G.R. No. 122249 - January 29, 2004 - REYNALDO, TELESFORO, REMEDIOS, ALFREDO and BELEN, all surnamed AGUIRRE, VICENTA, HORACIO and FLORENCIO, all surnamed MAGTIBAY and LEONILA, CECILIA, ANTONIO, and VENANCIO, all surnamed MEDRANO, and ZOSIMA QUIAMBAO, Petitioners, v. COURT OF APPEALS and ELIAS, JOSE, ARSENIA and ROGELIO, all surnamed BALITAAN, and MARIA ROSALES, Respondents.
[G.R. No. 122249 : January
REYNALDO, TELESFORO, REMEDIOS, ALFREDO and BELEN, all
surnamed AGUIRRE, VICENTA, HORACIO and FLORENCIO, all surnamed MAGTIBAY and
LEONILA, CECILIA, ANTONIO, and VENANCIO, all surnamed MEDRANO, and ZOSIMA
APPEALS and ELIAS, JOSE, ARSENIA and ROGELIO, all surnamed BALITAAN, and MARIA
D E C I S I O N
Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking the reversal
of the Decision1 dated July 26, 1995 rendered by the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 42350
which set aside the Decision2 dated April 28, 1992 of the Regional Trial Court of Batangas City (Branch 2) in
Civil Case No. 202,3 and declared private respondents Heirs of Tiburcio Balitaan, as owners of the
parcel of unregistered land with an approximate area of 1,695 square meters,
located at Aplaya, Bauan, Batangas.
The facts of the case are as follows:
In his lifetime, Leocadio Medrano was the owner and possessor of
a parcel of residential land, situated in Aplaya, Bauan, Batangas, containing
an area of 2,611 square meters.4 The parcel of land was conjugal property, having been acquired by Leocadio
during his first marriage with one Emiliana Narito. Their union begot four
children, namely: (a) Gertrudes Medrano, now deceased, represented in this case
by her children, herein petitioners Telesforo, Reynaldo, Remedios, Alfredo, and
Belen, all surnamed Aguirre; (b) Isabel Medrano, likewise deceased, represented
by her children, herein petitioners Vicenta, Horacio, and Florencio, all
surnamed Magtibay; (c) Placido Medrano, also deceased, represented by his only
child, herein petitioner Zosima Quiambao; and (d) Sixto Medrano.
After the death of his first wife, Leocadio contracted a second
marriage with Miguela Cario.
union bore four children, herein co-Petitioners, namely: Venancio, Leonila,
Antonio and Cecilia, all surnamed Medrano.
Upon the death of Leocadio on March 19, 1945, the surviving heirs
agreed that Sixto should manage and administer the subject property.
Sixto died on May 17, 1974.
It was only after his death that petitioners heard rumors that Sixto
had, in fact, sold significant portions of the estate of Leocadio.
It appears that on September 7, 1953, Sixto,
without the knowledge and consent of the Petitioners, executed an Affidavit of
Transfer of Real Property stating therein that he was the only heir of
Leocadio.5 Sixto declared that Leocadio died on September 16, 1949, instead of the actual
date of his death on March 19, 1945.
With the use of said affidavit and a survey plan,6 Tax Declaration No. 40105 in the name of Leocadio was cancelled and Tax
Declaration No. 44984 was issued in the name of Sixto.7 On August 29, 1957, Sixto sold to Maria Bacong a 160- square meter portion of
the subject land.8 On September 28, 1959, Sixto sold to Tiburcio Balitaan a 1,695 square meter
portion of the same land.9 Sometime in November 1967, Maria Bacong sold her property to Rosendo Bacong.10
Petitioners demanded the reconveyance of the portions sold by
Sixto but Tiburcio Balitaan, Maria Bacong and Rosendo Bacong refused to do
Hence, petitioners filed against
them before the Regional Trial Court of Batangas (Branch 2),
a complaint for Declaration
of Nullity of Documents, Partition, Malicious Prosecution and Damages, docketed
as Civil Case No. 202.11
In their Answer, Maria Bacong and Rosendo Bacong contend that
petitioners have no cause of action because they acquired their property thru a
valid deed of sale dated August 29, 1957, executed by Sixto and, alternatively,
petitioners cause of action, if any, was barred by prescription and laches.12
In his Answer, Tiburcio Balitaan contends that petitioners have
no cause of action since petitioners were well-aware of the sale of the
property to him by Sixto; and that he was an innocent purchaser for value, in
possession and enjoyment of the land in the concept of absolute owner,
peacefully and publicly.
