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SALLY GO-BANGAYAN, petitioner, vs. BENJAMIN BANGAYAN, JR., respondent.

[G.R. No. 201061. July 3, 2013.]


PONENTE: CARPIO, J
FACTS:
1. Benjamin Bangayan, Jr. (Respondent) filed a petition for declaration of a non-existent
marriage and/or declaration of nullity of marriage before the Regional Trial Court. He
alleged on his petition that he married Azucena Alegre (first wife) in Caloocan City in
1973.
2. On 1982, Benjamin and Sally (second wife) lived together as husband and wife without
the benefit of marriage. Sally brought Benjamin to an office in Santolan, Pasig City
where they signed a purported marriage contract. Their marriage contract was not
registered.
3. During the period of their cohabitation, they acquired several real properties. Their
relationship ended in 1994 and Sally then filed criminal actions for bigamy and
falsification of public documents against Benjamin. Benjamin also asked the trial court
for the partition of the properties he acquired with Sally in accordance with Article 148 of
the Family Code, for his appointment as administrator of the properties during the
pendency of the case, and for the declaration of Bernice and Bentley as illegitimate
children.
4. The trial court rendered its decision in favor of Benjamin and on appeal the court partly
granted the petition of Sally. Hence, this petition.
ISSUES
1. Whether the marriage between Benjamin and Sally null and void ab initio and nonexistent?
2. What is the property relation of Benjamin and Sally?
HELD :
1. Yes. Under Article 35 of the Family Code, a marriage solemnized without a license, except
those covered by Article 34 where no license is necessary, "shall be void from the beginning.
In this case, the first marriage was duly established as evidenced by a certified true copy
of their marriage contract. At the time Benjamin and Sally entered into a purported marriage on 7
March 1982, the marriage between Benjamin and Azucena was valid and subsisting. It was also
established that the purported marriage between Benjamin and Sally was not recorded with the
local civil registrar and the National Statistics Office. Thus, the marriage between Benjamin and
Sally "was made only in jest" and "a simulated marriage, at the instance of [Sally], intended to
cover her up from expected social humiliation coming from relatives, friends and the society
especially from her parents seen as Chinese conservatives." In short, it was a fictitious marriage.
Also, the marriage between Benjamin and Sally was solemnized without a license. It was duly
established that no marriage license was issued to them and that Marriage License did not match
the marriage license numbers issued by the local civil registrar of Pasig City for the month of
February 1982. Further, the fact that Benjamin was the informant the birth certificates of Bernice
and Bentley was not a proof of the marriage between Benjamin and Sally. Benjamin and Sally
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were supposedly married on 7 March 1982 but it did not match the dates reflected on the birth
certificates.
2. The property regime of Benjamin and Sally is governed by Article 148 of the Family Code.
The law provides that if one of the parties is validly married to another, his or her share in
the co-ownership shall accrue to the absolute community of conjugal partnership existing in such
valid marriage. If the party who acted in bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her
share shall be forfeited in the manner provided in the last paragraph of the preceding Article.
In this case, Benjamin and Sally cohabitated without the benefit of marriage, their
properties acquired by them through their actual joint contribution of money, property, or
industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. The
Court held that properties being claimed by Sally which were given by Benjamin's father to his
children as advance inheritance shall be excluded. As regard to the three properties which were
registered in the name of Benjamin with the descriptive title "married to Sally and while the two
properties registered in the name of Sally with the descriptive title "married to Benjamin" and the
two properties which were registered in the name of Sally as a single individual the Court ruled
that the words "married to" preceding the name of a spouse are merely descriptive of the civil
status of the registered owner. Such words do not prove co-ownership. Without proof of actual
contribution from either or both spouses, there can be no co-ownership under Article 148 of the
Family Code.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, we AFFIRM the 17 August 2011 Decision and the 14 March
2012 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 94226.

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GEOFFREY BECKETT, complainant, vs. JUDGE OLEGARIO R. SARMIENTO, JR.,


Regional Trial Court, Branch 24, Cebu City, respondent.
[A.M. No. RTJ-12-2326. January 30, 2013.]
PONENTE: VELASCO, JR., J
FACTS:
1. Geoffrey Beckett (Complainant), an Australian national, was previously married to Eltesa
Densing Beckett (Eltesa), a Filipina. Out of the marriage was born on June 29, 2001,
Geoffrey Beckett, Jr. (Geoffrey, Jr.).
2. In 2006, Eltesa filed a case against Beckett for violation of RA 7610, otherwise known as
the Violence against Women and Children Act, followed by a suit for the declaration of
nullity of their marriage, both cases ended in the sala of Judge Olegario Sarmiento, Jr.
(respondent).
3. For his part, Beckett commenced criminal charges against Eltesa, one of which was for
adultery. The Respondent Judge rendered judgment based on a compromise agreement in
which Eltesa and Beckett agreed and undertook, among others, to cause the dismissal of
all pending civil and criminal cases each may have filed against the other. They
categorically agreed too that Beckett shall have full and permanent custody over
Geoffrey, Jr.,then five (5) years old, subject to the visitorial rights of Eltesa.
4. Thereafter, Beckett left for Australia, taking Geoffrey, Jr. with him and visited Eltesa in
Cebu every Christmas. However, in 2010 visit the child remained with the mother,
prompting Beckett to file a petition against Eltesa for violation of RA 7610 and applied
for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus.
5. After hearing the petition and despite childs hysterical attitude Judge Sarmiento issued
an Order, directing Eltesa to return Geoffrey, Jr. to Beckett. For some reason, the turnover
of Geoffrey, Jr. to Beckett did not materialize. Beckett sought the immediate
implementation of the said Order. But instead of enforcing said order and/or waiting for
Beckett's comment, Judge Sarmiento, in open court, issued another order giving Eltesa
provisional custody over Geoffrey, Jr. Complainant moved to reconsider but of no avail
so he filed an administrative case against the respondent.
ISSUE: Whether respondent Judge Sarmiento is guilty of gross ignorance of the law when he
granted the provisional custody to the mother despite previous judicial compromise.
HELD: No.
In all questions relating to the care, custody, education and property of the children, the
latter's welfare is paramount. This means that the best interest of the minor can override
procedural rules and even the rights of parents to the custody of their children. Since, in this case,
the very life and existence of the minor is at stake and the child is in an age when she can
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exercise an intelligent choice, the courts can do no less than respect, enforce and give meaning
and substance to that choice and uphold her right to live in an atmosphere conducive to her
physical, moral and intellectual development
In this case, Respondent judge is not guilty of gross ignorance of law in granting
provisional custody over Geoffrey, Jr. in favor of his mother, Eltesa, and did not disregard the res
judicata rule because he exhibited fidelity to jurisprudential command to accord primacy to the
welfare and interest of a minor child. As the Court held in the case of Espiritu v. Court of
Appeals, "is not permanent and unalterable [and] can always be re-examined and adjusted." And
as aptly observed in a separate opinion in Dacasin v. Dacasin, a custody agreement can never be
regarded as "permanent and unbending," the simple reason being that the situation of the parents
and even of the child can change, such that sticking to the agreed arrangement would no longer
be to the latter's best interest. In a very real sense, then, a judgment involving the custody of a
minor child cannot be accorded the force and effect of res judicata.
In the disputes concerning post-separation custody over a minor, the well-settled rule is
that no child under seven (7) years of age shall be separated from the mother, unless the court
finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. And if already over 7 years of age, the child's choice
as to which of his parents he prefers to be under custody shall be respected, unless the parent
chosen proves to be unfit. In Perez v. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court held that in custody
cases, the foremost consideration is always the welfare and best interest of the child, as reflected
in no less than the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child which provides that "[i]n all
actions concerning children, whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions,
courts of law, administrative authorities or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall
be a primary consideration." Thus, since it is evident that Geoffrey, Jr. chose to live with his
mother for some reasons and there was absent of any evidence to the contrary, such must be
respected.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the complaint is hereby DISMISSED.

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ROSE BUNAGAN-BANSIG, complainant, vs. ATTY. ROGELIO JUAN A. CELERA,


respondent.
[A.C. No. 5581. January 14, 2014.]
PER CURIAM:
FACTS:
1. The complainant Bansig, the sister of Gracemarie R. Bunagan, legal wife of respondent,
filed an administrative case for gross misconduct alleging that on May 8, 1997,
respondent and Gracemarie R. Bunagan (Bunagan) got married.
2.

The first marriage was still valid and in full legal existence and that the first marriage
had never been annulled or rendered void by any lawful authority respondent contracted
his second marriage on January 8, 1998 with a certain Ma. Cielo Paz Torres Alba (Alba).

3. The Court issued shows a cause order but respondent failed to file. The complainant
moved the case to be submitted for disposition. The respondent then filed a motion
claiming that he was not aware of the case. Then the court ordered a second show cause
order on why he should not be disciplinarily dealt with or held in contempt for such
failure.
4. The respondent likewise failed to appear before the mandatory conference and hearings
set by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Commission on Bar Discipline (IBP-CBD),
despite several notices. On January 3, 2011, the IBP-CBD, in its Report and
Recommendation, recommended that respondent Atty. Celera be suspended for a period
of two (2) years from the practice of law.
ISSUE: Whether the respondent lawyer is guilty of gross misconduct in contracting second
marriage while the first marriage was subsisting?
HELD: Yes.
The Marriage Certificates bearing the name of respondent are competent and convincing
evidence to prove that he committed bigamy, which renders him unfit to continue as a member of
the Bar. The second marriage apparently took place barely a year from his first marriage to
Bunagan which is indicative that indeed the first marriage was still subsisting at the time
respondent contracted the second marriage with Alba. In administrative proceedings, the
complainant has the burden of proving, by substantial evidence, the allegations in the complaint.
For the Court to exercise its disciplinary powers, the case against the respondent must be
established by clear, convincing and satisfactory proof.
In this case, there is a preponderance of evidence that respondent contracted a second
marriage despite the existence of his first marriage. The first marriage, as evidenced by the
certified xerox copy of the Certificate of Marriage issued on October 3, 2001 by the City Civil
Registry of Manila, Gloria C. Pagdilao, states that respondent Rogelio Juan A. Celera contracted
marriage on May 8, 1997 with Gracemarie R. Bunagan at the Church of Saint Augustine,
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Intramuros, Manila; the second marriage, however, as evidenced by the certified xerox copy of
the Certificate of Marriage issued on October 4, 2001 by the City Civil Registry of San Juan,
Manila, states that respondent Rogelio Juan A. Celera contracted marriage on January 8, 1998
with Ma. Cielo Paz Torres Alba at the Mary the Queen Church, Madison St., Greenhills, San
Juan, Metro Manila.
Thus, even the complainant Bansig submitted certified xerox copies issued by public
officer in custody of the marriage certificates to prove that respondent entered into a second
marriage while the latter's first marriage was still subsisting. These are still admissible as the best
evidence of their contents, as provided for under Section 7 of Rule 130 of the Rules of Court.

DISPOSITIVE: IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, we find respondent ATTY. ROGELIO


JUAN A. CELERA, guilty of grossly immoral conduct and willful disobedience of lawful orders
rendering him unworthy of continuing membership in the legal profession. He is thus ordered
DISBARRED from the practice of law and his name stricken of the Roll of Attorneys, effective
immediately.

Let copies of this Decision be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant, which shall forthwith
record it in the personal file of respondent. All the Courts of the Philippines and the Integrated
Bar of the Philippines shall disseminate copies thereof to all its Chapters.

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MA. CARMINIA C. CALDERON, represented by her Attorney-in-Fact, Marycris V.


Baldevia, petitioner, vs. JOSE ANTONIO F. ROXAS and COURT OF APPEALS,
respondents.
[G.R. No. 185595. January 9, 2013.]
PONENTE: VILLARAMA, JR., J
FACTS:
1. Petitioner Ma. Carminia C. Calderon and private respondent Jose Antonio F. Roxas, were
married on December 4, 1985 and their union produced four children.
2. The petitioner 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.
3. On a motion of the petitioner, the trial court issued an Order directing private respondent
to give support in the amount of P42,292.50 per month starting April 1, 1999 . The
private respondent filed a Motion to Reduce Support citing, among other grounds, that
the P42,292.50 monthly support for the children as fixed by the court was even higher
than his then P20,800.00 monthly salary as city councilor. The trial court granted the
reduction of support and denied the petitioner's motion for spousal support, increase of
the children's monthly support pendente lite and support-in-arrears.
4. Thereafter, the trial court declared the marriage null and void. The petitioner filed an
appeal in the Court of Appeals claiming that the assailed orders (Support pendent lite)
have ceased to be provisional due to the arrearages incurred by private respondent.
ISSUE: Whether the Orders in the matter of support pendente lite are interlocutory or final.
HELD: 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 are INTERLOCUTORY. They did not finally dispose
of the case nor did they consist of a final adjudication of the merits of petitioner's claims as to the
ground of psychological incapacity and other incidents as child custody, support and conjugal
assets. Provisional remedies are writs and processes available during the pendency of the action
which may be resorted to by a litigant to preserve and protect certain rights and interests therein
pending rendition, and for purposes of the ultimate effects, of a final judgment in the case. They
are provisional because they constitute temporary measures availed of during the pendency of
the action, and they are ancillary because they are mere incidents in and are dependent upon the
result of the main action. The subject orders on the matter of support pendente lite are but an
incident to the main action for declaration of nullity of marriage.
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In this case, private respondent's obligation to give monthly support in the amount fixed
by the RTC in the assailed orders may be enforced by the court itself, as what transpired in the
early stage of the proceedings when the court cited the private respondent in contempt of court
and ordered him arrested for his refusal/failure to comply with the order granting support
pendente lite. A few years later, private respondent filed a motion to reduce support while
petitioner filed her own motion to increase the same, and in addition sought spousal support and
support in arrears. This fact underscores the provisional character of the order granting support
pendente lite.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is DENIED, for lack of
merit. The Decision dated September 9, 2008 and Resolution dated December 15, 2008 of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 85384 are AFFIRMED

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AIDA R. CAMPOS, ALISTAIR R. CAMPOS and CHARMAINE R. CAMPOS,


complainants, vs. ATTY. ELISEO M. CAMPOS, respondent.
[A.C. No. 8644. January 22, 2014.][Formerly CBD Case No. 11-2908]
PONENTE: REYES, J
FACTS:
1. Eliseo (respondent) and Aida (complainant) were married in 1981. Their children Alistair
was born in 1982, and Charmaine, in 1986.
2. On 1999, Eliseo purchased by installment a 936-square meter lot (the subject property) in
Bayugan, Agusan del Sur from a certain Renato Alimpoos. Eliseo thereafter applied for
the issuance of a title in Alistair's name. Alistair was then a student without an income
and a capacity to buy the property. On 2006, OCT covering the property was issued in
Alistair's name. Alistair got married and his wife and child likewise resided in Eliseo's
house until 2008.
3. Eliseo filed with the RTC a Petition for the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage alleging
that they are both psychologically incapacitated to comply with essential marital
obligations; that he realized that he finds no gratification in engaging in sexual
intercourse with his wife, that he is a homosexual and that he ascribed acts of infidelity to
Aida.
4. The respondent then executed an Affidavit of Loss wherein he represented himself as the
owner of the lot named after their child and caused the annotation of the said affidavit in
the certificate of title. Alistair refuted Eliseo's representations and filed a complaint for
perjury but it was dismissed. Thereafter, Aida filed a Complaint for Legal Separation,
Support and Separation of Conjugal Properties against Eliseo on the ground that Eliseo
confessed under oath that he is a homosexual and failed to support the family. The
complainant then filed an administrative complaint for serious misconduct, immorality
and dishonesty against Eliseo.
ISSUE: Whether the respondent should be guilty for misconduct in engaging in the scuffle with
his own children in the chamber?
HELD: Yes.
The Court shall not countenance crude social behavior of Eliseo when he engages in a
brawl with no less than his own children inside the chamber of a judge. Besides, the courtroom is
looked upon by people with high respect and is regarded as a sacred place where litigants are
heard, rights and conflicts settled, and justice solemnly dispensed. Misbehavior within or around
the vicinity diminishes its sanctity and dignity. Although Alistair and Charmaine were not
entirely faultless, a higher level of decorum and restraint was then expected from Eliseo, whose
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conduct failed to show due respect for the court and lend credit to the nobility of the practitioners
of the legal profession. Further, the Court disfavor Eliseo's statement during the hearing
conducted by the CBD that he doubts Alistair to be his biological son. As a lawyer, Eliseo is
presumably aware that ascribing illegitimacy to Alistair in a proceeding not instituted for that
specific purpose is nothing short of defamation.
Thus, Eliseo violated Rule 7.03, Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility
when he conducted himself in a manner not befitting a member of the bar by engaging in the
scuffle with his own children in the chamber of Judge Casals on September 14, 2009 and
recklessly expressing his doubt anent the legitimacy of his son Alistair during the hearing before
the CBD.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, this Court finds that respondent Eliseo M. Campos violated
Rule 7.03, Canon 7 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. A FINE of Five Thousand Pesos
(Php5,000.00) is hereby imposed upon him, with a STERN WARNING that a repetition of
similar acts shall be dealt with more severely.

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JAMES WALTER P. CAPILI, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES and


SHIRLEY TISMO-CAPILI, respondents.
[G.R. No. 183805. July 3, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERALTA, J
FACTS:
1. James Walter Capili, the Petitioner was charged of bigamy for being previously united in
lawful marriage with Karla Y. Medina-Capili and without his marriage having been
legally dissolved or annulled. He contracted a second marriage with Shirley G. Tismo
before the RTC of Pasig.
2. The Petitioner filed a Motion to Suspend Proceedings alleging that there is a pending
civil case for declaration of nullity of the second marriage before the RTC of Antipolo
City filed by Karla Y. Medina-Capili; that in the event that the marriage is declared null
and void, it would exculpate him from the charge of bigamy; and the pendency of the
civil case for the declaration of nullity of the second marriage serves as a prejudicial
question in the instant criminal case. It was granted.
3. The RTC of Antipolo City rendered a decision declaring the voidness or incipient
invalidity of the second marriage between petitioner and private respondent on the
ground that a subsequent marriage contracted by the husband during the lifetime of the
legal wife is void from the beginning. Thus, the petitioner filed his Manifestation and
Motion (to Dismiss) praying for the dismissal of the criminal case for bigamy filed
against him on the ground that the second marriage between him and private respondent
had already been declared void by the RTC. It was granted but was reversed in Court of
Appeals upon proper appeal.
ISSUE: Whether the subsequent declaration of nullity of the second marriage is a ground for
dismissal of the criminal case for bigamy.
HELD: NO.
The subsequent judicial declaration of the second marriage for being bigamous in nature
does not bar the prosecution of petitioner for the crime of bigamy. In Jarillo v. People, the Court
affirmed the accused's conviction for bigamy ruling that the crime of bigamy is consummated on
the celebration of the subsequent marriage without the previous one having been judicially
declared null and void. The outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioner's marriage to
[private complainant] had no bearing upon the determination of petitioner's innocence or guilt in
the criminal case for bigamy, because all that is required for the charge of bigamy to prosper is
that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage is contracted. Under the law,
a marriage, even one which is void or voidable, shall be deemed valid until declared otherwise in
a judicial proceeding. What makes a person criminally liable for bigamy is when he contracts a
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second or subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid first marriage. The parties to the
marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be
submitted to the judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so
declared can it be held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption is that
the marriage exists. Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration
of the first marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.
In this case, even if petitioner eventually obtained a declaration that his first marriage was
void ab initio, both the first and the second marriage were subsisting before the first marriage
was annulled. It is clear then that the crime of bigamy was committed by petitioner from the time
he contracted the second marriage with private respondent. Thus, the finality of the judicial
declaration of nullity of petitioner's second marriage does not impede the filing of a criminal
charge for bigamy against him.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED. The Decision
dated February 1, 2008 and Resolution dated July 24, 2008 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CR No. 30444 are hereby AFFIRMED.

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JOSIELENE LARA CHAN, petitioner, vs. JOHNNY T. CHAN, respondent.


[G.R. No. 179786. July 24, 2013.]
PONENTE: ABAD, J
FACTS:
1. The case is about the propriety of issuing a subpoena duces tecum for the production
and submission in court of the respondent husband's hospital record in a case for
declaration of nullity of marriage where one of the issues is his mental fitness as a
husband.
2. On February 6, 2006 petitioner Josielene Lara Chan (Josielene) filed before the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch 144 a petition for the declaration
of nullity of her marriage to respondent Johnny Chan (Johnny), the dissolution of
their conjugal partnership of gains, and the award of custody of their children to her.
3. During the pre-trial conference, Josielene pre-marked the Philhealth Claim Form 1
that Johnny attached to his answer as proof that he was forcibly confined at the
rehabilitation unit of a hospital. The form carried a physician's handwritten note that
Johnny suffered from "methamphetamine and alcohol abuse." Following up on this
point, on August 22, 2006 Josielene filed with the RTC a request for the issuance of a
subpoena duces tecum addressed to Medical City, covering Johnny's medical records
when he was there confined. The request was accompanied by a motion to "be
allowed to submit in evidence" the records sought by subpoena duces tecum.
4. Johnny opposed the motion, arguing that the medical records were covered by
physician-patient privilege.
ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the trial court correctly denied the issuance of
a subpoena duces tecum covering Johnny's hospital records on the ground that these are covered
by the privileged character of the physician-patient communication.
HELD: NO.
The offer of evidence made at the trial of Josielene's request for subpoena duces tecum is
premature. She will have to wait for trial to begin before making a request for the issuance of a
subpoena duces tecum covering Johnny's hospital records. It is when those records are produced
for examination at the trial, that Johnny may opt to object, not just to their admission in evidence,
but more so to their disclosure. Section 24 (c), Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence quoted above
is about non-disclosure of privileged matters. The disclosure during discovery procedure of the
hospital records the results of tests that the physician ordered, the diagnosis of the patient's
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illness, and the advice or treatment he gave him would be to allow access to evidence that is
inadmissible without the patient's consent. Physician memorializes all these information in the
patient's records. Disclosing them would be the equivalent of compelling the physician to testify
on privileged matters he gained while dealing with the patient, without the latter's prior consent.
DISPOSITIVE: ACCORDINGLY, the Court DENIES the petition and AFFIRMS the Decision
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP 97913 dated September 17, 2007.

HEIRS OF DR. MARIANO FAVIS, SR., represented by their co-heirs and Attorneys-inFact MERCEDES A. FAVIS and NELLY FAVIS-VILLAFUERTE, petitioners, vs. JUANA
GONZALES, her son MARIANO G. FAVIS, MA. THERESA JOANA D. FAVIS, JAMES
MARK D. FAVIS, all minors represented herein by their parents, SPS. MARIANO FAVIS
and LARCELITA D. FAVIS, respondents.
[G.R. No. 185922. January 15, 2014.]
PONENTE: PEREZ, J
FACTS:
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1. Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. was married to Capitolina Aguilar (Capitolina) with whom he had
seven children named Purita A. Favis, Reynaldo Favis, Consolacion Favis-Queliza,
Mariano A. Favis, Jr., Esther F. Filart, Mercedes A. Favis, and Nelly Favis-Villafuerte.
2. When Capitolina died, Dr. Favis married Juana Gonzales (respondent) with whom he
sired one child, Mariano G. Favis (Mariano Jr.) Dr. Favis executed an affidavit
acknowledging Mariano as one of his legitimate children. Mariano is married to Larcelita
D. Favis (Larcelita), with whom he has four children (respondents).
3. Dr. Favis died having intestate properties. Before his death he suffered serious illness and
allegedly executed a Deed of Donation transferring and conveying properties in favor of
his grandchildren with Juana. Claiming that said donation prejudiced their legitime, Dr.
Favis' children with first marriage (petitioners) filed an action for annulment of the Deed
of Donation, inventory, liquidation and partition of property before the Regional Trial
Court against the second family (respondents.)
4. RTC ruled for petitioner but it was reversed by the Court of Appeals. Hence the petitioner
brought the case before the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Whether the complaint should be dismissed for failure to allege therein that earnest
efforts towards a compromise have been made pursuant to Article 151 of the Family Code.
HELD: No.
The objection of failure to allege a failed attempt at a compromise in a suit among
members of the same family is waivable as explained in the cases of Versoza v.Versoza and
Tamayo v. San Miguel Brewery, Inc. A failure to allege earnest at a compromise in a complaint
among members of the same family is not a jurisdictional defect but merely a defect in the
statement of a cause of action.
In this case, the complaint of petitioners was answered by respondents without a prior
motion to dismiss having been filed. The decision in favor of the petitioners was appealed by
respondents on the basis of the alleged error in the ruling on the merits, no mention having been
made about any defect in the statement of a cause of action. In other words, no motion to dismiss
the complaint based on the failure to comply with a condition precedent was filed in the trial
court; neither was such failure assigned as error in the appeal that respondent brought before the
Court of Appeals. Therefore, the rule on deemed waiver of the non-jurisdictional defense or
objection is wholly applicable to respondent. 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.
Thus, the complaint should not be dismissed because of failure to allege the requirement
of earnest effort to compromise in a suit involving family members.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE and the Judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Branch 20 is
AFFIRMED.
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MINORU FUJIKI, petitioner, vs. MARIA PAZ GALELA MARINAY, SHINICHI


MAEKARA, LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF QUEZON CITY, and THE
ADMINISTRATOR AND CIVIL REGISTRAR GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL
STATISTICS OFFICE, respondents.
[G.R. No. 196049. June 26, 2013.]
PONENTE: CARPIO, J
FACTS:

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1. Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese national married respondent Maria Paz
Galela Marinay (Marinay) in the Philippines on 23 January 2004.
2. The marriage broke up and she met Japanese, Shinichi Maekara. Without the first marriage
being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were married on 15 May 2008 in Quezon City
(second marriage). Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However; the latter left Maekara
and they were able to reestablish their relationship. In 2010, Marinay with the help of
petitioner obtain a judgment from a family court in Japan which declared the marriage
between second marriage void on the ground of bigamy.
3. Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: "Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or
Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)." Fujiki prayed that (1) the Japanese Family
Court judgment be recognized; (2) 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; 5 and (3) for the RTC to direct the Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City to
annotate the Japanese Family Court judgment on the Certificate of Marriage between
Marinay and Maekara and to endorse such annotation to the Office of the Administrator
and Civil Registrar General in the National Statistics Office (NSO).
4. The Regional Trial Court dismissed the petition. Fujiki moved that the Order be
reconsidered but was denied. Hence a petition for review was brought before the
Supreme Court.
ISSUES:
1. Whether the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment
of Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) is applicable.
2. Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to recognize a foreign
judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his or her spouse and a foreign
citizen on the ground of bigamy.
3. Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the foreign judgment in a proceeding for
cancellation or correction of entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of
Court.

HELD:
1. No.
The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of
Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) does not apply in a petition to recognize a foreign
judgment relating to the status of a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign
country. In the case of Juliano-Llave v. Republic, the Court held that the rule in A.M. No. 02-1110-SC that only the husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage
"does not apply if the reason behind the petition is bigamy."
Moreover, a petition to recognize a foreign judgment declaring a marriage void does not
require relitigation under a Philippine court of the case as if it were a new petition for declaration
of nullity of marriage. Philippine courts cannot presume to know the foreign laws under which
the foreign judgment was rendered. They cannot substitute their judgment on the status,
condition and legal capacity of the foreign citizen who is under the jurisdiction of another state.
Page | 17

Thus, Philippine courts can only recognize the foreign judgment as a fact according to the rules
of evidence.
Philippine courts exercise limited review on foreign judgments. Courts are not allowed to
delve into the merits of a foreign judgment. Once a foreign judgment is admitted and proven in a
Philippine court, it can only be repelled on grounds external to its merits, i.e., "want of
jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact." The
rule on limited review embodies the policy of efficiency and the protection of party expectations,
as well as respecting the jurisdiction of other states.
In this case, there is no reason to disallow Fujiki to simply prove as a fact the Japanese
Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of
bigamy because while the Philippines has no divorce law, the Japanese Family Court judgment is
fully consistent with Philippine public policy, as bigamous marriages are declared void from the
beginning under Article 35 (4) of the Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349 of the
Revised Penal Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the Japanese Family Court
judgment in accordance with Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48 (b)
of the Rules of Court.
2. Yes.
The interest derives from the substantive right of the spouse is 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. Further, 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 wife" it 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.. If
anyone can file a criminal action which leads to the declaration of nullity of a bigamous
marriage, there is more reason to confer personality to sue on the husband or the wife of a
subsisting marriage. The prior spouse does not only share in the public interest of prosecuting
and preventing crimes, he is also personally interested in the purely civil aspect of protecting his
marriage.
Also, 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. 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.
Thus, 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
Page | 18

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.
3. Yes.
The principle in the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code applies because
the foreign spouse, after the foreign judgment nullifying the marriage, is capacitated to remarry
under the laws of his or her country. If the foreign judgment is not recognized in the Philippines,
the Filipino spouse will be discriminated the foreign spouse can remarry while the Filipino
spouse cannot remarry. Under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, Philippine
courts are empowered to correct a situation where the Filipino spouse is still tied to the marriage
while the foreign spouse is free to marry. The Filipino spouse has the option to undergo full trial
by filing a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, but this is
not the only remedy available to him or her. Philippine courts have jurisdiction to recognize a
foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage, without prejudice to a criminal prosecution for
bigamy.
Upon recognition of the foreign judgment, this right becomes conclusive and the
judgment serves as the basis for the correction or cancellation of entry in the civil registry. The
recognition of the foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage is a subsequent event that
establishes a new status, right and fact that needs to be reflected in the civil registry. Otherwise,
there will be an inconsistency between the recognition of the effectivity of the foreign judgment
and the public records in the Philippines.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. The Order dated 31 January 2011 and
the Resolution dated 2 March 2011 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 107, Quezon City, in
Civil Case No. Q-11-68582 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Regional Trial Court
is ORDERED to REINSTATE the petition for further proceedings in accordance with this
Decision.

Page | 19

GRACE M. GRANDE, petitioner, vs. PATRICIO T. ANTONIO, respondent.


[G.R. No. 206248. February 18, 2014.]
PONENTE: VELASCO, JR., J
FACTS:
1. The Petitioner Grace Grande (Grande) and respondent Patricio Antonio (Antonio) lived
together as husband and wife, although Antonio was at that time already married to
someone else. Out of this illicit relationship, two sons were born but were not expressly
recognized by respondent in their birth certificate.
2. The Petitioner and their children went to US and this prompted respondent Antonio to file
a Petition for Judicial Approval of Recognition with Prayer to take Parental Authority,
Parental Physical Custody, Correction/Change of Surname of Minors and for the Issuance
of Writ of Preliminary Injunction before the Regional Trial Court, appending a notarized
Deed of Voluntary Recognition of Paternity of the children.
3.

The trial court ruled for respondent but was reversed by the Court of Appeals. The
Petitioner was not satisfied with the decision of CA and filed petition before the Supreme
Court.

ISSUE: Whether the father has the right to compel the use of his surname by his illegitimate
children upon his recognition of their filiation.
HELD: No.
Under Article 176 of the Family Code as amended by RA 9255 the general rule is that an
illegitimate child shall use the surname of his or her mother. The exception provided by RA 9255
is when his or her filiation is expressly recognized by the father through the record of birth
appearing in the civil register or when an admission in a public document or private handwritten
instrument is made by the father. In such a situation, the illegitimate child may use the surname
of the father.
In the case at bar, respondent filed a petition for judicial approval of recognition of the
filiation of the two children with the prayer for the correction or change of the surname of the
minors from Grande to Antonio and claimed that when a public document acknowledged before
a notary public under Sec. 19, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court is enough to establish the paternity
of his children. He wanted a judicial conferment of parental authority, parental custody, and an
official declaration of his children's surname as Antonio. Parental authority over minor children
is lodged by Art. 176 on the mother; hence, respondent's prayer has no legal mooring. Since
parental authority is given to the mother, then custody over the minor children also goes to the
mother, unless she is shown to be unfit.

Page | 20

The use of the word "may" in the provision readily shows that an acknowledged
illegitimate child is under no compulsion to use the surname of his illegitimate father. The word
"may" in Article 176 is permissive and operates the use of an illegitimate father's surname as
discretionary and illegitimate children are given the choice on the surnames by which they will
be known. It is always a rule that policies affecting children are to be measured based on their
best interest. On the matter of children's surnames the use of the father's surname serves the best
interest of the minor child. This change of surname establishes the significant connection of a
person's name to his identity, his status in relation to his parents and his successional rights as a
legitimate or illegitimate child.
Thus, the father cannot compel his illegitimate son to use his surname even after
recognition.
DISPOSITVE: WHEREFORE, the instant petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The July 24,
2012 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 96406 is MODIFIED, the dispositive
portion of which shall read:
WHEREFORE, the appeal is partly GRANTED. Accordingly, the appealed Decision of the
Regional Trial Court Branch 8, Aparri Cagayan in SP Proc. Case No. 11-4492 is MODIFIED in
part and shall hereinafter read as follows:
a.
[Antonio] is ORDERED to deliver the minor children Jerard Patrick and Andre Lewis to
the custody of their mother herein appellant, Grace Grande who by virtue hereof is hereby
awarded the full or sole custody of these minor children;
b.
[Antonio] shall have visitation rights 28 at least twice a week, and may only take the
children out upon the written consent of [Grande];
c.
The parties are DIRECTED to give and share in support of the minor children Jerard
Patrick and Andre Lewis in the amount of P30,000.00 per month at the rate of 70% for [Antonio]
and 30% for [Grande]; and
d.
The case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court, Branch 8 of Aparri, Cagayan for
the sole purpose of determining the surname to be chosen by the children Jerard Patrick and
Andre Lewis.
Rule 7 and Rule 8 of the Office of the Civil Registrar General Administrative Order No. 1, Series
of 2004 are DISAPPROVED and hereby declared NULL and VOID.

Page | 21

YASUO IWASAWA, petitioner, vs. FELISA CUSTODIO GANGAN 1 (a.k.a FELISA


GANGAN ARAMBULO, and FELISA GANGAN IWASAWA) and the LOCAL CIVIL
REGISTRAR OF PASAY CITY, respondents.
[G.R. No. 204169. September 11, 2013.]
PONENTE: VILLARAMA, JR., J
FACTS:
1. Yasuo Iwasawa, the Petitioner, a Japanese national married Felisa Gangan who
represented himself as single (respondent) on November 28, 2002 in Pasay City.
2. The Petitioner sought to confirm the truth of his wife's confession and discovered that
indeed, she was married to one Raymond Maglonzo Arambulo on June 20, 1994. This
prompted petitioner to file a petition for the declaration of his marriage to private
respondent as null and void on the ground that their marriage is a bigamous one, based on
Article 35 (4) in relation to Article 41 of the Family Code of the Philippines.
3. During the trial, aside from his testimony, the petitioner also offered the following pieces
of documentary evidence issued by the National Statistics Office. (Marriage certificate
respondents first marriage and second marriage).
4. The trial court dismissed the case. Hence a petition was filed before the Supreme Court.
ISSUE: Whether the documents presented is sufficient to declare the marriage void ab initio.
HELD: Yes.
The documentary evidences submitted by petitioner are all public documents. As
provided in the Civil Code: ART. 410.
The books making up the civil register and all
documents relating thereto shall be considered public documents and shall be prima facie
evidence of the facts therein contained. As public documents, they are admissible in evidence
even without further proof of their due execution and genuineness. Since in this jurisdiction the
law requires a judicial declaration of nullity before a valid subsequent marriage can be
contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous marriage, which is void from the beginning as
provided in Article 35 (4) of the Family Code of the Philippines
In this case, documentary exhibits taken together concretely establish the nullity of the
marriage of petitioner to private respondent on the ground that their marriage is bigamous. The
exhibits directly prove the following facts: (1) that private respondent married Arambulo on June
20, 1994 in the City of Manila; (2) that private respondent contracted a second marriage this time
Page | 22

with petitioner on November 28, 2002 in Pasay City; (3) that there was no judicial declaration of
nullity of the marriage of private respondent with Arambulo at the time she married petitioner;
(3) that Arambulo died on July 14, 2009 and that it was only on said date that private
respondent's marriage with Arambulo was deemed to have been dissolved; and (4) that the
second marriage of private respondent to petitioner is bigamous, hence null and void, since the
first marriage was still valid and subsisting when the second marriage was contracted.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. The
September 4, 2012 Decision and October 16, 2012 Order of the Regional Trial Court of Manila,
Branch 43, in Civil Case No. 11-126203 are hereby SET ASIDE. The marriage of petitioner
Yasuo Iwasawa and private respondent Felisa Custodio Gangan is declared NULL and VOID.
The Local Civil Registrar of Pasay City and the National Statistics Office are hereby ORDERED
to make proper entries into the records of the abovementioned parties in accordance with this
Decision.

Page | 23

NOEL A. LASANAS, petitioner, vs. PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondent.


[G.R. No. 159031, June 23, 2014.]
PONENTE: BERSAMIN, J.:
FACTS:
1. In 1968, Noel Lasanas (Accused-Petitioner) contracted first marriage with Socorro
Patingo solemnized by Judge Salazar without the benefit of marriage license and
affidavit of cohabitation. They later reaffirmed their marriage vows in a religious
ceremony wherein they submitted no marriage license or affidavit of cohabitation for
that purpose.

Page | 24

2. Lasanas and Patingo separated de facto because of irreconcilable difference.


3. In 1993, the accused contracted second marriage with Josefa Eslaban in a religious
ceremony and in their marriage certificate reflected the civil status of the accused as
single.
4. On 1996, the accused filed a complaint for annulment of marriage and damages against
Socorro in the RTC while Socorro charged the accused with bigamy. While the criminal
case was pending, the trial court in annulment case dismissed the petition and declared
the first marriage valid. The accused appealed to the CA and while it was pending the
criminal court find the accused guilty of bigamy. The accused likewise affirmed the
conviction but the CA affirmed the trial courts ruling. Hence, petition for review
on certiorari.
ISSUE: Whether the accused should be convicted of bigamy because his subsequent marriage
was null and void for being without a recorded judgment of nullity of marriage as provided in
Article 53 of the Family Code.
HELD: Yes.
Any person who contracts a second marriage without first having a judicial declaration of
the nullity of his or her first marriage, albeit on its face void and inexistent for lack of a marriage
license, is guilty of bigamy as defined and penalized by Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code.
The elements of the crime of bigamy are as follows:
(1) that the offender has been legally married;
(2) that the marriage has not been legally dissolved or, in case his or her spouse is
absent, the absent spouse could not yet be presumed dead according to the Civil
Code;
(3) that he or she contracts a second or subsequent marriage; and
(4) that the second or subsequent marriage has all the essential requisites for validity.
In this case, the first and second elements of bigamy were present in view of the absence
of a judicial declaration of nullity of marriage between the accused and Socorro. The requirement
of securing a judicial declaration of nullity of marriage prior to contracting a subsequent
marriage is found in Article 40 of the Family Code. Also, in numerous cases, the Court has
consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity is required before a valid subsequent
marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous marriage, reprehensible and
immoral.
As held in the case of Teves v. People, the crime of bigamy was consummated from the
moment the accused contracted the second marriage without his marriage to Socorro being first
judicially declared null and void, because at the time of the celebration of the second marriage,
his marriage to Socorro was still deemed valid and subsisting due to such marriage not being yet
declared null and void by a court of competent jurisdiction. What makes a person criminally
liable for bigamy, according to People v. Odtuhan: x x x is when he contracts a second or
subsequent marriage during the subsistence of a valid marriage. Parties to the marriage should
not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity, for the same must be submitted to the
judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of the marriage is so declared can it be
held as void, and so long as there is no such declaration, the presumption is that the marriage

Page | 25

exists. Therefore, he who contracts a second marriage before the judicial declaration of nullity
of the first marriage assumes the risk of being prosecuted for bigamy.
Thus, a recognition written into the law itself that such a marriage, although void ab
initio, may still produce legal consequences and one of it is incurring criminal liability for
bigamy. To hold otherwise would render the States penal laws on bigamy completely nugatory,
and allow individuals to deliberately ensure that each marital contract be flawed in some manner,
and to thus escape the consequences of contracting multiple marriages, while beguiling throngs
of hapless women with the promise of futurity and commitment.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of Appeals
promulgated on August 29, 2002; and ORDERS the petitioner to pay the costs of suit.

