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8/9/2016

G.R.No.L33187

TodayisTuesday,August09,2016

RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila
FIRSTDIVISION
G.R.No.L33187March31,1980
CORNELIOPAMPLONAaliasGEMINIANOPAMPLONAandAPOLONIAONTE,petitioners,
vs.
VIVENCIOMORETO,VICTORMORETO,ELIGIOMORETO,MARCELOMORETO,PAULINAMORETO,
ROSARIOMORETO,MARTAMORETO,SEVERINAMENDOZA,PABLOMENDOZA,LAZAROMENDOZA,
VICTORIATUIZA,JOSEFINAMORETO,LEANDROMORETOandLORENZOMENDOZA,respondents.
E.P.Caguioaforpetitioners.
BenjaminC.Yatcoforrespondents.

GUERRERO,J.:
ThisisapetitionforcertioraribywayofappealfromthedecisionoftheCourtofAppeals1inCAG.R.No.35962R,
entitled "Vivencio Moreto, et al., PlaintiffAppellees vs. Cornelio Pamplona, et al., DefendantsAppellants," affirming the
decisionoftheCourtofFirstInstanceofLaguna,BranchIatBian.

Thefacts,asstatedinthedecisionappealedfrom,showthat:
FlavianoMoretoandMonicaManiegawerehusbandandwife.Duringtheirmarriage,theyacquiredadjacentlots
Nos.1495,4545,and1496oftheCalambaFriarLandEstate,situatedinCalamba,Laguna,containing781544
and1,021squaremetersrespectivelyandcoveredbycertificatesoftitleissuedinthenameof"FlavianoMoreto,
marriedtoMonicaManiega."
ThespousesFlavianoMoretoandMonicaManiegabegotduringtheirmarriagesix(6)children,namely,Ursulo,
Marta,LaPaz,Alipio,Pablo,andLeandro,allsurnamedMoreto.
Ursulo Moreto died intestate on May 24, 1959 leaving as his heirs herein plaintiffs Vivencio, Marcelo, Rosario,
Victor,Paulina,MartaandEligio,allsurnamedMoreto.
MartaMoretodiedalsointestateonApril30,1938leavingasherheirplaintiffVictoriaTuiza.
La Paz Moreto died intestate on July 17, 1954 leaving the following heirs, namely, herein plaintiffs Pablo,
Severina,Lazaro,andLorenzo,allsurnamedMendoza.
AlipioMoretodiedintestateonJune30,1943leavingashisheirhereinplaintiffJosefinaMoreto.
Pablo Moreto died intestate on April 25, 1942 leaving no issue and as his heirs his brother plaintiff Leandro
Moretoandtheotherplaintiffsherein.
OnMay6,1946,MonicaManiegadiedintestateinCalamba,Laguna.
OnJuly30,1952,ormorethansix(6)yearsafterthedeathofhiswifeMonicaManiega,FlavianoMoreto,without
theconsentoftheheirsofhissaiddeceasedwifeMonica,andbeforeanyliquidationoftheconjugalpartnership
of Monica and Flaviano could be effected, executed in favor of Geminiano Pamplona, married to defendant
ApoloniaOnte,thedeedofabsolutesale(Exh."1")coveringlotNo.1495forP900.00.Thedeedofsale(Exh."1")
contained a description of lot No. 1495 as having an area of 781 square meters and covered by transfer
certificateoftitleNo.14570issuedinthenameofFlavianoMoreto,marriedtoMonicaManiega,althoughthelot
was acquired during their marriage. As a result of the sale, the said certificate of title was cancelled and a new
transfercertificateoftitleNo.T5671wasissuedinthenameofGeminianoPamplonamarriedtoApoloniaOnte
(Exh."A").
