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Aranas vs.

January 15, 2014 Gr. No. 156407

Emigdio and Teresita were married before 1988 and so, their property regime is governed
by the conjugal partnership of gains. During the lifetime of Emigdio, he inherited and acquired
real properties from her deceased mother. He owned corporate shares in Mervir Realty
Corporation (Mervir Realty) and Cebu Emerson Transportation Corporation (Cebu Emerson). He
assigned his real properties in exchange for corporate stocks of Mervir Realty, and sold his real
property in Badian, Cebu to Mervir Realty and such deed of assignments were executed days
before he died.
Thelma then petitioned the RTC in Cebu City for the appointment of Teresita as
administrator of Emigdio’s estate. Following an order from the court, Teresita filed an inventory
of the properties left by the deceased but excluded therefrom the properties mentioned to have
been already assigned to Mervir Realty. Thelma moved that the list of inventory be amended to
include all the properties of the deceased even if already assigned. The trial court issued an order
that mandates Teresita to re-do the inventory made. Teresita appealed to the CA to which the CA
ruled in her favour.

ISSUE: Whether the properties that had already been assigned to Mervir Realty should be included
in the inventory of the administrator of the estate considering the fact that the same were conjugal
properties of the deceased and his surviving spouse.

Yes, the properties, even though assigned to Mervir Realty should be included in the
inventory for the settlement of the estate of the deceased.
“xxx with Emigdio and Teresita having been married prior to the effectivity of the Family Code
in August 3, 1988, their property regime was the conjugal partnership of gains. For purposes of
the settlement of Emigdio’s estate, it was unavoidable for Teresita to include his shares in the
conjugal partnership of gains. The party asserting that specific property acquired during that
property regime did not pertain to the conjugal partnership of gains carried the burden of proof,
and that party must prove the exclusive ownership by one of them by clear, categorical, and
convincing evidence. In the absence of or pending the presentation of such proof, the conjugal
partnership of Emigdio and Teresita must be provisionally liquidated to establish who the real
owners of the affected properties were, and which of the properties should form part of the estate
of Emigdio. The portions that pertained to the estate of Emigdio must be included in the inventory.

Moreover, although the title over Lot 3353 was already registered in the name of Mervir
Realty, the RTC made findings that put that title in dispute. Civil Case No. CEB–12692, a dispute
that had involved the ownership of Lot 3353, was resolved in favor of the estate of Emigdio, and
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 3252 covering Lot 3353 was still in Emigdio’s name. Indeed, the
RTC noted in the order of March 14, 2001, or ten years after his death, that Lot 3353 had remained
registered in the name of Emigdio.”

Francisco Lim vs. Equitable PCI Bank

January 15, 2014, G.R. No. 183918

Petitioner Francisco Lim executed an irrevocable power of attorney in favour of his brother
Franco Lim, authorizing the latter to mortgage his share in the property covered by by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 57176,4 which they co-owned. By virtue of said power, Franco Lim
was able to obtain two loans from Banco de Oro and Equitable PCI Bank which was secured by
the property mentioned on two different instances. The first loan from Banco De Oro had been
fully paid but the payment of the loan from Equitable PCI Bank defaulted. Consequently,
EPCIBank foreclosed the mortgaged and was able to obtain a Writ of Possession of the same.
Francisco Lim opposed the issuance of said writ and thereby applied for a TRO as well as
preliminary injunction from the trial court subject to the posting of a bond. The trial court ruled in
favour of Francisco Lim finding that his signature on the mortgage contract was forged. The CA
reversed the lower court’s ruling.
One of the arguments posted by Francisco Lim in his petition is that, the respondent bank
should have been alerted by the fact that the subject mortgage contract was executed without the
consent of his wife.

ISSUE: Whether the argument pertaining to the absence of the petitioner’s wife consent on the
mortgage contract bears material point for voiding the said contract.

The argument is immaterial The absence of his wife’s signature on the mortgage contract
also has no bearing in this case.
We are not unaware that all property of the marriage is presumed to be conjugal, unless it
is shown that it is owned exclusively by the husband or the wife;51 that this presumption is not
overcome by the fact that the property is registered in the name of the husband or the wife alone;52
and that the consent of both spouses is required before a conjugal property may be mortgaged.53
However, we find it iniquitous to apply the foregoing presumption especially since the nature of
the mortgaged property was never raised as an issue before the RTC, the CA, and even before this
Court. In fact, petitioner never alleged in his Complaint that the said property was conjugal in
nature. Hence, respondent had no opportunity to rebut the said presumption.
Worth mentioning, in passing, is the ruling in Philippine National Bank v. Court of Appeals54 to
The well-known rule in this jurisdiction is that a person dealing with a registered land has a right
to rely upon the face of the torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of inquiring
further, except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that
would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry.
A torrens title concludes all controversy over ownership of the land covered by a final
[decree] of registration. Once the title is registered the owner may rest assured without the
necessity of stepping into the portals of the court or sitting in the mirador de su casa to avoid the
possibility of losing his land.

Article 160 of the Civil Code provides as follows:

"Art. 160. All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless
it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife."
The presumption applies to property acquired during the lifetime of the husband and wife. In this
case, it appears on the face of the title that the properties were acquired by Donata Montemayor
when she was already a widow. When the property is registered in the name of a spouse only and
there is no showing as to when the property was acquired by said spouse, this is an indication that
the property belongs exclusively to said spouse. And this presumption under Article 160 of the
Civil Code cannot prevail when the title is in the name of only one spouse and the rights of innocent
third parties are involved.
The PNB had a reason to rely on what appears on the certificates of title of the properties
mortgaged. For all legal purposes, the PNB is a mortgagee in good faith for at the time the
mortgages covering said properties were constituted the PNB was not aware to any flaw of the title
of the mortgagor.
The Heirs of Victorino Sarili vs. Pedro F. Lagrosa
January 15, 2014 G.R. No. 193517

On February 17, 2000, respondent, represented by his attorney-in-fact Lourdes Labios
Mojica filed a complaint against Sps. Sarili and the Register of Deeds (RD)of Caloocan City before
the RTC, alleging, among others, that he is the owner of a certain parcel of land situated in
Caloocan City and has been religiously paying the real estate taxes therefor since its acquisition
on November 29, 1974. Respondent claimed that he is a resident of California, USA, and that
during his vacation in the Philippines, he discovered that a new certificate of title to the subject
property was issued by the RD in the name of Victorino married to Isabel Amparo, by virtue of a
falsified Deed of Absolute Sale dated February 16, 1978 purportedly executed by him and his wife,
Amelia U. Lagrosa. He averred that the falsification of the said deed of sale was a result of the
fraudulent, illegal, and malicious acts committed by Sps. Sarili and the RD in order to acquire the
subject property, and that Sps. Sarili deliver to him the possession of the subject property, or, in
the alternative, that Sps. Sarili and the RD jointly and severally pay him the amount of
P1,000,000.00, including moral damages as well as attorney’s fees
In their answer, Sps. Sarili maintained that they are innocent purchasers for value, having
purchased the subject property from Ramon B. Rodriguez, who possessed and presented a Special
Power of Attorney to sell/dispose of the same, and, in such capacity, executed a Deed of Absolute
Sale dated November 20, 1992 conveying the said property in their favor. In this relation, they
denied any participation in the preparation of the February 16, 1978 deed of sale, which may have
been merely devised by the "fixer" they hired to facilitate the issuance of the title in their names.
Further, they interposed a counterclaim for moral and exemplary damages, as well as attorney’s
fees, for the filing of the baseless suit.

ISSUE: Whether or not Sps. Sarili has rights and obligations with respect to the house they had
built on the subject property in bad faith.

The case is remanded to the court a quo for the proper application of the Civil Code
To be deemed a builder in good faith, it is essential that a person asserts title to the land on
which he builds, that he be a possessor in concept of owner, and that he be unaware that there
exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it. Good faith is an intangible
and abstract quality with no technical meaning or statutory definition, and it encompasses, among
other things, an honest belief, the absence of malice and the absence of design to defraud or to seek
an unconscionable advantage. It implies honesty of intention, and freedom from knowledge of
circumstances which ought to put the holder upon inquiry. As for Sps. Sarili, they knew – or at the
very least, should have known – from the very beginning that they were dealing with a person who
possibly had no authority to sell the subject property considering the palpable irregularity in the
subject SPA’s acknowledgment. Yet, relying solely on said document and without any further
investigation on Ramos’s capacity to sell Sps. Sarili still chose to proceed with its purchase and
even built a house thereon. Based on the foregoing it cannot be seriously doubted that Sps. Sarili
were actually aware of a flaw or defect in their title or mode of acquisition and have consequently
built the house on the subject property in bad faith under legal contemplation.
Valino vs. Adriano,
April 22, 2014 G.R. No. 182894

Atty. Adriano married respondent Rosario Adriano in 1955. The couple had 5 children and
1 adopted child. The marriage did turn sour and the couple separated in fact, though Adriano
continued to support his wife and children.
Atty. Adriano then started living with Valino, whom he courted. Atty. Adriano died and since his
immediate family, including respondent were in the United States, Valino took it upon herself to
bury Atty. Adriano at her family's mausoleum. In the meantime, Respondents heard about the
death and requested Valino to delay the burial so they can pay their final respects, but Valino still
buried the body.
Respondents commenced suit against Valino praying that they be indemnified for actual, moral
and exemplary damages and attorney’s fees and that the remains of Atty. Adriano be exhumed and
transferred to the family plot.

ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents are entitled to the remains of Atty. Adriano.

Yes. The Supreme Court ruled that the duty and the right to make funeral arrangements are
confined within the family of the deceased particularly the spouse of the deceased to the exclusion
of a common law spouse. Article 305 of the Civil Code, in relation to what is now Article 1996 of
the Family Code, specifies the persons who have the right and duty to make funeral arrangements
for the deceased. Thus:
Art. 305. The duty and the right to make arrangements for the funeral of a relative shall be
in accordance with the order established for support, under Article 294. In case of descendants of
the same degree, or of brothers and sisters, the oldest shall be preferred. In case of ascendants, the
paternal shall have a better right.
Further, Article 308 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 308. No human remains shall be retained, interred, disposed of or exhumed without the
consent of the persons mentioned in Articles 294 and 305.
Deped vs. Tuliao
June 9, 2014 G.R. No. 205664

On October 8, 2002, Mariano Tuliao (Tuliao) filed an action for recovery of possession
and removal of structure with damages against the Department of Education. He alleged that he
was the registered owner of the subject parcel of land and that a portion of the said property was
allowed by his predecessors-in-interest to be used by the Atulayan Elementary School (AES) as
an access road for the schoolchildren in going to and from the school. In March 2000, upon
discovering that a structure was being constructed on the land, he demanded that the DepED cease
and desist and vacate the property. The respondent, however, refused. Tuliao likewise demanded
payment for reasonable rent, but his demand was also ignored.

ISSUE: Whether or not Tuliao has better right over DepEd.

Yes. In actions for recovery of possession, the plaintiff must show proof to support his
claim of his right to possession of the property. The defendant in turn must show proof to
controvert the plaintiff’s claim; otherwise the court will rule for the plaintiff. Thus, when a
landowner filed an action for recovery of possession against a public school which built a
gymnasium on a parcel of land which the owner allowed the school to use as an access road for
the schoolchildren, and the plaintiff showed as evidence tax declarations and a certificate of title
over the property, the lone testimonial evidence the DepEd presented is not sufficient to controvert
the landowner’s case. In addition, the landowner’s claim is not barred by laches when the school’s
possession of the property is not adverse, and when the landowner brought suit two years after he
learned that the school is constructing a gymnasium over the property.
SAGAMLA, RODELYN D. 10 Sep. 2019
JD 2-C

Gabriel Jr. et al. vs. Crisologo

June 9, 2014 G.R. No. 204626

Carmeling Crisologo for Recovery of Possession and/or Ownership with Damages against
Juliet B. Pulkera, Paul P. Gabriel, Ireneo C. Calwag, and Thomas L. Tingga-an.
Crisologo alleged, among others, that she was the registered owner of two parcels of land with a
total area of approximately 2,000 square meters, described in, and covered by, two (2) certificates
of title; that the properties were covered by an Assessment of Real Property; that the payments of
realty taxes on the said properties were updated; that sometime in 2006, she discovered that
petitioners unlawfully entered, occupied her properties by stealth, by force and without her prior
consent and knowledge, and constructed their houses thereon; that upon discovery of their illegal
occupation, her daughter, Atty. Carmelita Crisologo, and Isican personally went to the properties
and verbally demanded that petitioners vacate the premises and remove their structures thereon;
that the petitioners begged and promised to buy the said properties for 3,500.00 per square meter;
that she gave petitioners time to produce the said amount, but they reneged on their promise to buy
them; that petitioners refused to vacate the subject properties despite several demands; that the
petitioners knew full well that the subject premises they were occupying were titled properties but
they insisted on unlawfully holding the same; and that she was unlawfully dispossessed and
displaced from the subject properties due to petitioners’ illegal occupation.

Whether or not Crisologo has a better right of possession over the subject parcels of land.

Yes. Crisologo has a better right of possession over the subject parcels of land. When it is
shown that the plaintiff in a case of accion publiciana had a valid title issued in her name in 1967,
within the period which the Supreme Court held that titles issued over the same properties were
valid; that she has been paying the realty taxes on the said properties since l969; that she likewise
appointed an administrator of the disputed lands, and more importantly, there is no question that
she offered to sell to petitioners the portions of the subject properties occupied by them, then she
deserves to be respected and restored to her lawful possession as provided in Article 539 of the
New Civil Code.
Quintos vs. Nicolas
June 16, 2014 G.R. No. 210252

Petitioners and respondents are siblings. In 1999, both their parents passed away, leaving
to their 10 children ownership over the subject property. An action for partition was subsequently
brought before the RTC. However, for failure of the parties and their counsels to appear despite
due notice, the case was dismissed. Thereafter, the respondent siblings executed a Deed of
Adjudication to transfer the property in favor of the 10 siblings. As a result, the old TCT was
cancelled and the Register of Deeds issued a new one. The respondents subsequently sold their
7/10 undivided share in favor of the spouses Candelario. The petitioners filed a complaint for
Quieting of Title and damages against the respondents.

ISSUE: Whether or not the action for Quieting of Title and damages should prosper.

No. For an action to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur, namely:
(1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or equitable title to or interest in the real property subject
of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on
the title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of
validity or efficacy. The first requisite was not complied with. Petitioners’ alleged open,
continuous, exclusive, and uninterrupted possession of the subject property is belied by the fact
that respondents, in 2005, entered into a Contract of Lease with the Avico Lending Investor Co.
over the subject lot without any objection from the petitioners. Petitioners’ inability to offer
evidence tending to prove that Bienvenido and Escolastica Ibarra transferred the ownership over
the property in favor of petitioners is likewise fatal to the latter’s claim.

Lavadia vs. Heirs of Juan Luces Luna

July 23, 2014 G.R. No. 171914

Atty. Luna, a practicing lawyer up until his death, married Eugenia in 1947. Their marriage
begot seven children, including Gregorio. After two decades of marriage, Atty. Luna and his wife
agreed to live separately as husband and wife, and executed an Agreement For Separation and
Property Settlement” whereby they agreed to live separately and to dissolve their conjugal property.
On January 2, 1076, Atty. Luna obtained a divorce decree of his marriage with Eugenia from the
Dominican Republic. On the same day, he married Soledad.
In 1977, Atty. Luna organized a new law firm with several other lawyers. The new law office thru
Atty. Luna obtained a condominium unit which they bought on an installment basis. After full
payment, the condominium title was registered in the names of the lawyers with pro-indivisio
shares. When the law office was dissolved, the condominium title was still registered in the names
of the owners, with Atty. Luna’s share fixed at 25/100. Atty. Luna established a new law firm with
Atty. Dela Cruz. After Atty. Luna’s death in 1997, his share in the condominium unit, his law
books and furniture were taken over by Gregorio, his son in the first marriage. His 25/100 share in
the condominium was also rented out to Atty. Dela Cruz.
Soledad, the second wife, then filed a complaint against the heirs of Atty. Luna. According to him,
the properties were acquired by Atty. Luna and her during their marriage, and because they had no
children, 3/4 of the property became hers, 1/2 being her share in the net estate, and the other half
bequeathed to her in a last will and testament of Atty. Luna.

1. Whether or not the divorce between Atty. Luna and Eugenia was void.
2. Whether or not the Agreement for Separation and Property Settlement is valid.
3. Whether or not property relations between Atty. Luna’s marriage with Soledad is governed
by co-ownership.

1. Yes. From the time of the celebration of the first marriage on September 10, 1947 until the
present, absolute divorce between Filipino spouses has not been recognized in the
Philippines. The non-recognition of absolute divorce between Filipinos has remained even
under the Family Code, even if either or both of the spouses are residing abroad. Indeed,
the only two types of defective marital unions under our laws have been the void and the
voidable marriages. As such, the remedies against such defective marriages have been
limited to the declaration of nullity of the marriage and the annulment of the marriage.

