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Republic of the Philippines the latter had included therein the lot occupied by the warehouse, which they

ied by the warehouse, which they claimed


SUPREME COURT was their exclusive property. All this action was taken in a special proceeding in re
Manila guardianship.

EN BANC The plaintiffs did more than oppose Pascual's petition; they requested the court,
through motion, to decide the question of the ownership of the lot before it pass upon
G.R. No. L-8321 October 14, 1913 the petition for the sale of the warehouse. But the court before determining the matter
of the ownership of the lot occupied by the warehouse, ordered the sale of this
building, saying:
ALEJANDRA MINA, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
RUPERTA PASCUAL, ET AL., defendants-appellees. While the trial continues with respect to the ownership of the lot, the court
orders the sale at public auction of the said warehouse and of the lot on
N. Segundo for appellants. which it is built, with the present boundaries of the land and condition of the
building, at a price of not less than P2,890 Philippine currency . . . .
Iñigo Bitanga for appellees.

So, the warehouse, together with the lot on which it stands, was sold to Cu Joco, the
ARELLANO, C.J.:
other defendant in this case, for the price mentioned.
Francisco Fontanilla and Andres Fontanilla were brothers. Francisco Fontanilla
The plaintiffs insisted upon a decision of the question of the ownership of the lot,
acquired during his lifetime, on March 12, 1874, a lot in the center of the town of
and the court decided it by holding that this land belonged to the owner of the
Laoag, the capital of the Province of Ilocos Norte, the property having been awarded
warehouse which had been built thereon thirty years before.
to him through its purchase at a public auction held by the alcalde mayor of that
province. The lot has a frontage of 120 meters and a depth of 15.
The plaintiffs appealed and this court reversed the judgment of the lower court and
held that the appellants were the owners of the lot in question. 1
Andres Fontanilla, with the consent of his brother Francisco, erected a warehouse on
a part of the said lot, embracing 14 meters of its frontage by 11 meters of its depth.
When the judgment became final and executory, a writ of execution issued and the
Francisco Fontanilla, the former owner of the lot, being dead, the herein plaintiffs, plaintiffs were given possession of the lot; but soon thereafter the trial court annulled
this possession for the reason that it affected Cu Joco, who had not been a party to
Alejandro Mina, et al., were recognized without discussion as his heirs.
the suit in which that writ was served.
Andres Fontanilla, the former owner of the warehouse, also having died, the children
of Ruperta Pascual were recognized likes without discussion, though it is not said It was then that the plaintiffs commenced the present action for the purpose of
having the sale of the said lot declared null and void and of no force and effect.
how, and consequently are entitled to the said building, or rather, as Ruperta Pascual
herself stated, to only six-sevenths of one-half of it, the other half belonging, as it
appears, to the plaintiffs themselves, and the remaining one-seventh of the first one- An agreement was had ad to the facts, the ninth paragraph of which is as follows:
half to the children of one of the plaintiffs, Elena de Villanueva. The fact is that the
plaintiffs and the defendants are virtually, to all appearance, the owners of the 9. That the herein plaintiffs excepted to the judgment and appealed
warehouse; while the plaintiffs are undoubtedly, the owners of the part of the lot therefrom to the Supreme Court which found for them by holding that they
occupied by that building, as well as of the remainder thereof. are the owners of the lot in question, although there existed and still exists a
commodatum by virtue of which the guardianship (meaning the defendants)
This was the state of affairs, when, on May 6, 1909, Ruperta Pascual, as the guardian had and has the use, and the plaintiffs the ownership, of the property, with
of her minor children, the herein defendants, petitioned the Curt of First Instance of no finding concerning the decree of the lower court that ordered the sale.
Ilocos Norte for authorization to sell "the six-sevenths of the one-half of the
warehouse, of 14 by 11 meters, together with its lot." The plaintiffs — that is The obvious purport of the cause "although there existed and still exists a
Alejandra Mina, et al. — opposed the petition of Ruperta Pascual for the reason that commodatum," etc., appears to be that it is a part of the decision of the Supreme
Court and that, while finding the plaintiffs to be the owners of the lot, we recognized others that, as the guardian of the said minors, I have and may have in the
in principle the existence of a commodatum under which the defendants held the lot. said property, etc.
Nothing could be more inexact. Possibly, also, the meaning of that clause is that,
notwithstanding the finding made by the Supreme Court that the plaintiffs were the The purchaser could not acquire anything more than the interest that might be held
owners, these former and the defendants agree that there existed, and still exists, a by a person to whom realty in possession of the vendor might be sold, for at a
commodatum, etc. But such an agreement would not affect the truth of the contents judicial auction nothing else is disposed of. What the minor children of Ruperta
of the decision of this court, and the opinions held by the litigants in regard to this Pascual had in their possession was the ownership of the six-sevenths part of one-
point could have no bearing whatever on the present decision. half of the warehouse and the use of the lot occupied by his building. This, and
nothing more, could the Chinaman Cu Joco acquire at that sale: not the ownership of
Nor did the decree of the lower court that ordered the sale have the least influence in the lot; neither the other half, nor the remaining one-seventh of the said first half, of
our previous decision to require our making any finding in regard thereto, for, with the warehouse. Consequently, the sale made to him of this one-seventh of one-half
or without that decree, the Supreme Court had to decide the ownership of the lot and the entire other half of the building was null and void, and likewise with still
consistently with its titles and not in accordance with the judicial acts or proceedings more reason the sale of the lot the building occupies.
had prior to the setting up of the issue in respect to the ownership of the property that
was the subject of the judicial decree. The purchaser could and should have known what it was that was offered for sale
and what it was that he purchased. There is nothing that can justify the acquisition by
What is essentially pertinent to the case is the fact that the defendant agree that the the purchaser of the warehouse of the ownership of the lot that this building
plaintiffs have the ownership, and they themselves only the use, of the said lot. occupies, since the minors represented by Ruperta Pascual never were the owners of
the said lot, nor were they ever considered to be such.
On this premise, the nullity of the sale of the lot is in all respects quite evident,
whatsoever be the manner in which the sale was effected, whether judicially or The trial court, in the judgment rendered, held that there were no grounds for the
extrajudicially. requested annulment of the sale, and that the plaintiffs were entitled to the P600
deposited with the clerk of the court as the value of the lot in question. The
He who has only the use of a thing cannot validly sell the thing itself. The effect of defendants, Ruperta Pascual and the Chinaman Cu Joco, were absolved from the
the sale being a transfer of the ownership of the thing, it is evident that he who has complaint, without express finding as to costs.
only the mere use of the thing cannot transfer its ownership. The sale of a thing
effected by one who is not its owner is null and void. The defendants never were the The plaintiffs cannot be obliged to acquiesce in or allow the sale made and be
owners of the lot sold. The sale of it by them is necessarily null and void. On cannot compelled to accept the price set on the lot by expert appraisers, not even though the
convey to another what he has never had himself. plaintiffs be considered as coowner of the warehouse. It would be much indeed that,
on the ground of coownership, they should have to abide by and tolerate the sale of
The returns of the auction contain the following statements: the said building, which point this court does not decide as it is not a question
submitted to us for decision, but, as regards the sale of the lot, it is in all respects
I, Ruperta Pascual, the guardian of the minors, etc., by virtue of the impossible to hold that the plaintiffs must abide by it and tolerate, it, and this
authorization conferred upon me on the 31st of July, 1909, by the Court of conclusion is based on the fact that they did not give their consent (art. 1261, Civil
Code), and only the contracting parties who have given it are obliged to comply (art.
First Instance of Ilocos Norte, proceeded with the sale at public auction of
1091, idem).
the six-sevenths part of the one-half of the warehouse constructed of rubble
stone, etc.
The sole purpose of the action in the beginning was to obtain an annulment of the
Whereas I, Ruperta Pascual, the guardian of the minors, etc., sold at public sale of the lot; but subsequently the plaintiffs, through motion, asked for an
amendment by their complaint in the sense that the action should be deemed to be
auction all the land and all the rights title, interest, and ownership in the said
one for the recovery of possession of a lot and for the annulment of its sale. The
property to Cu Joco, who was the highest bidder, etc.
plaintiff's petition was opposed by the defendant's attorney, but was allowed by the
court; therefore the complaint seeks, after the judicial annulment of the sale of the
Therefore, . . . I cede and deliver forever to the said purchaser, Cu Joco, his lot, to have the defendants sentenced immediately to deliver the same to the
heirs and assigns, all the interest, ownership and inheritance rights and plaintiffs.
Such a finding appears to be in harmony with the decision rendered by the Supreme definite period or time during which Andres Fontanilla could have the use of the lot
Court in previous suit, wherein it was held that the ownership of the lot lay in the whereon the latter was to erect a stone warehouse of considerable value, and so it is
plaintiffs, and for this reason steps were taken to give possession thereof to the that for the past thirty years of the lot has been used by both Andres and his
defendants; but, as the purchaser Cu Joco was not a party to that suit, the present successors in interest. The present contention of the plaintiffs that Cu Joco, now in
action is strictly one for recover against Cu Joco to compel him, once the sale has possession of the lot, should pay rent for it at the rate of P5 a month, would destroy
been annulled, to deliver the lot to its lawful owners, the plaintiffs. the theory of the commodatum sustained by them, since, according to the second
paragraph of the aforecited article 1740, "commodatum is essentially gratuitous,"
As respects this action for recovery, this Supreme Court finds: and, if what the plaintiffs themselves aver on page 7 of their brief is to be believed, it
never entered Francisco's mind to limit the period during which his brother Andres
was to have the use of the lot, because he expected that the warehouse would
1. That it is a fact admitted by the litigating parties, both in this and in the
eventually fall into the hands of his son, Fructuoso Fontanilla, called the adopted son
previous suit, that Andres Fontanilla, the defendants' predecessor in interest,
of Andres, which did not come to pass for the reason that Fructuoso died before his
erected the warehouse on the lot, some thirty years ago, with the explicit
uncle Andres. With that expectation in view, it appears more likely that Francisco
consent of his brother Francisco Fontanilla, the plaintiff's predecessor in
interest. intended to allow his brother Andres a surface right; but this right supposes the
payment of an annual rent, and Andres had the gratuitous use of the lot.
2. That it also appears to be an admitted fact that the plaintiffs and the
Hence, as the facts aforestated only show that a building was erected on another's
defendants are the coowners of the warehouse.
ground, the question should be decided in accordance with the statutes that, thirty
years ago, governed accessions to real estate, and which were Laws 41 and 42, title
3. That it is a fact explicitly admitted in the agreement, that neither Andres 28, of the third Partida, nearly identical with the provisions of articles 361 and 362
Fontanilla nor his successors paid any consideration or price whatever for of the Civil Code. So, then, pursuant to article 361, the owner of the land on which a
the use of the lot occupied by the said building; whence it is, perhaps, that building is erected in good faith has a right to appropriate such edifice to himself,
both parties have denominated that use a commodatum. after payment of the indemnity prescribed in articles 453 and 454, or to oblige the
builder to pay him the value of the land. Such, and no other, is the right to which the
Upon the premise of these facts, or even merely upon that of the first of them, the plaintiff are entitled.
sentencing of the defendants to deliver the lot to the plaintiffs does not follow as a
necessary corollary of the judicial declaration of ownership made in the previous For the foregoing reasons, it is only necessary to annul the sale of the said lot which
suit, nor of that of the nullity of the sale of the lot, made in the present case. was made by Ruperta Pascual, in representation of her minor children, to Cu Joco,
and to maintain the latter in the use of the lot until the plaintiffs shall choose one or
The defendants do not hold lawful possession of the lot in question.1awphil.net the other of the two rights granted them by article 361 of the Civil Code.1awphil.net

