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CORNELIA MATABUENA, plaintiff-appellant


PETRONILA CERVANTES, defendant-appellee

GR No. L-28771, March 31, 1971


In 1956, Felix Matabuena, the apellant’s brother executed a Deed of Donation in favor of
Petronila Cervantes during the time they were living as husband and wife in a common law relationship.
They got married on March 8, 1962. On September 13, 1962, Felix died intestate. The appellant,
Cornelia Matabuena, by reason of being the only sister and nearest collateral relative of the deceased,
filed a claim over the property, by virtue of an affidavit of self-adjudication executed by her in 1962. She
had the land declared in her name and paid the estate and inheritance taxes thereon. On November
23, 1965, the lower court declared that the donation was valid inasmuch as it was made at the time
when Felix and Petronila were not yet spouses. Hence, the appeal.


Whether or not the ban on donation between spouses during a marriage applies to a common-
law relationship.


While Article 133 of the Civil Code considers as void a donation between the spouses during
marriage, policy consideration of the most exigent character as well as the dictates of morality requires
that the same prohibition should apply to a common-law relationship. The law prohibits donations in
favor of the other consort and his descendants because of fear of undue and improper pressure and
influence upon the donor, a prejudice deeply rooted in ancient law. Whatever omission may be apparent
in an interpretation purely literal of the language used must be remedied by an adherence to its avowed
objective. It is a principle in statutory construction that what is within the spirit of the law is as much a
part of it as what is written. Otherwise the basic purpose discernible in such codal provision would not
be attained.

The Supreme Court: (1) reversed the November 23, 1965 decision of the lower court; (2)
declared the questioned donation void and recognized the rights of the plaintiff and defendant as pro
indiviso heirs to the property; and (3) remanded the case to the lower court for its appropriate disposition
in accordance with the current decision; without pronouncement as to costs.



assisted by her husband Julio Saclangen, MARY ATIWAG assisted by her husband Arthur Atiwag,
JAIME T. FRONDA, BARBARA TALLONGEN, JULIA PIYES, assisted by her husband Edward Piyes,

G.R. No. 106060. June 21, 1999


When Agata Tait died in 1936, her husband George Tait Sr., lived in common-law relationship
with Maria Tait to whom he donated land to in 1974. George died in 1977 and Maria died in 1988. The
following year, Emilie Sumbad and Beatrice Tait sought an action for quieting of title, nullification of the
deed of sale and recovery of possession of damages by virtue of being compulsory heirs of George’s
first marriage to Agata. They alleged that Maria sold the lots included in the property to Ooren, et. al.,
despite warning the respondents that Maria was not the real owner of the property. Okoren et. al.,
private respondents in the case, bought the property anyway on the strength of a Tax Declaration and
claim that since the issuance of said Tax Declaration was made thirty years after the death of Agata.
Maria, George’s second wife, did not need the consent of George or his heirs for the sale. They also
claim that the action is barred by laches.

The Regional Trial Court rendered judgment in favor of the respondents. The Court of Appeals
with modifications, setting aside the attorney’s fees. From this, petitioners, Sumbad, et. al., appealed
claiming that the deed of donation issued in 1974 to Maria was void for the following reasons in the


1. Whether or not the deed of donation is invalid under Art. 749 of the Civil Code which requires a
public instrument as a requisite for the validity of donations of immovable property.
2. Whether or not the deed of donation contravenes Article 133 of the Civil Code.