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After the execution of the abovementioned deed of sale (Exh. "1"), the spouses Geminiano Pamplona and
ApoloniaOnteconstructedtheirhouseontheeasternpartoflot1496asFlavianoMoreto,atthetimeofthesale,
pointedtoitasthelandwhichhesoldtoGeminianoPamplona.Shortlythereafter,RafaelPamplona,sonofthe
spousesGeminianoPamplonaandApoloniaOnte,alsobuilthishousewithinlot1496aboutonemeterfromits
boundarywiththeadjoininglot.ThevendorFlavianoMoretoandthevendeeGeminianoPamplonathoughtallthe
timethattheportionof781squaremeterswhichwasthesubjectmatteroftheirsaletransactionwasNo.1495
andsolotNo.1495appearstobethesubjectmatterinthedeedofsale(Exh."1")althoughthefactisthatthe
saidportionsoldthoughtofbythepartiestobelotNo.1495isapartoflotNo.1496.
From 1956 to 1960, the spouses Geminiano Pamplona and Apolonio Onte enlarged their house and they even
constructed a piggery corral at the back of their said house about one and onehalf meters from the eastern
boundaryoflot1496.
OnAugust12,1956,FlavianoMoretodiedintestate.In1961,theplaintiffsdemandedonthedefendantstovacate
thepremiseswheretheyhadtheirhouseandpiggeryonthegroundthatFlavianoMoretohadnorighttosellthe
lot which he sold to Geminiano Pamplona as the same belongs to the conjugal partnership of Flaviano and his
deceasedwifeandthelatterwasalreadydeadwhenthesalewasexecutedwithouttheconsentoftheplaintiffs
who are the heirs of Monica. The spouses Geminiano Pamplona and Apolonia Onte refused to vacate the
premises occupied by them and hence, this suit was instituted by the heirs of Monica Maniega seeking for the
declarationofthenullityofthedeedofsaleofJuly30,1952abovementionedasregardsonehalfoftheproperty
subjectmatterofsaiddeedtodeclaretheplaintiffsastherightfulownersoftheotherhalfofsaidlottoallowthe
plaintiffs to redeem the onehalf portion thereof sold to the defendants. "After payment of the other half of the
purchaseprice"toorderthedefendantstovacatetheportionsoccupiedbythemtoorderthedefendantstopay
actualandmoraldamagesandattorney'sfeestotheplaintiffstoorderthedefendantstopayplaintiffsP120.00a
yearfromAugust1958untiltheyhavevacatedthepremisesoccupiedbythemfortheuseandoccupancyofthe
same.
ThedefendantsclaimthatthesalemadebyFlavianoMoretointheirfavorisvalidasthelotsoldisregisteredin
thenameofFlavianoMoretoandtheyarepurchasersbelievingingoodfaiththatthevendorwasthesoleowner
ofthelotsold.
Afterarelocationoflots1495,1496and4545madebyagreementoftheparties,itwasfoundoutthattherewas
mutualerrorbetweenFlavianoMoretoandthedefendantsintheexecutionofthedeedofsalebecausewhilethe
saiddeedrecitedthatthelotsoldislotNo.1495,therealintentionofthepartiesisthatitwasaportionconsisting
of781squaremetersoflotNo.1496whichwasthesubjectmatteroftheirsaletransaction.
Aftertrial,thelowercourtrenderedjudgment,thedispositivepartthereofbeingasfollows:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiffs declaring the deed of absolute sale
dated July 30, 1952 pertaining to the eastern portion of Lot 1496 covering an area of 781 square
metersnullandvoidasregardsthe390.5squaremetersofwhichplaintiffsareherebydeclaredthe
rightfulownersandentitledtoitspossession.
The sale is ordered valid with respect to the eastern onehalf (1/2) of 1781 square meters of Lot
1496measuring390.5squaremetersofwhichdefendantsaredeclaredlawfulownersandentitledto
itspossession.
Afterpropersurveysegregatingtheeasternonehalfportionwithanareaof390.5squaremetersof
Lot 1496, the defendants shall be entitled to a certificate of title covering said portion and Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 9843 of the office of the Register of Deeds of Laguna shall be cancelled
accordingly and new titles issued to the plaintiffs and to the defendants covering their respective
portions.
