You are on page 1of 108

University of Santo Tomas

Faculty of Civil Law

CIVIL LAW
Questions Asked More
Than Once
(QuAMTO 2017)
*QUAMTO is a compilation of past bar questions with answers as suggested by UPLC and
other distinct luminaries in the academe, and updated by the UST Academics Committee to
fit for the 2017 Bar Exams.

*Bar questions are arranged per topic in accordance with the bar syllabus released by the
Supreme Court and were selected based on their occurrence on past bar examinations from
1987 to 2016.
ACADEMICS COMMITTEE
CAMILLE ANGELICA B. GONZALES SECRETARY GENERAL

EMNIE VALERIE B. DURAN


IRVIN L. PALANCA
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
LARA NICOLE T. GONZALES
MARIELLA A. MARASIGAN

CAMILLE ANGELICA B. GONZALES LAYOUT AND DESIGN

QUAMTO COMMITTEE MEMBERS

JACKIELYN KRYSTYL NIHAMA BANA


KARL ANTHONY BULAONG
MERVIN MARCOS
KELLY ANN RUBIN
NESTOR FERNANDO SIAZON

ATTY. AL CONRAD B. ESPALDON


ADVISER
QUAMTO (1987-2016)
b. The testamentary disposition will not be valid if it
CIVIL LAW QUAMTO
would contravene Swiss law; otherwise, the disposition
would be valid. Unless the Swiss law is proved, it would
be presumed to be the same as that of Philippine law
PART I – GENERAL PRINCIPLES under the doctrine of processual presumption.

Q:
I. EFFECT AND APPLICATION OF LAWS (CIVIL CODE)
A. The Japan Air Lines (JAL), a foreign corporation
Conflict of Laws (Private International Law) (1990, licensed to do business in the Philippines, executed
1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, in Manila a contract of employment with Maritess
2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2014 BAR) Guapa under which the latter was hired as a
stewardess on the aircraft plying the Manila-Japan-
Q: Manila route. The contract specifically provides
that (1) the duration of the contract shall be two (2)
1. If a will is executed by a testator who is a Filipino years, (2) notwithstanding the above duration, JAL
citizen, what law will govern if the will is executed may terminate the agreement at any time by giving
in the Philippines? What law will govern if the will her notice in writing ten (10) days in advance, and
is executed in another country? Explain your (3) the contract shall be constued as governed
answers. under and by the laws of Japan and only the court in
2. If a will is executed by a foreigner, for instance, by a Tokyo, Japan shall have the jurisdiction to consider
Japanese, residing in the Philippines, what law will any matter arising from or relating to the contract.
govern if the will is executed in the Philippines?
And what law will govern if the will is executed in JAL dismissed Maritess on the fourth month of her
Japan, or some other country, for instance, the USA? employment without giving her due notice.
Explain your answers. Maritess then filed a complaint with the Labor
(1990 BAR) Arbiter for reinstatement, backwages and
damages. The lawyer of JAL contends that neither
A: the Labor Arbiter nor any other agency or court in
the Philippines has jurisdiction over the case in
1. a. If the testator who is a Filipino citizen executes his view of the above provision (3) of the contract
will in the Philippines, Philippine law will govern the which Maritess voluntarily signed. The contract is
formalities. the law between her and JAL. Decide the issue.
b. If said Filipino testator is a foreigner executes his will B. Where under a State’s own conflicts rule that
in another country, the law of the country where he domestic law of another State should apply, may
may be or Philippine law will govern the formalities. the courts of the former nevertheless refuse to
(Article 815, Civil Code) apply the latter? If so, under what circumstance?
2. a. If the testator is a foreigner residing in the (1991 BAR)
Philippines and he executes his will in the Philippines,
the law of the country of which he is a citizen or A:
Philippine law will govern the formalities.
b. If the testator is a foreigner and executes his will in a A. Labor Legislations are generally intended as
foreign country, the law of his place of residence or the expressions of public policy on employer-employee
law of the country of which he is a citizen or the law of relations. The contract therefore, between JAL and
the place of execution, or Philippine law will govern the Maritess may apply only to the extent that its
formalities. (Articles 17, 816, 817, Civil Code) provisions are not inconsistent with Philippine labor
laws intended particularly to protect employees.
Q: Jacob, a Swiss national, married Lourdes, a Filipina,
in Berne, Switzerland. Three years later, the couple Under the circumstances, the dismissal of Maritess
decided to reside in the Philippines. Jacob subsequently without complying with Philppine Labor law would be
acquired several properties in the Philippines with the invalid and any stipulation iun the contract to the
money he inherited from his parents. Forty years later, contrary is considered void. Since the law of the forum
Jacob died intestate, and is survived by several in this case is the Philippine law, the issues should be
legitimate children and duly recognized illegitimate resolved in accordance with Philippine law.
daughter Jane, all residing in the Philippines. B. The third paragraph of Art. 17 of the Civil Code provides
that:
a. Suppose that Swiss law does not allow illegitimate
children to inherit, can Jane, who is a recognized “Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or
illegitimate child, inherit part of the properties of property, and those which have for their object public
Jacob under Philippine law? order, public policy and good customs shall not be
b. Assuming that Jacob executed a will leaving certain rendered ineffective by laws or judgments
properties to Jane as her legitime in accordance promulgated, or by determinations or conventions
with the law of succession in the Philippines, will agreed upon in a foreign country.”
such testamentary disposition be valid? (1991
BAR) Accordingly, a state’s own conflict of laws rule may,
exceptionally be inapplicable, given public policy
A: considerations by the law of the forum.

a. Yes. As stated in the problem, Swiss law does not allow Going into the specific provisions of the contract in
illegitimate children to inherit. Hence, Jane cannot question, I would rule as follows:
inherit the property of Jacob under Philippine law.

1
CIVIL LAW
1. The duration of the contract is not opposed to A:
Philippine law and it can therefore be valid as
stipulated 1. Under Art. 16 par. 1, NCC, real property is subject to the
2. The second provision to the effect that notwithstanding law of the country where it is situated. Since the
duration, JAL may terminate her employment is invalid property is situated in the Philippines, Philippine law
being inconsistent with our Labor laws; applies. The rule of lex rei sitae in Art. 16 prevails over
3. That the contract shall be construed as governed under lex loci contractus in Art. 17 of the NCC.
and by the laws of Japan andvonly the courts of Tokyo, 2. Japanese law governs the capacity of the Japanese to
Japan shall have jurisdiction, is invalid as clearly sell the land being his personal law on the basis of an
opposed to the aforcited third paragraph of Arts. 17 and interpretation of Art. 15, NCC.
1700 of the Civil Code which provides: 3. Philippine law governs the capacity of the Filipino to
buy the land. In addition to the principle of lex rei sitae
“Art. 1700. The relations between capital and labor are given above, Article 15 of the NCC specifically provides
not merele contractual. They are so impressed with that Philippine laws relating to legal capacity of persons
public interest that labor contracts must yield to the are binding upon citizens of the Philippine no matter
common good. Therefore, such contracts are subject to where they are.
the special laws on labor unions, collective bargaining,
strikes and lockouts, closed shop, wages, working Q: On 8 December 1991, Vanessa purchased from the
conditions, hours of labor and similar subjects.” Manila office of Euro-Aire on airline ticket for its Flight
No. 710 from Dallas to Chicago on 16 January 1992. Her
Q: X and Y entered into a contract in Australia, whereby Flight reservation was confirmed. On her scheduled
it was agreed that X would build a commercial building departure Vanessa checked in on time at the Dallas
for Y in the Philippines, and in payment for the airport. However, at the check-in counter she
construction, Y will transfer and convey his cattle ranch discovered that she was waitlisted with some other
located in the United States in favor of X. passengers because of intentional overbooking, a Euro-
Aire policy and practice. Euro-Aire admitted that
What law would govern: Vanessa was not advised of such policy when she
purchased her plane ticket. Vanessa was only able to fly
a. The validity of the contract? two days later by taking another airline.
b. The performance of the contract?
c. The consideration of the contract? (1992 BAR) Vanessa sued Euro-Aire in Manila for breach of contract
and damages. Euro-Aire claimed that it cannot be held
A: liable for damages because its practice of overbooking
passengers was allowed by the US Code of Federal
a. The validity of the contract will be governed by Regulations. Vanessa on the other hand contended that
Australian law, because the validity refers to the assuming that US Code of Federal Regulations allowed
element of the making of the contract in this case. intentional overbooking, the airline company cannot
b. The performance will be governed by the law of the invoke the US Code on the ground that the ticket was
Philippines where the contract is to be performed. purchased in Manila, hence, Philippine law should
c. The consideration will be governed by the law of apply, under which Vanessa can recover damages for
the United States where the ranch is located. breach of contract of carriage. Decide. Discuss fully.
(1995 BAR)
Q: A, a Filipino, executed a will in Kuwait while there as
a contract worker. Assume that under the laws of A: Vanessa can recover damages under Philippine law for
Kuwait, it is enough that the testator affix his signature breach of contract of carriage. Philippine law should govern
in the presence of two witnesses and that the will need as the law of the place where the plane tickets were bought
not be acknowledged before a notary public. and the contract of carriage was executed. In Zalamea v.
Court of Appeals (GR No. 104235, Nov. 10, 1993) the Supreme
May the will be probated in the Philippines? (1993 Court applied Philippine law in recovery of damages for
BAR) breach of contract of carriage for the reason that it is the law
of the place where the contract was executed.
A: Yes, under Articles 815 and 17 of the Civil Code, the
formality of the execution of a will is governed by the law of Q: Michelle, the French daughter of Penreich, a German
the place of execution, If the will was executed with the national, died in Spain leaving real properties in the
formalities prescribed by the laws of Kuwait and valid there Philippines as well as valuable personal properties in
as such, the will is valid and may be probated in the Germany.
Philippines.
1. What law determines who shall succeed the
Q: While in Afghanistan, a Japanese by the name of Sato, deceased? Explain your answer and give its legal
Sold to Ramoncito, a Filipino, a parcel of land situated basis.
in the Philippines which Sato inherited from his 2. What law regulates the distribution of the real
Filipino mother. properties in the Philippines? Explain your answer
and give its legal basis.
1. What law governs the formality in the execution of 3. What law governs the distribution of his personal
the contract of sale? Explain your answer and give properties in Germany? Explain your answer and
its legal basis. give its legal basis. (1995 BAR)
2. What law governs the capacity of the Japanese to
sell the land? A:
3. What law governs the capacity of the Filipino to buy
the land? Explain your answer with legal basis. 1. The national law of the decedent (French law) shall
(1995 BAR) govern in determining who will succeeed to his estate.
The legal basis is Art. 16 par. 2, NCC.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 2


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
2. The distribution of the real properties in the
Philippines shall be governed by French law. The legal Q: Juan is a Filipino citizen residing in Tokyo, Japan.
basis is Art. 16, NCC. State what laws govern:
3. The distribution of the personal properties in Germany
shall be governed by French law. The legal basis is Art. 1. His capacity to contract marriage in Japan.
16, NCC. 2. His successional rights as regards his deceased
Filipino father’s property in Texas, USA
Q: Alma was hired as a domestic helper in Hongkong by 3. The extrinsic validity of the last will and testament
the Dragon Services, Ltd., through its local agent. She which Juan executed while sojourning in
executed a standard employment contract designed by Switzerland.
the Philippine Overseas Workers Administration 4. The intrinsic validity of said will. (1998 BAR)
(POEA) for overseas Filipino workers. It provided for
her employment for one year at a salary of US$1, 000.00 A:
a month. It was submitted to and approved by the POEA.
However, when she arrived in Hongkong, she was asked 1. Juan’s capacity to contract marriage is governed by
to sign another contract by Dragon Services, Ltd. which Philippine law – i.e. the Family Code – pursuant to Art.
reduced her salary to only US$600.00 a month. Having 15, Civil Code, which provides that our laws relating to,
no other choice, Alma signed the contract but when she among others, legal capacity of persons are binding
returned to the Philippines, she demanded payment of upon citizens of the Philippines even though living
the salary differential of US$400.00 a month. Both abroad.
Dragon Services, Ltd. and its local agent claimed that 2. By way of exception to the general rule of lex rei sitae
the second contract is valid under the laws of Hongkong prescribed by the first paragraph of Art. 16, Civil Code,
and therefore binding on Alma. Is their claim correct? a person’s successional rights are governed by the
Explain. (1996 BAR) national law of the decedent (2nd par., Art. 16). Since
Juan’s deceased father was a Filipino citizen, Philippine
A: Their claim is not correct. A contract is the law between law governs Juan’s successional rights.
the parties but the law can disregard the contract if it is 3. The extrinsic validity of Juan’s will is governed by (a)
contrary to public policy. The provision of the 1987 Swiss law, it being the law where the will was made
Constitution on the protection of labor and on social justice (Art. 17, 1st par. Civil Code), or (b) Philippine law, by
(Sec. 10, Art. II) embody a public policy of the Philippines. implication from the provisions of Art. 816, Civil Code,
Since the application of Hongkong law in this case is in which allows even an alien who is abroad to make a will
violation of that public policy, the application shall be in conformity with our Civil Code.
disregarded by our Courts. (Cadalin v. POEA, 238 SCRA 762) 4. The intrinsic validity of his will is governed by
Philippine law, it being his national law. (Art. 16, Civil
Q: In 1977, Mario and Clara, both Filipino citizens, were Code)
married in the Philippines. . Three years later, they
went to the United States of America and established Q: Francis Albert, a citizen and resident of New Jersey,
their residence in San Francisco, California. In 1987, the USA, under whose law he was still a minor, being only
couple applied for, and were granted, U.S. citizenship. 20 years of age, was hired by ABC Corporation of Manila
In 1989, Mari, claiming to have been abandoned by to serve for two years as its chief computer
Clara, was able to secure a decree of divorce in Reno, programmer. But after serving for only four months, he
Nevada, USA. resigned to join XYZ Corporation, which enticed him by
offering more advantageous terms. His first employer
In 1990, Mario returned to the Philippines and married sues him in Manila for damages arising from the breach
Juana who knew well Mario’s past life. of his contract of employment. He sets up his minority
as a defense and asks for annulment of the contract on
a. Is the marriage between Mario and Juana valid? that ground. The plaintiff disputes this by alleging that
b. Would the renvoi doctrine have any relevance to since the contract was executed in the Philippines
the case? (1997 BAR) under whose law the age of majority is 18 years, he was
no longer a minor at the time of perfection of the
A: contract. Will the suit prosper? (1998 BAR)

a. Yes. In relation to Art. 15 of the Civil Code, Conflict of A: The suit will not prosper under Art. 15, Civil Code, New
Laws provides that the recognition of an absolute Jersey law governs Francis Albert’s capacity to act, being his
divorce granted in another State rests on the personal law from the standpoint of both his nationality and
citizenship of the parties at the time the divorce was his domicile. He was, therefore, a minor at the time he
granted (Paras, Phil. Conflict of Laws, p. 259). Applied in entered into the contract.
this case, the divorce decree issued to Clara and Mario
will be recognized as valid here considering that at the Q: Alex was born a Filipino but was a naturalized
time the foreign decree was granted, both Clara and Canadian citizen at the time of his death on Decmber 25,
Mario are citizens of the USA., a country which 1998. He left behind a last will and testament in which
grants/allows absolute divorce. Since the marriage he bequeathed all his properties, real and personal, in
between Mario and Clara has been validly terminated, the Philippines to his acknowledged illegitimate
Mario and Juana can freely marry each other. Filipina daughter and nothing to his two legitimate
b. No. The renvoi doctrine is relevant in cases where one Filipino sons. The sons sought the annulment of the last
country applies the domiciliary theory and the other will and testament on the ground that it deprived them
the nationality theory, and the issue involved is which of their legitimes but the daughter was able to prove
of the laws of the two countries should apply to that there were no compulsory heirs or legitimes under
determine the order of succession, the amount of Canadian law. Who should prevail? Why? (2001 BAR)
successional rights, or, the intrinsic validity of
testamentary provisions. Such issue is not involved in A: The daughter should prevail because Art. 16 of the New
this case. Civil Code provides that intestate and testamentary
3
CIVIL LAW
succession shall be governed by the national law of the years. Both these firms were not doing, and still do not
person whose succession is under consideration. do, business in the Philippines. Felipe shuttled between
Sydney and Moscow to close the contract. He also
Q: Felipe and Felisa, both Filipino citizens, were executed in Sydney a commission contract with
married in Malolos, Bulacan on June 1, 1950. In 1960, Coals and in Moscow with Energy, under which
Felipe went to the United States, becoming a US citizen contracts he was guaranteed commissions by both
in 1975. In 1980, he obtained a divorce from Felisa, who firms based on a percentage of deliveries for the three-
was duly notified of the proceedings. The divorce year period, payable in Sydney and in Moscow,
decree became final under Califronia law. Coming back respectively, through deposits in accounts that he
to the Philippines in 1982, Felipe married Segundina, a opened in the two cities. Both firms paid Felipe his
Filipino citizen. In 2001, Felipe, then domiciled in Los commission for four months, after which they
Angeles, California, died, leaving one child by Felisa, stopped paying him. Felipe learned from his contacts,
and another one by Segundina. He left a will which was who are residents of Sydney and Moscow, that the
executed in Manila under which he left his estate to two firms talked to each other and decided to cut him
Segundina and his two children and nothing to Felisa. off. He now files suit in Manila against both Coals and
Energy for specific performance.
Segundina files a petition for the probate of Felipe’s
will. Felisa questions the intrinsic validity of the will, A. Define or explain the principle of “lex loci
arguing that her marriage to Felipe subsisted despite contractus”
the divorce obtained by Felipe because said divorce is B. Define or explain the rule of “forum non
not recognized in the Philippines. For this reason, she conveniens”
claims that the properties left by Felipe are their C. Should the Philipine court assume jurisdiction over
conjugal properties and that Segundina has no the case? Explain. (2002 BAR)
successional rights.
A:
A. Is the divorce secured by Felipe in California
recognizable and valid in the Philippines? How A. (1) It is the law of the place where contrats, wills, and
does it affect Felipe’s marriage to Felisa? Explain. other public instruments are executed and governs
B. What law governs the formalities of the will? their “forms and solemnities”, pursuant to the first
Explain. paragraph, Article 17 of the New Civil Code; or
C. Will Philippine law govern the intrinsic validity of (2) It is the proper law of the contract; i.e. the system of
the will? Explain. (2002 BAR) law intended to govern the entire contract, including its
essential requisites, indicating the law of the place with
A: which the contract has its closest connection or where
the main elements of the contract converge, as
A. (1) The divorce secured by Felipe in California is illustrated by Zalamea v. Court of Appeals (228 SCRA 23
recognizable and valid in the Philippines because he [1993]), it is the law of the place where the airline ticket
was no longer a Filipino at the time he secured it. Aliens was issued, where the passengers are nationals and
may obtain divorces abroad which may be recognized residents of, and where the defendant airline company
in the Philippines provided that they are valid maintained its office.
according to their national law (Van Dorn v. Romillo, Jr., B. Forum non conveniens means that a court has
139 SCRA 139 [1985]; Quita v. Court of Appeals, 300 discretionary authority to decline jurisdiction over a
SCRA 406 [1998]; Llorente v. Court of Appeals, 345 SCRA cause of action when it is of the view that the action may
592 [2002]). be justly and effectively adjudicated elsewhere.
(2) With respect to Felipe the divorce is valid, but with C. No, the Philippine courts cannot acquire jurisdiction
respect to Felisa it is not. The divorce will not capacitate over the case of Felipe. Firstly, under the rule of forum
Felisa to remarry because she and Felipe were both non conveniens, the Philippine court is not a
Filipino at the time of their marriage. However, in DOJ convenient forum as all the incidents of the case
Opinion No. 134 series of 1993, Felisa is allowed to occurred outside the Philippines. Neither are both
remarry because the injustice sought to be corrected by Coals and Energy doing business inside the Philippines.
Article 26 also obtains in her case. Secondly, the contracts were not perfected in the
Philippines. Under the principle of lex loci contractus,
B. The foreigner who executes his will in the Philippine the law of the place where the contract is made shall
may observe the formalities prescribed in: apply. Lastly, the Philippine court has no power to
1) The law of the country of which he is a citizen under determine the facts surrounding the execution of said
Art. 817 of the NCC, or contracts. And even if a proper decision could be
2) The law of the Philippines being the law of the place reached, such would have no binding effect on Coals
of execution under Art. 17 of the NCC. and Energy as the court was not able to acquire
C. Philippine law will not govern the intrinsic validity of jurisdiction over the said corporations (Manila Hotel
the will. Art. 16 of the New Civil Code provides that Corp. v. NLRC, G.R. No. 120077, October 13, 2000).
intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions shall be
governed by the national law of the person whose Q: Gene and Jane, Filipinos, met and got married in
succession is under consideration. California law will England while both were taking up post graduate
govern the intrinsic validity of the will. courses there. A few years after their graduation, they
decided to annul their marriage. Jane filed an action to
Q: Felipe is a Filipino citizen. When he went to annul her marriage to Gene in England on the ground of
Sydney for vacation, he met a former business associate, the latter’s sterility, a ground for annulment of
who proposed to him a transaction which took him to marriage in England. The English court decreed the
Moscow. Felipe brokered a contract between Sydney marriage annulled. Returning to the Philippines, Gene
Coals Corp. (Coals), an Australian firm, and Moscow asked you whether or not he would now be free to
Energy Corp. (Energy), a Russian firm, for Coals to marry his former girlfriend. What would your legal
supply coal to Energy on a monthly basis for three advice be? (2003 BAR)

UST BAR OPERATIONS 4


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
B. The US Court should apply US law, the law of the forum,
A: No, Gene is not free to marry his former girlfriend. His in determining the applicable prescriptive period.
marriage to Jane if valid according to the forms and While US law is silent on this matter, the US Court will
solemnities of British law, is valid here (Art. 17, 1st par., not apply Philippine law in determining the
NCC). However, since Gene and Jane are still Filipinos, prescriptive period. It is generally affirmed as a
although living in England, the dissolution of their marriage principle in private international law that procedural
is still governed by Philippine law (Art. 15, NCC). Since, law is one of the exceptions to the application of foreign
sterility is not one of the grounds for the annulment of a law by the forum. Since prescription is a matter of
marriage under Art. 45 of the Family Code, the annulment procedural law even in Philippine jurisprudence (Codal
of Gene’s marriage to Jane on that ground is not valid in the in v. POEA/ JVLRC/Broum and Root International, G.R.
Philippines (Art. 17, par., NCC). No. L-104776, December 5, 1994), the US Court will
apply either HI or Federal law in determining the
Q: applicable prescriptive period and not Philippine law.
The Restatement of American law affirms this principle.
A. PH and LV are HK Chinese. Their parents are now
Filipino citizens who live in Manila. While still Q:
students in MNS State, they got married although A. A Filipino couple, Mr. And Mrs. BM Jr., decided to
they are first cousins. It appears that both in HK and adopt YV, an orphan from St. Claire’s orphanage in
MNS State first cousins could marry legally. They New York City. They loved and treated her like a
plan to reside and set up business in the legitimate child for they have none of their very
Philippines. But they have been informed, however, own. However, BM, Jr., died in an accident at sea,
that the marriage of first cousins here is considered followed to the grave a year later by his sick father,
void from the beginning by reason of public policy. BM, Sr. Each left a sizable estate consisting of bank
They are in a dilemma. They don’t want to break deposits, lands and buildings in Manila. May the
Philippine Law, much less their marriage vow. They adopted child, YV, inherit from BM, Jr.? May she also
seek your advice on whether their civil status will inherit from BM, Sr.? Is there a difference? Why?
be adversely affected by Philippine domestic law? Explain.
What is your advice? B. Mr. XT and Mrs. YT have been married for 20 years.
B. In a class suit for damages, plaintiffs claimed they Suppose the wife, YT, died childless, survived only
suffered injuries from torture during martial law. by her husband, XT. What would be the share of XT
The suit was filed upon President EM’s arrival on from her estate as inheritance? Why? Explain.
exile in HI, a U.S. state. The court in HI awarded (2004 BAR)
plaintiffs the equivalent of P100 billion under the
U.S. law on alien tort claims. On appeal, EM’s Estate A:
raised the issue of prescription. It argued that since
said U.S. law is silent on the matter, the court should A. YV can inherit from BM, Jr.
apply: (1) HI’s law setting a two-year limitation
on tort claims; or (2) the Philippine law which The succession to the estate of VM, Jr. Is governed
appears to require that claims for personal injury by Philippine law because he was a Filipino when
arising from martial law be brought within one he died (Art. 16, Civil Code). Under Art. 1039 of the
year. Civil Code, the capacity of the heir to succeed is
governed by the national law of the decedent and
Plaintiffs countered that provisions of the most not by the national law of the heir. Hence, whether
analogous federal statute, the Torture Victims or not YV can inherit from BM, Jr. is determined by
Protection Act, should be applied. It sets ten years Philippine law. Under Philippine law, the adopted
as the period for prescription. Moreover, they inherits from the adopter as a legitimate child of
argued that equity could toll the statute of the adopter.
limitations. For it appeared that EM had procured
Constitutional amendments granting himself and YV, however, cannot inherit in his own right, from
those acting under his direction immunity from the father of the adopter, BM, Sr., because he is not
suit during his tenure. a legal heir of BM, Sr. The legal fiction of adoption
exists only between the adopted and the adopter.
In this case, has prescription set in or not? (Teotico v. Del Val, 13 SCRA 406, [1965]). Neither
Considering the differences in the cited laws, which may he inherit from BM, Sr. by representing BM, Jr.
prescriptive period should be applied: one year Because in representation, the representative must
under Philippine law, two years under HI’s law, ten be a legal heir not only of the person he is
years under U.S. federal law, or none of the above? representing but also of the decedent from whom
Explain. (2004 BAR) the represented was supposed to inherit (Art. 973,
Civil Code)
A: B. Under the Civil Code, the widow or widower is a
legal and compulsory heir of the deceased spouse.
A. The civil status of PH and LV will not be adversely If the widow is the only surviving heir, there being
affected by Philippine law because they are nationals of no legitimate ascendants, descendants, brothers,
Hong Kong and not Filipino citizens. and sisters, nephews and nieces, she gets the entire
estate.
Being foreigners, their status, conditions and legal
capacity in the Philippines are governed by the law of Q:
Hong Kong, the country of which they are citizens. Since
their marriage is valid under Hong Kong law, it shall be A. Boni and Anne met while working overseas. They
valid and respected in the Philippines. became sweethearts and got engaged to be married
on New Year’s Eve aboard a cruise ship in the
Caribbean. They took the proper license to marry in
5
CIVIL LAW
New York City, where there is a Filipino consulate.
But as planned the wedding ceremony was Q: In 1985, Sonny and Lulu, both Filipino citizens, were
officiated by the captain of the Norwegian- married in the Philippines. In 1987, they separated, and
registered vessel in a private suite among selected Sonny went to Canada, where he obtained a divorce in
friends. the same year. He then married another Filipina,
Auring, in Canada on January 1, 1988. They had two
Back in Manila, Anne discovered that Boni had been sons, James and John. In 1990, after failing to hear from
married in Bacolod City 5 years earlier but divorced Sonny, Lulu married Tirso, by whom she had a
in Oslo only last year. His first wife was also a daughter, Verna. In 1991, Sonny visited the Philippines
Filipina but now based in Sweden. Boni himself is a where he succumbed to heart attack.
resident of Norway where he and Anne plan to live
permanently. a) Discuss the effect of the divorce obtained by Sonny
and Lulu in Canada
Anne retains your services to advise her on b) Explain the status of the marriage between Sonny
whether her marriage to Boni is valid under and Auring (2005 BAR)
Philippine law? Is there anything else she should do
under the circumstances? A:

B. In his lifetime, a Pakistani citizen, ADIL, married a) The divorce obtained by Sonny in Canada was not valid
three times under Pakistani law. When he died an because he and his wife were both Filipino citizens.
old widower, he left behind six children, two Divorce between a Filipino couple is not valid under
sisters, three homes and an estate worth at least 30 Philippine law even though they are living abroad.
million pesos in the Philippines. He was born in b) Since the divorce obtained by Sonny was void, his
Lahore but last resided in Cebu City where he had a marriage to Auring is necessarily void ab initio because
mansion and where two of his youngest children of his subsisting marriage to Lulu. (Art. 41, Family Code)
now live and work. Two of his oldest children are
farmers in Sulu, while the two middle-aged children Q: Roberta, a Filipino, 17 years of age, without the
are employees in Zamboanga City. Finding that the knowledge of his parents, can acquire a house in
deceased left no will, the youngest son wanted to Australia because Australian Laws allow aliens to
file intestate proceedings before the Regional Trial acquire property from the age of 16. (2007 BAR)
Court of Cebu City. Two other siblings objected,
arguing that it should be in Jolo before a Shari’a A: TRUE. Since Australian Law allows alien to acquire
court since his lands are in Sulu. But Adil’s sisters in property from the age of 16, Roberta may validly own a
Pakistan want the proceedings held in Lahore house in Australia, following the principle of lex rei sitae
before a Pakistani court. enshrined in Art. 16, which states "Real property as well as
personal property is subject to the law of the country where
Which court has jurisdiction and is the proper it is situated." Moreover, even assuming that the legal
venue for the intestate proceedings? The law of capacity of Roberta in entering the contract in Australia is
which country shall govern succession to his governed by Philippine Law, she will acquire ownership
estate? (2004 BAR) over the property bought until the contract is annulled.

A: Q: Emmanuel and Margarita, American citizens and


employees of the U.S. State Department, got married in
A. If Boni is still a Filipino citizen, his legal capacity is the African state of Kenya where sterility is a ground for
governed by Philippine Law (Art. 15 Civil Code). Under annulment of marriage. Thereafter, the spouses were
Philippine law, his marriage to Anne is void because of assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Manila. On the first year
a prior existing marriage which was not dissolved by of the spouses’ tour of duty in the Philippines, Margarita
the divorce decreed in Oslo. Divorce obtained abroad filed an annulment case against Emmanuel before a
by Filipino is not recognized. Philippine court on the ground of her husband’s sterility
If Boni was no longer a Filipino citizen, the divorce is at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
valid. Hence, his marriage to Anne is valid if celebrated
in accordance with the law of the place where it was Will the suit prosper? Explain your answer. (2009 BAR)
celebrated. Since the marriage was celebrated aboard a
vessel of Norwegian registry, Norwegian law applies. If A: No, the suits will not prosper. As applied to foreign
the Ship Captain has authority to solemnize the nationals with respect to family relations and status of
marriage aboard his ship, the marriage is valid and shall persons, the nationality principle set forth in Art. 15 will
be recognized in the Philippines. govern the relations of Emmanuel and Margarita. Since they
are American citizens, the governing law as to the ground for
As to the second question, if Boni is still a Filipino, Anne annulment is not Kenyan Law which Magarita invokes in
can file an action for declaration of nullity of her support of sterility as such ground; but should be U.S. Law,
marriage to him. which is the national Law of both Emmanuel and Margarita
as recognized under Philippine Law. Hence, the Philippine
B. In so far as the properties of the decedent located in the court will not give due course to the case based on Kenyan
Philippines are concerned, they are governed by Law. The nationality principle as expressed in the application
Philippine law (Art. 16, Civil Code). Under the Philippine of national law of foreign nationals by Philippine courts is
law, the proper venue for the settlement of the estate is established by precedents (Pilapil v. Ibay-Somera, G.R. No.
the domicile of the decedent at the time of his death. 80116, June 30, 1989; Garcia v. Recio, G.R. No. 138322, October
Since the decedent last resided in Cebu City, that is the 2, 2001; Llorente v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
proper venue for the intestate settlement of his estate. 124371, November 23, 2000; and Bayot v. Court of Appeals,
However, the successional rights to the estate of ADIL G.R. No. 155635, November 7, 2008).
are governed by Pakistani law, his national law, under
Art. 16 of the Civil Code.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 6


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Q: If Ligaya, a Filipino citizen residing in the United rights are, and whether or not a testamentary
States, files a petition for change of name before the disposition in his will is valid (Art 16). Since, Dr. Fuentes
District Court of New York, what law shall apply? Explain. was a US citizen, the laws of the New York determines
(2009 BAR) who his heirs are. And since the New York law does not
recognize the concept of compulsory heirs, Jay is not a
A: New York law shall apply. The petition of change of name compulsory heir of Dr. Fuentes entitled to a legitime.
filed in New York does not concern the legal capacity or
status of the petitioner. Moreover, it does not affect the Q: Ted, married to Annie, went to Canada to work. Five
registry of any other country including the country of birth of (5) years later, Ted became a naturalized Canadian
the petitioner. However, whatever judgment is rendered in citizen. He returned to the Philippines to convince
that petition will have effect only in New York. The New York Annie to settle in Canada. Unfortunately, Ted
court cannot, for instance, order the Civil Registrar in the discovered that Annie and his friend Louie were having
Philippines to change its records. The judgment of the New an affair. Deeply hurt, Ted returned to Canada and filed
York court allowing a change in the name of the petitioner a petition for divorce which was granted. In December
will be limited to the records of the petitioner in New York 2013, Ted decided to marry his childhood friend
and the use of her new name in all transactions in New York. Corazon in the Philippines. In preparation for the
Since the records and processes in New York are the only wedding, Ted went to the Local Civil Registry of Quezon
ones affected, the New York court will apply New York law in City where his marriage contract with Annie was
resolving the petition. registered. He asked the Civil Register to annotate the
decree of divorce on his marriage contract with Annie.
Q: The doctrine of "processual presumption" allows the However, he was advised by the National Statistics
court of the forum to presume that the foreign law Office (NSO) to file a petition for judicial recognition of
applicable to the case is the same as the local or domestic the decree of divorce in the Philippines.
law. (2009 BAR)
A: TRUE. If the foreign law necessary to the resolve an issue Is it necessary for Ted to file a petition for judicial
is not proven as a fact, the court of the forum may presume recognition of the decree of divorce he obtained in
that the foreign law is the same as the law of the forum. Canada before he can contract a second marriage in the
Philippines? (2014 BAR)
Q: On December 1, 2000, Dr. Juanito Fuentes executed a
holographic will, wherein he gave nothing to his A: Yes, a divorce decree even if validly obtained abroad
recognized illegitimate son, Jay. Dr. Fuentes left for the cannot have effect in the Philippines unless it is judicially
United States, passed the New York medical licensure recognized through an appropriate petition filed before
examinations, resided therein, and became a Philippine courts. The foreigner must file a petition under
naturalized American citizen. He died in New York in Rule 108 and prove therein the fact of divorce by presenting
2007. The laws of New York do not recognize an official copy attested by the officer having custody of the
holographic wills or compulsory heirs. original. He must also prove that the court which issued the
divorce has jurisdiction to issue it and the law of the foreign
a) Can the holographic will of Dr. Fuentes be admitted country on divorce (Corpuz v. Sto. Tomas, G.R. No. 186571,
to probate in the Philippines? Why or why not? August 11, 2010).
b) Assuming that the will is probated in the Philippines,
can Jay validly insist that he be given his legitime?
Why or why not? (2009 BAR) II. HUMAN RELATIONS (ARTS. 19-22, CIVIL CODE)

A:
HUMAN RELATIONS (1996 BAR)
a) Yes, the holographic will of Dr. Fuentes may be admitted
to probate in the Philippines because there is no public Q: Rosa was leasing an apartment in the city. Because of
policy violated by such probate. The only issue at the Rent Control Law, her landlord could not increase
probate is the due execution of the will which includes the rental as much as he wanted to, nor terminate her
the formal validity of the will. As regards formal validity, lease as long as she was paying her rent. In order to
the only issue the court will resolve at probate is whether force her to leave the premises, the landlord stopped
or not the will was executed in accordance with the form making repairs on the apartment, and caused the water
prescribed by the law observed by the testator in the and electricity services to be disconnected. The
execution of his will. For purposes of probate in the difficulty of living without electricity and running water
Philippines, an alien testator may observe the law of the resulted in Rosa's suffering a nervous breakdown. She
place where the will was executed (Art. 17), or the sued the landlord for actual and moral damages. Will
formalities of the law of the place where he resides, or the action prosper? Explain. (1996 BAR)
according to the formalities of the law of his own
country, or in accordance with the Philippine Civil Code A: Yes, based on quasi-delict under the human relations
(Art. 816). Since Dr. Fuentes executed his will in provisions of the New Civil Code (Arts. 19, 20 and 21)
accordance with the Philippine law, the Philippine court because the act committed by the lessor is contrary to
shall apply the New Civil Code in determining the formal morals. Moral damages are recoverable under Art. 2219
validity of the holographic will. The subsequent change (10) in relation to Art. 21. Although the action is based on
in the citizenship of Dr. Fuentes did not affect the law quasi-delict and not on contract, actual damages may be
governing the validity of his will. Under the New Civil recovered if the lessee is able to prove the losses and
Code, which was the law used by Dr. Fuentes, the law expenses she suffered.
enforced at the time of execution of the will shall govern
the formal validity of the will (Art. 795).
b) No, Jay cannot insist because under New York law he is PART II – PERSONS AND FAMILY RELATIONS
not a compulsory heir entitled to a legitime. The national
law of the testator determines who his heirs are, the
order that they succeed, how much their successional
7
CIVIL LAW
I. PERSONS AND PERSONALITY (CIVIL CODE) Q: Jaime, who is 65, and his son, Willy, who is 25, died in
a plane crash. There is no proof as to who died first.
Civil Personality (1995, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2008, 2009, Jaime’s only surviving heir is his wife, Julia, who is also
2012 BAR) Willy’s mother. Willy’s surviving heirs are his mother,
Julia and his wife, Wilma.
Q: Ricky donated P 1 Million to the unborn child of his
pregnant girlfriend, which she accepted. After six (6) 1. In the settlement of Jaime’s estate, can Wilma
months of pregnancy, the fetus was born and baptized successfully claim that her late husband, Willy had
as Angela. However, Angela died 20 hours after birth. a hereditary share since he was much younger than
Ricky sought to recover the P 1 Million. Is Ricky entitled his father and, therefore, should be presumed to
to recover? Explain. (2012 BAR) have survived longer?
2. Suppose Jaime had a life insurance policy with his
A: Yes, Ricky is entitled to recover the P1,000,000.00. The wife, Julia, and his son, Willy, as the beneficiaries.
NCC considers a fetus is considered a person for purposes Can Wilma successfully claim that one-half of the
favorable to it provided it is born later in accordance with proceeds should belong to Willy’s estate? (1998
the provision of the NCC. While the donation is favorable to BAR)
the fetus, the donation did not take effect because the fetus
was not born in accordance with the NCC. A:

To be considered born, the fetus that had an intrauterine life 1. No, Wilma cannot successfully claim that Willy had a
of less than seven (7) months should live for 24 hours from hereditary share in his father’s estate. Under Art. 43,
its complete delivery from the mother’s womb. Since Angela Civil Code, two persons “who are called to succeed each
had an intrauterine life of less than seven (7) months but other” are presumed to have died at the same time, in
did not live for 24 hours, she was not considered born and, the absence of proof as to which of them died first. This
therefore, did not become a person (Art. 41). Not being a presumption of simultaneous death applies in cases
person, she has no juridical capacity to be a donee, hence, involving the question of succession as between the
the donation to her did not take effect. The donation not two who died, who in this case are mutual heirs, being
being effective, the amount donated may be recovered. To father and son.
retain it will be unjust enrichment. 2. Yes, Wilma can invoke the presumption of survivorship
and claim that one-half of the proceeds should belong
Q: Isidro and Irma, Filipinos, both 18 years of age, were to Willy’s estate, under Sec. 3 (jj) par. 5 Rule 131, Rules
passengers of Flight No. 317 of Oriental Airlines. The of Court, as the dispute does not involve succession.
plane they boarded was of Philippine registry. While Under this presumption, the person between the ages
en route from Manila to Greece some passengers of 15 and 60 years is deemed to have survived one
hijacked the plane, held the chief pilot hostage at the whose age was over 60 at the time of their deaths. The
cockpit and ordered him to fly instead to Libya. During estate of Willy endowed with juridical personality
the hijacking Isidro suffered a heart attack and was on stands in place and stead of Willy, as beneficiary.
the verge of death. Since Irma was already eight months
pregnant by Isidro, she pleaded to the hijackers to allow Q: Elated that her sister who had been married for five
the assistant pilot to solemnize her marriage with years was pregnant for the first time, Alma donated P100,
Isidro. Soon after the marriage, Isidro expired. As the 000.00 to the unborn child. Unfortunately, the baby died
plane landed in Libya Irma gave birth. However, the one hour after delivery. May Alma recover the P100,
baby died a few minutes after complete delivery. Back 000.00 that she had donated to said baby before it was
in the Philippines, Irma Immediately filed a claim for born considering that the baby died? Stated otherwise, is
inheritance. The parents of Isidro opposed her claim the donation valid and binding? Explain. (1999 BAR)
contending that the marriage between her and Isidro A: The donation is valid and binding, being an act favorable to
was void ab initio on the following grounds: (a) they the unborn child, but only if the baby had an intra uterine life
had not given their consent to the marriage of their of not less than seven months and provided there was due
son; (b) there was no marriage license; (c) the acceptance of the donation by the proper person representing
solemnizing officer had no authority to perform the said child. If the child had less than seven months of intra-
marriage; and, (d) the solemnizing officer did not file an uterine life, it is not deemed born since it died less than 24
affidavit of marriage with the proper civil registrar. hours following its delivery, in which case the donation never
Does Irma have any successional rights at all? Discuss became effective since the donee never became a person,
fully. (1995, 1999 BAR) birth being determinative of personality.

A: Irma succeeded to the estate of Isidro as his surviving Q: Mr. and Mrs. Cruz, who are childless, met with a
spouse to the estate of her legitimate child. When Isidro serious motor vehicle accident with Mr. Cruz at the
died, he was succeeded by his surviving wife Irma, and his wheel and Mrs. Cruz seated beside him, resulting in the
legitimate unborn child. They divided the estate equally instant death of Mr. Cruz. Mrs. Cruz was still alive when
between them, the child excluding the parents of Isidro. An help came but she also died on the way to the hospital.
unborn child is considered born for all purposes favorable The couple acquired properties worth One Million (P1,
to it provided it is born later. The child was considered born 000, 000.00) Pesos during their marriage, which are
because, having an intra-uterine life of more than seven being claimed by the parents of both spouses in equal
months, it lived for a few minutes after its complete shares.
delivery. It was legitimate because it was born within the
valid marriage of the parents. Succession is favorable to it. a) Is the claim of both sets of parents valid and why?
When the child died, Irma inherited the share of the child. b) Suppose in the preceding question, both Mr. And
However, the share of the child in the hands of Irma is Mrs. Cruz were already dead when help came, so
subject to reserva troncal for the benefit of the relatives of that nobody could say who died ahead of the other,
the child within the third degree of consanguinity and who would your answer be the same to the question as
belong to the line of Isidro. to who are entitled to the properties of the
deceased couple? (1999 BAR)

UST BAR OPERATIONS 8


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Q: Cristy and her late husband Luis had two children,
A: Rose and Patrick. One summer, her mother-in-law, aged
70, took the two children, then aged 10 and 12, with her
a) No, the claim of both parents is not valid. When Mr. on a boat trip to Cebu. Unfortunately, the vessel sank en
Cruz died, he was succeeded by his wife and his parents route, and the bodies of the three were never found. None
as his intestate heirs who will share his estate equally. of the survivors ever saw them on the water. On the
His estate was 0.5 Million pesos which is his half share settlement of her mother-in-law's estate, Cristy files a
in the absolute community amounting to 1 Million claim for a share of her estate on the ground that the same
Pesos. His wife, will, therefore, inherit O.25 Million was inherited by her children from their grandmother in
Pesos and his parents will inherit 0.25 Million Pesos. representation of their father, and she inherited the same
from them. Will her action prosper? (2000 BAR)
When Mrs. Cruz died, she was succeeded by her parents
as her intestate heirs. They will inherit all of her estate A: No, her action will not prosper. Since there was no proof as
consisting of her 0.5 Million half share in the absolute to who died first, all the three are deemed to have died at the
community and her 0.25 Million inheritance from her same time and there was no transmission of rights from one
husband, or a total of 0.750 Million Pesos. to another, applying Art. 43 of the NCC.

In sum, the parents of Mr. Cruz will inherit 250, 000 Q: If a pregnant woman passenger of a bus were to
Pesos while the parents of Mrs. Cruz will inherit 750, suffer an abortion following a vehicular accident due
000 Pesos. to the gross negligence of the bus driver, may she and
b) This being a case of succession, in the absence of proof her husband claim damages from the bus company for
as to the time of death of each of the spouses, it is the death of their unborn child? Explain. (2003, 2014
presumed they died at the same time and no BAR)
transmission of rights from one to the other is deemed
to have taken place. Therefore, each of them is deemed A: No, the spouses cannot recover actual damages in the
to have an estate valued at P500, 000, or one-half of form of indemnity for the loss of life of the unborn child. This
their conjugal property of P1 million. Their respective is because the unborn child is not yet considered a person
parents will thus inherit the entire P1 million in equal and the law allows indemnity only for loss of life of person.
shares, or P500, 000.00 per set of parents. The mother, however may recover damages for the bodily
injury she suffered from the loss of the fetus which is
Q: Mr. Luna died, leaving an estate of Ten Million (P10, considered part of her internal organ. The parents may
000, 000.00) Pesos. His widow gave birth to a child four also recover damages for injuries that are inflicted directly
months after Mr, Luna's death, but the child died five upon them, e.g., moral damages for mental anguish that
hours after birth. Two days after the child's death, the attended the loss of the unborn child. Since there is gross
widow of Mr. Luna also died because she had suffered negligence, exemplary damages can also be recovered
from difficult childbirth. The estate of Mr. Luna is now (Geluz v. CA, G.R. No. L-16439, July 20, 1961).
being claimed by his parents, and the parents of his
widow. Who is entitled to Mr. Luna'a estate and why? Q: At age 18, Marian found out that she was pregnant.
(1999 BAR) She insured her own life and named her unborn child as
her sole beneficiary. When she was already due to give
A: Half of the estate of Mr. Luna will go to the parents of Mrs. birth, she and her boyfriend Pietro, the father of her
Luna as their inheritance from Mrs. Luna, while the other unborn child, were kidnapped in a resort in Bataan
half will be inherited by the parents of Mr. Luna as the where they were vacationing. The military gave chase
reservatarios of the reserved property inherited by Mrs. and after one week, they were found in an abandoned
Luna from her child. hut in Cavite. Marian and Pietro were hacked with
bolos. Marian and the baby were both found dead, with
When Mr. Luna died, his heirs were his wife and the unborn the baby's umbilical cord already cut. Pietro survived.
child. The unborn child inherited because the inheritance
was favorable to it and it was born alive later though it lived a) Can Marian's baby be the beneficiary of the
only for five hours. Mrs. Luna inherited half of the 10 Million insurance taken on the life of the mother? (1999,
estate while the unborn child inherited the other half. When 2012 BAR)
the child died, it was survived by its mother, Mrs. Luna. As b) Between Marian and the baby, who is presumed to
the only heir, Mrs. Luna inherited, by operation of law, the have died ahead?
estate of the child consisting of its 5 Million inheritance c) Will Pietro, as surviving biological father of the
from Mr. Luna. In the hands of Mrs. Luna, what she inherited baby, be entitled to claim the proceeds of the life
from her child was subject to reserva troncal for the benefit insurance on the life of Marian? (2008 BAR)
of the relatives of the child within the third degree of
consanguinity and who belong to the family of Mr. Luna, the A:
line where the property came from.
a) Yes, the baby can be the beneficiary of the life insurance
When Mrs. Luna died, she was survived by her parents as of Marian. Art. 40 of the FC provides that "birth
her only heirs. Her parents will inherit her estate consisting determines personality; but the conceived child shall be
of the 5 Million she inherited from Mr. Luna. The other 5 considered born for all purposes that are favorable to
Million she inherited from her child will be delivered to the it, provided that it be born later with the conditions
parents of Mr. Luna as beneficiaries of the reserved specified in Art. 41. Article 41 states that "for civil
property. purposes, the fetus shall be considered born if it is alive
at the time it is completely delivered from the mother's
In sum, 5 Million Pesos of Mr. Luna's estate will go to the womb. However, if the fetus had an intra-uterine life of
parents of Mrs. Luna, while the other 5 Million Pesos will go less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies
to the parents of Mr. Luna as reservatarios. within twenty-four (24) hours after its complete
delivery from the maternal womb. The act of naming
the unborn child as sole beneficiary in the insurance is
9
CIVIL LAW
favorable to the conceived child and therefore the fetus
acquires presumptive or provisional personality. Since succession is not involved as regards the insurance
However, said presumptive personality only becomes contract, the provisions of the Rules of Court on
conclusive if the child is born alive. The child need not survivorship shall apply. Under the Rules, Dr. Lopez,
survive for twenty-four (24) hours as required under who was 70 years old, is presumed to have died ahead of
Art. 41 of the Code because "Marian was already due to Roberto, who is presumably between the ages of 15 and
give birth," indicating that the child was more than 60. Having survived the insured, Roberto’s right as a
seven months old. beneficiary became vested upon the death of Dr. Lopez.
b) If the baby was not alive when completely delivered When Roberto died after Dr. Lopez, his right to receive
from the mother’s womb, it was not born as a person, the insurance proceeds became part of his hereditary
then the question of who between two persons estate, which in turn was inherited in equal shares by his
survived will not be an issue. Since the baby had an legal heirs, namely, his spouse and children. Therefore,
intra-uterine life of more than 7 months, it would be Roberto’s children and his spouse are entitled to
considered born if it was alive, at the time of its Roberto’s one-third share in the insurance proceeds.
complete delivery from the mother’s womb. We can
gather from the facts that the baby was completely MARRIAGE
delivered. But whether or not it was alive has to be
proven by evidence. Formal and Essential Requisites of Marriage (1994, 1995,
1996, 1999, 2009, 2016 BAR)
If the baby was alive when completely delivered from
the mother’s womb, then it was born as a person and Q: Brad and Angelina had a secret marriage before a
the question of who survived as between the baby and pastor whose office is located in Arroceros Street, City of
the mother shall be resolved by the provisions of the Manila. They paid money to the pastor who took care of
Rules of Court on survivorship. This is because the all the documentation. When Angelina wanted to go to
question has nothing to do with succession. Obviously, the U.S., she found out that there was no marriage license
the resolution of the question is needed just for the issued to them before their marriage. Since their
implementation of an insurance contract. Under Rule marriage was solemnized in 1995 after the effectivity of
13, Sec. 3, (jj), (5) as between the baby who was under the Family Code, Angelina filed a petition for judicial
15 years old and Marian who was 18 years old, Marian declaration of nullity on the strength of a certification by
is presumed to have survived. the Civil Registrar of Manila that, after a diligent and
exhaustive search, the alleged marriage license indicated
In both cases, therefore, the baby never acquired any in the marriage certificate does not appear in the records
right under the insurance policy. The proceeds of the and cannot be found.
insurance will then go to the estate of Marian.
1. Decide the case and explain.
c) Since the baby did not acquire any right under the 2. In case the marriage was solemnized in 1980 before
insurance contract, there is nothing for Pietro to the effectivity of the Family Code, is it required that a
inherit. judicial petition be filed to declare the marriage null
and void? Explain. (2016 BAR)
Q: Dr. Lopez, a 70-year old widower, and his son
Roberto both died in a fire that gutted their home while A:
they were sleeping in their air-conditioned rooms.
Roberto’s wife, Marilyn, and their two children were 1. I will grant the petition for judicial declaration of nullity
spared because they were in the province at the time. of Brad and Angelina’s marriage on the ground that there
Dr. Lopez left an estate worth P20M and a life insurance is a lack of marriage license. Article 3 of the Family Code
policy in the amount of P1M with his three children --- provides that one of the formal requisites of marriage is a
one of whom is Roberto --- as beneficiaries. Marilyn is valid marriage license and Article 4 of the same Code
now claiming for herself and her children her states that absence of any of the essential or formal
husband’s share in the estate left by Dr. Lopez, and her requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio. In
husband’s share in the proceeds of Dr. Lopez’s life Abbas v. Abbas [689 SCRA 646 (2013)], the Supreme Court
insurance policy. Rule on the validity of Marilyn’s declared the marriage as void ab initio because there is
claims with reasons. (1999, 2009 BAR) proof of lack of record of marriage license.
The certification by the Civil Registrar of Manila that, after
A: As to the estate of Dr. Lopez: diligent and exhaustive search, the alleged marriage
license indicated in the marriage certificate does not
Marilyn is not entitled to a share in the estate of Dr. appear in the records and cannot be found proves that the
Lopez. For purposes of succession, Dr. Lopez and his son marriage of Brad and Angelina was solemnized without
Roberto are presumed to have died at the same time, the requisite marriage license and is therefore void ab
there being no evidence to prove otherwise, and there initio. The absence of the marriage license was certified to
shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other by the local civil registrar who is the official custodian of
(Article 43). Hence, Roberto inherited nothing from his these documents and who is in the best position to certify
father that Marilyn would in turn inherit from Roberto. as to the existence of these records. Also, there is a
The children of Roberto, however, will succeed their presumption of regularity in the performance of official
grandfather, Dr. Lopez, in representation of their father duty. (Republic v. CA and Castro, 236 SCRA 257 [1994])
Roberto and together will receive 1/3 of the estate of Dr.
Lopez since their father Roberto was one of the three 2. No, it is not required that a judicial petition be filed to
children of Dr. Lopez. Marilyn cannot represent her declare the marriage null and void when said marriage
husband Roberto because the right is not given by law to was solemnized before the effectivity of the Family Code.
a surviving spouse. As stated in the cases of People v. Mendoza, 95 Phil. 845
(1954) and People v. Aragon 100 Phil. 1033 (1957), the old
As to the proceeds of the insurance on the life of Dr. rule is that where a marriage is illegal and void from its
Lopez:

UST BAR OPERATIONS 10


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
performance, no judicial is necessary to establish its
invalidity. A:

ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Irrespective of when the marriage a) The marriage is void because of the absence of an
took place, other than for purposes of remarriage, no judicial essential and formal requisite, namely consent of the
acion is necessary to declare a marriage absolute nullity. For parties freely given in the presence of the solemnizing
other purposes, such as but not limitd to determination of officer and a marriage ceremony (Art. 2, FC).
heirship, legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child, settlement of b) The children are illegitimate, having been born outside
estate, dissolution of property regim, or a criminal case for a valid marriage.
that matter, the court may pass upon the validity of marriage
even in a suit not directly instituted to question the same so Q: Isidro and Irma, Filipinos, both 18 years of age, were
long as it is essential to the determination of the case. This is passengers of Flight No. 317 of Oriental Airlines. The
without prejudice to any issue that may arise in the case. plane they boarded was of Philippine registry. While en
When such need arises, a final judgmenet of declaration of route from Manila to Greece some passengers hijacked
nullity is necessary even if the purpose is other than to the plane, held the chief pilot hostage at the cockpit and
remarry. The clause on the basis of a final judgment declaring ordered him to fly instead to Libya. During the hijacking
such previous marriage void in Article 40 of the Family Code Isidro suffered a heart attack and was on the verge of
connotes that such final judgment need to be obtained only death. Since Irma was already eight months pregnant by
for purpose of remarriage. (Ablaza v. Republic, 628 SCRA 27 Isidro, she pleaded to the hijackers to allow the assistant
[2010]) pilot to solemnize her marriage with Isidro. Soon after
the marriage, Isidro expired. As the plane landed in Libya
Q: On Valentine's Day 1996, Ellas and Fely, both single Irma gave birth. However, the baby died a few minutes
and 25 years of age, went to the city hall where they after complete delivery. Back in the Philippines Irma
sought out a fixer to help them obtain a quickie immediately filed a claim for inheritance. The parents of
marriage. For a fee, the fixer produced an ante-dated Isidro opposed her claim contending that the marriage
marriage license for them, Issued by the Civil between her and Isidro was void ab initio on the
Registrar of a small remote municipality. He then following grounds:
brought them to a licensed minister in a restaurant
behind the city hall, and the latter solemnized their a) they had not given their consent to the marriage of
marriage right there and then. their son;
b) there was no marriage license;
1. Is their marriage valid, void or voidable? c) the solemnizing officer had no authority to perform
Explain. the marriage; and,
2. Would your answer be the same if it should turn out d) the solemnizing officer did not file an affidavit of
that the marriage license was spurious? Explain. marriage with the proper civil registrar.
(1996, 2008 BAR)
Resolve each of the contentions (a to d) raised by the
A: parents of Isidro. Discuss fully. (1995 BAR)

1. The marriage is valid. The irregularity in the issuance A:


of a valid license does not adversely affect the
validity of the marriage. The marriage license is valid a) The fact that the parents of Isidro and of Irma did not give
because it was in fact issued by a Civil Registrar (Arts. 3 their consent to the marriage did not make the marriage
and 4, FC). void ab initio. The marriage is merely voidable under Art
2. No, the answer would not be the same. The marriage 45 of the Family Code.
would be void because of the absence of a formal b) Absence of marriage license did not make the marriage
requisite. In such a case, there was actually no valid void ab initio. Since the marriage was solemnized in
marriage license. articulo mortis, it was exempt from the license
requirement under Art. 31 of the Family Code.
Q: In December 2000, Michael and Anna, after obtaining c) On the assumption that the assistant pilot was acting for
a valid marriage license, went to the Office of the Mayor and in behalf of the airplane chief who was under
of Urbano, Bulacan, to get married. The Mayor was not disability, and by reason of the extraordinary and
there, but the Mayor’s secretary asked Michael and exceptional circumstances of the case, the marriage was
Anna and their witnesses to fill up and sign the required solemnized by an authorized officer under Art. 7 (3) and
marriage contract forms. The secretary then told them Art. 31 of the Family Code.
to wait, and went out to look for the Mayor who was d) Failure of the solemnizing officer to file the affidavit of
attending a wedding in a neighboring municipality. marriage did not affect the validity of the marriage. It is
When the secretary caught up with the Mayor at the merely an irregularity which may subject the solemnizing
wedding reception, she showed him the marriage officer to sanctions.
contract forms and told him that the couple and their
witnesses were waiting in his office. The Mayor Q: What is the status of the following marriages and
forthwith signed all the copies of the marriage contract, why?
gave them to the secretary who returned to the Mayor’s
office. She then gave copies of the marriage contract to a) A marriage between two 19-year olds without
the parties, and told Michael and Anna that they were parental consent.
already married. Thereafter, the couple lived together b) A marriage between two 21-year olds without
as husband and wife, and had three sons. (2009 BAR) parental advice.
c) A marriage between two Filipino first cousins in
a) Is the marriage of Michael and Anna valid, voidable, Spain where such marriage is valid.
or void? Explain your answer. d) A marriage between two Filipinos in Hongkong
b) What is the status of the three children of Michael before a notary public.
and Anna? Explain your answer.
11
CIVIL LAW
e) A marriage solemnized by a town mayor three 1) The complete publication of the Family Code was
towns away from his jurisdiction. (1999 BAR) made on August 4, 1987. On September 4, 1987,
Junior Cruz and Gemma Reyes were married before
A: a municipal mayor. Was the marriage valid?
2) Suppose the couple got married on September 1,
a) The marriage is voidable. The consent of the parties to 1994 at the Manila Hotel before the Philippine
the marriage was defective. Being below 21 years old, Consul General to Hongkong, who was on vacation
the consent of the parties is not full without the consent in Manila. The couple executed an affidavit
of their parents. The consent of the parents of the consenting to the celebration of the marriage at the
parties to the marriage is indispensable for its validity. Manila Hotel. Is the marriage valid? (1994 BAR)
b) Between 21-year olds, the marriage is valid despite the
absence of parental advice, because such absence is A:
merely an irregularity affecting a formal requisite i.e.,
the marriage license and does not affect the validity of 1) Yes, the marriage is valid. The Family Code took effect
the marriage itself. This is without prejudice to the civil, on August 3, 1988. At the time of the marriage on
criminal, or administrative liability of the party September 4, 1987, municipal mayors were
responsible therefor. empowered to solemnize marriage under the Civil Code
c) By reason of public policy, the marriage between of 1950.
Filipino first cousins is void (Art. 38, par. 1, FC), and the 2) a) The marriage is not valid. Consuls and vice-consuls
fact that it is considered a valid marriage in a foreign are empowered to solemnize marriage between
country in this case, Spain— does not validate it, being Philippine citizens abroad in the consular office of the
an exception to the general rule in Art. 26 of said Code foreign country to which they were assigned and have
which accords validity to all marriage solemnized no power to solemnize marriage on Philippine soil
outside the Philippine x x x and valid there as such. b) A Philippine consul is authorized by law to
d) It depends. If the marriage before the notary public is solemnize marriage abroad between Filipino citizens.
valid under Hongkong Law, the marriage is valid in the He has no authority to solemnize a marriage in the
Philippines. Otherwise, the marriage that is invalid in Philippines. Consequently, the marriage in question is
Hongkong will be invalid in the Philippines. void, unless either or both of the contracting parties
e) VALID. It is jurisprudential that a marriage solemnized believed in good faith that the consul general had
by a town mayor outside of his jurisdiction is a mere authority to solemnize their marriage in which case the
irregularity and will not invalidate the marriage. Hence, marriage is valid.
the marriage solemnized bby a town mayor three
towns away from his jurisdiction is a valid marriage. Marriage Solemnized/Divorce Obtained Abroad (1992,
1996, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2016
Q: Roderick and Faye were high school sweethearts. BAR)
When Roderick was 18 and Faye, 16 years old, they
started to live together as husband and wife without the Q: Romeo and Juliet, both Filipinos, got married. After a
benefit of marriage. When Faye reached 18 years of age, few years, Juliet got word from her mother that she can
her parents forcibly took her back and arranged for her go to the United States for naturalization. Juliet
marriage to Brad. Although Faye lived with Brad after promised she will be back the moment she becomes an
the marriage, Roderick continued to regularly visit American. After sometime, Romeo learned from a
Faye while Brad was away at work. During their friend that Juliet already became a U.S. citizen and even
marriage, Faye gave birth to a baby girl, Laica. When divorced him to marry a wealthy American
Faye was 25 years old, Brad discovered her continued businessman. Romeo filed a petition before the
liaison with Roderick and in one of their heated Regional Trial Court praying that an order be issued
arguments, Faye shot Brad to death. She lost no time in authorizing him to remarry pursuant to Article 26 of
marrying her true love Roderick, without a marriage the Family Code. Decide the petition with reasons.
license, claiming that they have been continuously (2016 BAR)
cohabiting for more than 5 years. Was the marriage of
Roderick and Faye valid? (2008, 2002 BAR) A: If the time of Juliet’s acquisition of U.S. citizenship
preceded the time when she obtained the divorce decree,
A: No. The marriage of Roderick and Faye is not valid. Art. 4 then the divorce decree can be given effect in the
of the FC provide that the absence of any of the essential or Philippines, and consequently, Romeo will be capacitated to
formal requisites renders the marriage void ab initio. remarry under Philippine law. On the other hand, if Juliet
However, no license shall be necessary for the marriage of obtained the divorce decree before she acquired U.S.
a man and a woman who have lived together as husband citizenship, then the foreign divorce decree cannot be
and wife for at least 5 years and without any legal recognized by Philippine courts.
impediment to marry each other. In Republic v. Dayot (G.R.
No. 175581, March 28, 2008), reiterating the doctrine in Art. 26, par. 2 of the Family Code provides that where a
Niñal v. Bayadog (G.R. No. 133778, March 14, 2000), this five- marriage between a Filipino citizen and a foreigner is
year period is characterized by exclusivity and continuity. validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter validly
In the present case, the marriage of Roderick and Faye obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him or her
cannot be considered as a marriage of exceptional to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall have capacity to
character, because there were two legal impediments remarry under Philippine law. In Republic v. Orbecido (472
during their cohabitation: minority on the part of Faye, SCRA 114 [2005]), the Supreme Court ruled that Art. 26, par.
during the first two years of cohabitation; and, lack of legal 2 should be interpreted to include cases involving parties
capacity, since Faye married Brad at the age of 18. The who, at the time of the celebration of the marriage were
absence of a marriage license made the marriage of Faye Filipino citizens, but later on, one of them becomes
and Roderick void ab initio. naturalized as a foreign citizen and obtains a divorce
decree. The reckoning point is not their citizenship at the
Q: time of celebration of marriage, but their citizenship at the

UST BAR OPERATIONS 12


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
time the divorce decree is obtained abroad by the alien
spouse capacitating him/her to remarry. The marriage of Maris and Pedro is still validly existing
because the marriage has not been validly dissolved by
Q: Cipriano and Lady Miros married each other. Lady the Maryland divorce.
Miros then left for the US and there, she obtained
American citizenship. Cipriano later learned all about c) The marriage of Maris and Vincent is void ab initio
this including the fact that Lady Miros has divorced him because it is a bigamous marriage contracted by Maris
in America and that she had remarried there. He then during the subsistence of her marriage with Pedro
filed a petition for authority to remarry, invoking Par. (Art. 25 and 41, FC).
2, Art. 26 of the Family Code. Is Cipriano capacitated to
re-marry by virtue of the divorce decree obtained by his The marriage of Maris and Vincent does not validly
Filipino spouse who was later naturalized as an exist because Article 26 does not apply. Pedro was not
American citizen? Explain. (2012 BAR) a foreigner at the time of his marriage with Maris
and the divorce abroad (in Maryland) was initiated and
A: Yes, he is capacitated to re-marry. While the second obtained not by the alien spouse, but by the Filipino
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code is applicable only spouse. Hence, the Maryland divorce did not
to a Filipino who married a foreigner at the time of the capacitate Maris to marry Vincent.
marriage, the Supreme Court ruled in the case of Republic v.
Orbecido, GR. No. 154380, October 5, 2005, that the said d) At this point in time, Pedro is still the lawful husband of
provision equally applies to a Filipino who married another Maris because their valid marriage has not been
Filipino, at the time of the marriage, but who was already a dissolved by any valid cause (Art. 26, FC).
foreigner when the divorce was obtained.
Q: Flor and Virgilio were married to each other in Roxas
Q: In 1989, Maris, a Filipino citizen, married her boss City in 1980. In 1984, Flor was offered a teaching job in
Johnson, an American citizen, in Tokyo in a wedding Canada, which she accepted. In 1989, she applied for
ceremony celebrated according to Japanese laws. One and was grantd Canadian citizenship. The following
year later, Johnson returned to his native Nevada, and year, she sued for divorce from Virgilio in a Canadian
he validly obtained in that state an absolute divorce court. After Virgilio was served with summons, the
from his wife Maris. Canadian court tried the case and decreed the divorce.
Shortly thereafter, Flor married a Canadian. Can
After Maris received the final judgment of divorce, Virgilio marry again in the Philippines? (1996 BAR)
she married her childhood sweetheart Pedro, also a A: No, Virgilio cannot validly remarry. His case is not
Filipino citizen, in a religious ceremony in Cebu City, covered by Art. 26 of the Family Code. For said Article to be
celebrated according to the formalities of Philippine applicable, the spouse who filed for divorce must be a
law. Pedro later left for the United States and foreigner at the time of the marriage. Since both of them
became naturalized as an American citizen. Maris were Filipinos at the time of the marriage, the divorce
followed Pedro to the United States, and after a obtained by Flor did not capacitate Virgilio to remarry. The
serious quarrel, Maris filed a suit and obtained a fact that Flo was already an alien at the time she obtained
divorce decree issued by the court in the state of the divorce does not give Virgilio the capacity to remarry
Maryland. Maris then returned to the Philippines and under Philippine Law.
in a civil ceremony celebrated in Cebu City according
to the formalities of Philippine law, she married her Q: Ben and Eva were both Filipino citizens at the time of
former classmate Vincent likewise a Filipino citizen. their marriage in 1967. When their marriage turned
sour, Ben went to a small country in Europe, got himself
a) Was the marriage of Maris and Johnson valid when naturalized there, and then divorced Eva in accordance
celebrated? Is their marriage still validly existing with the law of that country. Later, he returned to the
now? Reasons. Philippines with his new wife. Eva now wants to know
b) Was the marriage of Maris and Pedro valid what action or actions she can file against Ben. She also
when celebrated? Is their marriage still validly wants to know if she can likewise marry again. What
existing now? Reasons. advice can you give her? (1999 BAR)
c) Was the marriage of Maris and Vincent valid when
celebrated? Is their marriage still validly existing A: She may remarry. While a strict interpretation of Art. 26
now? Reasons. of the FC would capacitate a Filipino spouse to remarry only
d) At this point in time, who is the lawful husband when the other spouse was a foreigner at the time of the
of Maris? Reasons. (1992, 2005 BAR) marriage, the DOJ has issued an opinion (Opinion 134 s. of
1993) that the same injustice sought to be cured by Article
A: 26 is present in the case of spouses who were both Filipino
at the time of the marriage but one became an alien
a) The marriage of Maris and Johnson was valid when subsequently. Said injustice is the anomaly of Eva
celebrated because all marriages solmenized outside remaining married to her husband who is no longer
the Philippines (Tokyo) in accordance with the laws in married to her. Hence, said Opinion makes Art. 26
force in the country where they are solemnized (Japan), applicable to her case and the divorce obtained abroad by
and valid there as such, are also valid in the Philippines. her former Filipino husband would capacitate her to
remarry. To contract a subsequent marriage, all she needs
Their marriage no longer validly subsists, because it to do is present to the civil registrar the decree of divorce
has been dissolved by the absolute divorce validly when she applies for a marriage license under Art. 13 of the
obtained by Johnson which capacitated Maris to FC.
remarry (Art. 26, Family Code).
Q: Marvin, a Filipino, and Shelley, an American, both
b) The marriage of Maris and Pedro was valid when residents of California, decided to get married in their
celebrated because the divorce validly obtained by local parish. Two years after their marriage, Shelley
Johnson in Manila capacitated Maris to marry Pedro. obtained a divorce in California. While in Boracay,
13
CIVIL LAW
Marvin met Manel, a Filipina, who was vacationing there. obtained abroad. According to the Court, to rule
Marvin fell in love with her. After a brief courtship and otherwise will violate the equal protection clause of the
complying with all the requirements, they got married in Constitution.
Hongkong to avoid publicity, it being Marvin's second
marriage. Is his marriage to Manel valid? Explain. (2006 Q: True or False. Under Art. 26 of the Family Code, when
BAR) a foreign spouse divorces his/her Filipino spouse, the
latter may re-marry by proving only that the foreign
A: Yes, the marriage of Marvin and Manel is valid. While spouse has obtained a divorce against her or him
Marvin was previously married to Shelley, the divorce from abroad. (2010 BAR)
Marvin obtained by Shelley in California capacitated Marvin
to contract the subsequent marriage to Manel under the 2nd A: FALSE. In Garcia v. Recio, 366 SCRA 437 (2001), the SC
paragraph of Article 26 of the Family Code which provides held that for a Filipino spouse to have capacity to contract a
that where a marriage between a Filipino citizen and a subsequent marriage, it must also be proven that the
foreigner is validly celebrated and a divorce is thereafter foreign divorce obtained by the foreigner spouse gives such
validly obtained abroad by the alien spouse capacitating him foreigner spouse capacity to remarry.
or her to remarry, the Filipino spouse shall likewise have
capacity to remarry under Philippine law. Marriages Void ab Initio (1991, 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997,
1998, 2002, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2012, 2013,
Q: Harry married Wilma, a very wealthy woman. Barely 2014, 2015, 2016 BAR)
five (5) years into the marriage, Wilma fell in love with
Joseph. Thus, Wilma went to a small country in Europe, Q: Leo married Lina and they begot a son. After the bitth
became a naturalized citizen of that country, divorced of their child, Lina exhibited unusual behavior and
Harry, and married Joseph. A year thereafter, Wilma started to neglect her son; she frequently went out with
and Joseph returned and established permanent her friends and gambled in casinos. Lina later had
residence in the Philippines. extra-marital affairs with several men and eventually
abandoned Leo and their son. Leo was able to talk to the
a) Is the divorce obtained by Wilma from Harry psychiatrist of Lina who told him that Lina suffers from
recognized in the Philippines? Explain your dementia praecox, a form of psychosis where the
answer. afflicted person is prone to commit homicidal attacks.
b) If Harry hires you as his lawyer, what legal recourse Leo was once stabbed by Lina but fortunately he only
would you advise him to take? Why? suffered minor injuries. Will a Petition for Declaration
c) Harry tells you that he has fallen in love with of Nullity of Marriage filed with the court prosper?
another woman, Elizabeth, and wants to marry her Explain. (2016 BAR)
because, after all, Wilma is already married to
Joseph. Can Harry legally marry Elizabeth? Explain. A: No, a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage under
(1996, 1999, 2009 BAR) Art. 36 of the Family Code will not prosper. Even if taken as
true, the grounds alleged are not sufficitent to declare the
A: marriage void under “psychological incapacity.” In Santos v.
CA (240 SCRA 20 [1995]), the Supreme Court explained that
a) Yes, the divorce obtained by Wilma is recognized as psychological incapacity must be characterized by (a)
valid in the Philippines. At the time she got the divorce, gravity, (b) juridical antecedence, and (c) incurability. The
she was already a foreign national having been illness must be shown as downright incapacity or inability
naturalized as a citizen of that “small country in to perform one’s marital obligations, not a mere refusal,
Europe.” Based on precedents established by the neglect, difficulty or much less, ill will.
Supreme Court (Bayot v. CA, G.R. No. 155635, November
7, 2008), divorce obtained by a foreigner is recognized While Lina was not examined by a physician, the Supreme
in the Philippines if validly obtained in accordance with Court has ruled in Marcos v. Marcos (343 SCRA 755 [2000])
his or her national law. that actual medical examination need not be resorted to
b) I will advice Harry to: where the totatlity of evidence presented is enough to
1. Dissolve and liquidate his property relations with sustain a finidng of psychological incapacity. However, in
Wilma; and this case, the pieces of evidence presented are not sufficient
2. If he will remarry, file a petition for the recognition to conclude that indeed Lina is suffering from psychological
and enforcement of the foreign judgment of divorce incapacity existing already before the marriage, incurable
(Rule 39, Rules of Court). and serious enough to prevent her from performing her
c) Yes, he can validly marry Elizabeth, applying the essential marital obligations.
doctrine laid down by the Supreme Court in Republic v.
Orbecido (427 SCRA 114 [2005]). ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: No, a Petition for Declaration of
Nullity of Marriage under Art. 36 of the Family Code will not
Under the second paragraph of Article 26 of the Family prosper. However, a Petition for Annulment of Marriage
Code, for the Filipino spouse to have capacity to under Art. 45 of the Family Code may prosper, on the
remarry, the law expressly requires the spouse who ground of unsound mind, assuming that Lina’s unsound
obtained the divorce to be a foreigner at the time of the mind existed at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
marriage. Applying this requirement to the case of
Harry, it would seem that he is not given the capacity to Q: The petitioner filed a petition for declaration of
remarry. This is because Wilma was a Filipino at the nullity of marriage based allegedly on the psychological
time of her marriage to Harry. incapacity of the respondent, but the psychologist was
not able to personally examine the respondent and the
In Republic v. Orbecido, however, the Supreme Court psychological report was based only on the narration of
ruled that a Filipino spouse is given the capacity to petitioner. Should the annulment be granted? Explain.
remarry even though the spouse who obtained the (2012 BAR)
divorce was a Filipino at the time of the marriage, if the
latter was already a foreigner when the divorce was

