91. Imuan vs. Cereno, G.R. No. 167995, Sept. 11, 2009 Facts: Pablo contracted two marriages and all his children on both are already dead. The petitioners in the case are his grandchildren while the respondent is the husband of his daughter from his second marriage. Juana, Pablo‟s second wife, together with her children continued to be in possession of the parcel of land owned by Pablo after his death. A joint affidavit was executed attesting that Pablo ceded the property in favor of Juana in the occasion of their marriage but the document was lost. Juana sold said parcel of land to the respondent which was registered in the register of deeds. The land area sold to respondents was divided by a barangay road. They built a house on one side and planted fruit-bearing trees on the other side. It is on the latter‟s side where the petitioners took possession and built a nipa hut thereon. An ejectment case was filed by the respondents against petitioners but was later dismissed when the petitioners left the area. Petitioners now brought an action for reconveyance, damages, and annulment of deed of sale by Juana to the respondents. They contend that it was through their tolerance that Juana and her children constructed their house on the lot in dispute, that Pablo have not partitioned among his heirs his property and the sale made by Juana to respondents are null and void. Respondents invoke the ground that when Pablo married Juana the property was his exclusive property and donated such through propter nuptias when they married. Thus Juana, being the owner of said lot, validly made the sale to respondents who immediately took possession over the land and paid its realty tax. MTC ruled in favor of the petitioners however upon appeal CA ruled in favor of the respondents as it held that the respondents are in peaceful possession of said lot for 29 years which suffice to meet the requirement of 10-year period of open, public, and adverse possession in the concept of owner that the law on prescription requires. It ruled that petitioners are barred by latches from claiming ownership of the disputed property. Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are barred by latches and prescription in claiming their share of the property? Ruling: The Supreme Court ruled that the respondents have acquired the disputed property by acquisitive prescription. Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights over immovable property and is concerned with a lapse of time laid down by law where possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful, uninterrupted, and adverse. Possession is open when it is patent, visible, apparent, and notorious. It is continuous when uninterrupted, unbroken and not intermittent or occasional; exclusive when the adverse possessor can show exclusive dominion over the land and an appropriation of it to his own use and benefit; and notorious when it is so conspicuous that it is generally known and talked of by the public or the people in the neighborhood. The party who asserts ownership by adverse possession must prove the presence of the essential elements of acquisitive prescription. Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession in good faith and a just title in 10 years while extraordinary acquisitive prescription involves uninterrupted adverse possession for 30 years without the need for good title and good faith. Respondents immediately took possession of the property after buying it and diligently paid its realty tax. Even if the petitioners saw respondents built a house thereon and planted fruit bearing trees, they did not raise objection on the respondent‟s possession. Their inaction further made them guilty of latches since they live merely 100 meters away from the property to know of the respondent‟s possession of said land. They only filed an action for reconveyance 29 years after the respondent‟s peaceful possession over the property; the 10year prescription period for ordinary acquisitive prescription has already lapsed. The SC affirmed the CA decision declaring the respondents as the rightful owner of the land in dispute. 92. SEMIRARA COAL CORPORATION vs.HGL DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION G.R. No. 166854 December 6, 2006 Facts: Petitioner Semirara Mining Corporation requested for permission of Private respondent HGL Development Corporation, a grantee of Forest Land Grazing Lease Agreement (FLGLA), to allow petitioner's trucks and other equipment to pass through the property covered by the FLGLA. HGL granted the request on condition that petitioner's use would not violate the FLGLA in any way. Subsequently, however, petitioner erected several buildings for petitioner's administrative offices and employees' residences without HGL's permission. Petitioner also conducted blasting and excavation; constructed an access road to petitioner's minesite in the Panaan Coal Reserve, Semirara; and maintained a stockyard for the coal it extracted from its mines. Thus, the land which had been used for cattle grazing was greatly damaged, causing the decimation of HGL's cattle. HGL wrote petitioner demanding full disclosure of petitioner's activities on the subject land as well as prohibiting petitioner from constructing any improvements without HGL's permission. Petitioner ignored the demand and continued with its activities. On December 6, 2000, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) unilaterally cancelled FLGLA No. 184 and ordered HGL to vacate the premises. The DENR found that HGL failed to pay the annual rental and surcharges from 1986 to 1999 and to submit the required Grazing Reports from 1985 to 1999 or pay the corresponding penalty for non-submission thereof. HGL contested the findings and filed a letter of reconsideration on January 12, 2001, which was denied by DENR Secretary Heherson Alvarez in a letter-order dated December 9, 2002. The DENR stated that it had coordinated with the DOE, which had jurisdiction over coal or coal deposits and coal-bearing lands, and was informed that coal deposits were very

