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G.R. No. 174191

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RepublicofthePhilippines
SUPREMECOURT
Manila
SECONDDIVISION
G.R.No.174191January30,2013
NENITAQUALITYFOODSCORPORATION,Petitioner,
vs.
CRISOSTOMOGALABO,ADELAIDAGALABO,andZENAIDAGALABOALMACBAR,Respondents.
DECISION
BRION,J.:
Weresolvethepetitionforreviewoncertiorari1ofpetitionerNenitaQualityFoodsCorporation(NQFC)tonullitythe
February 22, 2006 Decision2 and the July 13, 2006 resolution3 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CAG.R. SP No.
77006.TheCAreversedthedecision4oftheRegionalTrialCourt(RTC)ofDavaoCity,Branch17,whichaffirmedin
totothedecision5oftheMunicipalTrialCourtinCities(MTCC),DavaoCity,Branch5,inCivilCaseNo.10,958E
01. The MTCC dismissed the complaint for forcible entry and damages, which respondents Crisostomo Galabo,
AdelaidaGalabo,andZenaidaGalaboAlmacharfiledagainstNQFC.
TheFactualAntecedents
The dispute in the case relates to the possession of a parcel of land described as Lot No. 102, PSD40060, the
formerArakakiPlantationinMarapangi,Toril,DavaoCitywithanareaofsixthousandseventyfoursquaremeters
(6,074sq.m.).
AstheCAsummarizedintheassaileddecision,therespondentsaretheheirsofDonatoGalabo.In1948,Donato
obtained Lot No. 722, Cad102, a portion of the Arakaki Plantation in Marapangi, Toril, Davao City, owned by
NationalAbacaandOtherFibersCorporation.DonatoandtherespondentsassumedthatLotNo.722includedLot
No.102,pertheoriginalsurveyof1916to1920.
WhentheBoardofLiquidators(BOL)tookovertheadministrationoftheArakakiPlantationinthe1950s,ithadLot
No. 722 resurveyed. Allegedly, the resurvey did not include Lot No. 102 thus, when Donato acquired Transfer
CertificateofTitleNo.T214966forLotNo.722onApril26,1953,LotNo.102wasnotincluded.Therespondents,
however,continuetoposses,occupyandcultivateLotNo.102.
WhenNQFCopeneditsbusinessinMarapangi,Toril,DavaoCityinthelate1950s,itallegedlyofferedtobuyLot
No.102.Donatodeclinedandtowardofffurtheroffers,putup"NotForSale"and"NoTrespassing"signsonthe
property.Inthe1970s,CrisostomofencedofftheentireperimeterofLotNo.102andbuilthishouseonit.
OnAugust19,1994,therespondentsreceivedaletterfromSantosNantindemandingthattheyvacateLotNo.102.
SantosclaimedownershipofthislotpertheDeedofTransferofRights(DeedofTransfer)7 dated July 10, 1972,
whichtherespondentsandtheirmotherallegedlyexecutedinSantosfavor.Therespondentsdeniedthisclaimand
maintained that they had been occupying Lot No. 102, which the BOL itself recognized per its letters8 and the
Certification9 dated April 12, 2000 confirming Donato as the longtime occupant and awardee of the property. To
perfecttheirtitle,therespondentsappliedforfreepatentoverLotNo.102onSeptember6,2000.
OnJanuary3,2001andagainonalaterdate,NQFCsworkers,witharmedpolicemenofToril,DavaoCity,entered
by force Lot No. 102 to fence it. The respondents reported the entry to the authorities. On April 16, 2001,
CrisostomoreceivedaletterfromNQFCscounseldemandingthatheremovehishousefromLotNo.102.NQFC
subsequently removed the existing fence and cut down various trees that the respondents had planted on the
property.
NQFC,foritspart,claimedthatSantosimmediatelyoccupiedandpossessedLotNo.102afterhepurchaseditfrom
therespondentsin1972anddeclareditunderhisnamefortaxationpurposes.SantoswasalsograntedFreePatent
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overthepropertybytheBureauofLands,andobtainedOriginalCertificateofTitleNo.(OCT)P403510onJune18,
