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THIRD DIVISION

[ G.R. NO. 159048, October 11, 2005 ]


BENNY GO, PETITIONER, VS. ELIODORO BACARON, RESPONDENT.



FACTS:


Eliodoro BACARON conveyed a 15.3955-hectare parcel of land in favor of Benny
GO for P20,000.00. He however averred that prior to extending said loan to him,
GO required him to execute a document purporting to be a Transfer of Rights but
was told that the same would only be a formality as he could redeem the
unregistered land the moment he pays the loan. BACARON remains in possession
of the property even after the conclusion of the transaction and continued
paying the real property taxes subsequent to the alleged sale. About a year
thereafter, BACARON, seeking to recover his property, went to GO to pay his
alleged "loan" but the latter refused to receive the same and to return his property
saying that the transaction between them was a sale and not a mortgage.

ISSUE:
Whether the agreement entered into by the parties was one for equitable
mortgage or for absolute sale.

HELD:

The instances in which a contract of sale is presumed to be an equitable mortgage
are enumerated in Article 1602 of the Civil Code as follows:

Art. 1602. The contract shall be presumed to be an equitable mortgage, in any
of the following cases:

(1) When the price of a sale with right to repurchase is unusually inadequate;
(2) When the vendor remains in possession as lessee or otherwise;
(3) When upon or after the expiration of the right to repurchase another
instrument extending the period of redemption or granting a new period is
executed;
(4) When the purchaser retains for himself a part of the purchase price;
(5) When the vendor binds himself to pay the taxes on the thing sold;
(6) In any other case where it may be fairly inferred that the real intention of
the parties is that the transaction shall secure the payment of a debt or the
performance of any other obligation.

In any of the foregoing cases, any money, fruits, or other benefit to be received
by the vendee as rent or otherwise shall be considered as interest which shall
be subject to the usury laws.

Furthermore, Article 1604 of the Civil Code provides that the provisions of Article
1602 shall also apply to a contract purporting to be an absolute sale.

The present Contract, which purports to be an absolute deed of sale, should be
deemed an equitable mortgage for the following reasons: (1) the consideration
has been proven to be unusually inadequate; (2) the supposed vendor has
remained in possession of the property even after the execution of the
instrument; and (3) the alleged seller has continued to pay the real estate taxes on
the property.


FELICIANO GAITERO and NELIA GAITERO, Petitioners, vs. GENEROSO
ALMERIA and TERESITAALMERIA, Respondents.G.R. No. 181812 June 8, 2011

FACTS: By virtue of a relocation survey of the lot owned by the respondents
Almeria spouses, it wasfound out that petitioner Feliciano Gaitero (Gaitero), who
owned adjoining Lot 9960-A, intruded into the formers lot by as much as 737 sq
m (the disputed area).When both parties failed to settle the dispute, Gaitero filed
an action for recovery of possession against the Almerias before the Municipal
Circuit Trial Court for the return of the possession of the disputed property plus
damages. He claimed that he was the registered owner of the disputed property
through succession. He further claimed that the survey was erroneous.

In their answer, Almerias alleged that they bought the lot by virtue of an Extra-
Judicial Settlement of Estate and Sale and it was Gaitero who unlawfully
encroached on the disputed property. The MCTC held that the Almerias were
entitled to the possession of the disputed area considering that it is included in
the technical description of their registered title. Further, the MCTCheld that
Gaitero acknowledged the true boundaries of his lot when it was subdivided.
Indeed, the subdivision plan clearly shows that the disputed area is excluded from
his lot.

On appeal, the RTC reversed the decision of the MCTC on the reason that laches
prevented the Almerias from asserting their right over the same since it took
them 15 years before they did so. On review, the CA reversed the RTC decision
holding that that the Almerias owned the disputed area since, between a
registered title and a verbal claim of ownership, the former must prevail.

ISSUE: Whether or not the Almerias are entitled to the possession of the disputed
area as against Gaitero.

HELD: Yes.
Between the Almerias registered title of ownership and Gaiteros verbal claim to
the same, the formers title is far superior.

Since Gaitero was unable to prove that fraud attended the titling of the
disputed area, the Almerias right over the same became indefeasible and
incontrovertible a year from registration. Possession is an essential attribute of
ownership. Necessarily, whoever owns the property has the right to possess it.

