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Mariquita O. Sumaya and Laguna Agro-Industrial from any liens and encumbrances at the time of the sale.

Coconut Cooperative vs. The Hon. Intermediate Appellate the affidavit of self-adjudication executed by Consuelo stating
Court, and Amadeo, Sancho, Donato, Luis, Erasto, Luisa, the source of the properties thereby showing the reservable
Joes and Dolores all surname Balantakbo nature thereof was registered with the Register of Deeds of
G.R. No. 68843-44 September 2, 1991 Laguna, and this is sufficient notice to the whole world

Raul Balantakbo inherited from two (2) different ascendants
the two (2) sets of properties subject of this case: 1) A one- Whether or not the property is subject to reserve troncal
third (1/3) interest in a parcel of land situated in Dita, Laguna
from his father Jose, Sr., who died on January 28, 1945; and 2) HELD:
A one-seventh (1/7) interest pro-indiviso in ten (10) parcels of The failure of the Register of Deeds to annotate the reservable
registered lands from his maternal grandmother, Luisa character of the property in the certificate of title cannot be
Bautista, who died on November 3, 1950. attributed to Consuelo.

On June 13, 1952, Raul died intestate, single, without any Moreover, there is sufficient proof that the petitioners had
issue, and leaving only his mother, Consuelo Joaquin Vda. de actual knowledge of the reservable character of the properties
Balantakbo, as his sole surviving heir to the real properties before they bought the same from Consuelo. This matter
above-mentioned. Consuelo adjudicated unto herself the above appeared in the deed of sale executed by Consuelo in favor of
described properties in an Affidavit entitled "Caudal Mariquita Sumaya, Moreover, the Court a quo found that the
Herederario del finado Raul Balantakbo". petitioners and private respondents were long time
On December 21, 1959, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo
sold the property to Mariquita H. Sumaya. The sale was The obligation to reserve rests upon the reservor, Consuelo
evidenced by a deed. The same property was subsequently Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo. Article 891 of the New Civil
sold by Mariquita Sumaya to Villa Honorio Development Code on reserva troncal provides:
Corporation, Inc., on December 30, 1963. On January 23, Art. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his
1967, Villa Honorio Development Corporation transferred and descendant any property which the latter may have
assigned its rights over the property in favor of Agro-Industrial acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant or
Coconut Cooperative, Inc. The documents evidencing these a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property
transfers were registered in the Registry of Deeds of Laguna as he may have acquired by operation of law for the
and the corresponding certificates of titles were issued. The benefit of relatives who are within the third degree
properties are presently in the name of Agro-Industrial and who belong to the line from which said property
Coconut Cooperative, Inc., 2/3 share and the remaining 1/3 came. (Emphasis supplied)
share is in the name of Sancho Balantakbo. Consuelo Joaquin
vda. de Balantakbo sold the properties described to Villa We do not agree, however, with the disposition of the
Honorio Development Corporation, Inc. The latter in turn appellate court that there is no need to register the reservable
transferred and assigned all its rights to the properties in favor character of the property, if only for the protection of the
of Laguna Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc. which reservees, against innocent third persons. This Court ruled that
properties are presently in its possession. the reservable character of a property may be lost to innocent
purchasers for value. Additionally, it was ruled therein that the
The parties admit that the certificates of titles covering the obligation imposed on a widowed spouse to annotate the
above described properties do not contain any annotation of its reservable character of a property subject of reserva viudal is
reservable character. applicable to reserva troncal.

