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imenez v. Fernandez Paras, J. (1990) PET: Sulpicia Jimenez et al.

RESPs: Vicente
Fernandez, Teodora Grado Facts: • Land in question (2, 932 sqm) formerly belonged
to Fermin Jimenez. • Fermin Jimenez had 2 sons: Carlos and Fortunato. Fortunato
predeceased Fermin le aving behind a daughter, Sulpicia. • After the death of Fermin
Jimenez, the entire parcel of land was registered unde r Act 496 in the name of Carlos
Jimenez and Sulpicia Jimenez (uncle and niece) i n equal shares pro-indiviso. • Carlos
Jimenez died on July 9, 1936 and his illegitimate daughter, Melecia Cayab yab, also
known as Melecia Jimenez, took possession of the eastern portion of th e property
consisting of 436 square meters. • Melecia Jimenez sold said 436 square meterportion of the property to Edilberto Cagampan and defendant Teodora Grado
executed a contract entitled "Exchange of R eal Properties" whereby the former
transferred said 436 square meter-portion to the latter, who has been in occupation
since. •
August 1969 -- PET executed an affidavit adjudicating unto herself the other hal f of
the property appertaining to Carlos Jimenez, upon manifestation that she is the only
heir of her deceased uncle. A TCT was then issued in petitioner's name alone over the
entire 2,932 square meter property. • PET, joined by her husband, instituted the
present action for the recovery of th e eastern portion of the property consisting of
436 square meters occupied by de fendant Teodora Grado and her son. • Lower
court: Dismissed the complaint. • CA: Affirmed lower court.
Issue: 1. WON Melecia Cayabyab had any right over the eastern part of the property
she took possession of and later sold? No. (See Ratio 1 & 2) 2. WON Melecia
Cayabyab had acquired any right over the said part of the pr operty through
prescription? No. (Ratio 3) 3. WON PET is barred from recovering the parcel of land
through laches? No. (Ratio 4) Ratio: 1. From the start the respondent court erred in
not declaring that Melecia Jimenez Cayabyab also known as Melecia Jimenez, is not
the daughter of Carlos Ji menez and therefore, had no right over the property in
question. Respondents fai led to present concrete evidence to prove that Melecia
Cayabyab was really the d aughter of Carlos Jimenez. 2. (RELEVANT) Assuming that
Melecia Cayabyab was the illegitimate daughter of Carlos Jimenez there can be no
question that Melecia Cayabyab had no right to succeed to the estate of Carlos
Jimenez and could not have validly acquired, no r legally transferred to Edilberto
Cagampan that portion of the property subject of this petition. o Art. 777 of the CC:
The rights to the succession are transmitted from th e moment of the death of the
decedent o Art. 2263 of the CC: Rights to the inheritance of a person who died with
or without a will, before the effectivity of this Code, shall be governed by th e Civil
Code of 1889, by other previous laws, and by the Rules of Court o Since Carlos
Jimenez, owner of one-half pro-indiviso portion of that par cel of died on July 9, 1936
way before the effectivity of the Civil Code of the Philippines, the successional rights
pertaining to his estate must be determined in accordance with the Civil Code of
1889. o To be an heir under the rules of Civil Code of 1889 (which was the law i n
force when Carlos Jimenez died and which should be the governing law in so far as
the right to inherit from his estate was concerned), a child must be either a child
legitimate, legitimated, or adopted, or else an acknowledged natural chi
ld — for illegitimate not natural are disqualified to inherit. o Melecia Cayabcab could
not even be considered an acknowledged natural ch ild because Carlos Jimenez was
then legally married to Susana Abalos and therefo re not qualified to marry Maria
Cayabyab and consequently Melecia Cayabyab was a n illegitimate spurious child and
not entitled to any successional rights in so far as the estate of Carlos Jimenez was
concerned. 3. No possession by any person of any portion of the land
covered by said o riginal certificate of titles, could defeat the title of the
registered owner of the land covered by the certificate of title. Sulpicia's

It is apparent.C. No. could ever defeat her proprietary rights thereon. 4. 82275 and the Court has invariably in past cases upheld that "the right of the appellee to file an action to recover possession b ased on its Torrens Title is imprescriptible and not barred under the doctrine o f laches. Sulpicia's ownership over her one-half of the land a nd which is the land in dispute was always covered by a Torrens title. and there fore. T. no amount of possession thereof by the respondents. that the right of PET to institute this action to recove r possession of the portion of the land in question based on the Torrens Title o f Sulpicia Jimenez. . Dispositive: Petition Granted.title over her one-hal f undivided property remained good and continued to be good when she segregated it into a new titlein 1969.T.