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Del Campo v CA

Salome and 7 others, all surnamed Bornales, are co-owners of a lot which was divided in aliquot(franctional) shares.

Salome & Consorcia - 4/16 each

Alfredo & Maria - 2/16 each
Jose, Quirico, Rosalia, Julita - 1/16 each

Salome sold part of her 4/16 share to Soledad Daynolo through a Deed of Absolute Sale signed by her and two other co-
owners. Soledad immediately took possession and built a house thereon. Subsequently, Soledad mortgaged it to Jose
Regalado, Sr. Simplicio, an heir of Soledad, paid her debt and redeemed the land. Then, heirs of Soledad sold the redeemed
lot to Sps. Del Campo.

Salome, Concorcia and Alfredo sold a portion of the lot to Regalado, Sr. Title was transferred to Regalado, Sr.'s name. He
then subdivided the lot info smaller lots.

Sps. Del Campo filed a complaint against the heirs of Regalado, Sr. for repartition, resurvey and reconveyance. They
that they owned part of the land erroneously included in one of Regalado's TCTs
that ever since they bought the lot, they occupied it as their residential dwelling and that they paid for the taxes of the

Trial Court - dismissed the complaint.

It held that while Salome could alienate her pro-indiviso share in Lot 162, she could not validly sell an undivided
part thereof by metes and bounds to Soledad, from whom petitioners derived their title. The trial court also
reasoned that petitioners could not have a better right to the property even if they were in physical possession
of the same and declared the property for taxation purposes, because mere possession cannot defeat the right of
the Regalados who had a Torrens title over the land.

CA - affirmed RTC's decision

Issues: Would the sale by a co-owner of a physical portion of an undivided property held in common be valid?
(Yes, as to his part of the undivided property)

SC - reversed CA's judgment

The deed of sale executed between the parties expressly stipulated that the portion of Lot 162 sold to Soledad
would be taken from Salome's 4/16 undivided interest in said lot, which the latter could validly transfer in whole
or in part even without the consent of the other co-owners.

No doubt, Salome's right to sell part of her undivided interest in the co-owned property is absolute in accordance
with the well-settled doctrine that a co-owner has full ownership of his pro-indiviso share and has the right to
alienate, assign or mortgage it, and substitute another person in its enjoyment. The co-owner/vendor's undivided
interest could properly be the object of the contract of sale between the parties and what the vendee(buyer)
obtains by virtue of such a sale are the same rights as the vendor had as co-owner.

Since Salome's clear intention was to sell merely part of her aliquot share in Lot 162, no valid objection can be
made against it and the sale can be given effect to the full extent.
In this case, Regalado merely became a new co-owner of Lot 162 to the extent of the shares which Salome,
Consorcia and Alfredo could validly convey. Soledad retained her rights as co-owner and could validly transfer her
share to petitioners in 1951.

The Court also ruled that the subject area in this petition had been effectively segregated from the mother lot
even before title was issued in favor of Regalado in 1977. Since petitioners bought and took possession of the
property in 1951, 26 years had already lapsed; such undisturbed possession of the coowned property entitled the
possessors to the definite portion of the lot that they occupied.

Extra info on the ruling:

Failure to disclose the fact of actual physical possession of the lot by another person constituted fraud, which
was what happened in the case at bar. Therefore, the attendance of fraud in the issuance of title to Regalado
created an implied trust in favor of the petitioners and gave them the right to seek reconveyance of the parcel
wrongfully obtained by the former. According to the Court, when the right of the true and real owner was
recognized, said action is imprescriptible, being in the nature of a suit for quieting of title.