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CASE

DIGESTS
CIVIL LAW REVIEW






SUBMITTED BY:
SHEENA MARIE T. MORALES
11185694
Class No. 12 GO3
DLSU COL






SUBMITTED TO:
ATTY. CRISOSTOMO A. URIBE

Case Titles

Subject

Republic of the Philippines vs. Robert P. Narceda


G.R. No. 182760
April 10, 2013
Ponente: C.J. Sereno
Syed Azhar Abbas v. Gloria Goo Abbas
G.R. No. 183896
January 30, 2013
Ponente: J. Velasco Jr.
Republic of the Philippines vs. Cesar Encelan
G.R. No. 170022
January 09, 2013
Ponente: J.Brion
Antonio Perla vs. Mirasol Baring and Randy Perla
G.R. No. 172471
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Del Castillo
Arabelle J. Mendoza vs. Republic of the Philippines and
Dominic C. Mendoza
G.R. No. 157649
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Bersamin
Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals and
Eduardo De Quintos, Jr.
G.R. No. 159594
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Bersamin
Charles Gotardo vs. Divina Buling
G.R. No. 165166
August 15, 2012
Ponente: J.Brion
Charlie Fortaleza and Ofelia Fortaleza vs. Raul Lapitan
and Rona Lapitan
G.R. No. 178288
August 15, 2012
Ponente: J. Del Castillo
Brigido B. Quiao vs. Rita C. Quiao, et. al.
G.R. No 176556
July 4, 2012
Ponente: J.Reyes
Republic of the Philippines vs. Yolanda Cadacio Granada
G. R. No. 187512
June 13, 2012
Ponente: J. Sereno

Topic

Persons and Family


Relations

Declaration of
Presumptive Death

Persons and Family


Relations

Marrigae License
as Formal
Requisite

Persons and Family


Relations

Psychological
Incapacity

Persons and Family


Relations

Page
Numbers

8-9

10-11

12-13

14-15
Filiation

16-17
Persons and Family
Relations

Psychological
Incapacity

18-19
Persons and Family
Relations

Persons and Family


Relations

Psychological
Incapacity
20-21
Filiation

22
Persons and Family
Relations

Family Home

Persons and Family


Relations

Conjugal
Partnership of
Gains

Persons and Family


Relations

Declaration of
Presumptive Death

23-24

25-26

Merope Enriquez Vda. De Catalan vs. Louella A. Catalan-


Lee
G. R. No. 183622
February 8, 2012
Ponente: J. Sereno
Antonia R. Dela Pea et. al. vs. Gemma Remilyn Avila
and FEBTC-BPI
G.R. No. 187490
February 8, 2012
Ponente: J. Perez
Bobby Tan vs. Grace Andrade, et. al.
G.R. No. 171904 and 172017
August 7, 2013
Ponente: J. Perlas-Bernabe
Minoru Fujiki vs. Maria Paz Galela Marinay, Shinichi
Maekara
G.R. No. 196049
June 26, 2013
Ponente: J. Sereno
California Clothing, Inc. and Michelle Ybaez vs. Shirley
Quiones
G.R. No.175822
October 23, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta
Edilberto U. Ventura Jr. vs. Spouses Paulino and
Evangeline Abuda
G.R. No. 202932
October 23, 2013
Ponente: J. Carpio
The Republic of the Philippines vs. Liberty D. Albios
G.R. No. 198780
October 16, 2013
Ponente: J. Mendoza
Estrella Aduan Orpiano vs. Spouses Antonio C. Tomas
and Myrna U. Tomas
G.R. No. 178611
January 14, 2013
Ponente: J. Del Castillo

Spouses Benjamin Mamaril and Sonia Mamaril vs. The
Boy Scout of the Philippines
G.R. No. 179382
January 14, 2013
Ponente: J. Perlas-Bernabe

27-28
Persons and Family
Relations

Nationality
Principle

Persons and Family


Relations

Conjugal
Partnership of
Gains

Persons and Family


Relations

Conjugal
Partnership of
Gains

29-30

31-32

33-34
Persons and Family
Relations

Declaration for
Nullity of Marriage

35-36
Persons and Family
Relations

Exercise of Rights

Persons and Family


Relations

Conjugal
Partnership of
Gains

Persons and Family


Relations

Declaration for
Nullity of Marriage

Persons and Family


Relations

Sale of Conjugal
Property



37-38

39-40

41-42

43
Persons and Family
Relations

Human Relations

Ma. Carminia C. Calderon vs. Jose Antonio F. Roxas and


the Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 185595
January 9, 2013
Ponente: J. Villarama Jr.
Evangeline Rivera-Calingasan vs. Wilfredo Rivera
G.R. No.171555
April 17, 2013
Ponente: J. Brion
Spouses Cabahug vs. National Power Corporation
G.R. No. 186069
January 30, 2013
Ponente: J. Perez
Mercy Vda. De Roxas vs. Our Ladys Foundation, Inc.
G.R. No. 182378
March 6, 2013
Ponente: CJ. Sereno
Juanita Ermitao vs. Lailanie M. Paglas
G.R. No. 174436
January 23, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta
Purificacion and Ruperto Estanislao vs. Spouses Norma
and Damiano Gudito
G.R. NO. 173166
March 13, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta
Republic of the Philippines vs. AFP Retirement and
Separation Benefits System
G.R. No. 180463
January 16, 2013
Ponente: J. Del Castillo
VSD Realty & Development Corporation vs. Uniwide
Sales Inc.
G.R. No. 170677
July 31, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta
Heirs of Margarita Prodon vs. Heirs of Maximo S. Alvarez
and Valentina Clave
G.R. No. 170604
September 2, 2013
Ponente: J. Bersamin
Jose Z. Casilang, Sr. (substituted by his heirs) vs. Rosario
Z. Casilang-Dizon, et. al.
G.R. No. 180269
February 20, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes

44
Persons and Family
Relations

Support Pendente
Lite
46

Property

Forcible Enrty

Property

Power of Eminent
Domain

Property

Rights of Builder in
Bad Faith

Property

Right of
Redemption

47

48-49

50-51

55-53
Property

Unlawful Detainer

54-55
Property

Donation

56-57
Property

Recovery of
Possession

58-59
Property

Quieting of Title

60-61
Property

Partition

Republic of the Philippines (DPWH) vs. Bank of the


Philippine Islands (BPI)
G.R. No. 203039
September 11, 2013
Ponente: J. Carpio
Pilar Development Corporation vs. Ramon Dumadag et.
al.
G.R. No. 194336
March 11, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta
Teodoro S. Teodoro (Substituted by Heirs) vs. Danilo
Espino et. al.
G.R. No. 189248
February 5, 2014
Ponente: J. Perez
Antonio James et. al. vs. Eurem Realty Development
Corporation
G.R. No. 190650
October 14, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes
Heirs of Albina G. Ampil vs. Teresa and Mario Manahan
G.R. No. 175990
October 11, 2012
Ponente: J. Mendoza
Gaudencio Pacete vs. Inocencio Asotigue
G.R. No. 188575
December 10, 2012
Ponente: J. Mendoza
Jose Casilang Sr. vs. Rosario Casilang-Dizon, et. al.
G.R. No. 180269
February 20, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes
Maria Mendoza, et. al. vs. Julia Policarpio Delos Santos
G.R. No. 176422
March 20, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes
Carolina Vda. De Figuracion, et. al. vs. Emilia Figuracion-
Gerilla
G.R. No. 151334
February 13, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes
Richard B. Lopez vs. Diana Jeanne Lopez, et. al.
G.R. No. 189984
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Perlas-Bernabe

62-63
Property

Eminent Domain

64-65
Property

Easement

66-67
Property

Forcible Enrty

68-69
Property

Quieting of Title
70-71

Property

Ownership
72-73

Property

Ownership
75-76

Succession

Partition
77-78

Succession

Reserva Troncal

79-80
Succession

Partition

Succession

Probate:
Attestation Clause

81-82

Antipolo Ining et. al. vs. Leonardo R. Vega et. al


G.R. No. 174727
August 12, 2013
Ponente: J. Del Castillo
Heirs of Magdaleno Ypon vs. Gaudioso Ponteras
Ricaforte a.k.a. Gaudioso E. Ypon
G.R. No. 198680
July 8, 2013
Ponente: J. Perlas-Bernabe
Heirs of Dr. Mariano Favis Sr. vs. Juana Gonzales
G.R. No. 185922
January 15, 2014
Ponente: J. Perez
Cerila J. Calanasan vs. Spouses Virgilio Dolorito and
Evelyn c. Dolorito
G.R. No. 171937
November 25, 2013
Ponente: J. Brion

Succession

Repudiation of a
Co-owner

Succession

Determination of
Heirship in Special
Proceeding

Succession

Donation Inter
Vivos

83-84

85-86

87-88

89-90
Succession

Donation









PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS CASES

Republic of the Philippines vs. Robert P. Narceda


G.R. No. 182760
April 10, 2013
Ponente: C.J. Sereno

Topic: Declaration of Presumptive Death

Facts:

Robert Narceda married Marina on July 22, 1987. According to Robert Narceda, Marina went to
Singapore sometime in 1994 and never returned since. There was never any communication between
them. Though he tried to look for her, but he could not find her. One of their town mates who came
from Singapore, had told him that the last time she saw Marina, she was already living with a
Singaporean husband. In view of her absence and his desire to remarry, Narceda filed a Petition for a
Judicial Declaration of the Presumptive Death and/or Absence of Marina with the RTC on May 16, 2002.
The Petition was granted, declaring the presumptive death of Marina B. Narceda for all legal intents and
purposes of law. The Republic, appealed the Decision to the Court of Appeals. According to the Republic,
Narceda failed to conduct a search for his missing wife with the diligence required by law and enough to
give rise to a well-founded belief that she was dead. The CA dismissed the appeal ruling that the
hearing of a petition for the declaration of presumptive death is a summary proceeding which under
Article 247 of the Family Code provides that the judgment of the trial court in summary court
proceedings shall be immediately final and executory.

Issue:

Did the Court of Appeals commit an error in dismissing the petition for a lack of jurisdiction by ruling
that the presumptive death of Marina was immediately final and executory, because by express
provision of law, the judgment of the RTC is not appealable?

Held:

No.

The appellate court argues that there is no reglementary period within which to perfect an appeal in
summary judicial proceedings under the Family Code, because the judgments rendered thereunder, by
express provision of Article 247, are immediately final and executory upon notice to the parties.

In Republic v. Tango, the remedy of a losing party in a summary proceeding is not an ordinary appeal,
but a petition for certiorari, to wit:

By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary proceeding shall be
immediately final and executory. As a matter of course, it follows that no appeal can be had of
the trial courts judgment in a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of
an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code. It goes without saying, however, that an
aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to question abuse of discretion amounting to
lack of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the Court of Appeals in accordance with the
Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. To be sure, even if the Courts original jurisdiction to issue a writ
of certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals in certain cases, such

concurrence does not sanction an unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. From the
decision of the Court of Appeals, the losing party may then file a petition for review
oncertiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court with the Supreme Court. This is because the
errors which the court may commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment
which are the proper subject of an appeal.

When the OSG filed its notice of appeal under Rule 42, it availed itself of the wrong remedy. As a result,
the running of the period for filing of a Petition for Certiorari continued to run and was not tolled. Upon
lapse of that period, the Decision of the RTC could no longer be questioned.

Syed Azhar Abbas v. Gloria Goo Abbas


G.R. No. 183896
January 30, 2013
Ponente: J. Velasco Jr.
Topic: Marrigae License as Formal Requisite

Facts:

Syed, a Pakistani citizen and Gloria, a Filipino citizen, were married on August 9, 1992 at the Taipei
Mosque in Taiwan. On January 9, 1993, he was told by his mother-in-law that he was going to undergo
some ceremony but was not told of the nature of said ceremony. During the ceremony, he and Gloria
signed a document. He claimed that he did not know that the ceremony on was a marriage until Gloria
told him later. He claimed that he did not go to Carmona, Cavite to apply for a marriage license, and that
he had never resided in that area. He went to the Office of the Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite, to
check on their marriage license, and was asked to show a copy of their marriage contract wherein the
marriage license number could be found. The Municipal Civil Registrar issued a certification on July 11,
2003 to the effect that the marriage license number appearing in the marriage contract he submitted,
was the number of another marriage license issued to a certain couple.

Atty. Sanchez testified that he was asked to be the sponsor of the wedding of Syed Abbas and Gloria
Goo by the mother of the bride and that he requested a certain Qualin to secure the marriage license for
the couple, and that this Qualin secured the license and gave the same to him on January 8, 1993. He
further testified that he did not know where the marriage license was obtained.

The Pasay City RTC held that no valid marriage license was issued in favor of Gloria and Syed, as
Marriage License No. 9969967 had been issued to someone else and that neither party was a resident of
Carmona, Cavite, the place where Marriage License No. 9969967 was issued, which was in violation of
Article 9 of the Family Code. The Municipal

Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite had certified that no marriage license had been issued for Gloria and
Syed. The Court of Appeals reversed the decision stating that the certification of the Municipal Civil
Registrar failed to categorically state that a diligent search for the marriage license of Gloria and Syed
was conducted, and thus held that said certification could not be accorded probative value.

Issue:

Was there a valid marriage license issued for the marriage of Syed Azhar Abbas and Gloria Goo Abbas?

Held:

No.

It is telling that Gloria failed to present their marriage license or a copy thereof to the court. She failed
to explain why the marriage license was secured in Carmona, Cavite, a location where, admittedly,
neither party resided. She took no pains to apply for the license, so she is not the best witness to testify
to the validity and existence of said license. Neither could the other witnesses she presented prove the
existence of the marriage license, as none of them applied for the license in Carmona, Cavite. Her

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mother, Felicitas Goo, could not even testify as to the contents of the license, having admitted to not
reading all of its contents. Atty. Sanchez, one of the sponsors, whom Gloria and Felicitas Goo
approached for assistance in securing the license, admitted not knowing where the license came from.
The task of applying for the license was delegated to a certain Qualin, who could have testified as to
how the license was secured and thus impeached the certification of the Municipal Civil Registrar as well
as the testimony of her representative. As Gloria failed to present this Qualin, the certification of the
Municipal Civil Registrar still enjoys probative value.

In the case of Cario v. Cario, following the case of Republic, it was held that the certification of the
Local Civil Registrar that their office had no record of a marriage license was adequate to prove the non-
issuance of said license. The case of Cario further held that the presumed validity of the marriage of
the parties had been overcome, and that it became the burden of the party alleging a valid marriage to
prove that the marriage was valid, and that the required marriage license had been secured.

All the evidence cited by the CA to show that a wedding ceremony was conducted and a marriage
contract was signed does not operate to cure the absence of a valid marriage license. Article 4 of the
Family Code is clear when it says, The absence of any of the essential or formal requisites shall render
the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35(2). Article 35(3) of the Family Code also
provides that a marriage solemnized without a license is void from the beginning, except those exempt
from the license requirement under Articles 27 to 34, Chapter 2, Title I of the same Code. Again, this
marriage cannot be characterized as among the exemptions, and thus, having been solemnized without
a marriage license, is void ab initio.

11

Republic of the Philippines vs. Cesar Encelan


G.R. No. 170022
January 09, 2013
Ponente: J.Brion

Topic: Psychological Incapacity


Facts:

On August 25, 1979, Cesar married Lolita. To support his family, Cesar went to work in Saudi Arabia.
Cesar, while still in Saudi Arabia, learned that Lolita had been having an illicit affair with Alvin. Lolita
allegedly left the conjugal home with her children and lived with Alvin. Since then, Cesar and Lolita had
been separated. Cesar filed with the RTC a petition for the declaration of the nullity of his marriage with
Lolita based on her psychological incapacity. Lolita denied that she had an affair and insisted that she is
not psychologically incapacitated and that she left their home because of irreconcilable differences with
her mother-in-law. Cesar presented the psychological evaluation report on Lolita prepared by Dr. Flores
of the National Center for Mental Health. Dr. Flores found that Lolita was "not suffering from any form
of major psychiatric illness but had been "unable to provide the expectations expected of her for a good
and lasting marital relationship" and that her "transferring from one job to the other depicts some
interpersonal problems with co-workers as well as her impatience in attaining her ambitions and her
refusal to go with her husband abroad signifies her reluctance to work out a good marital and family
relationship."

Issue:

Are Lolita's interpersonal problems with co-workers enough basis to nullify Cesar's marriage to her on
the ground of psychological incapacity?

Held:

No.

There is no sufficient basis existing to annul Cesar's marriage to Lolita on the ground of psychological
incapacity.

Cesar mistakenly relied on Dr. Flores' psychological evaluation report on Lolita to prove her alleged
psychological incapacity. The psychological evaluation, in fact, established that Lolita did not suffer from
any major psychiatric illness. Dr. Flores' observation on Lolita's interpersonal problems with co-workers,
to our mind, does not suffice as a consideration for the conclusion that she was at the time of her
marriage psychologically incapacitated to enter into a marital union with Cesar. Aside from the time
element involved, a wife's psychological fitness as a spouse cannot simply be equated with her
professional/work relationship; workplace obligations and responsibilities are poles apart from their
marital counterparts. While both spring from human relationship, their relatedness and relevance to
one another should be fully established for them to be compared or to serve as measures of comparison
with one another. To be sure, the evaluation report Dr. Flores prepared and submitted cannot serve this
purpose.

12

Dr. Flores' further belief that Lolita's refusal to go with Cesar abroad signified a reluctance to work out a
good marital relationship is a mere generalization unsupported by facts and is, in fact, a rash conclusion
that this Court cannot support.

Once again, we stress that marriage is an inviolable social institution protected by the State. Any doubt
should be resolved in favor of its existence its existence and continuation and against its dissolution and
nullity. It cannot be dissolved at the whim of the parties nor by transgressions made by one party to the
other during the marriage.

13

Antonio Perla vs. Mirasol Baring and Randy Perla


G.R. No. 172471
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Del Castillo

Topic: Filiation

Facts:

Mirasol filed a complaint for support for her son Randy against Antonio. Mirasol testified that Antonio
courted her and eventually became her first boyfriend. When Mirasol became pregnant, Antonio
assured her that he would support her. Eventually, however, Antonio started to evade her. Mirasol gave
birth to Randy. She presented Randys Certificate of Live Birth and Baptismal Certificate indicating her
and Antonio as parents of the child. According to her, when Antonio landed a job as seaman, he
abandoned them and failed to give any support to his son. Randy recounted having met Antonio for the
first time in 1994 in the house of his Aunt Lelita, Antonios sister, where he was vacationing. During their
encounter, Randy called Antonio "Papa" and kissed his hand while the latter hugged him. Antonio
denied having fathered Randy. Although he admitted to having known Mirasol, denied courting her and
that she never became his common-law wife nor was she treated as such. Regarding Randys Certificate
of Live Birth, Antonio testified as to several inaccuracies in the entries thereon.

Issues:

1. Are the birth and baptismal certificates competent proofs of paternity when putative father had no
hand in preparation?
2. Was Mirasol and Randy able to prove filiation through the open and continuous possession of status
of Randy?

Held:

No to both issues.

Mirasol and Randy failed to establish Randys illegitimate filiation to Antonio.

Issue 1. Respondents presented the Certificate of Live Birth of Randy identifying Antonio as the father.
However, said certificate has no probative value to establish Randys filiation to Antonio since the latter
had not signed the same. It is settled that "a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative
father is not competent evidence of paternity when there is no showing that the putative father had a
hand in the preparation of said certificate.

x
x
x

Anent Randys baptismal certificate, we cannot agree with the CA that the same is a good proof of
Antonios paternity of Randy. Just like in a birth certificate, the lack of participation of the supposed
father in the preparation of a baptismal certificate renders this document incompetent to prove
paternity. And "while a baptismal certificate may be considered a public document, it can only serve as
evidence of the administration of the sacrament on the date specified but not the veracity of the entries
with respect to the childs paternity. Thus, x x x baptismal certificates are per se inadmissible in evidence

14

as proof of filiation and they cannot be admitted indirectly as circumstantial evidence to prove the
same.

