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action has lapsed through the statute of

Prescription limitations)

Art. 1106. By prescription, one acquires

ownership and other real rights through the Distinctions between acquisitive and
lapse of time in the manner and under the extinctive prescription
conditions laid down by law. Acquisitive Extinctive
In the same way, rights and conditions are lost Requires possession Inaction by the owner
by prescription. (1930a) by a claimant who is out of possession or
Prescription a means of acquiring ownership NOT the owner neglect of one with a
and other real rights or losing rights or actions to right to bring his action
enforce such rights through lapse of time. (Art. Applicable to Applies to all kinds of
1106) ownership and other rights, whether real or
real rights personal
Kinds of Prescription: Vests ownership or Produces the
1. Acquisitive prescription other real rights in the extinction of rights or
the acquisition of ownership and other real occupant bars a right of action
rights through possession of a thing in the Results in the Merely results in the
manner and under the conditions provided by acquisition of loss of a real or
law. ownership or other real personal right or bars
adverse possession (kind of possession rights in a person as the cause of action to
which is in opposition to the true title or real well as the loss of said enforce said right
owner, commenced without right but ripened ownership or real
into title by lapse of time) rights in another
elements: Can be proven under Should be affirmatively
a. Capacity of the claimant to acquire by the general issue pleaded and proved to
prescription without its being bar the action or claim
b. A thing capable of acquisition by affirmatively pleaded of the adverse party
c. Possession of the thing under certain
Rationale of prescription: Prescription is
d. Lapse of time provided by law
of purely statutory origin and is founded on
ground of public policy. Time limit is
a. Ordinary acquisitive requires
imposed for a party to enforce his claim so
possession of things in good faith and with
that titles to property and other rights will be
just title1 for the time fixed by law (Art. 1117)
stabilized. It protects the diligent and
b. Extraordinary acquisitive good faith
vigilant, not the person who sleeps on his
and just title are not necessary (Art. 1117)
2. Extinctive prescription
Prescription is different and independent of
the loss or extinguishment of property rights
or actions through the possession by another of
a thing for the period provided by law or
Laches failure or neglect for an
through failure to bring the necessary action to
unreasonable and unexplained length of time,
enforce ones right within the period fixed by
to do that which, by exercising due diligence,
one could or should have done earlier;
limitation of actions (where the plaintiff
negligence or omission to assert a right within a
fails to go to court within the prescriptive period,
reasonable time, warranting a presumption that
he loses his cause, not really because the
the party entitled to assert it either has
defendant has acquired the formers right by
abandoned or declined to assert it.
adverse possession, but because the plaintiffs
a recourse in equity; applies only in the
absence of a statutory prescriptive period
an equitable doctrine and is particularly
Just title only a colored title or such title where although determined by the courts based on equitable
there was a mode of transferring ownership, still something is considerations.
wrong because the grantor is not the owner.
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either personally or through their parents,

Distinctions between prescription and laches guardians or legal representatives. (1931a)

Prescription Laches Minors and other incapacitated persons may

Applies even to also under certain circumstances, acquire by
imprescriptible actions prescription. In order that these persons can
(e.g. action to annul a acquire by prescription, it is necessary that they
void contract may be must have discernment, because the intent to
barred by laches) appropriate the thing as ones own is an
Concerned with the Concerned with the essential element of the possession.
fact of delay effect of delay When the prescription requires a just title, the
A question or matter of A question of inequity capacity to prescribe will be the same capacity
time of permitting a claim to required for the particular title in question.
be enforced (this But in prescription where title is unnecessary,
inequity being founded the capacity for possession is required,
on some subsequent because possession is an element common to
change in the condition all kinds of acquisitive prescription.
or relation of the
parties) Art. 1108. Prescription, both acquisitive and
Statutory Not statutory extinctive, runs against:
Applies at law Applies in equity (1) Minors and other incapacitated persons
Cannot be availed of Need not be who have parents, guardians or other legal
unless it is especially specifically pleaded; representatives;
pleaded as an court may consider it in (2) Absentees who have administrators,
affirmative allegation its own initiative to either appointed by them before their
prevent inequity disappearance, or appointed by the courts;
Based on a fixed time Not based on a fixed (3) Persons living abroad, who have
time managers or administrators;
(4) Juridical persons, except the State and
Prescription as a matter of defense its subdivisions.
Burden of proof: Rests on the party laying claim to it Persons who are disqualified from
Effect of failure to plead prescription: Failure to administering their property have a right to
plead constitutes waiver of the defense and cannot claim damages from their legal
be raised for the first time at the trial or on appeal representatives whose negligence has been
General Rule: The issue of prescription is one the cause of prescription. (1932a)
involving evidentiary matters requiring a full-blown
trial on the merits and cannot be determined in a General rule: A person must have the legal
mere motion to dismiss. capacity to acquire property or rights by the other
Exceptions: legal modes in order that he may acquire the
1. When the plaintiffs complaint on its face or the same by means of prescription. (Art. 1107)
evidence he presented shows clearly that aliens cannot acquire lands by prescription
indeed the action has prescribed at the time it
was filed. Rule on minors and other incapacitated
2. If, before trial, a party has no means of knowing persons: Minors and other incapacitated persons
that opponents claim has already lapsed, (even though they dont have capacity to act)
prescription as a defense may be pleaded later may acquire property or rights by prescription
as soon as the true nature of the claim is personally for they have juridical capacity and
discovered. prescription does not require consent unlike
Art. 1107. Persons who are capable of acquiring
property or rights by the other legal modes may Note: Infants and insane (persons who have no
acquire the same by means of prescription. discernment) can acquire prescription only
through their parents, guardians, or legal
Minors and other incapacitated persons may
acquire property or rights by prescription, 2
Juridical capacity fitness to be the subject of legal relations
(inherent in every natural person and is lost only through death)
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representatives because possession must be Against whom Against whom

