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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
July-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 96649-50 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LYNDON V. MACOY

  • G.R. No. 109660 July 1, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROMEO NELL

  • G.R. No. 124914 July 2, 1997 - JESUS UGADDAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123074 July 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO M. FERNANDEZ

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-94-1017 July 7, 1997 - OSCAR B. LAMBINO v. AMADO A. DE VERA

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1245 July 7, 1997 - BENIGNO G. GAVIOLA v. NOEL NAVARETTE

  • G.R. No. 105760 July 7, 1997 - PNB v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107193 July 7, 1997 - EUGENIO TENEBRO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112006 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERTO S. DE VERA

  • G.R. No. 114275 July 7, 1997 - IÑIGO F. CARLET v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116962 July 7, 1997 - MARIA SOCORRO CACA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 118940-41 & 119407 July 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MEJIA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119872 July 7, 1997 - REMEDIOS NAVOA RAMOS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122206 July 7, 1997 - RAFAEL ARCEGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 105284 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO ZUMIL

  • G.R. No. 106099 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. AGUSTIN SOTTO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109814 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERNANDO MAALAT

  • G.R. No. 112797 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NIDA ALEGRO

  • G.R. No. 114265 July 8, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GREGORIO MAGALLANES

  • G.R. No. 115307 July 8, 1997 - MANUEL LAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115703 July 8, 1997 - EPIFANIO L. CASOLITA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117501 July 8, 1997 - SOLID HOMES, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122308 July 8, 1997 - PURITA S. MAPA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. SC-96-1 July 10, 1997 - DAMASO S. FLORES v. BERNARDO P. ABESAMIS

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1236 July 11, 1997 - MADONNA MACALUA v. DOMINGO TIU, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-97-1249 July 11, 1997 - PACITA SY TORRES v. FROILAN S. CABLING

  • G.R. No. 104865 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VICTORIANO PONTILAR, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 113511-12 July 11, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO SINOC

  • G.R. No. 115033 July 11, 1997 - PONCIANO T. MATANGUIHAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123204 July 11, 1997 - NATIONWIDE SECURITY AND ALLIED SERVICES, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1158 July 14, 1997 - EUFEMIA BERCASIO v. HERBERTO BENITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106153 July 14, 1997 - FLORENCIO G. BERNARDO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108838 July 14, 1997 - PAGCOR v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116528-31 July 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIETO ADORA

  • G.R. No. 108492 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NOEL BANIEL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118078 July 15, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. OSCAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 123379 July 15, 1997 - BAROTAC SUGAR MILLS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 115439-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 120437-41 July 16, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO ALVARIO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1382 July 17, 1997 - REXEL M. PACURIBOT v. RODRIGO F. LIM, JR.

  • G.R. No. 105002 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIARANGAN DANSAL

  • G.R. No. 108634 July 17, 1997 - ANTONIO P. TAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111165 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGELIO MERCADO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113257 July 17, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY LASCOTA

  • G.R. No. 114742 July 17, 1997 - CARLITOS E. SILVA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118860 July 17, 1997 - ROLINDA B. PONO v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120262 July 17, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125195 July 17, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA BANDOLINO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1362 July 18, 1997 - DSWD, ET AL. v. ANTONIO M. BELEN, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-95-1283 July 21, 1997 - DAVID C. NAVAL, ET AL. v. JOSE R. PANDAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108488 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODENCIO NARCA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111002 July 21, 1997 - PACIFIC MARITIME SERVICES, INC., ET AL. v. NICANOR RANAY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117402 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROLLIE L. ALVARADO

  • G.R. No. 119184 July 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF FELICIDAD CANQUE v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121768 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DOMINGO CASTILLO, JR.