echoed the contention of Maria and Rosendo Bacong that any cause of action
petitioners may have was barred by prescription and laches.13
Maria Bacong died during the pendency of the suit in the trial
court and she was substituted by her surviving heirs, namely, Lorenza, Elena,
Felipa, Manuel, Marilou, Ricardo, Medel, Monchito and Milag, all surnamed
Medrano.14 Tiburcio Balitaan also died and was substituted by his heirs, herein private
respondents, namely: his wife, Maria Rosales and their four children: Elias,
Jose, Arsenia and Rogelio, all surnamed Balitaan.15
On July 28, 1989, petitioners and Rosendo Bacong, for himself and
as attorney-in-fact of the heirs of Maria Bacong, entered into a compromise
agreement to settle the case between them.16 The compromise agreement, as approved by the trial court, provided that Rosendo
Bacong and the heirs of Maria Bacong agreed to pay
petitioners in recognition of petitioners ownership of a 269-square meter
portion17 and in consideration of which, petitioners recognized the full ownership,
rights, interest and participation of the former over said land.18 The area of the subject land is thus reduced to 2,342 square meters (2,611
square meters minus 269 square meters).
After trial on the merits, the trial court rendered judgment
dated April 28, 1992, ruling that private respondents did not dispute, by any
evidence, the falsity of the Affidavit of Transfer, as well as the fact that
Sixto had co-owners to the property.
found that private respondents affirmative defense of laches and/or prescription
are unavailing against a property held in co-ownership as long as the state of
co-ownership is recognized.
Consequently, the trial court upheld the sale made by Sixto in favor of
private respondents only to the extent that Sixto is entitled to by virtue of
his being a co-owner.19
In determining the area that Sixto could have validly sold to
private respondents, the trial court, in its decision, provided for the manner
of partition among the parties, based on the memorandum submitted by
For the four (4) children of the first marriage, namely:
(1) Gertrudes, who is already dead
represented by her children Tefesforo, Reynaldo, Remedios, Alfredo and Belen,
all surnamed Aguirre 399.42 square meters;
(2) Isabel Medrano, who is already dead,
represented by the plaintiffs, her children Vicenta, Horacio and Florencio, all
surnamed Magtibay 399.42 square meters;
(3) Placido Medrano (dead),
by his only child Zosima Medrano 399.42 square meters; and
(4) Sixto Medrano 399.42 square meters
only which he had the right to dispose of in favor of Tiburcio Balitaan and
The above consist of undivided interest, shares and participations
from the inheritance or succession to the conjugal estate of Leocadio Medrano
and Emiliana Narito.
For the children of the second marriage their shares in the
inheritance from the property of Leocadio Medrano are as follows:
(1) To Venancio Medrano-138.32 square meters
(2) To Leonila Medrano-138.32 square meters
(3) To Antonio Medrano-138.32 square meters
(4) To Cecilia Medrano-138.32 square meters
with all the above consisting of undivided
shares, interest and participation in the estate.
For the defendants Maria Rosales, surviving spouse of the deceased
Tiburcio Balitaan and their Children, an area of 399.42 square meters, the only
area and extent which Sixto Medrano could have legally dispensed of in their
Thus, the dispositive portion of the trial courts decision reads
WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, the Court renders judgment in
favor of the plaintiffs and against the defendants, to wit:
(a) Ordering the partition
of the property in question among the plaintiffs and the defendants; and
(b) Ordering the parties,
plaintiffs and defendants, to make a partition among themselves by proper
instruments of conveyance and to submit before this Court a project of
partition should the parties be able to agree for the confirmation of the Court
within two (2) months upon receipt of this decision, otherwise this Court will
be constrained to appoint commissioners to make the partition in accordance
All other claims not having been duly proved are ordered dismissed.
