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SC upholds powers of land board


by Rey Requejo
[ manilastandardtoday.com ] June 01, 2010

The Supreme Court has affirmed the jurisdiction of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board over cases involving real estate.
The First Division through Associate Justice Conchita Carpio-Morales dismissed the petition of the state-run Government Service Insurance Service questioning the board’s jurisdiction over mortgages and foreclosed properties.
“Undoubtedly, the jurisdiction of the HLURB to regulate the real estate business is indeed broad enough to include jurisdiction over a complaint for annulment of foreclosure sale and mortgage and the grant of incidental reliefs such as a CDO (cease and desist order). Even Presidential Decree No. 957, The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree, authorizes the HLURB as successor of the National Housing Authority to issue CDOs in relevant cases,” the high court ruled.
The then Chief Justice Reynato S. Puno, Teresita J. Leonardo - De Castro and Lucas Bersamin and Martin S. Villarama concurred with the ruling.
Named respondents in the GSIS petition were commissioners of the Second Division of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board National Capital Region Field Office, spouses Marcelino H. De Los Reyes and Alma T. De Los Reyes and developer New San Jose Builders Inc.
New San Jose Builders, Inc. mortgaged on December 10, 1997, three parcels of land together with the existing improvements, 366 lots with existing low cost houses, and 102 condominium units located in Scout Rallos Street, Quezon City to GSIS to secure the payment of a loan amounting to P600 million.
Among the mortgaged properties is a condominium unit (Unit 312), which was later sold by NSJBI to spouses Marcelino and Alma De Los Reyes. By GSIS’s and Spouses De Los Reyes claim, NSJBI did not deliver, despite repeated verbal and written demands, the Condominium Certificate covering said unit.
NSJBI defaulted in its loan obligation, hence, the GSIS mortgage was foreclosed and the mortgage and purchased GSIS purchased the properties on June 17, 2003. The spouses De Los Reyes later discovered the mortgage and eventual sale of the condominium unit to GSIS, hence, they filed on June 15, 2004, a complaint against NSJBI and GSIS with the HLURB.
In its answer, GSIS claimed that the spouses De Los Reyes had no cause of action against it as it was not party to the contract of sale and the mortgage was executed prior to the sale of the condominium unit.

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read full text of Supreme Court Decision 
G.R. No. 180062 May 5, 2010


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