December 2009 - Philippine Supreme Court Decisions/Resolutions
G.R. No. 173533 - Vicente N. Luna, Jr. v. Nario Cabales, Oscar Pabalan, et al.
[G.R. NO. 173533 : December 14, 2009]
VICENTE N. LUNA, JR., Petitioner, v. NARIO CABALES, OSCAR PABALAN, JEREMIAS JUARBAL AND REMEDIOS ROSIL, Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
After the death of the Spouses Pablo Martinez and Gregoria Acevedo, owners of a three-hectare parcel of land situated in Tandag, Surigao del Sur, their two heirs-daughters Eustaquia Martinez (Eustaquia) and Martina Martinez (Martina) partitioned the property. To Eustaquia was allotted the southwestern portion, and to Martina the northwestern portion.1
Since 1946, Martina declared her share of the property in her name for taxation purposes.2 After her death, her share was adjudicated to her daughter Petronila de Dios who resided there until her death on May 7, 1959 upon which her daughter-herein respondent Maria Remedios Rosil (Remedios) took over.3
Meanwhile, Eustaquia got married and bore three children, namely Ciriaco, Damaso and Valentina. Ciriaco filed an application for a free patent over his mother's (Eustaquia's) share of the property as well as that of Martina's which was granted, hence, he was issued on May 9, 1968, Original Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 5028 (OCT No. 5028) covering 2.9751 hectares.4
It appears that in 1971, Ciriaco started gathering the coconuts planted on Martina's share of the property, drawing Martina's granddaughter-herein respondent Remedios to file a complaint for recovery of possession against Ciriaco. The complaint was dismissed, however, for failure to state a cause of action.5
Upon Ciriaco's death, his heirs subdivided in 1974 the entire property into eight lots and caused the cancellation of OCT No. 5028 upon which a new TCT No. T-2364 was on May 21, 19756 issued in their names.
Ciriaco's heirs sold to Vicente Luna, Jr. (petitioner) one of the lots, said to contain 480 sq.m., to "be taken from the northern part southward" via Deed of Absolute Sale of May 13, 19757 reading: