G.R. No. 195975, 5 September 2016, 802 SCRA 173


Cattleya Land, Inc., entered into a contract of conditional sale with the sps. Tecson covering 9 parcels of land including the subject property. The parties then executed a Deed of Absolute Sale covering the subject property. However, neither of the two could be annotated on the Certificate of Title because the Register of Deeds refused to annotate both deeds. Even after the success of Cattleya to have lifted the writ of attachment that was on the certificate of title to the subject property, it has failed to register a title because the TCT (owner’s copy) was not yet surrendered by the Tecson sps. According to Cattleya, the Tecson sps could not possibly deliver the certificate for it had been destroyed in a fire.

It turns out that the spouses could not deliver the certificate because it was already presented to a previous sale to Taina Stone, a Filipina who married a foreigner. The RTC found that Taina was only a dummy in the contract of sale and that her subsequent marriage to the foreigner will not validate or legitimize the sale. Stone asserts that as long as the name registered is a Filipino, the trial court is barred from inquiring into its legality.


Whether the assailed Decision is legally correct in not applying the rules on double sale, which clearly favor petitioner Taina.


The petition is bereft of merit.

Petitioner’s arguments, which rest on the assumption that there was a double sale, must fail. In the first place, there is no double sale to speak of. Art. 1544 of the Civil Code, which provides the rule on double sale, applies only to a situation where the same property is validly sold to different vendees. In this case, there is only one sale to advert to, that between the spouses Tecson and respondent.

*Case digest by Jhazeel Zhan Jebone, JD-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020