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[G.R. No. 134329. January 19, 2000]
VERONA PADA-KILARIO an RI!ARDO KILARIO petitioners, vs. !O"R# O$ APPEAL% an %ILVERIO PADA, respondents. ΥΛΑΝ∆Υ DE!I%ION
DE LEON, JR., J.& The victory  of petitioner spouses Ricardo and Verona Ki ario in the !unicipa Circuit Tria Court ["] in an e#ect$ent suit [%] fi ed a&ainst the$ 'y private respondent Si verio (ada) *as foi ed 'y its reversa [+] 'y the Re&iona Tria Court [,] on appea - They e evated their cause [.] to respondent Court of /ppea s  *hich) ho*ever) pro$u &ated a Decision  on !ay "2) 1331) affir$in& the Decision of the Re&iona Tria Court1 " % + , . 0 1
The fo o*in& facts are undisputed4 One 5acinto (ada had si6 7.8 chi dren) na$e y) !arciano) /nanias) /$ador) 9i&ino) Va entina and Ruperta- 9e died intestate- 9is estate inc uded a parce of and of residentia and coconut and ocated at (o' acion) !ata o$) :eyte) deno$inated as Cadastra :ot No- ,,11 *ith an area of 1)%21-3" s;uare $eters- It is the northern portion of Cadastra :ot No- ,,11 *hich is the su'#ect of the instant controversyDurin& the ifeti$e of 5acinto (ada) his ha f<'rother) =e iciano (ada) o'tained per$ission fro$ hi$ to 'ui d a house on the northern portion of Cadastra :ot No- ,,11- >hen =e iciano died) his son) (astor) continued ivin& in the house toðer *ith his ei&ht chi dren- (etitioner Verona (ada<Ki ario) one of (astor?s chi dren) has 'een ivin& in that house since 13.2So$eti$e in !ay) 13,1) the heirs of 5acinto (ada entered into an e6tra<#udicia partition of his estate- =or this purpose) they e6ecuted a private docu$ent *hich they) ho*ever) never re&istered in the Office of the Re&istrar of Deeds of :eyte/t the e6ecution of the e6tra<#udicia partition) /nanias *as hi$se f present *hi e his other 'rothers *ere represented 'y their chi dren- Their sisters) Va entina and Ruperta) 1 " % + , . 0 1
.If there *as so$e truth that !arciano (ada and 3 .11 had a ready 'een donated to the$ 'y the heirs of /$ador (ada.111On Nove$'er 10) 133%) it *as the turn of !aria (ada to se the co<o*nership ri&ht of his father) !arciano.'oth died *ithout any issue.!oreover) it *as effectuated on y throu&h a private docu$ent that *as never re&istered in the office of the Re&istrar of Deeds of :eyteThe !unicipa Circuit Tria Court rendered #ud&$ent in favor of petitioner spouses.Ernesto (aderes) the ri&ht of his father) /nanias) as co<o*ner of Cadastra :ot No.They *ent throu&h a series of $eetin&s *ith the 'aran&ay officia s concerned for the purpose of a$ica' e sett e$ent) 'ut a earnest efforts to*ard that end) fai edOn 5une ".11 so his fa$i y can uti iAe the said area..) 133.113 On =e'ruary 1") 133..>hen /nanias died) his dau&hter) 5uanita) succeeded to his ri&ht as co< o*ner of said propertyOn 5une 1+) 1301) 5uanita (ada so d to En&r.11 *as a ocated durin& the said partition..) petitioner spouses fi ed their /ns*er averrin& that the northern portion of Cadastra :ot No.11 6 6 6 *hi e defendants has [sic] successfu y proved 'y preponderance of evidence that said property is sti under a co$$unity of o*nership a$on& the heirs of the ate 5acinto (ada *ho died intestate.) private respondent fi ed in the !unicipa Circuit Tria Court of !ata o$) :eyte) a co$p aint for e#ect$ent *ith prayer for da$a&es a&ainst petitioner spouses- ™ On 5u y "+) 133.It *as to 'oth /nanias and !arciano) represented 'y his dau&hter) !aria) that Cadastra :ot No...1 *as inva id and ineffectua since no specia po*er of attorney *as e6ecuted 'y either !arciano) /$ador or 9i&ino in favor of their respective chi dren *ho represented the$ in the e6tra<#udicia partition.(rivate respondent) *ho is the first cousin of !aria) *as the 'uyerThereafter) private respondent de$anded that petitioner spouses vacate the northern portion of Cadastra :ot No...It $ade the fo o*in& findin&s4 C/fter a carefu study of the evidence su'$itted 'y 'oth parties) the court finds that the evidence adduced 'y p aintiff fai ed to esta' ish his o*nership over 6 6 6 Cadastra :ot No..They contended that the e6tra<#udicia partition of the estate of 5acinto (ada e6ecuted in 13.!arciano *as represented 'y his dau&hter) !aria@ /$ador *as represented 'y his dau&hter) Concordia@ and 9i&ino *as represented 'y his son) Si verio *ho is the private respondent in this case.) the heirs of /$ador (ada) na$e y) EsperanAa (ada<(avo) Concordia (ada<Barto o$e) and /n&e ito (ada) e6ecuted a Deed of Donation  transferrin& to petitioner Verona (ada<Ki ario) their respective shares as co<o*ners of Cadastra :ot No..
