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Mendoza v Delos Santos (Succession) have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to

reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives
who are within the third degree and belong to the line from which said property came.
Mendoza v Delos Santos (Emphasis ours)
GR No 176422, March 20, 2013
RULING:
MARIA MENDOZA, in her own capacity and as Attorney-in-fact of DEOGRACIAS, No, CA is correct.
MARCELA, DIONISIA, ADORA CION, all surnamed MENDOZA, REMEDIOS I. Reserva troncal is not applicable.
MONTILLA, FELY BAUTISTA, JULIANA GUILALAS and ELVIRA MENDOZA, Julia, who now holds the properties in dispute, is not the other ascendant within the purview of
Petitioners, Article 891 of the Civil Code
vs. Reserva troncal is a special rule designed primarily to assure the return of a reservable
JULIA POLl CARPIO DELOS SANTOS, substituted by her heirs, CARMEN P. DELOS property to the third degree relatives belonging to the line from which the property originally
SANTOS, ROSA BUENA VENTURA, ZENAIDA P. DELOS SANTOS VDA. DE MATEO, came, and avoid its being dissipated into and by the relatives of the inheriting ascendant.
LEONILA P. DELOS SANTOS, ELVIRA P. DELOS SANTOS VDA. DE JOSE, TERESITA
P. DELOS SANTOS-CABUHAT, MERCEDITA P. DELOS SANTOS, LYDIA P. DELOS
SANTOS VDA. DE HILARIO, PERFECTO P. DELOS SANTOS, JR., and CECILIA M.
MENDOZA, Respondents.

FACTS:
The properties subject in the instant case are three parcels of land located in Sta. Maria,
Bulacan are presently in the name of respondent Julia Delos Santos (respondent). Lot No.
1646-B, on the other hand, is also in the name of respondent but co- owned by Victoria
Pantaleon, who bought one-half of the property from petitioner Maria Mendoza and her
siblings.
Petitioners are grandchildren of Placido Mendoza (Placido) and Dominga Mendoza
(Dominga). Petitioners alleged that the properties were part of Placido and Domingas
properties that were subject of an oral partition and subsequently adjudicated to Exequiel.
After Exequiels death, it passed on to his spouse Leonor and only daughter, Gregoria. After
Leonors death, her share went to Gregoria. In 1992, Gregoria died intestate and without issue.
They claimed that after Gregorias death, respondent, who is Leonors sister, adjudicated unto
herself all these properties as the sole surviving heir of Leonor and Gregoria. Hence,
petitioners claim that the properties should have been reserved by respondent in their behalf
and must now revert back to them, applying Article 891 of the Civil Code on reserva troncal. It should be pointed out that the ownership of the properties should be reckoned only from
Exequiels as he is the ascendant from where the first transmission occurred, or from whom
DECISION OF LOWER COURTS: Gregoria inherited the properties in dispute. The law does not go farther than such
(1) RTC: granted their action for Recovery of Possession by Reserva Troncal, Cancellation of ascendant/brother/sister in determining the lineal character of the property. It was also
TCT and Reconveyance. immaterial for the CA to determine whether Exequiel predeceased Placido and Dominga or
(2) CA: reversed and set aside the RTC decision and dismissed the complaint filed by whether Gregoria predeceased Exequiel. What is pertinent is that Exequiel owned the
petitioners. CA also denied their motion for reconsideration. properties and he is the ascendant from whom the properties in dispute originally came.
Gregoria, on the other hand, is the descendant who received the properties from Exequiel by
ISSUES: gratuitous title.
A. THE HONORABLE [CA] GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE SUBJECT Article 891 simply requires that the property should have been acquired by the descendant or
PROPERTIES ARE NOT RESERVABLE PROPERTIES, COMING AS THEY DO FROM prepositus from an ascendant by gratuitous or lucrative title. A transmission is gratuitous or by
THE FAMILY LINE OF THE PETITIONERS MENDOZAS. gratuitous title when the recipient does not give anything in return.18 At risk of being
B. THE HONORABLE [CA] GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE repetitious, what was clearly established in this case is that the properties in dispute were
PETITIONERS MENDOZAS DO NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES owned by Exequiel (ascendant). After his death, Gregoria (descendant/prepositus) acquired the
BY VIRTUE OF THE LAW ON RESERVA TRONCAL. properties as inheritance.
Article 891 provides that the person obliged to reserve the property should be an ascendant
APPLICABLE LAW: (also known as the reservor/reservista) of the descendant/prepositus. Julia, however, is not
Gregorias ascendant; rather, she is Gregorias collateral relative.
The principle of reserva troncal is provided in Article 891 of the Civil Code:
Art. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may II. Petitioners cannot be considered reservees/reservatarios as they are not relatives within the
third degree of Gregoria from whom the properties came. The person from whom the degree
should be reckoned is the descendant/prepositusthe one at the end of the line from which the
property came and upon whom the property last revolved by descent. It is Gregoria in this
case. Petitioners are Gregorias fourth degree relatives, being her first cousins. First cousins of
the prepositus are fourth degree relatives and are not reservees or reservatarios.
They cannot even claim representation of their predecessors Antonio and Valentin as Article
891 grants a personal right of reservation only to the relatives up to the third degree from
whom the reservable properties came. The only recognized exemption is in the case of
nephews and nieces of the prepositus, who have the right to represent their ascendants (fathers
and mothers) who are the brothers/sisters of the prepositus and relatives within the third
degree.

