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Notes (Case Digests Property)

IGNACIO VS. DIRECTOR OF LANDS AND VALERIANO: Case Doctrine: Article 457 of the New
Civil Code (Article 366, Old Civil Code), which provides that: To the owners of
lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually
receive from the effects oand gradually by the river's current on the fishpond
adjoining it. It is under two meters of water. The private respondents' own
evidence shows that the water in the fishpond is two meters deep on the side of the
pilapil facing the fishpond and only one meter deep
Notes (Case Digests Property)
For his part, Lozano insisted that the land claimed by Bagaipo is actually an
accretion to their titled property. He asserted that the Davao River did not change
its course and that the reduction in Bagaipo’s domain was caused by gradual erosion
due to the current of the Davao River. Lozano added that it is also because of the
river’s natural action that silt slowly deposited and added to his land over a long
period of time. He further averred that this accretion continues up to the present
and that registration proceedings instituted by him over the alluvial formation
could not be concluded precisely because it continued to increase in size. ISSUE/S:
WON there was a change in the river’s course which resulted to avulsion? HELD: NO.
The trial court and the appellate court both found that the decrease in land area
was brought about by erosion and not a change in the river’s course. This
conclusion was reached after the trial judge observed during ocular inspection that
the banks located on petitioner’s land are sharp, craggy and very much higher than
the land on the other side of the river. Additionally, the riverbank on
respondent’s side is lower and gently sloping. Th e lower land therefore naturally
received the alluvial soil carried by the river current.iii[11] These findings are
factual, thus conclusive on this Court, unless there are strong and exceptional
reasons, or they are unsupported by the evidence on record, or the judgment itself
is based on a misapprehension of facts. The decrease in petitioner’s land area and
the corresponding expansion of respondent’s property were the combined effect of
erosion and accretion respectively. Art. 461 of the Civil Code is inapplicable.
Petitioner cannot claim ownership over the old abandoned riverbed because the same
is inexistent. The riverbed’s former location cannot even be pinpointed with
particularity since the movement of the Davao River took place gradually over an
unspecified period of time, up to the present. The rule is well-settled that
accretion benefits a riparian owner when the following requisites are present: 1)
That the deposit be gradual and imperceptible; 2) That it resulted from the effects
of the current of the water; and 3) That the land where accretion takes place is
adjacent to the bank of the river.iv[13] These requisites were sufficiently proven
in favor of respondents. In the absence of evidence that the change in the course
of the river was sudden or that it occurred through avulsion, the presumption is
that the change was gradual and was caused by alluvium and erosion. MANUEL T. DE
GUIA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (Former Sixth Division) and JOSE B. ABEJO,
represented by his Attorney-in-Fact, Hermenegilda Abejo-Rivera, respondents. 2003
Oct 8 1st Division G.R. No. 120864 CASE DOCTRINES Co-owner may file an action
against a co-owner; purpose Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not
only against a third person, but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive
possession and asserts exclusive ownership of the property. In the latter case,
however, the only purpose of the action is to obtain recognition of the co-
ownership. The plaintiff cannot seek exclusion of the defendant from the property
because as co-owner he has a right of possession. The plaintiff cannot recover any
material or determinate part of the property. Co-ownership; right of enjoyment The
right of enjoyment by each co-owner is limited by a similar right of the other co-
owners. A coowner cannot devote common property to his exclusive use to the
prejudice of the co-ownership. Hence, if the subject is a residential house, all
the co-owners may live there with their respective families to the extent possible.
However, if one co-owner alone occupies the entire house without opposition from
the other coowners, and there is no lease agreement, the other co-owners cannot
demand the payment of rent. Conversely, if there is an agreement to lease the
house, the co-owners can demand rent from the co-owner who dwells in the house.
FACTS: Petition for Review on Certiorari. Abejo instituted an action for recovery
of possession with damages against DEGUIA. Abejo’s contentions: 1. he is the owner
of the ½ undivided portion of a property used as a fishpond registered Register of
Deeds of Bulacan. 2. ownership over approximately 39,611 square meters out of the
FISHPOND’s total area of 79,220 square meters.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
3. DE GUIA continues to possess and use the FISHPOND without any contract and
without paying rent to ABEJO’s damage and prejudice. 4. DE GUIA refuses to
surrender ownership and possession of the FISHPOND despite repeated demands to do
so after DE GUIA’s sublease contract over the FISHPOND had expired. 5. asked the
trial court to order DE GUIA to vacate an approximate area of 39,611 square meters
as well as pay damages. In his Answer, DE GUIA alleged: 1. the complaint does not
state a cause of action and has prescribed. 2. the FISHPOND was originally owned by
Maxima Termulo who died intestate with Primitiva Lejano as her only heir. 3. ABEJO
is not the owner of the entire FISHPOND but the heirs of Primitiva Lejano who
authorized him to possess the entire FISHPOND. 4. ABEJO’s ownership of the ½
undivided portion of the FISHPOND as void and claimed ownership over an undivided
half portion of the FISHPOND for himself. 5. DE GUIA sought payment of damages and
reimbursement for the improvements he introduced as a builder in good faith. RTC
decision: in favor of Abejo. CA decision: affirmed the RTC. Issue 1: WON a co-owner
may file an action for ejectment against a co-owner. Ruling: Article 487 of the
Civil Code provides, “*a+ny one of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment.”
This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession. Article
487 includes forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of
possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership (accion de
reivindicacion). The summary actions of forcible entry and unlawful detainer seek
the recovery of physical possession only. These actions are brought before
municipal trial courts within one year from dispossession. However, accion
publiciana, which is a plenary action for recovery of the right to possess, falls
under the jurisdiction of the proper regional trial court when the dispossession
has lasted for more than one year. Accion de reivindicacion, which seeks the
recovery of ownership, also falls under the jurisdiction of the proper regional
trial court. Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against a
third person, but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and
asserts exclusive ownership of the property. In the latter case, however, the only
purpose of the action is to obtain recognition of the co-ownership. The plaintiff
cannot seek exclusion of the defendant from the property because as co-owner he has
a right of possession. The plaintiff cannot recover any material or determinate
part of the property. In Hermogena G. Engreso with Spouse Jose Engreso v. Nestoria
De La Cruz and Herminio De La Cruz, we reiterated the rule that a co-owner cannot
recover a material or determinate part of a common property prior to partition as
follows: It is a basic principle in civil law that before a property owned in
common is actually partitioned, all that the co-owner has is an ideal or abstract
quota or proportionate share in the entire property. A co-owner has no right to
demand a concrete, specific or determinate part of the thing owned in common
because until division is effected his right over the thing is represented only by
an ideal portion. As such, the only effect of an action brought by a co-owner
against a co-owner will be to obtain recognition of the co-ownership; the defendant
cannot be excluded from a specific portion of the property because as a co-owner he
has a right to possess and the plaintiff cannot recover any material or determinate
part of the property. Thus, the courts a quo erred when they ordered the delivery
of one-half (½) of the building in favor of private respondent. xxxx Following the
inherent and peculiar features of co-ownership, while ABEJO and DE GUIA have equal
shares in the FISHPOND quantitatively speaking, they have the same right in a
qualitative sense as co -owners. Simply stated, ABEJO and DE GUIA are owners of the
whole and over the whole, they exercise the right of dominion. However, they are at
the same time individual owners of a ½ portion, which is truly abstract because
until there is partition, such portion remains indeterminate or unidentified. As
co-owners, ABEJO and DE GUIA may jointly exercise the right of dominion over the
entire FISHPOND until they partition the FISHPOND by identifying or segregating
their respective portions.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Since a co-ownership subsists between ABEJO and DE GUIA, judicial or extra-judicial
partition is the proper recourse. An action to demand partition is imprescriptible
and not subject to laches. Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of
the common property unless a co-owner has repudiated the co-ownership under certain
conditions. Neither ABEJO nor DE GUIA has repudiated the co-ownership under the
conditions set by law. To recapitulate, we rule that a co-owner may file an action
for recovery of possession against a coowner who takes exclusive possession of the
entire co-owned property. However, the only effect of such action is a recognition
of the co-ownership. The courts cannot proceed with the actual partitioning of the
co-owned property. Thus, judicial or extra-judicial partition is necessary to
effect physical division of the FISHPOND between ABEJO and DE GUIA. An action for
partition is also the proper forum for accounting the profits received by DE GUIA
from the FISHPOND. However, as a necessary consequence of such recognition, ABEJO
shall exercise an equal right to possess, use and enjoy the entire FISHPOND. Issue
2: WON it is proper for a co-owner to pay for rents while using the property.
Ruling: The right of enjoyment by each co-owner is limited by a similar right of
the other co-owners. A coowner cannot devote common property to his exclusive use
to the prejudice of the co-ownership. Hence, if the subject is a residential house,
all the co-owners may live there with their respective families to the extent
possible. However, if one co-owner alone occupies the entire house without
opposition from the other coowners, and there is no lease agreement, the other co-
owners cannot demand the payment of rent. Conversely, if there is an agreement to
lease the house, the co-owners can demand rent from the co-owner who dwells in the
house. The co-owners can either exercise an equal right to live in the house, or
agree to lease it. If they fail to exercise any of these options, they must bear
the consequences. It would be unjust to require the co-owner to pay rent after the
co-owners by their silence have allowed him to use the property. In case the co-
owners agree to lease a building owned in common, a co-owner cannot retain it for
his use without paying the proper rent. Moreover, where part of the property is
occupied exclusively by some co-owners for the exploitation of an industry, the
other co-owners become co-participants in the accessions of the property and should
share in its net profits. /adsum RICARDO PARDELL Y CRUZ and VICENTA ORTIZ Y FELIN
DE PARDELL, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. GASPAR DE BARTOLOME Y ESCRIBANO and MATILDE
ORTIZ Y FELIN DE BARTOLOME, defendants-appellants. 1912 Nov 18 1st Division G.R.
No. 4656 CASE DOCTRINES Hereditary succession gives rise to co-ownership Co-
ownership; extent "Each co-owner may use the things owned in common, provided he
uses them in accordance with their object and in such manner as not to injure the
interests of the community nor prevent the co-owners from utilizing them according
to their rights." (Article 394 of the Civil Code, now Art. 486) Matilde Ortiz and
her husband occupied the upper story, designed for use as a dwelling, in the house
of joint ownership; but the record shows no proof that, by so doing, the said
Matilde occasioned any detriment to the interests of the community property, nor
that she prevented her sister Vicenta from utilizing the said upper story according
to her rights. It is to be noted that the stores of the lower floor were rented and
an accounting of the rents was duly made to the plaintiffs. Each co-owner of realty
held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and
enjoy the same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests
of his coow ners, for the reason that, until a division be made, the respective
part of each holder can not be determined and every one of the coowners exercises
together with his other coparticipants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso
property, in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same. Co-owner not required
to pay rent upon using the co-owned property; stranger to pay rent Gaspar de
Bartolome, occupied for four years a room or a part of the lower floor of the same
house on Calle Escolta, using it as an office for the justice of the peace, a
position which he held in the capital of that province, strict justice requires
that he pay his sister-in-law, the plaintiff, one-half of the monthly rent which
the said quarters could have produced, had they been leased to another person. Xxx
even as the husband of the defendant coowner of the property, he had no right to
occupy and use gratuitously the said part of the lower

