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1977 BAR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

I. Persons and Family Relations

Q1: Spouses H and W filed a petition to adopt S, the 4-year-old brother of W. The City
Fiscal objected, because “the adoption would result in an incongruity, where S would be
the son of his own sister”. Should the petition be granted?
Answer:
Yes, the petition should be granted as long as all of the requisites of a valid
adoption are present and that the adoption is for the best interest of S. According to the
case Santos Jr. vs. Republic, there is no law that prohibits it. True, such adoption would
result in a dual relationship between W and S, but this should not prevent the adoption.
One is by nature, while the other is by legal fiction. Therefore, the petition to adopt S
should be granted.
Q2: There are cases where the husband as administrator of the conjugal partnership
need not to secure the consent of the wife in order to dispose or encumber conjugal
property. Mention five (5) of said cases.
Answer:
The husband does not have to secure his wife’s consent in the following cases:
a. Alienations or encumbrances of personal property belonging to the conjugal
partnership, except donations which are not moderate donations for charity
b. Alienations or encumbrances of real property belonging to the conjugal partnership
acquired before the effectivity of the new Civil Code , except donations which are
not moderate donations for charity.
c. Alienations and encumbrances of real property belonging to the conjugal
partnership acquired after the effectivity of the new Civil Code in the following
cases:
1. When the wife has been declared a non compos mentis;
2. When the wife has been declared a spendthrift;
3. When the wife is under civil interdiction;
4. When the wife is confined in a leprosarium;
5. Moderate donations for charity;
6. Donations made or promised to the common children for securing their future
or the finishing or a career; and
7. Those made in order to pay the obligations of the conjugal partnership.

The wife may bind the conjugal partnership in the following cases:
1. When the obligation is contracted for the daily expenses of the family.
2. When the obligation is contracted in her business or profession, provided that
it has redounded to the benefit of the family.
3. When she acts as the agent of her husband.
4. When the administration of the conjugal partnership has been transferred to
her.
5. Moderate donations for charity.
Q3: H donated a parcel of land to W, his common-law wife. Later, they married, but soon
afterwards H died, survived only by a sister, S and W. S sued to recover the property
donated, but W resisted. Decide with reasons.
Answer:
The action will prosper but only with respect to one-half of the property. According
to the case of Buenaventura vs. Bautista, the prohibition of donations between spouses
during the marriage is applicable to common-law relationship for the following reasons:
The reason behind the law that the donation was probably due to undue and improper
influence is also true with greater force in extra-marital relations. Besides, so long as
marriage remains the cornerstone of our family law, reason and morality demand that the
disabilities which are attached to marriage should likewise be attached to extra-marital
relation.
The lack of validity of the donation made by H to W, however, does not mean that
the entire property shall be given to S. Because of her marriage to H, W is entitled to one-
half of the property and the plaintiff, as the surviving sister, to the other half. (art. 1001 of
Civil Code)
II. Property and Land Titles and Deeds

Q1: What are the rights of a person over his property?


Answer:
a. The right to enjoy, which includes:
1. Jus utendi, or the right to use;
2. Jus fruendi, or the right to enjoy the fruits;
3. Jus abutendi, or the right to full use of the property.
b. The right to dispose (jus disponendi), or the right to alienate, encumber, transform,
or even to destroy the property.
c. The right to vindicate (jus vindicandi), or the right of action available to the owner
to recover the property against the holder or possessor. (art. 428 of Civil Code)
Q2: What are the limitations upon the right of ownership?
Answer:
1. General limitations imposed by the State for its benefit, such as the power of
eminent domain, the police power, and the power of taxation;
2. Specific limitations imposed by law, such as legal servitudes;
3. Limitations imposed by the party transmitting the property either by contract or by
will;
4. Limitations imposed by the owner himself, such as voluntary servitudes,
mortgages, pledges, and lease rights;
5. Inherent limitations arising from conflict with other rights, such as those caused by
contiguity of property; and
6. Constitutional prohibitions regarding acquisition of private land by aliens and other
Constitutional limitations.
