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Property Case Digests (Atty.

Vivencio Abano)
Maneclang v. Intermediate Appellate Court Facts: Adriano Maneclang in this case filed a complaint for quieting of title over a certain fishpond located within the 4 parcels of land belonging to them situated in Pangasinan but the trial court dismissed it by saying that the body of water is a creek constituting a tributary to Agno River therefore public in nature and not subject to private appropriation. o They appealed it to the IAC which affirmed the aforementioned decision. Hence, this review on certiorari. However, after having been asked to comment to the case thereon, they manifested their lack of interest and the parties to the case (the complainant and the awardee in the public bidding Maza) decided to amicably settle the case saying that judgment be rendered and that the court recognize the ownership of the petitioners over the land the body of water found within their titled properties. o They say that there would be no benefit since the NIA already constructed a dike and no water now gets in and out of the land. Issue: Whether or not the fishpond is public in nature. Ratio: Yes. A creek is defined as a recess or arm extending from a river and participating in the ebb and flow of the sea. o It is a property belonging to the public domain and is not susceptible to private appropriation and acquisitive prescription. o The mere construction of the dikes by NIA nor its conversion to a fishpond altered or changed the nature of the creek as property of the public domain. The compromise agreement is null and void and of no legal effect because it is contrary to law and public policy. Villarico v. Sarmiento Facts: Villarico here is an owner of a lot that is separated from the Ninoy Aquino Avenue highway by a strip of land belonging to the government. Vivencio Sarmiento had a building constructed on a portion of the said government land and a part thereof was occupied by Andoks Litson Corp. In 1993, by means of a Deed of Exchange of Real Property, Villarico acquired a portion of the same area owned by the government. o He then filed an accion publiciana alleging that respondents (Vivencio) on the government land closed his right of way to the Ninoy Aquino Avenue and encroached on a portion of his lot.

Issue: Whether or not VIllarico has a right of way to the NAA. Ratio: No. It is not disputed in this case that the alleged right of way to the lot belongs to the state or property of public dominion. o It is intended for public use meaning that it is not confined to privileged individuals but is open to the indefinite public. Records show that the lot on which the stairways were built is for the use of the people as passageway hence, it is a property for public dominion. o Public dominion property is outside the commerce of man and hence, it cannot be: Alienated or leased or otherwise be the subject matter of contracts Acquired by prescription against the state Cannot be the subject of attachment and execution Be burdened by any voluntary easement It cannot be burdened by a voluntary easement of right of way in favor of the petitioner and petitioner cannot appropriate it for himself and he cannot claim any right of possession over it. Abrogar v. People Facts: Abrogar here is being accused with theft under Article 308 of the Revised Penal Code. The information alleged that he effectively stole the business from PLDT while using its facilities. o He filed a motion to quash the information since according to him it does not contain material allegations charging the petitioner with theft of personal property since long distance calls and the business of providing telecommunication are not personal properties under theft. Issue: Whether or not "stealing the business from PLDT while using its facilities" constitutes taking of personal property within the meaning of Art. 308 of the RPC. Ratio: PERSONAL PROPERTY is defined as anything susceptible of appropriation and not included in the chapter in real property in the

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Civil Code. This court has consistently ruled in the past that any personal property, tangible or intangible, corporeal or incorporeal, capable of appropriation can be the object of theft. o Any property which is not included in the enumeration in the chapter on real property and capable of appropriation can be the subject of theft under the RPC. TO appropriate means to deprive the lawful owner of the thing and it may be committed through the use of the offender's own hands, as well as any mechanical device such as access device. o Accused here was charged with using ISR or the unauthorized routing and completing of international long distance calls using lines to make the calls. o This is punishable as subtraction under a Revised Ordinance of Manila. The business of providing telecommunication or telephone service is likewise personal property which can be the object of theft under the RPC. o It is not included as real property in the Civil Code but in previous cases, it has been held as personal property. Petitioners acts constitutes theft of respondent's business and service by means of unlawful use of the latter's facilities. o Hence, the amendment information describes the offense inaccurately by making it seem that what he took were the long distance calls rather than the business. o It cannot be said that PLDT is the owner of the "calls" because they merely encode the voices and decode them. o It is the use of the communication facilities without the consent that constitutes the crime of theft. Tayag v. Lacson Facts: Respondents (the Lacsons) herein were registered owners of 3 parcels of land in Pampanga which were tenanted agricultural lands administered by a certain Renato Espinosa. o The farmers and tillers executed in favor of petitioner herein (Tayag) Deeds of Assignment wherein they assigned their respective rights as tenants and tillers of the landholdings possessed and tilled by them for a consideration. In the said Deed of Assignment, the said amount was to be payable "when the legal impediments to the sale of the property to Tayag no longer existed". Also in the said deed, Tayag was granted the exclusive right to buy the property if and when the Lacsons, with concurrence of the farmers, agreed to sell the property. Tayag set a meeting with the tenants to work out the implementation of the said deed but the tenants instead wrote to Tayag and said that they decided to sell their rights to the property to the Lacsons instead. o Tayag instituted a civil action against the tenants because he has already been making partial payments to the subject property, as well as an action against the Lacsons because he alleges that they induced the tenants to breach the agreement between them. In answer to the complaint against them, the successors in interest of Lacson (since he died already during the pendency of the case) stated that they never induced the tenants to violate the contract with Tayag and that the tillers had no right to enter into the transaction without their knowledge and consent. They also allege that the contract between Tayag and the tenants are contrary to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. o On the other hand, the tenants, as answer also to the complaint filed against them stated that they were merely deceived into believing that the alleged partial payments were loans. They say that they never knew that what they signed with Tayag was a Deed of Assignment. Tayag herein prayed for injunctive relief against the tenants to prevent them from selling their rights and interests in the land to Lacson, and upon knowledge of this, Lacson motioned to dismiss such prayer. o The court ruled in favor of Tayag saying that the injunctive relief is entitled to him because of his material allegations in the civil case. Hence, Lacson petitioned for certiorari to the CA. o The CA ruled in favor of Lacson and said that he cannot be enjoined since they were not privies to the deeds of assignment executed herein. Issues: Whether or not the issuance of the RTC of the preliminary injunction is warranted. Whether or not Lacson and the tenants can be enjoined from selling to each other the rights and interest of the subject property. Whether or not the deeds of assignment executed by the tenants were contrary to the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program. Ratio: The respondents here contend that the CA cannot permanently enjoin the parties to institute a simple civil action again since the only question posted to them when they filed a petition for certiorari is "whether or not the trial court committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the motion for reconsideration of

