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CIVIL LAW CONCEPT OF PROPERTY Anything or something that can form part

of the patrimony of man, his estate, in


All things, whether tangible or intangible, order to satisfy his wants.
which are, or may be the object of appropriation 2) Susceptibility of appropriation. One
characteristic of property is that it is
PROPERTY: AS A SUBJECT susceptible to be appropriated, so that
what cannot be appropriated cannot be
- It is that branch of Civil Law which considered as property.
classifies and defines the different kinds 3) Individuality or Substantivity: Meaning
of appropriable objects. the thing can exist by itself; it is not a part
of a whole. The example given by Paras is
Appropriation – defined as a verb as used in the the human hair. Once it is detached then
definition of property which means to allot for it becomes a property.
specific use. Distribute is a very narrow word
compared to appropriation. So anything that one Art. 414: All things which are or may be the object of
can possess that can be allotted for specific use is appropriation are considered either:
property under the Civil Code. 1) IMMOVABLE OR REAL PROPERTY;
2) 2) MOVABLE OR PERSONAL
 Thing – As used in the Civil Code, a thing PROPERTY.
is synonymous to property. However,
thing is broader than property because  Classification of Property
thing can be something that can or cannot 1) Real or immovable (buenes immuebles)
be appropriated. It may refer to both 2) Personal or movable (buenes muebles)
appropriable or non-appropriable objects.
 Importance of the Classification of
Right to property Property Into Immovables and
It is the juridical tie that entitles a person Movables:
to make use, enjoy, dispose, abuse, and recover  They do not assume importance from the
the thing. fact that they are movables or
immovables, but because different
provisions of law govern their acquisition,
CLASSIFICATION OF THINGS: possession, disposition, loss and
registration.
According to the nature of their ownership:

1. res nullius – those belonging to no one: this is Caltex vs. Central Board of Assessment Appeals
either because it has not been appropriated, or (GR L-50466)
there is abandonment
Facts: This case is about a realty tax on machinery
Examples: and equipment installed by Caltex in its gas
i. Fishes swimming in the sea but once stations located on leased land. The machines and
they are caught, they are appropriated; they now equipment consist of underground tanks, elevated
belong to the fishermen. They cease to be res tank, water tanks, gasoline pumps, etc. The said
nullius. machines and equipment are loaned by Caltex to
Things which have been abandoned by their gas station operators under a lease agreement
owner without the intention of owning where it is stipulated that the operators, upon
them again; deman, shall return to Caltex the machines and
2. res communes – those belonging to everybody: equipment in good condition when received,
no one has the right to appropriate the same ordinary wear and tear expected. Hence the lessor
exclusively at the expense of another person of the land where the gas station is located does
Examples: air we breathe, the sunlight, not become the owner of the machines and
the wind equipment installed for ownership is retained by
3. res alicujus – belonging to someone. These are Caltex.
objects that are tangible/intangible, which are
owned privately either in collective or individual The city assessor of Pasay City
capacity. So if you own something like your characterized the said items as taxable realty. The
clothes, shoes, pen, land. These are res alicujus city board of tax appeals ruled that they are
and are considered as property. personal property.

Issue: W/N the gas station equipment and


3 CHARACTERISITICS OF PROPERTY. machinery permanently affixed by Caltex to its
(Absent any one of this, the thing may not be gas station and pavement should be subject to
considered as property) realty tax.

1) Utility, which means it is capable of Held: Yes. Improvements on land are commonly
satisfying human wants, either for taxed as realty even though for some purposes
pleasure or for comfort. What do we they might be considered as personalty. It is a
understand by pleasure or comfort?
familiar phenomenon to see things classed as real
property for purposes of taxation which on Facts: On Sept. 1, 1955, defendants executed a
general principle might be considered personal chattel mortgage in favor of the plaintiffs over
property. their house of strong materials located at No. 550
Int. 3, Quezon Blvd, Quiapo, erected on lands
which were being rented from Madrigal and
2. NAVARRO VS PINEDA (GR L-18456) Company Inc. The mortgage was to guarantee a
loan of Php 4, 800.00. When defendants defaulted
Facts: On Dec. 14, 1959, Rufino Pineda and his in paying, the mortgage was extrajudicially
mother Juana borrowed form Navarro the sum of foreclosed and sold at a public auction pursuant
Php 2, 550.00 payeable 6 months after or on to the contract. As the highest bidder, plaintiffs
June 14. To secure the indebtedness, Rufino were issued a deed of sale. Subsequently,
executed a document captioned "DEED OF REAL plaintiffs filed a civil case praying, among others,
ESTATE AND CHATTEL MORTGAGES", that the house be vacated and its possession
whereby Juana, by way of real estate mortgage surrendered to them.
hypothecatd a parcel of land, and Rufino by way
of Chattel mortgage, mortgaged his 2 story Issue: W/N the house can be a valid subject of a
residential house, erected on the land of one Atty. chattel mortgage, given the fact that it is made of
Castro, and one motor truck. The debts became strong materials
due and demandable. However, the private
respondents were unable to pay despite extension Held: The rule about the status of buildings as
grants. immovable has been stated in many cases to the
Thereafter, the petitioner filed a effect that "it is obvious that the inclusion of the
complaint for foreclosure of the mortgage and for building, separate and distinct from teh land, in
damages. the enumeration of what may constitute real
properties (Art. 415) could only mean one thing,
Issue: W/N the residential house can be validly that a building is by itself an immvable property,
the subject of a chattel mortgage irrespective of whether or not said structure and
the land on which it is adhered to belong to the
Held: Yes. The trial court did not predicate its same owner.
decision declaring the deed of chattel mortgage
valid solely on the ground that the house Certain exceptions have been recognized,
mortgaged was erected on the land which however. In the case at bar, the house on rented
belonged to a third person, but also on the land is not only expressly designated as Chattel
doctrine of estoppel, in that "the parties have so Mortgage; it specifically provides that "the
expressly agreed" in the mortgage to consider the mortgagor ... voluntarily CEDES, SELLS and
house as a chattel "for its smallness and mixed TRANSFERS by way of Chattel Mortgage he
materials of sawali and wood". In a case, a property together with its leasehold rights over
mortgaged house built on a rented land, was the lot on which it is constructed and participation
held to be a personal property not only because ..."lthough there is no specific statement referring
the deed of mortgage considered. it as such, but to the subject house as personal property, yet by
also because it did not form an integral part of ceding, selling or transferring a property by way
the landor it is now well settled that an object of chattel mortgage defendants-appellants could
placed on land by one who has only a only have meant to convey the house as chattel, or
temporary right to the same, such as a lessee or at least, intended to treat the same as such, so that
usufructuary, does not become immobilized they should not now be allowed to make an
by attachment. Hence, if a house inconsistent stand by claiming otherwise. oreover,
belonging to a person stands on a rented land the subject house stood on a rented lot to which
belonging to another person, it may be defendants-appellants merely had a temporary
mortgaged as a personal property if so stipulated right as lessee, and although this can not in itself
in the document of mortgage. It should be noted, alone determine the status of the property, it does
however, that the principle is predicated so when combined with other factors to sustain
on statements by the owner declaring his house the interpretation that the parties, particularly the
to be a chattel, a conduct that may conceivably mortgagors, intended to treat the house as
estop him from subsequent claiming otherwise. personalty. Also, unlike in the Iya cases, it is the
defendants themselves who are attackin the
The doctrine, therefore, gathered from validity of the mortgage. The doctrine of estoppel
these cases is that although in some instances, a therefore applies to them.
house of mixed materials has been considered as
a chattel between the parties and that the validity 2. ASSOCIATED INSURANCE AND SURETY
of the contract between them, has been CO. INC. V IYA (GR L-10837), May 30, 1958
recognized, it has been a constant criterion
nevertheless that, with respect to third persons, Facts: Spouses Valino were the owners and
who are not parties to the contract, and possessors of a house of strong materials
specially in execution proceedings, the house is constructed on a lot located at Grace Park Subd,
considered as an immovable property. Caloocan, Rizal which they purchased on
installment basis from the Phil. Realty Corp. To
3. TUMALAD vs VICENCIO (GR L-30173) be able to purchse on credit rice from the NARIC,
Lucia filed a bond in the sum of Php 11,000  A dead body by law belongs to no one
subscribed by the Associated Insurance Surety and is therefore under the protection of
Co, and as counter-guaranty, the spouses the public. There can be no property in
executed an alleged chattel mortgage on the the person deceased.
aforementioned house in favor of AISCO.
LEUNG YEE vs. STRONG MACHINERY
Having completed payment on the GR No. L-11658. February 15, 1918
purchase price of the lot, the Valinos were able to
secure on October 18, 1958, a certificate of title in Parties to a contract may treat a real property by
their name. Subsequently, however, the Valinos, nature as personal property. However, this is only
to secure payment of an indebtedness in the binding insofar the parties are concerned and do not
amount of P12,000.00, executed a real estate affect third persons.
mortgage over the lot and the house in favor of
Isabel Iya, which was duly registered and
FACTS
annotated at the back of the certificate of title.
Compania Agricola Filipina purchased rice-
cleaning machineries from STRONG
On the other hand, as Lucia A. Valino,
MACHINERY. A chattel mortgage was executed
failed to satisfy her obligation to the NARIC, the
to secure payment of the sale, involving a
surety company was compelled to pay the same
building with the exclusion of the land on which
pursuant to the undertaking of the bond. In turn,
it stood. Unable to pay the debt upon due, the
the surety company demanded reimbursement
mortgaged property was auctioned by the sheriff
from the spouses Valino, and as the latter likewise
and was bought by STRONG MACHINERY. The
failed to do so, the company foreclosed the chattel
sale was registered in the chattel mortgage
mortgage over the house. As a result thereof, a
registry and STRONG MACHINERY came into
public sale was conducted wherein the property
possession of said property.
was awarded to the surety company as the
While a chattel mortgage was executed between
highest bidde The surety company then caused
Compania Agricola Filipina and STRONG
the said house to be declared in its name for tax
MACHINERY, the former also entered into
purposes.
another mortgage concerning the same building
with LEUNG YEE. Unable to pay, the building
AISCO subsequently learned of the
was auctioned by the sheriff and was bought by
existence of the real estate mortgage over the lot
LEUNG YEE. The sale was registered in the land
together with the improvements thereon and thus
registry.
instituted a civil case naming the spouses and Iya
When the execution was levied upon the building,
as defendants.
STRONG MACHINERY, being in possession of
the property, demanded its release from the levy.
Held: A building cannot be divested of
LEUNG YEE filed an action to recover the
its character of a realty by the fact that the land on
possession of the property.
which it is constructed belongs to another. To
hold it the other way, the possibility is not remote
ISSUES
that it would result in confusion, for to cloak the
(1) Whether or not parties to a contract may treat
building with an uncertain status made
an immovable property as personal property.
dependent on the ownership of the land, would
(2) Whether or not LEUNG YEE was bound by the
create a situation where a permanent fixture
chattel mortgage on the building executed
changes its nature or character as the ownership
between Compania Agricola Filipina and
of the land changes hands.In the case at bar, as
STRONG MACHINERY.
personal properties could only be the subject of a
chattel mortgage (Section 1, Act 3952) and as
RULING
obviously the structure in question is not one, the
(1) YES, parties to a contract may treat an
execution of the chattel mortgage covering said
immovable property as personal property.
building is clearly invalid and a nullity. While it is
However, the building was real property and that
true that said document was correspondingly
mere fact that the parties seem to have dealt it
registered in the Chattel Mortgage Register of
separate and apart from the land on which it
Rizal, this act produced no effect whatsoever for
stood no wise changed its character as real
where the interest conveyed is in the nature of a
property. Its annotation in the Chattel Mortgage
real property, the registration of the document in
Registry could not be given the legal effect of
the registry of chattels is merely a futile act. Thus,
registration in the Registry of Real Property.
the registration of the chattel mortgage of a
(2) NO, he was not. LEUNG YEE was not
building of strong materials produce no effect as
bound by the chattel mortgage on the building
far as the building is concerned.
executed between Compania Agricola Filipina
and STRONG MACHINERY. To treat a real
 Human organ can be a subject of donation
property, a building in this case, as personal
because there is a law allowing donations
property, is only binding between the contracting
of human organs. In other words, for
parties and does not affect third persons. Hence,
purposes of donations, human organs can
LEUNG YEE, being a third person to the
be considered as property for purposes of
agreement, was not bound by it. However,
giving effect thereto.
because there was bad faith on the part of LEUNG
YEE since he purchased the building despite Estate and Chattel Mortgages executed by
having knowledge that STRONG MACHINERY PINEDA, said house was referred to as “personal
had previously purchased it, the court ruled that property” and a “chattel” for its smallness and
the latter has rightful ownership over it. mixed materials of sawali and wood, which was
to be conveyed by way of chattel mortgage. With
this, PINEDA and GONZALES are estopped to
NAVARRO vs. PINEDA question the validity of the mortgages.
GR No. L-18456. November 30, 1963. 9 SCRA 631

Where a house standing on a rented land is made SORIANO vs. GALIT


subject of a chattel mortgage, its validity cannot be GR No. 156295. September 23, 2003. 411 SCRA
assailed by the contracting parties based partly upon 631
the principle of estoppel.
A building in itself is considered immovable. It may
FACTS then be a subject of a real estate mortgage separate
PINEDA and GONZALES borrowed P2,550.00 from the land.
from plaintiff NAVARRO, which was payable in 6
months. To secure the debt, PINEDA mortgaged: FACTS
(1) his 2-story residential house situated on a lot GALIT contracted a P480,000.00 loan from
belonging to another, and (2) 1 motor truck by SORIANO. The loan was secured by a real estate
was of chattel mortgage. GONZALES on the other mortgage over a parcel of land. For failure to pay
hand, mortgaged her parcel of land by way or real his obligation, SORIANO filed a complaint for
estate mortgage. A Deed of Real Estate and sum of money against GALIT. The court then
Chattel Mortgages was executed. Both mortgages ordered the sheriff to levy the GALIT spouses’
were registered with the Registry of Deeds and properties: (1) a parcel of land, (2) a storehouse
Motor Vehicles Offices. and (3) bodega. During the public auction,
When the debt became due and PINEDA and SORIANO was the only and highest bidder. A
GONZALES were unable to pay, NAVARRO Certificate of Sale of Execution of Real Property
granted them 2 extensions but they still failed to was issued. However, the Certificate of Sale
give payment. NAVARRO then filed a complaint registered by SORIANO with the Registry of
for the foreclosure of the mortgage and for Deeds included: (1) a parcel of land and (2) the
damages. In a Stipulation of Facts submitted by land on which the storehouse and bodega was
the parties in court, PINEDA and GONZALES erected. He then filed a petition for the issuance of
admitted their indebtedness to NAVARRO and a writ of possession over the land on which the
that it was already long due and unpaid. They storehouse and bodega were situated. The
also contended that only movables can be subject petition was granted by the court.
of a chattel mortgage that the chattel mortgage of GALIT spouses assailed via certiorari the
PINEDA’s house which was erected on a lot inclusion of the land on which the storehouse and
belonging to another person made the Deed of bodega was built on since only the 2 buildings
Real Estate and Chattel Mortgages invalid. The were deemed sold to SORIANO to the exclusion
court however, ordered the auction of the of the land. The petition was granted and the writ
mortgaged properties. of possession issued to SORIANO was declared
Hence, this appeal by PINEDA, contending that null and void. Hence, this appeal by SORIANO.
his house which was built on a lot not owned by
him was real property that the chattel mortgage ISSUE
on said house was invalid. Whether or not the purchase of the of the 2
buildings necessarily included the land on which
ISSUE they were constructed on since they are
Whether or not the Deed of Real Estate and immovable properties.
Chattel Mortgages
is valid when the house PINEDA made subject of RULING
the chattel mortgage was erected on a land NO, it did not. Buildings in themselves may be
belonging to a third person. mortgaged apart form the land on which they
have been built on. Such would still be considered
RULING immovable property even if dealt with separately
YES, the mortgage was valid. Where a house and apart from the land. In fact, the Civil Code
stands on a rented land belonging to another separately enumerated lands and buildings as
person, it may be subject matter of a chattel immovable property. Hence, a building, by itself,
mortgage, the validity of which cannot be assailed is considered immovable.
by the contracting parties based partly upon the
principle of estoppel. Parties to a contract may by IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
agreement treat as personal property that which
by nature would be real property but is only ART. 415: The following are immovable property:
binding in so far as the contracting parties are 1) Land, buildings, roads and constructions of
concerned. all kinds adhered to soil;
In the case at bar, the house was treated was a 2) Trees, plants, and growing fruits, while they
personal or movable property by the parties to the are attached to the land or form an integral
contract themselves. In fact, in the Deed of Real part of an immovable;
3) Everything attached to an immovable in a Paragraph 2: Trees, plants, and growing
fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be fruits, while they are attached to the land
separated therefrom without breaking the or form an integral part of an immovable;
material or deterioration of the object;  They can be considered as immovable by
4) Statues, reliefs, paintings, or other objects for nature or incorporation.
use or ornamentation, placed in buildings or  By NATURE if they are spontaneous
on lands by the owner of the immovable in products of the soil (naturally grows in
such a manner that it reveals the intention to the land).
attach them permanently to the tenements.  By INCORPORATION if they are
5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or essentially attached or planted in the land
implements intended by the owner of the in such a manner to be an integral part
tenement for an industry or works which may thereof.
be carried on in a building or on a piece of  Once, they are removed from or no longer
land, and which tend directly to meet the adhered to the land, they become
needs of the said industry or works. movables except if they timber from the
6) Animal houses, pigeon-houses, beehives, fish timberland.
ponds or breeding places of similar nature in
case their owner has placed them or preserves Paragraph 3: Everything attached to an
them with the intention to have them immovable in a fixed manner, in such a
permanently attached to the land, and way that it cannot be separated therefrom
forming a permanent par of it; the animals in without breaking the material or
these places are included; deterioration of the object;
7) Fertilizer actually used on a piece of land;
8) Mines, quarries, and slag dumps while the  These are immovables by
matter thereof forms part of the bed and INCORPORATION because they cannot
waters either running or stagnant; be separated from the immovables
9) Docks and structures which, though floating, without breaking or substantial
are intended by their nature and object to deterioration. The fact of incorporation
remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or determines the immovability of the thing.
coast;  It is not necessary that the objects are
10) Contracts for public works, and servitudes placed by the owner in order to determine
and other real rights over immovable its immovability
property. Paragraph 4: Statues, reliefs, paintings, or
other objects for use or ornamentation,
placed in buildings or on lands by the
CLASSES OF IMMOVABLE PROPERTY: owner of the immovable in such a manner
that it reveals the intention to attach them
1. Immovable by NATURE – those permanently to the tenements.
which cannot be moved from place to
place by their very nature such as  It is necessary that the owner of the
land, mines, slag dumps; immovable property must place the object
2. Immovable by INCORPORATION – to the immovable property.
those which are essentially movables,  The properties here are essentially
but are attached to an immovable in movable but they become immovable
such a manner as to become an under PARAGRAPH 4 because of the
integral part thereof. Examples of purpose of the owner to attach them
which are those mentioned in Art. 415 permanently to the immovable;
par. 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6.
3. Immovable by DESTINATION - those GR: to be considered as immovable, the
which are essentially movables, but machineries must be placed by the owner.
by the purpose for which they have If it is not placed by the owner, then it is
been placed in an immovable, partake considered as movable.
the nature of the latter, such as those Exceptions:
mentioned in Art. 415 par. 4, 6, 7, and 1) if it is placed by the tenant acting as agent
9. of the owner of the immovable;
4. Immovable by ANALOGY or by 2) if the tenant has promised, or agreed in
LAW – those mentioned in Art. 415 the contract that the tenant would leave
par. 10, right of usufruct, easements, the machinery or the equipment to the
and servitudes owner of the land even after the lease has
expired.
Paragraph 1: Land, buildings, roads and
constructions of all kinds adhered to soil;  Paragraph 5: Machinery, receptacles,
 Land is immovable by NATURE. instruments or implements intended by the
 The buildings, roads, and constructions owner of the tenement for an industry or
are immovable by INCORPORATION works which may be carried on in a
because they form part of an immovable building or on a piece of land, and which
or that they are adhered into the soil. tend directly to meet the needs of the said
industry or works.
o REQUISITES: DAVAO SAW MILL VS CASTILLO
1. the machineries must be placed by
the owner of the immovable or his Facts: DSM operated a sawmill in DC. The land
agent or his duly authorized upon which the business was conducted belonged
representatives; to another person. On the land, DSM erected a
2. there must be an industry, business, building which housed the machinery used by it.
or work must be carried on in The machines were placed and mounted on
building or the land; foundations of cement. The contract of lease
3. the machineries must tend directly to between DSM and the owner provided that all
meet the need of such industry or improvements and buildings introduced and
said work; erected by DSM shall pass to the exclusive
4. the machines must be essential and property of the owner with the exception that the
principal elements of the industry. machineries and accessories are not included as
improvements.
 The properties here are
essentially movable but they In another action brought by Davao Light
become immovable under against DSM, judgment was rendered against the
PARAGRAPH 5, because latter and a writ of execution was issued thereon,
they are used in the industry, and the machines were levied as personalty by the
or in a business and placed by sheriff. DSM now contends that the machines are
the owner of the immovable. real property (by destination), and thus cannot be
o What is the effect of the levied.
separation of these
machineries in Paragraph 5? Held: Machine is movable by nature and only
If the purpose is no longer becomes immobilized when placed in a plant by
there, they become movables. the owner of the property or plant. Such result
But if the separation is merely would not be accomplished, therefore, by the
temporary, and there is that placing of machinery in a plant by a tenant or
very intention to return them, usufructuary or any person having only a
then their immovable temporary right. The distinction rests, as pointed
character remain out by Demolombre upon the fact that one only
having a temporary right to the possession or
MACHINERY ENGINEERING SUPPLY V CA enjoyment of property is not presumed by the law
to have applied movable property belonging to
Facts: MES filed a complaint for replevin against him so as to deprive him of it by causing it by an
Ipo Limestone Co for the recovery of the act of immobilization to become the property of
machineries and equipments sold and delivered another.
to the latter. The judge issued an order
commanding the provincial sheriff to seize and It follows that the machinery put by DSM
take possession of the properties. did not lose its character of movable property and
become immovable by destination. Hence could
Thereafter, the sheriff went to Bulacan for be levied.
the purpose of carrying out the court's order. The
manager of Ipo protested the seizure on the The concrete immobilizatoin (of the
ground that the same were not personal property improvements, etc) took place because of the
as dismantling them would result to damages to express provisions of the lease, since the lease
the wooden frames attached. deprived the tenant of any right to charge against
the lessor the cost, and it was expressly stipulated
The petitioner claims that the machineries that the improvements, etc should become part of
and equipment seized are still MES properties the property belonging to the owner without
until fully paid for and as such never became compensation to the lessee. Under such
immovable. conditions, the tenant was acting but an agent of
the owner, and the immobilization which resulted
Issue: Should the sheriff execute the writ and arose in legal effect from the act of the owner in
confiscate the machines? giving by contract a permanent destination of the
machinery.
Held: The machinery in question appeared to be
attached to the land, particularly to the concrete
foundation, in a fixed manner, in such a way that MINDANAO BUS CO VS. CITY ASSESSOR
the former could not be separated from the latter
without breaking the material or deterioration of Facts: This is a petition to review the decision of
the object. Hence, they are considered real the Court of Tax Appels in holding that the MBC
property and not subject to replevin. is liable to the payment of the realty tax on its
maintenance and repair equipment.
NB: the issue of ownership of the materials were
not raised in the CFI hence not discussed by the Held: Movable equipments to be immobilized in
SC. contemplation of the law must first be "essential
and principal elements" of an industry or works But once the minerals are extracted
without which such industry or works would be from the land like gold, they become
"unable to function or carry on the industrial movable. So, this is immovable by
purpose for which it was established." incorporation, for as long as they are
part of the soil.
The tools and equipments in question in
this instant case are, by their nature, not essential - Paragraph 9: Docks and structures which,
and principal elements of petitioner's business of though floating, are intended by their
transporting passengers and cargoes by motor nature and object to remain at a fixed
trucks. They are merely incidentals-acquired as place on a river, lake, or coast;
movables and used only for expediency to o So the docks and structures have
facilitate and/or improve its service. Even to be fixed. But if you have a
without such tools and equipments, its business houseboat that moves from one
may he carried on since it can be repaired or place to another, it is not
serviced in a shop belonging to another. considered immovable but
movable.
Aside from the element of essentiality the o Vessels, ships no matter how big
above-quoted provision also requires that the they are, are movable properties.
industry or works he carried on in a building or o In the case PRC V JARQUE, this
on a piece of land. In the case at bar the illustrates the fact that vessels are
equipments in question are destined only to considered as personal property.
repair or service the transportation business, It’s just that when it comes to
which is not carried on in a building or vessels, there are certain
permanently on a piece of land, as demanded by requirements for a sale to be valid
the law. and binding against 3rd persons
such as registration in the
BERKENKOTTER VS CU UNJIENG Registry of Property Vessels and
the affidavit of good faith. But
Facts: There is a sugar central (Malabacat Sugar just take note that if a vessel is a
Co), several machines were installed in the plant. subject of transaction, it is
Now, there was a need for the plant to increase its definitely movable.
production. They needed to install additional
machines. The problem is that these machineries - Paragraph 10: Contracts for public works,
were purchased on account and the whole of the and servitudes and other real rights over
plant, including the land were the subject of a real immovable property.
estate mortgage. What compounds the problem is o The contract itself, the piece of
that merong mga machines installed after the paper is not immovable but
execution of the real estate mortgage. movable. But what is written on
the piece of paper, if it is a
Now, hindi nabayaran yung loan ng mga contract for public works, then
machines. So that finoforclose na ngayon yung that is a real property.
mortgage. Sabi ng Malabacat, okay you can o So if you have a right over
foreclose all the mortgage but exclude the immovable property, you have
machines since they are not part of the real estate the right to sue somebody over
mortgage because they are not real property due the immovable property in which
to the fact that the price is unpaid. such right is also considered as
immovable. So, there are 2
Issue: Are after acquired machines covered by the properties here:
real estate mortgage executed before acquisition o We call this real property by
of the same? ANALOGY because these rights
involve here are not material but
Held: Machinery intended by the owner of the they partake the essential
building or land used in connection to any characteristics of the immovable
industry or trade being carried on therein and property.
which are expressly adopted to meet the
requirements of such trade, are considered as real PRC vs. JARQUE GR No. L-41506. March 25,
property. 1935

- Paragraph 8: Mines, quarries, and slag Ship Vessels are personal property but when
dumps while the matter thereof forms it is a subject of a chattel mortgage, the
part of the bed and waters either running absence of an Affidavit of Good Faith as
or stagnant; required under the Mortgage Law makes the
mortgage void.
Slag dump - these are dirt and soil taken form a
mine and piled upon the surface of the ground. FACTS
You can find minerals inside the dump. PHILIPPINE REFINING CO. (PRC) and
o They are considered immovables JARQUE executed 3 mortgages on the vessels
while they form part of the bed. le. Pandan and Zaragosa. The 2 vessels were referred
to as “chattel mortgage”. A 4th mortgage was of the contract in good condition as when
executed between JARQUE and Aboitiz on the received, ordinary tear and wear accepted.
vessel Zaragosa, which was entered in the chattel The CITY ASSESSOR OF PASAY characterized
mortgage registry. these machines as real property and thus taxable.
A petition to declare JARQUE as an insolvent On appeal by CALTEX, the City Board of Tax
debtor was filed in court. After said petition was Appeals declared it as personalty. Upon appeal of
granted, all of JARQUE’s properties were the CITY ASSESSOR OF PASAY to the CENTRAL
assigned to Corominas. However, the judge BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS (CBAA),
refused to order the foreclosure of the mortgages the latter declared said machineries as real
in favor of PRC declaring that it contained defects. property and hence, taxable.
Being that chattel mortgages require an Affidavit CALTEX filed a petition via certiorari with the SC
of Good Faith for their validity, the first 2 to set aside the resolution of the CBAA and to
mortgages lacked such affidavit and while declare said machineries as personal property and
although the 3rd mortgage contained such, it was hence, not taxable. It contended that their case
not registered within 30 days before the was similar with the Davao Saw Mills case,
commencement of the insolvency proceedings wherein machinery fixed on rented property was
against JARQUE. ruled as personal property.
On appeal, PRC contended that the vessels do
not need said Affidavit of Good Faith on the ground ISSUES
that they were real property. (1) Whether or not the gas station equipment and
machinery were immovable property.
ISSUE (2) Whether or not gas station equipment and
Whether or not motor vessels are real machinery permanently fixed by CALTEX to its
property that when mortgaged, they do not need gas station and pavement which are taxable
an Affidavit of Good Faith to be valid. realty, subject to realty tax.

RULING RULING
NO, motor vessels are not real property but (1) The court did not rule on the mobility or
are rather personal property under both the civil immobility of the gas station equipment and
and common laws. Hence, they are subject under machinery.
the Chattel Mortgage Law. A mortgage on a (2) YES, they are subject to realty tax. These
vessel is generally like any other chattel mortgage gas station equipment and machinery are taxable
as to its requisites and validity. The difference is improvements as appurtenances to the gas station
that the title to a vessel subject of a mortgage building or shed owned by CALTEX, the latter,
should be recorded not with the Registry of Deed which are also taxable realty. It is because without
but rather with the Collector of Customs of the these equipment and machinery, the gas station
port of entry. would be useless. Improvements on land are
The Chattel Mortgage Law includes the commonly taxed as realty even though for some
requirement of an Affidavit of Good Faith appended purposes, they might be considered personalty. It
to the mortgage and recorded therewith. The is a familiar phenomenon to see things classed as
absence of said affidavit vitiates a mortgage as real property for purposes of taxation which on
against creditors and subsequent encumbrancers. general principle might be considered personal
Being that no affidavit was executed, the property.
mortgage was lacking and was rule unenforceable
against third persons. BENGUET CORP. vs. CBAA
GR No. 106041. January 29, 1993. 218 SCRA 271
CALTEX vs. CBAA
GR No. L-50466. May 31, 1982. 114 SCRA 296 A dam is an immovable property by nature and by
incorporation. Hence, it is subject to realty tax.
Gas station equipment and machinery are taxable as
realty because without them, a gas station would FACTS
entirely be useless. Some improvements although have BENGUET CORP. owned a mine and a dam. The
a characteristic of personalty are taxed as real property. Provincial Assessor of Zambales classified the
dam as a taxable improvement of the mine. On
FACTS appeal by BENGUET CORP. to the CENTRAL
CALTEX loaned to gas station operators, gas BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS (CBAA),
station equipments and machineries under an the latter declared that the tailings dam and the
appropriate lease agreement or receipt. Said land submerged under it are subject to realty tax.
machineries and equipments consist of BENGUET CORP. then filed a petition to the SC
underground tank, elevated water tanks, water via certiorari asking the court set aside the
tanks, gasoline pumps, computing pumps, car resolution of CBAA. It contended that the dam
washer, car hoists, truck hoists, air compressors, should not be subject to tax because it was not an
etc. assessable improvement of the mine but rather an
In the contract, it was stipulated that these integral part of the mine’s operation. The Sol. Gen
equipments and machineries would still be argued however that the dam was an assessable
owned by CALTEX during the period of lease. improvement because it enhanced the value and
The operators shall also return to CALTEX these utility of the mine like holding waste from the
equipments upon demand or upon the expiration mine and impounding water for recycling.
1) they were placed by SERG’S PRODUCTS, the
ISSUE owner of the tenement,
Whether or not the dam was an assessable (2) they were intended for an industry, which in
improvement of the mine and thus subject to this case is the chocolate-making industry and
realty tax. (3) they were essential to said industry.
Hence, although each of them was movable or
RULING personal property on its own, all of them have
YES, the dam was an assessable improvement of become immobilized by destination because they
the mine and subject to realty tax. The mine can are essential and principal elements of the
operate without the dam because the primary industry.
function of the dam is merely to receive and retain However, in the Lease Agreement executed
the wastes and water coming from the mine. between SERG’S PRODUCTS and PCI LEASING,
There was no allegation that it was the only said machineries were referred to as personal
source of water as to make the dam an integral property. Contracting parties may validly
part of the mine. stipulate that a real property be considered as
The Real Property Code did not define what is personal but is only good between them and do
real property that the definition in Art. 415 of the not affect third persons. After agreeing on such
Civil Code shall apply. The dam was an stipulation, they are consequently estopped from
immovable under pars. 1 and 3 of Art. 415 hence claiming otherwise. SERG’S PRODUCTS now, is
it was taxable realty. Under par. 1, the dam was estopped from claiming that said properties were
an immovable property since it was a construction real property when it had formerly agreed in the
adhered to the soil. Under par. 3, it was an Lease Agreement that said properties were
immovable since it was fixed in a manner that it personal properties.
cannot be separated from the land without (2) YES, the machineries can be the subject of
breaking or deteriorating. a replevin because although they were real
property by nature, they became personal
SERG’S PRODUCTS vs. PCI property by agreement.
GR No. 137705. August 22, 2000. 338 SCRA 499
ARTICLE 416: The following things are deemed to be
Immovable property, when deemed as personal personal property:
property in an agreement cannot be assailed by Those movables susceptible of appropriation which
the contracting parties by virtue of the principle of are not included in the preceding article;
estoppel. It can then be a valid subject of a Real property which by special provision of law is
replevin. considered as personalty;
Forces of nature which are brought under control
FACTS by science; and
SERG’S PRODUCTS owned a sum of money from In general, all things which can be transported
PCI LEASING AND FINANCE. Unable to pay, from place to place without the impairment of
PCI LEASING filed an application for a sum of the real property to which they are fixed.
money and for a writ of replevin to obtain
machineries against SERG’S PRODUCTS. Upon - Two tests to determine whether the
the issuance of the replevin, the sheriff seized 1 property is movable or immovable
machinery of SERG’S PRODUCTS with word that
he will come back for the others. SERG’S o the test by description:
PRODUCTS prayed to the court that the  if the property is capable of being moved
enforcement of the replevin be prevented on the from place to place, then it is movable;
ground that the machineries were real property  If such change in location can be made
by immobilization and thus not subject to said without injury to real property to which
replevin. PCI LEASING on the other hand in the meantime attached, it is movable.
contended that the machines were personal
property. The sheriff came back to seize 2 more the test by exclusion:
machines but failed.
The Court of Appeals classed the machineries as  If it is not enumerated under Art 415,
personal property and had only been leased and then it is considered as movable
not owned by SERG’S PRODUCTS. Hence this  But you have to take into account the
appeal. special provision of law to which makes
immovable property movable for that
ISSUES particular purpose.
(1) Whether or not the machineries became real
property by virtue of immobilization. SIBAL vs. VALDEZ
(2) Whether or not the machineries could be GR No. 26278. August 4, 1927
subject of a replevin.
The Chattel Mortgage Law fully recognizes that
RULING “growing crops” are personal property. The existence
(1) YES, the machineries became real property of a right on the growing crop is a mobilization by
by virtue of immobilization. The machineries anticipation. Being personal property, it could not be
were real property under par. 5 of Art. 415 being subject of redemption.
that:
FACTS 2. As to the intention of the parties: Fungible and
The sugar cane on 7 parcels of land owned by non-fungible
SIBAL was foreclosed by the court. VALDEZ
purchased the sugar cane on said 7 parcels of  Consumable - refers to things whose use
land. Macondray & Co. on the other hand bought according to their nature destroys the
the 8 parcels of land owned by SIBAL. For substance of the thing or causes loss to the
account of the redemption price of said parcels, owner.
SIBAL paid Macondray & Co. P2,000.00. VALDEZ
purchased from Macondray & Co. all its rights  Non- consumable – refers to any other
and interests in the 8 parcels of land by virtue of kind which cannot be consumed.
the P2,000.00 paid by VALDEZ to Macondray.
Thereafter, VALDEZ became the absolute owner  Fungible can be replaced by an equal
of the 8 parcels of land. quality or quantity either by the nature of
SIBAL offered to redeem the sugar cane he the thing or by agreement. A thing may
planted but VALDEZ refused on the ground that be fungible or non-fungible depending
the sugar cane was personal property and was not upon the intention of the parties.
therefore subject of redemption. SIBAL on the
other hand, contended that the sugar cane was PROPERTY IN RELATION TO WHOM
real property as deemed under par. 2 of Art. 415 IT BELONGS
of the Civil Code where growing crops, while
they are attached to the land or form part of an ARTICLE 419: Property is either of public dominion
immovable are immovable property. The court or of private ownership.
decided in favor of VALDEZ. Hence, this appeal.
 Properties are owned either:
ISSUE 1. in a public capacity (dominio
Whether or not the sugar cane was personal publico)
property and could not be subject of redemption. - The function of
administering and disposing of
RULING lands of the public domain in
YES, the sugar cane was personal property. the manner prescribed by law is
Although par. 2 of Art. 415 of the Civil Code not entrusted to the courts but
states that growing crops, while they are attached to executive officials. (Bautista
to the land or form part of an immovable are v Barza)
immovable property, par. 2 of Art. 416 state that 2. in private capacity (propiedad
real property which by any special provision of privado)
law is considered as personalty. - Regarding the state, it may
The special provision of law in this case is found own properties both in its
in the Chattel Mortgage Law. The Chattel public capacity (properties of
Mortgage Law fully recognizes that “growing the public dominion) and in its
crops” are personal property. Hence, for purposes private capacity (patrimonial
of attachment of property, execution of judgment property).
and the Chattel Mortgage Law, growing crops or
ungathered products raised by early labor and ARTICLE 420: The following things are property
cultivation are considered personal property. The of public dominion:
existence of a right on the growing crop is a
mobilization by anticipation. Therefore, the sugar 1. Those intended for public use such as roads,
cane, being personal property could not be subject canals, rivers, torrents, ports, and bridges
of redemption. constructed by the State, banks, shores,
roadsteads, and others of similar character;
ARTICLE 417: The following are also considered as 2. Those which belong to the State without being
personal property: for public use and are intended for some
Obligations and actions which have for their public service and for the development of the
object movables or demandable sums; and national wealth.
Shares of stocks of agricultural, commercial,
and industrial entities, although they PUBLIC DOMINION – means ownership by the
may have real estate. State and that the State has control and
administration or ownership by the public in
ARTICLE 418: Movable property is either general, in that not even the State or subdivisions
consumable or non-consumable. To the first class thereof may make them the object of commerce as
belong those movables which cannot be used in a long as they remain properties for public use such
manner appropriate to their nature without their being as a river or town plaza.
consumed; to the second class belong all the others.
3 kinds:
Classification of movable property
1. for public use – like roads, canals
1. As to nature: consumables and non-
consumables  To constitute public use, the public in
general should have equal or
common rights to use the land or clear squatters' houses on city property, gave
facility involved on the same terms, GARCIA ET AL. 30 days to vacate and remove
however limited in the number who their constructions or improvements on the
can actually avail themselves of it at a premises and to pay for the amount due by reason
given time. The yardstick now is the of their occupancy. They however refused. They
opportunity to use of the property is sought to recover the possession of the property
open to all under the same terms and in court. However, judgment was against them.
conditions Hence, they appealed.

2. for public service – like the national ISSUES


government building, army rifles, (may (1) Whether or not GARCIA ET AL. had the right
be used only by duly authorized persons) to remain in the premises.
(2) Whether or not they have acquired the status
3. for the development of national wealth of legal tenants by reason of the lease contract
– natural resources permits issued by the mayor.

REPUBLIC VS GONZALES RULING


(1) NO, they did not have the right.
Wherein a parcel of land has been leased to a Defendants had absolutely no right to remain in
private individual, so there were improvements the premises. The excuse that they had permits
on these properties. Later on, there was a need from the mayor is at best flimsy. The city's right to
to widen the road so the lease was cancelled. throw defendants out of the area could not be
The lessee contended that the taking is not for gainsaid. The city's dominical right to possession
public use because the people who are going to is paramount. If there was error in the finding that
benefit from the widening of the road will be the city needs the land, such error is harmless and
those people who have cars. will not justify reversal of the judgment below.
The SC held the conception urged by The houses and constructions planted by
appellants to restrict property reserved for public defendants on the premises clearly hindered and
use to include only property susceptible of being impaired the use of that property for school
used by a generally unlimited number of people is purposes, hence, constituted public nuisance per
flawed and obsolete. The number of users is not se. The selfish interests of defendants must have
the yardstick. To constitute public use, the public to yield to the general good for the use of the
in general should have equal or common rights to property for a badly needed school building, so as
use the land or facility involved on the same not to prejudice the education of the youth of the
terms, however limited in the number who can land. The public purpose of constructing the
actually avail themselves of it at a given time. school building annex is paramount.
(2) NO, they have not acquired the legal
The yardstick now is the opportunity to status of tenants. Their homes were erected
use the property is open to all under the same without city permits. These constructions were
terms and conditions. illegal. In a language familiar to all, defendants
were squatters. Squatting is unlawful and no
CITY OF MANILA vs. GARCIA amount of acquiescence on the part of the city
GR No. L-26053. February 21, 1967 officials will elevate it into a lawful act. Official
approval of squatting should not, therefore, be
Public property are outside the commerce of men and permitted to obtain in this country where there is
could not have been a lawful subject of a lease an orderly form of government. The permits then
agreement. were null and void. The property in controversy
was not a valid subject for lease because of the
FACTS fact that public property are outside the
The CITY OF MANILA owed parcels of land, commerce of men and could not have been a
forming one compact area in Malate, Manila. lawful subject of a lease agreement.
Shortly after liberation from 1945 to 1947,
GARCIA ET AL. entered upon these premises and REPUBLIC vs. VDA. DEL CASTILLO
built houses of second-class materials without the GR No. L-69002. June 30, 1988
CITY OF MANILA's knowledge and consent, and
without the necessary building permits from the Property of public dominion being outside the
city. There, they lived thru the years. commerce of men, could not be subject to
Later on, when the presence of GARCIA ET AL. registration and they could not be acquired by
have been discovered, some of them were given prescription.
by Mayor Fugoso lease contract permits to occupy
specific areas in the property upon conditions FACTS
therein set forth and for nominal rentals charged. The late MODESTO CASTILLO applied for the
The rest of the 23 defendants though, exhibited registration of two parcels of land located in
none. Tanauan, Batangas. In a decision of the court,
Epifanio de los Santos Elementary School, which MODESTO CASTILLO, who was married to
was close, though not contiguous to the property, AMANDA LAT, was declared the true and
came for the need of an expansion. The City absolute owner of the land with the
Engineer, pursuant to the Mayor's directive to improvements thereon and an original certificate
of title was issued to him by the Register of Deeds. FACTS
By virtue of an instrument, the 2 lots were MORATO filed a free patent application on a
consolidated and sub-divided into 9 lots. After the parcel of land situated at Calauag, Quezon. The
death of MODESTO CASTILLO, AMANDA LAT patent was approved and the Register of Deeds
VDA. DE CASTILLO and co-defendants executed issued an original certificate of title to MORATO.
a deed of partition and assumption of mortgage in Both the free patent and the title specifically
favor of the latter. As a result of which, new mandate that the land shall not be alienated nor
transfer certificates of title were issued to them. encumbered within five years from the date of the
The REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES filed a issuance of the patent.
case with the lower court for the annulment of MORATO mortgaged the land to respondents CO
said certificates of title issued to VDA. DE and QUILATAN, the later who constructed a
CASTILLO ET AL., as heirs/successors of house therein. Portion of it was also leased to
MODESTO CASTILLO and for the reversion of another person, where a warehouse was
the lands covered thereby to the State. It was constructed. Acting upon reports that respondent
alleged that said lands had always formed part of MORATO had encumbered the land in violation
the Taal Lake, washed and inundated by the of the condition of the patent, the DISTRICT
waters thereof and being of public ownership, it LAND OFFICER conducted an investigation.
could not be the subject of registration as private Thereafter, it was established that the subject land
property. DEFENDANTS on the other hand is a portion of the Calauag Bay and not suitable to
alleged that the Government's action was already vegetation.
barred by the decision of the registration court, The DIRECTOR OF LANDS filed an action in
that the action has prescribed, and that the court to cancel the title of the land and its
government was estopped from questioning the reversion to the public domain as foreshore land.
ownership and possession of appellants. However, both the lower court and the Court of
The lower court ruled in favor of the REPUBLIC Appeals dismissed the said petition on the ground
OF THE PHILIPPINES. However, The Court of that there was no violation of the 5-year period
Appeals on appeal reversed and set aside the ban against alienating or encumbering the land,
appealed decision. Hence, thIS instant petition. because the land was merely leased and not
alienated. Hence, this appeal.
ISSUES
(1) Whether or not the Government's action was ISSUE
already barred by the decision of the registration Whether or not the questioned land was part of a
court under the principle of res adjudicata. disposable public land.
(2) Whether or not the action has prescribed.
RULING
RULING NO, it was not but rather belonged to the public
(1) NO, it was not. Under par. 1, Art. 420 of the domain as foreshore land.
Civil Code, shores are properties of the public Foreshore land is the strip of land that lies
domain intended for public use. Thus, it has long between the high and low water marks and that is
been settled that portions of the foreshore or of alternatively wet and dry according to the flow of
the territorial waters and beaches could not be the tide.
registered. Their inclusion in a certificate of title While at the time of the grant of free patent to
did not convert the same into properties of private respondent Morato, the land was not reached by
ownership or confer title upon the registrant. The the water yet. However, due to gradual sinking
property in controversy were not subject to of the land caused by natural calamities, the sea
registration, being outside the commerce of men; advanced and had permanently invaded a portion
and that since the lots in litigation were of public of the subject land. The land in question already
domain, the registration court did not have became foreshore land since during high tide, at
jurisdiction to adjudicate said lands as private least half of the land was 6 feet deep under water
property, hence, res judicata did not apply. and 3 feet deep during low tide. When the sea
(2) NO, the action has not prescribed. One of the advances and private properties are permanently
characteristics of property falling under public invaded by the waves, such as in this case, they
dominion is that they could not be acquired by become part of the shore or breach. They are then
prescription as again, they are outside the passed to the public domain, but the owner thus
commerce of men. The defense of long possession dispossessed does not retain any right to the
is likewise not available in this case because, as natural products resulting from their new nature;
already ruled by this Court, mere possession of it is a de facto case of eminent domain, and not
land does not by itself automatically divest the subject to indemnity.
land of its public character. Par. 1, Art. 420 of the Civil Code provides that
shores are property of public dominion. When the
REPUBLIC vs. CA sea moved towards the estate and the tide
GR No. 100709. November 14, 1997 invaded it, the invaded property became
foreshore land and passed to the realm of the
Shores are property of public dominion. When the sea public domain. The subject land in this case, being
moved towards the estate and the tide invaded it, the foreshore land, should therefore be returned to
invaded property became foreshore land and passed to the public domain.
the realm of the public domain.
CHAVEZ vs. PEA
GR No. 133250. July 9, 2002 scams.” As a result, 2 of the Senate Committees:
(1) the Senate Committee on Government
Only an official classification and formal Corporations and Public Enterprises and (2)
declaration can convert reclaimed lands into Committee on Accountability of Public Officers
alienable or disposable lands of the public and Investigations, conducted a joint
domain. investigation. In its Senate Committee Report No.
560, the Senate Committees concluded that:
FACTS (1) the reclaimed lands PEA seeks to transfer to
In 1973, the government, through the AMARI under the JVA were lands of the public
Commissioner of Public Highways, signed a domain which the government has not classified
contract with the Construction and Development as alienable lands and therefore PEA cannot
Corporation of the Philippines (CDCP) to reclaim alienate these lands ,
certain foreshore and offshore areas of Manila (2) the certificates of title covering the Freedom
Bay, which also included the construction of Islands are thus void, and
Phases I and II of the Manila-Cavite Coastal Road (3) the JVA itself is illegal.
and Reclamation Project (MCCRRP). CDCP In 1997, then Pres. Ramos issued A.O. 365 creating
obligated itself to carry out all the works in a Legal Task Force to conduct a study on the
consideration of 50% of the total reclaimed land. legality of the JVA in view of Senate Committee
In 1977, then Pres. Marcos issued PD 1084 Report No. 560. The Legal Task Force upheld the
creating the PHILIPPINE ESTATES AUTHORITY legality of the JVA, contrary to the conclusions
(PEA), a wholly government owned and reached by the Senate Committees. It declared
controlled corporation with a special charter. The that reclaimed lands were classified as alienable
P.D. tasked PEA to reclaim land, including and disposable lands of the public domain.
foreshore and submerged areas, and to develop, In 1998, the Philippine Daily Inquirer and Today
improve, acquire, lease and sell any and all kinds published reports that there were on-going
of lands. Another P.D. 1085 was issued, renegotiations between PEA and AMARI under
transferring to PEA the lands reclaimed in the an order issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos.
foreshore and offshore of the Manila Bay under On April of the same year, a certain Antonio M.
the MCCRRP. Zulueta filed before the Court a Petition seeking
In 1981, then Pres. Marcos issued a memorandum to nullify the JVA. The Court dismissed the
directing PEA to amend its contract with CDCP, petition for unwarranted disregard of judicial
so that all future works in MCCRRP shall be hierarchy.
funded and owned by PEA. A Memorandum of In the same month, petitioner FRANK I. CHAVEZ
Agreement was then executed between PEA and as a taxpayer, filed the instant Petition for
CDCP, which stated that CDCP shall: Mandamus with Prayer for the Issuance of a Writ
(1) undertake all reclamation, construction, and of Preliminary Injunction and Temporary
such other works in the MCCRRP as may be Restraining Order. CHAVEZ assailed the
agreed upon by the parties and that all the following:
financing required for such works shall be (1) that the sale to AMARI of lands of the public
provided by PEA, and domain as a blatant violation of Sec. 3, Article XII
(2) CDCP shall give up all its development rights of Constitution prohibiting the sale of alienable
and hereby agrees to cede and transfer in favor of lands of the public domain to private corporations
PEA, all of the rights, title, interest and and
participation of CDCP in and to all the areas of (2) that he sought to enjoin the loss of billions of
land reclaimed by CDCP in the MCCRRP. pesos in properties of the State that are of public
In 1988, then Pres. Aquino issued Special Patent dominion. CHAVEZ prayed that PEA publicly
No. 3517, granting and transferring to PEA “the disclose the terms of any renegotiation of the JVA,
parcels of land so reclaimed under the MCCRRP. invoking the Constitutional right of the people to
The Register of Deeds of the Municipality of information on matters of public concern.
Parañaque issued 3 Transfer Certificates of Title in In a Resolution dated 1999, the Court gave due
the name of PEA, covering the 3 reclaimed islands course to the petition and required the parties to
known as the “Freedom Islands”. file their respective memoranda.
In 1995, PEA entered into a Joint Venture However, PEA and AMARI signed the Amended
Agreement (JVA) with AMARI COASTAL BAY Joint Venture Agreement (Amended JVA). The
AND DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION subject matter of the Amended JVA, consisted of 3
(AMARI), a private corporation, to develop the properties, which covered a reclamation area of
Freedom Islands. The JVA also required the 750 hectares. Only 157.84 hectares of the 750-
reclamation of an additional 250 hectares of hectare reclamation project have been reclaimed,
submerged areas surrounding these islands to and the rest of the 592.15 hectares are still
complete the configuration in the MCCRRP. PEA submerged areas forming part of Manila Bay. The
and AMARI entered into the JVA through Amended JVA, was the result of a negotiated
negotiation without public bidding. The Board of contract, not of a public bidding. The Amended
Directors of PEA, in its resolution, confirmed the JVA was not an ordinary commercial contract but
JVA, which was later approved by then Pres. one which sought to transfer title and ownership
Ramos, through then Exe. Sec. Ruben Torres. to 367.5 hectares of reclaimed lands and
In 1996, then Senate Pres. Ernesto Maceda submerged areas of Manila Bay to a single private
delivered a privilege speech in the Senate and corporation. Under the Amended JVA, PEA was
denounced the JVA as the “grandmother of all obligated to transfer to AMARI, the latter’s 70%
proportionate share in the reclaimed areas as the be classified as government reclaimed, foreshore
reclamation progressed. The Amended JVA even and marshy lands, as well as other lands.
allowed AMARI to mortgage at any time the Disposable lands of the public domain classified
entire reclaimed area to raise financing for the as government reclaimed, foreshore and marshy
reclamation project. lands shall be disposed of to private parties by
The Office of the President under the lease only and not otherwise. It reiterated the
administration of then Pres. Estrada approved the State policy to lease and not to sell government
Amended JVA. reclaimed, foreshore and marshy lands of the
Due to the approval of the Amended JVA by the public domain, a policy first enunciated in 1907 in
Office of the President, CHAVEZ now prayed that Act No. 1654. Government reclaimed, foreshore
on constitutional and statutory grounds the and marshy lands remained sui generis, as the
renegotiated contract be declared null and void. only alienable or disposable lands of the public
domain that the government could not sell to
ISSUE private parties.
Whether or not AMARI can claim under the Under this Act, the government could not sell
Amended JVA, hectares of reclaimed foreshore government reclaimed, foreshore and marshy
and submerged areas in Manila Bay held by PEA lands to private parties, unless the legislature
in view of the constitutional ban prohibiting the passed a law allowing their sale. The rationale
alienation of lands of the public domain to private behind this State policy is obvious. Government
corporations. reclaimed, foreshore and marshy public lands for
non-agricultural purposes retain their inherent
RULING potential as areas for public service. This is the
NO, the reclaimed foreshore and submerged areas reason the government prohibited the sale, and
in Manila Bay could not be alienated in favor of only allowed the lease, of these lands to private
AMARI. The petition of CHAVEZ was granted. parties. The State always reserved these lands for
The Regalian doctrine is the foundation of the some future public service.
time-honored principle of land ownership that (5) 1935 Constitution. It barred the alienation of
“all lands that were not acquired from the all natural resources except public agricultural
Government, either by purchase or by grant, lands, which were the only natural resources the
belong to the public domain.” The Civil Codes of State could alienate. Thus, foreshore lands,
1889 (Art. 339) and 1950 (Art. 420) incorporated considered part of the State’s natural resources,
the Regalian doctrine. became inalienable by constitutional fiat, available
only for lease for 25 years, renewable for another
History of Laws 25 years. The government could alienate
(1) Spanish Law of Waters of 1866. Land foreshore lands only after these lands were
reclaimed from the sea belonged to the party reclaimed and classified as alienable agricultural
undertaking the reclamation, provided the lands of the public domain. Government
government issued the necessary permit and did reclaimed and marshy lands of the public domain,
not reserve ownership of the reclaimed land to the being neither timber nor mineral lands, fell under
State. the classification of public agricultural lands.
(2) Civil Code of 1889. Property of public However, government reclaimed and marshy
dominion, when no longer devoted to public use lands, although subject to classification as
or to the defense of the territory, shall become a disposable public agricultural lands, could only
part of the private property of the State provided be leased and not sold to private parties because
that the legislature, or the executive department of Act No. 2874.
pursuant to law, must declare the property no (6) C.A. 141 of 1936. This act remains to this day
longer needed for public use or territorial defense the existing general law governing the
before the government could lease or alienate the classification and disposition of lands of the
property to private parties. public domain other than timber and mineral
(3) Act No. 1654 of the Philippine Commission of lands. It empowers the President upon the
1907. It mandated that the government should recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture
retain title to all lands reclaimed by the and Commerce to (1)classify lands of the public
government. The Act also vested in the domain into “alienable or disposable” lands of the
government control and disposition of foreshore public domain, which prior to such classification
lands. Private parties could lease lands reclaimed are inalienable and outside the commerce of man
by the government only if these lands were no and (2) declare what lands are open to disposition
longer needed for public purpose. Act No. 1654 or concession.
mandated public bidding in the lease of The State policy prohibiting the sale to private
government reclaimed lands. Act No. 1654 made parties of government reclaimed, foreshore and
government reclaimed lands sui generis in that marshy alienable lands of the public domain, first
unlike other public lands which the government implemented in 1907 was thus reaffirmed in CA
could sell to private parties, these reclaimed lands No. 141 after the 1935 Constitution took effect.
were available only for lease to private parties. Since then and until now, the only way the
(4) Public Land Act of 1919 (Act No. 2874). It government can sell to private parties
authorized the Governor-General to classify lands government reclaimed and marshy disposable
of the public domain into alienable or disposable lands of the public domain is for: (1) the
lands and to declare what lands are open to legislature to pass a law authorizing such sale and
disposition or concession. Lands disposable shall
(2) in case of sale or lease, it is required that it be Hence, such legislative authority could only
in a public bidding. benefit private individuals.
(7) The Civil Code of 1950. It readopted (10) 1987 Constitution. The 1987 Constitution
substantially the definition of property of public declares that all natural resources are “owned by
dominion found in the Civil Code of 1889. Again, the State,” and except for alienable agricultural
the government must formally declare that the lands of the public domain, natural resources
property of public dominion is no longer needed cannot be alienated. Private corporations or
for public use or public service, before the same associations may not hold such alienable lands of
could be classified as patrimonial property of the the public domain except by lease, for a period
State. In the case of government reclaimed and not exceeding 25 years, renewable for not more
marshy lands of the public domain, the than 25, and not to exceed 1,000 hectares in area.
declaration of their being disposable, as well as Citizens of the Philippines may lease not more
the manner of their disposition, is governed by than 500 hectares, or acquire not more than 12
the applicable provisions of CA No. 141. hectares thereof by purchase, homestead, or grant.
Like the Civil Code of 1889, the Civil Code of 1950 Taking into account the requirements of
included as property of public dominion those conservation, ecology, and development, and
properties of the State which, without being for subject to the requirements of agrarian reform, the
public use, are intended for public service or the Congress shall determine, by law, the size of
“development of the national wealth.” Thus, lands of the public domain which may be
government reclaimed and marshy lands of the acquired, developed, held, or leased and the
State, even if not employed for public use or conditions therefore.
public service, if developed to enhance the The 1987 Constitution continues the State policy
national wealth, are classified as property of in the 1973 Constitution banning private
public dominion. corporations from acquiring any kind of alienable
(8) 1973 Constitution. The 1973 Constitution land of the public domain. Like the 1973
prohibited the alienation of all natural resources Constitution, the 1987 Constitution allows private
with the exception of “agricultural, industrial or corporations to hold alienable lands of the public
commercial, residential, and resettlement lands of domain only through lease. As in the 1935 and
the public domain.” Both the 1935 and 1973 1973 Constitutions, the general law governing the
Constitutions, therefore, prohibited the alienation lease to private corporations of reclaimed,
of all natural resources except agricultural lands foreshore and marshy alienable lands of the
of the public domain. Thus, under the 1973 public domain is still CA No. 141.
Constitution, private corporations could hold In actual practice, the constitutional ban
alienable lands of the public domain only through strengthens the constitutional limitation on
lease. Only individuals could now acquire individuals from acquiring more than the allowed
alienable lands of the public domain. area of alienable lands of the public domain.
(9) PD No. 1084 Creating the Public Estates Without the constitutional ban, individuals who
Authority. PD No. 1084 authorizes PEA to reclaim already acquired the maximum area of alienable
both foreshore and submerged areas of the public lands of the public domain could easily set up
domain. Foreshore areas are those covered and corporations to acquire more alienable public
uncovered by the ebb and flow of the tide. lands. An individual could own as many
Submerged areas are those permanently under corporations as his means would allow him. An
water regardless of the ebb and flow of the tide. individual could even hide his ownership of a
Foreshore and submerged areas indisputably corporation by putting his nominees as
belong to the public domain and are inalienable stockholders of the corporation. The corporation
unless reclaimed, classified as alienable lands is a convenient vehicle to circumvent the
open to disposition, and further declared no constitutional limitation on acquisition by
longer needed for public service. individuals of alienable lands of the public
The ban in the 1973 Constitution on private domain.
corporations from acquiring alienable lands of the
public domain did not apply to PEA since it was PEA’s contention: Lands reclaimed from
then, and until today, a fully owned government foreshore or submerged areas of Manila Bay are
corporation. alienable or disposable lands of the public
Thus, PEA can hold title to private lands, as well domain.(Note: this contention is erroneous)
as title to lands of the public domain. In order for
PEA to sell its reclaimed foreshore and Under the Public Land Act (CA 141), reclaimed
submerged alienable lands of the public domain, lands are classified as alienable and disposable
there must be legislative authority empowering lands of the public domain. Section 8 of CA No.
PEA to sell these lands. This legislative authority 141 provides that only those lands shall be
is necessary in view of CA No.141. Without such declared open to disposition or concession which
legislative authority, PEA could not sell but only have been officially delimited and classified. The
lease its reclaimed foreshore and submerged President has the authority to classify inalienable
alienable lands of the public domain. lands of the public domain into alienable or
Nevertheless, any legislative authority granted to disposable lands of the public domain.
PEA to sell its reclaimed alienable lands of the Under the 1987 Constitution, the foreshore and
public domain would be subject to the submerged areas of Manila Bay are part of the
constitutional ban on private corporations from lands of the public domain, waters and other
acquiring alienable lands of the public domain. natural resources and consequently owned by the
State. As such, foreshore and submerged areas covered by any patent or certificate of title. There
shall not be alienated, unless they are classified as can be no dispute that these submerged areas
“agricultural lands” of the public domain. The form part of the public domain, and in their
mere reclamation of these areas by PEA does not present state are inalienable and outside the
convert these inalienable natural resources of the commerce of man. Until reclaimed from the sea,
State into alienable or disposable lands of the these submerged areas are, under the
public domain. There must be a law or Constitution, waters owned by the State, forming
presidential proclamation officially classifying part of the public domain and consequently
these reclaimed lands as alienable or disposable inalienable. Only when actually reclaimed from
and open to disposition or concession. the sea can these submerged areas be classified as
Under Article 422 of the Civil Code, a property of public agricultural lands, which under the
public dominion retains such character until Constitution are the only natural resources that
formally declared otherwise. the State may alienate. Once reclaimed and
transformed into public agricultural lands, the
PD No. 1085, coupled with President Aquino’s government may then officially classify these
actual issuance of a special patent covering the lands as alienable or disposable lands open to
Freedom Islands, is equivalent to an official disposition. Thereafter, the government may
proclamation classifying the Freedom Islands as declare these lands no longer needed for public
alienable or disposable lands of the public service. Only then can these reclaimed lands be
domain. However, at the time then President considered alienable or disposable lands of the
Aquino issued Special Patent No. 3517, PEA had public domain and within the commerce of man.
already reclaimed the Freedom Islands although EO No. 525, by declaring that all lands reclaimed
subsequently there were partial erosions on some by PEA “shall belong to or be owned by the
areas. The government had also completed the PEA,” could not automatically operate to classify
necessary surveys on these islands. Thus, the inalienable lands into alienable or disposable
Freedom Islands were no longer part of Manila lands of the public domain. Otherwise, reclaimed
Bay but part of the land mass. foreshore and submerged lands of the public
Being neither timber, mineral, nor national park domain would automatically become alienable
lands, the reclaimed Freedom Islands necessarily once reclaimed by PEA, whether or not classified
fall under the classification of agricultural lands of as alienable or disposable.
the public domain. Under the 1987 Constitution, As manager, conservator and overseer of the
agricultural lands of the public domain are the natural resources of the State, DENR exercises
only natural resources that the State may alienate “supervision and control over alienable and
to qualified private parties. disposable public lands.” DENR also exercises
“exclusive jurisdiction on the management and
AMARI’s contention: The Freedom Islands are disposition of all lands of the public domain.”
private lands because CDCP, then a private Thus, DENR decides whether areas under water,
corporation, reclaimed the islands under a like foreshore or submerged areas of Manila Bay,
contract in 1973 with the Commissioner of Public should be reclaimed or not. This means that PEA
Highways .It cited Article 5 of the Spanish Law of needs authorization from DENR before PEA can
Waters of 1866, argues that “if the ownership of undertake reclamation projects in Manila Bay, or
reclaimed lands may be given to the party in any part of the country. DENR also exercises
constructing the works, then it cannot be said that exclusive jurisdiction over the disposition of all
reclaimed lands are lands of the public domain lands of the public domain. Hence, DENR
which the State may not alienate.” (Note: this decides whether reclaimed lands of PEA should
contention is erroneous) be classified as alienable under CA No. 141.
In short, DENR is vested with the power to
Article 5 of the Spanish Law of Waters must be authorize the reclamation of areas under water,
read together with laws subsequently enacted on while PEA is vested with the power to undertake
the disposition of public lands. In particular, CA the physical reclamation of areas under water,
No. 141 requires that lands of the public domain whether directly or through private contractors.
must first be classified as alienable or disposable DENR is also empowered to classify lands of the
before the government can alienate them. These public domain into alienable or disposable lands
lands must not be reserved for public or quasi- subject to the approval of the President. On the
public purposes. Moreover, the contract between other hand, PEA is tasked to develop, sell or lease
CDCP and the government was executed after the the reclaimed alienable lands of the public
effectivity of the 1973 Constitution which barred domain.
private corporations from acquiring any kind of In the case at bar, 2 official acts are absent – (1) a
alienable land of the public domain. This contract classification that these lands are alienable or
could not have converted the Freedom Islands disposable and open to disposition and (2) a
into private lands of a private corporation. declaration that these lands are not needed for
The Amended JVA covers not only the Freedom public service, lands reclaimed by PEA remain
Islands, but also an additional 592.15 hectares inalienable lands of the public domain. Only such
which are still submerged and forming part of an official classification and formal declaration
Manila Bay. There is no legislative or Presidential can convert reclaimed lands into alienable or
act classifying these submerged areas as alienable disposable lands of the public domain, open to
or disposable lands of the public domain open to disposition under the Constitution, Title I and
disposition. These submerged areas are not Title III of CA No. 141 and other applicable laws.
bidder. At the public auction sale, only Philippine
Procedure to be followed in classifying reclaimed citizens are qualified to bid for PEA’s reclaimed
lands as alienable: foreshore and submerged alienable lands of the
1. DENR decides that the reclaimed lands should public domain. Private corporations are barred
be classified as alienable from bidding at the auction sale of any kind of
2. DENR Secretary recommends to the President alienable land of the public domain.
the issuance of a proclamation classifying the 3. Prior to the bidding, there must be an
lands as alienable or disposable lands of the advertising by printed notice for not less than
public domain open to disposition. three consecutive days in the Official Gazette, or
3. The President issues a proclamation classifying in any newspaper of general circulation.
such land as alienable or disposable and open to 4. If the public auction fails, the property may be
disposition and that they are no longer needed for sold at a private sale at such price as may be fixed
public service. by the same committee or body concerned and
4. Congress must enact a law approving the approved by the Commission on Audit.
Proclamation of the President. Said re- It is only when the public auction fails that a
classification needs both executive and legislative negotiated sale is allowed, in which case the
concurrence. Commission on Audit must approve the selling
price.
PEA’s contention: PD No. 1085 and EO No. 525
constitute the legislative authority allowing PEA What happened in the PEA-AMARI bidding:
to sell its reclaimed lands. (Note: this contention is PEA originally scheduled a public bidding for the
erroneous) Freedom Islands in. PEA imposed a condition
There is no express authority under either PD No. that the winning bidder should reclaim another
1085 or EO No. 525 for PEA to sell its reclaimed 250 hectares of submerged areas to regularize the
lands. PD No. 1085 merely transferred shape of the Freedom Islands, under a 60-40
“ownership and administration” of lands sharing of the additional reclaimed areas in favor
reclaimed from Manila Bay to PEA, while EO No. of the winning bidder. No one, however,
525 declared that lands reclaimed by PEA “shall submitted a bid. In 1994, the Government
belong to or be owned by PEA.” EO No. 525 Corporate Counsel advised PEA it could sell the
expressly states that PEA should dispose of its Freedom Islands through negotiation, without
reclaimed lands “in accordance with the need of another public bidding, because of the
provisions of Presidential Decree No. 1084,” the failure of the public bidding on in 1991.
charter of PEA. However, the original JVA dated 1995 covered not
PEA’s charter, however, expressly tasks PEA to only the Freedom Islands and the additional 250
develop, improve, acquire, administer, deal in, hectares still to be reclaimed, it also granted an
subdivide, dispose, lease and sell any and all option to AMARI to reclaim another 350 hectares.
kinds of lands owned, managed, controlled The original JVA, a negotiated contract, enlarged
and/or operated by the government. There is, the reclamation area to 750 hectares. The failure of
therefore, legislative authority granted to PEA to public bidding in 1991, involving only 407.84
sell its lands, whether patrimonial or alienable hectares. is not a valid justification for a
lands of the public domain. PEA may sell to negotiated sale of 750 hectares, almost double the
private parties its patrimonial properties in area publicly auctioned. Besides, the failure of
accordance with the PEA charter free from public bidding happened in 1991, more than 3
constitutional limitations. The constitutional ban years before the signing of the original JVA in
on private corporations from acquiring alienable 1995. The economic situation in the country had
lands of the public domain does not apply to the greatly improved during the intervening period.
sale of PEA’s patrimonial lands. PEA may also sell
its alienable or disposable lands of the public PEA and AMARI’s contention: The issuance of
domain to private individuals since, with the Special Patent No. 3517 and the corresponding
legislative authority, there is no longer any certificates of titles, the 157.84 hectares comprising
statutory prohibition against such sales and the the Freedom Islands have become private lands of
constitutional ban does not apply to individuals. PEA. (Note: this contention is erroneous)
Private corporations remain barred from In the instant case, the only patent and certificates
acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public of title issued are those in the name of PEA, a
domain, including government reclaimed lands. wholly government owned corporation
performing public as well as proprietary
Procedure in selling inalienable land as alienable: functions. No patent or certificate of title has been
Although PEA has authority to determine the issued to any private party. No one is asking the
mode of payment of the buyer of the land, Director of Lands to cancel PEA’s patent or
whether it be in cash or in installment, the certificates of title. In fact, the thrust of the instant
following is still required in the sale (PD 1445 - petition is that PEA’s certificates of title should
Government Auditing Code): remain with PEA, and the land covered by these
1. When government property is no longer certificates, being alienable lands of the public
needed, it should be inspected by the head of the domain, should not be sold to a private
agency or his duly authorized representative in corporation.
the presence of the auditor concerned. Registration of land under Act No. 496 or PD No.
2. If found to be valuable, it must be sold through 1529 does not vest in the registrant private or
a public bidding and awarded to the highest public ownership of the land. Registration is not a
mode of acquiring ownership but is merely The Regalian doctrine is deeply implanted in our
evidence of ownership previously conferred by legal system. Foreshore and submerged areas
any of the recognized modes of acquiring form part of the public domain and are
ownership. Registration does not give the inalienable. Lands reclaimed from foreshore and
registrant a better right than what the registrant submerged areas also form part of the public
had prior to the registration. The registration of domain and are also inalienable, unless converted
lands of the public domain under the Torrens pursuant to law into alienable or disposable lands
system, by itself, cannot convert public lands into of the public domain. Historically, lands
private lands. reclaimed by the government are sui generis, not
To allow vast areas of reclaimed lands of the available for sale to private parties unlike other
public domain to be transferred to PEA as private alienable public lands. Reclaimed lands retain
lands will sanction a gross violation of the their inherent potential as areas for public use or
constitutional ban on private corporations from public service. Alienable lands of the public
acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain, increasingly becoming scarce natural
domain. PEA will simply turn around, as PEA resources, are to be distributed equitably among
has now done under the Amended JVA, and our ever-growing population. To insure such
transfer several hundreds of hectares of these equitable distribution, the 1973 and 1987
reclaimed and still to be reclaimed lands to a Constitutions have barred private corporations
single private corporation in only one transaction. from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the
This scheme will effectively nullify the public domain. Those who attempt to dispose of
constitutional ban, which was intended to diffuse inalienable natural resources of the State, or seek
equitably the ownership of alienable lands of the to circumvent the constitutional ban on alienation
public domain among Filipinos, now numbering of lands of the public domain to private
over 80 million strong. corporations, do so at their own risk.
This scheme, if allowed, can even be applied to
alienable agricultural lands of the public domain
since PEA can “acquire any and all kinds of
lands.” This will open the floodgates to VILLARICO vs. SARMIENTO
corporations and even individuals acquiring GR No. 136438. November 11, 2004
hundreds of hectares of alienable lands of the
public domain under the guise that in the hands Property of public dominion could not be
of PEA these lands are private lands. This will burdened by a voluntary easement of right of way
result in corporations amassing huge
landholdings never before seen in this country - FACTS
creating the very evil that the constitutional ban VILLARICO was the owner of a lot in Parañaque
was designed to prevent. This will completely City, Metro Manila. His lot was separated from
reverse the clear direction of constitutional the Ninoy Aquino Avenue (highway) by a strip of
development in this country. The 1935 land belonging to the government. As this
Constitution allowed private corporations to highway was elevated by 4 meters and therefore
acquire not more than 1,024 hectares of public higher than the adjoining areas, the DPWH
lands. The 1973 Constitution prohibited private constructed stairways at several portions of this
corporations from acquiring any kind of public strip of public land to enable the people to have
land, and the 1987 Constitution has unequivocally access to the highway.
reiterated this prohibition. SARMIENTO and his daughter and the latter’s
husband (RESPONDENTS), had a building
AMARI’s contention: The Amended JVA is not a constructed on a portion of said government land.
sale to AMARI of the Freedom Islands or of the A part thereof was occupied by 2 establishments
lands to be reclaimed from submerged areas of (lechonan and carinderia). By means of a Deed of
Manila Bay. In the words of AMARI, the Exchange of Real Property, VILLARICO acquired
Amended JVA “is not a sale but a joint venture a 74.30 square meter portion of the same area
with a stipulation for reimbursement of the owned by the government.
original cost incurred by PEA for the earlier VILLARICO filed in court a complaint for accion
reclamation and construction works performed by publiciana against RESPONDENTS arguing that
the CDCP under its 1973 contract with the the latter’s structures on the government land
Republic. (Note: this contention is erroneous) closed his “right of way” to the Ninoy Aquino
Whether the Amended JVA is a sale or a joint Avenue and that it encroached on a portion of his
venture, the fact remains that the Amended JVA lot. RESPONDENTS denied VILLARICO’s
requires PEA to “cause the issuance and delivery allegations contending that VILLARICO had no
of the certificates of title conveying AMARI’s right over the subject property as it belonged to
Land Share in the name of AMARI.” the government. The trial court found that
This stipulation still contravenes the 1987 VILALRICO was not deprived of his “right of
Constitution which provides that private way” and had never been in possession of any
corporations “shall not hold such alienable lands portion of the public land in question. On the
of the public domain except by lease.” The contrary, the DEFENDANTS were the ones who
transfer of title and ownership to AMARI clearly had been in actual possession of the area. The
means that AMARI will “hold” the reclaimed Court of Appeals affirmed said decision upon
lands other than by lease. appeal. Hence, this petition.
ISSUE then filed an application in court to have its title
Whether or not VILLARICO may acquire a to the land registered.
voluntary easement of right of way over the land However, the Assistant Provincial Fiscal of Cebu
of the government which is between his property filed a motion to dismiss the application on the
and the Ninoy Aquino Avenue. ground that the property sought to be registered
being a public road intended for public use was
RULING considered part of the public domain and
NO. It is not disputed that the lot on which therefore outside the commerce of man.
petitioner’s alleged “right of way” existed Consequently, it could not be subject to
belonged to the state or property of public registration by any private individual.
dominion. Property of public dominion under JUDGE PASCUAL BERCILLES of the trial court
Art. 420 are those intended for public use. Public then issued an order dismissing the petitioner's
use is “use that is not confined to privileged application for registration of title. Hence, the
individuals, but is open to the indefinite public.” instant petition for review.
Records showed that the lot on which the
stairways were built was for the use of the people ISSUE
as passageway to the highway. Consequently, it Whether or not the declaration of the road, as
was a property of public dominion. Property of abandoned by the City Council of Cebu, made it
public dominion is outside the commerce of man the patrimonial property of the City of Cebu,
and hence it: (1) cannot be alienated or leased or making said property as a valid object of a
otherwise be the subject matter of contracts; (2) common contract.
cannot be acquired by prescription against the
State; (3) is not subject to attachment and RULING
execution; and (4) cannot be burdened by any YES, it became patrimonial property and hence a
voluntary easement. valid subject of a contract. The City of Cebu was
Considering that the lot on which the stairways empowered to close a city road or street. The City
were constructed was a property of public Council is the authority competent to determine
dominion, it could not be burdened by a whether or not a certain property is still necessary
voluntary easement of right of way in favor of for public use. Such power to vacate a street or
VILLARICO. In fact, its use by the public was by alley is discretionary and the discretion will not
mere tolerance of the government through the ordinarily be controlled or interfered with by the
DPWH. VILLARICO could not appropriate it for courts, absent a plain case of abuse or fraud or
himself. Verily, he could claim any right of collusion.
possession over it since only things and rights Since that portion of the city street subject of
which are susceptible of being appropriated may petitioner's application for registration of title was
be the object of possession. withdrawn from public use by an ordinance of the
City Council of Cebu, it follows that such
ARTICLE 421: All other property of the State, which withdrawn portion becomes patrimonial
is not of the character stated in the preceding Article, is property, which can be the object of an ordinary
patrimonial property. contract.
Article 422 of the Civil Code expressly provides
PATRIMONIAL PROPERTY – It is the wealth that "Property of public dominion, when no
owned by the State in its private, as distinguished longer intended for public use or for public
from its public capacity. service, shall form part of the patrimonial
property of the State." Accordingly, the
Patrimonial property may be acquired by private withdrawal of the property in question from
individuals or corporations thru prescription. public use and its subsequent sale to the petitioner
However, if a municipality has been taking the was valid. Hence, the petitioner has a registerable
products of a certain parcel of land, and planting title over the lot in question.
thereon certain other crops, this is NOT proof of
ownership, but only of the usufruct thereof.
LAUREL vs. GARCIA
CEBU OXYGEN vs. BERCILLES GR No. 29013. July 25, 1990. 187 SCRA 797
GR No. L-40474. August 29, 1975 Abandonment of a property of public domain cannot be
inferred from the non-use alone. It must be a certain
An abandoned road, declared by the City Council and positive act based on correct legal premises.
through a resolution forms part of the patrimonial
property of the State. FACTS
Under the Reparations Agreement entered with in
FACTS 1956, the Philippine government has acquired 4
The terminal portion of M. Borces St. in Cebu City properties in Japan as part of the indemnification
was declared an abandoned road by the City to the Filipino people for their losses in life and
Council of Cebu through a resolution. The council property and their suffering during World War II.
later, authorized the Acting Mayor to sell the One of these properties is the Raponggi property
land. In the public bidding, the land was awarded located in Tokyo, Japan, which was specifically
to CEBU OXYGEN & ACETYLENE CO. being the designated under the Reparations Agreement to
highest bidder. A Deed of Absolute Sale to CEBU house the Philippine Embassy. Said property
OXYGEN was executed by the Acting Mayor. It consisted of the land and building, which indeed
became the site of the Philippine Embassy until (2) No. A mere transfer of the Philippine Embassy
the latter was transferred to Nampeidai in 1976 to Nampeidai in 1976 is not relinquishment of the
when the Rappongi building needed major Roppongi property's original purpose. The fact
repairs. Due to the failure of our government to that the Roppongi site has not been used for a
provide necessary funds, the Rappongi property long time for actual Embassy service does not
has remained undeveloped since that time. automatically convert it to patrimonial property.
Amidst opposition by various sectors, the Any such conversion happens only if the property
Executive branch of the government has been is withdrawn from public use. A property
pushing, with great vigor, its decision to sell the continues to be part of the public domain, not
reparations properties starting with the Roppongi available for private appropriation or ownership
lot. A bidding was then set. until there is a formal declaration on the part of
Petitioner SALVADOR LAUREL filed this action the government to withdraw it from being such.
to enjoin respondents from selling the Raponggi An abandonment of the intention to use the
property. LAUREL asserted that the Roppongi Roppongi property for public service and to make
property is classified as one of public dominion, it patrimonial property under Article 422 of the
and not of private ownership under Article 420 of Civil Code must be definite. Abandonment cannot
the Civil Code because it is a "property intended be inferred from the non-use alone specially if the
for public service" in paragraph 2 of the above non-use was attributable not to the government's
provision. Hence, it could not be appropriated, is own deliberate and indubitable will but to a lack
outside the commerce of man, or to put it in more of financial support to repair and improve the
simple terms, it could be alienated nor be the property. Abandonment must be a certain and
subject matter of contracts. positive act based on correct legal premises.