Q3: Distinguish the following concepts: Accession, accretion, alluvion, avulsion.
Answer:
Accession is the right pertaining to the owner of a thing over everything which is
produced thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or
artificially (art. 440 of Civil Code).
As applied to accession continua with respect to immovable property (accession
natural), accretion refers to that which is added or attached to the principal thing due to
natural causes.
Alluvion refers to the accretion which the land adjoining the banks of rivers, lakes,
creeks or torrents gradually receive from the effect of the current of the water (art. 457 of
Civil Code).
Avulsion refers to the accretion which takes place whenever the current of a river,
lake, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known portion of land and
transfers it to another estate (art. 459 Civil Code).
Q4: Discuss briefly five (5) instances of legal easements.
Answer:
Among the legal easements which may be discussed are: (1) easement of
drainage of water (art. 637); (2) easement of public use in the interest of navigation,
floatage, fishing and salvage (art.638); (3) easement of towpath (art.638); (4) easement
of abutment of a dam (art. 639); (5) easement for drowing water or watering of animals
(art. 640); (6) easement of aqueduct (arts. 642, 643); (7) easement of right of way (arts.
649, 650); (8) easement of a party wall (arts. 659,666); (9) easement of light and view
(arts. 668, 670, 673); (10) easement of drainage buildings (art. 676); (11) easement
against nuisance (art. 682); and (12) easement of lateral and subjacent support (art. 684).
Q5: A’s land is bounded on the South by the sea and on the East by a river. Both sides
have grown by accretion. What should A do to obtain a certificate of title to the enlarged
areas?
Answer:
A cannot do anything with respect to the accretion on the south by the sea. He has
no right over it. Such accretion is property of public dominion (art.420 of Civil Code). As
such, it is outside the commerce of man. Therefore, it cannot be appropriated; neither can
it be acquired by prescription (Ignacio vs. Dir. Of Lands). However, as far as the accretion
on the east by the rivers concerned, assuming that all of the requisites of alluvion are
present, A is not ipso jure the owner of such accretion. In order that he can acquire a
certificate of title, he should now comply with all of the different steps dictated by the Land
Registration Law in order that there will be a juridical confirmation of his title over the
accretion.
Q6: Discuss briefly the effect of possession in good faith and possession in bad faith with
respect to the fruits, the charges, the expenses, and deterioration or loss.
Answer:
A. Fruits received:
1. Possessor in good faith is entitled to fruits received while his possession is still
in good faith. (art, 544 of Civil Code)
2. Possessor in bad faith shall reimburse fruits received or which legitimate
possessor could have received, subject to art.443. (art. 549 of Civil Code)
B. Pending fruits:
1. Possessor in good faith and legitimate possessor shall be liable for expenses
of cultivation and shall share in net harvest in proportion to the time of their
possession. (ar. 545 par. 1 of Civil Code)
2. Possessor in bad faith shall not have any right.
C. Charges:
Possessor, whether in good or bad faith, and legitimate possessor shall
share charges in proportion to the time of their possession. (art. 545 par 1
of Civil Code)
D. Expenses:
1. Necessary expenses
a. Right of possessor in good faith:
- Right of reimbursement (art. 546 par.1 of Civil Code)
- Right of retention (art. 546 par. 1 of Civil Code)
b. Rights of possessor in bad faith; right of reimbursement only. (art. 546 par.
1 of Civil Code)
2. Useful expenses
a. Right of possessor in good faith:
- Right of reimbursement
- Right of retention (art. 546 par 2. Of Civil Code)
- Limited right of removal (art. 547 of Civil Code)
b. Rights of possessor in bad faith: None.
3. Ornamental expenses
a. Rights of possessor in good faith: Limited right of removal (art. 548 of Civil
Code)
b. Rights of possessor in bad faith: Limited right of removal (art. 549 of Civil
Code)
E. Deterioration or loss:
1. Possessor in good faith – no liability, unless due to his fault or negligence after
he had become possessor in bad faith. (art. 552 of Civil Code)
2. Possessor in bad faith – always liable, whether due to his fault or negligence
or due to a fortuitous event. (art. 552 of Civil Code)
Q7: What are the modes of acquiring ownership and other real rights under the New Civil
Code of the Philippines?
