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18. Teofisto Oño v. Vicente N. Lim, G.R. No.

154270, March 9, 2010


Cases:
1. Luis Marcos P. Laurel v. Hon. Zeus C. Abrogar, G.R. No. 155076, Jan.
13, 2009 1. Luis Marcos P. Laurel v. Hon. Zeus C. Abrogar, G.R. No. 155076, Jan.
2. Manila International Airport Authority v. City of Pasay, G.R. No. 163072 13, 2009
3. Davao Saw Mill Co., Inc. V. Aproniano G. Castillo and Davao Light &
Power Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-40411, Aug. 7, 1935 Facts: Laurel is one of the accused in a criminal case filed by PLDT.
4. Francisco I. Chavez v. Public Estates Authority and Amari Coastal Bay PLDT filed a case of theft under Article 308 against accused for stealing
Dev't. Corp., G.R. No. 133250, Nov. 11, 2003 international calls belonging to PLDT, effectively stealing business from PLDT
5. Francisco U. Dacanay v. Mayor Macario Asistio Jr et. Al., G.R. No. 93654, while using its facilities. In the 2006 case, the SC has held that the
May 6, 1992 international long distance calls and the business of providing
6. Pio Modesto & Cirila Rivera-Modesto v. Carlos Urbina, G.R. No. 189859, telecommunication or telephone services are not personal properties (and
Oct. 18, 2010 therefore subject to) under Article 308 of the RPC. PLDT has contended that
7. Spouses Elegio Cañezo and Dolia Cañezo v. Spouses Apolinario and since Article 308 uses the words personal property without qualification, it
Consorcia L. Bautista, G.R. No. 170189, Sept. 1, 2010 follows that all personal properties as understood in the context of the Civil
8. Manotok Realty Inc. v. The Hon. Jose H. Tecson, G.R. No. L-47475, Code may be the subject of theft, and that international calls and business of
Aug. 19, 1988 providing telecommunication/telephone service are personal properties capable
9. Mary McDonald Bachrach v. Sophie Seifert & Elisa Elianoff, G.R. No. L- of appropriation and can be objects of theft.
2659, Oct. 12, 1950
10. The Bachrach Motor Co. v. Talisay-Silay Milling Co Et Al., G.R. No. Issue: Are international calls and the business of providing telephone
35223, Sept. 17, 1931 services personal properties and therefore can be objects of theft?
11. Filomena R. Benedicto v. Antonio Villaflores, G.R. No. 185020, October
6, 2010 SC: Yes (though not owned by PLDT) and Yes
12. Luciano Briones and Nelly Briones v. Jose Macabagdal, Fe D.
Macabagdal & Vergon Realty Investments Corp., G.R. No. 150666, Aug. Re: International Calls
3, 2010 Though it may be conceded that international long distance calls take
13. Alida Mores v. Shirley M. Yu-Go et al., G.R. No. 172292, July 23, 2010 the form of electrical energy, it cannot be said that international long distance
14. Eulogio Agustin etc., v. IAC, G.R. Nos. 66075-76, July 5, 1990 calls are personal properties belonging to PLDT since PLDT could not have
15. Office of the City Mayor of Paranaque v. Mario D. Ebio and acquired ownership over such calls. PLDT merely encodes, augments,
Children/Heirs, G.R. No. 178411, June 23, 2010 enhances, decodes and transmits said calls using its complex communications
16. Spouses Felix Baes and Rafaela Baes v. CA and Republic, G.R. No. infrastructure. PLDT was not the owner of those calls and therefore could not
108065, July 6, 1993 validly claim that such calls were taken without its consent.
17. Urbano Santos v. Jose C. Bernabe et al., G. R. No. 31163, Nov. 6, 1929

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Re: Telecommunication/Telephone Service
In US v. Genato, US v. Carlos and US v. Tambunting, the SC has 2. Manila International Airport Authority v. City of Pasay, G.R. No.
consistently ruled that any personal property, tangible or intangible, corporeal 163072
or incorporeal, capable of appropriation can be the object of theft. In these
cases the SC had ruled that ownership over electricity as well as telephone Facts: MIAA operates and administers the NAIA Complex under Executive Order
service is protected by the provisions on theft of the Penal Code, as well No. 903 (EO 903), known as the Revised Charter of the Manila International
covering as any acts of subtraction - - tampering, tapping or fraudulently Airport Authority. EO 903 covers approximately 600 hectares of land including
enjoying the benefits of any device. In this case, the act of illegally connecting the runways, airport tower and other airport buildings. MIAA received Final
various equipment to PLDT's facilities to re-sell or re-route international long Notices of Real Property Tax Delinquency from the City of Pasay for non-
distance calls constitute all three acts of subtraction. payment of Real Property Tax for the taxable years 1992 to 2001. MIAA
appealed with the Court of Appeals that held that when the Local Government
Re: Business of Telecommunication/Telephone Service Code (RA 7160) took effect in 1992, "it withdrew the exemption from payment
The business of providing the service is personal property that can be of real property taxes granted to natural or juridical persons, including
the object of theft. Business may be appropriated as per under Sec. 2 of Act government-owned or controlled corporations, except local water districts,
No. 3952 (Bulk Sales Law), hence, could be the object of theft. cooperatives duly registered under RA 6938, non-stock and non-profit hospitals
and educational institutions." Since MIAA is a government-owned corporation,
An interest in business was not specifically enumerated as personal it was deemed included.
property in the Civil Code yet it was declared to be personal property since it it
capable of appropriation. Article 414 of the Civil Code provides that all things Issue: Are the properties of MIAA exempt from real property tax?
which are or may be the object of appropriation are considered either real
property or personal property. Business is likewise not enumerated as personal SC: Yes.
property, but it may appropriated. In Strochecker v. Ramirez, the Court held In MIAA v. CA (2006 MIAA case), the SC already resolved the issue of
that a "one-half interest in business is a personal property capable of whether the airport lands and buildings of MIAA are exempt from tax under
appropriation, not included in the enumeration of real properties in Article 335 existing laws. In that case, the airport lands and buildings are located in
of the Civil Code, and may be the subject of mortgage." Since it (business) is Paranaque City.
not included in the exclusive enumeration of real properties under Article 415, it
is therefore personal property. The SC held: MIAA is not a government-owned or controlled corporation under
Sec. 2(13) of the Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code because it
SC: therefore, the business of providing telecommunication and the telephone is not organized as a stock or non-stock corporation. Neither is MIAA a
service are personal property under Article 308 of the RPC, and the act of government-owned or controlled corporation under Section 16, Article XII of the
accused is an act of subtraction penalized under said article. This case is 1987 Constitution because MIAA is not required to meet the test of economic
remanded to Makati City to amend the Amended information to show that the viability. MIAA is a government instrumentality vested with corporate powers
property subject of the theft were Services and Business of PLDT. and performing essential public services pursuant to Section 2(10) of the

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Introductory Provisions of the Administrative Code. As a government If not, then it is considered as real property and shall be left with the
instrumentality, MIAA is not subject to any kind of tax by local governments improvements and buildings to the lessee.)
under Section 133 (o) of the Local Gov't. Code. The exemption to the
exemption in Section 234(a) does not apply to MIAA because MIAA is not a SC: The machinery was personal property.
taxable entity under the Local Gov't. Code. Such exception applies only if the
beneficial use of real property owned by the Republic is given to a taxable The SC focused on the ff:
entity. Finally, the Airport Lands and Buildings of MIAA are properties devoted A. Appellant should have registered its protest before or at the time of the sale
to public use and thus are properties of public dominion. Properties of public of this property.
dominion are owned by the State or Republic. B. Machinery is immovable when placed in a plant by the owner of the property,
but becomes movable when so placed by a tenant, a usufructuary, or any
SC: NAIA Pasay properties are exempt from real property tax, (except for the person having only a temporary right, unless such person acted as the agent of
portions that the MIAA has leased to private parties). the owner.
Being movable property, DLP had the right to levy on it under the execution
3. Davao Saw Mill Co., Inc. V. Aproniano G. Castillo and Davao Light & upon the judgment in their favor.
Power Co., Inc., G.R. No. L-40411, Aug. 7, 1935
4. Francisco I. Chavez v. Public Estates Authority and Amari Coastal
Facts: Davao Saw Mill operates a sawmill in Davao, the land upon which the Bay Dev't. Corp., G.R. No. 133250, Nov. 11, 2003
business was conducted belongs to a lessor. In their contract of lease, upon
expiration of the contract all the improvements and buildings shall pass to the Facts: The Public Estates Authority under a Joint Venture Agreement,
ownership of the lessor without payment to the lessee, provided that conveyed title and possession over reclaimed property at Manila Bay to AMARI
machineries and accessories are not included. Coastal Bay Dev't. Corp. The property consisted of 1,578,441 sqm for a total
Davao Saw Mill has executed a chattel mortgage over the machinery in consideration of Php1,894,129,200.00 or a price of Php1,200.00 Pesos per
favor of Davao Light & Power (DLP). DLP proceeded to take possession of the square meter. Published reports place the market price of land at a high of
machinery and other properties. A writ of execution was issued and the Php90K/sqm. It turned out that AMARI had paid out a total of Php1.7B in
properties were levied upon as personalty by the sheriff, and the highest bidder commissions/professional fees for the negotiation and securing the contract.
was DLP. Davao Saw Mill protested the inclusion of the machinery in the sale, The fatal flaw of this contract is that this contract violates provisions of the
contending that the machinery were adhered to the soil (the machinery placed Constitution expressly prohibiting the alienation of lands of the public domain.
and mounted on foundations of cement), citing Article 334, paragraph 1 of the
Civil Code that stated that real property consists of "Land, buildings, roads and Issue: May a single private corporation like Amari acquire hundreds of hectares
constructions of all kinds adhering to the soil;". of submerged lands, as well as reclaimed submerged lands within Manila Bay
under a joint venture agreement?
Issue: Was the machinery personal or real property? (If personal property then
the properties may be levied by virtue of the forfeiture of the chattel mortgage. SC: No.