1974.OnDecember29,2000,theheirsofSantosconveyedLotNo.102toNQFCviatheDeedofAbsoluteSale11
of even date. NQFC then filed a petition for cancellation of the respondents patent application over Lot No. 102,
whichtheBOLManilagrantedonApril19,2001,onthegroundthatDonatofailedtoperfecthistitleoverLotNo.
102whichhaslongbeentitledinSantosname.
Whenconciliationfailed,therespondentsfiledonSeptember17,2001acomplaint12forforcibleentrywithdamages
beforetheMTCCagainstNQFC,allegingthat:(1)theyhadbeeninpriorphysicalpossessionofLotNo.102and(2)
NQFCdeprivedthemofpossessionthroughforce,intimidation,strategy,threatsandstealth.
TheRulingoftheMTCC
Relying on the ruling of the BOLManila, the MTCC dismissed the respondents complaint,13 explaining that the
questions raised before it required technical determination by the administrative agency with the expertise to
determinesuchmatters,whichtheBOLManiladidinthiscase.14
TheMTCCheldthatthepiecesofevidenceNQFCpresentedtheDeedofTransfertherespondentsexecutedin
Santosfavor,SantosOCTP4035overLotNo.102,theDeedofAbsoluteSaleinNQFCsfavor,andthefindings
of the BOLManila established NQFCs rightful possession over the property. It further held that: (1) the
respondentsrelinquishedtheirrightsoverLotNo.102whentheyexecutedtheDeedofTransferinSantosfavor(2)
thecertificateoftitleoverLotNo.102inSantosnameshowsthathewasinactualphysicalpossessionsinceactual
occupation is required before an application for free patent can be approved and (3) NQFC validly acquired
ownershipoverLotNo.102whenitpurchaseditfromSantos,entitlingittotheright,amongothers,topossessthe
propertyasancillarytosuchownership.
TheRulingoftheRTC
TherespondentsappealedtheMTCCdecisiontotheRTCbutthelattercourtdeniedtheappeal.15AstheMTCC
did, the RTC relied on the findings of the BOLManila. It held that: (1) the respondents failed to perfect whatever
righttheymighthavehadoverLotNo.102and(2)theyareestoppedfromassertinganyrightoverLotNo.102
sincetheyhavelongtransferredthepropertyandtheirrightthereto,toSantosin1972.
InresolvingtheissueofpossessionofLotNo.102,theRTCalsoresolvedthequestionofownership,asjustified
undertheRules,explainingthattheNQFCspossessionofLotNo.102wasanchoredonaDeedofAbsoluteSale,
whilethatoftherespondentswasbasedmerelyontheallegationofpossessionandoccupationbyDonato,andnot
onanytitle.16
Thus, the question of concurrent possession of Lot No. 102 between NQFC and the respondents should tilt in
NQFCsfavor.
When the RTC denied the respondents motion for reconsideration in an order17 dated March 5, 2003, the
respondentselevatedtheircasetotheCAviaapetitionforreview.18
TheRulingoftheCA
TherespondentsclaimedbeforetheCAthattheRTCerredwhenitheldthatNQFChadpriorpossessionofLotNo.
102,basedsolelyonitsDeedofAbsoluteSale.Theyargued,amongothers,that:(1)Santosshouldhavetakenthe
necessary steps to oust the respondents had he been in possession of Lot No. 102 beginning 1972 (2) Santos
couldnothavevalidlyobtainedtitleoverLotNo.102sinceitwasstillinthenameoftheRepublicofthePhilippines
(Republic)asof198019and(3)NQFCnolongerhadtoforciblyevicttherespondentsinJanuary2001ifithadbeen
inpossessionofLotNo.102afteritboughtthislandfromSantosin2000.
TheCAfoundreversibleerrorintheRTCsdecisionthus,itgrantedtherespondentspetitionandorderedNQFCto
vacateLotNo.102.TheCAexplainedthataplaintiff,inaforcibleentrycase,onlyhastoprovepriormaterialand
physicalpossessionofthepropertyinlitigationandunduedeprivationofitbymeansofforce,intimidation,threat,