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the respondents for the denial/dismissal of the petitioner's plea for a writ of preliminary injunction" o In the decision of the RTC before it was appealed to the CA, they ruled that the petitioner was entitled to injunctive relief, however, this court rules that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion when it granted the petitioner such injunctive relief. o Preliminary injunction is an extraordinary event calculated to preserve or maintain the status quo of things until the merits of the case can be heard. It rests on the sound discretion of the court. It is a limitation upon the freedom of action of the defendant and should not be granted lightly or precipitately. It should rest on the existence of a cause of action. If the right is doubtful, injunction is not proper. o In this case, petitioner failed to prove the existence of the essential requisites for him to be entitled to such injunctive relief. The respondents cannot be enjoined to dispose their property. The rightful owner of the property in question is the respondent (Lacson) and he cannot be enjoined by the trial court from disposing his property without any other limitations than those established by law in accordance with the Civil Code. o The right to dispose, sell, encumber, transfer and even destroy the property is in the hands of the owner. It also includes the right to recover the possession of the property from any other person whom the owner has not transmitted by appropriate action. o However, it is not absolute, it is limited by the law, such as the agrarian reform laws. The respondents in this case were not parties to the deeds of assignment and there is no evidence that they agreed, expressly or impliedly to the deeds or to the terms set forth therein. He even testified in the RTC that he had no knowledge of such deeds. The action of Tayag against the tenants also have no legal basis since the terms of the deed of assignment itself states that the sale will only happen if the legal impediments to the sale no longer exists. o In this case the legal impediments were that the Lacsons, have not yet decided to sell the property, and the lack of approval from the Department of Agrarian Reform (since the parcel of land was subject to the CARP) o Contrary to what the petitioner avers, this is no option contract since the grantors were merely the tenants and not the registered owners of the property. On the issue of the CARP, the tenants, by assigning their rights to the petitioner herein, would become disqualified from becoming beneficiaries of the land hence, they would become landless again for a measly sum. This scheme of the petitioner is subversive, and in violation of public policy and the agrarian laws. Panganiban v. Oamil Facts: 2 properties are the subject of this case, the first one is the "21st portion" and the second one, we refer to as "the Canda St. portion." Petitioners in this case and their father (Partenio) are the co-owners of such property. 1/2 to the father, as his conjugal share, and 1/6 of the remaining half to the petitioners as surviving heirs. Oamil was the buyer in this case and she filed an action for specific performance in the trial court praying that the father be ordered to execute a deed of sale of the parcel of land which is covered by their agreement. However, there is a confusion as to what the subject of the agreement was (whether it was the 21st portion or the Canda portion) o In its decision the RTC ordered that the deed of absolute sale be executed, however they did not state which portion of the property should be deeded. Acting on this decision, the petitioners averred to the CA that their properties were still being subject of a partition proceeding and that their case is still pending with the Court of Appeals. Hence, the RTC cannot yet decide on which property was the subject of the sale between Oamil and Paternio. o When the partition proceeding was decided, the Canda portion was awarded as the conjugal share of Paternio. o However, the CA still rendered a decision to the contrary and stated that the subject property in the sale consists of the 21st portion thereby disregarding the decision in the parition proceeding. o Respondents here moved for reconsideration but it was denied for being dispensable parties to the case despite their claims of co-ownership. They appealed to the SC. Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are indispensable parties to the civil case for the reason that they are co-owners of the subject property. Whether or not the CA erred in ruling that the subject property of the sale was the 21st portion and not the Canda portion despite the decision in the partition proceeding. Ratio: They can intervene in this case since they are indispensable parties to the case. Under a co-ownership, the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons and during its