UST BAR OPERATIONS 14


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
A: No. The annulment cannot be guaranteed solely on the
basis of the psychological report. For the report to prove the Q: Miko and Dinah started to live together as husband
psychological incapacity of the respondent, it is required and wife without the benefit of marriage in 1984. Ten
that the psychologist should personally examine the (10) years after, they separated. In 1996, they decided
respondent and the psychological report should be based to live together again, and in 1998, they got married.
on the psychologist’s independent assessment of the facts
as to whether or not the respondent is psychologically On February 17, 2001, Dinah filed a complaint for
incapacitated. declaration of nullity of her marriage with Miko on the
ground of psychological incapacity under Article 36 of
Since, the psychologist did not personally examine the the Family Code. The court rendered the following
respondent, and his report is based solely on the story of the decision:
petitioner who has an interest in the outcome of the
petition, the marriage cannot be annulled on the ground of 1. “Declaring the marriage null and void;
respondent’s psychological incapacity if the said report is 2. Dissolving the regime of absolute community of
the only evidence of respondent’s psychological incapacity. property; and
3. Declaring that a decree of absolute nullity of
Q: Ariz and Paz were officemates at Perlas ng Silangan marriage shall only be issued after liquidation,
Bank (PSB). They fell in love with each other and had a partition and distribution of the parties’ properties
civil and church wedding. Meanwhile, Paz rapidly under Article 147 of the Family Code."
climbed the corporate ladder of PSB and eventually
became its Vice President, while Ariz remained one of Dinah filed a motion for partial reconsideration
its bank supervisors, although he was short of 12 units questioning the portion of the decision on the issuance
to finish his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) of a decree of nullity of marriage only after the
degree. liquidation, partition and distribution of properties
under Article 147 of the Code.
Ariz became envious of the success of his wife. He
started to drink alcohol until he became a drunkard. He If you are the judge, how will you decide petitioner’s
preferred to join his "barkadas"; became a wifebeater; motion for partial reconsideration? Why? (2014 BAR)
would hurt his children without any reason; and failed
to contribute to the needs of the family. Despite A: I will grant partial reconsideration. If the marriage is
rehabilitation and consultation with a psychiatrist, his declared void under Art. 36, the provisions of the Family
ways did not change. Code on liquidation, partition, and distribution of the
properties on absolute community or conjugal partnership
After 19 years of marriage, Paz, a devout Catholic, will not apply but rather Art. 147 or 148 depending on the
decided to have their marriage annulled by the church. presence or absence of a legal impediment between them.
Through the testimony of Paz and a psychiatrist, it was In Diño v. Diño (G.R. No. 178044, January 19, 2011), the SC
found that Ariz was a spoiled brat in his youth and was ruled that Art. 50 of the FC and Section 19 of the Rules on
sometimes involved in brawls. In his teens, he was once Declaration of Nullity applies only to marriages which are
referred to a psychiatrist for treatment due to his declared void ab initio or annulled by final judgment under
violent tendencies. In due time, the National Appellate Arts. 40 and 45 of the FC. In short, Art. 50 of the FC does not
Matrimonial Tribunal (NAMT) annulled the union of apply to marriages which are declared void ab initio under
Ariz and Paz due to the failure of Ariz to perform and Art. 36 of the FC which should be declared void without
fulfill his duties as a husband and as a father to their waiting for the liquidation of the properties of the parties.
children. The NAMT concluded that it is for the best
interest of Paz, Ariz and their children to have the Q: After undergoing sex reassignment in a foreign
marriage annulled. country, Jose, who is now using the name of "Josie,"
married his partner Ador. Is the marriage valid?
In view of the NAMT decision, Paz decided to file a
Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage of their a. Yes, the marriage is valid for as long as it is valid in
civil wedding before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of the place where it is celebrated following Article 17
Makati City using the NAMT decision and the same of the Civil Code.
evidence adduced in the church annulment b. Yes, the marriage is valid if all the essential and
proceedings as basis. If you are the judge, will you grant formal elements of marriage under the Family Code
the petition? Explain. (2014 BAR) are present.
c. No, the marriage is not valid because one essential
A: If I were the judge, I will not grant the petition. While the element of marriage is absent.
decision of the church tribunal annulling the marriage of the d. No, the marriage is not valid but is voidable because
parties may be persuasive, it is not however, binding upon "Josie" concealed her real identity. (2014 BAR)
the civil courts. For psychological incapacity to be a ground
for nullity, it must be shown that it was rooted in the history A: C – not valid for lack of one essential requirement (Silverio
of the party alleged to be suffering from it, it must be grave v. Republic, G.R. No. 174689, October 22, 2007).
and serious, and incurable such that it renders the person
incapacitated to perform the essential marital obligations Q: Kardo met Glenda as a young lieutenant and after a
due to causes psychological in nature. In the case presented, whirlwind courtship, they were married. In the early
it appears that Ariz fulfilled his marital obligations at the part of his military career, Kardo was assigned to
beginning and it was only after feeling envious about the different places all over the country but Glenda refused
success of Paz that he started exhibiting violent tendencies to accompany him as she preferred to live in her
and refused to comply with marital obligations. hometown. They did not live together until the 12th year
Psychological incapacity is not mere refusal but outright of their marriage when Kardo had risen up the ranks and
incapacity to perform marital obligations which does not was given his own command. They moved to living
appear to be present in the case of Ariz (Marcos v. Marcos, quarters in Fort Gregorio. One day, while Kardo was
G.R. No. 136490, October 19, 2000). away on official business, one of his military aides caught
15
CIVIL LAW
Glenda having sex with the corporal assigned as Kardo's
driver. The aide immediately reported the matter to On the basis of the evidence presented, will you grant
Kardo who rushed home to confront his wife. Glenda the petition? (1996, 2006, 2012, 2013 BAR)
readily admitted the affair and Kardo sent her away in
anger. Kardo would later come to know the true extent A: No. The petition should be denied.
of Glenda's unfaithfulness from his aides, his household
staff, and former neighbors who informed him that The psychological incapacity under Article 36 of the Family
Glenda has had intimate relations with various men Code must be characterized by (a) gravity, (b) juridical
throughout their marriage whenever Kardo was away antecedence, and (c) incurability. It is not enough to prove
on assignment. that the parties failed to meet their responsibilities and
duties as married persons; it is essential that they must be
Kardo filed a petition for declaration of nullity of shown to be incapable of doing so, due to some
marriage under Article 36. Based on interviews from psychological (not physical) illness (Republic v. CA and
Kardo, his aide, and the housekeeper, a psychologist Molina, G.R. No. 108763 February 13, 1997). In this case, the
testified that Glenda's habitual infidelity was due to her pieces of evidence presented are not sufficient to conclude
affliction with Histrionic Personality Disorder, an illness that indeed Niel is suffering from a psychological incapacity
characterized by excessive emotionalism and [Narcissistic Personality Disorder] existing already before
uncontrollable attention-seeking behavior rooted in the marriage, incurable and serious enough to prevent Neil
Glenda's abandonment as a child by her father. Kardo from performing his essential marital obligations. Dr.
himself, his aide, and his housekeeper also testified in Chan’s report contains mere conclusions. Being a drunkard,
court. The RTC granted the petition, relying on the a womanizer, a gambler and a mama’s boy merely shows
liberality espoused by Te v. Te and Azcueta v. Republic. Neil’s failure to perform his marital obligations. In a number
However, the OSG filed an appeal, arguing that sexual of cases, the Supreme Court did not find the existence of
infidelity was only a ground for legal separation and that psychological incapacity in cases where the respondents
the RTC failed to abide by the guidelines laid down in the showed habitual drunkenness (Republic v. Melgar, G.R. No.
Molina case. How would you decide the appeal? (2015 139676, March 31, 2006), blatant display of infidelity and
BAR) irresponsibility (Dedel v. CA, G.R. No. 151867, January 29,
2004), or being hooked to gambling and drugs (Republic v.
A: I will resolve the appeal in favor of the Republic. In the case Tanyag-San Jose, G.R. No. 168328, February 28, 2007).
of Dedel v. Dedel (G.R. No. 151867, January 29, 2004), the
Supreme Court refused to declare the marriage of the parties Q: On May 1, 1978 Facundo married Petra, by whom he
void on the ground of sexual infidelity of the wife Sharon. In had a son Sotero. Petra died on July 1, 1996, while
the case mentioned, the wife committed infidelity with Facundo died on January 1, 2002. Before his demise,
several men up to the extent of siring two illegitimate Facundo had married, on July 1, 2002, Quercia. Having
children with a foreigner. The court, however, said that it was lived together as husband and wife since July 1, 1990,
not shown that the sexual infidelity was a product of a Facundo and Quercia did not secure a marriage license
disordered personality and that it was rooted in the history but executed the requisite affidavit for the purpose. To
of the party alleged to be psychologically incapacitated. Also, ensure that his inheritance rights are not adversely
the finding of psychological incapacity cannot be based on affected by his father’s second marriage, Sotero now
the interviews conducted by the clinical psychologist on the brings a suit to seek a declaration of the nullity of the
husband or his witnesses and the person alleged to be marriage of Facundo and Quercia, grounded on the
psychologically incapacitated must be personally examined absence of a valid marriage license. Quercia contends
to arrive at such declaration (Marcos v. Marcos, G.R. No. that there was no need for a marriage license in view
136490, October 19, 2000; Agraviador v. Agraviador, G.R. No. for her having lived continuously with Facundo for
170729, December 8, 2010). five years before their marriage and that Sotero has no
legal personality to seek a declaration of nullity of the
Q: You are a Family Court judge and before you is a marriage since Facundo is now deceased.
Petition for the Declaration of Nullity of Marriage
(under Article 36 of the Family Code) filed by Maria A. Is the marriage of Facundo and Quercia valid,
against Neil. Maria claims that Neil is psychologically despite the absence of a marriage license? Explain.
incapacitated to comply with the essential obligations B. Does Sotero have the personality to seek the
of marriage because Neil is a drunkard, a womanizer, a declaration of nullity of the marriage, especially
gambler, and a mama's boy- traits that she never knew now that Facundo is already deceased? Explain.
or saw when Neil was courting her. Although (2002 BAR)
summoned, Neil did not answer Maria's petition and
never appeared in court. A:

To support her petition, Maria presented three A. The marriage with Quercia is valid. The exemption from
witnesses- herself, Dr. Elsie Chan, and Ambrosia. Dr. the requirement of a marriage license under Article 34 of
Chan testified on the psychological report on Neil that the Family Code requires that the man and woman must
she prepared. Since Neil never acknowledged nor have lived together as husband and wife for at least five
responded to her invitation for interviews, her report years and without any legal impediment to marry each
is solely based on her interviews with Maria and the other during those five years. Although the cohabitation
spouses' minor children. Dr. Chan concluded that Neil is of Facundo and Quercia for six years from July 1, 1990 to
suffering from Narcissistic Personality Disorder, an July 1, 1996 when Petra died was one with a legal
ailment that she found to be already present since Neil's impediment, the cohabitation thereafter until the
early adulthood and one that is grave and incurable. marriage on July 1, 2002 was free from any legal
Maria testified on the specific instances when she found impediment since Facundo’s marriage with Petra has
Neil drunk, with another woman, or squandering the already been extinguished due to the latter’s death. The
family's resources in a casino. Ambrosia, the spouses' cohabitation of Facundo and Quercia from the time of
current household help, corroborated Maria's death of Petra up to the time of their marriage on July 1,
testimony. 2002 met the 5-year cohabitation requirement therefore

UST BAR OPERATIONS 16


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
making their marriage despite the lack of a marriage Family Code to make the marriage valid. The provision
license valid. of the Family Code applies only to a mistake of fact, and
B. Yes, a void marriage may be questioned by any not to a mistake of law. Hence the fact that the
interested party in any proceeding where the Minister’s license was expired will not affect the
resolution of the issue is material. Being a validity of the marriage if Ric or Gigi believed in good
compulsory heir, Soterro has the personality to faith that the Minister had a valid license. That would
question the validity of the marriage of Facundo and be a mistake of fact. However, believing that the
Quercia. Otherwise, his participation in the estate on Minister had authority to solemnize the marriage even
Facundo would be affected (Ninãl v. Bayadog, G.R. No. if none of the contracting parties was a member of the
133778, March 14, 2000). Minister’s religious sect is a mistake of law. This is
because the law expressly provides that the Minister
Q: In 1985, Sonny and Lulu, both Filipino citizens, were has authority only if one or both contracting parties are
married in the Philippines. In 1987, they separated, and members of the Minister’s religious sect. A mistake of
Sonny went to Canada, where he obtained a divorce in law does not excuse from non-compliance.
the same year. He then married another Filipina, 2) The marriage between Ric and Juliet is void because
Auring, in Canada on January 1, 1988. They had two Juliet was below 18 years of age. Under the Family Code,
sons, James and John. In 1990, after failing to hear from the requisite age for legal capacity to contract marriage
Sonny, Lulu married Tirso, by whom she had a is 18 years old and a marriage by a party who is below
daughter, Verna. In 1991, Sonny visited the Philippines 18 years old is void under all circumstances. Hence, even
where he succumbed to heart attack. Explain the status though Juliet’s parents have fiven their consent to the
of the marriage between Lulu and Tirso. marriage and even though Ric believed in good faith that
she was 18 years old, the marriage is void.
A: The marriage between Lulu and Tirso is also void ab 3) (a) Juliet may file an action to declare her marriage to Ric
initio because Lulu is still validly married to Sonny. null and void on the ground that she was not of marrying
age.
Q: Gigi and Ric, Catholics, got married when they were 18 (b) She may also file a criminal case against Ric for
years old. Their marriage was solemnized on August 2, bigamy because he contracted the marriage with her
1989 by Ric's uncle, a Baptist Minister, in Calamba, without a judicial declaration of nullity of his first
Laguna. He overlooked the fact that his license to marriage to Gigi.
solemnize marriage expired the month before and that (c) She may also file a criminal case for falsification,
the parties do not belong to his congregation. After 5 perjury, or illegal marriage as the case may be.
years of married life and blessed with 2 children, the (d) In case the facts and the evidence will warrant, she
spouses developed irreconcilable differences, so they may also file a criminal case for seduction. In all these
parted ways. While separated, Ric fell in love with Juliet, cases, Juliet may recover damages.
a 16 year-old sophomore in a local college and a Seventh- 4) As counsel for Gigi, I will file an action for declaration of
Day Adventist. They decided to get married with the nullity of Gigi’s marriage to Ric on the ground of absence
consent of Juliet's parents. She presented to him a birth of authority of the Baptist minister to solemnize the
certificate showing she is 18 years old. Ric never doubted marriage between Ric and Gigi who were both non-
her age much less the authenticity of her birth certificate. members of the Baptist Church.
They got married in a Catholic church in Manila. A year
after, Juliet gave birth to twins, Aissa and Aretha. Q: Under what conditions, respectively, may drug
addiction be a ground, if at all for a declaration of nullity
1) What is the status of the marriage between Gigi and of marriage (1997, 2002 BAR)
Ric — valid, voidable or void? Explain.
2) What is the status of the marriage between Ric and A: Declaration of nullity of marriage:
Juliet — valid, voidable or void? 1. The drug addiction must amount to psychological
3) Suppose Ric himself procured the falsified birth incapacity to comply with the essential obligations of
certificate to persuade Juliet to marry him despite marriage;
her minority and assured her that everything is in 2. It must be antecedent (existing at the time of marriage),
order. He did not divulge to her his prior marriage grave and incurable;
with Gigi. What action, if any, can Juliet take 3. The case must be filed before August 1, 1998. Because if
against him? Explain. they got married before August 3, 1998, it must be filed
4) If you were the counsel for Gigi, what action/s will before August 1, 1998.
you take to enforce and protect her interests?
Explain. (2006 BAR) Q:

A: A. Give a brief definition or explanation of the term


1) The marriage between Gigi and Ric is void because a “psychological incapacity” as a ground for the
minister has no authority to solemnize a marriage declaration of nullity of a marriage.
between contracting parties who were both not B. If existing at the inception of marriage, would the
members of the minister’s religious sect. Under the state of being of unsound mind or the concealment
Family Code, a minister or a priest has authority to of drug addiction, habitual alcoholism,
solemnize a marriage but only if one or both homosexuality or lesbianism be considered indicia
contracting parties are members of the religious sect of of psychological incapacity? Explain.
the pries or minister. Since neither Ric nor Gigi was a C. If drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, lesbianism or
member of the Baptist Church because both of them homosexuality should occur only during the
were Catholic, the Baptist Minister did not have marriage, would these constitute grounds for a
authority to solemnize their marriage. declaration of nullity or for legal separation, or
would they render the marriage voidable? (2002
Ric and Gigi cannot claim that they believed in good BAR)
faith and that the Baptist Minister had the authority to
solemnize the marriage and invoke Art. 35 (2) of the A:
17
CIVIL LAW
married life. He or she will not be able to perform his duty of
A. PSYCHOLOGICAL INCAPACITY is a mental disorder of sexual consortium with his or her spouse due to his or her
the most serious type showing the incapability of one or sexual preference for a person of the same sex. However, the
both spouses to comply the essential marital obligations law requires that the disorder or state of being gay or lesbian
of love, respect, cohabitation, mutual help and support, incapacitating such person must be existing at the time of the
trust and commitment. It must be characterized by celebration of the marriage.
juridical antecedence, gravity and incurability and its
root causes must be clinically identified or examined Q: True or False.
(Santos v. CA, G.R. No. 112019, January 4, 1995).
B. In the case of Santos v. CA (G.R. No. 112019, January 4, Amor gave birth to Thelma when she was 15 years old.
1995), the Supreme Court held that being of unsound Thereafter, Amor met David and they got married when
mind, drug addiction, habitual alcoholism, lesbianism or she was 20 years old. David had a son, Julian, with his ex-
homosexuality may be an indicia of psychological girlfriend Sandra. Julian and Thelma can get married.
incapacity, depending on the degree of severity of the (2007 BAR)
disorder. However, the concealment of drug addiction,
habitual alcoholism, lesbianism or homosexuality is a A: TRUE. Julian and Thelma can get married. Marriage
ground of annulment of marriage. between stepbrothers and stepsisters are not among the
C. In accordance with law, if drug addiction, habitual marriages prohibited under the Family Code.
alcoholism, lesbianism or homosexuality should occur Q: Despite several relationships with different women,
only during the marriage, they: Andrew remained unmarried. His first relationship with
1) Will not constitute as grounds for declaration of Brenda produced a daughter, Amy, now 30 years old. His
nullity (Art. 36, Family Code) second, with Carla, produced two sons: Jon and Ryan. His
2) Will constitute as grounds for legal separation (Art. third, with Elena, bore him no children although Elena
55, Family Code) has a daughter Jane, from a previous relationship. His
3) Will not constitute as grounds to render the marriage last, with Fe, produced no biological children but they
voidable (Art. 45 and 46, Family Code) informally adopted without court proceedings, Sandy's
now 13 years old, whom they consider as their own.
Q: Gemma filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of Sandy was orphaned as a baby and was entrusted to
her marriage with Arnell on the ground of psychological them by the midwife who attended to Sandy's birth. All
incapacity. She alleged that after 2 months of their the children, including Amy, now live with Andrew in his
marriage, Arnell showed signs of disinterest in her, house. Can Jon and Jane legally marry? (2008 BAR)
neglected her and went abroad. He returned to the
Philippines after 3 years but did not even get in touch A: Yes. Jon and Jane can marry each other; Jon is an
with her. Worse, they met several times in social illegitimate child of Andrew while Jane is a child of Elena from
functions but he snubbed her. When she got sick, he did a previous relationship. Thus, their marriage is not one of the
not visit her even if he knew of her confinement in the prohibited marriages enumerated under Art. 38 of the FC.
hospital. Meanwhile, Arnell met an accident which
disabled him from reporting for work and earning a Q: In June 1985, James married Mary. In September 1988,
living to support himself. Will Gemma's suit prosper? he also married Ophelia with whom he begot two (2)
Explain. (2006 BAR) children, A and B. In July 1989, Mary died. In July 1990, he
married Shirley and abandoned Ophelia. During their
A: Gemma’s suit will not prosper. The acts of Arnell union, James and Ophelia acquired a residential lot worth
complained about do not by themselves constitute P300, 000.00.
psychological incapacity. It is not enough to prove the
commission of those acts or the existence of his abnormal Ophelia sues James for bigamy and prays that his
behaviour. It must be shown that those acts or that behaviour marriage with Shirley be declared null and void. James,
was manifestation of a serious mental disorder and that it is on the other hand, claims that since his marriage to
the root cause why he was not able to perform the essential Ophelia was contracted during the existence of his
duties of married life. It must also be shown that such marriage with Mary, the former is not binding upon him,
psychological incapacity, as manifested in those acts or that the same being void ab initio; he further claims that his
behaviour, was existing at the time of the celebration of the marriage to Shirley is valid and binding as he was already
marriage. In this case, there was no showing that Arnell was legally capacitated at the time he married her. Is the
suffering from a manifestation of that disorder, and that such contention of James correct? (1991 BAR)
disorder prevented him from complying with his duties as a
married person. A: Yes. His marriage to Ophelia is void ab initio because of his
subsisting prior marriage to Mary. His marriage to Shirley,
Q: Article 36 of the Family Code provides that a marriage after Mary’s death, is valid and binding.
contracted by any party who, at the time of the
celebration, was psychologically incapacitated to comply Alternative Answer: No. The contention of James is not
with the essential marital obligations of marriage, shall correct.
be void. Choose the spouse listed below who is
psychologically incapacitated. Explain. Art. 40, Family Code, provides that the “absolute nullity of a
previous marriage may be invoked for purposes of
A. Nagger remarriage on the basis solely of a final judgment declaring
B. Gay or Lesbian such previous marriage void.” It can be said, therefore, that
C. Congenital sexual pervert the marriage of James to Shirley is void since his previous
D. Gambler marriage to Ophelia, although itself void, had not yet been
E. Alcoholic (2006 BAR) judicially declared void.

A: The gay or lesbian is psychologically incapacitated. Being Q: A and B, both 18 years old, were sweethearts studying
gay or lesbian is a mental disorder which prevents the in Manila. On August 3, 1988, while in first year college,
afflicted person from performing the essential duties of they eloped. They stayed in the house of a mutual friend

UST BAR OPERATIONS 18


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
in town X, where they were able to obtain a marriage Q: Ana Rivera had a husband, a Filipino citizen like her,
license. On August 30, 1988, their marriage was who was among the passengers on board a commercial
solemnized by the town mayor of X in his office. jet plane which crashed in the Atlantic Ocean ten (10)
Thereafter, they returned to Manila and continued to live years earlier and had never been heard of ever since.
separately in their respective boarding houses, Believing that her husband had died, Ana married Adolf
concealing from their parents, who were living in the Cruz Staedtler, a divorced German national born of a
province what they had done. In 1992, after graduation German father and a Filipino mother residing in
from college, A and B decided to break their relation and Stuttgart. To avoid being reqiured to submit the
parted ways. Both went home to their respective towns to required certificate of capacity to marry from the
live and work. Can either or both of them contract German Embassy in Manila, Adolf stated in the
marriage with another person without committing application for marriage license that he was a Filipino
bigamy? Explain your answer. citizen. With the marriage license stating that Adolf was
a Filipino, the couple got married in a ceremony
A: Either or both of the parties cannot contract marriage in the officiated by the Parish Priest of Calamba, Laguna in a
Philippines with another person without committing bigamy, beach in Nasugbu, Batangas, as the local parish priest
unless there is compliance with the requirements of Art. 52 refused to solemnize marriages except in his church. Is
Family Code, namely: there must be a judgment of annulment the marriage valid? Explain fully. (2008 BAR)
or absolute nullity of the marriage, partition and distribution
of the properties of the spouses and the delivery of their A: The issue hinges on whether or not the missing husband
children’s presumptive legitimes, which shall be recorded in was dead or alive at the time of the second marriage.
the appropriate Civil Registry of Property, otherwise the same
shall not affect third persons and the subsequent marriage If the missing husband was in fact dead at the time the second
shall be null and void. (Arts. 52 and 53, Family Code) marriage was celebrated, the second marriage was valid.
Actual death of a spouse dissolves the marriage ipso facto
Q: Maria and Luis, both Filipinos, were married by a whether or not the surviving spouse had knowledge of such
Catholic priest in Lourdes Church, Quezon City in fact. A declaration of presumptive death even if obtained will
1976, Luis was drunk on the day of his wedding. In fact, not make the marriage voidable because presumptive death
he slumped at the altar soon after the ceremony. After will not prevail over the fact of death.
marriage, Luis never had a steady job because he was
drunk most of the time. Finally, he could not get If the missing husband was in fact alive when the second
employed at all because of drunkenness. Hence, it was marriage was celebrated, the second marriage was void ab
Maria who had to earn a living to support herself and her initio because of a prior subsisting marriage. Had Ana
child begotten with Luis. In 1986, Maria filed a petition obtained a declaration of presumptive death the second
in the church matrimonial court in Quezon City to marriage would have been voidable.
annul her marriage with Luis on the ground of
psychological incapacity to comply with his marital In both cases, the fact that the German misrepresented his
obligation. Her petition was granted by the church citizenship to avoid having to present his Certificate of Legal
matrimonial court. Capacity, or the holding of ceremony outside the church or
beyond the territorial jurisdiction of the solemnizing officer,
1) Can Maria now get married legally to another are all irregularities which do not affect the validity of the
man under Philippine laws after her marriage to marriage.
Luis was annulled by the church matrimonial court?
Explain. Voidable Marriages (1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1996,
2) What must Maria do to enable her to get 1997, 1999, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009 BAR)
married lawfully to another man under Philippine
laws? 1993 BAR) Q: One of the grounds for annulment of marriage is that
either party, at the time of their marriage was
A: afflicted with a sexually-transmissible disease, found
to be serious and appears incurable. Two (2) years after
1) No, Maria cannot validly contract a subsequent marriage their marriage, which took place on 10 October 1988,
without a court declaration of nullity of the first Bethel discovered that her husband James has a
marriage. The law does not recognize the church sexually-transmissible disease which he contracted
declaration of nullity of a marriage. even prior to their marriage although James did not
2) To enable Maria to get married lawfully to another man, know it himself until he was examined two [2) years
she must obtain a judicial declaration of nullity of the later when a child was already born to them. Bethel
prior marriage under Article 36 Family Code. sues James for annulment of their marriage. James
opposes the annulment on the ground that he did not
Q: In 1985, Sonny and Lulu, both Filipino citizens, were even know that he had such a disease so that there was
married in the Philippines. In 1987, they separated, and no fraud or bad faith on his part.
Sonny went to Canada, where he obtained a divorce in Decide. (1991 BAR)
the same year. He then married another Filipina,
Auring, in Canada on January 1, 1988. They had two A: The marriage can be annulled, because good faith is not a
sons, James and John. In 1990, after failing to hear from defense when the ground is based upon sexually-
Sonny, Lulu married Tirso, by whom she had a transmissible disease on the part of either party.
daughter, Verna. In 1991, Sonny visited the Philippines
where he succumbed to heart attack. Explain the status Q: Suppose that both parties at the time of their
of the marriage between Lulu and Tirso. (2005 BAR) marriage were similarly afflicted with sexually-
transmissible diseases, serious and incurable, and
A: The marriage between Lulu and Tirso is void ab initio both knew of their respective infirmities, can Bethel
because Lulu is still validly married to Sonny. or James sue for annulment of their marriage? (1991
BAR)

19
CIVIL LAW
A: Yes, the marriage can still be annulled because the fact for 2 years. Marsha is now estopped from filing an
that both of them are afflicted with sexually-transmissible annulment case against John. (2007, 2010 BAR)
diseases does not efface or nullify the ground.
A: FALSE. Marsha is not estopped from filing an annulment
Q: Which of the following remedies, i.e., (a) declaration case against John on the ground of his impotence, because
of nullity of marriage, (b) annulment of marriage, (c) she learned of his impotence after the celebration of the
legal separation, and/or (d) separation of property, can marriage and not before. Physical incapacity to consummate
an aggrieved spouse avail himself/herself of: is a valid ground for the annulment of marriage if such
incapacity was existing at the time of the marriage, continues
i. If the wife discovers after the marriage that her and appears to be incurable. The marriage may be annulled
husband has AIDS. on this ground within five years from its celebration (Art. 45
ii. If the wife goes (to) abroad to work as a nurse and [5], Family Code).
refuses to come home after the expiration of her
three-year contract there. Q: Emmanuel and Margarita, American citizens and
iii. If the husband discovers after the marriage that his employees of the U.S. State Department, got married in
wife has been a prostitute before they got married. the African state of Kenya where sterility is a ground for
iv. If the husband has a serious affair with his annulment of marriage. Thereafter, the spouses were
secretary and refuses to stop notwithstanding assigned to the U.S. Embassy in Manila. On the first year
advice from relatives and friends. of the spouses’ tour of duty in the Philippines, Margarita
v. If the husband beats up his wife every time he filed an annulment case against Emmanuel before a
comes home drunk. (2003 BAR) Philippine court on the ground of her husband’s sterility
at the time of the celebration of the marriage.
A: Assume Emmanuel and Margarita are both Filipinos.
After their wedding in Kenya, they come back and take
i. Since AIDS is a serious and incurable sexually- up residence in the Philippines. Can their marriage be
transmissible disease, the wife may file an action for annulled n the ground of Emmanuel’s sterility? (2009
annulment of the marriage on this ground whether BAR)
such fact was concealed or not from the wife, provided
that the disease was present at the time of the marriage. A: No, the marriage cannot be annulled under the Philippine
The marriage is voidable even though the husband was law. Sterility is not a ground for annulment of marriage
not aware that he had the disease at the time of under Art. 45 of the FC.
marriage.
ii. If the wife refuses to come home for three (3) months Q: Yvette was found to be positive for HIV virus,
from the expiration of her contract, she is presumed to considered sexually transmissible, serious and
have abandoned the husband and he may file an action incurable. Her boyfriend Joseph was aware of her
for judicial separation of property. If the refusal condition and yet married her. After two (2) years of
continues for more than one year from the expiration of cohabiting with Yvette, and in his belief that she
her contract, the husband may file an action for legal would probably never be able to bear him a healthy
separation under Article 55(10) of the FC on the ground child, Joseph now wants to have his marriage with
of abandonment of petitioner by respondent without Yvette annulled. Yvette opposes the suit contending
justifiable cause for more than one year. The wife is that Joseph is estopped from seeking annulment of
deemed to have abandoned the husband when she their marriage since he knew even before their
leaves the conjugal dwelling without any intention of marriage that she was afflicted with HIV virus. Can the
returning (Art. 101, FC). The intention not to return action of Joseph for annulment of his marriage with
cannot be presumed during the three-year period of Yvette prosper? Discuss fully. (1995 BAR)
her contract.
iii. If the husband discovers after the marriage that his wife A: No, Joseph knew that Yvette was HIV positive at the time
was a prostitute before they got married, he has no of the marriage. He is, therefore, not an injured party. The
remedy. No misrepresentation or deceit as to FC gives the right to annul the marriage only to an injured
character, health, rank, fortune or chastity shall party [Art. 47 (5), FC].
constitute fraud as legal ground for an action for the
annulment of marriage (Art. 46, FC). Q: Bert and Baby were married to each other on
iv. The wife may file an action for legal separation. The December 23, 1988. Six months later, she discovered
husband’s sexual infidelity is a ground for legal that he was a drug addict. Efforts to have him
separation (Art. 55, FC). She may also file an action for rehabilitated were unsuccessful. Can baby as for
judicial separation of property for failure of her annulment of marriage, or legal separation? Explain
husband to comply with his marital duty of fidelity (Art. (1996 BAR)
135 (4), 101, FC).
v. The wife may file an action for legal separation on the A: No, Baby cannot ask for annulment of her marriage or for
ground of repeated physical violence on her person legal separation because both these actions had already
(Art. 55 (1), FC). She may also file an action for judicial prescribed.
separation of propertyfor failure of the husband to
comply with his marital duty of mutual respect [Art. 135 While concealment of dug addition existing at the time of
(4), 101, FC]. She may also file an action for declaration marriage constitutes fraud under Art. 46 of the FC which
of nullity of the marriage if the husband’s behavior makes the marriage voidable under Art. 45 of the FC, the
constitute psychological incapacity existing at the time action must, however, be brought within 5 years from the
of the celebration of marriage. discovery thereof under Art. 47(3), FC. Since the drug
addiction of Bert was discovered by Baby in June 1989, the
Q: True or False. action had already prescribed in June of 1994.

The day after John and Marsha got married, John told her Although drug addiction is a ground for legal separation
that he was impotent. Marsha continued to live with John under Art. 55(5) and Art. 57 of the FC requires that the

UST BAR OPERATIONS 20


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
action must be brought within 5 years from the occurrence the final judgment of the trial court, shall be delivered in
of the cause. Since Bert had been a drug addict from the time cash, property or sound securities, unless the parties, by
of the celebration of the marriage, the action for legal mutual agreement, judicially approved, had already
separation must have been brought not later than 23 provided for such matters.
December 1993. Hence, Baby cannot, now, bring the action
for legal separation. The guardian of their children, or the trustee of their
property, may ask for the enforcement of the judgment.
Q: Under what conditions, respectively, may drug
addiction be a ground, if at all: They delivery of the presumptive legitimes herein
prescribed shall in no way prejudice the ultimate
a. for a declaration of nullity of marriage successional rights of the children accruing upon the death
b. for an annulment of the marriage contract, and of either or both of the parents; but the value of the
c. for legal separation between the spouses? (1997, properties alredy received under the decree of annulment
2002 BAR) or absolute nullity shall be considered as advances on their
legitime.
A: Declaration of nullity of marriage:
Art. 52. The judgment of annulment or of absolute nullity of
a. The drug addiction must amount to psychological the marriage, the partition and distribution of the
incapacity to comply with the essential obligations of properties of the spouses, and the delivery of the children’s
marriage; presumptive legitimes shall be recorded in the appropriate
b. It must be antecedent (existing at the time of marriage), civil registry and registries of property; otherwise, the same
grave and incurable: shall not affect third persons.
c. The case must be filed before August 1, 1998. Because if
they got married before August 3, 1998, it must be filed Q: The marriage of H and W was annulled by the
before August 1, 1998. competent court. Upon finality of the judgment of
nullity, H began looking for his prospective second
Annulment of the Marriage Contract: mate. He fell in love with a sexy woman S who wanted
to be married as soon as possible i.e., after a few months
a. The drug addiction must be concealed; of courtship. As a young lawyer you were consulted by
b. It must exist at the time of marriage; H.
c. There should be no cohabitation with full knowledge of
the drug addiction; a) How soon can H be joined in lawful wedlock to his
d. The case is filed within five (5) years from discovery. girlfriend S? Under exisiting laws, are there certain
requisites that must be complied with befre he can
Legal Separation: remarry? What advice would you give H?
b) Suppose that children were born from the union of
a. There should be no condonation or consent to the drug H and W, what would be the status of said children?
addiction; Explain your answer.
b. The action must be filed within five (5) years from the c) If the subsequent marriage of H to S was contracted
occurrence of the cause. before compliance with the statutory condition for
c. Drug addiction arises during the marriage and not at the its validity, what are the rights of the children of the
time of marriage. first marriage (i.e., of H and W) and of the children
of the subsequent marriage (of H and S)? (1990
Q: B and G, age 20 and 19, respectively, and both single, BAR)
elped and got married to each other without parental
consent in the case of G, a teenaged student of exclusive A:
college for girls. Three years later, her parents wanted
to seek judicial annulment on that ground. You were a) H or either spouse for that matter, can marry again after
consulted and asked to prepare the proper complaint. complying with the provisions of Art. 52 of the Family
What advice would you give G’s parents? Explain your Code, namely, there must be a partition and
answer. (1990 BAR) distribution of the properties of the spouses, and the
delivery of the children’s presumptive legitimes, which
A: G himself should file the complaint under Art. 45 of the should be recorded in the appropriate civil registry and
Family Code, and no longer the parents, because G is already registries of property. H should be so advised.
22 years of age. b) The children born from the union of H and W would be
legitimate children if conceived or born before the
Compliance Requirements in Cases of Judgments of decree of annulment of the marriage (under Art. 45 of
Annulment or of Absolute Nullity of Marriage (1990, the Family Code) has become final and executory (Art.
1991, 1993, 2010 BAR) 54, Family Code).
c) The children of the first marriage shall be considered
Q: Is there any law which allows the delivery to legitimate children if conceived or born before the
compulsory heirs of their presumptive legitimes during judgment of annulment of the marriage of H and W has
the lifetime of their parents? If so, in what instances? become final and executory. Children conceived or born
of the subsequent marriage shall likewise be legitimate
A: Yes, under Arts. 51 and 52 of the New Family Code, in even if the marriage of H and S be null and void for
case of legal separation, annulment of marriage, declaration failure to comply with the requisites of Article 52 of the
of nullity of marriage and the automatic termination of a Family Code (Art. 53, Family Code)
subsequent marriage by the reappearance of the absent
spouse, the common or community property of the spouses As legitimate children, they have the following rights:
shall be dissolved and liquidated..
Art. 51. In said partition, the value of the presumptive
legitimes of all common children, computed as of the date of
21
CIVIL LAW
1) To bear the surnames of the father and the mother LEGAL SEPARATION (1994, 1996, 1997, 2002, 2003,
in conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code 2006, 2007, 2012 BAR)
on Surnames
2) To receive support from their parents, their Q: After they got married, Nikki discovered that
ascendants and in proper cases, their brothers and Christian was having an affair with another woman. But
sisters, in conformity with the provisions of this Nikki decided to give it a try and lived with him for two
Code on Support; and (2) years. After two (2) years, Nikki filed an action for
3) To be entitled to the legitime and other legal separation on the ground of Christian’s sexual
successional rights granted to them by the Civil infidelity. Will the action prosper? Explain. (2012 BAR)
Code (Art. 174, Family Code).
A: Nikki’s action will not prosper on account at
Q: The spouses Peter and Paula had three (3) children. condonation. Although the action for legal separation has
Paula later obtained a judgment of nullity of marriage. not yet prescribed, the prescriptive period being five years,
Their absolute community of property having been the decision of Nikki to live with Christian after discovering
dissolved, they delivered P1 million to each of their 3 his affair amounts to condonation of such act. However, if
children as their presumptive legitimes. Peter later re- such affair is still continuing, Nikki's action would prosper
married and had two (2) children by his second wife because the action will surely be within (5) years from the
Marie. Peter and Marie, having successfully engaged in commission of the latest act of sexual infidelity. Every act or
business, acquired real properties. Peter later died sexual liaison is a ground for legal separation.
intestate. Who are Peter’s legal heirs and how will his
estate be divided among them? (2010 BAR) Q: Rosa and Ariel were married in the Catholic Church
of Tarlac, Tarlac on January 5, 1988. In 1990, Ariel went
A: The legal heirs of Peter are his children by the first and to Saudi Arabia to work. There, after being converted
second marriages and his surviving second wife. into Islam, Ariel married Mystica. Rosa learned of the
second marriage of Ariel on January 1, 1992 when Ariel
Their shares in the estate of Peter will depend, however, on returned to the Philippines with Mystica. Rosa filed an
the cause of the nullity of the first marriage. If the nullity of action for legal separation on February 5, 1994.
the first marriage was psychological incapacity of one or
both spouses, the three children of that void marriage are 1) Does Rosa have legal grounds to ask for legal
legitimate and all of the legal heirs shall share the estate of separation?
Peter in equal shares. If the judgment of nullity was for 2) Has the action prescribed? (1994 BAR)
other causes, the three children are illegitimate and the
estate shall be distributed such that an illegitimate child of A:
the first marriage shall receive half of the share of a
legitimate child of the second marriage, and the second wife 1) a) Yes, the abandonment of Rosa by Ariel for more than
will inherit a share equal to that of a legitimate child. In no one (1) year is a ground for legal separation unless
case may the two legitimate children of the second marriage upon returning to the Philippines, Rosa agrees to
receive a share less than one-half of the estate which is their cohabit with Ariel which is allowed under the Muslim
legitime. When the estate is not sufficient to pay all the Code. In this case, there is condonation.
legitimes of the compulsory heirs, the legitime of the spouse b) Yes. The contracting of a subsequent bigamous
is preferred and the illegitimate children suffer the marriage whether in the Philippines or abroad is a
reduction. ground for legal separation under Art. 55(7) of the
Family Code. Whether the second marriage is valid or
Computation: not, Ariel having converted into Islam is immaterial.
2) No. Under Art. 57 of the Family Code, the aggrieved
(A) If the ground of nullity is psychological incapacity: spouse must file the action within five (5) years from
1/6 of the estate for the occurrence of the cause. The subsequent marriage
3 children by first marriage
each of Ariel could not have occurred earlier than 1990, the
2 children by second 1/6 of the estate for time he went to Saudi Arabia. Hence, Rosa has until
marriage each 1995 to bring the action under the Family Code.
Surviving second spouse 1/6 of the estate
Q: Saul, a married man, had an adulterous relation with
(B) If the ground of nullity is not psychological capacity: Tessie. In one of the trysts, Saul's wife, Cecile, caught
them in flagrante. Armed with a gun, Cecile shot
1⁄4 of the estate for each of Saul in a fit of extreme jealousy, nearly killing him.
2 legitimate children Four (4) years after the incident, Saul filed an action
second marriage
Surviving second for legal separation against Cecile on the ground that
1⁄4 of the estate she attempted to kill him.
spouse
3 illegitimate children 1/12 of estate for each of first
marriage 1) If you were Saul's counsel, how will you argue his
case?
NOTE: The legitime of an illegitimate child is supposed to 2) If you were the lawyer of Cecile, what will be your
be 1⁄2 the legitime of a legitimate child or 1/8 of the estate. defense?
But the estate will not be sufficient to pay the said legitime 3) If you were the judge, how will you decide the
of the 3 illegitimate children, because only 1⁄4 of the estate case? (2006 BAR)
is left after paying the legitime of the surviving spouse
which is preferred. A:

Hence, the remaining 1⁄4 of the estate shall be divided 1) As the counsel of Saul, I will argue that an attempt by
among the 3 illegitimate children. the wife against the life of the husband is one of the
grounds enumerated by the Family Code for legal
separation and there is no need for criminal

UST BAR OPERATIONS 22


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
conviction for the ground to be invoked (Art. 55, par. 9, 2. Yes, if Dorothy was jobless and did not contribute
FC). money to the acquisition of the lot, her consent is still a
2) If I were the lawyer of Cecile, I will interpose the prerequisite to the validity of the sale. Under the same
defense that the attempt on his life was without article, a party who did not participate in the
criminal intent but was impelled solely by passion and acquisition by the other party of any property shall be
obfuscation. This is the reason why under the Revised deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition
Penal Code, even killing him when caught in the act thereof if the former’s efforts consisted in the care and
would be justified. To be a ground for legal separation, maintenance of the family and the household. In this
the attempt must be intentional and wrongful. case, although the money used to buy the lot was solely
3) As judge, I will deny the petition. Petition for legal from Bernard, Dorothy’s care and maintenance of the
separation may be filed only by the aggrieved spouse. family and household are deemed contributions in the
Since Saul was unfaithful and was in fact caught in acquisition of the lot. Article 147, 2nd paragraph is
flagrante by his wife, he is not an “aggrieved” spouse applicable, as the lot is deemed owned in common by
entitled to the relief. He who comes to court must come the common-law spouses in equal shares as the same
with clean hands. And even assuming that the attempt was acquired during their cohabitation, without
on his life by the wife is a ground for legal separation, prejudice to the rights of a buyer in good faith and for
he is still not entitled to the relief because of his value.
infidelity. The law does not allow legal separation if
both parties have given ground for legal separation. Q: Marco and Gina were married in 1989. Ten years later,
or in 1999, Gina left Marco and lived with another man,
Q: True or False leaving their two children of school age with Marco.
If a man commits several acts of sexual infidelity, When Marco needed money for their children's
particularly in 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, the prescriptive education he sold a parcel of land registered in his name,
period to file for legal separation runs from 2002. (2007 without Gina's consent, which he purchased before his
BAR) marriage. Is the sale by Marco valid, void or voidable?
Explain with legal basis. (2015 BAR)
A: FALSE. The five-year prescriptive period for filing legal
separation runs from the occurrence of sexual infidelity A: The sale made by Marco is considered void. The parties
committed in 2002 runs from 2002, for the sexual infidelity were married in 1989 and no mention was made whether
committed in 2003, the prescriptive period runs from 2003 they executed a marriage settlement. In the absence of a
and so on. The action for legal separation for the last act of marriage settlement, the parties shall be governed by
sexual infidelity in 2005 will prescribe in 2010. absolute community of property whereby all the properties
owned by the spouses at the time of the celebration of the
PROPERTY RELATIONS OF THE SPOUSES (FAMILY marriage as well as whatever they may acquire during the
CODE) (1991, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002, marriage shall form part of the absolute community. In ACP,
2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2015, 2016 neither spouse can sell or encumber property belonging to
BAR) the ACP without the consent of the other. Any sale or
encumbrance made by one spouse without the consent of the
Q: Bernard and Dorothy lived together as common-law other shall be void although it is considered as a continuing
spouses although they are both capacitated to marry. offer on the part of the consenting spouse upon authority of
After one year of cohabitation, Dorothy went abroad to the court or written consent of the other spouse (Art. 96, FC).
work in Dubai as a hair stylist and regularly sent money
to Bernard. With the money, Bernard bought a lot. For Q: Jambrich, an Austrian, fell in-love and lived together
a good price, Bernard sold the lot. Dorothy came to with Descallar and bought their houses and lots at
know about the acquisition and sale of the lot and filed Agro-Macro Subdivision. In the Contracts to Sell,
a suit to nullify the sale because she did not give her Jambrich and Descallar were referred to as the buyers.
consent to the sale. When the Deed of Absolute Sale was presented for
registration before the Register of Deeds, it was refused
1. Will Dorothy's suit prosper? Decide with reasons. because Jambrich was an alien and could not acquire
2. Suppose Dorothy was jobless and did not alienable lands of the public domain. After Jambrich
contribute money to the acquisition of the lot and and Descallar separated, Jambrich purchased an engine
her efforts consisted mainly in the care and and some accessories for his boat from Borromeo. To
maintenance of the family and household, is her pay for his debt, he sold his rights and interests in the
consent to the sale a prerequisite to its validity? Agro-Macro properties to Borromeo. Borromeo
Explain. (2016 BAR) discovered that titles to the three (3) lots have been
transferred in the name of Descallar. Who is the rightful
A: owner of the properties? Explain. (2012 BAR)

1. Yes, Dorothy’s suit will prosper, unless the buyer is a A: It depends. On the assumption that the Family Code is the
buyer in good faith and for value. The rule of co- applicable law, the ownership of the properties depends on
ownership governs the property relationship in a union whether or not Jambrich and Descallar are capacitated to
without marriage between a man and a woman who are marry each other during their cohabitation, and whether or
capacitated to marry each other. Article 147 of the not both have contributed funds for the acquisition of the
Family Code is specifically applicable. Under this properties.
article, neither party can encumber or dispose by acts
inter vivos of his or her share in the property acquired If both of them were capacitated to marry each other, Art.
during cohabitation and owned in common, without the 147 will apply to their property relations and the properties
consent of the other, until after the termination of their in question are owned by them in equal shares even though
cohabitation, thus, Bernard may not validly dispose of all the funds used in acquiring the properties came only
the lot without the consent of Dorothy as the lot was from the salaries or wages or the income of Jambrich from
acquired through their work during their cohabitation. his business or profession. In such a case, while Jambrich is
disqualified to own any part of the properties, his
23
CIVIL LAW
subsequent transfer of all his interest therein to Borromeo, a) Rico and Cora are the co-owners of the rice land. The
a Filipino, was valid as it removed the disqualification. In Relations is that of co-ownership (Art. 147 par. 1, FC).
such case, the properties are owned by Borromeo and However, after Rico's marriage to Letty, the half interest
Descallar in equal shares. of Rico in the riceland will then become absolute
community property of Rico and Letty.
If, on the other hand, Jambrich and Descallar were not b) Rico is the exclusive owner of the coconut land. The
capacitated to marry each other, Article 153 governs their Relations is a sole/single proprietorship (Art. 148 par.
property relations. Under this regime, Jambrich and 1, FC, is applicable, and not Art. 147, FC). However, after
Descallar are owners of the properties but only if both of Rico's marriage to Letty, the coconut land of Rico will
them contributed in their acquisition. If all the funds used in then become absolute community property of Rico and
acquiring the properties in question came from Jambrich, Letty.
the entire property is his even though he is disqualified c) Rico and Letty are the co-owners. The relation is the
from owning it. His subsequent transfer to Borromeo, Absolute Community of Property (Arts. 75, 90 and 9l,
however, is valid as it removed the disqualification. In such FC).
case, all of the properties are owned by Borromeo. If, on the
other hand, Descallar contributed to their acquisition, the Q: On 10 September 1988 Kevin, a 26-year old
properties are co-owned by Descallar and Borromeo in businessman, married Karla, a winsome lass of 18.
proportion to the respective contributions of Descallar and Without the knowledge of their parents or legal
Jambrich.(Note: The facts of the problem are not exactly the guardians, Kevin and Karla entered into an antenuptial
same as in the case of Borromeo v. Descallar, G.R. No. 159310, contract the day beore their marriage stipulating that
February 24, 2009, hence, the difference in the resulting conjugal partnership of gains shall govern their
answer.) marriage. At the time of their marriage Kevin’s estate was
worth 50 Million while Karla’s was valued at 2 Million.
Q: Maria, wife of Pedro, withdrew P 5 Million from their
conjugal funds. With this money, she constructed a A month after their marriage Kevin died in a freak
building on a lot which she inherited from her father. Is helicopter accident. He left no will, no debts, no
the building conjugal or paraphernal? Reasons. (2012 obligations. Surviving Kevin, aside from Karla, are his
BAR) only relatives: his brother Luis and first cousin Lilia. What
property regime governed the marriage of Kevin and
A: It depends. If the value of the building is more than the Karla? Explain. (1995 BAR)
value of the land, the building is conjugal and the land
becomes conjugal property under Art. 120 of the FC. This is A: Since the marriage settlement was entered into without the
a case of reverse accession, where the building is consent and without the participation of the parents (they did
considered as the principal and the land, the accessory. If, not sign the document), the marriage settlement is invalid
on the other hand, the value of the land is more than the applying Art. 78, F.C. which provides that a minor who
value of the building, then the ordinary rule of accession according to law may contract marriage may also enter into
applies where the land is the principal and the building, the marriage settlements but they shall be valid only of the person
accessory. In such case, the land remains paraphernal who may give consent to the marriage are made parties to the
property and the building becomes paraphernal properly. agreement. (Karla was still a minor at the time the marriage
(Note: The rule on reverse accession is applicable only to the settlement was executed in September 1988 because the law,
regime of conjugal partnership of gains in both the Family RA 6809, reducing the age of majority to 18 years took effect
Code and the New Civil Code. The foregoing answer assumes on 18 December 1989). The marriage settlement being void,
that CPG is the regime of the property relations of the the property regime governing the marriage is, therefore,
spouses.) absolute community of property, under Art. 75 of the FC.

Q: In 1989, Rico, then a widower forty (40) years of Q: Tim came into possession of an old map showing
age, cohabited with Cora, a widow thirty (30) years of where a purported cache of gold bullion was hidden.
age. While living together, they acquired from their Without any authority from the government Tim
combined earnings a parcel of rice land. After Rico and conducted a relentless search and finally found the
Cora separated, Rico lived together with Mabel, a treasure buried in a new river bed formerly part of a
maiden sixteen (16) years of age. While living parcel of land owned by spouses Tirso and Tessie. The old
together, Rico was a salaried employee and Mabel river which used to cut through the land of Spouses
kept house for Rico and did full-time household chores Ursula and Urbito changed its course through natural
for him. During their cohabitation, a parcel of causes.
coconut land was acquired by Rico from his savings.
After living together for one (1) year, Rico and Mabel Suppose Tirso and Tessie were married on 2 August 1988
separated. Rico then met and married Letty, a single without executing any antenuptial agreement. One year
woman twenty-six (26) years of age. During the after their marriage, Tirso while supervising the clearing
marriage of Rico and Letty, Letty bought a mango of Tessie’s inherited land on the latter’s request,
orchard out of her own personal earnings. accidentally found the treasure not in the new river bed
but on the property of Tessie. To whom shall the treasure
a) Who would own the rice land, and what property belong? (1995 BAR)
relations govern the ownership? Explain.
b) Who would own the coconut land, and what A: Since Tirso and Tessie were married before the effectivity
property Relations governs the ownership? Explain. of the Family Code, their property relation is governed by
c) Who would own the mango orchard, and what conjugal partnership of gains. Under Art. 54 of the Civil Code,
property relation governs the ownership? Explain. the share of the hidden treasure which the law awards to the
(1992, 1997, 2000 BAR) finder or proprietor belongs to the conjugal partnership of
gains. The one-half share pertaining to Tessie as owner o the
A: land, and the one-half share pertaining to Tirso as finder of the
treasure, belong to the conjugal partnership of gains.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 24


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Q: Gabby and Mila got married at Lourdes Church in debts contracted by one spouse but only to the extent that
Quezon City on July 10, 1990. Prior thereto, they it benefited the family. Therefore, if the debts contracted
executed a marriage settlement whereby they agreed by Mila redounded to the benefit of the family, all the
on the regime of conjugal partnership of gains. The conjugal partnership properties are liable to pay them
marriage settlement was registered in the Register of but only to the extent the family was benefited. The
Deeds of Manila, where Mila is a resident. In 1992, they separate properties of Mila may be held answerable for
jointly acquired a residential house and lot, as well as a Mila’s debts and obligations that did not redound to the
condominium unit in Makati. In 1995, they decided to benefit of the family.
change their property relations to the regime of
complete separation of property. Mila consented, as she Q: Bar candidates Patricio Mahigugmaon and Rowena
was then engaged in a lucrative business. The spouses Amor decided to marry each other before the last day of
then signed a private document dissolving their the 1991 Bar Examinations. They agreed to execute a
conjugal partnership and agreeing on a complete Marriage Settlement. Rowena herself prepared the
separation of property. Thereafter, Gabby acquired a document in her own handwriting. They agreed on the
mansion in Baguio City, and a 5-hectare agricultural following: (1) a conjugal partnership of gains; (2) each
land in Oriental Mindoro, which he registered donates to the other fifty (50) percent of his/her present
exclusively in his name. In the year 2000, Mila's property; (3) Rowena shall administer the conjugal
business venture failed, and her creditors sued her partnership property; and (4) neither may bring an
for P10, 000, 000.00. After obtaining a favorable action for the annulment or declaration of nullity of their
judgment, the creditors sought to execute on the marriage. Both signed the agreement in the presence of
spouses' house and lot and condominium unit, as well two witnesses. They did not, however, acknowledge it
as Gabby's mansion and agricultural land. before a notary public.

a) Discuss the status of the first and the amended a) As to form, is the Marriage Settlement valid? May it be
marriage settlements. registered in the registry of property? If not, what
b) Discuss the effects of the said settlements on the steps must be taken to make it registrable?
properties acquired by the spouses. b) Are the stipulations valid?
c) What properties may be held answerable for c) If the Marriage Settlement is valid as to form and the
Mila's obligations? Explain. (2005 BAR) above stipulations are likewise valid, does it now
A: follow that said Marriage Settlement is valid and
enforceable? (1991 BAR)
a) 1) The first marriage settlement was valid because it was
in writing, signed by the parties and executed before the A:
celebration of the marriage
2) The subsequent afreement of the parties was void as a a) Yes, it is valid as to form because it is in writing. However,
modification of their marriage settlement. To be valid, the it cannot be registered in the registry of property because
modification must be executed before the celebration of it is not a public document. To make it registrable, it must
the marriage. The subsequent agreement of the parties be reformed and has to be notarized.
did not effect a dissolution of their conjugal partnership b) Stipulations 1 and 3 are valid because they are not
and a separation of their properties because it was not contrary to law. Stipulation 4 is void because it is contrary
approved by the court. To be valid, an agreement by the to law. Stipulation 2 is valid up to 1/5 of their respective
parties to dissolve their conjugal partnership and to present properties by void as to the excess (Art. 84,
separate their properties during the marriage has to be Family Code).
approved by the court. c) No, on September 15, 1991, the marriage settlement is
b) Since the marriage settlement was binding between the not yet valid and enforceable until the celebration of the
parties, conjugal partnership of gains was the regime of marriage, to take place before the last day of the 1991 Bar
their property relations. Under the rgime of conjugal Examinations.
partnership of gains, all properties acquired by the
spouses during the marriage, jointly or by either one of Q: May succession be conferred by contracts or acts inter
them, through their work or undusty are conjugal. vivos? (1991 BAR)
Therfore, the residential house and lot, and the
condominium unit are conjugal having been jointly A: Under Art. 84 of the Family Code amending Art. 130 of the
acquired by the couple during the marriage. Inasmuch as Civil Code, contractual succession is no longer possible since
the subsequent agreement on dissolution of the conjugal the law now requires that donations of future property be
partnership and separation of property was invalid, governed by the provisions on the testamentary succession
conjugal partnership subsisted between the parties. and formalities of wills.
Therefore, the mansion and the agricultural land are also
conjugal having been acquired by one of the spouses Q: Paulita left the conjugal home because of the excessive
during the marriage. drinking of her husband, Alberto. Paulita, out of her own
c) The marriage settlement cannot prejudice third parties, endeavor, was able to buy a parcel of land which she was
such as the creditors, because it was not registered with able to register under her name with the addendum
the local civil registrar where the marriage was recorded. “widow”. She also acquired stocks in a listed corporation
To bind third parties, the Family Code requires registered in her name. Paulita sold the parcel of land to
registration of the marriage settlement not only with the Rafael, who first examined the original of the transfer
proper registers of deeds but also with the local civil certificate of title.
registrar where the marriage was recorded. Hence, if the
rules on conjugal partnership will prejudice the creditors, 1) Has Alberto the right to share in the shares of stock
the rles on absolute community will be applied instead. acquired by Paulita?
However, insofar as debts contracted by one spouse 2) Can Alberto recover the land from Rafael? (1994
without the consent of the other are concerned, the rule BAR)
is the same for both conjugal partnership and absolute
community. The partnership or community is liable for A:
25
CIVIL LAW
a) How, under the law, should the bank deposit of P200,
1) a) Yes. The Family Code provides that all property 000.00, the house and lot valued at P500, 000.00 and
acquired during the marriage, whether the acquisition the car worth P100, 000.00 be allocated to them?
appears to have been made, contracted or registered in b) What would your answer be (to the above question)
the community property unless the contrary is proved. had Luis and Rizza been living together all the time,
b) Yes. The shares are presumed to be absolute i.e., since twenty years ago, under a valid marriage?
community property having been acquired during the (1997 BAR)
marriage despite the fact that those shares were
registered only in her name. Alberto’s right to claim his A:
share will only arise, however, at dissolution
c) The presumption is still that the shares of stock are a) Art. 147 of the Family Code provides in part that when a
owned in common. Hence, they will form part of the man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each
absolute community or the conjugal partnership other, live exclusively with each other as husband and
depending on what the property regime is. wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void
d) Since Paulita acquired the shares of stock by onerous marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by
title during the marriage, these are part of the conjugal or them through their work or industry shall be governed by
absolute community property as the case may be or after, the rules of co-ownership.
the effectivity of the Family Code. Her physical separation
from her husband did not dissolve the community of In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties
property. Hence, the husband has a right to share in the acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to
shares of stock. have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or
2) a) Under a community of property, whether absolute or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. A
relative, the disposition of property belonging to such party who did not participate in the acquisition by the
community is void if done by just one spouse without the other party of any property shall be deemed to have
consent of the other or authority of the proper court. contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the
However, the land was registered in the name of Paulita former’s efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of
as “widow”. Hence, the buyer has the right to rely upon the family and of the household.
what appears in the record of the Register of Deeds and
should, consequently, be protected. Alberto cannot Thus:
recover the land from Rafael but would have the right of
recourse against his wife. 1. The wages and salaries of Luis in the amount of P200,
b) The parcel of land is absolute community property 000.00 shall be divided equally between Luis and
having been acquired during the marriage and through Rizza.
Paulita’s industry despite the registration being only in 2. The house and lot valued at P500, 000.00 having
the name of Paulita. The land being community property, been acquired by both of them through work or
its sale to Rafael without the consent of Alberto is void. industry shall be divided between them in
However, since the land is registered in the name of proportion to their respective contribution in
Paulita as widow, there is nothing in the title which would consonance with the rules on co-ownership. Hence,
raise a suspicion for Rafael to make inquiry. He, therefore, Luis gets 2/5 while Rizza gets 3/5 of P500, 000.00.
is an innocent purchaser for value from whom the land 3. The car worth P100, 000.00 shall be exclusively
may no longer be recovered. owned by Rizza, the same having been donated to
c) The parcel of land is absolute community property her by her parents.
having been acquired during the marriage and through
Paulita’s industry despite registration only in the name of b) The property relations between Luis and Rizza, their
Paulita. The land being community property, its sale to marriage having been celebrated 20 years ago (under the
Rafael without the consent of Alberto is void. Civil Code) shall be governed by the conjugal partnership
of gains, under which the husband and wife place in a
Q: Luis and Rizza, both 26 years of age and single, live common fund the proceeds, products, fruits and income
exclusively with each other as husband and wife from their separate properties and those acquired by
without the benefit of marriage. Luis is gainfully either or both spouses through their efforts of by chance,
employed. Rizza is not employed, stays at home, and and upon dissolution of the marriage or of the
takes charge of the household. partnership, the net gains or benefits obtained by either
or both spouse shall be divided equally between them
After living together for a little over twenty years, Luis (Art. 142, Civil Code).
was able to save from his salary earnings during that
period the amout of P200, 000.00 presently deposited Thus:
in a bank. A house and lot worth P500, 000.00 used by
the common-law spouses to purchase the property, 1. The salary of Luis deposited in the bank in the
P200, 000.00 had come from the sale of palay harvested amount of P200, 000.00 and the house and lot valued
from the hacienda owned by Luis and P300, 000.00 at P500, 000.00 shall be divided equally between
from the rentals of a building belonging to Rizza. In fine, Luis and Rizza.
the sum of P500, 000.00 had been part of the fruits 2. However, the car worth P100, 000.00 donated to
received during the period of cohabitation from their Rizza by her parents shall be considered to her own
separate property. A car worth P100, 000.00, being paraphernal property, having been acquired by
used by the common-law spouses, was donated just luctrative title (par. 2, Art. 148, Civil Code).
months ago to Rizza by her parents.
Q: In 1970, Bob and Issa got married without
Luis and Rizza now decide to terminate their executing a marriage settlement. In 1975, Bob
cohabitation, and they ask you to give them your legal inherited from his father a residential lot upon which, in
advice on the following: 1981, he constructed a two-room bungalow with savings
from his own earnings. At that time, the lot was worth
P800, 000.00 while the house, when finished cost P600,

UST BAR OPERATIONS 26


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
000.00. In 1989 Bob died, survived only by his wife, Issa wife without the benefit of marriage although they were
and his mother, Sofia. Assuming that the relative capacitated to marry each other. Since Tony's salary was
values of both assets remained at the same more than enough for their needs, Susan stopped
proportion: working and merely "kept house". During that period,
Tony was able to buy a lot and house in a plush
1. State whether Sofia can rightfully claim that the subdivision. However, after five years, Tony and Susan
house and lot are not conjugal but exclusive decided to separate.
property of her deceased son.
2. Will your answer be the same if Bob died before a) Who will be entitled to the house and lot?
August 3, 1988? (1998 BAR) b) Would it make any difference if Tony could not
marry Susan because he was previously married to
A: Alice from whom he is legally separated? (2000 BAR)

1. Since Bob and Sofia got married in 1970, then the law A:
that governs is the New Civil Code, in which case, the
property relations that should be applied as regards the a) Tony and Susan are entitled to the house and lot as co-
property of the spouses is the system of relative owners in equal shares. Under Article 147 of the Family
community or conjugal partnership of gains (Art. 119). Code, when a man and a woman who are capacitated to
By conjugal partnership of gains, the husband and the marry each other lived exclusively with each other as
wife place in a common fund the fruits of their separate husband and wife, the property acquired during their
property and the income from their work or Industry cohabitation are presumed to have been obtained by
(Art. 142). In this instance, the lot inherited by Bob their joint efforts, work or industry and shall be owned
in 1975 is his own separate property, he having by them in equal shares. This is true even though the
acquired the same by lucrative title (Art. 148, par. 2). efforts of one of them consisted merely in his or her care
However, the house constructed from his own savings and maintenance of the family and of the household.
in 1981 during the subsistence of his marriage with b) Yes, it would make a difference. Under Article 148 of
Issa is conjugal property and not exclusive property in the Family Code, when the parties to the cohabitation
accordance with the principle of "reverse accession" could not marry each other because of an impediment,
provided for in Art. 158 of the Civil Code. only those properties acquired by both of them through
2. Yes, the answer would still be the same. Since Bob and their actual joint contribution of money, property, or
Issa contracted their marriage way back in 1970, then industry shall be owned by them in common in
the property relations that will govern is still the proportion to their respective contributions. The
relative community or conjugal partnership of gains efforts of one of the parties in maintaining the family
(Art.119). It will not matter if Bob died before or after and household are not considered adequate
August 3, 1988 (effectivity date of the Family Code], contribution in the acquisition of the properties. Since
what matters is the date when the marriage was Susan did not contribute to the acquisition of the house
contracted. As Bob and Issa contracted their marriage and lot, she has no share therein. If Tony cohabited with
way back in 1970, the property relation that governs Susan after his legal separation from Alice, the house
them is still the conjugal partnership of gains (Art. 158). and lot is his exclusive property. If he cohabited with
Q: Adam, a building contractor, was engaged by Blas to Susan before his legal separation from Alice, the house
construct a house on a lot which he (Blas) owns. While and lot belongs to his community or partnership with
digging on the lot in order to lay down the foudation of Alice.
the house, Adam hit a very hard object. It turned out to
be the vault of the old Banco de las Islas Filipinas. Using Q: In December 2000, Michael and Anna, after obtaining
a detonation device, Adam was able to open the vault a valid marriage license, went to the Office of the Mayor
containing old notes and coins which were in of Urbano, Bulacan, to get married. The Mayor was not
circulation during the Spanish era. While the notes and there, but the Mayor’s secretary asked Michael and
coins are no longer legal tender, they were valued at Anna and their witnesses to fill up and sign the required
P100 million because of their historical value and the marriage contract forms. The secretary then told them
coins silver nickel content. The following filed legal to wait, and went out to look for the Mayor who was
claims over the notes and coins: attending a wedding in a neighboring municipality.
When the secretary caught up with the Mayor at the
i. Adam, as finder; wedding reception, she showed him the marriage
ii. Blas, as owner of the property where they were contract forms and told him that the couple and their
found; witnesses were waiting in his office. The Mayor
iii. Bank of the Philippine Islands, as successor-in- forthwith signed all the copies of the marriage contract,
interest of the owner of the vault; and gave them to the secretary who returned to the Mayor’s
iv. The Philippine Government because of their office. She then gave copies of the marriage contract to
historical value. the parties, and told Michael and Anna that they were
already married. Thereafter, the couple lived together
Assuming that either or both Adam and Blas are as husband and wife, and had three sons. What governs
adjudged as owners, will the notes and coins be deemed the properties acquired by the couple? Explain. (2009
part of their absolute community or conjugal BAR)
partnership of gains with their respective spouses?
(2008 BAR) A: The marriage being void, the property relationship that
governed their union is special co-ownership under Article
A: Yes. The hidden treasure will be part of the absolute 147 of the Family Code. This is on the assumption that there
community or conjugal property of the respective was no impediment for them to validly marry each other.
marriages (Arts 91, 93 and 106, Family Code).
Q: G and B were married on July 3, 1989. On March 4,
Q: For five years since 1989, Tony, a bank vice-president, 2001, the marriage, which bore no offspring, was
and Susan, an entertainer, lived together as husband and declared void ab initio under Article 36 of the Family
27
CIVIL LAW
Code. At the time of the dissolution of the marriage, the After summing up their prospective shares, B and G are
couple possessed the following properties: undivided co-owners of the house and lot in equal
shares.
1. a house and lot acquired by B on August 3, 1988,
one third (1/3) of the purchase price (representing As to the apartment, it is owned exclusive by B because
downpayment) of which he paid; one third (1/3) he acquired it before their cohabitation. Even if he
was paid by G on February 14, 1990 out of a cash gift acquired it during their cohabitation, it will still be his
given to her by her parents on her graduation on exclusive property because it did not come from his
April 6, 1989; and the balance was paid out of the wage or salary, or from his work or industry. It was
spouses’ joint income; and acquired gratuitously from his uncle.
2. an apartment unit donated to B by an uncle on June
19, 1987. b. The answer is the same as in letter A. Since the parties
a. Who owns the foregoing properties? Explain. to the marriage which was later declared void ab initio
b. If G and B had married on July 3, 1987 and their were capacitated to marry each other, the applicable
marriage was dissolved in 2007, who owns the law under the New Civil Code was Article 144.This
properties? Explain. (2010 BAR) Article is substantially the same as Article 147 of the
Family Code.
A:
Hence, the determination of ownership will remain the
a. Since the marriage was declared void ab initio in 2001, same as in question A. And even assuming that the two
no absolute community or conjugal partnership was provisions are not the same, Article 147 of the Family
ever established between B and G. Their property Code is still the law that will govern the property
relation is governed by a “special co-ownership” under relations of B and G because under Article 256, the
Article 147 of the Family Code because they were Family Code has retroactive effect insofar as it does not
capacitated to marry each other. prejudice or impair vested or acquired rights under the
new Civil Code or other laws. Applying Article 147
Under Article 147, wages and salaries of the “former retroactively to the case of G and B will not impair any
spouses” earned during their cohabitation shall be vested right. Until the declaration of nullity of the
owned by them in equal shares while properties marriage under the Family Code, B and G have not as
acquired thru their work for industry shall be owned by yet acquired any vested right over the properties
them in proportion to their respective contributions. acquired during their cohabitation.
Care and maintenance of the family is recognized as a
valuable contribution. In the absence of proof as to the Q: In 1997, B and G started living together without the
value of their respective contributions, they shall share benefit of marriage. The relationship produced one
equally. offspring, Venus. The couple acquired a residential lot in
Parañaque. After four (4) years or in 2001, G having
If ownership of the house and lot was acquired by B on completed her 4-year college degree as a fulltime
August 3, 1988 at the time he bought it on installment student, she and B contracted marriage without a
before he got married, he shall remain owner of the license.
house and lot but he must reimburse G for all the
amounts she advanced to pay the purchase price and The marriage of B and G was, two years later, declared
for one-half share in the last payment from their joint null and void due to the absence of a marriage license. If
income. In such case, the house and lot were not you were the judge who declared the nullity of the
acquired during their cohabitation, hence, are not co- marriage, to whom would you award the lot? Explain
owned by B and G. briefly. (2010 BAR)

But if the ownership of the house and lot was acquired A: Since the marriage was null and void, no Absolute
during the cohabitation, the house and lot will be Community or Conjugal Partnership was established
owned as follows: between B and G. Their properties are governed by the
“special co-ownership” provision of Article 147 of the Family
i. 1/3 of the house and lot is owned by B. He is an Code because both B and G were capacitated to marry each
undivided co-owner to that extent for his other. The said Article provides that when a man and a
contributions in its acquisition in the form of the woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live
down payment he made before the celebration of exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the
the marriage. The money he used to pay the down benefit of marriage, or under a void marriage: (1) their wages
payment was not earned during the cohabitation, and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares; and (2)
hence, it is his exclusive property. property acquired by both of them through their work or
ii. 1/3 of the house and lot is owned by G. She is an industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. In
undivided co-owner to the extent for her co-ownership, the parties are co-owners if they contributed
contribution in its acquisition when she paid 1/3 something of value in the acquisition of the property. Their
of the purchase price using the gift from her share is in proportion to their respective contributions. In an
parents. Although the gift was acquired by G ordinary co-ownership the care and maintenance of the
during her cohabitation with B, it is her exclusive family is not recognized as a valuable contribution for the
property. It did not consist of wage or salary or acquisition of a property. In the Article 147 “special co-
fruit of her work or industry. ownership”, however, care and maintenance is recognized as
iii. 1/3 of the house is co-owned by B and G because a valuable contribution which will entitle the contributor to
the payment came from their co-owned funds, i.e., half of the property acquired.
their joint income during their cohabitation which
is shared by them equally in the absence of any Having been acquired during their cohabitation, the
proof to the contrary. residential lot is presumed acquired through their joint work
and industry under Art. 147, hence B and G are co-owners of
the said property in equal shares.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 28


QUAMTO (1987-2016)

Art. 147 also provides that when a party to the void marriage PATERNITY AND FILIATION (1990, 1995, 1999, 2003,
was in bad faith, he forfeits his share in the co-ownership in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010 BAR)
favor of the common children or descendants. In default of
children or descendants, the forfeited share shall belong to Q: Ed and Beth have been married for 20 years without
the innocent party. In the foregoing problem, there is no children. Desirous to have a baby, they consulted Dr.
showing that one party was in bad faith. Hence, both shall be Jun Canlas, a, prominent medical specialist on human
presumed in good faith and no forfeiture shall take place. fertility. He advised Beth to undergo artificial
insemination. It was found that Ed’s sperm count was
Q: In June 1985, James married Mary. In September 1988, inadequate to induce pregnancy. Hence, the couple
he also married Ophelia with whom he begot two (2) looked for a willing donor. Andy the brother of Ed,
children, A and B. In July 1989, Mary died. In July 1990, he readily consented to donate his sperm. After a series
married Shirley and abandoned Ophelia. During their of test, Andy's sperm was medically introduced into
union, James and Ophelia acquired a residential lot worth Beth's ovary. She became pregnant and 9 months later,
P300, 000.00. gave birth to a baby boy, named Alvin.

