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SECOND DIVISION

The first complaint stated:

ROGER V. NAVARRO, G.R. No. 153788 1. That plaintiff KAREN T. GO is a Filipino, of legal age,
Petitioner, married to GLENN O. GO, a resident of Cagayan de Oro City
and doing business under the trade name KARGO
Present: ENTERPRISES, an entity duly registered and existing under and by
CARPIO, J., Chairperson, virtue of the laws of the Republic of the Philippines, which has its
- versus - LEONARDO-DE CASTRO, business address at Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City; that defendant
BRION, ROGER NAVARRO is a Filipino, of legal age, a resident of 62
DEL CASTILLO, and Dolores Street, Nazareth, Cagayan de Oro City, where he may be
ABAD, JJ. served with summons and other processes of the Honorable Court;
that defendant JOHN DOE whose real name and address are at
HON. JOSE L. ESCOBIDO, Presiding Judge, RTC present unknown to plaintiff is hereby joined as party defendant as
Branch 37, Cagayan de Oro City, and KAREN T. GO, Promulgated: he may be the person in whose possession and custody the personal
doing business under the name KARGO property subject matter of this suit may be found if the same is not in
ENTERPRISES, November 27, 2009 the possession of defendant ROGER NAVARRO;
Respondents
2. That KARGO ENTERPRISES is in the business of,
x --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x among others, buying and selling motor vehicles, including hauling
trucks and other heavy equipment;
DECISION
3. That for the cause of action against defendant ROGER
BRION, J.: NAVARRO, it is hereby stated that on August 8, 1997, the said
defendant leased [from] plaintiff a certain motor vehicle which is more
particularly described as follows
This is a petition for review on certiorari[1] that seeks to set aside the Court of
Make/Type FUSO WITH MOUNTED CRANE
Appeals (CA) Decision[2] dated October 16, 2001 and Resolution[3] dated May 29, Serial No. FK416K-51680
Motor No. 6D15-338735
2002 in CA-G.R. SP. No. 64701. These CA rulings affirmed the July 26, Plate No. GHK-378

2000[4] and March 7, 2001[5] orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Misamis Oriental, as evidenced by a LEASE AGREEMENT WITH OPTION TO
PURCHASE entered into by and between KARGO ENTERPRISES,
Cagayan de Oro City, denying petitioner Roger V. Navarros (Navarro) motion to dismiss.
then represented by its Manager, the aforementioned GLENN O.
GO, and defendant ROGER NAVARRO xxx; that in accordance with
the provisions of the above LEASE AGREEMENT WITH OPTION
BACKGROUND FACTS TO PURCHASE, defendant ROGER NAVARRO delivered unto
plaintiff six (6) post-dated checks each in the amount of SIXTY-SIX
THOUSAND THREE HUNDRED THIRTY-THREE & 33/100 PESOS
(P66,333.33) which were supposedly in payment of the agreed
On September 12, 1998, respondent Karen T. Go filed two complaints, docketed as Civil
rentals; that when the fifth and sixth checks, i.e. PHILIPPINE
Case Nos. 98-599 (first complaint)[6] and 98-598 (second complaint),[7]before the RTC BANK OF COMMUNICATIONS CAGAYAN DE ORO BRANCH
CHECKS NOS. 017112 and 017113, respectively dated January 8,
for replevin and/or sum of money with damages against Navarro. In these complaints, 1998 and February 8, 1998, were presented for payment and/or
credit, the same were dishonored and/or returned by the drawee
Karen Go prayed that the RTC issue writs of replevin for the seizure of two (2) motor bank for the common reason that the current deposit account against
vehicles in Navarros possession. which the said checks were issued did not have sufficient funds to
cover the amounts thereof; that the total amount of the two (2)

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checks, i.e. the sum of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO THOUSAND
SIX HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX & 66/100 PESOS (P132,666.66) In his Answers, Navarro alleged as a special affirmative defense that the two
therefore represents the principal liability of defendant ROGER
complaints stated no cause of action, since Karen Go was not a party to the Lease
NAVARRO unto plaintiff on the basis of the provisions of the above
LEASE AGREEMENT WITH RIGHT TO PURCHASE; Agreements with Option to Purchase (collectively, the lease agreements) the
that demands, written and oral, were made of defendant ROGER
NAVARRO to pay the amount of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO actionable documents on which the complaints were based.
THOUSAND SIX HUNDRED SIXTY-SIX & 66/100 PESOS
(P132,666.66), or to return the subject motor vehicle as also provided
for in the LEASE AGREEMENT WITH RIGHT TO PURCHASE, but
On Navarros motion, both cases were duly consolidated on December 13, 1999.
said demands were, and still are, in vain to the great damage and
injury of herein plaintiff; xxx
4. That the aforedescribed motor vehicle has not been the subject of
any tax assessment and/or fine pursuant to law, or seized under an In its May 8, 2000 order, the RTC dismissed the case on the ground that the
execution or an attachment as against herein plaintiff;
complaints did not state a cause of action.
xxx

8. That plaintiff hereby respectfully applies for an order of the In response to the motion for reconsideration Karen Go filed dated May 26,
Honorable Court for the immediate delivery of the above-described
motor vehicle from defendants unto plaintiff pending the final 2000,[11] the RTC issued another order dated July 26, 2000 setting aside the order of
determination of this case on the merits and, for that purpose, there
is attached hereto an affidavit duly executed and bond double the dismissal. Acting on the presumption that Glenn Gos leasing business is a conjugal
value of the personal property subject matter hereof to answer for property, the RTC held that Karen Go had sufficient interest in his leasing business
damages and costs which defendants may suffer in the event that
the order for replevin prayed for may be found out to having not been to file the action against Navarro. However, the RTC held that Karen Go should have
properly issued.
included her husband, Glenn Go, in the complaint based on Section 4, Rule 3 of the
Rules of Court (Rules).[12] Thus, the lower court ordered Karen Go to file a motion for
The second complaint contained essentially the same allegations as the first
the inclusion of Glenn Go as co-plaintiff.
complaint, except that the Lease Agreement with Option to Purchase involved is

dated October 1, 1997 and the motor vehicle leased is described as follows:
When the RTC denied Navarros motion for reconsideration on March 7, 2001,
Navarro filed a petition for certiorari with the CA, essentially contending that the RTC
Make/Type FUSO WITH MOUNTED CRANE
Serial No. FK416K-510528 committed grave abuse of discretion when it reconsidered the dismissal of the case
Motor No. 6D14-423403
and directed Karen Go to amend her complaints by including her husband Glenn Go
The second complaint also alleged that Navarro delivered three post-dated checks,
as co-plaintiff. According to Navarro, a complaint which failed to state a cause of
each for the amount of P100,000.00, to Karen Go in payment of the agreed rentals;
action could not be converted into one with a cause of action by mere amendment or
however, the third check was dishonored when presented for payment.[8]
supplemental pleading.
On October 16, 2001, the CA denied Navarros petition and affirmed the RTCs
On October 12, 1998[9] and October 14, 1998,[10] the RTC issued writs of replevin for
order.[13] The CA also denied Navarros motion for reconsideration in its resolution
both cases; as a result, the Sheriff seized the two vehicles and delivered them to the
of May 29, 2002,[14] leading to the filing of the present petition.
possession of Karen Go.

2
THE PETITION on him to comply with the provisions of the lease agreements before the complaints

for replevin were filed.

Navarro alleges that even if the lease agreements were in the name of Kargo

Enterprises, since it did not have the requisite juridical personality to sue, the actual Lastly, Navarro posits that since the two writs of replevin were issued based

parties to the agreement are himself and Glenn Go. Since it was Karen Go who filed on flawed complaints, the vehicles were illegally seized from his possession and should

the complaints and not Glenn Go, she was not a real party-in-interest and the be returned to him immediately.

complaints failed to state a cause of action.

Karen Go, on the other hand, claims that it is misleading for Navarro to state

Navarro posits that the RTC erred when it ordered the amendment of the that she has no real interest in the subject of the complaint, even if the lease

complaint to include Glenn Go as a co-plaintiff, instead of dismissing the complaint agreements were signed only by her husband, Glenn Go; she is the owner of Kargo

outright because a complaint which does not state a cause of action cannot be Enterprises and Glenn Go signed the lease agreements merely as the manager of

converted into one with a cause of action by a mere amendment or a supplemental Kargo Enterprises. Moreover, Karen Go maintains that Navarros insistence that

pleading. In effect, the lower court created a cause of action for Karen Go when there Kargo Enterprises is Karen Gos paraphernal property is without basis. Based on the

was none at the time she filed the complaints. law and jurisprudence on the matter, all property acquired during the marriage is

presumed to be conjugal property. Finally, Karen Go insists that her complaints

Even worse, according to Navarro, the inclusion of Glenn Go as co-plaintiff sufficiently established a cause of action against Navarro. Thus, when the RTC

drastically changed the theory of the complaints, to his great prejudice. Navarro ordered her to include her husband as co-plaintiff, this was merely to comply with the

claims that the lower court gravely abused its discretion when it assumed that the rule that spouses should sue jointly, and was not meant to cure the complaints lack

leased vehicles are part of the conjugal property of Glenn and Karen Go. Since Karen of cause of action.

