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Notes (Case Digests Property)

IGNACIO VS. DIRECTOR OF LANDS AND VALERIANO:


Case Doctrine: Article 457 of the New Civil Code (Article 366, Old Civil Code), which provides that:
To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive
from the effects of the current of the waters.
The article cited is clearly inapplicable because it refers to accretion or deposits on the banks of rivers, while the
accretion in the present case was caused by action of the Manila Bay.
FACTS: Ignacio applied for registration of a parcel of land adjacent to his land, claiming that he has acquired the
land by right of accretion. Director of Lands, Valeriano opposed, instead it avers that portion sought to be
registered is property of public domain.
ARGUMENTS:
1. Appellant contends that the parcel belongs to him by the law of accretion, having been formed by gradual
deposit by action of the Manila Bay, and he cites Article 457 of the New Civil Code
2. Appellant next contends that Articles 1, 4 and 5 of the Law of Waters are not applicable because they
refer to accretions formed by the sea, and that Manila Bay cannot be considered as a sea.
ISSUE/S: WON the land subject of the dispute can be acquired by right of accretion of Ignacio.
HELD:
NO.
The land cannot be acquired by right of accretion.
Article 457 is not applicable.
The article cited is clearly inapplicable because it refers to accretion or deposits on the banks of rivers, while the
accretion in the present case was caused by action of the Manila Bay.
Manila bay is not a river.
A bay is a part of the sea, being a mere indentation of the same:
Bay. An opening into the land where the water is shut in on all sides except at the entrance; an inlet of
the sea; an arm of the sea, distinct from a river, a bending or curbing of the shore of the sea or of a lake. 7
C.J. 1013-1014 (Cited in Francisco, Philippine Law of Waters and Water Rights p. 6)

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FACTS:
De Buyser is the registered owner of a lot contiguous to the lot subject of this dispute. On the other hand,
defendant Tandayags have been occupying this foreshore land under a revocable permit issued by the Director of
Lands. Claiming ownership of the foreshore land, de buyser plaintiff filed an action against spouses Tandayag to
recover possession of this land and the Director of Lands for having illegally issued a revocable permit to the
Tandayags.
ARGUMENTS:
In asserting the right of ownership over the land, plaintiff invokes Article 4 of the Spanish Law of Waters of August
3, 1866 which provides:
Art. 4. Lands added to the shore by accretion and alluvial deposits caused by the action of the
sea, form part of the public domain, when they are no longer washed by the waters of the sea,
and are not necessary for purposes of public utility, or for the establishment of special industries,
or for the coastguard service, the Government shall declare them to be the property of the
owners of the estate adjacent thereto and as an increment thereof.
ISSUE/S: WON claim of ownership has legal basis.
HELD:
No.
Plaintiffs claim of ownership is bereft of legal basis.
Such alluvial formation along the seashore is part of the public domain and, therefore, not open to acquisition by
adverse possession by private persons. It is outside the commerce of man, unless otherwise declared by either the
executive or legislative branch of the government. 1

DE BUYSER VS. DIRECTOR OF LANDS:


Case Doctrine: Such alluvial formation along the seashore is part of the public domain and, therefore, not open to
acquisition by adverse possession by private persons. It is outside the commerce of man, unless otherwise
declared by either the executive or legislative branch of the government.

Notes (Case Digests Property)


State shall grant these lands to the adjoining owners only when they are no longer needed for the purposes
mentioned therein. In the case at bar, the trial court found that plaintiff's evidence failed to prove that the land in
question is no longer needed by the government, or that the essential conditions for such grant under Article 4 of
the Spanish Law of Waters, exists.
The revocable permit issued by the Director of Lands was not an implied declaration that the land is no longer
needed for public use. In the letter of approval by the Director of Lands, it has expressly reserved the right of the
government to use it when it is deemed necessary. The state therefor did not relinquish ownership over the land.
GRANDE, ET. AL. VS. COURT OF APPEALS:
Case Doctrine: accretion does not ipso facto becomes registered land just because the lot which receives it is a
registered land.
FACTS: Petitioners are the owners of a parcel of land, with an area of 3.5032 hectares, located at barrio Ragan,
municipality of Magsaysay (formerly Tumauini), province of Isabela. When it was surveyed for purposes of
registration sometime in 1930, its northeastern boundary was the Cagayan River (the same boundary stated in the
title). Since then, and for many years thereafter, a gradual accretion on the northeastern side took place, by action
of the current of the Cagayan River, so much so, that by 1958, the bank thereof had receded to a distance of about
105 meters from its original site, and an alluvial deposit of 19,964 square meters (1.9964 hectares), more or less,
had been added to the registered area (Exh. C-1).
On January 25, 1958, petitioners instituted the present action in the Court of First Instance of Isabela against
respondents, to quiet title to said portion (19,964 square meters) formed by accretion, alleging in their complaint
(docketed as Civil Case No. 1171) that they and their predecessors-in-interest, were formerly in peaceful and
continuous possession thereof, until September, 1948, when respondents entered upon the land under claim of
ownership. Petitioners also asked for damages corresponding to the value of the fruits of the land as well as
attorney's fees and costs. In their answer (dated February 18, 1958), respondents claim ownership in themselves,
asserting that they have been in continuous, open, and undisturbed possession of said portion, since prior to the
year 1933 to the present.
It is admitted by the parties that the land involved in this action was formed by the gradual deposit of alluvium
brought about by the action of the Cagayan River, a navigable river.
ISSUE:
Whether the accretion becomes automatically registered land just because the lot which receives it is covered by a
Torrens title thereby making the alluvial property imprescriptible.
HELD:
We agree with the Court of Appeals that it does not, just as an unregistered land purchased by the registered
owner of the adjoining land does not, by extension, become ipso facto registered land. Ownership of a piece of
land is one thing, and registration under the Torrens system of that ownership is quite another. Ownership over
the accretion received by the land adjoining a river is governed by the Civil Code. Imprescriptibility of registered
land is provided in the registration law. Registration under the Land Registration and Cadastral Acts does not vest
or give title to the land, but merely confirms and thereafter protects the title already possessed by the owner,
making it imprescriptible by occupation of third parties. But to obtain this protection, the land must be placed
under the operation of the registration laws wherein certain judicial procedures have been provided. The fact
remain, however, that petitioners never sought registration of said alluvial property (which was formed sometime
after petitioners' property covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 2982 was registered on June 9, 1934) up to
the time they instituted the present action in the Court of First Instance of Isabela in 1958. The increment,
therefore, never became registered property, and hence is not entitled or subject to the protection of
imprescriptibility enjoyed by registered property under the Torrens system. Consequently, it was subject to
acquisition through prescription by third persons.

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FACTS: Respondents Benjamin Tancinco, Azucena Tancinco Reyes, Marina (should be "Maria") Tancinco Imperial
and Mario C. Tancinco filed an application for the registration of three lots adjacent to their fishpond property.

REP. OF THE PHIL. VS. CA, ET. AL.:


Case Doctrine: The requirement that the deposit should be due to the effect of the current of the river is
indispensable. This excludes from Art. 457 of the New Civil Code all deposits caused by human intervention.
Alluvion must be the exclusive work of nature.

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Assistant Provincial Fiscal Amando C. Vicente, in representation of the Bureau of Lands filed a written opposition to
the application for registration.
Petitioner submits that there is no accretion to speak of under Article 457 of the New Civil Code because what
actually happened is that the private respondents simply transferred their dikes further down the river bed of the
Meycauayan River, and thus, if there is any accretion to speak of, it is man-made and artificial and not the result of
the gradual and imperceptible sedimentation by the waters of the river.
On the other hand, private respondents submit the fact of accretion without human intervention because the
transfer of the dike occurred after the accretion was complete.
ISSUE/S: WON there was accretion
HELD:
There is no accretion.
Article 457 of the NCC, requires the concurrence of three requisites before an accretion covered by this particular
provision is said to have taken place. They are (1) that the deposit be gradual and imperceptible; (2) that it be
made through the effects of the current of the water; and (3) that the land where accretion takes place is adjacent
to the banks of rivers.
The requirement that the deposit should be due to the effect of the current of the river is indispensable. This
excludes from Art. 457 of the New Civil Code all deposits caused by human intervention. Alluvion must be the
exclusive work of nature. In the instant case, there is no evidence whatsoever to prove that the addition to the said
property was made gradually through the effects of the current of the Meycauayan and Bocaue rivers. We agree
with the observation of the Solicitor General that it is preposterous to believe that almost four (4) hectares of land
came into being because of the effects of the Meycauayan and Bocaue rivers.xxxxxxxxx However, there is
evidence that the alleged alluvial deposits were artificial and man-made and not the exclusive result of the current
of the Meycauayan and Bocaue rivers. The alleged alluvial deposits came into being not because of the sole effect
of the current of the rivers but as a result of the transfer of the dike towards the river and encroaching upon it. The
land sought to be registered is not even dry land cast imperceptibly and gradually by the river's current on the
fishpond adjoining it. It is under two meters of water. The private respondents' own evidence shows that the water
in the fishpond is two meters deep on the side of the pilapil facing the fishpond and only one meter deep on the
side of the pilapil facing the river
The reason behind the law giving the riparian owner the right to any land or alluvion deposited by a river is to
compensate him for the danger of loss that he suffers because of the location of his land. If estates bordering on
rivers are exposed to floods and other evils produced by the destructive force of the waters and if by virtue of
lawful provisions, said estates are subject to incumbrances and various kinds of easements, it is proper that the
risk or danger which may prejudice the owners thereof should be compensated by the right of accretion. (Cortes v.
City of Manila, 10 Phil. 567). Hence, the riparian owner does not acquire the additions to his land caused by special
works expressly intended or designed to bring about accretion. When the private respondents transferred their
dikes towards the river bed, the dikes were meant for reclamation purposes and not to protect their property fro m
the destructive force of the waters of the river.

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FACTS: Petitioner Dionisia P. Bagaipo is the registered owner of Lot which located southeast of Davao river.
While respondent Leonor Lozano is the owner of a registered parcel of land located across and opposite the
southeast portion of petitioners lot facing the Davao River.
On May 26, 1989, Bagaipo filed a complainti[2] for Recovery of Possession with Mandatory Writ of Preliminary
Injunction and Damages against Lozano for: (1) the surrender of possession by Lozano of a certain portion of land
measuring 29,162 square meters which is supposedly included in the area belonging to Bagaipo under TCT No. T15757; and (2) the recovery of a land area measuring 37,901 square meters which Bagaipo allegedly lost when the
Davao River traversed her property. Bagaipo contended that as a result of a change in course of the said river, her
property became divided into three lots, namely: Lots 415-A, 415-B and 415-C.
In January 1988, Bagaipo commissioned a resurvey of Lot 415 and presented before the trial court a survey
planii[3] prepared by Geodetic Engineer Gersacio A. Magno which concluded that the land presently located across
the river and parallel to Bagaipos property still belonged to the latter and not to Lozano, who planted some 350
fruit-bearing trees on Lot 415-C and the old abandoned river bed.

BAGAIPO VS. COURT OF APPEALS:


Case Doctrine: In the absence of evidence that the change in the course of the river was sudden or that it occurred
through avulsion, the presumption is that the change was gradual and was caused by alluvium and erosion.

Notes (Case Digests Property)

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MANUEL T. DE GUIA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (Former Sixth Division) and JOSE B. ABEJO, represented
by his Attorney-in-Fact, Hermenegilda Abejo-Rivera, respondents.
2003 Oct 8 1st Division G.R. No. 120864
CASE DOCTRINES
Co-owner may file an action against a co-owner; purpose
Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against a third person, but also against
another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts exclusive ownership of the property. In the latter
case, however, the only purpose of the action is to obtain recognition of the co-ownership. The plaintiff cannot
seek exclusion of the defendant from the property because as co-owner he has a right of possession. The plaintiff
cannot recover any material or determinate part of the property.
Co-ownership; right of enjoyment
The right of enjoyment by each co-owner is limited by a similar right of the other co-owners. A coowner cannot devote common property to his exclusive use to the prejudice of the co-ownership. Hence, if the
subject is a residential house, all the co-owners may live there with their respective families to the extent
possible. However, if one co-owner alone occupies the entire house without opposition from the other coowners, and there is no lease agreement, the other co-owners cannot demand the payment of rent. Conversely,
if there is an agreement to lease the house, the co-owners can demand rent from the co-owner who dwells in
the house.
FACTS:
Petition for Review on Certiorari.
Abejo instituted an action for recovery of possession with damages against DEGUIA.
Abejos contentions:
1. he is the owner of the undivided portion of a property used as a fishpond registered Register of Deeds
of Bulacan.
2. ownership over approximately 39,611 square meters out of the FISHPONDs total area of 79,220 square
meters.

For his part, Lozano insisted that the land claimed by Bagaipo is actually an accretion to their titled property.
He asserted that the Davao River did not change its course and that the reduction in Bagaipos domain was caused
by gradual erosion due to the current of the Davao River. Lozano added that it is also because of the rivers natural
action that silt slowly deposited and added to his land over a long period of time. He further averred that this
accretion continues up to the present and that registration proceedings instituted by him over the alluvial
formation could not be concluded precisely because it continued to increase in size.
ISSUE/S: WON there was a change in the rivers course which resulted to avulsion?
HELD:
NO.
The trial court and the appellate court both found that the decrease in land area was brought about by erosion and
not a change in the rivers course. This conclusion was reached after the trial judge observed during ocular
inspection that the banks located on petitioners land are sharp, craggy and very much higher than the land on the
other side of the river. Additionally, the riverbank on respondents side is lower and gently sloping. Th e lower
land therefore naturally received the alluvial soil carried by the river current.iii[11] These findings are factual, thus
conclusive on this Court, unless there are strong and exceptional reasons, or they are unsupported by the evidence
on record, or the judgment itself is based on a misapprehension of facts.
The decrease in petitioners land area and the corresponding expansion of respondents property were the
combined effect of erosion and accretion respectively. Art. 461 of the Civil Code is inapplicable. Petitioner cannot
claim ownership over the old abandoned riverbed because the same is inexistent. The riverbeds former location
cannot even be pinpointed with particularity since the movement of the Davao River took place gradually over an
unspecified period of time, up to the present.
The rule is well-settled that accretion benefits a riparian owner when the following requisites are present: 1) That
the deposit be gradual and imperceptible; 2) That it resulted from the effects of the current of the water; and 3)
That the land where accretion takes place is adjacent to the bank of the river.iv[13] These requisites were sufficiently
proven in favor of respondents. In the absence of evidence that the change in the course of the river was sudden
or that it occurred through avulsion, the presumption is that the change was gradual and was caused by alluvium
and erosion.

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3. DE GUIA continues to possess and use the FISHPOND without any contract and without paying rent to
ABEJOs damage and prejudice.
4. DE GUIA refuses to surrender ownership and possession of the FISHPOND despite repeated demands to
do so after DE GUIAs sublease contract over the FISHPOND had expired.
5. asked the trial court to order DE GUIA to vacate an approximate area of 39,611 square meters as well as
pay damages.
In his Answer, DE GUIA alleged:
1. the complaint does not state a cause of action and has prescribed.
2. the FISHPOND was originally owned by Maxima Termulo who died intestate with Primitiva Lejano as her
only heir.
3. ABEJO is not the owner of the entire FISHPOND but the heirs of Primitiva Lejano who authorized him to
possess the entire FISHPOND.
4. ABEJOs ownership of the undivided portion of the FISHPOND as void and claimed ownership over an
undivided half portion of the FISHPOND for himself.
5. DE GUIA sought payment of damages and reimbursement for the improvements he introduced as a
builder in good faith.
RTC decision: in favor of Abejo.
CA decision: affirmed the RTC.
Issue 1: WON a co-owner may file an action for ejectment against a co-owner.
Ruling:
Article 487 of the Civil Code provides, *a+ny one of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment. This
article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession. Article 487 includes forcible entry and unlawful
detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership (accion de
reivindicacion). The summary actions of forcible entry and unlawful detainer seek the recovery of physical
possession only. These actions are brought before municipal trial courts within one year from dispossession.
However, accion publiciana, which is a plenary action for recovery of the right to possess, falls under the
jurisdiction of the proper regional trial court when the dispossession has lasted for more than one year. Accion de
reivindicacion, which seeks the recovery of ownership, also falls under the jurisdiction of the proper regional trial
court.
Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against a third person, but also against
another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts exclusive ownership of the property. In the latter
case, however, the only purpose of the action is to obtain recognition of the co-ownership. The plaintiff cannot
seek exclusion of the defendant from the property because as co-owner he has a right of possession. The plaintiff
cannot recover any material or determinate part of the property.
In Hermogena G. Engreso with Spouse Jose Engreso v. Nestoria De La Cruz and Herminio De La Cruz, we
reiterated the rule that a co-owner cannot recover a material or determinate part of a common property prior to
partition as follows:
It is a basic principle in civil law that before a property owned in common is actually partitioned, all that
the co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or proportionate share in the entire property. A co-owner has no
right to demand a concrete, specific or determinate part of the thing owned in common because until division is
effected his right over the thing is represented only by an ideal portion.
As such, the only effect of an action brought by a co-owner against a co-owner will be to obtain
recognition of the co-ownership; the defendant cannot be excluded from a specific portion of the property
because as a co-owner he has a right to possess and the plaintiff cannot recover any material or determinate
part of the property. Thus, the courts a quo erred when they ordered the delivery of one-half () of the building
in favor of private respondent.
xxxx
Following the inherent and peculiar features of co-ownership, while ABEJO and DE GUIA have equal
shares in the FISHPOND quantitatively speaking, they have the same right in a qualitative sense as co -owners.
Simply stated, ABEJO and DE GUIA are owners of the whole and over the whole, they exercise the right of
dominion. However, they are at the same time individual owners of a portion, which is truly abstract because
until there is partition, such portion remains indeterminate or unidentified. As co-owners, ABEJO and DE GUIA may
jointly exercise the right of dominion over the entire FISHPOND until they partition the FISHPOND by identifying or
segregating their respective portions.