Ophelia sues James for bigamy and prays that his 1. Who is the Father of Alvin? Explain.
marriage with Shirley be declared null and void. James, 2. What are the requirements, if any, in order for Ed to
on the other hand, claims that since his marriage to establish his paternity over Alvin?
Ophelia was contracted during the existence of his
marriage with Mary, the former is not binding upon him, A:
the same being void ab initio; he further claims that his
marriage to Shirley is valid and binding as he was already 1. Ed is the father of Alvin because Alvin was conceived and
legally capacitated at the time he married her. What born during the marriage of his mother to Ed. Under the
property regime governed the union of James and law, the child born during the marriage of the mother to
Ophelia? (1991 BAR) her husband is presumed to be the legitimate child of the
husband (Concepcion v. Almonte, 468 SCRA 438 [2005]).
A: The provisions of Art. 148 of the Family Code shall govern: While it is true that there was no written consent by the
husband to the artificial insemination, absence of such
Art. 148. In cases of cohabitation not falling under the consent may only give the husband a ground to impugn
preceding Article, only the properties acquired by both of the the legitimacy of the child but will not prevent the child
parties through their actual joint contribution of money from acquiring the status of legitimate child of the
property, or industry shall be owned by them in common in husband at the time of its birth.
proportion to their respective contributions. In the absence 2. To establish Ed’s paternity over Alvin, only two
of proof to the contrary, their contributions and requirements must concur: (1) the fact that Ed and the
corresponding shares are presumed to be equal. The same mother of Alvin are validly married, and (2) the fact that
rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of money Alvin was conceived or born during the subsistence of
and evidences of credit. such marriage.

Q: In 1973, Mauricio, a Filipino pensioner of the U.S. Q: Roderick and Faye were high school sweethearts.
Government, contracted a bigamous marriage with When Roderick was 18 and Faye, 16 years old, they
Erlinda, despite the fact that his first wife, Carol, was still started to live together as husband and wife without the
living. In 1975, Mauricio and Erlinda jointly bought a benefit of marriage. When Faye reached 18 years of age,
parcel of rice land, with the title being placed jointly in her parents forcibly took her back and arranged for her
their names. Shortly thereafter, they purchased another marriage to Brad. Although Faye lived with Brad after
property (a house and lot) which was placed in her name the marriage, Roderick continued to regularly visit
alone as the buyer. In 1981, Mauricio died and Carol Faye while Brad was away at work. During their
promptly filed an action against Erlinda to recover both marriage, Faye gave birth to a baby girl, Laica. When
the Riceland and the house and lot, claiming them to be Faye was 25 years old, Brad discovered her continued
conjugal property of the first marriage. Erlinda contends liaison with Roderick and in one of their heated
that she and the late Mauricio were co-owners of the arguments, Faye shot Brad to death. She lost no time in
Riceland; and with respect to the house and lot, she marrying her true love Roderick, without a marriage
claims she is the exclusive owner. Assuming she fails to license, claiming that they have been continuously
prove that she had actually used her own money in cohabiting for more than 5 years.
either purchase, how do you decide the case?
a) What is the filiation status of Laica?
A: Under Art. 148 of the Family Code, which applies to b) Can Laica bring an action to impugn her own status
bigamous marriages, only the properties through their actual on the ground that based on DNA results, Roderick
joint contribution of money, property or industry shall be is her biological father?
owned by them in common in proportion to their respective c) Can Laica be legitimated by the marriage of her
contributions. Moreover, if one of the parties is validly biological parents? (2008 BAR)
married to another, his share in the co-ownership shall
accrue to the absolute community/conjugal partnership A:
existing in such valid marriage.
a) Having been born during the marriage of Faye and Brad,
Thus, in this case, since Erlinda failed to prove that she used she is presumed to be the legitimate child of Faye and
her own money to buy the Riceland and house and lot, she Brad. This presumption had become conclusive because
cannot claim to be the co-owner of the Riceland nor the the period of time to impugn her filiation had already
exclusive owner of the house and lot. Such properties are prescribed.
Mauricio’s. And since his share accrues to the conjugal b) No, she cannot impugn her own filiation. The law does
partnership with Carol, Carol can validly claim such not allow a child to impugn his or her own filiation. In the
properties to the exclusion of Erlinda (Art. 144, Civil Code) problem, Laica’s legitimate filiation was accorded to her
29
CIVIL LAW
by operation of law which may be impugned only by Parañaque. After four (4) years or in 2001, G having
Brad, or his heirs in the cases provided by law within the completed her 4-year college degree as a fulltime
prescriptive period. student, she and B contracted marriage without a
c) No, she cannot be legitimated by the marriage of her license.
biological parents. In the first place she is not, under the The marriage of B and G was, two years later, declared
law, the child of Roderick, in the second place, her null and void due to the absence of a marriage license. Is
biological parents could not have validly married each Venus legitimate, illegitimate, or legitimated? Explain
other at the time she was conceived and born simply briefly. (2010 BAR)
because Faye was still married to Roderick at that time.
Under Article 177 of the Family Code, only children A: Venus is illegitimate. She was conceived and born outside
conceived or born outside of wedlock of parents who, at a valid marriage. Thus, she is considered illegitimate (Art 165,
the time of the conception of the child were not FC). While Venus was legitimated by the subsequent
disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, marriage of her parents, such legitimation was rendered
may be legitimated. ineffective when the said marriage was later on declared null
and void due to absence of a marriage license.
Q: Spouses B and G begot two offsprings. Albeit they had
serious personality differences, the spouses continued Under Article 178 of the Family Code, “legitimation shall take
to live under one roof. B begot a son by another woman. place by a subsequent valid marriage between parents. The
G also begot a daughter by another man. annulment of a voidable marriage shall not affect the
legitimation.” The inclusion of the underscored portion in the
A. If G gives the surname of B to her daughter by Article necessarily implies that the Article's application is
another man, what can B do to protect their limited to voidable marriages. It follows that when the
legitimate children's interests? Explain. subsequent marriage is null or void, the legitimation must
B. If B acquiesces to the use of his surname by G’s also be null and void. In the present problem, the marriage
daughter by another man, what is/are the between B and G was not voidable but void. Hence, Venus has
consequence/s? Explain. (2010 BAR) remained an illegitimate child.

A: Q: Abraham died intestate on 7 January 1994 survived


by his son Braulio. Abraham's older son Carlos died on
A. B can impugn the status of G's daughter by another man 14 February 1990. Danilo who claims to be an
as his legitimate daughter on the ground that for adulterous child of Carlos intervenes in the
biological reason he could not have been the father of the proceedings for the settlement of the estate of Abraham
child, a fact that may be proven by the DNA test. Having in representation of Carlos. Danilo was legally adopted
been born during the marriage between B and G, G's on 17 March 1970 by Carlos with the consent of the
daughter by another man is presumed as the child of B "latter's wife.”
under Article 164 of the Family Code. In the same action
to impugn, B can pray for the correction of the status of 1. Under the Family Code, how may an illegitimate
the said daughter in her record of birth. filiation be proved? Explain.
B. If B acquiesces and does not file the action to impugn the 2. As lawyer for Danilo, do you have to prove Danilo’s
legitimacy of the child within the prescriptive period for illegitimate filiation? Explain. (1995, 1999 BAR)
doing so under Article 170 of the Family Code, G's
daughter by another man shall be conclusively A:
presumed as the legitimate daughter of B by G.
1. Under Art. 172 in relation to Art. 173 and Art. 175 of the
Q: In 1985, Sonny and Lulu, both Filipino citizens, were FC, the filiation of illegitimate children may be
married in the Philippines. In 1987, they separated, and established in the same way and by the same
Sonny went to Canada, where he obtained a divorce in evidence as legitimate children. Art. 172 provides
the same year. He then married another Filipina, that the filiation of legitimate children isestablished by
Auring, in Canada on January 1, 1988. They had two any of the following: (1)the record of birth appearing
sons, James and John. In 1990, after failing to hear from in the civil register or a final Judgment; or (2) an
Sonny, Lulu married Tirso, by whom she had a admission of legitimate filiation in a public document
daughter, Verna. In 1991, Sonny visited the Philippines or a private handwritten instrument and signedby
where he succumbed to heart attack. Explain the theparent concerned. In the absence of the foregoing
respective filiation of James, John and Verna. (2005 BAR) evidence, the legitimate filiation shall be proved by: (1)
the open and continuous possession of the status of a
A: James and John are the illegitimate children of Sonny and legitimate child; or (2) any other means allowed by
Auring because they were conceived and born outside a valid the Rules of Court and special laws.
marriage. Verna is an illegitimate child of Lulu and Tirso 2. No. Since Danilo has already been adopted by Carlos, he
having been conceived and born to the invalid marriage of ceased to be an illegitimate child. An adopted child
Lulu and Tirso. Verna cannot be presumed as the legitimate acquires all the rights of a legitimate child under Art,
child of Sonny because of the supervening marriage that was 189 of the FC.
celebrated between Lulu and Tirso even though such
marriage is void ab initio. The case of Liyao v. Liyao is not Q: Nestor is the illegitimate son of Dr. Perez. When Dr.
applicable because in that case the wife begot a child by Perez died, Nestor intervened in the settlement of his
another man during her marriage to her estranged husband father's estate, claiming that he is the illegitimate son of
but no marriage was celebrated between the wife the father said deceased, but the legitimate family of Dr. Perez is
of the child. The child in that case was presumed to be the denying Nestor's claim. What evidence or evidences
legitimate child of the estranged husband. should Nestor present so that he may receive his rightful
share in his father's estate? (1999 BAR)
Q: In 1997, B and G started living together without the
benefit of marriage. The relationship produced one A: To be able to inherit, the illegitimate filiation of Nestor must
offspring, Venus. The couple acquired a residential lot in have been admitted by his father in any of the following:

UST BAR OPERATIONS 30


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
1) to bear the surnames of the father and the mother, in
1. the record of birth appearing in the civil register, conformity with the provisions of the Civil Code on
2. a final judgment, Surnames;
3. a public document signed by the father, or 2) to receive support frm their parents, their ascendants,
4. a private handwritten document signed by the latter (Art. and in proper cases, their brothers and sisters, in
175 in relation to Art. 172, FC). conformity with the provisions of the Family Code on
Support; and
Q: Two (2) months after the death of her husband who 3) to be entitled to the legitime and other successional
was shot by unknown criminal elements on his way rights granted to them by the Civil Code. (Art. 174,
home from office, Rose married her childhood Family Code). E is the legitimated child of B and G.
boyfriend, and seven (7) months after said marriage, Under Art. 177 of the Family Code, only children
she delivered a baby. In the absence of any evidence conceived and born outside of wedlock of parents who,
from Rose as to who is her child's father, what status at the time of the conception of the former, were not
does the law give to said child? Explain. (1999 BAR) disqualified by any impediment to marry each other
may be legitimated. E will have the same rights as X and
A: The child is legitimate of the second marriage under Y. F is the illegitimate child of B and G. F has the right to
Article 168(2) of the Family Code which provides that a use the surname of G, her mother, and is entitled to
"child born after one hundred eighty days following the support as well as the legitime consisting of ½ of that of
celebration of the subsequent marriage is considered to each of X, Y and E. (Art. 176, Family Code)
have been conceived during such marriage, even though it
be born within three hundred days after the termination of Q: Steve was married to Linda, with whom he had a
the former marriage." daughter, Tintin. Steve fathered a son with Dina, his
secretary of 20 years, whom Dina named Joey, born
Q: Gigolo entered into an agreement with Majorette for on September 20, 1981. Joey's birth certificate did
her to carry in her womb his baby via in vitro not indicate the father's name. Steve died on August
fertilization. Gigolo undertook to underwrite 13, 1993, while Linda died on December 3, 1993,
Majorette’s pre-natal expenses as well as those leaving their legitimate daughter, Tintin, as sole heir. On
attendant to her delivery. Gigolo would thereafter pay May 16, 1994, Dina filed a case on behalf of Joey, praying
Majorette P2 million and, in return, she would give that the latter be declared an acknowledged
custody of the baby to him. illegitimate son of Steve and that Joey be given his share
in Steve's estate, which is now being solely held by
After Majorette gives birth and delivers the baby to Tintin. Tintin put up the defense that an action for
Gigolo following her receipt of P2 million, she engages recognition shall only be filed during the lifetime of the
your services as her lawyer to regain custody of the presumed parents and that the exceptions under
baby. Is the child entitled to support and inheritance Article 285 of the Civil Code do not apply to him since
from Gigolo? Explain. (2010 BAR) the said article has been repealed by the Family Code.
In any case, according to Tintin, Joey's birth certificate
A: If Gigolo voluntarily recognized the child as his illegitimate does not show that Steve is his father.
child in accordance with Article 175 in relation to Article 172
of the Family Code, the child is entitled to support and a) Does Joey have a cause of action against Tintin for
inheritance from Gigolo. recognition and partition? Explain.
b) Are the defences set up by Tintin tenable?
Q: B and G (college students, both single and not c) Supposing that Joey died during the pendency of the
disqualified to marry each other) had a romantic affair. action, should the action be dismissed? Explain.
G was seven months in the family way as of the (2005 BAR)
graduation of B. Right after graduation B went home to
Cebu City. Unknown to G, B had a commitment to C (his A:
childhood sweetheart) to marry her after getting his a) Yes, Joey have a cause of action against Tintin. While the
college degree. Two weeks after B’s marriage in Cebu Family Code has repealed the provisions of the New Civil
City, G gave birth to a son E in Metro Manila. Code on proof of filiation, said repeal did not impair
vested rights. Joey was born an illegitimate child in 1981.
After 10 years of married life in Cebu, B became a As an illegitimate child, he had acquired, at birth, the
widower by the sudden death of C in a plane crash. Out of right to prove his filiation in accordance with the
the union of B and C, two children, X and Y, were born. provisions of the New Civil Code in force at that time.
Unknown to C, while on weekend trips to Manila during Under the New Civil Code, an illegitimate echild may file
the last 5 years of their marriage, B invariably visited G an action to compel his recognition even after the death
and lived at her residence and as a result of which, they of the putative father when the father died during the
renewed their relationship. A baby girl F was born to B minority of the child. While the Family Code has repealed
and G two years before the death of C. Bringing his family this provision, it will not operate to prejudice Joey who
later to Manila, B finally married G. Recently, G died. has already acquired a vested right thereto.
b) The defenses of Tintin are not tenable. The fact that
What are the rights of B’s four children: X and Y of his Joey’s birth certificate does not show that Steve was his
first marriage; and E and F, his children with G? Explain father is of no moment. The law does not require such
your answer. mention. Besides, the New Civil Code provides that when
the father did not sign the birth certificate, his name
A: Under the facts stated, X and Y are legitimate children of B should not be disclosed therein. While it is true that
and G. E is the legitimate children of B and G. E is the capacity to inherit is determined at the time of the death
legitimated child of B and G. F is the illegitimate child of B and of the decedent and that filiation is an element of
C as legitimate children of B and C, X and Y have the following capacity to inherit, filiation is determined not at the time
rights: of the death of the decedent but at the time of the birth
of the child who is born with a status. Such status may
subsequently change such as in legitimation, but
31
CIVIL LAW
legitimation is deemed to retroact to the time of birth. In
the same manner, recognition when given voluntarily by b) No, because Rodolfo has no parental authority over Rona.
the father, or decreed by the court, retroacts to the time He who has the parental authority has the right to
of the child’s birth. custody. Under the Family Code, the mother alone has
c) If Joey filed the action and died when the New Civil Code parental authority over the illegitimate child. This is true
was still in force, his action would be dismissed because even if the illegitimate father has recognized the child and
the action was not transmissible to the heris of the even though he is giving support for the child. To acquire
illegitimate child (Conde v. Abaya, 13 Phil. 249 [1909]). custody over Rona, Rodolfo should first deprive Nanette
But if the action was filed after effectivity of the Family of parental authority if there is a ground under the law,
Code, and Joey died during the pendency of the action for and in a proper court proceeding. In the same action, the
recognition, it should not be dismissed. Under the court may award custody of Rona to Rodolfo if it is for her
present Family Code, an action commenced by a best interest.
legitimate child to claim his legitimate filiation is not
extinguished by his death. The Family Code makes this Q: RN and DM, without any impediment to marry each
provision applicable to the action for recognition filed by other, had been living together without benefit of
an illegitimate child. Joey has the right to invoke this church blessings. Their common-law union resulted in
provision because it does not impair any vested rights. the birth of ZMN. Two years later, they got married in
(Art. 175, Family Code) a civil ceremony. Could ZMN be legitimated? Reason.
(2004 BAR)
Q: May an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her
natural father, use the surname of her natural mother as A: ZMN was legitimated by the subsequent marriage of RN
the middle name? (2006 BAR) and DM because at the time he was conceived, RN and DM
A: Yes, an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural could have validly married each other. Under the Family
father, can use the surname of her natural mother as her Code children conceived and born outside of wedlock of
middle name. The Court has ruled that there is no law parents who, at the time of the former's conception, were
prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted by her natural father not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other are
to use, as middle name, her mother's surname. What is not legitimated by the subsequent marriage of the parents.
prohibited is allowed. After all, the use of the maternal name
as the middle name is in accord with Filipino culture and Q: Gianna was born to Andy and Aimee, who at the time
customs and adoption is intended for the benefit of the Gianna's birth were not married to each other. While
adopted (In re: Adoption of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia, Andy was single at the time, Aimee was still in the
G.R. No. 148311, March 31, 2005). process of securing a judicial declaration of nullity on
her marriage to her ex-husband. Gianna's birth
Q: Rodolfo, married to Sharon, had an illicit affair with his certificate, which was signed by both Andy and Aimee,
secretary, Nanette, a 19-year old girl, and begot a baby registered the status of Gianna as "legitimate", her
girl, Rona. Nanette sued Rodolfo for damages: actual, for surname carrying that of Andy's and that her parents
hospital and other medical expenses in delivering the were married to each other.
child by caesarean section; moral, claiming that Rodolfo
promised to marry her, representing that he was single Assuming that Aimee is successful in declaring her
when, in fact, he was not; and exemplary, to teach a lesson former marriage void, and Andy and Aimee
to like-minded Lotharios. subsequently married each other, would Gianna be
legitimated? (2008 BAR)
a) Suppose Rodolfo later on acknowledges Rona and
gives her regular support, can he compel her to use A: No, Gianna will not be legitimated. While the court may
his surname? Why or why not? have declared the marriage void ab initio and therefore, no
b) When Rona reaches seven (7) years old, she tells marriage took place in the eyes of the law, Gianna will still not
Rodolfo that she prefers to live with him, because he be legitimated. This is because at the time she was conceived
is better off financially than Nanette. If Rodolfo files and born her biological parents could not have validly
and action for the custody of Rona, alleging that he is married each other. For their marriage to be valid, the court
Rona’s choice as custodial parent, will the court must first declare the first marriage null and void. In the
grant Rodolfo’s petition? Why or why not? problem, Gianna was conceived and born before the court has
decreed the nullity of her mother’s previous marriage.
A:
Q: True or False
a) No. He has no right to compel Rona to use his surname.
The law does not give him the right simply because he A dead child can be legitimated (2009 BAR)
gave her support (RA 9255).
A: A: TRUE. To be legitimated, the law does not require a
Under the Family Code, an illegitimate child was required child to be alive at the same time of the marriage of his her
to use only the surname of the mother. Under RA 9255 parents (Art. 177, FC). Furthermore, Art. 181 of the Family
(An Act Allowing Illegitimate Children To Use The Surname Code which states that “The legitimation of children who died
Of Their Father, Amending For The Purpose Article 176 Of before the celebration of marriage will benefit their
Executive Order No. 209, Otherwise Known As The "Family descendants,” does not preclude instances where such
Code Of The Philippines"), otherwise known as the Revilla legitimation will benefit no one but the child's ascendants, or
law, however, the illegitimate child is given the option to other relatives.
use the surname of the illegitimate father when the latter
has recognized the former in accordance with law. Since ADOPTION
the choice belongs to the illegitimate child, Rodolfo
cannotcompel Rona, if already of age, to use the surname A. Domestic Adoption Act of 1998 (1994, 1995, 1996,
against her will. If Rona is still a minor, to use the surname 2000, 2001, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,
of Rodolfo will require the consent of Rona's mother who 2010, 2012, 2014 BAR)
has sole parental authority over her.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 32


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Q: Spouses Esteban and Maria decided to raise their two petition and ruled that Monina should have filed the
(2) nieces, Faith and Hope, both minors, as their own petition jointly with her new husband. Monina, in a
children after the parents of the minors died in a Motion for Reconsideration argues that mere consent
vehicular accident. of her husband would suffice and that joint adoption is
not needed, for the adoptees are already emancipated.
Ten (10) years after, Esteban died. Maria later on Is the trial court correct in dismissing the petitions for
married her boss Daniel, a British national who had adoption? Explain. (2012 BAR)
been living in the Philippines for two (2) years.
A: Yes, the trial court was correct. At the time the positions
With the permission of Daniel, Maria filed a petition for for adoptions were filed, petitioner had already remarried.
the adoption of Faith and Hope. She did not include Under the law, husband and wife shall adopt jointly, except
Daniel as her co-petitioner because for Maria, it was her in cases enumerated in the law. The adoption cases of
former husband Esteban who raised the kids. Michelle and James do not fall in any of the exceptions
provided in the law where a spouse is permitted to adopt
If you are the judge, how will you resolve the petition? alone. Hence, Monina should adopt jointly with her husband
(2014 BAR) Angel (Adoption of Michelle P. Lim, G.R. Nos. 168992-93, May
21, 2009).
A: I will dismiss the petition for adoption. The rule is that
the husband and wife must jointly adopt and there are only Q: In 1975, Carol begot a daughter Bing, out of wedlock.
three recognized exceptions to joint adoption by the When Bing was ten years old, Carol gave her consent for
husband and wife: 1) if one spouse seeks to adopt the Bing’s legal adoption by Norma and Manuel, which was
legitimate child of the other; 2) if one spouse seeks to adopt granted by the court in 1990. In 1991, Carol learned that
his or her own illegitimate child; 3) if the spouses are legally Norma and Manuel were engaged in a call-girl-ring that
separated. The case of Maria and Daniel does not appear to catered to tourists. Some of the girls lived with Norma
fall under any of the recognized exceptions, accordingly the and Manuel. Carol got Bing back, who in the first place
petition filed by the wife alone should be dismissed. wanted to return to her natural mother.

Q: Honorato filed a petition to adopt his minor 1) Who has a better right to the custody of Bing, Carol
illegitimate child Stephanie, alleging that Stephanie’s or Norma?
mother is Gemma Astorga Garcia; that Stephanie has 2) Aside from taking physical custody of Bing, what
been using her mother’s middle name and surname; legal actions can Carol take to protect Bing?
and that he is now a widower and qualified to be her
adopting parent. He prayed that Stephanie’s middle A:
name be changed from "Astorga" to "Garcia," which is
her mother’s surname and that her surname "Garcia" 1) The natural mother, Carol should have the better right in
be changed to "Catindig," which is his surname. This the light of the principle that the child’s welfare is the
trial court denied. Was the trial court correct in denying paramount consideration in custody rights. Obviously,
Hororato’s request for Stephanie’s use of her mother’s Bing’s continued stay in her adopting parents’ house
surname as her middle name? Explain. (1996, 2012 where interaction with the call girls is inevitable, would
BAR) be detrimental to her moral and spiritual development.
This could be the reason for Bing’s expressed desire to
A: No, the trial court was not correct. There is no law return to her natural mother. It should be noted,
prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted by his natural however, that Bing is no longer a minor, being 19 years
father to use as middle name his mother's surname. The law of age now. It is doubtful that a court can still resolve the
is silent as to what middle name an adoptee may use. In the question of custody over one who is sui juris and not
case of In re: Adoption of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia otherwise incapacitated.
(G.R. No, 148311, March 31, 2005), the Supreme Court ruled 2) Carol may file an action to deprive Norma of parental
that the adopted child may use the surname of the natural authority under Art. 231 of the Family Code. Or file an
mother as his middle name because there is no prohibition action for the rescission of the adoption under Article
in the law against it. Moreover, it will also be for the benefit 191 in relation to Art. 231 (2) of the Family Code.
of the adopted child who shall preserve his lineage on his
mother’s side and reinforce his right to inherit from his Q: Sometime in 1990, Sarah, born a Filipino but by then
mother and her family. Lastly, it will make the adopted child a naturalized American citizen, and her American
conform with the time-honored Filipino tradition of husband Tom, filed a petition in the Regional Trial Court
carrying the mother’s surname as the person’s middle of Makati, for the adoption of the minor child of her
name. sister, a Filipina. Can the petition be granted? (2000
BAR)
Q: Spouses Primo and Monina Lim, childless, were
entrusted with the custody of two (2) minor children, A: It depends. If Tom and Sarah have been residing in the
the parents of whom were unknown. Eager of having Philippines for at least 3 years prior to the effectivity of RA
children of their own, the spouses made it appear that 8552, the petition may be granted because the American
they were the children’s parents by naming them husband is not qualified to adopt.
Michelle P. Lim and Michael Jude Lim. Subsequently,
Monina married Angel Olario after Primo’s death. While the petition for adoption was filed in 1990, it was
considered refiled upon the effectivity of RA 8552, the
She decided to adopt the children by availing the Domestic Adoption Act if 1998. This is the law applicable, the
amnesty given under R.A. 8552 to those individuals petition being still pending with the lower court.
who simulated the birth of a child. She filed separate
petitions for the adoption of Michelle, then 25 years old Under the Act, Sarah and Tom must adopt jointly because
and Michael, 18. Both Michelle and Michael gave they do not fall in any of the exceptions where one of the may
consent to the adoption. The trial court dismissed the adopt alone. When husband and wife must adopt jointly, the
Supreme Court has held in a line of cases that both of them
33
CIVIL LAW
must be qualified to adopt. While Sarah, an alien, is qualified c) Supposing that they filed the petition to adopt Vicky
to adopt under Section 7(b)(1) of the Act for being a former in the year 2000, will your answer be the same?
Filipino citizen who seeks to adopt a relative within the 4th Explain. (2000, 2003, 2005 BAR)
degree of consanguinity or affinity, Tom an alien, is not
qualified because he is neither a former Filipino citizen, nor A:
married to a Filipino. One of them not being qualified to adopt
their petition has to be denied. However, if they have been a) Yes, the position of the government is tenable.
residents of the Philippines three years prior to the effectivity Foreigners are disqualified to adopt unless they fall in
of the Act and continues to reside here until the decree of any of the exceptions provided for in the law. Eva and
adoption is entered, they are qualified to adopt the nephew Paul are both foreigners. Eva, Falls in one of the
of Sara under Section 7(b) thereof, and the petition may be exceptions. She is qualified to adopt because she is a
granted. former Filipino citizen who wishes to adopt a relative by
consanguinity. Unfortunately, Paul is not qualified to
Q: A German couple filed a petition for adoption of a adopt because he does not fall in any of the exceptions.
minor Filipino child with the Regional Trial Court of Hence, they cannot adopt jointly. When husband and
Makati under the provisions of the Child and Youth wife are adopting jointly, both of them must be qualified
Welfare Code which allowed alien to adopt. Before the to adopt in their own right Eva cannot, alone by herself,
petition could be heard, the Family Code, which adopt her niece because husband and wife must adopt
repealed the Child and Youth Welfare Code, came into jointly unless they fall in any of the exceptions provided
effect. Consequently, the Solicitor General filed a motion for in the law. They cannot adopt separately because
to dismiss the petition, on the ground that the Family they do not fall in any of the exceptions. Hence, whether
Code prohibits aliens from adopting. If you were the separately or jointly, Eva and Paul cannot adopt Vicky in
judge, how will you rule on the motion? (2001 BAR) the Philippines (Domestic Adoption Law [RA 8552])
b) No, my answer would be different. Eva is qualified to
A: The motion to dismiss the petition for adoption should adopt her illegitimate daughter, because she falls in one
be denied. The law that should govern the action is the law of the exceptions that allow foreigners to adopt. She is a
in force at the time of filing of the petition. At that time, it was former Filipino citizen adopting her relative by
the Child and Youth Welfare Code that was in effect, not the consanguinity. Eva can adopt separately her illegitimate
Family Code. Petitioners have already acquired a vested child because her case is also an exception to the rule that
right on their qualification to adopt which cannot be taken husband and wife should adopt jointly.
away by the Family Code (Republic v. Miller, G.R. No. c) Yes, my answer will be the same. The new Law on
125932, April 21, 1999, citing Republic v. Court of Appeals, Domestic Adoption allows a foreigner to adopt in the
G.R. No. 92326, January 24, 1992). Philippines if he has been residing in the Philippines for
at least 3 years prior to the filing of the petition unless
Q: Lina, a former Filipina who became an American the law waives that residency requirement. Paul and Eva
citizen shortly after her marriage to an American have not resided in the Philippines for the last 3 years.
husband, would like to adopt in the Philippines, jointly However, Eva will qualify for waiver because she was a
with her husband, one of her minor brothers. Assuming former Filipino citizen who wishes to adopt a relative by
that all the required consents have been obtained, could consanguinity within the 4th degree. Unfortunately Paul
the contemplated joint adoption in the Philippine will not qualify to adopt because he does not fall in any
prosper? Explain. (2003 BAR) of the instances for waiver to apply. They cannot adopt
jointly because one of them is not qualified. Neither may
A: Yes, Lina and her American husband can jointly adopt a Eva adopt alone because she does not fall in any of the
minor brother of Lina because she and her husband are both exceptions that allow husband and wife to adopt
qualified to adopt. Lina, as a former Filipino citizen, can adopt separately.
her minor brother under Sec. 7(b)(i) of RA 8552 (Domestic
Adoption Act of 1998). Q: May an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her
natural father, use the surname of her natural mother as
The alien husband can now adopt under Sec. 7(b) of RA8552. the middle name? (2006 BAR)
The Supreme Court has held in several cases that when
husband and wife are required to adopt jointly, each one of A: Yes, an illegitimate child, upon adoption by her natural
them must be qualified to adopt in his or her own right father, can use the surname of her natural mother as her
(Republic v. Toledano, G.R. No. 94147, June 8, 1994).However, middle name. The Court has ruled that there is no law
the American husband must comply with the requirements prohibiting an illegitimate child adopted by her natural father
of the law including the residency requirement of three (3) to use, as middle name, her mother's surname. What is not
years. Otherwise, the adoption will not be allowed. prohibited is allowed. After all, the use of the maternal name
as the middle name is in accord with Filipino culture and
Q: In 1984, Eva, a Filipina, went to work as a nurse customs and adoption is intended for the benefit of the
in the USA. There, she met and fell in love with Paul, an adopted (In re: Adoption of Stephanie Nathy Astorga Garcia,
American citizen, and they got married in 1985. Eva G.R. No. 148311, March 31, 2005).
acquired American citizenship in 1987. During their
sojourn in the Philippines in 1990, they filed a joint Q: For purpose of this question, assume all formalities
petition for the adoption of Vicky, a 7-year old daughter and procedural requirements have been complied
of Eva's sister. The government, through the Office of with. In 1970, Ramon and Dessa got married. Prior to
the Solicitor General, opposed the petition on the their marriage, Ramon had a child, Anna. In 1971 and
ground that the petitioners, being both foreigners, are 1972, Ramon and Dessa legally adopted Cherry and
disqualified to adopt Vicky. Michelle respectively. In 1973, Dessa died while giving
birth to Larry Anna had a child, Lia. Anna never
a) Is the government's opposition tenable? Explain. married. Cherry, on the other hand, legally adopted
b) Would your answer be the same if they sought to Shelly. Larry had twins, Hans and Gretel, with his
adopt Eva's illegitimate daughter? Explain. girlfriend, Fiona. In 2005, Anna, Larry and Cherry died
in a car accident. In 2007, Ramon died. Who may inherit

UST BAR OPERATIONS 34


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
from Ramon and who may not? Give your reason b) Will your answer be the same if it was Dolly who died
briefly. (2007 BAR) during the pendency of the adoption proceedings?
Explain. (2009 BAR)
A:
The following may inherit from Ramon: A:

1. Michelle, as an adopted child of Ramon, will inherit as a a) It depends on the stage of the proceedings when Rafael
legitimate child of Ramon. As an adopted child, Michelle died. If he died after all the requirements under the law
has all the rights of a legitimate child (Sec 18, Domestic have been complied with and the case is already
Adoption Law). submitted for resolution, the court may grant the
2. Lia will inherit in representation of Anna. Although Lia petition and issue a decree of adoption despite the death
is an illegitimate child, she is not barred by Articles 992, of the adopter (Sec. 13, RA 8552). Otherwise, the death of
because her mother Anna is an illegitimate herself. She the petitioner shall have the effect terminating the
will represent Anna as regards Anna's legitime under proceedings.
Art. 902 and as regards Anna's intestate share under b) No, if it was Dolly who died, the case should be
Art. 990. dismissed. Her death terminates the proceedings (Art.
13, RA 8552).
The following may not inherit from Ramon:
Q: Spouses Rex and Lea bore two children now aged 14
1. Shelly, being an adopted child, she cannot represent and 8. During the subsistence of their marriage, Rex
Cherry. This is because adoption creates a personal begot a child by another woman. He is now 10 years of
legal relation only between the adopter and the age. On Lea’s discovery of Rex’s fathering a child by
adopted. The law on representation requires the another woman, she filed a petition for legal separation
representative to be a legal heir of the person he is which was granted. Rex now wants to adopt his
representing and also of the person from whom the illegitimate child.
person being represented was supposed to inherit.
While Shelly is a legal heir of Cherry, Shelly is not a legal A. Whose consent is needed for Rex’s adoption of his
heir of Ramon. Adoption created a purely personal legal illegitimate child?
relation only between Cherry and Shelly. B. If there was no legal separation, can Rex still adopt
2. Hans and Gretel are barred from inheriting from his illegitimate child? Explain. (2010 BAR)
Ramon under Art. 992. Being illegitimate children, they
cannot inherit ab intestato from Ramon. A:

Q: Despite several relationships with different women, A. The consent of the 14-year-old legitimate child, of the 10-
Andrew remained unmarried. His first relationship with year-old illegitimate child and of the biological mother of
Brenda produced a daughter, Amy, now 30 years old. His the illegitimate child are needed for the adoption (Sec. 7
second, with Carla, produced two sons: Jon and Ryan. His and 9, RA 8552). The consent of Lea is no longer required
third, with Elena, bore him no children although Elena because there was already a final decree of legal
has a daughter Jane, from a previous relationship. His separation.
last, with Fe, produced no biological children but they B. Yes, he can still adopt his illegitimate child but with the
informally adopted without court proceedings, Sandy's consent of his spouse, of his 14-year-old legitimate child,
now 13 years old, whom they consider as their own. of the illegitimate child, and of the biological mother of
Sandy was orphaned as a baby and was entrusted to the illegitimate child (Sec. 7 and 9, RA 8552).
them by the midwife who attended to Sandy's birth. All
the children, including Amy, now live with Andrew in his Q: Eighteen-year old Filipina Patrice had a daughter out
house. Is there any legal obstacle to the legal adoption of of wedlock whom she named Laurie. At 26, Patrice
Amy by Andrew? To the legal adoption of Sandy by married American citizen John who brought her to live
Andrew and Elena? (2008 BAR) with him in the United States of America. John at once
signified his willingness to adopt Laurie. Can John file
A: No, there is no legal obstacle to the legal adoption of Amy the petition for adoption? If yes, what are the
by Andrew. While a person of age may not be adopted, Amy requirements? If no, why? (2010 BAR)
falls within two exceptions: (1) she is an illegitimate child and
she is being adopted by her illegitimate father to improve her A: No, John cannot file the petition to adopt alone.
status; and (2) even on the assumption that she is not an Philippine law requires husband and wife to adopt jointly
illegitimate child of Andrew, she may still be adopted, except on certain situations enumerated in the law. The
although of legal age, because she has been consistently case of John does not fall in any of the exceptions (RA 8552).
considered and treated by the adopter as his own child since
minority. In fact, she has been living with him until now. B. Inter-Country Adoption Act of 1995 (R.A. No. 8043)
(2005 BAR)
There is a legal obstacle to the adoption of Sandy by Andrew
and Elena. Andrew and Elena cannot adopt jointly because Q: Hans Berber, a German national, and his Filipino
they are not married. wife, Rhoda, are permanent residents of Canada. They
desire so much to adopt Magno, an 8-year old
Q: Rafael, a wealthy bachelor, filed a petition for the orphaned boy and a baptismal godson of Rhoda. Since
adoption of Dolly, a one-year old foundling who had a the accidental death of Magno's parents in 2004, he has
severe heart ailment. During the pendency of the been staying with his aunt who, however, could hardly
adoption proceedings, Rafael died of natural causes. The afford to feed her own family. Unfortunately, Hans and
Office of the Solicitor General files a motion to dismiss Rhoda cannot come to the Philippines to adopt Magno
the petition on the ground that the case can no longer although they possess all the qualifications as adoptive
proceed because of the petitioner’s death. parents. Is there a possibility for them to adopt Magno?
How should they go about it? (2005 BAR)
a) Should the case be dismissed? Explain.
35
CIVIL LAW
A: Under RA 8043, establishing the rules for inter-country 2) The following have been considered as “compelling
adoption of Filipino children, the spouses may file an reasons” to deprive a mother of custody:
application to adopt a Filipino child with the Inter-country
Adoption Board (ICAB) after they have been determined a. Neglect,
eligible and fit to adopt by the State Welfare Agency or a b. Abandonment,
licensed adoption agency in Canada. The Candian agency will c. Unemployment,
forward the required supporting documents to the ICAB for d. Immorality (Espiritu v. CA, 242 SCRA 362 [1995]),
matching with a Filipino child. The spouses, after filing a e. Alcoholism,
petition with the ICAB, shall be issued the Placement f. Drug addiction,
Authority and when all the travel documents of the child who g. Maltreatment,
is declared legally eligible for adoption as determined by the h. Insanity,
ICAB, are ready the adoptive parents or any one of them shall i. Highly communicable serious disease,
personally fetch the child in the Philippines for adoption in j. Grave physical handicap,
the court of the foreigner’s country. k. Serious and credible threat by the child to ham
himself if separated from his mother (Luna v. CA 137
ISUPPORT (FAMILY CODE) (2004, 2006, 2008, 2010 SCRA 7 [1985])
BAR)
Q: Distinguish briefly but clearly between: Substitute
Q: Despite several relationships with different women, parental authority and special parental authority. (2004
Andrew remained unmarried. His first relationship BAR)
with Brenda produced a daughter, Amy, now 30 years
old. His second, with Carla, produced two sons: Jon and A: In substitute parental authority, the parents lose their
Ryan. His third, with Elena, bore him no children parental authority in favor of the substitute who acquires it to
although Elena has a daughter Jane, from a previous the exclusion of the parents.
relationship. His last, with Fe, produced no biological In special parental authority, the parents or anyone exercising
children but they informally adopted without court parental authority does not lose parental authority. Those
proceedings, Sandy's now 13 years old, whom they who are charged with special parental authority exercise such
consider as their own. Sandy was orphaned as a baby authority only during the time that the child is in their custody
and was entrusted to them by the midwife who or supervision.
attended to Sandy's birth. All the children, including
Amy, now live with Andrew in his house. Substitute parental authority displaces parental authority
while special parental authority concurs with parental
a) In his old age, can Andrew be legally entitled to authority.
claim support from Amy, Jon, Ryan, Jane, and Sandy
assuming that all of them have the means to Q: If during class hours, while the teacher was chatting
support him? with other teachers in the school corridor, a 7 year old
b) Can Amy, Jon, Ryan, Jane, and Sandy legally claim male pupil stabs the eye of another boy with a ball pen
support from each other? (2008 BAR) during a fight, causing permanent blindness to the
victim, who could be liable for damages for the boy’s
A: injury: the teacher, the school authorities, or the guilty
boy’s parents? Explain. (2003 BAR)
a) Andrew can claim support from them all, except from
Sandy and Jane, who is not his child, legitimate, A: The school, its administrators, and teachers have
illegitimate or adopted. special parental authority and responsibility over the
b) Amy, Jon and Ryan, can legally claim support from each minor child while under their supervision, instruction or
other under Art. 196 of the FC which provides that custody (Art.218, FC). They are principally and solidarily
brothers and sisters not legitimately related, whether liable for the damages caused by the acts or omissions
of the full or half-blood, are bound to support each of the unemancipated minor unless they exercised the
other except when the need for support is due to a proper diligence required under the circumstances (Art.219,
cause imputable to the claimant’s fault or negligence. FC). In the problem, the TEACHER and the SCHOOL
Jane and Sandy, however, cannot legally claim support AUTHORITIES are liable for the blindness of the victim,
from each other and from Amy, Jon and Ryan because because the student who causes it was under their
they are not related to any of them. special parental authority and they were negligent. They
were negligent because they were chatting in the corridor
Q: Under Article 213 of the Family Code, no child during the class period when the stabbing incident
under 7 years of age shall be separated from the occurred. The incident could have been prevented had the
mother unless the court finds compelling reasons to teacher been inside the classroom at that time. The
order otherwise. guilty boy’s PARENTS are subsidiarily liable under Article
219 of the Family Code.
1) Explain the rationale of this provision.
2) Give at least 3 examples of “compelling reasons” Q: On May 5, 1989, 16-year old Rozanno, who was
which justify the taking away from the mother’s issued a student permit, drove to school a car, a gift
custody of her child under 7 years of age. (2006 BAR) from his parents. On even date, as his class was
scheduled to go on a field trip, his teacher requested
A: him to accommodate in his car, as he did, four (4) of his
classmates because the van rented by the school was
1) The rationale of the provision is that a child below 7 years too crowded. On the way to a museum which the
old needs the love and care which only its mother can students were scheduled to visit, Rozanno made a
give. The welfare of the child is given the highest priority wrong maneuver, causing a collision with a jeepney.
and the interest of the child prevails over procedural One of his classmates died. He and the three (3) others
rules. were badly injured.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 36


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
A. Who is liable for the death of Rozanno’s classmate
and the injuries suffered by Rozanno and his 3 Q: Gigolo entered into an agreement with Majorette for
other classmates? Explain. her to carry in her womb his baby via in vitro
B. Under the same facts, except the date of occurrence fertilization. Gigolo undertook to underwrite
of the incident, this time in mid-1994, what would Majorette’s pre-natal expenses as well as those
be your answer? Explain. (2010 BAR) attendant to her delivery. Gigolo would thereafter pay
Majorette P2 million and, in return, she would give
A: custody of the baby to him.

A. At the time the incident occurred in May 1989, Rozanno After Majorette gives birth and delivers the baby to
was still a minor. Being a minor, Art. 218, (FC) applies. Gigolo following her receipt of P2 million, she engages
Pursuant to Art. 218, the school, its administrators and your services as her lawyer to regain custody of the
teachers shall be liable for the acts of minor Rozanno baby.
because of the special parental authority and
responsibility that they exercise over him. The A. What legal action can you file on behalf of Majorette?
authority applies to all authorized activities, whether Explain.
inside or outside the premises of the school, entity or B. Can Gigolo demand from Majorette the return of the
institution. The field trip on which occasion Rozanno P2 million if he returns the baby? Explain. (2010
drove the car, was an authorized activity, and, thus, BAR)
covered by the provision. Furthermore, the parents of
Rozanno are subsidiarily liable pursuant to Art. 219 A:
(FC), and principally liable under Art. 221 (FC), if they
are negligent. A. As her lawyer, I can file a petition for habeas corpus on
B. Since Rozanno was 16 years old in 1989, if the incident behalf Majorette to recover custody of her child. Since
happened sometime in the middle of 1994, Rozanno she is the mother of the child that was born out of
have been 21 years old at the time. Hence, he was wedlock, she has exclusive parental authority and
already of legal age. The law reducing the age of custody over the child. Gigolo, therefore, has no right to
majority to 18 years took effect in December 1989. have custody of the child and his refusal to give up
custody will constitute illegal detention for which habeas
Being of legal age, Arts. 218, 219, and 221(FC), are no corpus is the proper remedy.
longer applicable. In such case, only Rozanno will be B. No, he cannot. Both he and Majorette are guilty of
personally responsible for all the consequences of his violating the provision of the Anti-Child Abuse Law
act unless his school or his parents were themselves (RA7610) on child trafficking. Being in pari delicto, the
also negligent and such negligence contributed to the parties shall be left where they are and Gigolo cannot
happening of the incident. In that event, the school or demand the return of what he paid.
his parents are not liable under Art. 218, 218 or 221
(FC), but will be liable under general provision on the EMANCIPATION (1993 BAR)
Civil Code on quasi-delict.
Q: Julio and Lea, both 18 years old, were
Q: DON, an American businessman, secured parental sweethearts. At a party at the house of a mutual friend,
consent for the employment of five minors to play certain Lea met Jake, also 18 years old, who showed interest in
roles in two movies he was producing at home in Makati. her. Lea seemed to entertain Jake because she danced
They worked at odd hours of the day and night, but with him many times. In a fit of jealousy, Julio shot Jake
always accompanied by parents or other adults. The with his father's 38 calibre revolver which, before
producer paid the children talent fees at rates better than going to the party he was able to get from the unlocked
adult wages. drawer inside his father's bedroom. Jake died as a result
of the lone gunshot wound he sustained. His parents
But a social worker, DEB, reported to OSWD that these sued Julio's parents for damages arising from quasi-
children often missed going to school. They sometimes delict. At the time of the incident, Julio was 18 years
drank wine, aside from being exposed to drugs. In some old living with his parents. Julio's parents moved to
scenes, they were filmed naked or in revealing costumes. dismiss the complaint against them claiming that since
In his defense, DON contended all these were part of Julio was already of majority age, they were no longer
artistic freedom and cultural creativity. None of the liable for his acts.
parents complained, said DON. He also said they signed a
contract containing a waiver of their right to file any 1) Should the motion to dismiss be granted? Why?
complaint in any office or tribunal concerning the 2) What is the liability of Julio's parents to Jake's
working conditions of their children acting in the movies. parents? Explain your answer. (1993 BAR)
Is the waiver valid and binding? Why or why not? Explain.
(2004 BAR) A:

A: The waiver is not valid. Although the contracting parties 1) No, the Motion to Dismiss should not be granted.
may establish such stipulations, clauses, terms and conditions Article 236 of the Family Code as amended by RA6809,
as they may deem convenient, they may not do so if such are provides in the third paragraph that "nothing in this
contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order, or public Code shall be construed to derogate from the duty or
policy (Art. 1306). The parents' waiver to file a complaint responsibility of parents and guardians for children
concerning the working conditions detrimental to the moral and wards below twenty-one years of age
well-being of their children acting in the movies is in violation mentioned in the second and third paragraphs of
of the Family Code and Labor laws. Thus, the waiver is invalid Article 2180 of the Civil Code".
and not binding. 2) The liability of Julio's parents to Jake's parents arises
The Child Labor Law is a mandatory and prohibitory law and from quasi-delict and shall cover specifically the
the rights of the child cannot be waived as it is contrary to law following:
and public policy. a. P50,000.00 for the death of the son;
37
CIVIL LAW
b. such amount as would correspond to lost land was sold at public auction to PNB for being the
earning capacity; and highest bidder. PNB secured the title thereto in 1987.
c. moral damages.
In the meanwhile, Pedro, who was still in possession of
RETROACTIVITY OF THE FAMILY CODE (ART. 256) the land, constructed a warehouse on the property. In
(2000 BAR) 1988, the PNB sold the land to Pablo. The Deed of Sale
was amended in 1989 to include the warehouse.
Q: On April 15, 1980, Rene and Angelina were married to
each other without a marriage settlement. In 1985, they Pedro, claiming ownership of the warehouse, files a
acquired a parcel of land in Quezon City. On June 1, complaint to annul the amended Deed of Sale before the
1990, when Angelina was away in Baguio, Rene sold Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, where he resides,
the said lot to Marcelo. Is the sale void or voidable? against both the PNB and Pablo. The PNB filed a motion
(2000) to dismiss the complaint for improper venue
contending that the warehouse is real property under
A: The sale is voidable. The provisions of the Family Code Art. 415(1) of the Civil Code and therefore the action
may apply retroactively but only if such application will not should have instead been filed in Malolos, Bulacan.
impair vested rights. When Rene and Angelina got married Pedro claims otherwise. The question arose as to
in 1980, the law that governed their property relations was whether the warehouse should be considered as real or
the New Civil Code. Under the NCC, as interpreted by the personal property.
Supreme Court in Heirs of Felipe v. Aldon (G.R. No. L-
60174, February 16, 1983) and reiterated in Heirs of If consulted, what would your legal advice be? (1997
Ayuste v. Malabonga (G.R No, 118784, September 2, 1999), BAR)
the sale executed by the husband without the consent of
the wife is voidable. The husband has already acquired a A: The warehouse which is a construction adhered to the
vested right on the voidable nature of dispositions made soil is an immovable by nature under Art. 415(1), and the
without the consent of the wife. Hence, Article 124 of the proper venue of any case to recover ownership of th same
Family Code which makes the sale void does not apply. which is what the purpose of the complaint to annul the
amended Deed of Sale amounts to, should be the place
where the property is located, or the RTC of Bulacan.
PART III – PROPERTY Q: Manila Petroleum Co. owned and operated a
petroleum operation facility off the coast of Manila. The
facility was located on a floating platform made of wood
CLASSIFICATION (1995, 1997, 2007 BAR) and metal, upon which was permanently attached the
heavy equipment for the petroleum operations and
Q: Salvador, a timber concessionaire, built on his lot a living quarters of the crew. The floating platform
warehouse where he processes and stores his timber likewise contained a garden area, where trees, plants
for shipment. Adjoining the warehouse is a furniture and flowers were planted. The platform was tethered to
factory owned by NARRAMIX of which Salvador is a a ship, the MV 101, which was anchored to the seabed.
majority stockholder. NARRAMIX leased space in the
warehouse where it placed its furniture-making a) Is the platform movable or immovable property?
machinery. (1995 BAR) b) Are the equipment and living quarters movable or
1. How would you classify the furniture-making immovable property?
machinery as property under the Civil Code? c) Are the trees, plants and flowers immovable or
Explain. movable property? (2007 BAR)
2. Suppose the lease contract between Salvador and
NARRAMIX stipulates that at the end of the lease the A:
machinery shall become the property of the lessor,
will your answer be the same? Explain. a) The platform is an immovable property under Art. 415
(9) NCC, which provides that "docks and structures
A: which, though floating, are intended by their nature and
object to remain at a fixed place on a river, lake or
1. The furniture-making machinery is movable property coast." Since the floating platform is a petroleum
because it was not installed by the owner of the operation facility, it is intended to remain permanently
tenement. To become immovable under Art. 415 (5) of where it is situated, even if it is tethered to a ship which
the NCC, the machinery must be installed by the owner is anchored to the seabed.
of the tenement. b) The equipment and living quarters of the crew are
2. It is immovable property. When there is a provision in immovable property. Art. 415 (3) of the NCC classifies
the lease contract making the lessor, at the end of the as an immovable "everything attached to an immovable
lease owner of the machinery installed by the lessee, in a fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be
the said machinery is considered to have been installed separated therefrom without breaking the material or
by the lessor through the lessee who acted merely as deterioration of the object." Both the equipment and
his agent. Having been installed by the owner of the the living quarters are permanently attached to the
tenement, the machinery became immovable under platform which is also an immovable. The equipment
Art. 415 of the NCC (Davao Sawmill v. Castillo, 61 Phil can also be classified as an immovable property under
709) Art. 415 (5) NCC because such equipment are
"machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements
Q: Pedro is the registered owner of a parcel of land intended by the owner of the tenement for an industry
situated in Malolos, Bulacan. In 1973, he mortgaged the or works which may be carried on in a building or on a
land to the Philippine National Bank (PNB) to secure a piece of land and which tend directly to meet the needs
loan of P100, 000.00. For Pedro’s failure to pay the loan, of the industry or works." It is logically assumed that
the PNB foreclosed on the mortgage in 1980, and the the petroleum industry may be carried on in a building

UST BAR OPERATIONS 38


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
or on a piece of land and the platform is analogous to a 1. Resolve Boboy's claim that as a builder in good
building. faith, he should be reimbursed the value of the
c) The trees, plants and flowers planted in the garden area improvements he introduced.
of the platform are immovable property under Art. 415 2. Can Boboy be held liable for damages for removing
(2) NCC which classifies as an immovable property the improvements over Anselmo's objection?
"trees, plants and growing fruits, while they are (1990, 2013 BAR)
attached to the land or form an integral part of an
immovable, the petroleum operation facility. A:

OWNERSHIP (1995, 1997, 2000, 2008, 2010, 2013, 1. Boboy’s claim that he is a builder in good faith has no
2016 BAR) legal basis. A builder in good faith is someone who
occupies the property in the concept of an owner. The
Q: Joven and Juliana are the owners of a 30-hectare provisions on builder-planter-sower under the Civil
plantation in Cotabato, covered by a title. One day, a Code cover cases in which the builder, planter and
group of armed men forcibly entered their house and, sower believe themselves to be owners of the land, or
at gun point, forced them to sign a Deed of Absolute Sale at least, to have a claim of title thereto. As Boboy is a
in favor of Romeo. Romeo got the title from them and lessee of the property, even if he was paying nominal
they were ejected from the house and threatened not to rental, Article 1678 Civil Code, is applicable. Under this
come back or else they will be killed. The spouses went provision, if the lessee makes, in good faith, useful
to Manila and resided there for more than 35 years. improvements which are suitable to the use for which
They never went back to Cotabato for fear of their lives. the lease is intended without altering the form or
Word came to them that peace and order have been substance of the property leased, the lessor upon the
restored in their former place of residence and they termination of the lease shall pay the lessee one-half of
decided to reclaim their land for the benefit of their the value of the improvements at that time. Should the
grandchildren. Joven and Juliana filed a suit for lessor refuse to reimburse said amount, the lessee may
reconveyance of their property. This was opposed by remove the improvements even though the principal
the grandson of Romeo to whom the title was thing may suffer damage thereby.
eventually transferred, on the ground of laches and 2. No. Boboy cannot be held liable for damages. The
prescription. Decide the case and rule on the defenses lessor, Anselmo, refused to reimburse one-half of the
of laches and prescription. Explain your answer. (2016 value of the improvements, so the lessee, Boboy, may
BAR) remove the same, even though the principal thing may
suffer damage thereby. If in removing the useful
A: The right of the registered owners, Joven and Juliana, to improvements Boboy caused more impairment on the
file suit to recover their property, is not barred by property leased than what is necessary, he will be liable
prescription. Under Section 47 of P.D. No. 1529, no title to for damages (Art. 1678).
registered land in derogation of the title of the registered
owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse Q: Tim came into possession of an old map showing
possession. where a purported cache of gold bullion was hidden.
Without any authority from the government Tim
Proof of possession by the owner in an action for conducted a relentless search and finally found the
recoveyance is immaterial and inconsequential. The right to treasure buried in a new river bed formerly part of a
recover possession is equally imprescriptible since parcel of land owned by spouses Tirso and Tessie. The old
possession is a mere consequence of ownership. (Republic river which used to cut through the land of Spouses
v. Mendoza, 627 SCRA 443 [2010]). The right of Joven and Ursula and Urbito changed its course through natural
Juliana to recover is not barred by laches, either. Laches causes. To whom shall the treasure belong? Explain
deals with unreasonable delay in filing the action. The (1995 BAR)
owner’s delay, if any, cannot be construed as deliberate and
intentional. They were simply coerced out of Cotabato and A: The treasure was found in a property of public
threatened with death if they returned, and, thus, could not dominion, the new river bed. Since Tim did not have
have filed them. authority from the government and, therefore, was a
trespasser, he is not entitled to the one-half share allotted
Q: Anselmo is the registered owner of a land and a to a finder of hidden treasure. All of it will go to the State.
house that his friend Boboy occupied for a nominal In addition, under Art. 438 of the NCC in order that the
rental and on the condition that Boboy would vacate finder be entitled to the 1/2 share, the treasure must be
the property on demand. With Anselmo's knowledge, found by chance, that is by sheer luck. In this case, since Tim
Boboy introduced renovations consisting of an found the treasure not by chance but because he
additional bedroom, a covered veranda, and a concrete relentlessly searched for it, he is not entitled to any share in
block fence, at his own expense. Subsequently, Anselmo the hidden treasure.
needed the property as his residence and thus asked
Boboy to vacate and turn it over to him. Boboy, despite Q: Marcelino, a treasure hunter as just a hobby, has
an extension, failed to vacate the property, forcing found a map which appears to indicate the location of
Anselmo to send him a written demand to vacate. In his hidden treasure. He has an idea of the land where
own written reply, Boboy signified that he was ready to the treasure might possibly be found. Upon inquiry,
leave but Anselmo must first reimburse him the value Marcelino learns that the owner of the land, Leopoldo,
of the improvements he introduced on the property as is a permanent resident of Canada. Nobody, however,
he is a builder in good faith. Anselmo refused, insisting could give him Leopoldo's exact address. Ultimately,
that Boboy cannot ask for reimbursement as he is a anyway, he enters the land and conducts a search. He
mere lessee. Boboy responded by removing the succeeds. Leopoldo learning of Marcelino's "find",
improvements and leaving the building in its original seeks to recover the treasure from Marcelino but the
state. latter is not willing to part with it. Failing to reach an
agreement, Leopoldo sues Marcelino for the recovery

39
CIVIL LAW
of the property. Marcelino contests the action. How A: None of the above. The general rule us that the treasure
would you decide the case? (1997 BAR) shall belong to the spouses X and Y, the owners of Lot B.
Under Article 438 (NCC), the exception is that when the
A: I would decide in favor of Marcelino since he is discovery of a hidden treasure is made on the property of
considered a finder by chance of the hidden treasure, hence, another and by chance, one-half thereof shall belong to the
he is entitled to one-half (1/2) of the hidden treasure. While owner of the land and the other one-half is allowed to the
Marcelino may have had the intention to look for the hidden finer. In the problem, the finding of the treasure was not by
treasure, still he is a finder by chance since it is enough that chance because O knew that the treasure was in Lot B. While
he tried to look for it. By chance in the law does not mean a trespasser is also not entitled to any share, and there is no
sheer luck such that the finder should have no intention at indication in the problem whether or not O was a
all to look for the treasure. By chance means good luch, trespasser, O is not entitled to a share because the finding
umplying that one who intentionally looks for the treasure was not “by chance”.
is embraced in the provision. The reason is that it is
extremely difficult to find hidden treasure without looking ACCESSION (1992, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003,
for it deliberately. 2008, 2009, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 BAR)

Marcelino is not a trespasser since there is no prohibition Q: Pedro bought a parcel of land described as Cadastral
for him to enter the premises, hence, he is entitled to half of Lot No. 123 and the title was issued to his name. Juan
the treasure. also bought a lot in the same place, which is described
as Cadastral Lot No. 124. Pedro hired a geodetic
Q: Adam, a building contractor, was engaged by Blas to engineer to determine the actual location of Lot No. 123
construct a house on a lot which he (Blas) owns. While but for some reason, the engineer pointed to Lot No.
digging on the lot in order to lay down the foundation 124 by mistake. Pedro hired a contractor to construct
of the house, Adam hit a very hard object. It turned out his house and the latter put up a sign stating the name
to be the vault of the old Banco de las Islas Filipinas. of the owner of the project and the construction permit
Using a detonation device, Adam was able to open the number. It took more than a year before the house was
vault containing old notes and coins which were in constructed. When Pedro was already residing in his
circulation during the Spanish era. While the notes and house, Juan told him to remove his house because it was
coins are no longer legal tender, they were valued at built on his (Juan's) lot.
P100 million because of their historical value and the
coins silver nickel content. The following filed legal Juan filed a Complaint for Recovery of Possession and
claims over the notes and coins: prayed that the house be removed because Pedro is a
builder in bad faith. Pedro filed his Answer with
i. Adam, as finder; Counterclaim that he is entitled to the payment of the
ii. Blas, as owner of the property where they were value of the house plus damages because he is a builder
found; in good faith and that Juan is guilty of estoppel and
iii. Bank of the Philippine Islands, as successor-in- laches.
interest of the owner of the vault; and 1. If Pedro is a builder in good faith, what are the
iv. The Philippine Government because of their rights given to Juan under the law? Explain.
historical value. 2. If Pedro is a builder in bad faith, what are the rights
given to Juan under the law? Explain. (2016 BAR)
Who owns the notes and coins? (2008 BAR)
A:
A: Hidden treasure is a money jewelry or other precious
objects the ownership of which does not appear (Art. 439, 1. If Pedro is a builder in good faith and Juan is an owner
CC). The vault of the Banco de las Islas Filipinas has been in good faith, Juan has the right to appropriate as his
buried for about a century and the Bank of the Philippine own the house after payment of indemnity provided for
Islands cannot succeed by inheritance to the property of in Articles 546 and 548 of the Civil Code, which are the
Banco de las Islas Filipinas. The ownership of the vault, necessary and useful expenses. As to useful expenses,
together with the notes and coins can now legally be Juan has the option to either refund the amount of the
considered as hidden treasure because its ownership is no expenses, or pay the increase in value which the land
longer apparent. The contractor, Adam, is not a trespasser may have acquired by reason thereof. Alternatively,
and therefore entitled to one-half of the hidden treasure under Article 448 of the Civil Code, Juan has the right to
and Blas as owner of the property, is entitled to the other oblige Pedro to pay the price of the land. However,
half (Art. 438, CC). Since the notes and coins have historical Pedro cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is
value, the government may acquire them at their just price considerably more than that of the house. In such case,
which in turn will be divided equally between Adam and he shall pay reasonable rend, if Juan does not choose to
Blas (Art. 438, par. 3, CC). appropriate the house after proper indemnity. It is the
owner of the land who is authorized to exercise the
Q: O, owner of Lot A, learning that Japanese soldiers options under Article 448 because his right is older and
may have buried gold and other treasures at the by principle of accession, he is entitled to the ownership
adjoining vacant Lot B belonging to spouses X & Y, of the accessory thing.
excavated in Lot B where she succeeded in unearthing
gold and precious stones. How will the treasures found If Pedro is a builder in good faith and Juan is an owner
by O be divided? in bad faith because Juan knew that Pedro was building
on his lot and did not oppose it (Art. 453 par. 2), and Art.
1. 100% to O as finder 454 in relation to Art. 447 of the Civil Code applies. Juan
2. 50% to O and 50% to the spouses X and Y shall pay the value of the house and is also liable for
3. 50% to O and 50% to the state reparation of damage; however, Pedro also has the
4. None of the above (2010 BAR) right to remove or demolish the house and ask for
damages.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 40


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
2. If Pedro is a builder in bad faith and Juan is an owner in owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown
good faith, Juan has three options. He may appropriate or planted in good faith shall have the right:
the improvements without indemnity under Art. 449 of
the Civil Code, or demand the demolition of the house 1. to appropriate as his own the works after payment of
in order to replace things to their former condition at the indemnity provided for in Articles 546 and 548, or
Pedro’s expense under Art. 450 or compel Pedro to pay 2. to oblige the one who built to pay the price of the land.
the price of the land. In addition to these options, Juan
is also entitled to damages from Pedro. However, the builder cannot be obliged to buy the land if its
value is considerably more than that of the building. In such
If Pedro is a builder in bad faith and Juan is an owner in case, he shall pay reasonable rent if the owner of the land
bad faith, it shall be as if both of them were in good faith. does not choose to appropriate the building or trees after
(Art. 453, New Civil Code) proper indemnity. (Art. 448).
The house constructed by the spouses Dela Cruz is
Q: Benjamin is the owner of a titled lot which is considered as a useful expense, since it increased the value
bounded on the north by the Maragondon River. An of the lot. As such, should the spouses Rodriguez decide to
alluvial deposit of two (2) hectares was added to the appropriate the house, the spouses Dela Cruz are entitled to
registered area. Daniel took possession of the portion the right of retention pending reimbursement of the
formed by accretion and claims that he has been in expenses they incurred or the increase in value which the
open, continuous and undisturbed possession of said thing may have acquired by reason of the improvement
portion since 1923 as shown by a tax declaration. In (Art. 546). Thus, the spouses Dela Cruz may demand P1,
1958, Benjamin filed a Complaint for Quieting of Title 000, 000 as payment of the expenses in building the house
and contends that the alluvium belongs to him as the or increase in value of the land because of the house as a
riparian owner and that since the alluvium is, by law, useful improvement, as may be determined by the court
part and parcel of the registered property, the same front the evidence presented during the trial (Depra
may be considered as registered property. Decide the Dumlao, G.R. No. L 57348, May 16, 1985; Technogas Phils. v.
case and explain. (2016 BAR) CA, G.R. No. 108894, February 10, 1997).