SUSAN LIM-LUA, petitioner, vs. DANILO Y. LUA, respondent.


[G.R. Nos. 175279-80. June 5, 2013.]

Page | 26

PONENTE: VILLARAMA, JR., J


FACTS:
1. Petitioner Susan Lim-Lua filed an action for the declaration of nullity of her marriage
with respondent Danilo Y. Lua, before the RTC of Cebu City. She prayed for support
pendent lite for her and their children.
2. The trial court granted the support. The respondent opposed asserting that the
petitioner is not entitled to spousal support considering that she does not maintain for
herself a separate dwelling for their children and the respondent has continued to
support the family for their sustenance and well-being in accordance with family's
social and financial standing. The trial court ordered that the support was final and
executor as the motion for reconsideration was treated as a mere scrap of paper for
violation of the three-day notice period under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
3. The respondent interposed appeal before the CA which ruled in his favor. The
petitioner moved for execution while respondent issued a check in the amount of
P162,651.90 payable to petitioner pursuant to CA decision where he deducted from
the amount of support in arrears (September 3, 2003 to March 2005) ordered by the
CA P2,185,000.00 plus P460,000.00 (April, May, June and July 2005), totalling
P2,645,000.00, the advances given by him to his children and petitioner in the sum of
P2,482,348.16 (with attached photocopies of receipts/billings). However, petitioner
opposed and asserted that none of the expenses deducted by respondent may be
chargeable as part of the monthly support contemplated by the decision.
4. The trial court ruled in favor of petitioners motion so the respondent went to CA
again for recourse which reversed the trial court decision. Hence, a petition was filed.
ISSUE: Whether the deductions advanced by respondents may be chargeable as part of monthly
support ordered by the court.
HELD: No.
Article 194 of the Family Code provides that support comprises everything indispensable
for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping
with the financial capacity of the family. Because of its provisional nature, a court does not need
to delve fully into the merits of the case before it can settle an application for this relief. All that
a court is tasked to do is determine the kind and amount of evidence which may suffice to enable
it to justly resolve the application. It is enough that the facts be established by affidavits or other
documentary evidence appearing in the record.
In this case, the amount of monthly support pendente lite for petitioner and her two
children was determined after due hearing and submission of documentary evidence by the
parties. Although the amount fixed by the trial court was reduced on appeal, it is clear that the
monthly support pendente lite of P115,000.00 ordered by the CA was intended primarily for the
sustenance of petitioner and her children, e.g., food, clothing, salaries of drivers and house
helpers, and other household expenses.
In determining support for the spouses, the court laid down the following guidelines:

Page | 27

a) In the absence of adequate provisions in a written agreement between the spouses, the
spouses may be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal
partnership.
b) The court may award support to either spouse in such amount and for such period of time
as the court may deem just and reasonable based on their standard of living during the
marriage.
c) The court may likewise consider the following factors:
(1) whether the spouse seeking support is the custodian of a child whose
circumstances make it appropriate for that spouse not to seek outside
employment;
(2) the time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable the
spouse seeking support to find appropriate employment, and that spouse's future
earning capacity;
(3) the duration of the marriage;
(4) the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their comparative
earning abilities in the labor market;
(5) the needs and obligations of each spouse;
(6) the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services rendered in
home-making, child care, education, and career building of the other spouse;
(7) the age and health of the spouses;
(8) the physical and emotional conditions of the spouses;
(9) the ability of the supporting spouse to give support, taking into account that
spouse's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard of
living; and
(10) any other factor the court may deem just and equitable.
d) The Family Court may direct the deduction of the provisional support from the salary of
the spouse.
With respect to support for children the rule provides that the common children of the
spouses shall be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal
partnership. In determining the amount of provisional support, the court may likewise consider
the following factors:
1. the financial resources of the custodial and non-custodial parent and those of the
child;
2. the physical and emotional health of the child and his or her special needs and
aptitudes;
3. the standard of living the child has been accustomed to;
4. the non-monetary contributions that the parents will make toward the care and wellbeing of the child.
The Court citing American jurisprudences likewise declared as a general rule to effect
support is when a father is required by a divorce decree to pay to the mother money for the
support of their dependent children and the unpaid and accrued installments become judgments
in her favor, he cannot, as a matter of law, claim credit on account of payments voluntarily made
directly to the children. However, special considerations of an equitable nature may justify a
court in crediting such payments on his indebtedness to the mother, when that can be done
without injustice to her.
Applying the above rule in this case, the CA should not have allowed all the expenses
incurred by respondent to be credited against the accrued support pendente lite because the
Page | 28

monthly support pendente lite granted by the trial court was intended primarily for food,
household expenses such as salaries of drivers and house helpers, and also petitioner's scoliosis
therapy sessions. Hence, the value of two expensive cars bought by respondent for his children
plus their maintenance cost, travel expenses of petitioner and Angelli, purchases through credit
card of items other than groceries and dry goods (clothing) should have been disallowed, as these
bear no relation to the judgment awarding support pendente lite. Even dispositive portion of the
executory decision of appellate court ordered respondent to pay the support in arrears "less than
the amount supposedly given by petitioner to the private respondent as her and their two (2)
children monthly support," the deductions should be limited to those basic needs and expenses
considered by the trial and appellate courts. The huge deductions from the accrued monthly
support of petitioner and her children, while correct insofar as it commends the generosity of the
respondent to his children, is clearly inconsistent with its executor decision. More important, it
completely ignores the unfair consequences to petitioner whose sustenance and well-being, was
given due regard by the trial and appellate courts.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. The Decision dated April
20, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP Nos. 01154 and 01315 is hereby MODIFIED to
read as follows:
"WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:
a) DISMISSING, for lack of merit, the case of Petition for Contempt of Court with
Damages filed by Susan Lim Lua against Danilo Y. Lua with docket no. SP. CA-G.R.
No. 01154;
b) GRANTING IN PART Danilo Y. Lua's Petition for Certiorari docketed as SP. CAG.R. No. 01315. Consequently, the assailed Orders dated 27 September 2005 and 25
November 2005 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Cebu City issued in Civil
Case No. CEB-29346 entitled "Susan Lim Lua versus Danilo Y. Lua, are hereby
NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE, and instead a new one is entered:
i. ORDERING the deduction of the amount of Php 648,102.29 from the support
pendente lite in arrears of Danilo Y. Lua to his wife, Susan Lim Lua and their two
(2) children;
ii. ORDERING Danilo Y. Lua to resume payment of his monthly support of
PhP115,000.00 pesos starting from the time payment of this amount was deferred
by him subject to the deduction aforementioned.
iii. DIRECTING the immediate execution of this judgment.

MINORU FUJIKI, petitioner, vs. MARIA PAZ GALELA MARINAY, SHINICHI


MAEKARA, LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF QUEZON CITY, and THE
Page | 29

ADMINISTRATOR AND CIVIL REGISTRAR GENERAL OF THE NATIONAL


STATISTICS OFFICE, respondents.
[G.R. No. 196049. June 26, 2013.]
PONENTE: CARPIO, J
FACTS:
5. Petitioner Minoru Fujiki (Fujiki) is a Japanese national married respondent Maria Paz
Galela Marinay (Marinay) in the Philippines on 23 January 2004.
6. The marriage broke up and she met Japanese, Shinichi Maekara. Without the first
marriage being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara were married on 15 May 2008 in
Quezon City (second marriage). Maekara brought Marinay to Japan. However; the latter
left Maekara and they were able to reestablish their relationship. In 2010, Marinay with
the help of petitioner obtain a judgment from a family court in Japan which declared the
marriage between second marriage void on the ground of bigamy.
7. Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: "Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or
Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)." Fujiki prayed that (1) the Japanese Family
Court judgment be recognized; (2) 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; 5 and (3) for the RTC to direct the Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City to
annotate the Japanese Family Court judgment on the Certificate of Marriage between
Marinay and Maekara and to endorse such annotation to the Office of the Administrator
and Civil Registrar General in the National Statistics Office (NSO).
8. The Regional Trial Court dismissed the petition. Fujiki moved that the Order be
reconsidered but was denied. Hence a petition for review was brought before the
Supreme Court.
ISSUES:
4. Whether the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment
of Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) is applicable.
5. Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to recognize a foreign
judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his or her spouse and a foreign
citizen on the ground of bigamy.
6. Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the foreign judgment in a proceeding for
cancellation or correction of entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of
Court.

HELD:
4. No.
The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of
Voidable Marriages (A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC) does not apply in a petition to recognize a foreign
judgment relating to the status of a marriage where one of the parties is a citizen of a foreign
country. In the case of Juliano-Llave v. Republic, the Court held that the rule in A.M. No. 02-11-

Page | 30

10-SC that only the husband or wife can file a declaration of nullity or annulment of marriage
"does not apply if the reason behind the petition is bigamy."
Moreover, a petition to recognize a foreign judgment declaring a marriage void does not
require relitigation under a Philippine court of the case as if it were a new petition for declaration
of nullity of marriage. Philippine courts cannot presume to know the foreign laws under which
the foreign judgment was rendered. They cannot substitute their judgment on the status,
condition and legal capacity of the foreign citizen who is under the jurisdiction of another state.
Thus, Philippine courts can only recognize the foreign judgment as a fact according to the rules
of evidence.
Philippine courts exercise limited review on foreign judgments. Courts are not allowed to
delve into the merits of a foreign judgment. Once a foreign judgment is admitted and proven in a
Philippine court, it can only be repelled on grounds external to its merits, i.e., "want of
jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact." The
rule on limited review embodies the policy of efficiency and the protection of party expectations,
as well as respecting the jurisdiction of other states.
In this case, there is no reason to disallow Fujiki to simply prove as a fact the Japanese
Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of
bigamy because while the Philippines has no divorce law, the Japanese Family Court judgment is
fully consistent with Philippine public policy, as bigamous marriages are declared void from the
beginning under Article 35 (4) of the Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349 of the
Revised Penal Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the Japanese Family Court
judgment in accordance with Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48 (b)
of the Rules of Court.
5. Yes.
The interest derives from the substantive right of the spouse is 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. Further, 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 wife" it 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.. If
anyone can file a criminal action which leads to the declaration of nullity of a bigamous
marriage, there is more reason to confer personality to sue on the husband or the wife of a
subsisting marriage. The prior spouse does not only share in the public interest of prosecuting
and preventing crimes, he is also personally interested in the purely civil aspect of protecting his
marriage.
Also, 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. Being a real party in
interest, the prior spouse is entitled to sue in order to declare a bigamous marriage void. For this
Page | 31

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.
Thus, 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.
6. Yes.
The principle in the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code applies because
the foreign spouse, after the foreign judgment nullifying the marriage, is capacitated to remarry
under the laws of his or her country. If the foreign judgment is not recognized in the Philippines,
the Filipino spouse will be discriminated the foreign spouse can remarry while the Filipino
spouse cannot remarry. Under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code, Philippine
courts are empowered to correct a situation where the Filipino spouse is still tied to the marriage
while the foreign spouse is free to marry. The Filipino spouse has the option to undergo full trial
by filing a petition for declaration of nullity of marriage under A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC, but this is
not the only remedy available to him or her. Philippine courts have jurisdiction to recognize a
foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage, without prejudice to a criminal prosecution for
bigamy.
Upon recognition of the foreign judgment, this right becomes conclusive and the
judgment serves as the basis for the correction or cancellation of entry in the civil registry. The
recognition of the foreign judgment nullifying a bigamous marriage is a subsequent event that
establishes a new status, right and fact that needs to be reflected in the civil registry. Otherwise,
there will be an inconsistency between the recognition of the effectivity of the foreign judgment
and the public records in the Philippines.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition. The Order dated 31 January 2011 and
the Resolution dated 2 March 2011 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 107, Quezon City, in
Civil Case No. Q-11-68582 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Regional Trial Court
is ORDERED to REINSTATE the petition for further proceedings in accordance with this
Decision.

Page | 32

OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, petitioner, vs. JUDGE ANATALIO S.


NECESSARIO, Branch 2; JUDGE GIL R. ACOSTA, Branch 3; JUDGE ROSABELLA M.
TORMIS, Branch 4; and JUDGE EDGEMELO C. ROSALES, Branch 8; all of MTCCCebu City; CELESTE P. RETUYA, Clerk III, MTCC Branch 6, Cebu City; CORAZON P.
RETUYA, Court Stenographer, MTCC, Branch 6, Cebu City; RHONA F. RODRIGUEZ,
Administrative Officer I, Office of the Clerk of Court, Regional Trial Court (RTC) Cebu
City; EMMA D. VALENCIA, Court Stenographer III, RTC, Branch 18, Cebu City;
MARILOU CABANEZ, Court Stenographer, MTCC, Branch 4, Cebu City; DESIDERIO
S. ARANAS, Process Server, MTCC, Branch 3, Cebu City; REBECCA ALESNA, Court
Interpreter, MTCC, Branch 1, Cebu City; and HELEN MONGGAYA, Court
Stenographer, MTCC, Branch 4, Cebu City, respondents.
[A.M. No. MTJ-07-1691. April 2, 2013.]
PER CURIAM
FACTS: This is an administrative case that stemmed from the Memorandum of the Office of the
Court Administrator (OCA). The judicial audit team created by the OCA reported alleged
irregularities in the solemnization of marriages in several branches of the Municipal Trial Court
in Cities (MTCC) and Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City. Certain package fees were
offered to interested parties by "fixers" or "facilitators" for instant marriages.
ISSUE:
1. Whether the respondent judges and court personnel should be held guilty.
2. Whether the ascertainment of the validity of marriage license is beyond the scope of the
solemnizing officer.
HELD:
1. Yes.
To summarize, the liabilities of the judges are the following:
First, Judges Necessario, Tormis and Rosales solemnized marriages even if the
requirements submitted by the couples were incomplete and of questionable character. Most of
these documents showed visible signs of tampering, erasures, corrections or superimpositions of
entries related to the parties' place of residence. These included indistinguishable features such as
the font, font size, and ink of the computer-printed entries in the marriage certificate and
marriage license. These actions of the respondent judges constitute gross inefficiency. In Vega v.
Page | 33

Asdala, the Court held that inefficiency implies negligence, incompetence, ignorance, and
carelessness.
Second, the judges were also found guilty of neglect of duty regarding the payment of
solemnization fees. The Court, in Rodrigo-Ebron v. Adolfo, defined neglect of duty as the failure
to give one's attention to a task expected of him and it is gross when, from the gravity of the
offense or the frequency of instances, the offense is so serious in its character as to endanger or
threaten public welfare. The marriage documents examined by the audit team show that
corresponding official receipts for the solemnization fee were missing or payment by batches
was made for marriages performed on different dates. The OCA emphasizes that the payment of
the solemnization fee starts off the whole marriage application process and even puts a "stamp of
regularity" on the process.
Third, Judges Necessario, Tormis, and Rosales also solemnized marriages where a
contracting party is a foreigner who did not submit a certificate of legal capacity to marry from
his or her embassy. What the foreigners submitted were mere affidavits stating their capacity to
marry. The irregularity in the certificates of legal capacity that are required under Article 21 of
the Family Code displayed the gross neglect of duty of the judges. They should have been
diligent in scrutinizing the documents required for the marriage license issuance. Any
irregularities would have been prevented in the qualifications of parties to contract marriage.
Fourth, Judges Necessario, Acosta, and Tormis are likewise guilty of gross ignorance of
the law under Article 34 of the Family Code with respect to the marriages they solemnized where
legal impediments existed during cohabitation such as the minority status of one party. The audit
team cites in their Supplemental Report that there were parties whose ages ranged from eighteen
(18) to twenty-two (22) years old who were married by their submission of a pro forma joint
affidavit of cohabitation. These affidavits were notarized by the solemnizing judge himself or
herself.
Finally, positive testimonies were also given regarding the solemnization of marriages of
some couples where no marriage license was previously issued. The contracting parties were
made to fill up the application for a license on the same day the marriage was solemnized.
2. No.
The presumption of regularity accorded to a marriage license disappears the moment the
marriage documents do not appear regular on its face. As a rule the solemnizing officer is not
duty-bound to investigate whether or not a marriage license has been duly and regularly issued
by the local civil registrar. The solemnizing officer needs to know is that the license has been
issued by the competent official, and it may be presumed from the issuance of the license that
said official has fulfilled the duty to ascertain whether the contracting parties had fulfilled the
requirements of law. (People v. Jansen) However, "the presumption of regularity of official acts
may be rebutted by affirmative evidence of irregularity or failure to perform a duty." The visible
superimpositions on the marriage licenses should have alerted the solemnizing judges to the
irregularity of the issuance. (Sevilla v. Cardenas)
Although Article 21 of the Family Code requires the submission of the certificate from
the embassy of the foreign party to the local registrar for acquiring a marriage license, the judges
should have been more diligent in reviewing the parties' documents and qualifications because
the absence of the required certificates coupled with the presence of mere affidavits should have
aroused suspicion as to the regularity of the marriage license issuance. Also, the respondent
Judges solemnized marriages under Article 34 of the Family Code without the required
Page | 34

qualifications and with the existence of legal impediments such as minority of a party. Marriages
of exceptional character such as those made under Article 34 are, doubtless, the exceptions to the
rule on the indispensability of the formal requisite of a marriage license. The affidavits of
cohabitation should not be issued and accepted pro forma particularly in view of the settled
rulings of the Court on this matter. The five-year period of cohabitation should be one of a
perfect union valid under the law but rendered imperfect only by the absence of the marriage
contract. The parties should have been capacitated to marry each other during the entire period
and not only at the time of the marriage.
Further, the absence of a marriage license will clearly render a marriage void ab initio.
The actions of the judges have raised a very alarming issue regarding the validity of the
marriages they solemnized since they did not follow the proper procedure or check the required
documents and qualifications. In Aranes v. Judge Salvador Occiano, the Court said that a
marriage solemnized without a marriage license is void and the subsequent issuance of the
license cannot render valid or add even an iota of validity to the marriage. It is the marriage
license that gives the solemnizing officer the authority to solemnize a marriage and the act of
solemnizing the marriage without a license constitutes gross ignorance of the law.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Court finds respondents:
1.
Judge Anatalio S. Necessario, Presiding Judge, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 2,
Cebu City, GUILTY of gross inefficiency or neglect of duty and of gross ignorance of the law
and that he be DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of his retirement benefits,
except leave credits, if any, and that he be disqualified from reinstatement or appointment to any
public office, including government-owned or -controlled corporation;
2.
Judge Gil R. Acosta, Presiding Judge, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 3, Cebu
City, GUILTY of gross inefficiency or neglect of duty and of gross ignorance of the law and that
he be DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of his retirement benefits, except
leave credits, if any, and that he be disqualified from reinstatement or appointment to any public
office, including government-owned or -controlled corporation;
3.
Judge Rosabella M. Tormis, Presiding Judge, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 4,
Cebu City, GUILTY of gross inefficiency or neglect of duty and of gross ignorance of the law
and that she would have been DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of her
retirement benefits, except leave credits, if any, and disqualified from reinstatement or
appointment to any public office, including government-owned or -controlled corporation, had
she not been previously dismissed from service in A.M. No. MTJ-12-1817 (Formerly A.M. No.
09-2-30-MTCC);
4.
Judge Edgemelo C. Rosales, Presiding Judge, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 8,
Cebu City, GUILTY of gross inefficiency or neglect of duty and of gross ignorance of the law
and that he be DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of his retirement benefits,
except leave credits, if any, and that he be disqualified from reinstatement or appointment to any
public office, including government-owned or -controlled corporation;
5.
Helen Mongaya, Court Interpreter, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 4, Cebu City,
GUILTY of violating Section 2, Canon I of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel and that she
be DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of her retirement benefits, except leave
credits, if any, and that she be disqualified from reinstatement or appointment to any public
office, including government-owned or -controlled corporation;
Page | 35

6.
Rhona F. Rodriguez, Administrative Officer I, Office of the Clerk of Court, Regional
Trial Court, Cebu City, GUILTY of gross misconduct for Section 2, Canon I of the Code of
Conduct for Court Personnel and for inducing Maricel Albater to falsify the application for
marriage and that she be DISMISSED FROM THE SERVICE with forfeiture of her retirement
benefits, except leave credits, if any, and that she be disqualified from reinstatement or
appointment to any public office, including government-owned or -controlled corporation;
7.
Desiderio S. Aranas, Process Server, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 3, Cebu
City, GUILTY of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and that he be
SUSPENDED without pay for a period of six (6) months with a warning that a similar offense
shall be dealt with more severely;
8.
Rebecca Alesna, Court Interpreter, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 1, Cebu City,
GUILTY of conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and of violating Section 2 (b),
Canon III of the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel and that she be SUSPENDED without pay
for a period of six (6) months with a warning that a similar offense shall be dealt with more
severely;
9.
Celeste Retuya, Clerk III, Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 6, Cebu City, and
Emma Valencia, Stenographer III, Regional Trial Court, Branch 18, Cebu City, GUILTY of
conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service and of violating Section 2 (b), Canon III of
the Code of Conduct for Court Personnel and that they be ADMONISHED with a warning that a
similar offense shall be dealt with more severely;
The complaints against Judge Geraldine Faith A. Econg, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court,
Branch 9, Cebu City; Corazon P. Retuya, Court Stenographer, Municipal Trial Court in Cities,
Branch 6, Cebu City; and Marilou Cabaez, Court Stenographer, Municipal Trial Court in Cities,
are DISMISSED for lack of merit.
The case against Judge Rosabella M. Tormis, including the sworn statements of Celerina Plaza
and Crisanto dela Cerna, should be REFERRED to the Office of the Bar Confidant for the
purpose of initiating disbarment proceedings against the judge.
The Honorable Mayors of Barili, Cebu and Liloan, Cebu, are to be furnished copies of the
Supplemental Report dated 14 August 2007 and are ADVISED to conduct an investigation with
respect to the statements of Filomena C. Lopez, Civil Registrar of Barili, Cebu, and Bonita I.
Pilones, Civil Registrar of Liloan, Cebu, regarding the processing of marriage licenses and to
take the necessary action as the findings of the investigation may warrant.
Let a copy of this Decision be included in the respondents' files that are with the Office of the
Bar Confidant and distributed to all courts and to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Page | 36

ESTRELLA ADUAN ORPIANO, petitioner, vs. SPOUSES ANTONIO C. TOMAS and


MYRNA U. TOMAS, respondents.
[G.R. No. 178611. January 14, 2013.]
PONENTE: DEL CASTILLO, J
FACTS:
1. Estrella Aduan Orpiano, the Petitioner and the widow of Alejandro Orpiano (Alejandro)
was the owner of conjugal lot in Quezon which was sold by latter pursuant to the
authority granted by Juvenile and domestic Relations Court declaring petitioner as an
absentee spouse. Respondent spouses were the buyer of the subject lot and new title was
issued in their name despite the alleged failure to pay the purchase price.
2. Alejandro filed a collection case before the RTC of Quezon City for the collection of the
balance of the price which was supposedly left unpaid by the respondents.
3. During the pendency of the collection case, Alejandro passed away. His heirs, Estrella
included, were substituted in his stead in the collection case and moved to amend the
Complaint to one for rescission/annulment of sale and cancellation of title but was
denied.
4. Thereafter, Estrella filed annulment of the sale. The trial court ruled in favor of the
respondents. On appeal, the CA likewise dismissed her petition.
ISSUE: Whether the sale of the conjugal lot was valid?
HELD: No.
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.
However, the petitioner mistakenly used the available remedies provided by law.

Page | 37

In this case, Estrella as plaintiff though merely succeeding to Alejandro's rights was an
indispensable party whom 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 husband's rights, even as she must protect her
separate conjugal share from Alejandro's 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. Thus, Estrella cannot 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 because this amounts to 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
Estrella's conjugal share.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is DENIED for lack of merit.

Page | 38

PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. EDGARDO V. ODTUHAN, respondent.


[G.R. No. 191566. July 17, 2013.]
PONENETE: PERALTA, J
FACTS:
1. In 1980, Edgardo Odtuhan (respondent) married Jasmin Modina . In 1993, the respondent
again contracted marriage with Eleanor A. Alagon while the first marriage was subsisting.
2. In 1994, he filed a petition for annulment of his marriage with Modina and in 1999 the
first marriage was declared a void ab initio for lack of a valid marriage license. On
November 10, 2003, Alagon died but before his death he was charged of bigamy on June
2003.

3. In 2008, respondent moved for the quashal of the information on two grounds; (1) that
the facts do not charge the offense of bigamy; and (2) that the criminal action or liability
has been extinguished. It was denied but on appeal before the CA, it was reversed.
ISSUE: Whether the respondent should not be held liable of the crime of bigamy because it was
filed only after the first marriage was declared null and void.
HELD: No.
It is well settled rule that criminal culpability attaches to the offender upon the
commission of the offense and from that instant, liability appends to him until extinguished as
provided by law and that the time of filing of the criminal complaint or information is material
only for determining prescription.
To conclude, the issue on the declaration of nullity of the marriage between petitioner and
respondent only after the latter contracted the subsequent marriage is, therefore, immaterial for
the purpose of establishing that the facts alleged in the information for Bigamy does not
constitute an offense. Following the same rationale, neither may such defense be interposed by
the respondent in his motion to quash by way of exception to the established rule that facts
contrary to the allegations in the information are matters of defense which may be raised only
during the presentation of evidence.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The Court of Appeals
Decision dated December 17, 2009 and Resolution dated March 4, 2010 in CA-G.R. SP No.
108616 are SET ASIDE. Criminal Case No. 05-235814 is REMANDED to the Regional Trial
Court of Manila, Branch 27 for further proceedings.

Page | 39

IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF MINOR SHANG


KO VINGSON YU SHIRLY VINGSON @ SHIRLY VINGSON DEMAISIP, petitioner, vs.
JOVY CABCABAN, respondent.
[UDK No. 14817. January 13, 2014.]
PONENTE: ABAD, J
FACTS:
1. Petitioner Shirly Vingson filed a petition for habeas corpus against respondent Cabcaban
and the unnamed officers of Calvary Kids before the Court of Appeals alleging that
Shang Ko Vingson Yu (Shang Ko), her 14-year-old daughter, ran away from home on
September 23, 2011.
2. On November 2, 2011, Shirly went to the police station in Bacolod City upon receipt of
information that Shang Ko was in the custody of respondent Jovy Cabcaban (Cabcaban),
a police officer in that station. Since Cabcaban refused to release Shang Ko to her, Shirly
sought the help of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to rescue her child. An NBI
agent, Arnel Pura (Pura), informed Shirly that Shang Ko was no longer with Cabcaban
but was staying with a private organization called Calvary Kids. Pura told her, however,
that the child was fine and had been attending school.
3. This prompted petitioner Shirly to file a petition for habeas corpus against respondent
Cabcaban and the unnamed officers of Calvary Kids before the CA rather than the
Regional Trial Court of Bacolod City citing as reason several threats against her life in
that city.
ISSUE: Whether the petition for habeas corpus was proper?
HELD: Yes.
Under Section 1, Rule 102 of the Rules of Court, the writ of habeas corpus is available,
not only in cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any person is deprived of his
liberty, but also in cases involving the rightful custody over a minor. The general rule is that
parents should have custody over their minor children. But the State has the right to intervene
where the parents, rather than care for such children, treat them cruelly and abusively, impairing
their growth and well-being and leaving them emotional scars that they carry throughout their
lives unless they are liberated from such parents and properly counseled.
In this case, the Court considered the presumption that the police authorities acted
regularly in placing Shang Ko in the custody of Calvary Kids, and remanded to the Family Court
of Bacolod City the adjudication of the custody case given that all the parties are residents of the
city.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Court SETS ASIDE the Court of Appeals Resolutions in
CA-G.R. SP 07261 dated December 18, 2012 and January 8, 2013 and ORDERS this custody
case forwarded to the Family Court of Bacolod City for hearing and adjudication as the evidence

Page | 40

warrants. Meantime until such court orders otherwise let the minor Shang Ko Vingson remain in
the custody of Calvary Kids of Bacolod City.

Further the Court ORDERS petitioner Shirly Vingson Shirly Vingson Demaisip to pay the
balance of the docket and other legal fees within 10 days from receipt of this Resolution.

PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, petitioner, vs. JOSE GARCIA and children NORA
GARCIA, JOSE GARCIA, JR., BOBBY GARCIA AND JIMMY GARCIA and HEIRS OF
ROGELIO GARCIA namely: CELEDONIO GARCIA, DANILO GARCIA, ELSA
GARCIA, FERMIN GARCIA, HEHERSON GARCIA, GREGORIO GARCIA, IMELDA
GARCIA and JANE GARCIA, respondents.
[ G.R. No. 182839, June 02, 2014.]
PONENTE: BRION, J.
FACTS:
Page | 41

1. The subject of the case is a parcel of residential land with all its improvements (subject
property) under the name of Jose Garcia Sr. who acquired the subject property during his
marriage with Ligaya Garcia.
2. Ligaya died on January 21, 1987. The marriage of Jose Sr. and Ligaya produced the
following children: Nora, Jose Jr., Bobby and Jimmy, all surnamed Garcia, (respondents).
Spouses Jose Jr. Garcia obtained a loan expressly authorized by the father (Jose Sr.) from
petitioner bank secured by the subject property. They failed to pay the loan.
3. The Respondents filed an annulment of Real Estate Mortgage because Nora, Jose Jr.,
Bobby and Jimmy as they were not parties to the contract and alleged that the subject
property was a conjugal property of Jose Sr. and his deceased spouse, Ligaya, as they
acquired the subject property during their marriage; that upon Ligayas death, Jose Sr.,
together with his children Nora, Jose Jr., Bobby and Jimmy, by law, became owners pro
indiviso of the subject property; that the petitioner bank was at fault for not including
Jose Sr. as payee to the check representing the loan despite its knowledge that Jose Sr.
was a signatory to the real estate mortgage; that the real estate mortgage executed by Jose
Sr. could not bind his children as they did not give their consent or approval to the
encumbrance; and that the real estate mortgage was also void as to Jose Sr. since he never
benefitted from the loan.
4. The trial court ruled for respondents and was affirmed by the CA on appeal. Hence, the
petition was filed before the SC.
ISSUE: Whether the property was conjugal?
HELD: Yes.
Since Jose Sr. and Ligaya were married prior to the effectivity of the Family Code, their
property relations were governed by the conjugal partnership of gains as provided under Article
119 of the Civil Code. Under Article 160 of the Civil Code, all property of the marriage is
presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it can be proven that it pertains
exclusively to the husband or to the wife.
In this case, during the testimony on trial Jose Sr. said that the property was bought by
them during the existence of their marriage. Because of the petitioner banks failure to rebut the
allegation that the subject property was acquired during the formers marriage to Ligaya, the
legal presumption of the conjugal nature of the property, in line with Article 160 of the Civil
Code, applies to this property. Proof of the subject propertys acquisition during the subsistence
of marriage suffices to render the statutory presumption operative.
Registration of a property alone in the name of one spouse does not destroy its conjugal
nature. What is material is the time when the property was acquired.The registration of the
property is not conclusive evidence of the exclusive ownership of the husband or the wife.
Although the property appears to be registered in the name of the husband, it has the inherent
character of conjugal property if it was acquired for valuable consideration during marriage.[10]
It retains its conjugal nature.
Upon the death of Ligaya on January 21, 1987, the conjugal partnership was
automatically dissolved and terminated pursuant to Article 175(1) of the Civil Code,[13] and the
successional rights of her heirs vest, as provided under Article 777 of the Civil Code, which
Page | 42

states that [t]he rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the
decedent.
The conjugal partnership was converted into an implied ordinary co-ownership between
the surviving spouse, on the one hand, and the heirs of the deceased, on the other. This resulting
ordinary co-ownership among the heirs is governed by Article 493 of the Civil Code which
provides that each co-owner has the full ownership of his part or share in the co-ownership and
may, therefore, alienate, assign or mortgage it except when personal rights are involved. Should a
co-owner alienate or mortgage the co-owned property itself, the alienation or mortgage shall
remain valid but only to the extent of the portion which may be allotted to him in the division
upon the termination of the co-ownership.
In this case, Jose Sr. constituted the mortgage over the entire subject property after the
death of Ligaya, but before the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. While under Article 493
of the Civil Code, even if he had the right to freely mortgage or even sell his undivided interest
in the disputed property, he could not dispose of or mortgage the entire property without his
childrens consent. As correctly emphasized by the trial court, Jose Sr.s right in the subject
property is limited only to his share in the conjugal partnership as well as his share as an heir on
the other half of the estate which is his deceased spouses share. Accordingly, the mortgage
contract is void insofar as it extends to the undivided shares of his children (Nora, Jose Jr.,
Bobby and Jimmy) because they did not give their consent to the transaction.
Thus, the Real Estate Mortgage constituted by Jose Sr. over the entire property without
his co-owners consent is not necessarily void in its entirety. The right of the petitioner bank as
mortgagee is limited though only to the portion which may be allotted to Jose Sr. in the event of
a division and liquidation of the subject property.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, we hereby AFFIRM the Decision
dated September 26, 2007of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 71356. Costs against
petitioner Philippine National Bank.

Page | 43

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. RODOLFO O. DE GRACIA,


respondent.
[G.R. No. 171557. February 12, 2014.]
PONENTE: PERLAS-BERNABE, J
FACTS:
1. Rodolfo and Natividad were married on February 15, 1969. On 1998, Rodolfo filed a
verified complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage before the RTC alleging that
Natividad was psychologically incapacitated to comply with her essential marital
obligations.
2.

In support to his complaint, Rodolfo testified that he was forced to marry her barely
three (3) months into their courtship in light of her accidental pregnancy. At the time of
their marriage, he was 21 years old, while Natividad was 18 years of age. He had no
stable job and merely worked in the gambling cockpits as "kristo" and "bangkero sa
hantak."

3. When he decided to join and training with the army, Natividad left their conjugal home
and sold their house without his consent. Thereafter, Natividad moved to Dipolog City
where she lived with a certain Engineer Terez (Terez), and bore him a child named Julie
Ann Terez.
4. After cohabiting with Terez, Natividad contracted a second marriage on January 11, 1991
with another man named Antonio Mondarez and has lived since then with the latter in
Cagayan de Oro City. From the time Natividad abandoned them in 1972, Rodolfo was
left to take care of their children and he exerted earnest efforts to save their marriage
which, however, proved futile because of Natividad's psychological incapacity that
appeared to be incurable.
5. The second evidence presented was the psychiatric evaluation report, Dr. Zalsos stated
that both Rodolfo and Natividad were psychologically incapacitated to comply with the
essential marital obligations, finding that both parties suffered from "utter emotional
immaturity [which] is unusual and unacceptable behavior considered [as] deviant from
persons who abide by established norms of conduct.
6.

The trial court ruled that the marriage was void and it was affirmed by the CA. The
Republic filed the petition.

ISSUE: Whether the marriage is valid?


HELD: Yes.
Page | 44

"Psychological incapacity," as a ground to nullify a marriage under Article 36 32 of the


Family Code, should refer to no less than a mental not merely physical incapacity that
causes a party to be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be
assumed and discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article 68 of the
Family Code, among others, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love,
respect and fidelity and render help and support. Psychological incapacity must be characterized
by: (a) gravity (i.e., it must be grave and serious such that the party would be incapable of
carrying out the ordinary duties required in a marriage); (b) juridical antecedence (i.e., it must be
rooted in the history of the party antedating the marriage, although the overt manifestations may
emerge only after the marriage); and (c) incurability (i.e., it must be incurable, or even if it were
otherwise, the cure would be beyond the means of the party involved). In the case of Dedel v.
CA, the Court held that therein respondent's emotional immaturity and irresponsibility could not
be equated with psychological incapacity as it was not shown that these acts are manifestations
of a disordered personality which make her completely unable to discharge the essential marital
obligations of the marital state, not merely due to her youth, immaturity or sexual promiscuity.
In the same light, the Court, in the case of Pesca v. Pesca (Pesca), ruled against a declaration of
nullity, as petitioner therein "utterly failed, both in her allegations in the complaint and in her
evidence, to make out a case of psychological incapacity on the part of respondent, let alone at
the time of solemnization of the contract, so as to warrant a declaration of nullity of the
marriage," significantly noting that the "[e]motional immaturity and irresponsibility, invoked by
her, cannot be equated with psychological incapacity."
Applying the above principles and jurisprudences the Court ruled that based on the
evidence presented, there exists insufficient factual or legal basis to conclude that Natividad's
emotional immaturity, irresponsibility, or even sexual promiscuity, can be equated with
psychological incapacity.
In this case, the trial court relied heavily on the report of psychologist, however, the
report does not explain in reasonable detail how Natividad's condition could be characterized as
grave, deeply-rooted, and incurable within the parameters of psychological incapacity
jurisprudence. Aside from failing to disclose the types of psychological tests which she
administered on Natividad, Dr. Zalsos failed to identify in her report the root cause of Natividad's
condition and to show that it existed at the time of the parties' marriage. Neither was the gravity
or seriousness of Natividad's behavior in relation to her failure to perform the essential marital
obligations sufficiently described in Dr. Zalsos's report. Further, the finding contained therein on
the incurability of Natividad's condition remains unsupported by any factual or scientific basis
and, appears to be drawn out as a bare conclusion and even self-serving. Thus, the marriage was
valid.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision dated June 2, 2005
and Resolution dated February 3, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 69103 are
REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Accordingly, the complaint for declaration of nullity of marriage
filed under Article 36 of the Family Code is DISMISSED.
.

Page | 45

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. LIBERTY D. ALBIOS, respondent.


[G.R. No. 198780. October 16, 2013.]
PONENTE: MENDOZA, J
FACTS:
1. On 2004, Fringer, an American citizen, and Liberty Albios (respondent) were married
before Judge Ofelia I. Calo of the MTC.
2. On 2006, Albios filed with the RTC a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage
with Fringer alleging 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 and it was a jest
marriage.
3. The trial court declared the marriage void ab initio and it was affirmed by the CA. Hence,
the petition filed by the Republic.
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?