RESPONDENTS Ramon Garcia (Head of the


Asset Privatization Trust), Raul Manglapus INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD vs. UP
(Secretary of Foreign Affairs) and Catalino GR No. L-52518. August 13, 1991. 200 SCRA 554
Macaraig (Executive Secretary) on the other hand,
contended that the Rappongi property has ceased Ownership by the State of a property of the public
to become property of public dominion. It has domain may be transferred in order to become
become patrimonial property because it has not patrimonial property under the authority of a statute.
been used for public service or for diplomatic
purposes for over 13 years already and because FACTS
the intention by the Executive Department and INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD AND VENEER
the Congress to convert it to private use has been COMPANY OF THE PHILIPPINES was engaged
manifested by overt acts. in the manufacture, processing and exportation of
plywood. In 1953, it was granted by the
ISSUES government an exclusive license to cut, collect and
(1) Whether or not the Raponggi property is a remove timber from that portion of timber land
property of public dominion. located in certain municipalities in the provinces
(2) Whether or not the abandonment of the of Quezon and Laguna. Said license was renewed
Rappongi property for over 13 years has ceased it for another 25 years that was to expire in 1985
from being a property of public dominion and under License Agreement 27-A.
was transformed into a patrimonial property. In 1961, the President Carlos P. Garcia issued
Executive Proclamation No. 791 which withdrew
RULING from sale or settlement a parcel of land in the
(1) YES. The nature of the Rappongi lot as municipalities of Quezon and Laguna in
property for public service is expressly spelled reservation for an experiment station for the
out. It was dictated by the terms of the proposed Dairy Research and production studies
Reparations Agreement and the corresponding of the UNIVERSITY OF THE PHILIPPINES (UP).
contract of procurement, which specifically In 1964, Congress enacted RA 3990, which
designated it as the site of the Philippine established a central experiment station for UP. It
Embassy. Such agreement bound both the ceded and transferred in full ownership to UP, the
Philippine government and the Japanese “reserved area” under Executive Proclamation
government. As property of public dominion, the No. 791 subject to any existing concessions, if any.
Rappongi lot is outside the commerce of man. It The said experiment station was within the area
could be alienated. Its ownership is a special covered by INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD’s
collective ownership for general use and timber license.
enjoyment, an application to the satisfaction of Later, UP demanded from INTERNATIONAL
collective needs, and resides in the social group. HARDWOOD in writing: (1) the payment of
The purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical forest charges, reforestation fees and royalties
person, but the citizens. It is intended for the under the License Agreement 27-A and (2) that
common and public welfare and cannot be the the scaling, measuring, sealing and selling of any
object of appropriation. The applicable provisions timber felled or cut by plaintiff within the
of the Civil Code are Arts. 419 and 420. The boundaries of the Central Experiment Station as
Roppongi property was correctly classified under defined in RA 3990 be performed by UP
paragraph 2 of Article 420 of the Civil Code as personnel. INTERNATIONAL HARWOOD then
property belonging to the State and intended for sought an action to enjoin UP from its demands
some public service. since it believed that RA 3990 did not empower
UP, in lieu of the BIR and Bureau of Forestry, to streets. Later it authorized the sale thru public
scale, measure and seal the timber cut by the bidding of the property. The Cebu Oxygen and
petitioner within the tract of land referred to in Acetylene Co. was able to purchase the same. It
said act and collect the corresponding forest then petitioned the RTV for the registration of the
charges prescribed by the National Internal land. The petition was opposed by the provincial
Revenue Code. fiscal who argued that the lot is still part of the
public domain, and cannot therefore be
ISSUE registered.
Whether or not the property has been removed ISSUE: May the lot be registered in the name of
from the public domain in favor of UP that it was the buyer?
vested with the right to regulate HELD: YES. The land can be registered in the
INTERNATIONAL HARDWOOD’s timber name of the buyer because the street has already
cutting and to demand from it the payment of been withdrawn from public use, and accordingly
forest charges and other dues. has become patrimonial property. The lot’s sale
was therefore valid.
RULING
YES. Pursuant, however, to RA 3990, which WHEN CHANGE TAKES EFFECT:
established a central experiment station for the
use of the UP in connection with its research and 1. Property of public dominion ceases to be
extension functions, the reserved area was ceded such and becomes private property of the
and transferred in full ownership to the State ONLY UPON DECLARATION BY THE
University of the Philippines subject to any GOVERNMENT, thru the legislative or
existing concessions, if any. executive departments, to the effect that it is
When it ceded and transferred the property to UP no longer needed for public use or public
through RA 3990, the State completely removed it service.
from the public domain. All its rights as grantor of 2. if the property has been intended for such
the license were effectively assigned, ceded and use or service and the government has not
conveyed to UP as a consequence of the above devoted it to other uses, or adopted any
transfer of full ownership. With respect to the measure w/c amounted to a withdrawal
areas covered by the timber license of petitioner, it thereof from public use or service, the same
removed and segregated it from a public forest. remains property for public use or service
The State divested itself of its rights and title notwithstanding the fact that it is not actually
thereto and relinquished and conveyed the same devoted for public use or service.
to the UP and made the latter the absolute owner
thereof, subject only to the existing concession. ARTICLE 423: The property of provinces, cities, and
The proviso regarding existing concessions municipalities is divided into property for public use
referred to the timber license of petitioner. All that and patrimonial property.
it means, however, is that the right of petitioner as
a timber licensee must not be affected, impaired  Properties of Political Subdivisions
or diminished; it must be respected. 1. Property for public use
It follows then that respondent UP was entitled to 2. Patrimonial property
supervise, through its duly appointed personnel,  Alienation of the Properties
the logging, felling and removal of timber within 1. Properties of the political subdivision for
the area covered by R.A. No. 3990. public use can not be alienated as such,
and may not be acquired by prescription.
Note: In this case, the area ceded to UP by the 2. Properties of a political subdivision which
state was considered by the court as to have been are patrimonial in character may be
removed from the land of the public domain and alienated, and may be acquired by others
became patrimonial property. However, under thru prescription.
Art. 422, property of the public domain include
those intended for public service. Being that UP is ARTICLE 424: Property for public use, in the
a state university and that it is devoted for public provinces, cities, and municipalities, consist of the
service by way of providing education, the subject provincial roads, city streets, municipal waters,
property here should have still remained under promenades, and public works for public service paid
the State’s property of public domain and should for by said provinces, cities, or municipalities.
not have been classified as patrimonial property.
(Atty. Suarez’s comment) All other property possessed by any of then is
patrimonial and shall be governed by this Code,
without prejudice to the provisions of special laws.
ARTICLE 422: Property of public dominion, when no
loner intended for public use or for public service, shall ARTICLE 425: Property of private ownership, besides
form part of the patrimonial property of the State. the patrimonial property of the State, provinces, cities,
and municipalities, consist of all property belonging to
CEBU OXYGEN V BERCILLES. private persons, either individually or collectively.

FACTS: Laurel vs. Garcia


The City Council of Cebu, in 1968, considered as
an abandoned road, the terminal portion of one its
Facts: The Roponggi property was acquired from contracts which the gov't is a party,
the Japanese government through reparations respective Dept. Sec. shall submit the
contract. No. 300. It consisted of the land and the papers to the Congress for approval. This
building for the Philippine Embassy. As intended, is retained in Sec. 48, EO 292. Hence, it is
it became the site of the Embassy until the latter not for the President to convey valuable
was transferred to Nampeidai as the Roponggi real property of the government on her
property needed major repairs. However, due to own sole will. Any such conveyance must
the lack of funds, the property remained be authorized and approved by a law
undeveloped. enacted by the Congress.
- Are rivers whether navigable or not,
On July 25, 2987, Pres. Aquino issued EO properties of public dominion?
296 entitling non-filipino citizens or entities to A: it would seem that art 420 makes no
avail of reparations capital goods and service in distinction. However, jurisprudence provides that
the event of sale, lease or disposition. if a river is capable in its natural state of being
used for commerce, it is navigable in fact, and
Issue: What is the nature of the Roponggi therefore, becomes a public river.
property
OWNERSHIP
Held: The nature of the Roponggi lot as property
for public service is expressly spelled out under ARTICLE 427: Ownership may be exercised over
the Reparations Agreement between the Phil. things or rights.
Gov't and Japan. As property of public dominion,
the Roppongi lot is outside the commerce of man. Ownership is the independent and general right
It cannot be alienated. Its ownership is a special of the person to control a thing particularly in his
collective ownership for general use and possession, to enjoy it, to dispose it, and to
enjoyment, an application to the satisfaction of recover it when it is lost.
collective needs, and resides in the social group.
The purpose is not to serve the State as a juridical Restrictions:
person, but the citizens; it is intended for the a) those imposed by law – example
common and public welfare and cannot be the is the easement of right of way
object of appropriation, b) imposed by the State –
expropriation, the power of
Issue: Has it become patrimonial? taxation
c) those imposed by the owner –
Held: The fact that the Roponggi property has not entering into a contract of lease
been used for a long time for actual Embassy (the owner puts limitation to
service does not automatically convert it to himself over his property)
patrimonial property. Any such conversio d) those imposed by the grantor –
happens only if the property is withdrawn from conditions of the donor
public use. A property continues to be part of the
public domain, not available for private - KINDS OF OWNERSHIP:
appropriation or ownership "until there is a
formal declaration on the part of the government a) full ownership – includes all the
to withdraw it from being such. The respondents rights of the owner, to control, to
enumerate various pronouncements by concerned enjoy, to dispose, and to recover;
public officials insinuating a change of intention. b) naked ownership – there is this
We emphasize, however, that an abandonment of kind of ownership that one has
the intention to use the Roppongi property for when – like usufruct – giving this
public service and to make it patrimonial property person the usufructuary to use
under Article 422 of the Civil Code must be the land and to enjoy the fruits of
definite. Abandonment cannot be inferred from the land. So your ownership over
the non-use alone specially if the non-use was your land is merely naked
attributable not to the government's own because you do not enjoy its
deliberate and indubitable will but to a lack of fruits.
financial support to repair and improve the c) sole ownership – where
property. ownership is vested only to one
person;
Issue: Does the President have authority to sell d) co-ownership – when the
said property? ownership is vested to 2 or more
persons
Held: Assuming arguendo that the Roppongi
property is no longer of public domain, there is ARTICLE 428: The owner has the right to enjoy and
another obstacle to its sale by the respondents: dispose of a thing, without other limitations than
THERE IS NO LAW AUTHORIZING ITS established by law.
CONVEYANCE. The owner has also a right of action against the holder
and possessor of the thing in order to recover.
- Sec. 79 of the Revised Administrative
Code provides that for conveyances and - Under Art. 428, the owner has 3 rights:
1. the right to enjoy (jus utendi) – the right
to enjoy includes the right to possess. This 1. In forcible entry, the requirement is that
is the right to exclude any person from the plaintiff was in prior possession
enjoyment and disposal thereof. (essential) and then he was unlawfully
2. the right to consume or abuse (jus deprived of possession by the defendant
abutendi) by means of FISTS.
3. the right to consume, destroy and abuse. 2. In unlawful detainer, the defendant had
4. the right to dispose ( jus disponendi ) lawful possession but his possession
5. the right to encumber and alienate. became unlawful. The possession of the
the right to recover or vindicate (jus defendant was lawful because of a
vindicandi)- the right to recover. contract, his possession becomes unlawful
perhaps because the contract expired or
THE RIGHT TO RECOVER he violated the terms or conditions of the
contract.
1) REPLEVIN – an action or provisional
remedy filed by the complainant for the  Characteristics common to unlawful
recovery of the possession of the personal detainer and forcible entry
property. 1. Ownership is not an issue, but
 For the recovery of real property, only the right of possession of the
the 1st action is forcible entry. premises.
That is also related to the 2nd one 2. the action must be filed within 1
which is unlawful detainer. The yr from the discovery, from the
3rd is accion publiciana, and the 4th dispossession, and from the
is accion reinvindicatoria. withholding
2) FORCIBLE ENTRY – it is an action to
recover material or physical possession 4) ACCION PUBLICIANA-
because another person unlawfully
deprived him of possession because of  This action is intended for the recovery of
FISTS (Force, Intimidation, Stealth, the better right to possess. The issue here
Threats, Strategy). is possession de jure not possession de
3) The issue here is possession only, not facto.
ownership  This is no longer a summary proceeding
but a full blown trial.
 The PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD to file  PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD: 10 years
forcible entry is one year from
dispossession.  KINDS:
1. When the entry was not obtained thru
 When you file a complaint for forcible FISTS;
entry, what are the facts that you have to 2. When the entry was thru FISTS and there
state? was a failure to file a case of unlawful
1. That the plaintiff was in prior possession detainer or forcible entry within one year.
of the property;
2. That he had been unlawfully deprived of 5) ACCION REINVINDICATORIA – the
his possession by another person thru purpose here is to recover ownership over the
FISTS real property.
 PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD: 10
3. UNLAWFUL DETAINER – it is an action years if possessor in good faith;
that is brought when possession by a 30 years if in bad faith.
landlord, vendee, vendor, or other person
of any land or building is being  ISSUE: Ownership
unlawfully withheld after the expiration
or termination of the right to hold ARTICLE 429: The owner or lawful possessor of a
possession by virtue of any contract, thing has the right to exclude any person from the
express or implied. enjoyment and disposal thereof. For this purpose, he
may use such force as may be reasonably necessary to
1. PRESCRIPTIVE PERIOD: 1-year from repel or prevent an actual or threatened unlawful
the date of withholding physical invasion or usurpation of his property.
2. REQUIREMENTS:
a) that the  Doctrine of SELF-HELP. The
defendant originally had doctrine of self-help exists once there
lawful possession of the is an actual or threatened danger or
property; physical usurpation of property.
b) that the defendant is now
unlawfully withholding the Principle of self-Help:
possession of the property 1. It is lawful to repel force by means of
from the plaintiff. force. Implies that the state of things to be deemed
enjoys juridical protection.
Unlawful Detainer vs Forcible Entry
2. It is sort of self-defense, where the use dismantled house and was nearer the highway.
of such necessary force to protect proprietary or Aside from the store, he built a rice mill located
possessory rights constitutes a justifying about 15 meters cast of the house, and a concrete
circumstances under the Penal Code. pavement between the rice mill and the house,
which is used for drying grains and copra.
The actual invasion of self-help: In 1966, the settlers including NARVAEZ
1. Mere disturbance of possession – force may be questioned in court, the ownership of Fleischer
used against it any time as long as it continues, and Company of the disputed land. During the
even beyond the prescriptive period for an action pendency of the case in 1967, he entered into a
of forcible entry. Thus, if a ditch was opened by contract of lease with the company concerning Lot
Perdo in the land of Juan, Juan may close it or 38 of the latter’s property in order to avoid
cover it by force at any time. trouble, until the question of ownership could be
2. Real Dispossession – force, to regain decided. He never paid the agreed rental,
possession can only be used immediately after the although he alleged that the milling job they did
dispossession. Thus, if Juan w/o the permission for the deceased FLAVIANO RUBIA, who was
of Pedro picks up a book belonging to Pedro and the assistant manager of Fleischer and Company,
runs off with it, Pedro can pursue Juan and was considered payment. Unable to pay, for 6
recover the book by force. months, Fleischer and Company decided to
terminate the contract to lease and NARVAEZ
Nature of the Aggression: was also ordered to leave the premises and
1. The aggression must be illicit or unlawful. remove the structures therein within 6 months
1. the right to self-help is not available until December 1968 or else the company itself
against the exercise of right by another, will cause its demolition.
such as when the latter executes an extra- However, while it was still August 1968, Fleischer
judicial abatement of nuisance. and Company sent the 2 deceased, DAVIS Q.
2. neither can it be used against the lawful FLEISCHER (secretary-treasurer and son of
exercise of the functions of a public owner) and FLAVIANO RUBIA (assistant
official. manager), whom together with 3 laborers,
2. The act however need not be illicit from the commenced fencing Lot 38 leased by NARVAEZ
subjective point of view. by putting bamboo posts along the property line
1. it is immaterial that the aggression is parallel to the highway. Some posts were planted
executed because of error of fact or law right on the concrete drier of NARVAEZ thereby
2. the existence of a danger of violation of cutting diagonally across its center, with the last
law and right is sufficient, for the post just adjacent to appellant's house. The fence,
possessor is not a position to the error of when finished, would have the effect of shutting
the aggressor and he has to make a quick off the accessibility to appellant's house and rice
decision. mill from the highway, since the door of the same
PEOPLE vs. NARVAEZ opens to the Fleischer and Company's side.
GR No. L-33466. April 30, 1983 The next day, the fencing was continued with the
installation of four strands of barbed wire to the
The owner has the right to use force as may be posts. At that time, NARVAEZ was taking his
reasonably necessary to prevent an actual or rest, but when he heard that the walls of his house
threatened unlawful physical invasion of his property. were being chiseled, he arose and there he saw the
The force exerts must commensurate the unlawful fencing going on. If the fencing would go on,
aggression on his property. NARVAEZ would be prevented from getting into
his house and the bodega of his rice mill. So he
FACTS told the group to stop the construction and just
MAMERTO NARVAEZ was among those persons talk it over. The deceased FLEISCHER, however,
from Luzon who went to Mindanao in 1937 and refused angrily. Upon hearing this, NARVAEZ
settled in Maitum, North Cotabato. He established apparently lost his equilibrium, got his shotgun
his residence therein, built his house, cultivated and shot FLEISCHER, hitting him. As
the area. He was among those who petitioned FLEISCHER fell down, RUBIA ran towards the
then President Manuel L. Quezon to order the jeep, knowing there is a gun in the jeep.
subdivision of the defunct Celebes and Kalaong NARVAEZ fired at RUBIA, likewise hitting him.
Plantations, for distribution among the settlers, Both died as a result of the shooting. NARVAEZ
which included him. Shortly thereafter, Fleischer surrendered to the police thereafter, bringing with
and Company, headed by GEORGE W. him shotgun, claiming he shot two persons. He
FLEISCHER, an American landowner in Negros was tried for murder and was found guilty in a
Oriental, filed Sales Application No. in 1937 over 1970 decision by the trial court.
the same area formerly leased and later On appeal, NARVAEZ alleged that although he
abandoned by Celebes Plantation Company. has killed FLEISCHER and RUBIA, he should be
Fleischer and Company purchased the said exempted from criminal liability because he
property upon public auction. In 1966, the settlers merely acted in defense of his person and right.
in said property were ousted. Among those The prosecution on the other hand, claim that the
ejected was NARVAEZ, who voluntarily deceased were in lawful exercise of their rights of
dismantled his house and transferred to his other ownership over the land in question, when they
house which he built near the highway. The did the fencing that sealed off appellant's access to
second house was not far from the site of the the highway.
greater. The owner may demand from the person
ISSUES benefited indemnity for the damage to him.
(1) Whether or not the deceased in constructing a
fence were in the lawful exercise of their rights of STATE OF NECESSITY
ownership over the land, leased by NARVAEZ.  This principle allows the use of defensive
(2) Whether or not there was unlawful aggression force to preserve an existing situation, as
on NARVAEZ’s property. against an external event which the
passive subject is entitled to repel as
RULING much as an unlawful aggression by
(1) NO, they were not in the lawful exercise another
of ownership. Although ownership over the land  This superior to the doctrine of self-help
was still pending in court, the fact that Fleischer
and Company gave him until December 1968 to REQUISITES:
vacate the premises, the company should have 1. existence of an evil sought to be avoided
allowed NARVAEZ to enjoy peaceful enjoyment 2. the injury feared is greater than that done
of his properties up to that time. to avoid it
(2) YES. There was an actual physical 3. that there be no other practical and less
invasion of appellant's property which he had the harmful means of preventing it
right to resist, pursuant to Art. 429 of the Civil 4. the means employed is necessary and
Code. However, when NARVAEZ fired his indispensable to avert danger.
shotgun from his window, killing his two victims,
his resistance was disproportionate to the attack. EFFECT: Indemnity may be demanded by the
Although under Art. 429 of the Civil Code, he was owner from the person benefited.
the owner or lawful possessor of the property and
that he has the right to use force as may be Effect of Mistake
reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an actual
or threatened unlawful physical invasion of his  The right to act in a state of necessity
property, the force he exerted was unreasonable depends upon the objective existence of
to commensurate the unlawful aggression on his the danger with the requisites provided
property. by law.
It must be noted that the reasonableness of means  If through error, one believed himself to
employed to prevent or repel the unlawful be in a state of necessity, or used means in
aggression is also a requirement of the justifying excess of the requirements, his act would
circumstance of self defense or defense of one's be illicit and the owner of the property
rights in the Revised Penal Code. Be that as it can use the defensive force authorized in
may, appellant's act in killing the deceased was art 429.
not justifiable, since not all the elements for
justification were present. He should therefore be EFFECT OF NEGLIGENCE
held responsible for the death of his victims, but
he could be credited with the special mitigating The law does not require that the person
circumstance of incomplete defense under the acting in a state of necessity be free from
RPC. negligence in the creation of such situation. Thus,
NARVAEZ was found guilty of two crimes of if a person picks up an unknown object in a drug
homicide with the privileged mitigating store and eats it, thinking it to be candy, and it
circumstance of incomplete defense as well as by turns out to be poison, he can lawfully drink any
two (2) generic mitigating circumstances of antidote he may find in the store, even without
voluntary surrender and obfuscation, without any the consent of the owner.
aggravating circumstance. He was sentenced to
suffer an imprisonment of 4 months of arresto Basis of liability – the benefit derived
mayor and payment of indemnification. But
considering that he has been under detention for Conflict of rights – the rights of self-help under
almost 14 years, his immediate release is hereby Art 429 is not available against the act in a state of
ordered. necessity.

ARTICLE 430: Every owner may enclose or fence his SPOUSES CUSTODIO vs. CA
land or tenements by means of walls. Ditches, live or GR No. 116100. February 9, 1996. 253 SCRA 483
dead hedges, or by any other means without detriment
to servitudes constituted thereon. The owners have the right to enclose and fence
their property provided that it should be without
ARTICLE 431: The owner of a thing cannot make use detriment to servitudes constituted thereon.
thereof in such manner as to injure the rights of a 3 rd
person. FACTS
PACIFICO MABASA owned a parcel of land with
ARTICLE 432: The owner of a thing has no right to a 2-door apartment erected thereon in Taguig,
prohibit the interference of another with the same, if the Metro Manila. Said property was surrounded by
interference is necessary to avert an imminent danger other houses owned by PETITIONERS Spouses
and the threatened damage, compared to the damage CRISTINO and BRIGIDA CUSTODIO and
arising to the owner from the interference, is much Spouses LITO and MARIA CRISTINA SANTOS.
Taking P. Burgos Street as the point of reference, HEIRS OF MABASA by reason of the rightful use
there are two passageways, which could be used of the said land by PETITIONERS is damnum
to reach MABASA’s apartment. absque injuria, which is damage caused by a
When said property was purchased by MABASA, person by his lawful acts done upon his own
there were tenants already occupying the property.
premises and who were acknowledged by
MABASA as tenants. In 1982, one of said tenants ARTICLE 433: Actual possession under claim of
vacated the apartment. When MABASA went to ownership raises a disputable presumption of
see the premises, he saw that the spouses ownership. The true owner must resort to judicial
SANTOS had built an adobe fence in the first process for the recovery of the property.
passage, making it narrower in width. Defendant
MORATO also constructed her adobe fence and ARTICLE 435: No person shall be deprived of his
even extended said fence in such a way that the property except by competent authority and for public
entire passageway was enclosed. It was then that use and always upon payment of just compensation.
the remaining tenants of said apartment vacated Should this requirement be not first complied
the area. with, the courts shall protect and in proper case,
MABASA filed an action for the grant of an restore the owner in his possession.
easement of right of way against defendants
CUSTODIOs and SANTOSes. The trial court REQUISITES:
granted said petition and ordered them to give 1. The taking must be done by the
MABASA permanent access to the public streets. competent authority;
However, it also ordered MABASA to pay them 2. observance of the due process of law;
P8,000 as indemnity for the permanent use of the 3. taking must be for public use;
passageway. MABASA subsequently died and 4. upon payment of just compensation
was represented by his heirs, when the case was
appealed with the Court of Appeals, raising the ARTICLE 436: When any property is condemned or
sole issue of whether or not the lower court erred seized by competent authority in the interest of health,
in not awarding damages in their favor. It safety, or security, the owner thereof, shall not be
affirmed the trial court’s decision with entitled to compensation, unless he can show that such
modification that MABASA be awarded damages condemnation or seizure is unjustified.
for incurred losses of unrealized rentals when the
tenants vacated the leased premises by reason of RULE ON SEIZURE:
the closure of the passageway. Hence, this appeal
by PETITIONERS. GENERAL RULE:

ISSUE Owner should not be entitled for any


Whether or not PETITIONERS has the right to compensation as to property seized or
build the adobe fences to enclose their property condemned by competent authority if it is
even if it blocked the passageway to and fro done in the interest of health, safety, or
MABASA’s property. security.

RULING EXCEPTION:
YES. The act of PETITIONERS in constructing a The owner should be entitled to
fence within their lot was a valid exercise of their compensation if he can show that such
right as owners, hence not contrary to morals, condemnation or seizure is unjustified.
good customs or public policy. The law
recognizes in the owner the right to enjoy and ARTICLE 437: The owner of the parcel of land is the
dispose of a thing, without other limitations than owner of its surface and of everything under it, and he
those established by law. Under Art. 430 of the can construct thereon any works or make any
Civil Code, it is within the right of PETITIONERS, plantations and excavations which he my deem proper,
as owners, to enclose and fence their property without detriment to servitudes and subject to special
provided that it should be without detriment to laws and ordinances. He cannot complain of the
servitudes constituted thereon. reasonable requirements of aerial navigation.
At the time of the construction of the fence, the lot
was not subject to any servitudes. There was no ARTICLE 438: Hidden treasure belongs to the owner
easement of way existing in favor of private of the land, buildings, or other property on which it is
respondents, either by law or by contract. The fact found.
that the HEIRS OF MABASA had no existing right Nevertheless, when the discovery is made on the
over the said passageway is confirmed by the property of another, or of the State, or any of its
very decision of the trial court granting a subdivisions, and by chance, ½ thereof shall be allowed
compulsory right of way in their favor after the finder. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be
payment of just compensation. entitled to any share of the treasure.
Hence, prior to said decision, PETITIONERS had If the things found be of interest to science or
an absolute right over their property and their act the arts, the State may acquire them at their just price,
of fencing and enclosing the same was an act which shall be divided in conformity with the rule
which they may lawfully perform in the stated.
employment and exercise of said right. Whatever
injury or damage may have been sustained by the
 If the treasure is discovered on the At the time of the construction of the
property of the finder, the treasure fence, the lot was not subject to any servitudes.
belongs to him There was no easement of way existing in favor of
private respondents, either by law or by contract.
 If the treasure is discovered on the The fact that private respondents had no existing
property of another, the sharing is 50-50. right over the said passageway is confirmed by
50% belongs to the landowner; 50% goes the very decision of the trial court granting a
to the finder. compulsory right of way in their favor after
payment of just compensation. It was only that
Requirements: decision which gave private respondents the right
to use the said passageway after payment of the
1. The finder must not be a trespasser; compensation and imposed a corresponding duty
2. It should be found by chance on petitioners not to interfere in the exercise of
said right.
 If the finder is a tenant, lessee, or
ACCESSION
usufructuary of the property, the sharing
is 50-50.
ARTICLE 440: The ownership of property gives the
right by accession to everything which is produced
 If the finder is the employee of the owner
thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto,
of the property, the sharing is 50-50, if he
either naturally or artificially.
discovered it by chance. If he is, however,
employed to look for treasure, then, the
Accession is the extension of ownership over a
treasure belongs to the owner.
thing to whatever it produces thereby or which is
incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally
ARTICLE 439: By treasure is understood, for legal
or artificially.
purposes, any hidden and unknown deposit of money,
jewelry, or other precious objects, the lawful ownership
 KINDS:
of which does not appear
1. ACCESSION DISCRATA (fruits)- the
right of the owner to own everything
CUSTODIO VS CA
which is produced thereby;
Example: natural fruits, industrial fruits,
Facts: Mabasa owned a parcel of land with a 2
and civil fruits;
door apartment erected thereon. The property is
2. ACCESSION CONTINUA (incorporated)
surrounded by other immovables belonging to
– the right of the owner to own
Custodios, Morato and the Santoses. There are
everything which is incorporated or
two possible passageways to the said property.
attached thereto either naturally or
One passing through row of houses, and the other
artificially
through the residence of Morato and the Santoses.
SECTION 1: RIGHT OF ACCESSION WITH
When one of the tenants of the petitioner's
RESPECT TO WHAT IS PRODUCED BY
left, Mabasa saw that the Santoses had built an
PROPERTY
adobe fence in the first passage making it
narrower in width. Said adobe fence was first
ACCESSION DISCRETA:
constructed by defendants Santoses along their
property which is also along the first passageway.
ARTICLE 441: To the owner belongs:
Defendant Morato constructed her adobe fence
1. the natural fruits;
and even extended said fence in such a way that
2. the industrial fruits;
the entire passageway was enclosed. It was then
that the remaining tenants of the apartment 3. the civil fruits.
vacated the area. RTC ordered the private
respondents to give plaintiff ingress and access. GENERAL RULE: if you are the owner of the
Issue: W/N private respondents are liable for land, you are the owner of the fruit
damages
EXCEPTIONS:
1. if there is a possessor in good faith;
Held: No. The act of petitioners in constructing a
2. when there is usufructuary;
fence within their lot is a valid exercise of their
3. when the lessee gets the fruits of the land
right as owners, hence not contrary to morals,
(the owner gets the civil fruits in the form
good customs or public policy. The law
of rentals);
recognizes in the owner the right to enjoy and
4. the contract of antichresis
dispose of a thing, without other limitations than
those established by law. It is within the right of
BACHRACH MOTOR vs. TALISAY-SILAY
petitioners, as owners, to enclose and fence their
GR No. 352230. September 17, 1931
property. Article 430 of the Civil Code provides
that "(e)very owner may enclose or fence his land
Bonus granted as compensation for the risk of having
or tenements by means of walls, ditches, live or
subjected one’s land to a lien in favor of the bank is not
dead hedges, or by any other means without
a civil fruit of the mortgaged property.
detriment to servitudes constituted thereon."
FACTS ARTICLE 443: He who receives the fruits has the
In 1923, the TALISAY-SILAY MILLING CO. INC., obligation to pay the expenses made by a 3 rd person in
was indebted to the PHILIPPINE NATIONAL their production, gathering, and preservation.
BANK (PNB). To secure the payment of its debt, it
succeeded in inducing its planters, among whom ARTICLE 444: Only such as are manifest or born are
was MARIANO LACSON LEDESMA, to considered as natural or industrial fruits.
mortgage their land to the creditor bank. In order With respect to animals, it is sufficient that
to compensate these planters for the risk they they are in the womb of the mother, although unborn.
were running with their property under that
mortgage, TALISAY undertook to credit the DISCRETA ( PRODUCED)
owners of the plantation bonuses which is 2% of NATURAL INDUSTRIAL CIVIL
the debt secured according to the yearly balance. 1. Spontaneous Those - rents
LEDESMA owned a sum of money to products of produced by - price of
BACHRACH MOTOR CO. that the latter filed a the soil lands of any - leases
complaint for the delivery of LEDESMA’s bonus 2. The young kind of amount
of P13,850 or promissory notes in its favor. and other cultivation or of
PNB, to which LEDEMSA’s land was mortgaged products of labor perpetual
filed a third party claim alleging a preferential animals or life
right to receive any amount which LEDESMA annuities
might be entitled to from TALISAY as bonus. It
argued that said bonus were civil fruits of the SECTION 2: RIGHT OF ACCESSION WITH
land mortgaged to said bank by LEDESMA. PNB RESPECT TO IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
prayed that TALISAY be ordered to deliver
directly to the bank, LEDESMA’s bonus. ARTICLE 445: Whatever is built, planted or sown on
The trial court ruled against PNB. Hence, this the land of another and the improvements or repairs
instant appeal. made therein belong to the owner of the land, subject to
the provisions of the following articles.
ISSUE
Whether or not the bonus in question is civil This article deals with accession:
fruits. 1. building
2. planting
RULING 3. sowing
NO. The bonus which the TALISAY, had to pay
the planters who had mortgaged their lands to  To the owner of the principal (land) must
PNB in order to secure the payment of the belong also the accession
company's debt to the bank, is not a civil fruit of  The union musty, w. certain exception, be
the mortgaged property. effected in such a manner that to separate
Article 441 of the Civil Code (then Art. 441) the principal from the accessory, would
considers 3 things as civil fruits: (1) the rents of result in substantial injury to either
buildings; (2) the proceeds from leaes of lands;  He who is in good faith may be held
and (3) the income from perpetual or life liable but he should not be penalized
annuities, or other similar sources of revenue.  He who is in bad faith may be penalized
As the bonus in question is not the rent of a
building or of land, the only meaning of "civil TACAS vs. TOBON
fruits" left to be examined is that of "income." The GR No. 30240. August 23, 1929
said bonus bore no immediate, but only a remote
and accidental relation to the land mentioned. It The possessor in good faith must return the fruits
was only granted as compensation for the risk of received from the time the answer to the complaint was
having subjected one's land to a lien in favor of filed, that is, from the time he became aware that he
the bank, for the benefit of the entity granting said was in undue possession. During that time, before the
bonus. If this bonus be income or civil fruits of law, good faith ceased.
anything, it is income arising from said risk or
from LEDESMA's generosity in facing the danger FACTS
for the protection of TALISAY. But, it certainly is 3 parcels of land were owned by and registered in
not civil fruits or income from the mortgaged the name of Francisco Dumadag. He died in 1911.
property, which, as far as this case is concerned, In 1912, during the season for planting tobacco
has nothing to do with it. immediately following the death of Dumadag,
EVARISTO TOBON took possession of the 3
ARTICLE 442: Natural fruits are the spontaneous parcels of land in question planting them with
products of the soil, and the young and other products tobacco. Since then, TOBON had been collecting
of the animals. the fruits therefrom, which consisted of rice and
Industrial fruits are those produced by lands tobacco.
of any kind thru cultivation or labor. AQUILINA TACAS ET AL., Francisco Dumadag’s
Civil fruits are the rents of buildings, the predecessor in interest filed an action seeking to
price of leases of lands and other property and the recover from TOBON the ownership and
amount of perpetual or life annuities or other similar possession of said 3 parcels of land, together with
income. the fruits collected by him during the time he was
in possession of said land since 1912. They alleged chosen that the builder pay for the land over
that TOBON unlawfully took said parcels upon indemnifying the builder instead for the
the death of Francisco Dumadag and that he building, the builder fails to pay.
remained in possession, enjoying the fruits
thereof. TOBON however insisted that he was the FACTS
owner of said lands, having purchased them from VICENTE STO. DOMINGO BERNARDO
one Exequiel or Gil Tacas, deceased, about fifteen entered into a contract of sale in 1920 with Pastor
years before. Samonte and others, over a parcel of land in
The trial court found that the 3 parcels of land Silang, Cavite. To secure possession of the land
under discussion, were parts of an estate from the vendors, BERNARDO instituted a civil
belonging to Francisco Dumadag, having case, where the court rendered judgment in his
inherited them from his parents. It declared the favor. When he entered the premises, he found
HEIRS OF TACAS to be the absolute owners of CATALINO BATACLAN therein, who was
the 3 parcels of land in litigation and ordered authorized to clear the land and make
TOBON to deliver said parcels of land to the improvements thereon by the previous owners
them, together with the fruits collected each year since 1922. BERNARDO then filed a case against
since 1912 until the complete termination. BATACLAN, where the lower court held that
Hence, this appeal by TOBON, questioning the indeed, BERNARDO was the owner but
order of the court that he should deliver the fruits nevertheless, BATACLAN was a possessor in
collected each year since 1912 until the complete good faith. Because of this, the court ordered that
termination of the case. BATACLAN be reimbursed for work done and
improvements he made on the property.
ISSUE When both parties appealed to the Supreme
Whether or not the restitution should be made Court, the compensation in favor of BATACLAN
since 1912 when TOBON collected the fruits of the was increased and BERNARDO was given the
land of the late TACAS until the termination of option to either sell the land to the BATACLAN or
the case. to buy the improvements from him within 30
days. BERNARDO chose to sell the land to
RULING BATACLAN. The latter however, informed the
NO. The possessor in good faith must return the court that he was unable to pay. The court then
fruits received from the time the answer to the issued and order that BERNARDO should pay
complaint was filed, that is, from the time he BATACLAN for the improvements made on the
became aware that he was in undue possession. subject property within 30 days or else the land
The court affirmed the decision of the lower court would be ordered sold at public auction. Being
but modified the award of damages, said that BERNARDO did not have money to pay
judgment and ruled that TOBON should only be BATACLAN for the improvements he made on
bound to return to the HEIRS OF MABASA, the the land, he moved to reconsider that he be
fruits received from April 1918 (when TOBON preferred in the order of payment over
filed his answer) to 1927. BATACLAN. Said motion was denied by the
The restitution must be made when there was court though.
already the legal consequences of the interruption. At the instance of BERNARDO and without
Before the law, good faith ceased when the objection from BATACLAN, the court ordered the
answer to the complaint was filed, taking this sale of the land in question at public auction. The
doctrine from the partidas. land was sold to Toribio Teodoro. Teodoro moved
In the present case, TOBON hopefully believed in that he be placed in possession of the land
good faith that the subject property was his and purchased by him, which was granted by the
his belief only disappeared upon the unfavorable court.
judgment of the court against him. Although he BATACLAN complained that he was a
may not have been convinced of it before, TOBON possessor in good faith and that the amount for
became aware that his possession is unlawful reimbursement, to which he was entitled has not
from the time he learned of the complaint or from yet been paid to him by BERNARDO. Therefore,
the time he was summoned to the trial. It was at he said that he has a right to retain the land in
this time that his possession was interrupted and accordance with the provisions of Article 453 of
that he ceased to receive the fruits. Whether or not the Civil Code.
the defendant was a possessor in good faith, there
existed an act that his right was not secure, that ISSUE
someone disputed it, and that he might yet lose it. Whether or not the BATACLAN is still
However, on the basis of Art. 443 of the Civil entitled to reimbursement in lieu of the
Code (then Art. 365), TOBON was also given the improvements he constructed on the disputed
right to deduct the expenses of planting and property.
harvesting, which shall be determined by the trial
court, after hearing both parties. RULING
NO, he was not. BATACLAN has lost his
BERNARDO vs. BATACLAN right of retention.
GR No. 44606. November 28, 1938 The Civil Code confirms certain time-honored
principles of the law of property. One of these is
A builder in good faith, looses his right of the principle of accession whereby the owner of
retention when after the owner of the land has property acquires not only that which it produces
but that which is united to it either naturally or a. he becomes the owner of the materials,
artificially. Under Art. 445 (then Art. 385), but he must pay their value and damages
whatever is built, planted or sown on the land of b. exception - when the material owner
another, and the improvements or repairs made decides to remove them whether or not
thereon, belong to the owner of the land. Where, destruction would be caused – the
however, the planter, builder, or sower has acted materials will revert to the material owner
in good faith, a conflict of rights arises between who will still be entitled to damages
the owners and it becomes necessary to protect
the owner of the improvements without causing  Rights and Obligations of the Material
injustice to the owner of the land. In view of the owner (MO)
impracticability of creating what Manresa calls a  If the MO acted in good faith
state of "forced coownership", the law has a. reimbursement provided he does not
provided a just and equitable solution by giving remove them
the owner of "the land the option to acquire the b. removal provided no substantial injury
improvements after payment of the proper is caused
indemnity or to oblige the builder or planter to
pay for the land and the sower to pay the proper  If the MO acted in bad faith
rent (Art. 361). It is the owner of the land who is a. absolute right or removal and damages –
allowed to exercise the option because his right is whether or not substantial injury is caused
older and because, by the principle of accession, b. reimbursement (value of the materials) and
he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory damages – in case he chooses not to remove
thing.
In the case before us, BERNARDO as owner  Landowner is in Good Faith but
of the land, chose to require BATACLAN, as Material Owner is in Bad Faith
owner of the improvements, to pay for the land. Landowner would:
But since BATACLAN said he could not pay, the  not only be exempted from
land was sold at public auction to Toribio reimbursement
Teodoro. The law, as we have already said,  but he would also be entitled to
requires no more than that the owner of the land consequential damages – as when the
should choose between indemnifying the owner materials are of inferior quality
of the improvements or requiring the latter to pay  Material Owner would lose all rights
for the land. When he failed to pay for the land, such as the right to removal,
the defendant herein lost his right of retention. regardless of whether substantial
injury would be caused
ARTICLE 446: All works, sowing, and planting are
presumed made by the owner and at his expense, PACIFIC FARMS vs. ESGUERRA
unless the contrary is proved. GR No. L-21783. March 25, 1970

