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Alfonso was financially well-off during his lifetime. He has 14 children. He owned several fishpens, a
fishpond, a sari-sari store, a passenger jeep, and was engaged in the buying and selling of copra. In order
to reduce inheritance tax Alfonso made it appear that he sold some of his lands to his children.
Accordingly, Alfonso executed four (4) Deeds of Sale covering several parcels of land in favor of
Policronio, Liberato, Prudencia, and his common-law wife, Valeriana Dela Cruz. The Deed of Sale
executed on October 25, 1969, in favor of Policronio, covered six parcels of land, which are the properties
in dispute in this case.
Since the sales were only made for taxation purposes and no monetary consideration was given, Alfonso
continued to own, possess and enjoy the lands and their produce.
On April 19, 1989, Alfonso's heirs executed a Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition, which included all the
lands that were covered by the four (4) deeds of sale that were previously executed by Alfonso for
taxation purposes. Conrado, Policronio's eldest son, representing the Heirs of Policronio, signed the Deed
of Extra-Judicial Partition in behalf of his co-heirs.
After their father's death, the Heirs of Policronio found tax declarations in his name covering the six
parcels of land. On June 15, 1995, they obtained a copy of the Deed of Sale executed on October 25, 1969
by Alfonso in favor of Policronio.
Believing that the six parcels of land belonged to their late father, and as such, excluded from the Deed of
Extra-Judicial Partition, the Heirs of Policronio sought to amicably settle the matter with the Heirs of
Alfonso. Earnest efforts proving futile, the Heirs of Policronio filed a Complaint for Declaration of
Ownership, Recovery of Possession, Annulment of Documents, Partition, and Damages against the Heirs
of Alfonso before the RTC on November 17, 1995

Whether or not the Deed of Sale was valid; 2. Whether or not the Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition was
The Deed of Sale was void because it is simulated as the parties did not intend to be legally bound by it.
As such, it produced no legal effects and did not alter the juridical situation of the parties. It is only made
to avoid tax purposes. The CA also noted that Alfonso continued to exercise all the rights of an owner
even after the execution of the Deed of Sale, as it was undisputed that he remained in possession of the
subject parcels of land and enjoyed their produce until his death.
Two veritable legal presumptions bear on the validity of the Deed of Sale: (1) that there was sufficient
consideration for the contract; and (2) that it was the result of a fair and regular private transaction. If
shown to hold, these presumptions infer prima facie the transaction's validity, except that it must yield to
the evidence adduced.
2) It has been held in several cases that partition among heirs is not legally deemed a conveyance of real
property resulting in change of ownership. It is not a transfer of property from one to the other, but rather,
it is a confirmation or ratification of title or right of property that an heir is renouncing in favor of another
heir who accepts and receives the inheritance. It is merely a designation and segregation of that part
which belongs to each heir. The Deed of Extra-Judicial Partition cannot, therefore, be considered as an act
of strict dominion. Hence, a special power of attorney is not necessary.

In fact, as between the parties, even an oral partition by the heirs is valid if no creditors are affected. The
requirement of a written memorandum under the statute of frauds does not apply to partitions effected by
the heirs where no creditors are involved considering that such transaction is not a conveyance of
property resulting in change of ownership but merely a designation and segregation of that part which
belongs to each heir.

DPWH V.QUIWA, GR No. 183444, October 12, 2011

FACTS: Contractors Quiwa ET AL were engaged by DPWH through its Project Manager Philip F.
Menez, Usec Encarnacion note the urgency of the Mt. Pinatubo Rehabilitatiion Project. Respondents
accomplished woked on the Sacobia-Bamban-Parua River control. After completion, Respondents filed
money with DPWH which referred to COA. The COA in turned returned the money claims with DPWH
with the information that the latter had already been given the funds and the authority to disburse them.
Prompted by prolonged inaction Respondents filed an action for a sum of money with the RTC against
DPWH. RTC decided in favor of the Respondents. Ordered to pay the actual work completion, plus 10%
of the total amount due as atty. Fee and lastly the sum equivalent lawful fees paid by the Respondents in
entering the docket and the cost of suit. DPWH through the Sol. Gen filed an appeal to question the
decision with the Court of Appeals. CA affirmed Court a quos decision. DPWH filed a petition for
review before the SC on error committed by CA.
no cause of action (3) award of attorneys fees, cost of suits is unwarranted and has no basis in law (4)
USEC should be jointly and solidarily liable to plaintiffs
The SC affirmed the decision of the CA with modification. It departed from the payment of attorneys fee
and the cost of the law suit. The constitution provides for No money shall be paid out of the Treasury
except in pursuance of an appropriation made by law. DPWH was in bad faith in not settling its liability
to the Respondents for the works accomplished by the latter.

