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Dizon vs.

Suntay 47 SCRA 160 September 1972


Respondent Lourdes G. Suntay and one Clarita R. Sison entered into a transaction wherein the Suntays three-carat diamond ring, valued at P5,500.00, was delivered to Sison for sale on commission. Upon receiving the ring, Sison executed and delivered to the receipt to Suntay. After the lapse of a considerable time without Clarita R. Sison having returned to the ring to her, Suntay made demands on Clarita R. Sison for the return of said jewelry. Clarita R. Sison, however, could not comply with Suntays demands because on June 15, 1962, Melia Sison, niece of the husband of Clarita R. Sison, evidently in connivance with the latter, pledged the ring with the petitioner Dominador Dizon's pawnshop for P2,600.00 without Suntays knowledge. When Suntay found out that Clarita R. Sison pledged the ring, she filed a case of estafa against the latter with the fiscal's office. Subsequently, Suntay wrote a letter to Dizon on September 22, 1962 asking for the return of her ring which was pledged with the latters pawnshop under its Pawnshop Receipt serial B No. 65606, dated June 15, 1962.

Dizon refused to return the ring, so Suntay filed an action for its recovery with the CFI of Manila, which declared that she had the right to its possession. The Court of Appeals likewise affirmed said decision.


Who has the right title over the subject property?


The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the lower courts. The controlling provision is Article 559 of the Civil Code which provides that [T]he possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof may recover it from the person in possession of the same. If the possessor of a movable lost of

which the owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor. The only exception the law allows is when there is acquisition in good faith of the possessor at a public sale, in which case the owner cannot obtain its return without, reimbursing the price. Hanging on to said exception as his basis, Dizon insisted that the principle of estoppel should apply in this case but the Supreme Court ruled otherwise.

In the present case not only has the ownership and the origin of the jewels misappropriated been unquestionably proven but also that Clarita R. Sison, acting fraudulently and in bad faith, disposed of them and pledged them contrary to agreement with no right of ownership, and to the prejudice of Suntay, who was illegally deprived of said jewels and who, as the owner, has an absolute right to recover the jewels from the possession of whosoever holds them, which in this case is Dizons pawnshop. Dizon ought to have been on his guard before accepting the pledge in question, but evidently there was no such precaution availed of and he has no one to blame but himself. While the activity he is engaged in is no doubt legal, it is not to be lost sight of that it thrives on taking advantage of the necessities precisely of that element of our population whose lives are blighted by extreme poverty. From whatever angle the question is viewed then, estoppel certainly cannot be justly invoked. EDUARDO CUAYCONG vs RAMONA BENEDICTO 13 March 1918 l Property Easement Right of Way Public Highway

Benedicto owns Hacienda Toreno which is located in Victorias, Negros Occidental. Two roads pass through the said hacienda: the Dacuman-Toreno Road and the Nanca-Victorias Road. For forty years, the owners of the nearby hacienda, Cuaycong et al, had been using the said roads to transport their products.

But in 1911, Benedicto decided to close the road and began asking for toll fees for wagons passing through their hacienda. In 1912, Cuaycong et al sued Benedicto. Cuaycong claimed that they have a right of way over the said Nanca-Victorias Road considering that they have been using it since time immemorial.

The lower court dismissed the claim over the Dacuman-Toreno Road for the other parties were in default, but the lower court declared that Cuaycong et al do have a right of way over the NancaVictorias Road. Benedicto appealed. Cuaycong then averred that the road is a public highway.

ISSUE: Whether or not Cuaycong et al were able to establish their right over the Nanca-Victorias Road.

HELD: No. The Nanca-Victorias Road is not a public highway. First it was shown that in the Torrens title held by Benedicto, there was no encumbrance attached to the hacienda, that it is nowhere nearby a road nor does it border a road.

Second, the road was not maintained by the local government. Its upkeep was solely supported by the road users for their benefits, convenience and interest. There was no adverse possession by the government.

Third, there was no evidence which shows that the land is of the nature of a public highway. It was shown that the road was in existence since 1885, but it was not shown as a public highway, in fact, the other evidence shown pertain to Dacuman-Toreno Road.

Fourth, the road was closed in 1911; it was only in 1912 that Cuaycong et al filed their suit.

Neither did Cuaycong et al acquired a right of private easement. The lower court ruled that Cuaycong et al and their predecessors in interest had been using the said road since time immemorial yet they only showed evidence that it was in use in 1885 but no other evidence to show a further time of usage was ever shown to prove their claim.