Thus) defendants as co<o*ners 'eca$e the undivided o*ners of the *ho e estate 6 6 6.It he d4 C6 6 6 [T]he said conveyances e6ecuted 'y 5uanita (ada and !aria (ada (avo *ere never .11 6 6 6 their possession in the northern portion is 'ein& [sic] a*fu -C  12 =ro$ the fore&oin& decision) private respondent appea ed to the Re&iona Tria Court.2 *ith the consent of so$e of the heirs of 5acinto (ada and up to the [sic] present so$e of the heirs of 5acinto (ada has [sic] donated 6 6 6 their share of [sic] the a'ove<descri'ed property to the$) virtua y convertin& defendants? standin& as co<o*ners of the and under controversy.) 1330) it rendered a #ud&$ent of reversa ./s co<o*ners of 6 6 6 Cadastra :ot No..uire it 'y prescription 'ecause fro$ the $o$ent one of the co<heirs 12 .6 6 6 /t any rate) &rantin& that the co<heirs of 5uanita (ada and !aria (ada (avo have so$e interests on the very ot assi&ned to !arciano and /nanias) neverthe ess) said interests had on& 'een sad y ost 'y prescription) if not aches or estoppe CIt is true that an action for partition does not prescri'e) as a &enera ru e) 'ut this doctrine of i$prescripti'i ity cannot 'e invoDed *hen one of the heirs possessed the property as an o*ner and for a period sufficient to ac.On Nove$'er .1) the date of partition) the share of the ate !arciano (ada *as not transferred in the na$e of his heirs) one of the$ !aria (ada<(avo and sti re$ain [sic] in the na$e of 5acinto (ada up to the present *hi e the part pertainin& to the share of /nanias (ada *as easi y transferred in the na$e of his heirs 6 6 6CThe a e&ed e6tra #udicia sett e$ent *as $ade in private *ritin& and the &enuineness and due e6ecution of said docu$ent *as assai ed as dou'tfu and it appears that $ost of the heirs *ere not participants and si&natories of said sett e$ent) and there *as acD of specia po*er of attorney to [sic] those *ho c ai$ed to have represented their co<heirs in the participation [sic] and si&nin& of the said e6tra #udicia state$ent- ™ CDefendants *ere a ready occupyin& the northern portion of the a'ove< descri'ed property on& 'efore the sa e of said property on Nove$'er 10) 133% *as e6ecuted 'et*een !aria (ada<(avo) as vendor and the p aintiff) as vendee.uestioned or assai ed 'y their co<heirs for $ore than +2 years) there'y endin& credence on [sic] the fact that the t*o vendors *ere indeed e&a and a*fu o*ners of properties ceded or so d.They are in possession of said portion of the a'ove<descri'ed property since the year 13./nanias (ada has [sic] 'een ad#udicated #oint y of [sic] the a'ove< descri'ed residentia property 6 6 6 as their share of the inheritance on the 'asis of the a e&ed e6tra #udicia sett e$ent) ho* co$e that since 13.