Aggrieved, private respondents appealed to the Court of Appeals.22
On July 26, 1995, the appellate court rendered judgment
recognizing the validity of the sale only with respect to the undivided share
of Sixto Medrano as co-owner; but nonetheless, declaring respondents as
absolute owners of 1,695 square meters of the subject property, reasoning that:
.. . Defendants-appellees have been in
possession, in the concept of owner, of the entire parcel of land sold to
Tiburcio Balitaan by Sixto Medrano for more than ten years, seventeen years to
be exact (1958-1975). Relying on the
affidavit of transfer (Exhibit B) the tax declaration (Exhibit C) and the
survey plan (Exhibit D) shown to him by Sixto Medrano which indicate the
latter as owner of the property in dispute, Tiburcio Balitaan believed transfer
to him was effected.
(TSN, April 17,
1991, pp. 14-17) and thus, entered the property as owner (Ibid. at p. 13)
Tiburcio Balitaan, believing himself as the lawful transferee, in addition,
caused Tax Declaration No. 51038 to be issued in his name (Exhibits 6, 6-A,
6-B, and 6-C). Thus, although the
sale of the co-owned property is only valid as to the undivided share of Sixto
Medrano, defendants, by virtue of their open, adverse and uninterrupted
possession from 1958 (Exhibit G) to 1975, obtained title to the entire
property and not just Sixtos undivided share.
This is pursuant to Article 1134 (1957a) of the New Civil Code which
Ownership and other real rights over immovable property are
acquired by ordinary prescription through possession of ten years.
Plaintiffs did not at all inquire as to the status of their
property all this time and thus have been remiss of their duties as owners of
Plaintiffs waited until
Sixtos death to learn more about their property.Even though the co-ownership is to be preserved in accordance
with the wishes of the deceased, the plaintiffs should have taken it upon
themselves to look into the status of the property once in a while, to assure
themselves that it is managed well and that they are receiving what is due them
as co-owners of the parcel of land or to at least manifest their continued
interest in the property as normal owners would do.But the plaintiffs did not show any interest in the way Sixto
Medrano was managing the property which in effect gave the latter carte blanche
powers over the same.
Such passivity is
aggravated by the fact that one of the plaintiffs resides a mere 600 meters
away from the disputed property (TSN, April 17, 1991, p. 13). By not showing any interest, the plaintiffs
have, in fact, slept on their rights and thus, cannot now exercise a stale
Petitioners sought reconsideration24 but the appellate court denied it in a Resolution dated October 5, 1995.25
In their present recourse, petitioners take exception from the
appellate courts findings that respondents have been in possession, in the
concept of owner of the entire parcel of land sold to Tiburcio Balitaan by
Sixto Medrano for seventeen years (1958-1975),
relying on the Affidavit of
Transfer and Tax Declaration No. 51038 in the name of Sixto; and that Tiburcio
acquired ownership of the whole property from Sixto through ordinary
prescription for ten years.
Petitioners submit that Tiburcio Balitaan was not a purchaser in
good faith and for value since there are enough circumstances which should have
put him on guard and prompted him to be more circumspect and inquire further
about the true status of Sixto Medranos ownership; that during his lifetime,
Tiburcio was a neighbor of petitioners and was well-aware that Sixto had other
siblings but Tiburcio chose to rely on the Affidavit of Transfer executed by
Sixto Medrano declaring that he was the only heir of Leocadio; that the Court
of Appeals should not have faulted them for failing to inquire about the status
of the disputed property until after the death of Sixto Medrano; that they are
not guilty of laches.
It is settled that in the exercise of the Supreme Courts power
of review, the findings of facts of the Court of Appeals are conclusive and
binding on the Supreme Court.26 The exceptions to this rule are: (1) when the findings are grounded entirely on
speculation, surmises or conjectures; (2) when the inference made is manifestly
mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) when there is grave abuse of discretion;
(4) when the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts; (5) when the
findings of fact are conflicting; (6) when in making its findings the Court of
Appeals went beyond the issues of the case, or its findings are contrary to the
admissions of both the appellant and the appellee; (7) when the findings are
contrary to the trial court; (8) when the findings are conclusions without
citation of specific evidence on which they are based; (9) when the facts set
forth in the petition as well as in the petitioners main and reply briefs are
not disputed by the respondent; (10) when the findings of fact are premised on
the supposed absence of evidence and contradicted by the evidence on record;
and (11) when the Court of Appeals manifestly overlooked certain relevant facts
not disputed by the parties, which, if properly considered, would justify a
different conclusion.27 Exceptions (4),
(10) and (11) are present in the instant case.
