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CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY
LADERA v. HODGES
CA-G.R. No. 8027-R. September 23, 1952.
FACTS: Ladera entered into a contract of a promise to sell a lot with Hodges with the condition,
among others, that failure to make a payment 60 days after it fell due shall automatically rescind
the contract. Petitioner thereafter built a house on the lot but failed to pay the installments.
Hodges filed an ejectment suit and was able to secure a writ of execution thereby levying on the
house built by petitioner. The house was later auctioned then Hodges sold the lot contending
that the house, being built on the land of another, was a movable property.
ISSUE: Is the house a movable property?
RULING: No. According to Article 334 of the Civil Code (now 415), immovable properties are
the following: Lands, building, roads, and constructions of all kinds adhering to the soil.
Applying the principle of ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguere debemu, the law makes no
distinction as to whether the owner of the land is or is not the owner of the building. In the case
of immovables by destination, it is required that they be placed by the owner of the tenement in
order to acquire the same nature or consideration of real property. In cases of immovable by
incorporation, the code nowhere requires that the attachment or incorporation be made by the
owner of the land. The only criterion is union or incorporation with the soil.
MINDANAO BUS COMPANY v. CITY ASSESSOR & TREASURER
G.R. No. L-17870. September 29, 1962.
FACTS: Petitioner is a public utility solely engaged in transporting passengers and cargoes by
motor trucks. Respondent City Assessor of Cagayan de Oro City assessed at P4,400
petitioner's maintenance and repair materials which were sitting on cement or wooden
platforms. Petitioner contends that the said machineries have never been or were never used as
industrial equipment to produce finished products for sale, nor to repair machineries, parts and
the like offered to the general public indiscriminately for business or commercial purposes for
which petitioner has never engaged in, to date.
ISSUE: Are the maintenance and repair machineries immovable properties?
RULING: No. We may distinguish those movable which become immobilized by destination
because they are essential and principal elements in the industry for those which may not be so
considered immobilized because they are merely incidental, not essential and principal. The
tools and equipment in question in this instant case are, by their nature, not essential and
principle municipal elements of petitioner's business of transporting passengers and cargoes by
motor trucks. They are merely incidentals acquired as movables and used only for
expediency to facilitate and/or improve its service. Even without such tools and equipment, its
business may be carried on, as petitioner has carried on, without such equipment, before the
war.
Aside from the element of essentiality, Art. 415 (5) also requires that the industry or works be
carried on in a building or on a piece of land. But in the case at bar the equipment in question
are destined only to repair or service the transportation business, which is not carried on in a
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building or permanently on a piece of land, as demanded by the law. Said equipment may not,
therefore, be deemed real property.
MAKATI LEASING AND FINANCE CORPORATION v. WEAREVER TEXTILE MILLS, INC.
G.R. No. L-58469, 16 May 1983
FACTS: Private respondent Wearever Textile Mills, Inc., discounted and assigned several
receivables with Makati Leasing and Finance Corporation under a Receivable Purchase
Agreement. To secure the collection of the receivables assigned, private respondent executed a
Chattel Mortgage over certain raw materials inventory as well as machinery described as an
Artos Aero Dryer Stentering Range.
Upon private respondent's default, petitioner filed a petition for extrajudicial foreclosure of the
properties mortgage to it. Petitioner filed a complaint for judicial foreclosure for which the court
issued a writ of seizure, the enforcement of which was however subsequently restrained upon
private respondent's filing of a motion for reconsideration.
The Court of Appeals reversed the ruling of the trial court and said that the machinery in suit
cannot be the subject of replevin, much less of a chattel mortgage, because it is a real property
pursuant to Article 415 of the new Civil Code, the same being attached to the ground by means
of bolts and the only way to remove it from respondent's plant would be to drill out or destroy the
concrete floor, the reason why all that the sheriff could do to enforce the writ was to take the
main drive motor of said machinery.
ISSUE: Is the property personal or real?
RULING: Personal property. It must be pointed out that the characterization of the subject
machinery as chattel by the private respondent is indicative of intention and impresses upon the
property the character determined by the parties. As stated in Standard Oil Co. of New York v.
Jaramillo, 44 Phil. 630, it is undeniable that the parties to a contract may by agreement treat as
personal property that which by nature would be real property, as long as no interest of third
parties would be prejudiced thereby.
If a house of strong materials, like what was involved in the case of Tumalad v. Vicencio, may be
considered as personal property for purposes of executing a chattel mortgage thereon as long
as the parties to the contract so agree and no innocent third party will be prejudiced thereby,
there is absolutely no reason why a machinery, which is movable in its nature and becomes
immobilized only by destination or purpose, may not be likewise treated as such. This is really
because one who has so agreed is estopped from denying the existence of the chattel
mortgage.
SANTOS EVANGELISTA V. ALTO SURETY & INSURANCE CO. INC.
G.R. No. L-11139 23 April 1958
FACTS: On June 4, 1949, Santos Evangelista instituted a civil case for a sum of money against
Ricardo Rivera. On the same day, he obtained a writ of attachment, which levied upon a house
built by Rivera on a land leased to him. In due course, judgment was rendered in favor of
Evangelista who bought the house at public auction held in compliance with the writ of
execution. The corresponding definite deed of sale was issued to him on on October 22, 1952,
upon expiration of the period of redemption. When Evangelista sought to take possession of the
house, Rivera refused to surrender it upon the ground that he leased the property from the Alto
Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. and that the latter is now the true owner of said property.

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After due trial, the Court of First Instance of Manila rendered judgment in favor of Evangelista.
The decision was reversed by the CA upon the ground that although the writ of attachment in
favor of Evangelista had been filed with the Register of Deeds prior to the sale in favor of
respondent, Evangelista did not acquire thereby a preferential lien, the attachment having been
levied as if the house in question were immovable property, although in the opinion of the CA, it
is ostensibly a personal property. As such, the Court of Appeals held, "the order of
attachment . . . should have been served in the manner provided in subsection (e) of section 7
of Rule 59," of the Rules of Court
ISSUE: Can a house built on leased property by the lessee be considered as personal property
for the purpose of attachment?
RULING: NO. The house is not personal property, much less a debt, credit or other personal
property not capable of manual delivery, but immovable property. As explicitly held, in Ladera v.
Hodges, a true building (not merely superimposed on the soil) is immovable or real property,
whether it is erected by the owner of the land or by Usufructuary or lessee.
It is true that the parties to a deed of chattel mortgage may agree to consider a house as
personal property for purposes of said contract. However, this view is good only insofar as the
contracting parties are concerned. It is based, partly, upon the principle of estoppel. Neither this
principle, nor said view, is applicable to strangers to said contract. Much less is it in point where
there has been no contract whatsoever, with respect to the status of the house involved, as in
the case at bar.
TSAI v. COURT OF APPEALS
366 SCRA 324
FACTS: Respondent EVERTEX obtained two loans from petitioner PBCom. As security for the
first loan, a deed of Real and Chattel Mortgage over the lot where its factory stands and the
chattels located therein, and the second loan was secured by a Chattel Mortgage over personal
properties. EVERTEX filed for insolvency due to business reverses. PBCom commenced
extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings against EVERTEX. PBCom consolidated its ownership
over the lot and all the properties in it.
ISSUE: Are the controverted properties movable?
RULING: Yes. The intent of the parties must be looked at. While it is true that the controverted
properties appear to be immobile, a perusal of the contract of Real and Chattel Mortgage
executed by the parties herein gives a contrary indication. In the case at bar, both the trial and
the appellate courts reached the same finding that the true intention of PBCom and the owner,
EVERTEX, is to treat machinery and equipment as chattels.
SERGS PRODUCTS, INC. v. PCI LEASING AND FINANCE
338 SCRA 499
FACTS: Respondent PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. filed a complaint for a sum of money with
an application for a writ of replevin. Respondent Judge issued a writ of replevin and in the
implementation of the said writ, the sheriff proceeded to petitioners factory, seized machineries.
Petitioner asserted that properties sought to be seized were immovable.

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ISSUE: Did the machineries become real property by virtue of immobilization?


RULING: No. The machines are personal property and they are proper subjects of the Writ of
Replevin. In the present case, the machines that were the subjects of the Writ of Seizure were
placed by petitioners in the factory built on their land. They were essential and principal
elements of their chocolate-making industry. Hence, although each of them was movable or
personal property on its own, all of them have become immobilized by destination because
they are essential and principal elements in the industry. However, contracting parties may
validly stipulate that a real property be considered as personal. The Agreement between the
parties provides The PROPERTY is, and shall at all times be and remain, personal property
notwithstanding that the PROPERTY or any part thereof may now be, or hereafter become, in
any manner affixed or attached to or embedded in, or permanently resting upon, real property or
any building thereon, or attached in any manner to what is permanent.
After agreeing to such stipulation, they are consequently estopped from claiming otherwise.
Hence, while the parties are bound by the Agreement, third persons acting in good faith are not
affected by its stipulation characterizing the subject machinery as personal.
BURGOS vs. CHIEF OF STAFF
G.R. No. L-64261. December 26, 1984
FACTS: By virtue of a search warrant, certain articles used in the printing, publication and
distribution of the "Metropolitan Mail" and "We Forum" newspapers were seized, among which
were printing machines. While not claiming to be the owners of the land and/or building on
which the machines were placed, petitioners claim that the printing machines are not subject to
seizure since they are immovable property under Article 415(5) of the New Civil Code.
ISSUE: Are the printing machines in question considered immovable property?
RULING: No. Where Article 415(5) of the New Civil Code is invoked, machinery which is
movable by nature becomes immobilized when placed by the owner of the tenement, property
or plant, but not so when placed by a tenant, usufructuary, or any other person having only a
temporary right, unless such person acted as the agent of the owner.
In this case, petitioners do not claim to be the owners of the land and/or building on which the
machineries were placed. Thus, the machineries in question, while in fact bolted to the ground,
remain movable property susceptible to seizure under a search warrant.

BURGOS vs. CHIEF OF STAFF


G.R. No. L-64261. December 26, 1984
FACTS: By virtue of a search warrant, certain articles used in the printing, publication and
distribution of the "Metropolitan Mail" and "We Forum" newspapers were seized, among which
were printing machines. While not claiming to be the owners of the land and/or building on
which the machines were placed, petitioners claim that the printing machines are not subject to
seizure since they are immovable property under Article 415(5) of the New Civil Code.

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ISSUE: Are the printing machines in question considered immovable property?


RULING: No. Where Article 415(5) of the New Civil Code is invoked, machinery which is
movable by nature becomes immobilized when placed by the owner of the tenement, property
or plant, but not so when placed by a tenant, usufructuary, or any other person having only a
temporary right, unless such person acted as the agent of the owner.
In this case, petitioners do not claim to be the owners of the land and/or building on which the
machineries were placed. Thus, the machineries in question, while in fact bolted to the ground,
remain movable property susceptible to seizure under a search warrant.
YAP v. TANADA
G.R. No. L-32917, 18 July 1988
FACTS: Respondent Goulds Pumps International Inc. filed a complaint against Yap and his
wife, seeking recovery of Pl,459.30 representing the balance of the price and installation cost of
a water pump in the latter's premises. The City Court decided in respondents favor. Hence, Yap
appealed to the CFI. CFI Judge Tanada also ruled in favor of respondent. Judge Tanada issued
an order granting Goulds' Motion for Issuance of Writ of Execution. Judge Tanada denied Yap's
motion for reconsideration and authorized execution of the judgment. In the meantime the
Sheriff levied on the water pump in question, and by notice scheduled the execution sale
thereof. But in view of the pendency of Yap's motion for reconsideration, suspension of the sale
was directed by the judge. It appears however that a copy of this order was not transmitted to
the Sheriff "through oversight, inadvertence and pressure of work" of the Branch Clerk of Court.
So the Deputy Provincial Sheriff went ahead with the scheduled auction sale and sold the
property levied on to Goulds as the highest bidder. Yap filed a motion to set aside execution sale
and to quash alias writ of execution. He argued that the sale was made without the notice
required by Sec. 18, Rule 39, of the New Rules of Court, i.e., notice by publication in case San
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the pump and its accessories being immovable because attached to the ground with character
of permanency (Art. 415, Civil Code). Yap's motion was thereafter denied. Judge Tanada
pointed out that the motion had "become moot and academic" since the decision received by
the defendant had long become final when the order for the issuance of a writ of execution was
promulgated.
ISSUE: Is the water pump involved an immovable property as what petitioner claimed as a
basis for annulling the execution sale?
RULING: NO. The Civil Code considers as immovable property, among others, anything
attached to an immovable in a fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be separated
therefrom without breaking the material or deterioration of the object. The pump does not fit this
description. It could be, and was in fact separated from Yaps premises without being broken or
suffering deterioration. Obviously the separation or removal of the pump involved nothing more
complicated than the loosening of bolts or dismantling of other fasteners.
MACHINERY AND ENGINEERING SUPPLIES, INC v. COURT OF APPEALS,
G.R. No. L-7057, 29 October 1954

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FACTS: Petitioner filed a complaint for replevin in CFI of Manila for the recovery of the
machineries and equipment delivered to Ipo Limestone Co, Inc. at their factory in barrio Bigti,
Norzagaray, Bulacan. Upon application ex-parte of the petitioner, accompanied by the affidavit
of Ramon S. Roco, president of petitioner company, and upon approval of petitioner's bond,
respondent judge issued an order, commanding the Provincial Sheriff of Bulacan to seize and
take immediate possession of the properties specified in the order. Two deputy sheriffs of
Bulacan, and other technical men and laborers proceeded to Bigti, for the purpose of carrying
the court's order into effect. Leonardo Contreras, manager of the respondent Company, and
Pedro Torres, in charge thereof, met the deputy sheriffs, and Contreras handed to them a letter
addressed to Atty. Palad, protesting against the seizure of the properties in question, on the
ground that they are not personal properties. Contending that the Sheriff's duty is merely
ministerial, the deputy sheriffs, Roco, the latter's crew of technicians and laborers, Contreras
and Torres, went to the factory. Roco's attention was called to the fact that the equipment could
not possibly be dismantled without causing damages or injuries to the wooden frames attached
to them. As Roco insisted in dismantling the equipment on his own responsibility, alleging that
the bond was posted for such eventuality, the deputy sheriffs directed that some of the supports
thereof be cut.
ISSUE: Can the machineries, which could not be dismantled without causing damages or
injuries to the frames attached, be the proper subjects of a writ of replevin?
RULING: NO. When the sheriff repaired to the premises of respondent, Ipo Limestone Co., Inc.,
the machinery and equipment in question appeared to be attached to the land, particularly to the
concrete foundation of said premises, in a fixed manner, in such a way that the former could not
be separated from the latter "without breaking the material or deterioration of the object." Hence,
in order to remove said outfit, it became necessary, not only to unbolt the same, but, also, to cut
some of its wooden supports. Moreover, said machinery and equipment were "intended by the
owner of the tenement for an industry" carried on said immovable and tended "directly to meet
the needs of the said industry." For these reasons, they were already immovable property
pursuant to paragraphs 3 and 5 of Article 415 of Civil Code of the Philippines, which are
substantially identical to paragraphs 3 and 5 of Article 334 of the Civil Code of Spain. As such
immovable property, they were not subject to replevin.
FELS Energy, Inc. v. Province of Batangas
G.R. No. 168557, February 16, 2007
FACTS: On January 1993, the National Power Corporation (NPC) entered into a lease contract
with Polar Energy over MW diesel engine power barges in Batangas for a period of 5 years.
Subsequently, Polar assigned its rights under the agreement to FELS. NPC initially opposed. In
August 1995, FELS received an assessment of real property taxes on the barges. FELS
referred the matter to NPC reminding it of its obligation under the agreement to pay the real
estate taxes. NPC sought for reconsideration of the decision but the motion was denied. NPC
filed a petition to the Local Board Assessment Appeals of Batangas (LBAA). The provincial
Assessor averred that the barges were real property for the purpose of taxation. LBAA still
denied the petition filed by NPC and ordered FELS to pay the taxes.
LBAA Ruling: power plant facilities are considered real property because they are installed at a
specific location with a character of permanency. The owner of the barges-FELS is a private
corporation-is the one being taxed, not NPC. The agreement will not justify the exemption of
FELS.

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Petitioners maintain nevertheless that the power barges are exempt from real estate tax under
Section 234 (c) of R.A. No. 7160 because they are actually, directly and exclusively used by
petitioner NPC, a government- owned and controlled corporation engaged in the supply,
generation, and transmission of electric power.
ISSUE: Are power barges are real property and are thus subject to real property tax?
RULING: YES. The CBAA and LBAA power barges are real property and are thus subject to
real property tax. Article 415 (9) of the New Civil Code provides that docks and structures
which, though floating, are intended by their nature and object to remain at a fixed place on a
river, lake, or coast are considered immovable property. Thus, power barges are categorized as
immovable property by destination, being in the nature of machinery and other implements
intended by the owner for an industry or work which may be carried on in a building or on a
piece of land and which tend directly to meet the needs of said industry or work.
The owner of the taxable properties is petitioner FELS, which in fine, is the entity being taxed by
the local government. As stipulated under Section 2.11, Article 2 of the Agreement:
OWNERSHIP OF POWER BARGES. POLAR shall own the Power Barges and all the fixtures,
fittings, machinery and equipment on the Site used in connection with the Power Barges which
have been supplied by it at its own cost. POLAR shall operate, manage and maintain the Power
Barges for the purpose of converting Fuel of NAPOCOR into electricity.
It follows then that FELS cannot escape liability from the payment of realty taxes by invoking its
exemption in Section 234 (c) of R.A. No. 7160. Indeed, the law states that the machinery must
be actually, directly and exclusively used by the government owned or controlled corporation;
nevertheless, petitioner FELS still cannot find solace.
CHINA BANKING CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 129664, March 7, 2000
FACTS: Alfonso Roxas Chua and his wife Kiang Ming Chu Chua were the owners of a
residential land in San Juan, Metro Manila. A notice of levy affecting the property was issued in
connection with Civil Case No. 82-14134 entitled, "Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company,
Plaintiff versus Pacific Multi Commercial Corporation and Alfonso Roxas Chua, Defendants,"
before the Regional Trial Court. The notice of levy was inscribed and annotated at the back of
the TCT 41603. Subsequently, Kiang Ming Chu Chua filed a complaint against the City Sheriff of
Manila and Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, questioning the levy of the abovementioned
property. She alleged that the judgment of the court in Civil Case No. 82-14134 against Alfonso
Roxas Chua could not be enforced against TCT 410603 inasmuch as the land subject thereof
was the conjugal property of the spouses. The parties thereafter entered into a compromise
agreement to the effect that the levy on TCT 410603 was valid and enforceable only to the
extent of the undivided portion of the property pertaining to the conjugal share of Alfonso Roxas
Chua. Petitioner China Bank filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila an action for collection
of sum of money against Pacific Multi Agro-Industrial Corporation and Alfonso Roxas Chua
which was docketed as Civil Case No. 85-31257. The complaint was anchored on three (3)
promissory notes with an aggregate amount of P2,500,000.00 plus stipulated interest. The trial
court ruled in favor of petitioner.

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An alias notice of levy on execution on the one-half undivided portion of TCT 410603 belonging
to Alfonso Chua was issued in connection with Civil Case 82-14134. The notice was inscribed
and annotated at the back of TCT 410603 on and a certificate of sale covering the one-half
undivided portion of the property was executed in favor of Metropolitan Bank and Trust
Company. The certificate of sale was inscribed at the back of the said TCT. Alfonso Roxas Chua
executed a public instrument denominated as "Assignment of Rights to Redeem," whereby he
assigned his rights to redeem the one-half undivided portion of the property to his son, private
respondent Paulino Roxas Chua. Paulino redeemed said one-half share on the very same day.
The instrument was inscribed at the back of TCT 410603 as Entry No. 7629, and the redemption
of the property by Paulino was inscribed as Entry No. 7630. On the other hand, in connection
with Civil Case No. 85-31257, another notice of levy on execution was issued on February 4,
1991 by the Deputy Sheriff of Manila against the right and interest of Alfonso Roxas Chua in
TCT 410603. Thereafter, a certificate of sale on execution dated April 13, 1992 was issued by
the Sheriff of Branch 39, RTC Manila in Civil Case No. 85-31257, in favor of China Bank and
inscribed at the back of TCT 410603 as Entry No. 01896 on May 4, 1992. On May 20, 1993,
Paulino Roxas Chua and Kiang Ming Chu Chua instituted Civil Case No. 63199 before the RTC
of Pasig, Metro Manila against China Bank, averring that Paulino has a prior and better right
over the rights, title, interest and participation of China Banking Corporation in TCT 410603; that
Alfonso Roxas Chua sold his right to redeem one-half (1/2) of the aforesaid conjugal property in
his favor on November 21, 1988 while China Banking Corporation acquired its right from the
notice of levy of execution dated January 30, 1991; that the assignment of rights in his favor
was annotated at the back of TCT 410603 on March 14, 1989 and inscribed as Entry No. 7629,
and his redemption of the property was effected in an instrument dated January 11, 1989 and
inscribed and annotated at the back of TCT 410603 on March 14, 1989, two years before the
annotation of the rights of China Banking Corporation on TCT 410603 on February 4, 1991. The
trial court ruled that the assignment was made for a valuable consideration and was executed
two years before petitioner China Bank levied the conjugal share of Alfonso Roxas Chua on
TCT 410603. The trial court found that Paulino redeemed the one-half portion of the property,
using therefor the amount of P100,000.00 which he withdrew from his savings account as
evidenced by his bankbook and the receipts of Metrobank for his payment of the redemption
price. The court noted that Paulino at that time was already of age and had his own source of
income. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the ruling of the trial court.
ISSUE: Whether or not the assignment of the right of redemption made by Alfonso Roxas Chua
in favor of private respondent Paulino was done to defraud his creditors and may be rescinded
under Article 1387 of the Civil Code.
RULING: Under Article 1381(3) of the Civil Code, contracts which are undertaken in fraud of
creditors when the latter cannot in any manner collect the claims due them, are rescissible.
Under Article 1387, the law presumes that there is fraud of creditors when: a) There is alienation
of property by gratuitous title by the debtor who has not reserved sufficient property to pay his
debts contracted before such alienation; or b) There is alienation of property by onerous title
made by a debtor against whom some judgment has been rendered in any instance or some
writ of attachment has been issued. The decision or attachment need not refer to the property
alienated and need not have been obtained by the party seeking rescission.
After his conjugal share in TCT 410603 was foreclosed by Metrobank, the only property that
Alfonso Roxas Chua had was his right to redeem the same, it forming part of his patrimony.
"Property" under civil law comprehends every species of title, inchoate or complete, legal or

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equitable.
Alfonso Roxas Chua sold his right of redemption to his son, Paulino Roxas Chua, in 1988.
Thereafter, Paulino redeemed the property and caused the annotation thereof at the back of
TCT 410603. This preceded the annotation of the levy of execution in favor of China Bank by
two (2) years and the certificate of sale in favor of China Bank by more than three (3) years. On
this basis, the Court of Appeals concluded that the allegation of fraud made by petitioner China
Bank is vague and unsubstantiated. Such conclusion, however, runs counter to the law
applicable in the case at bar. Inasmuch as the judgment of the trial court in favor of China Bank
against Alfonso Roxas Chua was rendered as early as 1985, there is a presumption that the
1988 sale of his property, in this case the right of redemption, is fraudulent under Article 1387 of
the Civil Code. The fact that private respondent Paulino Roxas Chua redeemed the property
and caused its annotation on the TCT more than two years ahead of petitioner China Bank is of
no moment. As stated in the case of Cabaliw vs. Sadorra, "the parties here do not stand in
equipoise, for the petitioners have in their favor, by a specific provision of law, the presumption
of fraudulent transaction which is not overcome by the mere fact that the deeds of sale were in
the nature of public instruments."
This presumption is strengthened by the fact that the conveyance has virtually left Alfonsos
other creditors with no other property to attach

LAUREL vs GARCIA
G.R. No. 92013 July 25, 1990
FACTS: The subject property in this case is one of the four (4) properties in Japan acquired by
the Philippine government under the Reparations Agreement entered into with Japan. The
Roppongi property was acquired from the Japanese government and as intended, it became the
site of the Philippine Embassy until the latter was transferred to Nampeidai when the Roppongi
building needed major repairs. Due to the failure of our government to provide necessary funds,
the Roppongi property has remained undeveloped since that time.
The President issued Executive Order No. 296 entitling non-Filipino citizens or entities to avail
of separations' capital goods and services in the event of sale, lease or disposition. The four
properties in Japan including the Roppongi were specifically mentioned in the first "Whereas"
clause. Amidst opposition by various sectors, the Executive branch of the government has been
pushing, with great vigor, its decision to sell the reparations properties starting with the
Roppongi lot. These petitions have been consolidated and are resolved at the same time for
the objective is the same - to stop the sale of the Roppongi property.
ISSUES: WON the Roppongi property has become patrimonial property of the State
WON Roppongi property and others of its kind Can be alienated by the Philippine Government
HELD:
1. No. The Roppongi property is correctly classified under paragraph 2 of Article 420 of the Civil
Code as property belonging to the State and intended for some public service. The fact that the
Roppongi site has not been used for a long time for actual Embassy service does not
automatically convert it to patrimonial property. Any such conversion happens only if the
property is withdrawn from public use. A property continues to be part of the public domain, not
available for private appropriation or ownership until there is a formal declaration on the part of
the government to withdraw it from being such. Abandonment cannot be inferred from the non-

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use alone specially if the non-use was attributable not to the government's own deliberate and
indubitable will but to a lack of financial support to repair and improve the property.
Abandonment must be a certain and positive act based on correct legal premises. The recent
Administrative Orders authorizing a study of the status and conditions of government properties
in Japan were merely directives for investigation but did not in any way signify a clear intention
to dispose of the properties.
2. No. As property of public dominion, the Roppongi lot is outside the commerce of man. It
cannot be alienated. Its ownership is a special collective ownership for general use and
enjoyment, an application to the satisfaction of collective needs, and resides in the social group.
The purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical person, but the citizens; it is intended for the
common and public welfare and cannot be the object of appropration.
RABUCO vs VILLEGAS
G.R. No. L-24661 February 28, 1974
FACTS: The origin and background of the cases at bar deal with the decisive issue of
constitutionality of Republic Act 3120. The statute expressly declared that parcel of land in San
Andres, Malate were "reserved as communal property" and ordered their conversion into
"disposable and alienable lands of the State" for sale in small lots to the bona fide occupants
thereof. Respondents city officials' contention that the Act must be stricken down as
unconstitutional for depriving the city of Manila of the lots in question and providing for their sale
in subdivided small lots to bona fide occupants or tenants without payment of just
compensation.
ISSUE: WON R.A 3120 is unconstitutional
RULING: No. The Court therein reaffirmed the established general rule that "regardless of the
source or classification of land in the possession of a municipality, excepting those acquired with
its own funds in its private or corporate capacity, such property is held in trust for the State for
the benefit of its inhabitants, whether it be for governmental or proprietary purposes. It holds
such lands subject to the paramount power of the legislature to dispose of the same, for after all
it owes its creation to it as an agent for the performance of a part of its public work, the
municipality being but a subdivision or instrumentality thereof for purposes of local
administration. Accordingly, the legal situation is the same as if the State itself holds the
property and puts it to a different use" and stressed that "the property, as has been previously
shown, was not acquired by the City of Manila with its own funds in its private or proprietary
capacity. That it has in its name a registered title is not questioned, but this title should be
deemed to be held in trust for the State as the land covered thereby was part of the territory of
the City of Manila granted by the sovereign upon its creation.

MACASIANO v. DIOKNO
212 SCRA 464
FACTS: Municipality of Paraaque passed Ordinance No. 86 which authorized the closure of
three streets at Baclaran and the establishment of a flea market thereon. This was passed
pursuant to MMC Ordinance No.2 and was approved by the Metropolitan Manila Authority on
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July 20, 1990. Respondent municipality and a service cooperative, Palanyag, entered into a
contract agreement whereby the latter shall operate, maintain & manage the flea markets and/or
vending areas in the aforementioned streets with the obligation to remit dues to the treasury of
the municipal government of Paraaque. On September 13, 1990 Brig. Gen. Macasiano
ordered the destruction and confiscation of stalls along the streets. He also wrote a letter to
Palanyag ordering the destruction of the flea market. Respondent filed a joint petition praying for
preliminary injunction. The trial court upheld the assailed Ordinance and enjoined petitioner from
enforcing his letter-order against Palanyag.
ISSUE: Whether or not an ordinance/resolution issued by the municipal council of Paraaque
authorizing the lease & use of public streets/thoroughfares as sites for the flea market is valid.
HELD: The three streets are local roads used for public service and are therefore considered
public properties of respondent municipality. Properties of the local government devoted to
public service are deemed public and are under the absolute control of Congress. Hence, local
governments have no authority to control/regulate the use of public properties unless specific
authority is vested upon them by Congress. Under the Local Government Code, the closure
should be for the sole purpose of withdrawing the road or other public property from public use
when circumstances show that such property is no longer intended/necessary for public
use/service. Once withdrawn, the property then becomes patrimonial property of the LGU
concerned and only then can said LGU use the property as an object of an ordinary
contract. Roads and streets available to the public and ordinarily used for vehicular traffic are
still considered public property devoted to public use. The LGU has no power to use it for
another purpose or to dispose of or lease it to private persons.

Republic v. Court of Appeals


281 SCRA 369
FACTS: Josefina Morato has filed for patent over a parcel of land, of which was granted
under the condition that he would not encumber it for a period of 5 years
from issuance of patent. However, the government found out that he violated this condition
when he mortgaged and leased the lots. The government sought for the revocation of the
patent issued.
The trial court
and appellate
court
decided in favor
of
the
respondents. Petitioners also contend that the court erred in holding that the questioned land is
part of a disposable public land and not a foreshore land.
ISSUE: Whether or not the property is a disposable public land.
RULING: No. Foreshore lands have been defined to be that part of the land which is
between the high and low water and left dry by the flux and reflux of the
tides. This is the strip of land that lies between the high and low watermarks and that is
alternatively
wet
and
dry
according
to
the
flow
of
the
tide.
Foreshore lands may not anymore be the subject of issuance of free patents.
When the seawater moves toward the estate of an owner, the invaded property becomes
foreshore land and becomes part of the public domain. Citing the case of Government vs.
Cabangis, the land under the Torrens system which becomes part of the foreshore land reverts
to the public domain and the title is annulled.

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CHAVES VS PUBLIC ESTATES AUTHORITY


FACTS: Pres. Marcos created respondent with the mandate to reclaim areas in Manila bay.
Pursuant to such objective, the law also provided that the reclaimed lands shall.be registered to
respondent. Subsequently, respondent entered into a joint venture with Amari, a thai
corporation, for the purpose of making the reclaimed area as "freedom islands"
ISSUE: Whether or not the reclaimed areas are patrimonial properties of the state and
therefore, within the commerce of man.
RULING: No. The 592.15 hectares of submerged areas of Manila Bay remain inalienable
natural resources of the public domain until classified as alienable or disposable lands open to
disposition and declared no longer needed for public service. The government can make such
classification and declaration only after PEA has reclaimed these submerged areas. Only then
can these lands qualify as agricultural lands of the public domain, which are the only natural
resources the government can alienate. In their present state, the 592.15 hectares of
submerged areas are inalienable and outside the commerce of man.

PROVINCE OF ZAMBOANGA VS CITY OF ZAMBOANGA


FACTS: Respondent was a former municipality and capitol of the petitioner province. Thru a law
passed by the congress, respondent was converted to a city and was allowed to purchase the
properties of the province within its territory. Subsequently, petitioner was divided into
Zamboanga del norte and del sur. In effect, the properties of the province were divided
proportionately. The properties sought to be bought by respondent were transferred to del norte,
herein petitioner.
Conflicts arose when the congress passed another law, giving the properties(those located
within city's territory) of the former province of Zamboanga to the newly created city of
zamboanga free of charge.
ISSUE: Does the congress have the power to cede the subject properties to city of zamboanga
free of charge?
RULING: No! The principle itself is simple: If the property is owned by the municipality (meaning
municipal corporation) in its public and governmental capacity, the property is public and
Congress has absolute control over it. But if the property is owned in its private or proprietary
capacity, then it is patrimonial and Congress has no absolute control. The municipality cannot
be deprived of it without due process and payment of just compensation.
The capacity in which the property is held is, however, dependent on the use to which it is
intended and devoted. Now, which of two norms, i.e., that of the Civil Code or that obtaining
under the law of Municipal Corporations, must be used in classifying the properties in question?
The controversy here is more along the domains of the Law of Municipal Corporations State
vs. Province than along that of Civil Law. Moreover, this Court is not inclined to hold that
municipal property held and devoted to public service is in the same category as ordinary
private property. The consequences are dire. As ordinary private properties, they can be levied
upon and attached. They can even be acquired thru adverse possession all these to the
detriment of the local community. Lastly, the classification of properties other than those for
public use in the municipalities as patrimonial under Art. 424 of the Civil Code is "... without
prejudice to the provisions of special laws." For purpose of this article, the principles, obtaining

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under the Law of Municipal Corporations can be considered as "special laws". Hence, the
classification of municipal property devoted for distinctly governmental purposes as public
should prevail over the Civil Code classification in this particular case.
VILLARICO VS SARMIENTO
G.R. No. 136438, November 11, 2004
FACTS: Teofilo C. Villarico, petitioner, is the owner of a lot in La Huerta, Paraaque City, Metro
Manila. Petitioners lot is separated from the Ninoy Aquino Avenue by a strip of land belonging
to the government. Sometime in 1991, Vivencio Sarmiento, his daughter Bessie Sarmiento and
her husband Beth Del Mundo, respondents herein, had a building constructed on a portion of
said government land. In 1993, by means of a Deed of Exchange of Real Property, petitioner
acquired a 74.30 square meter portion of the same area owned by the government. The
property was registered in his name as T.C.T. No. 74430 in the Registry of Deeds of Paraaque
City. In 1995, petitioner filed with the RTC, Branch 259, Paraaque City, a complaint for accion
publiciana against respondents, alleging inter alia that respondents structures on the
government land closed his "right of way" to the Ninoy Aquino Avenue. Respondents, in their
answer, specifically denied petitioners allegations, claiming that they have been issued licenses
and permits by Paraaque City to construct their buildings on the area; and that petitioner has
no right over the subject property as it belongs to the government.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to a right of way on the property belonging to
the state
RULING: It is not disputed that the lot on which petitioners alleged "right of way" exists belongs
to the state or property of public dominion. Property of public dominion is outside the commerce
of man and hence it: (1) cannot be alienated or leased or otherwise be the subject matter of
contracts; (2) cannot be acquired by prescription against the State; (3) is not subject to
attachment and execution; and (4) cannot be burdened by any voluntary easement. Considering
that the lot on which the stairways were constructed is a property of public dominion, it cannot
be burdened by a voluntary easement of right of way in favor of herein petitioner. In fact, its use
by the public is by mere tolerance of the government through the DPWH. Petitioner cannot
appropriate it for himself. Verily, he cannot claim any right of possession over it.
REPUBLIC VS. T.A.N. PROPERTIES INC.
G.R. No. 154953, June 26, 2008
FACTS: This case originated from an Application for Original Registration of Title filed by T.A.N.
Properties, Inc. covering Lot 10705-B which is a portion of Sto. Tomas Cadastre. During the
hearings, respondent presented three witnesses. The testimonies of respondents witnesses
showed that Prospero Dimayuga (Kabesang Puroy) had peaceful, adverse, open, and
continuous possession of the land in the concept of an owner since 1942. Upon his death,
Kabesang Puroy was succeeded by his son Antonio Dimayuga (Antonio). On 27 September
1960, Antonio executed a Deed of Donation covering the land in favor of one of his children,
Fortunato Dimayuga (Fortunato). Later, however, Antonio gave Fortunato another piece of land.
Hence, on 26 April 1961, Antonio executed a Partial Revocation of Donation, and the land was
adjudicated to one of Antonios children, Prospero Dimayuga (Porting). On 8 August 1997,
Porting sold the land to respondent.