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OIC City Mayor of Caloocan City caused the demolition of the market stalls
The SC held that “submerged lands are owned by the State and are which was opposed by the stall-owners, but the Trial Court found that the
inalienable”, Sec. 2, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. Submerged lands, like streets were outside the commerce of man. These properties are for public use
the waters (sea or bay) above them, are part of the State's inalienable natural and may not be leased to private individuals. When the city changed hands, the
resources. Submerged lands are property of public dominion, absolutely new mayor did not pursue the policy of clearing and cleaning the streets.
inalienable and outside the commerce of man. This is why in another case, Francisco Dacanay, citizen, taxpayer and resident of one of the affected streets
Cebu City merely granted a company an “irrevocable option” to purchase the filed case against Mayor Asistio.
foreshore lands after the reclamation and did not actually sell the reclaimed
foreshore lands. Clearly, in the Ponce cases the option to purchase referred to Issue: May streets and roads be opened as spaces for markets?
reclaimed lands, and not to foreshore lands which are inalienable. Reclaimed
lands are no longer foreshore or submerged lands, and thus may qualify as SC: No.
alienable agricultural lands of the public domain provided the requirements of There is no doubt that the disputed areas from which the market stalls
public land laws are met. are sought to be evicted are public streets. A public street is property for public
In the case at hand, the bulk of the lands subject of the Amended JVA use hence outside the commerce of man (Arts. 420, 424, Civil Code). Being
are still submerged lands even to this very day, and therefore inalienable and outside the commerce of man, it may not be the subject of lease or other
outside the commerce of man. Of the 750 hectares subject of the Amended contract. As the stallholders pay fees to the City Government for the right to
JVA, 592.15 hectares of 78% of the total area are still submerged, permanently occupy portions of the public street, the City Government, contrary to law, has
under the waters of Manila Bay. Under the amended JV, the PEA conveyed to been leasing portions of the streets to them. Such leases or licenses are null
Amari the submerged lands even before their actual reclamation, although the and void for being contrary to law. The right of the public to use the city streets
documentation of the deed of transfer and issuance of the certificates of title may not be bargained away through contract. The interests of a few should
would be made only after actual reclamation. The Amended JVA violates not prevail over the good of the greater number in the community whose
glaringly Sections 2 and 3, Article XII of the 1987 Constitution. No more health, peace, safety, good order and general welfare, the respondent city
pleadings shall be allowed. officials are under legal obligation to protect.

5. Francisco U. Dacanay v. Mayor Macario Asistio Jr et. Al., G.R. No. 6. Pio Modesto & Cirila Rivera-Modesto v. Carlos Urbina, G.R. No.
93654, May 6, 1992 189859, Oct. 18, 2010

Facts: In January 1979, the Metropolitan Manila Commission enacted MMC Facts: Urbina alleges that he is the owner of a parcel of land in Taguig. He
Ordinance No. 79-02 designating certain city and municipal streets, roads and contends that the Modestos, through stealth, scheme and machination were
open spaces as sites for flea markets. Pursuant thereto, the Caloocan City able to occupy a portion of his property. The Modestos negotiated with Urbina
Mayor opened up seven (7) flea markets in the city. Vendors applied for and for the sale of this lot but before the parties could finalize the sale, the
were issued licenses to conduct vending activities on the street. In 1987, the Modestos allegedly cancelled the transaction and began claiming ownership

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over the lot. When the Modestos refused to vacate, Urbina filed a complaint for not be the basis of possessory rights. It is only after the property has been
recovery of possession against them. declared alienable and disposable that private persons can legally claim
In their answer, the Modestos claimed that the property was still part of possessory rights over it.
government property, being a part of the Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation
and that they filed a sales application with the Land Management Bureau
(LMB), having stayed in the lot for over 33 years and their house is constructed 7. Spouses Elegio Cañezo and Dolia Cañezo v. Spouses Apolinario and
on the lot. Urbina's claim is based on his Miscellaneous Sales Application over Consorcia L. Bautista, G.R. No. 170189, Sept. 1, 2010
the lot.
Facts: The Bautistas are the registered owners of a parcel of land, adjacent to
Issue: Who has the better claim over the lot? that of the Cañezos. When the Cañezos started the construction of their house,
they discovered that the Bautistas' improvements were encroached on their lot,
SC: The Modestos have a better claim over the land. without their knowledge and consent. The Cañezos made oral and written
The land in question has not been titled. Therefore the land remains demands to their neighbors to remove the structures without success. They
part of the public domain and neither Urbina nor the Modestos can legally claim filed a complaint at the RTC which found that the Bautistas were builders in bad
ownership over it. This does not mean however that neither of the parties have faith, such that the spouses Cañezo are entitled to an issuance of a writ of
the right to possess the property. demolition and damages. The appellate court reversed the ruling since it found
that the encroachment was in good faith and therefore the market value of the
Re: Land encroached portion should be proved to determine the appropriate indemnity.
The area is part of the Fort Bonifacio Military Reservation and is covered
by Proclamation No. 172 and Memorandum No. 119. In Proclamation 172, the Issue: Whether the Bautistas were builders in good faith and therefore entitled
areas covered by this became alienable and disposable to qualified applicants to indemnity.
after October 16, 1987. Qualified applicants may apply for and acquire a lot
under its implementing guidelines, Memorandum No. 119. The qualifications SC: No
are: (1) he must be a bonafide resident of the area – he must have constructed The spouses Cañezo were able to establish their ownership of the
a house in the area and actually residing therein, and must not own any other encroached property. Aside from testimonial evidence, they were also able to
residential or commercial lot in Metro Manila (among others, and (2) has filed present documentary and object evidence which consisted of photographs,
the proper application to purchase. transfer certificate of titles, and a relocation survey plan. The testimony and
Based on the report of the Special Investigator, Pio Modesto and his relocation survey plan both show that the spouses Bautista were aware of the
family are the actual occupants of the property. Carlos Urbina never encroachment upon their lot by the owner of the adjacent lot and thus they
constructed a house and neither did he actually reside thereon. Hence, no made a corresponding encroachment upon the lot of the spouses Cañezo. This
possessory rights could have been acquired over the subject lot. awareness of the two encroachments made the spouses Bautista builders in
Even if Carlos Urbina had been in possession of the property when he bad faith. The spouses Cañezo are entitled to the issuance of a writ of
filed his miscellaneous sales application, his occupation was unlawful and could demolition in their favor and against the spouses Bautista, in accordance with

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Article 450 of the Civil Code. The spouses Bautista were also ordered to pay be divided share and share alike by and between my legal heirs, to the
actual damages, moral damages and attorney's fees. exclusion of my brothers”. The estate received 54,000 shares from Atok-Big
Wedge Mining Co., which represented 50% stock dividend on 108,000 shares
that E.M. Bachrach owned. Mary McDonald Bachrach petitioned the lower court
8.Manotok Realty Inc. v. The Hon. Jose H. Tecson, G.R. No. L-47475, to authorize the transfer of the 54,000 shares of stock to her. However Sophie
Aug. 19, 1988 Siefert and Elisa Elianoff, legal heirs of Bachrach, opposed the petition on the
ground that the stock dividend is not income but form part of the capital and
Facts: Manotok Realty Inc. filed a complaint against Nilo Madlangawa for the therefore belonged not to the usufructuary but to the remainderman.
recovery of possession of a parcel of land. However, substantial repairs and
improvements have been made on the property. CFI Manila declared Nilo Issue: Are dividends income and should it go to Mary McDonald Bachrach?
Madlangawa as a builder or possessor in good faith and ordered Manotok to
recognize him to remain at the lot until he is reimbursed the sum of SC: Yes, yes
Php7,500.00. The CA affirmed the decision. There are two rules with regard to stock dividends: the Massachusetts
rule and the Pennsylvania rule. The Massachusetts rule regards cash dividends
Issues: Can Manotok Realty recover the property and pay for the as income and stock dividends as capital, as it takes nothing from the property
improvements? Yes and no of the corporation, and adds nothing to the interests of the shareholders. The
Pennsylvania rule declares that all earnings of the corporation made prior to the
SC: The repairs and improvements introduced by Nilo Madlangawa after the death of the testator stockholder belong to the corpus of the estate, and that all
complaint was filed cannot be considered to have been built in good faith, much earnings, when declared as dividends in whatever form, made during the
less, justify the denial of the petitioner's exercise of option. Since the lifetime of the usufructuary or life tenant are income, and belong to the
improvements have been gutted by fire, and therefore the basis for Nilo's right usufructuary or life tenant. Article 471 of the Civil Code provides that the
to retain the premises has already been extinguished without the fault of the usufructuary shall be entitled to receive all the natural, industrial, and civil fruits
petitioner, there is no other recourse for Nilo but to vacate the premises and of the property in usufruct, and Articles 474 and 475 provide that civil fruits
deliver the same to Manotok. belong to the usufructuary.
The 108,000 shares of stock are part of the property in usufruct. The
9. Mary McDonald Bachrach v. Sophie Seifert & Elisa Elianoff, G.R. No. 54,000 shares of stock dividend are civil fruits of the original investment. They
L-2659, Oct. 12, 1950 represent profits, and the delivery of the certificate of stock covering said
dividend is equivalent to the payment of said profits. Said shares may be sold
Facts: E.M. Bachrach, in his last will and testament made many various independently of the original shares just as the offspring of a domestic animal
legacies in cash and willed that his widow Mary McDonald Bachrach be given may be sold independently of its mother.
“all the fruits and usufruct of the remainder of all my estate after payment of
the legacies, bequests, and gifts provided for above”. The will further provided
that after the death of Mary McDonald Bachrach, one-half of all his estate “shall 10. The Bachrach Motor Co. v. Talisay-Silay Milling Co Et Al., G.R. No.

