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Republic of the Philippines

SUPREME COURT
THIRD DIVISION
G.R. No. 157044 October 5, 2005
RODOLFO V. ROSALES, re!re"e#te$ b% &'" &e'r", Ro$o()o, *r., Ro+eo A((,#,
L'((',# R&o$or,, Ro% V'ctor, Ro-er L%(e ,#$ A(e.,#$er N'co(,', ,(( "/r#,+e$
Ro",(e"0 ,#$ L1L2 ROS3UETA4ROSALES,Petitioners
vs.
M1GUEL CASTELLTORT, *UD1T5 CASTELLTORT, ,#$ L1NA LOPE64V1LLEGAS,
,""'"te$ b% &er Attor#e%4'#4F,ct, Re#e V'((e-,", Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
CARP1O MORALES, J.7
The present petition for review on certiorri ssils the October !" !##! Decision
$
nd
%ebrur& '" !##( Resolution
!
of the Court of )ppels *C)+ in C) ,.R. CV No. '-#-'
nd see.s to reinstte the )pril !$" $/// Decision
(
of the Re0ionl Tril Court *RTC+ of
Cl1b" 20un" 3rnch (- in Civil Cse No. !!!/4/54C.
Spouses4petitioners Rodolfo V. Rosles nd 2il& Ros6uet4Rosles *petitioners+ re
the re0istered owners of prcel of lnd with n re of ppro7i1tel& ($5 s6ure
1eters" covered b& Trnsfer Certificte of Title *TCT+ No. ('85'
-
nd desi0nted s
2ot $9" 3loc. $ of Subdivision Pln 2RC Psd455!-- situted in 2os 3:os" 20un.
On )u0ust $'" $//5" petitioners discovered tht house ws bein0 constructed on
their lot" without their .nowled0e nd consent" b& respondent ;i0uel Cstelltort
*Cstelltort+.
5
It turned out tht respondents Cstelltort nd his wife <udith hd purchsed lot" 2ot
$' of the s1e Subdivision Pln" fro1 respondent 2in 2ope=4Ville0s *2in+ throu0h
her son4ttorne&4in4fct Rene Ville0s *Ville0s+ but tht fter surve& thereof b&
0eodetic en0ineer )u0usto River" he pointed to 2ot $9 s the 2ot $' the Cstelltorts
purchsed.
Ne0otitions for the settle1ent of the cse thus be0n" with Ville0s offerin0 lr0er
lot ner petitioners> lot in the s1e subdivision s replce1ent thereof.
'
In the
lterntive" Ville0s proposed to p& the purchse price of petitioners> lot with le0l
interest.
9
3oth proposls were" however" re?ected b& petitioners
8
whose counsel" b&
letter
/
of )u0ust !-" $//5" directed Cstelltort to stop the construction of nd de1olish
his house nd n& other structure he 1& hve built thereon" nd desist fro1 enterin0
the lot.
Petitioners subse6uentl& filed on Septe1ber $" $//5 co1plint
$#
for recover& of
possession nd d10es with pr&er for the issunce of restrinin0 order nd
preli1inr& in?unction 0inst spouses4respondents ;i0uel nd <udith Cstelltort
before the RTC of Cl1b" 20un" doc.eted s Civil Cse No. !!!/4/54C.
To the co1plint" the Cstelltorts cli1ed in their )nswer with Countercli1
$$
tht the&
were builders in 0ood fith.
2in" represented b& her son4ttorne&4in4fct Ville0s" soon filed ;otion for
Intervention
$!
before the RTC which ws 0rnted b& Order
$(
of Dece1ber $/" $//5.
In her )nswer to the co1plint"
$-
2in lle0ed tht the Cstelltorts cted in 0ood fith in
constructin0 the house on petitioners> lot s the& in fct consulted her before
co11encin0 n& construction thereon" the& hvin0 relied on the technicl description
of the lot sold to the1" 2ot $'" which ws verified b& her officill& desi0nted 0eodetic
en0ineer.
Nevertheless" 2in proposed to 0ive petitioners lot continin0 n re of 5(' s6ure
1eters to0ether with the house nd duple7 structure built thereon or" if petitioners
choose" to encu1ber the 5(' s6ure 1eter lot s collterl @to 0et i11edite csh@
throu0h finncin0 sche1e in order to co1penste the1 for the lot in 6uestion.