On June 3, 1968, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo died. Consistent with the rule in reserva viudal where the person
obliged to reserve (the widowed spouse) had the obligation to
Amadeo, Sancho, Donato, Luis, and Erasto, all surnamed annotate in the Registry of Property the reservable character of
Balantakbo, brothers in full blood of Raul Balantakbo and the property, in reserva troncal, the reservor (the ascendant
Luisa, Jose and Dolores, also all surnamed Balantakbo, who inherited from a descendant property which the latter
surviving children of deceased Jose Balantakbo, Jr., another inherited from another descendant) has the duty to reserve and
brother of the first named Balantakbos, filed the above therefore, the duty to annotate also.
mentioned civil cases to recover the properties described in the
respective complaints which they claimed were subject to The jurisprudential rule requiring annotation in the Registry of
a reserva troncal in their favor. Property of the right reserved in real property subject
of reserva viudal insofar as it is applied to reserva
The court a quo rendered a joint decision in favor of the troncal stays despite the abolition of reserva viudal in the New
Balantakbos. This decision was appealed to the appellate court Civil Code. This rule is consistent with the rule provided in the
which affirmed the decision of the court a quo in toto. second paragraph of Section 51 of P.D. 1529, which provides
that: "The act of registration shall be the operative act to
According to petitioners, before they agreed to buy the convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are
properties from the reservor (also called reservista), Consuelo concerned . . ." (emphasis supplied).
Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo, they first sought the legal advice
of their family consultant who found that there was no
encumbrance nor any lien annotated on the certificate of title
coveting the properties

The Intermediate Appellate Court based their decision that the

affidavit executed by Consuelo clearly stated that the
Consuelo, was a lone-ascendant and heir to Raul Balantakbo,
her son, who died leaving properties previously inherited from
other ascendants and which properties were inventoried in the
said affidavit. It was admitted that the certificates of titles
covering the properties in question show that they were free
Beatriz L. Gonzales vs. Court of First Instance of Manila, obtained the property from the (prepositus) by operation of
Benito F. Legarda, Rosario L. Valdez, Alejandro Legarda, law and (4) the reserves (reservatario) who is within the third
Teresa Legarda, Jose Legarda, Benito Legarda et. al. degree from the prepositus and who belongs to the (line o
G.R. No. L-34395 May 19, 1981 tronco) from which the property came and for whom the
property should be reserved by the reservor.
Benito Legarda y De la Paz, the son of Benito Legarda y The reservor has the legal title and dominion to the reservable
Tuason, died on June 17, 1933. He was survived by his property but subject to the resolutory condition that such title
widow, Filomena Races, and their seven children: four is extinguished if the reservor predeceased the reservee. The
daughters named Beatriz, Rosario, Teresa and Filomena and reservor is a usufructuary of the reservable property. He may
three sons named Benito, Alejandro and Jose. alienate it subject to the reservation. The transferee gets the
revocable and conditional ownership of the reservor.
On July 12, 1939, the real properties left by Benito Legarda y In the instant case, the properties in question were indubitably
Tuason were partitioned in three equal portions by his reservable properties in the hands of Mrs. Legarda.
daughters, Consuelo and Rita, and the heirs of his deceased Undoubtedly, she was a reservor. The reservation became a
son Benito Legarda y De la Paz who were represented by certainty when at the time of her death the reservees or
Benito F. Legarda. relatives within the third degree of the prepositus Filomena
Legarda were living or they survived Mrs. Legarda.
Filomena Legarda y Races died intestate and without issue on
March 19, 1943. Her sole heiress was her mother, Filomena Article 891 clearly indicates that the reservable properties
Races Vda. de Legarda. should be inherited by all the nearest relatives within the third
degree from the prepositus who in this case are the six
Mrs. Legarda executed on May 12, 1947 an affidavit children of Mrs. Legarda. She could not select the reservees to
adjudicating extrajudicially to herself the properties which she whom the reservable property should be given and deprive the
inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena Legarda. As a other reservees of their share therein.
result of the affidavit of adjudication, Filomena Races To allow the reservor in this case to make a testamentary
succeeded her deceased daughter Filomena Legarda as co- disposition of the reservable properties in favor of the
owner of the properties held proindiviso by her other six reservees in the third degree and, consequently, to ignore the
children. reservees in the second degree would be a glaring violation of
article 891. That testamentary disposition cannot be allowed.
Mrs. Legarda on March 6, 1953 executed two handwritten
Identical documents wherein she disposed of the properties, Applying the case of Florentino vs. Florentino, it appears that
which she inherited from her daughter, in favor of the children Apolonio Florentino II and his second wife Severina Faz de
of her sons, Benito, Alejandro and Jose (sixteen grandchildren Leon begot two children, Mercedes and Apolonio III. These
in all). During the period from July, 1958 to February, 1959 two inherited properties from their father. Upon Apolonio III
Mrs. Legarda and her six surviving children partitioned the death in 1891, his properties were inherited by his mother,
properties consisting of the one-third share in the estate of Severina, who died in 1908. ln her will, she instituted her
Benito Legarda y Tuason which the children inherited in daughter Mercedes as heiress to all her properties, including
representation of their father, Benito Legarda y De la Paz. those coming from her deceased husband through their son,
Apolonio III.
Mrs. Legarda died on September 22, 1967.
The surviving children, begotten by Apolonio II with his first
In the testate proceeding, Beatriz Legarda Gonzales, a wife Antonia Faz de Leon and the descendants of the deceased
daughter of the testatrix, filed on May 20, 1968 a motion to children of his first marriage, sued Mercedes Florentino for
exclude from the inventory of her mother's estate the the recovery of their share in the reservable properties, which
properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter, Severina de Leon had inherited from Apolonio III which the
Filomena, on the ground that said properties latter had inherited from his father Apolonio II and which
are reservable properties which should be inherited by Severina willed to her daughter Mercedes.
Filomena Legarda's three sisters and three brothers and not by Plaintiff's theory was that the said properties, as reservable
the children of Benito, Alejandro and Jose, all surnamed properties, could not be disposed of in Severina's will in favor
Legarda. of Mercedes only. That theory was sustained by this Court.

