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CIVIL LAW CONCEPT OF PROPERTY pleasure or for comfort.

What do we
understand by pleasure or comfort?
All things, whether tangible or intangible, Anything or something that can form part
which are, or may be the object of appropriation of the patrimony of man, his estate, in
order to satisfy his wants.
PROPERTY: AS A SUBJECT 2) Susceptibility of appropriation. One
characteristic of property is that it is
- It is that branch of Civil Law which susceptible to be appropriated, so that
classifies and defines the different kinds what cannot be appropriated cannot be
of appropriable objects. considered as property.
3) Individuality or Substantivity: Meaning
Appropriation defined as a verb as used in the the thing can exist by itself; it is not a part
definition of property which means to allot for of a whole. The example given by Paras is
specific use. Distribute is a very narrow word the human hair. Once it is detached then
compared to appropriation. So anything that one it becomes a property.
can possess that can be allotted for specific use is
property under the Civil Code. Art. 414: All things which are or may be the object of
appropriation are considered either:
Thing As used in the Civil Code, a thing 1) IMMOVABLE OR REAL PROPERTY;
is synonymous to property. However, 2) 2) MOVABLE OR PERSONAL
thing is broader than property because PROPERTY.
thing can be something that can or cannot
be appropriated. It may refer to both Classification of Property
appropriable or non-appropriable objects. 1) Real or immovable (buenes immuebles)
2) Personal or movable (buenes muebles)
Right to property
It is the juridical tie that entitles a person Importance of the Classification of
to make use, enjoy, dispose, abuse, and recover Property Into Immovables and
the thing. Movables:
They do not assume importance from the
fact that they are movables or
CLASSIFICATION OF THINGS: immovables, but because different
provisions of law govern their acquisition,
According to the nature of their ownership: possession, disposition, loss and
registration.
1. res nullius those belonging to no one: this is
either because it has not been appropriated, or
there is abandonment Caltex vs. Central Board of Assessment Appeals
(GR L-50466)
Examples:
i. Fishes swimming in the sea but once Facts: This case is about a realty tax on machinery
they are caught, they are appropriated; they now and equipment installed by Caltex in its gas
belong to the fishermen. They cease to be res stations located on leased land. The machines and
nullius. equipment consist of underground tanks, elevated
Things which have been abandoned by their tank, water tanks, gasoline pumps, etc. The said
owner without the intention of owning machines and equipment are loaned by Caltex to
them again; gas station operators under a lease agreement
2. res communes those belonging to everybody: where it is stipulated that the operators, upon
no one has the right to appropriate the same deman, shall return to Caltex the machines and
exclusively at the expense of another person equipment in good condition when received,
Examples: air we breathe, the sunlight, ordinary wear and tear expected. Hence the lessor
the wind of the land where the gas station is located does
3. res alicujus belonging to someone. These are not become the owner of the machines and
objects that are tangible/intangible, which are equipment installed for ownership is retained by
owned privately either in collective or individual Caltex.
capacity. So if you own something like your
clothes, shoes, pen, land. These are res alicujus The city assessor of Pasay City
and are considered as property. characterized the said items as taxable realty. The
city board of tax appeals ruled that they are
personal property.
3 CHARACTERISITICS OF PROPERTY.
(Absent any one of this, the thing may not be Issue: W/N the gas station equipment and
considered as property) machinery permanently affixed by Caltex to its
gas station and pavement should be subject to
1) Utility, which means it is capable of realty tax.
satisfying human wants, either for
Held: Yes. Improvements on land are commonly who are not parties to the contract, and
taxed as realty even though for some purposes specially in execution proceedings, the house is
they might be considered as personalty. It is a considered as an immovable property.
familiar phenomenon to see things classed as real
property for purposes of taxation which on 3. TUMALAD vs VICENCIO (GR L-30173)
general principle might be considered personal
property. Facts: On Sept. 1, 1955, defendants executed a
chattel mortgage in favor of the plaintiffs over
their house of strong materials located at No. 550
2. NAVARRO VS PINEDA (GR L-18456) Int. 3, Quezon Blvd, Quiapo, erected on lands
which were being rented from Madrigal and
Facts: On Dec. 14, 1959, Rufino Pineda and his Company Inc. The mortgage was to guarantee a
mother Juana borrowed form Navarro the sum of loan of Php 4, 800.00. When defendants defaulted
Php 2, 550.00 payeable 6 months after or on in paying, the mortgage was extrajudicially
June 14. To secure the indebtedness, Rufino foreclosed and sold at a public auction pursuant
executed a document captioned "DEED OF REAL to the contract. As the highest bidder, plaintiffs
ESTATE AND CHATTEL MORTGAGES", were issued a deed of sale. Subsequently,
whereby Juana, by way of real estate mortgage plaintiffs filed a civil case praying, among others,
hypothecatd a parcel of land, and Rufino by way that the house be vacated and its possession
of Chattel mortgage, mortgaged his 2 story surrendered to them.
residential house, erected on the land of one Atty.
Castro, and one motor truck. The debts became Issue: W/N the house can be a valid subject of a
due and demandable. However, the private chattel mortgage, given the fact that it is made of
respondents were unable to pay despite extension strong materials
grants.
Thereafter, the petitioner filed a Held: The rule about the status of buildings as
complaint for foreclosure of the mortgage and for immovable has been stated in many cases to the
damages. effect that "it is obvious that the inclusion of the
building, separate and distinct from teh land, in
Issue: W/N the residential house can be validly the enumeration of what may constitute real
the subject of a chattel mortgage properties (Art. 415) could only mean one thing,
that a building is by itself an immvable property,
Held: Yes. The trial court did not predicate its irrespective of whether or not said structure and
decision declaring the deed of chattel mortgage the land on which it is adhered to belong to the
valid solely on the ground that the house same owner.
mortgaged was erected on the land which
belonged to a third person, but also on the Certain exceptions have been recognized,
doctrine of estoppel, in that "the parties have so however. In the case at bar, the house on rented
expressly agreed" in the mortgage to consider the land is not only expressly designated as Chattel
house as a chattel "for its smallness and mixed Mortgage; it specifically provides that "the
materials of sawali and wood". In a case, a mortgagor ... voluntarily CEDES, SELLS and
mortgaged house built on a rented land, was TRANSFERS by way of Chattel Mortgage he
held to be a personal property not only because property together with its leasehold rights over
the deed of mortgage considered. it as such, but the lot on which it is constructed and participation
also because it did not form an integral part of ..."lthough there is no specific statement referring
the landor it is now well settled that an object to the subject house as personal property, yet by
placed on land by one who has only a ceding, selling or transferring a property by way
temporary right to the same, such as a lessee or of chattel mortgage defendants-appellants could
usufructuary, does not become immobilized only have meant to convey the house as chattel, or
by attachment. Hence, if a house at least, intended to treat the same as such, so that
belonging to a person stands on a rented land they should not now be allowed to make an
belonging to another person, it may be inconsistent stand by claiming otherwise. oreover,
mortgaged as a personal property if so stipulated the subject house stood on a rented lot to which
in the document of mortgage. It should be noted, defendants-appellants merely had a temporary
however, that the principle is predicated right as lessee, and although this can not in itself
on statements by the owner declaring his house alone determine the status of the property, it does
to be a chattel, a conduct that may conceivably so when combined with other factors to sustain
estop him from subsequent claiming otherwise. the interpretation that the parties, particularly the
mortgagors, intended to treat the house as
The doctrine, therefore, gathered from personalty. Also, unlike in the Iya cases, it is the
these cases is that although in some instances, a defendants themselves who are attackin the
house of mixed materials has been considered as validity of the mortgage. The doctrine of estoppel
a chattel between the parties and that the validity therefore applies to them.
of the contract between them, has been
recognized, it has been a constant criterion 2. ASSOCIATED INSURANCE AND SURETY
nevertheless that, with respect to third persons, CO. INC. V IYA (GR L-10837), May 30, 1958
building of strong materials produce no effect as
Facts: Spouses Valino were the owners and far as the building is concerned.
possessors of a house of strong materials
constructed on a lot located at Grace Park Subd, Human organ can be a subject of donation
Caloocan, Rizal which they purchased on because there is a law allowing donations
installment basis from the Phil. Realty Corp. To of human organs. In other words, for
be able to purchse on credit rice from the NARIC, purposes of donations, human organs can
Lucia filed a bond in the sum of Php 11,000 be considered as property for purposes of
subscribed by the Associated Insurance Surety giving effect thereto.
Co, and as counter-guaranty, the spouses A dead body by law belongs to no one
executed an alleged chattel mortgage on the and is therefore under the protection of
aforementioned house in favor of AISCO. the public. There can be no property in
the person deceased.
Having completed payment on the
purchase price of the lot, the Valinos were able to LEUNG YEE vs. STRONG MACHINERY
secure on October 18, 1958, a certificate of title in GR No. L-11658. February 15, 1918
their name. Subsequently, however, the Valinos,
to secure payment of an indebtedness in the Parties to a contract may treat a real property by
amount of P12,000.00, executed a real estate nature as personal property. However, this is only
mortgage over the lot and the house in favor of binding insofar the parties are concerned and do not
Isabel Iya, which was duly registered and affect third persons.
annotated at the back of the certificate of title.
FACTS
On the other hand, as Lucia A. Valino, Compania Agricola Filipina purchased rice-
failed to satisfy her obligation to the NARIC, the cleaning machineries from STRONG
surety company was compelled to pay the same MACHINERY. A chattel mortgage was executed
pursuant to the undertaking of the bond. In turn, to secure payment of the sale, involving a
the surety company demanded reimbursement building with the exclusion of the land on which
from the spouses Valino, and as the latter likewise it stood. Unable to pay the debt upon due, the
failed to do so, the company foreclosed the chattel mortgaged property was auctioned by the sheriff
mortgage over the house. As a result thereof, a and was bought by STRONG MACHINERY. The
public sale was conducted wherein the property sale was registered in the chattel mortgage
was awarded to the surety company as the registry and STRONG MACHINERY came into
highest bidde The surety company then caused possession of said property.
the said house to be declared in its name for tax While a chattel mortgage was executed between
purposes. Compania Agricola Filipina and STRONG
MACHINERY, the former also entered into
AISCO subsequently learned of the another mortgage concerning the same building
existence of the real estate mortgage over the lot with LEUNG YEE. Unable to pay, the building
together with the improvements thereon and thus was auctioned by the sheriff and was bought by
instituted a civil case naming the spouses and Iya LEUNG YEE. The sale was registered in the land
as defendants. registry.
When the execution was levied upon the building,
Held: A building cannot be divested of STRONG MACHINERY, being in possession of
its character of a realty by the fact that the land on the property, demanded its release from the levy.
which it is constructed belongs to another. To LEUNG YEE filed an action to recover the
hold it the other way, the possibility is not remote possession of the property.
that it would result in confusion, for to cloak the
building with an uncertain status made ISSUES
dependent on the ownership of the land, would (1) Whether or not parties to a contract may treat
create a situation where a permanent fixture an immovable property as personal property.
changes its nature or character as the ownership (2) Whether or not LEUNG YEE was bound by the
of the land changes hands.In the case at bar, as chattel mortgage on the building executed
personal properties could only be the subject of a between Compania Agricola Filipina and
chattel mortgage (Section 1, Act 3952) and as STRONG MACHINERY.
obviously the structure in question is not one, the
execution of the chattel mortgage covering said RULING
building is clearly invalid and a nullity. While it is (1) YES, parties to a contract may treat an
true that said document was correspondingly immovable property as personal property.
registered in the Chattel Mortgage Register of However, the building was real property and that
Rizal, this act produced no effect whatsoever for mere fact that the parties seem to have dealt it
where the interest conveyed is in the nature of a separate and apart from the land on which it
real property, the registration of the document in stood no wise changed its character as real
the registry of chattels is merely a futile act. Thus, property. Its annotation in the Chattel Mortgage
the registration of the chattel mortgage of a
Registry could not be given the legal effect of RULING
registration in the Registry of Real Property. YES, the mortgage was valid. Where a house
(2) NO, he was not. LEUNG YEE was not stands on a rented land belonging to another
bound by the chattel mortgage on the building person, it may be subject matter of a chattel
executed between Compania Agricola Filipina mortgage, the validity of which cannot be assailed
and STRONG MACHINERY. To treat a real by the contracting parties based partly upon the
property, a building in this case, as personal principle of estoppel. Parties to a contract may by
property, is only binding between the contracting agreement treat as personal property that which
parties and does not affect third persons. Hence, by nature would be real property but is only
LEUNG YEE, being a third person to the binding in so far as the contracting parties are
agreement, was not bound by it. However, concerned.
because there was bad faith on the part of LEUNG In the case at bar, the house was treated was a
YEE since he purchased the building despite personal or movable property by the parties to the
having knowledge that STRONG MACHINERY contract themselves. In fact, in the Deed of Real
had previously purchased it, the court ruled that Estate and Chattel Mortgages executed by
the latter has rightful ownership over it. PINEDA, said house was referred to as personal
property and a chattel for its smallness and
mixed materials of sawali and wood, which was
NAVARRO vs. PINEDA to be conveyed by way of chattel mortgage. With
GR No. L-18456. November 30, 1963. 9 SCRA 631 this, PINEDA and GONZALES are estopped to
question the validity of the mortgages.
Where a house standing on a rented land is made
subject of a chattel mortgage, its validity cannot be
assailed by the contracting parties based partly upon SORIANO vs. GALIT
the principle of estoppel. GR No. 156295. September 23, 2003. 411 SCRA
631
FACTS
PINEDA and GONZALES borrowed P2,550.00 A building in itself is considered immovable. It may
from plaintiff NAVARRO, which was payable in 6 then be a subject of a real estate mortgage separate from
months. To secure the debt, PINEDA mortgaged: the land.
(1) his 2-story residential house situated on a lot
belonging to another, and (2) 1 motor truck by FACTS
was of chattel mortgage. GONZALES on the other GALIT contracted a P480,000.00 loan from
hand, mortgaged her parcel of land by way or real SORIANO. The loan was secured by a real estate
estate mortgage. A Deed of Real Estate and mortgage over a parcel of land. For failure to pay
Chattel Mortgages was executed. Both mortgages his obligation, SORIANO filed a complaint for
were registered with the Registry of Deeds and sum of money against GALIT. The court then
Motor Vehicles Offices. ordered the sheriff to levy the GALIT spouses
When the debt became due and PINEDA and properties: (1) a parcel of land, (2) a storehouse
GONZALES were unable to pay, NAVARRO and (3) bodega. During the public auction,
granted them 2 extensions but they still failed to SORIANO was the only and highest bidder. A
give payment. NAVARRO then filed a complaint Certificate of Sale of Execution of Real Property
for the foreclosure of the mortgage and for was issued. However, the Certificate of Sale
damages. In a Stipulation of Facts submitted by registered by SORIANO with the Registry of
the parties in court, PINEDA and GONZALES Deeds included: (1) a parcel of land and (2) the
admitted their indebtedness to NAVARRO and land on which the storehouse and bodega was
that it was already long due and unpaid. They erected. He then filed a petition for the issuance of
also contended that only movables can be subject a writ of possession over the land on which the
of a chattel mortgage that the chattel mortgage of storehouse and bodega were situated. The
PINEDAs house which was erected on a lot petition was granted by the court.
belonging to another person made the Deed of GALIT spouses assailed via certiorari the
Real Estate and Chattel Mortgages invalid. The inclusion of the land on which the storehouse and
court however, ordered the auction of the bodega was built on since only the 2 buildings
mortgaged properties. were deemed sold to SORIANO to the exclusion
Hence, this appeal by PINEDA, contending that of the land. The petition was granted and the writ
his house which was built on a lot not owned by of possession issued to SORIANO was declared
him was real property that the chattel mortgage null and void. Hence, this appeal by SORIANO.
on said house was invalid.
ISSUE
ISSUE Whether or not the purchase of the of the 2
Whether or not the Deed of Real Estate and buildings necessarily included the land on which
Chattel Mortgages they were constructed on since they are
is valid when the house PINEDA made subject of immovable properties.
the chattel mortgage was erected on a land
belonging to a third person. RULING
NO, it did not. Buildings in themselves may be been placed in an immovable, partake
mortgaged apart form the land on which they the nature of the latter, such as those
have been built on. Such would still be considered mentioned in Art. 415 par. 4, 6, 7, and
immovable property even if dealt with separately 9.
and apart from the land. In fact, the Civil Code 4. Immovable by ANALOGY or by
separately enumerated lands and buildings as LAW those mentioned in Art. 415
immovable property. Hence, a building, by itself, par. 10, right of usufruct, easements,
is considered immovable. and servitudes

IMMOVABLE PROPERTY Paragraph 1: Land, buildings, roads and


constructions of all kinds adhered to soil;
ART. 415: The following are immovable property: Land is immovable by NATURE.
1) Land, buildings, roads and constructions of all The buildings, roads, and constructions
kinds adhered to soil; are immovable by INCORPORATION
2) Trees, plants, and growing fruits, while they because they form part of an immovable
are attached to the land or form an integral or that they are adhered into the soil.
part of an immovable;
3) Everything attached to an immovable in a Paragraph 2: Trees, plants, and growing
fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be fruits, while they are attached to the land
separated therefrom without breaking the or form an integral part of an immovable;
material or deterioration of the object; They can be considered as immovable by
4) Statues, reliefs, paintings, or other objects for nature or incorporation.
use or ornamentation, placed in buildings or By NATURE if they are spontaneous
on lands by the owner of the immovable in products of the soil (naturally grows in
such a manner that it reveals the intention to the land).
attach them permanently to the tenements.
By INCORPORATION if they are
5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or
essentially attached or planted in the land
implements intended by the owner of the
in such a manner to be an integral part
tenement for an industry or works which may
thereof.
be carried on in a building or on a piece of
Once, they are removed from or no longer
land, and which tend directly to meet the
needs of the said industry or works. adhered to the land, they become
6) Animal houses, pigeon-houses, beehives, fish movables except if they timber from the
ponds or breeding places of similar nature in timberland.
case their owner has placed them or preserves
them with the intention to have them Paragraph 3: Everything attached to an
permanently attached to the land, and forming immovable in a fixed manner, in such a
a permanent par of it; the animals in these way that it cannot be separated therefrom
places are included; without breaking the material or
7) Fertilizer actually used on a piece of land; deterioration of the object;
8) Mines, quarries, and slag dumps while the
matter thereof forms part of the bed and These are immovables by
waters either running or stagnant; INCORPORATION because they cannot
9) Docks and structures which, though floating, be separated from the immovables
are intended by their nature and object to without breaking or substantial
remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or deterioration. The fact of incorporation
coast; determines the immovability of the thing.
10) Contracts for public works, and servitudes It is not necessary that the objects are
and other real rights over immovable property. placed by the owner in order to determine
its immovability
Paragraph 4: Statues, reliefs, paintings, or
CLASSES OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY: other objects for use or ornamentation,
placed in buildings or on lands by the
1. Immovable by NATURE those owner of the immovable in such a manner
which cannot be moved from place to that it reveals the intention to attach them
place by their very nature such as permanently to the tenements.
land, mines, slag dumps;
2. Immovable by INCORPORATION It is necessary that the owner of the
those which are essentially movables, immovable property must place the object
but are attached to an immovable in to the immovable property.
such a manner as to become an The properties here are essentially
integral part thereof. Examples of movable but they become immovable
which are those mentioned in Art. 415 under PARAGRAPH 4 because of the
par. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6. purpose of the owner to attach them
3. Immovable by DESTINATION - those permanently to the immovable;
which are essentially movables, but
by the purpose for which they have
GR: to be considered as immovable, the as dismantling them would result to damages to
machineries must be placed by the owner. the wooden frames attached.
If it is not placed by the owner, then it is
considered as movable. The petitioner claims that the machineries
Exceptions: and equipment seized are still MES properties
1) if it is placed by the tenant acting as agent until fully paid for and as such never became
of the owner of the immovable; immovable.
2) if the tenant has promised, or agreed in
the contract that the tenant would leave Issue: Should the sheriff execute the writ and
the machinery or the equipment to the confiscate the machines?
owner of the land even after the lease has
expired. Held: The machinery in question appeared to be
attached to the land, particularly to the concrete
Paragraph 5: Machinery, receptacles, foundation, in a fixed manner, in such a way that
instruments or implements intended by the the former could not be separated from the latter
owner of the tenement for an industry or without breaking the material or deterioration of
works which may be carried on in a the object. Hence, they are considered real
building or on a piece of land, and which property and not subject to replevin.
tend directly to meet the needs of the said
industry or works. NB: the issue of ownership of the materials were
not raised in the CFI hence not discussed by the
o REQUISITES: SC.
1. the machineries must be placed by
the owner of the immovable or his DAVAO SAW MILL VS CASTILLO
agent or his duly authorized
representatives; Facts: DSM operated a sawmill in DC. The land
2. there must be an industry, business, upon which the business was conducted belonged
or work must be carried on in to another person. On the land, DSM erected a
building or the land; building which housed the machinery used by it.
3. the machineries must tend directly to The machines were placed and mounted on
meet the need of such industry or foundations of cement. The contract of lease
said work; between DSM and the owner provided that all
4. the machines must be essential and improvements and buildings introduced and
principal elements of the industry. erected by DSM shall pass to the exclusive
property of the owner with the exception that the
The properties here are machineries and accessories are not included as
essentially movable but they improvements.
become immovable under
PARAGRAPH 5, because In another action brought by Davao Light
they are used in the industry, against DSM, judgment was rendered against the
or in a business and placed by latter and a writ of execution was issued thereon,
the owner of the immovable. and the machines were levied as personalty by the
o What is the effect of the sheriff. DSM now contends that the machines are
separation of these real property (by destination), and thus cannot be
machineries in Paragraph 5? levied.
If the purpose is no longer
there, they become movables. Held: Machine is movable by nature and only
But if the separation is merely becomes immobilized when placed in a plant by
temporary, and there is that the owner of the property or plant. Such result
very intention to return them, would not be accomplished, therefore, by the
then their immovable placing of machinery in a plant by a tenant or
character remain usufructuary or any person having only a
temporary right. The distinction rests, as pointed
MACHINERY ENGINEERING SUPPLY V CA out by Demolombre upon the fact that one only
having a temporary right to the possession or
Facts: MES filed a complaint for replevin against enjoyment of property is not presumed by the law
Ipo Limestone Co for the recovery of the to have applied movable property belonging to
machineries and equipments sold and delivered him so as to deprive him of it by causing it by an
to the latter. The judge issued an order act of immobilization to become the property of
commanding the provincial sheriff to seize and another.
take possession of the properties.
It follows that the machinery put by DSM
Thereafter, the sheriff went to Bulacan for did not lose its character of movable property and
the purpose of carrying out the court's order. The become immovable by destination. Hence could
manager of Ipo protested the seizure on the be levied.
ground that the same were not personal property
The concrete immobilizatoin (of the foreclose all the mortgage but exclude the
improvements, etc) took place because of the machines since they are not part of the real estate
express provisions of the lease, since the lease mortgage because they are not real property due
deprived the tenant of any right to charge against to the fact that the price is unpaid.
the lessor the cost, and it was expressly stipulated
that the improvements, etc should become part of Issue: Are after acquired machines covered by the
the property belonging to the owner without real estate mortgage executed before acquisition
compensation to the lessee. Under such of the same?
conditions, the tenant was acting but an agent of
the owner, and the immobilization which resulted Held: Machinery intended by the owner of the
arose in legal effect from the act of the owner in building or land used in connection to any
giving by contract a permanent destination of the industry or trade being carried on therein and
machinery. which are expressly adopted to meet the
requirements of such trade, are considered as real
property.
MINDANAO BUS CO VS. CITY ASSESSOR
- Paragraph 8: Mines, quarries, and slag
Facts: This is a petition to review the decision of dumps while the matter thereof forms
the Court of Tax Appels in holding that the MBC part of the bed and waters either running
is liable to the payment of the realty tax on its or stagnant;
maintenance and repair equipment.
Slag dump - these are dirt and soil taken form a
Held: Movable equipments to be immobilized in mine and piled upon the surface of the ground.
contemplation of the law must first be "essential You can find minerals inside the dump.
and principal elements" of an industry or works o They are considered immovables
without which such industry or works would be while they form part of the bed. le.
"unable to function or carry on the industrial But once the minerals are extracted
purpose for which it was established." from the land like gold, they become
movable. So, this is immovable by
The tools and equipments in question in incorporation, for as long as they are
this instant case are, by their nature, not essential part of the soil.
and principal elements of petitioner's business of
transporting passengers and cargoes by motor - Paragraph 9: Docks and structures which,
trucks. They are merely incidentals-acquired as though floating, are intended by their
movables and used only for expediency to nature and object to remain at a fixed
facilitate and/or improve its service. Even place on a river, lake, or coast;
without such tools and equipments, its business o So the docks and structures have
may he carried on since it can be repaired or to be fixed. But if you have a
serviced in a shop belonging to another. houseboat that moves from one
place to another, it is not
Aside from the element of essentiality the considered immovable but
above-quoted provision also requires that the movable.
industry or works he carried on in a building or o Vessels, ships no matter how big
on a piece of land. In the case at bar the they are, are movable properties.
equipments in question are destined only to o In the case PRC V JARQUE, this
repair or service the transportation business, illustrates the fact that vessels are
which is not carried on in a building or considered as personal property.
permanently on a piece of land, as demanded by Its just that when it comes to
the law. vessels, there are certain
requirements for a sale to be valid
BERKENKOTTER VS CU UNJIENG and binding against 3rd persons
such as registration in the
Facts: There is a sugar central (Malabacat Sugar Registry of Property Vessels and
Co), several machines were installed in the plant. the affidavit of good faith. But
Now, there was a need for the plant to increase its just take note that if a vessel is a
production. They needed to install additional subject of transaction, it is
machines. The problem is that these machineries definitely movable.
were purchased on account and the whole of the
plant, including the land were the subject of a real - Paragraph 10: Contracts for public works,
estate mortgage. What compounds the problem is and servitudes and other real rights over
that merong mga machines installed after the immovable property.
execution of the real estate mortgage. o The contract itself, the piece of
paper is not immovable but
Now, hindi nabayaran yung loan ng mga movable. But what is written on
machines. So that finoforclose na ngayon yung the piece of paper, if it is a
mortgage. Sabi ng Malabacat, okay you can
contract for public works, then The Chattel Mortgage Law includes the
that is a real property. requirement of an Affidavit of Good Faith appended
o So if you have a right over to the mortgage and recorded therewith. The
immovable property, you have absence of said affidavit vitiates a mortgage as
the right to sue somebody over against creditors and subsequent encumbrancers.
the immovable property in which Being that no affidavit was executed, the
such right is also considered as mortgage was lacking and was rule unenforceable
immovable. So, there are 2 against third persons.
properties here:
o We call this real property by CALTEX vs. CBAA
ANALOGY because these rights GR No. L-50466. May 31, 1982. 114 SCRA 296
involve here are not material but
they partake the essential Gas station equipment and machinery are taxable as
characteristics of the immovable realty because without them, a gas station would
property. entirely be useless. Some improvements although have
a characteristic of personalty are taxed as real property.
PRC vs. JARQUE GR No. L-41506. March 25,
1935 FACTS
CALTEX loaned to gas station operators, gas
Ship Vessels are personal property but when station equipments and machineries under an
it is a subject of a chattel mortgage, the appropriate lease agreement or receipt. Said
absence of an Affidavit of Good Faith as machineries and equipments consist of
required under the Mortgage Law makes the underground tank, elevated water tanks, water
mortgage void. tanks, gasoline pumps, computing pumps, car
washer, car hoists, truck hoists, air compressors,
FACTS etc.
PHILIPPINE REFINING CO. (PRC) and In the contract, it was stipulated that these
JARQUE executed 3 mortgages on the vessels equipments and machineries would still be
Pandan and Zaragosa. The 2 vessels were referred owned by CALTEX during the period of lease.
to as chattel mortgage. A 4th mortgage was The operators shall also return to CALTEX these
executed between JARQUE and Aboitiz on the equipments upon demand or upon the expiration
vessel Zaragosa, which was entered in the chattel of the contract in good condition as when
mortgage registry. received, ordinary tear and wear accepted.
A petition to declare JARQUE as an insolvent The CITY ASSESSOR OF PASAY characterized
debtor was filed in court. After said petition was these machines as real property and thus taxable.
granted, all of JARQUEs properties were On appeal by CALTEX, the City Board of Tax
assigned to Corominas. However, the judge Appeals declared it as personalty. Upon appeal of
refused to order the foreclosure of the mortgages the CITY ASSESSOR OF PASAY to the CENTRAL
in favor of PRC declaring that it contained defects. BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS (CBAA),
Being that chattel mortgages require an Affidavit of the latter declared said machineries as real
Good Faith for their validity, the first 2 mortgages property and hence, taxable.
lacked such affidavit and while although the 3rd CALTEX filed a petition via certiorari with the SC
mortgage contained such, it was not registered to set aside the resolution of the CBAA and to
within 30 days before the commencement of the declare said machineries as personal property and
insolvency proceedings against JARQUE. hence, not taxable. It contended that their case
On appeal, PRC contended that the vessels do was similar with the Davao Saw Mills case,
not need said Affidavit of Good Faith on the ground wherein machinery fixed on rented property was
that they were real property. ruled as personal property.

ISSUE ISSUES
Whether or not motor vessels are real (1) Whether or not the gas station equipment and
property that when mortgaged, they do not need machinery were immovable property.
an Affidavit of Good Faith to be valid. (2) Whether or not gas station equipment and
machinery permanently fixed by CALTEX to its
RULING gas station and pavement which are taxable
NO, motor vessels are not real property but realty, subject to realty tax.
are rather personal property under both the civil
and common laws. Hence, they are subject under RULING
the Chattel Mortgage Law. A mortgage on a (1) The court did not rule on the mobility or
vessel is generally like any other chattel mortgage immobility of the gas station equipment and
as to its requisites and validity. The difference is machinery.
that the title to a vessel subject of a mortgage (2) YES, they are subject to realty tax. These
should be recorded not with the Registry of Deed gas station equipment and machinery are taxable
but rather with the Collector of Customs of the improvements as appurtenances to the gas station
port of entry. building or shed owned by CALTEX, the latter,
which are also taxable realty. It is because without
these equipment and machinery, the gas station estoppel. It can then be a valid subject of a
would be useless. Improvements on land are replevin.
commonly taxed as realty even though for some
purposes, they might be considered personalty. It FACTS
is a familiar phenomenon to see things classed as SERGS PRODUCTS owned a sum of money from
real property for purposes of taxation which on PCI LEASING AND FINANCE. Unable to pay,
general principle might be considered personal PCI LEASING filed an application for a sum of
property. money and for a writ of replevin to obtain
machineries against SERGS PRODUCTS. Upon
BENGUET CORP. vs. CBAA the issuance of the replevin, the sheriff seized 1
GR No. 106041. January 29, 1993. 218 SCRA 271 machinery of SERGS PRODUCTS with word that
he will come back for the others. SERGS
A dam is an immovable property by nature and by PRODUCTS prayed to the court that the
incorporation. Hence, it is subject to realty tax. enforcement of the replevin be prevented on the
ground that the machineries were real property
FACTS by immobilization and thus not subject to said
BENGUET CORP. owned a mine and a dam. The replevin. PCI LEASING on the other hand
Provincial Assessor of Zambales classified the contended that the machines were personal
dam as a taxable improvement of the mine. On property. The sheriff came back to seize 2 more
appeal by BENGUET CORP. to the CENTRAL machines but failed.
BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS (CBAA), The Court of Appeals classed the machineries as
the latter declared that the tailings dam and the personal property and had only been leased and
land submerged under it are subject to realty tax. not owned by SERGS PRODUCTS. Hence this
BENGUET CORP. then filed a petition to the SC appeal.
via certiorari asking the court set aside the
resolution of CBAA. It contended that the dam ISSUES
should not be subject to tax because it was not an (1) Whether or not the machineries became real
assessable improvement of the mine but rather an property by virtue of immobilization.
integral part of the mines operation. The Sol. Gen (2) Whether or not the machineries could be
argued however that the dam was an assessable subject of a replevin.
improvement because it enhanced the value and
utility of the mine like holding waste from the RULING
mine and impounding water for recycling. (1) YES, the machineries became real property
by virtue of immobilization. The machineries
ISSUE were real property under par. 5 of Art. 415 being
Whether or not the dam was an assessable that:
improvement of the mine and thus subject to 1) they were placed by SERGS PRODUCTS, the
realty tax. owner of the tenement,
(2) they were intended for an industry, which in
RULING this case is the chocolate-making industry and
YES, the dam was an assessable improvement of (3) they were essential to said industry.
the mine and subject to realty tax. The mine can Hence, although each of them was movable or
operate without the dam because the primary personal property on its own, all of them have
function of the dam is merely to receive and retain become immobilized by destination because they
the wastes and water coming from the mine. are essential and principal elements of the
There was no allegation that it was the only industry.
source of water as to make the dam an integral However, in the Lease Agreement executed
part of the mine. between SERGS PRODUCTS and PCI LEASING,
The Real Property Code did not define what is said machineries were referred to as personal
real property that the definition in Art. 415 of the property. Contracting parties may validly
Civil Code shall apply. The dam was an stipulate that a real property be considered as
immovable under pars. 1 and 3 of Art. 415 hence personal but is only good between them and do
it was taxable realty. Under par. 1, the dam was not affect third persons. After agreeing on such
an immovable property since it was a stipulation, they are consequently estopped from
construction adhered to the soil. Under par. 3, it claiming otherwise. SERGS PRODUCTS now, is
was an immovable since it was fixed in a manner estopped from claiming that said properties were
that it cannot be separated from the land without real property when it had formerly agreed in the
breaking or deteriorating. Lease Agreement that said properties were
personal properties.
SERGS PRODUCTS vs. PCI (2) YES, the machineries can be the subject of
GR No. 137705. August 22, 2000. 338 SCRA 499 a replevin because although they were real
property by nature, they became personal
Immovable property, when deemed as personal property by agreement.
property in an agreement cannot be assailed by
the contracting parties by virtue of the principle of ARTICLE 416: The following things are deemed to be
personal property:
Those movables susceptible of appropriation which RULING
are not included in the preceding article; YES, the sugar cane was personal property.
Real property which by special provision of law is Although par. 2 of Art. 415 of the Civil Code
considered as personalty; states that growing crops, while they are attached
Forces of nature which are brought under control to the land or form part of an immovable are
by science; and immovable property, par. 2 of Art. 416 state that
In general, all things which can be transported real property which by any special provision of
from place to place without the impairment of law is considered as personalty.
the real property to which they are fixed. The special provision of law in this case is found
in the Chattel Mortgage Law. The Chattel
- Two tests to determine whether the Mortgage Law fully recognizes that growing
property is movable or immovable crops are personal property. Hence, for purposes
of attachment of property, execution of judgment
o the test by description: and the Chattel Mortgage Law, growing crops or
if the property is capable of being moved ungathered products raised by early labor and
from place to place, then it is movable; cultivation are considered personal property. The
If such change in location can be made existence of a right on the growing crop is a
without injury to real property to which mobilization by anticipation. Therefore, the sugar
in the meantime attached, it is movable. cane, being personal property could not be subject
of redemption.
the test by exclusion:
ARTICLE 417: The following are also considered as
If it is not enumerated under Art 415, personal property:
then it is considered as movable Obligations and actions which have for their
But you have to take into account the object movables or demandable sums; and
special provision of law to which makes Shares of stocks of agricultural, commercial,
immovable property movable for that and industrial entities, although they
particular purpose. may have real estate.

SIBAL vs. VALDEZ ARTICLE 418: Movable property is either consumable


GR No. 26278. August 4, 1927 or non-consumable. To the first class belong those
movables which cannot be used in a manner
The Chattel Mortgage Law fully recognizes that appropriate to their nature without their being
growing crops are personal property. The existence consumed; to the second class belong all the others.
of a right on the growing crop is a mobilization by
anticipation. Being personal property, it could not be Classification of movable property
subject of redemption.
1. As to nature: consumables and non-
FACTS consumables
The sugar cane on 7 parcels of land owned by 2. As to the intention of the parties: Fungible and
SIBAL was foreclosed by the court. VALDEZ non-fungible
purchased the sugar cane on said 7 parcels of
land. Macondray & Co. on the other hand bought Consumable - refers to things whose use
the 8 parcels of land owned by SIBAL. For according to their nature destroys the
account of the redemption price of said parcels, substance of the thing or causes loss to the
SIBAL paid Macondray & Co. P2,000.00. VALDEZ owner.
purchased from Macondray & Co. all its rights
and interests in the 8 parcels of land by virtue of Non- consumable refers to any other
the P2,000.00 paid by VALDEZ to Macondray. kind which cannot be consumed.
Thereafter, VALDEZ became the absolute owner
of the 8 parcels of land. Fungible can be replaced by an equal
SIBAL offered to redeem the sugar cane he quality or quantity either by the nature of
planted but VALDEZ refused on the ground that the thing or by agreement. A thing may
the sugar cane was personal property and was not be fungible or non-fungible depending
therefore subject of redemption. SIBAL on the upon the intention of the parties.
other hand, contended that the sugar cane was
real property as deemed under par. 2 of Art. 415 PROPERTY IN RELATION TO WHOM
of the Civil Code where growing crops, while IT BELONGS
they are attached to the land or form part of an
immovable are immovable property. The court ARTICLE 419: Property is either of public dominion
decided in favor of VALDEZ. Hence, this appeal. or of private ownership.

ISSUE Properties are owned either:


Whether or not the sugar cane was personal 1. in a public capacity (dominio
property and could not be subject of redemption. publico)
- The function of benefit from the widening of the road will be
administering and disposing of those people who have cars.
lands of the public domain in The SC held the conception urged by
the manner prescribed by law is appellants to restrict property reserved for public
not entrusted to the courts but use to include only property susceptible of being
to executive officials. (Bautista used by a generally unlimited number of people is
v Barza) flawed and obsolete. The number of users is not
2. in private capacity (propiedad the yardstick. To constitute public use, the public
privado) in general should have equal or common rights to
- Regarding the state, it may use the land or facility involved on the same
own properties both in its terms, however limited in the number who can
public capacity (properties of actually avail themselves of it at a given time.
the public dominion) and in its
private capacity (patrimonial The yardstick now is the opportunity to
property). use the property is open to all under the same
terms and conditions.
ARTICLE 420: The following things are property
of public dominion: CITY OF MANILA vs. GARCIA
GR No. L-26053. February 21, 1967
1. Those intended for public use such as roads,
canals, rivers, torrents, ports, and bridges Public property are outside the commerce of men and
constructed by the State, banks, shores, could not have been a lawful subject of a lease
roadsteads, and others of similar character; agreement.
2. Those which belong to the State without being
for public use and are intended for some FACTS
public service and for the development of the The CITY OF MANILA owed parcels of land,
national wealth. forming one compact area in Malate, Manila.
Shortly after liberation from 1945 to 1947,
PUBLIC DOMINION means ownership by the GARCIA ET AL. entered upon these premises and
State and that the State has control and built houses of second-class materials without the
administration or ownership by the public in CITY OF MANILA's knowledge and consent, and
general, in that not even the State or subdivisions without the necessary building permits from the
thereof may make them the object of commerce as city. There, they lived thru the years.
long as they remain properties for public use such Later on, when the presence of GARCIA ET AL.
as a river or town plaza. have been discovered, some of them were given
by Mayor Fugoso lease contract permits to occupy
3 kinds: specific areas in the property upon conditions
therein set forth and for nominal rentals charged.
1. for public use like roads, canals The rest of the 23 defendants though, exhibited
none.
To constitute public use, the public in Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School, which
general should have equal or was close, though not contiguous to the property,
common rights to use the land or came for the need of an expansion. The City
facility involved on the same terms, Engineer, pursuant to the Mayor's directive to
however limited in the number who clear squatters' houses on city property, gave
can actually avail themselves of it at a GARCIA ET AL. 30 days to vacate and remove
given time. The yardstick now is the their constructions or improvements on the
opportunity to use of the property is premises and to pay for the amount due by reason
open to all under the same terms and of their occupancy. They however refused. They
conditions sought to recover the possession of the property
in court. However, judgment was against them.
2. for public service like the national Hence, they appealed.
government building, army rifles, (may
be used only by duly authorized persons) ISSUES
(1) Whether or not GARCIA ET AL. had the right
3. for the development of national wealth to remain in the premises.
natural resources (2) Whether or not they have acquired the status
of legal tenants by reason of the lease contract
REPUBLIC VS GONZALES permits issued by the mayor.

Wherein a parcel of land has been leased to a RULING


private individual, so there were improvements (1) NO, they did not have the right.
on these properties. Later on, there was a need Defendants had absolutely no right to remain in
to widen the road so the lease was cancelled. the premises. The excuse that they had permits
The lessee contended that the taking is not for from the mayor is at best flimsy. The city's right to
public use because the people who are going to throw defendants out of the area could not be
gainsaid. The city's dominical right to possession barred by the decision of the registration court,
is paramount. If there was error in the finding that that the action has prescribed, and that the
the city needs the land, such error is harmless and government was estopped from questioning the
will not justify reversal of the judgment below. ownership and possession of appellants.
The houses and constructions planted by The lower court ruled in favor of the REPUBLIC
defendants on the premises clearly hindered and OF THE PHILIPPINES. However, The Court of
impaired the use of that property for school Appeals on appeal reversed and set aside the
purposes, hence, constituted public nuisance per appealed decision. Hence, thIS instant petition.
se. The selfish interests of defendants must have
to yield to the general good for the use of the ISSUES
property for a badly needed school building, so as (1) Whether or not the Government's action was
not to prejudice the education of the youth of the already barred by the decision of the registration
land. The public purpose of constructing the court under the principle of res adjudicata.
school building annex is paramount. (2) Whether or not the action has prescribed.
(2) NO, they have not acquired the legal
status of tenants. Their homes were erected RULING
without city permits. These constructions were (1) NO, it was not. Under par. 1, Art. 420 of the
illegal. In a language familiar to all, defendants Civil Code, shores are properties of the public
were squatters. Squatting is unlawful and no domain intended for public use. Thus, it has long
amount of acquiescence on the part of the city been settled that portions of the foreshore or of
officials will elevate it into a lawful act. Official the territorial waters and beaches could not be
approval of squatting should not, therefore, be registered. Their inclusion in a certificate of title
permitted to obtain in this country where there is did not convert the same into properties of private
an orderly form of government. The permits then ownership or confer title upon the registrant. The
were null and void. The property in controversy property in controversy were not subject to
was not a valid subject for lease because of the registration, being outside the commerce of men;
fact that public property are outside the and that since the lots in litigation were of public
commerce of men and could not have been a domain, the registration court did not have
lawful subject of a lease agreement. jurisdiction to adjudicate said lands as private
property, hence, res judicata did not apply.
REPUBLIC vs. VDA. DEL CASTILLO (2) NO, the action has not prescribed. One of the
GR No. L-69002. June 30, 1988 characteristics of property falling under public
dominion is that they could not be acquired by
Property of public dominion being outside the prescription as again, they are outside the
commerce of men, could not be subject to commerce of men. The defense of long possession
registration and they could not be acquired by is likewise not available in this case because, as
prescription. already ruled by this Court, mere possession of
land does not by itself automatically divest the
FACTS land of its public character.
The late MODESTO CASTILLO applied for the
registration of two parcels of land located in REPUBLIC vs. CA
Tanauan, Batangas. In a decision of the court, GR No. 100709. November 14, 1997
MODESTO CASTILLO, who was married to
AMANDA LAT, was declared the true and Shores are property of public dominion. When the sea
absolute owner of the land with the moved towards the estate and the tide invaded it, the
improvements thereon and an original certificate invaded property became foreshore land and passed to
of title was issued to him by the Register of Deeds. the realm of the public domain.
By virtue of an instrument, the 2 lots were
consolidated and sub-divided into 9 lots. After the FACTS
death of MODESTO CASTILLO, AMANDA LAT MORATO filed a free patent application on a
VDA. DE CASTILLO and co-defendants executed parcel of land situated at Calauag, Quezon. The
a deed of partition and assumption of mortgage in patent was approved and the Register of Deeds
favor of the latter. As a result of which, new issued an original certificate of title to MORATO.
transfer certificates of title were issued to them. Both the free patent and the title specifically
The REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES filed a mandate that the land shall not be alienated nor
case with the lower court for the annulment of encumbered within five years from the date of the
said certificates of title issued to VDA. DE issuance of the patent.
CASTILLO ET AL., as heirs/successors of MORATO mortgaged the land to respondents CO
MODESTO CASTILLO and for the reversion of and QUILATAN, the later who constructed a
the lands covered thereby to the State. It was house therein. Portion of it was also leased to
alleged that said lands had always formed part of another person, where a warehouse was
the Taal Lake, washed and inundated by the constructed. Acting upon reports that respondent
waters thereof and being of public ownership, it MORATO had encumbered the land in violation
could not be the subject of registration as private of the condition of the patent, the DISTRICT
property. DEFENDANTS on the other hand LAND OFFICER conducted an investigation.
alleged that the Government's action was already Thereafter, it was established that the subject land
is a portion of the Calauag Bay and not suitable to obligated itself to carry out all the works in
vegetation. consideration of 50% of the total reclaimed land.
The DIRECTOR OF LANDS filed an action in In 1977, then Pres. Marcos issued PD 1084
court to cancel the title of the land and its creating the PHILIPPINE ESTATES AUTHORITY
reversion to the public domain as foreshore land. (PEA), a wholly government owned and
However, both the lower court and the Court of controlled corporation with a special charter. The
Appeals dismissed the said petition on the ground P.D. tasked PEA to reclaim land, including
that there was no violation of the 5-year period foreshore and submerged areas, and to develop,
ban against alienating or encumbering the land, improve, acquire, lease and sell any and all kinds
because the land was merely leased and not of lands. Another P.D. 1085 was issued,
alienated. Hence, this appeal. transferring to PEA the lands reclaimed in the
foreshore and offshore of the Manila Bay under
ISSUE the MCCRRP.
Whether or not the questioned land was part of a In 1981, then Pres. Marcos issued a memorandum
disposable public land. directing PEA to amend its contract with CDCP,
so that all future works in MCCRRP shall be
RULING funded and owned by PEA. A Memorandum of
NO, it was not but rather belonged to the public Agreement was then executed between PEA and
domain as foreshore land. CDCP, which stated that CDCP shall:
Foreshore land is the strip of land that lies (1) undertake all reclamation, construction, and
between the high and low water marks and that is such other works in the MCCRRP as may be
alternatively wet and dry according to the flow of agreed upon by the parties and that all the
the tide. financing required for such works shall be
While at the time of the grant of free patent to provided by PEA, and
respondent Morato, the land was not reached by (2) CDCP shall give up all its development rights
the water yet. However, due to gradual sinking and hereby agrees to cede and transfer in favor of
of the land caused by natural calamities, the sea PEA, all of the rights, title, interest and
advanced and had permanently invaded a portion participation of CDCP in and to all the areas of
of the subject land. The land in question already land reclaimed by CDCP in the MCCRRP.
became foreshore land since during high tide, at In 1988, then Pres. Aquino issued Special Patent
least half of the land was 6 feet deep under water No. 3517, granting and transferring to PEA the
and 3 feet deep during low tide. When the sea parcels of land so reclaimed under the MCCRRP.
advances and private properties are permanently The Register of Deeds of the Municipality of
invaded by the waves, such as in this case, they Paraaque issued 3 Transfer Certificates of Title in
become part of the shore or breach. They are then the name of PEA, covering the 3 reclaimed islands
passed to the public domain, but the owner thus known as the Freedom Islands.
dispossessed does not retain any right to the In 1995, PEA entered into a Joint Venture
natural products resulting from their new nature; Agreement (JVA) with AMARI COASTAL BAY
it is a de facto case of eminent domain, and not AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
subject to indemnity. (AMARI), a private corporation, to develop the
Par. 1, Art. 420 of the Civil Code provides that Freedom Islands. The JVA also required the
shores are property of public dominion. When the reclamation of an additional 250 hectares of
sea moved towards the estate and the tide submerged areas surrounding these islands to
invaded it, the invaded property became complete the configuration in the MCCRRP. PEA
foreshore land and passed to the realm of the and AMARI entered into the JVA through
public domain. The subject land in this case, being negotiation without public bidding. The Board of
foreshore land, should therefore be returned to Directors of PEA, in its resolution, confirmed the
the public domain. JVA, which was later approved by then Pres.
Ramos, through then Exe. Sec. Ruben Torres.
CHAVEZ vs. PEA In 1996, then Senate Pres. Ernesto Maceda
GR No. 133250. July 9, 2002 delivered a privilege speech in the Senate and
denounced the JVA as the grandmother of all
Only an official classification and formal scams. As a result, 2 of the Senate Committees:
declaration can convert reclaimed lands into (1) the Senate Committee on Government
alienable or disposable lands of the public Corporations and Public Enterprises and (2)
domain. Committee on Accountability of Public Officers
and Investigations, conducted a joint
FACTS investigation. In its Senate Committee Report No.
In 1973, the government, through the 560, the Senate Committees concluded that:
Commissioner of Public Highways, signed a (1) the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to
contract with the Construction and Development AMARI under the JVA were lands of the public
Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP) to reclaim domain which the government has not classified
certain foreshore and offshore areas of Manila as alienable lands and therefore PEA cannot
Bay, which also included the construction of alienate these lands ,
Phases I and II of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road (2) the certificates of title covering the Freedom
and Reclamation Project (MCCRRP). CDCP Islands are thus void, and
(3) the JVA itself is illegal.
In 1997, then Pres. Ramos issued A.O. 365 creating ISSUE
a Legal Task Force to conduct a study on the Whether or not AMARI can claim under the
legality of the JVA in view of Senate Committee Amended JVA, hectares of reclaimed foreshore
Report No. 560. The Legal Task Force upheld the and submerged areas in Manila Bay held by PEA
legality of the JVA, contrary to the conclusions in view of the constitutional ban prohibiting the
reached by the Senate Committees. It declared alienation of lands of the public domain to private
that reclaimed lands were classified as alienable corporations.
and disposable lands of the public domain.
In 1998, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Today RULING
published reports that there were on-going NO, the reclaimed foreshore and submerged areas
renegotiations between PEA and AMARI under in Manila Bay could not be alienated in favor of
an order issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos. AMARI. The petition of CHAVEZ was granted.
On April of the same year, a certain Antonio M. The Regalian doctrine is the foundation of the
Zulueta filed before the Court a Petition seeking time-honored principle of land ownership that
to nullify the JVA. The Court dismissed the all lands that were not acquired from the
petition for unwarranted disregard of judicial Government, either by purchase or by grant,
hierarchy. belong to the public domain. The Civil Codes of
In the same month, petitioner FRANK I. CHAVEZ 1889 (Art. 339) and 1950 (Art. 420) incorporated
as a taxpayer, filed the instant Petition for the Regalian doctrine.
Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ
of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary History of Laws
Restraining Order. CHAVEZ assailed the (1) Spanish Law of Waters of 1866. Land
following: reclaimed from the sea belonged to the party
(1) that the sale to AMARI of lands of the public undertaking the reclamation, provided the
domain as a blatant violation of Sec. 3, Article XII government issued the necessary permit and did
of Constitution prohibiting the sale of alienable not reserve ownership of the reclaimed land to the
lands of the public domain to private corporations State.
and (2) Civil Code of 1889. Property of public
(2) that he sought to enjoin the loss of billions of dominion, when no longer devoted to public use
pesos in properties of the State that are of public or to the defense of the territory, shall become a
dominion. CHAVEZ prayed that PEA publicly part of the private property of the State provided
disclose the terms of any renegotiation of the JVA, that the legislature, or the executive department
invoking the Constitutional right of the people to pursuant to law, must declare the property no
information on matters of public concern. longer needed for public use or territorial defense
In a Resolution dated 1999, the Court gave due before the government could lease or alienate the
course to the petition and required the parties to property to private parties.
file their respective memoranda. (3) Act No. 1654 of the Philippine Commission of
However, PEA and AMARI signed the Amended 1907. It mandated that the government should
Joint Venture Agreement (Amended JVA). The retain title to all lands reclaimed by the
subject matter of the Amended JVA, consisted of 3 government. The Act also vested in the
properties, which covered a reclamation area of government control and disposition of foreshore
750 hectares. Only 157.84 hectares of the 750- lands. Private parties could lease lands reclaimed
hectare reclamation project have been reclaimed, by the government only if these lands were no
and the rest of the 592.15 hectares are still longer needed for public purpose. Act No. 1654
submerged areas forming part of Manila Bay. The mandated public bidding in the lease of
Amended JVA, was the result of a negotiated government reclaimed lands. Act No. 1654 made
contract, not of a public bidding. The Amended government reclaimed lands sui generis in that
JVA was not an ordinary commercial contract but unlike other public lands which the government
one which sought to transfer title and ownership could sell to private parties, these reclaimed lands
to 367.5 hectares of reclaimed lands and were available only for lease to private parties.
submerged areas of Manila Bay to a single private (4) Public Land Act of 1919 (Act No. 2874). It
corporation. Under the Amended JVA, PEA was authorized the Governor-General to classify lands
obligated to transfer to AMARI, the latters 70% of the public domain into alienable or disposable
proportionate share in the reclaimed areas as the lands and to declare what lands are open to
reclamation progressed. The Amended JVA even disposition or concession. Lands disposable shall
allowed AMARI to mortgage at any time the be classified as government reclaimed, foreshore
entire reclaimed area to raise financing for the and marshy lands, as well as other lands.
reclamation project. Disposable lands of the public domain classified
The Office of the President under the as government reclaimed, foreshore and marshy
administration of then Pres. Estrada approved the lands shall be disposed of to private parties by
Amended JVA. lease only and not otherwise. It reiterated the
Due to the approval of the Amended JVA by the State policy to lease and not to sell government
Office of the President, CHAVEZ now prayed that reclaimed, foreshore and marshy lands of the
on constitutional and statutory grounds the public domain, a policy first enunciated in 1907 in
renegotiated contract be declared null and void. Act No. 1654. Government reclaimed, foreshore
and marshy lands remained sui generis, as the State. In the case of government reclaimed and
only alienable or disposable lands of the public marshy lands of the public domain, the
domain that the government could not sell to declaration of their being disposable, as well as
private parties. the manner of their disposition, is governed by
Under this Act, the government could not sell the applicable provisions of CA No. 141.
government reclaimed, foreshore and marshy Like the Civil Code of 1889, the Civil Code of 1950
lands to private parties, unless the legislature included as property of public dominion those
passed a law allowing their sale. The rationale properties of the State which, without being for
behind this State policy is obvious. Government public use, are intended for public service or the
reclaimed, foreshore and marshy public lands for development of the national wealth. Thus,
non-agricultural purposes retain their inherent government reclaimed and marshy lands of the
potential as areas for public service. This is the State, even if not employed for public use or
reason the government prohibited the sale, and public service, if developed to enhance the
only allowed the lease, of these lands to private national wealth, are classified as property of
parties. The State always reserved these lands for public dominion.
some future public service. (8) 1973 Constitution. The 1973 Constitution
(5) 1935 Constitution. It barred the alienation of prohibited the alienation of all natural resources
all natural resources except public agricultural with the exception of agricultural, industrial or
lands, which were the only natural resources the commercial, residential, and resettlement lands of
State could alienate. Thus, foreshore lands, the public domain. Both the 1935 and 1973
considered part of the States natural resources, Constitutions, therefore, prohibited the alienation
became inalienable by constitutional fiat, available of all natural resources except agricultural lands
only for lease for 25 years, renewable for another of the public domain. Thus, under the 1973
25 years. The government could alienate Constitution, private corporations could hold
foreshore lands only after these lands were alienable lands of the public domain only through
reclaimed and classified as alienable agricultural lease. Only individuals could now acquire
lands of the public domain. Government alienable lands of the public domain.
reclaimed and marshy lands of the public domain, (9) PD No. 1084 Creating the Public Estates
being neither timber nor mineral lands, fell under Authority. PD No. 1084 authorizes PEA to reclaim
the classification of public agricultural lands. both foreshore and submerged areas of the public
However, government reclaimed and marshy domain. Foreshore areas are those covered and
lands, although subject to classification as uncovered by the ebb and flow of the tide.
disposable public agricultural lands, could only Submerged areas are those permanently under
be leased and not sold to private parties because water regardless of the ebb and flow of the tide.
of Act No. 2874. Foreshore and submerged areas indisputably
(6) C.A. 141 of 1936. This act remains to this day belong to the public domain and are inalienable
the existing general law governing the unless reclaimed, classified as alienable lands
classification and disposition of lands of the open to disposition, and further declared no
public domain other than timber and mineral longer needed for public service.
lands. It empowers the President upon the The ban in the 1973 Constitution on private
recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture corporations from acquiring alienable lands of the
and Commerce to (1)classify lands of the public public domain did not apply to PEA since it was
domain into alienable or disposable lands of the then, and until today, a fully owned government
public domain, which prior to such classification corporation.
are inalienable and outside the commerce of man Thus, PEA can hold title to private lands, as well
and (2) declare what lands are open to disposition as title to lands of the public domain. In order for
or concession. PEA to sell its reclaimed foreshore and
The State policy prohibiting the sale to private submerged alienable lands of the public domain,
parties of government reclaimed, foreshore and there must be legislative authority empowering
marshy alienable lands of the public domain, first PEA to sell these lands. This legislative authority
implemented in 1907 was thus reaffirmed in CA is necessary in view of CA No.141. Without such
No. 141 after the 1935 Constitution took effect. legislative authority, PEA could not sell but only
Since then and until now, the only way the lease its reclaimed foreshore and submerged
government can sell to private parties alienable lands of the public domain.
government reclaimed and marshy disposable Nevertheless, any legislative authority granted to
lands of the public domain is for: (1) the PEA to sell its reclaimed alienable lands of the
legislature to pass a law authorizing such sale and public domain would be subject to the
(2) in case of sale or lease, it is required that it be constitutional ban on private corporations from
in a public bidding. acquiring alienable lands of the public domain.
(7) The Civil Code of 1950. It readopted Hence, such legislative authority could only
substantially the definition of property of public benefit private individuals.
dominion found in the Civil Code of 1889. Again, (10) 1987 Constitution. The 1987 Constitution
the government must formally declare that the declares that all natural resources are owned by
property of public dominion is no longer needed the State, and except for alienable agricultural
for public use or public service, before the same lands of the public domain, natural resources
could be classified as patrimonial property of the cannot be alienated. Private corporations or
associations may not hold such alienable lands of State into alienable or disposable lands of the
the public domain except by lease, for a period public domain. There must be a law or
not exceeding 25 years, renewable for not more presidential proclamation officially classifying
than 25, and not to exceed 1,000 hectares in area. these reclaimed lands as alienable or disposable
Citizens of the Philippines may lease not more and open to disposition or concession.
than 500 hectares, or acquire not more than 12 Under Article 422 of the Civil Code, a property of
hectares thereof by purchase, homestead, or grant. public dominion retains such character until
Taking into account the requirements of formally declared otherwise.
conservation, ecology, and development, and
subject to the requirements of agrarian reform, the PD No. 1085, coupled with President Aquinos
Congress shall determine, by law, the size of actual issuance of a special patent covering the
lands of the public domain which may be Freedom Islands, is equivalent to an official
acquired, developed, held, or leased and the proclamation classifying the Freedom Islands as
conditions therefore. alienable or disposable lands of the public
The 1987 Constitution continues the State policy domain. However, at the time then President
in the 1973 Constitution banning private Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517, PEA had
corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable already reclaimed the Freedom Islands although
land of the public domain. Like the 1973 subsequently there were partial erosions on some
Constitution, the 1987 Constitution allows private areas. The government had also completed the
corporations to hold alienable lands of the public necessary surveys on these islands. Thus, the
domain only through lease. As in the 1935 and Freedom Islands were no longer part of Manila
1973 Constitutions, the general law governing the Bay but part of the land mass.
lease to private corporations of reclaimed, Being neither timber, mineral, nor national park
foreshore and marshy alienable lands of the lands, the reclaimed Freedom Islands necessarily
public domain is still CA No. 141. fall under the classification of agricultural lands of
In actual practice, the constitutional ban the public domain. Under the 1987 Constitution,
strengthens the constitutional limitation on agricultural lands of the public domain are the
individuals from acquiring more than the allowed only natural resources that the State may alienate
area of alienable lands of the public domain. to qualified private parties.
Without the constitutional ban, individuals who
already acquired the maximum area of alienable AMARIs contention: The Freedom Islands are
lands of the public domain could easily set up private lands because CDCP, then a private
corporations to acquire more alienable public corporation, reclaimed the islands under a
lands. An individual could own as many contract in 1973 with the Commissioner of Public
corporations as his means would allow him. An Highways .It cited Article 5 of the Spanish Law of
individual could even hide his ownership of a Waters of 1866, argues that if the ownership of
corporation by putting his nominees as reclaimed lands may be given to the party
stockholders of the corporation. The corporation constructing the works, then it cannot be said that
is a convenient vehicle to circumvent the reclaimed lands are lands of the public domain
constitutional limitation on acquisition by which the State may not alienate. (Note: this
individuals of alienable lands of the public contention is erroneous)
domain.
Article 5 of the Spanish Law of Waters must be
PEAs contention: Lands reclaimed from read together with laws subsequently enacted on
foreshore or submerged areas of Manila Bay are the disposition of public lands. In particular, CA
alienable or disposable lands of the public No. 141 requires that lands of the public domain
domain.(Note: this contention is erroneous) must first be classified as alienable or disposable
before the government can alienate them. These
Under the Public Land Act (CA 141), reclaimed lands must not be reserved for public or quasi-
lands are classified as alienable and disposable public purposes. Moreover, the contract between
lands of the public domain. Section 8 of CA No. CDCP and the government was executed after the
141 provides that only those lands shall be effectivity of the 1973 Constitution which barred
declared open to disposition or concession which private corporations from acquiring any kind of
have been officially delimited and classified. The alienable land of the public domain. This contract
President has the authority to classify inalienable could not have converted the Freedom Islands
lands of the public domain into alienable or into private lands of a private corporation.
disposable lands of the public domain. The Amended JVA covers not only the Freedom
Under the 1987 Constitution, the foreshore and Islands, but also an additional 592.15 hectares
submerged areas of Manila Bay are part of the which are still submerged and forming part of
lands of the public domain, waters and other Manila Bay. There is no legislative or Presidential
natural resources and consequently owned by the act classifying these submerged areas as alienable
State. As such, foreshore and submerged areas or disposable lands of the public domain open to
shall not be alienated, unless they are classified as disposition. These submerged areas are not
agricultural lands of the public domain. The covered by any patent or certificate of title. There
mere reclamation of these areas by PEA does not can be no dispute that these submerged areas
convert these inalienable natural resources of the form part of the public domain, and in their
present state are inalienable and outside the Procedure to be followed in classifying reclaimed
commerce of man. Until reclaimed from the sea, lands as alienable:
these submerged areas are, under the 1. DENR decides that the reclaimed lands should
Constitution, waters owned by the State, forming be classified as alienable
part of the public domain and consequently 2. DENR Secretary recommends to the President
inalienable. Only when actually reclaimed from the issuance of a proclamation classifying the
the sea can these submerged areas be classified as lands as alienable or disposable lands of the
public agricultural lands, which under the public domain open to disposition.
Constitution are the only natural resources that 3. The President issues a proclamation classifying
the State may alienate. Once reclaimed and such land as alienable or disposable and open to
transformed into public agricultural lands, the disposition and that they are no longer needed for
government may then officially classify these public service.
lands as alienable or disposable lands open to 4. Congress must enact a law approving the
disposition. Thereafter, the government may Proclamation of the President. Said re-
declare these lands no longer needed for public classification needs both executive and legislative
service. Only then can these reclaimed lands be concurrence.
considered alienable or disposable lands of the
public domain and within the commerce of man. PEAs contention: PD No. 1085 and EO No. 525
EO No. 525, by declaring that all lands reclaimed constitute the legislative authority allowing PEA
by PEA shall belong to or be owned by the to sell its reclaimed lands. (Note: this contention is
PEA, could not automatically operate to classify erroneous)
inalienable lands into alienable or disposable There is no express authority under either PD No.
lands of the public domain. Otherwise, reclaimed 1085 or EO No. 525 for PEA to sell its reclaimed
foreshore and submerged lands of the public lands. PD No. 1085 merely transferred
domain would automatically become alienable ownership and administration of lands
once reclaimed by PEA, whether or not classified reclaimed from Manila Bay to PEA, while EO No.
as alienable or disposable. 525 declared that lands reclaimed by PEA shall
As manager, conservator and overseer of the belong to or be owned by PEA. EO No. 525
natural resources of the State, DENR exercises expressly states that PEA should dispose of its
supervision and control over alienable and reclaimed lands in accordance with the
disposable public lands. DENR also exercises provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1084, the
exclusive jurisdiction on the management and charter of PEA.
disposition of all lands of the public domain. PEAs charter, however, expressly tasks PEA to
Thus, DENR decides whether areas under water, develop, improve, acquire, administer, deal in,
like foreshore or submerged areas of Manila Bay, subdivide, dispose, lease and sell any and all
should be reclaimed or not. This means that PEA kinds of lands owned, managed, controlled
needs authorization from DENR before PEA can and/or operated by the government. There is,
undertake reclamation projects in Manila Bay, or therefore, legislative authority granted to PEA to
in any part of the country. DENR also exercises sell its lands, whether patrimonial or alienable
exclusive jurisdiction over the disposition of all lands of the public domain. PEA may sell to
lands of the public domain. Hence, DENR private parties its patrimonial properties in
decides whether reclaimed lands of PEA should accordance with the PEA charter free from
be classified as alienable under CA No. 141. constitutional limitations. The constitutional ban
In short, DENR is vested with the power to on private corporations from acquiring alienable
authorize the reclamation of areas under water, lands of the public domain does not apply to the
while PEA is vested with the power to undertake sale of PEAs patrimonial lands. PEA may also sell
the physical reclamation of areas under water, its alienable or disposable lands of the public
whether directly or through private contractors. domain to private individuals since, with the
DENR is also empowered to classify lands of the legislative authority, there is no longer any
public domain into alienable or disposable lands statutory prohibition against such sales and the
subject to the approval of the President. On the constitutional ban does not apply to individuals.
other hand, PEA is tasked to develop, sell or lease Private corporations remain barred from
the reclaimed alienable lands of the public acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public
domain. domain, including government reclaimed lands.
In the case at bar, 2 official acts are absent (1) a
classification that these lands are alienable or Procedure in selling inalienable land as alienable:
disposable and open to disposition and (2) a Although PEA has authority to determine the
declaration that these lands are not needed for mode of payment of the buyer of the land,
public service, lands reclaimed by PEA remain whether it be in cash or in installment, the
inalienable lands of the public domain. Only such following is still required in the sale (PD 1445 -
an official classification and formal declaration Government Auditing Code):
can convert reclaimed lands into alienable or 1. When government property is no longer
disposable lands of the public domain, open to needed, it should be inspected by the head of the
disposition under the Constitution, Title I and agency or his duly authorized representative in
Title III of CA No. 141 and other applicable laws. the presence of the auditor concerned.
2. If found to be valuable, it must be sold through domain, should not be sold to a private
a public bidding and awarded to the highest corporation.
bidder. At the public auction sale, only Philippine Registration of land under Act No. 496 or PD No.
citizens are qualified to bid for PEAs reclaimed 1529 does not vest in the registrant private or
foreshore and submerged alienable lands of the public ownership of the land. Registration is not a
public domain. Private corporations are barred mode of acquiring ownership but is merely
from bidding at the auction sale of any kind of evidence of ownership previously conferred by
alienable land of the public domain. any of the recognized modes of acquiring
3. Prior to the bidding, there must be an ownership. Registration does not give the
advertising by printed notice for not less than registrant a better right than what the registrant
three consecutive days in the Official Gazette, or had prior to the registration. The registration of
in any newspaper of general circulation. lands of the public domain under the Torrens
4. If the public auction fails, the property may be system, by itself, cannot convert public lands into
sold at a private sale at such price as may be fixed private lands.
by the same committee or body concerned and To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the
approved by the Commission on Audit. public domain to be transferred to PEA as private
It is only when the public auction fails that a lands will sanction a gross violation of the
negotiated sale is allowed, in which case the constitutional ban on private corporations from
Commission on Audit must approve the selling acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public
price. domain. PEA will simply turn around, as PEA
has now done under the Amended JVA, and
What happened in the PEA-AMARI bidding: transfer several hundreds of hectares of these
PEA originally scheduled a public bidding for the reclaimed and still to be reclaimed lands to a
Freedom Islands in. PEA imposed a condition single private corporation in only one transaction.
that the winning bidder should reclaim another This scheme will effectively nullify the
250 hectares of submerged areas to regularize the constitutional ban, which was intended to diffuse
shape of the Freedom Islands, under a 60-40 equitably the ownership of alienable lands of the
sharing of the additional reclaimed areas in favor public domain among Filipinos, now numbering
of the winning bidder. No one, however, over 80 million strong.
submitted a bid. In 1994, the Government This scheme, if allowed, can even be applied to
Corporate Counsel advised PEA it could sell the alienable agricultural lands of the public domain
Freedom Islands through negotiation, without since PEA can acquire any and all kinds of
need of another public bidding, because of the lands. This will open the floodgates to
failure of the public bidding on in 1991. corporations and even individuals acquiring
However, the original JVA dated 1995 covered not hundreds of hectares of alienable lands of the
only the Freedom Islands and the additional 250 public domain under the guise that in the hands
hectares still to be reclaimed, it also granted an of PEA these lands are private lands. This will
option to AMARI to reclaim another 350 hectares. result in corporations amassing huge
The original JVA, a negotiated contract, enlarged landholdings never before seen in this country -
the reclamation area to 750 hectares. The failure of creating the very evil that the constitutional ban
public bidding in 1991, involving only 407.84 was designed to prevent. This will completely
hectares. is not a valid justification for a reverse the clear direction of constitutional
negotiated sale of 750 hectares, almost double the development in this country. The 1935
area publicly auctioned. Besides, the failure of Constitution allowed private corporations to
public bidding happened in 1991, more than 3 acquire not more than 1,024 hectares of public
years before the signing of the original JVA in lands. The 1973 Constitution prohibited private
1995. The economic situation in the country had corporations from acquiring any kind of public
greatly improved during the intervening period. land, and the 1987 Constitution has unequivocally
reiterated this prohibition.
PEA and AMARIs contention: The issuance of
Special Patent No. 3517 and the corresponding AMARIs contention: The Amended JVA is not a
certificates of titles, the 157.84 hectares comprising sale to AMARI of the Freedom Islands or of the
the Freedom Islands have become private lands of lands to be reclaimed from submerged areas of
PEA. (Note: this contention is erroneous) Manila Bay. In the words of AMARI, the
In the instant case, the only patent and certificates Amended JVA is not a sale but a joint venture
of title issued are those in the name of PEA, a with a stipulation for reimbursement of the
wholly government owned corporation original cost incurred by PEA for the earlier
performing public as well as proprietary reclamation and construction works performed by
functions. No patent or certificate of title has been the CDCP under its 1973 contract with the
issued to any private party. No one is asking the Republic. (Note: this contention is erroneous)
Director of Lands to cancel PEAs patent or Whether the Amended JVA is a sale or a joint
certificates of title. In fact, the thrust of the instant venture, the fact remains that the Amended JVA
petition is that PEAs certificates of title should requires PEA to cause the issuance and delivery
remain with PEA, and the land covered by these of the certificates of title conveying AMARIs
certificates, being alienable lands of the public Land Share in the name of AMARI.
This stipulation still contravenes the 1987 right over the subject property as it belonged to
Constitution which provides that private the government. The trial court found that
corporations shall not hold such alienable lands VILALRICO was not deprived of his right of
of the public domain except by lease. The way and had never been in possession of any
transfer of title and ownership to AMARI clearly portion of the public land in question. On the
means that AMARI will hold the reclaimed contrary, the DEFENDANTS were the ones who
lands other than by lease. had been in actual possession of the area. The
Court of Appeals affirmed said decision upon
The Regalian doctrine is deeply implanted in our appeal. Hence, this petition.
legal system. Foreshore and submerged areas
form part of the public domain and are ISSUE
inalienable. Lands reclaimed from foreshore and Whether or not VILLARICO may acquire a
submerged areas also form part of the public voluntary easement of right of way over the land
domain and are also inalienable, unless converted of the government which is between his property
pursuant to law into alienable or disposable lands and the Ninoy Aquino Avenue.
of the public domain. Historically, lands
reclaimed by the government are sui generis, not RULING
available for sale to private parties unlike other NO. It is not disputed that the lot on which
alienable public lands. Reclaimed lands retain petitioners alleged right of way existed
their inherent potential as areas for public use or belonged to the state or property of public
public service. Alienable lands of the public dominion. Property of public dominion under
domain, increasingly becoming scarce natural Art. 420 are those intended for public use. Public
resources, are to be distributed equitably among use is use that is not confined to privileged
our ever-growing population. To insure such individuals, but is open to the indefinite public.
equitable distribution, the 1973 and 1987 Records showed that the lot on which the
Constitutions have barred private corporations stairways were built was for the use of the people
from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the as passageway to the highway. Consequently, it
public domain. Those who attempt to dispose of was a property of public dominion. Property of
inalienable natural resources of the State, or seek public dominion is outside the commerce of man
to circumvent the constitutional ban on alienation and hence it: (1) cannot be alienated or leased or
of lands of the public domain to private otherwise be the subject matter of contracts; (2)
corporations, do so at their own risk. cannot be acquired by prescription against the
State; (3) is not subject to attachment and
execution; and (4) cannot be burdened by any
voluntary easement.
VILLARICO vs. SARMIENTO Considering that the lot on which the stairways
GR No. 136438. November 11, 2004 were constructed was a property of public
dominion, it could not be burdened by a
Property of public dominion could not be voluntary easement of right of way in favor of
burdened by a voluntary easement of right of way VILLARICO. In fact, its use by the public was by
mere tolerance of the government through the
FACTS DPWH. VILLARICO could not appropriate it for
VILLARICO was the owner of a lot in Paraaque himself. Verily, he could claim any right of
City, Metro Manila. His lot was separated from possession over it since only things and rights
the Ninoy Aquino Avenue (highway) by a strip of which are susceptible of being appropriated may
land belonging to the government. As this be the object of possession.
highway was elevated by 4 meters and therefore
higher than the adjoining areas, the DPWH ARTICLE 421: All other property of the State, which
constructed stairways at several portions of this is not of the character stated in the preceding Article, is
strip of public land to enable the people to have patrimonial property.
access to the highway.
SARMIENTO and his daughter and the latters PATRIMONIAL PROPERTY It is the wealth
husband (RESPONDENTS), had a building owned by the State in its private, as distinguished
constructed on a portion of said government land. from its public capacity.
A part thereof was occupied by 2 establishments
(lechonan and carinderia). By means of a Deed of Patrimonial property may be acquired by private
Exchange of Real Property, VILLARICO acquired individuals or corporations thru prescription.
a 74.30 square meter portion of the same area However, if a municipality has been taking the
owned by the government. products of a certain parcel of land, and planting
VILLARICO filed in court a complaint for accion thereon certain other crops, this is NOT proof of
publiciana against RESPONDENTS arguing that ownership, but only of the usufruct thereof.
the latters structures on the government land
closed his right of way to the Ninoy Aquino CEBU OXYGEN vs. BERCILLES
Avenue and that it encroached on a portion of his GR No. L-40474. August 29, 1975
lot. RESPONDENTS denied VILLARICOs
allegations contending that VILLARICO had no
An abandoned road, declared by the City Council Abandonment of a property of public domain cannot be
through a resolution forms part of the patrimonial inferred from the non-use alone. It must be a certain
property of the State. and positive act based on correct legal premises.