OTHER NOTES:
1. three (3) lines of transmission in reserva troncal. The first transmission is by gratuitous title,
whether by inheritance or donation, from an ascendant/brother/sister to a descendant called the
prepositus. The second transmission is by operation of law from the prepositus to the other
ascendant or reservor, also called the reservista. The third and last transmission is from the
reservista to the reservees or reservatarios who must be relatives within the third degree from
which the property came.
2. The persons involved in reserva troncal are:
(1) The ascendant or brother or sister from whom the property was received by the descendant
by lucrative or gratuitous title;
(2) The descendant or prepositus (propositus) who received the property;
(3) The reservor (reservista), the other ascendant who obtained the property from the
prepositus by operation of law; and (4) The reservee (reservatario) who is within the third
degree from the prepositus and who belongs to the (linea o tronco) from which the property
came and for whom the property should be reserved by the reservor.
3. Art. 964. A series of degrees forms a line, which may be either direct or collateral. A direct
line is that constituted by the series of degrees among ascendants and descendants.
A collateral line is that constituted by the series of degrees among persons who are not
ascendants and descendants, but who come from a common ancestor.
4. Art. 1003. If there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving
spouse, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance
with the following articles.
Art. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers or sisters, the
other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate.
The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by reason of
relationship by the whole blood.
5. Reservista, has the duty to reserve and to annotate the reservable character of the property
on the title. In reserva troncal, the reservista who inherits from a prepositus, whether by the
latters wish or by operation of law, acquires the inheritance by virtue of a title perfectly
transferring absolute ownership. All the attributes of ownership belong to him exclusively.
Francisca Tioco De Papa, et. al. v. Dalisay Tongko Camacho
G.R. No. L-28032, September 24, 1986

FACTS:

Appellees and appellant Dalisay Tongko-Camacho have as a commonancestor the late Balbino
Tioco (who had a sister by the name of Romana Tioco), father of appellees and great
grandfather of defendant. During her lifetime, Romana gratuitously donated four parcels of
land to her niece Toribia Tioco (legitimate sister of appellees). When Toribia died, she was
survived by her husband, Eustacio Dizon, and their two legitimate children Faustino and
Trinidad (mother of Dalisay). The 4 parcels of land were left as inheritance of Toribias two
children in equal pro-indiviso shares. They too inherited 3 parcels of land which was supposed
to be the inheritance of the late Toribia Tioco from her father Balbino. However, when
Faustino died intestate, single and without issue, the pro-indiviso share in the 7 parcels of
land was left to his father Eustacio Dizon, as his sole intestate heir, who received the said
property subject to a reserve troncal. Subsequently, Trinidad died intestate and her rights and
interests in the parcels of land were inherited by her only legitimate childe, appellant Dalisay.
Eustacio thereafter died intestated, survived by his only legitimate defendant Dalisay Tongko-
Camacho.