Braganza et al. vs. De Villa Abrille

105 Phil. 456
Facts: Rosario La De Braganza and her sons Rodolfo and Guillermo petition for review of the Court of
Appeals' decision whereby they were required solidarily to pay Fernando F. de Villa Abrille the sum of
Php. 10,000.00 plus 2% interest from October 30, 1944.
The above petitioners, it appears, recieved from Villa Abrille as a loan, on October 30, 1944 Php.
70,000.00 in Japanese war notes and in consideration thereof, promised in writing to pay him Php.
10,000.00 in legal currency of the Philippine Island two years after the cessation of the present hostilities
or as soon as International exchange has been established in the Philippines, plus 2% per annum.
Because payment had not been made, Villa Abrille sued them im March 1949.
It is not denied that at the time of signing of the promissory note, Guillermo and Rodolfo were minors 16 and 18 respectively.

Ruling: We cannot agree to the above conclusions. From the minors' failure to disclose their minority in
the same promissory note they signed, it does not follow as a legal proposition, that they will not be
permitted thereafter to assert it. They had no Juridical duty to disclose their inability.
The Mercado case (Mercado vs Espiritu, 37 Phil. 215) cited in the decision under review is different
because the document signed therein by the minor specially stated he was of age; here the promissory
note contained no such statement. In other words, in the Mercado case, the minor was guilty of active
misrepresentation; whereasin this case, if the minors were guilty at all, which we doubt it is of passive
misrepresentation. Indeed there is a growing sentiment in favor of limiting the scope of the application of
Mercado ruling, what with consideration that the very minority which incapacitated minors from the
results of misrepresentation.
We hold, on this point, that being a minors, Rodolfo and Guillermo Braganza could not be legally bound
by their signatures in the promisory note.


Nature: Defendant-appellees appeal to dismiss plaintiffs complaint to recover expenses
on the improvements from the appellees land and compel them to convey to him the
3,000 sq m of land.
- Plaintiff Cruz made permanent improvements on the 20 quinones land claimed by
the Deudors. These amounted to Php30,400 and he also incurred expenses of
- 1952- Defendants JM Tuason and Araneta availed Cruzs services to be their
intermediary to make amicable settlements (compromise agreement) for them
with the Deudors of Civil Case Q-135. This civil case involved 50 quinones of
land where the 20 quinones was part of. He did so on the defendants promise that
they will convey to him 3000sq m of the given land.
- Mar 16, 1963- The compromise agreement between the Duedors and the
defendants was approved but the defendants refused to convey to Cruz the 3000sq
m of land that he now occupies. Cruz filed a petition against defendants
- Defendants filed motion to dismiss saying:
o They do not owe Cruz for the cost of the improvements he made because
that transaction was between him and the Deudors. (reimbursement)
o They do not need to convey to him 3000sq m of land based on their
alleged agreement because it is unenforceable under the Statute of
Frauds which covers the sale of real property or of an interest therein.
(statute of frauds)
o The plaintiffs action to compel such conveyance if it were true already
prescribed because the contract started in 1952 but he filed for acquisition
only in 1963. It is stated in the law that he may only file action within 10
years. Thus his action already prescribed. (statute of limitations)
- Cruz commented that:
o They should reimburse him for the improvements because they benefitted
from it and it would be unjust enrichment on their part not to do so given
he fulfilled his part. He bases it on Art2142 NCC that certain lawful
voluntary and unilateral acts give rise to quasi-contracts so that no one

shall be unjustly enriched or benefitted at the expense of another. He

furthers that while there was no written agreement between him and the
defendants, it was an agreement nonetheless thus is a form of quasicontract and extra contractual obligations arise from it.
o As to the 3000sq m of land, the Statute of Frauds does not apply because it
applies only to executory contracts but not where the contract has already
been partly executed. Thus performance of the contract takes it out of this
o The period for filing action has not prescribed because under the terms of
their agreement, he shall own the land as of the date of signing the
agreement but the title to the 3000sq m land shall be delivered within 10
years after this signing. Now as long as this 10-year period had not elapsed
yet, he shall not have any right to compel the defendants to execute or
deliver the document because they had no obligation to do so. After this
10-year period elapsed can he only file action. Thus when the 10-year
period ended on Mar 16, 1963, the period of prescription began only on
Mar 17, 1963.
o Since the contract was not in writing, he had 6 years before his cause of
action prescribes.
Does the statute of frauds bar his cause of action; Can the defendants be compelled to convey the
3000sq m of land and to
reimburse him for the developments there based on the obligation arising from the
quasi-contract with Cruz?
The Statute of Frauds does not apply to this case because though there is no evidence of
the agreement between Cruz and the defendants, the contract is not considered as a sale
of real property or any interest therein where there was no transaction that occurred.
Cruz misinterpreted Art2124. This provision states that a quasi-contract cannot emerge
against one of the parties if the subject matter is already covered by another contract with
another party. In this case, the defendants were correct that Cruz should have filed the
motion against the Deudors on the reimbursements and they in turn would seek relief
from the defendant companies for these. Because this land was already subject to the
contract between Cruz and the Deudors as to the improvements, it cannot be subjected to
a quasi-contract between Cruz and the defendant companies where these companies had a
prior contract with the Deudors on the land as well

Equatorial Realty Development, Inc. vs. Mayfair Theater, Inc.