likely to exist in Sitios Bobog and Pontod. Hence, unless it could be proved that coal deposits were not present, HGL's request had to be denied. Issues: 1) won private respondent has no legal right or cause of action under the principal action or complaint, much less, to the ancillary remedy of injunction; 2) won a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction cannot be used to take property out of the possession of one party and place it into that of another who has no clear legal right thereto. Held: 1) A lawful possessor is entitled to be respected in his possession and any disturbance of possession is a ground for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore the possession. Thus, petitioner's claim that the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction is improper because the instant case is allegedly one for accion publiciana deserves no consideration. This Court has already ruled in Torre, et al. v. Hon. J. Querubin, et al. that prior to the promulgation of the New Civil Code, it was deemed improper to issue a writ of preliminary injunction where the party to be enjoined had already taken complete material possession of the property involved. However, with the enactment of Article 539, the plaintiff is now allowed to avail of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession during the pendency of his action to recover possession. It is likewise established that a writ of mandatory injunction is granted upon a showing that (a) the invasion of the right is material and substantial; (b) the right of complainant is clear and unmistakable; and (c) there is an urgent and permanent necessity for the writ to prevent serious damage. 2) It is clear that as holder of a pasture lease agreement under FLGLA No. 184, HGL has a clear and unmistakable right to the possession of the subject property. Recall that under the FLGLA, HGL has the right to the lawful possession of the subject property for a period of 25 years or until 2009. As lawful possessor, HGL is therefore entitled to protection of its possession of the subject property and any disturbance of its possession is a valid ground for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction in its favor. The right of HGL to the possession of the property is confirmed by petitioner itself when it sought permission from HGL to use the subject property in 1999. In contrast to HGL's clear legal right to use and possess the subject property, petitioner's possession was merely by tolerance of HGL and only because HGL permitted petitioner to use a portion of the subject property so that the latter could gain easier access to its mining area in the Panaan Coal Reserve. 93. CALICDAN, ETC. VS. SILVERIO CENDANA, ET. Al G.R. No.155080, February 5, 2004 Facts: On August 25, 1947, Fermina, widow of Sixto Calicdan, who died intestate, executed a deed of donation intervivos whereby she conveyed a 750-square meter of unregistered land located in Mangaldan, Pangasinan formerly owned by Sixto to respondent Silverio Cendana who immediately entered into possession of the land. Sometime in 1949, Cendana constructed a two-storey residential house thereon where he resided until his death in 1998. On June 19, 1992, petitioner Soledad, daughter of Fermina, through her legal guardian, Guadalupe Castillo, filed a Complaint for Recovery of Ownership, Possession and Damages against the respondent alleging that; 1) the donation was void; 2) the respondent took advantage of her incompetence in acquiring the land; and 3) she merely tolerated respondent‟s possession of the land as well as the construction of his house thereon. In his answer with Motion to dismiss, respondent contended that; 1)the land was donated to him by Fermina in 1947; 2) he had been publicly, peacefully, continuously and adversely in possession of the land for a period of 45 years; and 3) the complaint was barred by prior judgment in the special proceedings. RTC ordered Silverio Cendana to vacate the land and surrender ownersip and possession of the same to petitioner. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial court‟s decision and declared that the donation was valid and that the petitioner lost her ownership of the property by prescription. Issue: WON Cendana validly ownership was acquired over the property by prescription. Held: Yes. Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real right over immovable property. It is concerned with lapse of time in the manner and under conditions laid down by law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful, uninterrupted and adverse. The good faith of the possessor consists in the reasonable belief that the person from whom he received the thing was the owner thereof, and could transmit his ownership. For purposes of prescription, there is just title when the adverse claimant came into possession of the property through one of the modes recognized by law for the acquisition of ownership or other real rights, but the grantor was not the owner or could not transmit any right. In this case at bar, as it demands that the possession be in good faith and with just title and there is no evidence on record to prove respondent‟s good faith, nevertheless, his adverse possession of the land for more than 45 years aptly shows he has met the requirements for extraordinary acquisitive prescription to set in. 94. Lubos v. Galupo, 373 SCRA 618 Facts: The plaintiffs claim that on January 1928, in a private instrument written in Spanish entitled „Escritura de Compra y Venta,‟ the original owner of the land sold the said property to Juan Galupo. On the death of Juan Galupo, the same was inherited by his son, whose heirs are herein plaintiffs. In 1984, the plaintiffs discovered the land to be occupied by the tenant farmers of defendant Lina Abalon Lubos, who had the land re-assessed