2. No. Considering that Atty. Luna and Eugenia had not entered into any marriage settlement
prior to their marriage on September 10, 1947, the system of relative community or
conjugal partnership of gains governed their property relations. This is because the Spanish
Civil Code, the law then in force at the time of their marriage, did not specify the property
regime of the spouses in the event that they had not entered into any marriage settlement
before or at the time of the marriage. Article 119 of the Civil Code clearly so provides, to

Article 119. The future spouses may in the marriage settlements agree upon absolute or
relative community of property, or upon complete separation of property, or upon any other
regime. In the absence of marriage settlements, or when the same are void, the system of
relative community or conjugal partnership of gains as established in this Code, shall
govern the property relations between husband and wife.

3. Yes. Atty. Luna’s marriage with Soledad was bigamous, and void from the very beginning,
hence, their property relations is governed by the rules on co-ownership:

In the Philippines, marriages that are bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous are void.
Article 71 of the Civil Code clearly states:

Article 71. All marriages performed outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in
force in the country where they were performed, and valid there as such, shall also be valid
in this country, except bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous marriages as determined by
Philippine law.

Bigamy is an illegal marriage committed by contracting a second or subsequent marriage

before the first marriage has been legally dissolved, or before the absent spouse has been
declared presumptively dead by means of a judgment rendered in the proper
proceedings.[23] A bigamous marriage is considered void ab initio.
Due to the second marriage between Atty. Luna and the petitioner being void ab initio by
virtue of its being bigamous, the properties acquired during the bigamous marriage were
governed by the rules on co-ownership, conformably with Article 144 of the Civil Code,

4. Article 144. When a man and a woman live together as husband and wife, but they are not
married, or their marriage is void from the beginning, the property acquired by either or
both of them through their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed
by the rules on co-ownership.

Rana v. Wong
June 30, 2014 G.R. No. 192861

Teresita and the spouses Shirley and Ruben (Spouses Wong) are co-owners of a property
located in Peace Valley Subdivision, near a 10-meter subdivision road. On the opposite side of the
road are the lots of the other protagonists, Wilson and Rosario (Spouses Uy) and Reynaldo and
Linda (Spouses Rana. The lot of the Rana spouses stand about two meters higher than the lot of of
the spouses Uy, while that of the spouses Wong are level with the road. To level the portion of the
road with their gate, the Rana spouses elevated and cemented a portion of the road sometime in
1997, and backfilled a portion of the perimeter fence they share with the spouses Uy but without
erecting a retaining wall. When the matter was referred to the barangay authorities and nothing
happened, the spouses Uy and Ong as well as Teresita filed a complaint for abatement of nuisance
(Civil Case No. CEB-20893) to declare the improvements introduced by the spouses Rana as a
nuisance which affected their engross and egress, since they now have to practically jump over the
elevated portion to come in and out of their properties, while the backfilling constitutes a danger
to the spouses Uy’s family because seeping rainwater from the Rana property might cause its
sudden collapse.

ISSUE: Whether or not nuisance should be abated.

No. It is a standing jurisprudential rule that unless a nuisance is a nuisance per se, it may
not be summarily abated. Aside from the remedy of summary abatement which should be taken
under the parameters stated in Articles 704 (for public nuisances) and 706 (for private nuisances)
of the Civil Code, a private person whose property right was invaded or unreasonably interfered
with by the act, omission, establishment, business or condition of the property of another may file
a civil action to recover personal damages. Abatement may be judicially sought through a civil
action therefor if the pertinent requirements under the Civil Code for summary abatement, or the
requisite that the nuisance is a nuisance per se, do not concur. To note, the remedies of abatement
and damages are cumulative; hence, both may be demanded.
With respect to the elevated and cemented subject portion, the Court finds that the same is not a
nuisance per se. By its nature, it is not injurious to the health or comfort of the community. It was
built primarily to facilitate the ingress and egress of Sps. Rana from their house which was
admittedly located on a higher elevation than the subject road and the adjoining Uy, and Wong-
Ong properties. Since the subject portion is not a nuisance per se, it cannot be summarily abated.

Midway Maritime and Technological Foundation vs. Castro, et al.

August 6, 2014 G.R. No. 189061

The petitioner Midway Maritime and Technological Foundation is the lessee of two parcels
of land in Cabanatuan City. Its president, Dr. Manglicmot, is married to Adoracion Cloma who is
the registered owner of the property. Inside said property stands a residential building, which is
now the subject matter of the dispute, owned by the respondents.
The property has been subjected to different transfers because of foreclosure, until Adoracion’s
father, Tomas Cloma, bought the two parcels of land from Union Bank in an auction sale conducted
on July 13, 1993. Tomas subsequently leased the property to the petitioner and thereafter, sold the
same to Adoracion. Several suits were brought by the respondents against the petitioner, including
the case at bench, which is an action for Ownership, Recovery of Possession and Damages.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was a lease agreement between the petitioner and the respondents as
regards the residential building.

Yes. Given the existence of the lease, the petitioner’s claim denying the respondents’
ownership of the residential house must be rejected.1âwphi1 According to the petitioner, it is
Adoracion who actually owns the residential building having bought the same, together with the
two parcels of land, from her father Tomas, who, in turn, bought it in an auction sale. The Supreme
Court ruled that it is settled that once a contact of lease is shown to exist between the parties, the
lessee cannot by any proof, however strong, overturn the conclusive presumption that the lessor
has a valid title to or a better right of possession to the subject premises than the lessee." Section
2(b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court prohibits a tenant from denying the title of his landlord at the
time of the commencement of the relation of landlord and tenant between them.
Ando vs. Department Of Foreign Affairs
August 27, 2014 G.R. No. 195432

On 16 September 2001, petitioner married Yuichiro Kobayashi, a Japanese National, in a
civil wedding solemnized at Candaba, Pampanga.
On 16 September 2004, Yuichiro Kobayashi sought in Japan, and was validly granted under
Japanese laws, a divorce in respect of his marriage with petitioner. A copy of the Divorce
Certificate duly issued by the Consulate-General of Japan and duly authenticated by the
Department of Foreign Affairs, Manila.
Said Divorce Certificate was duly registered with the Office of the Civil Registry of Manila.
Believing in good faith that said divorce capacitated her to remarry and that by such she reverted
to her single status, petitioner married Masatomi Y. Ando on 13 September 2005 in a civil wedding
celebrated in Sta. Ana, Pampanga.
In the meantime, Yuichiro Kobayashi married Ryo Miken on 27 December 2005.
Recently, petitioner applied for the renewal of her Philippine passport to indicate her surname with
her husband Masatomi Y. Ando but she was told at the Department of Foreign Affairs that the
same cannot be issued to her until she can prove by competent court decision that her marriage
with her said husband Masatomi Y. Ando is valid until otherwise declared.

ISSUE: Whether or not the first marriage is lawfully annulled by virtue of a divorce decree making
the second marriage valid.

No. In Garcia v. Recio, the court ruled that a divorce obtained abroad by an alien may be
recognized in our jurisdiction, provided the decree is valid according to the national law of the
foreigner. The presentation solely of the divorce decree is insufficient; both the divorce decree and
the governing personal law of the alien spouse who obtained the divorce must be proven. Because
our courts do not take judicial notice of foreign laws and judgment, our law on evidence requires
that both the divorce decree and the national law of the alien must be alleged and proven and like
any other fact.10
While it has been ruled that a petition for the authority to remarry filed before a trial court
actually constitutes a petition for declaratory relief, the court wasstill unable to grant the prayer of
petitioner. As held by the RTC, there appears to be insufficient proof or evidence presented on
record of both the national law of her first husband, Kobayashi, and of the validity of the divorce
decree under that national law. Hence, any declaration as to the validity of the divorce can only be
made upon her complete submission of evidence proving the divorce decree and the national law
of her alien spouse, in an action instituted in the proper forum.

Willaware Products Corporation vs. Jesichris Manufacturing Corporation

September 3, 2014 G.R. No. 195549

Respondent Jesichris Manufacturing Company filed this present complaint for damages for
unfair competition with prayer for permanent injunction to enjoin petitioner Willaware Products
Corporation from manufacturing and distributing plastic-made automotive parts similar to those
of respondent.
That sometime in November 2000, respondent discovered that petitioner had been
manufacturing and distributing the same automotive parts with exactly similar design, same
material and colors but was selling these products at a lower price as respondent’s plastic-made
automotive parts and to the same customers.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner committed acts amounting to unfair competition under Article
28 of the Civil Code.