under claim of ownership. prescription runs: prescription does not
(Arts. 1108,1110) run:
Art. 1109. Prescription does not run between
1. Minors and other 1. Minors and other
husband and wife, even though there be a
incapacitated persons incapacitated persons
separation of property agreed upon in the who DO NOT have
who have parents,
marriage settlements or by judicial decree. guardians or other parents, guardians or
Neither does prescription run between legal representatives other legal
parents and children, during the minority or (Art. 1108) representatives (Art.
insanity of the latter, and between guardian and 1108)
ward during the continuance of the 2. Absentees who have 2. Absentees who DO
guardianship. administrators, either NOT have administrators,
appointed by them either appointed by them
Between Husband and Wife before their before their appearance
appearance or or appointed by the
Reason- influence or affection may often courts (Art. 1108)
appointed by the courts
prevent one from bringing an action for (Art. 1108)
prescription 3. Persons living abroad, 3. Persons living abroad,
There are cases like legal separation when the who have managers or who do NOT have
law specifically provides for a period of administrators (Art. managers or
prescription between husbands and wives. 1108) administrators (Art. 1108)
4. Juridical persons 4. State and its
Art. 1110. Prescription, acquisitive and (including state but subdivisions (only with
extinctive, runs in favor of, or against a married only with regard to regard to properties of
woman. (n) patrimonial property) public dominion) (Art.
(Art. 1108) 1108)
5. Married woman (Art. 5. Between husband and
1110) wife during the marriage
even though there be a
separation of property
agreed upon in the
marriage settlements or
by judicial decree (Art.
6. Between parents and
children during the
minority or insanity of the
latter (Art. 1109)
7. Between guardian and
ward during the
continuance of the
guardianship (Art. 1109)
8. In favor of a co-owner
or co-heir against his co-
owners or co-heirs as
long as the co-ownership
is recognized (Art.
9. In an action for
reconveyance when
plaintiff is in possession
of property to be
reconveyed (Art. 523)
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Effect of failure to plead prescription: Failure to 3. It must be made by the owner of the right
plead constitutes waiver of the defense and cannot (hence administrator, executor, agent, etc.
be raised for the first time at the trial or on appeal cannot renounce unless given SPA)
General Rule: The issue of prescription is one 4. It must not prejudice the rights of creditors
involving evidentiary matters requiring a full-blown (while rights may be waived, it must not be
trial on the merits and cannot be determined in a prejudicial to the rights of a third person
mere motion to dismiss. with a right recognized by law Art. 6,
Exceptions: NCC)
1. When the plaintiffs complaint on its face or the 5. The person renouncing must have
evidence he presented shows clearly that knowledge of the existence of the right
indeed the action has prescribed at the time it
was filed. Kinds:
2. If, before trial, a party has no means of knowing 1. Express
that opponents claim has already lapsed, 2. Implied/Tacit when renunciation results
prescription as a defense may be pleaded later from acts which imply the abandonment of
as soon as the true nature of the claim is the right acquired.
discovered. Where the party acknowledges the
correctness of the debt and promises to pay it
after the same has prescribed and with full
Art. 1111. Prescription obtained by a co- knowledge of the prescription, he thereby
proprietor or a co-owner shall benefit the waives the benefit of prescription.
others. (1933)
Note: But simple promise which contains new
A co-owners possession which is the basis of and positive promise to pay the debt which has
prescription should benefit not only himself but prescribed, such as a promise to pay only one-
also the other co-owners since in co-ownership, half or even a part payment, does not amount
the possession of one is deemed the to a renunciation of prescription.
possession of other co-owners (Art. 1111)
Under Art. 1111, it is essential that the Renunciation Void
possession of the co-owner involves the A renunciation of prescription in advance is
community property. void.
An agreement that the obligation arising
Art. 1112. Persons with capacity to alienate from the contract shall not be subject to
property may renounce prescription already prescription is not binding.
obtained, but not the right to prescribe in the
future. Renunciations by Representatives
Prescription is deemed to have been tacitly Only persons with capacity to alienate
renounced when the renunciation results from property can renounce prescription already
acts which imply the abandonment of the right obtained.
acquired. (1935) o Not guardians, executors, administrators