ARTICLE 447: The owner of the land who makes The buyer of the building is obliged to pay for
thereon, personally or thru another, plantings, the unpaid balance for the materials use in its
constructions or works with the materials of another, construction. Compensation should be borne
shall pay their value; and, if he acted in bad faith, he by the person who has been benefited by the
shall also be obliged to the reparation of damages. The accession.
owner of the materials shall have the right to remove
them only in case he can do so without injury to the FACTS
work constructed, or without the plantings, 6 buildings were constructed by INSULAR
constructions or works being destroyed. However, if FARMS INC. Lumber and construction materials
the landowner acted in bad faith, the owner of the used therein were furnished by CARRIED
materials may remove them in any event, with a right LUMBER COMPANY. When INSULAR was
to be indemnified for damages. unable to pay the price of the lumber and
construction materials, a case was filed by
 Rights and Obligations of the CARRIED LUMBER against it to redeem the
Landowner who Uses the Materials of unpaid purchase price.
Another: Being that PACIFIC FARMS contended that it
The owner is also the builder, sower, planter was the owner of the 6 buildings, the lower court
but the materials do not belong to him ordered that it pay the unpaid portion of the
procurement price of the lumber and construction
 If the landowner (LO) acted in good materials furnished by the CARRIED LUMBER to
faith: its predecessor-in-interest, INSULAR. It ordered
a. he becomes the owner of the materials for the sale of the 6 buildings but granted the
but he must pay for their value option to redeem the same to PACIFIC FARMS, in
b. exception: when they can be removed order to pay CARRIED LUMBER the unpaid
w/o destruction to the work made or the balance of the construction materials.
plants – the material owner can remove Hence, PACIFIC appealed. It contended that it
them was a purchaser for value and in good faith of the
six buildings in question.
 If the LO acted in bad faith
ISSUE
Whether or not PACIFIC, as buyer of the  The land owner (LO) has the choice
buildings should pay CARRIED LUMBER the whether to appropriate or compel the
unpaid lumber and materials used by the previous builder/planter/sower (BPS) to
owner INSULAR in the construction of said purchase the land. And once the
buildings. choice is made by the LO, he cannot
change it anymore. However, the
RULING option granted to the LO is not
YES. In applying Article 447 by analogy, the 6 absolute as when it is impractical for
buildings were the principal and the lumber and the LO to exercise the option #1. If the
construction materials that went into their option #1 is not practical then the
construction were the accessory. Thus, PACIFIC, probable solution is the 2nd
if it did own the 6 buildings, must bear the alternative.
obligation to pay for the value of the said  Art 448, however, is inapplicable
materials. CARRIED LUMBER, which apparently when:
had no desire to remove the materials, and, even 1. the BPS does not claim
if it were minded to do so, it could not have ownership over the land but
removed them without necessarily damaging the merely possesses it as a mere
building. It had acquired then the corresponding holder
right to recover the value of the unpaid lumber 2. the BPS is a co-owner.
and construction materials. 4. when the land owner constructed
Because it was assumed that PACIFIC was in a building in his own land and he
good faith, it was not pronounced that it be liable sold the land, excluding the
for the reparation of damages but only for the building, to another.
payment of the unpaid price of the lumber and
construction materials due to CARRIED MARTINEZ vs. BAGANUS
LUMBER. Thus, since PACIFIC benefited from GR No. 9438. November 25, 1914.
the accession, i.e., from the lumber and materials
that went into the construction of the 6 buildings, Art. 448 applies only if there is good faith on
it should shoulder the compensation due to both the part of the land owner and the
CARRIED LUMBER, as unpaid furnisher of builder, planter or sower. It is Art. 546 of the
materials. Hence, compensation should be borne Civil Code which governs this situation.
by the person who has been benefited by the
accession. FACTS
PAULA MARTINEZ was an owner of a town
ARTICLE 448: The owner of the land on which lot situated in Batangas. His son, JOSE MOJICA,
anything has been built, sown or planted in good faith sold the said lot to VICTORINO BAGANUS for
shall have the right to appropriate as his own the P70. MARTINEZ filed a case seeking recovery of
works, sowing or planting, after payment of the ownership and possession of the lot. She also
indemnity provided for in the Articles 546 and 548 or prayed that the sale made by his son MOJICA to
to oblige the one built or planted to pay the price of the BAGANUS be declared null and void. BAGANUS
land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent. in contrast alleged that:
However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to 1. he bought the lot from MOJICA with
buy the land if its value is considerably more than that the consent of MARTINEZ in the belief that
of the building or trees. In such case, he shall pay it belonged to the former,
reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose 2. he had paid a deposit of P30 in
to appropriate the building or trees after proper advance and agreed to pay the P40 balance
indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms of when the instrument of sale had already
the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix been executed as was later done and
the terms thereof. 3. relying in good faith in the validity of
his acquisition, he had made necessary
 This article applies only if the builder, improvements on the lot, having built a
planter or sower is in Good Faith house and a warehouse and having planted
 3 options available to the landowner in fruit trees.
good faith if the BPS is in good faith: MOJICA confirmed the sale of the land for the
1. right to appropriate as his own price of P70, having received P30 in advance and
the works, sowing or planting, P40 later when the sale was put to record.
after payment of the indemnity; However, he contended that he made the
2. to compel the builder/planter condition that if his mother, MARTINEZ, would
(BP) to pay the price of the land. not agree to the sale, he might take back the land
With respect to the sower, pay the and would return the money received.
proper rent MARTINEZ, in fact, did not agree to it.
3. to demand the BP to pay the The court declared that the sale made by
proper rent, , if the owner of the MOJICA as null and void and ordered
land does not choose to BAGANUS:
appropriate the building or trees, 1. to return the lot to claimed to
after proper indemnity MARTINEZ,
2. to remove at his own expense the 2. that the IGNACIOs were still entitled
buildings and plants he had placed thereon, to hold the possession of the residential lot
and until after they are paid the actual market
3. to pay the costs. value of their houses and granaries erected
Said order was without prejudice to the right of thereon, unless HILARIO and DRES prefer
action he had against MOJICA, which was to sell them said residential lot, in which
reserved, on the ground of ejectment. case the IGNACIOs shall pay HILARIO and
DRES the proportionate value of said
ISSUES residential lot taking as a basis the price paid
(1) Whether or not BAGANUS acquired the for the whole land, and
land in good faith. 3. that upon the IGNACIO’s failure to
(2) Whether or not he should return the lot purchase the residential lot in question, they
claimed and to remove the buildings and plants shall remove their houses and granaries
he placed thereon at his own expense. after this decision haD becomes final and
within the period of 60 days from the date
RULING that the court is informed in writing of the
(1) NO. BAGANUS acquired the lot in bad attitude of the parties in this respect.
faith, for he himself said that he dealt with The court also declared that should the parties
MARTINEZ but later on consented that MOJICA, could not come to an extra-judicial settlement with
who was not the owner, should appear as the regards to their rights under Art. 448 (then Art.
vendor. However, MARTINEZ was also in bad 361), they may appear again before court to
faith. Bad faith on the part of the owner is determine said rights.
understood whenever the act (of building or HILARIO and DRES prayed for an order of
planting) has been executed in his presence with execution alleging that since they chose neither to
his knowledge and tolerance and without pay the IGNACIOs for the buildings nor to sell to
objection. them the residential lot, the latter should be
(2) YES. Being that there was bad faith on the ordered to remove the structure at their own
part of MARTINEZ, the owner and BAGANUS, expense and to restore plaintiffs in the possession
the builder and planter, the bad faith of one of said lot. Although the IGNACIOs objected to
cancels the bad faith of the other. It is Art. 546 of this motion, the court granted the same. Hence,
the Civil Code which governs this situation and this appeal.
not Art. 448, as the latter applies only if there is
good faith on both the part of the land owner and ISSUE
the builder, planter or sower. Whether or not PACIFIC the IGNACIOs
The court ordered without special finding as should remove their buildings from the land
to the costs: belonging to HILARIO and DRES because the
1. that MARTINEZ should indemnify latter chose neither to pay for such buildings nor
BAGANUS to the value of the he has to sell the land to the IGNACIOs.
placed thereon, with the right on his
part to retain it until she has reimbursed RULING
him for said necessary and useful NO, they should not. The provisions
improvements; or applicable are Art. 448 (then Art. 361) and Art. 546
2. that BAGANUS should pay MARTINEZ (then Art. 453) of the Civil Code.
the price of the land, making himself the Under Art. 546, the owner of the building
legitimate owner thereof. erected in good faith on a land owned by another,
is entitled to retain the possession of the land until
he is paid the value of his building.
IGNACIO vs. HILARIO Under Art. 448, the owner of the land, upon
GR No. L-175. April 30, 1946 the other hand, has 2 options either: (1) to pay for
the building or (2) to sell his land to the owner of
The owner of the land, on which buildings, the building.
plantings and sowings had been erected But the owner cannot, refuse both to pay for
thereon under Art. 448 has 2 options either: the building and to sell the land and compel the
(1) to pay for the building or (2) to sell his owner of the building to remove it from the land
land to the owner of the building. He cannot where it is erected, as in the present case when
refuse to choose an option. HILARIO and DRES refused to choose any of the
options. The landowner is entitled to a demotion
FACTS only when, after having chosen to sell his land,
ELIAS HILARIO and his wife DIONISIA the other party fails to pay for the same.
DRES filed a case against DAMIAN, FRANCISCO
and LUIS IGNACIO, concerning the ownership of
a parcel of land, which was partly rice-land and IGNAO vs. IAC
partly residential. The lower court rendered GR No. 72876. January 18, 1991
judgment in favor of HILARIO and DRES
declaring: Art. 448 of the Civil Code cannot apply where
1. that HILARIO and DRES were the a co-owner builds, plants or sows on the land
owners of the whole property and entitled to owned in common for then he did not build,
the possession of the same, plant or sow upon land that exclusively
belongs to another but of which he is a co-
owner. EXEPTION: Unless the co-ownership
was already terminated by partition. RULING
(1) NO. Art. 448 of the Civil Code cannot
The court cannot also exercise the options apply where a co-owner builds, plants or sows on
given to the landowner under Art. 448. the land owned in common for then he did not
build, plant or sow upon land that exclusively
FACTS belongs to another but of which he is a co-owner.
FLORENCIO IGNAO and his uncles JUAN The co-owner is not a third person under the
and ISIDRO IGNAO were co-owners of a 523 sq. circumstances, and the situation is governed by
meter parcel of land with in Kawit, Cavite. the rules of co-ownership.
Pursuant to an action for partition filed by However, in this case, the co-ownership was
FLORENCIO, the court directed the partition of terminated by the partition. It appeared that the
said land, alloting 133.5 square meters or 2/8 homes of JUAN and ISIDRO overlapped or
thereof to JUAN and ISIDRO, and giving the occupied a portion of 5 sq. meters of the land
remaining portion with a total area of 266.5 pertaining to FLORENCIO, which the former
square meters to FLORENCIO. However, no obviously built in good faith, then the provisions
actual partition was ever effected. of Art. 448 should apply. In fact, Manresa and
Later, FLORENCIO instituted a complaint for Navarro Amandi agree that the said provision of
recovery of possession of real property against the Civil Code may apply even when there is a co-
Juan and Isidro, wherein he alleged that the area ownership if good faith has been established.
occupied by the 2 houses built by JUAN and In other words, when the co-ownership was
ISIDRO exceeded the 133.5 square meters terminated by a partition and it appeared that the
previously allotted to them by the trial court house of an erstwhile co-owner has encroached
during partition. upon a portion pertaining to another co-owner,
Upon agreement of the parties, the trial court which was however made in good faith, then the
ordered a licensed geodetic engineer to conduct a provisions of Art. 448 should apply to determine
survey to determine the exact area occupied by the respective rights of the parties.
the houses of JUAN and ISIDRO. The survey (2) NO. When both the trial and appellate
subsequently disclosed that the house of Juan courts peremptorily ordered the owner of the
occupied 42 square meters while that of Isidro land, FLORENCIO, to sell to private respondents,
occupied 59 square meters of Florencio's land or a JUAN and ISIDRO, the part of the land they
total of 101 square meters. intruded upon adopted, they deprived
In its decision, the trial court ruled in favor of FLORENCIO of his right to choose. Such ruling
JUAN and ISIDRO. In its decision, it was stated contravened the explicit provisions of Art. 448
therein that although they occupied a portion of where it is clear and unambiguous that the right of
FLORENCIO's property, they should be choice is conferred upon the landowner and not
considered builders in good faith. upon the builder and the courts.
Furthermore, the trial court stated that The Supreme Court then modified the
pursuant to Art. 448 of the Civil Code, the owner decision and directed FLORENCIO IGNAO
of the land (FLORENCIO) should have the choice within 30 days from entry of judgment to exercise
to either appropriate that part of the house' his option to either appropriate as his own the
standing on his land after payment of indemnity portions of the houses of JUAN and ISIDRO
or oblige the builders in good faith (JUAN AND IGNAO occupying his land upon payment of
ISIDRO) to pay the price of the land. However, indemnity in accordance with Articles 546 and 548
the trial court observed that based on the facts of of the Civil Code, or sell to private respondents
the case, it would be useless and unsuitable for the 101 square meters occupied by them at such
Florencio to exercise the first option since this price as may be agreed upon. Should the value of
would render the entire houses of Juan and Isidro the land exceed the value of the portions of the
worthless. The trial court then applied the ruling houses that JUAN and ISIDRO have erected
in the similar case of Grana vs. Court of Appeals, thereon, they may choose not to buy the land but
where the Supreme Court had advanced a more they must pay reasonable rent for the use of the
"workable solution". Thus, it ordered Florencio to portion of FLORENCIO's land as may be agreed
sell to Juan and Isidro those portions of his land upon by the parties. In case of disagreement, the
respectively occupied by the latter and to execute rate of rental and other terms of the lease shall be
the necessary deed of conveyance to them. determined by the trial court. Otherwise, JUAN
On appeal, FLORENCIO argued that Art. 448 and ISIDRO may remove or demolish at their own
does not apply in the present case but rather Art. expense the said portions of their houses
486 since the land in question was not owned by encroaching upon petitioner's land.
different parties but were owned in common by
the contending parties.
PECSON vs.CA
ISSUES GR No. 115814. May 26, 1995
(1) Whether or not Art. 448 should apply to a
builder in good faith on a property held in co- The court cannot also exercise the options
ownership by the contending parties. given to the landowner under Art. 448.
(2) Whether or not the court may choose the
options given to the landowner under Art. 448. FACTS
Petitioner PEDRO P. PECSON was the owner (1) Useful expenses shall be refunded only to
of a commercial lot located in Quezon City, on the possessor in good faith with the same right of
which he built a 4-door 2-storey apartment retention, the person who has defeated him in the
building worth P53,000 in 1965. For his failure to possession having the option of refunding the
pay realty taxes, the lot was sold at public auction amount of the expenses or of paying the increase
by to Mamerto Nepomuceno, who in turn sold it in value which the thing may have acquired by
to the spouses JUAN and ERLINDA NUGUID. reason thereof.
PECSON challenged the validity of the By its clear language, Article 448 refers to
auction sale on the ground that the apartment a land whose ownership is claimed by two or
building was not included in the sale because it more parties, one of whom has built some works,
was not subject of the litigation. Indeed, the lower or sown or planted something. The building,
court ruled that there was no basis for the sowing or planting may have been made in good
inclusion of the apartment building in the auction faith or in bad faith. The rule on good faith laid
sale because what was sold was merely the lot for down in Article 526 of the Civil Code shall be
PECSON’s failure to pay his taxes. Said decision applied in determining whether a builder, sower
was affirmed by the Court of Appeals and the or planter had acted in good faith.
Supreme Court. Article 448 does not apply to a case where
Later on, the SPOUSES NAGUID filed with the owner of the land is the builder, sower, or
the trial court a motion for the delivery of planter who then later loses ownership of the land
possession of the lot and the apartment building. by sale or donation. Elsewise stated, where the
They cited Art. 546 of the Civil Code. They agreed true owner himself is the builder of works on his
to comply with said provision of the law own land, the issue of good faith or bad faith is
considering that PECSON was a builder in good entirely irrelevant. Thus in strict point of law,
faith and has in fact, opted to pay the cost of the Article 448 is not opposite to the case at bar.
construction spent PECSON. From the complaint Nevertheless, we believe that the provision
itself the plaintiff stated that the construction cost therein on indemnity may be applied by analogy
of the apartment was much more than the lot. considering that the primary intent of Article 448
This amount of P53,000.00 is what the SPOUSES is to avoid a state of forced co-ownership and that
NAGUID was supposed to pay under the law the parties, including the two courts below, in the
before a writ of possession placing him in main agree that Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil
possession of both the lot and apartment would Code are applicable and indemnity for the
be issued. improvements may be paid although they differ
However, they also alleged that 3 doors of the as to the basis of the indemnity.
apartment building were being leased at the rent (2) NO. Article 546 does not specifically state
of P7,000 a month each. The decision having how the value of the useful improvements should
become final as per Entry of Judgment dated June be determined. The respondent court and the
23, 1993 and from this date on, being the private respondents espouse the belief that the
uncontested owner of the property, the rents cost of construction of the apartment building in
should be paid to them instead of PECSON 1965, and not its current market value, is sufficient
collecting them. From June 23, 1993, the rents reimbursement for necessary and useful
collected by PECSON amounting to more than improvements made by the petitioner.
P53,000.00 from tenants should be offset from the The objective of Article 546 of the Civil
rents due to the lot which according to SPOUSES Code is to administer justice between the parties
NAGUID's affidavit is more than P21,000.00 a involved. In this regard, this Court had long ago
month. stated that the said provision was formulated, in
The court rendered judgment in favor of them trying to adjust the rights of the owner and
and ordered the reimbursement of PECSON for possessor in good faith of a piece of land, to
the construction of the apartment building at administer complete justice to both of them in
P53,000 and that this amount due should be made such a way as neither one nor the other may
to offset against the amount of rents collected enrich himself of that which does not belong to
previously by the PECSON. On appeal, the Court him. Guided by this precept, it is therefore the
of Appeals partly affirmed said decision. Hence, current market value of the improvements which
this appeal. should be made the basis of reimbursement. A
contrary ruling would unjustly enrich the private
ISSUES respondents who would otherwise be allowed to
(1) How should Art. 448 in relation to Art. 546 acquire a highly valued income-yielding four-unit
be applied? apartment building for a measly amount.
(2) Whether or not the cost of construction of Consequently, the parties should
the apartment building in 1965 in the amount of therefore be allowed to adduce evidence on the
P53,000 and not its current market value, was present market value of the apartment building
sufficient reimbursement for necessary and useful upon which the trial court should base its finding
improvements made by PECSON. as to the amount of reimbursement to be paid by
(3) Whether or not PECSON should pay the landowner. The value so determined shall be
monthly rentals equal to the aggregate rentals forthwith paid by the SPOUSES NAGUID
paid by the lessees of the apartment buildings. otherwise, PECSON shall be restored to the
possession of the apartment building until
RULING payment of the required indemnity.
(3) NO. Since the SPOUSES NAGUID have the premises of Lot 8, to remove all structures and
opted to appropriate the apartment building, improvements he introduced thereon, to pay
PECSON was thus entitled to the possession and reasonable rentals for the use of Lot 9, and,
enjoyment of the apartment building, until he was furthermore, he could not claim reimbursement
paid the proper indemnity, as well as of the for the improvements he introduced on said lot.
portion of the lot where the building has been On appeal, the RTC ruled that
constructed. This is so because the right to retain PLESANTVILLE and CTTEI were not at fault or
the improvements while the corresponding were not negligent, there being no preponderant
indemnity is not paid implies the tenancy or evidence to show that they directly participated in
possession in fact of the land in which it is built, the delivery of Lot 9 to KEE. It found KEE a
planted or sown. PECSON not having been so builder in bad faith. It further ruled that even
paid, he was entitled to retain ownership of the assuming arguendo that KEE was acting in good
building and, necessarily, the income therefrom. faith, he was, nonetheless, guilty of unlawfully
usurping the possessory right of JARDINICO
over Lot 9 from the time he was served with
PLEASANTVILLE DEV’T CORP. vs. IAC notice to vacate said lot, and thus was liable for
GR No. 79688. February 1, 1996 rental.
The Court of Appeals however ruled that KEE
Good faith is presumed. It consists in the was a builder in good faith with respect to the
belief of the builder that the land he is improvements he introduced on Lot 9, and is
building on is his and his ignorance of any entitled to the rights granted him under Articles
defect or flaw in his title. 448, 546 and 548 of the New Civil Code. It was
because he was unaware of the "mix-up" when he
FACTS began construction of the improvements on Lot 8.
Edith Robillo purchased from It further ruled that the erroneous delivery was
PLEASANTVILLE DEVELOPMENT due to the negligence of CTTEI, and that such
CORPORATION a parcel of land designated as wrong delivery was likewise imputable to its
Lot 9 in Pleasantville Subdivision, Bacolod City. principal, PLESANTVILLE. It also ruled that the
In 1975, ELDRED JARDINICO bought the rights award of rentals was without basis.
to the lot from Robillo. At that time, Lot 9 was PLESANTVILLE, having been ordered to be
vacant. Upon completing all payments, solidarily liable with CTTEI., filed this instant
JARDINICO secured a transfer certificate of title petition against KEE, JARDINICO and CTTEI.
in his name. It was then that he discovered that
improvements had been introduced on Lot 9 by ISSUES
respondent WILSON KEE, who had taken (1) Whether or not KEE, a lot buyer who
possession thereof. constructed improvements on the wrong property
It appeared that in 1974, KEE bought on erroneously delivered by the owner's agent, a
installment Lot 8 of the same subdivision from builder in good faith.
C.T. TORRES ENTERPRISES, INC. (CTTEI), the (2) What or not PLEASANTVILLE and its
exclusive real estate agent of PLESANTVILLE. agent CTTEI be solidarily liable for damages due
Under the Contract to Sell on Installment, Kee to negligence.
could possess the lot even before the completion
of all installment payments. After the preparation RULING
of the lot plan, CTTEI through its employee, (1) YES. Good faith consists in the belief of
Zenaida Octaviano, accompanied KEE's wife, the builder that the land he is building on is his
Donabelle Kee, to inspect Lot 8. Unfortunately, and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title.
the parcel of land pointed by Octaviano was Lot 9. And as good faith is presumed, PLESANTVILLE
Thereafter, KEE proceeded to construct his had the burden of proving bad faith on the part of
residence, a store, an auto repair shop and other KEE. At the time he built improvements on Lot 8,
improvements on the lot. KEE believed that said lot was what he bought
After discovering that Lot 9 was occupied by from PLEASANTVILLE. He was not aware that
KEE, JARDINICO confronted him. The parties the lot delivered to him was not Lot 8. Thus,
tried to reach an amicable settlement, but failed. KEE's in good faith. Petitioner failed to prove
In 1981, JARDINICO's lawyer wrote KEE, otherwise.
demanding that the latter remove all The roots of the controversy can be traced
improvements and vacate Lot 9. When KEE directly to the errors committed by CTTEI, when
refused to vacate Lot 9, JARDINICO filed with a it pointed the wrong property to KEE and his
complaint for ejectment with damages against wife. It is highly improbable that a purchaser of a
KEE. KEE, in turn, filed a third-party complaint lot would knowingly and willingly build his
against petitioner and CTTEI. The court held that residence on a lot owned by another, deliberately
the erroneous delivery of Lot 9 to Kee was exposing himself and his family to the risk of
attributable to CTTEI. However, it was found out being ejected from the land and losing all
that PLESANTVILLE had already rescinded its improvements thereon, not to mention the social
contract with KEE over Lot 8 for the latter's failure humiliation that would follow.
to pay the installments due, and that KEE had not Under the circumstances, KEE had acted in
contested the rescission, the court then concluded the manner of a prudent man in ascertaining the
that KEE no longer had any right over the lot identity of his property. Because he was a layman
subject of the contract. He was ordered to vacate not versed in the technical description of his
property, he had to find a way to ascertain that recognition of natural children may be brought
what was described in his transfer certificate of only during the lifetime of the presumed parent.
title matched Lot 8. Thus, he went to the In 1988, the TINAGANS filed a complaint for
subdivision developer's agent and applied and recovery of possession against the SPOUSES
paid for the relocation of the lot, as well as for the ALVIOLA, praying, among others, that they be
production of a lot plan by CTTEI's geodetic declared absolute owners of the said parcels of
engineer. Upon KEE's receipt of the map, his wife land, and that said spouses be declared to vacate
went to the subdivision site accompanied by the same, to remove their copra dryer and store.
CTTEI's employee, Octaviano, who The court granted the petition of the TINAGANs
authoritatively declared that the land she was and ruled that they were the absolute owners of
pointing to as indeed Lot 8. Having full faith and said property and that the SPOUSES ALVIOLA
confidence in the reputation of CTTEI, and were in bad faith in possessing the disputed
because of the company's positive identification of properties and in ruling that the improvements
the property, KEE saw no reason to suspect that thereon are transferable. Hence, they were
there had been a misdelivery. The steps KEE had ordered to remove their store and dryer on the
taken to protect his interests were reasonable. premises without injury and prejudice to the
(2). YES. PLEASANTVILLE’s liability lies in TINAGANs.
the negligence of its agent CTTEI. For such
negligence, PLEASANTVILLE should be held ISSUE
liable for damages. Now, the extent and/or Whether or not the SPOUSES ALVIOLA
amount of damages to be awarded is a factual possessed the property in bad faith.
issue which should be determined after evidence
is adduced. RULING
However, there was no showing that such YES. There was bad faith on the part of the
evidence was actually presented in the trial court; SPOUSES ALVIOLA when they constructed the
hence no damages could now be awarded. copra dryer and store on the disputed portions
The rights of Kee and Jardinico vis-a-vis each since they were fully aware that the parcels of
other, as builder in good faith and owner in good land belonged to VICTORIA TINAGAN.
faith, respectively, are regulated by law (i.e., Arts. And, there was likewise bad faith on the part
448, 546 and 548 of the Civil Code). It was error of the TINAGANs, having knowledge of the
for the Court of Appeals to make a "slight arrangement between petitioners and VICTORIA
modification" in the application of such law, on TINAGAN relative to the construction of the
the ground of "equity". At any rate, as it stands copra dryer and store.
now, KEE and JARDINICO have amicably settled Thus, for purposes of indemnity, Article 448 of
through their deed of sale their rights and the New Civil Code should be applied. However,
obligations with regards to Lot 9. the copra dryer and the store, as determined by
the trial court and respondent court, are
transferable in nature. Thus, it would not fall
ALVIOLA vs. CA within the coverage of Article 448. As the noted
GR No. 117642. April 24, 1998 civil law authority, Senator Arturo Tolentino,
aptly explains: "To fall within the provision of this
To fall under Art. 448, the contruction must Article, the construction must be of permanent
be of permanent character. If it is not, like a character, attached to the soil with an idea of
copra dryer and store, there is no accession perpetuity; but if it is of a transitory character or is
and the builder must remove them. transferable, there is no accession, and the builder
must remove the construction. The proper remedy
FACTS of the landowner is an action to eject the builder
In 1950, Victoria Sonjaconda Tinagan from the land."
purchased from Mauro Tinagan 2 parcels of land
situated in Valencia, Negros Oriental. Thereafter,
Victoria and her son Agustin Tinagan, took GEMINIANO vs. CA
possession of said parcels of land. Sometime in G.R. No. 120303. July 24, 1996.
1960, EDITHA ALVIOLA and PORFERIO
ALVIOLA occupied portions of said land, where Art. 448 only applies when the possessor in
they built a copra dryer and a store wherein they good faith, i.e., one who builds on land with
engaged in the business of buying and selling the belief that he is the owner thereof. It does
copra.In 1975, Victoria died. 4 months thereafter, not apply where one's only interest is that of
Agustin died, survived by his wife, FLORENCIA a lessee under a rental contract.
BULING VDA. DE TINAGAN and children
(TINAGANs). FACTS
In 1976, petitioner EDITHA assisted by her Paulina Amado vda. de Geminiano, mother or
husband filed a complaint for partition and petitioner GEMINIANOs originally owned a lot
damages, claiming to be an acknowledged natural containing 314 sq. m. A 12 sq. m. portion of it
child of deceased Agustin Tinagan and stood the GEMINIANOs’ bungalow, which they
demanding the delivery of her shares in the sold to DOMINADOR NICOLAS and MARY
properties left by the deceased. Said petition was NICOLOS in 1978 for P6, 000 with an alleged
dismissed by both the trial court and upon appeal, promise to sell to the latter that portion of the lot
by the Supreme Court on the ground that occupied by the house. Subsequently, vda. De
Geminiano, executed a contract of lease over a 126 made. The private respondents' sole right then is
sq. m. portion of the lot, including that portion on to remove the improvements without causing any
which the house stood in favor of the NICOLASes more impairment upon the property leased than is
for P40.00 per month for a period of 7 years. The necessary.
NICOLASes then introduced additional
improvements and registered the house in their
names. After the expiration of the lease contract PADA-KILARIO vs. CA
however, vda. De Geminiano refused to accept the G.R. No. 134329. Jan. 19, 2000.
monthly rentals.
It turned out that the lot in question was the If a possessor were in possession of the
subject of a suit, which resulted in its acquisition property without paying any rental as they
by one Maria Lee in 1972. In 1982, Lee sold the lot only relied on the liberality and tolerance of
to Lily Salcedo, who in turn sold it in 1984 to the the landowner are not possessors nor builders
spouses Agustin and Ester Dionisio. In 1992, the in good faith because they know that their
Dionisio spouses executed a Deed of Quitclaim occupation of the premises may be terminated
over the said property in favor of the any time.
GEMINIANOs as such, the lot was registered in
the latter's names. FACTS
Later in 1993, the GEMINIANOs sent a letter Jacinto Pada owned a parcel of land of
to the NICOLASes demanding that the premises residential and coconut land in Leyte
be vacated and that the rentals in arrears be paid denominated as Cadastral Lot No. 5581. During
within 20 days. Upon failure of the NICOLASes to his lifetime, his half-brother, Feliciano Pada,
heed the demand, the GEMINIANOs filed a obtained permission from him to build a house on
complaint for unlawful detainer and damages. the northern portion of Cadastral Lot No. 5581.
In its decision, the lower court ruled that since When Feliciano died, his son, Pastor, continued
the private respondents were assured by the living in said house. Petitioner Verona Pada-
petitioners that the lot they leased would Kilario, one of Pastor's children, had been living in
eventually be sold to them, they could be that house since 1960.
considered builders in good faith, and as such, Later, Jacinto Pada died intestate. His 6
were entitled to reimbursement of the value of the children, 1 personally and others through their
house and improvements with the right of children, entered into an extra-judicial partition of
retention until reimbursement had been made. his estate, which included Cadastral Lot No. 5881.
One of the sons of Jacinto Pada was Marciano
ISSUE Pada. The latter’s daughter, Maria Pada, sold the
Whether or not the NICOLASes were builders co-ownership right of his father to respondent
in good faith and entitled to reimbursement for SILVERIO PADA, who was also a first cousin.
the value of the house and improvements they Thereafter, SILVERIO demanded that spouses
erected on the property of the GEMINIANOs or VERONA PADA-KILARIO and RICARDO
were mere lesees. KILARIO vacate the northern portion of Cadastral
Lot No. 5581 so his family can utilize the said area.
RULING Unable to settle for an amicable settlement,
NO, they could not be considered as SILVERIO instituted a complaint for ejectment
possessors nor builders in good faith. Being mere with prayer for damages against spouses
lessees, the private respondents knew that their KILARIO.
occupation of the premises would continue only Later, heirs of Amador Pada, also a son of
for the life of the lease. Jacinto Pada, executed a Deed of Donation,
Article 448 of the Civil Code, in relation to transferring to petitioner Verona Pada-Kilario,
Article 546 of the same Code, which allows full their respective shares as co-owners of Cadastral
reimbursement of useful improvements and Lot No. 5581. Hence, the SPOUSES KILARIO
retention of the premises until reimbursement is averred that the northern portion of Cadastral Lot
made, applies only to a possessor in good faith, No. 5581 had already been donated to them by the
i.e., one who builds on land with the belief that he heirs of Amador Pada. Hence, they were virtually
is the owner thereof. It does not apply where one's converted as standing co-owners of the land
only interest is that of a lessee under a rental under controversy and became the undivided
contract', otherwise, it would always be in the owners of the whole estate. Their possession then
power of the tenant to "improve" his landlord out in the northern portion was being lawful. They
of his property. also contended that they had been occupying the
Suffice it to say, "a state of forced subject property since 1960 without ever paying
coownership" would not be created between the any rental.
petitioners and the private respondents. The RTC ordered the SPOUSES KILARIO to
It must be stressed, however, that the right to vacate the premises in issue and return peaceful
indemnity under Article 1678 of the Civil Code possession to SILVERIO being the lawful
arises only if the lessor opts to appropriate the possessor in concept of owner. When the
improvements. Since the petitioners refused to SPOUSES KILARIO appealed with the CA, the
exercise that option, the private respondents same was denied. Hence, this petition
cannot compel them to reimburse the one-half
value of the house and improvements. Neither can ISSUE
they retain the premises until reimbursement is
Whether or not the SPOUSES KILARIO were 3 options available to the land owner if the
builders in good faith. builder is in bad faith:

RULING 1.) appropriation without need to indemnify


NO, they were not builders in good faith. the builder in bad faith plus damages;
The SPOUSES KILARIO were estopped from 2.) demand the builder in bad faith to
impugning the extrajudicial partition executed by remove the house he built. He has the
the heirs of Jacinto Pada after explicitly admitting absolute right of removal plus damages;
in their Answer that they had been occupying the 3.) compel the builders in bad faith to pay
subject property since 1960 without ever paying the value of the land if the value of the
any rental as they only relied on the liberality and land is not considerably more than the
tolerance of the Pada family. value of the improvements. If the LO
Considering that petitioners were in chooses to compel the builder to pay the
possession of the subject property by sheer land, he has to do so, plus damages.
tolerance of its owners, they knew that their
occupation of the premises may be terminated any DE VERA vs. COURT OF APPEALS
time. Persons who occupy the land of another at GR No. 97761. April 14, 1999
the latter's tolerance or permission, without any
contract between them, is necessarily bound by an He who builds in bad faith on the land of
implied promise that they will vacate the same another, losses what he built, without right to
upon demand, failing in which a summary action indemnity.
for ejectment is the proper remedy against them.
Thus, they could be considered possessors nor FACTS
builders in good faith. In 1947, private respondent RICARDO
It is well-settled that both Article 448 and RAMOS filed a homestead application for a parcel
Article 546 of the New Civil Code which allow full of land in Isabela. His homestead application was
reimbursement of useful improvements and approved by the District Land Officer. In 1955, a
retention of the premises until reimbursement is homestead patent and an original certificate of
made, apply only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., title was was issued to RAMOS, covering an area
one who builds on land with the belief that he is of 9 hectares, 28 acres and 20 centares.
the owner thereof. Verily, persons whose RAMOS then brought a complaint for
occupation of a realty is by sheer tolerance of its recovery of possession against several people
owners are not possessors in good faith. occupying his land. The court came out with a
Neither did to donate by some of the heirs, decision adjudging the validity of the title of
convert SPOUSES KILARIO into builders in good Ramos.
faith for at the time the improvements were built In 1981, RAMOS wrote petitioners AGUEDA
on the premises, such promise was not yet DE VERA, and her children MARIO DE LA
fulfilled, i.e., it was a mere expectancy of CRUZ, EVANGELINE DELA CRUZ, and
ownership that may or may not be realized. More EDRONEL DE LA CRUZ (DE VERA ET AL.),
importantly, even as that promise was fulfilled, reminding them that their house was on his titled
the donation was void for the sonors were not the property. He asked them whether they were
owners of Cadastral Lot No. 5581. As such, going to buy the portion occupied by them or to
petitioners cannot be said to be entitled to the lease the same on a yearly or monthly basis;
value of the improvements that they built on the otherwise, he would be constrained to proper
said lot. legal action against them. But the letter of RAMOS
was ignored by DE VERA ET AL.
ARTICLE 449: He who builds, plants, or sows in bad Hence, in 1983, RAMOS filed, a complaint for
faith on the land of another, loses what is built, recovery of property against DE VERA ET AL. He
planted, or sown without the right of indemnity. alleged that he was the legal and absolute owner
of a certain parcel of land, containing an area of
ARTICLE 450: The owner of the land on which 3,670 square meters and that a triangular portion
anything has been built, planted, or sown in bad faith of it, containing an area of 22 square meters was
may demand the demolition of the work, or that the occupied by DE VERA ET AL.. He also averred
planting or sowing be removed, in order to replace that DE VERA ET AL. had constructed a house of
things in their former condition at the expense of the strong and permanent material that year after
person who built, planted, or sowed or he may compel removing their previous building of light
the builder or planter to pay the price of the land and materials in January or February of 1970. He
the sower the proper rent. added that he demanded that DE VERA ET AL.
remove their improvement thereon and vacate the
1. The landowner has : said portion but they had refused without any just
i. the right of removal of whatever or lawful cause to do so.
is built, planted, or sown on his DE VERA ET AL alleged on the other hand
property in bad faith; or that they had been in possession not only of 22
ii. may compel the builder/planter square meters but 70 square meters of land. Their
to pay the price of the land; or the predecessor-in-interest, Teodoro de la Cruz,
sower to pay the proper rent husband of AGUEDA DE VERA, during his
2. The right of removal is absolute. lifetime, filed a Miscellaneous Sales Application,
which although pending was given due course. In
fact, Teodoro de la Cruz also declared the said In any event, the landowner is entitled to be
land for taxation purposes and after his death, by indemnified by the builder in bad faith, pursuant
them, as his heirs. to Article 451.
During trial, the patries agreed that a In the case under consideration, RAMOS, the
relocation survey of subject property be landowner, availed of the second alternative,
conducted. The survey showed that RAMOS which option is legally feasible under the
owned the land occupied by DE VERA ET AL., attendant facts and circumstances.
particularly portions A B & C. Hence, the court
ordered DEVERA ET AL., to vacate the land, to
deliver the possession thereof to the plaintiff, and HEIRS OF DURANO vs. UY
to remove, at their expense, all improvements GR No.136456. October 24, 2000
they have constructed or erected thereon. It also
declared that they were possessors in bad faith The landowner, when the builder is in bad
and were made liable to RAMOS for rental faith, may compel (1) appropriation what was
payments for the use of the disputed property. built, (2) removal of what was built, or (3)
On appeal with the Court of Appeals, said payment for the value of the land. In any of
decision was modified, dismissing the complaint this options, the landowner is entitled for
as to portion A of the property. Unsatisfied, DE payment of damages.
VERA ET AL. filed a petition via certiorari. They
contended that they should not have found to be FACTS
possessors in bad faith since their possession was A 128-hectare parcel of land located in the
by virtue of a valid title, the Miscellaneous Sales barrios of Dunga and Cahumayhumayan, Danao
Application of their predecessor-in-interest, City eas owned by Cebu Portland Cement
Teodoro dela Cruz. Company (CEPOC). Said proerty had been
purchased by Durano & Co., Inc.
ISSUES In 1973, the late Congressman RAMON
(1) Whether or not DE VERA ET AL. were DURANO, SR., together with his son RAMON
possessors in bad faith. DURANO III, and the latter’s wife, ELIZABETH
(2) Whether or not they should also be made HOTCHKISS DURANO, instituted an action for
liable to RAMOS for rental payments for the use damages against SPOUSES ANGELES
of the disputed property. SUPELVEDA UY and EMIGDIO BING SING UY
ET AL. (SPOUSES UY ET AL). They accused
RULING SPOUSES UY ET AL of:
(1) YES, they were possessors in bad faith. 1. officiating a “hate campaign” against
Records disclose that prior to the them by lodging complaints in the Police
construction in 1983 of DE VERA ET AL.'s house Department of Danao City for their so-
on the land under controversy, a demand letter called “invasion” of SPOUSES UY’s ET AL.
dated 1981 was sent to them by RAMOS, alleged properties,
informing them that the land they were 2. sending another complaint to the
possessing and occupying is within his titled President of the Philippines in February
property. 1971, which depicted petitioners as
In the same letter, the RAMOS gave “oppressors”, “landgrabbers” and
petitioner AGUEDA DE VERA the option to either “usurpers” of respondents’ alleged rights,
pay him the value of the property or lease the 3. After 2 investigations, the complaints
same on a yearly or monthly basis. However, the if SPOUSES UY ET AL. were dismissed as
contending parties failed to reach a compromise “baseless” and
agreement. 4. spreading false rumors and damaging
Although they were sent said latter in tales which put petitioners into public
1981, DE VERA ET AL. still constructed their contempt and ridicule.
house on said propety. Such were "outward acts SPOUSES UY ET AL. on the other hans,
and proven conduct" indicating bad faith of DE alleged:
VERA ET AL. as possessor and builder. 1. that they were the owners of the land
(2) NO, they should be made liable for rental as some came into ownership through
payments for the use of the disputed property but inheritance from their parents, who in turn
rather should remove what they built, as the inherited them from their own parents and
option chosen by RAMOS. some by purchase from the former
Under Art. 449 — He who builds in bad faith occupants thereof.
on the land of another, losses what he built, 2. that they and their predecessors were
without right to indemnity. Applying Art. 449, in responsible for the plantings and
relation to Art. 450, the landowner has three improvements on the property.
alternative rights, either: 3. that they were the ones who sought
1. to appropriate what has been built for the properties to be tax-declared in their
without any obligation to pay indemnity respective names, and they continually paid
therefor; or the taxes thereto.
2. to demand the builder to remove 4. that they received notices dated
what he had built; or signed by the late Ramon Durano, Sr.,
3. to compel the builder to pay the value informing them that t he lands which they
of the land. were tilling and residing in, formerly owned
by the Cebu Portland Cement Company indication that Durano & Co. attempted to
(CEPOC), had been purchased by Durano & transfer registration of the property in its name
Co., Inc. before it conveyed the same to Durano III.
5. However, even before many of the Since petitioners knew fully well the defect
respondents received notices to vacate, men in their titles, they were correctly held by the
who identified themselves as employees of Court of Appeals to be builders in bad faith.
Durano & Co. proceeded to bulldoze the (2) YES, they should.
lands occupied by various respondents, Art. 449. states that He who builds, plants
destroying in their wake the plantings and or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses
improvements made by the respondents what is built, planted or sown without right of
therein. indemnity.
6 .On some occasions, respondents In relation to Art. 50 & 51, the owner of the land
alleged, these men fired shots in the air. has three alternative rights:
7. Respondents maintained that they (1) to appropriate what has been
were unaware of anyone claiming adverse built without any obligation to pay
possession or ownership of these lands until indemnity therefor, or
the bulldozing operations in 1970. (2) to demand that the builder
In 1970, Durano & Co. sold the disputed remove what he had built, or
property to petitioner Ramon Durano III, who (3) to compel the builder to pay
procured the registration of these lands in his the value of the land.
name. In any case, the landowner is entitled to damages
The court rendered judgment in favor of under Article 451. Hence, the award of damages
SPOUSES UY ET AL. and against the HEIRS OF was proper.
DURANO, directing the latter to pay the former
for indemnity in reparation of the destroyed ARTICLE 451: In the cases of the 2 preceding articles,
properties during the demolition. It also declared the landowner is entitled for damages from the builder,
that SPOUSES UY ET AL. were in possession of planter, or sower.
the properties to be in the concept of owner and  In summary:
that the HEIRS OF DURANO were the ones in
good faith. a. BPS (in good faith) = 2 rights
Dissatisfied, the HEIRS OF DURANO under 448 + limited right of
appealed to the Court of Appeals, which affirmed removal and no damages.
the trial court’s decision. On appeal to the b. BPS (in bad faith) = 2 rights
Supreme Court, the HEIRS OF DURANO alleged under 448 + absolute right of
that they were builders in bad faith and that the removal + damages.
order for the return and payment of indemnity in
favor of the SPOSES UY ET AL. was erroneous. BAES vs. CA
GR No. 108065. July 6, 1993
ISSUES
(1) Whether or not the HEIRS OF DURANO If the riparian owner is entitled to
were builders on bad faith. compensation for the damage to or loss of his
(2) Whether or not the HEIRS OF DURANO property due to natural causes, there is all the
should return the properties to the SPOUSES UY more reason to compensate him when the
ET AL. and pay indemnity in reparation of the change in the course of the river is effected
destroyed properties overran by the bulldozers. through artificial means such as when the
. government dug up a canal therein to
RULING improve the flow of a creek.
(1) YES, they were builders in bad faith.
A purchaser of a parcel of land cannot FACTS
close his eyes to facts which should put a In 1962, the government dug a canal on a
reasonable man upon his guard, such as when the private parcel of land covering an area of 33,902
property subject of the purchase is in the sq. m. to streamline the Tripa de Gallina creek.
possession of persons other than the seller. A This lot was later acquired by FELIX BAES, who
buyer who could not have failed to know or registered it in his name. He then had it
discover that the land sold to him was in the subdivided into three lots, Lots A, B and C. In
adverse possession of another is a buyer in bad exchange for Lot B, which was totally occupied by
faith. the canal, the government gave BAES a lot with
In the same manner, the purchase of the exactly the same area through a Deed of Exchange
property by petitioner Ramon Durano III from of Real Property. Said property was near but not
Durano & Co. could not be said to have been in contiguous to Lot C of BAES. It was later
good faith. It is not disputed that Durano III registered in the name of BAES. The soil displaced
acquired the property with full knowledge of by the canal was used to fill up the old bed of the
respondents’ occupancy thereon. There even creek.
appears to be undue haste in the conveyance of Meanwhile, BAES had Lot C and a portion of
the property to Durano III, as the bulldozing Lot A was resurveyed and subdivided. In 1968, he
operations by Durano & Co. were still underway submitted a petition for the approval of his
when the deed of sale to Durano III was executed resurvey and subdivision plane, claiming that
on September 15, 1970. There was not even an after the said lots were plotted by a competent
surveyor, it was found that there were errors in in the course of the river is effected through
respect of their bearings and distances. Said artificial means. The loss to the petitioners of the
resurvey-subdivision plan was approved by the land covered by the canal was the result of a
CFI of Pasay City. As a result, the old TCTs deliberate act on the part of the government when
covering the said lots were canceled and new ones it sought to improve the flow of the Tripa de
were issued, further dividing said lots into 4 lots. Gallina creek. It was therefore obligated to
Lots 3 & 4 were later consolidated and this time compensate FELIX and RAFAELA BAES for their
further subdivided into 4 more lots. loss.
In 1978, the Republic of the Philippines (2) NO. FELIX and RAFAELA BAES have
discovered that Lot 2, on which the petitioners already been so compensated. FELIX BAES was
had erected an apartment building covered a given another lot in exchange for the Lot B
portion of the Pasay Cadastre, which was a filled- through the Deed of Exchange of Real Property
up portion of the Tripa de Gallina creek. It also dated 1970. This was a fair exchange because the
found that the land covered by BAES’ TCTs had two lots were of the same area and value and the
been unlawfully enlarged. In 1982, the agreement was freely entered into by the parties.
government filed a petition for cancellation of the FELIX and RAFAELA BAES could not now claim
TCTs of BAES. The trial court therefore decreed additional compensation because, as correctly
that the original be reverted to its status before the observed by the Solicitor General, to allow
resurvey-subdivision and ordered the cancellation petitioners to acquire ownership of the dried-up
of the TCTs. The Court of Appeals affirmed the portion of the creek would be a clear case of
same decision in toto. double compensation and unjust enrichment at
On appeal with the Supreme Court, FELIX the expense of the state.
and RAFAELA BAES in relying on Article 461 of The exchange of lots between the petitioners
the Civil Code, claimed as their own, the old bed and the Republic was the result of voluntary
of the Tripa de Gallina Creek, which was filled up negotiations. If these had failed, the government
by soil excavated from Lot B. Said Lot B was the could still have taken Lot B under the power of
land of BAES, on which the government dug a eminent domain, upon payment of just
canal. The petitioners relied heavily on Dr. Arturo compensation, as the land was needed for a public
M. Tolentino's interpretation of Article 461 to wit: purpose.
This article (461) refers to a natural
change in the course of a stream. If ARTICLE 452: The builder, planter, or sower in bad
the change of the course is due to faith is entitled to reimbursement for the necessary
works constructed by concessionaires expenses of preservation of the land.
authorized by the government, the ARTICLE 453: If there was bad faith, not only on the
concession may giant the abandoned part of the person who built, planted or sowed on the
river bed to the concessionaires. If land of another, but also on the part of the owner of
there is no such grant, then, by such land, the rights of one and the other shall be the
analogy, the abandoned river bed will same as though both had acted in good faith.
belong to the owners of the land It is understood that there is bad faith on the
covered by the waters, as provided in part of the landowner whenever the act was done with
this article, without prejudice to a his knowledge and even without opposition on his part.
superior right of third persons with
sufficient title. In other words, bad faith + bad faith = good
On the basis of their claim of ownership, faith
FELIX and RAFAELA BAES claimed for
compensation. ARTICLE 454: When the landowner acted in bad
The government rejected this claim and faith and the builder, planter, sower, preceded in good
averred that the petitioners had already been fully faith, the provisions of Article 447 shall apply.
compensated for it in 1970 when they agreed to
exchange their B with another lot belonging to the  The LO must pay for the value of the
government. house + DAMAGES because he is in
bad faith. If the material owner chose
ISSUE to remove or destroy the house, the
(1) Whether or not the riparian owner is LO would still be liable for damages.
entitled to compensation for the damage to or
loss of his property due to the act of the ARTICLE 455: If the materials, plants or seeds belong
government of digging therein. to a 3rd person who has not acted in bad faith, the
(2) Whether or not FELIX and RAFAELA owner of the land shall answer subsidiarily for their
BAES should be allowed compensation. value and only in the event that the one who made use
of them has no property with which to pay.
RULING This provision shall not apply if the owner
(1) YES, the riparian owner is entitled to makes use of the right granted by Article 450. if the
compensation for the damage to or loss of his owner of the materials, plants or seeds has been paid by
property. the builder, planter or sower, the latter may demand
If the riparian owner is entitled to form the landowner the value of the materials and
compensation for the damage to or loss of his labor.
property due to natural causes, there is all the
more reason to compensate him when the change  Three parties involved:
a. land owner (LO) e) The increase must be
b. builder/ planter/sower (BPS) comparatively little (It should
c. material owner (MO) not be so big.)
2. avulsion
 GENERAL RULE: If they (all parties) are 3. change of course of rivers
all in good faith, the BPS who uses the 4. formation of islands
material of another must reimburse the
MO for the materials. GRANDE vs. CA
 EXCEPTIONS: GR No. L-17652. June 30, 1962
a. the BPS may demand
reimbursement from the LO To the owner of lands adjoining the banks of
provided the BPS is insolvent; rivers, belongs the accretion which they
b. the BPS is in good faith; gradually receive from the effects of the
c. the LO decides to appropriate current of the water. But just because that it
whatever is built, planted, or was adjoined to the riparian owner’s
sown. unregistered land does not ipso facto mean
 The LO is only oblige to reimburse if the 3 that it is automatically registered as well.
items enumerated above are present. The Thus, if it is unregistered, third persons may
LO has also the option to reimburse the acquire equitable title thereto through
BPS if he chooses to reimburse. Now after acquisitive prescription.
the BPS pays the MO, when can he not
ask for reimbursement from the LO? FACTS
a. If he is in bad faith; IGNACIO GRANDE ET AL. were owners of a
b. if the LO exercises his option parcel of land in the province of Isabela by
under 450 which is the inheritance from their deceased mother Patricia
demolition; Angui. When it was surveyed for purposes of
c. if he compels the BPS to buy his registration sometime in 1930, its northeastern
land. boundary was the Cagayan River. Since then, and
for many years thereafter, a gradual accretion on
ARTICLE 456: In the cases regulated in the preceding the northeastern side took place, by action of the
articles, good faith does not necessarily exclude current of the Cagayan River, so much so, that by
negligence, which gives right to damages under Article 1958, the bank thereof had receded to a distance of
2176. about 105 meters from its original site, and an
alluvial deposit of .9964 hectares, more or less,
ACCESSION NATURAL had been added to the registered area.
ESTEBAN CALALUNG and DOMINGO
ARTICLE 457: To the owners of the lands adjoining CALALUNG were found to be possessing said
the banks of the rivers belong to the accretion which alluvium that GRANDE ET AL. filed an action to
they gradually receive form the effects of the current of quiet title to said portion formed by accretion
the waters. against the CALALUNGs. They alleged that they
and their predecessors-in-interest were formerly
GENERAL RULE To the owners of the lands in peaceful and continuous possession thereof,
adjoining the banks of the rivers belong to the until September, 1948, when the CALALUNGs
accretion which they gradually receive form the entered upon the land under claim of ownership.
effects of the current of the waters The CALALUNGs on the other hand, claimed
ownership in themselves, asserting that they had
4 FORMS OF NATURAL ACCESSION: been in continuous, open, and undisturbed
possession of said portion, since prior to the year
1. alluvium – is the soil deposited or added to 1933 to the present. Hence, they had already
the lands adjoining the bank of rivers. acquired the property by accretion.
 Accretion - the process by which the The CFI ruled in favor of GRANDE ET AL.
soil is deposited. and ordered the CALALUNGs to vacate the
 Riparian owner - the owner of the premises of said property. The CA on the other
land adjacent to the river and this hand, ruled that the CALALUNGs had rightful
includes creeks, streams, and lakes. ownership over the contested property by
prescription.
REQUISITES:
a) should be gradual, natural, ISSUE
and imperceptible; (1) Whether or not the alluvium belonged to
b) the cause of the alluvium is GRANDE ET AL.
the current of the river ( not (2) Whether or not the CALALUNGs have
due to work expressly acquired the alluvial property in question through
designed for that purpose); acquisitive prescription.
c) current must be that of a
river, lake, steam or creek; RULING
d) river must continue to exist; (1) YES. That the area in controversy has been
formed through a gradual process of accretion
which started in the early thirties, is a fact
conclusively established by the evidence for both and non-floatable river called the Candalaga
parties. By law, therefore, unless some superior Creek. These 2 lands were registered in her name.
title has supervened, it should properly belong to In 1915, when the cadastral survey of San
the riparian owners, specifically in accordance Fernando was begun, the width of the Candalaga
with the rule of natural accession in Art. 366 of the Creek adjoining the two parcels of land owned by
old Civil Code (now Art. 457), which provides Juliana Zapata was about 90 or 100 meters.
that 'to the owner of lands adjoining the banks of However, later, the width was reduced to 15
rivers, belongs the accretion which they gradually meters, because soil bad been accumulated by the
receive from the effects of the current of the water. water current of the river on the banks of said 2
The land in question being an accretion to lots that an additional 3 lots had been added to
the mother or registered land of GRANDE ET AL, the property.
the accretion belongs to the them. Assuming, In 1956, ZAPATA filed a petition to claim the
arguendo that the accretion has been occupied by 3 lots belong to her by accretion, as provided for
the CALALUNGs since 1948, or earlier, is of no in Art. 457 of the Civil Code and prayed that the
moment, because the law does not require any act same be registered in her name. The DIRECTOR
of possession on the part of the owner of the OF LANDS objected to the petition and prayed
riparian owner, from the moment the deposit that the registration of the 3 lots in the name of
becomes manifest. Further, no act of Zapata be denied and that they be declared to
appropriation on the part of the riparian owner is form part of the public domain. The trial court
necessary, in order to acquire ownership of the granted the petition of ZAPATA. Hence, the
alluvial formation, as the law does not require the DIRECTOR OF LANDS appealed. The
same. DIRECTOR OF LANDS contended that Art. 457 of
There can be no dispute that both under the Civil Code should not be applied in the
Article 457 of the new Civil Code and Article 966 present case because the accretion or deposit of
of the old, petitioners are the lawful owners of alluvial soil was not due to the natural effect of
said alluvial property, as they are the registered the current of Calandaga Creek but was
owners of the land to which it adjoins. artificially induced on account of the erection of
(2) YES. GRANDE ET AL. lost right over the the fish traps on the creek, such as salag net,
land through prescription because the bunuan (bamboo trap), sabat (cutting of channels)
CALALUNGs were in possession of the alluvial and fencing that the fishermen bad built in the
lot since 1933 or 1934, openly, continuously and stream,
adversely, under a claim of ownership up to the
filing of the action in 1958. ISSUE
Just as an unregistered land purchased by the Whether or not the alluvial accretion was
registered owner of the adjoining land does not, entirely due to the setting tip of such fish traps.
by extension, become ipso facto registered land.
Ownership of a piece of land is one thing, and RULING
registration under the Torrens system of that NO. True, those fish traps might have slowed
ownership is quite another. To acquire down the current of the Candalaga Creek and
Imprescriptibility of registered land, it must first might have brought about or caused the accretion.
be registered. But as there was no evidence to show that the
However, in the present case, GRANDE ET setting up or erection of the fish traps was
AL. failed to register the contested property. The expressly intended or designed to cause or bring
increment, therefore, never became registered about the accretion ZAPATA may still invoke the
property, and hence is not entitled or subject to benefit of the provisions of Art. 457 of the Civil
the protection of imprescriptibility enjoyed by Code to support her claim of title thereto.
registered property under the Torrens system. Moreover, the fishermen who since 1894 used to
Consequently, it was subject to acquisition set up fish traps in the creek, later on secured
through prescription by third persons. permit from the Government that auctioned off
the right or license to set up fish traps in the creek,
and the setting up of such fish traps stopped or
ZAPATA vs. DIR. OF LANDS was discontinued even before 1926. Being that the
GR No. L-17645. October 50, 1962 petition to was only 1956, years after, it all
showed that the alluvial accretion was not entirely
The accretion on the land must be made by due to the setting up of such fish traps.
the natural current of the river and must not
be artificially induced, so that it may be
rightfully claimed by the riparian owner. AGUSTIN vs. IAC
When fish traps are set up on the river and GR No. 66075-76. July 5, 1990
cause accretion, the riparian owner may still
claim ownership over the alluvium provided Because of accretion, the land of A was
that said fish traps were not expressly transferred to the land of B. The alluvium
intended or designed to cause or bring about then is owned by B. However, when because
the accretion. of a sudden change in the course of river, the
land was reverted back to the property of A, B
FACTS still owned the same.
JULIANA ZAPATA owned 2 parcels of in the
province of Pampanga, adjoining a non-navigable FACTS
The Cagayan River separates the towns of The reason for this principle is because, if
Solana on the west and Tuguegarao on the east in lands bordering on streams are exposed to floods
the province of Cagayan. and other damage due to the destructive force of
In 1919, the lands east of the Cagayan River the waters, and if by virtue of law they are subject
were covered by the Tuguegarao Cadastre. On the to encumbrances and various kinds of easements,
left of the River are the towns of Solana. In 1925, it is only just that such risks or dangers as may
EULOGIO AGUSTIN was issued an Original prejudice the owners thereof should in some way
Certificate of Title, covering the land east of the be compensated by the right of accretion.
Cagayan River. The RESPONDENTS' ownership of the
As the years went by, the Cagayan River accretion to their lands was not lost upon the
moved gradually eastward, depositing silt on the sudden and abrupt change of the course of the
western bank. The shifting of the river and the Cagayan River in 1968 or 1969 when it reverted to
siltation continued until 1968. In 1950, all lands its old 1919 bed, and separated or transferred said
west of the river were included in the Solana accretions to the other side (or eastern bank) of the
Cadastre. Among these occupying lands covered river. Articles 459 and 463 of the New Civil Code
by the Solana Cadastre were RESPONDENTS apply to this situation.
MARIA MELAD, TIMOTEO MELAD, PABLO In the case at bar, the sudden change of course
BINAYUG & GERONIMA UBINA, respondents. of the Cagayan River as a result of a strong
Through the years, the Cagayan River eroded typhoon in 1968 caused a portion of the lands of
lands of the Tuguerarao Cadastre on its eastern the private respondents to be "separated from the
bank among which was AGUSTIN's lot, estate by the current." Hence, RESPONDENTS
depositing the alluvium as accretion on the land have retained the ownership of the portion that
possessed by BINAYUG on the western bank. was transferred by avulsion to the other side of
However, in 1968, after a big flood, the the river.
Cagayan River changed its course, returned to its
1919 bed, and, in the process, cut across the lands
of RESPONDENTS, whose lands were transferred VDA. DE NAZARENO vs. CA
on the eastern, or Tuguegarao, side of the river. GR No. 98054. June 6, 1996
To cultivate those lots they had to cross the river.
In 1969, while the RESPONDENTS and their Accretion to be rightfully claimed by the
tenants were planting corn an their lots located on riparian owner must not me man-made or
the eastern side of the Cagayan River, AGUSTIN, artificial. When the accretion was caused by
accompanied by the mayor and some policemen the sawdust dumped on the river, the riparian
of Tuguegarao, claimed the same lands as their owner cannot claim the deposited land
own and drove away the RESPONDENTS from because it already formed part of the public
the premises. domain.
Hence, RESPONDENTS filed a complaint to
recover their lots and their accretions. The lower
court ruled in their favor. Hence, AGUSTIN
appealed. FACTS
Antonio Nazareno, predecessor-in-interest of
ISSUE petitioners DESAMPARADO VDA. DE
Whether or not the accretion belong to NAZARENO and LETICIA NAZARENO-TAPIA
RESPONDENTS. owned a parcel of land in Cagayan de Oro City. In
1979, he leased portions of said land to private
RULING respondents JOSE SALASALAN and LEO
YES. The accretion belonged to RABAYA, who built their respective houses
RESPONDENTS and not AGUSTIN. therein. In the latter part of 1982, SALASALAN
Accretion benefits a riparian owner when the ET AL. allegedly stopped paying rentals. As a
following requisites are present: result, Antonio Nazareno and VDA. DE
(1) that the deposit he gradual and NAVARENO ET AL. filed a case for ejectment,
imperceptible; which was granted by the court. Later, despite
(2) that it resulted from the effects of the successive efforts in court by SALASALAN ET
current of the water; and AL., the court finally executed its judgment and
(3) that the land where accretion takes they were ejected from the lots they occupied.
place is adjacent to the bank of a river Before he died, Antonio Nazareno caused the
(Republic vs. CA, 132 SCRA 514). approval by the Bureau of Lands of a survey plan
All these requisites of accretion are present in with a view to perfecting his title over the
this case for, as the trial court found that the accretion area being claimed by him. Before the
Cagayan River did move year by year from 1919 approved survey plan could be released to the
to 1968 or for a period of 49 years. It was gradual applicant however, SALASALAN ET AL.
and imperceptible. Within this period, the protested. Upon order of the District Land Officer,
alluvium deposited on the other side has become respondent Land Investigator AVELINO LABIS
greater in area than the original lands of conducted an investigation and rendered a report,
AGUSTIN in both cases. Still the addition in every recommending that the survey plan in the name
year is imperceptible in nature, one could not of Antonio Nazareno, be cancelled and that
discern it but can be measured after the lapse of a private respondents be directed to file appropriate
certain time. public land applications. Based on the said report,
respondent Regional Director of the Bureau of not met it could not be claimed that the
Lands Roberto Hilario ordered the amendment of accumulation of such boulders, soil and other
the survey plan in the name of Antonio Nazareno filling materials was gradual and imperceptible,
by segregating therefrom the areas occupied by resulting from the action of the waters or the
SALASALAN ET AL. who, if qualified, may file current of the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan
public land applications covering their respective River. The word "current' 'Indicates the
portions. participation of the body of water in the ebb and
Respondent Director of Lands ABELARDO flow of waters due to high and low tide.
PALAD then ordered Antonio Nazareno to vacate The conclusion of the court, therefore, was
the portions adjudicated to SALASALAN ET AL. that the accretion was man-made or artificial. The
and to remove whatever improvements they have requirement that the deposit should be due to the
introduced thereon. He also ordered that effect of the current of the river is indispensable.
SALASALAN ET AL. be placed in possession This excludes from Art. 457 of the Civil Code all
thereof. Upon the denial of the motion for deposits caused by human intervention. Putting it
reconsideration, VDA. DE NAZARENO ET AL., differently, alluvium must be the exclusive work
as heirs of late Antonio Nazareno filed a case to of nature.
annul the order of PALAD. Their argument was (2) YES. The property was a public land, being
that the subject land was not a public land but an artificial accretion of sawdust.. Hence, it was a
rather a private land being an accretion to proper subject of a public land applications.
Antonio Nazareno’s titled property, applying The court agreed with SALASALAN ET AL.
Article 457 of the Civil Code. They added that the that VDA. DE NAZARENO ET AL. were
accretion site was the result of the late Antonio estopped from denying the public character of the
Nazareno's labor consisting in the dumping of subject land, as well as the jurisdiction of the
boulders, soil and other filling materials into the Bureau of Lands when the late Antonio Nazareno
Balacanas Creek and Cagayan River bounding his filed his Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA).
land. The mere filing of said Application constituted an
admission that the land being applied for was
ISSUE public land, having been the subject of a survey
(1) Whether or not the subject land formed plan.
part of the property of NAZARENO through
accretion.
(2) Whether or not the property was a public HEIRS OF NAVARRO vs. IAC
land. GR No. 116290. December 8, 2000

RULING Manila Bay is a sea and not a lake. When by the action
(1) NO. Accretion, as a mode of acquiring of Manila Bay, land is formed, it is not accretion to be
property under Art. 457 of the Civil Code, owned by the riparian owner under the Civil Code but
requires the concurrence of these requisites: is rather converted into foreshore land as a property of
(1) that the deposition of soil or public domain, as deemed under the Spanish Law of
sediment be gradual and imperceptible; Waters of 1866.
(2) that it be the result of the action of
the waters of the river (or sea); and In 1946, SINFOROSO PASCUAL filed an
(3) that the land where accretion takes applications for foreshore lease covering a tract of
place is adjacent to the banks or rivers (or foreshore land in Bataan, having an area of
the sea coast). approximately 17 hectares. This application was
These are called the rules on alluvium which if denied.
present in a case, give to the owners of lands Subsequently, EMILIANO NAVARRO,
adjoining the banks of rivers or streams any predecessor-in-interest of the HEIRS OF
accretion gradually received from the effects of EMILIANO also filed fishpond application with
the current of waters. the Bureau of Fisheries covering 25 hectares of
However, in the case at bar, the 2nd and 3rd foreshore also in Bataan. Initially, such application
requisites were absent. Hence, VDA. DE was denied by the Director of Fisheries on the
NAZARENO ET AL., could not claim the rights of ground that the property, formed part of the
a riparian owner. public domain but upon a motion for
The 3rd requisite that the alluvium be the reconsideration, the Director gave due course to
result of the action of the waters of the river was his application but only to the extent of 7 hectares
not met since the subject land was the direct result of the property.
of the dumping of sawdust by the Sun Valley In the early part of 1960, PASCUAL filed an
Lumber Co. consequent to its sawmill operations. application to register and confirm his title to a
Even if this Court were to take into consideration parcel of land and said have area an area of
petitioners' submission that the accretion site was 146,611 square meters. PASCUAL claimed that
the result of the late Antonio Nazareno's labor this land is an accretion to his property. It is
consisting in the dumping of boulders, soil and bounded on the eastern side by the Talisay River
other filling materials into the Balacanas Creek as well as the Bulacan River flow downstream
and Cagayan River bounding his land, the same and meet at the Manila Bay thereby depositing
would still be part of the public domain. sand and silt on PASCUAL’s land, thus claiming
The 2nd requisite that the deposit of soil or accretion as the riparian owner.
sediment be gradual and imperceptible was also
NAVARRO thereupon filed an opposition to be the foreshore of Manila Bay which adjoined
PASCUAL's application. NAVARRO claimed that petitioners own tract of land on the northern side.
the public domain, it being a part of the foreshore As such, the applicable law is not Article 457 of
of Manila Bay; that he was a lessee and in the Civil Code but Article 4 of the Spanish Law of
possession of a part of the subject property by Waters of 1866, which states that:
virtue of a fishpond permit issued by the Bureau “Lands added to the shores by
of Fisheries and confirmed by the Office of the accretions and alluvial deposits caused by
President; and that he had already converted the the action of the sea, from part of the
area covered by the lease into a fishpond. public domain. When they are no longer
During the pendency of the land registration washed by the waters of the sea and are
case, PASCUAL filed a complaint for ejectment not necessary for the coast guard service,
against Emiliano Navarro, one Marcelo Lopez and the Government shall declare them to be
their privies, alleged by Pascual to have the property of the owners of the estates
unlawfully claimed and possessed, through adjacent thereto and as increment
stealth, force and strategy, a portion of the subject thereof."
property covered by his land. Because of the (2) The land was not formed by the action
similarity of the parties and the subject matter, the of the Talisay and Bulacan rivers. It was formed
appealed case for ejectment was consolidated by the action of Manila Bay, hence, it was a
with the land registration case and was jointly foreshore land, which belonged to the public
tried by the court a quo. domain.
In 1961, during the pendency of the trial of the Accretion is the process whereby the soil is
consolidated cases, NAVARRO died and was deposited, while alluvium is the soil deposited on
substituted by his HEIRS. Subsequently, in 1962, the estate fronting the river bank. The owner of
PASCUAL died and was substituted by his HEIRS such estate is called the riparian owner. Riparian
as well. owners, the latter being owners of lands
During trial, the court found out that the land bordering the shore of the sea or lake or other
of PASCUAL was bounded on the east by the tidal. The alluvium, by mandate of Article 457 of
Talisay River, on the west by the Bulacan River, the Civil Code, is automatically owned by the
and on the north the Manila Bay. The Talisay and riparian owner from the moment the soil deposit
Bulacan rivers come from inland flowing can be seen but is not automatically registered
downstream towards the Manila bay. In other property, hence, subject to acquisition through
words, between the Talisay River and the Bulacan prescription by third persons.
River is the property of applicants with both Accretion as a mode of acquiring property
rivers acting as the boundary to said land and the under said Article 457 requires the concurrence of
flow of both rivers meeting and emptying into the the following requisites:
Manila Bay. The subject land was formed at the (1) that the accumulation of soil or
tip or apex of PASCUAL’s land adding thereto the sediment be gradual and imperceptible;
land now sought to be registered. (2) that it be the result of the action of
In 1975, the court rendered judgment in favor the waters of the river; and
of the HEIRS OF PASCUAL, finding the subject (3) that the land where the accretion
property to be foreshore land and, being a part of takes place is adjacent to the bank of the
the public domain, it cannot be the subject of land river.
registration proceedings. On appeal, IAC reversed In the present case, the 2nd and 3rd requisites
the said decision. were absent. The 2nd requisite was absent
Aggrieved, the HEIRS OF NAVARRO because if the accretion were to be attributed to
appealed the case. They contended that they the action of either or both of the Talisay and
owned the disputed land by accretion under Art. Bulacan Rivers, the alluvium should have been
457 of the Civil Code as said land was an deposited on either or both of the eastern and
accretion caused by the joint action of the Talisay western boundaries of petitioners own tract of
and Bulacan Rivers, which run their course on the land, not on the northern portion thereof which is
eastern and western boundaries of their land. adjacent to the Manila Bay. Clearly lacking, thus,
ISSUES is the third requisite of accretion, which is, that
(1)Whether or not Manila Bay is a lake. the alluvium is deposited on the portion of
(2) Whether or not the land was formed by the claimant's lot, which is adjacent to the river bank.
action of the Talisay and Bulacan rivers as an
accretion of was formed by the action of the
Manila Bay as a foreshore land. BAGAIPO vs. CA
GR No. 116290. December 8, 2000
RULING
(1) NO. It is a sea. It should not be compared The decrease in petitioner’s land area and the
with Laguna de Bay, which is a lake. A Bay is an corresponding expansion of respondent’s
opening into the land where the water is shut in property were the combined effect of erosion
on all sides except at the entrance; an inlet of the and accretion respectively. Art. 457 and not
sea; an arm of the sea, distinct from a river, a Art. 461 of the Civil Code then is applicable.
bending or curbing of the shore of the sea or of a
lake. Registration does not protect the riparian
The disputed land, thus, is an accretion not on owner against the diminution of the area of
a river bank but on a sea bank, or on what used to
his land through gradual changes in the course. This conclusion was reached after the trial
course of the adjoining stream. judge observed during ocular inspection that the
banks located on petitioner’s land are sharp,
FACTS craggy and very much higher than the land on the
Petitioner DIONISIA P. BAGAIPO was the other side of the river. Additionally, the riverbank
registered owner of Lot No. 415, an agricultural on respondent’s side is lower and gently sloping.
land situated in Ma-a, Davao City. It was The lower land therefore naturally received the
bounded on the southeast by the Davao River. alluvial soil carried by the river current.
Respondent LEONOR LOZANO on the other (2) The decrease in petitioner’s land area and
hand, was the owner of a registered parcel of land the corresponding expansion of respondent’s
located across and opposite the southeast portion property were the combined effect of erosion and
of petitioner’s lot facing the Davao River. accretion respectively. Art. 461 of the Civil Code
LOZANO acquired and occupied her property in then is inapplicable. Petitioner could not claim
1962 when his wife inherited the land from her ownership over the old abandoned riverbed
father who died that year. because the same was inexistent. The riverbed’s
In 1989, BAGAIPO a complaint for Recovery former location could not even be pinpointed
of Possession against Lozano for the recovery of a with particularity since the movement of the
land area , which BAGAIPO lost when the Davao Davao River took place gradually over an
River traversed her property. BAGAIPO unspecified period of time, up to the present.
contended that as a result of a change in course of The rule is well-settled that accretion
the said river, her property became divided into benefits a riparian owner when the following
three lots. Later, BAGAIPO commissioned a requisites are present:
survey of Lot 415 and it was showed therein that 1) That the deposit be gradual and
her land was taken up by the new course of the imperceptible;
Davao River and was then illegally occupied by 2) That it resulted from the effects
LOZANO. She presented a witness who testified of the current of the water; and
that the change of the course of the Davao River 3) That the land where accretion
was caused by a big flood in 1968 and that the takes place is adjacent to the bank of
river which flowed previously in front of a chapel the river.
located 15 meters away from the riverbank within These requisites were sufficiently proven
Bagaipo’s property now flowed behind it. in favor of respondents. In the absence of
For his part, LOZANO insisted that the land evidence that the change in the course of the river
claimed by BAGAIPO was actually an accretion to was sudden or that it occurred through avulsion,
their titled property. He asserted that the Davao the presumption is that the change was gradual
River did not change its course and that the and was caused by alluvium and erosion.
reduction in BAGAIPO’s domain was caused by (3)The fact that the accretion to his land used
gradual erosion due to the current of the Davao to pertain to plaintiff’s estate, which is covered by
River. He added that it was also because of the a Torrens certificate of title, cannot preclude him
river’s natural action that silt slowly deposited (defendant) from being the owner thereof.
and added to his land over a long period of time. Registration does not protect the riparian owner
He presented 3 witnesses, all who concurred that against the diminution of the area of his land
each time there was flood, there was erosion that through gradual changes in the course of the
occurred on the property of BAGAIPO, which adjoining stream. Accretions which the banks of
carried away the soil therein. rivers may gradually receive from the effect of the
In 1991, after the trial court conducted an current become the property of the owners of the
ocular inspection, it dismissed the complaint. It banks. Such accretions are natural incidents to
concluded that the applicable law was not Art. land bordering on running streams and the
461 but rather Art. 457, which states that to the provisions of the Civil Code in that respect are not
owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers affected by the Land Registration Act.
belong the accretion which they gradually receive
from the effects of the current of the waters. ARTICLE 458: The owners of the estates adjoining
Hence, this appeal by BAGAIPO. ponds or lagoons do not require the land left dry by the
natural decrease of the waters, or lose that inundated
ISSUE by them in extraordinary floods.
(1) Whether or not the decrease in land area
was brought about by erosion and not a change in The owners of the lands adjoining ponds and lagoons
the river’s course. do not acquire the lands left dry by the natural decrease
(2) Whether or not Art. 453 and not Art. 461 of the water.
should be applied.
(3) Whether or not the registration of ARTICLE 459: Whenever the current of a river, creek,
BAGAIPO over the accretion to the land by a or torrent, segregates from an estate on its banks
Torrens certificate of title precluded LOZANO known portion of land and transfers it to another
from being the owner thereof. estate, the owner of the land to which the segregated
portion belonged retains the ownership of it provided
RULING that he removes the same within 2 years.
(1) The trial court and the appellate court both
found that the decrease in land area was brought  This is AVUSION. It is the process
about by erosion and not a change in the river’s whereby the current of a river, creek, or
torrent segregates from an estate on its course to private lands, the owners of the
bank a known portion of land and affected lands:
transfers it to another state. 1. may not compel the
government to restore the
 avulsion is also referred as ‘delayed river to its former bed;
accession’ 2. they cannot restrain the
gov’t. from taking steps to
DISTINCTIONS BETWEEN ALLUVIUM revert the river or stream
AND AVULSION to its former course; So, the
1. Alluvium is a piece of land created by owners have no right as to
accretion under 457. The deposit of soil is the acts or omission by the
gradual; in avulsion, it is a sudden or government.
abrupt process. 3. they are not entitled to
2. In the former, the soil cannot be identified compensation for any
whereas in the latter, the portion that is damage sustained thereby.
segregated is identifiable or verifiable.  The owners of the affected lands may
3. Alluvium belongs to the owner to which undertake to return the stream or river to
it was attached but avulsion belongs to its bed at their own expense, provided:
the owner from whom the property was 1. a permit is secured from the DOH
detached and DOTC;
2. work commence within 2 yrs
ARTICLE 460: Trees uprooted and carried away by from the change of the course of
the current of the waters belong to the owner of the the river or stream.
land upon which they may be cast, if the owners do not
claim them within 6 months. If such owners claim ARTICLE 462: Whenever a river, changing its course
them, they shall pay the expenses incurred in gathering by natural causes, opens a new bed thru a private
them or putting them in a safe place estate, this bed shall become of public dominion.

