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G.R. No.

L-19872 December 3, 1974


EMILIANO B. RAMOS, ET AL., p!"#$"%%&-!ppe!#$&,
vs.
GREGORIA T. RAMOS, ET AL., 'e%e#'!#$&-!ppe!#$&.
Humberto V. Quisumbing and Maximino M. San Diego for plaintiffs-appellants.
Hilado and Hilado for defendants-appellants.
A()INO, J.*
The parties appealed from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Negros
Occidental, dismissing plaintiffs' complaint and holding that the intestate estate of
Martin Ramos was settled in Civil Case No. !", which was terminated on March
#,!$!#, and that the %udgment therein is res judicata and &ars an' litigation regarding
the same estate (Civil Case no. #)*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The documentar' evidence reveals the following facts+chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The spouses Martin Ramos and Candida Tanate died on Octo&er #, !$,- and Octo&er
-, !..., respectivel'. The' were survived &' their three legitimate children named
/ose, 0gustin and 1ranada. Martin Ramos was also survived &' his seven natural
children named 0tanacia, Timoteo, Modesto, Manuel, 2miliano, Maria and
Federico.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
On 3ecem&er !,, !$,- a special proceeding was instituted in the Court of First
Instance of Negros Occidental for the settlement of the intestate estate of the said
spouses. The case was doc4eted as Civil Case No. !" (its expediente is still e5isting*.
Rafael O. Ramos, a &rother of Martin, was appointed administrator. The estate was
administered for more than si5 'ears (25h. F, 1, 6, I and /*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
0 pro%ect of partition dated 0pril ), !$!7 was su&mitted. It was signed &' the three
legitimate children, /ose, 0gustin and 1ranada8 &' the two natural children, 0tanacia
and Timoteo, and &' Timoteo 9a'co in representation of the other five natural
children who were minors. It was sworn to &efore the %ustice of the peace (25h. 7*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual
law li&rar'
In the pro%ect of partition the con%ugal hereditar' estate was appraised at :"#,$.#.$7.
It consisted of eighteen parcels of land, some head of cattle and the advances to the
legitimate children(25h. 7*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
;nder that pro%ect of partition, the following ad%udications were made to the heirs+
Legitimate children+ Value
!. To Jose amos+ (a* 6acienda Cala<a
with an area of 7. hectares,
(&* a one=hectare town lot, (c* a
7=hectare lot in >itio ?ingig, and
(d* some head of cattle :),$!.--chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
. To !ranada amos+ (a* a
parcel of riceland with a capacit'
of !- cavans of seedlings, located
in ?arrio ?inicuel, @a&an4alan,
Negros Occidental and (&* some
head of cattle !,.$!.--chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
7. To "gustin amos+ (a* the
remaining fourteen (!#* lots out of
the eighteen lots descri&ed in the
inventor', which included the 6acienda
Ala'a with an area of !.) hectares and
(&* some head of cattle 7-,$!.-.
#atural children+chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
#. To each of the seven ("* natural
children named "tanacia$ Modesto$
%imoteo$ &ederico$ Manuel$ 'miliano
and Maria, were ad%udicated personal
properties valued at :!,".).7) consisting
of (a* cash amounting to :!,"-,.7) and
(&* :), representing a one=seventh (!B"*
of a one=si5th (!B-* portion in certain head
of cattle allegedl' representing one=third
of the free portion of the estate of Martin
Ramos, with an aggregate value of !,#$".)!
Total ad%udications :"),$".)!
It was agreed in the pro%ect of partition that /ose Ramos would pa' the cash
ad%udications to 0tanacia, Timoteo and Manuel, while 0gustin Ramos would pa' the
cash ad%udications to Modesto, Federico, 2miliano and Maria. It was further agreed
that /ose Ramos and 0gustin Ramos would pa' their sister, 1ranada, the sums of
:7,7,.7- and :!#,"7."., respectivel' (25h. 7*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The record does not show whether assessed or mar4et values were used in appraising
the eighteen parcels of land. ?' wa' of e5planation, it ma' &e stated that, inasmuch as
the ganancial estate had an appraised value of :"#,$.#.$7, one=half thereof or the sum
of :7",#$.#- represented the estate of Martin Ramos. One=third thereof was the free
portion or :!,#$".#.. The shares of the seven natural children were to &e ta4en from
that one=third free portion. 3ividing :!,#$".#. &' seven gives a result of :!,".7.7)
which represented the one=seventh share of each natural child in the free portion of
the estate of their putative father, Martin Ramos. The partition was made in
accordance with the old Civil Code which provides+
0RT. .#,. Chen the testator leaves legitimate children or descendants, and also
natural children, legall' ac4nowledged, each of the latter shall &e entitled to one=half
of the portion pertaining to each of the legitimate children not &ettered, provided that
it can &e included within the third for free disposal, from which it must &eta4en, after
deducting the &urial and funeral e5penses.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The legitimate children ma' satisf' the portion pertaining to the natural children in
cash, or in other propert' of the estate, at a fair valuation.
The sum of :!,".).7), as the legal share of each natural child, was the amount which
was indicated in the pro%ect of partition(25h. 7* and which was to &e satisfied in cash.
The second paragraph of article .#, gives the legitimate children the right to satisf' in
cash the hereditar' portions of the natural children. (0rticle .#, was applied in the
pro%ect of partition when it stated that each natural child had Duna septima partede un
se5to de semovientesD &ut the statement in the pro%ect of partition that each legitimate
child was entitled to Dun tercio delos cinco (uintos de los semovientesD is erroneous.