1. No. Petitioners contend that the person who notarized the deed had no authority to do so.
However, the acknowledgement clause states that the person who notarized it was the deputy
clerk of court who acted “for and in the absence of the clerk of court who is authorized under
Sec. 21 of the Revised Administrative Code of 1917, as amended by C.A. Nos. 270 and 641, to
administer oaths. In accordance with the presumption that official duty has been regularly
performed, it is to be presumed that the deputy clerk of court who notarized the deed of donation
in this case was duly authorized by the clerk of court.
2. No. Article 133 provides that “every donation between spouses during the marriage shall be
void. This prohibition does not apply when the donation takes effect after the death of the donor.
Neither does this prohibition apply to moderate gifts which the spouses may give each other on
the occasion of any family rejoicing.” This prohibition extends to common-law relations
(Matabuena v. Cervantes). In fact, Art. 87, FC provides that “every donation or grant of gratuitous
advantage, direct or indirect, between the spouses during the marriage shall be void, except
moderate gifts which the spouses may give each other on the occasion of any family rejoicing.
The prohibition shall also apply to persons living together as husband and wife without a valid
marriage.” However, this point is being raised for the first time in the SC. Litigants cannot raise
an issue for the first time on appeal as this would contravene the basic rules of fair play and
Even assuming that they are not thus precluded, petitioners were unable to present evidence in
support of such a claim. The evidence on record does not show whether George was married to
Maria and, if so, when the marriage took place. If Maria was not married to George, evidence
should have been presented to show that at the time the deed of donation was executed, George
and Maria were still maintaining common-law relations. Beatrice Tait’s (one of the witnesses
presented) testimony is only to the effect that in 1941, Maria became their stepmother. There is
no evidence on record that George and Maria continuously maintained common-law relations
until the date when the donation was made.

Petitioners have not sufficiently shown the nullity of private respondents’ title to the lots
purchased by them. Decision of CA affirmed.
ROSARIO OÑAS, oppositor-appellant


CONSOLACION JAVILLO, ET. AL., petitioners-appellees

GR No. L-39670


Crispulo Javillo married Ramona Levis and they had five (5) children. After Ramona’s death, he
married Rosario Oñas, the appellant and they had four (4) children. During his first marriage, eleven
(11) parcels of land were acquired while in his second marriage twenty (20) parcels of land were

Partition was made on the claim that the properties of the second marriage were products of the
first marriage. Rosario Oñas was opposing the partition that was made by the administrator of the estate
of her husband. She alleges the following errors: (1) All the properties acquired during the second
marriage were acquired with the properties of the first marriage, and (2) The court erred in approving
the partition dated September 9, 1931, notwithstanding that the same did not include all properties of
the deceased.


1. Whether or not the community partnership shall continue to exist between the surviving spouse
and the heirs of the deceased husband or wife.
2. Whether the properties of the second marriage can be claimed as products of the properties of
the first marriage.
3. Whether the partition that was approved by the lower court is valid.


1. No. When the marriage is dissolved, the cause that brought about the community ceases, for
the principles of an ordinary partnership are not applicable to this community, which is governed
by special rules. Provisions of law governing the subject should cease to have any effect for
community of property is admissible and proper in so far as it conforms to unity of life, to the
mutual affection between husband and wife, and serves as a recompense for the care of
preserving and increasing the property; all of which terminates by the death of one of the
partners. Community terminates when the marriage is dissolved or annulled or when during the
marriage and agreement is entered into to divide the conjugal property. The conjugal partnership
exists as long as the spouses are united.
2. No. Whatever is acquired by the surviving spouse on the dissolution of the partnership by death
or presumption of death whether the acquisition be made by his or her lucrative title, it forms a
part of his or her own capital, in which the other consort, or his or her heirs can claim no share.
3. No. It was based on the erroneous assumption that the properties of the second marriage were
produced by the properties of the first marriage. The property corresponding to the first marriage
consists of eleven (11) parcels of land. The remaining twenty (20) parcels of land were acquired
during the second marriage.
DOROTEA DE OCAMPO VDA. DE DELIZO and her nine (9) children, named REGINO, CRISPINA,
DELIZO y OCAMPO, petitioners-appellants


URBANA DELIZO, assisted by her husband, AMBROCIO FLORA, SEVERINO DELIZO and the heirs

G.R. No. L-32820-21 January 30, 1976


Nicolas Delizo contracted two marriages. The first was with Rosa Villasfer which lasted from
April 20, 1891 until her death on December 7, 1909, a period of 18 years The second was with Dorotea
de Ocampo which existed from October, 1911 until the death of Nicolas Delizo on May 3, 1957, or a
period of 46 years.

