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G.R. No.

L-28721 October 5, 1928

MENDOZA vs. GUZMAN

FACTS:

In the cadastral proceedings of the municipality of Sariaya, Tayabas, Lot No. 687 was adjudicated in favor of Martin
Mendoza and Natalio Enriquez in equal parts pro indiviso subject to the right of retention on the part of Manuel de
Guzman (who was working on the land and made improvements thereon by planting coconut trees) until he shall have
been indemnified for the improvements existing thereon. Martin Mendoza is the one who has been in possession and
enjoyment of said property and its improvements since December 16, 1916 until June 25, 1924, when de Guzman
obtained a writ of possession. Since then, De Guzman has had dominion over the land.

Being unable to come to an agreement as to the amount which should be allowed for the improvements made on the
land, Martin Mendoza and Natalio Enriquez began an action requesting the court to fix the value of the necessary and
useful expenses incurred by Manuel de Guzman in introducing the improvements.

ISSUE: whether the value of the fruits received by de Guzman should be applied to the payment of the "indemnizacion,"
and in case that it exceeds the value of the "indemnizacion," the excess shall be returned to the plaintiffs.

RULING:

In accordance with the provisions of articles 435 and 454 in relation with article 361 of the Civil Code, the value of the
"indemnization" to be paid to De Guzman should be fixed according to the necessary and useful expenses incurred by
him in introducing "las plantaciones en cuestion". Mendoza and the other plaintiff as the owners of the property have the
right to make their own "las plantaciones hechas por el demandado" upon payment of the necessary and useful
expenses, de Guzman having the right to retain the land until the expenditures have been refunded. De Guzman is
obliged to render a detail and just account of the fruits and other profits received by him from the property for their due
application to the payment of the "indemnizacion and the value of the fruits received by him should first be applied to
the payment of the "indemnizacion," and in that if exceeds the value of the "indemnizacion," the excess shall be returned
to the plaintiffs.

Manuel de Guzman has the right to collect from the plaintiffs Martin Mendoza and Natalio Enriquez as compensation for
the necessary and useful expenditures, however, the amount that the plaintiffs were required to pay to the defendant
and intervenor, after computation, exceeded the amount that the latter were to pay the former, the defendant and
intervenor were ordered to deliver the land and its improvement as soon as the plaintiffs have paid the difference.

The amount of the "indemnizacion" is the amount of the expenditures mentioned in articles 453 and 454 of the Civil
Code, which in the present case is the amount of the necessary and useful expenditures incurred by the defendant.
Necessary expenses have been variously described by the Spanish commentators as those made for the preservation of
the thing; as those without which the thing would deteriorate or be lost; as those that augment the income of the things
upon which they are expanded. Among the necessary expenditures are those incurred for cultivation, production,
upkeep, etc. Here the plaintiffs have chosen to take the improvements introduced on the land and are disposed to pay
the amount of the necessary and useful expenses incurred by the defendant. Inasmuch as the retentionist, who is not
exactly a possessor in good faith within the meaning of the law, seeks to be reimbursed for the necessary and useful
expenditures, it is only just that he should account to the owners of the estate for any rents, fruits, or crops he has
gathered from it.

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FILIPINAS COLLEGES INC. vs. MARIA GARCIA TIMBANG, ET AL.


[G.R. No. L-1281, September 29, 1959]

BARRERA, J.:
FACTS:
This is an appeal taken from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila dated May 10, 1957 (a) declaring the
Sheriff's certificate of sale covering a school building sold at public auction null and void unless within 15 days from
notice of said order the successful bidders, defendants-appellants spouses Maria Garcia Timbang and Marcelino
Timbang, shall pay to, appellee Maria Gervacio Blas directly or through the Sheriff of Manila the sum of P5,750.00 that
the spouses Timbang had bid for the building at the Sheriff's sale; (b) declaring the other appellee Filipinas Colleges, Inc.
owner of 24,500/3,285,934 undivided interest in Lot No. 2-a covered by certificate of tile No 45970, on which the
building sold in the auction sale is situated; and (c) ordering the sale in public auction of the said undivided interest of
the Filipinas Colleges, Inc., in lot No. 2-a aforementioned to satisfy the unpaid portion of the judgment in favor of
appellee Blas and against Filipinas Colleges, Inc. in the amount of P8,200.00 minus the sum of P5,750.00 mentioned in
(a) above. The order appealed from is the result of three motions filed in the court a quo in the course of the execution of
a final judgment of the Court of Appeals rendered in 2 cases appealed to it in which the spouses Timbang, the Filipinas
Colleges, Inc., and Maria Gervacio Blas were the parties. The Timbang spouses presented their opposition to each and all

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of this motion. In assailing the order of the court a quo directing the appellants to pay appellee Blas the amount of their
bid (P5,750.00) made at the public auction, appellants' counsel has presented a novel, albeit ingenious, argument. They
contend that since the builder in good faith has failed to pay the price of the land after the owners thereof exercised their
option under Article 448 of the Civil Code, the builder has lost his right and the appellants as owners of the land
automatically became the owners ipso facto.

ISSUE/S:
1. Whether or not the contention of the appellants is valid. If not, what are the remedies left to the owner of the
land if the builder fails to pay?
2. Whether or not the appellants, as owner of the land, may seek recovery of the value of their land by a writ of
execution; levy the house of the builder and sell it in public auction.

HOLDING & RATIO DECIDENDI:

NO, THE APPELLANTS CONTENTION IS SUPERFLUOUS. There is nothing in the language of these two articles, 448 and
546, which would justify the conclusion of appellants that, upon the failure of the builder to pay the value of the land,
when such is demanded by the land-owner, the latter becomes automatically the owner of the improvement under
Article 445. Although it is true, it was declared therein that in the event of the failure of the builder to pay the land after
the owner thereof has chosen this alternative, the builder's right of retention provided in Article 546 is lost, nevertheless
there was nothing said that as a consequence thereof, the builder loses entirely all rights over his own building. The
remedy left to the parties in such eventuality where the builder fails to pay the value of the land, though the Code is
silent on this Court, a builder in good faith not be required to pay rentals. He has right to retain the land on which he has
built in good faith until he is reimbursed the expenses incurred by him. Possibly he might be made to pay rental only
when the owner of the land chooses not to appropriate the improvement and requires the builder in good faith
to pay for the land but that the builder is unwilling or unable to pay the land, and then they decide to leave
things as they are and assume the relation of lessor and lessee, and should they disagree as to the amount of
rental then they can go to the court to fix that amount. This was ruled in the case of Miranda vs. Fadullon, et al., 97
Phil., 801. A further remedy is indicated in the case of Bernardo vs. Bataclan, supra, where this Court approved the sale of
the land and the improvement in a public auction applying the proceeds thereof first to the payment of the value of the
land and the excess, if any, to be delivered to the owner of the house in payment thereof. The second contention was
without merit. In the instant case, the Court of Appeals has already adjudged that appellee Blas is entitled to the
payment of the unpaid balance of the purchase price of the school building. With respect to the order of the court
declaring appellee Filipinas Colleges, Inc. part owner of the land to the extent of the value of its personal properties sold
at public auction in favor of the Timbang, this Court likewise finds the same as justified, for such amount represents, in
effect, a partial payment of the value of the land. Failure of the Timbang spouses to pay to the Sheriff or to Manila
Gervacio Blas said sum of P5,750.00 within fifteen (15) days from notice of the final judgment, an order of execution
shall issue in favor of Maria Gervasio Blas to be levied upon all properties of the Timbang spouses not exempt from
execution for the satisfaction of the said amount.

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G.R. No. L-175 April 30, 1946

DAMIAN IGNACIO, FRANCISCO IGNACIO and LUIS IGNACIO, petitioners,

vs.

ELIAS HILARIO and his wife DIONISIA DRES, and FELIPE NATIVIDAD, Judge of First Instance of Pangasinan,
respondents.

Leoncio R. Esliza for petitioners.


Mauricio M. Monta for respondents.

DECISION

MORAN, C.J.:

This is a petition for certiorari arising from a case in the Court of First Instance of Pangasinan between the herein
respondents Elias Hilario and his wife Dionisia Dres as plaintiffs, and the herein petitioners Damian, Francisco and Luis,
surnamed Ignacio, as defendants, concerning the ownership of a parcel of land, partly rice-land and partly residential.
After the trial of the case, the lower court, presided over by Hon. Alfonso Felix, rendered judgment holding plaintiffs as
the legal owners of the whole property but conceding to defendants the ownership of the houses and granaries built by
them on the residential portion with the rights of a possessor in good faith, in accordance with Article 361 of the Civil
Code. The dispositive part of the decision, hub of this controversy, follows:

Wherefore, judgment is hereby rendered declaring:

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(1) That the plaintiffs are the owners of the whole property described in transfer certificate of title No. 12872 (Exhibit A)
issued in their name, and entitled to the possession of the same;

(2) That the defendants are entitled to hold the possession of the residential lot until after they are paid the actual
market value of their houses and granaries erected thereon, unless the plaintiffs prefer to sell them said residential lot,
in which case defendants shall pay the plaintiffs the proportionate value of said residential lot taking as a basis the price
paid for the whole land according to Exhibit B; and

(3) That upon defendant’s failure to purchase the residential lot in question, said defendants shall remove their houses
and granaries after this decision becomes final and within the period of sixty (60) days from the date that the court is
informed in writing of the attitude of the parties in this respect.

No pronouncement is made as to damages and costs.

Once this decision becomes final, the plaintiffs and defendants may appear again before this court for the purpose of
determining their respective rights under Article 361 of the Civil Code, if they cannot come to an extra-judicial
settlement with regard to said rights.

Subsequently, in a motion filed in the same Court of First Instance but now presided over by the herein respondent
Judge Hon. Felipe Natividad, the plaintiffs prayed for an order of execution alleging that since they chose neither to pay
defendants for the buildings nor to sell to them the residential lot, said defendants should be ordered to remove the
structure at their own expense and to restore plaintiffs in the possession of said lot. Defendants objected to this motion
which, after hearing, was granted by Judge Natividad. Hence, this petition by defendants praying for (a) a restraint and
annulment of the order of execution issued by Judge Natividad; (b) an order to compel plaintiffs to pay them the sum of
P2,000 for the buildings, or sell to them the residential lot for P45; or (c), a rehearing of the case for a determination of
the rights of the parties upon failure of extra-judicial settlement.