Go is the registered owner of Kargo Enterprises, the vehicles subject of the complaint

are her paraphernal properties and the RTC gravely erred when it ordered the THE COURTS RULING

inclusion of Glenn Go as a co-plaintiff.


We find the petition devoid of merit.

Karen Go is the real party-in-interest


Navarro likewise faults the lower court for setting the trial of the case in the

same order that required Karen Go to amend her complaints, claiming that by issuing

this order, the trial court violated Rule 10 of the Rules.


The 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure requires that every action must be
prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party-in-interest, i.e., the party who
Even assuming the complaints stated a cause of action against him, Navarro
stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to
maintains that the complaints were premature because no prior demand was made
the avails of the suit.[15]

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Interestingly, although Navarro admits that Karen Go is the registered owner of the thus, expressly pointing to KARGO ENTERPRISES as the principal that Glenn O. Go

business name Kargo Enterprises, he still insists that Karen Go is not a real party-in- represented. In other words, by the express terms of this Lease Agreement, Glenn

interest in the case. According to Navarro, while the lease contracts were in Kargo Go did sign the agreement only as the manager of Kargo Enterprises and the latter is

Enterprises name, this was merely a trade name without a juridical personality, so the clearly the real party to the lease agreements.

actual parties to the lease agreements were Navarro and Glenn Go, to the exclusion

of Karen Go. As Navarro correctly points out, Kargo Enterprises is a sole proprietorship,

which is neither a natural person, nor a juridical person, as defined by Article 44 of

As a corollary, Navarro contends that the RTC acted with grave abuse of the Civil Code:

discretion when it ordered the inclusion of Glenn Go as co-plaintiff, since this in effect Art. 44. The following are juridical persons:
created a cause of action for the complaints when in truth, there was none.
(1) The State and its political subdivisions;
(2) Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest
or purpose, created by law; their personality begins as soon as
We do not find Navarros arguments persuasive. they have been constituted according to law;
(3) Corporations, partnerships and associations for private
interest or purpose to which the law grants a juridical
personality, separate and distinct from that of each
The central factor in appreciating the issues presented in this case is the
shareholder, partner or member.
business name Kargo Enterprises. The name appears in the title of the Complaint

where the plaintiff was identified as KAREN T. GO doing business under the name
Thus, pursuant to Section 1, Rule 3 of the Rules,[16] Kargo Enterprises
KARGO ENTERPRISES, and this identification was repeated in the first paragraph of
cannot be a party to a civil action. This legal reality leads to the question: who then is
the Complaint. Paragraph 2 defined the business KARGO ENTERPRISES
the proper party to file an action based on a contract in the name of Kargo
undertakes. Paragraph 3 continued with the allegation that the defendant leased from
Enterprises?
plaintiff a certain motor vehicle that was thereafter described. Significantly, the

Complaint specifies and attaches as its integral part the Lease Agreement that
We faced a similar question in Juasing Hardware v. Mendoza,[17] where we
underlies the transaction between the plaintiff and the defendant. Again, the name
said:
KARGO ENTERPRISES entered the picture as this Lease Agreement provides:

Finally, there is no law authorizing sole proprietorships like


This agreement, made and entered into by and between: petitioner to bring suit in court. The law merely recognizes the
existence of a sole proprietorship as a form of business organization
GLENN O. GO, of legal age, married, with post office conducted for profit by a single individual, and requires the proprietor
address at xxx, herein referred to as the LESSOR- or owner thereof to secure licenses and permits, register the
SELLER; representing KARGO ENTERPRISES as its Manager, business name, and pay taxes to the national government. It does
not vest juridical or legal personality upon the sole proprietorship nor
xxx empower it to file or defend an action in court.

Thus, the complaint in the court below should have


been filed in the name of the owner of Juasing Hardware. The

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allegation in the body of the complaint would show that the suit is
brought by such person as proprietor or owner of the business positions, Navarro alleges that Kargo Enterprises is Karen Gos paraphernal property,
conducted under the name and style Juasing Hardware. The
emphasizing the fact that the business is registered solely in Karen Gos name.On the
descriptive words doing business as Juasing Hardware may be
added to the title of the case, as is customarily done.[18] [Emphasis other hand, Karen Go contends that while the business is registered in her name, it
supplied.]
is in fact part of their conjugal property.

This conclusion should be read in relation with Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules,
The registration of the trade name in the name of one person a woman does
which states:
not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the trade name as a property is hers alone,
SEC. 2. Parties in interest. A real party in interest is the party who
particularly when the woman is married. By law, all property acquired during the
stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or
the party entitled to the avails of the suit. Unless otherwise marriage, whether the acquisition appears to have been made, contracted or
authorized by law or these Rules, every action must be prosecuted
or defended in the name of the real party in interest. registered in the name of one or both spouses, is presumed to be conjugal unless the

contrary is proved.[21] Our examination of the records of the case does not show any
As the registered owner of Kargo Enterprises, Karen Go is the party who will
proof that Kargo Enterprises and the properties or contracts in its name are conjugal.
directly benefit from or be injured by a judgment in this case. Thus, contrary to
If at all, only the bare allegation of Navarro to this effect exists in the records of the
Navarros contention, Karen Go is the real party-in-interest, and it is legally incorrect
case. As we emphasized in Castro v. Miat:[22]
to say that her Complaint does not state a cause of action because her name did not
Petitioners also overlook Article 160 of the New Civil
appear in the Lease Agreement that her husband signed in behalf of Kargo Code. It provides that all property of the marriage is presumed to
be conjugal partnership, unless it be prove[n] that it pertains
Enterprises. Whether Glenn Go can legally sign the Lease Agreement in his capacity exclusively to the husband or to the wife. This article does not
as a manager of Kargo Enterprises, a sole proprietorship, is a question we do not require proof that the property was acquired with funds of the
partnership. The presumption applies even when the manner in
decide, as this is a matter for the trial court to consider in a trial on the merits. which the property was acquired does not appear. [23] [Emphasis
supplied.]

Glenn Gos Role in the Case


Thus, for purposes solely of this case and of resolving the issue of whether Kargo

Enterprises as a sole proprietorship is conjugal or paraphernal property, we hold that


We find it significant that the business name Kargo Enterprises is in the
it is conjugal property.
name of Karen T. Go,[19] who described herself in the Complaints to be a Filipino, of

legal age, married to GLENN O. GO, a resident of Cagayan de Oro City, and doing
Article 124 of the Family Code, on the administration of the conjugal
business under the trade name KARGO ENTERPRISES.[20] That Glenn Go and
property, provides:
Karen Go are married to each other is a fact never brought in issue in the case. Thus,
the business name KARGO ENTERPRISES is registered in the name of a married Art. 124. The administration and enjoyment of the
conjugal partnership property shall belong to both spouses
woman, a fact material to the side issue of whether Kargo Enterprises and its
jointly. In case of disagreement, the husbands decision shall
properties are paraphernal or conjugal properties. To restate the parties prevail, subject to recourse to the court by the wife for proper remedy,

5
which must be availed of within five years from the date of the
contract implementing such decision. right to seek possession of these properties. Applying Article 484 of the Civil Code,
which states that in default of contracts, or special provisions, co-ownership shall be
xxx
governed by the provisions of this Title, we find further support in Article 487 of the

Civil Code that allows any of the co-owners to bring an action in ejectment with respect
This provision, by its terms, allows either Karen or Glenn Go to speak and
to the co-owned property.
act with authority in managing their conjugal property, i.e., Kargo Enterprises. No

need exists, therefore, for one to obtain the consent of the other before performing an
While ejectment is normally associated with actions involving real property,
act of administration or any act that does not dispose of or encumber their conjugal
we find that this rule can be applied to the circumstances of the present case, following
property.
our ruling in Carandang v. Heirs of De Guzman.[24] In this case, one spouse filed an

action for the recovery of credit, a personal property considered conjugal property,
Under Article 108 of the Family Code, the conjugal partnership is governed
without including the other spouse in the action. In resolving the issue of whether the
by the rules on the contract of partnership in all that is not in conflict with what is
other spouse was required to be included as a co-plaintiff in the action for the recovery
expressly determined in this Chapter or by the spouses in their marriage
of the credit, we said:
settlements. In other words, the property relations of the husband and wife shall be

governed primarily by Chapter 4 on Conjugal Partnership of Gains of the Family Code


Milagros de Guzman, being presumed to be a co-owner of
and, suppletorily, by the spouses marriage settlement and by the rules on partnership the credits allegedly extended to the spouses Carandang, seems to
be either an indispensable or a necessary party.If she is an
under the Civil Code. In the absence of any evidence of a marriage settlement indispensable party, dismissal would be proper. If she is merely a
necessary party, dismissal is not warranted, whether or not there was
between the spouses Go, we look at the Civil Code provision on partnership for
an order for her inclusion in the complaint pursuant to Section 9, Rule
guidance. 3.

Article 108 of the Family Code provides:


A rule on partnership applicable to the spouses circumstances is Article 1811 Art. 108. The conjugal partnership shall
be governed by the rules on the contract of
of the Civil Code, which states:
partnership in all that is not in conflict with what is
Art. 1811. A partner is a co-owner with the other partners of specific expressly determined in this Chapter or by the
partnership property. spouses in their marriage settlements.