and obtained a new tax declaration in her name, while the tax declaration in their father‟s name had been removed from the files. On 1990, Lina Abalon Lubos sold a portion of the said land to spouses Poldo. The plaintiffs sought the annulment of the said sale, and a declaration that they are the lawful owners of the land. On the other hand, defendant Lina Abalon Lubos contends that the original owner is her great grandmother, who sold the property to her father who possessed the property for over thirty (30) years until 1975, and from whom she acquired possession of the land. Subsequently, she sold a portion of the property to the spouses Poldo, who claim to be purchasers in good faith. Issue: Who has a better right or title to the subject lot? Held: Acquisitive prescription is a mode of acquiring ownership by a possessor through the requisite lapse of time. In order to ripen into ownership, possession must be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful and uninterrupted. Thus, possession with a juridical title, such as by a usufructuary, a trustee, a lessee, agent or a pledgee, not being in the concept of an owner, cannot ripen into ownership by acquisitive prescription unless the juridical relation is first expressly repudiated and such repudiation has been communicated to the other party. When the respondents filed the instant case on October 10, 1991, petitioner Lubos was in possession of the property for only twenty-eight (28) years counted from 1963 as testified to by petitioner‟s witnesses. This is short of the required thirty years of uninterrupted adverse possession without just title and good faith. Petitioner assails the admission of the escritura de compra y venta as there was no translation thereof. Petitioner further claimed that the authenticity and due execution of the escritura de compra y venta must be proven. With respect to the admissibility of the escritura de compra y venta, the Court agrees with the Court of Appeals that it is admissible even if not translated from its Spanish text because it was not objected to and was an ancient document. Petitioner has failed to establish the chain of title through which the land passed to her. In contrast, the respondents have shown that the land came to their possession as heirs, thus, acquiring a better right to the subject land. 93. CEQUENA VS. BOLANTE 330 scra 216, April 6, 2000 Facts: This is a petition for recovery of property. A parcel of land was originally declared for taxation purposes in the name of Respondednt. Later, on the basis of an affidavit, the tax declaration was cancelled and subsequently declared in the name of Petitioner. Petitioner instituted an action for recovery of the property. The trial court rendered judgment ordering Respondent to surrender possession to the heirs of petitioner. On appeal. the CA reversed the trial court‟s finding because the genuineness and du e execution of the affidavit allegedly signed by Respondent had not been sufficiently established. Issue: 1.WON there is enough evidence of ownership of the property. 2.WON petitioners loss legal possession. 3.WON actual and physical possession coupled with an exclusive and continuous possession are evidence of the best kind of circumstance proving the claim of the title of ownership and enjoys the presumption of preferred possessor. Held: 1) None. The affidavit is not admissible as evidence of ownership of the property because before a private document offered as authentic can be received in evidence, its due execution and authenticity must be proved first. And not all notarized documents are exempted from the rule on authentication. Thus, an affidavit does not automatically become a public document just because it contains a notarial jurat. Tax declarations and receipts are not also conclusive evidence of ownership. At most, they constitute mere prima facie proof of ownership or possession of the property for which taxes have been paid. In the absence of actual public and adverse possession, the declaration of the land for tax purposes does not prove ownership. 2) No. The SC conceded that despite their dispossession in 1985, the petitioners did not lose legal possession because possession cannot be acquired through force or violence. To all intents and purposes, a possessor, even if physically ousted, is still deemed the legal possessor. Indeed, anyone who can prove prior possession, regardless of its character, may recover such possession. 3) Ownership of immovable property is acquired by ordinary prescription through possession for ten years. Being the sole heir of her father, respondent showed through his tax receipt that she had been in possession of the land for more than ten years since 1932. When her father died in 1930, she continued to reside there with her mother. Respondent's possession was not disturbed until 1953 when the petitioners' father claimed the land. But by then, her possession, which was in the concept of owner -- public, peaceful, and uninterrupted -- had already ripened into ownership. Furthermore she herself, after her father's demise, declared and paid realty taxes for the disputed land. Tax receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation, when coupled with proof of actual possession of the property, can be the basis of a claim for ownership through prescription. The petitioners, despite thirty-two years of farming the subject land, did not acquire ownership. It is settled that ownership cannot be acquired by mere occupation. Unless coupled with the element of hostility toward the true owner, occupation and use, however long, will not confer title by prescription or adverse possession. Moreover, the petitioners cannot claim that their possession was public,