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35223, Sept. 17, 1931 from the land mortgaged by Mariano to the bank for the benefit of the central
but from something else, it is not civil fruits of that land and therefore the
Facts: In December 1923, the Talisay-Silay Milling Co was indebted to Phil. bank's contention is untenable.
National Bank. To secure payment of its debt, it succeeded in inducing its The SC has held that the said bonus bears no immediate, but only a
planters, among whom was Mariano Lacson Ledesma, to mortgage their land to remote and accidental relation to the land mentioned, having been granted as
the creditor bank. To compensate those planters for the risk they were running compensation for the risk of having subjected one's land to a lien in favor of the
with their property under that mortgage, the aforesaid central passed a bank, for the benefit of the entity granting said bonus. If this bonus be income
resolution to credit the owners of the plantations mortgaged every year with a or civil fruits of anything, it is income arising from said risk, or if one chooses,
sum equal to two percent of the debt secured according to the yearly balance, from Mariano's generosity in facing the danger for the protection of the central,
the payment of this bonus being made at once or in part from time to time as but certainly it is not civil fruits or income from the mortgaged property.
soon as the central became free of its obligations to the said bank. Bachrach
Motor Co filed a complaint against Talisay-Silay for the delivery of the amount 11. Filomena R. Benedicto v. Antonio Villaflores, G.R. No. 185020,
of Php13,850 or promissory notes or other instruments of credit in favor of October 6, 2010
Mariano Lacson Ledesma. PNB filed a third party claim alleging a preferential
right to receive any amount which Mariano Lacson Ledesma might be entitled Facts: Maria Villaflores was the owner of a parcel of land. In 1980 she sold a
to. Talisay-Silay answered the complaint stating that Cesar Ledesma purchased portion to her nephew Antonio Villaflores. Antonio took possession of the
Php7,500 of credit in good faith (which was later on recognized by the parties). portion sold to him and constructed a house thereon. Twelve years later Maria
The trial court held that Bachrach had a preferred right to receive a sum executed in favor of Antonio a Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan covering the
over PNB. entire lot. However Antonio did not register the sale or pay the real property
taxes for the lot.
Issue: Who has a preferential right to receive from Talisay-Silay, Bachrach Later on Maria sold the same lot to Filomena, evidenced by a Kasulatan
Motors or PNB? ng Bilihang Tuluyan which she registered at the Registry of Deeds.
Consequently the title was issued in the name of Filomena. Since then she paid
SC: Bachrach Motors for the real property taxes. She filed a case against Antonio for Accion
PNB based its preferential rights upon the contention that the bonus in Publiciana with Cancellation of Notice of Adverse Claim, Damages and
question is civil fruits of the land which the owners had mortgaged for the Attorney's fees. Initially Antonio offered to pay a monthly rental of Php2,000
benefit of the central giving the bonus, and that, as civil fruits of said land, said which she granted, but later on he refused to vacate the property and claimed
bonus was assigned by Mariano Lacson Ledesma to the bank. absolute ownership over the lot.
Article 355 of the Civil Code considers three things as civil fruits: First,
the rents of buildings; second, the proceeds from leases of lands; and third, the Issue: Who has a better claim over the lot?
income from perpetual or life annuities, or other similar sources of revenue. As
the bonus in question is not the rent of a building or land, the only meaning of SC: Filomena
“civil fruits” left to be examined is that of “income”. If the bonus is not derived Filomena, having registered the sale in good faith, has a better right

7
over Antonio. However the SC affirmed the findings of the RTC and CA that appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the
Antonio is a builder in good faith and the provisions of Art. 448 of the New Civil indemnity provided for in Articles 546 and 548, or to oblige the one who built or
Code applies. When Filomena bought the property from Maria, Antonio's house planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the property rent.
had already been erected on the property. Under Art. 448, a landowner is given The article covers cases in which the builders, sowers, or planters believe
the option to either appropriate the improvement as his own upon payment of themselves to be owners of the land or, at least, to have a claim of title thereto.
the proper mount of indemnity, or sell the land to the possessor in good faith. The builder in good faith can compel the landowner to make a choice between
Relatedly, Art. 546 provides that a builder in good faith is entitled to full appropriating the building by paying the proper indemnity or obliging the
reimbursement for all the necessary and useful expenses incurred; it also gives builder to pay the price of the land. The choice belongs to the owner of the lan,
him right of retention until full reimbursement is made. (Case is remanded to a rule that accords with the principle of accession, i.e. that the accessory
RTC for determination of amount.) follows the principal and not the other way around. However, even as the
option lies with the landowner, the grant to him, is preclusive. He must choose
12. Luciano Briones and Nelly Briones v. Jose Macabagdal, Fe D. one. He cannot, for instance, compel the owner of the building to remove the
Macabagdal & Vergon Realty Investments Corp., G.R. No. 150666, building from the land without first exercising either option. It is only if the
Aug. 3, 2010 owner chooses to sell his land, and the builder or planter fails to purchase it
where its value is not more than the value of the improvements, that the owner
Facts: The Macabagdal spouses purchased a lot from Vergon Realty. The may remove the improvements from the land. The owner is entitled to such
Briones spouses owned the lot next to theirs. Sometime in 1984 the Briones remotion only when, after having chosen to sell his land, the other party fails to
spouses constructed their house, which was built on the land of the Macabagdal pay for the same. Moreover the Briones spouses have the right to be
spouses. The Macabagdal spouses filed an action to recover ownership and indemnified for the necessary and useful expenses they may have made on the
possession of said parcel of land with the RTC of Makati City. The RTC ordered subject property as per Articles 546 and 548.
the Briones spouses to demolish their house and vacate the premises, also to Case is remanded to the RTC to conduct appropriate proceedings and
pay the Macabagdal spouses moral damages. determine the values of the improvement and of the land.

Issue: Did the RTC and CA err in ordering the Briones spouses to vacate the 13. Alida Mores v. Shirley M. Yu-Go et al., G.R. No. 172292, July 23,
subject property or to pay the Macabagdal spouses the prevailing price of the 2010
land as compensation?
Facts: The Yus own a parcel of land where the Mores family lived. From here on
SC: Yes. the facts of the case differ. What is material is that there is a building on the
Article 527 of the Civil Code presumes good faith, and since no proof property which was improved by the Mores, and when the Yus demanded that
exists to show that the mistake was done by the Briones spouses in bad faith, the Mores vacate, the Moreses demolished the improvements on the subject
then they should be presumed to have built the house in good faith. When a property. The Yus filed an action for injunction and prayed for the
person builds in good faith on the land of another, Article 448 of the Civil Code reimbursement of the value of the residential building illegally demolished as
governs. It provides that the owner of the land shall have the right to well as for payment of moral damages, attorney's fees, litigation expenses and

8
costs of the suit. The Mores answered that what they removed was merely the
improvements made on the subject property, which removal had not caused Facts: Eulogio Agustin owned land east of the Cagayan River. As the years went
any substantial damage thereto. They demanded payment of actual damages, by, the Cagayan River moved gradually eastward, depositing silt on the western
attorney's fees and litigation expenses. The trial court rendered its decision in bank, to the properties of Pablo Binayug, Maria Melad and Geronimal Ubina.
favor of the spouses Mores, that they are builders in good faith, while the The shifting of the river and the siltation continued until 1968. In 1968 after a
appellate court partially granted the Yu siblings' appeal and found that the big flood, the Cagayan River shifted its course and returned to its 1919 bed. To
relationship between the two parties are lessee and lessor, thereby giving the cultivate their lots, Binayug, Melad and Ubina had to cross the river.
right of appropriating the useful improvements to the lessor. In 1969, while they were planting corn they were driven away by the
Agustins accompanied by the mayor and some policemen. Melad and Binayug
Issue: Were the Yu siblings entitled to reimbursement of the partially filed separate complaints against the Agustins.
demolished improvement? The trial court found for Binayug et al., recognizing their ownership over
the accretions, and the IAC affirmed the judgment.
SC: No
Full reimbursement of useful improvements and retention of the Issue: Who owns the accretions?
premises until reimbursement is made applies only to a possessor in good faith,
i.e. one who builds on land with the belief that he is the owner thereof. It does SC: Binayug, Melad et al.
not apply where one's only interest is that of a lessee under a rental contract; The finding of the Court of Appeals that there had been accretions to
otherwise, it would always be in the power of the tenant to “improve” his the lots of Binayug et al who did not lose the ownership of such accretions even
landlord out of his property. Article 1678 is applicable to the case, where it after they were separated from the principal lots by the sudden change of
provides that if the lessee makes, in good faith, useful improvements which are course of the river, is a finding of fact which is conclusive on this Court. That
suitable to the use for which the lease is intended, without altering the form or finding is supported by Art. 457 of the New Civil Code which provides, “To the
substance of the property leased, the lessor upon the termination of the lease owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they
shall pay the lessee one-half of the value of the improvements at that time. gradually receive from the effects of the current of the water.” Accretion
Should the lessor refuse to reimburse said amount, the lessee may remove the benefits a riparian owner when the following requisites are present: (1) that the
improvements, even though the principal thing may suffer damage thereby. He deposit be gradual and imperceptible; (2) that it resulted from the effects of the
shall not, however, cause any more impairment upon the property leased than current of the water; and (3) that the land where accretion takes place is
is necessary. With regard to the ornamental expenses, the lessee shall not be adjacent to the bank of a river (Rep. v. CA, 132 SCRA 514).
entitled to any reimbursement, but he may remove the ornamental objects, The sudden change of course of the Cagayan River as a result of a
provided no damage is caused to the principal thing, and the lessor does not strong typhoon in 1968 caused a portion of the lands to be separated from the
choose to retain them by paying their value at the time the lease is estate by the current. Binayug et al have retained the ownership of the portion
extinguished. that was transferred by avulsion to the other side of the river.

14. Eulogio Agustin etc., v. IAC, G.R. Nos. 66075-76, July 5, 1990 15. Office of the City Mayor of Paranaque v. Mario D. Ebio and

9
Children/Heirs, G.R. No. 178411, June 23, 2010 automatically belongs to the owner of the estate to which it may have been
added. The only restriction provided for by law is that the owner of the
Facts: Respondents Ebio & children/heirs claim that they own a parcel of land at adjoining property must register the same under the Torrens system;
the Vitalez Compound in Paranaque covered by two tax declarations. Said land otherwise, the alluvial property may be subject to acquisition through
was an accretion of Cut-cut creek, originally owned by Jose Vitalez, given to prescription by third persons. In contrast, properties of public dominion cannot
Pedro Vitalez and transferred to Mario Ebio. The Sangguniang Barangay of be acquired by prescription. No matter how long the possession of the
Vitalez passed a resolution seeking assistance from the City Gov't. Of Paranaque properties has been, there can be no prescription against the State regarding
for the construction of an access road along Cut-cut Creek that will traverse the property of public domain. Even a city or municipality cannot acquire them by
lot of respondents. Respondents registered their opposition thereto and the prescription as against the State. Hence while it is true that a creek is a
road project was temporarily suspended. They were surprised though when property of public dominion, the land which is formed by the gradual and
several officials from the barangay proceeded to cut eight (8) coconut trees imperceptible accumulation of sediments along its banks does not form part of
planted on the lot. They filed for a writ of preliminary injunction at the RTC. the public domain by clear provision of law.
The RTC denied the petition since the respondents were not able to prove Despite the fact that the Ebios have yet to register their title over the
successfully that they have an established right to the property since they have said lot, it must be remembered that the purpose of land registration is not the
not instituted an action for confirmation of title and their application for sales acquisition of lands, but only the registration of title which the applicant already
patent has not yet been granted. On appeal, the Court of Appeals found for possessed over the land. Registration was never intended as a means of
the respondents, that the accreted portion has been acquired by them by acquiring ownership. A decree of registration merely confirms, but does not
extraordinary acquisitive prescription. confer, ownership.