ARTICLE 461: River beds which are abandoned thru ARTICLE 463: Whenever the current of a river
the natural change in the course of the waters ipso divides itself into branches, leaving a piece of land or
facto belong to the owners whose lands are occupied by part thereof isolated, the owner if the land retains his
the new course in proportion to the area lost. However, ownership. He also retains it if a portion of land is
the owners of the lands adjoining the old bed shall have separated from the estate by the current.
the right to acquire the same by paying the value
thereof, which vale shall not exceed the value of the This refers to the ‘formation of island by the
area occupied. branching off a river’ as distinguished from the
‘formation of islands by successive accumulation of
GENERAL RULE: The abandoned river beds ipso alluvial deposits (unidentifiable sediments) referred to
facto belong to the owners whose land are in Arts. 464 and 465. In the first, no accession takes
occupied by the new course in proportion of the place, the owner retaining his ownership of the
area lost. But the owners of the land adjoining the segregated portion; in second, accession takes place.
old bed shall have the right to acquire the same by
paying the value thereof. ARTICLE 464: Islands which may be formed on the
REQUISITES: seas within the jurisdiction of the Philippines, on lakes,
1. the change must be and of navigable or floatable rivers belong to the State.
sudden, not gradual; ARTICLE 465: Islands which thru successive
2. the changing of the course accumulation of alluvial deposits are formed in non-
must be more or less navigable and non-floatable rivers, belong to the
permanent and not owners of the margins or banks nearest to each of them,
temporary over flooding of or to the owner of both margins if the island is in the
another’s land; middle of the river, in which case it shall be divided
3. the change of the river longitudinally in halves. If a single island this formed
bed must be natural one be more distant from one margin than from the other,
and not by artificial means; the owner of the nearer margin shall be the sole owner
4. there must be a definite thereof.
abandonment by the
government. No effort has  Who owns the island formed by
been made to bring back unidentifiable accumulated deposits? It
the river to its old bed; depends.
5. the river must continue to i. if formed on the sea – Within the
exist. territorial waters or maritime
zone or jurisdiction of the
 If the river dries up, then it belongs to the Philippines – State (464 –
public domain. It has no effect on the Patrimonial property)
private lands. ii. If formed on lakes, or navigable
or floatable rivers – the State.
 Art. 58 of PD 1067 states that when the iii. If formed in non-navigable or
river or stream suddenly changes its non-floatable rivers –
1. If NEARER margin to one Nevertheless, in case the thing united for the
bank, owner of nearer use, embellishment or perfection of the other, is much
margin is the sole owner; more precious than the principal thing, the owner of
2. If EQUIDISTANT, the the former may demand its separation, even though the
island shall be divided thing to which it has been incorporated may suffer
longitudinally in halves, some injury.
each bank getting half.
In a separation without injury (1st par)
NAVIGABLE OR FLOATABLE RIVER – if there is no real accession here. It is understood
useful for floatage and commerce, whether the that the 1st paragraph can apply only to soldering
tides affect the water or not should benefit trade and inclusion because all the rest, separation
and commerce. would result in substantial injury.
In the 2nd par, there is separation,
SECTION 3: RIGHT OF ACCESSION WITH although with injury (but not destruction) is
RESPECT TO MOVABLE PROPERTY allowed, if the thing united for the use,
embellishment, or perfection of the other is much
ARTICLE 466: Whenever two movable things more precious than the principal.
belonging to different owners are, without bad faith,
united in such a way that they form a single object, the ARTICLE 470: Whenever the owner of the accessory
owner of the principal thing acquires the accessory, thing has made the incorporation in bad faith, he shall
indemnifying the former owner thereof for its value. lose the thing incorporated and shall have the
obligation to indemnify the owner of the principal
3 TYPES OF ACCESSION WITH thing for the damages he may have suffered.
RESPECT TO MOVABLE PROPERTY: If the one who has acted in bad faith is the
a.) adjunction owner of the principal thing, the owner of the accessory
b.) mixture thing shall have a right to choose between the former
c.) specification paying him its value or that the thing belonging to him
by separated, even though for this purpose it be
ADJUNCTION – a process by virtue of which necessary to destroy the principal thing, and on both
two movable things belonging to different owners cases, furthermore, there shall be indemnity for
are untied in such a way that they form a single damages.
object. It is also called conjunction. It may be done If either one of the owners has made the incorporation
in good faith or bad faith. with the knowledge and without the objection of the
other, their respective rights shall be determined as
KINDS: though both acted in good faith.
(a)inclusion RULES IN CASE OF BAD FAITH IN THE
(b) soldering ADJUNCTION
(c) escritura
(d) Pintura Owner of Accessory is in bad faith
(e) weaving If I in bad faith, will use the varnish on
the chair of my brother, I lose all rights to the
ARTICLE 467: The principal thing, as between to varnish. Moreover, I will be responsible for
things incorporated, is deemed to be that to which the damages.
other has been united as an ornament, or for its use or Owner of the principal in bad faith
perfection. If I, in bad faith, will use my brother’s
ARTICLE 468: If it cannot be determined by the rule lead in soldering my pipes, my brother has
given in the preceding article which of the two things the right to ask for payment of the lead plus
incorporated is the principal one, the thing of the damages; or he may choose to have the lead
greater value shall be considered, and as between two removed from the pipes even if the pipes be
things of equal value, that of the greater volume. destroyed plus damages.

 In painting and sculpture, writings, ARTICLE 471: Whenever the owner of the material
printed matter, engraving and employed without his consent has a right to an
lithographs, the board, metal, stone, indemnity, he may demand that this consist in the
canvas, paper or parchment, shall be delivery of a thing equal in kind and value, and in all
deemed the accessory thing. other respects, to that employed, or else in the price
thereof, according to expert appraisal.
 The principal is: (order of preference)
a. that to which the other has been  Indemnity – how paid?
united as an ornament, or for its  Either by:
use, or perfection; a) delivery of a thing equal in kind
b. that of greater volume; and value (quantity, (quality);
c. that of greater value;
d. that which has greater merits. b) or payment of price a appraised
by experts. This rule is applicable
ARTICLE 469: Whenever the things united can be only when the consent of the owner
separated without the injury, their respective owners had not been obtained. The material
may demand their separation.
may have been the principal or Later, TIONGSON filed in court a complaint
accessory. in against BERNABE, to recover from the latter
the 1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of palay he deposited
ARTICLE 472: If by the will of the owners two things in the latter’s warehouse. At the same time, the
of the same or different kinds are mixed, or if the court granted him a writ of attachment. At the
mixture occurs by chance, and in the latter case things time of the attachment, the sheriff only found only
are not separable without the injury, each owner shall 924 cavans and 311 kilos of palay in said
acquire a right proportional to the part belonging to warehouse. SANTOS intervened in the
him, bearing in mind the value of the things mixed or attachment of the palay but the sheriff proceeded
confused. with the attachment upon filing of the proper
ARTICLE 473: If by the will of only one owner, but in bond by TIONGSON. The attached property was
good faith, two things of the same or different kinds are sold at public auction and the proceeds from it
mixed or confused, the rights of the owners shall be were delivered to TIONGSON.
determined by the provisions of the preceding article. SANTOS then filed an action in court. He
If the one who caused the mixture or contended that TIONGSON could not claim the
confusion acted in bad faith, he shall lose the thing 924 cavans and 31 ½ kilos of palay attached by the
belonging to him thus mixed or confused, besides being sheriff as part of those were deposited by him.
obliged to pay indemnity for the damages caused to the The court ordered TIONGSON to pay
owner of the other thing with which his own was SANTOS the value of the 778 cavans and 38 kilos
mixed. of palay, at the rate of P3 per cavan. Hence,
TIONGSON and the PROVINCIAL SHERIFF
MIXTURE - combination or union of appealed.
materials where the respective identities
of the component elements are lost. (As ISSUE
distinguished from adjunction, there is in Whether or not TIONGSON should refund
mixture greater inter-penetration or the value of SANTOS’ 778 cavans and 38 kilos of
decomposition of the objects that have palay.
been mixed.
RULING
2 KINDS OF MIXTURE: NO. SANTOS should not be paid for the
1. COMMIXTION (if solids are mixed) entire palay he deposited but only a right
2. CONFUSION (if liquids are mixed) proportional to the part belonging to him.
The palay of SANTOS and TIONGSON were
RULES OF MIXTURE: mixed up when they both deposited their palays
 If the mixture is caused by one owner in in BERNABE’s warehouse. It was because the
good faith, or by the will of both owners, palays did not bear any marks or signs, nor were
or by chance (accident), or by a common they separated one from the other. At the time of
agent, then CO-OWNERSHIP results, the attachment and the sheriff only found 924
each owner acquiring an interest or right cavans and 311 kilos of palay in BERNABE’s
proportional to the value of his material warehouse.
i) if the mixture is made by the owner in There being no means of separating from said
bad faith, then -- 924 cavans and 31 1/2 kilos of palay those
1. he loses his material belonging to SANTOS and those to TIONGSON,
2. and is liable for Art. 472 (then Art. 381) of the Civil Code shall
damages to penalize apply. Being that the number of kilos in a cavan
his bad faith. was not determined, each of the owner then,
ii) When the things mixed or confused SANTOS and TIONGSON shall acquire a right
are of exactly the same kind, quantity proportional to the part belonging to each.
and quality, all that is needed would Hence, 924 cavans of palay were attached and
be to divide the mixture into equal sold. SANTOS, who deposited 778 cavans, shall
parts. have the right over 398.49 thereof or the value
thereof at the rate of P3 per cavan. TIONGSON,
SANTOS vs. BERNABE who deposited 1,026 cavans, shall have the right
GR No. 31163. November 6, 1929 over 525.51, or the value thereof at the rate of P3
per cavan.
When the palays of 2 different owners were
mixed up and it could not be determined as to ARTICLE 474: One who in good faith employs the
who owns which. The owners shall be paid material of another in whole or in part in order to make
not for the entire palay but only a right a thing if a different kind, shall appropriate the thing
proportional to the part belonging to him. thus transformed as his own, indemnifying the owner
of the material for its value.
FACTS If the material is more precious than the
In 1928, plaintiff URBANO SANTOS transformed thing or is more value, its owner may, at
deposited in defendant JOSE BERNABE’s his option, appropriate the new thing to himself. After
warehouse 778 cavans and 38 kilos of palay. On first paying indemnity for the value of the work, or
the same day, co-defendant PABLO TIONGSON demand indemnity for the material.
also deposited 1,026 cavans and 9 kilos of the If in making of the thing bad faith intervened,
same grain. the owner of the material shall have the right to
appropriate the work to himself without paying Baños, Laguna (where the tank was located), in
anything to the maker, or to demand of the latter that view of the claim of ownership being made by the
he indemnify him for value of the material and the Bureau of Public Highways.
damages he nay have suffered. However, the owner of However, 6 months after the tank was sold to
the material cannot appropriate the work in case of the AGUIRRE, Vicente and Teresa Aldaba again sold
value of the latter, for artistic or scientific reasons are the same tank on to Zosimo Gabriel, for P900.00.
considerably more than that of the material. Gabriel, in turn, sold it to the LEONORA &
COMPANY on for P2,500.00. After some
SPECIFICATION - the giving of a new form to alterations and improvements made on the tank,
another’s material thru the application of labor. Leonora & Company was able to sell the tank to
The material undergoes a transformation or National Shipyard & Steel Corporation
change of identity. (NASSCO), for P14,500.00.
AGUIRRE immediately filed with NASSCO a
RULE IN CASE THE OWNER AND WORKER formal notice of his claim of ownership of the
ARE IN GOOD FAITH: tank. As a consequence, NASSCO’s payment of
the purchase price to LEONORA & COMPANY
a. appropriation on the part of the was suspended.
owner of the work; Then, AGUIRRE instituted a civil case against
b. reimbursement of the materials VICENTE PHENG, in his capacity as General
employed by the worker. Manager of LEONORA & COMPANY and the
ALDABAS, for delivery to him of the tank, with
RULE IN CASE WORKER IS IN BAD FAITH: damages.
On the other hand, because of the suspension
1. appropriate the work without paying for of payment of the purchase price, LEONORA &
labor; COMPANY filed a civil case against NASSCO,
2. demand payment for the material used praying for the delivery of the purchase price of
plus damages. P14,500.00, or the reimbursement of the sum of
EXCEPTION: The thing shall be used for scientific P12,229.00 allegedly representing the actual
purposes. investment and expenses made and incurred to
put the tank in usable condition. AGUIRRE
ADJUNCTION MIXTURE SPECIFICATION intervened in said proceeding.
1. involves at 1. involves 1. may involve These two cases were jointly heard by the trial
least 2 things; at least 2 only 1 thing court. The court then declared AGUIRRE as the
things (may be more) absolute owner of the tank and that the
but form is subsequent sales were declared null and void and
changed of no effect.
2. As a rule, 2. As a rule, 2. As a rule, Aldaba and Leonora and Co. and the National
accessory co- accessory follows Shipyards and Steel Corporation were ordered:
follows the ownership the principal 1. to deliver AGUIRRE the tank wherein
principal results the latter would have to pay Leonora and
3. The things 3. The 3. The new object Co. P11,299.00 which it spent for the
joined retain things retains or improvement of the tank.
their nature mixed or preserves the 2. in case that delivery is impossible, to
confused nature of the pay AGUIRRE P900, the original purchase
may either original object. price of the tank, or
retain or From this decision, AGUIRRE appealed to the
lose their Court of Appeals, which affirmed the same.
respective Hence, this appeal. AGUIRRE alleged that he
nature. should not only be paid P900 but P14,500, which
was the value of the tank at the time of its
AGUIRRE vs. PHENG delivery to NASSCO. He also contended that
GR No. l-20851. September 3, 1966 under Art. 440 of the Civil Code, his ownership of
the property entitled him to everything that is
Although ordinarily, an owner of a property produced thereby, or is incorporated or attached
would be entitled to any accession thereto, the thereto, either naturally or artificially.
rule is different where the works or
improvements or the accession was made on ISSUE
the property by one who acted in good faith. (1) Whether or not AQUIRRE, as owner of the
The governing provision is Art. 474. tank, would be entitled to any accession thereto.
(2) Whether the value for indemnifying
FACTS AGUIRRE should be P900, which was its original
In 1954, Vicente and Aldaba sold to petitioner value or P14,500, which was its present value
JESUS AGUIRRE a circular bolted steel tank with then.
a capacity of 5,000 gallons, for the sum of P900.00.
AGUIRRE, however, failed to take physical RULING
possession of the tank, having been prevented (1) NO. Although ordinarily, an owner of a
from doing so by the municipal authorities of Los property would be entitled to any accession
thereto, the rule is different where the works or
improvements or the accession was made on the b) It may also be considered “quasi in rem”
property by one who acted in good faith. And it is since it involves interest in a real
not contended that the making of the property.
improvements and incurring of expenses c) An action to quiet title against a co-owner
amounting to P11,299.00 by Leonora & Company is not res judicata as to the other co-
was done in bad faith. The governing provision is owners if they were not made parties
Art. 474 (then Art. 466) of the Civil Code. thereto
(2) The reimbursement should be P900, the
original value of the tank when it was bought by WHEN DOES THE ACTION TO QUIET THE
AGUIRRE. TITLE PRESCRIBE?
It was clear that there was an accession by a. If the plaintiff is in POSSESSION
specification: LEONORA AND COMPANY, as of the property, the action does
purchaser acting in good faith, spending not prescribe. He may wait until
P11,299.00 for the reconditioning of the tank his possession is disturbed or his
which was later adjudged to belong to AGUIRRE. title is attacked before taking
Furthermore, to uphold AGUIRRE's steps to vindicate his right.
contention that he was entitled to the sum of b. If the plaintiff is not in possession
P14,500 for the price of the tank in its present of the property, the action may
condition, would be to allow him to enrich prescribe. Moreover, if the action
himself at the expense of another. The lower is brought within the period of
courts, therefore, acted correctly in ordering the limitation, it may be barred by
reimbursement to LEONORA & COMPANY for laches where there is no excuse
the expenses it made on the tank. offered for the failure to assert the
title sooner. If somebody else has
ARTICLE 475: In the preceding articles, sentimental possession, the period of
value shall be duly appreciated. prescription for the recovery of
land is either 10 yrs (GF) or 30 yrs
QUIETING OF TITLE (BF). But as a GENERAL RULE, it
is settled that the action to quiet
ARTICLE 476: Whenever there is a cloud on title to title does not prescribe.
real property or any interest therein, by reason of any
instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding SECUYA vs. VDA. DE SELMA
which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth GR No. 136021. February 22, 2000
and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, unenforceable,
and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be In an action to quiet title, the plaintiffs or
brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. complainants must demonstrate a legal or an
An action may also be brought to prevent a equitable title to, or an interest in, the subject
cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any real property. Likewise, they must show that
interest therein. the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding
that purportedly casts a cloud on their title is
WHEN IS THERE A CLOUD IN THE TITLE? in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima
facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. If
1) There is an instrument (deed or contract) or the title is not valid on its face, an action for
record or claim or encumbrance or quieting of title cannot be given due course.
proceeding;
2) Which is APPARENTLY valid or effective; FACTS
3) But in truth and in fact, invalid, ineffective, A parcel of land was originally sold, and the
voidable, or unenforceable, or extinguished or covering patent issued, to Maxima Caballero Vda.
barred by extinctive prescription; de Cariño. During her lifetime, she entered into an
4) And may be prejudicial to the title. Agreement of Partition with Paciencia Sabellona,
whereby the former bound herself and parted 1/3
 What would be the test? If proof is portion of said lot in favor of the latter.
essential, the cloud exists. If proof is not Sabellona took possession and occupation of
needed, cloud is not present. that 1/3 portion of said lot adjudicated to her. In
 The rule merely refers to immovable or 1953, Sabellona sold 3,0000 sq. m. portion thereof
real property or any interest therein. But to Dalmacio Secuya for P1,850 by means of a
by analogy, the principle may also apply private document which was lost. Such sale was
to personal property particularly the admitted and confirmed by Ramon Sabellona,
vessels which partake the nature of real only heir of Paciencia Sabellona in a Deed of
property. Confirmation of Sale.
In 1972, defendant-respondent GERARDA
Nature of the action: SELMA bought a parcel of land, which embraced
the 3,000 sq. m. portion of land possessed by the
a) This is an action in personam because it is SECUYAS. SELMA lodged a complaint against
directed against the defeated party or the SECUYAS, asserting ownership over the land
privies. inherited by plaintiffs-petitioners from Dalmacio
Secuya of which they had long been in possession
in concept of owner. SECUYA claimed that she
was the registered owner of said lot having bough thereto had been transferred several times,
it from one Cesaria Caballero and had been in without any protestation or complaint from the
possession of the same since then. HEIRS OF SECUYA.
An action for quieting of title was filed by the In any case, VDA. DE SECUYA’s title was
SECUYAS against VDA. DE SELMA. They amply supported by clear evidence, while
anchored their claim of ownership on two SECUYA's claim was barren of proof.
documents: the Agreement of Partition executed
by Maxima Caballero and Paciencia Sabellona and
the Deed of Confirmation of Sale executed by METROPOLITAN BANK & TRUST
Ramon Sabellona. COMPANY vs. ALEJO
The appellate court debunked the SECUYAS' GR No. 141970 . September 10, 2001
claim of ownership of the land, affirming the trial
court's ruling, and upheld VDA. DE SELMA’s title What was asked by Metrobank was for relief
thereto, since the latter's title can be traced to a from the peremptory declaration of nullity of
valid TCT. the TCT covering the mortgaged land, which
Hence, this appeal by the HEIRS OF had been issued without first giving
SECUYAS. METROPOLITAN BANK an opportunity to
be heard. Filing an action for quieting of title
ISSUE will not remedy what it perceived as a
Whether or not the HEIRS OF SECUYAS had disregard of due process; it is therefore not an
the requisite title to pursue an action for quieting appropriate remedy.
of title.
FACTS
RULING In 1995 and 1996, Spouses Raul and Cristina
NO. Under Art. 476, in an action to quiet title, Acampado obtained loans from
the plaintiffs or complainants must demonstrate a METROPOLITAN BANK, & TRUST COMPANY
legal or an equitable title to, or an interest in, the in the amounts of P5,000,000 and P2,000,000,
subject real property. Likewise, they must show respectively. As security for the payment of these
that the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding credit accommodations, the Acampados executed
that purportedly casts a cloud on their title is in in favor of METROPOLITAN BANK, a real estate
fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie mortgage over a registered parcel of land in
appearance of validity or legal efficacy. Valenzuela City.
The HEIRS OF SECUYA insisted that they had Later, a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of
been occupying the disputed property for 47 years the TCT of said lot was filed by Respondent SY
before they filed their Complaint for quieting of TAN SE against Spouses Acampado. Despite
title. However, there was no proof that they had being the registered mortgagee of the real
exercised their rights and duties as owners of the property covered by the title sought to be
same. They argue that they had been gathering annulled, METROPOLITAN BANK was not made
the fruits of such property; yet, it would seem that a party thereto nor was it notified of the pending
they had been remiss in their duty to pay land case.
taxes. If petitioners really believed that they Because the spouses defaulted in the payment
owned the property, they should have been more of their loan, extrajudicial foreclosure proceedings
vigilant in protecting their rights thereto. As over the mortgaged property were initiated in
noted earlier, they did nothing to enforce 1997. During the public auction,
whatever proprietary rights they had over the METROPOLITAN BANK was the highest bidder.
disputed parcel of land. A Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor.
The HEIRS OF SECUYA relied their When the redemption period lapsed exactly a
ownership on the Agreement of Partition year after, METROPOLITAN BANK executed an
executed by Maxima Caballero and Paciencia Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership for the
Sabellona and the Deed of Confirmation of Sale issuance of a new TCT in its name. However, the
executed by Ramon Sabellona. Register of Deeds informed of the existence of the
The Agreement of Partition was a mere civil case filed by Respondent SY TAN SE against
Express Trust was because there was no property Spouses Acampado, where the RTC declared that
to partition and the parties were not co-owners. the TCT of the Spouses Acampado were null and
Being that there was a repudiation of the express void since it was proceeded from an illegitimate
trust when the heirs of Maxima Caballero failed to source.
deliver or transfer the property to Paciencia METROPOLITAN BANK then filed a petition
Sabellona, and instead sold the same to a third for the annulment of the RC decision with the
person not privy to the Agreement., all, the Court of Appeals. The same was however denied
subsequent sales transactions involving the land because there were other different remedies
in dispute and the titles covering it must be available but they were not resorted to by
upheld, in the absence of proof that the said petitioner. It ruled that petitioner ought to have
transactions were fraudulent and irregular. filed, instead, a petition for relief from judgment
Although there was a Deed of Confirmation of or an action for quieting of title.
Sale executed by Ramona Sabellona, there was an Hence, this petition by METROPOLITAN
absence of the Deed of Sale itself. Moreover, the lot, BANK.
including the disputed portion, had been the
subject of several sales transactions. The title ISSUE
Whether or not METROPOLITAN BANK ARTICLE 481: The procedure for the quieting of title
should have instead filed an action for quieting of or the removal of a cloud therefrom shall be governed
title. by such rules of court as the Supreme Court shall
promulgate.
RULING
NO. An action for quieting of title was not an ARTICLE 482: If a building, wall, column, or any
appropriate remedy. other construction is in danger of falling, the owner
It should be stressed that this case was shall be obliged to demolish it or to execute the
instituted to ask for relief from the peremptory necessary work in order to prevent it from falling.
declaration of nullity of the TCT covering the If the proprietor does not comply with the
mortagged land, which had been issued without obligation, the administrative authorities may order the
first giving METROPOLITAN BANK an demolition of the structure at the expense of the owner,
opportunity to be heard. METROPOLITAN or take measures to insure public safety.
BANK focused on the judgment in the civil case
between Respondent SY TAN SE against Spouses ARTICLE 483: Whenever a large tree threatens to fall
Acampado which adversely affected it, and which in such a way as to cause damage to the land or
it therefore sought to annul. Filing an action for tenement of another or to travellers over public or
quieting of title will not remedy what it perceived private road, the owner of the tree shall be obliged to
as a disregard of due process; it is therefore not an fell and remove it; and should he not do so, it shall be
appropriate remedy. done at his expense by order of the administrative
Equally important, an action for quieting of authorities.
title is filed only when there is a cloud on title to
real property or any interest therein. As defined, a SAPTO vs. FABIANA
"cloud on title is a semblance of title which GR No. L-11285. May 16, 1958
appears in some legal form but which is in fact
unfounded." In this case, the subject judgment The court will treat an action for
cannot be considered as a cloud on petitioner’s reconveyance as an action to quiet title
title or interest over the real property covered provided that it has all the requisites of the
bysaid TCT, which does not even have a latter.
semblance of being a title.
It would not be proper to consider the subject Actions to quiet title to property in the
judgment as a cloud that would warrant the filing possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
of an action for quieting of title, because to do so But if he is not in possession thereof, the right
would require the court hearing the action to may as well prescribe and barred by
modify or interfere with the judgment or order of acquisitive prescription.
another co-equal court. Well-entrenched in our
jurisdiction is the doctrine that a court has no FACTS
power to do so, as that action may lead to Vicente Sapto was the registered owner of a
confusion and seriously hinder the administration parcel of land located in Toril, Davao. When he
of justice. Clearly, an action for quieting of title is died, he left his children Samuel, Constancio, and
not an appropriate remedy in this case. Ramon as heirs of the property in question.
Ramon pre-deceased his two brothers, leaving no
ARTICLE 477: The plaintiff must have legal or other heirs. In 1931, Samuel and Constancio Sapto
equitable title to, or interest in the real property which executed a Deed of Sale of a portion of 4 hectares
is the subject-matter of the action. He need not be in of the said land in favor of defendant APOLONIO
possession of said property. FABIANA, in consideration of the amount of
P245.00. The sale was duly approved by the
ARTICLE 478: There may also be an action to quiet Provincial Governor of Davao, but was never
title or remove a cloud therefrom when the contract, registered. Possession of the land conveyed was
instrument or other obligation has been extinguished however, transferred to FABIANA, who had been
or has terminated, or has been barred by extinctive in the possession thereof from 1931 up to the
prescription. present.
Thereafter, Constancio Sapto died without
 There are 2 INSTANCES where the action any issue. When Samuel Sapto died, he was
may be used: survived by his wife DORA BAGOBA and two
a) when the contract etc has ended; children, LAUREANA and VICENTE SAPTO. In
b) when the action is barred by extinctive 1954, DORA BAGOBA and LAUREANA and
prescription. VICENTE SAPTO, filed an action in court for the
recovery of the parcel of land sold by their
ARTICLE 479: The plaintiff must return to the predecessors to FABIANA in 1931.
defendant all benefits he may have received from the After trial, the lower court held that although
latter, or reimburse him for expenses that may have the sale between Samuel and Constancio Sapto
redounded to the plaintiff’s benefit. and defendant in 1931 was never registered, it
was valid and binding upon the parties and the
ARTICLE 480: The principles of the general law on vendors' heirs. It also ordered the plaintiffs to
the quieting of title are hereby adopted insofar as they execute the necessary deed of conveyance in
are not in conflict with this Code. defendant's favor and its annotation in the
certificate of title.
From this judgment, DORA BAGOBA and provided that it has all the requisites of the
LAUREANA and VICENTE SAPTO appealed. latter.
They cited several cases wherein the court has
held that under the martens system, registration is Actions to quiet title to property in the
the operative act that gives validity to the transfer possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
or creates a lien upon the land. The also averred But if he is not in possession thereof, the right
that it was error to require them to execute a deed may as well prescribe and barred by
of conveyance in favor of FABIANA since the acquisitive prescription.
latter's action to obtain it had long prescribed, 20
years having elapsed since the original sale. FACTS
In 1946, defendant JOSEFINA LLAMOSO
ISSUE GABAR bought a parcel of land from the spouses
(1) Whether or not registration is the operative Villarin on installment basis. JOSEFINA entered
act that gives validity to the transfer or creates a into a verbal agreement with her sister-in-law,
lien upon the land. plaintiff NICANORA GABAR BUCTON, that the
(2) Whether or not the right of FABIANA to latter would pay ½ of the purchase price (P1000)
obtain a deed of conveyance has already and would then own ½ of the land. Then,
prescribed since 20 years had already elapsed NICANORA gave JOSEFINA the initial amount
since the original sale. of P1,000 and a receipt was issued. NICANORA
also paid P400 and P1,000 respectively on
RULING successive dates, for which, receipts were also
(1) NO. No enforcement of the contract was in issued.
fact needed, since the delivery of possession of the Afterwards NICANORA and her husband
land sold had consummated the sale and FELIX BUCTON took possession of the portion of
transferred title to the purchaser, registration of the land indicated to them by defendants and
the contract not being indispensable as between built a modest nipa house therein. 2 years after,
the parties. Actually the action for reconveyance they built another house for rent behind the nipa
was one to quiet title, i.e., to remove the cloud cast house. Later, they demolished the nipa house and
upon appellee's ownership by the refusal of the in its place constructed a house of strong
appellants to recognize the sale made by their materials, with three apartments in the lower
predecessors. This action accrued only when portion for rental purposes. They occupied the
appellants initiated their suit to recover the land upper portion of this house as their residence
in 1954. until 1969, when they moved to another house,
In this case, the sale entered into was valid converting and leasing the upper portion as a
and binding upon the vendors, one of whom was dormitory.
Samuel Sapto and is equally binding and effective In 1947, the spouses Villarin executed the
against his heirs, DORA BAGOBA and deed of sale of the land abovementioned in favor
LAUREANA and VICENTE SAPTO. To hold of JOSEFINA. Hereafter, NICANORA and FELIX
otherwise would make of the martens system a BUCTON sought to obtain a separate title for their
shield for the commission of fraud by the vendors portion of the land in question. But despite
or his heirs, who would then be able to reconvey several demands, JOSEFINA and his husband
the same property to other persons. ZOSIMO GABAR declined to accommodate them
(2) NO. Actions to quiet title to property in the on the excuse that the entire land was still
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. mortgaged with the Philippine National Bank as
Art. 480 of the Civil Code, states that “the guarantee for their loan of P3,500. Nevertheless,
principles of the general law on the quieting of NICORA still paid JOSEFINA P400 and P1,000
title are hereby adopted insofar as they are not in respectively, as payment for the remaining
conflict with this Code”. The general law referred balance for their half of the land. For said
to is American jurisprudence. Under American payment, separate receipts were also issued.
jurisprudence, actions to quiet title to property in NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON continued
the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. enjoying their portion of the land, planting fruit
The prevailing rule is that the right of a trees and receiving the rentals of their buildings.
plaintiff to have his title to land quieted is not In 1953, with the consent of defendants JOSEFINA
barred while the plaintiff or his grantors remain in and ZOSIMO GABAR, they had the entire land
actual possession of the land, claiming to be surveyed and subdivided preparatory to
owners thereof. But the rule that the statute of obtaining their separate title to their portion.
limitations is not available as a defense to in Upon demand for their separate title to the
action to remove a cloud from title can only be property, however, JOSEFINA and ZOSIMO
invoked by a complaint when he is in possession. GABAR still refused, giving the same excuse.
If the plaintiff is not in possession of the property, Despite the employment of 2 lawyers, the same
the action to quite title may also prescribe. title was not issued.
Hence, NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON
filed in court an action for specific performance to
BUCTON vs. GABAR compel JOSEFINA and ZOSIMO GABAR to
GR No. L-36359. January 31, 1974 execute in a deed of sale of the western half of a
parcel of land in their favor. The lower court,
The court will treat an action for specific ordered the execution of a deed of conveyance in
performance as an action to quiet title favor of NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON. The
Court of Appeals however, reversed the judgment GR No. L-70191. October 29, 1987
of the lower court on the premise that
NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON’S right of The court will treat an action for recovery of
action had already prescribed being that 22 years possession of land as an action to quiet title
and 26 days had already elapsed from the time provided that it has all the requisites of the
the receipt in 1946 was issued until 1968 when latter.
they filed the action for specific performance. It
was then barred by Art. 1144 of the Civil Code, Actions to quiet title to property in the
which provides that an action arising from a possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible
written contract prescribes after 10 years. and are not barred by laches. But if he is not
Hence, this appeal by NICANORA and FELIX in possession thereof, the right may as well
BUCTON. prescribe and barred by acquisitive
prescription and laches as well.
ISSUE
Whether or not the right of NICANORA and FACTS
FELIX BUCTON for specific action for the Petitioner RODOLFO CORONEL filed a
execution of a deed of conveyance has already complaint for recovery of a registered possession
prescribed. of a parcel of land, situated in Naic, Cavite. The
complaint was filed against the ELIAS MERLAN,
RULING BRIGIDO MERLAN, JOSE MERLAN,
NO. Actions to quiet title to property in the TEODORICO NOSTRATES, SEVERO JECIEL,
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. SANTIAGO FERNAN and FORTUNATO
The real and ultimate basis of petitioners' OCAMPO (PRIVATE RESPONDENTS).
action is their ownership of one-half of the lot CORONEL alleged that at the time he purchased
coupled with their possession thereof, which the subject parcel of land, the PRIVATE
entitles them to a conveyance of the property. RESPONDENTS were already occupying a
Under the circumstances no enforcement of the portion thereof as "tenants at will" and that
contract is needed, since the delivery of despite demands to vacate the premises, the
possession of the land sold had consummated the defendants failed and refused to move out from
sale and transferred title to the purchaser, and the land.
that, actually, the action for conveyance is one to The PRIVATE RESPONDENTS denied that
quiet title, i.e., to remove the cloud upon the CORONEL was the owner of the whole parcel of
appellee's ownership by the refusal of the land and alleged that:
appellants to recognize the sale made by their the lots occupied by them form part of a 1/3
predecessors. undivided share of brothers Brigido
Art. 480 of the Civil Code, states that “the Merlan and Jose Merlan which they
principles of the general law on the quieting of inherited from their deceased father,
title are hereby adopted insofar as they are not in the 3 heirs never sold their undivided 1/3
conflict with this Code”. The general law referred share of the lot to anybody,
to is American jurisprudence. Under American it was actually their other co-heirs who sold
jurisprudence, actions to quiet title to property in their undivided portions,
the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. plaintiff's claim of ownership of the whole
The prevailing rule is that the right of a parcel of land, if ever it has basis, was
plaintiff to have his title to land quieted is not fraudulent, void, and without effect,
barred while the plaintiff or his grantors remain in that the Merlans have always been in open
actual possession of the land, claiming to be and peaceful possession of their
owners thereof. But the rule that the statute of undivided share of the lot throughout the
limitations is not available as a defense to in years from the first sale by their co-heirs,
action to remove a cloud from title can only be the other defendants were legitimate tenants
invoked by a complaint when he is in possession. and
If the plaintiff is not in possession of the property, the plaintiff should respect their rights over
the action to quite title may also prescribe. 1/3 of the land.
By the delivery of the possession of the PRIVATE RESPONDENTS included as third-
land, the sale was consummated and title was party defendant, Mariano Manalo whom they
transferred to NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON. charged might have connived with others
The action was actually not for specific including CORONEL to deprive them of their
performance, since all it sought is to quiet title, to share in the subject parcel of land. During trial,
remove the cloud cast upon their ownership as a the court found that the co-owners of PRIVATE
result of JOSEFINA and ZOSIMO GABAR's RESPONDENTS sold to Ignacio Manalo their 2/3
refusal to issue the deed of conveyance. Being that share of the same lot; and that Ignacio Manalo
NICANORA and FELIX BUCTON was in sold only the 2/3 share to third-party defendant
possession of the land, the action is Mariano Manalo, the predecessor-in-interest of
imprescriptible. Only in a case that the buyer did CORONEL. Consequently, there was a mistake
not possess the land, that their right may be when the Transfer Certificate of Title was issued
subject to prescription. to Mariano Manalo since it covered not only the
2/3 portion sold but the whole area of the land.

CORONEL vs. IAC


The lower court dismissed the complaint of
CORONEL and ruled in favor of PRIVATE FACTS
RESPONDENTS. In 1966, SPOUSES FLORENTINO and
On appeal, CORONEL contended that the VIVENCIA FERNANDEZ and SPOUSES
claim of the private respondents over their 1/3 ZENAIDA and JUSTIANO FERNANDEZ,
undivided portion of the land, 25 years after the purchased in common a parcel of land in Pag-asa
registration of the deed of sale in favor of Ignacio Subdivision, Quezon City. The parcel of land was
Manalo in 1950 and more than five (5) years after purchased for P15,500. SPOUSES FLORENTINO
the registration of the deed of sale in favor of and VIVENCIA advanced the downpayment of
Mariano Manalo is barred by prescription or P5,500 to the vendors. A Deed of Conditional Sale
laches. was executed by the vendors in favor of the two
couples.
ISSUE In 1967, the vendors executed a Deed of
Whether or not the claim was barred by Absolute Sale in favor of SPOUSES ZENAIDA and
prescription or laches. JUSTINIANO only. When SPOUSES
FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA learned that the
RULING Absolute Deed of Sale did not include their names
NO. The claim was neither barred by as vendees, they confronted SPOUSES ZENAIDA
prescription nor laches. and JUSTIANO. Hence, the latter spouses
The claim was not barred by prescription. As executed an affidavit in which they acknowledged
lawful possessors and owners of the lot in the sale to petitioners SPOUSES FLORENTINO
question, PRIVATE REPSPODNENT’s cause of and VIVENCIA.
action fell within the settled jurisprudence that an A duplex building was constructed on the
action to quiet title to property in one's possession subject land. The 2 units were occupied by the 2
is imprescriptible. Their undisturbed possession couples. In 1970, SPOUSES ZENAIDA and
over a period of more than 25 years gave them a JUSTINIANO caused the issuance of a certificate
continuing right to seek the aid of a court of of title only in their names.
equity to determine the nature of the adverse In 1976, SPOUSES ZENAIDA and
claim of a third party and the effect of his own JUSTINIANO filed a Petition for voluntary
title. If at all, the PRIVATE RESPONDENTS' right dissolution of their conjugal partnership. In the
to quiet title accrued only in 1975 when they were petition, the couple prayed for judicial approval
made aware of a claim adverse to their own, it of their compromise agreement wherein
was only at that time that the statutory period of Justiniano waived all his rights to the conjugal
prescription may be said to have commenced to properties including the subject parcel of land.
run against them. The court awarded said land to ZENAIDA. In
The claim was not also barred by laches. 1977, ZENAIDA demanded that SPOUSES
Laches has been defined as the failure or neglect, FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA vacate the
for an unreasonable and unexplained length of premises of the lot awarded to her.
time, to do that which by exercising due diligence In 1981, SPOUSES FLORENTINO and
could or should have been done earlier, it is VIVENCIA filed an action to quiet title and
negligence or omission to assert a right within a damages against ZENAIDA. The Court of
reasonable time, warranting a presumption that Appeals ruled in favor of JUSTIANA on the
the party entitled to assert it either has abandoned ground that the cause of action of SPOUSES
it or declined to assert it. The facts of the case FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA had already
show that the private respondents have always prescribed in view of the issuance in 1970 of a
been in peaceful possession of the 1/3 portion of certificate of title in the name of the Spouses
the subject lot, exercising ownership thereto for JUSTINIANO and ZENAIDA FERNANDEZ.
more than 25 years disrupted only in 1975, when Hence, this appeal.
the petitioner tried to remove them by virtue of
his title. It was only at this point that private ISSUE
respondents knew about the supposed sale of Whether or not the right of SPOUSES
their 1/3 portion of Lot 1950-A of the Naic Estate FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA had already
and they immediately resisted. prescribed in view of the issuance in 1970 of a
certificate of title in the name of the SPOUSES
JUSTINIANO AND ZENAIDA.
FERNANDEZ vs. CA
GR 83141. September 21, 1990 RULING
NO. Actions to quiet title to property in the
The court will treat an action for possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
reconveyance as an action to quiet title The issuance of a certificate of title in the
provided that it has all the requisites of the name appearing therein did not preclude
latter. SPOUSES FLORENTINO and VIVENCIA from
asserting their right of ownership over the land in
Actions to quiet title to property in the question. Time and again it has been ruled that
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. the torrens system should not be used as a shield
But if he is not in possession thereof, the right to protect fraud. Moreover, prescription could not
may as well prescribe and barred by be considered against SPOUSES FLORENTINO
acquisitive prescription. and VIVENCIA who had been in possession of
subject premises from the time it was purchased ancestors by operation of the law on
from the vendors in 1967 and continue to possess succession;
the same under claim of ownership. 2. they are real party in interest because they
Prescription cannot be invoked in an action will be benefited by the judgment or
for reconveyance, which is, in effect an action to entitled to the avails of the suit in their
quiet title against the plaintiff therein who is in own right, independent of any other
possession of the land in question. As lawful interest, but with the authority of the law;
possessor and owner of the disputed portion, her and
cause of action for reconveyance which, in effect, 3. since they are in possession of the land,
seeks to quiet title to property in one's possession an action to quiet title does not prescribe.
is imprescriptible. The lower court dismissed the complaint on
While the owner in fee continues liable to an the ground that the action had prescribed. It also
action, proceeding, or suit upon the adverse held that in an action to quiet title the plaintiff
claim, he has a continuing right to the aid of a must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in
court of equity to ascertain and determine the the real property which is the subject matter of the
nature of such claim and its effect on his title, or to action. It interpreted legal title to mean registered
assert any superior equity in his favor. He may ownership and equitable title to mean beneficial
wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is ownership.
attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right.
But the rule that the statute of limitations is not ISSUE
available as a defense of an action to remove a (1) Whether or not the right of SPOUSES
cloud from title can only be invoked by a MAMADSUAL had already prescribed.
complainant when he is in possession. (2) Whether or not the person seeking to quiet
his title must be the registered owner of the
property in question.
MAMADSUAL vs. MOSON
GR No. 92557. September 27, 1990 RULING
(1) NO. An action to quiet title is
Actions to quiet title to property in the imprescriptible if the plaintiffs are in possession
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. of the property.
But if he is not in possession thereof, the right It is an established rule of American
may as well prescribe and barred by jurisprudence (made applicable in this jurisdiction
acquisitive prescription. by Art. 480 of the New Civil Code) that actions to
quiet title to property in the possession of the
It is not necessary that the person seeking plaintiff am imprescriptible.
to quiet his title is the registered owner of the The prevailing rule is that the right of a
property in question because the law plaintiff to have his title to land quieted as against
embraces both legal and equitable owners. one who is asserting some adverse claim thereon,
is not barred while the plaintiff or his grantors
FACTS remain in actual possession of the land, claiming
In 1988, SPOUSES HADJI ALI and HADJI to be owners thereof. The reason for this rule
SALIKA MAMADSUAL filed a complaint against being that while the owner in fee continues liable
SPOUSES KAGUI ABDULA and KAGUI RAKMA to an action, proceeding, or suit upon the adverse
MACARAPAN for Quieting of Title To Property claim, he has a continuing right to the aid of a
and Annulment of Original Certificate of Title, with court of equity in his favor to ascertain and
the Shari'a District Court in Cotabato City. They determine the nature of such claim and its effect
claimed that they have been in open, continuous, on his title, or to assert any superior equity in his
exclusive and notorious possession of the land favor. He may wait until his possession is
since time immemorial in the concept of owners disturbed or his title is attacked before taking
though the same was registered in the name of steps to vindicate his right. But the rule that the
SPOUSES MACARAPAN. statute of limitations is not available as a defense
The SPOUSES MACARAPAN, on the other to an action to remove a cloud from title can only
hand, prayed that the case be dismissed because: be invoked by a complainant when he is in
SPOUSES MAMADSUAL had no title to the possession. One who claims property which is in
property, the possession of another must, it seems, invoke
they were not the proper parties to ask for his remedy within the statutory period.
the annulment or cancellation of the (2) NO. It is not necessary that the person
Certificates of Title of SPOUSES seeking to quiet his title is the registered owner of
MACARAPAN and the property in question.
the action, being based on an implied trust, Thus, "title'' to property does not
had already prescribed and could not necessarily mean the original transfer certificate of
therefore be maintained. title. It can connote acquisitive prescription by
SPOUSES MAMADSUAL rebutted that: possession in the concept of an owner thereof.
1.the title referred to by them in the Indeed, one who has an equitable right or interest
complaint meant the legal title or in the property may also file an action to quiet
ownership or dominion over the land in title under the law.
dispute acquired by them from their Since the action in this case is one to quiet
title to property whereby petitioners claim to have
acquired title to the same by prescription, the Whether or not the action of the HEIRS OF
property was thereby effectively withdrawn from DONASCO had already prescribed being based
the public domain and became property of private upon a written contract, has prescribed since it
ownership. Thus, the ruling of the trial court that was brought only in 1988 or more than ten years
the action being one for reversion only the from the time when the latter could have lawfully
Solicitor General can institute the same has no demanded performance.
cogent basis.
RULING
NO, the action had not prescribed. Although
PINGOL vs. CA the private respondents' complaint before the trial
GR No. 102909. September 6, 1993 court was denominated as one for specific
performance, it is in effect an action to quiet title.
The court will treat an action for specific The real and ultimate basis of the HEIRS OF
performance as an action to quiet title DONASCO’s' action was their ownership of one-
provided that it has all the requisites of the half of the lot coupled with their possession
latter. thereof, which entitled them to a conveyance of
the property. That a cloud has been cast on the
Actions to quiet title to property in the title of the HEIRS OF DONASCO’s was
possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible. indubitable. Despite the fact that the title had been
But if he is not in possession thereof, the right transferred to them by the execution of the deed
may as well prescribe and barred by of sale and the delivery of the object of the
acquisitive prescription. contract, the SPOUSES PINGOL adamantly
refused to accept the tender of payment by HEIRS
FACTS OF DONASCO and steadfastly insisted that their
VICENTE PINGOL was the owner of a obligation to transfer title had been rendered
registered land in Caloocan City. In 1969, he ineffective.
executed a Deed of Sale of ½ of an undivided Prescription thus could not be invoked against
portion of said land in favor Francisco N. Donasco the HEIRS OF DONASCO for it is aphoristic that
which was acknowledged before a notary public. an action to quiet title to property in one's
The agreed price was P25,000 where P2,000 shall possession is imprescriptible. The owner of real
be paid as advance payment and the remaining property who is in possession thereof may wait
balance, on equal installment basis for 6 years. until his possession is invaded or his title is
Thereafter, Donasco immediately took attacked before taking steps to vindicate his right.
possession of the subject lot and constructed a A person claiming title to real property, but not in
house thereon. In January 1970, he started paying possession thereof, must act affirmatively and
the monthly installments but was able pay only within the time provided by the statute.
up to 1972. When Donasco died in 1984, he left an Possession is a continuing right as is the right
unpaid balance of P10,161 for the contract price of to defend such possession. So it has been
said land. But the possession thereof, still determined that an owner of real property in
remained with DONASCO’s HEIRS, MELINDA possession has a continuing right to invoke a
D. PELAYO, MARIETTA D. SINGSON, MYRNA court of equity to remove a cloud that is a
D. CUEVAS, NATIVDAD D. PELAYO, continuing menace to his title.
YOLANDA D. CACERES and M ARY Such a menace is compared to a continuing
DONASCO. nuisance or trespass which is treated a successive
In 1988, the HEIRS OF DONASCO filed an nuisances or trespasses, not barred by statute until
action for Specific Performance to compel continued without interruption for a length of
VICENTE PINGOL to accept their offer to pay the time a sufficient to affect a change of title as a
balance of P10,161 plus the stipulated legal rate of matter of law.
interest thereon and to execute the final deed of
sale on the ½ portion of the lot. It was alleged that
VICENTE PINGOL rebuffed their offer and had HEIRS OF OLVIGA vs. CA
been demanding for a bigger and unreasonable GR No. 104813. October 21, 1993
amount, in complete variance to what was
lawfully due and payable. VICENTE PINGOL The court will treat an action for
however claimed that the HEIRS OF DONASCO's reconveyance as an action to quiet title
cause of action had already prescribed. provided that it has all the requisites of the
The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of the latter.
HEIRS OF DONASCO and ordered VICENTE
PINGOL to accept the payment of P10,161 and to Actions to quiet title to property in the
execute the final deed of sale on the ½ portion of possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.
the lot. It also ruled that THE HEIRS OF But if he is not in possession thereof, the right
DONASCO’s action was imprescriptible since it may as well prescribe and barred by
was akin to an action to quiet title to property in acquisitive prescription.
one's possession.
Hence, this appeal by SPOUSES VICENTE FACTS
and LOURDES PINGOL. In 1950, a parcel of land was still forest land
when Eutiquio Pureza, then only twelve years
ISSUE old, and his father cleared and cultivated it. In
1954, they introduced improvements such as fruit ownership is not a juridical person, nor is it
trees thereon. When the area was released for granted any form of juridical personality.
disposition, the Bureau of Lands surveyed the
same in 1956 in the name of Pureza and since  WHAT GOVERNS CO-OWNERSHIP?
then, the land had been known as Lot 13. 1) Contracts
In 1960, Pureza filed a homestead application 2) Special legal provisions
over Lot 13. Without his application having been 3) Provisions of the title on co-
acted upon, he transferred his rights in said lot to ownership
CORNELIO GLOR in 1961. Neither the
homestead application of Eutiquio nor the  SOURCES OF CO-OWNERSHIP
proposed transfer of his right to GLOR was acted
upon by the Director of Lands. a. by law – Art. 144 of the New Civil
GLOR’s neighbor was JOSE OLVIGA. Code –where marriage that is
OLVIGA occupied Lot 12 while GLOR occupied void;
Lot 13. In 1967, OLVIGA obtained a registered b. by contract – stipulation of the
title for said lot in a cadastral proceeding when he parties;
claimed both Lots 12 and 13, in fraud of the rights c. by chance – commixtion,
of GLOR and family, who were the real and actual confusion, hidden treasure
occupants of the land. As a result, both Lots 12 d. by occupation
and 13 were declared as uncontested in the name e. by succession or will – in case of
of OLVIGA. interests of heirs before partition.
Then, THE HEIRS OF GLOR, Angelita Glor
and her children, filed a case for reconveyance of KINDS OF OWNERSHIP
said land against the HEIRS OF OLVIGA. The
HEIRS OF OLVIGA contended that the right of  From the viewpoint of the subject matter:
action by the HEIRS OF GLOR had already been (1) Co-ownership of an undivided
barred by prescription. The appellate court ruled thing;
in favor of the HEIRS OF GLOR and declared that (2) Co-ownership of an undivided
such action was really one for quieting of title. right.
Thus, it did not prescribe.  From the viewpoint of source:
Hence,this appeal by the HEIRS OF OLVIGA. (1) Contractual co-ownership
(stipulation not to divide the
ISSUE property for 10 yrs)
Whether or not the action of the HEIRS OF (2) Non-contractual co-ownership (if
OLVIGA had already prescribed. the source is not a contract)
 From the viewpoint of the rights of the co-
RULING owners:
NO. An action for reconveyance of a parcel of (1) Tenancy in common
lands based on implied or constructive trust (2) Joint tenancy
prescribed in ten years, the point of reference
being the date of registration of the deed or the Characteristics:
date of the issuance of the certificate of title over
the property. But this rule applies only when the 1. plurality of subjects: Undivided thing owned
plaintiff is not in possession of the property, since by several persons.. lets say A B C: 1/3 interest
if a person claiming to be the owner thereof is in each but there is no boundary, no division only
actual possession of the property, the right to seek undivided interest. Unidentified noh.. hindi alam
reconveyance which in effect seeks to quiet title to ang metes and bounds.
the property, does not prescribe.
In the case at bar, the HEIRS OF OLVIGA and 2. singularity of object or unity of object. Only
their predecessors-in-interest were in actual one object: undivided thing
possession of the property since 1950. Their
undisturbed possession gave them the continuing 3. recognition of ideal shares : A recognizes B
right to seek the aid of a court of equity to and C as the co-owners; B recognizes A and C as
determine, the nature of the adverse claim of co-owners and C recognizes A and B as co-
petitioners, who in 1988 disturbed their owners. If one does not recognize the ideal shares
possession. of the other co-ownership. as a matter of fact, if he
repudiates their shares, then there is no co-
CO-OWNERSHIP ownership, because of the characteristic of ideal
shares.
ARTICLE 484: There is co-ownership whenever the
ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to Rules regarding ideal shares
different persons.
In default of contracts, or special provisions, 1. Each co-owner has full ownership of his part
co-ownership shall be governed by the provisions of and to the fruits of that ideal shares. So that if he
this Title. owns 1/3, he would also share 1/3 of the
proceeds.
Co-ownership - state where an undivided thing or 2. The co-owner may alienate, assign or encumber
right belongs to two or more persons. A co- his ideal share even without consent of other co-
owners. Of course this is the general rule, there issud by Escolastico to his 3 sons did not indicate
are exceptions like when personal rights are the particular area sold. The court also stated that
involved. what was then sold to the SPOUSES SI were still
undetermined and unidentifiable, as the area sold
SPOUSES SI vs. CA remains a portion of the whole. The brothers JOSE
GR No. 122047. October 12, 2000 and SEVERO, who were co-owners were not
informed of the notice and are then entitled to
After the physical division of the lot among redeem the sold property.
the brothers, the community ownership Hence, this appeal by the SPOUSES SI.
terminated, and the right of preemption or
redemption for each brother was no longer ISSUES
available. (1) Whether or not co-ownership existed
between the brothers SEVERO JR., CRISOSTOMO
Co-owners with actual notice of the sale are and JOSE.
not entitled to written notice. (2) Whether or not SEVERO has the right of
redemption.
FACTS
Escolastica, wife of Severo Armada, Sr. RULING
originally owned a 340-sq. m. of land situated in (1) NO, the co-ownership did not exist.
San Jose District, Pasay City. This was covered by Under Art. 484 of the Civil Code, there is
a Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT). In 1954, co-ownership whenever the ownership of an
during the lifetime of the spouses, Escolastica, undivided thing or right belongs to different
with the consent of her husband, transferred the persons. There is no co-ownership when the
property to their children. She executed 3 separate different portions owned by different people are
deeds of sale conveying 113.34 square meters of already concretely determined and separately
the property to and Dr. Severo R. Armada, and identifiable, even if not yet technically described.
113.33 square meters each to Crisostomo R. In the present case, the lot in question had
Armada and JOSE R. ARMADA. Thereafter, the already been partitioned extrajudicially when
Registry of Deeds issued another TCT in the their parents executed 3 deeds of sale in favor of
names of the three sons. Also in the title is an Jose, Crisostomo and Severo. The disputed land
annotation for the cancellation of said title by was not part of an undivided estate. The portion
virtue of the Deed of Sale dated 1979. It was sold to SPOUSES SI by Crisostomo and
executed by Cresenciana V. Alejo, as attorney-in- Cresenciana Armada was concretely determined
fact of Crisostomo R. Armada, conveying 113.34 and identifiable. The following facts support such
sq. m. of his inherited portion of the property in claim:
favor of ANITA BONODE SI, married to Serafin (1) the 3 deeds of absolute sale
D. Si for the sum of P75,000. The Registry of technically described the portion
Deeds then issued another TCT in lieu of the sold to each son,
other. (2) the portions belonging to the 3 sons
In 1980, spouses JOSE ARMADA and were separately declared for
REMEDIOS ALMANZOR (SPOUSES ARMADA) taxation purposes, and
filed a complaint for Annulment of Deed of Sale (3) JOSE's wife testified that they had
and Reconveyance against ANITA and SERAFIN been receiving rent from the
SI (SPOUSES SI). Conrado Isada, brother-in-law of property specifically allotted to Jose.
Cresenciana was also included in the complaint as The fact that the three portions are
he brokered the sale. embraced in one certificate of title did not make
The complaint alleged when the SPOUSES SI said portions less determinable or identifiable or
registered the deed of absolute sale, they inserted distinguishable, one from the other, nor that
the phrase that the co-owners were not interested dominion over each portion less exclusive, in their
in buying the same in spite of notice to them respective owners.
when in fact, the other co-owners, JOSE and (2) NO, they did not have the right of
Severo, Jr., had no written notice of the sale. redemption. After the physical division of the lot
The SPOUSES SI on the other hand, alleged among the brothers, the community ownership
that in 3 deeds of sale excuted by the 3 sons’ terminated, and the right of preemption or
mother Escolastica, it particularly described the redemption for each brother was no longer
portion conveyed to each son in metes and available.
bounds. They contended that that since the Moreover, JOSE ARMADA was well-
property was already 3 distinct parcels of land, informed of the impending sale of Crisostomo's
there was no longer co-ownership among the share in the land when the latter sent the former a
brothers. Hence, Jose and Severo, Jr. had no right letter. Co-owners with actual notice of the sale are
of redemption when Crisostomo sold his share to not entitled to written notice. A written notice is a
the SPOUSES SI. formal requisite to make certain that the co-
The trial court ruled for the SPOUSES SI and owners have actual notice of the sale to enable
dismissed the complaint. On appeal with the them to exercise their right of redemption within
Court of Appeals, said court reversed the decision the limited period of thirty days. But where the
of the trail court and ruled for SPOUSES co-owners had actual notice of the sale at the time
ARMADA. It ruled that there was still co- thereof and/or afterwards, a written notice of a
ownership between the 3 brothers since the TCT fact already known to them, would be
superfluous. The statute does not demand what is 1983, before the execution of the Contract to Sell
unnecessary. on July 1983.
BRUNO FRANZ FEHR however claimed that
Suite 204 of LCG Condominium to be his
MERCADO-FEHR vs. FEHR exclusive property as it was acquired on July
GR No. 122047. October 12, 2000 1983, prior to their marriage on March 1985.

A man and a woman who are capacitated to ISSUES


marry but are living together under a (1) Whether or not Suite 204 of LCG
marriage declared as void ab initio by the Condominium was exclusively owned by BRUNO
court for the husband’s psychological FRANZ FEHR.
incapacity,shall be coverned by co-ownership (2) Being that the marriage of ELNA
as to the properties they acquired during the MERCADO-FEHR and BRUNO FRANZ FEHR
cohabitation. As regards the settlement of the were declared to be void ab initio for the latter’s
common properties, the Civil Code provisions psychological incapacity, what economic regime
on co-ownership should apply. of property shall govern them?

FACTS RULING
ELNA MERCADO-FEHR filed a petition for (1) NO, it was not exclusively owned by BRUNO
declaration of nullity of marriage against FRANZ FEHR.
respondent BRUNO FRANZ FEHR on the ground It appears from the facts, as found by the trial
of psychological incapacity to comply with the court, that in March 1983, after two years of long-
essential marital obligations under Article 36 of distance courtship, petitioner left Cebu City and
the Family Code. After due proceedings, the trial moved in with respondent in the latter’s residence
court declared the marriage between petitioner in Metro Manila. Their relations bore fruit and
and respondent void ab initio under Article 36 of their first child, Michael BRUNO FRANZ FEHR,
the Family Code. The court also ordered the was born in 1983. The couple got married on
dissolution of their conjugal partnership of March 14, 1985. In the meantime, they purchased
property and in lieu thereof, a regime of complete on installment a condominium unit, Suite 204, at
separation of property between the said spouses LCG Condominium, as evidenced by a Contract
was established. The custody over the 2 minor to Sell dated 1983 executed by respondent as the
children, MICHAEL BRUNO MERCADO FEHR buyer and J.V. Santos Commercial Corporation as
and PATRICK FRANZ FEHR was hereby the seller. Petitioner also signed the contract as
awarded to ELNA MERCADO-FEHR, she being witness, using the name “Elna Mercado Fehr”.
the innocent spouse. Upon completion of payment, the title to the
ELNA MERCADO-FEHR then filed a motion condominium unit was issued in the name of
for reconsideration of said Order. She alleged that petitioner.
Suite 204 was purchased on installment basis at Hence, Suite 204 was acquired during the
the time when she and BRUNO FRANZ FEHR parties’ cohabitation. Accordingly, under Article
were living exclusively with each other as 147 of the Family Code, said property should be
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage. governed by the rules on co-ownership.
Hence the rules on co-ownership should apply in (2) What shall govern them is co-ownership.
accordance with Article 147 of the Family Code Article 147 applies to unions of parties who
and not the complete separation of property. She are legally capacitated and not barred by any
also proposed that the Upper Basement and the impediment to contract marriage, but without the
Lower Ground Floor of the LCG Condominium benefit of marriage, or whose marriage is
be adjudicated to her so that she could use the nonetheless void, as in the case at bar. This
income from the lease of said premises for the provision creates a co-ownership with respect to
support of the children, for the latter’s best the properties they acquire during their
interest. cohabitation.
The trial court held that since the marriage Any property acquired during the union is
between petitioner and respondent was declared prima facie presumed to have been obtained
void ab intio, the rules on co-ownership should through their joint efforts. A party who did not
apply in the liquidation and partition of the participate in the acquisition of the property shall
properties they own in common pursuant to still be considered as having contributed thereto
Article 147 of the Family Code. The court, jointly if said party’s “efforts consisted in the care
however, affirmed its previous ruling that Suite and maintenance of the family household.”
204 of LCG Condominium was acquired prior to The disputed property, Suite 204 of LCG
the couple’s cohabitation and therefore pertained Condominium, was purchased on installment
solely to BRUNO FRANZ FEHR. On appeal with basis on July 26, 1983, at the time when petitioner
the Court of Appeals, ELNA MERCADO-FEHR’s and respondent were already living together.
petition was dismissed for lack of merit. Hence, it should be considered as common
Hence, this appeal. She contended that the property of petitioner and respondent.
trial court’s order was erronoeous when it held The property regime of the parties should be
that Suite 204 of the LCG Condominium was the divided in accordance with the law on co-
exclusive property of BRUNO FRANZ FEHR, ownership. As regards the settlement of the
although it was established that they lived common properties of petitioner and respondent,
together as husband and wife beginning March the Civil Code provisions on co-ownership should
apply. Under Art. 484, in default of contracts or Whether or not the disputed portion of the
special provisions, co-ownership shall be property was owned by SULPICIA JIMENEZ as a
governed by the provisions of Title III of the Civil co-owner.
Code.
RULING
ARTICLE 485: The share of the co-owners, in the YES. SULPICIA JIMENEZ's title over her 1/2
benefits as well as in charges, shall be proportional to undivided property remained good and
their respective interests. Any stipulation in contract continued to be good when she segregated it into
to the contrary shall be void. a new title. She should be entitled for the relief of
recovery of the disputed property and be declared
RULES IN BENEFITS AND SHARES: as its sole and absolute owner with right to its
1. The share in the benefits and charges is possession and enjoyment. Since her uncle Carlos
proportional to interest of each. Hence, if one Jimenez died in 1936, his pro-indiviso share in the
co-owner owns 2/3, he shares 2/3 of the properties then owned in co-ownership with his
taxes. niece Sulpicia descended by intestacy to Sulpicia
2. Contrary stipulation is void. To do so would Jimenez alone because Carlos died without any
be to run against the nature of co-ownership. issue or other heirs.
3. Each co-owner share proportionally in the Melecia Jimenez, who sold the property in
accretion or alluvium of the property. This is question to TEODORA GRADO was not the
because an increase in the area benefits all. daughter of Carlos Jimenez and therefore, had no
right over the property in question. Melecia
JIMENEZ vs. FERNANDEZ Cayabyab in the absence of any voluntary
GR No. L-46364. April 6, 1990 conveyance to her by Carlos Jimenez or Sulpicia
Jimenez of the litigated portion of the land could
A property held in common, upon the death of not even legally transfer the parcel of land to
a co-owner who died without any issue or heir Edilberto Cagampan who accordingly, could not
shall be owned by the other co-owner. The also legally transfer the same to herein private
portions belonging to each are presumed to be respondents HOSPICIO FERNANDEZ and
equal. TEODORA GRADO.

