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can be granted since the buyers are legitimate possessors in joint

ownership of the common property claimed.

Bailon-Casilao v. CA (1988)

Re: Prescription
Here, prescription cannot be invoked.
There is a parcel of land in the names of the Bailons (Rosalia,
Gaudencio, Sabina Bernabe, Nenita and Delia) as co-owners, each Pursuant to NCC 494, no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the
with a 1/6 share. co-ownership. Such co-owner may demand at anytime the partition
of the thing owned in common, insofar as his share is concerned.
Gaudencio and Nenita are now dead, (Nenita being represented in
this case by her children) o Bernabe went to China and had not In Budiong v. Bondoc , SC has interpreted that provision to
been heard from since It appears that Rosalia and Gaudencio sold mean that the action for partition is imprescriptible or cannot
a portion of the land to Donato Delgado. Rosalia alone, then sold the be barred by prescription. For NCC 494 explicitly declares: No
remainder of the land to Ponciana Aresgado de Lanuza. prescription shall lie in favor of a co-owner or co- heir so long as he
expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.
On the same date, Lanuza acquired from Delgado land which the
Delgado had earlier acquired from Rosalia and Gaudencio. Husband Also, the disputed parcel of land being registered under the Torrens
John Lanuza, acting under a special power of attorney given by his System, the express provision of Act No. 496 that no title to
wife, Ponciana, sold the two parcels of land to Celestino Afable, Sr. registered land in derogation to that of the registered owner shall
In all these transfers, it was stated in the deeds of sale that the land be acquired by prescription or adverse possession is applicable.
was not registered under the provisions of Act No. 496 when the fact
is that it is. o It appears that the land had been successively Prescription will not lie in favor of Afable as against the Bailons who
declared for taxation first, in the name of Ciriaca Dellamas, mother of remain the registered owners of the parcel of land.
the co-owners, then in the name of Rosalia Bailon, then in that of
Donato Delgado, then in Ponciana de Lanuza's name, and finally
in the name of Celestino Afable, Sr. Re: Argument of Bailons that as to the children who represent
their deceased mother, Nenita, prescription lies
The petitioners in this case, the Bailons, filed a case for recovery of
property against Celestino Afable. In his answer, Afable claimed that It is argued, that as to the children who are not the registered co-
he had acquired the land in question through prescription and said owners but merely represent their deceased mother, prescription
that the Bailons are guilty of laches. lies. (citing Pasion v. Pasion: "the imprescriptibility of a Torrens title
can only be invoked by the person in whose name the title is
LC declared Afable co-owner because he validly bought 2/6 of the registered" and that 'one who is not the registered owner of a parcel
land (the shares of Rosalia and Gaudencio) CA affirmed. of land cannot invoke imprescriptibility of action to claim.'
Prescription does not apply against the Bailons because they are co-
owners of the original sellers. But, an action to recover may Reliance on the previous case is wrong. The ruling there applies
be barred by laches. CA held the Bailons guilty of laches and only against transferees other than direct issues or heirs or to
dismissed their complaint complete strangers. The reason for that is: if prescription is
unavailing against the registered owner, it must be equally unavailing
against the owner's hereditary successors, because they merely
Issue: step into the shoes of the decedent

Rights of co-owner Re: Laches

Prescription Laches is also unavailing as a shield against the action of petitioners
Applicability of the doctrine of laches Bailon.
Laches is defined as the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable
Ratio: length of time to do that which by exercising due diligence could or
should have been done earlier; it is negligence or omission to assert
Initially, a determination of the effect of a sale by one or more co- a right within a reasonable time warranting a presumption that the
owners of the entire property held in common without the consent party entitled to assert it either has abandoned it or declined
of all the co-owners and of the appropriate remedy of the aggrieved to assert it.
co-owners is required.
While there was delay in asserting the Bailon's rights, such delay
The rights of a co-owner of a certain property are clearly was not attended with any knowledge of the sale nor with any
specified in NCC 493: opportunity to bring a suit. In the first place, the Bailons had
no notice of the sale made by their eldest sister. In the second place,
Art. 493. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of they were not afforded an opportunity to bring suit because they
his part and of the acts and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may were kept in the dark about the transactions entered into by their
therefore alienate assign or mortgage it and even substitute another sister. It was only when Delia returned that she found out about the
person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. sales and immediately, she and her siblings filed the present action
But the effect of the alienation or mortgage, with respect to the co- for recovery of property.
owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in
the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. The third element of laches is absent. There was no lack of
knowledge. It is actually Afable who is guilty of bad faith in
SC has already ruled in other cases that even if a co-owner sells purchasing the property as he knew that the property was coowned
the whole property as his, the sale will affect only his own share but by six persons and yet, there were only two signatories to the deeds
not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the sale. of sale and no special authorization to self was granted to the two
By virtue of the sales made by Rosalia and Gaudencio, which are sellers by the other co-owners.
valid with respect to their proportionate shares, and the subsequent A person dealing with a registered land has a right to rely upon the
transfers which culminated in the sale to private respondent face of the Torrens certificate of title and to dispense with the need of
Celestino Afable, Afable thereby became a co-owner of the disputed inquiring further, except when the party concerned has actual
parcel of land Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided knowledge of facts and circumstances that would impel a reasonably
share, a sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the cautions man to make such inquiry.
consent of the other co-owners is not null and void.
Petition was Granted.
However, only the rights of the co-owner-seller are transferred,
thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the property.
Re: Proper action
The proper action in cases like this is not for the nullification of the
sale or for the recovery of possession but the division of
the common property. Neither recovery of possession nor restitution