URETA v. URETA
G.R. No. 165748, 14 September 2011Mendoza, J.:
In his lifetime, Alfonso Ureta begot 14 children, namely, Policronio, Liberato, Narciso,Prudencia, Vicente, Francisco, Inocensio, Roque, Adela, Wenefreda, Merlinda, Benedicto, Jorge,
and Andres. The children of Policronio (Heirs of Policronio), are opposed to the rest of Alfonso’s
children and their descendants.Alfonso was financially well-off during his lifetime. He owned several fishpens, a fishpond, asari-sari store, a passenger jeep, and was engaged in the buying and selling of copra. Policronio,the eldest, was the only child of Alfonso who failed to finish schooling and instead worked on
his father’s lands.
Sometime in October 1969, Alfonso and four of his children, namely, Policronio, Liberato,Prudencia, and Francisco, met at the house of Liberato. Francisco, who was then a municipal judge, suggested that in order to reduce the inheritance taxes, their father should make itappear that he had sold some of his lands to his children. Accordingly, Alfonso executed four (4)Deeds of Sale covering several parcels of land in favor of Policronio, Liberato, Prudencia, and hiscommon-law wife, Valeriana Dela Cruz. The Deed of Sale executed on October 25, 1969, infavor of Policronio, covered six parcels of land, which are the properties in dispute in this case.Since the sales were only made for taxation purposes and no monetary consideration wasgiven, Alfonso continued to own, possess and enjoy the lands and their produce.
When Alfonso died on October 11, 1972, Liberato acted as the administrator of his father’s
estate. He was later succeeded by his sister Prudencia, and then by her daughter, CarmencitaPerlas. Except for a portion of parcel 5, the rest of the parcels transferred to Policronio weretenanted by the Fernandez Family. These tenants never turned over the produce of the lands toPolicronio or any of his heirs, but to Alfonso and, later, to the administrators of his estate.Policronio died on November 22, 1974. Except for the said portion of parcel 5, neitherPolicronio nor his heirs ever took possession of the subject lands.
On April 19, 1989, Alfonso’s heirs executed a Deed of Extra
-Judicial Partition, which included allthe lands that were covered by the four (4) deeds of sale that were previously executed by
Alfonso for taxation purposes. Conrado, Policronio’s eldest son, representing the Heirs of
Policronio, signed the Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition in behalf of his co-heirs.