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Since a co-ownership subsists between ABEJO and DE GUIA, judicial or extra-judicial partition is the
proper recourse. An action to demand partition is imprescriptible and not subject to laches. Each co-owner may
demand at any time the partition of the common property unless a co-owner has repudiated the co-ownership
under certain conditions. Neither ABEJO nor DE GUIA has repudiated the co-ownership under the conditions set by
law.
To recapitulate, we rule that a co-owner may file an action for recovery of possession against a coowner who takes exclusive possession of the entire co-owned property. However, the only effect of such action
is a recognition of the co-ownership. The courts cannot proceed with the actual partitioning of the co-owned
property. Thus, judicial or extra-judicial partition is necessary to effect physical division of the FISHPOND between
ABEJO and DE GUIA. An action for partition is also the proper forum for accounting the profits received by DE GUIA
from the FISHPOND. However, as a necessary consequence of such recognition, ABEJO shall exercise an equal
right to possess, use and enjoy the entire FISHPOND.
Issue 2: WON it is proper for a co-owner to pay for rents while using the property.
Ruling:
The right of enjoyment by each co-owner is limited by a similar right of the other co-owners. A coowner cannot devote common property to his exclusive use to the prejudice of the co-ownership. Hence, if the
subject is a residential house, all the co-owners may live there with their respective families to the extent
possible. However, if one co-owner alone occupies the entire house without opposition from the other coowners, and there is no lease agreement, the other co-owners cannot demand the payment of rent. Conversely,
if there is an agreement to lease the house, the co-owners can demand rent from the co-owner who dwells in
the house.
The co-owners can either exercise an equal right to live in the house, or agree to lease it. If they fail to
exercise any of these options, they must bear the consequences. It would be unjust to require the co-owner to
pay rent after the co-owners by their silence have allowed him to use the property.
In case the co-owners agree to lease a building owned in common, a co-owner cannot retain it for his use
without paying the proper rent. Moreover, where part of the property is occupied exclusively by some co-owners
for the exploitation of an industry, the other co-owners become co-participants in the accessions of the property
and should share in its net profits. /adsum

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Co-owner not required to pay rent upon using the co-owned property; stranger to pay rent
Gaspar de Bartolome, occupied for four years a room or a part of the lower floor of the same house on
Calle Escolta, using it as an office for the justice of the peace, a position which he held in the capital of that
province, strict justice requires that he pay his sister-in-law, the plaintiff, one-half of the monthly rent which the
said quarters could have produced, had they been leased to another person. Xxx even as the husband of the
defendant coowner of the property, he had no right to occupy and use gratuitously the said part of the lower

RICARDO PARDELL Y CRUZ and VICENTA ORTIZ Y FELIN DE PARDELL, plaintiffs-appellees, vs. GASPAR DE
BARTOLOME Y ESCRIBANO and MATILDE ORTIZ Y FELIN DE BARTOLOME, defendants-appellants. 1912 Nov 18
1st Division G.R. No. 4656
CASE DOCTRINES
Hereditary succession gives rise to co-ownership
Co-ownership; extent
"Each co-owner may use the things owned in common, provided he uses them in accordance with their object and
in such manner as not to injure the interests of the community nor prevent the co-owners from utilizing them
according to their rights." (Article 394 of the Civil Code, now Art. 486)
Matilde Ortiz and her husband occupied the upper story, designed for use as a dwelling, in the house of
joint ownership; but the record shows no proof that, by so doing, the said Matilde occasioned any detriment to
the interests of the community property, nor that she prevented her sister Vicenta from utilizing the said upper
story according to her rights. It is to be noted that the stores of the lower floor were rented and an accounting
of the rents was duly made to the plaintiffs.
Each co-owner of realty held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and
enjoy the same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his coow ners, for the
reason that, until a division be made, the respective part of each holder can not be determined and every one of
the coowners exercises together with his other coparticipants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso property, in
addition to his use and enjoyment of the same.

Notes (Case Digests Property)


floor of the house in question, where he lived with his wife, to the detriment of the plaintiff Vicenta who did not
receive one-half of the rent which those quarters could and should have produced, had they been occupied by a
stranger, in the same manner that rent was obtained from the rooms on the lower floor that were used as
stores.

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Appeal by bill of exceptions.


Spouses Miguel Ortiz and Calixta Felin died in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, in 1875 and 1882, respectively. Prior to
her death, Calixta, executed, on August 17, 1876, a nuncupative will in Vigan, whereby she made her four children,
named Manuel, Francisca, Vicenta, and Matilde, surnamed Ortiz y Felin, her sole and universal heirs of all her
property. Manuel and Francisca were already deceased, leaving Vicenta and Matilda as heirs.
In 1888, the defendants (Matilde and Gaspar), without judicial authorization, nor friendly or extrajudicial
agreement, took upon themselves the administration and enjoyment of the properties left by Calixta and collected
the rents, fruits, and products thereof, to the serious detriment of Vicentas interest. Despit e repeated demands to
divide the properties and the fruits accruing therefrom, Sps Gaspar and Matilde had been delaying the partition
and delivery of the said properties by means of unkempt promises and other excuses.
Vicenta filed a petition for partition with damages in the RTC.
RTC decision: absolved Matilde from payment of damages. It held that the revenues and the expenses
were compensated by the residence enjoyed by the defendant party, that no losses or damages were either
caused or suffered, nor likewise any other expense besides those aforementioned,
Counsel for Matilde took an exception to the judgment and moved for a new trial on the grounds that the
evidence presented did not warrant the judgment rendered and that the latter was contrary to law. That motion
was denied by the lower court. Thus, this petition.
ISSUE: WON a co-owner is required to pay for rent in exclusively using the co-owned property.
RULING:
Article 394 of the Civil Code prescribes:
"Each co-owner may use the things owned in common, provided he uses them in accordance with their object and
in such manner as not to injure the interests of the community nor prevent the co-owners from utilizing them
according to their rights."
Matilde Ortiz and her husband occupied the upper story, designed for use as a dwelling, in the house of
joint ownership; but the record shows no proof that, by so doing, the said Matilde occasioned any detriment to
the interests of the community property, nor that she prevented her sister Vicenta from utilizing the said upper
story according to her rights. It is to be noted that the stores of the lower floor were rented and an accounting
of the rents was duly made to the plaintiffs.
Each co-owner of realty held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and
enjoy the same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his coowners, for the
reason that, until a division be made, the respective part of each holder can not be determined and every one of
the coowners exercises together with his other coparticipants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso property, in
addition to his use and enjoyment of the same.
As the hereditary properties of the joint ownership of the two sisters, Vicenta Ortiz, plaintiff, and Matilde
Ortiz, defendant, were situated in the Province of Ilocos Sur, and were in the care of the last named, assisted by
her husband, while the plaintiff Vicenta with her husband was residing outside of the said province the greater
part of the time between 1885 and 1905, when she left these Islands for Spain, it is not at all strange that delays
and difficulties should have attended the efforts made to collect the rents and proceeds from the property held in
common and to obtain a partition of the latter, especially during several years when, owing to the insurrection, the
country was in a turmoil; and for this reason, aside from that founded on the right of co-ownership of the
defendants, who took upon themselves the administration and care of the property of joint tenancy for purposes
of their preservation and improvement, these latter are not obliged to pay to the plaintiff Vicenta one-half of the
rents which might have been derived from the upper story of the said house on Calle Escolta, and, much less,
because one of the living rooms and the storeroom thereof were used for the storage of some belongings and
effects of common ownership between the litigants. The defendant Matilde, therefore, in occupying with her
husband the upper floor of the said house, did not injure the interests of her coowner, her sister Vicenta, nor did
she prevent the latter from living therein, but merely exercised a legitimate right pertaining to her as a coowner
of the property.

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Notwithstanding the above statements relative to the joint-ownership rights which entitled the
defendants to live in the upper story of the said house, yet, in view of the fact that the record shows it to have
been proved that the defendant Matilde's husband, Gaspar de Bartolome, occupied for four years a room or a
part of the lower floor of the same house on Calle Escolta, using it as an office for the justice of the peace, a
position which he held in the capital of that province, strict justice requires that he pay his sister-in-law, the
plaintiff, one-half of the monthly rent which the said quarters could have produced, had they been leased to
another person. The amount of such monthly rental is fixed at P16 in appearance with the evidence shown in the
record. This conclusion as to Bartolome's liability results from the fact that, even as the husband of the defendant
coowner of the property, he had no right to occupy and use gratuitously the said part of the lower floor of the
house in question, where he lived with his wife, to the detriment of the plaintiff Vicenta who did not receive
one-half of the rent which those quarters could and should have produced, had they been occupied by a
stranger, in the same manner that rent was obtained from the rooms on the lower floor that were used as
stores. Therefore, the defendant Bartolome must pay to the plaintiff Vicenta P384, that is, one-half of P768, the
total amount of the rents which should have been obtained during four years from the quarters occupied as an
office by the justice of the peace of Vigan.
HELD: partial reversal of RTC judgment. /adsum
ARNELITO ADLAWAN, Petitioner, versus EMETERIO M. ADLAWAN and NARCISA M. ADLAWAN, Respondents.
2006 Jan 20 1st Division G.R. No. 161916
CASE DOCTRINES
Article 487 of the Civil code covers all actions for the recovery of possession; indispensable parties
Under Article 487 of the New Civil Code, any of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment. This
article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession, including an accion publiciana and a reinvidicatory
action. A co-owner may bring such an action without the necessity of joining all the other co-owners as coplaintiffs because the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all. Any judgment of the court in favor of
the co-owner will benefit the others but if such judgment is adverse, the same cannot prejudice the rights of the
unimpleaded co-owners. If the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be the sole owner and
entitled to the possession thereof, the action will not prosper unless he impleads the other co-owners who are
indispensable parties.

Page

Petition for review.


Dominador Adlawan, who died without any other issue, is the owner of a lot and a house built thereon
registered in the Registry of Property. Petitioner (Arnelito Adlawan) is an acknowledged illegitimate son and the
sole heir of Dominador. He executed an affidavit adjudicating to himself the house and lot. Out of respect and
generosity to respondents who are the siblings of his father, he granted their plea to occupy the subject property
provided they would vacate the same should his need for the property arise. When he verbally requested
respondents to vacate the house and lot, they refused and filed instead an action for quieting of title with the RTC.
Finally, upon respondents refusal to heed the last demand letter to vacate dated August 2, 2000, petitioner filed
this ejectment case.
In response Narcisa and Emeterio, 70 and 59 years of age, respectively, denied that they begged
petitioner to allow them to stay on the questioned property and stressed that they have been occupying lot and
the house standing thereon since birth. That the lot was originally registered in the name of their deceased father,
Ramon Adlawan and the ancestral house standing thereon was owned by Ramon and their mother, Oligia
Maacap Adlawan. The spouses had nine children including the late Dominador and herein surviving respondents
Emeterio and Narcisa. Petitioner, on the other hand, is a stranger who never had possession of the lot. They
further alleged that the transfer of the title to Dominador was simulated. It was done so that their parents will be
able to obtain a loan for the renovation of their house. Respondents also contended that Dominadors signature at
the back of petitioners birth certificate was forged, hence, the latter is not an heir of Dominador and has no right
to claim ownership of the lot. They argued that even if petitioner is indeed Dominadors acknowledged illegitimate
son, his right to succeed is doubtful because Dominador was survived by his wife, Graciana.
MTC decision: dismissed the complaint.
RTC decision: reversed the decision of the MTC
Meanwhile, the RTC granted petitioners motion for execution pending appeal which was opposed by the
alleged nephew and nieces of Graciana in their motion for leave to intervene and to file an answer in intervention.

FACTS:

Page

They contended that as heirs of Graciana, they have a share in the lot and that intervention is necessary to protect
their right over the property. In addition, they declared that as co-owners of the property, they are allowing
respondents to stay in the lot until a formal partition of the property is made.
CA decision: set aside the RTC and reinstated the MTC decision.
ISSUE: WON petitioner can validly maintain the instant case for ejectment.
RULING:
Petitioner averred that he is an acknowledged illegitimate son and the sole heir of Dominador. He in fact
executed an affidavit adjudicating to himself the controverted property. In ruling for the petitioner, the RTC held
that the questioned January 31, 1962 deed of sale validly transferred title to Dominador and that petitioner is his
acknowledged illegitimate son who inherited ownership of the questioned lot. The Court notes, however, that the
RTC lost sight of the fact that the theory of succession invoked by petitioner would end up proving that he is not
the sole owner of Lot 7226. This is so because Dominador was survived not only by petitioner but also by his lega l
wife, Graciana, who died 10 years after the demise of Dominador on May 28, 1987. By intestate succession,
Graciana and petitioner became co-owners of Lot 7226. The death of Graciana on May 6, 1997, did not make
petitioner the absolute owner of Lot 7226 because the share of Graciana passed to her relatives by consanguinity
and not to petitioner with whom she had no blood relations. The Court of Appeals thus correctly held that
petitioner has no authority to institute the instant action as the sole owner of Lot 7226.
Petitioner contends that even granting that he has co-owners over Lot 7226, he can on his own file the
instant case pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil Code which provides:
ART. 487. Any one of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment.
This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession. Article 487 includes forcible entry
and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership
(accion de reivindicacion). A co-owner may bring such an action without the necessity of joining all the other coowners as co-plaintiffs because the suit is presumed to have been filed to benefit his co-owners. It should be
stressed, however, that where the suit is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be the sole owner
and entitled to the possession of the litigated property, the action should be dismissed.
xxx
In Baloloy v. Hular, respondent filed a complaint for quieting of title claiming exclusive ownership of th e
property, but the evidence showed that respondent has co-owners over the property. In dismissing the complaint
for want of respondents authority to file the case, the Court held that
Under Article 487 of the New Civil Code, any of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment. This
article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession, including an accion publiciana and a reinvidicatory
action. A co-owner may bring such an action without the necessity of joining all the other co-owners as coplaintiffs because the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all. Any judgment of the court in favor of
the co-owner will benefit the others but if such judgment is adverse, the same cannot prejudice the rights of the
unimpleaded co-owners. If the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be the sole owner and
entitled to the possession thereof, the action will not prosper unless he impleads the other co-owners who are
indispensable parties.
In this case, the respondent alone filed the complaint, claiming sole ownership over the subject property
and praying that he be declared the sole owner thereof. There is no proof that the other co-owners had waived
their rights over the subject property or conveyed the same to the respondent or such co-owners were aware of
the case in the trial court. The trial court rendered judgment declaring the respondent as the sole owner of the
property and entitled to its possession, to the prejudice of the latters siblings. Patently then, the decision of the
trial court is erroneous.
Under Section 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, the respondent was mandated to implead his siblings, being
co-owners of the property, as parties. The respondent failed to comply with the rule. It must , likewise, be
stressed that the Republic of the Philippines is also an indispensable party as defendant because the respondent
sought the nullification of OCT No. P-16540 which was issued based on Free Patent No. 384019. Unless the State is
impleaded as party-defendant, any decision of the Court would not be binding on it. It has been held that the
absence of an indispensable party in a case renders ineffective all the proceedings subsequent to the filing of the
complaint including the judgment. The absence of the respondents siblings, as parties, rendered all proceedings
subsequent to the filing thereof, including the judgment of the court, ineffective for want of authority to act, not
only as to the absent parties but even as to those present.
In the instant case, it is not disputed that petitioner brought the suit for unlawful detainer in his name
alone and for his own benefit to the exclusion of the heirs of Graciana as he even executed an affidavit of self-