The lower Court declared that the appellees as well as appellant Dalisay were entitled as
reservatarios to of the seven parcels of land in dispute, in equal proportions.

ISSUE:

Whether or not all relatives of the prepositus (Faustino) within the third degree in the
appropriate line succeed without distinction to the reservable property upon the death of the
reservista.

RULING:

No. Reversion of the reservable property being governed by the rules on intestate succession,
the plaintiffs-appellees must be held without any right thereto because, as aunt and uncles,
respectively, of Faustino Dizon (the prepositus), they are excluded from the succession by his
niece, the defendant-appellant, although they are related to him within the same degree as the
latter. As held in the case of Abellana v. Ferraris, under the Article 1009, the absence of
brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent is a precondition to the other collaterals
(uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession. Hence, a decedents uncles and aunts
may not succeed ab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are
willing and qualified to succeed, similar to the case at hand.
Gonzales vs. LegardaG.R. No. L-34395, May 19, 1981 3. The said ascendant should reserve the said property for the benefit of relatives who are within
the third degree from the deceased descendants (prepositus) and who belong to the line from
FACTS: which the said properties came.

Benito Legarda y De la Paz, the son of Benito Legarda y Tuason, died in Manila on June 17, So three transmissions are involved:
1933. He was survived by his widow Filomena and their seven children: four daughters and
three sons. 1. A first transmission by lucrative title (inheritance or donation) from an ascendant or brother or
sister to the deceased descendant;
The real properties left by Benito Legarda y Tuason were partitioned in three equal portions by 2. A posterior transmission, by operation of law (intestate succession or legitime) from the
his daughters, Consuelo and Rita, and the heirs of his deceased son Benito Legarda y De la deceased descendant (causantede la reserva) in favor of another ascendant, the reservor or
Paz who were represented by Benito F. Legarda. Filomena Legarda died intestate and without reservista, which two transmissions precede the reservation; and,
issue on March 19, 1943. Her sole heiress was her mother, Filomena Roces Vda. de Legarda. 3. A third transmissions of the property (in consequence of the reservation) from the reservor to
Mrs. Legarda executed on May 12, 1947 an affidavit adjudicating to herself the properties, the reserves (reservatarios) or the relatives within the third degree from the deceased
which she inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena Legarda, which were the properties descendant belonging to the line of the first ascendant, brother or sister of the deceased
in litigation in this case. As a result of the affidavit of adjudication, Filomena Roces Legarda descendant.
succeeded her deceased daughter as co-owner of the properties held pro indiviso by her other
six children. THUS, if there is only two transmission there is no reserva.

Mrs. Legarda executed two handwritten identical documents wherein she disposed of the The persons involved in reservatroncal are:
properties, which she inherited from her daughter in favor of her sons children, a total of 16
grandchildren all in all. Mrs. Legarda and her six surviving children partitioned all the 1. The ascendant or brother or sister from whom the property was received by the descendant by
properties consisting of the 1/3 share in the estate of Benito Legarda y Tuason, which the lucrative or gratuitous title;
children inherited, in representation of their father, Benito Legarda y De la Paz. 2. The descendant or prepositus who received the property;
3. The reservor (reservista), the other ascendant who obtained the property from the prepositus
Mrs. Legarda died and her will was admitted to probate as a holographic will. In the testate by operation of law; and,
proceeding, Beatriz Legarda, a daughter of the testatrix filed a motion to exclude from 4. The reservee who is within the third degree from the prepositus and who belongs to the line
the inventory of her mothers estate the properties, which she inherited from her deceased (linea or tronco) from which the property came and for whom the property should be reserved
daughter on the ground that said properties are reservable properties, which should be by the reservor.
inherited by FilomenaLegarda.
The person from whom the degree should be reckoned is the descendant, or the one at the end
Without awaiting the resolution on the motion, Beatriz filed an ordinary civil action against of the line from which the property came and upon whom the property last revolved by
her brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and her mothers estate for the purpose of serving a descent. He is called the propositus.
declaration that said properties are reservable properties which Mrs. Legarda could not
bequeath in her will to her grandchildren to the exclusion of her sons and daughters. The reserva creates two resolutory conditions, namely:

ISSUE: 1. The death of the ascendant obliged to reserve; and,


2. The survival, at the time of his death, of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line
Whether or not the subject properties are subject to ReservaTroncal from which the property came.