Answer:
Under the New Civil Code, the modes of acquiring ownership and other real rights
are the following:
1. Occupation;
2. Intellectual creation;
3. Prescription;
4. Law;
5. Donation;
6. Testate and intestate succession; and
7. In consequence of certain contracts, tradition. (art. 712 of Civil Code)
Q8: What is tradition and give the kinds of tradition which are provided and recognized in
the Civil Code.
Answer:
Tradition is a derivative mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights by virtue
of which they are transmitted from the patrimony of the grantor, in which they had
previously existed, to that of the grantee by means of a just title, there being both the
intention and the capacity on the part of both parties.
The different kinds of tradition which are recognized in the Civil Code are:
1. Real tradition, which takes place by the delivery or transfer of a thing from hand to
hand if it is movable, or by certain material and possessory acts of the grantee
performed in the presence and with the consent of the grantor if it is immovable.
2. Constructive tradition, which takes place by the delivery of a movable or
immovable thing by means of acts or signs indicative thereof. This delivery may
take place in the following ways:
a. Traditio symbolica, which consists in the delivery of a symbol representing the
thing which is delivered, such as the key to a warehouse;
b. Tradicio longa manu, which consists in the grantor pointing out to the grantee
the thing which is delivered which at the time must be within sight;
c. Tradicio brevi manu, which takes place when the grantee is already in
possession of the thing under a title which is not of ownership, such as when
the lessee purchases from the lessor the object of the lease; and
d. Tradicio constitutum possessorium, which takes place when the grantor
alienates a thing belonging to him, but continues in possession thereof under
a different title, such as that of a lessee, pledgee or depositary.
3. Quasi-tradicion, which is used to indicate the exercise of a right by the grantee with
the acquiescence of the grantor; and
4. Tradicion por ministerio de la ley, which refers to delivery that takes place by
operation of law.
Q9: What are the requisites of usufruct? How is it constituted and how do you distinguish
it from ownership and from lease? What are the modes of extinguishing them?
Answer:
There are two requisites of usufruct, the essential and the accidental. The essential
requisite is the right to enjoy the property of another, while the accidental requisite is the
obligation of preserving the form and substance of such property. The latter is accidental,
because the title constituting the usufruct or the law may otherwise provide as in the case
of abnormal usufruct.
A usufruct may be constituted: (1) by law; (2) by the will of private persons
expressed in acts inter vivos, (3) by the will of private persons expressed in a last will and
testament, and (4) by prescription. (art. 563 of Civil Code)
While ownership has for its attributes (1) the right to enjoy (jus utendi, jus fruendi,
jus abutendi), (2) the right to dispose (jus disponendi), and (3) the right to vindicate and
recover the property (jus vindicandi), usufruct is limited merely to the enjoyment of the
property (jus utendi and jus fruendi).
Usufruct is distinguished from lease as follows:
1. As to nature of right – usufruct is always a real right, whereas lease becomes a
real right only when registered;
2. As to constitution - usufruct is constituted by law, by the will of private persons
expressed in acts inter vivos on in a last will and testament, and by prescription,
whereas lease is as a rule constituted by contract;
3. As to the person constituting it – in usufruct the person constituting it is the owner,
whereas in lease the person constituting it need not to be the owner;
4. As to extent – usufruct includes the right to use and to enjoy the fruits (jus utendi
and jus fruendi) of the thing, whereas lease is more limited;
5. As to duration – there is no limitation to the duration of a usufructuary right,
whereas there is a limitation to the duration of a lease right;
6. As to repairs – the usufructuary is responsible for ordinary repairs, whereas the
lessee is not; and
7. As to taxes – the usufructuary is responsible for taxes on the fruits, whereas in
lease the lessee is not.