strategyorstealth.These,therespondentsaverredinthecomplaintandsufficientlyproved,thusentitlingthemto
recoverpossessionofLotNo.102.Relyingonthedoctrineofpresumptionofregularityintheperformanceofofficial
duty, the CA especially took note of the letters and the Certification which the BOL sent to the respondents
acknowledging Donato as the awardee of Lot No. 102 and the respondents as the actual occupants and
possessors.
In brushing aside the RTCs findings, the CA ruled that: (1) Donatos failure to perfect his title over Lot No. 102
shouldnotweighagainsttherespondentsastheissueinaforcibleentrycaseisoneofpossessiondefactoandnot
of possession de jure and (2) NQFCs ownership of Lot No. 102 is beside the point as ownership is beyond the
purviewofanejectmentcase.Thetitleorrightofpossession,itstressed,isneveranissueinaforcibleentrysuit.
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The CA, however, denied the respondents prayer for moral damages and attorneys fees, and rejected the other
issuesraisedforbeingirrelevant.
InitsJuly13,2006resolution,20theCAdeniedNQFCsmotionforreconsideration,promptingtheNQFCspresent
recourse.
ThePetition
NQFCarguesthattheCAerredinholdingthattherespondentshadpriorphysicalpossessionofLotNo.102.21It
claimsthat,first,inreversingtheRTCfindings,theCAreliedsolelyonthelettersandtheCertificationoftheBOL,22
whichhasbeencontrovertedbythefollowingpiecesofevidence,amongothers:(1)theDeedofTransferthatthe
respondentsexecutedinfavorofSantos(2)theorderoftheBureauofLandsapprovingSantospatentapplication
(3)SantosOCTP4035and(4)theDeedofAbsoluteSalethatSantosexecutedinfavorofNQFC.
NQFCmaintainsthattheBureauofLandswouldnothavegrantedSantosfreepatentapplicationhadhenotbeen
inpossessionofLotNo.102becausecontinuedoccupationandcultivation,eitherbyhimselforbyhispredecessor
ininterest, of the property is a requirement for such grant under the Public Land Act. By the very definition of
"occupy," Santos is therefore deemed to have possessed Lot No. 102 prior to 1974, the year his free patent
applicationwasgranted,23andundertheprincipleoftackingofpossession,heisdeemedtohavehadpossession
of Lot No. 102 not only from 1972, when the respondents transferred it to him, but also from the time Donato
acquiredthelotin1948.Thus,Santoshadnoreasontoousttherespondentssincehehadbeeninpossessionof
LotNo.102beginning1972,byvirtueofthetransfer.24
Second,therespondentshadnodocumentstoprovethattheywereinactualoccupationandcultivationofLotNo.
102 the reason they did not heed the BOLs request to perfect their title over it. Finally, citing jurisprudence,25
NQFCarguesthattheRTCrightlyruledontheissueofitsownershipoverLotNo.102indecidingtheissueofprior
physicalpossessionastheRulesallowthis,bywayofexception.26
TheCaseforRespondents
The respondents arguments closely adhere to the CAs ruling. They argue that NQFC, rather than meeting the
issues,focusedonitsallegedownershipofLotNo.102andthepossessionflowingoutofitsownership.Theydeny
ever meeting Santos and they maintain that their continued possession and occupation of Lot No. 102 belie this
supposedsale.Evengrantingthatthissaleoccurred,SantoscouldstillnothaveacquiredanyrightoverLotNo.102
forasof1980,itwasstillinthenameoftheRepublic.27Thus,theycouldnothavetransferredownershipofLotNo.
102toSantos,andhecannotclaimownershipofLotNo.102byreasonofthissale.28
Ontheotherhand,therespondentsopen,continuous,exclusive,notoriousandadversepossessionofLotNo.102