Page | 46

HELD: No. Article 2 of the Family Code provides that 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 rule the respondent's 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. Thus, there was 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.
Although the Court views with disdain the respondent's attempt to utilize marriage for
dishonest purposes, it cannot declare the marriage void. Hence, though the respondent's marriage
may be considered a sham or fraudulent for the purposes of immigration, it is not void ab initio
and continues to be valid and subsisting. Neither can their marriage be considered voidable on
the ground of fraud under Article 45 (3) of the Family Code. Only the circumstances listed under
Article 46 of the same Code may constitute fraud. Entering into a marriage for the sole purpose
of evading immigration laws does not qualify under any of the listed circumstances.
Furthermore, under Article 47 (3), the ground of fraud may only be brought by the injured or
innocent party. In the present case, there is no injured party because Albios and Fringer both
conspired to enter into the sham marriage. Albios has indeed made a mockery of the sacred
institution of marriage and to allow her marriage to be declared void would only further
trivialize this inviolable institution. Thus, the marriage was valid.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The September 29, 2011 Decision
of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 95414 is ANNULLED, and Civil Case No. 1134-06
is DISMISSED for utter lack of merit.

Page | 47

Page | 48

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. CESAR ENCELAN, respondent.


[G.R. No. 170022. January 9, 2013.]
PONENTE: BRION, J
FACTS:
1. On 1979, Cesar married Lolita and the union bore two children, Maricar and Manny.
To support his family, Cesar went to work in Saudi Arabia on 1984.
2. On 1986, Cesar, while still in Saudi Arabia, learned that Lolita had been having an illicit
affair with Alvin Perez. Sometime in 1991, Lolita allegedly left the conjugal home with
her children and lived with Alvin. Since then, Cesar and Lolita had been separated.
3. On 1995, Cesar filed with the RTC a petition against Lolita for the declaration of the
nullity of his marriage based on Lolita's psychological incapacity.
4. The trial court declared the marriage void while the CA reversed the trial court.
Respondent sought reconsideration and affirmed the RTC's decision. The OSG then filed
the petition.
ISSUE: Whether there exists sufficient basis to nullify Cesar's marriage to Lolita on the ground
of psychological incapacity.
HELD: No.
Article 36 of the Family Code governs psychological incapacity as a ground for
declaration of nullity of marriage. As consistently held by the Court psychological incapacity
contemplates "downright incapacity or inability to take cognizance of and to assume the basic
marital obligations"; not merely the refusal, neglect or difficulty, much less ill will, on the part
of the errant spouse. The plaintiff bears the burden of proving the juridical antecedence (i.e., the
existence at the time of the celebration of marriage), gravity and incurability of the condition of
the errant spouse.
In this case, Cesar's testimony failed to prove Lolita's alleged psychological incapacity.
Cesar testified on the dates when he learned of Lolita's alleged affair and her subsequent
abandonment of their home, as well as his continued financial support to her and their children
even after he learned of the affair, but he merely mentioned in passing Lolita's alleged affair with
Alvin and her abandonment of the conjugal dwelling. Second, sexual infidelity and abandonment
of the conjugal dwelling, even if true, do not necessarily constitute psychological incapacity;
these are simply grounds for legal separation. To constitute psychological incapacity, it must be
shown that the unfaithfulness and abandonment are manifestations of a disordered personality
that completely prevented the erring spouse from discharging the essential marital obligations.
Page | 49

No evidence on record exists to support Cesar's allegation that Lolita's infidelity and
abandonment were manifestations of any psychological illness. Third, 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. The findings are mere generalization unsupported by facts and are, in
fact, a rash conclusion that the Court cannot support. Thus, the marriage was valid.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition and SET ASIDE the October 7, 2005
amended decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 75583. Accordingly, we
DISMISS respondent Cesar Encelan's petition for declaration of nullity of his marriage to Lolita
Castillo-Encelan.

Page | 50

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. MARIA FE ESPINOSA CANTOR,


respondent.
[G.R. No. 184621. December 10, 2013.]
PONENTE: BRION, J
FACTS:
1. Maria Fe Espinosa Cantor (respondent) and Jerry were married on September 20, 1997.
They lived together as husband and wife in their conjugal property.
2. Sometime in January 1998, the couple had a violent quarrel brought about by: (1) the
respondent's inability to reach "sexual climax" whenever she and Jerry would have
intimate moments; and (2) Jerry's expression of animosity toward the respondent's father.
Page | 51

After their quarrel, Jerry left their conjugal dwelling and this was the last time that the
respondent ever saw him. Since then, she had not seen, communicated nor heard anything
from Jerry or about his whereabouts.
3. On May 21, 2002, or more than four (4) years from the time of Jerry's disappearance, the
respondent filed before the RTC a petition for her husband's declaration of presumptive
death. The trial court granted the petition and it was affirmed by the CA.
ISSUE: Whether the declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of
the Family Code was proper.
HELD: Yes.
Before a judicial declaration of presumptive death can be obtained, it must be shown that
the prior spouse had been absent for four consecutive years and the present spouse had a wellfounded belief that the prior spouse was already dead. Under Article 41 of the Family Code,
there are four (4) essential requisites for the declaration of presumptive death;
a) that the absent spouse has been missing for four consecutive years, or two
consecutive years if the disappearance occurred where there is danger of death
under the circumstances laid down in Article 391, Civil Code;
b) That the present spouse wishes to remarry;
c) That the present spouse has a well-founded belief that the absentee is dead; and
d) That the present spouse files a summary proceeding for the declaration of
presumptive death of the absentee.
The burden of proof rests on the present spouse to show that all the requisites under
Article 41 of the Family Code are present and the time required for the presumption to arise has
been shortened to four (4) years; however, there is need for a judicial declaration of presumptive
death to enable the spouse present to remarry. Thus, mere absence of the spouse (even for such
period required by the law), lack of any news that such absentee is still alive, failure to
communicate or general presumption of absence under the Civil Code would not suffice. This
conclusion proceeds from the premise that Article 41 of the Family Code places upon the present
spouse the burden of proving the additional and more stringent requirement of "well-founded
belief" which can only be discharged upon a showing of proper and honest-to-goodness inquiries
and efforts to ascertain not only the absent spouse's whereabouts but, more importantly, that the
absent spouse is still alive or is already dead.
In the case of Republic of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, the Court provided the
following criteria for determining the existence of a "well-founded belief" under Article 41 of the
Family Code: 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 wellfounded 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 [the] present spouse.
In case at bar, respondent's "well-founded belief" was anchored on her alleged "earnest
efforts" to locate Jerry, which consisted of the following:
(1) She made inquiries about Jerry's whereabouts from her in-laws, neighbors and
friends; and

Page | 52

(2) Whenever she went to a hospital, she saw to it that she looked through the
patients' directory, hoping to find Jerry.
The Court held that these efforts, however, fell short of the "stringent standard" and
degree of diligence required by jurisprudence for the following reasons:
1. First, the respondent did not actively look for her missing husband. It can be inferred
from the records that her hospital visits and her consequent checking of the patients'
directory therein were unintentional. She did not purposely undertake a diligent search
for her husband as her hospital visits were not planned nor primarily directed to look for
him. This Court thus considers these attempts insufficient to engender a belief that her
husband is dead.
2. Second, she did not report Jerry's absence to the police nor did she seek the aid of the
authorities to look for him. While a finding of well-founded belief varies with the nature
of the situation in which the present spouse is placed, under present conditions, we find it
proper and prudent for a present spouse, whose spouse had been missing, to seek the aid
of the authorities or, at the very least, report his/her absence to the police.
3. Third, she did not present as witnesses Jerry's relatives or their neighbors and friends,
who can corroborate her efforts to locate Jerry. Worse, these persons, from whom she
allegedly made inquiries, were not even named. As held in Nolasco, the present spouse's
bare assertion that he inquired from his friends about his absent spouse's whereabouts is
insufficient as the names of the friends from whom he made inquiries were not identified
in the testimony nor presented as witnesses.
4. Lastly, there was no other corroborative evidence to support the respondent's claim that
she conducted a diligent search. Neither was there supporting evidence proving that she
had a well-founded belief other than her bare claims that she inquired from her friends
and in-laws about her husband's whereabouts.
Thus, the judicial declaration of presumptive death was not proper.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the assailed decision dated August
27, 2008 of the Court of Appeals, which affirmed the order dated December 15, 2006 of the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 25, Koronadal City, South Cotabato, declaring Jerry F. Cantor
presumptively dead is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.

Page | 53

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. ROBERT P. NARCEDA, respondent.


[G.R. No. 182760. April 10, 2013.]
PONENTE: SERENO, C.J
FACTS:
1. Robert P. Narceda (respondent) married Marina on 22 July 1987. Based on Marriage
Contract presented by the respondent at the time of their wedding, Marina was only 17
years and 4 months old.
2. According to the respondent, Marina went to Singapore sometime in 1994 and never
returned since. There was never any communication between them. He tried to look for
her, but he could not find her. Several years after she left, one of their town mates in
Luna, La Union came home from Singapore and told him that the last time she saw his
wife; the latter was already living with a Singaporean husband.
3.

In view of her absence and his desire to remarry, respondent filed with the RTC a
Petition for a judicial declaration of the presumptive death and/or absence of Marina. It
was granted. The OSG moved to reconsider before the CA but was dismissed outright for
lack of jurisdiction.

ISSUE: Whether the judicial declaration of presumptive death was valid.


HELD: Yes.
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 court held in the case of Republic v. Granda that Jomoc cannot be
interpreted as having superseded our pronouncements in Bermudez-Lorino, because Jomoc does
not expound on the characteristics of a summary proceeding under the Family Code; BermudezLorino, however, squarely touches upon the impropriety of an ordinary appeal as a vehicle for
questioning a trial court's decision in a summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive
death under Article 41 of the Family Code. Also in Republic v. Tango, the remedy of a losing
party in a summary proceeding is not an ordinary appeal, but a petition for certiorari because by
express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary proceeding shall be
immediately final and executory.
In this case, 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. Consequently, petitioner's contention that respondent has failed to establish

Page | 54

a well-founded belief that his absentee spouse is dead may no longer be entertained by this
Court. Thus, the judicial declaration of presumptive death was valid by operation of law.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the instant Petition is DENIED. The 14 November 2007


Decision of the Court Appeals and its subsequent 29 April 2008 Resolution in CA-G.R. CV No.
85704, dismissing the appeal of the Republic of the Philippines are AFFIRMED.

The Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Balaoan, La Union in Special Proceeding No. 622
dated 5 May 2005 declaring the presumptive death of Marina B. Narceda is hereby declared
FINAL and EXECUTORY.

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. MERLINDA L. OLAYBAR,


respondent.
[G.R. No. 189538. February 10, 2014.]
PONENTE: PERALTA, J
FACTS:
Page | 55

1. Merlinda Olaybar (Respondent) requested from the (NSO a Certificate of No Marriage


(CENOMAR) as one of the requirements for her marriage with her boyfriend of five
years.
2. Upon receipt thereof, she discovered that she was already married to a certain Ye Son
Sune, a Korean National, on June 24, 2002, at the Office of the Municipal Trial Court in
Cities (MTCC), Palace of Justice. She denied having contracted the said marriage and
claimed that she did not know the alleged husband; she did not appear before the
solemnizing officer; and, that the signature appearing in the marriage certificate is not
hers.
3. She, thus, filed a Petition for Cancellation of Entries in the Marriage Contract. The trial
court granted the same based on the testimony of respondent, the testimony of court
employee who claimed that the girl who appeared before their sala was not the
respondent. Petitioner comes before the Court via Petition for Review on Certiorari
under Rule 45.
ISSUE: What is the proper remedy petition for declaration of nullity of marriage or a petition for
correction of entry?
HELD: Petition for correction of entry was the proper remedy.
Rule 108 of the Rules of Court provides the procedure for cancellation or correction of
entries in the civil registry. The proceedings may either be summary or adversary. If the
correction is clerical, then the procedure to be adopted is summary. If the rectification affects the
civil status, citizenship or nationality of a party, it is deemed substantial, and the procedure to be
adopted is adversary. Since the promulgation of Republic v. Valencia, the Court has repeatedly
ruled that "even substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected through a petition filed
under Rule 108, with the true facts established and the parties aggrieved by the error availing
themselves of the appropriate adversarial proceeding." An appropriate adversary suit or
proceeding is one where the trial court has conducted proceedings where all relevant facts have
been fully and properly developed, where opposing counsel have been given opportunity to
demolish the opposite party's case, and where the evidence has been thoroughly weighed and
considered.
In this case, the entries made in the wife portion of the certificate of marriage are
admittedly the personal circumstances of respondent. The latter, however, claims that her
signature was forged and she was not the one who contracted marriage with the purported
husband. In other words, she claims that no such marriage was entered into or if there was, she
was not the one who entered into such contract. It must be recalled that when respondent tried to
obtain a CENOMAR from the NSO, it appeared that she was married to a certain Ye Son Sune.
She then sought the cancellation of entries in the wife portion of the marriage certificate.
The Supreme Court in the recent case of Minoru Fujiki v. Maria Paz Galela Marinay,
Shinichi Maekara, Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City, and the Administrator and Civil
Registrar General of the National Statistics Office ruled that: To be sure, a petition for
correction or cancellation of an entry in the civil registry cannot substitute for an action to
invalidate a marriage. A direct action is necessary to prevent circumvention of the substantive
and procedural safeguards of marriage under the Family Code, A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC and other
related laws. Among these safeguards are the requirement of proving the limited grounds for the
dissolution of marriage, support pendente lite of the spouses and children, the liquidation,
Page | 56

partition and distribution of the properties of the spouses and the investigation of the public
prosecutor to determine collusion. A direct action for declaration of nullity or annulment of
marriage is also necessary to prevent circumvention of the jurisdiction of the Family Courts
under the Family Courts Act of 1997 (Republic Act No. 8369), as a petition for cancellation or
correction of entries in the civil registry may be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the
corresponding civil registry is located. In other words, a Filipino citizen cannot dissolve his
marriage by the mere expedient of changing his entry of marriage in the civil registry.
Respondent indeed sought, not the nullification of marriage as there was no marriage to
speak of, but the correction of the record of such marriage to reflect the truth as set forth by the
evidence. Otherwise stated, in allowing the correction of the subject certificate of marriage by
cancelling the wife portion thereof, the trial court did not, in any way, declare the marriage void
as there was no marriage to speak of.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.
The Regional Trial Court Decision dated May 5, 2009 and Order dated August 25, 2009 in SP.
Proc. No. 16519-CEB, are AFFIRMED.

Page | 57

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. DR. NORMA S. LUGSANAY UY,


respondent.
[G.R. No. 198010. August 12, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERALTA, J
FACTS:
1. Dr.Norma Uy (respondent) filed a Petition for Correction of Entry in her Certificate of
Live Birth and citizenship alleging that she was born on February 8, 1952 and is the
illegitimate daughter of Sy Ton and Sotera Lugsanay .
2. She learned that the Certificate of Live Birth shows that her full name is "Anita Sy"
when in fact she is allegedly known to her family and friends as "Norma S. Lugsanay.";
that her school records, Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) Board of Medicine
Certificate, and passport bear the name "Norma S. Lugsanay.";that she is an illegitimate
child considering that her parents were never married, so she had to follow the surname
of her mother and also she contended that she is a Filipino citizen and; that she is not
Chinese because all her siblings bear the surname Lugsanay and are all Filipinos.
3. Her Petition was granted by the trial court and was affirmed by the CA.
ISSUE: Whether the petition to correct the surnames was proper.
HELD: No.
It is a rule that when a petition for cancellation or correction of an entry in the civil
register involves substantial and controversial alterations, including those on citizenship,
legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage, a strict compliance with the
requirements of Rule 108 of the Rules of Court is mandated. If the entries in the civil register
could be corrected or changed through mere summary proceedings and not through appropriate
action wherein all parties who may be affected by the entries are notified or represented, the door
to fraud or other mischief would be set open, the consequence of which might be detrimental and
far reaching.

Page | 58

In this case, Respondent's birth certificate shows that her full name is Anita Sy, that she is
a Chinese citizen and a legitimate child of Sy Ton and Sotera Lugsanay. In filing the petition,
however, she seeks the correction of her first name and surname, her status from "legitimate" to
"illegitimate" and her citizenship from "Chinese" to "Filipino." Thus, respondent should have
impleaded and notified not only the Local Civil Registrar but also her parents and siblings as the
persons who have interest and are affected by the changes or corrections respondent wanted to
make. The petition for correction of entry is not proper for failure to implead indispensable
parties who were be affected by such changes.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The
Court of Appeals Decision dated February 18, 2011 and Resolution dated July 27, 2011 in CAG.R. CV No. 00238-MIN, are SET ASIDE. Consequently, the June 28, 2004 Order of the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 27, Gingoog City, in Spl. Proc. No. 230-2004 granting the Petition
for Correction of Entry of Certificate of Live Birth filed by respondent Dr. Norma S. Lugsanay
Uy, is NULLIFIED.

JUAN SEVILLA SALAS, JR., petitioner, vs. EDEN VILLENA AGUILA, respondent.
[G.R. No. 202370. September 23, 2013.]
Page | 59

PONENTE: CARPIO, J
FACTS:
1. Petitioner Juan Sevilla Salas, Jr. (Salas) and respondent Eden Villena Aguila (Aguila)
were married. On 7 June 1986, Aguila gave birth to their daughter, Joan Jiselle.
2. Five months later, Salas left their conjugal dwelling. Since then, he no longer
communicated with Aguila or their daughter.
3. On 7 October 2003, Aguila filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage citing
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. The trial court declared the
marriage void.
4. Few months after the decision, Aguila filed a Manifestation stating that she discovered
two properties registered in their name. It was opposed by Salas arguing that Aguilla had
already waived his right over the parcels of land.
5. The trial court ordered the partition of the subject property which was likewise affirmed
by the CA on appeal.
ISSUE: Whether the subject property is acquired during the marriage of the spouses thus it must
be divided pursuant to the regime of conjugal partnership of gains.
HELD: Yes.
In Villanueva v. Court of Appeals, the Court held that the question of whether the
properties were acquired during the marriage is a factual issue. Factual findings of the RTC,
particularly if affirmed by the CA, are binding on us, except under compelling circumstances
which is not present in this case
In this case, Aguila was able to prove during trial that Discovered Properties were
acquired by Salas during their marriage. The TCTs state that "Juan S. Salas, married to Rubina C.
Salas" is the registered owner of the Discovered Properties. A Torrens title is generally a
conclusive evidence of the ownership of the land referred to, because there is a strong
presumption that it is valid and regularly issued. The phrase "married to" is merely descriptive
of the civil status of the registered owner. Furthermore, Salas did not initially dispute the
ownership of the Discovered Properties in his opposition to the manifestation. It was only when
Rubina intervened that Salas supported Rubina's statement that she owns the Discovered
Properties.
However, with regard to the issue of partition the court held in Dio v. Dio, that Article
147 of the Family Code applies to the union of parties who are legally capacitated and not barred
by any impediment to contract marriage, but whose marriage is nonetheless declared void under
Article 36 of the Family Code, as in this case. Under this property regime, property acquired
during the marriage is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through the couple's joint
efforts and governed by the rules on co-ownership.
In this case, Salas did not rebut this presumption that the properties acquired during the
union of the parties. Thus, the partition would be governed by co-ownership and not on the
regime of conjugal partnership of gains.
Page | 60

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the Decision dated 16


March 2012 and the Resolution dated 28 June 2012 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
95322.

Page | 61

NARCISO SALAS, petitioner, vs. ANNABELLE MATUSALEM, respondent.


[G.R. No. 180284. September 11, 2013.]
PONENTE: VILLARAMA, JR., J
FACTS:
1. Annabelle Matusalem (respondent) filed a complaint for Support/Damages against
Narciso Salas (petitioner) in the Regional Trial Court claiming that petitioner is the father
of her son Christian Paulo Salas who was born on December 28, 1994.
2. The Petitioner, already 56 years old at the time, enticed her as she was then only 24 years
old, making her believe that he is a widower. Petitioner rented an apartment where
respondent stayed and shouldered all expenses in the delivery of their child, including the
cost of caesarian operation and hospital confinement.
3. When the respondent refused the offer of petitioner's family to take the child from her, the
petitioner abandoned the respondent and her child and left them to the mercy of relatives
and friends. The petitioner denied the allegation of the respondent.
4. The trail court ruled for respondent and it was affirmed by the CA. Hence, the petition
was filed.
ISSUE: Whether the illegitimate filiation of the child was established.
HELD: No.
It is a rule that high standard of proof is required to establish paternity and filiation. An
order for recognition and support may create an unwholesome situation or may be an irritant to
the family or the lives of the parties so that it must be issued only if paternity or filiation is
established by clear and convincing evidence. Under Article 175 of the Family Code of the
Philippines, illegitimate filiation may be established in the same way and on the same evidence
as legitimate children which was stated under Article 172 of the same code.
In this case, respondent presented three evidences:
1. The Certificate of Live Birth 24 (Exhibit "A-1") of Christian Paulo Salas in which the
name of petitioner appears as his father but which is not signed by him. The court
held that 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 the certificate. Thus, if the father did not sign in the birth
certificate, the placing of his name by the mother, doctor, registrar, or other person is
incompetent evidence of paternity. Neither can such birth certificate be taken as
recognition in a public instrument and it has no probative value to establish filiation
to the alleged father.
2. Baptismal Certificate 29 (Exhibit "B") of Christian Paulo Salas also indicating
petitioner as the father, the Court ruled that while baptismal certificates may be
considered public documents, they can only serve as evidence of the administration of
the sacraments on the dates so specified. They are not necessarily competent evidence
of the veracity of entries therein with respect to the child's paternity.
3. The handwritten notes and letters, hospital bill and photographs taken of petitioner
and respondent inside their rented apartment unit are inconclusive evidence to prove
paternity and not sufficient to establish the filiation.
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Even if these notes were authentic, they do not qualify under Article 172 (2) vis--vis
Article 175 of the Family Code which admits as competent evidence of illegitimate filiation an
admission of filiation in a private handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned.
The testimonies of respondent and Murillo as to the circumstances of the birth of
Christian Paulo, petitioner's financial support while respondent lived in Murillo's apartment and
his regular visits to her at the said apartment, though replete with details, do not approximate the
"overwhelming evidence, documentary and testimonial" presented in Ilano and are not
competent proof of paternity and the totality of respondent's evidence failed to establish
Christian Paulo's filiation to petitioner. Thus, the childs illegitimate filiation was not properly
established pursuant to the requirement of the law.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. The
Decision dated July 18, 2006 and Resolution dated October 19, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in
CA-G.R. CV No. 64379 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Civil Case No. 2124-AF of
the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City, Branch 26 is DISMISSED.

Page | 63

SYED AZHAR ABBAS, petitioner, vs. GLORIA GOO ABBAS, respondent.


[G.R. No. 183896. January 30, 2013.]
PONENTE: VELASCO, JR., J
FACTS:
1. Petitioner Syed Azhar Abbas (Syed) a Pakistani citizen filed petition for the declaration
of nullity of his marriage to Gloria Goo-Abbas (Gloria) with the RTC alleging the
absence of a marriage license, as a ground for the annulment of his marriage to Gloria.
2. He alleged that they were married on August 9, 1992 in Taiwan; that when he arrived in
the Philippines he was told that he was going to undergo some ceremony as a
requirements for his stay in the Philippines; that during the ceremony he and Gloria
signed a document and he did not know that the ceremony was a marriage until Gloria
told him later; that he did not go to Carmona, Cavite to apply for a marriage license, and
he is not a resident of it and; that when he went to the Office of the Civil Registrar to
check on their marriage license to verify the marriage license the Municipal Civil
Registrar issued a certification stating that the marriage license number appearing in their
marriage contract belongs to different couple.
3. The respondent presented witness and testimony rebutting the allegations of petitioner
and claimed that their marriage was valid. The trial court ruled in favor of petitioner but it
was reversed by the CA on appeal. Hence, the petition was filed.
ISSUE: Whether or not a valid marriage license had been issued for the couple.
HELD: No.
In the case of Republic and Cario v. Cario, in allowing the certification of the Civil
Registrar of Pasig to prove the non-issuance of a marriage license the Court ruled that
certification issued by the civil registrar enjoyed probative value, as his duty was to maintain
records of data relative to the issuance of a marriage 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.
In this case, the Municipal Civil Registrar of Carmona, Cavite, where the marriage
license of Gloria and Syed was allegedly issued, issued a certification to the effect that no such
marriage license for Gloria and Syed was issued, and that the serial number of the marriage
license pertained to another couple. Also, Gloria has failed to discharge that burden, and the only
conclusion that can be reached is that no valid marriage license was issued. It cannot be said that
there was a simple irregularity in the marriage license that would not affect the validity of the
marriage, as no license was presented by the respondent. Thus, no marriage license was proven
to have been issued to Gloria and Syed, based on the certification of the Municipal Civil
Registrar of Carmona, Cavite and Gloria's failure to produce a copy of the alleged marriage
license. On the alleged wedding ceremony which was conducted and a marriage contract was
signed does not operate to cure the absence of a valid marriage license.

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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.51 Again, this marriage cannot be characterized as among the
exemptions, and thus, having been solemnized without a marriage license, is void ab initio.
The law must be applied. As the marriage license, a formal requisite, is clearly absent, the
marriage of Gloria and Syed is void ab initio.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing, the petition is hereby GRANTED.


The assailed Decision dated March 11, 2008 and Resolution dated July 24, 2008 of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 86760 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of
the Regional Trial Court, Branch 109, Pasay City dated October 5, 2005 in Civil Case No. 030382-CFM annulling the marriage of petitioner with respondent on January 9, 1993 is hereby
REINSTATED.

SUSAN LIM-LUA, petitioner, vs. DANILO Y. LUA, respondent.


[G.R. Nos. 175279-80. June 5, 2013.]
PONENTE: VILLARAMA, JR., J

Page | 65

FACTS:
5. Petitioner Susan Lim-Lua filed an action for the declaration of nullity of her marriage
with respondent Danilo Y. Lua, before the RTC of Cebu City. She prayed for support
pendent lite for her and their children.
6. The trial court granted the support. The respondent opposed asserting that the
petitioner is not entitled to spousal support considering that she does not maintain for
herself a separate dwelling for their children and the respondent has continued to
support the family for their sustenance and well-being in accordance with family's
social and financial standing. The trial court ordered that the support was final and
executor as the motion for reconsideration was treated as a mere scrap of paper for
violation of the three-day notice period under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
7. The respondent interposed appeal before the CA which ruled in his favor. The
petitioner moved for execution while respondent issued a check in the amount of
P162,651.90 payable to petitioner pursuant to CA decision where he deducted from
the amount of support in arrears (September 3, 2003 to March 2005) ordered by the
CA P2,185,000.00 plus P460,000.00 (April, May, June and July 2005), totalling
P2,645,000.00, the advances given by him to his children and petitioner in the sum of
P2,482,348.16 (with attached photocopies of receipts/billings). However, petitioner
opposed and asserted that none of the expenses deducted by respondent may be
chargeable as part of the monthly support contemplated by the decision.
8. The trial court ruled in favor of petitioners motion so the respondent went to CA
again for recourse which reversed the trial court decision. Hence, a petition was filed.
ISSUE: Whether the deductions advanced by respondents may be chargeable as part of monthly
support ordered by the court.
HELD: No.
Article 194 of the Family Code provides that support comprises everything indispensable
for sustenance, dwelling, clothing, medical attendance, education and transportation, in keeping
with the financial capacity of the family. Because of its provisional nature, a court does not need
Page | 66

to delve fully into the merits of the case before it can settle an application for this relief. All that
a court is tasked to do is determine the kind and amount of evidence which may suffice to enable
it to justly resolve the application. It is enough that the facts be established by affidavits or other
documentary evidence appearing in the record.
In this case, the amount of monthly support pendente lite for petitioner and her two
children was determined after due hearing and submission of documentary evidence by the
parties. Although the amount fixed by the trial court was reduced on appeal, it is clear that the
monthly support pendente lite of P115,000.00 ordered by the CA was intended primarily for the
sustenance of petitioner and her children, e.g., food, clothing, salaries of drivers and house
helpers, and other household expenses.
In determining support for the spouses, the court laid down the following guidelines:
e) In the absence of adequate provisions in a written agreement between the spouses, the
spouses may be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal
partnership.
f) The court may award support to either spouse in such amount and for such period of time
as the court may deem just and reasonable based on their standard of living during the
marriage.
g) The court may likewise consider the following factors:
(11)
whether the spouse seeking support is the custodian of a child whose
circumstances make it appropriate for that spouse not to seek outside
employment;
(12)
the time necessary to acquire sufficient education and training to enable
the spouse seeking support to find appropriate employment, and that spouse's
future earning capacity;
(13)
the duration of the marriage;
(14)
the comparative financial resources of the spouses, including their
comparative earning abilities in the labor market;
(15)
the needs and obligations of each spouse;
(16)
the contribution of each spouse to the marriage, including services
rendered in home-making, child care, education, and career building of the other
spouse;
(17)
the age and health of the spouses;
(18)
the physical and emotional conditions of the spouses;
(19)
the ability of the supporting spouse to give support, taking into account
that spouse's earning capacity, earned and unearned income, assets, and standard
of living; and
(20) any other factor the court may deem just and equitable.
h) The Family Court may direct the deduction of the provisional support from the salary of
the spouse.
With respect to support for children the rule provides that the common children of the
spouses shall be supported from the properties of the absolute community or the conjugal
partnership. In determining the amount of provisional support, the court may likewise consider
the following factors:
5. the financial resources of the custodial and non-custodial parent and those of the
child;
6. the physical and emotional health of the child and his or her special needs and
aptitudes;
Page | 67

7. the standard of living the child has been accustomed to;


8. the non-monetary contributions that the parents will make toward the care and wellbeing of the child.
The Court citing American jurisprudences likewise declared as a general rule to effect
support is when a father is required by a divorce decree to pay to the mother money for the
support of their dependent children and the unpaid and accrued installments become judgments
in her favor, he cannot, as a matter of law, claim credit on account of payments voluntarily made
directly to the children. However, special considerations of an equitable nature may justify a
court in crediting such payments on his indebtedness to the mother, when that can be done
without injustice to her.
Applying the above rule in this case, the CA should not have allowed all the expenses
incurred by respondent to be credited against the accrued support pendente lite because the
monthly support pendente lite granted by the trial court was intended primarily for food,
household expenses such as salaries of drivers and house helpers, and also petitioner's scoliosis
therapy sessions. Hence, the value of two expensive cars bought by respondent for his children
plus their maintenance cost, travel expenses of petitioner and Angelli, purchases through credit
card of items other than groceries and dry goods (clothing) should have been disallowed, as these
bear no relation to the judgment awarding support pendente lite. Even dispositive portion of the
executory decision of appellate court ordered respondent to pay the support in arrears "less than
the amount supposedly given by petitioner to the private respondent as her and their two (2)
children monthly support," the deductions should be limited to those basic needs and expenses
considered by the trial and appellate courts. The huge deductions from the accrued monthly
support of petitioner and her children, while correct insofar as it commends the generosity of the
respondent to his children, is clearly inconsistent with its executor decision. More important, it
completely ignores the unfair consequences to petitioner whose sustenance and well-being, was
given due regard by the trial and appellate courts.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. The Decision dated April
20, 2006 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP Nos. 01154 and 01315 is hereby MODIFIED to
read as follows:
"WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered:
c) DISMISSING, for lack of merit, the case of Petition for Contempt of Court with
Damages filed by Susan Lim Lua against Danilo Y. Lua with docket no. SP. CA-G.R.
No. 01154;
d) GRANTING IN PART Danilo Y. Lua's Petition for Certiorari docketed as SP. CAG.R. No. 01315. Consequently, the assailed Orders dated 27 September 2005 and 25
November 2005 of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 14, Cebu City issued in Civil
Case No. CEB-29346 entitled "Susan Lim Lua versus Danilo Y. Lua, are hereby
NULLIFIED and SET ASIDE, and instead a new one is entered:
i. ORDERING the deduction of the amount of Php 648,102.29 from the support
pendente lite in arrears of Danilo Y. Lua to his wife, Susan Lim Lua and their two
(2) children;

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ii. ORDERING Danilo Y. Lua to resume payment of his monthly support of


PhP115,000.00 pesos starting from the time payment of this amount was deferred
by him subject to the deduction aforementioned.
iii. DIRECTING the immediate execution of this judgment.

BOBBY TAN, petitioner, vs. GRACE ANDRADE, PROCESO ANDRADE, JR., CHARITY
A. SANTIAGO, HENRY ANDRADE, ANDREW ANDRADE, JASMIN BLAZA, GLORY
ANDRADE, MIRIAM ROSE ANDRADE, AND JOSEPH ANDRADE, respondents.
[G.R. No. 171904. August 7, 2013.]
GRACE ANDRADE, CHARITY A. SANTIAGO, HENRY ANDRADE, ANDREW
ANDRADE, JASMIN BLAZA, MIRIAM ROSE ANDRADE, AND JOSEPH ANDRADE,
petitioners, vs. BOBBY TAN, respondent.
[G.R. No. 172017. August 7, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERLAS-BERNABE, J
FACTS:
1. Rosario Vda. De Andrade (Rosario) was the registered owner of four parcels of land
known as Lots 17, 18, 19, and 20 (subject properties) which she mortgaged to and
subsequently foreclosed by one Simon Diu (Simon).
2. When the redemption period was about to expire, Rosario sought the assistance of Bobby
Tan (Bobby) who agreed to redeem the subject properties. Thereafter, Rosario sold the
same to Bobby and her son, Proceso Andrade, Jr. (Proceso, Jr.)as evidenced by a Deed of
Absolute Sale dated April 29, 1983 (subject deed of sale).

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3. Thereafter, Proceso, Jr. executed a Deed of Assignment, ceding unto Bobby his rights and
interests over the subject properties. The Deed of Assignment was signed by, among
others, Henry Andrade (Henry), one of Rosario's sons, as instrumental witness.
Notwithstanding the aforementioned Deed of Assignment, Bobby extended an Option to
Buy the subject properties in favor of Proceso, Jr., giving the latter until 7:00 in the
evening of July 31, 1984 to purchase the same. When Proceso, Jr. failed to do so, Bobby
consolidated his ownership over the subject properties, and the TCTs therefor were issued
in his name.
4. Rosarios children filed a complaint for reconveyance and annulment of deeds of
conveyance and damages against Bobby before the RTC claiming that the transaction
between Rosario and Bobby (subject transaction) was not one of sale but was actually an
equitable mortgage which was entered into to secure Rosario's indebtedness with Bobby;
that the subject properties were inherited by them from their father, Proceso Andrade, Sr.
(Proceso, Sr.), the subject properties were conjugal in nature, and thus, Rosario had no
right to dispose of their respective shares therein. In this 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.
5. The trial court ruled that the properties were exclusive property of Rosario but the CA
ruled that it was conjugal.

ISSUE: Whether the property is exclusive property or conjugal property.


HELD: The subject property was exclusive.
Article 160 of the Civil Code 38 which states that "[a]ll 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. As held
in Go v. Yamane: As a condition sine qua non for the operation of [Article 160] in favor of the
conjugal partnership, the party who invokes the presumption must first prove that the property
was acquired during the marriage.
In this case, records reveal that the conjugal partnership of Rosario and her husband was
terminated upon the latter's 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
coverture of their parents or that the same were bought with conjugal funds. Moreover, Rosario's
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 RTC's finding 46 that the
subject properties were exclusive or sole properties of Rosario.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Court hereby (a) GRANTS the petition of Bobby Tan in
G.R. No. 171904; and (b) DENIES the petition of Grace Andrade, Charity A. Santiago, Henry
Andrade, Andrew Andrade, Jasmin Blaza, Miriam Rose Andrade, and Joseph Andrade in G.R.
No. 172017. Accordingly, the Decision dated July 26, 2005 and Resolution dated March 3, 2006
Page | 70

of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 71987 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE,
and the April 6, 2001 Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 19 in Civil Case
No. CEB 20969 is REINSTATED.

RALPH P. TUA, petitioner, vs. HON. CESAR A. MANGROBANG, Presiding Judge,


Branch 22, Regional Trial Court, Imus, Cavite; and ROSSANA HONRADO-TUA,
respondents.
[G.R. No. 170701. January 22, 2014.]
PONENTE: PERALTA, J
FACTS:
1. Petitioner Ralph Tua and Respondent Rossana Honrado-Tua were married.
2. The respondent filed with the RTC-Imus a Petition for herself and in behalf of her three
minor children, for the issuance of a protection order, pursuant to Republic Act (RA)
9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, against her
husband. She claimed that she and her children had suffered from petitioner's abusive
conduct; that petitioner had threatened to cause her and the children physical harm for the
purpose of controlling her actions or decisions; that she was actually deprived of custody
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and access to her minor children; and, that she was threatened to be deprived of her and
her children's financial support.
3. A Temporary Restraining Order was granted. The petitioner denied all the allegations and
filed motion for issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction of trial court decision but was
denied by CA. Hence, the petition was filed before the Supreme Court questioning the
validity of constitutionality of RA 9262.
ISSUE: Whether there was a violation of due process of law and considerations of justice and
basic human rights when the court issued the temporary protective order.
HELD: No.
A protection order is an order issued to prevent further acts of violence against women
and their children, their family or household members, and to grant other necessary reliefs. Its
purpose is to safeguard the offended parties from further harm, minimize any disruption in their
daily life and facilitate the opportunity and ability to regain control of their life.
The scope of reliefs in protection orders is broadened to ensure that the victim or
offended party is afforded all the remedies necessary to curtail access by a perpetrator to the
victim. This serves to safeguard the victim from greater risk of violence; to accord the victim and
any designated family or household member safety in the family residence, and to prevent the
perpetrator from committing acts that jeopardize the employment and support of the victim. It
also enables the court to award temporary custody of minor children to protect the children from
violence, to prevent their abduction by the perpetrator and to ensure their financial support. TPO
may be issued ex parte provided that the court shall likewise order that notice be immediately
given to the respondent directing him to file an opposition within five (5) days from service.
In this case, the alleged acts of petitioner among others, i.e., he cocked the gun and
pointed the same to his head in order to convince respondent not to proceed with the legal
separation case; feeding his other children with the food which another child spat out; and
threatening the crying child with a belt to stop him from crying which was repeatedly done; and
holding respondent by her nape when he got furious that she was asking him not to come often to
their conjugal home and hold office thereat after their agreed separation and threatening her of
withholding half of the financial support for the kids, while not conclusive, are enough bases for
the issuance of a TPO and he was ordered to file an opposition. Thus, there was no violation of
due process.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated October 28, 2005
of the Court of Appeals issued in CA-G.R. SP No. 89939, upholding the Regional Trial Court's
issuance of the Temporary Protection Order dated May 23, 2005, is AFFIRMED. The Regional
Trial Court of Imus, Cavite is hereby ORDERED to resolve with dispatch respondent's Petition
for a Permanent Protection Order.

