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THE HEIRS OF PROTACIO GO, SR.

and MARTA BAROLA


VS. ESTER L. SERVACIO and RITO B. GO.

On February 22, 1976, Jesus B. Gaviola sold two parcels of land wit
a total area of 17,1!" s#uare $eters situated in %outern &eyte to
'rotacio B. Go, Jr. ('rotacio, Jr.).
*wenty tree years later, or on +arc 29, 1999, 'rotacio, Jr.
e,ecuted an Afdavit of Renunciation and Waiver,
-1.
wereby e
a/r$ed under oat tat it was is fater, 'rotacio Go, %r. ('rotacio,
%r.), not e, wo ad purcased te two parcels of land (te
property).
On 0ove$ber 21, 1927, +arta Barola Go died. %e was te wife of
'rotacio, %r. and $oter of te petitioners.
On 3ece$ber 22, 1999, 'rotacio, %r. and is son 4ito B. Go (5oined
by 4ito6s wife 3ina B. Go) sold a portion of te property wit an
area of 1,16" s#uare $eters to 7ster &. %ervacio (%ervacio)
for 81,626,762."".
On +arc 2, 2""1, te petitioners de$anded te return of te
property,
-!.
but %ervacio refused to eed teir de$and. 9fter
baran:ay proceedin:s failed to resolve te dispute,
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tey sued
%ervacio and 4ito in te 4e:ional *rial ;ourt in +aasin ;ity,
%outern &eyte (4*;) for te annul$ent of te sale of te property.
*e petitioners averred tat following Protacio, r.!"
r#n$nciation, t%# &ro&#rt' (#ca)# con*$gal &ro&#rt'+ and
t%at t%# "al# of t%# &ro&#rt' to S#r,acio wit%o$t t%# &rior
li-$idation of t%# co))$nit' &ro&#rt' (#tw##n Protacio, Sr.
and Marta wa" n$ll and ,oid.
%ervacio and 4ito countered tat 'rotacio, %r. ad e,clusively
owned te property because e ad purcased it wit is own
$oney.
On October <, 2""2,
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te 4*; declared tat te property was te
con5u:al property of 'rotacio, %r. and +arta, not te e,clusive
property of 'rotacio, %r., because tere were tree vendors in te
sale to %ervacio (na$ely= 'rotacio, %r., 4ito, and 3ina)> tat te
participation of 4ito and 3ina as vendors ad been by virtue of
teir bein: eirs of te late +arta> tat under 9rticle 16" of
te Civil Code, te law in e?ect wen te property was ac#uired, all
property ac#uired by eiter spouse durin: te $arria:e was
con5u:al unless tere was proof tat te property tus ac#uired
pertained e,clusively to te usband or to te wife> and tat
'rotacio, Jr.6s renunciation was :rossly insu/cient to rebut te le:al
presu$ption.
.on#t%#l#"", t%# RTC a/r)#d t%# ,alidit' of t%# "al# of t%#
&ro&#rt', oldin: tat= @,,, A" long a" t%# &ortion "old,
ali#nat#d or #nc$)(#r#d will not (# allott#d to t%# ot%#r
%#ir" in t%# 0nal &artition of t%# &ro&#rt', or to state it
plainly, as lon: as te portion sold does not encroac upon te
le:iti$ate (sic) of oter eirs, it is valid.A
*e petitioners clai$ tat 9rticle 1<" of te Family Code is te
applicable law> and tat te sale by 'rotacio, %r., et al. to %ervacio
was void for bein: $ade witout prior li#uidation.
ISS1E2 Beter or not te disposition by sale of a portion of te
con5u:al property by te survivin: spouse witout te prior li#uidation
$andated by 9rticle 1<" of te Family Code is void.
HEL32 *e disposition by sale of a portion of te con5u:al property by te
survivin: spouse witout te prior li#uidation $andated by 9rticle 1<" of
te Family Code i" not n#c#""aril' ,oid if "aid &ortion %a" not '#t
(##n allocat#d by 5udicial or e,tra5udicial partition to anoter eir of te
deceased spouse. 9t any rate, te re#uire$ent of prior li#uidation does
not pre5udice vested ri:ts.
