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CONCEPT AND PURPOSE


G.R. No. 176422

WHEREFORE, premised from the foregoing judgment is hereby rendered:

March 20, 2013

MARIA MENDOZA, in her own capacity and as Attorney-in-fact of DEOGRACIAS, MARCELA, DIONISIA, ADORA
CION, all surnamed MENDOZA, REMEDIOS MONTILLA, FELY BAUTISTA, JULIANA GUILALAS and ELVIRA
MENDOZA, Petitioners,
vs.
JULIA POLl CARPIO DELOS SANTOS, substituted by her heirs, CARMEN P. DELOS SANTOS, ROSA BUENA
VENTURA, ZENAIDA P. DELOS SANTOS VDA. DE MATEO, LEONILA P. DELOS SANTOS, ELVIRA P. DELOS
SANTOS VDA. DE JOSE, TERESITA P. DELOS SANTOS-CABUHAT, MERCEDITA P. DELOS SANTOS, LYDIA P.
DELOS SANTOS VDA. DE HILARIO, PERFECTO P. DELOS SANTOS, JR., and CECILIA M.
MENDOZA, Respondents.
DECISION
REYES, J.:
Reserva troncal is a special rule designed primarily to assure the return of a reservable property to the third degree
relatives belonging to the line from which the property originally came, and avoid its being dissipated into and by the
relatives of the inheriting ascendant.1
The Facts
The properties subject in the instant case are three parcels of land located in Sta. Maria, Bulacan: (1) Lot 1681-B, with
an area of 7,749 square meters;2 (2) Lot 1684, with an area of 5,667 sq m;3 and (3) Lot No. 1646-B, with an area of 880
sq m.4 Lot Nos. 1681-B and 1684 are presently in the name of respondent Julia Delos Santos5(respondent). Lot No.
1646-B, on the other hand, is also in the name of respondent but co-owned by Victoria Pantaleon, who bought one-half
of the property from petitioner Maria Mendoza and her siblings.
Petitioners are grandchildren of Placido Mendoza (Placido) and Dominga Mendoza (Dominga). Placido and Dominga
had four children: Antonio, Exequiel, married to Leonor, Apolonio and Valentin. Petitioners Maria, Deogracias, Dionisia,
Adoracion, Marcela and Ricardo are the children of Antonio. Petitioners Juliana, Fely, Mercedes, Elvira and Fortunato,
on the other hand, are Valentins children. Petitioners alleged that the properties were part of Placido and Domingas
properties that were subject of an oral partition and subsequently adjudicated to Exequiel. After Exequiels death, it
passed on to his spouse Leonor and only daughter, Gregoria. After Leonors death, her share went to Gregoria. In
1992, Gregoria died intestate and without issue. They claimed that after Gregorias death, respondent, who is Leonors
sister, adjudicated unto herself all these properties as the sole surviving heir of Leonor and Gregoria. Hence, petitioners
claim that the properties should have been reserved by respondent in their behalf and must now revert back to them,
applying Article 891 of the Civil Code on reserva troncal.

1. Ordering respondents (heirs of Julia Policarpio) to reconvey the three (3) parcels of land subject of this
action in the name of the plaintiffs enumerated in the complaint including intervenor Maria Cecilia M.
Mendoza except one-half of the property described in the old title, TCT No. T-124852(M) which belongs to
Victorina Pantaleon;
2. Ordering the Register of Deeds of Bulacan to cancel the titles in the name of Julia Policarpio, TCT No. T149033(M), T-183631(M) and T-149035(M) and reconvey the same to the enumerated plaintiffs; and
3. No pronouncement as to claims for attorneys fees and damages and costs.
SO ORDERED.7
On appeal, the Court of Appeals (CA) reversed and set aside the RTC decision and dismissed the complaint filed by
petitioners. The dispositive portion of the CA Decision dated November 16, 2006 provides:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the November 4, 2002 Decision of the Regional Trial Court, Br. 6, Third Judicial
Region, Malolos, Bulacan, is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Third Amended Complaint in Civil Case No. 609-M-92
is hereby DISMISSED. Costs against the Plaintiffs-Appellants.
SO ORDERED.8
Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the CA denied the same per Resolution 9 dated January 17, 2007.
In dismissing the complaint, the CA ruled that petitioners failed to establish that Placido and Dominga owned the
properties in dispute.10 The CA also ruled that even assuming that Placido and Dominga previously owned the
properties, it still cannot be subject to reserva troncal as neither Exequiel predeceased Placido and Dominga nor did
Gregoria predecease Exequiel.11
Now before the Court, petitioners argue that:
A.
THE HONORABLE [CA] GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES ARE
NOT RESERVABLE PROPERTIES, COMING AS THEY DO FROM THE FAMILY LINE OF THE
PETITIONERS MENDOZAS.
B.