FACTS FACTS
The terminal portion of M. Borces St. in Cebu City Under the Reparations Agreement entered with in
was declared an abandoned road by the City 1956, the Philippine government has acquired 4
Council of Cebu through a resolution. The council properties in Japan as part of the indemnification
later, authorized the Acting Mayor to sell the to the Filipino people for their losses in life and
land. In the public bidding, the land was awarded property and their suffering during World War II.
to CEBU OXYGEN & ACETYLENE CO. being the One of these properties is the Raponggi property
highest bidder. A Deed of Absolute Sale to CEBU located in Tokyo, Japan, which was specifically
OXYGEN was executed by the Acting Mayor. It designated under the Reparations Agreement to
then filed an application in court to have its title house the Philippine Embassy. Said property
to the land registered. consisted of the land and building, which indeed
However, the Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu became the site of the Philippine Embassy until
filed a motion to dismiss the application on the the latter was transferred to Nampeidai in 1976
ground that the property sought to be registered when the Rappongi building needed major
being a public road intended for public use was repairs. Due to the failure of our government to
considered part of the public domain and provide necessary funds, the Rappongi property
therefore outside the commerce of man. has remained undeveloped since that time.
Consequently, it could not be subject to Amidst opposition by various sectors, the
registration by any private individual. Executive branch of the government has been
JUDGE PASCUAL BERCILLES of the trial court pushing, with great vigor, its decision to sell the
then issued an order dismissing the petitioner's reparations properties starting with the Roppongi
application for registration of title. Hence, the lot. A bidding was then set.
instant petition for review. Petitioner SALVADOR LAUREL filed this action
to enjoin respondents from selling the Raponggi
ISSUE property. LAUREL asserted that the Roppongi
Whether or not the declaration of the road, as property is classified as one of public dominion,
abandoned by the City Council of Cebu, made it and not of private ownership under Article 420 of
the patrimonial property of the City of Cebu, the Civil Code because it is a "property intended
making said property as a valid object of a for public service" in paragraph 2 of the above
common contract. provision. Hence, it could not be appropriated, is
outside the commerce of man, or to put it in more
RULING simple terms, it could be alienated nor be the
YES, it became patrimonial property and hence a subject matter of contracts.
valid subject of a contract. The City of Cebu was
empowered to close a city road or street. The City RESPONDENTS Ramon Garcia (Head of the
Council is the authority competent to determine Asset Privatization Trust), Raul Manglapus
whether or not a certain property is still necessary (Secretary of Foreign Affairs) and Catalino
for public use. Such power to vacate a street or Macaraig (Executive Secretary) on the other hand,
alley is discretionary and the discretion will not contended that the Rappongi property has ceased
ordinarily be controlled or interfered with by the to become property of public dominion. It has
courts, absent a plain case of abuse or fraud or become patrimonial property because it has not
collusion. been used for public service or for diplomatic
Since that portion of the city street subject of purposes for over 13 years already and because
petitioner's application for registration of title was the intention by the Executive Department and
withdrawn from public use by an ordinance of the the Congress to convert it to private use has been
City Council of Cebu, it follows that such manifested by overt acts.
withdrawn portion becomes patrimonial
property, which can be the object of an ordinary ISSUES
contract. (1) Whether or not the Raponggi property is a
Article 422 of the Civil Code expressly provides property of public dominion.
that "Property of public dominion, when no (2) Whether or not the abandonment of the
longer intended for public use or for public Rappongi property for over 13 years has ceased it
service, shall form part of the patrimonial from being a property of public dominion and
property of the State." Accordingly, the was transformed into a patrimonial property.
withdrawal of the property in question from
public use and its subsequent sale to the RULING
petitioner was valid. Hence, the petitioner has a (1) YES. The nature of the Rappongi lot as
registerable title over the lot in question. property for public service is expressly spelled
out. It was dictated by the terms of the
Reparations Agreement and the corresponding
LAUREL vs. GARCIA contract of procurement, which specifically
GR No. 29013. July 25, 1990. 187 SCRA 797 designated it as the site of the Philippine
Embassy. Such agreement bound both the In 1964, Congress enacted RA 3990, which
Philippine government and the Japanese established a central experiment station for UP. It
government. As property of public dominion, the ceded and transferred in full ownership to UP, the
Rappongi lot is outside the commerce of man. It reserved area under Executive Proclamation
could be alienated. Its ownership is a special No. 791 subject to any existing concessions, if any.
collective ownership for general use and The said experiment station was within the area
enjoyment, an application to the satisfaction of covered by INTERNATIONAL HARDWOODs
collective needs, and resides in the social group. timber license.
The purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical Later, UP demanded from INTERNATIONAL
person, but the citizens. It is intended for the HARDWOOD in writing: (1) the payment of
common and public welfare and cannot be the forest charges, reforestation fees and royalties
object of appropriation. The applicable provisions under the License Agreement 27-A and (2) that
of the Civil Code are Arts. 419 and 420. The the scaling, measuring, sealing and selling of any
Roppongi property was correctly classified under timber felled or cut by plaintiff within the
paragraph 2 of Article 420 of the Civil Code as boundaries of the Central Experiment Station as
property belonging to the State and intended for defined in RA 3990 be performed by UP
some public service. personnel. INTERNATIONAL HARWOOD then
(2) No. A mere transfer of the Philippine Embassy sought an action to enjoin UP from its demands
to Nampeidai in 1976 is not relinquishment of the since it believed that RA 3990 did not empower
Roppongi property's original purpose. The fact UP, in lieu of the BIR and Bureau of Forestry, to
that the Roppongi site has not been used for a scale, measure and seal the timber cut by the
long time for actual Embassy service does not petitioner within the tract of land referred to in
automatically convert it to patrimonial property. said act and collect the corresponding forest
Any such conversion happens only if the property charges prescribed by the National Internal
is withdrawn from public use. A property Revenue Code.
continues to be part of the public domain, not
available for private appropriation or ownership ISSUE
until there is a formal declaration on the part of Whether or not the property has been removed
the government to withdraw it from being such. from the public domain in favor of UP that it was
An abandonment of the intention to use the vested with the right to regulate
Roppongi property for public service and to make INTERNATIONAL HARDWOODs timber
it patrimonial property under Article 422 of the cutting and to demand from it the payment of
Civil Code must be definite. Abandonment cannot forest charges and other dues.
be inferred from the non-use alone specially if the
non-use was attributable not to the government's RULING
own deliberate and indubitable will but to a lack YES. Pursuant, however, to RA 3990, which
of financial support to repair and improve the established a central experiment station for the
property. Abandonment must be a certain and use of the UP in connection with its research and
positive act based on correct legal premises. extension functions, the reserved area was ceded
and transferred in full ownership to the
University of the Philippines subject to any
INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD vs. UP existing concessions, if any.
GR No. L-52518. August 13, 1991. 200 SCRA 554 When it ceded and transferred the property to UP
through RA 3990, the State completely removed it
Ownership by the State of a property of the public from the public domain. All its rights as grantor of
domain may be transferred in order to become the license were effectively assigned, ceded and
patrimonial property under the authority of a statute. conveyed to UP as a consequence of the above
transfer of full ownership. With respect to the
FACTS areas covered by the timber license of petitioner, it
INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD AND VENEER removed and segregated it from a public forest.
COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES was engaged The State divested itself of its rights and title
in the manufacture, processing and exportation of thereto and relinquished and conveyed the same
plywood. In 1953, it was granted by the to the UP and made the latter the absolute owner
government an exclusive license to cut, collect and thereof, subject only to the existing concession.
remove timber from that portion of timber land The proviso regarding existing concessions
located in certain municipalities in the provinces referred to the timber license of petitioner. All that
of Quezon and Laguna. Said license was renewed it means, however, is that the right of petitioner as
for another 25 years that was to expire in 1985 a timber licensee must not be affected, impaired
under License Agreement 27-A. or diminished; it must be respected.
In 1961, the President Carlos P. Garcia issued It follows then that respondent UP was entitled to
Executive Proclamation No. 791 which withdrew supervise, through its duly appointed personnel,
from sale or settlement a parcel of land in the the logging, felling and removal of timber within
municipalities of Quezon and Laguna in the area covered by R.A. No. 3990.
reservation for an experiment station for the
proposed Dairy Research and production studies Note: In this case, the area ceded to UP by the
of the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES (UP). state was considered by the court as to have been
removed from the land of the public domain and 2. Properties of a political subdivision which
became patrimonial property. However, under are patrimonial in character may be
Art. 422, property of the public domain include alienated, and may be acquired by others
those intended for public service. Being that UP is thru prescription.
a state university and that it is devoted for public
service by way of providing education, the subject ARTICLE 424: Property for public use, in the
property here should have still remained under provinces, cities, and municipalities, consist of the
the States property of public domain and should provincial roads, city streets, municipal waters,
not have been classified as patrimonial property. promenades, and public works for public service paid
(Atty. Suarezs comment) for by said provinces, cities, or municipalities.

All other property possessed by any of then is


ARTICLE 422: Property of public dominion, when no patrimonial and shall be governed by this Code,
loner intended for public use or for public service, shall without prejudice to the provisions of special laws.
form part of the patrimonial property of the State.
ARTICLE 425: Property of private ownership, besides
CEBU OXYGEN V BERCILLES. the patrimonial property of the State, provinces, cities,
and municipalities, consist of all property belonging to
FACTS: private persons, either individually or collectively.
The City Council of Cebu, in 1968, considered as
an abandoned road, the terminal portion of one its Laurel vs. Garcia
streets. Later it authorized the sale thru public
bidding of the property. The Cebu Oxygen and Facts: The Roponggi property was acquired from
Acetylene Co. was able to purchase the same. It the Japanese government through reparations
then petitioned the RTV for the registration of the contract. No. 300. It consisted of the land and the
land. The petition was opposed by the provincial building for the Philippine Embassy. As intended,
fiscal who argued that the lot is still part of the it became the site of the Embassy until the latter
public domain, and cannot therefore be was transferred to Nampeidai as the Roponggi
registered. property needed major repairs. However, due to
ISSUE: May the lot be registered in the name of the lack of funds, the property remained
the buyer? undeveloped.
HELD: YES. The land can be registered in the
name of the buyer because the street has already On July 25, 2987, Pres. Aquino issued EO
been withdrawn from public use, and accordingly 296 entitling non-filipino citizens or entities to
has become patrimonial property. The lots sale avail of reparations capital goods and service in
was therefore valid. the event of sale, lease or disposition.

WHEN CHANGE TAKES EFFECT: Issue: What is the nature of the Roponggi
property
1. Property of public dominion ceases to be
such and becomes private property of the Held: The nature of the Roponggi lot as property
State ONLY UPON DECLARATION BY THE for public service is expressly spelled out under
GOVERNMENT, thru the legislative or the Reparations Agreement between the Phil.
executive departments, to the effect that it is Gov't and Japan. As property of public dominion,
no longer needed for public use or public the Roppongi lot is outside the commerce of man.
service. It cannot be alienated. Its ownership is a special
2. if the property has been intended for such collective ownership for general use and
use or service and the government has not enjoyment, an application to the satisfaction of
devoted it to other uses, or adopted any collective needs, and resides in the social group.
measure w/c amounted to a withdrawal The purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical
thereof from public use or service, the same person, but the citizens; it is intended for the
remains property for public use or service common and public welfare and cannot be the
notwithstanding the fact that it is not actually object of appropriation,
devoted for public use or service.
Issue: Has it become patrimonial?
ARTICLE 423: The property of provinces, cities, and
municipalities is divided into property for public use Held: The fact that the Roponggi property has not
and patrimonial property. been used for a long time for actual Embassy
service does not automatically convert it to
Properties of Political Subdivisions patrimonial property. Any such conversio
1. Property for public use happens only if the property is withdrawn from
2. Patrimonial property public use. A property continues to be part of the
Alienation of the Properties public domain, not available for private
1. Properties of the political subdivision for appropriation or ownership "until there is a
public use can not be alienated as such, formal declaration on the part of the government
and may not be acquired by prescription. to withdraw it from being such. The respondents
enumerate various pronouncements by concerned a) full ownership includes all the
public officials insinuating a change of intention. rights of the owner, to control, to
We emphasize, however, that an abandonment of enjoy, to dispose, and to recover;
the intention to use the Roppongi property for b) naked ownership there is this
public service and to make it patrimonial property kind of ownership that one has
under Article 422 of the Civil Code must be when like usufruct giving this
definite. Abandonment cannot be inferred from person the usufructuary to use
the non-use alone specially if the non-use was the land and to enjoy the fruits of
attributable not to the government's own the land. So your ownership over
deliberate and indubitable will but to a lack of your land is merely naked
financial support to repair and improve the because you do not enjoy its
property. fruits.
c) sole ownership where
Issue: Does the President have authority to sell ownership is vested only to one
said property? person;
d) co-ownership when the
Held: Assuming arguendo that the Roppongi ownership is vested to 2 or more
property is no longer of public domain, there is persons
another obstacle to its sale by the respondents:
THERE IS NO LAW AUTHORIZING ITS ARTICLE 428: The owner has the right to enjoy and
CONVEYANCE. dispose of a thing, without other limitations than
established by law.
- Sec. 79 of the Revised Administrative The owner has also a right of action against the holder
Code provides that for conveyances and and possessor of the thing in order to recover.
contracts which the gov't is a party,
respective Dept. Sec. shall submit the - Under Art. 428, the owner has 3 rights:
papers to the Congress for approval. This 1. the right to enjoy (jus utendi) the right
is retained in Sec. 48, EO 292. Hence, it is to enjoy includes the right to possess. This
not for the President to convey valuable is the right to exclude any person from
real property of the government on her enjoyment and disposal thereof.
own sole will. Any such conveyance must 2. the right to consume or abuse (jus
be authorized and approved by a law abutendi)
enacted by the Congress. 3. the right to consume, destroy and abuse.
- Are rivers whether navigable or not, 4. the right to dispose ( jus disponendi )
properties of public dominion? 5. the right to encumber and alienate.
A: it would seem that art 420 makes no the right to recover or vindicate (jus
distinction. However, jurisprudence provides that vindicandi)- the right to recover.
if a river is capable in its natural state of being
used for commerce, it is navigable in fact, and THE RIGHT TO RECOVER
therefore, becomes a public river.
1) REPLEVIN an action or provisional
OWNERSHIP remedy filed by the complainant for the
recovery of the possession of the personal
ARTICLE 427: Ownership may be exercised over property.
things or rights. For the recovery of real property,
the 1st action is forcible entry.
Ownership is the independent and general right That is also related to the 2nd one
of the person to control a thing particularly in his which is unlawful detainer. The
possession, to enjoy it, to dispose it, and to 3rd is accion publiciana, and the
recover it when it is lost. 4th is accion reinvindicatoria.
2) FORCIBLE ENTRY it is an action to
Restrictions: recover material or physical possession
a) those imposed by law example because another person unlawfully
is the easement of right of way deprived him of possession because of
b) imposed by the State FISTS (Force, Intimidation, Stealth,
expropriation, the power of Threats, Strategy).
taxation 3) The issue here is possession only, not
c) those imposed by the owner ownership
entering into a contract of lease
(the owner puts limitation to The PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD to file
himself over his property) forcible entry is one year from
d) those imposed by the grantor dispossession.
conditions of the donor
When you file a complaint for forcible
- KINDS OF OWNERSHIP: entry, what are the facts that you have to
state?
1. That the plaintiff was in prior possession 2. When the entry was thru FISTS and there
of the property; was a failure to file a case of unlawful
2. That he had been unlawfully deprived of detainer or forcible entry within one year.
his possession by another person thru
FISTS 5) ACCION REINVINDICATORIA the
purpose here is to recover ownership over the
3. UNLAWFUL DETAINER it is an action real property.
that is brought when possession by a PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD: 10
landlord, vendee, vendor, or other person years if possessor in good faith;
of any land or building is being 30 years if in bad faith.
unlawfully withheld after the expiration
or termination of the right to hold ISSUE: Ownership
possession by virtue of any contract,
express or implied. ARTICLE 429: The owner or lawful possessor of a
thing has the right to exclude any person from the
1. PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD: 1-year from enjoyment and disposal thereof. For this purpose, he
the date of withholding may use such force as may be reasonably necessary to
2. REQUIREMENTS: repel or prevent an actual or threatened unlawful
a) that the defendant physical invasion or usurpation of his property.
originally had lawful
possession of the property; Doctrine of SELF-HELP. The
b) that the defendant is now doctrine of self-help exists once there
unlawfully withholding the is an actual or threatened danger or
possession of the property physical usurpation of property.
from the plaintiff.
Principle of self-Help:
Unlawful Detainer vs Forcible Entry 1. It is lawful to repel force by means of
force. Implies that the state of things to be deemed
1. In forcible entry, the requirement is that enjoys juridical protection.
the plaintiff was in prior possession 2. It is sort of self-defense, where the use
(essential) and then he was unlawfully of such necessary force to protect proprietary or
deprived of possession by the defendant possessory rights constitutes a justifying
by means of FISTS. circumstances under the Penal Code.
2. In unlawful detainer, the defendant had
lawful possession but his possession The actual invasion of self-help:
became unlawful. The possession of the 1. Mere disturbance of possession force may be
defendant was lawful because of a used against it any time as long as it continues,
contract, his possession becomes unlawful even beyond the prescriptive period for an action
perhaps because the contract expired or of forcible entry. Thus, if a ditch was opened by
he violated the terms or conditions of the Perdo in the land of Juan, Juan may close it or
contract. cover it by force at any time.
2. Real Dispossession force, to regain
Characteristics common to unlawful possession can only be used immediately after the
detainer and forcible entry dispossession. Thus, if Juan w/o the permission
1. Ownership is not an issue, but of Pedro picks up a book belonging to Pedro and
only the right of possession of the runs off with it, Pedro can pursue Juan and
premises. recover the book by force.
2. the action must be filed within 1
yr from the discovery, from the Nature of the Aggression:
dispossession, and from the 1. The aggression must be illicit or unlawful.
withholding 1. the right to self-help is not available
against the exercise of right by another,
4) ACCION PUBLICIANA- such as when the latter executes an extra-
judicial abatement of nuisance.
This action is intended for the recovery of 2. neither can it be used against the lawful
the better right to possess. The issue here exercise of the functions of a public
is possession de jure not possession de official.
facto. 2. The act however need not be illicit from the
This is no longer a summary proceeding subjective point of view.
but a full blown trial. 1. it is immaterial that the aggression is
PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD: 10 years executed because of error of fact or law
2. the existence of a danger of violation of
KINDS: law and right is sufficient, for the
1. When the entry was not obtained thru possessor is not a position to the error of
FISTS; the aggressor and he has to make a quick
decision.
PEOPLE vs. NARVAEZ off the accessibility to appellant's house and rice
GR No. L-33466. April 30, 1983 mill from the highway, since the door of the same
opens to the Fleischer and Company's side.
The owner has the right to use force as may be The next day, the fencing was continued with the
reasonably necessary to prevent an actual or threatened installation of four strands of barbed wire to the
unlawful physical invasion of his property. The force posts. At that time, NARVAEZ was taking his
exerts must commensurate the unlawful aggression on rest, but when he heard that the walls of his house
his property. were being chiseled, he arose and there he saw the
fencing going on. If the fencing would go on,
FACTS NARVAEZ would be prevented from getting into
MAMERTO NARVAEZ was among those persons his house and the bodega of his rice mill. So he
from Luzon who went to Mindanao in 1937 and told the group to stop the construction and just
settled in Maitum, North Cotabato. He established talk it over. The deceased FLEISCHER, however,
his residence therein, built his house, cultivated refused angrily. Upon hearing this, NARVAEZ
the area. He was among those who petitioned apparently lost his equilibrium, got his shotgun
then President Manuel L. Quezon to order the and shot FLEISCHER, hitting him. As
subdivision of the defunct Celebes and Kalaong FLEISCHER fell down, RUBIA ran towards the
Plantations, for distribution among the settlers, jeep, knowing there is a gun in the jeep.
which included him. Shortly thereafter, Fleischer NARVAEZ fired at RUBIA, likewise hitting him.
and Company, headed by GEORGE W. Both died as a result of the shooting. NARVAEZ
FLEISCHER, an American landowner in Negros surrendered to the police thereafter, bringing with
Oriental, filed Sales Application No. in 1937 over him shotgun, claiming he shot two persons. He
the same area formerly leased and later was tried for murder and was found guilty in a
abandoned by Celebes Plantation Company. 1970 decision by the trial court.
Fleischer and Company purchased the said On appeal, NARVAEZ alleged that although he
property upon public auction. In 1966, the settlers has killed FLEISCHER and RUBIA, he should be
in said property were ousted. Among those exempted from criminal liability because he
ejected was NARVAEZ, who voluntarily merely acted in defense of his person and right.
dismantled his house and transferred to his other The prosecution on the other hand, claim that the
house which he built near the highway. The deceased were in lawful exercise of their rights of
second house was not far from the site of the ownership over the land in question, when they
dismantled house and was nearer the highway. did the fencing that sealed off appellant's access to
Aside from the store, he built a rice mill located the highway.
about 15 meters cast of the house, and a concrete
pavement between the rice mill and the house, ISSUES
which is used for drying grains and copra. (1) Whether or not the deceased in constructing a
In 1966, the settlers including NARVAEZ fence were in the lawful exercise of their rights of
questioned in court, the ownership of Fleischer ownership over the land, leased by NARVAEZ.
and Company of the disputed land. During the (2) Whether or not there was unlawful aggression
pendency of the case in 1967, he entered into a on NARVAEZs property.
contract of lease with the company concerning Lot
38 of the latters property in order to avoid RULING
trouble, until the question of ownership could be (1) NO, they were not in the lawful exercise
decided. He never paid the agreed rental, of ownership. Although ownership over the land
although he alleged that the milling job they did was still pending in court, the fact that Fleischer
for the deceased FLAVIANO RUBIA, who was and Company gave him until December 1968 to
the assistant manager of Fleischer and Company, vacate the premises, the company should have
was considered payment. Unable to pay, for 6 allowed NARVAEZ to enjoy peaceful enjoyment
months, Fleischer and Company decided to of his properties up to that time.
terminate the contract to lease and NARVAEZ (2) YES. There was an actual physical
was also ordered to leave the premises and invasion of appellant's property which he had the
remove the structures therein within 6 months right to resist, pursuant to Art. 429 of the Civil
until December 1968 or else the company itself Code. However, when NARVAEZ fired his
will cause its demolition. shotgun from his window, killing his two victims,
However, while it was still August 1968, Fleischer his resistance was disproportionate to the attack.
and Company sent the 2 deceased, DAVIS Q. Although under Art. 429 of the Civil Code, he was
FLEISCHER (secretary-treasurer and son of the owner or lawful possessor of the property and
owner) and FLAVIANO RUBIA (assistant that he has the right to use force as may be
manager), whom together with 3 laborers, reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an actual
commenced fencing Lot 38 leased by NARVAEZ or threatened unlawful physical invasion of his
by putting bamboo posts along the property line property, the force he exerted was unreasonable
parallel to the highway. Some posts were planted to commensurate the unlawful aggression on his
right on the concrete drier of NARVAEZ thereby property.
cutting diagonally across its center, with the last It must be noted that the reasonableness of means
post just adjacent to appellant's house. The fence, employed to prevent or repel the unlawful
when finished, would have the effect of shutting aggression is also a requirement of the justifying
circumstance of self defense or defense of one's If through error, one believed himself to
rights in the Revised Penal Code. Be that as it be in a state of necessity, or used means in
may, appellant's act in killing the deceased was excess of the requirements, his act would
not justifiable, since not all the elements for be illicit and the owner of the property
justification were present. He should therefore be can use the defensive force authorized in
held responsible for the death of his victims, but art 429.
he could be credited with the special mitigating
circumstance of incomplete defense under the EFFECT OF NEGLIGENCE
RPC.
NARVAEZ was found guilty of two crimes of The law does not require that the person
homicide with the privileged mitigating acting in a state of necessity be free from
circumstance of incomplete defense as well as by negligence in the creation of such situation. Thus,
two (2) generic mitigating circumstances of if a person picks up an unknown object in a drug
voluntary surrender and obfuscation, without any store and eats it, thinking it to be candy, and it
aggravating circumstance. He was sentenced to turns out to be poison, he can lawfully drink any
suffer an imprisonment of 4 months of arresto antidote he may find in the store, even without
mayor and payment of indemnification. But the consent of the owner.
considering that he has been under detention for
almost 14 years, his immediate release is hereby Basis of liability the benefit derived
ordered.
Conflict of rights the rights of self-help under
ARTICLE 430: Every owner may enclose or fence his Art 429 is not available against the act in a state of
land or tenements by means of walls. Ditches, live or necessity.
dead hedges, or by any other means without detriment
to servitudes constituted thereon. SPOUSES CUSTODIO vs. CA
GR No. 116100. February 9, 1996. 253 SCRA 483
ARTICLE 431: The owner of a thing cannot make use
thereof in such manner as to injure the rights of a 3 rd The owners have the right to enclose and fence
person. their property provided that it should be without
detriment to servitudes constituted thereon.
ARTICLE 432: The owner of a thing has no right to
prohibit the interference of another with the same, if the FACTS
interference is necessary to avert an imminent danger PACIFICO MABASA owned a parcel of land with
and the threatened damage, compared to the damage a 2-door apartment erected thereon in Taguig,
arising to the owner from the interference, is much Metro Manila. Said property was surrounded by
greater. The owner may demand from the person other houses owned by PETITIONERS Spouses
benefited indemnity for the damage to him. CRISTINO and BRIGIDA CUSTODIO and
Spouses LITO and MARIA CRISTINA SANTOS.
STATE OF NECESSITY Taking P. Burgos Street as the point of reference,
This principle allows the use of defensive there are two passageways, which could be used
force to preserve an existing situation, as to reach MABASAs apartment.
against an external event which the When said property was purchased by MABASA,
passive subject is entitled to repel as there were tenants already occupying the
much as an unlawful aggression by premises and who were acknowledged by
another MABASA as tenants. In 1982, one of said tenants
This superior to the doctrine of self-help vacated the apartment. When MABASA went to
see the premises, he saw that the spouses
REQUISITES: SANTOS had built an adobe fence in the first
1. existence of an evil sought to be avoided passage, making it narrower in width. Defendant
2. the injury feared is greater than that done MORATO also constructed her adobe fence and
to avoid it even extended said fence in such a way that the
3. that there be no other practical and less entire passageway was enclosed. It was then that
harmful means of preventing it the remaining tenants of said apartment vacated
4. the means employed is necessary and the area.
indispensable to avert danger. MABASA filed an action for the grant of an
easement of right of way against defendants
EFFECT: Indemnity may be demanded by the CUSTODIOs and SANTOSes. The trial court
owner from the person benefited. granted said petition and ordered them to give
MABASA permanent access to the public streets.
Effect of Mistake However, it also ordered MABASA to pay them
P8,000 as indemnity for the permanent use of the
The right to act in a state of necessity passageway. MABASA subsequently died and
depends upon the objective existence of was represented by his heirs, when the case was
the danger with the requisites provided appealed with the Court of Appeals, raising the
by law. sole issue of whether or not the lower court erred
in not awarding damages in their favor. It
affirmed the trial courts decision with seized by competent authority in the interest of health,
modification that MABASA be awarded damages safety, or security, the owner thereof, shall not be
for incurred losses of unrealized rentals when the entitled to compensation, unless he can show that such
tenants vacated the leased premises by reason of condemnation or seizure is unjustified.
the closure of the passageway. Hence, this appeal
by PETITIONERS. RULE ON SEIZURE:

ISSUE GENERAL RULE:


Whether or not PETITIONERS has the right to
build the adobe fences to enclose their property Owner should not be entitled for any
even if it blocked the passageway to and fro compensation as to property seized or
MABASAs property. condemned by competent authority if it is
done in the interest of health, safety, or
RULING security.
YES. The act of PETITIONERS in constructing a
fence within their lot was a valid exercise of their EXCEPTION:
right as owners, hence not contrary to morals, The owner should be entitled to
good customs or public policy. The law compensation if he can show that such
recognizes in the owner the right to enjoy and condemnation or seizure is unjustified.
dispose of a thing, without other limitations than
those established by law. Under Art. 430 of the ARTICLE 437: The owner of the parcel of land is the
Civil Code, it is within the right of PETITIONERS, owner of its surface and of everything under it, and he
as owners, to enclose and fence their property can construct thereon any works or make any
provided that it should be without detriment to plantations and excavations which he my deem proper,
servitudes constituted thereon. without detriment to servitudes and subject to special
At the time of the construction of the fence, the lot laws and ordinances. He cannot complain of the
was not subject to any servitudes. There was no reasonable requirements of aerial navigation.
easement of way existing in favor of private
respondents, either by law or by contract. The fact ARTICLE 438: Hidden treasure belongs to the owner
that the HEIRS OF MABASA had no existing right of the land, buildings, or other property on which it is
over the said passageway is confirmed by the found.
very decision of the trial court granting a Nevertheless, when the discovery is made on the
compulsory right of way in their favor after property of another, or of the State, or any of its
subdivisions, and by chance, thereof shall be allowed
payment of just compensation.
the finder. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be
Hence, prior to said decision, PETITIONERS had
entitled to any share of the treasure.
an absolute right over their property and their act
If the things found be of interest to science or
of fencing and enclosing the same was an act
the arts, the State may acquire them at their just price,
which they may lawfully perform in the
which shall be divided in conformity with the rule
employment and exercise of said right. Whatever
stated.
injury or damage may have been sustained by the
HEIRS OF MABASA by reason of the rightful use
If the treasure is discovered on the
of the said land by PETITIONERS is damnum
property of the finder, the treasure
absque injuria, which is damage caused by a
belongs to him
person by his lawful acts done upon his own
property.
If the treasure is discovered on the
property of another, the sharing is 50-50.
ARTICLE 433: Actual possession under claim of
50% belongs to the landowner; 50% goes
ownership raises a disputable presumption of
to the finder.
ownership. The true owner must resort to judicial
process for the recovery of the property.
Requirements:
ARTICLE 435: No person shall be deprived of his
1. The finder must not be a trespasser;
property except by competent authority and for public
use and always upon payment of just compensation. 2. It should be found by chance
Should this requirement be not first complied
with, the courts shall protect and in proper case, restore If the finder is a tenant, lessee, or
the owner in his possession. usufructuary of the property, the sharing
is 50-50.
REQUISITES:
1. The taking must be done by the If the finder is the employee of the owner
competent authority; of the property, the sharing is 50-50, if he
2. observance of the due process of law; discovered it by chance. If he is, however,
3. taking must be for public use; employed to look for treasure, then, the
4. upon payment of just compensation treasure belongs to the owner.

ARTICLE 436: When any property is condemned or ARTICLE 439: By treasure is understood, for legal
purposes, any hidden and unknown deposit of money, Accession is the extension of ownership over a
jewelry, or other precious objects, the lawful ownership thing to whatever it produces thereby or which is
of which does not appear incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally
or artificially.
CUSTODIO VS CA
KINDS:
Facts: Mabasa owned a parcel of land with a 2 1. ACCESSION DISCRATA (fruits)- the
door apartment erected thereon. The property is right of the owner to own everything
surrounded by other immovables belonging to which is produced thereby;
Custodios, Morato and the Santoses. There are Example: natural fruits, industrial fruits,
two possible passageways to the said property. and civil fruits;
One passing through row of houses, and the other 2. ACCESSION CONTINUA (incorporated)
through the residence of Morato and the Santoses. the right of the owner to own
everything which is incorporated or
When one of the tenants of the petitioner's attached thereto either naturally or
left, Mabasa saw that the Santoses had built an artificially
adobe fence in the first passage making it
narrower in width. Said adobe fence was first SECTION 1: RIGHT OF ACCESSION WITH
constructed by defendants Santoses along their RESPECT TO WHAT IS PRODUCED BY
property which is also along the first passageway. PROPERTY
Defendant Morato constructed her adobe fence
and even extended said fence in such a way that ACCESSION DISCRETA:
the entire passageway was enclosed. It was then
that the remaining tenants of the apartment ARTICLE 441: To the owner belongs:
vacated the area. RTC ordered the private 1. the natural fruits;
respondents to give plaintiff ingress and access. 2. the industrial fruits;
Issue: W/N private respondents are liable for 3. the civil fruits.
damages
GENERAL RULE: if you are the owner of the
Held: No. The act of petitioners in constructing a land, you are the owner of the fruit
fence within their lot is a valid exercise of their
right as owners, hence not contrary to morals, EXCEPTIONS:
good customs or public policy. The law 1. if there is a possessor in good faith;
recognizes in the owner the right to enjoy and 2. when there is usufructuary;
dispose of a thing, without other limitations than 3. when the lessee gets the fruits of the land
those established by law. It is within the right of (the owner gets the civil fruits in the form
petitioners, as owners, to enclose and fence their of rentals);
property. Article 430 of the Civil Code provides 4. the contract of antichresis
that "(e)very owner may enclose or fence his land
or tenements by means of walls, ditches, live or BACHRACH MOTOR vs. TALISAY-SILAY
dead hedges, or by any other means without GR No. 352230. September 17, 1931
detriment to servitudes constituted thereon."
Bonus granted as compensation for the risk of having
At the time of the construction of the subjected ones land to a lien in favor of the bank is not
fence, the lot was not subject to any servitudes. a civil fruit of the mortgaged property.
There was no easement of way existing in favor of
FACTS
private respondents, either by law or by contract.
In 1923, the TALISAY-SILAY MILLING CO. INC.,
The fact that private respondents had no existing
was indebted to the PHILIPPINE NATIONAL
right over the said passageway is confirmed by
BANK (PNB). To secure the payment of its debt, it
the very decision of the trial court granting a
succeeded in inducing its planters, among whom
compulsory right of way in their favor after
was MARIANO LACSON LEDESMA, to
payment of just compensation. It was only that
mortgage their land to the creditor bank. In order
decision which gave private respondents the right
to compensate these planters for the risk they
to use the said passageway after payment of the
were running with their property under that
compensation and imposed a corresponding duty
mortgage, TALISAY undertook to credit the
on petitioners not to interfere in the exercise of
owners of the plantation bonuses which is 2% of
said right.
the debt secured according to the yearly balance.
ACCESSION LEDESMA owned a sum of money to
BACHRACH MOTOR CO. that the latter filed a
ARTICLE 440: The ownership of property gives the complaint for the delivery of LEDESMAs bonus
right by accession to everything which is produced of P13,850 or promissory notes in its favor.
thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto, PNB, to which LEDEMSAs land was mortgaged
either naturally or artificially. filed a third party claim alleging a preferential
right to receive any amount which LEDESMA
might be entitled to from TALISAY as bonus. It
argued that said bonus were civil fruits of the annuitie
land mortgaged to said bank by LEDESMA. PNB s
prayed that TALISAY be ordered to deliver
directly to the bank, LEDESMAs bonus. SECTION 2: RIGHT OF ACCESSION WITH
The trial court ruled against PNB. Hence, this RESPECT TO IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
instant appeal.
ARTICLE 445: Whatever is built, planted or sown on
ISSUE the land of another and the improvements or repairs
Whether or not the bonus in question is civil made therein belong to the owner of the land, subject to
fruits. the provisions of the following articles.

RULING This article deals with accession:


NO. The bonus which the TALISAY, had to pay 1. building
the planters who had mortgaged their lands to 2. planting
PNB in order to secure the payment of the 3. sowing
company's debt to the bank, is not a civil fruit of
the mortgaged property. To the owner of the principal (land) must
Article 441 of the Civil Code (then Art. 441) belong also the accession
considers 3 things as civil fruits: (1) the rents of The union musty, w. certain exception, be
buildings; (2) the proceeds from leaes of lands; effected in such a manner that to separate
and (3) the income from perpetual or life the principal from the accessory, would
annuities, or other similar sources of revenue. result in substantial injury to either
As the bonus in question is not the rent of a He who is in good faith may be held
building or of land, the only meaning of "civil liable but he should not be penalized
fruits" left to be examined is that of "income." The He who is in bad faith may be penalized
said bonus bore no immediate, but only a remote
and accidental relation to the land mentioned. It TACAS vs. TOBON
was only granted as compensation for the risk of GR No. 30240. August 23, 1929
having subjected one's land to a lien in favor of
the bank, for the benefit of the entity granting said The possessor in good faith must return the fruits
bonus. If this bonus be income or civil fruits of received from the time the answer to the complaint was
anything, it is income arising from said risk or filed, that is, from the time he became aware that he
from LEDESMA's generosity in facing the danger was in undue possession. During that time, before the
for the protection of TALISAY. But, it certainly is law, good faith ceased.
not civil fruits or income from the mortgaged
property, which, as far as this case is concerned, FACTS
has nothing to do with it. 3 parcels of land were owned by and registered in
the name of Francisco Dumadag. He died in 1911.
ARTICLE 442: Natural fruits are the spontaneous In 1912, during the season for planting tobacco
products of the soil, and the young and other products immediately following the death of Dumadag,
of the animals. EVARISTO TOBON took possession of the 3
Industrial fruits are those produced by lands parcels of land in question planting them with
of any kind thru cultivation or labor. tobacco. Since then, TOBON had been collecting
Civil fruits are the rents of buildings, the price the fruits therefrom, which consisted of rice and
of leases of lands and other property and the amount of tobacco.
perpetual or life annuities or other similar income. AQUILINA TACAS ET AL., Francisco Dumadags
predecessor in interest filed an action seeking to
ARTICLE 443: He who receives the fruits has the recover from TOBON the ownership and
obligation to pay the expenses made by a 3 rd person in possession of said 3 parcels of land, together with
their production, gathering, and preservation. the fruits collected by him during the time he was
in possession of said land since 1912. They alleged
ARTICLE 444: Only such as are manifest or born are that TOBON unlawfully took said parcels upon
considered as natural or industrial fruits. the death of Francisco Dumadag and that he
With respect to animals, it is sufficient that remained in possession, enjoying the fruits
they are in the womb of the mother, although unborn. thereof. TOBON however insisted that he was the
owner of said lands, having purchased them from
DISCRETA ( PRODUCED) one Exequiel or Gil Tacas, deceased, about fifteen
NATURAL INDUSTRIA CIVIL years before.
L The trial court found that the 3 parcels of land
1. Spontaneous Those - rents under discussion, were parts of an estate
products of the produced by - price of belonging to Francisco Dumadag, having
soil lands of any - leases inherited them from his parents. It declared the
2. The young and kind of amount HEIRS OF TACAS to be the absolute owners of
other products cultivation of the 3 parcels of land in litigation and ordered
of animals or labor perpetua TOBON to deliver said parcels of land to the
l or life
them, together with the fruits collected each year authorized to clear the land and make
since 1912 until the complete termination. improvements thereon by the previous owners
Hence, this appeal by TOBON, questioning the since 1922. BERNARDO then filed a case against
order of the court that he should deliver the fruits BATACLAN, where the lower court held that
collected each year since 1912 until the complete indeed, BERNARDO was the owner but
termination of the case. nevertheless, BATACLAN was a possessor in
good faith. Because of this, the court ordered that
ISSUE BATACLAN be reimbursed for work done and
Whether or not the restitution should be made improvements he made on the property.
since 1912 when TOBON collected the fruits of the When both parties appealed to the Supreme
land of the late TACAS until the termination of Court, the compensation in favor of BATACLAN
the case. was increased and BERNARDO was given the
option to either sell the land to the BATACLAN
RULING or to buy the improvements from him within 30
NO. The possessor in good faith must return the days. BERNARDO chose to sell the land to
fruits received from the time the answer to the BATACLAN. The latter however, informed the
complaint was filed, that is, from the time he court that he was unable to pay. The court then
became aware that he was in undue possession. issued and order that BERNARDO should pay
The court affirmed the decision of the lower court BATACLAN for the improvements made on the
but modified the award of damages, said subject property within 30 days or else the land
judgment and ruled that TOBON should only be would be ordered sold at public auction. Being
bound to return to the HEIRS OF MABASA, the that BERNARDO did not have money to pay
fruits received from April 1918 (when TOBON BATACLAN for the improvements he made on
filed his answer) to 1927. the land, he moved to reconsider that he be
The restitution must be made when there was preferred in the order of payment over
already the legal consequences of the interruption. BATACLAN. Said motion was denied by the
Before the law, good faith ceased when the court though.
answer to the complaint was filed, taking this At the instance of BERNARDO and without
doctrine from the partidas. objection from BATACLAN, the court ordered the
In the present case, TOBON hopefully believed in sale of the land in question at public auction. The
good faith that the subject property was his and land was sold to Toribio Teodoro. Teodoro moved
his belief only disappeared upon the unfavorable that he be placed in possession of the land
judgment of the court against him. Although he purchased by him, which was granted by the
may not have been convinced of it before, TOBON court.
became aware that his possession is unlawful BATACLAN complained that he was a
from the time he learned of the complaint or from possessor in good faith and that the amount for
the time he was summoned to the trial. It was at reimbursement, to which he was entitled has not
this time that his possession was interrupted and yet been paid to him by BERNARDO. Therefore,
that he ceased to receive the fruits. Whether or not he said that he has a right to retain the land in
the defendant was a possessor in good faith, there accordance with the provisions of Article 453 of
existed an act that his right was not secure, that the Civil Code.
someone disputed it, and that he might yet lose it.
However, on the basis of Art. 443 of the Civil ISSUE
Code (then Art. 365), TOBON was also given the Whether or not the BATACLAN is still
right to deduct the expenses of planting and entitled to reimbursement in lieu of the
harvesting, which shall be determined by the trial improvements he constructed on the disputed
court, after hearing both parties. property.

BERNARDO vs. BATACLAN RULING


GR No. 44606. November 28, 1938 NO, he was not. BATACLAN has lost his
right of retention.
A builder in good faith, looses his right of The Civil Code confirms certain time-honored
retention when after the owner of the land has principles of the law of property. One of these is
chosen that the builder pay for the land over the principle of accession whereby the owner of
indemnifying the builder instead for the property acquires not only that which it produces
building, the builder fails to pay. but that which is united to it either naturally or
artificially. Under Art. 445 (then Art. 385),
FACTS whatever is built, planted or sown on the land of
VICENTE STO. DOMINGO BERNARDO another, and the improvements or repairs made
entered into a contract of sale in 1920 with Pastor thereon, belong to the owner of the land. Where,
Samonte and others, over a parcel of land in however, the planter, builder, or sower has acted
Silang, Cavite. To secure possession of the land in good faith, a conflict of rights arises between
from the vendors, BERNARDO instituted a civil the owners and it becomes necessary to protect
case, where the court rendered judgment in his the owner of the improvements without causing
favor. When he entered the premises, he found injustice to the owner of the land. In view of the
CATALINO BATACLAN therein, who was impracticability of creating what Manresa calls a
state of "forced coownership", the law has If the MO acted in good faith
provided a just and equitable solution by giving a. reimbursement provided he does not
the owner of "the land the option to acquire the remove them
improvements after payment of the proper b. removal provided no substantial injury
indemnity or to oblige the builder or planter to is caused
pay for the land and the sower to pay the proper
rent (Art. 361). It is the owner of the land who is If the MO acted in bad faith
allowed to exercise the option because his right is a. absolute right or removal and damages
older and because, by the principle of accession, whether or not substantial injury is caused
he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory b. reimbursement (value of the materials) and
thing. damages in case he chooses not to remove
In the case before us, BERNARDO as owner
of the land, chose to require BATACLAN, as Landowner is in Good Faith but
owner of the improvements, to pay for the land. Material Owner is in Bad Faith
But since BATACLAN said he could not pay, the Landowner would:
land was sold at public auction to Toribio not only be exempted from
Teodoro. The law, as we have already said, reimbursement
requires no more than that the owner of the land but he would also be entitled to
should choose between indemnifying the owner consequential damages as when the
of the improvements or requiring the latter to pay materials are of inferior quality
for the land. When he failed to pay for the land, Material Owner would lose all rights
the defendant herein lost his right of retention. such as the right to removal,
regardless of whether substantial
ARTICLE 446: All works, sowing, and planting are injury would be caused
presumed made by the owner and at his expense, unless
the contrary is proved. PACIFIC FARMS vs. ESGUERRA
GR No. L-21783. March 25, 1970
ARTICLE 447: The owner of the land who makes
thereon, personally or thru another, plantings, The buyer of the building is obliged to pay for
constructions or works with the materials of another, the unpaid balance for the materials use in its
shall pay their value; and, if he acted in bad faith, he construction. Compensation should be borne
shall also be obliged to the reparation of damages. The by the person who has been benefited by the
owner of the materials shall have the right to remove accession.
them only in case he can do so without injury to the
work constructed, or without the plantings, FACTS
constructions or works being destroyed. However, if 6 buildings were constructed by INSULAR
the landowner acted in bad faith, the owner of the FARMS INC. Lumber and construction materials
materials may remove them in any event, with a right used therein were furnished by CARRIED
to be indemnified for damages. LUMBER COMPANY. When INSULAR was
unable to pay the price of the lumber and
Rights and Obligations of the construction materials, a case was filed by
Landowner who Uses the Materials of CARRIED LUMBER against it to redeem the
Another: unpaid purchase price.
The owner is also the builder, sower, planter Being that PACIFIC FARMS contended that it
but the materials do not belong to him was the owner of the 6 buildings, the lower court
ordered that it pay the unpaid portion of the
If the landowner (LO) acted in good procurement price of the lumber and construction
faith: materials furnished by the CARRIED LUMBER to
a. he becomes the owner of the materials its predecessor-in-interest, INSULAR. It ordered
but he must pay for their value for the sale of the 6 buildings but granted the
b. exception: when they can be removed option to redeem the same to PACIFIC FARMS, in
w/o destruction to the work made or the order to pay CARRIED LUMBER the unpaid
plants the material owner can remove balance of the construction materials.
them Hence, PACIFIC appealed. It contended that it
was a purchaser for value and in good faith of the
If the LO acted in bad faith six buildings in question.
a. he becomes the owner of the materials,
but he must pay their value and damages ISSUE
b. exception - when the material owner Whether or not PACIFIC, as buyer of the
decides to remove them whether or not buildings should pay CARRIED LUMBER the
destruction would be caused the unpaid lumber and materials used by the previous
materials will revert to the material owner owner INSULAR in the construction of said
who will still be entitled to damages buildings.

Rights and Obligations of the Material RULING


owner (MO)
YES. In applying Article 447 by analogy, the 6 option granted to the LO is not
buildings were the principal and the lumber and absolute as when it is impractical for
construction materials that went into their the LO to exercise the option #1. If the
construction were the accessory. Thus, PACIFIC, option #1 is not practical then the
if it did own the 6 buildings, must bear the probable solution is the 2 nd
obligation to pay for the value of the said alternative.
materials. CARRIED LUMBER, which apparently Art 448, however, is inapplicable
had no desire to remove the materials, and, even when:
if it were minded to do so, it could not have 1. the BPS does not claim
removed them without necessarily damaging the ownership over the land but
building. It had acquired then the corresponding merely possesses it as a mere
right to recover the value of the unpaid lumber holder
and construction materials. 2. the BPS is a co-owner.
Because it was assumed that PACIFIC was in 4. when the land owner constructed
good faith, it was not pronounced that it be liable a building in his own land and he
for the reparation of damages but only for the sold the land, excluding the
payment of the unpaid price of the lumber and building, to another.
construction materials due to CARRIED
LUMBER. Thus, since PACIFIC benefited from MARTINEZ vs. BAGANUS
the accession, i.e., from the lumber and materials GR No. 9438. November 25, 1914.
that went into the construction of the 6 buildings,
it should shoulder the compensation due to Art. 448 applies only if there is good faith on
CARRIED LUMBER, as unpaid furnisher of both the part of the land owner and the
materials. Hence, compensation should be borne builder, planter or sower. It is Art. 546 of the
by the person who has been benefited by the Civil Code which governs this situation.
accession.
FACTS
ARTICLE 448: The owner of the land on which PAULA MARTINEZ was an owner of a town
anything has been built, sown or planted in good faith lot situated in Batangas. His son, JOSE MOJICA,
shall have the right to appropriate as his own the sold the said lot to VICTORINO BAGANUS for
works, sowing or planting, after payment of the P70. MARTINEZ filed a case seeking recovery of
indemnity provided for in the Articles 546 and 548 or ownership and possession of the lot. She also
to oblige the one built or planted to pay the price of the prayed that the sale made by his son MOJICA to
land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent. BAGANUS be declared null and void. BAGANUS
However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to in contrast alleged that:
buy the land if its value is considerably more than that 1. he bought the lot from MOJICA with
of the building or trees. In such case, he shall pay the consent of MARTINEZ in the belief that
reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose it belonged to the former,
to appropriate the building or trees after proper 2. he had paid a deposit of P30 in
indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms of advance and agreed to pay the P40 balance
the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix when the instrument of sale had already
the terms thereof. been executed as was later done and
3. relying in good faith in the validity of
This article applies only if the builder, his acquisition, he had made necessary
planter or sower is in Good Faith improvements on the lot, having built a
3 options available to the landowner in house and a warehouse and having planted
good faith if the BPS is in good faith: fruit trees.
1. right to appropriate as his own MOJICA confirmed the sale of the land for the
the works, sowing or planting, price of P70, having received P30 in advance and
after payment of the indemnity; P40 later when the sale was put to record.
2. to compel the builder/planter However, he contended that he made the
(BP) to pay the price of the land. condition that if his mother, MARTINEZ, would
With respect to the sower, pay the not agree to the sale, he might take back the land
proper rent and would return the money received.
3. to demand the BP to pay the MARTINEZ, in fact, did not agree to it.
proper rent, , if the owner of the The court declared that the sale made by
land does not choose to MOJICA as null and void and ordered
appropriate the building or trees, BAGANUS:
after proper indemnity 1. to return the lot to claimed to
MARTINEZ,
The land owner (LO) has the choice 2. to remove at his own expense the
whether to appropriate or compel the buildings and plants he had placed thereon,
builder/planter/sower (BPS) to and
purchase the land. And once the 3. to pay the costs.
choice is made by the LO, he cannot
change it anymore. However, the
Said order was without prejudice to the right of 2. that the IGNACIOs were still entitled
action he had against MOJICA, which was to hold the possession of the residential lot
reserved, on the ground of ejectment. until after they are paid the actual market
value of their houses and granaries erected
ISSUES thereon, unless HILARIO and DRES prefer
(1) Whether or not BAGANUS acquired the to sell them said residential lot, in which
land in good faith. case the IGNACIOs shall pay HILARIO and
(2) Whether or not he should return the lot DRES the proportionate value of said
claimed and to remove the buildings and plants residential lot taking as a basis the price paid
he placed thereon at his own expense. for the whole land, and
3. that upon the IGNACIOs failure to
RULING purchase the residential lot in question, they
(1) NO. BAGANUS acquired the lot in bad shall remove their houses and granaries
faith, for he himself said that he dealt with after this decision haD becomes final and
MARTINEZ but later on consented that MOJICA, within the period of 60 days from the date
who was not the owner, should appear as the that the court is informed in writing of the
vendor. However, MARTINEZ was also in bad attitude of the parties in this respect.
faith. Bad faith on the part of the owner is The court also declared that should the parties
understood whenever the act (of building or could not come to an extra-judicial settlement with
planting) has been executed in his presence with regards to their rights under Art. 448 (then Art.
his knowledge and tolerance and without 361), they may appear again before court to
objection. determine said rights.
(2) YES. Being that there was bad faith on the HILARIO and DRES prayed for an order of
part of MARTINEZ, the owner and BAGANUS, execution alleging that since they chose neither to
the builder and planter, the bad faith of one pay the IGNACIOs for the buildings nor to sell to
cancels the bad faith of the other. It is Art. 546 of them the residential lot, the latter should be
the Civil Code which governs this situation and ordered to remove the structure at their own
not Art. 448, as the latter applies only if there is expense and to restore plaintiffs in the possession
good faith on both the part of the land owner and of said lot. Although the IGNACIOs objected to
the builder, planter or sower. this motion, the court granted the same. Hence,
The court ordered without special finding as this appeal.
to the costs:
1. that MARTINEZ should ISSUE
indemnify BAGANUS to the value of Whether or not PACIFIC the IGNACIOs
the he has placed thereon, with the right should remove their buildings from the land
on his part to retain it until she has belonging to HILARIO and DRES because the
reimbursed him for said necessary and latter chose neither to pay for such buildings nor
useful improvements; or to sell the land to the IGNACIOs.
2. that BAGANUS should pay
MARTINEZ the price of the land, RULING
making himself the legitimate owner NO, they should not. The provisions
thereof. applicable are Art. 448 (then Art. 361) and Art. 546
(then Art. 453) of the Civil Code.
Under Art. 546, the owner of the building
IGNACIO vs. HILARIO erected in good faith on a land owned by another,
GR No. L-175. April 30, 1946 is entitled to retain the possession of the land until
he is paid the value of his building.
The owner of the land, on which buildings, Under Art. 448, the owner of the land, upon
plantings and sowings had been erected the other hand, has 2 options either: (1) to pay for
thereon under Art. 448 has 2 options either: the building or (2) to sell his land to the owner of
(1) to pay for the building or (2) to sell his the building.
land to the owner of the building. He cannot But the owner cannot, refuse both to pay for
refuse to choose an option. the building and to sell the land and compel the
owner of the building to remove it from the land
FACTS where it is erected, as in the present case when
ELIAS HILARIO and his wife DIONISIA HILARIO and DRES refused to choose any of the
DRES filed a case against DAMIAN, FRANCISCO options. The landowner is entitled to a demotion
and LUIS IGNACIO, concerning the ownership of only when, after having chosen to sell his land,
a parcel of land, which was partly rice-land and the other party fails to pay for the same.
partly residential. The lower court rendered
judgment in favor of HILARIO and DRES
declaring: IGNAO vs. IAC
1. that HILARIO and DRES were the GR No. 72876. January 18, 1991
owners of the whole property and entitled to
the possession of the same, Art. 448 of the Civil Code cannot apply where
a co-owner builds, plants or sows on the land
owned in common for then he did not build, (1) Whether or not Art. 448 should apply to a
plant or sow upon land that exclusively builder in good faith on a property held in co-
belongs to another but of which he is a co- ownership by the contending parties.
owner. EXEPTION: Unless the co-ownership (2) Whether or not the court may choose the
was already terminated by partition. options given to the landowner under Art. 448.