The judgment rendered by Judge Felix is founded on Articles 361 and 453 of the Civil Code which are as follows:

ART. 361. The owner of land on which anything has been built, sown or planted in good faith, shall have the right to
appropriate as his own the work, sowing or planting, after the payment of the indemnity stated in Articles 453 and 454,
or to oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent.

ART. 453. Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every possessor; but only the possessor in good faith may retain the
thing until such expenses are made good to him.

Useful expenses shall be refunded to the possessor in good faith with the same right of retention, the person who has
defeated him in the possession having the option of refunding the amount of the expenses or paying the increase in
value which the thing may have acquired in consequence thereof.

The owner of the building erected in good faith on a land owned by another, is entitled to retain the possession of the
land until he is paid the value of his building, under Article 453. The owner of the land, upon the other hand, has the
option, under Article 361, either to pay for the building or to sell his land to the owner of the building. But he cannot, as
respondents here did, refuse both to pay for the building and to sell the land and compel the owner of the building to
remove it from the land where it is erected. He is entitled to such remotion only when, after having chosen to sell his
land, the other party fails to pay for the same. But this is not the case before us.

We hold, therefore, that the order of Judge Natividad compelling defendants-petitioners to remove their buildings from
the land belonging to plaintiffs-respondents only because the latter chose neither to pay for such buildings not to sell the
land, is null and void, for it amends substantially the judgment sought to be executed and is, furthermore, offensive to
Articles 361 and 453 of the Civil Code.

There is, however, in the decision of Judge Felix a question of procedure which calls for the clarification, to avoid
uncertainty and delay in the disposition of cases. In that decision, the rights of both parties are well defined under
Articles 361 and 453 of the Civil Code, but it fails to determine the value of the buildings and of the lot where they are
erected as well as the periods of time within which the option may be exercised and payment should be made, these
particulars having been left for determination apparently after the judgment has become final. This procedure is
erroneous, for after the judgment has become final, no additions can be made thereto and nothing can be done therewith
except its execution. And execution cannot be had, the sheriff being ignorant as to how, for how much, and within what
time may the option be exercised, and certainly no authority is vested in him to settle these matters which involve
exercise of judicial discretion. Thus the judgment rendered by Judge Felix has never become final, it having left matters
to be settled for its completion in a subsequent proceeding, matters which remained unsettled up to the time the
petition is filed in the instant case.

For all the foregoing, the writ of execution issued by Judge Natividad is hereby set aside and the lower court ordered to
hold a hearing in the principal case wherein it must determine the prices of the buildings and of the residential lot where
they are erected, as well as the period of time within which the plaintiffs-respondents may exercise their option either to
pay for the buildings or to sell their land, and, in the last instance, the period of time within which the defendants-
petitioners may pay for the land, all these periods to be counted from the date the judgment becomes executory or
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unappealable. After such hearing, the court shall render a final judgment according to the evidence presented by the
parties.

The costs shall be paid by plaintiffs-respondents.

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LEONOR GRANA and JULIETA TORRALBA VS. THE COURT OF APPEALS, AURORA BONGATO and JARDENIO SANCHEZ

GR L-12486 31 AUG 1960

Facts:

The herein Petitioners were sued by Bongato and Sanchez for the recovery of 87 square meters of residential land which
they have inherited as the children of the spouses Marcos Bongato and Eusebia. The former were ordered by the to
vacate and deliver it to said respondents and to pay a monthly rental of P10.00 from the filing of the complaint until they
actually vacate the same, plus attorney's fees and costs.

The Petitioners alleged that the said property became a subject of a cadastral survey due to conflicts and overlapping of
boundaries. In that survey, Gregorio Bongato's lot, according to petitioners, was identified as Lot No. 311 and that of
Isidaria Trillo, their predecessor in interest, as Lot No. 310. Citing the fact that Original Certificate of Title No. RO-72
(138) covers 295 square meters of land, while the sketch plan of the second cadastral survey of Butuan shows that Lot
No. 311 has only 230 square meters, petitioners maintain that it is the latter area properly belongs to respondents and
that the land in question is part of the adjoining land, Lot No. 310, which belonged to their predecessor in interest.

Issue:

Whether or not the first survey was erroneous or that it included part of the contiguous land of petitioners' predecessor
in interest?

Held:

Petitioners' stand is untenable. No proof was presented to show that the first survey was erroneous or that it included
part of the contigous land of petitioners' predecessor in interest as part of the lot now covered by Original Certificate of
Title No. RO-72 (138). Note that the difference in area between the land covered by said title and Lot No. 311 of the
resurvey plan is 65 square meters while the area of the land in dispute if 87 square meters. And what is more, the
alleged sketch plan of the resurvey was not presented in evidence.

Upon the other hand, it is not disputed that the land in question is part of the lot covered by the Torrens title issued way
back in 1923 in the name of respondents' predecessor in interest. Said title has not been contested up to the present,
and, therefore, has become inconvertible evidence of the ownership of the land covered by it. Well settled is the rule that
a Torrens certificate of title becomes conclusive and indefeasible after the lapse of the period within which it may be
impugned (Reyes, et al. vs. Borbon, et al., 50 Phil., 791; Yumul vs. Rivera, et al., 64 Phil., 13).
Although without any legal and valid claim over the land in question, petitioners, however, were found by the Court of
Appeals to have constructed a portion of their house thereon in good faith. Under Article 361 of the old Civil Code
(Article 448 of the new), the owner of the land on which anything has been built in good faith shall have the right to
appropriate as his own faith shall have the right to appropriate as his own the building, after payment to the builder of
necessary and useful expenses, and in the proper case, expenses for pure luxury or mere pleasure, or to oblige the
builder to pay the price of the land. Respondents, as owners of the land, have therefore the choice of either appropriating
the portion of petitioners' house which is on their land upon payment of the proper indemnity to petitioners, or selling
to petitioners that part of their land on which stands the improvement. It may here be pointed out that it would be
impractical for respondents to choose to exercise the first alternative, i.e., buy that portion of the house standing on their
land, for in that event the whole building might be rendered useless. The more workable solution, it would seem, is for
respondents to sell to petitioners that part of their land on which was constructed a portion of the latter's house. If
petitioners are unwilling or unable to buy, then they must vacate the land and must pay rentals until they do so. Of
course, respondents cannot oblige petitioners to buy the land if its value is considerably more than that of the
aforementioned portion of the house. If such be the case, then petitioners must pay reasonable rent. The parties must
come to an agreement as to the conditions of the lease, and should they fail to do so, then the court shall fix the same.
(Article 361, old Civil Code; Article 448 of the new).

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G.R. No. 83175 December 4, 1989 SPOUSES GUILLEN, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, SANTIAGO, et. al.,
respondents.
Facts
: The subject property in dispute, as among other properties, was a 66,000 sq.m. fishpond in Carles, Iloilo. The property
was originally owned by the parents of the petitioner and private respondents. Before the dispute, the subject property
was used as a bond in relation to a criminal case of four of the respondents and was sold in public auction by the Sherriff
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to one Mr. Bellosillo. After sometime, petitioner along with the private respondents was able to recover the said
property from Mr. Bellosillo. Thereby, establishing their co-ownership as evidenced by a "Deed of Extra-judicial
Partition and Agreement of Subdivision." After the execution of the partition agreement, petitioners requested that they
be allowed to retain possession of the entire fishpond until the end of 1981 after which they would immediately deliver
to the private respondents their respective shares thereof. At the end of 1981, however, the petitioners did not deliver as
promised. Thus, private respondents filed before the RTC of Iloilo City a verified complaint for delivery of possession,
and damages against the petitioners. In their defense, petitioner alleged that private respondents was not able to raised
the money as part of their contribution in the purchase of the said property so they paid for the total amount of the
property and thereby assuming sole ownership of the property. And that the rights of the private respondents to assert
their rights as co-owner of the said property have already prescribed.
Issue:
Whether or not prescription and/or laches lie against the private respondents? Held: The Court held, the claim of
prescription by the petitioners is untenable in view of the explicit provisions of the ultimate paragraph of Article 494 of
the new Civil Code, which state that, “No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or
co-heir so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.” Co-owners cannot acquire by prescription the
share of the other co-owners absent a clear repudiation of the co-ownership which is communicated to the other co-
owners. "A mere silent possession by a co-owner, his receipt of rents, fruits or profits from the property, the erection of
buildings and fences and the planting of trees thereon; and the payment of land taxes, cannot serve as proof of exclusive
ownership, if it is not borne out by clear, complete and conclusive evidence that he exercised acts of possession which
unequivocally constituted an ouster or deprivation of the rights of the other co-owners." On this score, the petitioners
have not only failed to show any definite proof indicating effective repudiation of the co-ownership over the property:
on the contrary, petitioner even affixed her signature on the deed of extra-judicial partition and agreement of
subdivision. By this act, petitioner affirmed her recognition of the existing co-ownership.

