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152766, 404 SCRA 540

FACTS OF THE CASE: Lilian Sanchez constructed a house on a 76-square meter lot owned
by her parents-in-law. The lot was registered with Eliseo Sanchez, Marilyn Sanchez, Lilian
Sanchez, Nenita Sanchez, Susana Sanchez and Felipe Sanchez as co-owners.
On 20 February 1995, the lot was registered in the name of private respondent Virginia Teria
by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale allegedly executed by the six co-owners in her favor.
Petitioner, however, claimed that she did not affix her signature on the document and
subsequently refused to vacate the lot, thus prompting Teria to file an action for recovery of
possession of the lot.
ISSUE: Whether or not petitioner is entitled to her 1/6 share of the co-owned property
HELD AND RATIO: YES. The lower courts failed to pass upon the issue of co-ownership
present in the case at hand.
Co-ownership, whether established by law or by agreement of the co-owners, the property
or thing held pro-indiviso is impressed with a fiducial nature so that each co-owner becomes
a trustee for the benefit of his co-owners and he may not do any act prejudicial to the
interest of his co-owners. Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to preserve the properties
in co-ownership is to create an express trust among the heirs as co-owners of the
properties. Co-ownership is a form of trust and every co-owner is a trustee for the others.
Before the partition of a land or thing held in common, no individual or co-owner can claim
title to any definite portion thereof. All that the co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or
proportionate share in the entire land or thing.
Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of an undivided interest in the property the
right to freely sell and dispose of it, i.e., his undivided interest. He may validly lease his
undivided interest to a third party independently of the other co-owners. But he has no right
to sell or alienate a concrete, specific or determinate part of the thing owned in common
because his right over the thing is represented by a quota or ideal portion without any
physical adjudication.
Although assigned an aliquot but abstract part of the property, the metes and bounds of
petitioners lot has not been designated. As she was not a party to the Deed of Absolute
Salevoluntarily entered into by the other co-owners, her right to 1/6 of the property must be
respected. Partition needs to be effected to protect her right to her definite share and
determine the boundaries of her property. Such partition must be done without prejudice to
the rights of private respondent Virginia Teria as buyer of the 5/6 portion of the lot under
23 PHIL. 250
FACTS OF THE CASE: Spouses Miguel Ortiz and Calixta Felin died in Vigan, Ilocos Sur, in
1875 and 1882, respectively. Prior to her death, Calixta, executed, on August 17, 1876, a
nuncupative will in Vigan, whereby she made her four children, named Manuel, Francisca,

Vicenta, and Matilde, surnamed Ortiz y Felin, her sole and universal heirs of all her property.
Manuel and Francisca were already deceased, leaving Vicenta and Matilde as heirs.
In 1888, the defendants (Matilde and Gaspar), without judicial authorization, nor friendly or
extrajudicial agreement, took upon themselves the administration and enjoyment of the
properties left by Calixta and collected the rents, fruits, and products thereof, to the serious
detriment of Vicentas interest. Despite repeated demands to divide the properties and the
fruits accruing therefrom, Sps Gaspar and Matilde had been delaying the partition and
delivery of the said properties by means of unkempt promises and other excuses. Vicenta
filed an action for partition with damages before the RTC. The RTC absolved Matilde from
payment of damages.
ISSUE: Whether a co-owner is required to pay for rent in exclusively using the co-owned

HELD AND RATIO: NO. Article 394 of the Civil Code prescribes: Each co-owner may use
the things owned in common, provided he uses them in accordance with their object and in
such manner as not to injure the interests of the community nor prevent the co-owners from
utilizing them according to their rights.

Matilde Ortiz and her husband occupied the upper story, designed for use as a dwelling, in
the house of joint ownership; but the record shows no proof that, by so doing, the said
Matilde occasioned any detriment to the interests of the community property, nor that she
prevented her sister Vicenta from utilizing the said upper story according to her rights. It is
to be noted that the stores of the lower floor were rented and an accounting of the rents was
duly made to the plaintiffs. Each co-owner of realty held pro indiviso exercises his rights over
the whole property and may use and enjoy the same with no other limitation than that he
shall not injure the interests of his co-owners, for the reason that, until a division be made,
the respective part of each holder cannot be determined and every one of the co-owners
exercises together with his other co-participants, joint ownership over the pro indiviso
property, in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same.