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
floor of the house in question, where he lived with his wife, to the detriment of
the plaintiff Vicenta who did not receive one-half of the rent which those quarters
could and should have produced, had they been occupied by a stranger, in the same
manner that rent was obtained from the rooms on the lower floor that were used as
stores. FACTS: Appeal by bill of exceptions. Spouses Miguel Ortiz and Calixta Felin
died in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, in 1875 and 1882, respectively. Prior to her death,
Calixta, executed, on August 17, 1876, a nuncupative will in Vigan, whereby she
made her four children, named Manuel, Francisca, Vicenta, and Matilde, surnamed
Ortiz y Felin, her sole and universal heirs of all her property. Manuel and
Francisca were already deceased, leaving Vicenta and Matilda as heirs. In 1888, the
defendants (Matilde and Gaspar), without judicial authorization, nor friendly or
extrajudicial agreement, took upon themselves the administration and enjoyment of
the properties left by Calixta and collected the rents, fruits, and products
thereof, to the serious detriment of Vicenta’s interest. Despit e repeated demands
to divide the properties and the fruits accruing therefrom, Sps Gaspar and Matilde
had been delaying the partition and delivery of the said properties by means of
unkempt promises and other excuses. Vicenta filed a petition for partition with
damages in the RTC. RTC decision: absolved Matilde from payment of damages. It held
that the revenues and the expenses were compensated by the residence enjoyed by the
defendant party, that no losses or damages were either caused or suffered, nor
likewise any other expense besides those aforementioned, Counsel for Matilde took
an exception to the judgment and moved for a new trial on the grounds that the
evidence presented did not warrant the judgment rendered and that the latter was
contrary to law. That motion was denied by the lower court. Thus, this petition.
ISSUE: WON a co-owner is required to pay for rent in exclusively using the co-owned
property. RULING: Article 394 of the Civil Code prescribes: "Each co-owner may use
the things owned in common, provided he uses them in accordance with their object
and in such manner as not to injure the interests of the community nor prevent the
co-owners from utilizing them according to their rights." Matilde Ortiz and her
husband occupied the upper story, designed for use as a dwelling, in the house of
joint ownership; but the record shows no proof that, by so doing, the said Matilde
occasioned any detriment to the interests of the community property, nor that she
prevented her sister Vicenta from utilizing the said upper story according to her
rights. It is to be noted that the stores of the lower floor were rented and an
accounting of the rents was duly made to the plaintiffs. Each co-owner of realty
held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and
enjoy the same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests
of his coowners, for the reason that, until a division be made, the respective part
of each holder can not be determined and every one of the coowners exercises
together with his other coparticipants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso
property, in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same. As the hereditary
properties of the joint ownership of the two sisters, Vicenta Ortiz, plaintiff, and
Matilde Ortiz, defendant, were situated in the Province of Ilocos Sur, and were in
the care of the last named, assisted by her husband, while the plaintiff Vicenta
with her husband was residing outside of the said province the greater part of the
time between 1885 and 1905, when she left these Islands for Spain, it is not at all
strange that delays and difficulties should have attended the efforts made to
collect the rents and proceeds from the property held in common and to obtain a
partition of the latter, especially during several years when, owing to the
insurrection, the country was in a turmoil; and for this reason, aside from that
founded on the right of co-ownership of the defendants, who took upon themselves
the administration and care of the property of joint tenancy for purposes of their
preservation and improvement, these latter are not obliged to pay to the plaintiff
Vicenta one-half of the rents which might have been derived from the upper story of
the said house on Calle Escolta, and, much less, because one of the living rooms
and the storeroom thereof were used for the storage of some belongings and effects
of common ownership between the litigants. The defendant Matilde, therefore, in
occupying with her husband the upper floor of the said house, did not injure the
interests of her coowner, her sister Vicenta, nor did she prevent the latter from
living therein, but merely exercised a legitimate right pertaining to her as a
coowner of the property.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Notwithstanding the above statements relative to the joint-ownership rights which
entitled the defendants to live in the upper story of the said house, yet, in view
of the fact that the record shows it to have been proved that the defendant
Matilde's husband, Gaspar de Bartolome, occupied for four years a room or a part of
the lower floor of the same house on Calle Escolta, using it as an office for the
justice of the peace, a position which he held in the capital of that province,
strict justice requires that he pay his sister-in-law, the plaintiff, one-half of
the monthly rent which the said quarters could have produced, had they been leased
to another person. The amount of such monthly rental is fixed at P16 in appearance
with the evidence shown in the record. This conclusion as to Bartolome's liability
results from the fact that, even as the husband of the defendant coowner of the
property, he had no right to occupy and use gratuitously the said part of the lower
floor of the house in question, where he lived with his wife, to the detriment of
the plaintiff Vicenta who did not receive one-half of the rent which those quarters
could and should have produced, had they been occupied by a stranger, in the same
manner that rent was obtained from the rooms on the lower floor that were used as
stores. Therefore, the defendant Bartolome must pay to the plaintiff Vicenta P384,
that is, one-half of P768, the total amount of the rents which should have been
obtained during four years from the quarters occupied as an office by the justice
of the peace of Vigan. HELD: partial reversal of RTC judgment. /adsum ARNELITO
ADLAWAN, Petitioner, versus EMETERIO M. ADLAWAN and NARCISA M. ADLAWAN,
Respondents. 2006 Jan 20 1st Division G.R. No. 161916 CASE DOCTRINES Article 487 of
the Civil code covers all actions for the recovery of possession; indispensable
parties Under Article 487 of the New Civil Code, any of the co-owners may bring an
action in ejectment. This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of
possession, including an accion publiciana and a reinvidicatory action. A co-owner
may bring such an action without the necessity of joining all the other co-owners
as coplaintiffs because the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all.
Any judgment of the court in favor of the co-owner will benefit the others but if
such judgment is adverse, the same cannot prejudice the rights of the unimpleaded
co-owners. If the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be
the sole owner and entitled to the possession thereof, the action will not prosper
unless he impleads the other co-owners who are indispensable parties. FACTS:
Petition for review. Dominador Adlawan, who died without any other issue, is the
owner of a lot and a house built thereon registered in the Registry of Property.
Petitioner (Arnelito Adlawan) is an acknowledged illegitimate son and the sole heir
of Dominador. He executed an affidavit adjudicating to himself the house and lot.
Out of respect and generosity to respondents who are the siblings of his father, he
granted their plea to occupy the subject property provided they would vacate the
same should his need for the property arise. When he verbally requested respondents
to vacate the house and lot, they refused and filed instead an action for quieting
of title with the RTC. Finally, upon respondents’ refusal to heed the last demand
letter to vacate dated August 2, 2000, petitioner filed this ejectment case. In
response Narcisa and Emeterio, 70 and 59 years of age, respectively, denied that
they begged petitioner to allow them to stay on the questioned property and
stressed that they have been occupying lot and the house standing thereon since
birth. That the lot was originally registered in the name of their deceased father,
Ramon Adlawan and the ancestral house standing thereon was owned by Ramon and their
mother, Oligia Mañacap Adlawan. The spouses had nine children including the late
Dominador and herein surviving respondents Emeterio and Narcisa. Petitioner, on the
other hand, is a stranger who never had possession of the lot. They further alleged
that the transfer of the title to Dominador was simulated. It was done so that
their parents will be able to obtain a loan for the renovation of their house.
Respondents also contended that Dominador’s signature at the back of petitioner’s
birth certificate was forged, hence, the latter is not an heir of Dominador and has
no right to claim ownership of the lot. They argued that even if petitioner is
indeed Dominador’s acknowledged illegitimate son, his right to succeed is doubtful
because Dominador was survived by his wife, Graciana. MTC decision: dismissed the
complaint. RTC decision: reversed the decision of the MTC Meanwhile, the RTC
granted petitioner’s motion for execution pending appeal which was opposed by the
alleged nephew and nieces of Graciana in their motion for leave to intervene and to
file an answer in intervention.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
They contended that as heirs of Graciana, they have a share in the lot and that
intervention is necessary to protect their right over the property. In addition,
they declared that as co-owners of the property, they are allowing respondents to
stay in the lot until a formal partition of the property is made. CA decision: set
aside the RTC and reinstated the MTC decision. ISSUE: WON petitioner can validly
maintain the instant case for ejectment. RULING: Petitioner averred that he is an
acknowledged illegitimate son and the sole heir of Dominador. He in fact executed
an affidavit adjudicating to himself the controverted property. In ruling for the
petitioner, the RTC held that the questioned January 31, 1962 deed of sale validly
transferred title to Dominador and that petitioner is his acknowledged illegitimate
son who inherited ownership of the questioned lot. The Court notes, however, that
the RTC lost sight of the fact that the theory of succession invoked by petitioner
would end up proving that he is not the sole owner of Lot 7226. This is so because
Dominador was survived not only by petitioner but also by his lega l wife,
Graciana, who died 10 years after the demise of Dominador on May 28, 1987. By
intestate succession, Graciana and petitioner became co-owners of Lot 7226. The
death of Graciana on May 6, 1997, did not make petitioner the absolute owner of Lot
7226 because the share of Graciana passed to her relatives by consanguinity and not
to petitioner with whom she had no blood relations. The Court of Appeals thus
correctly held that petitioner has no authority to institute the instant action as
the sole owner of Lot 7226. Petitioner contends that even granting that he has co-
owners over Lot 7226, he can on his own file the instant case pursuant to Article
487 of the Civil Code which provides: ART. 487. Any one of the co-owners may bring
an action in ejectment. This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery
of possession. Article 487 includes forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion
interdictal), recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership
(accion de reivindicacion). A co-owner may bring such an action without the
necessity of joining all the other coowners as co-plaintiffs because the suit is
presumed to have been filed to benefit his co-owners. It should be stressed,
however, that where the suit is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims
to be the sole owner and entitled to the possession of the litigated property, the
action should be dismissed. xxx In Baloloy v. Hular, respondent filed a complaint
for quieting of title claiming exclusive ownership of th e property, but the
evidence showed that respondent has co-owners over the property. In dismissing the
complaint for want of respondent’s authority to file the case, the Court held that
– Under Article 487 of the New Civil Code, any of the co-owners may bring an action
in ejectment. This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of
possession, including an accion publiciana and a reinvidicatory action. A co-owner
may bring such an action without the necessity of joining all the other co-owners
as coplaintiffs because the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all.
Any judgment of the court in favor of the co-owner will benefit the others but if
such judgment is adverse, the same cannot prejudice the rights of the unimpleaded
co-owners. If the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be
the sole owner and entitled to the possession thereof, the action will not prosper
unless he impleads the other co-owners who are indispensable parties. In this case,
the respondent alone filed the complaint, claiming sole ownership over the subject
property and praying that he be declared the sole owner thereof. There is no proof
that the other co-owners had waived their rights over the subject property or
conveyed the same to the respondent or such co-owners were aware of the case in the
trial court. The trial court rendered judgment declaring the respondent as the sole
owner of the property and entitled to its possession, to the prejudice of the
latter’s siblings. Patently then, the decision of the trial court is erroneous.
Under Section 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, the respondent was mandated to
implead his siblings, being co-owners of the property, as parties. The respondent
failed to comply with the rule. It must , likewise, be stressed that the Republic
of the Philippines is also an indispensable party as defendant because the
respondent sought the nullification of OCT No. P-16540 which was issued based on
Free Patent No. 384019. Unless the State is impleaded as party-defendant, any
decision of the Court would not be binding on it. It has been held that the absence
of an indispensable party in a case renders ineffective all the proceedings
subsequent to the filing of the complaint including the judgment. The absence of
the respondent’s siblings, as parties, rendered all proceedings subsequent to the
filing thereof, including the judgment of the court, ineffective for want of
authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present.
In the instant case, it is not disputed that petitioner brought the suit for
unlawful detainer in his name alone and for his own benefit to the exclusion of the
heirs of Graciana as he even executed an affidavit of self-

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
adjudication over the disputed property. It is clear therefore that petitioner
cannot validly maintain the instant action considering that he does not recognize
the co-ownership that necessarily flows from his theory of succession to the
property of his father, Dominador. In the same vein, there is no merit in
petitioner’s claim that he has the legal personality to file the present unlawful
detainer suit because the ejectment of respondents would benefit not only him but
also his alleged co owners. However, petitioner forgets that he filed the instant
case to acquire possession of the property and to recover damages. If granted, he
alone will gain possession of the lot and benefit from the proceeds of the award of
damages to the exclusion of the heirs of Graciana. Hence, petitioner cannot
successfully capitalize on the alleged benefit to his co-owners. Incidentally, it
should be pointed out that in default of the said heirs of Graciana, whom
petitioner labeled as “fictitious heirs,” the State will inherit her share and will
thus be petitioner’s co-owner entitled to possession and enjoyment of the property.
The present controversy should be differentiated from the cases where the Court
upheld the right of a co owner to file a suit pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil
Code. In Resuena v. Court of Appeals, and Sering v. Plazo, the co-owners who filed
the ejectment case did not represent themselves as the exclusive owner of the
property. In Celino v. Heirs of Alejo and Teresa Santiago, the complaint for
quieting of title was brought in behalf of t he coowners precisely to recover lots
owned in common. Similarly in Vencilao v. Camarenta, the amended complaint
specified that the plaintiff is one of the heirs who co-owns the controverted
properties. In the foregoing cases, the plaintiff never disputed the existence of a
co-ownership nor claimed to be the sole or exclusive owner of the litigated lot. A
favorable decision therein would of course inure to the benefit not only of the
plaintiff but to his co-owners as well. The instant case, however, presents an
entirely different backdrop as petitioner vigorously asserted absolute and sole
ownership of the questioned lot. In his complaint, petitioner made the following
allegations xxxx Clearly, the said cases find no application here because
petitioner’s action operates as a complete repudiation of the existence of co-
ownership and not in representation or recognition thereof. Dismissal of the
complaint is therefore proper. As noted by Former Supreme Court Associate Justice
Edgrado L. Paras “*i+t is understood, of course, that the action [under Article 487
of the Civil Code] is being instituted for all. Hence, if the co-owner expressly
states that he is bringing the case only for himself, the action should not be
allowed to prosper.” HELD: petition denied. /adsum TINING RESUENA, ALEJANDRA GARAY,
LORNA RESUENA, ELEUTERIO RESUENA, EUTIQUIA ROSARIO and UNISIMA RESUENA,
Petitioners, versus HON. COURT OF APPEALS, 11th DIVISION and JUANITO BORROMEO, SR.,
Respondents. 2005 Mar 28 2nd Division G.R. No. 128338 CASE DOCTRINES Co-owner’s
right to file an action for ejectment; occupation by tolerance Respondent’s action
for ejectment against petitioners is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all
co-owners of the property since petitioners were not able to prove that they are
authorized to occupy the same. Petitioners’ lack of authority to occupy the
properties, coupled with respondent’s right under Article 487, clearly settles
respondent’s prerogative to eject petitioners from Lot No. 2587. Time and again,
this Court has ruled that persons who occupy the land of another at the latter's
tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, are necessarily bound
by an implied promise that they will vacate the same upon demand, failing in which
a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them. FACTS: Petition
for Review on certiorari under Rule 45. Juanito Borromeo, Sr. is the co-owner and
overseer of certain parcels of land located in Pooc, Talisay, Cebu, designated as
Lots Nos. 2587 and 2592 of the Talisay-Manglanilla Estate. He owned six-eighths
(6/8) of Lot No. 2587 while the Sps. Bascon owned two-eights (2/8) thereof. On the
other hand, Lot No. 2592 is owned in common by Borromeo and the heirs of one
Nicolas Maneja. However, the proportion of their undivided shares was not
determined a quo. Tining Resuena, Alejandra Garay, Lorna Resuena, Eleuterio
Resuena, and Unisima Resuena resided in the upper portion of Lot No. 2587,
allegedly under the acquiescence of the Spouses Bascon and their heir, Andres
Bascon. On the other hand, petitioner Eutiquia Rosario occupied a portion of Lot
No. 2592, allegedly with the permission of the heirs of Nicolas Maneja, one of the
original co-owners of Lot No. 2587. Borromeo claimed that they have occupied
portions of the subject property by virtue of his own liberality.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Borromeo developed portions of Lots Nos. 2587 and 2592 occupied by him into a
resort known as the Borromeo Beach Resort. In his desire to expand and extend the
facilities of the resort that he established on the subject properties, respondent
demanded that petitioners vacate the property. Petitioners, however, refused to
vacate their homes. On 16 February 1994, Borromeo filed a Complaint for ejectment
with the MTC against the petitioners. MTC decision (summary proceeding): dismissed
the complaint. Borromeo had no right to evict the petitioners because the area was
owned in common and there was no partition yet. RTC decision: reversed the MTC
decision. It held that Article 487 of the Civil Code, which allows any one of the
co-owners to bring an action in ejectment, may successfully be invoked by the
respondent because, in a sense, a co-owner is the owner and possessor of the whole,
and that the suit for ejectment is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all
co-owners. CA decision: affirmed the RTC decision. ISSUE: WON Borromeo can lawfully
evict the petitioners. RULING: Article 487 of the Civil Code, which provides simply
that “*a+ny one of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment,” is a
categorical and an unqualified authority in favor of respondent to evict
petitioners from the portions of Lot. No. 2587. This provision is a departure from
Palarca v. Baguisi, which held that an action for ejectment must be brought by all
the co-owners. Thus, a co-owner may bring an action to exercise and protect the
rights of all. When the action is brought by one co-owner for the benefit of all, a
favorable decision will benefit them; but an adverse decision cannot prejudice
their rights. Respondent’s action for ejectment against petitioners is deemed to be
instituted for the benefit of all co-owners of the property since petitioners were
not able to prove that they are authorized to occupy the same. Petitioners’ lack of
authority to occupy the properties, coupled with respondent’s right under Article
487, clearly settles respondent’s prerogative to eject petitioners from Lot No.
2587. Time and again, this Court has ruled that persons who occupy the land of
another at the latter's tolerance or permission, without any contract between them,
are necessarily bound by an implied promise that they will vacate the same upon
demand, failing in which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy
against them. HELD: Petition is DENIED. /adsum FIRST MARBELLA CONDOMINIUM
ASSOCIATION, INC., petitioner, vs. AUGUSTO GATMAYTAN, respondent. G.R. No. 163196
July 4, 2008 CASE DOCTRINES Section 20, RA 4726 does not ipso facto grants the
right to extrajudicial foreclosure of a condominium unit Clearly, Section 20 merely
prescribes the procedure by which petitioner's claim may be treated as a superior
lien - i.e., through the annotation thereof on the title of the condominium unit.
While the law also grants petitioner the option to enforce said lien through either
the judicial or extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the condominium unit, Section 20
does not by itself, ipso facto, authorize judicial as extra-judicial foreclosure of
the condominium unit. Petitioner may avail itself of either option only in the
manner provided for by the governing law and rules. As already pointed out, A.M.
No. No. 99-10-05-0, as implemented under Circular No. 7-2002, requires that
petitioner furnish evidence of its special authority to cause the extrajudicial
foreclosure of the condominium unit. FACTS: Petition for Review on Certiorari under
Rule 45. Gatmaytan is the registered owner of Fontavilla No. 501 (condominium
unit), Marbella I Condominium, Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, under Condominium
Certificate of Title No. 1972 (CCT No. 1972). Inscribed on his title is a
Declaration of Restrictions and a Notice of Assessment. On November 11, 2003,
Marbella Condominium filed with the RTC, through the Office of the Clerk of Court &
Ex-Oficio Sheriff, a Petition for extrajudicial foreclosure of the condominium unit
of Gatmaytan. Petitioner’s allegations: 1. that it (petitioner) is a duly organized
association of the tenants and homeowners of Marbella I Condominium; that
respondent is a member thereof but has unpaid association dues amounting to
P3,229,104.89, as of June 30, 2003; 2. the latter refused to pay his dues despite
demand.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
RTC decision: the request for extra-judicial foreclosure of the subject condominium
unit is DENIED. The MR was also denied. PROCEDURAL ISSUE: WON petitioners can file
a petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 based on the decision of the RTC
in the exercise of his administrative function. RULING: Only a judgment, final
order or resolution rendered by a court in the exercise of its judicial functions
relative to an actual controversy is subject to an appeal to this Court by way of a
Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The January
7, 2004 Order and March 21, 2004 Order assailed herein were issued by the RTC
Executive Judge in the exercise of his administrative function to supervise the
ministerial duty of the Clerk of Court as Ex-Oficio Sheriff in the conduct of an
extrajudicial foreclosure sale; hence, said orders are not appealable under Rule
45. Rather, the correct mode of appeal is by petition for mandamus under Section 3,
Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, to wit: Sec. 3. Petition for mandamus - When any
tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance
of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office,
trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a
right or office to which such other is entitled, and there is no other plain,
speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course o f law, the person aggrieved
thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with
certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent,
immediately or at some other time to be specified by the court, to do the act
required to be done to protect the rights of the petitioner, and to pay the damages
sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the respondent.
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE: WON First Marbella Condominium Association has the right to
cause the extrajudicial foreclosure of its annotated lien on the condominium unit
under Section 20 of R.A. No. 4726. RULING: xxx petitioner must establish that it
has a clear right to the extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the condominium unit of
respondent. Under Circular No. 7-2002, implementing Supreme Court Administrative
Matter No. 99-10-05-0, it is mandatory that a petition for extrajudicial
foreclosure be supported by evidence that petitioner holds a special power or
authority to foreclose, thus: Sec. 1. All applications for extra-judicial
foreclosure of mortgage, whether under the direction of the Sheriff or a notary
public pursuant to Art. No. 3135, as amended, and Act 1508, as amended, shall be
filed with the Executive Judge, through the Clerk of Court, who is also the Ex-
Officio Sheriff (A.M. No. 99-10-050, as amended, March 1, 2001). Sec. 2. Upon
receipt of the application, the Clerk of Court shall: a. Examine the same to ensure
that the special power of attorney authorizing the extra-judicial foreclosure of
the real property is either inserted into or attached to the deed of real estate
mortgage (Act No. 3135, Sec. 1, as amended) x x x. Without proof of petitioner's
special authority to foreclose, the Clerk of Court as Ex-Oficio Sheriff is
precluded from acting on the application for extrajudicial foreclosure. In the
present case, the only basis of petitioner for causing the extrajudicial
foreclosure of the condominium unit of respondent is a notice of assessment
annotated on CCT No. 1972 in accordance w ith Section 20 of R.A. No. 4726. However,
neither annotation nor law vests it with sufficient authority to foreclose on the
property. The notice of assessment contains no provision for the extrajudicial
foreclosure of the condominium unit. All that it states is that the assessment of
petitioner against respondent for unpaid association dues constitutes a "first lien
against [the] condominium unit." Neither does Section 20 of R.A. No. 4726 grant
petitioner special authority to foreclose. All that the law provides is the
following: Sec. 20. The assessment upon any condominium made in accordance with a
duly registered declaration of restrictions shall be an obligation of the owner
thereof at the time the assessment is made. The amount of any such assessment plus
any other charges thereon, such as interest, costs (including attorney's fees) and
penalties, as such may be provided for in the declaration of restrictions, shall be
and become a lien upon the condominium to be registered with the Register of Deeds
of the city or province where such condominium project is located. The notice shall
state the amount of such assessment and such other charges thereon as may be
authorized by the declaration of restrictions, a description of condominium unit
against which same has been assessed, and the name of the registered owner thereof.
Such notice