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Kilario v. CA
G.R. No. 134329. January 19, 2000
Respondent Silverio Pada filed an ejectment case against sps. Kilario. The latter occupies a portion of the intestate estate
of Jacinto Pada, Grandfather of Silverio. The Kilario’s have been living therein since 1960 by sheer tolerance. When
Jacinto Pada dies, his heirs entered into extrajudicial partition of his estate in 1951. As a result thereof, lot 5581 was
allocated to Ananias and Marciano who became co-owners of said lot.
Ananias died and his daughter succeeded in his right as co-owner. Eventually, Juanita sold her right in the co-ownership
to Engr. Paderes. Mariaon the other hand, heir of Marciano, sold her share to her cousinrespondent Silverio Pada. The
latter demanded sps. Kilario to vacate but the sps. refused.On June 1995, a complaint for ejectment was filed against sps.
Kilario. On July1995 a deed of donation in their favour was executed by heirs of Amador Pada.
ISSUE: Whether or not the partition was valid
The extrajudicial partition of the estate of Jacinto Pada among his heirs made in 1951 is valid, albeit executed in an
unregistered private document. No law requires partition among heirs to be in writing and be registered in order to be
valid. The object of registration is to serve as constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic validity of
partition not executed with the prescribed formalities is not undermined when no creditors are involved. Without
creditors to take into consideration, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an agreement for distribution
thereof in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by the rules from which, in the first place, nothing
can be inferred that a writing or other formality is essential for the partition to be valid. The partition of inherited
property need not be embodied in a public document so as to be effective as regards the heirs that participated therein.
The extrajudicial partition which the heirs of Jacinto Pada executed voluntarily and spontaneously in 1951 has produced
a legal status. When they discussed and agreed on the division of the estate of Jacinto Pada, it is presumed that they did
so in furtherance of their mutual interests. As such, their division is conclusive, unless and until it is shown that there
were debts existing against the estate which had not been paid. No showing, however, has been made of any unpaid
charges against the estate of Jacinto Pada. Thus, there is no reason why the heirs should not be bound by their voluntary
acts.
The belated act of Concordia, Esperanza and Angelito, who are the heirs of Amador Pada, of donating the subject
property to petitioners after forty four (44) years of never having disputed the validity of the 1951 extrajudicial
partition that allocated the subject property to Marciano and Ananias, produced no legal effect. The donation made by
his heirs to petitioners of the subject property, thus, is void for they were not the owners thereof. At any rate it is too late
in the day for the heirs of Amador Pada to repudiate the legal effects of the 1951 extrajudicial partition as prescription
and laches have equally set in.Petitioners are estopped from impugning the extrajudicial partition executed by the heirs
of Jacinto Pada after explicitly admitting in their Answer that they had been occupying the subject property since 1960
without ever paying any rental as they only relied on the liberality and tolerance of the Pada family. Their admissions
are evidence of a high order and bind them insofar as the character of their possession of the subject property is
concerned.

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Evangelista vs Alto Surety


103 Phil 401
April 23, 1958

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Facts:
In 1949, Santos Evangelista instituted Civil Case No. 8235 of the CFI Manila (Santos Evangelista vs. Ricardo Rivera) for a
sum of money. On the same date, he obtained a writ of attachment, which was levied upon a house, built by Rivera on a
land situated in Manila and leased to him, by filing copy of said writ and the corresponding notice of attachment with the
Office of the Register of Deeds of Manila. In due course, judgment was rendered in favor of Evangelista, who bought the
house at public auction held in compliance with the writ of execution issued in said case on 8 October 1951. The
corresponding definite deed of sale was issued to him on 22 October 1952, upon expiration of the period of redemption.
When Evangelista sought to take possession of the house, Rivera refused to surrender it, upon the ground that he had
leased the property from the Alto Surety & Insurance Co., Inc. and that the latter is now the true owner of said property.
It appears that on 10 May 1952, a definite deed of sale of the same house had been issued to Alto Surety, as the highest
bidder at an auction sale held, on 29 September 1950, in compliance with a writ of execution issued in Civil Case 6268 of
the same court (Alto Surety & Insurance vs. Maximo Quiambao, Rosario Guevara and Ricardo Rivera)" in which
judgment for the sum of money, had been rendered in favor of Alto Surety. Hence, on 13 June 1953, Evangelista
instituted an action against Alto Surety and Ricardo Rivera, for the purpose of establishing his title over said house, and
securing possession thereof, apart from recovering damages. After due trial, the CFI Manila rendered judgment for
Evangelista, sentencing Rivera and Alto Surety to deliver the house in question to Evangelista and to pay him, jointly and
severally, P40.00 a month from October 1952, until said delivery. The decision was however reversed by the Court of
Appeals, which absolved Alto Surety from the complaint on account that although the writ of attachment in favor of
Evangelista had been filed with the Register of Deeds of Manila prior to the sale in favor of Alto Surety, Evangelista did
not acquire thereby a preferential lien, the attachment having been levied as if the house in question were immovable
property.

Issue:
Whether or not a house constructed by the lessee of the land on which it is built, should be dealt with, for purpose of
attachment, as immovable property?

Held:
The court ruled that the house is not personal property, much less a debt, credit or other personal property not capable
of manual delivery, but immovable property. As held in Laddera vs. Hodges (48 OG 5374), "a true building is immovable
or real property, whether it is erected by the owner of the land or by a usufructuary or lessee.” The opinion that the
house of Rivera should have been attached, as "personal property capable of manual delivery, by taking and safely
keeping in his custody", for it declared that "Evangelista could not have validly purchased Ricardo Rivera's house from
the sheriff as the latter was not in possession thereof at the time he sold it at a public auction” is untenable. Parties to a
deed of chattel mortgage may agree to consider a house as personal property for purposes of said contract. However,
this view is good only insofar as the contracting parties are concerned. It is based, partly, upon the principle of estoppel.
Neither this principle, nor said view, is applicable to strangers to said contract. The rules on execution do not allow, and
should not be interpreted as to allow, the special consideration that parties to a contract may have desired to impart to
real estate as personal property, when they are not ordinarily so. Sales on execution affect the public and third persons.
The regulation governing sales on execution are for public officials to follow. The form of proceedings prescribed for
each kind of property is suited to its character, not to the character which the parties have given to it or desire to give it.
The regulations were never intended to suit the consideration that parties, may have privately given to the property
levied upon. The court therefore affirms the decision of the CA with cost against Alto Surety.

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ASSOCIATED INSURANCE vs Isabel Iya


103 Phil 972
May 30, 1958

Facts:
Valino & Valino were the owners and possessors of a house of strong materials in Rizal, which they purchased on
installment basis. To enable her to purchase on credit rice from NARIC, Valino filed a bond (P11,000) subscribed by
Associated Insurance and Surety Co Inc, and as a counter-guaranty, Valino executed an alleged chattel mortgage on the
aforementioned house in favour of the surety company. At the same time, the parcel of land which the house was erected
was registered in the name of Philippine Realty Corporation.
Valino, to secure payment of an indebtedness (P12,000) executed a real estate mortgage over the lot and the house in
favour of Iya.
Valino failed to satisfy her obligation to NARIC, so the surety company was compelled to pay the same pursuant to the
undertaking of the bond. In turn, surety company demanded reimbursement from Valino, and as they failed to do so, the
company foreclosed the chattel mortgage over the house. As a result, public sale was conducted and the property was
awarded to the surety company.
The surety company then learned of the existence of the real estate mortgage over the lot and the improvements
thereon; thus, they prayed for the exclusion of the residential house from the real estate mortgage and the declaration of
its ownership in virtue of the award given during bidding.
Iya alleged that she acquired a real right over the lot and the house constructed thereon, and that the auction sale
resulting from the foreclosure of chattel mortgage was null and void.
Surety company argued that as the lot on which the house was constructed did not belong to the spouses at the time the
chattel mortgage was executed, the house might be considered as personal property, and they prayed that the said

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building be excluded from the real estate mortgage.

Issue:
There is no question over Iya’s right over the land by real estate mortgage; however, as the building instructed thereon
has been the subject of two mortgages, controversy arise as to which of these encumbrances should receive preference
over the other.

Held:
The building is subject to the real estate mortgage, in favour of Iya. Iya’s right to foreclose not only the land but also the
building erected thereon is recognised.
While it is true that real estate connotes the land and the building constructed thereon, it is obvious that the inclusion of
the building, separate and distinct from the land, in the enumeration of what may constitute real properties (Article
415), could only mean that a building is by itself an immovable property. Moreover, in view of the absence of any specific
provision to the contrary, a building is an immovable property irrespective of whether or not said structure and the land
on which it is adhered to belong to the same owner.
A building certainly cannot be divested of its character of a realty by the fact that the land on which it is constructed
belongs to another.
In the case at bar, as personal properties could only be the subject of a chattel mortgage and as obviously the structure
in question is not one, the execution of the chattel mortgage covering said building is clearly invalid and a nullity. While
it is true that said document was correspondingly registered in Chattel Mortgage Registry of Rizal, this act produced no
effect whatsoever, for where the interest conveyed is in the nature of real property, the registration of the document in
the registry of chattels is merely a futile act. Thus, the registration of the chattel mortgage of a building of strong
materials produced no effect as far as the building is concerned.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

ALVIOLA VS. CAFacts:- Victoria Tinagan bought 2 parcels of land and took possession thereof with her son, Agustin-
after 10 years, Alviola occupied portions thereof, built a copra dryer and store, tolerate occupancy by Victoria and
Agustin- after 15 years, Victoria and Agustin died- wife of Agustin (referred as Tinagan) filed a complaint for recovery of
possession against AlviolaRTC/CA: in favor of Tinagan, Alviola to vacate and remove store and dryer, pay rentals until
improvements are removed- Alviola contends that Victoria ceded her right over the property in favor of Alviola,
Tinagans tolerated their occupancy making the landowners in bad faith and they, Alviolas in good faith, copra store and
dryer are of permanent structures thus cannot be removedIssue; W/n Article 454 may be applied where the landowner
is in badfaith, the BPS in good faith? NOHeld:- Tax declarations of the 2 parcels of land declared to be in the name of the
Tinagans- bad faith on the part of Alviola upon construction of improvements despite being fully aware that the parcels
of land belonged to Victoria Tinagan- bad faith also on the part of Tinagans (wife of Agustin and children)because they
had knowledge of the constructions and still tolerated their occupancy thereon-in pari delicto, treated as if both parties
acted in good faith, 448 is applicable not 454- but 448 will not apply upon the dryer and store being transferable in
nature- to fall under 448, the construction must be of permanent character, attached to the soil- if transitory, there is no
accession and the builder must remove theconstruction- proper remedy was an action to eject the builder from the land

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TUMALAD vs. VICENCIO, G.R. No. L-30173, September 30, 1971

FACTS:
Vicencio and Simeon executed a chattel mortgage in favor of plaintiffs Tumalad over their house, which was being
rented by Madrigal and company. This was executed to guarantee a loan, payable in one year with a 12% per annum
interest.

The mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed upon failure to pay the loan. The house was sold at a public auction and the
plaintiffs were the highest bidder. A corresponding certificate of sale was issued. Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed an action
for ejectment against the defendants, praying that the latter vacate the house as they were the proper owners.

ISSUE:
W/N the chattel mortgage was null and void ab initio because only personal properties can be subject of a chattel
mortgage.

HELD:
Certain deviations have been allowed from the general doctrine that buildings are immovable property such as when
through stipulation, parties may agree to treat as personal property those by their nature would be real property. This is
partly based on the principle of estoppel wherein the principle is predicated on statements by the owner declaring his
house as chattel, a conduct that may conceivably stop him from subsequently claiming otherwise.

In the case at bar, though there be no specific statement referring to the subject house as personal property, yet by
ceding, selling or transferring a property through chattel mortgage could only have meant that defendant conveys the
7|Page
house as chattel, or at least, intended to treat the same as such, so that they should not now be allowed to make an
inconsistent stand by claiming otherwise.

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Montano v. The Insular Government


Facts: :
Isabelo Montano presented a petition to the Court of Land Registration for the inscription of a piece of land in the barrio
of Libis, municipality of Caloocan, used as a fishery having a superficial area of 10,805 square meters, and bounded as set
out in the petition; its value according to the last assessment being $505.05, United States currency. This petition was
opposed by the Solicitor-General in behalf of the Director of Lands, and by the entity known as Obras Pias de la Sagrada
Mitra, the former on the ground that the land in question belonged to the Government of the United States, and the
latter, that it was the absolute owner of all the dry land along the eastern boundary of the said fishery. The Court of Land
Registration in its decision of December 1, 1906, dismissed the said oppositions without costs and decreed, after a
general entry by default, the adjudication and registration of the property described in the petition, in favor of Isabelo
Montano y Marcial. From this decision only counsel for the Director of Public Lands appealed to this court. and precisely
Isabelo Montano sought title thereon on the strength of 10 years' occupation pursuant to paragraph 6, section 5 of Act
926 of the Philippine Commission

Issue:
Whether or not the land in question can be acquired by Montano

Held:
Accordingly, "government land" and "public domain" are not synonymous items. The first includes not only the second,
but also other lands of the Government already reserved or devoted to public use or subject to private right. In other
words, the Government owns real estate which is part of the "public lands" and other real estate which is not part
thereof. Government property was of two kinds — first, that of public use or service, said to be of public ownership, and
second, that of having a private character or use. (Civil Code, arts. 339 and 340.) Lands of the first class, while they retain
their public character are inalienable. Those of the second are not. Therefore, there is much real property belonging to
the Government which is not affected by statutes for the settlement, prescription or sale of public lands. Examples in
point are properties occupied by public buildings or devoted to municipal or other governmental uses.

It is settled that the general legislation of Congress in respect to public lands does not extend to tide lands. It provided
that the scrip might be located on the unoccupied and unappropriated public lands. As said inNewhall vs. Sanger(92 U.S.
761, 763.) A marshland which is inundated by the rise of tides belong to the State and is not susceptible to appropriation
by occupation, has no application in the present case inasmuch as in said case the land subject matter of the litigation
was not yet titled.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

TUMALAD vs. VICENCIO, G.R. No. L-30173, September 30, 1971

FACTS:
Vicencio and Simeon executed a chattel mortgage in favor of plaintiffs Tumalad over their house, which was being
rented by Madrigal and company. This was executed to guarantee a loan, payable in one year with a 12% per annum
interest.

The mortgage was extrajudicially foreclosed upon failure to pay the loan. The house was sold at a public auction and the
plaintiffs were the highest bidder. A corresponding certificate of sale was issued. Thereafter, the plaintiffs filed an action
for ejectment against the defendants, praying that the latter vacate the house as they were the proper owners.

ISSUE:
W/N the chattel mortgage was null and void ab initio because only personal properties can be subject of a chattel
mortgage.

HELD:
Certain deviations have been allowed from the general doctrine that buildings are immovable property such as when
through stipulation, parties may agree to treat as personal property those by their nature would be real property. This is
partly based on the principle of estoppel wherein the principle is predicated on statements by the owner declaring his
house as chattel, a conduct that may conceivably stop him from subsequently claiming otherwise.

In the case at bar, though there be no specific statement referring to the subject house as personal property, yet by
ceding, selling or transferring a property through chattel mortgage could only have meant that defendant conveys the
house as chattel, or at least, intended to treat the same as such, so that they should not now be allowed to make an
inconsistent stand by claiming otherwise.

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8|Page
Bernardo vs Bataclan

Facts:

By a contract of sale executed from Pastor Samonte and others ownership of a parcel of land of about 90 hectares. To
secure possession of the land from the vendors the said plaintiff, on July 20, 1929, instituted a civil case. The trial court
found for the plaintiff in a decision which was affirmed by this Supreme Court on appeal (G.R. No. 33017). When plaintiff
entered upon the premises, however, he found the defendant herein, Catalino Bataclan, who appears to have been
authorized by former owners, as far back as 1922, to clear the land and make improvements thereon. As Bataclan was
not a party in the civil case, plaintiff, on June 11, 1931, instituted against him a civil case. In this case, plaintiff was
declared owner but the defendant was held to be a possessor in good faith, entitled for reimbursement in the total sum
of P1,642, for work done and improvements made.
The defendant states that he is a possessor in good faith and that the amount of P2,212 to which he is entitled has not yet
been paid to him. Therefore, he says, he has a right to retain the land in accordance with the provisions of article 453 of
the Civil Code. In obedience to the decision of this court in G.R. No. 37319, the plaintiff expressed his desire to require
the defendant to pay for the value of the land. The said defendant could have become owner of both land and
improvements and continued in possession thereof. But he said he could not pay and the land was sold at public auction
to Toribio Teodoro. When he failed to pay for the land, the defendant herein lost his right of retention.

Issue:

Whether or not there is good faith.

Held:

The judgment of the lower court is accordingly modified by eliminating therefrom the reservation made in favor of the
defendant-appellant to recover from the plaintiff the sum of P2,212. In all the respects, the same is affirmed, without
pronouncement regarding costs. So ordered.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Pacific Farms, Inc. vs Simplicio Esguerra, et al.


Gr L-21783
November 29,1969

Facts:
Insular Farms, Inc. failed to pay ₱4,710.18 of the purchase price for lumber and other construction materials used for
construction of six buildings from Carried Lumber Company.The Company instituted a civil case to recover the balance.
The CFI ruled in favor of the Company causing the sheriff to levy the six buildings constructed by Insular Farms. Pacific
Farms, Inc. filed a third-party claim claiming to be the owner of the buildings even before the institution of the case by
the Company. Still the buildings were judicially sold to Carried Lumber Company.
On May 24, 1962, Pacific Farms filed a complaint seeking the nullification of the sale.

Issue:
Whether or not Article 447 of the Civil Code is applicable.

Decision:

The court ruled the Article 447 applies by analogy because it contemplates the constriction of accessories, which in the
case at bar are buildings, through the use of materials owned by another person by the owner of the land.
Pacific Farms cannot be considered as a purchaser in good faith since Atty. Antonio Arante was the counsel of Pacific
Farms who signed the complaint and is also the president of Insular Farms. Therefore, if such sale was in fact made, the
fact that the property was already purchased should have already been raised by the petitioner from the institution of
the case.
Therefore, in applying Article 447, the owner of the materials may have the materials removed if no injury would be
resulted, otherwise, he must be reimbursed of their value.

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RACAZA v. SUSANA REALTY, INC.


G.R. No. L-20330
December 22, 1966

Facts: Petitioner rented a portion of a piece of land owned by respondent. He started renting in 1952 when his wife
bought an unfinished house that was built on it. On assurance of respondent that petitioner's family could stay on the
land by paying a monthly rent, petitioner finished the construction of the house and lived in it. Years later, respondent
asked petitioner to vacate the land because they already needed it. Respondent twice filed an ejectment suit; only the
second was granted. On February 10, 1956, respondent filed a complaint for ejectment in the MTC against petitioner.
9|Page
This was however dismissed on November 23, 1956 for failure of respondent to proceed to trial. On February 19, 1958,
another ejectment suit was filed and the court then ordered petitioner to vacate the premises. Accordingly, petitioner
appealed to the Court of First Instance of Pasay demanding counterclaim for what he had spent to finish the construction
of the house and for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the municipal court to try it.
But then again, petitioner was ordered evicted and his counterclaim was thrown out for lack of jurisdiction. Hence,
petitioner raised this issue to the Higher Court. On appeal, petitioner asked for the dismissal of the complaint on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction of the municipal court to try it. He claimed that the complaint was filed more than one year
after the alleged unlawful detainer or from July, 1955 when he stopped paying rent. The first complaint for ejectment
was dismissed on November 23, 1956, while the second was not filed until February 19, 1958.

Issue: W/N the MTC had jurisdiction over the ejectment case though the complaint did not state the date when the
alleged unlawful detainer started

Ruling: The case falls within the jurisdiction of the MTC. Municipal courts shall have jurisdiction over unlawful detainer
cases where the defendant�s possession was originally lawful but ceased to be so by the expiration of his right to
possess and must be brought before it from the date of last demand. This case, however, was brought not on the theory
that petitioner, as lessee, failed to pay rents, but on the theory that the lease had expired and that respondent had asked
petitioner to vacate the land. The averment that the lease was on a month-to-month basis is equivalent to an allegation
that the lease expired at the end of every month. It is therefore immaterial that rents had not been paid since July, 1955,
since what made petitioner liable for ejectment was the expiration of the lease. Rule 70, section 2 requires previous
demand only when the action is for failure to pay rent due or to comply with the conditions of his lease. Where the
action is to terminate the lease because of the expiration of its term, no such demand is necessary. In the latter case,
upon the expiration of the term of the lease, the landlord may go into the property and occupy it. If the lessee refuses to
vacate the premises, an action for unlawful detainer may immediately be brought against him even before the expiration
of the fifteen or five days provided in Rule 70, section 2.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[G.R. No. 98045. June 26, 1996]


DESAMPARADO VDA. DE NAZARENO and LETICIA NAZARENO TAPIA, petitioners, vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS
respondents.

