Ponente: AQUINO, J.
The case began when Manuela Aquial and Maria Aquial filed a complaint in forma pauperis in the Court of First Instance of Rizal Pasig Branch X, wherein they prayed that they be declared the owners of a parcel of land located at Balara, Marikina, Rizal, docketed as Civil Case No. 8943. They alleged that sometime in 1960, or after J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. had illegally entered upon that land, they discovered that it had been fraudulently or erroneously included in OCT No. 735 of the Registry of Deeds of Rizal. They further alleged that transfer certificates of title, derived from OCT No. 735, were issued to J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc., et.al. J.M. Tuason & Co., Inc. filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, improper venue, prescription, laches and prior judgment. The plaintiffs opposed that motion. The lower court denied it. The grounds of the motion to dismiss were pleaded as affirmative defenses in the answer of Tuason and J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. They insisted that a preliminary hearing be held on those defenses. The Tuason and J. M. Tuason & Co., Inc. filed the instant civil actions of certiorari and prohibition praying, inter alia, that the trial court be ordered to dismiss the complaint and enjoined from proceeding in the said case, and a writ of preliminary injunction was issued.
Whether or not OCT No. 735 and the titles derived therefrom can be questioned at this late hour by respondents Aquial and Cordova.
NO. The trial court was directed to dismiss Civil Case 8943 with prejudice and without costs.
Considering the governing principle of stare decisis et non quieta movere (follow past precedents and do not disturb what has been settled), respondents Aquial and Cordova cannot maintain their action in Civil Case No. 8943 without eroding the long settled holding of the courts that OCT No. 735 is valid and no longer open to attack.It is against public policy that matters already decided on the merits be relitigated again and again, consuming the court’s time and energies at the expense of other litigants.