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MARIETTA N.

BARRIDO,
vs.
LEONARDO V. NONATO.

G.R. No. 176492 October 20, 2014


PERALTA, J.:

Facts:

This is a case for a petition for review on certiorari in action of partition filed by
Barrido in the decision of the CA in affirming the decision of the RTC.

In the course of the marriage of respondent Leonardo V. Nonato and petitioner


Marietta N. Barrido, they were able to acquire a property situated in Eroreco, Bacolod
City, consisting of a house and lot, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-
140361. On March 15, 1996, their marriage was declared void on the ground of
psychological incapacity. Since there was no more reason to maintain their co-
ownership over the property, Nonato asked Barrido for partition, but the latter refused.
Thus, on January 29, 2003, Nonato filed a Complaint for partition before the Municipal
Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Bacolod City, Branch 3.

Barrido claimed, by way of affirmative defense, that the subject property had
already been sold to their children, Joseph Raymund and Joseph Leo.

Issue:

THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT ARTICLE 129


OF THE FAMILY CODE HAS NO APPLICATION IN THE PRESENT CASE, ON THE
ASSUMPTION THAT THE TRIAL COURT HAD JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE. 6

Ruling:

The petition lacks merit.

The records reveal that Nonato and Barridos marriage had been declared void
for psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. During their marriage,
however, the conjugal partnership regime governed their property relations. Although
Article 129 provides for the procedure in case of dissolution of the conjugal partnership
regime, Article 147 specifically covers the effects of void marriages on the spouses
property relations. Article 147 reads:

Art. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live
exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or
under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares
and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be
governed by the rules on co-ownership.

In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together
shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and
shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not
participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have
contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former's efforts consisted in the care
and maintenance of the family and of the household.

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Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the
property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without the consent of the
other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.

This particular kind of co-ownership applies when a man and a woman, suffering no
illegal impediment to marry each other, exclusively live together as husband and wife
under a void marriage or without the benefit of marriage. It is clear, therefore, that for
Article 147 to operate, the man and the woman: (1) must be capacitated to marry each
other; (2) live exclusively with each other as husband and wife; and (3) their union is
without the benefit of marriage or their marriage is void. Here, all these elements are
present. The term "capacitated" in the first paragraph of the provision pertains to the
legal capacity of a party to contract marriage. Any impediment to marry has not been
shown to have existed on the part of either Nonato or Barrido. They lived exclusively
with each other as husband and wife. However, their marriage was found to be void
under Article 36 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological incapacity.

Under this property regime, property acquired by both spouses through their work and
industry shall be governed by the rules on equal coownership. Any property acquired
during the union is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through their joint
efforts. A party who did not participate in the acquisition of the property shall be
considered as having contributed to the same jointly if said party's efforts consisted in
the care and maintenance of the family household. Efforts in the care and maintenance
of the family and household are regarded as contributions to the acquisition of common
property by one who has no salary or income or work or industry.

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JUAN SEVILLA SALAS, JR.
vs.
EDEN VILLENA AGUILA

G.R. No. 202370 September 23, 2013

CARPIO, J.:

Facts:

Petitioner Juan Sevilla Salas, Jr. (Salas) and respondent Eden Villena Aguila (Aguila)
were married. Aguila gave birth to their daughter, Joan Jiselle. Five months later, Salas
left their conjugal dwelling. Since then, he no longer communicated with Aguila or their
daughter. Aguila filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage (petition) citing
psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family Code. The petition states that
they "have no conjugal properties whatsoever."

On 10 September 2007, Aguila filed a Manifestation and Motion stating that she
discovered: (a) two 200-square-meter parcels of land with improvements located in San
Bartolome, Quezon City, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. N-259299-A
and TCT No. N-255497; and (b) a 108-square-meter parcel of land with improvement
located in Tondo, Manila, covered by TCT No. 243373 (collectively, "Discovered
Properties"). The registered owner of the Discovered Properties is "Juan S.Salas,
married to Rubina C. Salas." The manifestation was set for hearing on 21 September
2007. However, Salas notice of hearing was returned unserved with the remark, "RTS
Refused To Receive."

On 21 September 2007, the hearing for Aguilas manifestation ensued, with Aguila, her
counsel and the state prosecutor present. During the hearing, Aguila testified that on 17
April 2007 someone informed her of the existence of the Discovered Properties.
Thereafter, she verified the information and secured copies of TCTs of the Discovered
Properties. When asked to clarify, Aguila testified that Rubina C. Salas (Rubina) is
Salas common-law wife.

Issues:

1. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial courts decision ordering the
partition of the parcels of land covered by TCT Nos. N-259299-A and N-255497
in Quezon City and as well as the property in Manila covered by TCT No. 243373
between petitioner and respondent.

Ruling:

The petition lacks merit.

Basic is the rule that the party making an allegation in a civil case has the burden of
proving it by a preponderance of evidence. Salas alleged that contrary to Aguilas
petition stating that they had no conjugal property, they actually acquired the Waived
Properties during their marriage. However, the RTC found, and the CA affirmed, that

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Salas failed to prove the existence and acquisition of the Waived Properties during their
marriage.