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FE FLORO VALINO, petitioner, vs. ROSARIO D. ADRIANO, FLORANTE D.


ADRIANO, RUBEN D. ADRIANO, MARIA TERESA ADRIANO ONGOCO, VICTORIA
ADRIANO BAYONA, and LEAH ANTONETTE D. ADRIANO, respondents.
[G.R. No.182894, April 22, 2014.]
PONENTE: MENDOZA, J
FACTS:
1. Atty. Adriano Adriano (Atty. Adriano) married respondent Rosario Adriano (Rosario) on
November 15, 1955 and had three children but eventually separated-in-fact.

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2. Years after separation, Atty. Adriano lived together with petitioner Valino without the
benefit of marriage.
3. In 1992, Atty. Adriano died and at that time Rosario was in the United States with her
children. As none of the family members was around, Petitioner Valino took it upon
herself to shoulder the funeral and burial expenses for Atty. Adriano. When Rosario
learned about the death of her husband, she immediately called Valino and requested that
she delay the interment for a few days but her request was not heeded. The remains of
Atty. Adriano were then interred at the mausoleum of the family of Valino at the Manila
Memorial Park. The respondents were not able to attend the interment.
4. The respondent sued petitioner for damages claiming that they were deprived the chance
to view the remains of Atty. Adriano. The petitioner on the other side claimed that she
took care of the deceased for long time and his wish to be buried in the mausoleum of the
family of Valino.
5. The trial court dismissed the case but was reversed by CA. Hence, the petition was filed.
ISSUE: Who between Rosario and Valino is entitled to the remains of Atty. Adriano?
HELD: The legal spouse, Rosario.
Article 305 of the Civil Code, in relation to what is now Article 199 of the Family Codes
provides:
Art. 305. The duty and the right to make arrangements for the funeral
of a relative shall be in accordance with the order established for
support, under Article 294. In case of descendants of the same degree, or
of brothers and sisters, the oldest shall be preferred. In case of ascendants,
the paternal shall have a better right. [Emphases supplied]
Art. 199. Whenever two or more persons are obliged to give support, the
liability shall devolve upon the following persons in the order herein
provided:
(1) The spouse;
(2) The descendants in the nearest degree;
(3) The ascendants in the nearest degree; and
(4) The brothers and sisters. (294a) [Emphasis supplied]
Further, Article 308 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 308. No human remains shall be retained, interred, disposed
of or exhumed without the consent of the persons mentioned in
Articles 294 and 305. [Emphases supplied] In this connection,
Section 1103 of the Revised Administrative Code provides:
Section 1103. Persons charged with the duty of burial. The
immediate duty of burying the body of a deceased person,
regardless of the ultimate liability for the expense thereof, shall
devolve upon the persons herein below specified:(a) If the
deceased was a married man or woman, the duty of the burial
shall devolve upon the surviving spouse if he or she possesses
sufficient means to pay the necessary expenses; x x x x.
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Applying the forgoing in this case, the law gives the right and duty to make funeral
arrangements to Rosario, she being the surviving legal wife of Atty. Adriano. The fact that she
was living separately from her husband and was in the United States when he died has no
controlling significance. To say that Rosario had, in effect, waived or renounced, expressly or
impliedly, her right and duty to make arrangements for the funeral of her deceased husband is
baseless. The right and duty to make funeral arrangements, like any other right, will not be
considered as having been waived or renounced, except upon clear and satisfactory proof of
conduct indicative of a free and voluntary intent to that end. While there was disaffection
between Atty. Adriano and Rosario and their children when he was still alive, the Court also
recognizes that human compassion, more often than not, opens the door to mercy and
forgiveness once a family member joins his Creator. With regard to the claim it was Atty.
Adriano wish the burial of his remains in a place other than the Adriano family plot the Court
held that such intention must be evident like in a testamentary disposition (will). Since there was
none in this case the Court applied Article 307 of the Civil Code which provides that should
there be any doubt as to the true intent of the deceased, the law favors the legitimate family.
Here, Rosarios keenness to exercise the rights and obligations accorded to the legal wife was
even bolstered by the fact that she was joined by the children in this case.
Thus, the wishes of the deceased with respect to his funeral are limited by Article 305 of
the Civil Code in relation to Article 199 of the Family Code, and subject the same to those
charged with the right and duty to make the proper arrangements to bury the remains of their
loved-one. It is generally recognized that the corpse of an individual is outside the commerce of
man. However, the law recognizes that a certain right of possession over the corpse exists, for the
purpose of a decent burial, and for the exclusion of the intrusion by third persons who have no
legitimate interest in it. This quasi-property right, arising out of the duty of those obligated by
law to bury their dead, also authorizes them to take possession of the dead body for purposes of
burial to have it remain in its final resting place, or to even transfer it to a proper place where the
memory of the dead may receive the respect of the living. This is a family right. There can be no
doubt that person having this right may recover the corpse from third persons.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

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PEREGRINA MACUA VDA. DE AVENIDO, petitioner, vs. TECLA HOYBIA AVENIDO,


respondent.
[G.R. No. 173540. January 22, 2014.]
PONENTE: PEREZ, J
FACTS:
1. Respondent Tecla filed, a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage against
petitioner Peregrina on the ground that she (Tecla), is the lawful wife of the deceased
Eustaquio. She claimed that her married to Eustaquio was solemnized on 30 September
1942 in Bohol and it was evidenced by a marriage contract.
2. However, due to World War II, records were destroyed so she only has certification
issued by the LCR; that in 1954, Eustaquio left his family and his whereabouts was not
known and in 1958, Tecla and her children were informed that Eustaquio was in Davao
City living with another woman by the name of Buenaventura Sayson who later died in
1977 without any issue; that in 1979, Tecla learned that her husband Eustaquio got
married to another woman by the name of petitioner Peregrina. Petitioner alleged that
they married on 30 March 1979 in Davao City; that Tecla is not the legal wife, but was
once a common law wife of Eustaquio and presented certain documentary evidences.
3. The trial court dismissed the complaint but was reversed by CA which declared the
marriage of Tecla and Eustaquio valid.
ISSUE: Whether presumption of lawful marriage between Tecla and Eustaquio is sufficient to
conclude the validity of marriage.
HELD: Yes.
In the case of Adong v. Cheong Seng Gee, the Court explained the rationale behind the
presumption The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage.
Marriage in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in
the maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of the
law leans toward legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are
presumed, in the absence of any counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in
fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties were not
what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of
decency and of law. A presumption established by our Code of Civil Procedure is that a man and
a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of
marriage. Moreover, as a rule marriage certificate is considered the primary evidence of a
marital union but it is not regarded as the sole and exclusive evidence of marriage. Based on
Page | 76

jurisprudence the fact of marriage may be proven by relevant evidence other than the marriage
certificate. Hence, even a person's birth certificate may be recognized as competent evidence of
the marriage between his parents.
In this case, there was a presumption of lawful marriage between the respondent and
EUSTAQUIO based on (1) the testimonies of [Adelina], the sister of EUSTAQUIO who
testified that she personally witnessed the wedding celebration of her older brother EUSTAQUIO
and [Tecla] on 30 September 1942 at Talibon, Bohol; [Climaco], the eldest son of EUSTAQUIO
and [Tecla], who testified that his mother [Tecla] was married to his father, EUSTAQUIO, and
[Tecla] herself; (2) the birth within the cohabitation of Tecla and Eustaquio of four (4) children
coupled with the certificates of the children's birth and baptism; and (3) the certifications of
marriage issued by the parish priest and the local civil registry. Further, the due execution and the
loss of the marriage contract, both constituting the condition sine qua non for the introduction of
secondary evidence of its contents, were shown by the very evidence. These are relevant,
competent and admissible evidence. Since the due execution and the loss of the marriage
contract were clearly shown by the evidence presented, secondary evidence testimonial and
documentary may be admitted to prove the fact of marriage.
In PUGEDA v. TRIAS, the Supreme Court held that "marriage may be proven by any
competent and relevant evidence. The testimony by one of the parties to the marriage or by one
of the witnesses to the marriage has been held to be admissible to prove the fact of marriage. The
person who officiated at the solemnization is also competent to testify as an eyewitness to the
fact of marriage."
The basis of human society throughout the civilized world is that of marriage. Marriage
in this jurisdiction is not only a civil contract, but it is a new relation, an institution in the
maintenance of which the public is deeply interested. Consequently, every intendment of the law
leans toward legalizing matrimony. Persons dwelling together in apparent matrimony are
presumed, in the absence of any counter-presumption or evidence special to the case, to be in
fact married. The reason is that such is the common order of society, and if the parties were not
what they thus hold themselves out as being, they would be living in the constant violation of
decency and of law. A presumption established by our Code of Civil Procedure is that a man and
a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of
marriage. (Sec. 334, No. 28) Semper praesumitur pro matrimonio Always presume
marriage.
In the case at bar, the establishment of the fact of marriage was completed by
testimonies of Adelina, Climaco and Tecla; the unrebutted fact of the birth within
cohabitation of Tecla and Eustaquio of four (4) children coupled with the certificates of
children's birth and baptism; and the certifications of marriage issued by the parish priest of
Most Holy Trinity Cathedral of Talibon, Bohol.

the
the
the
the

Thus, such presumption supported by documentary evidence consisting of the


Certifications as well as the testimonial evidence especially that of Adelina Avenido-Ceno are
sufficient proof of the fact of marriage.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision of the Court
of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 79444 is AFFIRMED. The marriage between petitioner
Peregrina Macua Avenido and the deceased Eustaquio Avenido is hereby declared NULL and
VOID. No pronouncement as to costs.
Page | 77

EDILBERTO U. VENTURA, JR., petitioner, vs. SPOUSES PAULINO and EVANGELINE


ABUDA, respondents.
[G.R. No. 202932. October 23, 2013.]
PONENTE: CARPIO, J
FACTS:
1. Socorro Torres married Crispin Roxas (first marriage) on 18 April 1952. They had a
daughter Evangeline (respondents).
2. While the first marriage was still valid, Socorro married Esteban Abletes (second
marriage) on 9 June 1980 but the later has a son prior to the marriage named Edilberto Jr
(petitioner). During the marriage Esteban and Socorro purchased Vitas property and
Delpan Property which was covered by TCT issued to Esteban Abletes, of legal age,
Filipino, married to Socorro Torres.
3.

Before the death of Esteban and Socorro, those properties were allegedly sold to
respondents. Sometime in 2000, Leonora Urquila (Leonora), the mother of Edilberto,
Page | 78

discovered the sale. Thus, Edilberto, represented by Leonora, filed a Petition for
Annulment.
4. The trial court ruled that the marriage of Esteban and Socorro was void and the Vitas and
Delpan properties are not conjugal which was affirmed by the CA. Hence, the petition
was filed before the Court.
ISSUE: Whether the Vitas and Delpan properties are common property of Esteban and Socorro.
HELD: No.
Article 148 of the Family Code applies in this case. 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.
In this case, Edilberto argues that the certificate of title covering the Vitas property shows
that the parcel of land is co-owned by Esteban and Socorro because: (1) the Transfer Certificate
of Title was issued on 11 December 1980, or several months after the parties were married; and
(2) title to the land was issued to "Esteban Abletes, of legal age, married to Socorro Torres.
The court held that 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 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. This fact was admitted by Edilberto on his
petition.
Also, 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 Delpan
property. However, it was proven that the Delpan property was acquired prior to the marriage of
Esteban and Socorro and even if payment of the purchase price of the Delpan property was made
by Evangeline, such payment was made on behalf of her father. Thus, the property is exclusive
property of Esteban.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated 9 March 2012 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 92330 is AFFIRMED.

Page | 79

TERESA C. AGUILAR, CESAR D. RAAGAS, VILLAMOR VILLEGAS, and THE


REGISTER OF DEEDS FOR THE CITY OF MAKATI, * petitioners, vs. MICHAEL J.
O'PALLICK, respondent.
[G.R. No. 182280. July 29, 2013.]
PONENTE: DEL CASTILLO, J
FACTS:

Page | 80

1. On March 20, 1995, a Contract to Sell was executed between Primetown Property Group,
Inc. (PPGI) on the one hand, and Reynaldo Poblete and Tomas Villanueva (Poblete and
Villanueva) on the other, over Unit 3301 of the Makati Prime Citadel Condominium in
Makati City (the unit), and covered by Condominium Certificate of Title No. 25156
(CCT No. 25156). Poblete and Villanueva in turn executed in favor of herein respondent
Michael J. O'Pallick (O'Pallick) a Deed of Assignment covering the unit. In October
1995, PPGI issued a Deed of Sale 10 in favor of O'Pallick after the latter paid the
purchase price in full.
2. Although O'Pallick took possession of the unit, the Deed of Sale in his favor was never
registered nor annotated on CCT No. 25156.
3. Meanwhile, in a case between PPGI and herein petitioner Teresa C. Aguilar (Aguilar)
filed in the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), Aguilar was able to
obtain a final and executory Decision in her favor, and as a result, Sheriff Cesar D.
Raagas (Raagas) of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, caused several
properties of PPGI to be levied, including the herein subject condominium unit.
4. The sale at public auction was scheduled to be held on March 30, 2000. 13 Raagas issued
a Sheriff's Notice of Sale dated February 17, 2000, posted it, and sent a copy thereof to
PPGI. The notice was likewise published. But before the scheduled auction sale, or on
March 21, 2000, O'Pallick filed an Affidavit of Third-Party Claim. Raagas conducted the
public auction sale on March 30, 2000, 17 where Aguilar was declared the highest bidder
for the subject unit. A certificate of sale was issued in her favor.
ISSUE: Whether or not OPallick is bound by the HLURB decision.
HELD: No.
"The principle that a person cannot be prejudiced by a ruling rendered in an action or
proceeding in which he was not made a party conforms to the constitutional guarantee of due
process of law." Thus, we agree with the CA's pronouncement that since respondent was not
impleaded in the HLURB case, he could not be bound by the decision rendered therein. Because
he was not impleaded in said case; he was not given the opportunity to present his case therein.
But, more than the fact that O'Pallick was not impleaded in the HLURB case, he had the right to
vindicate his claim in a separate action, as in this case. As a prior purchaser of the very same
condominium unit, he had the right to be heard on his claim.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is DENIED. The assailed
October 25, 2007 Decision and the March 12, 2008 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. CV No. 83027 are AFFIRMED.

Page | 81

ALI AKANG, petitioner, vs. MUNICIPALITY OF ISULAN, SULTAN KUDARAT


PROVINCE, represented by its MUNICIPAL MAYOR AND MUNICIPAL VICE MAYOR
AND MUNICIPAL COUNCILORS/KAGAWADS, respondent.
[G.R. No. 186014. June 26, 2013.]
PONENTE: REYES, J
FACTS:
1. Ali Akang (petitioner) is a member of the national and cultural community belonging to
the Maguindanaon tribe of Isulan, Province of Sultan Kudarat and the registered owner of
Lot 5-B-2-B-14-F (LRC) Psd 1100183 located at Kalawag III, Isulan, Sultan Kudarat,
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-3653, 5 with an area of 20,030
square meters.
2. Sometime in 1962, a two-hectare portion of the property was sold by the petitioner to the
Municipality of Isulan, Province of Sultan Kudarat (respondent) through then Isulan
Mayor Datu Ampatuan under a Deed of Sale executed on July 18, 1962 in the amount of
3000 pesos. The respondent immediately took possession of the property and began
construction of the municipal building.
3. Thirty-nine (39) years later or on October 26, 2001, the petitioner, together with his wife,
Patao Talipasan, filed a civil action for Recovery of Possession of Subject Property
and/or Quieting of Title thereon and Damages against the respondent, represented by its
Municipal Mayor, et al. 9 In his complaint, the petitioner alleged, among others, that the
agreement was one to sell, which was not consummated as the purchase price was not
paid.

Page | 82

ISSUE:
1. Whether the petitioner is entitled to recover ownership and possession of the property in
dispute.
2. Whether the petitioner's claim is barred by laches.
HELD:
1. NO.
The petitionse is not entitled to recover ownership and possession of the property.
The Deed of Sale is a Valid. The Deed of Sale executed by the petitioner and the
respondent is a perfected contract of sale, all its elements being present. There was
mutual agreement between them to enter into the sale, as shown by their free and
voluntary signing of the contract. There was also an absolute transfer of ownership of the
property by the petitioner to the respondent as shown in the stipulation: ". . . I [petitioner]
hereby sell, transfer, cede, convey and assign as by these presents do have sold,
transferred, ceded, conveyed and assigned, . . . ." There was also a determinate subject
matter, that is, the two-hectare parcel of land as described in the Deed of Sale. Lastly, the
price or consideration is at Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00), which was to be paid after
the execution of the contract.
The fact that no express reservation of ownership or title to the property can be
found in the Deed of Sale bolsters the absence of such intent, and the contract, therefore,
could not be one to sell. Had the intention of the petitioner been otherwise, he could have:
(1) immediately sought judicial recourse to prevent further construction of the municipal
building; or (2) taken legal action to contest the agreement. The petitioner did not opt to
undertake any of such recourses.
The petitioner's allegation of non-payment is of no consequence taking into
account the Municipal Voucher presented before the RTC, which proves payment by the
respondent of Three Thousand Pesos (P3,000.00). The petitioner, notwithstanding the
lack of the Municipal Treasurer's approval, admitted that the signature appearing on the
Municipal Voucher was his and he is now estopped from disclaiming payment.
2. Recovery of Possession and Ownership is Barred by Laches.
Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and
unexplained length of time, to do that which, by exercising due diligence could or should
have been done earlier. It should be stressed that laches is not concerned only with the
mere lapse of time.
As a general rule, an action to recover registered land covered by the Torrens
System may not be barred by laches. 49 Neither can laches be set up to resist the
enforcement of an imprescriptible legal right. 50 In exceptional cases, however, the Court
allowed laches as a bar to recover a titled property. Thus, in Romero v. Natividad, the
Court ruled that laches will bar recovery of the property even if the mode of transfer was
invalid. Likewise, in Vda. De Cabrera v. CA, the Court ruled:
In our jurisdiction, it is an enshrined rule that even a registered
owners of property may be barred from recovering possession of
property by virtue of laches. Under the Land Registration Act
(now the Property Registration Decree), no title to registered
land in derogation to that of the registered owner shall be

Page | 83

acquired by prescription or adverse possession. The same is not


true with regard to laches. . . . .
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the appeal is DENIED. The Decision dated April 25, 2008 and
Resolution dated October 29, 2008 of the Court of Appeals Mindanao Station in CA-G.R. CV
No. 00156 are AFFIRMED.

BANCO FILIPINO SAVINGS AND MORTGAGE BANK, petitioner, vs. TALA REALTY
SERVICES CORPORATION, PEDRO B. AGUIRRE, REMEDIOS A. DUPASQUIER,
PILAR D. ONGKING, ELIZABETH H. PALMA, DOLLY W. LIM, RUBENCITO M. DEL
MUNDO, ADD INTERNATIONAL SERVICES, INCORPORATED, and NANCY L. TY,
respondents.
[G.R. No. 158866. September 9, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERLAS-BERNABE, J
FACTS:
1. Sometime in 1979, in the course of the expansion of its operations, Banco Filipino found
the necessity of acquiring real properties in order to open new branch sites. In view,
however, of the restriction imposed by Sections 25 (a) and 34 of Republic Act No. 337
limiting a bank's real estate investments to only 50% of its capital assets, Banco Filipino,
through its board of directors, decided to "warehouse" several of its properties.
2. Upon her behest and initiative, Nancy, together with Tomas B. Aguirre (Tomas) and his
brother Pedro B. Aguirre (Pedro) all major stockholders of Banco Filipino
organized and incorporated Tala Realty Services Corporation (Tala Realty) to purchase
and hold the real properties owned by Banco Filipino in trust. Subsequently, Tomas, upon
the insistence of his sister Remedios A. Dupasquier (Remedios), endorsed to the latter his
shares in Tala Realty, which she eventually registered in the name of her own corporation,
Add International Services, Inc. (Add International).
3. Banco Filipino entered into and, thereafter, proceeded to implement a certain trust
agreement (trust agreement) with Tala Realty by selling to the latter some of its properties
Page | 84

located in various cities and provinces nationwide. In turn, Tala Realty leased these
properties to Banco Filipino.
4. In August 1992, however, Tala Realty repudiated the trust agreement, asserted ownership
and claimed full title over the properties, prompting Banco Filipino to institute a total of
17 complaints for the reconveyance of the said properties against Tala Realty and Add
International, as well as Nancy, Tomas, Pedro, Remedios, Pilar, Dolly, Elizabeth, and
Rubencito (defendants) in the various RTCs where the subject properties are found.
5. Tala Realty, Add International, and the individual defendants, with the exception of
Nancy, moved for the dismissal of these complaints on the common grounds of forum
shopping, lack of cause of action, in pari delicto and the unenforceability of the trust
agreement. On the other hand, Nancy separately filed motions to dismiss the three
complaints, raising the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, lis pendens, lack of cause of action
as against her and prescription.
ISSUE: Whether the reconveyance complaints filed by Banco Filipino before the courts a quo
can be allowed to prosper.

HELD: No.
At the outset, the basic facts as well as the issues raised in these petitions have already
been passed upon by the Court in its Decisions dated April 7, 2009 in G.R. Nos. 130088, 131469,
155171, 155201, and 166608 as well as its more recent Decision dated June 27, 2012 in G.R. No.
188302. Pertinently, in these cases, the Court applied the earlier case of Tala Realty Services
Corporation v. Banco Filipino Savings & Mortgage Bank, docketed as G.R. No. 137533, wherein
it declared, in no uncertain terms, that the implied trust agreement between Banco Filipino
and Tala Realty is "inexistent and void for being contrary to law." As such, Banco Filipino
cannot demand the reconveyance of the subject properties in the present cases; neither can
any affirmative relief be accorded to one party against the other since they have been found
to have acted in pari delicto, viz.:
An implied trust could not have been formed between the Bank
and Tala as this Court has held that "where the purchase is made in
violation of an existing statute and in evasion of its express
provision, no trust can result in favor of the party who is guilty of
the fraud." . . . .
The Bank cannot use the defense of nor seek enforcement of its alleged implied trust with
Tala since its purpose was contrary to law. As admitted by the Bank, it "warehoused" its branch
site holdings to Tala to enable it to pursue its expansion program and purchase new branch sites
including its main branch in Makati, and at the same time avoid the real property holdings limit
under Sections 25(a) and 34 of the General Banking Act which it had already reached. .
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petitions in G.R. Nos. 158866 and 187551 are DENIED
and the Court of Appeals' Decision dated June 23, 2003 in CA-G.R. SP No. 43550 and the
Decision dated December 12, 2008 and Resolution dated April 3, 2009 in CA-G.R. CV No.
85159 are hereby AFFIRMED; while the petition in G.R. No. 181933 is GRANTED and the
Court of Appeals' Decision dated June 19, 2007 and Resolution dated February 20, 2008 in CAG.R. SP No. 78241 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The complaints for reconveyance
Page | 85

filed by Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank before the courts a quo are therefore
DISMISSED.

NICANORA G. BUCTON (deceased), substituted by REQUILDA B. YRAY, petitioner, vs.


RURAL BANK OF EL SALVADOR, INC., MISAMIS ORIENTAL, and REYNALDO
CUYONG, respondents.
[G.R. No. 179625. February 24, 2014.]
PONENTE: DEL CASTILLO, J
FACTS:
1. Petitioner alleged that she is the owner of a parcel of land, covered by Transfer Certificate
of Title (TCT) No. T-3838, located in Cagayan de Oro City; 6 that on June 6, 1982,
Concepcion borrowed the title on the pretext that she was going to show it to an
interested buyer; that Concepcion obtained a loan in the amount of P30,000.00 from
respondent bank; that as security for the loan, Concepcion mortgaged petitioner's house
and lot to respondent bank using a SPA allegedly executed by petitioner in favor of
Concepcion; that Concepcion failed to pay the loan; 11 that petitioner's house and lot
were foreclosed by respondent sheriff without a Notice of Extra-Judicial Foreclosure or
Notice of Auction Sale; and that petitioner's house and lot were sold in an auction sale in
favor of respondent bank.
2. Respondent bank filed an Answer interposing lack of cause of action as a defense. It
denied the allegation of petitioner that the SPA was forged and averred that on June 22,
1987, petitioner went to the bank and promised to settle the loan of Concepcion before
September 30, 1987. As to the alleged irregularities in the foreclosure proceedings,
Page | 86

respondent bank asserted that it complied with the requirements of the law in foreclosing
the house and lot. By way of cross-claim, respondent bank prayed that in the event of an
adverse judgment against it, Concepcion, its co-defendant, be ordered to indemnify it for
all damages.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner was liable on the loan/mortgage.
HELD: No. The Real Estate Mortgage was entered into by Concepcion in her own personal
capacity.
As early as the case of Philippine Sugar Estates Development Co. v. Poizat, we already
ruled that "in order to bind the principal by a deed executed by an agent, the deed must upon its
face purport to be made, signed and sealed in the name of the principal." In other words, the
mere fact that the agent was authorized to mortgage the property is not sufficient to bind the
principal, unless the deed was executed and signed by the agent for and on behalf of his
principal. This ruling was adhered to and reiterated with consistency in the cases of Rural Bank
of Bombon (Camarines Sur), Inc. v. Court of Appeals, Gozun v. Mercado, and Far East Bank and
Trust Company (Now Bank of the Philippine Island) v. Cayetano.
Respondent bank was negligent. At this point, we find it significant to mention that
respondent bank has no one to blame but itself. Not only did it act with undue haste when it
granted and released the loan in less than three days, it also acted negligently in preparing the
Real Estate Mortgage as it failed to indicate that Concepcion was signing it for and on behalf of
petitioner. We need not belabor that the words "as attorney-in-fact of," "as agent of," or "for and
on behalf of," are vital in order for the principal to be bound by the acts of his agent. Without
these words, any mortgage, although signed by the agent, cannot bind the principal as it is
considered to have been signed by the agent in his personal capacity.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby GRANTED. The assailed August 17,
2005 Decision and the June 7, 2007 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
60841 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
The February 23, 1998 Decision of the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro, Branch 19, in
Civil Case No. 88-113 is hereby REINSTATED, insofar as it (a) annuls the Real Estate Mortgage
dated June 11, 1982, the Sheriff's Sale of petitioner Nicanora Bucton's house and lot and the
Transfer Certificate of Title issued in the name of respondent Rural Bank of El Salvador,
Misamis Oriental; and (b) orders respondent bank to pay petitioner attorney's fees in the amount
of P20,000.00 and costs of suit with MODIFICATION that the award of moral damages in the
amount of P20,000.00 is deleted for lack of basis.
Likewise, the May 8, 1998 Resolution of the Regional Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro, Branch
19, in Civil Case No. 88-113 ordering the Third-Party Defendants, Erlinda Concepcion and her
husband, to indemnify or reimburse respondent bank damages, attorneys' fees, and costs the
latter is adjudged to pay petitioner, is hereby REINSTATED.
Finally, Third-Party Defendants, Erlinda Concepcion and her husband, are hereby ordered to pay
respondent bank the unpaid obligation under the Promissory Note dated June 11, 1982 with
interest.

Page | 87

SPOUSES JESUS L. CABAHUG AND CORONACION M. CABAHUG, petitioners, vs.


NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, respondent.
[G.R. No. 186069, January 30, 2013.]
PONENTE: PEREZ, J.

FACTS:
1. The Spouses Cabahug are the owners of two parcels of land situated in Barangay
Capokpok, Tabango, Leyte, registered in their names under TCT Nos. T-9813 and T-1599
of the Leyte provincial registry. They were among the defendants in Special Civil Action
No. 0019-PN, a suit for expropriation earlier filed by NPC before the RTC, in connection
with its Leyte-Cebu Interconnection Project.

2. The suit was later dismissed when NPC opted to settle with the landowners by paying an
easement fee equivalent to 10% of value of their property in accordance with Section 3-A
of Republic Act (RA) No. 6395.
Page | 88

3. On 9 November 1996, Jesus Cabahug executed two documents denominated as Right of


Way Grant in favor of NPC. . For and in consideration of the easement fees, Cabahug
granted NPC a continuous easement of right of way for the latters transmissions lines
and their appurtenances over 24,939 and 4,750 square meters of the parcels of land
covered by TCT Nos. T-9813 and T-1599, respectively. By said grant, 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.

4. Under paragraph 4 of the grant, however, Jesus Cabahug reserved the option to seek
additional compensation for easement fee, based on the Supreme Courts 18 January
1991 Decision in G.R. No. 60077, entitled National Power Corporation v. Spouses
Misericordia Gutierrez and Ricardo Malit, et al. (Gutierrez).

5. On 21 September 1998, the Spouses Cabahug filed the complaint for the payment of just
compensation, damages and attorneys fees against NPC before the RTC.
6. In its answer, NPC averred that it already paid the full easement fee mandated under
Section 3-A of RA 6395 and that the reservation in the grant referred to additional
compensation for easement fee, not the full just compensation sought by the Spouses
Cabahug.

7. The RTC rendered a Decision dated 14 March 2000, brushing aside NPCs reliance on
Section 3-A of RA 6395. Aggrieved by the foregoing decision, the NPC perfected the
appeal before the CA which, on 16 May 2007, rendered the herein assailed decision,
reversing and setting aside the RTCs appealed decision. On motion for reconsideration,
the same was denied by the CA. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners are entitled to full just compensation.

HELD: Yes. It is evident that the Spouses Cabahugs receipt of the easement fee did not bar
them from seeking further compensation from NPC.

The rule is settled that a contract constitutes the law between the parties who are bound
by its stipulations which, when couched in clear and plain language, should be applied according
to their literal tenor. Courts cannot supply material stipulations, read into the contract words it
does not contain or, for that matter, read into it any other intention that would contradict its plain
Page | 89

import. Neither can they rewrite contracts because they operate harshly or inequitably as to one
of the parties, or alter them for the benefit of one party and to the detriment of the other, or by
construction, relieve one of the parties from the terms which he voluntarily consented to, or
impose on him those which he did not.

The power of eminent domain may be exercised although title is not transferred to the
expropriator in an easement of right of way. Just compensation which should be neither more nor
less than the money equivalent of the property is, moreover, due where the nature and effect of
the easement is to impose limitations against the use of the land for an indefinite period and
deprive the landowner its ordinary use. 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.

The determination of just compensation in eminent domain proceedings is a judicial


function and no statute, decree, or executive order can mandate that its own determination shall
prevail over the court's findings. Any valuation for just compensation laid down in the statutes
may serve only as a guiding principle or one of the factors in determining just compensation, but
it may not substitute the court's own judgment as to what amount should be awarded and how to
arrive at such amount. Hence, Section 3A of R.A. No. 6395, as amended, is not binding upon this
Court.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED and the CA's
assailed 16 May 2007 Decision and 9 January 2009 Resolution are, accordingly, REVERSED
and SET ASIDE. In lieu thereof, another is entered REINSTATING the RTC's 14 March 2000
Decision, subject to the MODIFICATION that the awards of attorney's fees, actual damages
and/or litigation expenses are DELETED.

Page | 90

CERILA J. CALANASAN, represented by TEODORA J. CALANASAN as Attorney-inFact, petitioner, vs. SPOUSES VIRGILIO DOLORITO and EVELYN C. DOLORITO,
respondents.
[G.R. No. 171937. November 25, 2013.]
PONENTE: BRION, J
FACTS:
1. The petitioner, Cerila J. Calanasan (Cerila), took care of her orphan niece, respondent
Evelyn C. Dolorito, since the latter was a child.

2. In 1982, when Evelyn was already married to respondent Virgilio Dolorito, the petitioner
donated to Evelyn a parcel of land which had earlier been mortgaged for P15,000. The
donation was conditional: Evelyn must redeem the land and the petitioner was entitled to
possess and enjoy the property as long as she lived.

3. Evelyn signified her acceptance of the donation and its terms in the same deed. Soon
thereafter, Evelyn redeemed the property, had the title of the land transferred to her name
and granted the petitioner usufructuary rights over the donated land.

4. On August 15, 2002, the petitioner, assisted by her sister Teodora J. Calanasan,
complained with the RTC that Evelyn had committed acts of ingratitude against her. She
Page | 91

prayed that her donation in favor of her niece be revoked; in their answer, the respondents
denied the commission of any act of ingratitude.

5. The petitioner died while the case was pending with the RTC. Her sisters, Teodora and
Dolores J. Calanasan, substituted for her.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners donation in favor of her niece can be revoked.
HELD: No.
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.
We agree with the CA that since the donation imposed on the donee the burden of
redeeming the property for P15,000, 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.
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
petitioner's 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.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court DENIES the petition for review
on certiorari. The decision dated September 29, 2005, and the resolution dated March 8, 2006, of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 84031 are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against Cerila J.
Calanasan, represented by Teodora J. Calanasan as Attorney-in-Fact.

Page | 92

EVANGELINE RIVERA-CALINGASAN and E. RICAL ENTERPRISES, petitioners, vs.


WILFREDO RIVERA, substituted by MA. LYDIA S. RIVERA, FREIDA LEAH S.
RIVERA and WILFREDO S. RIVERA, JR., respondents.
[G.R. No. 171555. April 17, 2013.]
PONENTE: BRION, J
FACTS:
1. During their lifetime, respondent Wilfredo Rivera and his wife, Loreto Inciong, acquired
several parcels of land in Lipa City, Batangas, two of which were covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. T-22290 and T-30557.
2. On July 29, 1982, Loreto died, leaving Wilfredo and their two daughters, Evangeline and
Brigida Liza, as her surviving heirs.
3. About eleven (11) years later, or on March 29, 1993, Loreto's heirs executed an
extrajudicial settlement of her one-half share of the conjugal estate, adjudicating all the

Page | 93

properties in favor of Evangeline and Brigida Liza; Wilfredo waived his rights to the
properties, with a reservation of his usufructuary rights during his lifetime.
4. On September 23, 1993, the Register of Deeds of Lipa City, Batangas cancelled TCT
Nos. T-22290 and T-30557 and issued TCT Nos. T-87494 and T-87495 in the names of
Evangeline and Brigida Liza, with an annotation of Wilfredo's usufructuary rights.
5.

Almost a decade later, or on March 13, 2003, 10 Wilfredo filed with the Municipal Trial
Court in Cities (MTCC) of Lipa City a complaint for forcible entry against the petitioners
and Star Honda, Inc., docketed as Civil Case No. 0019-03

ISSUE: Whether or not the CA erred in equating residence with physical possession.
HELD: No.
The complicating factor in the case is the nature and basis of Wilfredo's possession; he
was holding the property as usufructuary, although this right to de jure possession was also
disputed before his death, hand in hand with the de facto possession that is subject of the present
case. Without need, however, of any further dispute or litigation, the right to the usufruct is now
rendered moot by the death of Wilfredo since death extinguishes a usufruct under Article 603 (1)
of the Civil Code. This development deprives the heirs of the usufructuary the right to retain or
to reacquire possession of the property even if the ejectment judgment directs its restitution.
Thus, what actually survives under the circumstances is the award of damages, by way of
compensation, that the RTC originally awarded and which the CA and this Court affirmed. This
award was computed as of the time of the RTC decision (or roughly about a year before
Wilfredo's death) but will now have to take into account the compensation due for the period
between the RTC decision and Wilfredo's death. The computation is a matter of execution that is
for the RTC, as court of origin, to undertake. The heirs of Wilfredo shall succeed to the computed
total award under the rules of succession, a matter that is not within the authority of this Court to
determine at this point.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, we hereby DENY the appeal and accordingly AFFIRM the
February 10, 2006 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 90717 with the
MODIFICATION that, with the termination, upon his death, of respondent Wilfredo Rivera's
usufructuary over the disputed property, the issue of restitution of possession has been rendered
moot and academic; on the other hand, the monetary award of P620,000.00, as reasonable
compensation for the use and occupation of the property up to the time of the Regional Trial
Court decision on April 6, 2005, survives and accrues to the estate of the deceased respondent
Wilfredo Rivera, to be distributed to his heirs pursuant to the applicable law on succession.
Additional compensation accrues and shall be added to the compensation from the time of the
Regional Trial Court decision up to respondent Wilfredo Rivera's death. For purposes of the
computation of this additional amount and for the execution of the total amount due under this
Decision, we hereby remand the case to the Regional Trial Court, as court of origin, for
appropriate action. Costs against petitioners Evangeline Rivera-Calingasan and E. Rical
Enterprises.

Page | 94

MACARIO DIAZ CARPIO, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES GELACIO


G. ORIA and MARCELINA PRE ORIA, respondents.
[G.R. No. 183102. February 27, 2013.]
PONENTE: SERENO, C.J
FACTS:
1. In 1978, petitioner Macario Carpio (Carpio) informed respondent-spouses Gelacio and
Marcelina Oria (respondents Oria) of their alleged encroachment on his property to the
extent of 137.45 square meters. He demanded that respondents return the allegedly
encroached portion and pay monthly rent therefor. However, the spouses refused.
2. Petitioner filed an action for unlawful detainer before the Metropolitan Trial Court
(MeTC) of Muntinlupa City, Branch 80, which dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction.
Page | 95

3.

The case was appealed to the RTC of Muntinlupa City, Branch 256, which affirmed the
MeTC's Decision in toto.

