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Case in Persons and Family Relations

Aranas vs. Mercado, Gr. No. 156407, January 15, 2014


Facts:
Emigdio S. Mercado (Emigdio) died intestate on January 12, 1991, survived by his second wife,
Teresita V. Mercado (Teresita), and their five children, namely: Allan V. Mercado, Felimon V.
Mercado, Carmencita M. Sutherland, Richard V. Mercado, and Maria Teresita M. Anderson; and
his two children by his first marriage, namely: respondent Franklin L. Mercado and petitioner
Thelma M. Aranas (Thelma).
Emigdio and Teresita were married before 1988 and so, their property regime is governed by
the conjugal partnership of gains. During the lifetime of Emigdio, he inherited and acquired real
properties from her deceased mother. He owned corporate shares in Mervir Realty Corporation
(Mervir Realty) and Cebu Emerson Transportation Corporation (Cebu Emerson). He assigned
his real properties in exchange for corporate stocks of Mervir Realty, and sold his real property
in Badian, Cebu (Lot 3353 covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 3252) to Mervir Realty
and such deed of assignments were executed days before he died.
Thelma then petitioned the RTC in Cebu City for the appointment of Teresita as administrator of
Emigdios estate. Following an order from the court, Teresita filed an inventory of the properties
left by the deceased but excluded therefrom the properties mentioned to have been already
assigned to Mervir Realty. Thelma moved that the list of inventory be amended to include all the
properties of the deceased even if already assigned. The trial court issued an order that
mandates Teresita to re-do the inventory made. Teresita appealed to the CA to which the CA
ruled in her favour.
Issue: Whether the properties that had already been assigned to Mervir Realty should be
included in the inventory of the administrator of the estate considering the fact that the same
were conjugal properties of the deceased and his surviving spouse.
Held:
Yes, the properties, even though assigned to Mervir Realty should be included in the inventory
for the settlement of the estate of the deceased.
xxx with Emigdio and Teresita having been married prior to the effectivity of the Family Code in
August 3, 1988, their property regime was the conjugal partnership of gains. For purposes of the
settlement of Emigdios estate, it was unavoidable for Teresita to include his shares in the
conjugal partnership of gains. The party asserting that specific property acquired during that
property regime did not pertain to the conjugal partnership of gains carried the burden of proof,
and that party must prove the exclusive ownership by one of them by clear, categorical, and
convincing evidence.

In the absence of or pending the presentation of such proof, the conjugal
partnership of Emigdio and Teresita must be provisionally liquidated to establish who the real
owners of the affected properties were, and which of the properties should form part of the
estate of Emigdio. The portions that pertained to the estate of Emigdio must be included in the
inventory.

Moreover, although the title over Lot 3353 was already registered in the name of Mervir Realty,
the RTC made findings that put that title in dispute. Civil Case No. CEB12692, a dispute that
had involved the ownership of Lot 3353, was resolved in favor of the estate of Emigdio, and
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 3252 covering Lot 3353 was still in Emigdios name. Indeed, the
RTC noted in the order of March 14, 2001, or ten years after his death, that Lot 3353 had
remained registered in the name of Emigdio.

G.R. No. 183918 January 15, 2014
FRANCISCO LIM, Petitioner,
vs.
EQUITABLE PCI BANK, now known as the BANCO DE ORO UNIBANK, INC.,* Respondent.
Facts:
Petitioner Francisco Lim executed an irrevocable power of attorney in favour of his brother
Franco Lim, authorizing the latter to mortgage his share in the property covered by by Transfer
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 57176,
4
which they co-owned. By virtue of said power, Franco Lim
was able to obtain two loans from Banco de Oro and Equitable PCI Bank which was secured by
the property mentioned on two different instances. The first loan from Banco De Oro had been
fully paid but the payment of the loan from Equitable PCI Bank defaulted. Consequently,
EPCIBank foreclosed the mortgaged and was able to obtain a Writ of Possession of the same.
Francisco Lim opposed the issuance of said writ and thereby applied for a TRO as well as
preliminary injunction from the trial court subject to the posting of a bond. The trial court ruled in
favour of Francisco Lim finding that his signature on the mortgage contract was forged. The CA
reversed the lower courts ruling.
One of the arguments posted by Francisco Lim in his petition is that, the respondent bank
should have been alerted by the fact that the subject mortgage contract was executed without
the consent of his wife.
Issue: Whether the argument pertaining to the absence of the petitioners wife consent on the
mortgage contract bears material point for voiding the said contract.
Held: The argument is immaterial.
The absence of his wifes signature on the mortgage contract also has no bearing in this case.
We are not unaware that all property of the marriage is presumed to be conjugal, unless it is
shown that it is owned exclusively by the husband or the wife;
51
that this presumption is not
overcome by the fact that the property is registered in the name of the husband or the wife
alone;
52
and that the consent of both spouses is required before a conjugal property may be
mortgaged.
53
However, we find it iniquitous to apply the foregoing presumption especially since
the nature of the mortgaged property was never raised as an issue before the RTC, the CA, and
even before this Court. In fact, petitioner never alleged in his Complaint that the said property
was conjugal in nature. Hence, respondent had no opportunity to rebut the said presumption.
Worth mentioning, in passing, is the ruling in Philippine National Bank v. Court of Appeals
54
to
wit:
The well-known rule in this jurisdiction is that a person dealing with a registered land has a right
to rely upon the face of the torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of inquiring
further, except when the party concerned has actual knowledge of facts and circumstances that
would impel a reasonably cautious man to make such inquiry.
A torrens title concludes all controversy over ownership of the land covered by a final [decree] of
registration. Once the title is registered the owner may rest assured without the necessity of
stepping into the portals of the court or sitting in the mirador de su casa to avoid the possibility
of losing his land.
Article 160 of the Civil Code provides as follows:
"Art. 160. All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless
it be proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife."
The presumption applies to property acquired during the lifetime of the husband and wife. In this
case, it appears on the face of the title that the properties were acquired by Donata Montemayor
when she was already a widow. When the property is registered in the name of a spouse only
and there is no showing as to when the property was acquired by said spouse, this is an
indication that the property belongs exclusively to said spouse. And this presumption under
Article 160 of the Civil Code cannot prevail when the title is in the name of only one spouse and
the rights of innocent third parties are involved.
The PNB had a reason to rely on what appears on the certificates of title of the properties
mortgaged. For all legal purposes, the PNB is a mortgagee in good faith for at the time the
mortgages covering said properties were constituted the PNB was not aware to any flaw of the
title of the mortgagor.

























G.R. No. 184621 December 10, 2013
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
MARIA FE ESPINOSA CANTOR, Respondent.
Facts:
The respondent and Jerry were married on September 20, 1997. They lived together as
husband and wife in their conjugal dwelling in Agan Homes, Koronadal City, South Cotabato.
Sometime in January 1998, the couple had a violent quarrel brought about by: (1) the
respondents inability to reach "sexual climax" whenever she and Jerry would have intimate
moments; and (2) Jerrys expression of animosity toward the respondents father.
After their quarrel, Jerry left their conjugal dwelling and this was the last time that the
respondent ever saw him. Since then, she had not seen, communicated nor heard anything
from Jerry or about his whereabouts.
On May 21, 2002, or more than four (4) years from the time of Jerrys disappearance, the
respondent filed before the RTC a petition4for her husbands declaration of presumptive death,
docketed as SP Proc. Case No. 313-25. She claimed that she had a well-founded belief that
Jerry was already dead. She alleged that she had inquired from her in-laws, as well as her
neighbors and friends, but to no avail. In the hopes of finding Jerry, she also allegedly made it a
point to check the patients directory whenever she went to a hospital. All these earnest efforts,
the respondent claimed, proved futile, prompting her to file the petition in court
The RTC ruled in favour of respondent, which, on appeal by Petitioner, was upheld by the CA.
Issues:
1) Whether certiorari lies to challenge the decisions, judgments or final orders of trial courts in
petitions for declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family
Code; and
(2) Whether the respondent had a well-founded belief that Jerry is already dead.
Held:
1. Yes. Certiorari lies to challenge the decision of the trial courts in petitions for declaration
of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code.
An appellate court acquires no jurisdiction to review a judgment which, by express
provision of law, is immediately final and executory. As we have said in Veloria vs.
Comelec, "the right to appeal is not a natural right nor is it a part of due process, for it is
merely a statutory privilege." Since, by express mandate of Article 247 of the Family
Code, all judgments rendered in summary judicial proceedings in Family Law are
"immediately final and executory," the right to appeal was not granted to any of the
parties therein. The Republic of the Philippines, as oppositor in the petition for
declaration of presumptive death, should not be treated differently. It had no right to
appeal the RTC decision of November 7, 2001
A losing party in this proceeding, however, is not entirely left without a remedy. While
jurisprudence tells us that no appeal can be made from the trial court's judgment, an
aggrieved party may, nevertheless, file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules
of Court to question any abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction
that transpired.
xxx
This case presents an opportunity for us to settle the rule on appeal of judgments rendered in
summary proceedings under the Family Code and accordingly, refine our previous decisions
thereon.
Article 238 of the Family Code, under Title XI: SUMMARY JUDICIAL PROCEEDINGS IN THE
FAMILY LAW, establishes the rules that govern summary court proceedings in the Family Code:
"ART. 238. Until modified by the Supreme Court, the procedural rules in this Title shall apply in
all cases provided for in this Code requiring summary court proceedings. Such cases shall be
decided in an expeditious manner without regard to technical rules."
In turn, Article 253 of the Family Code specifies the cases covered by the rules in chapters two
and three of the same title. It states:
"ART. 253. The foregoing rules in Chapters 2and 3 hereof shall likewise govern summary
proceedings filed under Articles 41, 51, 69, 73, 96, 124 and 217, insofar as they are
applicable."(Emphasis supplied.)
In plain text, Article 247 in Chapter 2 of the same title reads:
"ART.247. The judgment of the court shall be immediately final and executory."
By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary proceeding shall be
immediately final and executory. As a matter of course, it follows that no appeal can be had of
the trial court's judgment ina summary proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of an
absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code. It goes without saying, however, that an
aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to question abuse of discretion amounting to lack
of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the Court of Appeals in accordance with the
Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. To be sure, even if the Court's original jurisdiction to issue a writ
of certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals in certain cases, such
concurrence does not sanction an unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum.
2. The Stringent Standard for a Declaration of Presumptive Death has not been fully
substantiated.
In the case at bar, the respondents "well-founded belief" was anchored on her alleged "earnest
efforts" to locate Jerry, which consisted of the following:
(1) She made inquiries about Jerrys whereabouts from her in-laws, neighbors and
friends; and
(2) Whenever she went to a hospital, she saw to it that she looked through the patients
directory, hoping to find Jerry.
These efforts, however, fell short of the "stringent standard" and degree of diligence
required by jurisprudence for the following reasons:
First, the respondent did not actively look for her missing husband. It can be inferred
from the records that her hospital visits and her consequent checking of the patients
directory therein were unintentional. She did not purposely undertake a diligent search
for her husband as her hospital visits were not planned nor primarily directed to look for
him. This Court thus considers these attempts insufficient to engender a belief that her
husband is dead.
Second, she did not report Jerrys absence to the police nor did she seek the aid of the
authorities to look for him. While a finding of well-founded belief varies with the nature of
the situation in which the present spouse is placed, under present conditions, we find it
proper and prudent for a present spouse, whose spouse had been missing, to seek the
aid of the authorities or, at the very least, report his/her absence to the police.
Third, she did not present as witnesses Jerrys relatives or their neighbors and friends,
who can corroborate her efforts to locate Jerry. Worse, these persons, from whom she
allegedly made inquiries, were not even named. As held in Nolasco, the present
spouses bare assertion that he inquired from his friends about his absent spouses
whereabouts is insufficient as the names of the friends from whom he made inquiries
were not identified in the testimony nor presented as witnesses.
Lastly, there was no other corroborative evidence to support the respondents claim that
she conducted a diligent search. Neither was there supporting evidence proving that she
had a well-founded belief other than her bare claims that she inquired from her friends
and in-laws about her husbands whereabouts. In sum, the Court is of the view that the
respondent merely engaged in a "passive search" where she relied on uncorroborated
inquiries from her in-laws, neighbors and friends. She failed to conduct a diligent search
because her alleged efforts are insufficient to form a well-founded belief that her
husband was already dead. As held in Republic of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals
(Tenth Div.),
22
"[w]hether or not the spouse present acted on a well-founded belief of
death of the absent spouse depends upon the inquiries to be drawn from a great many
circumstances occurring before and after the disappearance of the absent spouse and
the natureand extent of the inquiries made by [the] present spouse."





















G.R. No. 170022 January 9, 2013
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
CESAR ENCELAN, Respondent.
Facts:
Cesar married Lolita in 1979. In order to support his family, Casar went to Saudi Arabia in 1954
and while he was away, he learned that his wife is having an illicit relationship with Alvin.
Sometime in 1991, it was alleged that Lolita left the conjugal children with their two children and
has since then lived with Alvin. Despite such knowledge, Cesar maintained his support to his
family. In 1995, Cesar filed suit for a declaration of nullity of marriage between him and Lolita.
One of the evidences presented to pursue his case was based on the report of Dr. Flores of the
National Center for Mental Health which finds Lolita to be suffering from some interpersonal
problems. But the report also states that Lolita was "not suffering from any form of major
psychiatric illness". The RTC ruled in favour of Cesar. On appeal by the OSG, the CA reversed
RTCs ruling. Upon a motion for reconsideration however, the CA reversed itself.
Issue: Whether there exists sufficient basis to nullify Cesars marriage to Lolita on the ground of
psychological incapacity.
Held: None. In this case, Cesars testimony failed to prove Lolitas alleged psychological
incapacity. Cesar testified on the dates when he learned of Lolitas alleged affair and her
subsequent abandonment of their home,

as well as his continued financial support to her and
their children even after he learned of the affair, but he merely mentioned in passing Lolitas
alleged affair with Alvin and her abandonment of the conjugal dwelling.
In any event, sexual infidelity and abandonment of the conjugal dwelling, even if true, do not
necessarily constitute psychological incapacity; these are simply grounds for legal separation.
To constitute psychological incapacity, it must be shown that the unfaithfulness and
abandonment are manifestations of a disordered personality that completely prevented the
erring spouse from discharging the essential marital obligations. No evidence on record exists to
support Cesars allegation that Lolitas infidelity and abandonment were manifestations of any
psychological illness.
Cesar mistakenly relied on Dr. Flores psychological evaluation report on Lolita to prove her
alleged psychological incapacity. The psychological evaluation, in fact, established that Lolita
did not suffer from any major psychiatric illness. Dr. Flores observation on Lolitas interpersonal
problems with co-workers, to our mind, does not suffice as a consideration for the conclusion
that she was at the time of her marriage psychologically incapacitated to enter into a marital
union with Cesar. Aside from the time element involved, a wifes psychological fitness as a
spouse cannot simply be equated with her professional/work relationship; workplace obligations
and responsibilities are poles apart from their marital counterparts. While both spring from
human relationship, their relatedness and relevance to one another should be fully established
for them to be compared or to serve as measures of comparison with one another. To be sure,
the evaluation report Dr. Flores prepared and submitted cannot serve this purpose. Dr. Flores
further belief that Lolitas refusal to go with Cesar abroad signified a reluctance to work out a
good marital relationship is a mere generalization unsupported by facts and is, in fact, a rash
conclusion that this Court cannot support.