$5
Rulin0 out 0ood fith" the RTC" b& Decision of )pril !$" $///" found for petitioners in
this wiseA
In the instnt cse" there is no well4founded belief of ownership b& the defendnts of
the lnd upon which the& built their house. The title or 1ode of c6uisition upon which
the& bsed their belief of such ownership ste11ed fro1 Contrct to Sell *E7hibit @P@+
of which the& were not even prties" the desi0nted bu&er bein0 Eli=beth Bson Cru=
nd the sle even sub?ected to the ?udicil reconstitution of the title. )nd b& their own
ctions" prticulrl& defendnt ;i0uel Cstelltort" defendnts betr&ed this ver& belief
in their ownership when reli=in0 the inutilit& of nchorin0 their ownership on the bsis
of the Contrct of Sle" defendnt ;i0uel Cstelltort in his testi1on& declred
Eli=beth Bson Cru= s his wife *tsn" pp. 948" ;rch !-" $//8+ despite n d1ission in
their nswer tht the& re the spouses n1ed s defendnts *tsn" p. 8" <nur& $!"
$//8+ nd which declrtion is n utter flsehood s the Contrct to Sell itself indictes
the civil sttus of sid Eli=beth Bson Cru= to be sin0le.
Even if we re to concede tht defendnts built their house in 0ood fith on ccount of
the representtion of ttorne&4in4fct Rene Ville0s" their filure to co1pl& with the
re6uire1ents of the Ntionl 3uildin0 Code" prticulrl& the procure1ent of buildin0
per1it" stined such 0ood fith nd belief.
7 7 7
1
%ro1 n& nd ll indictions" this deliberte brech is n un1iti0ted 1nifesttion of
bd fith. )nd fro1 the evidence thus dduced" we hold tht defendnts nd the
intervenor were e6ull& 0uilt& of ne0li0ence which led to the construction of the
defendnts> house on plintiffs> propert& nd therefore ?ointl& nd severll& lible for ll
the d10es suffered b& the plintiffs.
$'
*Cnderscorin0 supplied+
The dispositive portion of the tril court>s Decision reds" 6uoted verbatimA
)CCORDIN,2B" in view of ll the fore0oin0" ?ud01ent is hereb& rendered in fvor of
plintiffs nd 0inst the defendnts" orderin0 the ltter to surrender the possession of
the propert& covered b& TCT No. ('85' of the Re0ister of Deeds of 20un includin0
n& nd ll i1prove1ents built thereon to the plintiffs.
Defendnts nd intervenors re li.ewise ?ointl& nd severll& directed to p& to
plintiffs the followin0 d10esA
+ TDO THOCS)ND *P!"###.##+ PESOS per 1onth fro1 %ebrur& $//5 b& w& of
resonble co1penstion for the use of plintiffs> propert& until the surrender of the
s1eE
b+ %I%TB THOCS)ND *P5#"###.##+ PESOS b& w& of 1orl d10esE
c+ THIRTB THOCS)ND *P(#"###.##+ PESOS s e7e1plr& d10esE
d+ TDENTB THOCS)ND *P!#"###.##+ PESOS s ttorne&>s fees nd cost of suit.
The countercli1 interposed b& the defendnts in their responsive pledin0 is hereb&
dis1issed for lc. of 1erit.
SO ORDERED.
$9
Respondents thereupon filed their respective ppels with the C).
Petitioner Rodolfo Rosles" in the 1enti1e" died on Dece1ber 9" !##$. His heirs
Rodolfo" <r." Ro1eo )lln" 2illin Rhodor" Ro& Victor" Ro0er 2&le nd )le7nder
Nicoli" ll surn1ed Rosles" filed their )ppernce
$8
s his substitute.
3& Decision of October !" !##!" the C) 0rnted the ppel nd set side the )pril !$"
$/// RTC Decision. The dispositive portion of the Decision reds" 6uoted verbatimA
85EREFORE" pre1ises considered" the instnt ppel is hereb& GRANTED nd the
ssiled decision of the court 6uo REVERSED AND SET AS1DE. In ccordnce with
the cses of Technogas Philippines Manufacturing Corp. vs. Court of
Appeals nd Depra vs. Dumlao" ppl&in0 )rticle --8 of the Civil Code" this cse
is REMANDEDto the Re0ionl Tril Court of Cl1b" 20un" 3rnch (-" for further
proceedin0s" s followsA
$. to deter1ine the present fir price of ppellees> ($5 s6ure 1eter re of lnd nd
the 1ount of the e7penses ctull& spent b& the ppellnts for buildin0 the house s
of !$ )u0ust $//5" which is the ti1e the& were notified of ppellees> ri0htful cli1 over
2ot $9.