The action for partition was instituted in 1957 by the 3 children and the heirs of the first marriage,
all against their father, Nicolas Delizo, and his second wife, Dorotea de Ocampo, and their nine (9)
children, the petitioners-appellants.

The properties involved are properties acquired by Nicolas Delizo among which are 66 hectares
of agricultural lands in Caanawan, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija; 58 hectares of rice land in Muñoz of the
same province; and a lot in Manila.

It was found by both the trial court and Court of Appeals that the Caanawan lands were acquired
as homesteads during the existence of the first marriage of Nicolas Delizo to Rosa Villasfer and there
being no affirmative showing that they belonged exclusively to said Nicolas Delizo, should therefore
correspond to the first conjugal partnership of Nicolas Delizo and Rosa Villasfer.

With regards to the other properties, the Court of Appeals found that these were all acquired
during the existence of the second marriage of Nicolas Delizo. However, since these properties were
acquired from the produce of the Caanawan properties although such produce is the result of the labor
and industry of the spouses Nicolas Delizo and Dorotea de Ocampo, only eighty percent (80%) of said
properties acquired during the second marriage should appertain to the second conjugal partnership,
while twenty percent (20%) thereof adjudicated to the children of the first marriage.


1. Whether the property acquired by homestead is conjugal property of the 1 st or 2nd marriage?

From the findings of the Appellate Court that 66 hectares of the Caanawan properties were
acquired by Nicolas Delizo as homesteads during the period of the first marriage. It does not necessarily
follow that they should be considered as properties of the first marriage considering that being
homesteads, they were part of the public domain, and it was not shown that all the requirements of the
Homestead Law to warrant the grant of a patent to the homesteader have been complied with prior to
the death of Rosa Villasfer in 1909.

Under Act 926, which was then the applicable law, the right of the homesteader to the patent
does not become absolute until after he has complied with all the requirements of the law. The decisive
factor, therefore, in the determination of whether a parcel of land acquired by way of homestead is
conjugal property of the first or second marriage, is not necessarily the time of the issuance of the
homestead patent but the time of the fulfillment of the requirements of the public land law for the
acquisition of such right to the patent.

What was transferred to Nicolas Delizo were not rights of ownership, but inchoate rights as
applicants for homestead over portions of the public domain. Having received the homestead only in
1905, Nicolas Delizo could not have perfected his rights thereon by the completion of the five year-
occupancy and cultivation requirement of the law in 1909.

The Court of Appeals erred in holding that the entire Caanawan properties belong to the conjugal
partnership of the first marriage of Nicolas Delizo and Rosa Villasfer. Considering, however, that about
twenty (20) hectares were cultivated and rendered productive during the period from 1905 to 1909,
judgment and equity demand the rights to said properties be apportioned to the parties in proportion to
the extent which the requirements of the public land laws had been complied with during the existence
of each conjugal partnership.

In connection with other properties, the Court of Appeals held that “there is no controversy that
there were all acquired during the existence of the second marriage of Nicolas Delizo.” Since these
properties were acquired from the produce of the Caanawan properties although such produce is the
result of the labor and industry of the spouses although such produce is the result of the labor and
industry of the spouses Nicolas Delizo and Dorotea de Ocampo, only 80% of said properties acquired
during the second marriage should appertain to the second conjugal partnership, while 20% thereof
adjudicated to the children of the first marriage. It would have been facile to hold that those after-
acquired properties belong to the second conjugal partnership in view of the statutory presumption
enunciated in Article 1407 of the old Civil Code (now Article 160, New Civil Code). There is the
established fact that the produce of the Caanawan lands contributed considerably to the acquisition.
G.R. No. L-3629 September 28, 1907