This provision is practically the same as the Civil Code provision it


The incidents of this co-ownership are such that:
superseded:
(1) A partner, subject to the provisions of this Title and to any
agreement between the partners, has an equal right with his Art. 147. The conjugal partnership shall
partners to possess specific partnership propertyfor be governed by the rules on the contract of
partnership purposes; xxx partnership in all that is not in conflict with what is
expressly determined in this Chapter.

Under this provision, Glenn and Karen Go are effectively co-owners of Kargo In this connection, Article 1811 of the Civil Code provides
that [a] partner is a co-owner with the other partners of specific
Enterprises and the properties registered under this name; hence, both have an equal partnership property. Taken with the presumption of the conjugal

6
nature of the funds used to finance the four checks used to pay for Section 4. Spouses as parties. Husband and wife shall sue or be
petitioners stock subscriptions, and with the presumption that the sued jointly, except as provided by law.
credits themselves are part of conjugal funds, Article 1811 makes
Quirino and Milagros de Guzman co-owners of the alleged credit.
Non-joinder of indispensable
Being co-owners of the alleged credit, Quirino and parties not ground to dismiss
Milagros de Guzman may separately bring an action for the action
recovery thereof. In the fairly recent cases of Baloloy v.
Hular and Adlawan v. Adlawan, we held that, in a co-ownership,
co-owners may bring actions for the recovery of co-owned
Even assuming that Glenn Go is an indispensable party to the action, we
property without the necessity of joining all the other co-
owners as co-plaintiffs because the suit is presumed to have have held in a number of cases[26] that the misjoinder or non-joinder of indispensable
been filed for the benefit of his co-owners. In the latter case and
in that of De Guia v. Court of Appeals, we also held that Article parties in a complaint is not a ground for dismissal of action. As we stated
487 of the Civil Code, which provides that any of the co-owners
may bring an action for ejectment, covers all kinds of action for in Macababbad v. Masirag:[27]
the recovery of possession.
Rule 3, Section 11 of the Rules of Court provides that
In sum, in suits to recover properties, all co-owners are
neither misjoinder nor nonjoinder of parties is a ground for the
real parties in interest. However, pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil dismissal of an action, thus:
Code and relevant jurisprudence, any one of them may bring an
action, any kind of action, for the recovery of co-owned
Sec. 11. Misjoinder and non-joinder of parties.
properties. Therefore, only one of the co-owners, namely the
Neither misjoinder nor non-joinder of parties is
co-owner who filed the suit for the recovery of the co-owned
ground for dismissal of an action. Parties may be
property, is an indispensable party thereto. The other co-
dropped or added by order of the court on motion
owners are not indispensable parties. They are not even
of any party or on its own initiative at any stage
necessary parties, for a complete relief can be accorded in the suit
of the action and on such terms as are just. Any
even without their participation, since the suit is presumed to have claim against a misjoined party may be severed
been filed for the benefit of all co-owners.[25] [Emphasis supplied.] and proceeded with separately.

Under this ruling, either of the spouses Go may bring an action against In Domingo v. Scheer, this Court held that the proper
remedy when a party is left out is to implead the indispensable party
Navarro to recover possession of the Kargo Enterprises-leased vehicles which they at any stage of the action. The court, either motu proprio or upon
the motion of a party, may order the inclusion of the indispensable
co-own. This conclusion is consistent with Article 124 of the Family Code, supporting
party or give the plaintiff opportunity to amend his complaint in order
as it does the position that either spouse may act on behalf of the conjugal to include indispensable parties. If the plaintiff to whom the order to
include the indispensable party is directed refuses to comply with
partnership, so long as they do not dispose of or encumber the property in question the order of the court, the complaint may be dismissed upon motion
of the defendant or upon the court's own motion. Only upon
without the other spouses consent. unjustified failure or refusal to obey the order to include or to amend
is the action dismissed.

On this basis, we hold that since Glenn Go is not strictly an indispensable


In these lights, the RTC Order of July 26, 2000 requiring plaintiff Karen Go to join her
party in the action to recover possession of the leased vehicles, he only needs to be
husband as a party plaintiff is fully in order.
impleaded as a pro-forma party to the suit, based on Section 4, Rule 4 of the Rules,

which states:
Demand not required prior
to filing of replevin action

7
More importantly, Navarro is no longer in the position to claim that a prior demand is

In arguing that prior demand is required before an action for a writ of replevin necessary, as he has already admitted in his Answers that he had received the letters

is filed, Navarro apparently likens a replevin action to an unlawful detainer. that Karen Go sent him, demanding that he either pay his unpaid obligations or return

the leased motor vehicles. Navarros position that a demand is necessary and has not

For a writ of replevin to issue, all that the applicant must do is to file an affidavit and been made is therefore totally unmeritorious.

bond, pursuant to Section 2, Rule 60 of the Rules, which states:


WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DENY the petition for review for
Sec. 2. Affidavit and bond.
lack of merit. Costs against petitioner Roger V. Navarro.
The applicant must show by his own affidavit or that of some other
person who personally knows the facts:

(a) That the applicant is the owner of the property claimed, SO ORDERED.
particularly describing it, or is entitled to the
possession thereof;

(b) That the property is wrongfully detained by the adverse


party, alleging the cause of detention thereof according to the
best of his knowledge, information, and belief;

(c) That the property has not been distrained or taken for a tax
assessment or a fine pursuant to law, or seized under a writ
of execution or preliminary attachment, or otherwise placed
under custodia legis, or if so seized, that it is exempt from
such seizure or custody; and

(d) The actual market value of the property.

The applicant must also give a bond, executed to the adverse party
in double the value of the property as stated in the affidavit
aforementioned, for the return of the property to the adverse party
if such return be adjudged, and for the payment to the adverse party
of such sum as he may recover from the applicant in the action.

We see nothing in these provisions which requires the applicant to make a prior

demand on the possessor of the property before he can file an action for a writ of

replevin. Thus, prior demand is not a condition precedent to an action for a writ of
replevin.

8
THIRD DIVISION Assailed in this petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court are

the May 12, 2004 Decision[1] of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G.R. CV No. 43085

and the December 1, 2004 Resolution[2] denying reconsideration of the challenged


NIEVES PLASABAS and MARCOS MALAZARTE, G.R. No. 166519
decision.
Petitioners,
Present:

The pertinent facts and proceedings follow.


YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.,

Chairperson,
- versus -
CARPIO MORALES,*
In 1974, petitioners[3] filed a complaint for recovery of title to property with damages
CHICO-NAZARIO,
before the Court of First Instance (now, Regional Trial Court [RTC]) of
NACHURA, and Maasin, Southern Leyte against respondents. The case was docketed as Civil Case
PERALTA, JJ. No. R-1949. The property subject of the case was a parcel of coconut land in Canturing,
COURT OF APPEALS (Special Former Ninth Division),
DOMINADOR LUMEN, and AURORA AUNZO, Maasin, Southern Leyte, declared under Tax Declaration No. 3587 in the name of
Respondents. Promulgated: petitioner Nieves with an area of 2.6360 hectares. [4] In their complaint, petitioners

prayed that judgment be rendered confirming their rights and legal title to the subject

March 31, 2009 property and ordering the defendants to vacate the occupied portion and to pay
damages.[5]

x------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x

Respondents, for their part, denied petitioners allegation of ownership and possession

of the premises, and interposed, as their main defense, that the subject land was
DECISION
inherited by all the parties from their common ancestor, Francisco Plasabas. [6]

NACHURA, J.:

Revealed in the course of the trial was that petitioner Nieves, contrary to her allegations
in the complaint, was not the sole and absolute owner of the land. Based on the

testimonies of petitioners witnesses, the property passed on from Francisco to his son,

Leoncio; then to Jovita Talam, petitioner Nieves grandmother; then to Antonina Talam,
her mother; and then to her and her siblingsJose, Victor and Victoria. [7]

9
of the case. Not impleading them, any judgment would have no
effectiveness.

After resting their case, respondents raised in their memorandum the argument that the

case should have been terminated at inception for petitioners failure to implead They are that indispensable that a final decree would necessarily
affect their rights, so that the Court cannot proceed without their
indispensable parties, the other co-owners Jose, Victor and Victoria. presence. There are abundant authorities in this regard. Thus

The general rule with reference to the making of


In its April 19, 1993 Order,[8] the trial court, without ruling on the merits, dismissed the parties in a civil action requires the joinder of all
indispensable parties under any and all conditions,
case without prejudice, thus: their presence being a sine qua non of the
exercise of judicial power. (Borlasa v. Polistico, 47
Phil. 345, 348) For this reason, our Supreme Court
has held that when it appears of record that there
This Court, much as it wants to decide the instant case on the merits, are other persons interested in the subject matter
being one of the old inherited cases left behind, finds difficulty if not of the litigation, who are not made parties to the
impossibility of doing so at this stage of the proceedings when both action, it is the duty of the court to suspend the trial
parties have already rested their cases. Reluctantly, it agrees with until such parties are made either plaintiffs or
the defendants in the observation that some important indispensable defendants. (Pobre, et al. v. Blanco, 17 Phil.
consideration is conspicuously wanting or missing. 156). x x x Where the petition failed to join as party
defendant the person interested in sustaining the
proceeding in the court, the same should be
It is not the Courts wish to turn its back on the crucial part of the case, dismissed. x x x When an indispensable party is
which is the pronouncement of the judgment to settle the issues not before the court, the action should be
raised in the pleadings of the parties once and for all, after all the dismissed. (People, et al. v. Rodriguez, et al., G.R.
time, effort and expense spent in going through the trial process. Nos. L-14059-62, September 30, 1959) (sic)