  • G.R. Nos. 122250 & 122258 July 21, 1997 - EDGARDO C. NOLASCO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124347 July 21, 1997 - CMS STOCK BROKERAGE, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125510 July 21, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO LISING

  • G.R. No. 111933 July 23, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 112429-30 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RODOLFO P. CAYETANO

  • G.R. Nos. 118736-37 July 23, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TANG WAI LAN

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1205 July 24, 1997 - OSCAR P. DE LOS REYES v. ESTEBAN H. ERISPE, JR.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-97-1383 July 24, 1997 - JOSE LAGATIC v. JOSE PEÑAS, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 104663 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DAVID SALVATIERRA

  • G.R. No. 105004 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DIONISIO MAROLLANO

  • G.R. No. 107723 July 24, 1997 - EMS MANPOWER & PLACEMENT SERVICES v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111211 July 24, 1997 - ABS-CBN EMPLOYEES UNION, ET AL., v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113235 July 24, 1997 - VICTORINA MEDINA, ET AL. v. CITY SHERIFF, MANILA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 113366-68 July 24, 1997 - GREGORIO ISABELO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116635 July 24, 1997 - CONCHITA NOOL, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116736 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN ORTEGA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118458 July 24, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RICKY DELA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 120276 July 24, 1997 - SINGA SHIP MANAGEMENT PHILS., INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121075 July 24, 1997 - DELTA MOTORS CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121867 July 24, 1997 - SMITH KLINE & FRENCH LAB., LTD. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127262 July 24, 1997 - HUBERT WEBB, ET AL. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter Nos. 95-6-55-MTC & P-96-1173 July 28, 1997 - REPORT ON AUDIT IN THE MTC OF PEÑARANDA, NUEVA ECIJA

  • G.R. No. 102858 July 28, 1997 - DIRECTOR OF LANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103209 July 28, 1997 - APOLONIO BONDOC, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110823 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROCHEL TRAVERO

  • G.R. No. 112323 July 28, 1997 - HELPMATE, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113344 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ATANACIO LUTO

  • G.R. No. 116668 July 28, 1997 - ERLINDA A. AGAPAY v. CARLINA V. PALANG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116726 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LEONARDO P. DE LA CRUZ

  • G.R. No. 118822 July 28, 1997 - G.O.A.L., INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119000 July 28, 1997 - ROSA UY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119649 July 28, 1997 - RICKY GALICIA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119868 July 28, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120072 July 28, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FLORENTINO I. MESA

  • G.R. No. 123361 July 28, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126556 July 28, 1997 - NELSON C. DAVID v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117742 July 29, 1997 - GEORGE M. TABERRAH v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • SBC Case No. 519 July 31, 1997 - PATRICIA FIGUEROA v. SIMEON BARRANCO, JR.

  • G.R. No. 97369 July 31, 1997 - P.I. MANPOWER PLACEMENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99030 July 31, 1997 - PLDT v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106582 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RUPERTO BALDERAS

  • G.R. No. 107802 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JASON NAREDO

  • G.R. No. 108399 July 31, 1997 - RAFAEL M. ALUNAN III, ET AL. v. ROBERT MIRASOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108619 July 31, 1997 - EPIFANIO LALICAN v. FILOMENO A. VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113689 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE SANGIL, SR.

  • G.R. No. 113958 July 31, 1997 - BANANA GROWERS COLLECTIVE, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116060 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLEMENTE DE LA PEÑA

  • G.R. No. 116292 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMY PEÑERO

  • G.R. No. 119068 July 31, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CASTRO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121027 July 31, 1997 - CORAZON DEZOLLER TISON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121157 July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123561 July 31, 1997 - DELIA R. NERVES v. CSC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124678 July 31, 1997 - DELIA BANGALISAN, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 121157   July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    FIRST DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 121157. July 31, 1997.]

    HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, represented by DELFIN, GIL, EMMA, MANUEL, RACQUEL, ESTER, REMEDIOS and JESSIE, all surnamed PARAYNO, MAXIMA PARAYNO, LEONARDO PARAYNO and FELICISIMA PARAYNO, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS and ROQUE BAUZON (deceased), represented by his heirs and co-defendants Luis and Eriberta Bauzon; LUIZ BAUZON, ERIBERTA BAUZON, (deceased), substituted by her husband PLACIDO ZULUETA, and JOSE PARAYNO, Respondents.