Tiggangay vs. Judge Wacas, April 1, 2013
Facts:
During the May 14, 2007 election, Tiggangay and Dagadag ran for a mayoralty position
at Tanudan, Kalinga. Tiggangay lost at a slim margin of 158 votes. Following Dagadags
proclamation, Tiggangay filed an electoral protest and the case was raffled to the sala of Judge
Wacas. Judge wacas ruled in favour of Dagadag with a modification that Tiggangay actually lost
by 97 votes. On appeal to the COMELEC Second Division, the RTC decision was affirmed. The
COMELEC En Banc dismissed the motion for reconsideration.
It was then at this point that Tiggangay filed his verified letter-complaint charging Judge
Wacas with Impropriety and Partiality. He alleged that he learned that Judge Wacas is
Dagadags second cousin by affinity, the formers aunt is married to an uncle of Dagadag. The
Court Administrator recommended the dismissal of the complaint which was concurred in by the
CA.
Issue:
1. How does a person become a relative by affinity or consanguinity according to the
provisions of the New Civil Code and Family Code?
2. Whether the invocation of the said affinity or relationship of Dagadag (the winning
candidate) to that of Judge Wacas (who rendered the decision on the electoral protest)
is true, and if in the affirmative, does it have a material bearing to actually indict the said
Judge for impropriety and partiality and even, to prevent him from hearing the electoral
protest?
Held:
1. Affinity denotes the relation that one spouse has to the blood relatives of the other
spouse. It is a relationship by marriage or a familial relation resulting from marriage. It is
a fictive kinship, a fiction created by law in connection with the institution of marriage and
family relations. Relationship by affinity refers to a relation by virtue of a legal bond such
as marriage. Relatives by affinity, therefore, are those commonly referred to as in-laws,
or stepfather, stepmother, stepchild and the like.
Affinity may also be defined as the relation which one spouse because of marriage has
to blood relatives of the other. The connection existing, in consequence of marriage
between each of the married persons and the kindred of the other. The doctrine of
affinity grows out of the canonical maxim that marriage makes husband and wife one.
The husband has the same relation by affinity to his wifes blood relatives as she has by
consanguinity and vice versa. Indeed, there is no affinity between the blood relatives of
one spouse and the blood relatives of the other. A husband is related by affinity to his
wifes brother, but not to the wife of his wifes brother. There is no affinity between the
husbands brother and the wifes sister; this is called affinitas affinitatis.
2. In the instant case, considering that Judge Wacas is related to his aunt by consanguinity
in the third degree, it follows by virtue of the marriage of his aunt to the uncle of
Dagadag that Judge Wacas is the nephew-in-law of the uncle of Dagadag, i.e., a
relationship by affinity in the third degree. But Judge Wacas is not related by affinity to
the blood relatives of the uncle of Dagadag as they are not his in-laws and, thus, are not
related in any way to Dagadag. In like manner, Dagadag is the nephew-in-law of the
aunt of Judge Wacas but is not related by affinity to the blood relatives of Judge Wacas
aunt, like Judge Wacas. In short, there is no relationship by affinity between Judge
Wacas and Dagadag as they are not in-laws of each other. Thus, Judge Wacas is not
disqualified under Sec. 1 of Rule 137 to hear Election Case No. 40.



Beckett vs. Judge Sarmiento, January 30, 2013
Facts:
Complainant Becket, an Australian national was married to Eltesa, a Filipina. In 2001, their
marriage begot them a child and named him Geoffrey Becket Jr. However, the marriage did not
last long as series of events which materialized into suits were filed. Eltesa charged Becket with
a violation of RA 7610 and filed an action for a declaration of nullity of their marriage. On his
part, Becket filed a criminal case for adultery against Eltesa. The case was raffled to the sala of
Judge Sarmiento. However, a compromise agreement was entered into which contains among
others, that all civil and criminal actions filed will be dropped upon the assumption of parental
custody of Beckett over Geoffrey with the grant of visitorial rights to Eltesa.
However, during the Christmas season of 2011, Eltesa failed to return Geoffrey to the
complainant thereby prompting the latter to file a petition for a writ of habeas corpus.
Proceedings ensued at the sala of Judge Sarmiento to which the latter ordered for an
investigation to be conducted by an officer of the DSWD. Based on the findings of said officer,
the grant of parental custody was granted to Eltesa as it was established that Geoffrey, who
during that time is already 9 years old, chose to stay with his mother for the reason that his
father often leaves him with other people and that, he was at one time locked in his room
without food.
Complainant now alleges that Judge Sarmiento acted arbitrarily because a judgment based on
a compromise agreement over the exercise of parental custody has already been adjudged
since 2006.
Issue: Whether parental custody of a child grants the parent chosen by the court a permanent
right thereto.
Whether, based on the compromise agreement entered into by the parents (Beckett and Eltesa)
which was confirmed by the court, constitutes res judicata in a judgment involving custody of a
minor child.
Held: No.
Respondent judge, in granting provisional custody over Geoffrey, Jr., in favor of his
mother, Eltesa, did not disregard the res judicata rule. The more appropriate description of the
legal situation engendered by the March 15, 2011 Order issued amidst the persistent plea of the
child not to be returned to his father, is that respondent judge exhibited fidelity to jurisprudential
command to accord primacy to the welfare and interest of a minor child. As it were, the matter of
custody, to borrow from Espiritu v. Court of Appeals, is not permanent and unalterable [and] an
always be re-examined and adjusted. And as aptly observed in a separate opinion in Dacasin v.
Dacasin, a custody agreement can never be regarded as permanent and unbending, the
simple reason being that the situation of the parents and even of the child can change, such that
sticking to the agreed arrangement would no longer be to the latters best interest. In a very real
sense, then, a judgment involving the custody of a minor child cannot be accorded the force and
effect of res judicata.









G.R. No. 198780 October 16, 2013
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
LIBERTY D. ALBIOS, Respondent.
Facts:

On October 22, 2004, Fringer, an American citizen, and Albios were married before Judge
Ofelia I. Calo of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch59, Mandaluyong City (MeTC), as
evidenced by a Certificate of Marriage with Register No. 2004-1588. On December 6, 2006,
Albios filed with the RTC a petition for declaration of nullity of her marriage with Fringer. She
alleged that immediately after their marriage, they separated and never lived as husband and
wife because they never really had any intention of entering into a married state or complying
with any of their essential marital obligations. She described their marriage as one made in jest
and, therefore, null and void ab initio. She stated that in consideration of $2,000.00, Fringer will
help her process her application for American citizenship.

The RTC ruled that their marriage is one entered into in jest and therefore void. On appeal by
the OSG, the CA affirmed the trial courts decision.

Issue: Whether a marriage contracted into by two individuals for the sole purpose of acquiring
Amercian citizenship in consideration of $2,000.00, void ab initio on the ground of lack of
consent.

Held: The marriage is valid.
Under said Article 2 (of the Family Code), for consent to be valid, it must be (1) freely given and
(2) made in the presence of a solemnizing officer. A "freely given" consent requires that the
contracting parties willingly and deliberately enter into the marriage. Consent must be real in the
sense that it is not vitiated nor rendered defective by any of the vices of consent under
Articles45 and 46 of the Family Code, such as fraud, force, intimidation, and undue
influence.
24
Consent must also be conscious or intelligent, in that the parties must be capable of
intelligently understanding the nature of, and both the beneficial or unfavorable consequences
of their act.
25
Their understanding should not be affected by insanity, intoxication, drugs, or
hypnotism.
26

Based on the above, consent was not lacking between Albios and Fringer. In fact, there was
real consent because it was not vitiated nor rendered defective by any vice of consent. Their
consent was also conscious and intelligent as they understood the nature and the beneficial and
inconvenient consequences of their marriage, as nothing impaired their ability to do so. That
their consent was freely given is best evidenced by their conscious purpose of acquiring
American citizenship through marriage. Such plainly demonstrates that they willingly and
deliberately contracted the marriage. There was a clear intention to enter into a real and valid
marriage so as to fully comply with the requirements of an application for citizenship. There was
a full and complete understanding of the legal tie that would be created between them, since it
was that precise legal tie which was necessary to accomplish their goal.







G.R. No. 180284, September 11, 2013
NARCISO SALAS, Petitioners, v. ANNABELLE MATUSALEM, Respondent.
Facts:
On May 26, 1995, Annabelle Matusalem (respondent) filed a complaint for Support/Damages
against Narciso Salas (petitioner) in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cabanatuan City (Civil
Case No. 2124-AF).

Respondent claimed that petitioner is the father of her son Christian Paulo Salas who was born
on December 28, 1994. Petitioner, already 56 years old at the time, enticed her as she was then
only 24 years old, making her believe that he is a widower. Petitioner rented an apartment
where respondent stayed and shouldered all expenses in the delivery of their child, including the
cost of caesarian operation and hospital confinement. However, when respondent refused the
offer of petitioners family to take the child from her, petitioner abandoned respondent and her
child and left them to the mercy of relatives and friends. Respondent further alleged that she
attempted suicide due to depression but still petitioner refused to support her and their child.
The testimonial evidence of the owner of the apartment where petitioner allegedly housed
respondent when she was pregnant was one of the basis for respondents claim for support.
The RTC ruled in favour of respondent to which the CA affirmed on appeal.
Issue: Whether the trial and appellate courts erred in ruling that respondents evidence (the
testimonial evidence of the owner of apartment, the Baptismal Certificate, the Birth Certificate
which however does not contain the necessary signature of petitioner) sufficiently proved that
her son Christian Paulo is the illegitimate child of petitioner.
Held: Respondent presented the Certificate of Live Birth (Exhibit A-1) of Christian Paulo Salas
in which the name of petitioner appears as his father but which is not signed by him. Admittedly,
it was only respondent who filled up the entries and signed the said document though she
claims it was petitioner who supplied the information she wrote therein.

We have held that a certificate of live birth purportedly identifying the putative father is not
competent evidence of paternity when there is no showing that the putative father had a hand in
the preparation of the certificate.

Thus, if the father did not sign in the birth certificate, the
placing of his name by the mother, doctor, registrar, or other person is incompetent evidence of
paternity.

Neither can such birth certificate be taken as a recognition in a public instrument and it
has no probative value to establish filiation to the alleged father.

As to the Baptismal Certificate (Exhibit B) of Christian Paulo Salas also indicating petitioner as
the father, we have ruled that while baptismal certificates may be considered public documents,
they can only serve as evidence of the administration of the sacraments on the dates so
specified. They are not necessarily competent evidence of the veracity of entries therein with
respect to the childs paternity.

The rest of respondents documentary evidence consists of handwritten notes and letters,
hospital bill and photographs taken of petitioner and respondent inside their rented apartment
unit.

Pictures taken of the mother and her child together with the alleged father are inconclusive
evidence to prove paternity. Exhibits E and F showing petitioner and respondent inside the
rented apartment unit thus have scant evidentiary value. The Statement of Account (Exhibit C)
from the Good Samaritan General Hospital where respondent herself was indicated as the
payee is likewise incompetent to prove that petitioner is the father of her child notwithstanding
petitioners admission in his answer that he shouldered the expenses in the delivery of
respondents child as an act of charity.

As to the handwritten notes (Exhibits D to D-13) of petitioner and respondent showing their
exchange of affectionate words and romantic trysts, these, too, are not sufficient to establish
Christian Paulos filiation to petitioner as they were not signed by petitioner and contained no
statement of admission by petitioner that he is the father of said child. Thus, even if these notes
were authentic, they do not qualify under Article 172 (2) vis-- vis Article 175 of the Family Code
which admits as competent evidence of illegitimate filiation an admission of filiation in a private
handwritten instrument signed by the parent concerned.































G.R. No. 204169 September 11, 2013
YASUO IWASAWA, PETITIONER,
vs.
FELISA CUSTODIO GANGAN
1
(A.K.A FELISA GANGAN ARAMBULO, AND FELISA
GANGAN IWASAWA) AND THE LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF PASAY
CITY, RESPONDENTS.
Facts:

Petitioner Iwasawa was married to private respondent Felisa Gangan on November 28, 2002 in
Pasay City. Thereafter, the couple migrated to Japan. In July 2009, petitioner learned from
respondent herself that the latter has been married to Raymond Arambulo in 1994 and that, it
was due to poverty and joblessness that she married petitioner. Petitioner then filed a petition
for declaration of nullity of marriage based on Article 35 (4) in relation to Article 41 of the Family
Code.

The trial court ruled that the public documents presented by petitioner, i.e. Marriage Certificate
between him and respondent; Marriage Certificate between respondent and Raymond
Arambulo; Death Certificate of Raymond Arambulo; and Certification from the NSO stating that
respondent indeed contracted two marriages while the first one was still subsisting, were not
competent proofs to establish the nullity of the second marriage as the NSO Officer did not
physically appear before the court to make her testimony. A motion for reconsideration was
denied through an Order.