Renunciation is Unilateral With regard to creditors(Art. 1114):

The renunciation of prescription is a unilateral Notwithstanding the express or tacit
act, and does not require the acceptance of the renunciation by a person of a prescription already
person to be benefited by it. obtained, his creditors and all other persons
Requisites: interested in making the prescription effective,
1. The person renouncing must have capacity may still plead prescription for themselves to the
to alienate property (because renunciation extent of their credit.
involves the disposition of property)
2. The renunciation must refer to prescription Art. 1113. All things which are within the
already obtained (Art.6, NCC: rights may commerce of men are susceptible of
be waived) but NOT the right to prescribe in prescription, unless otherwise provided.
the future (contrary to public order or public Property of the State or any of its
policy) subdivisions not patrimonial in character
shall not be the object of prescription. (1936a)
Prescription of Ownership and Other
Real Rights
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Object of Prescription
General Rule: All things within the commerce of
men may be acquired by prescription (Art. 1113) Art. 1117. Acquisitive prescription of dominion
Things which are not susceptible of being and other real rights may be ordinary or
appropriated cannot be acquired by extraordinary.
prescription3. (since possession is required in Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires
prescription) possession of things in good faith and with
property of public dominion and common just title for the time fixed by law. (1940a)
things cannot be acquired by prescription
Res nullius (property without an owner) is Requisites of Acquisitive Prescription
acquired by occupation and not by prescription Capacity to acquire by prescription
because prescription presupposes a previous A thing capable by prescription
owner. Possession of the thing under certain conditions
Lapse of time provided by law.
1. Lands registered under the Torrens system Kinds of Acquisitive Prescription:
(Sec.47, PD 1529) 1. Ordinary Acquisitive requires
2. Properties of spouses, parents and children possession of things in good faith and with
and guardians and wards under certain just title for the time fixed by law.
conditions as between themselves 2. Extraordinary Acquisitive does not require
(Art.1109) good faith and just time but is fixed for a
3. Movables possessed through a crime longer period

Art. 1114. Creditors and all other persons ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY

1. Capacity of possessor to acquire by
interested in making the prescription effective prescription
may avail themselves thereof notwithstanding 2. Susceptibility of object to prescription
the express or tacit renunciation by the 3. Adverse possession of the character
debtor or proprietor. (1937) prescribed by law
4. Lapse of time required by law
Creditors may Plead Prescription 5. Good faith of
Even if the person bound by the obligation possessor
should renounce such prescription. 6. Proof of just title
But prescription pleased by one creditor
does not inure to the benefit of another creditor.
Required Period Fixed by Law
Art. 1115. The provisions of the present Title ORDINARY EXTRAORDINARY
are understood to be without prejudice to movable 4 yrs 8 yrs
what in this Code or in special laws is immovable 10 yrs 30 yrs
established with respect to specific cases of
prescription. (1938) Suppose possession begins in good faith
but is later converted to bad faith?
The prescription will be extraordinary but
the possession in good faith shall be
computed in the proportion that the period of
extraordinary prescription bears to that of
ordinary prescription.
Example: If the possessor had possessed
for three years in good faith, before his
possession was converted into bad faith, the
3 years will be computed as double (6 years).

Art. 530: Only things and rights which are susceptible of being
appropriated may be the object of possession.
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Art. 1118. Possession has to be in the concept Continuity is not understood in an absolute
of an owner, public, peaceful and sense.
uninterrupted. (1941) Possession is uninterrupted is there has been
no acts of deprivation of enjoyment of the
Art. 1119. Acts of possessory character things by a third person, or any other act which
executed in virtue of license or by mere interrupts prescription.
tolerance of the owner shall not be available Interruption is distinct from discontinuity; the
for the purposes of possession. (1942) former is a positive act of third person, while
the latter is a negative act or abstention on the
part of the possessor himself.
Possession fundamental basis of prescription
Characteristics: Art. 1120. Possession is interrupted for the
1. Concept of Owner purposes of prescription, naturally or civilly.
Where the property was in the adverse, (1943)
continuous and notorious possession of a
buyer in the concept of owner for more than Kinds of Interruption of Possession:
half a century, the claim over such property has 1. Natural when through any cause prescription
already prescribed. should cease for more than one year
2. Civil produced by judicial summons to the
Acts of a possessory character which are possessor
merely tolerated by the possessor or which are
due to his license, do not constitute Effect of Interruption
possession. All the benefits acquired so far from the
o License- positive act of the owner in favor of possession cease; when the prescription runs
the holder of the thing. again, it will be an entirely new one.
o Tolerance- passive acquiescence of the Distinguishes prescription from suspension of
owner to acts being performed by another suspension,
which appear to be contrary to the rights of o Suspension- past period is included in
the former. computation; old possession is tacked to the
Tenants cannot acquire tenanted lands by new (example: possession in wartime)
prescription, nor can an antichretic creditor the
land of his debtor. Possession de facto lost if new
possession of another has lasted longer
2. Public than 1 year
o when the acts of enjoyment are executed in Real right of possession not lost until
such a manner as to be manifest or visible to after the lapse of 10 years.
all, especially to the person against whom the
possession is being adversely asserted. Art. 1121. Possession is naturally interrupted
o In order for possession to be public, it must when through any cause it should cease for
be known to the owner of the thing. more than one year.
The old possession is not revived if a new
3. Peaceful possession should be exercised by the same
It is acquired and maintained without any adverse claimant. (1944a)
violence, physical or moral.
The possession continues to be peaceful even Art. 1122. If the natural interruption is for only
if the possessor should use such force as is one year or less, the time elapsed shall be
reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an counted in favor of the prescription. (n)
actual or physical invasion of the property.
Art. 1123. Civil interruption is produced by
4. Uninterrupted judicial summons to the possessor. (1945a)
When the possessor has never ceased to
manifest with external acts his intention to Art. 1124. Judicial summons shall be deemed
exercise a right over the thing, which not to have been issued and shall not give rise
presupposes that he has never in fact ceased to interruption:
to exercise the right.
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(1) If it should be void for lack of legal