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Notes (Case Digests Property)


adjudication over the disputed property. It is clear therefore that petitioner cannot validly maintain the instant
action considering that he does not recognize the co-ownership that necessarily flows from his theory of
succession to the property of his father, Dominador.
In the same vein, there is no merit in petitioners claim that he has the legal personality to file the present
unlawful detainer suit because the ejectment of respondents would benefit not only him but also his alleged co owners. However, petitioner forgets that he filed the instant case to acquire possession of the property and to
recover damages. If granted, he alone will gain possession of the lot and benefit from the proceeds of the award
of damages to the exclusion of the heirs of Graciana. Hence, petitioner cannot successfully capitalize on the
alleged benefit to his co-owners. Incidentally, it should be pointed out that in default of the said heirs of Graciana,
whom petitioner labeled as fictitious heirs, the State will inherit her share and will thus be petitioners co-owner
entitled to possession and enjoyment of the property.
The present controversy should be differentiated from the cases where the Court upheld the right of a co owner to file a suit pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil Code. In Resuena v. Court of Appeals, and Sering v. Plazo,
the co-owners who filed the ejectment case did not represent themselves as the exclusive owner of the property.
In Celino v. Heirs of Alejo and Teresa Santiago, the complaint for quieting of title was brought in behalf of t he coowners precisely to recover lots owned in common. Similarly in Vencilao v. Camarenta, the amended complaint
specified that the plaintiff is one of the heirs who co-owns the controverted properties.
In the foregoing cases, the plaintiff never disputed the existence of a co-ownership nor claimed to be the
sole or exclusive owner of the litigated lot. A favorable decision therein would of course inure to the benefit not
only of the plaintiff but to his co-owners as well. The instant case, however, presents an entirely different
backdrop as petitioner vigorously asserted absolute and sole ownership of the questioned lot. In his complaint,
petitioner made the following allegations xxxx
Clearly, the said cases find no application here because petitioners action operates as a complete
repudiation of the existence of co-ownership and not in representation or recognition thereof. Dismissal of the
complaint is therefore proper. As noted by Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Edgrado L. Paras *i+t is
understood, of course, that the action [under Article 487 of the Civil Code] is being instituted for all. Hence, if the
co-owner expressly states that he is bringing the case only for himself, the action should not be allowed to
prosper.
HELD: petition denied. /adsum
TINING RESUENA, ALEJANDRA GARAY, LORNA RESUENA, ELEUTERIO RESUENA, EUTIQUIA ROSARIO and
UNISIMA RESUENA, Petitioners, versus HON. COURT OF APPEALS, 11th DIVISION and JUANITO BORROMEO, SR.,
Respondents. 2005 Mar 28 2nd Division G.R. No. 128338
CASE DOCTRINES
Co-owners right to file an action for ejectment; occupation by tolerance
Respondents action for ejectment against petitioners is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all
co-owners of the property since petitioners were not able to prove that they are authorized to occupy the same.
Petitioners lack of authority to occupy the properties, coupled with respondents right under Article 487,
clearly settles respondents prerogative to eject petitioners from Lot No. 2587. Time and again, this Court has
ruled that persons who occupy the land of another at the latter's tolerance or permission, without any contract
between them, are necessarily bound by an implied promise that they will vacate the same upon demand,
failing in which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them.

Page

Petition for Review on certiorari under Rule 45.


Juanito Borromeo, Sr. is the co-owner and overseer of certain parcels of land located in Pooc, Talisay,
Cebu, designated as Lots Nos. 2587 and 2592 of the Talisay-Manglanilla Estate. He owned six-eighths (6/8) of Lot
No. 2587 while the Sps. Bascon owned two-eights (2/8) thereof. On the other hand, Lot No. 2592 is owned in
common by Borromeo and the heirs of one Nicolas Maneja. However, the proportion of their undivided shares
was not determined a quo.
Tining Resuena, Alejandra Garay, Lorna Resuena, Eleuterio Resuena, and Unisima Resuena resided in the
upper portion of Lot No. 2587, allegedly under the acquiescence of the Spouses Bascon and their heir, Andres
Bascon. On the other hand, petitioner Eutiquia Rosario occupied a portion of Lot No. 2592, allegedly with the
permission of the heirs of Nicolas Maneja, one of the original co-owners of Lot No. 2587. Borromeo claimed that
they have occupied portions of the subject property by virtue of his own liberality.

10

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Borromeo developed portions of Lots Nos. 2587 and 2592 occupied by him into a resort known as the
Borromeo Beach Resort. In his desire to expand and extend the facilities of the resort that he established on the
subject properties, respondent demanded that petitioners vacate the property. Petitioners, however, refused to
vacate their homes.
On 16 February 1994, Borromeo filed a Complaint for ejectment with the MTC against the petitioners.
MTC decision (summary proceeding): dismissed the complaint. Borromeo had no right to evict the
petitioners because the area was owned in common and there was no partition yet.
RTC decision: reversed the MTC decision. It held that Article 487 of the Civil Code, which allows any one
of the co-owners to bring an action in ejectment, may successfully be invoked by the respondent because, in a
sense, a co-owner is the owner and possessor of the whole, and that the suit for ejectment is deemed to be
instituted for the benefit of all co-owners.
CA decision: affirmed the RTC decision.
ISSUE: WON Borromeo can lawfully evict the petitioners.
RULING:
Article 487 of the Civil Code, which provides simply that *a+ny one of the co-owners may bring an action
in ejectment, is a categorical and an unqualified authority in favor of respondent to evict petitioners from the
portions of Lot. No. 2587.
This provision is a departure from Palarca v. Baguisi, which held that an action for ejectment must be
brought by all the co-owners. Thus, a co-owner may bring an action to exercise and protect the rights of all. When
the action is brought by one co-owner for the benefit of all, a favorable decision will benefit them; but an adverse
decision cannot prejudice their rights.
Respondents action for ejectment against petitioners is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all
co-owners of the property since petitioners were not able to prove that they are authorized to occupy the same.
Petitioners lack of authority to occupy the properties, coupled with respondents right under Article 487,
clearly settles respondents prerogative to eject petitioners from Lot No. 2587. Time and again, this Court has
ruled that persons who occupy the land of another at the latter's tolerance or permission, without any contract
between them, are necessarily bound by an implied promise that they will vacate the same upon demand,
failing in which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them.
HELD: Petition is DENIED. /adsum

Page

CASE DOCTRINES
Section 20, RA 4726 does not ipso facto grants the right to extrajudicial foreclosure of a condominium unit
Clearly, Section 20 merely prescribes the procedure by which petitioner's claim may be treated as a
superior lien - i.e., through the annotation thereof on the title of the condominium unit. While the law also
grants petitioner the option to enforce said lien through either the judicial or extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the
condominium unit, Section 20 does not by itself, ipso facto, authorize judicial as extra-judicial foreclosure of the
condominium unit. Petitioner may avail itself of either option only in the manner provided for by the governing
law and rules. As already pointed out, A.M. No. No. 99-10-05-0, as implemented under Circular No. 7-2002,
requires that petitioner furnish evidence of its special authority to cause the extrajudicial foreclosure of the
condominium unit.
FACTS:
Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45.
Gatmaytan is the registered owner of Fontavilla No. 501 (condominium unit), Marbella I Condominium,
Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, under Condominium Certificate of Title No. 1972 (CCT No. 1972). Inscribed on his title
is a Declaration of Restrictions and a Notice of Assessment.
On November 11, 2003, Marbella Condominium filed with the RTC, through the Office of the Clerk of
Court & Ex-Oficio Sheriff, a Petition for extrajudicial foreclosure of the condominium unit of Gatmaytan.
Petitioners allegations:
1. that it (petitioner) is a duly organized association of the tenants and homeowners of Marbella I
Condominium; that respondent is a member thereof but has unpaid association dues amounting to
P3,229,104.89, as of June 30, 2003;
2. the latter refused to pay his dues despite demand.

11

FIRST MARBELLA CONDOMINIUM ASSOCIATION, INC., petitioner, vs. AUGUSTO GATMAYTAN, respondent. G.R.
No. 163196 July 4, 2008

Page

RTC decision: the request for extra-judicial foreclosure of the subject condominium unit is DENIED. The
MR was also denied.
PROCEDURAL ISSUE: WON petitioners can file a petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 based on the
decision of the RTC in the exercise of his administrative function.
RULING:
Only a judgment, final order or resolution rendered by a court in the exercise of its judicial functions
relative to an actual controversy is subject to an appeal to this Court by way of a Petition for Review on
Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The January 7, 2004 Order and March 21, 2004 Order assailed
herein were issued by the RTC Executive Judge in the exercise of his administrative function to supervise the
ministerial duty of the Clerk of Court as Ex-Oficio Sheriff in the conduct of an extrajudicial foreclosure sale; hence,
said orders are not appealable under Rule 45. Rather, the correct mode of appeal is by petition for mandamus
under Section 3, Rule 65 of the Rules of Court, to wit:
Sec. 3. Petition for mandamus - When any tribunal, corporation, board, officer or person unlawfully
neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office,
trust, or station, or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which
such other is entitled, and there is no other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course o f
law, the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the facts with
certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent, immediately or at some
other time to be specified by the court, to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of the
petitioner, and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the
respondent.
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE: WON First Marbella Condominium Association has the right to cause the extrajudicial
foreclosure of its annotated lien on the condominium unit under Section 20 of R.A. No. 4726.
RULING:
xxx petitioner must establish that it has a clear right to the extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the
condominium unit of respondent. Under Circular No. 7-2002, implementing Supreme Court Administrative Matter
No. 99-10-05-0, it is mandatory that a petition for extrajudicial foreclosure be supported by evidence that
petitioner holds a special power or authority to foreclose, thus:
Sec. 1. All applications for extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgage, whether under the direction of the
Sheriff or a notary public pursuant to Art. No. 3135, as amended, and Act 1508, as amended, shall be filed
with the Executive Judge, through the Clerk of Court, who is also the Ex-Officio Sheriff (A.M. No. 99-10-050, as amended, March 1, 2001).
Sec. 2. Upon receipt of the application, the Clerk of Court shall:
a. Examine the same to ensure that the special power of attorney authorizing the extra-judicial
foreclosure of the real property is either inserted into or attached to the deed of real estate
mortgage (Act No. 3135, Sec. 1, as amended) x x x.
Without proof of petitioner's special authority to foreclose, the Clerk of Court as Ex-Oficio Sheriff is
precluded from acting on the application for extrajudicial foreclosure.
In the present case, the only basis of petitioner for causing the extrajudicial foreclosure of the
condominium unit of respondent is a notice of assessment annotated on CCT No. 1972 in accordance w ith
Section 20 of R.A. No. 4726. However, neither annotation nor law vests it with sufficient authority to foreclose
on the property.
The notice of assessment contains no provision for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the condominium
unit. All that it states is that the assessment of petitioner against respondent for unpaid association dues
constitutes a "first lien against [the] condominium unit."
Neither does Section 20 of R.A. No. 4726 grant petitioner special authority to foreclose. All that the law
provides is the following:
Sec. 20. The assessment upon any condominium made in accordance with a duly registered declaration of
restrictions shall be an obligation of the owner thereof at the time the assessment is made. The amount
of any such assessment plus any other charges thereon, such as interest, costs (including attorney's fees)
and penalties, as such may be provided for in the declaration of restrictions, shall be and become a lien
upon the condominium to be registered with the Register of Deeds of the city or province where such
condominium project is located. The notice shall state the amount of such assessment and such other
charges thereon as may be authorized by the declaration of restrictions, a description of condominium
unit against which same has been assessed, and the name of the registered owner thereof. Such notice

12

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Notes (Case Digests Property)


shall be signed by an authorized representative of the management body or as otherwise provided in the
declaration of restrictions. Upon payment of said assessment and charges or other satisfaction thereof,
the management body shall cause to be registered a release of the lien.
Such lien shall be superior to all other liens registered subsequent to the registration of said notice of
assessment except real property tax liens and except that the declaration of restrictions may provide for
the subordination thereof to any other liens and encumbrances, such liens may be enforced in the same
manner provided for by law for the judicial or extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgage or real property.
Unless otherwise provided for in the declaration of the restrictions, the management body shall have
power to bid at foreclosure sale. The condominium owner shall have the right of redemption as in cases
of judicial or extra-judicial foreclosure of mortgages.
Clearly, Section 20 merely prescribes the procedure by which petitioner's claim may be treated as a
superior lien - i.e., through the annotation thereof on the title of the condominium unit. While the law also
grants petitioner the option to enforce said lien through either the judicial or extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the
condominium unit, Section 20 does not by itself, ipso facto, authorize judicial as extra-judicial foreclosure of the
condominium unit. Petitioner may avail itself of either option only in the manner provided for by the governing
law and rules. As already pointed out, A.M. No. No. 99-10-05-0, as implemented under Circular No. 7-2002,
requires that petitioner furnish evidence of its special authority to cause the extrajudicial foreclosure of the
condominium unit.
HELD: the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. /adsum
LEONOR B. CRUZ, petitioner, vs.TEOFILA M. CATAPANG, respondent. G.R. No. 164110
February 12, 2008
CASE DOCTRINES
Alteration; needs concurrence of all co-owners
Under Article 491, none of the co-owners shall, without the consent of the others, make alterations in the
thing owned in common. It necessarily follows that none of the co-owners can, without the consent of the other
co-owners, validly consent to the making of an alteration by another person, such as respondent, in the thing
owned in common. Alterations include any act of strict dominion or ownership and any encumbrance or
disposition has been held implicitly to be an act of alteration. The construction of a house on the co-owned
property is an act of dominion. Therefore, it is an alteration falling under Article 491 of the Civil Code. There
being no consent from all co-owners, respondent had no right to construct her house on the co-owned property.
Entry into the property without the consent of other co-owners is stealth; getting only the consent of one of the coowners is strategy.
Respondents entry into the property without the permission of petitioner could appear to be a secret
and clandestine act done in connivance with co-owner Norma Maligaya whom respondent allowed to stay in her
house. Entry into the land effected clandestinely without the knowledge of the other co-owners could be
categorized as possession by stealth. Moreover, respondents act of getting only the consent of one co-owner,
her sister Norma Maligaya, and allowing the latter to stay in the constructed house, can in fact be considered as
a strategy which she utilized in order to enter into the co-owned property. As such, respondents acts constitute
forcible entry.

Page

This petition for review.


Leonor B. Cruz, Luz Cruz and Norma Maligaya are the co-owners of a parcel of land covering an area of
1,435 square meters located at Taal, Batangas. With the consent of Norma Maligaya, Teofila M. Catapang built a
house on a lot adjacent to the parcel of land sometime in 1992. The house intruded, however, on a portion of the
co-owned property.
In 1995, Leonor B. Cruz visited the property and was surprised to see a part of Catapangs house was
intruding unto a portion of the co-owned property. She then made several demands upon respondent to demolish
the intruding structure and to vacate the portion encroaching on their property. The respondent, however, refused
and disregarded her demands.
On January 25, 1996, the Cruz filed a complaint for forcible entry against Catapang.
MCTC decision: in favor of Cruz, ruling that consent of only one of the co-owners is not sufficient to justify
defendants construction of the house and possession of the portion of the lot in question.
RTC decision: affirmed the MCTC. MR was also denied.

