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I.

Possession
A. Definition and Concept
Civil Code Art. 523-530
Cases:
Ramos v. Director of Lands, 39 Phil. 175
FACTS:
Ramos was a holder of a possession information title which he
later conveyed to Romero. Romero applied for the registration of the land.
HELD:
The possession and cultivation of a portion of a tract of land
under claim of ownership, under a claim of ownership of all, is a constructive
possession of all, if the remainder isnt under the adverse possession of
another.
RAMOS VS. DIRECTOR OF LANDS- Adverse Possession
The general rule is that possession and cultivation of a portion of a tract of
land under the claim of ownership of all is a constructive possession of all, if
the remainder is not in the adverse possession of another.
FACTS:
Restituo Romero gained possession of a considerable tract of
land located in Nueva Ecija. He took advantage of the Royal Decree to obtain
a possessory information title to the land and was registered as such.
Parcel No. 1 included within the limits of the possessory information title of
Romero was sold to Cornelio Ramos, herein petitioner.
Ramos instituted appropriate proceedings to have his title registered.
Director of Lands opposed on the ground that Ramos had not acquired a good
title from the Spanish government.
Director of Forestry also opposed on the ground that the first parcel of land is
forest land.
It has been seen however that the predecessor in interest to the petitioner at
least held this tract of land under color of title.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the actual occupancy of a part of the land
described in the instrument giving color of title sufficient to give title to the
entire tract of land?
HELD:
The general rule is that possession and cultivation of a portion of
a tract of land under the claim of ownership of all is a constructive possession
of all, if the remainder is not in the adverse possession of another.
The claimant has color of title; he acted in good faith and he has open,
peaceable, and notorious possession of a portion of the property, sufficient to
apprise the community and the world that the land was for his enjoyment.

Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his
feet on every square meter of ground before it can be said that he is in
possession.
Ramos and his predecessor in interest fulfilled the requirements of the law on
supposition that the premises consisted of agricultural public land.
On the issue of forest land, Forest reserves of public land can be established
as provided by law. When the claim of the citizen and the claim of the
government as to a particular piece of property collide, if the Government
desires to demonstrate that the land is in reality a forest, the Director of
Forestry should submit to the court convincing proof that the land is not more
valuable for agricultural than for forest purposes.
In this case, the mere formal opposition on the part of the Attorney-General
for the Director of Forestry, unsupported by satisfactory evidence will not
stop the courts from giving title to the claimant.
Petitioner and appellant has proved a title to the entire tract of land for which
he asked for registration.
Registration in the name of the petitioner is hereby granted.

Director v. CA, 130 SCRA 9


Director of lands vs. Court of Appeals
Facts:The land in question is situated in Obando, Bulacan. It adjoins the
Kailogan River and private respondent Valeriano have converted it into
a fishpond. In their application in 1976, private respondents claimed
that they are the co-owners in fee simple of the land partly through
inheritance and partly by purchase and that; it is not within any forest
or military reservation. The Republic of the Phil., represented by the Dir
of the Bureau of Forest Development, opposed the application on the
principal ground that the land applied for is WITHIN THEUNCLASSIFIED
REGION of Obando, Bulacan and that such area are denominated as
FORESTLANDS-do not form part of the disposable and alienable portion
of the public domain.
The Trial Court ordered registration of the subject land in favor of the
Valerianos. This was affirmed by the CA which said in part that since
the subject property is entirely devoted to fishpond purposes, it cannot
be categorized as part of forest lands.
Issue:

WON the courts can reclassify the subject public land.

Held: Courts cannot reclassify... its beyond their competence and


jurisdiction.

The classification of public lands is an exclusive prerogative of the


Executive Department of the Government (Bureau of Forest
Development) and not of the Courts. In the absence of such
classification, the land remains as unclassified land until it is released
there from and rendered open to disposition. Since the subject
property is still unclassified, whatever possession Applicants
(Valeriano) may have had, and, however long, cannot ripen into private
ownership. The conversion of the subject property into a fishpond by
Applicants does not automatically render the property as alienable and
disposable. The recommendation of the District Forester for release of
subject property from unclassified region is not the ultimate word on
the matter.

Pleasantville Devt Corp v. CA, 253 SCRA 10


G.R. NO. 79688
PANGANIBAN, J.

253

SCRA

10

FEBRUARY

1,

1996PONENTE:

Doctrine: Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that he land
he is building on is his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his
title. The burden of proving bad faith belongs to the one asserting it.
Facts: Edith Robillo purchased from Pleasantville Development
Corporation, herein petitioner a parcel of land at Pleasantville
Subdivision, Bacolod City. The property was designated as Lot 9, Phase
II. In 1975, herein respondent Eldred Jardinico bought the said subject
lot from the former purchaser. Eldred later discovered that the property
he purchased had improvements introduced therein by respondent
Wilson Kee. Kee on the other hand bought on instalments Lot 8 of the
same subdivision from C.T. Torres Enterprises, Inc. (CTTEI) which is the
exclusive real estate agent of the petitioner. Under the contract Kee
was allowed to take possession of the property even before full
payment of the price. CTTEI through an employee, Zenaida Octaviano
accompanied Kees wife Donabelle to inspect Lot No. 8. Octaviano
however mistakenly pointed towards Lot 9 . Hence spouses Kee
had their residence, an auto repair shop, a store and other
improvements constructed on the wrong lot. Upon discovery of the
blunder both Kee and Jardinico tried to reach an amicable settlement
but they failed. Jardinico demanded that the improvements be
removed but as Kee refused, Jardinico filed a complaint for ejectment
with damages against Kee at the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC)
of Bacolod City. Kee filed a third-party complaint against herein
petitioner and CTTEI.

