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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No.

power of attorney which authorized Conchita Evangelista to administer the house


FIRST DIVISION and lot together with the apartments situated in Rodriguez, Rizal.
On August 31, 1988, petitioner filed a suit for damages and for annulment of
said general power of attorney, and thereby enjoining its enforcement. Petitioner
[G.R. No. 102330. November 25, 1998] also sought to be declared as the administratrix of the properties in dispute. In
due course, the trial court rendered judgment in favor of private respondents. It
TERESITA C. FRANCISCO, petitioner, vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS; and
held that the petitioner failed to adduce proof that said properties were acquired
CONCHITA EVANGELISTA and Her Husband SIMEON EVANGELISTA;
during the existence of the second conjugal partnership, or that they pertained
ARACELI F. MARILLA and Her Husband FREDDY MARILLA; ANTONIO V.
exclusively to the petitioner. Hence, the court ruled that those properties belong
FRANCISCO; and EUSEBIO FRANCISCO, respondents.
exclusively to Eusebio, and that he has the capacity to administer them.

DECISION On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed in toto the decision of the trial
court. Hence, this petition.
QUISUMBING, J.:
Petitioner raised the following errors allegedly committed by the appellate
This petition for review on certiorari seeks to reverse respondent appellate court:
courts decision[1] promulgated on October 7, 1991, affirming in toto the judgment
of the Regional Trial Court which ruled,[2] thus:
FIRST ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
WHEREFORE, premises considered, this Court renders judgment in
RESPONDENT COURT ERRED IN APPLYING ARTICLES 160 AND 158,
favor of the defendants and against the plaintiff, as follows:
UNDER TITLE VI OF THE (NEW) CIVIL CODE BECAUSE SAID TITLE,
TOGETHER WITH THE OTHERS, HAVE (SIC) ALREADY BEEN REPEALED BY
1) Ordering the dismissal of the Complaint with costs against the plaintiff; ARTICLE 253 OF THE FAMILY CODE.

2) Declaring the defendant Eusebio Francisco the administrator of the properties SECOND ASSIGNMENT OF ERROR
described in paragraph eight (8) of the Complaint; and
RESPONDENT COURT FURTHER ERRED IN NOT APPLYING ARTICLE 124
3) Sentencing the plaintiff to pay the defendants the sum of P10,000.00 as and for OF THE FAMILY CODE.[3]
attorneys fees. But in her reply, petitioner posed the sole issue whether or not Article 116
of the Family Code applies to this case because Article 253 of the same Code
SO ORDERED. [which] expressly repeals Arts. 158 and 160 of the Civil Code.[4]
Petitioner is the legal wife of private respondent Eusebio Francisco (Eusebio) To our mind, the crucial issue in this petition is whether or not the appellate
by his second marriage. Private respondents Conchita Evangelista, Araceli F. court committed reversible error in affirming the trial courts ruling that the
Marilla and Antonio Francisco are children of Eusebio by his first marriage. properties, subject matter of controversy, are not conjugal but the capital
properties of Eusebio exclusively.
Petitioner alleges that since their marriage on February 10, 1962, she and
Eusebio have acquired the following: (1) a sari-sari store, a residential house and Indeed, Articles 158[5] and 160[6] of the New Civil Code have been repealed
lot, and an apartment house, all situated at Col. S. Cruz St., Barangay Balite, by the Family Code of the Philippines which took effect on August 3, 1988. The
Rodriguez (formerly Montalban), Rizal, and; (2) a house and lot at Barrio San Isidro, aforecited articles fall under Title VI, Book I of the New Civil Code which was
Rodriguez, Rizal. Petitioner further avers that these properties were administered expressly repealed by Article 254[7] (not Article 253 as alleged by petitioner in her
by Eusebio until he was invalidated on account of tuberculosis, heart disease and petition and reply) of the Family Code. Nonetheless, we cannot invoke the new
cancer, thereby, rendering him unfit to administer them. Petitioner also claims law in this case without impairing prior vested rights pursuant to Article 256 [8] in
that private respondents succeeded in convincing their father to sign a general relation to Article 105[9] (second paragraph) of the Family Code. Accordingly, the

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

repeal of Articles 158 and 160 of the New Civil Code does not operate to prejudice Essentially, property already owned by a spouse prior to the marriage, and
or otherwise affect rights which have become vested or accrued while the said brought to the marriage, is considered his or her separate
provisions were in force.[10] Hence, the rights accrued and vested while the cited property.[17] Acquisitions by lucrative title refers to properties acquired
articles were in effect survive their repeal.[11] We shall therefore resolve the issue gratuitously and include those acquired by either spouse during the marriage by
of the nature of the contested properties based on the provisions of the New Civil inheritance, devise, legacy, or donation.[18] Hence, even if it be assumed that
Code. Eusebios acquisition by succession of the land took place during his second
marriage, the land would still be his exclusive property because it was acquired by
Petitioner contends that the subject properties are conjugal, thus, she should
him, during the marriage, by lucrative title.[19]
administer these on account of the incapacity of her husband. On the other hand,
private respondents maintain that the assets in controversy claimed by petitioner As regards the house, apartment and sari-sari store, private respondents
as conjugal are capital properties of Eusebio exclusively as these were acquired by aver that these properties were either constructed or established by their father
the latter either through inheritance or through his industry prior to his second during his first marriage. On the other hand, petitioner insists that the said assets
marriage. Moreover, they stress that Eusebio is not incapacitated contrary to belong to conjugal partnership. In support of her claim, petitioner relied on the
petitioners allegation. building permits for the house and the apartment, with her as the applicant
although in the name of Eusebio. She also invoked the business license for the
We find petitioners contention lacks merit, as hereafter elucidated.
sari-sari store issued in her name alone.
Article 160 of the New Civil Code provides that all property of the marriage It must be emphasized that the aforementioned documents in no way prove
is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it
that the improvements were acquired during the second marriage. And the fact
pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife. However, the party who
that one is the applicant or licensee is not determinative of the issue as to whether
invokes this presumption must first prove that the property in controversy was
or not the property is conjugal or not. As the appellate court aptly noted:
acquired during the marriage.[12] Proof of acquisition during the coverture is a
condition sine qua non for the operation of the presumption in favor of the x x x. And the mere fact that plaintiff-appellant [petitioner herein] is the
conjugal partnership.[13] The party who asserts this presumption must first prove licensee of the sari-sari store (Exhibit F-3; Exhibit G, pp. 44-47, Record)
said time element. Needless to say, the presumption refers only to the property or is the supposed applicant for a building permit does not establish
acquired during the marriage and does not operate when there is no showing as that these improvements were acquired during her marriage with
to when property alleged to be conjugal was acquired.[14]Moreover, this Eusebio Francisco, especially so when her exhibits (D-1, E, E-1, T, T-1, T-
presumption in favor of conjugality is rebuttable, but only with strong, clear and 2, U, U-1 and U-2; pp. 38-40; 285-290, Record; TSN, January 17, 1989,
convincing evidence; there must be a strict proof of exclusive ownership of one of page 6-7) are diametrically opposed to her pretense as they all
the spouses.[15] described Eusebio Francisco as the owner of the structures (Article
1431, New Civil Code; Section 4, Rule 129, Revised Rules on Evidence).
In this case, petitioner failed to adduce ample evidence to show that the
properties which she claimed to be conjugal were acquired during her marriage Neither is it plausible to argue that the sari-sari store constructed on
with Eusebio. the land of Eusebio Francisco has thereby become conjugal for want of
evidence to sustain the proposition that it was constructed at the
With respect to the land at Col. Cruz St., Balite, Rodriguez, Rizal, petitioner
expense of their partnership (second paragraph, Article 158, New Civil
failed to refute the testimony of Eusebio that he inherited the same from his
Code). Normally, this absence of evidence on the source of funding will
parents. Interestingly, petitioner even admitted that Eusebio brought into their
call for the application of the presumption under Article 160 of the New
marriage the said land, albeit in the concept of a possessor only as it was not yet Civil Code that the store is really conjugal but it cannot be so in this
registered in his name.
particular case again, by reason of the dearth in proof that it was
Whether Eusebio succeeded to the property prior or subsequent to his erected during the alleged second marriage (5 Sanchez Roman 840-
second marriage is inconsequential. The property should be regarded as his own 841; 9 Manresa; cited in Civil Code of the Philippines by Tolentino,
exclusively, as a matter of law, pursuant to Article 148[16] of the New Civil Code. Volume 1, 1983 Edition, page 421).[20]

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

Regarding the property at San Isidro, Rodriguez, Rizal, private respondents


assert that their father purchased it during the lifetime of their mother. In
contrast, petitioner claims ownership over said property inasmuch as the title
thereto is registered in the name of Eusebio Francisco, married to Teresita
Francisco.
It must be stressed that the certificate of title upon which petitioner anchors
her claim is inadequate. The fact that the land was registered in the name of
Eusebio Francisco, married to Teresita Francisco, is no proof that the property was
acquired during the spouses coverture. Acquisition of title and registration thereof
are two different acts.[21] It is well settled that registration does not confer title
but merely confirms one already existing.[22] The phrase married to preceding
Teresita Francisco is merely descriptive of the civil status of Eusebio Francisco.[23]
In the light of the foregoing circumstances, the appellate court cannot be
said to have been without valid basis in affirming the lower courts ruling that the
properties in controversy belong exclusively to Eusebio.
Now, insofar as the administration of the subject properties is concerned, it
follows that Eusebio shall retain control thereof considering that the assets are
exclusively his capital.[24] Even assuming for the sake of argument that the
properties are conjugal, petitioner cannot administer them inasmuch as Eusebio
is not incapacitated. Contrary to the allegation of petitioner, Eusebio, as found by
the lower court, is not suffering from serious illness so as to impair his fitness to
administer his properties. That he is handicapped due to a leg injury sustained in
a bicycle accident, allegedly aggravated when petitioner pushed him to the ground
in one of their occasional quarrels, did not render him, in the Courts view,
incapacitated to perform acts of administration over his own properties.
WHEREFORE, petition is hereby DENIED. The Decision of the Court of
Appeals is AFFIRMED.
Costs against petitioner.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr. (Chairman), Bellosillo, Vitug, and Panganiban, JJ., concur.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

SECOND DIVISION The PBMCI defaulted in the payment of all its loans. Hence, on August 21,
1981, the ABC filed a complaint for sum of money with prayer for a writ of
preliminary attachment against the PBMCI to collect the P12,612,972.88 exclusive
of interests, penalties and other bank charges. Impleaded as co-defendants in the
[G.R. No. 124642. February 23, 2004] complaint were Alfredo Ching, Emilio Taedo and Chung Kiat Hua in their capacity
as sureties of the PBMCI.
The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 142729 in the Regional Trial Court
ALFREDO CHING and ENCARNACION CHING, petitioners, vs. THE HON. COURT OF of Manila, Branch XVIII.[10] In its application for a writ of preliminary attachment,
APPEALS and ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION, respondents. the ABC averred that the defendants are guilty of fraud in incurring the obligations
upon which the present action is brought[11] in that they falsely represented
themselves to be in a financial position to pay their obligation upon maturity
DECISION
thereof.[12] Its supporting affidavit stated, inter alia, that the [d]efendants have
CALLEJO, SR., J.: removed or disposed of their properties, or [are] ABOUT to do so, with intent to
defraud their creditors.[13]
This petition for review, under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court, assails On August 26, 1981, after an ex-parte hearing, the trial court issued an Order
the Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) dated November 27, 1995 in CA-G.R. denying the ABCs application for a writ of preliminary attachment. The trial court
SP No. 33585, as well as the Resolution[2] on April 2, 1996 denying the petitioners decreed that the grounds alleged in the application and that of its supporting
motion for reconsideration. The impugned decision granted the private affidavit are all conclusions of fact and of law which do not warrant the issuance
respondents petition for certiorari and set aside the Orders of the trial court dated of the writ prayed for.[14] On motion for reconsideration, however, the trial court,
December 15, 1993[3] and February 17, 1994[4] nullifying the attachment of in an Order dated September 14, 1981, reconsidered its previous order and
100,000 shares of stocks of the Citycorp Investment Philippines under the name granted the ABCs application for a writ of preliminary attachment on a bond
of petitioner Alfredo Ching. of P12,700,000. The order, in relevant part, stated:
The following facts are undisputed:
With respect to the second ground relied upon for the grant of the writ of
On September 26, 1978, the Philippine Blooming Mills Company, Inc. preliminary attachment ex-parte, which is the alleged disposal of properties by
(PBMCI) obtained a loan of P9,000,000.00 from the Allied Banking Corporation the defendants with intent to defraud creditors as provided in Sec. 1(e) of Rule 57
(ABC). By virtue of this loan, the PBMCI, through its Executive Vice-President of the Rules of Court, the affidavits can only barely justify the issuance of said writ
Alfredo Ching, executed a promissory note for the said amount promising to pay as against the defendant Alfredo Ching who has allegedly bound himself jointly
on December 22, 1978 at an interest rate of 14% per annum.[5] As added security and severally to pay plaintiff the defendant corporations obligation to the plaintiff
for the said loan, on September 28, 1978, Alfredo Ching, together with Emilio as a surety thereof.
Taedo and Chung Kiat Hua, executed a continuing guaranty with the ABC binding
themselves to jointly and severally guarantee the payment of all the PBMCI
WHEREFORE, let a writ of preliminary attachment issue as against the defendant
obligations owing the ABC to the extent of P38,000,000.00.[6] The loan was
Alfredo Ching requiring the sheriff of this Court to attach all the properties of said
subsequently renewed on various dates, the last renewal having been made on
Alfredo Ching not exceeding P12,612,972.82 in value, which are within the
December 4, 1980.[7]
jurisdiction of this Court and not exempt from execution upon, the filing by
Earlier, on December 28, 1979, the ABC extended another loan to the PBMCI plaintiff of a bond duly approved by this Court in the sum of Twelve Million Seven
in the amount of P13,000,000.00 payable in eighteen months at 16% interest per Hundred Thousand Pesos (P12,700,000.00) executed in favor of the defendant
annum. As in the previous loan, the PBMCI, through Alfredo Ching, executed a Alfredo Ching to secure the payment by plaintiff to him of all the costs which may
promissory note to evidence the loan maturing on June 29, 1981. [8] This was be adjudged in his favor and all damages he may sustain by reason of the
renewed once for a period of one month.[9] attachment if the court shall finally adjudge that the plaintiff was not entitled
thereto.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