Issue: Do the Ebios (children and heirs) own the accreted portion? 16. Spouses Felix Baes and Rafaela Baes v. CA and Republic, G.R. No.
108065, July 6, 1993
SC: Yes.
The subject land was formed from the alluvial deposits that have Facts: The government dug a canal on a private parcel of land to streamline
gradually settled along the banks of Cut-cut creek. This being the case, the law the Tripa de Gallina creek. This parcel of land was later acquired by Felix Baes.
that governs ownership over the accreted portion is Article 84 of the Spanish In exchange for the area that was occupied by the canal, the government gave
Law of Waters of 1866, which remains in effect, in relation to Article 457 of the Baes a lot with exactly the same area. Later on, Baes erected an apartment
Civil Code. It reads, “Accretions deposited gradually upon lands contiguous to building on the lot (unlawfully enlarged) that was a filled up portion of the Tripa
creeks, streams, rivers and lakes, by accessions or sediments from the waters de Gallna creek. The spouses Baes claimed this as their own, but the
thereof, belong to the owners of such lands.” Article 457 provides that “To the government rejects this claim and avers that the spouses had been fully
owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they compensated for it when they agreed to exchange their lots.
gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters.” it is therefore
explicit from the foregoing provisions that alluvial deposits along the banks of a Issue: Whether the spouses Baes are entitled to compensation.
creek do not form part of the public domain as the alluvial property

10
SC: No. SC: No.
If the riparian owner is entitled to compensation for the damage to or Since the cavans of palay by Urbano Santos had been mixed with the
loss of his property due to natural causes, there is all the more reason to palay of Pablo Tiongson, the following provision in Art. 381 of the Civil Code will
compensate him when the change in the course of the river is effected through apply, “If by the will of their owners, two things of identical or dissimilar nature
artificial meas. The loss to the petitions of the land covered by the canal was are mixed, or if the mixture occurs accidentally, if in the latter case the things
the result of a deliberate act on the part of the government when it sought to cannot be separated without injury, each other shall acquire a right in the
improve the flow of the Tripa de Gallina creek. It was therefore obligated to mixture proportionate to the part belonging to him, according to the value of
compensate the Baeses for their loss. the things mixed or commingled.
The spouses were already compensated. They were given a lot with the The number of kilos in a cavan not having been determined, the SC will
same value and size and the agreement was freely entered into by the parties. take the proportion only of the 924 cavans of palay which were attached and
The Baeses cannot now claim additional compensation because, “to allow them sold, thereby giving Urbano Santos, who deposited 778 cavans, P398.49 thereof
to acquire ownership of the dried up portion of the creek would b a clear case and Pablo Tiongson, who deposited 1,026 cavans, P525.51 or the value thereof
of double compensation and unjust enrichment at the expense of the state.” at the rate of P3 per cavan.
The exchange of lots between the spouses and the government was the result
of voluntary negotiations. If these had failed, the government could still have 18. Teofisto Oño v. Vicente N. Lim, G.R. No. 154270, March 9, 2010
taken the lot under the power of eminent domain, upon payment of just
compensation, as the land was needed for a public purpose. Facts: Lim filed in the RTC a petition for the reconstitution of the owner's
duplicate copy of a title that his mother lost, by virtue of a notarized document
17. Urbano Santos v. Jose C. Bernabe et al., G. R. No. 31163, Nov. 6, denominated as confirmation of sale. It had been sold to his mother by Spouses
1929 Diego Oño and Estefania Apas; Antonio Oño the only legitimate heir and he was
the one who executed the notarized document, a confirmation of sale which
Facts: Urbano Santos deposited 778 cavans and 38 kilos of palay at Jose was duly filed in the Provisincial Assessor's Office. Zosimo Oño and petitioner
Bernabe's warehouse. At the same time Pablo Tiongson deposited 1,026 cavans Teofisto Oño opposed it, contending that they had the certificate of title in their
and 9 kilos of the same grain. Tiongson filed a complaint against Jose Bernabe possession as the successors-in-interest of Spouses Oño. Upon order of the
to recover the palay that was deposited. A writ of attachment was granted and RTC, Lim converted the petition for reconstitution into a complaint for quieting
the attachable property of Jose Bernabe, including the palay found in the of title, averring additionally that he and his predecessors-in-interest had been
warehouse were attached, sold and the proceeds delivered to Pablo Tiongson. in actual possession of the property since 1937, cultivating and developing it.
It appeared however that the sacks of palay of Urbano Santos and those of The Oños claim that their predecessors-in-interest never sold the lot and that
Pablo Tiongson were indistinguishable from each other. Santos filed a the confirmation of sale purportedly executed by Antonio was fabricated, his
complaint saying that Tiongson cannot claim all 924 cavans. signature thereon not being authentic. The RTC found that the Lims had been
in peaceful possession of the land, that the signature of Antonio on the
Issue: Can Pablo Tiongson claim all 924 cavans? confirmation of sale was genuine and ordered the issuance of a new title in the
name of Lim's mother. The CA affirmed the RTC.

11
24. Jose S. Dailisan v. CA, G.R. No. 176448, July 28, 2008
Issue: Who are the true owners of the lot? 25. Siari Valley Estates Inc., v. Filemon Lucasan, G. R. No. L-7046, Aug. 31,
1995
SC: The Lims. 26. Leonor B. Cruz v. Teofila M. Catapang, G.R. No. 164110, Feb. 12, 2008
The SC affirmed the findings fo the RTC that the Lims had been in 27. Republic v. Heirs of Francisca Dignos-Sorono, G.R. No. 171571, March 24,
peaceful possession of the land since 1937; that their possession had never 2008
been disturbed by the Oños except on two occasions when the Oños seized the 28. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. v. Nicholson Pascual, G.R. No. 163744,
harvested copra from the Lims' caretaker; that the Lims had since declared the Feb. 29, 2008
lot in their name for taxation purposes, and had paid the taxes corresponding to 29. Joaquin Quimpo Sr., v. Consuelo Abad Vda. De Beltran, G.R. No. 160956,
the lot; that the signature of Antonio on the confirmation of sale was genuine, Feb. 13, 2008
thereby giving more weight to the testimony of the notary public who had 30. Consolacion Q. Austria v. Constancia Q. Lichauco et al., G.R. No. 170080,
notarized the document and affirmatively testified that Antonio and Luisa had April 4, 2007
both appeared before him. Lim had successfully discharged his burden of proof, 31. Heirs of Juanita Padilla v. Dominador Magdua, G.R. No. 176858, Sept. 15,
that he was able to establish by preponderance of evidence that he had a 2010
superior right and title to the property. In contrast, the petitioners did not 32. Sulpicio Carvajal v. CA and Eutiquiano Camarillo & Liberata Cacabelos, No.
present any proof of their better title other than their copy of the reconstituted L-44426, Feb. 25, 1982
certificate of title. Such proof was not enough, because the registration of a 33. Phil. National Bank v. CA, G.R. No. 105760, July 7, 1997
piece of land under the Torrens system dd not create or vest title, such 34. Eugenio Feliciano et al v. Pedro Canoza et al., G.R. No. 161746, Sept. 1,
registration not being a mode of acquiring ownership. The petitioners need to 2010
be reminded that a certificate of title is merely an evidence of ownership or title 35. Danilo L. Parel v. Simeon B. Prudencio, G.R. No. 146556, April 19, 2006
over the particular property described therein. Its issuance in favor of a 36. Leonora Estoque v. Elena M. Pajimula, G.R. No. L-24419, July 15, 1968
particular person does not foreclose the possibility that the real property may 37. Salvador Laurel v. Ramon Garcia, G.R. No. 92013, July 25, 1990
be co-owned with persons not named in the certificate, or that it may be held in
trust for another person by the registered owner. 19. Rosalina Clado-Reyes et. al. v. Spouses Julius & Lily Limpe, G.R.
Cases: No. 163876, July 9, 2008

19. Rosalina Clado-Reyes et. al. v. Spouses Julius & Lily Limpe, G.R. No. Facts: Petitioner Rosalina filed an action to quiet title, reconveyance and
163876, July 9, 2008 damages against the spouses Limpe, alleging that petitioners have been
20. Spouses Edesito & Consorcia Ragasa v. Spouses Gerardo & Rodrigo Roa, occupying the lot in dispute (a portion of a 20,431 sqm lot in Bulacan) since
G.R. No. 141964, June 30, 2006 1945 through their predecessor-in-interest, Mamerto B. Reyes. They claimed
21. Heirs of Jose Olviga v. CA et. al., G.R. No. 104813, Oct. 21, 1993 that in his lifetime, Mamerto had accepted a verbal promise of the former lot
22. Vicente Sapto v. Apolonia Fabiana, G.R. No. L-11285, May 16, 1958 owner, Felipe Garcia to give the disputed lot to him in exchange for the
23. Lucia Tan v. Arador & Rediculo Valdehueza, G.R. No. L-38745, Aug. 6, 1975 surrender of his tenancy rights as a tiller thereof. The petitioners presented two