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 5671 of the office of the Register of Deeds of Laguna covering Lot
No.1495andregisteredinthenameofCornelioPamplona,marriedtoApoloniaOnte,isbyvirtueof
thisdecisionorderedcancelled.ThedefendantsareorderedtosurrendertotheofficeoftheRegister
of Deeds of Laguna the owner's duplicate of Transfer Certificate of Title No. 5671 within thirty (30)
daysafterthisdecisionshallhavebecomefinalforcancellationinaccordancewiththisdecision.
Let copy of this decision be furnished the Register of Deeds for the province of Laguna for his
informationandguidance.
Withcostsagainstthedefendants.2
The defendantsappellants, not being satisfied with said judgment, appealed to the Court of Appeals, which
affirmedthejudgment,hencetheynowcometothisCourt.
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The fundamental and crucial issue in the case at bar is whether under the facts and circumstances duly
establishedbytheevidence,petitionersareentitledtothefullownershipofthepropertyinlitigation,oronlyone
halfofthesame.
ThereisnoquestionthatwhenthepetitionerspurchasedthepropertyonJuly30,1952fromFlavianoMoretofor
thepriceofP900.00,hiswifeMonicaManiegahadalreadybeendeadsixyearsbefore,Monicahavingdiedon
May6,1946.Hence,theconjugalpartnershipofthespousesFlavianoMoretoandMonicaManiegahadalready
beendissolved.(Article175,(1)NewCivilCodeArticle1417,OldCivilCode).Therecordsshowthattheconjugal
estatehadnotbeeninventoried,liquidated,settledanddividedbytheheirstheretoinaccordancewithlaw.The
necessaryproceedingsfortheliquidationoftheconjugalpartnershipwerenotinstitutedbytheheirseitherinthe
testateorintestateproceedingsofthedeceasedspousepursuanttoAct3176amendingSection685ofAct190.
Neitherwasthereanextrajudicialpartitionbetweenthesurvivingspouseandtheheirsofthedeceasedspouse
norwasanordinaryactionforpartitionbroughtforthepurpose.Accordingly,theestatebecamethepropertyofa
communitybetweenthesurvivinghusband,FlavianoMoreto,andhischildrenwiththedeceasedMonicaManiega
intheconceptofacoownership.
The community property of the marriage, at the dissolution of this bond by the death of one of the
spouses, ceases to belong to the legal partnership and becomes the property of a community, by
operation of law, between the surviving spouse and the heirs of the deceased spouse, or the
exclusive property of the widower or the widow, it he or she be the heir of the deceased spouse.
Everycoownershallhavefullownershipofhispartandinthefruitsandbenefitsderivedtherefrom,
and he therefore may alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its
enjoyment,unlesspersonalrightsareinquestion.(Marigsavs.Macabuntoc,17Phil.107)
InBorjavs.Addision,44Phil.895,906,theSupremeCourtsaidthat"(t)hereisnoreasoninlawwhytheheirsof
thedeceasedwifemaynotformapartnershipwiththesurvivinghusbandforthemanagementandcontrolofthe
community property of the marriage and conceivably such a partnership, or rather community of property,
between the heirs and the surviving husband might be formed without a written agreement." In Prades vs.
Tecson, 49 Phil. 230, the Supreme Court held that "(a)lthough, when the wife dies, the surviving husband, as
administratorofthecommunityproperty,hasauthoritytosellthepropertywithuttheconcurrenceofthechildren
ofthemarriage,neverthelessthispowercanbewaivedinfavorofthechildren,withtheresultofbringingabouta
conventionalownershipincommonbetweenthefatherandchildrenastosuchpropertyandanyonepurchasing
withknowledgeofthechangedstatusofthepropertywillacquireonlytheundividedinterestofthosemembersof
thefamilywhojoinintheactofconveyance.