for three decades, coupled by a claim of ownership, gave them vested right or interest over the property.29 This
vestedrightisequivalenttoanactuallyissuedcertificateoftitlesothattheexecutionanddeliveryofthetitleisa
mereformality.Tosaytheleast,NQFCdidnothavetosendthemaformaldemandtovacate30andviolentlyoust
themfromthepremiseshaditbeeninactualpossessionofthepropertyasclaimed.31
Lastly, the respondents invoked the settled rule that the Courts jurisdiction in a Rule 45 petition is limited only to
reviewing errors of law. NQFC failed to show misapprehension of facts in the CAs findings to justify a departure
fromthisrule.32
TheCourtsRuling
Wefirstaddresstheproceduralissueraised.Resolvingthecontentionsraisednecessarilyrequiresustodelveinto
factualissues,acoursenotproperinapetitionforreviewoncertiorari,foraRule45petitionresolvesonlyquestions
oflaw,notquestionsoffact.33ThisruleisreadwiththeequallysettleddictumthatfactualfindingsoftheCAare
generally conclusive on the parties and are therefore not reviewable by this Court.34 By way of exception, we
resolvefactualissueswhen,ashere,conflictattendedthefindingsoftheMTCCandoftheRTC,ononehand,and
oftheCA,ontheother.Ofminornote,butwhichwedeemimportanttopoint,thepetitionneedlesslyimpleadedthe
CA,inbreachofSection4,Rule45oftheRulesofCourt.35
Substantively, the key issue this case presents is prior physical possession whether NQFC had been in prior
physicalpossessionofLotNo.102.
Weruleinthenegative.
First,ontherelianceontheBOLlettersandCertificationandtheCAsallegeddisregardofNQFCsevidence.To
prove prior physical possession of Lot No. 102, NQFC presented the Deed of Transfer, Santos OCT P4035, the
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Deed of Absolute Sale, and the Order of the Bureau of Lands approving Santos free patent application. In
presenting these pieces of evidence, NQFC is apparently mistaken as it may have equated possession that is at
issueasanattributeofownershiptoactualpossession.Thelattertypeofpossessionis,however,differentfromand
has different legal implications than the former. While these documents may bear weight and are material in
contestsoverownershipofLotNo.102,theydonotperseshowNQFCsactualpossessionofthisproperty.
We agree that ownership carries the right of possession, but the possession contemplated by the concept of
ownershipisnotexactlythesameasthepossessioninissueinaforcibleentrycase.Possessioninforcibleentry
suits refers only to possession de facto, or actual or material possession, and not possession flowing out of
ownership these are different legal concepts36 for which the law provides different remedies for recovery of
possession.37AsweexplainedinPajuyov.CourtofAppeals,38andagaininthemorerecentcasesofGonzagav.
CourtofAppeals,39DeGranov.Lacaba,40andLagazov.Soriano,41theword"possession"inforcibleentrysuits
refers to nothing more than prior physical possession or possession de facto, not possession de jure42 or legal
possessioninthesensecontemplatedincivillaw.43Titleisnottheissue,44andtheabsenceofit"isnotaground
forthecourtstowithholdrelieffromthepartiesinanejectmentcase."45
Thus,inaforcibleentrycase,"apartywhocanprovepriorpossessioncanrecoversuchpossessionevenagainst
theownerhimself.Whatevermaybethecharacterofhispossession,ifhehasinhisfavorpriorpossessionintime,
hehasthesecuritythatentitleshimtoremainonthepropertyuntilapersonwithabetterrightlawfullyejectshim."46