peaceful and uninterrupted. Although their father and brother arguably acquired ownership through extraordinary prescription because of their adverse possession for thirty-two years (1953-1985), this supposed ownership cannot extend to the entire disputed lot, but must be limited to the portion that they actually farmed. 96. PNB vs. CA and ERNESTO AUSTRIA and LORETO Q. QUINTANA Facts: Spouses Godofredo and Wilma Monsod obtained a loan from petitioner Philippine National Bank (PNB) secure by a mortgaged on a parcel of land. Due to Monsods‟ failure to pay their loan obligation, PNB extrajudicially foreclosed the mortgage. At the auction sale of the subject real property, PNB was declared the highest bidder. Upon expiration of the redemption period on July 12, 1985, ownership of the property was consolidated in PNB. Foreclosed property is occupied by one Ernesto Austria which accordingly was invited by the bank to a conference to discuss the ownership of the foreclosed lot, however, he did not honor the bank‟s invitation. PNB‟s petition and a writ of possession was granted by the court causing respondents Ernesto and Loreto Quintana Austria to filed a “Motion for Intervention and to Recall and/or Stop the Enforcement of the Writ of Possession.” The Austrias alleged that they are the actual occupants of the subject lot, which they purportedly bought from the Monsods as early as 1974. They claimed that the foreclosed property was enclosed within a concrete fence and formed part of their family compound. PNB allegedly knew of this fact even before it granted the loan to the Monsods, because the bank‟s credit investigators were advised of the same when they inspected the property in the summer of 1976. Consequently, the Austrias maintained that the issuance of the possessory writ ex parte was improper, since it will deprive them of their property without due process. Issue: Whether or not an ex-parte writ of possession issued pursuant to Act No. 3135, as amended, can be enforced against a third person who is in actual possession of the foreclosed property and who is not in privity with the debtor/ mortgagor. Held: The SC held that the obligation of a court to issue an ex-parte writ of possession in favor of the purchaser in an extrajudicial foreclosure sale ceases to be ministerial once it appears that there is a third party in possession of the property who is claiming a right adverse to that of the debtor/mortgagor. The same principle was inversely applied in a more recent case, where we ruled that a writ of possession may be issued in an extrajudicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage, only if the debtor is in possession and no third party had intervened. Although the factual nuances of this case may slightly differ from the aforecited cases, the availing circumstances are undeniably similar – a party in possession of the foreclosed property is asserting a right adverse to the debtor/mortgagor and is a stranger to the foreclosure proceedings in which the ex-parte writ of possession was applied for. (Notably, the Civil Code protects the actual possessor of a property, to wit: Art. 433. Actual possession under claim of ownership raises a disputable presumption of ownership. The true owner must resort to judicial process for the recovery of the property. Under the aforequoted provision, one who claims to be the owner of a property possessed by another must bring the appropriate judicial action for its physical recovery. The term “judicial process” could mean no less than an ejectment suit or reinvindicatory action, in which the ownership claims of the contending parties may be properly heard and adjudicated. An ex-parte petition for issuance of a possessory writ under Section 7 of Act No. 3135 is not, strictly speaking, a “judicial process” as contemplated above. Even if the same may be considered a judicial proceeding for the enforcement of one‟s right of possession as purchaser in a foreclosure sale, it is not an ordinary suit filed in court, by which one party “sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.” It should be emphasized that an ex-parte petition for issuance of a writ of possession is a non-litigious proceeding authorized in an extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage pursuant to Act 3135, as amended. Unlike a judicial foreclosure of real estate mortgage under Rule 68 of the Rules of Court, any property brought within the ambit of the act is foreclosed by the filing of a petition, not with any court of justice, but with the office of the sheriff of the province where the sale is to be made. Besides, as earlier stressed, Article 433 of the Civil Code, cited above, requires nothing less than an action for ejectment to be brought even by the true owner. After all, the actual possessor of a property enjoys a legal presumption of just title in his favor, which must be overcome by the party claiming otherwise.) 97. CARMEN CAÑIZA, vs. Sps. ESTRADA. G.R. No. 110427- February 24, 1997 268 scra640 Facts: Carmen Cañiza who was declared incompetent by judgment, was the owner of a house and lot occupied by the Estradas. Through her guardian, Cañiza had asked the Estradas verbally and in writing to vacate the house but they had refused to do so and that by the defendants' act of unlawfully depriving plaintiff of the possession of the house in question. Hence, a suit was commenced to eject the spouses Pedro and Leonora Estrada from said premises whom Caniza allowed to occupy said premises out of kindness. CA Affirmed the ruling of RTC that the action by which the issue of defendants' possession should be resolved is accion publiciana, the obtaining factual and legal situation demanding adjudication by such plenary action for recovery of possession cognizable in the first instance by the Regional Trial Court.