It should &e Dun tercii de los cinco sextos de los semovientesD*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
/udge Richard Camp&ell, in his DdecisionD dated 0pril .,!$!7, approved the pro%ect
of partition as well as the intervention of Timoteo 9a'co as guardian of the five heirs,
who were minors. The court declared that the proceeding would &e considered closed
and the record should &e archived as soon as proof was su&mitted that each heir had
received the portion ad%udicated to him (25h. #*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
In an order dated Fe&ruar' 7, !$!# /udge E. Nepomuceno as4ed the administrator to
su&mit a report, complete with the supporting evidence, showing that the shared of the
heirs had &een delivered to them as reFuired in the decision of 0pril .,!$!7 (25h. )*.
In a manifestation dated Fe&ruar' #, !$!#, which was signed &' /ose, 0gustin,
1ranada, 0tanacia and Timoteo all surnamed Ramos, and &' Timoteo 9a'co, the
guardian, and which was sworn to &efore the %ustice of the peace on March (not #*,
!$!# and filed in court on March ),!$!#, the' ac4nowledged+
... hemos reci&ido del 0dministrador /udicial Rafael O. Ramostodas ' cada una de las
participaciones a Fue respectivamente tenemos derecho en los &ienes relictor de los
finados esposos Martin Ramos ' Candida Tanate, completo acuerto ' conformidad
con elpro'ecto de reparticion Fue nosotros mismo sometemos al /u<gado en ) de
0&ril de !$!7 ... . (25h. -*.
Note that 1ranada Ramos and the natural children were assumed to have received
their shares from the administrator although according to the o&%ect of partition, /ose
Ramos and 0gustin Ramos (not the administrator* were supposed to pa' the cash
ad%udications to each of them. No receipts were attached to the manifestation, 25hi&it
-. 0pparentl', the manifestation was not in strict conformit' with the terms of %udge
Nepomuceno's order and with the pro%ect of partition itself.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
Gots Nos. !7",, !7"!, !7", !7"), !)., !)$, !-! and !-7(eight lots* of the
6imama'lan cadastre (page . of the Record on 0ppeal does not mention Got !7",*,
which are involved in this case were registered (as of !$).* in eFual shares in the
names of 1regoria Ramos and her daughter, 1ranada Ramos, as shown &elow (25h.
.*+
)riginal
Lot #o egistration *resent title Date
!7", 0ug. $, !$7 TCT No. RT=7. 3ec. !, !$77
!7"! = do = TCT No. RT=7) = do =
!7" = do = TCT No. RT=7" = do =
!7") = do = TCT No. RT=7- = do =
!). >ept. !,, !$7 TCT No. RT=7, = do =
!)$ = do = TCT No. RT=77 = do =
!-! = do = TCT No. RT=7 = do =
!-7 = do = TCT No. RT=7! = do =
*laintiffs+ ,ersion of the case. = 0 summar' of plaintiffs' oral evidence is found in
pages # to !7 of their well=written &rief. It is reproduced &elow (omitting the citations
of the transcript*+chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
Martin Ramos, who died in !$,- in the municipalit' of 6imama'lan, Negros
Occidental, left considera&le real estate, the most valua&le of which were the
6acienda Cala<a and 6acienda Ala'a, &oth located in 6imama'la', Negros
Occidental. 6acienda Cala<a consists of sugar land, pala' land and nipa groves with
an area of #,, hectares and with a sugar Fuota allotment of !,,,,, piculs, more or
less, and having as its present actual value :),,,,,, more or less.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
D0ll the children of martin Ramos, whether legitimate or ac4nowledged natural, lived
together in 6acienda Ala'a during his lifetime and were under his care. 2ven
defendant 1regoria Ramos, widow of /ose Ramos, admitted that she dealt with
plaintiffs as famil' relations, especiall' seeing them during >unda's in church as the'
lived with their father, and maintained close and harmonious relations with them even
after the death of their father. 0ll said children continued to live in said house of their
father for 'ears even after his death.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
D;pon their father's death, his properties were left under the administration of Rafael
Ramos, the 'ounger &rother of their father and their uncle, Rafael Ramos continued to
administer those properties of their father, giving plaintiffs mone' as their shares of
the produce of said properties &ut plaintiffs not receiving an' propert' or piece of land
however, until !$!7 when Rafael Ramos gathered all the heirs, including plaintiffs, in
the house of their father, sa'ing he would return the administration of the properties.