!. to order the ppellees to e7ercise their option under the lw *)rticle --8" Civil Code+"
whether to pproprite the house s their own b& p&in0 to the ppellnts the 1ount
of the e7penses spent for the house s deter1ined b& the court 6uo in ccordnce
with the li1ittions s forestted or to obli0e the ppellnts to p& the price of the
lnd.
In cse the ppellees e7ercise the option to obli0e the ppellnts to p& the price of
the lnd but the ltter re?ect such purchse becuse" s found b& the court" the vlue
of the lnd is considerbl& 1ore thn tht of the house" the court shll order the prties
to 0ree upon the ter1s of forced lese" nd 0ive the court 6uo for1l written
notice of such 0ree1ent nd its provisos. If no 0ree1ent is reched b& the prties"
the court 6uo shll then fi7 the ter1s of the forced lese" provided tht the 1onthl&
rentl to be fi7ed b& the Court shll not be less tht Two Thousnd Pesos *P!"###.##+
per 1onth" p&ble within the first five *5+ d&s of ech clendr 1onth nd the period
thereof shll not be 1ore thn two *!+ &ers" counted fro1 the finlit& of the ?ud01ent.
Cpon the e7pirtion of the forced lese" or upon defult b& the ppellnts in the
p&1ent of rentls for two *!+ consecutive 1onths" the ppellees shll be entitled to
ter1inte the forced lese" to recover their lnd" nd to hve the i1prove1ent
re1oved b& the ppellnts t the ltter>s e7pense. The rentls herein provided shll be
tendered b& the ppellnts to the court for p&1ent to the ppellees" nd such tender
shll constitute evidence of whether or not co1plince ws 1de within the period
fi7ed b& the court.
In n& event" the ppellnts shll p& the ppellees the 1ount of Two Thousnd
Pesos *P!"###.##+ s resonble co1penstion for their occupnc& of the encroched
propert& fro1 the ti1e sid ppellnts> 0ood fith cese *sic+ to e7ist until such ti1e the
possession of the propert& is delivered to the ppellees sub?ect to the rei1burse1ent
of the foresid e7penses in fvor of the ppellnts or until such ti1e the p&1ent of
the purchse price of the sid lot be 1de b& the ppellnts in fvor of the ppellees in
cse the ltter opt for the co1pulsor& sle of the s1e.
SO ORDERED.
$/
*E1phsis in the ori0inl+
In reversin0 the tril court" the C) heldA
7 7 7
2
7 7 7 ) perusl of the records redil& revels tht sid court insted relied on fli1s&" if
not i11teril" lle0tions of the ppellees" which hve no direct berin0 in the
deter1intion of whether the ppellnts re builders in bd fith.
%or one" the pivotl issue to be resolved in this cse" i.e. whether ppellnt ;i0uel is
builder in 0ood fith" ws i0nored b& the court 6uo. The instnt cse does not in n&
w& concern the personl nd propert& reltions of spouses4ppellnts nd Eli=beth
Bson Cru= which is n lto0ether different 1tter tht cn be ventilted b& the
concerned prties throu0h the institution of proper ction. 777 The court 6uo should
hve focused on the issue of whether ppellnt ;i0uel built" in 0ood fith" the sub?ect
house without notice of the dverse cli1 of the ppellees nd under the honest belief
tht the lot which he used in the construction belon0s to hi1. 777
777 )s it is" ppellnt ;i0uel relied on the title which the intervenor showed to hi1
which" si0nificntl&" hs no nnottion tht would otherwise show prior dverse
cli1. Thus" s fr s ppellnt ;i0uel is concerned" his title over the sub?ect lot" s
well s the title of the intervenor thereto" is clen nd untinted b& n dverse cli1 or
other irre0ulrities.
%or nother" the ppellnts> filure to secure buildin0 per1it fro1 the ;unicipl
En0ineer>s Office on their construction on 2ot $9 does not i1pin0e on the 0ood fith of
the ppellnts. In fct" it cn be told tht buildin0 per1it ws ctull& filed b&
ppellnt ;i0uel with respect to 2ot $' nd it ws onl& due to the confusion nd
1ispprehension b& the intervenor of the e7ct pr1eters of the propert& which
cused ppellnt>s belief tht 2ot $9 Fthe 6uestioned lotG" is his. This fct bolsters
ppellnt ;i0uel>s 0ood fith in buildin0 his house on ppellees> lot under the 1ist.en
belief tht the s1e is his propert&. Otherwise" he should hve secured buildin0
per1it on 2ot $9 insted or should not hve bothered to t.e the necessr& 1esures
to obtin buildin0 per1it on 2ot $' in the first plce.