13

FACTS:

Page

CA decision: reversed the RTC. It held that there is no cause of action for forcible entry in this case
because respondents entry into the property, considering the consent given by co-owner Norma Maligaya, cannot
be characterized as one made through strategy or stealth which gives rise to a cause of action for forcible entry.
Petitioners contention/s:
1. the consent and knowledge of co-owner Norma Maligaya cannot defeat the action for forcible entry since
it is a basic principle in the law of co-ownership that no individual co-owner can claim title to any definite
portion of the land or thing owned in common until partition.
Respondents contention/s:
1. the complaint for forcible entry cannot prosper because her entry into the property was not through
strategy or stealth due to the consent of one of the co-owners.
2. since Norma Maligaya is residing in the house she built, the issue is not just possession de facto but also
one of possession de jure since it involves rights of co-owners to enjoy the property.
ISSUE 1: WON the consent of one co-owner will warrant the dismissal of a forcible entry case filed by another coowner against the person who was given the consent to construct a house on the co-owned property.
RULING:
As to the issue of whether or not the consent of one co-owner will warrant the dismissal of a forcible
entry case filed by another co-owner against the person who was given the consent to construct a house on the
co-owned property, we have held that a co-owner cannot devote common property to his or her exclusive use to
the prejudice of the co-ownership. In our view, a co-owner cannot give valid consent to another to build a house
on the co-owned property, which is an act tantamount to devoting the property to his or her exclusive use.
Furthermore, Articles 486 and 491 of the Civil Code provide:
Art. 486. Each co-owner may use the thing owned in common, provided he does 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. The purpose of the co-ownership may be changed by
agreement, express or implied.
Art. 491. None of the co-owners shall, without the consent of the others, make alterations in the thing
owned in common, even though benefits for all would result therefrom. However, if the withholding of the
consent by one or more of the co-owners is clearly prejudicial to the common interest, the courts may afford
adequate relief.
Article 486 states each co-owner may use the thing owned in common provided he does 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. Giving consent to a third person to construct a
house on the co-owned property will injure the interest of the co-ownership and prevent other co-owners from
using the property in accordance with their rights.
Under Article 491, none of the co-owners shall, without the consent of the others, make alterations in the
thing owned in common. It necessarily follows that none of the co-owners can, without the consent of the other
co-owners, validly consent to the making of an alteration by another person, such as respondent, in the thing
owned in common. Alterations include any act of strict dominion or ownership and any encumbrance or
disposition has been held implicitly to be an act of alteration. The construction of a house on the co-owned
property is an act of dominion. Therefore, it is an alteration falling under Article 491 of the Civil Code. There
being no consent from all co-owners, respondent had no right to construct her house on the co-owned property.
ISSUE 2: WON there was valid ground for forcible entry.
Consent of only one co-owner will not warrant the dismissal of the complaint for forcible entry filed
against the builder. The consent given by Norma Maligaya in the absence of the consent of petitioner and Luz Cruz
did not vest upon respondent any right to enter into the co-owned property. Her entry into the property still falls
under the classification "through strategy or stealth."
The Court of Appeals held that there is no forcible entry because respondents entry into the property
was not through strategy or stealth due to the consent given to her by one of the co-owners. We cannot give our
imprimatur to this sweeping conclusion. Respondents entry into the property without the permission of
petitioner could appear to be a secret and clandestine act done in connivance with co-owner Norma Maligaya
whom respondent allowed to stay in her house. Entry into the land effected clandestinely without the
knowledge of the other co-owners could be categorized as possession by stealth. Moreover, respondents act of
getting only the consent of one co-owner, her sister Norma Maligaya, and allowing the latter to stay in the
constructed house, can in fact be considered as a strategy which she utilized in order to enter into the co-owned
property. As such, respondents acts constitute forcible entry.

14

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Notes (Case Digests Property)


HELD: the petition is GRANTED. /adsum
DONATO S. PAULMITAN, JULIANA P. FANESA and RODOLFO FANESA, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ALICIO
PAULMITAN, ELENA PAULMITAN, ABELINO PAULMITAN, ANITA PAULMITAN, BAKING PAULMITAN, ADELINA
PAULMITAN and ANITO PAULMITAN, respondents., G.R. No. 61584, 1992 Nov 23, 3rd Division.
CASE DOCTRINES
A sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the consent of the other co-owners is not null and void
The sale did not prejudice the rights of respondents to one half (1/2) undivided share of the land which they
inherited from their father. It did not vest ownership in the entire land with the buyer but transferred only the
seller's pro indiviso share in the property and consequently made the buyer a co-owner of the land until it is
partitioned.
Xxx
From the foregoing, it may be deduced that since a co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided share, a sale of the
entire property by one co-owner without the consent of the other co-owners is not null and void. However, only
the rights of the co-owner-seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the property."
Redemption of the property by one of the co-owners does vest ownership of the entire property;
The result is that the property remains to be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a retro,
under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a partial redemption," the redemption by
one co-heir or co-owner of the property in its totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part
of all the co-owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and consolidate title thereto
in his name (Supra, art. 1607). But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the entire
property. It does not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership."
Right of a co-owner to compel other co-owners to contribute to the expenses of preservation and taxes (Art. 488)
Although petitioner Fanesa did not acquire ownership over the entire lot by virtue of the redemption she
made, nevertheless, she did acquire the right to be reimbursed for half of the redemption price she paid to the
Provincial Government of Negros Occidental on behalf of her co-owners. Until reimbursed, Fanesa holds a lien
upon the subject property for the amount due her.

Page

This is a petition for review on certiorari.


Agatona Sagario Paulmitan, died in 1953, leaving two parcels of land (lot no. 757 and lot no. 1091) located
in the Province of Negros Occidental. Agatona begot two legitimate children, namely: Pascual Paulmitan, deceased
and Donato Paulmitan. Petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa is Donato's daughter while, Rodolfo Fanesa, is Juliana's
husband. Pascual Paulmitan, on the other hand, is survived by the respondents, who are his children, namely:
Alicio, Elena, Abelino, Adelina, Anita, Baking and Anito, all surnamed Paulmitan.
Until 1963, the estate of Agatona Sagario Paulmitan remained unsettled and the titles to the two lots
mentioned above remained in the name of Agatona. However, on August 11, 1963, Donato Paulmitan executed an
Affidavit of Declaration of Heirship, extrajudicially adjudicating unto himself Lot No. 757 based on the claim that he
is the only surviving heir of Agatona Sagario. The affidavit was filed with the Register of Deeds of Negros
Occidental who, on August 20, 1963, cancelled the OCT in the name of Agatona Sagario and issued a TCT in
Donato's name. The other lot (Lot No. 1091), was sold by Donato on May 28, 1974 in favor of Juliana P. Fanesa, his
daughter.
Before such sale, sometime in 1952, for non-payment of taxes, Lot No. 1091 was forfeited and sold at a
public auction, with the Provincial Government of Negros Occidental being the buyer. A Certificate of Sale over the
land was executed by the Provincial Treasurer in favor of the Provincial Board of Negros Occidental.
On May 29, 1974, Juliana P. Fanesa redeemed the property from the Provincial Government of Negros
Occidental for the amount of P2,959.09.
Upon learning of the transactions, respondents children of the Late Pascual Paulmitan filed on January 18,
1975 with the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental a Complaint against petitioners to partition the
properties plus damages.
RTC decision: dismissed the complaint with regard to Lot No. 757 ruling that prescription has accrued. This
order has become final for failure to file an appeal. With respect to Lot No. 1091, RTC favored the respondents. It

15

FACTS:

Page

held, as descendants of Agatona Sagario Paulmitan they were entitled to one-half (1/2) of Lot No. 1091, pro
indiviso.
CA decision: affirmed the RTC.
ISSUE 1: WON the heirs of Pascul Paulmitan are entitled to share of Lot No. 1091.
RULING:
xxx
From the time of the death of Agatona Sagario Paulmitan to the subsequent passing away of her son
Pascual in 1953, the estate remained unpartitioned. Article 1078 of the Civil Code provides: "Where ther e are two
or more heirs, the whole estate of the decedent is, before its partition, owned in common by such heirs, subject to
the payment of debts of the deceased." Donato and Pascual Paulmitan were, therefore, co-owners of the estate
left by their mother as no partition was ever made.
When Pascual Paulmitan died intestate in 1953, his children, the respondents, succeeded him in the co ownership of the disputed property. Pascual Paulmitan's right of ownership over an undivided portion of the
property passed on to his children, who, from the time of Pascual's death, became co-owners with their uncle
Donato over the disputed decedent estate.
Petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa claims ownership over Lot No. 1091 by virtue of two transactions, namely: (a)
the sale made in her favor by her father Donato Paulmitan; and (b) her redemption of the land from the Provincial
Government of Negros Occidental after it was forfeited for non-payment of taxes.
When Donato Paulmitan sold on May 28, 1974 Lot No. 1091 to his daughter Juliana P. Fanesa, he was only
a co-owner with respondents and as such, he could only sell that portion which may be allotted to him upon
termination of the co-ownership. The sale did not prejudice the rights of respondents to one half (1/2) undivided
share of the land which they inherited from their father. It did not vest ownership in the entire land with the
buyer but transferred only the seller's pro indiviso share in the property and consequently made the buyer a coowner of the land until it is partitioned. In Bailon-Casilao v. Court of Appeals, the Court, through Justice Irene R.
Cortes, outlined the effects of a sale by one co-owner without the content of all the co-owners, thus:
"The rights of a co-owner of a certain property are clearly specified in Article 493 of the Civil Code. Thus:
Art. 493.Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining
thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it and even substitute another person in its enjoyment,
except when personal rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or mortgage, with respect to the co
owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the co ownership.
As early as 1923, this Court has ruled that even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will
affect only his own share but not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the sale [Punsalan v.
Boon Liat, 44 Phil. 320 (1923)]. This is because under the aforementioned codal provision, the sale or other
disposition affects only his undivided share and the transferee gets only what would correspond to his grantor in
the partition of the thing owned in common. [Ramirez v. Bautista, 14 Phil. 528 (1909)]. Consequently, by virtue of
the sales made by Rosalia and Gaudencio Bailon which are valid with respect to their proportionate shares, and the
subsequent transfers which culminated in the sale to private respondent Celestino Afable, the said Afable thereby
became a co-owner of the disputed parcel of land as correctly held by the lower court since the sales produced the
effect of substituting the buyers in the enjoyment thereof [Mainit v. Bandoy, 14 Phil. 730 (1910)].
From the foregoing, it may be deduced that since a co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided share, a sale
of the entire property by one co-owner without the consent of the other co-owners is not null and void.
However, only the rights of the co-owner-seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the
property."
Applying this principle to the case at bar, the sale by petitioner Donato Paulmitan of the land to his
daughter, petitioner Juliana P. Fanesa, did not give to the latter ownership over the entire land but merely
transferred to her the one half (1/2) undivided share of her father, thus making her the co-owner of the land in
question with the respondents, her first cousins.
ISSUE 2: WON redemption by one of the co-owners of the property entitles her the ownership of the entire
property.
RULING:
The redemption of the land made by Fanesa did not terminate the co-ownership nor give her title to
the entire land subject of the co-ownership. Speaking on the same issue raised by petitioners, the Court, in Adille
v. Court of Appeals, resolved the same with the following pronouncements:

16

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Notes (Case Digests Property)


"The petition raises a purely legal issue: May a co-owner acquire exclusive ownership over the property held in
common?
Essentially, it is the petitioners' contention that the property subject of dispute devolved upon him upon
the failure of his co-heirs to join him in its redemption within the period required by law. He relies on the
provisions of Article 1515 of the old Civil Code, Article 1613 of the present Code, giving the vendee a retro the right
to demand redemption of the entire property. There is no merit in this petition.
The right of repurchase may be exercised by a co-owner with respect to his share alone (CIVIL CODE, art.
1612; CIVIL CODE (1889), art. 1514.). While the records show that petitioner redeemed the property in its entirety,
shouldering the expenses therefor, that did not make him the owner of all of it. In other words, it did not put to
end the existing state of co-ownership (Supra, art. 489). There is no doubt that redemption of property entails a
necessary expense. Under the Civil Code:
ART. 488. Each co-owner shall have a right to compel the other co-owners to contribute to the expenses
of preservation of the thing or right owned in common and to the taxes. Any one of the latter may exempt himself
from this obligation by renouncing so much of his undivided interest as may be equivalent to his share of the
expenses and taxes. No such waiver shall be made if it is prejudicial to the co-ownership.
The result is that the property remains to be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a retro,
under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a partial redemption," the redemption by
one co-heir or co-owner of the property in its totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part
of all the co-owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and consolidate title thereto
in his name (Supra, art. 1607). But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the entire
property. It does not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership."
Although petitioner Fanesa did not acquire ownership over the entire lot by virtue of the redemption she
made, nevertheless, she did acquire the right to be reimbursed for half of the redemption price she paid to the
Provincial Government of Negros Occidental on behalf of her co-owners. Until reimbursed, Fanesa holds a lien
upon the subject property for the amount due her.
HELD: petition is DENIED.
LILIA SANCHEZ, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. VICTORINO S. ALVARO as Presiding Judge, RTC-Br. 120,
Caloocan City, and VIRGINIA TERIA, respondents., G.R. No. 152766, 2003 Jun 20, En Banc
CASE DOCTRINES
Co-ownership; nature
Sanchez Roman defines co-ownership as the right of common dominion which two or more persons have
in a spiritual part of a thing, not materially or physically divided. Manresa defines it as the manifestation of the
private right of ownership, which instead of being exercised by the owner in an exclusive manner over the things
subject to it, is exercised by two or more owners and the undivided thing or right to which it refers is one and the
same.
Co-ownership; characteristics
The characteristics of co-ownership are: (a) plurality of subjects, who are the co-owners, (b) unity of or
material indivision, which means that there is a single object which is not materially divided, and which is the
element which binds the subjects, and, (c) the recognition of ideal shares, which determines the rights and
obligations of the co-owners.

Special Civil Action for Certiorari under Rule 65.

Page

FACTS:

17

Co-ownership; relationship
In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-owner to the other co-owners is fiduciary in character and
attribute. Whether established by law or by agreement of the co-owners, the property or thing held pro-indiviso is
impressed with a fiducial nature so that each co-owner becomes a trustee for the benefit of his co-owners and he
may not do any act prejudicial to the interest of his co-owners.
Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to preserve the properties in co-ownership is to create an express
trust among the heirs as co-owners of the properties. Co-ownership is a form of trust and every co-owner is a
trustee for the others.

Page

Lilia Sanchez, constructed a house on a 76-square meter lot owned by her parents-in-law. The lot was
registered under TCT No. 263624 with the following co-owners: Eliseo Sanchez married to Celia Sanchez, Marilyn
Sanchez married to Nicanor Montalban, Lilian Sanchez, widow, Nenita Sanchez, single, Susana Sanchez married to
Fernando Ramos, and Felipe Sanchez.
On 20 February 1995, the lot was registered under TCT No. 289216 in the name of private respondent
Virginia Teria by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale supposed to have been executed on 23 June 1995 by all six (6)
co-owners in her favor.
Lilia Sanchez claimed that she did not affix her signature on the document and subsequently refused to
vacate the lot, thus prompting Virginia Teria to file an action for recovery of possession of the aforesaid lot with
the MeTC.
MeTC decision: in favor of Teria, declaring that the sale was valid only to the extent of 5/6 of the lot and
the other 1/6 remaining as the property of petitioner, on account of her signature in the Deed of Absolute Sale
having been established as a forgery.
RTC decision: affirmed the RTC, because they failed to submit their pleadings.
On 4 November 1998, the MeTC issued an order for the issuance of a writ of execution in favor of private
Virginia Teria, buyer of the property. On 4 November 1999 or a year later, a Notice to Vacate was served by the
sheriff upon petitioner who however refused to heed the Notice.
On 28 April 1999 private respondent started demolishing petitioners house without any special permit of
demolition from the court.
Due to the demolition of her house which continued until 24 May 1999 petitioner was forced to inhabit
the portion of the premises that used to serve as the houses toilet and laundry area.
On 29 October 1999 petitioner filed her Petition for Relief from Judgment with the RTC on the ground
that she was not bound by the inaction of her counsel who failed to submit petitioners appeal memorandum.
RTC decision: denied the Petition and the subsequent Motion for Reconsideration.
CA (Petition for Certiorari): dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
PROCEDUARAL ISSUE: WON Certiorari under Rule 65 is the proper remedy.
RULING:
As a matter of policy, the original jurisdiction of this Court to issue the so-called extraordinary writs
should generally be exercised relative to actions or proceedings before the Court of Appeals or before
constitutional or other tribunals or agencies the acts of which for some reason or other are not controllable by
the Court of Appeals. Where the issuance of the extraordinary writ is also within the competence of the Court of
Appeals or the Regional Trial Court, it is either of these courts that the specific action for the procurement of the
writ must be presented. However, this Court must be convinced thoroughly that two (2) grounds exist before it
gives due course to a certiorari petition under Rule 65: (a) The tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial or
quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction; and (b) There is no appeal nor any
plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.
Despite the procedural lapses present in this case, we are giving due course to this petition as there are
matters that require immediate resolution on the merits to effect substantial justice.
The Rules of Court should be liberally construed in order to promote their object of securing a just,
speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action or proceeding.
The rules of procedure should be viewed as mere tools designed to aid the courts in the speedy, just
and inexpensive determination of the cases before them. Liberal construction of the rules and the pleadings is
the controlling principle to effect substantial justice. Litigations should, as much as possible, be decided on their
merits and not on mere technicalities.
xxxx
Aside from matters of life, liberty, honor or property which would warrant the suspension of the Rules of
the most mandatory character and an examination and review by the appellate court of the lower courts findings
of fact, the other elements that should be considered are the following: (a) the existence of special or compelling
circumstances, (b) the merits of the case, (c) a cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence of the party
favored by the suspension of the rules, (d) a lack of any showing that the review sought is merely frivolous and
dilatory, and (e) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby.
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE: WON Lilia Sanchez has a right to the property.
RULING:
Sanchez Roman defines co-ownership as the right of common dominion which two or more persons have
in a spiritual part of a thing, not materially or physically divided. Manresa defines it as the manifestati on of the

