By Edu Punay Updated May 27, 2009 12:00 AM [ philstar.com ]
MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) affirmed with finality the claims of the Manotok and Araneta families on more than 100 hectares of land in the 1,342-hectare Maysilo estate, which straddles the cities of Malabon, Caloocan and Quezon.
In a resolution promulgated yesterday, the entire SC denied with finality a motion by the Manotok Estate Corp. seeking partial reconsideration.
The High Court took the ownership of the property from the CLT Realty Development Corp. and heirs of the late real estate broker Jose Dimson, who claimed that the vast tract of land has been with his family since the Spanish occupation, after finding that the Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 994, dated May 3, 1917, owned by the two families was the mother title.
The controversy started in 1977 after Dimson obtained an order issued by Judge Marcelino Sayo of the Court of First Instance (CFI) of Caloocan City that allowed him to register in his name properties belonging to the Maysilo estate.
Sayo’s order, in turn, was sourced from a 1966 order issued by then Judge Cecilia Muñoz-Palma of the CFI of Rizal. Dimson’s titles reflected, as their mother title, OCT No. 994 dated April 19, 1917.
The SC declared in 2007 that OCT No. 994 dated April 19, 1917 did not exist. The CA’s special division also ruled that the heirs of Dimson and CLT failed to offer any explanation why their titles reflect the erroneous date of April 19, 1917.
The dispute over the Maysilo estate has spanned nearly three decades since the case was filed in 1979.
The SC declared valid the Manotok family’s proprietary claims over nine lots with a total area of 10.7104 hectares.
However, the high tribunal refused to adopt the recommendation of the CA special division declaring 11 other titles held by the Manotok Realty Inc. or the Manotok Estate Corp. null and void due to their failure to trace back their titles to OCT No. 994.
Before annulling the Manotok titles, the Court said there is a need for the Registers of Deeds concerned to annotate its resolution on said titles in order to notify the public of their unclear status.
As for the Araneta family, the Court declared valid the certificate of titles in the name of Araneta Institute of Agriculture Inc. covering several parcels of lands with a total area of 97.2255 hectares.