He cannot be ejected by force, violence or terror not even by its owners.47 For these reasons, an action for
forcibleentryissummaryinnatureaimedonlyatprovidinganexpeditiousmeansofprotectingactualpossession.48
Ejectmentsuitsareintendedto"preventbreachofxxxpeaceandcriminaldisorderandtocompelthepartyoutof
possessiontorespectandresorttothelawalonetoobtainwhatheclaimsishis."49Thus,lestthepurposeofthese
summaryproceedingsbedefeated,anydiscussionorissueofownershipisavoidedunlessitisnecessarytoresolve
theissueofdefactopossession.
We agree with the respondents that instead of squarely addressing the issue of possession and presenting
evidenceshowingthatNQFCorSantoshadbeeninactualpossessionofLotNo.102,theformermerelynarrated
howitacquiredownershipofLotNo.102andpresenteddocumentstothiseffect.ItsallegationthatSantosoccupied
Lot No. 102 in 1972 is uncorroborated. Even the tax declarations under Santos name are hardly of weight "tax
declarations and realty tax payments are not conclusive proof of possession. They are merely good indicia of
possessionintheconceptofowner"50butnotnecessarilyoftheactualpossessionrequiredinforcibleentrycases.
Section1,Rule70oftheRulesofCourtprovideswhenanactionforforcibleentry,andunlawfuldetainer,isproper:
SECTION1.Whomayinstituteproceedings,andwhen.Subjecttotheprovisionsofthenextsucceedingsection,
apersondeprivedofthepossessionofanylandorbuildingbyforce,intimidation,threat,strategy,orstealth,ora
lessor,vendor,vendee,orotherpersonagainstwhomthepossessionofanylandorbuildingisunlawfullywithheld
aftertheexpirationorterminationoftherighttoholdpossession,byvirtueofanycontract,expressorimplied,orthe
legalrepresentativesorassignsofanysuchlessor,vendor,vendee,orotherpersonmayatanytimewithinone(1)
yearaftersuchunlawfuldeprivationorwithholdingofpossession,bringanactionintheproperMunicipalTrialCourt
againstthepersonorpersonsunlawfullywithholdingordeprivingofpossession,oranypersonorpersonsclaiming
under them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages and costs. [emphasis ours italics
supplied]
Under this provision, for a forcible entry suit to prosper, the plaintiff must allege and prove: (1) prior physical
possessionofthepropertyand(2)unlawfuldeprivationofitbythedefendantthroughforce,intimidation,strategy,
threatorstealth.51Asinanycivilcase,theburdenofprooflieswiththecomplainants(therespondentsinthiscase)
who must establish their case by preponderance of evidence. In the present case, the respondents sufficiently
allegedandprovedtherequiredelements.
Tosupportitsposition,NQFCinvokestheprincipleoftackingofpossession,thatis,whenitboughtLotNo.102from
SantosonDecember29,2000,itspossessionis,byoperationoflaw,tackedtothatofSantosandevenearlier,orat
thetimeDonatoacquiredLotNo.102in1948.
NQFCsrelianceonthisprincipleismisplaced.True,thelaw52allowsapresentpossessortotackhispossessionto
that of his predecessorininterest to be deemed in possession of the property for the period required by law.
Possession in this regard, however, pertains to possession de jure and the tacking is made for the purpose of
completing the time required for acquiring or losing ownership through prescription. We reiterate possession in
forcibleentrysuitsreferstonothingmorethanphysicalpossession,notlegalpossession.
TheCAbrushedasideNQFCsargumentontherespondentsfailuretoperfecttheirtitleoverLotNo.102.Itheld
thattheissueinthiscaseisnotofpossessiondejure,letaloneownershiportitle,butofpossessiondefacto. We
agreewiththeCAthediscussionsaboveareclearonthispoint.
1wphi1

