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1999 Bar Question 12

In 1950, the Bureau of Lands issued a Homestead patent
to A. Three years later, A sold the homestead to B. A died in
1990, and his heirs filed an action to recover the homestead
from B on the ground that its sale by their father to the latter
is void under Section 118 of the Public Land Law. B contends,
however, that the heirs of A cannot recover the homestead
from him anymore because their action has prescribed and
that furthermore, A was in pari delicto. Decide.

3 years after the issuance of the homestead patent. . The action filed by the heirs of B to declare the nullity or inexistence of the contract and to recover the land should be given due course. (Article 1410 of the Civil Code.) The Defense of Pari Delicto in not applicable. since the law itself allows the homesteader to reacquire the land even if it has been sold. B’s defense of prescription is untenable because an action which seeks to declare the nullity of inexistence of a contract does not prescribe. being in violation of Section 118 of the Public Land Act.Answer The sale of the land by A to B. is void from its inception.

an employee at the Treasurer’s Office of said City.00 was the highest.1991 Bar Question No. the City sold it at public auction to Juan Miranda.00? If not. (b) If the sale is void. may Juan recover the P10. granted free patent and on the basis thereof an Original Certificate of Title was issued to her. In due time. Maria refused to turn-over the possession of the property to Juan alleging that (1) she had been. and (2) the sale in favor of Juan is void from the beginning in view of the provision in the Administrative Code of 1987 which prohibits officers and employees of the government from purchasing directly or indirectly any property sold by the government for non payment of any tax. why not? . to satisfy the taxes due.000. whose bid at P10. free or other public charge. in the meantime. 12b Maria Enriquez failed to pay the realty taxes on her unregistered agricultural land located in Magdugo. In 1989. Toledo City.000. a final bill of sale was executed in his favor.

he may.Answer Juan may recover. Under Article 1416 of the civil code. when the agreement is not illegal per se but is merely prohibited. and the prohibition by the law is designated for the protection of the plaintiff. recover what he has paid or delivered. . if public policy is thereby enhanced.

x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x 3. 2a3 Distinguish briefly but clearly between: 1. Civil Obligation and natural obligation? .2004 Bar Question No. x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x-x 2.

to do and not to do. A natural obligation is based on equity and natural law. he cannot recover what was paid.Answer Civil Obligation is a juridical necessity to give. There is no legal right to compel performance thereof but if the debtor voluntarily pays it. . It gives the creditor the legal right to compel by an action in court the performance of such obligation.

a 10-hectare property belonging to their conjugal partnership. Winda learned of the sale. Verde contends that in any case the action has prescribed or is barred by laches. she tried but failed to get free membership privileges in Verde. 7a Way back in 1948. Winda’s husband sold in favor of Verde Sports Center Corp. Winda now files a suit against Verde for the annulment of the sale on the grounds that she did not consent to the sale. In 1950. stating for your decision. The sale was made without Winda’s knowledge. she noticed that the construction of the sports complex had started. Winda rejoins that her Torrens title covering the property is indefeasible and imprescriptible. In answer. Upon completion of the construction in 1952. (a) Define or explain the term “laches” (b) Decide the case. . the sale in 1948 of the property did not need her concurrence. Verde contends that. Soon after. much less consent. in accordance with the Spanish Civil Code which was in force. when she discovered the deed of sale among the documents in her husband’s vault after his demise.2002 Bar Question No.

(b) Winda’s claim that her Torrens Title covering the property is indefeasible and Imprescriptible is not tenable. It is negligence or omission to assert a right within a reasonable time.Answer (a) Laches means failure or neglect. . could or should have been done earlier. by exercising due diligence. the title becomes inconstestable and incontrovertible. to do what. for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time. The rule of indefeasibility of a Torrens Title means that after one year from the date of issue of the decree of registration or if the land has fallen into the hands of an innocent purchaser for value.

means that no title to the land in derogation of that of the registered owner may be acquired by adverse possession or acquisitive prescription or that registered owner does not lose by extinctive prescription his right to recover ownership and possession of the land. is already barred by prescription. on the other hand. The action in this case is for annulment of the sale executed by the husband over a conjugal partnership property covered by a Torrens Title. the action to set aside the sale. Hence.IMPRESCRIPTIBILITY. . Actions on contracts are subject to prescription. nonetheless.

However. .2000 Bar Question No. the action was brought within the ten-year prescriptive period provided by law wherein actions based on written contracts can be instituted. the defense of laches was raised as the claim was filed more than seven years from the maturity of the obligation. 16a In an action brought to collect a sum of money based on a surety agreement. (a) Will the defense prosper? Reason.

standing alone. Mere delay in filing an action. . the defense will not prosper. does not constitute laches. The problem did not give facts from which laches may be inferred.Answer No.

(b) What are the essential elements of laches? .2000 Bar Question No. the action was brought within the ten-year prescriptive period provided by law wherein actions based on written contracts can be instituted. However. the defense of laches was raised as the claim was filed more than seven years from the maturity of the obligation. 16b In an action brought to collect a sum of money based on a surety agreement.

giving rise to the situation of which complainant seeks a remedy. Injury or Prejudice to the defendant in the event relief is accorded to the complainant. Conduct on the part of the defendant or of one under whom he claims. 2. Delay in asserting the complainant’s rights. Lack of knowledge on the part of the defendant that the complainant would assert the right on which he bases his suit. 4. . the complainant having had knowledge or notice of the defendant’s conduct and having been afforded an opportunity to institute suit. or the suit is not held to be barred. 3.Answer (b) The four basic elements of laches are: 1.

asserting that he has already acquired ownership of the land by prescription. However. Having reached retirement age in 1990 Rosario returned to the province and upon learning what had transpired. Ramon never shared the harvest with Rosario and was even able to sell one-half of the land in 1985 by claiming to be the sole heir of his parents. . she left Ramon alone to possess and cultivate the land.2000 Bar Question No. Ramon opposed. and that Rosario is barred by laches from demanding partition and reconveyance. 17 In 1955. demanded that the remaining half of the land be given to her as her share. Since Rosario was gainfully employed in Manila. Decide the conflicting claims. Ramon and his sister Rosario inherited a parcel of land in Albay from their parents.