Respondent, however, denies any obligation to reserve the properties as these did not originate from petitioners
familial line and were not originally owned by Placido and Dominga. According to respondent, the properties were
bought by Exequiel and Antonio from a certain Alfonso Ramos in 1931. It appears, however, that it was only Exequiel
who was in possession of the properties.6
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Malolos, Bulacan, Branch 6, found merit in petitioners claim and granted their action
for Recovery of Possession by Reserva Troncal, Cancellation of TCT and Reconveyance. In its Decision dated
November 4, 2002, the RTC disposed as follows:

THE HONORABLE [CA] GRIEVOUSLY ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PETITIONERS MENDOZAS DO
NOT HAVE A RIGHT TO THE SUBJECT PROPERTIES BY VIRTUE OF THE LAW ON RESERVA
TRONCAL.12
Petitioners take exception to the ruling of the CA, contending that it is sufficient that the properties came from the
paternal line of Gregoria for it to be subject to reserva troncal. They also claim the properties in representation of their
own predecessors, Antonio and Valentin, who were the brothers of Exequiel.13

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Ruling of the Court
This petition is one for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The general rule in this regard is that it
should raise only questions of law. There are, however, admitted exceptions to this rule, one of which is when the CAs
findings are contrary to those of the trial court.14 This being the case in the petition at hand, the Court must now look
into the differing findings and conclusion of the RTC and the CA on the two issues that arise one, whether the
properties in dispute are reservable properties and two, whether petitioners are entitled to a reservation of these
properties.
Article 891 of the Civil Code on reserva troncal
The principle of reserva troncal is provided in Article 891 of the Civil Code:
Art. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by
gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have
acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and belong to the line from
which said property came. (Emphasis ours)
There are three (3) lines of transmission in reserva troncal. The first transmission is by gratuitous title, whether by
inheritance or donation, from an ascendant/brother/sister to a descendant called the prepositus. The second
transmission is by operation of law from the prepositus to the other ascendant or reservor, also called the reservista.
The third and last transmission is from the reservista to the reservees or reservatarios who must be relatives within the
third degree from which the property came.15
The lineal character of the
reservable property is reckoned
from the ascendant from whom the
prepositus received the property by
gratuitous title
Based on the circumstances of the present case, Article 891 on reserva troncal is not applicable.

The fallacy in the CAs resolution is that it proceeded from the erroneous premise that Placido is the ascendant
contemplated in Article 891 of the Civil Code. From thence, it sought to trace the origin of the subject properties back to
Placido and Dominga, determine whether Exequiel predeceased Placido and whether Gregoria predeceased Exequiel.
The persons involved in reserva troncal are:
(1) The ascendant or brother or sister from whom the property was received by the descendant by lucrative
or gratuitous title;
(2) The descendant or prepositus (propositus) who received the property;
(3) The reservor (reservista), the other ascendant who obtained the property from the prepositus by operation
of law; and
(4) The reservee (reservatario) who is within the third degree from the prepositus and who belongs to the
(linea o tronco) from which the property came and for whom the property should be reserved by the
reservor.16
It should be pointed out that the ownership of the properties should be reckoned only from Exequiels as he is the
ascendant from where the first transmission occurred, or from whom Gregoria inherited the properties in dispute. The
law does not go farther than such ascendant/brother/sister in determining the lineal character of the property.17 It was
also immaterial for the CA to determine whether Exequiel predeceased Placido and Dominga or whether Gregoria
predeceased Exequiel. What is pertinent is that Exequiel owned the properties and he is the ascendant from whom the
properties in dispute originally came. Gregoria, on the other hand, is the descendant who received the properties from
Exequiel by gratuitous title.
Moreover, Article 891 simply requires that the property should have been acquired by the descendant or prepositus
from an ascendant by gratuitous or lucrative title. A transmission is gratuitous or by gratuitous title when the recipient
does not give anything in return.18 At risk of being repetitious, what was clearly established in this case is that the
properties in dispute were owned by Exequiel (ascendant). After his death, Gregoria (descendant/prepositus) acquired
the properties as inheritance.
Ascendants, descendants and
collateral relatives under Article
964 of the Civil Code
Article 891 provides that the person obliged to reserve the property should be an ascendant (also known as the
reservor/reservista) of the descendant/prepositus. Julia, however, is not Gregorias ascendant; rather, she is Gregorias
collateral relative.
Article 964 of the Civil Code provides for the series of degrees among ascendants and descendants, and those who
are not ascendants and descendants but come from a common ancestor, viz:
Art. 964. A series of degrees forms a line, which may be either direct or collateral.1wphi1 A direct line is that
constituted by the series of degrees among ascendants and descendants.
A collateral line is that constituted by the series of degrees among persons who are not ascendants and descendants,
but who come from a common ancestor. (Emphasis and italics ours)