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
shall be signed by an authorized representative of the management body or as
otherwise provided in the declaration of restrictions. Upon payment of said
assessment and charges or other satisfaction thereof, the management body shall
cause to be registered a release of the lien. Such lien shall be superior to all
other liens registered subsequent to the registration of said notice of assessment
except real property tax liens and except that the declaration of restrictions may
provide for the subordination thereof to any other liens and encumbrances, such
liens may be enforced in the same manner provided for by law for the judicial or
extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgage or real property. Unless otherwise provided
for in the declaration of the restrictions, the management body shall have power to
bid at foreclosure sale. The condominium owner shall have the right of redemption
as in cases of judicial or extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgages. Clearly,
Section 20 merely prescribes the procedure by which petitioner's claim may be
treated as a superior lien - i.e., through the annotation thereof on the title of
the condominium unit. While the law also grants petitioner the option to enforce
said lien through either the judicial or extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the
condominium unit, Section 20 does not by itself, ipso facto, authorize judicial as
extra-judicial foreclosure of the condominium unit. Petitioner may avail itself of
either option only in the manner provided for by the governing law and rules. As
already pointed out, A.M. No. No. 99-10-05-0, as implemented under Circular No. 7-
2002, requires that petitioner furnish evidence of its special authority to cause
the extrajudicial foreclosure of the condominium unit. HELD: the petition is DENIED
for lack of merit. /adsum LEONOR B. CRUZ, petitioner, vs.TEOFILA M. CATAPANG,
respondent. G.R. No. 164110 February 12, 2008 CASE DOCTRINES Alteration; needs
concurrence of all co-owners Under Article 491, none of the co-owners shall,
without the consent of the others, make alterations in the thing owned in common.
It necessarily follows that none of the co-owners can, without the consent of the
other co-owners, validly consent to the making of an alteration by another person,
such as respondent, in the thing owned in common. Alterations include any act of
strict dominion or ownership and any encumbrance or disposition has been held
implicitly to be an act of alteration. The construction of a house on the co-owned
property is an act of dominion. Therefore, it is an alteration falling under
Article 491 of the Civil Code. There being no consent from all co-owners,
respondent had no right to construct her house on the co-owned property. Entry into
the property without the consent of other co-owners is stealth; getting only the
consent of one of the coowners is strategy. Respondent’s entry into the property
without the permission of petitioner could appear to be a secret and clandestine
act done in connivance with co-owner Norma Maligaya whom respondent allowed to stay
in her house. Entry into the land effected clandestinely without the knowledge of
the other co-owners could be categorized as possession by stealth. Moreover,
respondent’s act of getting only the consent of one co-owner, her sister Norma
Maligaya, and allowing the latter to stay in the constructed house, can in fact be
considered as a strategy which she utilized in order to enter into the co-owned
property. As such, respondent’s acts constitute forcible entry. FACTS: This
petition for review. Leonor B. Cruz, Luz Cruz and Norma Maligaya are the co-owners
of a parcel of land covering an area of 1,435 square meters located at Taal,
Batangas. With the consent of Norma Maligaya, Teofila M. Catapang built a house on
a lot adjacent to the parcel of land sometime in 1992. The house intruded, however,
on a portion of the co-owned property. In 1995, Leonor B. Cruz visited the property
and was surprised to see a part of Catapang’s house was intruding unto a portion of
the co-owned property. She then made several demands upon respondent to demolish
the intruding structure and to vacate the portion encroaching on their property.
The respondent, however, refused and disregarded her demands. On January 25, 1996,
the Cruz filed a complaint for forcible entry against Catapang. MCTC decision: in
favor of Cruz, ruling that consent of only one of the co-owners is not sufficient
to justify defendant’s construction of the house and possession of the portion of
the lot in question. RTC decision: affirmed the MCTC. MR was also denied.
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Notes (Case Digests Property)
CA decision: reversed the RTC. It held that there is no cause of action for
forcible entry in this case because respondent’s entry into the property,
considering the consent given by co-owner Norma Maligaya, cannot be characterized
as one made through strategy or stealth which gives rise to a cause of action for
forcible entry. Petitioner’s contention/s: 1. the consent and knowledge of co-owner
Norma Maligaya cannot defeat the action for forcible entry since it is a basic
principle in the law of co-ownership that no individual co-owner can claim title to
any definite portion of the land or thing owned in common until partition.
Respondent’s contention/s: 1. the complaint for forcible entry cannot prosper
because her entry into the property was not through strategy or stealth due to the
consent of one of the co-owners. 2. since Norma Maligaya is residing in the house
she built, the issue is not just possession de facto but also one of possession de
jure since it involves rights of co-owners to enjoy the property. ISSUE 1: WON the
consent of one co-owner will warrant the dismissal of a forcible entry case filed
by another coowner against the person who was given the consent to construct a
house on the co-owned property. RULING: As to the issue of whether or not the
consent of one co-owner will warrant the dismissal of a forcible entry case filed
by another co-owner against the person who was given the consent to construct a
house on the co-owned property, we have held that a co-owner cannot devote common
property to his or her exclusive use to the prejudice of the co-ownership. In our
view, a co-owner cannot give valid consent to another to build a house on the co-
owned property, which is an act tantamount to devoting the property to his or her
exclusive use. Furthermore, Articles 486 and 491 of the Civil Code provide: Art.
486. Each co-owner may use the thing owned in common, provided he does so in
accordance with the purpose for which it is intended and in such a way as not to
injure the interest of the co-ownership or prevent the other co-owners from using
it according to their rights. The purpose of the co-ownership may be changed by
agreement, express or implied. Art. 491. None of the co-owners shall, without the
consent of the others, make alterations in the thing owned in common, even though
benefits for all would result therefrom. However, if the withholding of the consent
by one or more of the co-owners is clearly prejudicial to the common interest, the
courts may afford adequate relief. Article 486 states each co-owner may use the
thing owned in common provided he does so in accordance with the purpose for which
it is intended and in such a way as not to injure the interest of the co-ownership
or prevent the other co-owners from using it according to their rights. Giving
consent to a third person to construct a house on the co-owned property will injure
the interest of the co-ownership and prevent other co-owners from using the
property in accordance with their rights. Under Article 491, none of the co-owners
shall, without the consent of the others, make alterations in the thing owned in
common. It necessarily follows that none of the co-owners can, without the consent
of the other co-owners, validly consent to the making of an alteration by another
person, such as respondent, in the thing owned in common. Alterations include any
act of strict dominion or ownership and any encumbrance or disposition has been
held implicitly to be an act of alteration. The construction of a house on the co-
owned property is an act of dominion. Therefore, it is an alteration falling under
Article 491 of the Civil Code. There being no consent from all co-owners,
respondent had no right to construct her house on the co-owned property. ISSUE 2:
WON there was valid ground for forcible entry. Consent of only one co-owner will
not warrant the dismissal of the complaint for forcible entry filed against the
builder. The consent given by Norma Maligaya in the absence of the consent of
petitioner and Luz Cruz did not vest upon respondent any right to enter into the
co-owned property. Her entry into the property still falls under the classification
"through strategy or stealth." The Court of Appeals held that there is no forcible
entry because respondent’s entry into the property was not through strategy or
stealth due to the consent given to her by one of the co-owners. We cannot give our
imprimatur to this sweeping conclusion. Respondent’s entry into the property
without the permission of petitioner could appear to be a secret and clandestine
act done in connivance with co-owner Norma Maligaya whom respondent allowed to stay
in her house. Entry into the land effected clandestinely without the knowledge of
the other co-owners could be categorized as possession by stealth. Moreover,
respondent’s act of getting only the consent of one co-owner, her sister Norma
Maligaya, and allowing the latter to stay in the constructed house, can in fact be
considered as a strategy which she utilized in order to enter into the co-owned
property. As such, respondent’s acts constitute forcible entry.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
HELD: the petition is GRANTED. /adsum DONATO S. PAULMITAN, JULIANA P. FANESA and
RODOLFO FANESA, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ALICIO PAULMITAN, ELENA
PAULMITAN, ABELINO PAULMITAN, ANITA PAULMITAN, BAKING PAULMITAN, ADELINA PAULMITAN
and ANITO PAULMITAN, respondents., G.R. No. 61584, 1992 Nov 23, 3rd Division. CASE
DOCTRINES A sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the consent of the
other co-owners is not null and void The sale did not prejudice the rights of
respondents to one half (1/2) undivided share of the land which they inherited from
their father. It did not vest ownership in the entire land with the buyer but
transferred only the seller's pro indiviso share in the property and consequently
made the buyer a co-owner of the land until it is partitioned. Xxx From the
foregoing, it may be deduced that since a co-owner is entitled to sell his
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the consent
of the other co-owners is not null and void. However, only the rights of the co-
owner-seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the property."
Redemption of the property by one of the co-owners does vest ownership of the
entire property; The result is that the property remains to be in a condition of
co-ownership. While a vendee a retro, under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be
compelled to consent to a partial redemption," the redemption by one co-heir or co-
owner of the property in its totality does not vest in him ownership over it.
Failure on the part of all the co-owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro
to retain the property and consolidate title thereto in his name (Supra, art.
1607). But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the
entire property. It does not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership."
Right of a co-owner to compel other co-owners to contribute to the expenses of
preservation and taxes (Art. 488) Although petitioner Fanesa did not acquire
ownership over the entire lot by virtue of the redemption she made, nevertheless,
she did acquire the right to be reimbursed for half of the redemption price she
paid to the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental on behalf of her co-owners.
Until reimbursed, Fanesa holds a lien upon the subject property for the amount due
her. FACTS: This is a petition for review on certiorari. Agatona Sagario Paulmitan,
died in 1953, leaving two parcels of land (lot no. 757 and lot no. 1091) located in
the Province of Negros Occidental. Agatona begot two legitimate children, namely:
Pascual Paulmitan, deceased and Donato Paulmitan. Petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa is
Donato's daughter while, Rodolfo Fanesa, is Juliana's husband. Pascual Paulmitan,
on the other hand, is survived by the respondents, who are his children, namely:
Alicio, Elena, Abelino, Adelina, Anita, Baking and Anito, all surnamed Paulmitan.
Until 1963, the estate of Agatona Sagario Paulmitan remained unsettled and the
titles to the two lots mentioned above remained in the name of Agatona. However, on
August 11, 1963, Donato Paulmitan executed an Affidavit of Declaration of Heirship,
extrajudicially adjudicating unto himself Lot No. 757 based on the claim that he is
the only surviving heir of Agatona Sagario. The affidavit was filed with the
Register of Deeds of Negros Occidental who, on August 20, 1963, cancelled the OCT
in the name of Agatona Sagario and issued a TCT in Donato's name. The other lot
(Lot No. 1091), was sold by Donato on May 28, 1974 in favor of Juliana P. Fanesa,
his daughter. Before such sale, sometime in 1952, for non-payment of taxes, Lot No.
1091 was forfeited and sold at a public auction, with the Provincial Government of
Negros Occidental being the buyer. A Certificate of Sale over the land was executed
by the Provincial Treasurer in favor of the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental.
On May 29, 1974, Juliana P. Fanesa redeemed the property from the Provincial
Government of Negros Occidental for the amount of P2,959.09. Upon learning of the
transactions, respondents children of the Late Pascual Paulmitan filed on January
18, 1975 with the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental a Complaint against
petitioners to partition the properties plus damages. RTC decision: dismissed the
complaint with regard to Lot No. 757 ruling that prescription has accrued. This
order has become final for failure to file an appeal. With respect to Lot No. 1091,
RTC favored the respondents. It