4. Con*$gal &artn#r"%i& of gain" not "$("i"ting at t%# ti)# of t%#
#5#cti,it' of t%# Family Code (August 3, 1988) i" go,#rn#d ('
Art. 678 9 :ordinar' co;own#r"%i&<.
Ct is clear tat con5u:al partnersip of :ains establised (#for# and aft#r
t%# #5#cti,it' of te Family Code are :overned by te rules found in
;apter ! =Con*$gal Partn#r"%i& of Gain"> of *itle CD ('roperty
4elations Between Eusband 9nd Bife) of te Family Code. Eence, any
disposition of te con5u:al property after te dissolution of te con5u:al
partnersip $ust be $ade only after te li#uidation> oterwise, te
disposition is void. Before applyin: suc rules, owever, te con5u:al
partnersip of :ains $ust be subsistin: at te ti$e of te e?ectivity of
te Family Code. *ere bein: no dispute tat 'rotacio, %r. and +arta were
$arried prior to te e?ectivity of te Family Code on 9u:ust <, 1922, teir
property relation was properly caracteriFed as one of con5u:al
partnersip :overned by te Civil Code. 1&on Marta!" d#at% in 47?@,
t%# con*$gal &artn#r"%i& wa" di""ol,#d, pursuant to 9rticle 171 (1) of
te Civil Code, and an i)&li#d ordinar' co;own#r"%i& #n"$#d a)ong
Protacio, Sr. and t%# ot%#r %#ir" of Marta wit respect to er sare in
te assets of te con5u:al partnersip pendin: a li#uidation followin: its
li#uidation. *e ensuin: i$plied ordinary coGownersip was :overned by
Articl# 678 of t%# Civil Code.
Article 493. Each co-o!er shall have the "ull o!ershi# o" his
#art a!d o" the "ruits a!d $e!e%ts #ertai!i!g thereto, a!d he may
there"ore alie!ate, assig! or mortgage it, a!d eve! su$stitute
a!other #erso! i! its e!&oyme!t, e'ce#t he! #erso!al rights are
i!volved. (ut the e)ect o" the alie!atio! or the mortgage, ith
res#ect to the co-o!ers, shall $e limited to the #ortio! hich
may $e allotted to him i! the divisio! u#o! the termi!atio! o" the
co-o!ershi#.
A. A co;own#r co$ld "#ll %i" $ndi,id#d "%ar#+ %#nc#, Protacio, Sr.
%ad t%# rig%t to fr##l' "#ll and di"&o"# of %i" $ndi,id#d
int#r#"t, ($t not t%# int#r#"t of %i" co;own#r" + t%# "al# (' co;
own#r" wit%o$t t%# con"#nt of t%# ot%#r co;own#r" wa" not
n#c#""aril' ,oid.
'rotacio, %r., altou: beco$in: a coGowner wit is cildren in respect of
+arta6s sare in te con5u:al partnersip, could not yet assert or clai$
title to any speciHc portion of +arta6s sare witout an actual partition of
te property bein: Hrst done eiter by a:ree$ent or by 5udicial decree.
Intil ten, all tat e ad was an ideal or abstract #uota in +arta6s sare.
0oneteless, a coGowner could sell is undivided sare> ence, 'rotacio,
%r. ad te ri:t to freely sell and dispose of is undivided interest, but not
te interest of is coGowners. ;onse#uently, te sale by 'rotacio, %r. and
4ito as coGowners witout te consent of te oter coGowners was not
necessarily void, for te ri:ts of te sellin: coGowners were tereby
e?ectively transferred, $aJin: te buyer (%ervacio) a coGowner of +arta6s
sare. *is result confor$s to te wellGestablised principle tat te
bindin: force of a contract $ust be reco:niFed as far as it is le:ally
possible to do so.