solemnities; As to lands registered under the Land
(2) If the plaintiff should desist from the Registration Act, the provisions of that special
complaint or should allow the law shall govern. (1949a)
proceedings to lapse;
(3) If the possessor should be absolved Recorded Titles as to Third Persons
from the complaint. Owner of the thing at the beginning of
In all these cases, the period of the prescriptive period is not considered as a third
interruption shall be counted for the person within the meaning of this rule.
prescription. (1946a) Those who acquire their right subsequently,
relying on the registration of ownership in the
Effect of Recovery of Possession registry, must be considered as third persons,
According to Art. 1121-1122, in case of natural and they cannot be prejudiced by the period of
interruption, the old possession loses all its possession prior to the date of their acquisition.
juridical effects, and even if the possession if o But such person must have acquired under
reacquired, the old possession cannot be the following conditions
tacked to the new possession for the purpose That the acquisition is by onerous title.
of prescription. That the acquisition is from one who,
But in the case of civil interruption, there is according to the Registry, can transmit title.
unanimity between the law and the That the acquisition is registered.
commentators in the view that if the possession That such third person has no knowledge of
is recovered, it can be connected to the time the prescription.
that has elapsed as if it were in fact continuous, While registered owner who executed the title
the period of interruption is to be counted for which is the basis for prescription, is not
the prescription. considered a third person, he is however
regarded as a third person with respect to the
Art. 1125. Any express or tacit recognition title executed by another who is not the
which the possessor may make of the owner's registered owner.
right also interrupts possession. (1948) When the title of the first transferee is not
registered, a subsequent transferee of real right
Recognition by the Possessor over the things is considered as a third person
Rule: Any express or implied recognition or if his title is recorded.
acknowledgment which the possessor may make
with regard to the right of owner will also interrupt Registered Lands
the continuity of possession. Adverse possession not allowed to defeat the
requisites: owners right to possession of land registered
1. Recognition must be made by the under the Torrens system.
possessor himself, or if made by a third Prescription not allowed against owners of
person, the recognition must be authorized hereditary successors because the latter
or ratified by the possessor merely step into the shoes of the decedent and
2. Recognition must be valid and efficacious are merely the continuation of their
in law predecessor in interest.
When the act of recognition was
obtained through violence, intimidation Laches as regards registered property
fraud, or any other cause which vitiates Even a registered owner may be barred from
consent, it will not interrupt possession. recovering possession of property by virtue of
3. Recognition must have been made before laches.
prescription has already been obtained. Where, however, the claim was filed within the
statutory period of prescription, recovery
therefor cannot be barred by laches.
Art. 1126. Against a title recorded in the
Registry of Property, ordinary prescription of Art. 1127. The good faith of the possessor
ownership or real rights shall not take place to consists in the reasonable belief that the person
the prejudice of a third person, except in virtue from whom he received the thing was the owner
of another title also recorded; and the time shall
begin to run from the recording of the latter.
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thereof, and could transmit his ownership. Art. 1131. For the purposes of prescription, just
(1950a) title must be proved; it is never presumed.
Art. 1128. The conditions of good faith required
for possession in Articles 526, 527, 528, and 529
of this Code are likewise necessary for the
determination of good faith in the prescription
of ownership and other real rights. (1951)

A prescriptive title of real estate is not

acquired by mere possession. Under the claim
of ownership, for a period of ten years, unless it
was originally acquired With just title and good

Good faith of possessor

1. Possessor believed that the person from whom
he received the thing was the owner thereof
2. He believed that said person could transmit his
3. His belief has a reasonable basis

Good faith requires a well founded belief

that the person from whom title was received
was himself the owner of the land, with the right
to convey. And unless the contrary is shown,
the possessor of the land must be presumed to
be in good faith.
To be in good faith, the possessor must
believe that the title for his acquisition is
sufficient; it is not enough that he knows of no
defect in it.
Good faith must exist not only at the
beginning of the possession but throughout the
entire period required for prescription.