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
held, as descendants of Agatona Sagario Paulmitan they were entitled to one-half
(1/2) of Lot No. 1091, pro indiviso. CA decision: affirmed the RTC. ISSUE 1: WON
the heirs of Pascul Paulmitan are entitled to ½ share of Lot No. 1091. RULING: xxx
From the time of the death of Agatona Sagario Paulmitan to the subsequent passing
away of her son Pascual in 1953, the estate remained unpartitioned. Article 1078 of
the Civil Code provides: "Where ther e are two or more heirs, the whole estate of
the decedent is, before its partition, owned in common by such heirs, subject to
the payment of debts of the deceased." Donato and Pascual Paulmitan were,
therefore, co-owners of the estate left by their mother as no partition was ever
made. When Pascual Paulmitan died intestate in 1953, his children, the respondents,
succeeded him in the co ownership of the disputed property. Pascual Paulmitan's
right of ownership over an undivided portion of the property passed on to his
children, who, from the time of Pascual's death, became co-owners with their uncle
Donato over the disputed decedent estate. Petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa claims
ownership over Lot No. 1091 by virtue of two transactions, namely: (a) the sale
made in her favor by her father Donato Paulmitan; and (b) her redemption of the
land from the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental after it was forfeited for
non-payment of taxes. When Donato Paulmitan sold on May 28, 1974 Lot No. 1091 to
his daughter Juliana P. Fanesa, he was only a co-owner with respondents and as
such, he could only sell that portion which may be allotted to him upon termination
of the co-ownership. The sale did not prejudice the rights of respondents to one
half (1/2) undivided share of the land which they inherited from their father. It
did not vest ownership in the entire land with the buyer but transferred only the
seller's pro indiviso share in the property and consequently made the buyer a
coowner of the land until it is partitioned. In Bailon-Casilao v. Court of Appeals,
the Court, through Justice Irene R. Cortes, outlined the effects of a sale by one
co-owner without the content of all the co-owners, thus: "The rights of a co-owner
of a certain property are clearly specified in Article 493 of the Civil Code. Thus:
Art. 493.Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits
and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage
it and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights
are involved. But the effect of the alienation or mortgage, with respect to the co
owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the
division upon the termination of the co ownership. As early as 1923, this Court has
ruled that even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will affect
only his own share but not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the
sale [Punsalan v. Boon Liat, 44 Phil. 320 (1923)]. This is because under the
aforementioned codal provision, the sale or other disposition affects only his
undivided share and the transferee gets only what would correspond to his grantor
in the partition of the thing owned in common. [Ramirez v. Bautista, 14 Phil. 528
(1909)]. Consequently, by virtue of the sales made by Rosalia and Gaudencio Bailon
which are valid with respect to their proportionate shares, and the subsequent
transfers which culminated in the sale to private respondent Celestino Afable, the
said Afable thereby became a co-owner of the disputed parcel of land as correctly
held by the lower court since the sales produced the effect of substituting the
buyers in the enjoyment thereof [Mainit v. Bandoy, 14 Phil. 730 (1910)]. From the
foregoing, it may be deduced that since a co-owner is entitled to sell his
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the consent
of the other co-owners is not null and void. However, only the rights of the co-
owner-seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the property."
Applying this principle to the case at bar, the sale by petitioner Donato Paulmitan
of the land to his daughter, petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa, did not give to the
latter ownership over the entire land but merely transferred to her the one half
(1/2) undivided share of her father, thus making her the co-owner of the land in
question with the respondents, her first cousins. ISSUE 2: WON redemption by one of
the co-owners of the property entitles her the ownership of the entire property.
RULING: The redemption of the land made by Fanesa did not terminate the co-
ownership nor give her title to the entire land subject of the co-ownership.
Speaking on the same issue raised by petitioners, the Court, in Adille v. Court of
Appeals, resolved the same with the following pronouncements:

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
"The petition raises a purely legal issue: May a co-owner acquire exclusive
ownership over the property held in common? Essentially, it is the petitioners'
contention that the property subject of dispute devolved upon him upon the failure
of his co-heirs to join him in its redemption within the period required by law. He
relies on the provisions of Article 1515 of the old Civil Code, Article 1613 of the
present Code, giving the vendee a retro the right to demand redemption of the
entire property. There is no merit in this petition. The right of repurchase may be
exercised by a co-owner with respect to his share alone (CIVIL CODE, art. 1612;
CIVIL CODE (1889), art. 1514.). While the records show that petitioner redeemed the
property in its entirety, shouldering the expenses therefor, that did not make him
the owner of all of it. In other words, it did not put to end the existing state of
co-ownership (Supra, art. 489). There is no doubt that redemption of property
entails a necessary expense. Under the Civil Code: ART. 488. Each co-owner shall
have a right to compel the other co-owners to contribute to the expenses of
preservation of the thing or right owned in common and to the taxes. Any one of the
latter may exempt himself from this obligation by renouncing so much of his
undivided interest as may be equivalent to his share of the expenses and taxes. No
such waiver shall be made if it is prejudicial to the co-ownership. The result is
that the property remains to be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a
retro, under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a
partial redemption," the redemption by one co-heir or co-owner of the property in
its totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part of all the
co-owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and
consolidate title thereto in his name (Supra, art. 1607). But the provision does
not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the entire property. It does not
provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership." Although petitioner Fanesa did
not acquire ownership over the entire lot by virtue of the redemption she made,
nevertheless, she did acquire the right to be reimbursed for half of the redemption
price she paid to the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental on behalf of her
co-owners. Until reimbursed, Fanesa holds a lien upon the subject property for the
amount due her. HELD: petition is DENIED. LILIA SANCHEZ, petitioner, vs. COURT OF
APPEALS, HON. VICTORINO S. ALVARO as Presiding Judge, RTC-Br. 120, Caloocan City,
and VIRGINIA TERIA, respondents., G.R. No. 152766, 2003 Jun 20, En Banc CASE
DOCTRINES Co-ownership; nature Sanchez Roman defines co-ownership as “the right of
common dominion which two or more persons have in a spiritual part of a thing, not
materially or physically divided. Manresa defines it as the “manifestation of the
private right of ownership, which instead of being exercised by the owner in an
exclusive manner over the things subject to it, is exercised by two or more owners
and the undivided thing or right to which it refers is one and the same.” Co-
ownership; characteristics The characteristics of co-ownership are: (a) plurality
of subjects, who are the co-owners, (b) unity of or material indivision, which
means that there is a single object which is not materially divided, and which is
the element which binds the subjects, and, (c) the recognition of ideal shares,
which determines the rights and obligations of the co-owners. Co-ownership;
relationship In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-owner to the other co-
owners is fiduciary in character and attribute. Whether established by law or by
agreement of the co-owners, the property or thing held pro-indiviso is impressed
with a fiducial nature so that each co-owner becomes a trustee for the benefit of
his co-owners and he may not do any act prejudicial to the interest of his co-
owners. Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to preserve the properties in co-
ownership is to create an express trust among the heirs as co-owners of the
properties. Co-ownership is a form of trust and every co-owner is a trustee for the
others. FACTS: Special Civil Action for Certiorari under Rule 65.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Lilia Sanchez, constructed a house on a 76-square meter lot owned by her parents-
in-law. The lot was registered under TCT No. 263624 with the following co-owners:
Eliseo Sanchez married to Celia Sanchez, Marilyn Sanchez married to Nicanor
Montalban, Lilian Sanchez, widow, Nenita Sanchez, single, Susana Sanchez married to
Fernando Ramos, and Felipe Sanchez. On 20 February 1995, the lot was registered
under TCT No. 289216 in the name of private respondent Virginia Teria by virtue of
a Deed of Absolute Sale supposed to have been executed on 23 June 1995 by all six
(6) co-owners in her favor. Lilia Sanchez claimed that she did not affix her
signature on the document and subsequently refused to vacate the lot, thus
prompting Virginia Teria to file an action for recovery of possession of the
aforesaid lot with the MeTC. MeTC decision: in favor of Teria, declaring that the
sale was valid only to the extent of 5/6 of the lot and the other 1/6 remaining as
the property of petitioner, on account of her signature in the Deed of Absolute
Sale having been established as a forgery. RTC decision: affirmed the RTC, because
they failed to submit their pleadings. On 4 November 1998, the MeTC issued an order
for the issuance of a writ of execution in favor of private Virginia Teria, buyer
of the property. On 4 November 1999 or a year later, a Notice to Vacate was served
by the sheriff upon petitioner who however refused to heed the Notice. On 28 April
1999 private respondent started demolishing petitioner’s house without any special
permit of demolition from the court. Due to the demolition of her house which
continued until 24 May 1999 petitioner was forced to inhabit the portion of the
premises that used to serve as the house’s toilet and laundry area. On 29 October
1999 petitioner filed her Petition for Relief from Judgment with the RTC on the
ground that she was not bound by the inaction of her counsel who failed to submit
petitioner’s appeal memorandum. RTC decision: denied the Petition and the
subsequent Motion for Reconsideration. CA (Petition for Certiorari): dismissed the
petition for lack of merit. PROCEDUARAL ISSUE: WON Certiorari under Rule 65 is the
proper remedy. RULING: As a matter of policy, the original jurisdiction of this
Court to issue the so-called extraordinary writs should generally be exercised
relative to actions or proceedings before the Court of Appeals or before
constitutional or other tribunals or agencies the acts of which for some reason or
other are not controllable by the Court of Appeals. Where the issuance of the
extraordinary writ is also within the competence of the Court of Appeals or the
Regional Trial Court, it is either of these courts that the specific action for the
procurement of the writ must be presented. However, this Court must be convinced
thoroughly that two (2) grounds exist before it gives due course to a certiorari
petition under Rule 65: (a) The tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction;
and (b) There is no appeal nor any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law. Despite the procedural lapses present in this case, we are
giving due course to this petition as there are matters that require immediate
resolution on the merits to effect substantial justice. The Rules of Court should
be liberally construed in order to promote their object of securing a just, speedy
and inexpensive disposition of every action or proceeding. The rules of procedure
should be viewed as mere tools designed to aid the courts in the speedy, just and
inexpensive determination of the cases before them. Liberal construction of the
rules and the pleadings is the controlling principle to effect substantial justice.
Litigations should, as much as possible, be decided on their merits and not on mere
technicalities. xxxx Aside from matters of life, liberty, honor or property which
would warrant the suspension of the Rules of the most mandatory character and an
examination and review by the appellate court of the lower court’s findings of
fact, the other elements that should be considered are the following: (a) the
existence of special or compelling circumstances, (b) the merits of the case, (c) a
cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by
the suspension of the rules, (d) a lack of any showing that the review sought is
merely frivolous and dilatory, and (e) the other party will not be unjustly
prejudiced thereby. SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE: WON Lilia Sanchez has a right to the
property. RULING: Sanchez Roman defines co-ownership as “the right of common
dominion which two or more persons have in a spiritual part of a thing, not
materially or physically divided. Manresa defines it as the “manifestati on of the

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
private right of ownership, which instead of being exercised by the owner in an
exclusive manner over the things subject to it, is exercised by two or more owners
and the undivided thing or right to which it refers is one and the same.” The
characteristics of co-ownership are: (a) plurality of subjects, who are the co-
owners, (b) unity of or material indivision, which means that there is a single
object which is not materially divided, and which is the element which binds the
subjects, and, (c) the recognition of ideal shares, which determines the rights and
obligations of the co-owners. In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-owner to
the other co-owners is fiduciary in character and attribute. Whether established by
law or by agreement of the co-owners, the property or thing held proindiviso is
impressed with a fiducial nature so that each co-owner becomes a trustee for the
benefit of his coowners and he may not do any act prejudicial to the interest of
his co-owners. Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to preserve the properties in
co-ownership is to create an express trust among the heirs as co-owners of the
properties. Co-ownership is a form of trust and every co-owner is a trustee for the
others. Before the partition of a land or thing held in common, no individual or
co-owner can claim title to any definite portion thereof. All that the co-owner has
is an ideal or abstract quota or proportionate share in the entire land or thing.
Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of an undivided interest in the
property the right to freely sell and dispose of it, i.e., his undivided interest.
He may validly lease his undivided interest to a third party independently of the
other co-owners. But he has no right to sell or alienate a concrete, specific or
determinate part of the thing owned in common because his right over the thing is
represented by a quota or ideal portion without any physical adjudication. Although
assigned an aliquot but abstract part of the property, the metes and bounds of
petitioner’s lot has not been designated. As she was not a party to the Deed of
Absolute Sale voluntarily entered into by the other co-owners, her right to 1/6 of
the property must be respected. Partition needs to be effected to protect her right
to her definite share and determine the boundaries of her property. Such partition
must be done without prejudice to the rights of private respondent Virginia Teria
as buyer of the 5/6 portion of the lot under dispute. HELD: Petition is GRANTED.
Remanded to the MeTC for partition. RUSTICO ADILLE, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE
COURT OF APPEALS, EMETERIA ASEJO, TEODORICA ASEJO, DOMINGO ASEJO, JOSEFA ASEJO, and
SANTIAGO ASEJO, respondents., G.R. No. L-44546, 1988 Jan 29, 2nd Division CASE
DOCTRINES Necessary expenses for the preservation of the co-owned property; a co-
owner who redeems the co-owned property does not acquire ownership over its
entirety Necessary expenses may be incurred by one co-owner, subject to his right
to collect reimbursement from the remaining co-owners. There is no doubt that
redemption of property entails a necessary expense. xxx The result is that the
property remains to be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a retro,
under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a partial
redemption," the redemption by one co-heir or co-owner of the property in its
totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part of all the co-
owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and
consolidate title thereto in his name. But the provision does not give to the
redeeming co-owner the right to the entire property. It does not provide for a mode
of terminating a co-ownership. Registration of the property does not vest ownership
Neither does the fact that the petitioner had succeeded in securing title over the
parcel in his name terminate the existing co-ownership. While his half-brothers and
sisters are, as we said, liable to him for reimbursement as and for their shares in
redemption expenses, he cannot claim exclusive right to the property owned in
common. Registration of property is not a means of acquiring ownership. It operates
as a mere notice of existing title, that is, if there is one.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Implied trust ART. 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the
person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of an implied trust
for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes. We agree with the
respondent Court of Appeals that fraud attended the registration of the property.
The petitioner's pretension that he was the sole heir to the land in the affidavit
of extrajudicial settlement he executed preliminary to the registration thereof
betrays a clear effort on his part to defraud his brothers and sisters and to
exercise sole dominion over the property. The aforequoted provision therefore
applies. Prescription to extinguish a co-ownership; requisites Prescription, as a
mode of terminating a relation of co-ownership, must have been preceded by
repudiation (of the co-ownership). The act of repudiation, in turn, is subject to
certain conditions: (1) a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership; (2) such an act of
repudiation is clearly made known to the other co-owners; (3) the evidence thereon
is clear and conclusive; and (4) he has been in possession through open,
continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the property for the period
required by law. Registration under the Torrens system is not equivalent to notice
of repudiation It is true that registration under the Torrens system is
constructive notice of title, but it has likewise been our holding that the Torrens
title does not furnish a shield for fraud. It is therefore no argument to say that
the act of registration is equivalent to notice of repudiation, assuming there was
one, notwithstanding the longstanding rule that registration operates as a
universal notice of title. FACTS: Felisa Alzul is the owner of the parcel of land
in question located at Legaspi City. In her first marriage, she begot a child
(Rustico Adille). In her second marriage, her children were Emeteria, Teodorica,
Domingo, Josefa and Santiago, all surnamed Asejo. Sometime in 1939, Felisa sold the
property in pacto de retro. The period of redemption was 3 years. She was not able
to repurchase it because she died in 1942. After Felisa’s death and during the
period of redemption, Rustico Adille repurchased, by himself alone, and after that,
he executed a deed of extra-judicial partition representing himself to be the only
heir and child of his mother Felisa with the consequence that he was able to secure
title in his name alone. Consequently, in 1955, the OCT in the name of his mother
was transferred to his name. Upon learning this, his half brothers and sisters
filed a case for partition with accounting of the property. RTC decision: in favor
of Rustico Adille, sustaining his position as the absolute owner. CA decision:
reversed the RTC. ISSUE 1: WON by virtue of redeeming the property, a co-owner
acquires exclusive ownership over the property. RULING: The right of repurchase may
be exercised by a co-owner with respect to his share alone. While the records show
that the petitioner redeemed the property in its entirety, shouldering the expenses
therefor, that did not make him the owner of all of it. In other words, it did not
put to end the existing state of co-ownership. Necessary expenses may be incurred
by one co-owner, subject to his right to collect reimbursement from the remaining
co-owners. There is no doubt that redemption of property entails a necessary
expense. Under the Civil Code: ART. 488. Each co-owner shall have a right to compel
the other co-owners to contribute to the expenses of preservation of the thing or
right owned in common and to the taxes. Any one of the latter may exempt himself
from this obligation by renouncing so much of his undivided interest as may be
equivalent to his share of the expenses and taxes. No such waiver shall be made if
it is prejudicial to the co-ownership. The result is that the property remains to
be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a retro, under Article 1613 of
the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a partial redemption," the redemption
by one co-heir or co-owner of the property in its totality does not vest in him
ownership over it. Failure on the part of all the co-owners to redeem it entitles
the vendee a retro to retain the property and consolidate title thereto in his
name. But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the
entire property. It does not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Neither does the fact that the petitioner had succeeded in securing title over the
parcel in his name terminate the existing co-ownership. While his half-brothers and
sisters are, as we said, liable to him for reimbursement as and for their shares in
redemption expenses, he cannot claim exclusive right to the property owned in
common. Registration of property is not a means of acquiring ownership. It operates
as a mere notice of existing title, that is, if there is one. ISSUE 2: WON Rustico
Adille is a trustee of his co-heirs. RULING: The petitioner must then be said to be
a trustee of the property on behalf of the private respondents. The Civil Code
states: ART. 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person
obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of an implied trust for the
benefit of the person from whom the property comes. We agree with the respondent
Court of Appeals that fraud attended the registration of the property. The
petitioner's pretension that he was the sole heir to the land in the affidavit of
extrajudicial settlement he executed preliminary to the registration thereof
betrays a clear effort on his part to defraud his brothers and sisters and to
exercise sole dominion over the property. The aforequoted provision therefore
applies. xxx ISSUE 3: WON prescription has terminated the co-ownership. RULING:
This Court is not unaware of the well-established principle that prescription bars
any demand on property (owned in common) held by another (co-owner) following the
required number of years. In that event, the party in possession acquires title to
the property and the state of co-ownership is ended. In the case at bar, the
property was registered in 1955 by the petitioner, solely in his name, while the
claim of the private respondents was presented in 1974. Has prescription then, set
in? We hold in the negative. Prescription, as a mode of terminating a relation of
co-ownership, must have been preceded by repudiation (of the co-ownership). The act
of repudiation, in turn, is subject to certain conditions: (1) a co-owner
repudiates the co-ownership; (2) such an act of repudiation is clearly made known
to the other co-owners; (3) the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive; and (4)
he has been in possession through open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession of the property for the period required by law . The instant case shows
that the petitioner had not complied with these requisites. We are not convinced
that he had repudiated the co-ownership; on the contrary, he had deliberately kept
the private respondents in the dark by feigning sole heirship over the estate under
dispute. He cannot therefore be said to have "made known" his efforts to deny the
co-ownership. Moreover, one of the private respondents, Emeteria Asejo, is
occupying a portion of the land up to the present, yet, the petitioner has not
taken pains to eject her therefrom. As a matter of fact, he sought to recover
possession of that portion Emeteria is occupying only as a counterclaim, and only
after the private respondents had first sought judicial relief. It is true that
registration under the Torrens system is constructive notice of title, but it has
likewise been our holding that the Torrens title does not furnish a shield for
fraud. It is therefore no argument to say that the act of registration is
equivalent to notice of repudiation, assuming there was one, notwithstanding the
longstanding rule that registration operates as a universal notice of title. HELD:
petition is DENIED. /adsum TEODORA, MARTA, JOSE, SIXTO, RICARDO, ROBERTO, PILAR,
VIRGILIO, all surnamed MARIANO and AURORA EUGENIO, petitioners, vs. THE HON. JUDGE
JESUS R. DE VEGA, PRESIDING JUDGE, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF BULACAN, BRANCH II,
PILAR, REGINA, FELISA and DOMINADOR all surnamed PANGANIBAN, respondents., G.R. No.
L-59974, 1987 Mar 9, 2nd Division CASE DOCTRINES Repudiation of co-ownership Now
then, Art. 494 (last paragraph) of the Civil Code provides:. "xxx xxx xxx "No
prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or
co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership." In view
of their lack of a clear repudiation of the co-ownership, duly communicated to the
petitioners (the other co-owners), private respondents cannot acquire the shares of
the petitioners by prescription. The record in the Office of the Assessor is not
the sufficient repudiation and communication contemplated by the