Issue: whether the testimony of the NSO records custodian certifying the authenticity and due
execution of the public documents issued by said office was necessary before they could be
accorded evidentiary weight.
Held: There is no question that the documentary evidence submitted by petitioner are all public
documents. As provided in the Civil Code:
ART. 410. The books making up the civil register and all documents relating thereto shall be
considered public documents and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein contained.
As public documents, they are admissible in evidence even without further proof of their due
execution and genuineness.
15
Thus, the RTC erred when it disregarded said documents on the
sole ground that the petitioner did not present the records custodian of the NSO who issued
them to testify on their authenticity and due execution since proof of authenticity and due
execution was not anymore necessary. Moreover, not only are said documents admissible, they
deserve to be given evidentiary weight because they constitute prima facie evidence of the facts
stated therein. And in the instant case, the facts stated therein remain unrebutted since neither
the private respondent nor the public prosecutor presented evidence to the contrary.
This Court has consistently held that a judicial declaration of nullity is required before a valid
subsequent marriage can be contracted; or else, what transpires is a bigamous
marriage,
16
which is void from the beginning as provided in Article 35(4) of the Family Code of
the Philippines. And this is what transpired in the instant case.
As correctly pointed out by the OSG, the documentary exhibits taken together concretely
establish the nullity of the marriage of petitioner to private respondent on the ground that their
marriage is bigamous. The exhibits directly prove the following facts: (1) that private respondent
married Arambulo on June 20, 1994 in the City of Manila; (2) that private respondent contracted
a second marriage this time with petitioner on November 28, 2002 in Pasay City; (3) that there
was no judicial declaration of nullity of the marriage of private respondent with Arambulo at the
time she married petitioner; (3) that Arambulo died on July 14, 2009 and that it was only on said
date that private respondents marriage with Arambulo was deemed to have been dissolved;
and (4) that the second marriage of private respondent to petitioner is bigamous, hence null and
void, since the first marriage was still valid and subsisting when the second marriage was
contracted.
Gr. No. 161921, July 17, 2013

Joyce Ardiente, Petitioner vs. Spouses Javier and Ma. Theresa Pastorfide, Cagayan de
Oro Water District and Gaspar Gonzalez, Jr., Respondents

Facts:
Petitioner Ardiente and Spouses Pastorfide entered into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)
wherein the latter undertakes to pay the amount of Php 70,000.00 as consideration of a unit
held by the former at Emily Homes Balulang, Cagayan De Oro City. It was also stipulated in the
MOA that electric and water bills will now be transferred on the account of Pastorfide. However,
the conflict aroused when petitioner, without informing respondents, requested that the water
line of the latter be cut off by Cagayan De Oro Water District (COWD). COWD on its part,
without due notice, acceded to petitioners request. When Ma. Theresa learned of such
transaction, she paid the water bills at the instant and requested that their water line be re-
connected. However, despite such payment, Manager Gonzales failed to fulfil his obligation.

Complaint for damages were filed before the RTC by respondents against Ardiente and COWD.
The trial court ruled in favour of the spouses Pastorfide. On appeal, the CA affirmed said ruling.

Issue: Whether, despite the stipulation in the MOA between Petitioner Ardiente and
Respondent Spouses Pastorfide that the latter will undertake to have the water account to their
names and despite failure to do so, Ardiente may still be held liable for abuse of rights under
Article 19 of the New Civil Code.

Held: Yes. Ardiente may still be held liable.
It is true that it is within petitioner's right to ask and even require the Spouses Pastorfide to
cause the transfer of the former's account with COWD to the latter's name pursuant to their
Memorandum of Agreement. However, the remedy to enforce such right is not to cause the
disconnection of the respondent spouses' water supply. The exercise of a right must be in
accordance with the purpose for which it was established and must not be excessive or unduly
harsh; there must be no intention to harm another. Otherwise, liability for damages to the injured
party will attach. In the present case, intention to harm was evident on the part of petitioner
when she requested for the disconnection of respondent spouses water supply without warning
or informing the latter of such request. Petitioner claims that her request for disconnection was
based on the advise of COWD personnel and that her intention was just to compel the Spouses
Pastorfide to comply with their agreement that petitioner's account with COWD be transferred in
respondent spouses' name. If such was petitioner's only intention, then she should have
advised respondent spouses before or immediately after submitting her request for
disconnection, telling them that her request was simply to force them to comply with their
obligation under their Memorandum of Agreement. But she did not. What made matters worse is
the fact that COWD undertook the disconnection also without prior notice and even failed to
reconnect the Spouses Pastorfides water supply despite payment of their arrears. There was
clearly an abuse of right on the part of petitioner, COWD and Gonzalez. They are guilty of bad
faith.

The principle of abuse of rights as enshrined in Article 19 of the Civil Code provides that every
person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice,
give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.







G.R. No. 196049 June 26, 2013
MINORU FUJIKI, PETITIONER,
vs.
MARIA PAZ GALELA MARINAY, SHINICHI MAEKARA, LOCAL CIVIL REGISTRAR OF
QUEZON CITY, AND THE ADMINISTRATOR AND CIVIL REGISTRAR GENERAL OF THE
NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE,RESPONDENTS.
Facts:
On January 23, 2004, Petitioner Fujiki, a Japanese national, married respondent Marinay in the
Philippines. However, the marriage did not go well with them because of petitioners parents.
Fujiki could not therefore bring Marinay to Japan where he resides. Eventually, the two lost
contact with each other.
In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese national, Maekara and in the same year, they got
married in Quezon City. Marinay went with Maekara to Japan. However, Marinay suffered
physical abuse in the hands of Maekara and so she left him and started to contact Fujiki again.
Marinay and Fujiki were able to establish their relationship again and through Fujikis help,
Marinay was able to obtain a judgment from a family court in Japan which declared her
marriage with Maekara void on the ground of bigamy. In 2011, Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC
of Quezon City fo the recognition of the said foreign judgment obtained in Japan.
The RTC dismissed the petition based on the ground that according to AM No. 02-11-10-SC
(Rule on Declaration of absolute Nullity of Void Marriages) because according to said court, the
petition may be filed solely by the husband or the wife. In this case, Fujiki was not considered to
be the husband being referred to in the law thus, he has no legal personality.
Issue: Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to recognize a foreign
judgment nullifying the subsequent marriage between his or her spouse and a foreign citizen on
the ground of bigamy.
Held: Fujiki has the personality to file a petition to recognize the Japanese Family Court
judgment nullifying the marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of bigamy
because the judgment concerns his civil status as married to Marinay. For the same reason he
has the personality to file a petition under Rule 108 to cancel the entry of marriage between
Marinay and Maekara in the civil registry on the basis of the decree of the Japanese Family
Court.
There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and material interest in maintaining the
integrity of the marriage he contracted and the property relations arising from it. There is also no
doubt that he is interested in the cancellation of an entry of a bigamous marriage in the civil
registry, which compromises the public record of his marriage. The interest derives from the
substantive right of the spouse not only to preserve (or dissolve, in limited instances) his most
intimate human relation, but also to protect his property interests that arise by operation of law
the moment he contracts marriage. These property interests in marriage include the right to be
supported "in keeping with the financial capacity of the family" and preserving the property
regime of the marriage.
Property rights are already substantive rights protected by the Constitution, but a spouses right
in a marriage extends further to relational rights recognized under Title III ("Rights and
Obligations between Husband and Wife") of the Family Code. A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC cannot
"diminish, increase, or modify" the substantive right of the spouse to maintain the integrity of his
marriage. In any case, Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC preserves this substantive right by
limiting the personality to sue to the husband or the wife of the union recognized by law.
Section 2(a) of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC does not preclude a spouse of a subsisting marriage to
question the validity of a subsequent marriage on the ground of bigamy. On the contrary, when
Section 2(a) states that "[a] petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage may be
filed solely by the husband or the wife"it refers to the husband or the wife of the subsisting
marriage. Under Article 35(4) of the Family Code, bigamous marriages are void from the
beginning. Thus, the parties in a bigamous marriage are neither the husband nor the wife under
the law. The husband or the wife of the prior subsisting marriage is the one who has the
personality to file a petition for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriage under Section 2(a)
of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC.
Article 35(4) of the Family Code, which declares bigamous marriages void from the beginning, is
the civil aspect of Article 349 of the Revised Penal Code, which penalizes bigamy. Bigamy is a
public crime. Thus, anyone can initiate prosecution for bigamy because any citizen has an
interest in the prosecution and prevention of crimes.

If anyone can file a criminal action which
leads to the declaration of nullity of a bigamous marriage, there is more reason to confer
personality to sue on the husband or the wife of a subsisting marriage. The prior spouse does
not only share in the public interest of prosecuting and preventing crimes, he is also personally
interested in the purely civil aspect of protecting his marriage.
When the right of the spouse to protect his marriage is violated, the spouse is clearly an injured
party and is therefore interested in the judgment of the suit. Juliano-Llave ruled that the prior
spouse "is clearly the aggrieved party as the bigamous marriage not only threatens the financial
and the property ownership aspect of the prior marriage but most of all, it causes an emotional
burden to the prior spouse." Being a real party in interest, the prior spouse is entitled to sue in
order to declare a bigamous marriage void. For this purpose, he can petition a court to
recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the bigamous marriage and judicially declare as a fact
that such judgment is effective in the Philippines. Once established, there should be no more
impediment to cancel the entry of the bigamous marriage in the civil registry.


















G.R. No. 201061 July 3, 2013
SALLY GO-BANGAYAN, Petitioner,
vs.
BENJAMIN BANGAYAN, JR., Respondent.
Facts:
Benjamin Bangayan was married to Azucena Alegre in 1973 to which they begot three children.
In 1979, Benjamin had illicit relationship with Sally Go-Bangayan. In 1981, Azucena went to the
United States. On December of 1982, Benjamin and Sally contracted marriage despite
knowledge of the latter that the former still has a valid and subsisting marriage. Since Sallys
father was opposed to the relationship so in order to appease him, she brought Benjamin to an
office in Santolan, Pasig City to sign a purported marriage contract. In this marriage, they begot
two children and acquired real properties which mostly contain the words married to Sally.
The relationship between Sally and Benjamin soon ended in 1994 when the former went to
Canada together with their children. Sally therein filed criminal actions for bigamy and
falsification of public documents against Benjamin, using their simulated marriage contract as
evidence. Benjamin on the other hand, filed a petition for declaration of a non-existent marriage
and/or declaration of nullity of marriage before the trial court on the ground that his marriage to
Sally was bigamous and that it lacked the formal requisites to a valid marriage.
The trial court ruled that indeed, the marriage between Benjamin and Sally is void and non-
existent. It further held that absent any showing that the real properties acquired during the co-
habitation were acquired through their joint efforts, then the same is considered to belong to
Benjamin. On appeal, the CA affirmed the lower courts ruling except with regard to proper
identification of some of the properties alleged to belong to Benjamin alone.
Issues:
1. Whether a marriage that is declared void ab initio by a trial court is inconsistent with the
ruling declaring it as non-existent as well?
2. Whether the marriage between Benjamin and Sally is bigamous within the ambit of the
provisions of the Revised Penal Code considering the fact that it was declared void ab
initio due to an irregularity in one of the formal requisites of marriage, i.e. a valid
marriage license.
3. Considering the circumstances of the case, what provision governs the property
relations of Sally and Benjamin?
4. Whether the Transfer Certificate of Titles containing the words married to is indicative
of co-ownership between sally and Benjamin.
Held:
1. We see no inconsistency in finding the marriage between Benjamin and Sally null and
void ab initio and, at the same time, non-existent. Under Article 35 of the Family Code, a
marriage solemnized without a license, except those covered by Article 34 where no
license is necessary, "shall be void from the beginning." In this case, the marriage
between Benjamin and Sally was solemnized without a license. It was duly established
that no marriage license was issued to them and that Marriage License No. N-07568 did
not match the marriage license numbers issued by the local civil registrar of Pasig City
for the month of February 1982. The case clearly falls under Section 3 of Article
35 which made their marriage void ab initio. The marriage between Benjamin and Sally
was also non-existent. Applying the general rules on void or inexistent contracts under
Article 1409 of the Civil Code, contracts which are absolutely simulated or fictitious are
"inexistent and void from the beginning." Thus, the Court of Appeals did not err in
sustaining the trial courts ruling that the marriage between Benjamin and Sally was null
and void ab initio and non-existent.
2. the marriage is not bigamous. It is required that the first or former marriage shall not be
null and void. The marriage of the petitioner to Azucena shall be assumed as the one
that is valid, there being no evidence to the contrary and there is no trace of invalidity or
irregularity on the face of their marriage contract. However, if the second marriage was
void not because of the existence of the first marriage but for other causes such as lack
of license, the crime of bigamy was not committed. In People v. De Lara [CA, 51 O.G.,
4079], it was held that what was committed was contracting marriage against the
provisions of laws not under Article 349 but Article 350 of the Revised Penal Code.
Concluding, the marriage of the parties is therefore not bigamous because there was no
marriage license. The daring and repeated stand of respondent that she is legally
married to petitioner cannot, in any instance, be sustained. Assuming that her marriage
to petitioner has the marriage license, yet the same would be bigamous, civilly or
criminally as it would be invalidated by a prior existing valid marriage of petitioner and
Azucena.
For bigamy to exist, the second or subsequent marriage must have all the essential
requisites for validity except for the existence of a prior marriage. In this case, there was
really no subsequent marriage. Benjamin and Sally just signed a purported marriage
contract without a marriage license. The supposed marriage was not recorded with the
local civil registrar and the National Statistics Office. In short, the marriage between
Benjamin and Sally did not exist. They lived together and represented themselves as
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage.
3. The Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the property relations of Benjamin and Sally is
governed by Article 148 of the Family Code which states:
Art. 148. In cases of cohabitation not falling under the preceding Article, only the properties
acquired by both of the parties through their actual joint contribution of money, property, or
industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. In
the absence of proof to the contrary, their contributions and corresponding shares are
presumed to be equal. The same rule and presumption shall apply to joint deposits of
money and evidences of credit.
If one of the parties is validly married to another, his or her share in the co-ownership shall
accrue to the absolute community of conjugal partnership existing in such valid marriage. If
the party who acted in bad faith is not validly married to another, his or her share shall be
forfeited in the manner provided in the last paragraph of the preceding Article.
The foregoing rules on forfeiture shall likewise apply even if both parties are in bad faith.
Benjamin and Sally cohabitated without the benefit of marriage. Thus, only the properties
acquired by them through their actual joint contribution of money, property, or industry shall
be owned by them in common in proportion to their respective contributions. Thus, both the
trial court and the Court of Appeals correctly excluded the 37 properties being claimed by
Sally which were given by Benjamins father to his children as advance inheritance. Sallys
Answer to the petition before the trial court even admitted that "Benjamins late father
himself conveyed a number of properties to his children and their respective spouses which
included Sally x x x."
4. We have ruled that the words "married to" preceding the name of a spouse are merely
descriptive of the civil status of the registered owner. Such words do not prove co-
ownership. Without proof of actual contribution from either or both spouses, there can be
no co-ownership under Article 148 of the Family Code.