Article 28 of the Civil Code provides that "unfair competition in agricultural, commercial
or industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or
any other unjust, oppressive or high-handed method shall give rise to a right of action by the person
who thereby suffers damage."
In order to qualify the competition as "unfair," it must have two characteristics: (1) it must involve
an injury to a competitor or trade rival, and (2) it must involve acts which are characterized as
"contrary to good conscience," or "shocking to judicial sensibilities," or otherwise unlawful; in the
language of our law, these include force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust,
oppressive or high-handed method. The public injury or interest is a minor factor; the essence of
the matter appears to be a private wrong perpetrated by unconscionable means.
Here, both characteristics are present.
First, both parties are competitors or trade rivals, both being engaged in the manufacture
of plastic-made automotive parts. Second, the acts of the petitioner were clearly "contrary to good
conscience" as petitioner admitted having employed respondent’s former employees, deliberately
copied respondent’s products and even went to the extent of selling these products to respondent’s
It is evident that petitioner is engaged in unfair competition as shown by his act of suddenly
shifting his business from manufacturing kitchenware to plastic-made automotive parts; his luring
the employees of the respondent to transfer to his employ and trying to discover the trade secrets
of the respondent.

Subic Bay Legend Resorts and Casinos Inc. vs. Fernandez

September 29, 2014 G.R. No. 193426

On July 1, 1997, Bernard Fernandez, a brother of Ludwig and Deoven, filed complaint for
recovery of sum of money and damages against the company. According to him he went to the
casino on June 13, 1997; he handed to his brothers $6,000.00 worth of chips belonging to him, for
use at the casino; thereat, the company personnel accosted his brothers and confiscated his casino
chips worth $5,900.00, and failed to return the same to him despite demand. Brothers Deoven and
Ludwig Fernandez was accused of stealing casino chips from Subic Bay Legend Resorts and
Casinos Inc.
They were made to confess that the chips were supplied by a casino employee, Michael Cabrera.

ISSUE: Whether or not Bernard is the lawful possessor of the casino chips, entitling him to collect
from the casino and award of damages.

There is no basis to suppose that the casino chips found in Ludwin’s and Deoven’s
possession were stolen; petitioner acted arbitrarily in confiscating the same without basis. . If it
cannot be proved, in the first place, that Cabrera stole these chips, then there is no more reason to
suppose that Ludwin and Deoven were dealing in or possessed stolen goods; unless the
independent fact that Cabrera stole the chips can be proved, it cannot be said that they must be
confiscated when found to be in Ludwin’s and Deoven’s possession.
Though casino chips do not constitute legal tender, there is no law which prohibits their
use or trade outside of the casino which issues them. Since casino chips are considered to have
been exchanged with their corresponding representative value – it is with more reason that the
Court should require SBL to prove convincingly and persuasively that the chips it confiscated from
Ludwin and Deoven were indeed stolen from it. If SBL cannot prove its loss, then Article 559
cannot apply; the presumption that the chips were exchanged for value remains.

Santos vs. Santos

October 08, 2014 G.R. No. 187061

Upon prior petition by Ricardo that his wife, Celerina, be declared presumptively dead, the
RTC of Tarlac City granted it on July 27, 2007. According to Ricardo, he and his wife were married
in 1980; they first lived in San Juan, but after a year moved to Tarlac City. Due to business reverses,
Celerina convinced him to allow her to work as domestic worker in Hongkong, She applied in an
employment agency, and left in February 1995, never to be hard again. He exerted efforts to locate
Celerina, but the same proved futile; he inquired from his relatives but no one gave him any
information; 12 years had since passed between the time she left abroad and the filing of the
petition. On November 17, 2008, Celerina filed a petition for annulment of the RTC decision
declaring her presumptively dead with the Court of Appeals. According to her, she learned about
Ricardo’s petition only in October, 2008, and she could no longer avail of appeals, motion for
reconsideration or new trial. She was deprived of her day in court when Ricardo alleged she was
a resident of Tarlac City, when her true residence was in Quezon City, their conjugal home;
Ricardo left the conjugal home in May, 2008. She also never left abroad as a domestic worker.
The court also did not acquire jurisdiction over the petition since it was never published in a
newspaper of general publication; the Office of the Solicitor General and the Provincial Prosecutor’
s Office was also not notified on the petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing Celerina's petition for annulment
of judgment for being a wrong remedy for a fraudulently obtained judgment declaring presumptive

Yes. Annulment of judgment is the remedy when the Regional Trial Court's judgment,
order, or resolution has become final, and the remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief (or
other appropriate remedies) are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner.
The proper remedy for a judicial declaration of presumptive death obtained by extrinsic fraud is
an action to annul the judgment. An affidavit of reappearance is not the proper remedy when the
person declared presumptively dead has never been absent.

Carinan vs. Sps. Cueto

October 8, 2014 G.R. No. 198636

Sometime in May 1986, Esperanza and her husband, Jose acquired from one Roberto
Ventura the rights over a parcel of land under the name of the GSIS, measuring 180 square meters.
Esperanza, then sought financial assistance from her brother, Gavino, in October 2005 after several
amortizations remained unpaid.
The respondents alleged that Esperanza and Jazer undertook to execute a Deed of Absolute Sale
in favor of the respondents once the title over the subject property was transferred to their names,
subject to the condition that they would be given the first option to buy it back within three years
by reimbursing the expenses incurred by the respondents on the property.6
Sometime in 2006, the respondents demanded from Esperanza and Jazer the fulfillment of their
commitment to transfer the subject property to the respondents’ names through the execution of a
deed of sale. When Esperanza and Jazer failed to comply despite efforts for an amicable settlement,
the respondents filed a complaint for specific performance with damages.

ISSUE: Whether or not payment made by Gavino is deemed a donation.

No. In order to sufficiently substantiate her claim that the money paid by the respondents
was actually a donation, petitioner should have also submitted in court a copy of their written
contract evincing such agreement. As earlier ruled by the Court, a donation must comply with the
mandatory formal requirements set forth by law for its validity. When the subject of donation is
purchase money, Article 748 of the NCC is applicable. Accordingly, the donation of money as
well as its acceptance should be in writing. Otherwise, the donation is invalid for non-compliance
with the formal requisites prescribed by law.
Loria vs. Muñoz
October 15, 2014 G.R. No. 187240

Ludolfo P. Muñoz, Jr. (Muñoz) filed a complaint for sum of money and damages with an
application for issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment against Carlos A. Loria (Loria)
alleging that he has been engaged in construction under the name, "Ludolfo P. Muñoz, Jr.
Construction." In August 2000, Loria visited Muñoz in his office in Doña Maria Subdivision in
Daraga, Albay. He invited Muñoz to advance P2,000,000.00 for a subcontract of a P50,000,000.00
river-dredging project in Guinobatan.

ISSUE: Whether or not Loria must return Munoz’s P2,000,000.00 under the principle of unjust

Yes. Under Article 22 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, "every person who through an
act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something
at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him." There is
unjust enrichment "when a person unjustly retains a benefit to the loss of another, or when a person
retains money or property of another against the fundamental principles of justice, equity and good
The principle of unjust enrichment has two conditions. First, a person must have been
benefited without a real or valid basis or justification. Second, the benefit was derived at another
person’s expense or damage.
In this case, Loria received P2,000,000.00 from Muñoz for a subcontract of a government project
to dredge the Masarawag and San Francisco Rivers in Guinobatan, Albay. However, contrary to
the parties’ agreement, Muñoz was not subcontracted for the project. Nevertheless, Loria retained
the P2,000,000.00.
Thus, Loria was unjustly enriched. He retained Muñoz’s money without valid basis or
justification. Under Article 22 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, Loria must return the
P2,000,000.00 to Muñoz.

Barrido vs. Nonato

October 20, 2014 G.R. No. 176492
Leonardo and Marrieta’s marriage was dissolved by reason of psychologyical incapacity
in 1996, hence Leonardo filed a complaint for partition over their property consisting of a house
and lot,since according to him, there was no more reason to maintain their co-ownership. In her
defense, Marrieta claimed that the property had been sold to their children Joseph Raymond and
Joseph Leo.She also moved for dismissal of the action for lack of jurisdiction on the part of the
MTCC Bacolod City, the action for partition being an action incapable of pecuniary estimation.
Per decision of the MTCC, it ruled in favour of Marrietta and adjudicated the land to her, being
the spouse with whom the majority of the common children choose to remain. It also awarded
moral damages in favour of Marrieta.

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in holding that article 129 of the family code has no
application in the present case, on the assumption that the trial court had jurisdiction over the case.