Usufruct is extinguished:
1. By the death of the usufructuary, unless a contrary intention clearly appears;
2. By the expiration of the period for which it was constituted, or by the fulfillment of
any resolutory condition provided in the title creating the usufruct;
3. By merger of the usufruct and ownership in the same person;
4. By renunciation of the usufructuary;
5. By the total loss of the thing in usufruct;
6. By the termination of the right of the person constituting the usufruct; and
7. By prescription. (art. 603 of Civil Code)
III. Wills and Succession

Q1: A and B are spurious children of T, born in 1945 and 1947, respectively. T died in
1955. Can A and B inherit from him? Would your answer be the same if T died the year
after B’s birth?
Answer:
If T dies in 1955, A and B can inherit from him. Under the New Civil Code, spurious
children can inherit. This is, of course, based on the assumption that T had recognized A
and B as his spurious children either voluntarily or by means of a final judgement of a
competent court. If T had no recognized the, they cannot inherit from him.
If T died the year after B’s birth, A and B cannot inherit from him. The reason is
that in such case the right of A and B to inherit from T shall still be governed by the
Spanish Civil Code (art. 2263 of Civil Code). Under the facts presented, it is clear that T
died prior to the effectivity of the New Civil Code. Therefore, what is applicable is the
Spanish Civil Code. Under said code, spurious children cannot inherit. Therefore, if T died
the year after B’s birth, A and B cannot inherit from T.
Q2: Discuss briefly the right of a testator to partition his estate among his heirs in the last
will.
Answer:
If the testator has no compulsory heirs, he may partition his estate in favor of any
person having capacity to succeed. If he has compulsory heirs, he may partition his estate
provided that he does not contravene the provisions of the Civil Code with regard to the
legitime of said heirs. (art. 842 of Civil Code)
Q3: State the order of intestate succession.
Answer:
If the decedent is a legitimate person, the order is:
1. Legitimate children or descendants.
2. Legitimate parents or ascendants.
3. Illegitimate children or descendants.
4. The surviving spouse subject to the concurrent rights of brothers and sisters,
nephews and nieces.
5. Brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces.
6. Other collateral relatives within the fifth degree.
7. The state.

If the decedent is an illegitimate person, the order is:


1. Legitimate children or descendants.
2. Illegitimate children or descendants.
3. Parents by nature.
4. The surviving spouse subject to the concurrent right of brothers and sisters,
nephews and nieces.
5. Brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces.
6. The state.
If the decedent is an adopted person, and his natural parents are already dead,
then the adopter shall take place of such parents in the above orders of
succession. (art. 39, no.4 of PD 603)
Q4: X is the adulterous son of A and B and when he died in 1970 without a will, he was
survived only by his father A and his widow W. How would you divide his estate valued
at P100,000?
Answer:
A shall be entitled to ½ of the estate, while W shall be entitled also to ½. True,
there is no express provision of the New Civil Code which directly governs this situation,
but this solution is the most equitable. Besides, in testamentary succession, the legitime
of A is ½ of X’s estate, while the legitime of W is also ½ (art. 903 of Civil Code); and in
intestate succession, had A been a legitimate parent, his share would have been only
1/2, while the share of W would also be ½ (art. 997 of Civil Code). These rules should be
applied by analogy.
Q5: What is a codicil and how shall it be executed in order that it may be effective?
Answer:
A codicil is a supplement or addition to a will, made after the execution of a will
and annexed to be taken as a part thereof, by which any disposition made in the original
will is explained, added to, or altered (art. 825 of Civil Code). The formalities which are
required in the execution of a codicil are the same as those required in the execution of
a will (art. 826 of Civil Code).
Q6: Who are compulsory heirs? Give five (5) instances which shall be sufficient causes
for the disinheritance of children and descendants, legitimate as well as illegitimate.
Answer:
In general, compulsory heirs are those whom the law has reserved a portion of the
testator’s estate which is known as the legitime.