4. On appeal, the CA held that the RTC should not have dismissed the case, but should have
tried it as one for accion publiciana, as if it had originally been filed with the RTC,
pursuant to paragraph 1 of Section 8, Rule 40 of the 1997 Rules of Court. Consequently,
the case for accion publiciana was remanded to the RTC pursuant to the CA ruling.
5. The RTC rendered a Decision finding that respondents Oria had encroached on the
property of Carpio; and requiring respondents to vacate the property and pay monthly
rentals to petitioner from the time he made the demand in 1978 until they would vacate
the subject property.
6. On 24 November 2003, petitioner filed a Motion for Immediate Execution. Thereafter, on
2 December 2003, respondents filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Decision. The
RTC denied the Motion for Reconsideration and simultaneously granted the Motion for
Immediate Execution of the judgment in an Omnibus Order.
7. The respondents Oria filed a Petition for Certiorari questioning the ruling of the RTCs
Omnibus Order. Respondents contended that the trial court erred in finding that they had
encroached on the land of petitioner, as well as in finding that he had a right to recover
possession of the subject lot.
8. While the issue of the validity of the grant of immediate execution was being litigated
before the CA, the sheriff, in the meantime, executed the RTC Decision pursuant to the
Omnibus Order.
9. The CA found that while the RTC still had jurisdiction to grant the Motion for Immediate
Execution, the latter stated no reason at all for the issuance of the writ. It also ruled that
the appeal pending before the latter had not yet become moot and academic despite
execution of the RTC Decision.
ISSUE: Whether the case for accion publiciana on appeal has been rendered moot and academic
by the intervening implementation of the writ of execution of the RTC Decision?
HELD: NO. The writ of execution is void; consequently, all actions pursuant to the void writ are
of no legal effect.
Nothing in jurisprudence says that if the sheriff has in the meantime executed an
otherwise invalid writ of execution pending appeal, the appealed case becomes moot and
academic.Because the writ of execution was void, all actions and proceedings conducted
pursuant to it were also void and of no legal effect. Consequently, all actions taken pursuant to
the void writ of execution must be deemed to have not been taken and to have had no effect.
Otherwise, the Court would be sanctioning a violation of the right to due process of the judgment
debtors respondent-spouses herein.
The Rules of Court in fact provides for cases of reversal or annulment of an executed
judgment. Section 5 of Rule 39 provides that in those cases, there should be restitution or
reparation as warranted by justice and equity. Therefore, barring any supervening event, there is
still the possibility of the appellate court's reversal of the appealed decision even if already
executed and, consequently, of a restitution or a reparation.
Page | 96

In any case, the issues in the appealed case for accion publiciana cannot, in any way, be
characterized as moot and academic. In Osmea III v. Social Security System of the Philippines,
we defined a moot and academic case or issue as follows:
A case or issue is considered moot and academic when it ceases to
present a justiciable controversy by virtue of supervening events,
so that an adjudication of the case or a declaration on the issue
would be of no practical value or use. In such instance, there is no
actual substantial relief which a petitioner would be entitled to, and
which would be negated by the dismissal of the petition. Courts
generally decline jurisdiction over such case or dismiss it on the
ground of mootness save when, among others, a compelling
constitutional issue raised requires the formulation of controlling
principles to guide the bench, the bar and the public; or when the
case is capable of repetition yet evading judicial review. (Emphasis
supplied; citations omitted)
Applying the above definition to the instant case, it is obvious that there remains an
unresolved justiciable controversy in the appealed case for accion publiciana. In particular, did
respondent-spouses Oria really encroach on the land of petitioner? If they did, does he have the
right to recover possession of the property? Furthermore, without preempting the disposition of
the case for accion publiciana pending before the CA, we note that if respondents built structures
on the subject land, and if they were builders in good faith, they would be entitled to appropriate
rights under the Civil Code. This Court merely points out that there are still issues that the CA
needs to resolve in the appealed case before it.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant Petition for Certiorari is
DISMISSED. The Court of Appeals Resolutions dated 4 October 2007 and 28 May 2008, which
denied petitioner's Motion praying for the dismissal of respondents' appeal in CA-G.R. CV No.
87256, are hereby AFFIRMED.

Page | 97

JOSE Z. CASILANG, SR., substituted by his heirs, namely: FELICIDAD CUDIAMAT


VDA. DE CASILANG, JOSE C. CASILANG, JR., RICARDO C. CASILANG, MARIA
LOURDES C. CASILANG, CHRISTOPHER C. CASILANG, BEN C. CASILANG,
DANTE C. CASILANG, GREGORIO C. CASILANG, HERALD C. CASILANG; and
FELICIDAD Z. CASILANG, MARCELINA Z. CASILANG, JACINTA Z. CASILANG,
BONIFACIO Z. CASILANG, LEONORA Z. CASILANG, and FLORA Z. CASILANG,
petitioners, vs. ROSARIO Z. CASILANG-DIZON, MARIO A. CASILANG, ANGELO A.
CASILANG, RODOLFO A. CASILANG, and ATTY. ALICIA B. FABIA, in her capacity as
Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff of Pangasinan and/or her duly authorized
representative, respondents
[G.R. No. 180269. February 20, 2013.]
PONENTE: REYES, J
FACTS:
1. On May 26, 1997, respondent 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 (TD) No. 555 issued in 1994 under her fathers name.
On April 3, 1997, the respondents 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.
2. 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." For some reason, however, he and his lawyer, who was
from the Public Attorneys Office, failed to appear at the scheduled pre-trial conference,
and Jose was declared in default; thus, the adverse judgment against him rendered by the
MTC ordering Jose to remove his house, vacate Lot No. 4618.
3. On June 2, 1998, the petitioners, counting 7 of the 8 children of Liborio and Francisca
( The respondents aunts and uncle), filed with the RTC of Dagupan City a
Complaint, docketed as Civil Case No. 98-02371-D for "Annulment of Documents,
Ownership and Peaceful Possession with Damages" against the respondents, the RTC of
Dagupan rendered a decision in petioners favor.
4. The RTC affirmed Jose's ownership and possession of Lot No. 4618 by virtue of the oral
partition of the estate of Liborio by all the siblings. In the Deed of Extrajudicial Partition
with Quitclaim dated January 8, 1998, subsequently executed by all the eight (8) Casilang
siblings and their legal representatives with Ireneo represented by his four (4)
children, and Bonifacio by his son Bernabe petitioners Jose, Felicidad, Jacinta and
Page | 98

Bernabe, acknowledged that they had "already received their respective shares of
inheritance in advance," and therefore, renounced their claims over Lot No. 4676 in favor
of co-heirs Marcelina, Leonora, Flora and Ireneo.
5. On appeal, CA reversed the RTC by relying mainly on the factual findings and
conclusions of the MTC.
6. It was found by the MTC that the latter is the owner of the subject parcel of land located
at Talibaew, Calasiao, Pangasinan; that the former owner of the land is the late IRENEO
(who died on 11 June 1992), father of Appellant ROSARIO; that Extra Judicial Partition
with Quitclaim was executed by and among the heirs of the late IRENEO; that MAURO
[sic], ANGELO and RODOLFO, all surnamed CASILANG waived and quitclaimed their
respective shares over the subject property in favor of Appellant ROSARIO; that
Appellee JOSE was allowed by the late IRENEO during his lifetime to occupy a portion
of the land without a contract of lease and no rentals being paid by the former; that
Appellant ROSARIO allowed Appellee JOSE to continue occupying the land after the
Extra Judicial Partition with Quitclaim was executed.
ISSUE: Whether or not Inferior courts are empowered to rule on the question of ownership
raised by the defendant in an ejectment suit.
HELD: Yes. Inferior courts are empowered to rule on the question of ownership raised by the
defendant in an ejectment suit, but only to resolve the issue of possession; its determination is
not conclusive on the issue of ownership.
It is well to be reminded of the settled distinction between a summary action of ejectment
and a plenary action for recovery of possession and/or ownership of the land. What really
distinguishes an action for unlawful detainer from a possessory action (accion publiciana) and
from a reinvindicatory action (accion reinvindicatoria) is that the first is limited to the question
of possession de facto. Unlawful detainer suits (accion interdictal) together with forcible entry
are the two forms of ejectment suit that may be filed to recover possession of real property. Aside
from the summary action of ejectment,accion publiciana or the plenary action to recover the
right of possession and accion reinvindicatoria or the action to recover ownership which also
includes recovery of possession, make up the three kinds of actions to judicially recover
possession.
Under Section 3 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, the Summary Procedure governs the
two forms of ejectment suit, the purpose being to provide an expeditious means of protecting
actual possession or right to possession of the property. They are not processes to determine the
actual title to an estate. If at all, inferior courts are empowered to rule on the question of
ownership raised by the defendant in such suits, only to resolve the issue of possession and its
determination on the ownership issue is not conclusive.33 As thus provided in Section 16 of Rule
70:
Sec. 16. Resolving defense of ownership.When the defendant
raises the defense of ownership in his pleadings and the question of
possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of
ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to
determine the issue of possession.
Page | 99

It is apropos, then, to note that in contrast to Civil Case No. 847, which is an ejectment
case, Civil Case No. 98-02371-D is for "Annulment of Documents, Ownership and Peaceful
Possession;" it is an accion reinvindicatoria, or action to recover ownership, which necessarily
includes recovery of possession34 as an incident thereof. Jose asserts his ownership over Lot No.
4618 under a partition agreement with his co-heirs, and seeks to invalidate Ireneos "claim" over
Lot No. 4618 and to declare TD No. 555 void, and consequently, to annul the Deed of
Extrajudicial Partition and Quitclaim executed by Ireneos heirs.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is GRANTED. The Decision
dated July 19, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 79619 is hereby REVERSED
and SET ASIDE, and the Decision dated April 21, 2003 of the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan
City, Branch 41 in Civil Case No. 98-02371-D is REINSTATED.

Page | 100

REY CASTIGADOR CATEDRILLA, petitioner, vs. MARIO and MARGIE 1 LAURON,


respondents.
[G.R. No. 179011. April 15, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERALTA, J
FACTS:
1. On February 12, 2003, petitioner Rey Castigador Catedrilla filed with the Municipal Trial
Court (MTC) of Lambunao, Iloilo a Complaint for ejectment against the spouses Mario
and Margie Lauron on the subject lot owned by Lilia, the petitioner's mother. Sometime in
1980, respondents Mario and Margie Lauron, through the tolerance of the heirs of Lilia,
constructed a residential building of strong materials on the northwest portion of the lot
covering an area of one hundred square meters; that the heirs of Lilia made various demands
for respondents to vacate the premises and even exerted earnest efforts to compromise with
them but the same was unavailing and the petitioner reiterated the demand on respondents to
vacate the subject lot on January 15, 2003, but respondents continued to unlawfully withhold
such possession.
2. In their Answer, respondents claimed that petitioner had no cause of action against them,
since they are not the owners of the residential building standing on petitioner's lot, but
Mildred Kascher (Mildred), sister of respondent Margie, as shown by the tax declaration in
Mildred's name.
3. On November 14, 2003, the MTC rendered its Decision in favor of the plaintiff. Based on the
allegations and evidence presented, it appeared that petitioner is one of the heirs of Lilia
Castigador Catedrilla, the owner of the subject lot and that respondents are occupying
the subject lot; that petitioner is a party who may bring the suit in accordance with Article
487 of the Civil Code; and as a co-owner, petitioner is allowed to bring this action for
ejectment under Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court; that respondents are also the
proper party to be sued as they are the occupants of the subject lot which they do not own.
Page | 101

4. Respondents filed their appeal with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Iloilo City and on
March 22, 2005, the RTC rendered its Order and affirmed the decision of MTC.
5. Respondents filed with the CA a petition for review. The CA issued its decision reversing
and setting aside the decision of the RTC. The CA found that only petitioner filed the case for
ejectment against respondents and ruled that the other heirs should have been impleaded as
plaintiffs citing Section 1, Rule 7 and Section 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court; that the
presence of all indispensable parties is a condition sine qua non for the exercise of judicial
power; that when an indispensable party is not before the court, the action should be
dismissed as without the presence of all the other heirs as plaintiffs, the trial court could not
validly render judgment and grant relief in favor of the respondents.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner can file the action for ejectment without impleading his coowners.
HELD: Yes
Petitioner can file the action for ejectment without impleading his co-owners. In Wee v.
De Castro, wherein petitioner therein argued that the respondent cannot maintain an action for
ejectment against him, without joining all his co-owners, we ruled in this wise:
Article 487 of the New Civil Code is explicit on this point: Any one of the
co-owners may bring an action in ejectment.
This article covers all kinds of action for the recovery of possession, i.e., forcible entry
and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and
recovery of ownership (accion de reivindicacion). As explained by the renowned civilest,
Professor Arturo M. Tolentino:
According to Article 487 of the New Civil Code, any one of the co-owners
may bring an action in ejectment. Quoting the explanation of the
renowned civilest, Professor Arturo M. Tolentino, A co-owner may
bring an action in ejectment without the necessity of joining all the other
co-owners as co-plaintiffs, because the suit is deemed to be instituted for
the benefit of all. If the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone,
such that he claims possession for himself and not for the co-ownership,
the action will not prosper.
In the more recent case of Carandang v. Heirs of De Guzman, this Court declared that a
co-owner is not even a necessary party to an action for ejectment, for complete relief can be
afforded even in his absence, thus:
In sum, in suits to recover properties, all co-owners are real parties in interest. However,
pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil Code and the relevant jurisprudence, any one of them may
bring an action, any kind of action for the recovery of co-owned properties. Therefore only one
of the co-owners, namely the co-owner who filed the suit for the recovery of the co-owned
property, is an indispensable party thereto. The other co-owners are not indispensable parties.
They are not even necessary parties, for a complete relief can be afforded in the suit even without
their participation, since the suit is presumed to have been filed for the benefit of all co-owners.

Page | 102

In this case, although petitioner alone filed the complaint for unlawful detainer, he stated
in the complaint that he is one of the heirs of the late Lilia Castigador, his mother, who inherited
the subject lot, from her parents. Petitioner did not claim exclusive ownership of the subject lot,
but he filed the complaint for the purpose of recovering its possession which would redound to
the benefit of the co-owners. Since petitioner recognized the existence of a co-ownership, he, as
a co-owner, can bring the action without the necessity of joining all the other co-owners as coplaintiffs.
In ejectment cases, the only issue to be resolved is who is entitled to the physical or
material possession of the property involved, independent of any claim of ownership set forth by
any of the party-litigants. In an action for unlawful detainer, the real party-in-interest as partydefendant is the person who is in possession of the property without the benefit of any contract
of lease and only upon the tolerance and generosity of its owner. Well settled is the rule that a
person who occupies the land of another at the latters tolerance or permission, without any
contract between them, is bound by an implied promise that he will vacate the same upon
demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him. His
status is analogous to that of a lessee or tenant whose term of lease has expired but whose
occupancy continued by tolerance of the owner. Here, records show that the subject lot is owned
by petitioner's mother, and petitioner, being an heir and a co-owner, is entitled to the possession
of the subject lot. On the other hand, respondent spouses are the occupants of the subject lot
which they do not own. Respondents' possession of the subject lot was without any contract of
lease as they failed to present any, thus lending credence to petitioner's claim that their stay in the
subject lot is by mere tolerance of petitioner and his predecessors. It is indeed respondents
spouses who are the real parties-in-interest who were correctly impleaded as defendants in
the unlawful detainer case filed by petitioner.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby GRANTED. The
Decision dated February 28, 2007 and the Resolution dated July 11, 2007 of the Court of
Appeals are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Order dated March 22, 2005 of the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 26, Iloilo City, in Civil Case No. 04-27978, is hereby
REINSTATED.

Page | 103

SPOUSES FELIX CHINGKOE AND ROSITA CHINGKOE, petitioners, v. SPOUSES


FAUSTINO CHINGKOE AND GLORIA CHINGKOE, respondents.
[G.R. No. 185518, April 17, 2013.]
PONENTE: SERENO, C.J.
FACTS:
1. Respondents are registered owners of real property. They permitted petitioners to inhabit
the subject property. Through the intercession of their mother, Faustino agreed to sell his
property to Felix, on condition that the title shall be delivered only after payment of the
full purchase price. They agreed that the incomplete and unnotarized Deed of Sale would
only be completed after full payment.
2. On July 2001, Faustino sent a demand letter to Felix to vacate the premises. Felix
refused, prompting Faustino to file a complaint for unlawful detainer with the MTC. In
Felix' answer, he showed a copy of completed Deed of Absolute Sale claiming that he
bought the property in cash from Faustino. He likewise filed an action for specific
performance with the RTC in Faustino's refusal to surrender the title to them as buyers.
3. The MTC gave weight to the Deed of Sale presented by petitioners and dismissed the
Complaint. RTC affirmed the findings of the MTC. RTC reasoned that although the
plaintiffs-appellants questioned the validity and authenticity of the Deed of Sale, this will
not change the nature of the action as an unlawful detainer, in the light of our premise of
the principal issue in unlawful detainer possession de facto.
4. The CA reversed the findings of the lower courts and ruled that a mere plea of title over
disputed land by the defendant cannot be used as sound basis for dismissing an action for
recovery of possession. Citing Refugia v. Court of Appeals, the appellate court found that
Page | 104

petitioners stay on the property was merely a tolerated possession, which they were no
longer entitled to continue. The deed they presented was not one of sale, but a document
preparatory to an actual sale, prepared by the petitioners upon the insistence and prodding
of their mother to soothe in temper respondent Felix Chingkoe.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners have absolute ownership of the property.
HELD: No, petitioners stay was merely a tolerated possession.
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 states that when the defendant raises the question of ownership
in unlawful detainer cases and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding
the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of
possession. This Court has repeatedly ruled that although the issue in unlawful detainer cases is
physical possession over a property, trial courts may provisionally resolve the issue of ownership
for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession. These actions are intended to avoid
disruption of public order by those who would take the law in their hands purportedly to enforce
their claimed right of possession. In these cases, the issue is pure physical or de facto possession,
and pronouncements made on questions of ownership are provisional in nature. The provisional
determination of ownership in the ejectment case cannot be clothed with finality."
Trial courts must necessarily delve into and weigh the evidence of the parties in order to
rule on the right of possession, as we have discussed in Sps. Esmaquel and Sordevilla v.
Coprada:
In unlawful detainer cases, the possession of the defendant was
originally legal, as his possession was permitted by the plaintiff on
account of an express or implied contract between them. However,
defendant's possession became illegal when the plaintiff demanded
that defendant vacate the subject property due to the expiration or
termination of the right to possess under their contract, and
defendant refused to heed such demand.
The sole issue for resolution in an unlawful detainer case is physical or material
possession of the property involved, independent of any claim of ownership by any of the
parties. Where the issue of ownership is raised by any of the parties, the courts may pass upon
the same in order to determine who has the right to possess the property. The adjudication is,
however, merely provisional and would not bar or prejudice an action between the same parties
involving title to the property. Since the issue of ownership was raised in the unlawful detainer
case, its resolution boils down to which of the parties' respective evidence deserves more weight.
The Court has ruled that although the issue in unlawful detainer is physical possession
over a property, trial courts may provisionally resolve the issue of ownership for the sole purpose
of determining the issue of possession. Trial courts must delve into and weigh the evidence of the
parties in order to rule on the right of possession.
In this case, the mere plea of title over the disputed land by Felix cannot be used as a
sound basis for dismissing an action for recovery of possession. The testimony of their mother in
the action for specific performance proceeding is given weight to contradict Felix' claim. That
there was no payment made. And that there was no perfection of the contract. It was discovered
by the CA that petitioner falsified their copy of the Deed of Sale They made it appear that that
there was a valid and consummated sale when in truth and in fact there was none.
Page | 105

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, we deny the instant Petition for lack
of merit. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 100008 (dated 3 July 2008)
is AFFIRMED.

JUANITA ERMITAO, represented by her Attorney-in-Fact, ISABELO ERMITAO,


petitioner, vs. LAILANIE M. PAGLAS, respondent.
[G.R. No. 174436. January 23, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERALTA, J
FACTS:
1. On November 5, 1999, herein respondent and petitioner through her representative,
Isabelo Ermitano, executed contract of lease where in petitioner leased a residential lot
and a house located in Davao city.
2. 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. The property was foreclosed with yap as the purchaser of the lot in an extra
judicial foreclosure which was registered on February 22, 2000.
3. Yap's brother later offered to sell the subject property to respondent. On June 1, 2000,
respondent bought the subject property from Yap for P950,000.00. 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.
Page | 106

4.

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. Sometime in May 2000, petitioner sent a letter demanding respondent to pay
the rentals which are due and to vacate the leased premises. Respondent ignored this.

5. Petitioner then filed a case with the MTCC a case for unlawful detainer against
respondent. The MTCC dismissed the case.
6. Petitioner filed an appeal with the RTC. The RTC held that herein respondent possesses
the right to redeem the subject property and that, pending expiration of the redemption
period, she is entitled to receive the rents, earnings and income derived from the property.
7. On appeal, the CA ruled that respondent did not act in bad faith when she bought the
property in question because she had every right to rely on the validity of the documents
evidencing the mortgage and the foreclosure proceedings.
ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the unlawful detainer case.
2. Whether or not the petitioner can enforce his right to the rentals during the time that he is still
entitled to the physical possession of the property
HELD:
1. No.
It bears to reiterate the settled rule that 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. In an unlawful detainer case, the sole issue for resolution is the
physical or material possession of the property involved, independent of any claim of ownership
by any of the party litigants. Where the issue of ownership is raised by any of the parties, the
courts may pass upon the same in order to determine who has the right to possess the property.
The adjudication is, however, merely provisional and would not bar or prejudice an action
between the same parties involving title to the property.
It is settled that in unlawful detainer, one unlawfully withholds possession thereof after
the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or
implied. In such case, the possession was originally lawful but became unlawful by the
expiration or termination of the right to possess; hence, the issue of rightful possession is
decisive for, in such action, the defendant is in actual possession and the plaintiff's cause of
action is the termination of the defendant's right to continue in possession.
In the instant case, pending final resolution of the suit filed by petitioner for the
declaration of nullity of the real estate mortgage in favor of Yap, the MTCC, the RTC and the CA
were unanimous in sustaining the presumption of validity of the real estate mortgage over the
subject property in favor of Yap as well as the presumption of regularity in the performance of
the duties of the public officers who subsequently conducted its foreclosure sale and issued a
provisional certificate of sale. Based on the presumed validity of the mortgage and the
Page | 107

subsequent foreclosure sale, the MTCC, the RTC and the CA also sustained the validity of
respondent's purchase of the disputed property from Yap. The Court finds no cogent reason to
depart from these rulings of the MTCC, RTC and CA.
In the instant petition, petitioner's basic postulate in her first and second assigned errors is
that she remains the owner of the subject property. Based on her contract of lease with
respondent, petitioner insists that respondent is not permitted to deny her title over the said
property in accordance with the provisions of Section 2 (b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court.
The Court does not agree. The conclusive presumption found in Section 2 (b), Rule 131
of the Rules of Court, known as estoppel against tenants, provides as follows:
Sec. 2.
Conclusive presumptions. The following are instances
of conclusive presumptions:
xxx

xxx

xxx

(b) The tenant is not permitted to deny the title of his landlord at the
time of the commencement of the relation of landlord and tenant
between them. (Emphasis supplied).
It is clear from the abovequoted provision that what a tenant is estopped from denying is
the title of his landlord at the time of the commencement of the landlord-tenant relation. 13 If the
title asserted is one that is alleged to have been acquired subsequent to the commencement of
that relation, the presumption will not apply. 14 Hence, the tenant may show that the landlord's
title has expired or been conveyed to another or himself; and he is not estopped to deny a claim
for rent, if he has been ousted or evicted by title paramount. 15 In the present case, what
respondent is claiming is her supposed title to the subject property which she acquired
subsequent to the commencement of the landlord-tenant relation between her and petitioner.
Hence, the presumption under Section 2 (b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court does not apply.
2. Yes, the petitioner is entitled to his right of rentals.
Even if respondent is not estopped from denying petitioner's claim for rent, her basis for
such denial, which is her subsequent acquisition of ownership of the disputed property, is
nonetheless, an insufficient excuse from refusing to pay the rentals due to petitioner.
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. 16 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. 17
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.
Under Act No. 3135, the purchaser in a foreclosure sale has, during the redemption
period, only an inchoate right and not the absolute right to the property with all the
accompanying incidents. 19 He only becomes an absolute owner of the property if it is not
redeemed during the redemption period.
Page | 108

As a consequence of the inchoate character of the purchaser's right during the redemption
period, Act No. 3135, as amended, allows the purchaser at the foreclosure sale to take possession
of the property only upon the filing of a bond, in an amount equivalent to the use of the property
for a period of twelve (12) months, to indemnify the mortgagor in case it be shown that the sale
was made in violation of the mortgage or without complying with the requirements of the law. In
Cua Lai Chu v. Laqui, 22 this Court reiterated the rule earlier pronounced in Navarra v. Court of
Appeals 23 that the purchaser at an extrajudicial foreclosure sale has a right to the possession of
the property even during the one-year redemption period provided the purchaser files an
indemnity bond. That bond, nonetheless, is not required after the purchaser has consolidated his
title to the property following the mortgagor's failure to exercise his right of redemption for in
such a case, the former has become the absolute owner thereof.
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.
On the other hand, petitioner, as mortgagor and owner, was entitled not only to the
possession of the disputed house and lot but also to the rents, earnings and income derived
therefrom. In this regard, the RTC correctly cited Section 32, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court
While the above rule refers to execution sales, the Court finds no cogent reason not to apply the
same principle to a foreclosure sale, as in this case.
The situation became different, however, after the expiration of the redemption period on
February 23, 2001. Since there is no allegation, much less evidence, that petitioner redeemed the
subject property within one year from the date of registration of the certificate of sale, respondent
became the owner thereof. Consolidation of title becomes a right upon the expiration of the
redemption period. 26 Having become the owner of the disputed property, respondent is then
entitled to its possession.
As a consequence, petitioner's ejectment suit filed against respondent was rendered moot
when the period of redemption expired on February 23, 2001 without petitioner having redeemed
the subject property, for upon expiration of such period petitioner lost his possessory right over
the same. Hence, the only remaining right that petitioner can enforce is his right to the rentals
during the time that he was still entitled to physical possession of the subject property that is
from May 2000 until February 23, 2001.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 77617, dated September 8, 2004 and August 16, 2006, respectively, are AFFIRMED
with the following MODIFICATIONS: (1) respondent is ORDERED to pay petitioner
P108,000.00 as and for unpaid rentals; (2) the award of attorney's fees and litigation expenses to
respondent is DELETED.

Page | 109

HOLY TRINITY REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, represented by


JENNIFER R. MARQUEZ, petitioner, vs. SPOUSES CARLOS AND ELIZABETH
ABACAN, respondents.
[G.R. No. 183858. April 17, 2013.]
PONENTE: SERENO, C.J
FACTS:
3. A parcel of land located in Sumapang, Malolos City is registered in the name of
Freddie Santiago (Santiago) under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 103697. On
23 August 1999, petitioner Holy Trinity Realty Development Corporation (HTRDC)
acquired the property from Santiago, but later found that the lot was already occupied
by some individuals, among them respondent-spouses Carlos and Elizabeth Abacan.
4. HTRDC then filed a complaint for forcible entry against respondent-spouses and the
other occupants. It withdrew the complaint, however, because it needed to verify the
exact location of the property, which the occupants claimed was covered by
Page | 110

emancipation patents issued by the Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication


Board (DARAB).
5. HTRDC commenced a complaint with the DARAB for cancellation of emancipation
patents against some of the occupants of the land. During the pendency of the
DARAB case, the occupants possession was tolerated.
6. On 30 April 2002, the provincial adjudicator ordered the cancellation of the
emancipation patents of the occupants of the land. The DARAB later affirmed the
decision of the provincial adjudicator.
7. On 4 November 2003, HTRDC filed a complaint for unlawful detainer and damages
with the MTCC of Malolos against the occupants of the subject land, again including
respondent spouses. Petitioner alleged that from the time it purchased the property in
1999 until the pendency of the DARAB case, it had no immediate need for the subject
parcel of land. When the need arose, it made both verbal and written demands on the
occupants to vacate the property.
8. Despite its final demand on 17 June 2003, the occupants failed to vacate the property.
Thus, HTRDC had to resort to the filing of an ejectment case against them.
9. Meanwhile, the provincial agrarian reform officer (PARO) filed an action for
annulment of sale against HTRDC. Respondents thereafter moved to stay execution
on the ground that a supervening event had transpired.
10. The MTCC denied the motion, ruling that the mere filing of an action by the PARO
did not materially change the situation of the parties, and hence, may not be
considered as a supervening event.
11. From the Order of the MTCC denying their motion to quash, respondents filed
directly with the CA a Special Civil Action for Certiorari with Prayer for a Temporary
Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction.
12. The appellate court issued a Writ of Preliminary Injunction and ultimately granted the
petition for certiorari in a Decision dated 27 March 2008. The CA held that the
MTCC had no jurisdiction over the unlawful detainer case
ISSUE:
5. Whether or not the MTCC had no jurisdiction over the unlawful detainer case.
6. Whether or not HTRDC has a de facto possession of the subject property.
HELD:
6. The CA committed reversible error in ruling that the MTCC had no jurisdiction over the
unlawful detainer case.
Page | 111

In this case, the motion to quash was grounded on the sole argument that the judgment
should no longer be enforced because of the occurrence of a material supervening event.
Respondents alleged that before the alias writs were issued, but after the MTCC rendered
judgment in the unlawful detainer case, they had acquired ownership over the subject property as
evidenced by Emancipation Patent Nos. 00780489 and 00780490.
The MTCC correctly denied their motion, citing our ruling in Oblea v. Court of Appeals
and Chua v. Court of Appeals to the effect that the subsequent acquisition of ownership is not a
supervening event that will bar the execution of the judgment in the unlawful detainer case.
According to the MTCC:
This court gives due weight to the ruling of the Supreme Court in
the cases of Oblea vs. Court of Appeals (244 SCRA 101) and Chua
vs. Court of Appeals (271 SCRA 564), wherein it made a
categorical pronouncement that the subsequent acquisition of
ownership by any person is not a supervening event that will bar
the execution of the judgment in the unlawful detainer case. True it
is that the sole issue in an action for unlawful detainer . . . is
physical or material possession. Such issue of physical or material
possession was already pass[ed] upon by this court during trial. As
held in the case of Dizon vs. Concina (30 SCRA 897), the
judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or detainer shall
be effective with respect to the possession only and in no wise bind
the title or affect the ownership of the land or building. Such
judgment shall not bar an action between the parties respecting title
to the land or building. (Sec. 18, Rule 70, 1997 Rules of Civil
Procedure)
It is well-settled that the sole issue in ejectment cases is physical or material possession
of the subject property, independent of any claim of ownership by the parties. 38 The argument
of respondent-spouses that they subsequently acquired ownership of the subject property cannot
be considered as a supervening event that will bar the execution of the questioned judgment, as
unlawful detainer does not deal with the issue of ownership.
7. As the case now stands, both parties are claiming ownership of the subject property:
petitioner, by virtue of a Deed of Sale executed in its favor by the registered land owner;
and respondents, by subsequently issued emancipation patents in their names. This issue
would more appropriately be ventilated in a full-blown proceeding, rather than in a
motion to stay the execution of the judgment rendered in the instant summary ejectment
proceeding.
To reiterate, the sole issue in the present case is de facto possession of the subject
property, and this was conclusively settled by the MTCC in HTRDC's favor in its final and
executory Consolidated Decision of 25 May 2005. We therefore rule that the CA committed
reversible error in ruling that the MTCC committed grave abuse of discretion in denying
respondents' motion to quash the alias writs of execution and demolition.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the instant Petition for Review is GRANTED. The assailed
Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 97862 dated 27 March 2008
Page | 112

and 14 July 2008, respectively, are hereby SET ASIDE and REVERSED. The Order dated 17
January 2007 of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Branch 2, Malolos City, in Civil Case Nos.
03-140 to 03-143 is hereby REINSTATED.

LAND
BANK
OF
THE
CACAYURAN, respondent.

PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs.

EDUARDO

M.

[GR No. 191667 April 17, 2013.]


PONENTE: PERLAS-BERNABE, J
FACTS:
1. The municipality Sanguniang Bayan passed a resolution to implement a multi phased plan to
develop Agoo Public Plaza. They passed a resolution authorizing Mayor Enriguel to obtain a
loan from Land Bank and incidental thereto, mortgage a 2,353.75 sq. meter lot which is a

Page | 113

portion of its plaza as a collateral, it further authorized the assignment of a portion of its
Internal Reveneu Allotment and the monthly income from the project as additional security.
2. Land Bank then extended a 4M loan in favor of the municipality. Ten kiosk were completely
constructed and rented out. They passed another resolution to build a commercial center on
the Plaza lot and contracted another loan posting the same securities as that of the first loan
to Land Bank. 28M was granted in favor of the municipality as their 2nd loan.
3. Respondent Cacayuran invoking his right as a taxpayer, filed a complaint against the
implicated officers and Land Bank, questioning the validity of the subject loans on the
ground that the Plaza lot used as a collateral of the loans is a property of public dominion and
therefore, beyond the commerce of men.
4. Land Bank claimed that Cacayuran did not have a cause of action and that it is not privy to
the implicated Officers acts of destroying the Agoo Plaza. Pending the proceedings,
construction of the commercial center finally completed and made known as Agoos People
Center (APC).The SB passed another ordinance declaring APC as patrimonial property.
5. RTC ruled in favor of Cacayuran, declaring the nullity of the subject loan. And that the
resolution passed approving the said loan was in a highly irregular manner and thus Ultra
Vires. It further added that the Plaza lot is proscribed from collateralization since it is a
property for public use.
6. Only Land Bank appealed yet CA affirmed with modification the RTCs ruling, excluding
Vice Mayor Eslao from the liability. It also held that Cacayuran has Locus Standi to file his
complaint and that the resolution is invalid and that the Plaza is a property of public
dominion and so it cannot be appropriated by the state or private person. CA further added
that subject loans are ultra vires, they are transacted without proper authority and their
collateralization constituted improper disbursement of public funds.
ISSUES: Whether Cacayuran has standing to sue
HELD: Yes.
It is hornbook principle that a taxpayer is allowed to sue where there is a claim that
public funds are illegally disbursed, or that public money is being deflected to any improper
purpose, or that there is wastage of public funds through the enforcement of an invalid or
unconstitutional law. A person suing as a taxpayer, however, must show that the act complained
of directly involves the illegal disbursement of public funds derived from taxation. In other
words, for a taxpayers suit to prosper, two requisites must be met namely, (1) public funds
derived from taxation are disbursed by a political subdivision or instrumentality and in doing so,
a law is violated or some irregularity is committed; and (2) the petitioner is directly affected by
the alleged act.

Records reveal that the foregoing requisites are present in the instant case. First, although
the construction of the APC would be primarily sourced from the proceeds of the Subject Loans,
which Land Bank insists are not taxpayers money, there is no denying that public funds derived
from taxation are bound to be expended as the Municipality assigned a portion of its IRA as a
security for the foregoing loans. Needless to state, the Municipalitys IRA, which serves as the
local government units just share in the national taxes, is in the nature of public funds derived
Page | 114

from taxation. The Court believes, however, that although these funds may be posted as a
security, its collateralization should only be deemed effective during the incumbency of the
public officers who approved the same, else those who succeed them be effectively deprived of
its use.

In any event, it is observed that the proceeds from the Subject Loans had already been
converted into public funds by the Municipalitys receipt thereof. Funds coming from private
sources become impressed with the characteristics of public funds when they are under official
custody.

Second, as a resident-taxpayer of the Municipality, Cacayuran is directly affected by the


conversion of the Agoo Plaza which was funded by the proceeds of the Subject Loans. It is wellsettled that public plazas are properties for public use and therefore, belongs to the public
dominion. As such, it can be used by anybody and no one can exercise over it the rights of a
private owner. In this light, Cacayuran had a direct interest in ensuring that the Agoo Plaza would
not be exploited for commercial purposes through the APCs construction. Moreover, Cacayuran
need not be privy to the Subject Loans in order to proffer his objections thereto. In Mamba v.
Lara, it has been held that a taxpayer need not be a party to the contract to challenge its validity;
as long as taxes are involved, people have a right to question contracts entered into by the
government.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Accordingly, the March 26, 2010
Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV. No. 89732 is hereby AFFIRMED.

Page | 115

LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, petitioner, vs. BARBARA SAMPAGA POBLETE,


respondent.
[G.R. No. 196577. February 25, 2013.]
PONENTE: CARPIO, J
FACTS:
1. On October 1997, respondent Poblete obtained a loan worth P 300,000.00 from Kapantay
Multi-Purpose. She mortgaged her Lot No. 29 located in Buenavista, Sablayan,
Occidental Mindoro, under OCT No. P-12026. Kapantay, in turn, used OCT No. P12026 as collateral under its Loan Account No. 97-OC-013 with Land Bank Sablayan
Branch.
2. In November 1998, Poblete decided to sell Lot No. 29 to pay her loan. She instructed her
son-in-law Domingo Balen (Balen) to look for a buyer. Balen referred Angelito Joseph
Maniego (Maniego) to Poblete. Both parties agreed that the lot shall amount to P
900,000.00 but in order to reduce taxes they will execute a P 300,000.00 agreed price
appearing in the Deed of Absolute Sale dated November 9, 1998. In the Deed, Poblete
specifically described herself as a widow. Baledn, then, delivered the Deed to
Maniego. Instead of paying the price, Maniego promised in an affidavit dated November
19, 1998 stating that the said amount will be deposited to her Land Bank Savings
Account but he failed to do so.
3. On August 1999, Maniego paid Kapantays Loan Account for P 448,202.08 and on
subsequent year he applied for a loan worth P 1,000,000.00 from Land Bank using OCT
No. P-12026 as a collateral in a condition that the title must be first transferred on his
name. On August 14, 2000, the Registry of Deeds issued TCT No. T-20151 in Maniegos
name pursuant to a Deed of Absolute Sale with the signatures of Mrs. Poblete and her
husband date August 11, 2000 and Maniego successfully availed the Credit Line
Agreement for P 1,000,000.00 and a Real Estate Mortgage over TCT No. T-20151 on
August 15, 2000. On November 2002, Land Bank filed an Application for an Extrajudicial Foreclosure against the said Mortgage stating that Maniego failed to pay his loan.
4. On 2 December 2002, Poblete filed a Complaint for Nullification of the Deed dated 11
August 2000 and TCT No. T-20151, Reconveyance of Title and Damages with Prayer for
Temporary Restraining Order and/or Issuance of Writ of Preliminary Injunction. Named
defendants were Maniego, Land Bank, the Register of Deeds of Occidental Mindoro and
Elsa Z. Aguirre in her capacity as Acting Clerk of Court of RTC San Jose, Occidental
Mindoro. In her Complaint, Poblete alleged that despite her demands on Maniego, she
did not receive the consideration of P900,000.00 for Lot No. 29. She claimed that without
her knowledge, Maniego used the Deed dated 9 November 1998 to acquire OCT No. P12026 from Kapantay. Upon her verification with the Register of Deeds, the Deed dated
11 August 2000 was used to obtain TCT No. T-20151. Poblete claimed that the Deed
dated 11 August 2000 bearing her and her deceased husband's, Primo Poblete, supposed
signatures was a forgery as their signatures were forged. As proof of the forgery, Poblete
presented the Death Certificate dated 27 April 1996 of her husband and Report No. 294502 of the Technical Services Department of the National Bureau of Investigation
showing that the signatures in the Deed dated 11 August 2000 were forgeries.
Accordingly, Poblete also filed a case for estafa through falsification of public document
against Maniego and sought injunction of the impending foreclosure proceeding.
Page | 116

5. RTC ruled in favor of Poblete. The RTC ruled that the sale between Poblete and Maniego
was a nullity. The RTC found that the agreed consideration was P900,000.00 and
Maniego failed to pay the consideration. Furthermore, the signatures of Poblete and her
deceased husband were proven to be forgeries. The RTC also ruled that Land Bank was
not a mortgagee in good faith because it failed to exercise the diligence required of
banking institutions. The RTC explained that had Land Bank exercised due diligence, it
would have known before approving the loan that the sale between Poblete and Maniego
had not been consummated. Nevertheless, the RTC granted Land Bank's cross-claim
against Maniego.
6. On appeal, he CA promulgated its Decision affirming in toto the Decision of the RTC.
ISSUE:
1. Whether or not the title should be registered in the name of Maniego.
2. Whether or not Land Bank is a mortgagee in good faith.
3. Whether or not the respondent and Maniego in pari delicto.
4. Whether or not the principle of estoppel or laches apply on respondent in that the
proximate cause of her loss was her negligence to safeguard her rights over the subject
property, thereby enabling angelito joseph maniego to mortgage the same with land bank.
HELD: We do not find merit in the petition.
1.