FACTS ARTICLE 486: Each co-owner may use the thing


Fermin Jimenez owned a parcel of residential owned in common, provided he does so in accordance
land in Pangasinan. Fermin Jimenez had 2 sons with the purpose for which it is intended and in such
named Fortunato and Carlos Jimenez. This way as not to injure the interest if the co-ownership or
Fortunato Jimenez who predeceased his father prevent the other co-owners from using it according to
had only one child, petitioner SULPICIA their rights. The purposes of the co-ownership may be
JIMENEZ. After the death of Fermin Jimenez, the changed by agreement, express or implied.
entire parcel of land was registered under Act 496
in the name of Carlos Jimenez and SULPICIA 4. This article grants each co-owner the right to
JIMENEZ (uncle and niece) in equal shares pro- use the property for the purpose intended
indiviso. As a result, an OCT was issued in their (said purpose being alterable by express or
names. implied agreement). But:
Later, Carlos Jimenez and his illegitimate 1) the interest of the co-ownership must
daughter, Melecia Cayabyab, also known as not be injured or prejudiced;
Melecia Jimenez, took possession of the eastern 2) and the other co-owners must not be
portion of the property consisting of 436 sq. m. prevented from using it.
Melecia Jimenez sold said portion of the property
to Edilberto Cagampan. The latter also sold the ARTICLE 487: Any one of the co-owners may bring an
same property to respondent TEODORA action in ejectment.
GRADO, who has been in occupation since.
Subsequently, petitioner SULPICIA JIMENEZ 5. It is believed that ‘ejectment’ covers the
executed an affidavit adjudicating unto herself the following actions:
other half of the property appertaining to Carlos a) forcible entry
Jimenez, upon manifestation that she is the only b) unlawful detainer
heir of her deceased uncle. Consequently a TCT c) accion publicianca
was issued in her name alone. Then, SULPICIA d) accion reinvindicatoria
JIMENEZ and her husband, TORIBIO MATIAS e) quieting of title
instituted an action for the recovery of the eastern f) replevin
portion of the property consisting of 436 square
meters occupied by respondent TEODORA PUNSALAN vs. BOON LIAT
GRADO and her son. GR No. 18009. January 10, 1923
The trial court dismissed said complaint and
held TEODORA GRADO as the absolute owner of Co-owners file an action for recover not only
the property. On appeal with the Court of against strangers but also against a co-owner,
Appeals, the same decision was affirmed in toto. when the latter performs with respect to the
Hence, this appeal. thing held in common, acts for their exclusive
benefit, or of exclusive ownership, or which
ISSUE
are prejudicial to, and in violation of, the purchase the ambergris contained in the 3 trunks,
right of the community. but AHAMAD refused to sell it for the reason that
he was not the sole owner thereof, but owned it in
FACTS common with other persons who were in
In 1920, TAMSI saw from the Cawit-Cawit .Zamboanga. However, upon telling AHAMAD
shores in the Province of Zamboanga, a big bulky that he would answer whatever might happen,
object in the distance which attracted his AHAMAD sold the ambergris to HENRY E.
attention. Thereupon, together with BAYRULA, TECK and the Chinamen C. BOON LIAT, ONG
he went in a small boat to investigate and found it CHUA and GO TONG. He received down
to be a large fish. They then returned to shore and payment immediately and the remaining balance
requested others to held them catch the fish. 22 was paid later.
people rode in 3 small boats to catch said fish, When the other co-owners arrived at the
among them was respondent AHAMAD. After house of Maharaja Butu, together with the
having arrived at the place where the fish was, Chinamen buyers LIM CHIAT and CHEONG
which was found to be a whale, they proceeded to TONG, they found out that the ambergris was no
pull it toward the shore up to the mouth of the longer there. The 21 plaintiffs who had caught the
river, where they quartered it. They found in its whale (PUNSALAN ET AL.) and the Chinamen
abdomen a great quantity of ambergris, which buyers, Lim Chiat and Cheong Tong, who had
was placed in 3 sacks, 2 of which were full and the purchased from Tamsi the ambergris filed an
other half full. It was then taken to the house of action against C. BOON LIAT, ONG CHUA, GO
Maharaja Butu, where they left it to the care of TONG, HENRY E. TECK and AHAMAD. They
AHAMAD. claimed the 801 kilos of ambergris contained in
All of these twenty-two persons made an the 3 trunks or its value in the amount of P60,000
agreement that they were to be the sole owners of and damages in the sum of P20,000.
this ambergris and that none of them could sell it
without the consent of the rest. The contents of the ISSUES
2 full sacks were placed in three trunks. As to the (1) Whether or not the action was barred
half sack of ambergris they agreed that some of because one of the respondents AHAMAD was a
them should take it to Zamboanga to sell for the co-owner.
purpose of ascertaining the market price of the (2) Whether or not the sales made by TAMSI
ambergris, in order that they might dispose of the and AHAMAD were valid.
rest accordingly.
TAMSI, together with some of the co-owners RULING
went to Zamboanga to sell the half sack of (1) NO. It was no bar to the bringing of this
ambergris where they disposed of it to Chinamen action that the respondent AHAMAD is one of the
Lim Chiat and Cheong Tong. They also offered to co-owners. The action for recovery which each co-
sell the rest of the ambergris to them. After the owner has, derived from the right of ownership
Chinamen agreed so, they back to Cawit-Cawit to inherent in the co-ownership. The right may be
get the ambergris so sold. exercised not only against strangers but also
It appeared however that HENRY E. TECK against co-owners themselves, when the latter
also knew of the existence of the ambergris in the perform with respect to the thing held in
house of Maharaja Butu. Knowing that some of common, acts for their exclusive benefit, or of
the co-owners were away, he proposed to the exclusive ownership, or which are prejudicial to,
master of the revenue cutter Mindoro to go to and in violation of, the right of the community.
Cawit-Cawit to seize some supposedly In this case, the selling of the ambergris by the
contraband opium. They then immediately respondent AHAMAD as his exclusive property
proceeded to Cawit-Cawit, among them were and his attitude in representing himself to be the
HENRY E. TECK, Chinamen C. BOON LIAT, sole owner thereof placed him in the same
ONG CHUA and GO TONG, and some others position as the stranger who violated any right of
who were to assist in the arrest of the smugglers. the community. Hence, he was not sued as a co-
Upon arrival in the house of Maharaja Butu, owner for the cause of action is predicated upon
the master proceeded to search the house. He the fact that he has acted not as a co-owner but as
found 3 large trunks containing a black substance an exclusive owner of the ambergris sold by him.
which had a bad odor, stating that it was opium. (2) NO. The sales were not valid. The ambergris
When he asked the owner of the house to whom in question was the undivided common property
those trunks belonged to, the latter pointed to of the plaintiffs and the respondent AHAMAD.
AHAMAD. The latter stated that the contents This common ownership was acquired by
came from the abdomen of a large fish but the occupancy, so that neither TAMSI, IMAM
master, however insisted that it was opium and LUMUYOD, or IMAM ASAKIL had any right to
told AHAMAD that he would take the 3 trunks sell it, as they did, to LIM CHIAT and CHEONG
on board the ship to Zamboanga. AHAMAD and TONG, nor had the Moro Ahamad any right to
others asked permission of the master to sell this same ambergris, as he did, to C. BOON
accompany him on the voyage to Zamboanga, to LIAT, ONG CHUA, GO TONG, and HENRY E.
which the master consented. TECK. There was an agreement between the
When already on board and during the coowners not to sell this ambergris without the
voyage, the master became convinced that the consent of all. Both sales having been made
contents of the three trunks were not opium. without the consent of all the owners, the same
During the voyage, HENRY E. TECK offered to
have no effect, except as to the portion pertaining ownership of the other half as void and
to those who made them. fraudulent. As to the area pertaining to ABEJO,
DE GUIA claimed that he introduced
Note: An ambergris is a solid, opaque, waxy, improvements worth P500,000 and being a builder
ash-colored secretion from whales, which is in good faith, he asked that he should be
used in perfumery. reimbursed by ABEJO.
The court rendered judgment in favor of
ABEJO and ordered DE GUIA to return to the
DE GUIA vs. CA former, the ½ undivided portion of the 79,200 sq.
GR No. 120864. October 8, 2003 m. fishpond and to equally enjoy its benefits and
fruits until such time that partition of the property
Art. 487 covers all kinds of actions for the be effected. On appeal, with the Court of Appeals,
recovery of possession. A co-owner may file the court dismissed the petition for lack of merit.
an action for recovery of possession against a Agrrieved, DE GUIA petitioned the Supreme
co-owner who takes exclusive possession of Court for review. He claimed that an action for
the entire co-owned property. However, the recovery of possession and turn-over of the ½
only effect of such action is a recognition of undivided portion of a common property is not
the co-ownership. proper before partition and that the recovery of
rent was also erroneous since the exact identity of
Before partition, co-owners have joint right of the portion in question had not yet been clearly
dominion over property. defined and delineated.

FACTS ISSUES
2 parcels of land covering a fishpond with a (1) Whether an action for recovery of possession
total area of 79,220 sq. m., situated in Meycauayan, and turn-over of the ½ undivided portion of a
Bulacan was equally owned by Primitiva Lejano common property is proper before partition.
and Lorenza Araniego. The property was (2) Whether or not the recovery of rent is proper
registered in both their names. even if the exact identity of the portion in question
In 1974, the whole fishpond was the subject of had not yet been clearly defined and delineated.
a “Salin ng Pamumusisyong ng Palaisdaan” executed
by the heirs of Primitiva Lejano in favor of one RULING
Aniano Victa and petitioner MANUEL DE GUIA. (1) NO, partition is necessary to effect physical
Said Lease Contract was with the knowledge and division of the FISHPOND between ABEJO and
consent of Teofilo Abejo, sole heir of Lorenza DE GUIA.
Araniego. The contract provided that the period of Article 487 of the Civil Code provides, “[a]ny
lease shall be until 1979. one of the co-owners may bring an action in
Later, Teofilo Abejo acquired Lorenza ejectment.” This article covers all kinds of actions
Araniego Abejo’s ½ undivided share in the for the recovery of possession. Article 487
FISHPOND by intestate succession. In 1983, ½ of includes forcible entry, unlawful detainer,
the undivided portion owned by Araniego recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and
corresponding to 39,611 sq. m. was later recovery of ownership (accion de reivindicacion).
purchased by JOSE ABEJO from his father Teofilo A co-owner may file an action for recovery of
Abejo. possession against a co-owner who takes
When the contract expired and DE GUIA exclusive possession of the entire co-owned
failed to surrender the fishpond, written demands property. However, the only effect of such action
were made for him to pay back rental and to is a recognition of the co-ownership. The courts
vacate the premises in question. However, DE cannot proceed with the actual partitioning of the
GUIA refused to deliver possession and also to co-owned property.
pay the rentals due. Thus, judicial or extra-judicial partition is
In anticipation, however, that DE GUIA necessary to effect physical division of the
wouldl vacate the fishpond, JOSE ABEJO in 1983 FISHPOND between ABEJO and DE GUIA. An
entered into a 2-year “Kasunduan ng Buwisan ng action for partition is also the proper forum for
Palaisdaan” with Ruperto C. Villarico for P50,000. accounting the profits received by DE GUIA from
This contract had to be cancelled and the the FISHPOND.
consideration was also returned because DE GUIA However, as a necessary consequence of such
refused to vacate the fishpond. recognition of co-ownership, ABEJO shall exercise
Hence, in 1986 ABEJO filed an action for an equal right to possess, use and enjoy the entire
recovery of possession of ½ of his share of the said FISHPOND. Hence, ABEJO and DE GUIA had
fishpond with damages against DE GUIA. become owners of the whole and over the whole,
On the other hand, DE GUIA contended that they exercise the right of dominion. However,
ABEJO was not the owner of the entire they were at the same time individual owners of a
FISHPOND but one Maxima Termulo who died ½ portion, which is truly abstract because until
intestate with Primitiva Lejano as her only heir. there is partition, such portion remains
The entire fishpond with an area of 79,200 sq. m. indeterminate or unidentified. As co-owners,
was leased to him by the heirs of Primitiva Lejano. ABEJO and DE GUIA may jointly exercise the
Subsequently, he became the absolute owner of ½ right of dominion over the entire FISHPOND
of the undivided area of the fishpond from the until they partition the FISHPOND by identifying
heir of Lejano and he questioned ABEJO’s or segregating their respective portions.
(2) YES, recovery of rent is proper even if the Art 488, they still have to reimburse.
exact identity of the portion in question had not The co-owner who failed to make
yet been clearly defined and delineated was notification has the burden of proof to
proper. prove the reasonableness of the
The Lejano Heirs and Teofilo Abejo agreed to expenses. And if he failed to prove
lease the entire FISHPOND to DE GUIA. After the reasonableness of the expenses
DE GUIA’s lease expired in 1979, he could no then he must take care of the
longer use the entire FISHPOND without paying difference, he must take care of the
rent. To allow DE GUIA to continue using the excess.
entire FISHPOND without paying rent would
prejudice ABEJO’s right to receive rent, which ADILLE vs. CA
would have accrued to his ½ share in the GR No. 44546. January 29, 1988
FISHPOND had it been leased to others.
Since ABEJO acquired his ½ undivided share When a co-owner has repurchased a property
in the FISHPOND on 22 November 1983, DE held in common with his own funds alone, it
GUIA should pay ABEJO reasonable rent for his did not terminate the co-ownership. The
possession and use of ABEJO’s portion beginning expenses he incurred shall be subject to
from that date. reimbursement from the remaining co-
owners.
ARTICLE 488: Each co-owner shall have the right to
compel the other co-owners to contribute o the expenses FACTS
of preservation of the thing or right owned in common Leliza Alzul originally owned a lot of the
and to the taxes. Any one of the latter may exempt Cadastral Survey of Albay in Legaspi City,
himself from this obligation by renouncing so much of containing an area 11,325 sq. m. Alzul married
his undivided interest as may be equivalent to his share twice in her lifetime. The first, marriage was with
of the expenses and taxes, no such waiver shall be made one Bernabe Adille, with whom she had as an
if it is prejudicial to the co-ownership. only child, herein petitioner RUSTICO ADILLE.
The second, was with one Procopio Asejo, with
ARTICLE 489: Repairs for preservation may be made whom she has 5 children, herein respondents
at the will of one of the co-owners, but he must, if EMETERIA ASEJO, TEODORICA ASEJO,
practicable, first notify his co-owners of the necessity DOMINGO ASEJO, JOSEFA ASEJO, and
for such repairs. Expenses to improve or embellish the SANTIAGO ASEJO (ASEJOs).
thing shall be decided upon by a majority as In 1939, Alzul sold the property in pacto de
determined in Article 492. retro to certain 3rd persons with a period of 3
years for repurchase. She died in 1942 without
 Two (2) kinds of repair: being able to redeem said property. However,
(1) repair for the preservation of the after her death, but during the period of
thing; redemption, RUSTICO ADILLE repurchased by
o These are necessary expenses to himself alone said property. In 1955, he executed a
preserve the thing owned in deed of extra-judicial partition representing
common. himself to be the only heir and child of his mother
o They may be made by the will of that he was able to secure a title, transferring the
one of the co-owners. A co-owner said property registered in the name of his
can actually go ahead and repair mother, in his name alone.
the thing owned in common but After some efforts of compromise had failed,
he must notify his co-owners of ADILLE’s half-brothers and sisters, the ASEJOs
the necessity for such repairs. So filed an action for partition with accounting on
he does not need to acquire the the position that he was only a trustee on an
consent. implied trust when he redeemed said property.
(2) Repair for improvement or ADILLE also filed a counterclaim against her half-
embellishment. sister and one of the defendants herein
 These are not necessary EMETERIA ASEJO, who was found to be in
repairs but repairs to improve possession of a portion of said property to vacate
the thing co-owned. the premises.
The trial court declared ADILLE as absolute
REQUIREMENT: It must be made by the owner of the property in question and
financial majority, as determined under Art. 492. condemned EMETRIA ASEJO to vacate the
o Financial majority - co-owners who property. The Court of Appeals though, ruled in
represent the controlling interest of favor of the ASEJOs. Aggrieved, ADILLE file this
the object of the co-ownership. petition. He contended that the property subject
of dispute devolved upon him upon the failure of
o Rule if notification was practicable his coheirs to join him in its redemption within
but not made: the period required by law.
o The other co-owners may claim that
had they been notified they could ISSUE
have found cheaper materials and Whether or not a ADILLE who was a co-
therefore they should pay less than owner may acquire
what is being charged. But because of
exclusive ownership over the property he held in
common with the ASEJOs?  Condominium - It is an interest in a real
property consisting of:
RULING  Separate interest in a unit of a building as
NO. The right of repurchase may be exercised sole ownership. Sole ownership with
by a co-owner with respect to his share alone. respect to the unit.
While the records show that the petitioner  An individual interest with respect to the
redeemed the property in its entirety, shouldering common areas like the land, stairs, beams,
the expenses therefore, that did not make him the elevators, and other common areas. And,
owner of all of it. In other words, it did not put to this is co-ownership.
end the existing state of co-ownership.  In condominium, there is sole ownership
There is no doubt that redemption of property and co-ownership at the same time.
entails a necessary expense. Necessary expenses  A condominium is actually a corporation.
then may be incurred by one co-owner, subject to When you a buy a unit in a condo, you
his right to collect reimbursement from the become a member of the condominium
remaining co-owners under Art. 488. corporation.
The redemption by one co-heir or co-owner of  A condominium is the exception to the
the property in its totality does not vest in him constitutional provision that ‘aliens
ownership over it. Failure on the part of all the co- cannot own properties in the Philippines.’
owners to redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to  Condo units can be sold to aliens
retain the property and consolidate title thereto in provided that 60% of the condo is owned
his name. But the provision does not give to the by Filipinos
redeeming co-owner the right to the entire
property. It does not provide for a mode of SUNSET VIEW vs. CAMPOS
terminating a co-ownership. GR Nos. 52361 & 52524. April 27, 1981
Neither does the fact that the petitioner had
succeeded in securing title over the parcel in his Ownership over a condominium unit is
name terminate the existing co-ownership. While acquired by the buyer only after he had paid
his half-brothers and sisters are, as we said, liable the purchase price. The ownership of the unit
to him for reimbursement as and for their shares is what makes the buyer a shareholder in the
in redemption expenses, he cannot claim condominium.
exclusive right to the property owned in common.
Registration of property is not a means of FACTS
acquiring ownership The petitioner SUNSET VIEW
CONDOMINIUM CORPORATION was a
ARTICLE 490: Whenever the different stories of a Condominium Corporation within the meaning of
house belong to different owners, if the titles of The Condominium Act (RA 4726). It filed 2
ownership do not specify the terms under which they separate cases against private respondents
should contribute to the necessary expenses and there AGUILAR-BERNARES REALTY and LIM SIU
exists no agreement on the subject, the following rules LENG. The court consolidated the 2 cases being
shall be observed: that it involved similar facts and raised identical
questions of law.
(1.) The main and party walls, the roof and the
other things used in common, shall be GR No. 52361
preserved at the expense of all the owners in Private respondent AGUILAR-BERNARES
proportion to the value of the story belonging REALTY was a registered business owned and
to each; operated by the spouses Emmanuel and Zenaida
B. Aguilar. It was the assignee of a unit, "Solana",
(2.) Each co-owner shall bear the cost of in the SUNSET VIEW CONDOMINIUM PROJECt
maintaining the floor of his story; the floor of with LA PERLA COMMERCIAL
the entrance, front door, common yard and INCORPORATED, as assignor. LA PERLA
sanitary works common to all, shall be bought the "Solana" unit on installment from the
maintained at the expense of all the owners Tower Builders, Inc. In 1979, SUNSET VIEW
pro rata. CONDO, filed for the collection of assessments
levied on the unit against AGUILAR REALTY.
(3.) The stairs from the entrance to the first story The latter filed a motion to dismiss.
shall be maintained at the expense of all the
owners pro rata, with the exception of the GR No. 52524
owner on the ground floor, the stairs from the In 1977, Private respondent LIM SIU LENG
first to the second story shall be preserved at was assigned a unit called "Alegria" of the Sunset
the expense of all, except the owner of the View Condominium Project by Alfonso Uy who
ground floor and the owner of the first story, had entered into a "Contract to Buy and Sell" with
and so on successively. Tower Builders, Inc. over the said unit on
installment basis. In 1979, SUNSENT VIEW
 Art. 490 talks about perpendicular co- CONDO filed an action for the collection of
ownership. overdue accounts on assessments and insurance
premiums and the interest thereon from LIM. LIM
Condominium Act, RA 4726. filed a motion to dismiss on the ground that by
having purchased the condominium unit, she has thereof is not the owner of the unit and
automatically become a stockholder of SUNSET consequently is not a shareholder of the
VIEW CONDO, pursuant to Sec. 2 of The Condominium Corporation.
Condominium Act. Hence, the dispute being Third. Under The Condominium Act,
intra-corporate should have been under the ownership of a unit is a condition sine qua non to
exclusive jurisdiction of the Securities & Exchange being a shareholder in the Condominium
Commission as provided in Sec. 5 of P.D. No. 902- Corporation. It follows that a purchaser of a unit
A. who is not yet the owner thereof for not having
fully paid the full purchase price, is not a
The respondent JUDGE JOSE C. CAMPOS shareholder. By necessary implication, the
dismissed the 2 cases and opined that AGUILAR "separate interest" in a condominium, which
REALTY and LIM, respectively were holders of a entities the holder to become automatically a
separate interest pursuant to Sec. 2 of The shareholder in the Condominium Corporation, as
Condominium Act. Thus, being a shareholder of provided in Sec. 2 of the Condominium Act, can
SUNSET VIEW CONDO, the case should have be no other than ownership of a unit. This is so
been filed with the Securities & Exchange because nobody can be a shareholder unless he is
Commission which had exclusive original the owner of a unit and when he ceases to be the
jurisdiction on controversies arising between owner, he also ceases automatically to be a
shareholders of the corporation. A motion for shareholder.
reconsideration was also denied. The private respondents, therefore, who have
Aggrieved, SUNSET VIEW CONDO filed a not fully paid the purchase price of their units and
petition to review with the Court of Appeals. In are consequently not owners of their units are not
both cases, private respondents therein AGUILAR members or shareholders of the petitioner
REALTY and LIM argued that every purchaser of Condominium Corporation. Being that they were
a condominium unit, regardless of whether or not not shareholders in the Condominium
he has fully paid the purchase price, is a "holder of Corporation, the Securities and Exchange
a separate interest" mentioned in Sec. 2 of The Commission did not have jurisdiction over the
Condominium Act and is automatically a case.
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation.
Art. 491: None of the co-owners shall, without the
ISSUE consent of the others, make alterations in the thing
Whether or not AGUILAR REALTY and LIM, owned in common, even though benefits for all would
who had not yet fully paid the purchase price of result therefrom. However, if the withholding of the
the condominium units they respectively bought consent by one or more of the co-owners is clearly
from SUNSET VIEW CONDO had automatically prejudicial to the common interest, the courts may
become a stockholder of the Condominium afford adequate relief.
Corporation.
 Act of alteration is an act of ownership,
RULING not merely an act of administration.
NO. Sec. 5 of The Condominium Act (RA  there is a need for the unanimity of
4726) expressly provides that the shareholding in consent
the Condominium Corporation will be conveyed  Consent here may be tacit or express
only in a proper case. It is clear then that not
every purchaser of a condominium unit is a Effect of a tacit consent:
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation. the co-owner who is deemed to have tacitly
The court held that a purchaser of a consented to the alteration cannot ask for
condominium unit shall only become a its demolition, neither can he be held
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation. liable to answer for any part of the
The court premised it on the Master Deed of the expenses incurred therein because the
condominium, the deed of conveyance and The obligation to pay such expenses cannot be
Condominium Act itself. deemed to be the subject of his tacit
First. The Condominium Act leaves to the consent, unless he wants or if he derives
Master Deed the determination of when the benefit out of the new undertaking, then
shareholding will be transferred to the purchaser the other co-owners may compel him to
of a unit. The Master Deed states that the contribute.
shareholding in the Condominium Corporation is
inseparable from the unit to which it is only Alteration: Characteristics:
appurtenant, and that only the owner of a unit is a 1) Alteration is a change which is
shareholder in the Condominium Corporation. more or less permanent in
Second. In both deeds of conveyance entered character.
into by AGUILAR REALTY and LIM, it was 2) It changes the use of the thing
provided that only after the full payment of the owned in common.
purchase price shall the buyer of the 3) It prejudices the condition of co-
condominium unit be granted shares of stocks. ownership or the enjoyment by
Consequently, even under the contract, it is only others.
the owner of a unit who is a shareholder of the Examples of alteration:
Condominium Corporation. Hence, a purchaser sale, donation, mortgage, voluntary easement
of a unit who has not paid the full purchase price
When is the alteration illegal? SEGUNDO JAVIER. Since then, it had been
1. When the co-owner does not ask occupied by his children and that no one of these
for the consent of the other co- children ever made any claim to the ownership
owners; thereof, and no one of them ever occupied the
2. when he asks for the consent of property as owner. Thereon, SEGUNDO and his
the other co-owners but they wife ISABEL HERNANDEZ constructed a house
object; thereon.
3. When he proceeds with the Subsequently, LONGINOS, as administrator
alteration even though the other of the estate of his father filed an action in court
c0-owners object. contesting ownership over the house and lot. The
 So, what is the effect of illegal alteration lower court ruled that the land belonged to
without the consent? The co-owner LONGINOS as administrator of the estate of his
responsible may lose what has spent; the father while the house was owned by respondents
demolition may be compelled; the co- ISABEL HERNANDEZ and her son MANUEL
owner responsible will be liable for losses RAMON JAVIER. Judgment was rendered in
and damages to the other co-owners. favor of LONGINOS for the possession of the
 But whatever benefits the co-ownership property but SEGUNDO ET AL. were given a
derives belong to it. For example, the reasonable opportunity to remove the house.
house has already been built, B and C On appeal, SEGUNDO ET AL. contended that
were abroad, they were not informed the case should be decided by an application of
about the construction and when they the principles of law relating to the community of
came back, they saw the house, can B and property because a community of property
C benefit? YES. existed as the house was owned by them while
 In case a house is constructed on a the land by the LONGINOS. They also declared
common lot, all the co-owners will be that they were possessors in good faith and that
entitled to a proportionate share of the they should be reimbursed for the construction of
rent. the house.

 Take note of the unanimity of consent. If ISSUES


it involves acts of ownership, there must (1) Whether or not there is a co-ownership
be unanimity of consent. If it merely when the house and the land are owned by
involves acts of administration, then different persons.
majority may suffice. (2) Whether or not SEGUNDO ET AL. was
entitled for reimbursement for the construction of
THE FF. ARE ACTS OF the house.
ADMINISTRATION:
1) They are those that do not involve an RULING
alteration; (1) NO. The ownership of a house by one
2) Those that maybe renewed from time to time. person, and of the land on which it stands by
What are the acts of administration which another does not create a community of property
may be renewed from time to time? For Such a condition of affairs did not create a
example, the co-ownership, A and B own a community of property. If, on the other hand, it
hotel and they want to change the manager, was meant that community of property existed
that’s an act of administration. because the land itself belonged to the heirs of
3) Those that have transitory effect, that is, do Manuel Javier, and that two of the respondents
not bind the co-ownership for a long time in were such heirs, it can be said that the decision of
the future; the court below was fully as favorable to the
4) Those that do not give rise to a real right over appellants as it could be.
the thing owned in common; (2) NO, he should not be entitled for
5) Those, which even if called an alteration, do reimbursement of the house he constructed
not affect the substance or nature of the thing. thereon.
SEGUNDO could not claim for
JAVIER vs. JAVIER reimbursement a builder in good faith since he
GR No. 2812. October 18, 1906 was in bad faith as he and his wife had always
believed that the land did not belong to them but
The ownership of a house by one person, and belonged to the estate of Manuel Javier.
of the land on which it stands by another, He could not also be reimbursed under Art.
does not create a community of property. 491 (then Art. 397) of the Civil Code, which relates
to improvements made upon the common
If a co-owner has constructed an property by one of the co-owners. The burden of
improvement on the land without the consent proof was on SEGUNDO ET AL. to show that the
of the other co-owners, he shall have no right house was built with the consent of their co-
of reimbursement. tenants. According to Manresa, Even if a tacit
consent was shown, this would not require such
FACTS co-tenants to pay for the house.
Since 1860, a parcel of lot locate in Malate,
Manila was owned by Manuel Javier, father of ARTICLE 492: For the administration and better
petitioner LONGINOS JAVIER and respondent employment of the thing owned in common, the
resolutions of the majority of the co-owners shall be co-owner alienates his undivided share to
binding. a stranger, the other co-owner has the
There shall be no majority unless the right of legal redemption.
resolution is approved by the co-owners who represent 4. He may even substitute another person in
the controlling interest in the object of the co- its enjoyment except when personal rights
ownership. are involved. For example, my 1/3 share
Should there by no majority, or should the shall be given to my son, I can do that.
resolution of the majority be seriously prejudicial to 5. He may exempt himself from necessary
those interested in the property owned in common, the expenses and taxes by renouncing part of
court, at the instance of an interested party, shall order his interest in the co-ownership.
such measures as it may deem proper, including the
appointment of an administrator.  Each co-owner shall have the full
Whenever a part of the thing belongs ownership of his part and of the fruits
exclusively to one of the co-owners and the remainder and benefits pertaining thereto, and he
is owned in common, the preceeding provisions shall may therefore alienate, assign or
apply only to the part owned in common. mortgage it, and even substitute another
person in its enjoyment, except when
 The phrase "administration and better personal rights are involved. But the
enjoyment" contemplates acts or decisions effect of the alienation or the mortgage,
for the common benefit of all the co- with respect to the co-owners, shall be
owners and not for the benefit of only one limited to the portion which may be
of the co-owner or some of them. allotted to him in the division upon the
termination of the co-ownership.
 Financial majority refers to those who
represent a controlling interest in the
object of co-ownership. So you look at the MERCADO vs. LIWANAG
percentage of ownership of the particular GR No. L-14429. June 30, 1962
co-owner.
 The general rule is a financial majority's What a co-owner may dispose of under
decision is sufficient, only that it requires Article 493 is only his undivided aliquot
notice to such minority. Exception, in share, which shall be limited to the portion
cases of extreme urgency and the which may be allotted to him upon the
impracticability of giving notice, as one of termination of the co-ownership. He has no
the co-owners is nowhere to be found. right to divide the property into parts and
then convey one part by metes and bounds.
Now, when may the court interfere
with the division spend for improvement FACTS
or embellishment? Petitioner RAMON MERCADO and his wife,
1. when there is no financial BASILIA MERCADO, as co-owners, owned a
majority or according to parcel of land in Quezon City, with an area of
provision; or 4,392 sq. m. Said land was registered in both their
2. even if there is financial names. In 1956, without the consent of his wife,
majority, if the resolution RAMON MERCADO sold half of the said land
of the majority is seriously with an area of 2,196 sq. m. at P70 per sq. m. to
prejudicial to those respondent PIO D. LIWANAG. A Deed of Sale was
interested in the property subsequently executed which described the sold
owned in common. property in metes and bounds.
 However, the court cannot interfere motu When LIWANAG registered the Deed of Sale,
propio without any case filed by an he found out that out of the total area of 4,392 sq.
interested party. m., an area consisting of 391 sq. m. was
expropriated by the National Power Corporation
ARTICLE 493: Each so-owner shall have the full sometime in 1953 at a price of P10 per sq. m.
ownership of his part, and of the fruits and benefits Pursuant to the Deed of Sale, aTCT was issued in
pertaining thereto and he may therefore alienate, the name of LIWANAG and BASILIA
assign, or mortgage it, and even substitute another MERCADO.
person in its enjoyment, except when the personal Later, RAMON and BASILIA MERCADO
rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or filed an action in court to annul the Deed of Sale
the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be based on Art. 493 of the Civil Code. For his part,
limited to the portion which maybe allotted to him in LIWANAG submitted a receipt of a check signed
the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. by RAMON MERCADO and a promissory note.
However, RAMON MERCADO disclaimed
 What are the rights of the co-owner payment and receipt of such check and
with respect to his ideal share? promissory note, the check being un-encashed
1. He has full ownership of his part. and is still in the possession of one Atty. de
2. He has full ownership of the fruits of their Gracia.
part and the benefits. The trial court however, held that under Art.
3. Each co-owner may alienate, assign, or 493 of the Civil Code, the sale in question was
mortgage his undivided share. When a valid and so it dismissed the complaint.
Hence, this appeal. SPOUSES MERCADO of several real estate properties located in Quezon
alleged that the Deed of Sale sought to be annulled City and Caloocan City, with a conservative
because RAMON MERCADO disposed of a estimated value of about P30 million. His estate
divided and determinate half of the land under has several unsettled claims. He was succeeded
co-ownership when in the TCT, only stated that by eight heirs. Two of whom, were petitioners
what was merely sold was an undivided half- HERODOTUS (administrator) and
share of the property DEMOSTHENES (PETITIONER HEIRS) and the
others, private respondents MIGUEL,
ISSUE ALEXANDER, NAPOLEON, RIZALINO,
Whether or not a Deed of Sale may be validly REPUBLICA and FILIPINAS (RESPONDENT
annulled. HEIRS), all of whom were surnamed ACEBEDO.
In 1989, due to the prolonged pendency of the
RULING settlement of the estate of the deceased before the
NO, the Deed of Sale may not be validly respondent court under JUDGE BERNARDO P.
annulled. ABESAMIS for 16 years, RESPONDENT HEIRS
What a co-owner may dispose of under filed a Motion for Approval of Sale. The said sale
Article 493 is only his undivided aliquot share, involved the properties, which formed part of the
which shall be limited to the portion which may estate. The consideration for said lots was twelve
be allotted to him upon the termination of the co- P12 million and by that time, they already had a
ownership. He has no right to divide the property buyer. In the motion, it was also alleged by the
into parts and then convey one part by metes and RESPONDENT HEIRS that they had already
bounds. received their proportionate share of the P6
In the deed of sale, MERCADO transferred and million paid by the buyer, YU HWA PING, as
conveyed to LIWANAG his title and interests on earnest money. They also averred that the
half of the portion of said property in metes ad remaining balance of P6 million was more than
bounds. Nevertheless, upon registration of the enough to pay the unsettled claims against the
sale, the new TCT did not reproduce the estate. Thus, they prayed for the Court to direct
description in the instrument but carried the the administrator, HERODOTUS ACEBEDO to
names of PIO D. LIWANAG and BASILIA sell the properties, to pay all the claims against the
MERCADO as co-owners pro-indiviso. estate with the balance of P6 million, and to
As far as Basilia Mercado is concerned she distribute the residue among the Heirs in final
retained in all their integrity her rights as co- settlement of the Estate.
owner which she had before the sale, and However, Petitoner-administrator
consequently she had no cause to complain. Much HERODOTUS ACEBEDO, interposed an
less has Ramon Mercado, for it was he who was Opposition to Approval of Sale, wherein he
responsible for whatever indicia there may be in contended that some of the real properties left by
the deed of sale that a determinate portion of the their father was sold at a shockingly low price
property was being sold. without the consent of the court. PETITIONER
The title is the final and conclusive repository HEIRS also moved that they be given 45 days to
of the rights of the new co-owners. The question look for a buyer who was willing to pay the
of whether or not the Deed of Sale should be properties at a price higher than P12 million.
annulled must be considered in conjunction with However, during hearing, the PETITIONER
the title issued pursuant thereto. Since, according HEIRS did not find any buyer offering better
to the title, what LIWANAG acquired by virtue of terms that they asked for a 30-day extension.
the sale is only an undivided half-share of the After having miserably failed to find a better
property, which under the law the vendor buyer for 7 months, Petitoner-administrator
RAMON MERCADO had the absolute right to HERODOTUS ACEBEDO filed another Opposition
dispose of, the trial court committed no error in to Approval of Sale. The court issued an order
dismissing the action. The end-result of the denying the petition of the RESPONDENT HEIRS
transaction is in accordance with Article 493 of the to sell the properties in favor of YU HWA PING.
Civil Code. Later, the court issued an order resolving to
call the parties to a conference but during the
conference, still, the parties were unable to arrive
ACEBEDO vs. ABESAMIS at an agreement. Later, it was agreed by the he
GR No. 102380. January 18, 1993 parties that the heirs be allowed to sell their
shares of the properties to YU HWA PING for the
It is within the jurisdiction of the probate price already agreed upon while herein
court to approve the sale of properties of a PETITIONER HEIRS negotiated for a higher price
deceased person by his prospective heirs before with YU HWA PING.
final adjudication. Subsequently, PETITIONER HEIRS instead
filed a Supplemental Opposition to the approval of
An heir can sell his ideal share including the the Deed of Conditional Sale. However, the Court in
rights, interests, or participation he may have its decision, approved the Conditional Sale
in the property held in common under executed by the REPONDENT HEIRS in favor of
administration. YU HWA PING, pertaining to their respective
shares in the properties. Petitioner-administrator
FACTS Herodotus Acebedo was then ordered to sell the
The late Felix Acebedo left an estate consisting remaining portions of the said properties also in
favor of Yu Hwa Ping at the same price.
Pending resolution the Motion for Execution Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his
of the Order filed by RESPONDENT HEIRS, undivided share, a sale of the entire property
PETITIONER HEIRS filed a petition for certiorari. by one co-owner without the consent of the
They maintained that said Conditional Sale was other co-owners is not null and void.
null and void for lack of prior court approval. However, only the rights of the co-owner-
seller are transferred, thereby making the
ISSUES buyer a co-owner of the property.
(1) Whether or not the lower court acting as a
probate court may validly issue an order FACTS
approving the Deed of Conditional Sale executed A parcel of land with an area of 48,849 square
by RESPONDENT HEIRS without prior court meters was covered by an OCT in the names of
approval and to order PETITIONER- Rosalia, Gaudencio, SABINA, Bernabe, Nenita
ADMINISTRATOR to sell the remaining portion and Delia Bailon, as co-owners, each with a 1/6
of said properties. share. Gaudencio and Nenita were then dead, the
(2) Whether or not an heir can sell whatever latter being represented in this case by her
right, interest, or participation he may have in the children Luz, Emma and Nilda. Bernabe went to
property under administration r China in 1931 and had not been heard from since
then.
RULING In 1948, Rosalia and Gaudencio Bailon sold a
(1) YES. it is within the jurisdiction of the portion of the said land consisting of 16,283
probate court to approve the sale of properties of square meters to Donato Delgado. A year after,
a deceased person by his prospective heirs before Rosalia alone sold the remainder of the land
final adjudication. This authority is necessarily consisting of 32,566 square meters to Ponciana V.
included in its capacity as a probate court. Aresgado de Lanuza. On the same date, Lanuza
Therefore, it is clear that the probate court in the acquired from Delgado the 16,283 sq. m. of land,
case at bar, acted within its jurisdiction in issuing which the latter had earlier acquired from Rosalia
the Order approving the Deed of Conditional and Gaudencio. In 1975, John Lanuza, acting
Sale. under a special power of attorney given by his
The position maintained by herein petitioners wife, Ponciana V. Aresgado de Lanuza, sold the
that said conditional sale is null and void for lack two parcels of land to CELESTINO AFABLE.
of prior court approval was erroneous. The sale In all these transfers, it was stated in the
precisely was made conditional, the condition deeds of sale that the land was not registered
being that the same should first be approved by under the provisions of Act No. 496 when the fact
the probate court. was that it was.
This is a matter, which comes under the In 1981, petitionners DELIA BAILON-
jurisdiction of the probate court. CASILAO, LUZ PAULINO-ANG, EMMA
(2) YES, an heir can sell whatever right, interest, PAULINO-YBANEZ, NILDA PAULINO-
or participation he may have in the property TOLENTINO, and SABINA BAILON (BAILONs)
under administration. The right of an heir to filed a case for recovery of property and damages
dispose of the decedent's property, even if the with notice of lis pendens herein private
same is under administration, is based on the respondent, CELESTINO AFABLE.
Civil Code provision stating that the possession of In his defense, AFABLE claimed that he had
hereditary property is deemed transmitted to the acquired the land in question through
heir without interruption and from the moment of prescription and contended that the BAILONs
the death of the decedent, in case the inheritance were guilty of laches. He later filed a third-party
is accepted. Where there are however, two or complaint against Rosalia for damages allegedly
more heirs, the whole estate of the decedent is, suffered as a result of the sale to him of the land.
before its partition, owned in common by such After trial, the lower court declared AFABLE
heirs. as a co-owner of the land, having validly bought
The Civil Code, under the provisions on co- 2/6 respective undivided shares of Rosalia and
ownership, further qualifies this right. Although it Gaudencio. It also ordered the termination of the
is mandated that each co-owner shall have the full co-ownership and the delineation of the specific
ownership of his part and of the fruits and part of each owner though a Geodetic Engineer.
benefits pertaining thereto, and thus may alienate, On appeal, the respondent Court of Appeals
assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another affirmed the decision of the lower court. Hence,
person in its enjoyment, the effect of the alienation this appeal.
or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners,
shall be limited to the portion which may be ISSUE
allotted to him in the division upon the Whether or not the sale of the entire property
termination of the co-ownership. In other words, made by 2 co-owners Rosalia and Gaudencio was
the law does not prohibit a co-owner from selling, invalid beause it was made without the consent of
alienating or mortgaging his ideal share in the the other co-owners.
property held in common.
RULING
NO. The rights of a co-owner of a certain
BAILON vs. CA property are clearly specified in Article 493 of the
GR No. L-18178. April 15,1988 Civil Code.
Even if a co-own sells the whole property as failure of Gertrudes to repurchase the property,
his, the sale will affect only his own share but not ownership thereof was consolidated in the name
those of the other co-owners who did not consent of ALEXANDER CRUZ. In 1987, A TCT was
to the sale. This is because under Art. 493, the sale issued in his name, canceling the TCT in the name
or other disposition affects only his undivided of Gertrudes.
share and the transferee gets only what would In 1987 Gertrudes died. Thereafter, her heirs,
correspond to his grantor in the partition of the herein private respondents, ELEUTERIO LEIS,
thing owned in common. RAYMUNDO LEIS, ANASTACIO L. LAGDANO,
Consequently, by virtue of the sales made by LORETA L. CAYONDA (LEIS ET AL.) received
Rosalia and Gaudencio, which were valid with demands from SPOUSES CRUZ to vacate the
respect to their proportionate shares, and the premises as they were already new owners of the
subsequent transfers which culminated in the sale property.
to private respondent AFABLE, the latter thereby In response, LEIS ET AL. filed an action
became a co-owner of the disputed parcel of land. seeking the nullification of the contracts of sale
The sales produced the effect of substituting the executed by their mother Gertrudes in favor of
buyers in the enjoyment thereof. petitioner ALEXANDER CRUZ, as well as the
Hence, since a co-owner is entitled to sell his TCT subsequently issued in the name of the latter.
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by They claimed that the contracts were vitiated by
one co-owner without the consent of the other co- fraud as Gertrudes was illiterate and already 80
owners is not null and void. However, only the years old at the time of the execution of the
rights of the co-owner-seller are transferred, contracts. They also contended that the price for
thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the the land was insufficient as it was sold lower than
property. its fair market value. They added that the
Thus, it is now settled that the appropriate property subject of the sale was conjugal and,
recourse of co-owners in cases where their consequently, its sale without the knowledge and
consent were not secured in a sale of the entire consent of private respondents was in derogation
property as well as in a sale merely of the of their rights as heirs.
undivided shares of some of the co-owners is an The trial court rendered a decision in favor of
action for partition. Neither recovery of LEIS ET AL. It concluded that the land was
possession nor restitution can be granted since the conjugal property thus Gertrudes could only sell
defendant buyers are legitimate proprietors and to SPOUSES CRUZ her one-half share in the
possessors in joint ownership of the common property. However, it also ruled that there was no
property claimed. fraud in the execution of the contract but nullified
the same because the SPOUSES CRUZ failed to
comply with certain procedural requirements in
SPOUSES CRUZ vs. LEIS its registration. The same decision was affirmed
GR No. 125233. March 9, 2000 when the case was appealed with the Court of
Appeals.
The right of repurchase may be exercised by a Hence, the SPOUSES CRUZ filed a petition
co-owner with respect to his share alone. for review with the Supreme Court. They alleged
Although Gertrudes redeemed the property in that the property was not conjugal but was owned
its entirety, shouldering the expenses therefor, exclusively by Gertrudes as described in the TCT.
that did not make her the owner of all of it. They also averred that assuming the property was
FACTS conjugal, the same became exclusive since
Adriano Leis and Gertrudes Isidro were Gertrudes mortgaged the same property but
married in1923. In 1955, Gertrudes acquired from redeemed the same in 1983.
the then Department of Agriculture and Natural
Resources (DANR), a parcel of land with an area ISSUE
of 100 sq. m. situated in Marikina, Rizal. The Deed Whether or not the property was exclusively
of Sale, Gertrudes was described as a widow. owned by Gertrudes since she redeemed the
Hence, a TCT was issued in her name, which property over the exclusion of her co-owners.
described her as a widow.
In 1973, Adriano died intestate. In 1985, RULING
Gertrudes obtained a P15,000 loan from NO. The redemption of the land by Getrudes
petitioners SPOUSES ALEXANDER AND did not terminate the co-ownership nor give her
ADELAIDA CRUZ at 5% interest. The loan was title to the entire land subject of the co-ownership.
secured by the a mortgage over the Rizal The right of repurchase may be exercised by a
property. Gertrudes however, failed to pay the co-owner with respect to his share alone.
loan on the due date. Although Gertrudes redeemed the property in its
Unable to pay her obligation, Gertrudes in entirety, shouldering the expenses therefor, that
1986 executed 2 contracts in favor of did not make her the owner of all of it. In other
ALEXANDER CRUZ. The first was a Kasunduan, words, it did not put to end the existing state of
which the parties conceded was a pacto de retro co-ownership. Under Art. 493, a co-owner such as
sale, granting Gertrudes 1 year within which to Gertrudes could only dispose of her share in the
repurchase the property. The was a Kasunduan ng property owned in common.
Tuwirang Bilihan, a Deed of Absolute Sale covering However, being that neither Gertrudes nor
the same property for the price of P39,083, the her co-owners, LEIS ET AL. were able to redeem
same amount stipulated in the Kasunduan. For the same within the one-year period stipulated in
the Kasunduan, ownership then remained with the within Lot 162-C-6, which was erroneously
SPOUSE CRUZ. The essence of a pacto de retro included in the issued in the name of Regalado.
sale is that title and ownership of the property They alleged that they occupied the disputed area
sold are immediately vested in the vendee a retro, as residential dwelling ever since they purchased
subject to the resolutory condition of repurchase the property from the Distajos way back in 1951.
by the vendor a retro within the stipulated period. They also declared the land for taxation purposes
Failure thus of the vendor a retro to perform said and paid the corresponding taxes.
resolutory condition vests upon the vendee by In 1990, however, the trial court dismissed
operation of law absolute title and ownership the complaint. It held that while Salome could
over the property sold. alienate her pro-indiviso share in Lot 162, she could
not validly sell an undivided part thereof by
metes and bounds to Soledad, from whom
SPOUSES DEL CAMPO vs. CA petitioners derived their title. The trial court also
GR No. 108228. February 1, 2001 reasoned that petitioners could not have a better
right to the property even if they were in physical
A co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided possession of the same and declared the property
share in the property held in common. for taxation purposes, because mere possession
cannot defeat the right of the Regalados who had
However, a co-owner cannot alienate more a Torrens title over the land. The same judgment
than his share in the co-ownership. was affirmed by the Court of Appeals on appeal.
Hence, this petition.
If a co-owner had an undisturbed possession
for a considerable number of years, it had the ISSUES
effect of a partial partition of the co-owned (1) Whether or not a sale by co-owner Salome
property, which entitled the possessor to the of a portion of an undivided property held in
definite portion which he occupies. common in favor of Soledad was valid.
(2) Whether or not co-owners Salome,
FACTS Consorcia and Alfredo could validly sell the
Lot 162 of the Cadastral Survey in shares of the common property pertaining to
Pontevedra, Capiz, consisting of 27,179 sq. m. Soledad.
were co-owned by the 8 Bornales brothers and (3) Whether or not the SPOUSES DEL CAMPO
sisters, the same registered in their names. Said may rightfully claim the specific 1,544 sq. m.
lot was divided in aliquot shares among them. located within Lot 162-C-6.
In 1940, SALOME, one of the co-owners sold
part of her 4/16 share in for P200.00 to Soledad RULING
Daynolo. In the Deed of Absolute Sale signed by (1) NO. The mere fact that Salome purportedly
SALOME and two other co-owners, CONSORCIA transferred a definite portion of the co-owned lot
and ALFREDO, the portion of the sold lot was by metes and bounds to Soledad, did not per se
delineated in metes and bounds. render the sale a nullity. This much is evident
Thereafter, Soledad immediately took under Article 493 of the Civil Code and pertinent
possession of the land and built a house thereon. jurisprudence on the matter.
A few years later, she and her husband, Simplicio Salome’s right to sell part of her undivided
Distajo, mortgaged the property as security for a interest in the co-owned property is absolute in
P400 debt to respondent JOSE REGALADO, SR. accordance with the well-settled doctrine that a
In 1948, 3 of the 8 co-owners, specifically co-owner has full ownership of his pro-indiviso
SALOME, CONSORCIA and ALFREDO sold share and has the right to alienate, assign or
24,993 sq. m. of Lot 162 to REGALADO, SR. mortgage it, and substitute another person in its
In 1951, Simplicio Distajo, heir of Soledad enjoyment. Since Salome’s clear intention was to
Daynolo who had since died, paid the mortgage sell merely part of her aliquot share in Lot 162, no
debt and redeemed the mortgaged portion the lot valid objection can be made against it and the sale
from REGALADO, SR. The latter, in turn, can be given effect to the full extent.
executed a Deed of Discharge of Mortgage in favor of In the case at bar, the transaction entered into
Soledad’s heirs. On same date, the heirs of by Salome and Soledad could be legally
Soledad sold the redeemed portion for P1,500 to recognized in its entirety since the object of the
herein petitioners, SPOUSES MANUEL DEL sale did not even exceed the ideal shares held by
CAMPO AND SALVACION QUIACHON the former in the co-ownership. In such sale,
(SPOUSES DEL CAMPO). Soledad stepped into the shoes of the Salome as
Meanwhile, REGALADO, SR. caused the co-owner and acquired a proportionate abstract
transfer of the title in his name and subdivided share in the property held in common.
the entire property into smaller lots, each covered (2) NO. Based on the principle that “no one can
by a respective title in his name. One of these give what he does not have,” Salome, Consorcia
small lots is Lot No. 162-C-6 with an area of 11,732 and Alfredo could not legally sell the shares
sq. m. pertaining to Soledad since a co-owner cannot
In 1987, the SPOUSES DEL CAMPO brought alienate more than his share in the co-ownership.
a complaint for repartition, resurvey and Being that the sale entered into by Salome and
reconveyance against the heirs of the now Soledad did not even exceed the ideal shares held
deceased REGALADO, SR. They claimed that by the former in the co-ownership, it was deemed
they owned an area of 1,544 square meters located valid. It follows then that Salome, Consorcia and
Alfredo could not have sold the entire Lot 162 to property of LILIAN, on account that her signature
Jose Regalado, Sr. in 1948 because at that time, the in the Deed of Absolute Sale was forged.
ideal shares held by the three co-owners/vendors In 1998, the MeTC issued an order for the
were equivalent to only 10/16 of the undivided issuance of a writ of execution in favor of TERIA
property less the aliquot share previously sold by as the buyer of the property. A year later, a Notice
Salome to Soledad. to Vacate was served by the sheriff upon LILIAN
Even if a co-owner sells the whole property as who however refused to heed the Notice. In 1999,
his, the sale will affect only his own share but not TERIA demolished LILIAN’s house without any
those of the other co-owners who did not consent special permit of demolition from the court. Due
to the sale. Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his to the demolition of her house, LILIAN was
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by forced to inhabit the portion of the premises that
one co-owner will only transfer the rights of said used to serve as the house’s toilet and laundry
co-owner to the buyer, thereby making the buyer area.
a co-owner of the property. LILIAN filed her Petition for Relief from
In this case, Regalado merely became a new Judgment with the RTC on the ground that she
co-owner of Lot 162 to the extent of the shares was not bound by the inaction of her counsel who
which Salome, Consorcia and Alfredo could failed to submit petitioner’s appeal memorandum.
validly convey. Soledad retained her rights as co- However, the RTC denied the Petition and the
owner and could validly transfer her share to her subsequent Motion for Reconsideration. She
heirs in 1951. subsequently filed a petition for certiorari with
(3) YES. The area subject matter of this petition the Court of Appeals but it was denied, the same
had already been effectively segregated from the with a following Motion for Reconsideration.
‘mother lot’ even before title was issued in favor Hence, this appeal.
of REGALADO.
The SPOUSES DEL CAMPO enjoyed ISSUE
uninterrupted possession thereof for a total of 36 Whether or not LILIAN SANCHEZ could
years until the complaint was filed. Prior to that, validly claim ownership over her 1/6 undivided
at no instance did REGALADO nor his HEIRS share in the property.
question the SPOUSES DEL CAMPO’s right over
the land in dispute. RULING
Such undisturbed possession had the effect of YES. Being that LILIAN was not a part of the
a partial partition of the co-owned property, Deed of Sale, she was not bound by it. Hence her
which entitled the possessor to the definite 1/6 share should be respected.
portion which he occupies. Conformably, In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-
petitioners are entitled to the disputed land, owner to the other co-owners is fiduciary in
having enjoyed uninterrupted possession thereof character and attribute. Whether established by
for a total of 49 years up to the present. 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
SANCHEZ vs. CA becomes a trustee for the benefit of his co-owners
GR No. 152766. June 20, 2003 and he may not do any act prejudicial to the
interest of his co-owners.
Although assigned an aliquot but abstract Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to
part of the property, the metes and bounds of preserve the properties in co-ownership is to
LILIAN’s lot has not been designated. As she create an express trust among the heirs as co-
was not a party to the Deed of Absolute Sale owners of the properties. Co-ownership is a form
voluntarily entered into by the other co- of trust and every co-owner is a trustee for the
owners, her right to 1/6 of the property must others.
be respected. Before the partition of a land or thing held in
common, no individual or co-owner can claim
FACTS title to any definite portion thereof. All that the
Petitioner LILIAN SANCHEZ, constructed a co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or
house on a 76-square meter lot owned by her proportionate share in the entire land or thing.
parents-in-law. The lot was registered in the name Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner
of 6 co-owners: Eliseo, Sanchez, LILIAN, Nenita, of an undivided interest in the property the right
Susana and Felipe, all surnamed Sanchez. to freely sell and dispose of it, i.e., his undivided
In 1995, the lot was registered in the name of interest. He may validly lease his undivided
private respondent VIRGINIA TERIA by virtue of interest to a third party independently of the other
a Deed of Absolute Sale supposed to have been co-owners. But he has no right to sell or alienate a
executed by all 6 co-owners in her favor. concrete, specific or determinate part of the thing
However, LILIAN claimed that she did not affix owned in common because his right over the
her signature on the document. For her thing is represented by a quota or ideal portion
subsequent refusal to vacate the said lot, TERIA without any physical adjudication.
filed an action for recovery of possession of the Although assigned an aliquot but abstract part
said lot. of the property, the metes and bounds of
The MeTC ruled in favor of TERIA declaring LILIAN’s lot has not been designated. As she was
that the sale was valid only to the extent of 5/6 of not a party to the Deed of Absolute Sale voluntarily
the lot and the other 1/6 remaining as the entered into by the other co-owners, her right to
1/6 of the property must be respected. Partition therein that the property sold to LIM was an area
needs to be effected to protect her right to her of 10,000 sq. m. A Joint Affidavit was also
definite share and determine the boundaries of executed, wherein it was agreed that P30,000
her property. Such partition must be done should be paid by LIM and the remaining
without prejudice to the rights of TERIA as buyer purchase price be paid in installments. Only
of the 5/6 portion of the lot under dispute. Esperanza and two of her children, namely,
ANTONIO and CRISTETA knew about the said
Note: transaction.
Definitions of Co-ownership A Geodetic Engineer conducted a subdivision
Sancher Roman: It is “the right of survey of the property and prepared a Sketch
common dominion which two or more Plan. Said Sketch Plan was signed by LIM and
persons have in a spiritual part of a thing, Esperanza. Thereafter, LIM took actual
not materially or physically divided. possession of the property and introduced
Manresa: It is the “manifestation of the improvements thereon.
private right of ownership, which instead of When the other heirs, GASPAR,
being exercised by the owner in an VISITACION, FLOR, PEDRO and AURELIO, JR.
exclusive manner over the things subject to learned of the sale, they wrote a letter to the
it, is exercised by two or more owners and Register of Deeds saying that they were not
the undivided thing or right to which it informed of the sale of a portion of the said
refers is one and the same.” property by their nor did they give their consent
The characteristics of co-ownership are: thereto. They then requested that the registration
(a) plurality of subjects, who are the of the property in the name of LIM be held in
co-owners, abeyance until the validity of the sale had already
(b) unity of or material indivision, been cleared.
which means that there is a single Later, ANTONIO received from LIM, the
object which is not materially amount of P30,000 in partial payment of the
divided, and which is the element property and signed a Receipt for the said
which binds the subjects, and amount. Esperanza signed a letter addressed to
(c) the recognition of ideal shares, LIM informing the latter that her children did not
which determines the rights and agree to the sale of the property to him and that
obligations of the co-owners. she was withdrawing all her commitments until
the validity of the sale is finally resolved.
However, a few days later, Esperanza died
DE GUIA vs. CA intestate and was survived by her children.
GR No. 120864. October 8, 2003 In 1997, the HEIRS OF BALITE filed a
complaint against Rodrigo for the Annulment of
(refer to Page 3) Sale, Quieting of Title, Injunction and Damages.
In the meantime, the Registry of Deeds had
issued a TCT under the name of LIM over said
HEIRS OF SPOUSES BALITE vs. LIM property as LIM had been granted a writ of
GR No. 152168. December 10, 2004 mandamus against the former for its refusal to
register the property in his name. Subsequently,
When a co-owner sold a concrete portion of LIM secured a loan from the Rizal Commercial
an undivided property held in common, it did Banking Corporation in the amount of P2 million
not per se render the sale void. The sale is and executed a Real Estate Mortgage over the
valid, but only with respect to the aliquot subject property as security therefor.
share of the selling co-owner. The trial court dismissed the Complaint filed
by the HEIRS OF BALITE. It held that, pursuant
FACTS to Art. 493 of the Civil Code, a co-owner has the
The spouses Aurelio and Esperanza Balite right to sell his/her undivided share. The sale
were owners of a registered parcel of land, made by a co-owner is not invalidated by the
located at Catarman, Northern Samar, with an absence of the consent of the other co-owners.
area of 17,551 sq. m. In 1985, Aurelio died Hence, the sale by Esperanza of the 10,000-sq. m.
intestate. Hence, by inheritance, said property portion of the property was valid; the excess from
was then co-owned by his wife Esperanza and her undivided share should be taken from the
their children, herein petitioners ANTONIO undivided shares of Cristeta and Antonio, who
BALITE, FLOR BALITE-ZAMAR, VISITACION expressly agreed to and benefited from the sale.
BALITE-DIFUNTORUM, PEDRO BALITE, On Appeal, with the court of Appeals,
PABLO BALITE, GASPAR BALITE, CRISTETA judgment was still unfavorable to them. Hence,
(TITA) BALITE and AURELIO BALITE, JR. this appeal.
(HEIRS OF BALITE). Each of then inherited an
undivided share of 9,751 sq. m. ISSUE
Later, Esperanza became ill and was in dire Whether or not the Deed of Sale executed by
need of money for her hospital expenses. She, co-owner Esperanza was valid despite absence of
through her daughter, CRISTETA, offered to sell consent of some of the other co-owners.
to respondent RODRIGO LIM, her undivided
share for the price of P1 million. A Deed of RULING
Absolute Sale was executed, wherein it was stated YES, it was valid but only insofar as the pro
indiviso share of Esperanza was concerned. contract which shall prevail under Art.
Art. 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of 494, upon the expiration of the period,
an undivided interest in the property the right to partition may be demanded
freely sell and dispose of such interest. The co-
owner, however, has no right to sell or alienate a  The law allows non-partition not
specific or determinate part of the thing owned in exceeding 10 years but this can be
common, because such right over the thing is extended for another 10 years upon the
represented by an aliquot or ideal portion without expiration of the period.
any physical division. Nonetheless, the mere fact  NB: there is no automatic renewal.
that the deed purports to transfer a concrete  If the agreement is more than 10 years,
portion does not per se render the sale void. The then the agreement is void as to the
sale is valid, but only with respect to the aliquot excess.
share of the selling co-owner. Furthermore, the  If the agreement is perpetual, valid only
sale is subject to the results of the partition upon up to 10 years.
the termination of the co-ownership.  If the agreement is subject to a resolutory
Hence, the transaction between Esperanza condition, the agreement ends upon the
and LIM could be legally recognized only in fulfillment of the condition provided it
respect to the former’s pro indiviso share in the co- does not exceed 10 years
ownership. As a matter of fact, the Deed of
Absolute Sale executed between the parties 2. By the existence of a will, in cases of
expressly referred to the 10,000-square-meter donation or a testamentary succession.
portion of the land sold to respondent as the share 3. When the prohibition is prohibited by
of Esperanza in the conjugal property. Her clear law.
intention was to sell merely her ideal or 4. Physical partition would render the
undivided share in it. No valid objection can be property unserviceable. Physical partition
made against that intent. Clearly then, the sale is not allowed but there are ways of
can be given effect to the extent of 9,751 square dividing the property.
meters, her ideal share in the property as found 5. Legal nature of the common property
by both the trial and the appellate courts. does not allow partition. But this is not
absolute because there are ways of
ARTICLE 494: No co-owner shall be obliged to remain dividing the property.
in the co-ownership. Each co-owner shall be obliged to
remain in the co-ownership. Each co-owner may Prescription:
demand at any time the partition of the thing owned in GR: prescription against a co-owner does not lie.
common, insofar as his share is concerned. Ceniza vs. CA 181 SCRA 552
Nevertheless, an agreement to keep the thing
undivided for certain period of time, not exceeding ten Exceptions:
years, shall be valid. This term may be extended by a 1) When a co-owner gives notice to
new agreement. the co-owners that he is
A donor or testator may prohibit partition for repudiating the co-ownership and
a period which shall not exceed twenty years. that he is claiming ownership of
Neither shall there be any partition when it is the entire property.
prohibited by law. 2) The requirement of the open,
No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co- continuous, public and adverse
heir against his co-owners or co-heirs so long as he possession for a period of time
expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. required by law must be met. (30
years). So there must first be
 What is the rationale behind the general repudiation and the prescriptive
rule? period is met.
1) The law discourages co-
ownership; REQUISITIES OF REPUDIATION:
2) To avoid conflicts in
management; and 1. He must make known to the other co-
3) More significantly the disposition owners that he is definitely repudiating
or enjoyment of the thing owned the co-ownership. He is claiming
in common is subject to the complete ownership over the entire
desires of all the co-owners property. He does not recognize co-
ownership. Hence, he must make it
GENERAL RULE: No co-owner shall be obliged known to the other co-owner.
to remain in the co-ownership. He may demand 2. There must be evidence of repudiation by
that his share may be taken out from the co- the owner and knowledge on the part of
ownership. Any co-owner may demand partition the other co-owners.
anytime. 3. The other requirements of prescription
must exist. OCEAN (open, continuous,
EXCEPT: exclusive, adverse, notorious) possession
over the property.
1. If there is a contract prohibiting partition 4. The period of prescription starts to run
for a certain period of time. It is the from the time of repudiation.
continued stay of S in the house prejudiced the
 When there is repudiation, it means that interest of V as the property should have been
he is no longer recognizing the co- sold and the proceeds divided equally between
ownership and he is claiming ownership them.
over the entire property and so that his
possession must be adverse. ARTICLE 495: Notwithstanding the provisions of the
preceding article, the co-owners cannot demand a
 Adverse means that he does not recognize physical division of the thing owned in common, when
ownership in somebody else, particularly to do so would render it unserviceable for the use for
the co-owners. which it is intended. But the co-ownership may be
terminated in accordance with Article 498.
 Notorious, open: making known to the
public that he is the owner of the property ARTICLE 496: Partition may be made by agreement
to the exclusion of the other co-owners between the parties or by judicial proceedings.
Partition shall be governed by the Rules of Court
Aguilar vs. CA 227 SCRA 470 insofar as they are consistent with this Code.