6e turned over 6acienda Ala'a to 0gustin Ramos and 6acienda Cala<a to /ose
Ramos.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
D0ll said children, defendants and plaintiffs ali4e, continued to live in the same house
of their father in 6acienda Ala'a, now under the support of 0gustin Ramos. :laintiff
Modesto Ramos who 'could understand >panish a little', onl' left said house in !$!!8
plaintiff Manuel sta'ed there for one 'ear and lived later with /ose Ramos for four
'ears. :laintiff Maria Ramos, who herself testified that she has 'a ver' low
educational attainment', lived there until !$!- when she got married. :laintiff
2miliano lived there with 0gustin, helping him supervise the wor4 in 6acienda Ala'a,
until he transferred to 6acienda Cala<a where he helped /ose Ramos supervise the
wor4 in said hacienda.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
D0gustin Ramos supported plaintiffs, getting the mone' from the produce of 6acienda
Ala'a, the onl' source of income of 0gustin coming from said hacienda. :laintiffs
as4ed mone' from 0gustin pertaining to their share in the produce of 6acienda Ala'a
and received varied amounts, sometimes around :), at a time, getting more when
needed, and receiving :$, or :!,, more or less a 'ear.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
D/ose Ramos gave plaintiffs also mone' as their shares from the products of 6acienda
Cala<a. 2ven Maria Ramos who upon her marriage in !$!- lived in Ga Cartota with
her hus&and was given mone' whenever she went to 6imama'lan. :laintiffs received
varied amounts or sums of mone' from /ose as their shares in the produce of
6acienda Ala'a more or less a&out :!,, a 'ear, mostl' during the milling season
ever' 'ear while he was alive up to his death in !$7,. 2miliano Ramos, now deceased
and su&stituted &' his widow, Rosario Tragico, moreover, received :7,, from /ose
Ramos in !$!. ta4en from the products of 6acienda Cala<a when he went to the
;nited >tates to stud'.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
D;pon /ose Ramos death his widow 1regoria Ramos, herself, his first cousin, their
father and mother, respectivel' &eing &rother and sister, continued to give plaintiffs
mone' pertaining to their shares in the products of 6acienda Cala<a. >he however
stopped doing so in !$)!, telling them that the lessee 2stanislao Gacson was not a&le
to pa' the lease rental.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
DThere was never an' accounting made to plaintiffs &' /ose Ramos, plaintiffs
reposing confidence in their elder &rother, Nor was an' accounting made &' his
widow, defendant 1regoria Ramos, upon his death, plaintiff Manuel Ramos moreover
having confidence in her.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
D?efore the surve' of these properties &' the Cadastral Court, plaintiff Modesto
Ramos was informed &' the >urve'ing 3epartment that the' were going to surve'
these properties. :laintiffs then went to see their elder &rother /ose to inform him that
there was a card issued to them regarding the surve' and gave him 'a free hand to do
something as an administrator'. The' therefore did not intervene in the said cadastral
proceedings &ecause the' were promised that the'(defendants /ose and 0gustin*
would '&e the ones responsi&le to have it registered in the names of the heirs'.
:laintiffs did not file and cadastral answer &ecause defendants /ose and 0gustin told
them 'not to worr' a&out it as the' have to answer for all the heirs'. :laintiffs were
'assured' &' defendants &rothers.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
D:laintiffs did not 4now that intestate proceedings were instituted for the distri&ution
of the estate of their father. Neither did plaintiffs Modesto, Manuel, 2miliano and
Maria 4now (that* Timoteo 9a'co, their uncle and &rother=in=law of defendant widow
1regoria was appointed their guardian. There was an e5press admission &' defendant
1regoria Ramos that Timoteo 9a'co was her &rother=in=law.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
D:laintiffs did not 4now of an' proceedings of Civil Case No. !". The' never
received an' sum of mone' in cash = the alleged insignificant sum of :!,".).7) each =
from said alleged guardian as their supposed share in the estate of their father under
an' alleged pro%ect of partition.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
DNeither did 0tanacia Ramos nor her hus&and, Nestor Olmedo, sign an' pro%ect of
partition or an' receipt of share in(the* inheritance of Martin Ramos in cash. Nestor
Olmedo did not sign an' receipt allegedl' containing the signatures of 0tanacia
assisted &' himself as hus&and, Timoteo Ramos, and Timoteo 9a'co as guardian ad-
litem of the minors Modesto, Manual, Federico, 2miliano and Maria. 0s a matter of
fact, plaintiffs Modesto and Manuel were in !$!7 no longer minors at the time of the
alleged pro%ect of partition of the estate &eing approved, &oth &eing of age at that
time. No guardian could in law act on their &ehalf.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
D:laintiffs onl' discovered later on that the propert' administered &' their elder
&rother /ose had a Torrens Title in the name of his widow, 1regoria, and daughter,
Candida, when plaintiff Modesto's children insisted and inFuired from the Register of
3eeds sometime in !$)- or !$)". :laintiffs did not intervene in the intestate
proceedings for (the* settlement of the estate of their &rother /ose as the' did not
4now of it.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
D:laintiffs were thus constrained to &ring the present suit &efore the Court of First
Instance of Negros Occidental on >eptem&er ), !$)" see4ing for the reconve'ance in
their favor &' defendants 1regoria and daughter Candida and hus&and /ose ?a'ot of
their corresponding participations in said parcels of land in accordance with article
.#, of the old Civil Code and attorne''s fees in the sum of :!,,,,, plus costs and
e5penses of this litigationD. (#=!7 ?rief*.
*roceedings in the lo-er court. = The instant action was filed on >eptem&er ), !$)"
against defendants 0gustin Ramos, 1ranada Ramos and the heirs of /ose Ramos for
the purpose of securing a reconve'ance of the supposed participations of plaintiffs
0tanacia, 2miliano, Manuel, Maria and Modesto, all surnamed Ramos, in the
aforementioned eight (.* lots which apparentl' form part of 6acienda Cala<a. (The
plaintiffs did not specif' that the said shares would amount to one=si5th of the said
eight cadastral lots. One=si5th represented the one=third free portion of Martin Ramos'
one=half shares in the said lots. 0nd the said one=si5th portion was the share of his
seven legall' ac4nowledged natural children under article .#, of the old Civil
Code*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The action is reall' directed against the heirs of /ose Ramos, namel', his wife
1regoria and his daughter Candida in whose names the said eight lots are now
registered as shown in 25hi&it . and in page # hereof. It is predicated on the theor'
that plaintiffs' shares were held in trust &' the defendants. No deed of trust was
alleged and proven.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The defendants denied the e5istence of a trust. The' pleaded the defenses of (a*
release of claim as shown in the pro%ect of partition, the decision and the receipt of
shares forming part of the expediente of Civil Case No. !" (25h. 7, # and -*, (&* lac4
of cause of action, (c* res judicata and (d* prescription.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
Timoteo Ramos, who was %oined as a co=plaintiff, manifested that he had alread'
received his own share of the inheritance, that he did not authori<ed an'one to include
him as a plaintiff and that he did not want to &e a part' in this case. 6e moved that his
name &e stric4en out of the complaint (##=#) Rec. or 0ppeal8 25h. "*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
2miliano Ramos, who died in !$)., was su&stituted &' his widow and their ten
children (25h. 2, -!=-# Rec. on 0ppeal*.The complaint is silent as to the fate of
Federico Ramos, the seventh natural child of Martin Ramos.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
0s alread' noted, after trial, the lower court dismissed the complaint on the ground of
res judicata. The plaintiffs as well as the defendants appealed.