No. Although Article 129 provides for the procedure in case of dissolution of the conjugal
partnership regime, Article 147 specifically covers the effects of void marriages on the spouses’
property relations. The SC ruled that what governs them is Art. 147 of the Family Code. Under
this article, property acquired by both spouses through their work and industry shall be governed
by the rules on equal co-ownership. Any property acquired during the union is prima facie
presumed to have been obtained through their joint efforts. A party who did not participate in the
acquisition of the property shall be considered as having contributed to the same jointly if said
party's efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family household. Efforts in the care
and maintenance of the family and household are regarded as contributions to the acquisition of
common property by one who has no salary or income or work or industry. In the case at bar since
the former spouses both agreed that they acquired the subject property during the subsistence of
their marriage, it shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry,
thus, the property is jointly owned by them in equal shares.

Abadilla Jr. vs. Spouses Obrero

November 12, 2014 G.R. No. 199448

Complainant Sps. Bonifacio P. Obrero and Bernabela N. Obrero initiated a case for forcible
entry against defendant Rolando S. Abadilla, Jr. Complainants claimed that they are the registered
owners of the land in question based on a TCT registered under the name. They claimed they were
in possession thereof based on improvements erected therein utilized for residential and business
purposes prior to the alleged acts of Respondent who forcible fenced the perimeter of the land with
barbed wire.
By way of defense, defendant claimed that the land was sold by complainants to his late
father as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale. Being one of the heirs, he is one of the owners
thereof. In fact, they left a caretaker to oversee the land. Despite the sale, complainants supposedly
attempted to remove the fence and even built concrete structures on the land using it for dwelling

ISSUE: Who is entitled to the physical or material possession of the premises or possession de

In an ejectment case, title is not involved as the sole issue is the determination of who is
entitled to the physical or material possession of the premises or possession de facto. “Thus, where
the parties to an ejectment case raise the issue of ownership, the courts may pass upon that issue
but only to determine who between the parties has the better right to possess the property. As such,
any adjudication of the ownership issue is not final and binding; it is only provisional, and not a
bar to an action between the same parties involving title to the property.”

Here, both parties anchor their right of possession on ownership. Between a Deed of
Absolute Sale and a TCT, it is the TCT which must prevail. “A certificate of title is evidence of
indefeasible and incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears
therein. ‘[A] title issued under the Torrens system is entitled to all the attributes of property
ownership, which necessarily includes possession.’ Hence, as holders of the Torrens title over the
subject land, the respondents are entitled to its possession.

Further, in the Deed of Absolute Sale, no sale was perfected as the parties failed to agree
on the purchase price. Thus, defendants claim of possession “had no sufficient basis and it cannot
overthrow the attribute of possession attached to the respondents’ certificate of title.”
Penta Pacific Realty Corporation vs. Ley Construction And Development Corporation
November 24, 2014 G.R. No. 161589

Penta Pacific leased its properties to Ley Construction. Both parties then entered into a
contract to sell. Ley Construction failed to pay its amortizations prompting Penta Pacific to file an
action for ejectment. The CA affirmed the ruling of the RTC that the MeTC had no jurisdiction
over the case.

ISSUE: Whether the complaint was for unlawful detainer, or accion publiciana, or accion

In resolving, the Supreme Court ruled that, a defendant's claim of possession de Jure or his
averment of ownership does not render the ejectment suit either accion publiciana or accion
reivindicatoria. The suit remains an accion interdictal, a summary proceeding that can proceed
independently of any claim of ownership. Even when the question of possession cannot be resolved
without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership is to be resolved only to determine
the issue of possession.

Torres Jr. vs. Velez

November 26, 2014 G.R. No. 187987

Vicente V. Torres, Jr. (Vicente), Mariano Velez (Mariano) and Carlos Velez (petitioners)
filed a Complaint before RTC Cebu City praying for the nullification of the sale of real property
by respondent Jesus Velez (Jesus) in favor of Lorenzo Lapinid (Lapinid); the recovery of
possession and ownership of the property; and the payment of damages.
Petitioners alleged in their complaint that they, including Jesus, are co-owners of several parcels
of land including the disputed Lot. No. 4389 located at Cogon, Carcar, Cebu. Sometime in 1993,
Jesus filed an action for partition of the parcels of land against the petitioners and other co-owners
before Branch 21 of RTC Cebu City. A judgment was rendered based on a compromise agreement
signed by the parties wherein they agreed that Jesus, Mariano and Vicente were jointly authorized
to sell the said properties and receive the proceeds thereof and distribute them to all the co-owners.
However, the agreement was later amended to exclude Jesus as an authorized seller. Pursuant to
their mandate, the petitioners inspected the property and discovered that Lapinid was occupying a
specific portion of the 3000 square meters of Lot No. 4389 by virtue of a deed of sale executed by
Jesus in favor of Lapinid. It was pointed out by petitioner that as a consequence of what they
discovered, a forcible entry case was filed against Lapinid.

ISSUE: Whether or not sale between Jesus Velez and Lorenzo Lapinid is valid.

Yes. Under Article 493 of the New Civil Code, a co-owner has an absolute ownership of
his undivided and pro-indiviso share in the co-owned property. He has the right to alienate, assign
and mortgage it, even to the extent of substituting a third person in its enjoyment provided that no
personal rights will be affected. In this case, Jesus can validly alienate his co-owned property in
favor of Lapinid, free from any opposition from the co-owners. Lapinid, as a transferee, validly
obtained the same rights of Jesus from the date of the execution of a valid sale. Absent any proof
that the sale was not perfected, the validity of sale subsists. In essence, Lapinid steps into the shoes
of Jesus as co-owner of an ideal and proportionate share in the property held in common. Thus,
from the perfection of contract on 9 November 1997, Lapinid eventually became a co-owner of
the property. Even assuming that the petitioners are correct in their allegation that the disposition
in favor of Lapinid before partition was a concrete or definite portion, the validity of sale still
JD ,2-C

Mangaser vs. Ugay

December 03, 2014 G.R. No. 204926

On October 30, 2007, petitioner Anacleto Mangaser, filed a complaint for Forcible Entry
with Damages against respondent Dionisio Ugay (respondent) In his complaint, petitioner alleged
that he was the registered owner and possessor of a parcel of land situated in Santiago Sur, Caba,
La Union and that on October 31, 2006, petitioner, discovered that respondent stealthy intruded
and occupied a portion of his property by constructing a residential house thereon without his
knowledge and consent; that he referred the matter to the Office of Lupong Tagapamayapa for
conciliation, but no settlement was reached, hence, a certification to file action was issued by the
Lupon; and that demand letters were sent to respondent but he still refused to vacate the premises,
thus, he was constrained to seek judicial remedy.

Whether or not Mangaser failed to prior physical possession over the property
No. The court ruled that possession can be acquired by juridical acts. These are acts to
which the law gives the force of acts of possession. Examples of these are donations, succession,
execution and registration of public instruments, inscription of possessory information titles and
the like. The reason for this exceptional rule is that possession in the eyes of the law does not mean
that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of ground before it can be said that he is in
possession. It is sufficient that petitioner was able to subject the property to the action of his will.
Syjuco vs. Bonifacio and Vsd Realty & Development Corporation
January 14, 2015 G.R. No. 148748

Petitioners Imelda, Leonardo, Fidelino, Azucena, Anita, and Sisa, all surnamed Syjuco are
the registered co-owners of the subject land, located in the then Barrio of Balintawak, Municipality
of Caloocan, Province of Rizal, under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-1085304 issued
by the Register of Deeds of Caloocan City on March 26, 1984.
Petitioners have been in open, continuous, and uninterrupted possession of the subject land, by
themselves or through their predecessors-in-interest, since 1926.
Sometime in 1994, however, petitioners learned that a broker named Exequiel Fajardo, through a
Letter dated March 9, 1994, offered for sale the subject land along with the improvements thereon
to a certain Luis Ong,
Petitioners found out that the purported owner of the subject land, respondent Felisa D.
Bonifacio , was the sub-lessee of Kalayaan Development Corporation, which, in turn, was the sub-
lessee of Manufacturer’s Bank, which was the direct lessee of petitioners. Petitioners also learned
that respondent Bonifacio was able to register the subject land in her name under TCT No. 265778,
which was issued on March 29, 1993 by the Register of Deeds of Caloocan City.
To protect their rights and interest over the subject land, petitioners lodged a Petition on July 28,
1994, praying for the declaration of nullity and cancellation of respondent Bonifacio’s TCT No.
265778 over the subject land in view of petitioners’ subsisting TCT No. T-108530 over the very
same property.
It was also only in 1995 when petitioners learned that respondent Bonifacio was able to
sell and transfer her title over the subject land in favor of respondent VSD Realty.