18

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Notes (Case Digests Property)


private right of ownership, which instead of being exercised by the owner in an exclusive manner over the things
subject to it, is exercised by two or more owners and the undivided thing or right to which it refers is one and the
same.
The characteristics of co-ownership are: (a) plurality of subjects, who are the co-owners, (b) unity of or
material indivision, which means that there is a single object which is not materially divided, and which is the
element which binds the subjects, and, (c) the recognition of ideal shares, which determines the rights and
obligations of the co-owners.
In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-owner to the other co-owners is fiduciary in character and
attribute. Whether established by law or by agreement of the co-owners, the property or thing held proindiviso is impressed with a fiducial nature so that each co-owner becomes a trustee for the benefit of his coowners and he may not do any act prejudicial to the interest of his co-owners.
Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to preserve the properties in co-ownership is to create an express
trust among the heirs as co-owners of the properties. Co-ownership is a form of trust and every co-owner is a
trustee for the others.
Before the partition of a land or thing held in common, no individual or co-owner can claim title to any
definite portion thereof. All that the co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or proportionate share in the
entire land or thing.
Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of an undivided interest in the property the right to freely
sell and dispose of it, i.e., his undivided interest. He may validly lease his undivided interest to a third party
independently of the other co-owners. But he has no right to sell or alienate a concrete, specific or determinate
part of the thing owned in common because his right over the thing is represented by a quota or ideal portion
without any physical adjudication.
Although assigned an aliquot but abstract part of the property, the metes and bounds of petitioners lot
has not been designated. As she was not a party to the Deed of Absolute Sale voluntarily entered into by the
other co-owners, her right to 1/6 of the property must be respected. Partition needs to be effected to protect
her right to her definite share and determine the boundaries of her property. Such partition must be done
without prejudice to the rights of private respondent Virginia Teria as buyer of the 5/6 portion of the lot under
dispute.
HELD: Petition is GRANTED. Remanded to the MeTC for partition.
RUSTICO ADILLE, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, EMETERIA ASEJO, TEODORICA ASEJO,
DOMINGO ASEJO, JOSEFA ASEJO, and SANTIAGO ASEJO, respondents., G.R. No. L-44546, 1988 Jan 29, 2nd
Division

Page

Registration of the property does not vest ownership


Neither does the fact that the petitioner had succeeded in securing title over the parcel in his name
terminate the existing co-ownership. While his half-brothers and sisters are, as we said, liable to him for
reimbursement as and for their shares in redemption expenses, he cannot claim exclusive right to the property
owned in common. Registration of property is not a means of acquiring ownership. It operates as a mere notice
of existing title, that is, if there is one.

19

CASE DOCTRINES
Necessary expenses for the preservation of the co-owned property; a co-owner who redeems the co-owned
property does not acquire ownership over its entirety
Necessary expenses may be incurred by one co-owner, subject to his right to collect reimbursement
from the remaining co-owners. There is no doubt that redemption of property entails a necessary expense.
xxx
The result is that the property remains to be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a retro,
under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a partial redemption," the redemption by
one co-heir or co-owner of the property in its totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part
of all the co-owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and consolidate title thereto
in his name. But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the entire property. It does
not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership.

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Implied trust
ART. 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered
a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes.
We agree with the respondent Court of Appeals that fraud attended the registration of the property. The
petitioner's pretension that he was the sole heir to the land in the affidavit of extrajudicial settlement he executed
preliminary to the registration thereof betrays a clear effort on his part to defraud his brothers and sisters and to
exercise sole dominion over the property. The aforequoted provision therefore applies.
Prescription to extinguish a co-ownership; requisites
Prescription, as a mode of terminating a relation of co-ownership, must have been preceded by
repudiation (of the co-ownership).
The act of repudiation, in turn, is subject to certain conditions:
(1) a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership;
(2) such an act of repudiation is clearly made known to the other co-owners;
(3) the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive; and
(4) he has been in possession through open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the
property for the period required by law.
Registration under the Torrens system is not equivalent to notice of repudiation
It is true that registration under the Torrens system is constructive notice of title, but it has likewise been
our holding that the Torrens title does not furnish a shield for fraud. It is therefore no argument to say that the
act of registration is equivalent to notice of repudiation, assuming there was one, notwithstanding the longstanding rule that registration operates as a universal notice of title.

Page

Felisa Alzul is the owner of the parcel of land in question located at Legaspi City. In her first marriage, she
begot a child (Rustico Adille). In her second marriage, her children were Emeteria, Teodorica, Domingo, Josefa and
Santiago, all surnamed Asejo.
Sometime in 1939, Felisa sold the property in pacto de retro. The period of redemption was 3 years. She
was not able to repurchase it because she died in 1942. After Felisas death and during the period of redemption,
Rustico Adille repurchased, by himself alone, and after that, he executed a deed of extra-judicial partition
representing himself to be the only heir and child of his mother Felisa with the consequence that he was able to
secure title in his name alone. Consequently, in 1955, the OCT in the name of his mother was transferred to his
name.
Upon learning this, his half brothers and sisters filed a case for partition with accounting of the property.
RTC decision: in favor of Rustico Adille, sustaining his position as the absolute owner.
CA decision: reversed the RTC.
ISSUE 1: WON by virtue of redeeming the property, a co-owner acquires exclusive ownership over the property.
RULING:
The right of repurchase may be exercised by a co-owner with respect to his share alone. While the
records show that the petitioner redeemed the property in its entirety, shouldering the expenses therefor, that
did not make him the owner of all of it. In other words, it did not put to end the existing state of co-ownership.
Necessary expenses may be incurred by one co-owner, subject to his right to collect reimbursement
from the remaining co-owners. There is no doubt that redemption of property entails a necessary expense.
Under the Civil Code:
ART. 488. Each co-owner shall have a right to compel the other co-owners to contribute to the expenses of
preservation of the thing or right owned in common and to the taxes. Any one of the latter may exempt himself
from this obligation by renouncing so much of his undivided interest as may be equivalent to his share of the
expenses and taxes. No such waiver shall be made if it is prejudicial to the co-ownership.
The result is that the property remains to be in a condition of co-ownership. While a vendee a retro,
under Article 1613 of the Code, "may not be compelled to consent to a partial redemption," the redemption by
one co-heir or co-owner of the property in its totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part
of all the co-owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and consolidate title thereto
in his name. But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the entire property. It does
not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership.

20

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Page

TEODORA, MARTA, JOSE, SIXTO, RICARDO, ROBERTO, PILAR, VIRGILIO, all surnamed MARIANO and AURORA
EUGENIO, petitioners, vs. THE HON. JUDGE JESUS R. DE VEGA, PRESIDING JUDGE, COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF
BULACAN, BRANCH II, PILAR, REGINA, FELISA and DOMINADOR all surnamed PANGANIBAN, respondents., G.R.
No. L-59974, 1987 Mar 9, 2nd Division
CASE DOCTRINES
Repudiation of co-ownership
Now then, Art. 494 (last paragraph) of the Civil Code provides:.
"xxx
xxx
xxx
"No 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 co-ownership."
In view of their lack of a clear repudiation of the co-ownership, duly communicated to the petitioners
(the other co-owners), private respondents cannot acquire the shares of the petitioners by prescription. The
record in the Office of the Assessor is not the sufficient repudiation and communication contemplated by the

21

Neither does the fact that the petitioner had succeeded in securing title over the parcel in his name
terminate the existing co-ownership. While his half-brothers and sisters are, as we said, liable to him for
reimbursement as and for their shares in redemption expenses, he cannot claim exclusive right to the property
owned in common. Registration of property is not a means of acquiring ownership. It operates as a mere notice
of existing title, that is, if there is one.
ISSUE 2: WON Rustico Adille is a trustee of his co-heirs.
RULING:
The petitioner must then be said to be a trustee of the property on behalf of the private respondents. The
Civil Code states:
ART. 1456. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is, by force of law, considered
a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes.
We agree with the respondent Court of Appeals that fraud attended the registration of the property. The
petitioner's pretension that he was the sole heir to the land in the affidavit of extrajudicial settlement he executed
preliminary to the registration thereof betrays a clear effort on his part to defraud his brothers and sisters and to
exercise sole dominion over the property. The aforequoted provision therefore applies.
xxx
ISSUE 3: WON prescription has terminated the co-ownership.
RULING:
This Court is not unaware of the well-established principle that prescription bars any demand on property
(owned in common) held by another (co-owner) following the required number of years. In that event, the party in
possession acquires title to the property and the state of co-ownership is ended. In the case at bar, the property
was registered in 1955 by the petitioner, solely in his name, while the claim of the private respondents was
presented in 1974. Has prescription then, set in?
We hold in the negative. Prescription, as a mode of terminating a relation of co-ownership, must have
been preceded by repudiation (of the co-ownership). The act of repudiation, in turn, is subject to certain
conditions: (1) a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership; (2) such an act of repudiation is clearly made known to
the other co-owners; (3) the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive; and (4) he has been in possession through
open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the property for the period required by law .
The instant case shows that the petitioner had not complied with these requisites. We are not convinced
that he had repudiated the co-ownership; on the contrary, he had deliberately kept the private respondents in the
dark by feigning sole heirship over the estate under dispute. He cannot therefore be said to have "made known"
his efforts to deny the co-ownership. Moreover, one of the private respondents, Emeteria Asejo, is occupying a
portion of the land up to the present, yet, the petitioner has not taken pains to eject her therefrom. As a matter of
fact, he sought to recover possession of that portion Emeteria is occupying only as a counterclaim, and only after
the private respondents had first sought judicial relief.
It is true that registration under the Torrens system is constructive notice of title, but it has likewise been
our holding that the Torrens title does not furnish a shield for fraud. It is therefore no argument to say that the
act of registration is equivalent to notice of repudiation, assuming there was one, notwithstanding the longstanding rule that registration operates as a universal notice of title.
HELD: petition is DENIED. /adsum

Notes (Case Digests Property)


law. Neither may the private respondents' possession of the premises militate against petitioners' claim. After
all, co-owners are entitled to be in possession of the premises.
The existence of the co-ownership here argues against the theory of implied trust, for then a co-owner
possesses co-owned property not in behalf of the other co-owners but in his own behalf.
FACTS:

Page

VIRGILIO B. AGUILAR, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and SENEN B. AGUILAR, respondents. G.R. No. 76351
October 29, 1993
CASE DOCTRINES
Co-owners may demand partition at any time; indivisible to be sold and proceeds divided accordingly (Art. 494,
498)
This is resorted to (1) when the right to partition the property is invoked by any of the co-owners but
because of the nature of the property it cannot be subdivided or its subdivision would prejudice the interests of
the co-owners, and (2) the co-owners are not in agreement as to who among them shall be allotted or assigned
the entire property upon proper reimbursement of the co-owners.
Action to compel the sale of a co-owned property which is granted by the court terminates the co-ownership
Since petitioner has decided to enforce his right in court to end the co-ownership of the house and lot and
respondent has not refuted the allegation that he has been preventing the sale of the property by his continued
occupancy of the premises, justice and equity demand that respondent and his family vacate the property so that
the sale can be effected immediately.
xxx
When petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the property and the trial court granted the
petition and ordered the ejectment of respondent, the co-ownership was deemed terminated and the right to
enjoy the possession jointly also ceased.

22

Petition for appeal.


Spouses Urbano and Roberta Panganiban, during their life time, owned 29 parcels of unregistered land, all
situated at Bulacan. Roberta died intestate and without debts in Pulilan, Bulacan. She left her husband, Urbano
Panganiban, and their two legitimate children, Mercedes and Gaudencia as her only forced heirs. On September
18, 1952, Urbano Panganiban died also intestate and without debts in Pulilan, Bulacan, leaving as his only
compulsory heirs the children of Gaudencia [petitioner] (who together with her sister Mercedes, had predeceased
their father) and his legitimate children with his second wife, Atanacia Agustin [respondents].
On June 19, 1981, (28 years, 9 months and 1 day) after Urbano's death, petitioners instituted an action
with the then CFI of Bulacan for partition and delivery of possession of their corresponding shares in the conjugal
estate of decedents-spouses Urbano and Roberta.
CFI decision: dismissed the petition on ground of prescription.
ISSUE: WON there was prescription.
RULING:
We find the order of the trial court dismissing petitioners' complaint on the ground of prescription under
Section 40 of Public Act No. 190 to be inaccurate.
As We see it, this case is governed by the rules on co-ownership, since both parties are clearly co-owners
of the disputed properties, having inherited the same from a common ancestor.
Now then, Art. 494 (last paragraph) of the Civil Code provides:.
"xxx
xxx
xxx
"No 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 co-ownership."
In view of their lack of a clear repudiation of the co-ownership, duly communicated to the petitioners
(the other co-owners), private respondents cannot acquire the shares of the petitioners by prescription. The
record in the Office of the Assessor is not the sufficient repudiation and communication contemplated by the
law. Neither may the private respondents' possession of the premises militate against petitioners' claim. After
all, co-owners are entitled to be in possession of the premises.
The existence of the co-ownership here argues against the theory of implied trust, for then a co-owner
possesses co-owned property not in behalf of the other co-owners but in his own behalf.
HELD: Order is SET ASIDE, remanded to RTC for adjudication of the merits. /adsum

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Appearance in the pre-trial proceeding; mandatory
As regards the first issue, the law is clear that the appearance of parties at the pre-trial is mandatory. A
party who fails to appear at a pre-trial conference may be non-suited or considered as in default. In the case at
bar, where private respondent and counsel failed to appear at the scheduled pre-trial, the trial, court has authority
to declare respondent in default.

Page

Petition for review on certiorari.


Virgilio and Senen are brothers. Virgilio is the youngest of seven (7) children while Senen is the fifth. On
28 October 1969, the two brothers purchased a house and lot in Paraaque where their father could spend and
enjoy his remaining years in a peaceful neighborhood. Initially, the brothers agreed that Virgilio's share in the co ownership was two-thirds while that of Senen was one-third. By virtue of a written memorandum dated 23
February 1970, Virgilio and Senen agreed that henceforth their interests in the house and lot should be equal, with
Senen assuming the remaining mortgage obligation of the original owners with the Social Security System (SSS) in
exchange for his possession and enjoyment of the house together with their father.
Since Virgilio was then disqualified from obtaining a loan from SSS, the brothers agreed that the deed of
sale would be executed and the title registered in the meantime in the name of Senen. It was further agreed that
Senen would take care of their father and his needs since Virgilio and his family were staying in Cebu.
After their father died in 1974, petitioner (Virgilio) demanded from respondent (Senen) that the latter
vacate the house and that the property be sold and proceeds thereof divided among them. Senen refused.
On 12 January 1979, Virgilio filed an action to compel the sale of the house and lot so that the they could
divide the proceeds between them.
Petitioners prayers:
1. the proceeds of the sale, be divided on the basis of two-thirds (2/3) in his favor and one-third (1/3) to
respondent.
2. for monthly rentals for the use of the house by respondent after their father died.
Respondents counterclaims:
1. that he had no objection to the sale as long as the best selling price could be obtained
2. that if the sale would be effected, the proceeds thereof should be divided equally; and,
3. being a co-owner, he was entitled to the use and enjoyment of the property.
RTC decision: rendered judgment by default against defendant. It ruled:
1. Senen and Virgilio are co-owners of the house and lot, in equal shares on the basis of their written
agreement.
2. that plaintiff has been deprived of his participation in the property by defendant's continued enjoyment
of the house and lot, free of rent, despite demands for rentals and continued maneuvers of
defendants, to delay partition.
3. upheld the right of plaintiff as co-owner to demand partition.
CA decision: set aside the RTC decision.
PROCEDURAL ISSUE: WON RTC correctly declared respondent in default for his failure to appear at the pre-trial.
RULING:
As regards the first issue, the law is clear that the appearance of parties at the pre-trial is mandatory. A
party who fails to appear at a pre-trial conference may be non-suited or considered as in default. In the case at
bar, where private respondent and counsel failed to appear at the scheduled pre-trial, the trial, court has authority
to declare respondent in default.
Although respondent's counsel filed a motion to postpone pre-trial hearing, the grant or denial thereof is
within the sound discretion of the trial court, which should take into account two factors in the grant or denial of
motions for postponement, namely: (a) the reason for the postponement and (b) the merits of the case of movant.
In the instant case, the trial court found the reason stated in the motion of counsel for respondent to
cancel the pre-trial to be without merit. Counsel's explanation that he had to go to by boat as early as 25 March
1979 to fetch his wife and accompany her to a wedding in Dumaguete City on 27 April 1979 where she was one of
the principal sponsors, cannot be accepted. We find it insufficient to justify postponement of the pre-trial, and the
Court of Appeals did not act wisely in overruling the denial. We sustain the trial court and rule that it did not abuse
its discretion in denying the postponement for lack of merit. Certainly, to warrant a postponement of a
mandatory process as pre-trial would require much more than mere attendance in a social function. It is time
indeed we emphasize that there should be much more than mere perfunctory treatment of the pre-trial