We find the petition meritorious.28 We agree with the petitioners that the Court
of Appeals committed a reversible error in upholding the claim of petitioners
that they acquired ownership of the subject property through prescription.
Acquisitive prescription of real rights may be ordinary or
prescription requires possession of things in good faith and with just title
for the time fixed by law;29 without good faith and just title, acquisitive prescription can only be
extraordinary in character.
real or immovable property, ordinary acquisitive prescription requires a period
of possession of ten years,30 while extraordinary acquisitive prescription requires an uninterrupted adverse
possession of thirty years.31
Ordinary acquisitive prescription demands that possession be in
good faith, which consists in the reasonable belief that the person from whom
the thing is received has been the owner thereof and could thereby transmit
that ownership.32 There is just title when the adverse claimant comes into possession of the
property through any of the modes recognized by law for the acquisition of
ownership or other real rights, but that the grantor is neither the owner nor
in a position to transmit the right.33
Article 1130 of the Civil Code states that the title for
prescription must be true and valid. In Doliendo vs. Biarnesa,34 we elucidated on this provision, thus:
We think that this contention is based on a misconception of the
scope and effect of the provisions of this article of the Code in its
application to ordinary prescription.
It is evident that by a titulo verdadero y valido in this connection
we are not to understand a titulo que por si solo tiene fuerza de transferir
el dominio sin necesidad de la prescricion (a title which of itself is
sufficient to transfer the ownership without the necessity of the lapse of the
prescription period); and we accept the opinion of a learned Spanish law writer
who holds that the titulo verdadero y valido as used in this article of the
code prescribes a titulo Colorado and not merely putativo; a titulo
Colorado being one which a person has when he buys a thing, in good faith,
from one whom he believes to be the owner, and a titulo putativo being one
which is supposed to have preceded the acquisition of a thing, although in fact
it did not, as might happen when one is in possession of a thing in the belief
that it had been bequeathed to him. (Viso Derecho Civil, Parte Segunda, p.
The requirements for ordinary acquisitive prescription as
hereinabove described have not been met in this case.
It must be remembered that the burden of proving the status of a
purchaser in good faith lies upon him who asserts that status.
It is not sufficient to invoke the ordinary
presumption of good faith, that is, that everyone is presumed to have acted in
good faith, since the good faith that is here essential is integral with the
very status that must be established.36
After a careful examination of the records, we find that private
respondents failed to discharge the burden of proof that Tiburcio Balitaan was
a purchaser in good faith.
undisputed that Tiburcio practically lived his entire lifetime in the area
where the property in dispute is located and had been a neighbor of
He knew that Sixto Medrano
had other siblings because his son, Dr. Elias Balitaan, is the godson by
baptism of spouses Jose Aguirre and Gertrudes Medrano, the latter being a
deceased sister of Sixto.
Tiburcio was not a complete stranger to the Medrano clan.
Yet, he deliberately chose to close his eyes
to said facts and despite his personal knowledge to the contrary, he purchased
the disputed property from Sixto on the basis of the misrepresentation of the
latter in his Affidavit of Transfer that he is the sole surviving heir of
A purchaser cannot close his
eyes to facts which should put a reasonable man upon his guard, and then claim
that he acted in good faith under the belief that there was no defect in the
title of the vendor.37
Since the disputed property is an unregistered land, Tiburcio as
buyer thereof did so at his peril.
Private respondents claim that Tiburcio bought the land in good faith,
that is, without notice that some other person has a right to or interest in
the property, would not protect them if it turns out, as it actually did in
this case, that the seller, Sixto Medrano, did not own the entire property at
the time of the sale, but only an undivided portion of the land as a
Private respondents failed to
show that the petitioners were notified of the subject sale or that respondents
gave their consent to the sale.
being in good faith, the ten-year period required for ordinary acquisitive
prescription does not apply.
Even the thirty-year period under extraordinary acquisitive
prescription has not been met in this case.
Private respondents claim to have been in possession, in the concept of
owner, of the entire parcel of land sold to Tiburcio Balitaan by Sixto Medrano
for only seventeen years (1958-1975).