The court cannot also exercise the options


given to the landowner under Art. 448. RULING
(1) NO. Art. 448 of the Civil Code cannot
FACTS apply where a co-owner builds, plants or sows on
FLORENCIO IGNAO and his uncles JUAN the land owned in common for then he did not
and ISIDRO IGNAO were co-owners of a 523 sq. build, plant or sow upon land that exclusively
meter parcel of land with in Kawit, Cavite. belongs to another but of which he is a co-owner.
Pursuant to an action for partition filed by The co-owner is not a third person under the
FLORENCIO, the court directed the partition of circumstances, and the situation is governed by
said land, alloting 133.5 square meters or 2/8 the rules of co-ownership.
thereof to JUAN and ISIDRO, and giving the However, in this case, the co-ownership was
remaining portion with a total area of 266.5 terminated by the partition. It appeared that the
square meters to FLORENCIO. However, no homes of JUAN and ISIDRO overlapped or
actual partition was ever effected. occupied a portion of 5 sq. meters of the land
Later, FLORENCIO instituted a complaint for pertaining to FLORENCIO, which the former
recovery of possession of real property against obviously built in good faith, then the provisions
Juan and Isidro, wherein he alleged that the area of Art. 448 should apply. In fact, Manresa and
occupied by the 2 houses built by JUAN and Navarro Amandi agree that the said provision of
ISIDRO exceeded the 133.5 square meters the Civil Code may apply even when there is a co-
previously allotted to them by the trial court ownership if good faith has been established.
during partition. In other words, when the co-ownership was
Upon agreement of the parties, the trial court terminated by a partition and it appeared that the
ordered a licensed geodetic engineer to conduct a house of an erstwhile co-owner has encroached
survey to determine the exact area occupied by upon a portion pertaining to another co-owner,
the houses of JUAN and ISIDRO. The survey which was however made in good faith, then the
subsequently disclosed that the house of Juan provisions of Art. 448 should apply to determine
occupied 42 square meters while that of Isidro the respective rights of the parties.
occupied 59 square meters of Florencio's land or a (2) NO. When both the trial and appellate
total of 101 square meters. courts peremptorily ordered the owner of the
In its decision, the trial court ruled in favor of land, FLORENCIO, to sell to private respondents,
JUAN and ISIDRO. In its decision, it was stated JUAN and ISIDRO, the part of the land they
therein that although they occupied a portion of intruded upon adopted, they deprived
FLORENCIO's property, they should be FLORENCIO of his right to choose. Such ruling
considered builders in good faith. contravened the explicit provisions of Art. 448
Furthermore, the trial court stated that where it is clear and unambiguous that the right of
pursuant to Art. 448 of the Civil Code, the owner choice is conferred upon the landowner and not
of the land (FLORENCIO) should have the choice upon the builder and the courts.
to either appropriate that part of the house' The Supreme Court then modified the
standing on his land after payment of indemnity decision and directed FLORENCIO IGNAO
or oblige the builders in good faith (JUAN AND within 30 days from entry of judgment to exercise
ISIDRO) to pay the price of the land. However, his option to either appropriate as his own the
the trial court observed that based on the facts of portions of the houses of JUAN and ISIDRO
the case, it would be useless and unsuitable for IGNAO occupying his land upon payment of
Florencio to exercise the first option since this indemnity in accordance with Articles 546 and 548
would render the entire houses of Juan and Isidro of the Civil Code, or sell to private respondents
worthless. The trial court then applied the ruling the 101 square meters occupied by them at such
in the similar case of Grana vs. Court of Appeals, price as may be agreed upon. Should the value of
where the Supreme Court had advanced a more the land exceed the value of the portions of the
"workable solution". Thus, it ordered Florencio to houses that JUAN and ISIDRO have erected
sell to Juan and Isidro those portions of his land thereon, they may choose not to buy the land but
respectively occupied by the latter and to execute they must pay reasonable rent for the use of the
the necessary deed of conveyance to them. portion of FLORENCIO's land as may be agreed
On appeal, FLORENCIO argued that Art. 448 upon by the parties. In case of disagreement, the
does not apply in the present case but rather Art. rate of rental and other terms of the lease shall be
486 since the land in question was not owned by determined by the trial court. Otherwise, JUAN
different parties but were owned in common by and ISIDRO may remove or demolish at their own
the contending parties. expense the said portions of their houses
encroaching upon petitioner's land.
ISSUES
PECSON vs.CA P53,000 and not its current market value, was
GR No. 115814. May 26, 1995 sufficient reimbursement for necessary and useful
improvements made by PECSON.
The court cannot also exercise the options (3) Whether or not PECSON should pay
given to the landowner under Art. 448. monthly rentals equal to the aggregate rentals
paid by the lessees of the apartment buildings.
FACTS
Petitioner PEDRO P. PECSON was the owner RULING
of a commercial lot located in Quezon City, on (1) Useful expenses shall be refunded only to
which he built a 4-door 2-storey apartment the possessor in good faith with the same right of
building worth P53,000 in 1965. For his failure to retention, the person who has defeated him in the
pay realty taxes, the lot was sold at public auction possession having the option of refunding the
by to Mamerto Nepomuceno, who in turn sold it amount of the expenses or of paying the increase
to the spouses JUAN and ERLINDA NUGUID. in value which the thing may have acquired by
PECSON challenged the validity of the reason thereof.
auction sale on the ground that the apartment By its clear language, Article 448 refers to
building was not included in the sale because it a land whose ownership is claimed by two or
was not subject of the litigation. Indeed, the lower more parties, one of whom has built some works,
court ruled that there was no basis for the or sown or planted something. The building,
inclusion of the apartment building in the auction sowing or planting may have been made in good
sale because what was sold was merely the lot for faith or in bad faith. The rule on good faith laid
PECSONs failure to pay his taxes. Said decision down in Article 526 of the Civil Code shall be
was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the applied in determining whether a builder, sower
Supreme Court. or planter had acted in good faith.
Later on, the SPOUSES NAGUID filed with Article 448 does not apply to a case where
the trial court a motion for the delivery of the owner of the land is the builder, sower, or
possession of the lot and the apartment building. planter who then later loses ownership of the land
They cited Art. 546 of the Civil Code. They agreed by sale or donation. Elsewise stated, where the
to comply with said provision of the law true owner himself is the builder of works on his
considering that PECSON was a builder in good own land, the issue of good faith or bad faith is
faith and has in fact, opted to pay the cost of the entirely irrelevant. Thus in strict point of law,
construction spent PECSON. From the complaint Article 448 is not opposite to the case at bar.
itself the plaintiff stated that the construction cost Nevertheless, we believe that the provision
of the apartment was much more than the lot. therein on indemnity may be applied by analogy
This amount of P53,000.00 is what the SPOUSES considering that the primary intent of Article 448
NAGUID was supposed to pay under the law is to avoid a state of forced co-ownership and that
before a writ of possession placing him in the parties, including the two courts below, in the
possession of both the lot and apartment would main agree that Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil
be issued. Code are applicable and indemnity for the
However, they also alleged that 3 doors of the improvements may be paid although they differ
apartment building were being leased at the rent as to the basis of the indemnity.
of P7,000 a month each. The decision having (2) NO. Article 546 does not specifically state
become final as per Entry of Judgment dated June how the value of the useful improvements should
23, 1993 and from this date on, being the be determined. The respondent court and the
uncontested owner of the property, the rents private respondents espouse the belief that the
should be paid to them instead of PECSON cost of construction of the apartment building in
collecting them. From June 23, 1993, the rents 1965, and not its current market value, is sufficient
collected by PECSON amounting to more than reimbursement for necessary and useful
P53,000.00 from tenants should be offset from the improvements made by the petitioner.
rents due to the lot which according to SPOUSES The objective of Article 546 of the Civil
NAGUID's affidavit is more than P21,000.00 a Code is to administer justice between the parties
month. involved. In this regard, this Court had long ago
The court rendered judgment in favor of them stated that the said provision was formulated, in
and ordered the reimbursement of PECSON for trying to adjust the rights of the owner and
the construction of the apartment building at possessor in good faith of a piece of land, to
P53,000 and that this amount due should be made administer complete justice to both of them in
to offset against the amount of rents collected such a way as neither one nor the other may
previously by the PECSON. On appeal, the Court enrich himself of that which does not belong to
of Appeals partly affirmed said decision. Hence, him. Guided by this precept, it is therefore the
this appeal. current market value of the improvements which
should be made the basis of reimbursement. A
ISSUES contrary ruling would unjustly enrich the private
(1) How should Art. 448 in relation to Art. 546 respondents who would otherwise be allowed to
be applied? acquire a highly valued income-yielding four-unit
(2) Whether or not the cost of construction of apartment building for a measly amount.
the apartment building in 1965 in the amount of
Consequently, the parties should refused to vacate Lot 9, JARDINICO filed with a
therefore be allowed to adduce evidence on the complaint for ejectment with damages against
present market value of the apartment building KEE. KEE, in turn, filed a third-party complaint
upon which the trial court should base its finding against petitioner and CTTEI. The court held that
as to the amount of reimbursement to be paid by the erroneous delivery of Lot 9 to Kee was
the landowner. The value so determined shall be attributable to CTTEI. However, it was found out
forthwith paid by the SPOUSES NAGUID that PLESANTVILLE had already rescinded its
otherwise, PECSON shall be restored to the contract with KEE over Lot 8 for the latter's failure
possession of the apartment building until to pay the installments due, and that KEE had not
payment of the required indemnity. contested the rescission, the court then concluded
(3) NO. Since the SPOUSES NAGUID have that KEE no longer had any right over the lot
opted to appropriate the apartment building, subject of the contract. He was ordered to vacate
PECSON was thus entitled to the possession and the premises of Lot 8, to remove all structures and
enjoyment of the apartment building, until he was improvements he introduced thereon, to pay
paid the proper indemnity, as well as of the reasonable rentals for the use of Lot 9, and,
portion of the lot where the building has been furthermore, he could not claim reimbursement
constructed. This is so because the right to retain for the improvements he introduced on said lot.
the improvements while the corresponding On appeal, the RTC ruled that
indemnity is not paid implies the tenancy or PLESANTVILLE and CTTEI were not at fault or
possession in fact of the land in which it is built, were not negligent, there being no preponderant
planted or sown. PECSON not having been so evidence to show that they directly participated in
paid, he was entitled to retain ownership of the the delivery of Lot 9 to KEE. It found KEE a
building and, necessarily, the income therefrom. builder in bad faith. It further ruled that even
assuming arguendo that KEE was acting in good
faith, he was, nonetheless, guilty of unlawfully
PLEASANTVILLE DEVT CORP. vs. IAC usurping the possessory right of JARDINICO
GR No. 79688. February 1, 1996 over Lot 9 from the time he was served with
notice to vacate said lot, and thus was liable for
Good faith is presumed. It consists in the rental.
belief of the builder that the land he is The Court of Appeals however ruled that KEE
building on is his and his ignorance of any was a builder in good faith with respect to the
defect or flaw in his title. improvements he introduced on Lot 9, and is
entitled to the rights granted him under Articles
FACTS 448, 546 and 548 of the New Civil Code. It was
Edith Robillo purchased from because he was unaware of the "mix-up" when he
PLEASANTVILLE DEVELOPMENT began construction of the improvements on Lot 8.
CORPORATION a parcel of land designated as It further ruled that the erroneous delivery was
Lot 9 in Pleasantville Subdivision, Bacolod City. due to the negligence of CTTEI, and that such
In 1975, ELDRED JARDINICO bought the rights wrong delivery was likewise imputable to its
to the lot from Robillo. At that time, Lot 9 was principal, PLESANTVILLE. It also ruled that the
vacant. Upon completing all payments, award of rentals was without basis.
JARDINICO secured a transfer certificate of title PLESANTVILLE, having been ordered to be
in his name. It was then that he discovered that solidarily liable with CTTEI., filed this instant
improvements had been introduced on Lot 9 by petition against KEE, JARDINICO and CTTEI.
respondent WILSON KEE, who had taken
possession thereof. ISSUES
It appeared that in 1974, KEE bought on (1) Whether or not KEE, a lot buyer who
installment Lot 8 of the same subdivision from constructed improvements on the wrong property
C.T. TORRES ENTERPRISES, INC. (CTTEI), the erroneously delivered by the owner's agent, a
exclusive real estate agent of PLESANTVILLE. builder in good faith.
Under the Contract to Sell on Installment, Kee (2) What or not PLEASANTVILLE and its
could possess the lot even before the completion agent CTTEI be solidarily liable for damages due
of all installment payments. After the preparation to negligence.
of the lot plan, CTTEI through its employee,
Zenaida Octaviano, accompanied KEE's wife, RULING
Donabelle Kee, to inspect Lot 8. Unfortunately, (1) YES. Good faith consists in the belief of
the parcel of land pointed by Octaviano was Lot 9. the builder that the land he is building on is his
Thereafter, KEE proceeded to construct his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title.
residence, a store, an auto repair shop and other And as good faith is presumed, PLESANTVILLE
improvements on the lot. had the burden of proving bad faith on the part of
After discovering that Lot 9 was occupied by KEE. At the time he built improvements on Lot 8,
KEE, JARDINICO confronted him. The parties KEE believed that said lot was what he bought
tried to reach an amicable settlement, but failed. from PLEASANTVILLE. He was not aware that
In 1981, JARDINICO's lawyer wrote KEE, the lot delivered to him was not Lot 8. Thus,
demanding that the latter remove all KEE's in good faith. Petitioner failed to prove
improvements and vacate Lot 9. When KEE otherwise.
The roots of the controversy can be traced 1960, EDITHA ALVIOLA and PORFERIO
directly to the errors committed by CTTEI, when ALVIOLA occupied portions of said land, where
it pointed the wrong property to KEE and his they built a copra dryer and a store wherein they
wife. It is highly improbable that a purchaser of a engaged in the business of buying and selling
lot would knowingly and willingly build his copra.In 1975, Victoria died. 4 months thereafter,
residence on a lot owned by another, deliberately Agustin died, survived by his wife, FLORENCIA
exposing himself and his family to the risk of BULING VDA. DE TINAGAN and children
being ejected from the land and losing all (TINAGANs).
improvements thereon, not to mention the social In 1976, petitioner EDITHA assisted by her
humiliation that would follow. husband filed a complaint for partition and
Under the circumstances, KEE had acted in damages, claiming to be an acknowledged natural
the manner of a prudent man in ascertaining the child of deceased Agustin Tinagan and
identity of his property. Because he was a layman demanding the delivery of her shares in the
not versed in the technical description of his properties left by the deceased. Said petition was
property, he had to find a way to ascertain that dismissed by both the trial court and upon appeal,
what was described in his transfer certificate of by the Supreme Court on the ground that
title matched Lot 8. Thus, he went to the recognition of natural children may be brought
subdivision developer's agent and applied and only during the lifetime of the presumed parent.
paid for the relocation of the lot, as well as for the In 1988, the TINAGANS filed a complaint for
production of a lot plan by CTTEI's geodetic recovery of possession against the SPOUSES
engineer. Upon KEE's receipt of the map, his wife ALVIOLA, praying, among others, that they be
went to the subdivision site accompanied by declared absolute owners of the said parcels of
CTTEI's employee, Octaviano, who land, and that said spouses be declared to vacate
authoritatively declared that the land she was the same, to remove their copra dryer and store.
pointing to as indeed Lot 8. Having full faith and The court granted the petition of the TINAGANs
confidence in the reputation of CTTEI, and and ruled that they were the absolute owners of
because of the company's positive identification of said property and that the SPOUSES ALVIOLA
the property, KEE saw no reason to suspect that were in bad faith in possessing the disputed
there had been a misdelivery. The steps KEE had properties and in ruling that the improvements
taken to protect his interests were reasonable. thereon are transferable. Hence, they were
(2). YES. PLEASANTVILLEs liability lies in ordered to remove their store and dryer on the
the negligence of its agent CTTEI. For such premises without injury and prejudice to the
negligence, PLEASANTVILLE should be held TINAGANs.
liable for damages. Now, the extent and/or
amount of damages to be awarded is a factual ISSUE
issue which should be determined after evidence Whether or not the SPOUSES ALVIOLA
is adduced. possessed the property in bad faith.
However, there was no showing that such
evidence was actually presented in the trial court; RULING
hence no damages could now be awarded. YES. There was bad faith on the part of the
The rights of Kee and Jardinico vis-a-vis each SPOUSES ALVIOLA when they constructed the
other, as builder in good faith and owner in good copra dryer and store on the disputed portions
faith, respectively, are regulated by law (i.e., Arts. since they were fully aware that the parcels of
448, 546 and 548 of the Civil Code). It was error land belonged to VICTORIA TINAGAN.
for the Court of Appeals to make a "slight And, there was likewise bad faith on the part
modification" in the application of such law, on of the TINAGANs, having knowledge of the
the ground of "equity". At any rate, as it stands arrangement between petitioners and VICTORIA
now, KEE and JARDINICO have amicably settled TINAGAN relative to the construction of the
through their deed of sale their rights and copra dryer and store.
obligations with regards to Lot 9. Thus, for purposes of indemnity, Article 448 of
the New Civil Code should be applied. However,
the copra dryer and the store, as determined by
ALVIOLA vs. CA the trial court and respondent court, are
GR No. 117642. April 24, 1998 transferable in nature. Thus, it would not fall
within the coverage of Article 448. As the noted
To fall under Art. 448, the contruction must civil law authority, Senator Arturo Tolentino,
be of permanent character. If it is not, like a aptly explains: "To fall within the provision of this
copra dryer and store, there is no accession Article, the construction must be of permanent
and the builder must remove them. character, attached to the soil with an idea of
perpetuity; but if it is of a transitory character or is
FACTS transferable, there is no accession, and the builder
In 1950, Victoria Sonjaconda Tinagan must remove the construction. The proper remedy
purchased from Mauro Tinagan 2 parcels of land of the landowner is an action to eject the builder
situated in Valencia, Negros Oriental. Thereafter, from the land."
Victoria and her son Agustin Tinagan, took
possession of said parcels of land. Sometime in
GEMINIANO vs. CA reimbursement of useful improvements and
G.R. No. 120303. July 24, 1996. retention of the premises until reimbursement is
made, applies only to a possessor in good faith,
Art. 448 only applies when the possessor in i.e., one who builds on land with the belief that he
good faith, i.e., one who builds on land with is the owner thereof. It does not apply where one's
the belief that he is the owner thereof. It does only interest is that of a lessee under a rental
not apply where one's only interest is that of a contract', otherwise, it would always be in the
lessee under a rental contract. power of the tenant to "improve" his landlord out
of his property.
FACTS Suffice it to say, "a state of forced
Paulina Amado vda. de Geminiano, mother or coownership" would not be created between the
petitioner GEMINIANOs originally owned a lot petitioners and the private respondents.
containing 314 sq. m. A 12 sq. m. portion of it It must be stressed, however, that the right to
stood the GEMINIANOs bungalow, which they indemnity under Article 1678 of the Civil Code
sold to DOMINADOR NICOLAS and MARY arises only if the lessor opts to appropriate the
NICOLOS in 1978 for P6, 000 with an alleged improvements. Since the petitioners refused to
promise to sell to the latter that portion of the lot exercise that option, the private respondents
occupied by the house. Subsequently, vda. De cannot compel them to reimburse the one-half
Geminiano, executed a contract of lease over a 126 value of the house and improvements. Neither can
sq. m. portion of the lot, including that portion on they retain the premises until reimbursement is
which the house stood in favor of the NICOLASes made. The private respondents' sole right then is
for P40.00 per month for a period of 7 years. The to remove the improvements without causing any
NICOLASes then introduced additional more impairment upon the property leased than is
improvements and registered the house in their necessary.
names. After the expiration of the lease contract
however, vda. De Geminiano refused to accept the
monthly rentals. PADA-KILARIO vs. CA
It turned out that the lot in question was the G.R. No. 134329. Jan. 19, 2000.
subject of a suit, which resulted in its acquisition
by one Maria Lee in 1972. In 1982, Lee sold the lot If a possessor were in possession of the
to Lily Salcedo, who in turn sold it in 1984 to the property without paying any rental as they
spouses Agustin and Ester Dionisio. In 1992, the only relied on the liberality and tolerance of
Dionisio spouses executed a Deed of Quitclaim the landowner are not possessors nor builders
over the said property in favor of the in good faith because they know that their
GEMINIANOs as such, the lot was registered in occupation of the premises may be terminated
the latter's names. any time.
Later in 1993, the GEMINIANOs sent a letter
to the NICOLASes demanding that the premises FACTS
be vacated and that the rentals in arrears be paid Jacinto Pada owned a parcel of land of
within 20 days. Upon failure of the NICOLASes to residential and coconut land in Leyte
heed the demand, the GEMINIANOs filed a denominated as Cadastral Lot No. 5581. During
complaint for unlawful detainer and damages. his lifetime, his half-brother, Feliciano Pada,
In its decision, the lower court ruled that since obtained permission from him to build a house on
the private respondents were assured by the the northern portion of Cadastral Lot No. 5581.
petitioners that the lot they leased would When Feliciano died, his son, Pastor, continued
eventually be sold to them, they could be living in said house. Petitioner Verona Pada-
considered builders in good faith, and as such, Kilario, one of Pastor's children, had been living in
were entitled to reimbursement of the value of the that house since 1960.
house and improvements with the right of Later, Jacinto Pada died intestate. His 6
retention until reimbursement had been made. children, 1 personally and others through their
children, entered into an extra-judicial partition of
ISSUE his estate, which included Cadastral Lot No. 5881.
Whether or not the NICOLASes were builders One of the sons of Jacinto Pada was Marciano
in good faith and entitled to reimbursement for Pada. The latters daughter, Maria Pada, sold the
the value of the house and improvements they co-ownership right of his father to respondent
erected on the property of the GEMINIANOs or SILVERIO PADA, who was also a first cousin.
were mere lesees. Thereafter, SILVERIO demanded that spouses
VERONA PADA-KILARIO and RICARDO
RULING KILARIO vacate the northern portion of Cadastral
NO, they could not be considered as Lot No. 5581 so his family can utilize the said area.
possessors nor builders in good faith. Being mere Unable to settle for an amicable settlement,
lessees, the private respondents knew that their SILVERIO instituted a complaint for ejectment
occupation of the premises would continue only with prayer for damages against spouses
for the life of the lease. KILARIO.
Article 448 of the Civil Code, in relation to Later, heirs of Amador Pada, also a son of
Article 546 of the same Code, which allows full Jacinto Pada, executed a Deed of Donation,
transferring to petitioner Verona Pada-Kilario,
their respective shares as co-owners of Cadastral ARTICLE 449: He who builds, plants, or sows in bad
Lot No. 5581. Hence, the SPOUSES KILARIO faith on the land of another, loses what is built, planted,
averred that the northern portion of Cadastral Lot or sown without the right of indemnity.
No. 5581 had already been donated to them by the
heirs of Amador Pada. Hence, they were virtually ARTICLE 450: The owner of the land on which
converted as standing co-owners of the land anything has been built, planted, or sown in bad faith
under controversy and became the undivided may demand the demolition of the work, or that the
owners of the whole estate. Their possession then planting or sowing be removed, in order to replace
in the northern portion was being lawful. They things in their former condition at the expense of the
also contended that they had been occupying the person who built, planted, or sowed or he may compel
subject property since 1960 without ever paying the builder or planter to pay the price of the land and
any rental. the sower the proper rent.
The RTC ordered the SPOUSES KILARIO to
vacate the premises in issue and return peaceful 1. The landowner has :
possession to SILVERIO being the lawful i. the right of removal of whatever
possessor in concept of owner. When the is built, planted, or sown on his
SPOUSES KILARIO appealed with the CA, the property in bad faith; or
same was denied. Hence, this petition ii. may compel the builder/planter
to pay the price of the land; or the
ISSUE sower to pay the proper rent
Whether or not the SPOUSES KILARIO were 2. The right of removal is absolute.
builders in good faith.
3 options available to the land owner if the
RULING builder is in bad faith:
NO, they were not builders in good faith.
The SPOUSES KILARIO were estopped from 1.) appropriation without need to indemnify
impugning the extrajudicial partition executed by the builder in bad faith plus damages;
the heirs of Jacinto Pada after explicitly admitting 2.) demand the builder in bad faith to
in their Answer that they had been occupying the remove the house he built. He has the
subject property since 1960 without ever paying absolute right of removal plus damages;
any rental as they only relied on the liberality and 3.) compel the builders in bad faith to pay
tolerance of the Pada family. the value of the land if the value of the
Considering that petitioners were in land is not considerably more than the
possession of the subject property by sheer value of the improvements. If the LO
tolerance of its owners, they knew that their chooses to compel the builder to pay the
occupation of the premises may be terminated any land, he has to do so, plus damages.
time. Persons who occupy the land of another at
the latter's tolerance or permission, without any DE VERA vs. COURT OF APPEALS
contract between them, is necessarily bound by an GR No. 97761. April 14, 1999
implied promise that they will vacate the same
upon demand, failing in which a summary action He who builds in bad faith on the land of
for ejectment is the proper remedy against them. another, losses what he built, without right to
Thus, they could be considered possessors nor indemnity.
builders in good faith.
FACTS
It is well-settled that both Article 448 and
In 1947, private respondent RICARDO
Article 546 of the New Civil Code which allow full
RAMOS filed a homestead application for a parcel
reimbursement of useful improvements and
of land in Isabela. His homestead application was
retention of the premises until reimbursement is
approved by the District Land Officer. In 1955, a
made, apply only to a possessor in good faith, i.e.,
homestead patent and an original certificate of
one who builds on land with the belief that he is
title was was issued to RAMOS, covering an area
the owner thereof. Verily, persons whose
of 9 hectares, 28 acres and 20 centares.
occupation of a realty is by sheer tolerance of its
RAMOS then brought a complaint for
owners are not possessors in good faith.
recovery of possession against several people
Neither did to donate by some of the heirs,
occupying his land. The court came out with a
convert SPOUSES KILARIO into builders in good
decision adjudging the validity of the title of
faith for at the time the improvements were built
Ramos.
on the premises, such promise was not yet
In 1981, RAMOS wrote petitioners AGUEDA
fulfilled, i.e., it was a mere expectancy of
DE VERA, and her children MARIO DE LA
ownership that may or may not be realized. More
CRUZ, EVANGELINE DELA CRUZ, and
importantly, even as that promise was fulfilled,
EDRONEL DE LA CRUZ (DE VERA ET AL.),
the donation was void for the sonors were not the
reminding them that their house was on his titled
owners of Cadastral Lot No. 5581. As such,
property. He asked them whether they were
petitioners cannot be said to be entitled to the
going to buy the portion occupied by them or to
value of the improvements that they built on the
lease the same on a yearly or monthly basis;
said lot.
otherwise, he would be constrained to proper In the same letter, the RAMOS gave
legal action against them. But the letter of RAMOS petitioner AGUEDA DE VERA the option to either
was ignored by DE VERA ET AL. pay him the value of the property or lease the
Hence, in 1983, RAMOS filed, a complaint for same on a yearly or monthly basis. However, the
recovery of property against DE VERA ET AL. He contending parties failed to reach a compromise
alleged that he was the legal and absolute owner agreement.
of a certain parcel of land, containing an area of Although they were sent said latter in
3,670 square meters and that a triangular portion 1981, DE VERA ET AL. still constructed their
of it, containing an area of 22 square meters was house on said propety. Such were "outward acts
occupied by DE VERA ET AL.. He also averred and proven conduct" indicating bad faith of DE
that DE VERA ET AL. had constructed a house of VERA ET AL. as possessor and builder.
strong and permanent material that year after (2) NO, they should be made liable for rental
removing their previous building of light payments for the use of the disputed property but
materials in January or February of 1970. He rather should remove what they built, as the
added that he demanded that DE VERA ET AL. option chosen by RAMOS.
remove their improvement thereon and vacate the Under Art. 449 He who builds in bad faith
said portion but they had refused without any just on the land of another, losses what he built,
or lawful cause to do so. without right to indemnity. Applying Art. 449, in
DE VERA ET AL alleged on the other hand relation to Art. 450, the landowner has three
that they had been in possession not only of 22 alternative rights, either:
square meters but 70 square meters of land. Their 1. to appropriate what has been built
predecessor-in-interest, Teodoro de la Cruz, without any obligation to pay indemnity
husband of AGUEDA DE VERA, during his therefor; or
lifetime, filed a Miscellaneous Sales Application, 2. to demand the builder to remove
which although pending was given due course. In what he had built; or
fact, Teodoro de la Cruz also declared the said 3. to compel the builder to pay the value
land for taxation purposes and after his death, by of the land.
them, as his heirs. In any event, the landowner is entitled to be
During trial, the patries agreed that a indemnified by the builder in bad faith, pursuant
relocation survey of subject property be to Article 451.
conducted. The survey showed that RAMOS In the case under consideration, RAMOS, the
owned the land occupied by DE VERA ET AL., landowner, availed of the second alternative,
particularly portions A B & C. Hence, the court which option is legally feasible under the
ordered DEVERA ET AL., to vacate the land, to attendant facts and circumstances.
deliver the possession thereof to the plaintiff, and
to remove, at their expense, all improvements
they have constructed or erected thereon. It also HEIRS OF DURANO vs. UY
declared that they were possessors in bad faith GR No.136456. October 24, 2000
and were made liable to RAMOS for rental
payments for the use of the disputed property. The landowner, when the builder is in bad
On appeal with the Court of Appeals, said faith, may compel (1) appropriation what was
decision was modified, dismissing the complaint built, (2) removal of what was built, or (3)
as to portion A of the property. Unsatisfied, DE payment for the value of the land. In any of
VERA ET AL. filed a petition via certiorari. They this options, the landowner is entitled for
contended that they should not have found to be payment of damages.
possessors in bad faith since their possession was
by virtue of a valid title, the Miscellaneous Sales FACTS
Application of their predecessor-in-interest, A 128-hectare parcel of land located in the
Teodoro dela Cruz. barrios of Dunga and Cahumayhumayan, Danao
City eas owned by Cebu Portland Cement
ISSUES Company (CEPOC). Said proerty had been
(1) Whether or not DE VERA ET AL. were purchased by Durano & Co., Inc.
possessors in bad faith. In 1973, the late Congressman RAMON
(2) Whether or not they should also be made DURANO, SR., together with his son RAMON
liable to RAMOS for rental payments for the use DURANO III, and the latters wife, ELIZABETH
of the disputed property. HOTCHKISS DURANO, instituted an action for
damages against SPOUSES ANGELES
RULING SUPELVEDA UY and EMIGDIO BING SING UY
(1) YES, they were possessors in bad faith. ET AL. (SPOUSES UY ET AL). They accused
Records disclose that prior to the SPOUSES UY ET AL of:
construction in 1983 of DE VERA ET AL.'s house 1. officiating a hate campaign against
on the land under controversy, a demand letter them by lodging complaints in the Police
dated 1981 was sent to them by RAMOS, Department of Danao City for their so-
informing them that the land they were called invasion of SPOUSES UYs ET AL.
possessing and occupying is within his titled alleged properties,
property. 2. sending another complaint to the
President of the Philippines in February
1971, which depicted petitioners as ISSUES
oppressors, landgrabbers and (1) Whether or not the HEIRS OF DURANO
usurpers of respondents alleged rights, were builders on bad faith.
3. After 2 investigations, the complaints (2) Whether or not the HEIRS OF DURANO
if SPOUSES UY ET AL. were dismissed as should return the properties to the SPOUSES UY
baseless and ET AL. and pay indemnity in reparation of the
4. spreading false rumors and damaging destroyed properties overran by the bulldozers.
tales which put petitioners into public .
contempt and ridicule. RULING
SPOUSES UY ET AL. on the other hans, (1) YES, they were builders in bad faith.
alleged: A purchaser of a parcel of land cannot
1. that they were the owners of the land close his eyes to facts which should put a
as some came into ownership through reasonable man upon his guard, such as when the
inheritance from their parents, who in turn property subject of the purchase is in the
inherited them from their own parents and possession of persons other than the seller. A
some by purchase from the former buyer who could not have failed to know or
occupants thereof. discover that the land sold to him was in the
2. that they and their predecessors were adverse possession of another is a buyer in bad
responsible for the plantings and faith.
improvements on the property. In the same manner, the purchase of the
3. that they were the ones who sought property by petitioner Ramon Durano III from
for the properties to be tax-declared in their Durano & Co. could not be said to have been in
respective names, and they continually paid good faith. It is not disputed that Durano III
the taxes thereto. acquired the property with full knowledge of
4. that they received notices dated respondents occupancy thereon. There even
signed by the late Ramon Durano, Sr., appears to be undue haste in the conveyance of
informing them that t he lands which they the property to Durano III, as the bulldozing
were tilling and residing in, formerly owned operations by Durano & Co. were still underway
by the Cebu Portland Cement Company when the deed of sale to Durano III was executed
(CEPOC), had been purchased by Durano & on September 15, 1970. There was not even an
Co., Inc. indication that Durano & Co. attempted to
5. However, even before many of the transfer registration of the property in its name
respondents received notices to vacate, men before it conveyed the same to Durano III.
who identified themselves as employees of Since petitioners knew fully well the
Durano & Co. proceeded to bulldoze the defect in their titles, they were correctly held by
lands occupied by various respondents, the Court of Appeals to be builders in bad faith.
destroying in their wake the plantings and (2) YES, they should.
improvements made by the respondents Art. 449. states that He who builds, plants
therein. or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses
6 .On some occasions, respondents what is built, planted or sown without right of
alleged, these men fired shots in the air. indemnity.
7. Respondents maintained that they In relation to Art. 50 & 51, the owner of the land
were unaware of anyone claiming adverse has three alternative rights:
possession or ownership of these lands until (1) to appropriate what has been
the bulldozing operations in 1970. built without any obligation to pay
In 1970, Durano & Co. sold the disputed indemnity therefor, or
property to petitioner Ramon Durano III, who (2) to demand that the builder
procured the registration of these lands in his remove what he had built, or
name. (3) to compel the builder to pay
The court rendered judgment in favor of the value of the land.
SPOUSES UY ET AL. and against the HEIRS OF In any case, the landowner is entitled to damages
DURANO, directing the latter to pay the former under Article 451. Hence, the award of damages
for indemnity in reparation of the destroyed was proper.
properties during the demolition. It also declared
that SPOUSES UY ET AL. were in possession of ARTICLE 451: In the cases of the 2 preceding articles,
the properties to be in the concept of owner and the landowner is entitled for damages from the builder,
that the HEIRS OF DURANO were the ones in planter, or sower.
good faith. In summary:
Dissatisfied, the HEIRS OF DURANO
appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed a. BPS (in good faith) = 2 rights
the trial courts decision. On appeal to the under 448 + limited right of
Supreme Court, the HEIRS OF DURANO alleged removal and no damages.
that they were builders in bad faith and that the b. BPS (in bad faith) = 2 rights
order for the return and payment of indemnity in under 448 + absolute right of
favor of the SPOSES UY ET AL. was erroneous. removal + damages.
authorized by the government, the
BAES vs. CA concession may giant the abandoned
GR No. 108065. July 6, 1993 river bed to the concessionaires. If
there is no such grant, then, by
If the riparian owner is entitled to analogy, the abandoned river bed will
compensation for the damage to or loss of his belong to the owners of the land
property due to natural causes, there is all the covered by the waters, as provided in
more reason to compensate him when the this article, without prejudice to a
change in the course of the river is effected superior right of third persons with
through artificial means such as when the sufficient title.
government dug up a canal therein to On the basis of their claim of ownership,
improve the flow of a creek. FELIX and RAFAELA BAES claimed for
compensation.
FACTS The government rejected this claim and
In 1962, the government dug a canal on a averred that the petitioners had already been fully
private parcel of land covering an area of 33,902 compensated for it in 1970 when they agreed to
sq. m. to streamline the Tripa de Gallina creek. exchange their B with another lot belonging to the
This lot was later acquired by FELIX BAES, who government.
registered it in his name. He then had it
subdivided into three lots, Lots A, B and C. In ISSUE
exchange for Lot B, which was totally occupied by (1) Whether or not the riparian owner is
the canal, the government gave BAES a lot with entitled to compensation for the damage to or
exactly the same area through a Deed of Exchange loss of his property due to the act of the
of Real Property. Said property was near but not government of digging therein.
contiguous to Lot C of BAES. It was later (2) Whether or not FELIX and RAFAELA
registered in the name of BAES. The soil displaced BAES should be allowed compensation.
by the canal was used to fill up the old bed of the
creek. RULING
Meanwhile, BAES had Lot C and a portion of (1) YES, the riparian owner is entitled to
Lot A was resurveyed and subdivided. In 1968, he compensation for the damage to or loss of his
submitted a petition for the approval of his property.
resurvey and subdivision plane, claiming that If the riparian owner is entitled to
after the said lots were plotted by a competent compensation for the damage to or loss of his
surveyor, it was found that there were errors in property due to natural causes, there is all the
respect of their bearings and distances. Said more reason to compensate him when the change
resurvey-subdivision plan was approved by the in the course of the river is effected through
CFI of Pasay City. As a result, the old TCTs artificial means. The loss to the petitioners of the
covering the said lots were canceled and new ones land covered by the canal was the result of a
were issued, further dividing said lots into 4 lots. deliberate act on the part of the government when
Lots 3 & 4 were later consolidated and this time it sought to improve the flow of the Tripa de
further subdivided into 4 more lots. Gallina creek. It was therefore obligated to
In 1978, the Republic of the Philippines compensate FELIX and RAFAELA BAES for their
discovered that Lot 2, on which the petitioners loss.
had erected an apartment building covered a (2) NO. FELIX and RAFAELA BAES have
portion of the Pasay Cadastre, which was a filled- already been so compensated. FELIX BAES was
up portion of the Tripa de Gallina creek. It also given another lot in exchange for the Lot B
found that the land covered by BAES TCTs had through the Deed of Exchange of Real Property
been unlawfully enlarged. In 1982, the dated 1970. This was a fair exchange because the
government filed a petition for cancellation of the two lots were of the same area and value and the
TCTs of BAES. The trial court therefore decreed agreement was freely entered into by the parties.
that the original be reverted to its status before the FELIX and RAFAELA BAES could not now claim
resurvey-subdivision and ordered the cancellation additional compensation because, as correctly
of the TCTs. The Court of Appeals affirmed the observed by the Solicitor General, to allow
same decision in toto. petitioners to acquire ownership of the dried-up
On appeal with the Supreme Court, FELIX portion of the creek would be a clear case of
and RAFAELA BAES in relying on Article 461 of double compensation and unjust enrichment at
the Civil Code, claimed as their own, the old bed the expense of the state.
of the Tripa de Gallina Creek, which was filled up The exchange of lots between the petitioners
by soil excavated from Lot B. Said Lot B was the and the Republic was the result of voluntary
land of BAES, on which the government dug a negotiations. If these had failed, the government
canal. The petitioners relied heavily on Dr. Arturo could still have taken Lot B under the power of
M. Tolentino's interpretation of Article 461 to wit: eminent domain, upon payment of just
This article (461) refers to a natural compensation, as the land was needed for a public
change in the course of a stream. If purpose.
the change of the course is due to
works constructed by concessionaires ARTICLE 452: The builder, planter, or sower in bad
faith is entitled to reimbursement for the necessary ARTICLE 456: In the cases regulated in the preceding
expenses of preservation of the land. articles, good faith does not necessarily exclude
ARTICLE 453: If there was bad faith, not only on the negligence, which gives right to damages under Article
part of the person who built, planted or sowed on the 2176.
land of another, but also on the part of the owner of
such land, the rights of one and the other shall be the ACCESSION NATURAL
same as though both had acted in good faith.
It is understood that there is bad faith on the ARTICLE 457: To the owners of the lands adjoining
part of the landowner whenever the act was done with the banks of the rivers belong to the accretion which
his knowledge and even without opposition on his part. they gradually receive form the effects of the current of
the waters.
In other words, bad faith + bad faith = good
faith GENERAL RULE To the owners of the lands
adjoining the banks of the rivers belong to the
ARTICLE 454: When the landowner acted in bad accretion which they gradually receive form the
faith and the builder, planter, sower, preceded in good effects of the current of the waters
faith, the provisions of Article 447 shall apply.
4 FORMS OF NATURAL ACCESSION:
The LO must pay for the value of the
house + DAMAGES because he is in 1. alluvium is the soil deposited or added to
bad faith. If the material owner chose the lands adjoining the bank of rivers.
to remove or destroy the house, the Accretion - the process by which the
LO would still be liable for damages. soil is deposited.
Riparian owner - the owner of the
ARTICLE 455: If the materials, plants or seeds belong land adjacent to the river and this
to a 3rd person who has not acted in bad faith, the includes creeks, streams, and lakes.
owner of the land shall answer subsidiarily for their
value and only in the event that the one who made use REQUISITES:
of them has no property with which to pay. a) should be gradual, natural,
This provision shall not apply if the owner and imperceptible;
makes use of the right granted by Article 450. if the b) the cause of the alluvium is
owner of the materials, plants or seeds has been paid by the current of the river ( not
the builder, planter or sower, the latter may demand due to work expressly
form the landowner the value of the materials and designed for that purpose);
labor. c) current must be that of a
river, lake, steam or creek;
Three parties involved: d) river must continue to exist;
a. land owner (LO) e) The increase must be
b. builder/ planter/sower (BPS) comparatively little (It should
c. material owner (MO) not be so big.)
2. avulsion
GENERAL RULE: If they (all parties) are 3. change of course of rivers
all in good faith, the BPS who uses the 4. formation of islands
material of another must reimburse the
MO for the materials. GRANDE vs. CA
EXCEPTIONS: GR No. L-17652. June 30, 1962
a. the BPS may demand
reimbursement from the LO To the owner of lands adjoining the banks of
provided the BPS is insolvent; rivers, belongs the accretion which they
b. the BPS is in good faith; gradually receive from the effects of the
c. the LO decides to appropriate current of the water. But just because that it
whatever is built, planted, or was adjoined to the riparian owners
sown. unregistered land does not ipso facto mean
The LO is only oblige to reimburse if the 3 that it is automatically registered as well.
items enumerated above are present. The Thus, if it is unregistered, third persons may
LO has also the option to reimburse the acquire equitable title thereto through
BPS if he chooses to reimburse. Now after acquisitive prescription.
the BPS pays the MO, when can he not
ask for reimbursement from the LO? FACTS
a. If he is in bad faith; IGNACIO GRANDE ET AL. were owners of a
b. if the LO exercises his option parcel of land in the province of Isabela by
under 450 which is the inheritance from their deceased mother Patricia
demolition; Angui. When it was surveyed for purposes of
c. if he compels the BPS to buy his registration sometime in 1930, its northeastern
land. boundary was the Cagayan River. Since then, and
for many years thereafter, a gradual accretion on
the northeastern side took place, by action of the (2) YES. GRANDE ET AL. lost right over the
current of the Cagayan River, so much so, that by land through prescription because the
1958, the bank thereof had receded to a distance of CALALUNGs were in possession of the alluvial
about 105 meters from its original site, and an lot since 1933 or 1934, openly, continuously and
alluvial deposit of .9964 hectares, more or less, adversely, under a claim of ownership up to the
had been added to the registered area. filing of the action in 1958.
ESTEBAN CALALUNG and DOMINGO Just as an unregistered land purchased by the
CALALUNG were found to be possessing said registered owner of the adjoining land does not,
alluvium that GRANDE ET AL. filed an action to by extension, become ipso facto registered land.
quiet title to said portion formed by accretion Ownership of a piece of land is one thing, and
against the CALALUNGs. They alleged that they registration under the Torrens system of that
and their predecessors-in-interest were formerly ownership is quite another. To acquire
in peaceful and continuous possession thereof, Imprescriptibility of registered land, it must first
until September, 1948, when the CALALUNGs be registered.
entered upon the land under claim of ownership. However, in the present case, GRANDE ET
The CALALUNGs on the other hand, claimed AL. failed to register the contested property. The
ownership in themselves, asserting that they had increment, therefore, never became registered
been in continuous, open, and undisturbed property, and hence is not entitled or subject to
possession of said portion, since prior to the year the protection of imprescriptibility enjoyed by
1933 to the present. Hence, they had already registered property under the Torrens system.
acquired the property by accretion. Consequently, it was subject to acquisition
The CFI ruled in favor of GRANDE ET AL. through prescription by third persons.
and ordered the CALALUNGs to vacate the
premises of said property. The CA on the other
hand, ruled that the CALALUNGs had rightful ZAPATA vs. DIR. OF LANDS
ownership over the contested property by GR No. L-17645. October 50, 1962
prescription.
The accretion on the land must be made by the
ISSUE natural current of the river and must not be
(1) Whether or not the alluvium belonged to artificially induced, so that it may be
GRANDE ET AL. rightfully claimed by the riparian owner.
(2) Whether or not the CALALUNGs have When fish traps are set up on the river and
acquired the alluvial property in question through cause accretion, the riparian owner may still
acquisitive prescription. claim ownership over the alluvium provided
that said fish traps were not expressly
RULING intended or designed to cause or bring about
(1) YES. That the area in controversy has been the accretion.
formed through a gradual process of accretion
which started in the early thirties, is a fact FACTS
conclusively established by the evidence for both JULIANA ZAPATA owned 2 parcels of in the
parties. By law, therefore, unless some superior province of Pampanga, adjoining a non-navigable
title has supervened, it should properly belong to and non-floatable river called the Candalaga
the riparian owners, specifically in accordance Creek. These 2 lands were registered in her name.
with the rule of natural accession in Art. 366 of the In 1915, when the cadastral survey of San
old Civil Code (now Art. 457), which provides Fernando was begun, the width of the Candalaga
that 'to the owner of lands adjoining the banks of Creek adjoining the two parcels of land owned by
rivers, belongs the accretion which they gradually Juliana Zapata was about 90 or 100 meters.
receive from the effects of the current of the water. However, later, the width was reduced to 15
The land in question being an accretion to meters, because soil bad been accumulated by the
the mother or registered land of GRANDE ET AL, water current of the river on the banks of said 2
the accretion belongs to the them. Assuming, lots that an additional 3 lots had been added to
arguendo that the accretion has been occupied by the property.
the CALALUNGs since 1948, or earlier, is of no In 1956, ZAPATA filed a petition to claim the
moment, because the law does not require any act 3 lots belong to her by accretion, as provided for
of possession on the part of the owner of the in Art. 457 of the Civil Code and prayed that the
riparian owner, from the moment the deposit same be registered in her name. The DIRECTOR
becomes manifest. Further, no act of OF LANDS objected to the petition and prayed
appropriation on the part of the riparian owner is that the registration of the 3 lots in the name of
necessary, in order to acquire ownership of the Zapata be denied and that they be declared to
alluvial formation, as the law does not require the form part of the public domain. The trial court
same. granted the petition of ZAPATA. Hence, the
There can be no dispute that both under DIRECTOR OF LANDS appealed. The
Article 457 of the new Civil Code and Article 966 DIRECTOR OF LANDS contended that Art. 457 of
of the old, petitioners are the lawful owners of the Civil Code should not be applied in the
said alluvial property, as they are the registered present case because the accretion or deposit of
owners of the land to which it adjoins. alluvial soil was not due to the natural effect of
the current of Calandaga Creek but was However, in 1968, after a big flood, the
artificially induced on account of the erection of Cagayan River changed its course, returned to its
the fish traps on the creek, such as salag net, 1919 bed, and, in the process, cut across the lands
bunuan (bamboo trap), sabat (cutting of channels) of RESPONDENTS, whose lands were transferred
and fencing that the fishermen bad built in the on the eastern, or Tuguegarao, side of the river.
stream, To cultivate those lots they had to cross the river.
In 1969, while the RESPONDENTS and their
ISSUE tenants were planting corn an their lots located on
Whether or not the alluvial accretion was the eastern side of the Cagayan River, AGUSTIN,
entirely due to the setting tip of such fish traps. accompanied by the mayor and some policemen
of Tuguegarao, claimed the same lands as their
RULING own and drove away the RESPONDENTS from
NO. True, those fish traps might have slowed the premises.
down the current of the Candalaga Creek and Hence, RESPONDENTS filed a complaint to
might have brought about or caused the accretion. recover their lots and their accretions. The lower
But as there was no evidence to show that the court ruled in their favor. Hence, AGUSTIN
setting up or erection of the fish traps was appealed.
expressly intended or designed to cause or bring
about the accretion ZAPATA may still invoke the ISSUE
benefit of the provisions of Art. 457 of the Civil Whether or not the accretion belong to
Code to support her claim of title thereto. RESPONDENTS.
Moreover, the fishermen who since 1894 used to
set up fish traps in the creek, later on secured RULING
permit from the Government that auctioned off YES. The accretion belonged to
the right or license to set up fish traps in the creek, RESPONDENTS and not AGUSTIN.
and the setting up of such fish traps stopped or Accretion benefits a riparian owner when the
was discontinued even before 1926. Being that the following requisites are present:
petition to was only 1956, years after, it all (1) that the deposit he gradual and
showed that the alluvial accretion was not entirely imperceptible;
due to the setting up of such fish traps. (2) that it resulted from the effects of the
current of the water; and
(3) that the land where accretion takes
AGUSTIN vs. IAC place is adjacent to the bank of a river
GR No. 66075-76. July 5, 1990 (Republic vs. CA, 132 SCRA 514).
All these requisites of accretion are present in
Because of accretion, the land of A was this case for, as the trial court found that the
transferred to the land of B. The alluvium Cagayan River did move year by year from 1919
then is owned by B. However, when because to 1968 or for a period of 49 years. It was gradual
of a sudden change in the course of river, the and imperceptible. Within this period, the
land was reverted back to the property of A, B alluvium deposited on the other side has become
still owned the same. greater in area than the original lands of
AGUSTIN in both cases. Still the addition in every
FACTS year is imperceptible in nature, one could not
The Cagayan River separates the towns of discern it but can be measured after the lapse of a
Solana on the west and Tuguegarao on the east in certain time.
the province of Cagayan. The reason for this principle is because, if
In 1919, the lands east of the Cagayan River lands bordering on streams are exposed to floods
were covered by the Tuguegarao Cadastre. On the and other damage due to the destructive force of
left of the River are the towns of Solana. In 1925, the waters, and if by virtue of law they are subject
EULOGIO AGUSTIN was issued an Original to encumbrances and various kinds of easements,
Certificate of Title, covering the land east of the it is only just that such risks or dangers as may
Cagayan River. prejudice the owners thereof should in some way
As the years went by, the Cagayan River be compensated by the right of accretion.
moved gradually eastward, depositing silt on the The RESPONDENTS' ownership of the
western bank. The shifting of the river and the accretion to their lands was not lost upon the
siltation continued until 1968. In 1950, all lands sudden and abrupt change of the course of the
west of the river were included in the Solana Cagayan River in 1968 or 1969 when it reverted to
Cadastre. Among these occupying lands covered its old 1919 bed, and separated or transferred said
by the Solana Cadastre were RESPONDENTS accretions to the other side (or eastern bank) of the
MARIA MELAD, TIMOTEO MELAD, PABLO river. Articles 459 and 463 of the New Civil Code
BINAYUG & GERONIMA UBINA, respondents. apply to this situation.
Through the years, the Cagayan River eroded In the case at bar, the sudden change of course
lands of the Tuguerarao Cadastre on its eastern of the Cagayan River as a result of a strong
bank among which was AGUSTIN's lot, typhoon in 1968 caused a portion of the lands of
depositing the alluvium as accretion on the land the private respondents to be "separated from the
possessed by BINAYUG on the western bank. estate by the current." Hence, RESPONDENTS
have retained the ownership of the portion that Antonio Nazarenos titled property, applying
was transferred by avulsion to the other side of Article 457 of the Civil Code. They added that the
the river. accretion site was the result of the late Antonio
Nazareno's labor consisting in the dumping of
boulders, soil and other filling materials into the
VDA. DE NAZARENO vs. CA Balacanas Creek and Cagayan River bounding his
GR No. 98054. June 6, 1996 land.

Accretion to be rightfully claimed by the ISSUE


riparian owner must not me man-made or (1) Whether or not the subject land formed
artificial. When the accretion was caused by part of the property of NAZARENO through
the sawdust dumped on the river, the riparian accretion.
owner cannot claim the deposited land (2) Whether or not the property was a public
because it already formed part of the public land.
domain.
RULING
(1) NO. Accretion, as a mode of acquiring
property under Art. 457 of the Civil Code,
FACTS requires the concurrence of these requisites:
Antonio Nazareno, predecessor-in-interest of (1) that the deposition of soil or
petitioners DESAMPARADO VDA. DE sediment be gradual and imperceptible;
NAZARENO and LETICIA NAZARENO-TAPIA (2) that it be the result of the action of
owned a parcel of land in Cagayan de Oro City. In the waters of the river (or sea); and
1979, he leased portions of said land to private (3) that the land where accretion takes
respondents JOSE SALASALAN and LEO place is adjacent to the banks or rivers (or
RABAYA, who built their respective houses the sea coast).
therein. In the latter part of 1982, SALASALAN These are called the rules on alluvium which if
ET AL. allegedly stopped paying rentals. As a present in a case, give to the owners of lands
result, Antonio Nazareno and VDA. DE adjoining the banks of rivers or streams any
NAVARENO ET AL. filed a case for ejectment, accretion gradually received from the effects of
which was granted by the court. Later, despite the current of waters.
successive efforts in court by SALASALAN ET However, in the case at bar, the 2nd and 3rd
AL., the court finally executed its judgment and requisites were absent. Hence, VDA. DE
they were ejected from the lots they occupied. NAZARENO ET AL., could not claim the rights of
Before he died, Antonio Nazareno caused the a riparian owner.
approval by the Bureau of Lands of a survey plan The 3rd requisite that the alluvium be the
with a view to perfecting his title over the result of the action of the waters of the river was
accretion area being claimed by him. Before the not met since the subject land was the direct result
approved survey plan could be released to the of the dumping of sawdust by the Sun Valley
applicant however, SALASALAN ET AL. Lumber Co. consequent to its sawmill operations.
protested. Upon order of the District Land Officer, Even if this Court were to take into consideration
respondent Land Investigator AVELINO LABIS petitioners' submission that the accretion site was
conducted an investigation and rendered a report, the result of the late Antonio Nazareno's labor
recommending that the survey plan in the name consisting in the dumping of boulders, soil and
of Antonio Nazareno, be cancelled and that other filling materials into the Balacanas Creek
private respondents be directed to file appropriate and Cagayan River bounding his land, the same
public land applications. Based on the said report, would still be part of the public domain.
respondent Regional Director of the Bureau of The 2nd requisite that the deposit of soil or
Lands Roberto Hilario ordered the amendment of sediment be gradual and imperceptible was also
the survey plan in the name of Antonio Nazareno not met it could not be claimed that the
by segregating therefrom the areas occupied by accumulation of such boulders, soil and other
SALASALAN ET AL. who, if qualified, may file filling materials was gradual and imperceptible,
public land applications covering their respective resulting from the action of the waters or the
portions. current of the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan
Respondent Director of Lands ABELARDO River. The word "current' 'Indicates the
PALAD then ordered Antonio Nazareno to vacate participation of the body of water in the ebb and
the portions adjudicated to SALASALAN ET AL. flow of waters due to high and low tide.
and to remove whatever improvements they have The conclusion of the court, therefore, was
introduced thereon. He also ordered that that the accretion was man-made or artificial. The
SALASALAN ET AL. be placed in possession requirement that the deposit should be due to the
thereof. Upon the denial of the motion for effect of the current of the river is indispensable.
reconsideration, VDA. DE NAZARENO ET AL., This excludes from Art. 457 of the Civil Code all
as heirs of late Antonio Nazareno filed a case to deposits caused by human intervention. Putting it
annul the order of PALAD. Their argument was differently, alluvium must be the exclusive work
that the subject land was not a public land but of nature.
rather a private land being an accretion to
(2) YES. The property was a public land, being property covered by his land. Because of the
an artificial accretion of sawdust.. Hence, it was a similarity of the parties and the subject matter, the
proper subject of a public land applications. appealed case for ejectment was consolidated
The court agreed with SALASALAN ET AL. with the land registration case and was jointly
that VDA. DE NAZARENO ET AL. were tried by the court a quo.
estopped from denying the public character of the In 1961, during the pendency of the trial of the
subject land, as well as the jurisdiction of the consolidated cases, NAVARRO died and was
Bureau of Lands when the late Antonio Nazareno substituted by his HEIRS. Subsequently, in 1962,
filed his Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA). PASCUAL died and was substituted by his HEIRS
The mere filing of said Application constituted an as well.
admission that the land being applied for was During trial, the court found out that the land
public land, having been the subject of a survey of PASCUAL was bounded on the east by the
plan. Talisay River, on the west by the Bulacan River,
and on the north the Manila Bay. The Talisay and
Bulacan rivers come from inland flowing
HEIRS OF NAVARRO vs. IAC downstream towards the Manila bay. In other
GR No. 116290. December 8, 2000 words, between the Talisay River and the Bulacan
River is the property of applicants with both
Manila Bay is a sea and not a lake. When by the action rivers acting as the boundary to said land and the
of Manila Bay, land is formed, it is not accretion to be flow of both rivers meeting and emptying into the
owned by the riparian owner under the Civil Code but Manila Bay. The subject land was formed at the
is rather converted into foreshore land as a property of tip or apex of PASCUALs land adding thereto the
public domain, as deemed under the Spanish Law of land now sought to be registered.
Waters of 1866. In 1975, the court rendered judgment in favor
of the HEIRS OF PASCUAL, finding the subject
In 1946, SINFOROSO PASCUAL filed an property to be foreshore land and, being a part of
applications for foreshore lease covering a tract of the public domain, it cannot be the subject of land
foreshore land in Bataan, having an area of registration proceedings. On appeal, IAC reversed
approximately 17 hectares. This application was the said decision.
denied. Aggrieved, the HEIRS OF NAVARRO
Subsequently, EMILIANO NAVARRO, appealed the case. They contended that they
predecessor-in-interest of the HEIRS OF owned the disputed land by accretion under Art.
EMILIANO also filed fishpond application with 457 of the Civil Code as said land was an
the Bureau of Fisheries covering 25 hectares of accretion caused by the joint action of the Talisay
foreshore also in Bataan. Initially, such application and Bulacan Rivers, which run their course on the
was denied by the Director of Fisheries on the eastern and western boundaries of their land.
ground that the property, formed part of the ISSUES
public domain but upon a motion for (1)Whether or not Manila Bay is a lake.
reconsideration, the Director gave due course to (2) Whether or not the land was formed by the
his application but only to the extent of 7 hectares action of the Talisay and Bulacan rivers as an
of the property. accretion of was formed by the action of the
In the early part of 1960, PASCUAL filed an Manila Bay as a foreshore land.
application to register and confirm his title to a
parcel of land and said have area an area of RULING
146,611 square meters. PASCUAL claimed that (1) NO. It is a sea. It should not be compared
this land is an accretion to his property. It is with Laguna de Bay, which is a lake. A Bay is an
bounded on the eastern side by the Talisay River opening into the land where the water is shut in
as well as the Bulacan River flow downstream on all sides except at the entrance; an inlet of the
and meet at the Manila Bay thereby depositing sea; an arm of the sea, distinct from a river, a
sand and silt on PASCUALs land, thus claiming bending or curbing of the shore of the sea or of a
accretion as the riparian owner. lake.
NAVARRO thereupon filed an opposition to The disputed land, thus, is an accretion not on
PASCUAL's application. NAVARRO claimed that a river bank but on a sea bank, or on what used to
the public domain, it being a part of the foreshore be the foreshore of Manila Bay which adjoined
of Manila Bay; that he was a lessee and in petitioners own tract of land on the northern side.
possession of a part of the subject property by As such, the applicable law is not Article 457 of
virtue of a fishpond permit issued by the Bureau the Civil Code but Article 4 of the Spanish Law of
of Fisheries and confirmed by the Office of the Waters of 1866, which states that:
President; and that he had already converted the Lands added to the shores by
area covered by the lease into a fishpond. accretions and alluvial deposits caused by
During the pendency of the land registration the action of the sea, from part of the
case, PASCUAL filed a complaint for ejectment public domain. When they are no longer
against Emiliano Navarro, one Marcelo Lopez and washed by the waters of the sea and are
their privies, alleged by Pascual to have not necessary for the coast guard service,
unlawfully claimed and possessed, through the Government shall declare them to be
stealth, force and strategy, a portion of the subject the property of the owners of the estates
adjacent thereto and as increment LOZANO acquired and occupied her property in
thereof." 1962 when his wife inherited the land from her
(2) The land was not formed by the action father who died that year.
of the Talisay and Bulacan rivers. It was formed In 1989, BAGAIPO a complaint for Recovery
by the action of Manila Bay, hence, it was a of Possession against Lozano for the recovery of a
foreshore land, which belonged to the public land area , which BAGAIPO lost when the Davao
domain. River traversed her property. BAGAIPO
Accretion is the process whereby the soil is contended that as a result of a change in course of
deposited, while alluvium is the soil deposited on the said river, her property became divided into
the estate fronting the river bank. The owner of three lots. Later, BAGAIPO commissioned a
such estate is called the riparian owner. Riparian survey of Lot 415 and it was showed therein that
owners, the latter being owners of lands her land was taken up by the new course of the
bordering the shore of the sea or lake or other Davao River and was then illegally occupied by
tidal. The alluvium, by mandate of Article 457 of LOZANO. She presented a witness who testified
the Civil Code, is automatically owned by the that the change of the course of the Davao River
riparian owner from the moment the soil deposit was caused by a big flood in 1968 and that the
can be seen but is not automatically registered river which flowed previously in front of a chapel
property, hence, subject to acquisition through located 15 meters away from the riverbank within
prescription by third persons. Bagaipos property now flowed behind it.
Accretion as a mode of acquiring property For his part, LOZANO insisted that the land
under said Article 457 requires the concurrence of claimed by BAGAIPO was actually an accretion to
the following requisites: their titled property. He asserted that the Davao
(1) that the accumulation of soil or River did not change its course and that the
sediment be gradual and imperceptible; reduction in BAGAIPOs domain was caused by
(2) that it be the result of the action of gradual erosion due to the current of the Davao
the waters of the river; and River. He added that it was also because of the
(3) that the land where the accretion rivers natural action that silt slowly deposited
takes place is adjacent to the bank of the and added to his land over a long period of time.
river. He presented 3 witnesses, all who concurred that
In the present case, the 2nd and 3rd requisites each time there was flood, there was erosion that
were absent. The 2nd requisite was absent occurred on the property of BAGAIPO, which
because if the accretion were to be attributed to carried away the soil therein.
the action of either or both of the Talisay and In 1991, after the trial court conducted an
Bulacan Rivers, the alluvium should have been ocular inspection, it dismissed the complaint. It
deposited on either or both of the eastern and concluded that the applicable law was not Art.
western boundaries of petitioners own tract of 461 but rather Art. 457, which states that to the
land, not on the northern portion thereof which is owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers
adjacent to the Manila Bay. Clearly lacking, thus, belong the accretion which they gradually receive
is the third requisite of accretion, which is, that from the effects of the current of the waters.
the alluvium is deposited on the portion of Hence, this appeal by BAGAIPO.
claimant's lot, which is adjacent to the river bank.
ISSUE
(1) Whether or not the decrease in land area
BAGAIPO vs. CA was brought about by erosion and not a change in
GR No. 116290. December 8, 2000 the rivers course.
(2) Whether or not Art. 453 and not Art. 461
The decrease in petitioners land area and the should be applied.
corresponding expansion of respondents (3) Whether or not the registration of
property were the combined effect of erosion BAGAIPO over the accretion to the land by a
and accretion respectively. Art. 457 and not Torrens certificate of title precluded LOZANO
Art. 461 of the Civil Code then is applicable. from being the owner thereof.

