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April 17, 1989
Respondents claim that the 30-day period prescribed in Article 1088 for petitioners to exercise the right to legal
redemption had already elapsed and that the requirement of Article 1088 that notice must be in writing is deemed
satisfied because written notice would be superfluous, the purpose of the law having been fully served when
petitioner Garcia went to the Office of the Register of Deeds and was for himself, read and understood the
contents of the Deeds of Sale.
The Court took note of the fact that the registration of the deed of sale as sufficient notice of sale under the
provision of Section 51 of Act No. 496 applies only to registered lands and has no application whatsoever to a case
where the property involved is unregistered land.
If the intention of the law had been to include verbal notice or nay other means of information as
sufficient to give the effect of this notice, then there would have been no necessity or reasons to specify in Article
1088 that the said notice be made in writing for, under the old law, a verbal notice or information was sufficient.
In the interpretation of a related provision (Article 1623) written notice is indispensable, actual knowledge of the
sale acquired in some other manners by the redemptioner, notwithstanding. He or she is still entitled to written
notice, as exacted by the Code, to remove all uncertainty as to the sale, its terms and its validity, and to quiet any
doubt that the alienation is not definitive. The law not having provided for any alternative method of notifications
remains exclusive, thought the Code does not prescribed any particular form of written notice nor any distinctive
method for written notification of redemption.

150 SCRA 517
CRUZ; May 28, 1987

- 5 brothers and sisters inherited in equal pro indiviso shares a parcel of land registered in the name of their
deceased parents.
- March 15, 1963: one of them, Celestino Padua, transferred his undivided share to petitioners by way of absolute
- April 22, 1964: Eustaquia Padua, his sister, sold her own share to the same vendees, in an instrument
denominated "Con Pacto de Retro Sale."
- By virtue of such agreements, the petitioners occupied, after the said sales, an area corresponding to 2/5 of the
said lot, representing the portions sold to them. The vendees subsequently enclosed the same with a fence. In
1975, with their consent, their son Eduardo Alonzo and his wife built a semi-concrete house on a part of the
enclosed area.

- February 25, 1976: Mariano Padua, one of the five coheirs, sought to redeem the area sold to the spouses Alonzo,
but his complaint was dismissed when it appeared that he was an American citizen .

- May 27, 1977: Tecla Padua, another co-heir, filed her own complaint invoking the same right of redemption
claimed by her brother.
- The trial court dismiss the complaint on the ground that the right had lapsed
, not having been exercised within
thirty days from notice of the sales in 1963 and 1964. Although there was no written notice, it was held that actual
knowledge of the sales by the co-heirs satisfied the requirement of the law.

1. WON the notice required in Article 1088 is written notice.
2. WON the right of redemption in this case had lapsed in spite of the absence of written notice.
1. YES.
- In reversing the trial court, the respondent court declared that the notice required by the said article was written
notice and citing the De Conejero v. Court of Appeals applied by the trial court, the respondent court held that that
decision, interpreting a like rule in Article 1623, stressed the need for written notice although no particular form
was required.

Art. 1088. Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale,
provided they do so within the period of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor.
- Butte v. Uy: emphasized that the written notice should be given by the vendor and not the vendees, conformably
to a similar requirement under Article 1623.