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existence, no individual can claim title to any definite portion of the community property until the partition thereof. o All that a co-owner has is an ideal or abstract or proportionate share in the entire land or thing. o Before partition, every co-owner has the absolute ownership of his undivided interest in the common property. In the event of a division, assignees of one or more of the co-owners may take part in the division of the thing owned in common and object to its being effected without their concurrence. But they cannot impugn any partition already executed, unless there has been fraud, or in case it was made, notwithstanding a formal opposition presented to prevent it, without prejudice to the right of the debtor or assignor to maintain its validity. o The decision in the partition case determines what Paternio, and the respondent (as his successor in interest) is entitled to in the civil case. o As the successor in interest, they cannot acquire any superior right in the property than what Partenio is entitled to or could transfer or alienate after partition. In the contract of sale, what the vendee obtains by virtue of such sale are the same rights as the vendor had as co-owner and the vendee merely steps into the shoes of the vendor as co-owner. The decision of the courts in the partition proceeding is the law of the case and is conclusive on the issue of which specific portion of the property became the subject matter of the sale between Partenio and Oamil. o The effect of the transfer is limited to the portion which may be awarded to him upon the partition of the property, it cannot exceed the portion of Partenio. The principle of conclusiveness should be observed by the courts. o In order that it can be conclusive, it must be of the same parties, and that the issue must be identical. Bongalon v. CA Facts: Rosalia is the owner of a lot and sometime in the year 1943, her 3 children, Trinidad, Conchita and Teodora executed a deed of sale conveying to Cirila a part of the lot. o On the same day, Cirila, Trinidad and Conchita and Teodora executed another deed of sale conveying to Pedro Bongalon a part of the lot for a consideration. However, acting alone, Cirila executed another deed of absolute sale conveying the said lot to Amparo which was subsequently declared in her name for tax purposes and paid real estate taxes therefor. Meanwhile, in an extrajudicial settlement instituted by Pedro, he declared that Cirila is the only heir of Rosalia and therefore, he is the only heir of Cirila making the subject property's TCT here issued in his own name. He thereafter filed a case for Quieting of title and Recovery of portion of the property and damages against Amparo alleging that he is the registered owner of such property. o In support of his claim during the trial he presented the deeds of absolute sale executed to him and the extrajudicial settlement declaration that Cirila was the owner of the entire lot which she later sold to Amparo (double sale). The trial court ruled that Pedro was the rightful owner of the property and ordered Amparo to vacate the land in question. o Respondent appealed to the CA and reversed the RTC decision saying that, the basis of the complaint of Pedro is that he inherited the said property as evidenced by the Extrajudicial Settlement of the Estate but such extrajudicial settlement is tainted with fraud and misrepresentation since there are 7 more children. Issues: What is the basis and extent of Pedro's interest in the subject property? Whether or not the sale to Amparo casts a cloud on Pedro's title. Whether or not the extrajudicial settlement is valid. Ratio: When Rosalia died, she passed on the piece of property to her surviving spouse and their five children. Such heirs inherited the lot in co-ownership at 1/6 undivided share each. After their father died, their shares increased to 1/5 each. Since they were co-owners of the property, the extent of Pedro's share in the property is only up to the undivided shares of Cirila, Trinidad, Teodora and Conchita (the sellers). He did not acquire ownership of the entire lot since the other co-owners did not take part in the sale. o Each co-owner has dull ownership of his part and may alienate it but the alienation affects only the portion which pertains to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. The deed of sale to Amparo casts a cloud on Pedro's title. (Cloud means any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but in truth it is invalid).

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The sale to Amparo is invalid because at the time of the execution, Cirila had no interest to sell the lot because she already sold her interest to Pedro. Pedro falsely stated that Cirila was the only heir of Rosalia and in turn, he was the sole heir of Cirila. This is not a minor defect and renders the Extrajudicial settlement void. But this cancellation does not deprive him of the right to maintain action for quieting title. He has interest over the lot insofar as it as sold to him by the co-owners. o Resuena v. CA Facts: Juanito is the co-owner of parcels of land in Cebu. He owns 6/8 of Lot 1 and late Spouses Bascon owns 2/8 thereof. The other lot, Lot 2 is owned in common y Juanito and the heirs of Nicolas but the proportion of their undivided shares was not determined. Resuena herein, allegedly with the permission of Spouses Bacson resided in the upper portion of Lot 1 and Rosario resided in a portion of Lot 2 with the permission also of Nicolas. Juanito developed the lots in question into a resort and he demanded that Resuena and Rosario vacate their homes. . o The MTC ruled in favor of Resuena and Rosario saying that since it was not yet partitioned, he had no right to evict them. o On appeal, the RTC reversed the decision of the MTC and said that any of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment because in a sense a co-owner is the owner and possessor of the whole and that the suit is deemed to be instituted for the benefit of all co-owners. o The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. Issues: Whether or not Juanito, as co-owner has the right to eject Resuena and Rosario. Whether or not the verbal agreement (that the seashore portion will be Juanito's share and the upper portion, theirs) between them (other coowners) was already an executed contract. Ratio: Respondent has the right to eject petitioners. According to the Civil Code, any one of the co-owners may bring an action to eject. It is a categorical and an unqualified authority in favor of respondent to evict petitioners. He may bring actions to exercise and protect the rights of all co-owners. But an adverse decision cannot prejudice the rights of co-owners. The verbal agreement between them hardly establishes a definitive partition. Despite such agreement, their co-ownership remain inchoate and undivided. Since they are not successors in interest, Juanito is not estopped. Balcodero v. CA Facts: Bosing and Oday are spouses with three children but sometime in 1946, he left the conjugal home and started to live with Josefa Rivera with whom he begot one child names Josephine (petitioner in this case). During their cohabitation, Bosing purchased a parcel of land and indicated that his civil status as married to Josefa (the common law wife). o He even married said common law wife while his marriage with Oday was still subsisting. o 3 years later, the legal wife and Josephine executed an extrajudicial partition on the lot bought which they allege was their conjugal property. A TCT was issued in favor of Josephine. The common law wife here alleges that it was a conjugal property between her and Bosing. Issue: Whether or not the action for reconveyance of the property has prescribed. Whether or not the action for reconveyance is based on implied or constructive trust. Whether or not the property belongs to the petitioners Ratio: The property remained as belonging to the conjugal property of Bosing and Oday since all property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership. The provisions under Article 147 or 148 shall apply as the case may be. A constructive trust was deemed to have been created by operation of law at the time of Bosing's demise. As stated by Article 1456, if property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person obtaining it is by force of law considered to be a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes. The period or prescription starts to run from the establishment of an implied trust. The applicable prescriptive period here, since it arises from law, is 10 years. It is counted from the time the transaction affecting the property is registered with the

