Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1966 > January 1966 Decisions > G.R. No. L-20836 January 31, 1966 ANA ALARCON, ET AL. v. JOSE ESTEVA, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. No. L-20836. January 31, 1966.]

ANA ALARCON, ET AL., Plaintiffs-Appellants, v. JOSE ESTEVA, ET AL., Defendants-Appellees.

C.B. Carbon and Associates for the plaintiffs and appellants.

L. Abola for the defendants and appellees.


SYLLABUS


1. PUBLIC LANDS; RECONVEYANCE UPON PROPER DEMAND FOR REDEMPTION; NATURE OF OBLIGATION; CASE AT BAR. — The obligation to reconvey the land upon proper demand for redemption is an obligation ad rem that attaches to redeemable lands in the hands of whomsoever should be in possession thereof, unless the action should be barred by some defense or excuse recognized by law; in the same way that the vendor a retro may bring his action against every possessor whose right is derived from that of the vendee a retro, even if no mention is made of the right of repurchase in the second contract (Civil Code, Art. 1608). The nature of the conventional and the legal rights of redemption is identical, except for the source of the right. In the case at bar, if the actual possessor is ultimately adjudged to reconvey the property to the plaintiffs-appellants, he may proceed against the appellees to enforce their warranty against eviction, if and when proper; but this right of the present possessor is not one belonging to the would-be redemptioners.

2. ID.; ID.; PROPER PARTY DEFENDANT IN ACTION FOR REDEMPTION. — A purchaser of redeemable property who before action is brought, has already disposed of it to other persons, and is no longer in possession thereof, can not be sued to be compelled to reconvey them to the would-be redemptioners.


D E C I S I O N


REYES, J. B. L., J.:


Direct appeal from an order of the Court of First Instance of Rizal, in its Case No. 7032, dismissing the complaint of Ana Alarcon, Et Al., as to the defendant spouses Jose Esteva and Elena Bautista, for failure to state a cause of action.

It can be gleaned from the record that one Roman Victor acquired, by Free Patent granted by the Government of the Philippines, a parcel of land in the province of Rizal covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 1162. Upon his death, his heirs Ana Alarcon and Francisco Siena sold the land, on March 12, 1937, to the spouses Jose Esteva and Elena Bautista for the amount of P6,200, and the buyers were issued Transfer Certificate of Title No. 50110 by the Registrar of Deeds of Rizal. Subsequently, Esteva and his wife disposed of the property in favor of other persons, who, in turn, resold the same to further purchasers, so that now the land originally covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 1162 appears distributed in some twenty-two (22) different certificates of title in the name of various persons.

On March 9, 1962, within the period of five (5) years set by section 119 of the Public Lands Acts, plaintiffs initiated an action against spouses Esteva and Bautista and the vendees of the latter, seeking the redemption and reconveyance of the land originally sold in March 12, 1937 to defendants Jose Esteva and Elena Bautista. The latter moved to dismiss, on the ground that the allegations of the complaint showed that they had already disposed of the land purchased by them from the heirs of the original holder of the Free Patent, and, therefore, said defendant spouses could not be required to resell and reconvey the land in question to the plaintiffs. The court below granted the motion to dismiss, and ordered movants Esteva and Bautista excluded from the complaint. For this reason, plaintiffs appealed to this Court.

We see no error in the order dismissing the complaint against the herein defendants-appellees. It being apparent from the complaint itself that the latter have already disposed of the lands in question, they can not be compelled to reconvey them to the plaintiffs. Ad impossibilia nemo tenetur. In so far as these defendants are concerned, therefore, the action for redemption and reconveyance is moot and has no useful purpose, and, therefore, the complaint states no valid cause of action, as correctly ruled by the court below.

We note that the complaint does not even seek damages against appellees herein.

The obligations to reconvey the land upon proper demand for redemption is an obligation ad rem that attaches to redeemable lands in the hands of whomsoever should be in possession thereof, unless the action should be barred by some defense or excuse recognized by law; in the same way that the vendor a retro may bring his action against every possessor whose right is derived from that of the vendee a retro, even if no mention is made of the right of repurchase in the second contract (Civil Code, Art. 1608). The nature of the conventional and the legal rights of redemption is identical, except for the source of the right. Of course, if the actual possessor is ultimately adjudged to reconvey the property to the plaintiffs- appellants, he may proceed against the appellees to enforce their warranty against eviction, if and when proper; but this right of the present possessor is not one belonging to the would be redemptioners.

The order appealed from is affirmed, with costs against plaintiffs-appellants.

Bengzon, C.J., Bautista Angelo, Concepcion, Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Makalintal, J., did not take part.




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