SO ORDERED.[15] Case No. 2250. He averred that as a surety of the PBMCI, he must also necessarily
benefit from the defenses of his principal. The ABC opposed Chings omnibus
Upon the ABCs posting of the requisite bond, the trial court issued a writ of motion.
preliminary attachment. Subsequently, summonses were served on the
Emilio Y. Taedo, thereafter, filed his own Omnibus Motion[27] praying for the
defendants,[16] save Chung Kiat Hua who could not be found.
dismissal of the complaint, arguing that the ABC had abandoned and waived its
Meanwhile, on April 1, 1982, the PBMCI and Alfredo Ching jointly filed a right to proceed against the continuing guaranty by its act of resorting to
petition for suspension of payments with the Securities and Exchange Commission preliminary attachment.
(SEC), docketed as SEC Case No. 2250, at the same time seeking the PBMCIs
On December 17, 1986, the ABC filed a Motion to Reduce the amount of his
rehabilitation.[17]
preliminary attachment bond from P12,700,000 to P6,350,000.[28] Alfredo Ching
On July 9, 1982, the SEC issued an Order placing the PBMCIs business, opposed the motion,[29] but on April 2, 1987, the court issued an Order setting the
including its assets and liabilities, under rehabilitation receivership, and ordered incident for further hearing on May 28, 1987 at 8:30 a.m. for the parties to adduce
that all actions for claims listed in Schedule A of the petition pending before any evidence on the actual value of the properties of Alfredo Ching levied on by the
court or tribunal are hereby suspended in whatever stage the same may be until sheriff.[30]
further orders from the Commission.[18] The ABC was among the PBMCIs creditors
On March 2, 1988, the trial court issued an Order granting the motion of the
named in the said schedule.
ABC and rendered the attachment bond of P6,350,000.[31]
Subsequently, on January 31, 1983, the PBMCI and Alfredo Ching jointly filed
On November 16, 1993, Encarnacion T. Ching, assisted by her husband
a Motion to Dismiss and/or motion to suspend the proceedings in Civil Case No.
Alfredo Ching, filed a Motion to Set Aside the levy on attachment. She
142729 invoking the PBMCIs pending application for suspension of payments
alleged inter alia that the 100,000 shares of stocks levied on by the sheriff were
(which Ching co-signed) and over which the SEC had already assumed
acquired by her and her husband during their marriage out of conjugal funds after
jurisdiction.[19] On February 4, 1983, the ABC filed its Opposition thereto.[20]
the Citycorp Investment Philippines was established in 1974. Furthermore, the
In the meantime, on July 26, 1983, the deputy sheriff of the trial court levied indebtedness covered by the continuing guaranty/comprehensive suretyship
on attachment the 100,000 common shares of Citycorp stocks in the name of contract executed by petitioner Alfredo Ching for the account of PBMCI did not
Alfredo Ching.[21] redound to the benefit of the conjugal partnership. She, likewise, alleged that
being the wife of Alfredo Ching, she was a third-party claimant entitled to file a
Thereafter, in an Order dated September 16, 1983, the trial court partially motion for the release of the properties.[32] She attached therewith a copy of her
granted the aforementioned motion by suspending the proceedings only with marriage contract with Alfredo Ching.[33]
respect to the PBMCI. It denied Chings motion to dismiss the complaint/or
suspend the proceedings and pointed out that P.D. No. 1758 only concerns the The ABC filed a comment on the motion to quash preliminary attachment
activities of corporations, partnerships and associations and was never intended and/or motion to expunge records, contending that:
to regulate and/or control activities of individuals. Thus, it directed the individual
defendants to file their answers.[22] 2.1 The supposed movant, Encarnacion T. Ching, is not a party to this present case;
thus, she has no personality to file any motion before this Honorable Court;
Instead of filing an answer, Ching filed on January 14, 1984 a Motion to
Suspend Proceedings on the same ground of the pendency of SEC Case No.
2.2 Said supposed movant did not file any Motion for Intervention pursuant to
2250. This motion met the opposition from the ABC.[23]
Section 2, Rule 12 of the Rules of Court;
On January 20, 1984, Taedo filed his Answer with counterclaim and cross-
claim.[24] Ching eventually filed his Answer on July 12, 1984. [25] 2.3 Said Motion cannot even be construed to be in the nature of a Third-Party
Claim conformably with Sec. 14, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court.
On October 25, 1984, long after submitting their answers, Ching filed an
Omnibus Motion,[26] again praying for the dismissal of the complaint or suspension
of the proceedings on the ground of the July 9, 1982 Injunctive Order issued in SEC

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

3. Furthermore, assuming in gracia argumenti that the supposed movant has the 2. The respondent Judge committed a grave abuse of discretion in
required personality, her Motion cannot be acted upon by this Honorable Court lifting the writ of preliminary attachment without any basis in
as the above-entitled case is still in the archives and the proceedings thereon still fact and in law, and contrary to established jurisprudence on the
remains suspended. And there is no previous Motion to revive the same.[34] matter.[39]

The ABC also alleged that the motion was barred by prescription or by laches On November 27, 1995, the CA rendered judgment granting the petition and
because the shares of stocks were in custodia legis. setting aside the assailed orders of the trial court, thus:
During the hearing of the motion, Encarnacion T. Ching adduced in evidence
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the petition is GRANTED, hereby setting aside
her marriage contract to Alfredo Ching to prove that they were married on January
the questioned orders (dated December 15, 1993 and February 17, 1994) for being
8, 1960;[35]the articles of incorporation of Citycorp Investment Philippines dated
null and void.
May 14, 1979;[36] and, the General Information Sheet of the corporation showing
that petitioner Alfredo Ching was a member of the Board of Directors of the said
corporation and was one of its top twenty stockholders. SO ORDERED.[40]

On December 10, 1993, the Spouses Ching filed their Reply/Opposition to The CA sustained the contention of the private respondent and set aside the
the motion to expunge records. assailed orders. According to the CA, the RTC deprived the private respondent of
Acting on the aforementioned motion, the trial court issued on December its right to file a bond under Section 14, Rule 57 of the Rules of Court. The
15, 1993 an Order[37] lifting the writ of preliminary attachment on the shares of petitioner Encarnacion T. Ching was not a party in the trial court; hence, she had
stocks and ordering the sheriff to return the said stocks to the petitioners. The no right of action to have the levy annulled with a motion for that purpose. Her
dispositive portion reads: remedy in such case was to file a separate action against the private respondent
to nullify the levy on the 100,000 Citycorp shares of stocks. The court stated that
even assuming that Encarnacion T. Ching had the right to file the said motion, the
WHEREFORE, the instant Motion to Quash Preliminary Attachment, dated
same was barred by laches.
November 9, 1993, is hereby granted. Let the writ of preliminary attachment
subject matter of said motion, be quashed and lifted with respect to the attached Citing Wong v. Intermediate Appellate Court,[41] the CA ruled that the
100,000 common shares of stock of Citycorp Investment Philippines in the name presumption in Article 160 of the New Civil Code shall not apply where, as in this
of the defendant Alfredo Ching, the said shares of stock to be returned to him and case, the petitioner-spouses failed to prove the source of the money used to
his movant-spouse by Deputy Sheriff Apolonio A. Golfo who effected the levy acquire the shares of stock. It held that the levied shares of stocks belonged to
thereon on July 26, 1983, or by whoever may be presently in possession thereof. Alfredo Ching, as evidenced by the fact that the said shares were registered in the
corporate books of Citycorp solely under his name. Thus, according to the
SO ORDERED.[38] appellate court, the RTC committed a grave abuse of its discretion amounting to
excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed orders. The petitioners motion
The plaintiff Allied Banking Corporation filed a motion for the for reconsideration was denied by the CA in a Resolution dated April 2, 1996.
reconsideration of the order but denied the same on February 17, 1994. The
The petitioner-spouses filed the instant petition for review on certiorari,
petitioner bank forthwith filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, docketed as asserting that the RTC did not commit any grave abuse of discretion amounting to
CA-G.R. SP No. 33585, for the nullification of the said order of the court,
excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed orders in their favor; hence, the
contending that:
CA erred in reversing the same. They aver that the source of funds in the
acquisition of the levied shares of stocks is not the controlling factor when
1. The respondent Judge exceeded his authority thereby acted without invoking the presumption of the conjugal nature of stocks under Art. 160, [42] and
jurisdiction in taking cognizance of, and granting a Motion filed that such presumption subsists even if the property is registered only in the name
by a complete stranger to the case. of one of the spouses, in this case, petitioner Alfredo Ching. [43] According to the
petitioners, the suretyship obligation was not contracted in the pursuit of the

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

petitioner-husbands profession or business.[44] And, contrary to the ruling of the only insofar as may be necessary to decide if the sheriff has acted correctly or
CA, where conjugal assets are attached in a collection suit on an obligation not. If the claimants proof does not persuade the court of the validity of the title,
contracted by the husband, the wife should exhaust her motion to quash in the or right of possession thereto, the claim will be denied by the court. The aggrieved
main case and not file a separate suit.[45] Furthermore, the petitioners contend third party may also avail himself of the remedy of terceria by executing an
that under Art. 125 of the Family Code, the petitioner-husbands gratuitous affidavit of his title or right of possession over the property levied on attachment
suretyship is null and void ab initio,[46] and that the share of one of the spouses in and serving the same to the office making the levy and the adverse party. Such
the conjugal partnership remains inchoate until the dissolution and liquidation of party may also file an action to nullify the levy with damages resulting from the
the partnership.[47] unlawful levy and seizure, which should be a totally separate and distinct action
from the former case. The above-mentioned remedies are cumulative and any
In its comment on the petition, the private respondent asserts that the CA
one of them may be resorted to by one third-party claimant without availing of
correctly granted its petition for certiorari nullifying the assailed order. It contends
the other remedies.[50]
that the CA correctly relied on the ruling of this Court in Wong v. Intermediate
Appellate Court. Citing Cobb-Perez v. Lantin and G-Tractors, Inc. v. Court of In this case, the petitioner-wife filed her motion to set aside the levy on
Appeals, the private respondent alleges that the continuing guaranty and attachment of the 100,000 shares of stocks in the name of petitioner-husband
suretyship executed by petitioner Alfredo Ching in pursuit of his profession or claiming that the said shares of stocks were conjugal in nature; hence, not liable
business. Furthermore, according to the private respondent, the right of the for the account of her husband under his continuing guaranty and suretyship
petitioner-wife to a share in the conjugal partnership property is merely inchoate agreement with the PBMCI. The petitioner-wife had the right to file the motion
before the dissolution of the partnership; as such, she had no right to file the said for said relief.
motion to quash the levy on attachment of the shares of stocks.
On the second issue, we find and so hold that the CA erred in setting aside
The issues for resolution are as follows: (a) whether the petitioner-wife has and reversing the orders of the RTC. The private respondent, the petitioner in the
the right to file the motion to quash the levy on attachment on the 100,000 shares CA, was burdened to prove that the RTC committed a grave abuse of its discretion
of stocks in the Citycorp Investment Philippines; (b) whether or not the RTC amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction. The tribunal acts without jurisdiction
committed a grave abuse of its discretion amounting to excess or lack of if it does not have the legal purpose to determine the case; there is excess of
jurisdiction in issuing the assailed orders. jurisdiction where the tribunal, being clothed with the power to determine the
case, oversteps its authority as determined by law. There is grave abuse of
On the first issue, we agree with the petitioners that the petitioner-wife had
discretion where the tribunal acts in a capricious, whimsical, arbitrary or despotic
the right to file the said motion, although she was not a party in Civil Case No.
manner in the exercise of its judgment and is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. [51]
142729.[48]
It was incumbent upon the private respondent to adduce a sufficiently strong
In Ong v. Tating,[49] we held that the sheriff may attach only those properties
demonstration that the RTC acted whimsically in total disregard of evidence
of the defendant against whom a writ of attachment has been issued by the
material to, and even decide of, the controversy before certiorari will lie. A special
court. When the sheriff erroneously levies on attachment and seizes the property
civil action for certiorari is a remedy designed for the correction of errors of
of a third person in which the said defendant holds no right or interest, the jurisdiction and not errors of judgment. When a court exercises its jurisdiction, an
superior authority of the court which has authorized the execution may be
error committed while so engaged does not deprive it of its jurisdiction being
invoked by the aggrieved third person in the same case. Upon application of the
exercised when the error is committed.[52]
third person, the court shall order a summary hearing for the purpose of
determining whether the sheriff has acted rightly or wrongly in the performance After a comprehensive review of the records of the RTC and of the CA, we
of his duties in the execution of the writ of attachment, more specifically if he has find and so hold that the RTC did not commit any grave abuse of its discretion
indeed levied on attachment and taken hold of property not belonging to the amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in issuing the assailed orders.
plaintiff. If so, the court may then order the sheriff to release the property from
the erroneous levy and to return the same to the third person. In resolving the Article 160 of the New Civil Code provides that all the properties acquired
during the marriage are presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it
motion of the third party, the court does not and cannot pass upon the question
be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband, or to the wife. In Tan v. Court
of the title to the property with any character of finality. It can treat the matter
of Appeals,[53] we held that it is not even necessary to prove that the properties

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were acquired with funds of the partnership. As long as the properties were conjugal partnership is liable for the said account of PBMCI under Article 161(1) of
acquired by the parties during the marriage, they are presumed to be conjugal in the New Civil Code.
nature. In fact, even when the manner in which the properties were acquired does
Article 161(1) of the New Civil Code (now Article 121[2 and 3][60] of the Family
not appear, the presumption will still apply, and the properties will still be
considered conjugal. The presumption of the conjugal nature of the properties Code of the Philippines) provides:
acquired during the marriage subsists in the absence of clear, satisfactory and
convincing evidence to overcome the same.[54] Art. 161. The conjugal partnership shall be liable for:

In this case, the evidence adduced by the petitioners in the RTC is that the (1) All debts and obligations contracted by the husband for the benefit of the
100,000 shares of stocks in the Citycorp Investment Philippines were issued to and conjugal partnership, and those contracted by the wife, also for the same purpose,
registered in its corporate books in the name of the petitioner-husband when the in the cases where she may legally bind the partnership.
said corporation was incorporated on May 14, 1979. This was done during the
subsistence of the marriage of the petitioner-spouses. The shares of stocks are,
The petitioner-husband signed the continuing guaranty and suretyship
thus, presumed to be the conjugal partnership property of the petitioners. The
agreement as security for the payment of the loan obtained by the PBMCI from
private respondent failed to adduce evidence that the petitioner-husband
the private respondent in the amount of P38,000,000. In Ayala Investment and
acquired the stocks with his exclusive money.[55] The barefaced fact that the
Development Corp. v. Court of Appeals,[61] this Court ruled that the signing as
shares of stocks were registered in the corporate books of Citycorp Investment
surety is certainly not an exercise of an industry or profession. It is not embarking
Philippines solely in the name of the petitioner-husband does not constitute proof
in a business. No matter how often an executive acted on or was persuaded to act
that the petitioner-husband, not the conjugal partnership, owned the
as surety for his own employer, this should not be taken to mean that he thereby
same.[56] The private respondents reliance on the rulings of this Court in Maramba
embarked in the business of suretyship or guaranty.
v. Lozano[57] and Associated Insurance & Surety Co., Inc. v. Banzon [58] is
misplaced. In the Maramba case, we held that where there is no showing as to For the conjugal partnership to be liable for a liability that should appertain
when the property was acquired, the fact that the title is in the wifes name alone to the husband alone, there must be a showing that some advantages accrued to
is determinative of the ownership of the property.The principle was reiterated in the spouses.Certainly, to make a conjugal partnership responsible for a liability
the Associated Insurance case where the uncontroverted evidence showed that that should appertain alone to one of the spouses is to frustrate the objective of
the shares of stocks were acquired during the marriage of the petitioners. the New Civil Code to show the utmost concern for the solidarity and well being
of the family as a unit. The husband, therefore, is denied the power to assume
Instead of fortifying the contention of the respondents, the ruling of this
unnecessary and unwarranted risks to the financial stability of the conjugal
Court in Wong v. Intermediate Appellate Court[59] buttresses the case for the
partnership.[62]
petitioners. In that case, we ruled that he who claims that property acquired by
the spouses during their marriage is not conjugal partnership property but belongs In this case, the private respondent failed to prove that the conjugal
to one of them as his personal property is burdened to prove the source of the partnership of the petitioners was benefited by the petitioner-husbands act of
money utilized to purchase the same. In this case, the private respondent claimed executing a continuing guaranty and suretyship agreement with the private
that the petitioner-husband acquired the shares of stocks from the Citycorp respondent for and in behalf of PBMCI. The contract of loan was between the
Investment Philippines in his own name as the owner thereof. It was, thus, the private respondent and the PBMCI, solely for the benefit of the latter. No
burden of the private respondent to prove that the source of the money utilized presumption can be inferred from the fact that when the petitioner-husband
in the acquisition of the shares of stocks was that of the petitioner-husband entered into an accommodation agreement or a contract of surety, the conjugal
alone. As held by the trial court, the private respondent failed to adduce evidence partnership would thereby be benefited. The private respondent was burdened
to prove this assertion. to establish that such benefit redounded to the conjugal partnership. [63]
The CA, likewise, erred in holding that by executing a continuing guaranty It could be argued that the petitioner-husband was a member of the Board
and suretyship agreement with the private respondent for the payment of the of Directors of PBMCI and was one of its top twenty stockholders, and that the
PBMCI loans, the petitioner-husband was in the exercise of his profession, shares of stocks of the petitioner-husband and his family would appreciate if the
pursuing a legitimate business. The appellate court erred in concluding that the PBMCI could be rehabilitated through the loans obtained; that the petitioner-

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

husbands career would be enhanced should PBMCI survive because of the infusion
of fresh capital. However, these are not the benefits contemplated by Article 161
of the New Civil Code. The benefits must be those directly resulting from the
loan. They cannot merely be a by-product or a spin-off of the loan itself.[64]
This is different from the situation where the husband borrows money or
receives services to be used for his own business or profession. In the Ayala case,
we ruled that it is such a contract that is one within the term obligation for the
benefit of the conjugal partnership. Thus:

(A) If the husband himself is the principal obligor in the contract, i.e., he directly
received the money and services to be used in or for his own business or his own
profession, that contract falls within the term obligations for the benefit of the
conjugal partnership. Here, no actual benefit may be proved. It is enough that the
benefit to the family is apparent at the time of the signing of the contract. From
the very nature of the contract of loan or services, the family stands to benefit
from the loan facility or services to be rendered to the business or profession of
the husband. It is immaterial, if in the end, his business or profession fails or does
not succeed. Simply stated, where the husband contracts obligations on behalf of
the family business, the law presumes, and rightly so, that such obligation will
redound to the benefit of the conjugal partnership. [65]

The Court held in the same case that the rulings of the Court in Cobb-
Perez and G-Tractors, Inc. are not controlling because the husband, in those cases,
contracted the obligation for his own business. In this case, the petitioner-
husband acted merely as a surety for the loan contracted by the PBMCI from the
private respondent.
IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision
and Resolution of the Court of Appeals are SET ASIDE AND REVERSED. The assailed
orders of the RTC are AFFIRMED.
SO ORDERED.
Puno, (Chairman), Quisumbing, Austria-Martinez, and Tinga, JJ., concur.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

FIRST DIVISION 1) "Kasulatan ng Bilihan ng Lupa," marked as Exhibit 3 (pp. 12-


13, Records) for the defendant in the court a quo, dated July 27,
G.R. No. L-55322 February 16, 1989 1968. By this document Emilio Jocson sold to Agustina Jocson-
Vasquez six (6) parcels of land, all located at Naic, Cavite, for the
MOISES JOCSON, petitioner, sum of ten thousand P10,000.00 pesos. On the same document
vs. Emilio Jocson acknowledged receipt of the purchase price, thus:
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AGUSTINA JOCSON-VASQUEZ, ERNESTO
VASQUEZ, respondents. Na ngayon, alang-alang sa halagang SAMPUNG LIBONG PISO
(P10,000) salaping Pilipino na aking tinanggap ng buong
Dolorfino and Dominguez Law Officers for petitioner. kasiyahan loob at ang pagkakatanggap ay aking hayagang
inaamin sa pamamagitan ng kasulatang ito, sa aking anak na si
Agustina Jocson, na may sapat na gulang, mamamayang
Gabriel G. Mascardo for private respondents.
Pilipino, asawa ni Ernesto Vasquez, at naninirahan sa Poblacion,
Naic, Cavite, ay aking ipinagbile ng lubusan at kagyat at walang
MEDIALDEA, J.:
ano mang pasubali ang nabanggit na anim na pirasong lupa na
nasa unang dahon ng dokumentong ito, sa nabanggit na
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court of the Agustina Jocson, at sa kaniyang tagapagmana o makakahalili at
decision of the Court of Appeals in CA- G.R. No. 63474, promulgated on April 30, gayon din nais kong banggitin na kahit na may kamurahan ang
1980, entitled "MOISES JOCSON, plaintiff-appellee, versus AGUSTINA JOCSON- ginawa kong pagbibile ay dahilan sa ang nakabile ay aking anak
VASQUEZ and ERNESTO VASQUEZ, defendant-appellants," upholding the validity na sa akin at mapaglingkod, madamayin at ma-alalahanin, na
of three (3) documents questioned by Moises Jocson, in total reversal of the tulad din ng isa ko pang anak na lalaki. Ang kuartang tinanggap
decision of the then Court of First Instance of Cavite, Branch I, which declared ko na P10,000.00, ay gagamitin ko sa aking katandaan at mga
them as null and void; and of its resolution, dated September 30, 1980, denying huling araw at sa aking mga ibang mahahalagang
therein appellee's motion for reconsideration. pangangailangan. [Emphasis supplied]

Petitioner Moises Jocson and respondent Agustina Jocson-Vasquez are the only Na nais ko ring banggitin na ang ginawa kong ito ay hindi labag
surviving offsprings of the spouses Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete, while sa ano mang batas o kautusan, sapagkat ang aking pinagbile ay
respondent Ernesto Vasquez is the husband of Agustina. Alejandra Poblete akin at nasa aking pangalan. Ang mga lupang nasa pangalan ng
predeceased her husband without her intestate estate being settled. aking nasirang asawa ay hindi ko ginagalaw ni pinakikialaman at
Subsequently, Emilio Jocson also died intestate on April 1, 1972. iyon ay dapat na hatiin ng dalawa kong anak alinsunod sa umiiral
na batas (p. 13, Records.)
As adverted to above, the present controversy concerns the validity of three (3)
documents executed by Emilio Jocson during his lifetime. These documents 2) "Kasulatan ng Ganap na Bilihan,"dated July 27,1968, marked
purportedly conveyed, by sale, to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez what apparently as Exhibit 4 (p. 14, Records). On the face of this document, Emilio
covers almost all of his properties, including his one-third (1/3) share in the estate Jocson purportedly sold to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, for the
of his wife. Petitioner Moises Jocson assails these documents and prays that they sum of FIVE THOUSAND (P5,000.00) PESOS, two rice mills and a
be declared null and void and the properties subject matter therein be partitioned camarin (camalig) located at Naic, Cavite. As in the first
between him and Agustina as the only heirs of their deceased parents. document, Moises Jocson acknowledged receipt of the
purchase price:
The documents, which were presented as evidence not by Moises Jocson, as the
party assailing its validity, but rather by herein respondents, are the following: 'Na alang-alang sa halagang LIMANG LIBONG PISO (P5,000.00)
salaping Pilipino na aking tinanggap ng buong kasiyahan loob sa

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

aking anak na Agustina Jocson .... Na ang halagang ibinayad sa Complaint (pp. 47-58, Record on Appeal), herein petitioner assailed the above
akin ay may kamurahan ng kaunti ngunit dahil sa malaking documents, as aforementioned, for being null and void.
pagtingin ko sa kaniya ... kaya at pinagbile ko sa kaniya ang mga
nabanggit na pagaari kahit na hindi malaking halaga ... (p. 14, It is necessary to partly quote the allegation of petitioner in his complaint for the
Records). reason that the nature of his causes of action is at issue, thus:

3) Lastly, the "Deed of Extrajudicial Partition and Adjudication 8. [With regard the first document, that] the defendants,
with Sale, "dated March 9, 1969, marked as Exhibit 2 (p. 10-11, through fraud, deceit, undue pressure and influence and other
Records), whereby Emilio Jocson and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, illegal machinations, were able to induce, led, and procured
without the participation and intervention of Moises Jocson, their father ... to sign [the] contract of sale ..., for the simulated
extrajudicially partitioned the unsettled estate of Alejandra price of P10,000.00, which is a consideration that is shocking to
Poblete, dividing the same into three parts, one-third (1/3) each the conscience of ordinary man and despite the fact that said
for the heirs of Alejandra Poblete, namely: Emilio Jocson, defendants have no work or livelihood of their own ...; that the
Agustina Jocson-Vasquez and Moises Jocson. By the same sale is null and void, also, because it is fictitious, simulated and
instrument, Emilio sold his one- third (1/3) share to Agustin for fabricated contract x x x (pp. 52-53, Record on Appeal).
the sum of EIGHT THOUSAND (P8,000.00) PESOS. As in the [Emphasis supplied]
preceding documents, Emilio Jocson acknowledged receipt of
the purchase price: xxx xxx xxx

Now for and in consideration of the sum of only eight thousand 12. [With regards the second and third document, that they] are
(P8,000.00) pesos, which I, the herein Emilio Jocson had null and void because the consent of the father, Emilio Jocson,
received from my daughter Agustina Jocson, do hereby sell, was obtained with fraud, deceit, undue pressure,
cede, convey and transfer, unto the said Agustina Jocson, her misrepresentation and unlawful machinations and trickeries
heirs and assigns, administrators and successors in interests, in committed by the defendant on him; and that the said contracts
the nature of absolute and irrevocable sale, all my rights, are simulated, fabricated and fictitious, having been made
interest, shares and participation, which is equivalent to one deliberately to exclude the plaintiff from participating and with
third (1/3) share in the properties herein mentioned and the dishonest and selfish motive on the part of the defendants
described the one third being adjudicated unto Agustina Jocson to defraud him of his legitimate share on said properties [subject
and the other third (1/3) portion being the share of Moises matter thereof]; and that without any other business or
Jocson. (p. 11, Records). employment or any other source of income, defendants who
were just employed in the management and administration of
These documents were executed before a notary public. Exhibits 3 and 4 were the business of their parents, would not have the sufficient and
registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds of Cavite on July 29, 1968 and ample means to purchase the said properties except by getting
the transfer certificates of title covering the properties therein in the name of the earnings of the business or by simulated consideration ...
Emilio Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete," were cancelled and new certificates (pp. 54-55, Record on Appeal). [Emphasis supplied]
of title were issued in the name of Agustina Jocson-Vasquez. Exhibit 2 was not
registered with the Office of the Register of Deeds. Petitioner explained that there could be no real sale between a father and
daughter who are living under the same roof, especially so when the father has no
Herein petitioner filed his original complaint (Record on Appeal, p. 27, Rollo) on need of money as the properties supposedly sold were all income-producing.
June 20,1973 with the then Court of First Instance of Naic, Cavite (docketed as Further, petitioner claimed that the properties mentioned in Exhibits 3 and 4 are
Civil Case No. TM- 531), and which was twice amended. In his Second Amended the unliquidated conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete which
the former, therefore, cannot validly sell (pp. 53, 57, Record on Appeal). As far as

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

Exhibit 2 is concerned, petitioner questions not the extrajudicial partition but only 3. That in regard to Exhibit 2, the same is valid and subsisting,
the sale by his father to Agustina of the former's 1/3 share (p. 13, Rollo). and the partition with sale therein made by and between Emilio
Jocson and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, affecting the 2/3 portion
The trial court sustained the foregoing contentions of petitioner (pp. 59-81, of the subject properties described therein have all been made
Record on Appeal). It declared that the considerations mentioned in the in accordance with Article 996 of the New Civil Code on intestate
documents were merely simulated and fictitious because: 1) there was no succession, and the appellee's (herein petitioner) remaining 1/3
showing that Agustina Jocson-Vasquez paid for the properties; 2) the prices were has not been prejudiced (pp. 41-42, Rollo).
grossly inadequate which is tantamount to lack of consideration at all; and 3) the
improbability of the sale between Emilio Jocson and Agustina Jocson-Vasquez, In this petition for review, Moises Jocson raised the following assignments of
taking into consideration the circumstances obtaining between the parties; and errors:
that the real intention of the parties were donations designed to exclude Moises
Jocson from participating in the estate of his parents. It further declared the 1. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
properties mentioned in Exhibits 3 and 4 as conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson CONCLUDING THAT THE SUIT FOR THE ANNULMENT OF
and Alejandra Poblete, because they were registered in the name of "Emilio CONTRACTS FILED BY PETITIONERS WITH THE TRIAL COURT IS
Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete" and ordered that the properties subject "BASED ON FRAUD" AND NOT ON ITS INEXISTENCE AND NULLITY
matter of all the documents be registered in the name of herein petitioners and BECAUSE OF IT'S BEING SIMULATED OR FICTITIOUS OR WHOSE
private respondents. CAUSE IS CONTRARY TO LAW, MORALS AND GOOD CUSTOMS?

