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Salas v Jarencio

Municipal Board of Manila adopted a resolution requiring the Pres. to consider the
feasibility of declaring an area to be a patrimonial property of Manila for the
purpose of reselling these lots to the actual occupants. RA 4118 was passed
declaring the area as an alienable/disposable land of the State, to be placed
under the Land Tenure Administration(Land Authority). Gov. Yap of Land Authority
wrote letter to Mayor of Manila for the proposed subdivision plan of w/c
Manila accepted. But due to unknown reasons, Manila decided to go against
their agreement and prayed that RA 4118 be not implemented and that it is
Respondent Judge Jarencio declared that RA 4118 is unconstitutional and invalid,
thus the petition for review.
1.Is RA 4118 valid?
2.Whether the aforementioned land is a private or patrimonial property of the
City of Manila.
1.VALID! Manila has not shown any evidence that it acquired said land as private
or patrimonial property. Further, RA 4118 was intended to implement the social
justice policy of the Constitution and the Land for the Landless program. The
RA was never intended to expropriate the property involved but confirmed its
character as communal land of the State and to make it available for disposition
by the Natl Govt through the Land Authority.
Presumption is always in favor of the constitutionality of the law. To declare a law
as unconstitutional, the repugnancy must be clear and unequivocal. To strike
down a law, there must be a clear showing that what the fundamental law
condemns or prohibits, the statute allows it to be done.
2. The land is public property.
As a general rule, regardless of the source or classification of the land in the
possession of municipality, excepting those which it acquired in its own funds in
its private or corporate capacity, such property is held for the State for the
benefit of its inhabitants, whether it be for governmental or proprietary
purposes. The legal situation is the same if the State itself holds the property and
puts it to a different use.
When it comes to property of municipality which it did not acquire in its private
or corporate capacity with its own funds (the land was originally given to City by
Spain), the legislature can transfer its administration and disposition to an
agency of the National Government to be disposed of according to its discretion.
Here it did so in obedience to the constitutional mandate of promoting social
justice to insure the well-being and economic security of the people.

The property was not acquired by the City of Manila with its own funds in its
private or proprietary capacity. The land was part of the territory of City of Manila
granted by sovereign in its creation. Furthermore, City expressly recognised the
paramount title of the State over its land when it requested the President to
consider the feasibility of declaring the lot as patrimonial property for selling.
There could be no more blatant recognition of the fact that said land belongs to
the State and was simply granted in usufruct to the City of Manila for municipal
purposes. But since the City did not actually use said land for any recognized
public purpose and allowed it to remain idle and unoccupied for a long time until
it was overrun by squatters, no presumption of State grant of ownership in favor
of the City of Manila may be acquiesced in to justify the claim that it is its own
private or patrimonial property.
Tan Queto v. CA [G.R. No. L-35648. February 27, 1987.]
Restituta Tagalinar Guangco de Pombuena received the questioned lot (Lot 304-B
of the Cadastre Survey of the Municipality of Centro, Misamis Occidental) either
as a purported donation or by way of purchase on 11 February 1927 for P50.00
as the alleged consideration thereof. The transaction took place during her
mothers lifetime (her father having predeceased the mother) and consummated
while Restituta was already married to her husband Juan Pombuena. On 22
January 1935, Juan filed an application of Torrens title over the land for himself
and his supposed co-owner Restituta. On 22 November 1938, a decision was
promulgated (GLRC 1638, Cadastral Case 12) pronouncing Juan (married to
Restituto) as the owner of the land. On 22 September 1949 a contract of lease
over the lot was entered into between Pershing Tan Queto and Restituta (with the
consent of her husband) for a period of 10 years.
Meanwhile, On 27 December 1960 Restituta sued Tan Queto for unlawful
detainer (the lease contract having expired) before the Municipal Court of
Ozamis City.
On 22 April 1962, as a consequence of the cadastral case, an OCT was issued in
Juans name. On 10 October 1962, Tan Queto and Juan entered into a barter
agreement whereby Tan Queto became the owner of the disputed lot, and the
spouses in turn became the owners of a parcel of land with the house
constructed thereon previously owned (that is, before the barter) by Tan Queto.
Thereafter, Tan Queto constructed on the disputed land a concrete building,
without any objection on the part of Restituta.
The Municipal court ruled in favor of the spouses in the unlawful detainer case;
but on appeal in the CFI, the entire case was dismissed because of an
understanding (barter) entered into by Juan and Tan Queto.
Restituta sued both Juan and Tan Queto for reconveyance of the title over the
registered but disputed lot, for annulment of the barter, and for recovery of the
land with damages. The CFI and the Court of Appeals found the disputed lot as
paraphernal and that Tan Queto was a builder in bad faith. These findings were
regarded by the Supreme Court as findings of facts and thus ordinarily conclusive
upon the Court. Tan Queto filed for a motion for reconsideration of the Supreme
Court decision dated 16 May 1983.