G.R. No. 133879, November 21, 2001
Panganiban, J.

Doctrine: Rent is a civil fruit that belongs to the owner of the property producing it by right of accession.
Facts: Carmelo & Bauermann, Inc. (Camelo ) used to own a parcel of land with two 2-storey buildings
constructed thereon, located at Claro M. Recto Avenue, Manila, which it leased to Mayfair Theater Inc.
(Mayfair) for a period of 20 years. The Contract of Lease contained a provision granting Mayfair a right
of first refusal to purchase the subject properties. However, on July 30, 1978 within the 20-year-lease
term the subject properties were sold by Carmelo to Equatorial Realty Development, Inc.
(Equatorial) for the total sum of P11,300,000, without first offering to Mayfair. Mayfair filed a
Complaint before the RTC of Manila for (a) the annulment of the Deed of Absolute Sale between
Carmelo and Equatorial, (b) specific performance, and (c) damages. The lower court rendered a Decision
in favor of Carmelo and Equatorial but the CA reversed such decision rescinding the sale and ordered to
allow Mayfair Theater, Inc. to buy the aforesaid lots for P11,300,000.00. Mayfair bought the property.
However, Equatorial filed an action for the collection of a sum of money against Mayfair, claiming
payment of rentals or reasonable compensation for Mayfairs use of the subject premises after its lease
contracts had expired. Equatorial alleged that representing itself as the owner of the subject premises by
reason of the Contract of Sale; it claimed rentals arising from Mayfairs occupation thereof. The trial
court dismissed the Complaint holding that the rescission of the Deed of Absolute Sale did not confer on
Equatorial any vested or residual proprietary rights.

Issue: Whether Equatorial is entitled to back rentals.

Held: No. In the case, there was no right of ownership transferred from Carmelo to Equatorial in view of
a patent failure to deliver the property to the buyer. By a contract of sale, one of the contracting parties
obligates himself to transfer ownership of and to deliver a determinate thing and the other to pay therefor
a price certain in money or its equivalent. Ownership of the thing sold is a real right,[ which the buyer
acquires only upon delivery of the thing to him in any of the ways specified in articles 1497 to 1501, or
in any other manner signifying an agreement that the possession is transferred from the vendor to the
vendee. This right is transferred, not by contract alone, but by tradition or delivery. And there is said to
be delivery if and when the thing sold is placed in the control and possession of the vendee. From the
peculiar facts of this case, it is clear that petitioner never took actual control and possession of the
property sold, in view of respondents timely objection to the sale and the continued actual possession of
the property. While the execution of a public instrument of sale is recognized by law as equivalent to the
delivery of the thing sold, such constructive or symbolic delivery, being merely presumptive, is deemed
negated by the failure of the vendee to take actual possession of the land sold. In the case, Mayfairs
opposition to the transfer of the property by way of sale to Equatorial was a legally sufficient impediment
that effectively prevented the passing of the property into the latters hands. Rent is a civil fruit that
belongs to the owner of the property producing it by right of accession. Consequently and ordinarily, the
rentals that fell due from the time of the perfection of the sale to petitioner until its rescission by final
judgment should belong to the owner of the property during that period. Not having been the owner,
Equatorial cannot be entitled to the civil fruits of ownership like rentals of the thing sold.

Maria San Miguel Vda. De Espiritu vs. CFI-CaviteG.R. No. L-30486; October 31, 1972; 47 SCRA 354
: Sometime in 1948 the defendants verbally sold to her the two parcels of land in question for P3,000.00
Pesos and, inconsequence, delivery thereof together with the corresponding transfer certificates of title
(TCT) was made to her, but no deed of sale was executed at the time because private respondents promised they
would do so as soon as the titles which were then inthe name of their predecessor in interest were transferred to their
, and that despite demands made by her for theexecution of such deed, said respondents, "without justifiable
cause therefor adamantly failed and refused to comply with (such) just and valid demand." In their
answer, defendants denied that the transaction was a sale and alleged that it was merely a contractof
antichresis whereby petitioner had loaned to them P1, 500.00, for which she demanded the delivery of the
lands in question andthe titles thereto as security, with the right to collect or receive the income therefrom
pending the payment of the loan. And by wayof affirmative defenses, respondents interposed (1)
unenforceability by action of the alleged sale, under the statute of frauds, and(2) prescription of
petitioner's action, the same having allegedly accrued in 1948. Subsequently, respondents reiterated their
saidaffirmative defense of prescription in a formal motion to dismiss and as no opposition thereto was
filed by petitioner, on July 31,1967, respondent court issued the impugned order of dismissal reading as
follows:Submitted for resolution is a motion to dismiss filed counsel for the defendants to which no
opposition has been filed despitethe fact that the plaintiff was furnished with a copy thereof. Finding the
said motion to dismiss to be well-taken for the reasonsstated therein, this Court grants the same and the
complaint, dated October 16, 1964, is hereby dismissed with costs againstthe plaintiff.SO
ORDERED.Petitioner filed the complaint of October 20, 1964
Whether petitioners right to demand the execution of the TCTs already prescribed.
:The right to demand the execution of the document required under Article 1358
is not imprescriptible.The nature of petitioners action may be said to be one founded on an oral contract,
which, to be sure, cannot be considered amongthose rendered unenforceable by the statute of frauds, for
the simple reason that it has already been, from petitioners own point of view, almost fully consummated by
the delivery of the lands and the corresponding titles to her. X X X. The petitioners action, basedas it is upon oral
contract, prescribes in 6 years according to Artcle 1145 of the Civil Code. Assuming otherwise, the only
otherpossibility is that petitioners case comes under Article 1149 and the action prescribes in 5 years. In
either case, since the cause of action of petitioner accrued in 1948 and the present suit was instituted in
1964 or sixteen years later, and none interruptingcircumstances enumerated in Article 1155 has
been shown to have intervened,
it is unquestionable that petitioners action filed inthe court below has already prescribed.