    Perfecto V . Fernandez, Jose P. Fernandez and Cristobal Fernandez, for Petitioners.

    Tanopo & Serafica for Private Respondents.

    SYNOPSIS


    Petitioners filed an action with the trial court for annulment of documents, accounting and partition of two (2) parcels of land, a riceland and a sugarland, situated in Calasiao, Pangasinan. They claim that they, together with private respondents Luis and Eriberta Bauzon, own the disputed lots in common and pro-indiviso. Luis and Eriberta aver that their father Roque Bauzon was the owner of the subject lots by virtue of a deed of donation propter nuptias. Roque Bauzon repudiated the co-ownership over the sugarland in 1965 and adjudicated it to himself. In 1970, Juan and Maria Maningding renounced and quitclaimed their shares over the riceland in favor of Roque Bauzon by virtue of an Affidavit of Quitclaim and Renunciation. Roque transferred the riceland to his son and the sugarland to his daughter Eriberta, both transactions being evidenced by deeds of sale. On July 3, 1979 Segunda Maningding died. Her heirs allegedly discovered the transfers made by Roque Bauzon in favor of his children only in 1986. The heirs sought the partition of the properties as well as the accounting of the produce but were unsuccessful. The trial court found that the parcels of land formed part of the estate of Ramon and Sotera Zulueta which, upon death, devolved by right of succession to their children Segunda, Maria, Juan, and Roque in equal pro-indiviso shares. On appeal, the Court of Appeals ruled that the properties validly pertained to Roque Bauzon by virtue of the donation propter nuptias. However, upon motion for reconsideration, the same court declared the same deed of donation null and void for failure to comply with Art. 633 of the old Civil Code. Nevertheless, the appellate court maintained that the properties belong to Roque Bauzon by virtue of acquisitive prescription.

    The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals that Roque Bauzon Acquired the ownership of the subject properties by acquisitive prescription. Roque Bauzon possessed the subject parcels of land in the concept of an owner by virtue of the donation propter nuptias. The possession was public as it was he who personally tilled and cultivated the lots. He peacefully possessed the properties as he was never ousted therefrom nor prevented from enjoying their fruits. His possession was uninterrupted and in good faith because of his well founded belief that the donation was properly executed. Furthermore, his possession of the subject parcels of land for a period of thirty-six years (36) is more than the required thirty-year (30) extraordinary prescription.

    Petition denied.


    SYLLABUS


    1. CIVIL LAW; PROPERTY; MODES OF ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP; ACQUISITIVE PRESCRIPTION. — Roque Bauzon acquired ownership over the subject properties by acquisitive prescription. Prescription, in general, is a mode of acquiring (or losing) ownership and other real rights through the lapse of time in the manner and under conditions laid down by law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful, uninterrupted and adverse. Acquisitive prescription is either ordinary or extra-ordinary. Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession In good faith and with just title for ten (10) years. In extraordinary prescription ownership and other real rights over immovable property are acquired through uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for thirty (30) years. without need of title or of good faith.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; WHILE TAX DECLARATIONS AND RECEIPTS ARE NOT CONCLUSIVE EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP, YET WHEN COUPLED WITH PROOF OF ACTUAL POSSESSION, AS IN THE INSTANT CASE, TAX DECLARATIONS AND RECEIPTS ARE STRONG EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP. — The disputed lots are unregistered lands, both parcels being covered only by tax declarations formerly in the name of Ramon Bauzon and now transferred to Luis and Eriberta Bauzon. While tax declarations and receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership, yet, when couple with proof of actual possession, as in the instant case, tax declarations and receipts are strong evidence of ownership.