But, although both litigating parties may have agreed in their idea of the The judgment appealed from is reversed and the sale of the lot in question is held to
commodatum, on account of its not being, as indeed it is not, a question of fact but of be null and void and of no force or effect. No special finding is made as to the costs
law, yet that denomination given by them to the use of the lot granted by Francisco of both instances.
Fontanilla to his brother, Andres Fontanilla, is not acceptable. Contracts are not to be
interpreted in conformity with the name that the parties thereto agree to give them,
but must be construed, duly considering their constitutive elements, as they are
defined and denominated by law.

By the contract of loan, one of the parties delivers to the other, either
anything not perishable, in order that the latter may use it during the certain
period and return it to the former, in which case it is called commodatum . .
. (art. 1740, Civil Code).

It is, therefore, an essential feature of the commodatum that the use of the thing
belonging to another shall for a certain period. Francisco Fontanilla did not fix any
Republic of the Philippines On 5 July 1951 Jose V. Bagtas, through counsel Navarro, Rosete and Manalo,
SUPREME COURT answered that because of the bad peace and order situation in Cagayan Valley,
Manila particularly in the barrio of Baggao, and of the pending appeal he had taken to the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the President of the Philippines
EN BANC from the refusal by the Director of Animal Industry to deduct from the book value of
the bulls corresponding yearly depreciation of 8% from the date of acquisition, to
which depreciation the Auditor General did not object, he could not return the
G.R. No. L-17474 October 25, 1962
animals nor pay their value and prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, plaintiff-appellee,
After hearing, on 30 July 1956 the trial court render judgment —
vs.
JOSE V. BAGTAS, defendant,
FELICIDAD M. BAGTAS, Administratrix of the Intestate Estate left by the . . . sentencing the latter (defendant) to pay the sum of P3,625.09 the total
late Jose V. Bagtas, petitioner-appellant. value of the three bulls plus the breeding fees in the amount of P626.17 with
interest on both sums of (at) the legal rate from the filing of this complaint
and costs.
D. T. Reyes, Liaison and Associates for petitioner-appellant.
Office of the Solicitor General for plaintiff-appellee.
On 9 October 1958 the plaintiff moved ex parte for a writ of execution which the
court granted on 18 October and issued on 11 November 1958. On 2 December 1958
PADILLA, J.:
granted an ex-parte motion filed by the plaintiff on November 1958 for the
appointment of a special sheriff to serve the writ outside Manila. Of this order
The Court of Appeals certified this case to this Court because only questions of law appointing a special sheriff, on 6 December 1958, Felicidad M. Bagtas, the surviving
are raised. spouse of the defendant Jose Bagtas who died on 23 October 1951 and as
administratrix of his estate, was notified. On 7 January 1959 she file a motion
On 8 May 1948 Jose V. Bagtas borrowed from the Republic of the Philippines alleging that on 26 June 1952 the two bull Sindhi and Bhagnari were returned to the
through the Bureau of Animal Industry three bulls: a Red Sindhi with a book value Bureau Animal of Industry and that sometime in November 1958 the third bull, the
of P1,176.46, a Bhagnari, of P1,320.56 and a Sahiniwal, of P744.46, for a period of Sahiniwal, died from gunshot wound inflicted during a Huk raid on Hacienda
one year from 8 May 1948 to 7 May 1949 for breeding purposes subject to a Felicidad Intal, and praying that the writ of execution be quashed and that a writ of
government charge of breeding fee of 10% of the book value of the bulls. Upon the preliminary injunction be issued. On 31 January 1959 the plaintiff objected to her
expiration on 7 May 1949 of the contract, the borrower asked for a renewal for motion. On 6 February 1959 she filed a reply thereto. On the same day, 6 February,
another period of one year. However, the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural the Court denied her motion. Hence, this appeal certified by the Court of Appeals to
Resources approved a renewal thereof of only one bull for another year from 8 May this Court as stated at the beginning of this opinion.
1949 to 7 May 1950 and requested the return of the other two. On 25 March 1950
Jose V. Bagtas wrote to the Director of Animal Industry that he would pay the value It is true that on 26 June 1952 Jose M. Bagtas, Jr., son of the appellant by the late
of the three bulls. On 17 October 1950 he reiterated his desire to buy them at a value defendant, returned the Sindhi and Bhagnari bulls to Roman Remorin,
with a deduction of yearly depreciation to be approved by the Auditor General. On Superintendent of the NVB Station, Bureau of Animal Industry, Bayombong, Nueva
19 October 1950 the Director of Animal Industry advised him that the book value of Vizcaya, as evidenced by a memorandum receipt signed by the latter (Exhibit 2).
the three bulls could not be reduced and that they either be returned or their book That is why in its objection of 31 January 1959 to the appellant's motion to quash the
value paid not later than 31 October 1950. Jose V. Bagtas failed to pay the book writ of execution the appellee prays "that another writ of execution in the sum of
value of the three bulls or to return them. So, on 20 December 1950 in the Court of P859.53 be issued against the estate of defendant deceased Jose V. Bagtas." She
First Instance of Manila the Republic of the Philippines commenced an action cannot be held liable for the two bulls which already had been returned to and
against him praying that he be ordered to return the three bulls loaned to him or to received by the appellee.
pay their book value in the total sum of P3,241.45 and the unpaid breeding fee in the
sum of P199.62, both with interests, and costs; and that other just and equitable relief
The appellant contends that the Sahiniwal bull was accidentally killed during a raid
be granted in (civil No. 12818).
by the Huk in November 1953 upon the surrounding barrios of Hacienda Felicidad
Intal, Baggao, Cagayan, where the animal was kept, and that as such death was due
to force majeure she is relieved from the duty of returning the bull or paying its and after the defendant's death on 23 October 1951 his counsel failed to comply with
value to the appellee. The contention is without merit. The loan by the appellee to the section 16 of Rule 3 which provides that —
late defendant Jose V. Bagtas of the three bulls for breeding purposes for a period of
one year from 8 May 1948 to 7 May 1949, later on renewed for another year as Whenever a party to a pending case dies . . . it shall be the duty of his
regards one bull, was subject to the payment by the borrower of breeding fee of 10% attorney to inform the court promptly of such death . . . and to give the
of the book value of the bulls. The appellant contends that the contract was name and residence of the executory administrator, guardian, or other legal
commodatum and that, for that reason, as the appellee retained ownership or title to representative of the deceased . . . .
the bull it should suffer its loss due to force majeure. A contract of commodatum is
essentially gratuitous.1 If the breeding fee be considered a compensation, then the The notice by the probate court and its publication in the Voz de Manila that
contract would be a lease of the bull. Under article 1671 of the Civil Code the lessee
Felicidad M. Bagtas had been issue letters of administration of the estate of the late
would be subject to the responsibilities of a possessor in bad faith, because she had
Jose Bagtas and that "all persons having claims for monopoly against the deceased
continued possession of the bull after the expiry of the contract. And even if the
Jose V. Bagtas, arising from contract express or implied, whether the same be due,
contract be commodatum, still the appellant is liable, because article 1942 of the
not due, or contingent, for funeral expenses and expenses of the last sickness of the
Civil Code provides that a bailee in a contract of commodatum — said decedent, and judgment for monopoly against him, to file said claims with the
Clerk of this Court at the City Hall Bldg., Highway 54, Quezon City, within six (6)
. . . is liable for loss of the things, even if it should be through a fortuitous months from the date of the first publication of this order, serving a copy thereof
event: upon the aforementioned Felicidad M. Bagtas, the appointed administratrix of the
estate of the said deceased," is not a notice to the court and the appellee who were to
(2) If he keeps it longer than the period stipulated . . . be notified of the defendant's death in accordance with the above-quoted rule, and
there was no reason for such failure to notify, because the attorney who appeared for
(3) If the thing loaned has been delivered with appraisal of its value, unless the defendant was the same who represented the administratrix in the special
there is a stipulation exempting the bailee from responsibility in case of a proceedings instituted for the administration and settlement of his estate. The
fortuitous event; appellee or its attorney or representative could not be expected to know of the death
of the defendant or of the administration proceedings of his estate instituted in
another court that if the attorney for the deceased defendant did not notify the
The original period of the loan was from 8 May 1948 to 7 May 1949. The loan of
plaintiff or its attorney of such death as required by the rule.
one bull was renewed for another period of one year to end on 8 May 1950. But the
appellant kept and used the bull until November 1953 when during a Huk raid it was
killed by stray bullets. Furthermore, when lent and delivered to the deceased husband As the appellant already had returned the two bulls to the appellee, the estate of the
of the appellant the bulls had each an appraised book value, to with: the Sindhi, at late defendant is only liable for the sum of P859.63, the value of the bull which has
P1,176.46, the Bhagnari at P1,320.56 and the Sahiniwal at P744.46. It was not not been returned to the appellee, because it was killed while in the custody of the
stipulated that in case of loss of the bull due to fortuitous event the late husband of administratrix of his estate. This is the amount prayed for by the appellee in its
the appellant would be exempt from liability. objection on 31 January 1959 to the motion filed on 7 January 1959 by the appellant
for the quashing of the writ of execution.
The appellant's contention that the demand or prayer by the appellee for the return of
the bull or the payment of its value being a money claim should be presented or filed Special proceedings for the administration and settlement of the estate of the
in the intestate proceedings of the defendant who died on 23 October 1951, is not deceased Jose V. Bagtas having been instituted in the Court of First Instance of Rizal
altogether without merit. However, the claim that his civil personality having ceased (Q-200), the money judgment rendered in favor of the appellee cannot be enforced
to exist the trial court lost jurisdiction over the case against him, is untenable, by means of a writ of execution but must be presented to the probate court for
because section 17 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court provides that — payment by the appellant, the administratrix appointed by the court.