The MTCC found that the error was attributable to CTTEI also
since at present the contract with Kee has rescinded for Kees failure to
pay installments. Kee no longer had any right over the subject property
and must pay rentals for its use.
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacolod City ruled that
petitioner and CTTEI were not at fault or were not negligent. It
argued that Kee was a builder in bad faith. Even if assuming that he
was in good faith, he was no longer so and must pay rentals from the
time that he was given notice to vacate the lot.
The Court of Appeals ruled that Kee was a builder in good faith
a she was unaware of the mix-up when he constructed the
improvements. It was in fact due to the negligence and wrongful
delivery of CTTEI which included its principal the herein petitioner. It
further ruled that the award of rental was without basis. Pending the
resolution of the case at the Court of Appeals Jardinico and Kee entered
into a deed of sale, wherein Lot 9 was sold to Kee. In the said deed a
provision stating that regardless of the outcome of the decision, such
shall not be pursued by the parties and shall be considered dismissed
and without effect. The appellate court was not informed of this deal.
Issue:Whether or not a lot buyer who constructs improvements on the
wrong property erroneously delivered by the owners agent, a builder
in good faith?
Held: Yes, Article 527 of the Civil Code provides the presumption that
petitioner has the burden of proving that Kee was a builder in bad faith.
Kee may be made liable for the violation of the contract with CTTEI but
this may not be used as a basis of bad faith and as a sufficient ground
to negate the presumption of good faith. Jardinico is presently only
allowed to file a complaint for unlawful detainer. Good faith is based on
the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and his
ignorance of any flaw or defect in is title. Since at the time when Kee
constructed his improvements on Lot 8, he was not aware that it was
actually Lot 9 that was delivered to him. Petitioner further contends
that Kee was negligent as a provision in the Contract of Sale on
Installment stated that the vendee must have personally examined the
property and shall bear on his own the consequential expenses in the
changes that may happen thereon.
The court held that such provision cannot be interpreted as a waiver of
the
Vendees right to recover damages resulting from petitioners
negligence. Such interpretation of the waiver is contrary to law and
public policy and cannot be allowed. Petitioner cannot claim and

excuse itself from liability by claiming that it was not directly involved
in the delivery of the property. The principal must be responsible for
the acts of the agent done within the scope of his authority. CTTEI was
the sole real estate representative of the petitioner when the delivery
was made.
Wilson Kee is therefore declared a builder in good faith. Petitioner
and respondent CTTEI are declared solidarily liable for
damages due to negligence. The award of rentals to Jardinico is
dispensed with.
Kasilag v. Roque, GR No. 46623, December 7, 1939
69 Phil 217
PROCEDURAL FACTS:
This is an appeal taken by the defendantpetitioner from the decision of the Court of Appeals which modified
that rendered by the court of First Instance of Bataan. The said court
held: that the contract is entirely null and void and without effect; that
the plaintiffs-respondents, then appellants, are the owners of the
disputed land, with its improvements, in common ownership with their
brother Gavino Rodriguez, hence, they are entitled to the possession
thereof; that the defendant-petitioner should yield possession of the
land in their favor, with all the improvements thereon and free from
any lien
SUBSTANTIVE FACTS: The parties entered into a contract of loan to
which has an accompanying accessory contract of mortgage. The
executed accessory contract involved the improvements on a piece
land, the land having been acquired by means of homestead. P for his
part accepted the contract of mortgage.
Believing that there are no violations to the prohibitions in the
alienation of lands P, acting in good faith took possession of the land.
To wit, the P has no knowledge that the enjoyment of the fruits of the
land is an element of the credit transaction of Antichresis.

ISSUE:
Whether or not P is deemed to be a possessor in good faith
of the land, based upon Article 3 of the New Civil Code as states
Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith, the
Ps lack of knowledge of the contract of antichresis.

HELD: The accessory contract of mortgage of the improvements of on


the land is valid. The verbal contract of antichresis agreed upon is
deemed null and void.

REASONING: Sec 433 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides


Every person who is unaware of any flaw in his title or in the manner
of its acquisition by which it is invalidated shall be deemed a possessor
of good faith. And in this case, the petitioner acted in good faith. Good
faith maybe a basis of excusable ignorance of the law, the petitioner
acted in good faith in his enjoyment of the fruits of the land to which
was done through his apparent acquisition thereof.

B. Acquisition of Possession
Civil Code Art. 530 538, 2144, 2150, 545, 1119
Cases
Banco Espanol Filipino v. Peterson, 7Phil. 409

Macasaet v. Macasaet, GR No. 152391-92, Sept. 30, 2004

Cuaycong v. Benedicto, 37 Phil. 781

Astudillo v. PHHC, 73 SCRA 15

Peran v. CFI, 125 SCRA 79

C. Effects of Possession
Civil Code Art. 539, 429, 544, 549, 553,552, 559, 541, 1131,528, 526
par 3, 527, 529, 554, 1120-1124, 561, 1138(2), 426, 533 and 1078,
541 cf 1141, 537
Cases
Yu v. Honrado, 99SCRA 273
Cordero v. Cabral