It is well-entrenched rule, as applied, by the CA, that a forged or fraudulent deed is a


nullity and conveys no title. Moreover, where the deed of sale is states that the purchase
price has been paid but in fact has never been, the deed is void ab initio for lack of
consideration. Since the deed, is void, the title is also void.
The issue on the nullity of Maniego's title had already been foreclosed when this
Court denied Maniego's petition for review in the Resolution dated 13 July 2011, which
became final and executory on 19 January 2012. It is settled that a decision that has acquired
finality becomes immutable and unalterable and may no longer be modified in any respect,
even if the modification is meant to correct erroneous conclusions of fact or law and whether
it will be made by the court that rendered it or by the highest court of the land. This is
without prejudice, however, to the right of Maniego to recover from Poblete what he paid to
Kapantay for the account of Poblete, otherwise there will be unjust enrichment by Poblete.
There is indeed a situation where, despite the fact that the mortgagor is not the owner
of the mortgaged property, his title being fraudulent, the mortgage contract and any
foreclosure sale arising therefrom are given effect by reason of public policy. This is the
doctrine of "the mortgagee in good faith" based on the rule that buyers or mortgagees dealing
with property covered by a Torrens Certificate of Title are not required to go beyond what
appears on the face of the title. However, it has been consistently held that this rule does not
apply to banks, which are required to observe a higher standard of diligence. A bank whose
business is impressed with public interest is expected to exercise more care and prudence in
its dealings than a private individual, even in cases involving registered lands. A bank cannot
assume that, simply because the title offered as security is on its face free of any
encumbrances or lien, it is relieved of the responsibility of taking further steps to verify the
title and inspect the properties to be mortgaged.
Page | 117

2.

Applying the same principles, we do not find Land Bank to be a mortgagee in good
faith. Good faith, or the lack of it, is a question of intention. In ascertaining intention, courts
are necessarily controlled by the evidence as to the conduct and outward acts by which alone
the inward motive may, with safety, be determined.
Based on the evidence, Land Bank processed Maniego's loan application upon his
presentation of OCT No. P-12026, which was still under the name of Poblete. Land Bank
even ignored the fact that Kapantay previously used Poblete's title as collateral in its loan
account with Land Bank. In Bank of Commerce v. San Pablo, Jr., we held that when "the
person applying for the loan is other than the registered owner of the real property being
mortgaged, [such fact] should have already raised a red flag and which should have induced
the Bank . . . to make inquiries into and confirm . . . [the] authority to mortgage . . . . A
person who deliberately ignores a significant fact that could create suspicion in an otherwise
reasonable person is not an innocent purchaser for value."
The records do not even show that Land Bank investigated and inspected the actual
occupants. Lad Bank merely mentioned Maniegos loan application upon his presentation of
OCT No. P-12026, which was still under the name of Poblete. Land Bank even ignored the
fact that Kapantay previously used Pobletes title as collateral in its loan account with Land
Bank. Furthermore, only one day after Maniego obtained TCT No. P-20151 under his name,
Land Bank and Maniego executed a Credit Line Agreement and Real Mortgage. It appears
that Maniegos loan was already completely processed while the collateral was still in the
name of Poblete.
Where the mortgagee acted with haste in granting the mortgage loan and did not
ascertain the ownership of the land being mortgaged, as well as the authority of the supposed
agent executing the mortgage, it cannot be considered an innocent mortgagee.
Since Land Bank is not a mortgagee in good faith, it is not entitled to protection. The
injunction against the foreclosure proceeding in the present case should be made permanent.
Since Lot No. has not been transferred to a third person who is an innocent purchaser for
value, ownership of the lot remains with Poblete. This is without prejudice to the right of
either party to proceed against Maniego.

3.

On the allegation that Poblete is in pari delicto with Maniego, we find the principle
inapplicable. The pari delicto rule provides that "when two parties are equally at fault, the
law leaves them as they are and denies recovery by either one of them." 40 We adopt the
factual finding of the RTC and the CA that only Maniego is at fault.

4.

Finally, on the issues of estoppel and laches, such were not raised before the trial
court. Hence, we cannot rule upon the same. It is settled that an issue which was neither
alleged in the complaint nor raised during the trial cannot be raised for the first time on
appeal, as such a recourse would be offensive to the basic rules of fair play, justice and due
process, since the opposing party would be deprived of the opportunity to introduce evidence
rebutting such new issue.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM the 28 September 2010


Decision and the 19 April 2011 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 91666.
The injunction against the foreclosure proceeding, issued by the Regional Trial Court of San
Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Branch 46, is made permanent. Costs against Land Bank.
Page | 118

MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, petitioner, vs. HEIRS OF SPOUSES DIONISIO


DELOY and PRAXEDES MARTONITO, represented by POLICARPIO DELOY,
respondents.
[G.R. No. 192893, June 5, 2013.]
PONENTE: MENDOZA, J
FACTS:
1. On July 8, 2003, Domingo Deloy, Maria Deloy-Masicap, Zosimo Deloy, Mario Deloy,
Silveria Deloy-Mabiling, Norma Deloy, Milagros Panganiban, Lino Deloy, Cornelio Deloy,
Maricel Deloy, Adelina Banta, Rogelio Deloy, Evelyn Deloy, Edgardo Deloy, Cynthia Deloy,
Donnabel Deloy, Glenda Deloy, Arnel Deloy, Ronnio Deloy, Isagani L. Reyes, and Policarpio
Deloy (respondents), all heirs of Spouses Dionisio Deloy (Dionisio) and Praxedes MartonitoDeloy, represented by Policarpio Deloy, instituted the Complaint for Unlawful
Detainer5 against Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) before the MTCC.
2. On November 12, 1965, Dionisio donated a 680 sq.m. portion (subject land) of the 8,550
sq.m. property to the Communication and Electricity Development Authority (CEDA) for the
latter to provide cheap and affordable electric supply to the province of Cavite with the
agreement that a member of the Deloy family be employed with CEDA.
3. Sometime in 1985, CEDA offered to Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) its electric
distribution system, consisting of transformers and accessories, poles and hardware, wires,
service drops and customer meters and all rights and privileges therein. This was embodied in
a MOA on June 28, 1985 and the Deed of Absolute Sale was executed by CEDA and
MERALCO upon approval of the MOA on the same date. Thereafter, MERALCO occupied
the subject land.
4. On the same date, June 28, 1985, after the approval of the MOA, CEDA and MERALCO
executed the Deed of Absolute Sale. Thereafter, MERALCO occupied the subject land.

5. On October 11, 1985, MERALCO, through its Assistant Vice President and Head of the
Legal Department, Atty. L.D. Torres wrote a letter to Dionisio requesting permission for the
continued use of the subject land as a substation site. The parties however, were not able to
reach any agreement until Dionisio died on December 5, 1985, as it was stated in the internal
memorandum from L.G. De La Paz, a substation staff to Atty. G.R. Gonzales and Atty. Torres
of the Realty Division of MERALCO. After the wake of Dionisio, his heirs represented by
Policarpio allowed MERALCO continue use of the subject land until November 22, 2001
when the heirs finally terminated the judicial proceedings of the reconstituted title of the
Trece Martires property.
6. Then, the Respondents-heirs of Dionisio offered to sell the subject land to MERALCO but
their offer was rejected because according to MERALCO, when Dionisio executed the Deed
of Donation to CEDA he lawfully sold to it all rights necessary for the operation of the
electric service in Cavite thus, as a successor-in-interest, it had legal justification to occupy
the subject land.

Page | 119

7. The respondents sent a demand letter on May 19, 2003 to MERALCO to vacate the land; the
latter however, objected. Thus, the former were constrained to file the complaint for
Unlawful Detainer on July 8, 2003.
8. The MTCC-Branch 23, Trece Martires rendered the Decision dismissing respondents
complaint against MERALCO. It ruled that it had no jurisdiction over the case because it
would require an interpretation of the Deed of Donation. Nevertheless, it opined that
MERALCO was entitled to the possession of the subject land. Aggrieved, the respondents
appealed to the RTC-Cavite.
9. The RTC sustained the MTCC decision on May 4, 2006. In its Resolution, the RTC-Cavite
pointed out that the only issue in unlawful detainer case was possession and the interpretation
of the deed of sale and the deed of donation was the main, not merely incidental issue.
10. Respondents elevated the case before the Court of Appeals via petition for review under Rule
42 of the Rules of Court. In its November 9, 2001 Decision, the CA set aside the RTC
Ruling. In partially granting the appeal, the CA explained that an ejectment case based on the
allegation of possession by tolerance would fall under the category of unlawful detainer. As
to the issue of possession, the CA stated that Dionisio has superior rights over the land as
evidenced by the letter of Atty. Torres and an internal memorandum of L.G. De La Paz of
Trece Martires substation. Pursuant to Section 26, Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence, the
admissions and/or declarations may be admitted against MERALCO. MERALCO moved for
reconsideration but its motion was denied by the CA in its July 5, 2010 Resolution.
ISSUES:
1. Whether an action for Unlawful Detainer is the proper remedy in this case.
2. Who has a better right of physical possession of the disputed property?
HELD:
1. The petition lacks merit.
Unlawful detainer is an action to recover possession of real property from one who
illegally withholds possession after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession
under any contract, express or implied. The possession of the defendant in unlawful detainer is
originally legal but became illegal due to the expiration or termination of the right to possess.
The only issue to be resolved in an unlawful detainer case is physical or material possession of
the property involved, independent of any claim of ownership by any of the parties involved.
An ejectment case, based on the allegation of possession by tolerance, falls under the
category of unlawful detainer. Where the plaintiff allows the defendant to use his/her property by
tolerance without any contract, the defendant is necessarily bound by an implied promise that
he/she will vacate on demand, failing which, an action for unlawful detainer will lie.
MERALCO contends that respondents complaint failed to make out a case for unlawful
detainer but, rather, one incapable of pecuniary estimation, properly cognizable by the RTC and
not the MTCC. It stresses the allegations in the complaint involve a prior determination on the
issue of ownership before the issue of possession can be validly resolved.

Page | 120

This contention fails to persuade. The first level courts are clothed with the power to
preliminarily resolve questions on the ownership of real property, if necessary, to arrive at the
proper and complete determination of the question on physical possession or possession de facto.
Thus, as correctly ruled by the CA, the MTCC should have taken cognizance of the complaint as
it was well within its jurisdiction to do so. Moreover, considering that B.P. Blg. 129, as amended,
has distinctly defined and granted the MTCC with jurisdiction, it is the trial courts duty and
obligation to exercise the same when properly invoked.

2. By seeking Dionisios permission to occupy the subject land, MERALCO expressly


acknowledged his paramount right of possession.
MERALCO posits that extrinsic evidence, such as the letter request, dated October 11,
1985, and the Internal Memorandum, dated December 6, 1985, cannot contradict the terms of the
deed of sale between CEDA and MERALCO pursuant to Section 9, Rule 130 of the Rules of
Court.
The Court has combed the records and is not convinced. It is undisputed that on October
11, 1985 or four (4) months after the approval of the MOA and the corresponding Deed of
Absolute Sale, MERALCO, through its Assistant Vice President and Head of the Legal
Department, Atty. Torres , sent a letter to Dionisio seeking his permission for the continued use
of the subject land. Evidently, by these two documents, MERALCO acknowledged that the
owners of the subject land were the Deloys. The first letter was written barely four (4) months
after the deed of sale was accomplished. As observed by the CA, MERALCO never disputed the
declarations contained in these letters which were even marked as its own exhibits. Pursuant to
Section 26, Rule 130 of the Rules of Evidence, these admissions and/or declarations are
admissible against MERALCO. The Court holds that the letter and the internal memorandum
presented, offered and properly admitted as part of the evidence on record by MERALCO itself,
constitute an admission against its own interest. Hence, MERALCO should appropriately be
bound by the contents of the documents.1wphi1
In this petition, MERALCO insists that extrinsic evidence, such as the two documents,
even if these were their own, cannot contradict the terms of the deed of sale between CEDA and
MERALCO pursuant to Section 9, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court. The Court has read the MOA
and the Deed of Absolute Sale but found nothing that clearly stated that the subject land was
included therein. What were sold, transferred and conveyed were "its electric distribution
facilities, service drops, and customers' electric meters except those owned by the VENDOR'S
customers, x x x, and all the rights and privileges necessary for the operation of the electric
service x x x." No mention was made of any land. Rights and privileges could only refer to
franchises, permits and authorizations necessary for the operation of the electric service. The
land on which the substation was erected was not included, otherwise, it would have been so
stated in the two documents. Otherwise, also, MERALCO would not have written Dionisio to
ask permission for the continued use of the subject land.
It is fundamental that a certificate of title serves as evidence of an indefeasible and
incontrovertible title to the property in favor of the person whose name appears therein. It bears
to emphasize that the titleholder is entitled to all the attributes of ownership of the property,
including possession. Thus, the Court must uphold the age-old rule that the person who has a
Torrens title over a land is entitled to its possession. In Pascual v. Coronel, the Court reiterated

Page | 121

the rule that a certificate of title has a superior probative value as against that of an unregistered
deed of sale in ejectment cases.
The Court must stress that the ruling in this case is limited only to the determination as to
who between the parties has a better right to possession. This adjudication is not a final
determination on the issue of ownership and, thus, will not bar any party from filing an action
raising the matter of ownership.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is hereby DENIED.

NENITA QUALITY FOODS CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. CRISOSTOMO GALABO,


ADELAIDA GALABO, and ZENAIDA GALABO-ALMACHAR, respondents.
Page | 122

[G.R. No. 174191. January 30, 2013.]


PONENTE: BRION, J
FACTS:
1. The respondents were the heirs of Donato Galabo. In 1948, Donato obtained Lot No. 722,
Cad-102, a portion of the Arakaki Plantation in Marapangi, Toril, Davao City, owned by
National Abaca and Other Fibers Corporation. Donato and the respondents assumed that
Lot No. 722 included Lot No. 102.
2. When the Board of Liquidators took over the administration of the Arakaki Plantation, it
had Lot No. 722 resurveyed. The respondents, however, continue to posses, occupy and
cultivate Lot No. 102.
3. When NQFC opened its business in Marapangi, it offered to buy Lot No. 102. Donato
declined and put up Not For Sale and No Trespassing signs on the property.
Crisostomo fenced off the entire perimeter of Lot No. 102 and built his house on it.
4. On August 19, 1994, the respondents received a letter from Santos Nantin demanding that
they vacate Lot No. 102. Santos claimed ownership. NQFCs workers, with armed
policemen entered by force Lot No. 102 to fence it. The respondents reported the entry to
the authorities.
5. When conciliation failed, the respondents filed on September 17, 2001 a complaint for
forcible entry with damages before the MTCC against NQFC.
6. Relying on the ruling of the BOL-Manila, the MTCC dismissed the respondents'
complaint. The MTCC held that the pieces of evidence NQFC presented the Deed of
Transfer the respondents executed in Santos' favor, Santos' OCT P-4035 over Lot No.
102, the Deed of Absolute Sale in NQFC's favor, and the findings of the BOL-Manila
established NQFC's rightful possession over the property.
7. The respondents appealed the MTCC decision to the RTC but the latter court denied the
appeal. The RTC relied on the findings of the BOL-Manila. It held that: (1) the
respondents failed to perfect whatever right they might have had over Lot No. 102; and
(2) they are estopped from asserting any right over Lot No. 102 since they have long
transferred the property and their right thereto, to Santos in 1972.
8. The CA found reversible error in the RTC's decision; thus, it granted the respondents'
petition and ordered NQFC to vacate Lot No. 102. In brushing aside the RTC's findings,
the CA ruled that: (1) Donato's failure to perfect his title over Lot No. 102 should not
weigh against the respondents as the issue in a forcible entry case is one of possession de
facto and not of possession de jure; and (2) NQFC's ownership of Lot No. 102 is beside
the point as ownership is beyond the purview of an ejectment case. The title or right of
possession, it stressed, is never an issue in a forcible entry suit

Page | 123

ISSUE: Whether NQFC had been in prior physical possession of Lot No. 102
HELD: No.
We agree that ownership carries the right of possession, but the possession contemplated
by the concept of ownership is not exactly the same as the possession in issue in a forcible entry
case. Possession in forcible entry suits refers only to possession de facto, or actual or material
possession, and not possession flowing out of ownership; these are different legal concepts for
which the law provides different remedies for recovery of possession. As we explained in Pajuyo
v. Court of Appeals, and again in the more recent cases of Gonzaga v. Court of Appeals, De
Grano v. Lacaba, and Lagazo v. Soriano, the word "possession" in forcible entry suits refers to
nothing more than prior physical possession or possession de facto, not possession de jure or
legal possession in the sense contemplated in civil law. Title is not the issue, and the absence of it
"is not a ground for the courts to withhold relief from the parties in an ejectment case."
Thus, in a forcible entry case, "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." He cannot be ejected by force,
violence or terror not even by its owners. For these reasons, an action for forcible entry is
summary in nature aimed only at providing an expeditious means of protecting actual possession.
Ejectment suits are intended to "prevent breach of . . . peace and criminal disorder and to compel
the party out of possession to respect and resort to the law alone to obtain what he claims is his."
49 Thus, lest the purpose of these summary proceedings be defeated, any discussion or issue of
ownership is avoided unless it is necessary to resolve the issue of de facto possession.
We agree with the respondents that instead of squarely addressing the issue of possession
and presenting evidence showing that NQFC or Santos had been in actual possession of Lot No.
102, the former merely narrated how it acquired ownership of Lot No. 102 and presented
documents to this effect. Its allegation that Santos occupied Lot No. 102 in 1972 is
uncorroborated. Even the tax declarations under Santos' name are hardly of weight; "[t]ax
declarations and realty tax payments are not conclusive proof of possession. They are merely
good indicia of possession in the concept of owner" 50 but not necessarily of the actual
possession required in forcible entry cases.
For a forcible entry suit to prosper, the plaintiff must allege and prove: (1) prior physical
possession of the property; and (2) unlawful deprivation of it by the defendant through force,
intimidation, strategy, threat or stealth. 51 As in any civil case, the burden of proof lies with the
complainants (the respondents in this case) who must establish their case by preponderance of
evidence. In the present case, the respondents sufficiently alleged and proved the required
elements.
NQFC invokes the principle of tacking of possession, that is, when it bought Lot No. 102
from Santos on December 29, 2000, its possession is, by operation of law, tacked to that of
Santos and even earlier, or at the time Donato acquired Lot No. 102 in 1948. NQFC's reliance on
this principle is misplaced. True, the law allows a present possessor to tack his possession to that
of his predecessor-in-interest to be deemed in possession of the property for the period required
by law. Possession in this regard, however, pertains to possession de jure and the tacking is made
for the purpose of completing the time required for acquiring or losing ownership through
prescription. We reiterate possession in forcible entry suits refers to nothing more than
physical possession, not legal possession.
Page | 124

The CA brushed aside NQFC's argument on the respondents' failure to perfect their title
over Lot No. 102. It held that the issue in this case is not of possession de jure, let alone
ownership or title, but of possession de facto. We agree with the CA; the discussions above are
clear on this point. We agree, too, as we have indicated in passing above, that the issue of
ownership can be material and relevant in resolving the issue of possession. The Rules in fact
expressly allow this: Section 16, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court provides that the issue of
ownership shall be resolved in deciding the issue of possession if the question of possession is
intertwined with the issue of ownership. But this provision is only an exception and is allowed
only in this limited instance to determine the issue of possession and only if the question of
possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership. Save for this instance,
evidence of ownership is not at all material, as in the present case.
As a final reiterative note, this Decision deals only with de facto possession and is
without prejudice to an appropriate action for recovery of possession based on ownership.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, in light of these considerations, we hereby DENY the petition;
the decision dated February 22, 2006 and the resolution dated July 13, 2006 of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 77006 are hereby AFFIRMED.

Page | 125

OPTIMA REALTY CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. HERTZ PHIL. EXCLUSIVE CARS,


INC., respondent.
[G.R. No. 183035, January 9, 2013.]

PONENTE: SERENO, C.J.

FACTS:
1. Optima Corporation, a company engaged in leasing commercial spaces and buildings to
its tenants, entered into a Contract of Lease with Hertz Phil Exclusive Cars Inc. over an
office unit and a parking slot in the Optima Building for two years and five months,
starting from October 1 2003 up to February 28 2006.
2. Renovations in the Optima Building commenced in January and ended in November
2005. As a result, Hertz alleged that it experienced a 50% drop in monthly sales and a
significant decrease in its personnels productivity. It then requested a 50% discount on
its rent for the months of May, June, July and August 2005
3. On 8 December 2005, Optima granted the request of Hertz. However, the latter still failed
to pay its rentals for the months of August to December of 2005 and January to February
2006, or a total of seven months. In addition, Hertz likewise failed to pay its utility bills
for the months of November and December of 2005 and January and February of
2006, or a total of four months.
4. Petitioner then wrote another letter to Hertz on December 8 2005, reminding the latter
that the contract could be renewed subject to a new negotiation and upon written notice
by the lessee to the lessor at least 90 days prior to the termination of the lease period.
5. As no letter was received from Hertz regarding its intention to seek negotiation and
extension of the lease contract within the 90-day period, Optima informed it that the lease
would expire on 28 February 2006 and would not be renewed.
6. Hertz wrote a letter belatedly advising Optima of the formers desire to negotiate and
extend the lease. However, as the Contract of Lease provided that the notice to negotiate
its renewal must be given by the lessee at least 90 days prior to the expiration of the
contract, petitioner no longer entertained respondents notice
7. Thereafter, Hertz filed a Complaint for Specific Performance, Injunction and Damages
and/or Sum of Money with prayer for the issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order
(TRO) and Writ of Preliminary Injunction (Complaint for Specific Performance) against
Optima. In that Complaint, Hertz prayed for the issuance of a TRO to enjoin petitioner
from committing acts that would tend to disrupt respondents peaceful use and possession
of the leased premises; for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction ordering petitioner to

Page | 126

reconnect its utilities; for petitioner to be ordered to renegotiate a renewal of the Contract
of Lease
8. Optima thereby ordered Hertz to surrender and vacate the leased premises. Respondent,
however, refused to vacate the leased premises which resulted to Optima filing a
Complaint for Unlawful Detainer and Damages with Prayer for the Issuance of a TRO
and/or Preliminary Mandatory Injunction in the MeTC against Hertz.
9. The MeTC rendered a Decision, ruling that petitioner Optima had established its right to
evict Hertz from the subject premises due to nonpayment of rentals and the expiration of
the period of lease. Hertz appealed the MeTCs Decision to the RTC.The RTC affirmed
its decision.
10. The CA ruled that, due to the improper service of summons, the MeTC failed to acquire
jurisdiction over the person of respondent Hertz. The appellate court thereafter reversed
the RTC and remanded the case to the MeTC to ensure the proper service of summons
ISSUE: Whether or not the eviction of respondent was proper
HELD: Yes.
We find that the RTCs ruling upholding the ejectment of Hertz from the building
premises was proper. First, respondent failed to pay rental arrearages and utility bills to Optima;
and, second, the Contract of Lease expired without any request from Hertz for a renegotiation
thereof at least 90 days prior to its expiration.

On the first ground, the records show that Hertz failed to pay rental arrearages and utility
bills to Optima. Failure to pay timely rentals and utility charges is an event of default under the
Contract of Lease, entitling the lessor to terminate the lease. Moreover, the failure of Hertz to
pay timely rentals and utility charges entitles the lessor to judicially eject it under the provisions
of the Civil Code.

On the second ground, the records likewise show that the lease had already expired on 28
February 2006 because of Hertzs failure to request a renegotiation at least 90 days prior to the
termination of the lease period. As the lease was set to expire on 28 February 2006, Hertz had
until 30 November 2005 within which to express its interest in negotiating an extension of the
lease with Optima. However, Hertz failed to communicate its intention to negotiate for an
extension of the lease within the time agreed upon by the parties. Thus, by its own provisions,
the Contract of Lease expired on 28 February 2006.

Under the Civil Code, the expiry of the period agreed upon by the parties is likewise a
ground for judicial ejectment.

Page | 127

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the instant Rule 45 Petition for
Review is GRANTED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CAG.R. SP No. 99890 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision of the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 13 7, Makati City in Civil Case No. 06-672 affirming in toto the Decision of the
Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 64, Makati City in Civil Case No. 90842 is hereby
REINSTATED and AFFIRMED.

VEVENCIA ECHIN PABALAN, ET AL., petitioners, vs. THE HEIRS OF SIMEON A.B.
MAAMO, SR., respondents.
[G.R. No. 174844. March 20, 2013.]
PONENTE: PEREZ, J
FACTS:
1. On 31 December 1910, Onofre Palapo sold in favor of Placido Sy-Cansoy a parcel of
land situated in the then Barrio Calapian (now Barangay Estela), Liloan, Leyte (now
Southern), for the stated consideration of P86.00. On 29 October 1934, Placido, in turn,
executed a notarized deed in Spanish, affirming a 12 October 1912 sale of the same
parcel for the sum of P100.00 in favor of Miguels wife, Antonia Bayon.
2. Faulting Simplecio Palapo with forcible entry into the property on 17 October 1934,
Antonia, represented by Simeon Maamo, later filed the December 1934 ejectment
complaint in the Court of Justice of Peace in Liloan leyte. Simplecio filed an answer,
asserting that, as one of the heirs of Concepcion Palapo, he had been in legal possession
of the property for many years without once being disturbed by anyone. On the strength
of the aforesaid documents of transfer as well as the evidence of prior possession adduced
by Antonia, however, the Court of the Justice of the Peace of Liloan, Leyte went on to
render a Decision brushing aside Simplecios defense for lack of evidentiary basis and
ordering him to vacate the parcel in litigation.
3. On 9 December 1981, Simeon Sr., Fabian Sr., Juliana, Olivo, Silvestre Sr., Angela,
Bonifacia and Estelita, all surnamed Maamo (plaintiffs Maamo), commenced the instant
suit with the filing of their complaint for recovery of real property and damages against
Simplecios children, Crispiniano, Juanito Sr., Arsenia and Roberto, all surnamed Palapo
(defendants Palapo). In their amended complaint, plaintiffs Maamo alleged that, as
children and heirs of the Spouses Miguel and Antonia, they were the co-owners of the

Page | 128

parcel of land sold by Placido which, while reported in tax declarations to contain an area
of 1,612 square meters, actually measured 13,813 square meters.
4. Invoking the decision redeemed in favor of Antonia in Civil Case No. 298, plaintiffs
Maamo maintained that their parents later relented to Simplecios entreaty to be allowed
to stay on the property as administrator. Plaintiffs Maamo further averred that, having
illegally claimed ownership over the western portion of the property after Simplecios
death in 1971, defendants Palapo unjustifiably refused to heed their demands for the
return of the litigated section measuring 7,055 square meters.
5. On 20 August 1997, the RTC rendered a decision, declaring defendants Palapo to be the
legal owners and possessors of the litigated portion. Finding that Simplecio's supposed 17
October 1934 forcible entry into the property preceded the 29 October 1934 deed Placido
executed in favor of Antonia, the RTC brushed aside plaintiffs Maamo's claim on the
further ground that the 7,055 square meter area of the litigated portion far exceeded the
1,612 square meters declared in their TDs which, as a rule, cannot prevail over
defendants Palapo's actual possession of the property. Having possessed the litigated
portion in the concept of owner for more than thirty years, defendants Palapo were also
declared to have acquired the property by means of prescription, without need of title or
good faith.
6. On appeal, The CA ruled that plaintiffs Maamo were the true and lawful owners of the
litigated portion, upon the following findings and conclusions: (a) the 29 October 1934
deed Placido executed in favor of Antonia was a mere affirmation of an earlier sale made
on 12 October 1912, hence, the acquisition of the litigated portion by plaintiffs Maamo's
predecessor-in-interest predated Simplecio's 17 October 1934 entry thereon; (b)
defendants Palapo traced their claim to Concepcion's 1906 TD which pertained to a
different parcel situated in Barrio Pandan, Liloan, Leyte; (c) the claim that the litigated
portion was inherited from Concepcion had been rejected in the 17 December 1934
Decision rendered in Civil Case No. 298 which appears to have been returned duly
served and executed; and, (e) since the possessory rights of plaintiffs Maamo's
predecessor-in-interest had been affirmed and restored, Simplecio's continued possession
of the portion in litigation was by mere tolerance and could not, therefore, ripen into
ownership acquired by prescription, laches or estoppel.
ISSUE: Whether or not a judgment rendered in a forcible entry case is conclusive with respect to
the issue of material possession.
HELD: Yes.
While it is true that a judgment rendered in a forcible entry case will not bar an action
between the same parties respecting title or ownership, the rule is settled that such a judgment is
conclusive with respect to the issue of material possession. Although it does not have the same
effect as res judicata in the form of bar by former judgment which prohibits the prosecution of a
second action upon the same claim, demand, or cause of action, the rule on conclusiveness of
judgment bars the relitigation of particular facts or issues in another litigation between the same
parties and their privies on a different claim or cause of action.
In the present case, Petitioners fault the CA for supposedly disregarding their evidence to
the effect that Simplecio had been in possession of the property since 1912 as well as Simeon
Sr.s admission that respondents have not been in possession thereof since 1935. Aside from the
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fact that the TDs they presented pertain to a different property, however, petitioners conveniently
overlook Antonias filing of an ejectment complaint against Simplecio in 1934 with respect to the
property herein litigated. In the 17 December 1934 Decision rendered in the case, the Court of
the Justice of the Peace of Liloan Leyte significantly determined Antonias prior possession of
the property and upheld her right to take possession thereof.
To Our mind, the fact that the writ of execution issued in Civil Case No. 298 was
returned duly served also lends credence to respondents claim that Simplecios possession of the
property was upon Miguels tolerance. Since acts of a possessory character executed due to
license or by mere tolerance of the owner are inadequate for purposes of acquisitive
prescription, petitioners cannot claim to have acquired ownership of the property by virtue of
their possession thereof since 1935. Under Articles 444 and 1942 of the old Civil Code,
possession of real property is not affected by acts of a possessory character which are merely
tolerated by the possessor, or which are due to his license. Granted that long, continued
occupation, accompanied by acts of a possessory character, affords some evidence that
possession has been exerted in the character of owner and under claim of right, this inference is
unavailing to petitioners since Simplecios continued possession of the property after his defeat
in the ejectment suit was clearly upon the tolerance of respondents predecessors-in-interest.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition for review on
certiorari is DENIED for lack of merit.

Page | 130

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, represented by the DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC


WORKS AND HIGHWAYS (DPWH), petitioner, vs. HON. ROSA SAMSON-TATAD, as
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 105, Quezon City, and SPOUSES
WILLIAM AND REBECCA GENATO, respondents.
[G.R. No. 187677. April 17, 2013.]
PONENTE: SERENO, C.J
FACTS:
1. On July 5, 2001, petitioner DPWH filed a complaint to expropriate the parcels of land of
Spouse Genato affected by the construction of EDSA-QUEZON AVENUE Flyover. It
was found out by the DPWH-NCR that the parcels of land of Spouses Genato was a
government land and of dubious title.
2. While petitioner was presenting evidence to show that the subject property actually
belonged to the Government, private respondents interposed objections saying that
petitioner was barred from presenting the evidence, as it constituted a collateral attack on
the validity of their TCT No. RT-11603 (383648).
3. The trial court issued its order finding that the issue of the validity of the TCT No. 11603
(383648) can only be raised in an action expressly instituted for that purpose and not in
this instant proceeding. Accordingly, plaintiff is barred from presenting evidence as they
[sic] constitute collateral attack on the validity of the title to the subject lot in violation of
Sec. 48 of P. D. 1529.
4. On 9 February 2006, petitioner filed with the CA a Petition for Certiorari with Prayer for
the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction.
The appellate court ruled that since the subject property was covered by a Torrens title,
Presidential Decree No. 1529, or the Property Registration Decree (P.D. 1529),
necessarily finds significance. Thus, it held that the RTC rightly applied Sec. 48
Page | 131

ISSUE: Whether petitioner may be barred from presenting evidence to assail the validity of
respondents' title under TCT No. RT-11603 (383648)
HELD: No.
We rule that petitioner may be allowed to present evidence to assert its ownership over
the subject property, but for the sole purpose of determining who is entitled to just compensation.
Verily, our interpretation of Sec. 9, Rule 67 does not run counter to Section 48 of P.D.
1529. Under Sec. 48, collateral attacks on a Torrens title are prohibited. We have explained the
concept in Oo v. Lim, to wit:
An action or proceeding is deemed an attack on a title when its objective is
to nullify the title, thereby challenging the judgment pursuant to which the
title was decreed. The attack is direct when the objective is to annul or set
aside such judgment, or enjoin its enforcement. On the other hand, the
attack is indirect or collateral when, in an action to obtain a different relief,
an attack on the judgment is nevertheless made as an incident thereof.
In several instances, we have considered an Answer praying for the cancellation of the
plaintiff's Torrens title as a form of a collateral attack. We have afforded the similar treatment in a
petition questioning the validity of a deed of sale for a registered land, 35 and in a reformation of
a deed of sale to include areas registered under the name of another party. 36 But a resolution on
the issue of ownership in a partition case was deemed neither to be a direct or collateral attack,
for "until and unless this issue of co-ownership is definitely and finally resolved, it would be
premature to effect a partition of the disputed properties."
Here, the attempt of petitioner to present evidence cannot be characterized as an "attack."
It must be emphasized that the objective of the case is to appropriate private property, and the
contest on private respondents' title arose only as an incident to the issue of whom should be
rightly compensated.
Contrary to petitioner's allegations, the Complaint and Amended Complaint cannot also
be considered as a direct attack. The amendment merely limited the coverage of the
expropriation proceedings to the uncontested portion of the subject property. The RTC's Order
declaring the property as subject of conflicting claims is a recognition that there are varying
claimants to the sums to be awarded as just compensation. This serves as an authority for the
court to conduct a limited inquiry on the property's ownership.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the Petition for Review on Certiorari and
the prayer for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the
Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 93227, as well as the Decision of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 105, Quezon City in Civil Case No. Q-01-44595, are hereby REVERSED and SET
ASIDE. This case is REMANDED to the RTC to hear the issue of ownership for the purpose of
just compensation.

Page | 132

STAR TWO (SPV-AMC), INC., petitioner, vs. PAPER CITY CORPORATION OF THE
PHILIPPINES, respondent.
[G.R. No. 169211, March 6, 2013.]
PONENTE: PEREZ, J.
FACTS:
1. From 1990-1991, Paper City applied for and was granted four (4) loans and credit
ccomodations by Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), now substituted by
Star Two (SPV-AMC), Inc. The loans were secured by four (4) Deeds of Continuing
Chattel Mortgages on Paper City's machineries and equipment. However, RCBC
eventually executed a unilateral Cancellation of Deed of Contining Chattel Mortgage.
2. In 1992, RCBC, as the trustee bank, together with Metrobank and Union Bank, entered
into a Mortgage Trust Indenture, which will be known hereinafter as MTI, with Paper
City. In the said MTI, Paper City acquired additional loans secured by five (5) Deeds of
Real Estate Mortgage, plus real and personal properties in an annex to the MTI, which
covered the machineries and equipment of Paper City.
3. The MTI was later on amended and supplemented three (3) times, wherein the loan was
increased and included the same mortgages with an additional building and other
improvements in the plant site.
4. Paper City was able to comply woth the loans but only until 1997 due to an econmic
crisis. And because of the default in the payment, RCBC filed a petition for extra-judicial
foreclosure against the real estate executed by Paper City including all the
improvements. As highest bidders, the three banks were issued a Certificate of Sale.
Paper City filed a complaint aleging that the sale was null and void due to lack of prior
notice.
5. During the pendency of the complaint, Paper City filed with the trial court a motion te
remove machinery out of the foreclosed land and building, sayingthat the same were not
Page | 133

included in the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage. The trial court denied the motion,
ruling that the machineries and equipment were included. In Paper City's Motion for
Reconsideration, the trial court granted the same and justified the reversal by finding that
the machineries and equipment are chattels by agreement thru the four Deeds of
Continuing Chattel Mortgages; and that the deed of cancellation executed by RCBC of
said mortgage was not valid because it was one unilaterally.
6. RCBC's own Motion for Reconsideration was denied. The case was elevated to the CA
on appeal. RCBC alleged: (1) That Paper City gave its consent to consider the disputed
machineries and equipment as real properties when they signed the MTI's and all its
amendments; (2) That the machineries and equipment are the same as in the MTI's, hence
treated by agreement of the parties as real properties.
7. Paper City argued that: (1) they did not consent to consider the disputed machineryies
and equipment as real property; (2) the disputed machineries and equipment remained
within the purview of the existing chattel mortgages.
8. The CA affirmed the orders of the trial court because it relied on the plain language of the
MTI's. It was also ruled that the subject machineries and equipment were not included in
the extrajudicial foreclosure sale. The claim of inclusion was contradicted by the very
caption of the petition itself, "Petition for Extra-Judicial Foreclosure of Real Estate
Mortgage, under Act No. 3135 As Amended." It opined further that this inclusion was
further stressed in the Certificate of Sale which enumerated only the mortgaged real
properties bought by RCBC without the subject properties.