After a party dies and the claim is not thereby extinguished, the court shall ACCORDINGLY, the writ of execution appealed from is set aside, without
order, upon proper notice, the legal representative of the deceased to appear pronouncement as to costs.
and to be substituted for the deceased, within a period of thirty (30) days, or
within such time as may be granted. . . .
Republic of the Philippines Respondent Court of Appeals, in affirming the trial court's decision, sustained the
SUPREME COURT trial court's conclusions that the Decision of the Court of Appeals, dated May 4,1977
Manila in CA-G.R. No. 38830-R, in the two cases affirmed by the Supreme Court, touched
on the ownership of lots 2 and 3 in question; that the two lots were possessed by the
FIRST DIVISION predecessors-in-interest of private respondents under claim of ownership in good
faith from 1906 to 1951; that petitioner had been in possession of the same lots as
bailee in commodatum up to 1951, when petitioner repudiated the trust and when it
G.R. No. 80294-95 September 21, 1988
applied for registration in 1962; that petitioner had just been in possession as owner
for eleven years, hence there is no possibility of acquisitive prescription which
CATHOLIC VICAR APOSTOLIC OF THE MOUNTAIN PROVINCE, requires 10 years possession with just title and 30 years of possession without; that
petitioner, the principle of res judicata on these findings by the Court of Appeals will bar a
vs. reopening of these questions of facts; and that those facts may no longer be altered.
COURT OF APPEALS, HEIRS OF EGMIDIO OCTAVIANO AND JUAN
VALDEZ, respondents.
Petitioner's motion for reconsideation of the respondent appellate court's Decision in
the two aforementioned cases (CA G.R. No. CV-05418 and 05419) was denied.
Valdez, Ereso, Polido & Associates for petitioner.
The facts and background of these cases as narrated by the trail court are as follows
Claustro, Claustro, Claustro Law Office collaborating counsel for petitioner. —

Jaime G. de Leon for the Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano. ... The documents and records presented reveal that the
whole controversy started when the defendant Catholic
Cotabato Law Office for the Heirs of Juan Valdez. Vicar Apostolic of the Mountain Province (VICAR for
brevity) filed with the Court of First Instance of Baguio
GANCAYCO, J.: Benguet on September 5, 1962 an application for
registration of title over Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4 in Psu-194357,
The principal issue in this case is whether or not a decision of the Court of Appeals situated at Poblacion Central, La Trinidad, Benguet,
promulgated a long time ago can properly be considered res judicata by respondent docketed as LRC N-91, said Lots being the sites of the
Court of Appeals in the present two cases between petitioner and two private Catholic Church building, convents, high school building,
respondents. school gymnasium, school dormitories, social hall,
stonewalls, etc. On March 22, 1963 the Heirs of Juan
Valdez and the Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano filed their
Petitioner questions as allegedly erroneous the Decision dated August 31, 1987 of
Answer/Opposition on Lots Nos. 2 and 3, respectively,
the Ninth Division of Respondent Court of Appeals 1 in CA-G.R. No. 05148 [Civil
asserting ownership and title thereto. After trial on the
Case No. 3607 (419)] and CA-G.R. No. 05149 [Civil Case No. 3655 (429)], both for
merits, the land registration court promulgated its
Recovery of Possession, which affirmed the Decision of the Honorable Nicodemo T.
Decision, dated November 17, 1965, confirming the
Ferrer, Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Baguio and Benguet in Civil Case No.
registrable title of VICAR to Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4.
3607 (419) and Civil Case No. 3655 (429), with the dispositive portion as follows:
The Heirs of Juan Valdez (plaintiffs in the herein Civil
WHEREFORE, Judgment is hereby rendered ordering the
Case No. 3655) and the Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano
defendant, Catholic Vicar Apostolic of the Mountain Province to
(plaintiffs in the herein Civil Case No. 3607) appealed the
return and surrender Lot 2 of Plan Psu-194357 to the plaintiffs.
decision of the land registration court to the then Court of
Heirs of Juan Valdez, and Lot 3 of the same Plan to the other set of
Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R. No. 38830-R. The Court
plaintiffs, the Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano (Leonardo Valdez, et
of Appeals rendered its decision, dated May 9, 1977,
al.). For lack or insufficiency of evidence, the plaintiffs' claim or
reversing the decision of the land registration court and
damages is hereby denied. Said defendant is ordered to pay costs.
dismissing the VICAR's application as to Lots 2 and 3,
(p. 36, Rollo)
the lots claimed by the two sets of oppositors in the land
registration case (and two sets of plaintiffs in the two Appeals decision in CA-G.R. No. 38870 did not grant the
cases now at bar), the first lot being presently occupied by Heirs of Octaviano any affirmative relief.
the convent and the second by the women's dormitory and
the sister's convent. On February 7, 1979, the Heirs of Octaviano filed with
the Court of Appeals a petitioner for certiorari and
On May 9, 1977, the Heirs of Octaviano filed a motion mandamus, docketed as CA-G.R. No. 08890-R, entitled
for reconsideration praying the Court of Appeals to order Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano vs. Hon. Salvador J. Valdez,
the registration of Lot 3 in the names of the Heirs of Jr. and Vicar. In its decision dated May 16, 1979, the
Egmidio Octaviano, and on May 17, 1977, the Heirs of Court of Appeals dismissed the petition.
Juan Valdez and Pacita Valdez filed their motion for
reconsideration praying that both Lots 2 and 3 be ordered It was at that stage that the instant cases were filed. The
registered in the names of the Heirs of Juan Valdez and Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano filed Civil Case No. 3607
Pacita Valdez. On August 12,1977, the Court of Appeals (419) on July 24, 1979, for recovery of possession of Lot
denied the motion for reconsideration filed by the Heirs of 3; and the Heirs of Juan Valdez filed Civil Case No. 3655
Juan Valdez on the ground that there was "no sufficient (429) on September 24, 1979, likewise for recovery of
merit to justify reconsideration one way or the other ...," possession of Lot 2 (Decision, pp. 199-201, Orig. Rec.).
and likewise denied that of the Heirs of Egmidio
Octaviano.
In Civil Case No. 3607 (419) trial was held. The plaintiffs Heirs of
Egmidio Octaviano presented one (1) witness, Fructuoso Valdez,
Thereupon, the VICAR filed with the Supreme Court a who testified on the alleged ownership of the land in question (Lot
petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the 3) by their predecessor-in-interest, Egmidio Octaviano (Exh. C );
Court of Appeals dismissing his (its) application for his written demand (Exh. B—B-4 ) to defendant Vicar for the
registration of Lots 2 and 3, docketed as G.R. No. L- return of the land to them; and the reasonable rentals for the use of
46832, entitled 'Catholic Vicar Apostolic of the Mountain the land at P10,000.00 per month. On the other hand, defendant
Province vs. Court of Appeals and Heirs of Egmidio Vicar presented the Register of Deeds for the Province of Benguet,
Octaviano.' Atty. Nicanor Sison, who testified that the land in question is not
covered by any title in the name of Egmidio Octaviano or any of
From the denial by the Court of Appeals of their motion the plaintiffs (Exh. 8). The defendant dispensed with the testimony
for reconsideration the Heirs of Juan Valdez and Pacita of Mons.William Brasseur when the plaintiffs admitted that the
Valdez, on September 8, 1977, filed with the Supreme witness if called to the witness stand, would testify that defendant
Court a petition for review, docketed as G.R. No. L- Vicar has been in possession of Lot 3, for seventy-five (75) years
46872, entitled, Heirs of Juan Valdez and Pacita Valdez continuously and peacefully and has constructed permanent
vs. Court of Appeals, Vicar, Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano structures thereon.
and Annable O. Valdez.
In Civil Case No. 3655, the parties admitting that the material facts
On January 13, 1978, the Supreme Court denied in a are not in dispute, submitted the case on the sole issue of whether
minute resolution both petitions (of VICAR on the one or not the decisions of the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court
hand and the Heirs of Juan Valdez and Pacita Valdez on touching on the ownership of Lot 2, which in effect declared the
the other) for lack of merit. Upon the finality of both plaintiffs the owners of the land constitute res judicata.
Supreme Court resolutions in G.R. No. L-46832 and G.R.
No. L- 46872, the Heirs of Octaviano filed with the then In these two cases , the plaintiffs arque that the defendant Vicar is
Court of First Instance of Baguio, Branch II, a Motion For barred from setting up the defense of ownership and/or long and
Execution of Judgment praying that the Heirs of continuous possession of the two lots in question since this is
Octaviano be placed in possession of Lot 3. The Court, barred by prior judgment of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No.
presided over by Hon. Salvador J. Valdez, on December 038830-R under the principle of res judicata. Plaintiffs contend
7, 1978, denied the motion on the ground that the Court of
that the question of possession and ownership have already been LOTS 2 AND 3 UNDER A CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP IN GOOD FAITH FROM
determined by the Court of Appeals (Exh. C, Decision, CA-G.R. 1906 TO 1951;
No. 038830-R) and affirmed by the Supreme Court (Exh. 1,
Minute Resolution of the Supreme Court). On his part, defendant 9. ERROR IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER HAD BEEN IN POSSESSION OF
Vicar maintains that the principle of res judicata would not prevent LOTS 2 AND 3 MERELY AS BAILEE BOR ROWER) IN COMMODATUM, A
them from litigating the issues of long possession and ownership GRATUITOUS LOAN FOR USE;
because the dispositive portion of the prior judgment in CA-G.R.
No. 038830-R merely dismissed their application for registration 10. ERROR IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER IS A POSSESSOR AND
and titling of lots 2 and 3. Defendant Vicar contends that only the BUILDER IN GOOD FAITH WITHOUT RIGHTS OF RETENTION AND
dispositive portion of the decision, and not its body, is the
REIMBURSEMENT AND IS BARRED BY THE FINALITY AND
controlling pronouncement of the Court of Appeals. 2
CONCLUSIVENESS OF THE DECISION IN CA G.R. NO. 038830. 3

