Case Brief: Tanchoco vs. Aquino

G.R. No. L-30670 September 15, 1987

PASTOR TANCHOCO, MACARIO TANCHOCO, AGRIPINA TANCHOCO, INOCENCIA TANCHOCO, LIBERATA TANCHOCO and TRINIDAD TANCHOCO, petitioners,
vs.
HON. FLORENDO P. AQUINO, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija, Branch I, VICENTA TECSON VDA. DE LAJOM, JOSE T. LAJOM, RAFAEL VIOLA and THE PROVINCIAL SHERIFF OF NUEVA ECIJA, respondents.

 

Facts:

The petitioners purchased a property subject to an existing notice of lis pendens. Respondents allege that the transfer of title should still be rendered null on the grounds of the pending case where the property is the subject matter. Petitioners on the otherhand alleged that they should still be considered as buyers in good faith and that the sale executed by them should be made valid.

 

Issue:

Whether or not respondents Aquino were buyers on good faith even if they bought a property which was a subject of pending litigation.

 

Held:

One who buys land where there is a pending notice of lis pendens cannot invoke the right of a purchaser in good faith; neither can he have acquired better rights than those of his predecessor in interest.

The said portions of land were respectively declared for taxation purposes in the names of the petitioners, and they have been paying the realty taxes due thereon to the government. The possession of the said property was delivered to the petitioners and they have exercised all the rights of ownership over the same. As such registered owners of the respective portions of lot sold to them, the petitioners have acquired real rights over the said property, and they cannot now be deprived of the said property or their rights therein without due notice to them and without affording them the opportunity to be heard in a proper action or suit brought for the purpose. To deprive them of their said property or their rights therein without the required notice and without affording them the opportunity to be heard as what happened in this case, is a clear violation of the Constitutional guaranty that no person shall be deprived of his property without due process of law.

 

 

Case Brief: RP-BFD vs. IAC

G.R. No. 69138 May 19, 1992

REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES (Bureau of Forest Development), petitioner,
vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (First Civil Cases Division) and HILARIO P. RAMA, respondents.

Facts:

Logronio, as OIC of Bohol Reforestation Project of Bureau of Forest Development (BFD) bulldozed portions of land which he believed to be forest lands, occupied the same, and planted trees. Thereafter, Rama filed a complaint for recovery of possession and ownership, alleging that he is the owner and possessor of lands occupied by Logronio, who then claimed that the forest lands were part of his lawful performance of his duties as OIC. Logronio also alleged that the lands were never released by government as alienable and disposable. He filed for the nullification of any titles concerning the land.

 

Issue:

Whether or not Rama’s title over the land is valid

 

Held:

No, it is not valid. Considering that the subject parcel of land is forest land, the patent and original certificate of title covering the subject parcel issued to Rama did not confer any validity to his possession or claim of ownership.  The titles are void ab initio.  The appellate court’s ruling as regards the unregistered parcel of land which is to the effect that Rama is also entitled to necessary expenses with right of retention until reimbursed of the necessary expenses must be reversed. His title over the forest land is null and void for the same reasons.

Case Brief: Dela Rosa vs. Carlos

G.R. No. 147549             October 23, 2003

JESUS DELA ROSA and LUCILA DELA ROSA, petitioners,
vs.
SANTIAGO CARLOS and TEOFILA PACHECO, respondents.

 

Facts:

Dela Rosa filed a complaint for forcible entry, alleging that they are the owners of a house and lot in Bulacan by virtue of a Deed of Absolute Sale executed between Dela Rosa and Carlos. They also asserted that they renovated the house and occupied it from 1996 to present, and that they built a fence to separate the property from the road.

Subsequently however, Carlos built a house of strong materials on a vacant lot of the property through stealth and without their knowledge and consent. On the other hand, respondents averred that they had been occupying the lot in the concept of a co- owner since birth.

 

Issue:

Whether or not Dela Rosa were in possession of property notwithstanding their absence from the same.

 

Held.

Yes, Dela Rosa were in possession of property. In a forcible entry case, the principal issue for resolution is mere physical or material possession (possession de facto) and not juridical possession (possession de jure) nor ownership of the property involved.

In the case at bar, Dela Rosa continued visiting the property even if they resided in Manila, and that constitutes maintenance of possession. Improving the house were also acts of dominion indicating possession

Case Brief: Drilon vs. Gaurana

G.R. No. L-35482 April 30, 1987

MANUEL DRILON, petitioner,

vs.

LUIS GAURANA and Honorable VALERIO ROVIRA, as Judge of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo, Branch IV, respondents.