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ISSUE: Whether or not the land is alienable and disposable and hence, may be transferred to
the respondents
RULING: The well-entrenched rule is that all lands not appearing to be clearly of private
dominion presumably belong to the State. The onus to overturn, by incontrovertible evidence,
the presumption that the land subject of an application for registration is alienable and
disposable rests with the applicant. In this case, respondent submitted two certifications issued
by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). the certification issued by
the Regional Technical Director, FMS-DENR, in the form of a memorandum to the trial court,
has no probative value. In addition, there was no open, continuous, exclusive and notorious
possession and ownership in the concept of an owner. The tax declarations presented were
only for the years starting 1955. While tax declarations are not conclusive evidence of
ownership, they constitute proof of claim of ownership. Respondent did not present any credible
explanation why the realty taxes were only paid starting 1955 considering the claim that the
Dimayugas were allegedly in possession of the land before 1945. The payment of the realty
taxes starting 1955 gives rise to the presumption that the Dimayugas claimed ownership or
possession of the land only in that year.

OWNERSHIP
JAVIER v. VERIDIANO II
G.R. No. L-48050, 10 October 1994
FACTS: In December 1970, alleging that she was forcibly dispossessed of a portion of the land
by a certain Ben Babol, petitioner instituted a complaint for forcible entry before the City Court of
Olongapo City. The City Court of Olongapo City dismissed the case on the ground that "it
appears to the Court that the Bureau of Lands has considered the area in question to be outside
Lot 1641 of the plaintiff. . . ."
Subsequently, in December 1973, petitioner was granted Miscellaneous Sales Patent No. 5548
and issued an Original Certificate of Title covering Lot No. 1641. Meanwhile, Ben Babol sold the
property he was occupying, including the portion of about 200 square meters in question, to a
certain Reino Rosete.
In June 1977, or after about four (4) years from the finality of the dismissal of Civil Case No.
926, petitioner instituted a complaint for quieting of title and recovery of possession with
damages against Ben Babol and Reino Rosete. Instead of filing a responsive pleading, therein
defendant Reino Rosete (private respondent herein) moved to dismiss the complaint on the
ground of res judicata.
ISSUE: Is there identity of causes of action if the first case is an ejectment suit and the second
is an accion reivindicatoria?
RULING: No. The first case is a complaint for forcible entry, where what is at issue is prior
possession, regardless of who has lawful title over the disputed property. The only issue in an
action for forcible entry is the physical or material possession of real property, that is,
possession de facto and not possession de jure. A judgment rendered in a case for recovery of

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possession is conclusive only on the question of possession and not on the ownership. It does
not in any way bind the title or affect the ownership of the land or building.
The second case is in reality an action to recover a parcel of land or an accion reivindicatoria
under Art. 434 of the Civil Code, and should be distinguished from the first case, which is an
accion interdictal. Accion reivindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion is an action whereby plaintiff
alleges ownership over a parcel of land and seeks recovery of its full possession. It is different
from accion interdictal or accion publiciana where plaintiff merely alleges proof of a better right
to possess without claim of title.
MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY v. CA
G.R. NO. 155650, July 20, 2006
FACTS: Petitioner Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) received Final Notices of Real
Estate Tax Delinquency from the City of Paraaque for the taxable years 1992 to 2001.
The City of Paraaque, through its City Treasurer, issued notices of levy and warrants of levy on
the Airport Lands and Buildings. The Mayor of the City of Paraaque threatened to sell at public
auction the Airport Lands and Buildings should MIAA fail to pay the real estate tax delinquency.
MIAA filed with the Court of Appeals an original petition for prohibition and injunction, with prayer
for preliminary injunction or temporary restraining order seeking to restrain the City of
Paraaque from imposing real estate tax on, levying against, and auctioning for public sale the
Airport Lands and Buildings. MIAA contends that Airport Lands and Buildings are owned by the
Republic. The government cannot tax itself.
ISSUE: Are airport lands and buildings of MIAA properties of public dominion?
RULING: Yes. The Airport Lands and Buildings are devoted to public use because they are
used by the public for international and domestic travel and transportation. The fact that the
MIAA collects terminal fees and other charges from the public does not remove the character of
the Airport Lands and Buildings as properties for public use.
The charging of fees to the public does not determine the character of the property whether it is
of public dominion or not. Article 420 of the Civil Code defines property of public dominion as
one "intended for public use." The terminal fees MIAA charges to passengers, as well as the
landing fees MIAA charges to airlines, constitute the bulk of the income that maintains the
operations of MIAA. The collection of such fees does not change the character of MIAA as an
airport for public use.

BUSTOS v. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. Nos. 120784-85. January 24, 2001
FACTS: Paulino Fajardo died intestate in April 2, 1957. He had four children, Manuela, Trinidad,
Beatriz and Marcial. Subsequently, they instituted an extra-judicial partition of the estate of the d
eceased. On the same day, Manuela sold her share to Moses G. Mendoza, husband of Beatriz,
by way of Deed of Absolute Sale. At the time of the sale, there was no cadastral survey in Masa
ntol, Pampanga. Later, the cadastre was conducted, and the property involved in the partition ca
se were specified as Lots 280, 283, 284, 1000-A and 1000-B. The share of Manuela, which was
sold to Moses, includes Lot 284 of the Masantol Cadastre and Lot 284 was subdivided into Lots

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284-A and 284-B. Trinidad was in physical possession of the land. She refused to surrender the
land to her brother-in-law Moses G. Mendoza, despite several demands. Mendoza then filed a c
omplaint. During the hearing, Trinidad died, and her heirs parted with her estate, including the lo
t claiming by Mendoza. Lot 284-B was then sold to Spouses Viray, herein private respondents.
The trial court ruled in favor of Mendoza. He then sold the subject land to Spouses Bustos, herei
n petitioners, who were actually lessees of the husband of Trinidad on the land in question. Sinc
e Spouses Bustos were in actual possession of the land, Spouses Viray filed an action for unlaw
ful detainer against the Spouses Bustos.
ISSUE: Whether petitioners could be ejected from what is now their own land.
RULING: No. Petitioners cannot be ejected from the subject land. The stay of execution is warr
anted by the fact that petitioners are now legal owners of the land in question and are occupants
thereof. To execute the judgment by ejecting petitioners from the land that they owned would ce
rtainly result in grave injustice. The issue of possession was rendered moot when the court adju
dicated ownership to the Spouses Bustos by virtue of a valid deed of sale. Placing petitioners in
possession of the land in question is the necessary and logical consequence of the decision dec
laring them as the rightful owners of the property. One of the essential attributes of ownership is
possession. It follows that as owners of the subject property, petitioners are entitled to possessi
on of the same. An owner who cannot exercise the seven (7) juses or attributes of ownership
the right to possess, to use and enjoy, to abuse or consume, to accessories, to dispose or alie
nate, to recover or vindicate and to the fruitsis a crippled owner.

HEIRS OF ROMAN SORIANO vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 128177. August 15, 2001
FACTS: The land in dispute is originally owned by Adriano Soriano until his death in 1947, the p
roperty passed on to his heirs who leased the same to spouses David de Vera and Consuelo Vil
lasista for a period of fifteen (15) years. Roman Soriano will serve as the caretaker of the proper
ty during the period of the lease. After executing an extra judicial settlement among themselves,
the heirs of Adriano Soriano subsequently subdivided the property into two (2) lots, Lot No. 600
52 and Lot No. 8459. Lot No. 60052 was assigned to Lourdes, Candido and the heirs of Dionisia
while Lot No. 8459 was assigned to Francisca, Librada, Elocadio and Roman. In 1971, Lot No.
60052 was sold by Lourdes, Candido and the heirs of Dionisia to petitioner spouses Braulio and
Aquilina Abalos (hereinafter referred to as petitioners), while, Elocadio, Francisca and Librada s
old their three-fourths shares in Lot No. 8459 also to petitioners.
On March 14, 1968, the de Vera spouses ousted Roman Soriano as caretaker and appointed Isi
dro Verzosa and Vidal Verzosa as his substitutes. Thereafter, Roman Soriano filed CAR Case N
o. 1724-P-68 for reinstatement and reliquidation against the de Vera spouses. The agrarian cou
rt authorized the ejectment of Roman Soriano but on appeal, the decision was reversed by the
Court of Appeals, which decision became final and executory. However, prior to the execution of
the said decision, the parties entered into a post-decisional agreement wherein the de Vera spo
uses allowed Roman Soriano to sub-lease the property until the termination of the lease in 1982
In an Order dated December 22, 1972, the post-decisional agreement was approved by the agr
arian court.

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On August 16, 1976, petitioners filed with the Regional Trial Court of Lingayen, Pangasinan, an
application for registration of title over Lot No. 60052 and three-fourths (3/4)pro-indiviso of Lot N
o. 8459. Said application for registration was granted by the trial court, acting as a land registrati
on court, per Decision dated June 27, 1983. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decisi
on of the land registration court. The petition for review filed with the Supreme Court by Roman
Soriano, was denied for lack of merit and entry of judgment was entered on December 16, 1985
Meanwhile, it appears that on July 15, 1983, a day after the promulgation of the land registration
courts decision, Roman Soriano, together with Elocadio and Librada Soriano, filed before the R
egional Trial Court of Lingayen, and against petitioners, an action for annulment of document an
d/or redemption, ownership and damages. Petitioners filed a motion to dismiss on the ground o
f res judicata, pendency of another action, laches, misjoinder of parties and lack of jurisdiction,
which was denied by the trial court.
Thereafter, on August 22, 1984, or eleven (11) years after the approval of the post-decisional ag
reement between Roman Soriano and the spouses de Vera in CAR Case No. 1724-P-68 for rei
nstatement and reliquidation, petitioners filed with the agrarian court a motion for execution of s
aid post-decisional agreement which allowed Roman Soriano to sub-lease the property.The mot
ion prayed that petitioners be placed in possession of the subject property, jointly with Roman S
oriano, and to levy so much of Romans property to answer for the use and occupation by Sorian
o of 6/7 share of the property. On October 25, 1984, Roman Soriano filed a motion to suspend h
earing on the rental demanded by petitioners, which, however, was denied by the agrarian court
. The agrarian court likewise authorized the substitution of the de Vera spouses by petitioners. S
orianos motion for reconsideration was also denied, prompting Soriano to file a petition for certio
rari with the Court of Appeals.
ISSUE: Whether or not a winning party (Abalos) in a land registration case can effectively eject t
he possessor (Soriano) thereof, whose security of tenure of right is still pending determination b
efore the DARAB
RULING: Possession and ownership are distinct legal concepts. There is ownership when a thin
g pertaining to one person is completely subjected to his will in a manner not prohibited by law a
nd consistent with the rights of others. Ownership confers certain rights to the owner, among wh
ich are the right to enjoy the thing owned and the right to exclude other persons from possessio
n thereof. On the other hand, possession is defined as the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of
a right. Literally, to possess means to actually and physically occupy a thing with or without right
. Possession may be had in one of two ways: possession in the concept of an owner and posse
ssion of a holder. A person may be declared owner but he may not be entitled to possession. Th
e possession may be in the hands of another either as a lessee or a tenant. A person may have
improvements thereon of which he may not be deprived without due hearing. He may have othe
r valid defenses to resist surrender of possession. A judgment for ownership, therefore, does no
t necessarily include possession as a necessary incident.
It is important to note that although private respondents have been declared titled owners of the
subject land, the exercise of their rights of ownership are subject to limitations that may be impo
sed by law.The Tenancy Act provides one such limitation. Agricultural lessees are entitled to se
curity of tenure and they have the right to work on their respective landholdings once the leaseh
old relationship is established. Security of tenure is a legal concession to agricultural lessees wh
ich they value as life itself and deprivation of their landholdings is tantamount to deprivation of th
eir only means of livelihood.The exercise of the right of ownership, then, yields to the exercise of
the rights of an agricultural tenant.
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A judgment in a land registration case cannot be effectively used to oust the possessor of the la
nd, whose security of tenure rights are still pending determination before the DARAB.Stated diff
erently, the prevailing party in a land registration case cannot be placed in possession of the are
a while it is being occupied by one claiming to be an agricultural tenant, pending a declaration th
at the latters occupancy was unlawful.

GARCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 133140. August 10, 1999
FACTS: Atty. Pedro V. Garcia, with the consent of his wife Remedios, sold to their daughter Ma.
Luisa Magpayo and her husband Luisito Magpayo (the Magpayos) a parcel of land identified as
Lot 17 located at Bel Air II Village, Makati. The same was mortgaged to the Philippine Bank of
Communications (PBCom).
The Magpayos failed to honor their obligation which led to the extrajudicial foreclosure, with
PBCom as the highest bidder. The former failed to redeem the land during the redemption
period and hence title was consolidated in favor of PBCom. The writ of possession was served
upon Magpayos brother, Jose Garcia, who did not honor it on the ground that he inherited the
said land from his mother, Remedios. This was countered by PBCom who stated that the land
was never part of the inventory of the estate of Remedios Garcia.
The trial court held that the mortgage in favor of PBCom was void because the spouses were
not yet the owner at the time of mortgage. However, this was reversed by the Court of Appeals.
Hence, the petition.
ISSUE: Did the respondent Court of Appeals depart from the accepted and usual course of
proceedings when it decided the appeal subject of this case based on issues which were raised
neither in the trial court nor in the appellant's brief?
RULING: The petition has no merit. The court made a distinction of ownership and possession.
It stated that ownership exists when a thing pertaining to one person is completely subjected to
his will in a manner not prohibited by law and consistent with the rights of others On the other
hand, possession is defined as the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. Pedro and
Remedios Garcia, being the owners of the land, exercised their right to dispose of the property
upon the sale to Magpayo. Petitioner was never the owner of the land. He never occupied the
property in the concept of an owner. Likewise, his possession did not invalidate the sale of the
land to the Magpayo spouses. Lastly, any claim of ownership as a successor is contradicted by
the fact that the property was never included in the list of assets of Remedios. This could only
mean that ownership of the property has henceforth passed.

RODIL ENTERPRISES v. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 129609, November 29, 2001
FACTS: Petitioner Rodil Enterprises Inc. (RODIL) is the lessee of the Ides O'Racca Building
(O'RACCA), a former alien property. In 1980, RODIL entered into a sublease with respondents
ASSOCIATION. The lease contract of RODIL with the REPUBLIC was then renewed for 15

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years. Due to the enactment of BP233, former commercial and industrial alien properties,
including the ORACCA building, were now authorized for sale. RODIL offered to buy the
purchase property while ASSOCIATION offered to lease the same building. During the
pendency of the application of RODIL, there was another renewal of contract for 5 years. This
renewal was disapproved and Secretary de Jesus directed RODIL to pay delinquency tax. A
writ of preliminary injunction was issued by the lower court against the respondents from
collecting rentals. On May 1992, RODIL again signed a renewal contract with Director Palad of
the Land Management Bureau. A letter which questioned the authority to enter into renewal
contracts was sent by the sublessees of RODIL. RODIL then filed an action of unlawful detainer
Divisoria Footwear and Chua Huay Soon, and others. This was upheld by the both municipal
and regional trial court.
During the pendency of the appeals for the cases on unlawful detainer, the Court of Appeals
declared the renewal of the lease contract between RODIL and the REPUBLIC as void. Soon
after, the Court of Appeals also nullified the decisions of the lower courts on unlawful detainer.
ISSUE: Is the dismissal for the action of unlawful detainer proper?
RULING: No. The owner may enjoy and dispose of a thing so long as it is consistent with law.
As an attribute of ownership, the rule has no exception. Likewise, REPUBLIC, as owners of the
property, may enter into a lease contract and eject usurpers. In this case, it entered into a lease
with RODIL as an incident of its jus disponendi.
For the case of unlawful detainer, the court held that the plaintiff need not be in prior physical
possession for unlawful detainer to exist. Moreover, the right of possession was never
interrupted as the respondents were only occupying by virtue of a temporary occupancy permit.
CORNELIO M. ISAGUIRRE vs. FELICITAS DE LARA
G.R. No. 138053. May 31, 2000
FACTS: Alejandro de Lara was the original applicant-claimant for a Miscellaneous Sales
Application over a parcel of land. Upon his death, his wife respondent Felicitas de Lara, as
claimant, succeeded Alejandro de Lara. On this lot stands a two-story residential-commercial
apartment declared for taxation purposes in the name of respondents sons Apolonio and
Rodolfo, both surnamed de Lara.
Respondent obtained several loans from the PNB. When she encountered financial difficulties,
respondent approached petitioner Cornelio M. Isaguirre, who was married to her niece, for
assistance. A document denominated as Deed of Sale and Special Cession of Rights and
Interests was executed by respondent and petitioner, whereby the former sold a 250 square
meter portion of the lot, together with the two-story commercial and residential structure
standing thereon, in favor of petitioner, for and in consideration of the sum of P5,000.
The two sons filed a complaint against petitioner for recovery of ownership and possession of
the two-story building. RTC ruled in favor of Isaguerre. CA reversed the trial courts decision,
holding that the transaction entered into by the parties, as evidenced by their contract, was an
equitable mortgage, not a sale. CA also declared Original Certificate issued in favor of petitioner
to be null and void. The SC affirmed the decision of the CA and petitioners MR was denied.
Consequently, a writ of possession, together with the Sheriffs Notice to Vacate, was served
upon petitioner.

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ISSUE: Does the mortgagee in an equitable mortgage possess the right to retain possession of
the property pending actual payment to him of the amount of indebtedness by the mortgagor?
HELD: No. As a general rule, the mortgagor retains possession of the mortgaged property since
a mortgage is merely a lien and title to the property does not pass to the mortgagee. However,
even though a mortgagee does not have possession of the property, there is no impairment of
his security since the mortgage directly and immediately subjects the property upon which it is
imposed, whoever the possessor may be, to the fulfillment of the obligation for whose security it
was constituted. If the debtor is unable to pay his debt, the mortgage creditor may institute an
action to foreclose the mortgage, whether judicially or extrajudicially, whereby the mortgaged
property will then be sold at a public auction and the proceeds there from given to the creditor to
the extent necessary to discharge the mortgage loan.

SPS. CUSTODIO and SPS. SANTOS vs. CA, HEIRS OF MABASA


G.R. No. 116100. February 9, 1996
FACTS: The respondent (Pacifico Mabasa) owns a parcel of land with a two-door apartment
erected thereon situated at Taguig, Metro Manila. Said property may be described to be
surrounded by other immovables pertaining to respondents herein.
Private Respondent Mabasa wanted to establish an easement of right of way going into their
property against petitioners who built an adobe wall in their properties which thereby
restricted access to the Mabasa property. Petitioners claim that they built the wall in order to
protect their persons and their property from their intrusive neighbors. The Trial Court
nonetheless ordered that an easement be created.
When said property was purchased by Mabasa, there were tenants occupying the premises and
who were acknowledged by Mabasa as tenants. However, sometime in February, 1982, one of
said tenants vacated the apartment and when Mabasa went to see the premises, he saw that
there had been built an adobe fence in the first passageway making it narrower in width. Said
adobe fence was first constructed by petitioner Santoses along their property which is also
along the first passageway.
Petitioner Ma. Cristina Santos testified that she constructed said fence because of some other
inconveniences of having at the front of her house a pathway such as when some of the tenants
were drunk and would bang their doors and windows.
ISSUE: Is the grant of right of way to herein private respondent Mabasa proper?
HELD: No. Herein petitioners are already barred from raising the same. Petitioners did not
appeal from the decision of the court a quo granting private respondents the right of way, hence
they are presumed to be satisfied with the adjudication therein.
Moreover, a grant of damages for the loss of revenue by reason of the closure of the
passageway to the Mabasas is not proper. The mere fact that the plaintiff suffered losses does
not give rise to a right to recover damages. Every owner has an absolute right over his property
and his act of fencing and enclosing the same was an act which he may lawfully perform in the

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employment and exercise of said right. Whatever injury or damage that may have been
sustained by others by reason of the rightful use of the said land by the owner is damnum
absque injuria.

PRINCIPLE OF SELF HELP


GERMAN MANAGEMENT, vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 76217 September 14, 1989
FACTS: Spouses Cynthia Cuyegkeng Jose and Manuel Rene Jose, residents of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, USA are the owners of a parcel of land situated in Sitio Inarawan, San Isidro,
Antipolo, Rizal. They executed a special power of attorney authorizing petitioner German
Management Services to develop their property into a residential subdivision. Finding that part
of the property was occupied by private respondents, who are mountainside farmers, petitioner
advised the occupants to vacate the premises but the latter refused. Nevertheless, petitioner
proceeded with the development of the subject property which included the portions occupied
and cultivated by private respondents. Petitioner bulldozed the rice, corns, and other crops in
exercise of self-help.
ISSUE: Is the Doctrine of Self-Help available to Petitioners?
HELD: NO. Both the Municipal Trial Court and the Regional Trial Court have rationalized
petitioner's drastic action of bulldozing and destroying the crops of private respondents on the
basis of the doctrine of self-help enunciated in Article 429 of the New Civil Code. 11 Such
justification is unavailing because the doctrine of self-help can only be exercised at the time of
actual or threatened dispossession which is absent in the case at bar.
When possession has already been lost, the owner must resort to judicial process for the
recovery of property. This is clear from Article 536 of the Civil Code which states, "(I)n no case
may possession be acquired through force or intimidation as long as there is a possessor who
objects thereto. He who believes that he has an action or right to deprive another of the holding
of a thing, must invoke the aid of the competent court, if the holder should refuse to deliver the
thing."
Although admittedly petitioner may validly claim ownership based on the monuments of title it
presented, such evidence does not responsively address the issue of prior actual possession
raised in a forcible entry case. It must be stated that regardless of the actual condition of the title
to the property, the party in peaceable quiet possession shall not be turned out by a strong
hand, violence or terror. 9 Thus, a party who can prove prior possession can recover such
possession even against the owner himself. Whatever may be the character of his prior
possession, if he has in his favor priority in time, he has the security that entitles him to remain
on the property until he is lawfully ejected by a person having a better right by accion publiciana
or accion reivindicatoria. 10
ABEJARON vs. NABASA
G.R. No. 84831. June 20, 2001
FACTS: Petitioner Abejaron contends that he is the actual and lawful possessor of a 118square meter portion of a 175-square meter residential lot in Silway, General Santos City

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adjacent to the lot of Respondent Nabasa. In 1945, Petitioner Abejaron and his family started
occupying said lot. At that time, the land had not yet been surveyed. They fenced the area and
built thereon a family home. For several years, Petitioner and his family continued improving the
land. Beginning 1955, respondent Nabasa resided on the remaining 57-square meter portion of
property subject of controversy. Nabasa built his house about four (4) meters away from
petitioner Abejaron's house. Respondent Nabasa did not oppose or complain about the
improvements. Pending an application for a free patent by Petitioner, claiming title under Sec.
48(b) of the Public Land Act, a Free Patent was granted to Respondent Nabasa. Petitioner files
an action for reconveyance. In his Complaint, Petitioner stated that respondent Nabasa's
fraudulent procurement of Free Patent over the disputed land deprived him not of ownership,
but of his "right to file the necessary application thereon with the authorities concerned" as longtime possessor of the land.
ISSUE: Does Petitioner have legal standing to pursue the action for reconverance?
RULING: NO. An action for reconveyance of a property is the sole remedy of a landowner
whose property has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another's name after one year
from the date of the decree so long as the property has not passed to an innocent purchaser for
value.[25] The action does not seek to reopen the registration proceeding and set aside the
decree of registration but only purports to show that the person who secured the registration of
the property in controversy is not the real owner thereof. Fraud is a ground for
reconveyance. For an action for reconveyance based on fraud to prosper, it is essential for the
party seeking reconveyance to prove by clear and convincing evidence his title to the property
and the fact of fraud.
Petitioner Abejaron does not claim to own Lot 1, Block 5, Psu-154953. He in fact admits that he
believed the land in dispute was public in character, thus he did not declare it for taxation
purposes despite possession of it for a long time. Neither did he apply for title over it on the
mistaken belief that he could not apply for title of a public land. Nonetheless, petitioner contends
that an action for reconveyance is proper, viz:
". . . for an action of reconveyance of a parcel of land to prosper, it is not necessary that
the proponent be the absolute owner thereof. It is enough that the proponent has an
equitable right thereon. In the case at bar, the plaintiff had been in lawful, open,
continuous and notorious possession, occupation and control in the concept of an owner
of a greater portion of the subject lot since 1945 and have (sic) thereby acquired an
equitable right thereon protected by law. Possession of public lands once occupation of
the same is proven, as the herein plaintiff did, under claim of ownership constitutes a
grant from the state (Republic vs. Vera, 120 SCRA 210). A portion of the public land
ceased to be public as soon as its claimant had performed all the conditions essential to
a grant (Republic vs. Villanueva, 114 SCRA 875)."
As petitioner Abejaron has not adduced any evidence of title to the land in controversy, whether
by judicial confirmation of title, or homestead, sale, or free patent, he cannot maintain an action
for reconveyance.
"It is well-settled that reconveyance is a remedy granted only to the owner of the property
alleged to be erroneously titled in another's name. (Tomas v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 79328,
21 May 1990, 185 SCRA 627, 633; Esconde v. Barlongay, G.R. No. 67583, 31 July 1987, 152

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SCRA 603, 611; Nebrada v. Heirs of Alivio, et al., 104 Phil. 126 [1958]; Director of Lands v.
Register of Deeds of Rizal, 92 Phil. 826 [1953]; Azurin v. Quitoriano, et al., 81 Phil. 261 [1948]).
In the case at bench, petitioner does not claim to be the owner of the disputed
portion. Admittedly, what he has is only a "preferential right" to acquire ownership thereof by
virtue of his actual possession since January 1947. . . Title to alienable public lands can be
established through open, continuous, and exclusive possession for at least thirty (30) years. . .
Not being the owner, petitioner cannot maintain the present suit.
Similarly, as petitioner Abejaron has failed to show his title to the disputed land, he is not the
proper party to file an action for reconveyance that would result in the reversion of the land to
the government. It is the Solicitor General, on behalf of the government, who is by law
mandated to institute an action for reversion. He has the specific power and function to
"represent the Government in all land registration and related proceedings" and to "institute
actions for the reversion to the Government of lands of the public domain and improvements
thereon as well as lands held in violation of the Constitution." Since respondent Nabasa's Free
Patent and Original Certificate of Title originated from a grant by the government, their
cancellation is a matter between the grantor and the grantee.
CAISIP v. PEOPLE
G.R. No. L-28716, 18 November 1970
FACTS: Spouses Marcelino Guevarra and Gloria Cabalag cultivated a parcel of land of
Hacienda Palico in Nasugbu, Batangas owned by Roxas y Cia and overseen by Felix Caisip.
Roxas y Cia filed an action against Guevarra for forcible entry and the Court ordered Guevarra
to vacate the lot and to pay damages and accrued rentals. A writ of execution was issued and
Guevarra was given twenty days from June 6, 1959 within which to leave the premises. On
June 17, 1959, Gloria Cabalag was seen weeding the portion of the land which was a ricefield.
Caisip approached her and bade her to leave, but she refused to do so, alleging that she and
her husband had the right to stay there and that the crops thereon belong to them. Caisip went
to his co-defendants, Sgt. Rojales and Cpl. Villadelrey, both of the local police, and brought
them with him. Rojales told Gloria, who was then in a squatting position, to stop weeding. As
Gloria insisted on her right to stay in said lot, Rojales grabbed her right hand and, twisting the
same, wrested therefrom the trowel she was holding. Thereupon, Villadelrey held her left hand
and, together with Rojales, forcibly dragged her northward towards a forested area, where there
was a banana plantation, as Caisip stood nearby, with a drawn gun. Gloria shouted "Ina ko po!
Ina ko po!" then her neighbors came and asked the policemen why they were dragging her. The
policemen having answered that they would take Gloria to town which was on the west,
Francisca Andino pleaded that Gloria be released, saying that, if their purpose was as stated by
them, she (Gloria) would willingly go with them. By this time, Gloria had already been dragged
about eight meters and her dress and blouse were torn. She then agreed to proceed westward
to the municipal building.
ISSUE: Were the acts of the appellants justified under Article 429 of the New Civil Code?
RULING: NO. Article 429 of the Civil Code upon which appellants rely is obviously inapplicable
to the case at bar, for, having been given 20 days from June 6, 1959, within which to vacate the
lot, complainant did not, within said period, invade or usurp said lot. She had merely remained in
possession thereof, even though the hacienda owner may have become its co-possessor.
Appellants did not "repel or prevent an actual or threatened physical invasion or usurpation."
They expelled Gloria from a property of which she and her husband were in possession and
despite the fact that the Sheriff had explicitly authorized them to stay in said property up to June
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26, 1959. Appellants herein had, by means of violence, and without legal authority therefor,
prevented the complainant from "doing something not prohibited by law," (weeding and being in
the lot), and compelled her "to do something against" her will (stopping the weeding and leaving
said lot), "whether it be right or wrong," thereby taking the law into their hands, in violation of Art.
286 of the Revised Penal Code. Defendants Felix Caisip, Ignacio Rojales and Federico
Villadelrey, were convicted of the crime of Grave Coercion aggravated by abuse of superior
strength and disregard of the respect due the offended party by reason of her sex.
PEOPLE v. PLETCHA, JR.
G.R. No. 19029, 27 June 1977
FACTS: Tito Pletcha is a farmer who owns a land which he has been cultivating for 19 years. A
private corporation sought to take over the aforementioned land by fencing the 4 hectares of his
property. Such fencing was without authority or court order. Because of this, Pletcha fought-off
any the take over and resisted the company. This forced the company to file a case for grave
coercion against Pletcha in the Municipal Court of Murcia, Negros Occidental.
Pletcha invokes the protective mantle of Article 429 of the Civil Code which gives him the right
to use reasonable force to exclude any person threatening his exclusive ownership over the
land.
The People asks for affirmance on the ground that the appellant should not have taken the law
into his own hands but rather have the courts decide the case.
ISSUE: Can Pletcha properly invoked Article 429 of the New Civil Code?
RULING: YES. The principle of self-help authorizes the lawful possessor to use force not only to
prevent a threatened unlawful invasion or usurpation thereof; it is sort of self-defense. It is lawful
to repel force by force. He who merely uses force to defend his possession does not possess by
force. The use of such necessary force to protect proprietary or possessory rights constitutes a
justifying circumstance under our penal laws.
ANDAMO V. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
191 SCRA 195
FACTS: Sps. Andamo owned a parcel of land adjacent to the land of the Missionaries of Our
Lady of La Salette, Inc. Within the land of the latter, water paths and contrivances, including an
artificial lake were constructed, which allegedly inundated and eroded petitioners land, caused
a young man to drown, damaged petitioners crops and plants, washed away costly fences,
endangered the lives of petitioners and their laborers and some other destructions.
ISSUE: Did respondents improperly exercise their surface right?
RULING: YES. Adjoining landowners have mutual and reciprocal duties which require that each
must use his own land in a reasonable manner so as not to infringe upon the rights and
interests of others. Although we recognize the right of an owner to build structures on his land,
such structures must be so constructed and maintained using all reasonable care so that they
cannot be dangerous to adjoining landowners and can withstand the usual and expected forces
of nature. If the structures cause injury or damage to an adjoining landowner or a third person,
the latter can claim indemnification for the injury or damage suffered.

