You are on page 1of 2


G.R. NO. 53564
FEBRUARY 27, 1987
Petitioner Juan Bayang filed a complaint for quieting of title with
damages against Benigno Biong in the Court of First Instance of
Surigao del Norte, Branch 1, docketed as Civil Case No. 1892. While the
case was pending, Biong succeeded in dispossessing the plaintiff of the
land in question and remained there until January 25, 1978. On
February 21, 1972, the case was decided in favor of Biong, but the
Court of Appeals, reversed the trial court. This decision became final.
On February 6, 1978, Bayang filed a second case, docketed as Civil
Case No. 2589, with the CFI of Surigao del Norte, Branch II, seeking to
recover from Biong the incomes earned from the same land from 1970
up to the quarterly incomes from 1978 until the said land was
delivered to the plaintiff. On August 16, 1978, Biong filed a motion for
summary judgment, reiterating the affirmative defense of res judicata
raised in his answer insofar as it related to the incidents concerning the
case prior to January 25, 1978. An opposition to this motion was duly
filed by Bayang.
The trial court, after considering the arguments of the parties, granted
the motion and rendered a summary
judgment on October 30, 1978. The said decision was sustained by the
Court of Appeals.
Whether or not the judgment on the 1st case (civil case no. 1892)
constitutes res judicata as to bar civil case 2589.
A long line of decisions has consistently held that for res judicata to
apply: a) the former judgment must be final; b) it must have been
rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the
parties; c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and d) there must be
between the first case and the second case identity of parties, identity
of subject matter and Identity of cause of action.
The decision in Civil Case No. 1892 became final and executory on
February 2, 1978. There is no dispute that the trial court which
rendered that decision had jurisdiction over the subjectmatter and the
parties to the proceeding. The case was tried on the merits. The

parties to Civil Case No. 1892 and the subsequent Civil Case No. 2589
are the same petitioner and private respondent now before us.
The petitioner would draw a distinction between the land in
dispute in Civil Case No. 1892 and the income from that land
being claimed in Civil Case No. 2589. But that is in our view
splitting hairs to split a cause of action. The subjectmatter is
essentially the same in both cases as the income is only a
consequence or accessory of the disputed property. We cannot
agree that there are involved here two causes of action calling
for two separate cases. The claim for the income from the land
was incidental to, and should have been raised by Bayang in
his earlier claim for, ownership of the land.
We are not unmindful of the argument that affirmance of the
challenged decision of the respondent court will result in the unjust
enrichment of Biong at the expense of Bayang. This assumes, of
course, that the petitioner could have proved his right to the income he
now claims belatedly. The point is that he did not make the
proper claim at the proper time and in the proper proceedings,
and he cannot do it now. Whatever right he might have had is
now deemed waived because of his neglect.