23

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)

CASE DOCTRINES

Page

FRANCISCO MEDINA, et al., Petitioners, versus GREENFIELD DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondent., G.R.
No. 140228, 2004 Nov 19, 2nd Division

24

procedure. Its observance must be taken seriously if it is to attain its objective, i.e., the speedy and inexpensive
disposition of cases.
Moreover, the trial court denied the motion for postponement three (3) days before the scheduled pretrial. If indeed, counsel for respondent could not attend the pre-trial on the scheduled date, respondent at least
should have personally appeared in order not to be declared as in default. But, since nobody appeared for him, the
order of the trial court declaring him as in default and directing the presentation of petitioner's evidence ex parte
was proper.
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE 2: WON Virgilio and Senen are co-owners of the house in equal shares.
RULING:
With regard to the merits of the judgment of the trial court by default, which respondent appellate court
did not touch upon in resolving the appeal, the Court holds that on the basis of the pleadings of the pa rties and the
evidence presented ex parte, petitioner and respondents are co-owners of subject house and lot in equal shares;
either one of them may demand the sale of the house and lot at any time and the other cannot object to such
demand; thereafter the proceeds of the sale shall be divided equally according to their respective interests.
xxx
We uphold the trial court in ruling in favor of petitioner, except as to the effectivity of the payment of
monthly rentals by respondent as co-owner which we here declare to commence only after the trial court ordered
respondent to vacate in accordance with its order of 26 July 1979.
Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership,
and that each co-owner may demand at any time partition of the thing owned in common insofar as his share is
concerned. Corollary to this rule, Art. 498 of the Code states that whenever the thing is essentially, indivisible and
the co-owners cannot agree that it be, allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others, it shall be sold
and its proceeds accordingly distributed. This is resorted to (1) when the right to partition the property is invoked
by any of the co-owners but because of the nature of the property it cannot be subdivided or its subdivision would
prejudice the interests of the co-owners, and (2) the co-owners are not in agreement as to who among them shall
be allotted or assigned the entire property upon proper reimbursement of the co-owners. In one case, this Court
upheld the order of the trial court directing the holding of a public sale of the properties owned in common
pursuant to Art. 498 of the Civil Code.
However, being a co-owner respondent has the right to use the house and lot without paying any
compensation to petitioner, as he may use the property owned in common long as it is in accordance with the
purpose for which it is intended and in a manner not injurious to the interest of the other co-owners. Each coowner of property held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and enjoy the same
with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his co-owners, the reason being that until a
division is made, the respective share of each cannot be determined and every co-owner exercises, together with
his co-participants joint ownership over the pro indiviso property, in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same.
Since petitioner has decided to enforce his right in court to end the co-ownership of the house and lot and
respondent has not refuted the allegation that he has been preventing the sale of the property by his continued
occupancy of the premises, justice and equity demand that respondent and his family vacate the property so that
the sale can be effected immediately. In fairness to petitioner, respondent should pay a rental of P1,200.00 per
month, with legal interest; from the time the trial court ordered him to vacate, for the use and enjoyment of the
other half of the property appertaining to petitioner.
When petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the property and the trial court granted the
petition and ordered the ejectment of respondent, the co-ownership was deemed terminated and the right to
enjoy the possession jointly also ceased. Thereafter, the continued stay of respondent and his family in the house
prejudiced the interest of petitioner as the property should have been sold and the proceeds divided equally
between them. To this extent and from then on, respondent should be held liable for monthly rentals until he and
his family vacate.
HELD: Petition is GRANTED. /adsum

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Possession and ownership; distinction
Possession and ownership are two different legal concepts. Just as possession is not a definite proof of
ownership, neither is non-possession inconsistent with ownership.
Writ of Preliminary injunction; when issued; when proper
The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to prevent threatened or continuous irremediable injury to
some of the parties before their claims can be thoroughly studied and adjudicated. Its sole aim is to preserve the
status quo until the merits of the case can be heard fully. Thus, to be entitled to an injunctive writ, the petitioner
has the burden to establish the following requisites:
(1)
a right in esse or a clear and unmistakable right to be protected;
(2)
a violation of that right;
(3)
that there is an urgent and permanent act and urgent necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage.
xxx
Where the complainants right or title is doubtful or disputed, injunction is not proper.

Page

Petition for review on certiorari.


Pedro Medina had two marriages. In his first marriage to Isadora San Jose, Pedro sired three children:
Rafael, Rita and Remegia; in his second marriage, this time to Natalia Mullet, Pedro had five: Cornelio, Brigida,
Balbino, Crisanta and Rosila. Except for Balbino and Crisanta, all of Pedros children likewise bore children, the
petitioners in this case.
On June 5, 1962, Pedro, his brother Alberto Medina and his niece Nazaria Cruz (Albertos daughter)
executed a notarized Contract to Sell in favor of respondent Greenfield Development Corporation over a registered
parcel of land located in Muntinlupa City. A notarized Deed of Sale covering said property was subsequently
entered into on June 27, 1962, in favor of respondent, and this time signed by Pedro, Cornelio, Brigida, Balbino,
Gregoria, Crisanta, Rosila, and Alberto, all surnamed Medina, and Nazaria Cruz, as vendors.
Thereafter, a notarized Deed of Absolute Sale with Mortgage was executed on September 4, 1964 in favor
of respondent over another lot. Signing as vendors were Pedro, Cornelio, Brigida, Balbino, Gregoria, Crisanta,
Rosila, and Alberto, all surnamed Medina, and Nazaria Cruz.
By virtue of these sales, respondent was able to register in its name the title to the two parcels of land.
On July 13, 1998, petitioners caused an adverse claim to be annotated on the titles. After discovering the
annotation, respondent constructed a fence on the property and posted security personnel, barring their ingress
and egress.
On November 6, 1998, petitioners instituted an action for annulment of titles and deeds, reconveyance,
damages with preliminary injunction and restraining order, against respondent and the Register of Deeds of
Makati.
Petitioners allegations:
1. they are co-owners of these two parcels of land.
2. the deeds of sale on these properties were simulated and fictitious, and the signatures of the vendors
therein were fake.
3. Despite the transfer of the title to respondents name, they remained in possession thereof because their
caretaker is occupying the land.
Respondents defense:
1. that petitioners have no valid claim on the properties as it is already titled in its name by virtue of the
public documents executed by their predecessors.
2. alleged that Santos Arevalo is not petitioners caretaker and it was them who employed him as caretaker.
RTC decision: granting petitioners prayer for injunctive relief.
CA decision (Certiorari): nullified the RTC decision.
PROCEDURAL ISSUE: WON the trial court erred in granting petitioners prayer for injunctive relief
RULING:
Section 3, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court provides for the grounds justifying the issuance of a preliminary
injunction, to wit:
SEC. 3. Grounds for issuance of preliminary injunction. - A preliminary injunction may be granted when it is
established:

25

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)


(a)
That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists in
restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained of, or in requiring the performance of an
act or acts, either for a limited period or perpetually;
(b)
That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained of during the litigation
would probably work injustice to the applicant; or
(c)
That a party, court, agency or a person is doing, threatening or is attempting to do, or is procuring or
suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the subject of
the action or proceeding, and tending to render the judgment ineffectual.
The purpose of a preliminary injunction is to prevent threatened or continuous irremediable injury to
some of the parties before their claims can be thoroughly studied and adjudicated. Its sole aim is to preserve the
status quo until the merits of the case can be heard fully. Thus, to be entitled to an injunctive writ, the petitioner
has the burden to establish the following requisites:
(1)
a right in esse or a clear and unmistakable right to be protected;
(2)
a violation of that right;
(3)
that there is an urgent and permanent act and urgent necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage.
Hence, petitioners entitlement to the injunctive writ hinges on their prima facie legal right to the
properties subject of the present dispute. The Court notes that the present dispute is based solely on the parties
allegations in their respective pleadings and the documents attached thereto. We have on one hand, petitioners
bare assertion or claim that they are co-owners of the properties sold by their predecessors to respondent, and on
the other, respondents claim of ownership supported by deeds of conveyances and torrens titles in their favor.
From these alone, it is clear that petitioners failed to discharge the burden of clearly showing a clear and
unmistakable right to be protected. Where the complainants right or title is doubtful or disputed, injunction is
not proper. The possibility of irreparable damage without proof of actual existing right is not a ground for an
injunction.
xxx
SUBSTANTIVE ISSUE: WON ownership was not yet transferred to Greenfield because petitioners are in actual
possession of the property.
RULING:
Possession and ownership are two different legal concepts. Just as possession is not a definite proof of
ownership, neither is non-possession inconsistent with ownership. Even assuming that petitioners allegations
are true, it bears no legal consequence in the case at hand because the execution of the deeds of conveyances is
already deemed equivalent to delivery of the property to respondent, and prior physical delivery or possession
is not legally required. Under Article 1498 of the Civil Code, when the sale is made through a public instrument,
the execution thereof shall be equivalent to the delivery of the object of the contract, if from the deed the
contrary does not appear or cannot be inferred. Possession is also transferred, along with ownership thereof, to
respondent by virtue of the notarized deeds of conveyances.
HELD: petition is denied for lack of merit. /adsum

ERNESTO V. YU and ELSIE O. YU, Petitioners, versus BALTAZAR PACLEB, Respondent., G.R. No. 130316, 2007 Jan
24, 1st Division

Payment of tax; indicia of animus possidendi

Page

Possession; requirements
Two things are paramount in possession. First, there must be occupancy, apprehension or taking. Second,
there must be intent to possess (animus possidendi).

26

CASE DOCTRINES
Possession; defined
The Civil Code states that possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. In the
grammatical sense, to possess means to have, to actually and physically occupy a thing, with or without right.
Possession always includes the idea of occupation x x x. It is not necessary that the person in possession should
himself be the occupant. The occupancy can be held by another in his name. Without occupancy, there is no
possession.

Notes (Case Digests Property)


On the other hand, the tax declarations and receipts in the name of respondent in 1994 and 1995
established the possession of respondent. The payment of real estate tax is one of the most persuasive and
positive indications showing the will of a person to possess in concepto de dueo or with claim of ownership.
Possession need not be exercise over the entire area
[P]ossession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter
of the ground before he is deemed in possession.
Conflict of possession
As the registered owner, petitioner had a right to the possession of the property, which is one of the
attributes of ownership. The Civil Code states:
Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the
cases of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be
preferred; if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession; if the dates of the possession are the same,
the one who presents a title; and if all these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit
pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper proceedings.
xxxx
Where a dispute over possession arises between two persons, the person first having actual possession
is the one who is entitled to maintain the action granted by law; otherwise, a mere usurper without any right
whatever, might enter upon the property of another and, by allowing himself to be ordered off, could acquire
the right to maintain the action of forcible entry and detainer, however momentary his intrusion might have
been.

Page

Petition for review under Rule 45


Ruperto Javier purchased the lot from Rebecca del Rosario who, in turn, acquired it from respondent
Baltazar and his wife. The title of the property, however, remained in the names of respondent and his wife. The
instruments in support of the series of alleged sales were not registered.
In 1992, Javier allegedly offered to sell Lot No. 6853-D to petitioners (Ernesto and Elsie) for P75 per sq.m.
Petitioners accepted the offer and gave Javier P200,000 as downpayment for the lot. Javier then delivered his
supposed muniments of title to petitioners. After the execution of a contract to sell, he formally turned over the
property to petiti oners.
At the time of the turn-over, a portion of the lot was occupied by Ramon C. Pacleb, respondents son, and his
wife as tenants. On September 12, 1992, Ramon and his wife allegedly surrendered possession of their portion to
petitioners. Later on, petitioners appointed Ramon as their trustee over the subject lot. Aside from taking
possession of the property, petitioners also caused the annotation on of a final decision rendered in their favor.
However, there possession was disturbed when respondent arrived from the USA and entered into the property,
claiming ownership.
Petitioners filed an action for forcible entry in the MTC of Dasmarias, Cavite.
Petitioners allegations:
1. that they exercised ownership rights as well as enjoyed open, public and peaceful possession over the
property from September 12, 1992 until the early part of September 1995.
2. Upon respondents return to the Philippines in May 1995, he allegedly entered the property by means of
force, threat, intimidation, strategy and stealth thereby ousting petitioners and their trustee, Ramon.
3. Despite repeated demands, respondent, asserting his rights as registered owner of the property, refused
to vacate the premises and surrender its possession to petitioners.
MTC decision: in favor of petitioners (Ernesto and Elsie).
RTC: affirmed in toto the MTC.
CA: decision of the MTC and RTC were set aside. Forcible entry case was dismissed.
ISSUE: WON respondent had a prior physical possession of the subject property.
RULING:
The Civil Code states that possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. In the
grammatical sense, to possess means to have, to actually and physically occupy a thing, with or without right.
Possession always includes the idea of occupation x x x. It is not necessary that the person in possession should

27

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Page

JAMES ESTRELLER, EDUARDO CULIANAN, GREG CARROS, RAQUEL YEE, JOSELITO PENILLA, LORNA DOTE,
CRESENCIANA CLEOPAS, TRINIDAD TEVES, SONIA PENILLA, ANITA GOMINTONG, CHING DIONESIO, MARIBEL
MANALO, DESIRES HUERTO, and RAYMUNDO CORTES, Petitioners, vs.LUIS MIGUEL YSMAEL and CRISTETA L.
SANTOS-ALVAREZ, Respondents. G.R. No. 170264 March 13, 2009
CASE DOCTRINES

28

himself be the occupant. The occupancy can be held by another in his name. Without occupancy, there is no
possession.
Two things are paramount in possession. First, there must be occupancy, apprehension or taking. Second,
there must be intent to possess (animus possidendi).
Here, petitioners failed to establish that they had prior physical possession to justify a ruling in their favor
in the complaint for forcible entry against respondent.
In the decision in Civil Case No. 741-93 (a case for specific performance and damages against Javier, the
alleged vendor of the lot in question) upon which petitioners based their right to possess in the first place, the trial
court categorically stated:
The [petitioners were never placed] in possession of the subject property on which [was] planned to be [site
of] a piggery, nor [were they] given a clearance or certification from the Municipal Agrarian Reform Officer.
The claim that the lot was turned over to petitioners in 1992 was self-serving in the face of this factual
finding. On the other hand, the tax declarations and receipts in the name of respondent in 1994 and 1995
established the possession of respondent. The payment of real estate tax is one of the most persuasive and
positive indications showing the will of a person to possess in concepto de dueo or with claim of ownership.
[P]ossession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter
of the ground before he is deemed in possession. In this case, Ramon, as respondents son, was named caretaker
when respondent left for the United States in 1983. Due to the eventual loss of trust and confidence in Ramon,
however, respondent transferred the administration of the land to his other son, Oscar, in January 1995 until his
return in May 1995. In other words, the subject land was in the possession of the respondents sons during the
contested period.
Petitioners cite an alleged document (Kusangloob na Pagsasauli ng Lupang Sakahan at Pagpapahayag ng
Pagtalikod sa Karapatan) dated March 10, 1995 executed by them and Ramon to prove a turn over of possession.
They also seek to prove their exercise of rights over the land through alleged frequent visits and the designation of
Ramon as their own trustee as declared in a joint affidavit attached to their position paper filed with the MTC.
These instruments, however, fail to convince us of petitioners actual occupancy of the subject land. First,
petitioners themselves acknowledged that Ramon and his wife occupied part of the land as tenants of respondent.
Second, Ramon, a mere tenant, had no authority to sign such document dated March 10, 1995 waiving all rights to
the land. Third, there was no clear proof in the records of the appointment of Ramon as petitioners trustee save
their self-serving statements to this effect. Finally, at the time the Kusangloob na Pagsasauli document was
executed, the caretaker of the land was no longer Ramon but Oscar.
Most important, the title of the land in question (TCT No. T-118375) remained in the name of respondent.
As the registered owner, petitioner had a right to the possession of the property, which is one of the attributes
of ownership. The Civil Code states:
Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the
cases of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be
preferred; if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession; if the dates of the possession are the same,
the one who presents a title; and if all these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judi cial deposit
pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper proceedings.
In view of the evidence establishing respondents continuing possession of the subject property,
petitioners allegation that respondent deprived them of actual possession by means of force, intimidation and
threat was clearly untenable. In Gaza v. Lim, we held that:
Where a dispute over possession arises between two persons, the person first having actual possession
is the one who is entitled to maintain the action granted by law; otherwise, a mere usurper without any right
whatever, might enter upon the property of another and, by allowing himself to be ordered off, could acquire
the right to maintain the action of forcible entry and detainer, however momentary his intrusion might have
been.
HELD: Petition DENIED. /adsum