FACTS:
The subject of this controversy is a parcel of land situated in Telegrapo, Puntod, Cagayan de Oro City. Said land was
formed as a result of sawdust dumped into the dried-up Balacanas Creek and along the banks of the Cagayan river.
Sometime in 1979, private respondents Jose Salasalan and Leo Rabaya leased the subject lots on which their houses
stood from one Antonio Nazareno, petitioners' predecessor-in-interest. In the latter part of 1982, private respondents
allegedly stopped paying rentals. As a result, Antonio Nazareno and petitioners filed a case for ejectment.
Before Antonio Nazareno died he seeked the approval by the Bureau of Lands of the survey plan designated as Plan Csd-
106-00571 with a view to perfecting his title over the accretion area being claimed by him. However before the survey
plan could be released to the applicant, it was protested by private respondents before the Bureau of Lands.
Based on a report of the Land Investigator, the Regional Director of the Bureau of Lands rendered a decision ordering
the amendment of the survey plan in the name of Antonio Nazareno by segregating therefrom the areas occupied by the
private respondents who, if qualified, may file public land applications covering their respective portions.
Antonio Nazareno filed a motion for reconsideration with the Undersecretary of the DeNR and Officer-in-Charge of the
Bureau of Lands who denied the motion. Director of Lands then ordered him to vacate the portions adjudicated to
private respondents and remove whatever improvements they have introduced thereon.
ISSUE:
Whether or not the subject land is public land or private land being an accretion to his titled property,of Antonio
Nazareno applying Article 457 of the Civil Code.

RULING:
In the case of Meneses v. CA, this Court held that accretion, as a mode of acquiring property under Art. 457 of the Civil
Code, requires the concurrence of these requisites: (1) that the deposition of soil or sediment be gradual and
imperceptible; (2) that it be the result of the action of the waters of the river (or sea); and (3) that the land where
accretion takes place is adjacent to the banks or rivers (or the sea coast). These are called the rules on alluvion which if
present in a case, give to the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers or streams any accretion gradually received
from the effects of the current of waters.
For petitioners to insist on the application of these rules on alluvion to their case, the above-mentioned requisites must
be present. However, they admit that the accretion was formed by the dumping of boulders, soil and other filling
materials on portions of the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan River bounding their land. It cannot be claimed, therefore,
that the accumulation of such boulders, soil and other filling materials was gradual and imperceptible, resulting from the
action of the waters or the current of the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan River. In Hilario v. City of Manila, this Court
held that the word "current" indicates the participation of the body of water in the ebb and flow of waters due to high
and low tide. Petitioners' submission not having met the first and second requirements of the rules on alluvion, they
cannot claim the rights of a riparian owner.
Furthermore, the Bureau of Lands classified the subject land as an accretion area which was formed by deposits of
sawdust in the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan river, in accordance with the ocular inspection conducted by the

10 | P a g e
Bureau of Lands.
It is this Court's irresistible conclusion, therefore, that the accretion was man-made or artificial. In Republic v. CA, this
Court ruled that the requirement that the deposit should be due to the effect of the current of the river is indispensable.
This excludes from Art. 457 of the Civil Code all deposits caused by human intervention. Putting it differently, alluvion
must be the exclusive work of nature. Thus, in Tiongco v. Director of Lands, et al., where the land was not formed solely
by the natural effect of the water current of the river bordering said land but is also the consequence of the direct and
deliberate intervention of man, it was deemed a man-made accretion and, as such, part of the public domain.
In the case at bar, the subject land was the direct result of the dumping of sawdust by the Sun Valley Lumber Co.
consequent to its sawmill operations. Even if this Court were to take into consideration petitioners' submission that the
accretion site was the result of the late Antonio Nazareno's labor consisting in the dumping of boulders, soil and other
filling materials into the Balacanas Creek and Cagayan River bounding his land, the same would still be part of the public
domain.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

FEDERICO GEMINIANO, MARIA GEMINIANO, ERNESTO GEMINIANO, ASUNCION GEMINIANO, LARRY GEMINIANO, and
MARLYN GEMINIANO, petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, DOMINADOR NICOLAS, and MARY A. NICOLAS, respondents.
FACTS:
Disputed lot containing an area of 314 square meters was originally owned by the petitioners' mother, Paulina Amado
vda. de Geminiano. On a 12-square-meter portion of that lot stood the petitioners' unfinished bungalow, which the
petitioners sold in November 1978 to the private respondents for the sum of P6,000.00, with an alleged promise to sell
to the latter that portion of the lot occupied by the house. Subsequently, the petitioners' mother executed a contract of
lease over a 126 square-meter portion of the lot, including that portion on which the house stood, in favor of the private
respondents for P40.00 per month for a period of seven years. The private respondents then introduced additional
improvements and registered the house in their names. After the expiration of the lease contract in 1985 however, the
petitioners' mother refused to accept the monthly rentals.
It turned out that the lot in question was the subject of a suit, which was acquired by Maria Lee in 1972. In 1982, Lee
sold the lot to Lily Salcedo, who in turn sold it in 1984 to the spouses Agustin and Ester Dionisio.
Upon the execution of a Deed of Quitclaim over the said property in favor of the petitioners Dionisio spouses had the lot
registered in the latter's names. Subsequently, the petitioners sent a letter addressed to private respondent demanding
that she vacate the premises and pay the rentals in arrears within twenty days from notice.
Upon failure of the private respondents to heed the demand, the petitioners filed a complaint for unlawful detainer and
damages.
ISSUE:
Whether the private respondents are builders in good faith or mere lessees?
RULING:
It is undisputed that the private respondents came into possession of a 126 square-meter portion of the said lot by
virtue of a contract of lease executed by the petitioners' mother in their favor. The juridical relation between the
petitioners' mother as lessor, and the private respondents as lessees, is therefore well-established, and carries with it a
recognition of the lessor's title.The private respondents, as lessees who had undisturbed possession for the entire term
under the lease, are then estopped to deny their landlord's title, or to assert a better title not only in themselves, but also
in some third person while they remain in possession of the leased premises and until they surrender possession to the
landlord. This estoppel applies even though the lessor had no title at the time the relation of lessor and lessee was
created, and may be asserted not only by the original lessor, but also by those who succeed to his title.
Being mere lessees, the private respondents knew that their occupation of the premises would continue only for the life
of the lease. Plainly, they cannot be considered as possessors nor builders in good faith.This Court has held that Article
448 of the Civil Code, in relation to Article 546 of the same Code, which allows full reimbursement of useful
improvements and retention of the premises until reimbursement is made, applies only to a possessor in good faith, i.e.,
one who builds on land with the belief that he is the owner thereof. It does not apply where one's only interest is that of
a lessee under a rental contract; otherwise, it would always be in the power of the tenant to "improve" his landlord out
of his property.
There is no need to apply by analogy the provisions of Article 448 on indemnity as was done in Pecson vs. Court of
Appeals, because the situation sought to be avoided and which would justify the application of that provision, is not
present in this case. Suffice it to say, "a state of forced co-ownership" would not be created between the petitioners and
the private respondents. For, as correctly pointed out by the petitioners, the rights of the private respondents as lessees
are governed by Article 1678 of the Civil Code which allows reimbursement to the extent of one-half of the value of the
useful improvements.
It must be stressed, however, that the right to indemnity under Article 1678 of the Civil Code arises only if the lessor
opts to appropriate the improvements. Since the petitioners refused to exercise that option, the private respondents
cannot compel them to reimburse the one-half value of the house and improvements. Neither can they retain the
premises until reimbursement is made. The private respondents' sole right then is to remove the improvements without
causing any more impairment upon the property leased than is necessary.

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

G.R. No. 168557 Case Digest


G.R. No. 168557, February 16, 2007
FELS Energy, Inc.
11 | P a g e
vs Province of Batangas and the Office of the Provincial Assessor of Batangas
Ponente: Callejo, Sr.

Facts:
January 1993, NPC entered into a lease contract with Polar Energy over MW diesel engine power barges in Batangas for
a period of 5 years. Subsequently, Polar assigned its rights under the agreement to FELS. NPC initially opposed.

August 1995, FELS received an assessment of real property taxes on the barges. FELS referred the matter to NPC
reminding it of its obligation under the agreement to pay the real estate taxes. NPC sought for reconsideration of the
decision but the motion was denied.

NPC filed a petition to the Local Board Assessment Appeals. The provincial Assessor averred that the barges were real
property for the purpose of taxation. LBAA still denied the petition filed by NPC and ordered FELS to pay the taxes.

LBAA Ruling: power plant facilities are considered real property because they are installed at a specific location with a
character of permanency. The owner of the barges-FELS is a private corporation-is the one being taxed, not NPC. The
agreement will not justify the exemption of FELS.

FELS then appealed to Central BAA. CBAA rendered s decision finding the power barges exempt from real property tax.

CBAA Ruling: the power barges belong to NPC since they are actually used by it. FELS appealed before the CA but was
denied as well.

Held:
YES. The CBAA and LBAA power barges are real property and are thus subject to real property tax. This is also the
inevitable conclusion, considering that G.R. No. 165113 was dismissed for failure to sufficiently show any reversible
error. Tax assessments by tax examiners are presumed correct and made in good faith, with the taxpayer having the
burden of proving otherwise. Besides, factual findings of administrative bodies, which have acquired expertise in their
field, are generally binding and conclusive upon the Court; we will not assume to interfere with the sensible exercise of
the judgment of men especially trained in appraising property. Where the judicial mind is left in doubt, it is a sound
policy to leave the assessment undisturbed. We find no reason to depart from this rule in this case.