 

Facts:

A parcel of agricultural land in Iloilo is covered by Free Patent No. 455943 in the name of Manuel Drilon, who was then issued Original Certificate of Title by the Register of Deeds.

In 1970, respondent Gaurana filed a case for annulment of free patent involving the same land, alleging that he purchased the land from Evangeline Gaurana, wife of the respondent. Gaurana filed another case for “Forcible Entry” in the same land, alleging that Drilon “by means of stealth, force, and strategy,” took possession of the south-east portion of the same land.

Drilon’s motion focused on two grounds: lack of jurisdiction, since the cause of action of respondent Luis Gaumna was one for recovery of ownership and possession of real property and not merely one of “forcible entry;” and (b) pendency of another action for the same cause. Both motions were dismissed, as “plaintiff did not split his cause of action and the alleged act of dispossession occurred subsequent to the filing of the complaint, and therefore, the only issue before him was the question of de facto possession.” Drilon was then declared in default by the court, and was ejected from the property.

Drilon then filed a motion, praying that the court had no jurisdiction to try the case of forcible entry), which was denied as well. Hence, the appeal.

 

Issues:

Whether or not the lower court erred in holding that there was no splitting of a single cause of action.

Whether or not the lower court was correct in dismissing the motions due to the pendency of another action between the same parties.

 

Held:

It is true that a party may not institute more than one suit for a single cause of action (Rule 2, Sec. 3, Revised Rules of Court) and if two or more complaints are brought for different parts of a single cause of action, the firing of the first may be pleaded in abatement of the other (Rule 2, Sec. 4. Revised Rules of Court). However, a forcible entry or unlawful detainer action has an entirely different subject from that of an action for reconveyance of title. What is involved in a forcible entry case is merely the issue of material possession or possession de facto; whereas in an action for reconveyance, ownership is the issue. So much so that the pendency of an action for reconveyance of title over the same property does not divest the city or municipal court of its jurisdiction to try the forcible entry or unlawful detainer case, nor preclude or bar execution of judgment in the ejectment case where the only issue involved is material possession or possession de facto.

It must be stated that the purpose of an action of forcible entry and detainer is that, regardless of the actual condition of the title to the property, the party in peaceable quiet possession shall not be turned out by strong hand, violence or terror. In affording this remedy of restitution the object of the statute is to prevent breaches of the peace and criminal disorder which would ensue from the withdrawal of the remedy, and the reasonable hope such withdrawal would create that some advantage must accrue to those persons who, believing themselves entitled to the possession of property, resort to force to gain possession rather than to some appropriate action in the courts to assert their claims. This is the philosophy at the foundation of all these actions of forcible entry and detainer which are designed to compel the party out of possession to respect and resort to the law alone to obtain what he claims is his.

With respect to the second assignment of error, while there may be Identity of parties and subject matter in the forcible entry case and Civil Case No. 8323, for annulment of free patent and/or reconveyance, the rights asserted and the relief prayed for in the said cases are not the same. In the former case, the legal right claimed is possession, while in the latter case, the legal right asserted is ownership. SC cannot assent to the proposition that the motion to dismiss the forcible entry case in view of the pendency of an action for quieting of title and recovery of possession of the same parcel of land since the causes of action in the two cases are distinct from each other.

Case Brief: Distilleria Washington vs. La Tondeña Distillers

G.R. No. 120961. October 2, 1997

DISTILLERIA WASHINGTON, INC. or WASHINGTON DISTILLERY, INC., petitioner

vs

LA TONDEÑA DISTILLERS, INC. and THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, respondents.

 

Facts:

La Tondeña Distillers, Inc. filed before the Regional Trial Court for the recovery, under its claim of ownership, of possession or replevin against Distilleria Washington, Inc. or Washington Distillery, Inc. of 18,157 empty “350 c.c. white flint bottles” bearing the blown-in marks of “La Tondeña Inc.” and “Ginebra San Miguel,” averring that Distilleria Washington was using the bottles for its own “Gin Seven” products without the consent of Distilleria Washington in violation of Republic Act 623.

In the original decision, the court acknowledged that there was a valid transfer of the bottles to Distilleria Washington, except that its possession of the bottles without the written consent of La Tondeña gives rise to a prima facie presumption of illegal use under R.A. 623.

In seeking reconsideration of the decision, petitioner raises the issue that if petitioner became the owner over the bottles seized from it by replevin, then it has the right to their possession and use as attributes of ownership.