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ACCESSION
BACHRACH MOTOR CO. V. TALISAY-SILAY MILING CO.
56 Phil. 117
FACTS: On December 22, 1923, the Talisay-Silay Milling Co., Inc., was indebted to the
Philippine National Bank. To secure the payment of its debt, it succeeded in inducing its
planters, among whom was Mariano Lacson Ledesma, to mortgage their land to the creditor
bank. In order to compensate those planters for the risk they were running with their property
under the mortgage, the aforesaid central, by a resolution passed on that same date, undertook
to credit the owners of the plantation thus mortgaged every year with a sum equal to 2% of the
debt secured according to yearly balance.
Later on, a complaint was filed by the Bachrach Motor Co., Inc., against the Talisay-Silay Milling
Co., Inc., for the delivery of the amount P13,850 as bonus in favor of Mariano Lacson Ledesma.
The Philippine National Bank filed a third party claim alleging a preferential right to receive any
amount which Mariano Lacson Ledesma might be entitled to from the Talisay-Silay Milling Co.
as bonus, because that would be civil fruits of the land mortgaged to said bank by said debtor
for the benefit of the central referred to. The trial court held that the Bachrach Motor Co., Inc.,
had a preferred right to receive the amount of P11,076.02 which was Mariano Lacson
Ledesma's bonus, and it ordered the defendant central to deliver said sum to the plaintiff.
ISSUE: Is the bonus in question (the compensation for the risk of having subjected one's land to
a lien in favor of the bank) considered civil fruits?
RULING: NO. Article 355 of the Civil Code considers three things as civil fruits: First, the rents
of buildings; second, the proceeds from leases of lands; and, third, the income from perpetual or
life annuities, or other similar sources of revenue. It is to be noted that the said bonus bears no
immediate, but only a remote accidental relation to the land mentioned, having been granted as
compensation for the risk of having subjected one's land to a lien in favor of the bank, for the
benefit of the entity granting said bonus. If this bonus be income or civil fruits of anything, it is
income arising from said risk, or, if one chooses, from Mariano Lacson Ledesma's generosity in
facing the danger for the protection of the central, but certainly it is not civil fruits or income from
the mortgaged property, which, as far as this case is concerned, has nothing to do with it.

EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT vs. MAYFAIR THEATER, INC.


G.R. No. 106063 November 21, 1996
FACTS: Carmelo owned a parcel of land, together with two 2-storey buildings constructed
thereon located at Claro M Recto Avenue, Manila covered by a Transfer Certificate Title issued
in its name by the Register of Deeds of Manila. Carmelo entered into a contract of lease with
Mayfair for the latter's lease of a portion of Carmelo's property, for use as a motion picture
theater and for a term of twenty (20) years in 1969. In 1974, Carmelo expressed interest of
selling the entire property to Mayfair. Four years after the Carmelo sold its entire C.M. Recto
Avenue land and building, which included the leased premises housing the "Maxim" and
"Miramar" theatres, to Equatorial by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale, for the total sum of
P11,300,000.00 in violation of the Mayfairs right of first refusal stipulated in the lease
agreement.

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ISSUE: Whether or not Mayfair can exercise its right of first refusal?
RULING: Yes. As also earlier emphasized, the contract of sale between Equatorial and
Carmelo is characterized by bad faith, since it was knowingly entered into in violation of the
rights of and to the prejudice of Mayfair. In fact, as correctly observed by the Court of Appeals,
Equatorial admitted that its lawyers had studied the contract of lease prior to the sale.
Equatorial's knowledge of the stipulations therein should have cautioned it to look further into
the agreement to determine if it involved stipulations that would prejudice its own interests.
Since Mayfair has a right of first refusal, it can exercise the right only if the fraudulent sale is first
set aside or rescinded. All of these matters are now before us and so there should be no
piecemeal determination of this case and leave festering sores to deteriorate into endless
litigation. The facts of the case and considerations of justice and equity require that we order
rescission here and now. Rescission is a relief allowed for the protection of one of the
contracting parties and even third persons from all injury and damage the contract may cause or
to protect some incompatible and preferred right by the contract. The sale of the subject real
property by Carmelo to Equatorial should now be rescinded considering that Mayfair, which had
substantial interest over the subject property, was prejudiced by the sale of the subject property
to Equatorial without Carmelo conferring to Mayfair every opportunity to negotiate within the 30day stipulated period
SPOUSES MACASAET vs. MACASAET
G.R. Nos. 154391-92. September 30, 2004
FACTS: Petitioners Ismael and Teresita Macasaet and Respondents Vicente and Rosario
Macasaet are first-degree relatives. Ismael is the son of respondents, and Teresita is his
wife.On December 10, 1997, the parents filed with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of
Lipa City an ejectment suit against the children. Respondents alleged that they were the owners
of two (2) parcels of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Titles, situated at Banay-banay, Lipa
City; that by way of a verbal lease agreement, Ismael and Teresita occupied these lots in March
1992 and used them as their residence and the situs of their construction business; and that
despite repeated demands, petitioners failed to pay the agreed rental of P500 per week.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner spouses are entitled to the rights of a builder in good faith?
RULING: Yes. The occupancy of the subject lots by petitioners was not merely something not
wholly approved of by respondents. Neither did it arise from what Tolentino refers to as
neighborliness or familiarity. In point of fact, their possession was upon the invitation of and with
the complete approval of respondents, who desired that their children would occupy the
premises. It arose from familial love and a desire for family solidarity, which are basic Filipino
traits.Hence they are considered builders in good faith. However when persistent conflict and
animosity overtook the love and solidarity between the parents and the children, the purpose of
the agreement ceased. Thus, petitioners no longer had any cause for continued possession of
the lots. Their right to use the properties became untenable. It ceased upon their receipt of the
notice to vacate. And because they refused to heed the demand, ejectment was the proper
remedy against them. Their possession, which was originally lawful, became unlawful when the
reason therefor -- love and solidarity -- ceased to exist between them. Article 448 applies to the
present factual milieu. The established facts of this case show that respondents fully consented
to the improvements introduced by petitioners. In fact, because the children occupied the lots
upon their invitation, the parents certainly knew and approved of the construction of the
improvements introduced thereon Thus, petitioners may be deemed to have been in good faith
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when they built the structures on those lots.Consequently, respondents have the right to
appropriate -- as their own -- the building and other improvements on the subject lots, but only
after (1) refunding the expenses of petitioners or (2) paying the increase in value acquired by
the properties by reason thereof. They have the option to oblige petitioners to pay the price of
the land, unless its value is considerably more than that of the structures -- in which case,
petitioners shall pay reasonable rent.Respondents must also pay for the necessary expenses
under Article 546 for the useful improvements, because the petitioner spouses augmented the
value or income of the bare lots.
FELICIANO vs. ZALDIVAR
G.R. No. 162593, September 26, 2006
FACTS: Feliciano filed against the spouses Aurelio and Luz Zaldivar a complaint for declaration
of nullity of Transfer Certificate of Title and reconveyance of the subject property in Cagayan de
Oro City. The said title is registered in the name of Aurelio Zaldivar.
In her complaint,Feliciano alleged that she was the registered owner of a parcel of land covered
by a TCT. Sometime in 1974, Aurelio, allegedly through fraud, was able to obtain a TCT
covering the portion of Felicianos lot as described in her TCT.
According to Feliciano, the subject lot was originally leased from her by Pio Dalman, Aurelios
father-in-law. She further alleged that she was going to mortgage the subject lot to Ignacio Gil
which however, did not push through because Gil took back the money without returning the
receipt she had signed as evidence of the supposed mortgage contract. Thereafter, in 1974,
Aurelio filed with the then CFI of Misamis Oriental a petition for partial cancellation of theTCT in
Felicianos name. It was allegedly made to appear therein that Aurelio and his spouse Luz
acquired the subject lot from Dalman who, in turn, purchased it from Gil. The petition was
granted and a TCT was issued in Aurelios name.
Remegia denied that she sold the subject lot either to Gil or Dalman. She likewise impugned as
falsified the joint affidavit of confirmation of sale that she and her uncle, Narciso Labuntog,
purportedly executed before a notary public, where Remegia appears to have confirmed the
sale of the subject property to Gil. She alleged that she never parted with the certificate of title
and that it was never lost. As proof that the sale of the subject lot never transpired, Remegia
pointed out that the transaction was not annotated on her TCT.
In their answer, the spouses Zaldivar denied the material allegations in the complaint and raised
the affirmative defense that Aurelio is the absolute owner and possessor of the subject lot as
evidenced by his TCT and Tax Declaration covering the same. Aurelio claimed that he acquired
the subject lot by purchase from Dalman who, in turn, bought the same from Gil on April 4,
1951. Gil allegedly purchased the subject lot from Remegia and this sale was allegedly
conformed and ratified by the latter and her uncle, Narciso Labuntog, before a notary public on
December 3, 1965.
After Aurelio obtained a loan from the GSIS, the spouses Zaldivar constructed their house on
the subject lot. They alleged that they and their predecessors-in-interest had been occupying
the said property openly, publicly, adversely and continuously for over 41 years already. Aurelio
filed a petition for the issuance of a new owners duplicate copy of because when he asked
Remegia about it, the latter claimed that it had been lost.
The RTC rendered judgment in favor of Remegia. On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of
the RTC and ruled in favor of the spouses Zaldivar. When their MR was denied by the CA, the
heirs of Feliciano (the petitioners) sought recourse to the Court in their petition for review.
ISSUE: Are respondents builders in good faith?

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RULING: Yes. ART. 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown or
planted in good faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his own the works, sowing or
planting, after payment of the indemnity provided for in Articles 546 and 548 or to oblige the one
who built or planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent.
However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is considerably
more than that of the building or trees. In such a case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner
of the land does not choose to appropriate the building or trees after the proper indemnity. The
parties shall agree upon the terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix
the terms thereof.
Following the above provision, the owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown or
planted in good faith shall have the right to appropriate as his own the building, planting or
sowing, after payment to the builder, planter or sower of the necessary and useful expenses,
and in the proper case, expenses for pure luxury or mere pleasure.
Consequently, the petitioners are obliged to exercise either of the following options:
(1) to appropriate the improvements, including the house, built by the respondents on the
subject lot by paying the indemnity required by law, or
(2) sell the subject lot to the respondents.
Petitioners cannot refuse to exercise either option and compel respondents to remove their
house from the land. In case petitioners choose to exercise the second option, respondents are
not obliged to purchase the subject lot if its value is considerably more than the improvements
thereon and in which case, respondents must pay rent to petitioners. If they are unable to agree
on the terms of the lease, the court shall fix the terms thereof.

SPOUSES NUGUID VS. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 151815. February 23, 2005
FACTS: Pedro P. Pecson owned a commercial lot on which he built a 4-door 2-storey apartment
building. For failure to pay realty taxes, the lot was sold at public auction to Mamerto
Nepomuceno, who in turn sold it to the spouses Juan and Erlinda Nuguid. Pecson challenged
the validity of the auction sale before the RTC of Quezon City, which upheld the spouses title
but declared that the apartment building was not included in the auction sale. This was affirmed
in toto by the Court of Appeals and thereafter by this Court. On June 23, 1993, by virtue of the
Entry of Judgment, the Nuguids became the uncontested owners of the 256-square meter
commercial lot. As a result, the Nuguid spouses moved for delivery of possession of the lot and
the apartment building.
The trial court, relying upon Article 546 of the Civil Code, ruled that the Spouses Nuguid were to
reimburse Pecson for his construction cost, the spouses Nuguid were entitled to immediate
issuance of a writ of possession over the lot and improvements. The RTC also directed Pecson
to pay the same amount of monthly rentals to the Nuguids as paid by the tenants occupying the
apartment units. Pecson duly moved for reconsideration, the RTC issued a Writ of
Possession,directing the deputy sheriff to put the spouses Nuguid in possession of the subject
property with all the improvements thereon and to eject all the occupants therein.Pecson then
filed a special civil action for certiorari and prohibition with the Court of Appeals, which affirmed
the order of payment of construction costs but rendered the issue of possession moot on
appeal.
Frustrated by this turn of events, Pecson filed a petition for review before this Court. On May 26,

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1995, the Court handed down the decision remanding to the trial court for it to determine the
current market value of the apartment building on the lot. The value so determined shall be
forthwith paid by Spouses Juan and Erlinda Nuguid] to Pedro Pecson otherwise the petitioner
shall be restored to the possession of the apartment building until payment of the required
indemnity.
On the basis of this Courts decision, Pecson filed a Motion to Restore Possession and a Motion
to Render Accounting, praying respectively for restoration of his possession over the subject
256-square meter commercial lot and for the spouses Nuguid to be directed to render an
accounting under oath, of the income derived from the subject four-door apartment from
November 22, 1993 until possession of the same was restored to him.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioners are liable to pay rent over and above the current market
value of the improvement and that such increased award of rentals by the RTC was reasonable
and equitable.
RULING: It is not disputed that the construction of the 4-door 2-storey apartment, subject of this
dispute, was undertaken at the time when Pecson was still the owner of the lot. When the
Nuguids became the uncontested owner of the lot, by virtue of entry of judgment of the Courts
decision, the apartment building was already in existence and occupied by tenants.
Under Article 448, the landowner is given the option, either to appropriate the improvement as
his own upon payment of the proper amount of indemnity or to sell the land to the possessor in
good faith. Relatedly, Article 546 provides that a builder in good faith is entitled to full
reimbursement for all the necessary and useful expenses incurred; it also gives him right of
retention until full reimbursement is made. As we earlier held, since petitioners opted to
appropriate the improvement for themselves as early as June 1993, when they applied for a writ
of execution despite knowledge that the auction sale did not include the apartment building, they
could not benefit from the lots improvement, until they reimbursed the improver in full, based on
the current market value of the property.
Despite the Courts recognition of Pecsons right of ownership over the apartment building, the
petitioners still insisted on dispossessing Pecson by filing for a Writ of Possession to cover both
the lot and the building. Clearly, this resulted in a violation of respondents right of retention.
Worse, petitioners took advantage of the situation to benefit from the highly valued, incomeyielding, four-unit apartment building by collecting rentals thereon, before they paid for the cost
of the apartment building. It was only 4 years later that they finally paid its full value to the
respondent.
Given the circumstances of the instant case where the builder in good faith has been clearly
denied his right of retention for almost half a decade, we find that the increased award of rentals
by the RTC was reasonable and equitable. The petitioners had reaped all the benefits from the
improvement introduced by the respondent during said period, without paying any amount to the
latter as reimbursement for his construction costs and expenses. They should account and pay
for such benefits.
DAMIAN IGNACIO ET AL v. ELIAS HILARIO, ET AL.
G.R. No. L-175, 30 April 1946
[ESTEBAN]
FACTS:
Elias Hilario and his wife Dionisia Dres filed a case before the CFI of Pangasinan against

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Damian, Francisco and Luis, surnamed Ignacio, concerning the ownership of a parcel of land,
partly rice-land and partly residential. After the trial of the case, the lower court, presided over by
Hon. Alfonso Felix, rendered judgment holding plaintiffs as the legal owners of the whole
property but conceding to defendants the ownership of the houses and granaries built by them
on the residential portion with the rights of a possessor in good faith, in accordance with Article
361 of the Civil Code. Subsequently, in a motion filed in the same Court of First Instance the
plaintiffs prayed for an order of execution alleging that since they chose neither to pay
defendants for the buildings nor to sell to them the residential lot, said defendants should be
ordered to remove the structure at their own expense and to restore plaintiffs in the possession
of said lot.
ISSUE: May an owner in good faith eject a builder in good faith without choosing either to
appropriate the building for himself after payment of its value or to sell his land to the builder in
good faith?
RULING: NO. The owner of the building erected in good faith on a land owned by another, is
entitled to retain the possession of the land until he is paid the value of his building, under Article
453. The owner of the land, upon the other hand, has the option, under Article 361, either to pay
for the building or to sell his land to the owner of the building. But he cannot, as respondents
here did, refuse both to pay for the building and to sell the land and compel the owner of the
building to remove it from the land where it is erected. He is entitled to such remedy only when,
after having chosen to sell his land, the other party fails to pay for the same.
IGNAO V. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
193 SCRA 17
FACTS: The petitioner and his uncles, the private respondents in this case, were co-owners of a
parcel of land situated in Barrio Tabon, Kawit, Cavite. The land was later on ordered by the then
CFI to be partitioned pursuant to an action for partition. Petitioner instituted a complaint for
recovery of possession of real property against private respondents alleging that the area
occupied by the two (2) houses built by private respondents exceeded the 133.5 square meters
previously allotted to them. The CFI found the private respondents to be builders in good faith,
thus the remedies available for the petitioner indicated in Article 448 of the Civil Code were
applicable in the case. However, the trial court observed that based on the facts of the case, it
would be useless and unsuitable for Florencio to exercise the first option since this would render
the entire houses of Juan and Isidro worthless, and therefore ordered the petitioner to sell to
defendants that encroached portion of his property.
ISSUE: May the court choose from the options provided in Article 448 for the petitioner?
RULING: NO. In Quemuel v. Olaes, the Court categorically ruled that the right to appropriate the
works or improvements or to oblige the builder to pay the price of the land belongs to the
landowner.
FILIPINAS COLLEGE INC. V. GARCIA TIMBANG, ET AL
164 SCRA 287
FACTS: While Filipinas Colleges, Inc. was declared to have acquired the rights of the spouses

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Timbang in the lot subject to the payment of the value of the land. In case Filipinas Colleges,
Inc. failed to deposit the value of the land within the time fixed by the court, Filipinas Colleges
would lose all its rights to the land and the spouses Timbang would then become the owners
thereof. It is contended by the appellants that because the builder in good faith has failed to pay
the price of the land after the owners thereof exercised their option under Article 448 of the Civil
Code, the builder lost his right of retention provided in Article 546 and by operation of Article
445, the appellants as owners of the land automatically became the owners ipso facto.
ISSUE: Is the failure of the builder to pay the value of the land, when such is demanded by the
land-owner, the latter becomes automatically the owner of
the improvement?
RULING: NO. Under the terms of articles 448 and 546, it is true that the owner of the land has
the right to choose between appropriating the building by reimbursing the builder of the value
thereof or compelling the builder in good faith to pay for his land. Even this second right cannot
be exercised if the value of the land is considerably more than that of the building. In addition to
the right of the builder to be paid the value of his improvement, Article 546 gives him the
corollary right of retention of the property until he is indemnified by the owner of the land. There
is nothing in the language of these two article, 448 and 546, which would justify the conclusion
of appellants that, upon the failure of the builder to pay the value of the land, when such is
demanded by the land-owner, the latter becomes automatically the owner of the
improvement under Article 445.
BERNARDO VS BATACLAN
66 Phil. 598
FACTS: By a contract of sale executed from Pastor Samonte and others ownership of a parcel
of land of about 90 hectares, the petitioner, to secure possession of the land from the vendors,
instituted Civil Case No. 1935 in the Court of First Instance of Cavite. The trial court found for
the plaintiff in a decision which was affirmed by this Supreme Court on appeal. When plaintiff
entered upon the premises, however, he found the defendant herein, Catalino Bataclan, who
appears to have been authorized by former owners, as far back as 1922, to clear the land and
make improvements thereon. Bataclan was not a party to the previous case. Thus, on June 11,
1931, petitioner instituted a case against him. In this case, the plaintiff was declared the owner
but the defendant was held to be a possessor in good faith, entitled to reimbursement in the
total sum of P1,642, for work done and improvements made. The petitioner chose to oblige the
defendant to pay for the value of the land. However, defendant did not have enough money to
pay for the land. As a result, the court ordered the sale of the land in public auction.
ISSUE: Whether or not the defendant is still entitled to the proceeds of the public auction
HELD: No. The defendant states that he is a possessor in good faith and that the amount of
P2,212 to which he is entitled has not yet been paid to him. Therefore, he says, he has a right to
retain the land in accordance with the provisions of article 453 of the Civil Code. We do not
doubt the validity of the premises stated. We find, however, that the defendant has lost his right
of retention. In obedience to the decision of this court in G.R. No. 37319, the plaintiff expressed
his desire to require the defendant to pay for the value of the land. The said defendant could
have become owner of both land and improvements and continued in possession thereof. But
he said he could not pay and the land was sold at public auction to Toribio Teodoro. The law, as

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we have already said, requires no more than that the owner of the land should choose between
indemnifying the owner of the improvements or requiring the latter to pay for the land. When he
failed to pay for the land, the defendant herein lost his right of retention.
The sale at public auction having been asked by the plaintiff himself and the purchase price of
P8,000 received by him from Toribio Teodoro, we find no reason to justify a rapture of the
situation thus created between them, the defendant-appellant not being entitled, after all, to
recover from the plaintiff the sum of P2,212.
MANOTOK REALTY INC VS TECSON
164 SCRA 587
FACTS: In the action for recovery of possession and damages by petitioner against respondent,
the lower court ruled that the respondent Nilo Madlangawa is a builder or possessor in good
faith, and ordered the plaintiff to recognize the right of said defendant to remain in Lot No. 345,
Block 1, of the Clara Tambunting Subdivision until after he shall have been reimbursed by the
plaintiff the sum of P7,500.00 without pronouncement as to costs. After the decision became
final and executory, the petitioner filed a motion before the lower court for the approval of his
exercise of option and for satisfaction of judgment, praying that the court issue an order: a)
approving the exercise of petitioner's option to appropriate the improvements introduced by the
private respondent on the property; b) thereafter, private respondent be ordered to deliver
possession of the property in question to the petitioner. In ruling against the said motion, the
court is of the considered view that under the peculiar circumstances which supervened after
the institution of this case, like, for instance, the introduction of certain major repairs of and other
substantial improvements on the controverted property, the instant motion of the plaintiff is not
well-taken and therefore not legally proper and tenable. After a denial of its motion for
reconsideration, the petitioner filed the present petition for mandamus alleging that the
respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in denying his motion to exercise option
and for execution of judgment on the grounds that under Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code,
the exercise of option belongs to the owner of the property, who is the petitioner herein, and that
upon finality of judgment, the prevailing party is entitled, as a matter of right, to its execution
which is only a ministerial act on the part of the respondent judge.
ISSUE: Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to exercise the option provided under Article 448
RULING: YES. When the decision of the trial court became final and executory, it became
incumbent upon the respondent judge to issue the necessary writ for the execution of the same.
There is, therefore, no basis for the respondent judge to deny the petitioner's motion to avail of
its option to appropriate the improvements made on its property.
When the decision of the trial court became final and executory, it became incumbent upon the
respondent judge to issue the necessary writ for the execution of the same. There is, therefore,
no basis for the respondent judge to deny the petitioner's motion to avail of its option to
approriate the improvements made on its property.
Thus, the repairs and improvements introduced by the said respondents after the complaint was
filed cannot be considered to have been built in good faith, much less, justify the denial of the
petitioner's fai-rn of option.
Since the improvements have been gutted by fire, and therefore, the basis for private

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respondent's right to retain the premises has already been extinguished without the fault of the
petitioner, there is no other recourse for the private respondent but to vacate the premises and
deliver the same to herein petitioner.
BALLATAN v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 125683, March 2, 1999
Facts: Eden Ballatan, together with other petitioners, is living in and registered owners of Lot
No. 24. Respondents Winston Go is living in and registered owners of Lot No. 25 and 26, while
Li Ching Yao is living in and the registered owner of Lot. 27. The Lots are adjacent to each
other.
When Ballatan constructed her house in her lot, she noticed that the concrete fence and side
pathway of the adjoining house of respondent Winston Go encroached on the entire length of
the eastern side of her property. Jose Quedding, an engineer, did a survey twice which led to
the conclusion that Lots Nos 25, 26 (owned by respondent Go) and 27 (owned by Li Ching Yao)
moved westward to the eastern boundary of Lot 24 (owned by petitioner Ballatan.). It was later
on discovered by the courts that Go encroached 42 square meters from the property of Ballatan
and Yao encroached 37 square meters on Gos property, all of which were in GOOD FAITH.
Ballatan made written demands to the respondent to dismantle and move their improvements
and since the latter wasnt answering the petitioner filed accion publiciana in court.
Issue: What is the proper remedy in a situation where everybody is in good faith?
Ruling: Art 448 is the proper remedy (Lower Courts are wrong in awarding the damages). It
was established in the case that the parties had no knowledge of the encroachment until
Ballatan noticed it there all of them were builders in Good faith. In that scenario they have two
options. 1st option is that the land owner will buy the improvements and the 2nd option is to
oblige the builders to buy the land given that the value of the land is not considerably more than
the buildings or tree; otherwise the owner may remove the improvements thereon.
The builder, planter or sower, however, is not obliged to purchase the land if its value is
considerably more than the building, planting or sowing. In such case, the builder, planter or
sower must pay rent to the owner of the land. If the parties cannot come to terms over the
conditions of the lease, the court must fix the terms thereof. The right to choose between
appropriating the improvement or selling the land on which the improvement of the builder,
planter or sower stands, is given to the owner. If the option chooses is to sell the lot, the price
must be fixed at the prevailing market value at the time of payment. Petitioner was given by SC
30 days to decide on what to do or which right to exercise.
HEIRS OF ROMAN DURANO, SR. VS SPOUSES UY, ET AL.
Gr 136456, October 24, 2000
Facts: Congressman Ramon Durano, Sr, and son Ramon Durano III and the latters wife
Elizabeth Hotchkiss Durano (herein petitioners) filed a case for damages against respondents
for allegedly officiating a hate campaign against them by lodging complaints for invasion of the
respondents properties in Cahumayhumayan, Danao City.
The respondents made a
counterclaim demanding the return of their properties claiming that in August 1970, they

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received mimeographed notices signed by Durano Sr. informing them that the land they
occupied is owned by Cebu Portland Cement Company and was purchased by Durano & Co for
immediate turn over. However, before many of them could even receive the notice, employees
of Durano & Co. proceeded to bulldoze the land, destroying plantings and improvements made
therein. On September 15, 1970, Durano & Co. sold the subject land to Durano III, but despite
the sale, the respondents remained in the property and constructed buildings.
ISSUE: Whether or not the respondents are builders in good faith
RULING: YES. The court ruled that the records indicated that the respondents possession has
already ripened into ownership by acquisitive prescription. Acquisitive prescription is acquired by
possession in good faith with just tittle for a period of ten years. One is considered in good faith
when he is not aware of any flaw in his tittle or mode of acquisition of the property and there is
just title when the adverse claimant came into possession of the property through one of the
modes of acquiring ownership provided by law.
In the case at bar, the respondents acquired the properties by purchase or inheritance and ever
since were in actual, continuous, open, and adverse possession. The petitioners on the other
hand cannot claim good faith. The validity of the certificates of title obtained by them were
doubted by the courts as there was a lack of registered title of Cepoc and the deed of sale
between Cepoc and Durano & Co. were not notarised and therefore unregisterable.
Furthermore, a buyer could not have been ignorant that the property they bought were
adversely possessed by the respondents nor did they investigate the property the petitioners
cannot be held to be buyers in good faith, nor builders in good faith. Under the Article 449 of the
New Civil Code, he who builds etc. in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built etc.
without right of indemnity. Furthermore, Article 450 gives the landowner over which something
was built in bad faith the power to demolish the works to replace the property in their former
condition at the expense of the builder, and Article 451 gives him the right to damages.

SPOUSES DEL CAMPO v. ABESIA


G.R. No.L-49219, 15 April 1988
FACTS: An action for partition was filed by plaintiffs in the CFI of Cebu. Plaintiffs and
defendants are co-owners pro indiviso of this lot in the proportion of and 1/3 share each,
respectively. The trial court appointed a commissioner who recommended that the lot be divided
into two portion with the area of 30 square meters for the plaintiffs and 15 square meters for the
defendants. The houses of plaintiffs and defendants were surveyed and shown on the sketch
plan. The house of defendants occupied the portion with an area of 5 square meters of Lot
1161-A of plaintiffs. The parties manifested their conformity to the report and asked the trial
court to finally settle and adjudicate who among the parties should take possession of the 5
square meters of the land in question.
ISSUE: Is Art 448 of the New Civil Code applicable in cases where the disputed land is coowned?
RULING: NO. Article 448 of the New Civil Code provides as follows:
Art. 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown, or planted in good faith,

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shall have the right to appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the
indemnity provided for in articles 546 and 548, or to oblige the one who built or planted to pay
the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent. However, the builder or planter
cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is considerably more than that of the building or
trees. In such case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to
appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms
of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof.
The court a quo correctly held that Article 448 of the Civil Code cannot apply where a co-owner
builds, plants, or sows on the land owned in common for then he did not build, plant or sow
upon land that exclusively belongs to another but of which he is a co-owner. The co-owner is not
a third person under the circumstances, and the situation is governed by the rules of
coownership. However, when, as in this case, the co-ownership is terminated by the partition
and it appears that the house of defendants overlaps or occupies a portion of 5 square meters
of the land pertaining to plaintiffs which the defendants obviously built in good faith, then the
provisions of Article 448 of the new Civil Code should apply. Manresa and Navarro Amandi
agree that the said provision of the Civil Code may apply even when there was co-ownership if
good faith has been established.

PACIFIC FARMS, INC. v. ESGUERRA


G.R. No. L-21783, 29 November 1969
FACTS: Defendant appellant, Carried Lumber Co. delivered and sold construction materials to
Insular Farms, Inc. such was utilized for construction of six buildings at its compound in Bolinao
Pangasinan within the period of Oct.1,1956- Mar.2, 1957. The total procurement amounted to
P15, 000.00 but Insular Farms, Inc paid only partial amount of P4, 710.18. Carried Lumber, Co
instituted a civil case to recover the unpaid balance before the CFI of Pangasinan which
sustained the companys claim and a writ of execution was issued. The sheriff levied the six
buildings, which led to plaintiff- appellee, Pacific Farms, Inc, to file a third party complaint
asserting absolute ownership of the buildings it was sold by Insular Farms seven prior to the
civil case. They seek to nullify the levy and judicial sale with damages but the corporation
contended to be innocent buyer in good faith for value.
ISSUE: Is there a materialman's lien over the six buildings in favor of the appellant to be paid
by the buyer of property?
RULING: YES. Therefore, applying article 447 by analogy, we perforce consider the buildings
as the principal and the lumber and construction materials that went into their construction as
the accessory. Thus the appellee, if it does own the six buildings, must bear the obligation to
pay for the value of the said materials; the appellant which apparently has no desire to
remove the materials, and, even if it were minded to do so, cannot remove them without
necessarily damaging the buildings has the corresponding right to recover the value of the
unpaid lumber and construction materials. The court noted evident circumstances that negate
the appellee's claim of being innocent buyer in good faith for value:
In the deed of absolute sale, exhibit 1, the Insular Farms, Inc. (vendor) was represented in the
contract by its president, J. Antonio Araneta. The latter was a director of the appellee (Pacific
Farms, Inc.) and was the counsel who signed the complaint filed by the appellee in the court
below. J. Antonio Araneta was, therefore, not only the president of the Insular Farms, Inc. but

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also a director and counsel of the appellee.


During the trial of civil case the Insular Farms, Inc. was represented by Attorney Amado
Santiago, Jr. of the law firm of J. Antonio Araneta. The latter was one of the counsels of the
Pacific Farms, Inc.

PECSON V. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 115814, May 26, 1995
FACTS: Petitioner Pedro P. Pecson was the owner of a commercial lot in Kamias, Quezon City
on which he built a four- door two-storey apartment. For his failure to pay realty taxes amounting
to twelve thousand pesos, the lot was sold at public auction by the city Treasurer of Quezon City
to Mamerto Nepomuceno who in turn sold it on 12 October 1983 to the private respondents, the
spouses Juan Nuguid and Erlinda Tan-Nuguid, for one hundred three thousand pesos. The
petitioner challenged the validity of the auction sale before the RTC of Quezon City. In its
decision of 8 February 1989, the RTC dismissed the complaint, but as to the private
respondents' claim that the sale included the apartment building, it held that the issue
concerning it was "not a subject of the . . . litigation." In resolving the private respondents'
motion to reconsider this issue, the trial court held that there was no legal basis for the
contention that the apartment building was included in the sale. In this the petition for review
petitioner espouse the view that he was a builder in good faith of the apartment building on the
theory that he constructed it at the time when he was still the owner of the lot.
ISSUE: Whether the provision of Article 448 of the Civil Code is applicable in the instant case.
RULING: Article 448 does not apply to a case where the owner of the land is the builder, sower,
or planter who then later loses ownership of the land by sale or donation. Elsewise stated,
where the true owner himself is the builder of works on his own land, the issue of good faith or
bad faith is entirely irrelevant. Thus in strict point of law, Article 448 is not apposite to the case at
bar. Nevertheless, we believe that the provision therein on indemnity may be applied by analogy
considering that the primary intent of Article 448 is to avoid a state of forced co-ownership and
that the parties, including the two courts below, in the main agree that Articles 448 and 546 of
the Civil Code are applicable and indemnity for the improvements may be paid although they
differ as to the basis of the indemnity.

TECNOGAS PHILIPPINES MANUFACTURING CORPORATION, v. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 108894, February 10, 1997
FACTS: The parties in this case are owners of adjoining lots in Paraaque, Metro Manila. It was
discovered in a survey that a portion of a building of petitioner, which was presumably
constructed by its predecessor-in-interest, encroached on a portion of the lot owned by private
respondent.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner a builder in bad faith because it is presumed to know the
metes and bounds of his property.
RULING: No. Unless one is versed in the science of surveying, no one can determine the

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precise extent or location of his property by merely examining his paper title. The record is not
clear as to who actually built those structures, but it may well be assumed that petitioners
predecessor-in-interest, did so. Article 527 of the Civil Code presumes good faith, and since no
proof exists to show that the encroachment over a narrow, needle-shaped portion of private
respondents land was done in bad faith by the builder of the encroaching structures, the latter
should be presumed to have built them in good faith. It is presumed that possession continues
to be enjoyed in the same character in which it was acquired, until the contrary is proved. Good
faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his, and his ignorance
of any defect or flaw in his title.