Page

Section 2 of Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 2016, reinforced by P.D. No. 1517, which prohibits the eviction of
qualified tenants/occupants, extends only to landless urban families who are rightful occupants of the land and its
structures, and does not include those whose presence on the land is merely tolerated and without the benefit o f
contract, those who enter the land by force or deceit, or those whose possession is under litigation.
Petitioners claim that they are lawful lessees of the property. However, they failed to prove any lease
relationship or, at the very least, show with whom they entered the lease contract. Respondents, on the other
hand, were able to prove their right to enjoy possession of the property. Thus, petitioners, whose occupation of
the subject property by mere tolerance has been terminated by respondents, clearly do not qualify as "tenants"
covered by these social legislations.
FACTS:
Petition for Review under Rule 45.
Ysmael and Santos-Alvarez (respondents) filed with the RTC of Quezon City, a case for Recovery of
Possession against Estreller et al.(petitioners), claiming ownership of the property subject of dispute, by virtue of a
TCT issued by the Register of Deeds.
Ysmaels allegations:
1. on various dates in 1973, Estreller et al. entered the property through stealth and strategy and had since
occupied the same; and
2. despite demands refused to vacate the premises.
Estreller et al.s counterclaims:
1. Ysmael had no personality to file the suit since he only owned a small portion of the property, while
Santos-Alvarez did not appear to be a registered owner thereof.
2. that their occupation of the property was lawful, having leased the same from the Magdalena Estate, and
later on from Alvarez.
3. the property has already been proclaimed by the Quezon City Government as an Area for Priority
Development under P. D. Nos. 1517 and 2016, which prohibits the eviction of lawful tenants and
demolition of their homes.
RTC decision: in favor of Ysmael and Santos-Alvarez.
CA decision: affirmed in toto the RTC.
ISSUE: WON petitioners are rightful occupants of the property.
RULING:
Finally, petitioners' claim that they are entitled to the protection against eviction and demolition afforded
by P.D. Nos. 2016, 1517, and Republic Act (R.A.) No. 7279, is not plausible.
Section 6 of P.D. No. 1517 grants preferential rights to landless tenants/occupants to acquire land
within urban land reform areas, while Section 2 of P.D. No. 2016 prohibits the eviction of qualified tenants/
occupants.
In Dimaculangan v. Casalla, the Court was emphatic in ruling that the protective mantle of P.D. No. 1517
and P.D. No. 2016 extends only to landless urban families who meet these qualifications: a) they are tenants as
defined under Section 3(f) of P.D. No. 1517; b) they built a home on the land they are leasing or occupying; c) the
land they are leasing or occupying is within an Area for Priority Development and Urban Land Reform Zone; and
d) they have resided on the land continuously for the last 10 years or more.
Section 3(f) of P.D. No. No. 1517 defines the term "tenant" covered by the said decree as the "rightful
occupant of land and its structures, but does not include those whose presence on the land is merely tolerated
and without the benefit of contract, those who enter the land by force or deceit, or those whose possession is
under litigation." It has already been ruled that occupants of the land whose presence therein is devoid of any
legal authority, or those whose contracts of lease were already terminated or had already expired, or whose
possession is under litigation, are not considered "tenants" under the Section 3(f).
Petitioners claim that they are lawful lessees of the property. However, they failed to prove any lease
relationship or, at the very least, show with whom they entered the lease contract. Respondents, on the other
hand, were able to prove their right to enjoy possession of the property. Thus, petitioners, whose occupation of
the subject property by mere tolerance has been terminated by respondents, clearly do not qualify as "tenants"
covered by these social legislations.
HELD: petition is DENIED for lack of merit./ adsum

29

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Notes (Case Digests Property)


BOGO-MEDELLIN MILLING CO., INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND HEIRS OF MAGDALENO VALDEZ SR.,
respondents., G.R. No. 124699, 2003 Jul 31, 3rd Division
CASE DOCTRINES
Possession required for acquisitive prescription to run
There is no dispute that the controversial strip of land has been in the continuous possession of petitioner
since 1929. But possession, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be possession under a claim
of title, that is, it must be adverse. Unless coupled with the element of hostility towards the true owner,
possession The, however long, will not confer title by prescription.
Grant of easement does not grant ownership
It gives the holder of the easement an incorporeal interest on the land but grants no title thereto.
Therefore, an acknowledgment of the easement is an admission that the property belongs to another.
Having held the property by virtue of an easement, petitioner cannot now assert that its occupancy
since 1929 was in the concept of an owner. Neither can it declare that the 30-year period of extraordinary
acquisitive prescription started from that year.
Material possession insufficient to grant title
Mere material possession of land is not adverse possession as against the owner and is insufficient to
vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent to possess as an owner.There should be a hostile
use of such a nature and exercised under such circumstances as to manifest and give notice that the possession is
under a claim of right.

Page

Appeal by certiorari under Rule 45.


Magdaleno Valdez, Sr., father of respondents Sergio Valdez, Angelina Valdez-Novabos, Teresita
Argawanon-Mangubat and Daylinda Argawanon-Melendres (the heirs), purchased from Feliciana Santillan, on
December 9, 1935, a parcel of unregistered land covered by Tax Declaration located in Barrio Dayhagon, Medellin,
Cebu. He took possession of the property and declared it for tax purposes in his name.
Prior to the sale, however, the entire length of the land from north to south was already traversed in the
middle by railroad tracks owned by petitioner Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. (hereafter Bomedco). The tracks
were used for hauling sugar cane from the fields to petitioners sugar mill.
When Magdaleno Valdez, Sr. passed away in 1948, herein private respondents inherited the land.
However, unknown to them, Bomedco was able to have the disputed middle lot which was occupied by the
railroad tracks placed in its name. The entire subject land was divided into three, namely, Cadastral Lot Nos. 953,
954 and 955. Lot Nos. 953 and 955 remained in the name of private respondents. However, Lot No. 954, the
narrow lot where the railroad tracks lay, was claimed by Bomedco as its own and was declared for tax purposes in
its name. Upon discovery respondents wrote a letter to Bomedco demanding for payment of compensation for the
use of the landbut the same was not heeded.
On June 8, 1989, the heirs filed a Complaint for Payment of Compensation and/or Recovery of Possession
of Real Property and Damages with Application for Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction.
The heirs allegations:
1. that, before she sold the land to Valdez, Sr. in 1935, Santillan granted Bomedco, in 1929, a railroad
right of way for a period of 30 years.
2. When Valdez, Sr. acquired the land, he respected the grant.
3. The right of way expired sometime in 1959 but respondent heirs allowed Bomedco to continue using
the land because one of them was then an employee of the company.
Bomedcos defense/s:
1. that it was the owner and possessor of Cadastral Lot No. 954, having bought the same from Feliciana
Santillan in 1929, prior to the sale of the property by the latter to Magdaleno Valdez, Sr. in 1935.
2. that plaintiffs claim was already barred by prescription and laches because of Bomedcos open and
continuous possession of the property for more than 50 years.
RTC decision: rejected Bodemcos claim of ownership based on a prior sale but upheld ownership over the
parcel of land based on acquisitive prescription.

30

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Page

SPS. JUANITO R. VILLAMIL and LYDIA M. VILLAMIL, represented herein by their Attorney-in-Fact/Son WINFRED
M. VILLAMIL, Petitioners, vs. LAZARO CRUZ VILLAROSA, Respondent. G.R. No. 177187 April 7, 2009
CASE DOCTRINES

31

CA decision: reversed the RTC. It held that Bomedco only acquired an easement of right of way by unopposed
and continuous use of the land, but not ownership, under Article 620 of the Civil Code.
ISSUE: WON Bodemco has acquired ownership of the land by virtue of acquisitive prescription.
RULING:
Under Art. 1137 of the Civil Code
Petitioners claim of ownership through extraordinary acquisitive prescription under Article 1137 of the
Civil Code cannot be sustained.
There is no dispute that the controversial strip of land has been in the continuous possession of petitioner
since 1929. But possession, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be possession under a claim
of title, that is, it must be adverse. Unless coupled with the element of hostility towards the true owner,
possession, however long, will not confer title by prescription.
xxx
While it is true that, together with a persons actual and adverse possession of the land, tax
declarations constitute strong evidence of ownership of the land occupied by him, this legal precept does not
apply in cases where the property is declared to be a mere easement of right of way.
An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted on the corporeal immovable property of another,
by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from doing, or must allow someone to do, something on his
property, for the benefit of another thing or person. It exists only when the servient and dominant estates belong
to two different owners. It gives the holder of the easement an incorporeal interest on the land but grants no
title thereto. Therefore, an acknowledgment of the easement is an admission that the property belongs to
another.
Having held the property by virtue of an easement, petitioner cannot now assert that its occupancy
since 1929 was in the concept of an owner. Neither can it declare that the 30-year period of extraordinary
acquisitive prescription started from that year.
Petitioner, however, maintains that even if a servitude was merely imposed on the property in its favor,
its possession immediately became adverse to the owner in the late 1950s when the grant was alleged by
respondent heirs to have expired.
xxx
We do not think so. The mere expiration of the period of easement in 1959 did not convert petitioners
possession into an adverse one. Mere material possession of land is not adverse possession as against the owner
and is insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent to possess as an
owner.There should be a hostile use of such a nature and exercised under such circumstances as to manifest and
give notice that the possession is under a claim of right.
In the absence of an express grant by the owner, or conduct by petitioner sugar mill from which an
adverse claim can be implied, its possession of the lot can only be presumed to have continued in the same
character as when it was acquired (that is, it possessed the land only by virtue of the original grant of the
easement of right of way), or was by mere license or tolerance of the owners (respondent heirs). It is a
fundamental principle of law in this jurisdiction that acts of possessory character executed by virtue of license or
tolerance of the owner, no matter how long, do not start the running of the period of prescription.
After the grant of easement expired in 1959, petitioner never performed any act incompatible with the
ownership of respondent heirs over Cadastral Lot No. 954. On the contrary, until 1963, petitioner continued to
declare the sugar central railroad right of way in its realty tax receipts, thereby doubtlessly conceding the
ownership of respondent heirs. Respondents themselves were emphatic that they simply tolerated petitioners
continued use of Cadastral Lot No. 954 so as not to jeopardize the employment of one of their co-heirs in the sugar
mill of petitioner.
The only time petitioner assumed a legal position adverse to respondents was when it filed a claim
over the property in 1965 during the cadastral survey of Medellin. Since then (1965) and until the filing of the
complaint for the recovery of the subject land before the RTC of Cebu in 1989, only 24 years had lapsed. Since the
required 30-year extraordinary prescriptive period had not yet been complied with in 1989, petitioner never
acquired ownership of the subject land.
HELD: the petition is DENIED. /adsum

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Purchaser in good faith; defined
An innocent purchaser for value is one who buys the property of another without notice that some
other person has a right to or interest in that same property, and who pays a full and fair price at the time of the
purchase or before receiving any notice of another persons claim.
Good faith; what constitutes; presumed
The honesty of intention that constitutes good faith implies freedom from knowledge of circumstances
that ought to put a prudent person on inquiry. Good faith consists in the belief of the possessors that the persons
from whom they received the thing are its rightful owners who could convey their title . Good faith, while always
presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary, requires this well-founded belief.
Mirror doctrine; exception
Well-settled is the rule that every person dealing with a registered land may safely rely on the
correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond the
certificate to determine the condition of the property.
This principle does not apply when the party has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that
would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect
or the lack of title in his vendor or of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into the
status of the title of the property in litigation.
Forged document may be a root of a valid title
A forged or fraudulent document may become the root of a valid title if the property has already been
transferred from the name of the owner to that of the forger. This doctrine serves to emphasize that a person who
deals with registered property in good faith will acquire good title from a forger and be absolutely protected by a
Torrens title.

Page

Petition for review.


Sps Juanito and Lydia Villamil (petitioners) represented by their son and attorney-in-fact, Winfred Villamil,
filed a complaint for annulment of title, recovery of possession, reconveyance, damages, and injunction against the
Spouses Mateo and Purificacion Tolentino, Lazaro Villarosa (Villarosa) and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City
before the RTC of Quezon City.
Juanito Villamil asked his parents if he could construct a residential house on the subject lot. When they
visited the lot, they found that a residential house was being constructed by a certain Villarosa. In the ROD. They
also discovered that the TCT in their name was already cancelled and transferred to Paterno while Paterno on the
other hand has conveyed it to Sps Tolention. Sps Tolentino likewise executed a deed of absolute sale in favor of
Villarosa.
Sps Villamils assertions:
1. the Deed of Sale in favor of Paterno is a falsified document because they did not participate in its
execution and notarization.
2. the Deed of Assignment in favor of the Spouses Tolentino as having been falsified because the alleged
assignor is a fictitious person.
3. averred that the Deed of Sale between Spouses Tolentino and Villarosa is void considering that the former
did not have any right to sell the subject property.
Sps Tolentinos answer:
1. that Paterno had offered the property for sale and presented to him TCT No. 351553 registered in his
(Paternos) name. To pay for the lot they acquired a loan and made the title as security. The Spouses
Tolentino thereafter decided to sell the property to Villarosa to pay their obligation to Express Credit
Financing.
Villarosas claim:
1. that he is a purchaser in good faith and for value, having paid P276,000.00 as consideration for the
purchase of the land and the payment having been received and acknowledged by Mateo Tolentino.
RTC decision: declared all the TCTs of Paterno, Spouses Tolentino and Villarosa null and void and ordered
the cancellation of the latters title and the issuance of a new one in the name of the Spouses Villamil.
CA decision: reversed the RTC. It declared void the title of the Spouses Tolentino and Paterno but upheld
the validity of the title of Villarosa.
Petitioners contention/s:

32

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)

Page

IGNACIO WONG, petitioner, vs.HON. LUCAS D. CARPIO, as Presiding Judge, Court of First Instance of Davao del
Sur, Branch V and MANUEL MERCADO, respondents. G.R. No. L-50264 October 21, 1991
CASE DOCTRINES
Constructive delivery; general rule; exceptions
General Rule: the execution of a sale thru a public instrument shall be equivalent to t he delivery of the thing.
Exception/s: 1. unless there is stipulation to the contrary or
2. If, notwithstanding the execution of the instrument, the purchaser cannot have the enjoyment and
material tenancy of the thing and make use of it herself, because such tenancy and enjoyment are opposed by
another, then delivery has not been effected.
Possession; when acquired

33

1. Villarosa is not a purchaser in good faith considering that he has knowledge of the circumstances that
should have forewarned him to make further inquiry beyond the face of the title.
Respondnets contention/s:
1. that he is a purchaser in good faith because before buying the property, he went to the Register of Deeds
of Quezon City to verify the authenticity of Spouses Tolentinos title, as well as to the Express Credit
Financing Corporation to check whether Spouses Tolentino had indeed mortgaged the subject property.
Having been assured of the authenticity and genuineness of its title, he proceeded to purchase the
property.
ISSUE: WON Villarosa is a purchaser for value in good faith.
RULING:
The burden of proving the status of a purchaser in good faith lies upon one who asserts that status.
An innocent purchaser for value is one who buys the property of another without notice that some
other person has a right to or interest in that same property, and who pays a full and fair price at the time of the
purchase or before receiving any notice of another persons claim.
The honesty of intention that constitutes good faith implies freedom from knowledge of circumstances
that ought to put a prudent person on inquiry. Good faith consists in the belief of the possessors that the persons
from whom they received the thing are its rightful owners who could convey their title . Good faith, while always
presumed in the absence of proof to the contrary, requires this well-founded belief.
xxx
Well-settled is the rule that every person dealing with a registered land may safely rely on the
correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go beyond the
certificate to determine the condition of the property. Where there is nothing in the certificate of title to indicate
any cloud or vice in the ownership of the property, or any encumbrance thereon, the purchaser is not required to
explore further than what the Torrens Title upon its face indicates in quest for any hidden defects or inchoate right
that may subsequently defeat his right thereto.
This principle does not apply when the party has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that
would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry or when the purchaser has knowledge of a defect
or the lack of title in his vendor or of sufficient facts to induce a reasonably prudent man to inquire into the
status of the title of the property in litigation. One who falls within the exception can neither be denominated an
innocent purchaser for value nor a purchaser in good faith.
xxx
A forged or fraudulent document may become the root of a valid title if the property has already been
transferred from the name of the owner to that of the forger. This doctrine serves to emphasize that a person who
deals with registered property in good faith will acquire good title from a forger and be absolutely protected by a
Torrens title.
Having made the necessary inquiries and having found the title to be authentic, Villarosa need not go
beyond the certificate of title. When dealing with land that is registered and titled, as in this case, buyers are not
required by the law to inquire further than what the Torrens certificate of title indicates on its face. He examined
the transferors title, which was then under the name of Spouses Tolentino. He did not have to scrutinize each and
every title and previous owners of the property preceding Tolentino.
In sum, Villarosa was able to establish good faith when he bought the subject property. Therefore, TCT
No. 354675 issued in his name is declared valid.
HELD: Petition denied. /adsum

Notes (Case Digests Property)


It should be stressed that "possession is acquired by the material occupation of a thing or the exercise of
a right, or by the fact that it is subject to the action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities for
acquiring such right.
Conflict of possession; rule
Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the
cases of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession:
1. the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessions,
2. the one longer in possession,
3. if the dates of possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and
4. if these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its
possession or ownership through proper proceedings (Art. 538, Civil Code).