uestion-C  11 The dispositive portion of the decision of the Re&iona Tria Court reads as fo o*s4 C>9ERE=ORE) a #ud&$ent is here'y rendered) reversin& the #ud&$ent ear ier pro$u &ated 'y the !unicipa Circuit Tria Court of !ata o$) :eyte) [sic] conse.Ta6in& defendants to pay the costs of suit-C 1" [1"] (etitioners fi ed in the Court of /ppea s a petition for revie* of the fore&oin& decision of the Re&iona Tria CourtOn !ay "2) 1331) respondent Court of /ppea s rendered #ud&$ent dis$issin& said petition..)222-22 as $ora da$a&es and the further su$ of (.Orderin& the defendants to pay to the appe ant the su$ of (.1.) 133.uestion then invo ved is no on&er one for partition 'ut of o*nership.uent y) defendants<appe ees are here'y ordered4 C1.C ear y) *hatever ri&ht so$e of the co<heirs $ay have) *as on& e6tin&uished 'y aches) estoppe or prescription-© C6 6 6 C6 6 6 [T]he deed of donation e6ecuted 'y the 9eirs of /$ador (ada) a 'rother of !arciano (ada) tooD p ace on y durin& the inception of the case or after the apse of $ore than +2 years recDoned fro$ the ti$e the e6tra#udicia partition *as $ade in 13.To vacate the pre$ises in issue and return peacefu possession to the appe ant) 'ein& the a*fu possessor in concept of o*ner@ C". *hen the case *as fi ed and unti the ter$ination of the present case@ C+.c ai$ [sic] that he is the a'so ute o*ner and denies the rest their share of the co$$unity property) the .Therefore) said donation is i e&a and inva id [sic] the donors) a$on& others) *ere a'so ute y 'ereft of any ri&ht in donatin& the very property in .6 6 6 Since [sic] 13.uestion in the su$ of (122-22 co$$encin& on 5une ".)222-22 as attorney?s fees@ C.1 up to 133% covers a period of +" on& years.It e6p ained4™ 11 1" .To re$ove their house at their e6pense un ess appe ant e6ercises the option of ac.Orderin& the defendants<appe ees to pay $onth y renta for their occupancy and use of the portion of the and in .uirin& the sa$e) in *hich case the pertinent provisions of the Ne* Civi Code has to 'e app ied@ C%.
uestion of possession 6 6 6C(rivate respondent Si verio (ada anchors his c ai$ to the portion of the and possessed 'y petitioners on the Deed of Sa e e6ecuted in his favor 'y vendor !aria (ada<(avo) a dau&hter of !arciano) son of 5acinto (ada *ho *as the re&istered o*ner of the su'#ect ot.!aria (avo the vendor for !arciano?s share and 5uanita for /nanias? share 6 6 6!oreover) petitioners do not dispute the findin&s of the respondent court that durin& the cadastra survey of !ata o$) :eyte) the share of !aria (ada (avo *as deno$inated as :ot No.11) *hi e the share of 5uanita (ada *as deno$inated as :ot No..uestion of possession) specia y if the for$er is insepara' y inDed *ith the atter.1..(etitioners cannot no* i$pu&n the aforestated e6tra#udicia partition e6ecuted 'y the heirs in 13.2+0) and that 'oth !aria (ada (avo and 5uanita *ere in possession of their respective hereditary shares=urther) petitioners in their /ns*er ad$itted that they have 'een occupyin& a portion of :ot No..uestion of o*nership is raised in the p eadin&s) the court $ay pass upon such issue 'ut on y to deter$ine the .11) no* in dispute *ithout payin& any renta o*in& to the i'era ity of the p aintiff 6 6 6.ua y 'e ated donation of a portion of the property in dispute $ade 'y the heirs of /$ador (ada) na$e y) Concordia) EsperanAa and /n&e ito) in favor of petitioner Verona (ada is a futi e atte$pt to confer upon the atter the status of co<o*ner) since the donors had no interest nor ri&ht to .C>e <sett ed is the ru e that in an e#ect$ent suit) the on y issue is possession de facto or physica or $ateria possession and not de #ure9ence) even if the ./ thou&h the authenticity and &enuineness of the e6tra<#udicia partition is no* 'ein& ..The ri&ht of vendee !aria (ada to se the property *as derived fro$ the e6tra<#udicia partition e6ecuted in !ay 13.uestioned 'y the heirs of /$ador (ada) no action *as ever previous y fi ed in court to ./ vo untary division of the estate of the deceased 'y the heirs a$on& the$se ves is conc usive and confers upon said heirs e6c usive o*nership of the respective portions assi&ned to the$ 6 6 6CThe e.(*r '()*)*on a -*))( a$on& the antecedent facts that !aria (avo is one of the co<o*ners of the property ori&ina y o*ned 'y 5acinto (ada 6 6 6 and that the disputed ot *as ad#udicated to !arciano 7father of !aria (avo8 and /nanias) and upon the death of !arciano and /nanias) their heirs tooD possession of said ot) i-e..uestion the va idity of such partitionCNota' y) '()*)*on(r+ *n )./s o*ner and possessor of the disputed property) !aria (ada) and her vendee) private respondent) is entit ed to possession.1 a$on& the heirs of 5acinto (ada) *hich *as *ritten in a Bisayan dia ect si&ned 'y the heirs) *herein the su'#ect and *as ad#udicated to !arciano) !aria (avo?s father) and /nanias (ada.It cannot dispose *ith fina ity the issue of o*nership) such issue 'ein& inuti e in an e#ect$ent suit e6cept to thro* i&ht on the .