On appeal, the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 63474-R rendered a decision (pp. II. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
29-42, Rollo) and reversed that of the trial court's and ruled that: CONCLUDING THAT THE COMPLAINT FILED BY PETITIONER IN
THE TRIAL COURT IS BARRED BY PRESCRIPTION?
1. That insofar as Exhibits 3 and 4 are concerned the appellee's
complaint for annulment, which is indisputably based on fraud, III. HAS THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT
and undue influence, is now barred by prescription, pursuant to DECLARING AS INEXISTENT AND NULL AND VOID THE
the settled rule that an action for annulment of a contract based CONTRACTS IN QUESTION AND IN REVERSING THE DECLARING
on fraud must be filed within four (4) years, from the discovery DECISION OF THE TRIAL COURT? (p. 2, Rollo)
of the fraud, ... which in legal contemplation is deemed to be the
date of the registration of said document with the Register of I.
Deeds ... and the records admittedly show that both Exhibits 3
and 4, were all registered on July 29, 1968, while on the other
The first and second assignments of errors are related and shall be jointly
hand, the appellee's complaint was filed on June 20, 1973,
discussed.
clearly beyond the aforesaid four-year prescriptive period
provided by law;
According to the Court of Appeals, herein petitioner's causes of action were based
on fraud. Under Article 1330 of the Civil Code, a contract tainted by vitiated
2. That the aforesaid contracts, Exhibits 2, 3, and 4, are
consent, as when consent was obtained through fraud, is voidable; and the action
decisively not simulated or fictitious contracts, since Emilio
for annulment must be brought within four years from the time of the discovery
Jocson actually and really intended them to be effective and
of the fraud (Article 1391, par. 4, Civil Code), otherwise the contract may no longer
binding against him, as to divest him of the full dominion and
be contested. Under present jurisprudence, discovery of fraud is deemed to have
ownership over the properties subject of said assailed contracts,
taken place at the time the convenant was registered with the Register of Deeds
as in fact all his titles over the same were all cancelled and new
(Gerona vs. De Guzman, No. L-19060, May 29,1964, 11 SCRA 153). Since Exhibits
ones issued to appellant Agustina Jocson-Vasquez ...;
3 and 4 were registered on July 29, 1968 but Moises Jocson filed his complaint

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

only on June 20, 1973, the Court of Appeals ruled that insofar as these documents Secondly, neither may the contract be declared void because of alleged
were concerned, petitioner's "annulment suit" had prescribed. inadequacy of price. To begin with, there was no showing that the prices were
grossly inadequate. In fact, the total purchase price paid by Agustina Jocson-
If fraud were the only ground relied upon by Moises Jocson in assailing the Vasquez is above the total assessed value of the properties alleged by petitioner.
questioned documents, We would have sustained the above pronouncement. But In his Second Amended Complaint, petitioner alleged that the total assessed value
it is not so. As pointed out by petitioner, he further assailed the deeds of of the properties mentioned in Exhibit 3 was P8,920; Exhibit 4, P3,500; and Exhibit
conveyance on the ground that they were without consideration since the 2, P 24,840, while the purchase price paid was P10,000, P5,000, and P8,000,
amounts appearing thereon as paid were in fact merely simulated. respectively, the latter for the 1/3 share of Emilio Jocson from the paraphernal
properties of his wife, Alejandra Poblete. And any difference between the market
According to Article 1352 of the Civil Code, contracts without cause produce no value and the purchase price, which as admitted by Emilio Jocson was only slight,
effect whatsoever. A contract of sale with a simulated price is void (Article 1471; may not be so shocking considering that the sales were effected by a father to her
also Article 1409 [3]]), and an action for the declaration of its nullity does not daughter in which case filial love must be taken into consideration (Alsua-Betts vs.
prescribe (Article 1410, Civil Code; See also, Castillo v. Galvan, No. L-27841, Court of Appeals, No. L-46430-31, April 30, 1979, 92 SCRA 332).
October 20, l978, 85 SCRA 526). Moises Jocsons saction, therefore, being for the
judicial declaration of nullity of Exhibits 3 and 4 on the ground of simulated price, Further, gross inadequacy of price alone does not affect a contract of sale, except
is imprescriptible. that it may indicate a defect in the consent, or that the parties really intended a
donation or some other act or contract (Article 1470, Civil Code) and there is
II. nothing in the records at all to indicate any defect in Emilio Jocson's consent.

For petitioner, however, the above discussion may be purely academic. The Thirdly, any discussion as to the improbability of a sale between a father and his
burden of proof in showing that contracts lack consideration rests on he who daughter is purely speculative which has no relevance to a contract where all the
alleged it. The degree of proof becomes more stringent where the documents essential requisites of consent, object and cause are clearly present.
themselves show that the vendor acknowledged receipt of the price, and more so
where the documents were notarized, as in the case at bar. Upon consideration There is another ground relied upon by petitioner in assailing Exhibits 3 and 4, that
of the records of this case, We are of the opinion that petitioner has not the properties subject matter therein are conjugal properties of Emilio Jocson and
sufficiently proven that the questioned documents are without consideration. Alejandra Poblete. It is the position of petitioner that since the properties sold to
Agustina Jocson-Vasquez under Exhibit 3 were registered in the name of "Emilio
Firstly, Moises Jocson's claim that Agustina Jocson-Vasquez had no other source Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete," the certificates of title he presented as
of income other than what she derives from helping in the management of the evidence (Exhibits "E', to "J', pp. 4-9, Records) were enough proof to show that the
family business (ricefields and ricemills), and which was insufficient to pay for the properties covered therein were acquired during the marriage of their parents,
purchase price, was contradicted by his own witness, Isaac Bagnas, who testified and, therefore, under Article 160 of the Civil Code, presumed to be conjugal
that Agustina and her husband were engaged in the buy and sell of palay and rice properties.
(p. 10, t.s.n., January 14, 1975). Amazingly, petitioner himself and his wife testified
that they did not know whether or not Agustina was involved in some other Article 160 of the Civil Code provides that:
business (p. 40, t.s.n., July 30, 1974; p. 36, t.s.n., May 24, 1974).
All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the
On the other hand, Agustina testified that she was engaged in the business of conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains
buying and selling palay and rice even before her marriage to Ernesto Vasquez exclusively to the husband or to the wife.
sometime in 1948 and continued doing so thereafter (p. 4, t.s.n., March 15, 1976).
Considering the foregoing and the presumption that a contract is with a In Cobb-Perez vs. Hon. Gregorio Lantin, No. L-22320, May 22, 1968, 23 SCRA 637,
consideration (Article 1354, Civil Code), it is clear that petitioner miserably failed 644, We held that:
to prove his allegation.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

Anent their claim that the shares in question are conjugal assets, Contrary to petitioner's position, the certificates of title show, on their face, that
the spouses Perez adduced not a modicum of evidence, the properties were exclusively Emilio Jocson's, the registered owner. This is so
although they repeatedly invoked article 160 of the New Civil because the words "married to' preceding "Alejandra Poblete' are merely
Code which provides that ... . As interpreted by this Court, the descriptive of the civil status of Emilio Jocson Litam v. Rivera, 100 Phil. 354; Stuart
party who invokes this presumption must first prove that the v. Yatco, No. L-16467, April 27, 1962, 4 SCRA 1143; Magallon v. Montejo, G.R. No.
property in controversy was acquired during the marriage. In L-73733, December 16, 1986, 146 SCRA 282). In other words, the import from the
other words, proof of acquisition during the coverture is a certificates of title is that Emilio Jocson is the owner of the properties, the same
condition sine qua non for the operation of the presumption in having been registered in his name alone, and that he is married to Alejandra
favor of conjugal ownership. Thus in Camia de Reyes vs. Reyes Poblete.
de Ilano [62 Phil. 629, 639], it was held that "according to law
and jurisprudence, it is sufficient to prove that the Property was We are not unmindful that in numerous cases We consistently held that
acquired during the marriage in order that the same may be registration of the property in the name of only one spouse does not negate the
deemed conjugal property." In the recent case of Maramba vs. possibility of it being conjugal (See Bucoy vs. Paulino, No. L-25775, April 26, 1968,
Lozano, et. al. [L-21533, June 29, 1967, 20 SCRA 474], this Court, 23 SCRA 248). But this ruling is not inconsistent with the above pronouncement
thru Mr. Justice Makalintal, reiterated that "the presumption for in those cases there was proof that the properties, though registered in the
under Article 160 of the Civil Code refers to property acquired name of only one spouse, were indeed conjugal properties, or that they have been
during the marriage," and then concluded that since "there is no acquired during the marriage of the spouses, and therefore, presumed conjugal,
showing as to when the property in question was acquired...the without the adverse party having presented proof to rebut the presumption (See
fact that the title is in the wife's name alone is determinative." Mendoza vs- Reyes, No. L-31618, August 17, 1983, 124 SCRA 154).
Similarly, in the case at bar, since there is no evidence as to
when the shares of stock were acquired, the fact that they are In the instant case, had petitioner, Moises Jocson, presented sufficient proof to
registered in the name of the husband alone is an indication that show that the disputed properties were acquired during his parents' coverture.
the shares belong exclusively to said spouse.' We would have ruled that the properties, though registered in the name of Emilio
Jocson alone, are conjugal properties in view of the presumption under Article
This pronouncement was reiterated in the case of Ponce de Leon vs. Rehabilitation 160. There being no such proof, the condition sine qua non for the application of
Finance Corporation, No. L-24571, December 18, 1970, 36 SCRA 289, and later in the presumption does not exist. Necessarily, We rule that the properties under
Torela vs. Torela, No. 1,27843, October 11, 1979, 93 SCRA 391. Exhibit 3 are the exclusive properties of Emilio Jocson.

It is thus clear that before Moises Jocson may validly invoke the presumption There being no showing also that the camarin and the two ricemills, which are the
under Article 160 he must first present proof that the disputed properties were subject of Exhibit 4, were conjugal properties of the spouses Emilio Jocson and
acquired during the marriage of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. The Alejandra Poblete, they should be considered, likewise, as the exclusive properties
certificates of title, however, upon which petitioner rests his claim is insufficient. of Emilio Jocson, the burden of proof being on petitioner.
The fact that the properties were registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson,
married to Alejandra Poblete" is no proof that the properties were acquired during ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DISMISSED and the decision of the Court of Appeals
the spouses' coverture. Acquisition of title and registration thereof are two is AFFIRMED.
different acts. It is well settled that registration does not confer title but merely
confirms one already existing (See Torela vs. Torela, supra). It may be that the
SO ORDERED.
properties under dispute were acquired by Emilio Jocson when he was still a
bachelor but were registered only after his marriage to Alejandra Poblete, which
Narvasa, Cruz, Gancayco and Griño-Aquino, JJ., concur.
explains why he was described in the certificates of title as married to the latter.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

FIRST DIVISION Likewise, Salvador Jaramilla and Pedro Bacani failed to settle their accounts with
the PNB so the latter foreclosed the properties covered by TCT No. 2889 which
G.R. No. L-57757 August 31, 1987 were sold at public auction and likewise PNB was the buyer thereof. On August
30, 1968, a certificate of sale was issued by the Register of Deeds covering said
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, petitioner, properties in favor of the PNB. When the title of the PNB was consolidated a new
vs. title was issued in its name. 5
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, PRAGMACIO VITUG AND MAXIMO
VITUG, respondents. On September 2, 1969, the PNB sold the properties covered by TCT Nos. 2887 and
2888 — Pampanga to Jesus M. Vitug, Anunciacion V. de Guzman, Prudencia V.
Fajardo, Salvador Vitug and Aurora V. Gutierrez in those names the corresponding
GANCAYCO, J.: titles were issued. 6

Does the presumption of conjugality of properties acquired by the spouses during During the lifetime of Clodualdo Vitug he married two times. His first wife was
coverture provided for in Article 160 of the Civil Code apply to property covered Gervacia Flores with whom he had 3 children, namely, Victor, Lucina and Julio all
by a Torrens certificate of title in the name of the widow? This is the issue posed surnamed Vitug. Victor now dead is survived by his 5 children: Leonardo, Juan,
in this petition to review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals in Candida Francisco and Donaciano, an surnamed Vitug. Juan Vitug is also dead and
CA-G.R. No. 60903 which is an action for reconveyance and damages. * is survived by his only daughter Florencia Vitug.