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
law. Neither may the private respondents' possession of the premises militate
against petitioners' claim. After all, co-owners are entitled to be in possession
of the premises. The existence of the co-ownership here argues against the theory
of implied trust, for then a co-owner possesses co-owned property not in behalf of
the other co-owners but in his own behalf. FACTS: Petition for appeal. Spouses
Urbano and Roberta Panganiban, during their life time, owned 29 parcels of
unregistered land, all situated at Bulacan. Roberta died intestate and without
debts in Pulilan, Bulacan. She left her husband, Urbano Panganiban, and their two
legitimate children, Mercedes and Gaudencia as her only forced heirs. On September
18, 1952, Urbano Panganiban died also intestate and without debts in Pulilan,
Bulacan, leaving as his only compulsory heirs the children of Gaudencia
[petitioner] (who together with her sister Mercedes, had predeceased their father)
and his legitimate children with his second wife, Atanacia Agustin [respondents].
On June 19, 1981, (28 years, 9 months and 1 day) after Urbano's death, petitioners
instituted an action with the then CFI of Bulacan for partition and delivery of
possession of their corresponding shares in the conjugal estate of decedents-
spouses Urbano and Roberta. CFI decision: dismissed the petition on ground of
prescription. ISSUE: WON there was prescription. RULING: We find the order of the
trial court dismissing petitioners' complaint on the ground of prescription under
Section 40 of Public Act No. 190 to be inaccurate. As We see it, this case is
governed by the rules on co-ownership, since both parties are clearly co-owners of
the disputed properties, having inherited the same from a common ancestor. Now
then, Art. 494 (last paragraph) of the Civil Code provides:. "xxx xxx xxx "No
prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or
co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership." In view
of their lack of a clear repudiation of the co-ownership, duly communicated to the
petitioners (the other co-owners), private respondents cannot acquire the shares of
the petitioners by prescription. The record in the Office of the Assessor is not
the sufficient repudiation and communication contemplated by the law. Neither may
the private respondents' possession of the premises militate against petitioners'
claim. After all, co-owners are entitled to be in possession of the premises. The
existence of the co-ownership here argues against the theory of implied trust, for
then a co-owner possesses co-owned property not in behalf of the other co-owners
but in his own behalf. HELD: Order is SET ASIDE, remanded to RTC for adjudication
of the merits. /adsum VIRGILIO B. AGUILAR, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and
SENEN B. AGUILAR, respondents. G.R. No. 76351 October 29, 1993 CASE DOCTRINES Co-
owners may demand partition at any time; indivisible to be sold and proceeds
divided accordingly (Art. 494, 498) This is resorted to (1) when the right to
partition the property is invoked by any of the co-owners but because of the nature
of the property it cannot be subdivided or its subdivision would prejudice the
interests of the co-owners, and (2) the co-owners are not in agreement as to who
among them shall be allotted or assigned the entire property upon proper
reimbursement of the co-owners. Action to compel the sale of a co-owned property
which is granted by the court terminates the co-ownership Since petitioner has
decided to enforce his right in court to end the co-ownership of the house and lot
and respondent has not refuted the allegation that he has been preventing the sale
of the property by his continued occupancy of the premises, justice and equity
demand that respondent and his family vacate the property so that the sale can be
effected immediately. xxx When petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the
property and the trial court granted the petition and ordered the ejectment of
respondent, the co-ownership was deemed terminated and the right to enjoy the
possession jointly also ceased.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Appearance in the pre-trial proceeding; mandatory As regards the first issue, the
law is clear that the appearance of parties at the pre-trial is mandatory. A party
who fails to appear at a pre-trial conference may be non-suited or considered as in
default. In the case at bar, where private respondent and counsel failed to appear
at the scheduled pre-trial, the trial, court has authority to declare respondent in
default. FACTS: Petition for review on certiorari. Virgilio and Senen are brothers.
Virgilio is the youngest of seven (7) children while Senen is the fifth. On 28
October 1969, the two brothers purchased a house and lot in Parañaque where their
father could spend and enjoy his remaining years in a peaceful neighborhood.
Initially, the brothers agreed that Virgilio's share in the co ownership was two-
thirds while that of Senen was one-third. By virtue of a written memorandum dated
23 February 1970, Virgilio and Senen agreed that henceforth their interests in the
house and lot should be equal, with Senen assuming the remaining mortgage
obligation of the original owners with the Social Security System (SSS) in exchange
for his possession and enjoyment of the house together with their father. Since
Virgilio was then disqualified from obtaining a loan from SSS, the brothers agreed
that the deed of sale would be executed and the title registered in the meantime in
the name of Senen. It was further agreed that Senen would take care of their father
and his needs since Virgilio and his family were staying in Cebu. After their
father died in 1974, petitioner (Virgilio) demanded from respondent (Senen) that
the latter vacate the house and that the property be sold and proceeds thereof
divided among them. Senen refused. On 12 January 1979, Virgilio filed an action to
compel the sale of the house and lot so that the they could divide the proceeds
between them. Petitioner’s prayers: 1. the proceeds of the sale, be divided on the
basis of two-thirds (2/3) in his favor and one-third (1/3) to respondent. 2. for
monthly rentals for the use of the house by respondent after their father died.
Respondent’s counterclaims: 1. that he had no objection to the sale as long as the
best selling price could be obtained 2. that if the sale would be effected, the
proceeds thereof should be divided equally; and, 3. being a co-owner, he was
entitled to the use and enjoyment of the property. RTC decision: rendered judgment
by default against defendant. It ruled: 1. Senen and Virgilio are co-owners of the
house and lot, in equal shares on the basis of their written agreement. 2. that
plaintiff has been deprived of his participation in the property by defendant's
continued enjoyment of the house and lot, free of rent, despite demands for rentals
and continued maneuvers of defendants, to delay partition. 3. upheld the right of
plaintiff as co-owner to demand partition. CA decision: set aside the RTC decision.
PROCEDURAL ISSUE: WON RTC correctly declared respondent in default for his failure
to appear at the pre-trial. RULING: As regards the first issue, the law is clear
that the appearance of parties at the pre-trial is mandatory. A party who fails to
appear at a pre-trial conference may be non-suited or considered as in default. In
the case at bar, where private respondent and counsel failed to appear at the
scheduled pre-trial, the trial, court has authority to declare respondent in
default. Although respondent's counsel filed a motion to postpone pre-trial
hearing, the grant or denial thereof is within the sound discretion of the trial
court, which should take into account two factors in the grant or denial of motions
for postponement, namely: (a) the reason for the postponement and (b) the merits of
the case of movant. In the instant case, the trial court found the reason stated in
the motion of counsel for respondent to cancel the pre-trial to be without merit.
Counsel's explanation that he had to go to by boat as early as 25 March 1979 to
fetch his wife and accompany her to a wedding in Dumaguete City on 27 April 1979
where she was one of the principal sponsors, cannot be accepted. We find it
insufficient to justify postponement of the pre-trial, and the Court of Appeals did
not act wisely in overruling the denial. We sustain the trial court and rule that
it did not abuse its discretion in denying the postponement for lack of merit.
Certainly, to warrant a postponement of a mandatory process as pre-trial would
require much more than mere attendance in a social function. It is time indeed we
emphasize that there should be much more than mere perfunctory treatment of the
pre-trial
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Notes (Case Digests Property)
procedure. Its observance must be taken seriously if it is to attain its objective,
i.e., the speedy and inexpensive disposition of cases. Moreover, the trial court
denied the motion for postponement three (3) days before the scheduled pretrial. If
indeed, counsel for respondent could not attend the pre-trial on the scheduled
date, respondent at least should have personally appeared in order not to be
declared as in default. But, since nobody appeared for him, the order of the trial
court declaring him as in default and directing the presentation of petitioner's
evidence ex parte was proper. SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE 2: WON Virgilio and Senen are co-
owners of the house in equal shares. RULING: With regard to the merits of the
judgment of the trial court by default, which respondent appellate court did not
touch upon in resolving the appeal, the Court holds that on the basis of the
pleadings of the pa rties and the evidence presented ex parte, petitioner and
respondents are co-owners of subject house and lot in equal shares; either one of
them may demand the sale of the house and lot at any time and the other cannot
object to such demand; thereafter the proceeds of the sale shall be divided equally
according to their respective interests. xxx We uphold the trial court in ruling in
favor of petitioner, except as to the effectivity of the payment of monthly rentals
by respondent as co-owner which we here declare to commence only after the trial
court ordered respondent to vacate in accordance with its order of 26 July 1979.
Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain
in the co-ownership, and that each co-owner may demand at any time partition of the
thing owned in common insofar as his share is concerned. Corollary to this rule,
Art. 498 of the Code states that whenever the thing is essentially, indivisible and
the co-owners cannot agree that it be, allotted to one of them who shall indemnify
the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds accordingly distributed. This is
resorted to (1) when the right to partition the property is invoked by any of the
co-owners but because of the nature of the property it cannot be subdivided or its
subdivision would prejudice the interests of the co-owners, and (2) the co-owners
are not in agreement as to who among them shall be allotted or assigned the entire
property upon proper reimbursement of the co-owners. In one case, this Court upheld
the order of the trial court directing the holding of a public sale of the
properties owned in common pursuant to Art. 498 of the Civil Code. However, being a
co-owner respondent has the right to use the house and lot without paying any
compensation to petitioner, as he may use the property owned in common long as it
is in accordance with the purpose for which it is intended and in a manner not
injurious to the interest of the other co-owners. Each coowner of property held pro
indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and enjoy the
same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his
co-owners, the reason being that until a division is made, the respective share of
each cannot be determined and every co-owner exercises, together with his co-
participants joint ownership over the pro indiviso property, in addition to his use
and enjoyment of the same. Since petitioner has decided to enforce his right in
court to end the co-ownership of the house and lot and respondent has not refuted
the allegation that he has been preventing the sale of the property by his
continued occupancy of the premises, justice and equity demand that respondent and
his family vacate the property so that the sale can be effected immediately. In
fairness to petitioner, respondent should pay a rental of P1,200.00 per month, with
legal interest; from the time the trial court ordered him to vacate, for the use
and enjoyment of the other half of the property appertaining to petitioner. When
petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the property and the trial court
granted the petition and ordered the ejectment of respondent, the co-ownership was
deemed terminated and the right to enjoy the possession jointly also ceased.
Thereafter, the continued stay of respondent and his family in the house prejudiced
the interest of petitioner as the property should have been sold and the proceeds
divided equally between them. To this extent and from then on, respondent should be
held liable for monthly rentals until he and his family vacate. HELD: Petition is
GRANTED. /adsum
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CASE DOCTRINES

24

FRANCISCO MEDINA, et al., Petitioners, versus GREENFIELD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,