A: I will decide in favor of Daniel and dismiss the action to Q: A delayed accession is: (2014 BAR)
quite title filed by Benjamin. Under Art. 457 of the Civil
Code, the owner of lands adjoining the banks of rivers A. formation of an island
belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the B. avulsion
effects of the current of the waters. The accretion, however, C. alluvium
does not automatically become registered land. It must be D. change in the course of the riverbed
brought under the Torrens system of registration by
Benjamin, the riparian owner. Since he did not, then the A: B (Art. 459)
increment, not being registered land, was open to
acquisition through prescription by third persons, like Q: Mr. and Mrs. X migrated to the US with all their
Daniel. (Grande v. Court of Appeals, 5 SCRA 524 [1962]; Cureg children. As they had no intention of coming back, they
v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 177 SCRA 313 [1989]) offered their house and lot for sale to their neighbors,
Mr. and Mrs. A (the buyers) who agreed to buy the
Q: Ciriaco Realty Corporation (CRC) sold to the spouses property for 128 Million. Because Mr. and Mrs. A
Del a Cruz a 500-square meter land (Lot A) in needed to obtain a loan from a bank first, and since the
Paranaque. The land now has a fair market value of P1, sellers were in a hurry to migrate, the latter told the
200, 000. CRC likewise sold to the spouses Rodriguez, a buyers that they could already occupy the house,
700-square meter land (Lot B) which is adjacent to Lot renovate it as it was already in a state of disrepair, and
A. Lot B has a present fair market value of P1, 500, 000. pay only when their loan is approved and released.
The spouses Dela Cruz constructed a house on Lot B, While waiting for the loan approval, the buyers spent
relying on there presentation of the CRC sales agent P1 Million in repairing the house. A month later, a
that it is the property they purchased. Only upon the person carrying an authenticated special power of
completion of their house did the spouses Dela Cruz attorney from the sellers demanded that the buyers
discover that they had built on Lot B owned by the either immediately pay for the property in full now or
spouses Rodriguez, not on Lot A that they purchased. vacate it and pay damages for having made
They spent P , 000,000 for the house. As their lawyer, improvements on the property without a sale having
advise the spouses Dela Cruz on their rights and been perfected. What are the buyers' options or legal
obligations under the given circumstances, and the rights with respect to the expenses they incurred in
recourses and options open to them to protect their improving the property under circumstances? (2015
interests. (1992, 2001, 2013 BAR) BAR)

A: Based on the facts as stated, the spouses Dela Cruz as A: The buyers here may be deemed possessors or builders
builders and the spouses Rodriguez as landowners, are both in good faith because they were made to believe that they
in good faith. The spouses Dela Cruz are builders in good were allowed to make repairs or renovation by the sellers
faith because before constructing the house they exercised themselves. As builders in good faith, they have the right to
due diligence by asking the agent of CRC the location of Lot seek reimbursement for the value of the improvements in
A. and they relied on the information given by the agent who case the owner decides to appropriate them. They cannot
is presumed to know the identity of the lot purchased by the be asked to remove the improvements because that is not
Dela Cruz spouses (Pleasantville v. CA, G.R. No. one of the options given by law to the landowner in case the
79688, February 1, 1996). On the other hand, there is no builder is in good faith.
showing that the landowners, spouses Rodriguez, acted in
bad faith. The facts do not show that the building was done Q: A owns a parcel of residential land worth P500,
with their knowledge and without opposition on their part 000.00. Unknown to A, a residential house costing
(Art. 453). Good faith is always presumed (Art. 527). The P100, 000.00 is built on the entire parcel by B who
claims ownership of the land. Answer all the following
41
CIVIL LAW
questions based on the premise that B is a builder in Q:
good faith and A is a landowner in good faith.
a) Because of confusion as to the boundaries of the
a) May A acquire the house built by B? If so, how? adjoining lots that they bought from the same
b) If the land increased in value to P500, 000.00 by subdivision company, X constructed a house on the
reason of the building of the house thereon, what adjoining lot of Y in the honest belief that it is the
amount should be paid by A in order to acquire the land that he bought from the subdivision company.
house from B? What are the respective rights of X and Y with
c) Assuming that the cost of the house was P900, respect to X's house?
000.00 and not P100, 000.00, may A require B to b) Suppose X was in good faith but Y knew that X was
buy the land? constructing on his (Y's) land but simply kept quiet
d) If B voluntarily buys the land as desired by A, under about it, thinking perhaps that he could get X's
what circumstances may A nevertheless be entitled house later. What are the respective rights of the
to have the house removed? parties over X's house in this case? (1999 BAR)
e) In what situation may a “forced lease” arise
between A and B, and what terms and conditions A:
would govern the lease?
a) The rights of Y, as owner of the lot, and of X, as builder
Give reasons for your answers. (1992 BAR) of a house thereon, are governed by Art. 448 of the Civil
Code which grants to Y the right to choose between two
A: remedies: (a) appropriate the house by indemnifying X
for its value plus whatever necessary expenses the
a) Yes, A may acquire the house built by B by paying latter may have incurred for the preservation of the
indemnity to B. Article 448 of the Civil Code provides land, or (b) compel X to buy the land if the price of the
that the owner of the land on which anyting has been land is not considerably more than the value of the
built, sown or planted in good faith, shall have the right house. If it is, then X cannot be obliged to buy the land
to appropriate as his own works, sowing or planting, but he shall pay reasonable rent, and in case of
after payment of the indemnity provided for in Article disagreement, the court shall fix the terms of the lease.
546 of the Civil Code. b) Since the lot owner Y is deemed to be in bad faith (Art.
b) A should pay B the sum of P50, 000.00. Article 548 of 453), X as the party in good faith may (a) remove the
the Civil Code provides that useful expenses shall be house and demand indemnification for damages
refunded to the possessor in good faith with the right of suffered by him, or (b) demand payment of the value of
retention, the person who has defeated him in the the house plus reparation for damages (Art. 447, in
possession having the option of refunding the amount relation to Art 454). Y continues as owner of the lot and
of the expenses or of paying the increase in value which becomes, under the second option, owner of the house
the thing may have acquired by reason thereof. The as well, after he pays the sums demanded.
increase in value amounts to P50, 000.00.
c) Yes, A may require B to buy the land. Article 448 of the Q: In good faith, Pedro constructed a five-door
Civil Code provides that the owner of the land on which commercial building on the land of Pablo who was
anything has been built in good faith shall have the right also in good faith. When Pablo discovered the
to oblige the one who built to pay the price of the land construction, he opted to appropriate the building by
if its value is not considerably more than that of the paying Pedro the cost thereof. However, Pedro insists
building. that he should be paid the current market value of the
d) If B agrees to buy land but fails to pay, A can have the building, which was much higher because of inflation.
house removed (Depra v. Dumlao, 136 SCRA 475). (2000 BAR)
e) Art. 448 of the Civil Code provides that the builder 1) Who is correct Pedro or Pablo?
cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is 2) In the meantime that Pedro is not yet paid, who is
considerably more than that of the building. In such entitled to the rentals of the building, Pedro or Pablo?
case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the
land does not choose to appropriate the building after A:
proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the
terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court 1) Pablo is correct. Under Article 448 of the New Civil
fix the terms thereof. Code in relation to Article 546, the builder in good faith
is entitled to a refund of the necessary and useful
Q: Bartolome constructed a chapel on the land of Eric. expenses incurred by him, or the increase in value
What are Batolome’s rights of he were: which the land may have acquired by reason of the
improvement, at the option of the landowner. The
1) A possessor of the land in good faith? builder is entitled to a refund of the expenses he
2) A possessor of the land in bad faith? (1996 BAR) incurred, and not to the market value of the
improvement. The case of Pecson v. CA (G.R. No.
A: 115814, 26 May 1995), is not applicable to the problem.
In the Pecson case, the builder was the owner of the land
1) A chapel is a useful improvement. Bartolome may who later lost the property at a public sale due to non-
remove the chapel if it can be removed without damage payment of taxes. The Court ruled that Article 448
to the land, unless Eric chooses to acquire the chapel. In does not apply to the case where the owner of the land
the latter case, Bartolome has the right to the is the builder but who later lost the land; not being
reimbursement of the value of the chapel with right of applicable, the indemnity that should be paid to the
retention until he is reimbursed. (Art. 448 in relation to buyer must be the fair market value of the building
Art. 546 and 547, NCC) and not just the cost of construction thereof. The Court
2) Bartolome, under Art. 449 of the NCC, loses whatever opined in that case that to do otherwise would unjustly
he built, without any right to indemnity. enrich the new owner of the land.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 42


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
2) Pablo is entitled to the rentals of the building. As the
owner of the land, Pablo is also the owner of the Q: Andres is a riparian owner of a parcel of registered
building being an accession thereto. However, Pedro land. His land, however, has gradually diminished in
who is entitled to retain the building is also entitled to area due to the current of the river, while the
retain the rentals. He, however, shall apply the rentals registered land of Mario on the opposite bank has
to the indemnity payable to him after deducting gradually increased in area by 200-square meters.
reasonable cost of repair and maintenance.
a) Who has the better right over the 200-square meter
Q: Mike built a house on his lot in Pasay City. Two years area that has been added to Mario’s registered
later, a survey disclosed that a portion of the building land, Mario or Andres?
actually stood on the neighboring land of Jose, to the b) May a third person acquire said 200-square meter
extent of 40 square meters. Jose claims that Mike is a land by prescription? (2003 BAR)
builder in bad faith because he should know the
boundaries of his lot, and demands that the portion of A: Mario has a better right over the 200 square meters
the house which encroached on his land should be increase in area by reason of accretion, applying Article 457
destroyed or removed. Mike replies that he is a builder of the New Civil Code, which provides that “to the owners of
in good faith and offers to buy the land occupied by the lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion
building instead. which they gradually received from the effects of the
current of the waters”.
1) Is Mike a builder in good faith or bad faith? Why? a) Andres cannot claim that the increase in Mario’s land
2) Whose preference should be followed? Why? (2001 is his own, because such is an accretion and not a result
BAR) of the sudden detachment of a known portion of his
land and its attachment to Mario’s land, a process
A: called “avulsion”. He can no longer claim ownership of
the portion of his registered land which was gradually
1) Yes, Mike is a builder in good faith. There is no showing and naturally eroded due to the current of the river,
that when he built his house, he knew that a portion because he had lost it by operation of law. That portion
thereof encroached on Jose's lot. Unless one is versed in of the land has become part of the public domain.
the science of surveying, he cannot determine the b) Yes, a third party may acquire by prescription the 200
precise boundaries or location of his property by square meters, increase in area, because it is not
merely examining his title. In the absence of contrary included in the Torrens Title of the riparian owner.
proof, the law presumes that the encroachment was Hence, this does not involve the imprescriptibility
done in good faith [Technogas Phils, v. CA, G.R. No. conferred by Section 47, P.D. No. 1529. The fact that
108894, February 10, 1997). the riparian land is registered does not automatically
2) None of the preferences shall be followed. The make the accretion thereto a registered land(Grande
preference of Mike cannot prevail because under v. CA, G.R. No. L-17652, June 30, 1962; Jagualing v. CA,
Article 448 of the Civil Code, it is the owner of the land G.R. No. 94283, March 4, 1991).
who has the option or choice, not the builder. On the
other hand, even though the option belongs to Jose, he Q: The properties of Jessica and Jenny, who are
cannot demand that the portion of the house neighbors, lie along the banks of the Marikina River. At
encroaching on his land be destroyed or removed certain times of the year, the river would swell and as
because this is not one of the options given by law to the water recedes, soil, rocks and other materials are
the owner of the land. The owner may choose between deposited on Jessica's and Jenny's properties. This
the appropriation of what was built after payment of pattern of the river swelling, receding and depositing
indemnity, or to compel the builder to pay for the land soil and other materials being deposited on the
if the value of the land is not considerably more than neighbors’ properties have gone on for many years.
that of the building. Otherwise, the builder shall pay Knowing this pattern, Jessica constructed a concrete
rent for the portion of the land encroached. barrier about 2 meters from her property line and
extending towards the river, so that when the water
Q: For many years, the Rio Grande river deposited soil recedes, soil and other materials are trapped within
along its bank, beside the titled land of Jose. In time, this barrier. After several years, the area between
such deposit reached an area of one thousand square Jessica's property line to the concrete barrier was
meters. With the permission of Jose, Vicente completely filled with soil, effectively increasing
cultivated the said area. Ten years later, a big flood Jessica's property by 2 meters. Jenny's property, where
occurred in the river and transferred 1000 square no barrier was constructed, also increased by one
meters to the opposite bank, beside the land of meter along the side of the river.
Agustin. The land transferred is now contested by Jose
and Agustin as riparian owners and by Vicente who a) Can Jessica and Jenny legally claim ownership over
claims ownership by prescription. Who should prevail? the additional 2 meters and one meter,
Why? (2001 BAR) respectively, of land deposited along their
properties?
A: Jose should prevail. The disputed area, which is an b) If Jessica's and Jenny's properties are registered,
alluvion, belongs by right of accretion to Jose, the riparian will the benefit of such registration extend to the
owner (Art. 457). When, as given in the problem, the very increased area of their properties?
same area was "transferred" by flood waters to the c) Assume the two properties are on a cliff adjoining
opposite bank, it became an avulsion and ownership thereof the shore of Laguna Lake. Jessica and Jenny had a
is retained by Jose who has two years to remove it (Art. 459). hotel built on the properties. They had the earth
Vicente's claim based on prescription is baseless since his and rocks excavated from the properties dumped
possession was by mere tolerance of Jose and, therefore, did on the adjoining shore, giving rise to a new patch of
not adversely affect Jose's possession and ownership (Art. dry land. Can they validly lay claim to the patch of
537). Inasmuch as his possession is merely that of a holder, land? (2008 BAR)
he cannot acquire the disputed area by prescription.
43
CIVIL LAW
A: concept of owners but in the concept of mere holders.
Even if they possess the land for more than 30 years,
a) Jenny can legally claim ownership of the lands by right they cannot become the owners thereof through
of accession (accretion) under Art. 457 of the Civil Code. extraordinary acquisitive prescription, because the law
The lands came into being over the years through the requires possession in the concept of the owner.
gradual deposition of soil and silt by the natural action Payment of taxes and tax declaration are not enough to
of the waters of the river. make their possession one in the concept of owner.
They must repudiate the possession in the concept of
Jessica cannot claim the two meter-wide strip of land holder by executing unequivocal acts of repudiation
added to her land. Jessica constructed the cement amounting to ouster of Marciano, known to Marciano
barrier two meters in front of her property towards the and must be proven by clear and convincing evidence.
river not to protect her land from the destructive forces Only then would his possession become adverse.
of the water but to trap the alluvium. In order that the
riparian owner may be entitled to the alluvium the b) Although Ulpiano is a possessor in bad faith, because he
deposition must occur naturally without the knew he does not own the land, he will lose the three
intervention of the riparian owner (Republic v. CA 132 huts he built in bad faith and make an accounting of the
SCRA 514 [1984]) fruits he has gathered, he has the right to deduct from
the value of the fruits the expenses for production,
b) No, the registration of Jessica’s and Jenny’s adjoining gathering and preservation of the fruits (Art. 443).
property does not automatically extend to the
accretions. They have to bring their lands under the He may also ask for reimbursement of the taxes he has
operation of the Torrens system of land registration paid, as these are charges on the land owned by
following the procedure prescribed in P.D. No. 1529. Marciano. This obligation is based on a quasi-contract
c) Jessica and Jenny cannot validly lay claim to the price of (Art. 2175).
dry land that resulted from the dumping of rocks and
carth materials excavated from their properties QUIETING OF TITLE (2005 BAR)
because it is a reclamation without authority. The land
is part of the lakeshore, if not the lakebed, which is Q: In an ejectment case filed by Don against Cesar,
inalienable land of the public domain. can the latter ask for the cancellation of Don's title
considering that he (Cesar) is the rightful owner of the
Q: Marciano is the owner of a parcel of land through lot? Explain. (2005 BAR)
which a river runs out into the sea. The land had been
brought under the Torrens System, and is cultivated by A: Cesar cannot ask for the cancellation of Don's title in the
Ulpiano and his family as farmworkers therein. Over ejectment case filed by Don against him. Under Section 48
the years, the river has brought silt and sediment from of PD 1529, the Property Registration Decree, a Torrents
its sources up in the mountains and forests so that title shall not be subject to callateral attack. It cannot be
gradually the land owned by Marciano increased in altered, modified or cancelled except in a direct proceeding
area by three hectares. Ulpiano built three huts on this in accordance with law. The ejectment proceeding does not
additional area, where he and his two married children provide the proper forum for the cancellation of Don’s title.
live. On this same area, Ulpiano and his family planted While Cesar’s counterclaim for cancellation of Don’s title
peanuts, monggo beans and vegetables. Ulpiano also may be considered a direct attack, the same should
regularly paid taxes on the land, as shown by tax nevertheless be denied on procedural grounds because a
declarations, for over thirty years. When Marciano Municipal or Metropolitan Trial Court is without
learned of the increase in the size of the land, he jurisdiction to cancel a Torrens title.
ordered Ulpiano to demolish the huts, and demanded
that he be paid his share in the proceeds of the harvest. CO-OWNERSHIP (1993, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2006, 2008,
Marciano claims that under the Civil Code, the alluvium 2009, 2015 BAR)
belongs to him as a registered riparian owner to whose
land the accretion attaches, and that his right is Q: A, B and C are the co-owners in equal shares of a
enforceable against the whole world. residential house and lot. During their co-ownership,
the following acts were respectively done by the co-
a) Is Marciano correct? Explain. owners:
b) What rights, if any, does Ulpiano have against
Marciano? Explain. (2009 BAR) 1. A undertook the repair of the foundation of the
house, then tilting to one side, to prevent the house
A: from collapsing.
2. B and C mortgaged the house and lot to secure a
a) Marciano’s contention is correct. Since that accretion loan.
was deposited on his land by the action of the waters of 3. B engaged a contractor to build a concrete fence all
the river and he did not construct any structure to around the lot.
increase the deposition of soil and silt, Marciano 4. C built a beautiful grotto in the garden.
automatically owns the accretion. His real right of 5. A and C sold the land to X for a very good price.
ownership is enforceable against the whole world
including Ulpiano and his two married children. a) Is A’s sole decision to repair the foundation of
Although Marciano’s land is registered, the three (3) the house binding on B and C? May A require B
hectares land deposited through accretion was not and C to contribute their 2/3 share of the
automatically registered. As an unregistered land, it is expense? Reasons.
subject to acquisitive prescription by third persons. b) What is the legal effect f the mortgage contract
executed by B and C? Reasons.
Although Ulpiano and his children live in the three (3) c) Is B’s sole decision to build the fence binding
hectare unregistered land owned by Marciano, they are upon A and C? May B require A and C to
farm workers; therefore, they are possessors not in the

UST BAR OPERATIONS 44


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
contribute their 2/3 share of the expense? in 1985 by claiming to be the sole heir of his parents.
Reasos. Having reached retirement age in 1990, Rosario
d) Is C’s sole decision to build the grotto binding returned to the province and upon learning what had
upon A and B? May C require A and B to transpired, demanded that the remaining half of the
contribute their 2/3 share of the expense? land be giver to her as her share. Ramon opposed,
Reasons. asserting that he has already acquired ownership of
e) What are the legal effects of the contract of sale the land by prescription, and that Rosario is barred by
executed by A, C and X? Reasons. laches from demanding partition and reconveyance.
Decide the conflicting claims. (2000 BAR)
A:
A: Ramon is wrong on both counts: prescription and laches.
a) Yes. A’s sole decision to repair the foundation is His possession as co-owner did not give rise to acquisitive
binding upon B and C. B and C must contribute 2/3 prescription. Possession by a co-owner is deemed not
of the expense. Each co-owner has the right to adverse to the other co-owners but is, on the contrary,
compel the other co-owners to contribute to the deemed beneficial to them (Pangan v. CA 166 SCRA 375).
expense of preservation of the thing (the house) Ramon’s possession will become adverse only when he has
owned in common in proportion to their repudiated the co-ownership and such repudiation was
respective interests (Arts. 485 and 488, Civil Code). made known to Rosario. Assuming that the sale in 1985
b) The mortgage shall not bind the 1/3 right and where Ramon claimed he was the sole heir of his parents
interest of A and shall be deemed to cover only the amounted to repudiation of the co-ownership, the
rights and interests of B and C in the house and lot. prescriptive period began to run only from that time. Not
The mortgage shall be limited to the portion (2/3) more than 30 years having lapsed since then, the claim of
which may be allotted to B and C in the partiion Rosario has not yet prescribed. The claim of laches is not
(Art. 493, Civil Code). also meritorious. Until the repudiation of the co-ownership
c) B’s sole decision to build the concrete fence is not was made known to the other co-owners, no right has been
binding upon A and C. Expenses to improve the violated for the said co-owners, no right has been violated
thing owned in common must be decided upon by for the said co-owners to vindicate. Mere delay in
a majority of the co-owners who represent the vindicating the right, standing alone, does not constitute
contolling interest (Arts. 489 and 492, Civil Code). laches.
d) C’s sole decision to build the grotto is not binding
upon A and B who cannot be required to Q: Senen and Peter are brothers. Senen migrated to
contribute to the expenses for the embellishment Canada early while still a teenager. Peter stayed in
of the thing owned in common if not decided upon Bulacan to take care of their widowed mother and
by the majority of the co-owners who represent continued to work on the Family farm even after her
the controlling interest (Arts. 489 and 492, Civil death. Returning to the country some thirty years after
Code). he had left, Senen seeks a partition of the farm to get his
e) The sale to X shall not bidn the 1/3 share of B and share as the only co-heir of Peter. Peter interposes his
shall be deemed to cover only the 2/3 share of A opposition, contending that acquisitive prescription
and C in the land (Art. 493, Civil Code). B shall have has already set in and that estoppel lies to bar the
the right to redeem the 2/3 share sold to X by A action for partition, citing his continuous possession of
and C since X is a third person (Art. 1620, Civil the property for at least 10 years, for almost 30 years
Code). in fact. It is undisputed that Peter has never openly
claimed sole ownership of the property. If he ever had
Q: Juan and his sister Juana inherited from their the intention to do so, Senen was completely ignorant of
mother two parcels of farmland with exactly the same it. Will Senen’s action prosper? Explain. (2000, 2002
areas. For convenience, the Torrens certificates of title BAR)
covering both lots were placed in Juan’s name alone. In
1996, Juan sold to an innocent purchaser one parcel in A: Senen’s action will prosper. Article 494 of the New Civil
its entirety without the knowledge and consent of Code provides that “no prescription shall run in favor of a
Juana, and wrongfully kept for himself the entire price co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or co-heirs so
paid. Since the two lots have the same area, suppose long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-
Juana files a complaint to have herself declared sole ownership nor notified Senen of his having repudiated the
owner of the entire remaining second lot, contending same.”
that her brother had forfeited his share thereof by
wrongfully disposing of her undivided share in the first Q: Anthony bought a piece of untitled agricultural land
lot, will the suit prosper? (1998 BAR) from Bert. Bert, in turn, acquired the property by
forging Carlo's signature in a deed of sale over the
A: Juana’s suit to have herself declared as sole owner of the property. Carlo had been in possession of the property
entire remaining area will not prosper because while Juan’s for 8 years, declared it for tax purposes, and religiously
act in selling the other lot was wrongful, it did not have the paid all taxes due on the property. Anthony is not
legal effect of forfeiting his share in the remaining lot. aware of the defect in Bert's title, but has been in actual
However, Juana can file an action against Juan for partition physical possession of the property from the time he
or termination of the co-ownership with a prayer that the bought it from Bert, who had never been in possession
lot sold be adjudicated to Juan, and the remaining lot be of the property for one year.
adjudicated and reconveyed to her.
a. Can Anthony acquire ownership of the property by
Q: In 1955, Ramon and his sister Rosario inherited a acquisitive prescription? How many more years
parcel of land in Albay from their parents. Since does he have possess it to acquire ownership?
Rosario was gainfully employed in Manila, she left b. If Carlo is able to legally recover his property, can
Ramon alone to prossess and cultivare the land. he require Anthony to account for all the fruits he
However, Ramon never shared the harvest with has harvested from the property while in
Rosario and was even able to sell one-half of the land possession?
45
CIVIL LAW
c. If there are standing crops on the property when A: Sylvia is not correct. The 3 daughters are the co-owners
Carlo recovers possession, can Carlo appropriate of the hacienda being the only heirs of Ambrosio. When the
them? (2008 BAR) property was foreclosed, the right of redemption belongs
also to the 3 daughters. When Sylvia redeemed the entire
A: property before the lapse of the redemption period, she also
exercised the right of redemption of her co-owners on their
a. Yes, Anthony can acquire ownership of the property by behalf. As such, she is holding the shares of her two sisters
ordinary prescription which requires just title and good in the property and all the fruits corresponding thereto, in
faith (Art. 1117). There was just title because a deed of trust for them. Redemption by one co-owner inures to the
sale was issued in his favor even though it was forged, benefit of all (Adille v. CA, G.R. No. L-44546, January 29, 1988).
which in fact he was not aware of. He needs to possess Sylvia, however, is entitled to be reimbursed the shares of her
the land in good faith and in the concept of an owner for two sisters in the redemption price.
a total of ten years in order to acquire ownership. Since
Anthony possessed the land for only one year, he has Q: Antonio, Bart, and Carlos are brothers. They
not completed the ten-year period. Even if Anthony purchased from their parents specific portions of a
tacks the 8-year period of possession by Carlo who in parcel of land as evidenced by three separate deeds
the deed of sale is supposed to be his grantor or of sale, each deed referring to a particular lot in
predecessor in interest (Art. 1138 (1)), the period is still metes and bounds. When the deeds were presented
short of ten years. for registration, the Register of Deeds could not
b. Anthony is a possessor in good faith, Anthony cannot be issue separate certificates of title due to the absence
made to account for the fruits he gathered before he of a subdivision plan. The new title had to be issued,
was served with summons. A possessor in good faith is therefore, in the names of the brothers as co-owners
entitled to the fruits received before the possession was of the entire property. The situation has not change
legally interrupted by the service of summons (Art. up to now, but each of the brothers has been
554). After Anthony was served with summons, he receiving rentals exclusively from the lot actually
became a possessor in bad faith and a builder, planter, purchased by him. Antonio sells his lot to a third
sower in bad faith. He can also be made to account for person, with notice to his brothers. To enable the
the fruits but he may deduct expenses or production buyer to secure a new title in his name, the deed of
gathering and preservation of the fruits (Art. 443). sale was made to refer to an undivided interest in
c. The value of the standing crops must be prorated the property of the seller (Antonio), with the metes
depending upon the period of possession and the and bound for the lot sold being stated. Bart and
period of growing and producing the fruits. Anthony is Carlos reacted by signifying their exercise of their
entitled to a part of the net harvest and a part of right redemption as co-owners. Antonio, in his
expenses of cultivation in proportion to his period of behalf and in behalf of his buyer, contend that they
possession. Carlo may appropriate the respective parts are no longer co-owners, although the title covering
subject to prorating the respective periods of the property has remained in their names
possession. However, Carlos may allow Anthony to assuch.Mary Bart and Carlos still redeem the lot sold
gather these growing fruits as an indemnity for the by Antonio? Explain. (2002 BAR)
expenses of cultivation. If Anthony refuses to accept the
concession, he shall lose the right to indemnity under A: No, they may not redeem because there was no co-
Art. 443 (Art. 545 par. 3). ownership among Antonio, Bart, and Carlos to start with.
Their parents already partitioned the land in selling
Q: The renunciation by a co-owner of his undivided separate portions to them (Si v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
share in the co-owned property in lieu of the 122047, October 12, 2000).
performance of his obligation to contribute to taxes
and expenses for the preservation of the property Q: X, Y, Z are siblings who inherited a 10-storey
constitutes dacion en pago. (2009 BAR) building from their parents. They agreed in writing to
maintain it as a co-owned property for leasing out and
A: TRUE. Under the Civil Code, a co-owner may renounce to divide the net profits among themselves equally for
his share in the co-owned property in lieu of paying for his a period of 20 years. On the 8th year, X wanted to get
share in the taxes and expenses for the preservation of the out of the co-ownership so he could get his 1/3 share
co-owned property. In effect, there is dacion en pago in the property. Y and Z refused, saying X is bound by
because the co-owner is discharging his monetary their agreement to keep the co-ownership for 20
obligation by paying it with his non-monetary interest in years. Are Y and Z correct? Explain. (2015 BAR)
the co-owned property. The fact that he is giving up his
entire interest simply means that he is accepting the value A: Y and Z are partly correct. The law provides that none
of his interest as equivalent to his share in the taxes and of the co-owners shall be obliged to remain in the co-
expenses of preservation. ownership and it is the right of a co-owner to ask for
partition of the co-ownership anytime. One exception to
Q: Ambrosio died, leaving his three daughters, Belen, the rule is if the co-owners agree to keep the thing
Rosario and Sylvia a hacienda which was mortgaged undivided which period shall not exceed ten years. In this
to the Philippine National Bank due to the failure of the case, the agreement to keep the thing undivided shall be
daughters to pay the bank, the latter foreclosed the valid at the most for ten years (Art. 494).
mortgage and the hacienda was sold to it as the
highest bidder. Six months later, Sylvia won the grand POSSESSION (1990, 1991, 1997, 2000, 2006, 2007
prize at the lotto and used part of it to redeem the BAR)
hacienda from the bank. Thereafter, she took
possession of the hacienda and refused to share its Q: Distinguish between possession and occupation as
fruits with her sisters, contending that it was owned these terms are commonly used in Book II and Book III
exclusively by her, having bought it from the bank with of the Civil Code. (1997, 2007 BAR)
her own money. Is she correct or not? (1993, 2000 BAR)

UST BAR OPERATIONS 46


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
A: Possession is a real right, while occupation is one of the improvement, at the option of the landowner. The
original modes of acquiring ownership and other real builder is entitled to a refund of the expenses he
rights. Possession, the holding of a thing or the exercise of incurred, and not to the market value of the
a right, does not in itself constitute ownership. There can improvement. The case of Pecson v. CA (G.R. No.
be possession without ownership. 115814, 26 May 1995), is not applicable to the problem.
In the Pecson case, the builder was the owner of the land
Q: Alberto and Janine migrated to the United States of who later lost the property at a public sale due to non-
America, leaving behind their 4 children, one of whom payment of taxes. The Court ruled that Article 448
is Manny. They own a duplex apartment and allowed does not apply to the case where the owner of the land
Manny to live in one of the units. While in the is the builder but who later lost the land; not being
United States, Alberto died. His widow and all his applicable, the indemnity that should be paid to the
children executed an Extrajudicial Settlement of buyer must be the fair market value of the building
Alberto's estate wherein the 2-door apartment was and not just the cost of construction thereof. The Court
assigned by all the children to their mother, Janine. opined in that case that to do otherwise would unjustly
Subsequently, she sold the property to George. The enrich the new owner of the land.
latter required Manny to sign a prepared Lease Contract 2) Pablo is entitled to the rentals of the building. As the
so that he and his family could continue occupying the owner of the land, Pablo is also the owner of the
unit. Manny refused to sign the contract alleging that his building being an accession thereto. However, Pedro
parents allowed him and his family to continue who is entitled to retain the building is also entitled to
occupying the premises. If you were George's counsel, retain the rentals. He, however, shall apply the rentals
what legal steps will you take? Explain. (2006 BAR) to the indemnity payable to him after deducting
reasonable cost of repair and maintenance.
A: As George’s counsel, I will give Manny a written demand to
vacate within a definite period, say 15 days. After the lapse of Q: Pablo sold his car to Alfonso who issued a postdated
15-day period, I will file an action for unlawful detainer to check in full payment therefor. Before the maturity of
recover the possession of the apartment from Manny. the check, Alfonso sold the car to Gregorio who later
Manny’s occupation of the premises was by mere tolerance of sold it to Gabriel. When presented for payment, the
his parents. When all the co-heirs/co-owners assigned the 2- check issued by Alfonso was dishonored by the drawee
door apartment to Janine in the extrajudicial partition, Janine bank for the reason that he, Alfonso, had already closed
became the sole owner of the same. He continued to occupy it his account even before he issued his check. Pablo sued
under the same familial arrangement. Upon the sale of the to recover the car from Gabriel alleging that he (Pablo)
property to George, Manny’s lawful occupation of the had been unlawfully deprived of it by reason of
property was terminated and Manny’s refusal to sign the lease Alfonso's deception. Will the suit prosper? (1990, 1991
contract and to vacate the premises after the period to vacate BAR)
lapsed made his occupation unlawful, hence, entitling George A: No. The suit will not prosper because Pablo was not
to the remedy of unlawful detainer. unlawfully deprived of the car although he was unlawfully
deprived of the price. The perfection of the sale and the
Q: Felix cultivated a parcel of land and planted it with delivery of the car was enough to allow Alfonso to have a
sugar cane, believing it to be his own. When the crop was right of ownership over the car, which can be lawfully
eight months old and harvestable after two more transferred to Gregorio. Art. 559 applies only to a person
months, a resurvey of the land showed that it really who is in possession in good faith of the property, and not
belonged to Fred. What are the options available to to the owner thereof. Alfonso, in the problem, was the
Fred? (2000 BAR) owner, and, hence, Gabriel acquired the title to the car. Non-
payment of the price in a contract of sale does not render
A: As to the pending crops planted by Felix in good faith, Fred ineffective the obligation to deliver. The obligation to
has the option of allowing Felix to continue the cultivation deliver a thing is different from the obligation to pay its
and to harvest the crops, or to continue the cultivation and price. (EDCA Publishing Co. v. Spouses Santos G.R. No. 80298,
harvest the crops himself. In the latter option, however, April 26, 1990)
Felix shall have the right to a part of the expenses of
cultivation and to a part of the net harvest, both in USUFRUCT (1995, 1996, 1997 BAR)
proportion to the time of possession (Art. 545 NCC).
Q: What is easement? Distinguish easement from
Q: In good faith, Pedro constructed a five-door usufruct. (1995 BAR)
commercial building on the land of Pablo who was
also in good faith. When Pablo discovered the A: An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed
construction, he opted to appropriate the building by upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable
paying Pedro the cost thereof. However, Pedro insists belonging to a different owner. (Art. 613, NCC)
that he should be paid the current market value of the
building, which was much higher because of inflation. Usufruct gives a right to enjoy the property of another with
the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the
1) Who is correct Pedro or Pablo? title constituting it or the law otherwise provides. (Art. 562
2) In the meantime that Pedro is not yet paid, who NCC). An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed
is entitled to the rentals of the building, Pedro or upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable
Pablo? (2000 BAR) belonging to a different owner (Art. 613, NCC).

A: Q: Can there be:

1) Pablo is correct. Under Article 448 of the New Civil a) An easement over a usufruct?
Code in relation to Article 546, the builder in good faith b) A usufruct over an easement?
is entitled to a refund of the necessary and useful c) An easement over another easement?
expenses incurred by him, or the increase in value
which the land may have acquired by reason of the Explain. (1995 BAR)
47
CIVIL LAW
subsist for the number of years specified even if the third
A: person should die unless there is an express stipulation in
the contract that states otherwise. In the case at bar, there is
a) There can be no easement over a usufruct. Since an no express stipulation that the consideration for the
easement may be constituted only on a corporeal usufruct is the existence of Petronila's son. Thus, the
immovable property, no easement may be constituted on general rule and not the exception should apply in this case.
a usufruct which is not a corporeal right. EASEMENTS (1996, 1998, 2001, 2005, 2013, 2014)
b) There can be no usufruct over an easement. While a
usufruct may be created over a right, sich right must have Q: An easement that can be acquired by prescription:
an existence of its own independent of the property. A
servitude cannot be the object of a usufruct because it has A. Right of way
no existence independent of the property to which it B. Watering of an animal
attaches. C. Lateral and subjacent support
c) There can be no easement over another easement for the D. Light and view (2014 BAR)
same reason as in (a). An easement, although it is a real
right over an immovable, is not a corporeal right. There is A: D – only continuous and apparent easements maybe
a Roman maxim which says that: There can be no acquired by prescription.
servitude over another servitude.
Q: In 2005, Andres built a residential house on a lot
Q: Distinguish usufruct from commodatum and state whose only access to the national highway was a
whether these may be constituted over consumable pathway crossing Brando's property. Andres and
goods. others have been using this pathway (pathway A) since
1980. In 2006, Brando fenced off his property, thereby
A: Usufruct is a right given to a person (usufructuary) to enjoy blocking Andres' access to the national highway.
the property of another with the obligation of preserving its Andres demanded that part of the fence be removed to
form and substance (Art. 562, Civil Code) maintain his old access route to the highway (pathway
A), but Brando refused, claiming that there was another
On the other hand, commodatum is a contract by which one of available pathway (pathway B) for ingress and egress
the parties (bailor) delivers to another (bailee) something not to the highway. Andres countered that pathway B has
consumable so that the latter may use it for a certain time and defects, is circuitous, and is extremely inconvenient to
return it. use. To settle their dispute, Andres and Brando hired
Damian, a geodetic and civil engineer, to survey and
In usufruct, the usufructuary gets the right to the use and to examine the two pathways and the surrounding areas,
the fruits of the same, while in commodatum, the bailee only and to determine the shortest and the least prejudicial
acquires the use of the thing loaned but not its fruits. way through the servient estates. After the survey, the
engineer concluded that pathway B is the longer route
Usufruct may be constituted on the whole or a part of the and will need improvements and repairs, but will not
fruits of the thing. (Art. 564, Civil Code). It may even be significantly affect the use of Brando's property. On the
constituted over consumables like money (Alunan v. Veloso, other hand, pathway A that had long been in place, is
52 Phil. 545). On the other hand, in commodatum, consumable the shorter route but would significantly affect the use
goods may be subject thereof only when the purpose of the of Brando's property. In light of the engineer's findings
contract is not the consumption of the object, as when it is and the circumstances of the case, resolve the parties'
merely for exhibition. (Art. 1936, Civil Code) right of way dispute. (1996, 2013 BAR)

Q: Bartolome constructed a chapel on the land of Eric. A: Andres is not entitled to the easement of right of way for
What are Batolome’s rights of he were a usufructuary of Pathway A. Pathway B must be used.
the land? (1996 BAR)
The owner of a dominant estate may validly obtain a
A: Bartlome has the right to remove the improvement if it is
compulsory right of way only after he has established the
possible to do so without causing damage to the property (Art.
existence of four requisites, to wit:
579, NCC). He may also set off the improvement against any
damages which the property held in usufruct suffered
1. the (dominant) estate is surrounded by other
because of his act or the acts of his assignee. (Art. 580, NCC).
immovables and is without adequate outlet to a public
highway;
Q: On 1 January 1980, Minerva, the owner of a building,
2. after payment of the proper indemnity;
granted Petronila a usufruct over the property until 01
3. the isolation was not due to the proprietor's own acts;
June 1998 when Manuel, a son of Petronila, would have
and
reached his 30th birthday. Manuel, however, died on
4. the right of way claimed is at a point least prejudicial to
1 June 1990 when he was only 26 years old. Minerva
the servient estate, and insofar as consistent with this
notified Petronila that the usufruct had been
rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to
extinguished by the death of Manuel and demanded that
the public highway may be the shortest (Art. 650).
the latter vacate the premises and deliver the same to
the former. Petronila refused to vacate the place on the
However, the Supreme Court has consistently ruled that in
ground that the usufruct in her favor would expire only
case both criteria cannot be complied with, the right of way
on 1 June 1998 when Manuel would have reached his
shall be established at the point least prejudicial to the
30th birthday and that the death of Manuel before his
servient estate.
30th birthday did not extinguish the usufruct. Whose
contention should be accepted? (1997 BAR)
The first and fourth requisites are not complied with. First,
there is another available outlet to the national highway
A: Petronila's contention is correct. Under Article 606 of
(Pathway B). Second, the right of way obtained (Pathway A)
the Civil Code, a usufruct granted for the time that may
is not the least prejudicial to Brando's property as
elapse before a third person reaches a certain age shall
evidenced by the reports of the geodetic and civil engineer.
UST BAR OPERATIONS 48
QUAMTO (1987-2016)
B. Assuming Ava opts to demand a right of way from
When there is already an existing adequate outlet from the any of the owners of Lots A, B, and D, can she do
dominant estate to a public highway, even if the said outlet, that? Explain. (2010 BAR)
for one reason or another, be inconvenient, the need to open
up another servitude is entirely unjustified (Costabella A:
Corp. v. CA, G.R. No. 80511, January 25, 1991). The rule that
the easement of right of way shall be established at the point A. Yes. Ava has the right to demand from Julia the
least prejudicial to the servient estate is controlling activation of the right of way, for the following reasons:
(Quimen v. CA, G.R. No. 112331, May 29, 1996). 1. The easement of the right of way is a real right
which attaches to, and is inseperable from, the
Q: Distinguish between: estate to which it belongs.
1. Continuous and discontinuous easements; 2. The sale of the property includes the easement or
2. Apparent and non-apparent easements; and servitude, even if the deed of sale is silent on the
3. Positive and negative easements (1998 BAR) matter.
3. The vendee of the property in which a servitude or
A: easement exists cannot close or put obstructions
thereon to prevent the dominant estate from using
1. Continuous easements are those the use of which is or it.
may be incessant, without the intervention of any act of 4. Ava’s working abroad for more than ten (10) years
man, while discontinuous easements are those which are should not be construed as non-user, because it
used at intervals and depend upon the acts of man. (Art. cannot be implied from the fact that she or those
615, Civil Code) she left behind to cultivate the lot no longer use the
2. Apparent easements are those which are made known right of way.
and are continually kept in view by external signs that 5. Renunciation or waiver of an easement must be
reveal the use and enjoyment of the same, while non- specific, clear, express and made in a public
apparent easements are those which show no external instrument in accordance of Art. 1358 of the NCC.
indication of their existence. (Art. 615, Civil Code) B. Yes. Ava has the option to demand a right of way on any
3. Positive easements are those which impose upon the of the remaining lots of Franz more so after Franz sold
owner of the servient estate the obligation of allowing lot C to Julia. The essential elements of a legal right of
something to be done or of doing it himself, while way under Art. 649 and 650 of the NCC are complied
negative easements are those which prohibit the owner with.
of the servient estate from doing something which he
could lawfully do if the easement did not exist. (Art. 615, Q: David is the owner of the subdivision in Sta. Rosa,
Civil Code) Laguna, without an access to the highway. When he
applied for a license to establish the subdivision, David
Q: Emma bought a parcel of land from Equitable-PCI represented that he will purchase a rice field located
Bank, which acquired the same from Felisa, the between his land and the highway, and develop it into
original owner. Thereafter, Emma discovered that an access road. But when the license was already
Felisa had granted a right of way over the land in granted, he did not bother to buy the rice field, which
favor of the land of Georgina, which had no outlet to remains unutilized until the present. Instead, he chose
a public highway, but the easement was not annotated to connect his subdivision with the neighboring
when the servient estate was registered under the subdivision of Nestor, which has an access to the
Torrens system. Emma then filed a complaint for highway. Nestor allowed him to do this, pending
cancellation of the right of way, on the ground that it negotiations on the compensation to be paid. When
had been extinguished by such failure to annotate. they failed to arrive at an agreement, Nestor built a
How would you decide the controversy? (2001 BAR) wall across the road connecting with David's
subdivision. David filed a complaint in court, for the
A: The complaint for cancellation of easement of right of establishment of an easement of right of way through
way must fail. The failure to annotate the easement upon the subdivision of Nestor which he claims to be the
the title of the servient estate is not among the grounds most adequate and practical outlet to the highway.
for extinguishing an easement under Article 631 of the NCC.
Under Article 617, easements are inseparable from the 1) What are the requisites for the establishment of a
estate to which they actively or passively belong. Once it compulsory easement of a right of way?
attaches, it can only be extinguished under Article 631, 2) Is David entitled to a right of way in this case? Why
and they exist even if they are not stated or annotated or why not? (1996 BAR)
as an encumbrance on the Torrens title of the servient
estate. (II Tolentino 326, 1987 ed.) A:

Q: Franz was the owner of Lot E which was surrounded 1) Art. 649, NCC. The owner, or any person who by virtue
by four (4) lots one of which – Lot C – he also owned. He of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable
promised Ava that if she bought Lot E, he would give her which is surrounded by other immovables pertaining
a right of way in Lot C. Convinced, Ava bought Lot E and, to other persons and without adequate outlet to a
as promised, Franz gave her a right of way in Lot C. Ava public highway, is entitled to demand a right of way
cultivated Lot E and used the right of way granted by through the neighboring estates, after payment of the
Franz. Ava later found gainful employment abroad. On property indeminity.
her return after more than 10 years, the right of way
was no longer available to her because Franz had in the Should this easement be established in such a manner
meantime sold Lot C to Julia who had it fenced. that its use may be continuous for all the needs of the
dominant estate, establishing a permanent passage the
A. Does Ava have a right to demand from Julia the indemnity shall consist of the value of the land occupied
activation of her right of way? Explain. and the amount of the damage caused to the servient
estate.
49
CIVIL LAW

In case the right of way is limited to the necessary 1. According to Art. 694 of the Civil Code, a nuisance is any
passage for the cultivation of the estate surrounded by act, omission, establishment, business condition of
others and for the gathering of its crops through the property, or anything else which:
servient estate without a permanent way, the i. Injures or endangers the health or safety of others;
indemnity shall consist in the payment of the damage or
caused by such encumbrance. ii. Annoys or offends the sense; or
iii. Shocks, defies, or disregards decency or morality; or
This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of the iv. Obstructs or interferes with the free passage of any
immovable is due to the proprietor’s own acts. public highway or street, or any body of water; or
v. Hinders or impairs the use of property.
The easement of right of way shall be established at
the point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and A nuisance may be whether public or private. Under Art.
insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance 685, a public nuisance affects a community or
from the dominant estate to a public highway may be neighbourhood or any considerable number of persons,
the shortest (Art. 650, NCC; Vda. de Baltazar v. CA, 245 although the extent of the annoyance, danger of damage
SCRA 333) upon individuals may be unequal. A private nuisance, on
the other hand, is one that violates only private rights and
2) No, David is not entitled to the right of way being produces damage to but one or a few persons.
claimed. The isolation of his subdivision was due to his
own act or omission because he did not develop into an a. A squatter’s hut being an illegal construction, constitutes
access road the rice field which he was supposed to a public nuisance per se, if it poses problems of health and
purchase according to his own representation when sanitation. (City of Manila v. Garcia, 19 SCRA 41, [1967]). If
he applied for a license to establish the subdivision. the squatter’s hut is built on a private land and hinders or
(Floro v. Llenado, 244 SCRA 713). impairs the owner’s use of his or her own property, then
it would constitute a private nuisance.
Q: Don was the owner of an agricultural land with no b. A swimming pool is not a nuisance and is an exception to
access to a public road. He had been passing through the attractive nuisance doctrine (Hidalgo v. Guillermo, 91
the land of Ernie with the latter's acquiescence for over Phil. 488 [1952]). It generally does not cause an injury,
20 years. Subsequently, Don subdivided his property harm or prejudice to an individual or the public (Art. 694,
into 20 residential lots and sold them to different par. 1).
persons. Ernie blocked the pathway and refused to c. A house of prostitution is a public nuisance because it
let the buyers pass through his land. shocks or disregards the decency or morality of the
community. (Art. 694 par. 3, Civil Code)
a) Did Don acquire an easement of right of way? d. A noisy or dangerous factory even if built in a private land
Explain. may be considered a nuisance if it offends the sense of the
b) What are the rights of the lot buyers, if any? owners of the adjacent property or poses a danger to
Explain. (2005 BAR) their safety (Art. 694, par. 1, Civil Code). This kind of
nuisance may be classified as a public nuisance if it affects
A: and annoys those who come within its sphere.
e. Uncollected garbage can be injurious to heath and even
a) Don did not acquire an easement of right of way. His the environment. It is thus, considered a public nuisance.
passage through Ernie’s land was by mere acquiescence
or tolerance. He cannot claim to have acquired the Q: A drug lord and his family reside in a small bungalow
easement of right of way by prescription, because this where they sell shabu and other prohibited drugs. When
easement is discontinuous although apparent. Only the police found the illegal trade, they immediately
continuous and apparent easements can be acquired by demolished the house because according to them, it
prescription of 10 years of uninterrupted use and was a nuisance per se that should be abated. Can this
enjoyment. demolition be sustained? Explain. (2006 BAR)
b) Prior to the grant of an easement, the buyers of the
dominant estate have no other right than to compel grant A: No, the demolition cannot be sustained. The house is not
of easement of right of way. Since the properties of the a nuisance per se or at law as it is not an act, occupation, or
buyers are surrounded by other immovable and has no structure which is a nuisance at all times and under any
adequate outlet to a public highway and the isolation is circumstances, regardless of location or surroundings. A
not due to their acts, buyers may demand an easement nuisance per se is a nuisance in and of itself, without regard
of a right of way provided proper indemnity is paid to circumstances.
and the right of way demanded is the shortest and
least prejudicial to Ernie. DONATIONS (1990, 1991, 1993, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006,
2007, 2009 BAR)
NUISANCE (2005, 2006 BAR)
Q: Josefa executed a deed of donation covering a one-
Q: State with reason whether each of the following is a hectare rice land in favor of her daughter, Jennifer. The
nuisance, and if so, give its classification, whether public deed specifically provides that:
or private:
"For and in consideration of the love and
a) A squatter’s hut service Jennifer has shown and given to me, I
b) A swimming pool hereby freely, voluntarily and irrevocably
c) A house of prostitution donate to her my one-hectare rice land
d) A noisy or dangerous factory in a private land covered by TCT No. 11550, located in San
e) Uncollected garbage (2005 BAR) Fernando, Pampanga. This donation shall take
effect upon my death."
A:

UST BAR OPERATIONS 50


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
The deed also contained Jennifer's signed acceptance, of titulo colorado enough for acquisitive prescription
and an attached notarized declaration by Josefa and especially since 12 years had lapsed from the deed of
Jennifer that the land will remain in Josefa's possession donation.
and cannot be alienated, encumbered, sold or disposed
of while Josefa is still alive. Advise Jennifer on whether Q: Illegal and impossible conditions in a simple donation
the deed is a donation inter vivos or mortis causa and v. Illegal and impossible conditions in an onerous
explain the reasons supporting your advice. (2013 donation (2007 BAR)
BAR)
A: Illegal and impossible conditions in a simple donation are
A: The donation is a donation inter vivos. considered as not written. Such conditions shall, therefore, be
disregarded but the donation remains valid (Article 727, NCC).
When the donor intends that the donation shall take effect
during the lifetime of the donor, though the property shall On the other hand, illegal and impossible conditions imposed
not be delivered till after the donor’s death, this shall be a in an onerous donation shall annul the donation (Art. 1183,
donation inter vivos (Art. 729). The Civil Code prefers inter NCC). This is so because onerous donations are governed by
vivos transmissions. Moreover, mortis causa donations the law on contracts (Art. 733, NCC).
should follow the formalities of a will (Art. 728). Here there
is no showing that such formalities were followed. Thus, it Q: B donated to M a parcel of land in 1980. B made the
is favorable to Jennifer that the deed is a donation inter deed of donation, entitled “Donation Inter Vivos”, in a
vivos. public instrument and M accepted the donation in the
land same document. It was provided in the deed that the
Furthermore, what is most significant in determining the land donated shall be immediately delivered to M and
type of donation is the absence of stipulation that the donor that M shall have the right to enjoy the fruits fully. The
could revoke the donation; on the contrary, the deeds deed also provided that B was reserving the right to
expressly declare them to be “irrevocable,” a quality dispose of the land during his (B’s) lifetime, and that M
absolutely incompatible with the idea of conveyances shall not register the deed of donation until after B’s
mortis causa where revocability is the essence of the act, to death. Upon B’s death, W, B’s widow, and sole heir, filed
the extent that a testator cannot lawfully waive or restrict an action for the recovery of the donated land,
his right of revocation. The provisions of the deed of contending that the donation made by B is a donation
donation which state that the same will only take effect mortis causa and not a donation inter vivos. Will said
upon the death of the donor and that there is a prohibition action prosper? Explain your answer. (1990 BAR)
to alienate, encumber, dispose, or sell the same should be
harmonized with its express irrevocability (Austria-Magat A: Yes the action will prosper. The donation is a donation
v. CA, G.R. No. 106755, February 1, 2002). mortis causa because the reservation is to dispose of all the
property donated and, therefore, the donation is revocable at
Q: The Roman Catholic Church accepted a donation of a will. Accordingly, the donation requires the execution of a
real property located in Lipa City. A deed of donation valid will, whether notarial or holographic. (Arts. 755, 728,
was executed, signed by the donor, Don Mariano, and Civil Code)
the donee, the Church, as represented by Fr. Damian.
Before the deed could be notarized, Don Mariano died. Q: Ernesto donated in a public instrument a parcel of
Is the donation valid? (2014 BAR) land to Demetrio, who accepted it in the same document.
It is there declared that the donation shall take effect
A: The donation is void. The donation of an immovable immediately, with the donee having the right to take
property must be in a public instrument in order for it to be possession of the land and receive its fruits but not
valid. In this case, the donor died even before the to dispose of the land while Ernesto is alive as well as
notarization of the deed of donation. Hence, it does not for ten years following his death. Moreover, Ernesto
satisfy the requirement of being in a public instrument for also reserved in the same deed his right to sell the
the donation to be valid. property should he decide to dispose of it at any time - a
right which he did not exercise at all. After his death,
Q: Jose, single, donated a house and lot to his only niece, Ernesto's heirs seasonably brought an action to recover
Maria, who was of legal age and who accepted the the property, alleging that the donation was void as it
donation. The donation and Maria's acceptance thereof did not comply with the formalities of a will. Will the suit
were evidenced by a Deed of Donation. Maria then lived prosper? (1990, 1998 BAR)
in the house and lot donated to her, religiously paying
real estate taxes thereon. Twelve years later, when Jose A: Yes, the suit will prosper as the donation did not
had already passed away, a woman claiming to be an comply with the formalities of a will. In this instance, the
illegitimate daughter of Jose filed a complaint against fact that the donor did not intend to transfer ownership
Maria. Claiming rights as an heir, the woman prayed or possession of the donated property to the donee until
that Maria be ordered to reconvey the house and lot to the donor's death, would result in a donation mortis causa
Jose's estate. In her complaint she alleged that the and in this kind of disposition, the formalities of a will should
notary public who notarized the Deed of Donation had be complied with, otherwise, the donation is void. In this
an expired notarial commission when the Deed of Instance, donation mortis causa embodied only in a public
Donation was executed by Jose. Can Maria be made to instrument without the formalities of a will could not have
reconvey the property? What can she put up as a transferred ownership of disputed property to another.
defense? (2015 BAR)
Q: On January 21, 1986, A executed a deed of donation
A: No. Maria cannot be compelled to reconvey the property. inter vivos of a parcel of land to Dr. B who had earlier
The Deed of Donation was void because it was not constructed thereon a building in which researches on
considered a public document. However, a void donation the dreaded disease AIDS were being conducted. The
can trigger acquisitive prescription (Solis v. CA, G.R. No. L- deed, acknowledged before a notary public, was handed
46753-54, August 25, 1989; Doliendo v. Biarnesa, G.R. No. L- over by A to Dr. B who received it. A few days after, A flew
2765, December 27, 1906). The void donation has a quality to Davao City. Unfortunately, the airplane he was
51
CIVIL LAW
riding crashed on landing killing him. Two days after donation to be effective. The defense of full payment will,
the unfortunate accident. Dr. B, upon advice of a therefore, be valid.
lawyer, executed a deed acknowledged before a
notary public accepting the donation. Is the donation When, however, the notation was written by Arturo himself.
effective? Explain your answer. (1993, 1998 BAR) It merely proves his intention in making that payment but in
no way does it bind his father (Yam v. CA, G.R No. 104726,
A: No, the donation is not effective. The law requires that February 11, 1999). In such case, the notation was not the act
the separate acceptance of the donee of an immovable must of his father from which condonation may be inferred.
be done in a public document during the lifetime of the There being no condonation at all, the defense of full
donor (Art. 746 & 749, Civil Code) In this case, B executed payment will not be valid.
the deed of acceptance before a notary public after the
donor had already died. Q: In 1986, Jennifer and Brad were madly in love. In 1989,
because a certain Picasso painting reminded Brad of her,
Q: On July 27, 1997, Pedro mailed in Manila a letter to his Jennifer acquired it and placed it in his bedroom. In 1990,
brother Jose, a resident of Iloilo City, offering to donate a Brad and Jennifer broke up. While Brad was mending his
vintage sports car which the latter had long been broken heart, he met Angie and fell in love. Because the
wanting to buy from the former. On August 5, 1997, Jose Picasso painting reminded Angie of him, Brad in his will
called Pedro by cellular phone to thank him for his bequeathed the painting to Angie. Brad died in 1995.
generosity and to inform him that he was sending by Saddened by Brad's death, Jennifer asked for the Picasso
mail for his letter of acceptance. Pedro never received painting as a remembrance of him. Angie refused and
that letter because it was never mailed. On August 14, claimed that Brad, in his will, bequeathed the painting to
1997, Pedro received a telegram from Iloilo informing her. Is Angie correct? Why or why not? (2007 BAR)
him that Jose had been killed in a road accident the day
before (August 13, 1997) A: No, Angie is not correct. The Picasso painting is not given
or donated by Jennifer to Brad. She merely “placed it in his
1. Is there a perfected donation? bedroom.” Hence, she is still the owner of the painting. Not
2. Will your anser be the same if Jose did mail his being the owner of the Picasso painting, Brad cannot validly
acceptance letter but it was received by Pedro in bequeath the same to Angie (Art. 930). Even assuming that the
Manila days after Jose’s death? (1998 BAR) painting was impliedly given or donated by Jennifer to Brad,
the donation is nevertheless void for not being in writing. The
A: Picasso painting must be worth more that 5,000 pesos. Under
Art. 748, the donation and acceptance of a movable worth
1. None. There is no perfected donation. Under Art. 748 of more than 5,000 pesos must be in writing, otherwise the
the Civil Code, the donation of a movable may be made donation is void, Jennifer remained the owner of the Picasso
orally or in writing. If the value of the personal property painting and Brad could not have validly disposed of said
donated exceeds five thousand pesos, teh donation and painting in favor of Angie in his will.
the acceptance shall be made in writing. Assuming that
the value of the thing donated, a vintage sports car, Q: Anastacia purchased a house and lot on
exceeds P5, 000.00, then the donation and the acceptance installments at a housing project in Quezon City.
must be in writing. In this instance, the acceptance of Jose Subsequently, she was employed in California and a
was not in writing, therefore, the donation is void. Upon year later, she executed a deed of donation, duly
the other hand, assuming that the sports car costs less authenticated by the Philippine Consulate in Los
than P5, 000.00, the donation may be oral, but still, the Angeles, California, donating the house and lot to her
simultaneous delivery of the car is needed and there friend Amanda. The latter brought the deed of donation
being none, the donation was never perfected. to the owner of the project and discovered that
2. Yes, the answer is the same. If Jose’s mail containing his Anastacia left unpaid installments and real estate
acceptance of the donation was received by Pedro after taxes. Amanda paid these so that the donation in her
the former’s death, then the donation is still void because favor can be registered in the project owner's office.
under Art. 734 of the Civil Code, the donation is perfected Two months later, Anastacia died, leaving her mother
the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the Rosa as her sole heir. Rosa filed an action to annul the
done. The death of Jose before Pedro could receive the donation on the ground that Amanda did not give her
acceptance indicates that the donation was never consent in the deed of donation or in a separate
perfected. Under Art. 746, acceptance must be made public instrument. Amanda replied that the donation
during the lifetime of both the donor and the done. was an onerous one because she had to pay unpaid
installments and taxes; hence her acceptance may be
Q: Arturo borrowed P500, 000.00 from his father. After implied. Who is correct? (2000 BAR)
he had paid P300, 000.00, his father died. When the
administrator of his father's estate requested A: Rosa is correct because the donation is void. The
payment of the balance of P200, 000.00. Arturo property donated was an immovable. For such donation to
replied that the same had been condoned by his be valid, Article 749 of the New Civil Code requires both the
father as evidenced by a notation at the back of his donation and the acceptance to be in a public instrument.
check payment for the P300, 000.00 reading: "In full There being no showing that Amanda's acceptance was
payment of the loan". Will this be a valid defense in an made in a public instrument, the donation is void. The
action for collection? (2000 BAR) contention, that the donation is onerous and therefore, need
not comply with Article 749 for validity is without merit.
A: It depends. If the notation "in full payment of the loan" was The donation is not onerous because it did not impose on
written by Arturo's father, there was an implied Amanda the obligation to pay the balance on the purchase
condonation of the balance that discharges the obligation. price or the arrears in real estate taxes. Amanda took it upon
In such case, the notation is an act of the father from which herself to pay those amounts voluntarily. For a donation to
condonation may be inferred. The condonation being be onerous, the burden must be imposed by the donor on
implied, it need not comply with the formalities of a the donee. In the problem, there is no such burden imposed

UST BAR OPERATIONS 52


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
by the donor onthedonee.The donation not being onerous, court to fix the period because such procedure with the
it must comply with the formalities of Article 749. condition (Central Philippine University v. CA,G.R. No.
112127, July 17, 1995).
Q: May a person donate something that does not
belong to him? Explain. (2003 BAR) Q: Spouses Alfredo and Racquel were active members of
a religious congregation. They donated a parcel of land in
A: As a general rule, a person cannot donate something which favour of that congregation in a duly notarized Deed of
he cannot dispose of at the time of the donation (Art. 751). Donation, subject to the condition that the Minister shall
Q: True or False: construct thereon a place of worship within 1 year from
the acceptance of the donation. In an affidavit he
A person can dispose of his corpse through an act executed on behalf of the congregation, the Minister
intervivos. (2009 BAR) accepted the donation. The Deed of Donation was not
registered with the Registry of Deeds.
A: A person cannot dispose of his corpse through an act inter
vivos, i.e., an act to take effect during his lifetime. Before his However, instead of constructing a place of worship, the
death there is no corpse to dispose. But he is allowed to do so Minister constructed a bungalow on the property he used
through an act mortis causa, i.e., an act to take effect upon his as his residence. Disappointed with the Minister, the
death. spouses revoked the donation and demanded that he
vacate the premises immediately. But the Minister
Q: Spouses Michael and Linda donated a 3-hectare refused to leave, claiming that aside from using the
residential land to the City of Baguio on the condition bungalow as his residence, he is also using it as a place for
that the city government would build thereon a public worship on special occasions.
park with a boxing arena, the construction of which
shall commence within six (6) months from the date Under the circumstances, can Alfredo and Racquel evict
the parties ratify the donation. The donee accepted the the Minister and recover possession of the property? If
donation and the title to the property was transferred you were the couple's counsel, what action you take to
in its name. Five years elapsed but the public park with protect the interest of your clients? (2006 BAR)
the boxing arena was never started. Considering the
failure of the donee to comply with the condition of A: As counsel for the couple, I may file an action for
the donation, the donor-spouses sold the property to reconveyance of the property on the ground that the donation
Ferdinand who then sued to recover the land from the was not perfected. It was not perfected because although it
government. Will the suit prosper? (1991 BAR) was made in a public document, the donee failed to notify the
donor of such acceptance in an authentic form before the
A: Ferdinand has no right to recover the land. It is true that donation was revoked under Art. 749 of the Civil Code. Such
the donation was revocable because of breach of the notification was necessary for the donation to become valid
conditions. But until and unless the donation was revoked, and binding.
it remained valid. Hence, Spouses Michael and Linda had no
right to sell the land to Ferdinand. One cannot give what he
does not have. What the donors should have done first was PART IV – OBLIGATIONS AND CONTRACTS
to have the donation annulled or revoked. And after that
was done, they could validly have disposed of the land in
favor of Ferdinand. SOURCES OF OBLIGATION (1991, 1997, 2002, 2008 BAR)

Q: In 1950, Dr. Alba donated a parcel of land to Q: In two separate documents signed by him, Juan
Central University on condition that the latter must Valentino "obligated" himself each to Maria and to Perla,
establish a medical college on the land to be named thus -'To Maria, my true love, I obligate myself to give
after him. In the year 2000, the heirs of Dr. Alba filed an you my one and only horse when I feel like It."
action to annul the donation and for the reconveyance - and -
of the property donated to them for the failure, after 50 'To Perla, my true sweetheart, I obligate myself to pay
years, of the University to establish on the property a you the P500.00 I owe you when I feel like it."
medical school named after their father. The
University opposed the action on the ground of Months passed but Juan never bothered to make good
prescription and also because it had not used the his promises. Maria and Perla came to consult you on
property for some purpose other than that stated in whether or not they could recover on the basis of the
the donation. Should the opposition of the University foregoing settings. What would your legal advice be?
to the action of Dr. Alba’s heirs be sustained? Explain. (1997 BAR)
(2003, 2006 BAR)
A: I would advise Maria not to bother running after Juan
A: The donation may be revoked. The non-establishment of for the latter to make good his promise. This is because
the medical college on the donated property was a a promise is not an actionable wrong that allows a party
resolutory condition imposed on the donation by the donor. to recover especially when she has not suffered damages
Although the Deed of Donation did not fix the time for the resulting from such promise. A promise does not create an
established of the medical college, the failure of the donee obligation on the part of Juan because it is not something
to establish the medical college after fifty (50) years from which arises from a contract, law, quasi-contracts or quasi-
the making of the donation should be considered as delicts (Art, 1157). Under Art. 1182, Juan's promise to
occurrence of the resolutory condition, and the donation Maria is void because a conditional obligation depends upon
may now be revoked. While the general rule is that in case the sole will of the obligor. As regards Perla, the document
the period is not fixed in the agreement of the parties, the is an express acknowledgment of a debt, and the promise
period must be fixed first by the court before the obligation to pay what he owes her when he feels like it is equivalent
may be demanded, the period of fifty (50) years was more to a promise to pay when his means permits him to do so,
than enough time for the done to comply with the and is deemed to be one with an indefinite period under Art.
condition. Hence, in this case, there is no more need for the
53
CIVIL LAW
1180. Hence the amount is recoverable after Perla asks the Publico. Theirs is not a stipulation pour atrui. [Aforesaid]
court to set the period as provided by Art. 1197, par. 2. Such contracts do could not affect third persons like
Suplico because of the basic civil law principle of relativity
Q: Roland, a basketball star, was under contract for one of contracts which provides that contracts can only bind the
year to play-for-play exclusively for Lady Love, Inc. parties who entered into it, and it cannot favor or
However, even before the basketball season could prejudice a third person, even if he is aware of such
open, he was offered a more attractive pay plus contract and has acted with knowledge thereof. (Integrated
fringes benefits by Sweet Taste, Inc. Roland accepted Packaging Corporation v. CA, G.R. No. 115117, June 8, 2000)
the offer and transferred to Sweet Taste. Lady Love
sues Roland and Sweet Taste for breach of contract. Q: A van owned by Orlando and driven by Diego, while
Defendants claim that the restriction to play for Lady negotiating a downhill slope of a city road, suddenly
Love alone is void, hence, unenforceable, as it gained speed, obviously beyond the authorized limit
constitutes an undue interference with the right of in the area, and bumped a car in front of it, causing
Roland to enter into contracts and the impairment of severe damage to the care and serious injuries to its
his freedom to play and enjoy basketball. Can Roland be passengers. Orlando was not in the car at the time of the
bound by the contract he entered into with Lady Love incident. The car owner and the injured passengers sued
or can he disregard the same? Is he liable at all? How Orlando and Diego for damages caused by Diego’s
about Sweet Taste? Is it liable to Lady Love? (1991 BAR) negligence. In their defense, Diego claims that the
downhill slope caused the van to gain speed and that,
A: Yes, Roland is liable under the contract as far as Lady Love as he stepped on the brakes to check the acceleration,
is concerned. He is liable for damages under Article 1170 of the brakes locked, causing the van to go even faster
the Civil Code since he contravened the tenor of his and eventually to hit the car in front of it. Orlando and
obligation. Not being a contracting party, Sweet Taste is not Diego contend that the sudden malfunction of the
bound by the contract but it can be held liable under Art. van’s brake system is a fortuitous even and that,
1314. The basis of its liability is not prescribed by contract therefore, they are exempt from any liability. Is this
but is founded on quasi-delict, assuming that Sweet Taste contention tenable? Explain. (2002 BAR)
knew of the contract. Article 1314 of the Civil Code
provides that any third person who induces another to A: No. Mechanical defects of a motor vehicle do not constitute
violate his contract shall be liable for damages to the other fortuitous event, since the presence of such defects would
contracting party. have been readily detected by diligent maintenance check.
The failure to maintain the vehicle in safe running condition
Q: Printado is engaged in the printing business. constitutes negligence.
Suplico supplies printing paper to Printado pursuant
to an order agreement under which Suplico binds Q: AB Corp. entered into a contract with XY Corp.
himself to deliver the same volume of paper every whereby the former agreed to construct the research
month for a period of 18 months, with Printado in and laboratory facilities of the latter. Under the terms
turn agreeing to pay within 60 days after each of the contract, AB Corp. agreed to complete the facility
delivery. Suplico has been faithfully delivering under in 18 months, at the total contract price of P10 million.
the order agreement for 10 months but thereafter XY Corp. paid 50% of the total contract price, the
stopped doing so, because Printado has not made any balance to be paid upon completion of the work. The
payment at all. Printado has also a standing work stated immediately, but AB Corp. later
contractwith publisher Publico for the printing of 10, experienced work slippage because of labor unrest in
000 volumes of school textbooks. Suplico was aware his company. AB Corp.'s employees claimed that they
of said printing contract. After printing 1, 000 volumes, are not being paid on time; hence, the work slowdown.
Printado also fails to perform under its printing As of the 17th month, work was only 45% completed.
contract with Publico. Suplico sues Printado for the AB Corp. asked for extension of time, claiming that its
value of the unpaid deliveries under their order labor problems is a case of fortuitous event, but this
agreement. At the same time Publico sues Printado for was denied by XY Corp. When it became certain that the
damages for breach of contract with respect to their construction could not be finished on time, XY Corp.
own printing agreement. In the suit filed by Suplico, sent written notice cancelling the contract, and
Printado counters that: (a) Suplico cannot demand requiring AB Corp. to immediately vacate the premises.
payment for deliveries made under their order Can the labor unrest be considered a fortuitous event?
agreement until Suplico has completed performance (2008 BAR)
under said contract; (b) Suplico should pay damages for
breach of contract; and (c) with Publico should be A: Labor unrest is not a fortuitous event that will excuse AB
liable for Printado’s breach of his contract with Publico Corporation from complying with its obligation of
because the order agreement between Suplico and constructing the research and laboratory facilities of XY
Printado was for the benefit of Publico. Are the Corporation. The labor unrest, which may even be
contentions of Printado tenable? Explain your answers attributed in large part to AB Corporation itself, is not the
as to each contention. (2002 BAR) direct cause of non-compliance by AB Corporation. It is
independent of its obligation. It is similar to the failure of a
A: No, the contentions of Printado are untenable. DBP borrower to pay her loan just because her plantation
Printado having failed to pay for the printing paper suffered losses due to the cadang-cadang disease. It does
covered by the delivery invoices on time, Suplico has the not excuse compliance with the obligation (DBP v. Vda. de
right to cease making further delivery. And the latter did Moll, G.R. No. L-25802, January 31, 1972).
not violate the order agreement (Integrated Packaging
Corporation v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 115117, June 8, 2000). KINDS OF OBLIGATIONS (1991, 1992, 1998, 1999,
Suplico cannot be held liable for damages, for breach of 2000, 2001, 2003 BAR)
contract, as it was not he who violated the order agreement,
but Printado. Suplico cannot be held liable for Printado’s Q: Are the following obligations valid, why, and if they
breach of contract with Publico. He is not a party to the are valid, when is the obligation demandable in each
agreement entered into by and between Printado and case?