On the other hand, Aguila proved that the Discovered Properties were acquired by
Salas during their marriage.1Both the RTC and the CA agreed that the Discovered
Properties registered in Salas name were acquired during his marriage with Aguila. The
TCTs of the Discovered Properties were entered on 2 July 1999 and 29 September
2003, or during the validity of Salas and Aguilas marriage.

On both Salas and Rubinas contention that Rubina owns the Discovered Properties, we
likewise find the contention unmeritorious. The TCTs state that "Juan S. Salas, married
to Rubina C. Salas" is the registered owner of the Discovered Properties. A Torrens title
is generally a conclusive evidence of the ownership of the land referred to, because
there is a strong presumption that it is valid and regularly issued. The phrase "married
to" is merely descriptive of the civil status of the registered owner. Furthermore, Salas
did not initially dispute the ownership of the Discovered Properties in his opposition to
the manifestation. It was only when Rubina intervened that Salas supported Rubinas
statement that she owns the Discovered Properties.

In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together
shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and
shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not
participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have
contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the formers efforts consisted in the care
and maintenance of the family and of the household.

Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the
property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without the consent of the
other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.

When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the party in
bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. In case
of default of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants, each
vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants. In the absence of
descendants, such share shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture
shall take place upon termination of the cohabitation. (Emphasis supplied)

Under this property regime, property acquired during the marriage is prima facie
presumed to have been obtained through the couples joint efforts and governed by the
rules on co-ownership. In the present case, Salas did not rebut this presumption. In a
similar case where the ground for nullity of marriage was also psychological incapacity,
we held that the properties acquired during the union of the parties, as found by both
the RTC and the CA, would be governed by co-ownership. Accordingly, the partition of
the Discovered Properties as ordered by the RTC and the CA should be sustained, but
on the basis of co-ownership and not on the regime of conjugal partnership of gains.

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METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST CO.,
vs.
NICHOLSON PASCUAL a.k.a. NELSON PASCUAL

G.R. No. 163744 February 29, 2008

VELASCO, JR., J.:

Facts:

Respondent Nicholson Pascual and Florencia Nevalga were married on January 19,
1985. During the union, Florencia bought from spouses Clarito and Belen Sering a 250-
square meter lot with a three-door apartment standing thereon located in Makati City.
Subsequently, Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. S-101473/T-510 covering the
purchased lot was canceled and, in lieu thereof, TCT No. 156283 1 of the Registry of
Deeds of Makati City was issued in the name of Florencia, "married to Nelson Pascual"
a.k.a. Nicholson Pascual.

In 1994, Florencia filed a suit for the declaration of nullity of marriage under Article 36 of
the Family Code, docketed as Civil Case No. Q-95-23533. After trial, the Regional Trial
Court (RTC), Branch 94 in Quezon City rendered, on July 31, 1995, a
Decision,2 declaring the marriage of Nicholson and Florencia null and void on the
ground of psychological incapacity on the part of Nicholson.

On April 30, 1997, Florencia, together with spouses Norberto and Elvira Oliveros,
obtained a PhP 58 million loan from petitioner Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co.
(Metrobank). To secure the obligation, Florencia and the spouses Oliveros executed
several real estate mortgages (REMs) on their properties, including one involving the lot
covered by TCT No. 156283. Among the documents Florencia submitted to procure the
loan were a copy of TCT No. 156283, a photocopy of the marriage-nullifying RTC
decision, and a document denominated as "Waiver" that Nicholson purportedly
executed on April 9, 1995. The waiver, made in favor of Florencia, covered the conjugal
properties of the ex-spouses listed therein, but did not incidentally include the lot in
question.

Due to the failure of Florencia and the spouses Oliveros to pay their loan obligation
when it fell due, Metrobank, on November 29, 1999, initiated foreclosure proceedings
under Act No. 3135, as amended, before the Office of the Notary Public of Makati City.
Subsequently, Metrobank caused the publication of the notice of sale on three issues
of Remate. At the auction sale on January 21, 2000, Metrobank emerged as the highest
bidder.

Getting wind of the foreclosure proceedings, Nicholson filed on June 28, 2000, before
the RTC in Makati City, a Complaint to declare the nullity of the mortgage of the
disputed property, docketed as Civil Case No. 00-789 and eventually raffled to Branch

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65 of the court. In it, Nicholson alleged that the property, which is still conjugal property,
was mortgaged without his consent.

Metrobank, in its Answer with Counterclaim and Cross-Claim, alleged that the disputed
lot, being registered in Florencias name, was paraphernal. Metrobank also asserted
having approved the mortgage in good faith.

Florencia did not file an answer within the reglementary period and, hence, was
sjubsequently declared in default.

Issue:

a. Whether or not the [CA] erred in declaring subject property as conjugal by


applying Article 116 of the Family Code.

b. Whether or not the [CA] erred in not holding that the declaration of nullity of
marriage between the respondent Nicholson Pascual and Florencia Nevalga ipso
facto dissolved the regime of community of property of the spouses.

Ruling: A modification of the CAs Decision is in order.

