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ABALOS V.

HEIRS OF VICENTE TORIO


FACTS:Heirs of Torio on July 24, 1996 filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possessi
on and Damages withthe Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Pangasinan against Jaime A
balos and the spouses Salazar.Claiming that they are the heirs of Vicente Torio
who died intestate and that Abalos was onlyallowed by their father Vicente to st
ay on his land at Pangasinan in 1973. In 1985 the respondents requested to vacat
e the subject lot but Abalos refused and contendedthat respondents cause of actio
n is barred by acquisitive prescription. Furthermore, they alsoalleged that they
are in actual, continuous and peaceful possession of the subject lot as ownerss
ince time immemorial. They also said that they have been paying real property ta
xes and hasalready introduced improvements on the said land.The MTC issued a Dec
ision ORDERING Abalos to vacate the subject lot and turnover said propertyto the
heirs of Vicente Torio.Abalos appealed the Decision of the MTC with the RTC of
Lingayen, Pangasinan. Whereas theRTC ruled in favor of Jaime and the Spouses Sal
azar, holding that they have acquired thesubject property through prescription
. The Heirs filed a petition for review with the CA assailing the Decision of th
e RTC which wasgranted.ISSUE:1. Whether or not the C.A. erred in not appreciatin
g that Abalos et. Al, are now the absoluteand exclusive owners of the land in qu
estion by virtue of acquisitive prescription.2. Whether or not the due exe
cution and authenticity of the deed of SALE upon whichrespondents anc
hor their ownership has been provenHELD:1. The C.A and MTC didn t err in its
findings.Petitioners claim that they have acquiredownership over the disp
uted lot through ordinary acquisitive prescription. An Ordinaryacquisitive presc
ription requires possession in good faith and with just title for ten (10)years.
On the other hand, prescription that is extraordinary in ch
aracter requiresuninterrupted adverse possession for thirty (30) years.Possess
ion in good faith consists in the reasonable belief that the person from whomthe t
hing is received is the owner thereof, and could transmit his ownership.
"Just title when the adverse claimant came into possession of the property throu
gh oneof the modes recognized by law for the acquisition of ownership or other
real rights, butthe grantor was not the owner or could not transmit any right.In
the case at bar, it is clear that during their possession of the property in qu
estion,Abalos acknowledged ownership thereof by the immediate predecessorin-interest ofrespondents as clearly shown by the Tax Declaration in the name
of Jaime for the year1984 wherein it contains a statement admitting that Jaime s h
ouse was built on the landof Vicente, respondents immediate predecessor-in
-interest. Clearly, their possessioncould not be deemed as good faith that
will enable them to acquire the subject land byordinary prescription. Moreo
ver, the CA correctly held that even if the character ofpetit
ioners possession of the subject property had become adverse, still falls short o
f therequired period of thirty (30) years in cases of extraordinary acquisitive
prescription. The Records show that the earliest Tax Declaration in the name of
petitioners was in1974. Reckoned from such date, the thirty-year period was comp
leted in 2004. However,herein respondents complaint was filed in 1996,
effectively interrupting petitioners possession upon service of summons on
them.2. As to the issue of whether the due execution and authenticity of the dee
d of sale uponwhich respondents anchor their ownership were not provenAbalos ha
ve not inherited the disputed land because the same was shown to haveal
ready been validly sold to Marcos Torio, who assigned the same to his son Vicent
e, thefather of petitioners. A valid sale was amply established and the said val
idity subsistsbecause the deed evidencing the same was duly notarized. There is
no doubt that thedeed of sale was duly acknowledged before a notary public. As a
notarized document, ithas in its favor the presumption of regular
ity and it carries the evidentiary weightconferred upon it with resp
ect to its due execution. It is admissible in evidence without further proof of
its authenticity and is entitled to fullfaith and credit upon its face bare deni
als will not suffice to overcome the presumption ofregularity of the assailed de
ed of sale