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 3 of 27


Gregorias ascendants are her parents, Exequiel and Leonor, her grandparents, great-grandparents and so on. On the
other hand, Gregorias descendants, if she had one, would be her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Not
being Gregorias ascendants, both petitioners and Julia, therefore, are her collateral relatives. In determining the
collateral line of relationship, ascent is made to the common ancestor and then descent to the relative from whom the
computation is made. In the case of Julias collateral relationship with Gregoria, ascent is to be made from Gregoria to
her mother Leonor (one line/degree), then to the common ancestor, that is, Julia and Leonors parents (second
line/degree), and then descent to Julia, her aunt (third line/degree). Thus, Julia is Gregorias collateral relative within the
third degree and not her ascendant.
First cousins of the
descendant/prepositus are fourth
degree relatives and cannot be
considered reservees/reservatarios
Moreover, petitioners cannot be considered reservees/reservatarios as they are not relatives within the third degree of
Gregoria from whom the properties came. The person from whom the degree should be reckoned is the
descendant/prepositusthe one at the end of the line from which the property came and upon whom the property last
revolved by descent.19 It is Gregoria in this case. Petitioners are Gregorias fourth degree relatives, being her first
cousins. First cousins of the prepositus are fourth degree relatives and are not reservees or reservatarios.20
They cannot even claim representation of their predecessors Antonio and Valentin as Article 891 grants a personal right
of reservation only to the relatives up to the third degree from whom the reservable properties came. The only
recognized exemption is in the case of nephews and nieces of the prepositus, who have the right to represent their
ascendants (fathers and mothers) who are the brothers/sisters of the prepositus and relatives within the third
degree.21 In Florentino v. Florentino,22 the Court stated:
Following the order prescribed by law in legitimate succession, when there are relatives of the descendant within the
third degree, the right of the nearest relative, called reservatario, over the property which the reservista (person holding
it subject to reservation) should return to him, excludes that of the one more remote. The right of representation cannot
be alleged when the one claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within
the third degree belong to the line from which such property came, inasmuch as the right granted by the Civil Code in
Article 811 now Article 891 is in the highest degree personal and for the exclusive benefit of the designated persons
who are the relatives, within the third degree, of the person from whom the reservable property came. Therefore,
relatives of the fourth and the succeeding degrees can never be considered as reservatarios, since the law does not
recognize them as such.