ISSUE: Whether or not an action to quiet title over the subject land is in order.

Yes. The instituted action in this case is clearly a direct attack on a certificate of title to real
In their complaint for quieting of title, petitioners specifically pray for the declaration of
nullity and/or cancellation of respondents’ TCT Nos. 265778 and 285313 over the subject land.
The relief sought by petitioners is certainly feasible since the objective of an action to quiet title,
as provided under Article 476 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, is precisely to quiet, remove,
invalidate, annul, and/or nullify “a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein by reason
of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective
but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial
to said title.”
In their complaint for quieting of title, petitioners specifically pray for the declaration of
nullity and/or cancellation of respondents’ TCT Nos. 265778 and 285313 over the subject land.
The relief sought by petitioners is certainly feasible since the objective of an action to quiet title,
as provided under Article 476 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, is precisely to quiet, remove,
invalidate, annul, and/or nullify “a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein by reason
of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective
but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial
to said title.”
It is an established doctrine in land ownership disputes that the filing of an action to quiet
title is imprescriptible if the disputed real property is in the possession of the plaintiff. One who
is in actual possession of a piece of land claiming to be owner thereof may wait until his possession
is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right, the reason for the rule
being that his undisturbed possession gives him a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of
equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and its effect on
his own title, which right can be claimed only by one who is in possession.
Saudi Arabian Airlines vs. Rebesencio, et al.
January 14, 2015 G.R. No. 198587

Petitioner Saudi Arabian Airlines (Saudia) is a foreign corporation established and existing
under the laws of Jeddah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Respondents were recruited and hired by Saudia as Temporary Flight Attendants with the
accreditation and approval of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration. After
undergoing seminars required by the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration for
deployment overseas, as well as training modules offered by Saudia and after working as
Temporary Flight Attendants, respondents became Permanent Flight Attendants. They then
entered into Cabin Attendant contracts with Saudia

Respondents continued their employment with Saudia until they were separated from
service on various dates in 2006
Respondents contended that the termination of their employment was illegal. They alleged
that the termination was made solely because they were pregnant.
As respondents alleged, they had informed Saudia of their respective pregnancies and had gone
through the necessary procedures to process their maternity leaves. Initially, Saudia had given its
approval but later on informed respondents that its management in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia had
disapproved their maternity leaves. In addition, it required respondents to file their resignation
letters and were told that if they did not resign, Saudia would terminate them all the same. The
threat of termination entailed the loss of benefits, such as separation pay and ticket discount
On November 8, 2007, respondents filed a Complaint against Saudia and its officers for illegal
dismissal and for underpayment of salary, overtime pay, premium pay for holiday, rest day,
premium, service incentive leave pay, 13th month pay, separation pay, night shift differentials,
medical expense reimbursements, retirement benefits, illegal deduction, lay-over expense and
allowances, moral and exemplary damages, and attorney's fees.

ISSUE: Whether or not foreign laws will apply rather than Phiilippine laws are regards contracts
entered into.

Philippine law is definite as to what governs the formal or extrinsic validity of contracts.
The first paragraph of Article 17 of the Civil Code provides that "[t]he forms and solemnities of
contracts . . . shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they are executed".
In contrast, there is no statutorily established mode of settling conflict of laws situations on matters
pertaining to substantive content of contracts. It has been noted that three (3) modes have emerged:
(1) lex loci contractus or the law of the place of the making; (2) lex loci solutionis or the law of
the place of performance; and (3) lex loci intentionis or the law intended by the parties.
Given Saudia's assertions, of particular relevance to resolving the present dispute is lex loci
An author observed that Spanish jurists and commentators "favor lex loci intentionis." These jurists
and commentators proceed from the Civil Code of Spain, which, like our Civil Code, is silent on
what governs the intrinsic validity of contracts, and the same civil law traditions from which we
draw ours.
Forum non conveniens finds no application and does not operate to divest Philippine
tribunals of jurisdiction and to require the application of foreign law.
Saudia invokes forum non conveniens to supposedly effectuate the stipulations of the Cabin
Attendant contracts that require the application of the laws of Saudi Arabia.
Forum non conveniens relates to forum, not to the choice of governing law. Thai forum
non conveniens may ultimately result in the application of foreign law is merely an incident of its
application. In this strict sense, forum non conveniens is not applicable. It is not the primarily
pivotal consideration in this case.
Demetria De Guzman, et al. vs. Filinvest Development Corporation
January 14, 2015 G.R. No. 191710

Petitioners were co-owners in fee simple of a parcel of land measuring 15,063 square
meters and situated in Barrio Bulao, Cainta, Rizal, which was later subdivided among them and
for which individual titles were issued. The property is enclosed and surrounded by other real
properties belonging to various owners. One of its adjoining properties is Filinvest Home
Subdivision Phase IV-A, a subdivision owned and developed by respondent Filinvest
Development Corporation which, coming from petitioners' property, has a potential direct access
to Marcos highway either by foot or vehicle. As such, petitioners filed on August 17, 1988 a
Complaint for Easement of Right of Way against respondent before the Regional Trial Court of
Unwilling to grant petitioners a right of way within its subdivision, respondent alleged in
its Answer that petitioners have an access to Sumulong Highway through another property
adjoining the latter's property.

ISSUE: Assuming that the subject right of way pertains to the road network in respondent's
subdivision, is the CA correct in its assessment of indemnity?

The ruling in Woodridge is applicable to the present case.
The Court, however, deems it necessary to modify the width of the easement which would
serve as basis in fixing the value of the land as part of the proper indemnity.
Article 651 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 651. The width of the easement of right of way shall be that which is sufficient for the needs
of the dominant estate, and may accordingly be changed from time to time.
According to Senator Arturo M. Tolentino, a noted civilist, it is the needs of the dominant tenement
which determine the width of the passage.
As mentioned, the right of way constituting the easement in this case consists of existing
and developed network of roads. This means that in their construction, the needs of the dominant
estate were not taken into consideration precisely because they were constructed prior to the grant
of the right of way. During the remand proceedings, it was established that the width of the affected
roads is 10 meters. Multiplied by the distance of 2,350 meters, the total area to be indemnified is
23,500 square meters and at a price of P1,620.00 per square meter, petitioners must pay respondent
the whopping amount of P38,070,000.00 for the value of the land. Under the circumstances, the
Court finds it rather iniquitous to compute the proper indemnity based on the 10-meter width of
the existing roads. To stress, it is the needs of the dominant estate which determines the width of
the passage. And per their complaint, petitioners were simply asking for adequate vehicular and
other similar access to the highway. To the Court's mind, the 10-¬meter width of the affected road
lots is unnecessary and inordinate for the intended use of the easement. At most, a 3-meter wide
right of way can already sufficiently meet petitioners' need for vehicular access. It would thus be
unfair to assess indemnity based on the 10-meter road width when a three-meter width can already
sufficiently answer the needs of the dominant estate. Therefore bearing in mind Article 651, the
Court finds proper a road width of 3 meters in computing the proper indemnity. Thus, multiplying
the road length of 2,350 meters by a road width of 3 meters, the total area to be indemnified is
7,050 square meters. At a value of P1,620.00 per square meter, the total value of the land to form
part of the indemnity amounts to P11,421,000.00. It must be made clear, however, that despite
their payment of the value of the land on the basis of a three-meter road width or basically for a
one-way traffic road only, petitioners must be allowed to use the roads within respondent's
subdivision based on the existing traffic patterns so as not to disrupt the traffic flow therein.
In addition, petitioners must bear as part of damages the costs for the removal of the fence in Road
Lot 15. Also, the Court takes judicial notice that subdivision residents are paying monthly dues for
purposes of road maintenance, security, garbage collection, use and maintenance of other
subdivision facilities, etc. In view of the fact that the road lots affected would be used by the
dominant estate in common with the subdivision residents, the Court deems reasonable to require
petitioners to pay the homeowner's association in respondent's subdivision, by way of monthly
dues, an amount equivalent to half of the rate of the monthly dues that the subdivision residents
are being assessed. This shall serve as petitioners' share in the maintenance of the affected road
In easement of right of way, there is no alienation of the land occupied.