8. T%# &ro,i"ion" of C%a&t#r 6 =Con*$gal Partn#r"%i& of Gain">
"%all not &r#*$dic# ,#"t#d rig%t" alr#ad' ac-$ir#d in
accordanc# wit% t%# Ci,il Cod# or ot%#r law".
9rticle 1"1 of te Family Code, supra, e,pressly provides tat te
applicability of te rules on dissolution of te con5u:al partnersip is
@witout pre5udice to vested ri:ts already ac#uired in accordance wit
te Civil Code or oter laws.A *is provision :ives anoter reason not to
declare te sale as entirely void. Cndeed, suc a declaration pre5udices te
ri:ts of %ervacio wo ad already ac#uired te sares of 'rotacio, %r. and
4ito in te property sub5ect of te sale.
6. T%# a&&ro&riat# r#co$r"# of co;own#r" in ca"#" w%#r# t%#ir
con"#nt w#r# not "#c$r#d in a "al# of t%# #ntir# &ro&#rt' a"
w#ll a" in a "al# )#r#l' of t%# $ndi,id#d "%ar#" of "o)# of t%#
co;own#r" i" an action for PARTITIO. $nd#r R$l# B7 of t%#
R#,i"#d R$l#" of Co$rt.
'endin: a partition a$on: te eirs of +arta, te e/cacy of te sale, and
weter te e,tent of te property sold adversely a?ected te interests of
te petitioners $i:t not yet be properly decided wit Hnality. *e
appropriate recourse to brin: tat about is to co$$ence an action for
*$dicial &artition as instructed in (ailo!-Casilao v. Court o" A##eals*
From the foregoing, it may be deduced that since a co-owner is
entitled to sell his undivided share, a sale o" the e!tire
#ro#erty $y o!e co-o!er ithout the co!se!t o" the other
co-o!ers is !ot !ull a!d void. owever, only the rights of the
co-owner-seller are transferred, thereby ma!ing the buyer a co-
owner of the property.
"he proper action in cases li!e this is not for the nulli#cation of the
sale or for the recovery of possession of the thing owned in
common from the third person who substituted the co-owner or co-
owners who alienated their shares, but the $%&%'%() of the
common property as if it continued to remain in the possession of
the co-owners who possessed and administered it.
+hus, it is !o settled that the a##ro#riate recourse o" co-
o!ers i! cases here their co!se!t ere !ot secured i! a
sale o" the e!tire #ro#erty as ell as i! a sale merely o" the
u!divided shares o" some o" the co-o!ers is a! actio! "or
,A-+.+./0 u!der -ule 19 o" the -evised -ules o" Court.
Cn te $eanwile, %ervacio would be a trustee for te beneHt of te coG
eirs of er vendors in respect of any portion tat $i:t not be validly
sold to er. *e followin: observations of Justice 'aras are e,planatory of
tis result, viF=
-C.f it turns out tat te property alienated or $ort:a:ed really would
pertain to te sare of te survivin: spouse, ten said transaction is valid.
Cf it turns out tat tere really would be, after li#uidation, no $ore
con5u:al assets ten te wole transaction is null and void. But if it turns
out tat alf of te property tus alienated or $ort:a:ed belon:s to te
usband as is sare in te con5u:al partnersip, and alf sould :o to te
estate of te wife, ten tat correspondin: to te usband is valid, and
tat correspondin: to te oter is not. %ince all tese can be deter$ined
only at te ti$e te li#uidation is over, it follow" logicall' t%at a
di"&o"al )ad# (' t%# "$r,i,ing "&o$"# i" not void a$ i!itio. *us,
it as been eld tat te sale of con5u:al properties cannot be $ade by
te survivin: spouse witout te le:al re#uire$ents. *e sale is void as to
te sare of te deceased spouse (e,cept of course as to tat portion of
te usband6s sare inerited by er as te survivin: spouse). *e buyers
of te property tat could not be validly sold beco$e trustees of said
portion for te beneHt of te usband6s oter eirs, te cestui *ue trust
ent. %aid eirs sall not be barred by prescription or by laces ('ee
Cuison, et al. v. Fernande+, et al.,&G1176!, Jan.<1, 1919.)