ISSUE: Whether or not the subject machineries and equipment were considered real properties
and should therefore be included in the extra-judicial foreclosure which in turn were sold to the
banks.
HELD: Yes.
By contracts, all uncontested in this case, machineries and equipments are included in the
mortgage in favor of RCBC, in the foreclosure of the mortgage and in the consequent sale on
foreclosure also in favor of petitioner.
Repeatedly, the parties stipulated that the properties mortgaged by Paper City to RCBC
are various parcels of land including the buildings and existing improvements thereon as well as
the machineries and equipments, which as stated in the granting clause of the original mortgage,
are "more particularly described and listed that is to say, the real and personal properties listed in
Annexes A and B x x x of which the Paper City is the lawful and registered owner."
Significantly, Annexes "A" and "B" are itemized listings of the buildings, machineries and
equipments typed single spaced in twenty-seven pages of the document made part of the records.
As held in Gateway Electronics Corp. v. Land Bank of the Philippines, the rule in this
jurisdiction is that the contracting parties may establish any agreement, term, and condition they
may deem advisable, provided they are not contrary to law, morals or public policy. The right to
enter into lawful contracts constitutes one of the liberties guaranteed by the Constitution.
The case at bar is covered by the rule. The plain language and literal interpretation of the
MTIs must be applied. The petitioner, other creditor banks and Paper City intended from the very
Page | 134

first execution of the indentures that the machineries and equipments enumerated in Annexes "A"
and "B" are included. Obviously, with the continued increase in the amount of the loan, totaling
hundreds of millions of pesos, Paper City had to offer all valuable properties acceptable to the
creditor banks.
The plain and obvious inclusion in the mortgage of the machineries and equipments of
Paper City escaped the attention of the CA which, instead, turned to another "plain language of
the MTI" that "described the same as personal properties." It was error for the CA to deduce from
the "description" exclusion from the mortgage.
The MTIs did not describe the equipments and machineries as personal property. Had the
CA looked into Annexes "A" and "B" which were referred to by the phrase "real and personal
properties," it could have easily noted that the captions describing the listed properties were
"Buildings," "Machineries and Equipments," "Yard and Outside," and "Additional Machinery
and Equipment." No mention in any manner was made in the annexes about "personal property."
Notably, while "personal" appeared in the granting clause of the original MTI, the subsequent
Deed of Amendment specifically stated that:
x x x The machineries and equipment listed in Annexes "A" and
"B" form part of the improvements listed above and located on the
parcels of land subject of the Mortgage Trust Indenture and the
Real
Estate Mortgage.
The word "personal" was deleted in the corresponding granting clauses in the Deed of
Amendment and in the First, Second and Third Supplemental Indentures.
Law and jurisprudence provide and guide that even if not expressly so stated, the mortgage
extends to the improvements. Article 2127 of the Civil Code provides:
Art. 2127. The mortgage extends to the natural accessions, to the
improvements, growing fruits, and the rents or income not yet
received when the obligation becomes due, and to the amount of
the indemnity granted or owing to the proprietor from the insurers
of the property mortgaged, or in virtue of expropriation for public
use, with the declarations, amplifications and limitations
established by law, whether the estate remains in the possession of
the mortgagor, or it passes into the hands of a third person.
(Underlining ours)
In the early case of Bischoff v. Pomar and Cia. General de Tabacos, the Court ruled that
even if the machinery in question was not included in the mortgage expressly, Article 111 of the
old Mortgage Law provides that chattels permanently located in a building, either useful or
ornamental, or for the service of some industry even though they were placed there after the
creation of the mortgage shall be considered as mortgaged with the estate, provided they belong
to the owner of said estate. The provision of the old Civil Code was cited. Thus:
Article 1877 provides that a mortgage includes the natural
accessions, improvements, growing fruits, and rents not collected
when the obligation is due, and the amount of the indemnities
granted or due the owner by the underwriters of the property
mortgaged or by virtue of the exercise of eminent domain by
reason of public utility, with the declarations, amplifications, and
Page | 135

limitations established by law, in case the estate continues in the


possession of the person who mortgaged it, as well as when it
passes into the hands of a third person.
The case of Cu Unjieng e Hijos v. Mabalacat Sugar Co. relied on this provision. The
issue was whether the machineries and accessories were included in the mortgage and the
subsequent sale during public auction. This was answered in the affirmative by the Court when it
ruled that the machineries were integral parts of said sugar central hence included following the
principle of law that the accessory follows the principal.
The lower courts ought to have noticed the fact that the chattel mortgages adverted to
were dated 8 January 1990, 19 July 1990, 28 June 1991 and 28 November 1991. The real estate
mortgages which specifically included the machineries and equipment were subsequent to the
chattel mortgages dated 26 August 1992, 20 November 1992, 7 June 1994 and 24 January 1995.
Without doubt, the real estate mortgages superseded the earlier chattel mortgages.
The real estate mortgage over the machineries and equipment is even in full accord with
the classification of such properties by the Civil Code of the Philippines as immovable property.
Thus:
Article 415. The following are immovable property:
(1) Land, buildings, roads and constructions of all kinds adhered to
the soil;
xxxx
(5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by
the owner of the tenement for an industry or works which may be
carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend
directly to meet the needs of the said industry or works;
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Accordingly, the Decision and
Resolution of the Court of Appeals dated 8 March 2005 and 8 August 2005 upholding the 15
August 2003 and 1 December 2003 Orders of the Valenzuela Regional Trial Court are hereby
REVERSED and SET ASIDE and the original Order of the trial court dated 28 February 2003
denying the motion of respondent to remove or dispose of machinery is hereby REINSTATED.

Page | 136

MERCY VDA. DE ROXAS, represented by ARLENE C. ROXAS-CRUZ, in her capacity


as substitute appellant-petitioner, petitioner, vs. OUR LADY'S FOUNDATION, INC.,
respondent.
[G.R. No. 182378. March 6, 2013.]
PONENTE: SERENO, C.J
FACTS:
1. On 1 September 1988, Salue Dealca Latosa filed before the Regional Trial Court a
complaint for the recovery of ownership of a portion of her residential land located at Our
Ladys Foundation Village Bibincahan, Sorsogon. According to her, Atty. Henry Amado
Roxas represented by herein petitioner, encroached on a quarter of her property by
arbitrarily extending hid concrete fence beyond the correct limits.
2. In his answer, Roxas imputed the blame to respondent Our Ladys Village Foundation
Inc.(OLFI). ). He then 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.
3. The RTC admitted the Third-Party complaint and proceeded to trial based on merits. 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 Latosa's lots,
and that, in turn, OLFI trimmed his property by 92 square meters.
4. Roxas appealed to the CA, which later denied the appeal. Since the Decision had become
final, the RTC issued a Writ of Execution 6 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 Sheriff's Bill,
5.

Opposing to the valuation of the property, the defendant foundation filed a motion to
quash the bill and a motion Inhibition of the RTC judge and contending that it should
Page | 137

only pay Roxas at a rate of 40.00 pesos per sq.m at the same rate that Roxas paid when
the latter purchased the property. The trial court approved an Amended Sheriffs Bill
which reduced the valuation to 1,800 per sq.m. the RTC denied both thr motions and
cited fairness to justify the computations of respondents judgement obligation.
6. Notices of garnishment were issued by the sheriff to Bishop Robert Arcilla-Maullon, the
foundations general-manager. The foundation, refusing to pay the said amount per sq.m
filed a Rule 65 Petition before the CA. The CA, reversed the decision of the RTC
ordering the respondent foundation to reimburse the petitioner at the rate of 40.00 pesos
per sq.m.
ISSUES:
1. The determination of the correct amount to be reimbursed by the respondent foundation
to Roxas.
2. Whether or not Arcilla-Maullon should be personally held liable for the obligation of the
respondent foundation.
HELD:
1. To settle the contention by the respondent foundation, the court resorts to the provisions of the
Civil Code, specifically Article 450 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 land.
Although this provision does not explicitly state the reckoning period for valuation of
property, the court by citing the case of Tuatis vs. Spuses Escol which illustrates that the present
and current fair value of the land is to be reckoned at the time that the land owner elected the
choice, not at the time that the property was purchased.
Under the second option, Visminda may choose not to appropriate the building and,
instead, oblige Tuatis to pay the present or current fair value of the land. The P10,000.00 price of
the subject property, as stated in the Deed of Sale on Installment executed in November 1989,
shall no longer apply, since Visminda will be obliging Tuatis to pay for the price of the land in
the exercise of Visminda's rights under Article 448 of the Civil Code, and not under the said
Deed. Tuatis' obligation will then be statutory, and not contractual, arising only when Visminda
has chosen her option under Article 448 of the Civil Code.
Still under the second option, if the present or current value of the land, the subject
property herein, turns out to be considerably more than that of the building built thereon, Tuatis
cannot be obliged to pay for the subject property, but she must pay Visminda reasonable rent for
the same. Visminda and Tuatis must agree on the terms of the lease; otherwise, the court will fix
the terms.
2. No.
The appellate court appreciated that in the main case for the recovery of ownership before
the court of origin, only OLFI was named as respondent corporation, and that its general
manager was never impleaded in the proceedings a quo.
Given this finding, this Court holds that since OLFI's general manager was not a party to
the case, the CA correctly ruled that Arcilla-Maullon cannot be held personally liable for the
obligation of the corporation. In Santos v. NLRC, this Court upholds the doctrine of separate
Page | 138

juridical personality of corporate entities. The case emphasizes that a corporation is a juridical
entity with a legal personality separate and distinct from those acting for and on its behalf and, in
general, of the people comprising it. Hence, the obligations incurred by the corporation, acting
through its officers such as in this case, are its sole liabilities.
In order for us to hold Arcilla-Maullon personally liable alone for the debts of the corporation
and thus pierce the veil of corporate fiction, we have required that the bad faith of the officer
must first be established clearly and convincingly. Petitioner, however, has failed to include any
submission pertaining to any wrongdoing of the general manager. Necessarily, it would be unjust
to hold the latter personally liable.
Therefore, we refuse to allow the execution of a corporate judgment debt against the general
manager of the corporation, since in no legal sense is he the owner of the corporate property.
Consequently, this Court sustains the CA in nullifying the Notices of Garnishment against his
bank accounts.
DISPOSITIVE: IN VIEW THEREOF, the 25 September 2007 Decision and 11 March 2008
Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 88622 are AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION in that the value of the 92-square-meter property for which respondent should
reimburse petitioner, as determined by the 2 December 2004 Order of the Regional Trial Court in
Civil Case No. 5403, is hereby reinstated at P1,800 per square meter.

Page | 139

SIMPLICIA O. ABRIGO and DEMETRIO ABRIGO, petitioners, vs. JIMMY F. FLORES,


EDNA F. FLORES, DANILO FLORES, BELINDA FLORES, HECTOR FLORES,
MARITES FLORES, HEIRS OF MARIA F. FLORES, JACINTO FAYLONA, ELISA
FAYLONA MAGPANTAY, MARIETTA FAYLONA CARTACIANO, and HEIRS of
TOMASA BANZUELA VDA. DE FAYLONA, respondents.
[G.R. No. 160786. June 17, 2013.]
PONENTE: BERSAMIN, J
FACTS:
1. The subject lot involved in this case was inherited by both Francisco (Faylona) and
Gaudencia (Faylona) from their deceased parents. The lot is declared for taxation which
Gaudencia managed to secure in her name alone to the exclusion of Francisco and the
latter's widow and children.
2. After Francisco's death, his widow and Gaudencia entered into an extrajudicial partition
whereby the western half of the same lot was assigned to Francisco's heirs while the
eastern half thereof to Gaudencia. However, there was no actual ground partition of the
lot up to and after Gaudencia's death. It thus result that both the heirs of Francisco and
Gaudencia owned in common the land in dispute, which co-ownership was recognized by
Gaudencia herself during her lifetime, whose heirs, being in actual possession of the
entire area, encroached and built improvements on portions of the western half.
3. In the case of the petitioners, a small portion of their residence, their garage and poultry
pens extended to the western half. Thus, the heirs and successors-in-interest of Francisco
Faylona, desiring to terminate their co-ownership with the heirs of Gaudencia, filed their
complaint for judicial partition in this case.
4. The RTC ruled that the western half thereof shall pertain to the heirs of Francisco while
the eastern half, to the heirs of Gaudencia whose heirs were further required to pay
rentals to the plaintiffs for their use and occupancy of portions on the western half.
5. On appeal the CA affirmed RTC but deleted the rentals. Judgment became final and
executor. A writ of execution was granted but the Respondent claimed that it cannot be
implemented since Floreses, one of the plaintiffs as co-owners of the property-in-question
Page | 140

in the Western portion, sold their one-fourth (1/4) undivided portion in the co-ownership
of the plaintiffs to defendant Simplicia O. Abrigo.
ISSUE: Whether the sale by respondent Jimmy Flores of his 1/4 share in the western portion of
the 402-square meter lot constituted a supervening event that rendered the execution of the final
judgment against petitioners inequitable.
HELD: No.
Although it is true that there are recognized exceptions to the execution as a matter of
right of a final and immutable judgment, one of which is a supervening event, such circumstance
did not obtain herein. To accept their contention would be to reopen the final and immutable
judgment in order to further partition the western portion thereby adjudicated to the heirs and
successors-in-interest of Francisco Faylona for the purpose of segregating the 1/4 portion
supposedly subject of the sale by Jimmy Flores. The reopening would be legally impermissible,
considering that the November 20, 1989 decision, as modified by the CA, could no longer be
altered, amended or modified, even if the alteration, amendment or modification was meant to
correct what was perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or of law and regardless of
what court, be it the highest Court of the land, rendered it. This is pursuant to the doctrine of
immutability of a final judgment, which may be relaxed only to serve the ends of substantial
justice in order to consider certain circumstances like: (a) matters of life, liberty, honor or
property; (b) the existence of special or compelling circumstances; (c) the merits of the case; (d)
the cause not being entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party favored by the
suspension of the doctrine; (e) the lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous
and dilatory; or (f) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced by the suspension.
We deem it highly relevant to point out that a supervening event is an exception to the
execution as a matter of right of a final and immutable judgment rule, only if it directly affects
the matter already litigated and settled, or substantially changes the rights or relations of the
parties therein as to render the execution unjust, impossible or inequitable. A supervening event
consists of facts that transpire after the judgment became final and executory, or of new
circumstances that develop after the judgment attained finality, including matters that the parties
were not aware of prior to or during the trial because such matters were not yet in existence at
that time. In that event, the interested party may properly seek the stay of execution or the
quashal of the writ of execution, or he may move the court to modify or alter the judgment in
order to harmonize it with justice and the supervening event. The party who alleges a
supervening event to stay the execution should necessarily establish the facts by competent
evidence; otherwise, it would become all too easy to frustrate the conclusive effects of a final and
immutable judgment.
In this case, petitioner could not import into the action for partition of the property in litis
their demand for the segregation of the 1/4 share of Jimmy Flores. Instead, their correct course of
action was to initiate in the proper court a proceeding for partition of the western portion based
on the supposed sale to them by Jimmy Flores.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition for review; AFFIRMS the
decision promulgated on September 25, 2002 in C.A.-G.R. SP No. 48033; DIRECTS the
Regional Trial Court, Branch 30, in San Pablo City to issue forthwith the special order of
demolition to implement its final and executory decision of November 20, 1989, as modified by
the Court of Appeals in C.A.-G.R. CV No. 25347; DECLARES this decision to be immediately
executory; and ORDERS petitioners to pay the costs of suit.
Page | 141

THELMA M. ARANAS, petitioner, vs. TERESITA V. MERCADO, FELIMON V.


MERCADO, CARMENCITA M. SUTHERLAND, RICHARD V. MERCADO, MA.
TERESITA M. ANDERSON, and FRANKLIN L. MERCADO, respondents.
[G.R. No. 156407. January 15, 2014.]
FACTS:
1. Emigdio S. Mercado (Emigdio) died intestate on January 12, 1991, survived by his
second wife, Teresita V. Mercado (Teresita), and their five children, namely: Allan V.
Mercado, Felimon V. Mercado, Carmencita M. Sutherland, Richard V. Mercado, and
Maria Teresita M. Anderson; and his two children by his first marriage, namely:
respondent Franklin L. Mercado and petitioner Thelma M. Aranas (Thelma).
2. Emigdio inherited and acquired real properties during his lifetime. He owned corporate
shares in Mervir Realty Corporation (Mervir Realty) and Cebu Emerson Transportation
Corporation (Cebu Emerson). He assigned his real properties in exchange for corporate
stocks of Mervir Realty, and sold his real property in Badian, Cebu (Lot 3353 covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 3252) to Mervir Realty.
3. Thelma filed in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Cebu City a petition for the
appointment of Teresita as the administrator of Emigdio's estate. The RTC granted the
petition considering that there was no opposition. The letters of administration in favor of
Teresita.
4. As the administrator, Teresita submitted an inventory of the estate of Emigdio for the
consideration and approval by the RTC. She indicated in the inventory that at the time of
his death, Emigdio had "left no real properties but only personal properties" worth
P6,675,435.25 in all, consisting of cash of P32,141.20; furniture and fixtures worth
P20,000.00; pieces of jewelry valued at P15,000.00; 44,806 shares of stock of Mervir
Realty worth P6,585,585.80; and 30 shares of stock of Cebu Emerson worth P22,708.25.
5. Claiming that Emigdio had owned other properties that were excluded from the
inventory, Thelma moved that the RTC direct Teresita to amend the inventory, and to be
examined regarding it. Teresita filed a compliance with the order of January 8, 1993, 3
supporting her inventory with copies of three certificates of stocks covering the 44,806
Mervir Realty shares of stock; 4 the deed of assignment executed by Emigdio on January
Page | 142

10, 1991 involving real properties with the market value of P4,440,651.10 in exchange
for 44,407 Mervir Realty shares of stock with total par value of P4,440,700.00; 5 and the
certificate of stock issued on January 30, 1979 for 300 shares of stock of Cebu Emerson
worth P30,000.00.
6. Thelma again moved to require Teresita to be examined under oath on the inventory. The
RTC issued an order expressing the need for the parties to present evidence and for
Teresita to be examined to enable the court to resolve the motion for approval of the
inventory. Thelma opposed the approval of the inventory, and asked leave of court to
examine Teresita on the inventory.
7. The RTC issued on March 14, 2001 an order finding and holding that the inventory
submitted by Teresita had excluded properties that should be included. The RTC denied
the administratrix's motion for approval of inventory and orders the said administratrix to
re-do the inventory of properties which are supposed to constitute as the estate of the late
Emigdio S. Mercado. The RTC also directed the administratrix to render an account of
her administration of the estate of the late Emigdio S. Mercado which had come to her
possession.
8. Teresita, joined by other heirs of Emigdio, timely sought the reconsideration of the order
of March 14, 2001 on the ground that one of the real properties affected, Lot No. 3353
located in Badian, Cebu, had already been sold to Mervir Realty,
9. On appeal, the CA reversed the RTC decision insofar as the inclusion of the inclusion of
parcels of land known as Lot No. 3353 located at Badian, Cebu with an area of 53,301
square meters subject matter of the Deed of Absolute Sale dated November 9, 1989 and
the various parcels of land subject matter of the Deeds of Assignment dated February 17,
1989 and January 10, 1991 in the revised inventory to be submitted by the administratrix
is concerned.
ISSUE: Whether or not he RTC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or
excess of jurisdiction in directing the inclusion of certain properties in the inventory
notwithstanding that such properties had been either transferred by sale or exchanged for
corporate shares in Mervir Realty by the decedent during his lifetime.
HELD: No.
The probate court is authorized to determine the issue of ownership of properties for
purposes of their inclusion or exclusion from the inventory to be submitted by the administrator,
but its determination shall only be provisional unless the interested parties are all heirs of the
decedent, or the question is one of collation or advancement, or the parties consent to the
assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third parties are not impaired. Its
jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or collateral to the settlement and distribution of the
estate, such as the determination of the status of each heir and whether property included in the
inventory is the conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased spouse.
Under Section 6 (a), Rule 78 of the Rules of Court, the letters of administration may be
granted at the discretion of the court to the surviving spouse, who is competent and willing to
serve when the person dies intestate. Upon issuing the letters of administration to the surviving
spouse, the RTC becomes duty-bound to direct the preparation and submission of the inventory
of the properties of the estate, and the surviving spouse, as the administrator, has the duty and
Page | 143

responsibility to submit the inventory within three months from the issuance of letters of
administration pursuant to Rule 83 of the Rules of Court, viz.:
Section 1. Inventory and appraisal to be returned within three
months. Within three (3) months after his appointment every
executor or administrator shall return to the court a true inventory
and appraisal of all the real and personal estate of the deceased
which has come into his possession or knowledge. In the
appraisement of such estate, the court may order one or more of
the inheritance tax appraisers to give his or their assistance.
The usage of the word all in Section 1, supra, demands the inclusion of all the real and
personal properties of the decedent in the inventory. However, the word all is qualified by the
phrase which has come into his possession or knowledge, which signifies that the properties
must be known to the administrator to belong to the decedent or are in her possession as the
administrator. Section 1 allows no exception, for the phrase true inventory implies that no
properties appearing to belong to the decedent can be excluded from the inventory, regardless of
their being in the possession of another person or entity.
The objective of the Rules of Court in requiring the inventory and appraisal of the estate
of the decedent is "to aid the court in revising the accounts and determining the liabilities of the
executor or the administrator, and in malting a final and equitable distribution (partition) of the
estate and otherwise to facilitate the administration of the estate." Hence, the RTC that presides
over the administration of an estate is vested with wide discretion on the question of what
properties should be included in the inventory. According to Peralta v. Peralta, the CA cannot
impose its judgment in order to supplant that of the RTC on the issue of which properties are to
be included or excluded from the inventory in the absence of "positive abuse of discretion," for
in the administration of the estates of deceased persons, "the judges enjoy ample discretionary
powers and the appellate courts should not interfere with or attempt to replace the action taken
by them, unless it be shown that there has been a positive abuse of discretion." As long as the
RTC commits no patently grave abuse of discretion, its orders must be respected as part of the
regular performance of its judicial duty.
There is no dispute that the jurisdiction of the trial court as an intestate court is special
and limited. The trial court cannot adjudicate title to properties claimed to be a part of the estate
but are claimed to belong to third parties by title adverse to that of the decedent and the estate,
not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the decedent. All that the trial court can do
regarding said properties is to determine whether or not they should be included in the inventory
of properties to be administered by the administrator. Such determination is provisional and may
be still revised. As the Court said in Agtarap v. Agtarap:
The general rule is that the jurisdiction of the trial court, either as a
probate court or an intestate court, relates only to matters having to
do with the probate of the will and/or settlement of the estate of
deceased persons, but does not extend to the determination of
questions of ownership that arise during the proceedings. The
patent rationale for this rule is that such court merely exercises
special and limited jurisdiction. As held in several cases, a probate
court or one in charge of estate proceedings, whether testate or
intestate, cannot adjudicate or determine title to properties claimed
Page | 144

to be a part of the estate and which are claimed to belong to outside


parties, not by virtue of any right of inheritance from the deceased
but by title adverse to that of the deceased and his estate. All that
the said court could do as regards said properties is to determine
whether or not they should be included in the inventory of
properties to be administered by the administrator. If there is no
dispute, there poses no problem, but if there is, then the parties, the
administrator, and the opposing parties have to resort to an
ordinary action before a court exercising general jurisdiction for a
final determination of the conflicting claims of title.
However, this general rule is subject to exceptions as justified by expediency and
convenience. The probate court may provisionally pass upon in an intestate or a testate
proceeding the question of inclusion in, or exclusion from, the inventory of a piece of property
without prejudice to final determination of ownership in a separate action. Second, if the
interested parties are all heirs to the estate, or the question is one of collation or advancement, or
the parties consent to the assumption of jurisdiction by the probate court and the rights of third
parties are not impaired, then the probate court is competent to resolve issues on ownership.
Verily, its jurisdiction extends to matters incidental or collateral to the settlement and distribution
of the estate, such as the determination of the status of each heir and whether the property in the
inventory is conjugal or exclusive property of the deceased spouse.
The inventory of the estate of Emigdio must be prepared and submitted for the important
purpose of resolving the difficult issues of collation and advancement to the heirs. Article 1061
of the Civil Code required every compulsory heir and the surviving spouse, herein Teresita
herself, to "bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he (or she) may have
received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other
gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir,
and in the account of the partition." Section 2, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court also provided that
any advancement by the decedent on the legitime of an heir "may be heard and determined by
the court having jurisdiction of the estate proceedings, and the final order of the court thereon
shall be binding on the person raising the questions and on the heir." Rule 90 thereby expanded
the special and limited jurisdiction of the RTC as an intestate court about the matters relating to
the inventory of the estate of the decedent by authorizing it to direct the inclusion of properties
donated or bestowed by gratuitous title to any compulsory heir by the decedent.
The determination of which properties should be excluded from or included in the
inventory of estate properties was well within the authority and discretion of the RTC as an
intestate court. In making its determination, the RTC acted with circumspection, and proceeded
under the guiding policy that it was best to include all properties in the possession of the
administrator or were known to the administrator to belong to Emigdio rather than to exclude
properties that could turn out in the end to be actually part of the estate. As long as the RTC
commits no patent grave abuse of discretion, its orders must be respected as part of the regular
performance of its judicial duty. Grave abuse of discretion means either that the judicial or quasijudicial power was exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason of passion or personal
hostility, or that the respondent judge, tribunal or board evaded a positive duty, or virtually
refused to perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of law, such as when such judge,
tribunal or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial powers acted in a capricious or whimsical
manner as to be equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.
Page | 145

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Court GRANTS the petition for review on certiorari;
REVERSES and SETS ASIDE the decision promulgated on May 15, 2002; REINSTATES the
orders issued on March 14, 2001 and May 18, 2001 by the Regional Trial Court in Cebu;
DIRECTS the Regional Trial Court in Cebu to proceed with dispatch in Special Proceedings No.
3094-CEB entitled Intestate Estate of the late Emigdio Mercado, Thelma Aranas, petitioner, and
to resolve the case; and ORDERS the respondents to pay the costs of suit.

HILARIA BAGAYAS, petitioner, vs. ROGELIO BAGAYAS, FELICIDAD BAGAYAS,


ROSALINA BAGAYAS, MICHAEL BAGAYAS, and MARIEL BAGAYAS, respondents.
[G.R. Nos. 187308 & 187517. September 18, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERLAS-BERNABE, J
FACTS:
1. Hilaria Bagayas (petitioner), alleged adoptive child filed a complaint for annulment of
sale and partition claiming that Rogelio, Felicidad, Rosalina, Michael, and Mariel, all
surnamed Bagayas (respondents) intended to exclude her from inheriting from the estate
of her legally adoptive parents, Maximino Bagayas (Maximino) and Eligia Clemente
(Eligia) (who were already dead) by falsifying a deed of absolute sale (deed of absolute
sale) purportedly executed by the deceased spouses (Maximino and Eligia) transferring
two parcels of land (subject lands) registered in their names to their biological children,
respondent Rogelio and Orlando Bagayas.
2. Petitioner presented herself and five other witnesses to prove the allegations in her
complaint. Respondents likewise testified in their defense denying any knowledge of the
alleged adoption of petitioner by Maximino and Eligia, and pointing out that petitioner
had not even lived with the family. Furthermore, Rogelio claimed that after their parents
had died, he and Orlando executed a document denominated as Deed of Extrajudicial
Succession (deed of extrajudicial succession) over the subject lands to effect the transfer
of titles thereof to their names. Before the deed of extrajudicial succession could be
registered, however, a deed of absolute sale transferring the subject lands to them was
discovered from the old files of Maximino, which they used by "reason of convenience"
to acquire title to the said lands.
3. The RTC declared petitioner to be an adopted child of Maximino and Eligia on the
strength of the order of adoption, which it considered as more reliable than the oral
testimonies of respondents denying the fact of adoption. The RTC further held that, even
though petitioner is an adopted child, she could not ask for partition of the subject lands
as she was not able to prove any of the instances that would invalidate the deed of
absolute sale. Moreover, the action for annulment of sale was improper as it constituted a
collateral attack on the title of Rogelio and Orlando.
ISSUE: Whether the trial court has authority to decide on legality of adoption of petitioner in
ordinary civil case of annulment of deed and partition.
Page | 146

RULING: No.
The Court has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make a declaration of heirship
in an ordinary civil action, for matters relating to the rights of filiation and heirship must be
ventilated in a special proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of determining such rights.
In this case, the RTC have made a definitive ruling on petitioner's adoption, as well as the
forgery of Eligia's signature on the questioned deed, no partition was decreed, as the action was,
in fact, dismissed. Consequently, the declaration that petitioner is the legally adopted child of
Maximino and Eligia did not amount to a declaration of heirship and co-ownership upon which
petitioner may institute an action for the amendment of the certificates of title covering the
subject land. Also, petitioner cannot avail of the summary proceedings under Section 108 of PD
1529 because the present controversy involves not the amendment of the certificates of title
issued in favor of Rogelio and Orlando but the partition of the estate of Maximino and Eligia
who are both deceased. As held in Philippine Veterans Bank v. Valenzuela, the prevailing rule is
that proceedings under Section 108 of PD 1529 are summary in nature, contemplating
corrections or insertions of mistakes which are only clerical but certainly not controversial
issues. Relief under said legal provision can only be granted if there is unanimity among the
parties, or that there is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of any party in interest.
Therefore, petitioner may not avail of the remedy provided under Section 108 of PD 1529
because the proper remedy is to institute intestate proceedings for the settlement of the estate of
the deceased spouses Maximino and Eligia.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.

Page | 147

NORA B. CALALANG-PARULAN AND ELVIRA B. CALALANG, PETITIONERS, VS.


ROSARIO CALALANG-GARCIA, LEONORA CALALANG-SABILE, AND CARLITO
S. CALALANG, RESPONDENTS
[G.R. No. 184148, June 09, 2014.]
PONENTE: VILLARAMA, JR., J.
FACTS:
1. Pedro Calalang contracted two marriages during his lifetime. The first marriage was with
Encarnacion Silverio (mother of respondents). During the subsistence of this marriage,
they alledgedly acquired the subject property from their maternal grandmother Francisca
Silverio. Despite enjoying continuous possession of the land, however, their parents
failed to register the same. On June 7, 1942, the first marriage was dissolved with the
death of Encarnacion Silverio.
2. On November 6, 1967, Pedro Calalang entered into a second marriage with Elvira B.
Calalang who then gave birth to Nora B. Calalang-Parulan and Rolando Calalang (the
petitioner). It was only during this time that Pedro Calalang filed an application for free
patent over the parcel of land with the Bureau of Lands. Pedro Calalang committed fraud
in such application by claiming sole and exclusive ownership over the land since 1935
and concealing the fact that he had three children with his first spouse. As a result, a new
TCT was issued in favor of Pedro Calalang only.
3. On February 17, 1984, Pedro Calalang sold the said parcel of land to Nora B. CalalangParulan via Deed of Absolute Sale executed by both Pedro Calalang and Elvira B.
Calalang. On December 27, 1989 Pedro Calalang died. Thus, the respondents filed
annulment of sale and reconveyance of property.
4. In answer, the petitioners argued that the parcel of land was acquired during the second
marriage of Pedro Calalang with Elvira B. Calalang. They stressed that OCT No. P-2871
itself stated that it was issued in the name of Pedro Calalang, married to Elvira Berba
[2nd wife]. Thus, the property belonged to the conjugal partnership of the spouses Pedro
Calalang and Elvira B. Calalang.

Page | 148

5. The trial court ruled in favor of respondents. The trial court declared that the parcel of
land was jointly acquired by the spouses Pedro Calalang and Encarnacion Silverio from
the parents of the latter. Thus, it was part of the conjugal property of the first marriage of
Pedro Calalang. When this marriage was dissolved upon the death of Encarnacion
Silverio on June 7, 1942, the corresponding shares to the disputed property were acquired
by the heirs of the decedent according to the laws of succession. In particular, the trial
court allocated half of the disputed property to Pedro Calalang as his share in the
conjugal partnership and allocated the other half to the three respondents and Pedro
Calalang to be divided equally among them. The trial court then ordered all of Pedros
share to be given to Nora B. Calalang-Parulan on account of the sale. The trial court also
ruled that because the application for free patent filed by Pedro Calalang was attended by
fraud and misrepresentation, Pedro Calalang should be considered as a trustee of an
implied trust.
6. Aggrieved by the adverse ruling, the petitioners appealed the case to the CA. The CA
reversed the factual findings of the trial court and held that Pedro Calalang was the sole
and exclusive owner of the subject parcel of land. Firstly, it held that there was
insufficient evidence to prove that the disputed property was indeed jointly acquired from
the parents of Encarnacion Silverio during the first marriage. Secondly, the CA upheld
the indefeasibility of OCT No. P-2871. It held that although the free patent was issued in
the name of Pedro Calalang, married to Elvira Berba [Calalang] this phrase was merely
descriptive of the civil status of Pedro Calalang at the time of the registration of the
disputed property. Thus, contrary to the ruling of the trial court, upon the death of
Encarnacion Silverio on June 7, 1942, the respondents did not acquire any successional
rights to the parcel of land which was exclusively owned by Pedro Calalang. However,
applying the rules of succession, Pedros heirs namely, Rosario Calalang-Garcia, Leonora
Calalang-Sabile, Carlito Calalang, Nora B. Calalang-Parulan, Elvira B. Calalang, and
Rolando Calalang, succeeded Pedro to the land in equal shares upon his death. Thus, the
CA ordered the petitioners to reconvey in favor of the respondents their rightful shares to
the land. The CA ruled that the sale by Pedro Calalang to Nora B. Calalang-Parulan was
fraudulent and fictitious as the vendee was in bad faith and the respondents were
unlawfully deprived of their pro indiviso shares over the disputed property.
ISSUE: Whether Pedro Calalang was the exclusive owner of the disputed property prior to its
transfer to his daughter Nora B. Calalang-Parulan.
HELD: Yes. We have carefully reviewed the records of this case and sustain the finding of the
CA that Pedro Calalang is the sole and exclusive owner of the disputed property.
As the sole and exclusive owner, Pedro Calalang had the right to convey his property in
favor of Nora B. Calalang-Parulan by executing a Deed of Sale on February 17, 1984. The CA
therefore erred in ruling that Pedro Calalang deprived his heirs of their respective shares over the
disputed property when he alienated the same.
It is hornbook doctrine that successional rights are vested only at the time of death.
Article 777 of the New Civil Code provides that [t]he rights to the succession are transmitted
from the moment of the death of the decedent. In Butte v. Manuel Uy and Sons, Inc.,[19] we
proclaimed the fundamental tenets of succession: The principle of transmission as of the time of
the predecessors death is basic in our Civil Code, and is supported by other related articles.
Page | 149

Thus, the capacity of the heir is determined as of the time the decedent died (Art. 1034); the
legitime is to be computed as of the same moment (Art. 908), and so is the inofficiousness of the
donation inter vivos (Art. 771). Similarly, the legacies of credit and remission are valid only in
the amount due and outstanding at the death of the testator (Art. 935), and the fruits accruing
after that instant are deemed to pertain to the legatee (Art. 948).
In this case, it was proven based on the evidences presented that the disputed property
does not belong to the conjugal partnership of the first marriage because no evidence presented
to substantiate the allegation. Nor the disputed property belongs to second marriage of Pedro
Calalang with Elvira B. Calalang based on the title issued in the name of Pedro Calalang,
married to Elvira Berba [Calalang] because the provision would clearly reveal that the phrase
Pedro Calalang, married to Elvira Berba [Calalang] merely describes the civil status and
identifies the spouse of the registered owner Pedro Calalang. In application for free patent first
occupied and cultivated it in1935 but he applied for free patent only in 1974 and was issued a
free patent while already married to Elvira B. Calalang. Thus, having possessed the subject land
in the manner and for the period required by law after the dissolution of the first marriage and
before the second marriage, the subject property ipso jure became private property and formed
part of Pedro Calalangs exclusive property. It was therefore excluded from the conjugal
partnership of gains of the second marriage.
It is only upon the death of Pedro Calalang on December 27, 1989 that his heirs acquired
their respective inheritances, entitling them to their pro indiviso shares to his whole estate. At
the time of the sale of the disputed property, the rights to the succession were not yet bestowed
upon the heirs of Pedro Calalang. And absent clear and convincing evidence that the sale was
fraudulent or not duly supported by valuable consideration (in effect an inofficious donation inter
vivos), the respondents have no right to question the sale of the disputed property on the ground
that their father deprived them of their respective shares. Well to remember, fraud must be
established by clear and convincing evidence. Mere preponderance of evidence is not even
adequate to prove fraud. The Complaint for Annulment of Sale and Reconveyance of Property
must therefore be dismissed.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is GRANTED. The
Decision dated December 21, 2007 and Resolution dated July 25, 2008 of the Thirteenth
Division of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 72531 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
Civil Case No. 370-M-91, or the Complaint for Annulment of Sale and Reconveyance of
Property filed by the respondents with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 21 of Malolos, Bulacan,
on June 10, 1991, is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit.

Page | 150

CERILA J. CALANASAN, represented by TEODORA J. CALANASAN as Attorney-inFact, petitioner, vs. SPOUSES VIRGILIO DOLORITO and EVELYN C. DOLORITO,
respondents.
[G.R. No. 171937. November 25, 2013.]
PONENTE: BRION, J
FACTS:
1. The petitioner, Cerila J. Calanasan (Cerila), took care of her orphan niece, respondent
Evelyn C. Dolorito, since the latter was a child.
2. In 1982, when Evelyn was already married to respondent Virgilio Dolorito, the petitioner
donated to Evelyn a parcel of land which had earlier been mortgaged for P15,000.00.
3. The donation was conditional: Evelyn must redeem the land and the petitioner was
entitled to possess and enjoy the property as long as she lived. Evelyn signified her
acceptance of the donation and its terms in the same deed.
4. Soon thereafter, Evelyn redeemed the property, had the title of the land transferred to her
name, and granted the petitioner usufructuary rights over the donated land.
5. On August 15, 2002, the petitioner, assisted by her sister Teodora J. Calanasan,
complained with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) that Evelyn had committed acts of
ingratitude against her. She prayed that her donation in favor of her niece be revoked; in
their answer, the respondents denied the commission of any act of ingratitude.
6. The petitioner died while the case was pending with the RTC. Her sisters, Teodora and
Dolores J. Calanasan, substituted for her.
7. After the petitioner had rested her case, the respondents filed a demurrer to evidence.
According to them, 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.

Page | 151

ISSUE: Whether or not the donation is ONEROUS.


HELD: Yes.
We agree with the CA that 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.
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
petitioner's 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.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Court DENIES the petition for review
on certiorari. The decision dated September 29, 2005, and the resolution dated March 8, 2006, of
the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 84031 are hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against Cerila J.
Calanasan, represented by Teodora J. Calanasan as Attorney-in-Fact.

Page | 152

JOSE Z. CASILANG, SR., substituted by his heirs, namely: FELICIDAD CUDIAMAT


VDA. DE CASILANG, JOSE C. CASILANG, JR., RICARDO C. CASILANG, MARIA
LOURDES C. CASILANG, CHRISTOPHER C. CASILANG, BEN C. CASILANG,
DANTE C. CASILANG, GREGORIO C. CASILANG, HERALD C. CASILANG; and
FELICIDAD Z. CASILANG, MARCELINA Z. CASILANG, JACINTA Z. CASILANG,
BONIFACIO Z. CASILANG, LEONORA Z. CASILANG, and FLORA Z. CASILANG,
petitioners, vs. ROSARIO Z. CASILANG-DIZON, MARIO A. CASILANG, ANGELO A.
CASILANG, RODOLFO A. CASILANG, and ATTY. ALICIA B. FABIA, in her capacity as
Clerk of Court and Ex-Officio Sheriff of Pangasinan and/or her duly authorized
representative, respondents.
[G.R. No. 180269. February 20, 2013.]
PONENTE: REYES, J
FACTS:
1. The late spouses Liborio Casilang (Liborio) and Francisca Zacarias (Francisca) had eight
(8) children, namely: Felicidad Casilang (Felicidad), Ireneo Casilang (Ireneo), Marcelina
Casilang (Marcelina), Jacinta Casilang (Jacinta), Bonifacio Casilang (Bonifacio),
Leonora Casilang (Leonora), Jose Casilang (Jose) and Flora Casilang (Flora). Liborio
died intestate on October 11, 1982 at the age of 83, followed not long after by his wife
Francisca on December 25, 1982. Their son Bonifacio also died in 1986, survived by his
child Bernabe Casilang (Bernabe), while son Ireneo died on June 11, 1992, survived by
his four (4) children, namely: Mario Casilang (Mario), Angelo Casilang (Angelo),
Rosario Casilang-Dizon (Rosario) and Rodolfo Casilang (Rodolfo), herein respondents.
2. The estate of Liborio, which left no debts, consisted of three (3) parcels of land.
3. Respondent Rosario filed unlawful detainer to evict her uncle, petitioner Jose from Lot
No. 4618. Rosario claimed that Lot No. 4618 was owned by her father Ireneo. Pursuant
to a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition respondents Mario, Angelo and Rodolfo renounced
their respective shares in Lot No. 4618 in favor of Rosario.
4. On April 3, 1997, the respondents executed a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition with
Quitclaim 3 whereby they adjudicated Lot No. 4618 to themselves. In the same

Page | 153

instrument, respondents Mario, Angelo and Rodolfo renounced their respective shares in
Lot No. 4618 in favor of Rosario.
5. 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."
6. 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, and pay Rosario P500.00 in
monthly rentals from the filing of the complaint until she was placed in possession.
Subsequently, the MTC issued a writ of execution; and a Writ of Demolition was issued.
7. Petitioners (7 of the 8) children of Liborio and Francisca, filed annulment of extra
judicial partition because there was allegedly oral partition between the heirs of late
spouse.
8. The RTC affirmed Jose's ownership and possession of Lot No. 4618 by virtue of the oral
partition of the estate of Liborio by all the siblings.
ISSUE: Whether the oral partition is valid.
HELD: Yes.
It was a settled rule in this Jurisdiction that an oral partition is valid. 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. Also it
has been held or stated in a number of cases involving an oral partition under which the parties
went into possession, exercised acts of ownership, or otherwise partly performed the partition
agreement, that equity will confirm such partition and in a proper case decree title in accordance
with the possession in severalty.
Moreover, a 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. A
doctrine of part performance, or have stated that a part performance is necessary, to take a parol
partition out of the operation of the statute of frauds.
In this case, Jose's possession of Lot No. 4618 under a claim of ownership is well borne
out by the records. It is also consistent with the claimed verbal partition with his siblings, and
fully corroborated by his sisters Felicidad, Jacinta, Leonora, and Flora, who further testified that
they each had taken possession of their own shares and built their houses thereon. From the
testimonies of the parties, there was indeed a verbal partition among the heirs of Liborio,
pursuant to which each of his eight children received his or her share of his estate, and that Jose's
share was Lot No. 4618.