Matilde and her husband are not obliged to pay to the plaintiff Vicenta one-half of the rents
which might have been derived from the upper story of the said house on Calle Escolta, and,
much less, because one of the living rooms and the storeroom thereof were used for the
storage of some belongings and effects of common ownership between the litigants. The
defendant Matilde, therefore, in occupying with her husband the upper floor of the said
house, did not injure the interests of her co-owner, her sister Vicenta, nor did she prevent
the latter from living therein, but merely exercised a legitimate right pertaining to her as a
co-owner of the property.


FACTS OF THE CASE: This case is an action for partition, concerning Lot No. 18 in Puerto
Princesa Cadastre in the name of Federico Valdez, Jr (one of Federico, Sr. and Juanita Batuls

The subject Lot was sold by Spouses Gutierrez to Spouses Valdez. A portion was leased to
one Mr. Quicho which he eventually purchased for a consideration. The remaining portions of
the property remained registered in the name of Federico Valdez Jr. as vendee. The transfer
of the lot in the name of Federico, Sr., was never done because the owners original
certificate of title was lost.
It was later discovered by the plaintiffs, upon their request for transfer of the subject lot, was
that the name of Federico Valdez, Jr. appeared as the only vendee. This was done pursuant
to the wishes of Mr. Quicho who advanced the money, in order that he could facilitate the
deed of sale between him and the Valdezes, with the understanding that Federico Valdez, Jr.
will hold the same in trust for his other brother and sisters (Testimony of Mrs. Castro).
ISSUE Whether or not prescription applies in the case.
HELD AND RATIO: NO. When Federico Valdez, Jr. was still living, he never attempted to
exclude the herein plaintiffs from ownership of the land in question. Said plaintiffs have been
in open continuous and uninterrupted possession of the premises they are occupying inside
the lot in question long before the execution of the deed of sale. It was only after the death
of Federico Valdez, Jr. that his widow, Teofila Olorga, tried to eject the plaintiffs.
Given the antecedents of the property and the fact that its acquisition by Federico Valdez, Jr.
was for the benefit not of himself alone but also of his brother and sisters, although for
purposes of convenience he was made to appear as the sole vendee, the juridical relation
that arose among them was one of co-ownership, with the plaintiffs-appellees actually in
possession of a portion of the property.
Under Article 494 of the Civil Code, No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or coheir against his co-owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the coownership.

September 29, 1967, 21 SCRA 384
FACTS OF THE CASE: This is an action for the partition of a parcel of land situated at the
Northwestern corner of Escolta street and Plaza Sta. Cruz, Manila belonging pro indiviso to
both parties, one sixth (1/6) to the plaintiff and five-sixths (5/6) to the defendants.
The lower court created a Commission to determine whether the property is susceptible of
partition. The Commissioner proposed for the segregation of plaintiffs share which the Court
approved. The Court ordered the partition of the property in accordance with the plan
submitted by commissioner Valencia, and that the expenses incident thereto be paid by both
parties proportionately. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUE: Whether or not the property is legally susceptible of physical division

HELD AND RATIO: YES. No evidence was introduced in support of the claim that a physical
division of the property will cause inestimable damage to the interest of the co-owners
thereof, a court order requiring its division was proper.
Appellants argue that, instead of making the aforementioned segregation, plaintiffs share
should be sold to them. In support of this pretense, they cite the provision of Article 495 of
". . . Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding article, the co-owners cannot demand a
physical division of the thing owned in common, when to do so would render it unserviceable
for the use for which it is intended. But the co-ownership may be terminated in accordance
They apparently assume that the alleged "inestimable damage" to be suffered by the
property, if plaintiffs share were segregated, is equivalent to rendering it "unserviceable for
the use for which it is intended." Such does not follow necessarily. There is nothing to show
that, after segregating plaintiffs share, the buildings left on the remaining 1,301.34 square
meters, representing defendants share, would be unserviceable, either for commercial or
for residential purposes. Since the segregation of the property in question inured to the
benefit, not only of plaintiff, but also of defendants, both parties must defray the incidental
MARIANO DISTRITO VS CA, G.R. NO. 95256, MAY 28, 1991, 197 SCRA 606

FACTS OF THE CASE: Private respondents seek to redeem as co-owners from petitioners a
parcel of land of the Dumaguete Cadastre.