Issue 2. Neither does the testimony of Randy establish his illegitimate filiation. That during their first
encounter in 1994 Randy called Antonio "Papa" and kissed his hand while Antonio hugged him and
promised to support him; or that his Aunt Lelita treated him as a relative and was good to him during his
one-week stay in her place, cannot be considered as indications of Randys open and continuous
possession of the status of an illegitimate child under the second paragraph of Article 172(1). "[T]o
prove open and continuous possession of the status of an illegitimate child, there must be evidence of
the manifestation of the permanent intention of the supposed father to consider the child as his, by
continuous and clear manifestations of parental affection and care, which cannot be attributed to pure
charity. Such acts must be of such a nature that they reveal not only the conviction of paternity, but also
the apparent desire to have and treat the child as such in all relations in society and in life, not
accidentally, but continuously." Here, the single instance that Antonio allegedly hugged Randy and
promised to support him cannot be considered as proof of continuous possession of the status of a
child. To emphasize, "[t]he fathers conduct towards his son must be spontaneous and uninterrupted for
this ground to exist." Here, except for that singular occasion in which they met, there are no other acts
of Antonio treating Randy as his son. Neither can Antonios paternity be deduced from how his sister
Lelita treated Randy. To this Court, Lelitas actuations could have been done due to charity or some
other reasons.

15

Arabelle J. Mendoza vs. Republic of the Philippines and Dominic C. Mendoza


G.R. No. 157649
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Bersamin

Topic: Psychological Incapacity

Facts:

Arabelle and Dominic got married while they were still in college. Arabelle became pregnant with Allysa
Bianca. When Arabelle delivered Alyssa Bianca, Dominic had to borrow funds from petitioners best
friend to settle the hospital bills. He remained jobless and dependent upon his father for support until
he finished his college course. Arabelle took on various jobs to meet the familys needs and she
shouldered all of the familys expenses. When Dominic got a commission basis job, he spent his first
sales commission on a celebratory bash with his friends. Arabelle discovered Dominics illicit relationship
with Zaida, his co-employee at Toyota Motors. Dominic gave her a Daihatsu car as a birthday present.
Later on, he asked her to issue two blank checks that he claimed would be for the cars insurance
coverage. She soon found out, however, that the checks were not paid for the cars insurance coverage
but for his personal needs. Worse, she also found out that he did not pay for the car itself, forcing her to
rely on her father-in-law to pay part of the cost of the car, leaving her to bear the balance. Dominic was
fired from his employment after he ran away with money belonging to his employer. He was criminally
charged with violation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 22 and estafa, for which he was arrested and
incarcerated. Arabelle bailed him out and discovered his swindling activities. Dominic abandoned the
conjugal abode because Arabelle asked him for "time and space to think things over." A month later, she
refused his attempt at reconciliation, causing him to threaten to commit suicide. At that, she and her
family immediately left the house to live in another place concealed from him. Arabelle filed in the RTC
her petition for the declaration of the nullity of her marriage with Dominic based on his psychological
incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) opposed the
petition. In the Psychiatric Report of Dr. Samson, it stated that Dominic had evidently failed to comply
with what is required of him as a husband and father. Besides from his adulterous relationship and
irresponsibility, his malevolent conduct and lack of true remorse indicate that he is psychologically
incapacitated to fulfill the role of a married man. The RTC declared the marriage an absolute nullity and
the Republic appealed. The CA reversed the decision.

Issues:

1. Did the report on the psychiatric evaluation conducted by Dr. Samson comply with the requirements
to prove psychological incapacity since a personal medical or psychological examination is no longer
needed for a declaration of nullity?

2. Are appeals by the Office of the Solicitor General no longer required under A.M. No. 02-11-10?

Held:

Issue 1. No. The totality of the evidence adduced by petitioner was insufficient to prove that Dominic
was psychologically unfit to discharge the duties expected of him as a husband, and that he suffered
from such psychological incapacity as of the date of the marriage.

16

In fine, the failure to examine and interview Dominic himself naturally cast serious doubt on Dr.
Samsons findings. The CA rightly refused to accord probative value to the testimony of such expert for
being avowedly given to show compliance with the requirements set in Santos and Molina for the
establishment of Dominics psychological incapacity.

x
x
x

Apparent from the aforecited pronouncements is that it was not the absence of the medical experts
testimony alone that was crucial but rather petitioners failure to satisfactorily discharge the burden of
showing the existence of psychological incapacity at the inception of the marriage. In other words, the
totality of the evidence proving such incapacity at and prior to the time of the marriage was the crucial
consideration, as the Court has reminded in Ting v. Velez-Ting:

By the very nature of cases involving the application of Article 36, it is logical and understandable to
give weight to the expert opinions furnished by psychologists regarding the psychological temperament
of parties in order to determine the root cause, juridical antecedence, gravity and incurability of the
psychological incapacity. However, such opinions, while highly advisable, are not conditions sine qua
non in granting petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage. At best, courts must treat such opinions
as decisive but not indispensable evidence in determining the merits of a given case. In fact, if the
totality of evidence presented is enough to sustain a finding of psychological incapacity, then actual
medical or psychological examination of the person concerned need not be resorted to. The trial court,
as in any other given case presented before it, must always base its decision not solely on the expert
opinions furnished by the parties but also on the totality of evidence adduced in the course of the
proceedings.

x
x
x

In light of the foregoing, even if the expert opinions of psychologists are not conditions sine qua non in
the granting of petitions for declaration of nullity of marriage, the actual medical examination of
Dominic was to be dispensed with only if the totality of evidence presented was enough to support a
finding of his psychological incapacity. This did not mean that the presentation of any form of medical or
psychological evidence to show the psychological incapacity would have automatically ensured the
granting of the petition for declaration of nullity of marriage. What was essential, we should emphasize
herein, was the "presence of evidence that can adequately establish the partys psychological
condition," as the Court said in Marcos.

But where, like here, the parties had the full opportunity to present the professional and expert
opinions of psychiatrists tracing the root cause, gravity and incurability of the alleged psychological
incapacity, then the opinions should be presented and be weighed by the trial courts in order to
determine and decide whether or not to declare the nullity of the marriages.

Issue 2. No. The Resolution nowhere stated that appeals by the OSG were no longer required. On the
contrary, the Resolution explicitly required the OSG to actively participate in all stages of the
proceedings.

17

Republic of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals and Eduardo De Quintos, Jr.
G.R. No. 159594
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Bersamin

Topic: Psychological Incapacity

Facts:
Eduardo and Catalina were married. Eduardo filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of their
marriage, citing Catalinas psychological incapacity to comply with her essential marital obligations.
Eduardo testified that Catalina always left their house without his consent; that she engaged in petty
arguments with him; that she constantly refused to give in to his sexual needs; that she spent most of
her time gossiping with neighbors instead of doing the household chores and caring for their adopted
daughter; that she squandered by gambling all his remittances as an overseas worker in Qatar and that
she abandoned the conjugal home in 1997 to live with Bobbie Castro, her paramour. Eduardo presented
the results of the neuro-psychiatric evaluation conducted by Dr. Annabelle L. Reyes, a psychiatrist. Based
on the tests she administered on Catalina, Dr. Reyes opined that Catalina exhibited traits of Borderline
Personality Disorder that was no longer treatable. Dr. Reyes found that Catalinas disorder was mainly
characterized by her immaturity that rendered her psychologically incapacitated to meet her marital
obligations.

Issue:

Was the Neuropsychiatric Evaluation and Testimony of Dr. Reyes able to establish Catalinas
Psychological Incapacity despite not having a thorough and in-depth assessment?

Held:

No.

Psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code contemplates an incapacity or inability to
take cognizance of and to assume basic marital obligations, and is not merely the difficulty, refusal, or
neglect in the performance of marital obligations or ill will. It consists of: (a) a true inability to commit
oneself to the essentials of marriage; (b) the inability must refer to the essential obligations of marriage,
that is, the conjugal act, the community of life and love, the rendering of mutual help, and the
procreation and education of offspring; and (c) the inability must be tantamount to a psychological
abnormality. Proving that a spouse failed to meet his or her responsibility and duty as a married person
is not enough; it is essential that he or she must be shown to be incapable of doing so due to some
psychological illness.

x
x
x

Thirdly, we have said that the expert evidence presented in cases of declaration of nullity of marriage
based on psychological incapacity presupposes a thorough and in-depth assessment of the parties by
the psychologist or expert to make a conclusive diagnosis of a grave, severe and incurable presence of
psychological incapacity.

x
x
x

18


But Dr. Reyes had only one interview with Catalina, and did not personally seek out and meet with
other persons, aside from Eduardo, who could have shed light on and established the conduct of the
spouses before and during the marriage. For that reason, Dr. Reyes report lacked depth and objectivity,
a weakness that removed the necessary support for the conclusion that the RTC and the CA reached
about Catalinas psychological incapacity to perform her marital duties.

x
x
x

Fourthly, we held in Suazo v. Suazo that there must be proof of a natal or supervening disabling factor
that effectively incapacitated the respondent spouse from complying with the basic marital obligations,
viz:

It is not enough that the respondent, alleged to be psychologically incapacitated, had difficulty in
complying with his marital obligations, or was unwilling to perform these obligations. Proof of a natal or
supervening disabling factor an adverse integral element in the respondents personality structure that
effectively incapacitated him from complying with his essential marital obligations must be shown.
Mere difficulty, refusal or neglect in the performance of marital obligations or ill will on the part of the
spouse is different from incapacity rooted in some debilitating psychological condition or illness;
irreconcilable differences, sexual infidelity or perversion, emotional immaturity and irresponsibility and
the like, do not by themselves warrant a finding of psychological incapacity under Article 36, as the same
may only be due to a persons refusal or unwillingness to assume the essential obligations of marriage.

19

Charles Gotardo vs. Divina Buling


G.R. No. 165166
August 15, 2012
Ponente: J.Brion

Topic: Filiation

Facts:

Divina and Charles met at the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank, Maasin, Southern Leyte branch
where they were co-employees. Charles eventually started intimate sexual relations with Divina leading
to her pregnancy. When told of the pregnancy, Charles was happy and made plans to marry
Divina. However, Charles backed out of the wedding plans. Divina gave birth to their son Gliffze. When
Charles did not show up and failed to provide support to Gliffze, Divina sent him a letter demanding
recognition of and support for their child. When Charles did not answer the demand, Divina filed her
complaint for compulsory recognition and support pendente lite. Charles denied the imputed paternity.

Issue:

Can the issue on support be adjudicated in a filiation proceeding?

Held:

Yes.

We have recognized that "[f]iliation proceedings are usually filed not just to adjudicate paternity but
also to secure a legal right associated with paternity, such as citizenship, support (as in this case) or
inheritance. [In paternity cases, the burden of proof] is on the person who alleges that the putative
father is the biological father of the child.

x
x
x

In Herrera v. Alba, we stressed that there are four significant procedural aspects of a traditional
paternity action that parties have to face: a prima facie case, affirmative defenses, presumption of
legitimacy, and physical resemblance between the putative father and the child. We explained that
a prima facie case exists if a woman declares supported by corroborative proof that she had sexual
relations with the putative father; at this point, the burden of evidence shifts to the putative father. We
explained further that the two affirmative defenses available to the putative father are: (1) incapability
of sexual relations with the mother due to either physical absence or impotency, or (2) that the mother
had sexual relations with other men at the time of conception.

In this case, the respondent established a prima facie case that the petitioner is the putative father of
Gliffze through testimony that she had been sexually involved only with one man, the petitioner, at the
time of her conception. Rodulfo corroborated her testimony that the petitioner and the respondent had
intimate relationship.

x
x
x

20

Since filiation is beyond question, support follows as a matter of obligation; a parent is obliged to
support his child, whether legitimate or illegitimate. Support consists of everything indispensable for
sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping with the
financial capacity of the family. Thus, the amount of support is variable and, for this reason, no final
judgment on the amount of support is made as the amount shall be in proportion to the resources or
means of the giver and the necessities of the recipient. It may be reduced or increased proportionately
according to the reduction or increase of the necessities of the recipient and the resources or means of
the person obliged to support.

21

Charlie Fortaleza and Ofelia Fortaleza vs. Raul Lapitan and Rona Lapitan
G.R. No. 178288
August 15, 2012
Ponente: J. Del Castillo

Topic: Family Home


Facts:

Spouses Fortaleza obtained a loan from spouses Lapitan. As security, spouses Fortaleza executed a Deed
of Real Estate Mortgage over their residential house and lot. When spouses Fortaleza failed to pay the
indebtedness including the interests and penalties, the creditors applied for extrajudicial foreclosure of
the Real Estate Mortgage. At the sale, the creditors son Dr. Raul Lapitan and his wife Rona emerged as
the highest bidders. The one-year redemption period expired without the spouses Fortaleza redeeming
the mortgage. Thus, spouses Lapitan executed an affidavit of consolidation of ownership. Despite the
foregoing, the spouses Fortaleza refused spouses Lapitans formal demand to vacate and surrender
possession of the subject property. Spouses Fortaleza argue that the subject property is exempt from
forced sale because it is a family home.

Issue:

Is the residential house of the Spouses Fortaleza which was made subject to a Real Estate Mortgage
exempt from execution because it is a family home?

Held:

No.

As a rule, the family home is exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment. However, Article
155(3) of the Family Code explicitly allows the forced sale of a family home "for debts secured by
mortgages on the premises before or after such constitution." In this case, there is no doubt that
spouses Fortaleza voluntarily executed on January 28, 1998 a deed of Real Estate Mortgage over the
subject property which was even notarized by their original counsel of record. And assuming that the
property is exempt from forced sale, spouses Fortaleza did not set up and prove to the Sheriff such
exemption from forced sale before it was sold at the public auction. As elucidated in Honrado v. Court of
Appeals: While it is true that the family home is constituted on a house and lot from the time it is
occupied as a family residence and is exempt from execution or forced sale under Article 153 of the
Family Code, such claim for exemption should be set up and proved to the Sheriff before the sale of the
property at public auction. Failure to do so would estop the party from later claiming the exemption.

As this Court ruled in Gomez v. Gealone: Although the Rules of Court does not prescribe the period
within which to claim the exemption, the rule is, nevertheless, well-settled that the right of exemption is
a personal privilege granted to the judgment debtor and as such, it must be claimed not by the sheriff,
but by the debtor himself at the time of the levy or within a reasonable period thereafter. Certainly,
reasonable time for purposes of the law on exemption does not mean a time after the expiration of the
one-year period for a judgment debtor to redeem the property.

22

Brigido B. Quiao vs. Rita C. Quiao, et. al.


G.R. No 176556
July 4, 2012
Ponente: J.Reyes

Topic: Conjugal Partnership of Gains

Facts:

Rita C. Quiao filed a complaint for legal separation against Brigido B. Quiao. The RTC rendered a Decision
declaring the legal separation. In the decision, Brigidos share of the net profits earned by the conjugal
partnership is forfeited in favor of the common children being the guilty party. Brigido claimed that the
court a quo is wrong when it applied Article 129 of the Family Code, instead of Article 102. He argued
that Article 102 applies because there is no other provision under the Family Code which defines net
profits earned subject of forfeiture as a result of legal separation.

Issue:

Was Brigidos vested right over half of the common properties of the conjugal partnership violated when
the trial court forfeited them in favor of his children pursuant to Articles 63(2) and 129 of the Family
Code?

Held:

No.

Thus, from the foregoing facts and law, it is clear that what governs the property relations of the
petitioner and of the respondent is conjugal partnership of gains. And under this property relation, the
husband and the wife place in a common fund the fruits of their separate property and the income from
their work or industry. The husband and wife also own in common all the property of the conjugal
partnership of gains.

Second, since at the time of the dissolution of the petitioner and the respondent's marriage the
operative law is already the Family Code, the same applies in the instant case and the applicable law in
so far as the liquidation of the conjugal partnership assets and liabilities is concerned is Article 129 of
the Family Code in relation to Article 63(2) of the Family Code. The latter provision is applicable because
according to Article 256 of the Family Code [t]his Code shall have retroactive effect insofar as it does
not prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights in accordance with the Civil Code or other law.

x
x
x

Indeed, the petitioner claims that his vested rights have been impaired, arguing: As earlier adverted
to, the petitioner acquired vested rights over half of the conjugal properties, the same being owned in
common by the spouses. If the provisions of the Family Code are to be given retroactive application to
the point of authorizing the forfeiture of the petitioner's share in the net remainder of the conjugal
partnership properties, the same impairs his rights acquired prior to the effectivity of the Family
Code. In other words, the petitioner is saying that since the property relations between the spouses is
governed by the regime of Conjugal Partnership of Gains under the Civil Code, the petitioner acquired

23

vested rights over half of the properties of the Conjugal Partnership of Gains, pursuant to Article 143 of
the Civil Code, which provides: All property of the conjugal partnership of gains is owned in common by
the husband and wife. Thus, since he is one of the owners of the properties covered by the conjugal
partnership of gains, he has a vested right over half of the said properties, even after the promulgation
of the Family Code; and he insisted that no provision under the Family Code may deprive him of this
vested right by virtue of Article 256 of the Family Code which prohibits retroactive application of the
Family Code when it will prejudice a person's vested right.

x
x
x

From the foregoing, it is clear that while one may not be deprived of his vested right, he may lose the
same if there is due process and such deprivation is founded in law and jurisprudence.

x
x
x

From the foregoing, the petitioner's claim of a vested right has no basis considering that even under
Article 176 of the Civil Code, his share of the conjugal partnership profits may be forfeited if he is the
guilty party in a legal separation case. Thus, after trial and after the petitioner was given the chance to
present his evidence, the petitioner's vested right claim may in fact be set aside under the Civil Code
since the trial court found him the guilty party.

24

Republic of the Philippines vs. Yolanda Cadacio Granada


G. R. No. 187512
June 13, 2012
Ponente: J. Sereno

Topic: Declaration of Presumptive Death

Facts:

Yolanda Cadacio Granada married Cyrus Granada and their marriage resulted in the birth of their son,
Cyborg Dean Cadacio Granada. Sometime in May 1994, when Sumida Electric Philippines closed down,
Cyrus went to Taiwan to seek employment. Yolanda claimed that from that time, she had not received
any communication from her husband, notwithstanding efforts to locate him. After nine (9) years of
waiting, Yolanda filed a Petition to have Cyrus declared presumptively dead which was granted. The
Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), filed a Motion for Reconsideration of this Decision arguing that
Yolanda had failed to exert earnest efforts to locate Cyrus and thus failed to prove her well-founded
belief that he was already dead. However, the RTC denied the motion.

The OSG filed a Notice of Appeal to elevate the case to the CA. Yolanda filed a Motion to Dismiss on the
ground that the CA had no jurisdiction over the appeal. She argued that her Petition for Declaration of
Presumptive Death, based on Article 41 of the Family Code, was a summary judicial proceeding,
in which the judgment is immediately final and executory and, thus, not appealable.

Issue:

1. Is a petition for declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse for the purpose of contracting a
subsequent marriage a summary proceeding and therefore not subject to appeal?

2. Did Yolanda fail to exert earnest efforts to locate Cyrus and prove her well-founded belief that Cyrus
was already dead?