    3. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; EVEN ASSUMING THAT THE DONATION PROPTER NUPTIALS IS VOID FOR FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH FORMAL REQUISITES, IT COULD STILL CONSTITUTE A LEGAL BASIS FOR ADVERSE POSSESSION; THE PRIVATE DOCUMENT OF DONATION MAY SERVE AS A BASIS FOR A CLAIM OF OWNERSHIP. — Even assuming that the donation propter nuptias is void for failure to comply with formal requisites, it could still constitute a legal basis for adverse possession. With clear and convincing evidence of possession, a private document of donation may serve as basis for a claim for ownership. In Pensader v. Pensader we ruled that while the verbal donation under which the defendant and his predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the lands in question is not effective as a transfer of title, still it is a circumstance which may explain the adverse and exclusive character of the possession. In the instant case, Roque Bauzon possessed the subject parcels of land in the concept of owner by virtue of the donation proper nuptias. The possession was public as it was Roque Bauzon who personally tilled and cultivated the lots. The acts of reaping the benefits of ownership were manifest and visible to all. These acts were made more pronounced and public considering that the parcels of land are located in a municipality wherein ownership and possession are particularly and normally known to the community. Roque peacefully possessed the properties as he was never ousted therefrom nor prevented from enjoying their fruits. His possession was uninterrupted and in good faith because of his well-founded belief that the donation propter nuptias was properly executed and the grantors were legally allowed to convey their respective shares in his favor. He likewise appropriated to himself the whole produce of the parcels of land to the exclusion of all others.

    4. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; ASSUMING THAT THERE WAS ABSENCE OF GOOD FAITH AND JUST TITLE, THE OWNERSHIP OF THE LAND IN QUESTION WOULD STILL PERTAIN TO THE DECEASED ROQUE BAUZON, THE LATTER AND HIS HEIRS HAVING BEEN IN CONTINUOUS, ADVERSE AND PUBLIC POSSESSION OF THE PROPERTY FOR A PERIOD OF THIRTY-SIX (36) YEARS, WHICH IS MORE THAN THE REQUIRED THIRTY-YEAR EXTRAORDINARY PRESCRIPTION. — The donation propter nuptias was effected as early as 21 April 1926. It was only in 1986 when the heirs of Segunda Maningding demanded partition of the properties and conveyance of the produce. Sixty (60) years have already elapsed. Even granting that Roque Bauzon possessed the properties only upon the death of his father in 1948, more than thirty (30) years have already passed. In either case, acquisitive prescription has already set and in favor of Roque Bauzon. Again, even if we assume the absence of good faith and just title, the ownership of the two (2) parcels would still appertain to Roque Bauzon. As testified to by Delfin Parayno, one of petitioners, Roque Bauzon and his heirs had been in continuous, adverse and public possession of the property since 1948 up to 1986, or a period of thirty-six (36) years, which is more than the required thirty-year extraordinary prescription.

    5. ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.; WHILE PRESCRIPTION AMONG CO-OWNERS CANNOT TAKE PLACE WHEN THE ACTS OF OWNERSHIP EXERCISED ARE VAGUE AND UNCERTAIN, SUCH PRESCRIPTION ARISES AND PRODUCES ALL ITS EFFECTS WHEN THE ACTS OF OWNERSHIP DO NOT EVINCE ANY DOUBT AS TO THE OUSTER OF THE RIGHTS OF THE OTHER CO-OWNERS. — Prescription, as a rule, does not run in favor of a co-heir or co-owner as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. Co-owners cannot acquire by prescription the share of the other co-owners, absent a clear repudiation of the co-ownership. In order that title may prescribe in favor of one of the co-owners, it must be clearly shown that he has repudiated the claims of the others, and that they were apprised of his claim of adverse and exclusive ownership before the prescriptive period would begin to run. Mere refusal to accede to a partition, without specifying the grounds for such refusal, cannot be considered as notice to the other co-owners of the occupant’s claim of title in himself in repudiation of the co-ownership. The evidence relative to the possession, as a fact upon which the alleged prescription is based, must be clear, complete and conclusive in order to establish said prescription without any shadow of doubt; and when upon trial it is not shown that the possession of the claimant has been adverse and exclusive and opposed to the rights of the others, the case is not one of ownership, and partition will lie. Therefore while prescription among co-owners cannot take place when the acts of ownership exercised are vague and uncertain, such prescription arises and produces all its effects when the acts of ownership do not evince any doubt as to the ouster of the rights of the other co-owners. As disclosed by the records, Roque Bauzon and his heirs possessed the property from 1948 to 1986 to the exclusion of petitioners who were never given their shares of the fruits of the properties, for which reason they demanded an accounting of the produce and the conveyance to them of their shares. Unfortunately they slept on their rights and allowed almost thirty-six (36) years to lapse before attempting to assert their right. Perforce, they must suffer the consequence of their inaction.