MATEA E. RODRIGUEZ, plaintiff-appellant,





Matea Rodriguez, the plaintiff, filed an amended complaint in the Court of First Instance of the
Province of Albay for the purpose of recovering from the defendants certain parcels of land. She alleged
1. she was the owner of the said lands;
2. she had acquired said lands during her first marriage from her deceased father, Alejo
3. Hilarion de la Cruz was her second husband and that she had permission from him to
commence this action in her own name against the said defendants;
4. she had been in possession of said lands and enjoyed the fruits of the same, from the month
of May, 1882, until the month of February, 1905;
5. Hilarion de la Cruz had no interest or right in said property;
The defendants filed a special denial on February 20, 1905 denying certain parts of the facts set
out in the complaint and admitting other facts alleged in said complaint. As a special defense, they set
up the judgment of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Albay on March 29, 1905

After hearing the evidence, the lower court rendered a judgment in favor of the defendants. The
lower court found out from the evidence mentioned during the trial that the lands described in the
complaint were acquired by Hilarion de la Cruz, the father of the present defendants, during his married
life with his first wife, Andrea de Leon, and that said lands were not inherited by the plaintiff from her
father, Alejo Rodriguez.

From this decision the plaintiff appealed, alleging that the lower court committed errors.


1.Whether or not the lower court erred in considering the fact that Matea E. Rodriguez did not
intervene in said action for partition between Hilarion de la Cruz and his children of the first marriage
as sufficient to show that she had no interest in the lands in question.

2. Whether or not the court erred in declaring that Hilarion de la Cruz was the owner of the lands
in question, for simple fact that he had been administering said lands during the entire period of his
marriage with the present plaintiff.

3. Whether the court erred in finding from the evidence that Hilarion de la Cruz has acquired
said lands during the existence of his marriage relation with the said Andrea de Leon, his first wife, and
that said lands were not inherited by the plaintiff from her deceased father.

1. Yes, for the reason that Matea Rodriguez had not been made a party in the action for partition
between the present defendants and Hilarion de la Cruz neither is it shown that she had any
knowledge or information concerning the existence or pendency of said action.
According to Section 277 of the Code of Civil Procedure in Civil Actions, proceedings
in a cause against one person cannot affect the rights of another.

2. Yes, it was admitted that soon after the marriage of the said Hilarion de la Cruz with the present
plaintiff he commenced to administer the property in question. There is no provision in the Civil
Code which prohibits a husband from administering the property of his wife, as her
representative, and certainly it cannot be concluded that the property which he administers for
his wife is his for the mere reason that he has administered the same for a long time.
Article 1382 of the Civil Code provides that the wife shall retain the ownership of her
property which she brings to the marriage relation. It is true that Article 1384 prescribes that she
shall have the management of the property, unless she was delivered the same to her husband
by means of a public document, providing that he may administer said property; but it cannot be
claimed; from the mere fact that she has permitted her husband to administer her property
without having his authority to do so evidenced by a public document, that she has thereby lost
her property and that the same has become the property of her husband.

3. Yes, the said lands in question were acquired by Matea Rodriguez by inheritance during the
existence of her first marriage, from her deceased father, Alejo Rodriguez. Matea E. Rodriguez
is the owner and is entitled to the possession, as against the said defendants.
PEOPLE’S BANK AND TRUST CO., petitioner-appellant


REGISTER OF DEEDS, respondent-appellee

GR. No. 41278 May 25, 1934


Appeal from Court of First Instance of Manila denying registration of instrument entitled
“Agreement and Declaration of Trust” in which Dominga Angeles, married to Manuel Sandoval living in
Palawan, conveyed in trust her paraphernal property, trustee was to redeem mortgage constituted on
such property with funds derived from the rents or sale thereof, grant a loan of P10,000 with which to
redeem mortgage and collect the rents to be derived from said property while remained unsold.


1. Whether or not the rents collected are fruits of the wife’s property which therefore belongs to
2. Whether or not the management belongs to husband.
3. Whether or not the contract is null and void since husband did not give consent.