3& nd lr0e" the records show tht" s testified to b& En0r. Rebecc T.
2nun0" ppellnt ;i0uel hd lred& pplied for buildin0 per1it s erl& s
%ebrur& $//- nd ws in fct issued te1porr& buildin0 per1it pendin0 the
co1pletion of the re6uire1ents for sid per1it. )lthou0h the buildin0 per1it ws
beltedl& issued in <nur& $//'" this does not in n& w& detrct fro1 ppellnt
;i0uel>s 0ood fith.
7 7 7
In holdin0 the ppellnts s builders in bd fith" the court 6uo defied lw nd settled
?urisprudence considerin0 tht the fctul bsis of its findin0s nd the incontrovertible
evidence in support thereof prove tht the ppellnt ;i0uel" in 0ood fith" built the
house on ppellees> lnd without .nowled0e of n dverse cli1 or n& other
irre0ulrities tht 1i0ht cst doubt s to the vercit& of the ssurnce 0iven to hi1 b&
the intervenor. Hvin0 been ssured b& the intervenor tht the stone 1onu1ents were
purposel& plced" lbeit wron0full&" b& the lnd surve&or in sid lnd to specificll&
identif& the lot nd its inclusive boundries" the ppellnts cnnot be fulted for hvin0
relied on the e7pertise of the lnd surve&or who is 1ore e6uipped nd e7perienced in
the field of lnd surve&in0. )lthou0h under the Torrens s&ste1 of lnd re0istrtion" the
ppellnt is presu1ed to hve .nowled0e of the 1etes nd bounds of the propert& with
which he is delin0" ppellnt however" considerin0 tht he is l&1n not versed in
the technicl description of his propert&" cnnot be fulted in his relince on the surve&
pln tht ws delivered to hi1 b& the intervenor nd the stone 1onu1ents tht were
plced in the encroched propert&.
7 7 7
Pere1ptoril&" contrr& to the flwed pronounce1ents 1de b& the court 6uo tht
ppellnt ;i0uel is dee1ed s builder in bd fith on the bsis of 1ere ssertion
tht he built his house without initill& stisf&in0 hi1self tht he owns the sid propert&"
this Court finds reson to 1intin 0ood fith on the prt of the ppellnt. )d1ittedl&"
the ppellnts> house erroneousl& encroched on the propert& of the ppellees due to
1ist.e in the plce1ent of stone 1onu1ents s indicted in the surve& pln" which
error is directl& ttributble to the fult of the 0eodetic en0ineer who conducted the
s1e. This fct lone ne0tes bd fith on the prt of ppellnt ;i0uel.
7 7 7
;oreover" it is 6uite illo0icl for ppellnt ;i0uel to .nowin0l& build his house on
propert& which he .new belon0s to nother person. 7 7 7
7 7 7
1# 9'e: o) t&e -oo$ ),'t& o) bot& !,rt'e" '# t&'" c,"e, t&e'r r'-&t" ,#$ ob('-,t'o#"
,re to be -o9er#e$ b%Art'c(e 44;, :&'c& &," bee# ,!!('e$ to '+!ro9e+e#t" or
!ort'o#" o) '+!ro9e+e#t" b/'(t b% +'"t,<e# be('e) o# (,#$ be(o#-'#- to t&e
,$=o'#'#- o:#er. . . .
7 7 7
!#
*E1phsis nd underscorin0 supplied+
Petitioners> ;otion for Reconsidertion
!$
dted October !!" !##! hvin0 been denied
b& the C) b& Resolution of ;rch $(" !##!" the present petition ws filed risin0 the
followin0 issuesA
I.
DHETHER OR NOT THE HONOR)32E COCRT O% )PPE)2S CO;;ITTED )
,R)VE )3CSE O% DISCRETION IN ;)HIN, ) %INDIN, TH)T IS CONTR)RB TO
THE )D;ISSIONS 3B THE P)RTIES
II.