Held:

Issue 1. Yes. Clearly, a petition for declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse for the
purpose of contracting a subsequent marriage under Article 41 of the Family Code is a summary
proceeding as provided for under the Family Code.

x
x
x

Under Article 41 of the Family Code, the losing party in a summary proceeding for the declaration of
presumptive death may file a petition for certiorari with the CA on the ground that, in rendering
judgment thereon, the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction.
From the decision of the CA, the aggrieved party may elevate the matter to this Court via a petition for
review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Issue 2. Yes. However, the RTC ruling on the issue of whether respondent was able to prove her well-
founded belief that her absent spouse was already dead prior to her filing of the Petition to declare him
presumptively dead is already final and can no longer be modified or reversed.

25


Similarly, in Republic v. Court of Appeals and Alegro, petitioner Republic sought the reversal of the CA
ruling affirming the RTCs grant of the Petition for Declaration of Presumptive Death of the absent
spouse on the ground that the respondent therein had not been able to prove a well-founded belief
that his spouse was already dead. The Court reversed the CA, granted the Petition, and provided the
following criteria for determining the existence of a well-founded belief under Article 41 of the Family
Code:
For the purpose of contracting the subsequent marriage under the preceding paragraph, the
spouse present must institute a summary proceeding as provided in this Code for the
declaration of presumptive death of the absentee, without prejudice to the effect of
reappearance of the absent spouse.

The spouse present is, thus, burdened to prove that his spouse has been absent and that he has
a well-founded belief that the absent spouse is already dead before the present spouse may
contract a subsequent marriage. The law does not define what is meant by a well-grounded
belief. Cuello Callon writes that es menester que su creencia sea firme se funde en motivos
racionales.

Belief is a state of the mind or condition prompting the doing of an overt act. It may be proved by direct
evidence or circumstantial evidence which may tend, even in a slight degree, to elucidate the inquiry or
assist to a determination probably founded in truth. Any fact or circumstance relating to the character,
habits, conditions, attachments, prosperity and objects of life which usually control the conduct of men,
and are the motives of their actions, was, so far as it tends to explain or characterize their disappearance
or throw light on their intentions, competence [sic] evidence on the ultimate question of his death.

The belief of the present spouse must be the result of proper and honest to goodness inquiries and
efforts to ascertain the whereabouts of the absent spouse and whether the absent spouse is still alive or
is already dead. Whether or not the spouse present acted on a well-founded belief of
death of the absent spouse depends upon the inquiries to be drawn from a great many circumstances
occurring before and after the disappearance of the absent spouse and the nature and extent of the
inquiries made by present spouse.

Applying the foregoing standards to the present case, petitioner points out that respondent Yolanda did
not initiate a diligent search to locate her absent husband. While her brother Diosdado Cadacio testified
to having inquired about the whereabouts of Cyrus from the latters relatives, these relatives were not
presented to corroborate Diosdados testimony.

In short, respondent was allegedly not diligent in her search for her husband. Petitioner argues that if
she were, she would have sought information from the Taiwanese Consular Office or assistance from
other government agencies in Taiwan or the Philippines. She could have also utilized mass media for this
end, but she did not. Worse, she failed to explain these omissions.

26

Merope Enriquez Vda. De Catalan vs. Louella A. Catalan-Lee


G. R. No. 183622
February 8, 2012
Ponente: J. Sereno

Topic: Nationality Principle

Facts:

Orlando B. Catalan was a naturalized American citizen. After allegedly obtaining a divorce in the United
States from his first wife, Felicitas Amor, he contracted a second marriage with Merope. Orlando died
intestate in the Philippines. Merope filed with the RTC Petition for the issuance of letters of
administration for her appointment as administratrix of the intestate estate of Orlando. Louella A.
Catalan-Lee, one of the children of Orlando from his first marriage, filed a similar petition with the RTC.
Merope prayed for the dismissal of Louellas petition on the ground of litis pendentia, considering that
her petition covering the same estate was already pending. Louella alleged that Merope was not
considered an interested person qualified to file a petition for the issuance of letters of administration
of the estate of Orlando. In support of her contention, Louella alleged that a criminal case for bigamy
was filed against Merope by Felicitas Amor alleging that Merope contracted a second marriage to
Orlando despite having been married to one Eusebio Bristol. The court had acquitted petitioner of
bigamy in that case. The trial court also ruled then that since the deceased was a divorced American
citizen, and since that divorce was not recognized under Philippine jurisdiction, the marriage between
him and petitioner was not valid. Finally, the trial court found that, in the first place, petitioner had
never been married to Eusebio Bristol. The RTC dismissed the Petition for the issuance of letters of
administration filed by Merope and granted that of Louella. Contrary to the findings in the case for
bigamy, the RTC held that the marriage between Merope and Eusebio Bristol was valid and subsisting
when she married Orlando. Without expounding, it reasoned further that her acquittal in the previous
bigamy case was fatal to her cause. Thus, the trial court held that Merope was not an interested party
who may file a petition for the issuance of letters of administration.

Issue:
1. Did the acquittal of Merope from the bigamy case render her marriage with Orlando as valid?
2. Can the divorce of Orlando to Felicitas be considered valid?

Held:

Issue 1. Yes. At the outset, it seems that the RTC in the special proceedings failed to appreciate the
finding of the RTC in Crim. Case No. 2699-A that petitioner was never married to Eusebio Bristol. Thus,
the trial court concluded that, because petitioner was acquitted of bigamy, it follows that the first
marriage with Bristol still existed and was valid. By failing to take note of the findings of fact on the
nonexistence of the marriage between petitioner and Bristol, both the RTC and CA held that petitioner
was not an interested party in the estate of Orlando.

Issue 2. Yes. Second, it is imperative to note that at the time the bigamy case in Crim. Case No. 2699-A
was dismissed, we had already ruled that under the principles of comity, our jurisdiction recognizes a
valid divorce obtained by a spouse of foreign nationality. This doctrine was established as early as 1985
in Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr. wherein we said:

27

It is true that owing to the nationality principle embodied in Article 15 of the Civil Code,
only Philippine nationals are covered by the policy against absolute divorces[,] the same
being considered contrary to our concept of public policy and morality. However, aliens
may obtain divorces abroad, which may be recognized in the Philippines, provided
they are valid according to their national law. In this case, the divorce in Nevada
released private respondent from the marriage from the standards of American law,
under which divorce dissolves the marriage. Xxx

x
x
x

Nonetheless, the fact of divorce must still first be proven as we have enunciated in Garcia v. Recio,[9] to
wit:

Respondent is getting ahead of himself. Before a foreign judgment is given presumptive
evidentiary value, the document must first be presented and admitted in evidence. A
divorce obtained abroad is proven by the divorce decree itself. Indeed the best
evidence of a judgment is the judgment itself. The decree purports to be a written act
or record of an act of an official body or tribunal of a foreign country.

x
x
x

It appears that the trial court no longer required petitioner to prove the validity of Orlandos divorce
under the laws of the United States and the marriage between petitioner and the deceased. Thus, there
is a need to remand the proceedings to the trial court for further reception of evidence to establish the
fact of divorce.

Should petitioner prove the validity of the divorce and the subsequent marriage, she has the
preferential right to be issued the letters of administration over the estate. Otherwise, letters of
administration may be issued to respondent, who is undisputedly the daughter or next of kin of the
deceased, in accordance with Sec. 6 of Rule 78 of the Revised Rules of Court.

28

Antonia R. Dela Pea et. al. vs. Gemma Remilyn Avila and FEBTC-BPI
G.R. No. 187490
February 8, 2012
Ponente: J. Perez

Topic: Conjugal Partnership of Gains

Facts:

Antonia R. Dela Pea obtained from A.C. Aguila & Sons, Co. a loan. Antonia also executed in favor of
Aguila a notarized Deed of Real Estate Mortgage over a property registered in the name of Antonia,
married to Antegono A. Dela Pea, for the purpose of securing the payment of said loan
obligation. Antonia then executed a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale over the property in favor of
Gemma Remilyn C. Avila. Gemma also constituted a real estate mortgage over said parcel in favor of Far
East Bank and Trust Company (FEBTC-BPI), to secure a loan facility. Antonia filed with the Register of
Deeds of Marikina an Affidavit of Adverse Claim to the effect, among others, that she was the true and
lawful owner of the property which had been titled in the name of Gemma and, that the Deed of
Absolute Sale Gemma utilized in procuring her title was simulated. In view of Gemmas failure to pay the
principal as well as the accumulated interest and penalties on the loans she obtained, on the other
hand, FEBTC-BPI caused the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage constituted over the
property. Antonia and her son, Alvin, filed against Gemma the complaint for annulment of deed of
sale. Claiming that the subject realty was conjugal property, the Dela Peas alleged, among other
matters, that the Deed of Real Estate Mortgage Antonia executed in favor of Aguila was not consented
to by Antegono who had, by then, already died and that no liquidation was done as required under
Article 130 of the Family Code.

Issue:

Was the property conjugal in nature and therefore leading to the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by
Antonia in favor of Gemma being void as a disposition without the liquidation required under Article 130
of the Family Code?

Held:

No.

Pursuant to Article 160 of the Civil Code of the Philippines, all property of the marriage is presumed to
belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to
the wife. Although it is not necessary to prove that the property was acquired with funds of the
partnership, proof of acquisition during the marriage is an essential condition for the operation of the
presumption in favor of the conjugal partnership.

x
x
x

As the parties invoking the presumption of conjugality under Article 160 of the Civil Code, the Dela
Peas did not even come close to proving that the subject property was acquired during the marriage
between Antonia and Antegono. Beyond Antonias bare and uncorroborated assertion that the
property was purchased when she was already married, the record is bereft of any evidence from which

29

the actual date of acquisition of the realty can be ascertained. When queried about the matter during
his cross-examination, even Alvin admitted that his sole basis for saying that the property was owned by
his parents was Antonias unilateral pronouncement to the effect. Considering that the presumption of
conjugality does not operate if there is no showing of when the property alleged to be conjugal was
acquired, we find that the CA cannot be faulted for ruling that the realty in litigation was Antonias
exclusive property.

Not having established the time of acquisition of the property, the Dela Peas insist that the registration
thereof in the name of Antonia R. Dela Pea, of legal age, Filipino, married to Antegono A. Dela Pea
should have already sufficiently established its conjugal nature. Confronted with the same issue in the
case Ruiz vs. Court of Appeals, this Court ruled, however, that the phrase married to is merely
descriptive of the civil status of the wife and cannot be interpreted to mean that the husband is also a
registered owner. Because it is likewise possible that the property was acquired by the wife while she
was still single and registered only after her marriage, neither would registration thereof in said manner
constitute proof that the same was acquired during the marriage and, for said reason, to be presumed
conjugal in nature. Since there is no showing as to when the property in question was acquired, the
fact that the title is in the name of the wife alone is determinative of its nature as
paraphernal, i.e., belonging exclusively to said spouse.

30

Bobby Tan vs. Grace Andrade, et. al.


G.R. No. 171904 and 172017
August 7, 2013
Ponente: J. Perlas-Bernabe

Topic: Conjugal Partnership of Gains

Facts:

Rosario Vda. De Andrade was the registered owner of four parcels of land, which she mortgaged to and
subsequently foreclosed by one Simon Diu. When the redemption period was about to expire, Rosario
sought the assistance of Bobby Tan who agreed to redeem the subject properties. Rosario sold the lands
to Bobby and her son, Proceso Andrade, Jr. which was evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale. Proceso, Jr.
executed a Deed of Assignment, ceding unto Bobby his rights and interests over the subject properties
in consideration of P50,000.00. The Deed of Assignment was signed by one of Rosarios sons, Henry, as
instrumental witness. In the Deed of Sale, Bobby extended an Option to Buy the subject properties in
favor of Proceso, Jr., giving the latter until 7:00 pm to purchase the same. Which he failed to do so,
hence, Bobby consolidated his ownership over the subject properties. Rosarios children, namely, Grace,
Proceso, Jr., Henry, Andrew, Glory, Miriam Rose, Joseph, Jasmin Blaza, and Charity A. Santiago, filed a
complaint for reconveyance and annulment of deeds of conveyance and damages against Bobby and
alleged that the transaction between Rosario and Bobby was not one of sale but was actually an
equitable mortgage which was entered into to secure Rosarios indebtedness with Bobby. They also
claimed that Rosario had no right to dispose of their respective shares because the subject properties
were inherited by them from their father, Proceso Andrade, Sr., the subject properties were conjugal in
nature. In t his light, they argued that they remained as co-owners of the subject properties together
with Bobby, despite the issuance of the TCTs in his name.

Issue:

Are the subject properties are conjugal in nature?

Held:

Yes.


Pertinent to the resolution of this second issue is Article 160 of the Civil Code which states that
All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved
that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife. For this presumption to apply, the party
invoking the same must, however, preliminarily prove that the property was indeed acquired during the
marriage.

x
x
x

In this case, records reveal that the conjugal partnership of Rosario and her husband was

terminated upon the latters death on August 7, 1978 while the transfer certificates of title over the
subject properties were issued on September 28, 1979 and solely in the name of Rosario Vda. de

Andrade, of legal age, widow, Filipino. Other than their bare allegation, no evidence was
adduced by the Andrades to establish that the subject properties were procured during the

31

coverture of their parents or that the same were bought with conjugal funds. Moreover, Rosarios

declaration that she is the absolute owner of the disputed parcels of land in the subject deed of sale
was not disputed by her son Proceso, Jr., who was a party to the same. Hence, by virtue of these

incidents, the Court upholds the RTCs finding that the subject properties were exclusive or sole
properties of Rosario.

32

Minoru Fujiki vs. Maria Paz Galela Marinay, Shinichi Maekara


G.R. No. 196049
June 26, 2013
Ponente: J. Sereno

Topic: Declaration for Nullity of Marriage

Facts:

Minoru Fujiki is a Japanese national who married Maria Paz Galela Marinay in the Philippines. Fujikis
parents are against the said marriage. Thus, he could not bring his wife to Japan where he resides.
Marinay met another Japanese, Shinichi Maekara. Without the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay
and Maekara were married in the Philippines. Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However, Marinay
allegedly suffered physical abuse from Maekara. She left Maekara and started to contact Fujiki. Fujiki
and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reestablish their relationship. Fujiki helped
Marinay obtain a judgment from a family court in Japan which declared the marriage between Marinay
and Maekara void on the ground of bigamy. Fujiki filed a petition for Judicial Recognition of Foreign
Judgment with RTC. Fujiki prayed that the judgment of the Japanese Family Court be recognized and
that the bigamous marriage between Marinay and Maekara be declared void ab initio under Articles
35(4) and 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines. RTC dismissed the Petition and took the view that
only the husband or the wife, in this case either Maekara or Marinay, can file the petition to declare
their marriage void, and not Fujiki.

Issue:

Does Fujiki has the personality to declare his wifes subsequent marriage void?

Held:

Fujiki has the personality to file a petition to recognize the Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying
the marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of bigamy because the judgment
concerns his civil status as married to Marinay. For the same reason he has the personality to file a
petition under Rule 108 to cancel the entry of marriage between Marinay and Maekara in the civil
registry on the basis of the decree of the Japanese Family Court.


There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and material interest in maintaining the
integrity of the marriage he contracted and the property relations arising from it. There is also no
doubt that he is interested in the cancellation of an entry of a bigamous marriage in the civil registry,
which compromises the public record of his marriage. The interest derives from the substantive right of
the spouse not only to preserve (or dissolve, in limited instances) his most intimate human relation, but

also to protect his property interests that arise by operation of law the moment he contracts marriage.
These property interests in marriage include the right to be supported in keeping with the financial

capacity of the family and preserving the property regime of the marriage



Property rights are already substantive rights protected by the Constitution, but a spouses right in a
marriage extends further to relational rights recognized under Title III (Rights and Obligations between

33


Husband and Wife) of the Family Code. A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC cannot diminish, increase, or modify

the substantive right of the spouse to maintain the integrity of his marriage. In any case, Section 2(a)
of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC preserves this substantive right by limiting the personality to sue to the
husband or the wife of the union recognized by law.

Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not preclude a spouse of a subsisting marriage to question the
validity of a subsequent marriage on the ground of bigamy. On the contrary, when Section 2(a)
states that [a] petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be filed solely by the
husband or the wifeit refers to the husband or the wife of the subsisting marriage. Under Article
35(4) of the Family Code, bigamous marriages are void from the beginning. Thus, the parties in a
bigamous marriage are neither the husband nor the wife under the law. The husband or the wife of the
prior subsisting marriage is the one who has the personality to file a petition for declaration of
absolute nullity of void marriage under Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC.

x
x
x

When the right of the spouse to protect his marriage is violated, the spouse is clearly an injured party
and is therefore interested in the judgment of the suit. Juliano-Llave ruled that the prior spouse
is clearly the aggrieved party as the bigamous marriage not only threatens the financial and the
property ownership aspect of the prior marriage but most of all, it causes an emotional burden to the

prior spouse. Being a real party in interest, the prior spouse is entitled to sue in order to declare a
bigamous marriage void. For this purpose, he can petition a court to recognize a foreign
judgment nullifying the bigamous marriage and judicially declare as a fact that such judgment is
effective in the Philippines. Once established, there should be no more impediment to cancel the
entry of the bigamous marriage in the civil registry.

34

California Clothing, Inc. and Michelle Ybaez vs. Shirley Quiones


G.R. No.175822
October 23, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta

Topic: Exercise of Rights


Facts:
Shirley G. Quiones is a Reservation Ticketing Agent of Cebu Pacific Air in Lapu Lapu City, went
inside the Guess Boutique at the second floor of Robinsons Department Store in Cebu City. She decided
to purchase the black jeans. Respondent allegedly paid to the cashier evidenced by a receipt issued by
the store. While she was walking to her next destination, an employee from the Guess store approached
and informed her that she failed to pay the item she got. She, however, insisted that she paid and
showed the receipt issued. She then suggested that they talk about it at the Cebu Pacific Office located
at the basement of the mall. When she arrived at the Cebu Pacific Office, the Guess employees allegedly
subjected her to humiliation in front of the clients of Cebu Pacific and repeatedly demanded payment
for the black jeans. They supposedly even searched her wallet to check how much money she had,
followed by another argument. On the same day, the Guess employees allegedly gave a letter to the
Director of Cebu Pacific Air narrating the incident, but the latter refused to receive it as it did not
concern the office. Another letter was allegedly prepared and was supposed to be sent to the Cebu
Pacific Office in Robinsons, but the latter again refused to receive it. Respondent also claimed that the
Human Resource Department of Robinsons was furnished said letter and the latter in fact conducted an
investigation for purposes of canceling respondents Robinsons credit card. She thus filed the Complaint
for Damages before the RTC against petitioners California Clothing, Inc., Villagonzalo, Hawayon and
Ybaez. Petitioners and the other defendants admitted the issuance of the receipt of payment. They
claimed, however, that instead of the cashier (Hawayon) issuing the official receipt, it was the invoicer
(Villagonzalo) who did it manually. They explained that there was miscommunication between the
employees at that time because prior to the issuance of the receipt. Realizing the mistake, Villagonzalo
rushed outside to look for respondent and when he saw the latter, he invited her to go back to the shop
to make clarifications as to whether or not payment was indeed made. Instead, however, of going back
to the shop, respondent suggested that they meet at the Cebu Pacific Office. Villagonzalo, Hawayon and
Ybaez thus went to the agreed venue where they talked to respondent. They pointed out that it
appeared in their conversation that respondent could not recall whom she gave the payment. They
emphasized that they were gentle and polite in talking to respondent and it was the latter who was
arrogant in answering their questions.

Issue:

Did California Clothing, Inc. and Michelle Ybaez abuse their rights by subjecting Shirley Quiones to
ridicule and humiliation by their act of questioning and the sending of the letter to the Cebu Pacific
Office?

Held:

Yes.