On November 28, 1952, Donata Montemayor, through her son, Salvador M. Vitug, The second wife of Clodualdo Vitug was Donata Montemayor with whom he had
mortgaged to the Philippine National Bank (PNB) several parcels of land covered 8 children, namely, Pragmacio, Maximo, Jesus, Salvador, Prudencio and
by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 2289 — Pampanga to guarantee the loan Anunciacion, all surnamed Vitug, the late Enrique Vitug represented by his wife
granted by the PNB to Salvador Jaramilla and Pedro Bacani in the amount of Natalia Laquian, and the late Francisco Vitug who is survived by 11 children,
P40,900.00 which was duly registered in the Office of the Register of Deeds of namely, Antonio, Francisco, Aurora, Pedro, Honorio, Corazon, Anselmo, Benigno,
Pampanga. 1 Eligio Jesus and Luz.

On December 1, 1963, Donata Montemayor also mortgaged in favor of PNB Clodualdo Vitug died intestate on May 20, 1929 so his estate was settled and
certain properties covered by TCT Nos. 2887 and 2888-Pampanga to guarantee distributed in Special Proceeding No. 422 in the Court of First Instance of
the payment of the loan account of her son Salvador Vitug in the amount of Pampanga wherein Donata Montemayor was the Administratrix. 7
P35,200.00, which mortgage was duly registered in the Register of Deeds of
Pampanga. 2 Meanwhile, on May 12,1958, Donata Montemayor executed a contract of lease of
Lot No. 24, which is covered by TCT No. 2887-R in favor of her children Pragmacio
The above-mentioned Transfer Certificates of Titles covering said properties were and Maximo both surnamed Vitug. This lease was extended on August 31, 1963.
all in the name of Donata Montemayor, of legal age, Filipino, widow and a resident By virtue of a general power of attorney executed by Donata Montemayor on
of Lubao, Pampanga at the time they were mortgaged to PNB 3 and were free from Sept. 19, 1966 in favor of Pragmacio Vitug, the latter executed a contract of lease
all hens and encumbrances. 4 on Sept. 19, 1967 of the said lot in favor of Maximo Vitug. 8

Salvador Vitug failed to pay his account so the bank foreclosed the mortgaged On March 21, 1970 Pragmacio Vitug and Maximo Vitug filed an action for partition
properties covered by TCT Nos. 2887 and 2888. They were sold at public auction and reconveyance with damages in the Court of First Instance of Pampanga
on May 20, 1968 in which the PNB was the highest bidder. The titles thereto were against Marcelo Mendiola, special administrator of the intestate estate of Donata
thereafter consolidated in the name of PNB. Montemayor who died earlier, Jesus Vitug, Sr., Salvador, Natalia, Prudencia,
Anunciacion, all surnamed Vitug, Antonio, Francisco, Aurora, Pedro, Honorio,

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

Corazon, Anselmo, Benigno, Eligio Jesus and Luz, all surnamed Fajardo and the C. PNB WAS NOT A PARTY, AND HAD NO
PNB. KNOWLEDGE OF THE ABOVECITED CASE.

The subject of the action is 30 parcels of land which they claim to be the conjugal D. SIMILARLY, PRAGMACIO VITUG AND
property of the spouses Donata Montemayor and Clodualdo Vitug of which they MAXIMO VITUG WERE NOT PARTIES IN SAID
claim a share of 2/11 of 1/2 thereof. They assailed the mortgage to the PNB and CASE.
the public auction of the properties as null and void. They invoked the case of
Vitug vs. Montemayor, L-5297 decided by this Court on Oct. 20, 1953 which is an II THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN NOT
action for partition and liquidation of the said 30 parcels of land wherein the RECOGNIZING THE CONCLUSIVENESS OF THE CERTIFICATE, OF
properties were found to be conjugal in nature. TITLE, AS PROVIDED IN ACT 496, AS AMENDED (THE LAND
REGISTRATION).
In a decision of Sept. 15, 1975, the lower court dismissed the complaint with costs
against the plaintiffs and ordered them to pay attorney's fees of P5,000.00 to the III THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN IGNORING
defendant's counsel. Plaintiffs then interposed an appeal to the Court of Appeals, THE CONCLUSIVENESS OF OWNERSHIP OF DONATA
wherein in due course a decision was rendered on May 20, 1981, the dispositive MONTEMAYOR OVER THE PROPERTIES WHICH WERE
part of which reads as follows: REGISTERED EXCLUSIVELY IN HER NAME WHEN PRIVATE
RESPONDENTS (PRAGMACIO VITUG AND MAXIMO VITUG), AS
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the decision appealed LESSEES, ENTERED INTO A CONTRACT OF LEASE WITH DONATA
from is hereby reversed and set aside, and another one entered MONTEMAYOR AS THE OWNER-LESSOR.
in accordance with the tenor of the prayer of appellant's
complaint with the modification that the sale at public auction IV THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN
of the 22 parcels be considered valid with respect to the 1/2 CONCLUDING THAT PNB WAS A MORTGAGEE IN BAD FAITH.
thereof. No costs.
The petition is impressed with merit.
Hence the herein petition for certiorari filed by the PNB raising the following
assignments of error: When the subject properties were mortgaged to the PNB they were registered in
the name of Donata Montemayor, widow. Relying on the torrens certificate of title
I covering said properties the mortgage loan applications of Donata were granted
by the PNB and the mortgages were duly constituted and registered in the office
THE RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN APPLYING TO of the Register of Deeds.
THE CASE AT BAR THE RULING OF THIS HONORABLE SUPREME
COURT IN FLORENCIA VITUG VS. DONATA MONTEMAYOR, ET In processing the loan applications of Donata Montemayor, the PNB had the right
AL., 91 PHIL. 286 (1953) BECAUSE: to rely on what appears in the certificates of title and no more. On its face the
properties are owned by Donata Montemayor, a widow. The PNB had no reason
A. BETWEEN A PROVISION OF A SPECIAL LAW to doubt nor question the status of said registered owner and her ownership
AND THE JUDICIAL INTERPRETATION AND/OR thereof. Indeed, there are no liens and encumbrances covering the same.
APPLICATION OF A PROVISION OF A GENERAL
LAW, THE FORMER PREVAILS. The well-known rule in this jurisdiction is that a person dealing with a registered
land has a right to rely upon the face of the torrens certificate of title and to
B. THE DOCTRINE OF STARE DECISIS IS NOT A dispense with the need of inquiring further, except when the party concerned has
MECHANICAL FORMULA OF ADHERENCE.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably reason why the property was registered in the name of Donata Montemayor as
cautious man make such inquiry. 9 widow after the death of Clodualdo Vitug. 18

A torrens title concludes all controversy over ownership of the land covered by a At any rate, although actions for recovery of real property and for partition are
final degree of registration. 10 Once the title is registered the owner may rest real actions, however, they are actions in personam that bind only the particular
assured without the necessity of stepping into the portals of the court or sitting in individuals who are parties thereto. 19 The PNB not being a party in said cases is
the mirador de su casa to avoid the possibility of losing his land. 11 not bound by the said decisions. Nor does it appear that the PNB was aware of the
said decisions when it extended the above describe mortgage loans. Indeed, if the
Article 160 of the Civil Code provides as follows: PNB knew of the conjugal nature of said properties it would not have approved
the mortgage applications covering said properties of Donata Montemayor
Art. 160. All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to without requiring the consent of all the other heirs or co-owners thereof.
the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains Moreover, when said properties were sold at public auction, the PNB was a
exclusively to the husband or to the wife. purchaser for value in good faith. So its right thereto is beyond question. 20

The presumption applies to property acquired during the lifetime of the husband Pragmacio and Maximo Vitug are now estopped from questioning the title of
and wife. In this case, it appears on the face of the title that the properties were Donata Montemayor to the said properties. They never raised the conjugal nature
acquired by Donata Montemayor when she was already a widow. When the of the property nor took issue as to the ownership of their mother, Donata
property is registered in the name of a spouse only and there is no showing as to Montemayor, over the same. Indeed private respondents were among the
when the property was acquired by said spouse, this is an indication that the defendants in said two cases wherein in their answers to the complaint they
property belongs exclusively to said spouse. 12 And this presumption under asserted that the properties in question are paraphernal properties belonging
Article 160 of the Civil Code cannot prevail when the title is in the name of only exclusively to Donata Montemayor and are not conjugal in nature. 21 Thus they
one spouse and the rights of innocent third parties are involved. 13 leased the properties from their mother Donata Montemayor for many years
knowing her to be the owner. They were in possession of the property for a long
time and they knew that the same were mortgaged by their mother to the PNB
The PNB had a reason to rely on what appears on the certificates of title of the
and thereafter were sold at public auction, but they did not do anything. 22 It is
properties mortgaged. For all legal purposes, the PNB is a mortgagee in goodfaith
only after 17 years that they remembered to assert their rights. Certainly, they are
for at the time the mortgages covering said properties were constituted the PNB
guilty of laches. 23
was not aware to any flaw of the title of the mortgagor. 14

Moreover, as correctly held by the lower court. Pragmacio and Maximo Vitug as
True it is that in the earlier cases decided by this Court, namely Vitug VS.
occupants and lessees of the property in question cannot now dispute the
Montemayor decided on May 15, 1952, which is an action for recovery of
ownership of their mother over the same who was their lessor. 24
possession of a share in said parcels of land, 15 and in the subsequent action for
partition between the same parties decided on Oct. 20, 1953, 16 this court found
the 30 parcels of land in question to be conjugal in nature and awarded the WHEREFORE, the subject decision of the respondent Court of Appeals is hereby
corresponding share to the property of Florencia Vitug, an heir of the late REVERSED and set aside and another decision is hereby rendered DISMISSING the
Clodualdo Vitug from the first marriage. In said cases this Court affirmed the complaint and ordering private respondents to pay attomey's fees and expenses
decision of the lower court. In the dispositive part of the decision of the trial court of litigation to petitioner PNB in the amount of P20,000.00 and the costs of the
it made the observation that "but from the conduct of Clodualdo Vitug and Donata suit.
Montemayor during the existence of their marital life, the inference is clear that
Clodualdo had the unequivocal intention of transmitting the full ownership of the SO ORDERED.
30 parcels of land to his wife Donata Montemayor, thus considering the 1/2 of the
funds of the conjugal property so advanced for the purchase of said parcels of land
as reimbursible to the estate of Clodualdo Vitug on his death. 17 That must be the

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

EN BANC conjugal assets because of buildings erected thereon during coverture,


but reimbursement of their value was directed. The main bulk was
G.R. No. L-8748 December 26, 1961 adjudged conjugal property. The Court ordered the appointment of
commissioners to estimate the amounts to be reimbursed, to divide the
TESTATE ESTATE OF NARCISO A. PADILLA, deceased. ISABEL B. VDA. DE matrimonial assets into two equal parts for the spouses, and to
PADILLA, executrix-appellant, determine the specific portion of the deceased's estate to be
vs. encumbered with the widow's usufruct (¹/3). Other minor directives are
CONCEPCION PATERNO, administratrix-appellee. omitted for the sake of brevity.

Padilla Law Office and Associates for executrix-appellant. The executrix appealed to this Supreme Court, wherein, dated October
Claro M. Recto for administratrix-appellee. 4, 1943, a decision was promulgated upholding the judgment of the
Manila court with a slight modification as to payment of interest.
REYES, J.B.L., J.:
(That year Concepcion Paterno died. She is now represented by her
testate heirs and legatees.)
This appeal from an order of the probate court in the special proceeding for the
settlement of the testate estate of the deceased Narciso A. Padilla involves the
same properties that had already been the subject-matter of two earlier appeals For compliance with the decision, the records went back to the Manila
also brought to this Court by the executrix-appellant Isabel B. Vda. de Padilla, G.R. court. Therein three commissioners were duly appointed: Vicente A.
No. 48137 decided October 4, 1943, during the war, and G.R. No. L-4130, decided Rufino, chosen by the widow's side, Augusto J. D. Cortes by the heiress-
September 30, 1953, after the war. executrix, and V. R. Endaya by the Court.

The facts of the case, up to the time the second appeal (G.R. No. L-4130) was taken After hearings held before the said committee (May-November, 1947),
by the executrix to this Court, were summed up in our 1953 decision as follows: Vicente A. Rufino submitted his report dated July 9, 1948 which was
concurred in toto by V. R. Endaya. A few days later Augusta J. D. Cortes
filed his own report, wholly at variance with his colleague's
Narciso A. Padilla died February 12, 1934, leaving a childless widow,
recommendations on many important particulars.
Concepcion Paterno, whom he had married in 1912. His last will, which
was probated in due course, instituted his mother, Ysabel Bibby Vda. de
Padilla, as universal heiress. In December, 1948, counsel for the executrix interposed legal and factual
objections to the Rufino report. In May, 1949, Atty. Claro M. Recto, for
the Paterno relatives, replied to said objections and prayed that they be
In the proceedings for the settlement of his estate in Manila (Civil Cases
overruled with the approval the aforesaid report.
46058-63), his widow moved for delivery of her paraphernal property
together with some reimbursements and indemnities, and for one-half
of the conjugal partnership property. She also asked that her On July 3, 1950, Judge Rafael Amparo of the Manila Court approved the
usufructuary right as surviving spouse be imposed on the corresponding majority report except that he declared: (1) lot No. 50 on Juan Luna Street
portion of her husband's assets. The heiress, who was executrix, opposed was conjugal, and (2) the usufruct of the widow shall be constituted on
several such claims. the one-third estate. (Report on Appeal, pp. 149-151).