The Case

Before us is a Petition for Review on Certiorari [1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, assailing
the February 2, 2001 Decision[2] and August 14, 2002 Resolution[3] of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR CV
No. 55127. The CA disposed as follows:
It is not disputed that [petitioner] filed an illegal detainer case against
[respondent] docketed as Civil Case No. 1310 before the Municipal Trial Court [MTC]
of Bacoor, Cavite, which was accordingly dismissed by the MTC (See answer, p. 28,
record). The filing of the instant case is another blatant attempt by [petitioner] to
circumvent the law. For it is well-settled that where a complaint arises from the failure
of a buyer [of real property] on installment basis to pay based on a right to stop monthly
amortizations under Presidential Decree No. 957, as in the case at bench, the
determinative question is exclusively cognizable by the Housing and Land Use
Regulatory Board (HLURB) (Francel Realty Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 252 SCRA 127

WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision appealed from is

hereby AFFIRMED in toto.[4]

The assailed Resolution denied petitioners Motion for Reconsideration.

The Facts
The CA narrated the facts as follows:
x x x [I]n November, 1989, [petitioner] and [respondent] entered into a contract to sell a
house and lot covered by TCT No. T-281788. Upon execution of the contract to sell,
[respondent] made a down payment of P119,700.00, which was considered as monthly
rentals at the rate of P2,686.00 per month. On March 16, 1990, the townhouse subject of
the contract to sell was transferred in the name of [respondent] as evidenced by TCT No.
T-281788. Despite the transfer of the title in the name of [respondent], the latter refused
to pay the balance of P250,000.00. By applying the down payment ofP119,700.00 to
defendants monthly rental starting from December 1989, said amount has been reduced
to nothing. Despite several demands made by [petitioner] to [respondent], including the
demand dated December 12, 1991 made by [petitioners] counsel, the [respondent]
refused to reconvey the subject property to [petitioner]. The [petitioner] suffered actual
damages in the form of repairs amounting to not less than P100,000.00 as well as moral
and exemplary damages, attorneys fees and litigation expenses. x x x.

The [respondent] filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction but the
court below denied the motion stating that the ground relied upon by [respondent did not
appear to be] indubitable.

Denying the material allegations of the complaint, the [respondent] again invoked the
courts lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case. Further, there is a pending
case between the same parties and involving the same townhouse before the Housing and
Land Use Regulatory Board for unsound real estate business practices. Likewise, the
[respondent] justified his refusal to pay the amortizations alleging that the [petitioner]
sold and delivered to him a defective townhouse unit under Sec. 3 of Presidential Decree
No. [957].
After trial, the court below dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. [5]

Ruling of the Court of Appeals

Agreeing with the trial court, the CA held that the case involved not just reconveyance and
damages, but also a determination of the rights and obligations of the parties to a sale of real estate under
PD 957; hence, the case fell exclusively under the jurisdiction of the HLURB. The appellate court
observed that respondent and other buyers of the townhouses had notified petitioner of their intention to
stop paying amortizations because of defective structures and materials used in the construction; they had
in fact filed other cases, also before the HLURB, against petitioner for unsound real estate business
Noting that petitioners illegal detainer case against respondent had been dismissed by the MTC,
the appellate court concluded that the filing of the instant case was another blatant attempt to circumvent
the law.