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Weagree,too,aswehaveindicatedinpassingabove,thattheissueofownershipcanbematerialandrelevantin
resolvingtheissueofpossession.TheRulesinfactexpresslyallowthis:Section16,Rule70oftheRulesofCourt53
provides that the issue of ownership shall be resolved in deciding the issue of possession if the question of
possessionisintertwinedwiththeissueofownership.Butthisprovisionisonlyanexceptionandisallowedonlyin
this limited instance to determine the issue of possession and only if the question of possession cannot be
resolved without deciding the issue of ownership.54 Save for this instance, evidence of ownership is not at all
material,asinthepresentcase.55
As a final reiterative note, this Decision deals only with de facto possession and is without prejudice to an
appropriateactionforrecoveryofpossessionbasedonownership.
WHEREFORE,inlightoftheseconsiderations,weherebyDENYthepetitionthedecisiondatedFebruary22,2006
andtheresolutiondatedJuly13,2006oftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.SPNo.77006areherebyAFFIRMED.
SOORDERED.
ARTUROD.BRION
AssociateJustice
WECONCUR:
ANTONIOT.CARPIO
AssociateJustice
Chairperson
MARIANOC.DELCASTILLO
AssociateJustice

JOSEPORTUGALPEREZ
AssociateJustice

ESTELAM.PERLASBERNABE
AssociateJustice
ATTESTATION
IattestthattheconclusionsintheaboveDecisionhadbeenreachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassigned
tothewriteroftheopinionoftheCourt'sDivision.
ANTONIOT.CARPIO
AssociateJustice
Chairperson,SecondDivision
CERTIFICATION
PursuanttoSection13,ArticleVIIIoftheConstitution,andtheDivisionChairperson'sAttestation,Icertifythatthe
conclusionsintheaboveDecisionhadbeenreachedinconsultationbeforethecasewasassignedtothewriterof
theopinionoftheCourt'sDivision.
MARIALOURDESP.A.SERENO
ChiefJustice

Footnotes
1 Dated September 7. 2006 and filed on September 11, 2006 under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil

Procedure,rollo.pp.1732.
2PennedbyAssociateJusticeRodrigoF.Lim.Jr.,andconcurredinbyAssociateJusticesTeresitaDyLiacco

Flores.RomuloV.Borja,RamonR.Garcia,andRicardoR.Rosarioid.at276292.
3Id.at3942.
4DatedNovember29,2002.ThecasewasdocketedasCivilCaseNo.29,1392002id.at143151.Penned

byJudgeRenatoA.Fuentes.
5DatedFebruary20,2002id.at112122.PennedbyPresidingJudgeDaydewsD.Villamor.

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6Id.at167.
7Id.at6869.
8Id.at6566.
9Id.at67.
10Id.at7173.
11Id.at7476.
12Id.at4352.
13Supranote5.
14Id.at118119.
15Supranote4.
16Id.at147148.
17Id.at159.
18UnderRule42ofthe1997RulesofCivilProcedureid.at123140.
19Id.at77.SeealsotheMTCCsfindingsid.at118119.
20Supranote3.
21Rollo,p.23.
22Id.at2830.
23Id.at2728cf.page335.
24Id.at334.
25 Quoted portions of the Supreme Court ruling in Refugia v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 118284, July 5,

1996,258SCRA347id.at3031.
26Supracf.pp.343345.
27Supranote19.
28Id.at317319.
29Id.at319.
30CopyoftheNoticetoVacateid.at188.
31Id.at319320.
32Id.at320321.
33 See Dr. Seria v. Caballero, 480 Phil. 277, 284 (2004) Go Ke Chong, Jr. v. Chan, G.R. No. 153791,