In particular, the following are compulsory heirs:
1. Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their legitimate parents and
ascendants;
2. In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, with respect to their
legitimate children and descendants;
3. The widow or widower.
4. Acknowledged natural children and natural children by legal fiction;
5. Other illegitimate children referred to in Art. 287 of Civil Code.
Compulsory heirs mentioned in nos. 3,4, and 5 are not excluded b those in no. 1
and 2, neither o they excluded one another.
In all cases of illegitimate children. Their filiation must be duly approved.
The father or mother of illegitimate children of the classes mention shall inherit
from them in the manner and to the extent established by the Civil Code.
The following shall be sufficient causes for the disinheritance of children and
descendants, legitimate as well as illegitimate:
1. When a children or descendant has been found guilty of an attempt against the life
of the testator, his or her spouse, descendants. Or ascendants;
2. When a child or descendant has accused the testator of a crime for which the law
prescribes imprisonment for six years or more if the accusation has been found
groundless;
3. When the child or descendant has been convicted of adultery or concubinage with
the spouse of the testator;
4. When a child or descendant by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence
causes the testator to make a will or to change on already made;
5. A refusal without justifiable cause to support the parent or ascendant who
disinherits such child or descendant;
6. Maltreatment of the testator by word or deed, by the child or descendant;
7. When a child or descendant leads a dishonorable or disgraceful life;
8. Conviction of a crime which carries with it the penalty of civil interdiction. (art. 919
of Civil Code)
Q7: Distinguish acceptance and repudiation of inheritance from collation.
Answer:
Acceptance is the act of an heir, legatee, or devisee in manifesting his desire in
accordance with the formalities prescribed by law to succeed to the inheritance, legacy
or devise, while repudiation is the act of an heir, legatee or devisee in manifesting his
desire in accordance with the formalities prescribed by law not to succeed to such
inheritance, legacy or devise.
Collation, on the other hand, refers to the act of restoring to the common mass of
the hereditary estate, either actually or fictitiously, any property or right, which a
compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs may have received by way
of donation or any other gratuitous title from the decedent during the lifetime of the latter,
but which is understood for legal purposes as an advance of his legitime.
Q8: Should brothers and sisters of the full blood survive together with brothers and sisters
of the half blood, how much is the former entitled compared to that of the latter?
Answer:
The former, the brothers and sisters of the full blood, shall be entitled to a share
double that of the latter, the brothers and sisters of the half blood. (art. 1006 of Civil Code)
Q9: What is meant by the right of representation in succession? In what line does it take
place?
Answer:
Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the
representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented, and
acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have
inherited. (art. 970 of Civil Code)
The right of representation takes place in the direct descending line, but never in
the ascending.
In the collateral line, it takes place only in favor of the children of brothers or sisters,
whether they be of the full or half blood. (art. 972 of Civil Code)
When children of one or more brother or sisters of the deceased survive, they shall
inherit from the latter by representation, if they survive with their uncles or aunts. But if
they alone survive, they shall inherit in equal portions. (art. 975 of Civil Code)
Q10: A was considered a Chinese citizen under Nationalist China laws and a Japanese
under the laws of Japan. He died in Manila, leaving properties in the Philippines. Before
his death, he was domiciled in Japan. How should a Philippine Court adjudicate the
successional rights to his estate.
Answer:
The Philippines Court should adjudicate the successional rights to A’s estate in
accordance with Japanese law. This solution is in conformity with the theory of effective
nationality and the conflict of nationality laws of The Hague Convention, it is obvious that
A himself preferred Japanese law to Chinese law because he was not only a citizen but
also a domiciliary of Japan. True, we adhere to the nationality theory (art. 16 of Civil
Code), but here, the domiciliary theory merely comes to the rescue of the nationality
theory.