But, rules are rules. They have to be followed, to arrive at a fair and Parties in interest without whom no final
just verdict. Section 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court provides: determination can be had of an action shall be
joined either as plaintiffs or defendants. (Sec. 7,
Rule 3, Rules of Court).The burden of procuring
the presence of all indispensable parties is on the
x x x Compulsory joinder of indispensable parties.
plaintiff. (39 Amjur [sic] 885). The evident purpose
Parties in interest without whom no final
of the rule is to prevent the multiplicity of suits by
determination can be had of an action shall be
requiring the person arresting a right against the
joined either as plaintiffs or defendants.
defendant to include with him, either as co-
plaintiffs or as co-defendants, all persons standing
in the same position, so that the whole matter in
What the Court wants to say here is that the instant case should have dispute may be determined once and for all in one
been dismissed without prejudice a long time ago for lack of cause litigation. (Palarca v. Baginsi, 38 Phil. 177, 178).
of action as the plaintiffs spouses Marcos Malazarte and Nieves
Plasabas Malazarte have no complete legal personality to sue by
themselves alone without joining the brothers and sisters of Nieves
who are as INDISPENSABLE as the latter in the final determination

10
An indispensable party is a party who has such an
interest in the controversy or subject matter that a
final adjudication cannot be made, in his absence,
without inquiring or affecting such interest; a party Article 487 of the Civil Code provides that any one of the co-owners may bring an action
who has not only an interest of such a nature that
a final decree cannot be made without affecting his for ejectment. The article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession,
interest or leaving the controversy in such a including an accion publiciana and a reivindicatory action. A co-owner may file suit
condition that its final determination may be wholly
inconsistent with equity and good conscience. (67 without necessarily joining all the other co-owners as co-plaintiffs because the suit is
C.J.S. 892). Indispensable parties are those
deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all. Any judgment of the court in favor of the
without whom no action can be finally
determined. (Sanidad v. Cabataje, 5 Phil. 204) plaintiff will benefit the other co-owners, but if the judgment is adverse, the same cannot
prejudice the rights of the unimpleaded co-owners.[13]

WHEREFORE, IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING


CONSIDERATIONS, both the complaint and the counterclaim in the
instant case are ordered DISMISSED without prejudice. No
pronouncement as to costs. With this disquisition, there is no need to determine whether petitioners complaint is

one for ejectment or for recovery of title. To repeat, Article 487 of the Civil Code applies

SO ORDERED.[9] to both actions.

Thus, petitioners, in their complaint, do not have to implead their co-owners as parties.
Aggrieved, petitioners elevated the case to the CA. In the challenged May 12, 2004 The only exception to this rule is when the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone
Decision,[10] the appellate court affirmed the ruling of the trial court. The CA, further, who claims to be the sole owner and is, thus, entitled to the possession thereof. In such
declared that the non-joinder of the indispensable parties would violate the principle of a case, the action will not prosper unless the plaintiff impleads the other co-owners who
due process, and that Article 487 of the Civil Code could not be applied considering are indispensable parties.[14]
that the complaint was not for ejectment, but for recovery of title or a reivindicatory
action.[11]
Here, the allegation of petitioners in their complaint that they are the sole

owners of the property in litigation is immaterial, considering that they acknowledged


With their motion for reconsideration denied in the further assailed December 1, 2004 during the trial that the property is co-owned by Nieves and her siblings, and that
Resolution,[12] petitioners filed the instant petition. petitioners have been authorized by the co-owners to pursue the case on the latters
behalf.[15] Impleading the other co-owners is, therefore, not mandatory, because, as
mentioned earlier, the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all.
The Court grants the petition and remands the case to the trial court for disposition on
the merits.

11
In any event, the trial and appellate courts committed reversible error when

they summarily dismissed the case, after both parties had rested their cases following

a protracted trial commencing in 1974, on the sole ground of failure to implead

indispensable parties. The rule is settled that the non-joinder of indispensable parties

is not a ground for the dismissal of an action. The remedy is to implead the non-party

claimed to be indispensable. Parties may be added by order of the court on motion of

the party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action and/or at such times as are

just. If petitioner refuses to implead an indispensable party despite the order of the

court, the latter may dismiss the complaint/petition for the plaintiffs/petitioner's failure
to comply therewith.[16]

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant petition is GRANTED, and

the case is REMANDED to the trial court for appropriate proceedings. The trial court is
further DIRECTED to decide on the merits of the civil case WITH DISPATCH.

SO ORDERED.

12
Court (MTC) of Minglanilla, Metro Cebu, in Civil Case No. 392, dismissing petitioner

Arnelito Adlawans unlawful detainer suit against respondents Emeterio and Narcisa
FIRST DIVISION
Adlawan. Likewise questioned is the January 8, 2004 Resolution[4] of the Court of
Appeals which denied petitioners motion for reconsideration.
ARNELITO ADLAWAN, G.R. No. 161916

Petitioner,
Present:
Panganiban, C.J. The instant ejectment suit stemmed from the parties dispute over Lot 7226 and the
(Chairman),
- versus - Ynares-Santiago, house built thereon, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 8842, [5] registered in

Austria-Martinez, the name of the late Dominador Adlawan and located at Barrio Lipata, Municipality of

Minglanilla, Cebu. In his complaint, petitioner claimed that he is an acknowledged


Callejo, Sr., and
illegitimate child[6] of Dominador who died on May 28, 1987 without any other issue.
Chico-Nazario, JJ.
Claiming to be the sole heir of Dominador, he executed an affidavit adjudicating to
EMETERIO M. ADLAWAN and
himself Lot 7226 and the house built thereon. [7] Out of respect and generosity to
NARCISA M. ADLAWAN, Promulgated:
respondents who are the siblings of his father, he granted their plea to occupy the
Respondents.
subject property provided they would vacate the same should his need for the property
January 20, 2006
arise. Sometime in January 1999, he verbally requested respondents to vacate the

house and lot, but they refused and filed instead an action for quieting of title [8] with the
x ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- x RTC. Finally, upon respondents refusal to heed the last demand letter to vacate dated
August 2, 2000, petitioner filed the instant case on August 9, 2000. [9]
DECISION

On the other hand, respondents Narcisa and Emeterio, 70 and 59 years of


YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.:
age, respectively,[10] denied that they begged petitioner to allow them to stay on the

questioned property and stressed that they have been occupying Lot 7226 and the

house standing thereon since birth. They alleged that Lot 7226 was originally registered

in the name of their deceased father, Ramon Adlawan[11] and the ancestral house
Assailed in this petition for review is the September 23, 2003 Decision [1] of the Court of
standing thereon was owned by Ramon and their mother, Oligia Maacap Adlawan. The
Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 74921 which set aside the September 13, 2002
spouses had nine[12] children including the late Dominador and herein surviving
Decision[2] of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City, Branch 7, in Civil Case No.
respondents Emeterio and Narcisa. During the lifetime of their parents and deceased
CEB-27806, and reinstated the February 12, 2002 Judgment[3] of the Municipal Trial
siblings, all of them lived on the said property. Dominador and his wife, Graciana

13
SO ORDERED.[17]
Ramas Adlawan, who died without issue, also occupied the same. [13]Petitioner, on the
other hand, is a stranger who never had possession of Lot 7226.

On appeal by petitioner, the RTC reversed the decision of the MTC holding

that the title of Dominador over Lot 7226 cannot be collaterally attacked. It thus ordered
Sometime in 1961, spouses Ramon and Oligia needed money to finance the
respondents to turn over possession of the controverted lot to petitioner and to pay
renovation of their house. Since they were not qualified to obtain a loan, they
compensation for the use and occupation of the premises. The decretal portion thereof,
transferred ownership of Lot 7226 in the name of their son Dominador who was the
provides:
only one in the family who had a college education. By virtue of a January 31, 1962

simulated deed of sale,[14] a title was issued to Dominador which enabled him to secure

a loan with Lot 7226 as collateral. Notwithstanding the execution of the simulated deed, Wherefore, the Judgment, dated February 12, 2002, of the
Municipal Trial Court of Minglanilla, Cebu, in Civil Case No. 392, is
Dominador, then single, never disputed his parents ownership of the lot. He and his
reversed. Defendants-appellees are directed to restore to plaintiff-
wife, Graciana, did not disturb respondents possession of the property until they died appellant possession of Lot 7226 and the house thereon, and to pay
plaintiff-appellant, beginning in August 2000, compensation for their
on May 28, 1987 and May 6, 1997, respectively. use and occupation of the property in the amount of P500.00 a
month.