    D E C I S I O N


    BELLOSILLO, J.:


    This is an action for annulment of documents, accounting and partition of two (2) parcels of land, a riceland and a sugarland, situated in Calasiao, Pangasinan. Petitioners claim that they, together with private respondents Luis and Eriberta Bauzon, own the disputed lots in common and pro-indiviso. Luis and Eriberta, the latter represented by her husband Placido Zulueta, aver that their father Roque Bauzon was the owner of the subject lots by virtue of a deed of donation propter nuptias. Roque, together with Juan Maningding, Maria Maningding and Segunda Maningding were the surviving children of Ramon Bauzon y Untalan who died intestate in 1948. According to petitioners, Roque Bauzon repudiated the co-ownership over the sugarland in 1965 and adjudicated it to himself, 1 and that in 1970 Juan and Maria Maningding renounced and quitclaimed their shares over the riceland in favor of Roque Bauzon by virtue of an Affidavit of Quitclaim and Renunciation. 2 Subsequently, Roque Bauzon transferred the riceland to his son Luis Bauzon and the sugarland to his daughter Eriberta Bauzon, both transactions being evidenced by deeds of sale.

    On 31 July 1979 Segunda Maningding died. Her heirs allegedly discovered the transfers made by Roque Bauzon in favor of his children only in 1986. Consequently, the heirs sought the partition of the properties as well as the accounting of the produce but were unsuccessful.

    On the other hand private respondents aver that the Affidavit of Quitclaim and Renunciation over the riceland was executed not only by Juan Maningding and Maria Maningding but also by Segunda Maningding. With regard to the sugarland, Roque Bauzon denied having executed the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication presented by petitioners. He claimed that he acquired ownership over both the sugarland and the riceland by donation propter nuptias from his parents Ramon Bauzon and Sotera Zulueta on 21 April 1926 in consideration of his marriage to Petra Loresco. Since the death of Ramon Bauzon in 1948, Roque had been in open, continuous, notorious, adverse and actual possession of the subject properties.

    The trial court found that the parcels of land formed part of the estate of Ramon Bauzon and his wife Sotera Zulueta which, upon their death, devolved by right of succession to their children Segunda Maningding, Maria Maningding, Juan Maningding and Roque Bauzon in equal pro-indiviso shares. The court a quo however; awarded both parcels to Segunda Maningding and Roque Bauzon as co-owners in equal shares after finding that Juan Maningding and Maria Maningding had already executed an Affidavit of Quitclaim and Renunciation. It rejected the deed of donation for failure to prove its due execution and authenticity and ruled that the same was negated by the Affidavit of Quitclaim and Renunciation of Juan Maningding and Maria Maningding in favor of Roque Bauzon and nullified the deed of sale by Roque Bauzon in favor of Luiz Bauzon as regards the riceland and to Eriberta Bauzon with respect to the sugarland. It concluded that Roque Bauzon could not have validly conveyed both parcels as one-half () of each parcel rightfully belonged to Segunda Maningding and her heirs.chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    The Court of Appeals however ruled that the properties validly pertained to Roque Bauzon by virtue of the donation propter nuptias. Consequently, the transfers made by Roque Bauzon must be given effect. However, upon motion for reconsideration, the same deed of donation was declared null and void by the appellate court for failure to comply with Art. 633 of the old Civil Code, the law then applicable, which required for the validity of the deed of donation to be in a public instrument. Nevertheless, the same court maintained that the properties belonged to Roque Bauzon by virtue of acquisitive prescription.