Hence this Petition.[6]

In its Memorandum, petitioner raises the following issues:
A. Whether or not the lower court can dismiss, after full blown trial, Civil Case
No. BCV-94-2 of the RTC, Imus, Cavite, on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
B. Whether or not the lower court can dismiss this case in spite of the indisputable
fact that respondent never secured HLURB authority or clearance to stop payment of
monthly rentals.[7]

The Courts Ruling

The Petition lacks merit.
First Issue:
Dismissal for Lack of Jurisdiction

Before going into the jurisdictional question, we must at the outset point out that, contrary to
petitioners assignment of errors, the trial courts Decision is not the proper subject of this Rule 45 Petition.
Rather, it is the Decision of the CA that is up for review by this Court. This mistake in stating the issues
could have been fatal to petitioners case, had it not correctly restated them in its arguments and
discussion.[8] That said, we now proceed to the main issues.
Petitioner argues that the CAs affirmation of the trial courts dismissal of its case was erroneous,
considering that a full-blown trial had already been conducted. In effect, it contends that lack of
jurisdiction could no longer be used as a ground for dismissal after trial had ensued and ended.
The above argument is anchored on estoppel by laches, which has been used quite successfully
in a number of cases to thwart dismissals based on lack of jurisdiction. Tijam v. Sibonghanoy,[9] in which
this doctrine was espoused, held that a party may be barred from questioning a courts jurisdiction after
being invoked to secure affirmative relief against its opponent. In fine, laches prevents the issue of lack of
jurisdiction from being raised for the first time on appeal by a litigant whose purpose is to annul
everything done in a trial in which it has actively participated. [10]
Laches is defined as the failure or neglect for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to
do that which, by exercising due diligence, could or should have been done earlier; it is negligence or
omission to assert a right within a reasonable time, warranting a presumption that the party entitled to
assert it either has abandoned it or declined to assert it. [11]
The ruling in Sibonghanoy on the matter of jurisdiction is, however, the exception rather than the
rule.[12] Estoppel by laches may be invoked to bar the issue of lack of jurisdiction only in cases in which
the factual milieu is analogous to that in the cited case. In such controversies, laches should be clearly

present; that is, lack of jurisdiction must have been raised so belatedly as to warrant the presumption that
the party entitled to assert it had abandoned or declined to assert it. [13] That Sibonghanoy applies only to
exceptional circumstances is clarified in Calimlim v. Ramirez,[14] which we quote:
A rule that had been settled by unquestioned acceptance and upheld in decisions
so numerous to cite is that the jurisdiction of a court over the subject-matter of the action
is a matter of law and may not be conferred by consent or agreement of the parties. The
lack of jurisdiction of a court may be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even on
appeal. This doctrine has been qualified by recent pronouncements which stemmed
principally from the ruling in the cited case of Sibonghanoy. It is to be regretted,
however, that the holding in said case had been applied to situations which were
obviously not contemplated therein. The exceptional circumstance involved
in Sibonghanoy which justified the departure from the accepted concept of nonwaivability of objection to jurisdiction has been ignored and, instead a blanket doctrine
had been repeatedly upheld that rendered the supposed ruling in Sibonghanoy not as the
exception, but rather the general rule, virtually overthrowing altogether the time-honored
principle that the issue of jurisdiction is not lost by waiver or by estoppel.[15]
Indeed, the general rule remains: a courts lack of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage of the
proceedings, even on appeal. [16] The reason is that jurisdiction is conferred by law, and lack of it affects
the very authority of the court to take cognizance of and to render judgment on the action.
Moreover, jurisdiction is determined by the averments of the complaint, not by the defenses contained
in the answer.[18]
From the very beginning, the present respondent has been challenging the jurisdiction of the trial
court and asserting that the HLURB is the entity that has proper jurisdiction over the case. Consonant
with Section 1 of Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, he had raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction in his
Motion to Dismiss. Even when the Motion was denied, he continuously invoked lack of jurisdiction in his
Answer with affirmative defenses, his subsequent pleadings, and verbally during the trial. This consistent
and continuing objection to the trial courts jurisdiction defeats petitioners contention that raising other
grounds in a Motion to Dismiss is considered a submission to the jurisdiction of the court. [19]