Registration does not protect the riparian RULING


owner against the diminution of the area of (1) The trial court and the appellate court both
his land through gradual changes in the found that the decrease in land area was brought
course of the adjoining stream. about by erosion and not a change in the rivers
course. This conclusion was reached after the trial
FACTS judge observed during ocular inspection that the
Petitioner DIONISIA P. BAGAIPO was the banks located on petitioners land are sharp,
registered owner of Lot No. 415, an agricultural craggy and very much higher than the land on the
land situated in Ma-a, Davao City. It was other side of the river. Additionally, the riverbank
bounded on the southeast by the Davao River. on respondents side is lower and gently sloping.
Respondent LEONOR LOZANO on the other The lower land therefore naturally received the
hand, was the owner of a registered parcel of land alluvial soil carried by the river current.
located across and opposite the southeast portion (2) The decrease in petitioners land area and
of petitioners lot facing the Davao River. the corresponding expansion of respondents
property were the combined effect of erosion and DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN ALLUVIUM
accretion respectively. Art. 461 of the Civil Code AND AVULSION
then is inapplicable. Petitioner could not claim 1. Alluvium is a piece of land created by
ownership over the old abandoned riverbed accretion under 457. The deposit of soil is
because the same was inexistent. The riverbeds gradual; in avulsion, it is a sudden or
former location could not even be pinpointed abrupt process.
with particularity since the movement of the 2. In the former, the soil cannot be identified
Davao River took place gradually over an whereas in the latter, the portion that is
unspecified period of time, up to the present. segregated is identifiable or verifiable.
The rule is well-settled that accretion 3. Alluvium belongs to the owner to which
benefits a riparian owner when the following it was attached but avulsion belongs to
requisites are present: the owner from whom the property was
1) That the deposit be gradual and detached
imperceptible;
2) That it resulted from the effects ARTICLE 460: Trees uprooted and carried away by
of the current of the water; and the current of the waters belong to the owner of the
3) That the land where accretion land upon which they may be cast, if the owners do not
takes place is adjacent to the bank of claim them within 6 months. If such owners claim
the river. them, they shall pay the expenses incurred in gathering
These requisites were sufficiently proven them or putting them in a safe place
in favor of respondents. In the absence of
evidence that the change in the course of the river ARTICLE 461: River beds which are abandoned thru
was sudden or that it occurred through avulsion, the natural change in the course of the waters ipso facto
the presumption is that the change was gradual belong to the owners whose lands are occupied by the
and was caused by alluvium and erosion. new course in proportion to the area lost. However, the
(3)The fact that the accretion to his land used owners of the lands adjoining the old bed shall have the
to pertain to plaintiffs estate, which is covered by right to acquire the same by paying the value thereof,
a Torrens certificate of title, cannot preclude him which vale shall not exceed the value of the area
(defendant) from being the owner thereof. occupied.
Registration does not protect the riparian owner
against the diminution of the area of his land GENERAL RULE: The abandoned river beds ipso
through gradual changes in the course of the facto belong to the owners whose land are
adjoining stream. Accretions which the banks of occupied by the new course in proportion of the
rivers may gradually receive from the effect of the area lost. But the owners of the land adjoining the
current become the property of the owners of the old bed shall have the right to acquire the same by
banks. Such accretions are natural incidents to paying the value thereof.
land bordering on running streams and the REQUISITES:
provisions of the Civil Code in that respect are not 1. the change must be
affected by the Land Registration Act. sudden, not gradual;
2. the changing of the course
ARTICLE 458: The owners of the estates adjoining must be more or less
ponds or lagoons do not require the land left dry by the permanent and not
natural decrease of the waters, or lose that inundated temporary over flooding
by them in extraordinary floods. of anothers land;
3. the change of the river
The owners of the lands adjoining ponds and lagoons bed must be natural one
do not acquire the lands left dry by the natural decrease and not by artificial means;
of the water. 4. there must be a definite
abandonment by the
ARTICLE 459: Whenever the current of a river, creek, government. No effort has
or torrent, segregates from an estate on its banks been made to bring back
known portion of land and transfers it to another the river to its old bed;
estate, the owner of the land to which the segregated 5. the river must continue to
portion belonged retains the ownership of it provided exist.
that he removes the same within 2 years.
If the river dries up, then it belongs to the
This is AVUSION. It is the process public domain. It has no effect on the
whereby the current of a river, creek, or private lands.
torrent segregates from an estate on its
bank a known portion of land and Art. 58 of PD 1067 states that when the
transfers it to another state. river or stream suddenly changes its
course to private lands, the owners of the
avulsion is also referred as delayed affected lands:
accession 1. may not compel the
government to restore the
river to its former bed;
2. they cannot restrain the 2. If EQUIDISTANT, the
govt. from taking steps to island shall be divided
revert the river or stream longitudinally in halves,
to its former course; So, the each bank getting half.
owners have no right as to
the acts or omission by the NAVIGABLE OR FLOATABLE RIVER if
government. useful for floatage and commerce, whether the
3. they are not entitled to tides affect the water or not should benefit trade
compensation for any and commerce.
damage sustained thereby.
The owners of the affected lands may SECTION 3: RIGHT OF ACCESSION WITH
undertake to return the stream or river to RESPECT TO MOVABLE PROPERTY
its bed at their own expense, provided:
1. a permit is secured from the DOH ARTICLE 466: Whenever two movable things
and DOTC; belonging to different owners are, without bad faith,
2. work commence within 2 yrs united in such a way that they form a single object, the
from the change of the course of owner of the principal thing acquires the accessory,
the river or stream. indemnifying the former owner thereof for its value.

ARTICLE 462: Whenever a river, changing its course 3 TYPES OF ACCESSION WITH
by natural causes, opens a new bed thru a private RESPECT TO MOVABLE PROPERTY:
estate, this bed shall become of public dominion. a.) adjunction
b.) mixture
ARTICLE 463: Whenever the current of a river c.) specification
divides itself into branches, leaving a piece of land or
part thereof isolated, the owner if the land retains his ADJUNCTION a process by virtue of which
ownership. He also retains it if a portion of land is two movable things belonging to different owners
separated from the estate by the current. are untied in such a way that they form a single
object. It is also called conjunction. It may be done
This refers to the formation of island by the in good faith or bad faith.
branching off a river as distinguished from the
formation of islands by successive accumulation of KINDS:
alluvial deposits (unidentifiable sediments) referred to (a)inclusion
in Arts. 464 and 465. In the first, no accession takes (b) soldering
place, the owner retaining his ownership of the (c) escritura
segregated portion; in second, accession takes place. (d) Pintura
(e) weaving
ARTICLE 464: Islands which may be formed on the
seas within the jurisdiction of the Philippines, on lakes, ARTICLE 467: The principal thing, as between to
and of navigable or floatable rivers belong to the State. things incorporated, is deemed to be that to which the
ARTICLE 465: Islands which thru successive other has been united as an ornament, or for its use or
accumulation of alluvial deposits are formed in non- perfection.
navigable and non-floatable rivers, belong to the ARTICLE 468: If it cannot be determined by the rule
owners of the margins or banks nearest to each of them, given in the preceding article which of the two things
or to the owner of both margins if the island is in the incorporated is the principal one, the thing of the
middle of the river, in which case it shall be divided greater value shall be considered, and as between two
longitudinally in halves. If a single island this formed things of equal value, that of the greater volume.
be more distant from one margin than from the other,
the owner of the nearer margin shall be the sole owner
In painting and sculpture, writings,
thereof.
printed matter, engraving and
lithographs, the board, metal, stone,
Who owns the island formed by
canvas, paper or parchment, shall be
unidentifiable accumulated deposits? It
deemed the accessory thing.
depends.
i. if formed on the sea Within the
The principal is: (order of preference)
territorial waters or maritime
a. that to which the other has been
zone or jurisdiction of the
united as an ornament, or for its
Philippines State (464
use, or perfection;
Patrimonial property)
b. that of greater volume;
ii. If formed on lakes, or navigable
c. that of greater value;
or floatable rivers the State.
d. that which has greater merits.
iii. If formed in non-navigable or
non-floatable rivers
ARTICLE 469: Whenever the things united can be
1. If NEARER margin to one
separated without the injury, their respective owners
bank, owner of nearer may demand their separation.
margin is the sole owner; Nevertheless, in case the thing united for the
use, embellishment or perfection of the other, is much may have been the principal or
more precious than the principal thing, the owner of accessory.
the former may demand its separation, even though the
thing to which it has been incorporated may suffer ARTICLE 472: If by the will of the owners two things
some injury. of the same or different kinds are mixed, or if the
mixture occurs by chance, and in the latter case things
In a separation without injury (1st par) are not separable without the injury, each owner shall
there is no real accession here. It is understood acquire a right proportional to the part belonging to
that the 1st paragraph can apply only to soldering him, bearing in mind the value of the things mixed or
and inclusion because all the rest, separation confused.
would result in substantial injury. ARTICLE 473: If by the will of only one owner, but in
In the 2nd par, there is separation, good faith, two things of the same or different kinds are
although with injury (but not destruction) is mixed or confused, the rights of the owners shall be
allowed, if the thing united for the use, determined by the provisions of the preceding article.
embellishment, or perfection of the other is much If the one who caused the mixture or
more precious than the principal. confusion acted in bad faith, he shall lose the thing
belonging to him thus mixed or confused, besides being
ARTICLE 470: Whenever the owner of the accessory obliged to pay indemnity for the damages caused to the
thing has made the incorporation in bad faith, he shall owner of the other thing with which his own was
lose the thing incorporated and shall have the mixed.
obligation to indemnify the owner of the principal
thing for the damages he may have suffered. MIXTURE - combination or union of
If the one who has acted in bad faith is the materials where the respective identities
owner of the principal thing, the owner of the accessory of the component elements are lost. (As
thing shall have a right to choose between the former distinguished from adjunction, there is in
paying him its value or that the thing belonging to him mixture greater inter-penetration or
by separated, even though for this purpose it be decomposition of the objects that have
necessary to destroy the principal thing, and on both been mixed.
cases, furthermore, there shall be indemnity for
damages. 2 KINDS OF MIXTURE:
If either one of the owners has made the incorporation 1. COMMIXTION (if solids are mixed)
with the knowledge and without the objection of the 2. CONFUSION (if liquids are mixed)
other, their respective rights shall be determined as
though both acted in good faith. RULES OF MIXTURE:
RULES IN CASE OF BAD FAITH IN THE If the mixture is caused by one owner in
ADJUNCTION good faith, or by the will of both owners,
or by chance (accident), or by a common
Owner of Accessory is in bad faith agent, then CO-OWNERSHIP results,
If I in bad faith, will use the varnish on each owner acquiring an interest or right
the chair of my brother, I lose all rights to the proportional to the value of his material
varnish. Moreover, I will be responsible for i) if the mixture is made by the owner in
damages. bad faith, then --
Owner of the principal in bad faith 1. he loses his material
If I, in bad faith, will use my brothers 2. and is liable for
lead in soldering my pipes, my brother has damages to penalize
the right to ask for payment of the lead plus his bad faith.
damages; or he may choose to have the lead ii) When the things mixed or confused
removed from the pipes even if the pipes be are of exactly the same kind, quantity
destroyed plus damages. and quality, all that is needed would
be to divide the mixture into equal
ARTICLE 471: Whenever the owner of the material parts.
employed without his consent has a right to an
indemnity, he may demand that this consist in the SANTOS vs. BERNABE
delivery of a thing equal in kind and value, and in all GR No. 31163. November 6, 1929
other respects, to that employed, or else in the price
thereof, according to expert appraisal. When the palays of 2 different owners were
mixed up and it could not be determined as to
Indemnity how paid? who owns which. The owners shall be paid not
Either by: for the entire palay but only a right
a) delivery of a thing equal in kind proportional to the part belonging to him.
and value (quantity, (quality);
FACTS
b) or payment of price a appraised In 1928, plaintiff URBANO SANTOS
by experts. This rule is applicable deposited in defendant JOSE BERNABEs
only when the consent of the owner warehouse 778 cavans and 38 kilos of palay. On
had not been obtained. The material the same day, co-defendant PABLO TIONGSON
also deposited 1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of the first paying indemnity for the value of the work, or
same grain. demand indemnity for the material.
Later, TIONGSON filed in court a complaint If in making of the thing bad faith intervened,
in against BERNABE, to recover from the latter the owner of the material shall have the right to
the 1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of palay he deposited appropriate the work to himself without paying
in the latters warehouse. At the same time, the anything to the maker, or to demand of the latter that
court granted him a writ of attachment. At the he indemnify him for value of the material and the
time of the attachment, the sheriff only found only damages he nay have suffered. However, the owner of
924 cavans and 311 kilos of palay in said the material cannot appropriate the work in case of the
warehouse. SANTOS intervened in the value of the latter, for artistic or scientific reasons are
attachment of the palay but the sheriff proceeded considerably more than that of the material.
with the attachment upon filing of the proper
bond by TIONGSON. The attached property was SPECIFICATION - the giving of a new form to
sold at public auction and the proceeds from it anothers material thru the application of labor.
were delivered to TIONGSON. The material undergoes a transformation or
SANTOS then filed an action in court. He change of identity.
contended that TIONGSON could not claim the
924 cavans and 31 kilos of palay attached by the RULE IN CASE THE OWNER AND WORKER
sheriff as part of those were deposited by him. ARE IN GOOD FAITH:
The court ordered TIONGSON to pay
SANTOS the value of the 778 cavans and 38 kilos a. appropriation on the part of the
of palay, at the rate of P3 per cavan. Hence, owner of the work;
TIONGSON and the PROVINCIAL SHERIFF b. reimbursement of the materials
appealed. employed by the worker.

ISSUE RULE IN CASE WORKER IS IN BAD FAITH:


Whether or not TIONGSON should refund
the value of SANTOS 778 cavans and 38 kilos of 1. appropriate the work without paying for
palay. labor;
2. demand payment for the material used
RULING plus damages.
NO. SANTOS should not be paid for the EXCEPTION: The thing shall be used for scientific
entire palay he deposited but only a right purposes.
proportional to the part belonging to him.
The palay of SANTOS and TIONGSON were ADJUNCTION MIXTURE SPECIFICATION
mixed up when they both deposited their palays 1. involves at 1. involves 1. may involve
in BERNABEs warehouse. It was because the least 2 things; at least 2 only 1 thing
palays did not bear any marks or signs, nor were things (may be more)
they separated one from the other. At the time of but form is
the attachment and the sheriff only found 924 changed
cavans and 311 kilos of palay in BERNABEs 2. As a rule, 2. As a rule, 2. As a rule,
warehouse. accessory co- accessory follows
There being no means of separating from said follows the ownership the principal
924 cavans and 31 1/2 kilos of palay those principal results
belonging to SANTOS and those to TIONGSON, 3. The things 3. The 3. The new object
Art. 472 (then Art. 381) of the Civil Code shall joined retain things retains or
apply. Being that the number of kilos in a cavan their nature mixed or preserves the
was not determined, each of the owner then, confused nature of the
SANTOS and TIONGSON shall acquire a right may either original object.
proportional to the part belonging to each. retain or
Hence, 924 cavans of palay were attached and lose their
sold. SANTOS, who deposited 778 cavans, shall respective
have the right over 398.49 thereof or the value nature.
thereof at the rate of P3 per cavan. TIONGSON,
who deposited 1,026 cavans, shall have the right AGUIRRE vs. PHENG
over 525.51, or the value thereof at the rate of P3 GR No. l-20851. September 3, 1966
per cavan.
Although ordinarily, an owner of a property
ARTICLE 474: One who in good faith employs the would be entitled to any accession thereto, the
material of another in whole or in part in order to make rule is different where the works or
a thing if a different kind, shall appropriate the thing improvements or the accession was made on
thus transformed as his own, indemnifying the owner the property by one who acted in good faith.
of the material for its value. The governing provision is Art. 474.
If the material is more precious than the
transformed thing or is more value, its owner may, at FACTS
his option, appropriate the new thing to himself. After
In 1954, Vicente and Aldaba sold to petitioner (2) Whether the value for indemnifying
JESUS AGUIRRE a circular bolted steel tank with AGUIRRE should be P900, which was its original
a capacity of 5,000 gallons, for the sum of P900.00. value or P14,500, which was its present value
AGUIRRE, however, failed to take physical then.
possession of the tank, having been prevented
from doing so by the municipal authorities of Los RULING
Baos, Laguna (where the tank was located), in (1) NO. Although ordinarily, an owner of a
view of the claim of ownership being made by the property would be entitled to any accession
Bureau of Public Highways. thereto, the rule is different where the works or
However, 6 months after the tank was sold to improvements or the accession was made on the
AGUIRRE, Vicente and Teresa Aldaba again sold property by one who acted in good faith. And it is
the same tank on to Zosimo Gabriel, for P900.00. not contended that the making of the
Gabriel, in turn, sold it to the LEONORA & improvements and incurring of expenses
COMPANY on for P2,500.00. After some amounting to P11,299.00 by Leonora & Company
alterations and improvements made on the tank, was done in bad faith. The governing provision is
Leonora & Company was able to sell the tank to Art. 474 (then Art. 466) of the Civil Code.
National Shipyard & Steel Corporation (2) The reimbursement should be P900, the
(NASSCO), for P14,500.00. original value of the tank when it was bought by
AGUIRRE immediately filed with NASSCO a AGUIRRE.
formal notice of his claim of ownership of the It was clear that there was an accession by
tank. As a consequence, NASSCOs payment of specification: LEONORA AND COMPANY, as
the purchase price to LEONORA & COMPANY purchaser acting in good faith, spending
was suspended. P11,299.00 for the reconditioning of the tank
Then, AGUIRRE instituted a civil case against which was later adjudged to belong to AGUIRRE.
VICENTE PHENG, in his capacity as General Furthermore, to uphold AGUIRRE's
Manager of LEONORA & COMPANY and the contention that he was entitled to the sum of
ALDABAS, for delivery to him of the tank, with P14,500 for the price of the tank in its present
damages. condition, would be to allow him to enrich
On the other hand, because of the suspension himself at the expense of another. The lower
of payment of the purchase price, LEONORA & courts, therefore, acted correctly in ordering the
COMPANY filed a civil case against NASSCO, reimbursement to LEONORA & COMPANY for
praying for the delivery of the purchase price of the expenses it made on the tank.
P14,500.00, or the reimbursement of the sum of
P12,229.00 allegedly representing the actual ARTICLE 475: In the preceding articles, sentimental
investment and expenses made and incurred to value shall be duly appreciated.
put the tank in usable condition. AGUIRRE
intervened in said proceeding. QUIETING OF TITLE
These two cases were jointly heard by the trial
court. The court then declared AGUIRRE as the ARTICLE 476: Whenever there is a cloud on title to
absolute owner of the tank and that the real property or any interest therein, by reason of any
subsequent sales were declared null and void and instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding
of no effect. which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth
Aldaba and Leonora and Co. and the National and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, unenforceable,
Shipyards and Steel Corporation were ordered: and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be
1. to deliver AGUIRRE the tank wherein brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title.
the latter would have to pay Leonora and An action may also be brought to prevent a
Co. P11,299.00 which it spent for the cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any
improvement of the tank. interest therein.
2. in case that delivery is impossible, to
pay AGUIRRE P900, the original purchase WHEN IS THERE A CLOUD IN THE TITLE?
price of the tank, or
From this decision, AGUIRRE appealed to the 1) There is an instrument (deed or contract) or
Court of Appeals, which affirmed the same. record or claim or encumbrance or
Hence, this appeal. AGUIRRE alleged that he proceeding;
should not only be paid P900 but P14,500, which 2) Which is APPARENTLY valid or effective;
was the value of the tank at the time of its 3) But in truth and in fact, invalid, ineffective,
delivery to NASSCO. He also contended that voidable, or unenforceable, or extinguished or
under Art. 440 of the Civil Code, his ownership of barred by extinctive prescription;
the property entitled him to everything that is 4) And may be prejudicial to the title.
produced thereby, or is incorporated or attached
thereto, either naturally or artificially. What would be the test? If proof is
essential, the cloud exists. If proof is not
ISSUE needed, cloud is not present.
(1) Whether or not AQUIRRE, as owner of the The rule merely refers to immovable or
tank, would be entitled to any accession thereto. real property or any interest therein. But
by analogy, the principle may also apply
to personal property particularly the admitted and confirmed by Ramon Sabellona,
vessels which partake the nature of real only heir of Paciencia Sabellona in a Deed of
property. Confirmation of Sale.
In 1972, defendant-respondent GERARDA
Nature of the action: SELMA bought a parcel of land, which embraced
the 3,000 sq. m. portion of land possessed by the
a) This is an action in personam because it is SECUYAS. SELMA lodged a complaint against
directed against the defeated party or the SECUYAS, asserting ownership over the land
privies. inherited by plaintiffs-petitioners from Dalmacio
b) It may also be considered quasi in rem Secuya of which they had long been in possession
since it involves interest in a real in concept of owner. SECUYA claimed that she
property. was the registered owner of said lot having bough
c) An action to quiet title against a co-owner it from one Cesaria Caballero and had been in
is not res judicata as to the other co- possession of the same since then.
owners if they were not made parties An action for quieting of title was filed by the
thereto SECUYAS against VDA. DE SELMA. They
anchored their claim of ownership on two
WHEN DOES THE ACTION TO QUIET THE documents: the Agreement of Partition executed
TITLE PRESCRIBE? by Maxima Caballero and Paciencia Sabellona and
a. If the plaintiff is in POSSESSION the Deed of Confirmation of Sale executed by
of the property, the action does Ramon Sabellona.
not prescribe. He may wait until The appellate court debunked the SECUYAS'
his possession is disturbed or his claim of ownership of the land, affirming the trial
title is attacked before taking court's ruling, and upheld VDA. DE SELMAs title
steps to vindicate his right. thereto, since the latter's title can be traced to a
b. If the plaintiff is not in possession valid TCT.
of the property, the action may Hence, this appeal by the HEIRS OF
prescribe. Moreover, if the action SECUYAS.
is brought within the period of
limitation, it may be barred by ISSUE
laches where there is no excuse Whether or not the HEIRS OF SECUYAS had
offered for the failure to assert the the requisite title to pursue an action for quieting
title sooner. If somebody else has of title.
possession, the period of
prescription for the recovery of RULING
land is either 10 yrs (GF) or 30 yrs NO. Under Art. 476, in an action to quiet title,
(BF). But as a GENERAL RULE, it the plaintiffs or complainants must demonstrate a
is settled that the action to quiet legal or an equitable title to, or an interest in, the
title does not prescribe. subject real property. Likewise, they must show
that the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding
SECUYA vs. VDA. DE SELMA that purportedly casts a cloud on their title is in
GR No. 136021. February 22, 2000 fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie
appearance of validity or legal efficacy.
In an action to quiet title, the plaintiffs or The HEIRS OF SECUYA insisted that they had
complainants must demonstrate a legal or an been occupying the disputed property for 47
equitable title to, or an interest in, the subject years before they filed their Complaint for
real property. Likewise, they must show that quieting of title. However, there was no proof that
the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding they had exercised their rights and duties as
that purportedly casts a cloud on their title is owners of the same. They argue that they had
in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima been gathering the fruits of such property; yet, it
facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. If would seem that they had been remiss in their
the title is not valid on its face, an action for duty to pay land taxes. If petitioners really
quieting of title cannot be given due course. believed that they owned the property, they
should have been more vigilant in protecting their
FACTS rights thereto. As noted earlier, they did nothing
A parcel of land was originally sold, and the to enforce whatever proprietary rights they had
covering patent issued, to Maxima Caballero Vda. over the disputed parcel of land.
de Cario. During her lifetime, she entered into an The HEIRS OF SECUYA relied their
Agreement of Partition with Paciencia Sabellona, ownership on the Agreement of Partition
whereby the former bound herself and parted 1/3 executed by Maxima Caballero and Paciencia
portion of said lot in favor of the latter. Sabellona and the Deed of Confirmation of Sale
Sabellona took possession and occupation of executed by Ramon Sabellona.
that 1/3 portion of said lot adjudicated to her. In The Agreement of Partition was a mere
1953, Sabellona sold 3,0000 sq. m. portion thereof Express Trust was because there was no property
to Dalmacio Secuya for P1,850 by means of a to partition and the parties were not co-owners.
private document which was lost. Such sale was Being that there was a repudiation of the express
trust when the heirs of Maxima Caballero failed to the TCT of the Spouses Acampado were null and
deliver or transfer the property to Paciencia void since it was proceeded from an illegitimate
Sabellona, and instead sold the same to a third source.
person not privy to the Agreement., all, the METROPOLITAN BANK then filed a petition
subsequent sales transactions involving the land for the annulment of the RC decision with the
in dispute and the titles covering it must be Court of Appeals. The same was however denied
upheld, in the absence of proof that the said because there were other different remedies
transactions were fraudulent and irregular. available but they were not resorted to by
Although there was a Deed of Confirmation of petitioner. It ruled that petitioner ought to have
Sale executed by Ramona Sabellona, there was an filed, instead, a petition for relief from judgment
absence of the Deed of Sale itself. Moreover, the lot, or an action for quieting of title.
including the disputed portion, had been the Hence, this petition by METROPOLITAN
subject of several sales transactions. The title BANK.
thereto had been transferred several times,
without any protestation or complaint from the ISSUE
HEIRS OF SECUYA. Whether or not METROPOLITAN BANK
In any case, VDA. DE SECUYAs title was should have instead filed an action for quieting of
amply supported by clear evidence, while title.
SECUYA's claim was barren of proof.
RULING
NO. An action for quieting of title was not an
METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST appropriate remedy.
COMPANY vs. ALEJO It should be stressed that this case was
GR No. 141970 . September 10, 2001 instituted to ask for relief from the peremptory
declaration of nullity of the TCT covering the
What was asked by Metrobank was for relief mortagged land, which had been issued without
from the peremptory declaration of nullity of first giving METROPOLITAN BANK an
the TCT covering the mortgaged land, which opportunity to be heard. METROPOLITAN
had been issued without first giving BANK focused on the judgment in the civil case
METROPOLITAN BANK an opportunity to between Respondent SY TAN SE against Spouses
be heard. Filing an action for quieting of title Acampado which adversely affected it, and which
will not remedy what it perceived as a it therefore sought to annul. Filing an action for
disregard of due process; it is therefore not an quieting of title will not remedy what it perceived
appropriate remedy. as a disregard of due process; it is therefore not an
appropriate remedy.
FACTS Equally important, an action for quieting of
In 1995 and 1996, Spouses Raul and Cristina title is filed only when there is a cloud on title to
Acampado obtained loans from real property or any interest therein. As defined, a
METROPOLITAN BANK, & TRUST COMPANY "cloud on title is a semblance of title which
in the amounts of P5,000,000 and P2,000,000, appears in some legal form but which is in fact
respectively. As security for the payment of these unfounded." In this case, the subject judgment
credit accommodations, the Acampados executed cannot be considered as a cloud on petitioners
in favor of METROPOLITAN BANK, a real estate title or interest over the real property covered
mortgage over a registered parcel of land in bysaid TCT, which does not even have a
Valenzuela City. semblance of being a title.
Later, a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of It would not be proper to consider the subject
the TCT of said lot was filed by Respondent SY judgment as a cloud that would warrant the filing
TAN SE against Spouses Acampado. Despite of an action for quieting of title, because to do so
being the registered mortgagee of the real would require the court hearing the action to
property covered by the title sought to be modify or interfere with the judgment or order of
annulled, METROPOLITAN BANK was not made another co-equal court. Well-entrenched in our
a party thereto nor was it notified of the pending jurisdiction is the doctrine that a court has no
case. power to do so, as that action may lead to
Because the spouses defaulted in the payment confusion and seriously hinder the administration
of their loan, extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings of justice. Clearly, an action for quieting of title is
over the mortgaged property were initiated in not an appropriate remedy in this case.
1997. During the public auction,
METROPOLITAN BANK was the highest bidder. ARTICLE 477: The plaintiff must have legal or
A Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor. equitable title to, or interest in the real property which
When the redemption period lapsed exactly a is the subject-matter of the action. He need not be in
year after, METROPOLITAN BANK executed an possession of said property.
Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership for the
issuance of a new TCT in its name. However, the ARTICLE 478: There may also be an action to quiet
Register of Deeds informed of the existence of the title or remove a cloud therefrom when the contract,
civil case filed by Respondent SY TAN SE against instrument or other obligation has been extinguished
Spouses Acampado, where the RTC declared that or has terminated, or has been barred by extinctive
prescription. in the possession thereof from 1931 up to the
present.
There are 2 INSTANCES where the action Thereafter, Constancio Sapto died without
may be used: any issue. When Samuel Sapto died, he was
a) when the contract etc has ended; survived by his wife DORA BAGOBA and two
b) when the action is barred by extinctive children, LAUREANA and VICENTE SAPTO. In
prescription. 1954, DORA BAGOBA and LAUREANA and
VICENTE SAPTO, filed an action in court for the
ARTICLE 479: The plaintiff must return to the recovery of the parcel of land sold by their
defendant all benefits he may have received from the predecessors to FABIANA in 1931.
latter, or reimburse him for expenses that may have After trial, the lower court held that although
redounded to the plaintiffs benefit. the sale between Samuel and Constancio Sapto
and defendant in 1931 was never registered, it
ARTICLE 480: The principles of the general law on was valid and binding upon the parties and the
the quieting of title are hereby adopted insofar as they vendors' heirs. It also ordered the plaintiffs to
are not in conflict with this Code. execute the necessary deed of conveyance in
defendant's favor and its annotation in the
ARTICLE 481: The procedure for the quieting of title certificate of title.
or the removal of a cloud therefrom shall be governed From this judgment, DORA BAGOBA and
by such rules of court as the Supreme Court shall LAUREANA and VICENTE SAPTO appealed.
promulgate. They cited several cases wherein the court has
held that under the martens system, registration is
ARTICLE 482: If a building, wall, column, or any the operative act that gives validity to the transfer
other construction is in danger of falling, the owner or creates a lien upon the land. The also averred
shall be obliged to demolish it or to execute the
that it was error to require them to execute a deed
necessary work in order to prevent it from falling.
of conveyance in favor of FABIANA since the
If the proprietor does not comply with the
latter's action to obtain it had long prescribed, 20
obligation, the administrative authorities may order the
years having elapsed since the original sale.
demolition of the structure at the expense of the owner,
or take measures to insure public safety.
ISSUE
(1) Whether or not registration is the operative
ARTICLE 483: Whenever a large tree threatens to fall
in such a way as to cause damage to the land or act that gives validity to the transfer or creates a
tenement of another or to travellers over public or lien upon the land.
private road, the owner of the tree shall be obliged to (2) Whether or not the right of FABIANA to
fell and remove it; and should he not do so, it shall be obtain a deed of conveyance has already
done at his expense by order of the administrative prescribed since 20 years had already elapsed
authorities. since the original sale.

SAPTO vs. FABIANA RULING


GR No. L-11285. May 16, 1958 (1) NO. No enforcement of the contract was in
fact needed, since the delivery of possession of the
The court will treat an action for land sold had consummated the sale and
reconveyance as an action to quiet title transferred title to the purchaser, registration of
provided that it has all the requisites of the the contract not being indispensable as between
latter. the parties. Actually the action for reconveyance
was one to quiet title, i.e., to remove the cloud cast
Actions to quiet title to property in the upon appellee's ownership by the refusal of the
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. appellants to recognize the sale made by their
But if he is not in possession thereof, the right predecessors. This action accrued only when
may as well prescribe and barred by appellants initiated their suit to recover the land
acquisitive prescription. in 1954.
In this case, the sale entered into was valid
FACTS and binding upon the vendors, one of whom was
Vicente Sapto was the registered owner of a Samuel Sapto and is equally binding and effective
parcel of land located in Toril, Davao. When he against his heirs, DORA BAGOBA and
died, he left his children Samuel, Constancio, and LAUREANA and VICENTE SAPTO. To hold
Ramon as heirs of the property in question. otherwise would make of the martens system a
Ramon pre-deceased his two brothers, leaving no shield for the commission of fraud by the vendors
other heirs. In 1931, Samuel and Constancio Sapto or his heirs, who would then be able to reconvey
executed a Deed of Sale of a portion of 4 hectares the same property to other persons.
of the said land in favor of defendant APOLONIO (2) NO. Actions to quiet title to property in the
FABIANA, in consideration of the amount of possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
P245.00. The sale was duly approved by the Art. 480 of the Civil Code, states that the
Provincial Governor of Davao, but was never principles of the general law on the quieting of
registered. Possession of the land conveyed was title are hereby adopted insofar as they are not in
however, transferred to FABIANA, who had been conflict with this Code. The general law referred
to is American jurisprudence. Under American respectively, as payment for the remaining
jurisprudence, actions to quiet title to property in balance for their half of the land. For said
the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. payment, separate receipts were also issued.
The prevailing rule is that the right of a NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON continued
plaintiff to have his title to land quieted is not enjoying their portion of the land, planting fruit
barred while the plaintiff or his grantors remain in trees and receiving the rentals of their buildings.
actual possession of the land, claiming to be In 1953, with the consent of defendants JOSEFINA
owners thereof. But the rule that the statute of and ZOSIMO GABAR, they had the entire land
limitations is not available as a defense to in surveyed and subdivided preparatory to
action to remove a cloud from title can only be obtaining their separate title to their portion.
invoked by a complaint when he is in possession. Upon demand for their separate title to the
If the plaintiff is not in possession of the property, property, however, JOSEFINA and ZOSIMO
the action to quite title may also prescribe. GABAR still refused, giving the same excuse.
Despite the employment of 2 lawyers, the same
title was not issued.
BUCTON vs. GABAR Hence, NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON
GR No. L-36359. January 31, 1974 filed in court an action for specific performance to
compel JOSEFINA and ZOSIMO GABAR to
The court will treat an action for specific execute in a deed of sale of the western half of a
performance as an action to quiet title parcel of land in their favor. The lower court,
provided that it has all the requisites of the ordered the execution of a deed of conveyance in
latter. favor of NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON. The
Court of Appeals however, reversed the judgment
Actions to quiet title to property in the of the lower court on the premise that
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. NICANORA and FELIX BUCTONS right of
But if he is not in possession thereof, the right action had already prescribed being that 22 years
may as well prescribe and barred by and 26 days had already elapsed from the time
acquisitive prescription. the receipt in 1946 was issued until 1968 when
they filed the action for specific performance. It
FACTS was then barred by Art. 1144 of the Civil Code,
In 1946, defendant JOSEFINA LLAMOSO which provides that an action arising from a
GABAR bought a parcel of land from the spouses written contract prescribes after 10 years.
Villarin on installment basis. JOSEFINA entered Hence, this appeal by NICANORA and FELIX
into a verbal agreement with her sister-in-law, BUCTON.
plaintiff NICANORA GABAR BUCTON, that the
latter would pay of the purchase price (P1000) ISSUE
and would then own of the land. Then, Whether or not the right of NICANORA and
NICANORA gave JOSEFINA the initial amount FELIX BUCTON for specific action for the
of P1,000 and a receipt was issued. NICANORA execution of a deed of conveyance has already
also paid P400 and P1,000 respectively on prescribed.
successive dates, for which, receipts were also
issued. RULING
Afterwards NICANORA and her husband NO. Actions to quiet title to property in the
FELIX BUCTON took possession of the portion of possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
the land indicated to them by defendants and The real and ultimate basis of petitioners'
built a modest nipa house therein. 2 years after, action is their ownership of one-half of the lot
they built another house for rent behind the nipa coupled with their possession thereof, which
house. Later, they demolished the nipa house and entitles them to a conveyance of the property.
in its place constructed a house of strong Under the circumstances no enforcement of the
materials, with three apartments in the lower contract is needed, since the delivery of
portion for rental purposes. They occupied the possession of the land sold had consummated the
upper portion of this house as their residence sale and transferred title to the purchaser, and
until 1969, when they moved to another house, that, actually, the action for conveyance is one to
converting and leasing the upper portion as a quiet title, i.e., to remove the cloud upon the
dormitory. appellee's ownership by the refusal of the
In 1947, the spouses Villarin executed the appellants to recognize the sale made by their
deed of sale of the land abovementioned in favor predecessors.
of JOSEFINA. Hereafter, NICANORA and FELIX Art. 480 of the Civil Code, states that the
BUCTON sought to obtain a separate title for their principles of the general law on the quieting of
portion of the land in question. But despite title are hereby adopted insofar as they are not in
several demands, JOSEFINA and his husband conflict with this Code. The general law referred
ZOSIMO GABAR declined to accommodate them to is American jurisprudence. Under American
on the excuse that the entire land was still jurisprudence, actions to quiet title to property in
mortgaged with the Philippine National Bank as the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
guarantee for their loan of P3,500. Nevertheless, The prevailing rule is that the right of a
NICORA still paid JOSEFINA P400 and P1,000 plaintiff to have his title to land quieted is not
barred while the plaintiff or his grantors remain in plaintiff's claim of ownership of the whole
actual possession of the land, claiming to be parcel of land, if ever it has basis, was
owners thereof. But the rule that the statute of fraudulent, void, and without effect,
limitations is not available as a defense to in that the Merlans have always been in open
action to remove a cloud from title can only be and peaceful possession of their
invoked by a complaint when he is in possession. undivided share of the lot throughout the
If the plaintiff is not in possession of the property, years from the first sale by their co-heirs,
the action to quite title may also prescribe. the other defendants were legitimate tenants
By the delivery of the possession of the and
land, the sale was consummated and title was the plaintiff should respect their rights over
transferred to NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON. 1/3 of the land.
The action was actually not for specific PRIVATE RESPONDENTS included as third-
performance, since all it sought is to quiet title, to party defendant, Mariano Manalo whom they
remove the cloud cast upon their ownership as a charged might have connived with others
result of JOSEFINA and ZOSIMO GABAR's including CORONEL to deprive them of their
refusal to issue the deed of conveyance. Being that share in the subject parcel of land. During trial,
NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON was in the court found that the co-owners of PRIVATE
possession of the land, the action is RESPONDENTS sold to Ignacio Manalo their 2/3
imprescriptible. Only in a case that the buyer did share of the same lot; and that Ignacio Manalo
not possess the land, that their right may be sold only the 2/3 share to third-party defendant
subject to prescription. Mariano Manalo, the predecessor-in-interest of
CORONEL. Consequently, there was a mistake
when the Transfer Certificate of Title was issued
CORONEL vs. IAC to Mariano Manalo since it covered not only the
GR No. L-70191. October 29, 1987 2/3 portion sold but the whole area of the land.
The lower court dismissed the complaint of
The court will treat an action for recovery of CORONEL and ruled in favor of PRIVATE
possession of land as an action to quiet title RESPONDENTS.
provided that it has all the requisites of the On appeal, CORONEL contended that the
latter. claim of the private respondents over their 1/3
undivided portion of the land, 25 years after the
Actions to quiet title to property in the registration of the deed of sale in favor of Ignacio
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible Manalo in 1950 and more than five (5) years after
and are not barred by laches. But if he is not the registration of the deed of sale in favor of
in possession thereof, the right may as well Mariano Manalo is barred by prescription or
prescribe and barred by acquisitive laches.
prescription and laches as well.
ISSUE
FACTS Whether or not the claim was barred by
Petitioner RODOLFO CORONEL filed a prescription or laches.
complaint for recovery of a registered possession
of a parcel of land, situated in Naic, Cavite. The RULING
complaint was filed against the ELIAS MERLAN, NO. The claim was neither barred by
BRIGIDO MERLAN, JOSE MERLAN, prescription nor laches.
TEODORICO NOSTRATES, SEVERO JECIEL, The claim was not barred by prescription. As
SANTIAGO FERNAN and FORTUNATO lawful possessors and owners of the lot in
OCAMPO (PRIVATE RESPONDENTS). question, PRIVATE REPSPODNENTs cause of
CORONEL alleged that at the time he purchased action fell within the settled jurisprudence that an
the subject parcel of land, the PRIVATE action to quiet title to property in one's possession
RESPONDENTS were already occupying a is imprescriptible. Their undisturbed possession
portion thereof as "tenants at will" and that over a period of more than 25 years gave them a
despite demands to vacate the premises, the continuing right to seek the aid of a court of
defendants failed and refused to move out from equity to determine the nature of the adverse
the land. claim of a third party and the effect of his own
The PRIVATE RESPONDENTS denied that title. If at all, the PRIVATE RESPONDENTS' right
CORONEL was the owner of the whole parcel of to quiet title accrued only in 1975 when they were
land and alleged that: made aware of a claim adverse to their own, it
the lots occupied by them form part of a 1/3 was only at that time that the statutory period of
undivided share of brothers Brigido prescription may be said to have commenced to
Merlan and Jose Merlan which they run against them.
inherited from their deceased father, The claim was not also barred by laches.
the 3 heirs never sold their undivided 1/3 Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect,
share of the lot to anybody, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of
it was actually their other co-heirs who sold time, to do that which by exercising due diligence
their undivided portions, could or should have been done earlier, it is
negligence or omission to assert a right within a
reasonable time, warranting a presumption that In 1981, SPOUSES FLORENTINO and
the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned VIVENCIA filed an action to quiet title and
it or declined to assert it. The facts of the case damages against ZENAIDA. The Court of
show that the private respondents have always Appeals ruled in favor of JUSTIANA on the
been in peaceful possession of the 1/3 portion of ground that the cause of action of SPOUSES
the subject lot, exercising ownership thereto for FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA had already
more than 25 years disrupted only in 1975, when prescribed in view of the issuance in 1970 of a
the petitioner tried to remove them by virtue of certificate of title in the name of the Spouses
his title. It was only at this point that private JUSTINIANO and ZENAIDA FERNANDEZ.
respondents knew about the supposed sale of Hence, this appeal.
their 1/3 portion of Lot 1950-A of the Naic Estate
and they immediately resisted. ISSUE
Whether or not the right of SPOUSES
FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA had already
FERNANDEZ vs. CA prescribed in view of the issuance in 1970 of a
GR 83141. September 21, 1990 certificate of title in the name of the SPOUSES
JUSTINIANO AND ZENAIDA.
The court will treat an action for
reconveyance as an action to quiet title RULING
provided that it has all the requisites of the NO. Actions to quiet title to property in the
latter. possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
The issuance of a certificate of title in the
Actions to quiet title to property in the name appearing therein did not preclude
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. SPOUSES FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA from
But if he is not in possession thereof, the right asserting their right of ownership over the land in
may as well prescribe and barred by question. Time and again it has been ruled that
acquisitive prescription. the torrens system should not be used as a shield
to protect fraud. Moreover, prescription could not
FACTS be considered against SPOUSES FLORENTINO
In 1966, SPOUSES FLORENTINO and and VIVENCIA who had been in possession of
VIVENCIA FERNANDEZ and SPOUSES subject premises from the time it was purchased
ZENAIDA and JUSTIANO FERNANDEZ, from the vendors in 1967 and continue to possess
purchased in common a parcel of land in Pag-asa the same under claim of ownership.
Subdivision, Quezon City. The parcel of land was Prescription cannot be invoked in an action
purchased for P15,500. SPOUSES FLORENTINO for reconveyance, which is, in effect an action to
and VIVENCIA advanced the downpayment of quiet title against the plaintiff therein who is in
P5,500 to the vendors. A Deed of Conditional Sale possession of the land in question. As lawful
was executed by the vendors in favor of the two possessor and owner of the disputed portion, her
couples. cause of action for reconveyance which, in effect,
In 1967, the vendors executed a Deed of seeks to quiet title to property in one's possession
Absolute Sale in favor of SPOUSES ZENAIDA and is imprescriptible.
JUSTINIANO only. When SPOUSES While the owner in fee continues liable to an
FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA learned that the action, proceeding, or suit upon the adverse
Absolute Deed of Sale did not include their names claim, he has a continuing right to the aid of a
as vendees, they confronted SPOUSES ZENAIDA court of equity to ascertain and determine the
and JUSTIANO. Hence, the latter spouses nature of such claim and its effect on his title, or to
executed an affidavit in which they acknowledged assert any superior equity in his favor. He may
the sale to petitioners SPOUSES FLORENTINO wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is
and VIVENCIA. attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right.
A duplex building was constructed on the But the rule that the statute of limitations is not
subject land. The 2 units were occupied by the 2 available as a defense of an action to remove a
couples. In 1970, SPOUSES ZENAIDA and cloud from title can only be invoked by a
JUSTINIANO caused the issuance of a certificate complainant when he is in possession.
of title only in their names.
In 1976, SPOUSES ZENAIDA and
JUSTINIANO filed a Petition for voluntary MAMADSUAL vs. MOSON
dissolution of their conjugal partnership. In the GR No. 92557. September 27, 1990
petition, the couple prayed for judicial approval
of their compromise agreement wherein Actions to quiet title to property in the
Justiniano waived all his rights to the conjugal possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
properties including the subject parcel of land. But if he is not in possession thereof, the right
The court awarded said land to ZENAIDA. In may as well prescribe and barred by
1977, ZENAIDA demanded that SPOUSES acquisitive prescription.
FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA vacate the
premises of the lot awarded to her. It is not necessary that the person seeking
to quiet his title is the registered owner of the
property in question because the law embraces The prevailing rule is that the right of a
both legal and equitable owners. plaintiff to have his title to land quieted as against
one who is asserting some adverse claim thereon,
FACTS is not barred while the plaintiff or his grantors
In 1988, SPOUSES HADJI ALI and HADJI remain in actual possession of the land, claiming
SALIKA MAMADSUAL filed a complaint against to be owners thereof. The reason for this rule
SPOUSES KAGUI ABDULA and KAGUI RAKMA being that while the owner in fee continues liable
MACARAPAN for Quieting of Title To Property to an action, proceeding, or suit upon the adverse
and Annulment of Original Certificate of Title, with claim, he has a continuing right to the aid of a
the Shari'a District Court in Cotabato City. They court of equity in his favor to ascertain and
claimed that they have been in open, continuous, determine the nature of such claim and its effect
exclusive and notorious possession of the land on his title, or to assert any superior equity in his
since time immemorial in the concept of owners favor. He may wait until his possession is
though the same was registered in the name of disturbed or his title is attacked before taking
SPOUSES MACARAPAN. steps to vindicate his right. But the rule that the
The SPOUSES MACARAPAN, on the other statute of limitations is not available as a defense
hand, prayed that the case be dismissed because: to an action to remove a cloud from title can only
SPOUSES MAMADSUAL had no title to the be invoked by a complainant when he is in
property, possession. One who claims property which is in
they were not the proper parties to ask for the possession of another must, it seems, invoke
the annulment or cancellation of the his remedy within the statutory period.
Certificates of Title of SPOUSES (2) NO. It is not necessary that the person
MACARAPAN and seeking to quiet his title is the registered owner of
the action, being based on an implied trust, the property in question.
had already prescribed and could not Thus, "title'' to property does not
therefore be maintained. necessarily mean the original transfer certificate of
SPOUSES MAMADSUAL rebutted that: title. It can connote acquisitive prescription by
1. the title referred to by them in the possession in the concept of an owner thereof.
complaint meant the legal title or Indeed, one who has an equitable right or interest
ownership or dominion over the land in in the property may also file an action to quiet
dispute acquired by them from their title under the law.
ancestors by operation of the law on Since the action in this case is one to quiet
succession; title to property whereby petitioners claim to have
2. they are real party in interest because they acquired title to the same by prescription, the
will be benefited by the judgment or property was thereby effectively withdrawn from
entitled to the avails of the suit in their the public domain and became property of private
own right, independent of any other ownership. Thus, the ruling of the trial court that
interest, but with the authority of the law; the action being one for reversion only the
and Solicitor General can institute the same has no
3. since they are in possession of the land, cogent basis.
an action to quiet title does not prescribe.
The lower court dismissed the complaint on
the ground that the action had prescribed. It also PINGOL vs. CA
held that in an action to quiet title the plaintiff GR No. 102909. September 6, 1993
must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in
the real property which is the subject matter of the The court will treat an action for specific
action. It interpreted legal title to mean registered performance as an action to quiet title
ownership and equitable title to mean beneficial provided that it has all the requisites of the
ownership. latter.

ISSUE Actions to quiet title to property in the


(1) Whether or not the right of SPOUSES possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
MAMADSUAL had already prescribed. But if he is not in possession thereof, the right
(2) Whether or not the person seeking to quiet may as well prescribe and barred by
his title must be the registered owner of the acquisitive prescription.
property in question.
FACTS
RULING VICENTE PINGOL was the owner of a
(1) NO. An action to quiet title is registered land in Caloocan City. In 1969, he
imprescriptible if the plaintiffs are in possession executed a Deed of Sale of of an undivided
of the property. portion of said land in favor Francisco N. Donasco
It is an established rule of American which was acknowledged before a notary public.
jurisprudence (made applicable in this jurisdiction The agreed price was P25,000 where P2,000 shall
by Art. 480 of the New Civil Code) that actions to be paid as advance payment and the remaining
quiet title to property in the possession of the balance, on equal installment basis for 6 years.
plaintiff am imprescriptible.
Thereafter, Donasco immediately took property who is in possession thereof may wait
possession of the subject lot and constructed a until his possession is invaded or his title is
house thereon. In January 1970, he started paying attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right.
the monthly installments but was able pay only A person claiming title to real property, but not in
up to 1972. When Donasco died in 1984, he left an possession thereof, must act affirmatively and
unpaid balance of P10,161 for the contract price of within the time provided by the statute.
said land. But the possession thereof, still Possession is a continuing right as is the right
remained with DONASCOs HEIRS, MELINDA to defend such possession. So it has been
D. PELAYO, MARIETTA D. SINGSON, MYRNA determined that an owner of real property in
D. CUEVAS, NATIVDAD D. PELAYO, possession has a continuing right to invoke a
YOLANDA D. CACERES and M ARY court of equity to remove a cloud that is a
DONASCO. continuing menace to his title.
In 1988, the HEIRS OF DONASCO filed an Such a menace is compared to a continuing
action for Specific Performance to compel nuisance or trespass which is treated a successive
VICENTE PINGOL to accept their offer to pay the nuisances or trespasses, not barred by statute until
balance of P10,161 plus the stipulated legal rate of continued without interruption for a length of
interest thereon and to execute the final deed of time a sufficient to affect a change of title as a
sale on the portion of the lot. It was alleged that matter of law.
VICENTE PINGOL rebuffed their offer and had
been demanding for a bigger and unreasonable
amount, in complete variance to what was HEIRS OF OLVIGA vs. CA
lawfully due and payable. VICENTE PINGOL GR No. 104813. October 21, 1993
however claimed that the HEIRS OF DONASCO's
cause of action had already prescribed. The court will treat an action for
The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the reconveyance as an action to quiet title
HEIRS OF DONASCO and ordered VICENTE provided that it has all the requisites of the
PINGOL to accept the payment of P10,161 and to latter.
execute the final deed of sale on the portion of
the lot. It also ruled that THE HEIRS OF Actions to quiet title to property in the
DONASCOs action was imprescriptible since it possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
was akin to an action to quiet title to property in But if he is not in possession thereof, the right
one's possession. may as well prescribe and barred by
Hence, this appeal by SPOUSES VICENTE acquisitive prescription.
and LOURDES PINGOL.
FACTS
ISSUE In 1950, a parcel of land was still forest land
Whether or not the action of the HEIRS OF when Eutiquio Pureza, then only twelve years
DONASCO had already prescribed being based old, and his father cleared and cultivated it. In
upon a written contract, has prescribed since it 1954, they introduced improvements such as fruit
was brought only in 1988 or more than ten years trees thereon. When the area was released for
from the time when the latter could have lawfully disposition, the Bureau of Lands surveyed the
demanded performance. same in 1956 in the name of Pureza and since
then, the land had been known as Lot 13.
RULING In 1960, Pureza filed a homestead application
NO, the action had not prescribed. Although over Lot 13. Without his application having been
the private respondents' complaint before the trial acted upon, he transferred his rights in said lot to
court was denominated as one for specific CORNELIO GLOR in 1961. Neither the
performance, it is in effect an action to quiet title. homestead application of Eutiquio nor the
The real and ultimate basis of the HEIRS OF proposed transfer of his right to GLOR was acted
DONASCOs' action was their ownership of one- upon by the Director of Lands.
half of the lot coupled with their possession GLORs neighbor was JOSE OLVIGA.
thereof, which entitled them to a conveyance of OLVIGA occupied Lot 12 while GLOR occupied
the property. That a cloud has been cast on the Lot 13. In 1967, OLVIGA obtained a registered
title of the HEIRS OF DONASCOs was title for said lot in a cadastral proceeding when he
indubitable. Despite the fact that the title had been claimed both Lots 12 and 13, in fraud of the rights
transferred to them by the execution of the deed of GLOR and family, who were the real and actual
of sale and the delivery of the object of the occupants of the land. As a result, both Lots 12
contract, the SPOUSES PINGOL adamantly and 13 were declared as uncontested in the name
refused to accept the tender of payment by HEIRS of OLVIGA.
OF DONASCO and steadfastly insisted that their Then, THE HEIRS OF GLOR, Angelita Glor
obligation to transfer title had been rendered and her children, filed a case for reconveyance of
ineffective. said land against the HEIRS OF OLVIGA. The
Prescription thus could not be invoked against HEIRS OF OLVIGA contended that the right of
the HEIRS OF DONASCO for it is aphoristic that action by the HEIRS OF GLOR had already been
an action to quiet title to property in one's barred by prescription. The appellate court ruled
possession is imprescriptible. The owner of real in favor of the HEIRS OF GLOR and declared that
such action was really one for quieting of title. (1) Co-ownership of an undivided
Thus, it did not prescribe. thing;
Hence,this appeal by the HEIRS OF OLVIGA. (2) Co-ownership of an undivided
right.
ISSUE From the viewpoint of source:
Whether or not the action of the HEIRS OF (1) Contractual co-ownership
OLVIGA had already prescribed. (stipulation not to divide the
property for 10 yrs)
RULING (2) Non-contractual co-ownership (if
NO. An action for reconveyance of a parcel of the source is not a contract)
lands based on implied or constructive trust From the viewpoint of the rights of the co-
prescribed in ten years, the point of reference owners:
being the date of registration of the deed or the (1) Tenancy in common
date of the issuance of the certificate of title over (2) Joint tenancy
the property. But this rule applies only when the
plaintiff is not in possession of the property, since Characteristics:
if a person claiming to be the owner thereof is in
actual possession of the property, the right to seek 1. plurality of subjects: Undivided thing owned
reconveyance which in effect seeks to quiet title to by several persons.. lets say A B C: 1/3 interest
the property, does not prescribe. each but there is no boundary, no division only
In the case at bar, the HEIRS OF OLVIGA and undivided interest. Unidentified noh.. hindi alam
their predecessors-in-interest were in actual ang metes and bounds.
possession of the property since 1950. Their
undisturbed possession gave them the continuing 2. singularity of object or unity of object. Only
right to seek the aid of a court of equity to one object: undivided thing
determine, the nature of the adverse claim of
petitioners, who in 1988 disturbed their 3. recognition of ideal shares : A recognizes B
possession. and C as the co-owners; B recognizes A and C as
co-owners and C recognizes A and B as co-
CO-OWNERSHIP owners. If one does not recognize the ideal shares
of the other co-ownership. as a matter of fact, if he
ARTICLE 484: There is co-ownership whenever the repudiates their shares, then there is no co-
ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to ownership, because of the characteristic of ideal
different persons. shares.
In default of contracts, or special provisions,
co-ownership shall be governed by the provisions of Rules regarding ideal shares
this Title.
1. Each co-owner has full ownership of his part
Co-ownership - state where an undivided thing or and to the fruits of that ideal shares. So that if he
right belongs to two or more persons. A co- owns 1/3, he would also share 1/3 of the
ownership is not a juridical person, nor is it proceeds.
granted any form of juridical personality. 2. The co-owner may alienate, assign or encumber
his ideal share even without consent of other co-
WHAT GOVERNS CO-OWNERSHIP? owners. Of course this is the general rule, there
1) Contracts are exceptions like when personal rights are
2) Special legal provisions involved.
3) Provisions of the title on co-
ownership SPOUSES SI vs. CA
GR No. 122047. October 12, 2000
SOURCES OF CO-OWNERSHIP
After the physical division of the lot among
a. by law Art. 144 of the New Civil the brothers, the community ownership
Code where marriage that is terminated, and the right of preemption or
void; redemption for each brother was no longer
b. by contract stipulation of the available.
parties;
c. by chance commixtion, Co-owners with actual notice of the sale are
confusion, hidden treasure not entitled to written notice.
d. by occupation
e. by succession or will in case of FACTS
interests of heirs before partition. Escolastica, wife of Severo Armada, Sr.
originally owned a 340-sq. m. of land situated in
KINDS OF OWNERSHIP San Jose District, Pasay City. This was covered by
a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT). In 1954,
From the viewpoint of the subject matter: during the lifetime of the spouses, Escolastica,
with the consent of her husband, transferred the
property to their children. She executed 3 separate undivided thing or right belongs to different
deeds of sale conveying 113.34 square meters of persons. There is no co-ownership when the
the property to and Dr. Severo R. Armada, and different portions owned by different people are
113.33 square meters each to Crisostomo R. already concretely determined and separately
Armada and JOSE R. ARMADA. Thereafter, the identifiable, even if not yet technically described.
Registry of Deeds issued another TCT in the In the present case, the lot in question had
names of the three sons. Also in the title is an already been partitioned extrajudicially when
annotation for the cancellation of said title by their parents executed 3 deeds of sale in favor of
virtue of the Deed of Sale dated 1979. It was Jose, Crisostomo and Severo. The disputed land
executed by Cresenciana V. Alejo, as attorney-in- was not part of an undivided estate. The portion
fact of Crisostomo R. Armada, conveying 113.34 sold to SPOUSES SI by Crisostomo and
sq. m. of his inherited portion of the property in Cresenciana Armada was concretely determined
favor of ANITA BONODE SI, married to Serafin and identifiable. The following facts support such
D. Si for the sum of P75,000. The Registry of claim:
Deeds then issued another TCT in lieu of the (1) the 3 deeds of absolute sale
other. technically described the portion
In 1980, spouses JOSE ARMADA and sold to each son,
REMEDIOS ALMANZOR (SPOUSES ARMADA) (2) the portions belonging to the 3 sons
filed a complaint for Annulment of Deed of Sale were separately declared for
and Reconveyance against ANITA and SERAFIN taxation purposes, and
SI (SPOUSES SI). Conrado Isada, brother-in-law of (3) JOSE's wife testified that they had
Cresenciana was also included in the complaint as been receiving rent from the
he brokered the sale. property specifically allotted to Jose.
The complaint alleged when the SPOUSES SI The fact that the three portions are
registered the deed of absolute sale, they inserted embraced in one certificate of title did not make
the phrase that the co-owners were not interested said portions less determinable or identifiable or
in buying the same in spite of notice to them distinguishable, one from the other, nor that
when in fact, the other co-owners, JOSE and dominion over each portion less exclusive, in their
Severo, Jr., had no written notice of the sale. respective owners.
The SPOUSES SI on the other hand, alleged (2) NO, they did not have the right of
that in 3 deeds of sale excuted by the 3 sons redemption. After the physical division of the lot
mother Escolastica, it particularly described the among the brothers, the community ownership
portion conveyed to each son in metes and terminated, and the right of preemption or
bounds. They contended that that since the redemption for each brother was no longer
property was already 3 distinct parcels of land, available.
there was no longer co-ownership among the Moreover, JOSE ARMADA was well-
brothers. Hence, Jose and Severo, Jr. had no right informed of the impending sale of Crisostomo's
of redemption when Crisostomo sold his share to share in the land when the latter sent the former a
the SPOUSES SI. letter. Co-owners with actual notice of the sale are
The trial court ruled for the SPOUSES SI and not entitled to written notice. A written notice is a
dismissed the complaint. On appeal with the formal requisite to make certain that the co-
Court of Appeals, said court reversed the decision owners have actual notice of the sale to enable
of the trail court and ruled for SPOUSES them to exercise their right of redemption within
ARMADA. It ruled that there was still co- the limited period of thirty days. But where the
ownership between the 3 brothers since the TCT co-owners had actual notice of the sale at the time
issud by Escolastico to his 3 sons did not indicate thereof and/or afterwards, a written notice of a
the particular area sold. The court also stated that fact already known to them, would be
what was then sold to the SPOUSES SI were still superfluous. The statute does not demand what is
undetermined and unidentifiable, as the area sold unnecessary.
remains a portion of the whole. The brothers JOSE
and SEVERO, who were co-owners were not
informed of the notice and are then entitled to MERCADO-FEHR vs. FEHR
redeem the sold property. GR No. 122047. October 12, 2000
Hence, this appeal by the SPOUSES SI.
A man and a woman who are capacitated to
ISSUES marry but are living together under a
(1) Whether or not co-ownership existed marriage declared as void ab initio by the
between the brothers SEVERO JR., CRISOSTOMO court for the husbands psychological
and JOSE. incapacity,shall be coverned by co-ownership
(2) Whether or not SEVERO has the right of as to the properties they acquired during the
redemption. cohabitation. As regards the settlement of the
common properties, the Civil Code provisions
RULING on co-ownership should apply.
(1) NO, the co-ownership did not exist.
Under Art. 484 of the Civil Code, there is FACTS
co-ownership whenever the ownership of an
ELNA MERCADO-FEHR filed a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage against RULING
respondent BRUNO FRANZ FEHR on the ground (1) NO, it was not exclusively owned by BRUNO
of psychological incapacity to comply with the FRANZ FEHR.
essential marital obligations under Article 36 of It appears from the facts, as found by the trial
the Family Code. After due proceedings, the trial court, that in March 1983, after two years of long-
court declared the marriage between petitioner distance courtship, petitioner left Cebu City and
and respondent void ab initio under Article 36 of moved in with respondent in the latters residence
the Family Code. The court also ordered the in Metro Manila. Their relations bore fruit and
dissolution of their conjugal partnership of their first child, Michael BRUNO FRANZ FEHR,
property and in lieu thereof, a regime of complete was born in 1983. The couple got married on
separation of property between the said spouses March 14, 1985. In the meantime, they purchased
was established. The custody over the 2 minor on installment a condominium unit, Suite 204, at
children, MICHAEL BRUNO MERCADO FEHR LCG Condominium, as evidenced by a Contract
and PATRICK FRANZ FEHR was hereby to Sell dated 1983 executed by respondent as the
awarded to ELNA MERCADO-FEHR, she being buyer and J.V. Santos Commercial Corporation as
the innocent spouse. the seller. Petitioner also signed the contract as
ELNA MERCADO-FEHR then filed a motion witness, using the name Elna Mercado Fehr.
for reconsideration of said Order. She alleged that Upon completion of payment, the title to the
Suite 204 was purchased on installment basis at condominium unit was issued in the name of
the time when she and BRUNO FRANZ FEHR petitioner.
were living exclusively with each other as Hence, Suite 204 was acquired during the
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. parties cohabitation. Accordingly, under Article
Hence the rules on co-ownership should apply in 147 of the Family Code, said property should be
accordance with Article 147 of the Family Code governed by the rules on co-ownership.
and not the complete separation of property. She (2) What shall govern them is co-ownership.
also proposed that the Upper Basement and the Article 147 applies to unions of parties who
Lower Ground Floor of the LCG Condominium are legally capacitated and not barred by any
be adjudicated to her so that she could use the impediment to contract marriage, but without the
income from the lease of said premises for the benefit of marriage, or whose marriage is
support of the children, for the latters best nonetheless void, as in the case at bar. This
interest. provision creates a co-ownership with respect to
The trial court held that since the marriage the properties they acquire during their
between petitioner and respondent was declared cohabitation.
void ab intio, the rules on co-ownership should Any property acquired during the union is
apply in the liquidation and partition of the prima facie presumed to have been obtained
properties they own in common pursuant to through their joint efforts. A party who did not
Article 147 of the Family Code. The court, participate in the acquisition of the property shall
however, affirmed its previous ruling that Suite still be considered as having contributed thereto
204 of LCG Condominium was acquired prior to jointly if said partys efforts consisted in the care
the couples cohabitation and therefore pertained and maintenance of the family household.
solely to BRUNO FRANZ FEHR. On appeal with The disputed property, Suite 204 of LCG
the Court of Appeals, ELNA MERCADO-FEHRs Condominium, was purchased on installment
petition was dismissed for lack of merit. basis on July 26, 1983, at the time when petitioner
Hence, this appeal. She contended that the and respondent were already living together.
trial courts order was erronoeous when it held Hence, it should be considered as common
that Suite 204 of the LCG Condominium was the property of petitioner and respondent.
exclusive property of BRUNO FRANZ FEHR, The property regime of the parties should be
although it was established that they lived divided in accordance with the law on co-
together as husband and wife beginning March ownership. As regards the settlement of the
1983, before the execution of the Contract to Sell common properties of petitioner and respondent,
on July 1983. the Civil Code provisions on co-ownership should
BRUNO FRANZ FEHR however claimed that apply. Under Art. 484, in default of contracts or
Suite 204 of LCG Condominium to be his special provisions, co-ownership shall be
exclusive property as it was acquired on July governed by the provisions of Title III of the Civil
1983, prior to their marriage on March 1985. Code.

