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MARY ANN VILLA-ABRILLE, for herself and in behalf of


G.R. No. 160708, October 16, 2009

In 1982, during the marriage of respondent Mary Ann Pasaol Villa Abrille and Pedro, Villa Abrille, they acquired a
parcel of land in Davao City (Lot 7)registered in their names. This lot is adjacent to another land (Lot 8), Pedro’s
separate property. When Pedro had a mistress in 1991 and neglected his family, Mary Ann sold/mortgaged their
movables to support the family and the studies of her children. Pedro, by himself, offered to sell the house and the
two lots to petitioners Ravina. Mary Ann objected and notified the petitioners of such objection, but in June 1991,
Pedro still sold the house and lots without her consent. Later, Pedro, with armed members of the CAFGU and in
connivance with the petitioners, surreptitiously transferred all their (Mary Ann+children) belongings from the house
to an apartment. Mary Ann and her children were also stopped from entering the house.

Mary Ann and her children (respondents) filed a complaint for Annulment of Sale, Specific Performance,
Damages and Attorney’s Fees with Preliminary Mandatory Injunction
against Pedro and the Ravinas. During trial Pedro claimed that the house was built with his own money. Petitioners
assert that Lot 7 was Pedro’s exclusive property, acquired by him through barter or exchange. They also claim that
Wilfredo Ravina examined the titles when they bought the property from Pedro.
TC ruled that the sale of the house and the lots 7 & 8 were valid as to the half of the share of Pedro and void as
to the other half of the share of Mary Ann.
CA modified, ruling that the sale of lot 8 is valid, while the sale of lot 7 is void. CA also ordered Pedro to return the
value of the consideration for lot 7 and the house to Sps Ravina. Respondents were also given the option to
exercise their rights under Art. 450 NCC with respect to the improvements introduced by Sps Ravina.

(1) Whether the Lot 7 is an exclusive property of Pedro or conjugal property
(2) Whether the sale of Lot 7 was valid considering the absence of Mary Ann’s consent
(3) Whether the petitioners are buyers in good faith, hence, entitled toreimbursement of their payment

1. Conjugal Lot 7 was acquired in 1982 during Pedro and Mary Ann’s marriage.
No evidence was adduced to show that the property was acquired through exchange or barter. The presumption of
the conjugal nature of the property subsists in the absence of clear, satisfactory and convincing evidence to
overcome said presumption or to prove that the subject property is exclusively owned by Pedro. Likewise, the
house built on Lot 7 is conjugal property, having been constructed through the joint efforts of the spouses, who had
obtained a loan from DBP to construct the house.

2.)Sale was VOID.

Under Art. 124 of the FC, disposition of a conjugal property is void if done a)without the consent of both the
husband and wife, or b) in case of one spouse’s inability, the authority of the court. Here, Mary Ann timely filed the
action for annulment of sale within five (5) years from the date of sale and execution of the deed. However, her
action to annul the sale pertains only to the conjugal house and lot and does not include the lot covered by Lot 8, a
property exclusively belonging to Pedro and which he can dispose of freely without Mary Ann’s consent.

3.) Buyers in bad faith; no reimbursement

A purchaser in good faith is one who buys the property of another without notice that some other person has a right
to, or interest in, such property and pays a full and fair price for the same at the time of such purchase, or before he
has notice of the claim or interest of some other person in the property. To establish his status as a buyer for value
in good faith, a person dealing with land registered in the name of and occupied by the seller need only show that
he relied on the face of the seller’s certificate of title.
For a person dealing with land registered in the name of and occupied by the seller whose capacity is restricted,
such as Arts. 166/173/124 of the FC, to establish status as a buyer in GF, he must show that he inquired into the
latter’s capacity to sell in order to establish himself as a buyer for value in good faith. Here, the property is
registered in Pedro and Mary Ann’s names.
Also, petitioners were apprised by Mary Ann’s lawyer of her objection to the sale and yet they still proceeded to
purchase the property without Mary Ann’swritten consent. Moreover, the respondents were the ones in actual,
visible and public possession of the property at the time the transaction was being made. Thus, at the time of sale,
petitioners knew that Mary Ann has a right to or interest in the subject properties and yet they failed to obtain her
conformity to the deed of sale. Hence, petitioners cannot now invoke the protection accorded to purchasers in good