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corresponding issuance of a new certificate of title. IN this case, only 6 years and 4 months have elapsed. The legal wife herein is not disqualified to the estate since there was no legal separation case instituted by the deceased despite her alleged marriage to another man. Imperial v. Court of Appeals Facts: The subject properties in this case are Lot 1091 and Lot 1052 co-owned by Adela and Melanio Imperial. o Adela executed a document which waived her rights over the lots mentioned but in turn, Melanio also executed a document which declared that the document executed by Adela was a simulated one in order to expedite the registration of the lots in his name. o Nevertheless, by virtue of the document of waiver which Adela executed, Melanio was able to obtain the lots herein in his name. Thereafter, he executed another document which acknowledged the half share of his sister in both lots and further stated that his sister was entitled to the proceeds of the sale of the subdivision in the said lots. Later, it was found out that Melanio was able to sell Lot 1052 and the proceeds of said sale were not given to Adela. Hence, her daughter filed this case which prayed for the reconveyance of the entire Lot 1091 since the proceeds from the sale of Lot 1052 were not given to her mother (as the co-owner thereof). o In defense of the claim of Rosa (successor of Adela), Melanio contended that Adela already sold the said property to him while she was still alive as evidence by 3 receipts purportedly for payment for the said property. Issue: Whether or not Lot 1091 should be reconveyed to Adela. Ratio: In this case, the SC found out that contrary to what Melanio avers, there was no deed of sale executed by Adela in favor of Melanio ceding lot 1091. 3 receipts were presented as evidence and the last one bears the date "May 7, 1980" which is impossible since the Adela already died on May 4. o Also, in examining the receipts presented, the court came up with the conclusion that the amounts mentioned therein are paid by petitioner to Adela without the intention that it was part of the purchase price of Lot 1091. It was only the latter's share in the proceeds of the sales of subdivision lots which were part of 1091. If a sale was intended by the siblings, it is unusual that he did not ask for the execution of a Deed of Sale which ceded to him the share of Adela in the lot. The lot now belongs to the estate of the late Adela Imperial Solleza represented by her heirs in this case. o Tumlos v. Fernandez Facts: An action for ejectment was filed against the petitioners herein (Tumlos). In this action the spouses (Fernandez) allege that they are absolute owners of a building wherein the petitioners are residing. However, Guillerma Tumlos herein alleges that he spouses have no cause of action since she is a co-owner of the property as evidenced by a contract to sell wherein it was stated that she is a co-vendee of the property in question together with Mario Fernandez. o she further states that she and Mario had an amorous relationship and that they acquired the property in question as their love nest. o They acquired the property during their cohabitation. RTC ruled that she was a co-owner thereof and could not be ejected from it. The CA ruled that the claim of co-ownership must fail since the provision governing them is Article 148 which requires that there be proof of actual contribution in the purchase of the subject property. o They found her contention to be unjustified. Issue: Whether or not petitioner is a co-owner of the property Whether or not they cannot be ejected on the ground that they have the substantive right of support Ratio: She is not the co-owner of the property. The governing provision is Article 148 because their alleged cohabitation amounted to concubinage. Since it was clear that Mario was incapacitated to marry Guillerma because he had a wife, the governing provision is Article 148. o She failed to present any evidence that she made an actual contribution to the purchase of the subject property and anchors her claim merely on her cohabitation. o In this article, administration does not amount to contribution. Petitioner argues that since Mario is liable for support, this prevails over the rights to eject her in the building. But the court stated that

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this is an ejectment suit and is summary in character and must deal solely with the issue of possession of the property in dispute. o Besides, the support claim cannot hold since the law requires that there be extrajudicial demand and none was made here. Munoz v. Ramirez Facts: Spouses Ramirez here are owners of a residential house which they mortgaged with the GISIS to secure a loan. The title to the said property however, was transferred to Munoz herein by virtue of a sale in order to pay for the loan they contracted with GISIS with Erlinda acting as attorney in fact. A downpayment was given but the petitioner refused to give the remaining balance because one of the spouses unsigned an affidavit. o Since they failed to pay the rentals and failed to repurchase the property, he filed an ejectment suit against the spouses. It was later found out that the land where the house in question was built was paraphernal property of Erlinda because it was acquired by a gratuitous title from her parents. o The Special power of Attorney allegedly executed by Eliseo was also found out to be a forgery hence, Erlinda had no power to sell the land without the consent of the husband (if the property is conjugal). The RTC and CA ruled in favor of the spouses. Issue: Whether or not the property (house) is conjugal Whether or not the contract between petitioner and the spouses is an equitable mortgage Ratio: All property acquired during the marriage is presumed to be conjugal unless the contrary is proved. But in this case, since the residential lot was inherited, it was the exclusive property of the spouse. To find out whether the house is conjugal or paraphernal, we have to look at the improvements made on the separate property of the spouses. o When the cost of the improvement and any resulting increase in value are more than the value of the property at the time of the improvement, the entire property shall belong to the conjugal. o Otherwise, it is paraphernal. o In this case, the improvements were less than the value of the property, hence paraphernal. The written consent of Eliseo is not necessary hence, whatever contract entered into is valid. It is an equitable mortgage because the vendor remained in possession as the lessee, the purchaser retained for himself a part of the purchase price, the vendor bound himself to pay for the taxes, and because the real intention was to secure the payment of a debt. These instances, according to the civil code gives rise to the presumption that it is an equitable mortgage. o Philippine National Bank v. Gregorio De Jesus Facts: Gregorio De Jesus (respondent) filed a complaint for the recovery of ownership and possession with damages over the subject property in this case. In his complaint, he stated that he acquired said property and when he caused a verification survey of it, he discovered that the northern portion of the lot was being encroached upon by a building of PNB (petitioner). In its answer to the complaint, the petitioner said that when he acquired the lot from Mayor Ignacio, the encroachment was already in existence and they even tried to remedy the said encroachment by an offer to sell the area. Unfortunately, this sale did not materialize by reason that the lot was mortgaged. The trial court decided the case in favor of the respondent declaring him to be the rightful owner and ordered the petitioner to surrender the possession of the property to respondent and to cause the removal of any improvement thereon. The CA sustained this decision of the trial court but deleted the award of damages. Issue: Whether or not PNB was a builder in bad faith over the encroached property. Whether or not the provisions on Article 448 of the Civil Code should be applied to this case. Ratio: PNB would fall short from its claim of good faith in this case since he was quite aware and was, in fact advised, prior to its acquisition of the land and building from Ignacio that a part of the building sold to it stood on the land not covered by the land conveyed to it. Good faith should be understood to be an intangible and abstract quality with no technical meaning or statutory definition and it encompasses among other things, an honest belief, the absence of malice and the absence of design to defraud or to seek an unconscionable advantage. Good faith implies honesty if intention