The alleged errors committed by respondent Court of Appeals according to petitioner The petition is bereft of merit.
are as follows:
Petitioner questions the ruling of respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. Nos.
1. ERROR IN APPLYING LAW OF THE CASE AND RES JUDICATA;
05148 and 05149, when it clearly held that it was in agreement with the findings of
the trial court that the Decision of the Court of Appeals dated May 4,1977 in CA-
2. ERROR IN FINDING THAT THE TRIAL COURT RULED THAT LOTS 2 G.R. No. 38830-R, on the question of ownership of Lots 2 and 3, declared that the
AND 3 WERE ACQUIRED BY PURCHASE BUT WITHOUT DOCUMENTARY said Court of Appeals Decision CA-G.R. No. 38830-R) did not positively declare
EVIDENCE PRESENTED; private respondents as owners of the land, neither was it declared that they were not
owners of the land, but it held that the predecessors of private respondents were
3. ERROR IN FINDING THAT PETITIONERS' CLAIM IT PURCHASED LOTS 2 possessors of Lots 2 and 3, with claim of ownership in good faith from 1906 to 1951.
AND 3 FROM VALDEZ AND OCTAVIANO WAS AN IMPLIED ADMISSION Petitioner was in possession as borrower in commodatum up to 1951, when it
THAT THE FORMER OWNERS WERE VALDEZ AND OCTAVIANO; repudiated the trust by declaring the properties in its name for taxation purposes.
When petitioner applied for registration of Lots 2 and 3 in 1962, it had been in
4. ERROR IN FINDING THAT IT WAS PREDECESSORS OF PRIVATE possession in concept of owner only for eleven years. Ordinary acquisitive
RESPONDENTS WHO WERE IN POSSESSION OF LOTS 2 AND 3 AT LEAST prescription requires possession for ten years, but always with just title.
FROM 1906, AND NOT PETITIONER; Extraordinary acquisitive prescription requires 30 years. 4

5. ERROR IN FINDING THAT VALDEZ AND OCTAVIANO HAD FREE On the above findings of facts supported by evidence and evaluated by the Court of
PATENT APPLICATIONS AND THE PREDECESSORS OF PRIVATE Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 38830-R, affirmed by this Court, We see no error in
RESPONDENTS ALREADY HAD FREE PATENT APPLICATIONS SINCE respondent appellate court's ruling that said findings are res judicata between the
1906; parties. They can no longer be altered by presentation of evidence because those
issues were resolved with finality a long time ago. To ignore the principle of res
judicata would be to open the door to endless litigations by continuous determination
6. ERROR IN FINDING THAT PETITIONER DECLARED LOTS 2 AND 3
of issues without end.
ONLY IN 1951 AND JUST TITLE IS A PRIME NECESSITY UNDER ARTICLE
1134 IN RELATION TO ART. 1129 OF THE CIVIL CODE FOR ORDINARY
ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION OF 10 YEARS; An examination of the Court of Appeals Decision dated May 4, 1977, First Division
5 in CA-G.R. No. 38830-R, shows that it reversed the trial court's Decision 6 finding
petitioner to be entitled to register the lands in question under its ownership, on its
7. ERROR IN FINDING THAT THE DECISION OF THE COURT OF APPEALS
evaluation of evidence and conclusion of facts.
IN CA G.R. NO. 038830 WAS AFFIRMED BY THE SUPREME COURT;

8. ERROR IN FINDING THAT THE DECISION IN CA G.R. NO. 038830 The Court of Appeals found that petitioner did not meet the requirement of 30 years
possession for acquisitive prescription over Lots 2 and 3. Neither did it satisfy the
TOUCHED ON OWNERSHIP OF LOTS 2 AND 3 AND THAT PRIVATE
requirement of 10 years possession for ordinary acquisitive prescription because of
RESPONDENTS AND THEIR PREDECESSORS WERE IN POSSESSION OF
the absence of just title. The appellate court did not believe the findings of the trial G.R. No. 38830-R is governing, under the principle of res judicata, hence the rule, in
court that Lot 2 was acquired from Juan Valdez by purchase and Lot 3 was acquired the present cases CA-G.R. No. 05148 and CA-G.R. No. 05149. The facts as
also by purchase from Egmidio Octaviano by petitioner Vicar because there was supported by evidence established in that decision may no longer be altered.
absolutely no documentary evidence to support the same and the alleged purchases
were never mentioned in the application for registration. WHEREFORE AND BY REASON OF THE FOREGOING, this petition is
DENIED for lack of merit, the Decision dated Aug. 31, 1987 in CA-G.R. Nos. 05148
By the very admission of petitioner Vicar, Lots 2 and 3 were owned by Valdez and and 05149, by respondent Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED, with costs against
Octaviano. Both Valdez and Octaviano had Free Patent Application for those lots petitioner.
since 1906. The predecessors of private respondents, not petitioner Vicar, were in
possession of the questioned lots since 1906. SO ORDERED.

There is evidence that petitioner Vicar occupied Lots 1 and 4, which are not in
question, but not Lots 2 and 3, because the buildings standing thereon were only
constructed after liberation in 1945. Petitioner Vicar only declared Lots 2 and 3 for
taxation purposes in 1951. The improvements oil Lots 1, 2, 3, 4 were paid for by the
Bishop but said Bishop was appointed only in 1947, the church was constructed only
in 1951 and the new convent only 2 years before the trial in 1963.

When petitioner Vicar was notified of the oppositor's claims, the parish priest offered
to buy the lot from Fructuoso Valdez. Lots 2 and 3 were surveyed by request of
petitioner Vicar only in 1962.

Private respondents were able to prove that their predecessors' house was borrowed
by petitioner Vicar after the church and the convent were destroyed. They never
asked for the return of the house, but when they allowed its free use, they became
bailors in commodatum and the petitioner the bailee. The bailees' failure to return the
subject matter of commodatum to the bailor did not mean adverse possession on the
part of the borrower. The bailee held in trust the property subject matter of
commodatum. The adverse claim of petitioner came only in 1951 when it declared
the lots for taxation purposes. The action of petitioner Vicar by such adverse claim
could not ripen into title by way of ordinary acquisitive prescription because of the
absence of just title.

The Court of Appeals found that the predecessors-in-interest and private respondents
were possessors under claim of ownership in good faith from 1906; that petitioner
Vicar was only a bailee in commodatum; and that the adverse claim and repudiation
of trust came only in 1951.

We find no reason to disregard or reverse the ruling of the Court of Appeals in CA-
G.R. No. 38830-R. Its findings of fact have become incontestible. This Court
declined to review said decision, thereby in effect, affirming it. It has become final
and executory a long time ago.