The Supreme Court set aside its decision promulgated on 16 May 1983, and
rendered a new one declaring the questioned lot together with the building
thereon, as Tan Quetos exclusive property; without costs.
1. Findings of the lower courts ordinary conclusive upon the Court; exception, if
The findings of the Court of First Instance and the Court of Appeals were
regarded by the Supreme Court as findings of facts and thus ordinarily
conclusive upon the Court. Assuming they are factual findings, still if they are
erroneous inferences from certain facts, they cannot bind the Court.
In having constructed the building on the lot, should TAN QUETO be regarded as
a builder in good faith?
Tan Queto nursed the belief that the lot was actually RESTITUTA's (making him in
bad faith), still RESTITUTA's failure to prohibit him from building despite her
knowledge that construction was actually being done, makes her also in bad
faith. The net resultant of mutual bad faith would entitle TAN QUETO to the rights
of a builder in good faith (Art. 448, Civil Code), ergo, reimbursement should be
given him if RESTITUTA decides to appropriate the building for herself (Art. 448,
Civil Code).
However, TAN QUETO having bartered his own lot and small house with the
questioned lot with JUAN (who has been adverted to by a court decision and by
the OCT a conjugal owner) may be said to be the OWNER-POSSESSOR of the lot.
Certainly he is not merely a possessor or builder in good faith(this phrase
presupposes ownership in another); much less is he a builder in bad faith. He is a
builder-possessor jus possidendi because he is the OWNER himself. The Chapter
on Possession (jus possesionis, not jus possidendi) in the Civil Code refers to a
possessor other than the owner. Further, that the difference between a builder
(or possessor) in good faith and one in bad faith is that the former is NOT AWARE
of the defect or flaw in his title or mode of acquisition while the latter is AWARE
of such defect or flaw (Art. 526, Civil Code). But in either case there is a flaw or
defect. In the case of TAN QUETO there is no such flaw or defect because it is he
himself (not somebody else) who is the owner of the property.
Before Ernesto Valentino and Rebecca Lorenzo wed, Rebeccas mother offered a
lot in Paranaque that they could build their house on. In 1967, they finally built
their home which cost about PhP8,000-10,000, thinking that someday, the lot
would be transferred to them in their name. It turns out, though, that the lot was
owned by the Spouses Santos who , in turn, sold the same to Leonila Sarmiento
in 1974. A year later, Sarmiento ordered the Valentinos to vacate their lot, then
eventually filed and Ejection Suit against them.
The lower court ruled in Sarmientos favor and ordered her to pay 20,000 as the

value of the house. But the case was then elevated to the CFI of Pasay (w/ Agana
as Judge), and pursuant to Art.448 of the CC (March 1979), the Court ordered
Sarmiento to exercise the option in 60 days to pay Ernesto 40,000 as the value of
the house or to let them purchase the land for 25,000. Sarmiento was not able to
exercise this option, and the CFI allowed Ernesto to deposit the 25,000 purchase
price with the Court.

Whether or not the land owner is compelled to exercise either option: to buy the
building or to sell the land?

Ernesto and his wife (BPS) were clearly in good faith as they believed that
Rebeccas mother has the capacity to eventually transfer the title of the land to
them. In line with this, Sarmiento (LO) was required to exercise only 2 options: To
purchase the house or to sell the land to them, in this case, based on the value
decided by the courts. Since Sarmiento failed to exercise the option within the
allotted period, and based on Art. 448, the LO is compelled by law to exercise
either option. Not choosing either is a violation of the law.


