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163081, June 15, 2007


Timoteo Ungab, deceased, owned a parcel of land 14.3375 hectares in Binuni, Bacolod, Lanao Del Norte.
Petitioner is the only direct heir while respondents are heirs of the brothers and sisters of Timoteo
except one named Felix. There is a showing that petitioner and her mother signed an Affidavit of
Acknowledgment recognizing the rights of the brothers and sisters of Timoteo. In addition to that a
compromise agreement was entered into by the parties showing that a trust was given to petitioner to
hold the land subject of the controversy. When respondents asked for their share of the proceeds of the
land, petitioner refused to grant the same on the ground that there exists no co-ownership between the
parties and that the latter is the sole heir of the deceased Timoteo. The lower and appellate courts,
however, ruled that there is co-ownership between the parties and that respondents are entitled to a
share of the proceeds of the land. Hence, this petition.

ISSUE: Whether or not there was an intent to create a trust despite the lack of the technical
nomenclature to express such.

RULING: When the parties started sharing the proceeds of the land, they had in effect partially executed
the compromise agreement. Such partial execution weighs heavily as evidence that they agreed on the
co-ownership arrangement. Note also that the judgment did not explicitly order the partition of the land
itself, but merely identified the rights to and respective shares of the parties in said land. Petitioners
argue that the co-ownership was already extinguished because the Civil Code provides that an
agreement to keep a thing undivided shall not exceed ten years. Indeed, the law limits the term of a co-
ownership to ten years, but this term limit may nevertheless be extended. The action to reconvey does
not prescribe so long as the property stands in the name of the trustee. To allow prescription would be
tantamount to allowing a trustee to acquire title against his principal and true owner. Moreover, the
execution of the Affidavit of Acknowledgment and the compromise agreement established an express
trust wherein the respondents, as trustors, reposed their confidence on petitioner Anita and her
mother, as trustees, that they will hold the land subject of the co-ownership. There are no particular
words required in the creation of an express trust, it being sufficient that a trust is clearly intended.
16 This express trust is shown in the two documents. Express trusts do not prescribe except when the
trustee repudiates the trust.

JOAQUINO v. REYES 434 SCRA 260 (2004)

FACTS: Respondent Reyes is the widow of Rodolfo Reyes. Reyes had illicit relations with petitioner
Joaquino. A property in BF Homes Paranaque was executed in favor of Joaquino. Joaquino had no means
to pay for this property. The funds used to purchase this property were earnings of Reyes from his
position as corporate executive and from a loan secured from Commonwealth Insurance Corporation.
Joaquino and Reyes had 3 illegitimate children.

HELD: Article 148 is the property regime that will apply in case where the partners have a legal
impediment to marry each other. In this property regime, only the property acquired by them through
their actual jointcontribution of money, property or industry shall be owned by them in common and in
proportion to their respective contributions. The registration of a property in the name of the paramour
who had no income whatsoever at the time of the donation by a husband is tantamount to a donation
which is void under Article 87 of the Family Code. The paramour then holds the property under a
constructive trust under Article 1456 in favor of the conjugalpartnership of the husband with the
legitimate spouse. Status of an illegitimate child who claimed to be an heir to a decedents estate could
not be adjudicated in an ordinary civil action such as in a case for recovery of property.

Balus v. Balus

G.R. No. 168970, January 15, 2010

Petitioner Celestino and respondents Saturnino and Leonarda are the children of the spouses Rufo and
Sebastiana Balus. Sebastiana died on 6 September 1978. In 1979, Rufo mortgaged a parcel of land as
security for a loan obtained from a bank. When Rufo failed to pay the loan, the property was foreclosed
and was subsequently sold to the Bank as the sole bidder at a public auction held for that purpose. The
same was not redeemed within the period allowed by law. Hence, a new title was issued in the name of
the Bank. Rufo died on 6 July 1984. On 10 October, 1989, petitioner and respondents executed an
Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate adjudicating to each of the a specific one-third portion of the subject
property. Three years thereafter, respondents bought the subject property from the Bank and a new
title was issued in their name. Meanwhile, petitioner continued possession of the subject lot. The
respondents thus filed a complaint for recovery of possession. However, petitioner alleged that
respondents act of buying back the property without notifying him inures to his benefit as co-owner
and that he is entitled to a one-third share of the property.