*laintiffs+ appeal. = The plaintiffs contend that the trial court erred (!* in dismissing
their complaint, (* in den'ing their right to share in their father's estate and (7* in
holding that the action was &arred &' res judicata or the prior %udgment in the special
proceeding for the settlement of Martin Ramos' intestate estate, Civil Case No. !" of
the Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental, "bintesdado de los finados esposos
Martin amos . /andida %anate (25h. F to / and ! to -*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The plaintiffs vigorousl' press on this Court their theor' that the plaintiffs, as
ac4nowledged natural children, were grievousl' pre%udiced &' the partition and that
the doctrine of res judicata should not &ar their action.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
0 preliminar' issue, which should first &e resolved, is the correctness of the trial
court's Dine5ora&le conclusionD that the plaintiffs were the legall' ac4nowledged
natural children of Martin Ramos. :laintiffs' action is anchored on that premise.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The defendants failed to impugn that conclusion in their appellants+ &rief. Not having
done so, it ma' &e regarded as conclusive against them. That is the proposition
advanced &' the plaintiffs in their repl'=&rief.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The defendants in their appellees' &rief assail that conclusion. It is true that an
appellee ma' ma4e an assignment of error in his &rief &ut that rule refers to an
appellee who is not an appellant (>aen< vs. Mitchell, -, :hil. -$, .,*. 6owever, since
an appellee is allowed to point out the errors committed &' the trial court against him
(Relativo vs. Castro, "- :hil. )-78 Gucero vs. 3e 1u<man, #) :hil. .)*, defendants'
contention that the plaintiffs were not legall' ac4nowledged natural children ma' %ust
as well &e passed upon.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The defendants, in contesting the lower court's finding that the plaintiffs were legall'
ac4nowledged children, assume that the legitimate children committed a mista4e in
conferring successional rights on the plaintiffs.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
Ce hold that the trial court's conclusion is correct. It is true that the ac4nowledgment
of the plaintiffs is not evidenced &' a record of &irth, will or other pu&lic document
(0rt. !7!, Old Civil Code*. ?ut the record of Civil Case No. !", which is relied upon
&' the defendants to support their defense of res judicata, indu&ita&l' shows that the
plaintiffs were treated as ac4nowledged natural children of Martin Ramos. The
reasona&le inference is that the' were in the continuous possession of the status of
natural children of Martin Ramos, as evidenced &' his direct acts and the acts of his
famil' (0rt. !7), Old Civil Code*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
;nac4nowledged natural children have no rights whatsoever(?uenaventura vs.
;r&ano, ) :hil. !8 >iguiong vs. >iguiong, . :hil. ), !!8 Infante vs. Figueras, # :hil.
"7.8 Crisolo vs. Macadaeg, $# :hil. .-*. The fact that the plaintiffs, as natural
children of Martin Ramos, received shares in his estate implies that the' were
ac4nowledged. O&viousl', defendants 0gustin Ramos and 1ranada Ramos and the
late /ose Ramos accorded successional rights to the plaintiffs &ecause martin Ramos
and mem&ers of his famil' had treated them as his children. :resuma&l', that fact was
well=4nown in the communit'. ;nder the circumstances, 0gustin Ramos and 1ranada
Ramos and the heirs of /ose Ramos are estopped from attac4ing plaintiffs' status as
ac4nowledged natural children (>ee 0rts. .7H#I and --H7I, New Civil Code*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
2ven the lower court, after treating the plaintiffs in !$!7 in the intestate proceeding as
ac4nowledged natural children, had no choice &ut to reaffirm that same holding in its
!$-! decision in this case.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The crucial issue is prescription. Cith it the Fuestion of res judicata and the e5istence
of a trust are ine5trica&l' interwoven. Inasmuch as trust is the main thrust of plaintiffs'
action, it will &e useful to ma4e a &rief disgression of the nature of trusts
(fideicomisos* and on the availa&ilit' of prescription and laches to &ar the action for
reconve'ance of propert' allegedl' held in trust.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
DIn its technical legal sense, a trust is defined as the right, enforcea&le solel' in eFuit',
to the &eneficial en%o'ment of propert', the legal title to which is vested in another,
&ut the words 'trust' is freFuentl' emplo'ed to indicate duties, relations, and
responsi&ilities which are not strictl' technical trusts.D (.$ C./.>. "!*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
D0 person who esta&lishes a trust is called the trust or8 one in whom confidence is
reposed is 4nown as the trustee8 and the person for whose &enefit the trust has &een
created is referred to as the &eneficiar'D (0rt. !##,, Civil Code*. There is a fiduciar'
relation &etween the trustee and the cestui (ue trust as regards certain propert', real,
personal, mone' or choses inaction (:acheco vs. 0rro, .) :hil. ),)*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
DTrusts are either e5press or implied. 25press trusts are created &' the intention of the
trust or of the parties. Implied trusts come into &eing &' operation of law.D (0rt. !!##,
Civil Code*. DNo e5press trusts concerning an immova&le or an' interest therein ma'
&e proven &' oral evidence. 0n implied trust ma' &e proven &' oral evidenceD (0bid,
0rts. !##7 and !#)"*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
DNo particular words are reFuired for the creation of an e5press trust, it &eing
sufficient that a trust is clearl' intendedD (0bid, 0rt. !###8 Tuason de :ere< vs. Caluag,
$- :hil. $.!8 /ulio vs. 3alandan, G=!$,!, Octo&er 7,, !$-", ! >CR0 )#7, )#-*.