We stress that Rule 9 of the Rules of Court requires that all defenses and objections -- except lack
of jurisdiction over the subject matter, litis pendentia, bar by prior judgment and/or prescription -- must
be pleaded in a motion to dismiss or in an answer; otherwise, they are deemed waived. [20] As to the
excepted grounds, the court may dismiss a claim or a case at any time when it appears from the pleadings
or the evidence on record that any of those grounds exists.
In the present case, the trial court at first denied the Motion to Dismiss filed by respondent,
because the grounds he had relied upon did not appear to be indubitable. The ruling was made under the
pre-1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which then provided that the court, after hearing x x x may deny or
grant the motion or allow amendment of pleading, or may defer the hearing and determination of the
motion until the trial if the ground alleged therein does not appear to be indubitable. [21] Moreover, the
factual allegations of the Complaint[22] that petitioner filed below for reconveyance and damages
sufficiently conformed to the jurisdictional requisites for the exercise of the MTCs authority. Thus, in
accord with the procedures then prescribed, the court conducted trial to allow all arguments and evidence
to surface.
Significantly, petitioner has previously sued respondents brother and co-complainant before the HLURB
over the same subdivision project. In Francel Realty v. Court of Appeals and Francisco Sycip,
petitioners Complaint for unlawful detainer was premised on the failure of respondents brother to pay
monthly amortizations on the basis of his right to stop paying them under PD 957. In that case, the Court
had ruled that the issue involved a determinative question x x x exclusively cognizable by the HLURB;
that is, a determination of the rights and obligations of parties in a sale of real estate under P.D. 957. [24]
Because an earlier Complaint had been filed by Sycip before the HLURB against Francel Realty
Corporation for unsound real estate business practices, the Court dismissed petitioners cause of action.
The reason for the dismissal was that the Complaint should instead be filed as a counterclaim in [the]
HLURB [case] in accordance with Rule 6, Section 6 of the Rules of Court x x x. [25] For the same reason,
this Court has ruled that a suit to collect on a promissory note issued by a subdivision lot buyer involves
the sales of lots in commercial subdivisions; and that jurisdiction over such case lies with the HLURB,
not with the courts.[26]
Further, the rules governing counterclaims [27] and the prohibition on the splitting of causes of action
(grounded on the policy against a multiplicity of suits) [28] should effectively bar the Complaint for
reconveyance and damages filed by petitioner. Its Complaint came at the heels of its unlawful detainer
suit that had previously been dismissed by the MTC of Imus, Cavite, and of the litigation filed by
respondent against Francel Realty before the HLURB. Petitioner avers that the present controversy is not
cognizable by the HLURB, because it was filed by the developer rather than by the buyer, as provided
under PD No. 1344.[29] Such pretension flies in the face of the ruling of the Court in Francel Realty Corp.
v. Court of Appeals and Francisco Sycip,[30] which we quote:
x x x. In the case of Estate Developers and Investors Corporation v. Antonio
Sarte and Erlinda Sarte the developer filed a complaint to collect the balance of the
price of a lot bought on installment basis, but its complaint was dismissed by the
Regional Trial Court for lack of jurisdiction. It appealed the order to this Court. In
dismissing the appeal, we held:
The action here is not a simple action to collect on a promissory
note; it is a complaint to collect amortization payments arising from or in
connection with a sale of a subdivision lot under P.D. Nos. 957 and 1344,
and accordingly falls within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the
HLURB to regulate the real estate trade and industry, and to hear and
decide cases of unsound real estate business practices. Although the case

involving Antonio Sarte is still pending resolution before the HLURB

Arbiter, and there is as yet no order from the HLURB authorizing
suspension of payments on account of the failure of plaintiff developer to
make good its warranties, there is no question to Our mind that the
matter of collecting amortizations for the sale of the subdivision lot is
necessarily tied up to the complaint against the plaintiff and it affects the
rights and correlative duties of the buyer of a subdivision lot as regulated
by NHA pursuant to P.D. 957 as amended. It must accordingly fall within
the exclusive original jurisdiction of the said Board, and We find that the
motion to dismiss was properly granted on the ground that the regular
court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint. [31]
Petitioners strategy, if allowed, would open a convenient gateway for a developer to subvert and preempt
the rights of buyers by the mere expediency of filing an action against them before the regular courts, as
in this case. Fortunately, the CA saw through the ruse. Contrary to petitioners contention, the HLURB is
not deprived of jurisdiction to hear and decide a case merely on the basis that it has been initiated by the
developer and not by the buyer.
Petitioner cites Ayala Corporation v. Ray Burton Development Corporation [32] and Fajardo Jr. v.
Freedom to Build, Inc.,[33] which do not further its cause either. These cases pertain to deed restrictions
and restrictive covenants in the sale of subdivision units; hence, they do not fall under any of the cases
over which the HLURB exercises exclusive jurisdiction. Naturally, there was every reason for the courts
in the said cases to assume and exercise their jurisdiction.

Second Issue:
Authority to Stop Payment
of Monthly Rentals
The next proposition relates to the absence of a clearance from the HLRUB authorizing
respondent to stop payment of his amortizations. It is petitioners position that under Section 23 of Rule VI
of the Rules implementing PD 957, clearance must first be secured from the Board before the buyer of a
subdivision lot or a home can lawfully withhold monthly payments.
This contention is also unmeritorious.
First, Section 23 of PD 957 -- the law upon which the Implementing Rule cited was based -requires only due notice to the owner or developer for stopping further payments by reason of the latters
failure to develop the subdivision according to the approved plans and within the time limit. Section 23
provides as follows:
SECTION 23. Non-Forfeiture of Payments. No installment payment made by a
buyer in a subdivision or condominium project for the lot or unit he contracted to buy shall
be forfeited in favor of the owner or developer when the buyer, after due notice to the
owner or developer, desists from further payment due to the failure of the owner or
developer to develop the subdivision or condominium project according to the approved
plans and within the time limit for complying with the same. Such buyer may, at his option,
be reimbursed the total amount paid including amortization interests but excluding
[delinquency] interests, with interest thereon at the legal rate. (Italics supplied)