Respondent appellate court did not commit any reversible error, much less grave
abuse of discretion, when it held that the Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-
Republic of the Philippines agreement with the plaintiff to the effect that the latter would not compromise the
SUPREME COURT controversy without his consent, and that as fees for his professional services he was
Manila to receive one half of the amount allowed in the judgment if the same were entered
in favor of the plaintiff.
EN BANC
The case came up for trial, evidence was adduced by both parties, and either exhibits
G.R. No. L-4150 February 10, 1910 were made of record. On the 10th of January, 1907, the court below entered
judgment sentencing Agustina Jarra, as administratrix of the estate of Magdaleno
Jimenea, to return to the plaintiff, Felix de los Santos, the remaining six second and
FELIX DE LOS SANTOS, plaintiff-appelle,
third class carabaos, or the value thereof at the rate of P120 each, or a total of P720
vs.
with the costs.
AGUSTINA JARRA, administratrix of the estate of Magdaleno Jimenea,
deceased, defendant-appellant.
Counsel for the defendant excepted to the foregoing judgment, and, by a writing
dated January 19, moved for anew trial on the ground that the findings of fact were
TORRES, J.:
openly and manifestly contrary to the weight of the evidence. The motion was
overruled, the defendant duly excepted, and in due course submitted the
On the 1st of September, 1906, Felix de los Santos brought suit against Agustina corresponding bill of exceptions, which was approved and submitted to this court.
Jarra, the administratrix of the estate of Magdaleno Jimenea, alleging that in the
latter part of 1901 Jimenea borrowed and obtained from the plaintiff ten first-class
The defendant has admitted that Magdaleno Jimenea asked the plaintiff for the loan
carabaos, to be used at the animal-power mill of his hacienda during the season of
of ten carabaos which are now claimed by the latter, as shown by two letters
1901-2, without recompense or remuneration whatever for the use thereof, under the
addressed by the said Jimenea to Felix de los Santos; but in her answer the said
sole condition that they should be returned to the owner as soon as the work at the
defendant alleged that the late Jimenea only obtained three second-class carabaos,
mill was terminated; that Magdaleno Jimenea, however, did not return the carabaos,
notwithstanding the fact that the plaintiff claimed their return after the work at the which were subsequently sold to him by the owner, Santos; therefore, in order to
mill was finished; that Magdaleno Jimenea died on the 28th of October, 1904, and decide this litigation it is indispensable that proof be forthcoming that Jimenea only
received three carabaos from his son-in-law Santos, and that they were sold by the
the defendant herein was appointed by the Court of First Instance of Occidental
latter to him.
Negros administratrix of his estate and she took over the administration of the same
and is still performing her duties as such administratrix; that the plaintiff presented
his claim to the commissioners of the estate of Jimenea, within the legal term, for the The record discloses that it has been fully proven from the testimony of a sufficient
return of the said ten carabaos, but the said commissioners rejected his claim as number of witnesses that the plaintiff, Santos, sent in charge of various persons the
appears in their report; therefore, the plaintiff prayed that judgment be entered ten carabaos requested by his father-in-law, Magdaleno Jimenea, in the two letters
against the defendant as administratrix of the estate of the deceased, ordering her to produced at the trial by the plaintiff, and that Jimenea received them in the presence
return the ten first-class carabaos loaned to the late Jimenea, or their present value, of some of said persons, one being a brother of said Jimenea, who saw the animals
and to pay the costs. arrive at the hacienda where it was proposed to employ them. Four died of
rinderpest, and it is for this reason that the judgment appealed from only deals with
six surviving carabaos.
The defendant was duly summoned, and on the 25th of September, 1906, she
demurred in writing to the complaint on the ground that it was vague; but on the 2d
of October of the same year, in answer to the complaint, she said that it was true that The alleged purchase of three carabaos by Jimenea from his son-in-law Santos is not
the late Magdaleno Jimenea asked the plaintiff to loan him ten carabaos, but that he evidenced by any trustworthy documents such as those of transfer, nor were the
only obtained three second-class animals, which were afterwards transferred by sale declarations of the witnesses presented by the defendant affirming it satisfactory; for
by the plaintiff to the said Jimenea; that she denied the allegations contained in said reason it can not be considered that Jimenea only received three carabaos on
paragraph 3 of the complaint; for all of which she asked the court to absolve her of loan from his son-in-law, and that he afterwards kept them definitely by virtue of the
the complaint with the cost against the plaintiff. purchase.

By a writing dated the 11th of December, 1906, Attorney Jose Felix Martinez By the laws in force the transfer of large cattle was and is still made by means of
notified the defendant and her counsel, Matias Hilado, that he had made an official documents issued by the local authorities; these documents constitute the title
of ownership of the carabao or horse so acquired. Furthermore, not only should the The carabaos delivered to be used not being returned by the defendant upon demand,
purchaser be provided with a new certificate or credential, a document which has not there is no doubt that she is under obligation to indemnify the owner thereof by
been produced in evidence by the defendant, nor has the loss of the same been shown paying him their value.
in the case, but the old documents ought to be on file in the municipality, or they
should have been delivered to the new purchaser, and in the case at bar neither did Article 1101 of said code reads:
the defendant present the old credential on which should be stated the name of the
previous owner of each of the three carabaos said to have been sold by the plaintiff.
Those who in fulfilling their obligations are guilty of fraud, negligence, or
delay, and those who in any manner whatsoever act in contravention of the
From the foregoing it may be logically inferred that the carabaos loaned or given on stipulations of the same, shall be subjected to indemnify for the losses and
commodatum to the now deceased Magdaleno Jimenea were ten in number; that damages caused thereby.
they, or at any rate the six surviving ones, have not been returned to the owner
thereof, Felix de los Santos, and that it is not true that the latter sold to the former
The obligation of the bailee or of his successors to return either the thing loaned or
three carabaos that the purchaser was already using; therefore, as the said six its value, is sustained by the supreme tribunal of Sapin. In its decision of March 21,
carabaos were not the property of the deceased nor of any of his descendants, it is the 1895, it sets out with precision the legal doctrine touching commodatum as follows:
duty of the administratrix of the estate to return them or indemnify the owner for
their value.
Although it is true that in a contract of commodatum the bailor retains the
ownership of the thing loaned, and at the expiration of the period, or after
The Civil Code, in dealing with loans in general, from which generic denomination the use for which it was loaned has been accomplished, it is the imperative
the specific one of commodatum is derived, establishes prescriptions in relation to duty of the bailee to return the thing itself to its owner, or to pay him
the last-mentioned contract by the following articles:
damages if through the fault of the bailee the thing should have been lost or
injured, it is clear that where public securities are involved, the trial court,
ART. 1740. By the contract of loan, one of the parties delivers to the other, in deferring to the claim of the bailor that the amount loaned be returned
either anything not perishable, in order that the latter may use it during a him by the bailee in bonds of the same class as those which constituted the
certain period and return it to the former, in which case it is called contract, thereby properly applies law 9 of title 11 of partida 5.
commodatum, or money or any other perishable thing, under the condition
to return an equal amount of the same kind and quality, in which case it is
With regard to the third assignment of error, based on the fact that the plaintiff
merely called a loan.
Santos had not appealed from the decision of the commissioners rejecting his claim
for the recovery of his carabaos, it is sufficient to estate that we are not dealing with
Commodatum is essentially gratuitous. a claim for the payment of a certain sum, the collection of a debt from the estate, or
payment for losses and damages (sec. 119, Code of Civil Procedure), but with the
A simple loan may be gratuitous, or made under a stipulation to pay exclusion from the inventory of the property of the late Jimenea, or from his capital,
interest. of six carabaos which did not belong to him, and which formed no part of the
inheritance.
ART. 1741. The bailee acquires retains the ownership of the thing loaned.
The bailee acquires the use thereof, but not its fruits; if any compensation is The demand for the exclusion of the said carabaos belonging to a third party and
involved, to be paid by the person requiring the use, the agreement ceases to which did not form part of the property of the deceased, must be the subject of a
be a commodatum. direct decision of the court in an ordinary action, wherein the right of the third party
to the property which he seeks to have excluded from the inheritance and the right of
ART. 1742. The obligations and rights which arise from the commodatum the deceased has been discussed, and rendered in view of the result of the evidence
pass to the heirs of both contracting parties, unless the loan has been in adduced by the administrator of the estate and of the claimant, since it is so provided
consideration for the person of the bailee, in which case his heirs shall not by the second part of section 699 and by section 703 of the Code of Civil Procedure;
have the right to continue using the thing loaned. the refusal of the commissioners before whom the plaintiff unnecessarily appeared
can not affect nor reduce the unquestionable right of ownership of the latter,
inasmuch as there is no law nor principle of justice authorizing the successors of the
late Jimenea to enrich themselves at the cost and to the prejudice of Felix de los
Santos.

For the reasons above set forth, by which the errors assigned to the judgment
appealed from have been refuted, and considering that the same is in accordance
with the law and the merits of the case, it is our opinion that it should be affirmed
and we do hereby affirm it with the costs against the appellant. So ordered.
Republic of the Philippines the latter had included therein the lot occupied by the warehouse, which they claimed
SUPREME COURT was their exclusive property. All this action was taken in a special proceeding in re
Manila guardianship.

EN BANC The plaintiffs did more than oppose Pascual's petition; they requested the court,
through motion, to decide the question of the ownership of the lot before it pass upon
G.R. No. L-8321 October 14, 1913 the petition for the sale of the warehouse. But the court before determining the matter
of the ownership of the lot occupied by the warehouse, ordered the sale of this
building, saying:
ALEJANDRA MINA, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
RUPERTA PASCUAL, ET AL., defendants-appellees. While the trial continues with respect to the ownership of the lot, the court
orders the sale at public auction of the said warehouse and of the lot on
N. Segundo for appellants. which it is built, with the present boundaries of the land and condition of the
building, at a price of not less than P2,890 Philippine currency . . . .
Iñigo Bitanga for appellees.

