Evicted foundation loses claim to Quezon City lots

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The Court of Appeals (CA) has denied the appeal of Rhema International Livelihood Foundation, Inc. seeking to void the landowners’ title over the property from which they were evicted in 2012.

In a recent 15-page decision, the CA 9th Division affirmed the Quezon City Regional Trial Court’s (RTC) December 2014 dismissal of Rhema’s complaint for the quieting of title of the heirs of Fred Ruiz Castro and Natividad Hizon.

The land dispute involves a parcel of land at Pag-ibig Street, Barangay Commonwealth, Quezon City. Rhema claimed it was in “de jure and de facto possession” of the said property—until its members were ejected in April 2012 and their structures were demolished in October 2012 upon orders by the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC).

The CA said Rhema failed to muster “preponderant proof” to cast doubt on the Castro and Hizon heirs’ land titles.

“Rhema’s mere allegations that the Heirs of Castro and Hizon’s TCT No. RT-17803 is void does not carry any evidentiary value,” read the decision penned by Associate Justice Renato Francisco.

It noted the Office of the Solicitor-General adequately showed the microfilm copies of the titles issued in favor of Rhema’s predecessors-in-interest were spurious.

Rhema also failed to submit evidence to back up its claim that members of the Land Registration Authority’s (LRA) Task Force Titulong Malinis (TFTM) were “lured to sign” the report stating its titles were fabricated “without proper investigation.”

While Rhema presented a deed of donation in its favor, the CA pointed out that this did not actually pass the title over the land.e

The court added that the Castro and Hizon heirs “cannot be forced to recognize the validity of the deed of donation… because they are not parties to such donation.”

Rhema was also embroiled in land disputes concerning property along Agham Road in Quezon City and Nuestra Señora de Guia Street in Manila.

Its Facebook page describes the Rhema Foundation as a “large, autonomous organization formed to support the marginalized part of the society.”

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