Issue: Whether or not an ejectment action is the appropriate judicial remedy for recovery of possession of the property in dispute. Held: SC held that a cause of action for desahucio has been adequately set out. It is settled that in an action for unlawful detainer, it suffices to allege that the defendant is unlawfully withholding possession from the plaintiff is deemed sufficient, and a complaint for unlawful detainer is sufficient if it alleges that the withholding of possession or the refusal to vacate is unlawful without necessarily employing the terminology of the law. The Estradas' possession by tolerance is a possession de facto, not de jure. It is therefore incorrect to postulate that the proper remedy for Cañiza is not ejectment but accion publiciana, a plenary action in the RTC or an action that is one for recovery of the right to possession de jure. It may be pointed out in relation to the Estradas's defenses in the ejectment action, that as the law now stands, even when, in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the lower court nevertheless have the undoubted competence to resolve the issue of ownership only to determine the issue of possession. To be sure, an ejectment case survives the death of a party. Cañiza's demise did not extinguish the desahucio suit instituted by her through her guardian. That action, not being a purely personal one, survived her death; her heirs have taken her place and now represent her interests in the appeal at bar. 98. HABAGAT GRILL vs. DMC-URBAN PROPERTY DEVELOPER, INC., [G.R. No. 155110. March 31, 2005] Facts: David M. Consunji, Inc. acquired and became the owner of a residential lot which was subsequently transferred to its sister company, the DMC Urban Property Developers, Inc. (DMC). DMC filed a Complaint for Forcible Entry against Louie Biraogo who accordingly by means of strategy and stealth, unlawfully and forcibly entered into the lot in question and constructed the Habagat Grill. Louie Biraogo in his Answer denied illegally entering the lot in question. He averred that Habagat Grill was built in 1992 inside Municipal Reservation No. 1050 and covered by Presidential Proclamation No. 20, which Biraogo failed to submit to the court. To resolve the issue on the location of Habagat Grill, the MTCC constituted a team to determine the exact location of Habagat Grill. The team found out that Habagat Grill Restaurant was occupying 934 square meters of the lot in question. MTCC decision on dismissing the case on the ground of lack of jurisdiction and lack of cause of action was affirmed by RTC. CA ruled that the court of origin had jurisdiction over the Complaint for Forcible Entry. The CA gave greater weight to the testimony of respondent‟s real property manager, Bienamer Garcia, that Habagat Grill had been built on December 1, 1993.[7] The appellate court opined that his testimony was credible, because he had personal knowledge of the facts he had testified to -- it was his task to know such matters. On the other hand, it was not clear in what capacity petitioner‟s witness, Samuel Ruiz, came to know of the facts he had testified to.[8] The CA further held that the minutes of the Urban Planning and Economic Development hearings -- submitted by petitioner to prove the construction of Habagat Grill in 1992 -- were immaterial, as these referred to another establishment. Issues: (1) won the MTC had jurisdiction over the ejectment case, and (2) In ejectment proceedings, who is entitled to physical or material possession of the premises? Held: 1. Jurisdiction in ejectment cases is determined by the allegations pleaded in the complaint. As long as these allegations demonstrate a cause of action either for forcible entry or for unlawful detainer, the court acquires jurisdiction over the subject matter. This principle holds, even if the facts proved during the trial do not support the cause of action thus alleged, in which instance the court -- after acquiring jurisdiction -- may resolve to dismiss the action for insufficiency of evidence. The necessary allegations in a Complaint for ejectment are set forth in Section 1 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. Notably, petitioner alleged (1) prior possession, (2) deprivation thereof by strategy and stealth, and (3) the date such unlawful deprivation started, which was less than one year from the filing of the Complaint. Considering the presence in the Complaint of all the necessary allegations, the trial court evidently acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. 2. Issues as to the right of possession or ownership are not involved in the action; evidence thereon is not admissible, except only for the purpose of determining the issue of possession. The two forms of ejectment suits -- forcible entry or unlawful detainer -- may be distinguished from each other mainly by the fact that in forcible entry, the plaintiffs must prove that they were in prior possession of the premises until they were deprived thereof by the defendant; in unlawful detainer, the plaintiff need not have been in prior physical possession. In Spouses Benitez v. CA has held that possession can be acquired not only by material occupation, but also by the fact that a thing is subject to the action of one‟s will or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for acquiring such right. Possession can be acquired by juridical acts. “These are acts to which the law gives the force of acts of possession. Examples of these are donations, succession, execution