UST BAR OPERATIONS 54


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
is a mere promise to sell and Eva has not acquired a real
a. If the debtor promises to pay as soon as he has the right over the land assuming that there is a price
means to pay; stipulated in the contract for the contract to be
b. If the debtor promises to pay when he likes; considered a sale and therewas delivery or tradition of
c. If the debtor promises to pay when he becomes a the thing sold.
lawyer;
d. If the debtor promises to pay if his son, who is sick b) No, she is not entitled to the rentals collected by Manuel
with cancer, does not die within one year. (2003 because at the time they accrued and were collected,
BAR) Eva was not yet the owner of the property.

A: Q: In a deed of sale of realty, it was stipulated that the


buyer would construct a commercial building on the lot
a. The obligation is valid. It is an obligation subject to an while the seller would construct a private passageway
indefinite period because the debtor binds himself to bordering the lot. The building was eventually finished
pay when his means permit him to do so (Art. 1180). but the seller failed to complete the passageway as some
When the creditor knows that the debtor already has of the squatters, who were already known to be there at
the means to pay, he must file an action in court to fix the time they entered into the contract, refused to vacate
the period, and when the definite period as set by the the premises. In fact, prior to its execution, the seller
court arrives, the obligation to pay becomes filed ejectment cases against the squatters.
demandable (Art. 1197).
b. The obligation to pay when he likes is a suspensive The buyer now sues the seller for specific performance
condition the fulfillment of which is subject to the sole with damages. The defense is that the obligation to
will of the debtor and therefore the conditional construct the passageway should be with a period which,
obligation is void (Art. 1182). incidentally, had not been fixed by them, hence, the need
c. The obligation is valid. It is subject to a suspensive for fixing a judicial period.
condition, i.e. the future and uncertain event of his
becoming a lawyer. The performance of this obligation Will the action for specific performance of the buyer
does not depend solely on the will of the debtor but also against the seller prosper? (1991 BAR)
on other factors outside the debtor’s control.
d. The obligation is valid. The death of the son of cancer A: No, the action for specific performance filed by the buyer
within one year is made a negative suspensive is premature under Art. 1197 of the Civil Code. If a period has
condition to his making the payment. The obligation is not been fixed although contemplated by the parties, the
demandable if the son does not die within one year (Art. parties themselves should fix that period, failing in which, the
1185). Court maybe asked to fix it taking into consideration the
probable contemplation of the parties. Before teh period is
Q: Pedro promised to give his grandson a car if the fixed, an action for specific performance is premature.
latter will pass the bar examinations. When his
grandson passed the said examinations, Pedro Q: In June 1988, X obtained a loan from A and executed
refused to give the car on the ground that the with Y as solidary co-maker a promissory note in favor
condition was a purely potestative one. Is he correct or of A for the sum of P200, 000.00. The loan was payable at
not? (2000 BAR) P20, 000.00 with interest monthly within the first week
of each month beginning July 1988 until maturity in
A: No, he is not correct. First of all, the condition is not purely April 1989. To secure the payment of the loan, X put up
potestative, because it does not depend on the sole will of as security a chattel mortgage on his car, a Toyota
one of the parties. Secondly, even if it were, it would be Corolla sedan. Because of failure of X and Y to pay the
valid because it depends on the sole will of the creditor (the principal amount of the loan, the car was extrajudicially
donee) and not of the debtor (the donor). foreclosed. A acquired the car at A’s highest bid of P120,
000.00 during the auction sale.
Q: In 1997, Manuel bound himself to sell Eva a house
and lot which is being rented by another person, if Eva After several fruitless letters of demand against X and Y,
passes the 1998 bar examinations. Luckily for Eva, A sued Y for the discovery of P80, 000.00 constituting the
she passed said examinations. deficiency.

a. Suppose Manuel had sold the same house and lot to Y resisted the suit raising the following defenses:
another before Eva passed the 1998 bar
examinations, is such sale valid? Why? a) That Y should not be liable at all because X was not
b. Assuming that it is Eva who is entitled to buy said sued together with Y.
house and lot, is she entitled to the rentals b) That the obligation has been paid completely by A’s
collected by Manuel before she passed the 1998 bar acquisition of teh car through “dacion en pago” or
examinations? Why? (1999 BAR) payment by cession.
c) That Y should not be held liable for the deficiency of
A: P80, 000.00 because he was not a co-mortgagor in
teh chattel mortgage of the car, which contract was
a) Yes, the sale to the other person is valid. However, executed by X alone as owner and mortgagor.
the buyer acquired the property subject to a d) That assuming he is liable, he should only pay the
resolutory condition of Eva passing the 1998 Bar proportionate sum of P40, 000.00.
Examinations. Hence, upon Eva's passing the Bar, the
rights of the other buyer terminated and Eva acquired Decide the defense with reasons. (1992 BAR)
ownership of the property.
A:
ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: Yes, the sale to the other
person is valid, as the contract between Manuel and Eva
55
CIVIL LAW
a) The first defense of Y is untenable. Y is still liable as the same, Butch already surrendered five (5) service
solidary debtor. The creditor may proceed against any utility vehicles (SUVs) to the company for it to sell and
one of the solidary debtors. The demand against one the proceeds to be credited to the loan as payment. Was
does not preclude further demand against the others so the obligation of Butch extinguished by reason of dacion
long as the debt is not fully paid. en pago upon the surrender of the SUVs? Decide and
b) The second defense of Y is untenable. Y is still liable. The explain. (2016 BAR)
chattel mortgage is only given as security and not as
payment for the debt in case of failure to pay. Y as a A: No, the obligation of Butch to Hagibis was not
solidary co-maker is not relieved of further liability on extinguished by the mere surrender of the SUV’s to the
the promissory note as a result of the foreclosure of teh latter. Dation in payment, whereby property is alienated to
chattel mortgage. the creditor in satisfaction of a debt in money, shall be
c) The third defense of Y is untenable. Y is a surety of X and governed by the law on sales (Art. 1245). In dacion en pago,
the extrajudicial demand against the principal debtor is as a special mode of payment, the debtor offers another
not inconsistent with a judicial demand against the thing to the credtor who accepts it as equivalent of payment
surety. A suretyship may co-exist with a mortgage. of an outstanding debt. The undertaking really partakes in
d) The fourth defense is untenable. Y is liable for the entire one sense of the nature of sale, that is, the creditor is really
prestation since Y incurred a solidary obligation with X. buying the thing or property of the debtor, payment for
which is to be charged against the debtor’s debt. As such, the
Q: Four foreign medical students rented the apartment essential elements of a contract of sale, namely, consent,
of Thelma for a period of one year. After one semester, object certain, and cause or consideration must be present.
three of them returned to their home country and In dacion en pago, there is in reality an objective novation of
the fourth transferred to a boarding house. Thelma the obligation where the thing offered as an accepted
discovered that they left unpaid telephone bills in the equivalent of the performance of an obligation is considered
total amount of P80, 000.00. The lease contract as the object of the contract of sale, while the debt is
provided that the lessees shall pay for the telephone considered as the purchase price. In any case, common
services in the leased premises. Thelma demanded consent is an essential pre-requisite, be it sale or innovation
that the fourth student pay the entire amount of the to have the effect of totally extinguishing the debt or
unpaid telephone bills, but the latter is willing to pay obligation. (Filinvest Credit Corporation v. Philippine
only one fourth of it. Who is correct? Why? (2001 BAR) Acetylene Company, G.R. No. L-50449, January 30, 1982)
There being no mention in the facts that Hagibis has given
A: The fourth student is correct. His liability is only its consent to accept the SUCs as equivalent payment, the
joint, hence, pro rata. There is solidary liability only obligation of Butch is not thereby extinguished be mere
when the obligation expressly so states or when the law or delivery of the SUVs.
nature of the obligation requires solidarity (Art. 1207). The
contract of lease in the problem does not, in any way, Q: Jerico, the project owner, entered into a Construction
stipulate solidarity. Contract with Ivan for the latter to construct his house.
Jojo executed a Surety undertaking to guarantee the
Q: Joey, Jovy and Jojo are solidary debtors under a loan performance of the work by Ivan. Jerico and Ivan later
obligation of P300, 000.00 which has fallen due. The entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
creditor has, however, condoned Jojo's entire share revising the work schedule of Ivan and the
in the debt. Since Jovy has become insolvent, the subcontractors. The MOA stated that all the stipulations
creditor makes a demand on Joey to pay the debt. of the original contract not in conflict with said
agreement shall remain valid and legally effective. Jojo
1. How much, if any, may Joey be compelled to pay? filed a suit to declare him relieved of his undertaking as
2. To what extent, if at all, can Jojo be compelled by Joey a result of the MOA because of the change in the work
to contribute to such payment? (1998 BAR) schedule. Jerico claims there is no novation of the
Construction Contract. Decide the case and explain.
A: (2016 BAR)
1. Joey can be compelled to pay only the remaining balance
of P200.000, in view of the remission of Jojo's share by A: I will decide in favor of Jerico as there is no novation of
the creditor (Art. 1219). the Construction Contract. Novation is never presumed, and
2. Jojo can be compelled by Joey to contribute P50.000 Art. may only take place when the following are present: (1) a
1217. par. 3, Civil Code provides. "When one of the previous valid obligation; (2) the agreement of all the parties
solidary debtors cannot, because of his insolvency, to the new contract; (3) the extinguishment of the old
reimburse his share to the debtor paying the contract; (4) validity of the new one. There must be consent
obligation, such share shall be borne by all his co- of all the parties to the substitution, resulting in the
debtors, in proportion to the debt of each." extinction of the old obligation and the creation of a new
valid one. In this case, the revision of the work schedule of
Since the insolvent debtor's share which Joey paid was Ivan and the subcontractors is not shown to be so
P100,000, and there are only two remaining debtors - substantial as to extinguish the old contract, and there was
namely Joey and Jojo - these two shall share equally also no irreconcilable incompatibility between the old and
the burden of reimbursement. Jojo may thus be new obligations. It has also been held in jurisprudence that
compelled by Joey to contribute P50.000.00. a surety may only be relieved of his undertaking if there is a
material change in the principal contract and such would
EXTINGUISHMENT OF OBLIGATIONS (1996, 1998, make the obligation of the surety onerous. The principal
2001, 2002, 2003, 2008, 2009, 2016 BAR) contract subject of the surety agreement still exists, and Jojo
is still bound as a surety.
Q: Butch got a loan from Hagibis Corporation (Hagibis)
but he defaulted in the payment. A case for collection of ALTERNATIVE ANSWER: I will decide against Jerico. The
a sum of money was filed against him. As a defense, provisions of the Civil Code on Guarantee, other than the
Butch claims that there was already an arrangement benefit of excusion (Art. 2059, CC), are applicable and
with Hagibis on the payment of the loan. To implement available to the surety because a surety is a guarantor who

UST BAR OPERATIONS 56


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
binds himself solidarily. [Art. 2047(2), CC] The Supreme of his interest as equivalent to his share in the taxes and
Court has held that there is no reason why the provisions of expenses of preservation.
Art. 2079 would not apply to a surety. (Autocorp Group v.
Intra Strata Assurance Corporation, 556 SCRA 250 [2008]) Q: Define compensation as a mode of extinguishing an
Article 2079 of the Civil Code provides that an extension obligation, and distinguish it from payment. (1998
granted to the debtor by the creditor without the consent of BAR)
the guarantor extinguishes the guaranty. The changes in the
work schedule amount to an extension granted the debtor A: Compensation is a mode of extinguishing to the
without the consent of the surety. Hence, Jojo’s obligation as concurrent amount, the obligations of those persons who
a surety is extinguished. If the change of work schedule, on in their own right are reciprocally debtors and creditors of
the other hand, shortens the time of completion of the each other (Tolentino, 1991 ed., p. 365, citing 2 Castan 560
project, it will amount to a novation. The old obligation, and Francia v. IAC, 162 SCRA 753). It involves the
where Jojo was obligated as a surety is extinguished simultaneous balancing of two obligations in order to
relatively as to him, leaving Ivan still bound. extinguish them to the extent in which the amount of one
is covered by that of the other. (De Leon, 1992, ed., p. 221,
Q: A, B, C, D and E made themselves solidarity indebted citing 8 Manresa 401).
to X for the amount of P50, 000.00. When X demanded
payment from A, the latter refused to pay on the Payment means not only delivery of money but also
following grounds: performance of an obligation (Article 1232, Civil Code). In
payment, capacity to dispose of the thing paid and capacity
a) B is only 16 years old. to receive payment are required for debtor and creditor,
b) C has already been condoned by X. respectively: in compensation, such capacity is not
c) D is insolvent. necessary, because the compensation operates by law and
d) E was given by X an extension of 6 months without not by the act of the parties. In payment, the performance
the consent of the other four co-debtors. must be complete; while in compensation there may be
partial extinguishment of an obligation (Tolentino, supra).
State the effect of each of the above defenses put up by
A on his obligation to pay X, if such defenses are found Q: Felipe borrowed $100 from Gustavo in 1998, when
to be true. (2003 BAR) the Phil P - US$ exchange rate was P56 - US$1. On March
1, 2008, Felipe tendered to Gustavo a cashier's check in
A: the amount of P4,135 in payment of his US$ 100 debt,
based on the Phil P - US$ exchange rate at that time.
a) A may avail the minority of B as a defense, but only Gustavo accepted the check, but forgot to deposit it
for B’s share of P 10, 000.00. A solidary debtor may until Sept. 12, 2008. His bank refused to accept the
avail himself of any defense which personally belongs check because it had become stale. Gustavo now wants
to a solidary co-debtor, but only as to the share of Felipe to pay him in cash in the amount of P5, 600.
that co-debtor. Claiming that the previous payment was not in legal
b) A may avail of the condonation by X of C’s share of P 10, tender, and that there has been extraordinary deflation
000.00. A solidary debtor may, in actions filed by the since 1998, and therefore, Felipe should pay him the
creditor, avail himself of all defenses which are derived value of the debt at the time it was incurred. Felipe
from the nature of the obligation and of those which refused to pay him again, claiming that Gustavo is
are personal to him or pertain to his own share. With estopped from raising the issue of legal tender, having
respect to those which personally belong to others, he accepted the check in March, and that it was Gustavo's
may avail himself thereof only as regards that part of negligence in not depositing the check immediately
the debt for which the latter are responsible (Art. 1222). that caused the check to become stale.
c) A may not interpose the defense of insolvency of D as a
defense. Applying the principle of mutual guaranty a) Can Gustavo now raised the issue that the cashier's
among solidary debtors, A guaranteed the payment of check is not legal tender?
D’s share and of all the other co-debtors. Hence, A cannot b) Can Felipe validly refuse to pay Gustavo again?
avail of the defense of D’s insolvency. c) Can Felipe compel Gustavo to receive US$100
d) The extension of six (6) months given by X to E may be instead? (2008 BAR)
availed of by A as a partial defense but only for the
share of E, there is no novation of the obligation but A:
only an act of liberality granted to E alone.
a) No, because Gustavo is guilty of estoppels by laches.
Q: True or False He led Felipe to believe he could pay by cashier’s
check, and Felipe relied that such cahier’s check would
The renunciation by a co-owner of his undivided share be encashed thus extinguishing his obligation.
in the co-owned property in lieu of the performance of Because of Gustavo’s inaction of more than six months
his obligation to contribute to taxes and expenses for the check became stale and Felipe will prejudiced if he
the preservation of the property constitutes dacion en will be required to pay $100 at the exchange rate of
pago. (2009 BAR) P56 to $1.00. The exchange should be the rate at the
time of payment.
A: TRUE. Under the Civil Code, a co-owner may renounce b) Yes, if the payment is valid. Since the bank considered
his share in the co-owned property in lieu of paying for his the cashier’s check as being stale for not having been
share in the taxes and expenses for the preservation of the encashed on time, then the cahsier’s check may be
co-owned property. In effect, there is dacion en pago issued again. At any rate, non-payment of teh amount
because the co-owner is discharging his monetary to Gustavo would constitute unjust enrichment.
obligation by paying it with his non-monetary interest in c) Yes, Felipe can compel Gustavo to pay US$100 instead.
the co-owned property. The fact that he is giving up his Under the prior law, RA 529, as amended by R.A.4100,
entire interest simply means that he is accepting the value payment can only be in Philippine currency as it would
be against publich policy, null and void and of no
57
CIVIL LAW
effect. However, under RA8183, payment may be 000.00, to cover the twelve monthly installment
made in the currency agreed upon by the parties, and payments. On the third, fourth and fifth months, the
the rate of exchange to be followed is at the time of corresponding checks bounced.
payment. (C.F. Sharp & Co. Inc. vs. Northwest Airlines,
Inc., 381 SCRA 314 [2002]). The bank then declared the whole obligation due, and
proceeded to deduct the amount of one million pesos
Q: X, who has a savings deposit with Y Bank in the sum (P1, 000, 000.00) from Sarah’s deposit after notice to her
of P1, 000, 000.00, incurs a loan obligation with the that this is a form of compensation allowed by law. Is the
said Bank in teh sum of P800, 000.00 which has bank correct? Explain. (2009 BAR)
become due. When X tries to withdraw his deposit, Y
Bank allows only P200, 000.00 to be withdrawn, less A: No, the bank is not correct. While the Bank is correct about
service charges, claiming that compensation has the applicability of compensation, it was not correct as to the
extinguished its obligation under the savings account amount compensated. A bank deposit is a contract of loan,
to the concurrent amount of X’s debt. X contends that where the depositor is the creditor and the bank the debtor.
compensation is improper when one of the debts, as Since Sarah is also the debtor of the bank with respect to the
here, arises from a contract of deposit. Assuming that loan, both are mutually principal debtors and creditors of
the promissory note signed by X to evidence the loan each other. Both obligation are due, demandable and
does not provide for compensation between said loan liquidated but only up to the extent of P300, 000.00 (covering
and his savings deposit, who is correct? (1998 BAR) the unpaid third, fourth and fifth monthly installments). The
entire one million was not yet due because the loan has no
A: Y bank is correct. Art. 1287, Civil Code, does not apply. acceleration clause in case of default. And since there is no
All the requisites of Art. 1279, Civil Code are present. IN retention or controversy commenced by third person and
the case of Gullas vs. PNB (62 Phil. 519), the Supreme Court communicated in due time to the debtor, then all the
held: “The Civil Code contains provisions regarding requisites of legal compensation are present but only up to
compensation (set off) and deposit. These portions of the amount of P300, 000.00. The bank, therefore, may deduct
Philippine law provide that compensation shall take place P300, 000.00 from Sarah’s bank deposit by way of
when two persons are reciprocally creditor and debtor of compensation.
each other. In this connection, it has been held that the
relation existing between a depositor and a bank is that of Q: In 1978, Bobby borrowed P1 ,000, 000.00 form
creditor and debtor. xxx As a general rule, a bank has a Chito payable in two years. The loan, which was
right of set off of the deposits in its hands for the payment evidenced by a promissory note, was secured by a
of any indebtedness to it on the part of a depositor.” Hence, mortgage on real property. No action was filed by
compensation took place between the mutual obligations Chito to collect the loan or to foreclose the mortgage.
of X and Y bank. But in 1991, Bobby, without receiving any amount
from Chito, executed another promissory note, except
Q: Stockton is a stockholder of Core Corp. He desires to for the date thereof, which was the date of its
sell his shares in Core Corp. In view of a court suit that execution.
Core Corp. has filed against him for damages in the
amount of P10 million, plus attorney’s fees of P1 1) Can Chito demand payment on the 1991
million, as a result of statements published by promissory note in 1994?
Stockton which are allegedly defamatory because it 2) Can Chito foreclose the real estate mortgage if
was calculated to injure and damage the corporation’s Bobby fails to make good his obligation under the
reputation and goodwill. The articles of incorporation 1991 promissory note?
of Core Corp. provide for a right of first refusal in
favor of the corporation. Accordingly, Stockton A:
gave written notice to the corporation of his offer to
sell his shares of P10 million. The response of Core 1) Yes, Chito can demand payment on the 1991
corp. was an acceptance of the offer in the exercise of promissory note in 1994. Although the 1978
its rights of first refusal, offering for the purpose promissory note for P1 million payable two years later
payment in form of compensation or set-off against or in 1980 became a natural obligation after the lapse
the amount of damages it is claiming against him, of ten (10) years, such natural obligation can be a valid
exclusive of the claim for attorney’s fees. Stockton consideration of a novated promissory note dated in
rejected the offer of the corporation, arguing that 1991 and payable two years later, or in 1993.
compensation between the value of the shares and the
amount of damages demanded by the corporation All the elements of an implied real novation are
cannot legally take effect. Is Stockton correct? Give present:
reason for your answer. (1998, 2002 BAR) a) An old valid obligation;
b) A new valid obligation;
A: Stockton is correct. There is no right of compensation c) Capacity of the parties;
between his price of P10 million and Core Corp.’s d) Animus novandi or intention to novate; and
unliquidated claim for damages. In order that compensation e) The old and the new obligation should be
may be proper, the two debts must be liquidated and incompatible with each other on all material
demandable. The case for the P10 million damages being points (Article 1292). The two promissory notes
still pending in court, the corporation has as yet no claim cannot stand together, hence, the period of
which is due and demandable against Stockton. prescription of ten (10) years has not yet lapsed.

Q: Sarah had a deposit in a savings account with Filipino 2) No. The mortgage being an accessory contract
Universal Bank in the amount of five million pesos (P5, prescribed with the loan. The novation of the loan,
000, 000.00). To buy a new car, she obtained a loan from however, did not expressly include the mortgage,
the same bank in the amount of P1, 200, 000.00, payable hence, the mortgage is extinguished under Article
in twelve monthly installments. Sarah issued in favor of 1296 of the NCC. The contract has been extinguished
the bank post-dated checks, each in the amount of P100,

UST BAR OPERATIONS 58


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
by the novation or extinction of the principal flight attendants, they were forced to take the flight at
obligation insofar as third parties are concerned. the first class section apart from their friends who
were in the business class. Upon their return to Manila,
Q: Baldomero leased his house with a telephone to they demanded a written apology from Pinoy Airlines.
Jose. The lease contract provided that Jose shall pay When it went unheeded, the couple sued Pinoy
for all electricity, water and telephone services in the Airlines for breach of contract claiming moral and
leased premises during the period of the lease. Six exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees. Will the
months later, Jose surreptitiously vacated the action prosper? Give reasons. (2004, 2005 BAR)
premises. He left behind unpaid telephone bills for
overseas telephone calls amounting to over P20, A: Yes, Pinoy Airlines breached its contract of carriage by
000.00. Baldomero refused to pay the said bills ont he upgrading the seat accommodation of the Almedas without
ground that Jose had already substituted him as the their consent. The object of their contract was the
customer of the telephone company. The latter transportation of the Almedas from Manila to Hongkong and
maintained that Baldomero remained as his customer back to Manila, with seats in the business class section of the
as far as their service contract was concerned, aircraft. They should have been consulted first whether they
notwithstanding the lease contract between wanted to avail themselves of the privilege and would consent
Baldomero and Jose. Who is correct, Baldomero or the to a change of seat accommodation. I should not have been
telephone company? Explain. (1996 BAR) imposed on them over their vehement objection. By insisting
on the upgrade, Pinoy Airlines breached its contract of
A: The telephone company is correct because as far as it is carriage with the Almedas.
concerned, teh only person it contracte with was
Baldomero. The telephone company has no contract with However, the upgrading or the breach of contract was not
Jose. Baldomero cannot substitute Jose in his stead attended by fraud or bad faith. They were not induced to agree
without the consent of the telephone company (ART. 1293, to the upgrading through insidious words or deceitful
NCC). Baldomero is, therefore, liable under the contract. machination or through wilful concealment of material facts.
Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or
Q: The sugar cane planters of Batangas entered into a negligence; it imports a dishonest purpose or some moral
long-term milling contract with the Central Azucarera obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong, breach of a known
de Don Pedro Inc. Ten years later, the Central assigned duty through some motive or interest or ill will that partakes
its rights to the said milling contract to a Taiwanese of the nature of fraud.
group which would take over the operations of the sugar
mill. The planters filed an action to annul the said Neither is Pinoy Airlines in bad faith since Section 3 of the
assignment on the ground that the Taiwanese group Economic Regulation No. 7 of teh Civil Aeronautics Board
was not registered with the Board of Investments. Will provides that an overbooking that does not exceed ten
the action prosper or not? Explain briefly. (2001 BAR) percent is not considered deliberate and therefore does not
amount to bad faith.
A: The action will prosper not on the ground invoked but
on the ground that the farmers have not given their consent As a result, the Almedas are not entitled to recover moral
to the assignment. The milling contract imposes reciprocal damages. Moral damages predicated upon a breach of
obligations on the parties. The sugar central has the contract of carriage may only be recoverable in instances
obligation to mill the sugar cane of the farmers while the where the carrier is guilty of fraud or bad faith or when the
latter have the obligation to deliver their sugar cane to the mishap resulted in the death of a passenger. Where in
sugar central. As to the obligation to mill the sugar cane, the breaching the contract of carriage the airline is not shown to
sugar central is a debtor of the farmers. In assigning its have acted fraudulently or in bad faith, liability for damages is
rights under the contract, the sugar central will also transfer limited to the natural and probable consequence of the breach
to the Taiwanese its obligation to mill the sugar cane of the of the obligation which the parties had foreseen or could have
farmers. This will amount to a novation of the contract by reasonably foreseen. In such a case the liability does not
substituting the debtor with a third party. Under Article include moral and exemplary damages.
1293 of the Civil Code, such substitution cannot take effect
without the consent of the creditor. The formers, who are It is a requisite in the grant of exemplary damages that the act
creditors as far as the obligation to mill their sugar cane is of the offender be accompanied by bad faith or done in
concerned, may annul such assignment for not having given wanton, fraudulent or malevolent manner. Such requisite is
their consent thereto. absent in this case. Moreover, to be entitled thereto the
claimant must first establish his right to moral, temperate, or
CONTRACTS compensatory damages. Since the Almedas are not entitled to
any of these damages, the award for exemplary damages has
Essential Requisites (2004, 2005 BAR) no legal basis. And where the awards for moral and exemplary
damages are eliminated, so must the award for attorney’s
Q: Dr. and Mrs. Almeda are prominent citizens of the fees.
country and are frequent travellers abroad. In 1996,
they booked round-trip business class tickets for the The most that can be awarded for the breach of contract is an
Manila-Hong Kong-Manila route of the Pinoy Airlines, award for nominal damages. Pinoy Airlines may be said to
where they are holders of Gold Mabalos Class Frequent have disturbed the spouses’ wish to be with their companions
Flier cards. On their return flight, Pinoy Airlines at teh Business Class on their flight to Manila. (Cathay Pacific
upgraded their tickets to first class without their v. Spouses Vasquez, 399 SCRA 207 [2003]).
consent and, in spite of their protestations to be
allowed to remain in the business class so that they could Q: Marvin offered to construct the house of Carlos for a
be with their friends, they were told that the business very reasonable price of P900, 000.00, giving the
class was already fully booked, and that they were latter 10 days within which to accept or reject the offer.
given priority in upgrading because they are elite On the fifth day, before Carlos could make up his mind,
members/holders of Gold Mabalos Class cards. Since Marvin withdrew his offer.
they were embarrassed at the discussions with the
59
CIVIL LAW
a) What is the effect of the withdrawal of Marvin's as there is no agreement to ratify or validate. In the other
offer? hand, annullable or voidable contracts are valid until
b) Will your answer be the same if Carlos paid Marvin invalidated by the court but may be ratified.
P10, 000.00 as consideration for that option?
Explain. In inexistent contracts, one or more requisites of a valid
c) Supposing that Carlos accepted the offer before contract are absent. In annullable contracts, all the
Marvin could communicate his withdrawal elements of a contract are present except that the consent
thereof? Discuss the legal consequences. (2005 of one of the contracting parties was vitiated or one of
BAR) them has no capacity to give consent.

A: Q: X was the owner of a 10, 000 square meter property.


X married Y and out of their union, A, B and C were
a) The withdrawal of Marvin’s offer is valid because there born. After the death of Y, X married Z and they begot
was no consideration paid for the option. An option is as children, D, E and F. After the death of X, the children
a separate contract from the contract which is the of the first and second marriages executed an
subject of the offer, and if not supported by any extrajudicial partition of the aforestated property on
consideration, the option contract is not deemed May 1, 1970. D, E and F were given a one thousand
perfected. Thus, Marvin may withdraw the offer at any square meter portion of the property. They were
time before acceptance of the offer. minors at the time of the execution of the document. D
b) If Carlos paid P10, 000.00 as consideration for that was 17 years old, E was 14 and F was 12; and they were
option, Marvin cannot withdraw the offer prior to made to believe by A, B and C that unless they sign the
expiration of the option period. The option is a document they will not get any share. Z was not
separate contract and if founded on consideration is a present then. In January 1974, D E and F filed an action
perfected option contract and must be respected by in court to nullify the suit alleging they discovered the
Marvin. fraud only in 1973.
c) If Carlos has already accepted the offer and such
acceptance has been communicated to Marvin before a) Can the minority of D, E and F be a basis to nullify
Marvin communicates the withdrawal, the acceptance the partition? Explain your answer
creates a perfected construction contract, even if no b) How about fraud? Explain your answer. (1990
consideration was as yet paid for the option. If Marvin BAR)
does not perform his obligations under the perfected
contract of construction, he shall be liable for all A:
consequences arising from the breach thereof based on
any of the available remedies which may be instituted a) Yes, minority can be a basis to nullify the partition
by Carlos, such as specific performance, or rescission because D, E and F were not properly represented by
with damages in both cases. their parents or guardians at the time they contracted
the extrajudicial partition. (Articles 1327, 1391, Civil
Rescissible Contracts (1998 BAR) Code)
b) In the case of fraud, when through insidious words or
Q: In a 20-year lease contract over a building, the machinations of one of the other is induced to enter
lessee is expressly granted a right of first refusal into the contract without which he would not have
should the lessor decide to sell both the land and agreed to, the action still prosper because under Art.
building. However, the lessor sold the property to a 1391 of the Civil Code, in case of fraud, the action for
third person who knew about the lease and in fact annulment may be brought within four years from teh
agreed to respect it. Consequently, the lessee brings an discovery of the fraud.
action against both the lessor-seller and the buyer (a)
to rescind the sale and (b) to compel specific Q: Sometime in 1955, Tomas donated a parcel of land
performance of his right of first refusal in the sense to his stepdaughter Irene, subject to the condition that
that the lessor should be ordered to execute a deed of she may not sell, transfer or cede the same for twenty
absolute sale in favor of the lessee at the same price. years. Shortly thereafter, he died. In 1965, because she
The defentdants contend that the plaintiff can neither needed money for medical expenses, Nene sold the
seek rescission of teh sale nor compel specific land to Conrado. The following year, Irene died,
performance of a “mere” right of first refusal. Decide leaving as her sole heir a son by the name of Armando.
the case. (1998 BAR) When Armando learned that the land which he
expected to inherit had been sold by Irene to Conrado,
A: The action filed by the lessee, for both rescission of the he filed an action against the latter for annulment of
offending sale and specific performance of the right of first the sale, on the ground that it violated the restriction
refusal which was violated, should prosper. The ruling in imposed by Tomas. Conrado filed a motion to dismiss,
Equatorial Realty Development, Inc. v. Mayfair Theater, Inc, on the ground that Armando did not have the legal
(264 SCRA 482), a case with similar facts, sustains both capacity to sue. If you were the judge, how will you rule
rights of action because the buyer in the subsequent sale on this motion to dismiss? Explain. (1996 BAR)
knew the existence of right of first refusal, hence in bad
faith. A: As judge, I will grant the motion to dismiss. Armando
has no personality to bring the action for annulment of the
Voidable Contracts (1990, 1996, 2004 BAR) sale to conrado. Only an aggrieved party to the contract
may bring the action for annulment thereof (Art. 1397,
Q: Distinguish briefly but clearly between inexistent NCC). While Armando is heir and successor-in-interest of
and annullable contracts. (2004 BAR) his mother (Art. 1311, NCC), he (standing in place of his
mother) has no personality to annul the contract. Both are
A: Inexistent contracts are considered as not having been not aggrieved parties on account of their own violation of
entered into and, therefore, void ab initio. They do not the condition of, or restriction on, their ownership
create any obligation and cannot be ratified or validated, imposed by the donation. Only the donor or his heirs

UST BAR OPERATIONS 60


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
would have the personality to bring an action to revoke a c) No, the sale did not divest Maria of her title precisely
donation for violation of a condition thereof or a because the sale is void. It is as good as if no sale ever
restriction thereon. (Garrido v. CA, 236 SCRA 450). took place.
Consequently, while the donor or his heirs were not
parties to the sale, they have the right to annul the contract In tax sales, teh owner is divested of his land initially
of sale because their rights are prejudiced by one of the upon award and issuance of a Certificate of Sale, and
contracting parties thereof (DBP v. CA, 96 SCRA 342; Teves finally after the lapse of the 1 year period from date of
v. PHHC, 23 SCRA 1141). Since Armando is neither the registration, to redeem, upon execution by the
donor nor heir of the donor, he has no personality to bring treasurer of an instrument sufficient in form and
the action for annulment. effects to convey the property. Maria remained owner
of the land until another tax sale is to be performed in
Unenforceable Contracts favor of a qualified buyer.

Q: May a person sell something that does not belong to Q: In 1950, the Bureau of Lands issued a Homestead
him? patent to A. Three years later, A sold the homestead to
B. A died in 1990, and his heirs filed an action to
A: Yes, a person may sell something which does not belong recover the homestead from B on the ground that its
to him. For the sale to be valid, the law does not require the sale by their father to the latter is void under Section
seller to be the owner of the property at the time of the 118 of the Public Land Law. B contends, however, that
sale. (Art. 1434, NCC). If the seller cannot transfer the heirs of A cannot recover the homestead from him
ownership over the thing sold at the time of delivery anymore because their action has prescribed and that
because he was not the owner thereof, he shall be liable for furthermore, A was in pari delicto. Decide. (1999 BAR)
breach of contract A: The sale of the land by A to B 3 years after issuance of
teh homestead patent, being in violation of Section 118 of
Void or Inexistent Contracts (1991, 1999 BAR) the Public Land Act, is void from its inception. The action
filed by the heirs of B to declare the nullity or inexistence
Q: Maria Enriquez failed to pay the realty taxes on her of teh contract and to recover the land should be given due
unregistered agricultural land located in Magdugo, course.
Toledo City. In 1989, to satisfy the taxes due, the City
sold it at public auction to Juan Miranda, an employee B’s defense of prescription is untenable because an action
at the Treasurer’s Office of said City, whose bid at P10, which seeks to declare the nullity or inexistence of a
000.00 was the highest. In due time, a final bill of sale contract does not prescribe. (Article 1410; Banga v. Soler, 2
was executed in his favor. SCRA 755)

Maria refused to turn-over the possession of the On the other hand, B’s defense of pari delicto is equally
property to Juan alleging that (1) she had been, in the untenable. While as a rule, parties who are in pari delicto
meantime, granted a free pantent and on the basis have no recourse against each other on the principle that a
thereof an Original Cetificate of Title was issued to her, transgressor cannot profit from his own wrongdoing, such
and (2) the sale in favor of Juan is void from the rule does not apply to violations of Section 118 of the
beginning in view of the provision in the Public Land Act because of the underlying public policy in
Administrative Code of 1987 which prohibits officers the said Act “to conserve the land which a homesteader has
and employees of the government from purchasing acquired by gratuitous grant from the government for
directly or indirectly any property sold by the himself and his family”. In keeping with this policy, it has
government for non-payment of any tax, fee or other been held that one who purchases a homestead within the
public charge. five-year prohibitory period can only recover the price
which he has paid by filing a claim against the estate of the
a) Is the sale to Juan valid? If so, is the effect of the deceased seller (Labrador vs. Delos Santos 66 Phil. 579)
issuance of the Certificate of Title to Maria? under the principle that no one shall enrich himself at the
b) If the sale is void, may Juan recover the P10, expense of another. Applying the pari delicto rule to
000.00? If not, why not? violations of Section 118 of the Public Land Act, the Court
c) If the sale is void, did it not nevertheless, operate of Appeals has ruled that “the homesteader suffers the loss
to divent Maria of her ownership? If it did, who of the fruits realized by the vendee who in turn forfeits the
then is the owner of the property? (1991 BAR) improvement that he has introduced into the land.” (Obot
vs. Sandadlillas, 62 OG, April 25, 1966)
A:
NATURAL OBLIGATIONS
a) The sale of the land to Juan is not valid, being contrary
to law. Therefore, no transfer of ownership of the land Q: Distinguish briefly but clearly between Civil
was effected from the delinquent taxpayer to him. The Obligation and Natural Obligation:
original certificates of title obtained by Maria thru a
free patent grant from the Bureau of Lands (under A: Civil obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do and
Chapter VII, CA 141) is valid but in view of her not to do. It gives the creditor the legal right to compel by
delinquency, the said title is subject to the right of the an action in court the performance of such obligation.
City Government to sell the land at public auction. The
issuance of the OCT did not exempt the land from the A natural obligation is based on equity and natural law.
tax sales. Section 44 of P.D. No. 1529 provides that There is no legal right to compel performance thereof but
every registered owner receiving a Certificate of Title if the debtor voluntarily pays it, he cannot recover what
shall hold the same free from all encumbrances, was paid.
subject to certain exemptions.
b) Juan may recover because he was not a party to the ESTOPPEL (1998, 2000, 2002 BAR)
violation of the law.

61
CIVIL LAW
Q: In 1965, Renren bought from Robyn a parcel of b) What are the essential elements of laches? (2000
registered land evidenced by a duly executed deed of BAR)
sale. The owner presented the deed of sale and the
owner's certificate of title to the Register of Deeds. The A:
entry was made in the daybook and corresponding fees
were paid as evidenced by official receipt. However, no a) No, the defense will not prosper. The problem did not
transfer of certificate of title was issued to Renren give facts from which laches may be inferred. Mere delay
because the original certificate of title in Robyn's name in filing an action, standing alone, does not constitute
was temporarily misplaced after fire partly gutted the laches (Agra v. PNB, G.R. No. 133317, June 29, 1999).
Office of the Register of Deeds. Meanwhile, the land had b) The four basic elements of laches are:
been possessed by Robyn's distant cousin, Mikaelo, 1) Conduct on the part of the defendant or of one
openly, adversely and continuously in the concept of under whom he claims, giving rise to the situation
owner since 1960. It was only in April 1998 that Renren of which complainant seeks a remedy;
sued Mikaelo to recover possession. Mikaelo 2) Delay in asserting the complainant’s rights, the
invoked: complainant having had knowledge or notice of
the defendant’s conduct and having been afforded
a) acquisitive prescription an opportunity to institute suit;
b) laches, asking that he be declared owner of the 3) Lack of knowledge on the part of the defendant
land. that the complainant would assert the right on
which he bases his suit; and
Decide the case by evaluating these defences. (1998 4) Injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event
BAR) relief is accorded to the complainant, or the suit is
not held to be barred.
A:
Q: Way back in 1948, Winda’s husband sold in favor of
a. Renren's action to recover possession of the land will Verde Sports Center Corp. (Verde) a 10-hectare property
prosper. In 1965, after buying the land from Robyn, belonging to their conjugal partnership. The sale was
he submitted the Deed of Sale to the Registry of made without Winda’s knowledge, much less consent. In
Deeds for registration together with the owner's 1950, Winda learned of the sale, when she discovered
duplicate copy of the title, and paid the corresponding the deed of sale among the documents in her husband’s
registration fees. Under Sec. 56 of PD No. 1529, the vault after his demise. Soon after, she noticed that the
Deed of Sale to Renren is considered registered from construction of the sports complex had started. Upon
the time the sale was entered in the Day Book (now completion of the construction in 1952, she tried but
called the Primary Entry Book). For all legal intents and failed to get free membership privileges in Verde.
purposes, Renren is considered the registered owner
of the land. After all, it was not his fault that the Winda now files a suit against Verde for the annulment
Registry of Deeds could not issue the corresponding of the sale on the ground that she did not consent to the
transfer certificate of title. Mikaelo's defense of sale. In answer, Verde contends that, in accordance with
prescription cannot be sustained. A Torrens title is the Spanish Civil Code which was then in force, the sale in
imprescriptible. No title to registered land in 1948 of the property did not need her concurrence.
derogation of the title of the registered owner shall Verde contends that in any case the action has
be acquired by prescription or adverse possession (Sec. prescribed or is barred by laches. Winda rejoins that her
47, P.D. No. 1529). The right to recover possession of Torrens title covering the property is indefeasible, and
registered land likewise does not prescribe because imprescriptible.
possession is just a necessary incident of ownership.
b. Mikaelo's defense of laches, however, appears to be A. Define or explain the term “laches”.
more sustainable. Renren bought the land and had the B. Decide the case, stating your reasons for your
sale registered way back in 1965. From the facts, it decision (2002 BAR)
appears that it was only in 1998 or after an inexplicable
delay of 33 years that he took the first step asserting his A:
right to the land. It was not even an action to recover
ownership but only possession of the land. By A. LACHES means failure or neglect, for an unreasonable
ordinary standards, 33 years of neglect or inaction is and unexplained length of time, to do what, by exercising
too long and may be considered unreasonable. As due diligence, could or should have been done earlier. It
often held by the Supreme Court, the principle of is negligence or omission to assert a right within a
imprescriptibility sometimes has to yield to the reasonable time (De Vera v. CA, G.R. No. 97761, April 14,
equitable principle of laches which can convert even a 1999).
registered land owner's claim into a stale demand. B. While Art. 1413 of the Spanish Civil Code did not require
Mikaelo's claim of laches, however, is weak insofar as the consent of the wife for the validity of the sale, an
the element of equity is concerned, there being no alienation by the husband in fraud of the wife is void as
showing in the facts how he entered into the ownership held in Uy Coque v. Navas (G.R. No. L-20392, November 20,
and possession of the land. 1923). Assuming that the alienation in 1948 was in fraud
of Winda and, therefore, makes the sale to Verde void,
Q: In an action brought to collect a sum of money based the action to set aside the sale, nonetheless, is already
on a surety agreement, the defense of laches was barred byprescription and laches. More than 52 years
raised as the claim was filed more than seven years have already elapsed from her discovery of the sale in
from the maturity of the obligation. However, the action 1950.
was brought within the ten-year prescriptive period
provided by law wherein actions based on written
contracts can be instituted. PART V – SALES

a) Will the defense prosper? Reason.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 62


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
NATURE AND FORM OF CONTRACT (1991, 1993, Court has ruled that the sale of conjugal property is
2002, 2006 BAR) void if both spouses have not given their written
consent to it and even if the spouse who did not sign
Q: Bert offers to buy Simeon’s property under the the Deed of Sale participated in teh negotiation of the
following terms and conditions: P1 million purchase contract. In Abalos v. Macatangay, 439 SCRA 649
price, 10% option money, the balance payable in cash (2004), the Supreme Court even held that for the sale
upon the clearance of the property of all illegal to be valid, the signatures of the spouses to signify
occupants. The option money is promptly paid and their written consent must be on the same document.
Simeon clears the property of illegal occupants in no In this case, Linda, although she was the one who
time at all. However, when Bert tenders payment of negotiated the sale, did not give her written consent to
the balance and ask Simeon for the deed for absolute the sale. Hence, the sale is void. However, Linda will
sale, Simeon suddenly has a change of heart, claiming nto be entitled to damages because Ray is not in any
that the deal is disadvantageous to him as he has found way in bad faith.
out that the property can fetch three time the agreed 2) Yes, Ray has a cause of action against Linda and Biong
purchase price. Bert seeks specific performance but for the return of the 2 million pesos he paid for the
Simeon contends that he has merely given Bert an property. He may recover damages from the spouses,
option to buy and nothing more, and offers to return if it can be proven that they were in bad faith in
the option money which Bert refuses to accept. backing out from the contract, as this is an act contrary
to morals and good customs under Articles 19 and 21
A. Will Bert’s action for specific performance of the Civil Code.
prosper? Explain.
B. May Simeon justify his refusal to proceed with OBLIGATIONS OF THE VENDOR (1990, 1991, 1996,
the sale by the fact that the deal is financially 1999, 2001, 2004, 2008 BAR)
disadvantageous to him? Explain. (1993, 2002
BAR) Q: D sold a second-hand car to E for P150, 000.00. The
agreement between D and E was that half of the
A: purchase price, or P75, 000.00 shall be paid in five
equal monthly instalments of P15, 000.00 each. That
A. Bert’s action for specific performance will prosper car was delivered to E, and E paid the amount of P75,
because there was a binding agreement of sale, not 000.00 to D. Less than one month thereafter, the car
just an option contract. The sale was perfected upon was stolen from E’s garage with no fault on E’s art and
acceptance by Simeon of 10% of the agreed price. This was never recovered. Is E legally bound to pay the said
amount is in really earnest money which, under Art. unpaid balance of P75, 000.00? Explain your answer.
1482, “shall be considered as part of the price and as (1990 BAR)
proof of the perfection of the contract.” (Topacio v. CA,
G.R. No. 102606, July 3, 1992; Villongco Realty v. A: Yes, E is legally bound to pay the balance of P75, 000.00.
Bormaheco, G.R. No. L-26872, July 25, 1975) The ownership of the car sold was acquired by E from the
B. Simeon cannot justify his refusal to proceed with the moment it was delivered to him. Having acquired
sale by the fact that the deal is financially ownership. E bears the risk of the loss under the doctrine
disadvantageous to him. Having made a bad bargain is of res perit domino. (Articles 1496, 1497, Civil Code).
not a legal ground for pulling out a binding contract of
sale, in the absence of some actionable wrong by the Q: Pablo sold his car to Alfonso who issued a postdated
other party (Vales v. Villa, G.R. No. 10028, December 16, check in full payment therefore. Before the maturity of
1916) and no such wrong has been committed by Bert. the check, Alfonso sold the car to Gregorio who later
sold it to Gabriel. When presented for payment, the
Q: Spouses Biong and Linda wanted to sell their house. check issued by Alfonso was dishonoured by the
They found a prospective buyer, Ray. Linda negotiated drawee bank for the reason that he, Alfonso, had
with Ray for the sale of the property. They agreed on a already closed his account even before he issued his
fair price of P2 Million. Ray sent Linda a letter check.
confirming his intention to buy the property. Later,
another couple, Bernie and Elena, offered a similar Pablo sued to recover the car from Gabriel alleging
house at a lower price of P1.5 Million. But Ray insisted that he (Pablo) had been unlawfully deprived of it by
on buying the house of Biong and Linda for sentimental reason of Alfonso’s deception. Will the suit prosper?
reasons. Ray prepared a deed of sale to be signed by (1991 BAR)
the couple and a manager's check for P2 Million. After
receiving the P2 Million, Biong signed the deed of sale. A: No. The suit will not prosper because Pablo was not
However, Linda was not able to sign it because she was unlawfully deprived of the car although he was unlawfully
abroad. On her return, she refused to sign the deprived of the price. The perfection of the sale and the
document saying she changed her mind. Linda filed suit delivery of the car was enough to allow Alfonso to have a
for nullification of the deed of sale and for moral and right of ownership over the car, which can be lawfully
exemplary damages against Ray. transferred to Gregorio. Art. 559 applies only to a person
who is in possession in good faith of the property, and not
1) Will the suit proper? to the owner thereof. Alfonso, in the problem, was the
2) Does Ray have any cause of action against Biong owner, and, hence, Gabriel acquired the title to the car.
and Linda? Can he also recover damages from the
spouses? Explain. (2006 BAR) Non-payment of the price in a contract of sale does not
render ineffective the obligation to deliver.
A:
The obligation to deliver a thing is different from teh
1) The suit will propser. The sale was void because Linda obligation to pay its price. [EDCA Publishing Co. v. Santos
did not give her written consent to the sale. In Jade- (1990)]
Manalo v. Camaisa, 374 SCRA 498 (2002), the Supreme
63
CIVIL LAW
Q: A granted B the exclusive right to sell his brand of
Maong pants in Isabela, the price for his merchandise Q: Juliet offered to sell her house and lot, together with
payable within 60 days from delivery, and promising all the furniture and appliances therein to Dehlma.
B a commission of 20% on all sales. After the delivery Before agreeing to purchase the property, Dehlma went
of the merchandise to B but before he could sell any of to the Register of Deeds to verify Juliet's title. She
them, B’s store in Isabela was completely burned discovered that while the property was registered in
without his fault, together will all of A’s pants. Must B Juliet's name under the Land Registration Act, as
pay A for his lost pants? Why? (1999 BAR) amended by the Property Registration Decree, it
property, Dehlma told Juliet to redeem the property
A: The contract between A and B is a sale not an agency to from Elaine, and gave her an advance payment to be
sell because the price is payable by B upon 60 days from used for purposes of releasing the mortgage on the
delivery even if B is unable to resell it. If B were an agent, property. When the mortgage was released, Juliet
he is not bound to pay the price if he is unable to resell it. executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the property
which was duly registered with the Registry of Deeds,
As a buyer, ownership passed to B upon delivery and, and a new TCT was issued in Dehlma's name. Dehlma
under Art. 1504 of the Civil Code, the thing perishes for the immediately took possession over the house and lot
owner. Hence, B must still pay the price. and the movables therein. Thereafter, Dehlma went to
the Assessor's Office to get a new tax declaration under
Q: On June 15, 1995, Jesus sold a parcel of registered her name. She was surprised to find out that the
land to Jaime. On June 30, 1995, he sold the same land property was already declared for tax purposes in the
to Jose. Who has a better right if: name of XYZ Bank which had foreclosed the mortgage
on the property before it was sold to her. XYZ Bank was
a) The first sale is registered ahead of the second sale, also the purchaser in the foreclosure sale of the
with knowledge of the latter. Why? property. At that time, the property was still
b) The second sale is registered ahead of the first sale, unregistered but XYZ Bank registered the Sheriff's
with knowledge of the latter? Why? (2001 BAR) Deed of Conveyance in the day book of the Register of
Deeds under Act. 3344 and obtained a tax declaration
A: in its name.

a) The first buyer has the better right if his sale was first a) Was Dehlma a purchaser in good faith?
to be registered, even though the first buyer knew of b) Who as between Dehlma and XYZ Bank has a better
the second sale. The fact that he knew of the second sale right to the house and lot? (2008 BAR)
at the time of his registration does not make him as
acting in bad faith because the sale to him was ahead in A:
time, hence, has a priority in right. What creates bad
faith in the case of double sale of land is knowledge of a a) Yes, Dehlma is a purchaser in good faith. She learned
previous sale. about the XYZ tax declaration and foreclosure sale
b) The first buyer is still to be preferred, where the second only after teh sale to her was registered. She relied on
sale is registered ahead of the first sale but with the certificate of title of her predecessor-in-interest.
knowledge of the latter. This is because the second Under the Torrens system, a buyer of registered lands
buyer, who at the time he registered his sale knew that is not required by law to inquire further than what the
the property had already been sold to someone else, Torrens certificated indicates on its face. If a person
acted in bad faith. (Article 1544) proceeds to buy it relying on the title, that person is
considered a buyer in good faith.
Q: JV, owner of a parcel of land, sold it to PP. But the deed
of sale was not registered. One year later, JV sold the The “priority in time” rule could not be invoked by XYZ
parcel again to RR, who succeeded to register the Bank because the foreclosure sale of the land in favor
deed and to obtain a transfer certificate of title over of the bank was recorded under Act No. 3344, the law
the property in his own name. Who has a better right governing transactions affecting unregistered land,
over the parcel of land, RR or PP? Why? Explain the legal and thus, does not bind the land.
basis for your answer. (2001, 2004 BAR)
b) Between Dehlma and the bank, the former has a better
A: It depends on whether or not RR is an innocent purchaser right to the house and lot.
for value. Under the Torrens System, a deed or instrument
operated only as a contract between the parties and as Q: In December 1985, Salvador and the Star
evidence of authority to the Register of Deeds to make the Semiconductor Company (SSC) executed a Deed of
registration. It is the registration of the deed or the Conditional Sale wherein the former agreed to sell his
instrument that is the operative act that conveys or affects 2,000 square meter lot in Cainta, Rizal, to the latter for
the land (Sec. 51, P.D. No. 1529). the price of P1,000,000.00, payable P100,000.00
down, and the balance 60 days after the squatters in
In cases of double sale of titled land, it is a well-settled rule the property have been removed. If the squatters are
that the buyer who first registers the sale in good faith not removed within six months, the P100, 000.00
acquires a better right to the land(Art. 1544). down payment shall be returned by the vendor to the
vendee.
Persons dealing with property covered by Torrens title are
not required to go beyond what appearsonitsface (Orquiola Salvador filed ejectment suits against the squatters,
v. CA 386, G.R. No. 141463, August 6, 2002; Spouses Domingo v. but in spite of the decisions in his favor, the squatters
Races, G.R. No. 147468, April 9, 2003). Thus, absent any still would not leave. In August, 1986, Salvador offered
showing that RR knew about, or ought to have known the to return the P100, 000.00 down payment to the
prior sale of the land to PP or that he acted in bad faith, and vendee, on the ground that he is unable to remove the
being first to register the sale, RR acquired a good and a squatters on the property. SSC refused to accept the
clean title to the property as against PP. money and demands that Salvador executed a deed of

UST BAR OPERATIONS 64


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
absolute sale of the property in its favor at which time monthly installments religiously, but on the 47th and
it will pay the balance of the price. Incidentally, the 48th months, she failed to pay. On the 49th month, she
value of the land had doubled by that time. tried to pay the installments due but the vendor
refused to receive the payments tendered by her. The
Salvador consigned the P100, 000.00 in court, and following month, the vendor sent her a notice that it
filed an action for rescission of the deed of conditional was rescinding the Deed of Conditional Sale pursuant
sale, plus damages. Will the action prosper? Explain to the stipulation for automatic rescission, and
(1996 BAR) demanded that she vacate the premises. She replied
that the contract cannot be rescinded without judicial
A: No, the action will not prosper. The action for rescission demand or notarial act pursuant to Article 1592 of the
may be brought only by the agrreived party to the contract. Civil Code.
Since it was Salvador who failed to comply with his
conditional obligation, he is not the aggrieved party who a) Is Article 1592 applicable?
may file the action for rescission buy the Star b) Can the vendor rescind the contract? (2000, 2014
Semiconductor Company. The company, however, is not BAR)
opting to rescind the contract but has chosen to waive
Salvador’s compliance with teh condition which it can do A:
under Art. 1545, NCC.
a) Article 1592 of the Civil Code does not apply to a
OBLIGATIONS OF THE VENDEE (1993, 2000, 2003, conditional sale. In Valarao v. CA, 304 SCRA 155, the
2014 BAR) Supreme Court held that Article 1592 applies only to a
contract of sale and not to a Deed of Conditional Sale
Q: LT applied with BPI to purchase a house and lot in where the seller has reserved title to the property
Quezon City, one of its acquired assets. The amount until full payment of the purchase price. The law
offered was P1, 000, 000.00 payable, as follows: P200, applicable is the Maceda Law.
000.00 down payment, the balance of P800, 000.00 b) No, the vendor cannot rescind the contract under the
payable within 90 days from June 1, 1985. BPI circumstances. Under the Maceda Law, which is the
accepted the offer, whereupon LT drew a check for law applicable, the seller on installment may not
P200, 000.00 in favor of BPI which the latter thereafter rescind the contract till after the lapse of the mandatory
deposited in its account. On September 5, 1985, LT grace period of 30 days for every one year of
wrote BPI requesting extension until October 10, installment payments, and only after 30 days from
1985, within which to pay the balance, to which BPI notice of cancellation or demand for rescission by a
agreed. On October 5, 1985, due to the expected delay notarial act. In this case, the refusal of the seller to
in the remittance of the needed amount by his accept payment from the buyer on the 49th month was
financier from the United States, LT wrote BPI not justified because the buyer was entitled to 60 days
requesting a last extension until October 30, 1985, grace period and the payment was tendered within
within which to pay the balance. BPI denied LT’s that period. Moreover, the notice of rescission
request because another had offered to buy the same served by the seller on the buyer was not effective
property for P1, 500, 000.00, cancelled its agreement because the notice was not by a notarial act. Besides, the
with LT and offered to return to him the amount of seller may still pay within 30 days from such notarial
P200, 000.00 that LT had paid to it. On October 20, notice before rescission may be effected. All these
1985, upon receipt of the amount of P800, 000.00 from requirements for a valid rescission were not complied
his US financier, LT offered to pay the amount by with by the seller. Hence, the rescission is invalid.
tendering a cashier’s check therefor but which BPI
refused to accept. LT then filed a complaint against BPI Q: X sold a parcel of land to Y on 01 January 2002,
in the RTC for specific performance and deposited in payment and delivery to be made on 01 February 2002.
court the amount of P800, 000.00. It was stipulated that if payment were not to be made
Is BPI legally correct in cancelling its contract with LT? by Y on 01 February 2002, the sale between the
(1993 BAR) parties would automatically be rescinded. Y failed to
pay on 01 February 2002, but offered to pay three days
A: BPI is not correct in cancelling the contract with LT. In later, which payment X refused to accept, claiming that
Lina Topacio v. Court of Appeals and BPI Investment (G.R. their contract of sale had already been rescinded. Is X’s
No. 102606, July 3, 1993, 211 SCRA 291), the Supreme Court contention correct? Why? (2003 BAR)
held that the earnest mone is part of the purchase price
and is proof of the perfection of the contract. Secondly, A: No, X is not correct. In the sale of immovable property,
notarial or judicial rescission under Art. 1592 and 1991 of even though it may have been stipulated, as in this case, that
the Civil Code is necessary (Taguba v. De Leon, 132 SCRA upon failure to pay the price at the time agreed upon the
722) rescission of the contract shall of right take place, the vendee
may pay, even after the expiration of the period, as long as
Q: Priscilla purchased a condominium unit in Makati no demand for rescission of the contract has been made
City from the Citiland Corporation for a price of P10 upon him either judicially or by a notarial act (Art.1592).
Million, payable P3 Million down and the balance with Since no demand for rescission was made on Y, either
interest thereon at 14% per annum payable in sixty judicially or by a notarial act, X cannot refuse to accept the
(60) equal monthly installments of P198, 333.33. They payment offered by Y three (3) days after the expiration of
executed a Deed of Conditional Sale in which it is the period.
stipulated that should the vendee fail to pay three (3)
successive installments, the sale shall be deemed BREACH OF CONTRACT (1999, 2016 BAR)
automatically rescinded without the necessity of
judicial action and all payments made by the vendee Q: Peter and Paul entered into a Contract to Sell whereby
shall be forfeited in favor of the vendor by way of Peter, the lot owner, agreed to sell to Paul his lot on
rental for the use and occupancy of the unit and as November 6, 2016 for the price of P1, 000, 000.00 to be
liquidated damages. For 46 months, Priscilla paid the paid at the residence of Peter in Makati City at 1 :00 p.m.
65
CIVIL LAW
If the full price is paid in cash at the specified time and Q: On March 13, 2008, Ariel entered into a Deed of
place, then Peter will execute a Deed of Absolute Sale and Absolute Sale (DAS) with Noel where the former sold
deliver the title to Paul. his titled lot in Quezon City with an area of three
hundred (300) square meters to the latter for the price
On November 6, 2016, Paul did not show up and was not of P300, 000.00. The prevailing market value of the lot
heard of from that date on. In view of the was P3, 000.00 per square meter. On March 20, 2008,
nonperformance by Paul of his obligation, Peter sent a they executed another "Agreement To Buy
letter to Paul that he is expressly and extra-judicially Back/Redeem Property" where Ariel was given an
declaring the Contract to Sell rescinded and of no legal option to repurchase the property on or before March
and binding effect. Peter further stated that failure on the 20, 2010 for the same price. Ariel, however, remained
part of Paul to contest the rescission within thirty (30) in actual possession of the lot. Since Noel did not pay the
days from receipt of said letter shall mean that the latter taxes, Ariel paid the real property taxes to avoid a
agreed to the rescission. delinquency sale.

Paul did not reply to this letter for five (5) years. Thus, On March 21, 2010, Ariel sent a letter to Noel, attaching
Peter decided to sell his lot to Henry in 2021. After thereto a manager's check for P300, 000.00 manifesting
hearing that Henry bought the lot, Paul now questions the that he is redeeming the property. Noel rejected the
sale of the lot to Henry and files a complaint for redemption claiming that the DAS was a true and valid
nullification of the sale. sale representing the true intent of the parties. Ariel
filed a suit for the nullification of the DAS or the
1. Is the exercise by Peter of his power to rescind extra- reformation of said agreement to that of a Loan with
judicially the Contract to Sell the proper and legal Real Estate Mortgage. He claims the DAS and the
way of rescinding said contract? Explain. redemption agreement constitute an equitable
2. In case Paul made a downpayment pursuant to a mortgage. Noel however claims it is a valid sale with
stipulation in the Contract to Sell, what is the legal pacto de retro and Ariel clearly failed to redeem the
remedy of Peter? (2016 BAR) property.