Gr. No. 202370, September 23, 2013
Juan Sevilla Salas, Jr., Petitioner, vs. Eden Villena Aguila, Respondent
Facts:
Juan Sevilla Salas Jr., was married to Eden Villena Aguila on September 7, 1985. On
June 7, 1986, Aguila gave birth to their daughter. Five months later, Salas left their conjugal
dwelling and communication between them stopped.
On October 7, 2003, Aguila filed a Petition for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the
basis of the Article 36 of the Family Code. The petition states that they have no properties
whatsoever. The RTC rendered a decision declaring the nullity of marriage of Salas and Aguila
which further provides for the dissolution of their conjugal partnership of gains, if any. It was only
on September 10, 2007 that Aguila filed a Manifestation and Motion regarding two registered
properties she discovered in the name of Juan S. Salas, married to Rubina S. Salas. Nine
days later, Salas filed a Manifestation with Entry of Appearance requesting for an Entry of
Judgment of the RTC decision where no conjugal property was involved.
Later on, the RTC rendered an Order mandating for the partition of properties which was
earlier discovered by Aguila. Salas opposed thereto but his motion for reconsideration as well
as appeal to the CA was futile. He maintains the fact that the RTC decision wherein Aguila
stated that they have no conjugal properties was a judicial admission on her part. Rubina Salas
on her part, filed a motion to intervene stating that the discovered properties were hers to which
the CA did not adhere to.
Issues:
Whether the properties later on discovered by Aguila in the name of Juan S. Salas, married to
Rubina S. Salas, belongs to the common-law marriage of Juan and Rubina or to that of the
conjugal property of Juan and Aguila.
What is the property regime or governing rule that is appropriate to consider in the case at bar?
Held: The discovered properties belong to the conjugal property of Juan and Aguila.
In Dio v. Dio, we held that Article 147 of the Family Code applies to the union of
parties who are legally capacitated and not barred by any impediment to contract marriage, but
whose marriage is nonetheless declared void under Article 36 of the Family Code, as in this
case. Article 147 of the Family Code provides:

ART. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively
with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage,
their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired
by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on
coownership.

In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together
shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and
shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not
participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have
contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the formers efforts consisted in the care and
maintenance of the family and of the household. Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts
inter vivos of his or her share in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in
common, without the consent of the other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.

When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the party in bad
faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favour of their common children. In case of default
of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants, each vacant share shall
belong to the respective surviving descendants. In the absence of descendants, such share
shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take place upon termination of
the cohabitation.

Under this property regime, property acquired during the marriage is prima facie presumed to
have been obtained through the couples joint efforts and governed by the rules on co-
ownership. In the present case, Salas did not rebut this presumption. In a similar case where
the ground for nullity of marriage was also psychological incapacity, we held that the properties
acquired during the union of the parties, as found by both the RTC and the CA, would be
governed by co-ownership. Accordingly, the partition of the Discovered Properties as ordered by
the RTC and the CA should be sustained, but on the basis of co-ownership and not on the
regime of conjugal partnership of gains.


























Gr. No. 183896, January 30, 2013
Syed Azhar Abbas, Petitioner, vs. Gloria Goo Abbas, Respondent
Facts:
It has been established from the case that Petitioner Abbas filed before the RTC of
Pasay for the declaration of nullity of his marriage to Respondent Abbas. A purported Marriage
Contract between Syed and Gloria stated that Marriage License No. 9969967, issued at
Carmona, Cavite on January 8, 1993. In order to support his claim that there was no valid
marriage license obtained, Syed secured a Certification from the Municipal Civil Registrar of
Carmona, Cavite to which the latter attested that the said marriage license was issued to a
certain Arlindo Getaldo and Myra Mabilangan. Several witnesses testified that there had been
indeed a marriage ceremony held in the respondents house who among others were the
mother of respondent, the solemnizing officer, and Atty. Sanchez (principal sponsor and who
was relied upon by the respondent to secure the marriage license).
The RTC rendered a decision declaring the marriage void ab initio for lack of a valid
marriage license. The CA reversed the trial court holding that based on the facts where several
people testified that a wedding ceremony actually took place and the signing of the contracting
parties of the marriage contract are proofs that a there was marriage between petitioner and
respondent.
Issue: Whether a valid marriage license exist thereby proving the validity of the marriage of
petitioner and respondent.
Held: Negative.
All the evidence cited by the CA to show that a wedding ceremony was conducted and a
marriage contract was signed does not operate to cure the absence of a valid marriage license.
Article 4 of the Family Code is clear when it says, The absence of any of the essential or formal
requisites shall render the marriage void ab initio, except as stated in Article 35(2). Article 35(3)
of the Family Code also provides that a marriage solemnized without a license is void from the
beginning, except those exempt from the license requirement under Articles 27 to 34, Chapter 2,
Title I of the same Code.

Again, this marriage cannot be characterized as among the exemptions, and thus, having been
solemnized without a marriage license, is void ab initio.






















Gr. No. 182760, April 10, 2013

Republic of the Philippines, Petitioner, vs. Robert P. Narceda, Respondent

Facts:

Respondent Narceda was married to Marina on July 22, 1987 who was at the time of the
wedding was only 17 years and 4 months old. Marina went to Singapore in 1994 and thereafter,
there was never any communication between them. Narceda looked for her but to no avail. He
was later informed that Marina was already living with a Singaporean husband.

In his desire to remarry, respondent filed with the RTC on May 16, 2002 a Petition for a
Judicial Declaration of the Presumptive Death and/or absence of Marina. The RTC granted the
said petition to which the Office of the Solicitor General appealed to the Court of Appeals. The
CA dismissed the OSGs petition and reasoned that the decision of the trial court in a summary
proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death is governed by Title XI of the Family Code
particularly Article 247 which provides that the said decision is immediately final and executory.

Issue: Whether a decision granting a petition for judicial declaration of presumptive death
and/or absence is immediately final and executor and the availment of the wrong remedy of
appeal by the OSG resulted in the lapse of the period to question the said decision.

Held:
We agree with the CA.

The appellate court argues that there is no reglementary period within which to perfect
an appeal in summary judicial proceedings under the Family Code, because the judgments
rendered thereunder, by express provision of Article 247, are immediately final and executory
upon notice to the parties. In support of its stance, it cited Republic v. Bermudez-Lorino
(Bermudez-Lorino), in which this Court held:

In Summary Judicial Proceedings under the Family Code, there is no
reglementary period within which to perfect an appeal, precisely because
judgments rendered thereunder, by express provision of Section 247, Family
Code, supra, are immediately final and executory. It was erroneous, therefore,
on the part of the RTC to give due course to the Republic's appeal and order the
transmittal of the entire records of the case to the Court of Appeals.

An appellate court acquires no jurisdiction to review a judgment which, by
express provision of law, is immediately final and executory. As we have said in
Veloria vs. Comelec, the right to appeal is not a natural right nor is it a part of
due process, for it is merely a statutory privilege. Since, by express mandate of
Article 247 of the Family Code, all judgments rendered in summary judicial
proceedings in Family Law are immediately final and executory, the right to
appeal was not granted to any of the parties therein. The Republic of the
Philippines, as oppositor in the petition for declaration of presumptive death,
should not be treated differently. It had no right to appeal the RTC decision of
November 7, 2001.

When the OSG filed its notice of appeal under Rule 42, it availed itself of the wrong remedy. As
a result, the running of the period for filing of a Petition for Certiorari continued to run and was
not tolled. Upon lapse of that period, the Decision of the RTC could no longer be questioned.
Consequently, petitioner's contention that respondent has failed to establish a well-founded
belief that his absentee spouse is dead" may no longer be entertained by this Court.




G.R. No. 171557 February 12, 2014
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, Petitioner,
vs.
RODOLFO O. DE GRACIA, Respondent
Facts:
Rodolfo and Natividad were married on February 15, 1969 in Zamboanga del Norte.
Their marriage begot them two children. After leaving for the Army, Rodolfo alleged that
Natividad left the conjugal home and lived with two different men at two different times. He
further avers that despite efforts to work the marriage out, the same proved to be futile. Thus he
filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of their marriage before the RTC alleging that
Natividad is phsychologically incapacitated to comply with her essential marital obligations. Trial
ensued and based on the psychiatric evaluation of Dr. Zalsos finding that both of Natividad and
Rodoldo were psychologically incapacitated to comply with their essential marital obligations
and further stating that such was already exhibited even at the time of the celebration of their
marriage, the RTC declared the marriage void.
The CA affirmed the RTCs decision upon appeal by petitioner.
Issue: Whether the marriage between Rodolfo and Natividad were void on the ground of
psychological incapacity.
Held: Negative.
"Psychological incapacity," as a ground to nullify a marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code,
should refer to no less than a mental not merely physical incapacity that causes a party to
be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenants that concomitantly must be assumed and
discharged by the parties to the marriage which, as so expressed in Article 68 of the Family
Code, among others, include their mutual obligations to live together, observe love, respect and
fidelity and render help and support. There is hardly any doubt that the intendment of the law
has been to confine the meaning of "psychological incapacity" to the most serious cases of
personality disorders clearly demonstrative of an utter insensitivity or inability to give meaning
and significance to the marriage. In Santos v. CA (Santos), the Court first declared that
psychological incapacity must be characterized by: (a) gravity (i.e., it must be grave and serious
such that the party would be incapable of carrying out the ordinary duties required in a
marriage); (b) juridical antecedence (i.e., it must be rooted in the history of the party antedating
the marriage, although the overt manifestations may emerge only after the marriage); and (c)
incurability (i.e., it must be incurable, or even if it were otherwise, the cure would be beyond the
means of the party involved). The Court laid down more definitive guidelines in the interpretation
and application of Article 36 of the Family Code in Republic of the Phils. v. CA, whose salient
points are footnoted hereunder. These guidelines incorporate the basic requirements that the
Court established in Santos.
Keeping with these principles, the Court, in Dedel v. CA, held that therein respondents
emotional immaturity and irresponsibility could not be equated with psychological incapacity as
it was not shown that these acts are manifestations of a disordered personality which make her
completely unable to discharge the essential marital obligations of the marital state, not merely
due to her youth, immaturity or sexual promiscuity. In the same light, the Court, in the case of
Pesca v. Pesca (Pesca), ruled against a declaration of nullity, as petitioner therein "utterly failed,
both in her allegations in the complaint and in her evidence, to make out a case of psychological
incapacity on the part of respondent, let alone at the time of solemnization of the contract, so as
to warrant a declaration of nullity of the marriage," significantly noting that the "[e]motional
immaturity and irresponsibility, invoked by her, cannot be equated with psychological
incapacity." In Pesca, the Court upheld the appellate courts finding that the petitioner therein
had not established that her husband "showed signs of mental incapacity as would cause him to
be truly incognitive of the basic marital covenant, as so provided for in Article 68 of the Family
Code; that the incapacity is grave, has preceded the marriage and is incurable; that his
incapacity to meet his marital responsibility is because of a psychological, not physical illness;
that the root cause of the incapacity has been identified medically or clinically, and has been
proven by an expert; and that the incapacity is permanent and incurable in nature."
The Court maintains a similar view in this case.1wphi1 Based on the evidence presented,
there exists insufficient factual or legal basis to conclude that Natividads emotional immaturity,
irresponsibility, or even sexual promiscuity, can be equated with psychological incapacity.




























G.R. No. 171904 August 7, 2013
BOBBY TAN, PETITIONER,
vs.
GRACE ANDRADE, PROCESO ANDRADE, JR., CHARITY A. SANTIAGO, HENRY
ANDRADE, ANDREW ANDRADE, JASMIN BLAZA, GLORY ANDRADE, MIRIAM ROSE
ANDRADE, AND JOSEPH ANDRADE,RESPONDENTS.
x - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - x
G.R. No. 172017
GRACE ANDRADE, CHARITY A. SANTIAGO, HENRY ANDRADE, ANDREW ANDRADE,
JASMIN BLAZA, MIRIAM ROSE ANDRADE, AND JOSEPH ANDRADE, PETITIONERS,
vs.
BOBBY TAN, RESPONDENT
Facts:
Rosario Vda. De Andrade (Rosario) was the registered owner of four parcels of land known as
Lots 17, 18, 19, and 20

situated in Cebu City (subject properties) which she mortgaged to and
subsequently foreclosed by one Simon Diu (Simon).