3
DHETHER OR NOT THE HONOR)32E COCRT O% )PPE)2S CO;;ITTED )
REVERSI32E ERROR O% 2)D IN CONC2CDIN, TH)T THE TRI)2 COCRT" IN
DECIDIN, THE C)SE" RE2IED ON %2I;SB" I% NOT I;;)TERI)2" )22E,)TIONS
O% THE PETITIONERS" DHICH H)VE NO DIRECT 3E)RIN, IN THE
DETER;IN)TION O% DHETHER THE RESPONDENTS )RE 3CI2DERS IN ,OOD
%)ITH
III.
DHETHER OR NOT THE HONOR)32E COCRT O% )PPE)2S CO;;ITTED )
REVERSI32E ERROR O% 2)D IN RENDERIN, ) DECISION TH)T IS
CNEN%ORCE)32E ),)INST 3OTH RESPONDENT <CDITH C)STE22TORT )ND
THIRD4P)RTB E2II)3ETH CRCI
!!
Petitioners initill& h11er 0inst respondents> provin0 tht Cstelltort nd certin
Eli=beth Cru= re the builders of the house on the sub?ect propert&" the& fultin0 the1
with estoppel for lle0in0 in their )nswer before the tril court tht @the& *respondents
Cstelltort nd <udith+ cused the construction of their house which the& bou0ht fro1
certin 2in 2ope=4Ville0s.@
Petitioners rel& on the followin0 doctrine estblished in Elayda v. Court of AppealsA
!(
@n d1ission 1de in the pledin0s cnnot be controverted b& the prt& 1.in0 such
d1ission nd re conclusive s to hi1 nd tht ll proofs sub1itted b& hi1 contrr&
thereto or inconsistent therewith" should be i0nored" whether ob?ection is interposed b&
the prt& or not 7 7 7@
Petitioners> contention is hrdl& relevnt to the cse t br. Dhether it ws Cstelltort
nd <udith or Cstelltort nd Eli=beth Cru= who purchsed the propert& fro1 2in is
not 1teril to the outco1e of the instnt controvers&. )s found b& the C)A
The fct re1ins tht ppellnt FCstelltortG is the builder of the house on 2ot $9 777
The court 6uo should hve focused on the issue of whether ppellnt ;i0uel built" in
0ood fith" the sub?ect house without notice of the dverse cli1 of the ppellees nd
under the honest belief tht the lot which he used in the construction belon0s to hi1.
777 it cnnot be 0insid tht ppellnt ;i0uel hs title over the lnd tht ws
purchsed fro1 the intervenor 7 7 7
!-
)t ll events" s this Court held in the cse of Gardner v. Court of AppealsA
!5
In its Resolution reversin0 the ori0inl Decision" respondent Court discredited the
testi1on& of )riosto S)NTOS for bein0 t vrince with the lle0tions in his )nswer.
The fct" however" tht the lle0tions 1de b& )riosto S)NTOS in his pledin0s nd
in his declrtions in open Court differed will not 1ilitte 0inst the findin0s herein
1de nor support the reversl b& respondent Court. )s 0enerl rule" fcts lle0ed in
prt&>s pledin0 re dee1ed d1issions of tht prt& nd bindin0 upon it" but this is
not n bsolute nd infle7ible rule. )n )nswer is 1ere stte1ent of fct which the
prt& filin0 it e7pects to prove" but it is not evidence. )s )riosto S)NTOS hi1self" in
open Court" hd repudited the defenses he hd rised in his )nswer nd 0inst his
own interest" his testi1on& is deservin0 of wei0ht nd credence.
!'
*Cnderscorin0
supplied+
The issue deter1intive of the controvers& in the cse t br hin0es on whether
Cstelltort is builder in 0ood fith.
) builder in 0ood fith is one who builds with the belief tht the lnd he is buildin0 on is
his" or tht b& so1e title one hs the ri0ht to build thereon" nd is i0nornt of n&
defect or flw in his title.
!9
)rticle 5!9 of the Civil Code provides tht 0ood fith is lw&s presu1ed" nd upon
hi1 who lle0es bd fith on the prt of possessor rests the burden of proof.
!8
In the cse t br" 2ot $' ws sold b& 2in" throu0h her ttorne&4in4fct Ville0s" to
Cstelltort nd certin Eli=beth Cru=
!/
for considertion of P5##"###.##. Dhile
prior to the sle" wht Ville0s showed Cstelltort s evidence of his 1other 2in>s
ownership of the propert& ws onl& photocop& of her title TCT No. *T4-!$9$+ T4
$855#
(#
he e7plinin0 tht the owner>s duplicte of the title ws lost nd tht ?udicil
reconstitution thereof ws on0oin0" Cstelltort cted in the 1nner of prudent 1n
nd went to the Re0istr& of Deeds of 20un to procure certified true cop& of the
TCT.