ISSUES ARTICLE 485: The share of the co-owners, in the


(1) Whether or not Suite 204 of LCG benefits as well as in charges, shall be proportional to
Condominium was exclusively owned by BRUNO their respective interests. Any stipulation in contract
FRANZ FEHR. to the contrary shall be void.
(2) Being that the marriage of ELNA
MERCADO-FEHR and BRUNO FRANZ FEHR RULES IN BENEFITS AND SHARES:
were declared to be void ab initio for the latters 1. The share in the benefits and charges is
psychological incapacity, what economic regime proportional to interest of each. Hence, if one
of property shall govern them?
co-owner owns 2/3, he shares 2/3 of the possession and enjoyment. Since her uncle Carlos
taxes. Jimenez died in 1936, his pro-indiviso share in the
2. Contrary stipulation is void. To do so would properties then owned in co-ownership with his
be to run against the nature of co-ownership. niece Sulpicia descended by intestacy to Sulpicia
3. Each co-owner share proportionally in the Jimenez alone because Carlos died without any
accretion or alluvium of the property. This is issue or other heirs.
because an increase in the area benefits all. Melecia Jimenez, who sold the property in
question to TEODORA GRADO was not the
JIMENEZ vs. FERNANDEZ daughter of Carlos Jimenez and therefore, had no
GR No. L-46364. April 6, 1990 right over the property in question. Melecia
Cayabyab in the absence of any voluntary
A property held in common, upon the death of conveyance to her by Carlos Jimenez or Sulpicia
a co-owner who died without any issue or heir Jimenez of the litigated portion of the land could
shall be owned by the other co-owner. The not even legally transfer the parcel of land to
portions belonging to each are presumed to be Edilberto Cagampan who accordingly, could not
equal. also legally transfer the same to herein private
respondents HOSPICIO FERNANDEZ and
FACTS TEODORA GRADO.
Fermin Jimenez owned a parcel of residential
land in Pangasinan. Fermin Jimenez had 2 sons ARTICLE 486: Each co-owner may use the thing
named Fortunato and Carlos Jimenez. This owned in common, provided he does so in accordance
Fortunato Jimenez who predeceased his father with the purpose for which it is intended and in such
had only one child, petitioner SULPICIA way as not to injure the interest if the co-ownership or
JIMENEZ. After the death of Fermin Jimenez, the prevent the other co-owners from using it according to
entire parcel of land was registered under Act 496 their rights. The purposes of the co-ownership may be
in the name of Carlos Jimenez and SULPICIA changed by agreement, express or implied.
JIMENEZ (uncle and niece) in equal shares pro-
indiviso. As a result, an OCT was issued in their 4. This article grants each co-owner the right to
names. use the property for the purpose intended
Later, Carlos Jimenez and his illegitimate (said purpose being alterable by express or
daughter, Melecia Cayabyab, also known as implied agreement). But:
Melecia Jimenez, took possession of the eastern 1) the interest of the co-ownership must
portion of the property consisting of 436 sq. m. not be injured or prejudiced;
Melecia Jimenez sold said portion of the property 2) and the other co-owners must not be
to Edilberto Cagampan. The latter also sold the prevented from using it.
same property to respondent TEODORA
GRADO, who has been in occupation since. ARTICLE 487: Any one of the co-owners may bring an
Subsequently, petitioner SULPICIA JIMENEZ action in ejectment.
executed an affidavit adjudicating unto herself the
other half of the property appertaining to Carlos 5. It is believed that ejectment covers the
Jimenez, upon manifestation that she is the only following actions:
heir of her deceased uncle. Consequently a TCT a) forcible entry
was issued in her name alone. Then, SULPICIA b) unlawful detainer
JIMENEZ and her husband, TORIBIO MATIAS c) accion publicianca
instituted an action for the recovery of the eastern d) accion reinvindicatoria
portion of the property consisting of 436 square e) quieting of title
meters occupied by respondent TEODORA f) replevin
GRADO and her son.
The trial court dismissed said complaint and PUNSALAN vs. BOON LIAT
held TEODORA GRADO as the absolute owner of GR No. 18009. January 10, 1923
the property. On appeal with the Court of
Appeals, the same decision was affirmed in toto. Co-owners file an action for recover not only
Hence, this appeal. against strangers but also against a co-owner,
when the latter performs with respect to the
ISSUE thing held in common, acts for their exclusive
Whether or not the disputed portion of the benefit, or of exclusive ownership, or which
property was owned by SULPICIA JIMENEZ as a are prejudicial to, and in violation of, the right
co-owner. of the community.

RULING FACTS
YES. SULPICIA JIMENEZ's title over her 1/2 In 1920, TAMSI saw from the Cawit-Cawit
undivided property remained good and shores in the Province of Zamboanga, a big bulky
continued to be good when she segregated it into object in the distance which attracted his
a new title. She should be entitled for the relief of attention. Thereupon, together with BAYRULA,
recovery of the disputed property and be declared he went in a small boat to investigate and found it
as its sole and absolute owner with right to its to be a large fish. They then returned to shore and
requested others to held them catch the fish. 22 CHUA and GO TONG. He received down
people rode in 3 small boats to catch said fish, payment immediately and the remaining balance
among them was respondent AHAMAD. After was paid later.
having arrived at the place where the fish was, When the other co-owners arrived at the
which was found to be a whale, they proceeded to house of Maharaja Butu, together with the
pull it toward the shore up to the mouth of the Chinamen buyers LIM CHIAT and CHEONG
river, where they quartered it. They found in its TONG, they found out that the ambergris was no
abdomen a great quantity of ambergris, which longer there. The 21 plaintiffs who had caught the
was placed in 3 sacks, 2 of which were full and the whale (PUNSALAN ET AL.) and the Chinamen
other half full. It was then taken to the house of buyers, Lim Chiat and Cheong Tong, who had
Maharaja Butu, where they left it to the care of purchased from Tamsi the ambergris filed an
AHAMAD. action against C. BOON LIAT, ONG CHUA, GO
All of these twenty-two persons made an TONG, HENRY E. TECK and AHAMAD. They
agreement that they were to be the sole owners of claimed the 801 kilos of ambergris contained in
this ambergris and that none of them could sell it the 3 trunks or its value in the amount of P60,000
without the consent of the rest. The contents of the and damages in the sum of P20,000.
2 full sacks were placed in three trunks. As to the
half sack of ambergris they agreed that some of ISSUES
them should take it to Zamboanga to sell for the (1) Whether or not the action was barred
purpose of ascertaining the market price of the because one of the respondents AHAMAD was a
ambergris, in order that they might dispose of the co-owner.
rest accordingly. (2) Whether or not the sales made by TAMSI
TAMSI, together with some of the co-owners and AHAMAD were valid.
went to Zamboanga to sell the half sack of
ambergris where they disposed of it to Chinamen RULING
Lim Chiat and Cheong Tong. They also offered to (1) NO. It was no bar to the bringing of this
sell the rest of the ambergris to them. After the action that the respondent AHAMAD is one of the
Chinamen agreed so, they back to Cawit-Cawit to co-owners. The action for recovery which each co-
get the ambergris so sold. owner has, derived from the right of ownership
It appeared however that HENRY E. TECK inherent in the co-ownership. The right may be
also knew of the existence of the ambergris in the exercised not only against strangers but also
house of Maharaja Butu. Knowing that some of against co-owners themselves, when the latter
the co-owners were away, he proposed to the perform with respect to the thing held in
master of the revenue cutter Mindoro to go to common, acts for their exclusive benefit, or of
Cawit-Cawit to seize some supposedly exclusive ownership, or which are prejudicial to,
contraband opium. They then immediately and in violation of, the right of the community.
proceeded to Cawit-Cawit, among them were In this case, the selling of the ambergris by the
HENRY E. TECK, Chinamen C. BOON LIAT, respondent AHAMAD as his exclusive property
ONG CHUA and GO TONG, and some others and his attitude in representing himself to be the
who were to assist in the arrest of the smugglers. sole owner thereof placed him in the same
Upon arrival in the house of Maharaja Butu, position as the stranger who violated any right of
the master proceeded to search the house. He the community. Hence, he was not sued as a co-
found 3 large trunks containing a black substance owner for the cause of action is predicated upon
which had a bad odor, stating that it was opium. the fact that he has acted not as a co-owner but as
When he asked the owner of the house to whom an exclusive owner of the ambergris sold by him.
those trunks belonged to, the latter pointed to (2) NO. The sales were not valid. The ambergris
AHAMAD. The latter stated that the contents in question was the undivided common property
came from the abdomen of a large fish but the of the plaintiffs and the respondent AHAMAD.
master, however insisted that it was opium and This common ownership was acquired by
told AHAMAD that he would take the 3 trunks occupancy, so that neither TAMSI, IMAM
on board the ship to Zamboanga. AHAMAD and LUMUYOD, or IMAM ASAKIL had any right to
others asked permission of the master to sell it, as they did, to LIM CHIAT and CHEONG
accompany him on the voyage to Zamboanga, to TONG, nor had the Moro Ahamad any right to
which the master consented. sell this same ambergris, as he did, to C. BOON
When already on board and during the LIAT, ONG CHUA, GO TONG, and HENRY E.
voyage, the master became convinced that the TECK. There was an agreement between the
contents of the three trunks were not opium. coowners not to sell this ambergris without the
During the voyage, HENRY E. TECK offered to consent of all. Both sales having been made
purchase the ambergris contained in the 3 trunks, without the consent of all the owners, the same
but AHAMAD refused to sell it for the reason that have no effect, except as to the portion pertaining
he was not the sole owner thereof, but owned it in to those who made them.
common with other persons who were in
.Zamboanga. However, upon telling AHAMAD Note: An ambergris is a solid, opaque, waxy,
that he would answer whatever might happen, ash-colored secretion from whales, which is
AHAMAD sold the ambergris to HENRY E. used in perfumery.
TECK and the Chinamen C. BOON LIAT, ONG
reimbursed by ABEJO.
DE GUIA vs. CA The court rendered judgment in favor of
GR No. 120864. October 8, 2003 ABEJO and ordered DE GUIA to return to the
former, the undivided portion of the 79,200 sq.
Art. 487 covers all kinds of actions for the m. fishpond and to equally enjoy its benefits and
recovery of possession. A co-owner may file an fruits until such time that partition of the property
action for recovery of possession against a co- be effected. On appeal, with the Court of Appeals,
owner who takes exclusive possession of the the court dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
entire co-owned property. However, the only Agrrieved, DE GUIA petitioned the Supreme
effect of such action is a recognition of the co- Court for review. He claimed that an action for
ownership. recovery of possession and turn-over of the
undivided portion of a common property is not
Before partition, co-owners have joint right of proper before partition and that the recovery of
dominion over property. rent was also erroneous since the exact identity of
the portion in question had not yet been clearly
FACTS
defined and delineated.
2 parcels of land covering a fishpond with a
total area of 79,220 sq. m., situated in Meycauayan, ISSUES
Bulacan was equally owned by Primitiva Lejano (1) Whether an action for recovery of possession
and Lorenza Araniego. The property was and turn-over of the undivided portion of a
registered in both their names. common property is proper before partition.
In 1974, the whole fishpond was the subject of (2) Whether or not the recovery of rent is proper
a Salin ng Pamumusisyong ng Palaisdaan executed even if the exact identity of the portion in question
by the heirs of Primitiva Lejano in favor of one had not yet been clearly defined and delineated.
Aniano Victa and petitioner MANUEL DE GUIA.
Said Lease Contract was with the knowledge and RULING
consent of Teofilo Abejo, sole heir of Lorenza (1) NO, partition is necessary to effect physical
Araniego. The contract provided that the period of division of the FISHPOND between ABEJO and
lease shall be until 1979. DE GUIA.
Later, Teofilo Abejo acquired Lorenza Article 487 of the Civil Code provides, [a]ny
Araniego Abejos undivided share in the one of the co-owners may bring an action in
FISHPOND by intestate succession. In 1983, of ejectment. This article covers all kinds of actions
the undivided portion owned by Araniego for the recovery of possession. Article 487
corresponding to 39,611 sq. m. was later includes forcible entry, unlawful detainer,
purchased by JOSE ABEJO from his father Teofilo recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and
Abejo. recovery of ownership (accion de reivindicacion).
When the contract expired and DE GUIA A co-owner may file an action for recovery of
failed to surrender the fishpond, written demands possession against a co-owner who takes
were made for him to pay back rental and to exclusive possession of the entire co-owned
vacate the premises in question. However, DE property. However, the only effect of such action
GUIA refused to deliver possession and also to is a recognition of the co-ownership. The courts
pay the rentals due. cannot proceed with the actual partitioning of the
In anticipation, however, that DE GUIA co-owned property.
wouldl vacate the fishpond, JOSE ABEJO in 1983 Thus, judicial or extra-judicial partition is
entered into a 2-year Kasunduan ng Buwisan ng necessary to effect physical division of the
Palaisdaan with Ruperto C. Villarico for P50,000. FISHPOND between ABEJO and DE GUIA. An
This contract had to be cancelled and the action for partition is also the proper forum for
consideration was also returned because DE GUIA accounting the profits received by DE GUIA from
refused to vacate the fishpond. the FISHPOND.
Hence, in 1986 ABEJO filed an action for However, as a necessary consequence of such
recovery of possession of of his share of the said recognition of co-ownership, ABEJO shall exercise
fishpond with damages against DE GUIA. an equal right to possess, use and enjoy the entire
On the other hand, DE GUIA contended that FISHPOND. Hence, ABEJO and DE GUIA had
ABEJO was not the owner of the entire become owners of the whole and over the whole,
FISHPOND but one Maxima Termulo who died they exercise the right of dominion. However,
intestate with Primitiva Lejano as her only heir. they were at the same time individual owners of a
The entire fishpond with an area of 79,200 sq. m. portion, which is truly abstract because until
was leased to him by the heirs of Primitiva Lejano. there is partition, such portion remains
Subsequently, he became the absolute owner of indeterminate or unidentified. As co-owners,
of the undivided area of the fishpond from the ABEJO and DE GUIA may jointly exercise the
heir of Lejano and he questioned ABEJOs right of dominion over the entire FISHPOND
ownership of the other half as void and until they partition the FISHPOND by identifying
fraudulent. As to the area pertaining to ABEJO, or segregating their respective portions.
DE GUIA claimed that he introduced (2) YES, recovery of rent is proper even if the
improvements worth P500,000 and being a builder exact identity of the portion in question had not
in good faith, he asked that he should be yet been clearly defined and delineated was
proper. The co-owner who failed to make
The Lejano Heirs and Teofilo Abejo agreed to notification has the burden of proof to
lease the entire FISHPOND to DE GUIA. After prove the reasonableness of the
DE GUIAs lease expired in 1979, he could no expenses. And if he failed to prove
longer use the entire FISHPOND without paying the reasonableness of the expenses
rent. To allow DE GUIA to continue using the then he must take care of the
entire FISHPOND without paying rent would difference, he must take care of the
prejudice ABEJOs right to receive rent, which excess.
would have accrued to his share in the
FISHPOND had it been leased to others. ADILLE vs. CA
Since ABEJO acquired his undivided share GR No. 44546. January 29, 1988
in the FISHPOND on 22 November 1983, DE
GUIA should pay ABEJO reasonable rent for his When a co-owner has repurchased a property
possession and use of ABEJOs portion beginning held in common with his own funds alone, it
from that date. did not terminate the co-ownership. The
expenses he incurred shall be subject to
ARTICLE 488: Each co-owner shall have the right to reimbursement from the remaining co-
compel the other co-owners to contribute o the expenses owners.
of preservation of the thing or right owned in common
and to the taxes. Any one of the latter may exempt FACTS
himself from this obligation by renouncing so much of Leliza Alzul originally owned a lot of the
his undivided interest as may be equivalent to his share Cadastral Survey of Albay in Legaspi City,
of the expenses and taxes, no such waiver shall be made containing an area 11,325 sq. m. Alzul married
if it is prejudicial to the co-ownership. twice in her lifetime. The first, marriage was with
one Bernabe Adille, with whom she had as an
ARTICLE 489: Repairs for preservation may be made only child, herein petitioner RUSTICO ADILLE.
at the will of one of the co-owners, but he must, if The second, was with one Procopio Asejo, with
practicable, first notify his co-owners of the necessity whom she has 5 children, herein respondents
for such repairs. Expenses to improve or embellish the EMETERIA ASEJO, TEODORICA ASEJO,
thing shall be decided upon by a majority as DOMINGO ASEJO, JOSEFA ASEJO, and
determined in Article 492. SANTIAGO ASEJO (ASEJOs).
In 1939, Alzul sold the property in pacto de
Two (2) kinds of repair: retro to certain 3rd persons with a period of 3
(1) repair for the preservation of the years for repurchase. She died in 1942 without
thing; being able to redeem said property. However,
o These are necessary expenses to after her death, but during the period of
preserve the thing owned in redemption, RUSTICO ADILLE repurchased by
common. himself alone said property. In 1955, he executed a
o They may be made by the will of deed of extra-judicial partition representing
one of the co-owners. A co-owner himself to be the only heir and child of his mother
can actually go ahead and repair that he was able to secure a title, transferring the
the thing owned in common but said property registered in the name of his
he must notify his co-owners of mother, in his name alone.
the necessity for such repairs. So After some efforts of compromise had failed,
he does not need to acquire the ADILLEs half-brothers and sisters, the ASEJOs
consent. filed an action for partition with accounting on
(2) Repair for improvement or the position that he was only a trustee on an
embellishment. implied trust when he redeemed said property.
These are not necessary ADILLE also filed a counterclaim against her half-
repairs but repairs to improve sister and one of the defendants herein
the thing co-owned. EMETERIA ASEJO, who was found to be in
possession of a portion of said property to vacate
REQUIREMENT: It must be made by the the premises.
financial majority, as determined under Art. 492. The trial court declared ADILLE as absolute
o Financial majority - co-owners who owner of the property in question and
represent the controlling interest of condemned EMETRIA ASEJO to vacate the
the object of the co-ownership. property. The Court of Appeals though, ruled in
favor of the ASEJOs. Aggrieved, ADILLE file this
o Rule if notification was practicable petition. He contended that the property subject
but not made: of dispute devolved upon him upon the failure of
o The other co-owners may claim that his coheirs to join him in its redemption within
had they been notified they could the period required by law.
have found cheaper materials and
therefore they should pay less than ISSUE
what is being charged. But because of Whether or not a ADILLE who was a co-
Art 488, they still have to reimburse. owner may acquire
exclusive ownership over the property he held in
common with the ASEJOs? Condominium Act, RA 4726.

RULING Condominium - It is an interest in a real


NO. The right of repurchase may be exercised property consisting of:
by a co-owner with respect to his share alone. Separate interest in a unit of a building as
While the records show that the petitioner sole ownership. Sole ownership with
redeemed the property in its entirety, shouldering respect to the unit.
the expenses therefore, that did not make him the An individual interest with respect to the
owner of all of it. In other words, it did not put to common areas like the land, stairs, beams,
end the existing state of co-ownership. elevators, and other common areas. And,
There is no doubt that redemption of property this is co-ownership.
entails a necessary expense. Necessary expenses In condominium, there is sole ownership
then may be incurred by one co-owner, subject to and co-ownership at the same time.
his right to collect reimbursement from the A condominium is actually a corporation.
remaining co-owners under Art. 488. When you a buy a unit in a condo, you
The redemption by one co-heir or co-owner of become a member of the condominium
the property in its totality does not vest in him corporation.
ownership over it. Failure on the part of all the co- A condominium is the exception to the
owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to constitutional provision that aliens
retain the property and consolidate title thereto in cannot own properties in the Philippines.
his name. But the provision does not give to the Condo units can be sold to aliens
redeeming co-owner the right to the entire provided that 60% of the condo is owned
property. It does not provide for a mode of by Filipinos
terminating a co-ownership.
Neither does the fact that the petitioner had SUNSET VIEW vs. CAMPOS
succeeded in securing title over the parcel in his GR Nos. 52361 & 52524. April 27, 1981
name terminate the existing co-ownership. While
his half-brothers and sisters are, as we said, liable Ownership over a condominium unit is
to him for reimbursement as and for their shares acquired by the buyer only after he had paid
in redemption expenses, he cannot claim the purchase price. The ownership of the unit
exclusive right to the property owned in common. is what makes the buyer a shareholder in the
Registration of property is not a means of condominium.
acquiring ownership
FACTS
ARTICLE 490: Whenever the different stories of a The petitioner SUNSET VIEW
house belong to different owners, if the titles of CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION was a
ownership do not specify the terms under which they Condominium Corporation within the meaning of
should contribute to the necessary expenses and there The Condominium Act (RA 4726). It filed 2
exists no agreement on the subject, the following rules separate cases against private respondents
shall be observed: AGUILAR-BERNARES REALTY and LIM SIU
LENG. The court consolidated the 2 cases being
(1.) The main and party walls, the roof and the that it involved similar facts and raised identical
other things used in common, shall be questions of law.
preserved at the expense of all the owners in
proportion to the value of the story belonging GR No. 52361
to each; Private respondent AGUILAR-BERNARES
REALTY was a registered business owned and
(2.) Each co-owner shall bear the cost of operated by the spouses Emmanuel and Zenaida
maintaining the floor of his story; the floor of B. Aguilar. It was the assignee of a unit, "Solana",
the entrance, front door, common yard and in the SUNSET VIEW CONDOMINIUM PROJECt
sanitary works common to all, shall be with LA PERLA COMMERCIAL
maintained at the expense of all the owners INCORPORATED, as assignor. LA PERLA
pro rata. bought the "Solana" unit on installment from the
Tower Builders, Inc. In 1979, SUNSET VIEW
(3.) The stairs from the entrance to the first story CONDO, filed for the collection of assessments
shall be maintained at the expense of all the levied on the unit against AGUILAR REALTY.
owners pro rata, with the exception of the The latter filed a motion to dismiss.
owner on the ground floor, the stairs from the
first to the second story shall be preserved at GR No. 52524
the expense of all, except the owner of the
In 1977, Private respondent LIM SIU LENG
ground floor and the owner of the first story,
was assigned a unit called "Alegria" of the Sunset
and so on successively.
View Condominium Project by Alfonso Uy who
had entered into a "Contract to Buy and Sell" with
Art. 490 talks about perpendicular co-
Tower Builders, Inc. over the said unit on
ownership.
installment basis. In 1979, SUNSENT VIEW
CONDO filed an action for the collection of purchase price shall the buyer of the
overdue accounts on assessments and insurance condominium unit be granted shares of stocks.
premiums and the interest thereon from LIM. LIM Consequently, even under the contract, it is only
filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that by the owner of a unit who is a shareholder of the
having purchased the condominium unit, she has Condominium Corporation. Hence, a purchaser
automatically become a stockholder of SUNSET of a unit who has not paid the full purchase price
VIEW CONDO, pursuant to Sec. 2 of The thereof is not the owner of the unit and
Condominium Act. Hence, the dispute being consequently is not a shareholder of the
intra-corporate should have been under the Condominium Corporation.
exclusive jurisdiction of the Securities & Exchange Third. Under The Condominium Act,
Commission as provided in Sec. 5 of P.D. No. 902- ownership of a unit is a condition sine qua non to
A. being a shareholder in the Condominium
Corporation. It follows that a purchaser of a unit
The respondent JUDGE JOSE C. CAMPOS who is not yet the owner thereof for not having
dismissed the 2 cases and opined that AGUILAR fully paid the full purchase price, is not a
REALTY and LIM, respectively were holders of a shareholder. By necessary implication, the
separate interest pursuant to Sec. 2 of The "separate interest" in a condominium, which
Condominium Act. Thus, being a shareholder of entities the holder to become automatically a
SUNSET VIEW CONDO, the case should have shareholder in the Condominium Corporation, as
been filed with the Securities & Exchange provided in Sec. 2 of the Condominium Act, can
Commission which had exclusive original be no other than ownership of a unit. This is so
jurisdiction on controversies arising between because nobody can be a shareholder unless he is
shareholders of the corporation. A motion for the owner of a unit and when he ceases to be the
reconsideration was also denied. owner, he also ceases automatically to be a
Aggrieved, SUNSET VIEW CONDO filed a shareholder.
petition to review with the Court of Appeals. In The private respondents, therefore, who have
both cases, private respondents therein AGUILAR not fully paid the purchase price of their units and
REALTY and LIM argued that every purchaser of are consequently not owners of their units are not
a condominium unit, regardless of whether or not members or shareholders of the petitioner
he has fully paid the purchase price, is a "holder of Condominium Corporation. Being that they were
a separate interest" mentioned in Sec. 2 of The not shareholders in the Condominium
Condominium Act and is automatically a Corporation, the Securities and Exchange
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation. Commission did not have jurisdiction over the
case.
ISSUE
Whether or not AGUILAR REALTY and LIM, Art. 491: None of the co-owners shall, without the
who had not yet fully paid the purchase price of consent of the others, make alterations in the thing
the condominium units they respectively bought owned in common, even though benefits for all would
from SUNSET VIEW CONDO had automatically result therefrom. However, if the withholding of the
become a stockholder of the Condominium consent by one or more of the co-owners is clearly
Corporation. prejudicial to the common interest, the courts may
afford adequate relief.
RULING
NO. Sec. 5 of The Condominium Act (RA Act of alteration is an act of ownership,
4726) expressly provides that the shareholding in not merely an act of administration.
the Condominium Corporation will be conveyed there is a need for the unanimity of
only in a proper case. It is clear then that not consent
every purchaser of a condominium unit is a Consent here may be tacit or express
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation.
The court held that a purchaser of a Effect of a tacit consent:
condominium unit shall only become a the co-owner who is deemed to have tacitly
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation. consented to the alteration cannot ask for
The court premised it on the Master Deed of the its demolition, neither can he be held
condominium, the deed of conveyance and The liable to answer for any part of the
Condominium Act itself. expenses incurred therein because the
First. The Condominium Act leaves to the obligation to pay such expenses cannot be
Master Deed the determination of when the deemed to be the subject of his tacit
shareholding will be transferred to the purchaser consent, unless he wants or if he derives
of a unit. The Master Deed states that the benefit out of the new undertaking, then
shareholding in the Condominium Corporation is the other co-owners may compel him to
inseparable from the unit to which it is only contribute.
appurtenant, and that only the owner of a unit is a
shareholder in the Condominium Corporation. Alteration: Characteristics:
Second. In both deeds of conveyance entered 1) Alteration is a change which is
into by AGUILAR REALTY and LIM, it was more or less permanent in
provided that only after the full payment of the character.
2) It changes the use of the thing
owned in common. If a co-owner has constructed an improvement
3) It prejudices the condition of co- on the land without the consent of the other
ownership or the enjoyment by co-owners, he shall have no right of
others. reimbursement.
Examples of alteration:
sale, donation, mortgage, voluntary easement FACTS
Since 1860, a parcel of lot locate in Malate,
When is the alteration illegal? Manila was owned by Manuel Javier, father of
1. When the co-owner does not ask petitioner LONGINOS JAVIER and respondent
for the consent of the other co- SEGUNDO JAVIER. Since then, it had been
owners; occupied by his children and that no one of these
2. when he asks for the consent of children ever made any claim to the ownership
the other co-owners but they thereof, and no one of them ever occupied the
object; property as owner. Thereon, SEGUNDO and his
3. When he proceeds with the wife ISABEL HERNANDEZ constructed a house
alteration even though the other thereon.
c0-owners object. Subsequently, LONGINOS, as administrator
So, what is the effect of illegal alteration of the estate of his father filed an action in court
without the consent? The co-owner contesting ownership over the house and lot. The
responsible may lose what has spent; the lower court ruled that the land belonged to
demolition may be compelled; the co- LONGINOS as administrator of the estate of his
owner responsible will be liable for losses father while the house was owned by respondents
and damages to the other co-owners. ISABEL HERNANDEZ and her son MANUEL
But whatever benefits the co-ownership RAMON JAVIER. Judgment was rendered in
derives belong to it. For example, the favor of LONGINOS for the possession of the
house has already been built, B and C property but SEGUNDO ET AL. were given a
were abroad, they were not informed reasonable opportunity to remove the house.
about the construction and when they On appeal, SEGUNDO ET AL. contended that
came back, they saw the house, can B and the case should be decided by an application of
C benefit? YES. the principles of law relating to the community of
In case a house is constructed on a property because a community of property
common lot, all the co-owners will be existed as the house was owned by them while
entitled to a proportionate share of the the land by the LONGINOS. They also declared
rent. that they were possessors in good faith and that
they should be reimbursed for the construction of
Take note of the unanimity of consent. If the house.
it involves acts of ownership, there must
be unanimity of consent. If it merely ISSUES
involves acts of administration, then (1) Whether or not there is a co-ownership
majority may suffice. when the house and the land are owned by
different persons.
THE FF. ARE ACTS OF (2) Whether or not SEGUNDO ET AL. was
ADMINISTRATION: entitled for reimbursement for the construction of
1) They are those that do not involve an the house.
alteration;
2) Those that maybe renewed from time to time. RULING
What are the acts of administration which (1) NO. The ownership of a house by one
may be renewed from time to time? For person, and of the land on which it stands by
example, the co-ownership, A and B own a another does not create a community of property
hotel and they want to change the manager, Such a condition of affairs did not create a
thats an act of administration. community of property. If, on the other hand, it
3) Those that have transitory effect, that is, do was meant that community of property existed
not bind the co-ownership for a long time in because the land itself belonged to the heirs of
the future; Manuel Javier, and that two of the respondents
4) Those that do not give rise to a real right over were such heirs, it can be said that the decision of
the thing owned in common; the court below was fully as favorable to the
5) Those, which even if called an alteration, do appellants as it could be.
not affect the substance or nature of the thing. (2) NO, he should not be entitled for
reimbursement of the house he constructed
JAVIER vs. JAVIER thereon.
GR No. 2812. October 18, 1906 SEGUNDO could not claim for
reimbursement a builder in good faith since he
The ownership of a house by one person, and was in bad faith as he and his wife had always
of the land on which it stands by another, does believed that the land did not belong to them but
not create a community of property. belonged to the estate of Manuel Javier.
He could not also be reimbursed under Art. assign, or mortgage it, and even substitute another
491 (then Art. 397) of the Civil Code, which relates person in its enjoyment, except when the personal
to improvements made upon the common rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or
property by one of the co-owners. The burden of the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be
proof was on SEGUNDO ET AL. to show that the limited to the portion which maybe allotted to him in
house was built with the consent of their co- the division upon the termination of the co-ownership.
tenants. According to Manresa, Even if a tacit
consent was shown, this would not require such What are the rights of the co-owner
co-tenants to pay for the house. with respect to his ideal share?
1. He has full ownership of his part.
ARTICLE 492: For the administration and better 2. He has full ownership of the fruits of their
employment of the thing owned in common, the part and the benefits.
resolutions of the majority of the co-owners shall be 3. Each co-owner may alienate, assign, or
binding. mortgage his undivided share. When a
There shall be no majority unless the co-owner alienates his undivided share to
resolution is approved by the co-owners who represent a stranger, the other co-owner has the
the controlling interest in the object of the co- right of legal redemption.
ownership. 4. He may even substitute another person in
Should there by no majority, or should the its enjoyment except when personal rights
resolution of the majority be seriously prejudicial to are involved. For example, my 1/3 share
those interested in the property owned in common, the shall be given to my son, I can do that.
court, at the instance of an interested party, shall order 5. He may exempt himself from necessary
such measures as it may deem proper, including the expenses and taxes by renouncing part of
appointment of an administrator. his interest in the co-ownership.
Whenever a part of the thing belongs
exclusively to one of the co-owners and the remainder Each co-owner shall have the full
is owned in common, the preceeding provisions shall ownership of his part and of the fruits
apply only to the part owned in common. and benefits pertaining thereto, and he
may therefore alienate, assign or
The phrase "administration and better mortgage it, and even substitute another
enjoyment" contemplates acts or decisions person in its enjoyment, except when
for the common benefit of all the co- personal rights are involved. But the
owners and not for the benefit of only one effect of the alienation or the mortgage,
of the co-owner or some of them. with respect to the co-owners, shall be
limited to the portion which may be
Financial majority refers to those who allotted to him in the division upon the
represent a controlling interest in the termination of the co-ownership.
object of co-ownership. So you look at the
percentage of ownership of the particular
co-owner. MERCADO vs. LIWANAG
The general rule is a financial majority's GR No. L-14429. June 30, 1962
decision is sufficient, only that it requires
notice to such minority. Exception, in What a co-owner may dispose of under Article
cases of extreme urgency and the 493 is only his undivided aliquot share, which
impracticability of giving notice, as one of shall be limited to the portion which may be
the co-owners is nowhere to be found. allotted to him upon the termination of the co-
ownership. He has no right to divide the
Now, when may the court interfere property into parts and then convey one part
with the division spend for improvement by metes and bounds.
or embellishment?
1. when there is no financial FACTS
majority or according to Petitioner RAMON MERCADO and his wife,
provision; or BASILIA MERCADO, as co-owners, owned a
2. even if there is financial parcel of land in Quezon City, with an area of
majority, if the resolution 4,392 sq. m. Said land was registered in both their
of the majority is seriously names. In 1956, without the consent of his wife,
prejudicial to those RAMON MERCADO sold half of the said land
interested in the property with an area of 2,196 sq. m. at P70 per sq. m. to
owned in common. respondent PIO D. LIWANAG. A Deed of Sale was
However, the court cannot interfere motu subsequently executed which described the sold
propio without any case filed by an property in metes and bounds.
interested party. When LIWANAG registered the Deed of Sale,
he found out that out of the total area of 4,392 sq.
ARTICLE 493: Each so-owner shall have the full m., an area consisting of 391 sq. m. was
ownership of his part, and of the fruits and benefits expropriated by the National Power Corporation
pertaining thereto and he may therefore alienate, sometime in 1953 at a price of P10 per sq. m.
Pursuant to the Deed of Sale, aTCT was issued in transaction is in accordance with Article 493 of the
the name of LIWANAG and BASILIA Civil Code.
MERCADO.
Later, RAMON and BASILIA MERCADO
filed an action in court to annul the Deed of Sale ACEBEDO vs. ABESAMIS
based on Art. 493 of the Civil Code. For his part, GR No. 102380. January 18, 1993
LIWANAG submitted a receipt of a check signed
by RAMON MERCADO and a promissory note. It is within the jurisdiction of the probate
However, RAMON MERCADO disclaimed court to approve the sale of properties of a
payment and receipt of such check and deceased person by his prospective heirs before
promissory note, the check being un-encashed final adjudication.
and is still in the possession of one Atty. de
Gracia. An heir can sell his ideal share including the
The trial court however, held that under Art. rights, interests, or participation he may have
493 of the Civil Code, the sale in question was in the property held in common under
valid and so it dismissed the complaint. administration.
Hence, this appeal. SPOUSES MERCADO
alleged that the Deed of Sale sought to be annulled FACTS
because RAMON MERCADO disposed of a The late Felix Acebedo left an estate consisting
divided and determinate half of the land under of several real estate properties located in Quezon
co-ownership when in the TCT, only stated that City and Caloocan City, with a conservative
what was merely sold was an undivided half- estimated value of about P30 million. His estate
share of the property has several unsettled claims. He was succeeded
by eight heirs. Two of whom, were petitioners
ISSUE HERODOTUS (administrator) and
Whether or not a Deed of Sale may be validly DEMOSTHENES (PETITIONER HEIRS) and the
annulled. others, private respondents MIGUEL,
ALEXANDER, NAPOLEON, RIZALINO,
RULING REPUBLICA and FILIPINAS (RESPONDENT
NO, the Deed of Sale may not be validly HEIRS), all of whom were surnamed ACEBEDO.
annulled. In 1989, due to the prolonged pendency of the
What a co-owner may dispose of under settlement of the estate of the deceased before the
Article 493 is only his undivided aliquot share, respondent court under JUDGE BERNARDO P.
which shall be limited to the portion which may ABESAMIS for 16 years, RESPONDENT HEIRS
be allotted to him upon the termination of the co- filed a Motion for Approval of Sale. The said sale
ownership. He has no right to divide the property involved the properties, which formed part of the
into parts and then convey one part by metes and estate. The consideration for said lots was twelve
bounds. P12 million and by that time, they already had a
In the deed of sale, MERCADO transferred and buyer. In the motion, it was also alleged by the
conveyed to LIWANAG his title and interests on RESPONDENT HEIRS that they had already
half of the portion of said property in metes ad received their proportionate share of the P6
bounds. Nevertheless, upon registration of the million paid by the buyer, YU HWA PING, as
sale, the new TCT did not reproduce the earnest money. They also averred that the
description in the instrument but carried the remaining balance of P6 million was more than
names of PIO D. LIWANAG and BASILIA enough to pay the unsettled claims against the
MERCADO as co-owners pro-indiviso. estate. Thus, they prayed for the Court to direct
As far as Basilia Mercado is concerned she the administrator, HERODOTUS ACEBEDO to
retained in all their integrity her rights as co- sell the properties, to pay all the claims against the
owner which she had before the sale, and estate with the balance of P6 million, and to
consequently she had no cause to complain. Much distribute the residue among the Heirs in final
less has Ramon Mercado, for it was he who was settlement of the Estate.
responsible for whatever indicia there may be in However, Petitoner-administrator
the deed of sale that a determinate portion of the HERODOTUS ACEBEDO, interposed an
property was being sold. Opposition to Approval of Sale, wherein he
The title is the final and conclusive repository contended that some of the real properties left by
of the rights of the new co-owners. The question their father was sold at a shockingly low price
of whether or not the Deed of Sale should be without the consent of the court. PETITIONER
annulled must be considered in conjunction with HEIRS also moved that they be given 45 days to
the title issued pursuant thereto. Since, according look for a buyer who was willing to pay the
to the title, what LIWANAG acquired by virtue of properties at a price higher than P12 million.
the sale is only an undivided half-share of the However, during hearing, the PETITIONER
property, which under the law the vendor HEIRS did not find any buyer offering better
RAMON MERCADO had the absolute right to terms that they asked for a 30-day extension.
dispose of, the trial court committed no error in After having miserably failed to find a better
dismissing the action. The end-result of the buyer for 7 months, Petitoner-administrator
HERODOTUS ACEBEDO filed another Opposition
to Approval of Sale. The court issued an order the death of the decedent, in case the inheritance
denying the petition of the RESPONDENT HEIRS is accepted. Where there are however, two or
to sell the properties in favor of YU HWA PING. more heirs, the whole estate of the decedent is,
Later, the court issued an order resolving to before its partition, owned in common by such
call the parties to a conference but during the heirs.
conference, still, the parties were unable to arrive The Civil Code, under the provisions on co-
at an agreement. Later, it was agreed by the he ownership, further qualifies this right. Although it
parties that the heirs be allowed to sell their is mandated that each co-owner shall have the full
shares of the properties to YU HWA PING for the ownership of his part and of the fruits and
price already agreed upon while herein benefits pertaining thereto, and thus may alienate,
PETITIONER HEIRS negotiated for a higher price assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another
with YU HWA PING. person in its enjoyment, the effect of the alienation
Subsequently, PETITIONER HEIRS instead or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners,
filed a Supplemental Opposition to the approval of shall be limited to the portion which may be
the Deed of Conditional Sale. However, the Court in allotted to him in the division upon the
its decision, approved the Conditional Sale termination of the co-ownership. In other words,
executed by the REPONDENT HEIRS in favor of the law does not prohibit a co-owner from selling,
YU HWA PING, pertaining to their respective alienating or mortgaging his ideal share in the
shares in the properties. Petitioner-administrator property held in common.
Herodotus Acebedo was then ordered to sell the
remaining portions of the said properties also in
favor of Yu Hwa Ping at the same price. BAILON vs. CA
Pending resolution the Motion for Execution GR No. L-18178. April 15,1988
of the Order filed by RESPONDENT HEIRS,
PETITIONER HEIRS filed a petition for certiorari. Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his
They maintained that said Conditional Sale was undivided share, a sale of the entire property
null and void for lack of prior court approval. by one co-owner without the consent of the
other co-owners is not null and void.
ISSUES However, only the rights of the co-owner-
(1) Whether or not the lower court acting as a seller are transferred, thereby making the
probate court may validly issue an order buyer a co-owner of the property.
approving the Deed of Conditional Sale executed
by RESPONDENT HEIRS without prior court FACTS
approval and to order PETITIONER- A parcel of land with an area of 48,849 square
ADMINISTRATOR to sell the remaining portion meters was covered by an OCT in the names of
of said properties. Rosalia, Gaudencio, SABINA, Bernabe, Nenita
(2) Whether or not an heir can sell whatever and Delia Bailon, as co-owners, each with a 1/6
right, interest, or participation he may have in the share. Gaudencio and Nenita were then dead, the
property under administration r latter being represented in this case by her
children Luz, Emma and Nilda. Bernabe went to
RULING China in 1931 and had not been heard from since
(1) YES. it is within the jurisdiction of the then.
probate court to approve the sale of properties of In 1948, Rosalia and Gaudencio Bailon sold a
a deceased person by his prospective heirs before portion of the said land consisting of 16,283
final adjudication. This authority is necessarily square meters to Donato Delgado. A year after,
included in its capacity as a probate court. Rosalia alone sold the remainder of the land
Therefore, it is clear that the probate court in the consisting of 32,566 square meters to Ponciana V.
case at bar, acted within its jurisdiction in issuing Aresgado de Lanuza. On the same date, Lanuza
the Order approving the Deed of Conditional acquired from Delgado the 16,283 sq. m. of land,
Sale. which the latter had earlier acquired from Rosalia
The position maintained by herein petitioners and Gaudencio. In 1975, John Lanuza, acting
that said conditional sale is null and void for lack under a special power of attorney given by his
of prior court approval was erroneous. The sale wife, Ponciana V. Aresgado de Lanuza, sold the
precisely was made conditional, the condition two parcels of land to CELESTINO AFABLE.
being that the same should first be approved by In all these transfers, it was stated in the
the probate court. deeds of sale that the land was not registered
This is a matter, which comes under the under the provisions of Act No. 496 when the fact
jurisdiction of the probate court. was that it was.
(2) YES, an heir can sell whatever right, interest, In 1981, petitionners DELIA BAILON-
or participation he may have in the property CASILAO, LUZ PAULINO-ANG, EMMA
under administration. The right of an heir to PAULINO-YBANEZ, NILDA PAULINO-
dispose of the decedent's property, even if the TOLENTINO, and SABINA BAILON (BAILONs)
same is under administration, is based on the filed a case for recovery of property and damages
Civil Code provision stating that the possession of with notice of lis pendens herein private
hereditary property is deemed transmitted to the respondent, CELESTINO AFABLE.
heir without interruption and from the moment of
In his defense, AFABLE claimed that he had Although Gertrudes redeemed the property in
acquired the land in question through its entirety, shouldering the expenses therefor,
prescription and contended that the BAILONs that did not make her the owner of all of it.
were guilty of laches. He later filed a third-party FACTS
complaint against Rosalia for damages allegedly Adriano Leis and Gertrudes Isidro were
suffered as a result of the sale to him of the land. married in1923. In 1955, Gertrudes acquired from
After trial, the lower court declared AFABLE the then Department of Agriculture and Natural
as a co-owner of the land, having validly bought Resources (DANR), a parcel of land with an area
2/6 respective undivided shares of Rosalia and of 100 sq. m. situated in Marikina, Rizal. The Deed
Gaudencio. It also ordered the termination of the of Sale, Gertrudes was described as a widow.
co-ownership and the delineation of the specific Hence, a TCT was issued in her name, which
part of each owner though a Geodetic Engineer. described her as a widow.
On appeal, the respondent Court of Appeals In 1973, Adriano died intestate. In 1985,
affirmed the decision of the lower court. Hence, Gertrudes obtained a P15,000 loan from
this appeal. petitioners SPOUSES ALEXANDER AND
ADELAIDA CRUZ at 5% interest. The loan was
ISSUE secured by the a mortgage over the Rizal
Whether or not the sale of the entire property property. Gertrudes however, failed to pay the
made by 2 co-owners Rosalia and Gaudencio was loan on the due date.
invalid beause it was made without the consent of Unable to pay her obligation, Gertrudes in
the other co-owners. 1986 executed 2 contracts in favor of
ALEXANDER CRUZ. The first was a Kasunduan,
RULING which the parties conceded was a pacto de retro
NO. The rights of a co-owner of a certain sale, granting Gertrudes 1 year within which to
property are clearly specified in Article 493 of the repurchase the property. The was a Kasunduan ng
Civil Code. Tuwirang Bilihan, a Deed of Absolute Sale covering
Even if a co-own sells the whole property as the same property for the price of P39,083, the
his, the sale will affect only his own share but not same amount stipulated in the Kasunduan. For
those of the other co-owners who did not consent failure of Gertrudes to repurchase the property,
to the sale. This is because under Art. 493, the sale ownership thereof was consolidated in the name
or other disposition affects only his undivided of ALEXANDER CRUZ. In 1987, A TCT was
share and the transferee gets only what would issued in his name, canceling the TCT in the name
correspond to his grantor in the partition of the of Gertrudes.
thing owned in common. In 1987 Gertrudes died. Thereafter, her heirs,
Consequently, by virtue of the sales made by herein private respondents, ELEUTERIO LEIS,
Rosalia and Gaudencio, which were valid with RAYMUNDO LEIS, ANASTACIO L. LAGDANO,
respect to their proportionate shares, and the LORETA L. CAYONDA (LEIS ET AL.) received
subsequent transfers which culminated in the sale demands from SPOUSES CRUZ to vacate the
to private respondent AFABLE, the latter thereby premises as they were already new owners of the
became a co-owner of the disputed parcel of land. property.
The sales produced the effect of substituting the In response, LEIS ET AL. filed an action
buyers in the enjoyment thereof. seeking the nullification of the contracts of sale
Hence, since a co-owner is entitled to sell his executed by their mother Gertrudes in favor of
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by petitioner ALEXANDER CRUZ, as well as the
one co-owner without the consent of the other co- TCT subsequently issued in the name of the latter.
owners is not null and void. However, only the They claimed that the contracts were vitiated by
rights of the co-owner-seller are transferred, fraud as Gertrudes was illiterate and already 80
thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the years old at the time of the execution of the
property. contracts. They also contended that the price for
Thus, it is now settled that the appropriate the land was insufficient as it was sold lower than
recourse of co-owners in cases where their its fair market value. They added that the
consent were not secured in a sale of the entire property subject of the sale was conjugal and,
property as well as in a sale merely of the consequently, its sale without the knowledge and
undivided shares of some of the co-owners is an consent of private respondents was in derogation
action for partition. Neither recovery of of their rights as heirs.
possession nor restitution can be granted since the The trial court rendered a decision in favor of
defendant buyers are legitimate proprietors and LEIS ET AL. It concluded that the land was
possessors in joint ownership of the common conjugal property thus Gertrudes could only sell
property claimed. to SPOUSES CRUZ her one-half share in the
property. However, it also ruled that there was no
fraud in the execution of the contract but nullified
SPOUSES CRUZ vs. LEIS the same because the SPOUSES CRUZ failed to
GR No. 125233. March 9, 2000 comply with certain procedural requirements in
its registration. The same decision was affirmed
The right of repurchase may be exercised by a when the case was appealed with the Court of
co-owner with respect to his share alone. Appeals.
Hence, the SPOUSES CRUZ filed a petition SALOME and two other co-owners, CONSORCIA
for review with the Supreme Court. They alleged and ALFREDO, the portion of the sold lot was
that the property was not conjugal but was owned delineated in metes and bounds.
exclusively by Gertrudes as described in the TCT. Thereafter, Soledad immediately took
They also averred that assuming the property was possession of the land and built a house thereon.
conjugal, the same became exclusive since A few years later, she and her husband, Simplicio
Gertrudes mortgaged the same property but Distajo, mortgaged the property as security for a
redeemed the same in 1983. P400 debt to respondent JOSE REGALADO, SR.
In 1948, 3 of the 8 co-owners, specifically
ISSUE SALOME, CONSORCIA and ALFREDO sold
Whether or not the property was exclusively 24,993 sq. m. of Lot 162 to REGALADO, SR.
owned by Gertrudes since she redeemed the In 1951, Simplicio Distajo, heir of Soledad
property over the exclusion of her co-owners. Daynolo who had since died, paid the mortgage
debt and redeemed the mortgaged portion the lot
RULING from REGALADO, SR. The latter, in turn,
NO. The redemption of the land by Getrudes executed a Deed of Discharge of Mortgage in favor of
did not terminate the co-ownership nor give her Soledads heirs. On same date, the heirs of
title to the entire land subject of the co-ownership. Soledad sold the redeemed portion for P1,500 to
The right of repurchase may be exercised by a herein petitioners, SPOUSES MANUEL DEL
co-owner with respect to his share alone. CAMPO AND SALVACION QUIACHON
Although Gertrudes redeemed the property in its (SPOUSES DEL CAMPO).
entirety, shouldering the expenses therefor, that Meanwhile, REGALADO, SR. caused the
did not make her the owner of all of it. In other transfer of the title in his name and subdivided
words, it did not put to end the existing state of the entire property into smaller lots, each covered
co-ownership. Under Art. 493, a co-owner such as by a respective title in his name. One of these
Gertrudes could only dispose of her share in the small lots is Lot No. 162-C-6 with an area of 11,732
property owned in common. sq. m.
However, being that neither Gertrudes nor In 1987, the SPOUSES DEL CAMPO brought
her co-owners, LEIS ET AL. were able to redeem a complaint for repartition, resurvey and
the same within the one-year period stipulated in reconveyance against the heirs of the now
the Kasunduan, ownership then remained with the deceased REGALADO, SR. They claimed that
SPOUSE CRUZ. The essence of a pacto de retro they owned an area of 1,544 square meters located
sale is that title and ownership of the property within Lot 162-C-6, which was erroneously
sold are immediately vested in the vendee a retro, included in the issued in the name of Regalado.
subject to the resolutory condition of repurchase They alleged that they occupied the disputed area
by the vendor a retro within the stipulated period. as residential dwelling ever since they purchased
Failure thus of the vendor a retro to perform said the property from the Distajos way back in 1951.
resolutory condition vests upon the vendee by They also declared the land for taxation purposes
operation of law absolute title and ownership and paid the corresponding taxes.
over the property sold. In 1990, however, the trial court dismissed
the complaint. It held that while Salome could
alienate her pro-indiviso share in Lot 162, she could
SPOUSES DEL CAMPO vs. CA not validly sell an undivided part thereof by
GR No. 108228. February 1, 2001 metes and bounds to Soledad, from whom
petitioners derived their title. The trial court also
A co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided reasoned that petitioners could not have a better
share in the property held in common. right to the property even if they were in physical
possession of the same and declared the property
However, a co-owner cannot alienate more for taxation purposes, because mere possession
than his share in the co-ownership. cannot defeat the right of the Regalados who had
a Torrens title over the land. The same judgment
If a co-owner had an undisturbed possession was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on appeal.
for a considerable number of years, it had the Hence, this petition.
effect of a partial partition of the co-owned
property, which entitled the possessor to the ISSUES
definite portion which he occupies.
(1) Whether or not a sale by co-owner Salome
of a portion of an undivided property held in
FACTS
common in favor of Soledad was valid.
Lot 162 of the Cadastral Survey in
(2) Whether or not co-owners Salome,
Pontevedra, Capiz, consisting of 27,179 sq. m.
Consorcia and Alfredo could validly sell the
were co-owned by the 8 Bornales brothers and
shares of the common property pertaining to
sisters, the same registered in their names. Said
Soledad.
lot was divided in aliquot shares among them.
(3) Whether or not the SPOUSES DEL CAMPO
In 1940, SALOME, one of the co-owners sold
may rightfully claim the specific 1,544 sq. m.
part of her 4/16 share in for P200.00 to Soledad
located within Lot 162-C-6.
Daynolo. In the Deed of Absolute Sale signed by
RULING which entitled the possessor to the definite
(1) NO. The mere fact that Salome purportedly portion which he occupies. Conformably,
transferred a definite portion of the co-owned lot petitioners are entitled to the disputed land,
by metes and bounds to Soledad, did not per se having enjoyed uninterrupted possession thereof
render the sale a nullity. This much is evident for a total of 49 years up to the present.
under Article 493 of the Civil Code and pertinent
jurisprudence on the matter.
Salomes right to sell part of her undivided SANCHEZ vs. CA
interest in the co-owned property is absolute in GR No. 152766. June 20, 2003
accordance with the well-settled doctrine that a
co-owner has full ownership of his pro-indiviso Although assigned an aliquot but abstract
share and has the right to alienate, assign or part of the property, the metes and bounds of
mortgage it, and substitute another person in its LILIANs lot has not been designated. As she
enjoyment. Since Salomes clear intention was to was not a party to the Deed of Absolute Sale
sell merely part of her aliquot share in Lot 162, no voluntarily entered into by the other co-
valid objection can be made against it and the sale owners, her right to 1/6 of the property must
can be given effect to the full extent. be respected.
In the case at bar, the transaction entered into
by Salome and Soledad could be legally FACTS
recognized in its entirety since the object of the Petitioner LILIAN SANCHEZ, constructed a
sale did not even exceed the ideal shares held by house on a 76-square meter lot owned by her
the former in the co-ownership. In such sale, parents-in-law. The lot was registered in the name
Soledad stepped into the shoes of the Salome as of 6 co-owners: Eliseo, Sanchez, LILIAN, Nenita,
co-owner and acquired a proportionate abstract Susana and Felipe, all surnamed Sanchez.
share in the property held in common. In 1995, the lot was registered in the name of
(2) NO. Based on the principle that no one can private respondent VIRGINIA TERIA by virtue of
give what he does not have, Salome, Consorcia a Deed of Absolute Sale supposed to have been
and Alfredo could not legally sell the shares executed by all 6 co-owners in her favor.
pertaining to Soledad since a co-owner cannot However, LILIAN claimed that she did not affix
alienate more than his share in the co-ownership. her signature on the document. For her
Being that the sale entered into by Salome and subsequent refusal to vacate the said lot, TERIA
Soledad did not even exceed the ideal shares held filed an action for recovery of possession of the
by the former in the co-ownership, it was deemed said lot.
valid. It follows then that Salome, Consorcia and The MeTC ruled in favor of TERIA declaring
Alfredo could not have sold the entire Lot 162 to that the sale was valid only to the extent of 5/6 of
Jose Regalado, Sr. in 1948 because at that time, the the lot and the other 1/6 remaining as the
ideal shares held by the three co-owners/vendors property of LILIAN, on account that her signature
were equivalent to only 10/16 of the undivided in the Deed of Absolute Sale was forged.
property less the aliquot share previously sold by In 1998, the MeTC issued an order for the
Salome to Soledad. issuance of a writ of execution in favor of TERIA
Even if a co-owner sells the whole property as as the buyer of the property. A year later, a Notice
his, the sale will affect only his own share but not to Vacate was served by the sheriff upon LILIAN
those of the other co-owners who did not consent who however refused to heed the Notice. In 1999,
to the sale. Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his TERIA demolished LILIANs house without any
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by special permit of demolition from the court. Due
one co-owner will only transfer the rights of said to the demolition of her house, LILIAN was
co-owner to the buyer, thereby making the buyer forced to inhabit the portion of the premises that
a co-owner of the property. used to serve as the houses toilet and laundry
In this case, Regalado merely became a new area.
co-owner of Lot 162 to the extent of the shares LILIAN filed her Petition for Relief from
which Salome, Consorcia and Alfredo could Judgment with the RTC on the ground that she
validly convey. Soledad retained her rights as co- was not bound by the inaction of her counsel who
owner and could validly transfer her share to her failed to submit petitioners appeal memorandum.
heirs in 1951. However, the RTC denied the Petition and the
(3) YES. The area subject matter of this petition subsequent Motion for Reconsideration. She
had already been effectively segregated from the subsequently filed a petition for certiorari with
mother lot even before title was issued in favor the Court of Appeals but it was denied, the same
of REGALADO. with a following Motion for Reconsideration.
The SPOUSES DEL CAMPO enjoyed Hence, this appeal.
uninterrupted possession thereof for a total of 36
years until the complaint was filed. Prior to that, ISSUE
at no instance did REGALADO nor his HEIRS Whether or not LILIAN SANCHEZ could
question the SPOUSES DEL CAMPOs right over validly claim ownership over her 1/6 undivided
the land in dispute. share in the property.
Such undisturbed possession had the effect of
a partial partition of the co-owned property, RULING
YES. Being that LILIAN was not a part of the (c) the recognition of ideal shares,
Deed of Sale, she was not bound by it. Hence her which determines the rights and
1/6 share should be respected. obligations of the co-owners.
In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-
owner to the other co-owners is fiduciary in
character and attribute. Whether established by DE GUIA vs. CA
law or by agreement of the co-owners, the GR No. 120864. October 8, 2003
property or thing held pro-indiviso is impressed
with a fiducial nature so that each co-owner (refer to Page 3)
becomes a trustee for the benefit of his co-owners
and he may not do any act prejudicial to the
interest of his co-owners. HEIRS OF SPOUSES BALITE vs. LIM
Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to GR No. 152168. December 10, 2004
preserve the properties in co-ownership is to
create an express trust among the heirs as co- When a co-owner sold a concrete portion of an
owners of the properties. Co-ownership is a form undivided property held in common, it did not
of trust and every co-owner is a trustee for the per se render the sale void. The sale is valid,
others. but only with respect to the aliquot share of
Before the partition of a land or thing held in the selling co-owner.
common, no individual or co-owner can claim
title to any definite portion thereof. All that the FACTS
co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or The spouses Aurelio and Esperanza Balite
proportionate share in the entire land or thing. were owners of a registered parcel of land,
Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner located at Catarman, Northern Samar, with an
of an undivided interest in the property the right area of 17,551 sq. m. In 1985, Aurelio died
to freely sell and dispose of it, i.e., his undivided intestate. Hence, by inheritance, said property
interest. He may validly lease his undivided was then co-owned by his wife Esperanza and
interest to a third party independently of the other their children, herein petitioners ANTONIO
co-owners. But he has no right to sell or alienate a BALITE, FLOR BALITE-ZAMAR, VISITACION
concrete, specific or determinate part of the thing BALITE-DIFUNTORUM, PEDRO BALITE,
owned in common because his right over the PABLO BALITE, GASPAR BALITE, CRISTETA
thing is represented by a quota or ideal portion (TITA) BALITE and AURELIO BALITE, JR.
without any physical adjudication. (HEIRS OF BALITE). Each of then inherited an
Although assigned an aliquot but abstract part undivided share of 9,751 sq. m.
of the property, the metes and bounds of Later, Esperanza became ill and was in dire
LILIANs lot has not been designated. As she was need of money for her hospital expenses. She,
not a party to the Deed of Absolute Sale voluntarily through her daughter, CRISTETA, offered to sell
entered into by the other co-owners, her right to to respondent RODRIGO LIM, her undivided
1/6 of the property must be respected. Partition share for the price of P1 million. A Deed of
needs to be effected to protect her right to her Absolute Sale was executed, wherein it was stated
definite share and determine the boundaries of therein that the property sold to LIM was an area
her property. Such partition must be done of 10,000 sq. m. A Joint Affidavit was also
without prejudice to the rights of TERIA as buyer executed, wherein it was agreed that P30,000
of the 5/6 portion of the lot under dispute. should be paid by LIM and the remaining
purchase price be paid in installments. Only
Note: Esperanza and two of her children, namely,
Definitions of Co-ownership ANTONIO and CRISTETA knew about the said
Sancher Roman: It is the right of transaction.
common dominion which two or more A Geodetic Engineer conducted a subdivision
persons have in a spiritual part of a thing, survey of the property and prepared a Sketch
not materially or physically divided. Plan. Said Sketch Plan was signed by LIM and
Manresa: It is the manifestation of the Esperanza. Thereafter, LIM took actual
private right of ownership, which instead of possession of the property and introduced
being exercised by the owner in an exclusive improvements thereon.
manner over the things subject to it, is When the other heirs, GASPAR,
exercised by two or more owners and the VISITACION, FLOR, PEDRO and AURELIO, JR.
undivided thing or right to which it refers is learned of the sale, they wrote a letter to the
one and the same. Register of Deeds saying that they were not
The characteristics of co-ownership are: informed of the sale of a portion of the said
(a) plurality of subjects, who are the property by their nor did they give their consent
co-owners, thereto. They then requested that the registration
(b) unity of or material indivision, of the property in the name of LIM be held in
which means that there is a single abeyance until the validity of the sale had already
object which is not materially been cleared.
divided, and which is the element Later, ANTONIO received from LIM, the
which binds the subjects, and amount of P30,000 in partial payment of the
property and signed a Receipt for the said undivided share in it. No valid objection can be
amount. Esperanza signed a letter addressed to made against that intent. Clearly then, the sale
LIM informing the latter that her children did not can be given effect to the extent of 9,751 square
agree to the sale of the property to him and that meters, her ideal share in the property as found
she was withdrawing all her commitments until by both the trial and the appellate courts.
the validity of the sale is finally resolved.
However, a few days later, Esperanza died ARTICLE 494: No co-owner shall be obliged to remain
intestate and was survived by her children. in the co-ownership. Each co-owner shall be obliged to
In 1997, the HEIRS OF BALITE filed a remain in the co-ownership. Each co-owner may
complaint against Rodrigo for the Annulment of demand at any time the partition of the thing owned in
Sale, Quieting of Title, Injunction and Damages. common, insofar as his share is concerned.
In the meantime, the Registry of Deeds had Nevertheless, an agreement to keep the thing
issued a TCT under the name of LIM over said undivided for certain period of time, not exceeding ten
property as LIM had been granted a writ of years, shall be valid. This term may be extended by a
mandamus against the former for its refusal to new agreement.
register the property in his name. Subsequently, A donor or testator may prohibit partition for
LIM secured a loan from the Rizal Commercial a period which shall not exceed twenty years.
Banking Corporation in the amount of P2 million Neither shall there be any partition when it is
and executed a Real Estate Mortgage over the prohibited by law.
subject property as security therefor. No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-
heir against his co-owners or co-heirs so long as he
The trial court dismissed the Complaint filed
expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.
by the HEIRS OF BALITE. It held that, pursuant
to Art. 493 of the Civil Code, a co-owner has the
right to sell his/her undivided share. The sale What is the rationale behind the general
made by a co-owner is not invalidated by the rule?
absence of the consent of the other co-owners. 1) The law discourages co-
Hence, the sale by Esperanza of the 10,000-sq. m. ownership;
portion of the property was valid; the excess from 2) To avoid conflicts in
her undivided share should be taken from the management; and
undivided shares of Cristeta and Antonio, who 3) More significantly the disposition
expressly agreed to and benefited from the sale. or enjoyment of the thing owned
On Appeal, with the court of Appeals, in common is subject to the
judgment was still unfavorable to them. Hence, desires of all the co-owners
this appeal.
GENERAL RULE: No co-owner shall be obliged
ISSUE to remain in the co-ownership. He may demand
Whether or not the Deed of Sale executed by that his share may be taken out from the co-
co-owner Esperanza was valid despite absence of ownership. Any co-owner may demand partition
consent of some of the other co-owners. anytime.

