All action have their prescription periods; that is an indubitable fact. However in some case laws, the Supreme Court laid down decisions wherein an action for reconveyance cannot prescribe. They are the following:


1. IF THE TITLE WAS DERIVED FROM A FRAUDULENT CONTRACT, THE ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE IS IMPRESCRIPTIBLE. This exception to the prescriptiblity of actions was efficiently laid down by the court in the case Uy v. CA[1], to wit:


“However, a review of the factual antecedents of the case shows that respondents' action for reconveyance was not even subject to prescription.


The deed of sale executed by Maxima in favor of petitioners was null and void, since Maxima was not the owner of the land she sold to petitioners, and the one-half northern portion of such land was owned by respondents.


Being an absolute nullity, the deed is subject to attack anytime, in accordance with Article 1410 of the Civil Code that an action to declare the inexistence of a void contract does not prescribe. x x x An action for reconveyance based on a void contract is imprescriptible. As long as the land wrongfully registered under the Torrens system is still in the name of the person who caused such registration, an action in personam will lie to compel him to reconvey the property to the real owner.


In Santos v. Heirs of Dominga Lustre, the complaint alleged that the deed of sale was simulated by forging the signature of the original registered owner. We ruled in favor of imprescribility applying the doctrine that the action for reconveyance on the ground that the certificate of title was obtained by means of a fictitious deed of sale is virtually an action for the declaration of its nullity, which does not prescribe.


Also, and more illustrative of the discussion above, in Castillo v. Heirs of Vicente Madrigal, it was alleged by the plaintiffs that they never signed any document. We ruled as follows:


Petitioners allege that a reading of paragraphs 9 and 10 of their complaint reveals that they impugn the existence and validity of the alleged deed of sale. As contained therein, petitioners never entered into any transaction with any person conveying the subject property. They did not sign any document in favor of [anyone] neither did they give [anyone]authorization for that purpose. Therefore, consent and cause did not exist in the execution of the deed of sale, invoking Articles 1318, 1352 and 1409(3), of the Civil Code. And, pursuant to Article 1410 of the Civil Code, an action for the declaration of the inexistence of a contract does not prescribe.” (emphasis supplied and citations omitted.)


2. WHEN THE PLAINTIFF IS IN POSSESSION OF THE LAND, THE ACTION FOR RECONVEYANCE IS IMPRESCRIPTIBLE. This exception to the prescriptiblity of actions was efficiently laid down by the court in the case Campos v. Ortega, et. al.[2]to wit:


"The Court agrees with the CA’s disquisition that an action for reconveyance can indeed be barred by prescription. In a long line of cases decided by this Court, we ruled that an action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust must perforce prescribe in ten (10) years from the issuance of the Torrens title over the property.


However, there is an exception to this rule. In the case of Heirs of Pomposa Saludares v. Court of Appeals, the Court, reiterating the ruling in Millena v. Court of Appeals, held that there is but one instance when prescription cannot be invoked in an action for reconveyance, that is, when the plaintiff is in possession of the land to be reconveyed. In Heirs of Pomposa Saludares, this Court explained that the Court, in a series of cases, has permitted the filing of an action for reconveyance despite the lapse of more than ten (10) years from the issuance of title to the land and declared that said action, when based on fraud, is imprescriptible as long as the land has not passed to an innocent buyer for value. But in all those cases, the common factual backdrop was that the registered owners were never in possession of the disputed property. The exception was based on the theory that registration proceedings could not be used as a shield for fraud or for enriching a person at the expense of another." (emphasis supplied and citations omitted.)


[1] G.R. No. 173186, September 16, 2015.

[2] G.R. No. 171286, June 2, 2014.