ISSUE: Whether or not the subject property forms part of the estate of petitioner and respondents

No. The court ruled that the subject property does not form part of the estate of Rufo considering that
ownership over the same was transferred to the bank prior to the death of Rufo. Inheritance consists of
existing property, as well as accrued property, and transmissible rights and obligations at the time of
death of the decedent. Thus, since Rufo lost ownership over the subject property during his lifetime, the
same no longer forms part of his estate to which his heirs may lay claim at the time of his death.
Consequently, his children never inherited the property. The Court further ruled that petitioner and
respondents are not co-owners of the subject property and there is no property to partition, as the
disputed lot never formed part of the estate of their deceased father.

G.R. No. L-44426 February 25, 1982 SULPICIO CARVAJAL, petitioner, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF
APPEALS ** and EUTIQUIANO CAMARILLO and LIBERATA CACABELOS,respondents. Facts: The subject lot
was originally owned by Hermogenes Espique and his wife and after their death, the lot was succeeded
by their children, Maria, Evaristo, Faustino, Estefanio and Tropinio. Petitioner then averred that he
purchased the 2/5 of the lot from Estefanio and respondents purchased 1/5 of the lot from Evaristo. The
part of the land in controversy was the 1/5 portion. This prompted the private respondents to file a case
of ejectment and recovery of possession, where in fact there has been no partition yet on the subject
lot. Both the lower court and the appellate court ruled in favor of the respondents. Hence, this petition.

Issue: Whether the co-owners may sell a specific part of the co-owned property without partition.

Held: The Supreme Court ruled in negative and reversed the decision of the lower court. The fact that
the sale executed by Evaristo G. Espique in favor of respondents and the sale executed by Estefanio
Espique in favor of petitioner were made before the partition of the property among the co-heirs does
not annul or invalidate the deeds of sale and both sales are valid. However, the interests thereby
acquired by petitioner and respondents are limited only to the parts that may be ultimately assigned to
Estefanio and Evaristo, respectively, upon the partition of the estate 7 subject to provisions on
subrogation of the other co-heirs to the rights of the strangerpurchaser provided in Article 1088 of the
Civil Code. Unless a project of partition is effected, each heir cannot claim ownership over a definite
pottion of the inheritance. Without partition, either by agreement between the parties of by judicial
proceeding, a co-heir cannot dispose of a specific portion of the estate. For where there are two or more
heirs, the whole estate such heirs. 1 Upon the death of a person, each of his heirs becomes the
undivided owner of the whole estate left wtih respect to the part of portion which might be adjudicated
to him, a community of ownership being thus formed among the co-owners of the estate or co-heirs
while it remains undivided.

OCAMPO et al vs. OCAMPO et al

G.R. No. 150707

April 14, 2004

FACTS: The complaint alleges that during the lifetime of the spouses Jose Ocampo and Juana Llander-
Ocampo, they begot ten (10) children. 2 of them, Fidela, and Felicidad are respondents herein.

The complaint further alleges that during the lifetime of the spouses Jose Ocampo and Luisa Llander-
Ocampo, they acquired 3parcels of land and, upon their death, left the following properties. Only one of
them, lot a is the subject of this case, a parcel of residential/ commercial land situated in the poblacion
of Nabua, Camarines Sur

that the 3 parcels of land are actually owned in common by the children of the late spouses although
the land denominated as parcel (a) of the complaint is ostensibly registered in the name of Fidela
Ocampo alone but acknowledged by her as a property owned in common by all of them, brothers and
sisters; that plaintiffs desire to partition said properties but defendants Fidela Ocampo and Felicidad
unlawfully and unreasonably refuse to do so; that the same defendants have been receiving the fruits of
the properties to the exclusion of their co-heirs ;and, that because of their relationship, they undertook
earnest efforts to amicably settle this controversy but because of defendants utterly unreasonable and
unjustified actuations, the same failed.