RULING EXCEPT:
YES, it was valid but only insofar as the pro
indiviso share of Esperanza was concerned. 1. If there is a contract prohibiting partition
Art. 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of for a certain period of time. It is the
an undivided interest in the property the right to contract which shall prevail under Art.
freely sell and dispose of such interest. The co- 494, upon the expiration of the period,
owner, however, has no right to sell or alienate a partition may be demanded
specific or determinate part of the thing owned in
common, because such right over the thing is The law allows non-partition not
represented by an aliquot or ideal portion without exceeding 10 years but this can be
any physical division. Nonetheless, the mere fact extended for another 10 years upon the
that the deed purports to transfer a concrete expiration of the period.
portion does not per se render the sale void. The NB: there is no automatic renewal.
sale is valid, but only with respect to the aliquot If the agreement is more than 10 years,
share of the selling co-owner. Furthermore, the then the agreement is void as to the
sale is subject to the results of the partition upon excess.
the termination of the co-ownership. If the agreement is perpetual, valid only
Hence, the transaction between Esperanza up to 10 years.
and LIM could be legally recognized only in If the agreement is subject to a resolutory
respect to the formers pro indiviso share in the co- condition, the agreement ends upon the
ownership. As a matter of fact, the Deed of fulfillment of the condition provided it
Absolute Sale executed between the parties does not exceed 10 years
expressly referred to the 10,000-square-meter
portion of the land sold to respondent as the share 2. By the existence of a will, in cases of
of Esperanza in the conjugal property. Her clear donation or a testamentary succession.
intention was to sell merely her ideal or
3. When the prohibition is prohibited by live for the rest of his years in a peaceful
law. environment. They signed a memorandum
4. Physical partition would render the agreeing that their shares are equal and that
property unserviceable. Physical partition Semen could live in the house as long as he would
is not allowed but there are ways of take care of the needs of his father. In 1974, their
dividing the property. father died. Consequently, in 1975 Virgilio
5. Legal nature of the common property demanded from Semen to vacate the premises so
does not allow partition. But this is not that the property could be sold to third parties
absolute because there are ways of and the proceeds divided between them in
dividing the property. accordance with their respective shares. S refused,
so in '79, Virgilio instituted an action against S to
Prescription: compel the sale, praying for the payment of
GR: prescription against a co-owner does not lie. monthly rentals beginning 1975. The court
Ceniza vs. CA 181 SCRA 552 rendered judgment ordering S to vacate the house
so that the same may be sold, and ordered to him
Exceptions: to pay rentals from 1975 upto the date of the
1) When a co-owner gives notice to decision.
the co-owners that he is
repudiating the co-ownership and Issue: W/N court was correct in ordering Semen
that he is claiming ownership of to vacate the property and the payment of rents.
the entire property.
2) The requirement of the open, Held: SC said lower court was correct except as to
continuous, public and adverse the payment of rents (kailangan mag start). Art.
possession for a period of time 494 corollary to this rule is Art. 498. Being a co-
required by law must be met. (30 owner of the property, S is entitled to use the
years). So there must first be house without paying any rent to V as he may use
repudiation and the prescriptive the property owned in common so long as it is in
period is met. accordance with the purpose for which it was
intended and in a manner not injurious to the
REQUISITIES OF REPUDIATION: interest of the other co-owners. Each co-owner of
the property held pro indiviso exercises his right
1. He must make known to the other co- over the whole property and may use and enjoy
owners that he is definitely repudiating the same with no other limitation than that he will
the co-ownership. He is claiming not injure the rights of the co-owners. The reason
complete ownership over the entire being that until a division is made, the respective
property. He does not recognize co- shares of each cannot be determined and each co-
ownership. Hence, he must make it owner exercises together with his co-participants
known to the other co-owner. joint ownership over the pro-indiviso property in
2. There must be evidence of repudiation by addition to his use and enjoyment of the same. In
the owner and knowledge on the part of fairness, S should pay a rental of Php 1,200.00 per
the other co-owners. month with legal interest from the time the lower
3. The other requirements of prescription court ordered him to vacate for his use and
must exist. OCEAN (open, continuous, enjoyment of the other half of the property
exclusive, adverse, notorious) possession pertaining to V. When petitioner (V) filed an
over the property. action to compel the sale of the property, and trial
4. The period of prescription starts to run court granted the petition and ordered the
from the time of repudiation. ejectment of respondent (S), the ownership was
deemed terminated and the right to enjoy the
When there is repudiation, it means that property jointly also ceased. Thereafter, the
he is no longer recognizing the co- continued stay of S in the house prejudiced the
ownership and he is claiming ownership interest of V as the property should have been
over the entire property and so that his sold and the proceeds divided equally between
possession must be adverse. them.

Adverse means that he does not recognize ARTICLE 495: Notwithstanding the provisions of the
ownership in somebody else, particularly preceding article, the co-owners cannot demand a
the co-owners. physical division of the thing owned in common, when
to do so would render it unserviceable for the use for
Notorious, open: making known to the which it is intended. But the co-ownership may be
public that he is the owner of the property terminated in accordance with Article 498.
to the exclusion of the other co-owners
ARTICLE 496: Partition may be made by agreement
Aguilar vs. CA 227 SCRA 470 between the parties or by judicial proceedings.
Partition shall be governed by the Rules of Court
Fx: In 1969, Brothers Virgilio and Semen insofar as they are consistent with this Code.
purchased a house and lot where his father would
2 KINDS OF PARTITION: thereafter caused the issuance of certificate of
titles in their favor.
1. EXTRA-JUDICIAL PARTITION RESPONDENTS SPOUSES on the other hand
2. JUDICIAL PARTITION claimed that Pablo Fabian was not the owner of
Lot 164 at the time of his death because he had not
FABIAN vs. FABIAN paid in full the amortizations on the lot. They
GR No. L-20449. January 29, 1968 alleged that it was them who were the absolute
owners thereof, having purchased it from the
GEN. RULE: An action for partition among Government for the sum of P120, and from that
co-owners does not prescribe. EXCEPTION: year having exercised all the attributes of
If a co-owner had ownership thereof up to the present. They alleged
(1) adverse claim in the concept of an owner, that the action for reconveyance filed against
(2) in open, continuous, exclusive and them had long prescribed.
notorious possession and (3) in the span of The trial court dismissed their action for
more than 10 years, he had acquired the reconveyance. Hence, PETITIONER FABIANS
property by prescription against all the other appealed for review.
co-owners.
ISSUE
FACTS Whether or not RESPONDENTS SPOUSES as
In 1909, Pablo Fabian bought from the co-owners of the land had acquired it through
Philippine Government, Lot 164 of the Friar prescription against the PETITIONERS FABIANS,
Lands Estate in Muntinlupa, Rizal. The lot had an the other co-owners.
area 1 hectare, 42 ares and 80 centares and the
consideration for the sale was P112, which was RULING
agreed to be paid in installments. He was able to YES, they had acquired the land against the
pay 5 installments. By virtue of this purchase, a co-owners through prescription.
Sale Certificate was issued in Pablo Fabians The Court concluded that Lot 164 was the
favor. In 1928, Pablo Fabian died and was property of Pablo Fabian. When he died intestate
survived by 4 children, namely Esperanza, Benita in 1928, his 4 daughters had acquired said
I, Benita II and Silbina. property by succession and they commonly
In 1928, respondents SILBINA (daughter) owned the property under the principle of co-
TEODORA FABIAN (niece) executed an Affidavit. ownership.
In said document, it was stated therein that General Rule & Exception. Although, as a
SILBINA was the only daughter of the deceased general rule, an action for partition among co-
Pablo Fabian and that she and TEODORA, as heirs does not prescribe. As an exception, this is
niece were his only heirs. On the strength of this true only as long as the respondents do not hold
Affidavit, the Sale Certificate previously issued to the property in question under an adverse title.
Pablo Fabian was assigned to them. Thereafter, REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO
the Director of Lands sold Lot 164 to SILBINA ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN
(married to FELICIANO LANDRITO) and COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION:
TEODORA (married to FRANCISCO DEL (1) Co-owner has made known to the other co-
MONTE) for the price of P120. owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and
In 1929, RESPONDENTS SPOUSES then took claimed complete ownership over it. SILBINA, one of
physical possession of Lot 164, cultivated it and the co-owners had repudiated the co-ownership
appropriated the produce therefrom. Since 1929, by executing the Affidavit with TEODORA, which
they has been paying the real estate taxes thereon. bore that they were the sole heirs of the late Pablo
In 1937, the Register of Deeds issued a TCT over Fabian. SILBINA claimed complete ownership
Lot 164 in their names. In 1945, after they have over it by securing title in her name to the
caused the subdivision of the lot into 2 equal exclusion of the other 3 sisters.
parts, Lot A and Lot B. 2 separate TCTs were (2) There is evidence of repudiation and knowledge
subsequently issued in the names of SILBINA and on the part of other co-owners. The evidence of the
TEODORA. repudiation was the Affidavit, which excluded all
In 1960, petitioners ESPERANZA, BENITA the other co-owners as to ownership over the
and DAMASO FABIAN filed an action for property. Upon the registration of the Affidavit
reconveyance against the RESPONDENTS and the issuance of the title, already served as a
SPOUSES. They averred that SILBINA and constructive notice to the whole world.
TEODORA perpetrated fraud in the Affidavit as (3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive,
what was contained therein was a false narration adverse and notorious possession of the property.
of facts. It was because SILBINA knew that she RESPONDENT SPOUSES occupied the property
was not the only daughter and heir of the in the concept of owners since 1929 since they
deceased Pablo Fabian and TEODORA likewise took physical possession of the land up to 1960.
knew all along that, as a mere niece of the They had cultivated it, harvested and
deceased, she was precluded from inheriting from appropriated the fruits for themselves. Such acts
him in the presence of his 4 surviving daughters. logically meant the adverse character of the
Because of said Affidavit, the Sale Certificate was possession they exercised.
assigned and transferred to them, which
(4) Possession of the Property has started from the Hence, in 1967, RESTITUTO and JESUS
time of repudiation until the filing of the action in CENIZA filed an action for recovery of their title
court should be at least 10 years. It was in 1928 when to Lots B and C. The DABONs on the other hand,
SILBINA executed the Affidavit which made alleged that the CENIZAs right of action had
possible the issuance of title in her favor. The already prescribed. However, the CENIZAs
action for reconveyance was only made in 1960 or alleged that Vicente Dabon held the property in
32 big years later after. Said 32 years is even trust for them, as co-owners, hence, their action
beyond the 10-year requirement under the law. for reconveyance was imprescriptible.
Hence, acquisitive prescription of ownership In 1970, the trial court rendered judgment for
acquired by one of the co-owners, co-heirs, and the CENIZAs. It found that there existed a co-
administrator, depositary, or lessee by means of ownership among the parties and ordered the
an adverse possession under claim of title and DABONs the B to execute deeds of conveyance of
after the lapse of the time fixed by law can Lots B -C in favor of CENIZAs. On appeal of the
completely extinguish the right of the other co- DABONs, the Court of Appeals reversed that
owners, co-heirs, or owners of the property in the decision of the trial court. It ruled that the
possession of the one claiming ownership by petitioners' right of action had prescribed after the
prescription. lapse of 20 years from the date of registration of
the land in 1939 in Vicente Dabon's name.
Hence, this instant petition.
CENIZA vs. CA
GR No. 46345. January 30, 1990 ISSUES
(1) Whether or not the DABONs has acquired
In a case where the co-owners had agreed that the property by prescription against the other co-
the title to the property be named after only owners, the CENIZAS.
one of them, there existed a trust relation. (2) Whether or not the registration of the title
Thus, prescription could not run in favor of of the land in the name of one of Vicente Dabon
the co-owner in whose name the title was constituted a repudiation of the co-ownership for
registered to except from the time that he purposes of acquisitive prescription.
repudiated the co-ownership and made the
repudiation known to the former. RULING
(1) NO, the action of the CENIZAs had not
FACTS prescribed.
Petitioners RESTITUTO and JESUS CENIZA Since a trust relation and co-ownership were
were the descendants of Manuel Ceniza. proven to exist between the predecessors-in-
Respondents on the other hand, MAGNO, interest of both the CENIZAs and DABONs,
VICENTA, TERESITA, EUGENIA and TOMAS prescription did not run in favor of the latter
DABON were the descendants of Vicente Dabon. except from the time that they repudiated the co-
Hacienda de Mandaue of the Seminario de ownership and made the repudiation known to
San Carlos de Cebu was located in Madaue, Cebu the former.
City. In 1929, it was subdivided for resale to the Paragraph 5 of Article 494 of the Civil Code
occupants therein. Jose Ceniza and Vicente provides:
Dabon, who were residing in the hacienda, jointly "No prescription shall run in favor of
purchased Lot 627 on installment basis and they a co-owner or co-heir against his co-
agreed for convenience, to have the land owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly
registered in the name of Dabon. Since then, Jose or impliedly recognizes the co-
Ceniza, Vicente Dabon and their heirs had ownership."
possessed their respective portions of the land, The registration of Lot No. 627 in the name of
declared the same for taxation, paid real estate Vicente Dabon created a trust in favor of his co-
taxes on their respective shares, and made their owner Jose Ceniza, and the latter's heirs.
respective installment payments to the Seminario Article 1452 of the Civil Code states:
de San Carlos de Cebu. In 1939, a title was issued "If two or more persons agree to purchase
in the name of Vicente Dabon. property and by common consent the legal title is
In 1957, Vicente Dabon died and heirs taken in the name of one of them for the benefit of
continued to remain in possession of the property. all, a trust is created by force of law in favor of the
In 1961, a private land surveyor, on the others in Proportion to the interest of each.
request of Jacinta Dabon and Restituto Ceniza As a general rule, the trustee's possession is
who jointly defrayed the cost, divided Lot 627 into not adverse and therefore cannot ripen into a title
three parts, Lot A to Marcelo Ceniza, Lot B to by prescription. Adverse possession requires the
Restituto Ceniza and Lot C to Nemesis Ceniza concurrence of the following circumstances:
Albina, who later bequeathed her share to her a) that the trustee has performed
brother, Jesus Ceniza. unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting
The DABONs refused to convey Lots B and C to the ouster of the cestui que trust;
to the CENIZAs. They claimed that their b) that such positive acts of repudiation
predecessor-in-interest Vicente Dabon was the have been made known to the cestui que
sole and exclusive owner of Lot 627. trust; and
c) that the evidence thereon should be became co-heirs with MARIA, having inherited
clear and conclusive. the share and interest of her mother
The above elements were not present here for corresponding to of the 2 parcels of land.
the co-owners CENIZAs had not been ousted MARIA however refused to share with CRISTINA
from the land. They continued to possess their the yearly fruits of the 2 parcel of lands. Hence, in
respective shares of Lot 627 and they had been 1974, CRISTINA filed an action for partition
paying the realty taxes thereon. In fact, against her aunt MARIA.
RESTITUTO CENIZA's house stands on his Maria, however, maintained that she acquired
portion of the land. these 2 parcels of land from the deceased spouses
Where title to land was issued in the name of Placido Bidays and Margarita Bose, the cornland
a co-heir merely with the understanding that he in 1925 and the riceland in 1926. She averred that
would act as a trustee of the other co-owners, and since then, she had been in open, public, peaceful,
there is no evidence that this trust relation had continuous, adverse possession and enjoyment
ever been repudiated by said trustee, the relation and in the concept of absolute owner thereof. She
then cannot be barred by prescription, despite the further claimed that Cristina, her niece, never
lapse of a big number of years from the date of shared or contributed to the payment of taxes of
registration of the land in the trustee's name. said 2 parcels of land and that CRISTINA was
The courts have the duty to shield fiduciary presumed already dead.
relations "against every manner of machinery or The trial court ruled that MARIAN and
fiduciary design cloaked by legal technicalities CRISTINA were co-heirs. It held that MARIA was
and to guard against misuse of the Torrens system as trustee with respect to CRISTINA's share. As
"to foment betrayal in the performance of a trust." such, prescription, as a mode of acquiring title,
(2) NO, the registration was not a repudiation of could not apply. It also added that co-
the co-ownership. Assuming that the DABONs owners/trustees even if they possess the land
rejection of the subdivision plan for the partition held in common could never acquire the property
of the land was an act of repudiation of the co- through prescription because of the presence of a
ownership, prescription had not yet set in when trust relation. The Court of Appeals affirmed the
the petitioners instituted the action for same decision. Hence, this petition.
reconveyance. MARIA alleged that assuming that CRISTINA
In this case, since the statutory period of was indeed a co-heir, her rights over the 2 parcels
limitation within which to file an action for of land had already prescribed. She alleged that
reconveyance, after the defendants had from the moment she ignored and repudiated
repudiated the co-ownership in 1961, had not yet CRISTINA's hereditary rights in 1940, the latter's
run its course when the petitioners filed said right of action already accrued and the period of
action in 1967, the action was not barred by prescription began to run. CRISTINAs action for
prescription. partition was only filed in 1974 or 34 years after.
CRISTINAs action then was barred by
prescription as she slept on her rights.
BICARME vs. CA
GR No. 51914. June 6, 1990 ISSUES
1. Whether or not MARIA and CRISTINA
The right of a co-owner for partition against were indeed co-owners.
another co-owner, who holds a common 2. Whether or not the lower court erred in
property in trust may be barred by stating that MARIA and CRISTINA were co-
prescription provided that it is being held in owners because the right of a co-owner for
trust. In the case at bar, MARIA had not partition against another co-owner, who holds a
proved her adverse claim over the property common property in trust with adverse
against her co-owner CRISTINA that the possession cannot be barred by prescription.
existence of the co-ownership was sustained. 3. Whether or not the MARIA acquired the
property by prescription.
FACTS
Spouses Juan Bicarme and Florencia Bidaya RULING
were the original co-owners of two parcels of (1) YES, they were co-owners.
land: a cornland and a riceland, both in Benguet, The trial court theorized that Victorino and
Abra. The spouses died intestate and were MARIA Bicarme never partitioned even orally the
survived by 3 children, Victorina, Sebastian and two parcels of lands which were then owned in
petitioner MARIA BICARME. Sebastian Bicarme common by them. It remained undivided even
died when he was a little boy and without any after the death of Victorino. Without the
issue. Later, Victorina Bicarme died intestate, knowledge of CRISTINA, MARIA sold the
survived by her only daughter, respondent cornland and executed 3 Deeds of Sales in favor of
CRISTINA BICARME. 3 third persons.
CRISTINA claimed that upon the death of her In these 3 Deeds of Sale, MARIA admitted that
grandparents, Spouses Juan and Florencia, her she inherited and acquired the lands from his late
mother Victorina and her aunt, MARIA, became father Juan Bicarme. Said provision in the Deeds of
co-owners or co-heirs of the litigated parcels of Sale was in the nature of a trust provision in favor
land. Upon the death of her mother Victorina, she of Cristina as a co-owner/co-heir.
(2) YES, the lower court erred as in such case, (3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive,
the right to partition may still be barred by adverse and notorious possession of the property. [not
prescription. complied] Although MARIA was in possession of
An action for partition implies that the thing is the property, she merely held the property in trust
still owned in common. If a co-owner or co-heir in favor of CRISTINA.
holds the property in exclusive adverse (4) Possession of the property has started from the
possession as owner, asserting sole and exclusive time of repudiation until the filing of the action in
dominion for the required period, he can acquire court should be at least 10 years. [not complied]
sole title to it as against the co-heirs or co-owners. Being that her possession of the property was by
The imprescriptibility of an action for partition reason of a trust relationship, MARIA could not
cannot thus be invoked when one of the coowners have acquired the property no matter how long
has possessed the property as exclusive owner, she occupied it.
and for a period sufficient to acquire it by
prescription. From the moment one of the co-
owners claims that he is the absolute and DE LIMA vs. CA
exclusive owner of the properties and denies the GR No. 46296 September 24, 1991
others any share therein, the question involved is
no longer one of partition, but of ownership. In A co-owner had registered a property held in
this sense, the trial court erred in saying that there common only in his name and possessed it in
can be no prescription (as a mode of acquiring the concept of an owner. After the lapse of 10
title) in favor of a co-owner/ trustee. years, without action from the other co-
(3) NO, she had not acquired the property by owners, he could then acquire it through
prescription. acquisitive prescription.
Acts which are adverse to strangers may not
be sufficiently adverse to the co-owners. A mere FACTS
silent possession by a co-owner, his receipt of During his lifetime, Lino Delima acquired Lot
rents, fruits or profits from the property, the No. 7758 of the Talisay-Minglanilla Friar Lands
erection of buildings and fences and the planting Estate in Cebu by sale on installments from the
of trees thereon, and the payment of land taxes, government. He later died in 1921 and was
cannot serve as proof of exclusive ownership, if it survived by his only heirs, 3 brothers and a sister
is not borne out by clear, complete and conclusive namely: Eulalio, Juanita, Galileo and Vicente
evidence that he exercised acts of possession Delima. After his death, in 1953, the title of the
which unequivocally constituted an ouster or property was issued in the name of The Legal Heirs
of Lino Delima, deceased, represented by Galileo
deprivation of the rights of the other co-owners.
Delima.
MARIA had not complied the requisites for a
Later, Galileo Delima, who was substituted by
co-owner to own a common property held in
RESPONDENTS FLAVIANA VDA. DE DELIMA
common through prescription.
REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO ET AL., executed an affidavit of Extra-judicial
ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN Declaration of Heirs. Based on this affidavit, the
COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION: title over the lot was cancelled and another title
(1) Co-owner has made known to the other co- was issued in 1954 but only in the name of Galileo
owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and Delima to the exclusion of the other heirs.
claimed complete ownership over it. [not complied] Thereon, Galileo Delima declared the lot for
In the present case, MARIA disclaimed the co- taxation purposes and paid the taxes thereon from
ownership by denying that subject properties are 1954 to 1965.
the inherited properties. Although MARIA paid In 1968, PETITIONERS EPITACIO DELIMA
land taxes, it did not constitute sufficient ET AL. who were the surviving heirs of Eulalio
repudiation of the co-ownership, as it was not an and Juanita Delima, filed an action for
act adverse to CRISTINA's rights. Her refusal to reconveyance and/or partition of property and
share with CRISTINA the yearly profits merely for the annulment of the title issued only in the
stemmed from CRISTINA's failure to share in the name of Galileo Delima. Vicente Delima, who was
yearly taxes. Moreover, CRISTINA, being a minor 1 of the 4 original heirs of Lino Delima was joined
until she claimed her rights, was not even aware as party-defendant by the PETITIONERS for his
thereof. Neither did MARIA made known her refusal to join the latter in their action.
repudiation to CRISTINA, because all along, In 1970, the trial court held that the 4 original
Maria presumed her to be dead. heirs of Lino Delima should be entitled to of the
(2) There is evidence of repudiation and knowledge property. It also declared null and void the title in
on the part of other co-owners. [not complied] There the name of Galileo Delima only.
was no evidence of the repudiation. Other than Not satisfied with the decision,
the tax declarations in MARIAs name, there was RESPONDENTS HEIRS appealed to the Court of
no written evidence that the 2 parcels of land Appeals, which revered the decision of the trial
were acquired/purchased from Spouses Placido court and upheld the claim of Galileo Delima that
Biduya and Margarita Bose as she insisted on. all his 3 other siblings had already relinquished
Payment of land taxes was not sufficient evidence and waived their rights to the property in his
of repudiation. favor considering that he (Galileo Delima) alone
paid the remaining balance of the purchase price (1) Co-owner has made known to the other co-
of the lot and the realty taxes thereon. owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and
Aggrieved, PETITIONERS filed this instant claimed complete ownership over it. [complied]
petition. Evidence showed that the title in the name of the
legal heirs of Lino Delima, represented by Galileo
ISSUE Delima, was cancelled by virtue of an affidavit
Whether or not PETITIONERS' action for executed by Galileo Delima. In 1954, Galileo
partition was already barred that Galileo Delima Delima obtained the issuance of a new title in his
had perfected his claim of ownership by name to the exclusion of his co-heirs. As the
acquisitive prescription over the disputed lot. certificate of title was notice to the whole world of
his exclusive title to the land, such rejection was
RULING binding on the other heirs and started as against
YES, prescription had already set in. them the period of prescription.
As a rule, possession by a co-owner will not (2) There is evidence of repudiation and knowledge
be presumed to be adverse to the others, but will on the part of other co-owners. [complied] The
be held to benefit all. It is understood that the co- issuance of the new title in the name of Galileo
owner or co-heir who is in possession of an Delima only constituted an open and clear
inheritance pro-indiviso for himself and in repudiation of the trust or co-ownership. Upon
representation of his co-owners or co-heirs, if, as registration of the title, it already served as a
such owner, he administers or takes care of the constructive notice to the other heirs.
rest thereof with the obligation of delivering it to (3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive,
his co-owners or co-heirs, is under the same adverse and notorious possession of the property.
situation as a depository, a lessee or a trustee. [complied] Galileo Delima and his heirs had been
Thus, an action to compel partition may be filed at in possession of the land after Lino Delima died.
any time by any of the co-owners against the (4) Possession of the property has started from the
actual possessor. In other words, no prescription time of repudiation until the filing of the action in
shall run in favor of a co-owner against his co- court should be at least 10 years. [complied] It was
owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly or in February 4, 1954 that Galileo Delima obtained
impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. the issuance of a new title in his name. Hence,
However, from the moment one of the co- when petitioners filed their action for
owners claims that he is the absolute and reconveyance and/or to compel partition on
exclusive owner of the properties and denies the February 29, 1963, such action was already barred
others any share therein, the question involved is by prescription. The lapse of ten (10) years of
no longer one of partition but of ownership. In adverse possession by Galileo Delima from
such case, the imprescriptibility of the action for February 4, 1954 was sufficient to vest title in him
partition can no longer be invoked or applied by prescription. Hence, whatever claims the other
when one of the co-owners has adversely co-heirs could had validly asserted before could
possessed the property as exclusive owner for a no longer be invoke by them at this time.
period sufficient to vest ownership by
prescription.
It is settled that possession by a co-owner or TRINIDAD vs. CA
co-heir is that of a trustee. When a co-owner of the GR No. 118904. April 20, 1998
property in question executed a deed of partition
and on the strength thereof obtained the A co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the
cancellation of the title in the name of their share of the other co-owners absent a clear
predecessor and the issuance of a new one repudiation of co-ownership duly
wherein he appears as the new owner of the communicated to the other co-owners.
property, thereby in effect denying or repudiating
the ownership of the other co-owners over their FACTS
shares, the statute of limitations started to run for Patricio Trinidad, married to Anastacia
the purposes of the action instituted by the latter Briones, was the original owner of 4 parcels of
seeking a declaration of the existence of the co- land located in Kalibo, Aklan. He later died in
ownership and of their rights thereunder. Since an 1940 and was succeeded by his 3 children:
action for reconveyance of land based on implied Inocentes and private respondents LOURDES and
or constructive trust prescribes after ten (10) FELIX, all surnamed TRININDAD.
years, it is from the date of the issuance of such In 1970, Petitioner ARTURIO TRINIDAD,
title that the effective assertion of adverse title for born in 1943, claimed that he was the son of the
purposes of the statute of limitations is counted. late Inocentes Trinidad with his mother Felicidad
The requisites for a co-owner to own a Molato. He then demanded from private
common property held in common through respondents FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD to
prescription had been complied with by partition the land into 3 equal shares and to give
RESPONDENTS. him the 1/3 individual share of his late father but
REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO the FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD refused.
ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN Hence, in 1978, ARTURIO TRINIDAD filed a
COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION: complaint for partition and damages against
FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD. The latter
however denied that ARTURIO was the son of the against his or her co-owners or co-heirs, so long as
late Inocentes Trinidad as he was still single when he or she expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-
he died in 1941, before ARTURIO 's birth in 1943. ownership.
FELIX and LOURDES also denied that ARTURIO A co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the
had lived with them and claimed that the 4 share of the other co-owners absent a clear
parcels of land had been in their possession since repudiation of co-ownership duly communicated
the death of their father in 1940 and that they had to the other co-owners.
not given ARTURIO a share in the produce of the In the case at bar, FELIX and LOURDES had
land. Later, FELIX died without issue and he was not complied the requisites for a co-owner to own
survived by his only sister, LOURDES, who a common property held in common through
claimed exclusive ownership over the 4 parcels of prescription.
land. REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO
In 1989, the trial court rendered a decision in ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN
favor of ARTURIO and held that he was a co- COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION:
owner with FELIX and LOURDES. (1) Co-owner has made known to the other co-
The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of FELIX owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and
and LOURDES, contending that ARTURIO was claimed complete ownership over it. [not complied]
not a recognized legitimate child of Inocentes. It Prior to his demand for partition, ARTURIO, in
also states that the 4 parcels of land had already the concept of a co-owner, was receiving from
been acquired by FELIX and LOURDES by FELIX and LOURDES his share of the produce of
acquisitive prescription. The 2 had been in the land in dispute. Until such time, recognition of
possession of the property since 1940 when their the co-ownership by FELIX and LOURDES
father died. Even if possession be counted from TRINIDAD was beyond question. There was no
1964, when ARTURIO attained the age of evidence, either, of their repudiation, if any, of the
majority, still, FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD co-ownership of petitioner's father Inocentes over
possessed the land for more than 10 years. the land. Although FELIX and LOURDES had
possessed these parcels openly since 1940 and had
ISSUE not shared with petitioner the produce of the land
Whether or not ARTURIOs action for during the pendency of this case, still, they
partition had already prescribed that FELIX and manifested no repudiation of the co-ownership.
LOURDES had acquired the property through FELIX nad LOURDES did not even register the
acquisitive prescription. property in their names.
(2) There is evidence of repudiation and
RULING knowledge on the part of other co-owners. [not
NO, it had not prescribed. FELIX and complied] There was no evidence of repudiation.
LOURDES did not acquire the property through In fact, the title over the 4 parcels of land was still
acquisitive prescription. in the name of the oririginal owner, Patricio
The partition of the late Patricio Trinidads Trinidad.
real properties required preponderant proof that (3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive,
ARTURIO was a co-owner or co-heir of the adverse and notorious possession of the property. [not
decedent's estate. His right as a co-owner would, complied] Although FELIX and LOURDES had
in turn, depend on whether he was born during been in possession of the property since 1940,
the existence of a valid and subsisting marriage prescription did not run against ARTURIO with
between his mother Felicidad Molato and his respect to the filing of the action for partition
putative father Inocentes Trinidad. In the present because the former had not expressly or impliedly
case, ARTURIO had proved by preponderant repudiated the co-ownership. In the other words,
evidence that he was the legitimate son of prescription of an action for partition does not lie
Felicidad and Inocentes as the two were married. except when the co-ownership is properly
Hence, he had right to claim ownership by repudiated by the co-owner.
inheritance as to the 4 parcels of land. (4) Possession of the property has started from the
The trial court found out that ARTURIO, after time of repudiation until the filing of the action in
the death of his father and mother, had lived with court should be at least 10 years. [complied] It is
FELIX nad LOURDES and enjoyed the status of undisputed that FELIX and LOURDES had been
being their nephew. When ARTURIO had gotten in possession of the property since 1940 when
married and had a family of his own, he started to their father died. Even if possession be counted
demand for the partition of the share of his father, from 1964, when ARTURIO attained the age of
Inocentes. His demand provoked the ire of the majority, still, FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD
FELIX and LOURDES, thus, they disowned him possessed the land for more than 10 years.
as their nephew. However, even so, prescription could not still run
FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD did not in the absence of repudiation.
acquire ownership of the property in question by
acquisitive prescription. Under Art. 494 of the
Civil Code, in a co-ownership, the act of one TOMAS CLAUDIO MEMORIAL COLLEGE vs.
benefits all the other co-owners, unless the former CA
repudiates the co-ownership. Thus, no GR No. 124262. October 12, 1999
prescription runs in favor of a co-owner or co-heir
An action for partition is imprescriptible. It Supreme Court had interpreted said provision of
cannot be barred by prescription. law to mean that the action for partition is
imprescriptible. It cannot be barred by
FACTS prescription.
In 1993, private respondents CRISANTA,
ELPIDIA, EFRINA, IRENEO DE CASTRO and
ARTEMIO DE CASTRO ADRIANO, filed an SANTOS vs. SANTOS
action for partition against petitioner TOMAS GR No. 139524. October 12, 2000
CLAUDIO MEMORIAL COLLEGE, INC. They
alleged: A co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the
1. that their father and predecessor-in- share of the other co-owners absent a clear
interest, Juan De Castro owned a parcel of repudiation of co-ownership duly
land located at Morong, Rizal with an area communicated to the other co-owners.
of 2,269 sq. m.
2. that Juan De Castro died intestate in Exclusive possession of a co-owner of a
1993 and they are his only surviving and property owned in common by mere tolerance
legitimate heirs of the other co-owner did not amount to a
3. that in 1979, without their knowledge repudiation. It must be understood that by
and consent, said lot was sold by their culture, Filipino family ties are close and well-
brother Mariano to TOMAS CLAUDIO knit and that the tolerance was natural.
MEMORIAL COLLEGE, INC. when
Mariano represented himself as the sole heir FACTS
to the property. Bonifacio Santos was the owner of a property
4. that the said sale affected only located in San Mateo, Rizal. He died intestate and
Marianos undivided share to the lot in was survived by his 3 children: petitioner
question but not the shares of the other co- LADISLAO, respondent ELISEO and their sister
owners equivalent to 4/5 of the property. Isidra. In 1964, during a cadastral survey, the said
Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals property, with an area of 6,340 square meters was
ruled against TOMAS CLAUDIO MEMORIAL identified as Lot 1522.
COLLEGE, INC. that it filed a petition via In 1967, LADISLAO and his wife, Leonila
certiorari with the Supreme Court. Mateo executed a Deed of Absolute Conveyance with
Right of Way over the southwestern portion of Lot
ISSUE 1522, with an area of 3,000 square meters, in favor
Whether or not the right of the DE CASTROs of his brother, ELISEO for the price of P500.00,
for partition had already prescribed. with a provision for a right of way.
In the same year of 1967, Isidra died intestate
RULING and was survived by her 2 brothers: LADISLAO
NO, it had not prescribed. and ELISEO. AFTER THE DEATH OF Isidra, it
Even if a co-owner sells the whole property as was Virgilio Santos, son of ELISEO who
his, the sale will affect only his own share but not possessed the property.
those of the other co-owners who did not consent In 1969, LADISLAO and ELISEO and their
to the sale. Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his respective Spouses executed a Combined Deed of
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by Partition covering the Lot 1522 and the Isidra
one co-owner without the consent of the other co- Property, wherein it was covenanted that the
owners is not null and void. However, only the Isidra Property was deeded to ELISEO.
rights of the co-owner/seller are transferred, In 1969, the Provincial Assessor issued a tax
thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the declaration, over the Isidra property, under the
property. name of Virgilio (son of ELISEO) and Virginia
The proper action in a case like this, is not for Santos, thereby canceling the one under the name
the nullification of the sale, or for the recovery of of Isidra. In 1972, 1974 and 1980, tax declarations
possession of the property owned in common were also issued in the names of the said spouses.
from the third person, but for division or partition In 1980, Virgilio executed Deed of Absolute
of the entire property if it continued to remain in Sale of Unregistered Residential Land in favor of his
the possession of the co-owners who possessed brother, PHILIP over the Isidra property in
and administered it. Such partition should result exchange of another property owned by the latter.
in segregating the portion belonging to the seller On the basis of said deed, in 1981, a tax
and its delivery to the buyer. declaration under the name of PHILIP was issued.
In the light of the foregoing, TOMAS Since then, PHILIP occupied the Isidra property
CLAUDIO MEMORIAL COLLEGE, INC.'s and had his shop constructed thereon and he had
defense of prescription against an action for been paying the realty taxes therefor. In 1984,
partition is a vain proposition. Pursuant to Article VIRGILIO Santos died intestate and was survived
494 of the Civil Code, "no co-owner shall be by his wife Virginia.
obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Such co- In the meantime, LADISLAO and PHILIP left
owner may demand at anytime the partition of the Philippines and resided in the USA.
the thing owned in common, insofar as his share Despite the Deed of Absolute Conveyance With
is concerned." In Budlong vs. Bondoc (1977), the Right of Way executed by LADISLAO in favor of
ELISEO, the latter and the children of the with the following requisites.
LADISLAO signed an Application and sought in REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO
court for the registration of their title over Lots ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN
1522 and 2433. The application alleged that Lot COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION:
1522 was occupied by the heirs of LADSILAO (1) Co-owner has made known to the other co-
(3,430 sq. m.) and ELISEO (3,000 sq. m.), as a site owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership
of cockpit building. In 1986, the court granted the and claimed complete ownership over it. [not
application. Later, a title was issued in their complied] ELISEO had not repudiated the co-
names. ownership, and even if he did, there is no
Later, the children of LADISLAO and showing that the same had been clearly made
ELISEO executed a Partition Agreement where Lot known to LADISLAO. Indeed, Filipino family ties
1522 was subdivided into 2 lots, Lot A (3,000 sq. being close and well-knit as they are, and
m. in favor of Eliseo) and Lot B (3,387 sq. m. in considering that Virgilio was the ward of Isidra
favor of the children of LADILAO). Santos ever since when Virgilio was still an infant,
In 1993, LADISLAO had discovered that the it was but natural that the LADISLAO did not
Isidra property he and ELISEO inherited had been interpose any objection to the continued stay of
declared, for taxation purposes, under the name Virgilio and his family on the property and even
of PHILIP, on the basis of a Deed of Sale executed acquiesce thereto. LADISLAO must have
by Virgilio Santos. assumed too, that his brother, ELISEO, allowed
In the same year, LADISLAO filed an action his son to occupy the property and use the same
for the judicial partition of the Isidra property for the time being. Hence, such possession by
against ELISEO and the latters son, PHILIP. The Virgilio Santos and Philip Santos of the property
trial court dismissed the petition on the ground of does not constitute a repudiation of the co-
acquisitive prescription. On appeal, the Court of ownership by the Appellee Eliseo Santos and of
Appeals declared that LADISLAO and ELISEO his privies for that matter.
were co-owners and hence entitled to pro It is probable that said conduct was
indiviso shares in the Isidra. simply tolerated by the plaintiffs on account of his
Hence, this petition. It was alleged by being their uncle, and they never thought that by
petitioners PHILIP and the HEIRS OF ELISEO the said conduct the defendant was attempting to
right of action of LADISLAO has already oust them forever from the inheritance, nor that
prescribed. the defendant would have so intended in any
way, dealing as we do here with the acquisition of
ISSUE a thing by prescription, the evidence must be so
Whether or not the action for partition was clear and conclusive as to establish said
already barred by acquisitive prescription against prescription without any shadow of doubt. This
LADISLAO. does not happen in the instant case, for the
defendant did not even try to prove that he has
RULING expressly or impliedly refused plaintiffs right
NO, it had not prescribed. over an aliquot part of the inheritance.
Considering that ELISEO and PHILIP (2) There is evidence of repudiation and
disputed the status of LADISLAO as co-owner on knowledge on the part of other co-owners. [not
the ground that the brothers entered into a complied] There was no evidence of the
Combined Deed of Partition wherein the entire repudiation. There was no proof that LADISLAO
Isidra property was conveyed to ELISEO, It was executed any Combined Deed of Partition in
then incumbent upon them to present the best tandem with ELISEO. Also the evidence
evidence obtainable to prove the same. However, consisting of the tax declarations in Virgilios
the claim of a subsisting co-ownership by name and then in Philips name were not
LADISLAO over the Isidra property has not been conclusive and indisputable evidence to show
effectively refuted by ELISEO and PHILIP, and that the lot in question was conveyed to Virgilio
that ELISEO and his successors-in-interest Santos, Philips predecessor-in-interest. A mere
(Virgilio and PHILIP) did not acquire exclusive tax declaration does not vest ownership of the
title over the entire Isidra property. property upon the declarant. Neither do tax
Considering that there was no proof that receipts nor declarations of ownership for taxation
LADISLAO executed any Combined Deed of purposes constitute adequate evidence of
Partition in tandem with ELISEO, co-ownership ownership or of the right to possess realty.
still subsisted between the brothers over the Isidra (3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive,
property. This being the case, Article 494 of the adverse and notorious possession of the property.
Civil Code should be applied which states that, [complied] It was Virgilio Santos (son of ELISEO)
prescription does not run in favor of a co-owner who was in possession of the subject property
or co-heir against his co-owners or his co-heirs so since after the death of Isidra Santos in 1967.
long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the Thereafter, PHILIP took possession of the subject
co-ownership. property in 1980 upon its sale even until the
Prescription, as a mode of terminating a action for partition filed by LADISLAO. Despite
relation of co-ownership must have been this, prescription did not commence in the
preceded by repudiation of the co-ownership. absence of repudiation.
There was no showing that ELISEO had complied (4) Possession of the property has started from the
time of repudiation until the filing of the action in
court should be at least 10 years. [complied] PHILIP Rental for the exclusive use and enjoyment of
and the HEIRS OF ELISEO reasoned out that a co- owner which is not necessarily
more than 13 years had lapsed from 1967 when prejudicial to the interests of the other co-
Isidra died, to 1980 when PHILIP took possession owners should only be ordered after partition
of the property. In fact, they also argued that more because prior to partition, the former has the
than 12 years had lapsed from the time PHILIP right to use and enjoy the entire property as a
took possession of the property in 1980 up to the co-owner.
time LADISLAO filed the action for partition in
1993. They concluded that the action of FACTS
LADISLAO was already barred by ordinary Petitioner VIRGILIO AGUILAR and
acquisitive prescription of 10 years. Further, it is respondent SENEN AGUILAR were brothers. In
argued that the possession of Virgilio Santos 1969, they purchased a house and lot in
could be tacked with the possession of Philip Paraaque where their father, Maximiano
Santos bringing to a total of 26 years the time that Aguilar, could spend and enjoy his remaining
elapsed before the filing of the case in 1993. years in a peaceful neighborhood. Initially, the
However, being that there was no repudiation, brothers agreed that VIRGILIO's share in the co-
prescription did not run. ownership was 2/3 while that of SENEN was 1/3.
In 1970, the brothers executed a Memorandum
ARTICLE 497: The creditors or assignees of the co- wherein it was agreed upon that their interests in
owners may take part in the division of the thing the house and lot should be equal. It was also
owned in common and object to its being effected stated therein that in exchange for SENENS
without their concurrence. But they cannot impugn possession and enjoyment of the house together
any partition already executed, unless there has been with their father, he should assume the remaining
fraud, or in case it was made notwithstanding a formal mortgage obligation of the original owners with
opposition presented to prevent it, without prejudice to the Social Security System (SSS).
the right of the debtor or assignor to maintain its Also, since VIRGILIO was then disqualified
validity. from obtaining a loan from SSS, the brothers
agreed that the Deed of Sale would be executed
2 RIGHTS OF THE CREDITOR and the title registered in the meantime in the
1. To take part in the name of SENEN. It was further agreed that Senen
partition; would take care of their father and his needs since
2. To object to the partition Virgilio and his family were staying in Cebu.
being affected without In 1974, their father Maximiano Aguilar died.
their concurrence Afterwards, VIRGILIO demanded from SENEN
The creditors cannot impugn the partition that the latter should vacate the house and that
that has already been executed, except: the property be sold and proceeds thereof be
1) if there has been fraud on the part divided among them. However, SENEN refused
of the co-owners; to do so.
2) despite the formal opposition Because of the refusal of SENEN to give in to
made by them to prevent it, the VIRGILIO's demands, in 1979, the latter filed an
partition was still made. action to compel the sale of the house and lot so
that they could divide the proceeds between
ARTICLE 498: Whenever the thing is essentially them. In his complaint, he prayed that the
indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be proceeds be divided in the following manner: 2/3
allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others, in his favor and 1/3 in favor of SENEN. He also
it shall be sold and its proceeds distributed. prayed that SENEN be ordered to pay for
monthly rentals for his use of the house after their
What is the SITUATION in Art. 498? father died. He claimed that SENEN's continued
1. the thing owned in stay in the property hindered its disposal to his
common is essentially prejudice.
indivisible; and SENEN on the other hand alleged that he had
2. the owners cannot agree no objection to the sale as long as the best selling
that it may be allotted to price could be obtained. He also prayed that
one of them who shall should the sale would be effected, the proceeds
indemnify the others. thereof should be divided equally. He further
added that his use and enjoyment of the house
AGUILAR vs. CA was lawful since he was co-owner than he should
GR No. 76351. October 29, 1993 not be ordered to pay monthly rentals.
The trial court ordered that SENEN should
Art. 498 of the Civil Code states that vacate the property so that it could be sold to
whenever the thing is essentially indivisible third persons and that the proceeds of the sale be
and the co-owners cannot agree that it be divided equally between him and VIRGILIO. It
allotted to one of them who shall indemnify also ordered that SENEN should pay monthly
the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds rentals, which should be counted after the death
accordingly distributed. of their father.
The Court of First Instance reversed the
decision. However, the Court of Appeals affirmed A co-owner has no the preemptive right to
the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition purchase the pro indiviso share being offered
by VIRGILIO. for sale by another co-owner. What he has is
the right of redemption which must be
ISSUES exercised for a span of period after the sale to a
1. Whether or not it was proper for SENEN to 3rd person by the other co-owner involving the
vacate the property so that it could be sold to latters share was made.
third persons.
2. Whether or not SENEN should pay rentals Under Art. 498, the sale of the property held
after the time his father died. in common referred to in the above article is
resorted to when: (1) the right to partition
RULING the property among the co-owners is invoked
(1) YES, SENEN should vacate the property so by any of them but because of the nature of the
that it could be sold to third persons. property, it cannot be subdivided or its
Art. 498 of the Civil Code states that subdivision would prejudice the interests of
whenever the thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owners and (2) the co-owners are not
in agreement as to who among them shall be
the co-owners cannot agree that it be allotted to
allotted or assigned the entire property upon
one of them who shall indemnify the others, it
reimbursement of the shares of the other co-
shall be sold and its proceeds accordingly
owners.
distributed.
This is resorted to when:
FACTS
(1) the right to partition the property is
Peitioners MARINA REYES, AUGUSTIN
invoked by any of the co-owners but
ZABALLERO and SOCORRO FRANCISCO
because of the nature of the property it
(REYES ET AL.) and private respondents
cannot be subdivided or its subdivision
SOCORRO MARQUEZ VDA. DE ZABALLERO,
would prejudice the interests of the co-
EUGENIA ZUNA, LEONARDO ZABALLERO
owners, and
and ELENA FRONDA ZABALELRO (VDA. DE
(b) the co-owners not in agreement as to
ZABALLERO ET AL.) were pro indiviso co-owners
who among them shall be allotted or
of 8 parcels of land totaling to 9 hectares located
assigned the entire property upon proper
in the province of Cavite.
reimbursement or the co-owners.
In 1980, REYES ET AL. received a written
In the present case, the right to partition of the
notice from VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. that
property was invoked by VIRGILIO but SENEN
VOLCANO SECURITIES TRADERS AND AGRI-
refused to vacate it. The only recourse then is to
BUSINESS CORP. offered to buy their share in the
sell the property and the proceeds of the sale be
properties and that they had agreed thereto. The
distributed to the both of them in equal shares.
terms stated that VOLCANO SECURITIES was
(2) NO, SENEN should not start paying rentals
also willing to purchase not only the aliquot
after the death of their father but only after the
shares of VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. but also
trial court ordered him to vacate the property
that of REYES ET AL. for the price of P12.50 per
until he should actually vacate.
sq. m.
SENEN was a co-owner. Hence, under Article
In the same year, REYES ET AL. filed a case in
486 of the Civil Code, he had the right to use the
court seeking to enjoin VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET
house and lot without paying any compensation
AL. from selling their pro indiviso shares as co-
to VIRGILIO, as he may use the property owned
owners of the property. They also claimed:
in common so long as it is in accordance with the
1. that the subject property was
purpose for which it is intended and in a manner
incapable of division,
not injurious to the interest of the other co-
2. that as co-owners, they had a
owners.
preferential right to purchase the shares
However, since VIRGILIO had decided to effect
of VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. for a
partition of the house and lot in court. After the
reasonable price, and
trial court granted the petition for partition and
3. that P12.50 per sq. m. was grossly
ordered the ejectment of SENEN, the co-
excessive being that they have a
ownership was deemed terminated and the right
preemptive right to purchase the
to use and enjoy the possession jointly ceased.
property, it was unreasonable.
Thereafter, the continued stay of SENEN and his
VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. refuted said
family in the house was prejudicial to the interest
allegations. Later, they alleged that they did not
of VIRGILIO as the property should have been
know any other party who was willing and able
sold and the proceeds divided equally between
to purchase the property under a more favorable
them. To this extent and from then on respondent
condition than offered by VOLCANO
should be held liable for monthly rentals until he
SECURITIES. They however, also expressed that
and his family vacate.
they were willing to sell the property to REYES
ET AL. at the same rate of P12.50 per sq. m. as
offered by VOLCANO SECURITIES.
REYES vs. CONCEPTION
GR No. 56650. October 1, 1990
The trial court ruled that REYES ET AL. as co- and that distribution of the proceeds thereof
owners did not have a preemptive right to should be made among the co-owners afterwards.
purchase VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL.s
property. Pursuant to Art. 498, it also ordered a ARTICLE 499: The partition of a thing owned in
public sale of the entire property as it was common shall not prejudice third persons, who shall
indivisible. retain the rights of mortgage, servitude, or any other
Hence, this present action. real rights belonging to them before the division was
made. Personal rights pertaining to third persons
ISSUES against co-ownership shall also remain in force,
1. Whether or not a co-owner has the notwithstanding the partition.
preemptive right to purchase the pro indiviso share
being offered for sale by another co-owner. ARTICLE 500: Upon partition, there shall be mutual
2. Whether or not the property should be sold accounting for benefits received and reimbursements
to third persons. for expenses made. Likewise, each co-owner shall pay
for damages caused by reason of his negligence or
RULING fraud.
(1) NO, a co-owner has such no right. The legal ARTICLE 501: Every co-owner shall, after partition,
provisions on co-ownership do not grant to any of be liable for defects of title and quality of the portion
the owners of a property held in common a assigned to each of the other co-owners.
preemptive right to purchase the pro indiviso
shares of his co-owners. THE FOLLOWING ARE THE EFFECTS OF
Art. 1620 of the Civil Code only allows a co- PARTITION:
owner to exercise a right of redemption should 1. mutual accounting of
the other co-owner sell his share in the property to benefits received;
a third person. However, it could not be applied 2. mutual reimbursement;
in the present case. This is not present in the case 3. indemnity for damages
at bar since no sale of VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET caused by reason of his
AL.s pro indiviso shares had been made yet. It negligence or fraud;
only applies should a sale had been made. 4. reciprocal warranty in case
Neither did REYES ET AL. had the legal right of eviction or loss of
to enjoin VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. from quality or hidden defects.
alienating their pro indiviso shares to a third party. EXCEPT:
The law does not prohibit a co-owner from 1) when there is contrary
selling, alienating or mortgaging his ideal share in stipulation;
the property held in common. The law merely 2) when the eviction is due to
provides that the alienation or mortgage shall be subsequent partition to one
limited only to the portion of the property which evicted
may be allotted to him upon termination of the 3) the co-owner has exclusive
co-ownership. The only remedy of the remaining possession of the part allotted to
co-owners then is to exercise their right to redeem, him from the entire period during
within a specified period, the shares which may which possession lasted.
have been sold to the third party. o There is retroactive effect.
(2) YES, under Art. 498 of the Civil Code, it 4) they have exclusive title over
should be. their respective share under Art.
Under Art. 498, the sale of the property held 1091.
in common referred to in the above article is
resorted to when: EXTINGUISHMENT OF CO-OWNERSHIP:
1. the right to partition the property 1. By partition (judicial or extra judicial);
among the co-owners is invoked by any of 2. If the co-owner acquires ownership of the
them but because of the nature of the whole property thru acquisitive
property, it cannot be subdivided or its prescription and all the requisites are
subdivision would prejudice the interests of complied with (Art. 494);
the co-owners and 3. When a stranger acquires by prescription
2. the co-owners are not in agreement as of the thing that is owned in common (10
to who among them shall be allotted or to 30 years, good faith or bad faith
assigned the entire property upon respectively) after repudiation;
reimbursement of the shares of the other co- 4. Merger in one co-owner (when on
owners. acquires the share of another like by
In the present case, it was VDA. DE renouncing his share for the expenses
ZABALLERO ET AL. who invoked the partition incurred for the preservation until theres
of the property although the property was no more to renounce);
indivisible and it was not agreed upon that it 5. loss or destruction of the thing owned in
should be sold to REYES ET AL. since there was a common;
more favorable offer from VOLCANO 6. Expropriation by the government.
SECURITIES. Hence, under the provision, as a last
resort, the property must be sold in a public sale POSSESSION
Examples: that of a lessee,
ARTICLE 523: Possession is the holding of a thing or pledgee, usufructuary.
the enjoyment of a right. 3. Possession with just title but not from the
true owner. This is called real possessory
2 KINDS: right.
1. the holding of a thing Example: a vendee who
2. the enjoyment of a right purchases a car from another
(vendor) who merely pretended
the holding of a thing is possession proper to be the owner of a car. So there
The exercise of a right or enjoyment of a right is transfer but this is not sufficient
is quasi-possession to transfer ownership because
there is a defect in the title of the
Is Possession a Fact or a Right? vendor in that he is not the owner
It is really a fact (since it exists); but from the thereof
moment it exists, certain consequences follow, 4. Possession with title of dominion. This is
thus making possession also a right. really ownership or possession that
springs from ownership
What is the relationship between
ownership and possession? VIEWPOINT OF POSSESSION:
As a gen. rule, possession is an element of 1) jus possidendi the right to
ownership; however this rule is not absolute possess. This is a right or incident
because there are circumstances or instances of ownership.
where the owner of the thing does not posses Example: I own a house; therefore I
the thing. am entitled to posses it.