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and freedom from knowledge of the circumstances which out to put the holder upon inquiry. o One is considered in good faith if he is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it. The provisions of Art 448 of the Civil Code does not apply to this case. It refers to a piece of land whose ownership is claimed by two or more parties, one of whom has built some works and not to a case where the OWNER OF THE LAND IS THE BUILDER who then later loses ownership of the land by sale or otherwise for, elsewise stated, "where the true owner himself is the builder of works on his own land, the issue of good faith or bad faith is entirely irrelevant." Sula Nayon Inc. v. Nayong Pilipino Foundation Facts: Nayong Pilipino Foundation (respondent) leased a portion of their complex to Sulo (petitioner) for the construction and operation of a hotel building to be known as the Philippine Village Hotel. The contract of lease was renewable for a period of another 25 years and when the lessee notified the lessors of the intention to renew the contract, they agreed. Petitioners, however, defaulted in the payment of their rentals. Thus, respondents demanded them to pay in arrears and vacate the premises. o A complaint for unlawful detainer was instituted in the MeTC and a decision was rendered in favor of the respondents stating that Article 448 does not apply to the instant case as contended by the petitioners. They, instead, applied Article 1678 of the Civil Code which grants them the right to reimburse of the value of the improvement. o On appeal, the RTC modified the ruling and stated that petitioners in this case were builders in good faith and thus have a right to indemnity, applying Art. 448 of the Civil Code. o The CA reversed this decision of the RTC. Hence, this appeal. Issue: Whether or not the MeTC have jurisdiction over the case since there was no demand to satisfy the requirement of extrajudicial demand in ejectment cases. Whether or not the rules on accession, as found in Article 448 and 546 of the Civil Code apply to the instant case. Ratio: There was a demand letter in this case and it was adequate to satisfy the requirement of "extrajudicial demand." It was sent by respondent through registered mail requesting them to pay rentals arrears or else it will be constrained to file the appropriate legal action. Contrary to what they aver, this demand is already adequate since the word "vacate" need not be employed in all notices. There can be no other interpretation of the notice given to them. This was a notice or demand to vacate. Article 448 does not apply to the instant case. It is only intended to apply to a case where one builds or sows on land in which he believes himself to have a claim of title, and not to lands where the only interest of the builder, planter or sower is that of a holder, such as a tenant. o The petitioners here had no adverse claim or title to the land. They even recognize that the respondents are the owners of the land. Their claim that they should be considered as builders in good faith who have the right to the possession of the property until reimbursed cannot be countenanced. o The mere introduction of valuable improvements on the land does not give the right of retention to the petitioners and reimbursement which rightfully belongs to a builder in good faith. They may not "improve" the lessor out of its property. The rights of the lessees herein are governed by Article 1678 of the Code which stated that the lessor has the option of paying one half of the value of the improvements which the lessee made in good faith, which are suitable for the use for which the lease is intended. The lessee may remove the improvements should the lessor refuse to reimburse. o The laws are incorporated in each and every contract hence, if there is no special agreement between the parties as to how to proceed in cases of default or breach of contract, the aforementioned provision should apply despite the fact that the hotel amounts to 2 billion pesos and what will be reimbursed to them only amounts to a little more than 26 million. Cynthia Cruz Khemani v. The Heirs of Anastacio Trinidad Facts: Cynthia Khemani here is the registered owner of Lot 107 which was purchased from Jose Pena. However, heirs of Anastacio Trinidad herein are claiming ownership and allege that their predecessors in interest have openly, publicly, peacefully and adversely possessed said subject land in the concept of an owner since 1950. Before all of these controversies arose, it must be noted that the land in dispute has already been decided upon in a previous case which involved Jose Pena. Lot No. 107 constituted a part of Lot 355 before. Such land (Lot 355 inclusive

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Property Case Digests (Atty. Vivencio Abano)