35

In this case, petitioners claimed that there was a miscommunication between the cashier and the
invoicer leading to the erroneous issuance of the receipt to respondent. When they realized the
mistake, they made a cash count and discovered that the amount which is equivalent to the price of the
black jeans was missing. They, thus, concluded that it was respondent who failed to make such
payment. It was, therefore, within their right to verify from respondent whether she indeed paid or not
and collect from her if she did not. However, the question now is whether such right was exercised in
good faith or they went overboard giving respondent a cause of action against them.

Under the abuse of rights principle found in Article 19 of the Civil Code, a person must, in the exercise of
legal right or duty, act in good faith. He would be liable if he instead acted in bad faith, with intent to
prejudice another. Good faith refers to the state of mind which is manifested by the acts of the
individual concerned. It consists of the intention to abstain from taking an unconscionable and
unscrupulous advantage of another. Malice or bad faith, on the other hand, implies a conscious and
intentional design to do a wrongful act for a dishonest purpose or moral obliquity.

Initially, there was nothing wrong with petitioners asking respondent whether she paid or not. The
Guess employees were able to talk to respondent at the Cebu Pacific Office. The confrontation started
well, but it eventually turned sour when voices were raised by both parties. As aptly held by both the
RTC and the CA, such was the natural consequence of two parties with conflicting views insisting on
their respective beliefs. Considering, however, that respondent was in possession of the item purchased
from the shop, together with the official receipt of payment issued by petitioners, the latter cannot
insist that no such payment was made on the basis of a mere speculation. Their claim should have been
proven by substantial evidence in the proper forum.

x
x
x

It can be inferred from the foregoing that in sending the demand letter to respondents employer,
petitioners intended not only to ask for assistance in collecting the disputed amount but to tarnish
respondents reputation in the eyes of her employer. To malign respondent without substantial
evidence and despite the latters possession of enough evidence in her favor, is clearly impermissible. A
person should not use his right unjustly or contrary to honesty and good faith, otherwise, he opens
himself to liability. The exercise of a right must be in accordance with the purpose for which it was
established and must not be excessive or unduly harsh. In this case, petitioners obviously abused their
rights.

36

Edilberto U. Ventura Jr. vs. Spouses Paulino and Evangeline Abuda


G.R. No. 202932
October 23, 2013
Ponente: J. Carpio

Topic: Conjugal Partnership of Gains


Facts:

Socorro Torres and Esteban Abletes were married. They never had common children but both of them
had children from prior marriages. Esteban had a daughter named Evangeline Abuda and Socorro had a
son, who was the father of Edilberto U. Ventura, Jr., the petitioner. Socorro had a prior subsisting
marriage to Crispin Roxas when she married Esteban. This marriage was not annulled, and Crispin was
alive at the time of Socorros marriage to Esteban. According to Edilberto, sometime in 1968, Esteban
purchased a portion of a lot situated at 2492 State Alley, Bonifacio Street, Vitas, Tondo, Manila (Vitas
Property). The remaining portion was thereafter purchased by Evangeline on her fathers behalf . The
Vitas property was covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 141782, issued to Esteban Abletes, of
legal age, Filipino, married to Socorro Torres. According to Edilberto, when Esteban was diagnosed with
colon cancer, he decided to sell the Delpan and Vitas properties to Evangeline. Evangeline continued
paying the amortizations on the two (2) properties situated in Delpan Street.

Issue:

Are the Vitas and Delpan property presumed to be co-owned by Socorro and Esteban?

Held:

No.

Edilberto admitted that in unions between a man and a woman who are incapacitated to marry each
other, the ownership over the properties acquired during the subsistence of that relationship shall be
based on the actual contribution of the parties.

Applying the foregoing provision, the Vitas and Delpan properties can be considered common property
if: (1) these were acquired during the cohabitation of Esteban and Socorro; and (2) there is evidence
that the properties were acquired through the parties actual joint contribution of money, property, or
industry.

The title itself shows that the Vitas property is owned by Esteban alone. The phrase married to Socorro
Torres is merely descriptive of his civil status, and does not show that Socorro co-owned the property.
The evidence on record also shows that Esteban acquired ownership over the Vitas property prior to his
marriage to Socorro, even if the certificate of title was issued after the celebration of the marriage.
Registration under the Torrens title system merely confirms, and does not vest title. Edilberto claims
that Esteban's actual contribution to the purchase of the Delpan property was not sufficiently proven
since Evangeline shouldered some of the amortizations. Thus, the law presumes that Esteban and
Socorro jointly contributed to the acquisition of the Del pan property.

37

Thus, it is clear that Evangeline paid on behalf of her father, and the parties intended that the Delpan
property would be owned by and registered under the name of Esteban.

38

The Republic of the Philippines vs. Liberty D. Albios


G.R. No. 198780
October 16, 2013
Ponente: J. Mendoza

Topic: Declaration for Nullity of Marriage

Facts:

Fringer is an American citizen was married to Albios. Albios filed with the RTC a Petition for Declaration
of Nullity of Marriage. She alleged that immediately after their marriage, they separated and never lived
as husband and wife because they never really had any intention of entering into a married state or
complying with any of their essential marital obligations. She described their marriage as one made in
jest and, therefore, null and void ab initio. The RTC declared the marriage void ab initio, declaring the
marriage of Liberty Albios and Daniel Lee Fringer as void from the very beginning. The RTC was of the
view that the parties married each other for convenience only. Giving credence to the testimony of
Albios, it stated that she contracted Fringer to enter into a marriage to enable her to acquire American
citizenship; that in consideration thereof, she agreed to pay him the sum of $2,000.00; that after the
ceremony, the parties went their separate ways; that Fringer returned to the United States and never
again communicated with her; and that, in turn, she did not pay him the $2,000.00 because he never
processed her petition for citizenship. The RTC, thus, ruled that when marriage was entered into for a
purpose other than the establishment of a conjugal and family life, such was a farce and should not be
recognized from its inception. The CA affirmed the RTC ruling which found that the essential requisite of
consent was lacking.

Issue:

Is a marriage contracted for the sole purpose of acquiring American citizenship in consideration of
$2,000.00 void ab initio on the ground of lack of consent?

Held:

No.

Under said Article 2, for consent to be valid, it must be (1) freely given and (2) made in the presence of a
solemnizing officer. A freely given consent requires that the contracting parties willingly and
deliberately enter into the marriage. Consent must be real in the sense that it is not vitiated nor
rendered defective by any of the vices of consent under Articles 45 and 46 of the Family Code, such as
fraud, force, intimidation, and undue influence. Consent must also be conscious or intelligent, in that the
parties must be capable of intelligently understanding the nature of, and both the beneficial or
unfavorable consequences of their act. Their understanding should not be affected by insanity,
intoxication,drugs, or hypnotism.

Based on the above, consent was not lacking between Albios and Fringer. In fact, there was real consent
because it was not vitiated nor rendered defective by any vice of consent. Their consent was
also conscious and intelligent as they understood the nature and the beneficial and inconvenient
consequences of their marriage, as nothing impaired their ability to do so. That their consent was freely
given is best evidenced by their conscious purpose of acquiring American citizenship through marriage.

39

Such plainly demonstrates that they willingly and deliberately contracted the marriage. There was a
clear intention to enter into a real and valid marriage so as to fully comply with the requirements of an
application for citizenship. There was a full and complete understanding of the legal tie that would be
created between them, since it was that precise legal tie which was necessary to accomplish their goal.

In ruling that Albios marriage was void for lack of consent, the CA characterized such as akin to a
marriage by way of jest. A marriage in jest is a pretended marriage, legal in form but entered into as a
joke, with no real intention of entering into the actual marriage status, and with a clear understanding
that the parties would not be bound.
The ceremony is not followed by any conduct indicating a purpose to enter into such a relation. It is a
pretended marriage not intended to be real and with no intention to create any legal ties whatsoever,
hence, the absence of any genuine consent. Marriages in jest are void ab initio, not for vitiated,
defective, or unintelligent consent, but for a complete absence of consent. There is no genuine consent
because the parties have absolutely no intention of being bound in any way or for any purpose.

The respondents marriage is not at all analogous to a marriage in jest. Albios and Fringer had an
undeniable intention to be bound in order to create the very bond necessary to allow the respondent to
acquire American citizenship. Only a genuine consent to be married would allow them to further their
objective, considering that only a valid marriage can properly support an application for citizenship.
There was, thus, an apparent intention to enter into the actual marriage status and to create a legal tie,
albeit for a limited purpose. Genuine consent was, therefore, clearly present.

The avowed purpose of marriage under Article 1 of the Family Code is for the couple to establish a
conjugal and family life. The possibility that the parties in a marriage might have no real intention to
establish a life together is, however, insufficient to nullify a marriage freely entered into in accordance
with law. The same Article 1 provides that the nature, consequences, and incidents of marriage are
governed by law and not subject to stipulation. A marriage may, thus, only be declared void or voidable
under the grounds provided by law. There is no law that declares a marriage void if it is entered into for
purposes other than what the Constitution or law declares, such as the acquisition of foreign citizenship.
Therefore, so long as all the essential and formal requisites precribed by law are present, and it is not
void or voidable under the grounds provided by law, it shall be declared valid.

Motives for entering into a marriage are varied and complex. The State does not and cannot dictate on
the kind of life that a couple chooses to lead. Any attempt to regulate their lifestyle would go into the
realm of their right to privacy and would raise serious constitutional questions. The right to marital
privacy allows married couples to structure their marriages in almost any way they see fit, to live
together or live apart, to have children or no children, to love one another or not, and so on. Thus,
marriages entered into for other purposes, limited or otherwise, such as convenience, companionship,
money, status, and title, provided that they comply with all the legal requisites, are equally valid. Love,
though the ideal consideration in a marriage contract, is not the only valid cause for marriage. Other
considerations, not precluded by law, may validly support a marriage.

40

Estrella Aduan Orpiano vs. Spouses Antonio C. Tomas and Myrna U. Tomas
G.R. No. 178611
January 14, 2013
Ponente: J. Del Castillo

Topic: Sale of Conjugal Property

Facts:

Petitioner Estrella Aduan Orpiano is the widow of Alejandro Orpiano. Part of their conjugal estate is a lot
covered by TCT No. RT-23468. A Decision was rendered by the defunct Juvenile and Domestic Relations
Court declaring Estrella an absent/absentee spouse and granting Alejandro the authority to sell the lot.
Alejandro sold the lot on installment basis to respondent spouses Antonio and Myrna Tomas. That very
same day, a new title was issued in the name of the Spouses Tomas despite the fact that the purchase
price has not been paid in full, the spouses having been given until December of that same year to
complete their payment. Alejandro filed a collection case in the RTC seeking collection of the balance of
the price in the amount supposedly left unpaid by the Tomas spouses. During the pendency of the
collection case, Alejandro passed away. His heirs including Estrella were substituted in his stead in the
collection case. Estrella moved to amend the Complaint to one for Rescission/ Annulment of Sale and
Cancellation of Title, but was denied by the Court. She next moved to be dropped as party plaintiff but
was again rebuffed. Estrella filed for annulment of the March 1996 sale and cancellation of TCT No. N-
152326. Estrella claimed that the 1979 declaration of her absence and accompanying authority to sell
the lot were obtained by Alejandro through misrepresentation, fraud and deceit, adding that the May
1979 JDRC Decision was not published as required by law and by the domestic relations court. Thus, the
declaration of absence and Alejandros authority to sell the lot are null and void. The Tomas spouses
prayed for the dismissal thereof on the ground of forum shopping, arguing that the filing of the
annulment case was prompted by the denial of Estrellas motion initiated in the collection case to
amend the Complaint to one for annulment of sale. The trial court dismissed the annulment case.

Issue:

Can Estrella maintain her collection case for her conjugal share and at the same time file an annulment
case for the sale based on the absence of her consent?

Held:

No.

As plaintiff in the collection case, Estrella though merely succeeding to Alejandros rights was an
indispensable party, or one without whom no final determination can be had in the collection case.
Strictly, she may not be dropped from the case. However, because of her dual identity, first as heir and
second as owner of her conjugal share, she has been placed in the unique position where she has to
succeed to her husbands rights, even as she must protect her separate conjugal share from Alejandros
perceived undue disposition. She may not seek to amend the cause of action in the collection case to
one for annulment of sale, because this adversely affects the interests of her co-heirs, which is precisely
to obtain payment of the supposed balance of the sale price. Nor may Estrella simultaneously maintain
the two actions in both capacities, as heir in the collection case and as separate owner of her conjugal
share in the annulment case. This may not be done, because, as was earlier on declared, this amounts to

41

simultaneously accepting and rejecting the same deed of sale. Nor is it possible to prosecute the
annulment case simultaneously with the collection case, on the premise that what is merely being
annulled is the sale by Alejandro of Estrellas conjugal share. To repeat, the absence of the consent of
one spouse to a sale renders the entire sale null and void, including the portion of the conjugal property
pertaining to the spouse who contracted the sale.

Undoubtedly, Estrella had the right to maintain the annulment case as a measure of protecting her
conjugal share. There thus exists a just cause for her to be dropped as party plaintiff in the collection
case so that she may institute and maintain the annulment case without violating the rule against forum
shopping. Unless this is done, she stands to lose her share in the conjugal property.

42

Spouses Benjamin Mamaril and Sonia Mamaril vs. The Boy Scout of the Philippines
G.R. No. 179382
January 14, 2013
Ponente: J. Perlas-Bernabe

Topic: Human Relations

Facts:

Spouses Benjamin C. Mamaril and Sonia P. Mamaril would park their 6 passenger jeepneys every night
at the Boy Scout of the Philippines' compound. One evening, all these vehicles were parked inside the
BSP compound; however, one of the vehicles was missing and was never recovered. The guards claimed
that a male person took the subject vehicle out of the compound. Sps. Mamaril filed a complaint for
damages before the RTC and averred that the loss of the subject vehicle was due to the gross negligence
of the above-named security guards on-duty who allowed the subject vehicle to be driven out by a
stranger despite their agreement that only authorized drivers duly endorsed by the owners could do so.
BSP denied any liability contending that not only did Sps. Mamaril directly deal with AIB with respect to
the manner by which the parked vehicles would be handled, but the parking ticket itself expressly stated
that the "Management shall not be responsible for loss of vehicle or any of its accessories or article left
therein."

Issue:

Is BSP liable for the lost of the vehicle due to their negligence?

Held:

No.

Article 20 of the Civil Code provides that every person, who, contrary to law, willfully or negligently
causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.

In this case, it is undisputed that the proximate cause of the loss of Sps. Mamaril's vehicle was the
negligent act of security guards Pea and Gaddi in allowing an unidentified person to drive out the
subject vehicle. Proximate cause has been defined as that cause, which, in natural and continuous
sequence, unbroken by any efficient intervening cause, produces the injury or loss, and without which
the result would not have occurred.

43

Ma. Carminia C. Calderon vs. Jose Antonio F. Roxas and the Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 185595
January 9, 2013
Ponente: J. Villarama Jr.

Topic: Support Pendente Lite

Facts:

Ma. Carminia C. Calderon and Jose Antonio F. Roxas, were married. Calderon filed an Amended
Complaint for the Declaration of Nullity of their Marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity
under Art. 36 of the Family Code of the Philippines. The trial court issued an Order granting petitioners
application for support pendente lite. Roxas filed a Motion to Reduce Support citing, among other
grounds, that the monthly support for the children as fixed by the court was even higher than his then
monthly salary as city councilor. The trial court issued an Order dated March 7, 2005 granting the
motion to reduce support and denying petitioners motion for spousal support, increase of the
childrens monthly support pendente lite and support-in-arrears. Calderon filed a motion for partial
reconsideration of the March 7, 2005 Order which was denied on May 4, 2005. On June 14, 2005,
Calderon through counsel filed a Notice of Appeal from the Orders dated March 7, 2005 and May 4,
2005.

Issue:

Are the March 7, 2005 and May 4, 2005 Orders on the matter of support pendente lite interlocutory or
final?

Held:

Yes.

The assailed orders relative to the incident of support pendente lite and support in arrears, as the term
suggests, were issued pending the rendition of the decision on the main action for declaration of nullity
of marriage, and are therefore interlocutory. They did not finally dispose of the case nor did they consist
of a final adjudication of the merits of petitioners claims as to the ground of psychological incapacity
and other incidents as child custody, support and conjugal assets.

The Rules of Court provide for the provisional remedy of support pendente lite which may be availed of
at the commencement of the proper action or proceeding, or at any time prior to the judgment or final
order. On March 4, 2003, this Court promulgated the Rule on Provisional Orders which shall govern the
issuance of provisional orders during the pendency of cases for the declaration of nullity of marriage,
annulment of voidable marriage and legal separation. These include orders for spousal support, child
support, child custody, visitation rights, hold departure, protection and administration of common
property.

The subject orders on the matter of support pendente lite are but an incident to the main action for
declaration of nullity of marriage.

44

PROPERTY CASES



45

Evangeline Rivera-Calingasan vs. Wilfredo Rivera


G.R. No.171555
April 17, 2013
Ponente: J. Brion

Topic: Forcible Entry

Facts:

Wilfredo Rivera and his wife, Loreto Inciong, acquired several parcels of land. When Loreto died, he was
survived by Wilfredo and their two daughters, Evangeline and Brigida Liza. Loretos heirs executed an
extrajudicial settlement of her one-half share of the conjugal estate, adjudicating all the properties in
favor of Evangeline and Brigida Liza while Wilfredo waived his rights to the properties, with a reservation
of his usufructuary rights during his lifetime. Wilfredo filed with MTC a Complaint for Forcible Entry
against the petitioners and Star Honda, Inc. claiming that he lawfully possessed and occupied the 2
parcels of land with a building used for his furniture business. Taking advantage of his absence due to his
hospital confinement, the petitioners and Star Honda, Inc. took possession and caused the renovation of
the building on the property. The petitioners and Star Honda, Inc., with the aid of armed men, barred
him from entering the property. Both the Petitioners countered that Wilfredo voluntarily renounced his
usufructuary rights in a Petition for Cancellation of Usufructuary Rights. The Court held that Wilfredo
lacked a cause of action to evict the petitioners and Star Honda, Inc. since Evangeline is the registered
owner of the property and Wilfredo had voluntarily renounced his usufructuary rights.

Issue:

Should the ejectment case prosper on the ground that Wilfredo have prior physical possession of the
property?

Held:

Yes.

The only question that the courts resolve in ejectment proceedings is: who is entitled to the physical
possession of the premises, that is, to the possession de facto and not to the possession de jure. It does
not even matter if a party's title to the property is questionable." Thus, "an ejectment case will not
necessarily be decided in favor of one who has presented proof of ownership of the subject property."

Indeed, possession in ejectment cases "means nothing more than actual physical possession, not legal
possession in the sense contemplated in civil law." In a forcible entry case, "prior physical possession is
the primary consideration." "A party who can prove prior possession can recover such possession even
against the owner himself. Whatever may be the character of his possession, if he has in his favor prior
possession in time, he has the security that entitles him to remain on the property until a person with a
better right lawfully ejects him." "The party in peaceable, quiet possession shall not be thrown out by a
strong hand, violence, or terror."

The respondents have proven prior physical possession of the property. In this case, we are convinced
that Wilfredo had been in prior possession of the property and that the petitioners deprived him of such
possession by means of force, strategy and stealth.