We find for Nicholson.

In the case at bar, Florencia constituted the mortgage on the disputed lot on April 30,
1997, or a little less than two years after the dissolution of the conjugal partnership on
July 31, 1995, but before the liquidation of the partnership. Be that as it may, what
governed the property relations of the former spouses when the mortgage was given is
the aforequoted Art. 493. Under it, Florencia has the right to mortgage or even sell her
one-half (1/2) undivided interest in the disputed property even without the consent of
Nicholson. However, the rights of Metrobank, as mortgagee, are limited only to the 1/2
undivided portion that Florencia owned. Accordingly, the mortgage contract insofar as it
covered the remaining 1/2 undivided portion of the lot is null and void, Nicholson not
having consented to the mortgage of his undivided half.

The conclusion would have, however, been different if Nicholson indeed duly waived his
share in the conjugal partnership. But, as found by the courts a quo, the April 9, 1995
deed of waiver allegedly executed by Nicholson three months prior to the dissolution of
the marriage and the conjugal partnership of gains on July 31, 1995 bore his forged
signature, not to mention that of the notarizing officer. A spurious deed of waiver does
not transfer any right at all, albeit it may become the root of a valid title in the hands of
an innocent buyer for value.

Upon the foregoing perspective, Metrobanks right, as mortgagee and as the successful
bidder at the auction of the lot, is confined only to the 1/2 undivided portion thereof
heretofore pertaining in ownership to Florencia. The other undivided half belongs to
Nicholson. As owner pro indiviso of a portion of the lot in question, Metrobank may ask
for the partition of the lot and its property rights "shall be limited to the portion which
may be allotted to [the bank] in the division upon the termination of the co-
ownership." This disposition is in line with the well-established principle that the binding
force of a contract must be recognized as far as it is legally possible to do so quando
res non valet ut ago, valeat quantum valere potest.

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In view of our resolution on the validity of the auction of the lot in favor of Metrobank,
there is hardly a need to discuss at length whether or not Metrobank was a mortgagee
in good faith. Suffice it to state for the nonce that where the mortgagee is a banking
institution, the general rule that a purchaser or mortgagee of the land need not look
beyond the four corners of the title is inapplicable. Unlike private individuals, it behooves
banks to exercise greater care and due diligence before entering into a mortgage
contract. The ascertainment of the status or condition of the property offered as security
and the validity of the mortgagors title must be standard and indispensable part of the
banks operation. A bank that failed to observe due diligence cannot be accorded the
status of a bona fide mortgagee, as here.

But as found by the CA, however, Metrobanks failure to comply with the due diligence
requirement was not the result of a dishonest purpose, some moral obliquity or breach
of a known duty for some interest or ill-will that partakes of fraud that would justify
damages.

EDILBERTO U. VENTURA JR.,


vs.
SPOUSES PAULINO and EVANGELINE ABUDA,

G.R. No. 202932 October 23, 2013

CARPIO, J.:

Facts:

Socorro Torres (Socorro) and Esteban Abletes (Esteban) were married on 9 June 1980.
Although Socorro and Esteban never had common children, both of them had children
from prior marriages.

Evidence shows that Socorro had a prior subsisting marriage to Crispin Roxas (Crispin)
when she married Esteban. Socorro married Crispin on 18 April 1952. This marriage
was not annulled, and Crispin was alive at the time of Socorros marriage to Esteban.

Estebans prior marriage, on the other hand, was dissolved by virtue of his wifes death
in 1960. According to Edilberto, sometime in 1968, Esteban purchased a portion of a lot
situated at 2492 State Alley, Bonifacio Street, Vitas, Tondo, Manila (Vitas property). The
remaining portion was thereafter purchased by Evangeline on her fathers behalf
sometime in 1970.4 The Vitas property was covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
141782, dated 11 December 1980, issued to "Esteban Abletes, of legal age, Filipino,
married to Socorro Torres."5

When Esteban was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1993, he sold the Vitas and Delpan
properties to Evangeline and her husband, Paulino Abuda (Paulino) .

Esteban passed away on 11 September 1997, while Socorro passed away on 31 July
1999. When Leonora Urquila (Leonora), mother of Edilberto filed a petition for
Annulment of Deeds of Sales before the RTC-Manila.

Issue: Whether or not the property is conjugal.


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Ruling: Petition is denied. Affirmed the decision of the CA.

Edilberto argues that the certificate of title covering the Vitas property shows that the
parcel of land is co-owned by Esteban and Socorro because: (1) the Transfer Certificate
of Title was issued on 11 December 1980, or several months after the parties were
married; and (2) title to the land was issued to "Esteban Abletes, of legal age, married to
Socorro Torres."