($
The certified true cop& bore no nnottion indictin0 n& prior dverse cli1 on
2ot $'.
The records indicte tht t the ti1e Cstelltort be0n constructin0 his house on
petitioners> lot" he believed tht it ws the 2ot $' he bou0ht nd delivered to hi1 b&
Ville0s.
In his cross4e71intion" Ville0s testifiedA
JA Bou sid the surve&or plced 1u?on lon0 boundr& of the propert&K
)A Bes.
JA Dhen were the 1u?ons plced in the boundr& of the propert&K
)A These 1u?ons were the bsis for 1& loctin0 the propert& in pointin0 to ;r.
Cstelltort.
7 7 7
JA Is it not fct tht before ;i0uel Cstelltort strted constructin0 tht house he
sou0ht &our dvice or per1ission to construct the s1e over tht prticulr lotK
4
)A Bes.
JA )nd &ou 0ve &our consentK
)A Bes" becuse bsed on 1& .nowled0e lso tht tht ws the lot ," !o'#te$ b%
E#-r. R'9er,.
7 7 7
JA Ds there n& re1r.ble difference between lot $' nd $9 t the ti1e tht this
prticulr lot ws sold to ;i0uel Cstelltort nd Eli=beth Cru=K
7 7 7
)A 3oth lots $' nd $9 re prcticll& the s1e. The *sic+ hve the s1e front0e.
There is onl& difference of - s6ure 1eters" one is ($$ s6ure 1eters nd the other
($5 s6ure 1eters. 3oth sides were fenced" s drwn the& were fcin0 the s1e rod.
The& re prcticll& the s1e.
JA 3ut t the ti1e or i11editel& before ;r. Cstelltort strted the construction of the
house" ws there n& re1r.ble distinction between these two propertiesK
)A None.
(!
*E1phsis nd underscorin0 supplied+
The confusion in the identifiction of 2ot $' ws eventull& trced to the error
co11itted b& 0eodetic en0ineer )u0usto River>s e1plo&ees in plcin0 stone
1onu1ents on petitioners> propert&" insted of on 2ot $'" the lot sold to Cstelltort"
bsed on the surve& 1de b& the en0ineer in $//!.
The en0ineer so testifiedA
JA Now" side fro1 inspectin0 personll& the site" wht else did &our 1en or ssistnts
doK
)A )fter co1putin0 the subdivision lots" the& went bc. to the field to plnt those
subdivision corners with concrete 1onu1ents.
JA Dhich is *sic+ lso clled s @1ohons@K
)A Bes" sir.
JA Now" cn &ou point to this Honorble Court where e7ctl& did &our 1en plce these
dditionl 1ohons nd how 1n&K
)A 2ter on we discovered tht the& plced the 1ohons in the d?oinin0 lot" lot $9.
7 7 7
JA 7 7 7 when 0in did &ou 1eet ;r. Rene Ville0s or fter how 1n& 1onths or
&erK
)A ;&be fter &er" sir.
JA )nd &ou 1et hi1 0in becuse he hd proble1 re0rdin0 the propert& of one
En0r. RoslesK
)A Bes" sir.
JA )nd when he confided to &ou this 1tter" did &ou 0o to the site of 2ot $' or $9K
)A Bes" sir.
JA )nd wht did &ou see thereK
)A ) house bein0 constructed then I rechec.ed the loction of the house nd it turned
out to be in 2ot $9.
7 7 7
JA Considerin0 tht &ou found out tht 1ist.e ws ctull& 1de b& &our ssistnts
Dennis Orencio" ;rio Crpio nd Sove?no when &ou llowed the1 to proceed on
their own to 1.e this co1puttion" did &ou confront these 1en of &ours fterwrdsK
)A Bes" sir.
JA In wht 1nnerK
)A I ctull& repri1nded the1 verbll& nd lso I dis1issed ;rio Crpio fro1 1&
office.
7 7 7
JA )nd did &ou investi0te how &our 1en co11itted this 1ist.e of plntin0 these
1onu1ents on nother lot when corners - L $ were clerl& plnted on the 0roundK
)A I 1&self rechec.ed it nd found out tht the& co11itted n error.
5
7 7 7
JA )nd now" &ou re s&in0 tht &our 1en co11itted 1ist.e b& plcin0 thereon
1onu1ents b& plntin0 these 1onu1ents not on 2ot $' but on 2ot $9K
)A Dhen I investi0ted how did the& co11it *sic+ 1ist.e it c1e to be li.e this.
