monday, October 2, denied ALI’s right to ownership of the lot and declared petitioners Yu Hwa Ping and Mary Gaw, as well as the heirs of Andres Diaz and Josefa Mia, as the rightful owners.
The 6.8-hectare lot, which houses the Southlinks Golf Club and materials depot, is located inside ALI’s Ayala Southvale Village in Las Piñas City.
Ayala Corporation, ALI’s parent firm, acquired the property from Goldenrod Incorporated and Pesala in 1988. ALI gained ownership of the land after its merger with Las Piñas Ventures Incorporated in 1992.
The SC made its decision based on invalid surveys done to register the land nearly 90 years ago.
In coming to the decision, the SC ruled that, “When a land registration decree is marred by severe irregularity that discredits the integrity of the Torrens system, the Court will not think twice in striking down such illegal title in order to protect the public against unscrupulous and illicit land ownership.”
In the Torrens system, transfer of land ownership is done by transfer of land registration rather than by deeds.
Motion for reconsideration
In a disclosure to the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) on Monday, ALI said it filed a motion for reconsideration on September 28.
The primary grounds for the appeal, said ALI, include the following:
“ALI’s titles can be traced back to Original Certificates of Titles (OCT) that were issued decades prior to the OCTs from which the claimants’ title came from. In particular, ALI’s titles are traced back to OCTs issued in 1950 and 1958 whereas the claimants’ titles are traced back to an OCT issued in 1970.”
“Claimants’ predecessors opposed ALI’s application and participated, but lost, in the original land registration proceedings which led to the issuance of decrees for registration in favor of ALI’s predecessors. Thus, claimants are barred by prescription, laches and res judicata.”
ALI purchased the properties after an examination of its derivative titles which on their face do not indicate any defect or flaw, thereby making ALI an innocent purchaser for value.
ALI also pointed out that “it had conducted an investigation of titles to the properties and had no notice of any title or claim that was superior to the titles purchased by ALI.”
As such, the property developer believes that “its titles are superior to the claims of these adverse claimants.”
ALI said it does not expect the legal battle to have “any material effect on [its] business, operations, and financial conditions,” since the lot is less than 1% of its total land bank of 9,852 hectares. – Rappler.com
Ayala Land loses prime Las Piñas lot in SC ruling
By: Marlon Ramos – Reporter Philippine Daily Inquirer
October 02, 2017
Property giant Ayala Land Inc. (ALI) has lost ownership of a prime 6.8-hectare lot in Las Piñas City, which it had converted into a golf course and materials depot.
In a 30-page ruling, the Supreme Court (SC) nullified ALI’s right to possess the property as it declared petitioners Yu Hwa Ping and Mary Gaw, and the heirs of Andres Diaz and Josefa Mia, as the rightful owners of the disputed land.
The landmark decision, penned by then SC Justice Jose Mendoza, recognized that irregularities could accompany the registration of land and must be nullified to protect the public and the Torrens system.
The high court’s Second Division voided ALI’s land titles for the property, which was located inside Ayala Southvale Subdivision, after concluding that the land surveys made to register it nearly 90 years ago were invalid.
“The court cannot close its eyes to the blatant defects on the surveys upon which the original titles of ALI were derived simply because its titles were registered,” the tribunal said in its July 26 decision, which was made public only recently.
“When a land registration decree is marred by severe irregularity that discredits the integrity of the Torrens system, the court will not think twice in striking down such illegal title in order to protect the public against unscrupulous and illicit land ownership,” it stressed.
In voiding ALI’s right to possess the land, the court reiterated that registration was “not a mode of acquiring ownership” of a property and that securing a certificate of title “merely confirms or records title already existing and vested.”
“The indefeasibility of a Torrens title should not be used as a means to perpetrate fraud against the rightful owner of real property. Good faith must concur with registration because, otherwise, registration would be an exercise in futility,” it ruled.
Ayala Corp. acquired the property from Goldenrod Inc. and Pesala in 1988.
Four years later, ALI became its new owners after its merger with Las Piñas Ventures Inc.
The controversial piece of real estate is inside Ayala Southvale in Las Pinas City, which ALI converted into the Southlinks golf course and a materials depot.
But the petitioners, who bought the land in 1993, separately questioned ALI’s ownership claims in 1995 and 1996 before the Regional Trial Courts of Pasig and Las Piñas, respectively, which eventually recognized them as lawful owners.
ALI then brought the case to the Court of Appeals, which ruled in its favor in 2006 after filing a second motion for reconsideration.
Other justices who concurred with Mendoza were Associate Justices Antonio Carpio, Diosdado Peralta, Marvic Leonen and Samuel Martires.