Donation: Donee (possessor) must have a

well-founded belief that the donor was the
owner of the property donated and had the
capacity to donate the same.

Art. 1129. For the purposes of prescription,

there is just title when the adverse claimant
came into possession of the property through
one of the modes recognized by law for the
acquisition of ownership or other real rights,
but the grantor was not the owner or could not
transmit any right. (n)

Art. 1130. The title for prescription must be true

and valid. (1953)
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void title is insufficient

For purposes of prescription the title of the voidable is sufficient so long as it has not been
possessor must be just, true, valid and proved. annulled
o can be basis of ordinary prescription.
Just Title Title is subject to suspensive condition
An act which has for its purpose the o Period of prescription begins to run from the
transmission of ownership, and which would fulfillment of the condition
have actually transferred ownership if the Title subject to resolutory condition
grantor had been the owner. This vice or defect o Period begins at once, without prejudice to
is the one cured by prescription. the effect of the resolution by the condition
These do not constitute a title: which may later happen.
o Lease of things
o Loan Title Must Be Proved
o Deposit Exception to general rule embodied in article
o All contracts which do not transmit property 541, which presumes a just title for every
rights possessor in the concept of the owner.
o Partition Article 541 refers only to an existing fact, that of
o Compromise possession, article 1131 refers to acquisition of
o Court decisions which are all declaratory but the right of ownership and therefore demands
do not transmit them. grater guaranty to the existence of a title.
When a possession is asserted to convert itself
True Title to ownership, a new right is sought to be
To be true, the title must exist actually, and not created, and the law becomes more exacting
merely in the mind of the possessor. and requires proof of title.
A legally non-existent title is without value.
A simulated title is without value Art. 1132. The ownership of movables
o But where it is only relative simulation, the prescribes through uninterrupted possession
true title hidden behind the fictitious one will for four years in good faith.
suffice. The ownership of personal property also
o Simulated title- conceals a prohibited act, prescribes through uninterrupted possession
for eight years, without need of any other
cannot serve as a basis for prescription.
False title- one which does not exist but is
actually believed by the possessor to exist.
With regard to the right of the owner to recover
o May or may not be sufficient. (depends if error
personal property lost or of which he has been
in fact or law) illegally deprived, as well as with respect to
If the mistake of fact refers to an act of a movables acquired in a public sale, fair, or
third person, the title is sufficient for market, or from a merchant's store the
prescription. provisions of Articles 559 and 1505 of this Code
If it refers to an act of the possessor shall be observed. (1955a)
himself, is not s sufficient.
If the error of law refers to the validity of the Art. 1133. Movables possessed through a crime
act, title is not adequate. can never be acquired through prescription by
If it refers to a fact in the application of a the offender. (1956a)
rule of law, there will be an adequate title.
Revocable title- one in which the transferor has Art. 1134. Ownership and other real rights over
made a reservation by virtue of which the right immovable property are acquired by ordinary
of the possessor may disappear, cannot serve prescription through possession of ten years.
as a basis for prescription. (1957a)
Once reservation become ineffective, the
period that has un can be counted for Art. 1135. In case the adverse claimant
prescription. possesses by mistake an area greater, or less
o i.e. a sale with right to repurchase. than that expressed in his title, prescription
shall be based on the possession. (n)
Valid title
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Constructive Possession In order that there must be no tacking of