D25press trusts are those which are created &' the direct and positive acts of the
parties, &' some writing or deed, or will, or &' words either e5pressl' or impliedl'
evincing an intention to create a trustD (.$ C./.>. "*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
DImplied trust are those which, without &eing e5pressed, are deduci&le from the nature
of the transaction as matters of intent, or which are super induced on the transaction
&' operation of la- as matters of e(uit., independentl' of the particular intention of
the partiesD (.$ C./.>. "#*. The' are ordinaril' su&divided into resulting and
constructive trusts (.$ C./.>. "*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
D0 resulting trust is &roadl' defined as a trust which is raised or created &' the act or
construction of law, &ut in its more restricted sense it is a trust raised &' implication of
la- and presumed al-a.s to ha,e been contemplated b. the parties, the intention as to
which is to &e found in the nature of their transaction, &ut not e5pressed in the deed or
instrument of conve'anceD (.$ C./.>. ")*. 25amples of resulting trusts are found in
article !##. to !#)) of the Civil Code. >ee :adilla vs. Court of 0ppeals, G=7!)-$,
>eptem&er ., !$"7, )7 >CR0 !-.,!"$*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
On the other hand, a constructive trust is a trust Draised &' construction of law, or
arising &' operation of lawD. In a more restricted sense and as contra distinguished
from a resulting trust, a constructive trust is Da trust not created &' an' words, either
e5pressl' or impliedl' evincing a direct intention to create a trust, &ut &' the
construction of e(uit. in order to satisf. the demands of justice. It does not arise &'
agreement or intention &ut &' operation of law.D (.$ C./.>. "-,""*. DIf a person
o&tains legal title to propert' &' fraud or concealment, courts of eFuit' will impress
upon the title a so=called constructive trust in favor of the defrauded part'.D 0
constructive trust is not a trust in the technical sense(1a'ondato vs. Treasurer of the
:.I., #$ :hil. ##8 >ee 0rt. !#)-, Civil Code*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
There is a rule that a trustee cannot acFuire &' prescription the ownership of propert'
entrusted to him (:alma vs. Cristo&al, "" :hil. "!*, or that an action to compel a
trustee to conve' propert' registered in his name in trust for the &enefit of the cestui
(ui trust does not prescri&ed (Manalang vs. Canlas, $# :hil. ""-8 Cristo&al vs.
1ome<, ), :hil. .!,*, or that the defense of prescription cannot &e set up in an action
to recover propert' held &' a person in trust for the &enefit of another(>evilla vs. 3e
los 0ngeles, $" :hil. .")*, or that propert' held in trust can &e recovered &' the
&eneficiar' regardless of the lapse of time (Mara&illes vs. Juito, !,, :hil. -#8
?ancairen vs. 3iones, $. :hil. !, !- /uan vs. 9uniga, - O.g. !7)!8 # >CR0 !!8
/acinto, G=!"$)", Ma' 7!, !$-. >ee Tama'o vs. Calle%o, !#" :hil. 7!, 7"*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
That rule applies sFuarel' to e5press trusts. The &asis of the rule is that the possession
of a trustee is not adverse. Not &eing adverse, he does not acFuire &' prescription the
propert' held in trust. Thus, section 7. of 0ct !$, provides that the law of
prescription does not appl' Din the case of a continuing and su&sisting trustD (3ia< vs.
1orricho and 0guado, !,7 :hil. -!,--8 Gaguna vs. Gevantino, "! :hil. )--8 >umira
vs. Eistan, "# :hil. !7.8 1olfeo vs. Court of 0ppeals, -7 O.1. #.$), ! >CR0 !$$8
Caladiao vs. >antos, -7 O.1. !$)-, !, >CR0 -$!*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The rule of imprescripti&ilit' of the action to recover propert' held in trust ma'
possi&l' appl' to resulting trusts as long as the trustee has not repudiated the trust
(6eirs of Candelaria vs. Romero, !,$ :hil. ),,, ),=78 Martine< vs. 1rano, # :hil.
7)8 ?uencamino vs. Matias, -7 O. 1. !!,77, !- >CR0 .#$*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The rule of imprescripti&ilit' was misapplied to constructive trusts (1eronimo and
Isidoro vs. Nava and 0Fuino, !,) :hil. !#), !)7. Compare with Cuison vs. Fernande<
and ?eng<on, !,) :hil. !7), !7$8 3e :asion vs. 3e :asion, !! :hil. #,7, #,"*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
0cFuisitive prescription ma' &ar the action of the &eneficiar' against the trustee in an
e5press trust for the recover' of the propert' held in trust where (a* the trustee has
performed uneFuivocal acts of repudiation amounting to an ouster of the cestui (ui
trust8 (&* such positive acts of repudiation have &een made 4nown to the cestui (ui
trust and(c* the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive (Gaguna vs. Gevantino,
supra8 >alinas vs. Tuason, )) :hil. "$. Compare with the rule regarding co=owners
found in the last paragraph of article #$#, Civil Code8 Casanas vs. Rosello, ), :hil.
$"8 1erona vs. 3e 1u<man, G=!$,-,, Ma' $, !$-#, !! >CR0 !)7,!)"*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
Cith respect to constructive trusts, the rule is different. The prescripti&ilit' of an
action for reconve'ance &ased on constructive trust is now settled (0l<ona vs.