12
documents, a Certification and Pagpapatunay executed by Simeon Garcia, preponderates in their favor, i.e. TCT, tax dec and tax receipts in their
eldest son of Felipe Garcia, that attested that Mamerto was a former tenant of names. Pursuant to the Torrens System, TCT enjoys the conclusive
Felipe, that during his lifetime he had worked on the lot and that he owned and presumption of validity and is the best proof of ownership of the lot.
possessed the same. The spouses Limpe answered that they are the legal Although tax decs or tax receipts are not conclusive evidence of
owners of the lot by virtue of a Deed of Exchange of Real Estate and Deed of ownership, nevertheless, they are good indicia of possession in the
Absolute Sale between them and Farm-Tech Industries, Inc. They presented a concept of an owner, for no one in his right mind would be paying taxes
TCT, Tax dec and realty tax receipts, all registered and declared in their names. for a property that is not in his actual or at least constructive
The trial court and CA affirmed that the spouses Limpe established their possession. As the SC previously held, such realty tax payments
ownership over the lot. constitute proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property.
Issue:. Do the petitioners have an interest over the disputed lot and have Petition denied. Decision and Resolution of CA affirmed.
therefore a cause of action?
SC: No
20. Spouses Edesito & Consorcia Ragasa v. Spouses Gerardo &
The SC held that there are two indispensable requisites in order that an Rodrigo Roa, G.R. No. 141964, June 30, 2006
action to quiet title could prosper: (1) that the plaintiff or complainant
has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject Facts: Spouses Ragasa entered into a contract with Oakland Development
of the action (under Articles 476 and 477 of the New Civil Code); and Resources Corp for the purchase of a piece of property. From 1989 they resided
(2) that the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be in the property with their relatives who would occupy the same when both
casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or spouses would leave for Italy where they both worked. In 1992 the property
inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal was fully paid for, and accordingly a Deed of Absolute Sale was executed
efficacy. between the parties. However Oakland failed to cause the transfer of title to the
spouses Ragasa. In 1999 when Consorcia Ragasa was about to cause the
Petitioners were not able to show positive evidence that (1) their
transfer of registration of title in their names, she learned from the Registry of
predecessor had legal title,i.e. certificate of land transfer, (2) that the lot
Deeds that the property in question was sold in 1995 to Spouses Roa as the
was an agricultural lot and not a commercial one, and (3) that they are
highest bidder for the price of Php511K. Ragasa filed a complaint at the QC RTC
qualified beneficiaries under the Agrarian Reform Law. Time and again
(Annulment of Execution Sale and Damages) but it was dismissed because the
the SC has held that a mere allegation is not evidence, and he who
action was barred by prescription. Ragasa filed a petition for review on
alleges has the burden of proving the allegation with the requisite
certiorari at the SC.
quantum of evidence. Next, the documentary evidence did not confirm
title over the disputed lot. First, original copies of those documents were Issue: Do the spouses Ragasa have a cause of action against the spouses Roa?
not presented in court. Second, Simeon Garcia was not presented in
SC: Yes.
court to prove the veracity of the documents' contents.
The spouses Ragasa were able to show that (1) they have a title to real
In contrast, the spouses Limpe presented evidence which clearly

13
property or any interest therein, and that the spouses Roa (2) claims an In 1967 Jose Olviga obtained a registered title for said lot in a cadastral
interest adverse to the plaintiff's, arising from an "instrument, record, proceeding, in fraud of the rights of Pureza and his transferee Cornelio Glor.
claim, encumbrance3, or proceeding which is apparently valid or Jose falsely omitted in his answer in the cadastral proceedings that there are
effective but it in truth and in fact invalid, voidable or unenforceable". other persons in possession of, and claiming adverse interest in Lot 13. As a
Thus, the averments in the spouses Ragasas' complaint that (1) they result, Lot 13 was declared as uncontested and were registered in his name,
acquired ownership of a piece of land by tradition or delivery as a and then later transferred to his son-in-law and daughter.
consequence of sale and (2) spouses Roas' subsequent purchase of the
Angelita Glor and her children filed an action in the RTC for reconveyance. The
same piece of land at an allegedly void execution sale were sufficient to
RTC rendered a judgment in favor of the Glors, the CA affirmed it.
make out an action to quiet title under Article 476.
Issues: Who are the real owners of the lot? Will the action prescribe?
That being the case, actions to quiet title to property in the possession
of the plaintiff (since the plaintiffs had been in continuous and notorious SC: The Glors. No.
possession of the property to the exclusion of others and in the concept There is settled jurisprudence that one who is in actual possession of a
of owners) are imprescriptible. piece of land claiming to be owner thereof may wait until his possession
Petition granted, this case is remanded to the court a quo for further is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking steps to vindicate his
proceedings. right, the reason for the rule being, that his undisturbed possession
gives him a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of equity to
ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party
21. Heirs of Jose Olviga v. CA et. al., G.R. No. 104813, Oct. 21, 1993
and its effect on his own title, which right can be claimed only by one
who is in possession. The SC holds that in such situation the right to
Facts: Eutiquio Pureza's father cleared and cultivated a piece of land since
quiet title to the property, to seek its reconveyance and annual any
1950. When the area was released for disposition, the Bureau of Lands
certificate of title covering it, accrued only from the time in possession
surveyed the same in the name of Eutiquio Pureza. Since then, the land had
was made aware of a claim adverse to his own, and it is only then that
been known as Lot 13 and owned by Pureza. Godofredo Olviga, a son of Jose
the statutory period of prescription commences to run against
Olviga, protested the survey but without respect to a one-half hectare portion.
possessor.
This protest or tutol is of public record and in this document, Godofredo Olviga
expressly admitted that the lot belonged to Eutiquio Pureza, except the 1/2 Petition for review denied.
hectare portion claimed by him, which was included in the survey of Pureza's
Lot 13.
In 1960, Pureza filed a homestead application over Lot 13. Without his 22. Vicente Sapto v. Apolonia Fabiana, G.R. No. L-11285, May 16, 1958
application having been acted upon, he transferred his rights in said lot to
Cornelio Glor. Neither the homestead application nor the transfer was acted Facts: Sapto owned a piece of land which was left to his children Samuel,
upon by the Director of Lands. Constancio & Ramon. Ramon pre-deceased his brothers, leaving no heirs.

14
Samuel & Constancio executed a Deed of Sale of a portion of 4 hectares of the his heirs, who would then be able to reconvey the same property to
land in favor of Apolonia Fabiana, in consideration of P245. The sale was duly other persons.
approved by the Provincial Governor but was never registered. Possession was
Judgment appealed from is affirmed.
however transferred to Fabiana and has been in possession since.
Constancio died without any issue. Samuel married and upon his death was
23. Lucia Tan v. Arador & Rediculo Valdehueza, G.R. No. L-38745, Aug.
survived by his widow and children. In. 1954 his widow and children filed an
6, 1975
action at CFI for the recovery of the parcel of land sold by their predecessors in
1931. CFI held that although the sale was never registered, it was valid and
Facts: A parcel of land is the subject matter of a public auction sale where Lucia
binding and ordered the Saptos to execute the necessary deed of conveyance in
Tan was the highest bidder and as such a Certificate of Sale was executed by
Fabiana's favor.
the Ex-Officio Provincial Sheriff in favor of Lucia Tan. Due to the failure of the
Issue: Is the sale valid and binding although it was never registered? seller Arador Valdehueza to redeem the said land within the period of one year
as being provided by law, the Sheriff executed an Absolute Deed of Sale in
SC: Yes.
favor of Lucia. Arador and Rediculo executed two documents of Deed of Pacto
In a long line of cases already decided by the Court, the SC have de Retro Sale in favor of Lucia for the total amount of Php1,500.00. The land in
consistently interpreted Sec. 50 of the Land Registration Act providing question remained in the possession of the Valdehuezas and that land taxes
that "no need... shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the land, but were paid by them.
shall operate only as a contract between the parties and as evidence of
Lucia filed a complaint against the Valdehuezas for declaration of ownership
authority to the clerk or register of deed to make registration" in the
and recovery of possession as well as consolidation of ownership of the two
sense that as between the parties to a sale registration is not necessary
parcels of land that were sold to her. Later on she filed a complaint to enjoin
to make it valid and effective, for actual notice is equivalent to
them from entering the land and gathering the nuts therein. The trial court
registration. "The peculiar force of a title under Act. No. 492 is
rendered a decision in favor of Lucia, declaring her to be the absolute owner of
exhibited only when the purchaser has sold to innocent third parties the
the property and ordering the Valdehuezas not to encroach and molest her in
land described in the conveyance. Generally speaking, as between
the exercise of her proprietary rights; and from which property they must be
vendor and vendee, the same rights and remedies exist in relation to
dispossessed. It also ordered that Valdehuezas to pay Lucia Php1,200.00 and
land not so registered." No right of innocent third persons or
Php300.00 with legal interest. Non-payment will result to the property being
subsequent transferees of the property in question in involved herein.
sold to pay off the mortgage debt.
The property has remained and still is in the possession of the vendee of
appellants' predecessors, herein appellee. It is therefore clear that the Issue: Can Lucia recover the property?
conveyance between appellee and his vendors is valid and binding upon
SC: No, but the Court has ordered the Valdehuezas to pay Lucia for the
the latter, and is equally binding and effective against the heirs of the
amounts owed. Should they fail to pay the amounts, the properties will be sold
vendors herein appellants. To hold otherwise would make of the
to pay off the debt. The Court has ruled that the contracts which purported to
Torrens system a shield for the commission of fraud by the vendors or
be pacto de retro transactions are presumed to be equitable mortgages.