After hearing evidence on both sides, the Court rendered on January 15, After the return of the records to the probate court for partition in accordance
1940, a decision which, as amended by its resolution of April 24, 1940, with our decision in G.R. No. L-4130, which affirmed the decision appealed from
declared as paraphernal certain personal and real properties. Other with the exception of the modification that one piece of property (the R. Hidalgo
realties, although originally paraphernal, were considered part of the property) adjudicated to the widow was assigned instead to the estate of the
deceased, in exchange for another property (in Azcarraga-Reina Regente) given to

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

the widow, and after delivery by the executrix on December 7, 1953 of the necessary to determine the additional value of the R. Hidalgo property as
properties constituting the widow's share in the partition of the conjugal estate, sought by said administratrix?
the executrix, on March 3, 1954, filed a petition for the final closure of the testate
proceedings. A day before the filing of this petition, however, the trial court had The answer to the first question is in the affirmative. The Civil Code of
issued an order, upon motion of the administratrix of the estate of the widow 1889 provided that upon dissolution of marriage the husband or his heirs
Concepcion Paterno, for a final accounting of the 1951, 1952, and 1953 credit may be compelled to make immediate restitution of the paraphernal
balances of the estate, and to determine the rentals or income of those properties property which has been turned over to the husband for administration
found to be paraphernal assets of the widow, so that the undelivered portions of (Art. 1391 in connection with Art. 1369). The Code of Civil Procedure
said rentals could be turned over to the widow's estate. Accordingly, the estate of provided in its Section 726 that 'where a deceased person in his lifetime
the widow opposed the petition for closure pending the final accounting required held lands in trust for another person, the court may, after notice given
of the executrix in the court's order of March 2, 1954; and also pending as required in the preceding section, grant license to the executor or
determination of the share of the widow in the additional value of the R. Hidalgo administrator, and the person, his executor, or administrator, for whose
property, due to the construction of the Illusion Theater, that in 1952 would use and benefit they are holders; and the court may decree the execution
become property of the owner of the land. The administratrix of the widow's of such trust, whether created by deed or by law.' Upon the death of
estate likewise sought an amendment of the court's order of March 2, 1954, so as Narciso Padilla his marriage with Concepcion Paterno was dissolved.
to require the executrix to account for the undelivered rentals or fruits of the From the moment of his death, his heir was bound to return the
widow's paraphernal properties from October 5, 1938, when the executrix started paraphernal properties of Concepcion Paterno, and from said moment
her administration, until December 7, 1953, when they were finally turned over any income or fruit derived from said paraphernal properties belonged
to the widow's estate. to the owner thereof. It is contended by the executrix herein that the
properties under administration in this proceeding are conjugal subject
On March 15, 1954, the executrix submitted an accounting of the credit balances to the paraphernal claims of the widow, Concepcion Paterno, and that
of the estate for the years 1951, 1952, and 1953, but in subsequent pleadings the rentals from one or the other property cannot be excluded 'for such
objected to the accounting of the fruits of the properties declared to be exclusions cannot be justified, as the definite character of the properties
paraphernal on the theory that (1) said properties were actually held conjugal, as adjudicated in favor of the wife or of the husband became absolute
subject only to paraphernal claims; and that (2) consequently, their income and definite only after the decision of the Hon. Supreme Court late in
belonged to the conjugal estate and had been periodically divided equally 1953'. This contention is not well taken, because the determination made
between the executrix as the universal heir of the deceased and the widow's by the Supreme Court of the character of the properties in question
estate. As for the R. Hidalgo property, the executrix also objected to any further retroacts to the date Narciso Padilla died.
determination of an additional share of the widow on the improvements thereon,
claiming that the widow's estate was bound by the value of P189,240 given to this It appears that Ysabel Bibby was appointed special administratrix in this
property by the Rufino report from which the administratrix of the widow's estate proceeding on August 29, 1938.
did not appeal.
The other question refers to the R. Hidalgo property. With respect to this
Reply and counter-reply having been filed by the parties on the above issues, the property, the Supreme Court in its decision in G.R. No. L-4130 said —
probate court finally resolved the same in its order of July 31, 1954, the pertinent
portions of which are as follows: This Illusion Theatre was not reckoned with in the Rufino report.
Apparently it would pass to the estate in 1952 upon the
The questions that should be passed upon by this Court are those raised occurrence of specified contingencies. If it has passed the
by the administratrix of the estate of Concepcion Paterno in her motion matter could undoubtedly be the subject of further deliberation
for reconsideration, to wit: (1) Should the herein executrix be made to upon appropriate motions. It would only be a question of
account for the income of the paraphernal properties belonging to determining the additional value of the R. Hidalgo property and
Concepcion Paterno as prayed for by said administratrix? (2) Is it

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

of requiring the herein appellant to pay the Paterno estate its (2) That the widow having already raised the question of her right to all the fruits
corresponding share. of her alleged paraphernal properties in a petition for the liquidation of their fruits
filed before the probate court even before the war, and no fruits having been
The above quoted portion of the decision is clear and needs no further awarded to her by the probate court in its decision of January 15, 1940, as
elucidation. amended by its resolution of April 24, 1940, or by this Court in its 1954 decision in
G.R. No. 48137 or in its 1953 decision in G.R. No. L-4130, the widow or her estate
WHEREFORE, the executrix herein is directed to submit within ten (10) is now barred from raising again the question of her exclusive right to such fruits
days from receipt of this order an accounting of the income of the either by the principle of res judicata or that of conclusiveness of judgment;
paraphernal properties in question covering the period from August 29,
1938 to December 7, 1953. (3) As to the R. Hidalgo property of the estate, the lower court erred in sustaining
the additional claim of the widow's estate over the improvements therein.
Regarding the R. Hidalgo property, this proceeding is hereby set for
hearing on August 19, 1954, at 8:30 a.m. for the purpose of determining In support of her first proposition, that the lower court erred in holding that some
the additional value of said property in consonance with the above of the properties in the estate are paraphernal and that all their income belonged
indicated decision of the Supreme Court. the widow Concepcion Paterno, the executrix-appellant claims that our decision
in G.R. No. L-4130 did not declare any properties in the estate of the deceased
The executrix herein is hereby authorized and directed to deliver Narciso A. Padilla paraphernal, but that certain properties therein were declared
immediately to the estate of Concepcion Paterno the one-half portion of "conjugal assets, subject to paraphernal claims", and that this decision is the "law
the credit balance on the 1953 annual accounting. of the case" in this incident and appeal.

The consideration of the prayer to close this proceeding is hereby The above argument appears to be a mere reiteration of the claims already urged
deferred until the accounting herein above called for shall have been by this same appellant in G.R. No. L-4130, where she similarly argued that the
submitted and passed upon and the additional value of the R. Hidalgo probate court, and this Court in G.R. No. 48137, did not hold any properties in the
property shall have been determined. estate paraphernal, but the certain properties therein were declared conjugal
partnership properties, with the widow being entitled to reimbursement for the
value of her paraphernal claims (see Appellant's Brief in G.R. No. L-4130, pp. 70-
Let the corrections indicated by the administratrix of the estate of
71, 103, 106). Rejecting this argument in our decision in G.R. No. L-4130, we said:
Concepcion Paterno be made.

The Rufino report which is printed in full on pages 169-192 of the Record
IT IS SO ORDERED.
on Appeal, states that the buildings constructed by the partnership on
the two lots were destroyed by fire during the battle of liberation of
(Record on Appeal, pp. 60-62.)
Manila in 1945. Then it goes on to adjudicate:

The executrix sought but failed to have the above order reconsidered; whereupon,
As already stated, the conjugal improvements on the lots on
she filed this her third appeal before this Court. 1
Arquiza and Juan Luna have been destroyed by fire, and the
Supreme Court having held that the lands on which said
The executrix-appellant assigns six errors, which may be reduced to the following improvements were erected remained paraphernal until the
propositions: value of said lands were paid to the widow Concepcion Paterno
Vda. de Padilla, said lands must be returned to the Testate
(1) That the lower court erred in holding that some of the properties included in Estate of Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla.
the estate are paraphernal in character and that all their income belonged to the
widow Concepcion Paterno;

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

However, any amount due or that may be received from the War exclusive right of widow Concepcion Paterno to all the fruits of the properties of
Damage Commission for the improvements that were destroyed the estate declared paraphernal from the time the conjugal partnership was
on those two pieces of property shall be divided share and share terminated by the death of the husband Narciso A. Padilla up to their final delivery
alike between the estate of Ysabel Bibby Vda. de Padilla and the to the estate of the widow Concepcion Paterno on December 7, 1953?
estate of Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla. (Record on
Appeal, p. 177). On this matter, we must perforce distinguish those paraphernal properties that
did not cease to be such all throughout and were, accordingly, turned over to the
The executrix earnestly challenges the first paragraph contending that widow's estate on December 7, 1953, from those that, having been paid or
the lots became conjugal properties from the time the buildings were indemnified in full to the widow upon the final partition and division of the
erected thereon, and the subsequent destruction of such buildings did conjugal estate, had finally been converted into conjugal assets. To determine the
not make them paraphernal. She also argues that the indemnity to the properties that belong to either class, we must go back to the records of these
widow for said lots should be their value at the time of the construction settlement proceedings before this appeal, the proceedings taken in the court
of the buildings, or at most, at the time of the dissolution of the below in the course of the execution of our final judgment in G.R. No. L-4130.
partnership in 1934.
Let us recall that in its original resolution of January 15, 1940, the probate court
These contentions may not be upheld in view of the decision of the found the following properties to be paraphernal:
Manila Court and the confirmatory decision of this Tribunal in 1943.
There are, to be sure, some propositions in said decision which we may (1) the lot at 305 Arquiza Street and the demolished improvements
now hesitate to ratify, especially the pronouncement that the lot therein;
continued to be paraphernal until its value had been actually paid. But
that judgment is now the law of the case. (Record on Appeal, pp. 151- (2) the lot at 1393-1409 Juan Luna Street and the improvements therein
152). that had been torn down;

In other words, we maintained in G.R. No. L-4130, as the law of the case, our (3) the lot and improvements (except the building constructed during the
previous decision in G.R. No. 48137 that — marriage) at 401-407 Camba Street;

The ownership of the land is retained by the wife until she is paid the (4) that lot at 613-631 and 634-636 Martin Ocampo Street, with the
value of the lot, as a result of the liquidation of the conjugal partnership. original "accesorias" and a camarin which was destroyed in order that
The mere construction of a building from common funds does not new "accesorias" might be constructed, these new "accesorias" being
automatically convey the ownership of the wife's land to the conjugal conjugal property;
partnership. (Record on Appeal, p. 138).
(5) the property at 620-H, Callejon De la Fe;
Considering that our decision in G.R. No. L-4130 is, in executrix-appellant's own
words, "the last and final decision of this Honorable court intended to definitely
(6) one-half of the property at 631 Regidor Street; and
settle and close this estate" (Appellant's Brief, p. 49), and that the "law of the case"
in this appeal are all the previous decisions herein, "including the 1953 decision
G.R. No. L-4130" (idem, p. 17), the dispositions made in our decision in G.R. No. L- (7) 9/29 of the property at 302-306 R. Hidalgo Street. (Record on Appeal,
pp. 133-134).
4130 should be considered as final and conclusive on the parties in this case and
its incidents.
The findings of the probate court as to the nature of the above properties were
affirmed in toto by this Court in our decision in G.R. No. 48137 dated October 4,
But to what extent does the "law of the case", as expressed in the above decisions,
1943.
bear on the more important question in this appeal — namely, the alleged

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

After the above-mentioned decision was returned to the lower court for (3) As to the Martin Ocampo property:
execution, the battle for the liberation of Manila supervened and as a result of the
general conflagration in the city sometime in February, 1945, the conjugal According to the evidence the portion of the lot occupied by paraphernal
buildings on the Arquiza and Juan Luna properties were completely destroyed. As building or the accesoria otherwise known as Nos. 612, 614, 616, 620,
for the property at 631 Regidor Street, the same was later expropriated by the 624, 626, 628 Quezon Boulevard, has a total area of 360.5 sq. m.; while
government. the interior portion of said lot actually occupied by the accesoria
constructed during the marriage of the spouses contained an area of
When the commissioners appointed to execute the judgment submitted their 528.1 sq. ms. This interior portion is the one which must be appraised by
report, therefore, the majority of the commissioners (whose report, otherwise the Commissioners, and its value reimbursed to the Estate of Concepcion
known as the "Rufino Report," the lower court approved) made the following Paterno Vda. de Padilla, in view of the ruling of the Court that "el valor
recommendations: actual del suelo ocupado por dicha accesoria construida durante el
matrimonio se determinara por los Comisionados y se adjudicara a la
(1) As to the Arquiza and Juan Luna properties, the improvements of Viuda en concepto de indemnizacion." The outer portion of 360.5 sq. ms.
which were destroyed during the battle for the liberation of Manila: having been declared paraphernal property, should be delivered to the
Estate of Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla.
As already stated, the conjugal improvements on the lots on Arquiza and
Juan Luna have been destroyed by fire, and the Supreme Court having The evidence further shows that the reasonable value of said interior
held that the lands in which said improvements were erected remained portion is P125 per sq. m., so that the amount to be reimbursed is
paraphernal until the value of said lands were paid to the widow P66,012.50. As soon as said reimbursement is made, said portion of the
Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla, said lands must be returned to the lot and the buildings existing thereon as conjugal property should be
Testate Estate of Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla, (Record on Appeal divided accordingly for purposes of distribution. (Record on Appeal, Ibid,
in G.R. L-4130, p. 177). p. 181)

(2) As to the Camba property: (4) As to the Callejon De la Fe property:

According to the evidence presented, the portion of this lot located right In view of the fact that finding of the Supreme Court was that this
at the corner of San Nicolas and Camba Streets, otherwise known as Lot property and the improvement which used to exist thereon were both
No. 6-A, and the building existing thereon, are both paraphernal paraphernal, the lot should be delivered to the Testate Estate of
properties. They should, therefore, be delivered to the Testate Estate of Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla and whatever amount is paid by the
Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla. War Damage Commission as compensation for the destruction of said
building should also be totally paid to it. (Record on appeal, ibid, p. 182).
The portion of said lot which is otherwise known as Lot No. 6-B likewise
originally paraphernal, but a building was erected thereon by the (5) As to the Regidor property, which was expropriated by the
conjugal partnership, so that it would become conjugal partnership government:
property upon the reimbursement to the wife of its present value.
According to the evidence, Lot No. 6-B has an area of 83.422 sq. ms., and The compensation received for the expropriation of the Regidor
the present value thereof per square meter is P30.00. This Testate Estate, property, should be divided between the spouses in accordance with the
therefore, should reimburse the Testate Estate of Concepcion Paterno finding of the decision of the Supreme Court as to the character of said
Vda. de Padilla in the sum of P2,502.66. After said reimbursement, Lot property. (Ibid, p. 192)
No. 6-B and the existing improvement thereon shall become conjugal
partnership property and should be divided accordingly for purposes of (6) And as to R. Hidalgo property:
distribution. (Record on Appeal in L-4130, pp. 179-80).