    We agree with the Court of Appeals. Roque Bauzon acquired ownership over the subject properties by acquisitive prescription. Prescription, in general, is a mode of acquiring (or losing) ownership and other real rights through the lapse of time in the manner and under conditions laid down by law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful, uninterrupted and adverse. 3 Acquisitive prescription is either ordinary or extraordinary. 4 Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession in good faith and with just title for ten (10) years. In extraordinary prescription ownership and other real rights over immovable property are acquired through uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for thirty (30) years, without need of title or of good faith. 5

    The disputed lots are unregistered lands, both parcels being covered only by tax declarations formerly in the name of Ramon Bauzon and now transferred to Luiz and Eriberta Bauzon. While tax declarations and receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership, yet, when coupled with proof of actual possession, as in the instant case, tax declarations and receipts are strong evidence of ownership. 6

    Even assuming that the donation propter nuptias is void for failure to comply with formal requisites, 7 it could still constitute a legal basis for adverse possession. With clear and convincing evidence of possession, a private document of donation may serve as basis for a claim of ownership. 8 In Pensader v. Pensader 9 we ruled that while the verbal donation under which the defendant and his predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the lands in question is not effective as a transfer of title, still it is a circumstance which may explain the adverse and exclusive character of the possession. In Espique v. Espique 10 we held —

    There is no question that the donation in question is invalid because it involves an immovable property and the donation was not made in a public document as required by Article 633 of the old Civil Code, in connection with Article 1328 of the same Code (concerning gifts propter nuptias), but it does not follow that said donation may not serve as basis of acquisitive prescription when on the strength thereof the donee has taken possession of the property adversely and in the concept of owner, or, as this Court well said: ‘While the verbal donation, under which the defendants and his predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the lands in question, is not effective as a transfer of title, yet it is a circumstance which may explain the adverse and exclusive character of the possession’ (Pensader v. Pensader, 47 Phil. 673, 680). This is also an action for partition. It was shown that the donation of the property was made not even in a private document but only verbally. It was also shown that the defendants, through their predecessors-in-interest, were in adverse and continuous possession of the lands for a period of over 30 years. Yet, the court decided the case in favor of defendants on the ground of acquisitive prescription. There is a close parallelism between the facts of this case and the present.

    x       x       x


    We do not need to stretch our mind to see that under such allegations plaintiffs intended to convey the idea that defendant has possessed the lands openly, adversely and without interruption from 1916 to 1949 for he is the one who has possessed and reaped the whole benefit thereof. As to the character of the possession held by defendant during that period one cannot also deny that it is in the concept of owner considering that the lands were donated to him by his predecessors-in-interest on the occasion of his marriage even if the same was not embodied in a public instrument. The essential elements constituting acquisitive prescription are therefore present which negative the right of plaintiffs to ask for partition of said properties. On this point we find pertinent the following observation of the trial court: ‘Any person who claims right of ownership over immovable properties and does not invoke that right but instead tolerated others in possession for thirty years in guilty of laches and negligence and he must suffer the consequence of his acts.’

    In the instant case, Roque Bauzon possessed the subject parcels of land in the concept of owner by virtue of the donation propter nuptias. The possession was public as it was Roque Bauzon who personally tilled and cultivated the lots. The acts of reaping the benefits of ownership were manifest and visible to all. These acts were made more pronounced and public considering that the parcels of land are located in a municipality wherein ownership and possession are particularly and normally known to the community. Roque peacefully possessed the properties as he was never ousted therefrom nor prevented from enjoying their fruits. His possession was uninterrupted and in good faith because of his well-founded belief that the donation propter nuptias was properly executed and the grantors were legally allowed to convey their respective shares in his favor. He likewise appropriated to himself the whole produce of the parcels of land to the exclusion of all others.