Kalaw vs. Fernandez

January 14, 2015 G.R. No. 166357

Tyrone Kalaw and Malyn Fernandez got married in 1976. After the birth of their 4th child,
Tyrone had an affair with Jocelyn Quejano. In May 1985, Malyn left the conjugal home and her
four children with Tyrone. Meanwhile, Tyrone started living with Jocelyn, and they had three more
children. In 1990, Tyrone went to the United States (US) with Jocelyn and their children. On July
6, 1994, nine years since the de facto separation from his wife, Tyrone filed a petition for
declaration of nullity of marriage based on Article 36 of the Family Code. He alleged that Malyn
was psychologically incapacitated to perform and comply with the essential marital obligations at
the time of the celebration of their marriage. He alleged that 1) She leaves the children without
proper care and attention as she played mahjong all day and all night; 2) She leaves the house to
party with male friends and returned in the early hours of the following day; and 3) She committed
adultery on June 9, 1985 in Hyatt Hotel with one Benjie whom he saw half-naked in the hotel
room. Tyrone presented a psychologist, Dr. Cristina Gates, and a Catholic canon law expert, Fr.
Gerard Healy, S.J., to testify on Malyn’s psychological incapacity. Dr. Gates explained that Malyn
suffers from Narcissistic Personality Disorder and that it “may have been evident even prior to her
marriage” because it is rooted in her family background and upbringing. Fr. Healy concluded that
Malyn was psychologically incapacitated to perform her marital duties. He explained that her
psychological incapacity is rooted in her role as the breadwinner of her family. This role allegedly
inflated Malyn’s ego to the point that her needs became priority, while her kids’ and husband’s
needs became secondary.

ISSUE: Whether Tyrone has sufficiently proven that Malyn suffers from psychological incapacity.

No. Psychological incapacity is the downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of
and to assume the basic marital obligations. The burden of proving psychological incapacity is on
the plaintiff. The plaintiff must prove that the incapacitated party, based on his or her actions or
behavior, suffers a serious psychological disorder that completely disables him or her from
understanding and discharging the essential obligations of the marital state. The psychological
problem must be grave, must have existed at the time of marriage, and must be incurable.
He presented the testimonies of two supposed expert witnesses who concluded that respondent is
psychologically incapacitated, but the conclusions of these witnesses were premised on the alleged
acts or behavior of respondent which had not been sufficiently proven. No proof whatsoever was
presented to prove her visits to beauty salons or her frequent partying with friends. Malyn’s sexual
infidelity was also not proven because she was only dating other men. Even assuming that she
had an extramarital affair with another man, sexual infidelity cannot be equated with obsessive
need for attention from other men. Sexual infidelity per se is a ground for legal separation, but it
does not necessarily constitute psychological incapacity.

Viñas vs. Parel-Viñas

January 21, 2015 G.R. No. 208790

Glenn Viñas (petitioner) and Mary Grace Parel-Viñas (respondent) with the latter already
pregnant, were married in April 26, 1999. The baby died in child birth. Petitioner alleged that the
cause of death due to malnourishment was by the respondent's heavy drinking and smoking during
The couple cohabited. The job of the petitioner was a bartender while the respondent
worked as a production engineer.
Sometime in March 2006, the respondent left the conjugal residence which the petitioner
found out that his wife left to Dubai for work. In of which on February 18, 2009, Glenn filed a
petition for declaration of nullity of marriage based on psychological incapacity.
Glenn sought professional help which he submitted himself to psychological evaluation by Clinical
Psychologist Dr. Nedy Tayag. Dr. Tayag found him as "amply aware of his marital roles" and
"capable of maintaining a mature and healthy heterosexual relationship." On the other hand, Dr.
Tayag assessed Mary Grace's personality through data gathered from Glenn and his cousin,
Rodelito Mayo who knew Mary Grace since college.
Mary Grace, the eldest among four siblings, is a college graduate and belongs to a middle
class family. Her father is an overseas contract worker, while her mother is a housewife. According
to Rodelito, Mary Grace verbally abused and physically harmed Glenn during quarrels. Dr. Tayag
diagnosed Mary Grace to be suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder with anti-social traits.
At the time Dr. Tayag prepared her report, Mary Grace was employed in Dubai and romantically
involved with another man. She likewise concluded that the couple's relationship is not founded
on mutual love, trust, respect, commitment and fidelity to each other. Hence, she recommended
the propriety of declaring the nullity of the couple's marriage.

ISSUE: Whether or not sufficient evidence exist justifying the RTC’s declaration of nullity of his
marriage with Mary Grace.

The instant petition lacks merit. The lack of personal examination or assessment of the
respondent by a psychologist or psychiatrist is not necessarily fatal in a petition for the declaration
of nullity of marriage. "If the totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of
psychological incapacity, then actual medical examination of the person concerned need not be
resorted to.
The testimonies of Glenn, Dr. Tayag, and Rodelito, and the documentary evidence do not
suffice to prove the cause, gravity, and incurability of the respondent's condition. The evidence
merely shows the respondents outgoing, strong-willed, and no inclination to household chores.
Likewise, the respondent’s act of living with another man within four years into the marriage
cannot automatically be equated with a psychological disorder, especially when no specific
evidence was shown that promiscuity was a trait already existing at the inception of marriage. In
fact, petitioner herself admitted that respondent was caring and faithful when they were going
steady and for a time after their marriage; their problems only came in later.
It is worth noting that Glenn and Mary Grace lived with each other for more or less seven
years from 1999 to 2006. The foregoing established fact shows that living together as spouses
under one roof is not an impossibility. Mary Grace’s departure from their home in 2006 indicates
either a refusal or mere difficulty, but not absolute inability to comply with her obligation to live
with her husband.
A careful reading of Dr. Tayag’s testimony reveals that she failed to establish the fact that
at the time the parties were married, respondent was already suffering from a psychological defect
that deprived him of the ability to assume the essential duties and responsibilities of marriage.
Neither did she adequately explain how she came to the conclusion that respondent’s condition
was grave and incurable.
The Court understands the inherent difficulty attendant to obtaining the statements of
witnesses who can attest to the antecedence of a person’s psychological incapacity, but such
difficulty does not exempt a petitioner from complying with what the law requires. While the Court
also commiserates with Glenn’s marital woes, the totality of the evidence presented provides
inadequate basis for the Court to conclude that Mary Grace is indeed psychologically incapacitated
to comply with her obligations as Glenn’s spouse.
Aguilar vs. Siasat
January 28, 2015 G.R. No. 200169

Spouses Alfredo Aguilar and Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar died intestate without debts
leaving two parcels of land. Petitioner Rodolfo Aguilar filed a case for mandatory injunction with
damages against respondent Siasat alleging that he is the only son and sole surviving heir of the
Aguilar spouses. Thus, he was entitled to the said parcels of land. Respondent on the other hand
claimed that petitioner is not the son and sole surviving heir of the Aguilar spouses, but a mere
stranger who was raised by the Aguilar spouses out of generosity and kindness of heart. That
petitioner is not a natural or adopted child of the Aguilar spouses and since Alfredo Aguilar
predeceased his wife, Candelaria Siasat-Aguilar, the latter inherited the conjugal share of the
former. RTC ruled that petitioner is not deemed vested with sufficient interest in this action for
failure to support evidentiary evidence to show his filiation to the spouses.

ISSUES: Whether or not SSS Form E-1 satisfies the requirement for proof of filiation and
relationship under Article 172 of the Family Code particularly paragraph 3 thereof in conjunction
with Section 19 and Section 23, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court.

Yes. The filiation of illegitimate children, like legitimate children, is established by (1) the
record of birth appearing in the civil register or a final judgment; or (2) an admission of legitimate
filiation in a public document or a private handwritten instrument and signed by the parent
concerned. In the absence thereof, filiation shall be proved by (1) the open and continuous
possession of the status of a legitimate child; or (2) any other means allowed by the Rules of Court
and special laws. The due recognition of an illegitimate child in a record of birth, a will, a statement
before a court of record, or in any authentic writing is, in itself, a consummated act of
acknowledgment of the child, and no further court action is required. In fact, any authentic writing
is treated not just a ground for compulsory recognition; it is in itself a voluntary recognition that
does not require a separate action for judicial approval. Where, instead, a claim for recognition is
predicated on other evidence merely tending to prove paternity, i.e., outside of a record of birth, a
will, a statement before a court of record or an authentic writing, judicial action within the
applicable statute of limitations is essential in order to establish the child’s acknowledgment.
Petitioner has shown that he cannot produce his Certificate of Live Birth since all the records
covering the period 1945-1946 of the Local Civil Registry of Bacolod City were destroyed, which
necessitated the introduction of other documentary evidence – particularly Alfredo Aguilar’s SSS
Form E-1 (Exhibit “G”) – to prove filiation. It was erroneous for the CA to treat said document as
mere proof of open and continuous possession of the status of a legitimate child under the second
paragraph of Article 172 of the Family Code; it is evidence of filiation under the first paragraph
thereof, the same being an express recognition in a public instrument. To repeat what was stated
in De Jesus, filiation may be proved by an admission of legitimate filiation in a public document
or a private hand written instrument and signed by the parent concerned.
Reyes vs. Spouses Ramos
February 11, 2015 G.R. No. 194488

On March 28, 2006, petitioner Alicia B. Reyes, through Dolores B. Cinco,filed a Complaint
for easement of right of way against respondents, Spouses Francisco S. Valentin and Anatalia
Ramos alleging that she was the registered owner of a 450-square-meter parcel of land in Barangay
Malibong Bata, Pandi, Bulacan, and that the property used to be a portion of Lot No. 3-B8 and
was surrounded by estates belonging to other persons.
Petitioner also alleged that respondents' 1,500-square-meter property surrounded her
property, and that it was the only adequate outlet from her property to the highway. A 113-square-
meter portion of respondents' property was also the "point least prejudicial to the respondents. The
easement sought was the vacant portion near the boundary of respondents' other lot. Petitioner
insisted that her property was not isolated because of her own acts. When her mother gave the
property to her as part of her inheritance, there was no intention for the property to have no outlet.