JULIANA PRUDENTEG.R. No. L-11084 April 29, 1961Nature

The Olaes spouses sued in the CFI of Cavite the Quemel spouses for recovery of
possession of a parcel of land. The Quemel spouses admitted plaintiffs
ownership but contended that their occupation was gratuitous. In 1954, the trial
court ordered the Quemel spouses to return the possession of the land to the
Olaes spouses and to pay the latter Php20.00 a month from January 1954, until
they shall have vacated the premises. The Quemel, to forestall execution of the
judgment, filed a complaint against the Olaes spouses seeking to reduce the
monthly rental and to compel theOlaes spouses to sell to them the portion of the
lot. But the trial court granted the motion to dismiss filed by Olaes spouses, to
which the Quemel spouses appealed from, and as certified by the appellate court
the appeal went to the Supreme Court.
Can the Quemel spouses invoke as their basis of cause of action Article 448
inconnection with Article 546 of the Civil Code?
No. The decision appealed from is affirmed.

A cursory reading of these provisions, however, will show that they are not
applicable to plaintiffs' case. Under Article 448, the 1) right to appropriate
the works or improvements or 2) to oblige the one who built or planted
to pay the price of the land belongs to the owner of the land.
The only right given to the builder in good faith is the right to reimbursement for
the improvements; the builder, cannot compel the owner of the land to sell such
land to the former. This is assuming that the plaintiffs are builders in good faith.
But the plaintiffs are not builders in good faith. From the pleadings and the
documentary evidence submitted, it is indisputable that the land in question
originally belonged to the government as part of the Friar Lands Estate and the
title thereto was in the name of the government, until it was purchased by
Agapita Solis who applied, thru the Bureau of Lands, to purchase the land
by instalments. The corresponding Sale Certificate No. 531,
effective July 1, 1909 was executed. In defendants' complaint before the
CFI, they alleged that they are the owners of lot and that plaintiffs,
have been occupying south eastern half portion thereof, without any
right thereto, except the tolerance of defendants, which were admitted
expressly and under oath, in the answer of plaintiffs herein. It would, therefore,
appear that plaintiffs herein were not unaware of the flaw in their title, if any,
that their true relation with the herein defendants was that of tenant
and landlord , and that their rights are governed by Article 1573 in relation to
article487 of the old Civil Code.*It can clearly be inferred that plaintiffs cannot
compel the defendants to pay for the improvements the former made on the
property or to sell the latter's land. Plaintiffs' only right, is to remove
improvements, if it is possible to do so, without damage to the land.


The case involves two friendly parties who are co-owners of a corner lot at Flores
and Cavan Streets in Cebu City. Plaintiff owns 2/3 of the lot and Defendant owns
1/3 of the same. The total size of the lot is 45 square meters (which is about the
size of a typical Starbux caf)
Later on, the two parties decided to divide the co-owned property into two lots.
30 square meters went to the plaintiffs and 15 square meters went to the
defendants. From the sketch plan, both parties discovered that the house of the
defendants occupied a portion of the plaintiffs adjacent lot, eating 5 sqm of it.
The parties then requested the trial court to adjudicate who should take
possession of the encroached 5 sqm.
The trial court ruled that Art 448 does not apply. The owner of the land on which
anything has been built, sown or planted in good faith, shall have the right to
appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the
indemnity provided for in Articles 546 and 548, or to oblige the one who built or

planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent.
However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is
considerably more than that of the building or trees. In such case, he shall pay
reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to appropriate the
building or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms
of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof.
Since art 448 does not apply, the Plaintiff cannot be obliged to pay for the
portion of defendants house that entered into the 30 sqm lot, AND Defendant
cannot be obliged to pay for the price of the 5 sqm their house occupied. Why?
The RTC believed the rules of co-ownership should govern, and not that of
RTC then assigned the full 30sqm to Plaintiff and ordered Defendants to demolish
the 5sqm part of their house encroaching the 30sqm lot of the Plaintiffs.
Defendants where aghast at having to axe the family home, hence they
CA affirmed the decision. So we have the SC coming to the rescue.
w/n the rules of accession applies (and not coownership) on property that used
to be co-owned, but was subdivided.
The rule of accession applies because co-ownership was terminated upon the
partitioning of the lot. Art 448 therefore governs. The house of Defendant
overlapped that of Plaintiff, but this was built on good faith. Hence, the plaintiffs
have the right to choose one of two options
> Appropriate the 5sqm portion of the house of Defendants after indemnifying
the Defendants; or
> Obliging the Defendants to pay a portion of the land on which their home
rested. ( or they can rent it)