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Jose Ponce de Leon v.

Rehabilitation Finance AUTHOR: Tiglao


Corporation and the Sorianos NOTES: It does not mean that since the OCT would show
[36 SCRA 289 // 18 December 1970] that the land was registered in the name of Francisco married
TOPIC: Certificate of Title to Tomasa, that it would constitute conjugal property.
PONENTE: J. Concepcion
FACTS:
In this case, De Leon and Francisco Soriano both obtained a loan worth 10,000 from PNB. The loan was secured by a
mortgaged land located in Paranaque. This land was covered by an OCT which stated, in the name of Francisco,
married to Tomasa
De Leon then applied for an industrial loan with RFC. He offered the same land mortgaged to PNB as his security for
the loan. RFC then paid the loan to PNB.
Since De Leon failed to pay the loan which he applied with RFC, the latter foreclosed the said mortgage. Afterwards,
RFC purchased the said land during the auction sale.
Consequently, Francisco Soriano tried to exercise his right to redeem said land. However, RFC rejected his offer.
RFC then scheduled for the public sale of the land it bought from the auction sale.
In order to prevent the said sale, De Leon filed an action restrain RFC from conducting the said public sale. De Leon
argues that:
o RFC was delayed in releasing the loan to De Leon
o Typhoons had destroyed his sawmills
o The sale by the sheriff was void because the said land was sold at a grossly inadequate price
Francisco Sorianos successors, hereinafter referred to as Sorianos, filed a third party complaint against RFC and De
Leon. They contend that:
o The mortgage of the said land in favor of RFC was void because it lacked Franciscos consent since
he is the owner under the OCT
o The land belonged to the conjugal partnership of Francisco and Tomasa, who were both dead at the
time the mortgage was executed
RTC Ruling: De Leons complaint was dismissed. As to the Sorianos third party complaint, RTC ruled:
o Francisco signed the mortgage with knowledge of the contents and with consideration
o However, the mortgage and sale to RFC is void as to the share because the land is presumed to
belong to the conjugal partnership
ISSUES:
1. Did the land mortgaged to RFC form part of the conjugal partnership? NO.
2. Are the Sorianos estopped from questioning the validity of the mortgage and the foreclosure sale? YES.

HELD: RTCs decision is reversed. SC declares the mortgage and sale valid.

RATIO:
The OCT does not establish the time of acquisition of land by the registered owner. Thus, proof of acquisition
during marriage is a condition for the operation of the presumption that land belongs to the conjugal partnership.

The Sorianos have not succeeded in proving that the land was acquired "during the marriage" of their parents
Francisco and Tomasa.
Had the property been acquired during marriage, it would have been registered, in the name of the spouses
Francisco and Tomasa and not "Francisco, married to Tomasa."
Difficult to believe that the Sorianos did not know of the mortgage constituted by their father Francisco on 1951.

Being aware of the mortgage since 1951, the Sorianos did not question its validity until 1957.
Worse still, after the foreclosure sale in favor of RFC, they tried to redeem the property for P14,000, and, when the
RFC did not agree, they even sought the help of the Office of the President.
Failure to contest the legality of the mortgage for over 5 years and the attempts to redeem the land, constitute
further indicia that the land belonged exclusively to Francisco, not to the conjugal partnership. The attempts to
redeem also constitute an implied admission of the validity of its sale and of the mortgage.
CASE LAW/ DOCTRINE:
DISSENTING/CONCURRING OPINION(S):