Fx: In 1969, Brothers Virgilio and Semen 2 KINDS OF PARTITION:


purchased a house and lot where his father would
live for the rest of his years in a peaceful 1. EXTRA-JUDICIAL PARTITION
environment. They signed a memorandum 2. JUDICIAL PARTITION
agreeing that their shares are equal and that
Semen could live in the house as long as he would FABIAN vs. FABIAN
take care of the needs of his father. In 1974, their GR No. L-20449. January 29, 1968
father died. Consequently, in 1975 Virgilio
demanded from Semen to vacate the premises so GEN. RULE: An action for partition among
that the property could be sold to third parties co-owners does not prescribe. EXCEPTION:
and the proceeds divided between them in If a co-owner had
accordance with their respective shares. S refused, (1) adverse claim in the concept of an owner,
so in '79, Virgilio instituted an action against S to (2) in open, continuous, exclusive and
compel the sale, praying for the payment of notorious possession and (3) in the span of
monthly rentals beginning 1975. The court more than 10 years, he had acquired the
rendered judgment ordering S to vacate the house property by prescription against all the other
so that the same may be sold, and ordered to him co-owners.
to pay rentals from 1975 upto the date of the
decision. FACTS
In 1909, Pablo Fabian bought from the
Issue: W/N court was correct in ordering Semen Philippine Government, Lot 164 of the Friar Lands
to vacate the property and the payment of rents. Estate in Muntinlupa, Rizal. The lot had an area 1
hectare, 42 ares and 80 centares and the
Held: SC said lower court was correct except as to consideration for the sale was P112, which was
the payment of rents (kailangan mag start). Art. agreed to be paid in installments. He was able to
494 corollary to this rule is Art. 498. Being a co- pay 5 installments. By virtue of this purchase, a
owner of the property, S is entitled to use the Sale Certificate was issued in Pablo Fabian’s
house without paying any rent to V as he may use favor. In 1928, Pablo Fabian died and was
the property owned in common so long as it is in survived by 4 children, namely Esperanza, Benita
accordance with the purpose for which it was I, Benita II and Silbina.
intended and in a manner not injurious to the In 1928, respondents SILBINA (daughter)
interest of the other co-owners. Each co-owner of TEODORA FABIAN (niece) executed an Affidavit.
the property held pro indiviso exercises his right In said document, it was stated therein that
over the whole property and may use and enjoy SILBINA was the only daughter of the deceased
the same with no other limitation than that he will Pablo Fabian and that she and TEODORA, as
not injure the rights of the co-owners. The reason niece were his only heirs. On the strength of this
being that until a division is made, the respective Affidavit, the Sale Certificate previously issued to
shares of each cannot be determined and each co- Pablo Fabian was assigned to them. Thereafter,
owner exercises together with his co-participants the Director of Lands sold Lot 164 to SILBINA
joint ownership over the pro-indiviso property in (married to FELICIANO LANDRITO) and
addition to his use and enjoyment of the same. In TEODORA (married to FRANCISCO DEL
fairness, S should pay a rental of Php 1,200.00 per MONTE) for the price of P120.
month with legal interest from the time the lower In 1929, RESPONDENTS SPOUSES then took
court ordered him to vacate for his use and physical possession of Lot 164, cultivated it and
enjoyment of the other half of the property appropriated the produce therefrom. Since 1929,
pertaining to V. When petitioner (V) filed an they has been paying the real estate taxes thereon.
action to compel the sale of the property, and trial In 1937, the Register of Deeds issued a TCT over
court granted the petition and ordered the Lot 164 in their names. In 1945, after they have
ejectment of respondent (S), the ownership was caused the subdivision of the lot into 2 equal
deemed terminated and the right to enjoy the parts, Lot A and Lot B. 2 separate TCTs were
property jointly also ceased. Thereafter, the
subsequently issued in the names of SILBINA and the other co-owners as to ownership over the
TEODORA. property. Upon the registration of the Affidavit
In 1960, petitioners ESPERANZA, BENITA and the issuance of the title, already served as a
and DAMASO FABIAN filed an action for constructive notice to the whole world.
reconveyance against the RESPONDENTS (3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive,
SPOUSES. They averred that SILBINA and adverse and notorious possession of the property.
TEODORA perpetrated fraud in the Affidavit as RESPONDENT SPOUSES occupied the property
what was contained therein was a false narration in the concept of owners since 1929 since they
of facts. It was because SILBINA knew that she took physical possession of the land up to 1960.
was not the only daughter and heir of the They had cultivated it, harvested and
deceased Pablo Fabian and TEODORA likewise appropriated the fruits for themselves. Such acts
knew all along that, as a mere niece of the logically meant the adverse character of the
deceased, she was precluded from inheriting from possession they exercised.
him in the presence of his 4 surviving daughters. (4) Possession of the Property has started from the
Because of said Affidavit, the Sale Certificate was time of repudiation until the filing of the action in
assigned and transferred to them, which court should be at least 10 years. It was in 1928 when
thereafter caused the issuance of certificate of SILBINA executed the Affidavit which made
titles in their favor. possible the issuance of title in her favor. The
RESPONDENTS SPOUSES on the other hand action for reconveyance was only made in 1960 or
claimed that Pablo Fabian was not the owner of 32 big years later after. Said 32 years is even
Lot 164 at the time of his death because he had not beyond the 10-year requirement under the law.
paid in full the amortizations on the lot. They Hence, acquisitive prescription of ownership
alleged that it was them who were the absolute acquired by one of the co-owners, co-heirs, and
owners thereof, having purchased it from the administrator, depositary, or lessee by means of
Government for the sum of P120, and from that an adverse possession under claim of title and
year having exercised all the attributes of after the lapse of the time fixed by law can
ownership thereof up to the present. They alleged completely extinguish the right of the other co-
that the action for reconveyance filed against owners, co-heirs, or owners of the property in the
them had long prescribed. possession of the one claiming ownership by
The trial court dismissed their action for prescription.
reconveyance. Hence, PETITIONER FABIANS
appealed for review.
CENIZA vs. CA
ISSUE GR No. 46345. January 30, 1990
Whether or not RESPONDENTS SPOUSES as
co-owners of the land had acquired it through In a case where the co-owners had agreed that
prescription against the PETITIONERS FABIANS, the title to the property be named after only
the other co-owners. one of them, there existed a trust relation.
Thus, prescription could not run in favor of
RULING the co-owner in whose name the title was
YES, they had acquired the land against the registered to except from the time that he
co-owners through prescription. repudiated the co-ownership and made the
The Court concluded that Lot 164 was the repudiation known to the former.
property of Pablo Fabian. When he died intestate
in 1928, his 4 daughters had acquired said FACTS
property by succession and they commonly Petitioners RESTITUTO and JESUS CENIZA
owned the property under the principle of co- were the descendants of Manuel Ceniza.
ownership. Respondents on the other hand, MAGNO,
General Rule & Exception. Although, as a VICENTA, TERESITA, EUGENIA and TOMAS
general rule, an action for partition among co- DABON were the descendants of Vicente Dabon.
heirs does not prescribe. As an exception, this is Hacienda de Mandaue of the Seminario de
true only as long as the respondents do not hold San Carlos de Cebu was located in Madaue, Cebu
the property in question under an adverse title. City. In 1929, it was subdivided for resale to the
REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO occupants therein. Jose Ceniza and Vicente
ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN Dabon, who were residing in the hacienda, jointly
COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION: purchased Lot 627 on installment basis and they
(1) Co-owner has made known to the other co- agreed for convenience, to have the land
owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and registered in the name of Dabon. Since then, Jose
claimed complete ownership over it. SILBINA, one of Ceniza, Vicente Dabon and their heirs had
the co-owners had repudiated the co-ownership possessed their respective portions of the land,
by executing the Affidavit with TEODORA, which declared the same for taxation, paid real estate
bore that they were the sole heirs of the late Pablo taxes on their respective shares, and made their
Fabian. SILBINA claimed complete ownership respective installment payments to the Seminario
over it by securing title in her name to the de San Carlos de Cebu. In 1939, a title was issued
exclusion of the other 3 sisters. in the name of Vicente Dabon.
(2) There is evidence of repudiation and knowledge In 1957, Vicente Dabon died and heirs
on the part of other co-owners. The evidence of the continued to remain in possession of the property.
repudiation was the Affidavit, which excluded all
In 1961, a private land surveyor, on the by prescription. Adverse possession requires the
request of Jacinta Dabon and Restituto Ceniza concurrence of the following circumstances:
who jointly defrayed the cost, divided Lot 627 into a) that the trustee has performed
three parts, Lot A to Marcelo Ceniza, Lot B to unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting
Restituto Ceniza and Lot C to Nemesis Ceniza to the ouster of the cestui que trust;
Albina, who later bequeathed her share to her b) that such positive acts of repudiation
brother, Jesus Ceniza. have been made known to the cestui que
The DABONs refused to convey Lots B and C trust; and
to the CENIZAs. They claimed that their c) that the evidence thereon should be
predecessor-in-interest Vicente Dabon was the clear and conclusive.
sole and exclusive owner of Lot 627. The above elements were not present here for
Hence, in 1967, RESTITUTO and JESUS the co-owners CENIZAs had not been ousted
CENIZA filed an action for recovery of their title from the land. They continued to possess their
to Lots B and C. The DABONs on the other hand, respective shares of Lot 627 and they had been
alleged that the CENIZA’s right of action had paying the realty taxes thereon. In fact,
already prescribed. However, the CENIZAs RESTITUTO CENIZA's house stands on his
alleged that Vicente Dabon held the property in portion of the land.
trust for them, as co-owners, hence, their action Where title to land was issued in the name of
for reconveyance was imprescriptible. a co-heir merely with the understanding that he
In 1970, the trial court rendered judgment for would act as a trustee of the other co-owners, and
the CENIZAs. It found that there existed a co- there is no evidence that this trust relation had
ownership among the parties and ordered the ever been repudiated by said trustee, the relation
DABONs the B to execute deeds of conveyance of then cannot be barred by prescription, despite the
Lots B -C in favor of CENIZAs. On appeal of the lapse of a big number of years from the date of
DABONs, the Court of Appeals reversed that registration of the land in the trustee's name.
decision of the trial court. It ruled that the The courts have the duty to shield fiduciary
petitioners' right of action had prescribed after the relations "against every manner of machinery or
lapse of 20 years from the date of registration of fiduciary design cloaked by legal technicalities
the land in 1939 in Vicente Dabon's name. and to guard against misuse of the Torrens system
Hence, this instant petition. "to foment betrayal in the performance of a trust."
(2) NO, the registration was not a repudiation of
ISSUES the co-ownership. Assuming that the DABON’s
(1) Whether or not the DABONs has acquired rejection of the subdivision plan for the partition
the property by prescription against the other co- of the land was an act of repudiation of the co-
owners, the CENIZAS. ownership, prescription had not yet set in when
(2) Whether or not the registration of the title the petitioners instituted the action for
of the land in the name of one of Vicente Dabon reconveyance.
constituted a repudiation of the co-ownership for In this case, since the statutory period of
purposes of acquisitive prescription. limitation within which to file an action for
reconveyance, after the defendants had
RULING repudiated the co-ownership in 1961, had not yet
(1) NO, the action of the CENIZAs had not run its course when the petitioners filed said
prescribed. action in 1967, the action was not barred by
Since a trust relation and co-ownership were prescription.
proven to exist between the predecessors-in-
interest of both the CENIZAs and DABONs,
prescription did not run in favor of the latter BICARME vs. CA
except from the time that they repudiated the co- GR No. 51914. June 6, 1990
ownership and made the repudiation known to
the former. The right of a co-owner for partition against
Paragraph 5 of Article 494 of the Civil Code another co-owner, who holds a common
provides: property in trust may be barred by
"No prescription shall run in favor of prescription provided that it is being held in
a co-owner or co-heir against his co- trust. In the case at bar, MARIA had not
owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly proved her adverse claim over the property
or impliedly recognizes the co- against her co-owner CRISTINA that the
ownership." existence of the co-ownership was sustained.
The registration of Lot No. 627 in the name of
Vicente Dabon created a trust in favor of his co- FACTS
owner Jose Ceniza, and the latter's heirs. Spouses Juan Bicarme and Florencia Bidaya
Article 1452 of the Civil Code states: were the original co-owners of two parcels of
"If two or more persons agree to purchase land: a cornland and a riceland, both in Benguet,
property and by common consent the legal title is Abra. The spouses died intestate and were
taken in the name of one of them for the benefit of survived by 3 children, Victorina, Sebastian and
all, a trust is created by force of law in favor of the petitioner MARIA BICARME. Sebastian Bicarme
others in Proportion to the interest of each. died when he was a little boy and without any
As a general rule, the trustee's possession is issue. Later, Victorina Bicarme died intestate,
not adverse and therefore cannot ripen into a title
survived by her only daughter, respondent In these 3 Deeds of Sale, MARIA admitted that
CRISTINA BICARME. she inherited and acquired the lands from his late
CRISTINA claimed that upon the death of her father Juan Bicarme. Said provision in the Deeds of
grandparents, Spouses Juan and Florencia, her Sale was in the nature of a trust provision in favor
mother Victorina and her aunt, MARIA, became of Cristina as a co-owner/co-heir.
co-owners or co-heirs of the litigated parcels of (2) YES, the lower court erred as in such case,
land. Upon the death of her mother Victorina, she the right to partition may still be barred by
became co-heirs with MARIA, having inherited prescription.
the share and interest of her mother An action for partition implies that the thing is
corresponding to ½ of the 2 parcels of land. still owned in common. If a co-owner or co-heir
MARIA however refused to share with CRISTINA holds the property in exclusive adverse
the yearly fruits of the 2 parcel of lands. Hence, in possession as owner, asserting sole and exclusive
1974, CRISTINA filed an action for partition dominion for the required period, he can acquire
against her aunt MARIA. sole title to it as against the co-heirs or co-owners.
Maria, however, maintained that she acquired The imprescriptibility of an action for partition
these 2 parcels of land from the deceased spouses cannot thus be invoked when one of the coowners
Placido Bidays and Margarita Bose, the cornland has possessed the property as exclusive owner,
in 1925 and the riceland in 1926. She averred that and for a period sufficient to acquire it by
since then, she had been in open, public, peaceful, prescription. From the moment one of the co-
continuous, adverse possession and enjoyment owners claims that he is the absolute and
and in the concept of absolute owner thereof. She exclusive owner of the properties and denies the
further claimed that Cristina, her niece, never others any share therein, the question involved is
shared or contributed to the payment of taxes of no longer one of partition, but of ownership. In
said 2 parcels of land and that CRISTINA was this sense, the trial court erred in saying that there
presumed already dead. can be no prescription (as a mode of acquiring
The trial court ruled that MARIAN and title) in favor of a co-owner/ trustee.
CRISTINA were co-heirs. It held that MARIA was (3) NO, she had not acquired the property by
as trustee with respect to CRISTINA's share. As prescription.
such, prescription, as a mode of acquiring title, Acts which are adverse to strangers may not
could not apply. It also added that co- be sufficiently adverse to the co-owners. A mere
owners/trustees even if they possess the land silent possession by a co-owner, his receipt of
held in common could never acquire the property rents, fruits or profits from the property, the
through prescription because of the presence of a erection of buildings and fences and the planting
trust relation. The Court of Appeals affirmed the of trees thereon, and the payment of land taxes,
same decision. Hence, this petition. cannot serve as proof of exclusive ownership, if it
MARIA alleged that assuming that CRISTINA is not borne out by clear, complete and conclusive
was indeed a co-heir, her rights over the 2 parcels evidence that he exercised acts of possession
of land had already prescribed. She alleged that which unequivocally constituted an ouster or
from the moment she ignored and repudiated deprivation of the rights of the other co-owners.
CRISTINA's hereditary rights in 1940, the latter's MARIA had not complied the requisites for a
right of action already accrued and the period of co-owner to own a common property held in
prescription began to run. CRISTINA’s action for common through prescription.
partition was only filed in 1974 or 34 years after. REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO
CRISTINA’s action then was barred by ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN
prescription as she slept on her rights. COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION:
(1) Co-owner has made known to the other co-
ISSUES owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and
1. Whether or not MARIA and CRISTINA claimed complete ownership over it. [not complied]
were indeed co-owners. In the present case, MARIA disclaimed the co-
2. Whether or not the lower court erred in ownership by denying that subject properties are
stating that MARIA and CRISTINA were co- the inherited properties. Although MARIA paid
owners because the right of a co-owner for land taxes, it did not constitute sufficient
partition against another co-owner, who holds a repudiation of the co-ownership, as it was not an
common property in trust with adverse act adverse to CRISTINA's rights. Her refusal to
possession cannot be barred by prescription. share with CRISTINA the yearly profits merely
3. Whether or not the MARIA acquired the stemmed from CRISTINA's failure to share in the
property by prescription. yearly taxes. Moreover, CRISTINA, being a minor
until she claimed her rights, was not even aware
RULING thereof. Neither did MARIA made known her
(1) YES, they were co-owners. repudiation to CRISTINA, because all along,
The trial court theorized that Victorino and Maria presumed her to be dead.
MARIA Bicarme never partitioned even orally the (2) There is evidence of repudiation and knowledge
two parcels of lands which were then owned in on the part of other co-owners. [not complied] There
common by them. It remained undivided even was no evidence of the repudiation. Other than
after the death of Victorino. Without the the tax declarations in MARIA’s name, there was
knowledge of CRISTINA, MARIA sold the no written evidence that the 2 parcels of land
cornland and executed 3 Deeds of Sales in favor of were acquired/purchased from Spouses Placido
3 third persons. Biduya and Margarita Bose as she insisted on.
Payment of land taxes was not sufficient evidence paid the remaining balance of the purchase price
of repudiation. of the lot and the realty taxes thereon.
(3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive, Aggrieved, PETITIONERS filed this instant
adverse and notorious possession of the property. [not petition.
complied] Although MARIA was in possession of
the property, she merely held the property in trust ISSUE
in favor of CRISTINA. Whether or not PETITIONERS' action for
(4) Possession of the property has started from the partition was already barred that Galileo Delima
time of repudiation until the filing of the action in had perfected his claim of ownership by
court should be at least 10 years. [not complied] acquisitive prescription over the disputed lot.
Being that her possession of the property was by
reason of a trust relationship, MARIA could not RULING
have acquired the property no matter how long YES, prescription had already set in.
she occupied it. As a rule, possession by a co-owner will not
be presumed to be adverse to the others, but will
be held to benefit all. It is understood that the co-
DE LIMA vs. CA owner or co-heir who is in possession of an
GR No. 46296 September 24, 1991 inheritance pro-indiviso for himself and in
representation of his co-owners or co-heirs, if, as
A co-owner had registered a property held in such owner, he administers or takes care of the
common only in his name and possessed it in rest thereof with the obligation of delivering it to
the concept of an owner. After the lapse of 10 his co-owners or co-heirs, is under the same
years, without action from the other co- situation as a depository, a lessee or a trustee.
owners, he could then acquire it through Thus, an action to compel partition may be filed at
acquisitive prescription. any time by any of the co-owners against the
actual possessor. In other words, no prescription
FACTS shall run in favor of a co-owner against his co-
During his lifetime, Lino Delima acquired Lot owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly or
No. 7758 of the Talisay-Minglanilla Friar Lands impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.
Estate in Cebu by sale on installments from the However, from the moment one of the co-
government. He later died in 1921 and was owners claims that he is the absolute and
survived by his only heirs, 3 brothers and a sister exclusive owner of the properties and denies the
namely: Eulalio, Juanita, Galileo and Vicente others any share therein, the question involved is
Delima. After his death, in 1953, the title of the no longer one of partition but of ownership. In
property was issued in the name of The Legal Heirs such case, the imprescriptibility of the action for
of Lino Delima, deceased, represented by Galileo partition can no longer be invoked or applied
Delima. when one of the co-owners has adversely
Later, Galileo Delima, who was substituted by possessed the property as exclusive owner for a
RESPONDENTS FLAVIANA VDA. DE DELIMA period sufficient to vest ownership by
ET AL., executed an affidavit of Extra-judicial prescription.
Declaration of Heirs. Based on this affidavit, the It is settled that possession by a co-owner or
title over the lot was cancelled and another title co-heir is that of a trustee. When a co-owner of the
was issued in 1954 but only in the name of Galileo property in question executed a deed of partition
Delima to the exclusion of the other heirs. and on the strength thereof obtained the
Thereon, Galileo Delima declared the lot for cancellation of the title in the name of their
taxation purposes and paid the taxes thereon from predecessor and the issuance of a new one
1954 to 1965. wherein he appears as the new owner of the
In 1968, PETITIONERS EPITACIO DELIMA property, thereby in effect denying or repudiating
ET AL. who were the surviving heirs of Eulalio the ownership of the other co-owners over their
and Juanita Delima, filed an action for shares, the statute of limitations started to run for
reconveyance and/or partition of property and the purposes of the action instituted by the latter
for the annulment of the title issued only in the seeking a declaration of the existence of the co-
name of Galileo Delima. Vicente Delima, who was ownership and of their rights thereunder. Since an
1 of the 4 original heirs of Lino Delima was joined action for reconveyance of land based on implied
as party-defendant by the PETITIONERS for his or constructive trust prescribes after ten (10)
refusal to join the latter in their action. years, it is from the date of the issuance of such
In 1970, the trial court held that the 4 original title that the effective assertion of adverse title for
heirs of Lino Delima should be entitled to ¼ of the purposes of the statute of limitations is counted.
property. It also declared null and void the title in The requisites for a co-owner to own a
the name of Galileo Delima only. common property held in common through
Not satisfied with the decision, prescription had been complied with by
RESPONDENTS HEIRS appealed to the Court of RESPONDENTS.
Appeals, which revered the decision of the trial REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO
court and upheld the claim of Galileo Delima that ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN
all his 3 other siblings had already relinquished COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION:
and waived their rights to the property in his (1) Co-owner has made known to the other co-
favor considering that he (Galileo Delima) alone owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and
claimed complete ownership over it. [complied]
Evidence showed that the title in the name of the parcels of land had been in their possession since
legal heirs of Lino Delima, represented by Galileo the death of their father in 1940 and that they had
Delima, was cancelled by virtue of an affidavit not given ARTURIO a share in the produce of the
executed by Galileo Delima. In 1954, Galileo land. Later, FELIX died without issue and he was
Delima obtained the issuance of a new title in his survived by his only sister, LOURDES, who
name to the exclusion of his co-heirs. As the claimed exclusive ownership over the 4 parcels of
certificate of title was notice to the whole world of land.
his exclusive title to the land, such rejection was In 1989, the trial court rendered a decision in
binding on the other heirs and started as against favor of ARTURIO and held that he was a co-
them the period of prescription. owner with FELIX and LOURDES.
(2) There is evidence of repudiation and knowledge The Court of Appeals ruled in favor of FELIX
on the part of other co-owners. [complied] The and LOURDES, contending that ARTURIO was
issuance of the new title in the name of Galileo not a recognized legitimate child of Inocentes. It
Delima only constituted an open and clear also states that the 4 parcels of land had already
repudiation of the trust or co-ownership. Upon been acquired by FELIX and LOURDES by
registration of the title, it already served as a acquisitive prescription. The 2 had been in
constructive notice to the other heirs. possession of the property since 1940 when their
(3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive, father died. Even if possession be counted from
adverse and notorious possession of the property. 1964, when ARTURIO attained the age of
[complied] Galileo Delima and his heirs had been majority, still, FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD
in possession of the land after Lino Delima died. possessed the land for more than 10 years.
(4) Possession of the property has started from the
time of repudiation until the filing of the action in ISSUE
court should be at least 10 years. [complied] It was Whether or not ARTURIO’s action for
in February 4, 1954 that Galileo Delima obtained partition had already prescribed that FELIX and
the issuance of a new title in his name. Hence, LOURDES had acquired the property through
when petitioners filed their action for acquisitive prescription.
reconveyance and/or to compel partition on
February 29, 1963, such action was already barred RULING
by prescription. The lapse of ten (10) years of NO, it had not prescribed. FELIX and
adverse possession by Galileo Delima from LOURDES did not acquire the property through
February 4, 1954 was sufficient to vest title in him acquisitive prescription.
by prescription. Hence, whatever claims the other The partition of the late Patricio Trinidad’s
co-heirs could had validly asserted before could real properties required preponderant proof that
no longer be invoke by them at this time. ARTURIO was a co-owner or co-heir of the
decedent's estate. His right as a co-owner would,
in turn, depend on whether he was born during
TRINIDAD vs. CA the existence of a valid and subsisting marriage
GR No. 118904. April 20, 1998 between his mother Felicidad Molato and his
putative father Inocentes Trinidad. In the present
A co-owner cannot acquire by prescription case, ARTURIO had proved by preponderant
the share of the other co-owners absent a clear evidence that he was the legitimate son of
repudiation of co-ownership duly Felicidad and Inocentes as the two were married.
communicated to the other co-owners. Hence, he had right to claim ownership by
inheritance as to the 4 parcels of land.
FACTS The trial court found out that ARTURIO, after
Patricio Trinidad, married to Anastacia the death of his father and mother, had lived with
Briones, was the original owner of 4 parcels of FELIX nad LOURDES and enjoyed the status of
land located in Kalibo, Aklan. He later died in being their nephew. When ARTURIO had gotten
1940 and was succeeded by his 3 children: married and had a family of his own, he started to
Inocentes and private respondents LOURDES and demand for the partition of the share of his father,
FELIX, all surnamed TRININDAD. Inocentes. His demand provoked the ire of the
In 1970, Petitioner ARTURIO TRINIDAD, FELIX and LOURDES, thus, they disowned him
born in 1943, claimed that he was the son of the as their nephew.
late Inocentes Trinidad with his mother Felicidad FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD did not
Molato. He then demanded from private acquire ownership of the property in question by
respondents FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD to acquisitive prescription. Under Art. 494 of the
partition the land into 3 equal shares and to give Civil Code, in a co-ownership, the act of one
him the 1/3 individual share of his late father but benefits all the other co-owners, unless the former
the FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD refused. repudiates the co-ownership. Thus, no
Hence, in 1978, ARTURIO TRINIDAD filed a prescription runs in favor of a co-owner or co-heir
complaint for partition and damages against against his or her co-owners or co-heirs, so long as
FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD. The latter he or she expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-
however denied that ARTURIO was the son of the ownership.
late Inocentes Trinidad as he was still single when A co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the
he died in 1941, before ARTURIO 's birth in 1943. share of the other co-owners absent a clear
FELIX and LOURDES also denied that ARTURIO repudiation of co-ownership duly communicated
had lived with them and claimed that the 4 to the other co-owners.
In the case at bar, FELIX and LOURDES had CLAUDIO MEMORIAL COLLEGE, INC. They
not complied the requisites for a co-owner to own alleged:
a common property held in common through 1. that their father and predecessor-in-
prescription. interest, Juan De Castro owned a parcel of
REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO land located at Morong, Rizal with an area
ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN of 2,269 sq. m.
COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION: 2. that Juan De Castro died intestate in
(1) Co-owner has made known to the other co- 1993 and they are his only surviving and
owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership and legitimate heirs
claimed complete ownership over it. [not complied] 3. that in 1979, without their knowledge
Prior to his demand for partition, ARTURIO, in and consent, said lot was sold by their
the concept of a co-owner, was receiving from brother Mariano to TOMAS CLAUDIO
FELIX and LOURDES his share of the produce of MEMORIAL COLLEGE, INC. when
the land in dispute. Until such time, recognition of Mariano represented himself as the sole heir
the co-ownership by FELIX and LOURDES to the property.
TRINIDAD was beyond question. There was no 4. that the said sale affected only
evidence, either, of their repudiation, if any, of the Mariano’s undivided share to the lot in
co-ownership of petitioner's father Inocentes over question but not the shares of the other co-
the land. Although FELIX and LOURDES had owners equivalent to 4/5 of the property.
possessed these parcels openly since 1940 and had Both the trial court and the Court of Appeals
not shared with petitioner the produce of the land ruled against TOMAS CLAUDIO MEMORIAL
during the pendency of this case, still, they COLLEGE, INC. that it filed a petition via
manifested no repudiation of the co-ownership. certiorari with the Supreme Court.
FELIX nad LOURDES did not even register the
property in their names. ISSUE
(2) There is evidence of repudiation and Whether or not the right of the DE CASTROs
knowledge on the part of other co-owners. [not for partition had already prescribed.
complied] There was no evidence of repudiation.
In fact, the title over the 4 parcels of land was still RULING
in the name of the oririginal owner, Patricio NO, it had not prescribed.
Trinidad. Even if a co-owner sells the whole property as
(3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive, his, the sale will affect only his own share but not
adverse and notorious possession of the property. [not those of the other co-owners who did not consent
complied] Although FELIX and LOURDES had to the sale. Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his
been in possession of the property since 1940, undivided share, a sale of the entire property by
prescription did not run against ARTURIO with one co-owner without the consent of the other co-
respect to the filing of the action for partition owners is not null and void. However, only the
because the former had not expressly or impliedly rights of the co-owner/seller are transferred,
repudiated the co-ownership. In the other words, thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the
prescription of an action for partition does not lie property.
except when the co-ownership is properly The proper action in a case like this, is not for
repudiated by the co-owner. the nullification of the sale, or for the recovery of
(4) Possession of the property has started from the possession of the property owned in common
time of repudiation until the filing of the action in from the third person, but for division or partition
court should be at least 10 years. [complied] It is of the entire property if it continued to remain in
undisputed that FELIX and LOURDES had been the possession of the co-owners who possessed
in possession of the property since 1940 when and administered it. Such partition should result
their father died. Even if possession be counted in segregating the portion belonging to the seller
from 1964, when ARTURIO attained the age of and its delivery to the buyer.
majority, still, FELIX and LOURDES TRINIDAD In the light of the foregoing, TOMAS
possessed the land for more than 10 years. CLAUDIO MEMORIAL COLLEGE, INC.'s
However, even so, prescription could not still run defense of prescription against an action for
in the absence of repudiation. partition is a vain proposition. Pursuant to Article
494 of the Civil Code, "no co-owner shall be
obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Such co-
TOMAS CLAUDIO MEMORIAL COLLEGE vs. owner may demand at anytime the partition of
CA the thing owned in common, insofar as his share
GR No. 124262. October 12, 1999 is concerned." In Budlong vs. Bondoc (1977), the
Supreme Court had interpreted said provision of
An action for partition is imprescriptible. It law to mean that the action for partition is
cannot be barred by prescription. imprescriptible. It cannot be barred by
prescription.
FACTS
In 1993, private respondents CRISANTA,
ELPIDIA, EFRINA, IRENEO DE CASTRO and SANTOS vs. SANTOS
ARTEMIO DE CASTRO ADRIANO, filed an GR No. 139524. October 12, 2000
action for partition against petitioner TOMAS
A co-owner cannot acquire by prescription 1522 was subdivided into 2 lots, Lot A (3,000 sq.
the share of the other co-owners absent a clear m. in favor of Eliseo) and Lot B (3,387 sq. m. in
repudiation of co-ownership duly favor of the children of LADILAO).
communicated to the other co-owners. In 1993, LADISLAO had discovered that the
Isidra property he and ELISEO inherited had been
Exclusive possession of a co-owner of a declared, for taxation purposes, under the name
property owned in common by mere tolerance of PHILIP, on the basis of a Deed of Sale executed
of the other co-owner did not amount to a by Virgilio Santos.
repudiation. It must be understood that by In the same year, LADISLAO filed an action
culture, Filipino family ties are close and for the judicial partition of the Isidra property
well-knit and that the tolerance was natural. against ELISEO and the latter’s son, PHILIP. The
trial court dismissed the petition on the ground of
FACTS acquisitive prescription. On appeal, the Court of
Bonifacio Santos was the owner of a property Appeals declared that LADISLAO and ELISEO
located in San Mateo, Rizal. He died intestate and were co-owners and hence entitled to ½ pro
was survived by his 3 children: petitioner indiviso shares in the Isidra.
LADISLAO, respondent ELISEO and their sister Hence, this petition. It was alleged by
Isidra. In 1964, during a cadastral survey, the said petitioners PHILIP and the HEIRS OF ELISEO the
property, with an area of 6,340 square meters was right of action of LADISLAO has already
identified as Lot 1522. prescribed.
In 1967, LADISLAO and his wife, Leonila
Mateo executed a Deed of Absolute Conveyance with ISSUE
Right of Way over the southwestern portion of Lot Whether or not the action for partition was
1522, with an area of 3,000 square meters, in favor already barred by acquisitive prescription against
of his brother, ELISEO for the price of P500.00, LADISLAO.
with a provision for a right of way.
In the same year of 1967, Isidra died intestate RULING
and was survived by her 2 brothers: LADISLAO NO, it had not prescribed.
and ELISEO. AFTER THE DEATH OF Isidra, it Considering that ELISEO and PHILIP
was Virgilio Santos, son of ELISEO who disputed the status of LADISLAO as co-owner on
possessed the property. the ground that the brothers entered into a
In 1969, LADISLAO and ELISEO and their Combined Deed of Partition wherein the entire
respective Spouses executed a Combined Deed of Isidra property was conveyed to ELISEO, It was
Partition covering the Lot 1522 and the Isidra then incumbent upon them to present the best
Property, wherein it was covenanted that the evidence obtainable to prove the same. However,
Isidra Property was deeded to ELISEO. the claim of a subsisting co-ownership by
In 1969, the Provincial Assessor issued a tax LADISLAO over the Isidra property has not been
declaration, over the Isidra property, under the effectively refuted by ELISEO and PHILIP, and
name of Virgilio (son of ELISEO) and Virginia that ELISEO and his successors-in-interest
Santos, thereby canceling the one under the name (Virgilio and PHILIP) did not acquire exclusive
of Isidra. In 1972, 1974 and 1980, tax declarations title over the entire Isidra property.
were also issued in the names of the said spouses. Considering that there was no proof that
In 1980, Virgilio executed Deed of Absolute LADISLAO executed any Combined Deed of
Sale of Unregistered Residential Land in favor of his Partition in tandem with ELISEO, co-ownership
brother, PHILIP over the Isidra property in still subsisted between the brothers over the Isidra
exchange of another property owned by the latter. property. This being the case, Article 494 of the
On the basis of said deed, in 1981, a tax Civil Code should be applied which states that,
declaration under the name of PHILIP was issued. “prescription does not run in favor of a co-owner
Since then, PHILIP occupied the Isidra property or co-heir against his co-owners or his co-heirs so
and had his shop constructed thereon and he had long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the
been paying the realty taxes therefor. In 1984, co-ownership.”
VIRGILIO Santos died intestate and was survived Prescription, as a mode of terminating a
by his wife Virginia. relation of co-ownership must have been
In the meantime, LADISLAO and PHILIP left preceded by repudiation of the co-ownership.
the Philippines and resided in the USA. There was no showing that ELISEO had complied
Despite the Deed of Absolute Conveyance With with the following requisites.
Right of Way executed by LADISLAO in favor of REQUISITES FOR A CO-OWNER TO
ELISEO, the latter and the children of the ACQUIRE A PROPERTY OWNED IN
LADISLAO signed an Application and sought in COMMON BY PRESCRIPTION:
court for the registration of “their title” over Lots (1) Co-owner has made known to the other co-
1522 and 2433. The application alleged that Lot owners that he has: repudiated the co-ownership
1522 was occupied by the heirs of LADSILAO and claimed complete ownership over it. [not
(3,430 sq. m.) and ELISEO (3,000 sq. m.), as a site complied] ELISEO had not repudiated the co-
of cockpit building. In 1986, the court granted the ownership, and even if he did, there is no
application. Later, a title was issued in their showing that the same had been clearly made
names. known to LADISLAO. Indeed, Filipino family ties
Later, the children of LADISLAO and being close and well-knit as they are, and
ELISEO executed a Partition Agreement where Lot considering that Virgilio was the ward of Isidra
Santos ever since when Virgilio was still an infant, elapsed before the filing of the case in 1993.
it was but natural that the LADISLAO did not However, being that there was no repudiation,
interpose any objection to the continued stay of prescription did not run.
Virgilio and his family on the property and even
acquiesce thereto. LADISLAO must have ARTICLE 497: The creditors or assignees of the co-
assumed too, that his brother, ELISEO, allowed owners may take part in the division of the thing
his son to occupy the property and use the same owned in common and object to its being effected
for the time being. Hence, such possession by without their concurrence. But they cannot impugn
Virgilio Santos and Philip Santos of the property any partition already executed, unless there has been
does not constitute a repudiation of the co- fraud, or in case it was made notwithstanding a formal
ownership by the Appellee Eliseo Santos and of opposition presented to prevent it, without prejudice to
his privies for that matter. the right of the debtor or assignor to maintain its
It is probable that said conduct was validity.
simply tolerated by the plaintiffs on account of his
being their uncle, and they never thought that by 2 RIGHTS OF THE CREDITOR
said conduct the defendant was attempting to 1. To take part in the
oust them forever from the inheritance, nor that partition;
the defendant would have so intended in any 2. To object to the partition
way, dealing as we do here with the acquisition of being affected without
a thing by prescription, the evidence must be so their concurrence
clear and conclusive as to establish said  The creditors cannot impugn the partition
prescription without any shadow of doubt. This that has already been executed, except:
does not happen in the instant case, for the 1) if there has been fraud on the part
defendant did not even try to prove that he has of the co-owners;
expressly or impliedly refused plaintiff’s right 2) despite the formal opposition
over an aliquot part of the inheritance. made by them to prevent it, the
(2) There is evidence of repudiation and partition was still made.
knowledge on the part of other co-owners. [not
complied] There was no evidence of the ARTICLE 498: Whenever the thing is essentially
repudiation. There was no proof that LADISLAO indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be
executed any Combined Deed of Partition in allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others,
tandem with ELISEO. Also the evidence it shall be sold and its proceeds distributed.
consisting of the tax declarations in Virgilio’s
name and then in Philip’s name were not  What is the SITUATION in Art. 498?
conclusive and indisputable evidence to show 1. the thing owned in
that the lot in question was conveyed to Virgilio common is essentially
Santos, Philip’s predecessor-in-interest. A mere indivisible; and
tax declaration does not vest ownership of the 2. the owners cannot agree
property upon the declarant. Neither do tax that it may be allotted to
receipts nor declarations of ownership for taxation one of them who shall
purposes constitute adequate evidence of indemnify the others.
ownership or of the right to possess realty.
(3) There is an open, continuous, exclusive, AGUILAR vs. CA
adverse and notorious possession of the property. GR No. 76351. October 29, 1993
[complied] It was Virgilio Santos (son of ELISEO)
who was in possession of the subject property Art. 498 of the Civil Code states that
since after the death of Isidra Santos in 1967. whenever the thing is essentially indivisible
Thereafter, PHILIP took possession of the subject and the co-owners cannot agree that it be
property in 1980 upon its sale even until the allotted to one of them who shall indemnify
action for partition filed by LADISLAO. Despite the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds
this, prescription did not commence in the accordingly distributed.
absence of repudiation.
(4) Possession of the property has started from the Rental for the exclusive use and enjoyment of
time of repudiation until the filing of the action in a co- owner which is not necessarily
court should be at least 10 years. [complied] PHILIP prejudicial to the interests of the other co-
and the HEIRS OF ELISEO reasoned out that owners should only be ordered after partition
more than 13 years had lapsed from 1967 when because prior to partition, the former has the
Isidra died, to 1980 when PHILIP took possession right to use and enjoy the entire property as a
of the property. In fact, they also argued that more co-owner.
than 12 years had lapsed from the time PHILIP
took possession of the property in 1980 up to the FACTS
time LADISLAO filed the action for partition in Petitioner VIRGILIO AGUILAR and
1993. They concluded that the action of respondent SENEN AGUILAR were brothers. In
LADISLAO was already barred by ordinary 1969, they purchased a house and lot in
acquisitive prescription of 10 years. Further, it is Parañaque where their father, Maximiano
argued that the possession of Virgilio Santos Aguilar, could spend and enjoy his remaining
could be tacked with the possession of Philip years in a peaceful neighborhood. Initially, the
Santos bringing to a total of 26 years the time that
brothers agreed that VIRGILIO's share in the co- them who shall indemnify the others, it shall be
ownership was 2/3 while that of SENEN was 1/3. sold and its proceeds accordingly distributed.
In 1970, the brothers executed a Memorandum This is resorted to when:
wherein it was agreed upon that their interests in (1) the right to partition the property is
the house and lot should be equal. It was also invoked by any of the co-owners but
stated therein that in exchange for SENEN’S because of the nature of the property it
possession and enjoyment of the house together cannot be subdivided or its subdivision
with their father, he should assume the remaining would prejudice the interests of the co-
mortgage obligation of the original owners with owners, and
the Social Security System (SSS). (b) the co-owners not in agreement as to
Also, since VIRGILIO was then disqualified who among them shall be allotted or
from obtaining a loan from SSS, the brothers assigned the entire property upon proper
agreed that the Deed of Sale would be executed reimbursement or the co-owners.
and the title registered in the meantime in the In the present case, the right to partition of the
name of SENEN. It was further agreed that Senen property was invoked by VIRGILIO but SENEN
would take care of their father and his needs since refused to vacate it. The only recourse then is to
Virgilio and his family were staying in Cebu. sell the property and the proceeds of the sale be
In 1974, their father Maximiano Aguilar died. distributed to the both of them in equal shares.
Afterwards, VIRGILIO demanded from SENEN (2) NO, SENEN should not start paying rentals
that the latter should vacate the house and that after the death of their father but only after the
the property be sold and proceeds thereof be trial court ordered him to vacate the property
divided among them. However, SENEN refused until he should actually vacate.
to do so. SENEN was a co-owner. Hence, under Article
Because of the refusal of SENEN to give in to 486 of the Civil Code, he had the right to use the
VIRGILIO's demands, in 1979, the latter filed an house and lot without paying any compensation
action to compel the sale of the house and lot so to VIRGILIO, as he may use the property owned
that they could divide the proceeds between in common so long as it is in accordance with the
them. In his complaint, he prayed that the purpose for which it is intended and in a manner
proceeds be divided in the following manner: 2/3 not injurious to the interest of the other co-
in his favor and 1/3 in favor of SENEN. He also owners.
prayed that SENEN be ordered to pay for However, since VIRGILIO had decided to effect
monthly rentals for his use of the house after their partition of the house and lot in court. After the
father died. He claimed that SENEN's continued trial court granted the petition for partition and
stay in the property hindered its disposal to his ordered the ejectment of SENEN, the co-
prejudice. ownership was deemed terminated and the right
SENEN on the other hand alleged that he had to use and enjoy the possession jointly ceased.
no objection to the sale as long as the best selling Thereafter, the continued stay of SENEN and his
price could be obtained. He also prayed that family in the house was prejudicial to the interest
should the sale would be effected, the proceeds of VIRGILIO as the property should have been
thereof should be divided equally. He further sold and the proceeds divided equally between
added that his use and enjoyment of the house them. To this extent and from then on respondent
was lawful since he was co-owner than he should should be held liable for monthly rentals until he
not be ordered to pay monthly rentals. and his family vacate.
The trial court ordered that SENEN should
vacate the property so that it could be sold to
third persons and that the proceeds of the sale be REYES vs. CONCEPTION
divided equally between him and VIRGILIO. It GR No. 56650. October 1, 1990
also ordered that SENEN should pay monthly
rentals, which should be counted after the death A co-owner has no the preemptive right to
of their father. purchase the pro indiviso share being offered
The Court of First Instance reversed the for sale by another co-owner. What he has is
decision. However, the Court of Appeals affirmed the right of redemption which must be
the decision of the trial court. Hence, this petition exercised for a span of period after the sale to
by VIRGILIO. a 3rd person by the other co-owner involving
the latter’s share was made.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not it was proper for SENEN to Under Art. 498, the sale of the property held
vacate the property so that it could be sold to in common referred to in the above article is
third persons. resorted to when: (1) the right to partition
2. Whether or not SENEN should pay rentals the property among the co-owners is invoked
after the time his father died. by any of them but because of the nature of
the property, it cannot be subdivided or its
RULING subdivision would prejudice the interests of
(1) YES, SENEN should vacate the property so the co-owners and (2) the co-owners are not
that it could be sold to third persons. in agreement as to who among them shall be
Art. 498 of the Civil Code states that whenever allotted or assigned the entire property upon
the thing is essentially indivisible and the co- reimbursement of the shares of the other co-
owners cannot agree that it be allotted to one of owners.
a third person. However, it could not be applied
FACTS in the present case. This is not present in the case
Peitioners MARINA REYES, AUGUSTIN at bar since no sale of VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET
ZABALLERO and SOCORRO FRANCISCO AL.’s pro indiviso shares had been made yet. It
(REYES ET AL.) and private respondents only applies should a sale had been made.
SOCORRO MARQUEZ VDA. DE ZABALLERO, Neither did REYES ET AL. had the legal right
EUGENIA ZUNA, LEONARDO ZABALLERO to enjoin VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. from
and ELENA FRONDA ZABALELRO (VDA. DE alienating their pro indiviso shares to a third party.
ZABALLERO ET AL.) were pro indiviso co-owners The law does not prohibit a co-owner from
of 8 parcels of land totaling to 9 hectares located selling, alienating or mortgaging his ideal share in
in the province of Cavite. the property held in common. The law merely
In 1980, REYES ET AL. received a written provides that the alienation or mortgage shall be
notice from VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. that limited only to the portion of the property which
VOLCANO SECURITIES TRADERS AND AGRI- may be allotted to him upon termination of the
BUSINESS CORP. offered to buy their share in the co-ownership. The only remedy of the remaining
properties and that they had agreed thereto. The co-owners then is to exercise their right to redeem,
terms stated that VOLCANO SECURITIES was within a specified period, the shares which may
also willing to purchase not only the aliquot have been sold to the third party.
shares of VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. but also (2) YES, under Art. 498 of the Civil Code, it
that of REYES ET AL. for the price of P12.50 per should be.
sq. m. Under Art. 498, the sale of the property held
In the same year, REYES ET AL. filed a case in in common referred to in the above article is
court seeking to enjoin VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET resorted to when:
AL. from selling their pro indiviso shares as co- 1. the right to partition the property
owners of the property. They also claimed: among the co-owners is invoked by any of
1. that the subject property was them but because of the nature of the
incapable of division, property, it cannot be subdivided or its
2. that as co-owners, they had a subdivision would prejudice the interests of
preferential right to purchase the shares the co-owners and
of VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. for a 2. the co-owners are not in agreement as
reasonable price, and to who among them shall be allotted or
3. that P12.50 per sq. m. was grossly assigned the entire property upon
excessive being that they have a reimbursement of the shares of the other co-
preemptive right to purchase the owners.
property, it was unreasonable. In the present case, it was VDA. DE
VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL. refuted said ZABALLERO ET AL. who invoked the partition
allegations. Later, they alleged that they did not of the property although the property was
know any other party who was willing and able indivisible and it was not agreed upon that it
to purchase the property under a more favorable should be sold to REYES ET AL. since there was a
condition than offered by VOLCANO more favorable offer from VOLCANO
SECURITIES. They however, also expressed that SECURITIES. Hence, under the provision, as a last
they were willing to sell the property to REYES resort, the property must be sold in a public sale
ET AL. at the same rate of P12.50 per sq. m. as and that distribution of the proceeds thereof
offered by VOLCANO SECURITIES. should be made among the co-owners afterwards.
The trial court ruled that REYES ET AL. as co-
owners did not have a preemptive right to ARTICLE 499: The partition of a thing owned in
purchase VDA. DE ZABALLERO ET AL.’s common shall not prejudice third persons, who shall
property. Pursuant to Art. 498, it also ordered a retain the rights of mortgage, servitude, or any other
public sale of the entire property as it was real rights belonging to them before the division was
indivisible. made. Personal rights pertaining to third persons
Hence, this present action. against co-ownership shall also remain in force,
notwithstanding the partition.
ISSUES
1. Whether or not a co-owner has the ARTICLE 500: Upon partition, there shall be mutual
preemptive right to purchase the pro indiviso share accounting for benefits received and reimbursements
being offered for sale by another co-owner. for expenses made. Likewise, each co-owner shall pay
2. Whether or not the property should be sold for damages caused by reason of his negligence or
to third persons. fraud.
ARTICLE 501: Every co-owner shall, after partition,
RULING be liable for defects of title and quality of the portion
(1) NO, a co-owner has such no right. The legal assigned to each of the other co-owners.
provisions on co-ownership do not grant to any of
the owners of a property held in common a THE FOLLOWING ARE THE EFFECTS OF
preemptive right to purchase the pro indiviso PARTITION:
shares of his co-owners. 1. mutual accounting of
Art. 1620 of the Civil Code only allows a co- benefits received;
owner to exercise a right of redemption should 2. mutual reimbursement;
the other co-owner sell his share in the property to
3. indemnity for damages
caused by reason of his  Right to possession is merely an incident
negligence or fraud; of ownership.
4. reciprocal warranty in case  This is independent of ownership
of eviction or loss of whereby a person is placed in possession
quality or hidden defects. of a thing by virtue of a right but not of
 EXCEPT: ownership.
1) when there is contrary  He is not the owner but he has the right to
stipulation; possess. This is an independent right of
2) when the eviction is due to ownership
subsequent partition to one
evicted REQUISITES OF POSSESSION:
3) the co-owner has exclusive
possession of the part allotted to 1. There must be a holding or control (this
him from the entire period during holding may be actual or constructive;
which possession lasted. holding here means occupancy or seizure
o There is retroactive effect. of a thing);
4) they have exclusive title over 2. There is intent to hold or the animus or
their respective share under Art. desire;
1091. 3. The possession must be by virtue of one's
own right.
EXTINGUISHMENT OF CO-OWNERSHIP:
1. By partition (judicial or extra judicial); CLASSES OF POSSESSION
2. If the co-owner acquires ownership of the a. possession in ones own name or
whole property thru acquisitive possession in the name of another
prescription and all the requisites are (art. 524)
complied with (Art. 494); b. Possession in the concept on an
3. When a stranger acquires by prescription owner or possession in the
of the thing that is owned in common (10 concept of a holder (art. 525)
to 30 years, good faith or bad faith c. Possession in good faith or in bad
respectively) after repudiation; faith (art. 526)
4. Merger in one co-owner (when on
acquires the share of another like by DEGREES OF POSSESSION:
renouncing his share for the expenses 1. The mere holding or having, without any
incurred for the preservation until there’s right whatsoever.
no more to renounce); ex: possession of a thief
5. loss or destruction of the thing owned in 2. Possession with juridical title but not that
common; of ownership. This is called juridical
6. Expropriation by the government. possession.
Examples: that of a lessee,
POSSESSION pledgee, usufructuary.
3. Possession with just title but not from the
ARTICLE 523: Possession is the holding of a thing or true owner. This is called real possessory
the enjoyment of a right. right.
Example: a vendee who
2 KINDS: purchases a car from another
1. the holding of a thing (vendor) who merely pretended
2. the enjoyment of a right to be the owner of a car. So there
is transfer but this is not sufficient
 the holding of a thing is possession proper to transfer ownership because
 The exercise of a right or enjoyment of a right there is a defect in the title of the
is quasi-possession vendor in that he is not the owner
thereof
 Is Possession a Fact or a Right? 4. Possession with title of dominion. This is
It is really a fact (since it exists); but from the really ownership or possession that
moment it exists, certain consequences follow, springs from ownership
thus making possession also a right.
 VIEWPOINT OF POSSESSION:
 What is the relationship between 1) jus possidendi – the right to
ownership and possession? possess. This is a right or incident
As a gen. rule, possession is an element of of ownership.
ownership; however this rule is not absolute Example: I own a house; therefore I
because there are circumstances or instances am entitled to posses it.
where the owner of the thing does not posses
the thing. 2) jus possessionis – this is right of
possession. This is an
Right to Possession independent right of itself,
independent of ownership.
acquired it from his mother Agustin Dequiña, Jr.,
Example: the lessee renting an who originally owned it since 1906.
apartment. Although he is not the The trial court rendered judgment in favor of
owner, still by virtue of the lease DE LUNA. On appeal, the RTC reversed the
contract, he is entitled to possess. decision and concluded that Agustin Dequiña, Jr.
was the owner of the property. The same was
CLASSES OF POSSESSION: affirmed by the Court of Appeals.
1. In one’s own name or in that of another Aggrieved, DE LUNA elevated the case to the
(Art 524) Supreme Court. He contended that the Court of
2. In the concept of owner (en concepto de Appeals and the Regional Trial Court erred in
duento) and in the concept of holder. (Art determining the ownership of the disputed
525) property in an action for ejectment and concluded
3. In good faith (bona fide) or in bad faith that Agustin Dequiña, Jr. was the owner of the
(mala fide) property.