3efore when we surve&ed first this in $//!" t tht ti1e Dnte Ville0s contrcted 1&
services there ws fence here then when we went bc." the rod ws lred&
re1oved so the& co11itted n error tht this point is 2ot $/" the& thou0ht tht it ws
2ot $/" the bc. portion.
7 7 7
JA In this prticulr cse" did &ou find out how &our 1en chec.ed the succeedin0 lots"
how the& deter1ine *sic+ the e7ct loction of lot $'K
)A The& ?ust relied on one side of the subdivision.
JA 3& ?ust countin0 the nu1ber of lotsK
)A Bes" sir.
JA Dithout 1.in0 n& ctul 1esure1entK
)A The& 1de n ctul 1esure1ent but the reference point is not the one" the
correct one becuse the& lso chec.ed it with the other corner of the rod 0oin0 bc..
7 7 7
JA )nd how did the& co11it 1ist.e when &ou sid the& chec.ed the lot t the bc.
of 2ot $'K
)A 3ecuse the& were 6uite confident since we hd lred& relocted the propert& two
&ers 0o so the& thou0ht tht the& 0et *sic+ the ri0ht lot without chec.in0 the other
side of the subdivision.
7 7 7
JA Now" &ou sid tht when &ou went to the plce becuse &ou herd fro1 Rene
Ville0s tht there ws 1ist.e &ou no lon0er could find the 1onu1ents on lines $
nd - nd ccordin0 to &ou the reson is tht fence ws lred& constructedK
)A Bes" sir.
JA %or clrifiction" is this line $ L - on 2ot $' co11on line $ L- on 2ot $9K
)A Bes" sir co11on line.
JA In other words" this line $ L- devides *sic+ 2ot $' L $9K
)A Bes" sir.
JA So tht when these 1onu1ents were plced on lines $ L - so1ebod& could
1ist.e it for 2ot $9 lso becuse there were 1onu1ents now $ L- for lot $' since
these re co11on lines for
2ot $9 lso with 2ot $'" it could lso be construed tht these re 1onu1ents for 2ot
$9K
)A Bes" sir possible.
((
*Cnderscorin0 supplied+
)s correctl& found b& the C)" both prties hvin0 cted in 0ood fith t lest until
)u0ust !$" $//5" the pplicble provision in this cse is )rticle --8 of the Civil Code
which redsA
)rt. --8. The owner of the lnd on which n&thin0 hs been built" sown or plnted in
0ood fith" shll hve the ri0ht to pproprite s his own the wor.s" sowin0 or plntin0"
fter p&1ent of the inde1nit& provided for in )rticles 5-' nd 5-8" or to obli0e the
one who built or plnted to p& the price of the lnd" nd the one who sowed" the
proper rent. However" the builder or plnter cnnot be obli0ed to bu& the lnd if its
vlue is considerbl& 1ore thn tht of the buildin0 or trees. In such cse" he shll p&
resonble rent" if the owner of the lnd does not choose to pproprite the buildin0 or
trees fter proper inde1nit&. The prties shll 0ree upon the ter1s of the lese nd in
cse of dis0ree1ent" the court shll fi7 the ter1s thereof.
Cnder the fore0oin0 provision" the lndowner cn choose between ppropritin0 the
buildin0 b& p&in0 the proper inde1nit& or obli0in0 the builder to p& the price of the
lnd" unless its vlue is considerbl& 1ore thn tht of the structures" in which cse
the builder in 0ood fith shll p& resonble rent.
(-
If the prties cnnot co1e to ter1s
over the conditions of the lese" the court 1ust fi7 the ter1s thereof.
The choice belon0s to the owner of the lnd" rule tht ccords with the principle of
ccession" i.e." tht the ccessor& follows the principl nd not the other w& round.
Even s the option lies with the lndowner" the 0rnt to hi1" nevertheless" is
preclusive.
(5
The lndowner cnnot refuse to e7ercise either option nd co1pel
insted the owner of the buildin0 to re1ove it fro1 the lnd.