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

The R. Hidalgo property is partly conjugal and partly paraphernal. Nine- portion of the Rufino report making the following recommendation as to the
twenty-ninths thereof belong to the Testate Estate of Concepcion rentals of said properties during the period of settlement:
Paterno Vda. de Padilla as paraphernal property, ten-twenty-ninths
thereof belong to it as share in the conjugal partnership, while the E. RENTALS AND OTHER INCOME DURING SETTLEMENT
remaining ten-twenty-ninths should belong to Dña. Isabela B. Vda. de
Padilla as her inheritance from the decedent herein. It has a total area of For a complete liquidation of the estate under administration, the rentals
1962 square meters. At the rate of P200 per square meter, it has a total from real properties, and other income, such as proceeds from
value of P189,240.00. expropriation, etc., should be disposed in the following manner:

The lot shall become conjugal property and divided accordingly after the The rentals of property declared paraphernal, after deducting
Testate Estate of Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla shall have been administration expenses, must be delivered to the estate of Concepcion
reimbursed in the sum of P58,729,67. Paterno; while the rentals from conjugal property, after deducting
administration expenses, should be divided equally between the heir of
Any payment made by the War Damage Commission shall be divided in the same the husband and those of the wife.... (Record on Appeal in L-4130, p.
proportion, to wit: nine-twenty-ninths shall belong to the Testate Estate of 192).
Concepcion Paterno Vda. de Padilla, and the remaining ten-twenty-ninths shall
belong to Dña. Isabel B. Vda. de Padilla. (Idem., pp. 182-183). Appellant claims that the above recommendation is void because the
commissioners appointed to execute our 1943 decision in G.R. No. 48137 were
All the above recommendations were approved by the trial court, and in her vested only with the limited authority of putting said decision into effect, and said
appeal from the order of approval (which is G.R. No. L-4130), wherein the decision made no disposition as to rentals or fruits of the paraphernal properties.
executrix-appellant specially protested against the declaration that upon the This contention is unmeritorious because the above recommendation was
destruction of the improvements on the Arquiza and Juan Luna properties, they approved by the trial court in its order of July 3, 1950, and by this Court in the
remained paraphernal and must be returned to the estate of the widow, as well 1953 decision in G.R. No. L-4130, and has become part of the "law of the case;" as
as the recommendation to subdivide the Camba and Martin Ocampo properties, such it is now binding, conclusive, and irrevocable in this appeal. Indeed, it
declaring those portions thereof occupied by paraphernal buildings as nowhere, appears in the brief submitted by the executrix-appellant in G.R. No.
paraphernal and should be returned to the widow's estate, the same L-4130 that she then questioned the disposition, made by the Rufino report and
recommendations were affirmed by this Court. by the lower court, as to the rentals of the properties declared paraphernal during
the period of her administration, and it is now too late for her to raise this
Considering, then, the "law of the case" in this appeal as expressed in the Rufino objection many years after our decision in L-4130 had become final and executory.
report and approved by both the probate court and this Court in G.R. No. L-4130, With this result, it becomes unnecessary for us to discuss the executrix-appellant's
we find no error in the lower court's pronouncement that as sole owner of those proposition that the lower court order of January 15, 1940, as amended by its
properties that never became conjugal because the conjugal improvements resolution of April 24, 1940, and this Court's decision in G.R. 48137, both of which
thereon were destroyed before they could be paid for the widow (i.e., the Arquiza came ahead of our decision in G.R. No. L-4130, are res judicata by passing sub
and Juan Luna properties), as well as Lot No. 6-B on Camba Street, the outer silentio this issue of the exclusive right of the widow to the fruits of her
portion of the Martin Ocampo lot, and the Callejon de la Fe property, that never paraphernal properties.
ceased to be paraphernal because there were paraphernal buildings thereon at
the time of the termination of the conjugal partnership, the widow Concepcion The above discussion does not, however, imply that the estate of the widow
Paterno is also the sole owner of all their income that accrued during their Concepcion Paterno has also the exclusive right to the fruits of those properties
administration by the executrix-appellant until they were finally delivered to the which, although originally paraphernal, had finally become converted to conjugal
estate of the deceased Concepcion Paterno on December 7, 1953; minus of assets after their values were reimbursed or paid to the estate of the widow
course, the administration expenses incurred by said executrix-appellant with Concepcion Paterno in the final partition and division of the estate left by the
respect to these paraphernal properties. This is also in accordance with that deceased Narciso A. Padilla. These properties are the following:

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

(1) Lot No. 6-B of the Camba property; The R. Hidalgo property is partly conjugal and partly paraphernal. Nine-
twenty-ninths thereof belongs to the Testate Estate of Concepcion
(2) The interior portion of the Martin Ocampo property; and Paterno Vda. de Padilla as paraphernal property, while ten-twenty-ninths
thereof belongs to it as share in the conjugal partnership, while the
(3) the 9/29 share of the widow in the R. Hidalgo property. remaining ten-twenty-ninths should belong to Dña. Isabel B. Vda. de
Padilla as her inheritance from the decedent herein. It has a total area of
946.2 square meters. At the rate of P200 per square meter, it has a total
As to the above properties, their conversion from paraphernal to conjugal assets
value of P189,240.00. The lot shall become conjugal property and divided
should be deemed to retroact to the time the conjugal buildings were first
accordingly after the Testate Estate of Concepcion Paterno Vda. de
constructed thereon or at the very latest, to the time immediately before the
Padilla shall have been reimbursed in the sum of P58,729.67. (Record on
death of Narciso A. Padilla that ended the conjugal partnership. They can not be
Appeal in L-4130, pp. 182-183)
considered to have become conjugal property only as of the time their values were
paid to the estate of the widow Concepcion Paterno because by that time the
conjugal partnership no longer existed and it could not acquire the ownership of Indeed, the Rufino report could not have included the value of the improvements
said properties. The acquisition by the partnership of these properties was, under at the time the commissioners appraised this property for purposes of partition
the 1943 decision, subject to the suspensive condition that their values would be between the parties, because the old improvements thereon were destroyed
reimbursed to the widow at the liquidation of the conjugal partnership; once paid, during the war and whatever improvements were found therein by the
the effects of the fulfillment of the condition should be deemed to retroact to the commissioners in 1948 still belonged to the lessee of said property. This was
date the obligation was constituted (Art. 1187, New Civil Code). As a consequence, admitted in the executrix-appellant's own brief in G.R. No. L-4130 (pp. 119-120),
all the fruits of these properties, after the dissolution of the partnership by the to wit:
death of the husband, until final partition, logically belonged to the universal heir
of said husband (his mother Isabel Bibby) and to the surviving widow in co- The increase in the valuation of the share of the widow in the R. Hidalgo
ownership, share and share alike. As there has been periodical equal distribution property from P45,608.26 to P58,729.59 is certainly unjustified,
between these two parties of the current income of the estate, there is no need considering, as above stated, that the permanent improvements on the
for the executrix-appellant to make any new accounting for the fruits of these R. Hidalgo property were totally destroyed by fire during liberation.
properties. Besides, if the property present has increased in value, it is due to the
executrix-appellant who, after liberation, entered into a contract of lease
Coming now to the third issue in this appeal, namely, the right of the widow to an with Cinema Operators, Inc., which built the Illusion Theatre and the
additional share in the improvements on the R. Hidalgo property that was commercial establishments nearby. The improvements built by the
adjudicated to the estate of the husband Narciso A. Padilla in the 1953 decision, lessee will become the property of the estate of Narciso A. Padilla after
G.R. No. L-4130, we find and no merit to the claim of appellant that — the expiration of said contract of lease.lawphil.net

When the R. Hidalgo property was appraised by the Rufino Report on July Hence, the footnote in our decision in L-4130 to the following effect:
9, 1948, at P189,240.00 and under such appraisement awarded to the
estate of the widow, we respectfully submit that the value as appraised This Illusion Theatre was not reckoned with in the Rufino report.
included not only the land but also the improvement which was then Apparently it would pass to the estate in 1952 upon the occurrence of
already existing, the same having been built in 1947. certain specified contingencies. If it has passed the matter could
undoubtedly be the subject of further deliberation upon appropriate
because the Rufino report states in clear and unmistakable terms that only the motions. It would only be a question of determining the additional value
land was appraised in the report and only its value included in the project of of the R. Hidalgo property and of requiring the herein appellant to pay
partition: the Paterno estate its corresponding share. (Record on Appeal, p. 157)

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

As correctly observed by the lower court in the order now appealed from, "the
above-quoted portion of the decision is clear and needs no further elucidation"
(Record on Appeal p. 62).

Considering that the improvements on the R. Hidalgo property accrued to the


owner of the land only after the expiration of the seven-year lease entered into
by the executrix-appellant with the tenant on February 2, 1946, the lower court
did not err in ordering the appraisal of said improvement with the view of
determining the additional share therein of the widow Concepcion Paterno.

WHEREFORE, with the clarification that the accounting of the income of the
paraphernal properties to be made by the executrix-appellant should refer only to
the Arquiza, Juan Luna, and Callejon de la Fe properties, to Lot No. 6-A of the
Camba property, and to the outer portion of the Martin Ocampo property, the
order appealed from is affirmed. Without special pronouncement as to costs.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

EN BANC sale to October 26, 1960. On October 17, 1960, she filed amended motion, dated
October 14, alleging that on November 11, 1952, during the pendency of the case,
G.R. No. L-21533 June 29, 1967 defendant Pascual Lozano died and that the property levied upon was her
paraphernal property, and praying that her liability be fixed at one-half (½) of the
HERMOGENES MARAMBA, plaintiff-appellant, amount awarded in the judgment and that pending the resolution of the issue an
vs. order be issued restraining the Sheriff from carrying out the auction sale
NIEVES DE LOZANO, ET AL., defendants-appellees. scheduled on October 26, 1960.

N. Tanopo, Jr. and Millora for plaintiff-appellant. On that date the sale proceeded anyway, and the property of Nieves de Lozano
Manuel Ancheta and Bausa, Ampil and Suarez for defendants-appellees. which has been levied upon was sold to the judgment creditor, as the highest
bidder, for the amount of P4,175.12, the balance of the judgment
debt.1äwphï1.ñët
MAKALINTAL., J.:

On October 27, 1960, plaintiff filed an opposition to the defendant's amended


Appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Dagupan City in its Civil Case
motion dated October 14, 1960. And on June 28, 1961, the trial court issued the
No. 10485, dated June 28, 1961. This case was originally brought to the Court of
questioned order, the dispositive part of which is as follows:
Appeals, but subsequently certified to Us on the ground that the issues raised are
purely legal.
WHEREFORE, the court hereby grants the motion of counsel for
defendant Nieves de Lozano, dated October 5, 1960, which was amended
It appears that on November 3, 1948, the plaintiff filed an action against the
on October 14, 1960, and holds that the liability of the said defendant
defendant Nieves de Lozano and her husband Pascual Lozano for the collection of
under the judgment of June 23, 1959, is only joint, or P1,750.04, which is
a sum of money. After trial, the court a quo on June 23, 1959 rendered its decision,
one-half (½) of the judgment debt of P3,500.07 awarded to the plaintiff
the dispositive part of which is as follows:
and that the writ of execution be accordingly modified in the sense that
the liability of defendant Nieves de Lozano be only P1,750.04 with legal
WHEREFORE, the court hereby renders judgment, sentencing the
interest from the date of the filing of the complaint on November 5, 1948
defendants herein, Nieves de Lozano and Pascual Lozano, to pay unto the
until fully paid, plus the amount of P21.28 which is also one-half (½) of
herein plaintiff, Hermogenes Maramba, the total sum of Three Thousand
the costs taxed by the Clerk of Court against the defendant spouses. Let
Five Hundred Pesos and Seven Centavos (P3,500.07), with legal interest
the auction sale of the above-mentioned property of defendant Nieves
thereon from date of the filing of the instant complaint until fully paid.
de Lozano proceed to satisfy her liability of P1,750.04 with legal interest
as above stated and the further sum of P21.28 representing the costs,
With costs against the said defendants. unless she voluntarily pays the same to the judgment creditor (herein
plaintiff).
Not satisfied with the judgment, the defendants interposed an appeal to the Court
of Appeals but the appeal was dismissed on March 30, 1960 for failure of the Plaintiff interposed an appeal from the above-quoted order and assigned several
defendants to file their brief on time. After the record the case was remanded to errors, which present three major issues, to wit:
the court a quo, a writ of execution was issued, and on August 18, 1960 levy was
made upon a parcel of land covered by transfer certificate title No. 8192 of
(a) whether or not the decision of the lower court dated June 23, 1959
Pangasinan in the name of Nieves de Lozano. The notice of sale at public auction
could still be questioned;
was published in accordance with law and scheduled for September 16, 1960.
(b) whether or not the judgment was joint or solidary; and
On that date, however, defendant Nieves de Lozano made a partial satisfaction of
the judgment in the amount P2,000.00, and requested for an adjournment of the