In their complaint, plaintiffs pray that judgment be rendered ordering the partition of the properties;
ordering defendants Fidela and Felicidad to release or otherwise cancel any and all encumbrances which
they had caused to be annotated on the TCT; requiring Fidela and Felicidad to refrain from further
encumbering said properties; further ordering Fidela and Felicidad to indemnify plaintiffs .

The Supplemental Complaint alleges that defendants Helen Ocampo-Barrito and Vicente Barrito are
spouses; that in 1987, the TCT in the name of defendant Fidela and covering the lot described as parcel
(a) was cancelled and, in lieu thereof aTCT was issued to defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito, on the
strength of an allege[d] Deed of Donation Inter Vivos ostensibly executed by defendant Fidela in their

That at the time the Deed of Donation Inter Vivos was presented for registration and when a TCT was
issued to defendant Belen Ocampo-Barrito, both the donor and donees were notoriously aware that
said properties were owned by the Ocampo brothers and sisters, and that the donor Fidela was not the
exclusive owner thereof.

The RTC holds and declares that defendant spouses are the true and lawful exclusive owners of the
following properties. The CA affirmed with modifications (for damages) the said ruling. Hence this

ISSUE: At bottom, the question to be resolved in this case is who owns the disputed property?

HELD: WHEREFORE, the Petition is hereby DENIED, and the assailed Decision AFFIRMED

Petitioners chief evidence of co-ownership of the property in question is simply the Acknowledgement
of Co-ownership executed by Fidela. As mentioned earlier, both the trial and the appellate courts were
correct in finding that this piece of documentary evidence could not prevail over the array of testimonial
and documentary evidence that were adduced by respondents, such as:

1. On the other hand, Belen clearly traced the basis of her alleged sole ownership of the property and
presented preponderant proof of her claim. she presented a Deed of Absolute Sale of Residential Land,
referring to the subject property, executed between Adolfo Ocampo as seller and Felix Ocampo as
buyer. The document dated in 1948, was acknowledged before a notary public. Likewise, in this Deed of
Absolute Sale, Adolfo Ocampo declared his exclusive ownership of the property, having been
acquired by purchase[;] and [having] been in [his] continuous, public, peaceful, adverse and material
possession for more than 50 years together with [his] predecessors in rights and interest, in [the]
concept of owner without any claim of other persons.20

2. Respondent Belen proved that in 1953, this property had been sold to Fidela by Felix Ocampo for a
valuable consideration; and that Fidela had entered the property, actually occupied it, and exercised all
powers of dominion over it to the exclusion of petitioners.

3. To prove further that Fidela had exercised dominion over the property, Belen also presented a Real
Estate Mortgage executed by the former as absolute owner. Fidela had executed it in favor of her sister
Apolonia Ocampo, one of the original petitioners in this case, who is now represented by her heirs.
Belen correctly argues that in agreeing to be a mortgagee, Apolonia admitted and recognized Fidela as
the true owner of the land in question.
4. Belen then presented a Deed of Donation Inter Vivos executed in 1984, between herself as donee and
Fidela as donor. This act shows the immediate source of the formers claim of sole ownership of the

5. In addition to the TCT presented, Belen offered as evidence the Tax Declaration indicating that she, as
owner, had been paying real estate taxes on the property, all to the exclusion of petitioners.

The Civil Code provides that an essential requisite of a contract of mortgage is that the mortgagor be the
absolute owner of the thing mortgaged. Co-ownership cannot be presumed even if only a portion of the
property was mortgaged to Apolonia, because a co-owner may dispose only of ones interest in the ideal
or abstract part of the undivided thing co-owned with others. The effect of a mortgage by a co-owner
shall be limited to the portion that may be allotted to that person upon the termination of the co-
ownership. In this case, Fidela mortgaged a definite portion of the property and thus negated any
acknowledgement of co-ownership.