46

Spouses Cabahug vs. National Power Corporation


G.R. No. 186069
January 30, 2013
Ponente: J. Perez

Topic: Power of Eminent Domain

Facts:

The Spouses Cabahug are the owners of 2 parcels of land registered in their names. A suit for
expropriation was filed covering the properties by NPC before the RTC, in connection with its Leyte-Cebu
Interconnection Project, which was dismissed when NPC opted to settle with the landowners by paying
an easement fee equivalent to 10% of value of their property. Jesus Cabahug executed two documents
denominated as Right of Way Grant in favor of NPC. Jesus Cabahug granted NPC a continuous easement
of right of way for the latters transmissions lines and their appurtenances over the said parcels of land.
Jesus Cabahug agreed not to construct any building or structure whatsoever, nor plant in any area
within the Right of Way that will adversely affect or obstruct the transmission line of NPC, except
agricultural crops, the growth of which will not exceed three meters high but reserved the option to
seek additional compensation for easement fee, based on the Supreme Courts in National Power
Corporation v. Spouses Misericordia Gutierrez and Ricardo Malit, et al. with G.R. No. 60077. Spouses
Cabahug filed the complaint for the payment of just compensation, damages and attorneys fees against
NPC. Claiming to have been totally deprived of the use of the portions of land and alleged among other
matters, that in accordance with the reservation, they have demanded from NPC payment of the
balance of the just compensation for the subject properties which, based on the valuation fixed by the
Leyte Provincial Appraisal Committee.

Issue:

Can the Spouses Cabahug ask for additional compensation on the ground that they have been totally
deprived of the use of the portions of the subject land?

Held:

Yes.

Where the right of way easement, as in this case, similarly involves transmission lines which not only
endangers life and limb but restricts as well the owner's use of the land traversed thereby, the ruling in
Gutierrez remains doctrinal and should be applied. It has been ruled that the owner should be
compensated for the monetary equivalent of the land if, as here, the easement is intended to
perpetually or indefinitely deprive the owner of his proprietary rights through the imposition of
conditions that affect the ordinary use, free enjoyment and disposal of the property or through
restrictions and limitations that are inconsistent with the exercise of the attributes of ownership, or
when the introduction of structures or objects which, by their nature, create or increase the probability
of injury, death upon or destruction of life and property found on the land is necessary. Measured not
by the takers gain but the owners loss, just compensation is defined as the full and fair equivalent of
the property taken from its owner by the expropriator.

47

Mercy Vda. De Roxas vs. Our Ladys Foundation, Inc.


G.R. No. 182378
March 6, 2013
Ponente: CJ. Sereno

Topic: Rights of Builder in Bad Faith

Facts:

Salve Dealca Latosa filed a Complaint for the Recovery of Ownership of a portion of her residential land
located at Our Ladys Village. She alleged that Petitioner Atty. Henry Amado Roxas encroached on a
quarter of her property by arbitrarily extending his concrete fence beyond the correct limits. In his
Answer, Roxas imputed the blame to respondent Our Ladys Village Foundation, Inc., now Our Ladys
Foundation, Inc and filed a Third-Party Complaint against respondent and claimed that he only occupied
the adjoining portion in order to get the equivalent area of what he had lost when OLFI trimmed his
property for the subdivision road. The Trial Court held that Latosa had established her claim of
encroachment by a preponderance of evidence. It found that Roxas occupied a total of 112 square
meters of Latosas lots, and that, in turn, OLFI trimmed his property by 92 square meters. Having it
become final, the RTC issued a Writ of Execution to implement the ruling ordering OLFI to reimburse
Roxas for the value of the 92-square-meter property plus legal interest to be reckoned from the time the
amount was paid to the third-party defendant. The trial court then approved the Sheriffs Bill, which
valued the subject property at P2,500 per square meter or a total of P230,000. Adding the legal interest
of 12% per annum for 10 years, respondents judgment obligations totaled P506,000. Opposing the
valuation of the subject property, OLFI filed a Motion to Quash the Sheriffs Bill and a Motion for
Inhibition of the RTC judge. It insisted that it should reimburse Roxas only at the rate of P40 per square
meter, the same rate that Roxas paid when the latter first purchased the property. Nevertheless, before
resolving the Motions filed by OLFI, the trial court approved an Amended Sheriffs Bill, which reduced
the valuation to P1,800 per square meter. Eventually, the RTC denied both the Motion for Inhibition and
the Motion to Quash the Sheriffs Bill. It cited fairness to justify the computation of respondents
judgment obligation found in the Amended Sheriffs Bill stating that although it might be true that the
property was originally purchased at P40.00 per square meter, the value of the Philippine Peso has
greatly devaluated. Refusing to pay P1,800 per square meter to Roxas, OLFI filed a Rule 65 Petition
before the CA. The CA construed reimbursement as an obligation to pay back what was previously paid
and thus required OLFI to merely reimburse him at the rate of P40 per square meter, which was the
consideration respondent had received when Roxas purchased the subdivision lots.

Issue:

In reimbursing Roxas for the land encroached upon by OLFI, should the rate at the time of purchase be
the one used as basis?

Held:

No.

To settle the contention, this Court resorts to the provisions of the Civil Code governing encroachment
on property. Under Article 448 pertaining to encroachments in good faith, as well as Article 450

48

referring to encroachments in bad faith, the owner of the land encroached upon petitioner herein
has the option to require respondent builder to pay the price of the land.

Although these provisions of the Civil Code do not explicitly state the reckoning period for valuing the
property, Ballatan v. Court of Appeals already specifies that in the event that the seller elects to sell the
lot, "the price must be fixed at the prevailing market value at the time of payment." More recently,
Tuatis v. Spouses Escol illustrates that the present or current fair value of the land is to be reckoned at
the time that the landowner elected the choice, and not at the time that the property was purchased.
x
x
x

From these cases, it follows that the CA incorrectly pegged the reimbursable amount at the old market
value of the subject property P40 per square meter as reflected in the Deed of Absolute
Sale between the parties. On the other hand, the RTC properly considered in its 2 December 2004 Order
the value of the lot at P1,800 per square meter, the current fair price as determined in the Amended
Sheriffs Bill. Thus, we reverse the ruling of the CA and reinstate the 2 December 2004 Order of the RTC
directing OLFI to reimburse petitioner at P1,800 per square meter.

49

Juanita Ermitao vs. Lailanie M. Paglas


G.R. No. 174436
January 23, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta

Topic: Right of Redemption

Facts:

Petitioner Juanita Ermitao through her representative, lsabelo R. Ermitao, executed a Contract of
Lease for a period of 1 year, wherein petitioner leased in favor of respondent Lailanie M. Paglas a
residential lot and a house. The contract period is one (1) year, which commenced on November 4,
1999. Subsequent to the execution of the lease contract, respondent received information that
sometime in March 1999, petitioner mortgaged the subject property in favor of a certain Charlie Yap
(Yap) and that the same was already foreclosed with Yap as the purchaser of the disputed lot in an
extra-judicial foreclosure sale which was registered on February 22, 2000. Yap's brother later offered to
sell the subject property to respondent. Respondent entertained the said offer and negotiations ensued.
On June 1, 2000, respondent bought the subject property from Yap. A Deed of Sale of Real Property was
executed by the parties as evidence of the contract. However, it was made clear in the said Deed that
the property was still subject to petitioner's right of redemption. Prior to respondent's purchase of the
subject property, petitioner filed a suit for the declaration of nullity of the mortgage in favor of Yap as
well as the sheriff's provisional certificate of sale which was issued after the disputed house and lot were
sold on foreclosure. Meanwhile, on May 25, 2000, petitioner sent a letter demanding respondent to pay
the rentals which are due and to vacate the leased premises. A year later, a second demand letter was
sent but both letters were ignored. Petitioner filed with the MTCC a case of unlawful detainer against
respondent that was dismissed, which prompted Petitioner to file an appeal with the RTC. The RTC
ordered to pay plaintiff herein petitioner the equivalent of 10 months unpaid rentals on the property
but dismissed the unlawful detainer case. Petitioner filed a petition for review with the CA which
affirmed the decision.

Issue:

Is Ermitao entitled to the physical possession of the premises because the right of redemption has not
yet expired?

Held:

Yes.

There is no dispute that at the time that respondent purchased Yap's rights over the subject property,
petitioner's right of redemption as a mortgagor has not yet expired. It is settled that during the period of
redemption, it cannot be said that the mortgagor is no longer the owner of the foreclosed property,
since the rule up to now is that the right of a purchaser at a foreclosure sale is merely inchoate until
after the period of redemption has expired without the right being exercised. The title to land sold
under mortgage foreclosure remains in the mortgagor or his grantee until the expiration of the
redemption period and conveyance by the master's deed. Indeed, the rule has always been that it is
only upon the expiration of the redemption period, without the judgment debtor having made use of his
right of redemption, that the ownership of the land sold becomes consolidated in the purchaser.

50

It, thus, clearly follows from the foregoing that, during the period of redemption, the mortgagor, being
still the owner of the foreclosed property, remains entitled to the physical possession thereof subject to
the purchaser's right to petition the court to give him possession and to file a bond pursuant to the
provisions of Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended. The mere purchase and certificate of sale alone do
not confer any right to the possession or beneficial use of the premises.

In the instant case, there is neither evidence nor allegation that respondent, as purchaser of the
disputed property, filed a petition and bond in accordance with the provisions of Section 7 of Act No.
3135. In addition, respondent defaulted in the payment of her rents. Thus, absent respondent's filing of
such petition and bond prior to the expiration of the period of redemption, coupled with her failure to
pay her rent, she did not have the right to possess the subject property.

51

Purificacion and Ruperto Estanislao vs. Spouses Norma and Damiano Gudito
G.R. NO. 173166
March 13, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta

Topic: Unlawful Detainer

Facts:

Respondents Spouses Norma and Damiano Gudito are the owners of a residential lot being leased by
petitioners on a month-to-month basis. Petitioners has been renting and occupying the subject lot since
1934 and were the ones who built the house on the subject lot in accordance with their lease
agreement with one Gaspar Vasquez. When Gaspar Vasquez died, the portion of the lot on which
petitioners' house was erected was inherited by his son Victorino Vasquez who was then married to
Ester Vasquez. The Vasquez couple wanted the Estanislao family and the other tenants to vacate the
said property, but the tenants refused. The Vasquez couple refused to accept their rental payments.
Thus, petitioner Purificacion Estanislao, with due notice to Ester Vasquez, deposited the amount of her
monthly rentals at Allied Banking Corporation under a savings account in the name of Ester Vasquez as
lessor. A Deed of Donation was executed by the Vasquez couple in favor of respondent Norma Vasquez
Gudito. Hence, in October 1994, respondents notified petitioners to remove their house and vacate the
premises within three months because of their urgent need of the residential lot. However, petitioners
failed to comply. On November 10, 1995, respondents filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer/
Ejectment against petitioners before the MeTC which rendered a decision in favor of respondents.
MeTC's decision was reversed by RTC. The CA annulled and set aside the RTC's decision and reinstated
the MeTC's decision.

Issue:

Do the Spouses Norma and Damiano Gudito have the better right of possession over the subject
property?

Held:

No.

Petitioners strongly argue that respondents cannot evict them from the subject property pursuant to
Presidential Decree (P.D.) 1517, in relation to P.D. 2016, as the subject property is allegedly within one
of the 245 Proclaimed Area for Priority Development and/or Urban Land Reform No. 1967, as amended
by Presidential Proclamation No. 2284. Petitioners further contend that they were not aware that the
subject property had been acquired by respondents via a Deed of Donation executed by the Vasquez
couple. Thus, they assail that said donation was merely simulated in order to deprive them of their right
of first refusal to buy the subject property.

x
x
x

Here, it is undisputed that respondents do not own any other lot or real property except the herein
subject lot. They have urgent need of the same to build their own house to be used as their residence.
Also, petitioners had already been asked to leave the premises as early as 1982, but sternly refused,

52

hence, its former owners refused to accept their rental payments. When the same property was
donated to respondents, petitioners were allowed to continue occupying the subject lot since
respondents did not as yet have the money to build a house of their own. But now that respondents
have sufficient money to build their own house, petitioners still rebuff respondents' demand to vacate
the premises and to remove or demolish their house. Clearly, since respondents have complied with the
requirements of the law, their right to possess the subject property for their own use as family residence
cannot be denied.

It is also worthy to note that petitioners have failed to prove that the transfer of the subject property
was merely a ploy designed to defeat and circumvent their right of first refusal under the law. As
emphasized by the CA, the Deed of Donation executed in favor of respondents was signed by the parties
and their witnesses, and was even notarized by a notary public.

x
x
x

As can be gleaned from the foregoing, petitioners cannot use P.D. 1517 as a shield to deny respondents
of their inherent right to possess the subject property. The CA correctly opined that "under P.D. 1517, in
relation to P.D. 2016, the lessee is given the right of first refusal over the land they have leased and
occupied for more than ten yean and on which they constructed their houses. But the right of first
refusal applies only to a case where the owner of the property intends to sell it to a third party. If the
owner of the leased premises do not intend to sell the property in question but seeks to eject the tenant
on the ground that the former needs the premises for residential purposes, the tenant cannot invoke
the land reform law."

Clearly, the circumstances required for the application of P.D. 1517 are lacking in this case, since
respondents had no intention of selling the subject property to third parties, but seek the eviction of
petitioners on the valid ground that they need the property for residential purposes.

53

Republic of the Philippines vs. AFP Retirement and Separation Benefits System
G.R. No. 180463
January 16, 2013
Ponente: J. Del Castillo

Topic: Donation

Facts:

By virtue of Proclamation No. 168, 3 parcels of land particularly, lots X, Y-1 and Y-2 were reserved for
recreation and health purposes. In 1983, Proclamation No. 2273 was issued amending Proc. No. 168,
and removing and segregating Lots Y-1 and Y-2 from the reservation and declaring them open for
disposition to qualified applicants. As a result, only Lot X (15,020 sqm) remained part of the reservation
now known as Magsaysay Park. The respondents-intervenors waged a campaign through petitions and
pleas made to the President to have Lots Y-1 and Y-2 taken out of the reservation for the reason that
through their predecessor Cabalo Kusop, they have acquired vested private rights over these lots. This
campaign resulted in Proc. 2273, which re-classified and returned Lots Y-1 and Y-2 to their original
alienable and disposable state. Respondents-intervenors filed applications for the issuance of individual
miscellaneous sales patents over the whole of Lot X. Consequently, 16 OCTs covering Lot X were issued
in the names of respondents-intervenors and several others. These 16 titles were simultaneously
conveyed to herein respondent AFP-Retirement and Separation Benefits System, resulting in the
issuance of 16 new titles. The Republic of the Philippines instituted a Complaint for reversion,
cancellation and annulment of the AFP-RSBS titles because they were issued over a public park which is
classified as inalienable and non-disposable public land. Respondents-intervenors argued that their
predecessor-in-interest Kusop had acquired vested interests over Lot X even before Proc. 168 was
issued, having occupied the same for more than 30 years. They claimed that these vested rights, taken
together with the favorable recommendations and actions of the DENR and other government agencies
to the effect that Lot X was alienable and disposable land of the public domain, as well as the
subsequent issuance of sales patents and OCTs in their names, cannot be defeated by Proc. 168.

Issue:

Did the heirs of Cabalo Kusop have any transmissible proprietary rights over the donated property at the
time of the donation?

Held:

No.

Respondents-intervenors no longer had any right to Lot X not by acquisitive prescription, and certainly
not by sales patent. In fact, their act of applying for the issuance of miscellaneous sales patents operates
as an express acknowledgment that the State, and not respondents-intervenors, is the owner of Lot X. It
is erroneous to suppose that respondents-intervenors possessed title to Lot X when they applied for
miscellaneous sales patents, for the premise of such grant or privilege is precisely that the State is the
owner of the land, and that the applicant acknowledges this and surrenders to State ownership. The
government, as the agent of the State, is possessed of the plenary power as the persona in law to
determine who shall be the favored recipients of public lands, as well as under what terms they may be

54

granted such privilege, not excluding the placing of obstacles in the way of their exercise of what
otherwise would be ordinary acts of ownership.

Respondents-intervenors actions betray their claim of ownership to Lot X. When Proc. 168 was issued,
they did not institute action to question its validity, using as cause of action their claimed ownership and
title over the land. The same is true when Proc. 2273 came out. They did not file suit to invalidate it
because it contravenes their claimed ownership over Lot X. They simply sat and waited for the good
graces of the government to fall on their laps. They simply waited for the State to declare them
beneficiaries of the land. And when the President failed to include Lot X in Proc. 2273 and declare it
open for disposition to them as beneficiaries, they filed their applications for issuance of miscellaneous
sales patents over said lot. All these actions are anathema to a claim of ownership, and instead indicate
a willingness to abide by the actions of the State, a show of respect for its dominion over the land.

Under the law, respondents-intervenors are charged with knowledge of the law; they cannot feign
ignorance. In fact, they could not claim to be unaware of Proc. 168, for precisely they hid under its
protective mantle to seek the invalidation of a donation claimed to have been made by them to one Jose
Tayoto. Thus, in Tayoto v. Heirs of Kusop, an alleged donee (Tayoto) of property located within Lots X, Y-
1, and Y-2 filed a case for quieting of title against the donors herein respondents-intervenors to
protect the property which they allegedly donated to him, which was then in danger of being lost for the
reason that respondents-intervenors supposedly reneged on the donation. Respondents-intervenors
filed an urgent motion to dismiss the Complaint claiming, among others, the "invalidity of the donation
as the subject thereof had not yet been excluded from the Magsaysay Park." In disposing of the case,
the Court made the following pronouncement:

Be that as it may, the donation is void. There are three essential elements of donations: [1] the
reduction of the patrimony of the donor, [2] the increase in the patrimony of the donee, and [3] the
intent to do an act of liberality (animus donandi). Granting that there is an animus donandi, we find that
the alleged donation lacks the first two elements which presuppose the donor's ownership rights over
the subject of the donation which he transmits to the donee thereby enlarging the donee's estate. This
is in consonance with the rule that a donor cannot lawfully convey what is not his property. In other
words, a donation of a parcel of land the dominical rights of which do not belong to the donor at the
time of the donation, is void. This holds true even if the subject of the donation is not the land itself but
the possessory and proprietary rights over said land.

In this case, although they allegedly declared Magsaysay Park as their own for taxation purposes, the
heirs of Cabalo Kusop did not have any transmissible proprietary rights over the donated property at the
time of the donation. In fact, with respect to Lot Y-2, they still had to file a free patents application to
obtain an original certificate of title thereon. This is because Proclamation No. 2273 declaring as open
to disposition under the provisions of the Public Land Act some portions of the Magsaysay Park, is not
an operative law which automatically vests rights of ownership on the heirs of Cabalo Kusop over their
claimed parcels of land.

55

VSD Realty & Development Corporation vs. Uniwide Sales Inc.


G.R. No. 170677
July 31, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta

Topic: Recovery of Possession

Facts:

Petitioner VSD Realty and Development Corporation filed a Complaint for Annulment of Title and
Recovery of Possession of property against respondents Uniwide Sales, Inc. and Dolores Baello with the
RTC. Petitioner sought the nullification of TCT in the name of Dolores Baello and the recovery of
possession of property that is being occupied by Uniwide by virtue of a Contract of Lease with Dolores
Baello. Petitioner VSD claimed ownership over the parcel of land in Caloocan City which was allegedly
bought from Felisa D. Bonifacio, whose title thereto was registered by virtue of an Order authorizing the
segregation of the same in the Land Registration Commission Case. Petitioner also alleged that its right
to the subject property and the validity and correctness of the technical description and location of the
property are duly established in LRC Case No. C-3288. Petitioner alleged that its title is the correct, valid
and legal document that covers the subject property, since it is the result of land registration
proceedings in accordance with law. Petitioner alleged that respondent Baellos title, covering the same
property, is spurious and can only be the result of falsification and illegal machinations.

Issue:

Was there a valid ground to annul respondents title to warrant the reconveyance of the subject
property to petitioner?

Held:

The case was remanded to the CA.