1978 BAR QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

I. Persons and Family Relations

Q1: Ester Santos and Pedro Reyes were married on September 7, 1962 and had two
(2) children, a girl of four (4) years and a boy of eleven (11) years of age. In 1976,
Ester left the conjugal home in Zamboanga and resided in Manila. Ester and Pedro
reached an amicable settlement respecting custody of children, support, separation
of property and dissolution of the conjugal partnership. It was agreed that the custody
of the girl be given to the mother and that of the boy to the father. Subsequently, the
mother questioned in court the validity of the agreement with respect to the custody
of her son.
a. Is the amicable settlement valid with respect to the separation of property and
dissolution of the conjugal partnership? Reasons.
b. Is the amicable settlement valid with respect to the custody of the children?
Reasons.
Answer:
a. The amicable settlement with respect to the separation of property and dissolution
of the conjugal partnership is not valid unless juridically approved. The Civil Code
is explicit. According to one provision, separation of property between the spouses
during the marriage shall not take place save by virtue of juridical order. According
to another provision, every extrajudicial agreement, during marriage for the
dissolution of the conjugal partnership between husband and wife shall be void
and of no effect. Therefore, the amicable settlement with respect to the separation
of property and dissolution of conjugal partnership is not valid. (art. 190 and art.
221 of Civil Code)
b. The amicable settlement with respect to the custody of the children is valid
provided that it is for their best interest and welfare. It is well-settled rule in this
jurisdiction that in questions involving custody of children, their interest and welfare
are always paramount. As a matter of fact, the law now declares it. Here, the
custody of the girl, who is four years old, is given to the mother. There is no
violation of the law either under the Civil Code or under the Child Youth Welfare
Code. The Custody of the boy, who is eleven years old, is given to the father. There
is also no violation of the law either under the Civil Code or under the Child Youth
Welfare Code. Hence, the amicable settlement with respect to the custody of the
children is valid.
Q2: Is the non-disclosure to a wife by her husband of pre-marital relationship with another
woman a ground for annulment of marriage? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer:
No. The non-disclosure to a wife by her husband of pre-marital relationship with
another woman is not a ground for annulment of marriage. True, under our law of
marriage, fraud is a ground for annulment. However, it has a very technical and limited
meaning. There are only three instances of fraud enumerated by the law which will justify
or entitle a spouse in proceeding against the other for the annulment of their marriage
and to above-mentioned non-disclosure is not one of them. Besides, the law itself
declares that no other misrepresentation or deceit as to chastity shall constitute such
fraud as will give a ground for the annulment of marriage. Therefore, the non-disclosure
to a wife by her husband of pre-marital relationship with another woman is not a ground
for annulment. (art. 45 and art. 46 of Family Code)
Q3: Is the fact of pregnancy of the wife at the time of their marriage by a man other than
her husband a ground for annulment of marriage? Explain fully.
Answer:
No. the fact of pregnancy of the wife at the time of the marriage by a man other
than the husband is not in itself a ground for annulment of marriage. The law is explicit. It
is the concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was
pregnant by a man other than her husband which is a ground for annulment. So, if there
was no concealment or even the possibility of concealment, such as when the wife was
already six months pregnant at the time of the celebration of the marriage, there would
be no ground for annulment. At such an advanced stage of pregnancy, concealment
would be impossible. Therefore, the fact of pregnancy of the wife at the time of the
marriage by a man other than the husband itself without concealment is not a ground for
annulment. (art.46 no. 2 of Family Code)
Q4: A and B lived together publicly as husband and wife for fifteen (15) years in a house
in Bel Air Subdivision acquired during that time. A died intestate. His legitimate wife C
and his two (2) legitimate children sought to include said house in the estate of the
deceased. B objected on the ground that it was acquired during the period of their
cohabitation.
a. What rule govern the relationship of A and B with regard to property acquired by
them during the period of their cohabitation?
b. What conditions must be shown before B can claim any right over property
acquired during that relationship?