ARTICLE 524: Possession may be exercised in one’s ISSUES


own name or in that of another. Whether or not DE LUNA had prior
possession of the property.
 Possession may be exercised in one’s own
name or name of another. RULING
 Possession in Another’s Name: YES, he had prior possession of the property.
1) Voluntary – as when the agent In ejectment cases, the only issue to be
possesses for the principal resolved therein is who is entitled to the physical
2) Necessary – as when a mother or material possession of the premises, or
possesses for a child still in possession de facto, independent of any claim of
maternal womb ownership that either party may set forth in their
3) Unauthorized – this will become pleadings.
the principal’s possession only If petitioner can prove prior possession in
after there has been a ratification himself, he may recover such possession from
w/o prejudice to the effects of even the owner himself. Whatever may be the
negotiorum gestio) character of his prior possession, if he has in his
favor priority of time, he has the security that
entitles him to stay on the property until he is
DE LUNA vs. CA lawfully ejected by a person having a better right
GR No. 94490. August 6,1992 by either accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoria.
However, where the question of possession
Possession of a lessor redounds to the benefit cannot be resolved without deciding the question
of the owner since possession may be of ownership, an inferior court has the power to
exercised in one's own name or in that of resolve the question of ownership but only insofar
another. The owner then may file an action as to determine the issue of possession.
for forcible entry against a usurper. In the case at bar, the inferior court acted
correctly in receiving evidence regarding the
FACTS ownership of the disputed property, inasmuch as
Since 1932, petitioner JOSE DE owned an respondent DIMAANO, JR. claimed to possess
unregistered parcel of land with an area of 30,856 the property by virtue of a lease agreement with
square meters, located in Botolan, Zambales. In the alleged owner thereof, AGUSTIN DEQUIÑA,
1971, defendants Octavio Daclison, Oscar Crispin, JR.
and private respondents JUAN DIMAANO, JR. However, the Court of Appeals erred in
and GERINO DOBLE entered the land. Despite upholding the Regional Trial Court regarding the
DE LUNA’s objections, they began plowing the conclusion that the subject property was owned
land, fenced it with barbed wire and began by Agustin Dequiña, Jr. and therefore respondent
planting sugar cane thereon. DIMAANO, JR. was entitled to possess the same.
In 1972, DE LUNA LUNA filed a complaint in DE LUNA had shown that he had prior
court for forcible entry. He prayed that possession of the property. This was established
DIMAANO, JR. and DOBLE be ordered to vacate by the testimony of his witnesses, notably that of
the land and pay him the amount of P45 monthly his tenant Epigenio Dilag and Victor dela Cruz:
per hectare until possession thereof would be 1. In 1938, the property was delivered to DE
transferred to him. LUNA and his mother Apolonia Dequña
DIMAANO, JR. and DOBLE on the other by Agustin Dequiña, Sr. when they and
hand denied the material allegations of the their brothers and sisters partitioned
complaint. among themselves the properties of their
Crispin and DOBLE alleged that they have not deceased parents.
entered nor occupied the disputed property. 2. From 1938 to 1941, DE LUNA and his
DIMAANO, JR. stated that DE LUNA was not mother cultivated the land.
the owner of the property. He alleged that the 3. From 1944 to 1952, the witness, dela Cruz,
owner of it was his uncle Agustin Dequiña, Sr., leased the land from DE LUNA and his
who possessed it from 1945 to 1972, having mother.
4. From 1953 to 1972 (until DIMAANO, JR. An owner's act of allowing another to occupy
entered the property), the property was his house, rent-free does not create a
leased to Dilag. permanent and indefeasible right of
While petitioner admitted that he declared the possession in the latter's favor.
property for taxation purposes only in 1957, he
had possessed the property beginning 1953 at the FACTS
very latest, when he leased the same to Epigenio Atty. Pedro V. Garcia with the consent of his
Dilag. Moreover, there was evidence to the effect wife Remedios sold their registered lot situated at
that DE LUNA possessed the property even Bel Air II Village in Makati in favor of private
earlier than 1953. respondents – their daughter MA. LUISA
The possession of the property by Dilag since MAGPAYO and her husband LUISITO
1953 and dela Cruz, redounded to the benefit of MAGPAYO.
DE LUNA, since possession may be exercised in In 1981, SPOUSES MAGPAYO mortgaged the
one's own name or in that of another. land to the Philippine Bank of Communications
On the other hand, DIMAANO, JR. had failed (PBCom) to secure a loan, P564,000 according to
to prove that Agustin Dequiña, Jr. possessed the them, P1,200,000according to PBCom. Title in the
property prior to his possession, much less the name of Atty. Pedro V. Garcia was cancelled and
ownership of the latter over said property. The a new one was issued in the name of SPOUSES
mere fact that Agustin Dequiña, Sr. had declared MAGPAYO. In the title, the Deed of Real Estate
the subject property for taxation purposes from Mortgage was annotated on it.
1908 up to 1945 did not constitute possession However, SPOUSES MAGPAYO failed to pay
thereof nor was it proof of ownership in the their loan upon its maturity, hence, the mortgage
absence of DEQUIÑA, JR.'s actual possession of was extrajudicially foreclosed. During the public
said property. auction sale, PBCom, which was the highest
However, it goes without saying that this case bidder bought the land. After the 1 year
did not bar DE LUNA and Agustin Dequiña, Jr. redemption period expired without the SPOUSES
from resolving the issue of ownership over the MAGPAYO redeeming the same, the latter’s title
disputed property in an appropriate proceeding. was cancelled and title over the land was
consolidated in favor of PBCom.
ARTICLE 525: The possession of things or rights may 1985, the SPOUSES MAGPAYO filed a
be had in one of two concepts: either in the concept of complaint seeking the nullification of the
an owner, or in that of the holder of the thing or right extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage, public
to keep or enjoy it, the ownership pertaining to another auction sale, and PBCom's but it was dismissed.
person. Later, PBCom filed a petition for the issuance of a
writ of possession over the land, which was
 The possession of things or rights may be granted.
had in one of 2 concepts: However, petitioner JOSE MA. T. GARCIA,
1) either in the concept of an owner; the brother of MA. LUISA MAGPAYO was the
or one in possession of the land and he refused to
2) in that of a holder of the thing or honor the writ of possession. Then, GARCIA filed
right to keep it or enjoy it, the against PBCom, the SPOUSES MAGPAYOS and
ownership pertaining to another the RTC Sheriff an action for recovery of realty
person and damages wherein he alleged that he inherited
Example: the land as one of the heirs of his mother
A purchased a land from X knowing him not to Remedios T. Garcia and that PBCom acquired no
be the owner. But he exercises acts of ownership right thereover.
over it and his friend believes that he is the owner. PBCom averred, however that GARCIA's
In time, thru prescription, A becomes the owner claim over the land was belied by the fact that it
because his possession is in concepto de dueno. If a was not among the properties owned by his
tenant leases the land from A, he possesses the mother listed in the Inventory of Real Estate.
land in the concept of holder. The SPOUSES MAGPAYOS, on the other
hand, asserted that title over the land was
Possession in the concept of holder. The transferred to them by MA. LUISA MAGPAYO’S
possession is of the property concerned. parents, Atty. Pedro and Remedios Garcia, to
Regarding their respective rights (the lease right, enable them to borrow money from PBCom.
the usufruct, the right to safeguard the thing, the The court held that the mortgage executed by
right to use the thing), all are possessed by them, the MAGPAYO SPOUSES in favor of PBCom was
respectively, in the concept of owner. Hence, the void. It found that the mortgage was executed on
possession of the THING itself is distinguished March 5, 1981 but the new Torrens title was
from the possession of the RIGHT TO ENJOY the issued to the MAGPAYO SPOUSES was only on
thing ( or benefit from it) March 9, 1981. It held that the MAGPAYO
SPOUSES could not have acquired the said
GARCIA vs. CA property merely by the execution of the Deed of
GR No. 133140. August 10, 1999 Sale because the property was in the possession of
GARCIA. It then invalidated the foreclosure sale
The records show that GARCIA occupied the and nullified the title issued to PBCom.
property not in the concept of an owner for Dissatisfied, PBCom appealed. The Court of
his stay was merely tolerated by his parents. Appeals reversed the decision of the trial court.
Hence, this appeal by GARCIA. transfer certificate of title over the property was
issued to them after the mortgage contract was
ISSUE entered into. Registration does not confer
Whether or not GARCIA’s ownership was in ownership, it is merely evidence of such
the concept of an owner. ownership over a particular property. The deed of
sale operates as a formal or symbolic delivery of
RULING the property sold and authorizes the buyer to use
NO, his ownership was in the concept of a the document as proof of ownership.
holder.
GARCIA's possession as found by the trial
court, started only at the time of the filing of the MANGAHAS vs. CA
complaint. Assuming that to be true, his GR No. 95815. March 10, 1999
possession which started only in 1986 could not
ripen into ownership. He had no valid title Acquisition of ownership under the law on
thereto. His possession in fact was that of an prescription cannot be pleaded in support of
intruder, one done in bad faith (to defeat PBCom's MANGAHAS' submission that subject land
Writ of Possession). His possession was certainly has ipso jure become his private property.
not in the concept of an owner. This is so because
as early as 1981, title thereto was registered in the FACTS
name of the SPOUSES MAGPAYO which title Since 1955, the spouses Severo and Caridad S.
was subsequently cancelled when the property Rodil, occupied and possessed an agricultural
was purchased by PBCom in a public auction sale land with an area of 15.0871 hectares. Petitioner,
resulting in the issuance of title in favor of the SERVANDO MANGAHAS, had been in
latter in 1985. possession thereof by virtue of the agreement
Possession and ownership are distinct legal between him and the spouses Rodil, allowing him
concepts. Ownership exists when a thing to occupy and cultivate the said parcel of land.
pertaining to one person is completely subjected In the Kasulatan ng Pagtanggap ng Salapi,
to his will in a manner not prohibited by law and MANGAHAS paid the amount of P7,000 to the
consistent with the rights of others. Ownership spouses Rodils for allowing him to occupy and
confers certain rights to the owner, one of which is cultivate the same. 12 hectares of the property
the right to dispose of the thing by way of sale. were then developed into a fishpond, 2 hectares
Atty. Pedro Garcia and his wife Remedios were planted with rice and 1 hectare was used as
exercised their right to dispose of what they "tumana" with a house erected thereon.
owned when they sold the subject property to the In 1971, the spouses Rodil decided to sell the
SPOUSES MAGPAYO. said piece of land. MANGAHAS approached
On the other hand, possession is defined as private respondent SPOUSES PABLO SIMEON
the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. AND LEONORA CAYME to offer to them the
Literally, to possess means to actually and property for sale. The SPOUSES CAYME agreed
physically occupy a thing with or without right. to purchase the property for P7,000 and
Under Art. 542 of the Civil Code, possession may MANGAHAS was the broker of such sale. An
be had in one of two ways: possession in the Affidavit of proof to such was executed by the
concept of an owner and possession of a holder. A Spouses Rodil in favor of the SPOUSES CAYME
possessor in the concept of an owner may be the in the presence of the herein MANGAHAS. The
owner himself or one who claims to be so. On the SPOUSES CAYME, on the same day, filed a free
other hand, one who possesses as a mere holder patent application for the land, which was later
acknowledges in another a superior right which approved. Later, title in their names was issued.
he believes to be ownership, whether his belief be The SPOUSES CAYME permitted
right or wrong. MANGAHAS to continue possessing and
The records show that GARCIA occupied the working on the same land, even after the sale,
property not in the concept of an owner for his upon the request of the former themselves
stay was merely tolerated by his parents. An because they were then busy in their palay
owner's act of allowing another to occupy his business. The SPOUSES CAYME did not get any
house, rent-free does not create a permanent and share in the fruits or harvest of the land except on
indefeasible right of possession in the latter's one occasion, when MANGAHAS gave them 1/2
favor. Consequently, it was of no moment that "tiklis" (big basket) of "tilapia".
GARCIA was in possession of the property at the Later, the SPOUSES CAYME had demanded
time of the sale to the SPOUSES MAGPAYO. It from MANGAHAS the return of the premises in
was not a hindrance to a valid transfer of question but the latter refused to vacate the place.
ownership. On the other hand, GARCIA's In 1985, the SPOUSES CAYME commenced an
subsequent claim of ownership as successor to his action for recovery of ownership and the
mother's share in the conjugal asset was belied by possession of real property.
the fact that the property was not included in the MANGAHAS theorized that he entered into
inventory of the estate submitted by his father to the possession of the land under controversy in
the intestate court. This buttresses the ruling that 1969 by virtue of a prior sale he inked with the
indeed the property was no longer considered spouses Rodil in 1969. He averred that he had
owned by petitioner's parents. been in continuous occupation and possession in
The mortgage to PBCom by the SPOUSES concepto de dueño, enjoying the fruits thereof to the
MAGPAYO was valid notwithstanding that the exclusion of all others, his right thereto being
evidenced by the Kasulatan ng Pagtangap ng Salapi Tomas Maglucot, one of the registered owners
dated 1969. He also denied that he brokered the and RESPONDENTS' predecessor-in-interest,
sale between the spouses Rodil and SPOUSES filed a petition to subdivide Lot No. 1639.
CAYME. Consequently, it was divided into 6 portions.
The trial court ruled against MANGAHAS. It After partition, Lot D was awarded to Roberto
held that the SPOUSES CAYME WERE the Maglucot, predecessor-in-interest of
absolute and registered owners of the land in PETITIONERS GAVINA MAGLUCOT-AW ET
question. It also ordered MANGAHAS to remove AL. while Lot F was awarded to Tomas Maglucot,
his house constructed thereon and deliver the predecessor-in-interest RESPONDENTS
possession to the SPOUSES CAYME. The Court of LEOPOLDO MAGLUCOT.
Appeals affirmed the same decision. In 1963, Guillermo Maglucot rented a portion
Hence, this appeal. of Lot D. Subsequently, respondents LEOPOLDO
and SEVERO MAGLUCOT, rented portions of the
ISSUE same lot in 1964 and 1969, respectively, and each
Whether or not MANGAHAS possessed the paying rentals therefor. They built houses on their
property in the concept of an owner. corresponding leased lots and paid the rental
amount of P100 per year to Mrs. Ruperta Salma,
RULING who represented the heirs of Roberto Maglucot.
NO, MANGAHAS only possessed it in the In 1992, however, said respondents stopped
concept of a holder for the following proofs: paying rentals claiming ownership over the
1. the spouses Rodil only allowed him to subject lot.
occupy and cultivate the said parcel of Hence, an action for recovery of possession
land by lease werein MANGAHAS paid and damages was filed by PETITIONERS against
P7,000 as evidenced by the Kasulatan ng RESPONDENTS. The latter however contended
Pagtanggap ng Salapi, that no partition was effected and hence, they
2. MANGAHAS was the one who offered were co-owners of Lot D.
the property for sale to the SPOUSES After trial, the lower court rendered judgment
CAYME when the spouses Rodil decided in favor of PETITIONERS and ordered
to sell it. In fact, he was the broker of the RESPONDENTS to demolish their respective
sale, and houses and vacate the premises. Although there
3. on one occasion, MANGAHAS gave the was an order for partition but there was no proof
SPOUSES CAYME 1/2 "tiklis" (big basket) that the sketch/subdivision plan was submitted to
of "tilapia". court for its approval or that a decree or order was
registered in the Register of Deeds. It based its
Prescription did not run in favor of Mangahas decision on the tax declarations by the original co-
MANGAHAS's grantor or predecessor in owners as to their respective shares after partition.
interest spouses RODIL took possession of the In fact, the tax declarations over the houses of
property, subject matter of the litigation in 1955. RESPONDENTS, expressly stated that the same
Since the complaint in the case at bar was filed in are constructed on the lot of Roberto Maglucot. It
1985, the requirement of at least 30 years then constitutes a conclusive admission by them
continuous possession has not been complied of the ownership of the subject lot by the latter. It
with even if we were to tack Rodil's period of also added that RESPONDENTS were estopped
possession. by the fact that it was their predecessor-in-
MANGAHAS could not now feign ignorance interest, Tomas Maglucot, who commenced the
of such judicial admission which he had action for partition and took active part in the
resolutely repudiated in his present petition. process.
Acquisition of ownership under the law on On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the
prescription cannot be pleaded in support of decision of the RTC. The appellate court ruled
MANGAHAS' submission that subject land has that the sketch plan and tax declarations relied
ipso jure become his private property. upon by PETITIONERS were not conclusive
evidence of partition. It thus declared that there
was no partition of Lot No. 1639.
MAGLUCOT-AU vs. MAGLUCOT Hence, this appeal by PETITIONERS. They
GR No. 132518. March 28, 2000 contended that Lot 1639 was mutually partitioned
and physically subdivided among the co-owners
RESPONDENTS only possessed Lot D in and that majority of them participated in the
the concept of a holder for the reason that they actual execution of the subdivision. They opined
had been paying rent as lessees thereon. Had that in 1952, it was Tomas Maglucot, predecessor-
they been of the belief that they were co- in-interest of RESPODENTS, who initiated a court
owners of the entire Lot 1639, they would not proceeding for a formal subdivision of Lot 1639.
have paid rent. One who possesses as a mere Further, the co-owners accepted their designated
holder acknowledges in another, a superior shares in 1946 as averred by Tomas Maglucot in
right which he believes to be ownership, his petition for partition. Thus, RESPONDENTS
whether his belief be right or wrong. were estopped from asserting that there was no
partition made. PETITIONERS further contend
FACTS that respondents admitted in their tax
Lot No. 1639 was co-owned by 6 persons. In declarations covering their respective houses that
1927, a title in their names was issued. In 1952,
they are "constructed on the land of Roberto right or wrong. Since the possession of
Maglucot." RESPONDENTS were found to be that of lessees
RESPONDENTS rebutted firstly that of PETITIONERS, it goes without saying that the
PETITIONERS failed to show that the interested latter were in possession of Lot No. 1639-D in the
parties were notified of the tentative subdivision concept of an owner from 1952 up to the time the
contained in the sketch and that the CFI present action was commenced.
subsequently confirmed the same. Second, they To bolster the fact that they possessed the
point to the fact that petitioners were unable to land in the concept of a holder, RESPONDENTS
show any court approval of any partition. Third, Wilfreda Maglucot-Alejo and Constancio Alejo
they maintained that Lot 1639 remained offered to buy the share of Roberto Maglucot.
undivided since to date, its title contained no However, this did not prosper as PETITIONERS
annotation of partition or whatsoever. refused to sell it.
Moreover, no evidence was ever presented to
ISSUE show that a tax declaration for the entire Lot 1639
1. Whether or not there was partition. has ever been made. In fact, after partition, tax
2. Whether or not the RESPONDENTS declarations were made for every specific lot by
possessed Lot D in the concept of an owner since each owner thereof. In fact, Lot D, where
they argued that they were co-owners of the lot. RESPONDENTS’ houses were built thereon were
declared for tax purposes in the name of Roberto
RULING Maglucot.
(1) YES, there was partition.
The records of the case show that sometime in 2 phases in an action for partition;
1946 there was a prior oral agreement to 1. an order for partition which determines
tentatively partition Lot 1639. By virtue of this whether a co-ownership in fact exists, and
agreement, the original co-owners occupied whether partition is proper, and
specific portions of Lot 1639. It was only in 1952 The first phase of a partition and/or
when the petition to subdivide Lot 1639 was filed accounting suit is taken up with the
because two of the co-owners, namely determination of whether or not a co-
Hermogenes Olis and heirs of Pascual Olis, ownership in fact exists, (i.e., not otherwise
refused to have said lot subdivided and have legally proscribed) and may be made by
separate certificates of title. Significantly, after the voluntary agreement of all the parties
1952 proceedings, the parties in this case by interested in the property. This phase may
themselves and/or through their predecessors-in- end with a declaration that plaintiff is not
interest occupied specific portions of Lot 1639 in entitled to have a partition either because a
accordance with the sketch plan. Such possession co-ownership does not exist, or partition is
remained so until this case arose, or about 40 legally prohibited. It may end, upon the other
years later. hand, with an adjudgment that a co-
Parties to a partition proceeding, who elected ownership does in truth exist, partition is
to take under partition, and who took possession proper in the premises and an accounting of
of the portion allotted to them, are estopped to rents and profits received by the defendant
question title to portion allotted to another party. from the real estate in question is in order. In
A person cannot claim both under and against the the latter case, the parties may, if they are able
same instrument. In other words, they accepted to agree, make partition among themselves by
the lands awarded them by its provisions, and proper instruments of conveyance, and the
they cannot accept the decree in part, and court shall confirm the partition so agreed
repudiate it in part. They must accept all or none. upon. In either case - i.e., either the action is
Parties who had received the property assigned to dismissed or partition and/or accounting is
them are precluded from subsequently attacking decreed - the order is a final one, and may be
its validity of any part of it. appealed by any party aggrieved thereby.
Here, RESPONDENTS, by themselves and/or 2. a decision confirming the sketch or
through their predecessors-in-interest, already subdivision submitted by the parties or the
occupied of the lots in accordance with the sketch commissioners appointed by the court, as the
plan. This occupation continued until this action case may be.
was filed. They cannot now be heard to question The second phase commences when it
the possession and ownership of the other co- appears that "the parties are unable to agree
owners who took exclusive possession of Lot D upon the partition" directed by the court. In
also in accordance with the sketch plan. that event, partition shall be done for the
(2) NO. RESPONDENTS only possessed Lot D parties by the court with the assistance of not
in the concept of a holder for the reason that they more than three (3) commissioners. This
had been paying rent as lessees thereon. Had they second stage may well also deal with the
been of the belief that they were co-owners of the rendition of the accounting itself and its
entire Lot 1639, they would not have paid rent. approval by the court after the parties have
The payment of rentals by RESPONDENTS been accorded opportunity to be heard
reveal that their possession of over Lot D was that thereon, and an award for the recovery by the
of a holder and not in the concept of an owner. party or parties thereto entitled of their just
One who possesses as a mere holder share in the rents and profits of the real estate
acknowledges in another a superior right which in question. Such an order is, to be sure, final
he believes to be ownership, whether his belief be and appealable.
bad faith begins.
ARTICLE 526: He is deemed a possessor in good faith
who is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of  When Possession in Good Faith is
acquisition any flaw which invalidates it. Converted to Possession in Bad Faith:
He is deemed a possessor in bad faith, who a. From the moment facts exist showing
possesses in any case contrary to the foregoing. the possessor’s knowledge of the
Mistake upon doubtful or difficult flaw; from that time should he be
question of law may be the basis of good faith considered a possessor in bad faith.
b. It does not matter whether the facts
 Awareness of any flaw is the question of were caused by him or by some other
knowledge. So that if he is not aware, he person.
is in good faith. If he is aware then he is in  When Bad Faith Begins:
bad faith  From the moment facts exist which
 SC said where a party's mere refusal to show that the possessor is aware that
believe that a defect exists or his willful he possesses the thing improperly or
closing of his eyes to the possibility of a wrongfully.
vendor's defect to his title will not make  The reckoning period is not the
him an innocent purchaser for value if it knowledge itself but when the facts
afterwards develop that the title was in would show that the possessor has
fact defective. Hence if circumstances evident knowledge of the flaw.
exist that requires a prudent man to
investigate, he will be in bf if he does not  When would the facts exist? When
investigate. (Rep. vs. CA (102 Scra 331 in someone produces evidence.
relation to Wong vs. Carprio 203 Scra 118)
 What is the significance of good faith
Possessor in Good Faith. One who is not aware and bad faith with respect to the
that there exists in his TITLE or MODE of owner of the property? No
acquisition any flaw which invalidates it. significance because he is already the
owner of the property.
 While the possessor in good faith is one
who BELIEVES he is the owner, the EMBRADO vs. CA
possessor in the concept of owner is one GR No. 51457. June 27, 1994
who ACTS as if he is the owner.
The rule is settled that a buyer of real
Possessor in Bad Faith. One who is not in good property which is in the possession of persons
faith. (Hence, if circumstances exist that require a other than the seller must be wary and should
prudent man to investigate, he will be in bad faith investigate the rights of those in possession.
if he does not investigate. Otherwise, without such inquiry, the buyer
can hardly be regarded as a buyer in good
The ff. may be the basis of good faith: faith.
1. Error in the application of the law, in
legal solutions that arise from that FACTS
application ( the error is not gross and Juan, Pastor and Matias Carpitanos originally
therefore excusable) owned a 366-square meter lot in Dipolog City.In
2. error in the appreciation of the legal 1946, a Venta Definitiva, a notarized document
consequences of certain acts written entirely in Spanish, was executed by the
3. errors in the interpretation of doubtful Carpitanos whereby they sold said lot to
provisions or doctrines petitioner LUCIA C. EMBRADO, who was
referred to as “single”. The document provided
ARTICLE 527: Good faith is always presumed, and that even though the Deed was prepared and
upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a signed in 1946, the effects of the document would
possessor rests the burden of proof. retroact to the date the lot and its improvements
were actually sold to EMBRADO in 1941.
There is a presumption that where one is in possession Thereafter, the sale was registered and a title
of the property, there is a presumption that the was issued in the name of LUCIA EMBRADO
possession is in good faith. And upon him who alleges alone. Later, the word “single” in the title was
bad faith on the part of a possessor rests the burden of cancelled and was replaced by “married to
proof. ORESTE TORREGIANI", the latter, who was
LUCIA EMBRADO’s husband since 1943. The
ARTICLE 528: Possession acquired in good faith does TORREGIANIs then constructed their conjugal
not lose this character except in the case and from the abode on the lot and in 1958 constructed a
moment facts exist which show that the possessor is residential/commercial building thereon.
not unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or In 1971, EMBRADO sold the land for P1,000 to
wrongfully. her adopted daughter, herein private respondent
EDA JIMENEZ, who was married to SANTIAGO
If one is in possession and his possession is in good JIMENEZ. In the Absolute Deed of Sale, the
faith, he will remain in good faith until such time when
property was referred to as EMBRADO’s "own not enough to invoke the ordinary presumption of
paraphernal property". good faith, i.e. that everyone is presumed to act in
In 1972, EDA sold 65 sq. m of the lot to private good faith. The good faith that is here essential is
respondent MARCOS SALIMBAGAT for P6,500, integral with the very status which must be
and 301 sq. m. of the same lot to private proved.
respondent PACIFICO CIMAFRANCA for We agree with the trial court when it found
P30,000. Both sales were duly annotated on the that SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA
title. purchased the disputed lot from EDA and
In the same year, the TORREGIANIs SANTIAGO JIMENEZ with knowledge of facts
instituted an action for declaration of nullity of and circumstances which should have put them
contract, annulment of sales, reconveyance and upon such inquiry and investigation as might be
damages against the private respondent SPOUSES necessary to acquaint them with the defects in the
JIMENEZ, MARCOS SALIMBAGAT and title of their vendor. A purchaser cannot close his
PACIFICO CIMAFRANCA. They alleged that the eyes to facts which should put a reasonable man
sale that the sale of the lot by LUCIA to EDA was on his guard and then claim that he acted in good
void not only for lack of consideration but also faith under the belief that there was no defect in
because ORESTE TORREGIANI did not consent the title of the vendor. His mere refusal to believe
to the sale, which consent was necessary because that such defect exists, or his willful closing of his
the lot was conjugal property. They also claimed eyes to the possibility of the existence of a defect
that that LUCIA was misled into signing the Deed in the vendor's title will not make him an innocent
of Sale on the belief that the lot was merely purchaser for value if afterwards it develops that
intended as security for a loan that the SPOUSES the title is in fact defective, and it appears that he
JIMENEZ spouses were then negotiating. Since had such notice of the defect as would have led to
the SPOUSES JIMENEZ did not acquire valid title its discovery had he acted with the measure of
to the land, the subsequent sales in favor of precaution which may reasonably be required of a
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA were without prudent man in like situation.
legal effect. CIMAFRANCA was a close relative of
The TORREGIANIs were sustained by the SANTIAGO and at the same time godfather to
trial court, which held that the sale of Lot 564 to one of his children. It would be impossible for
EDA and its subsequent transfers to CIMAFRANCA not to know that SANTIAGO
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA, who were was only 22 years old, a working student earning
declared buyers in bad faith, were void and of no P6 per day with a wife and three children to
effect. support. With these facts, there is every reason for
The Court of appeals reversed the said him to inquire further as to how EDA came up
judgment. It held that since LUCIA actually with the sum of P1,000 to buy the property, when
agreed with Juan, Pastor and Matias Carpitanos, she was unemployed.
the original owners, to the purchase of Lot 564 in On the part of SALIMBAGAT, he has a
1941 when she was not yet married, then the lot daughter renting a portion of the building with
was her paraphernal property. In addition, the her husband for more than a year prior to the sale
respondent court declared SALIMBAGAT and by EDA to him. During the time that
CIMAFRANCA were buyers in good faith since SALIMBAGAT was already interested in buying
the contrary was not proved. the property, it would have been usual and part of
ordinary human nature for him to inquire about
ISSUE the property from his daughter who was living
Whether or not SALIMBAGAT and very near the supposed owners. SALIMBAGAT
CIMAFRANCA were buyers in good faith for had some knowledge of the financial status of the
purposes of protection under the Torrens system supposed vendors which should have put him on
of registration. guard before buying the property and would
have known that at the time of the sale to him and
RULING CIMAFRANCA, the TORREGIANIs had already
NO, they were not. They were buyers in bad been in continuous possession of the property for
faith. Hence, they were not entitled to protection 14 years since 1958.
under the Torrens system of registration. Before buying the property, SALIMBAGAT
Lot 564 was the conjugal property of the and CIMAFRANCA allegedly inquired from the
TORREGIANI since LUCIA purchased it from the office of the Register of Deeds concerning the
Capitranos in 1946 when her marriage to ORESTE genuineness of the certificate of title of EDA, and
was already subsisting. from the court as to whether the property was
The Sale in favor of EDA was void because it involved in any litigation. However, they failed to
was made with fraud and that if indeed it was inquire from petitioners as to why they were the
sold, it was made without the consent of LUCIA’s ones in actual possession of the property.
husband, the property being a conjugal one. The rule is settled that a buyer of real property
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA were buyers which is in the possession of persons other than
in bad faith the seller must be wary and should investigate the
SALIMBAGAT and CIMAFRANCA had not rights of those in possession. Otherwise, without
proven that they were purchasers in good faith. such inquiry, the buyer can hardly be regarded as
The burden of proving the status of a purchaser in a buyer in good faith. When a man proposes to
good faith and for value lies upon him who buy or deal with realty, his first duty is to read the
asserts that status.* In discharging the burden, it is public manuscript, i.e., to look and see who is
there upon it, and what are his rights. A want of the foreclosed property and appropriated the
caution and diligence which an honest man of produce thereof.
ordinary prudence is accustomed to exercise in 1978, the Ministry of Justice opined that as the
making purchases is, in contemplation of law, a mortgage had ceased to exist upon the transfer of
want of good faith. The buyer who has failed to title to the tenant by virtue of the promulgation of
know or discover that the land sold to him is in P.D. No. 27 in 1972, there could be no mortgage to
the adverse possession of another, is a buyer in foreclose and therefore no subject for the
bad faith. foreclosure proceedings.
In 1981, the PIÑEDAS offered to redeem the
* This is in contrast to Art. 527 of the Civil foreclosed property by offering P10,000 as partial
Code which states that “…upon him who redemption payment. This amount was accepted
alleges bad faith on the part of the possessor by DBP, which conditionally approved the offer
rests the burden of proof.” of redemption.
However, DBP sent another letter to the
PIÑEDAS informing them that pursuant to P.D.
ALVIOLA vs. CA 27, their offer to redeem and/or repurchase the
GR No. 117642. April 24, 1998 subject property could not be favorably
considered for the reason that said property was
There was bad faith on the part of the tenanted. DBP later filed an action in court to to
SPOUSES ALVIOLA when they constructed nullify the foreclosure proceedings which was
the copra dryer and store on the disputed favorably acted upon.
portions since they were fully aware that the Later, the PIÑEDAS filed an action against
parcels of land belonged to Victoria Tinagan. DBP for the cancellation of certificate of title
and/or specific performance, accounting and
(refer to Page 17) damages with a prayer for the issuance of a writ
of preliminary injunction. It contended that DBP
was in evident bad faith as it caused the
DBP vs. CA consolidation of its title to the parcel of land in
GR No. 111737. October 13, 1999 question in spite of the fact that the 5-year
redemption period expressly stated in the Sheriff's
Good faith of the possessor ceases when an Certificate of Sale had not yet lapsed and that their
action to recover possession of the property is offer to redeem the foreclosed property was made
filed against him and he is served summons well within said period of redemption.
therefore. In the present case, DBP was served RTC ruled in favor of the PIÑEDAS stating
summons in 1982. By that time, it was no that DBP violated the stipulation in the Sheriff's
longer in possession of the disputed land as Certificate of Sale which provided that the
possession thereof was given back to the redemption period is 5 years from the
PIÑEDAS after the foreclosure of DBP was registration.
declared null and void. DBP appealed to the Court of Appeals, which
affirmed the decision of the RTC. The Court of
FACTS Appeals stated that being that DBP was in evident
Respondent SPOUSES TIMOTEO and bad faith when it unlawfully took possession of
SELFIDA S. PIÑEDA were registered owners of a the property and defied what was written on the
parcel of land in Dumarao, Capiz containing an Sheriff's Certificate of Sale, the PIÑEDAS should be
area of 238,406 sq. m, which was covered by a entitled to recover the fruits produced by the
homestead patent. property or its equivalent for the 3-year period.
In 1972, the PIÑEDAS mortgaged said land to Hence, this appeal by DBP. It alleged that the
petitioner DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE mere fact that DBP took possession and
PHILIPPINES (DBP) to secure their P20,000- administration of the property did not warrant a
agricultural loan. Later, The PIÑEDAS failed to finding that DBP was in bad faith:
comply with the terms and conditions of the 1. the PIÑEDAS consented to and approved
mortgage that DBP extrajudicially foreclose it in the takeover of DBP;
1977. In the foreclosure sale, DBP was the highest 2. that Sec. 717 of Act No. 3135 allows the
bidder and a Sheriff Certificate of Sale was executed mortgagee-buyer to take possession of the
in its favor. In Said Certificate, it was indicated mortgaged property even during the redemption
therein that the redemption shall be within 5 years period;
from the date of the registration of the title. This 3. that DBP's act of consolidating the title of
Certificate was later registered in the Registry of the property in its name did not constitute bad
Deeds. faith as there was no law which prohibits the
In 1978, after the expiration of the 1-year purchaser at public auction from consolidating
redemption period under Section 6 of Act 3135, title in its name after the expiration of the 1 year
DBP consolidated its title over the foreclosed redemption period reckoned from the time the
property by executing an Affidavit of Consolidation Certificate of Sale was registered; and neither was
of Ownership. Subsequently, a Final Deed of Sale there any law or jurisprudence which prohibits
was executed in DBP's favor, which was the PIÑEDAS from exercising their right of
registered together with the Affidavit of redemption over said property within 5 years
Consolidation of Ownership. A new title was even if title is consolidated in the name of the
thereafter issued to DBP and it took possession of purchaser; and
4. that when it denied the PIÑEDAS' offer to difficult question of law may properly be the basis
redeem the property, it was merely premised on of good faith.
the Opinion of the Minister of Justice which stated Good faith of the possessor ceases when an
that said land was covered under P.D. 27 and action to recover possession of the property is
could not be the subject of foreclosure filed against him and he is served summons
proceedings. For this reason, DBP immediately therefore. In the present case, DBP was served
filed a petition to nullify the foreclosure summons in 1982. By that time, it was no longer in
proceedings which was favorably acted upon. If possession of the disputed land as possession
DBP was really in bad faith, it would not have thereof was given back to the PIÑEDAS after the
filed said petition for said petition was against its foreclosure of DBP was declared null and void.
own interests. Therefore, any income collected by DBP after it
consolidated its title and took possession of the
ISSUE property in 1978 up to 1982 belonged to DBP as a
Whether or not DBP was in bad faith. possessor in good faith since its possession was
never legally interrupted.
RULING
NO, it was not. It was a possessor in good ARTICLE 529: It is presumed that possession
faith. continues to be enjoyed on the same character in which
A possessor in good faith is one who is not it was acquired, until the contrary is proved.
aware that there exists in his title or mode of
acquisition any flaw, which invalidates it. Good  If one is in actual possession of the
faith is always presumed, and upon him who property under the claim of
alleges bad faith on the part of a possessor rests ownership, there is a disputable
the burden of proof. It was therefore incumbent presumption of ownership.
on the PIÑEDAS to prove that DBP was aware of  REQUISITES:
the flaw in its title i.e. the nullity of the a. one is in actual possession;
foreclosure. This, they failed to do. b. and he is claiming ownership
The PIÑEDAS argued that DBP's bad faith
stemmed from the fact that DBP consolidated title ARTICLE 530: Only things and rights which are
over the disputed property despite the statement susceptible of being appropriated may be the object of
in the Sheriff's Certificate of Sale to the effect that possession.
said land was subject to a 5-year redemption
period.  What may be possessed? Only things
The period of redemption of extrajudicially and rights which are susceptible of
foreclosed land is provided under Section 6 of being appropriated
ACT No. 3135 which states that if no redemption  What may not be possessed?
is made within 1 year, the purchaser is entitled as a. property of public domain;
a matter of right to consolidate and to possess the b. res communes
property. Accordingly, DBP's act of consolidating c. easements ( if discontinuous or
its title and taking possession of the subject non- apparent);
property after the expiration of the period of d. things specifically prohibited by
redemption was in accordance with law. law
Moreover, it was in consonance with Section 4 of
the mortgage contract between DBP and the Res Nullius. Res nullius (abandoned or ownerless
PIÑEDAS where they agreed to the appointment property) may be possessed, but cannot be
of DBP as receiver to take charge and to hold acquired by prescription.
possession of the mortgage property in case of Reason: prescription presupposes prior
foreclosure. DBP's acts cannot therefore be tainted ownership in another. However, said res nullius
with bad faith. may be acquired by occupation.
The right of DBP to consolidate its title and
take possession of the subject property is not DBP CASE.
affected by the PIÑEDAS' right to repurchase said Pineda mortgaged the property and then it was
property within 5 years from the date of foreclosed. Foreclosure normally under the law is
conveyance granted by Section 119 of CA No. 141. 1 yr period (extra judicial). If the mortgagor does
In fact, without the act of DBP consolidating title not redeem, mortgagee will consolidate the title
in its name, the PIÑEDAS would not be able to and after that, title is transferred to the mortgagee
assert their right to repurchase granted under the (DBP). But what happened here was that the
aforementioned section. foreclosure was in 1977. In 1978, there was an
It may be argued that P.D. 27 was already in opinion given by the Ministry of Justice declaring
effect when DBP foreclosed the property. that there are some properties that may not be the
However, the legal propriety of the foreclosure of object of foreclosure proceeding. And the
the land was put into question only after the properties of Pineda were covered by the opinion
Opinion of the Ministry of Justice declared that but DBP did not know or did not have any idea
said land was covered by P.D. 27 and could not be about it. In 1981, Pineda decided to redeem, did
subject to foreclosure proceedings. The Opinion DBP refuse? NO, in honor of the agreement with
was issued almost 2 months after DBP Pineda that the latter can redeem the property
consolidated its title to the property. By law and within 5 years and DBP already initiated the
jurisprudence, a mistake upon a doubtful or cancellation of the certificate of its own title. It
gave up the possession over the property. In truth 3. By constructive possession or proper
and in fact, DBP was merely a possessor in good acts and legal formalities
faith because it was not aware of the flaw inside,
that the property was not subject of the MODES OF POSSESSION
foreclosure proceeding. DBP would become in
bad faith if it is aware of it and it still has the 1) MATERIAL OCCUPATION. Holding,
possession of the property. But before it learned apprehension, arrest or occupancy. The word
about the opinion, it already initiated the occupation is used in its ordinary sense which
cancellation so that it will be returned the means the holding of a thing which
property of Pineda. There was no really necessarily is physical. When it is in the
interruption to put DBP in bad faith. It was no exercise of a right, this is quasi-possession.
longer in possession of the lot when it found out
the opinion that the property should not be a A. Forms of delivery or tradition that can
subject of the foreclosure proceeding. give rise to possession through material
occupation:
Presumptions that may arise from possession: o Actual or real
1. Ownership. Art. 433: Actual possession o Constructive delivery.
with bona fide claim of ownership is
presumed ownership. B. Kinds of constructive delivery that may
2. Good Faith. GF is always presumed. This give rise to possession through material
presumption continues to be so until the occupation:
contrary is proved. There is continuity of o Symbolic deliver or by execution
presumption of good faith. or delivery of the public
3. Presumption of just title. A person who documents;
is believed to be the owner by the o Longa manu meaning pointing by
community has the legal presumption long hand.
that he possesses it with just title and he is
not required to show proof of ownership C. To be valid there must be concurrence of
or to show support of his claim of the ff:
ownership. o The one delivering must have the
4. Possession of movables. If you posses a actual physical control of the
real property, the law presumes that all thing;
the accessories therein are also under o The thing pointed to must be
your possession. visible from where the parties are
5. Non-interruption of possession. When a found;
person is in possession of a property now o brevi manu
and he loses it tomorrow but recovers it Example:
the ff. day, the law presumes that he 1) Possession by the lessee who acquires
possesses the same continuously without ownership of the leased premises. So his
any interruption. actual possession constitutes constructive
6. Possession during intervening period. delivery.
You are in possession of a real property 2) When the owner who is in actual possession
now. You have been in possession of the of the house, sells the house but still has
same property 10 years ago. But there is possession of the same, this time as a lessee as
no proof of possession during the when he enters into a contract of lease with
intervening period. The law still the buyer of the house. Now he is still in
presumes that you are in possession possession of the house but not as the owner
between or during the intervening period. thereof but as the lessee.

ARTICLE 531: Possession is acquired by the material 2) BY ACTION OF OUR WILL


occupation of a thing or the exercise if a right or by the
fact that it is a subject to the action of our will, or by Under this mode there is no actual or
the proper acts and legal formalities established for physical detention or seizure but the agreement
acquiring such right. between the parties constitutes the fact of
possession.
HOW IS POSSESSION ACQUIRED?
1. By the material occupation (detention) 3) PROPER ACTS AND FORMALITIES
of a thing or the exercise of a right PRESCRIBED BY LAW
(quasi-possession). This includes
constitutom possessorium or traditio brevi Under this mode, these are certain
manu). documents which ordinarily gives rise to
2. By the fact that it is subject to the possession because of legal fiction. The moment
action of our will. This includes the document takes effect, automatically the
tradition longa manu (by mere person in whose favor the document is executed
agreement) or tradition simbolico. is deemed to have acquired possession of that
Hence, it does not require actual property
physical detention or seizure. For example: donation, succession
EQUATORIAL REALTY vs. MAYFAIR Absolute Sale in the mother case did not confer on
THEATER EQUATORIAL any vested or residual proprietary
GR No. 133879. November 21, 2001 rights, even in expectancy.
Hence, this present recourse.
Although there was a constructive delivery of
the property through a Deed of Sale in favor ISSUES
of EQUATORIAL, it was not consummated 1. Whether or not EQUATORIAL had
since MAYFAIR, which was in control and acquired ownership over the property by virtue of
actual possession of it, impugned the sale in the sale made by CARMELO in the former’s
court. Hence, no back rentals in favor of favor.
EQUATORIAL may be granted. 2. Whether or not EQUATORIAL was entitled
for back rentals from the time MAYFAIR’s Lease
FACTS Contracts expired.
CARMELO & BAUERMANN, INC. owned a
registered parcel of land at Claro M. Recto RULING
Avenue, Manila on which 2 2-storey buildings (1) NO, it had not. It was because even there
were constructed. was proper a act and legal formalities in the form
CARMELO entered into 2 Contracts of Lease of a Deed of Absolute Sale in its favor, there was
with petitioner MAYFAIR THEATER INC. One however, no delivery of the property as it was
was entered into in 1967 for a period of 20 years. then still MAYFAIR which was in actual
MAYFAIR used the leased premises as a movie possession of it.
house known as Maxim theater. The second was By a contract of sale, “one of the contracting
entered into in 1969 for another 20 years. The parties obligates himself to transfer ownership of
rented premises became the site for the Marimar and to deliver a determinate thing and the other
Theater. Both Contracts had a provision therein, to pay therefor a price certain in money or its
granting MAYFAIR a right of first refusal to equivalent.”
purchase the subject properties. The Deed of Sale as a form of constructive
However in 1978, within the 20-year-lease delivery did not transfer ownership
term, the subject properties were sold by Ownership of the thing sold is a real right,
CARMELO to petitioner EQUATORIAL REALTY which is not transferred by the contract alone but
DEVELOPMENT, INC. for P11,300,000 without the buyer acquires only upon delivery of the thing
first being offered to MAYFAIR. As a result then, to. Delivery may be actual or constructive.
MAYFAIR filed a complaint in court, praying that Although it could be argued that there was
the Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of EQUATORIAL constructive delivery of the property in favor of
be annulled and as to CARMELO, he demanded EQUATORIAL because of the Deed of Sale, the
specific performance plus damages. same was not considered.
The trial court did not grant the petition of However, it has been held that the execution
MAYFAIR. On appeal, the Court of Appeals of a contract of sale as a form of constructive
completely reversed and set aside the judgment of delivery is a legal fiction. It is only a prima facie
the lower court. It ordered that the Deed of Sale be presumption of delivery. It holds true only when
rescinded and ordered CARMELO to allow there is no impediment that may prevent the
MAYFAIR to purchase the property. passing of the property from the hands of the
However, Carmelo could no longer be vendor into those of the vendee. When there is
located. Thus, following the order of execution of such impediment, “fiction yields to reality - the
the trial court, MAYFAIR deposited with the clerk delivery has not been effected.”
of court a quo its payment to CARMELO in the From the peculiar facts of this case, it is clear
sum of P11,300,000. The lower court issued a that EQUATORIAL never took actual control and
Deed of Reconveyance in favor of CARMELO and a possession of the property sold, in view of
Deed of Sale in favor of MAYFAIR. A title over the MAYFAIR’s timely objection to the sale and the
land was subsequently issued to MAYFAIR. continued actual possession of the property. The
In 1997, EQUATORIAL filed an action for the objection took the form of a court action
collection of a sum of money against MAYFAIR. It impugning the sale which, as we know, was
claimed that MAYFAIR should pay rentals or rescinded by a judgment rendered by this Court
reasonable compensation for its use of the subject in the mother case.
premises after its lease contracts had expired. It Hence, MAYFAIR’s opposition to the
alleged that the Lease Contract covering the transfer of the property by way of sale to
premises occupied by Maxim Theater expired in EQUATORIAL was a legally sufficient
1987 while the Lease Contract covering the impediment that effectively prevented the passing
premises occupied by Miramar Theater lapsed in of the property into the latter’s hands. Because
1989. Representing itself as the owner of the MAYFAIR was in actual possession of the
subject premises by reason of the Deed of Sale property, the sale could not be considered
issued by CARMELO in his favor, he was entitled consummated.
to the rentals arising from MAYFAIR’s occupation The fact that MAYFAIR paid rentals to
thereof. EQUATORIAL during the litigation should not be
The trial court dismissed the case and so as to interpreted to mean either actual delivery or ipso
the motion for reconsideration. It debunked the facto recognition of EQUATORIAL’s title.
claim of EQUATORIAL for unpaid back rentals, EQUATORIAL, as alleged buyer of the
holding that the rescission of the 1978 Deed of disputed properties and as alleged successor-in-
interest of CARMELO’s rights as lessor - periodically to the land to make copra but he
submitted two ejectment suits against MAYFAIR. never placed any person on the land in litigation
The first in 1987 and the second in 1990. to watch it. Neither did he reside on the land as he
MAYFAIR eventually won them both. However, was a businessman and storekeeper by
to be able to maintain physical possession of the occupation and resides at Lower Sta. Maria,
premises while awaiting the outcome of the Davao del Sur while the land in litigation is at
mother case, it had no choice but to pay the Colongan, Sta. Maria. Neither did he put any sign
rentals. or hut to show that he was in actual possession.
The rental payments made by MAYFAIR As early as 1976, MERCADO knew that
should not be construed as a recognition of IGNACIO WONG’s laborers were on his land and
EQUATORIAL as the new owner. They were that they had a hut there but he did not do
made merely to avoid imminent eviction. anything to stop them. Instead MERCADO was
(2) NO, it was not entitled to back rentals not happy that there were people and a hut on the
because it did not acquire ownership over the land therein.
property in the absence of delivery. A month after, WONG went to the land to
The sale to EQUATORIAL may have been find out if there were other people residing there
valid from inception, but it was judicially or claiming it besides the owner and he found
rescinded before it could be consummated. none. So WONG bought the parcel of land in
EQUATORIAL never acquired ownership, not litigation from William Giger and his wife Cecilia
because the sale was void, as erroneously claimed Valenzuela. Thenon, WONG declared the land in
by the trial court, but because the sale was not suit for taxation purposes in his name. However,
consummated by a legally effective delivery of the when he tried to register the pacto de retro sale with
property sold. the Register of Deeds, it could not be registered.
Furthermore, assuming for the sake of Nevertheless, WONG placed laborers on the
argument that there was valid delivery, land in suit, built a small farm house after made
EQUATORIAL was not entitled to any benefits some clearings and fenced the boundaries. He
from the “rescinded” Deed of Absolute Sale because also placed signboards.
of its bad faith. It admitted that its lawyers had In 1976, MERCADO again went to the land in
studied the Contract of Lease between CARMELO suit to make copras. When he learned that WONG
and MAYFAIR prior to the sale and knew of the occupied the land, he had the latter entered in the
stipulations therein. It only then proved that the police blotter. Despite of this, 2 months after,
sale was entered into with knowledge that it WONG ordered the hooking of the coconuts from
would be in violation of the rights of and to the the land in litigation and nobody disturbed him.
prejudice of MAYFAIR. Later, MERCADO filed a case for forcible
EQUATORIAL’s claim of reasonable entry against WONG. During the pendency of
compensation for respondent’s use and said complaint, spouses William Giger and Cecilia
occupation of the subject property from the time Valenzuela filed a case for reformation of
the lease expired could not be countenanced. If it instrument with the court against MERCADO.
suffered any loss, it must bear it in silence, since it The MTC held that WONG had prior, actual
had wrought that loss upon itself. Otherwise, bad and continuous physical possession of the
faith would be rewarded instead of punished. disputed property and dismissed both the
complaint and the counter-claim by MERCADO.
On appeal with the CFI, it reversed said decision.
WONG vs. CARPIO It held that it was MERCADO who had taken
GR No. 50264. October 21, 1991 possession of the property earlier in point of time
and WONG was an intruder and must return, the
Although a person purchased the land and possession of the land in question to the former.
was in actual possession thereof, the sale WONG was also ordered to pay rental after from
could not have been consummated by reason the time his possession was contested until he the
of a prior deed of sale over the property in time he would return the property to MERCADO.
favor of another. Said prior sale was an Hence, this appeal. WONG contended that
impediment for the consummation of the sale MERCADO had not established prior possession
since delivery of the property was impossible. because the latter’s periodic visit to the lot to
gather coconuts may had been consented to and
FACTS allowed or tolerated by the owner thereof.
In 1972, Private respondent MANUEL MERCADO could also had been a hired laborer
MERCADO acquired a land in Colongan, Sta. who entered the premises every harvest season to
Maria, Davao del Sur from William Giger by comply with the contract of labor with the true
virtue of a Deed of Sale with right to repurchase for owner of the property.
a consideration of P3,500. In 1973, William Giger
again asked an additional amount of P2,500 from ISSUE
MERCADO and he acceded so. But he required Whether or not WONG acquired the property by
William Giger to sign a new deed of Pacto de Retro reason of the pacto de retro sale executed by the
Sale, which the latter executed. original owner William Giger in his
Since he purchased the land in 1972, favor.
MERCADO began paying the real estate taxes of
the land for William Giger and began harvesting RULING
only the coconut fruits thereon. He went
NO. Although there was a proper act and that he is in possession. It is sufficient that
formality in the form of a pacto de retro sale the possesor was able to subject the property
executed by the original owner William Giger in to the action of his will i.e. planting trees and
WONG’s favor, there was nevertheless delivery. constructing a house though was unfinished.
The execution of a sale thru a public instrument
shall be equivalent to the delivery of the thing, FACTS
unless there is stipulation to the contrary. If, In 1974, Jose Ortigas conveyed to Wilfredo
however, notwithstanding the execution of the Mabugat the possession of a residential lot
instrument, the purchaser cannot have the situated in Raja Muda, General Santos City. Half
enjoyment and material tenancy of the thing and of the purchase price thereof, was contributed by
make use of it herself, because such tenancy and petitioner NICANOR SOMODIO. Later, Mabugat
enjoyment are opposed by another, then delivery caused the partition of the property into 2
has not been effected. portions. SOMODIO took the western part, which
Possession by William Giger was passed to was known as Lot 6328-X. After the partition,
MERCADO by virtue of the first sale a retro, thus, SOMODIO took possession of his portion and
the sale a retro in favor of WONG failed to pass the planted thereon ipil-ipil trees, coconut trees and
possession of the property because there was an other fruit-bearing trees.
impediment – the possession exercised by In 1976, SOMODIO began construction of a
MERCADO. Possession as a fact cannot be house thereon. However, this structure was left
recognized at the same time in two different unfinished as his employment took him to
personalities except in the cases of co-possession. Kidapawan, North Cotabato. He then asked his
Under Art. 538, should a question arise regarding uncle to take care of the structure. Then on he
the fact of possession, the present possessor shall would visit the property every 3 months or on
be preferred; if there are two possessions, the one weekends when he had time.
longer in possession, if the dates of possession are In 1977, SOMODIO allowed respondent
the same, the one who presents a title; and if these FELOMINO AYCO to transfer his hut in Lot 6328-
conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in X. 6 years later, SOMODIO demanded that AYCO
judicial deposit pending determination of its vacate the premises but such demand proved
possession or ownership through proper futile. Hence, he filed an action for unlawful
proceedings. detainer with damages against respondent AYCO.
In fact, it was MERCADO who had material In 1983, respondent EBENECER PURISIMA
possession of the land and had subjected it in his also entered the land and constructed a house
will he went there occasionally to make copra. thereon. 4 days later, SOMODIO also filed a
There was also a proper act and formality in his complaint for forcible entry against PURISIMA.
favor, that was the Pacto de Retro Sale executed by PURISIMA contended that the lot was a
William Giger in his favor. portion of the land subject of his application for
Wong’s entry to the property was characterized miscellaneous sales patent with the Bureau of
by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth Lands. He added that his father, who was a
The court also held that WONG’s entry into geodetic engineer, surveyed the parcel of land for
the property was and excluding MERCADO as the Small Farmers Fishpond Association, Inc.
the lawful possessor therefrom necessarily implies Such survey plan was approved by the Director
the exertion of force over the property, and this is of Lands in 1960. AYCO, on the other hand, did
all that is necessary to prove forcible entry. Under not present any evidence but merely anchored his
the rule, entering upon the premises by strategy right to possess the property on the evidence of
or stealth is equally as obnoxious as entering by PURISIMA.
force. The foundation of the action is really the The trial court held that SOMODIO was the
forcible exclusion of the original possessor by a actual possessor of Lot No. 6328-X. It declared
person who has entered without right. The words that PURISIMA built his house "almost on the
"by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth" spot where SOMODIO's unfinished house" stood
include every situation or condition under which "thru stealth and strategy," not knowing that the
one person can wrongfully enter upon real house was built on Lot No. 6328X and not on Lot
property and exclude another who has had prior No. 6328-Y. It held that being that PURISIMA was
possession therefrom. a frequent visitor in Rajah Muda and had
The award of rentals was affirmed sometimes stayed with Mrs. Maturan in Judge
It also sustained the award of rentals since Purisima's house on the adjoining lots, he could
WONG’s possession in good faith ceases from the not have remained unaware of the possession of
moment defects in the title were made known to SOMODIO. The court further stated that Lot No.
the him, by extraneous evidence or by suit for 6328-X was not included in the survey pan made
recovery of the property by the true owner. Such by PURISIMA’s father. Hence, the court ordered
interruption took place upon service of summons. PURISIMA and AYCO to remove their repective
houses and to deliver the land to SOMODIO.
The RTC affirmed such decision in toto.
SOMODIO vs. CA However, on appeal with the CA, it reversed the
GR No. 82680. August 15, 1994 said decision. It held that SOMODIO had not
"clearly and conclusively established physical,
Possession in the eyes of the law does not prior possession over Lot No. 6328-X." A motion
mean that a man has to have his feet on every for reconsideration with the same court was also
square meter of ground before it can be said denied.
Hence, this appeal by SOMODIO. trespassers. They had been paying taxes on the
land (1966-1997) and the house (1966-1993).
ISSUE Since the SPOUSES DELA ROSA worked
Whether or not SOMODIO had enjoyed and their children studied in Manila, they resided
priority of possession over Lot No. 6328-X. in the Property only during weekends and
holidays. However, they padlock the house on
RULING the property while they were away and instructed
YES. Under Art. 531, SOMODIO had relatives who lived nearby to watch over the
possessed the property through material property.
occupation and having subjected it under his will. In 1997, the SPOUSES DELA ROSA
SOMODIO took possession of the property discovered that through stealth and without their
sometime in 1974 when he planted the property to knowledge and consent, respondent SANTIAGO
coconut trees, ipil-ipil trees and fruit trees. In CARLOS had built a house of strong materials on
1976, he started the construction of a building on a vacant lot of the Property. They also found that
the property. It was immaterial that the building respondent TEOFILA PACHECO had also been
was unfinished and that he left for Kidapawan for transferring furniture to the house and sleeping
employment reasons and visited the property there. They then demanded, through their
only intermittently. Possession in the eyes of the counsel, that CARLOS and PACHECO demolish
law does not mean that a man has to have his feet the house, remove their furniture and vacate the
on every square meter of ground before it can be premises within 10 days. However, Santiago
said that he is in possession. It was sufficient that CARLOS and PACHECO did not heed the
SOMODIO was able to subject the property to the SPOUSES DELA ROSA’s demand.
action of his will. So, in 1998, the SPOUSES DELA ROSA filed
PURISIMA on the other hand, did not present a complaint for forcible entry against CARLOS
proof that between 1958, when his father and PACHECO.
allegedly took possession of the land, and 1983, CARLOS and PACHECO on the other hand,
when said he himself entered the land, his father alleged that they were the surviving heirs of the
ever exercised whatever right of possession he Spouses Leonardo and Benita Carlos. Hence,
should have over the property. Under these together with LUCILA DELA ROSA, they were
circumstances, priority in time should be the co-owners of the property. They also contended
pivotal cog in resolving the issue of possession. that the SPOUSES DELA ROSA obtained the Deed
Besides, it was found by two ocular inspections, of Sale through fraud and undue influence and
that what PURISIMA was claiming was that their mother did not consent to the sale of the
possession over Lot No. 6328-Y. SOMODIO’s land property which they claimed as conjugal. They
on the other hand, was adjacent to it, Lot No. maintained that the SPOUSES DELA ROSA were
6328-X. It was also in SOMODIO’s area where never in possession of the Property because the
PURISIMA and AYCO built their houses. latter only went there to visit their parents, and
The SC also held that although SOMODIO’s not as owners. Insisting that they had been
prior possession over the property was proven, it occupying the Property since birth, SANTIAGO
was however, not synonymous with his right of claimed that he constructed the house on the
ownership over the same. The resolution of the Property in the concept of a co-owner.
issue of possession is far from the resolution of The MTC declared that the SPOUSES DELA
the issue of ownership. Forcible entry is merely a ROSA were entitled to the possession of the
quieting process and never determines the actual property. It ordered CARLOS and PACHECO to
title to an estate. vacate the premises. The same decision was
affirmed by the RTC. The CA on the other hand,
reversed it. Hence, this petition for review by the
DELA ROSA vs. CARLOS SPOUSES DELA ROSA.
GR No. 147549. October 23, 2003
ISSUE
The law does not require one in possession of Whether or not the SPOUSES DELA ROSA
a house to reside in the house to maintain his had acquired prior possession over the property.
possession. It is enough that the possessor
subjects it to the action of his will RULING
i.e.,renovating and furnishing the house and, YES. They had prior possession.
constructing a perimeter fence on the In a forcible entry case, the principal issue for
property. resolution is mere physical or material possession
(possession de facto) and not juridical possession
FACTS (possession de jure) nor ownership of the property
The Petitioner SPOUSES JESUS AND involved. In the present case, both parties claimed
LUCILA DELA ROSA were the owners of a house prior possession of the Property.
and lot in Bulacan. They acquired it from The Spouses Dela Rosa claimed that they had
Leonardo Carlos under an Absolute Deed of Sale in been in possession of the Property since 1966
1966. Thereafter, they had it registered. upon the execution of the Deed of Sale by Leonardo
Afterwards, they renovated the house, furnished in their favor. On the other hand, CARLOS and
and occupied the same since 1966. They also had a PACHECO claimed that they had been
perimeter fence built to separate the Property continuously occupying the Property since birth
from the municipal road and to protect it from and the SPOUSES DELA ROSA were never in
possession of the Property. iii) object must be capable of being
While admitting that CARLOS and possessed
PACHECO used to reside in the Property since b) thru an authorized person
birth, the SPOUSES DELA ROSA contended that i) intent to possess for principal
the two moved out when they married in 1961 ii) authority or capacity to possess for
and 1959, respectively. another
The SPOUSES DELA ROSA had material iii) principal has intent and capacity to
possession over the property. possess
Their act of visiting the Property on weekends c) thru an unauthorized person (as in
and holidays was evidence of actual or physical negotiorum gestio)
possession. Even if the SPOUSES DELA ROSA i) intent to possess for another
were already residing in Manila, it did not mean ii) capacity of principal to possess
that they could not continue possessing the iii) ratification by principal.
Bulacan property. The fact of their residence in 7. The possession although cured only by the
Manila, by itself, did not result in loss of express or implied ratification should be
possession of the Bulacan property. The law does regarded as having Retroactive.
not require one in possession of a house to reside 8. The possession in negotiorum gestio, under
in the house to maintain his possession. Art. 532, is reckoned from the time of the
The SPOUSES DELA ROSA also subjected the ratification of the owner of the thing. There is
property to the action of their will. possession from the time the principal ratifies
They renovated the house, furnished the same the acts of the unauthorized agent.
and constructed a perimeter fence around the 9. May minors and incapacitated persons
Property. Possession in the eyes of the law does acquire possession? Minors and incapacitated
not mean that a man has to have his feet on every persons may acquire possession in those
square meter of ground before it can be said that matters where they have the capacity to act
he is in possession. It is sufficient that the like the physical seizure of a res nullius or on
SPOUSES DELA ROSA were able to subject the donation of movable property where the
property to the action of their will. object or subject matter of the donation is
The SPOUSES DELA ROSA had a proper act and simultaneously delivered to the minor
legal formality in their favor children.
They had an Absolute Deed of Sale dated 1966
in their favor when they acquired the Bulacan ARTICLE 533: The possession of hereditary property
property from Leonardo Carlos. is deemed transmitted to the heir without interruption
The question of the validity of the Deed of Sale and from the moment of death of the decedent, in case
could not be questioned in a forcible entry case. the inheritance is accepted.
CARLOS and PACHECO claimed that the One who validly renounces an inheritance is
Deed of Sale was executed without the consent of deemed never to have possessed the same.
Benita, Leonardo’s spouse. They also added that
the Deed of Sale was executed through fraud and  Time of Acquisition of Possession by the
undue influence. However, these issues could not Heir:
properly be addressed in the present action for a. If the heir accepts – from the
forcible entry. These issues could only be resolved moment of death since there is no
in a separate action specifically for the annulment interruption. The possession of
of the Deed of Sale. the deceased should be added to
the possession of the heir.
ARTICLE 532: Possession may be acquired by the b. if heir refuses or incapacitated to
same person who is to enjoy it, by his legal inherit – he is deemed Never to
representative, by his agent, or by any person without have possessed.
any power whatever; but in the last case, the possession
shall not be considered as acquired until the person in ARTICLE 534: One who succeeds by hereditary title
whose name the act of possession was executed has shall not suffer the consequences of the wrongful
ratified the same, without prejudice to the juridical possession of the decedent, if it is not shown that he
consequences of negotiorum gestio in a proper case. was aware of the flaws affecting it; but the effects of
possession in good faith shall not benefit him except
6. Who may acquire possession? One who is in from the date of death of the decedent.
full possession of his civil capacity can
acquire full possession over a thing or right to  Reason for Art 534: Accdg to the SC in
any of the three ways of acquiring possession: the case of Escritor Jr. vs. Iya (155 s 577),
1) the person who is to enjoy it; the reason for Art. 534 is that bad faith,
2) legal representative or an agent of the which is a state of mind is personal to the
person person who acted so, hence it is
3) any person without any power intransmissible. Its effect must be suffered
whatever (negotiorum gestio) only by the person who has acted as such.
The heirs should not be saddled with the
1) REQUISITES: consequences of the wrongful possession
a) for personal acquisition of the predecessor.
i) intent to possess  If the father or decedent was in BF, it does
ii) capacity to possess not necessarily mean that the son was also
in BF. The son is still presumed to be in owner and commits acts which repel the
GF. Since the father was in BF, the return of the owner.
consequences of the GF of the son should
be counted only from the date of BENEFITS OF A POSSESSOR:
decedent’s death. a) He has the benefit of prescription whether
 If the father was in Good Faith, the article GF/BF. So in other words, of he is in
is inapplicable. In such case, the possession of the whole property in the
possession of the father in GF is added to concept of an owner for 10 or 3- yrs., he
the possession of the son in GF. may acquire the entire property thru
prescription.
ARTICLE 535: Minors and incapacitated persons may b) He is entitled to the fruits, if he is the
acquire the possession of things; but they need the possessor in GF. If violence will be used,
assistance of their legal representatives in order to the possession previously enjoyed shall
exercise the rights which from the possession arise in not be affected. Meaning also whoever
their favor. entered this part shall not acquire the
property thru prescription.
ARTICLE 536: In no case may possession may be
acquired thru force or intimidation as long as there is a ARTICLE 538: Possession as a fact cannot be
possessor who objects thereto. He who believes that he recognized at the same time in 2 different personalities
has an action or a right to deprive another of the except in the cases of co-possession. Should a question
holding of a thing, must invoke the aid of the arise regarding the fact of possession, the present
competent court if the holder should refuse to deliver possessor shall be preferred; if there are 2 possessors,
the thing. the one longer on possession; if the dates of possession
are the same, the one who presents a title, and if all
 Circumstances that cannot give rise to these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in
possession: judicial deposit pending determination f its possession
a. Force, violence and intimidation. or ownership thru proper proceedings.
The law shall not consider you as
the possessor of the thing if you GR: Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at
acquire it through force, violence the same time in 2 different personalities
and intimidation; Exceptions:
b. Mere tolerance of the owner. 1. when there are co-possessors;
c. Clandestine acts or secret 2. when the possession are of two different
possession cannot give rise to degrees. One is possessing in a concept of
possession, for possession must an owner and the other is possessing in
be open. Possession which is not the concept of a holder.
public.
RULES under Art 538, Preferred Possessor:
How to Recover Possession: 1. In cases for recovery of possession, it is
The SC said possession cannot be acquired the present possessor;
through force or intimidation even by the owner 2. If there are 2 possessors, the one longer in
of the property. If by force or intimidation he possession;
succeeded in evicting the possessor of the 3. If both began to possess at the same time,
property, he can be compelled by the court to then the one who possesses the title.
restore the possession which he has wrested from 4. If both present a title, the court will
the possessor. Thus an action for forcible entry or determine
illegal detainer may be filed even against the
owner who took possession of the property from As to MOVABLE PROPERTY…
the holder without due process  preference is given to the person who first
possessed the thing in good faith
ARTICLE 537: Acts merely tolerated, and those
executed clandestinely and without the knowledge of EDCA PUBLISHING VS SANTOS [184 scra 614]
the possessor of a thing, or by violence, do not affect Fx: On 10/5/91, a person identifying himself as a
possession. professor of De La Salle University.(dela Cruz)
ordered several books from EDCA. EDCA
1. Force, intimidation, violence or acts prepared the corresponding receipts and
merely tolerated do not affect possession. delivered the books as ordered for which dela
2. Violence - exertion of force, either actual Cruz issued a check in payment of the same. After
or threatened. several days, he ordered again for several books.
3. If the property was not forcible taken, can EDCA became suspicious because the check was
it give rise to possession through force or not yet cleared and here comes dela Cruz
violence? The SC in the case of… ordering another set of books, so it inquired from
Bishop vs. Municipality of San Jose (27 Phil DLSU of the existence of Dela Cruz and found out
571), that he was a bogus person. So EDCA went to the
…said there is force and violence in the police and set a trap to arrest Dela Cruz. Upon
acquisition even if the property was not inquiry of the first set of books delivered to Dela
forcibly taken away from the owner if the Cruz, EDCA found out that the same were
intruder occupied it during the absence of the already sold to a certain Santos. With the aid of
police, EDCA went to Santos and confiscated the name of Sinforoso Mendoza, father of respondent
books. EDCA contended that Santos did not HONORATA MENDOZA BOLANTE. In 1930,
acquire the books in good faith and did not show Sinforoso Mendoza died.
receipt to prove that Santos bought them from Margarito Mendoza was the brother of
Dela Cruz. Sinforosao Mendoza and also the father of
petitioners FERNANDA MENDOZA CEQUENA
Issue: w/n Santos was in good faith and RUPERTA MENDOZA, LIRIO. After
Sinforosa Mendoza died, Margarito Mendoza
Held: SC said that the contention of EDCA is took possession of the land and cultivated it with
unacceptable, precisely the first sentence of Art. his son Miguel. On the basis of an affidavit,
559 provides that the possession of movable Margarito Mendoza caused the cancellation of the
property acquired in good faith is equivalent to tax declaration in the name of Sinforoso Mendoza
title (rule of reinvindicability), therefore there is on the contested lot and subsequently declared it
no need of showing further proof. Santos acquired in his name. Later, Margarito Mendoza also
the books in good faith, she accepted the passed away.
ownership of the books from the EDCA invoice The occupant of the land however, since 1985,
saying that it was sold to DC, who said he was was BOLANTE, the only daughter of Sinforoso
selling them for a discounted price as he was in Mendoza. Earlier, in 1979, BOLANTE and Miguel
financial need. Surely Santos did not need to go Mendoza, another brother of CEQUENA and
beyond that invoice to satisfy herself that the LIRIO, during the cadastral survey had a dispute
books sold by DC belonged to him, which she did. on the ownership of the land.
Although the title of Dela Cruz was being The trial court declared that the land, which
presumed under Art. 559, these being movable was covered by a tax declaration in favor of
properties, Santos nevertheless demanded proof Margarito Mendoza belonged to him and his
before deciding to buy them. heirs, petitioners CEQUENA and LIRIO.
BOLANTE was also ordered to vacate the
By contrast, EDCA was less than cautious, in fact premises.
too trusting in dealing with the impostor. It The Court of Appeals however, reversed the
would certainly be unfair now to make Santos trial court decision and ruled that the affidavit
bear the prejudice sustained by EDCA as a result allegedly signed by the BOLANTE and her
of its own negligence. We cannot agree that justice mother had not been sufficiently established. The
is transferring such loss to the Santoses who had notary public, nor any witness and expert
acted in good faith and with proper care when testimony ever attested to the genuineness of the
they brought the goods from DC. questioned signatures. It also ruled BOLANTE’s
mother, never having attended school, could
IMMOVABLE neither read nor write and that BOLANTE was
referred to as “Leonor” in the affidavit, which was
 Preference is given to the first who a name she had never been called. Hence, it
registered his right in good faith with the concluded that although tax declarations were
registrar of deeds. In the absence of presented by CEQUENA and LIRIO, it could not
registration, then to the person who first overthrow BOLANTE’s proof of ownership of the
possessed it in good faith. If there is no disputed parcel by actual, physical, exclusive and
possession, then to the person who continuous possession since 1985, which indeed
presents the oldest title in good faith. gave her a better title under Article 538 of the
Civil Code.
MARCELO V CA 305S800 Hence, this appeal. CEQUENA and LIRIO
Where the SC said acquisitive prescription is a contended that BOLANTE could not have been
mode of acquiring ownership by a processor the preferred possessor since she came into
through the requisite lapse of time. In order to possession through force and violence, contrary to
ripen into ownership, possession must be in the Article 536 of the Civil Code.
concept of an owner. It must be public, peaceful
and uninterrupted. ISSUE
Whether or not BOLANTE was a preferred
CEQUENA vs. BOLANTE possessor under Article 538 of the Civil Code
GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000 because she was in notorious, actual, exclusive
and continuous possession of the land since 1985.

If there are 2 possessors of the land, the RULING


preferred possessor shall be the one longer in YES she was the preferred possessor under
possession. Possession here shall include not Article 538.
only the actual possession made by the The court held that despite their
present possessor but also the possession dispossession in 1985 by BOLANTE, CEQUENA
made by her predecessor-in-interest. and LIRIO did not lose legal possession because
possession cannot be acquired through force or
FACTS violence. To all intents and purposes, a possessor,
Prior to 1954, a land located in the Province of even if physically ousted, is still deemed the legal
Rizal, having an area of 1,728 sq. m. was possessor. Indeed, anyone who can prove prior
originally declared for taxation purposes in the
possession, regardless of its character, may d. To prevent a person from taking the
recover such possession. law in his own hands.
However, despite so, the possession by
CEQUENA and LIRIO did not prevail over that of REMEDIES in case of disturbance and/or
the BOLANTE. Possession by the former before dispossession?
1985 was not exclusive, as the latter also acquired  Action for forcible entry, unlawful
it before 1985. The records show that the detainer, accion publiciana and accion
CEQUENA and LIRIO's father and brother, as reinvindicatoria.
well as the BOLANTE and her mother were
simultaneously in adverse possession of the land. ARTICLE 540: Only the possession acquired and
Before 1985, the subject land was occupied enjoyed in the concept of owner can serve as a title for
and cultivated by the Sinforoso, BOLANTE's acquiring dominion.
father. When Sinforoso died in 1930,
MARGARITO took possession of the land and REQUISITES FOR ACQUIRING DOMINION
cultivated it with his son Miguel. At the same OR OWNERSHIP:
time, BOLANTE and her mother continued
residing on the lot. 1. Possession must be actual or
When BOLANTE came of age in 1948, she constructive.
paid realty taxes for the years 1932-1948. 2. It must be in the concept of an owner, in
Margarito declared the lot for taxation in his name concepto de dueno.
in 1953 and paid its realty taxes beginning 1952.
When he died, Miguel continued cultivating the  The following cannot acquire ownership
land. As found by the CA, BOLANTE and her thru prescription because they are merely
mother were living on the land, which was being possessors in the concept of a holder:
tilled by Miguel until 1985 when he was 1. lessees
physically ousted by the respondent. 2. trustee
Based on Article 538 of the Civil Code, 3. husband and wife if the property is
BOLANTE was the preferred possessor because, conjugal
benefiting from her father's tax declaration of the 4. agents
subject lot since 1926, she has been in possession 5. attorneys
thereof for a longer period. On the other hand, 6. co-owners
petitioners' father acquired joint possession only
in 1952.  The following are instances of conclusive
presumptions:
EFFECTS OF POSSESSION 1) Whenever a party has, by his own
declaration, act, or omission,
ARTICLE 539: Every possessor has a right to be intentionally and deliberately led
respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed another to believe a particular
therein he shall be protected in or restored to said thing true, and to act upon such
possession by the means established by the laws and the belief, he cannot, in any litigation
Rules of Court. arising out of such declaration,
A possessor deprived of his possession through act or omission, be permitted to
forcible entry may within 10 days from the filling of falsify it:
the complainant present a motion to secure from the 2) The tenant is not permitted to
competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a deny the title of his landlord at
write of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore the time of the commencement of
him in his possession. The court shall decide the motion the relation of landlord and
within 30 days from the filing thereof. tenant between them.(3a)

EVERY POSSESSOR HAS A RIGHT: CEQUENA vs. BOLANTE


GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000
1) To be respected in his possession. Even if
he is not the owner he has the right to be Possession acquired and enjoyed in the
respected; concept of a holder despite 32 years, could not
2) Should he be disturbed therein, he shall ripen into ownership.
be protected in or restored to said
possession. FACTS
3) To be restored to said possession by the - See facts on this previous page -
means established by the laws and the
rules of court. ISSUE
Whether or not CEQUENA and LIRIO
RATIONALE: (Yuson vs. Guzman 42 Phil. 22) acquired possession of the land in the concept of
a. In order to prevent positive against an owner so as to acquire it by prescription.
public order;
b. In order to avoid disturbance in the RULING
community; NO. It was BOLANTE who had acquired
c. To prevent deprivation of property ownership over the land by prescription, prior to
without due process of law' the possession of CEQUENA and LIRIO.
Under Art. 540 of the Civil Code, "Only the The SPOUSES RECTO alleged that they
possession acquired and enjoyed in the concept of purchased said property in 1996 from sisters
owner can serve as a title for acquiring dominion." Rosita Medrana Guevarra and Maria Medrana
Although CEQUENA and LIRIO farmed the Torres for the amount of P6,943,534.40. The two,
property for 32 years, they could not have in turn, inherited the lot from their deceased
acquired ownership over it through prescription. parents, Vicente and Eufemia Medrana. Maria,
It is settled that ownership cannot be acquired by born in 1917, declared that since 1945, her father
mere occupation. Unless coupled with the was already the owner of Lot 806. She became
element of hostility toward the true owner, aware of her father’s possession of the subject lot
occupation and use, however long, will not confer in the concept of owner in 1930 when she was 13
title by prescription or adverse possession. years of age. The possession of the subject lot by
Moreover, CEQUENA and LIRIO could not claim the Medrana family prior to 1945 was
that their possession was public, peaceful and corroborated by Rosita, who testified that in 1935
uninterrupted. Although their father and brother when she was 13 years of age, she first came to
arguably acquired ownership through know that her father was the owner of Lot 806.
extraordinary prescription because of their The sisters added that during the lifetime of
adverse possession for 32 years (1953-1985), this Vicente, he planted rice and corn on the lot with
supposed ownership could extend to the entire the help of their tenant. After his demise, they
disputed lot, but must be limited to the portion continued to plant the same crops through hired
that they actually farmed. farmers.
It was BOLANTE who had acquired the land There being no opposition to the petition
by prescription. Being the sole heir of her father, from any private individual, an Order of General
BOLANTE showed through his tax receipt that Default was issued by the trial court.
she had been in possession of the land for more In 1998, the court a quo rendered a decision
than 10 years since 1932. When her father died in granting the petition for registration.
1930, she continued to reside there with her The Republic, represented by the Solicitor
mother. When she got married, she and her General appealed to the Court of Appeals
husband engaged in kaingin inside the disputed contending that petitioners failed to – (1) offer in
lot for their livelihood. evidence the original tracing cloth plan of the
BOLANTE's possession was not disturbed land; (2) prove possession of the lot for the period
until 1953 when CEQUENA and LIRIO’S father required by law; and (3) overthrow the
claimed the land. But by then, her possession, presumption that subject property forms part of
which was in the concept of owner -- public, the public domain.[19]
peaceful, and uninterrupted -- had already In 2003, the Court of Appeals reversed the
ripened into ownership. Furthermore she herself, decision of the trial court on the sole ground of
after her father's demise, declared and paid realty failure to offer in evidence the original tracing
taxes for the disputed land. Tax receipts and cloth plan of the land. Hence, this appeal.
declarations of ownership for taxation, when
coupled with proof of actual possession of the ISSUE
property, can be the basis of a claim for Whether or not the Medranas possessed the
ownership through prescription. property in the concept of an owner so as to have
acquired title over it.