    The donation propter nuptias was effected as early as 21 April 1926. It was only in 1986 when the heirs of Segunda Maningding demanded partition of the properties and conveyance of the produce. Sixty (60) years have already elapsed. Even granting that Roque Bauzon possessed the properties only upon the death of his father in 1948, more than thirty (30) years have already passed. In either case, acquisitive prescription has already set in favor of Roque Bauzon.

    Again, even if we assume the absence of good faith and just title, the ownership of the two (2) parcels would still appertain to Roque Bauzon. As testified to by Delfin Parayno, one of petitioners, Roque Bauzon and his heirs had been in continuous, adverse and public possession of the property since 1948 up to 1986, or a period of thirty-six (36) years, which is more than the required thirty-year extraordinary prescription.

    Prescription, as a rule, does not run in favor of a co-heir or co-owner as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. 11 Co-owners cannot acquire by prescription the share of the other co-owners, absent a clear repudiation of the co-ownership. In order that title may prescribe in favor of one of the co-owners, it must be clearly shown that he has repudiated the claims of the others, and that they were apprised of his claim of adverse and exclusive ownership, before the prescriptive period would begin to run. Mere refusal to accede to a partition, without specifying the grounds for such refusal, cannot be considered as notice to the other co-owners of the occupant’s claim of title in himself in repudiation of the co-ownership. The evidence relative to the possession, as a fact upon which the alleged prescription is based, must be clear, complete and conclusive in order to establish said prescription without any shadow of doubt; and when upon trial it is not shown that the possession of the claimant has been adverse and exclusive and opposed to the rights of the others, the case is not one of ownership, and partition will lie. 12chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary

    Therefore while prescription among co-owners cannot take place when the acts of ownership exercised are vague and uncertain, such prescription arises and produces all its effects when the acts of ownership do not evince any doubt as to the ouster of the rights of the other co-owners. 13 As disclosed by the records, Roque Bauzon and his heirs possessed the property from 1948 to 1986 to the exclusion of petitioners who were never given their shares of the fruits of the properties, for which reason they demanded an accounting of the produce and the conveyance to them of their shares. Unfortunately they slept on their rights and allowed almost thirty-six (36) years to lapse before attempting to assert their right. Perforce, they must suffer the consequence of their inaction.

    WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Resolution of the Court of Appeals of 7 July 1995 which modified its Decision of 29 November 1994 and holding that the deceased Roque Bauzon acquired the disputed two (2) parcels of land by acquisitive prescription is AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioners.

    SO ORDERED.

    Padilla, Vitug, Kapunan and Hermosisima, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Annex "B," Record.

    2. Annex "A," id.

    3. Paras, Edgardo L., Civil Code of the Philippines. Vol. IV 1994 ed., p. 1.

    4. Art. 1117, New Civil Code.

    5. Art. 1137, id.

    6. Bautista v. Court of Appeals, No. L-43105, 31 August 1984, 131 SCRA 533; Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 50340, 26 December 1984, 133 SCRA 701.

    7. Art. 633 of the old Civil Code requires for the validity of a deed of donation propter nuptias that it be in a public instrument.

    8. Cabautan v. Serrano, No. L-24112, 26 May 1960, 57 O.G. 292 (1961).

    9. 47 Phil. 959 (1925).

    10. No. L-8029, 28 June 1956, 53 O.G. 4080-4082 (July, 1957).

    11. David v. Bandin, No. L-48322, 8 April 1987, 149 SCRA 140.

    12. Mariano v. De Vega, G.R No. 59974,9 March 1987, 148 SCRA 342, 346-347, citing Tolentino, Arturo M., Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. 2, 1983 ed., pp. 224-225.

    13. Tolentino, Arturo M., Commentaries and Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, Vol. 2, 1983 ed., p. 181.

    G.R. No. 121157   July 31, 1997 - HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.


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