15
SC: Yes.
24. Jose S. Dailisan v. CA, G.R. No. 176448, July 28, 2008 The notarized deed of absolute sale is a public document, and has in its favor
the presumption of regularity which may only be rebutted by evidence so clear,
Facts: Jose Dailisan filed a complaint for partition alleging that he purchased strong and convincing as to exclude all controversy as to the falsity of the
1/4 of the land of Federico Pugao. He and Federico had initially agreed to the certificate. The burden of proof to overcome the presumption of due execution
sale of 1/2 portion of the same land for P12,000 and that he had paid Federico of a notarized document lies on Federico and heirs.
several installments amounting to P6,000, but he was told to stop further
The SC distinguished between void and voidable contracts. A contract is
payments because per Federico's representation he could only sell 1/4 of the
inexistent and void from the very beginning when (i) its cause, object or
lot. Federico could not deliver the title to him because the property was still
purpose is contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy;
mortgaged to a bank. When the mortgage was released, Jose demanded the
(ii) it is absolutely simulated or fictitious; (iii) its cause or object did not exist at
execution of a deed of absolute sale. Instead of acceding, Federico proposed to
the time of the transaction; (iv) its object is outside the commerce of men; (v)
mortgage the property to Jose as security for a P10K loan payable in 3 months,
it contemplates an impossible service; (vi) the intention of the parties relative to
and upon payment of the loan the deed of absolute sale would be executed.
the principal object of the contract cannot be ascertained; or (vii) it is expressly
Jose agreed and they executed a deed of real estate mortgage. The loan was
prohibited or declared void by law. The action or defense for the declaration of
paid after 3 months, after which Jose and Federico executed a deed of absolute
the inexistence of a contract does not prescribe. On the other hand, a voidable
sale. Jose asked for the partition of the lot and caused a resurvey to expedite
or annullable contract is one where (i) one of the parties is incapable of giving
the partition. However Federico still refused to effect the partition and even
consent to a contract; or (ii) the consent is vitiated by mistake, violence,
sent a notice of eviction against Jose. Federico maintains that he denied having
intimidation, undue influence or fraud. The action for annulment must be
voluntarily executed the deed of absolute sale and alleged that when he was
brought within 4 years from the time the intimidation, violence or undue
seriously ill, Jose, with a lawyer, made him sign pages of what he was told was
influence ceases, or 4 years from the time of the discovery of the mistake or
a real estate mortgage. Federico filed a complaint for falsification and ejectment
fraud.
against Jose before the barangay but attempts at conciliation failed. Federico
passed away while the case was pending. He was substituted by his heirs. The The heirs claim that the deed of sale is voidable because Federico was led to
trial court ruled in favor of Jose, finding that the heirs failed to disprove the believe that what he was signing was still part of the earlier deed of real estate
validity of the deed of absolute sale, and ordered the partition of the property. mortgage. Nevertheless, one of the heirs testified that she became aware of the
CA ruled against Jose, finding that Jose should have filed an action for specific existence of the deed of sale way back in 1984. Despite this knowledge, none
performance yet the right to file such action had already expired. It ruled of the heirs took any action to annul the deed within the prescribed 4-year
against the validity of the sale between the two parties, finding that there's no period. They were unable to overcome the presumption of validity of the deed
consent on Federico's part and that there was no proof of payment of the price of absolute sale as well as the regularity in its execution.
or consideration on the part of Jose. It concluded that the deed of sale is With regard to the partition, the regime of co-ownership exists when ownership
fictitious and invalid and could not serve as basis of any claim of ownership. of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons. By the nature of a
Issue: Was the sale valid? co-ownership, a co-owner cannot point to a specific portion of the property

16
owned in common as his own because his share therein remains intangible. As from those of the other, the wrongdoer forfeits all his interest in the mixture to
co-owner, Jose has the right to demand partition, a right which does not the other part. In other words, he cannot recover for his own proportion, or for
prescribe. All that's needed is Jose's portion that is segregated from the rest of any part of the intermixture, but the entire property vests in him whose right is
the property. invaded."
"Thus where one willfully places his brand on another's cattle, intermingling
them with his own and on account of the change or destruction of the identity
25. Siari Valley Estates Inc., v. Filemon Lucasan, G. R. No. L-7046, Aug.
of the goods he is unable to distinguish and separate his own goods from the
31, 1995
others, he will be held to forfeit his own."
Facts: Siari Valley filed an action to recover about 200 head of cattle that were The circumstances show that Lucasan acted in bad faith. His sons rounded up
driven or wandered from its pasture lands into the adjoining ranch of Filemon and drove Siari Valley's cattle into his pasture; he knew he had their cattle and
Lucasan. Siari asked for the return of its animals with their offspring, or for refused to return them; he disposed cattle without registering the sales, he
payment of those disposed of by Lucasan, with damages. Lucasan denied harassed the plaintiff's men, etc.
having appropriated or retained any cattle belonging to Siari. On the contrary,
Trial court decision affirmed.
he demanded suitable compensation from Siari. The trial court found for Siari
Valley, ordering Lucasan to deliver all cattle or their value, especially the 321
heads that had been entrusted to his care as receiver or trustee of the Court. 26. Leonor B. Cruz v. Teofila M. Catapang, G.R. No. 164110, Feb. 12,
Lucasan admitted that there was commixtion although Siari Valley had already 2008
retrieved its animals.
Issue: Is Siari Valley entitled to get all the cattle that are found on Lucasan's Facts: Leonor, Luz and Norma are co-owners of a parcel of land. With the
ranch? consent of Norma, Teofila Catapang built a house on a lot adjacent to the lot,
which intruded on a portion of the co-owned property. When Leonor visited the
SC: Yes.
property and saw the encroachment into the portion of her co-owned lot, she
Under the Civil Code, if the commingling of two things is made in bad faith, the made several demands upon Teofila to demolish the intruding structure and
one responsible for it will lose his share. The SC held that the same principle vacate the portion. Teofila refused and disregarded her demands. Leonor then
obtains in the US where parallel situations have arisen. "Where the goods are filed a complaint for forcible entry against Teofila at the MTC which decided or
so mingled that they cannot thereafter properly be identified or divided, all the her, ruling that the consent of only one of the co-owners is not sufficient to
inconvenience or loss resulting from the confusion is thrown on the party who justify the construction of the house and possession of the lot in question. On
occasioned it; and generally, it is for him to distinguish his own property or lose appeal, the RTC affirmed the MTC ruling. CA reversed the RTC decision. There
it, it being held, that the rule of confusion of goods is merely a rule of evidence. is no cause of action for forcible entry because Teofila's entry into the property
was given consent by co-owner Norma, and it cannot be characterized as one
"Where one fraudulently, willfully, or wrongly intermingles his goods with those
made through strategy or stealth which gives rise to a cause of action for
of another, so that there is no evidence to distinguish the goods of the one
forcible entry.

17
Issue: Does Teofila have ownership of the subject lot because of the consent of Petition granted, RTC decision reinstated.
one of the co-owners?
SC: No. The SC has held that a co-owner cannot devote common property to
27. Republic v. Heirs of Francisca Dignos-Sorono, G.R. No. 171571,
his or her exclusive use to the prejudice of co-ownership. A co-owner cannot
March 24, 2008
give valid consent to another to build a house on the co-owned property, which
is an act tantamount to devoting the property to his or her exclusive use.
Facts: Two lots were sold to the Civil Aeronautics Administration (CAA) by the
Articles 486 and 491 of the Civil Code provide:
heirs of Tito Dignos, via a public instrument entitled “Extrajudicial Settlement
Art. 486. Each co-owner may use the thing owned in common, provided he and Sale”. The two lots were not partitioned and co-owned by Francisca, Tito,
does so in accordance with the purpose for which it is intended and in such a Isabel all surnamed Dignos, and Silveria Amistuoso. All had only ¼ shares in
way as not to injure the interest of the co-ownership or prevent the other co- the two lots. The CAA's successor-in-interest, the Mactan Cebu International
owners from using it according to their rights. The purpose of the co-ownership Airport Authority (MCIAA) erected a fence and relocated a number of families.
may be changed by agreement, express or implied. MCIAA later caused the issuance of tax declarations of the two lots. The Heirs
of Francisca Dignos-Sorono filed a complaint, stating that neither they nor their
Art. 491. None of the co-owners shall, without the consent of the others, make
predecessors-in-interest sold, alienated or disposed of their shares in the lots
alterations in the thing owned in common, even though benefits for all would
which they have been in continuous peaceful possession of the subject lots.
result therefrom. However, if the withholding of the consent by one or more of
MCIAA maintained that from the time the lots were sold to its predecessor-in-
the co-owners is clearly prejudicial to the common interest, the courts may
interest CAA, it has been in open, continuous, exclusive and notorious
afford adequate relief.
possession thereof; through acquisitive prescription, it had acquired valid title to
Based on the articles, none of the co-owners can, without the consent of the the lots since it was a purchaser in good faith and for value, and assuming that
owner co-owners, validly consent to the making of an alteration by another it did not have just title, it had, by possession for over 30 years, acquired
person, such as Teofila, in the thing owned in common. Alterations include any ownership thereof by extraordinary prescription. The trial court found for the
act of strict dominion or ownership and any encumbrance or disposition has Heirs. It held that the questioned sale was valid only with respect to Tito
been held implicitly to be an act of alteration. The construction of a house on Dignos's ¼ share of the lots and that the sale thereof was subject to the right
the co-owned property is an act of dominion. Therefore it is an alteration falling of legal redemption. The CA affirmed the decision.
under Art. 491 of the Civil Code. There being no consent from all co-owners,
Teofila had no right to construct her house on the co-owned property. Issue: Was the sale of the whole lot binding to the Heirs?
With regard to forcible entry, entry into the land effected clandestinely without SC: No. Article 493 of the Civil Code provides: “Each co-owner shall have the
the knowledge of the other co-owners could be categorized as possession by full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and
stealth. Moreover, the act of getting the consent of only one co-owner and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another
allowing her to stay in the constructed house can in fact be considered a person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the
strategy which Teofila utilized in order to enter into the co-owned property. Her effect of the alienation of the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be
acts constitute forcible entry. limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the