So, the warehouse, together with the lot on which it stands, was sold to Cu Joco, the
ARELLANO, C.J.:
other defendant in this case, for the price mentioned.
Francisco Fontanilla and Andres Fontanilla were brothers. Francisco Fontanilla
The plaintiffs insisted upon a decision of the question of the ownership of the lot,
acquired during his lifetime, on March 12, 1874, a lot in the center of the town of
and the court decided it by holding that this land belonged to the owner of the
Laoag, the capital of the Province of Ilocos Norte, the property having been awarded
warehouse which had been built thereon thirty years before.
to him through its purchase at a public auction held by the alcalde mayor of that
province. The lot has a frontage of 120 meters and a depth of 15.
The plaintiffs appealed and this court reversed the judgment of the lower court and
held that the appellants were the owners of the lot in question. 1
Andres Fontanilla, with the consent of his brother Francisco, erected a warehouse on
a part of the said lot, embracing 14 meters of its frontage by 11 meters of its depth.
When the judgment became final and executory, a writ of execution issued and the
Francisco Fontanilla, the former owner of the lot, being dead, the herein plaintiffs, plaintiffs were given possession of the lot; but soon thereafter the trial court annulled
this possession for the reason that it affected Cu Joco, who had not been a party to
Alejandro Mina, et al., were recognized without discussion as his heirs.
the suit in which that writ was served.
Andres Fontanilla, the former owner of the warehouse, also having died, the children
of Ruperta Pascual were recognized likes without discussion, though it is not said It was then that the plaintiffs commenced the present action for the purpose of
having the sale of the said lot declared null and void and of no force and effect.
how, and consequently are entitled to the said building, or rather, as Ruperta Pascual
herself stated, to only six-sevenths of one-half of it, the other half belonging, as it
appears, to the plaintiffs themselves, and the remaining one-seventh of the first one- An agreement was had ad to the facts, the ninth paragraph of which is as follows:
half to the children of one of the plaintiffs, Elena de Villanueva. The fact is that the
plaintiffs and the defendants are virtually, to all appearance, the owners of the 9. That the herein plaintiffs excepted to the judgment and appealed
warehouse; while the plaintiffs are undoubtedly, the owners of the part of the lot therefrom to the Supreme Court which found for them by holding that they
occupied by that building, as well as of the remainder thereof. are the owners of the lot in question, although there existed and still exists a
commodatum by virtue of which the guardianship (meaning the defendants)
This was the state of affairs, when, on May 6, 1909, Ruperta Pascual, as the guardian had and has the use, and the plaintiffs the ownership, of the property, with
of her minor children, the herein defendants, petitioned the Curt of First Instance of no finding concerning the decree of the lower court that ordered the sale.
Ilocos Norte for authorization to sell "the six-sevenths of the one-half of the
warehouse, of 14 by 11 meters, together with its lot." The plaintiffs — that is The obvious purport of the cause "although there existed and still exists a
Alejandra Mina, et al. — opposed the petition of Ruperta Pascual for the reason that commodatum," etc., appears to be that it is a part of the decision of the Supreme
Court and that, while finding the plaintiffs to be the owners of the lot, we recognized others that, as the guardian of the said minors, I have and may have in the
in principle the existence of a commodatum under which the defendants held the lot. said property, etc.
Nothing could be more inexact. Possibly, also, the meaning of that clause is that,
notwithstanding the finding made by the Supreme Court that the plaintiffs were the The purchaser could not acquire anything more than the interest that might be held
owners, these former and the defendants agree that there existed, and still exists, a by a person to whom realty in possession of the vendor might be sold, for at a
commodatum, etc. But such an agreement would not affect the truth of the contents judicial auction nothing else is disposed of. What the minor children of Ruperta
of the decision of this court, and the opinions held by the litigants in regard to this Pascual had in their possession was the ownership of the six-sevenths part of one-
point could have no bearing whatever on the present decision. half of the warehouse and the use of the lot occupied by his building. This, and
nothing more, could the Chinaman Cu Joco acquire at that sale: not the ownership of
Nor did the decree of the lower court that ordered the sale have the least influence in the lot; neither the other half, nor the remaining one-seventh of the said first half, of
our previous decision to require our making any finding in regard thereto, for, with the warehouse. Consequently, the sale made to him of this one-seventh of one-half
or without that decree, the Supreme Court had to decide the ownership of the lot and the entire other half of the building was null and void, and likewise with still
consistently with its titles and not in accordance with the judicial acts or proceedings more reason the sale of the lot the building occupies.
had prior to the setting up of the issue in respect to the ownership of the property that
was the subject of the judicial decree. The purchaser could and should have known what it was that was offered for sale
and what it was that he purchased. There is nothing that can justify the acquisition by
What is essentially pertinent to the case is the fact that the defendant agree that the the purchaser of the warehouse of the ownership of the lot that this building
plaintiffs have the ownership, and they themselves only the use, of the said lot. occupies, since the minors represented by Ruperta Pascual never were the owners of
the said lot, nor were they ever considered to be such.
On this premise, the nullity of the sale of the lot is in all respects quite evident,
whatsoever be the manner in which the sale was effected, whether judicially or The trial court, in the judgment rendered, held that there were no grounds for the
extrajudicially. requested annulment of the sale, and that the plaintiffs were entitled to the P600
deposited with the clerk of the court as the value of the lot in question. The
He who has only the use of a thing cannot validly sell the thing itself. The effect of defendants, Ruperta Pascual and the Chinaman Cu Joco, were absolved from the
the sale being a transfer of the ownership of the thing, it is evident that he who has complaint, without express finding as to costs.
only the mere use of the thing cannot transfer its ownership. The sale of a thing
effected by one who is not its owner is null and void. The defendants never were the The plaintiffs cannot be obliged to acquiesce in or allow the sale made and be
owners of the lot sold. The sale of it by them is necessarily null and void. On cannot compelled to accept the price set on the lot by expert appraisers, not even though the
convey to another what he has never had himself. plaintiffs be considered as coowner of the warehouse. It would be much indeed that,
on the ground of coownership, they should have to abide by and tolerate the sale of
The returns of the auction contain the following statements: the said building, which point this court does not decide as it is not a question
submitted to us for decision, but, as regards the sale of the lot, it is in all respects
I, Ruperta Pascual, the guardian of the minors, etc., by virtue of the impossible to hold that the plaintiffs must abide by it and tolerate, it, and this
authorization conferred upon me on the 31st of July, 1909, by the Court of conclusion is based on the fact that they did not give their consent (art. 1261, Civil
Code), and only the contracting parties who have given it are obliged to comply (art.
First Instance of Ilocos Norte, proceeded with the sale at public auction of
1091, idem).
the six-sevenths part of the one-half of the warehouse constructed of rubble
stone, etc.
The sole purpose of the action in the beginning was to obtain an annulment of the
Whereas I, Ruperta Pascual, the guardian of the minors, etc., sold at public sale of the lot; but subsequently the plaintiffs, through motion, asked for an
amendment by their complaint in the sense that the action should be deemed to be
auction all the land and all the rights title, interest, and ownership in the said
one for the recovery of possession of a lot and for the annulment of its sale. The
property to Cu Joco, who was the highest bidder, etc.
plaintiff's petition was opposed by the defendant's attorney, but was allowed by the
court; therefore the complaint seeks, after the judicial annulment of the sale of the
Therefore, . . . I cede and deliver forever to the said purchaser, Cu Joco, his lot, to have the defendants sentenced immediately to deliver the same to the
heirs and assigns, all the interest, ownership and inheritance rights and plaintiffs.
Such a finding appears to be in harmony with the decision rendered by the Supreme definite period or time during which Andres Fontanilla could have the use of the lot
Court in previous suit, wherein it was held that the ownership of the lot lay in the whereon the latter was to erect a stone warehouse of considerable value, and so it is
plaintiffs, and for this reason steps were taken to give possession thereof to the that for the past thirty years of the lot has been used by both Andres and his
defendants; but, as the purchaser Cu Joco was not a party to that suit, the present successors in interest. The present contention of the plaintiffs that Cu Joco, now in
action is strictly one for recover against Cu Joco to compel him, once the sale has possession of the lot, should pay rent for it at the rate of P5 a month, would destroy
been annulled, to deliver the lot to its lawful owners, the plaintiffs. the theory of the commodatum sustained by them, since, according to the second
paragraph of the aforecited article 1740, "commodatum is essentially gratuitous,"
As respects this action for recovery, this Supreme Court finds: and, if what the plaintiffs themselves aver on page 7 of their brief is to be believed, it
never entered Francisco's mind to limit the period during which his brother Andres
was to have the use of the lot, because he expected that the warehouse would
1. That it is a fact admitted by the litigating parties, both in this and in the
eventually fall into the hands of his son, Fructuoso Fontanilla, called the adopted son
previous suit, that Andres Fontanilla, the defendants' predecessor in interest,
of Andres, which did not come to pass for the reason that Fructuoso died before his
erected the warehouse on the lot, some thirty years ago, with the explicit
uncle Andres. With that expectation in view, it appears more likely that Francisco
consent of his brother Francisco Fontanilla, the plaintiff's predecessor in
interest. intended to allow his brother Andres a surface right; but this right supposes the
payment of an annual rent, and Andres had the gratuitous use of the lot.
2. That it also appears to be an admitted fact that the plaintiffs and the
Hence, as the facts aforestated only show that a building was erected on another's
defendants are the coowners of the warehouse.
ground, the question should be decided in accordance with the statutes that, thirty
years ago, governed accessions to real estate, and which were Laws 41 and 42, title
3. That it is a fact explicitly admitted in the agreement, that neither Andres 28, of the third Partida, nearly identical with the provisions of articles 361 and 362
Fontanilla nor his successors paid any consideration or price whatever for of the Civil Code. So, then, pursuant to article 361, the owner of the land on which a
the use of the lot occupied by the said building; whence it is, perhaps, that building is erected in good faith has a right to appropriate such edifice to himself,
both parties have denominated that use a commodatum. after payment of the indemnity prescribed in articles 453 and 454, or to oblige the
builder to pay him the value of the land. Such, and no other, is the right to which the
Upon the premise of these facts, or even merely upon that of the first of them, the plaintiff are entitled.
sentencing of the defendants to deliver the lot to the plaintiffs does not follow as a
necessary corollary of the judicial declaration of ownership made in the previous For the foregoing reasons, it is only necessary to annul the sale of the said lot which
suit, nor of that of the nullity of the sale of the lot, made in the present case. was made by Ruperta Pascual, in representation of her minor children, to Cu Joco,
and to maintain the latter in the use of the lot until the plaintiffs shall choose one or
The defendants do not hold lawful possession of the lot in question.1awphil.net the other of the two rights granted them by article 361 of the Civil Code.1awphil.net

But, although both litigating parties may have agreed in their idea of the The judgment appealed from is reversed and the sale of the lot in question is held to
commodatum, on account of its not being, as indeed it is not, a question of fact but of be null and void and of no force or effect. No special finding is made as to the costs
law, yet that denomination given by them to the use of the lot granted by Francisco of both instances.
Fontanilla to his brother, Andres Fontanilla, is not acceptable. Contracts are not to be
interpreted in conformity with the name that the parties thereto agree to give them,
but must be construed, duly considering their constitutive elements, as they are
defined and denominated by law.