When the redemption period was about to
expire, Rosario sought the assistance of Bobby Tan (Bobby) who agreed to redeem the subject
properties. Thereafter, Rosario sold the same to Bobby and her son, Proceso Andrade, Jr.
(Proceso, Jr.), for P100,000.00 as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale

dated April 29, 1983
(subject deed of sale). On July 26, 1983, Proceso, Jr. executed a Deed of Assignment, ceding
unto Bobby his rights and interests over the subject properties in consideration of P50,000.00.
The Deed of Assignment was signed by, among others, Henry Andrade (Henry), one of
Rosarios sons, as instrumental witness. Notwithstanding the aforementioned Deed of
Assignment, Bobby extended an Option to Buy the subject properties in favor of Proceso, Jr.,
giving the latter until 7:00 in the evening of July 31, 1984 to purchase the same for the sum
of P310,000.00. When Proceso, Jr. failed to do so, Bobby consolidated his ownership over the
subject properties, and the TCTs therefor were issued in his name.
Fourteen years later, Rosarios children (petitioners in Gr. No. 172017) filed a complaint for
reconveyance and annulment of deeds of conveyance and damages against Bobby before the
RTC. In their complaint, one of the arguments they maintain is that, since the subject properties
were inherited by them from their father, Proceso Andrade, Sr. (Proceso, Sr.), the subject
properties were conjugal in nature, and thus, Rosario had no right to dispose of their respective
shares therein. In this light, they argued that they remained as co-owners of the subject
properties together with Bobby, despite the issuance of the TCTs in his name.
The RTC ruled that the subject transaction was an equitable mortgage, that the subject
properties were exclusive properties of Rosario, and that the action has already prescribed. The
CA affirmed the RTCs ruling except that it reversed its finding as to the nature of the properties.
The CA held that the properties were conjugal.
Issue: Whether the nature of the subject properties are exclusive properties of Rosario thereby
allowing her to dispose of the same without any inhibitions or whether they pertain to the
conjugal properties of Rosario and her deceased husband thereby entitling the children to retain
their ownership therewith.
Held: The subject properties are exclusive properties of Rosario.
In this case, records reveal that the conjugal partnership of Rosario and her husband was
terminated upon the latters death on August 7, 1978 while the transfer certificates of title over
the subject properties were issued on September 28, 1979 and solely in the name of "Rosario
Vda. de Andrade, of legal age, widow, Filipino." Other than their bare allegation, no evidence
was adduced by the Andrades to establish that the subject properties were procured during the
coverture of their parents or that the same were bought with conjugal funds. Moreover,
Rosarios declaration that she is the absolute owner of the disputed parcels of land in the
subject deed of sale

was not disputed by her son Proceso, Jr., who was a party to the same.
Hence, by virtue of these incidents, the Court upholds the RTCs finding that the subject
properties were exclusive or sole properties of Rosario.
Rationale: Article 160 of the Civil Code

xxx states that "[a]ll property of the marriage is
presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it pertains exclusively
to the husband or to the wife." For this presumption to apply, the party invoking the same must,
however, preliminarily prove that the property was indeed acquired during the marriage. As held
in Go v. Yamane:
x x x As a condition sine qua non for the operation of [Article 160] in favor of the conjugal
partnership, the party who invokes the presumption must first prove that the property was
acquired during the marriage.
In other words, the presumption in favor of conjugality does not operate if there is no showing of
when the property alleged to be conjugal was acquired. Moreover, the presumption may be
rebutted only with strong, clear, categorical and convincing evidence. There must be strict proof
of the exclusive ownership of one of the spouses, and the burden of proof rests upon the party
asserting it.
























Succession Case Digest
Tiggangay vs. Judge Wacas, April 1, 2013
Facts:
During the May 14, 2007 election, Tiggangay and Dagadag ran for a mayoralty position
at Tanudan, Kalinga. Tiggangay lost at a slim margin of 158 votes. Following Dagadags
proclamation, Tiggangay filed an electoral protest and the case was raffled to the sala of Judge
Wacas. Judge wacas ruled in favour of Dagadag with a modification that Tiggangay actually lost
by 97 votes. On appeal to the COMELEC Second Division, the RTC decision was affirmed. The
COMELEC En Banc dismissed the motion for reconsideration.
It was then at this point that Tiggangay filed his verified letter-complaint charging Judge
Wacas with Impropriety and Partiality. He alleged that he learned that Judge Wacas is
Dagadags second cousin by affinity, the formers aunt is married to an uncle of Dagadag. The
Court Administrator recommended the dismissal of the complaint which was concurred in by the
CA.
Issue:
3. How does a person become a relative by affinity or consanguinity according to the
provisions of the New Civil Code and Family Code?
4. Whether the invocation of the said affinity or relationship of Dagadag (the winning
candidate) to that of Judge Wacas (who rendered the decision on the electoral protest)
is true, and if in the affirmative, does it have a material bearing to actually indict the said
Judge for impropriety and partiality and even, to prevent him from hearing the electoral
protest?
Held:
3. Affinity denotes the relation that one spouse has to the blood relatives of the other
spouse. It is a relationship by marriage or a familial relation resulting from marriage. It is
a fictive kinship, a fiction created by law in connection with the institution of marriage and
family relations. Relationship by affinity refers to a relation by virtue of a legal bond such
as marriage. Relatives by affinity, therefore, are those commonly referred to as in-laws,
or stepfather, stepmother, stepchild and the like.
Affinity may also be defined as the relation which one spouse because of marriage has
to blood relatives of the other. The connection existing, in consequence of marriage
between each of the married persons and the kindred of the other. The doctrine of
affinity grows out of the canonical maxim that marriage makes husband and wife one.
The husband has the same relation by affinity to his wifes blood relatives as she has by
consanguinity and vice versa. Indeed, there is no affinity between the blood relatives of
one spouse and the blood relatives of the other. A husband is related by affinity to his
wifes brother, but not to the wife of his wifes brother. There is no affinity between the
husbands brother and the wifes sister; this is called affinitas affinitatis.
4. In the instant case, considering that Judge Wacas is related to his aunt by consanguinity
in the third degree, it follows by virtue of the marriage of his aunt to the uncle of
Dagadag that Judge Wacas is the nephew-in-law of the uncle of Dagadag, i.e., a
relationship by affinity in the third degree. But Judge Wacas is not related by affinity to
the blood relatives of the uncle of Dagadag as they are not his in-laws and, thus, are not
related in any way to Dagadag. In like manner, Dagadag is the nephew-in-law of the
aunt of Judge Wacas but is not related by affinity to the blood relatives of Judge Wacas
aunt, like Judge Wacas. In short, there is no relationship by affinity between Judge
Wacas and Dagadag as they are not in-laws of each other. Thus, Judge Wacas is not
disqualified under Sec. 1 of Rule 137 to hear Election Case No. 40.


Case Digest in Property
January 15, 2014
SPOUSES BERNADETTE and RODULFO VILBAR, Petitioners,
vs.
ANGELITO L. OPINION, Respondent.
Facts:
Spouses Vilbar and Dulos Realty executed a Contract to Sell over Lot 20 in Airmens Village,
Las Pinas City on July 10, 1979 while a Deed of Absolute Sale was also executed between the
two parties, together with another co-purchaser, over Lot 21. These lands were covered by
TCTs but were never registered in the name of the spouses even after full payment of the loan
contracted by the spouses with the Development Bank of the Philippines and the further
cancellation of the real estate mortgage over Lot 20 which stood to secure the loan obtained by
the spouses from the said bank.
Angelito Opinion on the other hand, maintains that he became the owner of the subject lots
through an extrajudicial foreclosure sale when the Gorospes failed in their obligation to pay the
loan contracted by them with the former on January 12, 1995. The TCTs that were acquired by
Opinion through said extrajudicial foreclosure sale were later on cancelled and new ones issued
in his name. Opinion avers that he never questioned the title of the Gorospes and the continued
settlement of Spouses Vilbar was tolerated because of his knowledge that the same is just for
tenancy.
The trial court ruled in favor of Opinion and the CA concurred therewith. Thus, this petition.
Issue: Who between the parties has a better right over the subject lots?
Held: The Court ruled in favor of Opinion.
xxx the Court recognizes "[t]he settled rule that levy on attachment, duly registered, takes
preference over a prior unregistered sale. This result is a necessary consequence of the fact
that the [properties] involved [were] duly covered by the Torrens system which works under the
fundamental principle that registration is the operative act which gives validity to the transfer or
creates a lien upon the land."
This Court also treats Opinion as a buyer in good faith. Admittedly, Opinion stated that prior to
the execution of the mortgage, he only went to Lots 20 and 21 once and saw that the properties
had occupants. He likewise admitted that he never talked to the spouses Vilbar and Guingon to
determine the nature of their possession of the properties, but merely relied on the
representation of Gorospe, Sr. that the occupants were mere tenants. He never bothered to
request for any kind of proof, documentary or otherwise, to confirm this claim. Nevertheless, this
Court agrees with the CA that Opinion is not required to go beyond the Torrens title, viz:
Contrary to the [Spouses Vilbars] claim, [Opinion] was never remiss in his duty of ensuring that
the Gorospes had clean title over the property. [Opinion] had even conducted an investigation.
He had, in this regard, no reason not to believe in the assurance of the Gorospes, more so that
the claimed right of [Spouses Vilbar] was never annotated on the certificate of title covering lot
20, because it is settled that a party dealing with a registered land does not have to inquire
beyond the Certificate of Title in determining the true owner thereof, and in guarding or
protecting his interest, for all that he has to look into and rely on are the entries in the Certificate
of Title.
87

Inarguably, Opinion acted in good faith in dealing with the registered owners of the properties.
He relied on the titles presented to him, which were confirmed by the Registry of Deeds to be
authentic, issued in accordance with the law, and without any liens or encumbrances
G.R. No. 190106 January 15, 2014
MAGDALENA T. VILLASI, Petitioner,
vs.
FILOMENO GARCIA, substituted by his heirs, namely, ERMELINDA H. GARCIA, LIZA
GARCIA-GONZALEZ, THERESA GARCIA-TIANGSON, MARIVIC H. GARCIA, MARLENE
GARCIA-MOMIN, GERARDO H. GARCIA, GIDEON H. GARCIA and GENEROSO H. GARCIA,
and ERMELINDA H. GARCIA, Respondents
Facts:
Sometime in 1990, Petitioner Villasi engaged the services of Fil-Garcia Construction, Inc. (FGCI)
to construct a seven-storey condominium building located at Aurora Boulevard corner N.
Domingo Street, Cubao, Quezon City. FGCI alleged that there was failure on Villasis part to pay
the accomplishment billings so the former filed a suit for collection of sum of money against the
latter. Villasi, on her part, maintains that it was FGCI that failed to complete the construction of
the said building. The trial court ruled in favour of FGCI. On appeal, the CA reversed the trial
courts ruling and even found that Villasi paid an excess amount to FGCI. After the judgment
became final and executory, Villasi moved for the execution of the judgment in her favour. The
sheriff, in order to satisfy the judgment levied on a building located at No. 140 Kalayaan Avenue,
Quezon City, covered by Tax Declaration No. D-021-01458, and built in the lots registered
under Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. 379193 and 379194. While the building was
declared for taxation purposes in the name of FGCI, the lots in which it was erected were
registered in the names of the Spouses Filomeno Garcia and Ermelinda Halili-Garcia (Spouses
Garcia). The Spouses Garcia then filed a terceria in order to assert their rights as third party
claimants.
Issue: When there is a clear showing that the land in question is owned by the third party
claimants (Spouses Garcia) while the building thereon is owned by the FGCI, does ownership
vests only upon one of them?
Held: No. While it is a hornbook doctrine that the accessory follows the principal, that is, the
ownership of the property gives the right by accession to everything which is produced thereby,
or which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially,
32
such rule is not
without exception. In cases where there is a clear and convincing evidence to prove that the
principal and the accessory are not owned by one and the same person or entity, the
presumption shall not be applied and the actual ownership shall be upheld. In a number of
cases, we recognized the separate ownership of the land from the building and brushed aside
the rule that accessory follows the principal.
In Carbonilla v. Abiera,

we denied the claim of petitioner that, as the owner of the land, he is
likewise the owner of the building erected thereon, for his failure to present evidence to buttress
his position:
To set the record straight, while petitioner may have proven his ownership of the land, as there
can be no other piece of evidence more worthy of credence than a Torrens certificate of title, he
failed to present any evidence to substantiate his claim of ownership or right to the possession
of the building. Like the CA, we cannot accept the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement of Estate
(Residential Building) with Waiver and Quitclaim of Ownership executed by the Garcianos as
proof that petitioner acquired ownership of the building. There is no showing that the Garcianos
were the owners of the building or that they had any proprietary right over it. Ranged against
respondents proof of possession of the building since 1977, petitioners evidence pales in
comparison and leaves us totally unconvinced.
34

xxx
The rule on accession is not an iron-clad dictum. On instances where this Court was confronted
with cases requiring judicial determination of the ownership of the building separate from the lot,
it never hesitated to disregard such rule. The case at bar is of similar import. When there are
factual and evidentiary evidence to prove that the building and the lot on which it stands are
owned by different persons, they shall be treated separately. As such, the building or the lot, as
the case may be, can be made liable to answer for the obligation of its respective owner.





























G.R. No. 193517 January 15, 2014
THE HEIRS OF VICTORINO SARILI, NAMELY: ISABEL A. SARILI,* MELENCIA** S.
MAXIMO, ALBERTO A. SARILI, IMELDA S. HIDALGO, all herein represented by CELSO A.
SARILI, Petitioners,
vs.
PEDRO F. LAGROSA, represented in this act by his Attorney-in-Fact LOURDES LABIOS
MOJICA,Respondent
Facts:
Respondent Lagrosa claims that he is the owner of a certain parcel of land situated in Caloocan
City covered by a TCT and that, he has been reliosiously paying the real estate taxes therefor
since its acquisition on November 29, 1974. He further alleged that he is a resident of California
and that during his vacation in the Philippiens, he discovered that a new certificate of title of the
subject property was issued in the name of Victorino married to Isabel Amparo by virtue of a
falsified Deed of Absolute Sale dated February 16, 1978 purportedly executed by him and his
wife.
Spouses Sarili, on the other hand maintained that they are innocent purchasers for value,
having purchased the subject property from Ramon B. Rodriguez, who possessed and
presented a Special Power of Attorney to sell/dispose of the same, and in such capacity,
executed a Deed of Absolute Sale dated November 20, 1992 notwithstanding the fact that there
has been an irregularity in the acknowledgement made before the Notary Public.
Issue: Whether Spouses Sarili, in building a house on the subject property of the case, having
knowledge of the fact of the irregularity in their Deed of Sale, may be considered as builders in
good faith within the contemplation of the New Civil Code?
Held: The Spouses are not builders in good faith.
The Court, however, finds a need to remand the case to the court a quo in order to determine
the rights and obligations of the parties with respect to the house Sps. Sarili had built
59
on the
subject property in bad faith in accordance with Article 449 in relation to Articles 450, 451, 452,
and the first paragraph of Article 546 of the Civil Code which respectively read as follows:
ART. 449. He who builds, plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built,
planted or sown without right to indemnity.
ART. 450. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, planted or sown in bad faith
may demand the demolition of the work, or that the planting or sowing be removed, in order to
replace things in their former condition at the expense of the person who built, planted or sowed;
or he may compel the builder or planter to pay the price of the land, and the sower the proper
rent.
ART. 451. In the cases of the two preceding articles, the landowner is entitled to damages from
the builder, planter or sower.
ART. 452. The builder, planter or sower in bad faith is entitled to reimbursement for the
necessary expenses of preservation of the land.
x x x x
ART. 546. Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every possessor; but only the possessor in
good faith may retain the thing until he has been reimbursed therefor. (Emphases and
underscoring supplied)
x x x x
To be deemed a builder in good faith, it is essential that a person asserts title to the land on
which he builds, i.e. , that he be a possessor in concept of owner, and that he be unaware that
there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.
60
Good faith is an
intangible and abstract quality with no technical meaning or statutory definition, and it
encompasses, among other things, an honest belief, the absence of malice and the absence of
design to defraud or to seek an unconscionable advantage. It implies honesty of intention, and
freedom from knowledge of circumstances which ought to put the holder upon inquiry.
61
As for
Sps. Sarili, they knew or at the very least, should have known from the very beginning that
they were dealing with a person who possibly had no authority to sell the subject property
considering the palpable irregularity in the subject SPAs acknowledgment. Yet, relying solely on
said document and without any further investigation on Ramoss capacity to sell Sps. Sarili still
chose to proceed with its purchase and even built a house thereon. Based on the foregoing it
cannot be seriously doubted that Sps. Sarili were actually aware of a flaw or defect in their title
or mode of acquisition and have consequently built the house on the subject property in bad
faith under legal contemplation. The case is therefore remanded to the court a quo for the
proper application of the above-cited Civil Code provisions.