Respondent., G.R. No. 140228, 2004 Nov 19, 2nd Division
Notes (Case Digests Property)
Possession and ownership; distinction Possession and ownership are two different
legal concepts. Just as possession is not a definite proof of ownership, neither is
non-possession inconsistent with ownership. Writ of Preliminary injunction; when
issued; when proper The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to prevent
threatened or continuous irremediable injury to some of the parties before their
claims can be thoroughly studied and adjudicated. Its sole aim is to preserve the
status quo until the merits of the case can be heard fully. Thus, to be entitled to
an injunctive writ, the petitioner has the burden to establish the following
requisites: (1) a right in esse or a clear and unmistakable right to be protected;
(2) a violation of that right; (3) that there is an urgent and permanent act and
urgent necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. xxx Where the
complainant’s right or title is doubtful or disputed, injunction is not proper.
FACTS: Petition for review on certiorari. Pedro Medina had two marriages. In his
first marriage to Isadora San Jose, Pedro sired three children: Rafael, Rita and
Remegia; in his second marriage, this time to Natalia Mullet, Pedro had five:
Cornelio, Brigida, Balbino, Crisanta and Rosila. Except for Balbino and Crisanta,
all of Pedro’s children likewise bore children, the petitioners in this case. On
June 5, 1962, Pedro, his brother Alberto Medina and his niece Nazaria Cruz
(Alberto’s daughter) executed a notarized Contract to Sell in favor of respondent
Greenfield Development Corporation over a registered parcel of land located in
Muntinlupa City. A notarized Deed of Sale covering said property was subsequently
entered into on June 27, 1962, in favor of respondent, and this time signed by
Pedro, Cornelio, Brigida, Balbino, Gregoria, Crisanta, Rosila, and Alberto, all
surnamed Medina, and Nazaria Cruz, as vendors. Thereafter, a notarized Deed of
Absolute Sale with Mortgage was executed on September 4, 1964 in favor of
respondent over another lot. Signing as vendors were Pedro, Cornelio, Brigida,
Balbino, Gregoria, Crisanta, Rosila, and Alberto, all surnamed Medina, and Nazaria
Cruz. By virtue of these sales, respondent was able to register in its name the
title to the two parcels of land. On July 13, 1998, petitioners caused an adverse
claim to be annotated on the titles. After discovering the annotation, respondent
constructed a fence on the property and posted security personnel, barring their
ingress and egress. On November 6, 1998, petitioners instituted an action for
annulment of titles and deeds, reconveyance, damages with preliminary injunction
and restraining order, against respondent and the Register of Deeds of Makati.
Petitioner’s allegations: 1. they are co-owners of these two parcels of land. 2.
the deeds of sale on these properties were simulated and fictitious, and the
signatures of the vendors therein were fake. 3. Despite the transfer of the title
to respondent’s name, they remained in possession thereof because their caretaker
is occupying the land. Respondent’s defense: 1. that petitioners have no valid
claim on the properties as it is already titled in its name by virtue of the public
documents executed by their predecessors. 2. alleged that Santos Arevalo is not
petitioners’ caretaker and it was them who employed him as caretaker. RTC decision:
granting petitioner’s prayer for injunctive relief. CA decision (Certiorari):
nullified the RTC decision. PROCEDURAL ISSUE: WON the trial court erred in granting
petitioners’ prayer for injunctive relief RULING: Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules
of Court provides for the grounds justifying the issuance of a preliminary
injunction, to wit: SEC. 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. - A
preliminary injunction may be granted when it is established:

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of
such relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or
acts complained of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a
limited period or perpetually; (b) That the commission, continuance or non-
performance of the act or acts complained of during the litigation would probably
work injustice to the applicant; or (c) That a party, court, agency or a person is
doing, threatening or is attempting to do, or is procuring or suffering to be done,
some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting
the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment
ineffectual. The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to prevent threatened or
continuous irremediable injury to some of the parties before their claims can be
thoroughly studied and adjudicated. Its sole aim is to preserve the status quo
until the merits of the case can be heard fully. Thus, to be entitled to an
injunctive writ, the petitioner has the burden to establish the following
requisites: (1) a right in esse or a clear and unmistakable right to be protected;
(2) a violation of that right; (3) that there is an urgent and permanent act and
urgent necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. Hence, petitioners’
entitlement to the injunctive writ hinges on their prima facie legal right to the
properties subject of the present dispute. The Court notes that the present dispute
is based solely on the parties’ allegations in their respective pleadings and the
documents attached thereto. We have on one hand, petitioners’ bare assertion or
claim that they are co-owners of the properties sold by their predecessors to
respondent, and on the other, respondent’s claim of ownership supported by deeds of
conveyances and torrens titles in their favor. From these alone, it is clear that
petitioners failed to discharge the burden of clearly showing a clear and
unmistakable right to be protected. Where the complainant’s right or title is
doubtful or disputed, injunction is not proper. The possibility of irreparable
damage without proof of actual existing right is not a ground for an injunction.
xxx SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE: WON ownership was not yet transferred to Greenfield because
petitioners are in actual possession of the property. RULING: Possession and
ownership are two different legal concepts. Just as possession is not a definite
proof of ownership, neither is non-possession inconsistent with ownership. Even
assuming that petitioners’ allegations are true, it bears no legal consequence in
the case at hand because the execution of the deeds of conveyances is already
deemed equivalent to delivery of the property to respondent, and prior physical
delivery or possession is not legally required. Under Article 1498 of the Civil
Code, “when the sale is made through a public instrument, the execution thereof
shall be equivalent to the delivery of the object of the contract, if from the deed
the contrary does not appear or cannot be inferred.” Possession is also
transferred, along with ownership thereof, to respondent by virtue of the notarized
deeds of conveyances. HELD: petition is denied for lack of merit. /adsum

ERNESTO V. YU and ELSIE O. YU, Petitioners, versus BALTAZAR PACLEB, Respondent.,


G.R. No. 130316, 2007 Jan 24, 1st Division CASE DOCTRINES Possession; defined The
Civil Code states that possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a
right. In the grammatical sense, to possess means to have, to actually and
physically occupy a thing, with or without right. “Possession always includes the
idea of occupation x x x. It is not necessary that the person in possession should
himself be the occupant. The occupancy can be held by another in his name.” Without
occupancy, there is no possession. Possession; requirements Two things are
paramount in possession. First, there must be occupancy, apprehension or taking.
Second, there must be intent to possess (animus possidendi). Payment of tax;
indicia of animus possidendi

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
On the other hand, the tax declarations and receipts in the name of respondent in
1994 and 1995 established the possession of respondent. The payment of real estate
tax is one of the most persuasive and positive indications showing the will of a
person to possess in concepto de dueño or with claim of ownership. Possession need
not be exercise over the entire area “[P]ossession in the eyes of the law does not
mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of the ground before he
is deemed in possession.” Conflict of possession “As the registered owner,
petitioner had a right to the possession of the property, which is one of the
attributes of ownership.” The Civil Code states: Art. 538. Possession as a fact
cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the
cases of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession,
the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessors, the one
longer in possession; if the dates of the possession are the same, the one who
presents a title; and if all these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed
in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through
proper proceedings. xxxx Where a dispute over possession arises between two
persons, the person first having actual possession is the one who is entitled to
maintain the action granted by law; otherwise, a mere usurper without any right
whatever, might enter upon the property of another and, by allowing himself to be
ordered off, could acquire the right to maintain the action of forcible entry and
detainer, however momentary his intrusion might have been. FACTS: Petition for
review under Rule 45 Ruperto Javier purchased the lot from Rebecca del Rosario who,
in turn, acquired it from respondent Baltazar and his wife. The title of the
property, however, remained in the names of respondent and his wife. The
instruments in support of the series of alleged sales were not registered. In 1992,
Javier allegedly offered to sell Lot No. 6853-D to petitioners (Ernesto and Elsie)
for P75 per sq.m. Petitioners accepted the offer and gave Javier P200,000 as
downpayment for the lot. Javier then delivered his supposed muniments of title to
petitioners. After the execution of a contract to sell, he formally turned over the
property to petiti oners. At the time of the turn-over, a portion of the lot was
occupied by Ramon C. Pacleb, respondent’s son, and his wife as tenants. On
September 12, 1992, Ramon and his wife allegedly surrendered possession of their
portion to petitioners. Later on, petitioners appointed Ramon as their trustee over
the subject lot. Aside from taking possession of the property, petitioners also
caused the annotation on of a final decision rendered in their favor. However,
there possession was disturbed when respondent arrived from the USA and entered
into the property, claiming ownership. Petitioners filed an action for forcible
entry in the MTC of Dasmariñas, Cavite. Petitioner’s allegations: 1. that they
exercised ownership rights as well as enjoyed open, public and peaceful possession
over the property from September 12, 1992 until the early part of September 1995.
2. Upon respondent’s return to the Philippines in May 1995, he allegedly entered
the property by means of force, threat, intimidation, strategy and stealth thereby
ousting petitioners and their trustee, Ramon. 3. Despite repeated demands,
respondent, asserting his rights as registered owner of the property, refused to
vacate the premises and surrender its possession to petitioners. MTC decision: in
favor of petitioners (Ernesto and Elsie). RTC: affirmed in toto the MTC. CA:
decision of the MTC and RTC were set aside. Forcible entry case was dismissed.
ISSUE: WON respondent had a prior physical possession of the subject property.
RULING: The Civil Code states that possession is the holding of a thing or the
enjoyment of a right. In the grammatical sense, to possess means to have, to
actually and physically occupy a thing, with or without right. “Possession always
includes the idea of occupation x x x. It is not necessary that the person in
possession should

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
himself be the occupant. The occupancy can be held by another in his name.” Without
occupancy, there is no possession. Two things are paramount in possession. First,
there must be occupancy, apprehension or taking. Second, there must be intent to
possess (animus possidendi). Here, petitioners failed to establish that they had
prior physical possession to justify a ruling in their favor in the complaint for
forcible entry against respondent. In the decision in Civil Case No. 741-93 (a case
for specific performance and damages against Javier, the alleged vendor of the lot
in question) upon which petitioners based their right to possess in the first
place, the trial court categorically stated: The [petitioners were never placed] in
possession of the subject property on which [was] planned to be [site of] a
piggery, nor [were they] given a clearance or certification from the Municipal
Agrarian Reform Officer. The claim that the lot was turned over to petitioners in
1992 was self-serving in the face of this factual finding. On the other hand, the
tax declarations and receipts in the name of respondent in 1994 and 1995
established the possession of respondent. The payment of real estate tax is one of
the most persuasive and positive indications showing the will of a person to
possess in concepto de dueño or with claim of ownership. “[P]ossession in the eyes
of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of
the ground before he is deemed in possession.” In this case, Ramon, as respondent’s
son, was named caretaker when respondent left for the United States in 1983. Due to
the eventual loss of trust and confidence in Ramon, however, respondent transferred
the administration of the land to his other son, Oscar, in January 1995 until his
return in May 1995. In other words, the subject land was in the possession of the
respondent’s sons during the contested period. Petitioners cite an alleged document
(Kusangloob na Pagsasauli ng Lupang Sakahan at Pagpapahayag ng Pagtalikod sa
Karapatan) dated March 10, 1995 executed by them and Ramon to prove a turn over of
possession. They also seek to prove their exercise of rights over the land through
alleged frequent visits and the designation of Ramon as their own trustee as
declared in a joint affidavit attached to their position paper filed with the MTC.
These instruments, however, fail to convince us of petitioners’ actual occupancy of
the subject land. First, petitioners themselves acknowledged that Ramon and his
wife occupied part of the land as tenants of respondent. Second, Ramon, a mere
tenant, had no authority to sign such document dated March 10, 1995 waiving all
rights to the land. Third, there was no clear proof in the records of the
appointment of Ramon as petitioners’ trustee save their self-serving statements to
this effect. Finally, at the time the Kusangloob na Pagsasauli document was
executed, the caretaker of the land was no longer Ramon but Oscar. Most important,
the title of the land in question (TCT No. T-118375) remained in the name of
respondent. “As the registered owner, petitioner had a right to the possession of
the property, which is one of the attributes of ownership.” The Civil Code states:
Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two
different personalities except in the cases of co-possession. Should a question
arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be preferred;
if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession; if the dates of the
possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and if all these conditions
are equal, the thing shall be placed in judi cial deposit pending determination of
its possession or ownership through proper proceedings. In view of the evidence
establishing respondent’s continuing possession of the subject property,
petitioners’ allegation that respondent deprived them of actual possession by means
of force, intimidation and threat was clearly untenable. In Gaza v. Lim, we held
that: Where a dispute over possession arises between two persons, the person first
having actual possession is the one who is entitled to maintain the action granted
by law; otherwise, a mere usurper without any right whatever, might enter upon the
property of another and, by allowing himself to be ordered off, could acquire the
right to maintain the action of forcible entry and detainer, however momentary his
intrusion might have been. HELD: Petition DENIED. /adsum JAMES ESTRELLER, EDUARDO
CULIANAN, GREG CARROS, RAQUEL YEE, JOSELITO PENILLA, LORNA DOTE, CRESENCIANA
CLEOPAS, TRINIDAD TEVES, SONIA PENILLA, ANITA GOMINTONG, CHING DIONESIO, MARIBEL
MANALO, DESIRES HUERTO, and RAYMUNDO CORTES, Petitioners, vs.LUIS MIGUEL YSMAEL and
CRISTETA L. SANTOS-ALVAREZ, Respondents. G.R. No. 170264 March 13, 2009 CASE
DOCTRINES

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Section 2 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 2016, reinforced by P.D. No. 1517,
which prohibits the eviction of qualified tenants/occupants, extends only to
landless urban families who are rightful occupants of the land and its structures,
and does not include those whose presence on the land is merely tolerated and
without the benefit o f contract, those who enter the land by force or deceit, or
those whose possession is under litigation. Petitioners claim that they are lawful
lessees of the property. However, they failed to prove any lease relationship or,
at the very least, show with whom they entered the lease contract. Respondents, on
the other hand, were able to prove their right to enjoy possession of the property.
Thus, petitioners, whose occupation of the subject property by mere tolerance has
been terminated by respondents, clearly do not qualify as "tenants" covered by
these social legislations. FACTS: Petition for Review under Rule 45. Ysmael and
Santos-Alvarez (respondents) filed with the RTC of Quezon City, a case for Recovery
of Possession against Estreller et al.(petitioners), claiming ownership of the
property subject of dispute, by virtue of a TCT issued by the Register of Deeds.
Ysmael’s allegations: 1. on various dates in 1973, Estreller et al. entered the
property through stealth and strategy and had since occupied the same; and 2.
despite demands refused to vacate the premises. Estreller et al.’s counterclaims:
1. Ysmael had no personality to file the suit since he only owned a small portion
of the property, while Santos-Alvarez did not appear to be a registered owner
thereof. 2. that their occupation of the property was lawful, having leased the
same from the Magdalena Estate, and later on from Alvarez. 3. the property has
already been proclaimed by the Quezon City Government as an Area for Priority
Development under P. D. Nos. 1517 and 2016, which prohibits the eviction of lawful
tenants and demolition of their homes. RTC decision: in favor of Ysmael and Santos-
Alvarez. CA decision: affirmed in toto the RTC. ISSUE: WON petitioners are rightful
occupants of the property. RULING: Finally, petitioners' claim that they are
entitled to the protection against eviction and demolition afforded by P.D. Nos.
2016, 1517, and Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7279, is not plausible. Section 6 of P.D.
No. 1517 grants preferential rights to landless tenants/occupants to acquire land
within urban land reform areas, while Section 2 of P.D. No. 2016 prohibits the
eviction of qualified tenants/ occupants. In Dimaculangan v. Casalla, the Court was
emphatic in ruling that the protective mantle of P.D. No. 1517 and P.D. No. 2016
extends only to landless urban families who meet these qualifications: a) they are
tenants as defined under Section 3(f) of P.D. No. 1517; b) they built a home on the
land they are leasing or occupying; c) the land they are leasing or occupying is
within an Area for Priority Development and Urban Land Reform Zone; and d) they
have resided on the land continuously for the last 10 years or more. Section 3(f)
of P.D. No. No. 1517 defines the term "tenant" covered by the said decree as the
"rightful occupant of land and its structures, but does not include those whose
presence on the land is merely tolerated and without the benefit of contract, those
who enter the land by force or deceit, or those whose possession is under
litigation." It has already been ruled that occupants of the land whose presence
therein is devoid of any legal authority, or those whose contracts of lease were
already terminated or had already expired, or whose possession is under litigation,
are not considered "tenants" under the Section 3(f). Petitioners claim that they
are lawful lessees of the property. However, they failed to prove any lease
relationship or, at the very least, show with whom they entered the lease contract.
Respondents, on the other hand, were able to prove their right to enjoy possession
of the property. Thus, petitioners, whose occupation of the subject property by
mere tolerance has been terminated by respondents, clearly do not qualify as
"tenants" covered by these social legislations. HELD: petition is DENIED for lack
of merit./ adsum