The wife as the owner and administrator of her paraphernal property may appoint trustee to
collect the fruits are not yet conjugal property since they still have to answer the expenses in the
administration and preservation of the paraphernal property. She may likewise do such without consent
of the husband, subject to recourse by husband or his heirs, thus rendering such contract merely
voidable or void.


ROMEO V. MIAT, respondent

GR. NO. 143297 February 11, 2003


Father of two children, Moises, widower (wife died in 1978), originally intended his two
properties, one in Paco and the other in Paranaque for his offspring but reverted to keeping the latter
for himself while in Dubai, UAE. He modified the original agreement upon return to the Philippines in
1984. Proof of this was given by Moises’ brother, Cerefino Miat, who said testified the original
agreement that Paco property would go to Moises’ sons. This was reiterated at the death bed of Moises’
wife and affirmed upon Moises’ return to the Philippines.

The Paco property, being the land in dispute, was paid for on an installment basis from May 17,
1977 to December 14, 1984. Full payment was made on the latter date and title was secured under
Moises name as widower.

Romeo and Alexander, sons of Moises, lived on the Paco property with their wives and paid its
realty taxes and fire insurance premiums. Alexander and his wife, however, left the property in August
1985 for personal reasons.

On February 1988, Romeo learned from his godmother in his wedding, Mrs. Rosalina Castro,
mother of petitioner Virgilio Castro, that she had given Moises P30,000.00 as downpayment for the
sale by Moises of the Paco property to her son Virgilio. On April 1988, Alexander agrees to sell his
share of the Paco property for P42,750.00; a partial payment was made in the sum of P6,000 by Romeo
but Alexander did not execute a deed of assignment in favor of his brother because “he had lots of work
to do and the title was already in Romeo’s possession.”

Romeo had possession of the title of the Paco property because he borrowed it from his father
when he mortgaged the land to his friend Lorenzo. But when Moises ran into financial difficulties, he
mortgaged for P30,000.00 the Paco property to parents of petitioner.

On December 1, 1988, Romeo and petitioner Virgilio met in MTC Manila to discuss status of
Paco property. On the 16th, a letter from petitioner’s lawyer informed Romeo that the Paco property
had been sold to Virgilio by Moises by virtue of a deed of sale dated Dec. 5, 1988 for P95,000.00.
Buyer, petitioner, Virgilio admitted that the title of the property was with Romeo but bought it anyway
on the assurance of Moises that he’d be able to retrieve it from his son.

Romeo files in the RTC action to nullify sale and compel Moises and Alexander to execute deed
of conveyance/assignment. RTC ordered (1) Alexander to pay the remaining balance due his brother,
(2) Romeo to recognize sale made by Moises, (3) dismissal of defendant’s counterclaim and (4)
defendants to pay the costs of suit.
Both parties appealed to the CA which modified the decision by saying that: (1) the deed of sale
was nullified, (2) Moises and Alexander had to execute a deed of conveyance, and (3) for defendants
to pay cost of suit (as applied for by the petitioner). Virgilio subsequently brings the action to the SC


1. Whether the Paco property is conjugal or capital.

2. Whether valid oral partition between Moises and his sons involving the said property is valid.

3. Whether Castro spouses were buyers in good faith.


1. It is a conjugal property. Although petitioners allege that property was paid for by Moises and at
the time it was paid, his wife had long been dead, the SC disagrees on the grounds of the new
Civil Code, which was applicable because marriage was celebrated before FC:

Art 153 (1) “The following are conjugal partnership property: (1) Those acquired by
onerous title during the marriage at the expense of the common fund, whether the acquisition
be for the partnership, or for only one of the spouses;

Records show that property was acquired by onerous title during the marriage out of the
common fund. It is clearly conjugal property.