2. YES. The Court in this case made an exception to the rule established in the cases of De Conejero and Butte.
- The Court held that the petition appears to be an illustration of the Holmes dictum that "hard cases make bad
laws" as the petitioners obviously cannot argue against the fact that there was really no written notice given by the
vendors to their co-heirs. Strictly applied and interpreted, Article 1088 can lead to only one conclusion, to wit, that
in view of such deficiency, the 30 day period for redemption had not begun to run, much less expired in 1977.
- It stated that judges are not automatons. They must not unfeelingly apply the law as it is worded, yielding like
robots to the literal command without regard to its cause and consequence. While the Court may not read into the
law a purpose that is not there, it nevertheless has the right to read out of it the reason for its enactment. In doing
so, it defers not to "the letter that killeth" but to "the spirit that vivifieth," to give effect to the law maker's will.
- In requiring written notice, Article 1088 seeks to ensure that the redemptioner is properly notified of the sale and
to indicate the date of such notice as the starting time of the 30-day period of redemption. Considering the
shortness of the period, it is really necessary, as a general rule, to pinpoint the precise date it is supposed to begin,
to obviate any problem of alleged delays, sometimes consisting of only a day or two.
- The instant case presents no such problem because the right of redemption was invoked not days but years after
the sales were made in 1963 and 1964. The complaint was filed by Tecla Padua in 1977, 13 years after the first sale
and 14 years after the second sale. The delay invoked by the petitioners extends to more than a decade, assuming
of course that there was a valid notice that tolled the running of the period of redemption.
- The Court ruled that in the face of the established facts, it cannot accept the private respondents' pretense that
they were unaware of the sales made by their brother and sister in 1963 and 1964. By requiring written proof of
such notice, it would be closing its eyes to the obvious truth in favor of their palpably false claim of ignorance, thus
exalting the letter of the law over its purpose. The purpose is clear enough: to make sure that the redemptioners
are duly notified. The Court was satisfied that in this case the other brothers and sisters were actually informed,
although not in writing, of the sales made in 1963 and 1964, and that such notice was sufficient.
- While the Court did not declare that the period of redemption started from the dates of such sales in 1963 and
1964, it did say that sometime between those years and 1976, when the first complaint for redemption was filed,
the other co-heirs were actually informed of the sale and that thereafter the 30-day period started running and
ultimately expired. This could have happened any time during the interval of thirteen years, when none of the co-
heirs made a move to redeem the properties sold. By 1977, in other words, when Tecla Padua filed her complaint,
the right of redemption had already been extinguished because the period for its exercise had already expired.
- While the general rule is, that to charge a party with laches in the assertion of an alleged right it is essential that
he should have knowledge of the facts upon which he bases his claim, yet if the circumstances were such as should
have induced inquiry, and the means of ascertaining the truth were readily available upon inquiry, but the party
neglects to make it, he will be chargeable with laches, the same as if he had known the facts.

Art. 1623. The right of legal pre-emption or redemption shall not be exercised except within thirty days from the notice in writing by the prospective vendor, or by the vendors, as the case may be. The deed of sale
shall not be recorded in the Registry of Property, unless accompanied by an affidavit of the vendor that he has given written notice thereof to all possible redemptioners. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes
that of the adjoining owners.

- It was the perfectly natural thing for the co-heirs to wonder why the spouses Alonzo, who were not among them,
should enclose a portion of the inherited lot and build thereon a house of strong materials. This definitely was not
the act of a temporary possessor or a mere mortgagee. This certainly looked like an act of ownership. Yet, given
this unseemly situation, none of the co-heirs saw fit to object or at least inquire, to ascertain the facts, which were
readily available. It took all of thirteen years before one of them chose to claim the right of redemption, but then it
was already too late.
- The Court stated that in arriving at the abovementioned conclusion, it is deviating from the strict letter of the
law, which the respondent court understandably applied pursuant to existing jurisprudence. The said court acted
properly as it had no competence to reverse the doctrines laid down by this Court in the above-cited cases. The
Court clearly stressed that it was not abandoning the De Conejero and Butte doctrines. All it did was simply
adopting an exception to the general rule, in view of the peculiar circumstances of this case.
-The co-heirs in this case were undeniably informed of the sales although no notice in writing was given them. And
there is no doubt either that the 30-day period began and ended during the 14 years between the sales in question
and the filing of the complaint for redemption in 1977, without the co-heirs exercising their right of redemption.
These are the justifications for this exception.