Capunitan, G=!,., Fe&ruar' ., !$-, # >CR0 #),8 1erona vs. 3e 1u<man, supra8
Claridad vs. 6enares, $" :hil. $"78 1on<ales vs. /imene<, G=!$,"7, /anuar' 7,, !$-),
!7 >CR0 .,8 ?onaga vs. >oler, !! :hil. -)!8 /. M. Tuason K Co., vs. Magdangal, G=
!))7$, /anuar' 7,, !$-, # >CR0 .#*. :rescription ma' supervene in an implied trust
(?ueno vs. Re'es, G=).", 0pril ., !$-$, " >CR0 !!"$8 Fa&ian vs. Fa&ian, G=
,##$, /anuar' $, !$-.8 /acinto vs. /acinto, G=!"$)", Ma' 7!, !$-, ) >CR0
7"!*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
0nd whether the trust is resulting or constructive, its enforcement ma' &e &arred &'
laches ($, C./.>. .."=..$8 )# 0m /ur. ##$=#),8 3ia< vs. 1orricho and 0guado, supra.
Compare with Me%ia vs. 1ampona, !,, :hil. ""*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The plaintiffs did not prove an' e5press trust in this case. The expediente of the
intestate proceeding, Civil Case No. !", particularl' the pro%ect of partition, the
decision and the manifestation as to the receipt of shares (25h. 7, # and -*negatives
the e5istence of an e5press trust. Those pu&lic documents prove that the estate of
Martin Ramos was settled in that proceeding and that ad%udications were made to his
seven natural children. 0 trust must &e proven &' clear, satisfactor', and convincing
evidence. It cannot rest on vague and uncertain evidence or on loose, eFuivocal or
indefinite declarations (3e Geon vs. :ec4son, - O. 1. $$#*. 0s alread' noted, an
e5press trust cannot &e proven &' parol evidence(:ascual vs. Meneses, G=!..7., Ma'
), !$-", , >CR0 !$, .8 Cua'cong vs. Cua'cong, G=!-!-, 3ecem&er !!, !$-",
! >CR0 !!$*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
Neither have the plaintiffs specified the 4ind of implied trust contemplated in their
action. Ce have stated that whether it is a resulting or constructive trust, its
enforcement ma' &e &arred &' laches.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
In the cadastral proceedings, which supervened after the closure of the intestate
proceeding, the eight lots involved herein were claimed &' the spouses /ose Ramos
and 1regoria T. Ramos to the e5clusion of the plaintiffs (25h. . to !$*. 0fter the death
of /ose Ramos, the said lots were ad%udicated to his widow and daughter (25h. .*. In
!$7 1regoria T. Ramos and Candida Ramos leased the said lots to Feli5 Aulo (25h.
,*.Aulo in !$7# transferred his lease rights over 6acienda Cala<ato /uan >. ?onin
and Nestor Olmedo, the hus&and of plaintiff 0tanacia Ramos (25h. *. ?onin and
Olmedo in !$7) sold their lease rights over 6acienda Cala<a to /esus >. Consing
(25h. 7*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
Those transactions prove that the heirs of /ose Ramos had repudiated an' trust which
was supposedl' constituted over 6acienda Cala<a in favor of the plaintiffs.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
;nder 0ct !$,, whose statute of limitations applies to this case (0rt. !!-, Civil Code*,
the longest period of e5tinctive prescription was onl' ten 'ears 3ia< vs. 1orricho and
0guado, supra.*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
0tanacia, Modesto and Manuel, all surnamed Ramos, were alread' of age in !$!#
(25h. 0 to 3*. From that 'ear, the' could have &rought the action to annul the
partition. Maria Ramos and 2miliano Ramos were &oth &orn in !.$-. The' reached
the age of twent'=one 'ears in !$!". The' could have &rought the action from that
'ear.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The instant action was filed onl' in !$)". 0s to 0tanacia, Modesto and Manuel, the
action was filed fort'=three 'ears after it accrued and, as to Maria and 2miliano, the
action was filed fort' 'ears after it accrued. The dela' was ine5cusa&le. The instant
action is unFuestiona&l' &arred &' prescription and res judicata.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
This case is similar to !o /hi !un ,s. /o, $- :hil. -, where a partition %udiciall'
approved in !$!- was sought to &e annulled in !$#. on the ground of fraud. it was
contended that there was fraud &ecause the real properties of the decedent were all
ad%udicated to the eldest son, while the two daughters, who were minors, were given
onl' cash and shares of stoc4s. This Court, in upholding the petition, said+chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
DIn an' case, the partition was given the stamp of %udicial approval, and as a matter of
principle and polic' we should sustain its regularit', in the a&sence of such cause or
reason that the law itself fi5es as a ground for invalidit'D (on page -7#*. D0s the
administration proceedings ended in the 'ear !$!-, the guardianship proceedings in
!$7!, and the action was &rought onl' in the 'ear !$#., more than 7 'ears from the
time of the distri&ution and " 'ears from the termination of guardianship
proceedingsD, the action was &arred &' laches (on page -7"*. >ee Gope< vs. 1on<aga,
G=!.".., /anuar' 7!, !$-#, !, >CR0 !-"8 Cua'cong vs. Cua'cong, supra*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The leading case of Se,erino ,s. Se,erino, ## :hil. 7#7, repeatedl' cited &' the
plaintiffs, does not involve an' issue of prescription or laches. In that case, the action
for reconve'ance was seasona&l' &rought. The alleged trustee was an overseer who
secured title in his name for the land of his &rother which was under his
administration. 6e could not have acFuired it &' prescription &ecause his possession
was not adverse. On certain occasions, he had admitted that he was merel' the
administrator of the land and not its true owner.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
