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Court to take up QC land dispute

by Rey E. Requejo [ ]

The Court of Appeals has decided to take due course on the petition filed by more than 100 homeowners and several business establishments seeking to annul the order of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City awarding 24 hectares of land along Visayas Avenue to a lone claimant.

In its resolution, the CAs First Division through Associate Justice Franchito Diamante ruled that the petition is “sufficient in form and substance” because it was filed in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Rules of Court.

The petitioners have named Wilfredo Torres as respondent.

Last year, Quezon City RTC Branch 224 Presiding Judge Tita Marilyn Payoyo-Villordon upheld the ownership of Torres over the subject property covered by seven transfer of certificates of title

The seven titles cover Sanville 1, 2, 3 and 4 subdivisions; K-Square and Metro Heights subdivisions, Arfel Homes, Sadel Court; wedding venue Fernwood Gardens, including the St. Francis Chapel and a portion of Claret Seminary, all in Barangay Culiat; and the Maria Montessori School of Quezon City and Wilcon Builders.

The CA cited prima facie evidence to allow the admittance of the petition for annulment of judgment filed by the petitioners assailing the orders of Judge Villordon issued on November 16, 2010 and May 23, 2011 and the writ of possession she subsequently issued.

But the CA deferred taking action on the motion filed by the homeowners seeking the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction against the implementation of the said orders pending Torres’ reply on the petition.

CA Presiding Justice Andres Reyes Jr., and Mariflor Punzalan-Castillo concurred with the ruling.

Records showed that the trial court had consistently ruled in favor of Torres over his bid to reclaim the property.

In 1997, then Judge Emilio Leachon of RTC Branch 224 allowed the reconveyance of the property to Torres as well as the reconstitution of the TCTs allegedly burned in a huge fire that destroyed records at the Quezon City Hall in 1988.

Villordon, who succeeded Leachon, ordered the issuance of new TCTs in Torres name in 2006 and directed the city assessor’s office to transfer tax declarations covered by the new TCTs in Torres name.

Torres claimed that he inherited the property from his mother, Dominga Roxas Sumulong-Torres.

 (Published in the Manila Standard Today newspaper on Monday,  January 30, 2012.)

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