18
termination of the co-ownership. officer was a forgery. It was also executed before the issuance of the nully of
marriage. CA affirmed the decision except it deleted the award of moral
Petitioner is not without remedy. Petitioners have the right to seek redress damages and attorney's fees.
against the vendors-heirs of Tito Dignos and their successor-in-interest.
Issue: Did Nicholson have a right over the property in dispute, it being in the
name of Florencia?
28. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. v. Nicholson Pascual, G.R. No.
163744, Feb. 29, 2008 SC: Yes.
1. Re: lot is conjugal property.
Facts: Nicholson Pascual and Florencia Nevalga were married. During the union,
Florencia bought a 3-door apartment on a 250sqm lot. The TCT was issued in Article 160 is the applicable legal provision since the property was
the name of Florencia, married to Nelson Pascual. Florencia later in filed a suit acquired prior to the enactment of the Family Code. It provides that "all
for the declaration of nullity of marriage, which the RTC granted. The RTC property of the marriage is presumed to be conjugal partnership, unless
ordered the dissolution and liquidation of the ex-spouses' conjugal partnership it be proven that it pertains exclusively to the husband or the wife."
of gains, but the couple did not liquidate their conjugal partnership. When there is no showing as to when the property was acquired by the
spouse, the fact that a title is in the name of the spouse is an indication
Florencia later on obtained a loan from Metrobank and to secure the obligation, that the property belongs exclusively to said spouse.
she and her co-borrowers executed several real estate mortgages on their
properties which included the property she bought in her name. Among the 2. Re: Termination of conjugal property regime does not ipso facto end the
documents she submitted were a copy of the TCT, a photocopy of the nature of conjugal ownership.
marriage-nullifying RTC decision and a waiver Nicholson/Nelson executed in While the declared nullity of marriage of Nicholson and Florencia
favor of Florencia. Due to the failure of Florencia and her co-borrowers to pay severed their marital bond and dissolved the conjugal partnership, the character
their loan obligation, Metrobank initiated foreclosure proceedings. Metrobank of the properties acquired before such declaration continues to subsist as
caused the publication of the notice sale and at the auction, it emerged as the conjugal properties until and after the liquidation and partition of the
highest bidder. partnership's assets and liabilities. The mortgage is valid limited only to the 1/2
Getting wind of the foreclosure proceedings, Nicholson/Nelson filed a complaint portion that Florencia owned. Accordingly, the mortgage contract is null and
to declare the nullity of the mortgage of the disputed property. He alleged that void with respect to Nicholson's half, he not having consented to the mortgage.
the property which is still conjugal property was mortgaged without his Real Estate Mortgage over the lot is valid only insofar as Florencia's share is
consent. Metrobank claimed that the lot was paraphernal and having approved concerned.
the mortgage in good faith. The RTC found for Nicholson and ordered
Metrobank and Florencia to pay Nicholson moral damages and attorney's fees.
It found that the property being conjugal may not be validly encumbered by 29. Joaquin Quimpo Sr., v. Consuelo Abad Vda. De Beltran, G.R. No.
Florencia without Nicholson's consent. The waiver was also found to be fatally 160956, Feb. 13, 2008
defective, Nicholson denied executing it and the signature of the notarizing

19
Facts: Eustaquia was the owner of several parcels of land. She died intestate
and left these parcels of land to her grandchild and great grandchildren, 30. Consolacion Q. Austria v. Constancia Q. Lichauco et al., G.R. No.
namely, Joaquin Quimpo and respondents Consuelo, Ireneo, Danilo, Marites, 170080, April 4, 2007
Anita and Helen, all surnamed Abad. Joaquin and the Abads undertook an oral
partition of properties. No document of partition was executed because Joaquin Facts: Constancia, Consuelo, Benedicto, Antonio and Consolacion are siblings.
refused to execute a deed. Consuelo and Ireneo occupied their respective Together with their nephews and nieces Jose, Ricardo, Aileen & Tyrone
shares. Joaquin became the administrator of the remaining undivided Quintos, they owned 2 parcels of land with an aggregate area of 661sqm. The
properties, the rest of the Abads were minors at that time. When Danilo, siblings and the Quintoses desired to have the subject property partitioned but
Marites, Anita and Helen wanted to take possession of the portions allotted to Consolacion refused to give her consent. A complaint was filed with the RTC
them, Joaquin prevented them from occupying the same. They filed a complaint against Consolacion, Benedicto and Antonio for the partition of the property.
for judicial partition and/or recovery of possession with accounting and
damages with the RTC. Issue: May a property be partitioned even without the consent of the co-
Joaquin denied all material allegations in the complaint, claiming that he owners?
purchased these lands from Eustaquia and that Consuelo's occupation was by
mere tolerance. When he died, he was substituted by his wife and children. SC: Yes. There are two stages in every action for partition. The first phase is
The RTC favored the Abads and declared them as co-owners of the the determination of whether a co-ownership in fact exists and a partition is
properties left by Eustaquia. It declared void the purported deeds of absolute proper, i.e. not otherwise legally proscribed, and may be made by voluntary
sale for lack of consideration and consent, and ordered the partition of the agreement of all the parties interested in the property. This phase may end
property. On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC ruling. either: (a) with a declaration that plaintiff is not entitled to have a partition
either because a co-ownership does not exist, or a partition is legally
Issue: Does Joaquin have claim of title over the properties based on the prohibited; or (b) with a determination that a co-ownership does in truth exist,
notarized deeds of absolute sale and the tax declarations of property? partition is proper in the premises, and an accounting of rents and profits
received by the defendant from the real estate in question is in order. In the
SC: No. latter case, the parties may, if they are able to agree, make partition among
At the time of the purported sale, Joaquin was not gainfully employed. themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, and the court shall confirm
He was studying in Manila, being supported by Eustaquia and when Eustaquia the partition so agreed upon. The second phase commences when it appears
died, Joaquin was not able to continue his studies. Eustaquia was 91 years old, that the parties are unable to agree upon the partition directed by the court. In
weak and senile, at the time the deeds of sale were executed. She was already that event, partition shall be done for the parties by the court with the
mentally incapacitated and could no longer be expected to give her consent to assistance of not more than 3 commissioners. The second stage may well also
the sale. The tax declarations are all in the name of Eustaquia. A tax declaration deal with the rendition of the accounting itself and its approval by the court
does not necessarily prove ownership for it is well settled that a tax declaration after the parties have been accorded opportunity to be heard thereon, and an
or tax receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership. award for the recovery by the party or parties thereto entitled of their just
Decision of CA affirmed. share in the rents and profits of the real estate in question.

20
There is no question that a co-ownership exists between the parties. To Php20,000.
this extent, the trial court was correct in decreeing partition in line with the Civil However, since the petitioners are seeking an annulment of contracts,
Code provision that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership which are actions that are incapable of pecuniary estimation, the RTC has
(Art. 494. No co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Each jurisdiction over the case.
co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the thing owned in common,
insofar as his share is concerned.) Re: Co-ownership of the heirs
SC affirms decision of trial court in directing the partition (physical Ricardo and petitioners are co-heirs or co-owners of the land. Co-heirs
division) of the subject properties and all improvements thereon among the co- or co-owners cannot acquire by acquisitive prescription the share of other co-
owners in accordance with their respective shares. heirs or co-owners absent a clear repudiation of the co-ownership, as expressed
in Art. 494 of the Civil Code.
31. Heirs of Juanita Padilla v. Dominador Magdua, G.R. No. 176858,
Sept. 15, 2010 Re: Validity of the sale
The alleged deed of sale was not presented as evidence and neither was
Facts: Juanita Padilla owned a piece of land. After her death the petitioners as it shown that Ricardo's daughters had any authority from Ricardo to dispose of
legal heirs, sought to have the land partitioned. They sent word to their eldest the land. No cogent evidence was ever presented that Ricardo gave his
brother Ricardo regarding their plans for the partition. In a letter that Ricardo consent to, acquiesced in, or ratified the sale made by his daughters to
sent to them, they were surprised that Ricardo had declared the land for Dominador.
himself, that Juanita had allegedly executed a notarized Affidavit of Transfer of
Real Property in favor of Ricardo. The heirs filed an action with the RTC for 32. Sulpicio Carvajal v. CA and Eutiquiano Camarillo & Liberata
recovery of ownership, possession, partition and damages. The land has been Cacabelos, G.R. No. L-44426, Feb. 25, 1982
sold to Dominador Magdua, therefore the heirs sought to declare void the sale
by Ricardo's daughters. Facts: The Espique spouses own a 754 lot, left to their 5 children Maria,
The Affidavit was executed in 1966. The case was filed in 2001. Evaristo, Faustina, Estefanio & Tropinia. Carvajal claims that he bought a
portion of the lot from Estefanio and leasing a portion from Tropinia. The
Issue: May the heirs have the sale annulled? Camarillo spouses claim that they bought a portion of the land from Evaristo.
They filed a complaint before the Court of First Instance against Carvajal for
SC: The SC directs the RTC to try the case on the merits to determine who ejectment and recovery of possession. Both sales were made while the petition
among the parties are legally entitled to the land. for partition filed by Evaristo was still pending.

Re: jurisdiction of the MTC Issue: Who between the parties has a better claim to the lot?
Sec. 33 of RA 7691 - Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions
which involve title to, or possession of real property, or any interest therein SC: Neither petitioner nor respondents can rightfully claim the lot.
where the assessed value of the property or interest does not exceed Until the partition of the estate is ordered by the Court of First Instance

21
in the pending partition proceedings and the share of each co-heir is on the TCT and therefore it dealt with the properties in good faith. Even if the
determined by metes and bounds, neither can claim that what they bought is fact of tenancy had not been reflected on the title, PNB admitted that before
the part in dispute. they consented to the mortgage, an ocular inspection was conducted on the
Without partition, either by agreement between the parties or by judicial landholding on the occasion of which, petitioner PNB's Credit Investigator
proceeding, a co-heir cannot dispose of a specific portion of the estate. For already found Montana staying on the land and even interviewed the latter. In
where there are two or more heirs, the whole estate (acknowledges) such answer to the questions propounded by said investigator, Montano allegedly
heirs. Upon the death of a person, each of his heirs becomes the undivided said that he had been allowed to stay on the property in question because he
owner of the whole estate left with respect to the part of portion which might was ejected from the adjacent parcel of land which he used to till. The land
be adjudicated to him, a community of ownership being thus formed among the being an agriculture one, and considering the ocular inspection conducted when
co-owners of the estate or co-heirs while it remains undivided. PD27 had been in effect for some time, PNB's suspicion that the land was
Before partition, a co-heir can only sell his successional rights. tenanted should have been aroused by the existence of a farmer on the land
other than the mortgagors themselves. It cannot be denied therefore that PNB
33. Phil. National Bank v. CA, G.R. No. 105760, July 7, 1997 had been put on notice by its actual knowledge of another person possessing
the land, no matter what the given reason may have been for Montano's
Facts: Spouses de la Cruz mortgaged two parcels of land to PNB. When the occupancy of the properties in question.
loan became due and unpaid, PNB extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage and Furthermore, as purchaser at a public auction, PNB was only substituted
was the only bidder at the public auction sale. On the same day, a Certificate to and acquired the right, title, interest and claim of the judgment debtor or
of Sale was issued in favor of PNB. Upon failure of the spouses to redeem the mortgagor to the property as of the time of the levy. In this case, the only
property within one year, PNB deemed itself to be the absolute of the property remaining right of the spouses De La Cruz is the right to be paid a reasonable
and filed a petition at the RTC. Before the implementation of the writ, private price for the land they owned as mandated by PD27. That is the only right
respondent Nildefonso Montano filed a motion for the dissolution of the writ, which PNB acquired as the new absolute owner of the land.
alleging that he was instituted as tenant on the subject property even before
the spouses acquired the land. He was issued a certification that he is an
agricultural lessee in the subject landholding and the lots are the subject 34. Eugenio Feliciano et al v. Pedro Canoza et al., G.R. No. 161746,
matters of CAR case which he filed against the spouses de la Cruz. The RTC Sept. 1, 2010
granted the motion to dissolve the writ of possession. The CA rendered
judgment in favor of PNB but reversed itself upon motion by Montano. Facts: When Antonio Feliciano passed away, he left behind his only property.
Leona, Maria, Pedro and Salina, all surnamed Feliciano, declared themselves to
Issue: Does Montano have a right over the property? be the only surviving heirs of Antonio, with the exception of Salina. They
executed an extrajudicial settlement of estate and appropriated among
SC: Yes. themselves the said parcel of land, to the exclusion of the heirs of Esteban
PNB my not argue that its right over the land is superior to Montano's Feliciano and Doroteo Feliciano, deceased children of Antonio. Leona, Maria,
claim on the subject properties since the agricultural lease was not annotated Pedro and Salina executed a deed of absolute sale over the property in favor of