of Lot No. 107) was sold to Jose Pena. Pena requested the BoL (Bureau of Lands) to adjust the area of the lot awarded to him but the BoL denied such request since it stated that it belonged to the government. o The Office of the President however decided and held that the entire area of Lot 355 belonged to Pena and not to the government. o Mendoza (another third party) filed a special action for certiorati claiming that he was denied due process when the Office of the President decided to award the lot to Pena. He asserted ownership over them on the strength of a Miscellaneous Sales Application. o This case was elevated to the Supreme Court which was decided upon in favor of Pena. At present, despite the decision over Lot 107 in the past were proclaimed, the heirs of Trinidad are now claiming ownership over said lot and state that the have been possessing it since 1950. o They further claim that they applied for a Miscellaneous Sales Application over the land which was approved by the BoL. The heirs of Pena motioned to dismiss the case alleging that the predecessors in interest were mere "informal settlers" who had been allowed by Mendoza (the former adverse claimant to the land) to occupy it and that since there was already a decision in the previous case, that this was res judicata. In their answer, respondents claim that they are not barred since they were not parties to the case and there is no identity of causes of action. The RTC denied the motion to dismiss. They filed a petition for certiorari to the CA which held that certiorari is not the proper remedy and that there is no re judicata. There is no res judicata in this case since there is no identity of parties and causes of action. Res Judicata literally means a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing settled by judgment. It is said that there is res judicata when the ff. requisites concur: o Former judgment is final o It is rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties o It is a judgment or an order on the merits o There is between the first and the second actions identity of parties, subject matter and causes of action. The cause of action in the first case was the alleged grave abuse of discretion of the Office of the President in awarding the lands to Pena and in the second, the basis is on their adverse possession of the land in the concept of an owner for over 40 years and the alleged fraudulent issuance of a patent and certificate of title to Pena. o The parties in the two cases have their own rights and interests in relation to the subject matter in litigation. According to PD1529, a person deprived of his land through actual fraud may institute an action to reopen or review a decree of registration within one year from entry of such decree. In this case, the patent was issued in favor of Pena on Sept 20, 1993 and the filing for review of decree was instituted on January 27, 1994 or well within the prescribed one year period. o Also, under the petitioners name in the title, a Notice of Lis Pendens, it cannot be said that petitioner is an innocent purchaser for value as well aware of respondents claim over the property. o Even if they filed it after 2 year, they may still file an action based on an implied trust which prescribes in ten years from the date of the issuance of the certificate of title over the property. Under the circumstances, it would be more in keeping with the standard of fairness to have a full blown trial where the evidentiary matters are thrashed out. Frondarina v. Malazarte Facts: The property in question in this case is Lot 5 which was acquired by Flordelina Santos from Iluminado Amar and was thereafter acquired by Cirila Gongora. Cirila Gongora, sister of Frondarina, filed a Miscellaneous Sales Application with the Bureau of Lands. o Said disputed land was declared in Gongora's name for purposes of tax declaration and she also paid the real estate taxes on said property for years. o Frondarina obtained the disputed lot from her sister thereafter as evidenced by a Waiver of Rights to the parcel of land.

Issue: Whether or not a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 was the proper remedy in assailing the order of the RTC in denying the motion to dismiss. Whether or not there is res judicata Ratio: The filing of petition for certiorari is proper. It has been settled that an order denying a motion to dismiss is an interlocutory order which neither terminates nor disposes a case. As such, the general rule is that an order denying a motion to dismiss cannot be questioned in a certiorari case. o But there are exceptions to this general rule. It is allowed when the ground is improper venue, lack of jurisdiction or res judicata as in the case at bar.

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Property Case Digests (Atty. Vivencio Abano)

Frondarina declared the lot in her name for taxation purposes and paid the real estate taxes on such property for years. She also had the lot surveyed and fenced it with 4 strands of barbed wire and tended 2 mango and 1 coconut tree on the lot. Malazartes here came into the picture and out of no where alleged that they bought the said lot from Romeo Valencia and that they have been residing on the lot since 1988. On the sad date, they immediately started construction of their house on the lot without a building permit because their application to build was not granted due to the complaint filed by Frondarina. o To support their claim, they presented their caretaker, Lorenza Andrada to testify in their favor. The MTCC ruled in favor of the Frondarinas who have sufficiently established their cause of action against the Malazartes. But this was overturned by the RTC who stated that the Malazartes were in actual and physical possession of the lot through their predecessor in interest Romeo Valencia. o The RTC anchored their decision on the fact that the Frondarinas were not in actual and physical possession of the land as such was only possesses by their caretaker o Allegedly, this caretaker was threatened by the Malazartes but the trial court deemed this as mere hearsay evidence since the caretaker was not really presented to testify as witness. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC in toto. Issue: Who are the owners of the lot? If the aforestated question rules that the Frondarinas are the owners, do the Malazartes have the right to indemnity as builders in good faith? Ratio: The court gives credence to the claim of the Frondarinas that they and their predecessors in interest had been in peaceful, physical possession of the said lot since 1971. Although the fact is that none of the parties have actually been in possession of the land (since it was possesses by their caretakers), the actuations of the Frondarinas are more in accordance with the usual course of human conduct and common experience. The claim of the Malazartes that they occupied said lot for 15 years deserves scant consideration since his job took up most of his time. Romeo Valencia also testified that he checked with the BoL and was told that the lot has not been declared in the name of any person. However, this statement of his is not true as there was a tax declaration in Cirila's name. The latter also applied for a Miscellaneous Sales Application before. Seeing as there is already a falsity and misrepresentation in the testimony of Valencia, the court rules that his testimony does not constitute evidence of the truth of the said allegations. o The testimonies of Frondarina were more consistent with one who has been deprived of possession by force. They sought help from officials and reported incidents. Such is more in accordance with a person who has been illegally and unfairly deprived of possession. The lack of testimony of the caretaker (who was not presented as witness) was not fatal to the cause of the Frondarinas as ample and circumstantial evidence was presented. The tax declarations also, as well as the payments for taxes for the disputed lots are much earlier than those allegedly made by the Malazartes. o Although tax declarations are not conclusive evidence, they are good indicia of possession in the concept of an owner. The Malazartes are not builders in good faith. Considering that they were informed by the petitioners that the disputed lot was owned by them and had the right of possession over said lot, still, they persisted on building their house on it. Respondents therefore are not builders in good faith and shall lose their house without any right to reimbursement. Yu v. Pacleb Facts: Ruperto Javier here offered to set his lot to Ernesto Yu who accepted the offer and gave the price for down payment. Javier then delivered the supposed muniments of title to the petitioners. At the time of turnover, a portion of lot was occupied by Ramon Pacleb (respondent's son) and his wife as tenants. o Ramon and his wife allegedly surrendered the possession of their portion to the petitioners and later on, petitioners appointed Ramon as their trustee over the subject lot. o Petitioners on the other hand, allege that they exercise ownership rights as well as open, public and peaceful possession over the property. Respondent herein was in the United States and upon his return, he entered the property allegedly by means of force, intimidation, strategy and stealth thereby ousting the petitioners and their trustee. He refused to vacate said property despite numerous demands. An action for forcible entry was instituted in the MTC and the MTC ruled in favor of the respondent, Pacleb. The RTC affirmed the decision of the MTC in toto. The CA also ruled in favor of respondent .