Possession upon which a prescription is based, possession, the present possessor must have
not limited to the area actually occupied, but obtained his possession from the previous
covers the area over which possession is owner. There must be privity between them.
asserted. Tacking is possible only when there is a
Therefore, the are referred to by the present succession of rights between the predecessor
article as possessed by mistake, must be and the successor.
deemed to include not only that actually and A mere usurper cannot invoke the possession
physically occupied but also everything under of any previous possessor.
constructive possession.
Doctrine of constructive possession applies Different Character of Possession
when the possession is under title calling for Where predecessor is in good faith, while
the whole. The actual possession of part of the successor is in bad faith
property is deemed to extend the whole, as o Extra-ordinary prescription
shown by the limits and boundaries described Tacking of possession should be permitted.
in the title. Period should be computed in the same
The actual possession of a part of the property manner as where the character of the
may be through a tenant. The doctrine of possession of the person changes while the
constructive possession, however, does not period is running. That is the period of
apply where the possession is without title. possession in good faith should be
computed in the proportion that the period of
Art. 1136. Possession in wartime, when the civil extraordinary prescription bears to that of
courts are not open, shall not be counted in ordinary prescription.
favor of the adverse claimant. Predecessor in bad faith, successor in good
Art. 1137. Ownership and other real rights over Present possessor can claim under ordinary
immovables also prescribe through prescription but in this case the possession of
uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for the predecessor cannot be counted.
thirty years, without need of title or of good Follows the principle stated in article 534:
faith. (1959a) o One who succeeds by hereditary title shall not
suffer the consequences of the wrongful
When Title Void possession of the decedent, if it is not shown
Even when the title of the possessor is void that he was aware of the flaws affecting it; but
such as an oral donation of real property, he the effects of possession in good faith shall
may acquire ownership by prescription under not benefit him except from the date of death
the provisions of this article. of the decedent.
Applied also to transfers of possession by
Art. 1138. In the computation of time necessary act inter vivos.
for prescription the following rules shall be o The present possessor however should not
observed: be limited to ordinary prescription. The period
(1) The present possessor may of possession of the predecessor, although in
complete the period necessary for bad faith, may have been so long that it would
prescription by tacking his possession be beneficial to the present possessor to
to that of his grantor or predecessor in claim extraordinary prescription by tacking the
interest; previous to his own possession. There is no
(2) It is presumed that the present legal obstacle to this.
possessor who was also the possessor
at a previous time, has continued to be
in possession during the intervening
time, unless there is proof to the
(3) The first day shall be excluded and
the last day included. (1960a)

Tacking of Possession
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But there is no extinctive prescription unless

Prescription of Actions the period provided by law expires.
Mere delay in the enforcement of a claim does
Concept of Prescription of Actions not result in any reduction or loss of right,
Prescription of action/limitation of action- the unless the full period required by law for
time within which an action may be brought or prescription has expired.
some act done to preserve the right.
Legal and not natural cause of the Prescription to be Pleaded
extinguishment of obligations. Obligation subsists until he avails himself
Statutes of limitations thereof, the courts of justice cannot supply the
o acts limiting the time within which actions defense if the debtor himself does not do so.
shall be brought. Statutes of limitation do not Right to prescription may be waived or
confer any right of action, but are enacted to renounced.
restrict the period within which the right, Deemed waived- not timely raised or pleaded
otherwise limited, might be asserted. before or during the hearing of the case.
o Statues of repose, the object of which is to It has been held that even if not pleaded, if it is
suppress fraudulent and stale claims from apparent on the face of the complaint, it may be
springing up at great distances of time and favorably considered, even after evidence is
surprising the parties of their representatives adduced.
when all the proper vouchers and evidences
are lost or the facts have become obscure Art. 1140. Actions to recover movables shall
from the lapse of time of the defective prescribe eight years from the time the
memory of death or removal of witnesses. possession thereof is lost, unless the
o Not substantive right but only a matter of possessor has acquired the ownership by
defense. prescription for a less period, according to
Purpose- protect the diligent and vigilant, not Articles 1132, and without prejudice to the
those who sleep on their rights. provisions of Articles 559, 1505, and 1133.
Prescription and laches
Art. 1141. Real actions over immovables
Laches and prescription are independent from
prescribe after thirty years.
each other.
Prescription Laches This provision is without prejudice to what is
Concerned with the established for the acquisition of ownership
effect of delay and other real rights by prescription. (1963)
Is a matter of time Principally a question of
inequity of permitting a Action Affecting Realty
claim to be enforced, Art. 1140. Actions to recover movables shall
this inequity being prescribe eight years from the time the
founded on some possession thereof is lost, unless the
change of condition of possessor has acquired the ownership by
the property of relation prescription for a less period, according to
of the parties Articles 1132, and without prejudice to the
Statutory Not statutory provisions of Articles 559, 1505, and 1133.
Applies to law Applies to equity (1962a)

Art. 1139. Actions prescribe by the mere Art. 1141. Real actions over immovables
lapse of time fixed by law. (1961) prescribe after thirty years.

Leap Year in Period This provision is without prejudice to what is

o February 28 and 29 should be counted as established for the acquisition of ownership
separate days, not as one day. and other real rights by prescription. (1963)