We disagree. The title itself shows that the Vitas property is owned by Esteban alone.
The phrase "married to Socorro Torres" is merely descriptive of his civil status, and does
not show that Socorro co-owned the property. The evidence on record also shows that
Esteban acquired ownership over the Vitas property prior to his marriage to Socorro,
even if the certificate of title was issued after the celebration of the marriage.
Registration under the Torrens title system merely confirms, and does not vest title. This
was admitted by Edilberto on page 9 of his petition wherein he quotes an excerpt of our
ruling in Borromeo:

Registration is not a mode of acquiring ownership. It is only a means of confirming the


fact of its existence with notice to the world at large. Certificates of title are not a source
of right. The mere possession of a title does not make one the true owner of the
property. Thus, the mere fact that respondent has the titles of the disputed properties in
her name does not necessarily, conclusively and absolutely make her the owner. The
rule on indefeasibility of title likewise does not apply to respondent. A certificate of title
implies that the title is quiet, and that it is perfect, absolute and indefeasible. However,
there are well-defined exceptions to this rule, as when the transferee is not a holder in
good faith and did not acquire the subject properties for a valuable consideration.

Edilberto claims that Estebans actual contribution to the purchase of the Delpan
property was not sufficiently proven since Evangeline shouldered some of the
amortizations. Thus, the law presumes that Esteban and Socorro jointly contributed to
the acquisition of the Delpan property.

We cannot sustain Edilberto s claim. Both the RTC-Manila and the CA found that the
Delpan property was acquired prior to the marriage of Esteban and
Socorro. Furthermore, even if payment of the purchase price of the Delpan property
was made by Evangeline, such payment was made on behalf of her father. Article 1238
of the Civil Code provides:

Art. 1238. Payment made by a third person who does not intend to be reimbursed by
the debtor is deemed to be a donation, which requires the debtor s consent. But the
payment is in any case valid as to the creditor who has accepted it.

Thus, it is clear that Evangeline paid on behalf of her father, and the parties intended
that the Delpan property would be owned by and registered under the name of Esteban.

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CAMILO F. BORROMEO,

vs.
ANTONIETTA O. DESCALLAR

G.R. No. 159310 February 24, 2009

PUNO, C.J.:

Facts:

Wilhelm Jambrich, an Austrian, met respondent Antonietta Opalla-Descallar. They fell in


love and live together. They bought a house and lot and an Absolute Deed of Sale was
issued in their names. However, when the Deed of Absolute Sale was presented for
registration, it was refused on the ground that Jambrich was an alien and could not
acquire alienable lands of the public domain. Consequently, his name was erased but
his signature remained and the property was issued on the name of the Respondent
alone. However their relationship did not last long and they found new love.

Jambrich met the petitioner who was engaged in business. Jambrich indebted the
petitioner for a sum of money and to pay his debt, he sold some of his properties to the
petitioner and a Deed of Absolute Sale/Assignment was issued in his favor. However,
when the Petitioner sought to register the deed of assignment it found out that said land
was registered in the name of Respondent. Petitioner filed a complaint against
respondent for recovery of real property.

Issue:

Whether or not Jambrich has no title to the properties in question and may not transfer
and assign any rights and interest in favor of the petitioner?

Whether or not the registration of the properties in the name of respondents make his
the owner thereof.

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Ruling:

The evidence clearly shows that as between respondent and Jambrich, it was Jambrich
who possesses the financial capacity to acquire the properties in dispute. At the time of
the acquisition of the properties, Jamrich was the source of funds used to purchase the
three parcels of land, and to construct the house. Jambrich was the owner of the
properties in question, but his name was deleted in the Deed of Absolute Sale because
of legal constraints. Nevertheless, his signature remained in the deed of sale where he
signed as a buyer. Thus, Jambrich has all authority to transfer all his rights, interest and
participation over the subject properties to petitioner by virtue of Deed of Assignment.
Furthermore, the fact that the disputed properties were acquired during the couples
cohabitation does not help the respondent. The rule of co-ownership applies to a man
and a woman living exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit
of marriage, but otherwise capacitated to marry each other does not apply. At the case
at bar, respondent was still legally married to another when she and Jambrich lived
together. In such an adulterous relationship and no co-ownership exists between the
parties. It is necessary for each of the partners to prove his or her actual contribution to
the acquisition of property in order to able to lay claim to any portion of it.

It is settled rule that registration is not a mode of acquiring ownership. It is only a means
of confirming the existence with notice to the world at large. The mere possession of a
title does not make one the true owner of the property. Thus, the mere fact that
respondent has the titles of the disputed properties in her name does not necessarily,
conclusively and absolutely make her the owner.

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ALBINO JOSEF vs.
OTELIO SANTOS

