Heirs’ quest to recover land a ‘little too late’-A A +A
Thursday, September 26, 2013
REGIONAL Trial Court Judge Simeon Dumdum Jr. has dismissed the civil suit filed by heirs of landowners in Barangay Lahug, Cebu City who sought to recover a 4,741-square-meter property registered in Capitol’s name.
In a three-page order, Dumdum ruled that the petitioners filed the case more than 20 years after the Supreme Court (SC) validated the deed of exchange with the Velezes.
The lot claimants should have sought the revocation of the deed of exchange in March 1953, or within 10 years from which the transaction was made, the judge pointed out.
“But they waited until Sept. 26, 2012, or over 20 years, to file the complaint.
Besides, if they seek equitable relief, laches prevent them from proceeding,” Dumdum said in his order.
The case stemmed from the civil case for nullification of deed of exchange filed by heirs of the late Francisco Almario and wife Felipa Zafra against former Cebu governor Gwendolyn Garcia.
The petitioners said Almario and Zafra owned Lot 925 that covers four hectares on Gorordo Ave. in Barangay Lahug.
Lot 925 was later subdivided into several parcels, among them Lot 925-A, which has an area of 4,741 square meters.
In March 1953, then governor Sergio Osmeña and the couple’s heirs entered into a deed of exchange involving the parcels of land.
In the legal document, the Capitol swapped three parcels of land for Lot 925-A.
Then president Ferdinand Marcos also approved the deed of exchange.
But without their knowledge, the parcels of land that Capitol conveyed to the couple were issued transfer certificates of title 25177 and 25178 allegedly in the names of another Cebu City-based family using another deed of exchange.
The petitioners said they initiated civil action to cancel the transfer of certificates of title 25177 and 25178.
The lower court nullified the certificates of title, but the Court of Appeals reversed the ruling.
Not in Capitol’s name
The SC also denied the petition for review filed by the plaintiff.
Despite that, they said 925-A, which was originally owned by the petitioners, was transferred to Capitol’s name.
However, they didn’t get anything from Capitol since the lot they were supposed to possess was given to the other family.
In a memorandum, Assistant Provincial Attorney Richie Capahi said Lot 925-A has not been transferred to Capitol’s name.
In Judge Dumdum’s order, he pointed out that Lot 925-A is registered in Cebu City’s
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 27, 2013.