GEMINIANO, ET. AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 120303, 24 July 1996
FACTS: Paulina Amado vda. de Geminiano, petitioners mother, owns a with an area of 314
square meters. On a 12-square-meter portion of that lot stood the petitioners' unfinished
bungalow, which the petitioners sold in November 1978 to the private respondents for the sum
of P6,000.00, with an alleged promise to sell to the latter that portion of the lot occupied by the
house. Subsequently, the petitioners' mother executed a contract of lease over a 126 squaremeter portion of the lot, including that portion on which the house stood, in favor of the private
respondents for P40.00 per month for a period of seven years commencing on 15 November
1978. The private respondents then introduced additional improvements and registered the
house in their names. After the expiration of the lease in November 1985, however, the
petitioners' mother refused to accept the monthly rentals.It turned out that the lot in question
was the subject of a suit, which resulted in its acquisition by one Maria Lee in 1972. In 1982,
Lee sold the lot to Lily Salcedo, who in turn sold it in 1984 to the spouses Agustin and Ester
Dionisio.
RTC ruled that since the private respondents were assured by the petitioners that the lot they
leased would eventually be sold to them, they could be considered builders in good faith, and as
such, were entitled to reimbursement of the value of the house and improvements with the right
of retention until reimbursement had been made.
ISSUE: Are the private respondents builders in good faith?
RULING: NO. Being mere lessees, the private respondents knew that their occupation of the
premises would continue only for the life of the lease. Plainly, they cannot be considered as
possessors nor builders in good faith. This Court has held that Article 448 of the Civil Code, in
relation to Article 546 of the same Code, which allows full reimbursement of useful
improvements and retention of the premises until reimbursement is made, applies only to a
possessor in good faith, i.e., one who builds on land with the belief that he is the owner thereof.
It does not apply where one's only interest is that of a lessee under a rental contract; otherwise,
it would always be in the power of the tenant to "improve" his landlord out of his property. And
even if the petitioners indeed promised to sell, it would not make the private respondents
possessors or builders in good faith so as to be covered by the provisions of Article 448 of the
Civil Code. The latter cannot raise the mere expectancy of ownership of the aforementioned lot
because the alleged promise to sell was not fulfilled nor its existence even proven. The first
thing that the private respondents should have done was to reduce the alleged promise into
writing, because under Article 1403 of the Civil Code, an agreement for the sale of real property
or an interest therein is unenforceable, unless some note or memorandum thereof be produced.

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Not having taken any steps in order that the alleged promise to sell may be enforced, the private
respondents cannot bank on that promise and profess any claim nor color of title over the lot in
question.
PLEASANTVILLE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 79688, 1 February 1996
FACTS: Respondent Edith Robillo purchased from petitioner a parcel of land designated as Lot
9 in Pleasantville Subdivision. In 1975, respondent Eldred Jardinico bought the rights to the lot
from Robillo. At that time, Lot 9 was vacant. Upon completing all payments, Jardinico secured
from the Register of Deeds a Transfer Certificate of Title in his name. It was then that he
discovered that improvements had been introduced on Lot 9 by respondent Wilson Kee, who
had taken possession thereof. It appears that on March 26, 1974, Kee bought on installment Lot
8 of the same subdivision from C.T. Torres Enterprises, Inc. (CTTEI), the exclusive real estate
agent of petitioner. Under the Contract to Sell on Installment, Kee could possess the lot even
before the completion of all installment payments. On January 20, 1975, Kee paid CTTEI the
relocation fee of P50.00 and another P50.00 on January 27, 1975, for the preparation of the lot
plan. These amounts were paid prior to Kees taking actual possession of Lot 8. After the
preparation of the lot plan and a copy thereof given to Kee, CTTEI through its employee,
Zenaida Octaviano, accompanied Kees wife, Donabelle Kee, to inspect Lot 8. Unfortunately, the
parcel of land pointed by Octaviano was Lot 9. Thereafter, Kee proceeded to construct his
residence, a store, an auto repair shop and other improvements on the lot. After discovering that
Lot 9 was occupied by Kee, Jardinico confronted him. The parties tried to reach an amicable
settlement, but failed. On January 30, 1981, Jardinicos lawyer wrote Kee, demanding that the
latter remove all improvements and vacate Lot 9. When Kee refused to vacate, Jardinico filed a
complaint for ejectment with damages against Kee. Kee, in turn, filed a third-party complaint
against petitioner and CTTEI.
ISSUE: Was the respondent a builder in good faith?
RULING: YES. Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is
his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title. And as good faith is presumed, petitioner
has the burden of proving bad faith on the part of the respondent (Kee). At the time he built
improvements on Lot 8, Kee believed that said lot was what he bought from petitioner. He was
not aware that the lot delivered to him was not Lot 8. Thus, Kee's good faith. Petitioner failed to
prove otherwise.
IGNACIO vs. HILARIO
G.R. NO. L-175. April 30, 1946
FACTS: Elias Hilario and his wife Dionisia Dres filed a case before the CFI of Pangasinan
against Damian, Francisco and Luis, surnamed Ignacio, concerning the ownership of a parcel of
land, partly rice-land and partly residential. After the trial of the case, Judgment was rendered
holding plaintiffs as the legal owners of the whole property but conceding to defendants the
ownership of the houses and granaries built by them on the residential portion with the rights of
a possessor in good faith, in accordance with Article 361 of the Civil Code.
Subsequently, in a motion filed in the same Court of First Instance, the plaintiffs prayed for an
order of execution alleging that since they chose neither to pay defendants for the buildings nor
to sell them the residential lot, said defendants should be ordered to remove the structure at

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their own expense and to restore plaintiffs in the possession of said lot.
ISSUE: May an owner in good faith eject a builder in good faith without choosing either to
appropriate the building for himself after payment of its value or to sell his land to the builder in
good faith?
RULING: No. The owner of the building erected in good faith on a land owned by another, is
entitled to retain the possession of the land until he is paid the value of his building, under Article
453. The owner of the land, upon the other hand, has the option, under Article 361, either to pay
for the buildings or to sell his land to the owner of the building. But he cannot, as respondents
here did, refuse both to pay for the building and to sell the land and compel the owner of the
building to remove it from the land where it is erected. He is entitled to such remotion only when,
after having chosen to sell his land, the other party fails to pay the same.

ROSALES vs CASTELLTORT
FACTS: Spouses-petitioners Rodolfo V. Rosales and Lily Rosqueta-Rosales are the registered
owners of a parcel of land. They discovered that a house was being constructed on their lot,
without their knowledge and consent, by respondent Miguel Castelltort (Castelltort). It turned out
that respondents Castelltort and his wife Judith had purchased a lot, Lot 16 of the same
Subdivision Plan, from respondent Lina Lopez-Villegas (Lina) through her son-attorney- in-fact
Rene Villegas (Villegas) but that after a survey thereof by geodetic engineer Augusto Rivera, he
pointed to Lot 17 as the Lot 16 the Castelltorts purchased.
ISSUE: Whether or not Castelltort is a builder in good faith
RULING: Yes. A builder in good faith is one who builds with the belief that the land he is
building on is his, or that by some title one has the right to build thereon, and is ignorant of any
defect or flaw in his title. Article 527 of the Civil Code provides that good faith is always
presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a possessor rests the burden of
proof. In the case at bar, Lot 16 was sold by Lina, through her attorney-in-fact Villegas, to
Castelltort and a certain Elizabeth Cruz for a consideration of P500,000.00. While prior to the
sale, what Villegas showed Castelltort as evidence of his mother Linas ownership of the
property was only a photocopy of her title TCT No. (T-42171) T-18550 he explaining that the
owners duplicate of the title was lost and that judicial reconstitution thereof was ongoing,
Castelltort acted in the manner of a prudent man and went to the Registry of Deeds of Laguna
to procure a certified true copy of the TCT. The certified true copy bore no annotation indicating
any prior adverse claim on Lot 16. The records indicate that at the time Castelltort began
constructing his house on petitioners lot, he believed that it was the Lot 16 he bought and
delivered to him by Villegas. The confusion in the identification of Lot 16 was eventually traced
to the error committed by geodetic engineer Augusto Riveras employees in placing stone
monuments on petitioners property, instead of on Lot 16, the lot sold to Castelltort, based on the
survey made by the engineer in 1992.
AGUSTIN vs INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
FACTS: Alluvium as accretion was deposited on the land possessed by private respondents.

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Sudden and abrupt change of the course of the Cagayan River separated or transferred said
accretions to the other side of the river belonging to petitioner.
ISSUE: whether or not private respondents' ownership of the accretion to their lands was lost as
a result of avulsion to the other side of the river
RULING: No. Articles 459 and 463 of the New Civil Code apply to this situation. Art. 459.
Whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known
portion of land and transfers it to another estate, the owner of the land to which the segregated
portion belonged retains the ownership of it, provided that he removes the same within two
years. Art. 463. Whenever the current of a river divides itself into branches, leaving a piece of
land or part thereof isolated, the owner of the land retains his ownership. He also retains it if a
portion of land is separated from the estate by the current. In the case at bar, the sudden
change of course of the Cagayan River as a result of a strong typhoon in 1968 caused a portion
of the lands of the private respondents to be "separated from the estate by the current." The
private respondents have retained the ownership of the portion that was transferred by avulsion
to the other side of the river.
CUREG v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT
G.R. No. 73465, 7 September 1989
FACTS: Private respondent Domingo Apostol bought a parcel of land from private respondents
Soledad Gerardo, Rosa Gerardo, Nieves Gerardo, Flordeliza Gerardo (Gerardos), and
Maquinad. At the time of the execution by the vendors of an Extra-Judicial Partition of the
property, the parcel of land already showed signs of accretion of about three (3) hectares.
Thereafter, when private respondents were about to cultivate the land together with its
accretion, they were prevented and threatened by petitioner Cureg. Petitioner Cureg anchors
his claim on the parcel of land and its accretion on Original Certificate of Title No. P-19093 (the
OCT only covered the parcel of land), while private respondents anchor their claim on
previously filed tax declarations stating the area and boundaries of the land.
ISSUE: Is Cureg still required to register, under the Torrens System, the land acquired through
accretion, even if the parcel of land which received the accretion was already covered by a
Torrens title?
RULING: YES. An increase in the area of ones land through an accretion left by the change of
course or the northward movement of a body of water does not automatically become registered
land just because the lot which receives such accretion is covered by a Torrens title. As such, it
must also be placed under the operation of the Torrens System.
VIAJAR v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. L-77294, December 12, 1988
FACTS: The spouses Ladrido were the owners of Lot No. 7511 of the Cadastral Survey situated
in barangay Cawayan, Pototan, Iloilo. This lot was registered in the names of the spouses under
TCT of the Register of Deeds of Iloilo. Spouses Te were also the registered owners of a parcel
of land described in their title as Lot No. 7340 of the Cadastral Survey. Te sold this lot Spouses
Viajar. A Torrens title was later issued in their names. Later, Angelica Viajar had Lot No. 7340

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relocated and found out that the property was in the possession of Ricardo Ladrido.
Consequently, she demanded its return but Ladrido refused. Spouses Viajar instituted a civil
action for recovery of possession and damages against Ricardo Ladrido and Rosendo Te.
Plaintiffs sought the annulment of the deed of sale and the restitution of the purchase price with
interest in the event the possession of defendant Ladrido is sustained. It is admitted by the
parties that Lot No. 7511 and Lot No. 7340 were separated by the Suague River. Petitioners
also contend that Article 457 of the New Civil Code must be construed to limit the accretion
mentioned therein as accretion of unregistered land to the riparian owner, and should not extend
to registered land. The lower court and CA ruled in favour of defendants.
ISSUES: 1. Is the change in the course of the Suague River sudden as claimed by the plaintiffs
in order to negate the right of accretion by the defendants? 2. Is accretion under Art. 457 limited
to unregistered lands, as such protecting registered lands against diminution in area?
RULING: 1. NO. For a period of more than 40 years (before 1940 to 1980) the Suague River
overflowed its banks yearly and the property of the defendant gradually received deposits of soil
from the effects of the current of the river. The consequent increase in the area of Lot No. 7511
due to alluvion or accretion was possessed by the defendants whose tenants plowed and
planted the same with corn and tobacco. Art. 457 provides that to the owners of lands adjoining
the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually received from the effects of the
current of the waters.
2. NO. It also applies to registered lands. The rule that registration under the Torrens System
does not protect the riparian owner against the diminution of the area of his registered land
through gradual changes in the course of an adjoining stream is well settled.

HEIRS OF NAVARRO v. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT


FACTS: Sinforoso Pascual wanted to register land on the northern section of his existing
registered property, which is bounded on the east by the Talisay River, on the West by the
Bulacan River and on the North by the Manila Bay. As both rivers flow towards the Manila Bay,
extra land of about 17 hectares formed in the northern most section of the property. Emilio
Navarro, who leased part of the property sought to be registered, opposed the application in
order to protect his fishpond. The lower court denied the application on the ground that the
property was foreshore land and therefore part of the public domain. Upon appeal, the CA ruled
in favor of the application, holding that the accretion was caused by the two rivers, not by the
Manila Bay, and hence, Article 457 should apply.
ISSUE: Whether or not the accretion taking place on property adjacent to the sea can be
registered under the Torrens system
RULING: No. The disputed property was brought forth by both the withdrawal of the waters of
Manila Bay and the accretion formed on the exposed foreshore land by the action of the sea
which brought soil and sand sediments in turn trapped by the palapat and bakawan trees
planted thereon by petitioner Sulpicio Pascual in 1948.
Private respondents' claim of ownership over the disputed property under the principle of
accretion, is misplaced. First, the title of private respondents' own tract of land reveals its
northeastern boundary to be Manila Bay. Private respondents' land, therefore, used to adjoin,

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border or front the Manila Bay and not any of the two rivers whose torrential action, private
respondents insist, is to account for the accretion on their land. In fact, one of the private
respondents, Sulpicio Pascual, testified in open court that the waves of Manila Bay used to hit
the disputed land being part of the bay's foreshore but, after he had planted palapat and
bakawan trees thereon in 1948, the land began to rise.
Moreover, there is no dispute as to the location of: (a) the disputed land; (b) private
respondents' own tract of land; (c) the Manila Bay; and, (d) the Talisay and Bulacan Rivers.
Private respondents' own land lies between the Talisay and Bulacan Rivers; in front of their land
on the northern side lies now the disputed land where before 1948, there lay the Manila Bay. If
the accretion were to be attributed to the action of either or both of the Talisay and Bulacan
Rivers, the alluvium should have been deposited on either or both of the eastern and western
boundaries of private respondents' own tract of land, not on the northern portion thereof which is
adjacent to the Manila Bay. Clearly lacking, thus, is the third requisite of accretion, which is, that
the alluvium is deposited on the portion of claimant's land which is adjacent to the river bank.
Second, there is no dispute as to the fact that private respondents' own tract of land adjoins the
Manila Bay. Manila Bay is obviously not a river, and jurisprudence is already settled as to what
kind of body of water the Manila Bay is. A bay is part of the sea, being a mere indentation of the
same. The disputed land, thus, is an accretion not on a river bank but on a sea bank, or on what
used to be the foreshore of Manila Bay which adjoined private respondents' own tract of land on
the northern side. As such, the applicable law is not Article 457 of the Civil Code but Article 4 of
the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866.

VDA. DE NAZARENO v. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 98045, June 26, 1996, Romero
FACTS: The subject of this controversy is a parcel of land which was formed as a result of
sawdust dumped into the dried-up Balacanas Creek and along the banks of the Cagayan River.
Riparian owner Antonio Nazareno wanted to perfect his title over the said accretion area but it
was protested by private respondents, who had houses built thereon, before the Bureau of
Lands. The Bureau ordered that private respondents may file public land applications over the
said area and that they be placed in possession thereof, but petitioners, the heirs of Antonio
Nazareno, claim that the subject land is private land being an accretion to the titled property,
applying Art. 457 of the Civil Code.
ISSUE: Do the Nazarenos own the accretion area?
RULING: No. In the case of Meneses v. CA, this Court held that accretion, as a mode of
acquiring property under Art. 457 of the Civil Code, requires the concurrence of these
requisites: (1) that the deposition of soil or sediment be gradual and imperceptible; (2) that it be
the result of the action of the waters of the river (or sea); and (3) that the land where accretion
takes place is adjacent to the banks or rivers (or the sea coast).
For petitioners to insist on the application of these rules on alluvion to their case, the abovementioned requisites must be present. However, they admit that the accretion was formed by
the dumping of boulders, soil and other filling materials on portions of the Balacanas Creek and
the Cagayan River bounding their land. It cannot be claimed, therefore, that the accumulation of

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such boulders, soil and other filling materials was gradual and imperceptible, resulting from the
action of the waters or the current of the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan River. In Hilario v.
City of Manila, this Court held that the word "current" indicates the participation of the body of
water in the ebb and flow of waters due to high and low tide. Petitioners' submission not having
met the first and second requirements of the rules on alluvion, they cannot claim the rights of a
riparian owner.
It is this Court's conclusion that the accretion was man-made or artificial. In Republic v. CA, this
Court ruled that 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 Civil Code all deposits caused by
human intervention. Putting it differently, alluvion must be the exclusive work of nature. In the
case at bar, the subject land was the direct result of the dumping of sawdust by the Sun Valley
Lumber Co. consequent to its sawmill operations. Even if this Court were to take into
consideration petitioners' submission that the accretion site was the result of the late Antonio
Nazareno's labor consisting in the dumping of boulders, soil and other filling materials into the
Balacanas Creek and Cagayan River bounding his land, the same would still be part of the
public domain.

CO-OWNERSHIP
AVILA v. BARABAT
FACTS: Avila is a co-owner of a cadastral lot by virtue of inheritance. Barabat now leased a
certain portion of Avila's house, later on, avila sought to sell his share and offered the property
first to her co-owners, which noone shown interest, which she then sold it to barabat who
agreed to the same and executed a deed of sale over the specific portion of the land. Barabat
exercised ownership and also paid the real estate taxes, later on, the co-owner sought to
exercise his right of legal redemption.
ISSUE: WON legal redemption may still be exercised
RULING: The purpose of partition is to separate, divide and assign a thing held in common
among those to whom it belongs. By their own admission, petitioners already segregated and
took possession of their respective shares in the lot. Their respective shares were therefore
physically determined, clearly identifiable and no longer ideal. Thus, the co-ownership had been
legally dissolved. With that, petitioners right to redeem any part of the property from any of their
former co-owners was already extinguished. As legal redemption is intended to minimize coownership, once a property is subdivided and distributed among the co-owners, the community
ceases to exist and there is no more reason to sustain any right of legal redemption.

DEL BANCO vs CA
FACTS: Four co-owners bought a 1,600 hectare land from the spanish government with an
initial sharing agreement of 1/4 share per co-owner and started to possess and occupy the
same. Later on, they agreed to modify their agreement concerning the co-ownership. After 100
years, one of the co-owners sought to have a partition over the properties. In defense, the other
co-owners claimed prescription as a defense, res judicata, laches and estoppel.
ISSUE: Can mere agreement to subdivide property terminate co-ownership?

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RULING: No. It is not enough that the co-owners agree to subdivide the property. They must
have a subdivision plan drawn in accordance with which they take actual and exclusive
possession of their respective portions in the plan and titles issued to each of them accordingly
(Caro v. Court of Appeals, 113 SCRA 10 [1982]). The mechanics of actual partition should
follow the procedure laid down in Rule 69 of the Rules of Court. Maganon v. Montejo, 146
SCRA 282 [1986]). Neither can such actual possession and enjoyment of some portions of the
Island by some of the petitioners herein be considered a repudiation of the co- ownership. It is
undisputed that the Cagbalite Island was purchased by the original co-owners as a common
property and it has not been proven that the Island had been partitioned among them or among
their heirs. While there is co-ownership, a co-owner's possession of his share is co-possession
which is linked to the possession of the other co-owners (Gatchalian v. Arlegui, 75 SCRA 234
[1977]). Furthermore, no prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner against his co- owners or
co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co- ownership (Valdez v. Olonga,
51 SCRA 71 [1973], Tero v. Tero, 131 SCRA 100 [1984]). Co-owners cannot acquire by
prescription the share of the other co-owners, absent a clear repudiation of the co-ownership
clearly communicated to the other co-owners (Mariano v. De Vega, 148 SCRA 342 [1987]). An
action for partition does not prescribe. Article 403 of the Old Civil Code, now Article 497,
provides that the assignees of the co-owners may take part in the partition of the common
property, and Article 400 of the Old Code, now Article 494 provides that each co-owner may
demand at any time the partition of the common property, a provision which implies that the
action to demand partition is imprescriptible or cannot be barred by laches (Budlong v. Pondoc,
79 SCRA 24 [1977]). An action for partition does not lie except when the co- ownership is
properly repudiated by the co- owner (Jardin v. Hollasco, 117 SCRA 532 [1982]).
ADLAWAN V. ADLAWAN,
G.R. NO. 161916, January 20, 2006
FACTS: A house and lot (lot 7226) was registered in the name of Dominador Adlawan, the
father of (petitioner) Arnelito Adlawan. He is the acknowledged illegitimate child of Dominador
who is claiming that he is the sole heir. He then adjudicated to himself the said house and lot to
himself and out of generosity allowed the siblings of his father to occupy the property provided
that they vacate when asked. Time came when he demanded that they vacate and when they
refused he filed an ejectment suit against them. His aunt and uncle on the other hand, Narcisa
(70) and Emeterio (59) denied his allegations claiming that the said lot was registered in their
parents name and they had been living in the said house and lot since birth. The only reason
why the said house and lot was transferred in Dominadors name was when their parents were
in need of money for renovating their house, their parents were not qualified to obtain a loan
and since Dominador was the only one who had a college education, they executed a simulated
deed of sale in favor of Dominador.
ISSUE: Is the filing of an action for the sole benefit of the co-owner to the exclusion of other coowners proper?
RULING: No. 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- 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

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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.
OESMER V. PARAISO DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION,
G.R. NO. 157493, February 5, 2007
FACTS: This case originated when Ernesto Oesmer, one of the co-owners of the subject land,
met with the President of respondent corporation for the purpose of brokering the sale of
petitioners properties to the latter. Pursuant to the said meeting, a Contract to Sell was drafted
whereby petitioners Ernesto and Enriqueta subsequently signed the aforesaid Contract to Sell.
A check in the amount of P100,000.00, payable to Ernesto, was given as option money.
Sometime thereafter, Rizalino, Leonora, Bibiano, Jr., and Librado also signed the said Contract
to Sell. However, two of the brothers, Adolfo and Jesus, did not sign the document. Later on,
petitioners informed the respondent, through a letter, of their intention to rescind the Contract to
Sell and to return the amount of P100,000.00 given by respondent as option money.
Respondent did not respond to the aforesaid letter. Afterwards, herein petitioners, together with
Adolfo and Jesus, filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity or for Annulment of Option
Agreement or Contract to Sell with Damages before the RTC.
ISSUE: Will the act of a co-owner bind the other co-owners?
RULING: Yes. The contract to sell was valid and binding. In contrast to the contention of the five
co-owners who affixed their signatures in the contract to sell that their signatures do not confer
authority to Ernesto as an agent to sell their shares, the Court held that they were selling the
same directly and in their own right. Hence, written authority is no longer necessary since they
were selling their shares in their own capacity as owners. In addition, the petitioners, being
owners of their respective undivided shares in the subject properties, can dispose of their
shares even without the consent of all the co-heirs. Article 493 of the Civil Code provides that,
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 the 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.
Consequently, even without the consent of the two co-heirs, Adolfo and Jesus, the Contract
to Sell was valid and binding with respect to the 6/8 proportionate shares of the petitioners.
AGUIRRE, ET AL. vs. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.
G.R. No. 122249 January 29, 2004
FACTS: Leocadio Medrano and his first wife Emilia owned a piece of land. After the death of
Emilia, Leocadio married his second wife Miguela. When Leocadio died, all his heirs agreed that
Sixto Medrano, a child of the first marriage, should manage and administer the said property.
After Sixto died, his heirs learned that he had executed an Affidavit of Transfer of Real Property
in which he falsely stated that he was the only heir of Leocadio. It turned out that while Sixto

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were still alive, he sold a portion of the subject land tp Tiburcio Balitaan and another portion to
Maria Bacong, Maria Bacong later sold the said portion to Rosendo Bacong. Petitioners, all
heirs of Leocadio who were affected by the sale demanded reconveyance of the portions sold
by Sixto but the 3 vendees refused. Resultantly, petitioners filed a suit against them seeking the
nullity of the documents and partition thereof. The vendees contended that they acquired the
property under the valid deed of sale and petitioners cause of action was barred by laches and
prescription. Tiburcio also contended that he is an innocent purchaser for value.
ISSUE: Whether or not there was a valid sale between Sixto Medrano and the three purchases
considering the fact that it was made without the consent of the co-owners.
HELD: Under Article 493 of the New Civil Code, a sale by a co-owner of the whole property as
his will affect only his own share but not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the
sale). The provision clearly provides that the sale or other disposition affects only the sellers
share, and the transferee gets only what corresponds to his grantors share in the partition of
the property owned in common. 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-owner is not null and
void; only the rights of the co-owner-seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a co-owner
of the property. It is clear therefore that the deed of sale executed by Sixto in favor of Tiburcio
Balitaan is a valid conveyance only insofar as the share of Sixto in the co-ownership is
concerned. Acts which may be considered adverse to strangers may not be considered adverse
in so far as co-owners are concerned. A mere silent possession by a co-owner, his receipts of
rentals, fruits or profits from the property, the erection of buildings and fences and planting of
trees thereon, and the payment of land taxes, cannot serve as proof of exclusive ownership, if it
is not borne out by clear and convincing evidence that he exercised such acts of possession
which unequivocally constituted an ouster or deprivation of the rights of the other co-owners.
Thus, in order that a co-owners possession may be deemed adverse to the cestui que trust or
the other co-owners, the following elements must concur: (1) that he has performed unequivocal
acts of repudiation amounting to an ouster of the cestui que trust or the other co-owners; (2) that
such positive acts of repudiation have been known to the cestui que trust or the other coowners; and (3) that the evidence thereon must be clear and convincing.
Tested against these guidelines, the respondents failed to present competent evidence that the
acts of Sixto adversely and clearly repudiate the existing co-ownership among the heirs of
Leocadio Medrano. Respondents reliance on the tax declaration in the name of Sixto Medrano
is unworthy of credit since we have held on several occasions that tax declarations by
themselves do not conclusively prove title to land. Further, respondents failed to show that the
Affidavit executed by Sixto to the effect that he is the sole owner of the subject property was
known or made known to the other co-heirs of Leocadio Medrano.
BALO v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. NO. 129704, September 30, 2005
FACTS: A complaint for Judicial Partition of Real Properties and Accounting with Damages was
filed by private respondent Josefina Garrido against petitioners alleging that she (private
respondent) and petitioners are the co-owners of undivided parcels of land located at Mayorga,
Leyte. According to her, these lands were originally owned by the spouses Eugenio Balo, Sr.
and Ma. Pasagui-Balo, who, at the time of the filing of the complaint, were already deceased.
The Balo spouses were survived by their two (2) children, Ulpiano, Sr. and Maximino, the latter

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likewise deceased. Private respondent is the daughter of Maximino Balo and Salvacion
Sabulao. Petitioner Ulpiano Balo is the son of Eugenio Balo, Sr., while the other petitioners, the
children of Ulpiano, are Eugenios grandchildren.
Private respondent further alleged in her complaint that immediately upon the death of her
grandfather, Eugenio Sr., the petitioners took possession of the said real properties without her
knowledge and consent. The petitioners being her uncle and cousins, private respondent
earnestly requested them that they come up with a fair and equal partition of the properties left
by her grandparents. The petitioners having outrightly refused her proposal, private respondent
filed the complaint.
ISSUE: Whether or not proof of legal acknowledgment is not a prerequisite before an action for
partition may be filed.
RULING: There is no absolute necessity requiring that the action to compel acknowledgment
should have been instituted and prosecuted to a successful conclusion prior to the action in
which that same plaintiff seeks additional relief in the character of heir. Certainly, there is nothing
so peculiar to the action to compel acknowledgment as to require that a rule should be here
applied different from that generally applicable in other cases.
ROBLES et, al., vs. COURT of APPEALS
FACTS: A parcel of land located at Kay Taga, Lagundi, Morong, Rizal. Bounded [i]n the north
by the property of Venancio Ablay y Simeon Ablay; [i]n the east by the property of Veronica
Tulak y Dionisio Ablay; [i]n the south by the property of Simeon Ablay y Dionisio Ablay; and [i]n
the west by the property of Dionisio Ablay y Simeon Ablay, with an area of 9,985 square meters,
more or less, assessed in the year 1935 at P60.00 under Tax Declaration No. 23219.
As the heirs of Silvino Robles who, likewise inherited the above-described parcel from Leon
Robles, the siblings Lucio, Emeteria, Aludia and Emilio, all surnamed Robles, commenced the
instant suit with the filing of their March 14, 1988 complaint against Spouses Virgilio and Ruth
Santos, as well as the Rural Bank of Cardona, Inc. Contending that they had been in
possession of the land since 1942, the plaintiff alleged, among other matters, that it was only in
September of 1987 that they came to know of the foreclosure of the real estate mortgage
constituted thereon by the half-brother, Hilario Robles, in favor of defendant Rural Bank; and
that they likewise learned upon further inquiry, that the latter had already sold the self-same
parcel in favor of the Santos spouses .
ISSUE: Whether or not the right to property was lost due to prescription.
RULING: Quieting of Title, Art. 476 of the Civil Code provides:
Whenever there is cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any
instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but
is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to
said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet title.
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or
any interest therein.
Based on the above definition, an action to quiet title is a common-law remedy for the removal
of any cloud or doubt or uncertainty on the title to real property. 9 It is essential for the plaintiff or
complainant to have a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property which is the
subject matter of the action. 10 Also, the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding that is being

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alleged as a cloud on plaintiff's title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its
prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. 11
That there is an instrument or a document which, on its face, is a valid and efficacious is clear in
the present case. Petitioners allege that their title as owners and possessors of the disputed
property is clouded by the tax declaration and, subsequently, the free patent thereto granted to
Spouses Vergel and Ruth Santos. The more important question to be resolved, however, is
whether the petitioners have the appropriate title that will entitle them to avail themselves of the
remedy of quieting of title.
In the present case, Hilario did not have possession of the subject property; neither did he
exclude the petitioners from the use and the enjoyment thereof, as they had indisputably shared
in its fruits. 13 Likewise, his act of entering into a mortgage contract with the bank cannot be
construed to be a repudiation of the co-ownership. As absolute owner of his undivided interest
in the land, he had the right to alienate his share, as he in fact did. 14 Neither should his
payment of land taxes in his name, as agreed upon by the co-owners, be construed as a
repudiation of the co-ownership. The assertion that the declaration of ownership was
tantamount to repudiation was belied by the continued occupation and possession of the
disputed property by the petitioners as owners.
doctrine: To be entitled to the remedy of quieting of title, petitioners must show that they have
title to the real property at issue, and that some deed or proceeding beclouds its validity or
efficacy. Buyers of unregistered real property, especially banks, must exert due diligence in
ascertaining the titles of mortgagors and sellers, lest some innocent parties be prejudiced.
Failure to observe such diligence may amount to bad faith and may result in the nullity of the
mortgage, as well as of the subsequent foreclosure and/or auction sale. Unless the coownership is clearly repudiated, a co-owner cannot, by prescription, acquire title to the share of
the other co-owners.

BALOLOY vs. HULAR


G.R. No. 157767, September 9, 2004
FACTS: Spouses Lino and Victoriana Estopin were the original owners of a parcel of land
located in Barangay Biriran, Juban, Sorsogon ( Lot No. 3347 ) of the Juban Cadastre. A major
portion of the property was agricultural, while the rest was residential. November 11 and 25,
1961: When Lino Estopin died intestate, his widow, Victoriana Lagata, executed a Deed of
Absolute Sale over the agricultural portion of Lot No. 3347, (15,906 sqm) and the residential
portion of the property (287 sqm) to Astrologo Hular. In 1961, Iluminado asked Hulars
permission to construct a house on a portion of Lot No. 3347 near the road, and the latter
agreed. Iluminado Baloloy in 1945 acquired a coconut land, north of the residential portion of
Lot 3347 Lot No. 3353 (9302 sqm), and registered the same. Iluminado constructed his house
on a portion of Lot No. 3353. He and his family, including his children, forthwith resided in said
house. In 1979, respondent Hular had his house constructed near the trail (road) on Lot No.
3347, which, however, occupied a big portion of Lot No. 3353.
Iluminado died intestate. His widow and their children continued residing in the property, while
petitioner Reynaldo Baloloy, one of Iluminados children, later constructed his house near that of
his deceased fathers. When Astrologo died, he was survived by his children, Jose, Romeo,
Anacleto, Elena, Leo, Teresita, and the respondent, among others, who continued to reside in
their house. Sometime in l991 the respondent had Lot No. 3353 surveyed and discovered that
the residential area sold by Lagata to Astrologo Hular had an area of 1,405 square meters,
instead of 287 square meters only. Respondent Alfredo Hular filed a complaint for quieting of
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title of real property against the children and heirs of Iluminado Baloloy, namely, Anacorita,
Antonio, and petitioners Reynaldo and Adelina, all surnamed Baloloy. He prayed among others
that he be declared the absolute owner of the property in question.
ISSUE: Were all the indispensable parties impleaded by the respondent in the trial court?
RULING: NO, they were not. We note that the action of the respondent in the trial court is for:
(a) reinvidicatoria, to declare the respondent the absolute owner of the subject property and its
reconveyance to him as a consequence of the nullification of Free Patent and OCT (b)
publiciana, to order the petitioners and the other heirs of Iluminado Baloloy to vacate the
property and deliver possession thereof to him; and (c) damages and attorneys fees.
It is the contention of the respondent that the subject property was sold by Lagata to his father,
Astrologo Hular, in 1961. He adduced evidence that when his parents died intestate, they were
survived by their children, the respondent and his siblings Elena, Jose, Romeo, Anacleto, Leo,
and Teresita. Article 1078 of the Civil Code provides that where there are two or more heirs, the
whole estate of the decedent is, before partition, owned in common by such heirs, subject to the
payment of the debts of the deceased. 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 the use and enjoyment of the same.
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 co-plaintiffs because the suit is deemed to be
instituted for the benefit of all.27 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 which was issued
based on Free Patent. 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 LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is GRANTED. The decisions of the Regional
Trial Court and the Court of Appeals are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The complaint of the
respondent is DISMISSED.