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
BOGO-MEDELLIN MILLING CO., INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND HEIRS OF
MAGDALENO VALDEZ SR., respondents., G.R. No. 124699, 2003 Jul 31, 3rd Division CASE
DOCTRINES Possession required for acquisitive prescription to run There is no
dispute that the controversial strip of land has been in the continuous possession
of petitioner since 1929. But possession, to constitute the foundation of a
prescriptive right, must be possession under a claim of title, that is, it must be
adverse. Unless coupled with the element of hostility towards the true owner,
possession The, however long, will not confer title by prescription. Grant of
easement does not grant ownership It gives the holder of the easement an
incorporeal interest on the land but grants no title thereto. Therefore, an
acknowledgment of the easement is an admission that the property belongs to
another. Having held the property by virtue of an easement, petitioner cannot now
assert that its occupancy since 1929 was in the concept of an owner. Neither can it
declare that the 30-year period of extraordinary acquisitive prescription started
from that year. Material possession insufficient to grant title Mere material
possession of land is not adverse possession as against the owner and is
insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent to
possess as an owner.There should be a hostile use of such a nature and exercised
under such circumstances as to manifest and give notice that the possession is
under a claim of right. FACTS: Appeal by certiorari under Rule 45. Magdaleno
Valdez, Sr., father of respondents Sergio Valdez, Angelina Valdez-Novabos, Teresita
Argawanon-Mangubat and Daylinda Argawanon-Melendres (the heirs), purchased from
Feliciana Santillan, on December 9, 1935, a parcel of unregistered land covered by
Tax Declaration located in Barrio Dayhagon, Medellin, Cebu. He took possession of
the property and declared it for tax purposes in his name. Prior to the sale,
however, the entire length of the land from north to south was already traversed in
the middle by railroad tracks owned by petitioner Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc.
(hereafter Bomedco). The tracks were used for hauling sugar cane from the fields to
petitioner’s sugar mill. When Magdaleno Valdez, Sr. passed away in 1948, herein
private respondents inherited the land. However, unknown to them, Bomedco was able
to have the disputed middle lot which was occupied by the railroad tracks placed in
its name. The entire subject land was divided into three, namely, Cadastral Lot
Nos. 953, 954 and 955. Lot Nos. 953 and 955 remained in the name of private
respondents. However, Lot No. 954, the narrow lot where the railroad tracks lay,
was claimed by Bomedco as its own and was declared for tax purposes in its name.
Upon discovery respondents wrote a letter to Bomedco demanding for payment of
compensation for the use of the landbut the same was not heeded. On June 8, 1989,
the heirs filed a “Complaint for Payment of Compensation and/or Recovery of
Possession of Real Property and Damages with Application for Restraining
Order/Preliminary Injunction.” The heirs’ allegations: 1. that, before she sold the
land to Valdez, Sr. in 1935, Santillan granted Bomedco, in 1929, a railroad right
of way for a period of 30 years. 2. When Valdez, Sr. acquired the land, he
respected the grant. 3. The right of way expired sometime in 1959 but respondent
heirs allowed Bomedco to continue using the land because one of them was then an
employee of the company. Bomedco’s defense/s: 1. that it was the owner and
possessor of Cadastral Lot No. 954, having bought the same from Feliciana Santillan
in 1929, prior to the sale of the property by the latter to Magdaleno Valdez, Sr.
in 1935. 2. that plaintiffs’ claim was already barred by prescription and laches
because of Bomedco’s open and continuous possession of the property for more than
50 years. RTC decision: rejected Bodemco’s claim of ownership based on a prior sale
but upheld ownership over the parcel of land based on acquisitive prescription.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
CA decision: reversed the RTC. It held that Bomedco only acquired an easement of
right of way by unopposed and continuous use of the land, but not ownership, under
Article 620 of the Civil Code. ISSUE: WON Bodemco has acquired ownership of the
land by virtue of acquisitive prescription. RULING: Under Art. 1137 of the Civil
Code Petitioner’s claim of ownership through extraordinary acquisitive prescription
under Article 1137 of the Civil Code cannot be sustained. There is no dispute that
the controversial strip of land has been in the continuous possession of petitioner
since 1929. But possession, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right,
must be possession under a claim of title, that is, it must be adverse. Unless
coupled with the element of hostility towards the true owner, possession, however
long, will not confer title by prescription. xxx While it is true that, together
with a person’s actual and adverse possession of the land, tax declarations
constitute strong evidence of ownership of the land occupied by him, this legal
precept does not apply in cases where the property is declared to be a mere
easement of right of way. An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted on
the corporeal immovable property of another, by virtue of which the owner has to
refrain from doing, or must allow someone to do, something on his property, for the
benefit of another thing or person. It exists only when the servient and dominant
estates belong to two different owners. It gives the holder of the easement an
incorporeal interest on the land but grants no title thereto. Therefore, an
acknowledgment of the easement is an admission that the property belongs to
another. Having held the property by virtue of an easement, petitioner cannot now
assert that its occupancy since 1929 was in the concept of an owner. Neither can it
declare that the 30-year period of extraordinary acquisitive prescription started
from that year. Petitioner, however, maintains that even if a servitude was merely
imposed on the property in its favor, its possession immediately became adverse to
the owner in the late 1950’s when the grant was alleged by respondent heirs to have
expired. xxx We do not think so. The mere expiration of the period of easement in
1959 did not convert petitioner’s possession into an adverse one. Mere material
possession of land is not adverse possession as against the owner and is
insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent to
possess as an owner.There should be a hostile use of such a nature and exercised
under such circumstances as to manifest and give notice that the possession is
under a claim of right. In the absence of an express grant by the owner, or conduct
by petitioner sugar mill from which an adverse claim can be implied, its possession
of the lot can only be presumed to have continued in the same character as when it
was acquired (that is, it possessed the land only by virtue of the original grant
of the easement of right of way), or was by mere license or tolerance of the owners
(respondent heirs). It is a fundamental principle of law in this jurisdiction that
acts of possessory character executed by virtue of license or tolerance of the
owner, no matter how long, do not start the running of the period of prescription.
After the grant of easement expired in 1959, petitioner never performed any act
incompatible with the ownership of respondent heirs over Cadastral Lot No. 954. On
the contrary, until 1963, petitioner continued to declare the “sugar central
railroad right of way” in its realty tax receipts, thereby doubtlessly conceding
the ownership of respondent heirs. Respondents themselves were emphatic that they
simply tolerated petitioner’s continued use of Cadastral Lot No. 954 so as not to
jeopardize the employment of one of their co-heirs in the sugar mill of petitioner.
The only time petitioner assumed a legal position adverse to respondents’ was when
it filed a claim over the property in 1965 during the cadastral survey of Medellin.
Since then (1965) and until the filing of the complaint for the recovery of the
subject land before the RTC of Cebu in 1989, only 24 years had lapsed. Since the
required 30-year extraordinary prescriptive period had not yet been complied with
in 1989, petitioner never acquired ownership of the subject land. HELD: the
petition is DENIED. /adsum SPS. JUANITO R. VILLAMIL and LYDIA M. VILLAMIL,
represented herein by their Attorney-in-Fact/Son WINFRED M. VILLAMIL, Petitioners,
vs. LAZARO CRUZ VILLAROSA, Respondent. G.R. No. 177187 April 7, 2009 CASE DOCTRINES
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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Purchaser in good faith; defined An innocent purchaser for value is one who buys
the property of another without notice that some other person has a right to or
interest in that same property, and who pays a full and fair price at the time of
the purchase or before receiving any notice of another person’s claim. Good faith;
what constitutes; presumed The honesty of intention that constitutes good faith
implies freedom from knowledge of circumstances that ought to put a prudent person
on inquiry. Good faith consists in the belief of the possessors that the persons
from whom they received the thing are its rightful owners who could convey their
title . Good faith, while always presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary,
requires this well-founded belief. Mirror doctrine; exception Well-settled is the
rule that every person dealing with a registered land may safely rely on the
correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way
oblige him to go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of the property.
This principle does not apply when the party has actual knowledge of facts and
circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry or
when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect or the lack of title in his vendor or
of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into the status
of the title of the property in litigation. Forged document may be a root of a
valid title A forged or fraudulent document may become the root of a valid title if
the property has already been transferred from the name of the owner to that of the
forger. This doctrine serves to emphasize that a person who deals with registered
property in good faith will acquire good title from a forger and be absolutely
protected by a Torrens title. FACTS: Petition for review. Sps Juanito and Lydia
Villamil (petitioners) represented by their son and attorney-in-fact, Winfred
Villamil, filed a complaint for annulment of title, recovery of possession,
reconveyance, damages, and injunction against the Spouses Mateo and Purificacion
Tolentino, Lazaro Villarosa (Villarosa) and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City
before the RTC of Quezon City. Juanito Villamil asked his parents if he could
construct a residential house on the subject lot. When they visited the lot, they
found that a residential house was being constructed by a certain Villarosa. In the
ROD. They also discovered that the TCT in their name was already cancelled and
transferred to Paterno while Paterno on the other hand has conveyed it to Sps
Tolention. Sps Tolentino likewise executed a deed of absolute sale in favor of
Villarosa. Sps Villamil’s assertions: 1. the Deed of Sale in favor of Paterno is a
falsified document because they did not participate in its execution and
notarization. 2. the Deed of Assignment in favor of the Spouses Tolentino as having
been falsified because the alleged assignor is a fictitious person. 3. averred that
the Deed of Sale between Spouses Tolentino and Villarosa is void considering that
the former did not have any right to sell the subject property. Sps Tolentino’s
answer: 1. that Paterno had offered the property for sale and presented to him TCT
No. 351553 registered in his (Paterno’s) name. To pay for the lot they acquired a
loan and made the title as security. The Spouses Tolentino thereafter decided to
sell the property to Villarosa to pay their obligation to Express Credit Financing.
Villarosa’s claim: 1. that he is a purchaser in good faith and for value, having
paid P276,000.00 as consideration for the purchase of the land and the payment
having been received and acknowledged by Mateo Tolentino. RTC decision: declared
all the TCTs of Paterno, Spouses Tolentino and Villarosa null and void and ordered
the cancellation of the latter’s title and the issuance of a new one in the name of
the Spouses Villamil. CA decision: reversed the RTC. It declared void the title of
the Spouses Tolentino and Paterno but upheld the validity of the title of
Villarosa. Petitioner’s contention/s:

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
1. Villarosa is not a purchaser in good faith considering that he has knowledge of
the circumstances that should have forewarned him to make further inquiry beyond
the face of the title. Respondnet’s contention/s: 1. that he is a purchaser in good
faith because before buying the property, he went to the Register of Deeds of
Quezon City to verify the authenticity of Spouses Tolentino’s title, as well as to
the Express Credit Financing Corporation to check whether Spouses Tolentino had
indeed mortgaged the subject property. Having been assured of the authenticity and
genuineness of its title, he proceeded to purchase the property. ISSUE: WON
Villarosa is a purchaser for value in good faith. RULING: The burden of proving the
status of a purchaser in good faith lies upon one who asserts that status. An
innocent purchaser for value is one who buys the property of another without notice
that some other person has a right to or interest in that same property, and who
pays a full and fair price at the time of the purchase or before receiving any
notice of another person’s claim. The honesty of intention that constitutes good
faith implies freedom from knowledge of circumstances that ought to put a prudent
person on inquiry. Good faith consists in the belief of the possessors that the
persons from whom they received the thing are its rightful owners who could convey
their title . Good faith, while always presumed in the absence of proof to the
contrary, requires this well-founded belief. xxx Well-settled is the rule that
every person dealing with a registered land may safely rely on the correctness of
the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to
go beyond the certificate to determine the condition of the property. Where there
is nothing in the certificate of title to indicate any cloud or vice in the
ownership of the property, or any encumbrance thereon, the purchaser is not
required to explore further than what the Torrens Title upon its face indicates in
quest for any hidden defects or inchoate right that may subsequently defeat his
right thereto. This principle does not apply when the party has actual knowledge of
facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such
inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect or the lack of title in his
vendor or of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into
the status of the title of the property in litigation. One who falls within the
exception can neither be denominated an innocent purchaser for value nor a
purchaser in good faith. xxx A forged or fraudulent document may become the root of
a valid title if the property has already been transferred from the name of the
owner to that of the forger. This doctrine serves to emphasize that a person who
deals with registered property in good faith will acquire good title from a forger
and be absolutely protected by a Torrens title. Having made the necessary inquiries
and having found the title to be authentic, Villarosa need not go beyond the
certificate of title. When dealing with land that is registered and titled, as in
this case, buyers are not required by the law to inquire further than what the
Torrens certificate of title indicates on its face. He examined the transferor’s
title, which was then under the name of Spouses Tolentino. He did not have to
scrutinize each and every title and previous owners of the property preceding
Tolentino. In sum, Villarosa was able to establish good faith when he bought the
subject property. Therefore, TCT No. 354675 issued in his name is declared valid.
HELD: Petition denied. /adsum IGNACIO WONG, petitioner, vs.HON. LUCAS D. CARPIO, as
Presiding Judge, Court of First Instance of Davao del Sur, Branch V and MANUEL
MERCADO, respondents. G.R. No. L-50264 October 21, 1991 CASE DOCTRINES Constructive
delivery; general rule; exceptions General Rule: the execution of a sale thru a
public instrument shall be equivalent to t he delivery of the thing. Exception/s:
1. unless there is stipulation to the contrary or 2. If, notwithstanding the
execution of the instrument, the purchaser cannot have the enjoyment and material
tenancy of the thing and make use of it herself, because such tenancy and enjoyment
are opposed by another, then delivery has not been effected. Possession; when
acquired