Page | 154

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Petition is GRANTED. The Decision


dated July 19, 2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 79619 is hereby REVERSED
and SET ASIDE, and the Decision dated April 21, 2003 of the Regional Trial Court of Dagupan
City, Branch 41 in Civil Case No. 98-02371-D is REINSTATED.

OSCAR CONSTANTINO, MAXIMA CONSTANTINO and CASIMIRA MATURINGAN,


petitioners, vs. HEIRS OF PEDRO CONSTANTINO, JR., represented by ASUNCION
LAQUINDANUM, respondents.
[G.R. No. 181508. October 2, 2013.]
PONENTE: PEREZ, J
FACTS:
1. Pedro Constantino, Sr., (Pedro Sr.) ancestors of the petitioners and respondents, owned
several parcels of land, one of which is an unregistered parcel of land. Pedro, Sr., upon
his death, was survived by his six (6) children, namely: 1) PEDRO CONSTANTINO, JR.
(Pedro Jr.), the grandfather of the respondents; 2) ANTONIA CONSTANTINO, who later
died without issue; 3) CLARA CONSTANTINO, who also later died without issue; 4)
BRUNO CONSTANTINO, who was survived by his 6 children including petitioner
Casimira Constantino-Maturingan; 5) EDUARDO CONSTANTINO, who is survived by
his daughter Maura; and 6) SANTIAGO CONSTANTINO, who was survived by his five
(5) children which includes petitioner Oscar Constantino.
2. Respondents Asuncion and Josefina,great grandchildren of Pedro Sr., in representation of
Pedro, Jr. filed a complaint against petitioners Oscar Constantino, Maxima Constantino
and Casimira Maturingan, grandchildren of Pedro Sr., for the nullification of a document
denominated as "Pagmamana sa Labas ng Hukuman". It was alleged that petitioners
asserted claim of ownership over the entire land to the exclusion of the respondents who
are occupying a portion of lot and the new Tax Declaration receipt was issued due to the
execution of a simulated, fabricated and fictitious document denominated as
"Pagmamana sa Labas ng Hukuman," wherein the petitioners misrepresented themselves
as the sole and only heirs of Pedro Sr.

ISSUE: Whether the subject property should be part of the estate of Pedro Sr.
HELD: Yes.
The infirmities in the two deeds relate to exclusion of heirs, a circumvention of an heir's
right to his or her legitime, In Neri v. Heirs of Hadji Yusop Uy the Court held that the settlement
excluding compulsory heirs was not valid and binding upon them and consequently, a total
Page | 155

nullity. Further, in the case of Segura v. Segura the Court held that partition was invalid
because it excluded six of the nine heirs who were entitled to equal shares in the partitioned
property. Under the rule "no extrajudicial settlement shall be binding upon any person who has
not participated therein or had no notice thereof." As the partition was a total nullity and did not
affect the excluded heirs, it was not correct for the trial court to hold that their right to challenge
the partition had prescribed after two years from its execution.
In this case, it was shown that the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement with Waiver, referred
to a property owned by Pedro Sr. Apart from respondent Asuncion Laquindanums's statement
that the parcel of land subject matter of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement with Waiver is not
part of the estate of Pedro Sr., their common ancestor, no other evidence was offered to support
it. The CA in giving credence to the respondents' claim, merely relied on the alleged
typographical error in the Deed. The basis for the CA's conclusion was the inclusion of the wife
of Pedro Jr. and that of their children, which the CA considered as proof that the property was
owned by Pedro Jr. and not part of the estate of Pedro Sr. As pointed out by the petitioners, the
mention of the names of the children of Pedro Jr. in the Extrajudicial Settlement is not proof that
the subject of the deed is the property of Pedro Jr. Meant to exclude all the other heirs of Pedro
Sr., only the children of Pedro Jr. appeared in the Extrajudicial Settlement as heirs. Thus, the
deed was invalid because it violates the heirs of his right to his legitime.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the 31 May 2007 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
CV No. 81329 is hereby REVERSED. The Pagmamana sa Labas ng Hukuman and Extrajudicial
Settlement with Waiver are hereby declared void without prejudice to the partition of the estate
of Pedro Constantino Sr. with the full participation of all the latter's heirs.

Page | 156

THERESITA, JUAN, ASUNCION, PATROCINIA, RICARDO, and GLORIA, all


surnamed DIMAGUILA, petitioners, vs. JOSE and SONIA A. MONTEIRO, respondents.
[G.R. No. 201011. January 27, 2014.]
PONENTE: MENDOZA, J
FACTS:
1. Spouses Monteiro (respondents), filed a Complaint for Partition against the Dimaguilas
(petitioners) for the partition of a residential house claiming that they are the owner of the
subject lot pursuant to a deed of sale executed in their favor by the heirs of Pedro
Dimaguila (Pedro).
2. The Dimaguilas and the other defendants countered that there was no co-ownership to
speak of in the first place. They alleged that the subject property was owned by Maria
Ignacio Buenaseda, which had long been partitioned equally between her two sons,
Perfecto and Vitaliano Dimaguila, through a Deed of Extrajudicial Partition, with its
southern-half portion assigned to Perfecto and the northern-half portion to Vitaliano.
They claimed that they were the heirs of Vitaliano and that Spouses Monteiro had nothing
to do with the property as they were not heirs of either Perfecto or Vitaliano.
3. The trial court ruled for respondents. The RTC found that although the extrajudicial
partition merely divided the property into two share and share alike, evidence aliunde was
appreciated to show that there was an actual division of the property into south and north
between Perfecto and Vitaliano, and that such partition was observed and honored by
their heirs. On appeal, the CA affirmed RTCs decision
ISSUE: Whether the sale of the co-heirs is valid without the consent of their co-heir.
RULING: Yes. Spouses Monteiro having sufficiently proved their claim over the subject 1/3
portion of the southern-half of the property through the Bilihan.
As a rule co-heirs cannot sell the property owned in common without the consent of coowner however, a sale of co-heirs of his share in the property inherited in common will not
render the sale void. The remedy available for the co-heirs is to exercise his right of redemption.
In this case, the petitioners, as heirs of Vitaliano, who inherited the northern-half portion of the
subject property, do not possess the necessary personality to assail the sale of the southern-half
portion between Spouses Monteiro and the heirs of Pedro. They are not real parties-in-interest
Page | 157

who stand to be benefited or injured by the sale of the 1/3 portion of the southern-half over
which they have absolutely no right. Only fellow co-owners have the personality to assail the
sale, namely, the heirs of Pedro's siblings, Esperanza and Leandro. However, they have expressly
acquiesced to the sale and waived their right to the property in the affidavit presented by Spouses
Monteiro. Thus, the petitioners have no right to their counterclaims of demolition of
improvements and payment of damages.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The August 15, 2011 Decision and the
March 5, 2012 Resolution of the Court of Appeals, in CA-G.R. CV No. 92707 are AFFIRMED
with MODIFICATION, in that:
a. The award of rent at the rate of P500.00 per month shall be reckoned from January 2,
2001 until the property is vacated; and
b. Interest at the rate of 6% per annum shall be imposed on the total amount of rent due
from finality of this Decision until fully paid.

Page | 158

HEIRS OF DR. MARIANO FAVIS, SR., represented by their co-heirs and Attorneys-inFact MERCEDES A. FAVIS and NELLY FAVIS-VILLAFUERTE, petitioners, vs. JUANA
GONZALES, her son MARIANO G. FAVIS, MA. THERESA JOANA D. FAVIS, JAMES
MARK D. FAVIS, all minors represented herein by their parents, SPS. MARIANO FAVIS
and LARCELITA D. FAVIS, respondents.
[G.R. No. 185922. January 15, 2014.]
PONENTE: PEREZ, J
FACTS:
5. Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. was married to Capitolina Aguilar (Capitolina) with whom he had
seven children named Purita A. Favis, Reynaldo Favis, Consolacion Favis-Queliza,
Mariano A. Favis, Jr., Esther F. Filart, Mercedes A. Favis, and Nelly Favis-Villafuerte.
6. When Capitolina died, Dr. Favis married Juana Gonzales (respondent) with whom he
sired one child, Mariano G. Favis (Mariano Jr.) Dr. Favis executed an affidavit
acknowledging Mariano as one of his legitimate children. Mariano is married to Larcelita
D. Favis (Larcelita), with whom he has four children (respondents).
7. Dr. Favis died having intestate properties. Before his death he suffered serious illness and
allegedly executed a Deed of Donation transferring and conveying properties in favor of
his grandchildren with Juana. Claiming that said donation prejudiced their legitime, Dr.
Favis' children with first marriage (petitioners) filed an action for annulment of the Deed
of Donation, inventory, liquidation and partition of property before the Regional Trial
Court against the second family (respondents.)
8. RTC ruled for petitioner but it was reversed by the Court of Appeals. Hence the petitioner
brought the case before the Supreme Court.
ISSUE:
1. Whether the order of dismissal of the complaint for failure to allege therein that earnest
efforts towards a compromise have been made was valid.
2. Whether subject property in the deed of donation should be part of the estate of the
deceased.
HELD:
Page | 159

1. No.
The Family Code provides in Art. 151:
No suit between members of the same family shall prosper unless
it should appear from the verified complaint or petition that earnest
efforts toward a compromise have been made, but that the same
have failed. If it is shown that no such efforts were in fact made,
the case must be dismissed.
The Court in number of cases ruled that a failure to allege earnest but failed efforts at a
compromise in a complaint among members of the same family, is not a jurisdictional defect but
merely a defect in the statement of a cause of action. The defect may however be waived by
failing to make seasonable objection, in a motion to dismiss or answer, the defect being a mere
procedural imperfection which does not affect the jurisdiction of the court.
In this case, the proceedings before the trial court ran the full course. The complaint of
petitioners was answered by respondents without a prior motion to dismiss having been filed.
The decision in favor of the petitioners was appealed by respondents on the basis of the alleged
error in the ruling on the merits, no mention having been made about any defect in the statement
of a cause of action. In other words, no motion to dismiss the complaint based on the failure to
comply with a condition precedent was filed in the trial court; neither was such failure assigned
as error in the appeal that respondent brought before the Court of Appeals.
Thus, the rule on deemed waiver of the non-jurisdictional defense or objection is wholly
applicable to respondent.
2. Yes.
The Deed of donation was void because the donor was not in his full mental faculties
when it executed the document.
As found by the trial court, at the time of the execution of the Deed of Donation, Dr.
Mariano Favis, Sr. was already at an advanced age of 92, afflicted with different illnesses like
Hiatal hernia, Parkinsons' disease and pneumonia, to name few, which illnesses had the effects of
impairing his brain or mental faculties and the deed being executed only when Dra. Mercedes
Favis had already left his father's residence when Dr. Mariano Favis, Sr. could have done so
earlier or even in the presence of Dra. Mercedes Favis, at the time he executed the Deed of
Donation was not in full control of his mental faculties. That although age of senility varies from
one person to another, to reach the age of 92 with all those medications and treatment one have
received for those illnesses, yet claim that his mind remains unimpaired, would be unusual. The
fact that the Deed of Donation was only executed after Dra. Mercedes Favis left his father's
house necessarily indicates that they don't want the same to be known by the first family, which
is an indicia of bad faith on the part of the defendant, who at that time had influence over the
donor.
Thus, the property in question should form part of the estate of decease Dr. Favis.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE and the Judgment of the Regional Trial Court of Vigan, Ilocos Sur, Branch 20 is
AFFIRMED.

Page | 160

HEIRS OF MAGDALENO YPON, namely, ALVARO YPON, ERUDITA Y. BARON,


CICERO YPON, WILSON YPON, VICTOR YPON, AND HINIDINO Y. PEALOSA,
petitioners, vs. GAUDIOSO PONTERAS RICAFORTE a.k.a. "GAUDIOSO E. YPON,"
and THE REGISTER OF DEEDS of TOLEDO CITY, respondents.
[G.R. No. 198680. July 8, 2013.]
PONENTE: PERLAS-BERNABE, J
FACTS:
1. On July 29, 2010, petitioners, together with some of their cousins, 4 filed a complaint for
Cancellation of Title and Reconveyance with Damages (subject complaint) against respondent
Gaudioso Ponteras Ricaforte a.k.a. Gaudioso E. Ypon (Gaudioso)
2. In their complaint, they alleged that Magdaleno Ypon (Magdaleno) died intestate and childless on
June 28, 1968, leaving behind Lot Nos. 2-AA, 2-C, 2-F, and 2-J which were then covered by
Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. T-44 and T-77-A.
3. Claiming to be the sole heir of Magdaleno, Gaudioso executed an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication
and caused the cancellation of the aforementioned certificates of title, leading to their subsequent
transfer in his name under TCT Nos. T-2637 and T-2638, to the prejudice of petitioners who are
Magdalenos collateral relatives and successors-in-interest
4. In his Answer, Gaudioso alleged that he is the lawful son of Magdaleno as evidenced by: (a) his
certificate of Live Birth; (b) two (2) letters from Polytechnic School; and (c) a certified true copy
of his passport.9 Further, by way of affirmative defense, he claimed that: (a) petitioners have no
cause of action against him; (b) the complaint fails to state a cause of action; and (c) the case is
not prosecuted by the real parties-in-interest, as there is no showing that the petitioners have been
judicially declared as Magdalenos lawful heirs.
5. The Regional Trial Court ruled that the complaint failed to state a cause of action against
Gaudioso. Although the plaintiffs have established their relationship with Magdaleno, it did not
mean that they can be considered as his compulsory heirs. Quite the contrary, Gaudioso
satisfactorily established the fact that he is Magdalenos son and hence, his compulsory heir
through the documentary evidence he submitted which consisted of: (a) a marriage contract
between Magdaleno and Epegenia Evangelista; (b) a Certificate of Live Birth; (c) a Letter dated
February 19, 1960; and (d) a passport
Page | 161

ISSUE: Whether Gaudioso was the compulsory heir of deceased Magdaleno.


HELD: It must be pointed out that the RTC erred in ruling on Gaudiosos heirship which should,
as herein discussed, be threshed out and determined in the proper special proceeding.
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. 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 RTC 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.
In this case, none of the foregoing exceptions, or those of similar nature, appear to exist.
Hence, there lies the need to institute the proper special proceeding in order to determine the
heirship of the parties involved, ultimately resulting to the dismissal of civil case.

DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The dismissal of Civil Case No. T2246 is hereby AFFIRMED, without prejudice to any subsequent proceeding to determine the
lawful heirs of the late Magdaleno Ypon and the rights concomitant therewith.

Page | 162

ANTIPOLO INING (deceased), survived by MANUEL VILLANUEVA, TEODORA


VILLANUEVA-FRANCISCO, CAMILO FRANCISCO, ADOLFO FRANCISCO,
LUCIMO FRANCISCO, JR., MILAGROS FRANCISCO, * CELEDONIO FRANCISCO,
HERMINIGILDO FRANCISCO; RAMON TRESVALLES, ROBERTO TAJONERA,
NATIVIDAD INING-IBEA (deceased) survived by EDILBERTO IBEA, JOSEFA IBEA,
MARTHA IBEA, CARMEN IBEA, AMPARO IBEA-FERNANDEZ, HENRY RUIZ,
EUGENIO RUIZ and PASTOR RUIZ; DOLORES INING-RIMON (deceased) survived by
JESUS RIMON, CESARIA RIMON GONZALES and REMEDIOS RIMON CORDERO;
and PEDRO INING (deceased) survived by ELISA TAN INING (wife) and PEDRO
INING, JR., petitioners, vs. LEONARDO R. VEGA, substituted by LOURDES VEGA,
RESTONILO I. VEGA, CRISPULO M. VEGA, MILBUENA VEGA-RESTITUTO and
LENARD VEGA, respondents.
[G.R. No. 174727. August 12, 2013.]
PONENTE: DEL CASTILLO, J
FACTS:
1. Spouses Roldan, is the owner of the subject property. They died without issue. Leon was
survived by his siblings Romana and Gregoria who are now both deceased. Romana was
survived by her daughter Anunciacion Vega and grandson Leonardo (also both deceased).
Leonardo in turn is survived by his wife Lourdes and children (respondents) Gregoria
was survived except for Ramon Tresvalles (Tresvalles) and Roberto Tajonera (Tajonera),
her grandchildren or spouses thereof (Petitioner-Gregoria's heirs).
2. Respondents acting on the claim that one-half of subject property belonged to him as
Romana's surviving heir filed partition of the property. The petitioners claimed that Leon
sold the property to Lucimo Sr. which they acquired thereafter by virtue of Deed of
Absolute Sale thus; it was no longer part of his estate.
3. The trial court found that Leon never sold the property to Enriquez, and in turn, Enriquez
never sold the property to Lucimo Sr., hence, the subject property remained part of Leon's
estate at the time of his death in 1962. Leon's siblings, Romana and Gregoria, thus
inherited the subject property in equal shares. Leonardo and the respondents are entitled
Page | 163

to Romana's share as the latter's successors. However, the trial court held that Leonardo
was barred by prescription (30 years) thus; the property should go to Gregoria's heirs
exclusively. On appeal CA reversed the trial court decision; hence an appeal was brought
to SC.
4. The trial court found the April 4, 1943 and November 25, 1943 deeds of sale to be
spurious. It concluded that Leon never sold the property to Enriquez, and in turn,
Enriquez never sold the property to Lucimo Sr., hence, the subject property remained part
of Leon's estate at the time of his death in 1962. Leon's siblings, Romana and Gregoria,
thus inherited the subject property in equal shares. Leonardo and the respondents are
entitled to Romana's share as the latter's successors.
5. The trial court held that Leonardo had only 30 years from Leon's death in 1962 or up
to 1992 within which to file the partition case. Since Leonardo instituted the partition
suit only in 1997, the same was already barred by prescription. It held that under Article
1141 of the Civil Code, an action for partition and recovery of ownership and possession
of a parcel of land is a real action over immovable property which prescribes in 30 years.
In addition, the trial court held that for his long inaction, Leonardo was guilty of laches as
well. Consequently, the property should go to Gregoria's heirs exclusively.
6. The CA held that the trial court's declaration of nullity of the April 4, 1943 and November
25, 1943 deeds of sale in favor of Enriquez and Lucimo Sr., respectively, became final
and was settled by petitioners' failure to appeal the same. Proceeding from the premise
that no valid prior disposition of the property was made by its owner Leon and that the
property which remained part of his estate at the time of his death passed on by
succession to his two siblings, Romana and Gregoria, which thus makes the parties herein
who are Romana's and Gregoria's heirs co-owners of the property in equal shares,
the appellate court held that only the issues of prescription and laches were needed to be
resolved.
7. The CA did not agree with the trial court's pronouncement that Leonardo's action for
partition was barred by prescription. The CA declared that prescription began to run not
from Leon's death in 1962, but from Lucimo Sr.'s execution of the Affidavit of
Ownership of Land in 1979, which amounted to a repudiation of his co-ownership of the
property with Leonardo. Applying the fifth paragraph of Article 494 of the Civil Code,
which provides that "[n]o prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against
his co-owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the coownership," the CA held that it was only when Lucimo Sr. executed the Affidavit of
Ownership of Land in 1979 and obtained a new tax declaration over the property (TD
16414) solely in his name that a repudiation of his co-ownership with Leonardo was
made, which repudiation effectively commenced the running of the 30-year prescriptive
period under Article 1141.
ISSUE: Who is the owner of the property?
HELD: 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 Leon's
estate. Leon died without issue; his heirs are his siblings Romana and Gregoria. Gregoria's and
Romana's heirs are co- owners of the subject property.
Page | 164

Under Article 777 of the Civil Code, the rights to the succession are transmitted from the
moment of death. Since Leon died without issue, his heirs are his siblings, Romana and
Gregoria, who thus inherited the property in equal shares. In turn, Romana's and Gregoria's heirs
became entitled to the property upon the sisters' passing. Gregoria's and Romana's heirs are coowners of the subject property. 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 coowner 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.
For prescription to set in, the repudiation must be done by a co-owner. It is settled rule
that "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 coowner, 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." From the foregoing pronouncements, it is clear that the trial court erred in
reckoning the prescriptive period within which Leonardo may seek partition from the death of
Leon in 1962. Article 1141 and Article 494 (fifth paragraph) provide that prescription shall begin
to run in favor of a co-owner and against the other co-owners only from the time he positively
renounces the co-ownership and makes known his repudiation to the other co-owners.
In this case, Lucimo Sr. challenged Leonardo's co-ownership of the property only
sometime in 1979 and 1980, when the former executed the Affidavit of Ownership of Land,
obtained a new tax declaration exclusively in his name, and informed the latter before the
Lupon Tagapamayapa of his 1943 purchase of the property. These apparent acts of
repudiation were followed later on by Lucimo Sr.'s act of withholding Leonardo's share in the
fruits of the property, beginning in 1988, as Leonardo himself claims in his Amended Complaint.
Thus, prescription began to run against Leonardo only in 1979 or even in 1980 when it has
been made sufficiently clear to him that Lucimo Sr. has renounced the co-ownership and has
claimed sole ownership over the property. The filing of complaint is just under 20 years counted
from 1979, is clearly within the period prescribed under Article 1141.
Even assuming that prescription sit in the fact still remains that he (petitioner) is not a coowner of the property because, he is not an heir of Gregoria; he is merely Antipolo's son-in-law,
being married to Antipolo's daughter Teodora. Under the Family Code, family relations, which
are the primary basis for succession, exclude relations by affinity.
Art. 150.
Family relations include those:
1. Between husband and wife;
2. Between parents and children;
3. Among other ascendants and descendants; and
4. Among brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half
blood.
Page | 165

In point of law, therefore, Lucimo Sr. is not a co-owner of the property; Teodora is.
Consequently, he cannot validly effect a repudiation of the co-ownership, which he was never
part of. For this reason, prescription did not run adversely against Leonardo, and his right to seek
a partition of the property has not been lost.
One who is merely related by affinity to the decedent does not inherit from the latter and
cannot become a co-owner of the decedent's property. Consequently, he cannot effect a
repudiation of the co-ownership of the estate that was formed among the decedent's heirs. 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.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The assailed March 14, 2006 Decision
and the September 7, 2006 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 74687 are
AFFIRMED.

VILMA QUINTOS, represented by her ATTORNEY-IN-FACT FIDEL I. QUINTOS, JR.;


FLORENCIA I. DANCEL, represented by her ATTORNEY-IN-FACT FLOVY I.
DANCEL; and CATALINO L. IBARRA, PETITIONERS, vs. PELAGIA I. NICOLAS,
NOLI L. IBARRA, SANTIAGO L. IBARRA, PEDRO L. IBARRA, DAVID L. IBARRA,
GILBERTO L. IBARRA, HEIRS OF AUGUSTO L. IBARRA, NAMELY CONCHITA R.,
IBARRA, APOLONIO IBARRA, and NARCISO IBARRA, AND THE SPOUSES RECTO
CANDELARIO and ROSEMARIE CANDELARIO, RESPONDENTS.
[G.R. No. 210252, June 25, 2014.]
PONENTE: VELASCO JR., J.
FACTS:
1. Petitioners Vilma Quintos, Florencia Dancel, and Catalino Ibarra, and respondents
Pelagia Nicolas, Noli Ibarra, Santiago Ibarra, Pedro Ibarra, David Ibarra, Gilberto
Ibarra, and the late Augusto Ibarra are siblings. Their parents, Bienvenido and
Escolastica Ibarra, were the owners of the subject property. By 1999, both Bienvenido
and Escolastica had already passed away, leaving to their ten (10) children ownership
over the subject property.
2. Subsequently, sometime in 2002, respondent siblings brought an action for partition
against petitioners but it was dismissed.
3. Having failed to secure a favorable decision for partition, respondent siblings instead
resorted to executing a Deed of Adjudication (compromise agreement approved by
court) to transfer the property in favor of the ten (10) siblings.

Page | 166

4. Subsequently, respondent siblings sold their 7/10 undivided share over the property in
favor of their co-respondents, the spouses Recto and Rosemarie Candelario.
5. On June 1, 2009, petitioners filed a case challenging the title of the respondents and
claimed that they are not the parties to the deed of adjudication thus it should not
prejudice their right as co-owner of the property.
6. The trial court dismissed the case and declared the respondent spouse as the true
owner of the subject property and it was affirmed by the CA. Hence, the petitioner
seeks recourse in Sc.
ISSUE: Whether the subject lot should partitioned despite the Deed of Adjudication among the
heirs.
HELD: No.
The dismissal with prejudice under Rule 17, Sec. 3 of the Rules of Court cannot defeat
the right of a co-owner to ask for partition at any time, provided that there is no actual
adjudication of ownership of shares yet. Article 494 of the Civil Code, which reads:
Article 494. No co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the coownership. Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of
the thing owned in common, insofar as his share is concerned.
From the above-quoted provision, it can be gleaned that the law generally does not favor
the retention of co-ownership as a property relation, and is interested instead in ascertaining the
co-owners specific shares so as to prevent the allocation of portions to remain perpetually in
limbo. Thus, the law provides that each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the
thing owned in common.
Pursuant to Article 494 of the Civil Code, no co-owner is obliged to remain in the coownership, and his proper remedy is an action for partition under Rule 69 of the Rules of Court,
which he may bring at anytime in so far as his share is concerned. Article 1079 of the Civil Code
defines partition as the separation, division and assignment of a thing held in common among
those to whom it may belong. It has been held that the fact that the agreement of partition lacks
the technical description of the parties respective portions or that the subject property was then
still embraced by the same certificate of title could not legally prevent a partition, where the
different portions allotted to each were determined and became separately identifiable.
In this case, the partition of subject lot was the result of the approved Compromise
Agreement in Civil Case, which was immediately final and executory. Absent any showing that
said Compromise Agreement was vitiated by fraud, mistake or duress, the court cannot set aside
a judgment based on compromise. It is axiomatic that a compromise agreement once approved
by the court settles the rights of the parties and has the force of res judicata. It cannot be
disturbed except on the ground of vice of consent or forgery. Thus, no co-ownership exists when
the different portions owned by different people are already concretely determined and
separately identifiable, even if not yet technically described.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is hereby PARTLY
GRANTED. The assailed Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
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98919 dated July 8, 2013 and November 22, 2013, respectively, are hereby AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATION. The case is hereby REMANDED to the RTC, Branch 68 in Camiling, Tarlac
for purposes of partitioning the subject property in accordance with Rule 69 of the Rules of
Court.

SPOUSES MANUEL SY and VICTORIA SY, petitioners, vs. GENALYN D. YOUNG,


respondent.
[G.R. No. 169214. June 19, 2013.]
PONENTE: BRION, J
FACTS:
1. Genalyn alleged that she is the legitimate daughter of spouses George Young and Lilia
Dy. When George died, he left an unregistered parcel of land (property) covered by Tax
Declaration No. 91-48929 6 in San Roque, San Pablo City, Laguna.
2. On September 3, 1993, Lilia executed a Second Supplemental to the Deed of
Extrajudicial Partition. The property was adjudicated solely in Lilia's favor in the
partition. Lilia represented Genalyn, who was then a minor, in the execution of the
document.
3. Subsequently, Lilia obtained a loan from the spouses Sy with the property as security.
When Lilia defaulted on her loan, the property was foreclosed and sold to the spouses Sy.
Thereafter, the spouses Sy registered the certificate of sale with the Office of the Register
of Deeds and obtained a tax declaration 10 in their name.
4. In her complaint, Genalyn argued that the partition was unenforceable since she was only
a minor at the time of its execution. She also pointed out that the partition was contrary to
the Rules of Court because it was without the court's approval. She further asserted that
the spouses Sy entered into the contract of mortgage with the knowledge that Lilia was
unauthorized to mortgage the property.

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5. On July 20, 2000, Genalyn filed with the RTC a Motion to Admit a Supplemental
Complaint with the attached Supplemental Complaint. In the supplemental complaint, she
invoked her right to exercise legal redemption as a co-owner of the disputed property.
However, the RTC denied the motion in its Order 11 dated December 28, 2000.
Subsequently, she filed a petition for certiorari and mandamus under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court docketed as CA-G.R. Sp. No. 65629 with the CA.
ISSUE: Whether or not Genalyn can redeem the property as a co-owner.
HELD: Yes.
In G.R. No. 157955, we ruled that Genalyn's right to redeem the property is dependent on
the nullification of the partition which is the subject of the original complaint. We held that the
right of legal redemption as a co-owner is conferred by law and is merely a natural consequence
of co-ownership. In effect, Genalyn's cause of action for legal redemption in her supplemental
complaint stems directly from her rights as a co-owner of the property subject of the complaint
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition for review on certiorari is DENIED for lack of
merit. The CA Decision dated March 30, 2005 and Resolution dated August 8, 2005 are hereby
AFFIRMED.

WILBERTO C. TALISIC, complainant, vs. ATTY. PRIMO R. RINEN, respondent.


[A.C. No. 8761. February 12, 2014.]
PONENTE: REYES, J
FACTS:
1. This is an administrative case instituted by complainant Wilberto C. Talisic (Wilberto)
against Atty. Primo R. Rinen (Atty. Rinen), charging the latter with falsification of an
Extra Judicial Partition with Sale which allowed the transfer to spouses Benjamin
Durante and Eleonor Lavia (Spouses Durante) of a parcel of land formerly owned by
Wilberto's mother, Aurora Corpuz (Aurora). The property, measuring 3,817 square meters
and situated in Barangay Langgas, Infanta, Quezon, was formerly covered by Original
Certificate of Title No. P-4875 under Aurora's name.
2. After Atty. Rinen filed his comment on the complaint, the Court referred the case to the
Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Commission on Bar Discipline, for investigation,
report and recommendation.
3. Wilberto claimed that his mother Aurora died on May 7, 1987, leaving behind as heirs her
spouse, Celedonio Talisic, and their three children, namely: Arlene Talisic Villarazo,
Wilberto and Alvin Corpuz Talisic. It was only after his father's death on November 2,
2000 that Wilberto and his siblings knew of the transfer of the subject parcel via the
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subject deed. While Wilberto believed that his father's signature on the deed was
authentic, his and his siblings' supposed signatures were merely forged. Wilberto also
pointed out that even his name was erroneously indicated in the deed as "Wilfredo".
4. For his defense, Atty. Rinen denied the charge against him and explained that it was only
on April 7, 1994 that he came to know of the transaction between the Spouses Durante
and the Talisics, when they approached him in his office as the then Presiding Judge of
the Municipal Trial Court, Real, Quezon, to have the subject deed prepared and notarized.
His clerk of court prepared the deed and upon its completion, ushered the parties to his
office for the administration of oath.
5. The deed contained his certification that at the time of the document's execution, "no
notary public was available to expedite the transaction of the parties." Notarial fees paid
by the parties were also covered by a receipt issued by the Treasurer of the Municipality
of Real, Quezon.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a trust relationship.
HELD: Yes.
Thus, contrary to the CAs finding that there was no evidence on record showing that an
implied resulting trust relation arose between Juan Tong and Luis, Sr., the Court finds that the
petitioners before the trial court, had actually adduced sufficient evidence to prove the intention
of Juan Tong to transfer to Luis, Sr. only the legal title of Lot 998, with attendant expectation that
Luis, Sr. would hold the property in trust for the family. The evidence of course is not
documentary, but rather testimonial. Furthermore, the respondents never proffered any proof that
could tend to establish that they were the ones who have been paying taxes from the time of its
purchase up to the present, that they have been in possession of the subject property or that they
had it surveyed and subdivided openly with notice to all concerned.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, as recommended by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines, the
Court REVOKES the notarial commission which Atty. Primo R. Rinen may presently have, and
DISQUALIFIES him from being commissioned as a notary public for one year, effective
immediately. He is WARNED that a repetition of the same or similar act in the future shall merit
a more severe sanction. He is DIRECTED to report to this Court the date of his receipt of this
Resolution to enable it to determine when the revocation of his notarial commission and his
disqualification from being commissioned as notary public shall take effect.
Let copies of this Resolution be furnished the Office of the Bar Confidant to be appended to Atty.
Primo R. Rinen's personal record. Likewise, copies shall be furnished to the Integrated Bar of the
Philippines and all courts in the country for their information and guidance.

Page | 170

CAROLINA (CARLINA) VDA. DE FIGURACION, HEIRS OF ELENA FIGURACIONANCHETA, namely: LEONCIO ANCHETA, JR., and ROMULO ANCHETA, HEIRS OF
HILARIA A. FIGURACION, namely: FELIPA FIGURACION-MANUEL, MARY
FIGURACION-GINEZ, and EMILIA FIGURACION-GERILLA, AND HEIRS OF
QUINTIN FIGURACION, namely: LINDA M. FIGURACION, LEANDRO M.
FIGURACION, II, and ALLAN M. FIGURACION, petitioners, vs. EMILIA
FIGURACION-GERILLA, respondent.
[G.R. No. 151334. February 13, 2013.]
PONENTE: REYES, J
FACTS:
1. The subject lot was originally owned by Eulalio who begot Agripina with his first wife
Marcela, whom Eulalio survived. When he remarried, Eulalio had another daughter,
herein petitioner Carolina, with his second wife, Faustina. Agripina (sister of Petitioner
Carolina) executed a document giving the eastern portion of lot to Respondent Emilia
(her niece and child of Carolina).

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2.

Thereafter, Carolina registered the entire lot in her own name as the sole and exclusive
heir of her deceased parents. She then sold it to her children (petitioner). The respondent
went to US and upon her return she constructed a building in the eastern portion.

3. The petitioner filed a case against respondent. The trial court ruled for respondent which
was affirmed by the CA on appeal.
ISSUE: Who is the owner of the property?
HELD: The respondent is entitled to have Lot No. 707 partitioned.
The status of Agripina and Carolina as the legitimate heirs of Eulalio is an undisputed
fact. As such heirs, they became co-owners of first lot 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 Eulalio's death. Faustina's share, however, passed on to her daughter Carolina when the
former died on October 18, 1949. The Affidavit of Self-Adjudication executed 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.
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
Carolina's 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.
On the issue of partition of the subject lot under the Old Civil Code which was then in
force at the time of Eulalio and Marcela's marriage, Lot No. 707 was their conjugal property.
When Marcela died, one-half of the lot was automatically reserved to Eulalio, the surviving
spouse, as his share in the conjugal partnership. Marcela's rights to the other half, in turn, were
transmitted to her legitimate child, Agripina and surviving spouse Eulalio. Under Article 834 of
the Old Civil Code, Eulalio was entitled only to the usufruct of the lot while the naked ownership
belonged to Agripina. When he remarried, Eulalio's one half portion of the lot representing his
share in the conjugal partnership and his usufructuary right over the other half were brought into
his second marriage with Faustina.
When Eulalio died on July 20, 1930, 1/4 portion of the lot was reserved for Faustina as
her share in the conjugal partnership. The remaining 1/4 were transmitted equally to the widow
Faustina and Eulalio's children, Carolina and Agripina. However, Faustina is only entitled to the
usufruct of the third available for betterment. The usufructuary of Eulalio over the 1/2 portion
inherited by Agripina earlier was merged with her naked ownership. Upon the death of Faustina,
the shares in Lot No. 707 which represents her share in the conjugal partnership and her
inheritance from Eulalio were in turn inherited by Carolina including Faustina's usufructuary
rights which were merged with Carolina's naked ownership.
Thus, Agripina is entitled to 5/8 portion of Lot No. 707 while the remaining 3/8 pertains
to Carolina. When Carolina sold Lot No. 707 to Hilaria and Felipa, the sale affected only 3/8
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portion of the subject lot. Since the Deed of Quitclaim, bequeathed only the 1/2 eastern portion
of Lot No. 707 in favor of Emilia instead of Agripina's entire 5/8 share thereof, the remaining 1/8
portion shall be inherited by Agripina's nearest collateral relative, who, is her sister Carolina.
DISPOSITIVE: WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 58290 dated December 11, 2001, is AFFIRMED with
MODIFICATIONS as follows: (1) 3/8 portion of Lot No. 707 shall pertain in equal shares to
Hilaria Figuracion and Felipa Figuracion-Manuel; (2) portion of Lot. No. 707 shall pertain to
Emilia Figuracion-Gerilla; and (3) 1/8 portion of Lot No. 707 shall pertain to the estate of
Carolina (Carlina) Vda. De Figuracion. The case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of
Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Branch 49, who is directed to conduct a PARTITION BY
COMMISSIONERS and effect the actual physical partition of the subject property, as well as the
improvements that lie therein, in the foregoing manner. The trial court is DIRECTED to appoint
not more than three (3) competent and disinterested persons, who should determine the technical
metes and bounds of the property and the proper share appertaining to each co-owner, including
the improvements, in accordance with Rule 69 of the Rules of Court. When it is made to appear
to the commissioners that the real estate, or a portion thereof, cannot be divided without great
prejudice to the interest of the parties, the court a quo may order it assigned to one of the parties
willing to take the same, provided he pays to the other parties such sum or sums of money as the
commissioners deem equitable, unless one of the parties interested ask that the property be sold
instead of being so assigned, in which case the court shall order the commissioners to sell the
real estate at public sale, and the commissioners shall sell the same accordingly, and thereafter
distribute the proceeds of the sale appertaining to the just share of each co-owner. No
pronouncement as to costs.

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