G.R. No. 165060 November 27, 2008

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

Facts:
In Civil Case No. 95-110-MK, Petitioner Albino Josef was the defendant, which is a case
for collection of sum of money filed by herein respondent Otelio Santos, who claimed
that petitioner failed to pay the shoe materials which he bought on credit from
respondent on various dates in 1994. After trial, the Regional Trial Court of Marikina City
found petitioner liable to respondent. Petitioner appealed to the Court of Appeals, which
affirmed the trial courts decision in Toto. Petitioner filed before this Court a petition for
review on certiorari, but it was dismissed in a Resolution dated February 18, 2002. The
Judgment became final and executory on May 21, 2002.
A writ of execution was issued on August 20, 2003 and enforced on August 21, 2003.
On August 29, 2003, certain personal properties subjects of the writ of execution were
auctioned off. Thereafter, a real property located at Marikina City was sold by way of
public auction to fully satisfy the judgment credit.
On November 5, 2003, petitioner filed an original petition for certiorari with the Court of
Appeals, questioning the sheriffs levy and sale of the abovementioned personal and
real properties. Petitioner claimed that the personal properties did not belong to him but
to his children; and that the real property was his family home thus exempt from
execution.
Issue:
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Whether or not the levy and sale of the personal belongings of the petitioners
children as well as the attachment and sale on public auction of his family home to
satisfy the judgment award in favor of respondent is legal.
Ruling: Petition for Certiorari is Granted.
The Supreme Court held that the family home is the dwelling place of a person
and his family, a sacred symbol of family love and repository of cherished memories that
last during ones lifetime. It is the sanctuary of that union which the law declares and
protects as a sacred institution; and likewise a shelter for the fruits of that union. It is
where both can seek refuge and strengthen the tie that binds them together and which
ultimately forms the moral fabric of our nation. The protection of the family home is just
as necessary in the preservation of the family as a basic social institution, and since no
custom, practice or agreement destructive of the family shall be recognized or given
effect, the trial courts failure to observe the proper procedures to determine the veracity
of petitioners allegations, is unjustified.
The same is true with respect to personal properties levied upon and sold at
auction. Despite petitioners allegations in his Opposition, the trial court did not make an
effort to determine the nature of the same, whether the items were exempt from
execution or not, or whether they belonged to petitioner or to someone else.

JUANITA TRINIDAD RAMOS, ALMA RAMOS WORAK, MANUEL T. RAMOS,


JOSEFINA R. ROTHMAN, SONIA R. POST, ELVIRA P. MUNAR, and OFELIA R. LIM
vs.
DANILO PANGILINAN, RODOLFO SUMANG, LUCRECIO BAUTISTA and ROLANDO
ANTENOR

G.R. No. 185920 July 20, 2010

CARPIO MORALES, J.:

Facts:

Respondents filed in 2003 a complaint 1 for illegal dismissal against E.M. Ramos
Electric, Inc., a company owned by Ernesto M. Ramos (Ramos), the patriarch of herein
petitioners. By Decision2 of April 15, 2005, the Labor Arbiter ruled in favor of
respondents and ordered Ramos and the company to pay the aggregate amount
of P1,661,490.30 representing their backwages, separation pay, 13th month pay &
service incentive leave pay.

The Decision having become final and executory and no settlement having been forged
by the parties, the Labor Arbiter issued on September 8, 2005 a writ of execution 3 which
the Deputy Sheriff of the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC) implemented by
levying a property in Ramos name covered by TCT No. 38978, situated in Pandacan,
Manila (Pandacan property).

Alleging that the Pandacan property was the family home, hence, exempt from
execution to satisfy the judgment award, Ramos and the company moved to quash the
writ of execution.4 Respondents, however, averred that the Pandacan property is not the
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Ramos family home, as it has another in Antipolo, and the Pandacan property in fact
served as the companys business address as borne by the companys letterhead.
Respondents added that, assuming that the Pandacan property was indeed the family
home, only the value equivalent to P300,000 was exempt from execution.

Issue:

The only question raised in the present petition for review on certiorari is the propriety of
the Court of Appeals Decision holding that the levy upon the Pandacan property was
valid.

Ruling: The petition is devoid of merit.

Indeed, the general rule is that the family home is a real right which is gratuitous,
inalienable and free from attachment, constituted over the dwelling place and the land
on which it is situated, which confers upon a particular family the right to enjoy such
properties, which must remain with the person constituting it and his heirs. It cannot be
seized by creditors except in certain special cases.

For the family home to be exempt from execution, distinction must be made as to what
law applies based on when it was constituted and what requirements must be complied
with by the judgment debtor or his successors claiming such privilege. Hence, two sets
of rules are applicable.

If the family home was constructed before the effectivity of the Family Code or before
August 3, 1988, then it must have been constituted either judicially or extra-judicially as
provided under Articles 225, 229-231 and 233 of the Civil Code. 11 Judicial constitution of
the family home requires the filing of a verified petition before the courts and the
registration of the courts order with the Registry of Deeds of the area where the
property is located. Meanwhile, extrajudicial constitution is governed by Articles 240 to
24212 of the Civil Code and involves the execution of a public instrument which must
also be registered with the Registry of Property. Failure to comply with either one of
these two modes of constitution will bar a judgment debtor from availing of the privilege.

On the other hand, for family homes constructed after the effectivity of the Family Code
on August 3, 1988, there is no need to constitute extrajudicially or judicially, and the
exemption is effective from the time it was constituted and lasts as long as any of its
beneficiaries under Art. 154 13 actually resides therein. Moreover, the family home should
belong to the absolute community or conjugal partnership, or if exclusively by one
spouse, its constitution must have been with consent of the other, and its value must not
exceed certain amounts depending upon the area where it is located. Further, the debts
incurred for which the exemption does not apply as provided under Art. 155 14 for which
the family home is made answerable must have been incurred after August 3,
1988.1avvphi1

And in both cases, whether under the Civil Code or the Family Code, it is not sufficient
that the person claiming exemption merely alleges that such property is a family home.
This claim for exemption must be set up and proved.