Petitioners also overlook Article 160 of the New Civil Code. It provides that “all property
of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be proved that it
pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife.” This article does not require proof that the
property was acquired with funds of the partnership. The presumption applies even when the
manner in which the property was acquired does not appear.

In the case at bar (as opposed to petitioner’s reliance on Lorenzo v. Nicolas), Moises and
Concordia bought the Paco property during their marriage — Moises did not bring it into their
marriage, hence it has to be considered as conjugal.

2. Yes. The validity of the agreement is apparent in (a) latter of the father to his sons (the one which
stated that he didn’t favor any of his sons), (b) the testimony (see above) of Moises’ brother,
Ceferino, and the oral agreement between the brothers to divide the property between
themselves (attested to by extended Family members).

Oral partition between Romeo and Alexander is not covered by the Statute of Frauds. It is
enforceable for two reasons. Firstly, Alexander accepted the six thousand (P6,000.00) pesos
given by Romeo as downpayment for the purchase of his share in the Paco property. Secondly,
Romeo and his witnesses, Ceferino Miat and Pedro Miranda, who testified regarding the sale of
Alexander’s share to Romeo, were intensely questioned by petitioners’ counsel.
3. No. In the case at bench, the said spouses have actual knowledge of the adverse claim of
plaintiff-appellant. The most protuberant index that they are not buyers in good faith is that before
the sale, Virgilio Castro talked with Romeo Miat on the supposed sale. Virgilio testified that
together with Romeo, Alexander and Moses Miat, they went to Judge Anunciacion of Manila in
order to find out if Romeo has a right over the property. Romeo told Virgilio in that meeting that
Romeo has a right over the Paco property by virtue of an oral partition and assignment. Virgilio
even admitted that he knew Romeo was in possession of the title and Romeo then insisted that
he is the owner of the property.

Virgilio Castro is further aware that plaintiff is in possession of the property, they being
neighbors. A purchaser who was fully aware of another person’s possession of the lot he
purchased cannot successfully pretend to be an innocent purchaser for value.”
G.R. No. 102330 November 25, 1998





Petitioner, the legal wife of private respondent Eusebio Francisco by his second marriage filed
a suit for damages and for annulment of general power of attorney authorizing Conchita Evangelista
(Eusebio’s daughter in his first marriage) to administer the house and lot together with the apartments
allegedly acquired by petitioner and Eusebio during their conjugal partnership.

The trial court rendered judgment in favor of private respondents due to petitioner’s failure to
establish proof that said properties were acquired during the existence of the second conjugal
partnership, or that they pertained exclusively to the petitioner. As such, the CA ruled that those
properties belong exclusively to Eusebio and that he has the capacity to administer them.


Whether or not the appellate court committed reversible error in affirming the trial court’s ruling that the
properties, subject matter of controversy, are not conjugal but the capital properties of Eusebio


The Supreme Court resolved the issue of the nature of the contested properties based on the
provisions of the New Civil Code. Indeed, Article 158 and 160 of the New Civil Code have been repealed
by the Family Code of the Philippines. Nonetheless, the Supreme Court cannot invoke the new law in
this case without impairing prior vested rights pursuant to Article 256in relation to Article 105 (second
paragraph) of the Family Code. Accordingly, the repeal of Articles 158 and 160 of the New Civil Code
does not operate to prejudice or otherwise affect rights which have become vested or accrued while
the second provisions were in force. The petition is denied. The decision of the CA is affirmed.



G.R. No. L-31618 August 17, 1983


Ponciano and Julia were married in 1915. The properties in question consisting of Lots 5 and 6,
were bought on installment basis. Thus, the spouses jointly obtained a loan to pay their balance. The
corresponding deed of absolute sale was executed where the vendee named is 'Julia de Reyes'. Her
signatures appear over the caption vendee and those of Ponciano under the phrase: 'with my marital
consent. As a result of these sales, TCTs were issued in the name of "JULIA REYES married to

While Ponciano was absent attending his farm in Pampanga, Julia sold absolutely the lots in
question Efren V. Mendoza and Inocencia R. De Mendoza, as vendees, without the knowledge and
consent of Ponciano. At the same time the spouses were living separately and were not in speaking

Ponciano filed a complaint for the annulment of a deed of sale of two parcels of land contending
that said properties were conjugal properties of himself and his wife and that she had sold them to
petitioners "all by herself" and without his knowledge or consent.