RULING: The reservor has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to the
resolutory condition that such title is extinguished if the reservor predeceased the reservee.
In reservatroncal: The reservor is a usufructuary of the reservable property. He may alienate it subject to the
reservation. The transferee gets the revocable and conditional ownership of the reservor. The
transferees rights are revoked upon the survival of the reservees at the time of the death of the
1. A descendant inherited or acquired by gratuitous title property from an ascendant or from a reservor but become indefeasible when the reservees predecease the reservor.
brother or sister;
2. The same property is inherited by another ascendant or is acquired by him by operation of law
from said descendant, and The reservors alienation of the reservable property is subject to a resolutory condition,
meaning that if at the time of the reservors death, there are reservees, the transferee of the
property should deliver it to the reservees. If there are no reservees at the time of the reservors
death, the transferees title would become absolute. On the other hand, the reservee has only
an inchoate, expectant or contingent right. His expectant right would disappear if he
predeceased the reservor. It would become absolute should the reservor predecease the
reservee.

Even during the reservistas lifetime, the reservatarios, who are the ultimate acquirers of the
property, can already assert the right to prevent the reservista from doing anything that might
frustrate their reversionary right, and, for this purpose, they can compel the annotationof their
right in the registry of property even while the reservista is alive.

The reservable property is not part of the estate of the reservista who may not dispose of them
by will, so long as there are reservatarios existing. The reservatarios, therefore, do not inherit
from the reservista but frm the descendant prepositus, of whom the reservatarios are the heirs
mortis causa, subject to the condition that they must survive the reservista.

Hence, upon the reservistas death, thereservatario nearest to the propositus becomes
automatically and by operation of law, the owner of the reservable property. The reservee
CANNOT impugn any conveyancemade by the reservor BUT he can require that the
reservable character of the property be recognized by the purchaser. In this case, the properties
in question were indubitably reservable property in the hands of Mrs. Legarda. Undoubtedly,
she was a reservor. The reservaton became a certainty when at the time of her death the
reservees or relatives within the third degree of the prepositus Filomena Legarda were living
or they survived Mrs. Legarda.
Sumaya v. IAC G.R. No. 68843-44, September 2, 1991 reservatarios. The Court held that there is sufficient proof that the petitioners had actual
knowledge of the reservable character of the properties before they bought the same
FACTS: from Consuelo as evidenced by the Deed of Sale executed by the parties.

Raul Balantakbo inherited from two (2) different ascendants the two (2) sets of properties Moreover, the Court a quo found that the petitioners and private respondents were long time
subject of this case: 1) 1/3 interest of a parcel of land from his father Jose, Sr., who died on acquaintances and that they knew all along that the properties litigated in this case were
January 28, 1945; and 2) 1/7 interest from his maternal grandmother, Luisa Bautista, who died inherited by Raul Balantakbo from his father and from his maternal grandmother, and
on November 3, 1950. On June 13, 1952, Raul died intestate, single, without any issue, and that Consuelo Vda. deBalantakbo inherited these properties from his son Raul.
leaving only his mother, Consuelo Joaquin Vda. deBalantakbo, as his sole surviving heir to the
subject real properties.

Vda. de Balantakbo caused the registration of an affidavit of self-adjudication of the estate of


Raul, wherein it was clearly stated that the properties were inherited by Raul from his father
Jose, Sr. and from his maternal grandmother, Luisa Bautista.

Vda de Balantakbo sold the property to Sumaya which was subsequently sold to Villa Honorio
Development Corporation. Villa then transferred and assigned its rights over the property to
Agro Industrial Coconut Cooperative.

The parties admit that the certificates of titles covering the above described properties do not
contain any annotation of its reservable character.

