PHILIPPINE ECONOMIC ZONE AUTHORITY V. FERNANDEZ
358 SCRA 489
FACTS:The subject parcel of land was subject of an expropriation proceeding entered into by EPZA and the newly registered owners of the land. Private respondents sought the nullity of the documents executed as he alleged
that he was excluded from the extrajudicial partition of the estate, originally owned by their predecessors. Petitioner sought the dismissal of the complaint as it was allegedly barred by prescription. This was denied by the trial court and the CA.
HELD:An action for reconveyance resulting from fraud prescribes 4 years from the discovery of the fraud; such discovery is deemed to have taken place upon the issuance of the certificate of title over the property. Registration of real property is considered constructive notice to all persons, and thus, a four-year period shall be counted therefrom. The action for reconveyance based on fraud has already prescribed.
Even an action for reconveyance based on an implied constructive trust would have already prescribed. The imprescriptibility of an action for reconveyance based on implied trust applies only when the plaintiff is in
possession of the property. However, private respondents are not in possession of the disputed property. In fact, they don’t even claim to be in possession of it, even if to so would enable them to justify the imprescriptibility of their action.
Furthermore, reconveyance is a remedy to those whose property has been wrongfully registered in the name of another. Such recourse however cannot be availed of once the property has passed to an innocent
purchaser for value. For an action for reconveyance to prosper, the property should not have passed into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value.