By the contract of loan, one of the parties delivers to the other, either
anything not perishable, in order that the latter may use it during the certain
period and return it to the former, in which case it is called commodatum . .
. (art. 1740, Civil Code).

It is, therefore, an essential feature of the commodatum that the use of the thing
belonging to another shall for a certain period. Francisco Fontanilla did not fix any
Republic of the Philippines In their seven assigned errors the plaintiffs contend that the trial court incorrectly
SUPREME COURT applied the law: in holding that they violated the contract by not calling for all the
Manila furniture on November 5, 1936, when the defendant placed them at their disposal; in
not ordering the defendant to pay them the value of the furniture in case they are not
EN BANC delivered; in holding that they should get all the furniture from the Sheriff at their
expenses; in ordering them to pay-half of the expenses claimed by the Sheriff for the
deposit of the furniture; in ruling that both parties should pay their respective legal
G.R. No. L-46240 November 3, 1939
expenses or the costs; and in denying pay their respective legal expenses or the costs;
and in denying the motions for reconsideration and new trial. To dispose of the case,
MARGARITA QUINTOS and ANGEL A. ANSALDO, plaintiffs-appellants, it is only necessary to decide whether the defendant complied with his obligation to
vs. return the furniture upon the plaintiff's demand; whether the latter is bound to bear
BECK, defendant-appellee. the deposit fees thereof, and whether she is entitled to the costs of
litigation.lawphi1.net
Mauricio Carlos for appellants.
Felipe Buencamino, Jr. for appellee. The contract entered into between the parties is one of commadatum, because under
it the plaintiff gratuitously granted the use of the furniture to the defendant, reserving
IMPERIAL, J.: for herself the ownership thereof; by this contract the defendant bound himself to
return the furniture to the plaintiff, upon the latters demand (clause 7 of the contract,
The plaintiff brought this action to compel the defendant to return her certain Exhibit A; articles 1740, paragraph 1, and 1741 of the Civil Code). The obligation
furniture which she lent him for his use. She appealed from the judgment of the voluntarily assumed by the defendant to return the furniture upon the plaintiff's
Court of First Instance of Manila which ordered that the defendant return to her the demand, means that he should return all of them to the plaintiff at the latter's
three has heaters and the four electric lamps found in the possession of the Sheriff of residence or house. The defendant did not comply with this obligation when he
said city, that she call for the other furniture from the said sheriff of Manila at her merely placed them at the disposal of the plaintiff, retaining for his benefit the three
own expense, and that the fees which the Sheriff may charge for the deposit of the gas heaters and the four eletric lamps. The provisions of article 1169 of the Civil
furniture be paid pro rata by both parties, without pronouncement as to the costs. Code cited by counsel for the parties are not squarely applicable. The trial court,
therefore, erred when it came to the legal conclusion that the plaintiff failed to
The defendant was a tenant of the plaintiff and as such occupied the latter's house on comply with her obligation to get the furniture when they were offered to her.
M. H. del Pilar street, No. 1175. On January 14, 1936, upon the novation of the
contract of lease between the plaintiff and the defendant, the former gratuitously As the defendant had voluntarily undertaken to return all the furniture to the plaintiff,
granted to the latter the use of the furniture described in the third paragraph of the upon the latter's demand, the Court could not legally compel her to bear the expenses
stipulation of facts, subject to the condition that the defendant would return them to occasioned by the deposit of the furniture at the defendant's behest. The latter, as
the plaintiff upon the latter's demand. The plaintiff sold the property to Maria Lopez bailee, was not entitled to place the furniture on deposit; nor was the plaintiff under a
and Rosario Lopez and on September 14, 1936, these three notified the defendant of duty to accept the offer to return the furniture, because the defendant wanted to retain
the conveyance, giving him sixty days to vacate the premises under one of the the three gas heaters and the four electric lamps.
clauses of the contract of lease. There after the plaintiff required the defendant to
return all the furniture transferred to him for them in the house where they were As to the value of the furniture, we do not believe that the plaintiff is entitled to the
found. On November 5, 1936, the defendant, through another person, wrote payment thereof by the defendant in case of his inability to return some of the
to the plaintiff reiterating that she may call for the furniture in the ground floor of the furniture because under paragraph 6 of the stipulation of facts, the defendant has
house. On the 7th of the same month, the defendant wrote another letter to the neither agreed to nor admitted the correctness of the said value. Should the defendant
plaintiff informing her that he could not give up the three gas heaters and the four fail to deliver some of the furniture, the value thereof should be latter determined by
electric lamps because he would use them until the 15th of the same month when the the trial Court through evidence which the parties may desire to present.
lease in due to expire. The plaintiff refused to get the furniture in view of the fact
that the defendant had declined to make delivery of all of them. The costs in both instances should be borne by the defendant because the plaintiff is
On November 15th, before vacating the house, the defendant deposited with the prevailing party (section 487 of the Code of Civil Procedure). The defendant was
the Sheriff all the furniture belonging to the plaintiff and they are now on deposit in the one who breached the contract of commodatum, and without any reason he
the warehouse situated at No. 1521, Rizal Avenue, in the custody of the said sheriff. refused to return and deliver all the furniture upon the plaintiff's demand. In these
circumstances, it is just and equitable that he pay the legal expenses and other
judicial costs which the plaintiff would not have otherwise defrayed.

The appealed judgment is modified and the defendant is ordered to return and deliver
to the plaintiff, in the residence to return and deliver to the plaintiff, in the residence
or house of the latter, all the furniture described in paragraph 3 of the stipulation of
facts Exhibit A. The expenses which may be occasioned by the delivery to and
deposit of the furniture with the Sheriff shall be for the account of the defendant. the
defendant shall pay the costs in both instances. So ordered.
Republic of the Philippines II. The lower erred in not holding that the sale or the negotiations for the
SUPREME COURT sale of the lands to Biagtan by the bank took place during Oller's period of
Manila repurchase. It likewise erred in not holding that the exclusive, or at least
principal consideration of the transfer of the lot, house and camarin by
EN BANC Biagtan to Oller was the latter's cession or renunciation of his right or
repurchase from the bank in favor of Biagtan.
G.R. No. L-42898 January 30, 1936
III. The lower court erred in not declaring that Biagtan is already in
possession of the lands described in taxes Nos. 10915 and 10916 (Exhibits
COSME BIAGTAN, plaintiff-appellee,
12 and 11), in addition to those described in taxes No. 10911, 10913 and
vs.
10914 which he had already received and are now in his possession.
CONCEPCION VIUDA DE OLLER, CARMEN OLLER DE SIPIN,
TELESFORO SIPIN ET AL., defendants-appellants.
IV. The lower court clearly erred in holding that one of the parcels of land
which Oller promised to give to Biagtan contained an area of five hectares
Pedro C. Quinto for appellants.
situated on the western side of the land bought by Biagtan from the Bank.
Alejo Mabanag and Tomas B. Tadeo for appellee.

V. Granting, without admitting, that Biagtan is not yet in possession of the


DIAZ, J.:
lands described in Exhibits 11 and 12, the lower court erred in not ordering
Biagtan to accept the transfer in his name of the Torrens titles of said two
The subject matter of this suit is the ownership and possession of the land or lot parcels of land.
described in paragraph II of the amended complaint and more particularly described
in transfer certificate of title No. 3429, with the improvements thereon consisting of
a house and a camarin of strong materials, situated in the center of the town of the VI. The lower court erred in not considering Oller at least as an agent or
municipality of San Jacinto of the Province of Pangasinan. broker when Biagtan bought the parcel of 45 hectares from the bank at an
enormous profit, and in not considering said concept and other parcels of
land belonging to Oller as sufficient consideration for the transfer of the lot,
The lower court declared said lot and its improvements as the property of the house and camarin by Biagtan to Oller.
plaintiff and ordered the defendants to turn them over to him, and the plaintiff in
turn, to surrender to the defendants the ownership and possession of two parcels of
VII. The lower court erred in not absolving the defendant from the
land that he received from Rafael Oller, predecessor in interest of the defendants, by
complaint and in not entering judgment against the plaintiff-cross-defendant
virtue of a contract or barter formerly entered into between the two and declared null
in conformity with the prayer of the cross-complaint.
and void by the court. No pronouncement was made as to costs.