A donation as a mode of acquiring ownership results in an effective transfer of title to the property from
the donor to the donee. Petitioners stubbornly rely on the Acknowledgement of Co-ownership allegedly
executed by Fidela in favor of her siblings. What they overlook is the fact that at the time of the
execution of the Acknowledgement assuming that its authenticity and due execution were proven
the property had already been donated to Belen. The Deed of Donation, which is the prior document, is
clearly inconsistent with the document (Acknowledgement of Co-ownership) relied upon by petitioners.

On the other hand, petitioners could not show any title, tax receipt or document to prove their
ownership. Having filed an action involving property, they should have relied on the strength of their
own title and not on the alleged weakness of respondents claim.

Neither can we accept petitioners contention that co-ownership is shown by the fact that some of the
children of Spouses Ocampo stayed, lived, and even put up businesses on the property. The appellate
court correctly found that since the litigants in this case were blood relatives, fraternal affection could
have been a good motive that impelled either Belen or Fidela to allow petitioners to use the property.
Without any proof, however, co-ownership among the parties cannot be presumed.

It is quite surprising that despite the process of transfers and titling of the subject property
commencing in 1948 and eventually leading to the sole ownership of Belen in 1984 it was only after
1984 that petitioners started asserting their claim of co-ownership thereof.

AGUILAR v. CA- Co-ownership

Any of the Co-owners may demand the sale of the house and lot at any time and the other cannot
object to such demand; thereafter the proceeds of the sale shall be divided equally according to their
respective interests.

Petitioner Vergilio and respondent Senen bought a house and lot in Paraaque where their father could
spend and enjoy his remaining years in a peaceful neighborhood. They initially agreed that Vergilio will
get 2/3 and Senen will get 1/3; but later they agreed on equal shares. Senen was left in the said lot to
take care of their father since Vergilios family was in Cebu. After their fathers death petitioner
demanded from private respondent that the latter vacate the house and that the property be sold and
proceeds thereof divided among them but the latter refused. Petitioner then filed to compel the sale of
the property. The chunk of the issue tackled by the courts was regarding the pre-trial. Respondent filed
a motion to cancel Pre-trial since the counsel had to accompany his wife in Dumaguete City where she
would be a principal sponsor in a wedding. CFI denied the motion; and the pre-trial proceeded on the
scheduled date. The respondents did not appear thus they were declared in default. The trial went on ex
parte without the respondent and held that the property should be sold to a third party and that the
proceeds be distributed to the parties; in addition respondent was made to pay rent from the time the
action was filed. Respondents appealed this and the decision was reversed by the CA saying that the TC
erred in declaring respondents in default; the case was then remanded to the trial court. Hence this


A) W/N CA erred (1) in holding that the motion of respondent through counsel to cancel the pre-trial
was dilatory in character and (2) in remanding the case to the trial court for pre-trial and trial?

B) W/N trial court was correct with regards to the sale and rent?


A) YES, CA erred in granting the respondents motion and remanding the case. The law is clear that the
appearance of parties at the pretrial is mandatory. A party who fails to appear at a pre-trial conference
may be non-suited or considered as in default. It is the discretion of the court to grant the motion if it
sees that the reason for the cancelation of the same would be reasonable. SC found that the reason for
the cancelation of the pre-trial was insufficient and that the trial court was not in grave abuse of
discretion when they denied it.

B) YES, with a few modification. Petitioner and respondents are co-owners of subject house and lot in
equal shares; either one of them may demand the sale of the house and lot at any time and the other
cannot object to such demand; thereafter the proceeds of the sale shall be divided equally according to
their respective interests.