In addition, as we have enunciated in Salvador vs. Court of
Appeals,38 to wit:
This Court has held that the possession of a co-owner is like that
of a trustee and shall not be regarded as adverse to the other co-owners but in
fact as beneficial to all of them.
which may be considered adverse to strangers may not be considered adverse
insofar as co-owners are concerned.
mere silent possession by a co-owner, his receipt of rents, fruits or profits
from the property, the erection of buildings and fences and the planting of
trees thereon, and the payment of land taxes, cannot serve as proof of
exclusive ownership, if it is not borne out by clear and convincing
evidence that he exercised acts of possession which unequivocably constituted
an ouster or deprivation of the rights of the other co-owners.
Thus, in order that a co-owners possession may be deemed adverse
to the cestui que trust or the other co-owners, the following elements
(1) that he has
performed unequivocal acts of repudiation amounting to an ouster of the cestui
que trust or the other co-owners; (2) that such positive acts of
repudiation have been made known to the cestui que trust or the other
co-owners; and (3) that the evidence thereon must be clear and convincing.39 (Emphasis supplied)
Tested against these guidelines, respondents failed to present
competent evidence that the acts of Sixto adversely and clearly repudiated the
existing co-ownership among the heirs of Leocadio Medrano.
Private respondents reliance on the tax declaration in the name
of Sixto Medrano is unworthy of credit since we have held on several occasions
that tax declarations by themselves do not conclusively prove title to land.40 Further, private respondents failed to show that the Affidavit executed by
Sixto to the effect that he is the sole owner of the subject property was known
or made known to the other co-heirs of Leocadio Medrano.
Neither can we subscribe to the appellate courts view that
petitioners are guilty of laches.
Laches is the negligence or omission to assert a right within a
reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to assert it
has abandoned it or declined to assert it.41 It does not involve mere lapse or passage of time, but is principally an
impediment to the assertion or enforcement of a right, which has become under
the circumstances inequitable or unfair to permit.42 The rule that each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the common
property implies that an action to demand partition is imprescriptible or
cannot be barred by laches.43
We have consistently held that if a co-owner sells the whole
property as his, the sale will affect only his own share but not those of the
other co-owners who did not consent to the sale.44 Article 493 of the Civil Code provides:
shall have the full ownership of his part and the fruits and benefits
pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and
even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights
But the effect of the alienation
or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion
which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the
It clearly provides that the sale or other disposition affects
only the sellers share pro indiviso, and the transferee gets only what
corresponds to his grantors share in the partition of the property owned in
Since a co-owner is entitled to
sell his undivided share, a sale of the entire property by one co-owner without
the consent of the other co-owners is not null and void; only the rights of the
co-owner/seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the
property.45 Accordingly, we held in Bailon-Casilao vs. Court of Appeals:
From the foregoing, it may be deduced that since a co-owner is
entitled to sell his undivided share, a sale of the entire property by
one-co-owner without the consent of the other co-owners is not null and
However, only the rights of the
co-owner-seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the
The proper action in cases like this is not for the
nullification of the sale or for the recovery of possession of the thing owned
in common from the third person who substituted the co-owner or co-owners who
alienated their shares, but the DIVISION of the common property as if it
continued to remain in the possession of the co-owners who possessed and
administered it [Mainit v. Bandoy, supra].
Thus, it is now settled that the appropriate recourse of co-owners
in cases where their consent were not secured in a sale of the entire property
as well as in a sale merely of the undivided shares of some of the co-owners is
an action for PARTITION under Rule 69 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Neither recovery of possession nor
restitution can be granted since the defendant buyers are legitimate
proprietors and possessors in joint ownership of the common property claimed
[Ramirez v. Bautista, supra].46
It is clear therefore that the deed of sale executed by Sixto
Medrano in favor of Tiburcio Balitaan is a valid conveyance only insofar as the
share of Sixto Medrano in the co-ownership is concerned.
Thus, the respondent court erred in
declaring the ownership of the entire 1,695-square meter property sold by
Sixto, in favor of the private> Respondents.
The next question is what is the area of the pro indiviso
share pertaining to Sixto Medrano that was sold to private respondents? The
trial court endeavored to determine the same by ascertaining the inheritance of
each of the heirs of Leocadio.
the manner of partition as set out by the trial court in the text of its
decision needs to be amended so as to conform to the laws on intestate
succession under the Old Civil Code absent any allegation or showing that
Leocadio left any last will and testament.