Respondents also contended that Dominadors signature at the back of petitioners birth So ordered.[18]
certificate was forged, hence, the latter is not an heir of Dominador and has no right to

claim ownership of Lot 7226.[15] They argued that even if petitioner is indeed

Dominadors acknowledged illegitimate son, his right to succeed is doubtful because Meanwhile, the RTC granted petitioners motion for execution pending

Dominador was survived by his wife, Graciana.[16] appeal[19] which was opposed by the alleged nephew and nieces of Graciana in their

motion for leave to intervene and to file an answer in intervention. [20] They contended
On February 12, 2002, the MTC dismissed the complaint holding that the establishment
that as heirs of Graciana, they have a share in Lot 7226 and that intervention is
of petitioners filiation and the settlement of the estate of Dominador are conditions
necessary to protect their right over the property. In addition, they declared that as co-
precedent to the accrual of petitioners action for ejectment. It added that since
owners of the property, they are allowing respondents to stay in Lot 7226 until a formal
Dominador was survived by his wife, Graciana, who died 10 years thereafter, her legal
partition of the property is made.
heirs are also entitled to their share in Lot 7226. The dispositive portion thereof, reads:

In View of the foregoing, for failure to prove by preponderance of The RTC denied the motion for leave to intervene.[21] It, however, recalled the
evidence, the plaintiffs cause of action, the above-entitled case is
order granting the execution pending appeal having lost jurisdiction over the case in
hereby Ordered DISMISSED.
view of the petition filed by respondents with the Court of Appeals. [22]

14
This is so because Dominador was survived not only by petitioner but also by his legal

wife, Graciana, who died 10 years after the demise of Dominador on May 28,
On September 23, 2003, the Court of Appeals set aside the decision of the
1987.[24] By intestate succession, Graciana and petitioner became co-owners of Lot
RTC and reinstated the judgment of the MTC. It ratiocinated that petitioner and the
7226.[25] The death of Graciana on May 6, 1997, did not make petitioner the absolute
heirs of Graciana are co-owners of Lot 7226. As such, petitioner cannot eject
owner of Lot 7226 because the share of Graciana passed to her relatives by
respondents from the property via an unlawful detainer suit filed in his own name and
consanguinity and not to petitioner with whom she had no blood relations. The Court of
as the sole owner of the property. Thus
Appeals thus correctly held that petitioner has no authority to institute the instant action
as the sole owner of Lot 7226.
WHEEFORE, premises considered, the appealed Decision
dated September 13, 2002 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City,
Petitioner contends that even granting that he has co-owners over Lot 7226,
Branch 7, in Civil Case No. CEB-27806 is REVERSED and SET
ASIDE, and the Judgment dated February 12, 2002 of the Municipal he can on his own file the instant case pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil Code which
Trial Court of Minglanilla, Metro Cebu, in Civil Case No. 392 is
REINSTATED. Costs against the respondent. provides:

ART. 487. Any one of the co-owners may bring an action in


ejectment.
SO ORDERED.[23]
This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession. Article
487 includes forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of

Petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied. Hence, the instant petition. possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership (accion de

reivindicacion).[26] A co-owner may bring such an action without the necessity of joining

all the other co-owners as co-plaintiffs because the suit is presumed to have been filed

The decisive issue to be resolved is whether or not petitioner can validly to benefit his co-owners. It should be stressed, however, that where the suit is for the

maintain the instant case for ejectment. benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be the sole owner and entitled to the
possession of the litigated property, the action should be dismissed.[27]

The renowned civilist, Professor Arturo M. Tolentino, explained


Petitioner averred that he is an acknowledged illegitimate son and the sole
A co-owner may bring such an action, without the necessity of joining
heir of Dominador. He in fact executed an affidavit adjudicating to himself the all the other co-owners as co-plaintiffs, because the suit is deemed
controverted property. In ruling for the petitioner, the RTC held that the questioned to be instituted for the benefit of all. If the action is for the benefit
of the plaintiff alone, such that he claims possession for himself
January 31, 1962 deed of sale validly transferred title to Dominador and that petitioner and not for the co-ownership, the action will not prosper.
(Emphasis added)[28]
is his acknowledged illegitimate son who inherited ownership of the questioned lot. The

Court notes, however, that the RTC lost sight of the fact that the theory of succession

invoked by petitioner would end up proving that he is not the sole owner of Lot 7226.

15
In Baloloy v. Hular,[29] respondent filed a complaint for quieting of title claiming In the instant case, it is not disputed that petitioner brought the suit for unlawful

exclusive ownership of the property, but the evidence showed that respondent has co- detainer in his name alone and for his own benefit to the exclusion of the heirs of

owners over the property. In dismissing the complaint for want of respondents authority Graciana as he even executed an affidavit of self- adjudication over the disputed
to file the case, the Court held that property. It is clear therefore that petitioner cannot validly maintain the instant action

Under Article 487 of the New Civil Code, any of the co- considering that he does not recognize the co-ownership that necessarily flows from
owners may bring an action in ejectment. This article covers all kinds
his theory of succession to the property of his father, Dominador.
of actions for the recovery of possession, including an accion
publiciana and a reinvidicatory action. A co-owner may bring such an
action without the necessity of joining all the other co-owners as co- In the same vein, there is no merit in petitioners claim that he has the legal
plaintiffs because the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit
personality to file the present unlawful detainer suit because the ejectment of
of all. Any judgment of the court in favor of the co-owner will benefit
the others but if such judgment is adverse, the same cannot respondents would benefit not only him but also his alleged co-owners. However,
prejudice the rights of the unimpleaded co-owners. If the action is for
the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be the sole owner and petitioner forgets that he filed the instant case to acquire possession of the property
entitled to the possession thereof, the action will not prosper unless and to recover damages. If granted, he alone will gain possession of the lot and benefit
he impleads the other co-owners who are indispensable parties.
from the proceeds of the award of damages to the exclusion of the heirs of Graciana.

Hence, petitioner cannot successfully capitalize on the alleged benefit to his co-owners.
In this case, the respondent alone filed the complaint,
claiming sole ownership over the subject property and praying that Incidentally, it should be pointed out that in default of the said heirs of Graciana, whom
he be declared the sole owner thereof. There is no proof that the petitioner labeled as fictitious heirs, the State will inherit her share [31] and will thus be
other co-owners had waived their rights over the subject property or
conveyed the same to the respondent or such co-owners were aware petitioners co-owner entitled to possession and enjoyment of the property.
of the case in the trial court. The trial court rendered judgment
declaring the respondent as the sole owner of the property and The present controversy should be differentiated from the cases where the
entitled to its possession, to the prejudice of the latters siblings.
Patently then, the decision of the trial court is erroneous. Court upheld the right of a co-owner to file a suit pursuant to Article 487 of the Civil
Code. In Resuena v. Court of Appeals,[32] and Sering v. Plazo,[33] the co-owners who

Under Section 7, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, the filed the ejectment case did not represent themselves as the exclusive owner of the
respondent was mandated to implead his siblings, being co-owners property. In Celino v. Heirs of Alejo and Teresa Santiago,[34] the complaint for quieting
of the property, as parties. The respondent failed to comply with the
rule. It must, likewise, be stressed that the Republic of the Philippines of title was brought in behalf of the co-owners precisely to recover lots owned in
is also an indispensable party as defendant because the respondent
common.[35] Similarly in Vencilao v. Camarenta,[36] the amended complaint specified
sought the nullification of OCT No. P-16540 which was issued based
on Free Patent No. 384019. Unless the State is impleaded as party- that the plaintiff is one of the heirs who co-owns the controverted properties.
defendant, any decision of the Court would not be binding on it. It
has been held that the absence of an indispensable party in a case
In the foregoing cases, the plaintiff never disputed the existence of a co-
renders ineffective all the proceedings subsequent to the filing of the
complaint including the judgment. The absence of the respondents ownership nor claimed to be the sole or exclusive owner of the litigated lot. A favorable
siblings, as parties, rendered all proceedings subsequent to the filing
thereof, including the judgment of the court, ineffective for want of decision therein would of course inure to the benefit not only of the plaintiff but to his
authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those co-owners as well. The instant case, however, presents an entirely different backdrop
present.[30]

16
as petitioner vigorously asserted absolute and sole ownership of the questioned lot. In
his complaint, petitioner made the following allegations, to wit:

3. The plaintiff was the only son (illegitimate) and sole


heir of the late DOMINADOR ADLAWAN who died intestate on 28
May 1987 without any other descendant nor ascendant x x x.

xxxx

5. Being the only child/descendant and, therefore, sole


heir of the deceased Dominador Adlawan, the plaintiff became the
absolute owner, and automatically took POSSESSION, of the
aforementioned house and lot x x x. (Emphasis added)[37]

Clearly, the said cases find no application here because petitioners action

operates as a complete repudiation of the existence of co-ownership and not in

representation or recognition thereof. Dismissal of the complaint is therefore proper. As

noted by Former Supreme Court Associate Justice Edgrado L. Paras [i]t is understood,

of course, that the action [under Article 487 of the Civil Code] is being instituted for all.

Hence, if the co-owner expressly states that he is bringing the case only for himself,
the action should not be allowed to prosper.[38]

Indeed, respondents not less than four decade actual physical possession of
the questioned ancestral house and lot deserves to be respected especially so that

petitioner failed to show that he has the requisite personality and authority as co-owner

to file the instant case. Justice dictates that respondents who are now in the twilight

years of their life be granted possession of their ancestral property where their parents

and siblings lived during their lifetime, and where they, will probably spend the
remaining days of their life.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The September 23, 2003 Decision of

the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 74921 which reinstated the February 12, 2002
Judgment of the Municipal Trial Court of Minglanilla, Metro Cebu, dismissing petitioners
complaint in Civil Case No. 392, and its January 8, 2004 Resolution, are AFFIRMED.