ISSUE: Whether or not the easement of right of way be granted.

No. ART. 650. The easement of right of way shall be established at the point least
prejudicial to the servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from
the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest.
Based on these provisions, the following requisites need to be established before a person
becomes entitled to demand the compulsory easement of right of way:
1. An immovable is surrounded by other immovables belonging to other persons, and is
without adequate outlet to a public highway;
2. Payment of proper indemnity by the owner of the surrounded immovable;
3. The isolation of the immovable is not due to its owner's acts; and
4. The proposed easement of right of way is established at the point least prejudicial to the
servient estate, and insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance of the dominant estate
to a public highway may be the shortest.
An easement of right of way is a real right. When an easement of right of way is granted
to another person, the rights of the property's owner are limited. An owner may not exercise some
of his or her property rights for the benefit of the person who was granted the easement of right of
way. Hence, the burden of proof to show the existence of the above conditions is imposed on the
person who seeks the easement of right of way.
The court agree with the Regional Trial Court's and the Court of Appeals' findings that petitioner
failed to establish that there was no adequate outlet to the public highway and that the proposed
easement was the least prejudicial to respondents' estate and that there is an adequate exit to a
public highway.
The convenience of the dominant estate's owner is not the basis for granting an easement
of right of way, especially if the owner's needs may be satisfied without imposing the easement.
Thus, mere convenience for the dominant estate is not what is required by law as the basis of
setting up a compulsory easement. Furthermore, based on the Ocular Inspection Report,
petitioner's property had another outlet to the highway. Access to the public highway can be
satisfied without imposing an easement on the spouses' property.
Mallilin vs. Jamesolamin
February 18, 2015 GR No. 192718

Robert and Luz were married in 1972. They begot three children. On 16 March 1994,
Robert filed a case for annulment of their marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity
under Article 36 of the Family Code. Robert’s petition was tried by the family court (RTC) of
CDO. Robert alleged that at the time of the celebration of their marriage, Luz was suffering from
psychological and mental incapacity and unpreparedness to enter into such marital life and to
comply with its essential obligations and responsibilities. He alleged that such incapacity became
even more apparent during their marriage when Luz exhibited clear manifestation of immaturity,
irresponsibility, deficiency of independent rational judgment, and inability to cope with the heavy
and oftentimes demanding obligation of a parent. (In the meantime, Robert’s petition with
Metropolitan Tribunal and the National Matrimonial Tribunal of the Catholic Church was granted
and their marriage declared void) After the hearing, the family court granted the petition but the
Court of Appeals reversed family court and declared that there is no psychological incapacity.

ISSUE: Whether the totality of the evidence adduced proves that Luz was psychologically
incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations of marriage warranting the annulment of
their marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code.

The Court is of the considered view that Robert’s evidence failed to establish the
psychological incapacity of Luz.
First, the testimony of Robert failed to overcome the burden of proof to show the nullity of the
marriage. Other than his self-serving testimony, no other evidence was adduced to show the alleged
incapacity of Luz. He presented no other witnesses to corroborate his allegations on her behavior.
Thus, his testimony was self-serving and had no serious value as evidence.
Second, the root cause of the alleged psychological incapacity of Luz was not medically or
clinically identified, and sufficiently proven during the trial. Based on the records, Robert failed
to prove that her disposition of not cleaning the room, preparing their meal, washing the clothes,
and propensity for dating and receiving different male visitors, was grave, deeply rooted, and
incurable within the parameters of jurisprudence on psychological incapacity.
Art. 36. A marriage contracted by any party who, at the time of the celebration, was
psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligation of marriage, shall
likewise be void even if such incapacity becomes manifest only after its solemnization.
"Psychological incapacity," as a ground to nullify a marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code,
should refer to no less than a mental – not merely physical – incapacity that causes a party to be
truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and
discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article 68 of the Family Code,
among others, include their mutual obligations to live together; observe love, respect and fidelity;
and render help and support. There is hardly a doubt that the intendment of the law has been to
confine the meaning of "psychological incapacity" to the most serious cases of personality
disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning and
significance to the marriage.
Psychological incapacity as required by Article 36 must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b)
juridical antecedence and (c) incurability. The incapacity must be grave or serious such that the
party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in marriage. It must be rooted
in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may only
emerge after the marriage. It must be incurable or, even if it were otherwise, the cure would be
beyond the means of the party involved.
JANICE K. PASTOR Sep.10,2019

Javate vs. Spouses Tiotuico

March 09, 2015 G.R. No. 187606

Norma (Javate) is the owner of a parcel of lot in Mabalacat, Pampanga which she
mortgaged to the Guagua Rural Bank as security for a loan Having failed to pay the loan, the
bank foreclosed the property. After the period of redemption lapsed without Norma redeeming
the property, the bank consolidated its ownership over the lot and a new title issued in its name.
Subsequently, the spouses Renato and Lerma bought the lot from the bank and a new title issued
in their name. On December 9, 2004, the spouses filed a petition for issuance of a writ of
possession, which the RTC granted, hence Norma appealed the ruling to the CA. During the
pendency of the appeal, the spouses filed a motion for issuance of a writ of possession pending
appeal, which the RTC again granted. Not satisfied, Norma filed a petition for certiorari with the
CA, which the CA dismissed. Norma elevated the case to the Supreme Court in G.R. No. 185226,
which the Court denied for failure to sufficiently show that the CA committed any reversible error.
Entry of judgment was made in the case on October 8, 2009.
On April 1, 2008, the spouses filed a motion to implement the writ of possession earlier
issued by the RTC, which the RTC again granted. Norma again elevated the case to the Court of
Appeals via petition for certiorari, which the CA again dismissed, it noting that Norma resorted to
the filing a certiorari petition to delay the implementation of the writ of possession, which the
spouses are entitled as a matter of right. Norma, via petition for review on certiorari, raised the
issue to the Supreme Court. It is her contention that the spouses cannot obtain possession of the
lot by the mere expedient of filing a writ of possession, but must resort to judicial remedy which
is ejectment or accion reivindicatoria since it it is only the Bank who was the buyer during the
foreclosure sale who is entitled as a matter of right to a writ of possession.

Whether or not the respondents are entitled, as a matter of right, to the issuance of a writ
of possession when they merely bought the subject property through private transaction and not
through land registration proceedings, judicial foreclosure and extrajudicial foreclosure.

Petitioner is correct in saying that respondents must resort to “judicial process” in order for
them to obtain possession of the disputed lot. However, petitioner is wrong in positing that the
only appropriate judicial actions or proceedings that should have been taken by respondents are
either ejectment or a reivindicatory suit. On the other hand, respondents were correct in asking the
court to issue a writ of possession.
If the purchaser is a third party who acquired the property after the redemption period, a
hearing must be conducted to determine whether possession over the subject property is still with
the mortgagor or is already in the possession of a third party holding the same adversely to the
defaulting debtor or mortgagor. In the instant case, while respondents' petition for the issuance of
a writ of possession was filed ex-parte, a “hearing” was, nonetheless, conducted when the RTC
gave petitioner her day in court by giving her the opportunity to file various pleadings to oppose
respondent's petition. Moreover, there is no dispute that petitioner remained in possession of the
subject property prior to the issuance of the questioned writ of possession. It is, thus, clear that
respondents' resort, as a subsequent or third-party purchaser, the petition for the issuance of a writ
of possession is proper.