In the present case, since petitioners claim that the family home was constituted prior to
August 3, 1988, or as early as 1944, they must comply with the procedure mandated by
the Civil Code. There being absolutely no proof that the Pandacan property was
judicially or extrajudicially constituted as the Ramos family home, the laws protective

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mantle cannot be availed of by petitioners. Parenthetically, the records show that the
sheriff exhausted all means to execute the judgment but failed because Ramos bank
accounts16 were already closed while other properties in his or the companys name had
already been transferred,17 and the only property left was the Pandacan property.

SPOUSES ARACELI OLIVA-DE MESA and ERNESTO S. DE MESA,


vs.
SPOUSES CLAUDIO D. ACERO, JR. and MA. RUFINA D. ACERO, SHERIFF
FELIXBERTO L. SAMONTE and REGISTRAR ALFREDO SANTOS

G.R. No. 185064 January 16, 2012

REYES, J.:

Facts

This involves a parcel of land situated at No. 3 Forbes Street, Mount Carmel Homes
Subdivision, Iba, Meycauayan, Bulacan, which was formerly covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-76.725 (M) issued by the Register of Deeds of
Meycauayan, Bulacan and registered under Aracelis name. The petitioners jointly
purchased the subject property on April 17, 1984 while they were still merely cohabiting
before their marriage. A house was later constructed on the subject property, which the
petitioners thereafter occupied as their family home after they got married sometime in
January 1987.

Sometime in September 1988, Araceli obtained a loan from Claudio D. Acero, Jr.
(Claudio) in the amount of P100,000.00, which was secured by a mortgage over the

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subject property. As payment, Araceli issued a check drawn against China Banking
Corporation payable to Claudio.

When the check was presented for payment, it was dishonored as the account from
which it was drawn had already been closed. The petitioners failed to heed Claudios
subsequent demand for payment. Respondent filed an action in violation of B.P. 22.

The RTC ruled on acquitting the petitioners but ordering them to pay Claudio the
amount of P100,000.00 with legal interest from date of demand until fully paid.

On March 15, 1993, a writ of execution was issued and Sheriff Felixberto L. Samonte
(Sheriff Samonte) levied upon the subject property. On March 9, 1994, the subject
property was sold on public auction; Claudio was the highest bidder and the
corresponding certificate of sale was issued to him.

The property was rented by Claudio. When unable to collect aforementioned rentals
due, Claudio and his wife Ma. Rufina Acero (Rufina) (collectively referred to as Spouses
Acero) filed a complaint for ejectment with the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of
Meycauayan, Bulacan against the petitioners and Juanito. In their defense, the
petitioners claimed that Spouses Acero have no right over the subject property. The
petitioners deny that they are mere lessors; on the contrary, they are the lawful owners
of the subject property and, thus cannot be evicted therefrom.

The MTC ruled stated that from the time a Torrens title over the subject property was
issued in Claudios name up to the time the complaint for ejectment was filed, the
petitioners never assailed the validity of the levy made by Sheriff Samonte, the
regularity of the public sale that was conducted thereafter and the legitimacy of
Claudios Torrens title that was resultantly issued.

The petitioners appealed the MTCs July 22, 1999 Decision to the RTC. This appeal
was, however, dismissed in a Decision dated November 22, 1999 due to the petitioners
failure to submit their Memorandum. The petitioners sought reconsideration of the said
decision but the same was denied in an Order dated January 31, 2000.

Consequently, the petitioners filed a petition for review with the CA assailing the RTCs
November 22, 1999 Decision and January 31, 2000 Order. In a December 21, 2006
Decision, the CA denied the petitioners petition for review. This became final on July
25, 2007.

In the interregnum, on October 29, 1999, the petitioners filed against the respondents a
complaint to nullify TCT No. T-221755 (M) and other documents with damages with the
RTC of Malolos, Bulacan. Therein, the petitioners asserted that the subject property is a
family home, which is exempt from execution under the Family Code and, thus, could
not have been validly levied upon for purposes of satisfying the March 15, 1993 writ of
execution.

Issues

Whether the lower courts erred in refusing to cancel Claudios Torrens title TCT No. T-
221755 (M) over the subject property.

Ruling: The court did not err in dismissing the complaint.

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The family homes exemption from execution must be set up and proved to the
Sheriff before the sale of the property at public auction.

Despite the fact that the subject property is a family home and, thus, should have been
exempt from execution, we nevertheless rule that the CA did not err in dismissing the
petitioners complaint for nullification of TCT No. T-221755 (M). We agree with the CA
that the petitioners should have asserted the subject property being a family home and
its being exempted from execution at the time it was levied or within a reasonable time
thereafter.

While it is true that the family home is constituted on a house and lot from the time it is
occupied as a family residence and is exempt from execution or forced sale under
Article 153 of the Family Code, such claim for exemption should be set up and proved
to the Sheriff before the sale of the property at public auction. Failure to do so would
estopped the party from later claiming the exemption.