ISSUE: Under the rule of stare decisis et non quieta movere, we are
Whether Mrs. Legarda, as reservor, could convey the bound to follow in this case the doctrine of
reservable properties by will or mortis causa to the reservees the Florentino case. That doctrine means that as long as during
within the third degree (her sixteen grandchildren) to the the reservor's lifetime and upon his death there are relatives
exclusion of the reservees in the second degree, her three within the third degree of the prepositus regardless of whether
daughters and three sons those reservees are common descendants of the reservor and
the ascendant from whom the property came, the property
HELD: retains its reservable character. The property should go to the
In reserve troncal (1) a descendant inherited or acquired by nearest reservees. The reservor cannot, by means of his will,
gratuitous title property from an ascendant or from a brother choose the reserves to whom the reservable property should be
or sister; (2) the same property is inherited by another awarded.
ascendant or is acquired by him by operation of law from the
said descendant, and (3) the said ascendant should reserve the Applying that doctrine to this case, it results that Mrs. Legarda
said property for the benefit of relatives who are within the could not dispose of in her will the properties in question even
third degree from the deceased descendant (prepositus) and if the disposition is in favor of the relatives within the third
who belong to the line from which the said property came. degree from Filomena Legarda. The said properties, by
operation of Article 891, should go to Mrs. Legarda's six
The persons involved in reserve troncal are (1) the ascendant children as reservees within the second degree from Filomena
or brother or sister from whom the property was received by Legarda.
the descendant by lucrative or gratuitous title, (2) the
descendant or prepositus (prepositus) who received the
property, (3) the reservor (reservista) the other ascendant who
Marcelina Edroso vs. Pablo and Basilio Sablan the extinction thereof, the relatives within the third degree,
G.R. No. 6878, September 13, 1913 after the right that in their turn may pertain to them has been
assured, have only an expectation, and therefore they do not
FACTS: even have the capacity to transmit that expectation to their
Marcelina Edroso was married to Victoriano Sablan until his
death on September 22, 1882. In this marriage they had a son What are the rights in the property of the person who holds it
named Pedro, who was born on August 1, 1881, and who at subject to the reservation of article 811 of the Civil Code?
his father's death inherited the two said parcels. Victoriano
Sablan had likewise acquired them by inheritance from his The ascendants who inherits from a descendants, whether by
ascendants, Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez.Pedro the latter's wish or by operation of law, requires the inheritance
also died on July 15, 1902, unmarried and without issue and by virtue of a title perfectly transferring absolute ownership.
by this decease the two parcels of land passed through All the attributes of the right of ownership belong to him
inheritance to his mother, Marcelina Edroso. Hence the exclusively use, enjoyment, disposal and recovery. This
hereditary title whereupon is based the application for absolute ownership, which is inherent in the hereditary title, is
registration of her ownership. not altered in the least, if there be no relatives within the third
degree in the line whence the property proceeds or they die
Two legitimate brothers of Victoriano Sablan that is, two before the ascendant heir who is the possessor and absolute
uncles german of Pedro Sablan appeared in the case to owner of the property. If there should be relatives within the
oppose the registration, claiming one of two things: Either that third degree who belong to the line whence the property
the registration be denied, "or that if granted to her the right proceeded, then a limitation to that absolute ownership would
reserved by law to the opponents be recorded in the arise. The nature and scope of this limitation must be
registration of each parcel. determined with exactness in order not to vitiate rights that the
law wishes to be effective. The opinion which makes this
The Court of Land Registration denied the registration and the limitation consist in reducing the ascendant heir to the
application appealed through a bill of exceptions. condition in of a mere usufructuary, depriving him of the right
of disposal and recovery, does not seem to have any support in
the law, as it does not have, according to the opinion that he
Registration was denied because the trial court held that the has been expressed in speaking of the rights of the father or