Right to Possession 2) jus possessionis this is right of


possession. This is an
Right to possession is merely an incident independent right of itself,
of ownership. independent of ownership.
This is independent of ownership
whereby a person is placed in possession Example: the lessee renting an
of a thing by virtue of a right but not of apartment. Although he is not the
ownership. owner, still by virtue of the lease
He is not the owner but he has the right to contract, he is entitled to possess.
possess. This is an independent right of
ownership CLASSES OF POSSESSION:
1. In ones own name or in that of another
REQUISITES OF POSSESSION: (Art 524)
2. In the concept of owner (en concepto de
1. There must be a holding or control (this duento) and in the concept of holder. (Art
holding may be actual or constructive; 525)
holding here means occupancy or seizure 3. In good faith (bona fide) or in bad faith
of a thing); (mala fide)
2. There is intent to hold or the animus or
desire; ARTICLE 524: Possession may be exercised in ones
3. The possession must be by virtue of one's own name or in that of another.
own right.
Possession may be exercised in ones own
CLASSES OF POSSESSION name or name of another.
a. possession in ones own name or Possession in Anothers Name:
possession in the name of another 1) Voluntary as when the agent
(art. 524) possesses for the principal
b. Possession in the concept on an 2) Necessary as when a mother
owner or possession in the possesses for a child still in
concept of a holder (art. 525) maternal womb
c. Possession in good faith or in bad 3) Unauthorized this will become
faith (art. 526) the principals possession only
after there has been a ratification
DEGREES OF POSSESSION: w/o prejudice to the effects of
1. The mere holding or having, without any negotiorum gestio)
right whatsoever.
ex: possession of a thief
2. Possession with juridical title but not that DE LUNA vs. CA
of ownership. This is called juridical GR No. 94490. August 6,1992
possession.
Possession of a lessor redounds to the benefit However, where the question of possession
of the owner since possession may be exercised cannot be resolved without deciding the question
in one's own name or in that of another. The of ownership, an inferior court has the power to
owner then may file an action for forcible resolve the question of ownership but only insofar
entry against a usurper. as to determine the issue of possession.
In the case at bar, the inferior court acted
FACTS correctly in receiving evidence regarding the
Since 1932, petitioner JOSE DE owned an ownership of the disputed property, inasmuch as
unregistered parcel of land with an area of 30,856 respondent DIMAANO, JR. claimed to possess
square meters, located in Botolan, Zambales. In the property by virtue of a lease agreement with
1971, defendants Octavio Daclison, Oscar Crispin, the alleged owner thereof, AGUSTIN DEQUIA,
and private respondents JUAN DIMAANO, JR. JR.
and GERINO DOBLE entered the land. Despite However, the Court of Appeals erred in
DE LUNAs objections, they began plowing the upholding the Regional Trial Court regarding the
land, fenced it with barbed wire and began conclusion that the subject property was owned
planting sugar cane thereon. by Agustin Dequia, Jr. and therefore respondent
In 1972, DE LUNA LUNA filed a complaint in DIMAANO, JR. was entitled to possess the same.
court for forcible entry. He prayed that DE LUNA had shown that he had prior
DIMAANO, JR. and DOBLE be ordered to vacate possession of the property. This was established
the land and pay him the amount of P45 monthly by the testimony of his witnesses, notably that of
per hectare until possession thereof would be his tenant Epigenio Dilag and Victor dela Cruz:
transferred to him. 1. In 1938, the property was delivered to DE
DIMAANO, JR. and DOBLE on the other LUNA and his mother Apolonia Dequa
hand denied the material allegations of the by Agustin Dequia, Sr. when they and
complaint. their brothers and sisters partitioned
Crispin and DOBLE alleged that they have not among themselves the properties of their
entered nor occupied the disputed property. deceased parents.
DIMAANO, JR. stated that DE LUNA was not 2. From 1938 to 1941, DE LUNA and his
the owner of the property. He alleged that the mother cultivated the land.
owner of it was his uncle Agustin Dequia, Sr., 3. From 1944 to 1952, the witness, dela Cruz,
who possessed it from 1945 to 1972, having leased the land from DE LUNA and his
acquired it from his mother Agustin Dequia, Jr., mother.
who originally owned it since 1906. 4. From 1953 to 1972 (until DIMAANO, JR.
The trial court rendered judgment in favor of entered the property), the property was
DE LUNA. On appeal, the RTC reversed the leased to Dilag.
decision and concluded that Agustin Dequia, Jr. While petitioner admitted that he declared the
was the owner of the property. The same was property for taxation purposes only in 1957, he
affirmed by the Court of Appeals. had possessed the property beginning 1953 at the
Aggrieved, DE LUNA elevated the case to the very latest, when he leased the same to Epigenio
Supreme Court. He contended that the Court of Dilag. Moreover, there was evidence to the effect
Appeals and the Regional Trial Court erred in that DE LUNA possessed the property even
determining the ownership of the disputed earlier than 1953.
property in an action for ejectment and concluded The possession of the property by Dilag since
that Agustin Dequia, Jr. was the owner of the 1953 and dela Cruz, redounded to the benefit of
property. DE LUNA, since possession may be exercised in
one's own name or in that of another.
ISSUES On the other hand, DIMAANO, JR. had failed
Whether or not DE LUNA had prior to prove that Agustin Dequia, Jr. possessed the
possession of the property. property prior to his possession, much less the
ownership of the latter over said property. The
RULING mere fact that Agustin Dequia, Sr. had declared
YES, he had prior possession of the property. the subject property for taxation purposes from
In ejectment cases, the only issue to be 1908 up to 1945 did not constitute possession
resolved therein is who is entitled to the physical thereof nor was it proof of ownership in the
or material possession of the premises, or absence of DEQUIA, JR.'s actual possession of
possession de facto, independent of any claim of said property.
ownership that either party may set forth in their However, it goes without saying that this case
pleadings. did not bar DE LUNA and Agustin Dequia, Jr.
If petitioner can prove prior possession in from resolving the issue of ownership over the
himself, he may recover such possession from disputed property in an appropriate proceeding.
even the owner himself. Whatever may be the
character of his prior possession, if he has in his ARTICLE 525: The possession of things or rights may
favor priority of time, he has the security that be had in one of two concepts: either in the concept of
entitles him to stay on the property until he is an owner, or in that of the holder of the thing or right
lawfully ejected by a person having a better right to keep or enjoy it, the ownership pertaining to another
by either accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoria. person.
auction sale, and PBCom's but it was dismissed.
The possession of things or rights may be Later, PBCom filed a petition for the issuance of a
had in one of 2 concepts: writ of possession over the land, which was
1) either in the concept of an owner; granted.
or However, petitioner JOSE MA. T. GARCIA,
2) in that of a holder of the thing or the brother of MA. LUISA MAGPAYO was the
right to keep it or enjoy it, the one in possession of the land and he refused to
ownership pertaining to another honor the writ of possession. Then, GARCIA filed
person against PBCom, the SPOUSES MAGPAYOS and
Example: the RTC Sheriff an action for recovery of realty
A purchased a land from X knowing him not to and damages wherein he alleged that he inherited
be the owner. But he exercises acts of ownership the land as one of the heirs of his mother
over it and his friend believes that he is the Remedios T. Garcia and that PBCom acquired no
owner. In time, thru prescription, A becomes the right thereover.
owner because his possession is in concepto de PBCom averred, however that GARCIA's
dueno. If a tenant leases the land from A, he claim over the land was belied by the fact that it
possesses the land in the concept of holder. was not among the properties owned by his
mother listed in the Inventory of Real Estate.
Possession in the concept of holder. The The SPOUSES MAGPAYOS, on the other
possession is of the property concerned. hand, asserted that title over the land was
Regarding their respective rights (the lease right, transferred to them by MA. LUISA MAGPAYOS
the usufruct, the right to safeguard the thing, the parents, Atty. Pedro and Remedios Garcia, to
right to use the thing), all are possessed by them, enable them to borrow money from PBCom.
respectively, in the concept of owner. Hence, the The court held that the mortgage executed by
possession of the THING itself is distinguished the MAGPAYO SPOUSES in favor of PBCom was
from the possession of the RIGHT TO ENJOY the void. It found that the mortgage was executed on
thing ( or benefit from it) March 5, 1981 but the new Torrens title was
issued to the MAGPAYO SPOUSES was only on
GARCIA vs. CA March 9, 1981. It held that the MAGPAYO
GR No. 133140. August 10, 1999 SPOUSES could not have acquired the said
property merely by the execution of the Deed of
The records show that GARCIA occupied the Sale because the property was in the possession of
property not in the concept of an owner for his GARCIA. It then invalidated the foreclosure sale
stay was merely tolerated by his parents. An and nullified the title issued to PBCom.
owner's act of allowing another to occupy his Dissatisfied, PBCom appealed. The Court of
house, rent-free does not create a permanent Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court.
and indefeasible right of possession in the Hence, this appeal by GARCIA.
latter's favor.
ISSUE
FACTS Whether or not GARCIAs ownership was in
Atty. Pedro V. Garcia with the consent of his the concept of an owner.
wife Remedios sold their registered lot situated at
Bel Air II Village in Makati in favor of private RULING
respondents their daughter MA. LUISA NO, his ownership was in the concept of a
MAGPAYO and her husband LUISITO holder.
MAGPAYO. GARCIA's possession as found by the trial
In 1981, SPOUSES MAGPAYO mortgaged the court, started only at the time of the filing of the
land to the Philippine Bank of Communications complaint. Assuming that to be true, his
(PBCom) to secure a loan, P564,000 according to possession which started only in 1986 could not
them, P1,200,000according to PBCom. Title in the ripen into ownership. He had no valid title
name of Atty. Pedro V. Garcia was cancelled and thereto. His possession in fact was that of an
a new one was issued in the name of SPOUSES intruder, one done in bad faith (to defeat PBCom's
MAGPAYO. In the title, the Deed of Real Estate Writ of Possession). His possession was certainly
Mortgage was annotated on it. not in the concept of an owner. This is so because
However, SPOUSES MAGPAYO failed to pay as early as 1981, title thereto was registered in the
their loan upon its maturity, hence, the mortgage name of the SPOUSES MAGPAYO which title
was extrajudicially foreclosed. During the public was subsequently cancelled when the property
auction sale, PBCom, which was the highest was purchased by PBCom in a public auction sale
bidder bought the land. After the 1 year resulting in the issuance of title in favor of the
redemption period expired without the SPOUSES latter in 1985.
MAGPAYO redeeming the same, the latters title Possession and ownership are distinct legal
was cancelled and title over the land was concepts. Ownership exists when a thing
consolidated in favor of PBCom. pertaining to one person is completely subjected
1985, the SPOUSES MAGPAYO filed a to his will in a manner not prohibited by law and
complaint seeking the nullification of the consistent with the rights of others. Ownership
extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage, public confers certain rights to the owner, one of which is
the right to dispose of the thing by way of sale. spouses Rodils for allowing him to occupy and
Atty. Pedro Garcia and his wife Remedios cultivate the same. 12 hectares of the property
exercised their right to dispose of what they were then developed into a fishpond, 2 hectares
owned when they sold the subject property to the were planted with rice and 1 hectare was used as
SPOUSES MAGPAYO. "tumana" with a house erected thereon.
On the other hand, possession is defined as In 1971, the spouses Rodil decided to sell the
the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. said piece of land. MANGAHAS approached
Literally, to possess means to actually and private respondent SPOUSES PABLO SIMEON
physically occupy a thing with or without right. AND LEONORA CAYME to offer to them the
Under Art. 542 of the Civil Code, possession may property for sale. The SPOUSES CAYME agreed
be had in one of two ways: possession in the to purchase the property for P7,000 and
concept of an owner and possession of a holder. A MANGAHAS was the broker of such sale. An
possessor in the concept of an owner may be the Affidavit of proof to such was executed by the
owner himself or one who claims to be so. On the Spouses Rodil in favor of the SPOUSES CAYME
other hand, one who possesses as a mere holder in the presence of the herein MANGAHAS. The
acknowledges in another a superior right which SPOUSES CAYME, on the same day, filed a free
he believes to be ownership, whether his belief be patent application for the land, which was later
right or wrong. approved. Later, title in their names was issued.
The records show that GARCIA occupied the The SPOUSES CAYME permitted
property not in the concept of an owner for his MANGAHAS to continue possessing and
stay was merely tolerated by his parents. An working on the same land, even after the sale,
owner's act of allowing another to occupy his upon the request of the former themselves
house, rent-free does not create a permanent and because they were then busy in their palay
indefeasible right of possession in the latter's business. The SPOUSES CAYME did not get any
favor. Consequently, it was of no moment that share in the fruits or harvest of the land except on
GARCIA was in possession of the property at the one occasion, when MANGAHAS gave them 1/2
time of the sale to the SPOUSES MAGPAYO. It "tiklis" (big basket) of "tilapia".
was not a hindrance to a valid transfer of Later, the SPOUSES CAYME had demanded
ownership. On the other hand, GARCIA's from MANGAHAS the return of the premises in
subsequent claim of ownership as successor to his question but the latter refused to vacate the place.
mother's share in the conjugal asset was belied by In 1985, the SPOUSES CAYME commenced an
the fact that the property was not included in the action for recovery of ownership and the
inventory of the estate submitted by his father to possession of real property.
the intestate court. This buttresses the ruling that MANGAHAS theorized that he entered into
indeed the property was no longer considered the possession of the land under controversy in
owned by petitioner's parents. 1969 by virtue of a prior sale he inked with the
The mortgage to PBCom by the SPOUSES spouses Rodil in 1969. He averred that he had
MAGPAYO was valid notwithstanding that the been in continuous occupation and possession in
transfer certificate of title over the property was concepto de dueo, enjoying the fruits thereof to the
issued to them after the mortgage contract was exclusion of all others, his right thereto being
entered into. Registration does not confer evidenced by the Kasulatan ng Pagtangap ng Salapi
ownership, it is merely evidence of such dated 1969. He also denied that he brokered the
ownership over a particular property. The deed of sale between the spouses Rodil and SPOUSES
sale operates as a formal or symbolic delivery of CAYME.
the property sold and authorizes the buyer to use The trial court ruled against MANGAHAS. It
the document as proof of ownership. held that the SPOUSES CAYME WERE the
absolute and registered owners of the land in
question. It also ordered MANGAHAS to remove
MANGAHAS vs. CA his house constructed thereon and deliver the
GR No. 95815. March 10, 1999 possession to the SPOUSES CAYME. The Court of
Appeals affirmed the same decision.
Acquisition of ownership under the law on Hence, this appeal.
prescription cannot be pleaded in support of
MANGAHAS' submission that subject land ISSUE
has ipso jure become his private property. Whether or not MANGAHAS possessed the
property in the concept of an owner.
FACTS
Since 1955, the spouses Severo and Caridad S. RULING
Rodil, occupied and possessed an agricultural NO, MANGAHAS only possessed it in the
land with an area of 15.0871 hectares. Petitioner, concept of a holder for the following proofs:
SERVANDO MANGAHAS, had been in 1. the spouses Rodil only allowed him to
possession thereof by virtue of the agreement occupy and cultivate the said parcel of
between him and the spouses Rodil, allowing him land by lease werein MANGAHAS paid
to occupy and cultivate the said parcel of land. P7,000 as evidenced by the Kasulatan ng
In the Kasulatan ng Pagtanggap ng Salapi, Pagtanggap ng Salapi,
MANGAHAS paid the amount of P7,000 to the
2. MANGAHAS was the one who offered RESPONDENTS. The latter however contended
the property for sale to the SPOUSES that no partition was effected and hence, they
CAYME when the spouses Rodil decided were co-owners of Lot D.
to sell it. In fact, he was the broker of the After trial, the lower court rendered judgment
sale, and in favor of PETITIONERS and ordered
3. on one occasion, MANGAHAS gave the RESPONDENTS to demolish their respective
SPOUSES CAYME 1/2 "tiklis" (big basket) houses and vacate the premises. Although there
of "tilapia". was an order for partition but there was no proof
that the sketch/subdivision plan was submitted to
Prescription did not run in favor of Mangahas court for its approval or that a decree or order was
MANGAHAS's grantor or predecessor in registered in the Register of Deeds. It based its
interest spouses RODIL took possession of the decision on the tax declarations by the original co-
property, subject matter of the litigation in 1955. owners as to their respective shares after partition.
Since the complaint in the case at bar was filed in In fact, the tax declarations over the houses of
1985, the requirement of at least 30 years RESPONDENTS, expressly stated that the same
continuous possession has not been complied are constructed on the lot of Roberto Maglucot. It
with even if we were to tack Rodil's period of then constitutes a conclusive admission by them
possession. of the ownership of the subject lot by the latter. It
MANGAHAS could not now feign ignorance also added that RESPONDENTS were estopped
of such judicial admission which he had by the fact that it was their predecessor-in-
resolutely repudiated in his present petition. interest, Tomas Maglucot, who commenced the
Acquisition of ownership under the law on action for partition and took active part in the
prescription cannot be pleaded in support of process.
MANGAHAS' submission that subject land has On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the
ipso jure become his private property. decision of the RTC. The appellate court ruled
that the sketch plan and tax declarations relied
upon by PETITIONERS were not conclusive
MAGLUCOT-AU vs. MAGLUCOT evidence of partition. It thus declared that there
GR No. 132518. March 28, 2000 was no partition of Lot No. 1639.
Hence, this appeal by PETITIONERS. They
RESPONDENTS only possessed Lot D in the contended that Lot 1639 was mutually partitioned
concept of a holder for the reason that they and physically subdivided among the co-owners
had been paying rent as lessees thereon. Had and that majority of them participated in the
they been of the belief that they were co- actual execution of the subdivision. They opined
owners of the entire Lot 1639, they would not that in 1952, it was Tomas Maglucot, predecessor-
have paid rent. One who possesses as a mere in-interest of RESPODENTS, who initiated a court
holder acknowledges in another, a superior proceeding for a formal subdivision of Lot 1639.
right which he believes to be ownership, Further, the co-owners accepted their designated
whether his belief be right or wrong. shares in 1946 as averred by Tomas Maglucot in
his petition for partition. Thus, RESPONDENTS
FACTS were estopped from asserting that there was no
Lot No. 1639 was co-owned by 6 persons. In partition made. PETITIONERS further contend
1927, a title in their names was issued. In 1952, that respondents admitted in their tax
Tomas Maglucot, one of the registered owners declarations covering their respective houses that
and RESPONDENTS' predecessor-in-interest, they are "constructed on the land of Roberto
filed a petition to subdivide Lot No. 1639. Maglucot."
Consequently, it was divided into 6 portions. RESPONDENTS rebutted firstly that
After partition, Lot D was awarded to Roberto PETITIONERS failed to show that the interested
Maglucot, predecessor-in-interest of parties were notified of the tentative subdivision
PETITIONERS GAVINA MAGLUCOT-AW ET contained in the sketch and that the CFI
AL. while Lot F was awarded to Tomas Maglucot, subsequently confirmed the same. Second, they
predecessor-in-interest RESPONDENTS point to the fact that petitioners were unable to
LEOPOLDO MAGLUCOT. show any court approval of any partition. Third,
In 1963, Guillermo Maglucot rented a portion they maintained that Lot 1639 remained
of Lot D. Subsequently, respondents LEOPOLDO undivided since to date, its title contained no
and SEVERO MAGLUCOT, rented portions of the annotation of partition or whatsoever.
same lot in 1964 and 1969, respectively, and each
paying rentals therefor. They built houses on their ISSUE
corresponding leased lots and paid the rental 1. Whether or not there was partition.
amount of P100 per year to Mrs. Ruperta Salma, 2. Whether or not the RESPONDENTS
who represented the heirs of Roberto Maglucot. possessed Lot D in the concept of an owner since
In 1992, however, said respondents stopped they argued that they were co-owners of the lot.
paying rentals claiming ownership over the
subject lot. RULING
Hence, an action for recovery of possession (1) YES, there was partition.
and damages was filed by PETITIONERS against
The records of the case show that sometime in declared for tax purposes in the name of Roberto
1946 there was a prior oral agreement to Maglucot.
tentatively partition Lot 1639. By virtue of this
agreement, the original co-owners occupied 2 phases in an action for partition;
specific portions of Lot 1639. It was only in 1952 1. an order for partition which determines
when the petition to subdivide Lot 1639 was filed whether a co-ownership in fact exists, and
because two of the co-owners, namely whether partition is proper, and
Hermogenes Olis and heirs of Pascual Olis, The first phase of a partition and/or
refused to have said lot subdivided and have accounting suit is taken up with the
separate certificates of title. Significantly, after the determination of whether or not a co-
1952 proceedings, the parties in this case by ownership in fact exists, (i.e., not otherwise
themselves and/or through their predecessors-in- legally proscribed) and may be made by
interest occupied specific portions of Lot 1639 in voluntary agreement of all the parties
accordance with the sketch plan. Such possession interested in the property. This phase may end
remained so until this case arose, or about 40 with a declaration that plaintiff is not entitled
years later. to have a partition either because a co-
ownership does not exist, or partition is
Parties to a partition proceeding, who elected
legally prohibited. It may end, upon the other
to take under partition, and who took possession
hand, with an adjudgment that a co-
of the portion allotted to them, are estopped to
ownership does in truth exist, partition is
question title to portion allotted to another party.
proper in the premises and an accounting of
A person cannot claim both under and against the
rents and profits received by the defendant
same instrument. In other words, they accepted
from the real estate in question is in order. In
the lands awarded them by its provisions, and the latter case, the parties may, if they are able
they cannot accept the decree in part, and to agree, make partition among themselves by
repudiate it in part. They must accept all or none. proper instruments of conveyance, and the
Parties who had received the property assigned to court shall confirm the partition so agreed
them are precluded from subsequently attacking upon. In either case - i.e., either the action is
its validity of any part of it. dismissed or partition and/or accounting is
Here, RESPONDENTS, by themselves and/or decreed - the order is a final one, and may be
through their predecessors-in-interest, already appealed by any party aggrieved thereby.
occupied of the lots in accordance with the sketch 2. a decision confirming the sketch or
plan. This occupation continued until this action subdivision submitted by the parties or the
was filed. They cannot now be heard to question commissioners appointed by the court, as the
the possession and ownership of the other co- case may be.
owners who took exclusive possession of Lot D The second phase commences when it
also in accordance with the sketch plan. appears that "the parties are unable to agree
(2) NO. RESPONDENTS only possessed Lot D upon the partition" directed by the court. In
in the concept of a holder for the reason that they that event, partition shall be done for the
had been paying rent as lessees thereon. Had they parties by the court with the assistance of not
been of the belief that they were co-owners of the more than three (3) commissioners. This
entire Lot 1639, they would not have paid rent. second stage may well also deal with the
The payment of rentals by RESPONDENTS rendition of the accounting itself and its
reveal that their possession of over Lot D was that approval by the court after the parties have
of a holder and not in the concept of an owner. been accorded opportunity to be heard
One who possesses as a mere holder thereon, and an award for the recovery by the
acknowledges in another a superior right which party or parties thereto entitled of their just
he believes to be ownership, whether his belief be share in the rents and profits of the real estate
right or wrong. Since the possession of in question. Such an order is, to be sure, final
RESPONDENTS were found to be that of lessees and appealable.
of PETITIONERS, it goes without saying that the
latter were in possession of Lot No. 1639-D in the ARTICLE 526: He is deemed a possessor in good faith
who is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of
concept of an owner from 1952 up to the time the
acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.
present action was commenced.
He is deemed a possessor in bad faith, who
To bolster the fact that they possessed the
possesses in any case contrary to the foregoing.
land in the concept of a holder, RESPONDENTS
Mistake upon doubtful or difficult
Wilfreda Maglucot-Alejo and Constancio Alejo
question of law may be the basis of good faith
offered to buy the share of Roberto Maglucot.
However, this did not prosper as PETITIONERS
Awareness of any flaw is the question of
refused to sell it.
knowledge. So that if he is not aware, he
Moreover, no evidence was ever presented to
is in good faith. If he is aware then he is in
show that a tax declaration for the entire Lot 1639
bad faith
has ever been made. In fact, after partition, tax
SC said where a party's mere refusal to
declarations were made for every specific lot by
believe that a defect exists or his willful
each owner thereof. In fact, Lot D, where
closing of his eyes to the possibility of a
RESPONDENTS houses were built thereon were
vendor's defect to his title will not make
him an innocent purchaser for value if it The reckoning period is not the
afterwards develop that the title was in knowledge itself but when the facts
fact defective. Hence if circumstances would show that the possessor has
exist that requires a prudent man to evident knowledge of the flaw.
investigate, he will be in bf if he does not
investigate. (Rep. vs. CA (102 Scra 331 in When would the facts exist? When
relation to Wong vs. Carprio 203 Scra 118) someone produces evidence.

Possessor in Good Faith. One who is not aware What is the significance of good faith
that there exists in his TITLE or MODE of and bad faith with respect to the
acquisition any flaw which invalidates it. owner of the property? No
significance because he is already the
While the possessor in good faith is one owner of the property.
who BELIEVES he is the owner, the
possessor in the concept of owner is one EMBRADO vs. CA
who ACTS as if he is the owner. GR No. 51457. June 27, 1994

Possessor in Bad Faith. One who is not in good The rule is settled that a buyer of real
faith. (Hence, if circumstances exist that require a property which is in the possession of persons
prudent man to investigate, he will be in bad faith other than the seller must be wary and should
if he does not investigate. investigate the rights of those in possession.
Otherwise, without such inquiry, the buyer
The ff. may be the basis of good faith: can hardly be regarded as a buyer in good
1. Error in the application of the law, in faith.
legal solutions that arise from that
application ( the error is not gross and FACTS
therefore excusable) Juan, Pastor and Matias Carpitanos originally
2. error in the appreciation of the legal owned a 366-square meter lot in Dipolog City.In
consequences of certain acts 1946, a Venta Definitiva, a notarized document
3. errors in the interpretation of written entirely in Spanish, was executed by the
doubtful provisions or doctrines Carpitanos whereby they sold said lot to
petitioner LUCIA C. EMBRADO, who was
ARTICLE 527: Good faith is always presumed, and referred to as single. The document provided
upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a that even though the Deed was prepared and
possessor rests the burden of proof. signed in 1946, the effects of the document would
retroact to the date the lot and its improvements
There is a presumption that where one is in possession were actually sold to EMBRADO in 1941.
of the property, there is a presumption that the Thereafter, the sale was registered and a title
possession is in good faith. And upon him who alleges was issued in the name of LUCIA EMBRADO
bad faith on the part of a possessor rests the burden of alone. Later, the word single in the title was
proof. cancelled and was replaced by married to
ORESTE TORREGIANI", the latter, who was
ARTICLE 528: Possession acquired in good faith does LUCIA EMBRADOs husband since 1943. The
not lose this character except in the case and from the TORREGIANIs then constructed their conjugal
moment facts exist which show that the possessor is not abode on the lot and in 1958 constructed a
unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or residential/commercial building thereon.
wrongfully. In 1971, EMBRADO sold the land for P1,000 to
her adopted daughter, herein private respondent
If one is in possession and his possession is in good EDA JIMENEZ, who was married to SANTIAGO
faith, he will remain in good faith until such time when JIMENEZ. In the Absolute Deed of Sale, the
bad faith begins. property was referred to as EMBRADOs "own
paraphernal property".
When Possession in Good Faith is In 1972, EDA sold 65 sq. m of the lot to private
Converted to Possession in Bad Faith: respondent MARCOS SALIMBAGAT for P6,500,
a. From the moment facts exist showing and 301 sq. m. of the same lot to private
the possessors knowledge of the respondent PACIFICO CIMAFRANCA for
flaw; from that time should he be P30,000. Both sales were duly annotated on the
considered a possessor in bad faith. title.
b. It does not matter whether the facts In the same year, the TORREGIANIs
were caused by him or by some other instituted an action for declaration of nullity of
person. contract, annulment of sales, reconveyance and
When Bad Faith Begins: damages against the private respondent SPOUSES
From the moment facts exist which JIMENEZ, MARCOS SALIMBAGAT and
show that the possessor is aware that PACIFICO CIMAFRANCA. They alleged that the
he possesses the thing improperly or sale that the sale of the lot by LUCIA to EDA was
wrongfully. void not only for lack of consideration but also
because ORESTE TORREGIANI did not consent on his guard and then claim that he acted in good
to the sale, which consent was necessary because faith under the belief that there was no defect in
the lot was conjugal property. They also claimed the title of the vendor. His mere refusal to believe
that that LUCIA was misled into signing the Deed that such defect exists, or his willful closing of his
of Sale on the belief that the lot was merely eyes to the possibility of the existence of a defect
intended as security for a loan that the SPOUSES in the vendor's title will not make him an innocent
JIMENEZ spouses were then negotiating. Since purchaser for value if afterwards it develops that
the SPOUSES JIMENEZ did not acquire valid title the title is in fact defective, and it appears that he
to the land, the subsequent sales in favor of had such notice of the defect as would have led to
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA were without its discovery had he acted with the measure of
legal effect. precaution which may reasonably be required of a
The TORREGIANIs were sustained by the prudent man in like situation.
trial court, which held that the sale of Lot 564 to CIMAFRANCA was a close relative of
EDA and its subsequent transfers to SANTIAGO and at the same time godfather to
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA, who were one of his children. It would be impossible for
declared buyers in bad faith, were void and of no CIMAFRANCA not to know that SANTIAGO
effect. was only 22 years old, a working student earning
The Court of appeals reversed the said P6 per day with a wife and three children to
judgment. It held that since LUCIA actually support. With these facts, there is every reason for
agreed with Juan, Pastor and Matias Carpitanos, him to inquire further as to how EDA came up
the original owners, to the purchase of Lot 564 in with the sum of P1,000 to buy the property, when
1941 when she was not yet married, then the lot she was unemployed.
was her paraphernal property. In addition, the On the part of SALIMBAGAT, he has a
respondent court declared SALIMBAGAT and daughter renting a portion of the building with
CIMAFRANCA were buyers in good faith since her husband for more than a year prior to the sale
the contrary was not proved. by EDA to him. During the time that
SALIMBAGAT was already interested in buying
ISSUE the property, it would have been usual and part of
Whether or not SALIMBAGAT and ordinary human nature for him to inquire about
CIMAFRANCA were buyers in good faith for the property from his daughter who was living
purposes of protection under the Torrens system very near the supposed owners. SALIMBAGAT
of registration. had some knowledge of the financial status of the
supposed vendors which should have put him on
RULING guard before buying the property and would
NO, they were not. They were buyers in bad have known that at the time of the sale to him and
faith. Hence, they were not entitled to protection CIMAFRANCA, the TORREGIANIs had already
under the Torrens system of registration. been in continuous possession of the property for
Lot 564 was the conjugal property of the 14 years since 1958.
TORREGIANI since LUCIA purchased it from the Before buying the property, SALIMBAGAT
Capitranos in 1946 when her marriage to ORESTE and CIMAFRANCA allegedly inquired from the
was already subsisting. office of the Register of Deeds concerning the
The Sale in favor of EDA was void because it genuineness of the certificate of title of EDA, and
was made with fraud and that if indeed it was from the court as to whether the property was
sold, it was made without the consent of LUCIAs involved in any litigation. However, they failed to
husband, the property being a conjugal one. inquire from petitioners as to why they were the
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA were buyers ones in actual possession of the property.
in bad faith The rule is settled that a buyer of real property
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA had not which is in the possession of persons other than
proven that they were purchasers in good faith. the seller must be wary and should investigate the
The burden of proving the status of a purchaser in rights of those in possession. Otherwise, without
good faith and for value lies upon him who such inquiry, the buyer can hardly be regarded as
asserts that status.* In discharging the burden, it is a buyer in good faith. When a man proposes to
not enough to invoke the ordinary presumption of buy or deal with realty, his first duty is to read the
good faith, i.e. that everyone is presumed to act in public manuscript, i.e., to look and see who is
good faith. The good faith that is here essential is there upon it, and what are his rights. A want of
integral with the very status which must be caution and diligence which an honest man of
proved. ordinary prudence is accustomed to exercise in
We agree with the trial court when it found making purchases is, in contemplation of law, a
that SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA want of good faith. The buyer who has failed to
purchased the disputed lot from EDA and know or discover that the land sold to him is in
SANTIAGO JIMENEZ with knowledge of facts the adverse possession of another, is a buyer in
and circumstances which should have put them bad faith.
upon such inquiry and investigation as might be
necessary to acquaint them with the defects in the * This is in contrast to Art. 527 of the Civil
title of their vendor. A purchaser cannot close his Code which states that upon him who
eyes to facts which should put a reasonable man
alleges bad faith on the part of the possessor In 1981, the PIEDAS offered to redeem the
rests the burden of proof. foreclosed property by offering P10,000 as partial
redemption payment. This amount was accepted
by DBP, which conditionally approved the offer
ALVIOLA vs. CA of redemption.
GR No. 117642. April 24, 1998 However, DBP sent another letter to the
PIEDAS informing them that pursuant to P.D.
There was bad faith on the part of the 27, their offer to redeem and/or repurchase the
SPOUSES ALVIOLA when they constructed subject property could not be favorably
the copra dryer and store on the disputed considered for the reason that said property was
portions since they were fully aware that the tenanted. DBP later filed an action in court to to
parcels of land belonged to Victoria Tinagan. nullify the foreclosure proceedings which was
favorably acted upon.
(refer to Page 17) Later, the PIEDAS filed an action against
DBP for the cancellation of certificate of title
and/or specific performance, accounting and
DBP vs. CA damages with a prayer for the issuance of a writ
GR No. 111737. October 13, 1999 of preliminary injunction. It contended that DBP
was in evident bad faith as it caused the
Good faith of the possessor ceases when an consolidation of its title to the parcel of land in
action to recover possession of the property is question in spite of the fact that the 5-year
filed against him and he is served summons
redemption period expressly stated in the Sheriff's
therefore. In the present case, DBP was served
Certificate of Sale had not yet lapsed and that their
summons in 1982. By that time, it was no
offer to redeem the foreclosed property was made
longer in possession of the disputed land as
well within said period of redemption.
possession thereof was given back to the
RTC ruled in favor of the PIEDAS stating
PIEDAS after the foreclosure of DBP was
that DBP violated the stipulation in the Sheriff's
declared null and void.
Certificate of Sale which provided that the
FACTS redemption period is 5 years from the
Respondent SPOUSES TIMOTEO and registration.
SELFIDA S. PIEDA were registered owners of a DBP appealed to the Court of Appeals, which
parcel of land in Dumarao, Capiz containing an affirmed the decision of the RTC. The Court of
area of 238,406 sq. m, which was covered by a Appeals stated that being that DBP was in evident
homestead patent. bad faith when it unlawfully took possession of
In 1972, the PIEDAS mortgaged said land to the property and defied what was written on the
petitioner DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE Sheriff's Certificate of Sale, the PIEDAS should be
PHILIPPINES (DBP) to secure their P20,000- entitled to recover the fruits produced by the
agricultural loan. Later, The PIEDAS failed to property or its equivalent for the 3-year period.
comply with the terms and conditions of the Hence, this appeal by DBP. It alleged that the
mortgage that DBP extrajudicially foreclose it in mere fact that DBP took possession and
1977. In the foreclosure sale, DBP was the highest administration of the property did not warrant a
bidder and a Sheriff Certificate of Sale was executed finding that DBP was in bad faith:
in its favor. In Said Certificate, it was indicated 1. the PIEDAS consented to and approved
therein that the redemption shall be within 5 the takeover of DBP;
years from the date of the registration of the title. 2. that Sec. 717 of Act No. 3135 allows the
This Certificate was later registered in the Registry mortgagee-buyer to take possession of the
of Deeds. mortgaged property even during the redemption
In 1978, after the expiration of the 1-year period;
redemption period under Section 6 of Act 3135, 3. that DBP's act of consolidating the title of
DBP consolidated its title over the foreclosed the property in its name did not constitute bad
property by executing an Affidavit of Consolidation faith as there was no law which prohibits the
of Ownership. Subsequently, a Final Deed of Sale purchaser at public auction from consolidating
was executed in DBP's favor, which was title in its name after the expiration of the 1 year
registered together with the Affidavit of redemption period reckoned from the time the
Consolidation of Ownership. A new title was Certificate of Sale was registered; and neither was
thereafter issued to DBP and it took possession of there any law or jurisprudence which prohibits
the foreclosed property and appropriated the the PIEDAS from exercising their right of
produce thereof. redemption over said property within 5 years
1978, the Ministry of Justice opined that as the even if title is consolidated in the name of the
mortgage had ceased to exist upon the transfer of purchaser; and
title to the tenant by virtue of the promulgation of 4. that when it denied the PIEDAS' offer to
P.D. No. 27 in 1972, there could be no mortgage to redeem the property, it was merely premised on
foreclose and therefore no subject for the the Opinion of the Minister of Justice which stated
foreclosure proceedings. that said land was covered under P.D. 27 and
could not be the subject of foreclosure
proceedings. For this reason, DBP immediately
filed a petition to nullify the foreclosure filed against him and he is served summons
proceedings which was favorably acted upon. If therefore. In the present case, DBP was served
DBP was really in bad faith, it would not have summons in 1982. By that time, it was no longer in
filed said petition for said petition was against its possession of the disputed land as possession
own interests. thereof was given back to the PIEDAS after the
foreclosure of DBP was declared null and void.
ISSUE Therefore, any income collected by DBP after it
Whether or not DBP was in bad faith. consolidated its title and took possession of the
property in 1978 up to 1982 belonged to DBP as a
RULING possessor in good faith since its possession was
NO, it was not. It was a possessor in good never legally interrupted.
faith.
A possessor in good faith is one who is not ARTICLE 529: It is presumed that possession
aware that there exists in his title or mode of continues to be enjoyed on the same character in which
acquisition any flaw, which invalidates it. Good it was acquired, until the contrary is proved.
faith is always presumed, and upon him who
alleges bad faith on the part of a possessor rests If one is in actual possession of the
the burden of proof. It was therefore incumbent property under the claim of
on the PIEDAS to prove that DBP was aware of ownership, there is a disputable
the flaw in its title i.e. the nullity of the presumption of ownership.
foreclosure. This, they failed to do. REQUISITES:
The PIEDAS argued that DBP's bad faith a. one is in actual possession;
stemmed from the fact that DBP consolidated title b. and he is claiming ownership
over the disputed property despite the statement
in the Sheriff's Certificate of Sale to the effect that ARTICLE 530: Only things and rights which are
said land was subject to a 5-year redemption susceptible of being appropriated may be the object of
period. possession.
The period of redemption of extrajudicially
foreclosed land is provided under Section 6 of What may be possessed? Only things
ACT No. 3135 which states that if no redemption and rights which are susceptible of
is made within 1 year, the purchaser is entitled as being appropriated
a matter of right to consolidate and to possess the What may not be possessed?
property. Accordingly, DBP's act of consolidating a. property of public domain;
its title and taking possession of the subject b. res communes
property after the expiration of the period of c. easements ( if discontinuous or
redemption was in accordance with law. non- apparent);
Moreover, it was in consonance with Section 4 of d. things specifically prohibited by
the mortgage contract between DBP and the law
PIEDAS where they agreed to the appointment
of DBP as receiver to take charge and to hold Res Nullius. Res nullius (abandoned or ownerless
possession of the mortgage property in case of property) may be possessed, but cannot be
foreclosure. DBP's acts cannot therefore be tainted acquired by prescription.
with bad faith. Reason: prescription presupposes prior
The right of DBP to consolidate its title and ownership in another. However, said res nullius
take possession of the subject property is not may be acquired by occupation.
affected by the PIEDAS' right to repurchase said
property within 5 years from the date of DBP CASE.
conveyance granted by Section 119 of CA No. 141. Pineda mortgaged the property and then it was
In fact, without the act of DBP consolidating title foreclosed. Foreclosure normally under the law is
in its name, the PIEDAS would not be able to 1 yr period (extra judicial). If the mortgagor does
assert their right to repurchase granted under the not redeem, mortgagee will consolidate the title
aforementioned section. and after that, title is transferred to the mortgagee
It may be argued that P.D. 27 was already in (DBP). But what happened here was that the
effect when DBP foreclosed the property. foreclosure was in 1977. In 1978, there was an
However, the legal propriety of the foreclosure of opinion given by the Ministry of Justice declaring
the land was put into question only after the that there are some properties that may not be the
Opinion of the Ministry of Justice declared that object of foreclosure proceeding. And the
said land was covered by P.D. 27 and could not be properties of Pineda were covered by the opinion
subject to foreclosure proceedings. The Opinion but DBP did not know or did not have any idea
was issued almost 2 months after DBP about it. In 1981, Pineda decided to redeem, did
consolidated its title to the property. By law and DBP refuse? NO, in honor of the agreement with
jurisprudence, a mistake upon a doubtful or Pineda that the latter can redeem the property
difficult question of law may properly be the basis within 5 years and DBP already initiated the
of good faith. cancellation of the certificate of its own title. It
Good faith of the possessor ceases when an gave up the possession over the property. In truth
action to recover possession of the property is and in fact, DBP was merely a possessor in good
faith because it was not aware of the flaw inside, 3. By constructive possession or proper
that the property was not subject of the acts and legal formalities
foreclosure proceeding. DBP would become in
bad faith if it is aware of it and it still has the MODES OF POSSESSION
possession of the property. But before it learned
about the opinion, it already initiated the 1) MATERIAL OCCUPATION. Holding,
cancellation so that it will be returned the apprehension, arrest or occupancy. The word
property of Pineda. There was no really occupation is used in its ordinary sense which
interruption to put DBP in bad faith. It was no means the holding of a thing which
longer in possession of the lot when it found out necessarily is physical. When it is in the
the opinion that the property should not be a exercise of a right, this is quasi-possession.
subject of the foreclosure proceeding.
A. Forms of delivery or tradition that can
Presumptions that may arise from possession: give rise to possession through material
1. Ownership. Art. 433: Actual possession occupation:
with bona fide claim of ownership is o Actual or real
presumed ownership. o Constructive delivery.
2. Good Faith. GF is always presumed. This
presumption continues to be so until the B. Kinds of constructive delivery that may
contrary is proved. There is continuity of give rise to possession through material
presumption of good faith. occupation:
3. Presumption of just title. A person who o Symbolic deliver or by execution
is believed to be the owner by the or delivery of the public
community has the legal presumption documents;
that he possesses it with just title and he is o Longa manu meaning pointing by
not required to show proof of ownership long hand.
or to show support of his claim of
ownership. C. To be valid there must be concurrence of
4. Possession of movables. If you posses a the ff:
real property, the law presumes that all o The one delivering must have the
the accessories therein are also under actual physical control of the
your possession. thing;
5. Non-interruption of possession. When a o The thing pointed to must be
person is in possession of a property now visible from where the parties are
and he loses it tomorrow but recovers it found;
the ff. day, the law presumes that he o brevi manu
possesses the same continuously without Example:
any interruption. 1) Possession by the lessee who acquires
6. Possession during intervening period. ownership of the leased premises. So his
You are in possession of a real property actual possession constitutes constructive
now. You have been in possession of the delivery.
same property 10 years ago. But there is 2) When the owner who is in actual possession
no proof of possession during the of the house, sells the house but still has
intervening period. The law still possession of the same, this time as a lessee as
presumes that you are in possession when he enters into a contract of lease with
between or during the intervening period. the buyer of the house. Now he is still in
possession of the house but not as the owner
ARTICLE 531: Possession is acquired by the material thereof but as the lessee.
occupation of a thing or the exercise if a right or by the
fact that it is a subject to the action of our will, or by 2) BY ACTION OF OUR WILL
the proper acts and legal formalities established for
acquiring such right. Under this mode there is no actual or
physical detention or seizure but the agreement
HOW IS POSSESSION ACQUIRED? between the parties constitutes the fact of
1. By the material occupation possession.
(detention) of a thing or the exercise of
a right (quasi-possession). This 3) PROPER ACTS AND FORMALITIES
includes constitutom possessorium or PRESCRIBED BY LAW
traditio brevi manu).
2. By the fact that it is subject to the Under this mode, these are certain
action of our will. This includes documents which ordinarily gives rise to
tradition longa manu (by mere possession because of legal fiction. The moment
agreement) or tradition simbolico. the document takes effect, automatically the
Hence, it does not require actual person in whose favor the document is executed
physical detention or seizure. is deemed to have acquired possession of that
property
For example: donation, succession The trial court dismissed the case and so as to
the motion for reconsideration. It debunked the
EQUATORIAL REALTY vs. MAYFAIR claim of EQUATORIAL for unpaid back rentals,
THEATER holding that the rescission of the 1978 Deed of
GR No. 133879. November 21, 2001 Absolute Sale in the mother case did not confer on
EQUATORIAL any vested or residual proprietary
Although there was a constructive delivery of rights, even in expectancy.
the property through a Deed of Sale in favor of Hence, this present recourse.
EQUATORIAL, it was not consummated
since MAYFAIR, which was in control and ISSUES
actual possession of it, impugned the sale in 1. Whether or not EQUATORIAL had
court. Hence, no back rentals in favor of acquired ownership over the property by virtue of
EQUATORIAL may be granted. the sale made by CARMELO in the formers
favor.
FACTS 2. Whether or not EQUATORIAL was entitled
CARMELO & BAUERMANN, INC. owned a for back rentals from the time MAYFAIRs Lease
registered parcel of land at Claro M. Recto Contracts expired.
Avenue, Manila on which 2 2-storey buildings
were constructed. RULING
CARMELO entered into 2 Contracts of Lease (1) NO, it had not. It was because even there
with petitioner MAYFAIR THEATER INC. One was proper a act and legal formalities in the form
was entered into in 1967 for a period of 20 years. of a Deed of Absolute Sale in its favor, there was
MAYFAIR used the leased premises as a movie however, no delivery of the property as it was
house known as Maxim theater. The second was then still MAYFAIR which was in actual
entered into in 1969 for another 20 years. The possession of it.
rented premises became the site for the Marimar By a contract of sale, one of the contracting
Theater. Both Contracts had a provision therein, parties obligates himself to transfer ownership of
granting MAYFAIR a right of first refusal to and to deliver a determinate thing and the other
purchase the subject properties. to pay therefor a price certain in money or its
However in 1978, within the 20-year-lease equivalent.
term, the subject properties were sold by The Deed of Sale as a form of constructive
CARMELO to petitioner EQUATORIAL REALTY delivery did not transfer ownership
DEVELOPMENT, INC. for P11,300,000 without Ownership of the thing sold is a real right,
first being offered to MAYFAIR. As a result then, which is not transferred by the contract alone but
MAYFAIR filed a complaint in court, praying that the buyer acquires only upon delivery of the thing
the Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of EQUATORIAL to. Delivery may be actual or constructive.
be annulled and as to CARMELO, he demanded Although it could be argued that there was
specific performance plus damages. constructive delivery of the property in favor of
The trial court did not grant the petition of EQUATORIAL because of the Deed of Sale, the
MAYFAIR. On appeal, the Court of Appeals same was not considered.
completely reversed and set aside the judgment of However, it has been held that the execution
the lower court. It ordered that the Deed of Sale be of a contract of sale as a form of constructive
rescinded and ordered CARMELO to allow delivery is a legal fiction. It is only a prima facie
MAYFAIR to purchase the property. presumption of delivery. It holds true only when
However, Carmelo could no longer be there is no impediment that may prevent the
located. Thus, following the order of execution of passing of the property from the hands of the
the trial court, MAYFAIR deposited with the clerk vendor into those of the vendee. When there is
of court a quo its payment to CARMELO in the such impediment, fiction yields to reality - the
sum of P11,300,000. The lower court issued a Deed delivery has not been effected.
of Reconveyance in favor of CARMELO and a Deed From the peculiar facts of this case, it is clear
of Sale in favor of MAYFAIR. A title over the land that EQUATORIAL never took actual control and
was subsequently issued to MAYFAIR. possession of the property sold, in view of
In 1997, EQUATORIAL filed an action for the MAYFAIRs timely objection to the sale and the
collection of a sum of money against MAYFAIR. It continued actual possession of the property. The
claimed that MAYFAIR should pay rentals or objection took the form of a court action
reasonable compensation for its use of the subject impugning the sale which, as we know, was
premises after its lease contracts had expired. It rescinded by a judgment rendered by this Court
alleged that the Lease Contract covering the in the mother case.
premises occupied by Maxim Theater expired in Hence, MAYFAIRs opposition to the
1987 while the Lease Contract covering the transfer of the property by way of sale to
premises occupied by Miramar Theater lapsed in EQUATORIAL was a legally sufficient
1989. Representing itself as the owner of the impediment that effectively prevented the passing
subject premises by reason of the Deed of Sale of the property into the latters hands. Because
issued by CARMELO in his favor, he was entitled MAYFAIR was in actual possession of the
to the rentals arising from MAYFAIRs occupation property, the sale could not be considered
thereof. consummated.
The fact that MAYFAIR paid rentals to again asked an additional amount of P2,500 from
EQUATORIAL during the litigation should not be MERCADO and he acceded so. But he required
interpreted to mean either actual delivery or ipso William Giger to sign a new deed of Pacto de Retro
facto recognition of EQUATORIALs title. Sale, which the latter executed.
EQUATORIAL, as alleged buyer of the Since he purchased the land in 1972,
disputed properties and as alleged successor-in- MERCADO began paying the real estate taxes of
interest of CARMELOs rights as lessor - the land for William Giger and began harvesting
submitted two ejectment suits against MAYFAIR. only the coconut fruits thereon. He went
The first in 1987 and the second in 1990. periodically to the land to make copra but he
MAYFAIR eventually won them both. However, never placed any person on the land in litigation
to be able to maintain physical possession of the to watch it. Neither did he reside on the land as he
premises while awaiting the outcome of the was a businessman and storekeeper by
mother case, it had no choice but to pay the occupation and resides at Lower Sta. Maria,
rentals. Davao del Sur while the land in litigation is at
The rental payments made by MAYFAIR Colongan, Sta. Maria. Neither did he put any sign
should not be construed as a recognition of or hut to show that he was in actual possession.
EQUATORIAL as the new owner. They were As early as 1976, MERCADO knew that
made merely to avoid imminent eviction. IGNACIO WONGs laborers were on his land and
(2) NO, it was not entitled to back rentals not that they had a hut there but he did not do
because it did not acquire ownership over the anything to stop them. Instead MERCADO was
property in the absence of delivery. happy that there were people and a hut on the
The sale to EQUATORIAL may have been land therein.
valid from inception, but it was judicially A month after, WONG went to the land to
rescinded before it could be consummated. find out if there were other people residing there
EQUATORIAL never acquired ownership, not or claiming it besides the owner and he found
because the sale was void, as erroneously claimed none. So WONG bought the parcel of land in
by the trial court, but because the sale was not litigation from William Giger and his wife Cecilia
consummated by a legally effective delivery of the Valenzuela. Thenon, WONG declared the land in
property sold. suit for taxation purposes in his name. However,
Furthermore, assuming for the sake of when he tried to register the pacto de retro sale with
argument that there was valid delivery, the Register of Deeds, it could not be registered.
EQUATORIAL was not entitled to any benefits Nevertheless, WONG placed laborers on the
from the rescinded Deed of Absolute Sale because land in suit, built a small farm house after made
of its bad faith. It admitted that its lawyers had some clearings and fenced the boundaries. He
studied the Contract of Lease between CARMELO also placed signboards.
and MAYFAIR prior to the sale and knew of the In 1976, MERCADO again went to the land in
stipulations therein. It only then proved that the suit to make copras. When he learned that WONG
sale was entered into with knowledge that it occupied the land, he had the latter entered in the
would be in violation of the rights of and to the police blotter. Despite of this, 2 months after,
prejudice of MAYFAIR. WONG ordered the hooking of the coconuts from
EQUATORIALs claim of reasonable the land in litigation and nobody disturbed him.
compensation for respondents use and Later, MERCADO filed a case for forcible
occupation of the subject property from the time entry against WONG. During the pendency of
the lease expired could not be countenanced. If it said complaint, spouses William Giger and Cecilia
suffered any loss, it must bear it in silence, since it Valenzuela filed a case for reformation of
had wrought that loss upon itself. Otherwise, bad instrument with the court against MERCADO.
faith would be rewarded instead of punished. The MTC held that WONG had prior, actual
and continuous physical possession of the
disputed property and dismissed both the
WONG vs. CARPIO complaint and the counter-claim by MERCADO.
GR No. 50264. October 21, 1991 On appeal with the CFI, it reversed said decision.
It held that it was MERCADO who had taken
Although a person purchased the land and possession of the property earlier in point of time
was in actual possession thereof, the sale could and WONG was an intruder and must return, the
not have been consummated by reason of a possession of the land in question to the former.
prior deed of sale over the property in favor of WONG was also ordered to pay rental after from
another. Said prior sale was an impediment the time his possession was contested until he the
for the consummation of the sale since time he would return the property to MERCADO.
delivery of the property was impossible. Hence, this appeal. WONG contended that
MERCADO had not established prior possession
FACTS because the latters periodic visit to the lot to
In 1972, Private respondent MANUEL gather coconuts may had been consented to and
MERCADO acquired a land in Colongan, Sta. allowed or tolerated by the owner thereof.
Maria, Davao del Sur from William Giger by MERCADO could also had been a hired laborer
virtue of a Deed of Sale with right to repurchase for who entered the premises every harvest season to
a consideration of P3,500. In 1973, William Giger
comply with the contract of labor with the true moment defects in the title were made known to
owner of the property. the him, by extraneous evidence or by suit for
recovery of the property by the true owner. Such
ISSUE interruption took place upon service of summons.
Whether or not WONG acquired the property by
reason of the pacto de retro sale executed by the
original owner William Giger in his SOMODIO vs. CA
favor. GR No. 82680. August 15, 1994

RULING Possession in the eyes of the law does not


NO. Although there was a proper act and mean that a man has to have his feet on every
formality in the form of a pacto de retro sale square meter of ground before it can be said
executed by the original owner William Giger in that he is in possession. It is sufficient that the
WONGs favor, there was nevertheless delivery. possesor was able to subject the property to
The execution of a sale thru a public instrument the action of his will i.e. planting trees and
shall be equivalent to the delivery of the thing, constructing a house though was unfinished.
unless there is stipulation to the contrary. If,
however, notwithstanding the execution of the FACTS
instrument, the purchaser cannot have the In 1974, Jose Ortigas conveyed to Wilfredo
enjoyment and material tenancy of the thing and Mabugat the possession of a residential lot
make use of it herself, because such tenancy and situated in Raja Muda, General Santos City. Half
enjoyment are opposed by another, then delivery of the purchase price thereof, was contributed by
has not been effected. petitioner NICANOR SOMODIO. Later, Mabugat
Possession by William Giger was passed to caused the partition of the property into 2
MERCADO by virtue of the first sale a retro, thus, portions. SOMODIO took the western part, which
the sale a retro in favor of WONG failed to pass the was known as Lot 6328-X. After the partition,
possession of the property because there was an SOMODIO took possession of his portion and
impediment the possession exercised by planted thereon ipil-ipil trees, coconut trees and
MERCADO. Possession as a fact cannot be other fruit-bearing trees.
recognized at the same time in two different In 1976, SOMODIO began construction of a
personalities except in the cases of co-possession. house thereon. However, this structure was left
Under Art. 538, should a question arise regarding unfinished as his employment took him to
the fact of possession, the present possessor shall Kidapawan, North Cotabato. He then asked his
be preferred; if there are two possessions, the one uncle to take care of the structure. Then on he
longer in possession, if the dates of possession are would visit the property every 3 months or on
the same, the one who presents a title; and if these weekends when he had time.
conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in In 1977, SOMODIO allowed respondent
judicial deposit pending determination of its FELOMINO AYCO to transfer his hut in Lot 6328-
possession or ownership through proper X. 6 years later, SOMODIO demanded that AYCO
proceedings. vacate the premises but such demand proved
In fact, it was MERCADO who had material futile. Hence, he filed an action for unlawful
possession of the land and had subjected it in his detainer with damages against respondent AYCO.
will he went there occasionally to make copra. In 1983, respondent EBENECER PURISIMA
There was also a proper act and formality in his also entered the land and constructed a house
favor, that was the Pacto de Retro Sale executed by thereon. 4 days later, SOMODIO also filed a
William Giger in his favor. complaint for forcible entry against PURISIMA.
Wongs entry to the property was characterized PURISIMA contended that the lot was a
by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth portion of the land subject of his application for
The court also held that WONGs entry into miscellaneous sales patent with the Bureau of
the property was and excluding MERCADO as Lands. He added that his father, who was a
the lawful possessor therefrom necessarily implies geodetic engineer, surveyed the parcel of land for
the exertion of force over the property, and this is the Small Farmers Fishpond Association, Inc.
all that is necessary to prove forcible entry. Under Such survey plan was approved by the Director
the rule, entering upon the premises by strategy of Lands in 1960. AYCO, on the other hand, did
or stealth is equally as obnoxious as entering by not present any evidence but merely anchored his
force. The foundation of the action is really the right to possess the property on the evidence of
forcible exclusion of the original possessor by a PURISIMA.
person who has entered without right. The words The trial court held that SOMODIO was the
"by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth" actual possessor of Lot No. 6328-X. It declared
include every situation or condition under which that PURISIMA built his house "almost on the
one person can wrongfully enter upon real spot where SOMODIO's unfinished house" stood
property and exclude another who has had prior "thru stealth and strategy," not knowing that the
possession therefrom. house was built on Lot No. 6328X and not on Lot
The award of rentals was affirmed No. 6328-Y. It held that being that PURISIMA was
It also sustained the award of rentals since a frequent visitor in Rajah Muda and had
WONGs possession in good faith ceases from the sometimes stayed with Mrs. Maturan in Judge
Purisima's house on the adjoining lots, he could possession. It is enough that the possessor
not have remained unaware of the possession of subjects it to the action of his will
SOMODIO. The court further stated that Lot No. i.e.,renovating and furnishing the house and,
6328-X was not included in the survey pan made constructing a perimeter fence on the
by PURISIMAs father. Hence, the court ordered property.
PURISIMA and AYCO to remove their repective
houses and to deliver the land to SOMODIO. FACTS
The RTC affirmed such decision in toto. The Petitioner SPOUSES JESUS AND
However, on appeal with the CA, it reversed the LUCILA DELA ROSA were the owners of a house
said decision. It held that SOMODIO had not and lot in Bulacan. They acquired it from
"clearly and conclusively established physical, Leonardo Carlos under an Absolute Deed of Sale in
prior possession over Lot No. 6328-X." A motion 1966. Thereafter, they had it registered.
for reconsideration with the same court was also Afterwards, they renovated the house, furnished
denied. and occupied the same since 1966. They also had a
Hence, this appeal by SOMODIO. perimeter fence built to separate the Property
from the municipal road and to protect it from
ISSUE trespassers. They had been paying taxes on the
Whether or not SOMODIO had enjoyed land (1966-1997) and the house (1966-1993).
priority of possession over Lot No. 6328-X. Since the SPOUSES DELA ROSA worked
and their children studied in Manila, they resided
RULING in the Property only during weekends and
YES. Under Art. 531, SOMODIO had holidays. However, they padlock the house on
possessed the property through material the property while they were away and instructed
occupation and having subjected it under his will. relatives who lived nearby to watch over the
SOMODIO took possession of the property property.
sometime in 1974 when he planted the property to In 1997, the SPOUSES DELA ROSA
coconut trees, ipil-ipil trees and fruit trees. In discovered that through stealth and without their
1976, he started the construction of a building on knowledge and consent, respondent SANTIAGO
the property. It was immaterial that the building CARLOS had built a house of strong materials on
was unfinished and that he left for Kidapawan for a vacant lot of the Property. They also found that
employment reasons and visited the property respondent TEOFILA PACHECO had also been
only intermittently. Possession in the eyes of the transferring furniture to the house and sleeping
law does not mean that a man has to have his feet there. They then demanded, through their
on every square meter of ground before it can be counsel, that CARLOS and PACHECO demolish
said that he is in possession. It was sufficient that the house, remove their furniture and vacate the
SOMODIO was able to subject the property to the premises within 10 days. However, Santiago
action of his will. CARLOS and PACHECO did not heed the
PURISIMA on the other hand, did not present SPOUSES DELA ROSAs demand.
proof that between 1958, when his father So, in 1998, the SPOUSES DELA ROSA filed
allegedly took possession of the land, and 1983, a complaint for forcible entry against CARLOS
when said he himself entered the land, his father and PACHECO.
ever exercised whatever right of possession he CARLOS and PACHECO on the other hand,
should have over the property. Under these alleged that they were the surviving heirs of the
circumstances, priority in time should be the Spouses Leonardo and Benita Carlos. Hence,
pivotal cog in resolving the issue of possession. together with LUCILA DELA ROSA, they were
Besides, it was found by two ocular inspections, co-owners of the property. They also contended
that what PURISIMA was claiming was that the SPOUSES DELA ROSA obtained the Deed
possession over Lot No. 6328-Y. SOMODIOs land of Sale through fraud and undue influence and
on the other hand, was adjacent to it, Lot No. that their mother did not consent to the sale of the
6328-X. It was also in SOMODIOs area where property which they claimed as conjugal. They
PURISIMA and AYCO built their houses. maintained that the SPOUSES DELA ROSA were
The SC also held that although SOMODIOs never in possession of the Property because the
prior possession over the property was proven, it latter only went there to visit their parents, and
was however, not synonymous with his right of not as owners. Insisting that they had been
ownership over the same. The resolution of the occupying the Property since birth, SANTIAGO
issue of possession is far from the resolution of claimed that he constructed the house on the
the issue of ownership. Forcible entry is merely a Property in the concept of a co-owner.
quieting process and never determines the actual The MTC declared that the SPOUSES DELA
title to an estate. ROSA were entitled to the possession of the
property. It ordered CARLOS and PACHECO to
vacate the premises. The same decision was
DELA ROSA vs. CARLOS affirmed by the RTC. The CA on the other hand,
GR No. 147549. October 23, 2003 reversed it. Hence, this petition for review by the
SPOUSES DELA ROSA.
The law does not require one in possession of
a house to reside in the house to maintain his ISSUE
Whether or not the SPOUSES DELA ROSA any power whatever; but in the last case, the possession
had acquired prior possession over the property. shall not be considered as acquired until the person in
whose name the act of possession was executed has
RULING ratified the same, without prejudice to the juridical
YES. They had prior possession. consequences of negotiorum gestio in a proper case.
In a forcible entry case, the principal issue for
resolution is mere physical or material possession 6. Who may acquire possession? One who is in
(possession de facto) and not juridical possession full possession of his civil capacity can
(possession de jure) nor ownership of the property acquire full possession over a thing or right to
involved. In the present case, both parties claimed any of the three ways of acquiring possession:
prior possession of the Property. 1) the person who is to enjoy it;
The Spouses Dela Rosa claimed that they had 2) legal representative or an agent of the
been in possession of the Property since 1966 person
upon the execution of the Deed of Sale by 3) any person without any power
Leonardo in their favor. On the other hand, whatever (negotiorum gestio)
CARLOS and PACHECO claimed that they had
been continuously occupying the Property since 1) REQUISITES:
birth and the SPOUSES DELA ROSA were never a) for personal acquisition
in possession of the Property. i) intent to possess
While admitting that CARLOS and ii) capacity to possess
PACHECO used to reside in the Property since iii) object must be capable of being
birth, the SPOUSES DELA ROSA contended that possessed
the two moved out when they married in 1961 b) thru an authorized person
and 1959, respectively. i) intent to possess for principal
The SPOUSES DELA ROSA had material ii) authority or capacity to possess for
possession over the property. another
Their act of visiting the Property on weekends iii) principal has intent and capacity to
and holidays was evidence of actual or physical possess
possession. Even if the SPOUSES DELA ROSA c) thru an unauthorized person (as in
were already residing in Manila, it did not mean negotiorum gestio)
that they could not continue possessing the i) intent to possess for another
Bulacan property. The fact of their residence in ii) capacity of principal to possess
Manila, by itself, did not result in loss of iii) ratification by principal.
possession of the Bulacan property. The law does 7. The possession although cured only by the
not require one in possession of a house to reside express or implied ratification should be
in the house to maintain his possession. regarded as having Retroactive.
The SPOUSES DELA ROSA also subjected the 8. The possession in negotiorum gestio, under
property to the action of their will. Art. 532, is reckoned from the time of the
They renovated the house, furnished the same ratification of the owner of the thing. There is
and constructed a perimeter fence around the possession from the time the principal ratifies
Property. Possession in the eyes of the law does the acts of the unauthorized agent.
not mean that a man has to have his feet on every 9. May minors and incapacitated persons
square meter of ground before it can be said that acquire possession? Minors and incapacitated
he is in possession. It is sufficient that the persons may acquire possession in those
SPOUSES DELA ROSA were able to subject the matters where they have the capacity to act
property to the action of their will. like the physical seizure of a res nullius or on
The SPOUSES DELA ROSA had a proper act and donation of movable property where the
legal formality in their favor object or subject matter of the donation is
They had an Absolute Deed of Sale dated 1966 simultaneously delivered to the minor
in their favor when they acquired the Bulacan children.
property from Leonardo Carlos.
The question of the validity of the Deed of Sale ARTICLE 533: The possession of hereditary property is
could not be questioned in a forcible entry case. deemed transmitted to the heir without interruption
CARLOS and PACHECO claimed that the and from the moment of death of the decedent, in case
Deed of Sale was executed without the consent of the inheritance is accepted.
Benita, Leonardos spouse. They also added that One who validly renounces an inheritance is
the Deed of Sale was executed through fraud and deemed never to have possessed the same.
undue influence. However, these issues could not
properly be addressed in the present action for Time of Acquisition of Possession by the
forcible entry. These issues could only be resolved Heir:
in a separate action specifically for the annulment a. If the heir accepts from the
of the Deed of Sale. moment of death since there is no
interruption. The possession of
ARTICLE 532: Possession may be acquired by the the deceased should be added to
same person who is to enjoy it, by his legal the possession of the heir.
representative, by his agent, or by any person without
b. if heir refuses or incapacitated to restore the possession which he has wrested from
inherit he is deemed Never to the possessor. Thus an action for forcible entry or
have possessed. illegal detainer may be filed even against the
owner who took possession of the property from
ARTICLE 534: One who succeeds by hereditary title the holder without due process
shall not suffer the consequences of the wrongful
possession of the decedent, if it is not shown that he ARTICLE 537: Acts merely tolerated, and those
was aware of the flaws affecting it; but the effects of executed clandestinely and without the knowledge of
possession in good faith shall not benefit him except the possessor of a thing, or by violence, do not affect
from the date of death of the decedent. possession.

Reason for Art 534: Accdg to the SC in 1. Force, intimidation, violence or acts
the case of Escritor Jr. vs. Iya (155 s 577), merely tolerated do not affect possession.
the reason for Art. 534 is that bad faith, 2. Violence - exertion of force, either actual
which is a state of mind is personal to the or threatened.
person who acted so, hence it is 3. If the property was not forcible taken, can
intransmissible. Its effect must be suffered it give rise to possession through force or
only by the person who has acted as such. violence? The SC in the case of
The heirs should not be saddled with the Bishop vs. Municipality of San Jose (27 Phil
consequences of the wrongful possession 571),
of the predecessor. said there is force and violence in the
If the father or decedent was in BF, it does acquisition even if the property was not
not necessarily mean that the son was also forcibly taken away from the owner if the
in BF. The son is still presumed to be in intruder occupied it during the absence of the
GF. Since the father was in BF, the owner and commits acts which repel the
consequences of the GF of the son should return of the owner.
be counted only from the date of
decedents death. BENEFITS OF A POSSESSOR:
If the father was in Good Faith, the article a) He has the benefit of prescription whether
is inapplicable. In such case, the GF/BF. So in other words, of he is in
possession of the father in GF is added to possession of the whole property in the
the possession of the son in GF. concept of an owner for 10 or 3- yrs., he
may acquire the entire property thru
ARTICLE 535: Minors and incapacitated persons may prescription.
acquire the possession of things; but they need the b) He is entitled to the fruits, if he is the
assistance of their legal representatives in order to possessor in GF. If violence will be used,
exercise the rights which from the possession arise in the possession previously enjoyed shall
their favor. not be affected. Meaning also whoever
entered this part shall not acquire the
ARTICLE 536: In no case may possession may be property thru prescription.
acquired thru force or intimidation as long as there is a
possessor who objects thereto. He who believes that he ARTICLE 538: Possession as a fact cannot be
has an action or a right to deprive another of the recognized at the same time in 2 different personalities
holding of a thing, must invoke the aid of the competent except in the cases of co-possession. Should a question
court if the holder should refuse to deliver the thing. arise regarding the fact of possession, the present
possessor shall be preferred; if there are 2 possessors,
Circumstances that cannot give rise to the one longer on possession; if the dates of possession
possession: are the same, the one who presents a title, and if all
a. Force, violence and intimidation. these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in
The law shall not consider you as judicial deposit pending determination f its possession
the possessor of the thing if you or ownership thru proper proceedings.
acquire it through force, violence
and intimidation; GR: Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at
b. Mere tolerance of the owner. the same time in 2 different personalities
c. Clandestine acts or secret Exceptions:
possession cannot give rise to 1. when there are co-possessors;
possession, for possession must 2. when the possession are of two different
be open. Possession which is not degrees. One is possessing in a concept of
public. an owner and the other is possessing in
the concept of a holder.
How to Recover Possession:
The SC said possession cannot be acquired RULES under Art 538, Preferred Possessor:
through force or intimidation even by the owner 1. In cases for recovery of possession, it is
of the property. If by force or intimidation he the present possessor;
succeeded in evicting the possessor of the 2. If there are 2 possessors, the one longer in
property, he can be compelled by the court to possession;
3. If both began to possess at the same time, registration, then to the person who first
then the one who possesses the title. possessed it in good faith. If there is no
4. If both present a title, the court will possession, then to the person who
determine presents the oldest title in good faith.

