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Case Digest: Shipside Incorporated v. Court of Appeals, 352 SCRA 334 (2001)

Shipside Incorporated v. Court of Appeals, 352 SCRA 334 (2001)

TOPIC: Elements of a State: National Territory: The Philippines as a State: Attributes of a State


Before the Court is a petition for certiorari filed by Shipside Incorporated under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules on Civil Procedure against the resolutions of the Court of Appeals promulgated on November 4, 1999 and May 23, 2000, which respectively, dismissed a petition for certiorari and prohibition and thereafter denied a motion for reconsideration.

On October 29, 1958, Original Certificate of Title No. 0-381 was issued in favor of Rafael Galvez, over four parcels of land – Lot 1 with 6,571 square meters; Lot 2, with 16,777 square meters; Lot 3 with 1,583 square meters; and Lot 4, with 508 square meters.

On April 11, 1960, Lots No. 1 and 4 were conveyed by Rafael Galvez in favor of Filipina Mamaril, Cleopatra Llana, Regina Bustos, and Erlinda Balatbat in a deed of sale which was inscribed as Entry No. 9115 OCT No.0-381 on August 10, 1960. Consequently, Transfer Certificate No. T-4304 was issued in favor of the buyers covering Lots No. 1 and 4.

On August 16, 1960, Mamaril, et al. sold Lots No. 1 and 4 to Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company. The deed of sale covering the aforesaid property was inscribed as Entry No. 9173 on TCT No. T-4304. Subsequently, Transfer Certificate No. T-4314 was issued in the name of Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company as owner of Lots No. 1 and 4.

On February 1, 1963, unknown to Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company, the Court of First Instance of La Union, Second Judicial District, issued an Order in Land Registration Case No. N- 361 (LRC Record No. N-14012) entitled “Rafael Galvez, Applicant, Eliza Bustos, et al., Parties-In-Interest; Republic of the Philippines, Movant” declaring OCT No. 0-381 of the Registry of Deeds for the Province of La Union issued in the name of Rafael Galvez, null and void, and ordered the cancellation thereof.

On October 28, 1963, Lepanto Consolidated Mining Company sold to herein petitioner Lots No. 1 and 4, with the deed being entered in TCT No. 4314 as entry No. 12381. Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-5710 was thus issued in favor of the petitioner which starting since then exercised proprietary rights over Lots No. 1 and 4.

Twenty four long years, thereafter, on January 14, 1999, the Office of the Solicitor General received a letter dated January 11, 1999 from Mr. Victor G. Floresca, Vice-President, John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation, stating that the aforementioned orders and decision of the trial court in L.R.C. No. N-361 have not been executed by the Register of Deeds, San Fernando, La Union despite receipt of the writ of execution.

On April 21, 1999, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a complaint for revival of judgment and cancellation of titles before the Regional Trial Court of the First Judicial Region (Branch 26, San Fernando, La Union) docketed therein as Civil Case No. 6346 entitled, “Republic of the Philippines, Plaintiff, versus Heirs of Rafael Galvez, represented by Teresita Tan, Reynaldo Mamaril, Elisa Bustos, Erlinda Balatbat, Regina Bustos, Shipside Incorporated and the Register of Deeds of La Union, Defendants.”

In its complaint in Civil Case No.6346, the Solicitor General argued that since the trial court in LRC Case No. 361 had ruled and declared OCT No. 0-381 to be null and void, which ruling was subsequently affirmed by the Court of Appeals, the defendants-successors-in-interest of Rafael Galvez have no valid title over the property covered by OCT No. 0-381, and the subsequent Torrens titles issued in their names should be consequently cancelled.


On July 22, 1999, petitioner Shipside, Inc. filed its Motion to Dismiss, based on the following grounds: (1) the complaint stated no cause of action because only final and executory judgments may be subject of an action for revival of judgment; (2) .the plaintiff is not the real party-in-interest because the real property covered by the Torrens titles sought to be cancelled, allegedly part of Camp Wallace (Wallace Air Station), were under the ownership and administration of the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA) under Republic Act No. 7227; (3) plaintiff’s cause of action is barred by prescription; {4) twenty-five years having lapsed since the issuance of the writ of execution, no action for revival of judgment may be instituted because under Paragraph 3 of Article 1144 of the Civil Code, such action may be brought only within ten (10) years from the time the judgment had been rendered.

An opposition to the motion to dismiss was filed by the Solicitor General on August 23, 1999, alleging among others, that: (1) the real party-in-interest is the Republic of the Philippines; and (2) prescription does not run against the State.


whether or not the Republic of the Philippines can maintain the action for revival of judgment herein


While it is true that prescription does not run against the State, the same may not be invoked by the government in this case since it is no longer interested in the subject matter. While Camp Wallace may have belonged to the government at the time Rafael Galvez’s title was ordered cancelled in Land Registration Case No. N-361, the same no longer holds true today.

Republic Act No. 7227, otherwise known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992, created the Bases Conversion and Development Authority Section 4 pertinently provides:

Section 4. Purposes of the Conversion Authority. – The Conversion Authority shall have the following purposes:

(a) To own, hold and/or administer the military reservations of John Hay Air Station, Wallace Air Station, O’Donnell Transmitter Station, San Miguel Naval Communications Station, Mt. Sta. Rita Station (Hermosa, Bataan) and those portions of Metro Manila military camps which may be transferred to it by the President;

Section 2 of Proclamation No. 216, issued on July 27, 1993, also provides:

Section 2. Transfer of Wallace Air Station Areas to the Bases Conversion and Development Authority. – All areas covered by the Wallace Air Station as embraced and defined by the 1947 Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the United States of America, as amended, excluding those covered by Presidential Proclamations and some 25-hectare area for the radar and communication station of the Philippine Air Force, are hereby transferred to the Bases Conversion Development Authority …

With the transfer of Camp Wallace to the BCDA, the government no longer has a right or interest to protect. Consequently, the Republic is not a real party in interest and it may not institute the instant action. Nor may it raise the defense of imprescriptibility, the same being applicable only in cases where the government is a party in interest. Under Section 2 of Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, “every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest.” To qualify a person to be a real party in interest in whose name an action must be prosecuted, he must appear to be the present real owner of the right sought to enforced (Pioneer Insurance v. CA, 175 SCRA 668 [1989]). A real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. And by real interest is meant a present substantial interest, as distinguished from a mere expectancy, or a future, contingent, subordinate or consequential interest (Ibonilla v. Province of Cebu, 210 SCRA 526 [1992]). Being the owner of the areas covered by Camp Wallace, it is the Bases Conversion and Development Authority, not the Government, which stands to be benefited if the land covered by TCT No. T-5710 issued in the name of petitioner is cancelled.

Nonetheless, it has been posited that the transfer of military reservations and their extensions to the BCDA is basically for the purpose of accelerating the sound and balanced conversion of these military reservations into alternative productive uses and to enhance the benefits to be derived from such property as a measure of promoting the economic and social development, particularly of Central Luzon and, in general, the country’s goal for enhancement (Section 2, Republic Act No. 7227). It is contended that the transfer of these military reservations to the Conversion Authority does not amount to an abdication on the part of the Republic of its interests, but simply a recognition of the need to create a body corporate which will act as its agent for the realization of its program. It is consequently asserted that the Republic remains to be the real party in interest and the Conversion Authority merely its agent.



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