Page

Petition for review on certiorari.


Manuel Mercado acquired his rights to possess the land in litigation from William Giger by virtue of a
deed of sale with right to repurchase executed in 1972 for a consideration of P3,500.00. Then, in 1973, William
Giger again asked an additional amount of P2,500.00 from plaintiff and so he required William Giger to sign a new
deed of Pacto de Retro at Davao City before Notary Public Gregorio C. Batiller.
In 1972, Mercado began harvesting only the coconut fruits and he paid the taxes on the land for Mr.
Giger. He went periodically to the land to make copra but he never placed any person on the land in litigation to
watch it, he did not reside in it nor possess any portion of it. He knew that Wongs laborers occupied the land but
he did not do anything to stop them. Instead he was happy that there were people and a hut on the land in suit.
Before July, 1976, Ignacio Wong went to the land in litigation to find out if there were other people
residing there or claiming it besides the owner and he found none. In 1976, Ignacio Wong bought the parcel of
land from William Giger and his wife Cecilia Valenzuela. After the execution of the Deed of Sale, Ignacio Wong the
TCT in the name of William Giger was delivered to him. Mr. Wong declared the land in suit for taxation purposes in
his name. He tried to register the pacto de retro sale with the Register of Deeds by paying the registration fee but
due to some technicalities, the pacto de retro sale could not be registered. The defendant Wong placed laborers on
the land in suit, built a small farm house after making some clearings and fenced the boundaries. He also placed
signboards.
Mercado subsequently filed a complaint for forcible entry.
MTC decision: dismissed the complaint. It found that herein petitioner (defendant Ignacio Wong) had
prior, actual and continuous physical possession of the disputed property and dismissed both the complaint and
the counter-claim.
CFI decision: reversed the MTC.
CA decision: found that the issue was purely question of law and left for the SC to decide.
Petitioners contentions:
1. that the private respondent has not established prior possession, argues that private respondent's
periodic visit to the lot to gather coconuts may have been consented to and allowed or tolerated by the
owner thereof for the purposes of paying an obligation that may be due to the person gathering said nuts
and
2. that a person who enters a property to gather coconut fruits and convert the same to copras may only be
a hired laborer who enters the premises every harvest season to comply with the contract of labor with
the true owner of the property.
ISSUE: WON Mercado had prior possession by virtue of a public document.
RULING:
It should be stressed that "possession is acquired by the material occupation of a thing or the exercise of
a right, or by the fact that it is subject to the action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities for
acquiring such right." (Art. 531, Civil Code; Rizal Cement Co., Inc. vs. Villareal, 135 SCRA 15 [1985]); and that the
execution of a sale thru a public instrument shall be equivalent to the delivery of the thing, unless there is
stipulation to the contrary. If, however, notwithstanding the execution of the instrument, the purchaser cannot
have the enjoyment and material tenancy of the thing and make use of it herself, because such tenancy and
enjoyment are opposed by another, then delivery has not been effected. (Paras, Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol.
II, 1989 Ed., p. 400).

34

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Applying the above pronouncements on the instant case, it is clear that possession passed from vendor
William Giger to private respondent Manuel Mercado by virtue of the first sale a retro, and accordingly, the later
sale a retro in favor of petitioner failed to pass the possession of the property because there is an impediment
the possession exercised by private respondent. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in
two different personalities except in the cases of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of
possession, the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessions, the one longer in possession,
if the dates of possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and if these conditions are equal, the thing
shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper
proceedings (Art. 538, Civil Code).
ISSUE 2: WON the case for forcible entry was proper.
As to petitioner's query that "Is the entry of petitioner to the property characterized by force,
intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth in order to show that private respondent has had possession so that the
case is within the jurisdiction of the inferior court?". The same is answered in the affirmative.
The act of entering the property and excluding the lawful possessor therefrom necessarily implies the
exertion of force over the property, and this is all that is necessary. Under the rule, entering upon the premises by
strategy or stealth is equally as obnoxious as entering by force. The foundation of the action is really the forcible
exclusion of the original possessor by a person who has entered without right. The words "by force,
intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth" include every situation or condition under which one person can
wrongfully enter upon real property and exclude another who has had prior possession therefrom. If a
trespasser enters upon land in open daylight, under the very eyes of person already clothed with lawful
possession, but without the consent of the latter, and there plants himself and excludes such prior possessor from
the property, the action of forcible entry and detainer can unquestionably be maintained, even though no force is
used by the trespasser other than such as is necessarily implied from the mere acts of planting himself on the
ground and excluding the other party. (Tolentino, Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. II, 1983 Ed., pp. 243 -244; Drilon
vs. Gaurana, 149 SCRA 342 [1987]).
HELD: affirmed the decision of the CFI. /adsum

Page

Possession in the concept of an owner; start prescription to run


Possession, under the Civil Code, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be
possession under claim of title (en concepto de dueo) or to use the common law equivalent of the term , it
must be adverse. Acts of a possessory character performed by one who holds by mere tolerance of the owner
are clearly not en concepto de dueo and such possessory acts, no matter how long so continued, do not start
the running of the period of prescription.
FACTS:
Petition to review by certiorari under Rule 45.
Nazario Crisostomo and Maria Escusar owned a parcel of registered land situated in Cainta, Rizal. Upon
the death of both, the property passed on to their daughter Bibiana Crisostomo Vda. de Eladio Leyva. Ultimately,
the property was inherited by the children of Bibiana (LEYVAs).
Prior to the issuance of OCT, in the name of Nazario Crisostomo, MERALCO erected thereon two
transmission steel towers. In 1931, when the OCT was issued, no encumbrance was annotated thereon.
On August 4, 1973, the LEYVAs sued MERALCO for damages and sum of money with prayer for attorney's
fees and exemplary damages for its continued use of the LEYVAs' property.
LEVYAs claim/s:
1. the property became off limits because of the high voltage of electric current running in the cable lines.

35

MANILA ELECTRIC COMPANY, petitioner, vs.THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT AND ELPIDIA,
FELICIDAD, ISABEL, JOSE, EUGENIA, AQUILINA, CONSUELO AND NATIVIDAD, all surnamed LEYVA, and EDUARDA
Vda. de LEYVA, respondents. G.R. No. 71393 June 28, 1989
CASE DOCTRINES
Acts of tolerance; cannot start prescription to run
The provision of Article 1942 of the Civil Code to the effect that acts which are merely tolerated
produce no effect with respect to possession is applicable as much to the prescription of real rights as to the
prescription of the fee, it being a glaring and self-evident error to affirm the contrary, as does the appellant in
his motion papers. Possession is the fundamental basis of the prescription. Without it no kind of prescription is
possible, not even the extraordinary.

Notes (Case Digests Property)


MERALCOs answer:
1. it had acquired a grant from the original owner of the land, Nazario Crisostomo, for a perpetual easement
of right of way for the erection and operation of the transmission steel towers for which it had paid
Crisostomo the total sum of $12.40.
2. even without the grant of perpetual easement, the LEYVAs' complaint is deemed barred by prescription
and laches, because of MERALCO's open, continuous and uninterrupted enjoyment of the easement for a
period of 43 years.
RTC decision: in favor of the LEYVAs.
CA decision: affirmed RTC decision in toto.
ISSUE: WON MERALCO had acquired a right of ownership over the property.
RULING:
It is a fundamental principle of the law in this jurisdiction concerning the possession of real property that
such possession is not affected by acts of a possessory character which are 'merely tolerated' by the possessor, or
which are due to his license (Civil Code, Arts. 444 and 1942). This principle is applicable not only with respect to the
prescription of the dominium as a whole, but to the prescription of right in rem. In the case of Cortes vs. Palanca
Yu-Tibo (2 Phil. Rep., 24, 38) the Court said:
The provision of Article 1942 of the Civil Code to the effect that acts which are merely tolerated
produce no effect with respect to possession is applicable as much to the prescription of real rights as to the
prescription of the fee, it being a glaring and self-evident error to affirm the contrary, as does the appellant in
his motion papers. Possession is the fundamental basis of the prescription. Without it no kind of prescription is
possible, not even the extraordinary. Consequently, if acts of mere tolerance produce no effect with respect to
possession, as that article provides, in conformity with Article 444 of the same Code, it is evident that they can
produce no effect with respect to prescription, whether ordinary or extraordinary. This is true whether the
prescriptive acquisition be of a fee or of real rights, for the same reason holds in one and the other case; that is,
that there has been no true possession in the legal sense of the word. (See also Ayala de Roxas vs. Maglonso, 8
Phil. Rep., 745; Municipality of Nueva Caceres vs. Director of Lands and Roman Catholic Bishop of Nueva Caceres,
24 Phil. Rep., 485).
Possession, under the Civil Code, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be
possession under claim of title (en concepto de dueo) or to use the common law equivalent of the term, it
must be adverse. Acts of a possessory character performed by one who holds by mere tolerance of the owner
are clearly not en concepto de dueo and such possessory acts, no matter how long so continued, do not start
the running of the period of prescription.
HELD: petition is hereby DENIED. /adsum
SPS. RICARDO AND LYDIA LLOBRERA, et al., Petitioners, vs. JOSEFINA V. FERNANDEZ, Respondent. G.R. No.
142882 May 2, 2006
CASE DOCTRINES
Absence of proof of any contractual basis for possession; presumption
From the absence of proof of any contractual basis for petitioners possession of the subject premises,
the only legal implication is that their possession thereof is by mere tolerance.
Possession by mere tolerance; implied promise of the occupant; remedy
A person who occupies the land of another at the latters tolerance or permission, without any contract
between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which, a
summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him.

Page

Petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45.


The subject of the controversy is a 1,849 square-meter registered parcel of land. Josefina V. Fernandez,
one of the registered co-owners of the land, served a written demand letter upon the Spouses Llobrera, et al., to
vacate the premises within fifteen (15) days from notice. However, they refused to vacate.
Fernandez then filed a verified Complaint for ejectment and damages against Sps. Llobera, et al. before
the MTCC of Dagupan City.
MTCC decision: in favor of Fernandez.
RTC decision: affirmed the MTCC.
CA decision: affirmed the RTC.

36

FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)


ISSUE: WON Sps Llobera, et al.s occupation and possession of the property is by mere tolerance of Fernandez.
RULING:
From the absence of proof of any contractual basis for petitioners possession of the subject premises,
the only legal implication is that their possession thereof is by mere tolerance. In Roxas vs. Court of Appeals, we
ruled:
A person who occupies the land of another at the latters tolerance or permission, without any contract
between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which, a
summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him.
The judgment favoring the ejectment of petitioners being consistent with law and jurisprudence can only
be affirmed. The alleged consignation of the P20.00 monthly rental to a bank account in respondents name
cannot save the day for the petitioners simply because of the absence of any contractual basis for their claim to
rightful possession of the subject property. Consignation based on Article 1256 of the Civil Code indispensably
requires a creditor-debtor relationship between the parties, in the absence of which, the legal effects thereof
cannot be availed of.
HELD: petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. /adsum
GABRIEL ELANE, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and INOCENCIO V. CHUA, respondents. G.R. No. 80638 April
26, 1989
CASE DOCTRINES
Possession as a fact; rule; exception
General Rule: Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities
Exception: in the case of co-possession
Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession;
1. the present possessor shall be preferred;
2. if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession;
3. if the dates of the possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and
4. if all these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of
its possession or ownership through proper proceedings.

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Petition for Review on Certiorari.


Inocencio V. Chua filed an action for forcible entry in the MTCC of Olongapo City for the eviction of
Gabriel Elane from a portion of a parcel of land which was the subject of a permit to occupy issued to Chua by the
Bureau of Forestry on August 16, 1961.
Chuas allegations:
1. that on February 15, 1980, while visiting the property, he discovered that Elane was constructing a semiconcrete building on a portion thereof, without his knowledge and consent.
2. The order made by Chua upon Elane to desist therefrom was ignored by the latter.
Elanes answer/s:
1. that he was granted a permit by the Bureau of Forest Development over a parcel of land located at Upper
Kalaklan,Olongapo City.
2. that he has been in possession and occupation of that parcel of land continuously and uninterruptedly
since 1970, having originally erected a hut thereon which was later replaced by a bungalow
3. that the land has been declared for taxation in his name and the real property taxes thereon paid by him
for the years 1970 to 1979.
MTCC decision: dismissed the complaint.
RTC decision: affirmed the MTCC.
CA decision: reversed the RTC and MTCC.
ISSUE: WON Chua has a better right over the property.
RULING:
In sum, private respondent was in earlier possession of the contested lot; his sales application preceded
that of petitioner; his warehouse and gasoline station already existed long before petitioner took possession of
the parcel of land in question; and he has been paying taxes and rental fees thereon since 1968. As provided by
the Civil Code -

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FACTS:

Notes (Case Digests Property)


Art. 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the
case of co-possession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be
preferred; if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession; ...
Having been in prior continuous possession, private respondent is preferentially entitled to occupy the
land.
HELD: judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. /adsum

Republic vs. Alonte


CASE DOCTRINES
Possession can be exercised in ones name or that of another
The fact that Editha Alonte, respondent's attorney-in-fact, testified that it is she and her family who are residing on the
subject lot does not negate the statement in the petition for reconstitution that it is respondent who is in possession of the lot.
After all, Article 524 of the New Civil Code provides that possession may be exercised in one's own name or in that of another.
Obviously, Editha Alonte was exercising possession over the land in the name of respondent Lourdes Alonte.

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Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45.


In 2001 Lourdes F. Alonte filed a Petition for the Reconstitution of the original TCT and Issuance of the
Corresponding Owner's Duplicate thereof over lot 18-B of the subd. Plan (LRC) Psd-328326 co situated in the
Municipality of Caloocan (now Quezon City).
All the requirements were complied by Alonte. There being no opposition her representative was allowed to
present evidience ex-parte.
RTC decision: granted the reconstitution.
The RTC has issued a Certificate of finality. However, it revoked the same because a Notice of Appeal was
submitted.
CA decision: affirmed the RTC.
ISSUE: WON Alonte who was in the United States complied with possession requirement for the reconstitution of title.
RULING:
The petition for reconstitution alleged that respondent is in possession of the subject lot and it listed the names and
addresses of adjoining owners enumerated in the Certification from the Office of the City Assessor dated August 1, 2001; it stated
that the title is free from any and all liens and encumbrances; and it stated that a copy of TCT No. 335986 is attached to the petition
and made an integral part of the petition, hence, the restrictions and liabilities appearing at the back of the copy of the TCT are
deemed part of the petition for reconstitution. Said petition was also accompanied by a technical description of the property
approved by the Commissioner of the National Land Titles and Deeds Registration Administration, the predecessor of the LRA, as
prescribed under the last condition of Section 12 of R.A. No. 26. Thus, the petition clearly complied with the requirements of
Section 12, R.A. No. 26.
The fact that Editha Alonte, respondent's attorney-in-fact, testified that it is she and her family who are residing on the
subject lot does not negate the statement in the petition for reconstitution that it is respondent who is in possession of the lot.
After all, Article 524 of the New Civil Code provides that possession may be exercised in one's own name or in that of another.
Obviously, Editha Alonte was exercising possession over the land in the name of respondent Lourdes Alonte. This is supported by
the Certification from the Office of the City Treasurer of Quezon City which states that the real property taxes on said property,
declared in the name of Lourdes Alonte, had been paid.
Furthermore, as stated above, the LRA submitted to the trial court a Report dated August 2, 2002 stating that *t+he plan
and technical description of Lot 18-B of the subdivision plan (LRC) Psd-328326, were verified correct by this Authority to represent
the aforesaid lot and the same have been approved under (LRA) PR-19193 pursuant to the provisions of Section 12 of R.A. No. 26.
Attached to said Report were the print copy of plan (LRA) PR-19193 and the corresponding technical description. Since the LRA
issued a Report that is highly favorable to respondent, and considering further the presumption that official duty has been
regularly performed the only conclusion would be that respondent has fully complied with the requirements of LRC Circular No.
35.
HELD: petition denied. /adsum
Special thanks to zoila :-)

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FACTS:

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Notes (Case Digests Property)