The established legal principle in actions for annulment or reconveyance of title is that a party seeking
it should establish not merely by a preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence that
the land sought to be reconveyed is his. Article 434 of the Civil Code provides that to successfully
maintain an action to recover the ownership of a real property, the person who claims a better right to it
must prove two (2) things: first, the identity of the land claimed, and; second, his title thereto. In an
action to recover, the property must be identified, and the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his title
and not on the weakness of the defendant's claim.

The Court upheld the decision of the trial court that petitioner was able to establish through
documentary and testimonial evidence that the technical description of its Torrens title, embodying the
identity of the land claimed, covers the property that is being occupied by respondent Uniwide by virtue
of a lease contract with respondent Baello, and that a comparison of the technical description of the
land covered by the title of petitioner and the technical description of the land covered by the title of
Baello shows that they are not the same. Hence, the Court granted the petition, and reversed and set
aside the Decision of the Court of Appeals and its Resolution denying petitioners' motion for
reconsideration; and the Decision of the RTC was reinstated with modification. The dispositive portion
of the Court's decision has been cited earlier.

56


x
x
x

The Court recognizes the importance of protecting the country's Torrens system from fake land titles
and deeds. Considering that there is an issue on the validity of the title of petitioner VSD, which title is
alleged to be traceable to OCT No. 994 registered on April 19, 1917, which mother title was held to be
inexistent in Manotok Realty, Inc. v. CLT Realty Development Corporation, in the interest of justice, and
to safeguard the correct titling of properties, a remand is proper to determine which of the parties
derived valid title from the legitimate OCT No. 994 registered on May 3, 1917. Since this Court is not a
trier of facts and not capacitated to appreciate evidence of the first instance, the Court may remand this
case to the Court of Appeals for further proceedings.

57

Heirs of Margarita Prodon vs. Heirs of Maximo S. Alvarez and Valentina Clave
G.R. No. 170604
September 2, 2013
Ponente: J. Bersamin

Topic: Quieting of Title

Facts:

Respondents, in their Complaint for Quieting of Title and Damages against Margarita Prodon averred the
following: 1- that their parents, the late spouses Maximo S. Alvarez, Sr. and Valentina Clave, were the
registered owners of that parcel of land; 2- that their parents had been in possession of the property
during their lifetime; 3- that upon their parents deaths, they had continued the possession of the
property as heirs, paying the real property taxes due thereon; 4- that they could not locate the owners
duplicate copy but original copy on file with the Register of Deeds of Manila was intact; 5- that the
original copy contained an entry stating that the property had been sold to defendant Prodon subject to
the right of repurchase; and 6- that the entry had been maliciously done by Prodon because the deed of
sale with right to repurchase covering the property did not exist. Consequently, they prayed that the
entry be cancelled, and that Prodon be adjudged liable for damages.

Prodons Answer claimed that the late Maximo Alvarez, Sr. had executed on September 9, 1975 the
deed of sale with right to repurchase; that the deed had been registeredwith the Register of Deeds and
duly annotated on the title; that the late Maximo Alvarez, Sr. had been granted six months from
September 9, 1975 within which to repurchase the property; and that she had then become the
absolute owner of the property due to its non-repurchase within the given 6-month period.

Issue:

Is Prodons claim of ownership was already barred by laches?

Held:

Yes
For an action to quiet title to prosper, two indispensable requisites must concur, namely: (a) the plaintiff
or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action;
and (b) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title must be
shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy.
This case involves an action for quieting of title, a common-law remedy for the removal of any cloud or
doubt or uncertainty on the title to real property by reason of any instrument, record, claim,
encumbrance, or proceeding that is apparently valid or effective, but is, in truth and in fact, invalid,
ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title. In such an action, the
competent court is tasked to determine the respective rights of the complainant and other claimants to
place things in their proper place and to make the one who has no rights to said immovable respect and
not disturb the other. The action is for the benefit of both, so that he who has the right would see every
cloud of doubt over the property dissipated, and he can thereafter fearlessly introduce any desired
improvements, as well as use, and even abuse the property.

x
x
x

58

The action for quieting of title may be based on the fact that a deed is invalid, ineffective, voidable, or
unenforceable. The terms of the writing may or may not be material to an action for quieting of title,
depending on the ground alleged by the plaintiff. For instance, when an action for quieting of title is
based on the unenforceability of a contract for not complying with the Statute of Frauds, Article 1403 of
the Civil Code specifically provides that evidence of the agreement cannot be received without the
writing, or a secondary evidence of its contents. There is then no doubt that the Best Evidence Rule will
come into play.
x
x
x

Her inaction was an index of the falsity of her claim against the respondents.

59

Jose Z. Casilang, Sr. (substituted by his heirs) vs. Rosario Z. Casilang-Dizon, et. al.
G.R. No. 180269
February 20, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes

Topic: Partition

Facts:

The late spouses Liborio and Francisca had 8 children, namely: Felicidad, Ireneo, Marcelina, Jacinta,
Bonifacio, Leonora, Jose, and Flora. Liborio died intestate at the age of 83, followed not long after by his
wife Francisca. Their son Bonifacio also died and was survived by his child Bernabe, while when son
Ireneo died he was survived by his 4 children, namely: Mario, Angelo, Rosario and Rodolfo, herein
respondents.

The estate of Liborio, which left no debts, consisted of 3 parcels of land. Respondent Rosario filed with
the MTC a complaint for unlawful detainer to evict her uncle, petitioner Jose from the lot that was
owned by her father Ireneo, as evidenced by Tax Declaration. Thereafter, the respondents executed a
Deed of Extrajudicial Partition with Quitclaim whereby they adjudicated the said lot to themselves. In
the same instrument, respondents Mario, Angelo and Rodolfo renounced their respective shares in
favor of Rosario. As a defense, Jose said that he was the lawful, absolute, exclusive owner and in actual
possession of the said lot, and that he acquired the same through intestate succession from his late
father.

Subsequently, 7 of the 8 children of Liborio and Francisca filed with the RTC a Complaint for Annulment
of Documents, Ownership and Peaceful Possession with Damages against the respondents. Among the
documents sought to be annulled was the 1997 Deed of Extrajudicial Partition executed by Ireneos
children. The petitioners alleged in their complaint that all 8 children of Liborio entered into a verbal
partition of his estate, pursuant to which Jose was allotted the said lot as his share and that Ireneo never
claimed ownership of nor took possession of it. The complete disposition of the intestate estate of
Liborio was done through verbal partition.

Issue:

Is the verbal partition made valid and binding?

Held:

Yes

The validity of an oral partition is well-settled in our jurisdiction. In Vda. de Espina v. Abaya (1991), this
Court declared that an oral partition is valid: Anent the issue of oral partition, We sustain the validity of
said partition. An agreement of partition may be made orally or in writing. An oral agreement for the
partition of the property owned in common is valid and enforceable upon the parties. The Statute of
Frauds has no operation in this kind of agreements, for partition is not a conveyance of property but
simply a segregation and designation of the part of the property which belong to the co-owners.

x
x
x

60


A possessor of real estate property is presumed to have title thereto unless the adverse claimant
establishes a better right. Moreover, under Article 541 of the Civil Code, one who possesses in the
concept of owner has in his favor the legal presumption that he possesses with a just title, and he
cannot be obliged to show or prove it. Similarly, Article 433 of the Civil Code provides that actual
possession under a claim of ownership raises a disputable presumption of ownership. Thus, actual
possession and exercise of dominion over definite portions of the property in accordance with an
alleged partition are considered strong proof of an oral partition which the Court will not hesitate to
uphold.

61

Republic of the Philippines (DPWH) vs. Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI)
G.R. No. 203039
September 11, 2013
Ponente: J. Carpio

Topic: Eminent Domain

Facts:

On February 12, 1998, Department the of Public Works and Highways (DPWII) filed with the RTC a case
for expropriation against portions of the properties of Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI) and of Bayani
Villanueva (Villanueva) in Las Pias City for the construction of the Zapote-Alabang Fly-Over.

Neither BPI nor Villanueva objected to the propriety of the expropriation hence, the trial court in its
Decision set the fair market value at P40,000.00 per square meter which then became final and
executor.

Meanwhile, BPI filed a Motion for Partial New Trial to determine the just compensation of its building,
which was not included in the said Decision. The motion was properly heeded by the trial court,
increasing the amount of just compensation due to BPI. DPWH moved for the reconsideration of the
amended Decision on the ground that the proceeding fixing the just compensation of the building is null
and void for not complying with the mandatory procedure set forth in Sections 5 to 8 of Rule 67 of the
Rules of Court.

Issue:

Is the award of additional just compensation for BPIs building in the amount fixed therefor is unfounded
and without legal basis?

Held:

No.

The findings of the lower courts are borne by the records. Hence, there was proper basis for the
determination of just compensation for the building for consequential damages.

Eminent domain is the authority and right of the State, as sovereign, to take private property for public
use upon observance of due process of law and payment of just compensation. The States power of
eminent domain is limited by the constitutional mandate that private property shall not be taken for
public use without just compensation.

Just compensation is the full and fair equivalent of the property sought to be expropriated. The general
rule is that the just compensation to which the owner of the condemned property is entitled to is the
market value. Market value is that sum of money which a person desirous but not compelled to buy, and
an owner willing but not compelled to sell, would agree on as a price to be paid by the buyer and
received by the seller. The general rule, however, is modified where only a part of a certain property is
expropriated. In such a case, the owner is not restricted to compensation for the portion actually taken;
he is also entitled to recover the consequential damage, if any, to the remaining part of the property.

62


x
x
x

No actual taking of the building is necessary to grant consequential damages. Consequential damages
are awarded if as a result of the expropriation, the remaining property of the owner suffers from
impairment or decrease in value. The rules on expropriation clearly provide a legal basis for the award of
consequential damages. Section 6 of Rule 67 of the Rules of Court provides: x x x The commissioners
shall assess the consequential damages to the property not taken and deduct from such consequential
damages the consequential benefits to be derived by the owner from the public use or public purpose of
the property taken, the operation of its franchise by the corporation or the carrying on of the business
of the corporation or person taking the property. But in no case shall the consequential benefits
assessed exceed the consequential damages assessed, or the owner be deprived of the actual value of
his property so taken.



63

Pilar Development Corporation vs. Ramon Dumadag et. al.


G.R. No. 194336
March 11, 2013
Ponente: J. Peralta

Topic: Easements

Facts:

Petitioner filed a Complaint for accion publiciana with damages against respondents for allegedly
building their shanties, without its knowledge and consent. It claims that said parcel of land, which is
duly registered in its was designated as an open space of Pilar Village Subdivision intended for village
recreational facilities and amenities for subdivision residents. Respondents denied the material
allegations of the Complaint and briefly asserted that it is the local government, not petitioner, which
has jurisdiction and authority over them. RTC dismissed petitioners complaint, finding that the land
being occupied by respondents are situated on the sloping area going down and leading towards the
Mahabang Ilog Creek, and within the three-meter legal easement; thus, considered as public property
and part of public dominion under Article 502 of the New Civil Code which could not be owned by
petitioner. The court further opined that respondents have a better right to possess the occupied lot,
since they are in an area reserved for public easement purposes and that only the local government of
Las Pias City could institute an action for recovery of possession or ownership.

Issue:

Is the Petitioner the owner of the subject parcel of land (3-meter strip), which entitled to him the lawful
possession, hence, the proper party to file an action for recovery of possession?

Held:

No.

Petitioners right of ownership and possession has been limited by law with respect to the 3-meter
strip/zone along the banks of Mahabang Ilog Creek. Similar to petitioner, respondents have no right or
title over it precisely because it is public land.

x
x
x

An easement or servitude is a real right on anothers property, corporeal and immovable, whereby the
owner of the latter must refrain from doing or allowing somebody else to do or something to be done
on his or her property, for the benefit of another person or tenement; it is jus in re aliena, inseparable
from the estate to which it actively or passively belongs, indivisible, perpetual, and a continuing
property right, unless extinguished by causes provided by law. The Code defines easement as an
encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable belonging to a
different owner or for the benefit of a community, or of one or more persons to whom the encumbered
estate does not belong. There are two kinds of easement according to source: by law or by will of the
ownersthe former are called legal and the latter voluntary easement. A legal easement or compulsory
easement, or an easement by necessity constituted by law has for its object either public use or the
interest of private persons.

64


x
x
x

While Article 630 of the Code provides for the general rule that [t]he owner of the servient estate
retains the ownership of the portion on which the easement is established, and may use the same in
such a manner as not to affect the exercise of the easement, Article 635 thereof is specific in saying
that [all] matters concerning easements established for public or communal use shall be governed by
the special laws and regulations relating thereto, and, in the absence thereof, by the provisions of this
Title [Title VII on Easements or Servitudes].

x
x
x

Yet all is not lost for petitioner. It may properly file an action for mandamus to compel the local
government of Las Pias City to enforce with reasonable dispatch the eviction, demolition, and
relocation of respondents and any other persons similarly situated in order to give flesh to one of the
avowed policies of R.A. 7279, which is to reduce urban dysfunctions, particularly those that adversely
affect public health, safety, and ecology. Indeed, as one of the basic human needs, housing is a matter of
state concern as it directly and significantly affects the general welfare.

65

Teodoro S. Teodoro (Substituted by Heirs) vs. Danilo Espino et. al.


G.R. No. 189248
February 5, 2014
Ponente: J. Perez

Topic: Forcible Entry

Facts:

The case is for Forcible Entry filed by the predecessor-in-interest of petitioners Nelson and Rolando
Teodoro, heirs of Teodoro S. Teodoro against respondents Danilo Espino, Rosario Santiago, Juliana
Castillo, Paulina Litao, Raquel Rodriguez, Rufina dela Cruz and Leonila Cruz, a squabble for physical
possession of a portion of a real property, the ownership of which is traceable to Genaro Teodor. The
subject property pertains to the vacant lot where the old ancestral house of Genaro stood until its
demolition in June 2004, at the instance of Teodoro Teodoro.

Genaro had 5 children: Santiago; Maria, from whom respondents descended and trace their claim of
ownership and right of possession; Petra, Mariano, Teodoro Teodoros father; and Ana. Genaro and his
children are all deceased. Petras holographic will, which was validly asserted ownership, devised the
subject property to Teodoro Teodoro. Teodoro Teodoro effected the demolition of the ancestral house,
intending to use the subject property for other purposes. Respondents, who resided at portions that
surround the subject property on which the ancestral house previously stood, erected a fence on the
surrounding portion, barricaded its frontage, and put up a sign thereat, effectively dispossessing
Teodoro Teodoro of the property bequeathed to him by Petra. After Teodoro Teodoros demand for
respondents to vacate the subject property went unheeded, he filed the complaint for forcible entry
against respondents.


Issue:

Is the act of respondents in barricading the frontage of the portion of Lot No. 2476 on which stood the
ancestral house occupied by Petra amounted to Teodoro Teodoros unlawful dispossession thereof
through the forcible entry of respondents?

Held:

Yes

Certainly, and as found by the trial courts, the whole of Lot No. 2476 including the portion now litigated
is, owing to the fact that it has remained registered in the name of Genaro who is the common ancestor
of both parties herein, co-owned property. All, or both Teodoro Teodoro and respondents are entitled
to exercise the right of possession as co-owners. Neither party can exclude the other from possession.
Although the property remains unpartitioned, the respondents in fact possess specific areas. Teodoro
Teodoro can likewise point to a specific area, which is that which was possessed by Petra. Teodoro
Teodoro cannot be dispossessed of such area, not only by virtue of Petras bequeathal in his favor but
also because of his own right of possession that comes from his co-ownership of the property. As the
RTC concluded, petitioners, as heirs substituting Teodoro Teodoro in this suit, should be restored in the
lawful possession of the disputed area.

66


x
x
x

The ground rules in forcible entry cases: (1) One employs force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth
to deprive another of physical possession of real property. (2) Plaintiff (Teodoro Teodoro) must allege
and prove prior physical possession of the property in litigation until deprived thereof by the defendant
(herein respondents). This requirement implies that the possession of the disputed land by the latter
was unlawful from the beginning. (3) The sole question for resolution hinges on the physical or material
possession (possession de facto) of the property. Neither a claim of juridical possession (possession de
jure) nor an averment of ownership by the defendant can, at the outset, preclude the court from taking
cognizance of the case. (4) Ejectment cases proceed independently of any claim of ownership, and the
plaintiff needs merely to prove prior possession de facto and undue deprivation thereof.




67

Antonio James et. al. vs. Eurem Realty Development Corporation


G.R. No. 190650
October 14, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes

Topic: Quieting of Title

Facts:
On September 17, 2003, the heirs of Gorgonio (petitioners) filed Civil Case for Declaration of Nullity of
Title and Ownership of Real Property with Damages against Eurem Realty Development Corporation
(respondent). They alleged that they are the registered owners and possessors of a 448 sqm property in
Dipolog City while respondent is the registered owner of a 344-sq m portion of the same property
owned by the petitioners which the respondent derived its title from Lopez who executed in its favor a
Deed of Assignment and Exchange on September 6, 1990. In turn, Lopez derived his title from Primitivo
(Gorgonios brother) in which there is an annotation made that TCT in the name of Primitivo as null and
void, and ordering the partition among the heirs of Butler James in accordance with the terms of
Partition Extrajudicially executed on October 21, 1949. The said annotation was not carried on in the
respondents name that made his title void ab initio as its predecessor-in-interest Lopez derived his title
from Primitivos void title. They emphasized that Lopez acted in bad faith in assigning the property to
the respondent as he knew fully well that he had no right or interest over said property and the
respondent has knowledge of Lopezs bad faith since it is a corporation organized by Lopez. They are
basically praying for nullification of respondents title and to be declared as the lawful owner of the
entire subject property.

However respondent argued that the complaint is barred by prior judgment (res judicata) and that
prescription has already set in. The heirs of Gorgonio was the defendant in Civil Case for recovery of
possession and damages filed by Lopez in which the court declared Lopez as the lawful and absolute
owner and possessor of the said lot. Further, petitioners filed the complaint in Declaration of Nullity of
Title and Ownership of Real Property with Damages on September 17, 2003, or more than 30 years after
its predecessor-in-interest Lopez bought the property from Primitivo way back in April 25, 1972. Hence,
such action was barred by prescription.

Issue:

Is the petitioners action is barred by prescription?

Held:

No.

Parenthetically, there are two kinds of prescription provided in the Civil Code. One is acquisitive, i.e., the
acquisition of a right by the lapse of time; the other is extinctive, whereby rights and actions are lost by
the lapse of time. The kind of prescription raised by the respondent pertains to extinctive prescription.

The action filed by the petitioners is essentially one for quieting of title. An action to quiet title is a
common law remedy designed for the removal of any cloud upon, or doubt, or uncertainty affecting title
to real property. The pleadings filed in this case show that both the petitioners and respondent have title
over the same property, albeit the petitioners title covers 448 sq m, while that of the respondents

68

covers a 344-sq m portion thereof. It likewise appears from the records that both parties are in
possession of their respective portions of the property. In an action for quieting of title, the competent
court is tasked to determine the respective rights of the complainant and the other claimants, not only
to place things in their proper places, and make the claimant, who has no rights to the immovable,
respect and not disturb the one so entitled, but also for the benefit of both, so that whoever has the
right will see every cloud of doubt over the property dissipated, and he can thereafter fearlessly
introduce any desired improvements, as well as use, and even abuse the property.