BASIS: Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-
ownership, and that each co-owner may demand at any time partition of the thing owned in common
insofar as his share is concerned. Corollary to this rule, Art. 498 of the Code states that whenever the
thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be allotted to one of them who
shall indemnify the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds accordingly distributed.
SC held that of the proceeds should go to the petitioner and the remainder to the respondent (1,200
each.) Also rent was awarded 1,200 pesos per month with legal interest from the time the trial court
ordered the respondent to vacate, for the use and enjoyment of the other half of the property.

BASIS: When petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the property and the trial court granted the
petition and ordered the ejectment of respondent, the co-ownership was deemed terminated and the
right to enjoy the possession jointly also ceased.

Monteroso vs CA

Facts: In 1906, Don Fabian married Soledad Doldol. Out of this marriage were born Soledad, Reygula,
Benjamin, and Tirso. On April 8, 1927, Soledad Doldol Monteroso passed away. A little over a year later,
Don Fabian contracted a second marriage with Sofia Pendejito. From this union were born Florenda,
Reynato, Alberto, and Fabian, Jr. Don Fabian filed an intestate proceeding for the estate of his deceased
first wife to avoid disputes over the inheritance of his children from his first marriage Land: Parcels F-1
to F-8 (First marriage) and Parcels S-1 to S-4 (Second marriage) The partition in SP No. 309 covered
Parcels F-1 to F-5, and adjudicated to Don Fabian the whole of Parcels F-1, F-2, and F-3, and one-half of
Parcel F-5, while the intestate estate of Soledad D. Monteroso comprised the whole of Parcel F-4 and
onehalf of Parcel F-5. The intestate estate of Soledad D. Monteroso was partitioned and distributed to
her four children in equal shares On October 26, 1948, Don Fabian also passed away. On July 28, 1969,
the children of the late Benjamin D. Monteroso, filed with the RTC a Complaint for Recovery of Property
with Damages against their uncle, Tirso D. Monteroso As the heirs of Benjamin alleged in their
complaint, their uncle, Tirso, was entrusted with one-fourth portion of Parcel F-4 as part of the share
from the estate of Soledad D. Monteroso allotted to their father. However, their uncle refused to
surrender and deliver the same when they demanded such delivery upon their reaching the majority
age. Tirso countered that the portion pertaining to Benjamin was never entrusted to him; it was in the
possession of their sister, Soledad Monteroso-Cagampang, who was not entitled to any share in Parcel
F-4, having previously opted to exchange her share in said property for another parcel of land, i.e.,
Parcel F-7, then being occupied by her Tirso, in turn, filed a Complaint for Partition and Damages with
Receivership, involving 12 parcels of land against his stepmother, Pendejito, and all his full and half-
siblings and/or their representatives: (1) the aforementioned 12 parcels of land belong to the conjugal
partnerships of the first and second marriages contracted by Don Fabian; (2) SP No. 309, which
purportedly judicially settled the intestate estate of his mother, is null and void for the reason that the
project of partition failed to comprehend the entire estate of the decedent as Parcels F-6, F-7, and F8
were excluded, thereby depriving Tirso of his one-fourth share or legitime over the said three parcels of
land; and (3) Parcels S-1 to S-4, having been acquired during the second marriage of Don Fabian, are not
paraphernal properties of Sofia Pendejito Vda. de Monteroso RTC found that the heirs
of Benjamin have indeed been deprived of their inheritance which corresponds to one-fourth share due
their father from the intestate estate of their grandmother Turning on the alleged sale of Parcels F-1,
F-2, F-3, F-7, and F-8 by Don Fabian to Soledad Monteroso-Cagampang, the RTC found the covering
three deeds of absolute sale to be null and void for the reason that the alleged conveyances were
fictitious, simulated, and/or without sufficient consideration The RTC also declared as null and void the
donation of Parcel F-5 to Reygula Monteroso-Bayan, as one of the signatory-donors, Mauricia Nakila,
Benjamins widow, did not have the right to effect a donation because she was not a compulsory heir of
her husband by representation. Court of Appeals 1. Whether or not the intestate estate of Soledad
Doldol Monteroso was settled in SP No. 309, thus according the Project of Partition approved therein
the effect of res judicata; Affirming the RTC, the CA rejected Tirsos claim that SP No. 309 is void for
settling only a part of the estate of Soledad D. Monteroso. The CA held that partial settlement is not a
ground for the nullification of the judicial partition under either the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 or the
present Civil Code. The appellate court added that the proper remedy in such a situation is to ask for the
partition and the subsequent distribution of the property omitted 2. Whether or not it was appropriate
to partition Parcels F-1, F-2, and F-3, and half of Parcels F-5, F-6, F-7, F-8, S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4; The CA
upheld the RTCs finding that the three deeds of absolute sale in which Don Fabian purportedly sold
Parcels F-1, F-2, F-3, F-7, and F-8 to Soledad MonterosoCagampang were invalid/infirm On the
alleged donation of Parcel F-5 by Don Fabian to Reygula Monteroso-Bayan, the CA likewise agreed with
the RTCs finding on the nullity thereof Apropos Parcel S-1, a disposable agricultural land of the public
domain which is the subject of a homestead patent application by Don Fabian, the CA, as opposed to the
RTCs disposition, held that a patent, if eventually issued, ought to be in the name of the legal heirs of
Don Fabian, not of his surviving spouse, Pendejito As to Parcel S-2, the CA agreed with the RTC that it
is a conjugal property acquired during the second marriage through a deed of sale executed on August
15, 1947 by Marcelo Morancel. Likewise, the CA said that Parcels S-3 and S-4 are conjugal properties as
no evidence was adduced supporting the alleged purchase byPendejito of said properties with her own