22
the late Jacinto Feliciano (Pedro's portion), Felisa Feliciano (Salina's portion) & As the records show, the heirs of Doroteo and Esteban did not
Pedro Canoza (Leona & Maria's portions). participate in the extrajudicial partition executed by Salina with the other
During his lifetime Jacinto applied for a free patent over the portion of compulsory heirs Leona, Maria & Pedro. Undeniably, the said deed was
land he bought, declaring that the same was a public land, first occupied and fraudulently obtained as it deprived the known heirs of Doroteo & Esteban of
cultivated by Pedro. He was issued a Free Patent but unfortunately it was their shares in the estate. A deed of extrajudicial partition executed without
burned. Pedro Canoza also applied for a Free Patent claiming that the same including some of the heirs who had no knowledge of an consent to the same,
was public land, first occupied and cultivated by Leona & Maria. He was issued is fraudulent and vicious. Hence, an action to set it aside on the ground of
a Free Patent, now covered by an Original Certificate of Title. fraud could be instituted. Such action for the annulment of the said partition
The heirs of Esteban & Doroteo filed a complaint against Salina, Felisa, however, must be brought within 4 years from the discovery of the fraud. The
Pedro and the heirs of the late Jacinto for the Declaration of Nullity of discovery is deemed to have taken place, when said instrument was filed with
Documents and Title, Recovery of Real Property and Damages. They alleged the Register of Deeds and new certificates of title were issued in the name of
that the settlement of the estate and sale were done without their participation respondents exclusively, for the registration of the deed of extrajudicial
and consent as heirs of Esteban & Doroteo. Likewise, they averred that the settlement constitute constructive notice to the whole world. Evidently, the
ancestral home of the Felicianos is erected on the subject property and that applicable prescriptive period to institute the action to annul the deed was 4
they have occupied the same since birth. Canoza & Jacinto falsely declared that years counted from the discovery and they clearly failed to institute the present
the property was not occupied, so their titles to the property should be declared civil action within the allowable period.
null and void on the ground that they have made false statements in their
respective applications for free patent. In their answer, both Pedro & the heirs 35. Danilo L. Parel v. Simeon B. Prudencio, G.R. No. 146556, April 19,
of Jacinto allege that they were buyers in good faith and for value. The RTC 2006
favored the plaintiffs, declaring the extrajudicial settlement of the estate of
Antonio Feliciano null & void, declaring the sale to Pedro, Felisa & Jacinto void, Facts: Simeon Prudencio filed a complaint for recovery of possession and
declared the OCT of Pedro and the certificates of titles in the names of damages against Parel with the RTC Baguio alleging that he is the owner of a
defendants null and void, to reconvey ownership and possession of said two-storey residential house, that the property was constructed solely from his
property to plaintiffs subject to a just and equitable partition thereof by and own funds and declared in his name. He allowed Parel's parents Florentino &
between all interested parties. The CA reversed the RTC's decision and Susan and family to occupy the second floor. Without his knowledge, Parel &
dismissed the complaint for being time-barred. Prescription had set in, the family took possession of the ground floor despite repeated demands to vacate.
applicable prescriptive period to annul a deed of extrajudicial settlement is 4 Simen asked for a monthly rental, moral and exemplary damages, attorney's
years from the discovery of the fraud. fees and costs of suit. Parel's contention is that his parents are the co-owners
of the said residential house. He is occupying the ground floor upon instruction
Issue: Can the heirs of Esteban and Doroteo recover their portions of the of his father Florentino, with full knowledge of Simeon. He asked for the
property? dismissal of the complaint and prayed for damages and attorney's fees. The
RTC declared that the house is owned in common by Simeon and Florentino
SC: No. and as such the heirs cannot be evicted. The CA reversed the decision of the

23
trial court and found Simeon as the sole owner of the subject house and 640 sqm evidenced by a deed of sale by Crispina in her favor. Pajimula
ordered petitioner to surrender possession of the ground floor. It also ordered acquired the other 2/3 portion from Crispina. Estoque claimed that when
Parel to pay a monthly rental. Crispina sold the rest of the property to Pajimula, she was selling an undivided
2/3 that Estoque as co-owner was entitled to redeem pursuant to Art. 1620 of
Issue: Was the house co-owned or solely owned by Simeon? the New Civil Code. The lower court dismissed the complaint, holding that the
deeds of sale show that the lot acquired by Estoque was different from that of
SC: The house is solely owned by Simeon. Pajimula, hence they never became co-owners and the alleged right of legal
The SC agreed with the CA that Simeon had shown sufficient evidence redemption was not proper.
to support his complaint for recovery of possession of the ground floor of the
subject house as the exclusive owner thereof. Simeon presented an affidavit Issue: Was Estoque a co-owner and have the legal right of redemption?
executed by Florentino which reads that he is not the owner of the building in
question. Section 38 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides that a SC: No.
declaration made by a person deceased, or unable to testify, against the The deed of sale to Estoque clearly specifies the object lot sold as the
interest of the declarant, if the fact asserted in the declaration was at the time southeastern third portion of Lot 802 of the Rosario Cadastre, with an area of
it was made so far contrary to the declarant's own interest, that a reasonable 840 sqm. While on date of the sale to Estoque said contract may have been
man in his position would not have made the declaration unless he believed it ineffective, for lack of power in the vendor to sell the specific portion described
to be true, may be received in evidence against himself or his successor-in- in the deed, the transaction was validated and became fully effective when the
interest and against third persons. Florentino categorically declared that while next day, Crispina acquired the entire interest of her remaining co-owners and
he is the occupant of the residential building, he is not the owner of the same thereby became the sole owner of Lot 802 of the Rosario Cadastral survey.
as it is owned by respondent who is residing in QC. It is safe to presume that Estoque became the actual owner of the southeastern third of Lot 802. She
he would not have made such declaration unless he believed it to be true, as it never acquired an undivided interest in Lot 802. When Crispina sold the western
is prejudicial to himself as well as to his children's interests as his heirs. A 2/3 of the same lot, Estoque did not acquire a right to redeem the property
declaration against interest is the best evidence which affords the greatest thus sold, since their respective portions were distinct and separate.
certainty of the facts in dispute. Notably, during his lifetime, he did not revoke
the affidavit even when a criminal complaint for trespass to dwelling had been 37. Salvador Laurel v. Ramon Garcia, G.R. No. 92013, July 25, 1990
filed by Simeon against him.
Facts: The subject property in this case is one of the 4 properties in Japan
acquired by the Philippine government under the Reparations Agreement
36. Leonora Estoque v. Elena M. Pajimula, G.R. No. L-24419, July 15, entered into with Japan. The Roppongi property was acquired from the
1968 Japanese government; it consists of the land and building which became the
site of the Philippine Embassy until it transferred since the Roppongi property
Facts: Estoque filed a complaint for legal redemption on a claim that she is co- needed major repairs. Due to the failure of the government to provide the
owner of Lot 802, having purchased 1/3 portion therefore containing an area of necessary funds, the Roppongi property has remained undeveloped since that

24
time. of the recommendation by the Investigating committee to sell the Roppongi
The Executive branch of the government has been pushing for the sale property does not have the force and effect of law since the President already
of the Roppongi lot. lost her legislative powers. The Congress had already convened for more than
a year. There is also no law authorizing its conveyance. It is not for the
Issue: Can the Roppongi property be alienated by the Philippine government, President to convey valuable real property of the government on his or her own
and does the Chief Executive have the authority and jurisdiction to sell it? sole will. Any such conveyance must be authorized and approved by a law
enacted by the Congress. It requires executive and legislative concurrence.
SC: No. No.
The nature of the Roppongi lot as property for public service is expressly
spelled out. It is dictated by the terms of the Reparations Agreement and the
corresponding contract of procurement which bind both the Philippine
government and the Japanese government. There can be no doubt that it is of
public dominion unless it is convincingly shown that the property has become
patrimonial.
As property of public dominion, the Roppongi lot is outside the
commerce of man. It cannot be alienated. Its ownership is a special collective
ownership for general use and enjoyment, an application to the satisfaction of
collective needs, and resides in the social group. The purpose is not to serve
the State as a juridical person, but the citizens; it is intended for the common
and public welfare and cannot be the object of appropriation. The fact that the
Roppongi site has not been used for a long time for actual Embassy service
does not automatically convert it to patrimonial property. Any such conversion
happens only if the property is withdrawn from public use. A property
continues to be part of the public domain, not available for private
appropriation or ownership until there is a formal declaration on the part of the
government to withdraw it from being such. An abandonment of the intention
to use the Roppongi property for public service and to make it patrimonial
property under Art. 422 of the Civil Code must be definite. Abandonment
cannot be inferred from the non-use alone specially if the non-use was
attributable not to the government's own deliberate and indubitable will but to a
lack of financial support to repair and improve the property. Abandonment
must be a certain and positive act based on correct legal premises.
The Chief Executive has no authority to sell the property. The approval

25