To be valid, an administrative rule or regulation must conform, not contradict, the provisions of
the enabling law.[34] An implementing rule or regulation cannot modify, expand, or subtract from the law
it is intended to implement. Any rule that is not consistent with the statute itself is null and void. [35] Thus,
the Court in People v. Maceren[36] explained as follows:
Administrative regulations adopted under legislative authority by a particular
department must be in harmony with the provisions of the law, and should be for the sole
purpose of carrying into effect its general provisions. By such regulations, of course, the
law itself cannot be extended. x x x.
The rule making power must be confined to details for regulating the mode or
proceeding to carry into effect the law as it has been enacted. The power cannot be
extended to amending or expanding the statutory requirements or to embrace matters not
covered by the statute. Rules that subvert the statute cannot be sanctioned. x x x.

Plainly, therefore, Section 23 of Rule VI of the Implementing Rules cannot rise higher than
Section 23 of PD 957, which is the source of its authority. For that matter, PD 957 would have expressly
required the written approval of the HLURB before any stoppage of amortization payments if it so
intended, in the same manner that the decree specifically mandates written consent or approval by the
NHA (now the HLURB) in Section 18.[37]

Section 18 has been held by the Court to be a prohibitory law; hence, acts committed contrary to
it are void,[38] pursuant to the intent of PD 957 to provide a protective mantle over helpless citizens who
may fall prey to the razzmatazz of what P.D. 957 termed unscrupulous subdivision and condominium
sellers.[39] The Court stressed that such construal ensures the attainment of the purpose of the law: to
protect lot buyers, so that they do not end up still homeless despite having fully paid for their home lots
with their hard-earned cash.[40]
Apropos, to require clearance from the HLURB before stopping payment would not be in keeping
with the intent of the law to protect innocent buyers of lots or homes from scheming subdivision
developers. To give full effect to such intent, it would be fitting to treat the right to stop payment to be
immediately effective upon giving due notice to the owner or developer or upon filing a complaint before
the HLRUB against the erring developer. Such course of action would be without prejudice to the
subsequent determination of its propriety and consequences, should the suspension of payment
subsequently be found improper.
Significantly also, the Court has upheld the reliance of a buyer on Section 23 of PD 957 when he
ordered his bank to stop payment of the checks he had issued, so that he could suspend amortization
payments until such time as the owner or developer would have fulfilled its obligations. [41] In Antipolo
Realty Corporation v. National Housing Authority,[42] the exercise of a statutory right to suspend
installment payments was considered a valid defense against the purported violations of Batas Pambansa
(BP) Blg. 22 by the petitioner in that case. Such right negated the third element the subsequent dishonor
of the check without valid cause. With more reason, then, should the buyers right to suspend installment
payments be considered a valid defense against the suit for reconveyance and damages.
WHEREFORE, this Petition is hereby DENIED and the assailed Decision and Resolution
are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.

CUSTODIO AND SANTOS VS. COURT OF APPEALS-253 SCRA 483FACTS:A Civil Case was filed for Pacifico Mabasa against Cristino Custodio, Brigida Custodio,
RosalinaMorato, Lito Santos and Maria Cristina Santos filed the grant of an easement of right of
way.Pacifico Mabasa owned a parcel of land. In order for him to enter the premises of his property, hehad
to use a portion of the land of the Santoss as passageway. However, the defendantsmentioned of some
inconveniences of having a passageway in their property. A case was filed inthe Regional Trial Court and
the defendants were ordered to give plaintiff permanent access tothe property and the plaintiff
was ordered to pay indemnity for the use of the passageway.
ISSUES:1. Whether the grant of right of way to private respondent is proper;2. Whether or not the award
of damages is in order.
RULING:With respect to the first issue, the petitioners are barred from raising the complaint because
thedecision of the trial court is final and executory.On the other hand, with respect to the second issue, the
award of damages has no legal basis.One may use any lawful means to accomplish a lawful purpose and
though the means adopted