A: As the RTC judge, decide the case with reasons. (2016


BAR)

Q: What are the so-called "Maceda" and "Recto" laws in A: I will decide in favor of Ariel and allow the reformation
connection with sales on installments? Give the most of the agreement. The DAS and the redemption agreement
important features of each law. (1999 BAR) constitute an equitable mortgage and Ariel may ask for the
reformation of the agreement to that of a Loan with Real
A: The MACEDA LAW (RA 6552) is applicable to sales of Estate Mortgage as allowed by Article 1605 of the Civil
immovable property on installments. The most important Code. The circumstances clearly show that the agreement is
features are (Rillo v. CA, G.R. No. 125347, June 19, 1997): an equitable mortgage, such as the: a) price of the lot was
inadequate since it was only sold at P300, 000 when the
1. After having paid installments for at least two years, the prevailing market value of such was P900, 000; b) the
buyer is entitled to a mandatory grace period of one vendor, Ariel, remained in the actual possession of the
month for every year of installment payments made, to property after the purported sale; and c) Ariel was the one
pay the unpaid installments without interest. who paid the real property taxes. Under the circumstances,
a presumption arise under Art. 1602, CC that what was
If the contract is cancelled, the seller shall refund to the really executed was an equitable mortgage. Moreover, Art.
buyer the cash surrender value equivalent to fifty 1603, CC provides that in case of doubt, a contract
percent (50%) of the total payments made, and after purporting to be a sale with right to repurchase shall be
five years of installments, an additional five percent construed as an equitable mortgage.
(5%) every year but not to exceed ninety percent
(90%) of the total payments made. Q: On 20 December 1970, Juliet, a widow, borrowed
from Romeo P4, 000.00 and, as security therefore, she
2. In case the installments paid were less than 2 years, the executed a deed of mortgage over one of her two (2)
seller shall give the buyer a grace period of not less than registered lots which has a market value of P15,
60 days. If the buyer fails to pay the installments due at 000.00. The document and the certificate of title of the
the expiration of the grace period, the seller may cancel property were delivered to Romeo.
the contract after 30 days from receipt by the buyer of
the notice of cancellation or demand for rescission by On 2 June 1971, Juliet obtained an additional sum of P3,
notarial act. 000.00 from Romeo. On this date, however, Romeo
caused the preparation of a deed of absolute sale of the
The RECTO LAW (Art. 1484) refers to sale of movables above property, to which Juliet affixed her signature
payable in installments and limiting the right of seller, in without first reading the document. The consideration
case of default by the buyer, to one of three remedies: indicated is P7, 000.00 She thought that this document
was similar to the first she signed. When she reached
a) exact fulfillment; home, her son X, after reading the duplicate copy of teh
b) cancel the sale if two or more installments have not deed, informed her that what she signed was not a
been paid; mortgage but a deed of absolute sale. On the following
c) foreclose the chattel mortgage on the things sold, also day, 3 June 1971, Juliet accompanied by X, went back to
in case of default of two or more installments, with no Romeo and demanded the reformation. Romeo
further action against the purchaser. prepared and signed a document wherein, as vendee in
the deed of sale above mentioned, he obligated and
EXTINGUISHMENT OF SALE (1991, 1993, 1995, 2001, bound himself to resell the land to Juliet or her heirs
2002, 2005, 2016 BAR) and successors for the same consideration as reflected
in the deed of sale (P7, 000.00) within a period of two

UST BAR OPERATIONS 66


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
(2) years, or until 3 June 1973. It is further stated lessee, executed a contract of lease over the property
therein that should the Vendor (Juliet) fail to exercise for a period of one (1) year with a monthly rental of P1,
her right to redeem within the said period, the 000.00. Pedro, as lessee, was also obligated to pay the
conveyance shall be deemed absolute and irrevocable. realty taxes on the property during the period of lease.
Romeo did not take possession of the property. He did Subsequently, Pedro filed a complaint against Juan for
not pay the taxes thereon. the reformation of the Deed of Absolute Sale, alleging
that the transaction covered by the deed was an
Juliet died in January 1973 without having equitable mortgage. In his verified answer to the
repurchased the property. Her only surviving heir, her complaint, Juan alleged that the property was sold to
son X, failed to repurchase the property on or before 3 him under the Deed of Absolute Sale, and interposed
June 1973. In 1975, Romeo sold the property to Y for counterclaims to recover possession of the property
P50, 000.00. Upon learning of the sale, X filed an action and to compel Pedro to turn over to him the owner's
for the nullification of the sale and for the recovery of duplicate of title. Resolve the case with reasons. (2005
the property on the ground that the so-called deed of BAR)
absolute sale executed by his mother was merely an
equitable mortgage, taking into account teh A: An equitable mortgage arises from a transaction,
inadequacy of the price and the failure of Romeo to regardless of its form, which results into a security, or an offer
take possession of the property and to pay the taxes or attempt to pledge land as security for a debt or liability. Its
thereon. Romeo and Y maintain that there was a valid essence is the intent of the parties to create a mortgage, lien
absolute sale and that the document signed by the or charge on the property sufficiently described or identified
former on 3 June 1973 was merely a promise to sell. to secure an obligation, which intent must be clearly
established in order that such a mortgage may exist.
a) If you were the Judge, would you uphold the theory
of X? Defendant’s defense that he acquired the land through an
b) If you decide in favor of Romeo and Y, would you Absolute Deed of Sale and not through pacto de retro is
uphold the validity of the promise to sell? (1991 untenable. The presumption of equitable mortgage under Art.
BAR) 1602 of the Civil Code, equally applies to a contract purporting
to be an absolute sale (Art. 1604, NCC). The facts and
A: circumstances that Pedro retained possession of the Owner’s
Duplicate Copy of the Certificate of Title; that he remained in
a) I will not uphold the theory of X for the nullification of possession of teh land as lessee; that he bound himself to pay
the sale and for the recovery of the property on the the relaty taxes during the period of lease, are matters
ground that the so-called sale was only an equitable collectively and strongly indicating that the Deed of Absolute
mortgage. An equitable mortgage may arise only if, in Sale is an equitable mortgage. In case of doubt, the Deed of
truth, the sale was one with the right of repurchase. Absolute Sale should be considered as a loan with mortgage,
The facts of the case state that the right to repurchase because this juridical relation involves a lesser transmission
was granted after the absolute deed of sale was of rights and interests.
executed. Following the rule in Cruzo v. Carriaga (174
SCRA 330), a deed of repurchase executed If the transaction is proven to be an equitable mortgage,
independently of the deed of sale where the two Pedro’s prayer for reformation of the instrument should be
stipulations are found in two instruments instead of granted in accordance with Art. 1605 of the Civil Code. Thus,
one document, the right of repurchase would amount in case of non-payment, he may foreclose the mortgage and
only to one option granted by the buyer to the seller. consolidate his ownership of the land. In that event, Juan’s
Since the contract cannot be upheld as a contract of counterclaim to recover possession of the land and to compel
sale with the right to repurchase, Art. 1602 of the Civil Pedro to surrender the Owner’s Duplicate Copy of the title
Code on equitable mortgage will not apply. The rule becomes a consequential right.
could have been different if both deeds were executed
on the same occasion or date, in which case, under the Q: On January 2, 1980, A and B entered into a contract
ruling in spouses Claravall v. CA (190 SCRA 439), the whereby A sold to B a parcel of land for and in
contract may still be sustained as an equitable consideration of P10, 000.00, A reserving to himself the
mortgage, given the circumstances expressed in Art. right to repurchase the same. Because they were
1602. The reserved right to repurchase is then friends, no period was agreed upon for the repurchase
deemed an original intention. of the property.
b) If I were to decide in favor of Romeo and Y, I would not
uphold the validity of the promise to sell, so as to 1) Until when must A exercise his right of repurchase?
enforce it by an action for specific performance. The 2) If A fails to redeem the property within the
promise to sell would only amount to a mere offer and, allowable period, what would you advise B to do for
therefore, it is not enforceable unless it was sought to his better protection? (1993 BAR)
be exercised before a withdrawal or denial thereof.
A:
Even assuming the facts given at the end of the case
there would have been no separate consideration for 1) A can exercise his right of repurchase within four (4)
such promise to sell. The contract would at most years from the date of the contract (Art. 1606, Civil
amount to an option which again may not be the basis Code).
for an action for specific performance. 2) I would advise B to file an action for consolidation of
title and obtain a judicial order of consolidation which
Q: On July 14, 2004, Pedro executed in favor of Juan a must be recorded in the Registry of Property (Art. 1607,
Deed of Absolute Sale over a parcel of land covered by Civil Code).
TCT No. 6245. It appears in the Deed of Sale that
Pedro received from Juan P120, 000.00 as purchase Q: Sancho and Pacifico are co-owners of a parcel of
price. However, Pedro retained the owner's duplicate of land. Sancho sold the property to Bart. Pacifico sued
said title. Thereafter, Juan, as lessor, and Pedro, as Sancho and Bart for annulment of the sale and
67
CIVIL LAW
reconveyance of the property based on the fact that A: Yes, Adela may still exercise her right of redemption
the sale included his one-half pro-indiviso share. notwithstanding the lapse of more than 30 days from notice
Pacifico had a notice of lis pendens annotated on the title of the sale given to her because Art. 1623 of the New Civil
covering the property and ordered the cancellation of Code requires that the notice in writing of the sale must come
the notice of lis pendens. The notice of lis pendens from the prospective vendor or vendor as the case may be. In
could not be cancelled immediately because the title this case, the notice of the sale was given by the vendee and
over the property was with a bank to which the the Register of Deeds. The period of 30 days never tolled. She
property had been mortgaged by Bart. Pacifico appealed can still avail of that right.
the case. While the appeal was pending and with the
notice of lis pendens still uncancelled, Bart sold the
property to Carlos, who immediately caused the PART VI – LEASE
cancellation of the notice of lis pendens, as well as the
issuance of a new title in his name. Is Carlos (a) a
purchaser in good faith, or (b) a transferee pendente
lite? (1995, 2002 BAR) LEASE OF RURAL AND URBAN LANDS (1990, 1994, 2005
BAR)
A: Carlos is a buyer in bad faith. The notice of lis
pendens was still annotated at the back of the title at the Q: A leased a parcel of land to B for a period of two
time he bought the land from Bart. The uncancelled notice years. The lease contract did not contain any express
of lis pendens operates as constructive notice of its contents prohibition against the assignment of the leasehold or
as well as interests, legal or equitable, included therein. All the subleasing of the leased premises. During the third
persons are charged with the knowledge of what it contains. year of the lease, B subleased the land to C. In turn, C,
In an earlier case, it was held that a notice of an adverse without A's consent, assigned the sublease to D. A then
claim remains effective and binding notwithstanding the filed an action for the rescission of the contract of lease
lapse of the 30 days from its inscription in the registry. This on the ground that B has violated the terms and
ruling is even more applicable in a lis pendens. Carlos is a conditions of the lease agreement. If you were the
transferee pendente lite insofar as Sancho’s share in the co- judge, how would you decide the case, particularly with
ownership in the land is concerned because the land was respect to the validity of:
transferred to him during the pendency of the appeal.
a) B’s sublease to C? and
If your answer is (a), how can the right of Pacifico as b) C’s assignment of the sublease to D?
co-owner be protected? Explain.
Explain your answers. (1990 BAR)
A: Pacifico can protect his right as a co-owner by
pursuing his appeal; asking the Court of Appeals to order A:
the re-annotation of the lis pendens on the title of Carlos;
and by invoking his right of redemption of Bart’s share a) B's sublease to C is valid. Although the original period
under Art. 1620. of two years for the lease contract has expired, the lease
continued with the acquiescence of the lessor during
Q: Betty and Lydia were co-owners of a parcel of land. the third year. Hence, there has been an implied
Last January 31, 2001, when she paid her real estate renewal of the contract of lease. Under Art. 1650, the
tax, Betty discovered that Lydia had sold her share to lessee may sublet the thing leased, in whole or in part,
Emma on November 10, 2000. The following day, Betty when the contract of lease does not contain any express
offered to redeem her share from Emma, but the latter prohibition (Arts. 1650, 1670). A's action for rescission
replied that Betty's right to redeem has already should not prosper on this ground.
prescribed. Is Emma correct or not? Why? (2001 BAR) b) C's assignment of the sublease to D is not valid. Under
Art. 1649, the lessee cannot assign the lease without the
A: No, Emma, the buyer, is not correct. Betty can still consent of the lessor, unless there is a stipulation to the
enforce her right of legal redemption as a co-owner. Art. contrary. There is no such stipulation in the contract. If
1623 of the Civil Code gives a co-owner 30 days from the law prohibits assignment of the lease without the
written notice of the sale by the vendor to exercise his right consent of the lessor, all the more would the
of legal redemption. In the present problem, the 30-day assignment of a sublease be prohibited without such
period for the exercise by Betty of her right of redemption consent. This is a violation of the contract and is a valid
had not even begun to run because no notice in writing of ground for rescission by A.
the sale appears to have been given to her by Lydia.
Q: In January 1993, Four-Gives Corporation leased the
Q: Adela and Beth are co-owners of a parcel of land. Beth entire twelve floors of the GQS Towers Complex, for a
sold her undivided share of the property to Xandro, period of ten years at a monthly rental of P3, 000,
who promptly notified Adela of the sale and furnished 000.00. There is a provision in the contract that the
the latter a copy of the deed of absolute sale. When monthly rentals should be paid within the first five days
Xandro presented the deed for registration, the register of the month. For the month of March, May, June,
of deeds also notified Adela of the sale, enclosing a October and December 1993, the rentals were not paid
copy of the deed with the notice. However, Adela on time with some rentals being delayed up to ten days.
ignored the notices. A year later, Xandro filed a The delay was due to the heavy paper work involved in
petition for the partition of the property. Upon processing the checks. Four-Gives Corporation also
receipt of summons, Adela immediately tendered the subleased five of the twelve floors to wholly-owned
requisite amount for the redemption. Xandro contends subsidiaries. The lease contract expressly prohibits the
that Adela lost her right of redemption after the assignment of the lease contract or any portion thereof.
expiration of 30 days from her receipt of the notice of the The rental value of the building has increased by 50%
sale given by him. May Adela still exercise her right of since its lease to Four-Gives Corporation.
redemption? Explain. (2001, 2002 BAR)

UST BAR OPERATIONS 68


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
1) Can the building owner eject Four-Gives suit on May 15, 1992, the assignment had not yet
Corporation on grounds of the repeated delays in lapsed. It would lapse on December 1, 1994, the very
the payment of the rent? same date that the 50-year basic lease would expire.
2) Can the building owner ask for the cancellation of Since the assignment is void, Victor can get the property
the contract for violation of the provision against back because of the violation of the lease. Both Joel and
assignment? (1994 BAR) Ernie have to surrender possession and are liable for
damages. But Conrad has not yet incurred any liability
A: on the sublease which still subsisted at the time of the
filing of the action on May 15, 1992.
1) No. The building owner cannot eject Four-Gives
Corporation on the ground of repeated delays in the Ernie can file a cross-claim against Joel for damages on
payment of rentals. The delay in the payment of the account of the rescission of the contract of assignment.
rentals is minimal and cannot be made the basis of an Conrad can file a counter-claim against Victor for
ejectment suit. The delay was due to the heavy damages for lack of cause of action at the time of the
paperwork involved in processing the checks. It would filing of the suit.
be otherwise if the lease contract stated that in the
payment of rentals within the first five days of the RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF LESSOR AND LESSEE
month, time is of the essence or that the lessee will be (1990, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2010)
in delay if he falls to pay within the agreed period
without need of demand. In this case he can judicially Q: May a lessee sublease the property leased without
eject the tenant on the ground of lack of payment of the the consent of the lessor, and what are the respective
price stipulated after a demand to vacate (Art. 1673[2]). liabilities of the lessee and sub-lessee to the lessor in
2) No, the lessor cannot have the lease cancelled for case of such sublease? (1999 BAR)
alleged violation of the provision against assignment.
The lessee did not assign the lease, or any portion A: Yes, provided that there is no express prohibition against
thereof, to the subsidiaries. It merely subleased some subleasing. Under the law, when in the contract of lease of
floors to its subsidiaries. Since the problem does not things there is no express prohibition, the lessee may sublet
state that the contract of lease contains a prohibition the thing leased without prejudice to his responsibility for
against sublease, the sublease is lawful, the rule being the performance of the contract toward the lessor (Art.
that in the absence of an express prohibition a lessee 1650). In case there is a sublease of the premises being
may sublet the thing leased, in whole or in part, without leased, the sublessee is bound to the lessor for all the acts
prejudice to his/its responsibility to the lessor for the which refer to the use and preservation of the thing leased
performance of the contract. in the manner stipulated between the lessor and the lessee
(Art. 1651). The sublessee is subsidiarily liable to the lessor
Q: Under a written contract dated December 1, 1989, for any rent due from the lessee. However, the sublessee
Victor leased his land to Joel for a period of five (5) shall not be responsible beyond the amount of the rent due
years at a monthly rental of P1, 000.00, to be from him (Art. 1652). As to the lessee, the latter shall still be
increased to P1, 200.00 and P1, 500.00 on the third responsible to the lessor for the rents; bring to the
and fifth year, respectively. On January 1, 1991, Joel knowledge of the lessor every usurpation or untoward act
subleased the land to Conrad for a period of two (2) which any third person may have committed or may be
years at a monthly rental of P1, 500.00. On December 31, openly preparing to carry out upon the thing leased; advise
1992, Joel assigned the lease to his compadre, Ernie, the owner the need for all repairs; to return the thing leased
who acted on the belief that Joel was the rightful owner upon the termination of the lease just as he received it, save
and possessor of the said lot. Joel has been faithfully what has been lost or impaired by the lapse of time or by
paying the stipulated rentals to Victor. When Victor ordinary wear and tear or from an inevitable cause;
learned on May 18, 1992 about the sublease and responsible for the deterioration or loss of the thing leased,
assignment, he sued Joel, Conrad and Ernie for rescission unless he proves that it took place without his fault.
of the contract of lease and for damages.
Q: A leased his house to B with a condition that the
a) Will the action prosper? If so, against whom? leased premises shall be used for residential purposes
Explain. only. B subleased the house to C who used it as a
b) In case of rescission, discuss the rights and warehouse for fabrics. Upon learning this, A
obligations of the parties. (2005 BAR) demanded that C stop using the house as a warehouse,
but C ignored the demand, A then filed an action for
A: ejectment against C, who raised the defense that there
is no privity of contract between him and A, and that he
a) Yes, the action for rescission of the lease will prosper has not been remiss in the payment of rent. Will the
because Joel cannot assign the lease to Ernie without action prosper? (2000 BAR)
the consent of Victor. (Art. 1649, Civil Code). But Joel
may sublet to Conrad because there is no express A: Yes, the action will prosper. Under Art. 1651, the
prohibition (Art. 1650, Civil Code; Alipio v. Court of sublessee is bound to the lessor for all acts which refer to the
Appeals, 341 SCRA 441 [2000]). use and preservation of the thing leased in the manner
stipulated between the lessor and the lessee.
Victor can rescind the contract of lease with Joel, and
the assignment of the lease to Ernie, on the ground of Q: A had a 4-storey building which was contructed by
violation of law and of contract. The sub-lease to Engineer B. After 5 years, the building developed cracks
Conrad remained valid for two (2) years from January and its stairway eventually gave way and collapsed,
1, 1991, and had notyeat lapsed when the action was resulting to injuries to some lessees. Who should the
filed on May 15, 1992. lessees sue for damages? (2010 BAR)

b) In case of rescission, the rights and obligations of the A: The lessees may proceed against A for breach of contract,
parties should be as follows: At the time that Victor filed and against B for tort or statutory liability.
69
CIVIL LAW
materials and a store. As the years passed, he expanded
Under Article 1654 (2) of the New Civil Code, the lessor is his business, earning more profits. By the tenth (10 th)
obliged to make all the necessary repairs in order to keep year of his possession, he was able to build a three (3) –
the leased property suitable for the use to which it has been storey building worth at least P300, 000.00 before the
devoted. Consequently, under Article 1659 NCC the end of the term of the lease, B negotiated with the
proprietor of a building or structure is responsible for the landowner for its renewal, but despite their attempts to
damages resulting from its total or partial collapse, if it is do so, they could not agree on the new conditions for
due to the lack of necessary repairs. the renewal. Upon the expiration of the term of the
lease, the landowner asked B to vacate the premises
Under Article 1723 NCC, the engineer or architect who drew and remove his building and other improvements. B
up the plans and specifications for a building is liable for refused unless he was reimbursed for necessary and
damages if within 15 years from the completion of the useful expenses. B claimed that he was a possessor and
structure, the same should collapse by reason of a defect in builder in good faith, with right of retention. This issue
those plans and specifications, or due to the defects in the is now before the court for resolution in a pending
ground. This liability may be enforced against the architect litigation.
or engineer even by a third party who has no privity of
contract with the architect or engineer under Article 2192 a) What are the rights of B?
NCC. b) What are the rights of the landowner? (1990 BAR)
A:
Q: Under what circumstances would an implied new
lease or a tacita reconduccion arise? (1999 BAR) a) B has the right to remove the building and other
improvements unless the landowner decides to retain
A:An implied new lease or tacita reconduccion arises if at the building at the time of the termination of the lease
the end of the contract the lessee should continue enjoying and pay the lessee one-half of the value of the
the thing leased for 15 days with the acquiescence of the improvements at that time. The lessee may remove the
lessor, and unless a notice to the contrary by either parties building even though the principal thing may suffer
has previously been given (Art. 1670). In short, in order that damage but B should not cause any more impairment
there may be tacita reconduccion there must be expiration upon the property leased than is necessary. The claim
of the contract; there must be continuation of possession for of B that he ws a possessor and builder in good faith
15 days or more; and there must be no prior demand to with the right of retention is not tenable. B is not a
vacate. builder in good faith, because as lessee he does not
Q: On January 1, 1980, Nestor leased the fishpond of claim ownership over the property leased.
Mario for a period of three years at a monthly rental of b) The landowner/lessor may refuse to reimburse ½ of
P1, 000.00, with an option to purchase the same during the value of the improvements and require the lessee to
the period of the lease for the price of P500, 000.00. remove the improvements. (Art. 1678, Civil Code)
After the expiration of the three-year period, Mario
allowed Nestor to remain in the leased premises at the Q: Bartolome constructed a chapel on the land of Eric.
same rental rate. On June 15, 1983, Nestor tendered What are Batolome’s rights of he were a lessee of the
the amount of P500, 000.00 to Mario and demanded that land? (1996 BAR)
the latter execute a deed of absolute sale of the fishpond
in his favor. Mario refused, on the ground that Nestor A: The owner of the land, as lessor, can acquire the
no longer had an option to buy the fishpond. Nestor improvement by paying for one-half of its value. Should the
filed an action for specific performance. Will the lessor refuse to reimburse said amount, the lessee may
action prosper or not? Why? (2001 BAR) remove the improvement, even though the principal thing
may suffer damage thereby (Art. 1678, NCC).
A: No, the action will not prosper. The implied renewal of the
lease on a month-to-month basis did not have the effect of Special Rules for Lease of Rural/Urban Lands (2000
extending the life of the option to purchase which expired BAR)
at the end of the original lease period. The lessor is correct
in refusing to sell on the ground that the option had expired. Q: In 1995, Mark leased the rice land of Narding in
Nueva Ecija for an annual rental of P1, 000.00 per
Q: TX filed a suit for ejectment against BD for non- hectare. In 1998, due to the El Nino phenomenon, the
payment of condominium rentals amounting to P150, rice harvest fell to only 40% of the average harvest
000. During the pendency of the case, BD offered and TX for the previous years. Mark asked Narding for a
accepted the full amount due as rentals from BD, who reduction of the rental to P500.00 per hectare for that
then filed a motion to dismiss the ejectment suit on the year but the latter refused. Is Mark legally entitled to
ground that the action is already extinguished. Is BD’s such reduction? (2000 BAR)
contention correct? Why or why not? Reason. (2004
BAR) A: No, Mark is not entitled to a reduction. Under Art.1680,
the lessee of a rural land is entitled to a reduction of the
A: BD's contention is not correct. TX can still maintain the rent only in case of loss of more than 1/2 of the fruits
suit for ejectment. The acceptance by the lessor of the through extraordinary and unforeseen fortuitous
payment by the lessee of the rentals in arrears even during events. While the drought brought about by the "El Nino"
the pendency of the ejectment case does not constitute a phenomenon may be classified as extraordinary, it is not
waiver or abandonment of the ejectment case (Spouses considered as unforeseen.
Clutario v. CA, G.R. No. 76656, December 11, 1992).

Q: A vacant lot several blocks from the center of the PART VII – PARTNERSHIP
town was leased by its owner to a young businessman
B, for a term of fifteen (15) years renewal upon
agreement of the parties. After taking possession of the CONTRACT OF PARTNERSHIP (2001, 2010)
lot, the lessee built thereon a building of mixed

UST BAR OPERATIONS 70


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Q: True or False:
The hiring of A was decided upon by W and X, but was
An oral partnership is valid. (2009 BAR) opposed by Y and Z.

A: TRUE. Partnership is a consensual contract, hence, it is The hiring of B was decided upon by W and Z, but was
valid even though not in writing. opposed by X and Y.

Q: A, B, and C entered into a partnership to operate a Who of the applicants should be hired by the
restaurant business. When the restaurant had gone partnership? Explain and give your reasons. (1992
past break-even stage and started to garner BAR)
considerable profits, C died. A and B continued the
business without dissolving the partnership. They in A: A should be hired as Secretary. The decision for the hiring
fact opened a branch of the restaurant, incurring of A prevails because it is an act of administration which can
obligations in the process. Creditors started demanding be perfomed by the duly appointed managing partners, W
for the payment of their obligations. and X.

A. Who are liable for the settlement of the B cannot be hired, because in case of a tie in the decision of
partnership’s obligations? Explain? the managing partners, the deadlock must be decided by the
B. What are the creditors’ recourse/s? Explain. (2010 partners owning the controlling interest. In this case, the
BAR) opposition of X and Y prevails because Y owns the
controlling interest. (Art. 1801, Civil Code)
A:
Q: Pauline, Patricia and Priscilla formed a business
A. The two remaining partners, A and B, are liable. When partnership for the purpose of engaging in neon
any partner dies and the business is continued without advertising for a term of five (5) years. Pauline
any settlement of accounts as between him or his subsequently assigned to Philip her interest in the
estate, the surviving partners are held liable for partnership. When Patricia and Priscilla learned of the
continuing the business provided that A and B had assignment, they decided to dissolve the partnership
knowledge or notice of the death of C (Art. 1841, 1785, before the expiration of its term as they had an
par 2, and Art 1833). unproductive business relationship with Philip in the
B. Creditors can file the appropriate actions, for instance, past. On the other hand, unaware of the move of Patricia
an action for collection of sum of money against the and Priscilla but sensing their negative reaction to his
“partnership at will” and if there are no sufficient funds, acquisition of Pauline's interest, Philip simultaneously
the creditors may go after the private properties of A petitioned for the dissolution of the partnership.
and B (Art 1816). Creditors may also sue the estate of C.
The estate is not excused from the liabilities of the 1. Is the dissolution done by Patricia and Priscilla
partnership even if C is dead already but only up to the without the consent of Pauline or Philip valid?
time that he remained a partner (Art. 1829, 1835, par 2; Explain.
Testate Estate of Mota v. Serra, G.R. No. L-22825, 2. Does Philip have any right to petition for the
February 14, 1925). However, the liability of C’s dissolution of the partnership before the expiration
individual properties shall be subject to the prior of its specified term? Explain. (1995 BAR)
payment of his separate debts (Art. 1835, par 3).
A:
Q: Joe and Rudy formed a partnership to operate a car
repair shop in Quezon City. Joe provided the capital 1. Under Art. 1830 (1) (c), the dissolution by Patricia and
while Rudy contributed his labor and industry. On Priscilla is valid and did not violate the contract of
one side of their shop, Joe opened and operated a partnership even though Pauline and Philip did not
coffee shop, while on the other side, Rudy put up a car consent thereto. The consent of Pauline is not
accessories store. May they engage in such separate necessary because she had already assigned her
businesses? Why? (2001 BAR) interest to Philip. The consent of Philip is not also
necessary because the assignment to him of Pauline's
A: Joe, the capitalist partner, may engage in the interest did not make him a partner, under Art. 1813.
restaurant business because it is not the same kind of 2. No, Philip has no right to petition for dissolution
business the partnership is engaged in. On the other hand, because he does not have the standing of a partner. (Art.
Rudy may not engage in any other business unless their 1813)
partnership expressly permits him to do so because as
an industrial partner he has to devote his full time to the Q: Dielle, Karlo and Una are general partners in
business of the partnership (Art. 1789). a merchandising firm. Having contributed equal
amounts to the capital, they also agree on equal
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF PARTNERS AMONG distribution of whatever net profit is realized per
THEMSELVES (1992, 1995, 1998 BAR) fiscal period. After two years of operation, however,
Una conveys her whole interest in the partnership to
Q: W, X, Y and Z organized a general partnership with W Justine, without the knowledge and consent of Dielle
and X as industrial partners and Y and Z as capitalist and Karlo.
partners. Y contributed P50, 000.00 and Z contributed
P20, 000.00 to the common fund. By a unanimous vote 1. Is the partnership dissolved?
of the partners, W and X were appointed managing 2. What are the rights of Justine, if any, should she
partners, without any specification of their respective desire to participate in the management of the
powers and duties. partnership and in the distribution of a net profit of
P360, 000.00 which was realized after her purchase
A applied for the position of Secretary and B applied for of Una’s interest? (1995, 1998 BAR)
the position of Accountant of the partnership.
71
CIVIL LAW
A: Q: Can two corporations organize a general partnership
under the Civil Code of the Philippines? (1994 BAR)
1. No, a conveyance by a partner of his whole interest in a
partnership does not of itself dissolve the partnership A: No. A corporation is managed by its board of directors. If
in the absence of an agreement. (Art. 1813) the corporation were to become a partner, co-partners
2. Justine cannot interfere or participate in the would have the power to make the coporation party to
management or administration of the partnership transactions in an irregular manner since the partners are
business or affairs. She may, however, receive the not agents subject to the control of the Board of Directors.
net profits to which Una would have otherwise been But a corporation may enter into a joint venture with
entitled. In this case, P120, 000 (Art. 1813). another corporation as long as the nature of the venture is
in line with the business authorized by its charter. (Tuason
OBLIGATIONS OF PARTNERSHIP/PARTNERS TO THIRD & Co., Inc. v. Bolano, 95 Phil. 106)
PERSONS (1993, 1994, 2010 BAR)
Q: Can a corporation and an individual form a general
Q: A, B and C formed a partnership for the purpose of partnership? (1994 BAR)
contracting with the Government in the construction of
one of its bridges. On June 30, 1992, after completion of A: No. A corporation may not be a general partner because
the project, the bridge was turned over by the partners to the principle of mutual agency in general partnership
the Government. On August 30, 1992, D, a supplier of allowing the other general partner to bind the corporation
materials used in the project sued A for collection of the will violate the corporation law principle that only the
indebtedness to him. A moved to dismiss the complaint board of directors may bind the corporation.
against him on the ground that it was the ABC
partnership that is liable for the debt. D replied that ABC DISSOLUTION AND WINDING UP (1997 BAR)
partnership was dissolved upon completion of the Q: Will death of a partner terminate the partnership?
project for which purpose the partnership was formed. (1997 BAR)
Will you dismiss the complaint against A If you were the
Judge? (1993 BAR) A: Yes. Death of a partner will terminate the partnership, by
express provision of par. 5, Art. 1830 of the Civil Code.
A: No, as Judge, I would not dismiss the complaint against A
because A is still liable as a general partner for his pro rata
share of 1/3 (Art. 1816). Dissolution of a partnership caused PART VIII – AGENCY
by the termination of the particular undertaking specified in
the agreement does not extinguish obligations, which must be
liquidated during the "winding up" of the partnership affairs DEFINITION (2000, 2003 BAR)
(Arts. 1829 and 1830, par. 1[a]).
Q: A foreign manufacturer of computers and a
Q: A, B, and C entered into a partnership to operate a Philippine distributor entered into a contract whereby
restaurant business. When the restaurant had gone past the distributor agreed to order 1, 000 units of the
break-even stage and started to garner considerable manufacturer’s computers every month and to resell
profits, C died. A and B continued the business without them in the Philippines at the manufacturer’s
dissolving the partnership. They in fact opened a branch suggested prices plus 10%. All unsold units at the end
of the restaurant, incurring obligations in the process. of the year shall be bought back by the manufacturer at
Creditors started demanding for the payment of their the same price they were ordered. The manufacturer
obligations. shall hold the distributor free and harmless from any
claim for defects in the units. Is the agreement one for
A. Who are liable for the settlement of the sale or agency? (2000 BAR)
partnership’s obligations? Explain?
B. What are the creditors’ recourse/s? Explain. (2010 A: The contract is one of agency not sale. The notion of sale
BAR) is negated by the following indicia: (1) the price is fixed by
the manufacturer with the 10% mark up constituting the
A: commission; (2) the manufacturer reacquires the unsold
units at exactly the same price; and (3) warranty for the
A. The two remaining partners, A and B, are liable. When units was borne by the manufacturer. The foregoing indicia
any partner dies and the business is continued without negate sale because they indicate that ownership over the
any settlement of accounts as between him or his units was never intended to transfer to the distributor.
estate, the surviving partners are held liable for
continuing the business provided that A and B had Q: Jo-Ann asked her close friend, Aissa, to buy some
knowledge or notice of the death of C (Art. 1841, 1785, groceries for her in the supermarket. Was there a
par 2, and Art 1833). nominate contract entered into between Jo-Ann and
B. Creditors can file the appropriate actions, for instance, Aissa? In the affirmative, what was it? Explain. (2003
an action for collection of sum of money against the BAR)
“partnership at will” and if there are no sufficient funds,
the creditors may go after the private properties of A A: Yes, there was a nominate contract. On the assumption
and B (Art 1816). Creditors may also sue the estate of C. that Aissa accepted the request of her close friend Jo-Ann to
The estate is not excused from the liabilities of the buy some groceries for her in the supermarket, what they
partnership even if C is dead already but only up to the entered into was the nominate contract of Agency. Art. 1898
time that he remained a partner (Art. 1829, 1835, par 2; of the New Civil Code provides that by the contract of
Testate Estate of Mota v. Serra, G.R. No. L-22825, agency a person binds himself to render some service or to
February 14, 1925). However, the liability of C’s do something in representation or on behalf of another,
individual properties shall be subject to the prior with the consent or authority of the latter.
payment of his separate debts. (Art. 1835, par 3)

UST BAR OPERATIONS 72


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
NATURE, FORM AND KINDS OF AGENCY (1992, 2004 Reyes, 27 January 1992, 206 SCRA 437). However, the
BAR) donation should be collated to the hereditary estate and the
legitime of the other heirs should be preserved.
Q: A as principal appointed B as his agent granting him
general and unlimited management over A's Q: In 1980, Maureen purchased two lots in a plush
properties, stating that A withholds no power from B subdivision registering Lot 1 in her name and Lot 2 in
and that the agent may execute such acts as he may the name of her brother Walter with the latter’s
consider appropriate. Accordingly, B leased A's parcel consent. The idea was to circumvent a subdivision
of land in Manila to C for four (4) years at P60, 000.00 policy against the acquisition of more than one lot by
per year, payable annually in advance. B leased another one buyer. Maureen constructed a house on Lot 1 with
parcel of land of A in Caloocan City to D without a fixed an extension on Lot 2 to serve as a guest house. In 1987,
term at P3, 000.00 per month payable monthly. B sold Walter who had suffered serious business losses
to E a third parcel of land belonging to A located in demanded that Maureen remove the extension house
Quezon City for three (3) times the price that was listed since the lot on which the extension was built was his
in the inventory by A to B. All those contracts were property. In 1992, Maureen sued for the reconveyance
executed by B while A was confined due to illness in the to her of Lot 2 asserting that a resulting trust was
Makati Medical Center. Rule on the validity and binding created when she ha dteh lot registered in Walter’s
effect of each of the above contracts upon A the name even if she paid the purchase price. Walter
principal. Explain your answers. (1992 BAR) opposed the suit arguing that assuming the existence of
a resulting trust the action of Maureen has already
A: The agency couched in general terms comprised only prescribed since ten years have already elapsed from
acts of administration (Art. 1877). The lease contract on the the registration of the title in his name. Decide. Discuss
Manila parcel is not valid, not enforceable and not binding fully. (1995 BAR)
upon A. For B to lease the property to C, for more than one
(1) year, A must provide B with a special power of attorney A: This is a case of an implied resulting trust. If Walter
(Art. 1878). The lease of the Caloocan City property to D is claims to have acquired ownership of the land by
valid and binding upon A. Since the lease is without a fixed prescription or if he anchors his defense on extinctive
term, it is understood to be from month to month, since the prescription, the ten year period must be reckoned from
rental is payable monthly (Art. 1687). The sale of the 1987 when he demanded that Maureen remove the
Quezon City parcel to E is not valid and not binding upon A. extension house on Lot No. 2 because such demand
B needed a special power of attorney to validly sell the land amounts to an express repudiation of the trust and it was
(Arts. 1877 and 1878). The sale of the land at a very good made known to Maureen. The action for reconveyance filed
price does not cure the defect of the contract arising from in 1992 is not yet barred by prescription.
lack of authority.
Q: Explain the concept of trust de son tort (Constructive
Q: CX executed a special power of attorney authorizing Trust) (2007 BAR)
DY to secure a loan from any bank and to mortgage his
property covered by the owner’s certificate of title. In A: A constructive trust is a trust not created by any word or
securing a loan from MBank, DY did not specify that he phrase, either expressly or impliedly, evincing a direct
was acting for CX in the transaction with said bank. Is CX intention to create a trust, but is one that arises in order to
liable for the bank loan? Why or why not? Justify your satisfy the demands of justice. It does not come about by
answer. (2004 BAR) agreement or intention but mainly operation of law and
construed as a trust against one who, by fraud, duress or
A: CX is liable for the bank loan because he authorized the abuse of confidence, obtains or hilds the legal right to
mortgage on his property to secure the loan contracted by DY. property which he ought not, in equity and good conscience,
If DY later defaults and fails to pay the loan, CX is liable to pay. to hold (Heirs of Lorenzo Yap v. Court of Appeals, 371 Phil.
However, his liability is limited to the extent of the value of the 523 [1999]).
said property.
The following are examples of constructive trust:

PART IX – TRUST 1. Article 1456 NCC which provides:


“If property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the
person obtaining it is, by force of law considered a
KINDS OF TRUSTS (1993, 1995, 2007 BAR) trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person
from whom the property comes.”
Q: Joaquin Reyes bought from Julio Cruz a residential 2. Article 1451 NCC which provides:
lot of 300 square meters in Quezon City for which “When land passes by succession to any person and he
Joaquin paid Julio the amount of P300, 000.00. When causes the legal title to be put in the name of another, a
the deed was about to be prepared Joaquin told Julio trust is established by implication of law for the benefit
that it be drawn in the name of Joaquina Roxas, his of the true-owner.”
acknowledged natural child. Thus, the deed was so 3. Article 1454 NCC which provides:
prepared and executed by Julio. Joaquina then built a “If an absolute conveyance of property is made in order
house on the lot where she, her husband and children to secure the performance of an obligation of the
resided. Upon Joaquin’s death, his legitimate children grantor toward the grantee, a trust by virtue of law is
sought to recover possession and ownership of the lot, established. If the fulfillment of the obligation is offered
claiming that Joaquina Roxas was but a trustee of their by the grantor when it becomes due, he may demand
father. Will the action against Joaquina Roxas prosper? the reconveyance of the property to him.”
(1993 BAR) 4. Article 1455 NCC which provides:
“When any trustee, guardian or other person holding a
A: Yes, because there is a presumed donation in favor of fiduciary relationship uses trust funds for the purchase
Joaquina under Art. 1448 of the Civil Code (De Los Santos v. of property, and causes the conveyance to be made to

73
CIVIL LAW
him or to a third person, a trust is established to whom 2) Is B obliged to pay A for the use of the passenger
the findings belong. jeepney?
3) Is B liable to A for the loss of the jeepney? (1993
BAR)
PART X – CREDIT TRANSACTIONS
A:

LOAN (1993, 1996, 1998, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2016 BAR) 1) The contract is called “commodatum”. (Art. 1933, Civil
Code)
Q: With regard to an award of interest in the concept of 2) No, B is not obliged to pay A for the use of the passenger
actual and compensatory damages, please state the jeepney because commodatum is essentially
guidelines regarding the manner of computing legal gratuitous. (Art. 1933, Civil Code)
interest in the following situations: 3) Yes, because B devoted the thing to a purpose different
from that for which it has been loaned (Art. 1942, par. 2
1. When the obligation is breached and it consists in Civil Code)
the payment of a sum of money like a loan or
forbearance of money; Q: Distinguish briefly but clearly between Mutuum and
2. When the obligation does not constitute a loan or commodatum. (2004 BAR)
forbearance of money.
A: In mutuum, the object borrowed must be a consumable
Consider the issuance of BSP-MB Circular No. 799, thing the ownership of which is transferred to the borrower
which became effective on July 1, 2013. (2016 BAR) who incurs the obligation to return the same consumable to
the lender in an equal amount, and of the same kind and
A: quality. In commodatum, the object borrowed is usually a
non-consumable thing the ownership of which is not
1. When the obligation is breached and it consists in the transferred to the borrower who incurs the obligation to
payment of sum of money like a loan or forbearance of return the very thing to the lender.
money, in the absence of stipulation, the rate of interest
shall be the legal rate of 6% per annum, (Art. 2209, CC) Q: Before he left for Riyadh to work as a mechanic, Pedro
which was increased to 12% per NB Circular No. 905, left his Adventure van with Tito, with the
series of 1982 to be computed from default. The twelve understanding that the latter could use it for one year
percent (12%) per annum legal interest shall apply for his personal or family use while Pedro works in
only until June 30, 2013. From July 1, 2013, the new rate Riyadh. He did not tell Tito that the brakes of the van
of six percent (6%) per annum shall be the prevailing were faulty. Tito had the van tuned up and the brakes
rate of interest when applicable. (Nacar v. Gallery repaired. He spent a total amount of P15, 000.00.
Frames, 703 SCRA 439 [2013], applying BSP-MB Circular After using the vehicle for two weeks, Tito
No. 799) discovered that it consumed too much fuel. To make up
2. The interest on the amount of damages awarded may for the expenses, he leased it to Annabelle. Two months
be imposed at the discretion of the court at the rate of later, Pedro returned to the Philippines and asked
6% per annum. No interest, however, shall be adjudged Tito to return the van. Unfortunately, while being
on unliquidated claims or damages, exept when or until driven by Tito, the van was accidentally damaged by a
the demand can be established with reasonable cargo truck without his fault.
uncertainty. Accordingly, where the demand is
established with reasonable certainty, the interest shall a) Who shall bear the P15, 000.00 spent for the repair
begin to run from the time the claim is made judicially of the van? Explain.
or extra-judicially, but when such certainty cannot be b) Who shall bear the costs for the van's fuel, oil and
so reasonably established at the time the demand is other materials while it was with Tito? Explain.
made, the interest shall begin to run only from the date c) Does Pedro have the right to retrieve the van even
the judgment of the court is made (at which time the before the lapse of one year? Explain.
quantification of damages may be deemed to have been d) Who shall bear the expenses for the accidental
reasonably ascertained). The actual base for the damage caused by the cargo truck, granting that
computation of legal interest shall, in any case, be on the truck driver and truck owner are insolvent?
the amount finally adjudged. (Nacar v. Gallery Frames, Explain. (2005 BAR)
703 SCRA 439 [2013])
A:
Q: A, upon request, loaned his passenger jeepney to B to
enable B to bring his sick wife from Paniqui, Tarlac to a) The contract between Pedro and Tito is one of
the Philippine General Hospital in Manila for commadatum. Of the P15, 000.00 spent, Pedro, the
treatment. On the way back to Paniqui, after leaving his bailor, shall bear the expenses for the repair of the
wife at the hospital, people stopped the passenger faulty brakes, they being extraordinary expenses
jeepney. B stopped for them and allowed them to ride incurred due to the non-disclosure by the bailor of the
on board, accepting payment from them just as in the defect or fault; Tito, on the other hand, shall shoulder
case of ordinary passenger jeepneys plying their route. that part of the P15, 000.00 spent for the tune-up, said
As B was crossing Bamban, there was an onrush of lahar expense being ordinary for the use and preservation of
from Mt. Pinatubo. The jeep that was loaned to him was the van.
wrecked. b) The costs for the fuel and other materials are
considered ordinary expenses, and consequently Tito,
1) What do you call the contract that was entered into the bailee, shall shoulder them. (Art. 1941, Civil Code)
by A and B with respect to the passenger jeepney c) No, Pedro cannot demand the return of the van until
that was loaned by A to B to transport the latter’s after the expiration of the one-year period stipulated.
sick wife to Manila? However, if in the meantime he should have urgent

UST BAR OPERATIONS 74


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
need of the van, he may demand its return or temporary DEPOSIT (1997, 1998 BAR)
use.
d) Both Tito and Pedro shall bear equally the costs of the Q: In order to secure a bank loan, XYZ Corporation
extraordinary expenses, having been incurred on the surrendered its deposit certificate, with a maturity date
occasion of actual use of the van by Tito, the bailee, even of 01 September 1997 to the bank. The corporation
though he acted without fault. defaulted on the due repayment of the loan,
prompting the bank to encash the deposit certificate.
Q: Distinguish usufruct from commodatum. (1998 BAR) XYZ Corporation questioned the above action taken
by the bank as being a case of pactum commissorium.
A: Usufruct is a right given to a person (usufructuary) to The bank disagrees. What is your opinion? (1997 BAR)
enjoy the property of another with the obligation of
preserving its form and substance. (Art. 562, Civil Code) A: There is no pactum commissorium here. Deposits of
money in banks and similar institutions are governed by
On the other hand, commodatum is a contract by which one the provisions on simple loans (Art. 1980). The relationship
of the parties (bailor) delivers to another (bailee) between the depositor and a bank is one of creditor and
something not consumable so that the latter may use it for debtor. Basically this is a matter of compensation as all
a certain time and return it. the elements of compensation are present in this case (BPI v.
CA, G.R. No. 104612, May 10, 1994).
In usufruct the usufructuary gets the right to the use and to
the fruits of the same, while in commodatum, the bailee only Q: X, who has a savings deposit with Y Bank in the sum
acquires the use of the thing loaned but not its fruits. of P1, 000, 000.00 incurs a loan obligation with the said
Bank in the sum of P800 000.00 which has become due.
Usufruct may be constituted on the whole or a part of the When X tries to withdraw his deposit, Y Bank allows
fruits of the thing. (Art. 564, Civil Code) It may even be only P200, 000.00 to be withdrawn, less service
constituted over consumables like money (Alunan v. Veloso, charges, claiming that compensation has extinguished
52 Phil. 545). On the other hand, in commodatum, its obligation under the savings account to the
consumable goods may be subject thereof only when the concurrent amount of X’s debt. X contends that
purpose of the contract is not the consumption of the object, compensation is improper when one of the debts, as
as when it is merely for exhibition. (Art. 1936, Civil Code) here, arises from a contract of deposit. Assuming that
the promissory note signed by X to evidence the loan
Q: In the province, a farmer couple borrowed money does not provide for compensation between said loan
from the local merchant. To guarantee payment, they and his savings deposit, who is correct? (1998 BAR)
left the Torrens Title of their land with the merchant,
for him to hold until they pay the loan. Is there a – A: Y Bank is correct. Art. 1287, Civil Code, does not apply.
All the requisites of Art. 1279, Civil Code are present. In the
a) contract of pledge case of Gullas v. PNB (62 Phil. 519), The Supreme Court held:
b) contract of mortgage “The Civil Code contains provisions regarding
c) contract of antichresis, or compensation (set off) and deposit. These portions of
d) none of the above? Philippine Law provide that compensation shall take place
when two persons are reciprocally creditor and debtor of
Explain. (1996 BAR) each other. In this connection, it has been held that the
relation existing between a depositor and a bank is that of
A: None of the above. There is no pledge because only creditor and debtor. xxx As a general rule, a bank has a right
movable property may be pledged (Art. 2094). If at all, there of set off of the deposits in its hands for the payment of any
was a pledge of the paper or document constituting the indebtedness to it on the part of a depositor.” Hence,
Torrens Title, as a movable by itself, but not of the land compensation took place between the mutual obligations of
which the title represents. There is no mortgage because no X and Y Bank.
deed or contract was executed in the manner required by
law for a mortgage (Arts. 2085 to 2092; Arts. 2124 to 2131). GUARANTY AND SURETYSHIP (1997, 2010)
There is no contract of antichresis because no right to the
fruits of the property was given to the creditor (Art. 2132). Q: What is the difference between "guaranty" and
"suretyship"? (2010 BAR)
A contract of simple loan was entered into with security
arrangement agreed upon by the parties which is not one of A: Guaranty and Suretyship distinguished:
those mentioned above.
1. The obligation in guaranty is secondary; whereas, in
Q: The parties in a contract of loan of money agreed suretyship, it is primary.
that the yearly interest rate is 12% and it can be 2. In guaranty, the undertaking is to pay if the principal
increased if there is a law that would authorize the debtor cannot pay; whereas, in suretyship, the
increase of interest rates. Suppose OB, the lender, undertaking is to pay if the principal debtor does not
would increase by 5% the rate of interest to be paid pay.
by TY, the borrower, without a law authorizing such 3. In guaranty, the guarantor is entitled to the benefit of
increase, would OB’s action be just and valid? Why? excussion; whereas, in suretyship the surety is not
Has TY have a remedy against the imposition of the rate entitled.
increase? Explain. (2001, 2004 BAR) 4. Liability in guaranty depends upon an independent
agreement to pay the obligations of the principal if he
A: OB's action is not just and valid. The debtor cannot be fails to do so; whereas, in suretyship, the surety
required to pay the increase in interest there being no law assumes liability as a regular party.
authorizing it, as stipulated in the contract of loan. 5. The Guarantor insures the solvency of the principal
Increasing the rate in the absence of such law violates the debtor; whereas, the surety insures the debt.
principle of mutuality of contractsunder Art. 1308.

75
CIVIL LAW
6. In a guaranty, the guarantor is subsidiarlty liable; does not find application in the case at hand because here,
whereas, in a suretyship, the surety binds himself Catalino’s title suffers from two fatal infirmities, namely:
solidarity with the principal debtor (Art. 2047)
1. The fact that it emanated from a forged deed of a
Q: AB sold to CD a motor vehicle for and in simulated sale;
consideration of P120, 000, to be paid in twelve 2. The fact that it was derived from a fraudulently
monthly equal instalments of P10, 000.00, each procured or improvidently issued second owner’s copy,
instalment being due and payable on the 15 th day of the real owner’s copy being still intact and in the
each month starting January 1997. possession of the true owner, Bruce.

To secure the promissory note, CD (a) executed a The mortgage to Desiderio should be cancelled without
chattel mortgage on the subject motor vehicle, and (b) prejudice to his right to go after Catalino and/or the
furnished a surety bond issued by Philamlife. CD failed government for compensation from the assurance fund.
to pay more than two (2) instalments.
Q: In 1982, Steve borrowed P400, 000.00 from Danny,
AB went after the surety but he was only able to obtain collateralized by a pledge of shares of stock of
three-fourths (3/4) of the total amount still due and Concepcion Corporation worth P800, 000.00. In 1983,
owing from CD. AB seeks your advice on how he might, because of the economic crisis, the value of the shares
if at all recover the deficiency. pledged fell to only P100, 000.00. Can Danny demand
that Steve surrender the other shares worth P700,
How would you counsel AB? (1997 BAR) 000.00? (1994 BAR)

A: Yes, he can recover the deficiency. The action of AB to go A: No. Bilateral contracts cannot be changed unilaterally. A
after the surety bond cannot be taken to mean a waiver of pledge is only a subsidiary contract, and Steve is still
his right to demand payment for the whole debt. The indebted to Danny for the amount of P400, 000.00 despite
amount received from the surety is only payment pro tanto, the fall in the value of the stocks pledged.
and an action may be maintained for a deficiency debt.
Q: Distinguish a contract of chattel mortgage from a
PLEDGE, MORTGAGE AND ANTICHRESIS (1991, 1994, contract of pledge. (1999 BAR)
1995, 1999, 2003 BAR)
A: In a contract of CHATTEL MORTGAGE possession
Q: Bruce is the registered owner, of a parcel of land with belongs to the creditor, while in a contract of PLEDGE
a building thereon and is in peacefull possession possession belongs to the debtor.
thereof. He pays the real estate taxes and collects the
rentals therefrom. Later, Catalino, the only brother of A chattel mortgage is a formal contract while a pledge is a
Bruce, filed a petition where he, misrepresenting to be real contract.
the attorney-in-fact of Bruce and falsely alleging that
the certificate of title was lost, succeeded in obtaining a A contract of chattel mortgage must be recorded in a public
second owner’s duplicate copy of the title and then had instrument to bind third persons while a contract of pledge
the same transferred in his name through a simulated must be in a public instrument containing description of the
deed of sale in his favor. Catalino then mortgaged the thing pledged and the date thereof to bind third persons.
property to Desiderio who had the mortgage annotated Q: Are the right of redemption and the equity of
on the title. Upon learning of the fraudulent redemption given by law to a mortgagor the same?
transaction, Bruce filed a complaint against Catalino Explain. (1999 BAR)
and Desiderio to have the tilte of Catalino and the
mortgage in favor of Desiderio declared null and void. A: The equity of redemption is different from the right of
redemption. EQUITY OF REDEMPTION is the right of the
Will the complaint prosper, or will the tilte of Catalino mortgagor after judgment in a judicial foreclosure
and the mortgage to Desiderio be sustained? (1991 proceedings, within a period of not less than 90 days, before
BAR) the sale or confirmation of the sale, to pay into the court the
amount of the judgment debt. On the other hand, RIGHT OF
A: The complaint for the annulment of Catalino’s Title will REDEMPTION is the right of the mortgagor, after the sale of
prosper. In the first place, the second owner’s copy of the the mortgaged property, to redeem the property by paying
title secured by him form the Land Registration Court is to the purchaser in the sale or for him to the sheriff who
void ab initio, the owner’s copy thereof having never been made the sale, the amount paid by him, with interest, within
lost let alone the fact that said second owner’s copy of the one year from the sale. There is no right of redemption, only
title was fraudulently procured and improvidently issued equity of redemption, in a judicial foreclosure under the
by the Court. In the second place, the Transfer Certificate of Rules of Court.
Title procured by Catalino is equally null and void, it having
been issued on the basis of a simulated or forged Deed of Q: Olivia owns a vast mango plantation which she
Sale. A forged deed is an absolute nullity and conveys no can no longer properly manage due to a lingering
title. illness. Since she is indebted to Peter in the amount of
P500, 000.00 she asks Peter to manage the plantation
The mortgage in favor of Desiderio is likewise null and void and apply the harvest to the payment of her obligation
because the mortgagor is not the owner of the mortgaged to him, principal and interest, until her indebtedness
property. While it may be true that under the “Mirror shall have been fully paid. Peter agrees.
Principle” of the Torrens System of Land Registration, a
buyer or mortgagee has the right to rely on what appears on 1. What kind of contract is entered into between
the Certificate of Title, and in the absence of anything to Olivia and Peter? Explain.
excite suspicion, is under no obligation to look beyond the 2. What specific obligations are imposed by law on
certificate and investigate the mortgagor’s title, this rule Peter as a consequence of their contract?

UST BAR OPERATIONS 76


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
3. Does the law require any specific form for the possession of the property, harvested the fish and sold
validity of their contract? Explain the entire harvest to Z. Thereafter, Y borrowed money
4. May Olivia reacquire the plantation before her from W and used the money to buy new supplies of fish
entire indebtedness shall have been fully paid? fry and to prepare the fishpond for the next crop.
Explain. (1995 BAR)
1. What is the Juridical relation between X and Y
A: during X's absence?
2. Upon the return of X to the barangay, what are the
1. A contract of antichresis was entered into between obligations of Y to X as regards the contract with Z?
Olivia and Peter. Under Art. 2132, by a contract of 3. Upon X's return, what are the obligations of X as
antichresis the creditor acquires the right to receive regards Y's contract with W?
the fruits of an immovable of his debtor, with the 4. What legal effects will result if X expressly ratifies
obligation to apply them to the payment of the Y's management and what would be the
interest, and thereafter to the principal of his credit. obligations of X in favor of Y? (1992 BAR)
2. Peter must pay taxes and charges upon the land and
bear the necessary expenses for preservation and repair A:
which he may deduct from the fruits (Art. 2135).
3. The amount of the principal and interest must be 1. The juridical relation is that of the quasi-contract of
specified in writing, otherwise the antichresis will be "negotiorum gestio". Y is the "gestor" or "officious
void (Art. 2134). manager" and X is the "owner." (Art. 2144)
4. No. Art. 2136 specifically provides that the debtor 2. Y must render an account of his operations and deliver
cannot reacquire the enjoyment of the immovable to X the price he received for the sale of the harvested
without first having totally paid what he owes the fish. (Art. 2145)
creditor. However, it is potestative on the part of the 3. X must pay the loan obtained by Y from W because X
creditor to do so in order to exempt him from his must answer for obligations contracted with third
obligation under Art. 2135, the debtor cannot re- persons in the interest of the owner. (Art. 2150)
acquire the enjoyment unless Peter compels Olivia to 4. Express ratification by X provides the effects of an
enter again the enjoyment of the property. express agency and X is liable to pay the
commissions habitually received by the gestor as
Q: X constructed a house on a lot which he was leasing manager. (Art. 2149)
from Y. Later, X executed a chattel mortgage over said
house in favor of Z as security for a loan obtained from Q: In September 1972, upon declaration of martial rule
the latter. Still later, X acquired ownership of the land in the Philippines, A, together with his wife and
where his house was constructed, after which he children disappeared from his residence along A.
mortgaged both house and land in favor of a bank, Mabini Street. Ermita, Manila. B, his immediate
which mortgage was annotated on the Torrens neighbor, noticing that mysterious disappearance of A
Certificate of Title. When X failed to pay his loan to the and his family, closed the doors and windows of his
bank, the latter, being the highest bidder at the house to prevent it from being burglarized. Years
foreclosure sale, foreclosed the mortgage and acquired passed without B hearing from A and his family, B
X’s house and lot. Learning of the proceedings continued taking care of A's house, even causing minor
conducted by the bank, Z is now demanding that the repairs to be done at his house to preserve it. In 1976,
bank reconvey to him X’s house or pay X’s loan to him when business began to perk up in the area, an
plus interests. Is Z’s demand against the bank valid and enterprising man, C, approached B and proposed that
sustainable? Why? (1994, 2003 BAR) they build stores at the ground floor of the house and
convert its second floor into a pension house. B agreed
A: No, Z’s demand is not valid. A building is immovable or to Cs proposal and together they spent for the
real property whether it is erected by the owner of the land, construction of stores at the ground floor and the
by a usufructuary, or by a lessee. It may be treated as a conversion of the second floor into a pension house.
movable by the parties to chattel mortgage but such is While construction was going on, fire occurred at a
binding only between them and not on third parties nearby house. The houses at the entire block, including
(Evangelista v. Alto Surety Col, Inc., G.R. No. L-11139, April A's were burned. After the EDSA revolution in February
23, 1958). In this case, since the bank is not a party to the 1986, A and his family returned from the United States
chattel mortgage, it is not bound by it, as far as the Bank is where they took refuge in 1972. Upon learning of what
concerned, the chattel mortgage, does not exist. Moreover, happened to his house. A sued B for damages, B pleaded
the chattel mortgage does not exist. Moreover, the chattel as a defense that he merely took charge of his house
mortgage is void because it was not registered. Assuming under the principle of negotiorum gestio. He was not
that it is valid, it does not bind the Bank because it was not liable as the burning of the house is a fortuitous event.
annotated on the title of the land mortgaged to the bank. Z Is B liable to A for damages under the foregoing
cannot demand that the Bank pay him the loan Z extended circumstances? (1993 BAR)
to X, because the Bank was not privy to such loan
transaction. A: He would be liable under Art. 2147 (1), because he used
the property for an operation which the operator is not
accustomed to, and in so doing, he exposed the house to
QUASI-CONTRACTS (1992, 1993, 1995, 2004 BAR) increased risk, namely the operation of a pension house on
the second floor and stores on the first floor.

Q: In fear of reprisals from lawless elements besieging Q: Armando owns a row of residential apartments in
his barangay, X abandoned his fishpond, fled to Manila San Juan, Metro Manila, which he rents out to tenants.
and left for Europe. Seeking that the fish in the fishpond On 1 April 1991 he left for the United States without
were ready for harvest, Y, who is in the business of appointing any administrator to manage his
managing fishponds on a commission basis, took apartments such that uncollected rentals accumulated
for three (3) years. Amparo, a niece of Armando,
77
CIVIL LAW
concerned with the interest of her uncle, took it upon The same obligation shall be incumbent upon him when
herself to administer the property. As a consequence, the management had for its purpose the prevention of
she incurred expenses in collecting the rents and in an imminent and manifest loss, although no benefit
some instances even spent for necessary repairs to may have been derived.
preserve the property.
Art. 2151. Even though the owner did not derive any
1. What juridical relation between Amparo and benefit and there has been no imminent and manifest
Armando, if any, has resulted from Amparo’s danger to the property or business, the owner is liable
unilateral act of assuming the administration of as under the first paragraph of the preceding article,
Armando’s apartments? Explain. provided:
2. What rights and obligations, if any, does Amparo
have under the circumstances? Explain. (1995 1. The officious manager has acted in good faith, and
BAR) 2. The property or business is intact, ready to be
returned to the owner.
A:
Art. 2152. The officious manager is personally liable for
1. Negotiorum gestio existed between Amparo and contracts which he has entered into with third persons,
Armando. She voluntarily took charge of the angency or even though he acted in the name of the owner, and
management of the business or property of her uncle there shall be no right of action between the owner and
without any power from her uncle whose property was third persons. These provisions shall not apply:
neglected. She is called the gestor negotiorum or
officious manager. (Art. 2144, NCC) 1. If the owner has expressly or tacitly ratified the
2. Art. 2145. The officious manager shall perform his management, or
duties with all the diligence of a good father of a family, 2. When the contract refers to things pertaining to the
and pay the damages which through his fault or owner of the business.
negligence may be suffered by the owner of the
property or business under management. Q: DPO went to a store to buy a pack of cigarettes worth
P225.00 only. He gave the vendor, RRA, a P500-peso
The courts may, however, increase or moderate the bill. The vendor gave him the pack plus P375.00 change.
indemnity according to the circumstances of each case. Was there a discount, an oversight, or an error in the
amount given? What would be DPO’s duty, if any, in case
Art. 2146. If the officious manager delegates to another of an excess in the amount of change given by the
person all or some of his duties, he shall be liable for the vendor? How is this situational relationship between
acts of the delegate, without prejudice to the direct DPO and RRA denominated? Explain. (2004 BAR)
obligation of the latter toward the owner of the
business. A: There was error in the amount of change given by RRA.
The responsibility of two or more officious managers This is a case of solution indebiti in that DPO received
shall be solidary, unless management was assumed to something that is not due him. He has the obligation to
save the thing or business from imminent danger. return the P100.00; otherwise, he will unjustly enrich
himself at the expense of RRA (Art. 2154).
Art. 2147. The officious manager shall be liable for any
fortuitous event:
PART XI – SUCCESSION
1. If he undertakes risky operations which the owner
was not accustomed to embark upon;
2. If he has preferred his own interest to that of the TESTAMENTARY SUCCESSION (1990, 1994, 1996,
owner; 1997, 1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009,
3. If he fails to return the property or business after 2012, 2014, 2015 BAR)
demand by the owner; Q: What do you understand by "presumptive legitime",
4. If he assumed the management in bad faith. in what case or cases must the parent deliver such
legitime to the children, and what are the legal effects
Art. 2148. Except when the management was assumed in each case if the parent fails to do so? (1999 BAR)
to save the property or business from imminent danger,
the officious manager shall be liable for fortuitous A: PRESUMPTIVE LEGITIME is not defined in the law. Its
events: (1) If he is manifestly unfit to carry on the definition must have been taken from Act 2710, the Old
management; (2) If by his Intervention h e prevented a Divorce Law, which required the delivery to the legitimate
more competent person from taking up the children of “the equivalent of what would have been due to
management. them as their legal portion if said spouse had died intestate
immediately after the dissolution of the community of
Art. 2149. The ratification of the management by the property.” As used in the Family Code, presumptive legitime
owner of the business produces the effects of an is understood as the equivalent of the legitimate children’s
express agency, even if the business may not have been legitimes assuming that the spouses had died immediately
successful. after the dissolution of the community of property.

Art. 2150. Although the officious management may not Presumptive legitime is required to be delivered to the
have been expressly ratified, the owner of the property common children of the spouses when the marriage is
or business who enjoys the advantages of the same annulled or declared void ab initio and possibly, when the
shall be liable for obligations incurred in his interest, conjugal partnership or absolute community is dissolved as
and shall reimburse the officious manager for the in the case of legal separation. Failure of the parents to
necessary and useful expenses and for the damages deliver the presumptive legitime will make their
which the latter may have suffered in the performance subsequent marriage null and void under Art. 53, FC.
of his duties.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 78


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Q: How can RJP distribute his estate by will, if his heirs A: No. The provision imposing the division of the property
are JCP, his wife; HBR and RVC, his parents; and an “habang panahon” is invalid. In Santiago v. Santiago (G.R.
illegitimate child, SGO? (2012 BAR) No. 179859, August 9, 2010), a similar provision appears in
the will. However, Art. 1083 provides that the period of
A: testator may dispose of by will the free portion of his indivision imposed by the testator shall not exceed 20
estate. Since the legitime of JCP is 1/8 of the estate, SGO is years. Hence, the provision leaving the administration of
1⁄4 of the estate and that of HBR and RVC is 1⁄2 of the the house and lot to Alex and Rene is valid but the provision
hereditary estate under Art. 889 of the Civil Code, the “habang buhay” is invalid as to the excess beyond 20 years.
remaining 1/8 of the estate is the free portion which the
testator may dispose of by will. Q: Raymond, single, named his sister Ruffa in his will as
a devisee of a parcel of land which he owned. The will
Q: By virtue of a Codicil appended to his will, Theodore imposed upon Ruffa the obligation of preserving the
devised to Divino a tract of sugar land, with the land and transferring it, upon her death, to her
obligation on the part of Divino or his heirs to deliver to illegitimate daughter Scarlet who was then only one
Betina a specified volume of sugar per harvest during year old. Raymond later died, leaving behind his
Betina’s lifetime. It is also stated in the Codicil that in widowed mother, Ruffa and Scarlet.
the event the obligation is not fulfilled, Betina should
immediately seize the property from Divino or latter’s 1. Is the condition imposed upon Ruffa, to preserve
heirs and turn it over to Theodore’s compulsory heirs. the property and to transmit it upon her death to
Divino failed to fulfill the obligation under the Codicil. Scarlet, valid?
Betina brings suit against Divino for the reversion of 2. If Scarlet predeceases Ruffa, who inherits the
the tract of land. property?
3. If Ruffa predeceases Raymond, can Scarlet inherit
1. Distinguish between modal institution and the property directly from Raymond? (2008 BAR)
substitution of heirs.
2. Distinguish between simple and A:
fideicommissary substitution of heirs.
3. Does Betina have a cause of action against 1. When an obligation to preserve and transmit the
Divino? Explain. (2002 BAR) property to Scarlet was imposed on Ruffa, the testator
Raymond intended to create a fideicommissary
A: substitution where Ruffa is the fiduciary and Scarlet is
the fideicommissary. Having complied with the
1. A MODAL INSTITUTION is the institution of an heir requirements of Arts. 863 and 869, the fideicommisary
made for a certain purpose or cause (Arts. 871 and 882). substitution is valid.
SUBSTITUTION is the appointment of another heir so 2. If Scarlet predeceases Ruffa, the fideicommissary
that he may enter into the inheritance in default of the substitution is rendered null or ineffective under Art.
heir originality instituted (Art. 857). 863, the fideicommisary clause is disregarded without
2. In a SIMPLE SUBSTITUTION of heirs, the testator prejudice to the validity of the institution of the
designates one or more persons to substitute the heirs fiduciary. In such case, Ruffa shall inherit the devise
instituted in case such heir or heirs should die before free from the condition.
him, or should not wish or should be incapacitated to 3. In a fideicommissary substitution, the intention of the
accept the inheritance. In a FIDEICOMMISSARY testator is to make the second heir his ultimate heir.
SUBSTITUTION, the testator institutes a first heir and The right of the second heir is simply postponed by the
charges him to preserve and transmit the whole or part delivery of the inheritance to the first heir for him to
of the inheritance to a second heir. In a simple enjoy the usufruct over the inheritance. Hence, when
substitution, only one heir inherits. In a the first heir predeceased the testator, the first heir did
fideicommissary substitution, both the first and second not qualify to inherit and the right of the second heir to
heirs inherit (Art. 859 and 869) receive the inheritance will no longer be delayed
3. Yes, Betina has a cause of action against Divino. This is provided the second heir is qualified to inherit at the
a case of a testamentary disposition subject to a mode time of the testator’s death. In fideicommissary
and the will itself provides for the consequence if the substitution, the first and the second heirs inherit from
mode is not complied with. To enforce the mode, the the testator, hence, both should be qualified to inherit
will itself gives Betina the right to compel the return of from the testator at the time of his death. In the
the property to the heirs of Theodore (Rabadilla v. problem, when Ruffa predeceased Raymond, she did
Conscoluella, G.R. No. 113725, June 29, 2000). not qualify to receive the inheritance to enjoy its
usufruct, hence, the right of Scarlet to receive the
Q: Crispin died testate and was survived by Alex and inheritance upon the death of the testator will no longer
Josine, his children from his first wife; Rene and Ruby, be delayed. However, Scarlet is not qualified to inherit
his children from his second wife; and Allan, Bea, and from Raymond because she is barred by Art. 992 of the
Cheska, his children from his third wife. One important New Civil Code being an illegitimate child of Raymond’s
provision in his will reads as follows: legitimate father. The devise will therefore be
ineffective and the property will be disposed of by
"Ang lupa at bahay sa Lungsod ng Maynila ay ililipat at intestacy.
ilalagay sa pangalan nila Alex at Rene hindi bilang
pamana ko sa kanila kundi upang pamahalaan at Q: If a will is executed by a testator who is a Filipino
pangalagaan lamang nila at nang ang sinuman sa aking citizen, what law will govern if the will is executed in the
mga anak, sampu ng aking mga apo at kaapuapuhan ko Philippines? What law will govern if the will is executed
sa habang panahon, ay may tutuluyan kung magnanais in another country? Explain your answers. If a will is
na mag-aral sa Maynila o sa kalapit na mga lungsod." executed by a foreigner, for instance, a Japanese,
Is the provision valid? (2014 BAR) residing in the Philippines, what law will govern if the
will is executed in the Philippines? And what law will
govern if the will is executed in Japan, or some other
79
CIVIL LAW
country, for instance, the U.S.A.? Explain your answers. 2. The other defects of the will that can cause its denial are
(1990 BAR) as follows: (a) Atty. Zorba, the one who prepared the
will was one of the three witnesses , violating the three-
A: If the testator who is a Filipino citizen executes his will in witnesses rule; (b) no marginal signature at the last
the Philippines, Philippine law will govern the formalities. page; (c) the attestation did not state the number of
If said Filipino testator executes his will in another country, pages upon which the will is written; and, (d) no
the law of the country where he maybe or Philippine law pagination appearing correctively in letters on the
will govern the formalities (Art. 815) upper part of the three pages (Azuela v. CA, G.R. No.
122880, April 12, 2006 and cited cases therein, Art. 805
Q: Stevie was born blind. He went to school for the blind, and 806).
and learned to read in Braille Language. He Speaks 3. Yes, the disinheritance was valid. When a child or
English fluently. Can he: descendant leads a dishonorable or disgraceful life, like
running of with a married man, there is sufficient cause
1. Make a will? for disinheritance (Art. 919, par. 7).
2. Act as a witness to a will?
3. In either of the above instances, must the will be Q: Mr, Cruz, widower, has three legitimate children, A,
read to him? (2008 BAR) B and C. He executed a Will instituting as his heirs to his
estate of One Million (P1, 000, 000.00) Pesos his two
A: children A and B, and his friend F.

1. Yes. Assuming that he is of legal age (Art. 797) and of 1. Upon his death, how should Mr. Cruz's estate be
sound mind at the time of execution of the will (Art. divided? Explain.
798), Stevie, a blind person, can make a notatial will, 2. In the preceding question, suppose Mr. Cruz
subject to compliance with the “two-reading rule” (Art. instituted his two children A and B as his heirs in
808) and the provisions of Arts. 804 and 806 of the Civil his Will, but gave a legacy of P 100,000.00 to his
Code. friend F. How should the estate of Mr, Cruz be
2. No. Stevie cannot be a witness to a will. Art. 820 of the divided upon his death? Explain. (1999 BAR)
Civil Code provides that “any person of sound mind and
of age of eighteen years or more, and not blind, deaf or A:
dumb, and able to read and write, may be a witness to
the execution of a will. 1. Assuming that the institution of A, B and F were to the
3. Yes. The will must be read to him twice, once by one of entire estate, there was preterition of C since C is a
the subscribing witnesses, and again, by the notary compulsory heir in the direct line. The preterition will
public before whom the will is acknowledged (Art. 808). result in the total annulment of the institution of heirs.
Therefore, the institution of A, B and F will be set aside
Q: Arthur executed a will which contained only: (i) a and Mr. Cuz's estate will be divided, as in intestacy,
provision disinheriting his daughter Bernica for equally among A, B and C as follows: A - P333,333.33; B
running off with a married man, and (ii) a provision - P333.333.33; and C - P333,333.33.
disposing of his share in the family house and lot in 2. On the same assumption as letter (a), there was
favor of his other children Connie and Dora. He did not preterition of C. Therefore, the institution of A and B is
make any provisions in favor of his wife Erica, because annulled but the legacy of P100.000.00 to F shall be
as the will stated, she would anyway get ½ of the house respected for not being inofficious. Therefore, the
and lot as her conjugal share. The will was very brief remainder of P900.000.00 will be divided equally
and straightforward and both the above provisions among A, B and C.
were contained in page 1, which Arthur and his
instrumental witness, signed at the bottom. Page 2 Q: H died leaving a last will and testament wherein it is
contained the attestation clause and the signatures, at stated that he was legally married to W by whom he
the bottom thereof, of the 3 instrumental witnesses had two legitimate children A and B. H devised to his
which included Lambert, the driver of Arthur; Yoly, the said forced heirs the entire estate except the free
family cook, and Attorney Zorba, the lawyer who portion which he gave to X who was living with him at the
prepared the will. There was a 3 rd page, but this only time of his death. In said will he explained that he had
contained the notarial acknowledgement. been estranged from his wife W for more than 20
years and he has been living with X as man and wife
The attestation clause stated the will was sighed on the since his separation from his legitimate family. In the
same occasion by Arthur and his instrumental probate proceedings, X asked for the issuance of
witnesses who all signed in the presence of each other, letters testamentary in accordance with the will
and the notary public who notarized the will. There are wherein she is named sole executor. This was
no marginal signatures or pagination appearing on any opposed by W and her children.
of the 3 pages. Upon his death, it was discovered that
apart from the house and lot, he has a P1 million 1. Should the will be admitted in said probate
account deposited with ABC back. proceedings?
2. Is the said devise to X valid?
1. Was Erica preterited? 3. Was it proper for the trial court to consider the
2. What other defects of the will, if any, can cause intrinsic validity of the provisions of said will?
denial of probate? Explain your answers. (1990 BAR)
3. Was the disinheritance valid? (2008 BAR)
A:
A:
1. No. Erica was not preterited. Art. 854 of the Civil Code 1. Yes, the will may be probated if executed according to
provides that only compulsory heirs in the direct line the formalities prescribed by law.
can be preterited. 2. No, the institution giving X the free portion is not valid,
because the prohibitions under Art. 739 of the Civil

UST BAR OPERATIONS 80


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Code on donations also apply to testamentary and so designating his new friend as sole heir. One day
dispositions (Art. 1028), among donations which are when he was clearing up his desk, Johnny mistakenly
considered void are those made between persons who burned, along with other papers, the only copy of his
were guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of holographic will. His business associate, Eduardo
the donation. knew well the contents of the will which was shown
3. As a general rule, the will should be admitted in probate to him by Johnny the day it was executed. A few days
proceedings if all the necessary requirements for its after the burning incident, Johnny died. Both wills
extrinsic validity have been met and the court should were sought to be probated in two separate petitions.
not consider the intrinsic validity of the provisions of Will either or both petitions prosper? (1997 BAR)
said will. However, the exception arises when the will
in effect contains only one testamentary disposition. A: The probate of the notarial will shall prosper.The
Ineffect, the only testamentary disposition under the holographic will cannot be admitted to probate because a
will is the giving of the free portion to X, since legitimes holographic will can only be probated upon evidence of the
are provided by law. Hence, the trial court may will itself unless there is a photographic copy. But since the
consider the intrinsic validity of the provisions of said holographic will was lost and there was no other copy, it
will. (Nuguid v. Nuguid, G.R. No. L-23445, June 23, 1966; cannot be probated and therefore the notarial will shall be
Nepomuceno v. CA, G.R. L-62952, October 9 1985) admitted to probate because there is no revoking will.

