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BRAVO-GUERRERO v.

BRAVO notarized and was in existencefor many years without


* The Courtof Appeals reversed the Decision[4]of 11 May 2000 question about its validity.
of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch No. 139, in
CivilCase No. 97-1379 denying respondents’ prayer to * Citing Article 166 of the Civil Code (“Article 166”), the
partition the subjectproperties. Courtof Appeals declared the Deed of Sale void for lack of
Simona’s consent.
* Spouses Mauricio Bravo
* appellate court held that the GPA executed by Simona in
* owned two parcels of land 1966 was not sufficient to authorize Mauricio to sell the
Properties because Article 1878 of the CivilCode (“Article
* Mauricio and Simona had three children 1878”) requires a special power of attorney for
suchtransactions.
* Lily Bravo married David Diaz,and had a son, David B. Diaz,
* The appellate court reasoned that the GPA was executed
* Roland had six children,namely, Lily Elizabeth Bravo- merely toenable Mauricio to mortgage the Properties, not to
Guerrero (“Elizabeth”), Edward Bravo (“Edward”),Roland sell them.
Bravo, Jr
* Court of Appeals also found that there was insufficient
* Simona executed a General Power of Attorney proofthat the vendees made the mortgage payments on the
Properties, since the PNBand DBP receipts were issued in
* appointing Mauricio as her attorney-in-fact. Mauricio’s name.

* In the GPA, Simonaauthorized Mauricio to “mortgage or * The appellate court opinedthat the rental income of the
otherwise hypothecate, sell, assign anddispose of any and all Properties, which the vendees never shared withrespondents,
of my property, real, personal or mixed, of any was sufficient to cover the mortgage payments to PNB and
kindwhatsoever and wheresoever situated, or any interest DBP.
therein
* Respondents argue that the sale of theconjugal Properties is
* Mauriciosubsequently mortgaged the Properties to the void because: (1) Mauricio executed the Deed of Salewithout
Philippine National Bank (PNB) andDevelopment Bank of the Simona’s consent; and (2) the sale was merely simulated, as
Philippines (DBP) for P10,000 and P5,000,respectively shown bythe grossly inadequate consideration Mauricio
received for the Properties.
* Mauricio executed a Deed of Sale withAssumption of Real
Estate Mortgage (“Deed of Sale”) conveying the Properties * David Jr. died on 14 September 2004.
to“Roland A. Bravo, Ofelia A. Bravo and Elizabeth Bravo”
* The petition is partly meritorious.
* Thesale was conditioned on the payment of P1,000 and on
the assumption bythe vendees of the PNB and DBP mortgages * The questions of whether Simona consented to the Deed of
over the Properties. Sale andwhether the subject sale was simulated are factual in
nature.
* the Deedof Sale was not annotated on TCT Nos. 58999 and
59000. Neither was itpresented to PNB and DBP. * We hold that the Court of Appeals erred when it declared the
Deedof Sale void based on Article 166,
* The mortage loans and the receipts for loan paymentsissued
by PNB and DBP continued to be in Mauricio’s name even * Art. 166. Unless the wife has been declared a non compos
after his deathon 20 November 1973. Simona died in 1977. mentisor a spendthrift, or is under civil interdiction or is
confined in aleprosarium, the husband cannot alienate or
* On 23 June 1997, Edward, represented by his wife, Fatima encumber any real property of theconjugal partnership
Bravo,filed an action for the judicial partition of the Properties. without the wife’s consent.

* Edward claimedthat he and the other grandchildren of * This article shall not apply to property acquired by the
Mauricio and Simona are co-owners of theProperties by conjugalpartnerships before the effective date of this Code.
succession.
* Article 166 expressly applies only to properties acquired by
* Despite this, petitioners refused to share with himthe theconjugal partnership after the effectivity of the Civil Code
possession and rental income of the Properties. of the Philippines

* Edward later amended hiscomplaint to include a prayer to * The Civil Code came into force on 30 August 195
annul the Deed of Sale, which he claimed wasmerely
simulated to prejudice the other heirs. * Under Article 1413 of the old Spanish Civil Code, the
husband could alienateconjugal partnership property for
* David Jr., whose parents died in 1944 and who valuable consideration without the wife’sconsent.
wassubsequently raised by Simona, moved to intervene in the
case. * Even under the present Civil Code, however, the Deed of
Sale isnot void.
* David Jr. fileda complaint-in-intervention impugning the
validity of the Deed of Sale andpraying for the partition of the * It is well-settled that contracts alienating conjugal real
Properties among the surviving heirs ofMauricio and Simona. propertywithout the wife’s consent are merely voidable

* The trial court upheld Mauricio’s sale of the Properties to * Article 166 must be read in conjunction with Article 173
thevendees.
* Art. 173 Should thewife fail to exercise this right, she or her
* The trial court ruled that the sale did not prejudice the heirs after the dissolutionof the marriage, may demand the
compulsoryheirs, as the Properties were conveyed for value of property fraudulently alienated
valuable consideration.
* Under the Civil Code, only the wife can ask to annul a
* The trialcourt also noted that the Deed of Sale was duly contractthat disposes of conjugal real property without her
consent.

* The wife mustfile the action for annulment during the


marriage and within ten years from thequestioned
transaction.

* In suchcase, the wife or her heirs can only demand the value
of the property providedthey prove that the husband
fraudulently alienated the property.

* Fraud isnever presumed, but must be established by clear


and convincing evidence.

* Respondents’ action to annul the Deed of Sale based on


Article166 must fail for having been filed out of time.

* The marriage of Mauricio andSimona was dissolved when


Mauricio died in 1973.

* Article 173 reserves that remedy to the wifealone.

* We also agree with the trial court that Simona


authorizedMauricio to dispose of the Properties when she
executed the GPA.

* The records are bereft of anyindication that Simona


questioned the sale of the Properties at any time.

* True, Article1878 requires a special power of attorney for an


agent to execute a contractthat transfers the ownership of an
immovable.

* However, the Court has clarifiedthat Article 1878 refers to


the nature of the authorization, not to its form.

* Even if a documentis titled as a general power of attorney,


the requirement of a special power ofattorney is met if there
is a clear mandate from the principal specificallyauthorizing
the performance of the act.

* In Veloso v. Courtof Appeals,[24] the Court explained that a


general power of attorney could contain a specialpower to sell
that satisfies the requirement of Article 1878, thus:An
examination of the records showed that the assailed power
ofattorney was valid and regular on its face. It was notarized
and as such, itcarries the evidentiary weight conferred upon it
with respect to its dueexecution. While it is true that it was
denominated as a general power ofattorney, a perusal thereof
revealed that it stated an authority to sell,

* In this case, Simona expressly authorized Mauricio in the


GPA to“sell, assign and dispose of any and all of my property,
real,personal or mixed,

* Taken together, these provisions constitute a clear and


specific mandate to Mauricioto sell the Properties.

* Even if it is called a “general power of attorney,”the specific


provisions in the GPA are sufficient for the purposes of
Article1878.

* he last 3 mortgage receipts and the MortgageRelease were


all issued in Mauricio’s name even after his death in 1970.

* Obviously, Mauricio could not have secured the Mortgage


Release and made theselast payments.