An action to quiet title is a real action over immovables, which prescribes after thirty years. Thus, even
assuming that the petitioners action is subject to extinctive prescription, it was error for the RTC to
reckon the date when prescription began to run solely on the date of the issuance of Lopezs title on
October 11, 1972. The petitioners cannot be expected to file the action after the issuance of Lopezs title
since at that time, the appeal, the case between their predecessor Gorgonio and his siblings as against
their other sibling Primitivo, was still pending and was only resolved with finality by the CA only on
November 7, 1978. The appeal in the case between Lopez and Gorgonio, meanwhile, was dismissed by
the CA with finality only on August 17, 1978. It should also be noted that what is being attacked is the
respondents TCT which was issued on March 2, 1992. Thus, reckoning the prescriptive period from said
date, the 30-year period clearly has not yet lapsed since the complaint was filed only on September 17,
2003.

69

Heirs of Albina G. Ampil vs. Teresa and Mario Manahan


G.R. No. 175990
October 11, 2012
Ponente: J. Mendoza

Topic: Ownership

Facts:

Exequiel G. Ampil, as representative of the heirs of the late Albina G. Ampil filed a complaint for
ejectment against spouses Perfecto Manahan and Virginia Manahan, Teresita Manahan, Almario
Manahan, Irene Manahan and all persons claiming rights under them. It was alleged that Albina was the
owner of two (2) adjoining residential lots. They asserted that during her lifetime, Albina allowed
Perfecto and his family to occupy a portion of the said properties on the condition that they would
vacate the same should the need to use it arise. After the death of Albina in 1986, her heirs, represented
by Exequiel, requested Perfecto and family to vacate the property in question but the latter refused.
Petitioners, through counsel, sent a demand letter to the respondents to surrender possession of the
lands in question but to no avail. Consequently, petitioners filed a complaint for ejectment before the
Municipal Trial Court. The respondents filed their answer with counterclaim averring that the lots they
had been occupying belonged to them, their predecessor-in-interest having been in peaceful and
continuous possession thereof in the concept of an owner since time immemorial and that Albina was
never the owner of the property.

Issue:
1. Did Exequiel have the authority to file the complaint on behalf of his co-heirs?
2. Can Exequiel prove his ownership through tax declarations, despite them not being conclusive?

Held:

Issue 1: Yes. Article 487 of the Civil Code provides that anyone of the co-owners may bring an action for
ejectment without joining the others. The action is not limited to ejectment cases but includes all kinds
of suits for recovery of possession because the suit is presumed to have been instituted for the benefit
of all.

x
x
x

In the case at bench, the complaint clearly stated that the disputed property was held in common by
the petitioners; and that the action was brought to recover possession of the lots from respondents for
the benefit of all the heirs of Albina. Hence, Exequiel, a co-owner, may bring the action for unlawful
detainer even without the special power of attorney of his co-heirs, for a complete relief can be
accorded in the suit even without their participation because the suit is deemed to be instituted for the
benefit of all the co-owners.

Issue 2: Yes. In an unlawful detainer case, the physical or material possession of the property involved,
independent of any claim of ownership by any of the parties, is the sole issue for resolution. But where
the issue of ownership is raised, the courts may pass upon said issue in order to determine who has the
right to possess the property. This adjudication, however, is only an initial determination of ownership
for the purpose of settling the issue of possession, the issue of ownership being inseparably linked

70

thereto. As such, the lower courts adjudication of ownership in the ejectment case is merely provisional
and would not bar or prejudice an action between the same parties involving title to the property.

In the case at bench, the Court sustains the findings of both the MTC and the RTC. The bare allegation of
respondents, that they had been in peaceful and continuous possession of the lot in question because
their predecessor-in-interest had been in possession thereof in the concept of an owner from time
immemorial, cannot prevail over the tax declarations and other documentary evidence presented by
petitioners. In the absence of any supporting evidence, that of the petitioners deserves more probative
value.

A perusal of the records shows that respondents occupation of the lot in question was by mere
tolerance. To prove ownership over the property, the petitioners presented the tax declarations
covering the properties and a certification issued by the Municipality of Paombong, Bulacan, showing
that their mother, Albina, had been paying the corresponding real property taxes thereon. Petitioners
also submitted a survey plan, dated August 5, 1968, prepared by Geodetic Engineer Roberto H. Dimailig,
in support of Albinas application for land registration over the disputed lots. In fact, on December 14,
2006, the Registry of Deeds of Bulacan issued Katibayan ng Orihinal na Titulo Blg. P-13627, conferring
title over Lot 742 in the names of the heirs of Albina.

x
x
x

Well established is the rule that ownership over the land cannot be acquired by mere
occupation. While it is true that tax declarations are not conclusive evidence of ownership, they,
nevertheless, constitute at least proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property. It
strengthens one's bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership.

71

Gaudencio Pacete vs. Inocencio Asotigue


G.R. No. 188575
December 10, 2012
Ponente: J. Mendoza

Topic: Ownership

Facts:

Asotigue filed a complaint for reconveyance and damages against Pacete before the RTC which he
averred that he acquired the disputed land, denominated as Lot No. 5-A, from Rizalino Umpad and that
he had been in possession and occupation of the said lot openly, publicly, notoriously, and in the
concept of an owner for more than 21 years. He had declared the lot in his name for taxation purposes,
paying faithfully the real taxes due thereon, as shown by his Tax Declaration and that he introduced
permanent improvements on the said lot by planting considerable number of rubber trees and other
fruit-bearing trees. He said that the present dispute arose when he found out for the first time, upon
filing his application for title over the said lot, that it was included in Pacetes OCT and that he then
demanded from Pacete the reconveyance of the said lot, but his demand was unheeded. Pacete denied
the material allegations of Asotigue and asserted that he was the owner of the disputed lot, presenting
OCT No. issued on July 13, 1961 as evidence of his ownership. He claimed that sometime in 1979,
Asotigue, by stealth, strategy and prior knowledge, entered the disputed lot and started planting trees
despite his demand to vacate the said lot. Asotigue testified that the disputed lot was previously owned
by Sambutuan Sumagad, a native. The lot was mortgaged by Sumagad to Pasague who later on bought
it. Pasague then sold the lot to Umpad by way of Relinquishment of Rights and Improvements. Asotigue
bought the lot from Umpad by way of Transfer of Rights and Improvements. Asotigue then entered the
lot and planted, among others, rubber trees, fruit trees and coconut trees. According to him, he failed to
apply for a title over the said lot due to financial constraint. Nonetheless, he declared the same for
taxation purposes under his name and consistently paid the real taxes due thereon. To strengthen his
claim of ownership, Asotigue also submitted documentary evidence, among which were copies of the
Transfer of Rights and Improvements and Tax Declarations under his name.

Issue:

Is the OCT issued in Pacetes name in 1961 an unassailable evidence of his ownership over the disputed
lot having been issued pursuant to the Torrens System of Registration?

Held:

No.

On the issue of whether Pacetes title, OCT No. V-16654, which had included the lot in dispute, can be
considered unassailable evidence of his ownership over the disputed lot, the Court rules in the negative.
It must be stressed that both the RTC and the CA have passed upon this factual issue. In affirming the
RTC, the CA made the following findings:
Plaintiffs evidence proves that all transactions involving the conveyance or transfer of rights and
improvements of the land in litigation were with the knowledge and even consent of defendant.
Defendant even accompanied Pasague, Sumagad, Datu Balimba, Datu Masagra and Brgy. Chairman Abay
when this land was conveyed to Umpad by Pasague. Umpad later on conveyed this land to plaintiff. This

72

land was conveyed from Sumagad to Pasague, then Pasague to Umpad and finally to plaintiff. From all
these conveyances defendant did not make any claim on the land. He did not oppose any transfer from
one person to another. It was the third transfer to plaintiff that defendant had laid claim. x x x.

The transfer from Pasague to Umpad was done on March 19, 1971. The sale by Sumagad to Pasague was
obviously on a much earlier date. The land was granted to defendant in 1961. Original Certificate of Title
No. V-16654 (Exh. "1") was issued in his favor. Defendant therefore was aware that the portion of this
land was conveyed by Sumagad, then Pasague, then Umpad and ultimately to plaintiff. He did not
protest their occupation until the year 2000.

The possession of Sumagad in 1958 tacked to the possession of Pasague, Umpad and plaintiff was more
than thirty (30) years. When Sumagad took possession on the land, it was still alienable and disposable.
The title to defendant was only issued in 1961. x x x.

Plaintiff had, therefore, acquired by operation of law a right to a grant, a government grant without the
necessity of a certificate of title being issued on the land he is now in possession and cultivation.

Records also show that when the disputed lot was conveyed by Pasague to Umpad, Pacete never
objected to it. Neither did he file a suit against Pasague over the said transfer to protect his supposed
interest over the said lot. In fact, the testimony of Pasague taken on 12 November 2001 will bolster the
fact that Pacete had full knowledge of the conveyance or transfer of the said lot made by Pasague to
Umpad

x
x
x

Thus, Pacete cannot therefore rely on his OCT No. V-16654 as an unassailable evidence of his
ownership over the disputed property. The Land Registration Act and the Cadastral Act only protect
holders of a title in good faith and do not permit their provisions to be used as a shield to enrich oneself
at the expense of another.

As correctly found by the CA, Pacete cannot rely on his OCT No. V- 16654 as an incontrovertible proof of
his ownership over the property in dispute because he was not in good faith when he obtained the said
title as he was fully aware of the conveyance of the said lot between Pasague and Umpad.

Reconveyance is proper under the circumstances. Reconveyance is available not only to the legal owner
of a property but also to the person with a better right than the person under whose name said
property was erroneously registered. Although Asotigue is not the titled owner of the disputed lot, he
apparently has a better right than Pacete, the latter not being in good faith when he obtained his title to
the said property.





73

SUCCESSION CASES

74

Jose Casilang Sr. vs. Rosario Casilang-Dizon, et. al.


G.R. No. 180269
February 20, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes

Topic: Partition

Facts:

The late spouses Liborio and Francisca had 8 children, namely: Felicidad, Ireneo, Marcelina, Jacinta,
Bonifacio, Leonora, Jose and Flora. Liborio died intestate followed not long after by his wife Francisca.
Their son Bonifacio also died in 1986, survived by his child Bernabe, while son Ireneo died on June 11,
1992, survived by his four children, namely: Mario, Angelo, Rosario and Rodolfo, herein respondents.
Rosario, et. al. executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition with Quitclaim whereby they adjudicated Lot
No. 4618 to themselves. In the same instrument, respondents Mario, Angelo and Rodolfo renounced
their respective shares in Lot No. 4618 in favor of Rosario. Rosario filed with the Municipal Trial Court
(MTC) of Calasiao, Pangasinan a complaint for unlawful detainer, to evict her uncle, petitioner Jose from
Lot No. 4618. Rosario claimed that Lot No. 4618 was owned by her father Ireneo, as evidenced by Tax
Declaration No. 555 under her fathers name. In his Answer, Jose raised the defense that he was the
"lawful, absolute, exclusive owner and in actual possession" of the said lot, and that he acquired the
same "through intestate succession from his late father." The MTC rendered judgment finding Rosario to
be the owner of Lot No. 4618, and ordering Jose to remove his house, vacate Lot No. 4618. The
petitioners, counting 7 of the 8 children of Liborio and Francisca, filed with the RTC of Dagupan City a
Complaint for "Annulment of Documents, Ownership and Peaceful Possession with Damages" against
Rosario, et. al. The petitioners alleged in their complaint that all eight children of Liborio entered into a
verbal partition of his estate, pursuant to which Jose was allotted Lot No. 4618 as his share. Rosario
alleged that she is the actual and lawful owner of Lot No. 4618, having acquired the same by way of a
Deed of Extra judicial Partition with Quitclaim which was duly executed among her and her brothers and
that her ownership over subject property could be traced back to her late father Ireneo which the latter
inherited by way of intestate succession from his deceased father Liborio.

Issue:

Can the subject lot be adjudicated to Jose Casilang Sr. through oral partition invalidating the deed of
extrajudicial partition and quitclaim by Rosario?

Held:

Yes.

A review of the parties evidence shows that they entered into an oral partition, giving Lot No. 4618 to
Jose as his share, whereas Rosario presented no proof whatsoever that her father inherited Lot No. 4618
from his father Liborio.

Rosarios only proof of Ireneos ownership is TD No. 555, issued in his name, but she did not bother to
explain why it was dated 1994, although Ireneo died on June 11, 1992. Liborios ownership of Lot No.
4618 is admitted by all the parties, but it must be asked whether in his lifetime Liborio did in fact
transmit it to Ireneo, and if not, whether it was conveyed to him by Liborios heirs. It is imperative for

75

Rosario to have presented proof of this transfer to Ireneo, in such a form as would have vested
ownership in him. We find, instead, a preponderance of contrary evidence.

The validity of an oral partition is well-settled in our jurisdiction. In Vda. de Espina v. Abaya, this Court
declared that an oral partition is valid:

Anent the issue of oral partition, We sustain the validity of said partition. "An agreement of partition
may be made orally or in writing. An oral agreement for the partition of the property owned in common
is valid and enforceable upon the parties. The Statute of Frauds has no operation in this kind of
agreements, for partition is not a conveyance of property but simply a segregation and designation of
the part of the property which belong to the co-owners."

In numerous cases it has been held or stated that parol partition may be sustained on the ground of
estoppel of the parties to assert the rights of a tenant in common as to parts of land divided by parol
partition as to which possession in severalty was taken and acts of individual ownership were exercised.
And a court of equity will recognize the agreement and decree it to be valid and effectual for the
purpose of concluding the right of the parties as between each other to hold their respective parts in
severalty.

A parol partition may also be sustained on the ground that the parties thereto have acquiesced in and
ratified the partition by taking possession in severalty, exercising acts of ownership with respect thereto,
or otherwise recognizing the existence of the partition.

76

Maria Mendoza, et. al. v. Julia Policarpio Delos Santos


G.R. No. 176422
March 20, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes

Topic: Reserva Troncal

Facts:

Petitioners are grandchildren of Placido Mendoza and Dominga Mendoza. Placido and Dominga had 4
children: Antonio, Exequiel, married to Leonor, Apolonio and Valentin. Petitioners Maria, Deogracias,
Dionisia, Adoracion, Marcela and Ricardo are the children of Antonio. Respondents on the other hand
are Valentins children: Juliana, Fely, Mercedes, Elvira and Fortunato. Petitioners alleged that the
properties were part of Placido and Domingas properties that were subject of an oral partition and
subsequently adjudicated to Exequiel. After Exequiels death, it passed on to his spouse Leonor and only
daughter, Gregoria. After Leonors death, her share went to Gregoria. Gregoria died intestate and
without issue. They claimed that after Gregorias death, respondent, who is Leonors sister, adjudicated
unto herself all these properties as the sole surviving heir of Leonor and Gregoria. Hence, Mendoza, et.
al. claim that the properties should have been reserved by Delos Santos in their behalf and must now
revert back to them, applying Article 891 of the Civil Code on reserva troncal. Delos Santos, however,
denies any obligation to reserve the properties as these did not originate from Mendozas familial line
and were not originally owned by Placido and Dominga. According to her, the properties were bought by
Exequiel and Antonio from a certain Alfonso Ramos. The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan,
Branch 6, found merit in Mendozas claim and granted their action for Recovery of Possession by
Reserva Troncal. The CA ruled that Mendoza failed to establish that Placido and Dominga owned the
properties in dispute. The CA also ruled that even assuming that Placido and Dominga previously owned
the properties, it still cannot be subject to reserva troncal as neither Exequiel predeceased Placido and
Dominga nor did Gregoria predecease Exequiel.

Issue:

Are the properties reservable and is it sufficient that the properties came from the paternal line of
Gregoria for it to be subject to reserva troncal?

Held:

No.

There are three (3) lines of transmission in reserva troncal. The first transmission is by gratuitous title,
whether by inheritance or donation, from an ascendant/brother/sister to a descendant called the
prepositus. The second transmission is by operation of law from the prepositus to the other ascendant
or reservor, also called the reservista. The third and last transmission is from the reservista to the
reservees or reservatarios who must be relatives within the third degree from which the property
came.

It should be pointed out that the ownership of the properties should be reckoned only from Exequiels
as he is the ascendant from where the first transmission occurred, or from whom Gregoria inherited the
properties in dispute. The law does not go farther than such ascendant/brother/sister in determining

77

the lineal character of the property. It was also immaterial for the CA to determine whether Exequiel
predeceased Placido and Dominga or whether Gregoria predeceased Exequiel. What is pertinent is that
Exequiel owned the properties and he is the ascendant from whom the properties in dispute originally
came. Gregoria, on the other hand, is the descendant who received the properties from Exequiel by
gratuitous title.

Moreover, Article 891 simply requires that the property should have been acquired by the descendant
or prepositus from an ascendant by gratuitous or lucrative title. A transmission is gratuitous or by
gratuitous title when the recipient does not give anything in return. At risk of being repetitious, what
was clearly established in this case is that the properties in dispute were owned by Exequiel (ascendant).
After his death, Gregoria (descendant/prepositus) acquired the properties as inheritance.

x
x
x

Gregorias ascendants are her parents, Exequiel and Leonor, her grandparents, great-grandparents and
so on. On the other hand, Gregorias descendants, if she had one, would be her children, grandchildren
and great-grandchildren. Not being Gregorias ascendants, both petitioners and Julia, therefore, are her
collateral relatives. In determining the collateral line of relationship, ascent is made to the common
ancestor and then descent to the relative from whom the computation is made. In the case of Julias
collateral relationship with Gregoria, ascent is to be made from Gregoria to her mother Leonor (one
line/degree), then to the common ancestor, that is, Julia and Leonors parents (second line/degree), and
then descent to Julia, her aunt (third line/degree). Thus, Julia is Gregorias collateral relative within the
third degree and not her ascendant.

x
x
x

Moreover, petitioners cannot be considered reservees/reservatarios as they are not relatives within
the third degree of Gregoria from whom the properties came. The person from whom the degree should
be reckoned is the descendant/prepositusthe one at the end of the line from which the property
came and upon whom the property last revolved by descent. It is Gregoria in this case. Petitioners are
Gregorias fourth degree relatives, being her first cousins. First cousins of the prepositus are fourth
degree relatives and are not reservees or reservatarios.

x
x
x

Following the order prescribed by law in legitimate succession, when there are relatives of the
descendant within the third degree, the right of the nearest relative, called reservatario, over the
property which the reservista (person holding it subject to reservation) should return to him, excludes
that of the one more remote. The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one claiming same
as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within the third degree belong to
the line from which such property came, inasmuch as the right granted by the Civil Code in Article 811
now Article 891 is in the highest degree personal and for the exclusive benefit of the designated persons
who are the relatives, within the third degree, of the person from whom the reservable property came.
Therefore, relatives of the fourth and the succeeding degrees can never be considered as reservatarios,
since the law does not recognize them as such.

78

Carolina Vda. De Figuracion, et. al. vs. Emilia Figuracion-Gerilla


G.R. No. 151334
February 13, 2013
Ponente: J. Reyes

Topic: Partition

Facts:

Leandro Figuracion died intestate and the parties herein are his heirs. Petitioner Carolina is the surviving
spouse. The other petitioners Elena Figuracion-Ancheta, Hilaria A. Figuracion, Felipa Figuracion-
Manuel, Quintin Figuracion, and Mary Figuracion-Ginez and respondent Emilia were Carolina and
Leandros children. Subject of the dispute are 2 parcels of land which were acquired by Leandro during
his lifetime. Both lands were registered in the name of Leandro Figuracion married to Carolina Adviento.
Leandro executed a Deed of Quitclaim over the above real properties in favor of his 6 children. Their
shares, however, were not delineated with particularity because spouses Leandro and Carolina reserved
the lots and its fruits for their expenses. Also involved in the controversy is Lot No. 707 originally owned
by Eulalio Adviento, covered by OCT No. 15867 issued in his name. Eulalio begot Agripina Adviento with
his first wife Marcela Estioko, whom Eulalio survived. When he remarried, Eulalio had another daughter,
herein petitioner Carolina, with his second wife, Faustina Escabesa. Agripina executed a Deed of
Quitclaim over the eastern half of Lot No. 707 in favor of her niece, herein respondent Emilia. Petitioner
Carolina executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication, adjudicating unto herself the entire Lot No. 707 as
the sole and exclusive heir of her deceased parents, Eulalio and Faustina. Carolina also executed a Deed
of Absolute Sale No. 707 in favor of petitioners Hilaria and Felipa, who in turn immediately caused the
cancellation of OCT No. 15867 and the issuance of TCT No. 42244 in their names. Emilia and her family
went to the United States and returned to the Philippines only in 1981. Upon her return and relying on
the Deed of Quitclaim, she built a house on the eastern half of Lot No. 707. The legal debacle of the
Figuracions started in 1994 when Hilaria and her agents threatened to demolish the house of Emilia
who, in retaliation, was prompted to seek the partition of Lot No. 707.