Q: Clara, thinking of her mortality, drafted a will and Q: Mr. Reyes executed a will completely valid as to
asked Roberta, Hannah, Luisa and Benjamin to be form. A week later, however, he executed another
witnesses. During the day of signing of her will, Clara will which expressly revoked his first will, which he tore
fell down the stairs and broke her arms. Coming from his first will to pieces. Upon the death of Mr. Reyes, his
the hospital, Clara insisted on signing her will by thumb second will was presented for probate by his heirs, but
mark and said that she can sign her full name later. it was denied probate due to formal defects. Assuming
While the will was being signed, Roberta experienced a that a copy of the first will is available, may it now be
stomach ache and kept going to the restroom for long admitted to probate and given effect? Why? (2003
periods of time. Hannah, while waiting for her turn to BAR)
sign the will, was reading the 7th Harry Potter book on
the couch, beside the table on which everyone was A: Yes, the first will may be admitted to probate and
signing. Benjamin, aside from witnessing the will, also given effect. When the testator tore first will, he was
offered to notarize it. A week after, Clara was run over under the mistaken belief that the second will was perfectly
by a drunk driver while crossing the street in valid and he would not have destroyed the first will had
Greenbelt. May the will of Clara be admitted to probate? he known that the second will is not valid. The revocation
Give your reasons briefly. (1994, 2007 BAR) by destruction therefore is dependent on the validity of
the second will. Since it turned out that the second will
A: No. Probate should be denied. The requirement that the was invalid, the tearing of the first will did not produce
testator and at least three (3) witnesses must sign all in the the effect of revocation.This is known as the doctrine of
“presence” of one another was not complied with. Benjamin dependent relative revocation (Molo v. Molo, G.R. No. L-2538,
who notarized the will is disqualified as a witness, hence he September 21, 1951).
cannot be counted as one of the three witness (Cruz v.
Villasor, G.R. No. L-32213, November 26, 1973). The testatrix Q: In 1986, Jennifer and Brad were madly in love. In
and the other witnesses signed the will not in the presence 1989, because a certain Picasso painting reminded
of Roberta because she was in the restroom for extended Brad of her, Jennifer acquired it and placed it in his
periods of time. Inside the restroom, Roberta could not have bedroom. In 1990, Brad and Jennifer broke up. While
possibly seen the testatrix and the other witnesses sign the Brad was mending his broken heart, he met Angie and
will by merely casting her eyes in the proper direction fell in love. Because the Picasso painting reminded
(Jaboneta v. Gustilo, G.R. No. 1641, January 19, 1906); (Nera Angie of him, Brad in his will bequeathed the painting
v. Rimando, G.R. No. L-5971, February 27, 1911). Therefore, to Angie. Brad died in 1995. Saddened by Brad's death,
the testatrix signed the will in the presence of only two Jennifer asked for the Picasso painting as a
witnesses, and only two witnesses signed the will in the remembrance of him. Angie refused and claimed that
presence of the testatrix and of one another. Brad, in his will, bequeathed the painting to her. Is
Angie correct? Why or why not? (2007 BAR)
It is to be noted, however, that the thumb mark intended by
the testator to be his signature in executing his last will and A: No, Angie is not correct. The Picasso painting is not given
testatment is valid (Payad v. Tolentino, G.R. No. 42258, or donated by Jennifer to Brad. She merely “placed it in his
September 5, 1936; Matias v. Salud, G.R. No. L-10751, June 23, bedroom.” Hence, she is still the owner of the painting. Not
1958). The problem, however, states that Clara “said that being the owner of the Picasso painting, Brad cannot validly
she can sign her full name later;” Hence, she did not bequeath the same to Angie (Art. 930). Even assuming that
consider her thumb mark as her “complete” signature, and the painting was impliedly given or donated by Jennifer to
intended further action on her part. The testatrix and the Brad, the donation is nevertheless void for not being in
other witness signed the will in the presence of Hannah, writing. The Picasso painting must be worth more that
because she was aware of her function and role as witness 5,000 pesos. Under Art. 748, the donation and acceptance of
and was in a position to see the testatrix and the other a movable worth more than 5,000 pesos must be in writing,
witnesses sign by merely casting her eyes in the proper otherwise the donation is void, Jennifer remained the
direction. owner of the Picasso painting and Brad could not have
validly disposed of said painting in favor of Angie in his will.
Q: Johnny, with no known living relatives, executed a
notarial will giving all his estate to his sweetheart. One Q: Don died after executing a Last Will and Testament
day, he had a serious altercation with his sweetheart. A leaving his estate valued at P12 Million to his
few days later, he was introduced to a charming lady common-law wife Roshelle. He is survived by his
who later became a dear friend. Soon after, he executed brother Ronie and his half-sister Michelle.
a holographic will expressly revoking the notarial will
81
CIVIL LAW
1. Was Don's testamentary disposition of his estate in
accordance with the law on succession? Whether A: Manuel is correct because property acquired after the
you agree or not, explain your answer. Explain. making of a will shall only pass thereby, as if the testator had
2. If Don failed to execute a will during his lifetime, as possessed it at the time of making the will, should it
his lawyer, how will you distribute his estate? expressly appear by the will that such was his intention(Art.
Explain. 793). Since Alfonso's intention to devise all properties he
3. Assuming he died intestate survived by his owned at the time of his death expressly appears on the
brother Ronie, his half-sister Michelle, and his will, then all the 20 parcels of land are included in the
legitimate son Jayson, how will you distribute his devise.
estate? Explain.
4. Assuming further he died intestate, survived by his Q: Natividad’s holographic will, which had only one (1)
father Juan, his brother Ronie, his half-sister substantial provision, as first written, named Rosa as
Michelle, and his legitimate son Jayson, how will her sole heir. However, when Gregorio presented it for
you distribute his estate? Explain. (2006 BAR) probate, it already contained an alteration, naming
Gregorio, instead of Rosa, as sole heir, but without
A: authentication by Natividad’s signature. Rosa opposes
1. Yes, Don's testamentary disposition of his estate is in the probate alleging such lack of proper authentication.
accordance with the law on succession. Don has no She claims that the unaltered form of the will should be
compulsory heirs not having ascendants, descendants given effect. Whose claim should be granted? Explain.
nor a spouse (Art. 887). Brothers and sisters are not (1996, 2012 BAR)
compulsory heirs. Thus, he can bequeath his entire
estate to anyone who is not otherwise incapacitated to A: It depends. If the cancellation of Rosa's name in the will
inherit from him. A common-law wife is not was done by the testator himself, Rosa's claim that the
incapacitated under the law, as Don is not married to holographic will in its original tenor should be given effect
anyone. must be denied. The said cancellation has revoked the
2. After paying the legal obligations of the estate, I will entire will as nothing remains of the will after the name of
give Ronie, as full-blood brother of Don, 2/3 of the net Rosa was cancelled. Such cancellation is valid revocation of
estate, twice the share of Michelle, the half-sister who the will and does not require authentication by the full
shall receive 1/3. Roshelle will not receive anything as signature of the testator to be effective. However, if the
she is not a legal heir (Art.1006). cancellation of Rosa's name was not done by the testator
3. Jayson will be entitled to the entire P12 Million as the himself, such cancellation shall not be effective and the will
brother and sister will be excluded by a legitimate son in its original tenor shall remain valid. The efficacy of a
of the decedent. This follows the principle of proximity, holographic will cannot be left to the mercy of unscrupulous
where "the nearer excludes the farther." third parties. The writing of Gregorio‘s name as sole heir
4. Jayson will still be entitled to the entire P12 Million as was ineffective, even though written by the testator himself,
the father, brother and sister will be excluded by a because such is an alteration that requires the
legitimate son of the decedent (Art. 887). This follows the authentication by the full signature of the testator to be
principle that the descendants exclude the ascendants valid and effective. Not having been authenticated. The
from inheritance. designation of Gregorio as an heir was ineffective. (Kalaw v.
Relova, G.R. No. L-40207, September 28, 1984).
Q: Mario executed his last will and testament where he
acknowledges the child being conceived by his live-in Q: On December 1, 2000, Dr. Juanito Fuentes executed a
partner Josie as his own child; and that his house and holographic will, wherein he gave nothing to his
lot in Baguio City be given to his unborn conceived recognized illegitimate son, Jay. Dr. Fuentes left for the
child. Are the acknowledgment and the donation mortis United States, passed the New York medical licensure
causa valid? Why? (2014 BAR) examinations, resided therein, and became a
naturalized American citizen. He died in New York in
A: Yes, the acknowledgment is considered valid because a 2007. The laws of New York do not recognize
will (although not required to be filed by the notary public) holographic wills or compulsory heirs.
may still constitute a document, which contains an
admission of illegitimate filiation. The recognition of an 1. Can the holographic will of Dr. Fuentes be admitted
illegitimate child does not lose its legal effect even though to probate in the Philippines? Why or why not?
the will wherein it was made should be revoked (Art. 834). 2. Assuming that the will is probated in the
This provision by itself warrants a conclusion that a will Philippines, can Jay validly insist that he be given
may be considered as proof of filiation. The donation mortis his legitime? Why or why not? (2009 BAR)
causa may be considered valid because although unborn, a
fetus has a presumptive personality for all purposes A:
favorable to it provided it be born under the conditions
specified in Art. 41. 1. Yes, the holographic will of Dr. Fuentes may be
admitted to probate in the Philippines because there is
Q: Alfonso, a bachelor without any descendant or no public policy violated by such probate. The only
ascendant, wrote a last will and testament in which he issue at probate is the due execution of the will which
devised." all the properties of which I may be includes the formal validity of the will. As regards
possessed at the time of my death" to his favorite formal validity, the only issue the court will resolve at
brother Manuel. At the time he wrote the will, he owned probate is whether or not the will was executed in
only one parcel of land. But by the time he died, he accordance with the form prescribed by the law
owned twenty parcels of land. His other brothers and observed by the testator in the execution of his will. For
sisters insist that his will should pass only the parcel of purposes of probate in the Philippines, an alien testator
land he owned at the time it was written, and did not may observe the law of the place where the will was
cover his properties acquired, which should be by executed (Art 17), or the formalities of the law of the
intestate succession. Manuel claims otherwise. Who is place where he resides, or according to the formalities
correct? Explain. (1996 BAR) of the law of his own country, or in accordance with the

UST BAR OPERATIONS 82


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Philippine Civil Code (Art. 816). Since Dr. Fuentes
executed his will in accordance with the Philippine law, Q: Manuel, a Filipino, and his American wife Eleanor,
the Philippine court shall apply the New Civil Code in executed a Joint Will in Boston, Massachusetts when
determining the formal validity of the holographic will. they were residing in said city. The law of
The subsequent change in the citizenship of Dr. Fuentes Massachusetts allows the execution of joint wills.
did not affect the law governing the validity of his will. Shortly thereafter, Eleanor died. Can the said Will be
Under the New Civil Code, which was the law used by probated in the Philippines for the settlement of her
Dr. Fuentes, the law enforced at the time of execution of estate? (2000 BAR)
the will shall govern the formal validity of the will (Art.
795). A: Yes, the will may be probated in the Philippines insofar
2. No, Jay cannot insist because under New York law he is as the estate of Eleanor is concerned. While the Civil Code
not a compulsory heir entitled to a legitime. The prohibits the execution of Joint wills here and abroad, such
national law of the testator determines who his heirs prohibition applies only to Filipinos. Hence, the joint will
are, the order that they succeed, how much their which is valid where executed is valid in the Philippines but
successional rights are, and whether or not a only with respect to Eleanor. It is void with respect to
testamentary disposition in his will is valid (Art 16). Manuel whose joint will remains void in the Philippines
Since, Dr. Fuentes was a US citizen, the laws of the New despite being valid where executed (Art. 819).
York determines who his heirs are. And since the New
York law does not recognize the concept of compulsory Q: John Sagun and Maria Carla Camua, British citizens
heirs, Jay is not a compulsory heir of Dr. Fuentes at birth, acquired Philippine citizenship by
entitled to a legitime. naturalization after their marriage. During their
marriage, the couple acquired substantial landholdings
Q: Alden and Stela were both former Filipino citizens. in London and in Makati. Maria begot three (3)
They were married in the Philippines but they later children, Jorge, Luisito, and Joshur. In one of their trips
migrated to the United States where they were to London, the couple executed a joint will appointing
naturalized as American citizens. In their union they each other as their heirs and providing that upon the
were able to accumulate several real properties both in death of the survivor between them, the entire estate
the US and in the Philippines. Unfortunately, they were would go to Jorge and Luisito only but the two (2) could
not blessed with children. In the US, they executed a not dispose of nor divide the London estate as long as
joint will instituting as their common heirs to divide they live. John and Maria died tragically in the London
their combined estate in equal shares, the five siblings subway terrorist attack in 2005. Jorge and Luisito filed
of Alden and the seven siblings of Stela. Alden passed a petition for probate of their parents’ will before a
away in 2013 and a year later, Stela also died. The Makati RTC. Joshur vehemently objected because he
siblings of Alden who were all citizens of the US was preterited.
instituted probate proceedings in a US court 1. Should the will be admitted to probate? Explain.
impleading the siblings of Stela who were all in the 2. Are the testamentary dispositions valid? Explain.
Philippines. 3. Is the testamentary prohibition against the division
of the London estate valid? Explain. (2000, 2008,
1. Was the joint will executed by Alden and Stela who 2012 BAR)
were both former Filipinos valid? Explain with legal
basis. A:
2. Can the joint will produce legal effect in the
Philippines with respect to the properties of 1. No, the will should not be admitted to probate since the
Aldenand Stela found here? If so, how? couple are both Filipino citizens. Arts. 818 and 819 shall
3. Is the situation presented in Item I an example of apply. Said Articles prohibit the execution of joint wills
dépeçage? (2015 BAR) and make them void, even though authorized by the
laws of the country where they were executed.
A: 2. No. Since the joint will is void, all the testamentary
1. Yes, the joint will of Alden and Stela is valid. Being no dispositions written therein are also void. However, if
longer Filipino citizens at the time they executed their the will is valid, the institutions of heirs shall be
joint will, the prohibition under our Civil Code on joint annulled because Joshur was preterited. He was
wills will no longer apply to Alden and Stela. For as long preterited because he will receive nothing from the
as their will was executed in accordance with the law of will, will receive nothing by intestacy, and the facts do
the place where they reside, or the law of the country of not show that he received anything as an advance on
which they are citizens or even in accordance with the his inheritance. He was totally excluded from the
Civil Code, a will executed by an alien is considered inheritance of his parents.
valid in the Philippines. (Art. 816) 3. Assuming the will of John and Maria is valid, the
2. Yes, the joint will of Alden and Stela can take effect even testamentary prohibition on the division of the London
with respect to the properties located in the Philippines estate shall be valid but only for 20 years. A
because what governs the distribution of their estate is testamentary disposition of the testator cannot forbid
no longer Philippine law but their national law at the the partition of all or part of his estate for a period
time of their demise. Hence, the joint will produces legal longer than twenty (20) years (Arts. 1083 and 494).
effect even with respect to the properties situated in
the Philippines. Q: Ricky and Arlene are married. They begot Franco
3. No, because dépeçage is a process of applying rules of during their marriage. Franco had an illicit relationship
different states on the basis of the precise issue with Audrey and out of which, they begot Arnel. Franco
involved. It is a conflict of laws where different issues predeceased Ricky, Arlene and Arnel. Before Ricky
within a case may be governed by the laws of different died, he executed a will which when submitted to
states. In the situation in letter (a) no conflict of laws probate was opposed by Arnel on the ground that he
will arise because Alden and Stela are no longer Filipino should be given the share of his father, Franco. Is the
citizens at the time of the execution of their joint will opposition of Arnel correct? Why? (2012 BAR)
and the place of execution is not the Philippines.
83
CIVIL LAW
A: No, his opposition is not correct. Arnel cannot inherit ordinary rules of compulsory and intestate succession, not
from Ricky in representation of his father, Franco. The by reserva troncal, because the reserve was extinguished
representative must not only be a legal heir of the person he upon the transmission of the property to Princess, this
is representing but he must also be a legal heir of the making Princess the absolute owner subject to no reserva.
decedent he seeks to inherit from.
Q: Don Ricardo had 2 legitimate children - Tomas and
While Arnel is a legal heir of Franco, he is not a legal heir of Tristan. Tristan has 3 children. Meanwhile, Tomas had
Ricky becausean illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab a relationship with Nancy, who was also single and had
intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his the legal capacity to marry. Nancy became pregnant and
father or mother(Art. 992). Arnel is disqualified to Inherit gave birth to Tomas, Jr. After the birth of Tomas, Jr., his
from Ricky because Arnel is an illegitimate child of Franco father, Tomas, died. Later, Don Ricardo died without a
and Ricky is a legitimate relative of Franco. will and Tristan opposed the motion of Tomas, Jr. to be
declared an heir of the deceased since he is an
Q: True or False. illegitimate child. Tomas, Jr. countered that Article 992
of the Civil Code is unconstitutional for violation of the
X, a widower, died leaving a will stating that the house equal protection of the laws. He explained that an
and lot where he lived cannot be partitioned for as long illegitimate child of an illegitimate parent is allowed to
as the youngest of his four children desires to stay inherit under Articles 902, 982 and 990 of the Civil Code
there. As coheirs and co-owners, the other three may while he - an illegitimate child of a legitimate father -
demand partition anytime. (2010 BAR) cannot. Civil Law commentator Arturo Tolentino
opined that Article 992 created an absurdity and
A: FALSE, The other three co–heirs may not anytime committed an injustice because while the illegitimate
demand the partition of the house and lot since it was descendant of an illegitimate child can represent, the
expressly provided by the decedent in his will that the same illegitimate descendant of a legitimate child cannot.
cannot be partitioned while his youngest child desires to Decide the case and explain. (2016 BAR)
stay there. A decedent to prohibit, by will, the partition of a
property and his estate for a period not longer than 20 years A: I will deny the motion of Tomas, Jr. to be declared as an
no matter what his reason maybe (Art. 1083). Hence, the heir of the deceased. Tomas Jr., being an illegitimate child of
three co-heir can demand its partition only after 20 years the deceased legitimate son, Tomas, cannot inherit ab
from the death of their father. Even if the deceased parent intestate from the deceased, Don Ricardo, because of the
did not leave a will, if the house and lot constituted their iron curtain rule under Art. 992 of the Civil Code.
family home, partition is prohibited for a period of ten (10)
years, or for as long as there is a minor beneficiary living in Tomas cannot argue that Art. 992 is violative of the equal
the family home(Art. 159). protection clause because equal protection simply requires
that all persons or things similarly situated should be
LEGAL OR INTESTATE SUCCESSION (1992, 1993, 1995, treated alike, both as to rights conferred and
1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2003, 2004, 2007, 2008, responsibilities imposed (Ichong v. Hernandez, 101 Phil.
2009, 2010, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016 BAR) 1155, May 31, 1957). It, however, does not require the
universal application of the laws to all persons or things
Q: Princess married Roberto and bore a son, Onofre. without distinction. What it simply requires is equality
Roberto died in a plane crash. Princess later married among equals as determined according to a valid
Mark and they also had a son - Pepito. Onofre donated classification. Indeed, the equal protection clause permits
to Pepito, his half-brother, a lot in Makati City worth P3, classification.
000, 000.00. Pepito succumbed to an illness and died
intestate. The lot given to Pepito by Onofre was Q: Bert and Joe, both male and single, lived together as
inherited by his father, Mark. Mark also died intestate. common law spouses and agreed to raise a son of Bert's
Lonely, Princess followed Mark to the life beyond. The living brother as their child without legally adopting
claimants to the subject lot emerged - Jojo, the father of him. Bert worked while Joe took care of their home and
Princess; Victor, the father of Mark; and Jerico, the the boy. In their 20 years of cohabitation they were able
father of Roberto. Who among the three (3) ascendants to acquire real estate assets registered in their names
is entitled to the lot? Explain. (2016 BAR) as co-owners. Unfortunately, Bert died of cardiac
arrest, leaving no will. Bert was survived by his
A: Jojo, Princess’ father, is entitled to the lot. biological siblings, Joe, and the boy.

This is a clear case of reserva troncal. The origin is Onofre. 1. Can Article 147 on co-ownership apply to Bert and
The Prepositus is Pepito. The mode of transmission from Joe, whereby all properties they acquired will be
Onofre to Pepito is donation (hence, by gratuitous title). The presumed to have been acquired by their joint
Reservista is Mark, who acquired it from his descendant industry and shall be owned by them in equal
(son) Pepito by legitime and intestacy (hence, by operation shares?
of law). 2. What are the successional rights of the boy Bert and
Joe raised as their son?
The Reservatario is Princess, a relative of the Prepositus 3. If Bert and Joe had decided in the early years of
Pepito within the third degree and who belonged to the line their cohabitation to jointly adopt the boy, would
of origin is the maternal line because Onofre (the Origin) they have been legally allowed to do so? Explain
and Pepito (the Prepositus) are maternal half-blood siblings. with legal basis. (2015 BAR)

When Mark (Reservista) died, the property passed to A:


Princess as sole reservatario, thus extinguishing the reserve 1. No, Article 147 cannot apply to Bert and Joe because the
troncal. law only applies to a man and a woman who are
capacitated to marry each other who live together as
Upon Princess’ death, the property was transmitted ab husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or
intestate to her father Jojo. Transmission to Joj is by the

UST BAR OPERATIONS 84


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
under a void marriage. In the case of Bert and Joe, they child. In no case may the two legitimate children of the
are both men so the law does not apply. second marriage receive a share less than one-half of
2. The boy has no successional rights. Since Bert died the estate which is their legitime. When the estate is not
without a will, intestate succession shall apply. While sufficient to pay all the legitimes of the compulsory
the boy is the son of Bert’s living brother, and hence is heirs, the legitime of the spouse is preferred and the
Bert’s nephew, he cannot inherit from Bert as a legal illegitimate children suffer the reduction.
heir since he is excluded by his father under the
proximity rule (Art. 962). He cannot invoke the rights of Computation:
an adopted child to inherit from Bert since the boy was
not legally adopted. A mere ward or “ampon” has no (A) If the ground of nullity is psychological incapacity:
right to inherit from the adopting parents (Manuel v. 1/6 of the estate for
3 children by first marriage
Ferrer, G.R. No. 117246, August 21, 1995). each
3. No, Bert and Joe could not have jointly adopted the boy. 2 children by second 1/6 of the estate for
Under the Domestic Adoption Act, joint adoption is marriage each
permitted, and in certain cases mandated, for spouses. Surviving second spouse 1/6 of the estate
Here, Bert and Joe are not spouses.
(B) If the ground of nullity is not psychological capacity:
Q: Ernesto, an overseas Filipino worker, was coming 1⁄4 of the estate for each of
home to the Philippines after working for so many years 2 legitimate children
second marriage
in the Middle East. He has saved P100, 000 in his savings Surviving second
account in Manila which intended to use to start a 1⁄4 of the estate
spouse
business in his home country. On his flight home, Ernesto 3 illegitimate children 1/12 of estate for each of first
has a fatal heart attack. He left behind his widowed marriage
mother, his common-law wife and their twin sons. He left
no will, no debts, no other relatives and no other NOTE: The legitime of an illegitimate child is supposed to
properties except the money in his savings account. Who be 1⁄2 the legitime of a legitimate child or 1/8 of the estate.
are the heirs entitled to inherit from him and how much But the estate will not be sufficient to pay the said legitime
should each receive? (2008 BAR) of the 3 illegitimate children, because only 1⁄4 of the estate
is left after paying the legitime of the surviving spouse
A: The mother and twin sons are entitled to inherit from which is preferred.
Ernesto. If legitimate ascendants are left, the twin sons shall
divide the inheritance with them taking one-half of the Hence, the remaining 1⁄4 of the estate shall be divided
estate (Art. 991). Thus, the widowed mother gets P50, among the 3 illegitimate children.
000.00 while the twin sons shall receive P25, 000.00 each.
The common-law wife cannot inherit from him because 2. In the distribution of Peter’s estate, 1⁄2 of the
when the law speaks “widow or widower” as a compulsary presumptive legitime received by the 3 children of the
heir, the law refers to a legitimate spouse (Art. 887, par 3). first marriage shall be collated to Peter’s estate and
shall be imputed as an advance of their respective
Q: The spouses Peter and Paula had three (3) children. inheritance from Peter. Only half of the presumptive
Paula later obtained a judgment of nullity of marriage. legitime is collated to the estate of Peter because the
Their absolute community of property having been other half shall be collated to the estate of his first wife.
dissolved, they delivered P1 million to each of their 3
children as their presumptive legitimes. Peter later re- Q: Ramon Mayaman died intestate, leaving a net estate
married and had two (2) children by his second wife of P10, 000, 000.00. Determine how much each heir will
Marie. Peter and Marie, having successfully engaged in receive from the estate:
business, acquired real properties. Peter later died
intestate. 1. If Ramon is survived by his wife, three full- blood
brothers, two half-brothers, and one nephew (the
1. Who are Peter’s legal heirs and how will his estate son of a desceased full-blood brother)? Explain.
be divided among them? 2. If Ramon is survived by his wife, a half-sister, and
2. What is the effect of the receipt by Peter’s 3 children three nephews (sons of a deceased full-blood
by his first marriage of their presumptive legitimes brother)? Explain. (2008 BAR)
on their right to inherit following Peter’s death?
(2010 BAR) A:

A: 1. Having died intestate, the estate of Ramon shall be


inherited by his wife and his full and half blood siblings
1. The legal heirs of Peter are his children by the first and or their respective representatives. In intestacy, if the
second marriages and his surviving second wife. wife concurs with no one but the siblings of the
husband, all of them are the intestate heirs of the
Their shares in the estate of Peter will depend, deceased husband. The wife will receive half of the
however, on the cause of the nullity of the first intestate estate, while the siblings or their respective
marriage. If the nullity of the first marriage was representatives, will inherit the other half to be divided
psychological incapacity of one or both spouses, the among them equally. If some siblings are of the full-
three children of that void marriage are legitimate and blood and the other of the half blood, a half blood
all of the legal heirs shall share the estate of Peter in sibling will receive half the share of a full-blood sibling.
equal shares. If the judgment of nullity was for other a) The wife of Ramon will, therefore, receive one half
causes, the three children are illegitimate and the estate (1⁄2) of the estate or the amount of P5, 000,
shall be distributed such that an illegitimate child of the 000.00.

first marriage shall receive half of the share of a b) The three (3) full-blood brothers, will, therefore,
legitimate child of the second marriage, and the second receive P1, 000, 000.00 each.
wife will inherit a share equal to that of a legitimate
85
CIVIL LAW
c) The nephew will receive P1, 000, 000.00 by right of
representation. A: No, the contention is not valid. The property adjudicated
d) The two (2) half-brothers will receive P500, 000.00 to Jun from the estate of his parents which he in turn left to
each. Anita and Cesar is not subject to reservation in favor of
2. The wife will receive one half (1/2) of the estate or P5, Edith and Philip. In Mendoza et. al. v. Policarpio, et. al. (G.R.
000, 000.00. The other half shall be inherited by (1) the No. 176422, March 20 2013) the court ruled that lineal
full-blood brother, represented by his three children, character of the reservable property is reckoned from the
and (2) the half-sister. They will divide the other half ascendant from whom the propositus received the property
between them such that the share of the half-sister is by gratuitous title. The ownership should be reckoned only
just half the share of the full-blood brother. The share from Jun, as he is the ascendant from where the first
of the full-blood brother shall in turn be inherited by transmission occurred or from whom Cesar inherited the
the three nephews in equal shares by right of properties. Moreover, Art. 891 provides that the person
representation. obliged to reserve the property should be an ascendant.
Peachy is not Cesar’s ascendant but a mere collateral
Therefore, the three (3) nephews will receive P1, 111, relative. On the assumption that the property is reservable,
111.10 each the half- sister will receive the sum of P1, Edith and Philip being first cousins of Cesar who is the
666, 666.60. propositus are disqualified to be reservatarios as they are
not third degree relatives of Cesar.
Q: Mr. XT and Mrs. YT have been married for 20 years.
Suppose the wife, YT, died childless, survived only by Q: On March 30, 2000, Mariano died intestate and was
her husband, XT. What would be the share of XT from survived by his wife, Leonora, and children, Danilo and
her estate as inheritance? Why? Explain. (2004 BAR) Carlito. One of the properties he left was a piece of land
in Alabang where he built his residential house.
A: Under the Civil Code, the widow or widower is a legal and
compulsory heir of the deceased spouse. If the widow is the After his burial, Leonora and Mariano’s children
only surviving heir, there being no legitimate ascendants, extrajudicially settled his estate. Thereafter, Leonora
descendants, brothers, and sisters, nephews and nieces, she and Danilo advised Carlito of their intention to
gets the entire estate. partition the property. Carlito opposed invoking Article
159 of the Family Code. Carlito alleged that since his
Q: Mr. and Mrs. Cruz, who are childless, met with a minor child Lucas still resides in the premises, the
serious motor vehicle accident with Mr. Cruz at the family home continues until that minor beneficiary
wheel and Mrs. Cruz seated beside him, resulting in the becomes of age. Is the contention of Carlito tenable?
instant death of Mr. Cruz. Mrs. Cruz was still alive when (2014 BAR)
help came but she also died on the way to the hospital. A: No, the contention of Carlito is not tenable. To qualify as
The couple acquired properties worth One Million (P1, beneficiary of the family home, the person must be among
000, 000.00) Pesos during their marriage, which are those mentioned in Art. 154, he/she must be actually living
being claimed by the parents of both spouses in equal in the family home and must be dependent for legal support
shares. Is the claim of both sets of parents valid and upon the head of the family (Patricio v. Dario, G.R. No.
why? (1999 BAR) 170829, November 20, 2006). While Lucas, the son of Carlito
satisfies the first and second requisites, he cannot however,
A: No, the claim of both parents is not valid. When Mr. Cruz directly claim legal support from his grandmother, Leonora
died, he was succeeded by his wife and his parents as his because the person primarily obliged to give support to
intestate heirs who will share his estate equally. His estate Lucas is his father, Carlito. Thus, partition may be
was 0.5 Million pesos which is his half share in the absolute successfully claimed by Leonora and Danilo.
community amounting to 1 Million Pesos. His wife, will,
therefore, inherit O.25 Million Pesos and his parents will Q: Isidro and Irma, Filipinos, both 18 years of age, were
inherit 0.25 Million Pesos. passengers of Flight No. 317 of Oriental Airlines. The
plane they boarded was of Philippine registry. While
When Mrs. Cruz died, she was succeeded by her parents as en route from Manila to Greece some passengers
her intestate heirs. They will inherit all of her estate hijacked the plane, held the chief pilot hostage at the
consisting of her 0.5 Million half share in the absolute cockpit and ordered him to fly instead to Libya. During
community and her 0.25 Million inheritance from her the hijacking Isidro suffered a heart attack and was on
husband, or a total of 0.750 Million Pesos. the verge of death. Since Irma was already eight months
pregnant by Isidro, she pleaded to the hijackers to allow
In sum, the parents of Mr. Cruz will inherit 250,000 Pesos the assistant pilot to solemnize her marriage with
while the parents of Mrs. Cruz will inherit 750,000 Pesos. Isidro. Soon after the marriage, Isidro expired. As the
plane landed in Libya Irma gave birth. However, the
Q: Esteban and Martha had four (4) children: Rolando, baby died a few minutes after complete delivery. Back
Jun, Mark, and Hector. Rolando had a daughter, Edith, in the Philippines, Irma Immediately filed a claim for
while Mark had a son, Philip. After the death of Esteban inheritance. The parents of Isidro opposed her claim
and Martha, their three (3) parcels of land were contending that the marriage between her and Isidro
adjudicated to Jun. After the death of Jun, the properties was void ab initio on the following grounds: (a) they
passed to his surviving spouse Anita, and son Cesar. had not given their consent to the marriage of their
When Anita died, her share went to her son Cesar. Ten son; (b) there was no marriage license; (c) the
(10) years after, Cesar died intestate without any issue. solemnizing officer had no authority to perform the
Peachy, Anita’s sister, adjudicated to herself the marriage; and, (d) the solemnizing officer did not file an
properties as the only surviving heir of Anita and Cesar. affidavit of marriage with the proper civil registrar.
Edith and Philip would like to recover the properties Does Irma have any successional rights at all? Discuss
claiming that they should have been reserved by fully. (1995, 1999 BAR)
Peachy in their behalf and must now revert back to
them. Is the contention of Edith and Philip valid? (2014 A: Irma succeeded to the estate of Isidro as his surviving
BAR) spouse to the estate of her legitimate child. When Isidro

UST BAR OPERATIONS 86


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
died, he was succeeded by his surviving wife Irma, and his Q: F had three (3) legitimate children: A, B, and C. B has
legitimate unborn child.They divided the estate equally one (1) legitimate child X. C has two (2) legitimate
between them, the child excluding the parents of Isidro. An children: Y and Z. F and A rode together in a car and
unborn child is considered born for all purposes favorable perished together at the same time in a vehicular
to it provided it is born later. The child was considered born accident, F and A died, each of them leaving substantial
because, having an intra-uterine life of more than seven estates in intestacy.
months, it lived for a few minutes after its complete
delivery. It was legitimate because it was born within the 1. Who are the intestate heirs of F? What are their
valid marriage of the parents. Succession is favorable to it. respective fractional shares?
When the child died, Irma inherited the share of the child. 2. Who are the intestate heirs of A? What are
However, the share of the child in the hands of Irma is their respective fractional shares?
subject to reserva troncal for the benefit of the relatives of 3. If B and C both predeceased F, who are F’s intestate
the child within the third degree of consanguinity and who heirs? What are their respective fractional shares?
belong to the line of Isidro. Do they inherit in their own right or by
representation? Explain your answer.
Q: Mr. Luna died, leaving an estate of Ten Million (P1 4. If B and C both repudiated their shares in the
0,000,000.00) Pesos. His widow gave birth to a child estate of F who are F's intestate heirs? What are
four months after Mr, Luna's death, but the child died their respective fractional shares? Do they inherit
five hours after birth. Two days after the child's death, in their own right or by representation? Explain your
the widow of Mr. Luna also died because she had answer. (1992, 2008 BAR)
suffered from difficult childbirth. The estate of Mr. Luna
is now being claimed by his parents, and the parents of A:
his widow. Who is entitled to Mr. Luna'a estate and
why? (1999 BAR) 1. B = ½, C= ½
2. Under Art. 1005, should brothers ad sisters survive
A: Half of the estate of Mr. Luna will go to the parents of Mrs. together with nephews and nieces, who are the children
Luna as their inheritance from Mrs. Luna, while the other of the decedent’s brothers and sisters of the full blood,
half will be inherited by the parents of Mr. Luna as the the former shall inherit per capita, and the latter per
reservatarios of the reserved property inherited by Mrs. stripes. B and C should inherit both ½ of the whole
Luna from her child. estate.
3. Under Art. 982, the grandchildren and other
When Mr. Luna died, his heirs were his wife and the unborn descendants shall inherit by right of representation,
child. The unborn child inherited because the inheritance and if any one of themshould have died, leaving several
was favorable to it and it was born alive later though it lived heirs, the portion pertaining to him shall be divided
only for five hours. Mrs. Luna inherited half of the 10 Million among the latter in equal portions. X should inherit½
estate while the unborn child inherited the other half. When share by representation of B. Y and Z should inherit ¼
the child died, it was survived by its mother, Mrs. Luna. As share each by representation of C.
the only heir, Mrs. Luna inherited, by operation of law, the 4. X inherits 1/3 in his own right; Y inherits 1/3 in his own
estate of the child consisting of its 5 Million inheritance right; Z inherits 1/3 in his own right; Art.
from Mr. Luna. In the hands of Mrs. Luna, what she inherited 977providesthatheirswho repudiate their share cannot
from her child was subject to reserva troncal for the benefit be represented.
of the relatives of the child within the third degree of
consanguinity and who belong to the family of Mr. Luna, the Q: Enrique died, leaving a net hereditary estate of P1.2
line where the property came from. million. He is survived by his widow, three legitimate
children, two legitimate grandchildren sired by a
When Mrs. Luna died, she was survived by her parents as legitimate child who predeceased him, and two
her only heirs. Her parents will inherit her estate consisting recognized illegitimate children. Distribute the estate in
of the 5 Million she inherited from Mr. Luna. The other 5 intestacy. (1997, 1998, 2003 BAR)
Million she inherited from her child will be delivered to the
parents of Mr. Luna as beneficiaries of the reserved A: Under the theory of Concurrence, the shares are as follows:
property. A (legitimate child) = P200, 000
B (legitimate child) = P200, 000
In sum, 5 Million Pesos of Mr. Luna's estate will go to the C (legitimate child) = P200, 000
parents of Mrs. Luna, while the other 5 Million Pesos will go D (legitimate child) = 0 (predeceased]
to the parents of Mr. Luna as reservatarios. E (legitimate child of D) = P100, 000 - by right of
representation
Q: TRUE or FALSE. In reserve troncal, all reservatarios F (legitimate child of D) = P100, 000 - by right of
(reservees) inherit as a class and in equal shares representation
regardless of their proximity in degree to the G (illegitimate child) = P100,000 - 1/2 share of the legitimate
prepositus. (2009 BAR) child
H (illegitimate child) = P100, 000 - 1/2 share of the legitimate
A: FALSE. Not all the relatives within the third degree will child
inherit as reservatario, and not all those who are entitled to W (Widow) = P200, 000 - same share as legitimate child
inherit will inherit in the equal shares. The applicable laws
of intestate succession will determine who among the Q: Ricky and Arlene are married. They begot Franco
relatives will inherit as reservatarios and what shares they during their marriage. Franco had an illicit relationship
will take, i.e., the direct line excludes the collateral, the with Audrey and out of which, they begot Arnel. Franco
descending direct line excludes the ascending, the nearer predeceased Ricky, Arlene and Arnel. Before Ricky
excludes the more remote, the nephews and nieces exclude died, he executed a will which when submitted to
the uncles and the aunts, and half blood relatives inherit half probate was opposed by Arnel on the ground that he
the share of full-blooded relatives. should be given the share of his father, Franco. Is the
opposition of Arnel correct? Why? (2012 BAR)
87
CIVIL LAW
The defendants filed a motion to dismiss on the
A: No, his opposition is not correct. Arnel cannot inherit ground that Antero is barred by Article 992 of the
from Ricky in the representation of his father Franco. In Civil Code from inheriting from the legitimate
representation, the representative must not only be a legal brother of his father. How will you resolve the
heir of the person he is representing, he must also be a legal motion? (2000 BAR)
heir of the decedent he seeks to inherit from.
A: The motion to dismiss should be granted. Art. 992 does
While Arnel is a legal heir of Franco, he is not a legal heir of not apply. Antero is not claiming any inheritance from
Ricky because under Art 992, an illegitimate child has no Eugenio. He is claiming his share in the inheritance of his
right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and father consisting of his father's share in the inheritance of
relatives of his father or mother. Arnel is disqualified to Eugenio (Dela Merced v. Dela Merced, G.R. No. 126707,
inherit from Ricky because Arnel is an illegitimate child of February 25, 1999).
Franco and Ricky is a legitimate relative of Franco.
Q: Dr. Lopez, a 70-year old widower, and his son
Q: Tessie died survived by her husband Mario, and two Roberto both died in a fire that gutted their home while
nieces, Michelle and Jorelle, who are the legitimate they were sleeping in their air-conditioned rooms.
children of an elder sister who had predeceased her. Roberto’s wife, Marilyn, and their two children were
The only property she left behind was a house and lot spared because they were in the province at the time.
worth two million pesos, which Tessie and her Dr. Lopez left an estate worth P20M and a life insurance
husband had acquired with the use of Mario's savings policy in the amount of P1M with his three children ---
from his income as a doctor. How much of the property one of whom is Roberto --- as beneficiaries. Marilyn is
or its value, if any, may Michelle and Jorelle claim as now claiming for herself and her children her
their hereditary shares? (1998 BAR) husband’s share in the estate left by Dr. Lopez, and her
husband’s share in the proceeds of Dr. Lopez’s life
A: Art. 1001 of the Civil Code provides, "Should brothers insurance policy. Rule on the validity of Marilyn’s
and sisters or their children survive with the widow or claims with reasons. (1999, 2009 BAR)
widower, the latter shall be entitled to one-half of the
inheritance and the brothers and sisters or their children to A: As to the estate of Dr. Lopez:
the other half." Tessie's gross estate consists of a house
and lot acquired during her marriage, making it part of the Marilyn is not entitled to a share in the estate of Dr. Lopez.
community property. Thus, one-half of the said property For purposes of succession, Dr. Lopez and his son Roberto
would have to be set aside as Mario's conjugal share from are presumed to have died at the same time, there being no
the community property. The other half, amounting to one evidence to prove otherwise, and there shall be no
million pesos, is her conjugal share (net estate), and should transmission of rights from one to the other (Article 43).
be distributed to her intestate heirs. Applying the above Hence, Roberto inherited nothing form his father that
provision of law, Michelle and Jorelle, Tessie's nieces, are Marilyn would in turn inherit from Roberto. The children of
entitled to one-half of her conjugal share worth one million Roberto, however, will succeed their grandfather, Dr. Lopez,
pesos, or 500, 000 pesos, while the other one-half in representation of their father Roberto and together will
amounting to P500, 000 will go to Mario, Tessie's surviving receive 1/3 of the estate of Dr. Lopez since their father
spouse. Michelle and Jorelle are then entitled to P250, 000 Roberto was one of the three children of Dr. Lopez. Marilyn
pesos each as their hereditary share. cannot represent her husband Roberto because the right is
not given by law to a surviving spouse.
Q: Luis was survived by two legitimate children, two
illegitimate children, his parents, and two brothers. He As to the proceeds of the insurance on the life of Dr. Lopez:
left an estate of P1 million. Luis died intestate. Who are
his intestate heirs, and how much is the share of each in Since succession is not involved as regards the insurance
his estate? (2003 BAR) contract, the provisions of the Rules of Court on
survivorship shall apply. Under the Rules, Dr. Lopez, who
A: The intestate heirs are the two (2) legitimate children was 70 years old, is presumed to have died ahead of
and the two (2) illegitimate children. In intestacy the estate Roberto, who is presumably between the ages of 15 and 60.
of the decedent is divided among the legitimate and Having survived the insured, Roberto’s right as a
illegitimate children such that the share of each illegitimate beneficiary became vested upon the death of Dr. Lopez.
child is one -half the share of each legitimate child.
 Their When Roberto died after Dr. Lopez, his right to receive the
share are: insurance proceeds became part of his hereditary estate,
which in turn was inherited in equal shares by his legal
For each legitimate child – P333, 333.33 heirs, namely, his spouse and children. Therefore, Roberto’s
For each illegitimate child – P166, 666.66 (Art. 983, NCC; Art. children and his spouse are entitled to Roberto’s one-third
176, FC) share in the insurance proceeds.

Q: Eugenio died without issue, leaving several parcels Q: At the age 18, Marian found out that she was
of land in Bataan. He was survived by Antonio, his pregnant. She insured her own life and named her
legitimate brother; Martina, the only daughter of his unborn child as her sole beneficiary. When she was
predeceased sister Mercedes; and five legitimate already due to give birth, she and her boyfriend Pietro,
children of Joaquin, another predeceased brother. the father of her unborn child, were kidnapped in a
Shortly after Eugenio's death, Antonio also died, leaving resort in Bataan where they were vacationing. The
three legitimate children. Subsequently, Martina, the military gave chase and after one week, they were found
children of Joaquin and the children of Antonio in an abandoned hut in Cavite. Marian and Pietro were
executed an extrajudicial settlement of the estate of hacked with bolos. Marian and the baby were both
Eugenio, dividing it among themselves. The succeeding found dead, with the baby’s umbilical cord already cut.
year, a petition to annul the extrajudicial settlement was Pietro survived.
filed by Antero, an illegitimate son of Antonio, who
claims he is entitled to share in the estate of Eugenio.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 88


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
1. Between Marian and the baby, who is presumed Adoption Law).
to have died ahead? 2. Lia will inherit in representation of Anna. Although Lia
2. Will Pietro, as surviving biological father of the is an illegitimate child, she is not barred by Articles 992,
baby, be entitled to claim the proceeds of the because her mother Anna is an illegitimate herself. She
life insurance on the life of Marian? (2008 BAR) will represent Anna as regards Anna's legitime under
Art. 902 and as regards Anna's intestate share under
A: Art. 990.

1. Marian is presumed to have died ahead of the baby. Art. The following may not inherit from Ramon:
43 applies to persons who are called to succeed each
other. The proof of death must be established by 1. Shelly, being an adopted child, she cannot represent
positive or circumstatial evidence derived from facts. It Cherry. This is because adoption creates a personal
can never be established from mere inference. In the legal relation only between the adopter and the
present case, it is very clear that only Marian and Pietro adopted. The law on representation requires the
were hacked with bolos. There was no showing that the representative to be a legal heir of the person he is
baby was also hacked to death. The baby’s death could representing and also of the person from whom the
have been due to lack of nutrition. person being represented was supposed to inherit.
2. Pietro, as the biological father of the baby, shall be While Shelly is a legal heir of Cherry, Shelly is not a legal
entitled to claim the proceeds of life insurance of Marian heir of Ramon. Adoption created a purely personal legal
because he is a compulsory heir of his child. relation only between Cherry and Shelly.
2. Hans and Gretel are barred from inheriting from
Q: A is the acknowledged natural child of B who died Ramon under Art. 992. Being illegitimate children, they
when A was already 22 years old. When B's full blood cannot inherit ab intestato from Ramon.
brother, C, died, he (C) was survived by his widow and
four children of his other brother D. Claiming that he is PROVISIONS COMMON TO TESTATE AND INTESTATE
entitled to inherit from his father's brother C. A SUCCESSION (1993, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2005, 2009
brought suit to obtain his share in the estate of C. Will BAR)
his action prosper? (1993 BAR)
Q: Maria, to spite her husband Jorge, whom she
A: No, the action of A will not prosper. On the premise that B, suspected was having an affair with another woman,
C and D are legitimate brothers, as an illegitimate child of B, executed a will, unknown to him, bequeathing all the
A cannot inherit in intestacy from C who is a legitimate properties she inherited from her parents, to her sister
brother of B. Only the wife of C in her own right and the Miguela. Upon her death, the will was presented for
legitimate relatives of C (i.e. the children of D as C's probate. Jorge opposed probate of the will on the
legitimate nephews inheriting as collateral relatives) can ground that the will was executed by his wife without
inherit in intestacy (Arts. 992, 1001, 1OO5 and 975). his knowledge, much less consent, and that it deprived
him of his legitime. After all, he had given her no cause
Q: Cristina the illegitimate daughter of Jose and for disinheritance, added Jorge in his opposition.
Maria, died intestate, without any descendant or How will you rule on Jorge's opposition to the probate
ascendant. Her valuable estate is being claimed by Ana, of Maria's will. If you were the Judge? (1993 BAR)
the legitimate daughter of Jose, and Eduardo, the
legitimate son of Maria. Is either, both, or neither of A: As Judge, I shall rule as follows: Jorge's opposition should
them entitled to inherit? Explain. (1996 BAR) be sustained in part and denied in part. Jorge's omission as
spouse of Maria is not preterition of a compulsory heir in
A: Neither Ana nor Eduardo is entitled to inherit of ab the direct line. Hence, Art. 854 of the Civil Code does not
intestato from Cristina. Both are legitimate relatives of apply, and the institution of Miguela as heir is valid, but only
Cristina's illegitimate parents and therefore they fall under to the extent of the free portion of one-half. Jorge is still
the prohibition prescribed by Art. 992 (Manuel v. Ferrer, entitled to one-half of the estate as his legitime (Art. 1001).
G.R. No. 117246, August 21, 1995; Diaz v. IAC, G.R. No. L-
66574, February 21, 1990). Q: Mr. Palma, widower, has three daughters D, D-1 and
D-2. He executes a Will disinheriting D because she
Q: For purpose of this question, assume all formalities married a man he did not like, and instituting
and procedural requirements have been complied daughters D-1 and D-2 as his heirs to his entire estate of
with. In 1970, Ramon and Dessa got married. Prior to P 1,000,000.00, Upon Mr, Palma's death, how should
their marriage, Ramon had a child, Anna. In 1971 and his estate be divided? Explain. (1999, 2000 BAR)
1972, Ramon and Dessa legally adopted Cherry and
Michelle respectively. In 1973, Dessa died while giving A: This is a case of ineffective disinheritance because
birth to Larry Anna had a child, Lia. Anna never marrying a man that the father did not approve of is not a
married. Cherry, on the other hand, legally adopted ground for disinheriting D. Therefore, the institution of D-
Shelly. Larry had twins, Hans and Gretel, with his 1 and D-2 shall be annulled insofar as it prejudices the
girlfriend, Fiona. In 2005, Anna, Larry and Cherry died legitime of D, and the institution of D-1 and D-2 shall only
in a car accident. In 2007, Ramon died. Who may inherit apply on the free portion in the amount of P500, 000.00.
from Ramon and who may not? Give your reason Therefore, D, D-1 and D-2 will get their legitimes of P500,
brieftly. (2007 BAR) 000.00 divided into three equal parts and D-1 and D-2 will
get a reduced testamentary disposition of P250,b000.00
A: each. Hence, the shares will be:

The following may inherit from Ramon: D P166, 666.66


D-l P166, 666.66 + P250.000.00
1. Michelle, as an adopted child of Ramon, will inherit as a D-2 P166, 666.66 + P250,000.00
legitimate child of Ramon. As an adopted child, Michelle
has all the rights of a legitimate child (Sec 18, Domestic Q: In his last will and testament, Lamberto 1)
89
CIVIL LAW
disinherits his daughter Wilma because "she is couple’s legitimate children. Later, one Edilberto de la
disrespectful towards me and raises her voice talking Cruz executed a notarial document acknowledging
to me", 2) omits entirely his spouse Elvira, 3) leaves a Alberto and Baldomero as his illegitimate children with
legacy of P100, 000.00 to his mistress Rosa and P50, Clarita. Edilberto died leaving substantial properties.
000.00 to his driver Ernie and 4) institutes his son In the settlement of his estate, Alberto and Baldomero
Baldo as his sole heir. How will you distribute his estate intervened claiming shares as the deceased’s
of P1, 000, 000.00? (2000 BAR) illegitimate children. The legitimate family of Edilberto
opposed the claim. Are Alberto and Baldomero entitled
A: The disinheritance of Wilma was ineffective because the to share in the estate of Edilberto? Explain. (2009 BAR)
ground relied upon by the testator does not constitute
maltreatment under Art. 919(6). Hence, the testamentary A: No, Alberto and Baldomero are not entitled to share in
provisions in the will shall be annulled but only to the extent Edilberto’s estate. They are not related at all to Edilberto.
that her legitime was impaired. They were born during the marriage of Conrado and Clarita,
hence, are considered legitimate children of the said
The total omission of Elvira does not constitute preterition spouses. This status is conferred on them at birth by law.
because she is not a compulsory heir in the direct line. Only
compulsory heirs in the direct line may be the subject of Under Philippine law, a person cannot have more than one
preterition. Not having been preterited, she will be entitled natural filiation. The legitimate filiation of a person can be
only to her legitime. changed only if the legitimate father will successfully
impugn such status. In the problem, therefore, the filiation
The legacy in favor of Rosa is void under Article 1028 for of Alberto ad Baldomero as the legitimate children of
being in consideration of her adulterous relation with the Conrado cannot be changed by their recognition by
testator. She is, therefore, disqualified to receive the legacy Edilberto as his illegitimate children. Before they can be
of 100,000 pesos. The legacy of 50,000 pesos in favor of conferred the status of Edilberto’s illegitimate children,
Ernie is not inofficious not having exceeded the free portion. Conrado must first impugn their legitimacy. Since Conrado
Hence, he shall be entitled to receive it. has not initiated any action to impugn their legitimacy, they
continue to be the legitimate children of Conrado. They
The institution of Baldo, which applies only to the free cannot be the illegitimate children of Edilberto at the same
portion, shall be respected. In sum, the estate of Lamberto time. Not being the illegitimate children of Edilberto, they
will be distributed as follows: have no right to inherit from him.
Baldo-----------------450,000
Wilma---------------250,000 Q: Because her eldest son Juan had been pestering
Elvira-----------------250,000 her for capital to start a business, Josefa gave him
Ernie-----------------50,000 P100, 000. Five years later, Josefa died, leaving a last
1,000,000 will and testament in which she instituted only her
four younger children as her sole heirs. At the time of
Q: Emil, the testator, has three legitimate children, Tom, her death, her only properly left was P900, 000.00 in
Henry and Warlito; a wife named Adette; parents named a bank. Juan opposed the will on the ground of
Pepe and Pilar; an illegitimate child, Ramon; brother, preterition. How should Josefa's estate be divided among
Mark; and a sister, Nanette. Since his wife Adette is well- her heirs? State briefly the reason(s) for your answer.
off, he wants to leave to his illegitimate child as much of (2001 BAR)
his estate as he can legally do. His estate has an
aggregate net amount of P1, 200, 000.00, and all the A: There was no preterition of the oldest son because
above-named relatives are still living. Emil now comes the testatrix donated 100 ,000 pesos to him. This donation
to you for advice in making a will. How will you is considered an advance on the son's inheritance. There
distribute his estate according to his wishes without being no preterition, the institutions in the will shall be
violating the law on testamentary succession? (2005 respected but the legitime of the oldest son has to be
BAR) completed if he received less. After collating the donation of
P100, 000 to the remaining property of P900, 000, the
A: P600, 000.00 — legitime to be divided equally between estate of the testatrix is P1, 000, 000. Of this amount,
Tom, Henry and Warlito as the legitimate children. Each one-half or P500, 000, is the legitime of the legitimate
will be entitled to P200, 000.00. (Art. 888) P100, 000.00 – children and it follows that the legitime of one legitimate
share of Ramon the illegitimate child. Equivalent to 1/2 of child is P100, 000. The legitime, therefore, of the oldest son
the share of each legitimate child. (Art. 176, FC) P200, 000.00 is P100, 000. However, since the donation given him was
— Adette the wife. Her share is equivalent to the share of P100, 000, he has already received in full his legitime and
one legitimate child. (Art.892, par.2). Pepe and Pilar, the he will not receive anything anymore from the decedent. The
parents are only secondary compulsory heirs and they remaining P900, 000, therefore, shall go to the four younger
cannot inherit if the primary compulsory heirs children by institution in the will, to be divided equally
(legitimate children) are alive. (Art. 887, par. 2). Brother among them. Each will receive P225, 000.
Mark and sister Nanette are not compulsory heirs since
they are not included in the enumeration under Article 887
of the Civil Code. PART XII – LAND TITLES AND DEEDS

The remaining balance of P300, 000.00 is the free portion


which can be given to the illegitimate child Ramon as an TORRENS SYSTEM (GENERAL PRINCIPLES) (1990, 1991,
instituted heir (Art. 914). If so given by the decedent, 1992, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2005, 2008, 2016
Ramon would receive a total of P400, 000.00. BAR)

Q: Four children, namely: Alberto, Baldomero, Caridad, Q: Macario bought a titled lot from Ramon, got the title
and Dioscoro, were born to the spouses Conrado and and took possession of the lot. Since Macario did not
Clarita de la Costa. The children’s birth certificates have the money to pay the taxes, fees and registration
were duly signed by Conrado, showing them to be the expenses, he was not able to register the Deed of

UST BAR OPERATIONS 90


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Absolute Sale. Upon advice, he merely executed an annotated on Carmen's title. Is the notice of lis pendens
Affidavit of Adverse Claim and had it annotated at the proper or not? Why? (2001 BAR)
back of the title. A few years after, he received a Notice of
Levy on Attachment and Writ of Execution in favor of A: The notice of lis pendens is not proper for the reason that
Alex. The notice, writ and certificate of sale were the case filed by Mario against Carmen is only for collection,
annotated at the back of the title still in Ramon's name. damages, and attorney's fees. Annotation of a lis pendens
Alex contends that since the Affidavit of Adverse Claim is can only be done in cases involving recovery of
effective only for 30 days from the date of its registration, possession of real property, or to quiet title or to remove
then its validity has expired. Macario posits that the cloud thereon, or for partition or any other proceeding
annotation of his adverse claim is notice to the whole affecting title to the land or the use or occupation thereof.
world of his purchase of the lot in question. Who has the The action filed by Mario does not fall on anyone of these.
superior right over the disputed property - Macario or
Alex? Explain. (2016 BAR) Q: Regina has been leasing foreshore land from the
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources for the past
A: Macario is preferred since the registration of his adverse 15 years. Recently, she learned that Jorge was able to
claim was made ahead of the notice of levy and writ of obtain a free patent from the Bureau of Agriculture,
execution in favor of Alex. Macario’s adverse claim, coupled covering the same land, on the basis of a certification
with the fact that he was in possession of the disputed by the District Forester that the same is already
property, are circumstances which should have put Alex on "alienable and disposable". Moreover, Jorge had
constructive notce that the property being offered to him had already registered the patent with the Register of
already been sold to another (Ching v. Enrile, G.R. No. 156076 Deeds of the province, and he was issued an Original
[2008]). The contention tht the adverse claim is effective only Certificate of Title for the same. Regina filed an action
for 30 years is puerile. In Sajonas v. Court of Appeals, 258 SCRA for annulment of Jorge's title on the ground that it was
79, (1996), the Court held that the adverse claim does not ipso obtained fraudulently. Will the action prosper? (2000
facto lose its validity since an independent action is still BAR)
necessary to render it ineffective. Until then, the adverse
claim shal continue as a prior lien on the property. A: An action for the annulment of Jorge's Original Certificate
of Title will prosper on the following grounds:
Q: Section 70 of Presidential Decree No. 1529,
concerning adverse claims on registered land, provides 1. Under Chapter IX of C .A, No. 141, otherwise known as the
a 30-day period of effectivity of an adverse claim, Public Land Act, foreshore lands are disposable for
counted from the date of its registration. Suppose a residential, commercial, industrial, or similar
notice of adverse claim based upon a contract to sell productive purposes, and only by lease when not
was registered on March 1, 1997 at the instance of the needed by the government for public service.
BUYER, but on June 1, 1997, or after the lapse of the 30- 2. If the land is suited or actually used for fishpond or
day period, a notice of levy on execution in favor of a aquaculture purposes, it comes under the Jurisdiction of
JUDGMENT CREDITOR was also registered to enforce a the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)
final judgment for money against the registered owner. and can only be acquired by lease. (P.D. 705)
Then, on June 15, 1997 there having been no formal 3. Free Patent is a mode of concession under Section 41,
cancellation of his notice of adverse claim, the BUYER Chapter VII of the Public Land Act, which is applicable
pays to the seller-owner the agreed purchase price only for agricultural lands.
in full and registers the corresponding deed of sale. 4. The certificate of the district forester that the land is
Because the annotation of the notice of levy is carried already "alienable and disposable" simply means that
over to the new title in his name, the BUYER brings an the land is no longer needed for forest purposes, but the
action against the JUDGMENT CREDITOR to cancel such Bureau of Lands could no longer dispose of it by free
annotation, but the latter claims that his lien is patent because it is already covered by a lease
superior because it was annotated after the adverse contract between BFAR and Regina. That contract must
claim of the BUYER had ipso facto ceased to be effective. be respected.
Will the suit prosper? (1998 BAR) 5. The free patent of Jorge is highly irregular and void ab
initio, not only because the Bureau has no statutory
A: The suit will prosper. While an adverse claim duly authority to issue a free patent over a foreshore area,
annotated at the back of a title under Sec. 7O of P.D. 1529 is but also because of the false statements made in his
good only for 30 days, cancellation thereof is still sworn application that he has occupied and
necessary to render it ineffective, otherwise, the cultivated the land since July 4, 1945, as required by
inscription thereof will remain annotated as a lien on the the free patent law. Under Section 91 of the Public Land
property. While the life of adverse claim is 3O days under Act, any patent concession or title obtained thru false
P.D. 1529, it continuous to be effective until it is cancelled by representation is void ab initio. In cases of this nature,
formal petition filed with the Register of Deeds. The it is the government that shall institute annulment
cancellation of the notice of levy is justified under Sec. proceedings considering that the suit carries with it a
108 of P.D. 1529 considering that the levy on execution prayer for the reversion of the land to the estate.
cannot be enforced against the buyer whose adverse However, Regina is a party in interest and the case
claim against the registered owner was recorded ahead will prosper because she has a lease contract for the
of the notice of levy on execution. same land with the government.

Q: Mario sold his house and lot to Carmen for P1 Q: In 1979, Nestor applied for and was granted a Free
million payable in five (5) equal annual installments. Patent over a parcel of agricultural land with an area of
The sale was registered and title was issued in 30 hectares, located in General Santos City. He
Carmen's name. Carmen failed to pay the last three presented the Free Patent to the Register of Deeds, and
installments and Mario filed an action for collection, he was issued a corresponding Original Certificate of
damages and attorney’s fees against her. Upon filing Title (OCT) No. 375, Subsequently, Nestor sold the land
of the complaint, he caused a notice of lis pendens to be to Eddie. The deed of sale was submitted to the
Register of Deeds and on the basis thereof, OCT No.
91
CIVIL LAW
375 was cancelled and Transfer Certificate of Title 2. It is a well-known rule in this jurisdiction that persons
(TCT) No. 4576 was issued in the name of Eddie. In dealing with registered land have the legal right to
1986, the Director of Lands filed a complaint for rely on the face of the Torrens Certificate of Title and
annulment of OCT No, 375 and TCT No. 4576 on the to dispense with the need to inquire further, except
ground that Nestor obtained the Free Patent through when the party concerned has actual knowledge of
fraud. Eddie filed a motion to dismiss on the ground facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably
that he was an innocent purchaser for value and in cautious man to make such inquiry (Naawan
good faith and as such, he has acquired a title to the Community Rural Bank v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No.
property which is valid, unassailable and indefeasible. 128573, January 13, 2003). In the given problem, the
Decide the motion. (2000 BAR) property was already registered in the name of Rod
when he bought the same from the latter. Thus, Don
A: The motion of Nestor to dismiss the complaint for could be considered as a buyer in good faith and for
annulment of O.C.T. No. 375 and T.C.T. No. 4576 should be value. However, since Rod did not actually sell any
denied for the following reasons: property to him, Don has no right to retain ownership
over the property. He has only the right to recover the
1. Eddie cannot claim protection as an innocent purchase price plus damages.
purchaser for value nor can he interpose the defense of
indefeasibility of his title, because his TCT is rooted on a Q: In 1950, the Bureau of Lands issued a Homestead
void title. Under Section 91 of CA No. 141, as amended, patent to A. Three years later, A sold the homestead to
otherwise known as the Public Land Act, statements of B. A died in 1990, and his heirs filed an action to recover
material facts in the applications for public land must be the homestead from B on the ground that its sale by
under oath. Section 91 of the same act provides that such their father to the latter is void under Section 118 of
statements shall be considered as essential conditions the Public Land Law. B contends, however, that the
and parts of the concession, title, or permit issued any heirs of A cannot recover the homestead from him
false statement therein, or omission of facts shall anymore because their action has prescribed and that
ipso facto produce the cancellation of the furthermore, A was in pari delicto. Decide. (1999 BAR)
concession. The patent issued to Nestor in this case is
void ab initio not only because it was obtained by A: The sale of the land by A to B 3 years after issuance of the
fraud but also because it covers 30 hectares which is homestead patent, being in violation of Sec. 118 of the
far beyond the maximum of 24 hectares provided by the Public Land Act, is void from its inception The action filed by
free patent law. the heirs of B to declare the nullity or inexistence of the
2. The government can seek annulment of the original contract and to recover the land should be given due
and transfer certificates of title and the reversion of the course. B's defense of prescription is untenable because an
land to the state. Eddie's defense is untenable. The action which seeks to declare the nullity or inexistence of A
protection afforded by the Torrens System to an contract does not prescribe. On the other hand, B's
innocent purchaser for value can be availed of only if defense of pari delicto is equally untenable. While as a
the land has been titled thru judicial proceedings where rule, parties who are in pari delicto have no recourse
the issue of fraud becomes academic after the lapse of against each other on the principle that a transgressor
one year from the issuance of the decree of cannot profit from his own wrongdoing, such rule does not
registration. In public land grants, the action of the apply to violations of Sec. 118 of the Public Land Act
government to annul a title fraudulently obtained does because of the underlying public policy in the said Act "to
not prescribe such action and will not be barred by the conserve the land which a homesteader has acquired by
transfer of the title to an innocent purchaser for value. gratuitous grant from the government for himself and his
family". In keeping with this policy, it has been held that
Q: Rod, the owner of an FX taxi, found in his vehicle one who purchases a homestead within the five-year
an envelope containing TCT No. 65432 over a lot prohibitory period can only recover the price which he has
registered in Cesar's name. Posing as Cesar, Rod forged paid by filing a claim against the estate of the deceased seller
Cesar's signature on a Deed of Sale in Rod's favor. Rod (Labrador v. Delos Santos, G.R. No. 44947, November 26,
registered the said document with the Register of 1938) under the principle that no one shall enrich himself
Deeds, and obtained a new title in his name. After a at the expense of another. Applying the pari delicto rule to
year, he sold the lot to Don, a buyer in good faith and violation of Section 118 of the Public Land Act, the Court of
for value, who also registered the lot in his name. Appeals has ruled that "the homesteader suffers the loss of
the fruits realized by the vendee who in turn forfeits the
1. Did Rod acquire title to the land? Explain. improvement that he has introduced into the land." (Obot v.
2. Discuss the rights of Don, if any, over the Sandadiuas, 69 OG, April 35, 1966)
property. (1991, 2005 BAR)
Q: Cesar bought a residential condominium unit from
A: High Rise Co. and paid the price in full. He moved into
the unit, but somehow he was not given the
1. No, Rod did not acquire title to the land. The inscription Condominium Certificate of Title covering the
in the registry, to be effective, must be made in good property. Unknown to him, High Rise Co. subsequently
faith. The defense of indefeasibility of a Torrens Title mortgaged the entire condominium building to
does not extend to a transferee who takes the Metrobank as security for a loan of P500 million. High
certificate of title with notice of a flaw. A holder in bad Rise Co. failed to pay the loan and the bank foreclosed
faith of a certificate of title is not entitled to the the mortgage. At the foreclosure sale, the bank
protection of the law, for the law cannot be used as acquired the building, being the highest bidder. When
a shield for frauds (Samonte v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. Cesar learned about this, he filed an action to annul the
104223, July 12, 2001). In the case at bar, Rod only forged foreclosure sale insofar as his unit was concerned. The
Cesar's signature on the Deed of Sale. It is very apparent bank put up the defense that it relied on the
that there was bad faith on the part of Rod from the very condominium certificates of title presented by High
beginning. As such, he is not entitled to the protection of Rise Co., which were clean. Hence, it was a mortgagee
the Land Registration Act.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 92


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
and buyer in good faith. Is this defense tenable or not? agreement running with the land, and binding
Why? (2001 BAR) upon the applicant and all his successors in title
that the land shall be and always remain
A: Metrobank's defense is untenable. As a rule, an registered land. A title under Act 496 is
innocent purchaser for value acquires a good and a clean indefeasible and to preserve that character, the
title to the property. However, it is settled that one who title is cleansed anew with every transfer for value
closes his eyes to facts that should put a reasonable man on (De Jesus v. City of Manila, G.R. No. 9337, December
guard is not an innocent purchaser for value. In the present 24, 1914; Laperal v. City of Manila, G.R. No. L-42792,
problem the bank is expected, as a matter of standard October 23, 1935; Penullar v. PNB, G.R. No. L-32762,
operating procedure, to have conducted an ocular January 27, 1983).
inspection, of the promises before granting any loan. 2. Even if the government joins C, this will not alter the
Apparently, Metrobank did not follow this procedure. outcome of the case so much because of estoppel as
Otherwise, it should have discovered that the an express provision in Sec. 45 of Act 496 and Sec. 31
condominium unit in question was occupied by Cesar and of PD 1529 that a decree of registration and the
that fact should have led it to make further inquiry. Under certificate of title issued in pursuance thereof “shall be
the circumstances, Metrobank cannot be considered a conclusive upon and against all persons, including the
mortgagee and buyer in good faith. national government and all branches thereof,
whether mentioned by name in the application or not.”
Q: In 1950's, the Government acquired a big landed
estate in Central Luzon from the registered owner for Q: The spouses X and Y mortgaged a piece of registered
subdivision into small farms and redistribution of land to A, delivering as well the OCT to the latter,
bonafide occupants, F was a former lessee of a parcel of but they continued to possess and cultivate the land,
land, five hectares in area. After completion of the giving 1/2 of each harvest to A in partial payment of
resurvey and subdivision, F applied to buy the said land their loan to the latter, A, however, without the
in accordance with the guidelines of the implementing knowledge of X and Y, forged a deed of sale of the
agency. Upon full payment of the price in 1957, the aforesaid land in favor of himself, got a TCT in his
corresponding deed of absolute sale was executed in his name, and then sold the land to B, who bought the land
favor and was registered, and in 1961, a new title was relying on A's title, and who thereafter also got a TCT
issued in his name. In 1963, F sold the said land to X; and in his name. It was only then that the spouses X and
in 1965 X sold it to Y, new titles were successively Y learned that their land had been titled in B's name.
issued in the names of the said purchasers. In 1977, C May said spouses file an action for reconveyance of the
filed an action to annul the deeds of sale to F, X and Y and land in question against b? Reason. (1999 BAR)
their titles, on the ground that he (C) had been in actual
physical possession of the land, and that the sale to F and A: The action of X and Y against B for reconveyance of the
the subsequent sales should be set aside on the ground land will not prosper because B has acquired a clean title to
of fraud. Upon motion of defendants, the trial court the property being an innocent purchaser for value. A forged
dismissed the complaint, upholding their defenses of deed is an absolute nullity and conveys no title. The fact
their being innocent purchasers for value, that the forged deed was registered and a certificate of title
prescription and laches. Plaintiff appealed. was issued in his name, did not operate to vest upon an
ownership over the property of XandY. The registration
1. Is the said appeal meritorious? Explain your answer. of the forged deed will not cure the infirmity. However,
2. Suppose the government agency concerned joined C once the title to the land is registered in the name of the
in filing the said action against the defendants, forger and title to the land thereafter falls into the hands
would that change the result of the litigation? of an innocent purchaser for value, the latter acquires a clean
Explain. (1990 BAR) title thereto. A buyer of a registered land is not required
to explore beyond what the record in the registry indicates
A: on its face inquest for any hidden defector inchoate right
which may subsequently defeat his right thereto. This is the
1. No, the appeal is not meritorious. The trial court "mirror principle” of the Torrens system which makes it
ruled correctly in granting defendant's motion to possible for a forged deed to be the root of a good title.
dismiss for the following reasons: Besides, it appears that spouses X and Y are guilty of
a) While there is the possibility that F, a former lessee contributory negligence when they delivered this OCT to
of the land was aware of the fact that C was the the mortgagee without annotating the mortgage thereon.
bonafide occupant thereof and for this reason his Between them and the innocent purchaser for value, they
transfer certificate of title may be vulnerable, the should bear the loss.
transfer of the same land and the issuance of new
TCTs to X and Y who are innocent purchasers for Q: Rommel was issued a certificate of title over a parcel
value render the latter's titles indefeasible. A of land in Quezon City. One year later Rachelle, the
person dealing with registered land may safely legitimate owner of the land, discovered the
rely on the correctness of the certificate of title and fraudulent registration obtained by Rommel. She filed
the law will not in any way oblige him to go behind a complaint against Rommel for reconveyance and
the certificate to determine the condition of the caused the annotation of a notice of lis pendens on the
property in search for any hidden defect or certificate of title issued to Rommel. Rommel now
inchoate right which may later invalidate or invokes the indefeasibility of his title considering
diminish the right to the land. This is the mirror that one year has already elapsed from its issuance. He
principle of the Torrens System of land registration. also seeks the cancellation of the notice of Lis pendens.
b) The action to annul the sale was instituted in
1977 or more than (10) years from the date of 1. May the court cancel the notice of lis pendens even
execution thereof in 1957, hence, it has long before final judgment is rendered? Explain.
prescribed. 2. Will Rachelle's suit for reconveyance prosper?
c) Under Sec 45 of Act 496, “the entry of a Explain. (1995 BAR)
certificate of title shall be regarded as an A:
93
CIVIL LAW
effective and binding notwithstanding the lapse of the
1. A Notice of Lis Pendens may be cancelled even before 30 days from its inscription in the registry. This ruling is
final Judgment upon proper showing that the notice is even more applicable in a lis pendens. Carlos is a
for the purpose of molesting or harassing the adverse transferee pendente lite insofar as Sancho’s share in the
party or that the notice of lis pendens is not necessary co-ownership in the land is concerned because the
to protect the right of the party who caused it to be land was transferred to him during the pendency of
registered. (Sec. 77, P.D. No. 1529) In this case, it is given the appeal.
that Rachelle is the legitimate owner of the land in 2. Pacifico can protect his right as a co-owner by
question. It can be said, therefore, that when she filed pursuing his appeal; asking the Court of Appeals to
her notice of lis pendens her purpose was to order the re-annotation of the lis pendens on the title
protect her interest in the land and not just to molest of Carlos; and by invoking his right of redemption of
Rommel. It is necessary to record the lis pendens to Bart’s share under Art. 1620.
protect her interest because if she did not do it, there
is a possibility that the land will fall into the hands of an Q: Juliet offered to sell her house and lot, together with
innocent purchaser for value and in that event, the all the furniture and appliances therein to Dehlma.
court loses control over the land making any favorable Before agreeing to purchase the property, Dehlma went
judgment thereon moot and academic. For these to the Register of Deeds to verify Juliet's title. She
reasons, the notice of lis pendens may not be cancelled. discovered that while the property was registered in
2. Yes, Rachelle's suit will prosper because all elements for Juliet's name under the Land Registration Act, as
an action for reconveyance are present, namely: amended by the Property Registration Decree, it
a. Rachelle is claiming dominical rights over the same property, Dehlma told Juliet to redeem the property
land. from Elaine, and gave her an advance payment to be
b. Rommel procured his title to the land by fraud. used for purposes of releasing the mortgage on the
c. The action was brought within the statutory period property. When the mortgage was released, Juliet
of four (4) years from discovery of the fraud and not executed a Deed of Absolute Sale over the property
later than ten (10) years from the date of registration which was duly registered with the Registry of Deeds,
of Rommel's title. and a new TCT was issued in Dehlma's name. Dehlma
d. Title to the land has not passed into the hands of an immediately took possession over the house and lot
innocent purchaser for value. and the movables therein. Thereafter, Dehlma went to
the Assessor's Office to get a new tax declaration under
Rommel can invoke the indefeasibility of his title if her name. She was surprised to find out that the
Rachelle had filed a petition to reopen or review the property was already declared for tax purposes in the
decree of registration. But Rachelle instead filed an name of XYZ Bank which had foreclosed the mortgage
ordinary action in personam for reconveyance. In the on the property before it was sold to her. XYZ Bank was
latter action, indefeasibility is not a valid defense because, also the purchaser in the foreclosure sale of the
in filing such action, Rachelle is not seeking to nullify nor property. At that time, the property was still
to impugn the indefeasibility of Rommel's title. She is only unregistered but XYZ Bank registered the Sheriff's
asking the court to compel Rommel to reconvey the title Deed of Conveyance in the day book of the Register of
to her as the legitimate owner of the land. Deeds under Act. 3344 and obtained a tax declaration
in its name.
Q: Sancho and Pacifico are co-owners of a parcel of
land. Sancho sold the property to Bart. Pacifico sued 1. Was Dehlma a purchaser in good faith?
Sancho and Bart for annulment of the sale and 2. Who as between Dehlma and XYZ Bank has a better
reconveyance of the property based on the fact that right to the house and lot? (2008 BAR)
the sale included his one-half pro-indiviso share. A:
Pacifico had a notice of lis pendens annotated on the title
covering the property and ordered the cancellation of 1. Yes, Dehlma is a purchaser in good faith. She learned
the notice of lis pendens. The notice of lis pendens about the XYZ tax declaration and foreclosure sale only
could not be cancelled immediately because the title after the sale to her was registered. She relied on the
over the property was with a bank to which the certificate of title of her predecessor-in-interest. Under
property had been mortgaged by Bart. Pacifico appealed the Torrens system, a buyer of registered lands is not
the case. While the appeal was pending and with the required by law to inquire further than what the
notice of lis pendens still uncancelled, Bart sold the Torrens certificate indicates on its face. If a person
property to Carlos, who immediately caused the proceeds to buy it relying on the title, that person is
cancellation of the notice of lis pendens, as well as the considered as buyer in good faith
issuance of a new title in his name.
The “priority in time” rule could not be invoked by XYZ
1. Is Carlos (a) a purchaser in good faith, or (b) a Bank because the foreclosure sale of the land in favour
transferee pendente lite? of the bank was recorded under Act No. 3344, the law
2. If your answer is (a), how can the right of Pacifico governing transaction affecting unregistered land, and
as co-owner be protected? Explain. (1995, 2002 BAR) thus, does not bind the land.