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CRUZ vs. DEBARTOLOME


G.R. No. 4656. November 18, 1912
FACTS: 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.
Despite 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 unkept promises and other excuses. Vicenta filed a petition for partition with damages
in the RTC.
The RTC 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 Vicenta 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: Is a co-owner obliged to pay for rent in using the co-owned property?
RULING: NO. 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 co-owners, for the reason that, until a division be made, the respective part of
each holder cannot be determined and every one of the co-owners exercises together with his
other co-owners, 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
incommon 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

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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 co-owner, her sister Vicenta, nor did she prevent the
latter from living therein, but merely exercised a legitimate right pertaining to her as a co-owner
of the property.

EXTINGUISHMENT OF COOWNERSHIP
LUZ CARO, vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. L-46001 March 25, 1982
FACTS: Alfredo Benito, Mario Benito and Benjamin Benito were the original co-owners of two
parcels of land in Sorsogon. When Mario died, his surviving wife Basilia and his father Sarurnino
were subsequently appointed as joint administrators of Mario's estate. Benjamin Benito then
executed a deed of absolute sale of his one-third undivided portion over said parcels of land in
favor of herein petitioner, Luz Caro. When Basilia learned of the sale, she sent to petitioner thru
her counsel, a written offer to redeem the said one-third undivided share. As for the other coowners, they did not exercise their right of legal redemption.
ISSUE: Can Basilia, as administatrix of a deceased co-owner, exercise her right of legal
redemption?
RULING: NO. The fact is that as early as 1960, co-ownership of the subject parcels of land was
terminated when Alfredo Benito, Luz Caro and the Intestate Estate of Mario Benito, represented
by administrators Saturnino Benito, as trustee and representative of the heirs of Mario Benito,
agreed to subdivide the property.
An agreement of partition, though oral, is valid and consequently binding upon the parties.
(Hernandez vs. Andal, et al., 78 Phil. 196)
A petition for subdivision was then filed for the purpose. A subdivision plan was made and by
common agreement Lot I-C thereof, with an area of 163 hectares, more or less, was ceded to
petitioner. Thereafter, the co-owners took actual and exclusive possession of the specific
portions respectively assigned to them. A subdivision title was subsequently issued on the lot
assigned to petitioner.
Even on the assumption that there still is co-ownership here and that therefore, the right of legal
redemption exists, private respondent as administratrix, has no personality to exercise said right
for and in behalf of the intestate estate of Mario Benito. She is on the same footing as coadministrator Saturnino Benito. Hence, if Saturnino's consent to the sale of the one-third portion
to petitioner cannot bind the intestate estate of Mario Benito on the ground that the right of
redemption was not within the powers of administration, in the same manner, private
respondent as co-administrator has no power exercise the right of redemption the very power
which the Court of Appeals ruled to be not within the powers of administration.
BAILON-CASILAO vs. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 78178 April 15, 1988

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FACTS: The parcel of land involved in this case is covered by Original Certificate of Title No.
1771 issued in the names of Rosalia, Gaudencio, Sabina Bernabe, Nenita and Delia, all
surnamed Bailon, as co-owners, each with a 1/6 share. In 1948, Rosalia Bailon and Gaudencio
Bailon sold a portion of the said land consisting of 16,283 square meters to Donato Delgado.
This lot was then acquired by one Lanuza. Consequently, John Lanuza, acting under a special
power of attorney given by his wife, sold the two parcels of land to Celestino Afable, Sr.
Petitioners herein filed a case for recovery of property and damages with notice of lis pendens
against defendant and Afable. Afable claimed that he had acquired the land in question through
prescription and contended that the petitioners were guilty of laches.
ISSUE: Are petitioners already barred by laches?
RULING: Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable length of time
to do that which by exercising due diligence could or should have been done earlier; it is
negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time warranting a presumption that
the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. It must be noted
that while there was delay in asserting petitioners' rights, such delay was not attended with any
knowledge of the sale nor with any opportunity to bring suit. In the first place, petitioners had no
notice of the sale made by their eldest sister. In the second place, they were not afforded an
opportunity to bring suit inasmuch as until 1981, they were kept in the dark about the
transactions entered into by their sister. The third element of laches is likewise absent. There
was no lack of knowledge or notice on the part of the defendant that the complainants would
assert the right on which they base the suit. On the contrary, private respondent is guilty of bad
faith in purchasing the property as he knew that the property was co-owned by six persons and
yet, there were only two signatories to the deeds of sale and no special authorization to self was
granted to the two sellers by the other co-owners.

DELIMA vs. COURT OF APPEALS


FACTS: Lino Delima, owner of Lot No. 7758, died leaving as his only heirs three brothers and a
sister namely: Eulalio Delima, Juanita Delima, Galileo Delima and Vicente Delima. After his
death, TCT No. 2744 of the property in question was issued in the name of the Legal Heirs of
Lino Delima, deceased, represented by Galileo Delima. Galileo Delima then executed an
affidavit of "Extra-judicial Declaration of Heirs" based on which TCT No. 2744 was cancelled
and TCT No. 3009 was issued in his name alone to the exclusion of the other heirs, declaring
the lot in his name for taxation purposes and paying the taxes thereon. Petitioners, who are the
surviving heirs of Eulalio and Juanita Delima, filed an action for reconveyance and/or partition of
property and for the annulment of TCT No. 3009. Respondent appellate court upheld the claim
of Galileo Delima that all the other brothers and sister of Lino Delima, namely Eulalio, Juanita
and Vicente, had already relinquished and waived their rights to the property in his favor.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners' action for partition is already barred by the statutory period
provided by law
RULING: Yes. As a rule, no prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner against his co-owners
or co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. However, from the
moment one of the co-owners claims that he is the absolute and exclusive owner of the
properties and denies the others any share therein, the question involved is no longer one of
partition but of ownership. In such case, the imprescriptibility of the action for partition can no
longer be invoked or applied when one of the co-owners has adversely possessed the property
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as exclusive owner for a period sufficient to vest ownership by prescription. It is settled that
possession by a co-owner or co-heir is that of a trustee. In order that such possession is
considered adverse to the cestui que trust amounting to a repudiation of the co-ownership, the
following elements must concur: 1) that the trustee has performed unequivocal acts amounting
to an ouster of the cestui que trust; 2) that such positive acts of repudiation had been made
known to the cestui que trust; and 3) that the evidence thereon should be clear and conclusive.
Evidence shows that TCT No. 2744 in the name of the legal heirs of Lino Delima, represented
by Galileo Delima, was cancelled by virtue of an affidavit executed by Galileo Delima and that
on February 4, 1954, Galileo Delima obtained the issuance of a new title in his name numbered
TCT No. 3009 to the exclusion of his co-heirs. The issuance of this new title constituted an open
and clear repudiation of the trust or co-ownership, and the lapse of ten (10) years of adverse
possession by Galileo Delima from February 4, 1954 was sufficient to vest title in him by
prescription. As the certificate of title was notice to the whole world of his exclusive title to the
land, such rejection was binding on the other heirs and started as against them the period of
prescription. Hence, when petitioners filed their action for reconveyance and/or to compel
partition on February 29, 1968, such action was already barred by prescription. Whatever claims
the other co-heirs could have validly asserted before can no longer be invoked by them at this
time.

CONCEPCION ROQUE vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT


FACTS: Emesto and Victor Roque, intestate heirs of Januario Avendao, purportedly sold
three-fourths (3/4) undivided portion of Lot No. 1549 to their half-sister, petitioner Concepcion
Roque, the property remaining registered in the name of the decedent, Januario Avendao. Lot
No. 1549 was surveyed and consequent thereto, a Subdivision Plan was drawn up, with the
Petitioner claiming that preparation of the Subdivision Plan was a preliminary step leading
eventually to partition of Lot No. 1549. Respondents Ernesto Roque and the legal heirs of Victor
Roque, however, refused to acknowledge petitioner's claim of ownership of any portion of Lot
No. 1549 and rejected the plan to divide the land. The Intermediate Appellate Court stated in its
decision that an action for partition will not prosper as such from the moment an alleged coowner asserts an adverse title, and that the action that may be brought by an aggrieved coowner is accion reivindicatoria or action for recovery of title and possession.
ISSUE: Whether an action of partition will not lie from the moment a co-owner alleges absolute
and exclusive ownership of the whole property
RULING: No. An action for partition-which is typically brought by a person claiming to be coowner of a specified property against a defendant or defendants whom the plaintiff recognizes
to be co-owners may be seen to present simultaneously two principal issues. First, there is
the issue of whether the plaintiff is indeed a co-owner of the property sought to be partitioned.
Second, assuming that the plaintiff successfully hurdles the first issue, there is the secondary
issue of how the property is to be divided between plaintiff and defendant(s). Functionally, an
action for partition may be seen to be at once an action for declaration of co-ownership and for
segregation and conveyance of a determinate portion of the property involved.

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No matter how long the co-ownership has lasted, a co-owner can always opt out of the coownership, and provided the defendant co-owners or co-heirs have theretofore expressly or
impliedly recognized the co-ownership, they cannot set up as a defense the prescription of the
action for partition. But if the defendants show that they had previously asserted title in
themselves adversely to the plaintiff and for the requisite period of time, the plaintiffs right to
require recognition of his status as a co-owner will have been lost by prescription and the court
cannot issue an order requiring partition.
AGUILAR v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 76351, 29 October 1993
FACTS: Virgilio and Senen are brothers; 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. By virtue of a written memorandum, 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 Maximiano Aguilar died in 1974, Virgilio demanded from
Senen that the latter vacate the house and that the property be sold and proceeds thereof
divided among them. Senen refused, prompting Virgilio to file an action to compel the sale of the
house and lot so that the they could divide the proceeds between them.
ISSUES: May a co-owner demand the sale of a house and lot held in common with other coowners?
RULING: 1. YES. 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 - a. 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
b. 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.
TOMAS CLAUDIO MEMORIAL COLLEGE v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. 124262, 12 October 1999
FACTS: Private respondents De Castros filed an action for Partition before the RTC alleging
that their predecessor-in-interest, Juan, died intestate in 1993 and they are his only surviving
legitimate heirs. They also alleged that their father owned a parcel of land designated as Lot No.
3010 in Morong, Rizal. They further claimed that without their knowledge and consent, said lot
was sold by their brother Mariano to petitioner Tomas Claudio Memorial College (TCMC) when

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the former represented himself to be the sole heir. The De Castros contend that the sale should
only affect Marianos undivided share but not the shares of the other co-owners. TCMC filed a
motion to dismiss contending lack of jurisdiction and prescription and/or laches.
ISSUE: Are petitioners De Castros right to partition barred by prescription?
RULING:NO. Article 493 of the Civil Code provides that the sale or other disposition affects
only the sellers share pro indiviso, and the transferee gets only what correspondents to his
grantors share in the partition owned in common. 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,
making the buyer a co-owner. The proper action in a case like this is the division or partition of
the entire property that continued to remain in the possession of the co-owners.
With respect to partition, Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that no co- owner shall be
obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Such co-owner may demand at any time the partition of
the thing owned in common, insofar as his share is concerned. xxx. No prescription shall lie in
favor of a co-owner or co- heirs as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes that coownership.

POSSESSION
RIZAL CEMENT CO., INC., v. CONSUELO C. VILLAREAL
Gr. No. L-30272, 28 February 1985
FACTS: Private respondents who are in possession of the land filed an Application for
Registration, alleging that they are the owners of two agricultural lots. Based on respondents'
testimonial and documentary evidence, it appears that the subject lots were originally belonged
to one Maria Certeza; that upon her death, the property was involved in a litigation between her
grandchildren and Gonzalo Certeza and that the lots were given by the latter to former Justice
de Joya as the latter's attorney's fees. On the other hand, petitioner Rizal Cement Company
filed an opposition, claiming to be the owner of the subject lots, having bought the same from
Maria Certeza, and to have been in continuous and adverse possession of the property since
1911. To substantiate its claim, petitioner submitted documentary evidence, the most important
of which are the following 1) Plan Psu-2260 covering the subject lots; 2) A sketch plan of the
geographical position of the real pro-parties of Madrigal and Company; 3) Tax declaration; and
4) Real estate receipts. During trial, witnesses for the respondents testified that petitioner did
not take possession of the land and that it was Maria Certeza who had the possession of the
land until her death and that the tenants gave the harvest of the land to Maria Certeza.
ISSUE: Did the respondents possess the property in the concept of an owner?
RULING: YES. Being an attribute of ownership, appellants' possession of the land in question
goes far to tip the scale in their favor. The right to possess flows from ownership. No person will
suffer adverse possession by another of what belongs to him. As correctly held by the Court of
Appeals, respondents possess the property in the concept of an owner. Possession is acquired
by the material occupation of a thing or the exercise of a right or by the fact it is subject to the
action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for acquiring such right.
Petitioner's evidence, consisting of tax receipts, tax declaration and survey plan are not
conclusive and indisputable basis of one's ownership of the property in question. Assessment

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alone is of little value as proof of title. Mere tax declaration does not vest ownership of the
property upon the declarant. Settled is the rule that neither tax receipts nor declaration of
ownership for taxation purposes alone constitutes sufficient evidence of ownership or of the
right to possess realty. They must be supported by other effective proofs. Neither can the
survey plan or technical descriptions prepared at the instance of the party concerned be
considered in his favor, the same being self-serving.

IGNACIO WONG v. HON. LUCAS D. CARPIO


G.R. No. L-50264, 21 October 1991
FACTS: Manuel Mercado, herein private respondent acquired his rights to possess the land in
litigation from William Giger by virtue of a deed of sale with right to repurchase which was
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 Sale. In 1972, plaintiff 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.
In July, 1976, defendant Ignacio Wong bought the parcel of land in litigation from William Giger
and his wife Cecilia Valenzuela. After the execution of deed of sale defendant Ignacio Wong
asked for the delivery of the title to him and so he has in his possession title in the name of
William Giger. 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. On September 27, 1976, plaintiff Manuel
Mercado again went to the land in suit to make copras. That was the time the matter was
brought to the attention of the police of Sta. Maria, Davao del Sur and the incident entered in the
police blotter. Wong ordered the hooking of the coconuts from the land in litigation and nobody
disturbed him. But on November 29, 1976, defendant (Wong) received a copy of plaintiff's
complaint for forcible entry with summons to answer which is the case now before the Court.
ISSUE: Is the petitioner a possessor in good faith so as to allow him avoid paying rentals to
private respondent?
RULING: NO. A perusal of the records of the case shows that petitioner received private
respondent's complaint for forcible entry with summons on November 29, 1976. His good faith
therefore ceased on November 29, 1976. Accordingly, the computation of the payment of
monthly rental should start from December, 1976, instead of August, 1976. It should be noted
that possession acquired in good faith does not lose this character except in the case and from
the moment facts exist which show that the possessor is not unaware that he possesses the
thing improperly or wrongfully. (Art. 528, Civil Code).
Possession in good faith ceases from the moment defects in the title are made known to the
possessors, by extraneous evidence or by suit for recovery of the property by the true owner.
Whatever may be the cause or the fact from which it can be deduced that the possessor has
knowledge of the defects of his title or mode of acquisition, it must be considered sufficient to
show bad faith.

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SOMODIO v. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 82680, 15 August 1994
FACTS: Somodio, owned a lot numbered which he planted ipil-ipil trees, coconut trees and
other fruit-bearing trees. In 1976, he started the construction of a building on the property. The
construction was, however, unfinished because he had to leave for Kidapawan for his
employment and visited the property only intermittently. He allowed respondent Ayco, to transfer
his hut to petitioner's lot. About six years later, petitioner demanded that Ayco vacate the
premises but such demand proved futile. Hence, Samodio filed an action for unlawful detainer
with damages against respondent Ayco. Meanwhile, the other respondent Purisima entered the
land and constructed a house thereon claiming that Lot was in payment of the fee for the
services of his father, for having father surveyed the land and that he caused the construction of
a perimeter wall in the area. Somodio, thereafter, filed against respondent Purisima a complaint
for forcible entry before the same court.
ISSUE: Did Somodio establish clearly and conclusively his physical and prior possession over
Lot No. 6328-X?
RULING: YES. Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his
feet on every square meter of ground before it can be said that he in possession. It is sufficient
that petitioner was able to subject the property to the action of his will.
Article 531 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides: 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 established for acquiring such right.
Even if the Court of Appeals is correct in its finding that petitioner started introducing
improvements on the land only in 1981, he still enjoyed priority of possession because
respondent Purisima entered the premises only in 1983. Neither did he present proof that
between 1958, when his father allegedly took possession of the land, and 1983, when said
respondent himself entered the land, his father ever exercised whatever right of possession he
should have over the property. Under these circumstances, priority in time should be the pivotal
cog in resolving the Issue of possession. Petitioner's prior possession over the property,
however, is not synonymous with his right of ownership over the same. As earlier stated,
resolution of the issue of possession is far from the resolution of the issue of ownership.
Forcible entry is merely a quieting process and never determines the actual title to an estate.
GAVINA MAGLUCOT-AW v. LEOPOLDO MAGLUCOT
G.R. No. 132518, 28 March 2000
FACTS: Petitioners filed with the RTC a complaint for recovery of possession and damages
alleging that they are the owners of Lot No. 1639-D. Said lot was originally part of Lot No. 1639
which was covered by OCT No. 6775 issued in the names of Hermogenes Olis, Bartolome
Maglucot, Pascual Olis, Roberto Maglucot, Anselmo Lara and Tomas Maglucot. Tomas
Maglucot, one of the registered owners and respondents predecessor-in-interest, filed a petition
to subdivide the said Lot. Consequently, the CFI of Negros Oriental issued an order directing
the parties to subdivide the lot into 6 portions. Sometime in 1963, Guillermo Maglucot rented a
portion of Lot No. 1639-D. Subsequently, Leopoldo and Severo, both surnamed Maglucot,

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rented portions of the same lot in 1964 and 1969, respectively. In December 1992, however, the
said respondents stopped paying rentals claiming ownership over the subject lot. Petitioners
thus filed a complaint for the recovery of possession of Lot No. 1639-D and damages.
Petitioners assert that respondents are estopped from claiming to be co-owners of the subject
lot in view of the mutual agreement in 1946, judicial confirmation in 1952, and respondents
acquiescence because they themselves exclusively exercised ownership over Lot No. 1639-A
beginning 1952 up to the present.
ISSUE: Are the parties to a partition proceeding, who elected to take under partition, and who
took possession of the portion allotted to them, are estopped from questioning the title to
partition allotted to another party?
RULING: YES. Parties to a partition proceeding, who elected to take under partition, and who
took possession of the portion allotted to them, are estopped to question title to portion allotted
to another party. A person cannot claim both under and against the same instrument. In other
words, they accepted the lands awarded them by its provisions, and they cannot accept the
decree in part, and repudiate it in part. They must accept all or none. Parties who had received
the property assigned to them are precluded from subsequently attacking its validity of any part
of it. Here, respondents, by themselves and/or through their predecessors-in-interest, already
occupied of the lots in accordance with the sketch plan. This occupation continued until this
action was filed. They cannot now be heard to question the possession and ownership of the
other co-owners who took exclusive possession of Lot 1639-D also in accordance with the
sketch plan.
CEQUENA V. BOLANTE
G.R. No. 137944, 6 April 2000
FACTS: The land subject of the case was formerly declared for taxation purposes in the name
of Sinforoso Mendoza prior to 1954 but is now declared in the name of Margarito Mendoza.
Petitioners are the daughters of Margarito Mendoza while the respondent is the only daughter of
Sinforoso Mendoza. Margarito Mendoza and Sinforoso Mendoza were brothers, now deceased.
During the cadastral survey of the property on October 15, 1979 there was already a dispute
between Honorata M. Bolante and Miguel Mendoza, brother of petitioners. Respondent was
occupying the property in question.
ISSUE: Is the respondent the lawful owner and possessor of the land subject of the case?
RULING: YES. Respondent's possession was not disturbed until 1953 when the petitioners'
father claimed the land. But by then, her possession, which was in the concept of owner -public, peaceful, and uninterrupted-- had already ripened into ownership. Furthermore she
herself, after her father's demise, declared and paid realty taxes for the disputed land. Tax
receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation, when coupled with proof of actual
possession of the property, can be the basis of a claim for ownership through prescription.
In contrast, the petitioners, despite thirty-two years of farming the subject land, did not acquire
ownership. It is settled that ownership cannot be acquired by mere occupation.
Unless coupled with the element of hostility toward the true owner, occupation and use,
however long, will not confer title by prescription or adverse possession. Moreover, the

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petitioners cannot claim that their possession was public, peaceful and uninterrupted. Although
their father and brother arguably acquired ownership through extraordinary prescription because
of their adverse possession for thirty-two years (1953-1985), this supposed ownership cannot
extend to the entire disputed lot, but must be limited to the portion that they actually farmed.
ARAGON VS. INSULAR GOVERNMENT
Facts: In 1892 a possessory title to the land in question was duly registered in favor of
Inocencio Aragon, one of the predecessors in interest of these applicants; that for a long period
of years, the applicant and their predecessors in interest have been in possession of the parcel
of land in question, under and undisputed claim of ownership; that for many years a house
stood upon this land, and was occupied by some of the predecessors in interest of the
applicants in these proceedings; that the adjoining lots extend toward the bay to a line formed
by the extension of the outer boundary line of the lot in question, and that these adjoining lots
would be in substantially the same physical condition, by relation to the ebb and flow of the tide,
as lot in question, but for low retaining walls which protect them against the incoming sea; that
the water which spreads over the lot in question at high tide is of but little depth, and would be
wholly excluded by a very limited amount of "filling" materials or a low retaining wall; that there
are strong reasons to believe that the land in question was originally well above the ebb and
flow of the tide; and that only in later years have the waters risen to such a height along the
shores of the Bay of Manila at this point as to cover the land in question completely at high tide;
though it does not definitely appear whether this is due to changes in the current and flow of the
waters in the bay, or to the gradual sinking of the land along the coast.
The Government of the Philippine Islands, through its proper representatives, objected to the
application for registry on the ground that, as it alleges, the land in question is a part of the
public domain.
ISSUE: Whether or not the applicants have the right of possession and ownership over the
disputed land
RULING: Yes. Article 446 of the Civil Code is as follows: Every possessor has a right to be
respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed therein, he must be protected or
possession must be restored to him by the means established in the laws of procedure.
Article 460 of that code is as follows:
ART. 460. The possessor may lose his possession
1. By the abandonment of the thing.
2. By transfer to another for a good or valuable consideration.
3. By the destruction or total loss of the thing or by the thing becoming unmarketable.
4. By the possession of another, even against the will of the former possessor, if the new
possession has lasted more than one year.
Under these provisions of the code it seems quite clear that if the Government is justified in
disturbing the possession of the applicants, it can only be on the ground that they have
abandoned their property, or that it has been totally destroyed and has now become a part of
the public domain by the erosive action of the sea. It is quite clear that applicants have never
abandoned their possession under a claim of ownership of this land. And we think the facts
above stated fully sustain a finding that there has been no such destructive or total loss of the
property as would justify a holding that the owners have lost possession. Doubtless the property

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has been injured by the erosive action of the sea. Doubtless the owners in order to profitably
enjoy the possession of this property will be compelled to make some relatively small
expenditures by way of a "fill" or a retaining wall. But the actual condition of the property as it
appears from the record makes a claim that it has been totally lost or destroyed preposterous
and wholly untenable. We need hardly add that if the applicants have not lost their right of
possession, the Government's claim of ownership, on the ground that this is a part of
the playa (shore) of Manila Bay, necessarily falls to the ground.

CATHOLIC VICAR APOSTOLIC OF THE MOUNTAIN PROVINCE VS. COURT OF APPEALS


Facts: Petitioner filed an application for registration of lands 1, 2, 3 and 4 in La Trinidad,
Benguet on September 5, 1962. The heirs of Juan Valdez and the heirs of Egmidio Octaviano
filed an opposition on lots 2 and 3, respectively. On November 17, 1965, the land registration
court confirmed the registrable title of the petitioner. On May 9, 1977, the Court of Appeals
reversed the decision and dismissed the Vicars application. The heirs filed a motion for
reconsideration, praying that the lots be ordered registered under their names. The Court of
Appeals denied the motion for lack of sufficient merit. Both parties then came before the
Supreme Court. The Supreme Court, in a minute resolution, denied both petitions. The heirs
filed the instant cases for the recovery and possession of the lots.
Issue: Whether or not the heirs are entitled for the recovery and possession of the lots
RULING: No. The two lots in question remained part of the public lands. This is the only logical
conclusion when the appellate court found that neither the petitioner nor private respondents are
entitled to confirmation of imperfect title over said lots. Hence, the Court finds the contention of
petitioner to be well taken in that the trial court and the appellate court have no lawful basis in
ordering petitioner to return and surrender possession of said lots to private respondents. Said
property being a public land its disposition is subject to the provision of the Public Land Act, as
amended.
Article 555 of the Civil Code provides as follows:
Art. 555. A possessor may lose his possession: (4) By the possession of another, subject to
the provisions of Article 537, if the new possession has lasted longer than one year. But the real
right of possession is not lost till after the lapse of ten years.
It is clear that the real right of possession of private respondents over the property was lost or
no longer exists after the lapse of 10 years that petitioner had been in adverse possession
thereof. Thus, the action for recover of possession of said property filed by private respondents
against petitioner must fail. The Court, therefore, finds that the trial court and the Court of
Appeals erred in declaring the private respondents to be entitled to the possession thereof.
Much less can they pretend to be owners thereof. Said lots are part of the public domain.

ART. 559
EDCA PUBLISHING VS. SPOUSES SANTOS
Facts: A person identifying himself as Professor Jose Cruz placed an order by telephone with
the petitioner company for 406 books, payable on delivery. EDCA prepared the corresponding

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invoice and delivered the books. Cruz sold 120 of the books to private respondent Leonor
Santos who, after verifying the seller's ownership from the invoice he showed her, paid him
P1,700.00. Meanwhile, EDCA having become suspicious over a second order placed by Cruz
even before clearing of his first check, made inquiries with the De la Salle College where he had
claimed to be a dean and was informed that there was no such person in its employ. EDCA then
went to the police, which set a trap and arrested Cruz. EDCA also sought the assistance of the
police, which forced their way into the store of the private respondents and threatened Leonor
Santos with prosecution for buying stolen property. They seized the 120 books without warrant,
loading them in a van belonging to EDCA, and thereafter turned them over to the petitioner.
Protesting this high-handed action, the private respondents sued for recovery of the books after
demand for their return was rejected by EDCA. It is the contention of the petitioner that the
private respondents have not established their ownership of the disputed books because they
have not even produced a receipt to prove they had bought the stock.
Issue: Whether or not private respondents have not established their ownership over the
disputed books
RULING: No. Article 559 provides that: Art. 559. The possession of movable property acquired
in good faith is equivalent to a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been
unlawfully deprived thereof, may recover it from the person in possession of the same. If the
possessor of a movable lost or of which the owner has been unlawfully deprived has acquired it
in good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price
paid therefor.
The argument that the private respondents did not acquire the books in good faith has been
dismissed by the lower courts, and we agree. Leonor Santos first ascertained the ownership of
the books from the EDCA invoice showing that they had been sold to Cruz, who said he was
selling them for a discount because he was in financial need. Private respondents are in the
business of buying and selling books and often deal with hard-up sellers who urgently have to
part with their books at reduced prices. To Leonor Santos, Cruz must have been only one of the
many such sellers she was accustomed to dealing with. It is hardly bad faith for any one in the
business of buying and selling books to buy them at a discount and resell them for a profit.

DE GARCIA VS. COURT OF APPEALS


FACTS: Guevarra was the owner of a ladys diamond ring with white gold mounting, solitaire 2karat diamond as well as 4 brills. It was stolen from her house. On a relevant date, while she
was talking to Garcia, an owner of a restaurant, she recognized the ring on the latters finger
and asked how she acquired the same. Garcia averred that she bought it from her comadre.
Guevarra made Garcia know that the ring was stolen from her place days before. It was
ascertained the ring was indeed Guevarras but despite written demands, Garcia refused to
return the ring.
ISSUE: Whether or not the possession in good faith of Garcia, equivalent to title, sufficed to
defeat respondent Guevara's claim

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RULING: No. Article 559 states that "The possession of movable property acquired in good faith
is equivalent to a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully
deprived thereof may recover it from the person in possession of the same. If the possessor of a
movable lost of which the owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in good faith at a
public sale, the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor."
Respondent Angelina D. Guevara, having been unlawfully deprived of the diamond ring in
question, was entitled to recover it from petitioner Consuelo S. de Garcia who was found in
possession of the same. The only exception the law allows is when there is acquisition in good
faith of the possessor at a public sale, in which case the owner cannot obtain its return without
reimbursing the price. As authoritative interpreted in Cruz v. Pahati, the right of the owner
cannot be defeated even by proof that there was good faith by the acquisition by the possessor.
There is a reiteration of this principle in Aznar v. Yapdiangco. Thus: "Suffice it to say in this
regard that the right of the owner to recover personal property acquired in good faith by another,
is based on his being dispossessed without his consent. The common law principle that where
one of two innocent persons must suffer by a fraud perpetrated by the another, the law imposes
the loss upon the party who, by his misplaced confidence, has enabled the fraud to be
committed, cannot be applied in a case which is covered by an express provision of the new
Civil Code, specifically Article 559. Between a common law principle and statutory provision, the
latter must prevail in this jurisdiction."
DOMINADOR DIZON VS. LOURDES SUNTAY
Facts: A diamond ring was turned over to a certain Clarita R. Sison, for sale on commission,
along with other pieces of jewelry of respondent Lourdes Suntay. It was then pledged to
petitioner Dizon. Since what was done was violative of the terms of the agency, there was an
attempt on her part to recover possession thereof from petitioner, who refused. She had to file
an action then for its recovery. She was successful both in the lower court and thereafter in the
Court of Appeals. She prevailed as she had in her favor the protection accorded by Article 559
of the Civil Code.
Issue: Whether or not respondent Suntay has the right of possession over the ring
RULING: Yes. There is a fairly recent restatement of the force and effect of the governing codal
norm in De Gracia v. Court of Appeals. Thus: "The controlling provision is Article 559 of the Civil
Code. It reads thus: 'The possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to
a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof
may recover it from the person in possession of the same. If the possessor of a movable lost of
which the owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in good faith at a public sale, the
owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor.' Respondent Angelina
D. Guevara, having been unlawfully deprived of the diamond ring in question, was entitled to
recover it from petitioner Consuelo S. de Garcia who was found in possession of the same. The
only exception the law allows is when there is acquisition in good faith of the possessor at a
public sale, in which case the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price. As
authoritatively interpreted in Cruz v. Pahati, the right of the owner cannot be defeated even by
proof that there was good faith in the acquisition by the possessor. There is a reiteration of this
principle in Aznar v. Yapdiangco. Thus: "Suffice it to say in this regard that the right of the owner
to recover personal property acquired in good faith by another, is based on his being
dispossessed without his consent. The common law principle that were one of two innocent
persons must suffer by a fraud perpetrated by another, the law imposes the loss upon the party
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who, by his misplaced confidence, has enabled the fraud to be committed, cannot be applied in
a case which is covered by an express provision of the new Civil Code, specifically Article 559.
Between a common law principle and a statutory provision, the latter must prevail in this
jurisdiction."
LEDESMA V. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. NO. 86051, 1 SEPTEMBER 1992
FACTS: A person representing himself to be Jojo Consunji, purchased purportedly for his father
two brand new motor vehicles (Isuzu Gemini and Holden Premier Vehicle) from Citiwide Motors,
Inc. Citiwide Motors delivered the two-above described motor vehicles to Jojo Consunji,
allegedly the son of the purported buyer, and said person in turn issued a managers check of
the PCIB for the amount of P101,000.00 as full payment. However, when Citiwide Motors
deposited the said check, it was dishonored by the bank on the ground that it was tampered
with, the correct amount of P101.00 having been raised to P101,000.00 per the banks notice of
dishonor. Citiwide Motors reported to the Philippine Constabulary the criminal act perpetrated by
the person who misrepresented himself as Jojo Consunji and in the course of the investigation,
Citiwide Motors learned that the real identity of the wrongdoer/impostor is Armando Suarez who
has a long line of criminal cases against him for estafa using his similar modus operandi.
Plaintiff-appellant was able to recover the Holden Premier vehicle which was found abandoned
somewhere in Quezon City. On the other hand, Citiwide Motors learned that the Isuzu Gemini
was transferred by Armando Suarez to third persons and was in the possession of one Jaime
Ledesma at the time plaintiff-appellant instituted this action for replevin. In his defense, Jaime
Ledesma claims that he purchased and paid for the subject vehicle in good faith from its
registered owner, one Pedro Neyra, as evidenced by the Land Transportation Commission
Registration Certificate.
ISSUE: Is Citiwide Motors unlawfully deprived of the cars when it sold the same to a person
who purported to be authorized by the buyer to get hold of the same on the faith of the
managers check issued?
RULING: Under this factual milieu, the respondent Court was of the opinion, and thus held, that
private respondent was unlawfully deprived of the car by false pretenses. We disagree. There
was a perfected unconditional contract of sale between private respondent and the original
vendee. The former voluntarily caused the transfer of the certificate of registration of the vehicle
in the name of the first vendee even if the said vendee was represented by someone who
used a fictitious name and likewise voluntarily delivered the cars and the certificate of
registration to the vendees alleged representative Title thereto was forthwith transferred to the
vendee. The subsequent dishonor of the check because of the alteration merely amounted to a
failure of consideration which does not render the contract of sale void, but merely allows the
prejudiced party to sue for specific performance or rescission of the contract, and to prosecute
the impostor for estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. A party who has lost any
movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof can recover the same from the present
possessor even if the latter acquired it in good faith and has, therefore, title thereto for under the
first sentence of Article 559, such manner of acquisition is equivalent to a title. There are three
requisites to make possession of movable property equivalent to title, namely: (a) the
possession should be in good faith; (b) the owner voluntarily parted with the possession of the
thing; and (c) the possession is in the concept of owner. Undoubtedly, one who has lost a
movable or who has been unlawfully deprived of it cannot be said to have voluntarily parted with
the possession thereof. This is the justification for the exceptions found under the second
sentence of Article 559 of the Civil Code.

