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PECSON VS. COURT OF APPEALS (GR NO. 105360, 25 May 1993) Pon n! " Quiason G#$!

" The payment of real estate tax and sending of notices to delinquent taxpayers are mandatory but as to where notices of real estate tax delinquency should be sent there are two choices, making the choice of where to send it directory (implied in the case as there was no clear discussion of mandatory/directory provisions of tax laws. t!s effed up like that."

FACTS" #. $etitioner!s property in Que%on &ity was sold to 'epomuceno at a public auction after he failed to pay real estate tax delinquencies. a. 'otices of the sale of the property were sent to petitioner at ('o. )* $aquita +treet, +ampaloc ,anila- and were also published in the Times .ournal on /ctober 0, #1, and 12. b. The property was sold to 'epomuceno and since petitioner failed to redeem the property, title was consolidated in 'epomuceno. 3. 4ater, petitioner learned of the sale at public auction, so he filed suit against 'epomuceno, along with Tan and 'uguid who bought the same property from 'epomuceno, to have the title to the property annulled. a. $etitioner claimed that the sale was void because no notice of the sale at public auction was sent to him. 5e also claimed that he was not informed of his right to redeem the property within one year. 1. Trial court upheld the validity of the public auction, ruling that the notices published on several days in newspapers of general circulation were notices in rem, hence valid. a. The fact that the notices were sent to (no. )* $aquita +treet, +ampaloc, ,anilainstead of ('o. #22* $aquita +treet, +ampaloc ,anila- was inconsequential as there was valid notice through the notices published in the newspapers. b. /n appeal, &ourt of 6ppeals affirmed in toto the decision of the trial court. %SSUES" #. 7/' the notices were correctly sent to him as required under the 8eal $roperty Tax &ode 3. 7/' there was proper posting and announcement of the public auction as required by the 8eal $roperty Tax &ode &EL'"

A$ !o #$$( no. 1" #. $etitioner argues that respondent 8egistrar of 9eeds sent the notices to him at :'o. )* $aquita +t., +ampaloc, ,anila: which was not his address. 5e claims that his correct ,anila address is :'o. #22* $aquita +t., +ampaloc: and his correct Que%on &ity address is :'o. )*, ;amias 8oad, Que%on &ity.: a. 5e admits that on the dates the notices were mailed, he was no longer residing in ,anila but in Que%on &ity. b. The notices should have been sent to him at his address at :'o. #22* $aquita +t., +ampaloc, ,anila: even if he was no longer residing there because letters sent to him at the said address were forwarded to him by the occupants of his former house. 3. The law governing this case is $.9. <0< or the 8eal $roperty Tax &ode, section )1 of which provides that= (Co)y o* no!#+ $ $,a-- *o.!,/#!, 0 $ n! either by registered mail or by messenger, or through the barrio captain, !o !, 1 -#n2( n! !a3)ay ., a! !, a11. $$ a$ $,o/n #n !, !a3 .o--$ o. ).o) .!y !a3 . +o.1 +a.1$ o* !, 4(n#+#)a-#!y o. +#!y /, . !, ).o) .!y #$ -o+a! 1, or a! ,#$ . $#1 n+ , #* 5no/n !o $a#1 !. a$(. . o. 0a..#o +a)!a#n. Provided, however, that a return of the proof of service under oath shall be filed by the person making the service with the provincial or city treasurer concerned.>emphasis supplied? 1. @rom +ection )1, it is clear that notices of tax delinquencies or of sale at public auction of forfeited realty can be sent to the delinquent tax payer #!, . at the address in the property tax record cards or at his residence if known to the treasurer or barrio captain. a. > mplication as there was no discussion? The sending of notices to the delinquent taxpayer is mandatory, as this will affect the validity of the public auction, but it becomes directory as to where the notices will be sent. b. &ourt of 6ppeals found that what appeared in the records of the /ffice of the &ity Treasurer of Que%on &ity as the address of petitioner was :#22* $aquita, ,anila,: and below the number #22* was the number :)*:. c. @rom this entry, anyone would deduce that the taxpayer had transferred his residence to :'o. )* $aquita, +ampaloc, ,anila: from :'o. #22* $aquita, +ampaloc, ,anila:. n fact, the register for the tax years starting from #*A3, the address of petitioner was recorded as :)* $aquita, ,la.:

d. The &ourt of 6ppeals thus correctly concluded that the employees in charge of sending notices in the TreasurerBs /ffice were not blameworthy in relying on the available tax records. e. +ince notices were, for all intents and purposes, properly sent, the sale of the property was valid. t follows that the current title to the property cannot be annulled and set aside in favor of petitioner. <. $etitionerBs contention that he would have received the notices had they been sent to :'o. #22* $aquita, +ampaloc, ,anila,: because the occupants thereof forwarded the letters addressed to him to his Que%on &ity residence, is untenable. a. t should be noted that when the trial court sent him a notice of the proceedings for the consolidation of title at ('o. #22* $aquita +treet, +ampaloc, ,anila-, this notice was marked (unclaimed-.

C. 5ence, petitioner himself was at fault because as a property owner, he should have known that real properties are taxed and failure to pay real estate tax will result in the forfeiture of the subDect property and its sale at public auction. a. n all the time before and after the sale, petitioner made no move to settle his tax delinquencies and neither did he try to redeem the property after it was sold to 'epomuceno.

A$ !o #$$( no. 2" The question on the posting of the notices and the announcement of the sale is a question of fact, which +& will not inquire into and review. P !#!#on 1 n# 1 an1 1 +#$#on o* Co(.! o* A)) a-$ a**#.4 1.