Moreover, Article 415 (9) of the New Civil Code provides that “docks and structures which, though floating, are intended
by their nature and object to remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or coast” are considered immovable property. Thus,
power barges are categorized as immovable property by destination, being in the nature of machinery and other
implements intended by the owner for an industry or work which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land
and which tend directly to meet the needs of said industry or work.

Petitioners maintain nevertheless that the power barges are exempt from real estate tax under Section 234 (c) of R.A.
No. 7160 because they are actually, directly and exclusively used by petitioner NPC, a government- owned and
controlled corporation engaged in the supply, generation, and transmission of electric power.

We affirm the findings of the LBAA and CBAA that the owner of the taxable properties is petitioner FELS, which in fine, is
the entity being taxed by the local government. As stipulated under Section 2.11, Article 2 of the Agreement:

“OWNERSHIP OF POWER BARGES. POLAR shall own the Power Barges and all the fixtures, fittings, machinery and
equipment on the Site used in connection with the Power Barges which have been supplied by it at its own cost. POLAR
shall operate, manage and maintain the Power Barges for the purpose of converting Fuel of NAPOCOR into electricity.”

It follows then that FELS cannot escape liability from the payment of realty taxes by invoking its exemption in Section
234 (c) of R.A. No. 7160. Indeed, the law states that the machinery must be actually, directly and exclusively used by the
government owned or controlled corporation; nevertheless, petitioner FELS still cannot find solace.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Davao Sawmill Co. vs Castillo


61 PHIL 709
GR No. L-40411
August 7, 1935

A tenant placed machines for use in a sawmill on the landlord's land.

FACTS
Davao Sawmill Co., operated a sawmill. The land upon which the business was conducted was leased from another
person. On the land, Davao Sawmill erected a building which housed the machinery it used. Some of the machines were
mounted and placed on foundations of cement. In the contract of lease, Davo Sawmill agreed to turn over free of charge

12 | P a g e
all improvements and buildings erected by it on the premises with the exception of machineries, which shall remain
with the Davao Sawmill. In an action brought by the Davao Light and Power Co., judgment was rendered against Davao
Sawmill. A writ of execution was issued and the machineries placed on the sawmill were levied upon as personalty by
the sheriff. Davao Light and Power Co., proceeded to purchase the machinery and other properties auctioned by the
sheriff.

ISSUE
Are the machineries real or personal property?

HELD
Art.415 of the New Civil Code provides that Real Property consists of:

(1) Lands, buildings, roads and constructions of all kinds adhered to the soil;

xxx

(5) Machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by the owner pf the tenement for an industry ot works
which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend directly to meet the needs of the said
industry or works;

Appellant should have registered its protest before or at the time of the sale of the property. While not conclusive, the
appellant's characterization of the property as chattels is indicative of intention and impresses upon the property the
character determined by the parties.

Machinery is naturally movable. However, machinery may be immobilized by destination or purpose under the
following conditions:

General Rule: The machinery only becomes immobilized if placed in a plant by the owner of the property or plant.

Immobilization cannot be made by a tenant, a usufructuary, or any person having only a temporary right.

Exception: The tenant, usufructuary, or temporary possessor acted as agent of the owner of the premises; or he intended
to permanently give away the property in favor of the owner.

As a rule, therefore, the machinery should be considered as Personal Property, since it was not placed on the land by the
owner of the said land.

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NAVARRO vs. PINEDA G. R, No. L-18456 November 30 1963

NAVARRO V. PINEDA
9 SCRA 631

FACTS:
Pineda and his mother executed real estate and chattel mortgages in favor of Navarro, to secure a loan they got from the
latter. The REM covered a parcel of land owned by the mother while the chattel mortgage covered a residential house.
Due to the failure to pay the loan, they asked for extensions to pay for the loan. On the second extension, Pineda
executed a PROMISE wherein in case of default in payment, he wouldn’t ask for any additional extension and there
would be no need for any formal demand. In spite of this, they still failed to pay.
Navarro then filed for the foreclosure of the mortgages. The court decided in his favor.

ISSUE:
W/N the deed of real estate mortgage and chattel mortgage appended to the complaint is valid notwithstanding the fact
that the house was made subject of chattel mortgage for the reason that it is erected on a land that belongs to a third
person.

HELD:
Where a house stands on a rented land belonging to another person, it may be the subject matter of a chattel mortgage
as personal property if so stipulated in the document of mortgage, and in an action by the mortgagee for the foreclosure,
the validity of the chattel mortgage cannot be assailed by one of the parties to the contract of mortgage.
Furthermore, although in some instances, a house of mixed materials has been considered as a chattel between the
parties and that the validity of the contract between them, has been recognized, it has been a constant criterion that with
respect to third persons, who are not parties to the contract, and specially in execution proceedings, the house is
considered as immovable property.

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13 | P a g e
Serg’s Products, Inc. vs. PCI Leasing G.R. No. 137705. August 22, 2000

FACTS:
PCI Leasing and Finance filed a complaint for sum of money, with an application for a writ of replevin.
Judge issued a writ of replevin directing its sheriff to seize and deliver the machineries and equipment to PCI Leasing
after 5 days and upon the payment of the necessary expenses.
The sheriff proceeded to petitioner's factory, seized one machinery, with word that he would return for other
machineries.
Petitioner (Serg’s Products) filed a motion for special protective order to defer enforcement of the writ of replevin.
PCI Leasing opposed the motion on the ground that the properties were still personal and therefore can still be
subjected to seizure and writ of replevin.
Petitioner asserted that properties sought to be seized were immovable as defined in Article 415 of the Civil Code.
Sheriff was still able to take possession of two more machineries
In its decision on the original action for certiorari filed by the Petitioner, the appellate court, Citing the Agreement of the
parties, held that the subject machines were personal property, and that they had only been leased, not owned, by
petitioners; and ruled that the "words of the contract are clear and leave no doubt upon the true intention of the
contracting parties."

ISSUE: Whether or not the machineries became real property by virtue of immobilization.

Ruling:
Petitioners contend that the subject machines used in their factory were not proper subjects of the Writ issued by the
RTC, because they were in fact real property.

Writ of Replevin: Rule 60 of the Rules of Court provides that writs of replevin are issued for the recovery of personal
property only.

Article 415 (5) of the Civil Code provides that machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by the owner
of the tenement for an industry or works which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend
directly to meet the needs of the said industry or works

In the present case, the machines that were the subjects of the Writ of Seizure were placed by petitioners in the factory
built on their own land.They were essential and principal elements of their chocolate-making industry.Hence, although
each of them was movable or personal property on its own, all of them have become “immobilized by destination
because they are essential and principal elements in the industry.”

However, contracting parties may validly stipulate that a real property be considered as personal. After agreeing to such
stipulation, they are consequently estopped from claiming otherwise.Under the principle of estoppel, a party to a
contract is ordinarily precluded from denying the truth of any material fact found therein.

Section 12.1 of the Agreement between the parties provides “The PROPERTY is, and shall at all times be and remain,
personal property notwithstanding that the PROPERTY or any part thereof may now be, or hereafter become, in any
manner affixed or attached to or embedded in, or permanently resting upon, real property or any building thereon, or
attached in any manner to what is permanent.”

The machines are personal property and they are proper subjects of the Writ of Replevin

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AGUSTIN V. IAC gr no. 66075. July 5 , 1990


FACTS:
Private respondents, Maria Melad and Pablo Binuyag are among those who are occupying the western bank of the
Cagayan River while on the eastern bank is owned by petitioner Eulogio Agustin. From 1919 to 1968, the Cagayan river
has eroded the lands on the eastern bank including Agustin’s Lot depositing alluvium on the land possessed by Pablo
Binuyag. In 1968, after a typhoon which caused a big flood, the Cagayan River changed its course and returned it to its
1919 bed and it cut through the lands of respondents whose lands were transferred on the eastern side. To cultivate the
lands they had to cross the river. When they were cultivating said lands, (they were planting corn) Agustin accompanied
by the mayor and some policemen claimed the land and drove them away. So Melad and Binuyag filed separate
complaints for recovery of their lots and its accretions. The Trial Court held ordered Agustin et. al to vacate the lands
and return them to respondents. On appeal, the IAC affirmed in toto the judgment thus the case at bar.
ISSUE:
Whether or not private respondents own the accretion and such ownership is not affected by the sudden and abrupt
change in the course of the Cagayan River when it reverted to its old bed
HELD: YES
Art. 457 states that the owner of the lands adjoining river banks own the accretion which they gradually receive from
the effects of the currents of the waters. Accretion benefits a riparian owner provided that these elements are present:
1) deposit be gradual and imperceptible 2) it resulted from the effects of the current of the water and 3) the land is
adjacent to the river bank. When the River moved from 1919 to 1968, there was alluvium deposited and it was gradual

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and imperceptible.
Accretion benefits the riparian owner because these lands are exposed to floods and other damage due to the
destructive force of the waters, and if by virtue of law they are subject to encumbrances and various kinds of easements,
it is only just that such risks or dangers should in some way be compensated by the right of accretion. Also, respondent’s
ownership over said lots was not removed when due to the sudden and abrupt change in the course of the river; their
accretions were transferred to the other side. Art. 459 states when the current of a river segregates from an estate on its
bank a known portion of land and transfers it to another estate, the owner of segregated portion retains ownership
provided he removes the same w/in 2 years. And Art. 463 states that whenever the current of a river divides itself into
branches, leaving a piece of land or part thereof isolated, the owner of the land retains ownership. He also retains it if a
portion of land is separated from the estate by the current.

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Agne v. Director of Lands [G.R. No. 40399. February 6, 1990.]