It is not disputed that the 2,342-square meter property was a
conjugal property of Leocadio and Emiliana.
Upon the death of Emiliana, which occurred many years before the death
of Leocadio in 1945, both deaths occurring before the enactment of the New
Civil Code in 1950, all the four children of the first marriage and the four
children of the second marriage shall share equally.The subject property should have been divided into eight equal
parts, pursuant to Articles 921 and 931 of the old Civil Code,47 or 292.75 square meters each.
respective heirs of the now deceased children of Leocadio inherit by way of
representation the respective shares of their respective parents, pursuant to
Articles 933 and 934 of the Old Civil Code.48
At the time of death of Leocadio in 1945, Miguela was entitled
only to the usufruct of the land pursuant to Article 834 of the Old Civil Code,49 which provides that [i]f only one legitimate child or descendant survives, the
widower or widow shall have the usufruct of the third available for betterment,
such child or descendant to have the naked ownership until, on the death of the
surviving spouse, the whole title is merged in him.
Thus, to recapitulate, each of the heirs of Leocadio should
inherit 292.75 square meters, pro-indiviso (2,342 square meters 8 =
292.75 square meters) after deducting from the original 2,611 square meters of
the subject property the 269 square meters ceded to the heirs of Maria Bacong
in a compromise agreement among the petitioners and the heirs of Maria Bacong.
The deceased children of Leocadio are
represented by their respective heirs by right of representation under Articles
933 and 934 of the Old Civil Code.
Accordingly, the undivided shares of Leocadios eight children or
their heirs by right of representation, upon the death of Leocadio in 1945 are
(1) Venancio Medrano-292.75 square meters
(2) Leonila Medrano
-292.75 square meters
(3) Antonio Medrano-292.75 square meters
(4) Cecilia Medrano
-292.75 square meters
(5) Heirs of Gertrudes M. Aguirre, Telesforo,
Reynaldo, Remedios, Alfredo and Belen, all surnamed Aguirre--292.75 square meters
(6) Heirs of Isabel M. Magtibay, Vicenta,
Horacio and Florencio, all surnamed Magtibay
-292.75 square meters
(7) Heirs of Placido Medrano, plaintiff Zosima
Medrano Quimbao-292.75 square meters
(8) Sixto Medrano-292.75 square meters
During the pendency of the case in the trial court but after the
death of Sixto, petitioners sold 460 square meters to one Mateo Castillo.
Consequently, the 460 square meters should
be charged against the shares of petitioners only and should not affect the
292.75 square meters undivided share of Sixto Medrano which he had sold in
1959.50 Accordingly, 460 square meters divided by 7 equals 65.71 square meters.
Deducting said area from 292.75 square
meters, the final undivided share of each of the seven heirs of Leocadio should
be 227.04 square meters (292.75 - 65.71 = 227.04) and that pertaining to Sixto
in 292.75 square meters.
Thus, the manner of partition set forth by the trial court in its
decision should be amended, as follows:
(1) Gertrudes M. Aguirre, deceased, represented
by her children, herein petitioners Telesforo, Reynaldo, Remedios, Alfredo and
Belen, all surnamed Aguirre-227.04
(2) Isabel M. Magtibay, deceased, represented
by her children, herein petitioners Vicenta, Horacio and Florencio, all
Medrano, deceased, represented by his only child, Placido Medrano-227.04
(4) Private respondents Maria Rosales and
heirs of Tiburcio Balitaan, namely: Elias, Jose, Arsenia and Rogelio all
surnamed Balitaan (in lieu of Sixto Medrano) -292.75
(5) Venancio Medrano-227.04 square meters
(6) Leonila Medrano-227.04 square meters
(7) Antonio Medrano-227.04 square meters
(8) Cecilia Medrano-227.04 square meters
(9) Rosendo Bacong-269 square meters
(10) Mateo Castillo-460 square meters
WHEREFORE, we GRANT the petition.
The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals
in CA-G.R. CV No. 42350, dated July 26, 1995, is REVERSEDand SET ASIDE.
The decision of the Regional Trial Court is
REINSTATED with the following MODIFICATIONS:
The sale in favor of private respondents is declared VALID but
only insofar as the 292.75 square meters undivided share of Sixto Medrano in
the subject property is concerned.