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Property Case Digests (Atty. Vivencio Abano)

Issue: Whether or not respondent Pacleb had prior physical possession of the subject property. Ratio: He had physical possession of the property. Possession is defined by the Civil Code as to actually and physically occupy a thing with or without right. It always includes the idea of occupation. There must be occupancy, apprehension or taking and there must be intent to possess. In this case, petitioners failed to establish that they had prior physical possession to justify a ruling in their favor. Their claim that the lot was turned over to them was self-serving in the face of this factual finding. On the other hand, the presentation of tax declarations and payments established the possession of the respondent Pacleb. Possessioni n the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of the ground before he is deemed in possession. Respondent's son in this case was named as caretaker. However, the loss of trust and confidence in Ramon amounted to the transfer of the administration of the land to his other son, Oscar. o Ramon and the wife were mere tenants of the home. They were established as trustees of the petitioners herein but they had no authority to sign any document as they were mere tenants. They had no right to sign the waiver of all rights to the land. In fact, when they signed said document, the caretaker was no longer Ramon, but was actually Oscar. Should a question of possession arise, the ff rules are to be observed: o The present possessor shall be preferred o If 2 possessors the one with longer possession preferred o If the dates are the same the one who presents a title o If all conditions are equal deposit the thing in a judicial deposit pending the determination of ownership. Copuyoc v. de Sola Facts: Mario Copuyoc (petitioner) and his spouse are holders of a Contract to Sell between them as buyers and the Bank of Commerce. They began constructing a house on the property without the consent of the respondent. o On the other hand, respondent herein alleges that he is the owner of the disputed parcel of land and has been in actual possession of the property since 1993 when it was sold to her by a Christin Quesada as evidenced by an Absolute Deed of Sale. It should be noted that the title to the property describes a different property, as the Deed of the respondent in this case, states that the property is in Tandang Sora, but actually it is in Loyola. o 2 testimonies were given in court, one stating that it is not the property described and the other, stating that the properties were identical (which the SC gave more weight). Respondent filed a case with the MTC for forcible entry The MTC decided the case in favor of the petitioners, dismissing the complaint for forcible entry. On appeal, the RTC reversed the decision of the MTC. The CA, on certiorari, denied the petition of Copuyoc. o It stated that the respondent had prior possession of the property and petitioner encroached on such possession. Even though respondent did not stay on the property, her regular visits to the same are deemed to be possession thereof. Issue: Who had priority possession over the property subject of this case? Ratio: The petitioner (Copuyoc) has priority possession over the property. In forcible entry cases, the plaintiff is deprived of physical possession by means of FITSS. It implies that the possession of the thing has been unlawful from the beginning and that he acquired such possession by illegal means. What is to be decided here is mere physical possession or material possession, not juridical possession nor ownership of the property. It does not even matter that a party's title to the property is questionable. The party in peaceable and quit possession shall not be thrown out by a strong hand, violence or terror. Whatever may be the character of his possession, if he has in his favor prior possession in time, he has the security that entitles him to remain on the property until a person with a better right lawfully ejects him. Petitioner's right to possess the property is not derived from any claim of ostensible ownership over the same but on the provision in the Contract to Sell allowing him to take possession of the property pending reconstitution of the title and full payment of the purchase price. Ownership was still with the Bank of Commerce. It has been ruled in an ejectment case that it cannot succeed where it appears that the party had a possession antedating to that of the plaintiff. To ascertain this, it is proper to look at the possession of the respondent. o Execution of a Deed of Sale is merely a prima facie presumption of delivery of possession of a piece of real property. It may be negated by the failure of the vendee to take actual possession of the land sold as in the respondent's case.

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Property Case Digests (Atty. Vivencio Abano)