The instant case is one for replevin (manual delivery) where the claimant must be able to show convincingly that he is either the owner or clearly entitled to the possession of the object sought to be recovered. Replevin is a possessory action. The gist of which focuses on the right of possession that in turn, is dependent on a legal basis that, not infrequently, looks to the ownership of the object sought to be replevied.

 

Issue:

Since replevin as a possessory action is dependent upon ownership, it is relevant to ask: Whether or not there was a transfer ownership of La Tondeña Distillers’ marked bottles or containers when it sold its products in the market? Were the marked bottles or containers part of the products sold to the public?

 

Held:

 The manufacturer sells the product in marked containers, through dealers, to the public in supermarkets, grocery shops, retail stores and other sales outlets. The buyer takes the item; he is neither required to return the bottle nor required to make a deposit to assure its return to the seller. He could return the bottle and get a refund. A number of bottles at times find their way to commercial users. It cannot be gainsaid that ownership of the containers does pass on the consumer albeit subject to the statutory limitations on the use of the registered containers and to the trademark rights of the registrant.

In plain terms, therefore, La Tondeña not only sold its gin products but also the marked bottles or containers, as well. And when these products were transferred by way of sale, then ownership over the bottles and all its attributes (jus utendi, jus abutendi, just fruendi, jus disponendi) passed to the buyer. It necessarily follows that the transferee has the right to possession of the bottles unless he uses them in violation of the original owner’s registered or incorporeal rights.

Furthermore, Sec. 5 of R.A. 623 states that when the bottles have been “transferred by way of sale,” there should not be any need of institution of any action included in the same act (where there is a need of the written consent of the manufacturer, bottler, or seller). Since the Court has found that the bottles have been transferred by way of sale then, La Tondeña has relinquished all its proprietary rights over the bottles in favor of Distilleria Washington who has obtained them in due course. Now as owner, it can exercise all attributes of ownership over the bottles.

The general rule on ownership, therefore, must apply and petitioner be allowed to enjoy all the rights of an owner in regard the bottles in question, to wit: the jus utendi or the right to receive from the thing what it produces; the jus abutendi or the right to consume the thing by its use; the jus disponendi or the power of the owner to alienate, encumber, transform and even destroy the thing owned; and the jus vindicandi or the right to exclude from the possession of the thing owned any other person to whom the owner has not transmitted such thing. What is proscribed is the use of the bottles in infringement of another’s trademark or incorporeal rights.

Case Brief: Flores vs IAC

G.R. No. 74287 October 27, 1989

SPOUSES AGUSTIN FLORES and PURITA M. FLORES, petitioners,

vs.

THE HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and SALVADOR, MILAGROS and CONRADA, all SURNAMED NICO, respondents.

 

Facts:

Private respondent Nico owns Assessors Lot No. 71, located at Miag-ao, Iloilo. They claim that the area of their lot is 689 square meters as shown by Tax Declarations and the sketch plans duly certified by the Office of the Provincial Assessor; and that they have been in possession of that property since 1936.

On the other hand, petitioner Flores owns the adjoining Assessors Lot No. 72. Their allegation is that this lot has an area of 3,173 square meters pursuant to the Deed of Sale in their favor dated 11 January 1967 and as shown by Tax Declarations. A sketch plan however, also indicates that the area is 3,083 square meters. Both lots are unregistered properties.

Sometime in 1975, petitioners constructed a bamboo fence, and in 1978, a hollow-block fence to separate the two adjoining properties, over the strong protest of Nico who alleged that the construction encroached upon a portion of their property. As they refused to heed the protest, Nico filed an action for “Recovery of Real Property with Damages”.

Lower courts ruled that the disputed area of 199 square meters (Lot A of 55 square meters being claimed by Flores, Lot B of 144 square meters by Nico) belong to Nico and that Flores should demolish the fence.

 

Issue:

Whether or not the ownership of disputed area belongs to Flores or to Nico.

 

Held:

SC deemed it best to divide the disputed area between the parties equally, or 99.5 square meters for each of them. Neither party has proven its entitlement to the entire disputed portion, much less has either party convincingly shown the dividing line between their two properties. All contrary to the basic rule that in an action to recover, the person who claims that he has a better right to the property must prove both ownership and identity.

While Nico may have been in possession of their lot since 1936 in the concept of owners and planted trees thereon, these are insufficient to delineate boundaries. The bamboo fences respectively built by the parties do not conclusively appear either as clear dividing lines. Also, Flores will necessarily have to demolish their concrete fence and move it towards the resulting boundary, but they have only themselves to blame since they proceeded with its construction despite the verbal and written protests of Nico.