Petitioner Mendozas alleged that the properties were paraphernal properties of Julia and that
they had purchased the same in good faith and for adequate consideration. Julia testified that she
bought the two parcels of land on installment basis and that the first payment came from her personal
funds. The CFI declared the properties exclusive and paraphernal properties of Julia and ruled that she
could validly dispose of the same without the consent of her husband.


1. Whether or not the disputed properties are conjugal properties.


Yes. The deed of sale is declared null and void with respect to one- half share of Ponciano.

Article 153 of the Civil Code provides:

ART. 153. The following are conjugal partnership property:
That which is acquired by onerous title during the marriage at the expense of the
common fund, whether the acquisition be for the partnership, or for only one of the
It is sufficient to prove that the property was acquired during the marriage in order that the same
may be deemed conjugal property. There is no question that the disputed property was acquired by
onerous title during the marriage.
Records show that the funds came from loans obtained by the spouses. Under Article 161 of
the Civil Code, all debts and obligations contracted by the husband and the wife for the benefit of the
conjugal partnership are liabilities of the partnership.
Julia’s claim of exclusive ownership is belied by the Income Tax Returns which she herself
prepared and filed in behalf of the conjugal partnership wherein she made the statement that the rentals
paid to her were income of the conjugal partnership, and she made to appear the properties in question
as capital assets of the conjugal partnership.
Property acquired during a marriage is presumed to be conjugal and the fact that the land is later
registered in the name of only one of the spouses does not destroy its conjugal nature. If the fact that
property acquired during marriage was registered in the name of the husband alone does not affect its
conjugal nature, neither does registration in the name of the wife.




GR No. 74577 December 4, 1990


Spouses Graciano Aranas and Nicolasa Bunsa owned a parcel of land in Capiz. After they died,
their surviving children, Modesto and Federico Aranas adjudicated the land to themselves under a deed
of extrajudicial partition.

Modesto Aranas obtained a Torrens title in his name from the Capiz Registry of Property.
Modesto was married to Victoria Comorro but they had no children. After the death of Modesto, his two
surviving illegitimate children named Dorothea and Teodoro borrowed P18,000 from Jesus Bernas. As
a security they mortgaged to Bernas their father’s property. In the loan agreement executed between
the parties, a relative Raymundo Aranas, signed the agreement as a witness.

Dorothea and Teodoro failed to pay their loan. As a result, Bernas caused the extrajudicial
foreclosure of the mortgage and acquired the land at the auction sale as the highest bidder. About a
month later, Consolacion Villanueva and Raymundo Aranas filed a complaint against spouses Bernas
praying that the property entered in the loan agreement be cancelled and they be declared co-owners
of the land. They ground their cause of action upon their alleged discovery on two wills executed by
Modesto Aranas and his wife Victoria. Victoria stated that her interests, rights and properties, real and
personal as her share from the conjugal partnership be bequeathed to Consolacion and Raymundo
and also to Dorothea and Teodoro in equal shares. Modesto’s will, on the other hand, bequeathed to
his two illegitimate children all his interest in his conjugal partnership with Victoria as well as his own
capital property brought by him to his marriage.


Whether or not the property mortgaged be a conjugal property of the spouses Modesto and


Even if it be assumed that the husband’s acquisition by succession of the lot in question took
place during his marriage, the lot would nonetheless be his “exclusive property” because it was acquired
by him “during the marriage by lucrative title”. Certain it is that the land itself, which Modesto had
inherited from his parents, Graciano and Nicolasa, is his exclusive and private property. The property
should be regarded as his own exclusively, as a matter of law.