Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence

Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1912 > January 1912 Decisions > G.R. No. 6348 January 16, 1912 - BENIGNO ABAC v. AURELIO ACEDERA, ET. AL.

021 Phil 195:



[G.R. No. 6348. January 16, 1912. ]

BENIGNO ABAC, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. AURELIO ACEDERA and VICENTA ADORA, Defendants-Appellees.

Vicente Agregado, for Appellant.

M. P. Leuterio, for Appellees.


1. TOWNSHIP COURTS; CIVIL CASES; RIGHTS OF PARTIES AND JURISDICTION OF COURT; FINAL JUDGMENT. — Under section 18 (g) of Act No. 1397, the Township Government Act, which creates the township courts, local residents are authorized to submit their contentions in civil matters to the township court, and, upon application to the court and the submission of an agreement in writing to abide by the decision, the court acquires jurisdiction to hear and determine the case, provided the value of the property involved does not exceed P200, and the judgment is final.



Vicente Abad, who claims to be the owner by inheritance of a parcel of land 60 cavanes in area in the place and with the boundaries set forth, alleges that in March, 1908, the defendants illegally took possession of a parcel some 23 cavanes in area on the east side, adjoining their land, and prays that he be declared the owner of the 23 cavanes and that the defendants be sentenced to restore the same to him, with damages and costs.

The defendants not only deny the facts in the complaint but they further allege an agreement and a decision in opposition to the plaintiff’s claim. The agreement consisted in submitting their contentions to the municipal court of the township of which they are residents, Calapan Province of Mindoro, on August 18, 1909; and the decision was rendered by the president and members of the township court of Calapan, Mindoro, on the same date, whereby the complaint of Benigno Abac against the defendant Aurelio Acedera was dismissed. (B. of E., 5 and 6.)

Such an agreement and decision appear to be legally authorized by Act No. 1397 of the Philippine Commission, which by section 18, subsection (g), creates township courts, composed of the president, two councilors, and a secretary which shall hear and adjudge alleged violations of public ordinances. Subsection (h)

"This court shall have no jurisdiction in civil cases, except on the application of interested parties and upon their making an agreement in writing to accept the award of the court, when it may hear and adjudge any case not involving property exceeding in value the sum of two hundred pesos Philippine currency. The judgment shall be awarded by a majority vote o� the members of the court and shall be recorded by the secretary, and shall be final."cralaw virtua1aw library

On page 5 of the bill of exceptions is recorded an agreement to submit this question about a parcel of land, some 20 cavanes in extent, between Benigno Abac, plaintiff, and Vicenta Adora and Aurelio Acedera, defendants— land which the parties appraised at not more than P200. On page 6 appears the decision, the purport whereof in favor of the defendants has already been set forth; wherefore the latter in their cross-complaint pray the Court of First Instance of Mindoro, to which the complaint referred to before was submitted, to sentence the plaintiff to fulfill said agreement, with the costs thereof. (B. of E., 4.) Said Court of First Instance rendered judgment in favor of the defendants, with the costs against the plaintiff.

On page 14 of the bill of exceptions it appears that the plaintiff asked for a new hearing and, when this was denied, appealed by taking exception, this contrary to what the counsel for the appellees avers in his brief.

Accordingly, the plaintiff appealed and has the right to have the evidence reviewed. The appeal is based solely upon the findings of fact in the lower court, but the findings contain no error of fact or of law.

The trial court held to be a symbol of ownership, or at least of quiet and peaceful possession, the existence on the land of a house in which the defendants, according to their witnesses and their neighbors, have lived for twenty-five years.

"Nobody in the whole case— says the learned judge— speaks of the plaintiff as having lived on the lands until he, in rebuttal, went on the stand at the last moment. In his first testimony he did not say a word about having lived on these lands; it only occurred to him to do so after he had heard the defendants establish the fact that they were living thereon . . . Now I do not for a moment believe the statement of this plaintiff, that he left these lands simply because the defendant had built a house in the southeast corner. It does not stand to reason that he would have given up this large tract of land, in the middle of which he claims that he was living, when somebody had usurped just a small corner in the southeast part of it, in order to avoid trouble. I feel sure that these defendants have been in possession of this land for a number of years . . . These defendants have been in possession, and, so far as this plaintiff is concerned, he has not attempted to dispossess them. He just moved off the lands and came to town and went to work as a carpenter, he says, to learn the trade; but I suspect the truth is that he was a carpenter and had not been on these lands for many years until after his father died, when he attempted to get possession of them. I do not believe under the testimony, which is nearly all hearsay and guess and a part of it given by witnesses who had not been on the land for five years or more, that this plaintiff has any claim to this land whatsoever."cralaw virtua1aw library

This is what the judge saw, heard, and decided; and against his decision so reached nothing has been alleged that can destroy the force of the evidence adduced and duly weighed.

The judgment appealed from is affirmed, and the complaint against the defendants dismissed, with the costs against the Appellant.

It is further ordered, in accordance with the resolution of this court of January 14, 1911, upon written protest of the counsel for the appellant, that the counsel for the appellees strike out and efface on page 4 of his brief the following sentence: "Se necesita tener un entendimiento demasiado obtuso para decir tantos disparates." The clerk will so enter in the record.

Carson, Johnson, Moreland, and Trent, JJ., concur.

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