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

(c) whether or not the judgment debt could be satisfied from the thereon at the expense of the common fund, pursuant to Article 158 paragraph 2
proceeds of the properties sold at public auction. of the Civil Code. However, it has been by this Court that the construction of a
house at conjugal expense on the exclusive property of one of the spouses doe
Plaintiff-appellant submits that a "nunc pro tunc" order should have been issued not automatically make it conjugal. It is true that meantime the conjugal
by the trial court dismissing, as of November 11, 1952, the case against the late partnership may use both in the land and the building, but it does so not as owner
Pascual Lozano by reason of his death, and that the lower court should have but in the exercise of the right of usufruct. The ownership of the land remains the
corrected its decision of June 23, 1959, by striking out the letter "s" in the word same until the value thereof is paid, and this payment can only be demanded in
"defendants" and deleting the words "and Pascual Lozano." the liquidation of the partnership (Coingco vs. Flores, 82 Phil. 284; Paterno vs.
Bibby Vda. de Padilla, 74 Phil. 377; Testate Estate of Narciso Padilla, G.R.No. L-
We do not think that the action suggested would be legally justified. It would entail 8748, Dec. 26, 1961). The record does not show that there has already been a
a substantial amendment of the decision of June 23, 1959, which has long become liquidation of the conjugal partnership between the late Pascual Lozano and
final and in fact partially executed. A decision which has become final and Nieves de Lozano. Consequently, the property levied upon, being the separate
executory can no longer be amended or corrected by the court except for clerical property of defendant Nieves de Lozano, cannot be made to answer for the
errors or mistakes,1 and however erroneous it may be, cannot be liability of the other defendant.
disobeyed;2 otherwise litigations would be endless and no questions could be
considered finally settled.3 The amendment sought by appellee involves not On May 18, 1967 counsel for defendants-appellees filed with Us a petition
merely clerical errors but the very substance of the controversy. And it cannot be alleging, inter alia; that prior to the expiration of the redemption period and
accomplished by the issuance of a "nunc pro tunc" order such as that sought in pursuant to an order of the lower court defendants filed a surety bond in the
this case. The purpose of an "nunc pro tunc" is to make a present record of an amount of P3,175.12 as the redemption price, which bond was duly approved by
which the court made at a previous term, but which not then recorded. It can only the lower court; that sometime last September 1966, defendants filed a petition
be made when the ordered has previously been made, but by inadvertence not before the lower court praying that the sheriff of Pangasinan be ordered to
been entered. In the instant case there was no order previously made by the court execute the corresponding deed of redemption in favor of defendant Nieves de
and therefore there is no now to be recorded. Lozano represented by her judicial administrator or that, in the alternative, the
Register of Deeds of Dagupan City be directed to cancel Entries Nos. 19234 and
Now then, it is clear that the decision of June 23, 1959 does not specify the extent 20042 at the back of TCT No. 8192; and that said petition was denied by the lower
of the liability of each defendant. The rule is that when the judgment does not court. The same prayer made below is reiterated in the said petition of May 18,
order the defendants to pay jointly and severally their liability is merely joint, and 1967.
none of them may be compelled to satisfy the judgment in full. This is in harmony
with Articles 1137 and 1138 of the Civil Code. The foregoing petition of May 18, 1967 alleges facts which occurred after the
perfection of the present appeal and which should therefore be submitted to and
Plaintiff-appellant contends that in any event the entire judgment debt can be passed upon by the trial court in connection with the implementation of the order
satisfied from the proceeds the property sold at public auction in view of the appealed from, which is hereby affirmed, with costs.
presumption that it is conjugal in character although in the of only one of the
spouses. The contention is incorrect. The presumption under Article 160 of the
Civil Code to property acquired during the marriage. But in the instant case there
is no showing as to when the property in question was acquired and hence the
fact that the title is in the wife's name alone is determinative. Furthermore,
appellant himself admits in his brief (p. 17) that the property in question is
paraphernal.

Appellant next points out that even if the land levied upon were originally
paraphernal, it became conjugal property by virtue of the construction of a house

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

SECOND DIVISION Now, therefore, you are commanded that of the goods and chattels of the
defendant Erlinda Nicol, or from her estates or legal heirs, you cause the sum in
G.R. No. 145222 April 24, 2009 the amount of forty thousand pesos (₱40,000.00), Philippine Currency,
representing the moral damages, attorney’s fees and litigation expenses and
SPOUSES ROBERTO BUADO and VENUS BUADO, Petitioners, exemplary damages and the cost of suit of the plaintiff aside from your lawful fees
vs. on this execution and do likewise return this writ into court within sixty (60) days
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, Former Division, and ROMULO from date, with your proceedings endorsed hereon.
NICOL, Respondents.
But if sufficient personal property cannot be found whereof to satisfy this
DECISION execution and lawful fees thereon, then you are commanded that of the lands and
buildings of said defendant you make the said sum of money in the manner
required by the Rules of Court, and make return of your proceedings with this writ
TINGA, J.:
within sixty (60) days from date.3
Before this Court is a petition for certiorari assailing the Decision 1 of the Court of
Finding Erlinda Nicol’s personal properties insufficient to satisfy the judgment, the
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 47029 and its Resolution denying the motion for
Deputy Sheriff issued a notice of levy on real property on execution addressed to
reconsideration thereof.
the Register of Deeds of Cavite. The notice of levy was annotated on the Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-125322.
The case stemmed from the following factual backdrop:
On 20 November 1992, a notice of sheriff’s sale was issued.
On 30 April 1984, Spouses Roberto and Venus Buado (petitioners) filed a
complaint for damages against Erlinda Nicol (Erlinda) with Branch 19 of the
Two (2) days before the public auction sale on 28 January 1993, an affidavit of
Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Bacoor, Cavite, docketed as Civil Case No. 84-33. Said
third-party claim from one Arnulfo F. Fulo was received by the deputy sheriff
action originated from Erlinda Nicol’s civil liability arising from the criminal offense
prompting petitioners to put up a sheriff’s indemnity bond. The auction sale
of slander filed against her by petitioners.
proceeded with petitioners as the highest bidder.
On 6 April 1987, the trial court rendered a decision ordering Erlinda to pay
On 4 February 1993, a certificate of sale was issued in favor of petitioners.
damages. The dispositive portion reads:

Almost a year later on 2 February 1994, Romulo Nicol (respondent), the husband
Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff[s] and against
of Erlinda Nicol, filed a complaint for annulment of certificate of sale and damages
defendant ordering the latter to pay the former the amount of thirty thousand
with preliminary injunction against petitioners and the deputy sheriff.
(₱30,000.00) pesos as moral damages, five thousand (₱5,000.00) pesos as
Respondent, as plaintiff therein, alleged that the defendants, now petitioners,
attorney’s fees and litigation expenses, another five thousand (₱5,000.00) pesos
connived and directly levied upon and execute his real property without
as exemplary damages and the cost of suit.2
exhausting the personal properties of Erlinda Nicol. Respondent averred that
there was no proper publication and posting of the notice of sale. Furthermore,
Said decision was affirmed, successively, by the Court of Appeals and this Court. It
respondent claimed that his property which was valued at ₱500,000.00 was only
became final and executory on 5 March 1992.
sold at a "very low price" of ₱51,685.00, whereas the judgment obligation of
Erlinda Nicol was only ₱40,000.00. The case was assigned to Branch 21 of the RTC
On 14 October 1992, the trial court issued a writ of execution, a portion of which of Imus, Cavite.
provides:
In response, petitioners filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of lack of
jurisdiction and that they had acted on the basis of a valid writ of execution. Citing

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

De Leon v. Salvador,4 petitioners claimed that respondent should have filed the of only when there is no appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
case with Branch 19 where the judgment originated and which issued the order ordinary course of law.8
of execution, writ of execution, notice of levy and notice of sheriff’s sale.
Nowhere in the petition was it shown that the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals
In an Order5 dated 18 April 1994, the RTC dismissed respondent’s complaint and was questioned. The issue devolves on whether the husband of the judgment
ruled that Branch 19 has jurisdiction over the case, thus: debtor may file an independent action to protect the conjugal property subject to
execution. The alleged error therefore is an error of judgment which is a proper
As correctly pointed out by the defendants, any flaw in the implementation of the subject of an appeal.
writ of execution by the implementing sheriff must be brought before the court
issuing the writ of execution. Besides, there are two (2) remedies open to the Nevertheless, even if we were to treat this petition as one for review, the case
plaintiff, if he feels that the property being levied on belongs to him and not to the should still be dismissed on substantive grounds.
judgment debtor. The first remedy is to file a third-party claim. If he fails to do
this, a right is reserved to him to vindicate his claim over the property by any Petitioners maintain that Branch 19 retained jurisdiction over its judgment to the
proper action. But certainly, this is not the proper action reserved to the plaintiff exclusion of all other co-ordinate courts for its execution and all incidents thereof,
to vindicate his claim over the property in question to be ventilated before this in line with De Leon v. Salvador. Petitioners insist that respondent, who is the
court. As earlier stated, this case should have been addressed to Branch 19, RTC husband of the judgment debtor, is not the "third party" contemplated in Section
Bacoor as it was that court which issued the writ of execution.6 17 (now Section 16), Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, hence a separate action need
not be filed. Furthermore, petitioners assert that the obligation of the wife
Respondent moved for reconsideration but it was denied on 26 July 1994. redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership and cited authorities to the
effect that the husband is liable for the tort committed by his wife.
On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court and held that Branch
21 has jurisdiction to act on the complaint filed by appellant. The dispositive Respondent on the other hand merely avers that the decision of the Court of
portion reads: Appeals is supported by substantial evidence and in accord with law and
jurisprudence.9
WHEREFORE, the Orders appealed from are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. This
case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Imus, Cavite, Branch 21 for Verily, the question of jurisdiction could be resolved through a proper
further proceedings. interpretation of Section 16, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, which reads:

SO ORDERED.7 Sec. 16. Proceedings where property claimed by third person.

Petitioners’ motion for reconsideration was denied on 23 August 2000. Hence, the If the property levied on is claimed by any person other than the judgment obligor
instant petition attributing grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Court of or his agent, and such person makes an affidavit of his title thereto or right to the
Appeals. possession thereof, stating the grounds of such right or title, and serves the same
upon the officer making the levy and a copy thereof upon the judgment obligee,
A petition for certiorari is an extraordinary remedy that is adopted to correct the officer shall not be bound to keep the property, unless such judgment obligee,
errors of jurisdiction committed by the lower court or quasi-judicial agency, or on demand of the officer, files a bond approved by the court to indemnify the
when there is grave abuse of discretion on the part of such court or agency third-party claimant in a sum not less than the value of the property levied on. In
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Where the error is not one of case of disagreement as to such value, the same shall be determined by the court
jurisdiction, but of law or fact which is a mistake of judgment, the proper remedy issuing the writ of execution. No claim for damages for the taking or keeping of
should be appeal. In addition, an independent action for certiorari may be availed the property may be enforced against the bond unless the action therefor is filed
within one hundred twenty (120) days from the date of the filing of the bond.

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Persons and Fam. Relations Ass. No. 9

The officer shall not be liable for damages for the taking or keeping of the Pursuant to Mariano however, it must further be settled whether the obligation
property, to any third-party claimant if such bond is filed. Nothing herein of the judgment debtor redounded to the benefit of the conjugal partnership or
contained shall prevent such claimant or any third person from vindicating his not.
claim to the property in a separate action, or prevent the judgment obligee from
claiming damages in the same or a separate action against a third-party claimant Petitioners argue that the obligation of the wife arising from her criminal liability
who filed a frivolous or plainly spurious claim. is chargeable to the conjugal partnership. We do not agree.

When the writ of execution is issued in favor of the Republic of the Philippines, or There is no dispute that contested property is conjugal in nature. Article 122 of
any officer duly representing it, the filing of such bond shall not be required, and the Family Code16 explicitly provides that payment of personal debts contracted
in case the sheriff or levying officer is sued for damages as a result of the levy, he by the husband or the wife before or during the marriage shall not be charged to
shall be represented by the Solicitor General and if held liable therefor, the actual the conjugal partnership except insofar as they redounded to the benefit of the
damages adjudged by the court shall be paid by the National Treasurer out of such family.
funds as may be appropriated for the purpose. (Emphasis Supplied)
Unlike in the system of absolute community where liabilities incurred by either
Apart from the remedy of terceria available to a third-party claimant or to a spouse by reason of a crime or quasi-delict is chargeable to the absolute
stranger to the foreclosure suit against the sheriff or officer effecting the writ by community of property, in the absence or insufficiency of the exclusive property
serving on him an affidavit of his title and a copy thereof upon the judgment of the debtor-spouse, the same advantage is not accorded in the system of
creditor, a third-party claimant may also resort to an independent separate action, conjugal partnership of gains. The conjugal partnership of gains has no duty to
the object of which is the recovery of ownership or possession of the property make advance payments for the liability of the debtor-spouse.
seized by the sheriff, as well as damages arising from wrongful seizure and
detention of the property. If a separate action is the recourse, the third-party Parenthetically, by no stretch of imagination can it be concluded that the civil
claimant must institute in a forum of competent jurisdiction an action, distinct and obligation arising from the crime of slander committed by Erlinda redounded to
separate from the action in which the judgment is being enforced, even before or the benefit of the conjugal partnership.
without need of filing a claim in the court that issued the writ. 101awphi1.zw+
To reiterate, conjugal property cannot be held liable for the personal obligation
A third-party claim must be filed a person other than the judgment debtor or his contracted by one spouse, unless some advantage or benefit is shown to have
agent. In other words, only a stranger to the case may file a third-party claim. accrued to the conjugal partnership.17

This leads us to the question: Is the husband, who was not a party to the suit but In Guadalupe v. Tronco,18 this Court held that the car which was claimed by the
whose conjugal property is being executed on account of the other spouse being third party complainant to be conjugal property was being levied upon to enforce
the judgment obligor, considered a "stranger?" "a judgment for support" filed by a third person, the third-party claim of the wife
is proper since the obligation which is personal to the husband is chargeable not
In determining whether the husband is a stranger to the suit, the character of the on the conjugal property but on his separate property.
property must be taken into account. In Mariano v. Court of Appeals, 11 which was
later adopted in Spouses Ching v. Court of Appeals, 12 this Court held that the Hence, the filing of a separate action by respondent is proper and jurisdiction is
husband of the judgment debtor cannot be deemed a "stranger" to the case thus vested on Branch 21. Petitioners failed to show that the Court of Appeals
prosecuted and adjudged against his wife for an obligation that has redounded to committed grave abuse of discretion in remanding the case to Branch 21 for
the benefit of the conjugal partnership.13 On the other hand, in Naguit v. Court of further proceedings.
Appeals14 and Sy v. Discaya,15 the Court stated that a spouse is deemed a stranger
to the action wherein the writ of execution was issued and is therefore justified in
WHEREFORE, the petition is DISMISSED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals
bringing an independent action to vindicate her right of ownership over his
is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.
exclusive or paraphernal property.lawphil.net

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