As to MOVABLE PROPERTY MARCELO V CA 305S800


preference is given to the person who first Where the SC said acquisitive prescription is a
possessed the thing in good faith mode of acquiring ownership by a processor
through the requisite lapse of time. In order to
EDCA PUBLISHING VS SANTOS [184 scra 614] ripen into ownership, possession must be in the
Fx: On 10/5/91, a person identifying himself as a concept of an owner. It must be public, peaceful
professor of De La Salle University.(dela Cruz) and uninterrupted.
ordered several books from EDCA. EDCA
prepared the corresponding receipts and CEQUENA vs. BOLANTE
delivered the books as ordered for which dela GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000
Cruz issued a check in payment of the same. After
several days, he ordered again for several books.
EDCA became suspicious because the check was If there are 2 possessors of the land, the
not yet cleared and here comes dela Cruz preferred possessor shall be the one longer in
ordering another set of books, so it inquired from possession. Possession here shall include not
DLSU of the existence of Dela Cruz and found out only the actual possession made by the present
that he was a bogus person. So EDCA went to the possessor but also the possession made by her
police and set a trap to arrest Dela Cruz. Upon predecessor-in-interest.
inquiry of the first set of books delivered to Dela
Cruz, EDCA found out that the same were FACTS
already sold to a certain Santos. With the aid of Prior to 1954, a land located in the Province of
police, EDCA went to Santos and confiscated the Rizal, having an area of 1,728 sq. m. was
books. EDCA contended that Santos did not originally declared for taxation purposes in the
acquire the books in good faith and did not show name of Sinforoso Mendoza, father of respondent
receipt to prove that Santos bought them from HONORATA MENDOZA BOLANTE. In 1930,
Dela Cruz. Sinforoso Mendoza died.
Margarito Mendoza was the brother of
Issue: w/n Santos was in good faith Sinforosao Mendoza and also the father of
petitioners FERNANDA MENDOZA CEQUENA
Held: SC said that the contention of EDCA is and RUPERTA MENDOZA, LIRIO. After
unacceptable, precisely the first sentence of Art. Sinforosa Mendoza died, Margarito Mendoza
559 provides that the possession of movable took possession of the land and cultivated it with
property acquired in good faith is equivalent to his son Miguel. On the basis of an affidavit,
title (rule of reinvindicability), therefore there is Margarito Mendoza caused the cancellation of the
no need of showing further proof. Santos acquired tax declaration in the name of Sinforoso Mendoza
the books in good faith, she accepted the on the contested lot and subsequently declared it
ownership of the books from the EDCA invoice in his name. Later, Margarito Mendoza also
saying that it was sold to DC, who said he was passed away.
selling them for a discounted price as he was in The occupant of the land however, since 1985,
financial need. Surely Santos did not need to go was BOLANTE, the only daughter of Sinforoso
beyond that invoice to satisfy herself that the Mendoza. Earlier, in 1979, BOLANTE and Miguel
books sold by DC belonged to him, which she did. Mendoza, another brother of CEQUENA and
Although the title of Dela Cruz was being LIRIO, during the cadastral survey had a dispute
presumed under Art. 559, these being movable on the ownership of the land.
properties, Santos nevertheless demanded proof The trial court declared that the land, which
before deciding to buy them. was covered by a tax declaration in favor of
Margarito Mendoza belonged to him and his
By contrast, EDCA was less than cautious, in fact heirs, petitioners CEQUENA and LIRIO.
too trusting in dealing with the impostor. It BOLANTE was also ordered to vacate the
would certainly be unfair now to make Santos premises.
bear the prejudice sustained by EDCA as a result The Court of Appeals however, reversed the
of its own negligence. We cannot agree that justice trial court decision and ruled that the affidavit
is transferring such loss to the Santoses who had allegedly signed by the BOLANTE and her
acted in good faith and with proper care when mother had not been sufficiently established. The
they brought the goods from DC. notary public, nor any witness and expert
testimony ever attested to the genuineness of the
IMMOVABLE questioned signatures. It also ruled BOLANTEs
mother, never having attended school, could
Preference is given to the first who neither read nor write and that BOLANTE was
registered his right in good faith with the referred to as Leonor in the affidavit, which was
registrar of deeds. In the absence of a name she had never been called. Hence, it
concluded that although tax declarations were respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed
presented by CEQUENA and LIRIO, it could not therein he shall be protected in or restored to said
overthrow BOLANTEs proof of ownership of the possession by the means established by the laws and the
disputed parcel by actual, physical, exclusive and Rules of Court.
continuous possession since 1985, which indeed A possessor deprived of his possession through
gave her a better title under Article 538 of the forcible entry may within 10 days from the filling of the
Civil Code. complainant present a motion to secure from the
Hence, this appeal. CEQUENA and LIRIO competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a write
contended that BOLANTE could not have been of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in
the preferred possessor since she came into his possession. The court shall decide the motion within
possession through force and violence, contrary to 30 days from the filing thereof.
Article 536 of the Civil Code.
EVERY POSSESSOR HAS A RIGHT:
ISSUE
Whether or not BOLANTE was a preferred 1) To be respected in his possession. Even if
possessor under Article 538 of the Civil Code he is not the owner he has the right to be
because she was in notorious, actual, exclusive respected;
and continuous possession of the land since 1985. 2) Should he be disturbed therein, he shall
be protected in or restored to said
RULING possession.
YES she was the preferred possessor under 3) To be restored to said possession by the
Article 538. means established by the laws and the
The court held that despite their rules of court.
dispossession in 1985 by BOLANTE, CEQUENA
and LIRIO did not lose legal possession because RATIONALE: (Yuson vs. Guzman 42 Phil. 22)
possession cannot be acquired through force or a. In order to prevent positive against
violence. To all intents and purposes, a possessor, public order;
even if physically ousted, is still deemed the legal b. In order to avoid disturbance in the
possessor. Indeed, anyone who can prove prior community;
possession, regardless of its character, may c. To prevent deprivation of property
recover such possession. without due process of law'
However, despite so, the possession by d. To prevent a person from taking the
CEQUENA and LIRIO did not prevail over that of law in his own hands.
the BOLANTE. Possession by the former before
1985 was not exclusive, as the latter also acquired REMEDIES in case of disturbance and/or
it before 1985. The records show that the dispossession?
CEQUENA and LIRIO's father and brother, as Action for forcible entry, unlawful
well as the BOLANTE and her mother were detainer, accion publiciana and accion
simultaneously in adverse possession of the land. reinvindicatoria.
Before 1985, the subject land was occupied
and cultivated by the Sinforoso, BOLANTE's ARTICLE 540: Only the possession acquired and
father. When Sinforoso died in 1930, enjoyed in the concept of owner can serve as a title for
MARGARITO took possession of the land and acquiring dominion.
cultivated it with his son Miguel. At the same
time, BOLANTE and her mother continued REQUISITES FOR ACQUIRING DOMINION
residing on the lot. OR OWNERSHIP:
When BOLANTE came of age in 1948, she
paid realty taxes for the years 1932-1948. 1. Possession must be actual or
Margarito declared the lot for taxation in his name constructive.
in 1953 and paid its realty taxes beginning 1952. 2. It must be in the concept of an owner, in
When he died, Miguel continued cultivating the concepto de dueno.
land. As found by the CA, BOLANTE and her
mother were living on the land, which was being The following cannot acquire ownership
tilled by Miguel until 1985 when he was thru prescription because they are merely
physically ousted by the respondent. possessors in the concept of a holder:
Based on Article 538 of the Civil Code, 1. lessees
BOLANTE was the preferred possessor because, 2. trustee
benefiting from her father's tax declaration of the 3. husband and wife if the property is
subject lot since 1926, she has been in possession conjugal
thereof for a longer period. On the other hand, 4. agents
petitioners' father acquired joint possession only 5. attorneys
in 1952. 6. co-owners

EFFECTS OF POSSESSION The following are instances of conclusive


presumptions:
ARTICLE 539: Every possessor has a right to be
1) Whenever a party has, by his own which was in the concept of owner -- public,
declaration, act, or omission, peaceful, and uninterrupted -- had already
intentionally and deliberately led ripened into ownership. Furthermore she herself,
another to believe a particular after her father's demise, declared and paid realty
thing true, and to act upon such taxes for the disputed land. Tax receipts and
belief, he cannot, in any litigation declarations of ownership for taxation, when
arising out of such declaration, coupled with proof of actual possession of the
act or omission, be permitted to property, can be the basis of a claim for
falsify it: ownership through prescription.
2) The tenant is not permitted to
deny the title of his landlord at
the time of the commencement of SPOUSES RECTO VS. REPUBLIC
the relation of landlord and GR No. 160421. October 4, 2004
tenant between them.(3a)
Before one can register his title over a parcel
CEQUENA vs. BOLANTE of land, the applicant must show that (a) he,
GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000 by himself or through his predecessors-in-
interest, has been in open, continuous,
Possession acquired and enjoyed in the exclusive and notorious possession and
concept of a holder despite 32 years, could not occupation of the subject land under a bona
ripen into ownership. fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or
earlier; and (b) the land subject of the
FACTS application is alienable and disposable land of
- See facts on this previous page - the public domain.

ISSUE FACTS
Whether or not CEQUENA and LIRIO In 1997, petitioner SPOUSES PHILIP and
acquired possession of the land in the concept of ESTER RECTO filed an application for
an owner so as to acquire it by prescription. registration of title over a 23,209 square meter lot,
known as Lot 806 of the Sto. Tomas Cadastre in
RULING Batangas under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No.
NO. It was BOLANTE who had acquired 1529, otherwise known as the Property
ownership over the land by prescription, prior to Registration Decree. They also prayed in the
the possession of CEQUENA and LIRIO. alternative that their petition for registration be
Under Art. 540 of the Civil Code, "Only the granted pursuant to Commonwealth Act (C.A.)
possession acquired and enjoyed in the concept of No. 141, or the Public Land Act.
owner can serve as a title for acquiring dominion." The SPOUSES RECTO alleged that they
Although CEQUENA and LIRIO farmed the purchased said property in 1996 from sisters
property for 32 years, they could not have Rosita Medrana Guevarra and Maria Medrana
acquired ownership over it through prescription. Torres for the amount of P6,943,534.40. The two,
It is settled that ownership cannot be acquired by in turn, inherited the lot from their deceased
mere occupation. Unless coupled with the parents, Vicente and Eufemia Medrana. Maria,
element of hostility toward the true owner, born in 1917, declared that since 1945, her father
occupation and use, however long, will not confer was already the owner of Lot 806. She became
title by prescription or adverse possession. aware of her fathers possession of the subject lot
Moreover, CEQUENA and LIRIO could not claim in the concept of owner in 1930 when she was 13
that their possession was public, peaceful and years of age. The possession of the subject lot by
uninterrupted. Although their father and brother the Medrana family prior to 1945 was
arguably acquired ownership through corroborated by Rosita, who testified that in 1935
extraordinary prescription because of their when she was 13 years of age, she first came to
adverse possession for 32 years (1953-1985), this know that her father was the owner of Lot 806.
supposed ownership could extend to the entire The sisters added that during the lifetime of
disputed lot, but must be limited to the portion Vicente, he planted rice and corn on the lot with
that they actually farmed. the help of their tenant. After his demise, they
It was BOLANTE who had acquired the land continued to plant the same crops through hired
by prescription. Being the sole heir of her father, farmers.
BOLANTE showed through his tax receipt that There being no opposition to the petition
she had been in possession of the land for more from any private individual, an Order of General
than 10 years since 1932. When her father died in Default was issued by the trial court.
1930, she continued to reside there with her In 1998, the court a quo rendered a decision
mother. When she got married, she and her granting the petition for registration.
husband engaged in kaingin inside the disputed The Republic, represented by the Solicitor
lot for their livelihood. General appealed to the Court of Appeals
BOLANTE's possession was not disturbed contending that petitioners failed to (1) offer in
until 1953 when CEQUENA and LIRIOS father evidence the original tracing cloth plan of the
claimed the land. But by then, her possession, land; (2) prove possession of the lot for the period
required by law; and (3) overthrow the GR No. 149117. December 16, 2004
presumption that subject property forms part of
the public domain.[19] The mere application for a patent, coupled
In 2003, the Court of Appeals reversed the with the fact of exclusive, open, continuous
decision of the trial court on the sole ground of and notorious possession for the required
failure to offer in evidence the original tracing period is sufficient to vest in the applicant the
cloth plan of the land. Hence, this appeal. grant applied for.

ISSUE FACTS
Whether or not the Medranas possessed the Juliana Frando, predecessor-in-interest of
property in the concept of an owner so as to have respondents HEIRS OF FRANDO, was in
acquired title over it. possession of a parcel of agricultural land located
in Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon. Since 1925, Frando
RULING had planted several trees and other plants
YES. The Medranas possessed the property in thereon, including coconuts, pili, bananas and
the concept of an owner so as to have acquired cacao.
title over it. Hence, their successor-in-interest, the In 1946, the property was traversed by a
petitioners SPOUSES RECTO had been benefited national road that effectively divided it into 2
by such possession. portions, Lot Nos. 7 and 1855.
Before one can register his title over a parcel In 1952, Frando filed for an Insular
of land, the applicant must show that (a) he, by Government Property Sales Application for the
himself or through his predecessors-in-interest, 2nd lot, Lot No. 1855, which was the subject of a
has been in open, continuous, exclusive and controversy later on. Upon inspection of the area
notorious possession and occupation of the by a representative of the Bureau of Lands, it was
subject land under a bona fide claim of ownership found to be inside an agricultural zone, free from
since June 12, 1945 or earlier; and (b) the land private claims and conflicts. In 1955, during the
subject of the application is alienable and bid of the property, which was apprised at P240,
disposable land of the public domain. Frando was the only bidder. Frando then
In the instant case, Rosita and Maria the deposited P24, which represented 10% of the
predecessors-in-interest of the SPOUSES RECTO, appraised value. The land was fully paid a year
categorically testified that they, and prior to them later in 1956, when Frando paid the balance of
their father, had been cultivating and possessing P216. On the same day, an Order/Award was
Lot 806 in the concept of owners. Maria, having made in Frandos favor.
been born on in 1917, and Rosita in 1922, were 13 One of Frandos two children, Paciencia
years of age when they became aware of their Gallanosa-Fuellas, chose to settle in Manila. The
familys possession of Lot 806 in 1930 and 1935, other child, Salvacion Gallanosa who was married
respectively. At 13, they were undoubtedly to Abdon Gimpes (Gimpes spouses), however,
capable and competent to perceive their fathers continued possession of the property. Sometime
possession of Lot 806 in the concept of owner. in 1940, The Gimpes spouses constructed their
The fact that the earliest Tax Declaration of house on the southwestern portion thereof. The
the subject lot was for the year 1948 will not couple also helped Frando in the administration
militate against petitioners. Note that said 1948 of the land. The Gimpes spouses children were
Tax Declaration cancels a previous Tax also born on the property, where they also grew
Declaration, thus substantiating petitioners up. After their parents death, they continued
possession of Lot 806 through their predecessor- possession of the land; and harvested and
in-interest even prior to said date. received the fruits of the improvements for
So also, there is no doubt that Lot 806 is an themselves and on behalf of their grandmother,
alienable land of the public domain having been Juliana Frando, even after her death in 1971.
released and certified as such on in 1925. As Purportedly unknown to the HEIRS OF
further certified by the Community Environment FRANDO, in 1958, a cadastral survey of the
and Natural Resources Office of the DENR, the Municipality of Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon, was
entire area of Lot 806 is an agricultural land; conducted. Lot No. 1855 became the subject of a
within an alienable and disposable zone; not case and as a result, in 1969, a free patent was
within a reservation area nor within a forest zone; awarded to Cerila Gamos. On the basis of the free
and does not encroach upon an established patent, an OCT was also issued in her name. It
watershed, riverbed, and riverbank protection. was only in 1981 however that the HEIRS OF
The SPOUSES RECTO were thus able to GAMOS took possession of the property through
successfully meet the requisite for original entry, gathered its produce and built their houses
registration of title, to wit: open, continuous, thereon.
exclusive and notorious possession and In 1988, the HEIRS OF FRANDO filed with
occupation of an alienable and disposable land the RTC a Complaint against Cerila Gamos and
under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, the director of the Bureau of Lands. They
1945 or earlier. challenged the validity of the free patent and OCT
issued to Cerila Gamos. They alleged that the
Bureau of Lands had no authority to award the
HEIRS OF GAMOS vs. HEIRS OF FRANDO patent covering an area it had earlier awarded to
Juliana Frando. disposable land of the public domain.
Cerila Gamos on the other hand, together In 1906, a Declaration of Real Property
with the HEIRS OF GAMOS alleged that they had covering the property was issued to Basilio
been in actual and open possession of the land as Frando, father of Juliana Frando. Witness
early as 1952. They also averred that the free accounts of long time residents of the adjoining
patent title issued in their favor, which was the properties confirmed her possession for a period
basis of the subsequent issuance of the OCT was not later than 1925; and her introduction thereon
valid and lawful. of various trees and other plants, including
The Bureau of Lands however, rebutted that bananas, cacao, pili and coconuts.
Juliana Frando failed to pay the balance price of They also attested to the continued
P216. Thus, she had not perfected the title over possession of the property by Frandos daughter,
the land that the patent was not issued in her Salvacion Gimpes; and subsequently by her
favor. children, herein private respondents HEIRS OF
In 1998, the RTC rendered judgment in favor FRANDO. Aside from showing the
of the HEIRS OF FRANDO. The HEIRS OF Order/Award, the children bolstered their claim
GAMOS then, appealed to the CA, which also by introducing in evidence several Tax
affirmed the RTC decision. Declarations, sketch plans, survey returns and the
reports of the court-appointed commissioner.
While asserting possession of the property as
early as 1952, petitioners had not presented any
ISSUE document or witness to prove their bare claim.
Whether or not the HEIRS OF FRANDO Moreover, Ambrosio Guatno -- one of herein
possessed the property in the concept of an petitioners -- testified that he had entered the
owner. property upon the permission of Ricardo Galag,
an heir of Gamos; later, he admitted that its true
RULING owner was Juliana Frando.
YES. The HEIRS OF FRANDO had possessed Clearly, the mere application for a patent,
the property in the concept of an owner. coupled with the fact of exclusive, open,
Juliana Frando had acquired the land through continuous and notorious possession for the
purchase from the government required period is sufficient to vest in the
The allegation of the Bureau of Lands that applicant the grant applied for. In sum, the
Juliana Frando Clearly failed to pay the P216 application by Juliana Frando for a sales patent,
balance of the sale price was disproved by the coupled with her open, exclusive, uninterrupted
Order/Award issued in her favor in 1956, which and notorious possession of the land applied for
stated that she had completed payment of the is, for all purposes, equivalent to a patent already
land. perfected and granted.
Given the full payment of the purchase price The subsequent entry of petitioners and their
as well as the compliance with all the occupation of the property in question was in bad
requirements for the grant of a sales patent, the faith, given the prior possession thereof by private
Bureau had no reason to deny the issuance of respondents.
such patent to Juliana Frando. Her compliance
with all the requirements effectively vested in her ARTICLE 541: A possessor in the concept of owner has
and her successors-in-interest an equitable title to in his favor the legal presumption that he possessed
the property applied for. with a just title and he cannot be obliged to show or
Even without a patent, a perfected prove it.
homestead is a property right in the fullest sense,
unaffected by the fact that the paramount title to Possession is presumed ownership. This
the land is still in the Government. Thus, when is a disputable presumption.
the cadastral survey was subsequently conducted What is the reason for the presumption?
in Sta. Magdalena in 1958, the disputed property - Because every possessor is presumed to
- already held in private ownership -- was no be in good fatih. More importantly,
longer part of the public domain. The director of because of the inconvenience of carrying
lands had no more authority to grant to a third proof of ownership.
person a patent covering the same tract that had KINDS OF TITLES:
already passed to private ownership. Thus, the a) True and valid title title which by itself
issuance of the free patent to Cerila Gamos, is sufficient to transfer ownership without
insofar as it encroached the portion already the necessity of letting the prescriptive
granted to Frando, had no legal basis at all. period elapse.
Notwithstanding the denial of the sales patent in
favor of Juliana Frando, she had nevertheless b) Colourable title that title where,
acquired the property by prescription although there was a mode of transferring
The denial of the sales patent ownership, still something is wrong,
notwithstanding, Juliana Frando is deemed to because the grantor is NOT the owner;
have acquired equitable title to the property this is the kind of title that the possessor
through open, continuous, exclusive and in the concept of an owner has. He can
notorious possession of the property, which was a
acquire property thru acquisitive River) into a ricefield and thereafter claiming
prescription title. ownership thereof were acts constituting
deprivation of the rights of others and
c) Putative title that title where although a therefore "tantamount to bad faith."
person believes himself to be the owner,
he nonetheless is not, because there was FACTS
no mode of acquiring ownership. In 1960, petitioner MARIO TITONG sold a
5.5-hectare parcel of land to Conception Verano
IN POSSESSION IN PRESCRIPTION vda. de Cabug. He was able to purchase the said
(ART. 541) land though in 1962. After 4 days, he sold it to
a. just title is a. the person possessing in Pablo Espinosa, who had it declared under his
presumed if he is the concept of an owner must name for taxation purposes. When Espinosa died,
possessing in the prove that he has just title; it became a part of the estate of Segundia Liao,
concept of an b. just title here is not Espinosas late wife. In 1981, her heirs sold the
owner; sufficient to transfer property to private respondent VICTORICO
b. just title is ownership right there and LAURIO for P5,000. Thereafter, a tax declaration
sufficient to then because he still has to go was issued in the name of LAURIO. In all these
transfer thru the period. The period conveyances, the area and boundaries of the
ownership if has to lapse before one can property remained exactly the same.
nobody acquire ownership on Later, TITONG filed an action for quieting of
questions. prescription. title against private respondents VICTORICO and
ANGELES LAURIO. He alleged that he was the
CEQUENA vs. BOLANTE owner of a 3.2800-hectare parcel of unregistered,
GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000 which he declared for taxation purposes in his
name. He claimed that on 3 separate occasions in
The prohibition against burdening a possessor 1983, the LAURIOs, with their hired laborers,
in the concept of an owner to show or prove forcibly entered a portion of the land containing
his possession with just title only does not an area of approximately 2 hectares, and began
apply if he is also claiming ownership over the plowing the same under pretext of ownership.
land through acquisistive prescription. TITONG identified Espinosa as his adjoining
owner. He asserted that no controversy had
sprouted between them for 20 years until the
FACTS latter sold said lot to VICTORICO LAURIO. The
- See facts on previous page - boundary between the land sold to Espinosa and
BOLANTE argued that she was legally what remained of TITONG's property was the old
presumed to possess the subject land with a just Bugsayon river. When TITONG employed
title since she possessed it in the concept of Bienvenido Lerit as his tenant in 1962, he
owner. Under Article 541 of the Code, she could instructed Lerit to change the course of the old
not be obliged to show or prove such title. river and direct the flow of water to the lowland
at the southern portion of TITONG's property,
ISSUE thus converting the old river into a riceland.
Whether of not BOLANTE could be obliged to The LAURIOs denied this allegation and
show or prove such title. averred that the disputed property formed part of
the 5.5-hectare agricultural land which they had
RULING purchased in 1981 from their predecessor-in-
YES. She should be obliged to show or prove interest, Pablo Espinosa.
such title because she was also claiming to have It was proved at the proceedings in the court
acquired the property through prescription. The a quo that two (2) surveys were made of the
prohibition against burdening a possessor in the disputed property. The first survey was made for
concept of an owner to show or prove his TITONG, while the second was the relocation
possession with just title only applies when there survey ordered by the lower court. As anticipated,
is an adverse claim over the property. In the certain discrepancies between the two surveys
present case however, both parties claimed surfaced. Thus, contrary to TITONG's allegation
possession in the concept of an owner. After in his complaint that he was the owner of only
CEQUENA and LIRIO had proved their claim 3.2800 hectares, he was actually claiming 5.9789
over the property, it was up to BOLANTE to hectares. On the other hand, the lot pertaining to
controvert their contentions through adducing Espinosa, was left with only an area of 4.1841
evidence in her favor. hectares instead of the 5.5 hectares sold by
TITONG to him.
LAURIO testified that TITONG was one of
TITONG vs. CA the four heirs of his mother, Leonida Zaragoza. In
GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000 the Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale of Estate of the
deceased Leonida Zaragoza, the heirs adjudicated
Titong did not acquire just title over the unto themselves the 3.6-hectare property of the
property because he was in bad faith. His acts deceased. However, instead of reflecting only
of converting the boundary line (Bugsayon .9000 hectare as his rightful share in the
extrajudicial settlement TITONG's share was
bloated to 2.4 hectares. It was therefore appeared MARCELO vs. CA
to LAURIO that TITONG encroached upon his GR No. 131803. April 14, 1999
property and declared it a part of his inheritance.
LAURIO LAURIO accordingly denied that There is, upon the other hand, just title when
TITONG had diverted the course of the Bugsayon the adverse claimant comes into possession of
River after he had repurchased the land from the property through any of the modes
Conception Verano vda. de Cabug because the recognized by law for the acquisition of
land was immediately sold to Espinosa shortly ownership or other real rights, but that the
thereafter. grantor is neither the owner nor in a position
In short, TITONG, in bad faith, to transmit the right. The possessor only had
surreptitiously, maliciously and fraudulently had to prove colorable title.
the land in question included in the survey of his
land which extends to the south only as far as the FACTS
Bugsayon River which is the visible and natural A parcel of land located in Sta. Lucia, Angat,
and common boundary between the properties. Bulacan was originally owned by spouses Jose
Moreover, during the hearing of the case, Marcelo and Sotera Paulino and they had been in
TITONG proved that it was actually a boundary continuous possession of said property since 1939.
dispute by evidence showing what he considered Following the death of Jose Marcelo in 1965, his
as the boundary of his property which LAURIO heirs, petitioners SOTERA PAULINO MARCELO
perceived as actually encroaching on their ET AL. discovered in 1967 that a portion of said
property. property had been encroached by respondent
The lower court rendered a decision in favor FERNANDO CRUZ.
of LAURIO, declaring him as the true and Earlier in 1960, CRUZ purchased a 6,000-sq.
absolute owner of the litigated property and m. property from Engracia dela Cruz and Vicente
ordering TITONG to respect private LAURIOs' Marta and Florentino all surnamed Sarmiento,
title and ownership over the property and to pay pursuant to a Kasulatan ng Partisyon sa Labas ng
attorney's fees, litigation expenses, costs and Hukuman at Bilihang Patulayan . As soon as the
moral damages. The same was affirmed by the said property was sold to Fernando Cruz, the
CA. Hence, this appeal. adjoining property described and classified as
parang with an area of 7,856 sq. m. was declared
ISSUE by said CRUZ in his name which circumstance,
Whether of not TITONG possessed the increased his landholding to 13,856 sq. m. In 1968,
property with a just title in his favor. he sold this 13,856 sq. m.-property to respondent
SERVANDO FLORES pursuant to a deed of sale
RULING (Kasulatan ng Bilihan). The said sale included the
NO. He had no just title in his favor. encroached portion of 7,540 sq.m. of MARCELO
Ordinary acquisitive prescription of things ET AL.s property.
requires possession in good faith and with just In 1968, MARCELO ET AL. attempted to
title for the time fixed by law. Hence, a cultivate the disputed portion but were barred
prescriptive title to real estate is not acquired by from doing so by respondent FLORES who
mere possession thereof under claim of ownership claimed that the area was part of the land he
for a period of ten years unless such possession bought from co-respondent CRUZ. Hence, in
was acquired with color of title and good faith. 1982, MAR CELO ET AL filed an action for the
The good faith of the possessor consists in the recovery of a portion of unregistered land.
reasonable belief that the person from whom he CRUZ and FLORES, on the other hand,
received the thing was the owner thereof, and contended that the portion sought to be recovered
could transmit his ownership. For purposes of by MARCELO ET AL. was part of the land which
prescription, there is just title when the adverse CRUZ acquired in 1960 from the Sarmientos. They
claimant came into possession of the property also averred that the land sold to CRUZ contained
through one of the modes recognized by law for 6,000 sq. m. of palayero or riceland and 7,856 sq.
the acquisition of ownership or other real rights m. of parang or pasture land. It was added that in
but the grantor was not the owner or could not 1967, CRUZ caused the survey of the property
transmit any right. and had it declared for taxation in 1968. It was
TITONGs had not satisfactorily met the further alleged that CRUZ sold the same property
requirements of good faith and just title. As aptly to FLORES in 1968.
observed by the trial court, the plaintiff's admitted The trial court found that the issue revolved
acts of converting the boundary line (Bugsayon on the so-called pasture land or parang. It
River) into a ricefield and thereafter claiming concluded that the parang belonged to
ownership thereof were acts constituting MARCELO ET AL. and that it was merely
deprivation of the rights of others and therefore encroached upon by CRUZ. It was proven that the
"tantamount to bad faith." To allow TITONG to tax declaration of the Sarmientos, from whom
benefit from his own wrong would run counter to CRUZ purchased the property, did not include
the maxim no man can be allowed to found a the parang and it was only began to be declared
claim upon his own wrongdoing. for taxation purposes in the name of CRUZ in
1961. On the other hand, the said parang was a
part and parcel of MARCELO ET AL. property to tract of land which he bought from CRUZ under
which they had been in possession thereof prior to public document. As explicitly mentioned in the
World War II. Because of such encroachment, the document of sale executed in 1968, the disputed
landholding of CRUZ of 6,000 sq. m. was portion referred to as parang was included in
increased to 13,856 square meters. The court then the sale to FLORES. Parenthetically, at the time of
ordered CRUZ and FLORES to return the the sale, the whole area consisting of the riceland
ownership and possession of the parang to and pasture land was already covered by a tax
MARCELO ET AL. declaration in the name of CRUZ and further
On appeal to the CA, the decision of the surveyed in his favor. Hence, FLORES
lower court was reversed. Hence, this appeal. possession of the entire parcel which included the
portion sought to be recovered by MARCELO ET
ISSUE AL. was not only in the concept of an owner but
Whether of not FLORES had in his favor just also public, peaceful and uninterrupted. While it
title. is true that the possession of the entire area by his
predecessor-in-interest CRUZ may not have been
RULING peaceful as it was indeed characterized with
YES. FLORES had just title in his favor violence which resulted in the death of Jose
because he acquired the property in good faith. Marcelo, this could not be said of FLORES
The bad faith of CRU possession of the property, in respect of which no
The Kasulatan ng Partisyon sa Labas ng evidence to the contrary appears on record.
Hukuman at Bilihang Patuluyan. executed in 1960
by the Sarmientos, pertained not only to the ARTICLE 542: The possession of real property
palayero but also to the parang as well. Shortly presumes that of the movables therein, so long as it is
after the execution of the deed of sale in his favor, not shown or proved that they should be excluded.
CRUZ declared both parcels, i.e., the palayero and
the parang, for taxation purposes in 1960 in the ARTICLE 543: Each one of the participants of a thing
Office of the Provincial Assessor and forthwith a possessed in common shall be deemed to have
new tax declaration was issued in his name for the exclusively possessed the part which may be allotted to
entire 13,856 sq. m. property. In turn, respondent him upon the division thereof, for the entire period
CRUZ sold in 1968, the 13,856 square meters of during which the co-possession lasted. Interruption in
land to respondent Flores under a Kasulatan ng the possession of the whole or a part of a thing
Bilihan. FLORES immediately took possession of possessed in common shall be to the prejudice of all the
the property to the exclusion of all others and possessors. However, in case of civil interruption, the
promptly paid the realty taxes thereon. From that Rules of Court shall apply.
time on, FLORES had been in possession of the
entire area in the concept of an owner and holding ARTICLE 544: A possessor in good faith is entitled to
it in that capacity for almost 14 years before the fruits received before the possession is legally
petitioners initiated their complaint in 1982. interrupted.
Naturally and industrial fruits are considered
Acquisitive prescription is a mode of
received form the time they are gathered or severed.
acquiring ownership by a possessor through the
Civil fruits are deemed to accrue daily and
requisite lapse of time. In order to ripen into
belong to the possessor in good faith on that proportion.
ownership, possession must be in the concept of
an owner, public peaceful and uninterrupted.
The possessor in good faith (PGF) is
Possession, to constitute the foundation of a
entitled to the fruits received before the
prescriptive right, must be en concepto de dueno, or,
possession is legally interrupted.
to use the common law equivalent of the term,
Right of PBF with respect to the
that possession should be adverse; if not, such
gathered fruits:
possessory acts, no matter how long, do not start
Entitled to payment for production,
the running of the period of prescription.
gathering and preservation expenses of
Ordinary acquisitive prescription demands, as
the crops. (If the fruits have not been
aforesaid, that the possession be in good faith
gathered, he loses everything with respect
and with just title. The good faith of the
to the fruits. But he can get the payment
possessor consists in the reasonable belief that the
of expenses for the preservation of the
person from whom the thing is received has been
land.)
the owner thereof and could thereby transmit that
ownership. There is, upon the other hand, just title
ARTICLE 545: If at the time the good faith ceases,
when the adverse claimant comes into possession
there should be any natural or industrial fruits, the
of the property through any of the modes
possessor shall have a right to a part of the expenses of
recognized by law for the acquisition of
cultivation, and to a part of the net harvest, both in
ownership or other real rights, but that the
proportion to the time of the possession.
grantor is neither the owner nor in a position to The charges shall be divided on the same basis
transmit the right. by the two possessors.
In the instant case, FLORES took possession The owner of the ting may, should he so
of the controverted portion in good faith and with desire, give the possessor in good faith the right to finis
just title. This is so because the said portion of the cultivation and gathering if the growing fruits, as
7,540 sq. m. was an integral part of that bigger
an indemnity for his part of the expenses of cultivation ii. or increase the objects
and the net proceeds; the possessor in good faith who productivity
for any reason whatever should refuse to accept this iii. or useful for the
concession, shall loss the right to be indemnified in any satisfaction of spiritual
other manner. and religious yearnings
or give rise to all kinds of
The situation is, X possesses in GF the fruits
land of B. The possession of X has been Rights of a Possessor (in the concept of
legally interrupted, and therefore his owner) as to the Useful Expenses:
possession in GF ceases. What are the If in good faith
rights of X? 1) Right to REIMBURSEMENT (of
1. right to part of the expenses of either the amount spent or the
cultivation; increase in value;
2. right to a part of the net harvest (both 2) Right of RETENTION (till paid)
in proportion to the time of the
possession, 1st par. of 545. While waiting to be reimbursed, he is not
obliged to pay rental to the owner. The
POSSESSOR right of retention is an absolute right,
GOOD FAITH BAD FAITH thus, he can occupy or possess the
Owns them (Art. - Return the value of premises for free until he is reimbursed.
544) fruits which owner But during his retention of the premises,
could have received he introduces improvements; he has no
(Art. 549) right of removal if the improvements are
- Liable for damages introduced during the retention period.
EXCEPT articles 443 and During the time of retention, he is already
546 in bad faith. PBF under useful expenses
Pro-rating of net - No rights at all (Art. has no right whatsoever.
harvest (Art. 545) 449)
- Liable for damages 3) Right of REMOVAL (provided no
(Art. 452) substantial damage or injury is
caused to the principal, reducing
Pro-rating, how determined: The its value. Unless the winner
possessor was already in possession for (lawful owner or possessor)
two months before his possession in good exercises the option in Art 547, 1
faith was legally interrupted through the
serving of judicial summons. The crops If in bad faith
are pending and it would take about 4 1. Not entitled to any right regarding the
months before it could be harvested. So useful expenses or reimbursements for
before interruption, possession is in good expenses incurred;
faith, after interruption, possession is in 2. he may REMOVE the objects (repairs on
bad faith. building) provided the things suffer NO
INJURY thereby;
Judicial summons 3. If the lawful possessor does not prefer to
2 months 4 months retain them by paying the value they may
have at the time he enters into possession.
= 2:4 pro-rata
good faith bad faith
PADA- KILARIO V CA
1. Necessary Expenses are those without They are PBF and the kind of expenses they
which the thing would physically incurred here is useful. Improvements are
deteriorate or be lost, expenses for the considered as useful expenses. So what are they
preservation of the thing. They do not entitled to? They are entitled to nothing.
increase the things value; they merely
prevent the thing from being useless. CHUA V CA
Under Art 547 on useful expenses only apply to
Rights of a Possessor (in the concept of owner) as PGF, and since Chua, who is a lessee, he is not
to the necessary expenses entitled to the benefits of 546 and 547. There is no
provision which grants a lessee a right of
a. If in good faith entitled to: retention until reimbursed.
1. refund
2. retain premises until paid 3. Luxurious Expenses, Art 548 are those
b. If in bad faith entitled ONLY to a refund (no which add value to the thing only for
right of retention, as penalty) certain determinate persons in view of
their particular whims. They are neither
2. Useful Expenses they are those that: essential for preservation nor useful to
i. add value to the property everybody in general
Whether or not the SPOUSES KILARIO were
ARTICLE 546: entitled to full reimbursement of useful
improvements and retention of the premises until
PADA-KILARIO vs. CA reimbursement is made.
G.R. No. 134329. Jan. 19, 2000.
RULING
If a possessor were in possession of the NO, they were not because they were builders
property without paying any rental as they in good faith.
only relied on the liberality and tolerance of Considering that SPOUSES KILARIO were in
the landowner are not possessors nor builders possession of the subject property by sheer
in good faith because they know that their tolerance of its owners, they knew that their
occupation of the premises may be terminated occupation of the premises may be terminated any
any time. Hence, they are not entitled to time. Persons who occupy the land of another at
reimbursement of useful expenses. the latter's tolerance or permission, without any
contract between them, is necessarily bound by an
FACTS implied promise that they will vacate the same
Jacinto Pada owned a parcel of land of upon demand, failing in which a summary action
residential and coconut land in Leyte for ejectment is the proper remedy against them.
denominated as Cadastral Lot No. 5581. During Thus, they could be considered possessors nor
his lifetime, his half-brother, Feliciano Pada, builders in good faith.
obtained permission from him to build a house on It is well-settled that both Article 448 and
the northern portion of Cadastral Lot No. 5581. Article 546 of the New Civil Code which allow full
When Feliciano died, his son, Pastor, continued reimbursement of useful improvements and
living in said house. Petitioner Verona Pada- retention of the premises until reimbursement is
Kilario, one of Pastor's children, had been living in made, apply only to a possessor in good faith, i.e.,
that house since 1960. one who builds on land with the belief that he is
Later, Jacinto Pada died intestate. His 6 the owner thereof. Verily, persons whose
children, 1 personally and others through their occupation of a realty is by sheer tolerance of its
children, entered into an extra-judicial partition of owners are not possessors in good faith.
his estate, which included Cadastral Lot No. 5881. Neither did the donation by some of the heirs,
One of the sons of Jacinto Pada was Marciano convert SPOUSES KILARIO into builders in good
Pada. The latters daughter, Maria Pada, sold the faith for at the time the improvements were built
co-ownership right of his father to respondent on the premises, such promise was not yet
SILVERIO PADA, who was also a first cousin. fulfilled, i.e., it was a mere expectancy of
Thereafter, SILVERIO demanded that spouses ownership that may or may not be realized. More
VERONA PADA-KILARIO and RICARDO importantly, even as that promise was fulfilled,
KILARIO vacate the northern portion of Cadastral the donation was void for the donors were not the
Lot No. 5581 so his family can utilize the said area. owners of Cadastral Lot No. 5581. As such,
Unable to settle for an amicable settlement, petitioners could not be said to be entitled to the
SILVERIO instituted a complaint for ejectment value of the improvements that they built on the
with prayer for damages against spouses said lot.
KILARIO.
Later, heirs of Amador Pada, also a son of
Jacinto Pada, executed a Deed of Donation, CHUA vs. CA
transferring to petitioner Verona Pada-Kilario, GR No. 109840. January 21, 1999
their respective shares as co-owners of Cadastral
Lot No. 5581. Hence, the SPOUSES KILARIO Reimbursement applies only to a possessor in
averred that the northern portion of Cadastral Lot good faith, i.e., one who builds on a land in
No. 5581 had already been donated to them by the the belief that he is the owner thereof. This
heirs of Amador Pada. Hence, they were virtually right does not apply to a mere lessee,
converted as standing co-owners of the land otherwise, it would always be in his power to
under controversy and became the undivided "improve" his landlord out of the latter's
owners of the whole estate. Their possession then property.
in the northern portion was being lawful. They
also contended that they had been occupying the FACTS
subject property since 1960 without ever paying Petitioners JOSE L. CHUA and CO SIO ENG
any rental. were lessees of a commercial unit in Baclaran,
The RTC ordered the SPOUSES KILARIO to Paraaque, Metro Manila, which was owned by
vacate the premises in issue and return peaceful respondent RAMON MARRA. The lease was for a
possession to SILVERIO being the lawful period of 5 years, from 1985 to 1989. The contract
possessor in concept of owner. When the expressly provided for the renewal of the lease at
SPOUSES KILARIO appealed with the CA, the the option of CHUA and ENG in accordance with
same was denied. Hence, this petition the terms of agreement and conditions set by the
MARRA.
ISSUE Prior to the expiration of the lease, the parties
discussed the possibility of renewing it. They
exchanged proposal and counterproposal, but legitimate possessor should have received, and shall
they failed to reach agreement. The dispute was have a right only to the expenses mentioned in par. 1 of
referred to the barangay captain for conciliation article 546 and in article 443. the expenses incurred in
but still no settlement was reached by the parties. improvements for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall
Hence, in 1990, MARRA filed a complaint for not be refunded to the possessor in bad faith; but he
unlawful detainer against CHUA and ENG with may remove the objects for which such expenses have
the MTC. The court extended the lease for another been incurred, provided that the thing suffers no injury
2 years. CHUA and ENG were also ordered to thereby, and that the lawful possessor does not prefer to
pay MARRA back rentals until they vacate the retain them by paying the value they may have at the
premises. time he enters into possession.
The RTC however, modified said decision. It
ruled that after the expiration of the 5-year lease ARTICLE 550: The costs of litigation over the property
period, CHUA and ENGs continued stay were shall be borne by every possessor.
already illegal. It also held that the period fixed by
ARTICLE 551: Improvements caused by Nature or
the MTC was not proper as the power of the
time shall always inure to the benefit of the person who
courts to fix the period of lease is limited only to
has succeeded in revering possession.
cases where the period has not been fixed by the
parties themselves. CHUA and ENG were also
ARTICLE 552: A possessor in good faith shall not be
ordered then, to vacate the premises and pay back
liable for the deterioration or loss of the thing
rentals until they vacate the same.
possessed, except in cases in which it is proved that he
The CA affirmed the RC decision. The has acted with fraudulent intent or negligence, after
appellate court found petitioners guilty of bad the judicial summons.
faith in refusing to leave the premises. A possessor in bad faith shall be liable for
Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. deterioration or loss in every case, even if caused by a
UY and ENG contended that they acted in good fortuitous event.
faith under the belief that they were entitled to an
extension of the lease because they had made ARTICLE 553: One who recovers possession shall not
repairs and improvements on the premises. be obliged to pay for the improvements which have
ceased to exist at the time he takes possession of the
ISSUE thing.
Whether or not the useful improvements
made by UY and ENG on the leased premises ARTICLE 554: A present possessor who shows his
entitled them to reimbursement from MARRA. possession at some previous time, is presumed to have
held possession also during the intermediate period, in
RULING the absence of proof to the contrary.
NO. They should not be entitled to
reimbursement. ARTICLE 555: A possessor may lose his possession:
The fact that, UY and ENG allegedly made 1. By the abandonment of the thing;
repairs on the premises in question is not a reason 2. By an assignment made to another either by
for them to retain the possession of the premises. onerous pr gratuitous title;
There is no provision of law which grants the 3. By the destruction or total loss of the thing, or
lessee a right of retention over the leased premises because it goes out of commerce;
on that ground. 4. By the possession of another, subject to the
Art. 448 of the Civil Code, in relation to Art. provisions of Article 537, if the new
546, which provides for full reimbursement of possession has lasted longer that one year. But
useful improvements and retention of the the real right of possession is not the lost till
premises until reimbursement is made, applies after the lapse of 10 years.
only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., one who
builds on a land in the belief that he is the owner Instances when a possessor may lose
thereof. In a number of cases, the Court has held possession:
that this right does not apply to a mere lessee, like 1) By the abandonment of the thing
the petitioners, otherwise, it would always be in
his power to "improve" his landlord out of the o Abandonment is the voluntary
latter's property. renunciation of a thing or right.
Art. 1678 merely grants to such a lessee o The abandonment must be true
making in good faith useful improvements the abandonment in the sense that
right to be reimbursed one-half of the value of the both possession de facto and
improvements upon the termination of the lease possession de jure are lost.
or in the alternative, to remove the impovements o This is the abandonment that
if the lessor refuses to make reimbursement. converts the thing into res nullius,
meaning ownership of which
ARTICLE 547: may be ordinarily acquired
ARTICLE 548: through occupation. But this does
not apply to land. Because under
ARTICLE 549: The possessor in bad faith shall Art. 714, which provides that the
reimburse the fruits received and those which the ownership of a piece of land
cannot be acquired by recuperand (hope of recovery)i is gone and the
occupation. So, ordinarily it refers animus revertendi (intention to return) is
to movables. finally given up.

REQUISITES: FACTS
On September 19, 1905, the steamer Cantabria
1. That the abandoner must have been a sailed from the port of Manila, destined for the
possessor in the concept of an owner; pueblo of Tabaco, Albay. The ship had on board,
2. The capacity to renounce; there must be as a part of her cargo, 3 boxes containing silver
physical relinquishment of the thing; and paper money amounting to P25,000. This
3. No expectancy of recovery or no intent to money was shipped by the firms of Urrutia & Co.
return; and (P20,000) and Muoz & Co. (P5,000)
4. The abandoner must have knowledge of After the Cantabria remained in quarantine at
the loss of his possession or the thing. the quarantine station of Mariveles, she continued
(US vs. Ray 8 Phil 500) the journey September 24. On September 26, said
ship was totally wrecked off the small Island of
Effect of temporary ignorance: Mababuy and all its officers and passengers were
drowned, the cargo including the money were
4. There is no abandonment of movables lost as it sunk with the ship.
even if there is temporary ignorance so On September 28, the defendant LAURENTE
long as they remain under the control of REY with several others, after having discovered
the possessor. the existence and location of the wrecked steamer
Cantabria, took two boxes , which contained
Effect of tolerance P15,000, one containing P10,000 and the other
P5,000. Being that the sum was packed in boxes,
5. There is no abandonment if the owner which were reinforced with iron straps and nails,
merely tolerated another's possession, nor said boxes were broken by the accused in order to
if that possessor acquired it through take possession of the said sum of money. A part
stealth, or effected the same through force of which was distributed among his companions,
or intimidation the largest portion of which was retained by REY.
The trial court convicted REY for the crime of
1. Assignment, either by onerous (in case of robbery. On appeal, REY alleged that the said
sale) or gratuitous title (in case of property which was sunk with the wrecked
donation). steamer Cantabria, was abandoned property and
- Assignment here is the complete therefore, granting that he had taken possession
transmission of ownership rights to of said property and appropriated it to his own
another person onerously or gratuitously. use, he was not guilty of the crime of robbery.
2. By the destruction or total loss of the
thing, or because it goes out of commerce. ISSUE
- A thing is lost when it perishes, or goes Whether or not the boxes containing the
out of commerce, or disappears in such a money were abandoned property.
way that its existence is unknown and
there is no recovery at all. RULING
3. Accdg to Mr. Paras, the possession of NO. Said boxes were not abandoned property
movables is not deemed lost as long as because of the absence of knowledge of the
they remain under the control of the possessor that the thing was lost and there was
possessor even though for the time being still intent on the part of the possessor to recover
he does not know their whereabouts. it.
- Possession that is lost for one year is Art. 555 (then Art. 460) provides that one of
possession de facto, but not legal right of the ways in which a possessor may lose
possession because it is lost after the lapse possession of a property is through abandonment
of 10 years. Possession as a fact, if you of a thing.
lose it for more than 1 year, then you may There was absence of knowledge of the possessor
file a case for recovery for possession. that the thing was lost
- By the possession of another, subject to The sinking of the Cantabria was relayed to the
the provisions of Article 537, if the new firms only after more than 6 weeks after the
possession has lasted longer that one cyclone. Certainly the owner of property can not
year. But the real right of possession is not be held to have abandoned the same until at least
the lost till after the lapse of 10 years. lie has some knowledge of the loss of its
possession or of the loss of the thing.
U.S. vs. REY There was still intent on the part of the firms to
G.R. No. 3326. September 7, 1907 recover the money.
Property can not be considered abandoned
Property can not be considered abandoned under the law and the possession left vacant for
under the law if the possessor did not know the finder until the spes recuperandi (hope of
that the thing was lost until the spes
recovery) is gone and the animus revertendi RULING
(intention to return) is finally given up. NO. It was not abandoned. The circumstances
The theory of abandonment on the part of the adverted to are insufficient to constitute
owners of the money stolen was fully refuted by abandonment, which requires not only physical
the fact that some weeks after the wreck of the relinquishment of the thing but also a clear
said ship they sent men to the place of the wreck intention not to reclaim or reassume ownership or
for the purpose of recovering the property which enjoyment thereof.
belonged to them, which was on board the ship at Indeed, abandonment which according to
the time of her sinking. The mere fact that cargo converts the thing into res nullius, ownership of
was sunk with a ship wrecked at sea by no means which may be acquired by occupation, can hardly
deprives the owner of said cargo of his property apply to land, as to which said mode of
therein. The owner certainly still has the right to acquisition is not available, let alone to registered
reclaim such property and to recover the same if land, to which "no title in derogation to that of the
possible. If it should be recovered by others, the registered owner shall be acquired by prescription
real owner would be entitled to recover its value or adverse possession".
less the necessary expense of recovering the same No possessory rights whatsoever can be
and carrying it ashore by the most approved recognized in favor of appellants, because they
appliances for that purpose by others. are in fact nothing but squatters, who settled on
the land without any agreement with the owner,
paying neither rents to him nor land taxes to the
government, and who impliedly recognized their
squatters' status by purchasing only the houses
built by the original settlers. Their occupancy of
YU vs. DE LARA the land was at the owner's sufferance, and their
G.R. No. L-16084 November 30, 1962 acts were merely tolerated which could not affect
the owner's possession.
Land can never be an abandoned thing,
especially registered land. ARTICLE 556: The possession of movables is not
deemed lost as long as they remain under the control of
FACTS the possessor, even though for the time being hew may
Lot No. 14, block No. 51-C of the Gram Park not know their whereabouts.
subdivision, which was a 682.5-meter property,
was originally registered in 1916. Subsequently, it RULE WHEN POSSESSION NOT
was acquired by the Philippine Realty DEEMED LOST: (Movable):
Corporation. 1. under the control of another;
In 1945, several persons settled on the 2. no idea of the whereabouts
property and constructed houses thereon without
permission from the Philippine Realty ARTICLE 557: The possession of immovables and of
Corporation. On various dates thereafter, between real rights is not in deemed lost, or transferred for
1947 and 1952, respondents MAXIMO DE LARA, purposes of prescription to the prejudice of 3rd persons,
JUAN PANLILIO, LUCIA RIVERO, except in accordance with the provisions of the
FLORENTINO ROQUE and DOMINGO Mortgage Law and the Land Registration laws.
SAMSON bought the houses of those settlers and
continued in occupancy thereof without paying ARTICLE 558: Acts relating to possession executed or
any rents to the owner of the land. agreed to by one who possesses a thing belonging to
Later in 1956, Philippine Realty Corporation another as a mere holder to enjoy or kept it, in any
sold said property to petitioner JOHN O. YU, who character, do not bind or prejudice the owner unless he
later obtained a TCT in his name. In 1957, YU gave said holder express authority to do such acts, or
advised DE LARA ET AL. to vacate the property ratifies them subsequently.
within 30 days. Because of the latters refusal, UY
filed a complaint of unlawful detainer. ARTICLE 559: The possession of movable property
The lower court ordered DE LARA ET AL. to acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title.
vacate the premises and to pay monthly rentals Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been
from the time the action was filed until they unlawfully deprived thereof, may recover it from the
vacate the premises. person in possession of the same.
On appeal, DE LARA ET AL. contended that If the possessor of a movable lost or which the
owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in
Philippine Realty Corporation had lost possession
good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot obtain its
of the property by abandonment, in failing to take
return without reimbursing the price paid therefore.
action against them and showing lack of interest
in said property since they started their
Art. 559 is known as the rule on
occupancy.
irreinvindicability.
ISSUE "Aquired in good faith" here means that
Whether or not the property was abandoned the possessor is of the belief that the
by Philippine Realty Corporation. person from whom he received the thing
was the owner and who could transfer if not sold, they should be returned to her.
valid title thereto. Without her consent, the respondent JUAN
Requisites for title: LUCENA and his wife, PRAXEDES FLORES
1. That the possession is in good faith; pawned them to co-respondent TERESA
2. That the owner has voluntarily parted VERCHES for P500.
with the possession of the thing; DEL ROSARIO filed a complaint against the
3. And the possession is in the concept of an SPOUSES LUCENA and VERCHES. The principal
owner. object of the complaint was to obtain from the
court a declaration that the jewels were the
GR: Possession in good faith in the concept of an property of DEL ROSARIO.
owner is equivalent to title. If the owner wants to The court rendered judgment in favor of the
get the thing back, he must REIMBURSE the DEL ROSARIO and against VERCHES for the
possessor possession of the jewels. However, DEL
ROSARIO could only possess the jewelries after
Exceptions NO REIMBURSEMENT by the she pays P500 to VERCHES with interest. Should
owner is required when: the jewels could not be returned, the SPOUSES
a. when the owner has lost the thing; LUCENA shall jointly and severally pay DEL
b. when the owner has been unlawfully ROSARIO P500 and VERCHES P1,555 less P500.
deprived of the thing; DEL ROSARIO appealed this decision.

Exception to the exception the owner shall ISSUE


REIMBURSE the price paid when the possessor Whether or not DEL ROSARIO was under
had acquired the thing in good faith at a public obligation to reimburse VERCHES in order to
auction. repossess the jewelries.

SUMMARY: RULING
NO. DEL ROSARIO should not be obliged to
Owner may recover without reimburse VERCHES.
reimbursement: VERCHES accepted the jewels as a pledge
1. From possessor in bad faith; constituted by FLORES in the name' of DEL
2. From possessor in good faith (if owner ROSARIO, without ascertaining whether the
had lost the property or been unlawfully latter had given the former any order or authority
deprived of it) (the acquisition being from for the pledging of her jewelries. VERCHES must
a private person) stand the risk arising from her acceptance of the
Owner may recover but should reimburse pledge, even if when relying upon her judgment
if possessor acquired the object in good she was improperly or falsely informed; and it
faith at a public sale or auction. would not be just nor logical that the
Owner cannot recover even if he offers to consequences of her deception, due to her own
reimburse (WON the owner had lost or mistake, or to deceit employed by a stranger,
been unlawfully deprived): should fall on the owner of the jewelries who,
1) If possessor had acquired it in good faith without having taken any part in the transaction,
by purchase from a merchants store or in became the victim of a crime.
fairs, or markets in accordance with the The conflict between the right of the owner of
Code of Commerce and special laws. movable property who has either lost it or been
2) If owner is by his conduct precluded from illegally deprived thereof and that of the creditor
denying the sellers authority to sell. who has loaned money thereon and holds it in
3) If possessor had obtained the goods pledge can not be decided against the owner, to
because he was innocent purchaser for whom the Civil Code grants a right of action to
value and holder of a negotiable recover the property from whoever may be in
document of title to the goods. possession.
4) When acquisitive prescription has set in The exceptions to Art. 559 (then Art. 464) are
except if possessor is a criminal. therein contained, namely:
(1) If the possessor of personal property,
DEL ROSARIO vs. LUCENA lost or stolen, has acquired it at a public
G.R. No. 3546. September 13, 1907 sale;
(2) in favor of Montes de Piedad
A jewelry owner whose jewelries were pawned established under authorization of the
without her consent cannot be compelled to Government; and
reimburse the person to whom it is pawned in (3) with regard to things acquired on
order to acquire possession of the jewelries. exchange, or at fairs or markets, or
from a merchant lawfully engaged in
FACTS similar business.
Petitioner PIA DEL ROSARIO owned certain The defendant was not within any of the
jewelries. She delivered said jewelries to exceptions under which she could refuse to make
respondent PRAXEDES FLORES for sale on restitution of the property without reimbursement
commission for the term of 2 months, after which, of the amount advanced upon the pledge.
Therefore the decision which provides for they are at hand and have not disappeared. This
such reimbursement before the return of the restitution must be made even if the jewels are in
jewels is not based on any law whatever. On the the possession of a third party, such as a
contrary, it is in violation of Art. 559 of the Civil pawnshop, and notwithstanding the fact that they
Code. were lawfully acquired by it, its right to institute
It was improper to compel DEL ROSARIO to proceedings against whoever may be liable
reimburse VERCHES in the sum P500, which therefor being reserved as provided by article 120
PRAXEDES FLORES obtained through the of the Penal Code.
commission of an unlawful act, but that it is The exception contained in paragraph 3 of
proper and in accordance with the law to compel said article is not applicable to the present case
VERCHES to return to the DEL ROSARIO, because a pawnshop does not enjoy the privilege
absolutely and unconditionally, the jewels in established by Art. 559 (then Art. 464), of the Civil
question. Code. The owner of the pawnshop of Finnick
Brothers, notwithstanding the fact that he acted in
good faith, did not acquire the Jewels at a public
VARELA vs. FINNICK he sale. Neither does, a pawnshop enjoy the
G.R. No. 3890. January 2, 1908 privilege granted to a Monte de Piedad therefore,
VARELA, who lost said jewels and was deprived
A pawnshop does not enjoy the privilege of the same in consequence of a crime is entitled
established by Art. 559.The owner of a to the recovery thereof from the pawnshop of
pawnshop, notwithstanding the fact that he Finnnick Brothers, where they were pledged.
acted in good faith, did not acquire the Jewels The provisions of Art. 559 (then Art. 464) shall
at a public sale. Neither does, a pawnshop be observed with regard to the rights of the owner
enjoy the privilege granted to a Monte de to recover the personal property lost or of which
Piedad. The owner of the jewels who was he may have been illegally deprived, and also
deprived of the same in consequence of a crime with regard to those acquired at an auction, on
is entitled to the recovery thereof. exchanges, at fairs or markets, or from a merchant
legally established or customarily engaged in the
FACTS traffic of similar objects.
In 1905, Nicolasa Pascual received from In the present case not only has the ownership
petitioner JOSEFA VARELA several jewels, some and the origin of the jewels misappropriated been
of which were owned by ARELA herself and unquestionably proven also that the accused,
some belonged to strangers. The jewelries were acting frandulently and in bad faith, disposed of
delivered to Pascual to be sold on commission, them and pledged them contrary agreement, with
with the obligation on the part of the latter to pay no right of ownership, and to the prejudice of the
to the former the proceeds of the sale of said injured party, who was thereby illegally deprived
jewels, or to return them if unsold. of said jewels. Therefore, in accordance with the
Pascual, however, pawned the said jewels at provisions of Art. 559 (then Art. 464), the owner
various dates with H. J. Finnick's pawnshop, an absolute right to recover the jewels from the
where the jewels had been pledged. The jewels possession of whosoever holds them in
were thus misappropriated and the amount of the accordance with the judgment entered in the
loan granted thereon embezzled, to the prejudice aforesaid cause for estafa wherein, the accused
of Josefa VARELA. having been found guilty the right of Josefa
In 1906, VARELA claimed, in writing, the Varela to recover jewels in question is expressly
return of the jewels from H. J. Finnick's acknowledged.
pawnshop. It also filed a case against said
pawnshop and its manager, respondent
JOSEPHINE FINNICK. FINNICK alleged that the ARENAS vs. RAYMUNDO
jewels pledged at the pawnshop were not the G.R. No. 5741. March 13, 1911
subject of any other crime committed by Pascual.
It was further alleged that the pawnshop accepted Because of the fact that Perello was not the
the said jewels in good faith. Hence, the legitimate owner of the jewelry which she
pawnshop was entitled to their possession. pledged to the Raymundo, the contract of
ISSUE pledge entered into by both is, of course, null
Whether or not VARELA should be entitled to and void. hence, the jewelry so pawned could
the possession of the jewelries. not serve as security for the payment of the
sum loaned, nor can the latter be collected out
RULING of the value of the said jewelry.
YES, she should be entitled to the possession
the jewelries. FACTS
Nicolasa Pascual was convicted of estafa of In 1908, petitioner ESTANISLAUA ARENAS
the jewels in question, and as the sentence became delivered to Elena de Vega to sell on commission
final, so much so that she was now undergoing or several pieces of jewelry. De Vega, in turn,
term of imprisonment, the balance of the delivered it to Concepcion Perello, likewise to sell
judgment must be complied with that is, the on commission. However, Perello, instead of
restitution of the jewels misappropriated because fulfilling her trust, pledged the jewelry in the
pawnshop of defendant FAUSTO O. entitled to retain it until the owner thereof
RAYMUNDO. Perello appropriated to her own reimburse him for the amount loaned to the
use the money thereby obtained. embezzler.
Later, Perello was prosecuted for estafa, Between the supposed good faith of
convicted, and the judgment became final. The RAYMUNDO and the undisputed good faith of
jewelries however were still under the control and the ARENAS, the owner of the jewelry, neither
in the possession of RAYMUNDO. The latter law nor justice permit that the latter, after being
refused to deliver the jewelries to ARENAS, the the victim of embezzlement, should have to
owner thereof. choose one of the two extremes of a dilemma.
Hence, ARENAS filed an action against Both of which, without legal ground or reason,
RAYMUNDO to recover possession of said are injurious and prejudicial to her interests and
jewelries. rights, that is, she must either lose her jewelry or
Later, after a writ of seizure was issued for the pay a large sum received by the embezzler as a
said jewelry the sheriff took it out of the loan from the defendant, when ARENAS is not
RAYMUNDDO's control and held it in his related to the latter by any legal or contractual
possession during the 5 days prescribed by law. bond out of which legal obligations arise.
After 5 days without the delivery of bond by
RAYMUNDO, the sheriff delivered it to the
counsel for ARENAS. AZNAR vs. YAPDIANGCO
RAYMUNDO on the other hand, contended G.R. No. L-18536. March 31, 1965
that the jewelry was pledged to the pawnshop by
Perello as a security for a P1,524 loan with the If the owner has lost a thing, or if he has been
knowledge, consent, and mediation of Gabriel La unlawfully deprived of it, he has a right to
O, a son of the ARENAS. Hence, it was alleged recover it, not only from the finder, thief or
that the latter were estopped from disavowing the robber, but also from third persons who may
action of Perello. RAYMUNDO then prayed that have acquired it in good faith from such
the complaint be dismissed and that the jewelry finder, thief or robber.
seized be returned to the pawnshops possession. FACTS
The lower court ordered RAYMUNDO to In 1959, intervenor TEODORO SANTOS
restore to ARENAS. the jewelry. Hence, this advertised the sale of his FORD FAIRLANE 500.
appeal by RAYMUNDO. A certain L. De Dios, claiming to be a nephew of
Vicente Marella, went to the Santos residence to
ISSUE answer the ad. During the transaction, Marella
Whether or not RAYMUNDO should be agreed to buy the car for P14,700 on the
entitled to possession of the jewelry. understanding that the price would be paid only
after the car had been registered in his name.
RULING After a Deed of Sale was executed by the
NO. Instead of Raymundo, the rightful parties, they then proceeded to the Motor Vehicles
possessor of the jewelry was ARENAS, who