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FRUITS AND EXPENSES


AZARCON AND ABOBO V. EUSEBIO
G.R. No. L-11977, 29 April 1959
FACTS: Victor Eusebio and petitioners had a dispute over the possession of a certain parcel of
public land. Before the dispute could be settled, Victor Eusebio filed a complaint in the Court of
First Instance of Nueva Ecija praying that defendants be ordered to vacate the six hectares
occupied by them and pay damages. Defendant Azarcon answered the complaint alleging that
he is in actual possession of a portion of 24 hectares since 1941 by virtue of a homestead
application and that the lease application of plaintiff is subsequent to said homestead
application of Leonardo Azarcon. He, therefore, prayed that the action be dismissed. A
judgment by default was entered by the court. It ordered defendants to restore possession of
the land to plaintiff. Having failed to obtain a reconsideration of the above decision, defendants
appealed to the Court of Appeals. While the case was pending in the Court of Appeals, a writ for
the execution of the judgment of the lower court was issued. The evidence shows that in spite of
the receipt by the defendants of the notice of the writ of execution, which writ of execution
commanded defendants "to forthwith remove from said premises and that plaintiff have
restitution of the same," defendants-appellants nevertheless entered the land to gather palay
which was then pending harvest.
ISSUE: Whether the defendants act of entering the contested land to gather palay which was
then pending harvest was lawful despite receipt of order of execution commanding them to
vacate said premises.
RULING: YES. The Court gathered further from the record that the rice found on the disputed
land at the time of the service of the order of execution had been planted by defendantsappellants, who appear to have been in possession of the land from 1951. While the court order
of October 3, 1955 ordered the defendant-appellant to move out from the premises, it did not
prohibit them from gathering the crop then existing thereon. Under the law a person who is in
possession and who is being ordered to leave a parcel of land while products thereon are
pending harvest, has the right to a part of the net harvest, as expressly provided by Article 545
of the Civil Code. As the order of execution did not expressly prohibit the defendants-appellants
from gathering the pending fruits, which fruits were the result of their possession and cultivation
of the land, it cannot be said that the defendants-appellants committed an act which is clear
violation of the courts' order. Besides, the defendants-appellants had presented, after receipt of
the order of execution, a motion to set aside the said order of execution, and this motion to stay
execution was granted. Defendants furthermore presented a bond in accordance with the order
of the court and had it approved by the Court of First Instance. It was perhaps in expectation of
this resolution of the court setting aside the order of execution that defendants-appellants may
have felt justified in entering the land and harvesting the fruits existing thereon. Again the order
of the court setting aside its order to stay execution was issued in the belief that the defendantsappellants had not presented before the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija and which said
court actually approved. Under the circumstances above stated, the Court is not ready to
conclude that the defendants-appellants can be held to have committed a clear defiance of the
order of the court. Their act in harvesting the pending fruits was not only justified by law but was
not expressly prohibited by the court's order, and was even ratified when the court ordered the
suspension of the execution. There was, therefore, no open, clear and contumacious refusal to
obey a definite order of the court such as would constitute contempt. Furthermore, a person
who has been ordered to leave certain premises is ordinarily not prohibited from taking with him
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his own effects and possession, unless there is an express prohibition to this effect. No such,
prohibition was contained in the order for the defendants to leave the land. There may have
been a technical violation of an order not to enter the premises, but not of one prohibiting them
from removing anything therefrom. Such technical violation of the order cannot be considered
as one amounting to a defiance of the court's authority, punishable as contempt.
CORDERO V. CABRAL
G.R. No. L-36789, 25 July 1983
FACTS: Ocampo, husband of Cordero and father of the other petitioners, died and left several
properties. Petitioners took possession of the properties left by him, among others is a riceland.
However, they found out that a portion of the same was possessed by Cabral, Berboso and
Montaos. Petitioners filed a civil case alleging that Cabral continued claiming to be the owner of
the land while her co-defendants continued recognizing her as the owner thereof instead of the
plaintiffs despite demands to vacate the property. They also claim that due to respondents'
occupancy of the aforementioned portion of land, petitioners failed to realize a yearly harvest of
at least ten (10) cavanes of palay at the rate of P10.00 per cavan, from the harvest-time of 1958
up to the present. RTC dismissed the complaint. On appeal, the CA affirmed the judgment of
the trial court dismissing the complaint for the recovery of the land.
ISSUES: (1) Are the heirs of the registered owner entitled to the land? (2) May the respondents
be held liable for reimbursement of fruits received?
RULING: (1) YES. The Court of Appeals found as a fact that the disputed portion of the land is
admittedly part of the land originally registered in the name of petitioners predecessor in
interest. There should be no question that that title had become imprescriptible and the original
registrant as well as his successors had the right to vindicate their ownership against anybody
else.
(2) YES. The respondents, by their own admission, are in possession of the disputed land.
There is no evidence that they were possessors in bad faith. However, their good faith ceased
when they were served with summons to answer the complaint. As possessors in bad faith from
the service of the summons they "shall reimburse the fruits received and those which the
legitimate possessor could have received.
MENDOZA AND ENRIQUEZ V. DE GUZMAN
G.R. No. L-28721, 5 October 1928
FACTS: A piece of land was adjudicated in a cadastral proceeding in favor of Mendoza and
Enriquez in equal parts pro indiviso subject to the right of retention on the part of de Guzman
until he shall have been indemnified for the improvements existing on the land. Being unable to
come to an agreement as to the amount which should be allowed for the improvements made
on the land, Mendoza and Enriquez began an action requesting the court to fix the value of the
necessary and useful expenses incurred by de Guzman in introducing the improvements. The
trial court resolved the questions presented by holding that in accordance with the provisions of
articles 435 and 454 in relation with article 361 of the Civil Code, the value of the
"indemnizacion" to be paid to the defendant should be fixed according to the necessary and
useful expenses incurred by him in introducing "las plantaciones en cuestion."
ISSUE: Is the term indemnizacion pertains to the amount of expenditures such as necessary
and useful expenses?
RULING: YES. The amount of the "indemnizacion" is the amount of the expenditures mentioned
in articles 453 and 454 of the Civil Code, which in the present case is the amount of the
necessary and useful expenditures incurred by the defendant. Necessary expenses have been

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variously described by the Spanish commentators as those made for the preservation of the
thing; as those without which the thing would deteriorate or be lost; as those that augment the
income of the things upon which they are expanded. Among the necessary expenditures are
those incurred for cultivation, production, upkeep, etc.. Here the plaintiffs have chosen to take
the improvements introduced on the land and are disposed to pay the amount of the necessary
and useful expenses incurred by the defendant. Inasmuch as the retentionist, who is not exactly
a possessor in good faith within the meaning of the law, seeks to be reimbursed for the
necessary and useful expenditures, it is only just that he should account to the owners of the
estate for any rents, fruits, or crops he has gathered from it.
ROBLES AND MARTIN V. LIZZARAGA HERMANOS
G.R. No. L-16736, 22 December 1921
FACTS: The heirs of Anastasia then entered into partnership with Lizarraga Hermanos in
liquidation and settlement of their accounts, by virtue of which the court awarded to said
partnership the properties left by the deceased, including the a house. Evarista, since before the
death of her mother Anastasia, has been with her husband occupying said house, at the
beginning, by permission of her mother, later on by the consent of her coheirs, and lastly by
agreement with the partnership, to whom it had been awarded, paying to said partnership P40
monthly as rent of the upper story. Sometime, Lizarraga Hermanos notified Evarista that the
rent would be raised to P60 a month. Evarista refused to pay the new rate and to vacate the
house. Lizarraga Hermanos brought suit against her for ejectment while Evarista sued Lizarraga
Hermanos to recover the value of the improvements she introduced in the subject house.
ISSUE: Is Evarista Robles the owner of the aforesaid improvements and entitled to
reimbursement therefor, and to retain the building until the same is made?
RULING: YES. Under Article 453 (now Article 546) of the Civil Code, a possessor in good faith
who makes useful improvements on the estate possessed is entitled to demand payment of the
value thereof and to retain estate until the expenditures incurred therein are paid to him. Here,
the presumption of good faith in favor of Evarista Robles' possession at the time she made the
improvements on the property was neither disputed nor discussed, but on the contrary, there is
positive evidence sufficient to support the conclusion that when she made the improvements on
the aforesaid building she was possessing it in good faith. Moreover, the expenditures incurred
in these improvements consisting of the addition of a dining room, kitchen, closet, and bathroom
in the lower and upper stories of the house, and a stable, suitable as a coach house and
dwelling were not necessary inasmuch as without them the house would have continued to
stand just as before, but were useful, inasmuch as with them the house better serves the
purpose for which it was intended, being used as a residence. If the improvements are useful
and Evarista Robles possession was in good faith, the conclusion set out in article 453 of the
Civil Code, supra, is inevitable; Evarista Robles is the owner of such improvements, and entitled
to reimbursement therefor, and to retain the building until the same is made.
METROPOLITAN WATERWORKS AND SEWERAGE SYSTEM v. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. L-54526, 25 August 1986
FACTS:The City of Dagupan filed a complaint against the former NAWASA (now MWSS), for
recovery of the ownership and possession of the Dagupan Waterworks System. NAWASA
interposed as one of its special defenses R.A. 1383 which vested upon it the ownership,
possession and control of all waterworks systems throughout the Philippines and as one of its
counterclaims the reimbursement of the expenses it had incurred for necessary and useful
improvements amounting to P255,000.00. The trial court found that useful expenses were made
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in utter bad faith for they were instituted after the complaint was filed and after numerous
Supreme Court decisions were promulgated declaring unconstitutional the taking by NAWASA
of the patrimonial waterworks systems of cities, municipalities and provinces without just
compensation. In support of its claim for removal of said useful improvements, MWSS argues
that the pertinent laws on the subject, particularly Articles 546, 547 and 549 of the Civil Code of
the Philippines, do not definitely settle the question of whether a possessor in bad faith has the
right to remove useful improvements.
ISSUE: Does a possessor in bad faith have the right to remove useful improvements?
RULING: NO. Article 449 of the Civil Code of the Philippines provides that "he who builds,
plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built, planted or sown without
right to indemnity." As a builder in bad faith, NAWASA lost whatever useful improvements it had
made without right to indemnity. Moreover, under Article 546 of said code, only a possessor in
good faith shall be refunded for useful expenses with the right of retention until reimbursed; and
under Article 547 thereof, only a possessor in good faith may remove useful improvements if
this can be done without damage to the principal thing and if the person who recovers the
possession does not exercise the option of reimbursing the useful expenses. The right given a
possessor in bad faith is to remove improvements applies only to improvements for pure luxury
or mere pleasure, provided the thing suffers no injury thereby and the lawful possessor does not
prefer to retain them by paying the value they have at the time he enters into possession (Article
549, Id.).

USUFRUCT
BACHRACH V. SEIFERT
G.R. No. L-2659, October 12, 1950
FACTS: The deceased E. M. Bachrach, who left no forced heir except his widow Mary
McDonald Bachrach, in his last will and testament made various legacies in cash and willed the
remainder of his estate. The estate of E. M. Bachrach, as owner of 108,000 shares of stock of
the Atok-Big Wedge Mining Co., Inc., received from the latter 54,000 shares representing 50 per
cent stock dividend on the said 108,000 shares. On June 10, 1948, Mary McDonald Bachrach,
as usufructuary or life tenant of the estate, petitioned the lower court to authorize the Peoples
Bank and Trust Company, as administrator of the estate of E. M. Bachrach, to transfer to her
the said 54,000 shares of stock dividend by indorsing and delivering to her the corresponding
certificate of stock, claiming that said dividend, although paid out in the form of stock, is fruit or
income and therefore belonged to her as usufructuary or life tenant. Sophie Siefert and Elisa
Elianoff, legal heirs of the deceased, opposed said petition on the ground that the stock dividend
in question was not income but formed part of the capital and therefore belonged not to the
usufructuary but to the remainderman. While appellants admit that a cash dividend is an
income, they contend that a stock dividend is not, but merely represents an addition to the
invested capital.
ISSUE: Whether or not a dividend is an income and whether it should go to the usufructuary
RULING: The usufructuary shall be entitled to receive all the natural, industrial, and civil fruits of
the property in usufruct. The 108,000 shares of stock are part of the property in usufruct. The
54,000 shares of stock dividend are civil fruits of the original investment. They represent profits,
and the delivery of the certificate of stock covering said dividend is equivalent to the payment of

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said profits. Said shares may be sold independently of the original shares, just as the offspring
of a domestic animal may be sold independently of its mother. If the dividend be in fact a profit,
although declared in stock, it should be held to be income. A dividend, whether in the form of
cash or stock, is income and, consequently, should go to the usufructuary, taking into
consideration that a stock dividend as well as a cash dividend can be declared only out of profits
of the corporation, for if it were declared out of the capital it would be a serious violation of the
law.
HEMEDES v. COURT OF APPEALS
316 SCRA 347
FACTS: Jose Hemedes executed a document entitled Donation Inter Vivos With Resolutory
Conditions conveying ownership a parcel of land, together with all its improvements, in favor of
his third wife, Justa Kauapin, subject to the resolutory condition that upon the latters death or
remarriage, the title to the property donated shall revert to any of the children, or heirs, of the
DONOR expressly designated by the DONEE. Pursuant to said condition, Justa Kausapin
executed a Deed of Conveyance of Unregistered Real Property by Reversion conveying to
Maxima Hemedes the subject property. Maxima Hemedes and her husband Raul Rodriguez
constituted a real estate mortgage over the subject property in favor of R & B Insurance to serve
as security for a loan which they obtained. R & B Insurance extrajudicially foreclosed the
mortgage since Maxima Hemedes failed to pay the loan even. The land was sold at a public
auction with R & B Insurance as the highest bidder. A new title was subsequently issued in favor
the R&B. The annotation of usufruct in favor of Justa Kausapin was maintained in the new title.
Despite the earlier conveyance of the subject land in favor of Maxima Hemedes, Justa Kausapin
executed a Kasunduan whereby she transferred the same land to her stepson Enrique D.
Hemedes, pursuant to the resolutory condition in the deed of donation executed in her favor by
her late husband Jose Hemedes. Enrique D. Hemedes obtained two declarations of real
property, when the assessed value of the property was raised. Also, he has been paying the
realty taxes on the property from the time Justa Kausapin conveyed the property to him. In the
cadastral survey, the property was assigned in the name of Enrique Hemedes. Enrique
Hemedes is also the named owner of the property in the records of the Ministry of Agrarian
Reform office at Calamba, Laguna.
Enriques D. Hemedes sold the property to Dominium Realty and Construction Corporation
(Dominium).
Dominium leased the property to its sister corporation Asia Brewery, Inc. (Asia Brewery) who
made constructions therein. Upon learning of Asia Brewerys constructions, R & B Insurance
sent it a letter informing the former of its ownership of the property. A conference was held
between R & B Insurance and Asia Brewery but they failed to arrive at an amicable settlement.
Maxima Hemedes also wrote a letter addressed to Asia Brewery asserting that she is the
rightful owner of the subject property and denying the execution of any real estate mortgage in
favor of R&B.
Dominium and Enrique D. Hemedes filed a complaint with the CFI for the annulment of TCT
issued in favor of R & B Insurance and/or the reconveyance to Dominium of the subject property
alleging that Dominion was the absolute owner of the land. The trial court ruled in favor of
Dominium and Enrique Hemedes.
ISSUE: W/N the donation in favor of Enrique Hemedes was valid?

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RULING: NO. Enrique D. Hemedes and his transferee, Dominium, did not acquire any rights
over the subject property. Justa Kausapin sought to transfer to her stepson exactly what she
had earlier transferred to Maxima Hemedes the ownership of the subject property pursuant to
the first condition stipulated in the deed of donation executed by her husband. Thus, the
donation in favor of Enrique D. Hemedes is null and void for the purported object thereof did not
exist at the time of the transfer, having already been transferred to his sister. Similarly, the sale
of the subject property by Enrique D. Hemedes to Dominium is also a nullity for the latter cannot
acquire more rights than its predecessor-in-interest and is definitely not an innocent purchaser
for value since Enrique D. Hemedes did not present any certificate of title upon which it relied.
The declarations of real property by Enrique D. Hemedes, his payment of realty taxes, and his
being designated as owner of the subject property in the cadastral survey of Cabuyao, Laguna
and in the records of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform office in Calamba, Laguna cannot defeat a
certificate of title, which is an absolute and indefeasible evidence of ownership of the property in
favor of the person whose name appears therein. Particularly, with regard to tax declarations
and tax receipts, this Court has held on several occasions that the same do not by themselves
conclusively prove title to land.
FABIE V. DAVID
G.R. No. L-123, December 12, 1945
FACTS: Josefa Fabie is the usufructuary of the income of certain houses located at 372376Santo Cristo, Binondo, and 950-956 Ongpin, Santa Cruz, Manila, under the ninth clause of
the will of the deceased Rosario Fabie y Grey. The owner of Santo Cristo property is the
respondent Juan Grey. Litigation arose between Josefa Fabie as plaintiff and Juan Grey as
defendant and the owner of the Ongpin property as intervenors, involving the administration of
the houses mentioned in clause 9 of the will referred to above. In June 1945 Josefa Fabie
commenced an action of unlawful detainer against Ngo Boo Soo, alleging that the defendant is
occupying the premises located at 372-376 Santo Cristo on a month-to month rental payable in
advance not later than the 5th of each month; that she is the administratrix and usufructuary of
said premises; that the defendant offered to pay P300 monthly rent payable in advance not later
than the 5th of every month, beginning the month of April 1945, for the said of premises
including the one door which said defendant, without plaintiffs consent and contrary to their
agreement, had subleased to another Chinese, but plaintiff refused, based on the fact that the
plaintiff very badly needs the said house to live in, as her house was burned by the Japanese on
the occasion of the entry of the American liberators in the City; that defendant was duly notified
to leave the said premises, but he refused; and she prayed for judgment of eviction and for
unpaid rentals. The defendant answered alleging that he was and since 1908 had been a tenant
of the premises in question, which he was using and had always used principally as a store and
secondarily for living quarters; that he was renting it from its owner and administrator Juan Grey;
that plaintiff is merely the usufructuary of the income therefrom, and by agreement between her
and said owner, her only right as usufructuary of the income is to receive the whole of such
income; that she has no right or authority to eject tenants, such right being in the owner and
administrator of the house, Juan Grey; that plaintiff has never had possession of said property;
that defendants lease contract with the owner of the house is for 5-yearperiod, with renewal
option at the end of each period, and that his present lease due to expire on December 31,
1945; that on June 1, 1945, defendant made a written offer to plaintiff to compromise and settle
the question of the amount of rent to be paid by defendant but said plaintiff rejected the same

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for no valid reason whatever and instituted the present action; that the reason plaintiff desires to
eject defendant from the property is that she wishes to lease the same to other persons for a
higher rent, ignoring the fact that as usufructuary of the income of the property she has no right
to lease the property.
ISSUE: Who is entitled to administer the property subject matter of this case and who should be
the tenant?
RULING: The usufructuary has the right to administer the property in question. All the acts of
administration to collect the rents for herself, and to conserve the property by making all
necessary repairs and paying all the taxes, special assessments, and insurance premiums
thereon were by court judgment vested in the usufructuary. The pretension of the respondent
Juan Grey that he is the administrator of the property with the right to choose the tenants and to
dictate the conditions of the lease is contrary to both the letter and the spirit of the said clause of
the will, the stipulation of the parties, and the judgment of the court. He cannot manage or
administer the property after all the acts of management and administration have been vested
by the court, with his consent, in the usufructuary. He admitted that before said judgment he had
been collecting the rents as agent of theusufructuary under an agreement with the latter. As
long as the property is properly conserved and insured he can have no cause for complaint, and
his right in that regard is fully protected by the terms of the stipulation and the judgment of the
court abovementioned. To permit him to arrogate to himself the privilege to choose the tenant,
to dictate the conditions of the lease, and to sue when the lessee fails to comply therewith,
would be to place the usufructuary entirely at his mercy. It would place her in the absurd
situation of having a certain indisputable right without the power to protect, enforce, and fully
enjoy it.
VDA. DE ARANAS V. ARANAS
G.R. No. L-56249, May 29, 1987
FACTS: Petitioners were assailing the stipulation in the will which provided that the testators
nephew shall have usufructuary rights and be the first administrator of certain properties; and
that upon his death or refusal to continue to act as usufructuary/administrator, the administration
shall pass to the anyone of the sons of his brother. Petitioners contended that this violated Art.
870, CC.
ISSUE: Is there such a limitation?
RULING: SC ruled that there was a limitation to the right of the nephew, namely his death or his
refusal. The disposition must be respected & given effect. Upon the death or refusal of the
nephew, the property can be disposed of subject to the limitations provided in Art. 863
concerning fideicommissary substitution.
LOCSIN V. VALENZUELA
GR No L-51333, Feb 19, 1991
FACTS: Petitioners were co-owners of a huge agricultural land but is currently subjected to a
lifetime usufruct in favor of Helen.The farmers who tills the land and/or the tenants pays the
rentals to Helen. PD 27 took effect which is an "Operation Land Transfer" in a gist it transfers
ownership of the land to the farmer who tills it. Petitioner now sought to claim the "rentals"
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received by Helen after PD 27 took effect, claiming that such amount is a payment made to the
land owners as a amortization payment for the land. Helen claims that the said are considered
rentals or at least a civil fruit and should be given to her as the usufructuary.
ISSUE: Whether the payments made were either for the land itself or the use of the land
RULING: The payments or rentals are considered as an amortization payment made by the
farmers to the land owners(petitioner) in consideration over the said land transfered in their
favor. The court said: After the effectivity of Presidential Decree No. 27. We believe that the
usufruct which had therefore existed as ajus in re aliena in favor of Helen Schon was effectively
extinguished by Presidential Decree No. 27. To hold, as private respondent Helen Schon
apparently urges, that her usufruct was not extinguished but rather remained impressed upon
the land passing on to the new owners, would obviously defeat the very purpose of the land
reform statute. Presidential Decree No. 27 was enacted to "emancipate" the tenants from the
"bondage of the soil" by giving to tenants-farmers ownership of the land which they were
cultivating upon the assumption that they would work harder to improve their lot in life if they
became landowners rather than mere tillers of somebody else's land. To hold Helen Schon as
entitled to continue enjoying, as usufructuary, the natural or civil fruits of Lot No. 2-C-A-3, would
be to set at naught the major purpose projected by Presidential Decree No. 27 and maintained
by Executive Order No. 228.
The court also recognized the right of Helen as usufructuary and thus also gave her an amount
equivalent to the legal interest which the land owners would receive from the tenants.

EASEMENTS
VALISNO VS ADRIANO
GR No L-37409 (May 23, 1988)
FACTS: Adriano has a land which were divided into two after his death and were given to his
heirs. Valisno bought one of such property(only the land was the subject, no easements were
included) while Felipe owns the adjoining lot from which a canal exist where water from the
pampamga river can be irrigated in favor of the property of Valisno.
Felipe later leveled his property where Valisno's property cannot draw water from the river
anymore (for his watermelons)
ISSUE: WON valisno has water rights over the said canal
RULING: Yes, the existence of the canal when valisno bought the land is equivalent to title
which Valisno may be allowed to continue to use such easement which is apparent pursuant to
article 624 of the civil code.
Water rights, such as the right to use a drainage ditch for irrigation purposes, which are
appurtenant to a parcel of land, pass with the conveyance of the land, although not specifically
mentioned in the conveyance
RONQUILLO VS ROCO
GR No L-10619 | Feb. 28, 1958
FACTS: Petitioners parcel of land was connected to the Naga Market Place and Igualdad St. by
an easement of a right of way through the land of the Respondents, which they have been using
for more than 20 years. On May 1953, however, respondents built a chapel right in the middle of
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the road, blocking their usual path to the marketplace. One year after, by means of force,
intimidation, and threats, the owners (respondents) of theland where the easement was
situated, planted wooden posts and fenced with barbed wires the road, closing their right of way
from their house to Igualdad St. and Naga public market.
ISSUE: Whether or not the easement of a right of way may be acquired by prescription?
RULING: No, because article 620 of the Civil Code provides that only continuous and apparent
easements may be acquired by prescription. The easement of a right of way cannot be
considered continuous because its use is at intervals and is dependent on the acts of man.
There is an opinion to the contrary though:
Where easement for right of way MAY be acquired by acquisitive prescription
The uninterrupted and continuous enjoyment of a right of way necessary to constitute adverse
possession does not require the use thereof every day for the statutory period, but simply the
exercise of the right more or less frequently according to the nature of the use. (17 Am. Jur.
972)
TANEDO VS. BERNARD
GR No L-66530 | Aug. 30, 1988
FACTS: Cardenas owns two lots and constructed:
1st lot - an appartment building
2nd lot - an house, appartment, bodega and a septic tank (for common use of the owners of the
two lots)
He sold the 1st lot to Tanedo and Mortgaged him the 2nd lot and also promised that should he
sell the said lot he would then offer it first to Tanedo. Cardenas allegedly sold the 2nd lot to the
respondents while claiming that it is a mere equitable mortgage. Now respondents cut off the
pipe of Tanedo for the use of the septic tank and also told him to remove the properties
encroaching on his property.
ISSUE: WON the right to continue to use the septic tank ceased upon the subdivision of the
land and its subsequent sale to different owners.
RULING: No, The alienation of the dominant and servient estates to different persons is not one
of the grounds for the extinguishment of an easement. On the contrary, use of the easement is
continued by operation of law as provided in Art 624 because no abolishment or extinguishment
was provided in the deed of absolute sale. Nor did Cardenas stop the use of the drain pipe and
septic tanks before he sold the lots. Accordingly, the spouses Sim cannot impair, in any manner,
the use of the servitude.
COSTABELLO CORP VS. CA
GR No 80511 | Jan. 25 1991
FACTS: Petitioners owned a lot wherein they started constructing their beach hotel. Before such
construction, the private respondent, in going to and from their respective properties and the
provincial road, passed through a passageway which traversed the petitioners property. As a
result of the construction, this passageway, including the alternative route, was obstructed.
Private respondent filed for injunction plus damages. In the same complaint the private
respondents also alleged that the petitioner had constructed a dike on the beach fronting the

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latters property without the necessary permit, obstructing the passage of the residents and local
fishermen, and trapping debris of flotsam on the beach. The private respondent also claim that
the have acquired the right of way through prescription. They prayed for the re-opening of the
ancient road right of way (what they called the supposed easement in this case) and the
destruction of the dike. Petitioner answered by saying that their predecessor in interests act of
allowing them to pass was gratuitous and in fact, they were just tolerating the use of the private
respondents.
ISSUE: WON easement of right of way can be acquired by prescription
WON respondents obtained a right for the easement of right of way
RULING: No, an easement of right of way cannot be acquired by prescription because it is a
discontinous easement.
No, The private respondent failed to prove that there is no adequate outlet from their respective
properties to a public highway; in fact the lower court confirmed that there is another outlet for
the private respondents to the main road.
There must be a real necessity and not mere convenience for the dominant estate to acquire
such easement. Also, the private respondents made no mention of their intention to indemnify
the petitioners. The court also clarified that least prejudicial prevails over shortest distance"

TOMAS ENCARNACION V. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. NO. 77628 | MARCH 11, 1991
FERNAN, C.J.:
FACTS: Petitioner and private respondent are the owners of two adjacent estates in Buco,
Talisay, Batangas. Petitioner owns the dominant estate while private respondents co-own the
servient estate. The servient estate stands between the dominant estate and the national road.
Prior to 1960, when the servient estate was not yet enclosed with a concrete fence, persons
going to the national highway just crossed the servient estate at no particular point.
Subsequently, a fence was constructed a fence around the servant estate and a road path was
constituted to provide access to the highway. Then, petitioner was able to buy an owner-type
jeep which he could use for transporting his plants for his nursery business but the same could
not pass through the roadpath. Petitioner then instituted an action to seek the issuance of a writ
of easement of a right of way.
ISSUE/S: Is petitioner entitled to claim for an additional easement of right of way?
RULING: YES. While there is a dried river bed less than 100 meters from the dominant
tenement, that access is grossly inadequate. Generally, the right of way may be demanded: (1)
when there is absolutely no access to a public highway, and (2) when, even if there is one, it is
difficult or dangerous to use or is grossly insufficient. In the present case, the river bed route is
traversed by a semi-concrete bridge and there is no ingress nor egress from the highway. For
the jeep to reach the level of the highway, it must literally jump four (4) to five (5) meters up.
Moreover, during the rainy season, the river bed is impassable due to the floods. Thus, it can
only be used at certain times of the year. With the inherent disadvantages of the river bed which
make passage difficult, if not impossible, it is if there were no outlet at all.
Where a private property has no access to a public road, it has the right of easement over
adjacent servient estates as a matter of law. Petitioner should not be denied a passageway
wide enough to accomodate his jeepney since that is a reasonable and necessary aspect of the

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plant nursery business.

EDWIN CASE V. HEIRS OF TUASON Y SANTIBAEZ


G.R. NO. 5044 | DECEMBER 1, 1909
TORRES, J:
FACTS: Edwin Case filed a petition for registration of a property in Binondo, Manila. The heirs
of Tuason opposed alleging that (1) they are the owners in common of the property adjoining
that of Case; (2) in making the plan attached to his petition, extended his southwest boundary to
a portion of the lot of the heirs of Tuason; (3) the true dividing line between their property and
that of Case is the wall which belong to them; and (4) when Case made alterations in the
buildings erected on his land, he improperly caused a portion of them to rest on the wall owned
by them. Case argued that the wall is a party wall.
ISSUE/S: Is the wall dividing the properties of Case and the heirs of Tuason a party wall?
RULING: No. Under Art. 572, the easement of party walls is presumed, unless there is a title or
exterior sign or proof to the contrary, among others, in dividing walls of adjoining buildings up to
the common point of elevation. The legal presu,ption is limited to the three cases dealt with in
Art. 572, and is that of juris tantum unless the contrary appear from the title of ownership of the
adjoining properties, i.e., that the entire wall in controversy belongs to one of the property
owners, or where there is no exterior sign to destroy such presumption and support a
presumption against the party wall.
Inasmuch as the heirs of Tuason have proven by means of a good title that has not been
impugned by Case, that when one of their ancestors and principals acquired that property, the
lot was already inclosed by the wall on which the building was erectedl it must threfore be
understood that in the purchase of the property the wall by which the land was inclosed was
necessarily included. Also, Cases acts of building a wall backed against the disputed wall
supports the conclusion that the disputed wall is the exclusive property of the heirs of Tuason.
Thus, with the exception of the small portion of the wall in question occupied by the latrine on
Cases property, and which the heirs of Tuason admit that he has acquired by prescription, the
whole of the disputed wall cannot be presumed to be a party wall.

SEVERINA AND FLORA CHOCO V. ISIDRO SANTAMARIA


G.R. NO. 6076 | DECEMBER 29, 1911
MAPA, J.:
FACTS: The defendant in the building of his house has made several openings and windows in
its walls on both sides overlooking the property of the plaintiffs. At the time the defendant was
building his house, and the windows and the openings were being made, the plaintiffs protested,
and later on made written protest and demand on the defendant who suggested an amicable
and adjustment of the matter, but the adjustment was not made, and this action was brought.
The Trial Court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendant, forever
prohibiting the opening of the window stated, which must be closed, and forever prohibiting the
opening of the windows and openings marked, which must be closed or made to conform to the
requirements of law with regard to dimensions and an iron grate embedded in the wall, with the
costs of the action.