PERLA G. PATRICIO,
vs.
MARCELINO G. DARIO III and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, Second
Division,

G.R. No. 170829 November 20, 2006

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:

Facts:

On July 5, 1987, Marcelino V. Dario died intestate. He was survived by his wife,
petitioner Perla G. Patricio and their two sons, Marcelino Marc Dario and private
respondent Marcelino G. Dario III. Among the properties he left was a parcel of land
with a residential house and a pre-school building built thereon situated at 91 Oxford
corner Ermin Garcia Streets in Cubao, Quezon City.

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On August 10, 1987, petitioner, Marcelino Marc and private respondent, extrajudicially
settled the estate of Marcelino V. Dario. Accordingly, TCT No. RT-30731 (175992) was
cancelled and TCT No. R-213963 was issued in the names of petitioner, private
respondent and Marcelino Marc.

Thereafter, petitioner and Marcelino Marc formally advised private respondent of their
intention to partition the subject property and terminate the co-ownership. Private
respondent refused to partition the property hence petitioner and Marcelino Marc
instituted an action for partition before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City which
was docketed as Civil Case No. Q-01-44038 and raffled to Branch 78.

On October 3, 2002,3 the trial court ordered the partition of the subject property in the
following manner: Perla G. Patricio, 4/6; Marcelino Marc G. Dario, 1/6; and Marcelino G.
Dario III, 1/6. The trial court also ordered the sale of the property by public auction
wherein all parties concerned may put up their bids. In case of failure, the subject
property should be distributed accordingly in the aforestated manner.4

Private respondent filed a motion for reconsideration which was denied by the trial court
on August 11, 2003,5hence he appealed before the Court of Appeals, which denied the
same on October 19, 2005. However, upon a motion for reconsideration filed by private
respondent on December 9, 2005, the appellate court partially reconsidered the October
19, 2005 Decision. In the now assailed Resolution, the Court of Appeals dismissed the
complaint for partition filed by petitioner and Marcelino Marc for lack of merit. It held that
the family home should continue despite the death of one or both spouses as long as
there is a minor beneficiary thereof. The heirs could not partition the property unless the
court found compelling reasons to rule otherwise. The appellate court also held that the
minor son of private respondent, who is a grandson of spouses Marcelino V. Dario and
Perla G. Patricio, was a minor beneficiary of the family home. 6

Issue:

Whether partition of the family home is proper where one of the co-owners refuse to
accede to such partition on the ground that a minor beneficiary still resides in the said
home.

Ruling:

The rule in Article 159 of the Family Code may thus be expressed in this wise: If there
are beneficiaries who survive and are living in the family home, it will continue for 10
years, unless at the expiration of 10 years, there is still a minor beneficiary, in which
case the family home continues until that beneficiary becomes of age.

Three requisites must concur before a minor beneficiary is entitled to the benefits of Art.
159: (1) the relationship enumerated in Art. 154 of the Family Code; (2) they live in the
family home, and (3) they are dependent for legal support upon the head of the family.

Thus, the issue for resolution now is whether Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV, the minor
son of private respondent, can be considered as a beneficiary under Article 154 of the
Family Code.

As to the first requisite, the beneficiaries of the family home are: (1) The husband and
wife, or an unmarried person who is the head of a family; and (2) Their parents,
ascendants, descendants, brothers and sisters, whether the relationship be legitimate or

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illegitimate. The term "descendants" contemplates all descendants of the person or
persons who constituted the family home without distinction; hence, it must necessarily
include the grandchildren and great grandchildren of the spouses who constitute a
family home. Ubi lex non distinguit nec nos distinguire debemos. Where the law does
not distinguish, we should not distinguish. Thus, private respondents minor son, who is
also the grandchild of deceased Marcelino V. Dario satisfies the first requisite.

As to the second requisite, minor beneficiaries must be actually living in the family home
to avail of the benefits derived from Art. 159. Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV, also known
as Ino, the son of private respondent and grandson of the decedent Marcelino V. Dario,
has been living in the family home since 1994, or within 10 years from the death of the
decedent, hence, he satisfies the second requisite.

However, as to the third requisite, Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV cannot demand


support from his paternal grandmother if he has parents who are capable of supporting
him. The liability for legal support falls primarily on Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IVs
parents, especially his father, herein private respondent who is the head of his
immediate family. The law first imposes the obligation of legal support upon the
shoulders of the parents, especially the father, and only in their default is the obligation
imposed on the grandparents.

Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV is dependent on legal support not from his grandmother,
but from his father. Thus, despite residing in the family home and his being a
descendant of Marcelino V. Dario, Marcelino Lorenzo R. Dario IV cannot be considered
as beneficiary contemplated under Article 154 because he did not fulfill the third
requisite of being dependent on his grandmother for legal support. It is his father whom
he is dependent on legal support, and who must now establish his own family home
separate and distinct from that of his parents, being of legal age.

There is no showing that private respondent is without means to support his son; neither
is there any evidence to prove that petitioner, as the paternal grandmother, was willing
to voluntarily provide for her grandsons legal support. On the contrary, herein petitioner
filed for the partition of the property which shows an intention to dissolve the family
home, since there is no more reason for its existence after the 10-year period ended in
1997.