A: 2. Between Dehlma and the bank, the former has a better


right to the house and lot.
1. Carlos is a buyer in bad faith. The notice of lis
pendens was still annotated at the back of the title at Q: In an action brought to collect a sum of money based
the time he bought the land from Bart. The uncancelled on a surety agreement, the defense of laches was
notice of lis pendens operates as constructive notice of raised as the claim was filed more than seven years
its contents as well as interests, legal or equitable, from the maturity of the obligation. However, the action
included therein. All persons are charged with the was brought within the ten-year prescriptive period
knowledge of what it contains. In an earlier case, it was provided by law wherein actions based on written
held that a notice of an adverse claim remains

UST BAR OPERATIONS 94


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
contracts can be instituted. Will the defense prosper? Decide the case by evaluating these defenses. (1998
Reason. (2000 BAR) BAR)

A: No, the defense will not prosper. The problem did not give A:
facts from which laches may be inferred. Mere delay in filing
an action, standing alone, does not constitute laches (Agra v. a) Renren's action to recover possession of the land will
PNB, G.R. No. 133317, June 29, 1999). prosper. In 1965, after buying the land from Robyn,
he submitted the Deed of Sale to the Registry of
Q: Way back in 1948, Winda’s husband sold in favor of Deeds for registration together with the owner's
Verde Sports Center Corp. (Verde) a 10-hectare property duplicate copy of the title, and paid the corresponding
belonging to their conjugal partnership. The sale was registration fees. Under Sec. 56 of PD No. 1529, the
made without Winda’s knowledge, much less consent. In Deed of Sale to Renren is considered registered from
1950, Winda learned of the sale, when she discovered the time the sale was entered in the Day Book (now
the deed of sale among the documents in her husband’s called the Primary Entry Book). For all legal intents and
vault after his demise. Soon after, she noticed that the purposes, Renren is considered the registered owner
construction of the sports complex had started. Upon of the land. After all, it was not his fault that the
completion of the construction in 1952, she tried but Registry of Deeds could not issue the corresponding
failed to get free membership privileges in Verde. transfer certificate of title. Mikaelo's defense of
prescription cannot be sustained. A Torrens title is
Winda now files a suit against Verde for the annulment imprescriptible. No title to registered land in
of the sale on the ground that she did not consent to the derogation of the title of the registered owner shall
sale. In answer, Verde contends that, in accordance with be acquired by prescription or adverse possession (Sec.
the Spanish Civil Code which was then in force, the sale in 47, P.D. No. 1529). The right to recover possession of
1948 of the property did not need her concurrence. registered land likewise does not prescribe because
Verde contends that in any case the action has possession is just a necessary incident of ownership.
prescribed or is barred by laches. Winda rejoins that her b) Mikaelo's defense of laches, however, appears to be
Torrens title covering the property is indefeasible, and more sustainable. Renren bought the land and had the
imprescriptible. sale registered way back in 1965. From the facts, it
appears that it was only in 1998 or after an inexplicable
1. Define or explain the term ―laches. delay of 33 years that he took the first step asserting his
2. Decide the case, stating your reasons for your right to the land. It was not even an action to recover
decision. (2002 BAR) ownership but only possession of the land. By
A: ordinary standards, 33 years of neglect or inaction is
too long and maybe considered unreasonable. As
1. LACHES means failure or neglect, for an unreasonable often held by the Supreme Court, the principle of
and unexplained length of time, to do what, by exercising imprescriptibility sometimes has to yield to the
due diligence, could or should have been done earlier. It equitable principle of laches which can convert even a
is negligence or omission to assert a right within a registered land owner's claim into a stale demand.
reasonable time (De Vera v. CA, G.R. No. 97761, April 14, Mikaelo's claim of laches, however, is weak insofar as
1999). the element of equity is concerned, there being no
2. While Art. 1413 of the Spanish Civil Code did not require showing in the facts how he entered into the ownership
the consent of the wife for the validity of the sale, an and possession of the land.
alienation by the husband in fraud of the wife is void as
held in Uy Coque v. Navas (G.R. No. L-20392, November 20, Q: A owned a parcel of unregistered land located on the
1923). Assuming that the alienation in 1948 was in fraud Tarlac side of the boundary between Tarlac and
of Winda and, therefore, makes the sale to Verde void, Pangasinan. His brother B owned the adjoining parcel
the action to set aside the sale, nonetheless, is already of unregistered land on the Pangasinan side. A sold the
barred byprescription and laches. More than 52 years Tarlac parcel to X in a deed of sale executed as a public
have already elapsed from her discovery of the sale in instrument by A and X. After X paid in full the price of the
1950. sale, X took possession of the Pangasinan parcel in the
belief that it was the Tarlac parcel covered by the deed
Q: In 1965, Renren bought from Robyn a parcel of of sale executed by A and X. After twelve (12) years, a
registered land evidenced by a duly executed deed of controversy arose between B and X on the issue of the
sale. The owner presented the deed of sale and the ownership of the Pangasinan parcel, B claims a vested
owner's certificate of title to the Register of Deeds. The right of ownership over the Pangasinan parcel
entry was made in the daybook and corresponding fees because B never sold that parcel to X or to anyone else.
were paid as evidenced by official receipt. However, no On the other hand, X claims a vested right of
transfer of certificate of title was issued to Renren ownership over the Pangasinan parcel by acquisitive
because the original certificate of title in Robyn's name prescription, because X possessed this parcel for
was temporarily misplaced after fire partly gutted the over ten (10] years under claim of ownership. Decide
Office of the Register of Deeds. Meanwhile, the land had on these claims, giving your reasons. (1992 BAR)
been possessed by Robyn's distant cousin, Mikaelo,
openly, adversely and continuously in the concept of A: At this point in time, X cannot claim the right of vested
owner since 1960. It was only in April 1998 that Renren ownership over the Pangasinan parcel by acquisitive
sued Mikaelo to recover possession. Mikaelo prescription. In addition to the requisites common to
invoked: ordinary and extraordinary acquisitive prescription
consisting of uninterrupted, peaceful, public, adverse and
a) acquisitive prescription actual possession in the concept of owner, ordinary
b) laches, asking that he be declared owner of the acquisitive prescription for ten (10) years requires (1)
land. possession in good faith and (2) just title. "Just title" means
that the adverse claimant came into possession of the
property through one of the modes recognized by law for
95
CIVIL LAW
the acquisition of ownership but the grantor was not the
owner or could not transmit any right (Art.1129). In this Q: Distinguish the Torrens system of land registration
case, there is no "just title" and no "mode" that can be from the system of recording of evidence of title. (1994
invoked by X for the acquisition of the Pangasinan parcel. BAR)
There was no constructive delivery of the Pangasinan
parcel because it was not the subject-matter of the deed of A:
sale. Hence, B retains ownership of the Pangasinan
parcel of land. 1. The TORRENS SYSTEM OF LAND REGISTRATION is a
system for the registration of title to the land. Thus,
ORIGINAL REGISTRATION (1992, 1994, 2003, 2013, under this system what is entered in the Registry of
2014 BAR) Deeds, is a record of the owner's estate or interest in
the land, unlike the system under the Spanish Mortgage
Q: Louie, before leaving the country to train as a chef in a Law or the system under Sec. 194 of the Revised
five-star hotel in New York, U.S.A., entrusted to his first- Administrative Code as amended by Act 3344 where
degree cousin Dewey an application for registration, only the evidence of such title is recorded. In the latter
under the Land Registration Act, of a parcel of land system, what is recorded is the deed of conveyance
located in Bacolod City. A year later, Louie returned to from hence the owner's title emanated—and not the
the Philippines and discovered that Dewey registered title itself.
the land and obtained an Original Certificate of Title 2. Torrens system of land registration is that which is
over the property in his Dewey’s name. Compounding prescribed in Act 496 (now PD 1529), which is either
the matter, Dewey sold the land to Huey, an innocent Judicial or quasi-judicial. System or recording of
purchaser for value. Louie promptly filed an action for evidence of title is merely the registration of evidence
reconveyance of the parcel of land against Huey. of acquisitions of land with the Register of Deeds, who
annotates the same on the existing title, cancels the old
1. Is the action pursued by Louie the proper remedy? one and issues a new title based on the document
2. Assuming that reconveyance is the proper remedy, presented for registration.
will the action prosper if the case was filed beyond
one year, but within ten years, from the entry of the Q: On March 27, 1980, Cornelio filed an application for
decree of registration? (2003 BAR) land registration involving a parcel of agricultural land
that he had bought from Isaac identified as Lot No. 2716
A: with an area of one (1) hectare. During the trial,
Cornelio claimed that he and his predecessors-in-
1. An action for reconveyance against Huey is not the interest had been in open, continuous, uninterrupted,
proper remedy, because Huey is an innocent purchaser public and adverse possession and occupation of the
for value. The proper recourse is for Louie to go land for more than thirty (30) years. He likewise
after Dewey for damages by reason of the fraudulent introduced in evidence a certification dated February
registration and subsequent sale of the land. If 12, 1981 citing a presidential declaration to the effect
Dewey is insolvent, Louie may file a claim against the that on June 14, 1980, agricultural lands of the public
Assurance Fund (Heirs of Pedro Lopez v. De Castro, G.R. domain, including the subject matter of the application,
No. 112905, February 3, 2000 citing Sps. Eduarte v. CA, were declared alienable and disposable agricultural
G.R. No. 105944, February 9, 1996). land.
2. Yes, the remedy will prosper because the action
prescribes in ten (10) years, not within one (1) year 1. If you are the judge, will you grant the application
when a petition for the reopening of the registration for land registration of Cornelio?
decree may be filed. The action for reconveyance is 2. Can Cornelio acquire said agricultural land through
distinct from the petition to reopen the decree of acquisitive prescription, whether ordinary or
registration (Grey Alba v. De la Cruz, G.R. No. 5246, extraordinary? (2014 BAR)
September 16, 1910). There is no need to reopen the
registration proceedings, but the property should just be A:
reconveyed to the real owner. The action for
reconveyance is based on implied or constructive 1. No, I will not grant the application. To be entitled to
trust, which prescribes in ten (10) years from the date registration of the parcel of land, the applicant must
of issuance of the original certificate of title. This rule show that the land being applied for is alienable land.
assumes that the defendant is in possession of the land. At the time of the filing of the application, the land has
Where it is the plaintiff who is in possession of the land, not yet been declared alienable by the state (Republic v.
the action for reconveyance would be in the nature of a CA, G.R. No. 144057, January 17, 2005).
suit for quieting for the title which action is 2. Cornelio can acquire the land by acquisitive
imprescriptible (David v. Malay, G.R. No. 132644, prescription only after it was declared part of alienable
November 19, 1999). land by the state by possession for the required number
of years for ordinary prescription, ten years possession
Q: What are the essential requisites or elements for in good faith with just title or extraordinary
the allowance of the reopening or review of a decree prescription by possession for thirty years without
of registration? (1992 BAR) need of any other condition (Art. 1134).

A: The essential elements are: (1) that the petitioner has a Q: Manuel was born on 12 March 1940 in a 1000-square
real or dominical right; (2) that he has been deprived meter property where he grew up helping his father,
thereof through fraud; (3) that the petition is filed within Michael, cultivate the land. Michael has lived on the
one (1) year from the issuance of the decree; and (4) that property since the land was opened for settlement at
the property has not yet been transferred to an innocent about the time of the Commonwealth government in
purchaser (Rublico vs. Orellana, G.R. No. L-26582, November 193 5, but for some reason never secured any title to
28, 1969; Libudan vs. Palma Gil, G.R. No. L-21163, May 17, the property other than a tax declaration in his name.
1972). He has held the property through the years in the

UST BAR OPERATIONS 96


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
concept of an owner and his stay was uncontested by within five years from the issuance of patent (Sec. 118,
others. He has also conscientiously and continuously CA No. 141, as amended).
paid the realty taxes on the land. Michael died in 2000
and Manuel - as Michael’s only son and heir -now wants 2. Manuel has the burden to overcome the presumption of
to secure and register title to the land in his own name. State ownership by “well-nigh incontrovertible”
He consults you for legal advice as he wants to perfect evidence (Ong v. Republic, G.R. No. 175746, March 12,
his title to the land and secure its registration in his 2008). Accordingly, he must show that the land is
name. already classified as A & D “at the time the application
for registration is filed" and that he has been in
1. What are the laws that you need to consider in “possession and occupation thereof" in the manner
advising Manuel on how he can perfect his title and required by law since June 12, 1945, or earlier.
register the land in his name? Explain the relevance
of these laws to your projected course of action. Manuel may tack his possession to that of his
2. What do you have to prove to secure Manuel's predecessor-in-interest (Michael) by the testimony of
objectives and what documentation is necessary? disinterested and knowledgeable eyewitnesses. Overt
(2013 BAR) acts of possession may consist in introducing valuable
improvements like fencing the land, constructing a
A: residential house thereon, cultivating the land and
planting fruit hearing trees, declaring the land for
1. I would advise Manuel to file an application for taxation purposes and paying realty taxes, all of which
registration under Sec. 14 of Pres. Decree No. 1529, or are corroborative proof of possession.
the Property Registration Decree (PRD), specifically
Sec. 14 (1)which requires (a) that the land applied for To identify the land, he must submit the tracing cloth
forms part of the alienable and disposable (A & D) plan or a duly-certified blueprint or whiteprint copy
portion of the public domain, and (b) that the applicant thereof (Director of Lands v. Reyes, G.R. No. L-27594,
has been in open, continuous and notorious possession November 28, 1975; Director of Lands v. CA and Iglesia
and occupation thereof under a bona fide claim of ni Cristo, GR No. L-56613, March 14, 1988).
ownership since June 12, 1945, or earlier. However, it
is only necessary that the land is already declared A & To show the classification of the land as A & D, the
D land “at the time the application for registration is application must be accompanied by (1) a CENRO or
filed" (Malabanan v. Republic, G.R. No. 180067, June 30, PENRO certification; and (2) a certified true copy of the
2009). original classification approved by the DENR Secretary
(Republic v. Bantigue, G.R. No. 162322, March 14, 2012).
Manuel could also invoke Sec. 14 (2) of the same A presidential or legislative act may also be considered.
Decree, which allows registration through ordinary
acquisitive prescription for thirty years, provided, SUBSEQUENT REGISTRATION (2015 BAR)
however, that the land is “patrimonial” in character, i.e.,
already declared by the government (a) as A & D land, Q: Mr. and Mrs. Roman and Mr. and Mrs. Cruz filed an
and (b) no longer needed for public use or public application for registration of a parcel of land which
service (Id). after due proceedings was granted by the RTC acting
registration as land court. However, before the decree
Manuel could also file an application for “confirmation of registration could be issued, the spouses Roman and
of imperfect or incomplete title" through "judicial the spouses Cruz sold the lot to Juan. In the notarized
legalization under Sec. 48 (b) of CA No. 141 or the deed of sale, the sellers expressly undertook to submit
Public Land Act (PLA). But, as held in Malabanan, there the deed of sale to the land registration court so that the
is no substantial difference between this provision and title to the property would be directly issued in Juan's
Sec. 14 (1), PRD. Both refer to agricultural lands already name.
classified us alienable and disposable at the time the
application is filed, and require possession and 1. Is such a stipulation valid?
occupation since June 12, 1945. The only difference is 2. Distinguish a direct attack from a collateral attack
that under the PRD, there already exists a title which is on a title.
to he confirmed, whereas under the PLA, the 3. If the title in Item XX.A is issued in the names of the
presumption is that land is still public land (Republic v. original sellers, would a motion filed by Juan in the
Aquino, G.R. No. L-33983, January 27, 1983). same case to correct or amend the title in order to
reflect his name as owner considered be collateral
Manuel may also invoke “vested rights" acquired under attack? (2015 BAR)
R.A. No. 1942 dated June 2, 1957, which amended Sec.
48 (b), PLA by providing for a prescriptive period of A:
thirty years or judicial confirmation of imperfect title. It
must only be demonstrated that possession and 1. Yes, because when one who is not the owner of the
occupation commenced on January 24, 1947 and the property sells or alienates it and later the seller or
30-year period was completed prior to the effectivity of grantor acquires title, such title passes by operation of
PD No. 1073 on January 25, 1977. PD No. 1073 now law to the buyer or grantee (Art. 1434).
requires possession and occupation since June 12, 1945 2. A direct attack on a title is one where the action filed is
(Republic v. Espinosa, G.R. No. 171514, July 18, 2012). precisely for the purpose of pointing out the defects in
the title with a prayer that it be declared void. A
Another alternative is for Manuel to secure title collateral attack is one where the action is not
through administrative proceedings under the instituted for the purpose of attacking the title but the
homestead or free patent provisions of the PLA. The nullity of the title is raised as a defense in a different
title issued has the same efficacy and validity as a title action.
issued through judicial proceedings, but with the
limitation that the land cannot be sold or disposed of
97
CIVIL LAW
3. No, because Juan is not attacking the title but merely
invoking his right as transferee. Hence, it does not Q: A collision occurred at an intersection involving a
involve a collateral attack on the title. bicycle and a taxicab. Both the bicycle rider (a
businessman then doing his morning exercise) and the
NON-REGISTRABLE PROPERTIES (2007 BAR) taxi driver claimed that the other was at fault. Based on
the police report, the bicycle crossed the intersection
Q: Bedrock Land & Property Development Corp. is a first but the taxicab, crossing at a fast clip from the
development company engaged in developing and bicycle's left, could not brake in time and hit the
selling subdivisions, condominium units and industrial bicycle's rear wheel, toppling it and throwing the
estates. In order to replenish its inventories, it bicycle rider into the sidewalk 5 meters away.
embarked on an aggressive land banking program. It
employed "scouts" who roam all over the Philippines to The bicycle rider suffered a fractured right knee,
look for and conduct investigations on prospective sites sustained when he fell on his right side on the concrete
for acquisition and development, whether developed, side walk. He was hospitalized and was subsequently
semi-developed or raw land. The management of operated on, rendering him immobile for 3 weeks and
Bedrock asks you as the company counsel to prepare a requiring physical rehabilitation for another 3 months.
manual containing a summary of the pertinent laws and In his complaint for damages, the rider prayed for the
regulations relating to land registration and award of P1, 000, 000 actual damages, P200, 000 moral
acquisition of title to land. The manual should include damages, P200, 000 exemplary damages, P100, 000
the following items: nominal damages and P50, 000 attorney's fees.

1. What is the governing law? Assuming the police report to be correct and as the
2. What properties are not registrable? (2007 BAR) lawyer for the bicycle rider, what evidence
(documentary and testimonial) and legal arguments
A: will you present in court to justify the damages that
your client claims? (1994, 2002, 2013 BAR)
1. The governing law is the Land Registration Act as
amended by Property Registration Decree (Act 496 as A: I will base the claim of my client on quasi-delict under
amended by PD 1529). Art. 2176.
2. The following properties are not registrable:
a. Properties of the Public Dominion; The requisites for a claim under quasi-delict to prosper are
b. Properties for publis use or public service; as follows:
c. Inalienable lands of the public domain;
d. Military installations, civil and quasi public lands; 1. Act or omission, there being fault or negligence;
and 2. Damage or injury; and
e. All lands not classified as alienable and disposable. 3. Causal connection between the damage and the act or
omission.
DEALINGS WITH UNREGISTERED LANDS (2000 BAR)
The case clearly involves a quasi-delict where my client, the
Q: Republic Act 1899 authorizes municipalities and bicycle rider, suffered injury as a result of the negligence of
chartered cities to reclaim foreshore lands bordering the over-speeding taxi driver, without fault on my client’s
them and to construct thereon adequate docking and part.
harbor facilities. Pursuant thereto, the City of Cavite
entered into an agreement with the Fil-Estate Realty To prove actual damages, aside from the testimony of my
Company, authorizing the latter to reclaim 300 hectares client, I will present his hospital and medical bills. Receipts
of land from the sea bordering the city, with 30% of the of the fees paid on the rehabilitation will also be presented.
land to be reclaimed to be owned by Fil-Estate as Furthermore, I will present income tax returns, contracts
compensation for its services. The Solicitor General and other documents to prove unrealized profits as a result
questioned the validity of the agreement on the ground of this temporary injury.I will also call the attending
that it will mean reclaiming land under the sea which is physician to testify as to the extent of the injuries suffered
beyond the commerce of man. The City replies that this is by my client, and to corroborate the contents of the medical
authorized by RA. 1899 because it authorizes the documents.
construction of docks and harbors. Who is correct? (2000
BAR) Based on Art. 2202, in quasi-delicts, the defendant shall be
liable for all damages which are the natural and probable
A: The Solicitor General is correct. The authority of the City of consequences of the act or omission complained of. It is not
Cavite under RA 1899 to reclaim land is limited to foreshore necessary that such damages have been foreseen or could
lands. The Act did not authorize it to reclaim land from the sea. have been foreseen by the defendant.
"The reclamation being unauthorized, the City of Cavite did
not acquire ownership over the reclaimed land. Not being the Unlike actual damages, no proof of pecuniary loss is
owner, it could not have conveyed any portion thereof to the necessary in order that moral, nominal, temperate,
contractor. liquidated or exemplary damages may be adjudicated. The
assessment is left to the discretion of the Court (Art. 2216).
There must still be proof of pecuniary estimation, however.
PART XIII – TORTS AND DAMAGES
Moral damages can be recovered by my client under Arts.
2219 and 2200. Moral damages may be recovered in case of
Book I – Torts/Quasi-Delicts a quasi-delict causing physical injuries. Additionally, it must
Articles 2176 – 2194 (Civil Code) be proved that such damages were the proximate result of
the act complained of. Medical certificates will be
DEFINITION, ELEMENTS (1994, 2002, 2010, 2012, 2013 presented, along with the testimony from my client and
BAR)

UST BAR OPERATIONS 98


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
other eyewitness accounts, in order to support the award NOTE: The term quasi-tort is not part of legal developments
for moral damages. in civil law. In Philippine legal tradition, quasi-delict has
been treated as the closest civil law equivalent of the
Exemplary damages may be granted if the defendant acted common law tort. In fact, in a number of Supreme Court
in wanton, fraudulent, reckless, oppressive, or malevolent decisions, the two terms have been considered
manner. While the amount of exemplary damages need not synonymous. In reality, however, the common law tort is
be proved, the plaintiff must show that he is entitled to much broader in scope than the civil law quasi-delict. In
moral or compensatory damages. In support of this, I will recent developments in common law, the concept of “quasi-
present the police report showing the circumstances under torts” can be considered as the closest common law
which the accident took place, taking into account the equivalent of the civil law concept of quasi-delict. This is
actions of the parties. I will ask the officials who responded because it is argued that the growing recognition of quasi-
to the accident to testify as to the conduct of the parties at torts as a source of obligation is hinged on the acceptance at
the time of the accident in order to determine whether common law of the civil law principles of quasi-delict.
defendant was guilty of gross negligence.
CLASSIFICATION OF TORTS (2002, 2004, 2006, 2012
Finally, attorney’s fees may be recovered when exemplary BAR)
damages are awarded (Art. 2208).
Q: A van owned by Orlando and driven by Diego, while
Q: Roberto was in Nikko Hotel when he bumped into a negotiating a downhill slope of a city road, suddenly
friend who was then on her way to a wedding reception gained speed, obviously beyond the authorized limit
being held in said hotel. Roberto alleged that he was in the area, and bumped a car in front of it, causing
then invited by his friend to join her at the wedding severe damage to the care and serious injuries to its
reception and carried the basket full of fruits which she passengers. Orlando was not in the car at the time of the
was bringing to the affair. At the reception, the wedding incident. The car owner and the injured passengers sued
coordinator of the hotel noticed him and asked him, Orlando and Diego for damages caused by Diego’s
allegedly in a loud voice, to leave as he was not in the negligence. In their defense, Diego claims that the
guest list. He retorted that he had been invited to the downhill slope caused the van to gain speed and that,
affair by his friend, who however denied doing so. as he stepped on the brakes to check the acceleration,
Deeply embarrassed by the incident, Roberto then sued the brakes locked, causing the van to go even faster
the hotel for damages under Articles 19 and 21 of the and eventually to hit the car in front of it. Orlando and
Civil Code. Will Roberto’s action prosper? Explain. Diego contend that the sudden malfunction of the
(2012 BAR) van’s brake system is a fortuitous even and that,
therefore, they are exempt from any liability. Is this
A: It depends. While the hotel has the right to exclude an contention tenable? Explain. (2002 BAR)
uninvited guest from the wedding reception, that does not A: No. Mechanical defects of a motor vehicle do not constitute
give the hotel the license to humiliate Roberto. If the fortuitous event, since the presence of such defects would
wedding coordinator of the hotel acted wrongfully e.g. with have been readily detected by diligent maintenance check.
abuse of right, unfairly, or in a manner that exposed Roberto The failure to maintain the vehicle in safe running condition
to unnecessary ridicule or shame, his action will proper. constitutes negligence.
Otherwise, Roberto’s action will prosper. The hotel is liable
for the wrongful acts of its employees. Q: Liwayway Vinzons-Chato was then the
Commissioner of Internal Revenue while Fortune
Q: Define quasi tort. Who are the persons liable under Tobacco Corporation is an entity engaged in the
quasi torts and what are the defenses available to manufacture of different brands of cigarettes, among
them? (2010 BAR) which are "Champion," "Hope," and "More" cigarettes.

A: Quasi-tort is considered as the equivalent of quasi-delict. Fortune filed a complaint against Vinzons-Chato to
Hence the rules of the latter pertaining to persons who can recover damages for the alleged violation of its
be held liable and their defenses would also apply. constitutional rights arising from Vinzons-Chato’s
issuance of Revenue Memorandum Circular No. 37-934
Those liable for quasi-delict include: (which re-classified Fortune cigarettes as locally
manufactured with foreign brands and thereby imposed
1. Those tortfeasor or the person causing damage to higher taxes), which the Supreme Court later declared
another through fault or negligence (Art. 2176); and invalid.
2. Persons vicariously liable under Art. 2180.
Vinzons-Chato filed a Motion to dismiss arguing that
The defenses available include: she cannot be held liable for damages for acts she
a. That the defendant was not negligent or that he performed while in the discharge of her duties as BIR
exercised due diligence (Art. 2176); Commissioner. Is she correct? Explain (2012 BAR)
b. That although the defendant is negligent his negligence
is not the proximate cause of the injury (Art. 2179); A: Yes. As a general rule, a public officer is not liable for acts
c. That the plaintiff's own negligence was the immediate performed in the discharge of his duties. The exceptions are
and proximate cause of his injury (Art. 2179); when he acted with malice, bad faith, or gross negligence in
d. That the person vicariously liable has observed all the the performance of his duty, or when his act is in violation
diligence of a good father of a family to prevent damage of the constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties of a
(Art. 2180); and person under Art. 32.
e. That the cause of action has prescribed after the lapse s
(Art. 2179). The public officer is not automatically considered to have
f. The fact that the plaintiff had committed contributory violated the rights or liberties of a person simply because
negligence is a partial defense (Art. 2179). the rule the public officer issued was declared invalid by the
g. Court. The complainant must still allege and prove the
particular injury or prejudice he has suffered from the
99
CIVIL LAW
violation of his constitutional right by the issuance of the THE TORTFEASOR (1991, 1992, 1996, 1997, 1998,
invalidated rule. 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2010, 2014, 2015
BAR)
The problem does not state any fact from which any malice,
bad faith or gross negligence on the part of Vinzons-Chato Q: Silvestre leased a car from Avis-Rent-A-Car Co. at the
may be inferred, or the particular injury or prejudice the Mactan International Airport. No sooner had he driven
complainant may have suffered as a result of the violation the car outside the airport when, due to his negligence,
of his constitutional rights. Hence, she cannot be held liable. he bumped an FX taxi owned and driven by Victor,
The facts presented are similar to the facts of the case of causing damage to the latter in the amount of P100,
Vinzons-Chato v. Fortune, (G.R. No. 141309, December 23, 000.00. Victor filed an action for damages against both
2008). Silvestre and Avis, based on quasi-delict. Avis filed a
motion to dismiss the complaint against it on the
Q: Tony bought a Ford Expedition from a car dealer in ground of failure to state a cause of action. Resolve the
Muntinlupa City. As payment, Tony issued a check motion. (2000 BAR)
drawn against his current account with Premium
Bank. Since he has a good reputation, the car dealer A: The motion to dismiss should be granted, AVIS is not the
allowed him to immediately drive home the vehicle employer of Silvestre; hence, there is no right of action
merely on his assurance that his check is sufficiently against AVIS under Art. 2180. Not being the employer, AVIS
funded. When the car dealer deposited the check, it has no duty to supervise Silvestre. Neither has AVIS the duty
was dishonored on the ground of "Account Closed." to observe due diligence in the selection of its customers.
After an investigation, it was found that an employee of Besides, it was given in the problem that the cause of the
the bank misplaced Tony's account ledger. Thus, the accident was the negligence of Silvestre.
bank erroneously assumed that his account no longer
exists. Later it turned out that Tony's account has Q: Mabuhay Elementary School organized a field trip
more than sufficient funds to cover the check. The for its Grade VI students in Fort Santiago, Manila Zoo,
dealer however, immediately filed an action for and Star City. To be able to join, the parents of the
recovery of possession of the vehicle against Tony for students had to sign a piece of paper that reads as
which he was terribly humiliated and embarrassed. follows:
Does Tony have a cause of action against Premium
Bank? Explain. (2006 BAR) "I allow my child (name of student), Grade – Section, to
join the school’s field trip on February 14, 2014.
A: Yes, Tony may file an action against Premium Bank I will not file any claim against the school,
for damages under Art. 2176. Even if there exists a administrator or teacher in case something happens to
contractual relationship between Tony and Premium my child during the trip."
Bank, an action for quasi-delict may nonetheless prosper.
The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that the act Joey, a 7-year-old student of Mabuhay Elementary
that breaks the contract may also be a tort. There is a School was bitten by a snake while the group was
fiduciary relationship between the bank and the depositor, touring Manila Zoo. The parents of Joey sued the school
imposing utmost diligence in managing the accounts of the for damages. The school, as a defense, presented the
depositor. The dishonor of the check adversely affected the waiver signed by Joey’s parents.
credit standing of Tony, hence, he is entitled to damages
(Singson v. BPI, G.R.No.L-24932, June 27, 1968; American Was there a valid waiver of right to sue the school?
Express International, Inc. v. IAC, G.R. No. 72383, November 9, Why? (2014 BAR)
1988; Consolidated Bank and Trust v. CA, G.R. No. L-70766
November 9, 1998). A: No, there was no valid waiver of the right to sue the
school. A waiver to be valid must have three requisites: 1)
Q: OJ was employed as professional driver of MM Transit existence of the right; 2) legal capacity of the person
bus owned by Mr. BT. In the course of his work, OJ waiving the right and 3) the waiver must not be contrary to
hit a pedestrian who was seriously injured and later law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy or
died in the hospital as a result of the accident. The prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law.
victim’s heirs sued the driver and the owner of the bus In the case presented, the waiver may be considered
for damages. Is there a presumption in this case that Mr. contrary to public policy as it exonerates the school from
BT, the owner, had been negligent? If so, is the liability for future negligence. The waiver in effect allows
presumption absolute or not? Explain. (2004 BAR) the school to not exercise even ordinary diligence.

A: Yes, there is a presumption of negligence on the part of Q: Arturo sold his Pajero to Benjamin for P1 Million.
the employer. However, such presumption is rebuttable. Benjamin took the vehicle but did not register the sale
The liability of the employer shall cease when they prove with the Land Transportation Office. He allowed his
that they observed the diligence of a good father of a family son Carlos, a minor who did not have a driver's license,
to prevent damage (Art. 2180). When the employee causes to drive the car to buy pan de sal in a bakery. On the
damage due to his own negligence while performing his way, Carlos driving in a reckless manner, sideswiped
own duties, there arises the juris tantum presumption that Dennis, then riding a bicycle. As a result, he suffered
the employer is negligent, rebuttable only by proof of serious physical injuries. Dennis filed a criminal
observance of the diligence of a good father of a family complaint against Carlos for reckless imprudence
(Metro Manila Transit v. CA, G.R. No. 104408, June 21, resulting in serious physical injuries.
1993; Delsan Transport Lines v. C&A Construction, G.R. No.
156034, October 1, 2003). Likewise, if the driver is charged 1. Can Dennis file an independent civil action against
and convicted in a criminal case for criminal negligence, BT Carlos and his father Benjamin for damages based
is subsidiarily liable for the damages arising from the on quasi-delict? Explain.
criminal act. 2. Assuming Dennis' action is tenable, can Benjamin
raise the defense that he is not liable because the

UST BAR OPERATIONS 100


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
vehicle is not registered in his name? Explain. (2006
BAR) Q: A driver of a bus owned by company Z ran over a boy
who died instantly. A criminal case for reckless
A: imprudence resulting in homicide was filed against the
driver. He was convicted and was ordered to pay P2
1. Yes, Dennis can file an independent civil action against Million in actual and moral damages to the parents of
Carlos and his father for damages based on quasi-delict the boy who was an honor student and had a bright
there being an act or omission causing damage to future. Without even trying to find out if the driver had
another without contractual obligation. Under Sec. 1 of assets or means to pay the award of damages, the
Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure, what parents of the boy filed a civil action against the bus
is deemed instituted with the criminal action is only the company to make it directly liable for the damages.
action to recover civil liability arising from the act or
omission punished by law. An action based on quasi- 1. Will their action prosper?
delict is no longer deemed instituted and may be filed 2. If the parents of the boy do not wish to file a separate
separately (Sec. 3, Rule 111, Rules of Criminal civil action against the bus company, can they still
Procedure). make the bus company liable if the driver cannot'
2. No, Benjamin cannot raise the defense that the vehicle pay the award for damages? If so, what is the nature
is not registered in his name. His liability, vicarious in of the employer's liability and how may civil
character, is based on Art. 2180 because he is the damages be satisfied? (2015 BAR)
father of a minor who caused damage due to negligence.
While the suit will prosper against the registered A:
owner, it is the actual owner of the private vehicle who is
ultimately liable (See Duavit v. CA, G.R. No. L-29759, May 1. Yes, the action will prosper. The liability of the
18, 1989). The purpose of car registration is to reduce employer in this case may be based on quasi-delict and
difficulty in identifying the party liable in case of is included within the coverage of independent civil
accidents (Villanueva v. Domingo, G.R.No.144274, action. It is not necessary to enforce the civil liability
September14, 2004) based on culpa aquiliana that the driver or employee be
proven to be insolvent since the liability of the employer
Q: As a result of a collision between the taxicab owned for the quasi- delicts committed by their employees is
by A and another taxicab owned by B, X, a passenger of direct and primary subject to the defense of due
the first taxicab, was seriously injured. X later filed a diligence on their part (Art. 2176; Art. 2180).
criminal action against both drivers. 2. Yes, the parents of the boy can enforce the subsidiary
liability of the employer in thecriminal case against the
1. May both taxicab owners raise the defense of due driver. The conviction of the driver is a condition sine
diligence in the selection and supervision of their qua non for the subsidiary liability of the employer to
drivers to be absolved from liability for damages to attach. Proof must be shown that the driver is insolvent
X? Reason. (Art. 103, RPC).
2. Is it necessary for X to reserve his right to institute a
civil action for damages against both taxicab owners Q: A Gallant driven by John and owned by Art, and a
before he can file a civil action for damages against Corolla driven by its owner, Gina, collided somewhere
them? Why? (1992, 1997, 2003 BAR) along Adriatico Street. As a result of the accident, Gina
had a concussion. Subsequently, Gina brought an action
A: for damages against John and Art. There is no doubt
that the collision is due to John's negligence. Can Art,
1. It depends. If the civil action is based on a quasi-delict who was in the vehicle at the time of the accident, be
the taxicab owners may raise the defense of diligence of held solidarily liable with his driver, John? (1996, 1998,
a good father of a family in the selection and 2002 BAR)
supervision of the driver; if the action against is
based on culpa contractual or civil liability arising from A: Yes. Art may be held solidary liable with John, if it was
a crime, they cannot raise the defense. proven that the former could have prevented the
2. It depends. If the separate civil action is to recover misfortune with the use of due diligence. In motor mishaps,
damages arising from the criminal act, reservation is the owner is solidary liable with his driver, if the former,
necessary. If the civil action against the taxicab owners is who was in the vehicle, could have, by the use of due
based on culpa contractual, or on quasi-delict, there is no diligence, prevented the misfortune (Art. 2184).
need for reservation.
Q: Romano was bumped by a minivan owned by the
Q: Primo owns a pet iguana which he keeps in a man- Solomon School of Practical Arts (SSPA). The minivan
made pond enclosed by a fence situated in his residential was driven by Peter, a student assistant whose
lot. A typhoon knocked down the fence of the pond and assignment was to clean the school passageways daily
the iguana crawled out of the gate of Primo’s residence. N, one hour before and one hour after regular classes, in
a neighbor who was passing by, started throwing stones exchange for free tuition. Peter was able to drive the
at the iguana, drawing the iguana to move toward him. N school vehicle after persuading the regular driver, Paul,
panicked and ran but tripped on something and suffered to turn over the wheel to him (Peter). Romano suffered
a broken leg. Is anyone liable for N’s injuries? Explain. serious physical injuries. The accident happened at
(2010 BAR) night when only one headlight of the vehicle was
functioning and Peter only had a student driver's permit.
A: No one is liable. The possessor of an animal or whoever As a consequence, Peter was convicted in the criminal
may make use of the same is responsible for the damage it case. Thereafter, Romano sued for damages against
may cause, although it may escape or be lost. This Peter and SSPA.
responsibility shall cease only in case the damage should
come from force majeure or from the fault of the person who 1. Will the action for damages against Peter and
has suffered damage (Art. 2183). SSPA prosper?
101
CIVIL LAW
2. Will your answer be the same if, Paul, the regular foodstuffs for her employer's family, slaps the fish
driver, was impleaded as party defendant for vendor, causing her to fall and sustain injuries.
allowing Peter to drive the minivan without a Explain.
regular driver's license? 3. A carpenter in a construction company accidentally
3. Is the exercise of due diligence in the selection hits the right foot of his co-worker with a hammer.
and supervision of Peter and Paul a material Explain.
issue to be resolved in this case? (1991 BAR) 4. A 15-year old high school student stabs his
classmate who is his rival for a girl while they were
A: going out of the classroom after their last class.
Explain.
1. Yes. It will prosper (Art. 2180) because at the time he 5. What defense, if any, is available to them? 2005
drove the vehicle, he was not performing his assigned BAR)
tasks as provided for by Art. 2180. With respect to SSPA,
it is not liable for the acts of Peter because the latter A:
was not an employee as held by Supreme Court in 1. The parents of the 7-year old boy who caused injury to
Filamer Christian Institute v. CA, (G.R. No. 75112, his playmate are liable under Art. 219, FC, in relation to
August 17, 1991) Peter belongs to a special category of Art. 2180 of the Civil Code since they exercise parental
students who render service to the school in authority over the person of the boy. (Tamargo v. Court
exchange for free tuition fees. of Appeals, G.R. No. 85044, June 3, 1992; Elcano v. Hill,
2. I would maintain the same answer because the incident G.R. No. L-24803, May 26, 1977)
did not occur while the employee was in the 2. Employer of the domestic helper who slapped a fish
performance of his duty as such employee. The vendor. Under Art. 2180, par. 5, "employers shall be
incident occurred at night time, and in any case, there liable for the damages caused by their employees and
was no indication in the problem that he was household helpers acting within the scope of their
performing his duties as a driver. assigned tasks, even though the former are not engaged
3. In the case of Peter, if he were to be considered as in any business or industry."
employee, the exercise of due diligence in the selection 3. The owner of the construction company. Art. 2180, par.
and supervision of peter would not be a material issue 4 states that "the owners and managers of an
since the conviction of Peter would result in a establishment or enterprise are likewise responsible
subsidiary liability where the defense would not be for damages caused by their employees in the service of
available by the employer. the branches in which the latter are employed or on the
occasion of their functions."
In the case of Paul, since the basis of subsidiary 4. The school, teacher and administrator as they exercise
liability is the pater familias rule under Art. 2180, the special parental authority. (Art. 2180, par. 7 of the Civil
defense of selection and supervision of the employee Code in relation to Art. 218 and Art. 219,FC)
would be a valid defense. 5. The defense that might be available to them is the
observance of a good father of the family to prevent the
Q: After working overtime up to midnight, Alberto, an damage. (Last par., Art. 2180)
executive of an insurance company drove a company
vehicle to a favorite Videoke bar where he had some Q: On May 5, 1989, 16-year old Rozanno, who was
drinks and sang some songs with friends to "unwind". issued a student permit, drove to school a car, a gift
At 2:00 a.m., he drove home, but in doing so, he bumped from his parents. On even date, as his class was
a tricycle, resulting in the death of its driver. May the scheduled to go on a field trip, his teacher requested
insurance company be held liable for the negligent him to accommodate in his car, as he did, four (4) of his
act of Alberto? Why? (2001 BAR) classmates because the van rented by the school was
too crowded. On the way to a museum which the
A: The insurance company is not liable because when the students were scheduled to visit, Rozanno made a
accident occurred, Alberto was not acting within the wrong maneuver, causing a collision with a jeepney.
assigned tasks of his employment. It is true that under Art. One of his classmates died. He and the three (3) others
2180 (par. 5), employers are liable for damages caused by were badly injured.
their employees who were acting within the scope of their
assigned tasks. However, the mere fact that Alberto was 1. Who is liable for the death of Rozanno’s classmate
using a service vehicle of the employer at the time of the and the injuries suffered by Rozanno and his 3
injurious accident does not necessarily mean that he was other classmates? Explain.
operating the vehicle within the scope of his employment. 2. How about the damage to the jeepney? Explain.
In Castilex Industrial Corp. v. Vasquez Jr (G.R. No. 132266, 3. Under the same facts, except the date of occurrence
December 21, 1999). The Supreme Court held that of the incident, this time in mid-1994, what would
notwithstanding the fact hat the employee did some be your answer? Explain. (2010 BAR)
overtime work for the company, the former was,
nevertheless, engaged in his own affairs or carrying out a A:
personal purpose when he went to a restaurant at 2:00 a.m.
after coming out from work. The time of the accident (also 1. At the time the incident occurred in May 1989, Rozanno
2:00 a. m.) was outside normal working hours. was still a minor. Being a minor, Art. 218, (FC) applies.
Pursuant to Art. 218, the school, its administrators and
Q: Under the law on quasi-delict, aside from the persons teachers shall be liable for the acts of minor Rozanno
who caused injury to persons, who else are liable under because of the special parental authority and
the following circumstances: responsibility that they exercise over him. The
authority applies to all authorized activities, whether
1. When a 7-year old boy injures his playmate while inside or outside the premises of the school, entity or
playing with his father's rifle. Explain. institution. The field trip on which occasion Rozanno
2. When a domestic helper, while haggling for a lower drove the car, was an authorized activity, and, thus,
price with a fish vendor in the course of buying covered by the provision. Furthermore, the parents of

UST BAR OPERATIONS 102


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
Rozanno are subsidiarily liable pursuant to Art. 219 of corporate negligence for its failure to perform its duties
(FC), and principally liable under Art. 221 (FC), if they as a hospital.
are negligent.
2. With respect to the damages caused to the jeepney, only While it is true that there was insufficient evidence that St.
Rozanno should be held liable because his negligence Vincent’s Hospital exercised the power of control or
or tortuous act was the sole, proximate and immediate wielded such power over the means and the details of the
cause thereof. specific process by which Dr. Jack applied his skills in
3. Since Rozanno was 16 years old in 1989, if the incident Maria’s treatment, there is ample evidence that St. Vincent’s
happened sometime in the middle of 1994, Rozanno Hospita held out to the patient, Marta, that Dr. Jack was its
have been 21 years old at the time. Hence, he was agent (principle of ostensible agency). The two factor that
already of legal age. The law reducing the age of determine apparent authority are present: (1) the hospital’s
majority to 18 years took effect in December 1989. implied manifestation to the patient which led the latter to
conclude that the doctor was the hospital’s agent; and (2)
Being of legal age, Arts. 218, 219, and 221(FC), are no the patient’s reliance upon the conduct of the hospital and
longer applicable. In such case, only Rozanno will be the doctor, consisted with ordinary care and prudence.
personally responsible for all the consequences of his
act unless his school or his parents were themselves The corporate negligence ascribed to St. Vincent’s Hospital
also negligent and such negligence contributed to the is different from the medical negligence attributed to Dr.
happening of the incident. In that event, the school or Jack. The duties of the hospital are distinct from those of the
his parents are not liable under Art. 218, 218 or 221 doctor-consultant practicing within its premises in relation
(FC), but will be liable under general provision on the to the patient; hence, the failure of St. Vincent’s Hospital to
Civil Code on quasi-delict. fulfill its duties as a hospital corporation gave rise to a direct
liability to Marta distinct from that of Dr. Jack.
THE CONCEPTS AND DOCTRINES OF RES IPSA
LOQUITUR, LAST CLEAR CHANCE, PROXIMATE CAUSE, Q: Explain the following concepts and doctrines and
DAMNUM ABSQUE INJURIA, PRESUMPTION OF give an example of each: concept of trust de son
NEGLIGENCE, VICARIOUS LIABILITY (1990, 2002, tort (constructive trust) and doctrine of discovered
2007, 2016 BAR) peril (last clear chance) (2007 BAR).

Q: Dr. Jack, a surgeon, holds clinic at the St. Vincent's A: A CONSTRUCTIVE TRUST is a trust not created by any
Hospital and pays rent to the hospital. The fees of Dr. word or phrase, either expressly or impliedly, evincing a
Jack are paid directly to him by the patient or through direct intention to creaet a trust, but is one that arises in
the cashier of the hospital. The hospital publicly order to satisfy the demands of justice. It does not come
displays in the lobby the names and specializations of about by agreement or intention but mainly operation of
the doctors associated or accredited by it, including law and construed as a trust against one who, by fraus,
that of Dr. Jack. Marta engaged the services of Dr. Jack duress or abuse of confidence, obtains or holds the legal
because of recurring stomach pain. It was diagnosed right to property which he ought not, in equity and good
that she is suffering from cancer and had to be operated conscience to hold (Heirs of Lorenzo Yap v. CA, G.R. No.
on. Before the operation, she was asked to sign a 133047, August 17, 1990). The following are examples of
"consent for hospital care," which reads: constructive trust:

"Permission is hereby given to the medical, nursing 1. Art. 1455 which provides: “If property is acquired
and laboratory staff of the St. Vincent's Hospital to through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is, by
perform such procedures and to administer such force of law considered a trustee of an implied trust for
medications and treatments as may be deemed the benefit of the person for whom the property comes.
necessary or advisable by the physicians of this 2. Art. 1451 which provides: “When land passes by
hospital for and during the confinement." succession through any person and he causes the legal
title to be put in the name of another, a trust is
After the surgery, the attending nurses reported that established by implication of law for the benefit of the
two (2) sponges were missing. Later, Marta died due to true owner.”
complications brought about by the sponges that were 3. Art. 1454 which provides: “If an absolute conveyance of
left in her stomach. The husband of Marta sued the property is made in order to secure the perfomance of
hospital and Dr. Jack for damages arising from an obligation of the grantor toward the grantee, a trust
negligence in the medical procedure. The hospital by virtue of law is established. If the fulfillment of the
raised the defense that Dr. Jack is not its employee as it obligation is offered by the grantee when it becomes
did not hire Dr. Jack nor pay him any salary or due, he may demand the reconveyance of the property
compensation. It has absolutely no control over the to him.”
medical services and treatment being provided by Dr. 4. Art. 1455 which provides: “When any trustee, guardian
Jack. Dr. Jack even signed an agreement that he holds or any person holding a fiduciary relationship uses
the hospital free and harmless from any liability arising trust funds for the purchase of property and causes
from his medical practice in the hospital. conveyance to be made to him or to third person, a trust
us established by operation of law in favor of the person
Is St. Vincent's Hospital liable for the negligence of Dr. to whom the funds belong.”
Jack? Explain your answer. (2016 BAR)
The DOCTRINE OF LAST CLEAR CHANCE states that where
A: Yes, St. Vincent’s Hospital is liable. In the case of the plaintiff was guilty of prior or antecedent negligence,
Professional Services v. Agana (513 SCRA 478 [2007]), the but the defendant, who had the ultimate opportunity to
Supreme Court held that the hospital is liable to the Aganas, avoid the impending harm failed to do so, it is the defendant
not under the principle of respondent superior for lack of who is liable for all the consequences of the accident
evidence of an employer-employee relationship with Dr. notwithstanding the prior negligence of the plaintiff. An
Ampil but under the principle of ostensible agency for the example is where a person was riding a pony on a bridge
negligence of Dr. Ampil an, pro hac vice, under the principle and improperly pulled the pony to the wrong side when he
103
CIVIL LAW
saw a car coming. The driver of the car did not stop or A: FX Airlines committed breach of contract when it
change direction, and nearly hit the horse, and, the upgraded DT and MT, over their objections, to First Class
frightened animal jumped to its death. The driver of the car because they had contracted for Business Class passage.
is guilty of negligence because he had a fair opportunity to However, although there is a breach of contract, DT and MT
avoid the accident and failed to avail himself of that are entitled to actual damages only for such pecuniary losses
opportunity. He is liable under the doctrine of last clear suffered by them as a result of such breach. There seems to
chance (Picart v. Smith, G.R. No. L-12219, March 15, 1918). be no showing that they incurred such pecuniary loss. There
is no showing that the pain in DT's arm and wrist resulted
Q: Mr and Mrs R own a burned-out building, the directly from the carrier's acts complained of. Hence, they
firewall of which collapsed and destroyed the shop are not entitled to actual damages. Moreover, DT could have
occupied by the family of Mr and Mrs S, which resulted avoided the alleged injury by requesting the airline staff to
in injuries to said couple and the death of their do the luggage transfer as a matter of duty on their part.
daughter. Mr and Mrs S had been warned by Mr & Mrs There is also no basis to award moral damages for such
R to vacate the shop in view of its proximity to the breach of contract because the facts of the problem do not
weakened wall but the former failed to do so. Mr. & show bad faith or fraud on the part of the airline. (Cathay
Mrs. S filed against Mr and Mrs R an action for Pacific v. Vazquez, G.R. No. 150843, March 14, 2003).
recovery of damages the former suffered as a result of However, theymay recover moral damages if the cause of
the collapse of the firewall. In defense, Mr and Mrs R action is based on Art. 21 for the humiliation and
rely on the doctrine of last clear chance alleging that Mr embarrassment they felt when the stewardess threatened to
and Mrs S had the last clear chance to avoid the offload them if they did not avail of the upgrade.
accident if only they heeded the former’s warning to
vacate the shop, and therefore Mr and Mrs R’s prior Q: Dr. and Mrs. Almeda are prominent citizens of the
negligence should be disregarded. If you were the judge, country and are frequent travellers abroad. In 1996,
how would you decide the case? State your reasons. they booked round-trip business class tickets for the
(1990 BAR) Manila-Hong Kong-Manila route of the Pinoy Airlines,
where they are holders of Gold Mabalos Class Frequent
A: I would decide in favor of Mr. & Mrs. S. The proprietor of Flier cards. On their return flight, Pinoy Airlines
a building or structure is responsible for the damages upgraded their tickets to first class without their
resulting from its total or partial collapse, if it should be due consent and, in spite of their protestations to be
to the lack of necessary repairs (Art. 2190). As regards the allowed to remain in the business class so that they could
defense of “last clear chance,” the same is not tenable be with their friends, they were told that the business
because according to the SC the doctrine of last clear class was already fully booked, and that they were
chance is not applicable to instances covered by Art 2190 given priority in upgrading because they are elite
of the Civil Code (De Roy v. CA, G.R. L-80718, January 29, members/holders of Gold Mabalos Class cards. Since
1988). The role of the common law "last clear chance" they were embarrassed at the discussions with the
doctrine in relation to Art. 2179 is merely to mitigate flight attendants, they were forced to take the flight at
damages within the context of contributory negligence the first class section apart from their friends who
(Phoenix Construction, Inc. v. IAC, G.R. No. L-65295, March were in the business class. Upon their return to Manila,
10, 1987). they demanded a written apology from Pinoy Airlines.
When it went unheeded, the couple sued Pinoy
Q: Explain the concept of vicarious liability in quasi- Airlines for breach of contract claiming moral and
delicts. (2002 BAR) exemplary damages, as well as attorney's fees. Will the
action prosper? Give reasons. (2004, 2005 BAR)
A: The doctrine of VICARIOUS LIABILITY is that which
renders a person liable for the negligence of others for A: Yes, the action will prosper. Art. 2201 entitles the person
whose acts or omission the law makes him responsible on to recover damages which may be attributed to non-
the theory that they are under his control and supervision. performance of an obligation. In Alitalia Airways v. Court of
Appeals (G.R. No. 77011, July 24, 1990), when an airline
LEGAL INJURY (2004, 2005 BAR) issues ticket to a passenger confirmed on a particular flight,
a contract of carriage arises and the passenger expects that
Q: DT and MT were prominent members of the frequent he would fly on that day. When the airline deliberately
travelers’ club of FX Airlines. In Hongkong, the couple overbooked, it took the risk of having to deprive some
were assigned seats in Business Class for which they had passengers of their seat in case all of them would show
bought tickets. On checking in, however, they were told up. For the indignity and inconvenience of being refused
they were upgraded by computer to First Class for the the confirmed seat, said passenger is entitled to moral
flight to Manila because the Business Section was damages. In the given problem, spouses Almeda had a
overbooked. booked roundtrip business class ticket with Pinoy
Airlines. When their tickets were upgraded to first class
Both refused to transfer despite better seats, food, without their consent, Pinoy Airlines breached the
beverage and other services in First Class. They said contract. As ruled in Zulueta v. Pan American (G.R. No. L-
they had guests in Business Class they should attend to. 28589, January 8, 1973), in case of overbooking, airline is in
They felt humiliated, embarrassed and vexed, however, bad faith. Therefore, spouses Almeda are entitled to
when the stewardess allegedly threatened to offload damages.
them if they did not avail of the upgrade. Thus they gave
in, but during the transfer of luggage DT suffered pain in Book II – Damages
his arm and wrist. After arrival in Manila, they Articles 2195 – 2235 (Civil Code)
demanded an apology from FX’s management as well as
indemnity payment. When none was forthcoming, they GENERAL PROVISIONS (1994, 2009)
sued the airline for a million pesos in damages. Is the
airline liable for actual and moral damages? Why or why Q: Johnny Maton's conviction for homicide was
not? Explain briefly. (2004 BAR) affirmed by the Court of Appeals and in addition
although the prosecution had not appealed at all.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 104


QUAMTO (1987-2016)
The appellate court increased the indemnity for death provisions of the Civil Code, in breach of contract, moral
from P30, 000.00 to P50, 000.00. On his appeal to the damages may be recovered when the defendant acted in
Supreme Court, among the other things Johnny Maton bad faith or was guilty of gross negligence (amounting to
brought to the high court's attention, was the increase bad faith) or in wanton disregard of his contractual
of indemnity imposed by the Court of Appeals despite obligation. In the same fashion, to warrant the award of
the clear fact that the People had not appealed from the exemplary damages, the wrongful act must be
appellate court's judgment. Is Johnny Maton correct? accomplished by bad faith, and an award of damages would
(1994 BAR) be allowed only if the guilty party acted in a wanton,
fraudulent, reckless or malevolent manner. (Art. 2232, CC)
A: In Abejam v. Court of Appeals, the Supreme Court said
that even if the issue of damages were not raised by the Bad faith does not simply connot bad judgment or
appellant in the Court of Appeals but the Court of Appeals in negligence. It imports a dishonest purpose or some moral
its findings increased the damages, the Supreme Court will obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong, a breach of
not disturb the findings of the Court of Appeals. known duty through some motive or interest or ill will that
partakes of the nature of fraud. In this case, however, RPP’s
Q: Rommel’s private car, while being driven by the breach was due to a computer glitch which at most can be
regular family driver, Amado, hits a pedestrian causing considered as negligence on its part, but definitely does not
the latter’s death. Rommel is not in the car when the constitute bad faith or fraud as would warrant the award of
incident happened. moral and exemplary damages.

1. Is Rommel liable for damages to the heirs of the Q: On her third month of pregnancy, Rosemarie
deceased? Explain. married to Boy. For reasons known only to her, and
2. Would your answer be the same if Rommel was in without informing Boy, went to the clinic of X, a known
the car at the time of the accident? Explain. (1994, abortionist, who for a fee, removed and expelled the
2009 BAR) fetus from her womb, Boy learned of the abortion six (6)
months later. Availing of that portion of Section 12 of
A: Article II of the 1987 Constitution which reads:

1. Yes, Rommel may be held liable for damages if he fails The State xxx shall equally protect the life of the mother
to prove that he exercised the diligence of a good father and the life of the unborn from conception, xxx which he
of a family (Art. 2180, par 5) in selecting and supervising claims confers a civil personality on the unborn from the
his family driver. The owner is presumed liable unless moment of conception. Boy filed a case for damages
he proves the defense of diligence. If the driver was against the abortionist, praying therein that the latter be
performing his assigned task when the accident ordered to pay him: (a) P30, 000.00 as indemnity for the
happened, Rommel shall be solidarily liable with the death of the fetus, (b) P100, 000.00 as moral damages
driver. for the mental anguish and anxiety he suffered, (c) P50,
000.00 as exemplary damages, (d) P20, 000.00 as
In case the driver is convicted of reckless imprudence nominal damages, and (e) P25, 000.00 as attorney's
and cannot pay the civil liability, Rommel is subsidiarily fees.
liable for the damage awarded against the driver and the
defense of diligence is not available. May actual damages be also recovered? If so, what
facts should be alleged and proved? (1991 BAR)
2. Yes, my answer would be the same. Rommel, who was
in the car, shall be liable for damages if he could have A: Yes, provided that the pecuniary loss suffered should
prevented the misfortune by the use of due diligence in be substantiated and duly proved.
supervising his driver but failed to exercise it (Art.
2184). In such case, his liability is solidary with his Q: If a pregnant woman passenger of a bus were to
driver. suffer an abortion following a vehicular accident due
to the gross negligence of the bus driver, may she
ACTUAL AND COMPENSATORY DAMAGES (1991, 2002, and her husband claim damages from the bus company
2014, 2016 BAR) for the death of their unborn child? Explain. (2003, 2014
BAR)
Q: Peter, a resident of Cebu City, sent through Reliable
Pera Padala (RPP) the amount of P20, 000.00 to his A: No, the spouses cannot recover actual damages in the
daughter, Paula, for the payment of her tuition fee. form of indemnity for the loss of life of the unborn child. This
Paula went to an RPP branch but was informed that is because the unborn child is not yet considered a person
there was no money remitted to her name. Peter and the law allows indemnity only for loss of life of person.
inquired from RPP and was informed that there was a The mother, however may recover damages for the bodily
computer glitch and the money was credited to another injury she suffered from the loss of the fetus which is
person. Peter and Paula sued RPP for actual damages, considered part of her internal organ. The parents may
moral damages and exemplary damages. The trial court also recover damages for injuries that are inflicted directly
ruled that there was no proof of pecuniary loss to the upon them, e.g., moral damages for mental anguish that
plaintiffs but awarded moral damages of P20, 000.00 attended the loss of the unborn child. Since there is gross
and exemplary damages of P5, 000.00. On appeal, RPP negligence, exemplary damages can also be recovered
questioned the award of moral and exemplary (Geluz v. CA, G.R. No. L-16439, July 20, 1961).
damages. Is the trial court correct in awarding moral
and exemplary damages? Explain. (2016 BAR) MORAL DAMAGES (1996, 2002 BAR)

A: No, the trial court is not correct in awarding moral and Q: Ortillo contracts Fabricato, Inc. to supply and install
exemplary damages. The damages in this case are prayed tile materials in a building he is donating to his
for based on the breach of contract committed by RPP in province. Ortillo pays 50% of the contract price as per
failing to deliver the sum of money to Paula. Under the agreement. It is also agreed that the balance would be
105
CIVIL LAW
payable periodically after every 10% performance
until completed. After performing about 93% of the
contract, for which it has been paid an additional 40%
as per agreement, Fabricato, Inc. did not complete the
project due to its sudden cessation of operations.
Instead, Fabricato, Inc. demands payment of the last
10% of the contract despite its non-completion of the
project. Ortillo refuses to pay, invoking the stipulation
that payment of the last amount 10% shall be upon
completion. Fabricato, Inc. brings suit for the entire
10%. Plus damages, Ortillo counters with claims for (a)
moral damages for Fabricato, Inc.’s unfounded suit
which has damaged his reputation as a philanthropist
and respect businessman in his community, and (b)
attorney’s fees.

1. Does Ortillo have a legal basis for his claim for


moral damages?
2. How about his claim for attorney’s fees, having
hired a lawyer to defend him? (2002 BAR)

A:

1. There is no legal basis to Ortillo’s claim for moral


damages. It does not fall under the coverage of Art.
2219.
2. Ortillo is entitled to attorney’s fees because Fabricato’s
complaint is a case of malicious prosecution or a clearly
unfounded civil action. (Art. 2208 [4] and [11]).

Q: Rodolfo, married to Sharon, had an illicit affair with


his secretary, Nanette, a 19-year old girl, and begot a
baby girl, Rona. Nanette sued Rodolfo for damages:
actual, for hospital and other medical expenses in
delivering the child by caesarean section; moral,
claiming that Rodolfo promised to marry her,
representing that he was single when, in fact, he was
not; and exemplary, to teach a lesson to like-minded
Lotharios.

If you were the judge, would you award all the claims of
Nanette? Explain.

A: If Rodolfo's marriage could not have been possibly


known to Nanette or there is no gross negligence on the part
of Nanette, Rodolfo could be held liable for moral damages.

If there is gross negligence in a suit for quasi-delict,


exemplary could be awarded.

Q: Rosa was leasing an apartment in the city. Because


of the Rent Control Law, her landlord could not increase
the rental as much as he wanted to, nor terminate her
lease as long as she was paying her rent. In order to
force her to leave the premises, the landlord stopped
making repairs on the apartment, and caused the water
and electricity services to be disconnected. The
difficulty of living without electricity and running
water resulted in Rosa's suffering a nervous
breakdown. She sued the landlord for actual and
moral damages. Will the action prosper? Explain. (1996
BAR)

A: Yes, based on quasi-delict under the human relations


provisions of the New Civil Code (Arts. 19, 20 and 21)
because the act committed by the lessor is contrary to
morals. Moral damages are recoverable under Art. 2219
(10) in relation to Art. 21. Although the action is based on
quasi-delict and not on contract, actual damages may be
recovered if the lessee is able to prove the losses and
expenses she suffered.

UST BAR OPERATIONS 106