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Suobiron v CA

Doctrine: Interruption of good faith upon service of summons.


Spouses Luis Adelantar and Fortunata Ponce were declared owners of 2 parcels of land in LRC Case
No. 673 against Doroteo Legarde and Bernabe, Basilia, Quintin and Fortunato, all surnamed Lorezo.

After the American forces liberated Panay Island, the CFI was reorganized. Pursuant to Act 3110, the
clerk of court submitted a report stating that all court records were destroyed or burned as a result of
the battle for liberation. Thereafter, on 7 June 1945 the court issued an order directing the
reconstitution of the records.

On 18 August 1945 Luis Adelantar filed a motion for reconstitution of the records of LRC Case No. 673
furnishing copies thereof to the Lorezos which the CFI gave due course on 25 August 1945. On 28
January 1946, the CFI directed the issuance of decrees covering the property in litigation in the name
of the spouses Luis Adelantar and Fortunata Ponce.

Taking advantage in the meantime of the chaotic conditions during the war, Quintin Lorezo and
Bernabe Lorezo entered the litigated property and appropriated the produce thereof. Consequently,
on 26 August 1947, the Adelantars filed an action in the CFI of Iloilo against the Lorezos for recovery of
possession, docketed as Civil Case No. 938. The CFI rendered judgment declaring the Adelantar
spouses owners of the property.

The property soon became the subject of a cadastral survey. Fortunata Ponce filed an answer claiming
ownership. The spouses Andres Suobiron and Socorro Suobiron also filed an answer claiming
ownership of portions thereof by purchases from Quintin in 1960, from Basilia and Isabel Lorezo in
1961, and from Canuto Lucero in 1969.

On 29 August 1986, the trial court directed the petitioners to vacate the property and deliver
possession thereof to private respondents and to pay them jointly and severally P39,750.00 annually
as net produce from 1970 until possession was restored to the latter, P10,000.00 as attorney's fees,
and to pay the costs of suit.

Petitioners instituted an action to annul the orders dated 25 August 1945 and 28 January 1946 of the
then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Iloilo in LRC Case No. 673 directing the issuance of decrees
covering the property in litigation in the name of the spouses Luis Adelantar and Fortunata Ponce.

Petitioners alleged in their complaint that the land registration court acted without or in excess of
jurisdiction in issuing both orders because the requirements of the law on reconstitution of court
records were not complied with thus rendering void not only the orders but also the decrees and
certificates of title issued thereunder.

1. WON the provisions of Act 3110 have been complied with
2. WON the decision in Civil Case No. 938 is conclusive upon the petitioners


1. Yes, the requirements of the law for the reconstitution of a court record were fulfilled.

2. Yes. The trial court held petitioners liable to private respondents for the net produce of the
properties in question from the time the former's possession in good faith was legally
interrupted when they were served summons in connection with private respondents'
complaint for recovery of possession with damages filed 22 July 1970, docketed as Civil Case
No. 8283, at the rate of P1, 500.00 per hectare or P39, 750.00 for 26.5 hectares annually until
possession was restored.

It may be that petitioners acquired the disputed properties in good faith and had since then
occupied the same but such bona fide character of possession ceased when they were served
summons. Possession acquired in good faith may not lose this character except in the case
and from the moment facts exist which show that the possessor is not unaware that he
possesses the thing improperly or wrongfully, conformably with Article 528 of the Civil Code.