It is also not disputed that immediately after the execution of the sale in 1952, the vendees constructed their
house on the eastern part of Lot 1496 which the vendor pointed out to them as the area sold, and two weeks
thereafter,Rafaelwhoisasonofthevendees,alsobuilthishousewithinLot1496.Subsequently,acemented
piggerycoralwasconstructedbythevendeesatthebackoftheirhouseaboutoneandonehalfmetersfromthe
eastern boundary of Lot 1496. Both vendor and vendees believed all the time that the area of 781 sq. meters
subjectofthesalewasLotNo.1495whichaccordingtoitstitle(T.C.T.No.14570)containsanareaof781sq.
meters so that the deed of sale between the parties Identified and described the land sold as Lot 1495. But
actually,asverifiedlaterbyasurveyoruponagreementofthepartiesduringtheproceedingsofthecasebelow,
theareasoldwaswithinLot1496.
Again,thereisnodisputethatthehousesofthespousesCornelioPamplonaandApoloniaOnteaswellasthatof
theirsonRafaelPamplona,includingtheconcretepiggerycoraladjacentthereto,stoodonthelandfrom1952up
tothefilingofthecomplaintbytheprivaterespondentsonJuly25,1961,oraperiodofovernine(9)years.And
duringsaidperiod,theprivaterespondentswhoaretheheirsofMonicaManiegaaswellasofFlavianoMoreto
who also died intestate on August 12, 1956, lived as neighbors to the petitionervendees, yet lifted no finger to
question the occupation, possession and ownership of the land purchased by the Pamplonas, so that We are
persuadedandconvincedtorulethatprivaterespondentsareinestoppelbylachestoclaimhalfoftheproperty,
indisputeasnullandvoid.Estoppelbylachesisaruleofequitywhichbarsaclaimantfrompresentinghisclaim
when,byreasonofabandonmentandnegligence,heallowedalongtimetoelapsewithoutpresentingthesame.
(InternationalBankingCorporationvs.Yared,59Phil.92)
We have ruled that at the time of the sale in 1952, the conjugal partnership was already dissolved six years
beforeandtherefore,theestatebecameacoownershipbetweenFlavianoMoreto,thesurvivinghusband,and
theheirsofhisdeceasedwife,MonicaManiega.Article493oftheNewCivilCodeisapplicableanditprovidesa
follows:
Art. 493. Each coowner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits
pertainingthereto,andhemaythereforealienate,assignormortgageit,andevensubstituteanother
personinitsenjoyment,exceptwhenpersonalrightsareinvolve.Buttheeffectofthealienationor
themortgage,withrespecttothecoowners,shallbelimitedtotheportionwhichmaybeallottedto
himinthedivisionupontheterminationofthecoownership.
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We agree with the petitioner that there was a partial partition of the coownership when at the time of the sale
FlavianoMoretopointedouttheareaandlocationofthe781sq.meterssoldbyhimtothepetitionersvendeeson
whichthelatterbuilttheirhouseandalsothatwhereonRafael,thesonofpetitionerslikewiseerectedhishouse
andanadjacentcoralforpiggery.
Petitioners point to the fact that spouses Flaviano Moreto and Monica Maniega owned three parcels of land
denominatedasLot1495havinganareaof781sq.meters,Lot1496withanareaof1,021sq.meters,andLot
4545withanareaof544sq.meters.Thethreelotshaveatotalareaof2,346sq.meters.Thesethreeparcelsof
lotsarecontiguouswithoneanotheraseachisboundedononesidebytheother,thus:Lot4545isboundedon
thenortheastbyLot1495andonthesoutheastbyLot1496.Lot1495isboundedonthewestbyLot4545.Lot
1496isboundedonthewestbyLot4545.Itistherefore,clearthatthethreelotsconstituteonebigland.Theyare
not separate properties located in different places but they abut each other. This is not disputed by private
respondents.Hence,atthetimeofthesale,thecoownershipconstitutedorcoveredthesethreelotsadjacentto
eachother.AndsinceFlavianoMoretowasentitledtoonehalfproindivisooftheentirelandareaor1,173sq.
meters as his share, he had a perfect legal and lawful right to dispose of 781 sq. meters of his share to the
Pamplonaspouses.Indeed,therewasstillaremainderofsome392sq.metersbelongingtohimatthetimeof
thesale.
