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Prescriptive; Acquisitive Prescription (2008)

Question No. VII.

Anthony bought a piece of untitled agricultural land from Bert. Bert, in turn, acquired the property by
forging Carlo’s signature in a deed of sale over the property. Carlo had been in possession of the
property for 8 years, declared it for tax purposes, and religiously paid all taxes due on the property.
Anthony is not aware of the defect in Bert’s title, but has been in actual physical possession of the
property from the time he bought it from Bert, who had never been in possession of the property for
one year.

(A) Can Anthony acquire ownership of the property by acquisitive prescription? How much more
years does he have possess it to acquire ownership? (2%)

Suggested Answer

Yes, Anthony can acquire ownership of the property through acquisitive prescription. In the present
case, Anthony is a buyer/possessor in good faith because he was not aware of the defect in Bert’s title
(Art. 526, Civil Code). As such, Anthony can acquire ownership and other real rights over immovable
property though open, continuous possession of 10 years (Art. 1143, Civil Code). Anthony needs nine (9)
more years of possession, in addition to his one (1) year of possession in good faith

(B) If Carlo is able to legally recover his property, can he require Anthony to account for all the
fruits harvested from the property while in his possession? (2)

Suggested Answer

If Carlo is able to legally recover his property, he cannot require Anthony to account for all the fruits
harvested from the property. Anthony is entitled to the fruits harvested in good faith before his
possession was legally interrupted (Art. 544, Civil Code).

(C) If there are standing crops on the property when Carlo recovers possession, can Carlo
appropriate them? (2%)

Suggested Answer

Yes, Carlo can appropriate only a portion of the standing crops on the property once he recovers
possession. Anthony being a possessor in good faith shall have a right to a part of the expenses of
cultivation, and to a part of the net harvest of the standing crops, both in proportion to the time of the
possession (Art. 545, Civil Code).
Purchaser in Good Faith; Mortgaged Property (2008)

No. XIX. Juliet offered to sell her house and lot, together with all the furniture and appliances
therein to Dehlma. Before agreeing to purchase the property, Dehlma went to the register of deeds to
verify Juliet’s title. She discovered that while the property was registered in Juliet’s name under the
Land Registration Act, as amended by the Property Registration Decree, it property, Delhma told Juliet
to redeem the property from Elaine, and gave her an advance payment to be used for purposes of
releasing the mortgage on the property. When the mortgage was released, Juliet executed a Deed of
Absolute Sale over the property which was duly registered with the Register of Deeds, and a new TCT
was issued in Dehlma’s name. Dehlma immediately took possession over the house and lot and the
movables therein. Thereafter, Dehlma went to the Assessor’s Office to get a new tax declaration under
her name. She was surprised to find out that the property was already declared for tax purposes in the
name of XYZ bank which had foreclosed the mortgage on the property before it was sold to her. XYZ
Bank was able to purchase in the foreclosure sale of the property. At that time, the property was still
unregistered but XYZ Bank registered the Sheriff’s Deed of Conveyance in the day book of the Register of
Deeds under Act. 3344 and obtained a tax declaration in its name.

(A). Was Dehlam a purchaser in good faith? (2%)

Suggested Answer

Yes, Dehlam is a purchaser in good faith. In the present case, before Dehlma bought the property, she
went to the Register of Deeds to verify Juliet’s title. When she discovered that the property was
mortgage to Elaine, she gave an advance payment so that Juliet could release the mortgage. It was only
after the mortgage was released and free from the claims of other persons that Dehlma bought the
property. Thus, Dehlam is a purchases in good faith (Mathay c CA, GR. No. 115788, 17 Sept. 1998).

(B). Who as between Dehlma and XYZ Bank has a better right to the house and lot?

Between Dehlam and XYZ Bank, Dehlma has a better right to the house and lot. After the release of the
mortgage, the Deed of Absolute Sale was registered and a new title was issues in Dehlma’s name. Act.
3344 is applicable exclusively to instruments resulting from agreement of parties thereto and does not
apply to deeds of a sheriff convering to a purchase unregistered land sold to him under execution
(Williams v Sunez, 49 Phil. 534).

(C). Who owns the movables inside the house? (2%)

Dehlam owns the movables because when she acquired the house and lot from Juliet, all the furniture
and appliances therein were included in the sale. As owner of the real property, Dehlam also owns the
movables found therein (Art. 542, Civil Code).