DBP v Judge Adil, Sps. Patricio Confessor and Jovita Villafuerte

GR No. L-48889
Facts of the case:
This case arose from the action taken by DBP against the respondent spouses for the reason of
the latters failure to pay for the 2,000 peso debt they acquired from the bank. The amount was
secured by a promissory note executed jointly by the spouses. In the said note, the spouses
agreed to pay thr amount in 10 equal annual amortizations. After the lapse of the 10 year period, Patricio
Confessor, executed another promissory note stating that he will pay the outstanding amount of the loan,
and in case of failure to pay, he agreed to have his mortgage foreclosed.
The spouses indeed failed to honor their 2nd promissory note, DBP then filed a complaint against
the spouses. The court ruled in favor of DBP, and ordered the spouses to pay the latter. Shortly,
the spouses appealed the decision, and 2 years later, in 1978, the spouses acquired a favorable
decision. DBP filed a motion for reconsideration now including the judge who rendered the decision, with
the grounds that the judge refused to recognize the law that the right to prescription may be
renounced or waived.
Issue: Whether or not the right to prescription may be renounced or waived.
Held: Yes.
Art. 1112. Persons with capacity to alienate property may renounce prescription already obtained,
but not the right to prescribe in the future.
Prescription is deemed to have been tacitly renounced when the renunciation results from acts
which imply the abandonment of the right acquired.
There is no doubt that prescription has set in as to the first promissory note of February 10, 1940.
However, when respondent Confesor executed the second promissory note on April 11, 1961
whereby he promised to pay the amount covered by the previous promissory note on or before
June 15, 1961, and upon failure to do so, agreed to the foreclosure of the mortgage, said
respondent thereby effectively and expressly renounced and waived his right to the prescription
of the action covering the first promissory note.
The court cited the case of Villaroel v Estrada stating: ... when a debt is already barred by
prescription, it cannot be enforced by the creditor. But a new contract recognizing and assuming
the prescribed debt would be valid and enforceable ...
This is not a mere case of acknowledgment of a debt that has prescribed but a new promise to
pay the debt. The consideration of the new promissory note is the pre-existing obligation under
the first promissory note. The statutory limitation bars the remedy but does not discharge the

Republic vs. Court of Appeals

131 SCRA 532 (1984)
FACTS: The subject land in this case is situated 20 meters away from the shores of Laguna de Bay. Said
land was owned by Benedicto del Rio. After the death of Benedicto, the land was acquired by his son
Santos Del Rio. The private oppositors in this case sought and obtained permission from Santos Del Rio
to construct duck houses on said land. The private oppositors, however, violated their agreement and
instead constructed residential houses thereon. Santos then filed an ejectment suit against the private
oppositors and later on sought to register the land. Meanwhile, private oppositors simultaneously filed
their respective sales applications with Bureau of Lands, and they opposed Santos del Rios application
for registration.

The CFI of Laguna dismissed the application for registration. Applicant appealed and obtained a
favourable judgment from the Court of Appeals. The Director of Lands and the private oppositors filed
their respective petitions for review on said decision to the Supreme Court.
The Director of Lands contends that since a portion of the land is covered with water four to five months
a year, the same is part of the lake bed of Laguna de Bay and therefore it cannot be the subject of
Whether or not the parcel of land in question is public land; and
Whether or not applicant private respondent has registerable title to the land.
HELD: The inundation of a portion of the land is not due to "flux and reflux of tides." It cannot be
considered a foreshore land, hence it is not a public land and therefore capable of registration as private
property provided that the applicant proves that he has a registerable title. The purpose of land registration
under the Torrens System is not the acquisition of lands but only the registration of title which applicant
already possesses over the land.
While it is true that by themselves tax receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation purposes are not
incontrovertible evidence of ownership, they become strong evidence of ownership acquired by
prescription when accompanied by proof of actual possession of the property. Applicant by himself and
through his father before him, has been in open, continuous, public, peaceful, exclusive and adverse
possession of the disputed land for more than thirty (30) years
and has presented tax declarations and tax receipts.
Applicant has more than satisfied the legal requirements. Thus, he is clearly entitled to the registration in
his favor of said land.

CALLANTA v. CARNATION PHILS., 145 SCRA 268, G.R. No. 70615 October 28, 1986
FACTS: Upon clearance approved by the MOLE Regional Office, respondent dismissed the petitioner in
June 1979. On July 1982, petitioner filed an illegal dismissal case with claim for reinstatement with the
Labor Arbiter, who granted it. On appeal, the NLRC reversed the judgment based on the contention that
the action by the petitioner has already prescribed, since Art. 291 & 292 of the Labor Code is expressed
that offenses penalized under the Code and all money claims arising from employer-employee
relationships shall be filed within 3 years from when such cause of action arises, otherwise it will be
ISSUE: Is ruling of the NLRC correct?
HELD: No. It is a principle well recognized in this jurisdiction, that one's employment, profession, trade
or calling is a property right, and the wrongful interference therewith is an actionable wrong. The right is
considered to be property within the protection of the Constitutional guarantee of due process of law.
Verily, the dismissal without just cause of an employee from his employment constitutes a violation of the
Labor Code and its implementing rules and regulations. Such violation, however, does not amount to an
"offense" as understood under Article 291 of the Labor Code. In its broad sense, an offense is an illegal
act which does not amount to a crime as defined in the penal law, but which by statute carries with it a
penalty similar to those imposed by law for the punishment of a crime. The confusion arises over the use
of the term "illegal dismissal" which creates the impression that termination of an employment without
just cause constitutes an offense. It must be noted, however that unlike in cases of commission of any of

the prohibited activities during strikes or lockouts under Article 265, unfair labor practices under Article
248, 249 and 250 and illegal recruitment activities under Article 38, among others, which the Code itself
declares to be unlawful, termination of an employment without just or valid cause is not categorized as an
unlawful practice.