166 SCRA 760
GANCAYCO; October 28, 1988
Petitioners instituted an action in the Court of First Instance of Rizal to declare the deed of extrajudicial partition,
deed of absolute sale, Transfer Certificates Title Nos. 14182, 14186 and 15665 all of Registry of Deeds of Pasay City
and Tax Declaration No. 5147, null and void.
Based on the parties stipulation of facts:
The land in question was registered in the name of petitioner Manuel Bautista under TCT No. 2210, and the latter
inherited this land from his father, Mariano Bautista. On Dec. 22, 1966, a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition was
executed. Private respondents were signatories to the deed, and the signature of petitioner Manuel Bautista was
supposed to appear in that document, although petitioner Manuel Bautista denied having signed that Extrajudicial
Partition. Upon registration of the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, T.C.T. No. 2210 was cancelled and in lieu thereof,
T.C.T.T. 14182 was issued. The private respondents, with the exception of Manolito Bautista, executed a Deed of
Absolute Sale in favor of Manolito Bautista of that property. Upon registration of the Deed of Sale, T.C.T. T-14182
was cancelled and in lieu thereof, T.C.T. No. T-14186 was issued to Manolito Bautista.
On August 7, 1969, Manolito Bautista executed a Deed of Sale in favor of the other private respondents and upon
registration of said Deed of Sale, T. C.T. Nos. T-1 5665, T-15666, T-15667, T-15668, T-15669, T- 15670, T-15671,
were issued to private respondents. Petitioner Manuel Bautista married his second wife Emiliana Tamayo. Manuel
Bautista and his second wife, Emiliana Tamayo, had only a child, Evangeline Bautista, born on April 29,1949. the
property in question was the subject matter of extrajudicial partition of property on December 22,1966, among
the heirs of the late Juliana Nojadera, the first wife of Manuel Bautista. Manuel Bautista denied participation in the
Extrajudicial Partition of Property. On August 1, 1974, all the parties agreed to submit to the NBI the questioned
signature of Manuel Bautista. The NBI concluded that the questioned document was authentic.
The trial court dismissed the complaint with costs against plaintiffs. CA affirmed

ISSUE: WON the property of the surviving husband be the subject of an extrajudicial partition of the estate of the
deceased wife


RATIO: Under Section 1, Rule 74 of the Rules of Court an extrajudicial settlement of the Estate applies only to the
estate left by the decedent who died without a will, and with no creditors, and the heirs are all of age or the minors
are represented by their judicial or legal representatives. If the property does not belong to the estate of the
decedent certainly it cannot be the subject matter of an extrajudicial partition.
As the subject property does not belong to the estate of Juliana Nojadera, the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, is
void ab initio being contrary to law. To include in an extrajudicial partition property which does not pertain to the
estate of the deceased would be to deprive the lawful owner thereof of his property without due process of law.
Only property of the estate of the decedent which is transmitted by succession can be the lawful subject matter of
an extrajudicial partition. In this case, the said partition obviously prejudices the right of Manuel Bautista as
exclusive owner of the property.
The said partition also effectively resulted in the preterition of the right of Evangeline Bautista as a compulsory heir
of Manuel Bautista, daughter of the latter by his second marriage. It is difficult to believe that Manuel Bautista
would wittingly overlook and ignore the right of her daughter Evangeline to share in the said property. It is not
surprising that he denied signing the said document. Moreover, private respondents knew Evangeline Bautista
who is their half-sister to be a compulsory heir. The court finds that her preterition was attended with bad faith
hence the said partition must be rescinded.
The Court observes that after the execution of said extrajudicial partition and issuance of the title in their names,
private respondents except Manolito Bautista in turn executed a deed of absolute sale of the property in favor of
the latter in whose name the title was also issued. And yet soon thereafter another deed of sale was executed this
time by Manolito Bautista selling back the same property to private respondents in whose names the respective
titles were thus subsequently issued. This series of transactions between and among private respondents is an
indication of a clever scheme to place the property beyond the reach of those lawfully entitled thereto.
Moreover, such extrajudicial partition cannot constitute a partition of the property during the lifetime of its owner,
Manuel Bautista. Partition of future inheritance is prohibited by law.

As said Extrajudicial Partition dated December 22, 1966, of property belonging exclusively to petitioner Manuel
Bautista, is null and void ab initio it follows that all subsequent transactions involving the same property between
and among the private respondents are also null and void. Prescription cannot be invoked in this case as the
petitioners' right to sue their co-owners for partition of the property is imprescriptible.
And even assuming that
the present action may prescribe as ruled by the respondent court, petitioners Emiliana Bautista and Evangeline
Bautista who are not parties to the said instrument asserted that they discovered the same only soon before they
filed the complaint in court. Certainly the action has not prescribed.