Answer:
a. The relationship of A and B with regard to property acquired by either or both of
them through their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed
by the rules on co-ownership. (art. 147 of Family Code)
b. B must show that she and A were living together as husband and wife without
getting married; that the property was acquired by either or both of them through
their work or industry or their wages and salaries during the period of their
cohabitation with A; and that she and A had really contributed to the acquisition of
the property. (art. 147 and 148 of Family Code)
Q5: A and B, a year after marriage, built a residential house on land belonging to the latter
as her paraphernal property, using conjugal funds for its construction. Their marital life
proving unhappy, they agreed to separate. Neither took the trouble to obtain judicial
separation. Sometimes later, a big fire reduced the house to ashes. Upon the death of B,
the wife, there was a liquidation of the conjugal property. A, the surviving spouse,
contended that the lot should form part of the conjugal estate. The heirs of B, the
deceased wife, claimed that after the house was burned, having the lot vacant once more,
it reverted to its status of being paraphernal. Decide the case with reasons.
Answer:
A’s contention that the lot should form part of the conjugal estate is not correct.
Under the Civil Code, B retains her right of ownership of the lot until she is paid its value.
It is now a well-settled doctrine that payment of the value of the lot can be made only
once the conjugal partnership is dissolved and there is a subsequent liquidation of the
conjugal partnership properties. In other words, before the lot can be converted or
transferred into conjugal property, it is essential that the condition that its value shall be
reimbursed to B or her legal heirs must be complied with. Such reimbursement can only
take place during the liquidation proceedings. Obviously, compliance with this condition
presupposes that the building constructed on the lot must still be in existence at the time
of liquidation of the conjugal partnership properties. In the instant case, the building was
destroyed before the condition could be complied with. The lot, therefore, never ceased
to be paraphernal. (art.129 of the Family Code)
Q6: Ana and Basilio, both Filipino citizens and of legal age, were married in 1950 in
Antique but they never lived together. Ana subsequently left the Philippines and secured
a divorce in Nevada, United States in 1953 on the ground of extreme mental cruelty. In
1955, Ana sought papal dispensation of the marriage and then married Carl, an American,
in Nevada. She lived with him in California and begot children. She acquired American
citizenship in 1959.
a. Will the divorce decree obtained abroad be accorded validity in the Philippines?
What law supports your answer?
b. What is the status of the marriage of Ana and Carl under our laws? Reasons for
your answer.
Answer:
a. No. The divorce decree obtained abroad is not accorded validity in the Philippines.
The Civil Code states that laws relating to family rights and duties, or the status,
condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the Philippines,
even though living abroad. It is clear that the divorce decree, which affects the
status and conditions of Ana and Basilio, is not valid under the Philippine laws. It
is a well-settled rule in this jurisdiction that absolute divorce is contrary to public
policy. The Civil Code states that a declaration of public policy cannot be rendered
ineffective by a judgement promulgated in a foreign country. (art. 15 and art.17
par.3 of Civil Code)
b. The marriage of Ana and Cark is void under the Philippine laws. Ana is still married
to Basilio under the Philippine laws. The decree of absolute divorce which she
obtained in Nevada is not valid in the Philippines. The papal dispensation which
she also obtained is not valid under the Philippine laws. It is true, the Civil Code
provides that a marriage celebrated outside of the Philippines is in accordance with
the laws in force in the country where it is celebrated, and valid there as such, shall
also be valid in this country. But there are exceptions to this rule. This rule cannot
be applied if the marriage is bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous as determined
by Philippine laws. The marriage of Ana and Carl is certainly bigamous as
determined by Philippine laws. Hence, their marriage is void. (art. 35 no.4 of Family
Code)
II. Property and Land Titles and Deeds

Q1: A bought a white gold ring with a two-karat emerald from La Estrella de Norte in 1964.
In 1966, said ring was stolen from her house. She traced the ring to B whom she saw was
wearing the same at a party in 1967. B, on the other hand, claimed that she bought the
ring from her aunt. It was established, however, that it was the very same ring. Can A
recover the ring from B, without reimbursing the price paid by B? reason for your answer.
Answer:
Yes. A can recover the ring from B, without reimbursing the price paid by B to his
aunt. According to the law, one who has lost any movable or has been deprived thereof,
may recover it from any possessor without any obligation at all. The only exception is
when there is acquisition in good faith by the possessor at a public sale, in which case
the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid thereof.