Issue:

Can Emilia compel the partition of Lot No. 707?

Held:

Yes.

The first stage in an action for partition is the settlement of the issue of ownership. Such an action will
not lie if the claimant has no rightful interest in the subject property. In fact, the parties filing the action
are required by the Rules of Court to set forth in their complaint the nature and the extent of their title
to the property. It would be premature to effect a partition until and unless the question of ownership is
first definitely resolved.

Here, the respondent traces her ownership over the eastern half of Lot No. 707 from the Deed of
Quitclaimexecuted by Agripina, who in turn, was the co-owner thereof being one of the legitimate heirs
of Eulalio. It is well to recall that the petitioners failed to categorically dispute the existence of the Deed

79

of Quitclaim. Instead, they averred that it has been rendered ineffective by TCT No. 42244 in the name
of Felipa and Hilariathis contention is, of course, flawed.
Mere issuance of a certificate of title in the name of any person does not foreclose the possibility that
the real property may be under coownership with persons not named in the certificate, or that the
registrant may only be a trustee, or that other parties may have acquired interest over the property
subsequent to the issuance of the certificate of title. Stated differently, placing a parcel of land under
the mantle of the Torrens system does not mean that ownership thereof can no longer be disputed. The
certificate cannot always be considered as conclusive evidence of ownership. In this case, co-ownership
of Lot No. 707 was precisely what respondent Emilia was able to successfully establish, as correctly
found by the RTC and affirmed by the CA.

The status of Agripina and Carolina as the legitimate heirs of Eulalio is an undisputed fact. As such heirs,
they became co-owners of Lot No. 707 upon the death of Eulalio on July 20, 1930. Since Faustina was
predeceased by Eulalio, she likewise became a co-owner of the lot upon Eulalios death. Faustinas
share, however, passed on to her daughter Carolina when the former died on October 18, 1949.
The Affidavit of Self-Adjudicationexecuted by Carolina did not prejudice the share of Agripina because it
is not legally possible for one to adjudicate unto himself an entire property he was not the sole owner
of. A co-owner cannot alienate the shares of her other co-owners nemo dat qui non habet.

Hence, Lot No. 707 was a co-owned property of Agripina and Carolina. As co-owners, each of them had
full ownership of her part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto. Each of them also had the
right to alienate the lot but only in so far as the extent of her portion was affected.

Thus, when Carolina sold the entire Lot No. 707 on December 11, 1962 to Hilaria and Felipa without the
consent of her co-owner Agripina, the disposition affected only Carolinas pro indiviso share, and the
vendees, Hilaria and Felipa, acquired only what corresponds to Carolinas share. A co-owner is entitled
to sell his undivided share; hence, a sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the consent of
the other co-owners is not null and void and only the rights of the co-owner/seller are transferred,
thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the property.
Accordingly, the deed of sale executed by Carolina in favor of Hilaria and Felipa was a valid conveyance
but only insofar as the share of Carolina in the co-ownership is concerned. As Carolinas successors-in-
interest to the property, Hilaria and Felipa could not acquire any superior right in the property than
what Carolina is entitled to or could transfer or alienate after partition.

In a contract of sale of co-owned property, what the vendee obtains by virtue of such a sale are the
same rights as the vendor had as co-owner, and the vendee merely steps into the shoes of the vendor as
co-owner. Hilaria and Felipa did not acquire the undivided portion pertaining to Agripina, which has
already been effectively bequeathed to respondent Emilia as early as November 28, 1961 thru the Deed
of Quitclaim. In turn, being the successor-in-interest of Agripinas share in Lot No. 707, respondent
Emilia took the formers place in the co-ownership and as such co-owner, has the right to compel
partition at any time.

80

Richard B. Lopez v. Diana Jeanne Lopez, et. al.


G.R. No. 189984
November 12, 2012
Ponente: J.Perlas-Bernabe

Topic: Probate: Attestation Clause

Facts:

Enrique S. Lopez died leaving his wife, Wendy B. Lopez, and their four legitimate children, namely,
petitioner Richard B. Lopez and the respondents Diana Jeanne Lopez, Marybeth de Leon and Victoria L.
Tuazon as compulsory heirs. Before Enriques death, he executed a Last Will and Testament and
constituted Richard as his executor and administrator. Richard filed a petition for the probate of his
father's Last Will and Testament before the RTC with prayer for the issuance of letters testamentary in
his favor. Marybeth and Victoria opposed the petition contending that the purported last will and
testament was not executed and attested as required by law, and that it was procured by undue and
improper pressure and influence on the part of Richard. The RTC denied probate. It held that while
Article 809 of the same Code requires mere substantial compliance of the form laid down in Article 805
thereof, the rule only applies if the number of pages is reflected somewhere else in the will with no
evidence aliunde or extrinsic evidence required. While the acknowledgment portion stated that the will
consists of 7 pages including the page on which the ratification and acknowledgment are written, the
RTC observed that it has 8 pages including the acknowledgment portion.

Issue:

Can the fact that the acknowledgment portion stated that the will consisted of 7 pages including the
page on which the ratification and acknowledgment are written when it actually consisted of 8 pages be
considered as substantial compliance in the form of a will?

Held:

No.

The law is clear that the attestation must state the number of pages used upon which the will is
written. The purpose of the law is to safeguard against possible interpolation or omission of one or
some of its pages and prevent any increase or decrease in the pages.
While Article 809 allows substantial compliance for defects in the form of the attestation clause, Richard
likewise failed in this respect. The statement in the Acknowledgment portion of the subject last will and
testament that it "consists of 7 pages including the page on which the ratification and acknowledgment
are written" cannot be deemed substantial compliance. The will actually consists of 8 pages including its
acknowledgment which discrepancy cannot be explained by mere examination of the will itself but
through the presentation of evidence aliund. On this score is the comment of Justice J.B.L. Reyes
regarding the application of Article 809, to wit:

The rule must be limited to disregarding those defects that can be supplied by an examination of the
will itself: whether all the pages are consecutively numbered; whether the signatures appear in each
and every page; whether the subscribing witnesses are three or the will was notarized. All these are
facts that the will itself can reveal, and defects or even omissions concerning them in the attestation

81

clause can be safely disregarded. But the total number of pages, and whether all persons required to
sign did so in the presence of each other must substantially appear in the attestation clause, being the
only check against perjury in the probate proceedings.

82

Antipolo Ining et. al. vs. Leonardo R. Vega et. al


G.R. No. 174727
August 12, 2013
Ponente: J. Del Castillo

Topic: Repudiation of a Co-owner

Facts:

Leon Roldan is the owner of the subject property in Aklan. He is married to Rafaela Menez. Leon and
Rafaela died without issue. Leon was survived by his siblings Romana and Gregoria who are also now
both deceased. Petitioners in this case, except for Tresvalles and Tajonera, are Gregorias heirs.

Leonardo filed with the Regional Trial Court for partition, recovery of ownership and possession, with
damages, against Gregorias heirs and alleged that on several occasions, he demanded the partition of
the property but Gregorias heirs refused to heed his demands and Gregorias heirs claimed sole
ownership of the property. Among others, he further alleged that portions of the property were sold to
Tresvalles and Tajonera, which portions must be collated and included as part of the portion to be
awarded to Gregorias heirs and that the husband of the petitioner Teodora, illegally claimed absolute
ownership of the property which have deprived him of the fruits of the property.

Other heirs claimed in their answer that Leonardo had no cause of action against them and that they
have become the sole owners of the subject property through continuous, actual, adverse, notorious
and exclusive possession of the property with a just title.

Leonardo passed away and was duly substituted by his heirs, the respondents herein. Leonardo action
for partition was dismissed and referred to MTC. The property was allegedly sold by Leon to Enriquez
through an unnotarized document who in turn allegedly sold the property to Lucimo Sr. Petitioners were
in sole possession of the property for more than 30 years, while Leonardo acquired custody of OCT.
Lucimo Sr. executed an Affidavit of Ownership of Land claiming sole ownership of the property which he
utilized to secure in his name Tax Declaration over the property. Lucimo Sr. died in 199 and the property
was partitioned among the petitioners, to the exclusion of Leonardo.

Issue:

Is Lucimo Sr.s execution of the Affidavit of Ownership of Land in 1979 amounted to a repudiation of his
co-ownership of the property with Leonardo hence his action for partition is barred by prescription and
laches?

Held:

No.

The finding that Leon did not sell the property to Lucimo Sr. had long been settled and had become final
for failure of petitioners to appeal. Thus, the property remained part of Leons estate. Thus, petitioners
insistence on Lucimo Sr.s 1943 purchase of the property to reinforce their claim over the property must
be ignored. Since no transfer from Leon to Lucimo Sr. took place, the subject property clearly remained
part of Leons estate upon his passing in 1962.

83


x
x
x

Leon died without issue; his heirs are his siblings Romana and Gregoria. Gregorias and Romanas heirs
are co-owners of the subject property.

Thus, having succeeded to the property as heirs of Gregoria and Romana, petitioners and respondents
became co-owners thereof. As co-owners, they may use the property owned in common, provided they
do so in accordance with the purpose for which it is intended and in such a way as not to injure the
interest of the co-ownership or prevent the other co-owners from using it according to their rights. They
have the full ownership of their parts and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and may alienate,
assign or mortgage them, and even substitute another person in their enjoyment, except when personal
rights are involved. Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the thing owned in
common, insofar as his share is concerned. Finally, no prescription shall run in favor of one of the co-
heirs against the others so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.

x
x
x

For prescription to set in, the repudiation must be done by a co-owner. A co-owner cannot acquire by
prescription the share of the other co-owners, absent any clear repudiation of the co-ownership. In
order that the title may prescribe in favor of a co-owner, the following requisites must concur: (1) the
co-owner has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting to an ouster of the other co-
owners; (2) such positive acts of repudiation have been made known to the other co-owners; and (3) the
evidence thereof is clear and convincing.

In fine, since none of the co-owners made a valid repudiation of the existing co-ownership, Leonardo
could seek partition of the property at any time.

84

Heirs of Magdaleno Ypon vs. Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte a.k.a. Gaudioso E. Ypon
G.R. No. 198680
July 8, 2013
Ponente: J. Perlas-Bernabe

Topic: Determination of Heirship in Special Proceeding

Facts:

Petitioners, together with some of their cousins filed a complaint for Cancellation of Title and
Reconveyance with Damages against respondent Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte. They alleged that
Magdaleno died intestate and childless but left various real estate properties. They are claiming to be
the sole heir of Magdaleno but Gaudioso executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and caused the
cancellation certificates of title that lead to subsequent transfer in his name which to the prejudice of
petitioners who are Magdalenos collateral relatives and successors-in-interest. In his answer, Gaudioso
claimed to be the lawful son.


Issue:

Can the determination of heirship be made in an ordinary action for recovery of ownership and/or
possession?

Held:

No.

Matters relating to the rights of filiation and heirship must be ventilated in the proper probate court in a
special proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such rights.In the case of Heirs
of Teofilo Gabatan v. CA (2009), the Court held that the determination of who are the decedents lawful
heirs must be made in the proper special proceeding for such purpose, and not in an ordinary suit for
recovery of ownership and/or possession, as in this case: Jurisprudence dictates that the determination
of who are the legal heirs of the deceased must be made in the proper special proceedings in court, and
not in an ordinary suit for recovery of ownership and possession of property. This must take precedence
over the action for recovery of possession and ownership. The Court has consistently ruled that the trial
court cannot make a declaration of heirship in the civil action for the reason that such a declaration can
only be made in a special proceeding.

x
x
x

In the early case of Litam, et al. v. Rivera, this Court ruled that the declaration of heirship must be made
in a special proceeding, and not in an independent civil action. This doctrine was reiterated in Solivio v.
Court of Appeals x x x: In the more recent case of Milagros Joaquino v. Lourdes Reyes, the Court
reiterated its ruling that matters relating to the rights of filiation and heirship must be ventilated in the
proper probate court in a special proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such
rights. Citing the case of Agapay v. Palang, this Court held that the status of an illegitimate child who
claimed to be an heir to a decedents estate could not be adjudicated in an ordinary civil action which,
as in this case, was for the recovery of property.

85


x
x
x


By way of exception, the need to institute a separate special proceeding for the determination of
heirship may be dispensed with for the sake of practicality, as when the parties in the civil case had
voluntarily submitted the issue to the trial court and already presented their evidence regarding the
issue of heirship, and the Regional Trial Court had consequently rendered judgment thereon, or when a
special proceeding had been instituted but had been finally closed and terminated, and hence, cannot
be re-opened. However, in this case, none of the foregoing exceptions, or those of similar nature,
appear to exist.

86

Heirs of Dr. Mariano Favis Sr. vs. Juana Gonzales


G.R. No. 185922
January 15, 2014
Ponente: J. Perez

Topic: Donation Inter Vivos

Facts:

Dr. Favis was married to Capitolina Aguilar with whom he had 7 children named Purita, Reynaldo,
Consolacion, Mariano, Esther, Mercedes and Nelly. When Capitolina died, Dr. Favis took Juana as his
common-law wife with whom he sired one child, Mariano. When Dr. Favis got married to Juana, he
executed an affidavit acknowledging Mariano as one of his legitimate children. Mariano was married to
Larcelita with whom he has four children, named: Ma. Theresa Joana, Ma. Cristina, James Mark, and Ma.
Thea.

On July 29, 1995, Dr. Favis died of cardiopulmonary arrest secondary to multi-organ/system failure
secondary to sepsis secondary to pneumonia. He died intestate and left the following properties: a
parcel of residential land, a commercial building erected on the said land, another parcel of residential
land, a house, a parcel of orchard land.

Before he died, he allegedly executed a Deed of Donation transferring and conveying properties in favor
of his grandchildren with Juana. Which was claimed to prejudiced petitioners legitime, hence the filing
of an action for annulment of the Deed of Donation, inventory, liquidation and partition of property
before the RTC of Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Issue:

Is the Deed of Donation void for it was executed not under the fullness of faculties of the donor?

Held:

Yes.

The issue of the validity of donation was fully litigated and discussed by the trial court. Indeed, the trial
court's findings were placed at issue before the Court of Appeals but the appellate court chose to
confine its review to the procedural aspect.

In addressing first the procedural issue, the facts of the case show that compromise was never an option
insofar as the respondents were concerned. The impossibility of compromise instead of litigation was
shown not alone by the absence of a motion to dismiss but on the respondents insistence on the
validity of the donation in their favor of the subject properties. Nor could it have been otherwise
because the Pre-trial Order specifically limited the issues to the validity of the deed and whether or not
respondent Juana and Mariano are compulsory heirs of Dr. Favis.

The Court of Appeals ignored the facts of the case that clearly demonstrated the refusal by the
respondents to compromise. Instead it ordered the dismissal of petitioners complaint on the ground
that it did not allege what in fact was shown during the trial. The error of the Court of Appeals is patent.

87


x
x
x

Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. during the execution of the Deed of Donation was already 92 years old; living with
the defendants and those years from 1993 to 1995 were the critical years when he was sick most of the
time. In short, hes dependent on the care of his housemates particularly the members of his family. It is
the contention of the defendants though that Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. had full control of his mind during
the execution of the Deed of Donation because at that time, he could go on with the regular way of life
or could perform his daily routine without the aid of anybody like taking a bath, eating his meals,
reading the newspaper, watching television, go to the church on Sundays, walking down the plaza to
exercise and most importantly go to the cockpit arena and bet. Dr. Ofelia Adapon, a neurology expert
however, testified that a person suffering from Parkinsons disease when he goes to the cockpit does
not necessarily mean that such person has in full control of his mental faculties because anyone, even a
retarded person, a person who has not studied and have no intellect can go to the cockpit and bet. One
can do everything but do not have control of his mind. x x x That Hiatal Hernia creeps in very insidiously,
one is not sure especially if the person has not complained and no examination was done. It could be
there for the last time and no one will know. x x x.

The correctness of the finding was not touched by the Court of Appeals. The respondents opted to rely
only on what the appellate court considered, erroneously though, was a procedural infirmity. The trial
court's factual finding, therefore, stands unreversed; and respondents did not provide us with any
argument to have it reversed.

88

Cerila J. Calanasan vs. Spouses Virgilio Dolorito and Evelyn c. Dolorito


G.R. No. 171937
November 25, 2013
Ponente: J. Brion

Topic: Donation

Facts:

Cerila took care of her orphan niece, Evelyn, since the latter was a child and when Evelyn was already
married to Virgilio, Cerila donated to Evelyn a parcel of land which had earlier been mortgaged for
P15,000.00. The donation was conditional that Evelyn must redeem the land and the petitioner was
entitled to possess and enjoy the property as long as she lived. Evelyn redeemed the property, had the
title of the land transferred to her name, and granted the Cerila usufructuary rights over the donated
land. Soon after, Cerila filed a complaint that Evelyn had committed acts of ingratitude against her and
prayed that her donation be revoked. Cerila died while the case was pending with the RTC. Respondents
filed a demurrer to evidence because the petitioner failed to prove that it was Evelyn who committed
acts of ingratitude against the petitioner, thus, Article 765 of the New Civil Code found no application in
the case.

Issue:

Is Article 765 of the New Civil Code applicable in determining if there was a valid revocation of donation
or not in the case?

Held:
No.

Rules of contract govern the onerous portion of donation; rules of donation only apply to the excess, if
any.

x
x
x

In Republic of the Phils. v. Silim, we classified donations according to purpose. A pure/simple donation is
the truest form of donation as it is based on pure gratuity. The remuneratory/compensatory type has for
its purpose the rewarding of the donee for past services, which services do not amount to a demandable
debt. A conditional/modal donation, on the other hand, is a consideration for future services; it also
occurs where the donor imposes certain conditions, limitations or charges upon the donee, whose value
is inferior to the donation given. Lastly, an onerous donation imposes upon the donee a reciprocal
obligation; this is made for a valuable consideration whose cost is equal to or more than the thing
donated.

x
x
x

Since the donation imposed on the donee the burden of redeeming the property for P15,000.00, the
donation was onerous. As an endowment for a valuable consideration, it partakes of the nature of an
ordinary contract; hence, the rules of contract will govern and Article 765 of the New Civil Code finds no
application with respect to the onerous portion of the donation.

89


Insofar as the value of the land exceeds the redemption price paid for by the donee, a donation exists,
and the legal provisions on donation apply. Nevertheless, despite the applicability of the provisions on
donation to the gratuitous portion, the petitioner may not dissolve the donation. She has no factual and
legal basis for its revocation, as aptly established by the RTC. First, the ungrateful acts were committed
not by the donee; it was her husband who committed them. Second, the ungrateful acts were
perpetrated not against the donor; it was the petitioners sister who received the alleged ill treatments.
These twin considerations place the case out of the purview of Article 765 of the New Civil Code.

90