SO ORDERED.

17
FIRST DIVISION claimed that the FISHPOND was originally owned by Maxima Termulo who died
intestate with Primitiva Lejano as her only heir. According to him, ABEJO is not the
owner of the entire FISHPOND but the heirs of Primitiva Lejano who authorized him to
possess the entire FISHPOND. He assailed ABEJOs ownership of the undivided
portion of the FISHPOND as void and claimed ownership over an undivided half portion
[G.R. No. 120864. October 8, 2003]
of the FISHPOND for himself. DE GUIA sought payment of damages and
reimbursement for the improvements he introduced as a builder in good faith.
The trial court set the pre-trial and required the parties to file their pre-trial
MANUEL T. DE GUIA, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (Former Sixth briefs. ABEJO filed his pre-trial brief[5] on 05 April 1990. DE GUIA filed his pre-trial
Division) and JOSE B. ABEJO, represented by his Attorney-in- brief[6] on 31 July 1990. DE GUIAs pre-trial brief raised as the only issue in the case
Fact, Hermenegilda Abejo-Rivera, respondents. the amount of damages in the form of rent that DE GUIA should pay ABEJO. DE GUIA
also submitted an Offer to Compromise,[7] offering to settle ABEJOs claim for P300,000
and to lease the entire FISHPOND to any party of ABEJOs choice.
DECISION
Hearing commenced on 30 July 1990. ABEJO rested his case on 4 December
CARPIO, J.: 1990. DE GUIAs last witness completed her testimony on 22 November 1991. The trial
court summarized the evidence presented by ABEJO and DE GUIA as follows:

The Case Evidence adduced from plaintiff shows that there are two parcels of land covering a
fishpond with a total area of 79,220 sq. m. more or less, situated at Ubihan,
Meycauayan, Bulacan andcovered by TCT No. 6358 equally owned by Primitiva
This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari[1] assailing the 22 August Lejano and Lorenza Araniego married to Juan Abejo (Exh. A). The one half undivided
1994 Decision[2] as well as the 27 June 1995 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA- portion owned by Lorenza Araniego corresponding to 39,611 sq. m. was later
G.R. CV No. 39875. The Court of Appeals affirmed the Decision[3] of the Regional Trial purchased by plaintiff from his father Teofilo Abejo (Exh. B), the only heir of the
Court (trial court) of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 16, in Civil Case No. 8796-M. The trial original owner on November 22, 1983. Prior to this sale on July 30, 1974 the whole
courts Decision ordered petitioner Manuel T. De Guia (DE GUIA) to turn over to private fishpond (79,220) was the subject of a Salin ng Pamumusisyong ng Palaisdaan
respondent Jose B. Abejo (ABEJO) possession of the one half () undivided portion of executed by the heirs of Primitiva Lejano with the knowledge and consent
a fishpond and to pay actual damages and attorneys fees. of Teofilo A. Abejo in favor of one Aniano Victa and defendant. The contract provided
that the period of lease shall be until November 30, 1979. When the contract expired
and defendant failed to surrender the fishpond, written demands the last of which was
on November 27, 1983 were made for defendants to pay back rental and to vacate
The Antecedents the premises in question (Exh. D & E). Defendant refused to deliver possession and
also to pay the rentals due. In anticipation, however, that defendant will vacate the
fishpond, plaintiff, on December 21, 1983 entered into a two year Kasunduan ng
On 12 May 1986, ABEJO[4] instituted an action for recovery of possession with Buwisan ng Palaisdaan with Ruperto C. Villarico for a consideration of P50,000.00
damages against DE GUIA. In his complaint, ABEJO alleged that he is the owner of (Exh. G). This contract, despite its execution and even already notarized, had to be
the undivided portion of a property used as a fishpond (FISHPOND) situated in cancelled and the amount of P50,000.00 returnedby plaintiff to Villarico when the
Meycauayan, Bulacan and covered by TCT No. T-6358 of the Bulacan Register of defendant did not heed the demand to vacate the fishpond. For unpaid rental, actual
Deeds. He alleged ownership over approximately 39,611 square meters out of the as well as moral and exemplary damages, plaintiff asks payment of P450,000.00
FISHPONDs total area of 79,220 square meters. ABEJO further averred that DE GUIA and P20,000.00 attorneys fees.
continues to possess and use the FISHPOND without any contract and without paying
rent to ABEJOs damage and prejudice. ABEJO also complained that DE GUIA refuses On the other hand, defendants evidence tends to show that the entire fishpond with
to surrender ownership and possession of the FISHPOND despite repeated demands an area of 79,200 sq. m. was leased to him by the heirs of Primitiva
to do so after DE GUIAs sublease contract over the FISHPOND had expired. ABEJO Lejano. Subsequently, defendant became the absolute owner of one half of the
asked the trial court to order DE GUIA to vacate an approximate area of 39,611 square undivided area of the fishpond and he questioned plaintiffs ownership of the other half
meters as well as pay damages. as void and fraudulent. As to the area pertaining to plaintiff, defendant claimed that he
DE GUIA, a lawyer by profession, appeared on his own behalf. He filed his introduced improvements worth P500,000 and being in good faith, he asked that he
Answer on 12 January 1990 after the Court of Appeals resolved several issues should be reimbursed by plaintiff. In his pre-trial brief, however, defendant raised the
concerning the validity of the service of summons on him. In his Answer, DE GUIA only issue which is the amount of damages plaintiff is entitled to in the form of
alleged that the complaint does not state a cause of action and has prescribed. He rental. Hence, the thrust of the testimonies of defendants witnesses particularly Ben
Ruben Camargo and Marta Fernando Pea was the amount of rental of fishponds in

18
the same locality as the fishpond in question at a given time. However, the 3. The FISHPOND has a total land area of approximately 79,220 square
documentary evidence (Exhs. 1 and 2) in support of their testimony were not offered meters. ABEJO is seeking to recover possession of the undivided
as evidence.[8] portion of the FISHPOND containing 39,611 square meters.
4. DE GUIA (along with a certain Aniano Victa) acquired possession of the
The trial court rendered its decision on 8 June 1992, disposing as follows: entire FISHPOND by virtue of a document captioned Salin ng
Pamumusisyong ng Palaisdaan (Lease Contract) executed between
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the him and the heirs of Primitiva Lejano. The Lease Contract was effective
plaintiff and against the defendant and hereby orders that: from 30 July 1974 up to 30 November 1979 for a consideration
of P100,000.
1. Defendant shall turn over possession to plaintiff one half undivided 5. The Lease Contract was executed with the knowledge and consent of
portion of the 79,200 sq. m. fishpond who shall enjoy the Teofilo Abejo, sole heir of Lorenza Araniego Abejo. Teofilo Abejo
benefits and fruits in equal share with the defendant acquired Lorenza Araniego Abejos undivided share in the FISHPOND
effective immediately until such time that partition of the by intestate succession.
property is effected;
6. Teofilo Abejo (now deceased) sold his undivided share in the
2. Defendant shall pay to plaintiff the amount of P262,500.00 by way FISHPOND to his son, ABEJO, on 22 November 1983.
of actual or compensatory damages; 7. DE GUIA continues to possess the entire FISHPOND and to derive
income from the property despite the expiration of the Lease Contract
3 Defendant shall pay plaintiff P20,000.00 as and for attorneys fees; and several demands to vacate made by Teofilo Abejo and by his
and successor-in-interest, ABEJO. The last demand letter was dated 27
November 1983.
4. To pay the costs. 8. ABEJO filed his complaint for recovery of possession with damages
against DE GUIA on 12 May 1986.
SO ORDERED.[9]
9. DE GUIAs claim of ownership over the other undivided portion of
the FISHPOND has not been finally adjudicated for or against him.
Aggrieved, DE GUIA went to the Court of Appeals insisting the trial court erred in
ordering him to vacate and surrender possession of the undivided portion of the DE GUIA offers the verified Complaint for Annulment of Real Estate Mortgage
FISHPOND and to pay actual damages and attorneys fees. The Court of Appeals found and Contract of Lease with Preliminary Injunction signed by the heirs of Primitiva
DE GUIAs appeal without merit and affirmed the trial courts decision. Upon DE GUIAs Lejano as proof of his ownership of the other undivided half portion of the FISHPOND.
motion for reconsideration, the appellate court reduced the compensatory damages Records show that DE GUIA filed the complaint for himself and as attorney-in fact of
from P262,500 to P212,500. the heirs of Primitiva Lejano (Lejano Heirs)[10] against Spouses Teofilo Morte and
Angelina Villarico, Spouses Ruperto and Milagros Villarico, et al. (Defendants). The
Hence, the instant petition. case was raffled to Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court of Malolos, Bulacan, and
The undisputed facts as found by the trial court and adopted in toto by the Court docketed as Civil Case. No. 86-27-M. The complaint alleged that DE GUIA acquired
of Appeals are restated as follows: his undivided share in the FISHPOND from the Lejano Heirs in February 1986. DE
GUIA and the Lejano Heirs sought to annul the Kasulatan ng Sanglaan and Kasulatan
1. The subject of the dispute are two undivided parcels of land used as a ng Pagbubuwis ng Palaisdaan,executed on 10 November 1979 by Primitiva Lejano in
fishpond situated in Barrio Ubihan, Meycauayan, Bulacan, originally co- favor of the Defendants. DE GUIA and the Lejano Heirs claimed that Primitiva Lejano
owned by Primitiva Lejano and Lorenza Araniego married to Juan Abejo. signed these documents under duress and without consideration.
2. The FISHPOND is registered under the names of Primitiva Lejano and The trial court rendered judgment[11] on 28 February 1992 against DE GUIA and
Lorenza Araniego under TCT No. 6358 of the Bulacan Register of Deeds the Lejano Heirs as follows:
as follows:
WHEREFORE, the evidence having shown the plaintiffs, particularly Manuel De Guia,
PRIMITIVA LEJANO, Filipina, of legal age, single - share; and their successor-in-interest, not entitled upon the facts and the law to the relief prayed
LORENZA ARANIEGO, Filipina, of legal age, married to Juan for in the amended complaint, the same is hereby DISMISSED with costs against said
Abejo, share, --- plaintiff. Instead, as prayed for by defendants, judgment is hereby rendered:

19
1. Declaring the Kasulatan ng Sanglaan (Exhs. A & 1) C. Villarico when they cancelled the Lease Contract between them due to DE
dated November 10, 1979, and the Kasulatan ng GUIAs refusal to vacate the FISHPOND.
Pagbubuwis ng Palaisdaan (Exhs. C &3) also
dated November 10, 1979, as valid for all legal intents Lastly, the trial court ruled that pending partition, ABEJO as co-owner has the
and purposes; right to possess the FISHPOND and to receive an equal share in the benefits from the
FISHPOND effective immediately. Until there is a partition, and while there is no
contract of lease, the Civil Code provisions on co-ownership shall govern the rights of
2. Ordering the Ex-Officio Sheriff, RTC, Bulacan, to proceed with the the parties.
extrajudicial foreclosure of the subject real estate
mortgage; and

3. Ordering plaintiffs to pay defendants attorneys fees in the amount The Court of Appeals Ruling
of P20,000.00.

The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial courts decision. The Court of Appeals
SO ORDERED.[12]
debunked DE GUIAs claim that partition and not recovery of possession was the proper
remedy under the circumstances. The Court of Appeals pointed out that DE GUIAs
The Court of Appeals affirmed the trial court in a Decision dated 30 August failure to respect ABEJOs right over his undivided share in the FISHPOND justifies the
2002 in CA-G.R. CV No. 38031. The Court of Appeals found the claim of force and action for recovery of possession. The trial courts decision effectively enforces ABEJOs
intimidation in the execution of the documents as highly improbable since Primitiva right over the property which DE GUIA violated by possession and use without
Lejanos son, Renato Davis, witnessed the signing of the documents and found nothing payingcompensation. According to the Court of Appeals, partition would constitute a
irregular at the time.The appellate court also held that assuming Defendants threatened mechanical aspect of the decision just like accounting when necessary.
DE GUIA and the Lejano Heirs with immediate foreclosure, Defendants were merely
exercising their legitimate right of foreclosing the mortgaged property for non-payment The Court of Appeals likewise rejected DE GUIAs claim that the award of
of the loan. In addition, Primitiva Lejanos lawyer and notary public, Atty. Mamerto Abao, compensatory damages of P242,000, computed based on the rent stipulated in the
testified that the parties appeared before him to affirm the contents of the Lease Contract between ABEJO and Ruperto C. Villarico, is grossly exorbitant. The
documents. He also stated that he was present when Defendants paid Primitiva Lejano Court of Appeals clarified that the amount the trial court awarded was P262,500 and
Davis and her son Renato. As of this writing, DE GUIA has a pending motion for not P242,000 as erroneously alleged by DE GUIA. The Court of Appeals pointed out
reconsideration before the Court of Appeals. In the event the Court of Appeals Decision that the notarized Lease Contract between ABEJO and Ruperto C. Villarico carries
attains finality, DE GUIA may lose whatever right he claims over the FISHPOND. more evidentiary weight than the testimonies of DE GUIAs witnesses, Ben
Ruben Camargo and Marta Fernando Pea. The Court of Appeals also upheld the
The Trial Courts Ruling award of attorneys fees since the parties could have avoided litigation had DE GUIA
heeded the justifiable demands of ABEJO.
The trial court ruled that ABEJO has the right to demand that DE GUIA vacate
and surrender an area equivalent to ABEJOs undivided share in the FISHPOND. The On motion for reconsideration, the Court of Appeals reduced the compensatory
trial court explained that DE GUIAs sublease contract expired in 1979 and ABEJO damages from P262,500 to P212,500. The Court of Appeals explained that the trial
acquired his fathers share in 1983. However, the trial court pointed out that ABEJO court correctly computed the total amount of rent due at P212,500. The trial court erred,
failed to present evidence of the judicial or extra-judicial partition of the however, in adding the sum of P50,000 representing the rent for 1983 and 1984 which
FISHPOND. The identification of the specific area pertaining to ABEJO and his co- ABEJO returned to Ruperto C. Villarico. The appellate court clarified that the sum
owner is vital in an action to recover possession of real property. Nevertheless, the trial of P212,500 was arrived at by multiplying the rent of P25,000 by 8 years. The 8 year
court declared that pending partition, it is only just that DE GUIA pay ABEJO a period already included the two months rent received from and then subsequently
reasonable amount as rental for the use of ABEJOs share in the FISHPOND. DE GUIA reimbursed to Ruperto C. Villarico.
admitted this obligation when he raised as sole issue in his pre-trial brief how much rent
he should pay ABEJO. DE GUIA even proposed P300,000 as the reasonable
amount but under certain conditions which ABEJO found unacceptable.
The Issues
In determining the reasonable rent due to ABEJO, the trial court considered the
Lease Contract between ABEJO and a certain Ruperto C. Villarico which provided for
a yearly rent of P25,000 for undivided portion of the FISHPOND. The trial court DE GUIA raises the following issues in his Memorandum:
declared that the total amount of rent due is P212,500, computed from November 1983
when ABEJO became a co-owner of the FISHPOND up to 1991[13] or a period of eight I.
and one half years. The trial court further ordered DE GUIA to pay an THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE
additional P50,000 which represents the amount ABEJO returned to Ruperto TRIAL COURTS DECISION DENYING PETITIONERS

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PLEA FOR DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINT FOR owned by different people are already concretely determined and separately
FAILURE TO STATE A CAUSE OF ACTION; identifiable, even if not yet technically described.[16]

II. Article 487 of the Civil Code provides, [a]ny one of the co-owners may bring an
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE action in ejectment. This article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of
TRIAL COURTS ORDER DIRECTING PETITIONER TO possession.Article 487 includes forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal),
TURN OVER THE ONE-HALF UNDIVIDED PORTION recovery of possession (accion publiciana), and recovery of ownership (accion de
OF THE FISHPOND WHICH IS STILL UNDER A STATE reivindicacion).The summary actions of forcible entry and unlawful detainer seek the
OF CO-OWNERSHIP; recovery of physical possession only. These actions are brought before municipal trial
courts within one year from dispossession. However, accion publiciana, which is a
III. plenary action for recovery of the right to possess, falls under the jurisdiction of the
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING, IN proper regional trial court when the dispossession has lasted for more than one
PART, THE AWARD OF ACTUAL OR year. Accion de reivindicacion, which seeks the recovery of ownership, also falls under
COMPENSATORY DAMAGES DESPITE LACK OF the jurisdiction of the proper regional trial court.[17]
CREDIBLE EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THE SAME; Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against a third
person, but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and
IV. asserts exclusive ownership of the property.[18] In the latter case, however, the only
THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN AFFIRMING THE purpose of the action is to obtain recognition of the co-ownership. The plaintiff cannot
AWARD OF ATTORNEYS FEES IN PRIVATE seek exclusion of the defendant from the property because as co-owner he has a right
RESPONDENTS FAVOR.[14] of possession. The plaintiff cannot recover any material or determinate part of the
In essence, this Court is asked to resolve: (1) whether an action for recovery of property.[19]
possession and turn-over of the undivided portion of a common property is proper In Hermogena G. Engreso with Spouse Jose Engreso v. Nestoria De La
before partition; and (2) whether there is sufficient basis for the award of compensatory Cruz and Herminio De La Cruz,[20] we reiterated the rule that a co-owner cannot
damages and attorneys fees. recover a material or determinate part of a common property prior to partition as follows:

It is a basic principle in civil law that before a property owned in common is actually
The Courts Ruling partitioned, all that the co-owner has is an ideal or abstract quota or proportionate
share in the entire property. A co-owner has no right to demand a concrete, specific
or determinate part of the thing owned in common because until division is effected
The petition is partly meritorious. his right over the thing is represented only by an ideal portion.