parcels of land in question partake of the nature of property mother who has married again. There is a marked difference
required by law to be reserved and that in such a case between the case where a man's wish institutes two persons as
application could only be presented jointly in the names of the his heirs, one as usufructuary and the other as owner of his
mother and the said two uncles of Pedro Sablan. property, and the case of the ascendant in article 811 or of the
father or mother in article 968. In the first case, there is not the
The appellant contends that it is not proven that the two slightest doubt that the title to the hereditary property resides
parcels of land in question have been acquired by operation of in the hereditary owner and he can dispose of and recover it,
law, and that only property acquired without a valuable while the usufructuary can in no way perform any act of
consideration, which is by operation of law, is required by law disposal of the hereditary property (except that he may dispose
to reserved. of the right of usufruct in accordance with the provisions of
article 480 of the Civil Code), or any act of recovery thereof
The appellees justly argue that this defense was not alleged or except the limited one in the form prescribed in article 486 of
discussed in first instance, but only herein. Certainly, the the Code itself, because he totally lacks the fee simple. But the
allegation in first instance was merely that "Pedro Sablan ascendants who holds the property required by article 811 to
acquired the property in question in 1882, before the be reserved, and the father of mother required by article 986 to
enforcement of the Civil Code, which establishes the alleged reserve the right, can dispose of the property they might itself,
right required by law to be reserved, of which the opponents the former from his descendant and the latter from his of her
speak; hence, prescription of the right of action; and finally, child in first marriage, and recover it from anyone who may
opponents' renunciation of their right, admitting that it existed unjustly detain it, while the persons in whose favor the right is
and that they had it. required to be reserved in either case cannot perform any act
whatsoever of disposal or of recovery.
The child or legitimate descendants of the first marriage in
HELD: whose favor the right is reserved cannot impugn the validity of
the alienation so long as the condition subsequent is pending,
that is, so long as the remarried spouse who must reserve the
The Court held that applicant is entitled to register in her own
right is alive, because it might easily happen that the person
name the two parcels of land which are the subject matter of
who must reserve the right should outlive all the person in
the applicants, recording in the registration the right required
whose favor the right is reserved and then there would be no
by the law to be reserved to either or both of the opponents,
reason for the condition subsequent that they survive him, and,
Pablo Sablan and Basilio Sablan, should they survive her.
the object of the law having disappeared, the right required to
be reserved would disappear, and the alienation would not
The reservista has all the rights inherent in ownership, he can only be valid but also in very way absolutely effective.
use, enjoy, dispose of and recover it; and if, in addition to Consequently, the alienation is valid when the right required
usufructuary, he is in fact and in law the real owner and can by law to be reserved to the children is respected; while the
alienate it, although under a condition. effects of the alienation depend upon a condition, because it
will or will not become definite, it will continue to exist or
The ascendants who inherits from descendants, whether by the cease to exist, according to circumstances. This is what the
latters wish or by operation of law, requires the inheritance by law establishes with reference to the reservation of article 968,
virtue of a title perfectly transferring absolute ownership. All wherein the legislator expressly directs that the surviving
the attributes of the right of ownership belong to him spouse who contracts a second marriage shall reserve to the
exclusively use, enjoyment, disposal and recovery. children or descendants of the first marriage ownership.
Article 811 says nothing more than that the ascendants must
During the whole period between the constitution in legal make the reservation.
form of the right required by law to be reserved and
The ascendant is in the first place a usufructuary who should
use and enjoy the things according to their nature, in the
manner and form already set forth in commenting upon the
article of the Code referring to use and usufruct.