('
The raison detre for this provision hs been enuncited thusA
6
Dhere the builder" plnter or sower hs cted in 0ood fith" conflict of ri0hts rises
between the owners" nd it beco1es necessr& to protect the owner of the
i1prove1ents without cusin0 in?ustice to the owner of the lnd. In view of the
i1prcticbilit& of cretin0 stte of forced co4ownership" the lw hs provided ?ust
solution b& 0ivin0 the owner of the lnd the option to c6uire the i1prove1ents fter
p&1ent of the proper inde1nit&" or to obli0e the builder or plnter to p& for the lnd
nd the sower the proper rent. He cnnot refuse to e7ercise either option. It is the
owner of the lnd who is uthori=ed to e7ercise the option" becuse his ri0ht is older"
nd becuse" b& the principle of ccession" he is entitled to the ownership of the
ccessor& thin0.
(9
Possession c6uired in 0ood fith does not lose this chrcter e7cept in the cse nd
fro1 the 1o1ent fcts e7ist which show tht the possessor is not unwre tht he
possesses the thin0 i1properl& or wron0full&.
(8
The 0ood fith ceses or is le0ll&
interrupted fro1 the 1o1ent defects in the title re 1de .nown to the possessor" b&
e7trneous evidence or b& suit for recover& of the propert& b& the true owner.
(/
In the cse t br" Cstelltort>s 0ood fith cesed on )u0ust !$" $//5 when petitioners
personll& pprised hi1 of their title over the 6uestioned lot. )s held b& the C)" should
petitioners then opt to pproprite the house" the& should onl& be 1de to p& for tht
prt of
the i1prove1ent built b& Cstelltort on the 6uestioned propert& t the ti1e 0ood fith
still e7isted on his prt or until )u0ust !$" $//5.
The C)" however" filed to 6ulif& tht sid prt of the i1prove1ent should be pe00ed
t its current fir 1r.et vlue consistent with this Court>s pronounce1ent in Pecson v.
Court of Appeals.
-#
)nd" s correctl& found b& the C)" the co11ence1ent of Cstelltort>s p&1ent of
resonble rent should strt on )u0ust !$" $//5 s well" to be pid until such ti1e tht
the possession of the propert& is delivered to petitioners" sub?ect to the rei1burse1ent
of e7penses" tht is" if such option is for petitioners to pproprite the house.
This Court 6uotes the C)>s rtiocintion with pprovlA
7 7 7 ,enerll&" )rticle --8 of the Civil Code provides tht the p&1ent of resonble
rent should be 1de onl& up to the dte ppellees serve notice of their option s
provided b& lw upon the ppellnts nd the court 6uoE tht is" if such option is for
ppellees to pproprite the encrochin0 structure. In such event" ppellnts would
hve ri0ht to retin the lnd on which the& hve built in 0ood fith until the& re
rei1bursed the e7penses incurred b& the1. This is so becuse the ri0ht to retin the
i1prove1ents while the correspondin0 inde1nit& is not pid i1plies the tennc& or
possession in fct of the lnd on which it is built" plnted or sown.
However" considerin0 tht ppellnts hd cesed s builders in 0ood fith t the ti1e
tht ppellnt ;i0uel ws notified of ppellees> lwful title over the disputed propert&"
the p&1ent of resonble rent should ccordin0l& co11ence t tht ti1e since he
cn no lon0er vil of the ri0hts provided under the lw for builders in 0ood fith.
-$
If the option chosen b& petitioners is co1pulsor& sle" however" the p&1ent of rent
should continue up to the ctul trnsfer of ownership.
-!
Respectin0 petitioners> r0u1ent tht the ppellte court erred in renderin0 decision
tht is @unenforceble 0inst <udith who is not the owner of the house nd Eli=beth
Cru= who ws found to be prt owner of the house built on their lot but is not prt&
to the cse"@ the s1e does not lie.
Dhile one who is not prt& to proceedin0 shll not be ffected or bound
-(
b&
?ud01ent rendered therein"
--
li.e Eli=beth Cru=" this does not detrct fro1 the vlidit&
nd enforcebilit& of the ?ud01ent on petitioners nd respondents Cstelltorts.
85EREFORE" the petition is DEN1ED. The Decision dted October !" !##! nd
Resolution dted %ebrur& '" !##( of the Court of )ppels
re AFF1RMED with MOD1F1CAT1ON such tht the tril court shll include for
deter1intion the increse in vlue *@plus vlue@+ which petitioners> ($5 s6ure 1eter
lot 1& hve c6uired b& reson of the e7istence of tht portion of the house built
before respondents ;i0uel nd <udith Cstelltort were notified of petitioners> ri0htful
cli1 on sid lot" nd the current fir 1r.et vlue of sid portion.
SO ORDERED.
7