Records show that the respondent never occupied the property from the time it was allegedly sold to her. Her regular visits cannot be held to be possession by the court since, such visits were not coupled by actual exercise of dominion over the property. She only visited the property for 5 times in a span of 3 years, she did not construct anything thereon, neither did she know the road number where the property was located. Petitioners Copuyoc herein established their actual physical possession over the property. o The contention that there is no tax declaration cannot hold water since the petitioners in this case were not even owners of the property yet. In this case, possession is the only issue, not ownership. Malayan Realty Inc v. Uy Han Yong Facts: Malayan Realty here is the owner of an apartment unit leased to Uy Han over a monthly rental fee. Such rental fee is increased yearly. o Malayan sent Uy a written notice informing him that the lease contract would no longer be renewed or extended upon its expiration and asked him to vacate and turn over the possession of the property. o Uy refused to vacate said property prompting Malayan to file before the MTC a complaint for ejectment. The trial court dismissed the complaint of Malayan and on appeal, the RTC extended the lease contract for a period of 5 years. In the CA, Malayan Realty alleges that there was an error on the part of the RTC to grant the extension period seeing as Uy did not plead for this in his appeal. Hence, the CA modified the RTC ruling and reduced the extension period to a year. Unsatisfied with this decision, he appealed to the SC. Issue: Whether or not the Ca erred in shortening the period to a year. Ratio: In this case, the lease period was not agreed upon by the parties and rentals were paid monthly and respondent has been occupying said property since 1958. The power of the courts to grant a grace period is potestative or discretionary depending on the particular circumstance of the case. A longer term may be granted when equities come into play and may be deemed where it appears, always with due deference to the parties' freedom to contract. In this case, the petitioner has already been deprived of his property for so long as it was shown that he was unable to have full use and enjoyment of the considerable portion of his property. Such militates against further deprivation by fixing a period of extension. However, the court finds that the increase of rental fees per annum was just and fair and is a reasonable valuation of the compensation due petitioner for the use and occupation of the property from the expiration of the contract of the lease until the turn over by the respondent. In conclusion, the respondent was to vacate the premises immediately without period for extension and was to pay the increased monthly rental fees to the petitioner. Nonito Labastida v. CA Facts: Private respondents in this case are the owners of a parcel of land and said land was leased to the petitioners Nonito Labastida for a monthly rental. A case was initiated by the private respondent herein praying that the plaintiffs be ordered to vacate the land. o They allegedly sent notice to the occupants that the property was going to be used as a commercial building and instead of heeding this request, the petitioners repaired the building erected upon it and putt additional constructions on the lot and refused to vacate said property. In their answer, the Labastidas are now stating that the RTC has no jurisdiction over the person of the defendants and over the nature of the subject matter of the action since there is no evidence that the 1 year period has elapsed from the time defendants received the written notice to vacate, coupled by the fact that clearly, this was a case of unlawful detainer (which should be filed with the MTC). o They claim that there was actually no demand made and that if ever there was a demand, it was made on Feb 20, 1983. And since this case was instituted less than 1 year after such demand, it is clearly an unlawful detainer case. The RTC ruled in favor of the private respondents. Such decision was affirmed by the CA. Issue: Whether or not the RTC has jurisdiction over the case. Whether or not the petitioners have a right to possession. Ratio: It is evident from the allegations of the complaint filed by the private respondents that the case was actually an unlawful detainer one. The respondents here allege that they were the registered owners of the lot subject of the case and thus entitled to

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Property Case Digests (Atty. Vivencio Abano)

possession thereof and that petitioners were mere lessees paying rent. This therefore, amounts to an allegation that petitioners were unlawfully withholding the possession of the land. This refusal of the lessee to leave the premises gives rise to an action for unlawful detainer. o The action therefore, is not a recovery of possession. In case of several demands in an unlawful detainer case, the period is reckoned from the date of the last demand. The date of the last demand was on Feb 20, 1983 and this case was instituted on December 3, 1983. Thus, it is clear that the case should have been brought to the MTC. In cases of ejectments based on the expiration of the lease, no notice is required and any notice given only serves to negate any inference that the lessor has extended the period of the lease. Such notice is needed only when the action is due to the lessees failure to pay the rent or do not comply with the obligations of the lease. Valdez v. CA Facts: Petitioners in this case, Bonifacio and Venida Valdez initiated a case in the MTC against the respondent Gabriel and Francisca Fabella for allegedly, without color of title whatsoever, occupied the said lot by building their house in the said lot. They made repeated demands to the respondents to vacate the property but they refused to do so. o In their answer, the respondents contended that the complaint failed to state that petitioners had prior physical possession of the property or that they were the lessors of the former (as the case was an unlawful detainer) o Petitioners on the other hand claim that the have ownership of the land and have been in open, continuous and adverse possession thereof for more then 30 years. MTC ruled in favor of the petitioners. It was affirmed by the RTC, but such decision of the RTC was later questioned by the CA on appeal. o The CA stated that petitioners failed to make a case for unlawful detainer because they failed to show that they gave private respondents the right to occupy the premises or that they had tolerated the respondents possession of the same which is a requirement in cases of unlawful detainer. It requires an allegation of material possession. Issue: Whether or not the allegations of the complaint clearly made out a case for unlawful detainer Whether or not the MTC has original jurisdiction over the case. Ratio: The averments of the complaint did not make out a case for unlawful detainer. The court went on to discuss the differences among accion interdictal, publiciana and reivindicatoria. The court stated that to justify an action for unlawful detainer, it is essential that the plaintiff's supposes acts of tolerance must have been present right from the start of the possession which is later sought to be recovered. If it is unlawful from the start, unlawful detainer is not the proper remedy. If such tolerance is present from the start of the possession sought to be recovered, to categorize a cause of action as one of unlawful detainer is proper. It is the nature of the defendant's entry into the land which determines the cause of action whether it is forcible entry or unlawful detainer. If the entry is legal but later becomes illegal, the case is unlawful detainer. It is necessary that the complaint should embody such a statement of facts as brings the party clearly within the class of cases for which the statutes provide a remedy as the proceedings are summary in nature. o When the complaint fails to aver the facts constitutive of the case, as where it does not state how entry was affected or how and when dispossesison started, the remedy would either be publiciana or reivindicatoria. In this case, the petitioners allege that the inherited the property from their parents and that the possession of the private respondent was by mere tolerance of their mother and after her death, by their own tolerance. o Those possessions merely tolerated become illegal once he is required to leave. It is essential in cases like this that the tolerance must have been present right from the start of the possession. o But in this case, the possession was illegal from inception and not merely tolerated by the petitioners as alleged in the complaint considering that they built a house thereon without the permission and consent of the petitioners before them, their mother. Such act is a stealthily act which is forcible entry. The complaint here do not recite any averment of fact that would substantiate the claim of petitioner that it permitted or tolerated the occupation of the property. Admittedly, no express contract existed between the parties and the failure to allege the key jurisdictional facts constitutive of the unlawful detainer is fatal. In conclusion, MTC has no jurisdiction over the case and there is no valid cause for an unlawful detainer.

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