The conclusion is that the person required by article 811 to

reserve the right has, beyond any doubt at all, the rights of use
and usufruct. He has, moreover, for the reasons set forth, the
legal title and dominion, although under a condition
subsequent. Clearly he has, under an express provision of the
law, the right to dispose of the property reserved, and to
dispose of is to alienate, although under a condition. He has
the right to recover it, because he is the one who possesses or
should possess it and have title to it, although a limited and
revocable one. In a word, the legal title and dominion, even
though under a condition, reside in him while he lives. After
the right required by law to be reserved has been assured, he
can do anything that a genuine owner can do.

On the other hand, the relatives within the third degree in

whose favor of the right is reserved cannot dispose of the
property, first because it is no way, either actually,
constructively or formally, in their possession; and, moreover,
because they have no title of ownership or of the fee simple
which they can transmit to another, on the hypothesis that only
when the person who must reserve the right should die before
them will they acquire it, thus creating a fee simple, and only
then will they take their place in the succession of the
descendants of whom they are relatives within the third
degree, that it to say, a second contingent place in said
legitimate succession in the fashion of aspirants to a possible
future legacy.

If the vendor can register his title, the vendee can also register
this same title after he has once acquired it. This title,
however, in its attribute of being disposable, has a condition
subsequent annexed that the alienation the purchaser may
make will be terminated, if the vendor should exercise the
right granted him by article 1507, which says:

Conventional redemption shall take place when the vendor

reserves to himself the right to recover the thing sold, with the
obligation to comply with article 1518, and whatever more
may have been agreed upon," that is, if he recovers the thing
sold by repaying the vendee the price of the sale and other
expenses. Notwithstanding this condition subsequent, it is a
point not at all doubtful now that the vendee may register his
title in the same way as the owner of a thing mortgaged that
is to say, the latter with the consent of his creditor and the
former with the consent of the vendor. He may alienate the
thing bought when the acquirer knows by well from the title
entered in the registry that he acquires a title revocable after a
fixed period, a thing much more certain and to be expected
than the purely contingent expectation of the person in whose
favor is reserved a right to inherit some day what another has
inherited. The purpose of the law would be defeated in not
applying to the person who must make the reservation the
provision therein relative to the vendee under pacto de
retracto, since the argument in his favor is the more power and
conclusive; ubi eadem ratio, eadem legis dispositivo.