August 24, 2007, 531 SCRA 72, 8081, citing Barcenas v. Tomas, G.R. No. 150321, March 31, 2005, 454
SCRA593,606andLagazov.Soriano,G.R.No.170864,February16,2010,612SCRA616,620.
34Dr.Seriav.Caballero,supra,at284.
35SEC.4.Contentsofpetition.Thepetitionshallbefiledineighteen(18)copies,withtheoriginalcopy

intended for the court being indicated as such by the petitioner, and shall (a) state the full name of the
appealingpartyasthepetitionerandtheadversepartyasrespondent,withoutimpleadingthelowercourtsor
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judgesthereofeitheraspetitionersorrespondents.[italicssuppliedemphasisours]cf.DelaCruzv.CAand
Te,539Phil.158,169(2006).
36Gonzagav.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.130841,February26,2008,546SCRA532,542.
37Ibid.
38G.R.No.146364,June3,2004,430SCRA492,509510.
39Supranote36,at540.
40G.R.No.158877,June16,2009,589SCRA148,158159,citingGonzagav.CourtofAppeals,supra.
41Supranote33,at621,citingDeGranov.Lacaba,supra.
42SeealsoBarrientosv.Rapal,G.R.No.169594,July20,2011,654SCRA165,170171,citingCarbonillav.

Abiera,G.R.No.177637,July26,2010,625SCRA461,469.
43SeeDeGranov.Lacaba,supranote40,at159,citingSps.Tironav.Hon.Alejo,419Phil.285,298(2001)

cf.Lagazov.Soriano,supranote33,at621.
44HeirsofPedroLaurorav.SterlingTechnoparkIII,G.R.No.146815,April9,2003,401SCRA181,184and

Gonzagav.CourtofAppeals,supranote36,at541,citingHeirsofPedroLaurorav.SterlingTechnoparkIII,
at184.
45Muozv.Yabut,Jr.,G.R.Nos.142676and146718,June6,2011,650SCRA344,376,citingPajuyov.

CourtofAppeals,supranote38.
46 Pajuyo v. Court of Appeals, supra note 38, at 510511, citing Rubio v. The Hon. Municipal Trial Court in

Cities,322Phil.179(1996)andAntazov.Doblada,G.R.No.178908,February4,2010,611SCRA586,593,
citingPajuyov.CourtofAppeals,supranote38.
47HeirsofPedroLaurorav.SterlingTechnoparkIII,supranote44,at185,citingMuozv.CourtofAppeals,

G.R.No.102693,September23,1992,214SCRA216Jovenv.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.80739,August
20,1992,212SCRA700GermanManagementandServices,Inc.v.CourtofAppeals,G.R.Nos.76216and
76217, September 14, 1989, 177 SCRA 495 and Supia and Batioco v. Quintero and Ayala, 59 Phil. 312
(1933).
48 See Pajuyo v. Court of Appeals, supra note 38, at 511512 David v. Cordova, 502 Phil 626, 645646

(2005),citingPajuyov.CourtofAppeals,at511512andPagadorav.Ilao,G.R.No.165769,December12,
2011,662SCRA14,2930.
49Pajuyov.CourtofAppeals,supra,at512.
50DeGranov.Lacaba,supranote40,citingEstrellav.Robles,Jr.,G.R.No.171029,November22,2007,

538SCRA60,74andGanilav.CourtofAppeals,G.R.No.150755,June28,2005,461SCRA435.
51 See Gonzaga v. Court of Appeals, supra note 36, at 540, citing Bejar v. Caluag, G.R. No. 171277,

February15,2007,516SCRA84,91.
52Article1138oftheCivilCodeprovides:

Art.1138.Inthecomputationoftimenecessaryforprescription,thefollowingrulesshallbeobserved:
(1) The present possessor may complete the period necessary for prescription by tacking his
possessiontothatofhisgrantororpredecessorininterest.
53SEC.16.Resolvingdefenseofownership.Whenthedefendantraisesthedefenseofownershipinhis

pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the
issueofownershipshallberesolvedonlytodeterminetheissueofpossession.(emphasisours)
54Pajuyov.CourtofAppeals,supranote38,at510.
55SeeDeGranov.Lacuba,supranote40,at159,citingHabagatGrillv.DMCUrbanPropertyDeveloper,

Inc.,G.R.No.155110,March31,2005,454SCRA653,670andPajuyov.CA,supranote38.
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