Facts: The land subject matter of the case was originally covered by Free Patent 23263 issued on 17 April 1937 in the
name of Herminigildo Agpoon. On 21 May 1937, pursuant to the said patent, the Register of Deeds of Pangasinan issued
to said Herminigildo Agpoon OCT 2370. Presentacion Agpoon Gascon inherited the said parcel of land upon the death of
her father, Herminigildo, and was issued TCT 32209 on 6 April 1960. Presentacion declared the said land for taxation
purposes in her name under TD 11506 and taxes were paid thereon in her name.
On 13 April 1971, spouses Joaquin and Presentacion Gascon filed Civil Case U-2286 in the then CFI Pangasinan for
recovery of possession and damages against Marcelino C. Agne, Felix Oriane, Agaton Taganas (represented by Florentino
C. Taganas), Hilario Escorpizo, Isabelo Mauricio, Heirs of Roman Damaso (Jorge Damaso and Alejandro Damaso), Heirs
of Francisco Ramos (Encarnacion R. Leano and Dominga R. Medrano), Heirs of Sabina Gelacio Agapito (Serapio Agapito
and Nicolasa Agapito), Feliza Diccion Agne, Estanislao Gorospe (represented by Elizabeth G. Badua), Librado Badua,
Nicolas Villanieva, Heirs of Carlos Palado (Fortunata Palado and Isabelita Palado), Primitivo Taganas, Panfilo Soingco,
Bernardo Palattao, Marcelino S. Santos and Paulino D. Agne Jr. (minor, represented by Feliza Diccion Agne). Their
complaint states that they are the registered owners under TCT 32209 of the parcel of land situated in Barrio Bantog,
Asingan, Pangasinan which is now in the possession of Agne, et.al.; that during the Japanese occupation, the latter, taking
advantage of the abnormal conditions then obtaining, took possession of said land by means of fraud, stealth, strategy
and intimidation; that Gascon repeatedly demanded the surrender of the physical possession of said property but the
latter refused. Agne, et.al. alleged that the land in question was formerly a part of the river bed of the Agno-Chico River;
that in the year 1920, a big flood occurred which caused the said river to change its course and abandon its original bed;
that by virtue of the provisions of Article 370 of the Spanish Civil Code which was then the law in force, Agne, et.al., by
operation of law, became the owners by accession or accretion of the respective aliquot parts of said river bed bordering
their properties; that since 1920, they and their predecessors in interest occupied and exercised dominion openly and
adversely over said portion of the abandoned river bed in question abutting their respective riparian lands continuously
up to the present to the exclusion of all other persons, particularly Herminigildo Agpoon; that they have introduced
improvements thereon by constructing irrigation canals and planting trees and agricultural crops thereon and
converted the land into a productive area.
On 6 March 1974, while the above case was still pending, Agne, et.al. filed a complaint against Director of Lands and
spouses Agpoon with the former CFI Pangasinan for annulment of title, reconveyance of and/or action to clear title to a
parcel of land, which action was docketed as Civil Case U-2649. Agne, et. al. alleged in their said complaint that the land
in question, which was formerly a portion of the bed of Agno-Chico river which was abandoned as a result of the big
flood in 1920, belongs to them pursuant to the provision of Article 370 of the old Civil Code; that it was only on 13 April
1971, when spouses filed a complaint against them, that they found out that the said land was granted by the
Government to Herminigildo Agpoon under Free Patent 23263, pursuant to which OCT 2370 was issued in the latter’s
name; and that the said patent and subsequent titles issued pursuant thereto are null and void since the said land, an
abandoned river bed, is of private ownership and, therefore, cannot be the subject of a public land grant.
On 21 June 1974, the trial court rendered a decision in Civil Case U-2286, ordering Agne, et.al. to surrender physical
possession of land in question, to pay in soludum the produce of the land (P5,000 per year) from the date of the filing of
the action at the rate of 6% interest per annum until fully paid; to pay in solidum the amount of P800 representing
attorney’s fees; and to pay the costs.Agne, et.al. appealed to the appellate court. On 30 January 1985 the former IAC
affirmed in toto in AC-GR CV 60388-R the decision of the trial court, and with the denial of Agne et.al.’s motion for
reconsideration, Agne, et.al. filed a petition for review on certiorari with the Supreme Court (GR 72255).
On 24 June 1974, the CFI Pangasinan, acting on the motion to dismiss filed by the Director of Lands and spouses Agpoon,
issued an order dismissing Civil Case U-2649 for annulment of title by merely citing the statement in the case of Antonio,
et al. vs. Barroga, et al. that an action to annul a free patent many years after it had become final and indefeasible states
no cause of action. Agne, et.al’s motion for the reconsideration of the order was denied on 11 September 1974, hence the
petition for review on certiorari (GR L-40399)
The Supreme Court reversed and set aside the assailed decision of IAC in AC-GR CV 60388-R and the questioned order of
dismissal of the trial court in its Civil Case 2649, and rendered judgment ordering the Gascon to reconvey the parcel of
land to Agne, et.al.
1. Case of Antonio v. Barroga not controlling- The lower court erred in ordering the dismissal of Civil Case U-2649, as the
case of Antonio relied upon in the dismissal order is not controlling. In that case, the complaint was dismissed for failure
to state a cause of action, not only because of the delay in the filing of the complaint but specifically since the ground
relied upon by the plaintiff therein, i.e. that the land was previously covered by a titulo real, even if true, would not
warrant the annulment of the free patent and the subsequent original certificate of title issued to defendant.
2. Cause of action; Facts alleged in complaint hypothetically admitted upon the filing of the motion to dismiss - The facts

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alleged in the complaint, which are deemed hypothetically admitted upon the filing of the motion to dismiss, constitute a
sufficient cause of action against private respondents.
3. Agne owns property; Riparian owners ipso facto owners of abandoned river bed (Old Civil Code) - The old Civil Code,
the law then in force, provides that “the beds of rivers which remain abandoned because the course of the water has
naturally changed belong to the owners of the riparian lands throughout their respective lengths. If the abandoned bed
divided estates belonging to different owners, the new dividing line shall run at equal distance therefrom.” Thus, once
the river bed has been abandoned, the riparian owners become the owners of the abandoned bed to the extent provided
by this article. The acquisition of ownership is automatic. There need be no act on the part of the riparian owners to
subject the accession to their ownership, as it is subject thereto ipso jure from the moment the mode of acquisition
becomes evident, without the need of any formal act of acquisition. Such abandoned river bed had fallen to the private
ownership of the owner of the riparian land even without any formal act of his will and any unauthorized occupant
thereof will be considered as a trespasser. The right in re to the principal is likewise a right in re to the accessory, as it is
a mode of acquisition provided by law, as the result of the right of accretion. Since the accessory follows the nature of the
principal, there need not be any tendency to the thing or manifestation of the purpose to subject it to our ownership, as
it is subject thereto ipso jure from the moment the mode of acquisition becomes evident. The right of the owner of land
to additions thereto by accretion has been said to rest in the law of nature, and to be analogous to the right of the owner
of a tree to its fruits, and the owner of flocks and herds to their natural increase. In the present case, Agne, et.al. became
owners of aliquot portions of said abandoned river bed as early as 1920, when the Agno River changed its course,
without the necessity of any action or exercise of possession on their part, it being an admitted fact that the land in
dispute, prior to its registration, was an abandoned bed of the Agno River and that Agne, et. al. are the riparian owners of
the lands adjoining the said bed.
4. Ownership of accession governed by Civil Code, imprescriptibility of registered land governed by Land Registration
Act; Imprescriptibility does not apply as title based on public grant - The failure of Agne et.al. to register the accretion in
their names and declare it for purposes of taxation did not divest it of its character as a private property. Although an
accretion to registered land is not automatically registered and therefore not entitled or subject to the protection of
imprescriptibility enjoyed by registered property under the Torrens system. The said rule is not applicable to the case
since the title claimed by spouses Gascon is not based on acquisitive prescription but is anchored on a public grant from
the Government, which presupposes that it was inceptively a public land. Ownership over the accession is governed by
the Civil Code. Imprescriptibility of registered land is a concern of the Land Registration Act.
5. Land of private ownership; Director of Lands does not have authority to grant free patent for said land - Under the
provisions of Act 2874 pursuant to which the title of Gascon’s predecessor in interest was issued, the President of the
Philippines or his alter ego, the Director of Lands, has no authority to grant a free patent for land that has ceased to be a
public land and has passed to private ownership, and a title so issued is null and void. The nullity arises, not from the
fraud or deceit, but from the fact that the land is not under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands. The jurisdiction of the
Director of Lands is limited only to public lands and does not cover lands privately owned. The purpose of the
Legislature in adopting the former Public Land Act, Act 2874, was and is to limit its application to lands of the public
domain, and lands held in private ownership are not included therein and are not affected in any manner whatsoever
thereby. Land held in freehold or fee title, or of private ownership, constitute no part of the public domain and cannot
possibly come within the purview of said Act 2874, inasmuch as the “subject” of such freehold or private land is not
embraced in any manner in the title of the Act and the same are excluded from the provisions or text thereof. In the
present case, the land in dispute since early 1920 was already under the private ownership of Agne et.al. and no longer a
part of the lands of the public domain, the same could not have been the subject matter of a free patent. Free Patent
23263 issued to Herminigildo Agpoon is null and void and the subsequent titles issued pursuant thereto cannot become
final and indefeasible.
6. No title acquired by applicant patentees if land already a private property of another - As ruled in Director of Lands vs.
Sisican, et al. that if at the time the free patents were issued in 1953 the land covered therein were already private
property of another and, therefore, not part of the disposable land of the public domain, then applicants patentees
acquired no right or title to the land.
7. Void patents produce no legal effects - A certificate of title fraudulently secured is null and void ab initio if the fraud
consisted in misrepresenting that the land is part of the public domain, although it is not. The nullity arises, not from the
fraud or deceit but, from the fact that the land is not under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Lands. Being null and void,
the free patent granted and the subsequent titles produce no legal effects whatsoever. Quod nullum est, nullum producit
effectum.
8. Rule on incontrovertibility of certificate of title upon expiration of 1 year, does not apply in the present case - The rule
on the incontrovertibility of a certificate of title upon the expiration of one year, after the entry of the decree, pursuant to
the provisions of the Land Registration Act, does not apply where an action for the cancellation of a patent and a
certificate of title issued pursuant thereto is instituted on the ground that they are null and void because the Bureau of
Lands had no jurisdiction to issue them at all, the land in question having been withdrawn from the public domain prior
to the subsequent award of the patent and the grant of a certificate of title to another person. Such an action is different
from a review of the decree of title on the ground of fraud.
9. Action to annul void title issued pursuant to a public grant does not prescribe - Although a period of one year has
already expired from the time a certificate of title was issued pursuant to a public grant, said title does not become
incontrovertible but is null and void if the property covered thereby is originally of private ownership, and an action to
annul the same does not prescribe.
10. Action to quite title imprescriptible since petitioners are in possession of land - Since Agne, et.al. are in possession of
the land in dispute, an action to quiet title is imprescriptible. Their action for reconveyance which, in effect, seeks to
quiet title to property in one’s possession is imprescriptible. Their undisturbed possession for a number of years gave
them a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of equity to determine the nature of the adverse claims of a third party
and the effect on her title. As held in Caragay-Layno vs. Court of Appeals, et al., an adverse claimant of a registered land,
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undisturbed in his possession thereof for a period of more than 50 years and not knowing that the land he actually
occupied had been registered in the name of another, is not precluded from filing an action for reconveyance which, in
effect, seeks to quiet title to property as against the registered owner who was relying upon a Torrens title which could
have been fraudulently acquired. To such adverse claimant, the remedy of an action to quiet title is imprescriptible. In
actions for reconveyance of property predicated on the fact that the conveyance complained of was void ab initio, a
claim of prescription of the action would be unavailing.
11. Land Registration Act and Cadastral Act does not give anybody better title than what he really or lawfully has - A free
patent which purports to convey land to which the Government did not have any title at the time of its issuance does not
vest any title in the patentee as against the true owner. As stated in Gustillo v. Maravill (48 Phil 838), the Land
Registration Act as well as the Cadastral Act protects only the holders of a title in good faith and does not permit its
provisions to be used as a shield for the commission of fraud, or that one should enrich himself at the expense of
another. The Acts do not give anybody, who resorts to the provisions thereof, a better title than he really and lawfully
has. If he happened to obtain it by mistake or to secure, to the prejudice of his neighbor, more land than he really owns,
with or without bad faith on his part, the certificate of title, which may have been issued to him under the circumstances,
may and should be cancelled or corrected (Legarda and Prieto vs. Saleeby, 31 Phil., 590).
12. Agne’s title superior over Gascon’s; Possession - The title of Agne, et.al. over the land in dispute is superior to the title
of the registered owner, Gascon, which is a total nullity. The long and continued possession of the former under a valid
claim of title cannot be defeated by the claim of a registered owner whose title is defective from the beginning.
13. Conclusiveness of a Torrens title not available for use to perpetual fraud and chicanery; Land Registration Act;
Registration is not a mode of acquiring property The quality of conclusiveness of a Torrens title is not available for use
to perpetrate fraud and chicanery. To paraphrase from Angeles vs. Samia, the Land Registration Act does not create or
vest title. It only confirms and records title already existing and vested. It does not protect a usurper from the true
owner. It cannot be a shield for the commission of fraud. It does not permit one to enrich himself at the expense of
another. The Torrens system was not established as a means for the acquisition of title to private land. It is intended
merely to confirm and register the title which one may already have on the land. Where the applicant possesses no title
or ownership over the parcel of land, he cannot acquire one under the Torrens system of registration. Resort to the
provisions of the Land Registration Act does not give one a better title than he really and lawfully has. Registration does
not vest title. It is not a mode of acquiring property. It is merely evidence of such title over a particular property. It does
not give the holder any better title than what he actually has, especially if the registration was done in bad faith. The
effect is that it is as if no registration was made at all.
14. Laches - The failure of the spouses Gascon to assert their claim over the disputed property for almost 30 constitute
laches and bars an action to recover the same. The registered owners’ right to recover possession of the property and
title thereto from Agne, et. al. has, by long inaction or inexcusable neglect, been converted into a stale demand.
15. Authority of the Court to order the reconveyance of property - Where the evidence show that the plaintiff is the true
owner of the land subject of the free patent and title granted to another and that the defendant and his predecessor in
interest were never in possession thereof, the Court, in the exercise of its equity jurisdiction and without ordering the
cancellation of said title issued upon the patent, may direct the defendant registered owner to reconvey the property to
the plaintiff. Further, if the determinative facts are before the Court and it is in a position to finally resolve the dispute,
the expeditious administration of justice will be subserved by such a resolution and thereby obviate the needless
protracted proceedings consequent to the remand of the case of the trial court. On these considerations, as well as the
fact that these cases have been pending for a long period of time, the Court, in the present case, see no need for
remanding Civil Case 2649 for further proceedings, and hold that the facts and the ends of justice in this case require the
reconveyance by the Gascons to Agne, et.al. of the disputed lot.