As such, the only effect of an action brought by a co-owner against a co-owner will be
to obtain recognition of the co-ownership; the defendant cannot be excluded from a
First and Second Issues: Cause of Action and Turn-Over of Possession
specific portion of the property because as a co-owner he has a right to possess and
the plaintiff cannot recover any material or determinate part of the property. Thus, the
courts a quo erred when they ordered the delivery of one-half () of the building in
DE GUIA contends that a co-owner cannot claim a definite portion from the favor of private respondent.
property owned in common until there is a partition. DE GUIA argues that ABEJO
should have filed an action for partition instead of recovery of possession since the
court cannot implement any decision in the latter case without first a partition. DE GUIA Indisputably, DE GUIA has been in exclusive possession of the entire FISHPOND
contends that an action for recovery of possession cannot prosper when the property since July 1974. Initially, DE GUIA disputed ABEJOs claim of ownership over the
subject of the action is part of an undivided, co-owned property. The procedural mode undivided portion of the FISHPOND. Subsequently, he implicitly
adopted by ABEJO, which is recovery of possession, makes enforcement difficult if not recognized ABEJOs undivided share by offering to settle the case for P300,000 and to
impossible since there is still no partition of the subject property. vacate the property.During the trial proper, neither DE GUIA nor ABEJO asserted or
manifested a claim of absolute and exclusive ownership over the entire
Under Article 484 of the Civil Code, there is co-ownership whenever the FISHPOND. Before this Court, DE GUIA limits the issues to the propriety of bringing
ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons. A co-owner of an an action for recovery of possession and the recovery of compensatory damages.
undivided parcel of land is an owner of the whole, and over the whole he exercises the
right of dominion, but he is at the same time the owner of a portion which is truly Following the inherent and peculiar features of co-ownership, while ABEJO and
abstract.[15] On the other hand, there is no co-ownership when the different portions DE GUIA have equal shares in the FISHPOND quantitatively speaking, they have the
same right in a qualitative sense as co-owners. Simply stated, ABEJO and DE GUIA

21
are owners of the whole and over the whole, they exercise the right of FISHPOND without paying rent would prejudice ABEJOs right to receive rent, which
dominion. However, they are at the same time individual owners of a portion, which is would have accrued to his share in the FISHPOND had it been leased to
truly abstract because until there is partition, such portion remains indeterminate or others.[28] Since ABEJO acquired his undivided share in the FISHPOND on 22
unidentified.[21] As co-owners, ABEJO and DE GUIA may jointly exercise the right of November 1983, DE GUIA should pay ABEJO reasonable rent for his possession and
dominion over the entire FISHPOND until they partition the FISHPOND by identifying use of ABEJOs portion beginning from that date. The compensatory damages
or segregating their respective portions. of P25,000 per year awarded to ABEJO is the fair rental value or the reasonable
compensation for the use and occupation of the leased property, [29] considering the
Since a co-ownership subsists between ABEJO and DE GUIA, judicial or extra- circumstances at that time. DE GUIA shall continue to pay ABEJO a yearly rent
judicial partition is the proper recourse. An action to demand partition is imprescriptible of P25,000 corresponding to ABEJOs undivided share in the FISHPOND. However,
and not subject to laches.[22] Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of ABEJO has the option either to exercise an equal right to occupy the FISHPOND, or to
the common property unless a co-owner has repudiated the co-ownership under certain file a new petition before the trial court to fix a new rental rate in view of changed
conditions.[23] Neither ABEJO nor DE GUIA has repudiated the co-ownership under the circumstances in the last 20 years.
conditions set by law.
ABEJO made an extrajudicial demand on DE GUIA by sending the 27 November
To recapitulate, we rule that a co-owner may file an action for recovery of possession 1983 demand letter. Thus, the rent in arrears should earn interest at 6% per annum
against a co-owner who takes exclusive possession of the entire co-owned from 27 November 1983 until finality of this decision pursuant to Article 2209[30] of the
property.However, the only effect of such action is a recognition of the co- Civil Code. Thereafter, the interest rate is 12% per annum from finality of this decision
ownership. The courts cannot proceed with the actual partitioning of the co-owned until full payment.[31]
property. Thus, judicial or extra-judicial partition is necessary to effect physical division
of the FISHPOND between ABEJO and DE GUIA. An action for partition is also the
proper forum for accounting the profits received by DE GUIA from the
FISHPOND. However, as a necessary consequence of such recognition, ABEJO shall Third Issue: Lack of Credible Evidence to Support Award
exercise an equal right to possess, use and enjoy the entire FISHPOND. of Compensatory Damages
DE GUIA further claims that the trial and appellate courts erred when they ordered
the recovery of rent when the exact identity of the portion in question had not yet been
DE GUIA contends the P212,500 in rent awarded to ABEJO is exorbitant. He
clearly defined and delineated. According to DE GUIA, an order to pay damages in the
assails as doubtful and self-serving evidence the Lease Contract between ABEJO and
form of rent is premature before partition.
Ruperto C. Villarico that served as basis for the yearly rent of P25,000 for ABEJOs
We disagree. share in the FISHPOND.

The right of enjoyment by each co-owner is limited by a similar right of the other DE GUIA says the trial and appellate courts should have given credence to the
co-owners. A co-owner cannot devote common property to his exclusive use to the testimonies of his witnesses, Ben Ruben Camargo (Camargo) and Marta Fernando
prejudice of the co-ownership.[24] Hence, if the subject is a residential house, all the co- Pea (Pea) that rentals of fishponds in the same vicinity are for much lesser
owners may live there with their respective families to the extent possible. However, if considerations.
one co-owner alone occupies the entire house without opposition from the other co-
This issue involves calibration of the whole evidence considering mainly the
owners, and there is no lease agreement, the other co-owners cannot demand the
credibility of witnesses. As a rule, a party may raise only questions of law in an appeal
payment of rent. Conversely, if there is an agreement to lease the house, the co-
by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The Supreme Court is not duty-bound
owners can demand rent from the co-owner who dwells in the house.
to analyze and weigh again the evidence considered in the proceedings below. [32] More
The co-owners can either exercise an equal right to live in the house, or agree to so in the instant case, where the Court of Appeals affirmed the factual findings of the
lease it. If they fail to exercise any of these options, they must bear the trial court.[33]
consequences. It would be unjust to require the co-owner to pay rent after the co-
It is not true that the trial court disregarded the testimonies
owners by their silence have allowed him to use the property.[25]
of Camargo and Pea because DE GUIA failed to present documentary evidence to
In case the co-owners agree to lease a building owned in common, a co-owner support their testimonies.Actually, the trial and appellate courts found the testimonies
cannot retain it for his use without paying the proper rent. [26] Moreover, where part of of Camargo and Pea unconvincing. Judges cannot be expected to rely on the
the property is occupied exclusively by some co-owners for the exploitation of an testimonies of every witness. In ascertaining the facts, they determine who are credible
industry, the other co-owners become co-participants in the accessions of the property and who are not. In doing so, they consider all the evidence before them.[34]
and should share in its net profits.[27]
We find no cogent reason to overturn the trial and appellate courts evaluation of
The Lejano Heirs and Teofilo Abejo agreed to lease the entire FISHPOND to DE the witnesses testimonies. We likewise find reasonable the P25,000 yearly
GUIA. After DE GUIAs lease expired in 1979, he could no longer use the entire compensation for ABEJOs undivided share in the FISHPOND. Indeed, being a
FISHPOND without paying rent. To allow DE GUIA to continue using the entire question of fact, it is for the trial and appellate courts to decide and this Court will not

22
disturb their findings unless clearly baseless or irrational. The exception does not obtain
in this case.
Fourth Issue: Attorneys Fees
The trial court did not err in imposing attorneys fees of P20,000. Attorneys fees
can be awarded in the cases enumerated in Article 2208 of the Civil Code specifically:
xxx
(2) Where the defendants act or omission has compelled the plaintiff to
litigate with third persons or to incur expenses to protect his interest;
xxx
DE GUIA is a lawyer and he should have known that a co-owner could not take
exclusive possession of a common property. Although DE GUIA offered to settle the
case out of court, such offer was made under conditions not acceptable to
ABEJO. Certainly, ABEJO was still put to unnecessary expense and trouble to protect
his interest under paragraph (2), Article 2208 of the Civil Code.
WHEREFORE, the Decision dated 22 August 1994 and Resolution dated 27
June 1995 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 39875 is AFFIRMED with respect
to that portion ordering Manuel T. De Guia to pay Jose B. Abejo compensatory
damages of P212,500 and attorneys fees of P20,000, and MODIFIED as follows:
1. The co-ownership between Manuel T. De Guia and Jose B. Abejo over
the entire FISHPOND covered by TCT No. 6358 of the Bulacan Register
of Deeds is recognized without prejudice to the outcome of CAG.R. CV
No. 38031 pending before the Court of Appeals and other cases
involving the same property;
2. Manuel T. De Guia and Jose B. Abejo shall equally enjoy possession and
use of the entire FISHPOND prior to partition;
3. The compensatory damages of P25,000 per annum representing rent
from 27 November 1983 until May 1992 shall earn interest at 6% per
annum from 27 November 1983 until finality of this decision, and
thereafter at 12% per annum until full payment;
4. Manuel T. de Guia shall pay Jose B. Abejo a yearly rent of P25,000 from
June 1992 until finality of this decision, with interest at 6% per annum
during the same period, and thereafter at 12% interest per annum until
full payment;
5. After finality of this decision and for as long as Manuel T. de Guia
exclusively possesses the entire FISHPOND, he shall pay Jose B. Abejo
a yearly rental of P25,000 for the latters undivided share in the
FISHPOND, unless Jose B. Abejo secures from the proper court an
order fixing a different rental rate in view of possible changed
circumstances.
SO ORDERED.
Davide, Jr., C.J., (Chairman), Vitug, Ynares-Santiago and Azcuna, JJ., concur.

23