Effect of Lapse of Time Action Affecting Realty

Extinguishes the action.
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While an action for reformation of instrument, Art. 1144. The following actions must be
such as contract of sale with pacto de retro brought within ten years from the time the right
alleged to be merely an equitable mortgage, is of action accrues:
an action based upon a written contract which (1) Upon a written contract;
must be brought within 10 years from the time (2) Upon an obligation created by law;
the right accrues, where, however, the accrual (3) Upon a judgment. (n)
of such right could not be established it is more
logical to apply Article 1141 because in reality Implied Trust
the action seeks to reassert ones title of When the property is registered in anothers
ownership over the real property, not to recover name, an implied or constructive trust is
the same. created by the law in favour of the true owner.
The action for reconveyance of the title to the
Art. 1142. A mortgage action prescribes after rightful owner prescribes in ten years from the
ten years. (1964a) issuance of the title.
But if fraud has been committed and is the
Not imprescriptible basis for action, not implied trust, the action will
The fact that a mortgage is registered does not be barred after four years.
make the action to foreclose it imprescriptible.
Art. 1145. The following actions must be
Effect of Interest commenced within six years:
If the action to recover the mortgage debt itself (1) Upon an oral contract;
has prescribed, the action to recover the (2) Upon a quasi-contract. (n)
interest must also be prescribed.
Art. 1146. The following actions must be
Art. 1143. The following rights, among others instituted within four years:
specified elsewhere in this Code, are not (1) Upon an injury to the rights of the
extinguished by prescription: plaintiff;
(1) To demand a right of way, regulated (2) Upon a quasi-delict;
in Article 649;
(2) To bring an action to abate a public However, when the action arises from or out of
or private nuisance. (n) any act, activity, or conduct of any public officer
involving the exercise of powers or authority
arising from Martial Law including the arrest,
Imprescriptible between Heirs and Co-Heirs
detention and/or trial of the plaintiff, the same
Article 494- no prescription shall run in favor of
must be brought within one (1) year. (As
a co-owner or co-heir so long as he expressly
amended by PD No. 1755, Dec. 24, 1980.)
or impliedly recognize the ownership.
Applies only so long as it is admitted and
presumed that the co-ownership exists. Injury to Rights
Cannot be invokes when one of the co-owners One year period for petition for quo warranto-
or co-heirs has possessed the property as does not apply where the plaintiff is separated
exclusive owner for a period sufficient to from his employment for unjustifiable causes.
acquire the property by prescription. Such unjustified separation from employment is
an injury to the rights of the plaintiff and the
Other Imprescriptible Action action may be brought within four years under
Action by the government or government entity this Article.
An action for mandamus
An action to enforce an express trust Action to Fraud
An action to quiet the title to property in ones Prescribes in four years from the discovery of
possession the fraud
An action or defense to declare a contract or
judgment void ab initio Quasi-delict
Action of the registered owner to recover his Four years
Art. 1147. The following actions must be filed
within one year:
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(1) For forcible entry and detainer; creditor, a delay by the debtor, or the failure of
(2) For defamation. (n) the creditor to insist upon payment, does not
Art. 1148. The limitations of action mentioned in import a tacit renewal, and prescription will run
Articles 1140 to 1142, and 1144 to 1147 are from the end of the first year.
without prejudice to those specified in other When action is based on fraud or deceit, the
parts of this Code, in the Code of Commerce, period of prescription will begin to run on the
and in special laws. (n) date of the discovery of the fraud or deceit.
Art. 1149. All other actions whose periods are Quasi-delict- the prescriptive period starts from
not fixed in this Code or in other laws must be the day the quasi delict occurred or was
brought within five years from the time the right committed.
of action accrues. (n) Action is for partition and reconveyance based
on implied or constructive trust- time begins
Right to Collect taxes from the date of the issuance of the original
Not presumed in the absence of clear certificate of title.
legislation to the contrary, and where the Right of the nearest relative to question the
government has not by express statutory validity of a purported will or donation mortis
provision provided a limitation upon its right to causa does not commence until a third person
assess unpaid taxes, such right is claims a right under such instrument where in
imprescriptible. the meantime the intestate heir has been in
possession of the properties and there was no
Art. 1150. The time for prescription for all kinds occasion to seek judicial annulment of the
of actions, when there is no special provision instrument.
which ordains otherwise, shall be counted from Action to set aside a simulated written deed or
the day they may be brought. (1969) pacto de retro sale- starts only when the
alleged vendeed made known their intention by
Time From Which Period is Computed overt acts not to abide by the true agreement,
In case where there is no special provision for and not from the date of the execution of the
such a computation, recourse must be had to contract.
the rule that the period must be counted from
the day on which the corresponding action Art. 1151. The time for the prescription of
could have been instituted. It is the legal actions which have for their object the
possibility of bringing the action which enforcement of obligations to pay principal with
determined the starting point for the interest or annuity runs from the last payment
computation of the period. The period should of the annuity or of the interest. (1970a)
not be made to retroact the date of the
execution of the contract. Obligations With Interest
Applicable only to cases where the principal
Accrual of Cause of Action debt is already due.
Cause of action- arises when that which should If payment is not yet due, prescription will
have been done is not done or that which commence only after the maturity of debt.
should not have been done is done. Existence of a past debt due mortgage was
Essential elements of a good cause- recognized by payments of interest,
o Existence of legal right in a plaintiff prescription ran only from the past payment of
o With a corresponding legal duty in the interest.
o Violation or breach of that right or duty with Art. 1152. The period for prescription of
consequential injury or damage to the plaintiff, actions to demand the fulfillment of
for which he may maintain an action for obligation declared by a judgment
appropriate relief. commences from the time the judgment
The moment the breach of right or duty occurs, became final. (1971)
then the right of action accrues, therefore
period of prescription begins to run. When Judgment becomes Final
When a contract provides for the payment of Trial court- upon expiration for period to appeal
money within a year, with the privilege of SC, CA- the true judgment is that entered by
extension for another year at the option of the the clerk of court pursuant to the dispositive
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part of its decision, and the period of acknowledgment of the debt by the debtor.
prescription is, therefore, computed from the (1973a)
date such judgment is entered. The period is
ten years Filing Action in Court
Interrupts extinctive prescription as to the
Art. 1153. The period for prescription of actions parties defendants therein,.
to demand accounting runs from the day the Filing motion for reconsideration- continues the
persons who should render the same cease in suspension of the running of prescription
their functions. period, which runs again after the court
The period for the action arising from the result proceedings have finally been terminated.
of the accounting runs from the date when said When the prescription is interrupted by a
result was recognized by agreement of the judicial demand, the full period for the
interested parties. (1972) prescription must be reckoned from the
cessation of the interruption.
Action to Compel Accounting (joint account)
Begins to run from the date of the retirement of No Suspension
the members from whom accounting is Although an action is started within a
demanded. It begins to run from the dissolution prescriptive period, if the plaintiff desists in the
of a partnership when the final accounting is prosecution or judgment is unconditionally
done. stayed for one reason or another, the running of
the period of limitations is not suspended, The
Current Accounts parties are left in exactly the same position as if
Begins to run from the date of each particular no action had been commenced at all.
term Amendment to the complaint- equivalent to a
Prescriptive period- 10 years fresh suit upon a new cause of action and the
Accounting has been made between the parties statute of limitation continues to run until the
in their current account dealings- right of action amendment is filed.
accrues and the period of prescription begins to
run, on the date when the last balance was Written Extra-Judicial Demand
struck, and not when the business relations Running of prescription period should be
terminated. interrupted when a demand is made by the
creditor upon the debtor before the lapse of the
Art. 1154. The period during which the obligee period fixed by law.
was prevented by a fortuitous event from o Burden of proof is on the creditor.
enforcing his right is not reckoned against him.
(n) Written Acknowledgment of Debt
In extinctive prescription, the interruption
Suspension During War through the acknowledgment of debt of the
Suspended by war or insurrection only when creditors right can only take place when such
the regular course of justice is interrupted to acknowledgment is in writing.
such extent that courts cannot be kept open It can be implied therefrom, but it must be in
and are not within the reach of the people. writing
Courts are functioning- prescription is not The acknowledgment must be such as to apply
suspended to a particular and specific debt to interrupt
Effect of the Destruction of Judicial records Acknowledgment can be made by a legal
Cease to run, only begin to run again on the representative.
date when the parties or counsel shall have The acknowledgment of debt before period of
received notice to the effect that the records
prescription will interrupt the expiration of the
have been reconstituted.
period of prescription, but a mere
acknowledgment of the obligation after it has
Art. 1155. The prescription of actions is
already prescribed is not sufficient to renew the
interrupted when they are filed before the court,
period of prescription.
when there is a written extrajudicial demand by
the creditors, and when there is any written
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If the period has already expired, there must be