Private respondents assert that the property in question was originally owned by the
deceased Simeona Amistad. Pacita Miquiabas-Samson testified that she had bought the
share of Librada Villamil and agreed with the heirs of Gabina Villamil to buy their respective
shares and would like to redeem the shares of Catalina and Anecito both surnamed Villamil
to preserve the family lot for sentimental reasons.
The lot in question, however, appeared to have been sold to petitioners. Petitoners averred
that the subject lot was the subject of a civil case. Petitioners purchased one half of said lot
upon representation of Pedro Miquiabas (one of the private respondents).
Petitioners bought the shares of Catalina and Anecito Villamil. On April 30, 1975, the
instrument of sale was notarized by Juan A. Lapisan, Jr. who testified that Pedro Miquiabas
accompanied Eduardo Distrito and himself to Siaton, Negros Oriental where Catalina Villamil
is living in order for the latter to sign the document as Catalina was too old to travel to
Dumaguete City.
Pedro also offered to sell his share and that of his sister but Eduardo hesitated.

Eventually, Eduardo Distrito notified private respondents that they were constructing a
building on the portion they bought from Catalina Villamil and Anecito Villamil. However,
Pacita refused as the shares of Catalina Villamil and Anecito Villamil has not been
segregated as there was no partition over the lot in question.

Private respondents offered to redeem the land from petitioners but they refused.
ISSUE: Whether or not the private respondents are entitled to redeem the land in question.
HELD AND RATIO: The complaint is dismissed as to private respondent Pedro Miquiabas
who had lost his right to redeem. He acted as middleman and was present when the vendor
signed the deed of sale. Having actual knowledge of the sale, a written notice is no longer
required. The only purpose of such written notice is to insure that all the co-owners shall be
actually notified of the sale and to remove all doubt as to the perfection of the sale.
As to Pacita Miquiabas, evidence showed that she was not present when the aforesaid sale
of the property was undertaken nor was she informed or that she ever learned about the
sale soon thereafter. It was only in July, 1984 that she was notified by petitioners of their
intention to construct a building on a portion of the property in question which they bought.
Within thirty (30) days thereafter, that is, on August 3, 1984, said private respondent filed a
complaint for legal redemption in court and at the same time deposited the amount of
P4,588.85 with the court as the purchase price.
As the law requires a written notice of such sale to the co-owners, such actual notice to
private respondent Pacita Miquiabas is not sufficient compliance with the requirement.
Moreover, said respondent filed the complaint for legal redemption within thirty (30) days
from the time she was verbally notified thereof by petitioners. Hence, her right to redeem
the property as co-owner must be sustained.
FACTS OF THE CASE: The subject lot was originally owned by Hermogenes Espique and his
wife and after their death, the lot was succeeded by their children, Maria, Evaristo, Faustino,
Estefanio and Tropinio. Petitioner then averred that he purchased the 2/5 of the lot from
Estefanio and respondents purchased 1/5 of the lot from Evaristo. The part of the land in
controversy was the 1/5 portion. This prompted the private respondents to file a case of
ejectment and recovery of possession, where in fact there has been no partition yet on the
subject lot. Both the lower court and the appellate court ruled in favor of the respondents.
Hence, this petition.
ISSUE: Whether the co-owners may sell a specific part of the co-owned property without
HELD AND RATIO: NO. Without partition, either by agreement between the parties of by
judicial proceeding, a co-heir cannot dispose of a specific portion of the estate.
While under Article 493 of the New Civil Code, each co-owner shall have the full ownership
of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto and he may alienate, assign or

mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, the effect of the
alienation or the mortgage with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited, by mandate of
the same article, to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the
termination of the co-ownership. He has no right to sell or alienate a concrete, specific, or
determinate part of the thing in common to the exclusion of the other co-owners because his
right over the thing is represented by an abstract or Ideal portion without any physical
adjudication. An individual co- owner cannot adjudicate to himself or claim title to any
definite portion of the land or thing owned in common until its actual partition by agreement
or judicial decree.
The fact that the sale executed by Evaristo G. Espique in favor of respondents and the sale
executed by Estefanio Espique in favor of petitioner were made before the partition of the
property among the co-heirs does not annul or invalidate the deeds of sale and both sales
are valid. However, the interests thereby acquired by petitioner and respondents are limited
only to the parts that may be ultimately assigned to Estefanio and Evaristo, respectively,
upon the partition of the estate 7 subject to provisions on subrogation of the other co-heirs
to the rights of the stranger-purchaser provided in Article 1088 of the Civil Code. Unless a
project of partition is effected, each heir cannot claim ownership over a definite portion of
the inheritance. Without partition, either by agreement between the parties of by judicial
proceeding, a co-heir cannot dispose of a specific portion of the estate. For where there are
two or more heirs, the whole estate such heirs. Upon the death of a person, each of his heirs
becomes the undivided owner of the whole estate left with respect to the part of portion
which might be adjudicated to him, a community of ownership being thus formed among the
co-owners of the estate or co-heirs while it remains undivided.

FACTS OF THE CASE: The petitioner, Sunset View Condominium Corporation is a
condominium corporation within the meaning of Republic Act No. 4726 in relation to a duly
registered Amended Master Deed with Declaration of Restrictions of the Sunset View
Condominium Project located at 2230 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City of which said petitioner is
the Management Body holding title to all the common and limited common areas.

The private respondent, Aguilar-Bernares Realty, a sole proprietorship owned and operated
by the spouses Emmanuel G. Aguilar and Zenaida B. Aguilar, is the assignee of a unit,
Solana, in the Sunset View Condominium Project with La Perla Commercial, Incorporated,
as assignor. The La Perla Commercial, Incorporated bought the Solana unit on installment
from the Tower Builders, Inc. The petitioner, Sunset View Condominium Corporation, filed for
the collection of assessments levied on the unit against Aguilar-Bernares Realty.
The private respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint on the grounds (1) that the
complaint does not state a cause of action: (2) that the court has no jurisdiction over the
subject or nature other action; and (3) that there is another action pending between the
same parties for the same cause. The petitioner filed its opposition.
The motion to dismiss was granted by the respondent Judge, pursuant to Section 2 of
Republic Act No. 4726, a holder of a separate interest and consequently, a shareholder of
the plaintiff condominium corporation; and that the case should be properly filed with the

Securities & Exchange Commission which has exclusive original jurisdiction on controversies
arising between shareholders of the corporation. the motion for reconsideration thereof
having been denied, the petitioner, alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of
respondent Judge, filed the instant petition for certiorari praying that the said orders be set
ISSUE: Whether the CFI or the City Courts have jurisdiction over the claims filed by Sunset
View, the condominium corporation.

HELD AND RATIO: Not every purchaser of a condominium unit is a shareholder in

the corporation. The Mater Deed determines when ownership of the unit and
participation in the corporation vests in the purchaser.
The City Court and the CFI have jurisdiction.
The share of stock appurtenant to the unit win be transferred accordingly to the purchaser of
the unit only upon full payment of the purchase price at which time he will also become the
owner of the unit. Consequently, even under the contract, it is only the owner of a unit who
is a shareholder of the Condominium Corporation. Inasmuch as owners is conveyed only
upon full payment of the purchase price, it necessarily follows that a purchaser of a unit who
has not paid the full purchase price thereof is not The owner of the unit and consequently is
not a shareholder of the Condominium Corporation.
In this case, the Master Deed provides that ownership is transferred only upon full
payment of the purchase price.
Private respondents have not yet fully paid the purchase price, hence they are not
shareholders and the SEC has no jurisdiction over the claims.
*now, special courts handle intra-corporate disputes