ISSUE/HELD 1.Whether the CA committed reversible error in concluding that, By invoking the benefits
of prescription in their favor, the Cagampang spouses are deemed to have admitted the existence of a

No. What the appellate court tried to convey is clear and simple: partition is the proper remedy
available to Tirso who is a co-owner of the subject properties by virtue of his being a compulsory heir,
like siblings Soledad, Reygula, and Benjamin, of Don Fabian. The right to seek partition is imprescriptible
and cannot be barred by laches. Consequently, acquisitive prescription or laches does not lie in favor of
the Cagampang spouses and against Tirso, the general rule being that prescription does not run against
a co-owner or co-heir. The only exception to the imprescriptibility of an action for partition against a co-
owner is when a coowner repudiates the co-ownership. Thus, the appellate court ruled that by invoking
extinctive prescription as a defense, the lone exception against imprescriptibility of action by a co-
owner, the Cagampang spouses are deemed to have contextually recognized the coownership of Tirso
and must have repudiated such co-ownership in order for acquisitive prescription to set in. The fact
that Tirso and the other compulsory heirs of Don Fabian were excluded from the possession of their
legitime and the enjoyment of the fruits thereof does not per se argue against the existence of a co-
ownership By asserting his right as a compulsory heir, Tirso has effectively brought into the open the
reality that the Cagampang spouses were holding some of the subject properties in trust and that he is a
co-owner of all of them to the extent of his legal share or legitime thereon Before partition and
eventual distribution of Don Fabians intestate estate, a regime of coownership among the compulsory
heirs existed over the undivided estate of Don Fabian. Being a co-owner of that intestate estate, Tirsos
right over a share thereof is imprescriptible Tirso has at the very least 10 years and at the most 30
years to file the appropriate action in court. The records show that Tirsos cause of action has not
prescribed as he instituted an action for partition in 1970 or only nine years after the considered express
repudiation Regarding Parcel S-1, the court ruled that it belongs to all the heirs of Don Fabian and not
a paraphernal property of Pendejito as it was under a homestead patent application. Sec 105 of CA 141
which governs such provides that the applicant shall be succeeded in his rights and obligations by his
heirs in law after the latter performs all the requirements therefor. Pendejito shall only be entitled to a
usufructuary right over the property equal to the corresponding share of each of the heirs.