uire$ent in Sec.uires partition a$on& heirs to 'e in *ritin& and 'e re&istered in order to 'e va id. 1. 1% 1+ 1.[1. .. 1.>e ho d that the e6tra#udicia partition of the estate of 5acinto (ada a$on& his heirs $ade in 13..uita' e princip e of aches and estoppe co$e into p ay due to the donors? fai ure to assert their c ai$s and a e&ed o*nership for $ore than forty 7+28 years 6 6 6/ccordin& y) private respondent *as su'ro&ated to the ri&hts of the vendor over :ot No.] The re.] The o'#ect of re&istration is to serve as 1.No a* re.[1.11 *hich inc ude [sic] the portion occupied 'y petitioners-C [1%]™ 1% (etitioner spouses fi ed a !otion for Reconsideration of the fore&oin& decisionOn 5une 1.transfer.=urther$ore) the respondent court correct y pointed out that the e.1) Ru e 0+ of the Revised Ru es of Court that a partition 'e put in a pu' ic docu$ent and re&istered) has for its purpose the protection of creditors and the heirs the$se ves a&ainst tardy c ai$s.6 6 6 This &esture appears to 'e a $ere afterthou&ht to he p petitioners to pro on& their stay in the pre$ises.) 1331) respondent Court of /ppea s issued a Reso ution denyin& said $otion9ence this petition raisin& the fo o*in& issues4 CI>9ET9ER T9E COERT O= /((E/:S ERRED IN NOT RE:INF T9/T (ETITIONERS) /S CO<O>NERS) C/NNOT BE E5ECTED =RO! T9E (RE!ISES CONSIDERINF T9/T T9E 9EIRS O= 5/CINTO (/D/ DON/TED TO T9E! T9EIR ENDIVIDED INTEREST IN T9E (RO(ERTG IN DIS(ETECII>9ET9ER T9E COERT O= /((E/:S ERRED IN NOT RE:INF T9/T >9/T !/RI/ (/D/ SO:D >/S 9ER ENDIVIDED S9/RE IN T9E (RO(ERTG IN DIS(ETECIII>9ET9ER OR NOT T9E (ETITIONERS /RE BEI:DERS IN FOOD =/IT9-C [1+] 1+ There is no $erit to the instant petition=irst.1 is va id) a 'eit e6ecuted in an unre&istered private docu$ent.
.1 e6tra#udicia partition that a ocated the su'#ect property to !arciano and /nanias) produced no e&a effect.(aderes and private respondent) respective y. The re. The partition of inherited property need not 'e e$'odied in a pu' ic docu$ent so as to 'e effective as re&ards the heirs that participated therein.["2] /nd neither does the Statute of =rauds under /rtic e 1+2% of the Ne* Civi Code app y 'ecause partition a$on& heirs is not e&a y dee$ed a conveyance of rea property) considerin& that it invo ves not a transfer of property fro$ one to the other 'ut rather) a confir$ation or ratification of tit e or ri&ht of property that an heir is renouncin& in favor of another heir *ho accepts and receives the inheritance.The donation $ade 'y his heirs to petitioners 10 11 13 "2 "1 "" "% "+ .[""] © 10 11 13 "2 "1 "" Second..1 of the Civi Code that acts *hich have for their o'#ect the creation) trans$ission) $odification or e6tin&uish$ent of rea ri&hts over i$$ova' e property) $ust appear in a pu' ic instru$ent) is on y for convenience) non<co$p iance *ith *hich does not affect the va idity or enforcea'i ity of the acts of the parties as a$on& the$se ves.The e6tra#udicia partition *hich the heirs of 5acinto (ada e6ecuted vo untari y and spontaneous y in 13.Nino) !ata o$) :eyte) 'ut rather) one<ha f of a parce of coconut and in the interior of Sto.["+] No sho*in&) ho*ever) has 'een $ade of any unpaid char&es a&ainst the estate of 5acinto (ada.Nino St-) Sa'an&) !ata o$) :eyte and one<ha f of a parce of rice and in Itu$) Sta.["%] >hen they discussed and a&reed on the division of the estate of 5acinto (ada) it is presu$ed that they did so in furtherance of their $utua interests.It fo o*s then that the intrinsic va idity of partition not e6ecuted *ith the prescri'ed for$a ities is not under$ined *hen no creditors are invo ved.In the said partition) *hat *as a ocated to /$ador (ada *as not the su'#ect property *hich *as a parce of residentia and in Sto.1 has produced a e&a status.