More in point is the /ua.cong case, supra, where the action for the reconve'ance of
propert' held in trust accrued in !$7- and it was filed onl' in !$-! or after the lapse
of twent'=five 'ears. That action was &arred.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
On its face, the partition agreement was theoreticall' correct since the seven natural
children were given their full legitime, which under article $# of the old Civil Code
was their share as legal heirs. ?ut is was possi&le that the lands were undervalued or
were not properl' appraised at their fair mar4et value and, therefore, the natural
children were short=changed in the computation of the value of their shares which the
legitimate children could pa' in case as allowed in article .#, of the old Civil Code. It
is of common 4nowledge that an'one who received lands in the partition of a
decedent's estate would ultimatel' have an advantage over the one who received cash
&ecause lands increase in value as time goes &' while mone' is easil' spent.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
0s pointed out in the statement if facts, it was anomalous that the manifestation,
evidencing the alleged receipt &' the natural children of their shares, should recite that
the' received their shares from the administrator, when in the pro%ect of partition
itself, as approved &' the pro&ate court (25h. 7 to -*,it was stipulated that /ose Ramos
and 0gustin Ramos would &e the ones to pa' the cash settlement for their shares. No
receipts were su&mitted to the court to prove that /ose Ramos and 0gustin Ramos
paid to the plaintiffs the cash ad%udicated to them in the pro%ect of partition.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The plaintiffs pinpoint certain alleged irregularities in the intestate proceeding. The
aver that Modesto Ramos and Manuel Ramos were alread' of age in !$!7 and could
not therefore have &een represented &' Timoteo 9a'co as guardian ad litem and that,
conseFuentl', the two were denied due process. The plaintiffs accused 9a'co of not
having competentl' protected the interests of the minors, Maria Ramos and 2miliano
Ramos. The allege that 0tanacia Ramos signed the pro%ect of partition and the
DreceiptD of share (25h. 7 and -*without understanding those documents which were
in >panish. The' assert that the lopsided and defective partition was not
implemented.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
In short, the plaintiffs contend that the partition was not &inding on them (Note that
their &rother, Timoteo, considered himself &ound &' that partition*. The' as4 that the
case &e remanded to the lower court for the determination and ad%udication of their
rightful shares.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
0ll those contentions would have a sem&lance of cogenc' and would deserve serious
consideration if the plaintiffs had not slept on their rights. The' allowed more than
fort' 'ears to elapse &efore the' wo4e up and complained that the' were much
aggrieved &' the partition. ;nder the circumstances, their claims can hardl' evo4e
%udicial compassion. Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura sub,eniunt. DIf eternal
vigilance is the price of safet', one cannot sleep on one's right for more than a tenth of
a centur' and e5cept it to &e preserved in its pristine purit'D (O<aeta, /. in 0ssociation
Cooperativa de Credito 0gricola de Miagao vs. Monteclaro, "# :hil. .!, .7*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
The plaintiffs have onl' themselves to &lame if the courts at this late hour can no
longer afford them relief against the ineFuities allegedl' vitiating the partition of their
father's estate.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
In connection with the res judicata aspect of the case, it ma'&e clarified that in the
settlement of a decedent's estate it is not de rigueur for the heirs to sign a partition
agreement. DIt is the %udicial decree of distri&ution, once final, that vests title in the
distri&uteesD (Re'es vs. ?arretto=3atu, G=!".!., /anuar' ),!$-", !$ >CR0 .), $!*
which in this case was /udge Camp&ell's decision (25h. #*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
0 %udgment in an intestate proceeding ma' &e considered asa %udgment in rem (Earela
vs. Eillanueva, $) :hil. #., -". >ee >ec. #$HaI, Rule 7$, Rules of Court*. There is a
ruling that Dif that decree of distri&ution was erroneous or not in conformit' with law
or the testament, the same should have &een corrected &' opportune appeal8 &ut once
it had &ecome final8 its &inding effect is li4e that of an' other %udgment in rem, unless
properl' set aside for lac4 of %urisdiction or fraudD. 0 partition approved &' the court
in !$7$ could no longer &e contested in !$)- on the ground of fraud. The action had
alread' prescri&ed. DThe fact that one of the distri&utees was a minor at the time the
court issued the decree of distri&ution does not impl' that the court had no %urisdiction
to enter the decree of distri&ution.D (Re'es vs. ?arretto=3atu, supra, citing Ramos vs.
Ortu<ar, .$ :hil. "#*. D0 final order of distri&ution of the estate of a deceased person
vests the title to the land of the estate in the distri&utesD (>'lla&us, >antos vs. Roman
Catholic ?ishop of Nueva Caceres, #) :hil. .$), $,,*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
:arentheticall', it ma' &e noted that the filing of the instant case long after the death
of /ose Ramos and other persons involved in the intestate proceeding renders it
difficult to determine with certitude whether the plaintiffs had reall' &een defrauded.
Chat /ustice >treet said in Sinco ,s. Longa, )! :hil. ),", )!.=$ is relevant to this
case.
