G.R. No.

74833 January 21, 1991 led Estelita to believe that the properties were the
exclusive properties of Criselda and on the faith of
THOMAS C. CHEESMAN, petitioner, such a belief she bought the properties from her and
vs. for value” and therefore, Thomas was estopped to
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and impugn the transfer.
ESTELITA PADILLA, respondents.  Thomas appealed the judgment, as well as the act
of the Trial Court of granting Estelita’s petition for
relief and its resolution of matters not subject of
NARVASA, J.:p said petition. IAC affirmed the Summary Judgment
and found no reversible error. Thomas Cheesman
FACTS: appealed to the Supreme Court.
 Thomas Cheesman and Criselda P. Cheesman were
married on December 4, 1970 but have been ISSUE: Whether or not Thomas correctly availed of the
separated since February 15, 1981. remedy of appeal to SC? – NO
 On June 4, 1974, a “Deed of Sale and Transfer of
Possessory Rights” was executed by Armando Altares [COMMENTO: We’re familiar with the Persons related
conveying a parcel of unregistered land and the house issue –– The foreigner husband has no capacity or
in favor of “Criselda P. Cheesman, of legal age, personality to question the sale of the property because
Filipino citizen, married to Thomas Cheesman, and it would be an indirect controversion of the constitutional
residing at Lot No. 1, Blk. 8, Filtration Road, Sta. Rita, prohibition. Aliens are prohibited from acquiring lands of
Olongapo City . the public domain.]
 Thomas Cheesman, although aware of the deed, did
not object to the transfer being made only to his wife. RULING: An order of the CFI granting a petition for
 Thereafter, tax declarations for the property purchased relief under Rule 38 is interlocutory and is not
were issued in the name only of Criselda Cheesman appealable.
and Criselda assumed exclusive management and
administration of said property, leasing it to  QUESTION OF FACT vs. QUESTION OF LAW: The
tenants. This happened without any protest from conclusions made by the trial court were derived from
Thomas. evidence adduced by the parties, the facts set out in
 Criselda sold the property to Estelita M. Padilla, the pleadings or otherwise appearing on record—are
without the knowledge or consent of Cheesman. The conclusions or findings of fact. As distinguished
deed described Criselda as being “of legal age, from a QUESTION OF LAW—which exists "when the
married to an American citizen...” doubt or difference arises as to what the law is on a
certain state of facts" — "there is a QUESTION OF
 Subsequently, Thomas filed a suit in the CFI against
FACT when the doubt or difference arises as to the
Criselda and Estelita Padilla, praying for the
truth or the falsehood of alleged facts;" or when the
annulment of the sale on the ground that the
"query necessarily invites calibration of the whole
transaction had been executed without his knowledge
evidence considering mainly the credibility of
and consent.
witnesses, existence and relevancy of specific
 During the Pre-trial, the sale was declared void ab surrounding circumstances, their relation; to each
initio and the the delivery of the property to Thomas as other and to the whole and the probabilities of the
administrator of the conjugal partnership property was situation."
ordered.  The RULE is that only questions of law, distinctly set
 However, the judgment was set aside on a petition for forth, may be raised in a petition for the review on
relief filed by the Estrellita, grounded on "fraud, certiorari of a decision of the Court of Appeals
mistake and/or excusable negligence" which had presented to the Supreme Court.
seriously impaired her right to present her case  The appellate jurisdiction of the SC is limited to
adequately. Estelita Padilla filed a supplemental
reviewing errors of law, accepting as conclusive the
pleading as her own answer to the complaint and a
factual findings of the lower court upon its own
motion for summary judgment.
assessment of the evidence.
 The Trial Court found that —
 CA was created precisely to take away from the SC
o The evidence on record satisfactorily overcame the
the work of examining the evidence, and confine its
disputable presumption that all property of the task to the determination of questions which do not call
marriage belongs to the conjugal partnership and for the reading and study of transcripts containing the
that the immovable in question was in truth testimony of witnesses.
Criselda’s paraphernal property;
 The rule of conclusiveness of the factual findings or
o The legal presumption in Article 160 could not apply
conclusions of the CA is subject to certain exceptions.
because the husband-plaintiff is an American citizen
However, none of which is present in the case at bar.
and therefore disqualified under the Constitution to
 Both the Trial Court and the IAC reached the same
acquire and own real properties; and
o The exercise by Criselda of exclusive acts of conclusions on the 3 factual matters, after assessment
of the evidence and determination of the probative
dominion with the knowledge of her husband “had

. cannot be construed as a waiver of his objection to the petition for relief so as to preclude his raising the same question on appeal from the judgment on the merits of the main case. although different from that stated in his petition for relief.  Such a party need not repeat his objections to the petition for relief. with costs against petitioner. The failure of the party who opposed the petition to appeal from said order. mistake or excusable negligence by which Estelita Padilla's rights had been substantially impaired. answer or other basic pleading. or his participation in the proceedings subsequently had. o The facts on record adequately proved fraud. and that Estelita Padilla did believe in good faith that Criselda Cheesman was the sole owner of the property in question. it being sufficient for this purpose that he has made of record "the action which he desires the court to take or his objection to the action of the court and his grounds therefor. value thereof and these determinations will not be disturbed. that the funds used by Criselda Cheesman was money she had earned and saved prior to her marriage to Thomas Cheesman. WHEREFORE. or perform any act thereafter in order to preserve his right to question the same eventually. on appeal. Once a petition for relief is granted and the judgment subject thereof set aside. the Court in its judgment on the merits may properly grant the relief sought in the petitioner's basic pleadings. and further proceedings are thereafter had. the appealed decision is AFFIRMED."  The prayer in a petition for relief from judgment under Rule 38 is not necessarily the same prayer in the petitioner's complaint.  An order of a CFI granting a petition for relief under Rule 38 is interlocutory and is NOT appealable.