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Mallilin vs.

Castillo
GR No. 136803, June 16, 2000
FACTS:
Eustaquio Mallilin Jr. and Ma. Elvira Castillo were alleged to be both married and with children but separated from
their respective spouses and cohabited in 1979 while respective marriages still subsist. They established
Superfreight Customs Brokerage Corporation during their union of which petitioner was the President and Chairman
and respondent as Vice President and Treasurer. They likewise acquired real and personal properties which were
registered solely in respondents name. Due to irreconcilable conflict, the couple separated in 1992. Petitioner then
demanded his share from respondent in the subject properties but the latter refused alleging that said properties had
been registered solely in her name. Furthermore, respondent denied that she and petitioner lived as husband and
wife because they were still legally married at the time of cohabitation.
Petitioner filed complaint for partition of co-ownership shares while respondent filed a motion for summary judgment.
Trial court dismissed the former and granted the latter.
ISSUE: WON petitioner can validly claim his share in the acquired properties registered under the name of the
respondent considering they both have subsisting relationship when they started living together.
HELD:
The Court ruled that trial court erred that parties who are not capacitated to marry each other and were living together
could not have owned properties in common. Under Article 148, if the parties are incapacitated to marry each other,
properties acquired by them through their joint contribution, property or industry, shall be owned by them in common
in proportion to their contributions which, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is presumed to be equal. Hence,
there is co-ownership even though the couples in union are not capacitated to marry each other.
Furthermore, when CA dismissed petitioners complaint for partition on grounds of due process and equity, his right to
prove ownership over the claimed properties was denied. Such dismissal is unjustified since both ends may be
served by simply excluding from the action for partition the properties registered in the name of Steelhouse Realty
and Eloisa Castillo, not parties in the case.
The case was remanded to lower court for further proceedings.

FACTS:
Mallilin and Castillo cohabited together while their respective marriage still subsisted. During their union, they set up
Superfreight Customs Brokerage Corporation. The business flourished and the couple acquired real and personal
properties which were registered solely in Castillo's name. Due to irreconcilable differences, the couple separated.
Mallilin filed a complaint for partition and/or payment of Co-ownership share, accounting and damages against
Castillo. Castillo, in her answer, alleged that co-ownership could not exist between them because according to Article
144 of the Civil Code, rules on co-ownership shall govern the properties acquired by a man and a woman living
together as husband and wife but not married, they are not capacitated to marry each other because of their valid
subsisting marriage. She claimed to be the exclusive owner of all real and personal properties involved in Mallilin's
action of partition on the ground that they were acquired entirely out of her own money and registered solely in her
name.
ISSUE:
Whether or not co-ownership exists between them.
RULING:
Yes. Co-ownership exists between Mallilin and Castillo even though they are incapacitated to marry each other.
Article 144 of the Civil Code does not cover parties living in an adulterous relationship. Their property regime falls
under Article 148 of the Family Code where co-ownership is limited, properties acquired by them through their joint
contribution of money, property or industry shall be owned by them in common in proportion to their contributions
which, in the absence of proof to the contrary, is presumed to be equal.

PROPERTY REGIME OF UNIONS W/O MARRIAGE