In passing upon controversies of this character e5perience teaches the danger of
accepting lightl' charged of fraud made man' 'ears after the transaction in Fuestion
was accomplished, when death ma' have sealed the lips of the principal actors and
changes effected &' time ma' have given a totall' different color to the cause of
controvers'. In the case &efore us the guardia, 2milio Teve<, is dead. The same is true
of Trinidad 3iago, mother of the defendant 0gueda Gonga8 while 0gapito Gonga is
now living in >pain. It will &e &orne in mind also that, insofar as oral proof is
concerned, the charge of fraud rests principall' on the testimon' of a single witness
who, if fraud was committed, was a participant therein and who naturall' would now
&e an5ious, so far as practica&le, to put the &lame on others. In this connection it is
well to &ear in mind the following impressive language of Mr. /ustice >tor'+chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
... ?ut length of time necessaril' o&scures all human evidence8 and as it thus removed
from the parties all the immediate means to verif' the nature of the original
transactions, it operates &' wa' of presumption, in favor of innocence, and against
imputation of fraud. It would &e unreasona&le, after a great length of time, to reFuire
e5act proof of all the minute circumstances of an' transaction, or to e5pect a
satisfactor' e5planation of ever' difficult', real or apparent with which it ma' &e
incum&ered. The most that can fairl' &e e5pected, in such cases, if the parties are
living, from the frailt' of memor', and human infirmit', is, that the material facts can
&e given with certaint' to a common intent8 and, if the parties are dead, and the cases
rest in confidence, and in parol agreements, the most that we can hope is to arrive at
pro&a&le con%ectures, and to su&stitute general presumption of law, for e5act
4nowledge. Fraud, or &reach of trust, ought not lightl' to &e imputed to the living, for,
the legal presumption is the other wa'8 as to the dead, are not here to answer for
themselves, it would &e the height of in%ustice and cruelt', to distur& their ashes, and
violate the sanctit' of the grave, unless the evidence of fraud &e clear, &e'ond a
reasona&le dou&t (:revost vs. 1rat<, - Cheat. H;.>.I,#.!, #$.*.
Defendants+ appeal. = 3efendants 1ranada Ramos, 1regoria T. Ramos, Candida
Ramos, /ose ?a'or and 0gustin Ramos appealed from the lower court's decision
insofar as it ignored their counterclaim for :),,,,, as moral damages and :!,,,,, as
attorne''s fees. In their &rief the claim for attorne''s fees was increased to :,,,,,.
The' pra'ed for e5emplar' damages.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
The defendants argue that plaintiffs' action was &aseless and was filed in gross and
evident &ad faith. It is alleged that the action caused defendants mental anguish,
wounded feelings, moral shoc4 and serious an5iet' and compelled them to hire the
service of counsel and incur litigation e5penses.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
0rticles !$ and , (also !"-# and ,-* of the Civil Code indicate the cases
where morel damages ma' &e recovered. The instant litigation does not fall within
an' of the enumerated cases. Nor can it &e regarded as analogous to an' of the cases
mentioned in those articles. 6ence, defendants' claim for moral damages cannot &e
sustained (Eentanilla vs. Centeno, !!, :hil. .!!, .!#*. The worries and an5iet' of a
defendant in a litigation that was not maliciousl' instituted are not the moral damages
contemplated in the law (>olis K Aarisantos vs. >alvador, G=!",, 0ugust !#, !$-),
!# >CR0 .."*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
DThe adverse result of an action does not per se ma4e the act wrongful and su&%ect the
actor to the pa'ment of moral damages. The law could not have meant to impose a
penalt' on the right to litigate, such right is so precious that moral damages ma' not
&e charged on those who ma' e5ercise it erroneousl'.D (?arretto vs. 0revalo, $$ :hil.
""!, ""$*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
On the other hand, the award of reasona&le attorne''s fees is governed &' article ,.
of the Civil Code which la's down the general rule that, in the a&sence of stipulation,
attorne''s fees and litigation e5penses cannot &e recovered. 0rticle ,. specifies
eleven instances where attorne''s fees ma' &e recovered. The defendants did not point
out the specific provision of article ,. on which their counterclaim ma' &e
predicated.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
Chat ma' possi&l' appl' to defendants' counterclaim are paragraphs four and eleven
which respectivel' provide that attorne''s fees ma' &e recovered Din case of a clearl'
unfounded civil action or proceeding against the plaintiffD(defendant is a plaintiff in
his counterclaim* or Din an' other cases where the court deems it %ust and eFuita&leD
that attorne''s fees should &e awarded.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
Ce hold that, notwithstanding the dismissal of the action, no attorne''s fees should &e
granted to the defendants. ;nder the facts of the case, it cannot &e asseverated with
dogmatic finalit' that plaintiffs' action was manifestl' unfounded or was maliciousl'
filed to harass and em&arrass the defendants. 0ll indications point to the fact that the
plaintiffs honestl' thought that the' had a good cause of action. The' acted in evident
good faith. (>ee 6errera vs. Gu' @im 1uan, !!, :hil. !,,, !,.8 Ri<al >uret' K
Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Court of 0ppeals, G=7"$, Ma' !-, !$-", , >CR0 -!*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
Inasmuch as some of the plaintiffs were minors when the partition of their father's
landed estate was made, and considering that the' were not allotted even a few sFuare
meters out of the hundreds of hectares of lands, which &elonged to him, the' had
reason to feel aggrieved and to see4 redress for their grievances. Those circumstances
as well as the mar4ed contrast &etween their indigence and the affluence of the heirs
of their half=&rother, /ose Ramos, might have impelled them to as4 the courts to
ree5amine the partition of their father's estate.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar' chanro&les virtual law li&rar'
It is not sound pu&lic polic' to set a premium on the right to litigate. 0n adverse
decision does not ipso facto %ustif' the award of attorne''s fees to the winning part'
(6errera vs. Gu' @im, supra8 6eirs of /ustiva vs. 1ustilo, -! O. 1. -$)$. Cf. Ga<atin
vs. Twano and Castro, !! :hil. "77, "#!*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
>ince no compensator' and moral damages have &een awarded in this case,
defendants' claim for e5emplar' damages, which was ventilated for the first time in
their appellants' &rief, ma' &e as an afterthought, cannot &e granted(0rt. $, Civil
Code*.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
C62R2FOR2, the trial court's %udgment is affirmed with the clarification that
defendants' counterclaim is dismissed. No costs.chanro&lesvirtualawli&rar'chanro&les virtual lawli&rar'
>O OR32R23.