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[1920V70] 1920 Sep 29 | 2nd Division Timoteo Africa, Et Al. Vs. Benito Africa, Et Al. 042 Phil 934 042 Phil 902 This is an
action for the partition of the property of an inheritance worth more than P30,000. In their amended complaint filed in
the Court of First Instance of Batangas on February 1, 1918, the plaintiffs allege that they, and the defendants, are
descendants in a direct line of the spouses Galo Africa and Valentina Macarandang, who died on the 25th of April, 1889,
and the 17th of June, 1896, respectively; that the properties in question came from said spouses, and that since their
death the said properties have been administered by their sons, the defendants Benito and Lino Africa, who have never
rendered any account of their administration either to the heirs of the deceased Galo Africa and Valentina Macarandang,
or to any court of competent jurisdiction, nor have they made any "just and equitable distribution" of said properties
among the heirs of their common predecessors in interest. Wherefore, plaintiffs pray that the defendants be ordered to
render a true and proper accounting of their administration, and, under the direction of the court, make a just and
equitable distribution of the aforementioned properties among the heirs, and to pay the costs. Of the defendants, Benito
Africa and the heirs of Lino Africa only appeared. They denied all the allegations of the complaint, and, as a special
defense, alleged that during the lifetime of the deceased Galo Africa and Valentina Macarandang, all of their property had
been partitioned, and the respective shares awarded and delivered to each heir, their predecessors in interest reserving
only for their support the parcel of land described in clause (e) of paragraph VI of the complaint which was later sold by
Valentina Macarandang to her daughter Guillerma Africa, and that the other heirs have been in possession of their
respective shares, as owners, for more than thirty years; wherefore, they prayed that the complaint be dismissed and
that plaintiffs' action be declared prescribed, with costs against the plaintiffs. The case having been duly tried, the court,
on July 23, 1918, rendered its decision declaring that the properties in question are still undivided, and ordered the
defendant Benito Africa: (1) To render an accounting of the administration of the properties left by Galo Africa and
Valentina Macarandang; (2) to file an inventory of the said properties within forty-five days after the decision became
final; (3) to make the final partition of the aforesaid properties in accordance with the provision of the will (Exhibit 8),

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but without impairing the legitime of each heir; (4) to submit a tentative partition for the approval of the court; and (5)
to deliver to each heir, who has received less than his legitime, either in cash or in kind, whatever amount is necessary to
complete it; without finding as to costs. From that decision defendants appealed and filed the corresponding bill of
exceptions. To the order denying their motion for a new trial on the ground that the decision was contrary to the weight
of the evidence, defendants duly excepted. The appellants allege that the lower court erred: (a) In holding that the
properties in question were still undivided, and (b) in not holding that the action brought by plaintiffs, as well as any
right that they might have had to the said properties, has prescribed. It appears from the record that on January 21,
1887, the spouses Galo Africa and Valentina Macarandang executed their joint will in Tagalog, containing an inventory of
their property, and the said will was duly recorded in the office of the clerk of the court of Batangas on January 22, 1887.
In their will the testators declare having delivered to each and every one of their heirs certain portions of their estate as
their hereditary share of the inheritance. Galo Africa died on the 25th of April, 1889, and Valentina Macarandang on the
17th of July, 1896. One year before the death of Valentina Macarandang, the defendant Benito Africa commenced
possessory information proceedings (Exhibit 11) in the Court of First Instance of Lipa, covering four parcels of land, and
those described in the first, third, and fourth paragraphs thereof are the same lands mentioned in clauses (f), (b), and (c)
of the complaint. One of the plaintiffs herein, Sixto Africa, signed the record of those proceedings as a sign of conformity
to the petition of Benito Africa. Said possessory information was recorded in the registry of deeds of Batangas on April
10, 1895. Plaintiffs Wenceslao Reyes, Floberto Arguelles and Primitivo Latorre admit having received certain lands from
their great grandfather Galo Africa and great grandmother Valentina Macarandang, by themselves or through their
predecessors in interest, and that the said lands were by them sold, either personally or through their predecessors, to
third persons, as evidenced by Exhibits 2, 3, and 4. Benito Africa testified positively, without having been contradicted,
that of the properties described in the complaint, he has in his possession parcels (b), (d), and (f) only and part of (c), all
the rest being in the possession of his coheirs, their possession dating back more than thirty years. He named one by one
the heirs who had received an allotment of the properties described in the complaint. stating that the same had been
delivered to them by their respective deceased parents; and that the fungible property referred to in the will and in the
inventory aforesaid have been consumed. Regarding the allotment and delivery of the properties in question to the
heirs, no adequate evidence was introduced to rebut the testimony of this defendant. In view of the foregoing, we
conclude that this action of partition cannot be maintained. The properties sought to be partitioned by plaintiffs have
already been delivered to the heirs unconditionally and irrevocably, and, therefore. no longer form part of the hereditary
estate so that they could be partitioned. (Segui vs. Segui, 14 Phil., 102.) The heirs have been in the possession and
enjoyment of these properties, as exclusive owners, for more than twenty years and any right that plaintiffs might have
had to these properties has prescribed. (Bargayo vs. Camumot, 4 Phil., 857.) Plaintiffs' complaint seems to be based on
the supposed injustice to them because of the disproportionate and unequal distribution of the estate made by their
common predecessors in interest; if so, their action should be for the rescission of the partition, and even then their
action also has prescribed on account of the length of time elapsed. (Garcia vs. Tolentino, 25 Phil., 102.)

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