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PHILIPPINE SUGAR ESTATES VS. POIZAT (1925) Facts: Gabriela Andrea de Coster was married to Juan M. Poizat.

The wife owned, as paraphernal property, a parcel of land over which was built a house and six adjacent warehouses. During the marriage, these structures were demolished and a new building constructed thereon. The wife later executed a power of attorney in favor of the husband, which allowed the latter to, among other things, loan or borrow any amount in cash or fungible conditionsand making there transactions with or without mortgage, pledge or personal securities. The husband eventually obtained a loan from the Philippine Sugar Estates Development Co., to secure payment of which he executed a mortgage on the land and the new building. The mortgage was foreclosed and the property (valued at P342,685) was sold to the company (for P100,000). The wife objected to the confirmation of the sale, claiming that the transaction was executed without her consent. Issues: (1) Whether or not the mortgage was validly entered into as regards the wife. (NO)
(2) Whether or not the mortgage covered both the land and the new building. (NO)

Held: (1) The mortgage was null and void as regards the wife. (2) The mortgage did not cover the land (paraphernal property) but only the new building (conjugal property). Ratio: Any authority which [the husband ] had to bind his wife should be confined and limited to his power of attorney. Giving to it the very broadest construction, he would not have any authority to mortgage her property, unless the mortgage was executed for her and in her name, place or stead, and as her act and deed. The mortgage in question was not so executed. it was signed by Don Juan M. Poizat in his own name, his own proper person, and by him only, and it was acknowledge by him in his personal capacity, and there is nothing in either the signature or acknowledgment which shows or tends to show that it was executed for or on behalf of his wife or in her name, place or stead xxx

It should be noted that this is a mortgage upon real property, the title to which cannot be divested except by sale on execution or the formalities of a will or deed. For such reasons, the law requires that a power of attorney to mortgage or sell real property should be executed with all of the formalities required in a deed. For the same reason that the personal signature of Poizat, standing alone, would not convey the title of his wife in her own real property, such a signature would not bind her as a mortgagor in real property, the title to which was in her name xxx It follows that the whole decree against her and her paraphernal property and the sale of that property to satisfy the mortgage are null and void, and that any title she may have had in or to her paraphernal property remains and is now vested in the wife as fully and as absolutely as if the mortgage had never been executed, the decree rendered or the property sold. As to Don Juan M. Poizat, the decree is valid and binding, and remains in full force and effect. It is an undisputed fact, which appears in the mortgage itself, that the land in question was the paraphernal property of the wife, but after the marriage the old buildings on the property were torn down and a new building constructed and, in the absence of evidence to the contrary, it must be presumed that the new building is conjugal property of the husband and wife. As such, it is subject of the debts of the conjugal partnership for the payment or security of which the husband has the power to mortgage or otherwise encumber the property. CRUZ VS. CATAPANG (2008) Facts: Leonor Cruz, Luz Cruz, and Norma Maligaya are co-owners of a 1,435 square meter parcel of land in Taal, Batangas. Sometime in 1992 and with Normas consent, a certain Teofila Catapang built a house on a lot adjacent to the co-owned land (the case later revealed that Teofila allowed Norma to live in said house). The house, however, intruded on a portion of the co-owned property. In 1995, one of the co-owners, Leonor, visited the property and found out about the encroachment. She made several demands upon Teofila to demolish the intruding structure, to no avail. Consequently, Leonor filed a complaint for forcible entry against Catapang. The lower court granted Leonors petition, but the Court of Appeals reversed the lower courts decision, reasoning that there is no cause of action for forcible entry in this case because respondents 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. Issue: Whether or not the consent given by one co-owner to the occupation of the co-owned property by a third person bars a claim for forcible entry filed by another co-owner. (NO) Held: The claim for forcible entry may still prosper. Ratio:
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[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. 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 coowners, respondent had no right to construct her house on the co-owned property. 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. Hence, the claim for forcible entry may prosper.

LACBAYAN VS. SAMOY (2011) Bayani Samoy had a subsisting marriage when he met Betty Lacbayan. The two ended up living together, in the course of which they worked as business partners for their own manpower services company. Five parcels of land were also acquired during their period of cohabitation, all registered in Bayani and Bettys names ostensibly as husband and wife (Bayani S. Samoy married to Betty Lacbayan or Spouses Bayani S. Samoy and Betty Lacbayan). The relationship didnt work out so they both decided to divide their properties and terminate their business partnership through a Partition Agreement. Betty, however, later wanted to include additional demands in the agreement, which Bayani refused. Hence, Betty filed a complaint for judicial partition with the RTC. The lower court dismissed the complaint, reasoning that Betty failed to establish that the properties subject of partition were acquired using her own funds. The court determined that the funds actually came from the income of the manpower services company. Betty elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals, claiming that it was improper for the lower court to decide on the issue of ownership in an action for partition. The CA denied the appeal, stating that the court must initially settle the issue of ownership for the simple reason that it cannot properly issue an order to divide the property without first making a determination as to the existence of co-ownership. Issue:

Whether or not it is proper to decide the issue of ownership in a complaint for judicial partition. (YES) Held: The issue of ownership may be passed upon in an action for partition. Ratio: While it is true that the complaint involved here is one for partition, the same is premised on the existence or non-existence of co-ownership between the parties. Petitioner insists she is a coowner pro indiviso of the five real estate properties based on the transfer certificates of title (TCTs) covering the subject properties. Respondent maintains otherwise. Indubitably, therefore, until and unless this issue of co-ownership is definitely and finally resolved, it would be premature to effect a partition of the disputed properties. More importantly, the complaint will not even lie if the claimant, or petitioner in this case, does not even have any rightful interest over the subject properties. [The SC also included a discussion on the collateral attack of a Torrens certificate of title: There is no dispute that a Torrens certificate of title cannot be collaterally attacked, but that rule is not material to the case at bar. What cannot be collaterally attacked is the certificate of title and not the title itself. The certificate referred to is that document issued by the Register of Deeds known as the TCT. In contrast, the title referred to by law means ownership which is, more often than not, represented by that document. Petitioner apparently confuses title with the certificate of title. Title as a concept of ownership should not be confused with the certificate of title as evidence of such ownership although both are interchangeably used. Moreover, placing a parcel of land under the mantle of the Torrens system does not mean that ownership thereof can no longer be disputed. Ownership is different from a certificate of title, the latter only serving as the best proof of ownership over a piece of land. The certificate cannot always be considered as conclusive evidence of ownership. In fact, mere issuance of the certificate of title in the name of any person does not foreclose the possibility that the real property may be under co-ownership with persons not named in the certificate, or that the registrant may only be a trustee, or that other parties may have acquired interest over the property subsequent to the issuance of the certificate of title. Needless to say, registration does not vest ownership over a property, but may be the best evidence thereof]