["1] The 13.=e) !ata o$) :eyte./s such) their division is conc usive) un ess and unti it is sho*n that there *ere de'ts e6istin& a&ainst the estate *hich had not 'een paid.constructive notice to others.Thus) there is no reason *hy the heirs shou d not 'e 'ound 'y their vo untary acts"% "+ The 'e ated act of Concordia) EsperanAa and /n&e ito) *ho are the heirs of /$ador (ada) of donatin& the su'#ect property to petitioners after forty four 7++8 years of never havin& disputed the va idity of the 13.uire$ent of /rtic e 1%.11 to En&r.1 e6tra#udicia partition of 5acinto (ada?s estate 'ein& e&a and effective as a$on& his heirs) 5uanita and !aria (ada va id y transferred their o*nership ri&hts over Cadastra :ot No. >ithout creditors to taDe into consideration) it is co$petent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an a&ree$ent for distri'ution thereof in a $anner and upon a p an different fro$ those provided 'y the ru es fro$ *hich) in the first p ace) nothin& can 'e inferred that a *ritin& or other for$a ity is essentia for the partition to 'e va id.
[". Bellosillo.2/17/00 !"# $M ".2 *ithout ever payin& any renta as they on y re ied on the i'era ity and to erance of the (ada fa$i y. Considerin& that petitioners *ere in possession of the su'#ect property 'y sheer to erance of its o*ners) they Dne* that their occupation of the pre$ises $ay 'e ter$inated any ti$e./t any rate it is too ate in the day for the heirs of /$ador (ada to repudiate the e&a effects of the 13.(etitioners are estopped fro$ i$pu&nin& the e6tra#udicia partition e6ecuted 'y the heirs of 5acinto (ada after e6p icit y ad$ittin& in their /ns*er that they had 'een occupyin& the su'#ect property since 13.ua y set inThird.] Their ad$issions are evidence of a hi&h order and 'ind the$ insofar as the character of their possession of the su'#ect property is concerned"./ERE$ORE) the petition for revie* is 9EREBG DENIEDCosts a&ainst petitioners%O ORDERED. ["1] of the Ne* Civi Code *hich a o* fu rei$'urse$ent of usefu i$prove$ents and retention of the pre$ises unti rei$'urse$ent is $ade) app y on y to a possessor in &ood faith) i-e-) one *ho 'ui ds on and *ith the 'e ief that he is the o*ner thereof.["3] Veri y) persons *hose occupation of a rea ty is 'y sheer to erance of its o*ners are not possessors in &ood faithNeither did the pro$ise of Concordia) EsperanAa and /n&e ito (ada that they *ere &oin& to donate the pre$ises to petitioners convert the$ into 'ui ders in &ood faith for at the ti$e the i$prove$ents *ere 'ui t on the pre$ises) such pro$ise *as not yet fu fi ed) i-e-) it *as a $ere e6pectancy of o*nership that $ay or $ay not 'e rea iAed. (Chairman).(ersons *ho occupy the and of another at the atter?s to erance or per$ission) *ithout any contract 'et*een the$) is necessari y 'ound 'y an i$p ied pro$ise that they *i vacate the sa$e upon de$and) fai in& in *hich a su$$ary action for e#ect$ent is the proper re$edy a&ainst the$..] Thus) they cannot 'e considered possessors nor 'ui ders in &ood faith.11. JJ. Mendoza. and Buena.. concur.+./s such) petitioners cannot 'e said to 'e entit ed to the va ue of the i$prove$ents that they 'ui t on the said ot". "0 "1 "3 %2 .[".1 e6tra#udicia partition as prescription and aches have e.. "0 "1 "3 %2 . ".It is *e <sett ed that 'oth /rtic e ++1 ["0] and /rtic e . Quisumbing.of the su'#ect property) thus) is void for they *ere not the o*ners thereof.[%2] !ore i$portant y) even as that pro$ise *as fu fi ed) the donation is void for Concordia) EsperanAa and /n&e ito (ada *ere not the o*ners of Cadastra :ot No.
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