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ISSUE/S: Does the court erred by not ordering in his judgment the final and perpetual closing of
the large window opened in the balcony of the back part of the appellee's house and that,
though the appellant's lot can be seen through the window, it is not contiguous to the latter's
property?
RULING: Partly correct. It appears obvious to us, from the evidence, that the window No. 1,
referred to in the first assignment of errors, is next appellants' lot. And certainly if it is in front of
this lot, it is unquestionable that it directly overlooks the same; but even though it did not and
only a side or oblique view of the lot could be obtained from it, it could not be kept open, since
between it and the plaintiffs' property there does not intervene the distance required by law that
of two meters in the first case, and 60 centimeters in the second. In reality, there is no distance
at all between the said window and the plaintiffs' lot, because, as we have said, this window is
perpendicular to the boundary line of the said lot; therefore, its opening is a manifest violation of
the provisions of article 582 of the Civil Code.
Because of the lack of the distance required by law, the window in question must be closed, and
consequently the judgment appealed from should be modified in this sense, as regards this
window.
By techo is understood that part of a construction which covers the rooms under it and certainly
forms one of the essential parts of every story. A story is composed of earth, payment and
ceiling, the latter, that is, the ceiling, being that part of the story that the visible to the observer
situated below in the room covered by it. Consequently, every story has a ceiling, and not, as
the appellants maintain, the upper one alone.
The defendant is ordered to close finally and forever the window marked No. 1 in Exhibit A, the
judgment appealed from in so far as it refers to said window being thus modified, but affirmed in
all other respects; without special finding as to costs in this instance.
SOLID MANILA CORPORATION V. BIO HONG TRADING CO., INC. & COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. NO. 90596 | APRIL 8, 1991
SARMIENTO, J.
FACTS: Petitioner is the owner of a parcel of land that lies in the vicinity of another parcel,
registered in the name of the Respondent Corporation. In the deed of sale between Respondent
Corporation and the vendor which was also annotated in the TCT, 900 sqm of the lot was
reserved as an easement of way where it shall remain open at all times. However, Respondent
Corporation constructed steel gates that precluded unhampered use. The Respondent
Corporation argued that the easement has been extinguished by merger in the same person of
the dominant and servient estates upon its purchase of the property from its former owner.
ISSUE/S: Is the easement (a personal servitude) extinguished by merger?
RULING: No, the easement (a personal servitude) is not extinguished by merger.
The servitude in question is a personal servitude, that is to say, one constituted not in favor of a
particular tenement (a real servitude) but rather, for the benefit of the general public. Personal
servitudes are referred to in the following article of the Civil Code: Art. 614. Servitudes may
also be established for the benefit of a community, or of one or more persons to whom the
encumbered estate does not belong.

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In a personal servitude, there is therefore no "owner of a dominant tenement" to speak of, and
the easement pertains to persons without a dominant estate, in this case, the public at large.
Merger presupposes the existence of a prior servient-dominant owner relationship, and the
termination of that relation leaves the easement of no use. Unless the owner conveys the
property in favor of the public if that is possible no genuine merger can take place that
would terminate a personal easement.

FLORO V LLENADO
244 SCRA 713
FACTS: Simeon Floro owned Floro Park Subdivision, which has access roads to MacArthur
Highway. Orlando Llenado, on the other hand, owned Llenado Subdivision. Llenado pursued an
easment claim over a portion of Floros subdivision because it would be too costly for Llenado to
develop a road on an abandoned ricefield where a right of way has been granted to him by its
owner.
ISSUE/S: Can a right of way be established by reason of inconvenience?
RULING: NO. A right of way can be established for the benefit of a tenement with an
inadequate outlet to a public highway, but not when the outlet is merely inconvenient. Thus,
when a person has already established an easement of this nature in favor of his estate, he
cannot demand another, even if the first passage has defects which make passage impossible,
if those defects can be eliminated by proper repairs.

QUIMEN V. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 112331. May 29, 1996 257 SCRA 163
BELLOSILLO,J.:
Facts: Private respondent Yolanda Oliveros bought the lot belonging to his uncle
Antonio Quimen, a land without access to the road public, with an inducement by her petitioner
Aunt Anastacia that she will give her a right of way on her adjoining property for P200 per
square meter. When Yolanda offered Anastacia the payment, the latter refused to accept
denying the promise of right of way to her once she bought the property. Yolanda filed an action
with a prayer of right of way through Anastacias property. The trial court dismissed the
complaint holding that the space at the back of her fathers house which a store was situation
was the better right of way because it is shorter than that of Anastacias property. But the
Court of Appeals reversed the decision saying that respondent has the right of way through
petitioners property and as itwas the one which will cause the least damage and detriment to
the servient estate.
Issue: Whether or not respondent has a right of way through petitioners property.
Ruling: Yes. Under Article 650 of the Civil Code provides that the right of way must be the one
which has the shortest route and which will cause the least damage and detriment to the
servient state. Though the easement to petitioners property in the case at bar is longer than the
one located at the back of respondents house which has a store blocking it, the requirement that
it can bring the least prejudice to the servient estate must prevail over the shortness of the route
to the public highway. The less damage will be incurred not as when the store made of strong

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materials should be removed. More so, the conditions for a valid grant of right of way through
petitioners property, which are: 1. the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables without an
adequate outlet to public highway; 2. the dominant estate is willing to pay the proper indemnity; 3. the
isolation was not due to the acts of the dominant estate; 4. the right of way being claimed is the least
prejudicial to the servient estate are met by the circumstances at hand.
DE JESUS ET AL VS HOWMART ET AL
12 CA REP 831
FACTS: Jesus and Luz Miranda de Jesus are owners of the building located in Tondo, Manila.
They brought an action for damages against Homart Corporation and Howmill Manufacturing
Corporation, owners of the land adjoining the plaintiff on the same street where a sixty storey
concrete building was constructed. Plaintiffs allege that the defendants failed to observe the
necessary care and precautions to protect the construction of the plaintiffs by depriving it
of sufficient lateral or subjacent support, thereby causing it to sink in some parts; its walls,
ceilings, and floorings to crack in some places; and by the careless manner of handling the
cement used the roofings of the building of the plaintiff were damaged with the accumulated
debris piled thereon.
ISSUE: Whether or not proper precautions had been taken by the defendants in constructing
the building in question so as to present causing damage to the building of the plaintiff.
Ruling: No. Article 684 of the new Civil Code provides No property shall make such
excavations upon his land as to deprive any adjacent land or building sufficient lateral
or subjacent support. A reading of Article 684 shows that the duty of an adjacent owner not to
deprive any adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support is an absolute
one. It does not depend on the degree of care and precaution made by the proprietor in making
the excavation or building on his land. Plaintiffs house which adjoins the seven storey concrete
building constructed by the defendants had sunk by about eight inches. The sinking of the
left side of the house of the plaintiffs was due to the weakening of subjacent support and to the
weight of the seven storey concrete building constructed by the defendant, as the excavation
made necessarily disturbed the subjacent soil of the plaintiffs land. Defendants having failed to
provide the plaintiffs land and house with sufficient lateral and subjacent support are liable for
damages.
LA VISTA ASSOCIATION, INC. V. COURT OF APPEALS
[G.R. No. 95252. September 5, 1997] 278 SCRA 498
BELLOSILLO, J.:
FACTS: The controversy in this case is regarding the right of way in Manyan road. The road is a
15 meter wide road abutting Katipunan Avenue on the west, traverses the edges of La Vista
Subdivision on the north and of the Ateneo de Manila University and Maryknoll College on the
south. The said road was originally owned by the Tuasons sold a portion of their land to
Philippine Building Corporation. Included in such sale was half or 7.5 meters width of the
Mangyan road. The said corporation assigned its rights, with the consent of the tuasons, to
AdMU through a Deed of Assignment with Assumption of Mortgage. Ateneo later on sold to
Maryknoll the western portion of the land. Tuason developed their land which is now known as
La Vista. On January, 1976, Ateneo and La Vista acknowledged the voluntary easement or a
Mutual right of way wherein the parties would allow the other to use their half portion of the
Manyan road (La Vista to use AdMUs 7.5 meters of the mangyan road and also the other way
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around.) Ateneo auctioned off the property wherein Solid Homes Inc., the developer of Loyola
Grand Villas, was the highest bidder.
ADMU transferred not only the property, but also the right to negotiate the easement on the
road. However, La Vista did not want to recognize the easement thus they block the road using
6 cylindrical concrete and some guards over the entrance of the road blocking the entrance of
the residents of Loyola Grand Villas. Solid Homes Inc. filed for injunction and La vista in turn
filed a third party complaint against AdMU. Some of the arguments of the petitioner were that
Loyola residents had adequate outlet to a public highway using other roads and also that AdMU
has not yet finalized the negotiation of the easement.
ISSUE: Whether or not there is an easement of right of way?
RULING: YES. There was a voluntary easement of right of way which was acknowledged on
January 1976 by the Tuasons and Admu (the easement was established by PBC and the
Tuasons but I dont think I can find the details regarding it in the case I just saw the one
regarding acknowledgement between admu and the Tuasons.) Being such, the 4 requisites for
a compulsory easement need not be met. And like any other contractual stipulation, the same
cannot be extinguished except by voluntary recession of the contract establishing the servitude
or renunciation by the owner of the dominant lots. In the case at bar, all the predecessors-ininterest of both parties recognized the existence of such easement and there was no agreement
yet to revoke the same. The free ingress and egress along Mangyan Road created by the
voluntary agreement is thus demandable.
ALCANTRA V. RETA, JR.
[G.R. No. 136996. December 14, 2001] 372 SCRA 364
PARDO, J. :
Facts: Petitioners filed a complaint Reta, Jr. for the exercise of the right of right of first refusal
under PD. 1517, injunction with preliminary injunction, attorneys fees and nullity of amicable
settlement. The plaintiffs assert that they have the right of first refusal to purchase the land in
accordance with Section 3(g) of Presidential Decree No. 1517 since they are legitimate tenants
or lessees of the subject property. They also claimed that the amicable settlement executed
between Reta and Ricardo Roble was void ab initio for being violative of Presidential Decree
No. 1517. On the other hand, Reta claimed that the land is beyond the ambit of Presidential
Decree No. 1517 since it has not been proclaimed as an Urban Land Reform Zone; that the
applicable law is Batas Pambansa Blg. 25 for failure of the plaintiffs to pay the rentals for the
use of the land; and that the amicable settlement between him and Ricardo Roble was
translated to the latter and fully explained in his own dialect.
Issue: Whether petitioners have the right of first refusal under Presidential Decree No. 1517.
Ruling: No. Presidential Decree No. 1517, otherwise known as The Urban Land Reform Act,
pertains to areas proclaimed as Urban Land Reform Zones. Consequently, petitioners cannot
claim any right under the said law since the land involved is not an ULRZ.
To be able to qualify and avail oneself of the rights and privileges granted by the said decree,
one must be: (1) a legitimate tenant of the land for ten (10) years or more; (2) must have built
his home on the land by contract; and, (3) has resided continuously for the last ten (10)
years. Obviously, those who do not fall within the said category cannot be considered legitimate

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tenants and, therefore, not entitled to the right of first refusal to purchase the property should the
owner of the land decide to sell the same at a reasonable price within a reasonable time.

PROSPERITY CREDIT RESOURCES, INC. V. COURT OF APPEALS


[G.R. No. 114170. January 15, 1999] 301 SCRA 52
MENDOZA, J.:
Facts: Prosperity gave a loan to Metropolitan. To secure the payment of the loan, Metropolitan
mortgaged to Prosperity seven parcels of land located in Quezon City. As Metropolitan
defaulted in the payment of the loan, Prosperity foreclosed the mortgage and, in the ensuing
public bidding, became the highest bidder and purchaser of the seven (7) lots subject of the
mortgage.
Later, Metropolitan negotiated with Prosperity for the redemption of three lots, all located on the
southern and middle portions of the compound.
Prosperity sought the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction requiring
Metropolitan "to allow Prosperity to proceed with the MWSS installation project over the road lot
in question, to allow Prosperity and [its] tenants' delivery trucks and other vehicles access to the
same at any time and without undergoing unnecessary searches, and to otherwise recognize
Prosperity's right of way over the said lot."
Metropolitan alleged that Prosperity's right to undertake excavations on the access road was not
provided for in the Memorandum of Undertaking. Metropolitan alleged that it was Prosperity
which caused damage to Metropolitan's tenants by undertaking, without its consent,
construction works on the access road which raised its level to about a meter and caused
serious flooding of the nearby buildings whenever it rained; and that, as a result, its tenants
demanded compensation for damage to their merchandise and equipment occasioned by the
flooding.
Issue: Whether the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction ordering Metropolitan to allow
Prosperity to undertake excavations along the access road for the purpose of installing water
pipes should be allowed.
Ruling: No. There is no question as to the meaning of the terms "ingress" and "egress." They
give Prosperity the right to use the private road as a means of entry into and exit from its
property on the northwestern side of the compound. The question concems the meaning of the
phrase "for whatever kind of passage." The trial court read this phrase to mean that Prosperity
had the right to make excavations on the side of the access road in order to install a network of
water pipes. The word "passage" does not, however, "clearly and unmistakably" convey a
meaning that includes a right to install water pipes on the access road.

VILLANUEVA vs. VELASCO


G.R. NO. 130845. November 27, 2000
QUISUMBING, J.:
FACTS: Petitioner Bryan Villanueva is the registered owner of the parcel of land in Quezon City.
He bought it from Pacific Banking Corporation, the mortgagee of said property. The bank had
acquired it from the spouses Maximo and Justina Gabriel at a public auction. When petitioner
bought the parcel of land there was a small house on its southeastern portion. It occupied one

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meter of the two-meter wide easement of right of way the Gabriel spouses granted to the
Espinolas, predecessors-in-interest of private respondents, in a Contract of Easement of Right
of Way.
Unknown to petitioner, even before he bought the land, the Gabriels had constructed the
aforementioned small house that encroached upon the two-meter easement. As successors-ininterest, Sebastian and Lorilla wanted to enforce the contract of easement.
Judge Tirso Velasco of the RTC in Quezon City, Branch 88, issued an Alias Writ of Demolition.
On June 20, 1995, the sheriff tried to demolish the small house pursuant to the writ.
Petitioner, thereafter, filed a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals asserting that the
existence of the easement of right of way was not annotated in his title.
ISSUE: whether or not following the essence of inherence and intransmissibility of an easement,
a right of way can exist even if they are not expressly stated or annotated on the torrens title;
RULING: The subject easement (right of way) originally was voluntarily constituted by
agreement between the Gabriels and the Espinolas. But as correctly observed by the Court of
Appeals, the easement in the instant petition is both (1) an easement by grant or a voluntary
easement, and (2) an easement by necessity or a legal easement.
As a compulsory easement, it is inseparable from the estate to which it belongs, as provided for
in said Article 617 of the Civil Code. The essential requisites for an easement to be compulsory
are: (1) the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a
public highway; (2) proper indemnity has been paid; (3) the isolation was not due to acts of the
proprietor of the dominant estate; (4) the right of way claimed is at a point least prejudicial to the
servient estate; and (5) to the extent consistent with the foregoing rule, where the distance from
the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest.
The small house occupying one meter of the two-meter wide easement obstructs the entry of
private respondents cement mixer and motor vehicle. One meter is insufficient for the needs of
private respondents. It is well-settled that the needs of the dominant estate determine the width
of the easement. Conformably then, petitioner ought to demolish whatever edifice obstructs the
easement in view of the needs of private respondents estate.
NATIONAL IRRIGATION ADMINISTRATION VS. CA
FACTS: A free patent over three (3) hectares of land, situated in the province of Cagayan was
issued in the name of Vicente Manglapus, and registered under OCT No. P-24814. The land
was granted subject to the following proviso expressly stated in the title:
"... it shall not be subject to any encumbrance whatsoever in favor of any corporation,
association or partnership except with the consent of the grantee and the approval of the
Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and solely for educational, religious or
charitable purposes or for a right of way; and subject finally to all conditions and public
easements and servitudes recognized and prescribed by law especially those mentioned in
sections 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 as amended..."
Subsequently, respondent Manglapus acquired the lot from Vicente Manglapus by absolute
sale.
Sometime in 1982, NIA was to construct canals in Amulung, Cagayan and Alcala, Cagayan. NIA
then entered a portion of Manglapus' land and made diggings and fillings thereon. Manglapus
filed a complaint for damages against NIA.
ISSUE: Whether or not the NIA should pay Manglapus just compensation for the taking of a
portion of his property for use as easement of a right of way.
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RULING:No. Easement and Just Compensation:\

When a land, originally public land is awarded to a provate individual, a legal easement may be
constituted and thus no just compensation is required. It would be otherwise if the land were
originally private property, in which case, just compensation must be paid for the taking of a part
thereof for public use as an easement of a right of way.
The transfer certificate of title contains such a reservation. It states that title to the land shall be:
". . . subject to the provisions of said Land Registration Act and the Public Land Act, as well as
those of Mining Laws, if the land is mineral, and subject, further to such conditions contained in
the original title as may be subsisting."
Under the Original Certificate of Title, there was a reservation and condition that the land is
subject to "to all conditions and public easements and servitudes recognized and prescribed by
law especially those mentioned in Sections 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114, Commonwealth
Act No. 141, as amended." This reservation, unlike the other provisos imposed on the grant,
was not limited by any time period and thus is a subsisting condition.
Section 112, Commonwealth Act No. 141, provides that lands granted by patent,
"shall further be subject to a right of way sot exceeding twenty meters in width for public
highways, railroads,irrigation ditches, aqueducts, telegraphs and telephone lines, and similar
works..."
We note that the canal NIA constructed was only eleven (11) meters in width. This is well within
the limit provided by law. Manglapus has therefore no cause to complain.
Article 619 of the Civil Code provides that, "Easements are established either by law or by the
will of the owners. The former are called legal and the latter voluntary easements." In the
present case, we find and declare that a legal easement of a right-of-way exists in favor of the
government.
The land was originally public land, and awarded to respondent Manglapus by free patent. The
ruling would be otherwise if the land were originally private property, in which case, just
compensation must be paid for the taking of a part thereof for public use as an easement of a
right of way.

DONATION
DE LUNA vs ABRIGO.
G.R. No. L-57455 January 18, 1990
FACTS: On January 24, 1965, Prudencio de Luna donated a portion of 7,500 square meters of
Lot to the Luzonian Colleges, Inc., The donation, embodied in a Deed of Donation Intervivos
(Annex "A" of Petition) was subject to certain terms and conditions and provided for the
automatic reversion to the donor of the donated property in case of violation or non-compliance
with the conditions imposed. The foundation failed to comply with the conditions of the donation.
On April 9, 1971, Prudencio de Luna "revived" the said donation in favor of the foundation, in a
document entitled "Revival of Donation Intervivos" subject to terms and conditions which among
others, required a construction of a chapel, a nursery and a kindergarten school, all to be
named after St.Veronica.it was likewise provided that the construction must start immediately
and must be at least 70% finished by the end of three years.
On September 23, 1980, herein petitioners, Evelyn, Rosalina, Prudencio, Jr., Willard, Antonio
and Joselito, all surnamed de Luna, who claim to be the children and only heirs of the late
Prudencio de Luna filed a complaint with the Regional Trial Court of Quezon alleging that the

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terms and conditions of the donation were not complied with by the foundation. Among others, it
prayed for the cancellation of the donation and the reversion of the donated land to the heirs.
respondent foundation claimed that it had partially and substantially complied with the
conditions of the donation and that the donor has granted the foundation an indefinite extension
of time to complete the construction of the chapel. It also invoked the affirmative defense of
prescription of action and prayed for the dismissal of the complaint.
ISSUE:Whether or not the action for cancellation of the donation had already prescribed.
RULING: It is the finding of the trial court, which is not disputed by the parties, that the donation
subject of this case is one with an onerous cause. It was made subject to the burden requiring
the donee to construct a chapel, a nursery and a kindergarten school in the donated property
within five years from execution of the deed of donation.
Under the old Civil Code, it is a settled rule that donations with an onerous cause are governed
not by the law on donations but by the rules on contracts,
Art. 733. Donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts, and
remuneratory donations by the provisions of the present Title as regards that portion which
exceeds the value of the burden imposed.
under the law on contracts, 10 yearsprescription is followed. As provided in the donation
executed on April 9, 1971, complaince with the terms and conditions of the contract of donation,
shall be made within five (5) years from its execution. The complaint which was filed on
September 23, 1980 was then well within the ten (10) year prescriptive period to enforce a
written contract counted from April 9, 1976.
REYES vs. MOSQUEDA
G.R. No. L-45262 July 23, 1990
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.:
FACTS: On December 3, 1973, the heirs of Dr. Pascual filed Special Proceedings with the
Court of First Instance of Pampanga for the administration of his estate. Atty. Marcela
Macapagal, Clerk of Court of Branch VII was appointed special administratrix. Macapagal was,
however, replaced by Reynaldo San Juan.
On February 12, 1976, Ursula Pascual filed a motion to exclude some properties from the
inventory of Pascual's estate and to deliver the titles thereto to her. Ursula alleged that Dr.
Pascual during his lifetime or on November 2, 1966 executed a "Donation Mortis Causa" in her
favor covering properties which are included in the estate of Dr. Pascual and therefore should
be excluded from the inventory.
In the meantime, on September 23, 1976, Ursula Pascual executed a deed of absolute sale
over the Tondo property in favor of Benjamin, Oscar, Jose and Emmanuel, all surnamed Reyes.
On May 2, 1978, Benjamin Reyes, private respondent filed a complaint for declaration of nullity
of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 129092, Register of Deeds of Manila and/or reconveyance of
deed of title against Ofelia Parungao and Rosario Duncil, with the then Court of First Instance of
Manila.
ISSUE: Whether or not thr donation is inter vivos.
RULING: It is, now a settled rule that the title given to a deed of donation is not the
determinative factor which makes the donation "inter vivos" or "mortis causa" The dispositions in
a deed of donation-whether "inter vivos" or "mortis causa" do not depend on the title or term
used in the deed of donation but on the provisions stated in such deed.

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We should not give too much importance or significance to or be guided by the use of the
phrase 'mortis causa in a donation and thereby to conclude that the donation is not one of inter
vivos.
Whether a donation is inter vivos or mortis causa depends upon the nature of the disposition
made. 'Did the donor intend to transfer the ownership of the property donated upon the
execution of the donation? If this is so, as reflected from the provisions contained in the
donation, then it is inter vivos; otherwise, it is merely mortis causa, or made to take effect after
death.
Applying the above principles to the instant petitions, there is no doubt that the so-called
DONATION MORTIS CAUSA is really a donation inter vivos. The donation was executed by Dr.
Pascual in favor of his sister Ursula Pascual out of love and affection as well as a recognition of
the personal services rendered by the donee to the donor. The transfer of ownership over the
properties donated to the donee was immediate and independent of the death of the donor. The
provision as regards the reservation of properties for the donor's subsistence in relation to the
other provisions of the deed of donation confirms the intention of the donor to give naked
ownership of the properties to the donee immediately after the execution of the deed of
donation.
LIGUEZ V. COURT OF APPEALS
December 18, 1957 | G.R. No. L-11240
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
FACTS: The petitioner-appellant filed a case against the widow and heirs of the late Salvador P.
Lopez to recover a parcel of 51.84 hectares of land, situated in barrio Bogac-Linot, of the
municipality of Mati, Province of Davao. Plaintiff averred to be its legal owner, pursuant to a
deed of donation of said land, executed in her favor by the late owner, Salvador P. Lopez, on 18
May 1943. The defense interposed was that the donation was null and void for having an illicit
causa or consideration, which was the plaintiff's entering into marital relations with Salvador P.
Lopez, a married man; and that the property had been adjudicated to the appellees as heirs of
Lopez by the court of First Instance, since 1949.
ISSUE: Whether or not the donation is valid.
RULING: It can not be said that both parties here had equal guilt when we consider that as
against the deceased Salvador P. Lopez, who was a man advanced in years and mature
experience, the appellant was a mere minor, 16 years of age, when the donation was made;
that there is no finding made by the Court of Appeals that she was fully aware of the terms of
the bargain entered into by and Lopez and her parents; that, her acceptance in the deed of
donation (which was authorized by Article 626 of the Old Civil Code) did not necessarily imply
knowledge of conditions and terms not set forth therein; and that the substance of the testimony
of the instrumental witnesses is that it was the appellant's parents who insisted on the donation
before allowing her to live with Lopez. These facts are more suggestive of seduction than of
immoral bargaining on the part of appellant. It must not be forgotten that illegality is not
presumed, but must be duly and adequately proved.
It is a familiar principle that the courts will not aid either party to enforce an illegal contract, but
will leave them both where it finds them; but where the plaintiff can establish a cause of action
without exposing its illegality, the vice does not affect his right to recover. The appellant seeks
recovery of the disputed land on the strength of a donation regular on its face. To defeat its
effect, the appellees must plead and prove that the same is illegal. But such plea on the part of
the Lopez heirs is not receivable, since Lopez, himself, if living, would be barred from setting up

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that plea; and his heirs, as his privies and successors in interest, can have no better rights than
Lopez himself. Appellees, as successors of the late donor, being thus precluded from pleading
the defense of immorality or illegal causa of the donation, the total or partial ineffectiveness of
the same must be decided by different legal principles.
TAN QUETO VS. COURT OF APPEALS
G.R. No. L-35648. February 27, 1987
FACTS: Restituta Tagalinar Guangco de Pombuena received the questioned lot (Lot 304-B of
the Cadastre Survey of the Municipality of Centro, Misamis Occidental) either as a purported
donation or by way of purchase on February 11, 1927 for P50.00 as the alleged consideration
thereof. The transaction took place during her mothers lifetime (her father having predeceased
the mother) and consummated while Restituta was already married to her husband Juan
Pombuena. On 22 January 1935, Juan filed an application of Torrens title over the land for
himself and his supposed co-owner Restituta. On 22 November 1938, a decision was
promulgated pronouncing Juan (married to Restituta) as the owner of the land.
On 22 September 1949 a contract of lease over the lot was entered into between Pershing Tan
Queto and Restituta (with the consent of her husband) for a period of 10 years.
Meanwhile, On 27 December 1960 Restituta sued Tan Queto for unlawful detainer (the lease
contract having expired) before the Municipal Court of Ozamis City.
On 22 April 1962, as a consequence of the cadastral case, an OCT was issued in Juans name.
On 10 October 1962, Tan Queto and Juan entered into a barter agreement whereby Tan Queto
became the owner of the disputed lot, and the spouses in turn became the owners of a parcel of
land with the house constructed thereon previously owned (that is, before the barter) by Tan
Queto. Thereafter, Tan Queto constructed on the disputed land a concrete building, without any
objection on the part of Restituta.
The Municipal court ruled in favor of the spouses in the unlawful detainer case; but on appeal in
the CFI, the entire case was dismissed because of an understanding (barter) entered into by
Juan and Tan Queto.
Restituta sued both Juan and Tan Queto for reconveyance of the title over the registered but
disputed lot, for annulment of the barter, and for recovery of the land with damages. The CFI
and the Court of Appeals found the disputed lot as paraphernal and that Tan Queto was a
builder in bad faith. These findings were regarded by the Supreme Court as findings of facts and
thus ordinarily conclusive upon the Court. Tan Queto filed for a motion for reconsideration of the
Supreme Court decision dated 16 May 1983.
Then, the Supreme Court set aside its decision promulgated on 16 May 1983, and rendered a
new one declaring the questioned lot together with the building thereon, as Tan Quetos
exclusive property; without costs.
ISSUE: Is Tan Queto the owner-possessor of disputed property?
RULING: YES. Tan Queto having bartered his own land and small house with the questioned lot
with Juan (who has been adverted to by a court decision and by the OCT as a conjugal owner)
may be said to be the owner-possessor of the lot. Certainly, he is not merely a possessor or
builder in good faith, much less is he a builder in bad faith. He is a builder-possessor because

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he is the owner himself. The Chapter on Possession (jus possessionis, not jus possidendi) in
the Civil Code refers to a possessor other than the owner. The difference between a builder (or
possessor) in good faith and one in bad faith is that the former is not aware of the defect or flaw
in his title or mode of acquisition while the latter is aware of such defect or flaw (Art. 526, Civil
Code). But in either case there is a flaw or defect. In the present case, there is no such flaw or
defect because it is Tan Queto himself (not somebody else) who is the owner of the property.

PAJARILLO VS. IAC


G.R. No. 72908. August 11, 1989
FACTS: Perfecta Balane died in 1945 leaving a 28-hectare lot. Perfecta was survived by her
sister Juana and brother Felipe. On May 1946 Juana and Felipe executed an Extrajudicial Sale
of the Estate of Perfecta, which states that Felipe and Juana agreed to carry out the requests
of Perfecta: that in consideration of her love and affection it be donated to Salud who is the
daughter of Juana.
On June 1946 Salud executed the following public instrument which states: that I Salud the
only donee do hereby receive and accept this donation and further express my gratitude for the
kindness and liberality of the donors, Felipe and Juana.
In 1951, acceding to the request of her mother Juana, Salud transferred possession of the lot to
her mother who was them living with Claudio, Saluds brother, and his family. During the period
they were occupying the land, Claudio paid realty taxes. Then, Juana executed a deed of
absolute sale conveying the land to Claudio for 12,000 pesos. Claudio had the land registered in
his name and was issued a TCT.
In 1963, Juana died. Salud filed a complaint for reconveyance on the ground that deed of sale in
favor of Claudio was fictitious and its registration was null and void. Claudio argues that the fact
that acceptance was made in separate instrument was not noted in both instruments as
required by the civil code.
ISSUE: Was the donation to Salud valid?
RULING:YES. It is true that there is nothing in either of the two instruments showing that
authentic notice of the acceptance was made by Salud to Felipe. And while the first instrument
contains the statement that the donee does hereby accept this donation and does hereby
express her gratitude for the kindness and liberality of the donor the only signatories thereof
were Felipe and Juana. That was in fact the reason for separate instrument of acceptance
signed by Salud a month later.
A strict interpretation of art 633 of the old civil code, can lead to no other conclusion that on the
annulment of the donation for being defective in form. This would be in keeping with
the unmistakable language of art. 633. But a literal adherence to the requirement of the
law might result not in justice to the parties and conversely a distortion of their intentions it is
also a policy of the court to avoid such an interpretation.
The purpose of the formal requirement is to insure that the acceptance of the donation is duly
communicated to the donor. Here it is not even, suggested that Juana was unaware of the
acceptance for she in fact confirmed it later and requested that the donated land be not
registered during her lifetime by Salud. The donation cannot be declared ineffective just

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because there is no notation in the deed of donees acceptance that would be placing too much
stress on mere form over the substance. It would also be disregard the clear reality of the
acceptance of the donation as manifested in the separate instrument and as later acknowledged
by Juana.
CRUZ VS. CA
140 SCRA 245
FACTS:. Cruz, a childless widow, donated a 235.5 sq.m residential lot in San Isidro, Taytay
Rizal together with the two-door apartment erected thereon to her grandnieces private
respondents herein, in a deed of donation entitled "Kasulatan Sa Kaloob pala". The property
was accordingly transferred to the names of private respondents.
In 1974, Eduvigis Cruz judicially adopted Cresencia Ocreto, a minor, after which she
extrajudicially tried to revoke the donation, but the donees resisted.
In 1975, petitioner filed a complaint against the donees for revocation of donation in the Court of
First Instance of Rizal (Civil Case No. 21049) invoking Article 760, paragraph 3 of the New Civil
Code, which reads:
Art. 760, Every donation inter vivos made by a person having no children or descendants,
legitimate or legitimated by subsequent marriage, or illegitimate, may be revoked or reduced as
provided in the next article, by the happening of any of these events:
xxx xxx xxx
(3) If the donor should subsequently adopt a minor child.
After trial, the trial court rendered a decision revoking the donation. It did not find merit in
defendants' claim that the lot, by donor and her deceased brother, Maximo Cruz, because the
donor's ownership was deemed admitted by the donees by accepting the deed of donation. It
also rejected defendants' argument that the donation did not impair the legitime, saying that
claim was "beside the point" and did not limit plaintiff's right under Art. 760 of the Civil Code.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and dismissed the complaint.
ISSUE: Does a subsequent adoption of a minor allows the donor to revoke a previous donation?
RULING: IT DEPENDS. In the case of the subsequent adoption of a minor by one who had
previously donated some or all of his properties to another, the donor may sue for the
annulment or reduction of the donation within four years from the date of adoption, if the
donation impairs the legitime of the adopted, taking into account the whole estate of the donor
at the time of the adoption of the child. (Civil Code, Articles 760, 761 and 763). Of course, the
burden of proof is on the plaintiff-donor, who must allege and establish the requirements
prescribed by law, on the basis of which annulment or reduction of the donation can be
adjudged.
Unfortunately, in the case at bar, the complaint for annulment does not allege that the subject
donation impairs the legitime of the adopted child. Indeed it contains no indication at all of the
total assets of the donor.Nor is there proof of impairment of legitime. On the contrary, there is
unrebutted evidence that the donor has another piece of land (27,342 sq. m.) situated in
Dolores, Taytay, Rizal worth P273,420.00 in 1977, although then subject to litigation.
ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA V. CA
198 SCRA 300

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FACTS: Private respondents spouses Eusebio de Castro and Martina Rieta executed a deed of
donation in favor of the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila covering a parcel of land wherein
a resolutory condition was imposed that donee shall not dispose or sell the property within a
period of one hundred (100) years from the execution of the deed of donation, otherwise it
would render ipso facto null and void and such deed and the property would revert back to the
donors.
However, prior to the exhaustion of the period of one hundred (100) years, the Bishop of Imus
executed a deed of absolute sale to spouses Florencio and Soledad Ignao for P114,000.00.
Rieta then filed a complaint for the nullification of the deed of donation, reconveyance of the
property with damages, and for the rescission of the contract. Ignao, in his answer said that the
action for the rescission of the contract and reconveyance of the property has already
prescribed.
ISSUE: Is the cause of action already prescribed?
RULING: NO. As a general rule, article 764 of the New Civil Code provides that "(t)his action
shall prescribe after 4 years from the non-compliance with the condition, may be transmitted to
the heirs of the donor, and may be exercised against the donee's heirs. But in the case at bar,
there is no need for prescription to be applied where a stipulation for automatic reversion is
expressly provided for in the terms of the deed of donation.
Hence, there is no need for a judicial declaration for the rescission of a contract because the law
of the contract governs. Judicial action is proper only when there is absence of a special
provision granting the power of cancellation. However, the resolutory condition is held to be an
undue restriction on the rights of ownership and is contrary to public policy.
A donation is an effective transfer of title over the property from the donor to the donee. Once a
donation is accepted, the donee becomes the absolute owner of the property donated. Although
the donor may impose certain conditions in the deed of donation, the same must not be contrary
to law, morals, good customs, public order and public policy. The condition imposed must not be
perpetual or for an unreasonable period of time.