On March 4, 1970,five brothers in full blood of Raul Balantakbo and three surviving children
of deceased Jose Balantakbo, Jr., another brother of the first named Balantakbos, filed civil
cases to recover the subject properties which they claimed were subject to a reservatroncal in
their favor.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the affidavit of self-adjudication executed by Consuelostating the source of the
properties thereby showing the reservable nature of the properties is sufficient annotation of
the reservable nature of the same.

RULING:

NO. The Court disagreed with the disposition of the appellate court that there is no need
to register the reservable character of the property, if only for the protection of the reservees
(reservatarios), against innocent third persons.

In this case, the affidavit of self adjudication executed by Consuelo Vda. de Balantakbo which
contained a statement that the property was inherited from a descendant, Raul, which has
likewise inherited by the latter from another ascendant, was registered with the Registry of
Property. The failure of the Register of Deeds to annotate the reservable character of the
property in the certificate of title cannot be attributed to Consuelo.

As to the sale of subject properties, the Court affirmed the order of lower courts against
plaintiff Agro Industrial Coconut Cooperative to convey the subject properties back to
PRIMA G. CARRILLO and LORENZO LICUP, plaintiffs-appellants, owner, from April 24, 1950 when Agustina died. And the Court of Appeals decision
vs. FRANCISCA SALAK DE PAZ and ERNESTO BAUTISTA, defendants-appellees affirming the existence of reserva troncal, promulgated on June 8, 1950, rendered it all the
October 28, 1966 more doubtless that such right had accrued in their favor from the time Agustina died. It is
clear, therefore, that the right or cause of action accrued in favor of the plaintiffs-reservatarios
Facts: herein on April 24, 1950.

Lot No. 221 was originally owned by the spouses Severino Salak and Petra Garcia, their
title being evidence by original Certificate of Title No. 41453 of the registers office of Tarlac;
on December 20, 1939, said spouses mortgaged said lot for the sum of P1,200 to spouses
Pedro Magat and Filomena Silva, the mortgage having been registered in accordance with law;
on May 22, 1943, Pedro Magat and Filomena Silva assigned their mortgaged rights to Honaria
Salak for the sum of P1,632 with the consent of the surviving debtor Severino Salak, his wife
having already died; on August 16, 1943, Severino Salak transferred his interest in the
property to Honaria Salak for the sum of P612, representing of the consideration paid by her
to the mortgagees Pedro Magat and Filomena Silva; this transaction, as well as the assignment
of the mortgage credit, were never registered in the office of the Registeredof Deeds, nor
annotated on the certificate of title No. 41453; Severino Salak died on December 5, 1944,
while Honaria Salak died on January 13, 1945; intestate proceedings were instituted for the
settlement and distribution of the estate of the deceased Severino Salak and Petra Garcia,
including lot No. 221, and after proper proceedings, said lot was adjudicated to Ernesto
Bautista, Aurea Sahagun, Rita Sahagun and Francisca Salak in the proportion of interested
each; Francisca Salak acquired later the shares of the other heirs in said lot by virtue of which
transfer certificate of title No. 970 was issued in her name; Honoria Salak died single living as
sole heir Agustina de Guzman, plaintiff herein.

Issue:

Whether or not the issue of survivorship can be applied in this case.

Ruling:

Reserva troncal in this jurisdiction is treated in Article 891 of the new Civil Code and Article
811 of the old Civil Code, which state:

The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may
have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to
reserve such property as he may have acquitted by operation of law for the benefit of relatives
who are within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came.

The reserva troncal arose as had been finally decided by the Court of Appeals in Special
Proceeding No. 23 when Agustina acquired by operation of law all the properties of her
descendant Adolfo (grandson), who acquired them by gratuitous title from
another ascendant, Isabel(Adolfos mother). According to Manresa, the reserva is extinguished
upon the death of the reservista, as it then becomes a right of full ownership on the part of the
reservatarios, who can bring a revindicatory suit therefor. Nonetheless, this right, if not
exercised within the time for recovering real properties, can be lost by prescription.

Plaintiffs-appellants herein, as reservatarios, had the right to claim the property 2/3 of 1/2
of Lot No. 221 from Francisca Salak de Paz, who has been possessing it in the concept of an