From this judgment of the lower court, the defendants appealed to this court, The pertinent facts of the case which have not been disputed by the parties my be
summarized as follows:
attributing to it the seven alleged errors relied upon in their brief as follows:

Rafael Oller, father of the defendant Carmen Oller who is the defendant Telesforo
I. The trial court erred: (a) In computing Rafael Oller's one year period of
repurchase from the date of the public auction sale of the properties Sipin's wife; husband, in life, of the other defendant Concepcion or Consuelo Pasana
mortgaged to the Philippine National Bank; (b) in not computing the one Viuda de Oller with whom he head four children who are the defendants Rafael, Jr.,
Juanita, Zuraida and Emiliano Oller; and grandfather of the other defendant Miguel
year period of repurchase, at least from the date when the order of
Oller, was originally the owner of the two parcels of land described in transfer of
confirmation of the public auction sale became final; (c) in not computing
certificate of title No. 3429 of the registry of deeds of Pangasinan (Exhibit I). He
the one year period of repurchase from the notation of the order of
mortgage them to the Philippine National Bank for the sum of P10,000, on
confirmation, inasmuch as the case involves real estate registered under Act
No. 496. November 29, 1919 (Exhibit A), and as he had failed to pay his obligation to the
bank, the latter brought civil case No. 3942 (Exhibit C) to foreclose the mortgage in
its favor. Inasmuch as Rafael Oller was unable to pay his obligation within the period
of three months granted him in the court's decision and judgment which, by the way,
was adverse to him, the order of the court in said judgment was executed and the two is shown by the very documentary evidence presented by the defendants and
parcels of land in question were sold at public auction to the Philippine National appellants, consisting in the letters written by the plaintiff to Rafael Oller during the
Bank as the highest bidder. The sale took place on July 28, 1924, and the price paid period of May 17th to August 12, 1929 (Exhibits 1 to 7). This documentary evidence
for said property was P8,210 (Exhibits E, F, F-1 and F-2). The sale was not proves not only this but something more. It shoes, in addition, to the testimony of the
confirmed by the court until April 13, 1926, but it was expressly provided in order defendants and their witnesses, that while said plaintiff complied with his obligation
confirming that it said sale would be considered effective from July 28, 1924, the under the terms of their contract of title No. 3429 (Exhibit I) to Rafael Oller, the
date on which the public auction sale was made (Exhibit G). latter failed to do the same, much less his heirs or the defendants. They have not yet
delivered to him the land described in said documents Exhibits 8, 11 and 12. They
Nine months later, or on January 3, 1927, the Philippine National Bank succeeded in could not deliver them to him because they then were in the hands of third persons
registering transfer certificate of title No. 3166 in its name in the registry of deeds of and now they are in the possession of Miguel Oller in whose name transfer
Pangasinan after cancellation of original certificate of title No. 604 (Exhibit J), certificate of title No. 5860 of the registry of deeds of Pangasinan was issued on
which covered the very properties in question; and on June 1st of said year, it sold November 26, 1930 (Exhibit 31), some months after Rafael Oller's death. Parcels
said properties to the plaintiffs for the sum of P12,000 (Exhibit K). On the 28th of Nos. 3 and 4 referred to said transfer certificate of title are the same lands described
said month and year transfer of certificate of title No. 3429 (Exhibit I) was issued to in Exhibits 11 and 12. It does not appear that the land described in Exhibit 8 has been
the plaintiff. delivered to the plaintiff by Rafael Oller or his heirs, or that the plaintiff already has
it in his possession, because the testimony of some of the witnesses for the
defendants, affirming that it had already been actually delivered to him, did not state
The defendants alleged and attempted to prove that while Rafael Oller's right of
when it was delivered, what the nature of the land is and where it is situated. It
repurchase was yet subsisting, he consented to the purchase of the two properties in
cannot be believed to be included in the land described as parcel No. 1 in transfer
question from the Philippine National Bank by the plaintiff because the two had
agreed that the plaintiff should keep only in one of the properties, that described as certificate of title No. 3429 because, taking into consideration its boundaries, it
parcel No. 1 in transfer certificate of title No. 3429 (Exhibit I), and that he would appears to he impossible. In order to be considered as included therein, it must
necessarily abut on all sides on Rafael Oller's land, that is, the one described in said
turn over the other, or that described as parcel No. 2 in said certificate, to Rafael
certificate as parcel No. 1, but it is at once noticeable that it adjoins said land only at
Oller.
its southern side and partly as its eastern side.
They furthermore alleged and attempted to prove that when the plaintiff had already
The foregoing is a summary of the salient facts which we consider as clearly
obtained the complete transfer to him by the two parcels of land in question through
established at the trial. It follows therefore that it is necessary to discuss assignments
the execution of the necessary document in his favor by the Philippine National
of error I, II, III and IV relied upon by the applicants; because whether the period
Bank, he then not only refused to acknowledge his verbal contract with Rafael Oller
within which Rafael Oller could repurchase his lands bought by the Philippine
but imposed the condition that in order that he might transfer the second parcel to
Oller it was necessary for the latter to convey to him the other lands which Oller had National Bank at public auction, by virtue of a judicial order, had expired or not
in the barrio of San Jose of the municipality of San Jacinto, Pangasinan; and that when said bank resold the lands to the appellee, a question now altogether
unimportant because he did not exercise said right when he should have done so, and
under such circumstances, Rafael Oller was compelled to convey the lands described
whether or not there has been an understanding or a contract between him and the
in Exhibits 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 to the plaintiff.
appellee that in purchasing the lands in question the plaintiff bound himself to
convey to Oller the land described as parcel No. 2 in transfer certificate of title No.
The plaintiff, in turn, attempted to prove that the only contract entered into by him 3429 (Exhibit I) which is no other than the land in question; the existence of such
and Rafael Oller was that whereby he bound himself to convey to Oller parcel No. 2 understanding or contract is of no avail to him because another thing was later
of transfer of certificate of title No. 3429, provided Oller, in the barrio of San Jose, stipulated between the two thus novating the former; inasmuch as it is inferred from
described in said documents Exhibits 8, 9, 10, 11, and 12; and that he received two said Exhibits 1 to 7 and also from the testimony of the appellee that the two agreed
of said five parcels of land those described in Exhibits 9 and 10 — from Rafael that for Rafael Oller again to become the owner of the land in question, he should
Oller, but to date the remaining three — those described in Exhibits 8. 11 and 12 — bind himself, a he so did in fact, to give to the plaintiff his five parcels of land
have not yet been delivered to him either by said Rafael Oller or his heirs. situated in the barrio of San Jose, in addition to the land described as parcel No. 1 in
said transfer certificate of title No. 3429. It is a fact that although Oller received the
It is true that neither Rafael Oller nor the plaintiff had executed any formal document land promised him in exchange, he delivered only two of the five parcels which he,
to prove the existence of the contract of barter entered into by them but it is a fact in turn, had promised, he did not deliver the three parcels to the appellee was he was
that such contract existed. The parties have admitted it impliedly,; and furthermore it still alive, nor did his heirs do so after his death, because they did not belong to him.
They were in the hands of the other persons and the transfer certificate of title The court shall decree the resolution demanded, unless there should be
covering them is in the name of Miguel Oller since November 26, 1930. grounds which justify the allowance of a term of the performance of the
obligation. . . .
Barter, for such is the contract lastly entered into between Rafael Oller, predecessor
in interest of the appellants, and the appellee, is a contract conveying ownership for Inasmuch as Rafael Oller has failed to comply with the terms of his contract of
the consummation of which the mutual delivery by the contracting parties of the barter, and as the appellee has chosen to resolve his obligation created by the
things which they promised in barter is necessary. When Rafael Oller entered into it, contract in question, it is but just that he be granted the remedy correctly granted him
he was not the owner of all the land promised by him and, if he were, he would not by the lower court. The fact that Miguel Oller, one of the appellants, has offered to
have the free disposal thereof. He owned only two of them which are those actually convey to him the two parcels of land described in said Exhibits 11 and 12, or as
in the possession of the appellee and described in Exhibits 9 and 10. Therefore, the parcels Nos. 3 and 4 in transfer certificate of title No. 5860, because such step is out
contract as to him could not be effective for lack of one of the requisites essential to of time and it is the appellee to whom the law grants the right to choose. On the other
its validity; the under taking or promise to give entirely five parcels of land in the hand, he has not, as already stated, been given the fifth parcel of, that is, the one
barrio of San Jose, which promise could not be fulfilled and in fact it was not described in Exhibit 8.
fulfilled by him. Under such circumstances, the appellee can not be compelled to
fulfill his promise. On the contrary he cannot resolve his obligation created by his Having arrived at this conclusion, it becomes unnecessary to discuss or to pass upon
contract of barter with Rafael Oller. The provisions of articles 1539 and 1541, in the other three last assignments of error relied upon by the appellants because it
connection of those of articles 1503 and 1124 of the Civil Code, support the appellee clearly appears from the foregoing that they are not entitled to any indemnity
in all the improvements thereon. Said article read, respectively, as follows: particularly of it is borne in mind that they have been occupying and taking
advantage of the lot, house and camarin, in question.
ART. 1539. If one of the contracting parties should have received the thing
promised to him in barter, and should prove that it did not belong to the Wherefore, the appealed judgment of the lower court been in accordance with law
person who gave it, he cannot be compelled to deliver the thing he offered and supported by the evidence, it is hereby affirmed, with the costs of both instances
in exchange, and shall be discharged of his obligation upon returning the to the appellants. So ordered.
thing received by him.

ART. 1541. Barter shall be governed by the provisions relating to sales as to


all matters not specially provided for in this title.

ART. 1503. Should the vendee have reasonable grounds to fear the loss of
any real properties, sold and of its price he may immediately sue for a
rescission of the sale.

Should such grounds not exist, the provisions of article 1124 shall be
applicable.

ART. 1124. The right to resolve reciprocal obligations, in the case of the
obligors should fail to comply with that which is incumbent upon him is
deemed to be implied.

The person prejudiced may choose between exacting the fulfillment of the
obligation or its resolution with indemnity for damages and payment of
interest in either the case. he may also demand the resolution of the
obligations even after having requested its fulfillment, should the latter be
found impossible. . . .