and registration of public instruments, and the inscription of possessory information titles.” For one to be considered in possession, one need not have actual or physical occupation of every square inch of the property at all times. In the present case, prior possession of the lot by respondent‟s predecessor was sufficiently proven by evidence of the execution and registration of public instruments and by the fact that the lot was subject to its will from then until December 1, 1993, when petitioner unlawfully entered the premises and deprived the former of possession thereof. 99. PEDRO SEPULVEDA, SR., vs. ATTY. PACIFICO S. PELAEZ [G.R. No. 152195. January 31, 2005], 450 scra 302 Facts: Respondent Atty. Pacifico Pelaez filed a complaint against his granduncle, Pedro Sepulveda, Sr., for the recovery of possession and ownership of his one-half (1/2) undivided share of several parcels of land; his undivided one-third (1/3) share in several other lot; and for the partition thereof among the co-owners. Subjecting a total of eleven (11) lots among the twenty-five (25) parcels of land which Pelaez mother, Dulce Sepulveda, inherited from her grandmother, Dionisia Sepulveda under the Project of Partition. Under the said deed, Pedro Sepulveda, Sr. appeared to be the owner of an undivided portion of Lot No. 28199, while his brother and Dulce's uncle Santiago Sepulveda, was the undivided owner of one-half (1/2) of the parcels of land covered by T.D. Nos. 18197, 18193 and 28316. Dulce and her uncles, Pedro and Santiago, were likewise indicated therein as the co-owners of the eleven other parcels of land, each with an undivided one-third (1/3) share thereof. The private respondent alleged that his mother Dulce died intestate and aside from himself, was survived by her husband Rodolfo Pelaez and her mother Carlota Sepulveda. Dulce's grandfather Vicente Sepulveda died intestate. Issue/s: WON the right to usufruct of surviving heirs may be waived or automatically passed or acquired by other heirs. WON an action for Judicial partition was established as to existence of co-ownership in fact exists and a partition is proper, that is, it is not otherwise legally proscribed and may be made by voluntary agreement of all the parties interested in the property. Held: When the private respondent filed the complaint, his father was still alive. Thus, when his mother Dulce Pelaez died intestate on March 2, 1944, she was survived by her husband Rodolfo and their son, the private respondent. Under Article 996 of the New Civil Code, Rodolfo Pelaez, as surviving spouse, is entitled to a portion in usufruct equal to that corresponding by way of legitime to each of the legitimate children who has not received any betterment. Hence, the SC held that based articles 807 and 834 of the old Civil Code the surviving spouse is a forced heir and entitled to a share in usufruct in the estate of the deceased spouse equal to that which by way of legitime corresponds or belongs to each of the legitimate children or descendants who have not been bettered or have not received any share in the one-third share destined for betterment. The right of the surviving spouse to have a share in usufruct in the estate of the deceased spouse is provided by law of which such spouse cannot be deprived and which cannot be ignored. Of course, the spouse may waive it but the waiver must be express. Rodolfo Pelaez is an indispensable party he being entitled to a share in usufruct, equal to the share of the respondent in the subject properties. There is no showing that Rodolfo Pelaez had waived his right to usufruct. The determination of whether or not a co-ownership in fact exists and a partition is proper, that is, it is not otherwise legally proscribed and may be made by voluntary agreement of all the parties interested in the property. A declaration that plaintiff is not entitled to the desired partition either because a co-ownership does not exist or a partition is legally prohibited. It may also end, on the other hand, with an adjudgment that a coownership does in truth exist, that partition is proper in the premises, and that an accounting of rents and profits received by the defendant from the real estate in question is in order. In the latter case, the parties may, if they are able to agree, make partition among themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, and the court shall confirm the partition so agreed upon by all the parties. In either case, whether the action is dismissed or partition and/or accounting is decreed, the order is a final one and may be appealed by any party aggrieved thereby. The parties are unable to agree upon the partition ordered by the court. In that event, partition shall be effected for the parties by the court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. This second phase may also deal with the rendition of the accounting itself and its approval by the Court after the parties have been accorded the opportunity to be heard thereon, and an award for the recovery by the party or parties thereto entitled of their just shares in the rents and profits of the real estate in question.

