Question B.17, Civil Law, 2019 Bar Exam

In 2015, O, the original registered owner of a 300-square meter property covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 0-1234, appointed F as its caretaker. A year after, while O was abroad, F surreptitiously broke open O's safe and stole the duplicate copy of the said OCT. F then forged a Deed of Absolute Sale and made it appear that O sold the property to him. Consequently, F was able to have OCT No. 0-1234 cancelled and in lieu thereof, a new title, Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-4321, was issued in his name.

A few months after, F offered the property for sale to X. After conducting the required due diligence to verify the title of F and finding no occupant in the property during ocular inspection, X signed the contract of sale, and thereupon, fully paid the purchase price. A few days later, X was able to obtain TCT No. T-5678 under his name.

When O discovered F’s fraudulent acts upon his return in 2017, O immediately filed a complaint for reconveyance against F and X, principally pointing out that F merely forged his signature in the Deed of Absolute Sale purportedly made in F's favor and thus, F could not have validly transferred the title thereof to X. Consequently, he sought the return of the subject property to him.

(a) Will the prayer of O for the return of the subject property prosper? Explain. (3%)

(b) Assuming that O could no longer recover the subject property in view of X's registration thereof in his name, may a claim against the As...

 



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