G.R. No. 175874 December 11, 2013
HEIRS OF CIPRIANO TRAZONA, Namely: FRANCISCA T. MATBAGON, NATIVIDAD T.
ABADIANO, CARLITO C. TRAZONA; and Heirs of EDELBERTO C. TRAZONA represented
by his daughter DOMICINA T. ARANAS, ELADIA T. ALICAMEN (Now Deceased)
Substituted by DOMINGO ALICAMEN, LUPECIO ALICAMEN, REBECCA ALICAMEN-
BALBUTIN, ELSEI ALICAMEN, GLENN ALICAMEN, LENNEI ALICAMEN-GEONZON,
DANILO ALICAMEN, JOVELYN ALICAMEN-VILLETA, JIMBIE ALICAMEN and
HERMOGENES C. TRAZONA (Now Deceased) Substituted by LILYBETH TRAZONA-
MANGILA, GEMMA TRAZONA, ELIZALDE TRAZONA, BOBBY TRAZONA, and
PALABIANA B. TRAZONA, Petitioners,
vs.
HEIRS OF DIONISIO CANADA, Namely: ROSITA C. GERSALINA, CONCEPTION C.
GEONZON, DANIEL CANADA, GORGONIO CANADA, LEOPOLDO CANADA, SUSANA C.
DUNGOG, LUZVIMINDA C. TABUADA, AND CEFERINA CANADA; PROVINCIAL
ASSESSOR of Cebu and MUNICIPAL ASSESSOR of Minglanilla, Cebu, Respondents.
Facts:
Cipriano Trazona is the owner of a property located in Minglanilla, Cebu, known as Lot 5053-H
is covered by Tax Declaration No. 07764 and has an area of 9,515 square meters. He acquired
said property from the government since 1940. Since then, he has taken possession of the land,
cultivated it, and paid taxes thereon.
When Dionisio Canada bought an adjacent land in 1949 from one Pilar Diaz, it was found that
the former encroached on a small portion of Lot 5053. A confrontation before the barangay
happened in 1952 wherein Dionisio offered to buy the portion encroached upon to which
Cipriano refused. In 1956, Cipriano gave his permission to Dionisio for the latter to build a house
thereon to which it still stands. No ejectment case was instituted during Ciprianos lifetime
against Dionisio and his family.
The controversy arose in 1997 when the heirs of Cipriano found out that there has been a
cancellation of Tax Declaration No. 00764 and another one issued in the name of Dionisio in
1996. On 28 July 1997, petitioners filed a Complaint
20
against respondents for quieting of title,
annulment of deed of sale, cancellation of Tax Declaration No. 23959, recovery of possession
and ownership, damages, and payment of attorneys fees.
The RTC ruled in favour of the heirs of Cipriano stating that the signature of Cipriano in the
Deed of Sale had been forged. On appeal, the CA reversed the lower court.
Issue: Whether Dionisio, knowing fully well of the temporary arrangement between him and
Cipriano in occupying the portion of the subject property, acted as a builder in good faith and if
in the affirmative, what expenses is he entitled of?
Held: Dionisio is a builder in bad faith thus, he is only entitled to necessary expenses.
The actual possession of Lot No. 5053-H by petitioners has been properly ruled on by the RTC.
Much has been made by the CA of the fact that respondents' house was standing on the
property. However, petitioners have explained that the house was erected only after Cipriano
permitted it.
Dionisio was then well aware that this temporary arrangement may be terminated at any time.
Respondents cannot now refuse to vacate the property or eventually demand reimbursement of
necessary and useful expenses under Articles 448 and 546 of the New Civil Code, because the
provisions apply only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., one who builds on land with the belief
that he is the owner thereof.
52
Persons who occupy land by virtue of tolerance of the owners
are not possessors in good faith.
53
Thus, the directive of the RTC for respondents to demolish
their residential house on Lot No. 5053-H was also proper.

G.R. No. 194538 November 27, 2013
MORETO MIRALLOSA and all persons claiming rights and interests under
him, Petitioner,
vs.
CARMEL DEVELOPMENT INC., Respondent.
Facts:
Respondent Carmel Development, Inc. was the registered owner of a Caloocan property known
as the Pangarap Village located at Barrio Makatipo, Caloocan City. The property has a total
land area of 156 hectares and consists of three parcels of land registered in the name of Carmel
Farms, Inc. under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. (62603) 15634, (62605) 15632 and
(64007) 15807.

The lot that petitioner presently occupies is Lot No. 32, Block No. 73 covered by
the titles above-mentioned.

On 14 September 1973, President Ferdinand Marcos issued Presidential Decree No. 293 (P.D.
293), which invalidated the titles of respondent and declared them open for disposition to the
members of the Malacaang Homeowners Association, Inc. (MHAI). On the basis of said
Decree, petitioners predecessor-in-interest, Pelagio M. Juan, a member of the MHAI, occupied
Lot No. 32 and subsequently built houses there. On the other hand, respondent was
constrained to allow the members of MHAI to also occupy the rest of Pangarap Village.
On 29 January 1988, the Supreme Court promulgated Roman Tuason and Remedio V. Tuason,
Attorney-in-fact, Trinidad S. Viado v. The Register of Deeds, Caloocan City, Ministry of Justice
and the National Treasurer

(Tuason), which declared P.D. 293 as unconstitutional and void ab
initio in all its parts.
By virtue of an affidavit executed by Pelagio Juan in favour of petitioner (but only after 7 years
from the time the Tuazon ruling was promulgated), petitioner built structures on the subject lot
and actually occupied the same. The respondent, after an unheeded demand, was constrained
to file a case for unlawful detainer against the petitioner. The MTC ruled in favour of the
respondents and ordered the petitioner to vacate the property. On appeal, the RTC reversed
MTCs ruling. The CA, on further appeal, reversed the ruling of the RTC and reinstated that of
the MTC.
Issue: Whether Petitioner Millarosa is a builder in good faith .
Held: Negative.
Petitioner may not be deemed to be a builder in good faith. Petitioner also argues that he is a
builder in good faith for want of knowledge of any infirmity in the promulgation of P.D. 293.
Being a builder in good faith, he believes that he is entitled to the reimbursement of his useful
expenses and that he has a right to retain possession of the premises, pending reimbursement
of the value of his improvements to be proven during trial, in accordance with Article 545 of the
Civil Code.
Upon perusal of the records, however, we hold that petitioner is not a builder in good faith. A
builder in good faith is one who builds with the belief that the land he is building on is his, or that
by some title one has the right to build thereon, and is ignorant of any defect or flaw in his
title. Since petitioner only started occupying the property sometime in 1995 (when his
predecessor-in-interest executed an Affidavit in his favor), or about seven years after Tuason
was promulgated, he should have been aware of the binding effect of that ruling. Since all
judicial decisions form part of the law of the land, its existence should be on one hand, x x x
matter of mandatory judicial notice; on the other, ignorantia. legis non excusat. He thus loses
whatever he has built on the property, without right to indemnity, in accordance with Article 449
of the Civil Code.


G.R. No. 171937 November 25, 2013
CERILA J. CALANASAN, represented by TEODORA J. CALANASAN as Attorney-in-
Fact, Petitioner,
vs.
SPOUSES VIRGILIO DOLORITO and EVELYN C. DOLORITO, Respondents.
Facts:
Petitioner Calanasan took care of her orphan niece Respondent Evelyn Dolorita since the latter
was a child. In 1982, when Evelyn was already married to Virgilio Dolorita, the petitioner
donated to Evelyn a parcel of land which had earlier been mortgaged for Php 15,000.00 subject
to the following conditions: that Evelyn must redeem the land and that the petitioner was entitled
to possess and anjoy the property as long as she lived. Evelyn accepted the donation and its
terms in the same deed. Evelyn was able to fulfil the two conditions set forth in the deed.
On August 15, 2002, the petitioner, assisted by her sister Teodora J. Calanasan, complained
with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) that Evelyn had committed acts of ingratitude against her.
She prayed that her donation in favor of her niece be revoked; in their answer, the respondents
denied the commission of any act of ingratitude.
The petitioner died while the case was pending with the RTC. Her sisters, Teodora and Dolores
J. Calanasan, substituted for her.
After the petitioner had rested her case, the respondents filed a demurrer to evidence.
According to them, the petitioner failed to prove that it was Evelyn who committed acts of
ingratitude against the petitioner; thus, Article 765 of the New Civil Code found no application in
the case.
The RTC ruled in favour of the respondents herein. On appeal, the CA affirmed the TCs
decision but with modification. The CA found that the donation was inter vivos and onerous thus
should be governed by the rules on ordinary contracts and Article 765 finds no application in the
case.
Issue:
1. What rule properly governs the above-mentioned donation?
2. If in the affirmative, since the redemption price paid by the respondent exceeded that which is
required by law, does the petitioner have the right to cancel the donation made on the excess
portion?
Held:
1. The CA is correct in its findings that the rule on ordinary contracts governs the present
case.
A pure/simple donation is the truest form of donation as it is based on pure gratuity. The
remuneratory/compensatory type has for its purpose the rewarding of the donee for past
services, which services do not amount to a demandable debt. A conditional/modal donation, on
the other hand, is a consideration for future services; it also occurs where the donor imposes
certain conditions, limitations or charges upon the donee, whose value is inferior to the donation
given. Lastly, an onerous donation imposes upon the donee a reciprocal obligation; this is made
for a valuable consideration whose cost is equal to or more than the thing donated.
12

In De Luna v. Judge Abrigo,
13
we recognized the distinct, albeit old, characterization of onerous
donations when we declared: Under the old Civil Code, it is a settled rule that donations with an
onerous cause are governed not by the law on donations but by the rules on contracts, as held
in the cases of Carlos v. Ramil L-6736, September 5, 1911, 20 Phil. 183, Manalo vs. de Mesa L-
9449, February 12, 1915, 29 Phil. 495."
14
In the same case, we emphasized the retention of the
treatment of onerous types of donation, thus: "The same rules apply under the New Civil Code
as provided in Article 733 thereof which provides:
Article 733. Donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts, and
remuneratory donations by the provisions of the present Title as regards that portion which
exceeds the value of the burden imposed."
15

We agree with the CA that since the donation imposed on the donee the burden of redeeming
the property forP15,000.00, the donation was onerous. As an endowment for a valuable
consideration, it partakes of the nature of an ordinary contract; hence, the rules of contract will
govern and Article 765 of the New Civil Code finds no application with respect to the onerous
portion of the donation.
2. No, the petitioner does not have the right to have the donation pertaining to the
gratuitous portion cancelled.
Insofar as the value of the land exceeds the redemption price paid for by the donee, a donation
exists, and the legal provisions on donation apply. Nevertheless, despite the applicability of the
provisions on donation to the gratuitous portion, the petitioner may not dissolve the donation.
She has no factual and legal basis for its revocation, as aptly established by the RTC. First, the
ungrateful acts were committed not by the donee; it was her husband who committed them.
Second, the ungrateful acts were perpetrated not against the donor; it was the petitioner's sister
who received the alleged ill treatments. These twin considerations place the case out of the
purview of Article 765 of the New Civil Code.


















G.R. Nos. 187308 & 187517 September 18, 2013
HILARIA BAGAYAS, Petitioner,
vs.
ROGELIO BAGAYAS, FELICIDAD BAGAYAS, ROSALINA BAGAYAS, MICHAEL BAGAYAS,
and MARIEL BAGAYAS, Respondents
Facts:
Petitioner Hilaria Bagayas is found to be the legally adopted child of Maximino and Eligia. This
fact was established by the RTC of Tarlac when petitioner instituted an action for partition and
annulment of sale of a purportedly falsified deed of sale (which resulted to the issuance of TCT
Nos. 375657 and 375658) executed by the said parents in favour of their biological children,
Rogelio and Orlando. The falsification pertains to the forgery of Eligias signature as it was
alleged that it is impossible for her to sign the deed as she was already dead the time it was
executed. The RTC ruled that Eligia's signature thereon was a mere surplusage, as the subject
lands belonged exclusively to Maximino who could alienate the same without the consent of his
wife.

It was further held that even though petitioner is an adopted child, she could not ask for
partition of the subject lands as she was not able to prove any of the instances that would
invalidate the deed of absolute sale. Also, the action for annulment of sale was improper as it
constituted a collateral attack on the title of Rogelio and Orlando.

A motion for reconsideration was

denied by the RTC through a resolution. Petitioner did not
appeal the Resolution and so, it became final. The petitioner then instituted twin petitions before
the same RTC for the amendment of TCT Nos. 375657 and 375658 to include her name and
those of her heirs and successors-in-interest as registered owners to the extent of one-third of
the lands covered therein. The petitions were dismissed on the ground of res judicata.
Issue: Whether the declaration by the trial court that petitioner is indeed the adopted child of the
deceased adoptive parents resulted to her right or interest to the subject lands thereby entitling
her as co-owner to ask for partition in a petition for annulment of the falsified deed of sale.
Held:
xxx While the RTC may have made a definitive ruling on petitioner's adoption, as well as the
forgery of Eligia's signature on the questioned deed, no partition was decreed, as the action was,
in fact, dismissed. Consequently, the declaration that petitioner is the legally adopted child of
Maximino and Eligia did not amount to a declaration of heirship and co-ownership upon which
petitioner may institute an action for the amendment of the certificates of title covering the
subject land. More importantly, the Court has consistently ruled that the trial court cannot make
a declaration of heirship in an ordinary civil action, for matters relating to the rights of filiation
and heirship must be ventilated in a special proceeding instituted precisely for the purpose of
determining such rights.
Second. Petitioner cannot avail of the summary proceedings under Section 108 of PD 1529
because the present controversy involves not the amendment of the certificates of title issued in
favor of Rogelio and Orlando but the partition of the estate of Maximino and Eligia who are both
deceased. As held in Philippine Veterans Bank v. Valenzuela,

the prevailing rule is that
proceedings under Section 108 of PD 1529 are summary in nature, contemplating corrections or
insertions of mistakes which are only clerical but certainly not controversial issues.