SPOUSES RECTO VS. REPUBLIC RULING


GR No. 160421. October 4, 2004 YES. The Medranas possessed the property in
the concept of an owner so as to have acquired
Before one can register his title over a parcel title over it. Hence, their successor-in-interest, the
of land, the applicant must show that – (a) he, petitioners SPOUSES RECTO had been benefited
by himself or through his predecessors-in- by such possession.
interest, has been in open, continuous, Before one can register his title over a parcel
exclusive and notorious possession and of land, the applicant must show that – (a) he, by
occupation of the subject land under a bona himself or through his predecessors-in-interest,
fide claim of ownership since June 12, 1945 or has been in open, continuous, exclusive and
earlier; and (b) the land subject of the notorious possession and occupation of the
application is alienable and disposable land of subject land under a bona fide claim of ownership
the public domain. since June 12, 1945 or earlier; and (b) the land
subject of the application is alienable and
FACTS disposable land of the public domain.
In 1997, petitioner SPOUSES PHILIP and In the instant case, Rosita and Maria the
ESTER RECTO filed an application for predecessors-in-interest of the SPOUSES RECTO,
registration of title over a 23,209 square meter lot, categorically testified that they, and prior to them
known as Lot 806 of the Sto. Tomas Cadastre in their father, had been cultivating and possessing
Batangas under Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. Lot 806 in the concept of owners. Maria, having
1529, otherwise known as the Property been born on in 1917, and Rosita in 1922, were 13
Registration Decree. They also prayed in the years of age when they became aware of their
alternative that their petition for registration be family’s possession of Lot 806 in 1930 and 1935,
granted pursuant to Commonwealth Act (C.A.) respectively. At 13, they were undoubtedly
No. 141, or the Public Land Act.
capable and competent to perceive their father’s house on the southwestern portion thereof. The
possession of Lot 806 in the concept of owner. couple also helped Frando in the administration
The fact that the earliest Tax Declaration of of the land. The Gimpes spouses’ children were
the subject lot was for the year 1948 will not also born on the property, where they also grew
militate against petitioners. Note that said 1948 up. After their parent’s death, they continued
Tax Declaration cancels a previous Tax possession of the land; and harvested and
Declaration, thus substantiating petitioners’ received the fruits of the improvements for
possession of Lot 806 through their predecessor- themselves and on behalf of their grandmother,
in-interest even prior to said date. Juliana Frando, even after her death in 1971.
So also, there is no doubt that Lot 806 is an Purportedly unknown to the HEIRS OF
alienable land of the public domain having been FRANDO, in 1958, a cadastral survey of the
released and certified as such on in 1925. As Municipality of Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon, was
further certified by the Community Environment conducted. Lot No. 1855 became the subject of a
and Natural Resources Office of the DENR, the case and as a result, in 1969, a free patent was
entire area of Lot 806 is an agricultural land; awarded to Cerila Gamos. On the basis of the free
within an alienable and disposable zone; not patent, an OCT was also issued in her name. It
within a reservation area nor within a forest zone; was only in 1981 however that the HEIRS OF
and does not encroach upon an established GAMOS took possession of the property through
watershed, riverbed, and riverbank protection. entry, gathered its produce and built their houses
The SPOUSES RECTO were thus able to thereon.
successfully meet the requisite for original In 1988, the HEIRS OF FRANDO filed with
registration of title, to wit: open, continuous, the RTC a Complaint against Cerila Gamos and
exclusive and notorious possession and the director of the Bureau of Lands. They
occupation of an alienable and disposable land challenged the validity of the free patent and OCT
under a bona fide claim of ownership since June 12, issued to Cerila Gamos. They alleged that the
1945 or earlier. Bureau of Lands had no authority to award the
patent covering an area it had earlier awarded to
Juliana Frando.
HEIRS OF GAMOS vs. HEIRS OF FRANDO Cerila Gamos on the other hand, together
GR No. 149117. December 16, 2004 with the HEIRS OF GAMOS alleged that they had
been in actual and open possession of the land as
The mere application for a patent, coupled early as 1952. They also averred that the free
with the fact of exclusive, open, continuous patent title issued in their favor, which was the
and notorious possession for the required basis of the subsequent issuance of the OCT was
period is sufficient to vest in the applicant the valid and lawful.
grant applied for. The Bureau of Lands however, rebutted that
Juliana Frando failed to pay the balance price of
FACTS P216. Thus, she had not perfected the title over
Juliana Frando, predecessor-in-interest of the land that the patent was not issued in her
respondents HEIRS OF FRANDO, was in favor.
possession of a parcel of agricultural land located In 1998, the RTC rendered judgment in favor
in Sta. Magdalena, Sorsogon. Since 1925, Frando of the HEIRS OF FRANDO. The HEIRS OF
had planted several trees and other plants GAMOS then, appealed to the CA, which also
thereon, including coconuts, pili, bananas and affirmed the RTC decision.
cacao.
In 1946, the property was traversed by a
national road that effectively divided it into 2
portions, Lot Nos. 7 and 1855. ISSUE
In 1952, Frando filed for an Insular Whether or not the HEIRS OF FRANDO
Government Property Sales Application for the 2nd possessed the property in the concept of an
lot, Lot No. 1855, which was the subject of a owner.
controversy later on. Upon inspection of the area
by a representative of the Bureau of Lands, it was RULING
found to be inside an agricultural zone, free from YES. The HEIRS OF FRANDO had possessed
private claims and conflicts. In 1955, during the the property in the concept of an owner.
bid of the property, which was apprised at P240, Juliana Frando had acquired the land through
Frando was the only bidder. Frando then purchase from the government
deposited P24, which represented 10% of the The allegation of the Bureau of Lands that
appraised value. The land was fully paid a year Juliana Frando Clearly failed to pay the P216
later in 1956, when Frando paid the balance of balance of the sale price was disproved by the
P216. On the same day, an Order/Award was Order/Award issued in her favor in 1956, which
made in Frando’s favor. stated that she had completed payment of the
One of Frando’s two children, Paciencia land.
Gallanosa-Fuellas, chose to settle in Manila. The Given the full payment of the purchase price
other child, Salvacion Gallanosa who was married as well as the compliance with all the
to Abdon Gimpes (Gimpes spouses), however, requirements for the grant of a sales patent, the
continued possession of the property. Sometime Bureau had no reason to deny the issuance of
in 1940, The Gimpes spouses constructed their such patent to Juliana Frando. Her compliance
with all the requirements effectively vested in her with a just title and he cannot be obliged to show or
and her successors-in-interest an equitable title to prove it.
the property applied for.
Even without a patent, a perfected  Possession is presumed ownership. This
homestead is a property right in the fullest sense, is a disputable presumption.
unaffected by the fact that the paramount title to  What is the reason for the presumption?
the land is still in the Government. Thus, when Because every possessor is presumed to
the cadastral survey was subsequently conducted be in good fatih. More importantly,
in Sta. Magdalena in 1958, the disputed property because of the inconvenience of carrying
-- already held in private ownership -- was no proof of ownership.
longer part of the public domain. The director of  KINDS OF TITLES:
lands had no more authority to grant to a third a) True and valid title – title which by itself
person a patent covering the same tract that had is sufficient to transfer ownership without
already passed to private ownership. Thus, the the necessity of letting the prescriptive
issuance of the free patent to Cerila Gamos, period elapse.
insofar as it encroached the portion already
granted to Frando, had no legal basis at all. b) Colourable title – that title where,
Notwithstanding the denial of the sales patent in although there was a mode of transferring
favor of Juliana Frando, she had nevertheless ownership, still something is wrong,
acquired the property by prescription because the grantor is NOT the owner;
The denial of the sales patent this is the kind of title that the possessor
notwithstanding, Juliana Frando is deemed to in the concept of an owner has. He can
have acquired equitable title to the property acquire property thru acquisitive
through open, continuous, exclusive and prescription title.
notorious possession of the property, which was a
disposable land of the public domain. c) Putative title – that title where although a
In 1906, a Declaration of Real Property person believes himself to be the owner,
covering the property was issued to Basilio he nonetheless is not, because there was
Frando, father of Juliana Frando. Witness no mode of acquiring ownership.
accounts of long time residents of the adjoining
properties confirmed her possession for a period IN POSSESSION IN PRESCRIPTION
not later than 1925; and her introduction thereon (ART. 541)
of various trees and other plants, including a. just title is a. the person possessing in
bananas, cacao, pili and coconuts. presumed if he is the concept of an owner must
They also attested to the continued possessing in the prove that he has just title;
possession of the property by Frando’s daughter, concept of an b. just title here is not
Salvacion Gimpes; and subsequently by her owner; sufficient to transfer
children, herein private respondents HEIRS OF b. just title is ownership right there and
FRANDO. Aside from showing the sufficient to then because he still has to go
Order/Award, the children bolstered their claim transfer thru the period. The period
by introducing in evidence several Tax ownership if has to lapse before one can
Declarations, sketch plans, survey returns and the nobody acquire ownership on
reports of the court-appointed commissioner. questions. prescription.
While asserting possession of the property as
early as 1952, petitioners had not presented any CEQUENA vs. BOLANTE
document or witness to prove their bare claim. GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000
Moreover, Ambrosio Guatno -- one of herein
petitioners -- testified that he had entered the The prohibition against burdening a possessor
property upon the permission of Ricardo Galag, in the concept of an owner to show or prove
an heir of Gamos; later, he admitted that its true his possession with just title only does not
owner was Juliana Frando. apply if he is also claiming ownership over the
Clearly, the mere application for a patent, land through acquisistive prescription.
coupled with the fact of exclusive, open,
continuous and notorious possession for the
required period is sufficient to vest in the FACTS
applicant the grant applied for. In sum, the - See facts on previous page -
application by Juliana Frando for a sales patent, BOLANTE argued that she was legally
coupled with her open, exclusive, uninterrupted presumed to possess the subject land with a just
and notorious possession of the land applied for title since she possessed it in the concept of
is, for all purposes, equivalent to a patent already owner. Under Article 541 of the Code, she could
perfected and granted. not be obliged to show or prove such title.
The subsequent entry of petitioners and their
occupation of the property in question was in bad ISSUE
faith, given the prior possession thereof by private Whether of not BOLANTE could be obliged to
respondents. show or prove such title.

ARTICLE 541: A possessor in the concept of owner has RULING


in his favor the legal presumption that he possessed
YES. She should be obliged to show or prove It was proved at the proceedings in the court
such title because she was also claiming to have a quo that two (2) surveys were made of the
acquired the property through prescription. The disputed property. The first survey was made for
prohibition against burdening a possessor in the TITONG, while the second was the relocation
concept of an owner to show or prove his survey ordered by the lower court. As anticipated,
possession with just title only applies when there certain discrepancies between the two surveys
is an adverse claim over the property. In the surfaced. Thus, contrary to TITONG's allegation
present case however, both parties claimed in his complaint that he was the owner of only
possession in the concept of an owner. After 3.2800 hectares, he was actually claiming 5.9789
CEQUENA and LIRIO had proved their claim hectares. On the other hand, the lot pertaining to
over the property, it was up to BOLANTE to Espinosa, was left with only an area of 4.1841
controvert their contentions through adducing hectares instead of the 5.5 hectares sold by
evidence in her favor. TITONG to him.
LAURIO testified that TITONG was one of
the four heirs of his mother, Leonida Zaragoza. In
TITONG vs. CA the Extrajudicial Settlement with Sale of Estate of the
GR No. 137944. April 6, 2000 deceased Leonida Zaragoza, the heirs adjudicated
unto themselves the 3.6-hectare property of the
Titong did not acquire just title over the deceased. However, instead of reflecting only .
property because he was in bad faith. His acts 9000 hectare as his rightful share in the
of converting the boundary line (Bugsayon extrajudicial settlement TITONG's share was
River) into a ricefield and thereafter claiming bloated to 2.4 hectares. It was therefore appeared
ownership thereof were acts constituting to LAURIO that TITONG encroached upon his
deprivation of the rights of others and property and declared it a part of his inheritance.
therefore "tantamount to bad faith." LAURIO LAURIO accordingly denied that
TITONG had diverted the course of the Bugsayon
FACTS River after he had repurchased the land from
In 1960, petitioner MARIO TITONG sold a Conception Verano vda. de Cabug because the
5.5-hectare parcel of land to Conception Verano land was immediately sold to Espinosa shortly
vda. de Cabug. He was able to purchase the said thereafter.
land though in 1962. After 4 days, he sold it to In short, TITONG, in bad faith,
Pablo Espinosa, who had it declared under his surreptitiously, maliciously and fraudulently had
name for taxation purposes. When Espinosa died, the land in question included in the survey of his
it became a part of the estate of Segundia Liao, land which extends to the south only as far as the
Espinosa’s late wife. In 1981, her heirs sold the Bugsayon River which is the visible and natural
property to private respondent VICTORICO and common boundary between the properties.
LAURIO for P5,000. Thereafter, a tax declaration Moreover, during the hearing of the case,
was issued in the name of LAURIO. In all these TITONG proved that it was actually a boundary
conveyances, the area and boundaries of the dispute by evidence showing what he considered
property remained exactly the same. as the boundary of his property which LAURIO
Later, TITONG filed an action for quieting of perceived as actually encroaching on their
title against private respondents VICTORICO and property.
ANGELES LAURIO. He alleged that he was the The lower court rendered a decision in favor
owner of a 3.2800-hectare parcel of unregistered, of LAURIO, declaring him as the true and
which he declared for taxation purposes in his absolute owner of the litigated property and
name. He claimed that on 3 separate occasions in ordering TITONG to respect private LAURIOs'
1983, the LAURIOs, with their hired laborers, title and ownership over the property and to pay
forcibly entered a portion of the land containing attorney's fees, litigation expenses, costs and
an area of approximately 2 hectares, and began moral damages. The same was affirmed by the
plowing the same under pretext of ownership. CA. Hence, this appeal.
TITONG identified Espinosa as his adjoining
owner. He asserted that no controversy had ISSUE
sprouted between them for 20 years until the Whether of not TITONG possessed the
latter sold said lot to VICTORICO LAURIO. The property with a just title in his favor.
boundary between the land sold to Espinosa and
what remained of TITONG's property was the old RULING
Bugsayon river. When TITONG employed NO. He had no just title in his favor.
Bienvenido Lerit as his tenant in 1962, he Ordinary acquisitive prescription of things
instructed Lerit to change the course of the old requires possession in good faith and with just
river and direct the flow of water to the lowland title for the time fixed by law. Hence, a
at the southern portion of TITONG's property, prescriptive title to real estate is not acquired by
thus converting the old river into a riceland. mere possession thereof under claim of ownership
The LAURIOs denied this allegation and for a period of ten years unless such possession
averred that the disputed property formed part of was acquired with color of title and good faith.
the 5.5-hectare agricultural land which they had The good faith of the possessor consists in the
purchased in 1981 from their predecessor-in- reasonable belief that the person from whom he
interest, Pablo Espinosa. received the thing was the owner thereof, and
could transmit his ownership. For purposes of
prescription, there is just title when the adverse 6,000 sq. m. of ‘palayero’ or riceland and 7,856 sq.
claimant came into possession of the property m. of ‘parang’ or pasture land. It was added that in
through one of the modes recognized by law for 1967, CRUZ caused the survey of the property
the acquisition of ownership or other real rights and had it declared for taxation in 1968. It was
but the grantor was not the owner or could not further alleged that CRUZ sold the same property
transmit any right. to FLORES in 1968.
TITONGs had not satisfactorily met the The trial court found that the issue revolved
requirements of good faith and just title. As aptly on the so-called pasture land or ‘parang’. It
observed by the trial court, the plaintiff's admitted concluded that the ‘parang’ belonged to
acts of converting the boundary line (Bugsayon MARCELO ET AL. and that it was merely
River) into a ricefield and thereafter claiming encroached upon by CRUZ. It was proven that the
ownership thereof were acts constituting tax declaration of the Sarmientos, from whom
deprivation of the rights of others and therefore CRUZ purchased the property, did not include
"tantamount to bad faith." To allow TITONG to the ‘parang’ and it was only began to be declared
benefit from his own wrong would run counter to for taxation purposes in the name of CRUZ in
the maxim no man can be allowed to found a 1961. On the other hand, the said ‘parang’ was a
claim upon his own wrongdoing. part and parcel of MARCELO ET AL.’ property to
which they had been in possession thereof prior to
World War II. Because of such encroachment, the
MARCELO vs. CA landholding of CRUZ of 6,000 sq. m. was
GR No. 131803. April 14, 1999 increased to 13,856 square meters. The court then
ordered CRUZ and FLORES to return the
There is, upon the other hand, just title when ownership and possession of the ‘parang’ to
the adverse claimant comes into possession of MARCELO ET AL.
the property through any of the modes On appeal to the CA, the decision of the
recognized by law for the acquisition of lower court was reversed. Hence, this appeal.
ownership or other real rights, but that the
grantor is neither the owner nor in a position ISSUE
to transmit the right. The possessor only had Whether of not FLORES had in his favor just
to prove colorable title. title.

FACTS RULING
A parcel of land located in Sta. Lucia, Angat, YES. FLORES had just title in his favor
Bulacan was originally owned by spouses Jose because he acquired the property in good faith.
Marcelo and Sotera Paulino and they had been in The bad faith of CRU
continuous possession of said property since 1939. The “Kasulatan ng Partisyon sa Labas ng
Following the death of Jose Marcelo in 1965, his Hukuman at Bilihang Patuluyan.” executed in 1960
heirs, petitioners SOTERA PAULINO MARCELO by the Sarmientos, pertained not only to the
ET AL. discovered in 1967 that a portion of said “palayero” but also to the “parang” as well. Shortly
property had been encroached by respondent after the execution of the deed of sale in his favor,
FERNANDO CRUZ. CRUZ declared both parcels, i.e., the palayero and
Earlier in 1960, CRUZ purchased a 6,000-sq. the parang, for taxation purposes in 1960 in the
m. property from Engracia dela Cruz and Vicente Office of the Provincial Assessor and forthwith a
Marta and Florentino all surnamed Sarmiento, new tax declaration was issued in his name for the
pursuant to a ‘Kasulatan ng Partisyon sa Labas ng entire 13,856 sq. m. property. In turn, respondent
Hukuman at Bilihang Patulayan’ . As soon as the CRUZ sold in 1968, the 13,856 square meters of
said property was sold to Fernando Cruz, the land to respondent Flores under a “Kasulatan ng
adjoining property described and classified as Bilihan.” FLORES immediately took possession of
‘parang’ with an area of 7,856 sq. m. was declared the property to the exclusion of all others and
by said CRUZ in his name which circumstance, promptly paid the realty taxes thereon. From that
increased his landholding to 13,856 sq. m. In 1968, time on, FLORES had been in possession of the
he sold this 13,856 sq. m.-property to respondent entire area in the concept of an owner and holding
SERVANDO FLORES pursuant to a deed of sale it in that capacity for almost 14 years before
(Kasulatan ng Bilihan). The said sale included the petitioners initiated their complaint in 1982.
encroached portion of 7,540 sq.m. of MARCELO Acquisitive prescription is a mode of
ET AL.’s property. acquiring ownership by a possessor through the
In 1968, MARCELO ET AL. attempted to requisite lapse of time. In order to ripen into
cultivate the disputed portion but were barred ownership, possession must be in the concept of
from doing so by respondent FLORES who an owner, public peaceful and uninterrupted.
claimed that the area was part of the land he Possession, to constitute the foundation of a
bought from co-respondent CRUZ. Hence, in prescriptive right, must be en concepto de dueno, or,
1982, MAR CELO ET AL filed an action for the to use the common law equivalent of the term,
recovery of a portion of unregistered land. that possession should be adverse; if not, such
CRUZ and FLORES, on the other hand, possessory acts, no matter how long, do not start
contended that the portion sought to be recovered the running of the period of prescription.
by MARCELO ET AL. was part of the land which Ordinary acquisitive prescription demands, as
CRUZ acquired in 1960 from the Sarmientos. They aforesaid, that the possession be “in good faith
also averred that the land sold to CRUZ contained and with just title.” The good faith of the
possessor consists in the reasonable belief that the of expenses for the preservation of the
person from whom the thing is received has been land.)
the owner thereof and could thereby transmit that
ownership. There is, upon the other hand, just ARTICLE 545: If at the time the good faith ceases,
title when the adverse claimant comes into there should be any natural or industrial fruits, the
possession of the property through any of the possessor shall have a right to a part of the expenses of
modes recognized by law for the acquisition of cultivation, and to a part of the net harvest, both in
ownership or other real rights, but that the proportion to the time of the possession.
grantor is neither the owner nor in a position to The charges shall be divided on the same basis
transmit the right. by the two possessors.
In the instant case, FLORES took possession The owner of the ting may, should he so
of the controverted portion in good faith and with desire, give the possessor in good faith the right to finis
just title. This is so because the said portion of the cultivation and gathering if the growing fruits, as
7,540 sq. m. was an integral part of that bigger an indemnity for his part of the expenses of cultivation
tract of land which he bought from CRUZ under and the net proceeds; the possessor in good faith who
public document. As explicitly mentioned in the for any reason whatever should refuse to accept this
document of sale executed in 1968, the disputed concession, shall loss the right to be indemnified in any
portion referred to as “parang” was included in other manner.
the sale to FLORES. Parenthetically, at the time of
the sale, the whole area consisting of the riceland  The situation is, X possesses in GF the
and pasture land was already covered by a tax land of B. The possession of X has been
declaration in the name of CRUZ and further legally interrupted, and therefore his
surveyed in his favor. Hence, FLORES’ possession in GF ceases. What are the
possession of the entire parcel which included the rights of X?
portion sought to be recovered by MARCELO ET 1. right to part of the expenses of
AL. was not only in the concept of an owner but cultivation;
also public, peaceful and uninterrupted. While it 2. right to a part of the net harvest (both
is true that the possession of the entire area by his in proportion to the time of the
predecessor-in-interest CRUZ may not have been possession, 1st par. of 545.
peaceful as it was indeed characterized with
violence which resulted in the death of Jose POSSESSOR
Marcelo, this could not be said of FLORES’ GOOD FAITH BAD FAITH
possession of the property, in respect of which no Owns them (Art. - Return the value of
evidence to the contrary appears on record. 544) fruits which owner
could have received
ARTICLE 542: The possession of real property (Art. 549)
presumes that of the movables therein, so long as it is - Liable for damages
not shown or proved that they should be excluded. EXCEPT articles 443 and
546
ARTICLE 543: Each one of the participants of a thing Pro-rating of net - No rights at all (Art.
possessed in common shall be deemed to have harvest (Art. 545) 449)
exclusively possessed the part which may be allotted to - Liable for damages
him upon the division thereof, for the entire period (Art. 452)
during which the co-possession lasted. Interruption in
the possession of the whole or a part of a thing  Pro-rating, how determined: The
possessed in common shall be to the prejudice of all the possessor was already in possession for
possessors. However, in case of civil interruption, the two months before his possession in good
Rules of Court shall apply. faith was legally interrupted through the
serving of judicial summons. The crops
ARTICLE 544: A possessor in good faith is entitled to are pending and it would take about 4
the fruits received before the possession is legally months before it could be harvested. So
interrupted. before interruption, possession is in good
Naturally and industrial fruits are considered faith, after interruption, possession is in
received form the time they are gathered or severed. bad faith.
Civil fruits are deemed to accrue daily and
belong to the possessor in good faith on that Judicial summons
proportion. 2 months 4 months

 The possessor in good faith (PGF) is = 2:4 pro-rata


entitled to the fruits received before the good faith bad faith
possession is legally interrupted.
 Right of PBF with respect to the 1. Necessary Expenses – are those without
gathered fruits: which the thing would physically
 Entitled to payment for production, deteriorate or be lost, expenses for the
gathering and preservation expenses of preservation of the thing. They do not
the crops. (If the fruits have not been increase the thing’s value; they merely
gathered, he loses everything with respect prevent the thing from being useless.
to the fruits. But he can get the payment
entitled to the benefits of 546 and 547. There is no
Rights of a Possessor (in the concept of owner) as provision which grants a lessee a right of
to the necessary expenses retention until reimbursed.

a. If in good faith – entitled to: 3. Luxurious Expenses, Art 548 – are those
1. refund which add value to the thing only for
2. retain premises until paid certain determinate persons in view of
b. If in bad faith – entitled ONLY to a refund (no their particular whims. They are neither
right of retention, as penalty) essential for preservation nor useful to
everybody in general
2. Useful Expenses – they are those that:
i. add value to the property ARTICLE 546:
ii. or increase the object’s
productivity PADA-KILARIO vs. CA
iii. or useful for the G.R. No. 134329. Jan. 19, 2000.
satisfaction of spiritual
and religious yearnings If a possessor were in possession of the
or give rise to all kinds of property without paying any rental as they
fruits only relied on the liberality and tolerance of
 Rights of a Possessor (in the concept of the landowner are not possessors nor builders
owner) as to the Useful Expenses: in good faith because they know that their
 If in good faith… occupation of the premises may be terminated
1) Right to REIMBURSEMENT (of any time. Hence, they are not entitled to
either the amount spent or the reimbursement of useful expenses.
increase in value;
2) Right of RETENTION (till paid) FACTS
Jacinto Pada owned a parcel of land of
 While waiting to be reimbursed, he is not residential and coconut land in Leyte
obliged to pay rental to the owner. The denominated as Cadastral Lot No. 5581. During
right of retention is an absolute right, his lifetime, his half-brother, Feliciano Pada,
thus, he can occupy or possess the obtained permission from him to build a house on
premises for free until he is reimbursed. the northern portion of Cadastral Lot No. 5581.
But during his retention of the premises, When Feliciano died, his son, Pastor, continued
he introduces improvements; he has no living in said house. Petitioner Verona Pada-
right of removal if the improvements are Kilario, one of Pastor's children, had been living in
introduced during the retention period. that house since 1960.
During the time of retention, he is already Later, Jacinto Pada died intestate. His 6
in bad faith. PBF under useful expenses children, 1 personally and others through their
has no right whatsoever. children, entered into an extra-judicial partition of
his estate, which included Cadastral Lot No. 5881.
3) Right of REMOVAL (provided no One of the sons of Jacinto Pada was Marciano
substantial damage or injury is Pada. The latter’s daughter, Maria Pada, sold the
caused to the principal, reducing co-ownership right of his father to respondent
its value. Unless the winner SILVERIO PADA, who was also a first cousin.
(lawful owner or possessor) Thereafter, SILVERIO demanded that spouses
exercises the option in Art 547, 1 VERONA PADA-KILARIO and RICARDO
KILARIO vacate the northern portion of Cadastral
 If in bad faith… Lot No. 5581 so his family can utilize the said area.
1. Not entitled to any right regarding the Unable to settle for an amicable settlement,
useful expenses or reimbursements for SILVERIO instituted a complaint for ejectment
expenses incurred; with prayer for damages against spouses
2. he may REMOVE the objects (repairs on KILARIO.
building) provided the things suffer NO Later, heirs of Amador Pada, also a son of
INJURY thereby; Jacinto Pada, executed a Deed of Donation,
3. If the lawful possessor does not prefer to transferring to petitioner Verona Pada-Kilario,
retain them by paying the value they may their respective shares as co-owners of Cadastral
have at the time he enters into possession. Lot No. 5581. Hence, the SPOUSES KILARIO
averred that the northern portion of Cadastral Lot
No. 5581 had already been donated to them by the
PADA- KILARIO V CA heirs of Amador Pada. Hence, they were virtually
They are PBF and the kind of expenses they converted as standing co-owners of the land
incurred here is useful. Improvements are under controversy and became the undivided
considered as useful expenses. So what are they owners of the whole estate. Their possession then
entitled to? They are entitled to nothing. in the northern portion was being lawful. They
also contended that they had been occupying the
CHUA V CA subject property since 1960 without ever paying
Under Art 547 on useful expenses only apply to any rental.
PGF, and since Chua, who is a lessee, he is not
The RTC ordered the SPOUSES KILARIO to expressly provided for the renewal of the lease at
vacate the premises in issue and return peaceful the option of CHUA and ENG in accordance with
possession to SILVERIO being the lawful the terms of agreement and conditions set by the
possessor in concept of owner. When the MARRA.
SPOUSES KILARIO appealed with the CA, the Prior to the expiration of the lease, the parties
same was denied. Hence, this petition discussed the possibility of renewing it. They
exchanged proposal and counterproposal, but
ISSUE they failed to reach agreement. The dispute was
Whether or not the SPOUSES KILARIO were referred to the barangay captain for conciliation
entitled to full reimbursement of useful but still no settlement was reached by the parties.
improvements and retention of the premises until Hence, in 1990, MARRA filed a complaint for
reimbursement is made. unlawful detainer against CHUA and ENG with
the MTC. The court extended the lease for another
RULING 2 years. CHUA and ENG were also ordered to
NO, they were not because they were builders pay MARRA back rentals until they vacate the
in good faith. premises.
Considering that SPOUSES KILARIO were in The RTC however, modified said decision. It
possession of the subject property by sheer ruled that after the expiration of the 5-year lease
tolerance of its owners, they knew that their period, CHUA and ENG’s continued stay were
occupation of the premises may be terminated any already illegal. It also held that the period fixed by
time. Persons who occupy the land of another at the MTC was not proper as the power of the
the latter's tolerance or permission, without any courts to fix the period of lease is limited only to
contract between them, is necessarily bound by an cases where the period has not been fixed by the
implied promise that they will vacate the same parties themselves. CHUA and ENG were also
upon demand, failing in which a summary action ordered then, to vacate the premises and pay back
for ejectment is the proper remedy against them. rentals until they vacate the same.
Thus, they could be considered possessors nor The CA affirmed the RC decision. The
builders in good faith. appellate court found petitioners guilty of bad
It is well-settled that both Article 448 and faith in refusing to leave the premises.
Article 546 of the New Civil Code which allow full Hence, this petition for review on certiorari.
reimbursement of useful improvements and UY and ENG contended that they acted in good
retention of the premises until reimbursement is faith under the belief that they were entitled to an
made, apply only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., extension of the lease because they had made
one who builds on land with the belief that he is repairs and improvements on the premises.
the owner thereof. Verily, persons whose
occupation of a realty is by sheer tolerance of its ISSUE
owners are not possessors in good faith. Whether or not the useful improvements
Neither did the donation by some of the heirs, made by UY and ENG on the leased premises
convert SPOUSES KILARIO into builders in good entitled them to reimbursement from MARRA.
faith for at the time the improvements were built
on the premises, such promise was not yet RULING
fulfilled, i.e., it was a mere expectancy of NO. They should not be entitled to
ownership that may or may not be realized. More reimbursement.
importantly, even as that promise was fulfilled, The fact that, UY and ENG allegedly made
the donation was void for the donors were not the repairs on the premises in question is not a reason
owners of Cadastral Lot No. 5581. As such, for them to retain the possession of the premises.
petitioners could not be said to be entitled to the There is no provision of law which grants the
value of the improvements that they built on the lessee a right of retention over the leased premises
said lot. on that ground.
Art. 448 of the Civil Code, in relation to Art.
546, which provides for full reimbursement of
CHUA vs. CA useful improvements and retention of the
GR No. 109840. January 21, 1999 premises until reimbursement is made, applies
only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., one who
Reimbursement applies only to a possessor in builds on a land in the belief that he is the owner
good faith, i.e., one who builds on a land in thereof. In a number of cases, the Court has held
the belief that he is the owner thereof. This that this right does not apply to a mere lessee, like
right does not apply to a mere lessee, the petitioners, otherwise, it would always be in
otherwise, it would always be in his power to his power to "improve" his landlord out of the
"improve" his landlord out of the latter's latter's property.
property. Art. 1678 merely grants to such a lessee
making in good faith useful improvements the
FACTS right to be reimbursed one-half of the value of the
Petitioners JOSE L. CHUA and CO SIO ENG improvements upon the termination of the lease
were lessees of a commercial unit in Baclaran, or in the alternative, to remove the impovements
Parañaque, Metro Manila, which was owned by if the lessor refuses to make reimbursement.
respondent RAMON MARRA. The lease was for a
period of 5 years, from 1985 to 1989. The contract ARTICLE 547:
ARTICLE 548: not apply to land. Because under
Art. 714, which provides that the
ARTICLE 549: The possessor in bad faith shall ownership of a piece of land
reimburse the fruits received and those which the cannot be acquired by
legitimate possessor should have received, and shall occupation. So, ordinarily it refers
have a right only to the expenses mentioned in par. 1 of to movables.
article 546 and in article 443. the expenses incurred in
improvements for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall REQUISITES:
not be refunded to the possessor in bad faith; but he
may remove the objects for which such expenses have 1. That the abandoner must have been a
been incurred, provided that the thing suffers no injury possessor in the concept of an owner;
thereby, and that the lawful possessor does not prefer to 2. The capacity to renounce; there must be
retain them by paying the value they may have at the physical relinquishment of the thing;
time he enters into possession. 3. No expectancy of recovery or no intent to
return; and
ARTICLE 550: The costs of litigation over the property 4. The abandoner must have knowledge of
shall be borne by every possessor. the loss of his possession or the thing.
(US vs. Ray 8 Phil 500)
ARTICLE 551: Improvements caused by Nature or
time shall always inure to the benefit of the person who Effect of temporary ignorance:
has succeeded in revering possession.
4. There is no abandonment of movables
ARTICLE 552: A possessor in good faith shall not be even if there is temporary ignorance so
liable for the deterioration or loss of the thing long as they remain under the control of
possessed, except in cases in which it is proved that he the possessor.
has acted with fraudulent intent or negligence, after
the judicial summons. Effect of tolerance
A possessor in bad faith shall be liable for
deterioration or loss in every case, even if caused by a 5. There is no abandonment if the owner
fortuitous event. merely tolerated another's possession, nor
if that possessor acquired it through
ARTICLE 553: One who recovers possession shall not stealth, or effected the same through force
be obliged to pay for the improvements which have or intimidation
ceased to exist at the time he takes possession of the
thing. 1. Assignment, either by onerous (in case of
sale) or gratuitous title (in case of
ARTICLE 554: A present possessor who shows his donation).
possession at some previous time, is presumed to have - Assignment here is the complete
held possession also during the intermediate period, in transmission of ownership rights to
the absence of proof to the contrary. another person onerously or gratuitously.
2. By the destruction or total loss of the
ARTICLE 555: A possessor may lose his possession: thing, or because it goes out of commerce.
1. By the abandonment of the thing; - A thing is lost when it perishes, or goes
2. By an assignment made to another either by out of commerce, or disappears in such a
onerous pr gratuitous title; way that its existence is unknown and
3. By the destruction or total loss of the thing, or there is no recovery at all.
because it goes out of commerce; 3. Accdg to Mr. Paras, the possession of
4. By the possession of another, subject to the movables is not deemed lost as long as
provisions of Article 537, if the new they remain under the control of the
possession has lasted longer that one year. But possessor even though for the time being
the real right of possession is not the lost till he does not know their whereabouts.
after the lapse of 10 years. - Possession that is lost for one year is
possession de facto, but not legal right of
 Instances when a possessor may lose possession because it is lost after the lapse
possession: of 10 years. Possession as a fact, if you
1) By the abandonment of the thing lose it for more than 1 year, then you may
file a case for recovery for possession.
o Abandonment is the voluntary - By the possession of another, subject to
renunciation of a thing or right. the provisions of Article 537, if the new
o The abandonment must be true possession has lasted longer that one
abandonment in the sense that year. But the real right of possession is not
both possession de facto and the lost till after the lapse of 10 years.
possession de jure are lost.
o This is the abandonment that U.S. vs. REY
converts the thing into res nullius, G.R. No. 3326. September 7, 1907
meaning ownership of which
may be ordinarily acquired Property can not be considered abandoned
through occupation. But this does under the law if the possessor did not know
that the thing was lost until the spes The theory of abandonment on the part of the
recuperand (hope of recovery)i is gone and the owners of the money stolen was fully refuted by
animus revertendi (intention to return) is the fact that some weeks after the wreck of the
finally given up. said ship they sent men to the place of the wreck
for the purpose of recovering the property which
FACTS belonged to them, which was on board the ship at
On September 19, 1905, the steamer Cantabria the time of her sinking. The mere fact that cargo
sailed from the port of Manila, destined for the was sunk with a ship wrecked at sea by no means
pueblo of Tabaco, Albay. The ship had on board, deprives the owner of said cargo of his property
as a part of her cargo, 3 boxes containing silver therein. The owner certainly still has the right to
and paper money amounting to P25,000. This reclaim such property and to recover the same if
money was shipped by the firms of Urrutia & Co. possible. If it should be recovered by others, the
(P20,000) and Muñoz & Co. (P5,000) real owner would be entitled to recover its value
After the Cantabria remained in quarantine at less the necessary expense of recovering the same
the quarantine station of Mariveles, she continued and carrying it ashore by the most approved
the journey September 24. On September 26, said appliances for that purpose by others.
ship was totally wrecked off the small Island of
Mababuy and all its officers and passengers were
drowned, the cargo including the money were
lost as it sunk with the ship.
On September 28, the defendant LAURENTE
REY with several others, after having discovered YU vs. DE LARA
the existence and location of the wrecked steamer G.R. No. L-16084 November 30, 1962
Cantabria, took two boxes , which contained
P15,000, one containing P10,000 and the other Land can never be an abandoned thing,
P5,000. Being that the sum was packed in boxes, especially registered land.
which were reinforced with iron straps and nails,
said boxes were broken by the accused in order to FACTS
take possession of the said sum of money. A part Lot No. 14, block No. 51-C of the Gram Park
of which was distributed among his companions, subdivision, which was a 682.5-meter property,
the largest portion of which was retained by REY. was originally registered in 1916. Subsequently, it
The trial court convicted REY for the crime of was acquired by the Philippine Realty
robbery. On appeal, REY alleged that the said Corporation.
property which was sunk with the wrecked In 1945, several persons settled on the
steamer Cantabria, was abandoned property and property and constructed houses thereon without
therefore, granting that he had taken possession permission from the Philippine Realty
of said property and appropriated it to his own Corporation. On various dates thereafter, between
use, he was not guilty of the crime of robbery. 1947 and 1952, respondents MAXIMO DE LARA,
JUAN PANLILIO, LUCIA RIVERO,
ISSUE FLORENTINO ROQUE and DOMINGO
Whether or not the boxes containing the SAMSON bought the houses of those settlers and
money were abandoned property. continued in occupancy thereof without paying
any rents to the owner of the land.
RULING Later in 1956, Philippine Realty Corporation
NO. Said boxes were not abandoned property sold said property to petitioner JOHN O. YU, who
because of the absence of knowledge of the later obtained a TCT in his name. In 1957, YU
possessor that the thing was lost and there was advised DE LARA ET AL. to vacate the property
still intent on the part of the possessor to recover within 30 days. Because of the latter’s refusal, UY
it. filed a complaint of unlawful detainer.
Art. 555 (then Art. 460) provides that one of The lower court ordered DE LARA ET AL. to
the ways in which a possessor may lose vacate the premises and to pay monthly rentals
possession of a property is through abandonment from the time the action was filed until they
of a thing. vacate the premises.
There was absence of knowledge of the possessor On appeal, DE LARA ET AL. contended that
that the thing was lost Philippine Realty Corporation had lost possession
The sinking of the Cantabria was relayed to the of the property by abandonment, in failing to take
firms only after more than 6 weeks after the action against them and showing lack of interest
cyclone. Certainly the owner of property can not in said property since they started their
be held to have abandoned the same until at least occupancy.
lie has some knowledge of the loss of its
possession or of the loss of the thing. ISSUE
There was still intent on the part of the firms to Whether or not the property was abandoned
recover the money. by Philippine Realty Corporation.
Property can not be considered abandoned
under the law and the possession left vacant for RULING
the finder until the spes recuperandi (hope of NO. It was not abandoned. The circumstances
recovery) is gone and the animus revertendi adverted to are insufficient to constitute
(intention to return) is finally given up. abandonment, which requires not only physical
relinquishment of the thing but also a clear 3. And the possession is in the concept of an
intention not to reclaim or reassume ownership or owner.
enjoyment thereof.
Indeed, abandonment which according to GR: Possession in good faith in the concept of an
converts the thing into res nullius, ownership of owner is equivalent to title. If the owner wants to
which may be acquired by occupation, can hardly get the thing back, he must REIMBURSE the
apply to land, as to which said mode of possessor
acquisition is not available, let alone to registered
land, to which "no title in derogation to that of the Exceptions – NO REIMBURSEMENT by the
registered owner shall be acquired by prescription owner is required when:
or adverse possession". a. when the owner has lost the thing;
No possessory rights whatsoever can be b. when the owner has been unlawfully
recognized in favor of appellants, because they deprived of the thing;
are in fact nothing but squatters, who settled on
the land without any agreement with the owner, Exception to the exception – the owner shall
paying neither rents to him nor land taxes to the REIMBURSE the price paid when the possessor
government, and who impliedly recognized their had acquired the thing in good faith at a public
squatters' status by purchasing only the houses auction.
built by the original settlers. Their occupancy of
the land was at the owner's sufferance, and their SUMMARY:
acts were merely tolerated which could not affect
the owner's possession.  Owner may recover without
reimbursement:
ARTICLE 556: The possession of movables is not 1. From possessor in bad faith;
deemed lost as long as they remain under the control of 2. From possessor in good faith (if owner
the possessor, even though for the time being hew may had lost the property or been unlawfully
not know their whereabouts. deprived of it) (the acquisition being from
a private person)
 RULE WHEN POSSESSION NOT  Owner may recover but should reimburse
DEEMED LOST: (Movable): if possessor acquired the object in good
1. under the control of another; faith at a public sale or auction.
2. no idea of the whereabouts  Owner cannot recover even if he offers to
reimburse (WON the owner had lost or
ARTICLE 557: The possession of immovables and of been unlawfully deprived):
real rights is not in deemed lost, or transferred for 1) If possessor had acquired it in good faith
purposes of prescription to the prejudice of 3 rd persons, by purchase from a merchant’s store or in
except in accordance with the provisions of the fairs, or markets in accordance with the
Mortgage Law and the Land Registration laws. Code of Commerce and special laws.
2) If owner is by his conduct precluded from
ARTICLE 558: Acts relating to possession executed or denying the seller’s authority to sell.
agreed to by one who possesses a thing belonging to 3) If possessor had obtained the goods
another as a mere holder to enjoy or kept it, in any because he was innocent purchaser for
character, do not bind or prejudice the owner unless he value and holder of a negotiable
gave said holder express authority to do such acts, or document of title to the goods.
ratifies them subsequently. 4) When acquisitive prescription has set in
except if possessor is a criminal.
ARTICLE 559: The possession of movable property
acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title. DEL ROSARIO vs. LUCENA
Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been G.R. No. 3546. September 13, 1907
unlawfully deprived thereof, may recover it from the
person in possession of the same. A jewelry owner whose jewelries were
If the possessor of a movable lost or which the pawned without her consent cannot be
owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in compelled to reimburse the person to whom it
good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot obtain its is pawned in order to acquire possession of
return without reimbursing the price paid therefore. the jewelries.

 Art. 559 is known as the rule on FACTS


irreinvindicability. Petitioner PIA DEL ROSARIO owned certain
 "Aquired in good faith" here means that jewelries. She delivered said jewelries to
the possessor is of the belief that the respondent PRAXEDES FLORES for sale on
person from whom he received the thing commission for the term of 2 months, after which,
was the owner and who could transfer if not sold, they should be returned to her.
valid title thereto. Without her consent, the respondent JUAN
 Requisites for title: LUCENA and his wife, PRAXEDES FLORES
1. That the possession is in good faith; pawned them to co-respondent TERESA
2. That the owner has voluntarily parted VERCHES for P500.
with the possession of the thing; DEL ROSARIO filed a complaint against the
SPOUSES LUCENA and VERCHES. The principal
object of the complaint was to obtain from the proper and in accordance with the law to compel
court a declaration that the jewels were the VERCHES to return to the DEL ROSARIO,
property of DEL ROSARIO. absolutely and unconditionally, the jewels in
The court rendered judgment in favor of the question.
DEL ROSARIO and against VERCHES for the
possession of the jewels. However, DEL
ROSARIO could only possess the jewelries after VARELA vs. FINNICK
she pays P500 to VERCHES with interest. Should G.R. No. 3890. January 2, 1908
the jewels could not be returned, the SPOUSES
LUCENA shall jointly and severally pay DEL A pawnshop does not enjoy the privilege
ROSARIO P500 and VERCHES P1,555 less P500. established by Art. 559.The owner of a
DEL ROSARIO appealed this decision. pawnshop, notwithstanding the fact that he
acted in good faith, did not acquire the Jewels
ISSUE at a public sale. Neither does, a pawnshop
Whether or not DEL ROSARIO was under enjoy the privilege granted to a Monte de
obligation to reimburse VERCHES in order to Piedad. The owner of the jewels who was
repossess the jewelries. deprived of the same in consequence of a
crime is entitled to the recovery thereof.
RULING
NO. DEL ROSARIO should not be obliged to FACTS
reimburse VERCHES. In 1905, Nicolasa Pascual received from
VERCHES accepted the jewels as a pledge petitioner JOSEFA VARELA several jewels, some
constituted by FLORES in the name' of DEL of which were owned by ARELA herself and
ROSARIO, without ascertaining whether the some belonged to strangers. The jewelries were
latter had given the former any order or authority delivered to Pascual to be sold on commission,
for the pledging of her jewelries. VERCHES must with the obligation on the part of the latter to pay
stand the risk arising from her acceptance of the to the former the proceeds of the sale of said
pledge, even if when relying upon her judgment jewels, or to return them if unsold.
she was improperly or falsely informed; and it Pascual, however, pawned the said jewels at
would not be just nor logical that the various dates with H. J. Finnick's pawnshop,
consequences of her deception, due to her own where the jewels had been pledged. The jewels
mistake, or to deceit employed by a stranger, were thus misappropriated and the amount of the
should fall on the owner of the jewelries who, loan granted thereon embezzled, to the prejudice
without having taken any part in the transaction, of Josefa VARELA.
became the victim of a crime. In 1906, VARELA claimed, in writing, the
The conflict between the right of the owner of return of the jewels from H. J. Finnick's
movable property who has either lost it or been pawnshop. It also filed a case against said
illegally deprived thereof and that of the creditor pawnshop and its manager, respondent
who has loaned money thereon and holds it in JOSEPHINE FINNICK. FINNICK alleged that the
pledge can not be decided against the owner, to jewels pledged at the pawnshop were not the
whom the Civil Code grants a right of action to subject of any other crime committed by Pascual.
recover the property from whoever may be in It was further alleged that the pawnshop accepted
possession. the said jewels in good faith. Hence, the
The exceptions to Art. 559 (then Art. 464) are pawnshop was entitled to their possession.
therein contained, namely: ISSUE
(1)If the possessor of personal property, Whether or not VARELA should be entitled to
lost or stolen, has acquired it at a public the possession of the jewelries.
sale;
(2)in favor of Montes de Piedad RULING
established under authorization of the YES, she should be entitled to the possession
Government; and the jewelries.
(3)with regard to things acquired on Nicolasa Pascual was convicted of estafa of
exchange, or at fairs or markets, or the jewels in question, and as the sentence became
from a merchant lawfully engaged in final, so much so that she was now undergoing or
similar business. term of imprisonment, the balance of the
The defendant was not within any of the judgment must be complied with that is, the
exceptions under which she could refuse to make restitution of the jewels misappropriated because
restitution of the property without reimbursement they are at hand and have not disappeared. This
of the amount advanced upon the pledge. restitution must be made even if the jewels are in
Therefore the decision which provides for the possession of a third party, such as a
such reimbursement before the return of the pawnshop, and notwithstanding the fact that they
jewels is not based on any law whatever. On the were lawfully acquired by it, its right to institute
contrary, it is in violation of Art. 559 of the Civil proceedings against whoever may be liable
Code. therefor being reserved as provided by article 120
It was improper to compel DEL ROSARIO to of the Penal Code.
reimburse VERCHES in the sum P500, which The exception contained in paragraph 3 of
PRAXEDES FLORES obtained through the said article is not applicable to the present case
commission of an unlawful act, but that it is because a pawnshop does not enjoy the privilege
established by Art. 559 (then Art. 464), of the Civil Later, after a writ of seizure was issued for the
Code. The owner of the pawnshop of Finnick said jewelry the sheriff took it out of the
Brothers, notwithstanding the fact that he acted in RAYMUNDDO's control and held it in his
good faith, did not acquire the Jewels at a public possession during the 5 days prescribed by law.
he sale. Neither does, a pawnshop enjoy the After 5 days without the delivery of bond by
privilege granted to a Monte de Piedad therefore, RAYMUNDO, the sheriff delivered it to the
VARELA, who lost said jewels and was deprived counsel for ARENAS.
of the same in consequence of a crime is entitled RAYMUNDO on the other hand, contended
to the recovery thereof from the pawnshop of that the jewelry was pledged to the pawnshop by
Finnnick Brothers, where they were pledged. Perello as a security for a P1,524 loan with the
The provisions of Art. 559 (then Art. 464) shall knowledge, consent, and mediation of Gabriel La
be observed with regard to the rights of the owner O, a son of the ARENAS. Hence, it was alleged
to recover the personal property lost or of which that the latter were estopped from disavowing the
he may have been illegally deprived, and also action of Perello. RAYMUNDO then prayed that
with regard to those acquired at an auction, on the complaint be dismissed and that the jewelry
exchanges, at fairs or markets, or from a merchant seized be returned to the pawnshop’s possession.
legally established or customarily engaged in the The lower court ordered RAYMUNDO to
traffic of similar objects. restore to ARENAS. the jewelry. Hence, this
In the present case not only has the ownership appeal by RAYMUNDO.
and the origin of the jewels misappropriated been
unquestionably proven also that the accused, ISSUE
acting frandulently and in bad faith, disposed of Whether or not RAYMUNDO should be
them and pledged them contrary agreement, with entitled to possession of the jewelry.
no right of ownership, and to the prejudice of the
injured party, who was thereby illegally deprived RULING
of said jewels. Therefore, in accordance with the NO. Instead of Raymundo, the rightful
provisions of Art. 559 (then Art. 464), the owner possessor of the jewelry was ARENAS, who was
an absolute right to recover the jewels from the the owner thereof.
possession of whosoever holds them in Article 1857 of the Civil Code prescribes as
accordance with the judgment entered in the one of the essential requisites of the contracts of
aforesaid cause for estafa wherein, the accused pledge and of mortgage, that the thing pledged or
having been found guilty the right of Josefa mortgaged must belong to the person who
Varela to recover jewels in question is expressly pledges or mortgages it.
acknowledged. Because of the fact that Perello was not the
legitimate owner of the jewelry which she
pledged to the RAYMUNDO, the contract of
ARENAS vs. RAYMUNDO pledge entered into by both is, of course, null and
G.R. No. 5741. March 13, 1911 void. Hence, the jewelry so pawned could not
serve as security for the payment of the sum
Because of the fact that Perello was not the loaned, nor can the latter be collected out of the
legitimate owner of the jewelry which she value of the said jewelry.
pledged to the Raymundo, the contract of In the case at bar, it was not proven that
pledge entered into by both is, of course, null ARENAS authorized Perello to pawn the jewelry
and void. hence, the jewelry so pawned could given to her by Arenas to sell on commission.
not serve as security for the payment of the Because of the mere fact of Perello's having been
sum loaned, nor can the latter be collected out convicted and sentenced for estafa, the rest of the
of the value of the said jewelry. dispositive part of the said sentence must be
complied with, that is, the jewelry
FACTS misappropriated must be restored to its owner,
In 1908, petitioner ESTANISLAUA ARENAS which was in possession of the pawnshop of
delivered to Elena de Vega to sell on commission RAYMUNDO, who acquired it by legal means.
several pieces of jewelry. De Vega, in turn, Even supposing that RAYMUNDO had acted
delivered it to Concepcion Perello, likewise to sell in good faith in accepting the pledge of the
on commission. However, Perello, instead of jewelry in litigation, even then he would not be
fulfilling her trust, pledged the jewelry in the entitled to retain it until the owner thereof
pawnshop of defendant FAUSTO O. reimburse him for the amount loaned to the
RAYMUNDO. Perello appropriated to her own embezzler.
use the money thereby obtained. Between the supposed good faith of
Later, Perello was prosecuted for estafa, RAYMUNDO and the undisputed good faith of
convicted, and the judgment became final. The the ARENAS, the owner of the jewelry, neither
jewelries however were still under the control and law nor justice permit that the latter, after being
in the possession of RAYMUNDO. The latter the victim of embezzlement, should have to
refused to deliver the jewelries to ARENAS, the choose one of the two extremes of a dilemma.
owner thereof. Both of which, without legal ground or reason,
Hence, ARENAS filed an action against are injurious and prejudicial to her interests and
RAYMUNDO to recover possession of said rights, that is, she must either lose her jewelry or
jewelries. pay a large sum received by the embezzler as a
loan from the defendant, when ARENAS is not
related to the latter by any legal or contractual AZNAR then filed a complain for replevin
bond out of which legal obligations arise. YAPDIANGCO. Claiming ownership of the
vehicle, he prayed for its delivery to him. In the
course of the litigation, however, TEODORO
AZNAR vs. YAPDIANGCO SANTOS was allowed to intervene by the lower
G.R. No. L-18536. March 31, 1965 court.
The lower court awarded the car to SANTOS,
If the owner has lost a thing, or if he has been as it found that he had been unlawfully deprived
unlawfully deprived of it, he has a right to of his personal property by Marella, from whom
recover it, not only from the finder, thief or the AZNAR traced his right. Hence, SANTOS was
robber, but also from third persons who may entitled to its recovery on the mandate of Article
have acquired it in good faith from such 559 of the Civil Code.
finder, thief or robber. From this decision, Aznar appealed. He
FACTS contended that the applicable provision of the
In 1959, intervenor TEODORO SANTOS Civil Code is Article 1506 and not Article 559.
advertised the sale of his FORD FAIRLANE 500. Article 1506 provides:
A certain L. De Dios, claiming to be a nephew of ART. 1506. Where the seller of goods
Vicente Marella, went to the Santos residence to has a voidable title thereto, but his, title
answer the ad. During the transaction, Marella has not been voided at the time of the
agreed to buy the car for P14,700 on the sale, the buyer acquires a good title to the
understanding that the price would be paid only goods, provided he buys them in good
after the car had been registered in his name. faith, for value, and without notice of the
After a Deed of Sale was executed by the seller's defect of title.
parties, they then proceeded to the Motor Vehicles
where the registration of the car in Marella's name ISSUE
was effected. Up to this stage of the transaction, Whether or not AZNAR had a better right to
the purchased price had not been paid. acquire possession of the car.
TEODORO SANTOS gave the registration
papers and a copy of the deed of sale to his son, RULING
Irineo Santos, and instructed him not to part with NO. The reliance of AZNAR on Art. 1506 was
them until Marella shall have given the full unmeritorious. The car should be warded to
payment for the car. When Irineo demanded the TEODORO SANTOS instead.
payment from Marella, the latter said that the Under the aforequoted provision, it is
amount he had on hand then was short by some essential that the seller should have a voidable
P2,000 and begged off to be allowed to secure the title at least. It is very clearly inapplicable where,
shortage from a sister. Thereafter, he ordered L. as in this case, the seller had no title at all.
De Dios to go to the said sister and suggested that Vicente Marella did not have any title to the
Irineo go with him. At the same time, he property under litigation because the same was
requested the registration papers and the deed of never delivered to him. He sought ownership or
sale from Irineo Santos on the pretext that he acquisition of it by virtue of the contract. Vicente
would like to show them to his lawyer. Trusting Marella could have acquired ownership or title to
the good faith of Marella, Irineo handed over the the subject matter thereof only by the delivery or
same to the latter and thereupon, proceeded to the tradition of the car to him.
alleged house of Marella's sister. For the legal acquisition and transfer of
When they reached the alleged house of ownership and other property rights, the thing
Marella’s sister, Irineo and L. De Dios entered the transferred must be delivered, inasmuch as,
house while their unidentified companion according to settled jurisprudence, the tradition of
remained in the car. Once inside, L. De Dios asked the thing is a necessary and indispensable
Irineo to wait at the sala while he went inside a requisite in the acquisition of said ownership by
room. However, time passed but L. De Dios did virtue of contract.
not return. Irineo then found out that L. De Dios The lower court was correct in applying
and his unidentified companion were no longer Article 559 of the Civil Code to the case at bar, for
there anymore and that nobody in the house under it, the rule is to the effect that if the owner
knew L. De Dios. When Irineo went to the house has lost a thing, or if he has been unlawfully
of Marella, he found it closed and Marella was deprived of it, he has a right to recover it, not only
gone. Finally, he reported the matter to his father from the finder, thief or robber, but also from
who promptly advised the police authorities. third persons who may have acquired it in good
On the very same day, Marella was able to sell faith from such finder, thief or robber. The said
the car for P15,000 to petitioner JOSE B. AZNAR, article establishes two exceptions to the general
who acquired the said car in good faith, for a rule of irrevindicability, to wit, when the owner
valuable consideration and without notice of the (1) has lost the thing, or (2) has been unlawfully
defect appertaining to the vendor's title. While deprived thereof. In these cases, the possessor
AZNAR was attending to the car’s registration, cannot retain the thing as against the owner, who
agents of the Philippine Constabulary headed by may recover it without paying any indemnity,
respondent CAPT. RAFAEL YAPDIANGCO, except when the possessor acquired it in a public
seized and confiscated the same in consequence of sale.
the report to them by TEODORO SANTOS that Under Article 559 of the new Civil Code, a
the said car was unlawfully taken from him. person illegally deprived of any movable may
recover it from the person in possession of the attachment was issued and the EDCA finally
same and the only defense the latter may have is surrendered the books to the SPOUSES SANTOS.
if he has acquired it in good faith at a public sale, The MTC recognized the ownership of the
in which case, the owner cannot obtain its return books in the SPOUSES SANTOS. The same was
without reimbursing the price paid therefor. In sustained by both the RTC and CA. Hence, this
the present case, TEODORO SANTOS had been appeal.
illegally deprived of his car through the ingenious EDCA contended that because the impostor
scheme of Marella to enable the latter to dispose Cruz acquired no title to the books, the latter then
of it to AZNAR, as if he were the owner thereof. could not have validly transferred it to the
TEODORO SANTOS, therefore, could still recover SPOUSES SANTOS. Its reason is that as the
possession of the car even if it is in the possession payment check bounced for lack of funds, there
of AZNAR who had acquired it in good faith from was a failure of consideration that nullified the
Marella. The maxim that "no man can transfer to contract of sale between it and Cruz.
another a better title than he had himself" obtains
in the civil as well as in the common law. ISSUE
Whether or not EDCA was entitled to
possession of the property.
EDCA vs. SANTOS
G.R. No. 80298. April 26, 1990 RULING
NO. The SPOUSES SANTOS had a better right
EDCA was not unlawfully deprived of the to possess said books.
books because it was the one which made the The impostor Cruz acquired ownership over the
delivery to the impostor Cruz. The latter then books because they were delivered to him
acquired ownership over it, which was The contract of sale is consensual and is
subsequently transferred to the buyers, the perfected once agreement is reached between the
SPOUSES SANTOS, who purchased said parties on the subject matter and the
books in good faith and diligence as to consideration. Ownership in the thing sold shall
ascertain the invoice issued by EDCA to not pass to the buyer until full payment of the
Cruz. purchase price only if there is a stipulation to that
effect. Otherwise, the rule is that such ownership
FACTS shall pass from the vendor to the vendee upon the
In 1981, a person identifying himself as actual or constructive delivery of the thing sold
Professor Jose Cruz as dean of De La Salle Collge, even if the purchase price has not yet been paid.
placed an order by telephone with EDCA Non-payment only creates a right to demand
PUBLISHING & DISTRIBUTING CORP. for 406 payment or to rescind the contract, or to criminal
books, payable on delivery. prosecution in the case of bouncing checks. But
EDCA prepared the corresponding invoice absent the stipulation above noted, delivery of the
and delivered the books as ordered, for which thing sold will effectively transfer ownership to
Cruz issued a personal check covering the the buyer who can in turn transfer it to another.
purchase price of P8,995.65. Actual delivery of the books having been
Later, Cruz sold 120 of the books to private made, CRUZ acquired ownership over the books
respondent LEONOR SANTOS who, after which he could then validly transfer to the private
verifying the seller's ownership from the invoice respondents. The fact that he had not yet paid for
he showed her, paid him P1,700.00. them to EDCA was a matter between him and
Meanwhile, EDCA having become suspicious EDCA and did not impair the title acquired by the
over a second order placed by Cruz even before private respondents to the books.
clearing of his first check, made inquiries with the “Unlawfully deprived”
De la Salle College but it was informed that there One may well imagine the adverse
was no such person in its employ. Further consequences if the phrase "unlawfully deprived"
verification revealed that Cruz had no more were to be interpreted in the manner suggested by
account or deposit with the Philippine Amanah EDCA. A person relying on the seller's title who
Bank, against which he had drawn the payment buys a movable property from him would have to
check. surrender it to another person claiming to be the
EDCA then went to the police, which set a original owner who had not yet been paid the
trap and arrested Cruz, whose real name was purchase price therefor. The buyer in the second
Tomas de la Pena. sale would be left holding the bag, so to speak,
On the night of the same date, EDCA sought and would be compelled to return the thing
the assistance of the police, which forced their bought by him in good faith without even the
way into the store of the SPOUSES LEONOR and right to reimbursement of the amount he had paid
GERARDO SANTOS and threatened them with for it.
prosecution for buying stolen property. They LEONOR SANTOS took care to ascertain first
seized the 120 books without warrant, loading that the books belonged to CRUZ before she
them in a van belonging to EDCA, and thereafter agreed to purchase them. The EDCA invoice
turned them over to the EDCA. CRUZ showed her assured her that the books had
The SPOUSES SANTOS demanded for the been paid for on delivery. By contrast, EDCA was
return of said books but it was rejected. Hence, less than cautious-in fact, too trusting-in dealing
the SPOUSES SANTOS sued EDCA for the with the impostor. Although it had never
recovery of the books. A writ of preliminary transacted with him before, it readily delivered
the books he had ordered (by telephone) and as After posting the necessary bond, CITIWIDE was
readily accepted his personal check in payment. It able to recover possession of the vehicle in
did not verify his identity although it was easy possession of LEDESMA.
enough to do this. It did not wait to clear the The lower court ruled in favor of LEDESMA.
check of this unknown drawer. Worse, it It ruled that LEDESMA was a buyer in good faith
indicated in the sales invoice issued to him, by the and for valuable consideration.
printed terms thereon, that the books had been On appeal with the CA, said decision was
paid for on delivery, thereby vesting ownership in reversed. LEDESMA was ordered to return the
the buyer. possession of said vehicle to CITIWIDE. It held
Surely, the SPOUSES SANTOS did not have to that where the owner has lost the thing or has
go beyond that invoice to satisfy herself that the been unlawfully deprived thereof, the good faith
books being offered for sale by Cruz belonged to of the possessor is not a bar to recovery of the
him; yet she did. Although the title of Cruz was movable unless the possessor acquired it in a
presumed under Article 559 by his mere public sale of which there is no pretense in this
possession of the books, these being movable case. Contrary to the court's assumption, the
property, LEONOR SANTOS nevertheless issues not primarily the good faith of LEDESMA,
demanded more proof before deciding to buy for even if this were true, this may not be invoked
them. as a valid defense if it be shown that CITIWIDE
It would certainly be unfair now to make the was unlawfully deprived of the vehicle.
the SPOUSES SANTOS bear the prejudice Hence, this appeal by LEDESMA.
sustained by EDCA as a result of its own
negligence. There could be no the justice in ISSUE
transferring EDCA's loss to the Santoses who had Whether or not CITIWIDE was entitled to
acted in good faith, and with proper care, when repossess the vehicle.
they bought the books from Cruz.
RULING
NO. LEDESMA had a better right to possess
LEDESMA vs. CA said vehicle.
G.R. No. 86051. September 1, 1992 It was therefore erroneous for the CA to
declare that CITIWIDE was illegally deprived of
The sale entered by CITIWIDE and the the car simply because the check in payment
impostor was valid. CITIWIDE was not therefor was subsequently dishonored. It also
illegally deprived of the car simply because erred when it divested the LEDESMA, a buyer in
the check in payment therefor was good fait,h who paid valuable consideration
subsequently dishonored. Hence, the transfer therefor, of his possession thereof.
of ownership from the impostor to It is quite clear that a party who (a) has lost
LEDESMA was valid as well. LEDESMA any movable or (b) has been unlawfully deprived
had a better right to possess the vehicle thereof can recover the same from the present
because he was a purchaser in good faith and possessor even if the latter acquired it in good
for value. faith and has, therefore, title thereto for under the
first sentence of Article 559, such manner of
FACTS acquisition is equivalent to a title. There are three
In 1977, a person representing himself to be (3) requisites to make possession of movable
Jojo Consunji, purchased purportedly for his property equivalent to title, namely: (a) the
father, a certain Rustico T. Consunji, 2 brand new possession should be in good faith; (b) the owner
motor vehicles from respondent CITIWIDE voluntarily parted with the possession of the
MOTORS, INC. Thereafter, CITIWIDE delivered thing; and (c) the possession is in the concept of
said vehicles to the person representing himself to owner.
be Jojo Consunji. The latter issued a manager’s Undoubtedly, one who has lost a movable or
check worth P101,000 was full payment of the who has been unlawfully deprived of it cannot be
value of the vehicles. said to have voluntarily parted with the
However, when CITIWIDE deposited the said possession thereof. This is the justification for the
check, it was dishonored by the bank on the exceptions found under the second sentence of
ground that it was tampered with, the correct Article 559 of the Civil Code.
amount of P101.00 having been raised to P101,000. In the present case, there was a perfected
Hence, CITIWIDE reported said criminal act to unconditional contract of sale between CITIWIDE
the Philippine Constabulary, which found out and the original vendee impostor. The former
that the real identity of the impostor was voluntarily caused the transfer of the certificate of
Armando Suarez who had a long line of criminal registration of the vehicle in the name of the first
cases against him for estafa using his similar vendee even if the said vendee was represented
modus operandi. by someone who used a fictitious name--and
Later, CITIWIDE was able to recover one of likewise voluntarily delivered the cars and the
the vehicles, which was found abandoned. It also certificate of registration to the vendee's alleged
found out that the possession of the other vehicle representative. Title thereto was forthwith
was transferred to petitioner JAIME LEDESMA. transferred to the vendee. The subsequent
LEDESMA, however claimed that he dishonor of the check because of the alteration
purchased said vehicle and paid for it in good merely amounted to a failure of consideration
faith from its registered owner, one Pedro Neyra. which does not render the contract of sale void,
but merely allows the prejudiced party to sue for Santos and threatened her with prosecution for
specific performance or rescission of the contract, buying stolen property. They seized the 120 books
and to prosecute the impostor for estafa under without warrant, loading them in a van belonging
Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code. to EDCA, and thereafter, turned them over to
The contract of sale is consensual and is EDCA.
perfected once agreement is reached between the Santos sued for the recovery of the books.
parties on the subject matter and the EDCA contended that it can recover the books
consideration. From that moment, the parties may from Santos considering that EDCA was
reciprocally demand performance, subject to the unlawfully deprived thereof since the check
provisions of the law governing the form of issued by Cruz was dishonored thus, nullifying
contracts. Ownership in the thing sold shall not the contract of sale between EDCA and Cruz.
pass to the buyer until full payment of the
purchase price only if there is a stipulation to that Issue: W/N Santos was a possessor in good faith.
effect. Otherwise, the rule is that such ownership
shall pass from the vendor to the vendee upon the Held: Yes. The contention of EDCA is
actual or constructive delivery of the thing sold unacceptable. The first sentence of Art. 559
even if the purchase price has not yet been paid. provides that “the possession of movable
Non-payment only creates a right to demand property acquired in good faith is equivalent to
payment or to rescind the contract, or to criminal title, thus dispensing with further proof. Leonor
prosecution in the case of bouncing checks. But Santos acquired the books. She ascertained the
absent the stipulation above noted, delivery of the ownership of the books from EDCA invoice
thing sold will effectively transfer ownership to showing that they had been sold to Cruz, who
the buyer who can in turn transfer it to another. said he was selling them for discount because he
The failure of the buyer to make good the price was in financial need. Surely, Santos did not have
does not, in law, cause the ownership to revest in to go beyond the invoice to satisfy herself that the
the seller until and unless the bilateral contract of books being offered for sale by Cruz belonged to
sale is first rescinded or resolved pursuant to him; yet she did. Although the title of Cruz was
Article 1191 of the new Civil Code. presumed under Art 559 by his mere possession
of the books, these being movable property,
ARTICLE 560: Wild animals are possessed only while Santos nevertheless demanded proof before
they are under one’s control; domesticated or tamed deciding to buy them. By contrast, EDCA was less
animals are considered domestic or tame, if they retain than cautious – in fact, too trusting. It would
the habit of returning to the premises of the possessor. certainly be unfair now to make Santos bear the
prejudice sustained by EDCA as a result of its
ARTICLE 561: One who recovers, according to law, own negligence. We cannot agree the justice in
possession unjustly lost, shall be deemed for all transferring EDCA’s loss to the Santoses who had
purposes which may redound to his benefit, to have acted in good faith, and with proper care, when
enjoyed it without interruption. they bought the books from Cruz.
Issue: W/N EDCA was unlawfully deprived of
 When is a person deemed to have been the books
unlawfully deprived of a thing: Held: No. Art 1477 provides that the ownership of
the thing sold shall be transferred to the vendee
EDCA PUBLISHING V SANTOS upon the actual or constructive delivery ther