Spouses Dolores Medin and Moises Berna vs. Nelly L. Romero
Valdellon, and Spouses Cipriano Villanueva and
Rufina Panganiban

The complaint alleges that petitioners
are the owners of a parcel of land in Hagonoy, Bulacan
purchased (April 1967)for P800
Defendants are family friends of the petitioners, and were
allowed to remain in the premises and to construct their
residential house subject to the condition that defendants will
return unto the plaintiffs the premises upon demand, this info
was amended to state that they defendants will return to the
plaintiffs the premises in 1969; On demand, defendants
refused to surrender the property in question.
Thus, plaintiffs had to institute action praying that defendants
be ordered: (1) to vacate the premises and surrender the said
property; (2) to pay plaintiffs P500 as incidental expenses ; and,
(3) to pay P100a month from the filing of this action to the time
they surrender its possession to the plaintiffs.
CFI dismissed the complaint because of another case pending
between the same parties over the same property (Land
Registration Case). MR was denied.

ISSUE:
Will the pendency of a landregistration case bar the institution of
anaction for the recovery of possession?

HELD:
The nature of this case is one forRECOVERY OF POSSESSION bro
ught beforethe CFI by the alleged owners of a piece
of land against the defendants who were supposed
to have unlawfully continued inpossession since 1969 when the
y weresupposed to return it to plaintiffs, plusdamages. The
defendants withheld possession from the plaintiffs since 1969,
more than the one year
period contemplated in unlawful detainer cases at the time the
complaint was filed in1973.Not all cases of dispossession are
covered by Rule 70 of the Rules of Court (Forcible Entry
and Unlawful Detainer cases)

Because whenever the owner of property is dispossessed by any
other means than those mentioned in the said rule, he may
initiateand maintain a plenary action to recover possession in th
e Court of First Instance, and it is not necessary for him to wait
until the expiration of one year before commencing such action.
It may also be brought after the expiration of said period of one
year, if no action had been initiated for forcible entry and
detainer during
that time in the inferior court. ACCIONPUBLICIANA must be
instituted in the CFI.

RE CFIs ACTION:
The respondent court's action in dismissing this case is
precipitate, there is sufficient merit in petitioners'
contention that the rights sought to been forced and the reliefs
prayed (recovery of possession and damages) are entirely
separate and distinct from that sought in L. R.C.
Case.It is a fundamental principle in the lawgoverning UNLAWFU
L DETAINER CASES(including recovery of possession cases) that
a mere plea of title or ownership over the
disputed land by the defendant cannot be used as a sound legal
basis for dismissing an action for recovery of possession because
an action for recovery of possession can be maintained even
against the very owner of the property. In this case, there is not
even a plea of title on the part of private respondents over the
disputed property but a mere allegation
that there is another action for registration of title to that land
the possession of which is being recovered by petitioners in the
Civil Case. An action for recovery of possession is totally
distinct and different from an action
for recovery of title or ownership. In fact, a judgment rendered
in a case of recovery of possession is conclusive only on the
question of possession and NOT THAT OFOWNERSHIP. It does
not in any way bind the title or affect the ownership of the land
or building. Thus, the Civil Case was arbitrarily and erroneously
dismissed on the basis of the alleged pendency of another action,
because while identity of parties may be established in
both cases, there is no identity of cause of action or of rights
asserted and relief prayed for, so that judgment which may be
rendered in one case would not necessarily result in res judicata
for the other case.
RE CONSOLIDATION OF CIVIL AND LANDCASES: No sufficient re
ason for any of the parties in this case to object to the
consolidation of the trial of both cases, since the evidence that
may be presented by the parties involving possession and
ownership of the disputed parcel of land may facilitate an
expeditious termination of both cases. The
evidence involving the issues of possession and ownership over
the same land must be related and its presentation before one
court of justice would redound to a speedy disposition of this
litigation. WHEREFORE, the respondent court's orders are
hereby declared null and void and set aside; the complaint and
amended complaint
in Civil Case revived; both the respondent Judge and the Presidi
ng Judge, Branch VI, of the Court of First Instance of Bulacan,
being directed to consolidate the trial of L. R. C. No.2814 and
Civil Case No. 4353-M in one branch of that court.