EDUARTE VS. COURT OF APPEALS


253 SCRA 391
FACTS: Pedro Calapine was the registered owner of a parcel of land. He executed a deed of
donation inter vivos of of the land to his niece, Helen Doria. Subsequently, he executed
another deed of donation inter vivos ceding the other of the property to Helen Doria. Helen
Doria donated a portion of the lot (157 sqm) to the Calauan Christian Reformed Church. Helen
Doria sold and conveyed the remaining portion save some 700 meters for his residence. Pedro
Calapine sought to annul the sale and donation to Eduarte and CCRC on the ground that the
second deed of donation was a forgery and that Doria was unworthy of his liberality claiming
ingratitude (commission of offense against the person, honor or property of donor [par. 1]).
ISSUE: Is the falsification of public document committed by Doria an act of ingratitude against
Calapine (considering that falsification is a crime against public interest)?
RULING: YES. The Supreme Court ruled that all crimes which offend the donor show
ingratitude and are causes of revocation. Petitioner attempted to categorize the offenses

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according to their classification under the RPC by deleting the first sentence. However, this is
unwarranted considering that illegal detention, threats and coercion are considered crimes
against the person of the donor despite the fact that they are classified as crimes against
personal liberty and security under the RPC.
Eduarte and the Church still won although the donation was deemed by the Court to be
revocable. The Court applied the CHAIN OF TITLE THEORY because the lands were
registered lands and it has already passed from the forger (Doria) to innocent purchasers for
value (Eduarte, et al.).

QUILALA vs. ALCANTARA,


G.R. No. 132681 | December 3, 2001
FACTS: Catalina Quilala executed a Donation of Real property Inter Vivos in favor of Violeta
Quilala over a parcel of land. The "Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" consists of two pages.
The first page contains the deed of donation itself, and is signed on the bottom portion by
Catalina Quilala as donor, Violeta Quilala as donee, and two instrumental witnesses. The
second page contains the Acknowledgment, which states merely that Catalina Quilala
personally appeared before the notary public and acknowledged that the donation was her free
and voluntary act and deed. There appear on the left-hand margin of the second page the
signatures of Catalina Quilala and one of the witnesses, and on the right-hand margin the
signatures of Violeta Quilala and the other witness.
Herein respondents, claiming to be Violeta Quilalas relatives within the fourth civil degree of
consanguinity instituted an action for declaration of nullity of the donation inter vivos and for the
cancellation of the TCT in the name of Violeta.
ISSUE: W/N the Deed of Donation is valid
RULING: YES. As the Deed of Donation complied with the requirements provided under Art.
749 of the Civil Code, the Deed is valid. As stated above, the second page of the deed of
donation, on which the Acknowledgment appears, was signed by the donor and one witness on
the left-hand margin, and by the donee and the other witness on the right hand margin. Surely,
the requirement that the contracting parties and their witnesses should sign on the left-hand
margin of the instrument is not absolute. The intendment of the law merely is to ensure that
each and every page of the instrument is authenticated by the parties. The requirement is
designed to avoid the falsification of the contract after the same has already been duly executed
by the parties. Hence, a contracting party affixes his signature on each page of the instrument to
certify that he is agreeing to everything that is written thereon at the time of signing.
Simply put, the specification of the location of the signature is merely directory. The fact that one
of the parties signs on the wrong side of the page does not invalidate the document. The
purpose of authenticating the page is served, and the requirement in the above-quoted
provision is deemed substantially complied with.

HEMEDES, vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 107132 October 8, 1999

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FACTS: Justa Kausapin executed on September 27, 1960 a Deed of Conveyance of


Unregistered Property by Reversion. In this document, she transferred an unregistered parcel
of land to her stepdaughter Maxima Hemedes, pursuant to the resolutory condition in the deed
of donation executed in her favor by her late husband Jose Hemedes, except the usufruct which
shall remain in her during her lifetime or remarriage, upon which the same shall automatically
revert back to Maxima. Maxima then initiated registration proceedings and the new title was
issued in her name. Maxima and her spouse mortgaged said property to R&B Insurance as
security for a loan. For failure of Maxima to redeem the property, ownership was consolidated in
the name of R&B Insurance. The annotation of usufruct in favor of Justa Kausapin was
maintained in the new title. Despite the earlier conveyance of the subject land in favor of
Maxima, Justa executed a Kasunduan where she transferred the same to her stepson Enrique
Hemedes. Justa affirmed the conveyance of the property in favor of Enrique and denied the
conveyance made to Maxima. Enrique then sold the property to Dominium Realty. Dominium
then leased the property to Asia Brewery who constructed two warehouses upon said property.
Thereafter R&B Insurance and Maxima both claimed ownership of the subject property and the
right to appropriate the construcions.
ISSUE: W/N the donation in favor of Enrique Hemedes is null and void
RULING: YES. In upholding the deed of conveyance in favor of Maxima Hemedes, we must
concomitantly rule that Enrique D. Hemedes and his transferee, Dominium, did not acquire any
rights over the subject property. Justa Kausapin sought to transfer to her stepson exactly what
she had earlier transferred to Maxima Hemedes the ownership of the subject property
pursuant to the first condition stipulated in the deed of donation executed by her husband. Thus,
the donation in favor of Enrique D. Hemedes is null and void for the purported object thereof did
not exist at the time of the transfer, having already been transferred to his sister. Similarly, the
sale of the subject property by Enrique D. Hemedes to Dominium is also a nullity for the latter
cannot acquire more rights than its predecessor-in-interest and is definitely not an innocent
purchaser for value since Enrique D. Hemedes did not present any certificate of title upon which
it relied.
SIGUAN, vs. LIM
G.R. No. 134685 November 19, 1999
FACTS: Petitioner Siguan charged respondent Rosa with two counts of violation of B.P. 22 for
issuing checks which were dishonored by the bank for the reason of account closed. This case
is now pending for review before the Supreme Court. Consequently, Siguan filed an action
pauliana against Rosa to rescind the notarized deed of donation concerning the four parcels of
land Rosa executed in favor of her children, the other respondents herein. Siguan claimed that
there was fraudulent transfer leaving no sufficient properties for Rosa to pay her obligations with
the former.
ISSUE: May the Deed of Donation executed by respondent Rosa in favor of her children be
rescinded for being in fraud of her alleged creditor, petitioner Siguan?
RULING: NO. The fourth requisite for an accion pauliana to prosper is not present either.Art.
1387, first paragraph, of the Civil Code provides: "All contracts by virtue of which the debtor
alienates property by gratuitous title are presumed to have been entered into in fraud of
creditors when the donor did not reserve sufficient property to pay all debts contracted before
the donation. Likewise, Article 759 of the same Code, second paragraph, states that the

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donation is always presumed to be in fraud of creditors when at the time thereof the donor did
not reserve sufficient property to pay his debts prior to the donation.
For this presumption of fraud to apply, it must be established that the donor did not leave
adequate properties which creditors might have recourse for the collection of their credits
existing before the execution of the donation.
As earlier discussed, petitioner's alleged credit existed only a year after the deed of donation
was executed. She cannot, therefore, be said to have been prejudiced or defrauded by such
alienation
RODOLFO NOCEDA, vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 119730 September 2, 1999
FACTS: In 1981, Directo, Noceda, and Arbizo entered an extrajudicial settlement of a parcel of
land. Directo hen donated 625 square meters of her share to Noceda, her nephew. After some
time, the same parties executed another extrajudicial settlement partition of the same lot. Three
fifths of the said lot went to Arbizo while Directo and Noceda got only one-fifth each. Sometime
in 1981, Noceda constructed a house on the land donated by Directo. Directo fenced the portion
allotted to her in the extrajudicial settlement, excluding the donated lot and constructed thereon
3 huts. In 1985, Noceda removed the fence earlier constructed by Directo and occupied the 3
huts and fenced the entire lot of Directo without her consent. Directo demanded from Noced to
vacae her land but the latter refused. Directo filed a complaint for recovery of possession and
rescission/annulment of donation against Noceda before the trial court.
ISSUE: W/N petitioners act of occupying the portion pertaining to one of the private
respondents is an act of usurpation and considered as an act of ingratitude of the done against
the donor?
RULING: YES. We also find unmeritorious petitioner's argument that since there was no
effective and real partition of the subject lot there exists no basis for the charge of usurpation
and hence there is also no basis for finding ingratitude against him. It was established that
petitioner Noceda occupied not only the portion donated to him by private respondent Aurora
Arbizo-Directo but he also fenced the whole area of Lot C which belongs to private respondent
Directo, thus petitioner's act of occupying the portion pertaining to private respondent Directo
without the latter's knowledge and consent is an act of usurpation which is an offense against
the property of the donor and considered as an act of ingratitude of a donee against the
donor. The law does not require conviction of the donee; it is enough that the offense be proved
in the action for revocation.
HEIRS OF CESARIO VELASQUEZ vs. Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 126996 | February 15, 2000
FACTS: Spouses Leonicia and Cornelio Aquinio were childless when they died intestate.
Leonicia was survived by her sisters Anatalia (mother of private respondents) and Tranquilina
(grandmother of petitioners). Previously, spouses Aquino had six parcels of land. Private
respondents filed a complaint for annulment, partition and damages against petitioners heirs of
Cesario Velasquez (son of Tranquilina) for the latters refusal to partition the conjugal properties
of spouses Aquino. Petitioners alleged that during the lifetime of spouses Aquino, they had
already disposed of their properties in favor of petitioners predecessors-in-interest, Cesario

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Velasquez and Camila de Guzman and petitioners Anastacia and Jose Velasquez. Both the
lower court and the Court of Appeals ruled in favor of private respondents. Hence this appeal.
ISSUE: W/N the donation is valid in the case at bar
RULING: YES. A donation as a mode of acquiring ownership results in an effective transfer of
title over the property from the donor to the donee and the donation is perfected from the
moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the donee. And once a donation is accepted, the
donee becomes the absolute owner of the property donated. The donation of the first parcel
made by the Aquino spouses to petitioners Jose and Anastacia Velasquez who were then
nineteen (19) and ten (10) years old respectively was accepted through their father Cesario
Velasquez, and the acceptance was incorporated in the body of the same deed of donation and
made part of it, and was signed by the donor and the acceptor. Legally speaking there was
delivery and acceptance of the deed, and the donation existed perfectly and irrevocably. The
donation inter vivos may be revoked only for the reasons provided in Articles 760, 764 and 765
of the Civil Code. The donation propter nuptias in favor of Cesario Velasquez and Camila de
Guzman over the third and sixth parcels including a portion of the second parcel became the
properties of the spouses Velasquez since 1919. The deed of donation propter nuptias can be
revoked by the non-performance of the marriage and the other causes mentioned in article 86 of
the Family Code. The alleged reason for the repudiation of the deed, i.e., that the Aquino
spouses did not intend to give away all their properties since Anatalia (Leoncia's sister) had
several children to support is not one of the grounds for revocation of donation either inter
vivos or propter nuptias, although the donation might be inofficious.

IGNACIO GONZALES, et al. vs.COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 110335 | June 18, 2001
FACTS: Ignacio Gonzales executed a Deed of Donation conveying Lot No. 551-C, a parcel of
agricultural land, in favor of his 14 grandchildren, petitioners. The said donation was not
registered. When Presidential Decree No. 27 took effect, the landholdings of the spouses
Gonzales were placed under Operation Land Transfer by virtue of said decree, and private
respondents, farmers and tenants of said spouses, were accordingly issued the corresponding
Certificates of Land Transfer and Emancipation Patents. The administratrix of the estate filed an
application for retention with the then Ministry of Agrarian Reform, requesting that their property
be excluded from the coverage of Operation Land Transfer. The petitioners assert that
inasmuch as Lot 551-C had already been donated, the same can no longer fall within the
purview of P.D. No. 27, since each donee shall have a share of about three hectares only which
is within the exemption limit of seven hectares for each landowner provided under P.D. No. 27.
ISSUE: Whether the property subject of the deed of donation which was not registered when
P.D. No. 27 took effect, should be excluded from the Operation Land Transfer
RULING: NO. It is undisputed in this case that the donation executed by Ignacio Gonzales in
favor of his grandchildren, although in writing and duly notarized, has not been registered in
accordance with law. For this reason, it shall not be binding upon private respondents who did
not participate in said deed or had no actual knowledge thereof. Hence, while the deed of
donation is valid between the donor and the donees, such deed, however, did not bind the
tenants-farmers who were not parties to the donation. As previously enunciated by this Court,
non-registration of a deed of donation does not bind other parties ignorant of a previous
transaction. So it is of no moment that the right of the tenants-farmers in this case was created
by virtue of a decree or law. They are still considered "third persons" contemplated in our laws
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on registration, for the fact remains that these tenants-farmers had no actual knowledge of the
deed of donation.
From the foregoing, the ineluctable conclusion drawn is that the unregistered deed of donation
cannot operate to exclude the subject land from the coverage of the Operation Land Transfer of
P.D. No. 27, which took effect on October 21, 1972. To rule otherwise would render ineffectual
the rights and interests that the tenants-farmers immediately acquired upon the promulgation of
P.D. No. 27, especially so because in the case at bar, they have been cultivating the land even
before World War II. Accordingly, the Certificates of Land Transfer and the Emancipation
Patents respectively issued to private respondents over the land in question cannot be
cancelled.

ELOY IMPERIAL vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 112483 October 8, 1999
FACTS: Leoncio Imperial sold a parcel of land lot for P1.00 to his acknowledged natural son,
petitioner herein. Petitioner and private respondents admit that despite the contract's
designation as one of "Absolute Sale", the transaction was in fact a donation. Barely two years
after, Leoncio filed a complaint for annulment of the said Deed of Absolute Sale on the ground
that he was deceived by petitioner herein into signing the said document. The dispute, however,
was resolved through a compromise agreement. Pending execution of the above judgment,
Leoncio died, leaving only two heirs the herein petitioner and an adopted son, Victor Imperial.
Victor was substituted in place of Leoncio in the above-mentioned case, and it was he who
moved for execution of judgment, which was duly granted.
Fifteen years thereafter, Victor died single and without issue, survived only by his natural father,
Ricardo Villalon, who later died leaving as his only heirs his two children, Cesar and Teresa
Villalon. Five years thereafter, Cesar and Teresa filed a complaint for annulment of the
donation. Petitioner moved to dismiss on the ground of res judicata, by virtue of the compromise
judgment. Cesar and Teresa filed an amended complaint in the same case, seeking the
nullification of the Deed of Absolute Sale on grounds of fraud, deceit and inofficiousness. In the
amended complaint, it was alleged that, among others, the conveyance of said property in favor
of petitioner impaired the legitime of Victor Imperial, their natural brother and predecessor-ininterest.
ISSUES: Whether private respondents had a right to question the donation; Whether private
respondents' action is barred by prescription, laches and estoppel; and
RULING: YES. Petitioner sources his argument from Article 772 of the Civil Code, thus: Only
those who at the time of the donor's death have a right to the legitime and their heirs and
successors in interest may ask for the reduction of inofficious donations. As argued by
petitioner, when Leoncio died on January 8, 1962, it was only Victor who was entitled to
question the donation. However, instead of filing an action to contest the donation, Victor asked
to be substituted as plaintiff in Civil Case No. 1177 and even moved for execution of the
compromise judgment therein.
No renunciation of legitime may be presumed from the foregoing acts. It must be remembered
that at the time of the substitution, the judgment approving the compromise agreement has
already been rendered. Victor merely participated in the execution of the compromise judgment.
He was not a party to the compromise agreement. More importantly, our law on succession

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does not countenance tacit repudiation of inheritance. Rather, it requires an express act on the
part of the heir. Thus, when Victor substituted Leoncio in Civil Case No. 1177 upon the latter's
death, his act of moving for execution of the compromise judgment cannot be considered an act
of renunciation of his legitime. He was, therefore, not precluded or estopped from subsequently
seeking the reduction of the donation, under Article 772. Nor are Victor's heirs, upon his death,
precluded from doing so, as their right to do so is expressly recognized under Article 772, and
also in Article 1053: If the heir should die without having accepted or repudiated the
inheritance, his right shall be transmitted to his heirs.
YES. The Civil Code specifies the following instances of reduction or revocation of donations:
(1) four years, in cases of subsequent birth, appearance, recognition or adoption of a child; (2)
four years, for non-compliance with conditions of the donation; and (3) at any time during the
lifetime of the donor and his relatives entitled to support, for failure of the donor to reserve
property for his or their support. Interestingly, donations as in the instant case, the reduction of
which hinges upon the allegation of impairment of legitime, are not controlled by a particular
prescriptive period, for which reason we must resort to the ordinary rules of prescription.
Under Article 1144 of the Civil Code, actions upon an obligation created by law must be brought
within ten years from the time the right of action accrues. Thus, the ten-year prescriptive period
applies to the obligation to reduce inofficious donations, required under Article 771 of the Civil
Code, to the extent that they impair the legitime of compulsory heirs. From when shall the tenyear period be reckoned? The case of Mateo vs. Lagua, 29 SCRA 864, which involved the
reduction for inofficiousness of a donation propter nuptias, recognized that the cause of action
to enforce a legitime accrues upon the death of the donor-decedent. Clearly so, since it is only
then that the net estate may be ascertained and on which basis, the legitimes may be
determined. It took private respondents 24 years since the death of Leoncio to initiate this case.
The action, therefore, has long prescribed.

REPUBLIC vs. LEON SILIM


G.R. No. 140487 | April 2, 2001
FACTS: Respondents, the Spouses Leon Silim and Ildefonsa Mangubat, donated a 5,600
square meter parcel of land in favor of the Bureau of Public Schools, Municipality of Malangas,
Zamboanga del Sur (BPS). In the Deed of Donation, respondents imposed the condition that the
said property should "be used exclusively and forever for school purposes only." This donation
was accepted by the District Supervisor of BPS, through an Affidavit of Acceptance and/or
Confirmation of Donation.
Through a fund raising campaign spearheaded by the Parent-Teachers Association of Barangay
Kauswagan, a school building was constructed on the donated land. However, the Bagong
Lipunan school building that was supposed to be allocated for the donated parcel of land in
Barangay Kauswagan could not be released since the government required that it be built upon
a one (1) hectare parcel of land. To remedy this predicament, the Assistant School Division
Superintendent authorized the District Supervisor to officially transact for the exchange of the
one-half (1/2) hectare old school site of Kauswagan Elementary School to a new and suitable
location which would fit the specifications of the government. Pursuant to this, District
Supervisor Buendia and Teresita Palma entered into a Deed of Exchange whereby the donated
lot was exchanged with the bigger lot owned by the latter. Consequently, the Bagong Lipunan
school buildings were constructed on the new school site and the school building previously
erected on the donated lot was dismantled and transferred to the new location.
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Thereafter, Vice-Mayor Wilfredo Palma started to construct a house on the donated land, to
which the respondents opposed.
ISSUES: Whether there was a valid acceptance; Whether there was a violation of a condition in
the donation
RULING: YES. Respondents argue that assuming there was a valid acceptance of the
donation, the acceptance was not noted in the Deed of Donation as required in Article 749 of
the Civil Code, hence, the donation is void.
The purpose of the formal requirement for acceptance of a donation is to ensure that such
acceptance is duly communicated to the donor. In the case at bar, a school building was
immediately constructed after the donation was executed. Respondents had knowledge of the
existence of the school building put up on the donated lot through the efforts of the ParentsTeachers Association of Barangay Kauswagan. It was when the school building was being
dismantled and transferred to the new site and when Vice-Mayor Wilfredo Palma was
constructing a house on the donated property that respondents came to know of the Deed of
Exchange. The actual knowledge by respondents of the construction and existence of the
school building fulfilled the legal requirement that the acceptance of the donation by the donee
be communicated to the donor.
NO. What does the phrase "exclusively used for school purposes" convey? "School" is simply
an institution or place of education. "Purpose" is defined as "that which one sets before him to
accomplish or attain; an end, intention, or aim, object, plan, project. Term is synonymous with
the ends sought, an object to be attained, an intention, etc." "Exclusive" means "excluding or
having power to exclude (as by preventing entrance or debarring from possession, participation,
or use); limiting or limited to possession, control or use.
Without the slightest doubt, the condition for the donation was not in any way violated when the
lot donated was exchanged with another one. The purpose for the donation remains the same,
which is for the establishment of a school. The exclusivity of the purpose was not altered or
affected. In fact, the exchange of the lot for a much bigger one was in furtherance and
enhancement of the purpose of the donation. The acquisition of the bigger lot paved the way for
the release of funds for the construction of Bagong Lipunan school building which could not be
accommodated by the limited area of the donated lot.

SPS. GESTOPA vs. Court of Appeals


G.R. No. 111904 | October 5, 2000
FACTS: Spouses Diego and Catalina Danlag were the owners of six parcels of unregistered
lands. They executed three deeds of donation mortis causa, two of which are dated March 4,
1965 and another dated October 13, 1966, in favor of private respondent Mercedes DanlagPilapil. All deeds contained the reservation of the rights of the donors (1) to amend, cancel or
revoke the donation during their lifetime, and (2) to sell, mortgage, or encumber the properties
donated during the donors' lifetime, if deemed necessary.
On January 16, 1973, Diego Danlag, with the consent of his wife, Catalina Danlag, executed a
deed of donation inter vivos covering the aforementioned parcels of land plus two other parcels,
respectively, again in favor of private respondent Mercedes. This contained two conditions, that
(1) the Danlag spouses shall continue to enjoy the fruits of the land during their lifetime, and that

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(2) the donee cannot sell or dispose of the land during the lifetime of the said spouses, without
their prior consent and approval. Mercedes caused the transfer of the parcels' tax declaration to
her name and paid the taxes on them.
Diego and Catalina Danlag sold parcels 3 and 4 to herein petitioners, Mr. and Mrs. Agripino
Gestopa. The Danlags executed thereafter a deed of revocation recovering the six parcels of
land subject of the aforecited deed of donation inter vivos.
ISSUE: Whether the donation was inter vivos or mortis causa
RULING: DONATION INTER VIVOS. The granting clause shows that Diego donated the
properties out of love and affection for the donee. This is a mark of a donation inter
vivos. Second, the reservation of lifetime usufruct indicates that the donor intended to transfer
the naked ownership over the properties. Third, the donor reserved sufficient properties for his
maintenance in accordance with his standing in society, indicating that the donor intended to
part with the six parcels of land. Lastly, the donee accepted the donation. An acceptance clause
is a mark that the donation is inter vivos. Acceptance is a requirement for donations inter vivos.
Donations mortis causa, being in the form of a will, are not required to be accepted by the
donees during the donors' lifetime.
Furthermore, the donor's right to give consent was merely intended to protect his usufructuary
interests. A limitation on the right to sell during the donors' lifetime implied that ownership had
passed to the donees and donation was already effective during the donors' lifetime.
A valid donation, once accepted, becomes irrevocable, except on account of officiousness,
failure by the donee to comply with the charges imposed in the donation, or ingratitude. The
donor-spouses did not invoke any of these reasons in the deed of revocation. The records do
not show that the donor-spouses instituted any action to revoke the donation in accordance with
Article 769 of the Civil Code. Consequently, the supposed revocation on September 29, 1979,
had no legal effect.

SECRETARY OF EDUCATION vs. HEIRS OF RUFINO DULAY, SR.


G.R. No. 164748 | January 27, 2006
FACTS: The spouses Rufino Dulay, Sr. and Ignacia Vicente were the owners of a parcel of
land. On August 3, 1981, the spouses Dulay executed a deed of donation over a portion of their
property in favor of the Ministry of Education and Culture. However, the property was not used
for school purposes and remained idle. Sometime in 1988, the DECS, through its Secretary,
started construction of the Rizal National High School building on a parcel of land it acquired
from Alejandro Feliciano. The school site was about 2 kilometers away from the land donated by
the spouses Dulay. In a letter to the DECS Secretary, the spouses Dulay requested that the
property be returned to them considering that the land was never used since 1981, or a period
of more than 13 years.
ISSUES: Whether the Department of Education has complied with the condition imposed in the
deed of donation. Whether the respondents right to seek the revocation of the deed of donation
is already barred by prescription and laches
RULING: YES. Petitioners failed to prove that the donated property was used for school
purposes as indicated in the deed of donation. Moreover, petitioners failed to adduce a shred of

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evidence to prove that the palay found in the property was planted by DECS personnel or at its
instance or even by students of the Rizal National High School. No evidence was adduced to
prove that there were existing plans to use the property for school purposes. Petitioners even
debilitated their cause when they claimed in the trial court that the barangay acquired the
property by purchase, relying on the certification of former Barangay Captain Jesus San Juan.
NO. The right to seek the revocation of donation had not yet prescribed when respondents filed
their complaint.
Since such failure to comply with the condition of utilizing the property for school purposes
became manifest sometime in 1988 when the DECS utilized another property for the
construction of the school building, the four-year prescriptive period did not commence on such
date. Petitioner was given more than enough time to comply with the condition, and it cannot be
allowed to use this fact to its advantage. It must be stressed that the donation is onerous
because the DECS, as donee, was burdened with the obligation to utilize the land donated for
school purposes. Under Article 733 of the New Civil Code, a donation with an onerous cause is
essentially a contract and is thus governed by the rules on contract. We fully agree with the
ruling of the appellate court:
xxx With this, [we] decline to apply the four-year prescriptive period for the revocation of
donation provided under Article 764 of the New Civil Code and instead apply the general rules
on contracts since Article 733 of the same Code, specifically provided that onerous donations
shall be governed by the rules on contracts.
Corollarily, since a deed of donation is considered a written contract, it is governed by Article
1144 of the New Civil Code, which provides that the prescriptive period for an action arising
from a written contract is ten (10) years from the time the cause of action accrues. In the case of
donation, the accrual of the cause of action is from the expiration of the time within which the
donee must comply with the conditions or obligations of the donation. In the instant case,
however, it must be noted that the subject donation fixed no period within which the donee can
comply with the condition of donation. As such, resort to Article 1197 of the New Civil Code is
necessary. Said article provides that if the obligation does not fix a period, but from its nature
and the circumstances it can be inferred that a period was intended, the courts may fix the
duration thereof. Indeed, from the nature and circumstances of the condition of the subject
donation, it can be inferred that a period was contemplated by the donors. The donors could not
have intended their property to remain idle for a very long period of time when, in fact, they
specifically obliged the defendant-appellants to utilize the land donated for school purposes and
thus put it in good use. xxx

PRESCRIPTION
MULTI-REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, vs. CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION,
G.R. No. 146726 | June 16, 2006
FACTS: Multi-Realty claimed that the trial court erred in not declaring that MATUSCO was
estopped from assailing the ownership over the parking slots, as it not only conformed to the
sale of some of the unassigned parking slots but likewise failed to assail the ownership thereon
for a period of 11 years. It insisted that the sale of the said parking slots was made in accord
with law, morals and public order, and that MATUSCOs claim of ownership of the unassigned
parking slots was merely an afterthought.

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On its claim of ownership over the unassigned parking slots, MATUSCO averred that it is not
estopped to do so because the sales thereof were illegal, and it had no knowledge that MultiRealty had been selling the same. Having acted fraudulently and illegally, Multi-Realty cannot
invoke estoppel against it.
ISSUE: Whether petitioners action had already prescribed when it was filed in 1990.
RULING: In the present case, petitioner executed the Master Deed in 1975. However, petitioner
had no doubt about its ownership of the unassigned parking lots, and even sold some of them.
Respondent did not even object to these sales, and even offered to buy some of the parking
slots. Respondent assailed petitioners ownership only in 1989 and claimed ownership of the
unassigned parking slots, and it was then that petitioner discovered the error in the Master
Deed; the dispute over the ownership of the parking slots thereafter ensued. It was only then
that petitioners cause of action for a reformation of the Master Deed accrued. Since petitioner
filed its complaint in 1990, the prescriptive period had not yet elapsed.

DE CASTRO, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and FRANCISCO ARTIGO


G.R. No. 115838 | July 18, 2002
FACTS: On May 29, 1989, Francisco Artigo ("Artigo" for brevity) sued petitioners De Castros to
collect the unpaid balance of his broker's commission. The De Castros argue that laches should
apply because Artigo did not file his complaint in court until May 29, 1989, or almost four years
later. Hence, Artigo's claim for the balance of his commission is barred by laches. The De
Castros admit that Artigo's claim was filed within the ten-year prescriptive period. The De
Castros, however, still maintain that Artigo's cause of action is barred by laches.
ISSUE: Whether the cause of action is barred by laches.
RULING: Laches does not apply because only four years had lapsed from the time of the sale in
June 1985. Artigo made a demand in July 1985 and filed the action in court on May 29, 1989,
well within the ten-year prescriptive period. This does not constitute an unreasonable delay in
asserting one's right. The Court has ruled, "a delay within the prescriptive period is sanctioned
by law and is not considered to be a delay that would bar relief."
FELIX GOCHAN AND SONS REALTY CORPORATION VS. HEIRS OF RAYMUNDO BABA,
G.R. No. 138945 | August 19, 2003
FACTS: On June 13, 1996, respondents Bestra, Maricel, Crecencia, Antonio and Petronila, all
surnamed Baba, filed a complaint for quieting of title and reconveyance with damages against
petitioners with the RTC of Lapu-Lapu City, Branch 54, docketed as Civil Case No. 4494-L. n its
answer,12 petitioner Gochan Realty averred that respondents have no personality to sue
because they are not children of Dorotea Inot and Raymundo Baba; that even assuming they
are lawful heirs of the spouses, their action is barred by estoppel, laches and prescription for
having been filed more than 28 years after the issuance of the transfer certificate of title in its
name; and that any defect in the transactions leading to its acquisition of Lot No. 3537 will not
affect its title because it is a purchaser in good faith and for value.
ISSUE:Whether the cause of action has already prescribed.

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RULING: Assuming that the allegations in respondents complaint are true, their claim that the
execution of the extrajudicial settlement and the deed of sale involving Lot No. 3537, which led
to the issuance of a certificate of title in the name of Gochan Realty, was without their
knowledge or consent, gives rise to an imprescriptible cause of action to declare said
transactions inexistent on the ground of absence of legal capacity and consent. Hence, the
dismissal of respondents complaint on the ground of prescription was erroneous.

SHIPSIDE INCORPORATED vs. COURT OF APPEALS


G.R. No. 143377
February 20, 2001
FACTS: Twenty four long years, thereafter, on January 14, 1999, the Office of the Solicitor
General received a letter dated January 11, 1999 from Mr. Victor G. Floresca, Vice-President,
John Hay Poro Point Development Corporation, stating that the aforementioned orders and
decision of the trial court in L.R.C. No. N-361 have not been executed by the Register of Deeds,
San Fernando, La Union despite receipt of the writ of execution.
On April 21, 1999, the Office of the Solicitor General filed a complaint for revival of judgment
and cancellation of titles before the Regional Trial Court of the First Judicial Region (Branch 26,
San Fernando, La Union) docketed therein as Civil Case No. 6346 entitled, "Republic of the
Philippines, Plaintiff, versus Heirs of Rafael Galvez, represented by Teresita Tan, Reynaldo
Mamaril, Elisa Bustos, Erlinda Balatbat, Regina Bustos, Shipside Incorporated and the Register
of Deeds of La Union, Defendants."
An opposition to the motion to dismiss was filed by the Solicitor General on August 23, 1999,
alleging among others, that: (1) the real party-in-interest is the Republic of the Philippines; and
(2) prescription does not run against the State.
ISSUE: Whether or not the plaintiffs cause of action has already prescribed.
RULING: From the records of this, case, it is clear that the judgment sought to be revived
became final on October 23, 1973. On the other hand, the action for revival of judgment was
instituted only in 1999, or more than twenty-five (25) years after the judgment had become final.
Hence, the action is barred by extinctive prescription considering that 'such an action can be
instituted only within ten (10) years from the time the cause of action accrues.
While it is true that prescription does not run against the State, the same may not be invoked by
the government in this case since it is no longer interested in the subject matter. While Camp
Wallace may have belonged to the government at the time Rafael Galvez's title was ordered
cancelled in Land Registration Case No. N-361, the same no longer holds true today.
SOLID HOMES, INC., vs. SPOUSES TAN
G.R. Nos. 145156-57. July 29, 2005
FACTS: In a letter dated December 18, 1995, respondents demanded on petitioner to provide
the needed utility systems and clear the area of squatters and other obstructions by the end of
January, 1996 to enable them to start the construction of their house thereon and to allow other
lot owners in the area a full access to and peaceful possession of their respective lots.

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Having received no reply from petitioner, respondents filed with the Field Office of the Housing
and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB), NCR a complaint for specific performance and
damages therein praying, inter alia, that petitioner be ordered to provide the needed facilities in
the premises and rid the same of squatters; or, in the alternative, for petitioner to replace
respondents property with another lot in the same subdivision where there are facilities
and sans squatters.
ISSUE: Whether or not respondents right to bring the instant case against petitioner has
already prescribed
RULING: The period of prescription of any action is reckoned only from the date the cause of
action accrued. And a cause of action arises when that which should have been done is
not done, or that which should not have been done is done. The period should not be made
to retroact to the date of execution of the contract on January 15, 1975 as claimed by the
petitioner for at that time, there would be no way for the respondents to know of the violation of
their rights. With the reality that in this case, respondents made their written demand upon
petitioner to perform what is incumbent upon it only on December 18, 1995, it was only from that
date when the 10-year prescriptive period under Article 1144 commenced to run. And since
respondents complaint for specific performance was filed with the Field Office of the HLURB
only on April 1, 1996, or less than four (4) months after the date of their demand, petitioners
reliance on prescription of action is simply without any leg to stand. on.

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