The right of the owner to recover personal property acquired in good faith by
another is based in his being disposed without his consent. The common law principle
that where one of two innocent persons must suffer by a fraud perpetrated by another,
the law imposes the loss upon the party who by misplaced confidence, has enabled the
fraud to be committed, cannot be applied in a case which is covered by an express
provision of the Civil Code. Between a common law principle and a statutory provision,
the latter must prevail. Hence, A can recover the ring from B without reimbursing the price
paid by B. (De Garcia vs. Court of Appeals)
Q2: A sold a parcel of land with two (2) buildings thereon to B for P50,000 subject to the
condition that A shall receive from B by way of life pension 1/3 of the rents of the two (2)
buildings. Without B’s fault, the two (2) buildings were totally destroyed by fire. B now
alleges that the right to receive a life pension was extinguished upon the loss of the
buildings. Is such a contention valid? Reasons for your answer.
Answer:
No. The right to receive a life pension was not extinguished upon the loss of the
buildings. It must be observed that under the condition agreed upon by and between A
and B that A shall receive from B by way of life pension 1/3 of the rents of the two
buildings, in reality, what was created was a life usufruct, with A as usufructuary, over the
two buildings under an arrangement whereby A shall always be entitled during his lifetime
to 1/3 of the rents of the two buildings. Now, it is well-settled that rents constitute earnings
of both buildings and the land on which it is constructed. There can be land without
building, but there can be no building without land. Therefore, in the case before us, the
things in usufruct are the two buildings and the land on which the buildings are
constructed. Under our law, in order that there will be an extinguishment of the usufruct,
it is essential that the things in usufruct must be totally destroyed or lost. Here, there was
no total loss. The land remains intact. Therefore, pursuant to the law on usufructs, A the
usufructuary, shall now have the right to make use of 1/3 of the land and the materials.
This is a temporary measure calculated to maintain the usufruct alive until the very things
destroyed are reconstructed or replaced. (art. 603 no.5 and art.607 of Civil Code, and
Vda.de Albur vs. Fabie)
III. Wills and Succession

Q1: A deceased, is survived by a half-sister B on his father’s side and an aunt C his
mother’s sister. He left as his only property that which was inherited from his mother. He
died intestate. Who shall succeed to A’s estate? Reasons for your answer.
Answer:
B shall succeed to A’s estate. The law of intestate succession is explicit. Since
both B and C are collateral relatives of the decedent A, therefore, the rule of proximity is
applicable. Relatives nearest in degree exclude the more distant ones, B is a second
degree relative of A, while C is a third degree relative. Besides, under the general order
of intestate succession, brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half blood, are always
preferred to uncles or aunts. Hence, B, half-sister of A, shall succeed to A’s estate. (art.
967 and art.1004 to 1009 of Civil Code)
Q2: Are the following subject to collation? Explain fully your answers.
a. Gifts bestowed by the deceased father during his lifetime for the debts of a son.
b. Money paid by the deceased parent during his lifetime for the debts of a son.
Answer:
a. The gift bestowed by the deceased father during his lifetime to the spouse of his
son should not be subject to collation. This means that the law will not consider
such gifts as advances made by the decedent of the legitime of his son, and
therefore, chargeable against such legitime during the partition of the hereditary
estate. Instead, the law considers such gifts as ordinary donations inter vivos made
to a stranger, and therefore, chargeable against the disposable free portion of the
estate. It would be different if the gifts are bestowed to the spouses jointly. In such
case, ½ of the value of such gifts would then be charged against the legitime of
the son and the other ½ against the disposable free portion. (art. 1066 of Civil
Code)
b. Money paid by the deceased parent during his lifetime for the debts of a son should
be brought to collation. In reality, what we have here is a donation inter vivos made
to a compulsory heir. From the point of view of the law, the money is considered
as an advance of the legitime. Consequently, in the portion of the hereditary estate,
the amount should be charged against the legitime of the son. (art. 1069 of Civil
Code)