100. NHA vs. CA, et al. [G.R. No. 148830. April 13, 2005] Facts: Proclamation No. 481 was issued setting aside a 120-hectare portion of land owned by the NHA as reserved property for the site of the National Government Center (NGC). On 19 September 1977, President Marcos issued Proclamation No. 1670, which removed a seven-hectare portion from the coverage of the NGC. Proclamation No. 1670 gave MSBF usufructuary rights over this segregated portion. MSBF occupied the area

granted by Proclamation No. 1670. Over the years, MSBF's occupancy exceeded the seven-hectare area subject to its usufructuary rights. By 1987, MSBF occupied approximately 16 hectares. By then the land occupied by MSBF was bounded by Epifanio de los Santos Avenue (EDSA') to the west, Agham Road to the east, Quezon Avenue to the south and a creek to the north. MSBF leased a portion of the area it occupied to BGC and other stallholders. BGC leased the portion facing EDSA. President Corazon Aquino issued MO 127 which revoked the reserved status of 'the 50 hectares, more or less, remaining out of the 120 hectares of the NHA property reserved as site of the National Government Center. MO 127 also authorized the NHA to commercialize the area and to sell it to the public. Acting on the power granted under MO 127, the NHA gave BGC ten days to vacate its occupied area. Any structure left behind after the expiration of the ten-day period will be demolished by NHA. Issue: WON right of usufruct granted to BGC may be subject to lease, and that the premises leased by bgc from msbf is within the seven-hectare area that proclamation no. 1670 granted to msbf by way of usufruct.

Held: A usufruct may be constituted for a specified term and under such conditions as the parties may deem convenient subject to the legal provisions on usufruct. A usufructuary may lease the object held in usufruct. Thus, the NHA may not evict BGC if the 4,590 square meter portion MSBF leased to BGC is within the sevenhectare area held in usufruct by MSBF. The owner of the property must respect the lease entered into by the usufructuary so long as the usufruct exists. However, the NHA has the right to evict BGC if BGC occupied a portion outside of the seven-hectare area covered by MSBF's usufructuary rights. This Court cannot countenance MSBF's act of exceeding the seven-hectare portion granted to it by Proclamation No. 1670. A usufruct is not simply about rights and privileges. A usufructuary has the duty to protect the owner's interests. One such duty is found in Article 601 of the Civil Code which states: ART. 601. The usufructuary shall be obliged to notify the owner of any act of a third person, of which he may have knowledge, that may be prejudicial to the rights of ownership, and he shall be liable should he not do so, for damages, as if they had been caused through his own fault. A usufruct gives a right to enjoy the property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title constituting it or the law otherwise provides. This controversy would not have arisen had MSBF respected the limit of the beneficial use given to it. MSBF's encroachment of its benefactor's property gave birth to the confusion that attended this case. To put this matter entirely to rest, it is not enough to remind the NHA to respect MSBF's choice of the location of its seven-hectare area. MSBF, for its part, must vacate the area that is not part of its usufruct. MSBF's rights begin and end within the seven-hectare portion of its usufruct. This Court agrees with the trial court that MSBF has abused the privilege given it under Proclamation No. 1670. The direct corollary of enforcing MSBF's rights within the seven-hectare area is the negation of any of MSBF's acts beyond it. The law clearly limits any usufruct constituted in favor of a corporation or association to 50 years. A usufruct is meant only as a lifetime grant. Unlike a natural person, a corporation or association's lifetime may be extended indefinitely. The usufruct would then be perpetual. This is especially invidious in cases where the usufruct given to a corporation or association covers public land. Proclamation No. 1670 was issued 19 September 1977, or 28 years ago. Hence, under Article 605, the usufruct in favor of MSBF has 22 years left.