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
It should be stressed that "possession is acquired by the material occupation of a
thing or the exercise of a right, or by the fact that it is subject to the action
of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities for acquiring such right.
Conflict of possession; rule Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same
time in two different personalities except in the cases of co-possession. Should a
question arise regarding the fact of possession: 1. the present possessor shall be
preferred; if there are two possessions, 2. the one longer in possession, 3. if the
dates of possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and 4. if these
conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending
determination of its possession or ownership through proper proceedings (Art. 538,
Civil Code). FACTS: Petition for review on certiorari. Manuel Mercado acquired his
rights to possess the land in litigation from William Giger by virtue of a deed of
sale with right to repurchase executed in 1972 for a consideration of P3,500.00.
Then, in 1973, William Giger again asked an additional amount of P2,500.00 from
plaintiff and so he required William Giger to sign a new deed of Pacto de Retro at
Davao City before Notary Public Gregorio C. Batiller. In 1972, Mercado began
harvesting only the coconut fruits and he paid the taxes on the land for Mr. Giger.
He went periodically to the land to make copra but he never placed any person on
the land in litigation to watch it, he did not reside in it nor possess any portion
of it. He knew that Wong’s laborers occupied the land but he did not do anything to
stop them. Instead he was happy that there were people and a hut on the land in
suit. Before July, 1976, Ignacio Wong went to the land in litigation to find out if
there were other people residing there or claiming it besides the owner and he
found none. In 1976, Ignacio Wong bought the parcel of land from William Giger and
his wife Cecilia Valenzuela. After the execution of the Deed of Sale, Ignacio Wong
the TCT in the name of William Giger was delivered to him. Mr. Wong declared the
land in suit for taxation purposes in his name. He tried to register the pacto de
retro sale with the Register of Deeds by paying the registration fee but due to
some technicalities, the pacto de retro sale could not be registered. The defendant
Wong placed laborers on the land in suit, built a small farm house after making
some clearings and fenced the boundaries. He also placed signboards. Mercado
subsequently filed a complaint for forcible entry. MTC decision: dismissed the
complaint. It found that herein petitioner (defendant Ignacio Wong) had prior,
actual and continuous physical possession of the disputed property and dismissed
both the complaint and the counter-claim. CFI decision: reversed the MTC. CA
decision: found that the issue was purely question of law and left for the SC to
decide. Petitioner’s contentions: 1. that the private respondent has not
established prior possession, argues that private respondent's periodic visit to
the lot to gather coconuts may have been consented to and allowed or tolerated by
the owner thereof for the purposes of paying an obligation that may be due to the
person gathering said nuts and 2. that a person who enters a property to gather
coconut fruits and convert the same to copras may only be a hired laborer who
enters the premises every harvest season to comply with the contract of labor with
the true owner of the property. ISSUE: WON Mercado had prior possession by virtue
of a public document. RULING: It should be stressed that "possession is acquired by
the material occupation of a thing or the exercise of a right, or by the fact that
it is subject to the action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal
formalities for acquiring such right." (Art. 531, Civil Code; Rizal Cement Co.,
Inc. vs. Villareal, 135 SCRA 15 [1985]); and that the execution of a sale thru a
public instrument shall be equivalent to the delivery of the thing, unless there is
stipulation to the contrary. If, however, notwithstanding the execution of the
instrument, the purchaser cannot have the enjoyment and material tenancy of the
thing and make use of it herself, because such tenancy and enjoyment are opposed by
another, then delivery has not been effected. (Paras, Civil Code of the
Philippines, Vol. II, 1989 Ed., p. 400).

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Applying the above pronouncements on the instant case, it is clear that possession
passed from vendor William Giger to private respondent Manuel Mercado by virtue of
the first sale a retro, and accordingly, the later sale a retro in favor of
petitioner failed to pass the possession of the property because there is an
impediment — the possession exercised by private respondent. Possession as a fact
cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the
cases of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession,
the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessions, the one
longer in possession, if the dates of possession are the same, the one who presents
a title; and if these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial
deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper
proceedings (Art. 538, Civil Code). ISSUE 2: WON the case for forcible entry was
proper. As to petitioner's query that "Is the entry of petitioner to the property
characterized by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth in order to show
that private respondent has had possession so that the case is within the
jurisdiction of the inferior court?". The same is answered in the affirmative. The
act of entering the property and excluding the lawful possessor therefrom
necessarily implies the exertion of force over the property, and this is all that
is necessary. Under the rule, entering upon the premises by strategy or stealth is
equally as obnoxious as entering by force. The foundation of the action is really
the forcible exclusion of the original possessor by a person who has entered
without right. The words "by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth"
include every situation or condition under which one person can wrongfully enter
upon real property and exclude another who has had prior possession therefrom. If a
trespasser enters upon land in open daylight, under the very eyes of person already
clothed with lawful possession, but without the consent of the latter, and there
plants himself and excludes such prior possessor from the property, the action of
forcible entry and detainer can unquestionably be maintained, even though no force
is used by the trespasser other than such as is necessarily implied from the mere
acts of planting himself on the ground and excluding the other party. (Tolentino,
Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. II, 1983 Ed., pp. 243 -244; Drilon vs. Gaurana,
149 SCRA 342 [1987]). HELD: affirmed the decision of the CFI. /adsum MANILA
ELECTRIC COMPANY, petitioner, vs.THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT AND
ELPIDIA, FELICIDAD, ISABEL, JOSE, EUGENIA, AQUILINA, CONSUELO AND NATIVIDAD, all
surnamed LEYVA, and EDUARDA Vda. de LEYVA, respondents. G.R. No. 71393 June 28,
1989 CASE DOCTRINES Acts of tolerance; cannot start prescription to run The
provision of Article 1942 of the Civil Code to the effect that acts which are
merely tolerated produce no effect with respect to possession is applicable as much
to the prescription of real rights as to the prescription of the fee, it being a
glaring and self-evident error to affirm the contrary, as does the appellant in his
motion papers. Possession is the fundamental basis of the prescription. Without it
no kind of prescription is possible, not even the extraordinary. Possession in the
concept of an owner; start prescription to run Possession, under the Civil Code, to
constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be possession under claim
of title (en concepto de dueño) or to use the common law equivalent of the term ,
it must be adverse. Acts of a possessory character performed by one who holds by
mere tolerance of the owner are clearly not en concepto de dueño and such
possessory acts, no matter how long so continued, do not start the running of the
period of prescription. FACTS: Petition to review by certiorari under Rule 45.
Nazario Crisostomo and Maria Escusar owned a parcel of registered land situated in
Cainta, Rizal. Upon the death of both, the property passed on to their daughter
Bibiana Crisostomo Vda. de Eladio Leyva. Ultimately, the property was inherited by
the children of Bibiana (LEYVAs). Prior to the issuance of OCT, in the name of
Nazario Crisostomo, MERALCO erected thereon two transmission steel towers. In 1931,
when the OCT was issued, no encumbrance was annotated thereon. On August 4, 1973,
the LEYVAs sued MERALCO for damages and sum of money with prayer for attorney's
fees and exemplary damages for its continued use of the LEYVAs' property. LEVYAs
claim/s: 1. the property became off limits because of the high voltage of electric
current running in the cable lines.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
MERALCO’s answer: 1. it had acquired a grant from the original owner of the land,
Nazario Crisostomo, for a perpetual easement of right of way for the erection and
operation of the transmission steel towers for which it had paid Crisostomo the
total sum of $12.40. 2. even without the grant of perpetual easement, the LEYVAs'
complaint is deemed barred by prescription and laches, because of MERALCO's open,
continuous and uninterrupted enjoyment of the easement for a period of 43 years.
RTC decision: in favor of the LEYVAs. CA decision: affirmed RTC decision in toto.
ISSUE: WON MERALCO had acquired a right of ownership over the property. RULING: It
is a fundamental principle of the law in this jurisdiction concerning the
possession of real property that such possession is not affected by acts of a
possessory character which are 'merely tolerated' by the possessor, or which are
due to his license (Civil Code, Arts. 444 and 1942). This principle is applicable
not only with respect to the prescription of the dominium as a whole, but to the
prescription of right in rem. In the case of Cortes vs. Palanca Yu-Tibo (2 Phil.
Rep., 24, 38) the Court said: The provision of Article 1942 of the Civil Code to
the effect that acts which are merely tolerated produce no effect with respect to
possession is applicable as much to the prescription of real rights as to the
prescription of the fee, it being a glaring and self-evident error to affirm the
contrary, as does the appellant in his motion papers. Possession is the fundamental
basis of the prescription. Without it no kind of prescription is possible, not even
the extraordinary. Consequently, if acts of mere tolerance produce no effect with
respect to possession, as that article provides, in conformity with Article 444 of
the same Code, it is evident that they can produce no effect with respect to
prescription, whether ordinary or extraordinary. This is true whether the
prescriptive acquisition be of a fee or of real rights, for the same reason holds
in one and the other case; that is, that there has been no true possession in the
legal sense of the word. (See also Ayala de Roxas vs. Maglonso, 8 Phil. Rep., 745;
Municipality of Nueva Caceres vs. Director of Lands and Roman Catholic Bishop of
Nueva Caceres, 24 Phil. Rep., 485). Possession, under the Civil Code, to constitute
the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be possession under claim of title (en
concepto de dueño) or to use the common law equivalent of the term, it must be
adverse. Acts of a possessory character performed by one who holds by mere
tolerance of the owner are clearly not en concepto de dueño and such possessory
acts, no matter how long so continued, do not start the running of the period of
prescription. HELD: petition is hereby DENIED. /adsum SPS. RICARDO AND LYDIA
LLOBRERA, et al., Petitioners, vs. JOSEFINA V. FERNANDEZ, Respondent. G.R. No.
142882 May 2, 2006 CASE DOCTRINES Absence of proof of any contractual basis for
possession; presumption From the absence of proof of any contractual basis for
petitioners’ possession of the subject premises, the only legal implication is that
their possession thereof is by mere tolerance. Possession by mere tolerance;
implied promise of the occupant; remedy A person who occupies the land of another
at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is
necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing
which, a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him. FACTS:
Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45. The subject of the controversy is
a 1,849 square-meter registered parcel of land. Josefina V. Fernandez, one of the
registered co-owners of the land, served a written demand letter upon the Spouses
Llobrera, et al., to vacate the premises within fifteen (15) days from notice.
However, they refused to vacate. Fernandez then filed a verified Complaint for
ejectment and damages against Sps. Llobera, et al. before the MTCC of Dagupan City.
MTCC decision: in favor of Fernandez. RTC decision: affirmed the MTCC. CA decision:
affirmed the RTC.

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
ISSUE: WON Sps Llobera, et al.’s occupation and possession of the property is by
mere tolerance of Fernandez. RULING: From the absence of proof of any contractual
basis for petitioners’ possession of the subject premises, the only legal
implication is that their possession thereof is by mere tolerance. In Roxas vs.
Court of Appeals, we ruled: A person who occupies the land of another at the
latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily
bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which, a
summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him. The judgment
favoring the ejectment of petitioners being consistent with law and jurisprudence
can only be affirmed. The alleged consignation of the P20.00 monthly rental to a
bank account in respondent’s name cannot save the day for the petitioners simply
because of the absence of any contractual basis for their claim to rightful
possession of the subject property. Consignation based on Article 1256 of the Civil
Code indispensably requires a creditor-debtor relationship between the parties, in
the absence of which, the legal effects thereof cannot be availed of. HELD:
petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. /adsum GABRIEL ELANE, petitioner, vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and INOCENCIO V. CHUA, respondents. G.R. No. 80638 April 26, 1989
CASE DOCTRINES Possession as a fact; rule; exception General Rule: Possession as a
fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities
Exception: in the case of co-possession Should a question arise regarding the fact
of possession; 1. the present possessor shall be preferred; 2. if there are two
possessors, the one longer in possession; 3. if the dates of the possession are the
same, the one who presents a title; and 4. if all these conditions are equal, the
thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession
or ownership through proper proceedings. FACTS: Petition for Review on Certiorari.
Inocencio V. Chua filed an action for forcible entry in the MTCC of Olongapo City
for the eviction of Gabriel Elane from a portion of a parcel of land which was the
subject of a permit to occupy issued to Chua by the Bureau of Forestry on August
16, 1961. Chua’s allegations: 1. that on February 15, 1980, while visiting the
property, he discovered that Elane was constructing a semiconcrete building on a
portion thereof, without his knowledge and consent. 2. The order made by Chua upon
Elane to desist therefrom was ignored by the latter. Elane’s answer/s: 1. that he
was granted a permit by the Bureau of Forest Development over a parcel of land
located at Upper Kalaklan,Olongapo City. 2. that he has been in possession and
occupation of that parcel of land continuously and uninterruptedly since 1970,
having originally erected a hut thereon which was later replaced by a bungalow 3.
that the land has been declared for taxation in his name and the real property
taxes thereon paid by him for the years 1970 to 1979. MTCC decision: dismissed the
complaint. RTC decision: affirmed the MTCC. CA decision: reversed the RTC and MTCC.
ISSUE: WON Chua has a better right over the property. RULING: In sum, private
respondent was in earlier possession of the contested lot; his sales application
preceded that of petitioner; his warehouse and gasoline station already existed
long before petitioner took possession of the parcel of land in question; and he
has been paying taxes and rental fees thereon since 1968. As provided by the Civil
Code -

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Notes (Case Digests Property)
Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two
different personalities except in the case of co-possession. Should a question
arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be preferred;
if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession; ... Having been in prior
continuous possession, private respondent is preferentially entitled to occupy the
land. HELD: judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. /adsum

Republic vs. Alonte CASE DOCTRINES Possession can be exercised in one’s name or
that of another The fact that Editha Alonte, respondent's attorney-in-fact,
testified that it is she and her family who are residing on the subject lot does
not negate the statement in the petition for reconstitution that it is respondent
who is in possession of the lot. After all, Article 524 of the New Civil Code
provides that possession may be exercised in one's own name or in that of another.
Obviously, Editha Alonte was exercising possession over the land in the name of
respondent Lourdes Alonte. FACTS: Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45.
In 2001 Lourdes F. Alonte filed a Petition for the Reconstitution of the original
TCT and Issuance of the Corresponding Owner's Duplicate thereof over lot 18-B of
the subd. Plan (LRC) Psd-328326 co situated in the Municipality of Caloocan (now
Quezon City). All the requirements were complied by Alonte. There being no
opposition her representative was allowed to present evidience ex-parte. RTC
decision: granted the reconstitution. The RTC has issued a Certificate of finality.
However, it revoked the same because a Notice of Appeal was submitted. CA decision:
affirmed the RTC. ISSUE: WON Alonte who was in the United States complied with
possession requirement for the reconstitution of title. RULING: The petition for
reconstitution alleged that respondent is in possession of the subject lot and it
listed the names and addresses of adjoining owners enumerated in the Certification
from the Office of the City Assessor dated August 1, 2001; it stated that the title
is free from any and all liens and encumbrances; and it stated that a copy of TCT
No. 335986 is attached to the petition and made an integral part of the petition,
hence, the restrictions and liabilities appearing at the back of the copy of the
TCT are deemed part of the petition for reconstitution. Said petition was also
accompanied by a technical description of the property approved by the Commissioner
of the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration, the predecessor
of the LRA, as prescribed under the last condition of Section 12 of R.A. No. 26.
Thus, the petition clearly complied with the requirements of Section 12, R.A. No.
26. The fact that Editha Alonte, respondent's attorney-in-fact, testified that it
is she and her family who are residing on the subject lot does not negate the
statement in the petition for reconstitution that it is respondent who is in
possession of the lot. After all, Article 524 of the New Civil Code provides that
possession may be exercised in one's own name or in that of another. Obviously,
Editha Alonte was exercising possession over the land in the name of respondent
Lourdes Alonte. This is supported by the Certification from the Office of the City
Treasurer of Quezon City which states that the real property taxes on said
property, declared in the name of Lourdes Alonte, had been paid. Furthermore, as
stated above, the LRA submitted to the trial court a Report dated August 2, 2002
stating that “*t+he plan and technical description of Lot 18-B of the subdivision
plan (LRC) Psd-328326, were verified correct by this Authority to represent the
aforesaid lot and the same have been approved under (LRA) PR-19193 pursuant to the
provisions of Section 12 of R.A. No. 26.” Attached to said Report were the print
copy of plan (LRA) PR-19193 and the corresponding technical description. Since the
LRA issued a Report that is highly favorable to respondent, and considering further
the presumption that official duty has been regularly performed the only conclusion
would be that respondent has fully complied with the requirements of LRC Circular
No. 35. HELD: petition denied. /adsum Special thanks to zoila :-)

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Notes (Case Digests Property)

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