Let the parcel of land, located at Aplaya, Bauan, Batangas,
consisting of 2,611 square meters, be partitioned and distributed as determined
by the Court in the text of herein decision.
Accordingly, let the records of the case be remanded to the Regional
Trial Court of Batangas City (Branch 2) in Civil Case No. 202 for further
appropriate proceedings under Rule 69 of the Rules of Court.
No pronouncement as to costs.
Puno, (Chairman), Quisumbing, Callejo Sr. and Tinga, JJ., concur.
1 Penned by Justice Jorge S. Imperial (now deceased) and concurred in by Justice
Pacita Caizares-Nye (now deceased) and Justice Romeo J. Callejo, Sr. (now
Associate Justice of the Supreme Court),
2 Penned by Judge Ireneo V. Mendoza.
3 Entitled, Reynaldo, Telesforo, Remedios, Alfredo and Belen all surnamed
Aguirre, Vicenta, Horacio and Florencio all surnamed Magtibay, Leonila,
Cecilia, Antonio and Venancio all surnamed Medrano and Zosima Quiambao vs. Tiburcio Balitaan, Maria Bacong and Rosendo Bacong
4 1,791 square meters of which was declared in Tax Declaration No. 40105 while
820 square meters remained undeclared for taxation purposes until 1953 in Tax
Declaration No. 44984 issued in the name of Sixto Medrano; Original Records,
11 Entitled Reynaldo, Telesforo, Remedios, Alfredo and Belen all surnamed
Aguirre, Vicenta, Horacio and Florencio all surnamed Magtibay, Leonila,
Cecilia, Antonio and Venancio all surnamed Medrano and Zosima Quiambao vs. Tiburcio Balitaan, Maria Bacong and Rosendo Bacong, Id., p. 1.
22 Id., pp. 75-120.
Private respondents initially filed a Notice
of Appeal with the trial court which the latter denied on the ground that the
decision promulgated on April 28, 1992 is not yet final and executory
considering that there are still many things to be done.
On petition for mandamus with the Court of
Appeals (CA-G.R. SP No. 30446),
the Court of Appeals granted the petition and
directed the trial court to give due course to private respondents appeal.
(Court of Appeals Rollo, pp. 89)
26 Pestao v. Sumayang,
346 SCRA 870, 878 (2000); Baas,
Jr. v. Court of Appeals,
325 SCRA 259, 271 (2000); Borromeo v. Sun,
317 SCRA 176, 182 (1999); Lagrosa v. Court of Appeals,
312 SCRA 298, 310 (1999); Security Bank
and Trust Company v. Triumph Lumber
and Construction Corporation,
301 SCRA 537, 548 (1999).
27 Langkaan Realty
Development, Inc. v. United Coconut
347 SCRA 542, 549 (2000); Nokom v. National Labor Relations Commission,
336 SCRA 97, 110 (2000); Commissioner of Internal Revenue v. Embroidery and Garments Industries
305 SCRA 70, 74 (1999); Sta. Maria v. Court of Appeals,
285 SCRA 351, 357 (1998).
28 Original Records of Civil Case No. 42350 were received by the Court only on
September 4, 2003.
29 Article 1117, Civil Code.
30 Article 1134, Civil Code.
31 Article 1137, Civil Code.
32 Article 1127, Civil Code.
33 Article 1129, Civil Code.
36 Embrado v. Court of Appeals,
233 SCRA 335, 344 (1994).
46 Supra, Note 44 at p. 745.
47 Art. 921.
In every inheritance the
relative nearest in degree excludes the one more remote, except in cases in
which the right of representation exists.
Relatives in the same degree shall inherit in equal
portions, subject to the provisions of Article 949 with respect to relationship
by the whole blood.
children and their descendants succeed the parents and other ascendants,
without distinction of sex or age, even though they spring from different
48 Art. 933.
The grandchildren and other
descendants shall inherit by right or representation, and if any one of them
should have died, leaving several heirs, the portion pertaining to him shall be
divided among the latter in equal portions.
children and descendants of other deceased children survive, the former shall
inherit in their own right, and the latter by right of representation.
49 NOW ART. 996 of the New Civil Code.
widow or widower and legitimate children or descendants are left, the surviving
spouse has in the succession the same share as that of each of the children].
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