Relief under
said legal provision can only be granted if there is unanimity among the parties, or hat there is
no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of any party in interest. This is now the
controlling precedent, and the Court should no longer digress from such ruling. Therefore,
petitioner may not avail of the remedy provided under Section 108 of PD 1529.



G.R. No. 181359 August 5, 2013
SPOUSES CLEMENCIO C. SABITSANA, JR. and MA. ROSARIO M.
SABITSANA, Petitioners,
vs.
JUANITO F. MUERTEGUI, represented by his Attorney-in-Fact DOMINGO A. MUERTEGUI,
JR., Respondent.
Facts:
An unnotarized Deed of Sale was executed by Alberto Garcia in favour of Juanito Muertegui
over a parcel of unregistered land located in Biliran, Leyte del Norte in 1981. Juanito;s father
Domingo Muertegui, Sr. And brother Domingo Jr. Took actual possession of the lot and planted
thereon coconut and ipil-ipil trees. They also paid the real property taxes on said lot. However,
in the year 1991, Garcia sold the lot to the Muertegui family lawyer, Atty. Clemencio C.
Sabitsana, Jr., through a notarized deed of absolute sale. The sale was registered with the
Register of Deeds and a new Certificate of Title was thereafter issued in the name of Atty.
Sabitsana. The heirs of Domingo Sr., when the latter passed away, applied for registration of
the lot under the Public Land Act. The same was opposed by Atty. Sabitsana.
Issue:
1. Whether the action to quiet title is lodged with first level courts considering the fact that
the assessed value of the land is only Php 1,230.00.

2. What law applies to the case at bar? Is it Article 1544 of the New civil Code or Act 3344?

3. Pursuant to the proper law applicable to the case at bar, who, then is the rightful owner
of the subject lot?

Held:
1.xxx an action for quieting of title may be instituted in the RTCs, regardless of the assessed
value of the real property in dispute. Under Rule 63 of the Rules of Court,

an action to quiet title
to real property or remove clouds therefrom may be brought in the appropriate RTC.
It must be remembered that the suit for quieting of title was prompted by petitioners August 24,
1998 letter-opposition to respondents application for registration. Thus, in order to prevent a
cloud from being cast upon his application for a title, respondent filed Civil Case No. B-1097 to
obtain a declaration of his rights. In this sense, the action is one for declaratory relief, which
properly falls within the jurisdiction of the RTC pursuant to Rule 63 of the Rules.

2.What applies in this case is Act No. 3344, as amended, which provides for the system of
recording of transactions over unregistered real estate. Act No. 3344 expressly declares that
any registration made shall be without prejudice to a third party with a better right.

3.Respondent has a better right to the lot.
The sale to respondent Juanito was executed on September 2, 1981 via an unnotarized deed of
sale, while the sale to petitioners was made via a notarized document only on October 17, 1991,
or ten years thereafter. Thus, Juanito who was the first buyer has a better right to the lot, while
the subsequent sale to petitioners is null and void, because when it was made, the seller Garcia
was no longer the owner of the lot. Nemo dat quod non habet.
The fact that the sale to Juanito was not notarized does not alter anything, since the sale
between him and Garcia remains valid nonetheless. Notarization, or the requirement of a public
document under the Civil Code, is only for convenience, and not for validity or
enforceability. And because it remained valid as between Juanito and Garcia, the latter no
longer had the right to sell the lot to petitioners, for his ownership thereof had ceased.
Nor can petitioners registration of their purchase have any effect on Juanitos rights. The mere
registration of a sale in ones favor does not give him any right over the land if the vendor was
no longer the owner of the land, having previously sold the same to another even if the earlier
sale was unrecorded. Neither could it validate the purchase thereof by petitioners, which is null
and void. Registration does not vest title; it is merely the evidence of such title. Our land
registration laws do not give the holder any better title than what he actually has.











































G.R. No. 200858 August 7, 2013
NATIONAL HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER,
vs.
CORAZON B. BAELLO, WILHELMINA BAELLO-SOTTO, AND ERNESTO B. BAELLO,
JR., RESPONDENTS.
Facts: In 1951, Pedro Baello and Nicanora Baello inherited from their mother a land situated in
Sitio Talisay, Municipality of Caloocan. In a decision, the RTC established that indeed, Pedro
and Nicanora were the lawful owners of the land and an order for partition (2/3 and 1/3
respectively was rendered by the court. Pursuant to said order, the Director of the Bureau of
Lands issued the respective Original Certificate of Title. Soon, Pedro and Nicanora died and
the former was survived by 32 heirs.

In 1974, during the Martial Law regime of President Marcos, a Presidential Decree was issued
which aims to transform lands into industrial/commercial and residential purposes. One of the
lands overtaken by the National Housing Authority (NHA) pertains to the lands that the Baellos
have title to.

After the EDSA People Power, the heirs (respondents herein) moved that the lands in which
they have title to be partitioned to them. The trial court as well as the Court of Appeals ruled in
favour of the heirs of the Baellos. The courts even ordered that damages be awarded to the
heirs because of the forcible and unlawful taking of their lands.

Issue: Whether the NHA acted in bad faith when it forcibly ousted the Baello and Rodriguez
families from their lands pursuant to a Presidential Decree by former President Marcos.

If in the affirmative, what is the consequence of it (NHA) being a builder in bad faith?


Held:
In light of our foregoing disquisitions, it is evident that the petitioner acted in gross bad faith
when it took possession of the property in 1976, introduced improvements thereon and
disposed of said property despite knowledge that the ownership thereof pertained to the
respondents.
In determining whether a builder acted in good faith, the rule stated in Article 526 of the New
Civil Code shall apply.
ART. 526. He is deemed a possessor in good faith who is not aware that there exists in his title
or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.
He is deemed a possessor in bad faith who possesses in any case contrary to the foregoing.
In this case, no less than the trial court in Civil Case No. C-169 declared that the petitioner not
only acted in bad faith, but also violated the Constitution:
And the Court cannot disregard the fact that despite persistent urging by the defendants for a
negotiated settlement of the properties taken by plaintiff before the present action was filed,
plaintiff failed to give even the remaining UNAWARDED lots for the benefit of herein defendants
who are still the registered owners. Instead, plaintiff opted to expropriate them after having
taken possession of said properties for almost fourteen (14) years.
xxx

Again, it was already established that the NHA acted in bad faith.The NHA also raised the same
issue in G.R. No. 143230. Having established that the NHA acted in bad faith, the Court of
Appeals did not err in sustaining the award of damages and attorneys fees to respondents.
The issue of reimbursement was also raised in G.R. No. 143230 where the NHA alleged that
the Court of Appeals gravely erred in ruling that it was a builder in bad faith and therefore, not
entitled to reimbursement of the improvement it introduced on the property. Article 449 of the
Civil Code applies in this case. It states:
Art. 449. He who builds, plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built,
planted or sown without right of indemnity.
Thus, under Article 449 of the Civil Code, the NHA is not entitled to be reimbursed of the
expenses incurred in the development of respondents property.







































G.R. No. 170677 October 24, 2012
VSD REALTY & DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner,
vs.
UNIWIDE SALES, INC. and DOLORES BAELLO TEJADA, Respondents.
Facts:

This case involves a certain property allegedly owned by two different owners. The
established facts go to say that Petitioner VSD Realty & Development Corporation is a holder of
a title of a land which it previously purchased from one Felisa Bonifacio which on the other hand
had gotten her title by virtue of an order authorizing the segregation of the same in Land
Registration Commission (LRC) Case No. C-3288.

Respondent Dolores Baello Tejada, on the other hand, avers that the subject land was
bequeathed to her through a will by her adoptive mother. When her will was duly approved by
the probate, she then moved to register the title in her name to which a Transfer Certificate of
Title was issued. She then contracted a lease agreement with Uniwide wherein the latter
constructed a building thereon in the amount of Php 200,000,000.00.

The trial court ruled in favour of VSD Realty on the basis of the testimonial evidences it
had presented in court during the proceedings when it instituted a suit against the respondents
herein for the annulment of title held by the latter as well as reconveyance of the subject
property. On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the trial courts ruling and instead held that
the burden of proving whether an opponents title to the property rests on the evidence of the
plaintiff to which VSD Realty failed to substantiate.

Issues:
1. Whether the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that substantial evidence had not been
presented by herein petitioner in order to establish the fact that it is indeed the rightful
and lawful owner of the subject property.

2. Whether Uniwide, being a lessee of the subject land, would be entitled to reimbursement
of the improvements established therein if it is proved that the lessor (Baello) does not
actually have a rightful title to the property.

Held:

On the first issue, the court of Appeals indeed erred in reversing the trial courts ruling:

The Court holds that petitioner was able to establish through documentary and testimonial
evidence that the technical description of its Torrens title covers the property that is being
occupied by respondent Uniwide by virtue of a lease contract with respondent Baello. A
comparison of the technical description of the land covered by the title of petitioner and the
technical description of the land covered by the title of Baello shows that they are not the same.
TCT No. 285312 registered in the name of petitioner reads:
IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that certain land situated in Caloocan City, Philippines, bounded
and described as follows:
A parcel of land (Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A of the subd. plan Psd-706, LRC x x x situated in
Balintawak, Caloocan, Rizal. Bounded on the E., along line 1-2, by Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-D, on the
SE., along line 2-3 by Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-B, both of the subd. plan and on the SW., NW., along
line 3-4-1 by Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-6, Beginning at a point marked "1" on plan being N. 69 deg. 07E.,
1,306.21m. from BLLM No. 1, Caloocan thence; S. 01 deg. 46W., 25.16 m. to point 2; S 65 deg.
116.78 m. to point 3; N. 23 deg. 12W., 23.85 m. to point 4; N. 65 deg. 57E. 127.39 m. to the
point of beginning; containing an area of TWO THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR
SQUARE METERS AND EIGHTY SQ. DECIMETERS (2,834.80) more or less. All pts. referred
to are indicated on plan and are marked on the ground by P.S. old points bearings true; date of
original survey, Date of subd. survey, Dec. 29, 1922.
33

On the other hand, TCT No. (35788) 12754, registered in the name of respondent Dolores
Baello, states:
IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that certain land situated in the Municipality of Caloocan, Province
of Rizal, Philippines, bounded and described as follows:
Un terreno (Lote No. 3-A del plano de subdivision Psd-706, parte del Lote No. 23-A, plano
original Psu-2345 de la Hacienda de Maysilo), situado en el Barrio de Balintawak, Municipio de
Caloocan, Provincia de Rizal. Linda por el NE, con el Lote No. 3-D del plano de subdivision; por
el SE, con el lote No. 3-B del plano de subdivision; por el SO, con el Lote No. 7; y por el NO,
con propiedad de Ramos Dane (Lote No. 1). x x x midiendo una extension superficial de DOS
MIL OCHOCIENTOS TREINTA Y CUATRO METROS CUADRADOS CON OCHENTA
DECIMETROS (2,834.80) mas o menos. x x x la fecha de la medicion original, 8 al 27 de
Septiembre, 4 al 21 de Octubre y 17-18 de Noviembre de 1911, y de la subdivision 29 de
Diciembre de 1924. (Full technical description appears on Transfer Certificate of Title No.
10300/T-42).
34

From the foregoing, the title of petitioner covers a parcel of land referred to as Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-
3-A of the subdivision plan Psd-706, while the title of respondent Baello covers a parcel of land
referred to as Lot No. 3-A of the subdivision plan Psd-706. It should be pointed out that the
verification survey of Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A based on its technical description showed that Lot
23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A is the lot being occupied by Uniwide.
35
Baello claims that her Lot No. 3-A is
the same as Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A. However, the claim cannot be given credence because of
the disparity of the lot description, and the technical description of the land covered by Baellos
title shows that it is not the same as the technical description of the land covered by petitioners
title. Moreover, the technical description of the land covered by Baellos title, or the boundaries
stated therein, are not the same as those indicated in the survey plans
36
which she adduced in
evidence. Since Baellos title covers a different property, she cannot claim a superior right over
the subject property on the ground that she registered her title ahead of petitioner.
As petitioner has proven that its title covers the property in dispute, it is entitled to recover the
possession thereof, the basis of which shall be discussed subsequently. The recovery of
possession of the subject property by petitioner is not dependent on first proving the allegation
that Baellos title is spurious and the annulment of Baellos title, since Baellos title does not
cover the subject property and petitioner has proven its title over the subject property and the
identity of the property.
On the second issue, Uniwide, being a lessor, is not entitled to reimbursement.