a renunciation of the prescription already
acquired, in order action may be acquired.
o Mere acknowledgment of debt does not
constitute renunciation of prescription already
By acknowledgment of debt, the debtor may
renew the obligation and interrupt the
prescription so as to make it run only from the
date of the acknowledgment.

Other Causes that Do Not Interrupt Period

Debt of a debtor
Transfer of right to another person
Institution of criminal action
Order to stay execution of a judgment
Confinement in jail
Extinction of debt of one of the various joint
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SUMMARY: Rights not extinguished by prescription:

1. Right of way
2. Action to abate a public or private nuisance
Movable Immovable
Action to 8 yrs from the 30 yrs
recover time
possession is
lost Reckoning Point of
Mortgage 10 years Computation of Period
action of Prescription
All other Within 5 yrs from the time the When there is no from the day they may be
actions whose right of action accrues special provision brought
periods are which ordains the
not fixed in the time for prescription
Code for all kinds of
Action upon a 10 years action
written Actions which have from the last payment of
contract for their object the the annuity or of the
Action upon enforcement of interest
an obligation obligations to pay
created by law principal with
Action upon a interest or annuity
judgment Actions to demand From the time judgment
Action upon 6 years fulfillment of became final
an oral obligations declared
contract by a judgment
Action upon a Actions to demand From the day the
quasi-contract accounting persons who should
Action upon 4 years render the same cease in
an injury to their functions
the rights of Action arising from From the date when said
the plaintiff the result of the result was recognized by
Action upon a accounting agreement of the
quasi-delict interested parties
Forcible entry 1 year
and detainer
Defamation The period during which the obligee was
prevented by a fortuitous event from
enforcing his right is not reckoned against

When period of prescription of actions is

1. When they are filed before the court
2. When there is a written extrajudicial
demand by the creditors
3. When there is any written
acknowledgment of the debt by the