WerejectrespondentCourt'srulingthatthesalewasvalidastoonehalfandinvalidastotheotherhalfforthe
very simple reason that Flaviano Moreto, the vendor, had the legal right to more than 781 sq. meters of the
communalestate,atitlewhichhecoulddispose,alienateinfavorofthevendeespetitioners.Thetitlemaybepro
indiviso or inchoate but the moment the coowner as vendor pointed out its location and even indicated the
boundaries over which the fences were to be erectd without objection, protest or complaint by the other co
owners,onthecontrarytheyacquiescedandtoleratedsuchalienation,occupationandpossession,Werulethat
a factual partition or termination of the coownership, although partial, was created, and barred not only the
vendor, Flaviano Moreto, but also his heirs, the private respondents herein from asserting as against the
vendeespetitionersanyrightortitleinderogationofthedeedofsaleexecutedbysaidvendorFlaianoMoreto.
Equitycommandsthattheprivaterespondents,thesuccessorsofboththedeceasedspouses,FlavianoMoreto
andMonicaManiegabenotallowedtoimpugnthesaleexecutedbyFlavianoMoretowhoindisputablyreceived
the consideration of P900.00 and which he, including his children, benefitted from the same. Moreover, as the
heirs of both Monica Maniega and Flaviano Moreto, private respondents are dutybound to comply with the
provisionsofArticles1458and1495,CivilCode,whichistheobligationofthevendorofthepropertyofdelivering
andtransferingtheownershipofthewholepropertysold,whichistransmittedonhisdeathtohisheirs,theherein
privaterespondents.Thearticlescitedprovide,thus:
Art. 1458. By the contract of sale one of the contracting parties obligates himself to transfer the
ownershipofandtodeliveradeterminatething,andtheotherparttopaythereforeapricecertainin
moneyoritsequivalent.
Acontractofsalemaybeabsoluteorconditionial.
Art.1495.Thevendorisboundtotransfertheownershipofanddeliver,aswellaswarrantthething
whichistheobjectofthesale.
Under Article 776, New Civil Code, the inheritance which private respondents received from their deceased
parents and/or predecessorsininterest included all the property rights and obligations which were not
extinguished by their parents' death. And under Art. 1311, paragraph 1, New Civil Code, the contract of sale
executedbythedeceasedFlavianoMoretotookeffectbetweentheparties,theirassignsandheirs,whoarethe
privaterespondentsherein.Accordingly,totheprivaterespondentsistransmittedtheobligationtodeliverinfull
ownership the whole area of 781 sq. meters to the petitioners (which was the original obligation of their
predecessor Flaviano Moreto) and not only onehalf thereof. Private respondents must comply with said
obligation.
The records reveal that the area of 781 sq. meters sold to and occupied by petitioners for more than 9 years
already as of the filing of the complaint in 1961 had been resurveyed by private land surveyor Daniel Aranas.
Petitioners are entitled to a segregation of the area from Transfer Certificate of Title No. T9843 covering Lot
1496andtheyarealsoentitledtotheissuanceofanewTransferCertificateofTitleintheirnamebasedonthe
relocationsurvey.
WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED with
modificationinthesensethatthesalemadeandexecutedbyFlavianoMoretoinfavorofthepetitionersvendees
isherebydeclaredlegalandvalidinitsentirely.
Petitionersareherebydeclaredownersinfullownershipofthe781sq.metersattheeasternportionofLot1496
nowoccupiedbysaidpetitionersandwhereontheirhousesandpiggerycoralstand.
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TheRegisterofDeedsofLagunaisherebyorderedtosegregatetheareaof781sq.metersfromCertificateof
TitleNo.9843andtoissueanewTransferCertificateofTitletothepetitionerscoveringthesegregatedareaof
781sq.meters.
Nocosts.
SOORDERED.
Teehankee(Chairman),Makasiar,Fernandez,DeCastroandMelencioHerrera,JJ.,concur.

Footnotes
1SecondDivision:Perez.J.,ponenteReyes,J.,concurringandEnriquez,J.,concurringinthe
result.
2Records.pp.1217.
TheLawphilProjectArellanoLawFoundation

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