The Court holds that petitioner was able to establish through documentary and testimonial
evidence that the technical description of its Torrens title covers the property that is being
occupied by respondent Uniwide by virtue of a lease contract with respondent Baello. A
comparison of the technical description of the land covered by the title of petitioner and the
technical description of the land covered by the title of Baello shows that they are not the same.
TCT No. 285312 registered in the name of petitioner reads:
IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that certain land situated in Caloocan City, Philippines, bounded
and described as follows:
A parcel of land (Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A of the subd. plan Psd-706, LRC x x x situated in
Balintawak, Caloocan, Rizal. Bounded on the E., along line 1-2, by Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-D, on the
SE., along line 2-3 by Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-B, both of the subd. plan and on the SW., NW., along
line 3-4-1 by Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-6, Beginning at a point marked "1" on plan being N. 69 deg. 07E.,
1,306.21m. from BLLM No. 1, Caloocan thence; S. 01 deg. 46W., 25.16 m. to point 2; S 65 deg.
116.78 m. to point 3; N. 23 deg. 12W., 23.85 m. to point 4; N. 65 deg. 57E. 127.39 m. to the
point of beginning; containing an area of TWO THOUSAND EIGHT HUNDRED THIRTY-FOUR
SQUARE METERS AND EIGHTY SQ. DECIMETERS (2,834.80) more or less. All pts. referred
to are indicated on plan and are marked on the ground by P.S. old points bearings true; date of
original survey, Date of subd. survey, Dec. 29, 1922.
33

On the other hand, TCT No. (35788) 12754, registered in the name of respondent Dolores
Baello, states:
IT IS HEREBY CERTIFIED that certain land situated in the Municipality of Caloocan, Province
of Rizal, Philippines, bounded and described as follows:
Un terreno (Lote No. 3-A del plano de subdivision Psd-706, parte del Lote No. 23-A, plano
original Psu-2345 de la Hacienda de Maysilo), situado en el Barrio de Balintawak, Municipio de
Caloocan, Provincia de Rizal. Linda por el NE, con el Lote No. 3-D del plano de subdivision; por
el SE, con el lote No. 3-B del plano de subdivision; por el SO, con el Lote No. 7; y por el NO,
con propiedad de Ramos Dane (Lote No. 1). x x x midiendo una extension superficial de DOS
MIL OCHOCIENTOS TREINTA Y CUATRO METROS CUADRADOS CON OCHENTA
DECIMETROS (2,834.80) mas o menos. x x x la fecha de la medicion original, 8 al 27 de
Septiembre, 4 al 21 de Octubre y 17-18 de Noviembre de 1911, y de la subdivision 29 de
Diciembre de 1924. (Full technical description appears on Transfer Certificate of Title No.
10300/T-42).
34

From the foregoing, the title of petitioner covers a parcel of land referred to as Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-
3-A of the subdivision plan Psd-706, while the title of respondent Baello covers a parcel of land
referred to as Lot No. 3-A of the subdivision plan Psd-706. It should be pointed out that the
verification survey of Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A based on its technical description showed that Lot
23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A is the lot being occupied by Uniwide.
35
Baello claims that her Lot No. 3-A is
the same as Lot 23-A-4-B-2-A-3-A. However, the claim cannot be given credence because of
the disparity of the lot description, and the technical description of the land covered by Baellos
title shows that it is not the same as the technical description of the land covered by petitioners
title. Moreover, the technical description of the land covered by Baellos title, or the boundaries
stated therein, are not the same as those indicated in the survey plans
36
which she adduced in
evidence. Since Baellos title covers a different property, she cannot claim a superior right over
the subject property on the ground that she registered her title ahead of petitioner.
As petitioner has proven that its title covers the property in dispute, it is entitled to recover the
possession thereof, the basis of which shall be discussed subsequently. The recovery of
possession of the subject property by petitioner is not dependent on first proving the allegation
that Baellos title is spurious and the annulment of Baellos title, since Baellos title does not
cover the subject property and petitioner has proven its title over the subject property and the
identity of the property.








G.R. No. 192383 December 4, 2013
ISABELO C. DELA CRUZ, Petitioner,
vs.
LUCILA C. DELA CRUZ, Respondent.
Facts:
Petitioner Isabelo Dela Cruz and his sisters/respondents Lucila and Cornelia were co-owners of
a 240-square meter land in Las Pinas which they bought on an installment basis from
Gatchalian Realty, Inc. Isabelo and Cornelia paid for the down payment and religiously paid for
the monthly amortizations.
Upon Lucilas plea to help out a financially distressed cousin (Corazon), the siblings agreed to
make use of the lot as collateral and security for a loan from the Philippine Veterans Bank. In
order to make this possible, Lucia paid the P8,000 outstanding balance to Gatchalian Realty
and had the deed of title registered in her name. The title was then mortgaged for Corazons
benefit. However, Corazon was not able to pay for the loan and the mortgaged lot was then
foreclosed by the bank. The foreclosed lot was however redeemed by Lucila.
In 2002, Lucila executed an affidavit of waiver relinquishing all her share, interest and
participation to her brother Isabelo and her niece Emelinda. Isabelo then filed an action for
partition seeking the segregation of his portion of said lot and the corresponding title in his name.
This action was, however, contested by Lucila claiming that the waiver she executed ceding
ownership of her share to Isabelo was subject to a condition that their family problems would be
resolved. She claims that this condition did not happen and that she had every right to revoke
the waiver. This was made evident by the revocation she made through an affidavit dated
September 24, 2004. The RTC ruled in favor of Lucia and this was affirmed by the CA.
Issue: Whether or not the CA erred in failing to rule that Lucilas cession of half of the property
to Isabelo through waiver did not have the effect of making him part owner of the property with a
right to demand partition.
Held:
In partition, the court must first determine the existence of co-ownership. The action will not lie if
the plaintiff has no proprietary interest in the subject property. Indeed, the rules

require him to
set forth in his complaint the nature and extent of his title to the property. It would be premature
to order partition until the question of ownership is first definitely resolved.
xxx contrary to the position that the CA and the RTC had taken, Lucilas waiver was absolute
and contained no precondition. The pertinent portion of the affidavit of waiver reads:
That to put everything in proper order, I hereby waive all my share, interest and participation in
so far as it refer to the one half portion (120 SQ. M.) of the above-parcel of land, with and in
favor of my brother ISABELO C. DELA CRUZ, of legal age, married, Filipino and residing at Las
Pinas City, and the other half portion (120 SQ. M.) in favor of my niece, EMELINDA C. DELA
CRUZ, also of legal age, single, Filipino and residing at Sto. Rosario Hagonoy, Bulacan; x x x
x
18

Evidently, Lucila would not have used the terms "to put everything in proper order, I hereby
waive" if her intent was to set a precondition to her waiver covering the property, half to
Isabelo and half to Emelinda. If that were her intention, she could have stated, "subject to the
condition that everything is put in proper order, I hereby waive..." or something to that effect.
When she instead said, "That to put everything in proper order, I hereby waive my share,
interest and participation" in the two halves of the subject property in favor of Isabelo and
Emelinda, Lucila merely disclosed what motivated her in ceding the property to them. She
wanted to put everything in proper order, thus she was driven to make the waiver in their favor.
Lucila did not say, "to put everything in proper order, I promise to waive my right" to the property,
which is a future undertaking, one that is demandable only when everything is put in proper
order. But she instead said, "to put everything in proper order, I hereby waive" etc. The phrase
"hereby waive" means that Lucila was, by executing the affidavit, already waiving her right to the
property, irreversibly divesting herself of her existing right to the same. After he and his co-
owner Emelinda accepted the donation, Isabelo became the owner of half of the subject
property having the right to demand its partition.




























G.R. No. 189316 June 1, 2013
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK, Petitioner,
vs.
SPOUSES BERNARD and CRESENCIA MARANON, Respondents.
Facts:
The facts disclose that Spouses Rodolfo and Emilie Montealegre and Philippine National bank
(PNB) entered into a loan agreement whereby as security for such, a mortgage was executed
over a 152-square meter parcel of land located at Cuadra-Smith Streets, Downtown, Bacolod
(subject lot) allegedly owned by said Spouses as evidenced by a TCT No. T-156512. When the
spouses failed to pay, PNB foreclosed the subject lot and during the foreclosure sale, emerged
as the winning bidder therein.
However, before the expiration of the redemption period, respondent Spouses Bernard and
Cresencia Maranon filed before the RTC a complaint for Annulment of Title, Reconveyance and
Damages

against Spouses Montealegre, PNB, the Register of Deeds of Bacolod City and the
Ex-Officio Provincial Sheriff of Negros Occidental. The complaint alleges that spouses Maranon
are the rightful owners of the subject lot and that, through a falsified Deed of Sale, spouses
Montealegre were able to have the formers TCT cancelled and a new one issued in the name
of the latter. After trial, the trial court ruled that indeed, ownership of the subject lot belongs to
spouses Maranon. The court further ordered that the lien of PNB over the subject lot, being a
mortgagee in good faith should be respected. However, the foreclosure proceedings had over
the subject lot was declared null and void because the spouses Montealegre were not the
rightful owners and mortgagers in the first place.
The controversy arose when spouses Maranon petitioned the trial court that the rentals paid by
one Paterio Tolete (Tolete), who is one of the tenants who had built a structure on the subject
lot, be transferred to their account from that of the PNB. The RTC ruled in their favour to which,
on appeal by PNB, was affirmed by the CA except for the finding that PNB was a mortgagee in
good faith.
Issue: Considering the fact that Spouses Maranons ownership of the subject lot had long been
decided by the trial court in 2006, who between the said spouses and PNB is entitled to rentals
(an accession to the principal) paid by one of the tenants in the property?
Held: The spouses Maranon are the ones entitled to the rentals.
Rent is a civil fruit that belongs to the owner of the property producing it by right of accession
.
The rightful recipient of the disputed rent in this case should thus be the owner of the subject lot
at the time the rent accrued. It is beyond question that Spouses Maraon never lost ownership
over the subject lot. This is the precise consequence of the final and executory judgment in Civil
Case No. 7213 rendered by the RTC on June 3, 2006 whereby the title to the subject lot was
reconveyed to them and the cloud thereon consisting of Emilies fraudulently obtained title was
removed. Ideally, the present dispute can be simply resolved on the basis of such
pronouncement. However, the application of related legal principles ought to be clarified in order
to settle the intervening right of PNB as a mortgagee in good faith.
The protection afforded to PNB as a mortgagee in good faith refers to the right to have its
mortgage lien carried over and annotated on the new certificate of title issued to Spouses
Maraon

as so adjudged by the RTC. Thereafter, to enforce such lien thru foreclosure
proceedings in case of non-payment of the secured debt, as PNB did so pursue. The principle,
however, is not the singular rule that governs real estate mortgages and foreclosures attended
by fraudulent transfers to the mortgagor.
Rent, as an accessory follow the principal. In fact, when the principal property is mortgaged, the
mortgage shall include all natural or civil fruits and improvements found thereon when the
secured obligation becomes due as provided in Article 2127 of the Civil Code, viz:
Art. 2127. The mortgage extends to the natural accessions, to the improvements, growing fruits,
and the rents or income not yet received when the obligation becomes due, and to the amount
of the indemnity granted or owing to the proprietor from the insurers of the property mortgaged,
or in virtue of expropriation for public use, with the declarations, amplifications and limitations
established by law, whether the estate remains in the possession of the mortgagor, or it passes
into the hands of a third person.
Consequently, in case of non-payment of the secured debt, foreclosure proceedings shall cover
not only the hypothecated property but all its accessions and accessories as well.
xxx absent an adverse claimant or any evidence to the contrary, all accessories and accessions
accruing or attached to the mortgaged property are included in the mortgage contract and may
thus also be foreclosed together with the principal property in case of non-payment of the debt
secured.
Corollary, any evidence sufficiently overthrowing the presumption that the mortgagor owns the
mortgaged property precludes the application of Article 2127. Otherwise stated, the provision is
irrelevant and inapplicable to mortgages and their resultant foreclosures if the mortgagor is later
on found or declared to be not the true owner of the property, as in the instant case.1wphi1
It is beyond question that PNBs mortgagors, Spouses Montealegre, are not the true owners of
the subject lot much less of the building which produced the disputed rent. The foreclosure
proceedings on August 16, 1991 caused by PNB could not have, thus, included the building
found on the subject lot and the rent it yields. PNBs lien as a mortgagee in good faith pertains
to the subject lot alone because the rule that improvements shall follow the principal in a
mortgage under Article 2127 of the Civil Code does not apply under the premises. Accordingly,
since the building was not foreclosed, it remains a property of Spouses Maraon; it is not
affected by non-redemption and is excluded from any consolidation of title made by PNB over
the subject lot. Thus, PNBs claim for the rent paid by Tolete has no basis.
It must be remembered that there is technically no juridical tie created by a valid mortgage
contract that binds PNB to the subject lot because its mortgagor was not the true owner. But by
virtue of the mortgagee in good faith principle, the law allows PNB to enforce its lien. We cannot,
however, extend such principle so as to create a juridical tie between PNB and the
improvements attached to the subject lot despite clear and undeniable evidence showing that
no such juridical tie exists.












Gr. No. 171555, April 17, 2013

Evangeline Rivera-Calingasan and E. Rical Enterprises, Petitioners, vs. Wilfredo Rivera,
substituted by Ma. Lydia S. Rivera, Frida Leah S. Rivera and Wilfredo S. Rivera, Jr.

Facts:
During the lifetime of respondent Wilfredo Rivera and his wife, Loreto Inciong, they
acquired several parcels of land in Lipa City, Batangas, two of which were covered by TCT nos.
T-22290 and T-30557. When Loreto died, he was survived by Wilfredo and their two daughters,
Evangeline and Brigida Liza.

Eleven years after, Loretos heirs executed an extrajudicial settlement of their one-half
share of the conjugal estate, adjudicating all properties in favour of Evangeline and Brigida Liza
while Wilfredo waived his rights to the same with a reservation of his usufructuary rights during
his lifetime.

A decade after, Wilfredo filed with th MTCC of Lipa a complaint for forcible entry against
petitioners and Star Honda, Inc. The MTCC ruled against Wilfredo which was affirmed by the
RTC upon appeal. However, on motion, RTC reversed itself finding that indeed, it is Wilfredo
who has the right to possess the subject properties. The CA affirmed with modifications and one
of such is that, it held that it was impossible for Evangeline to actually physically reside in the
subject property as evidenced by her residence address while it has not been controverted that
Wilfredo has been occupying the land for many years.

Issue: Who, between the petitioners and Wilfredo, had been in prior physical possession of the
property?

Held: Wilfredo is the one who has been in prior physical possession of the property
notwithstanding the fact that the nature of his possession is that of a usufructuary.

xxx possession in ejectment cases means nothing more than actual physical possession, not
legal possession in the sense contemplated in civil law. In a forcible entry case, prior physical
possession is the primary consideration[.] A party who can prove prior possession can
recover such possession even against the owner himself. Whatever may be the character of his
possession, if he has in his favor prior possession in time, he has the security that entitles him
to remain on the property until a person with a better right lawfully ejects him. [T]he party in
peaceable, quiet possession shall not be thrown out by a strong hand, violence, or terror.

xxx

In this case, we are convinced that Wilfredo had been in prior possession of the property and
that the petitioners deprived him of such possession by means of force, strategy and stealth.