The redemption period has already lapsed
Sec. 27, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court states the persons who may redeem a real property sold, thus:
Sec. 27. Who may redeem real property so sold.
Real property sold as provided in the last preceding section, or any part thereof sold separately, may be redeemed in the manner hereinafter provided, by the following persons:
(a) The judgment obligor, or his successor in interest in the whole or any part of the property;
(b) A creditor having a lien by virtue of an attachment, judgment or mortgage on the property sold, or on some part thereof, subsequent to the lien under which the property was sold. Such redeeming creditor is termed a redemptioner. (Emphasis Ours.)
From the foregoing rule, it is clear that Bangkok Bank, as an attaching creditor, has the right to redeem the subject Antipolo properties that were foreclosed by Asiatrust.
In determining the period within which to redeem the foreclosed Antipolo properties in the present case, RA 337 or the General Banking Act finds application. Pertinently, its Sec. 78 states:
Sec. 78. x x x In the event of foreclosure, whether judicially or extrajudicially, of any mortgage on real estate which is security for any loan granted before the passage of this Act or under the provisions of this Act, the mortgagor or debtor whose real property has been sold at public auction, judicially or extrajudicially, for the full or partial payment of an obligation to any bank, banking, or credit institution, within the purview of this Act, shall have the right, within one year after the sale of the real estate as a result of the foreclosure of the respective mortgage, to redeem the property by paying the amount fixed by the court in the order of execution, with interest thereon at the rate specified in the mortgage, and all the costs and other judicial expenses incurred by the bank or institution concerned by reason of the execution and sale and as a result of the custody of said property less the income received from the property. However, the purchaser at the auction sale concerned shall have the right to enter upon and take possession of such property immediately after the date of the confirmation of the auction sale and administer the same in accordance with law. (Emphasis Ours.)
In this case, the auction sale took place on April 15, 1998 and was registered with the RD on April 21, 1998. Subsequently, on April 30, 1999, a date already and certainly beyond the one-year redemption period provided by law, new titles were issued in favor of Asiatrust. Apparently, Bangkok Bank chose not to exercise its right of redemption over the subject Antipolo properties.
Even as a general rule, “[t]he period of redemption is not tolled by the filing of a complaint or petition for annulment of the mortgage and the foreclosure sale conducted pursuant to the said mortgage,” Bangkok Bank, however, filed its action for rescission way beyond the expiration of the said redemption period on July 20, 1999. After the expiration of the redemption period, Asiatrust as purchaser, therefore, became the absolute owner of the subject properties, and whose rights necessarily include the right to be in the legal possession of the properties.
As a final note, in ruling for Bangkok Bank, the CA strangely did not even delve upon any fact that could have ascertained the allegation of fraud from which Bangkok Bank based its arguments. Quite the opposite, the RTC discussed in detail the facts and testimonies presented by the parties, upon which its finding of the absence of fraud was based. Indeed, factual findings by the trial court are afforded great weight by this Court especially when supported by substantial evidence on record.
While prejudice to Bangkok Bank ultimately resulted in the series of inopportune events that led to the present case, it cannot be denied that no clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence was presented to show fraud on the part of both the spouses Lee and Asiatrust. Nor was bad faith on the part of Asiatrust and the 12 other subsequent purchasers established. Accordingly, the REM annotated on the titles of the subject Antipolo properties and the subsequent foreclosure of the same properties cannot and should not be rescinded.