With this finding, there is no legal impediment to partition the subject property.

The law does not encourage co-ownerships among individuals as oftentimes it results in
inequitable situations such as in the instant case. Co-owners should be afforded every
available opportunity to divide their co-owned property to prevent these situations from
arising.

Since the parties were unable to agree on a partition, the court a quo should have
ordered a partition by commissioners pursuant to Section 3, Rule 69 of the Rules of
Court. Not more than three competent and disinterested persons should be appointed
as commissioners to make the partition, commanding them to set off to the plaintiff and
to each party in interest such part and proportion of the property as the court shall
direct.

The partition of the subject property should be made in accordance with the rule
embodied in Art. 996 of the Civil Code. Under the law of intestate succession, if the
widow and legitimate children survive, the widow has the same share as that of each of

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the children. However, since only one-half of the conjugal property which is owned by
the decedent is to be allocated to the legal and compulsory heirs (the other half to be
given exclusively to the surviving spouse as her conjugal share of the property), the
widow will have the same share as each of her two surviving children. Hence, the
respective shares of the subject property, based on the law on intestate succession are:
(1) Perla Generosa Dario, 4/6; (2) Marcelino Marc G. Dario II, 1/6 and (3) Marcelino G.
Dario III, 1/6.

GERARDO B. CONCEPCION
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and MA. THERESA ALMONTE

G.R. No. 123450. August 31, 2005

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CORONA, J.:

Facts:
Petitioner Gerardo B. Concepcion and Ma. Theresa Almonte were married on
December 29, 1989. They lived in Fairview, Quezon City and a year later on December
8, 1990, Ma. Theresa gave birth to Jose Gerardo.
On December 19, 1991, Gerardo filed a petition to have his marriage to Ma. Theresa
annulled on the ground of bigamy, alleging that her marriage with Mario Gopiao on
December 10, 198- was never annulled. Although Ma. Theresa did not deny marrying
Mario, she averred that the marriage was a sham and that she have never lived with
Mario at all.
The trial court said otherwise, and ruled that Ma. Theresas marriage to Mario was valid
and subsisting, thus declaring her marriage to Gerardo as void ab initio. It deemed Jose
Gerardo to be an illegitimate child and the custody was awarded to Ma. Theresa while
Gerardo was granted visitation rights. Also, it allowed the child to use the surname of his
father.
Ma. Theresa appealed and pleaded for the reverse of the courts decisions. The Court
of Appeals ruled that Jose Gerardo was not the son of Ma. Theresa by Gerardo but by
Mario during her first marriage considering the fact that the second marriage was void
from the beginning. Therefore, the child Jose Gerardo under the law is the child of
the legal and subsisting marriage between Ma. Theresa and Mario Gopiao.
Gerardo Concepcion moved for the reconsideration of the decision.
Issue:
Whether the child is the legitimate child of Ma. Theresa and Gopiao or the illegimate
child of Ma. Theresa and Gerardo.
Ruling: The petition is denied. The CA decision is affirmed.

The child, Jose Gerardo, is the legitimate child of Ma. Theresa and Mario Gopiao.
The status and filiation of a child cannot be compromised as per Art. 164 of the Family
Code which states, A child who is conceived or born during the marriage of his parents
is legitimate. It is fully supported by Art. 167 of the Family Code which states, The child
shall be considered legitimate although the mother may have declared against its
legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress.. The law requires that every
reasonable presumption be made in favor of the legitimacy. It is grounded on the policy
to protect the innocent offspring from the odium of illegitimacy.
Since the marriage of Gerardo and Ma. Theresa was void from the very beginning, he
never became her husband and thus never acquired any right to impugn the legitimacy
of her child. The minor cannot be deprived of his/her legitimate status on the bare
declaration of the mother and/or even much less, the supposed father. In fine, the law
and only the law determines who are the legitimate or illegitimate children for ones
legitimacy or illegitimacy cannot ever be compromised. It should be what the law says
and not what a parent says it is. Additionally, public policy demands that there be no
compromise on the status and filiation of a child. Otherwise, the child will be at the
mercy of those who may be so minded to exploit his defenselessness.
As a legitimate child, Jose Gerardo shall have the right to bear the surnames of his
father Mario and mother Ma. Theresa, in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code

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on surnames. Also, there being no such parent-child relationship between the child and
Gerardo, Gerardo has no legally demandable right to visit the child.
The State as parens patriae affords special protection to children from abuse,
exploitation and other conditions prejudicial to their development. It is mandated to
provide protection to those of tender years. Through its laws, the State safeguards them
from every one, even their own parents, to the end that their eventual development as
responsible citizens and members of society shall not be impeded, distracted or
impaired by family acrimony. This is especially significant where, as in this case, the
issue concerns their filiation as it strikes at their very identity and lineage. The child, by
reason of his mental and physical immaturity, needs special safeguard and care,
including appropriate legal protection before as well as after birth. In case of assault on
his rights by those who take advantage of his innocence and vulnerability, the law will
rise in his defense with the single-minded purpose of upholding only his best interests.

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