Art. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers or sisters, the other collateral relatives
shall succeed to the estate.
The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by reason of relationship by the whole
blood.
Nevertheless, the Court is not in the proper position to determine the proper distribution of Gregorias estate at this
point as the cause of action relied upon by petitioners in their complaint filed with the RTC is based solely on reserva
troncal. Further, any determination would necessarily entail reception of evidence on Gregorias entire estate and the
heirs entitled thereto, which is best accomplished in an action filed specifically for that purpose.
A reservista acquires ownership of
the reservable property until the
reservation takes place or is
extinguished
Before concluding, the Court takes note of a palpable error in the RTCs disposition of the case. In upholding the right
of petitioners over the properties, the RTC ordered the reconveyance of the properties to petitioners and the transfer of
the titles in their names. What the RTC should have done, assuming for arguments sake that reserva troncal is
applicable, is have the reservable nature of the property registered on respondents titles. In fact, respondent, as
reservista, has the duty to reserve and to annotate the reservable character of the property on the title.24 In reserva
troncal, the reservista who inherits from a prepositus, whether by the latters wish or by operation of law, acquires the
inheritance by virtue of a title perfectly transferring absolute ownership. All the attributes of ownership belong to him
exclusively.25
The reservor has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to the resolutory condition that such
title is extinguished if the reservor predeceased the reservee. The reservor is a usufructuary of the reservable property.
He may alienate it subject to the reservation. The transferee gets the revocable and conditional ownership of the
reservor. The transferees rights are revoked upon the survival of the reservees at the time of the death of the reservor
but become indefeasible when the reservees predecease the reservor.26(Citations omitted)
It is when the reservation takes place or is extinguished,27 that a reservatario becomes, by operation of law, the owner
of the reservable property.28 In any event, the foregoing discussion does not detract from the fact that petitioners are not
entitled to a reservation of the properties in dispute.

x x x Nevertheless there is right of representation on the part of reservatarios who are within the third degree mentioned
by law, as in the case of nephews of the deceased person from whom the reservable property came. x x x.23 (Emphasis
and underscoring ours)

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision dated November 16, 2006 and Resolution dated January 17,
2007 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 77694 insofar as it dismissed the Third Amended Complaint in Civil
Case No. 609-M-92 are AFFIRMED. This Decision is without prejudice to any civil action that the heirs of Gregoria

The conclusion, therefore, is that while it may appear that the properties are reservable in character, petitioners cannot
benefit from reserva troncal. First, because Julia, who now holds the properties in dispute, is not the other ascendant
within the purview of Article 891 of the Civil Code and second, because petitioners are not Gregorias relatives within
the third degree. Hence, the CAs disposition that the complaint filed with the RTC should be dismissed, only on this
point, is correct. If at all, what should apply in the distribution of Gregorias estate are Articles 1003 and 1009 of the Civil
Code, which provide:

Mendoza may file for the settlement of her estate or for the determination of ownership of the properties in question.

Art. 1003. If there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse, the collateral relatives
shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the following articles.

BEATRIZ L. GONZALES, petitioner,


vs.
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA (BRANCH V), BENITO F. LEGARDA, ROSARIO L. VALDEZ,
ALEJANDRO LEGARDA, TERESA LEGARDA, JOSE LEGARDA, BENITO LEGARDA Y FERNANDEZ, CARMEN
LEGARDA Y FERNANDEZ, FILOMENA LEGARDA Y HERNANDEZ, CARMEN LEGARDA Y HERNANDEZ,

SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-34395 May 19, 1981

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 4 of 27


ALEJANDRO LEGARDA Y HERNANDEZ, RAMON LEGARDA Y HERNANDEZ, FILOMENA LEGARDA Y
LOBREGAT, JAIME LEGARDA Y LOBREGAT, CELSO LEGARDA Y LOBREGAT, ALEJANDRO LEGARDA Y
LOBREGAT, MA. TERESA LEGARDA Y LOBREGAT, MA. ANTONIA LEGARDA Y LOBREGAT, JOSE LEGARDA Y
LOBREGAT, ROSARIO LEGARDA Y LOBREGAT, BENITO LEGARDA Y LOBREGAT, EDUARDO LEGARDA Y
LOBREGAT, TRINIDAD F. LEGARDA, and the ESTATE OF DONA FILOMENA ROCES DE LEGARDA, respondents.

l/21st of the properties described in TCT Nos. 48199 and 57551 of the Manila registry of deeds
(Streets and Estero):
2/21st of the property described in TCT No. 13458 of tile registry of deeds of T0ayabas.

AQUINO, J.:1wph1.t

These are the properties in litigation in this case. As a result of the affidavit of adjudication, Filomena Races succeeded
her deceased daughter Filomena Legarda as co-owner of the properties held proindiviso by her other six children.

Beatriz Legarda Gonzales appealed from the decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila, dismissing her complaint
for partition, accounting, reconveyance and damages and holding, as not subject to reserve troncal, the properties
which her mother Filomena Races inherited in 1943 from Filomena Legarda (Civil Case No. 73335). The facts are as
follows:

Mrs. Legarda on March 6, 1953 executed two handwritten Identical documents wherein she disposed of the properties,
which she inherited from her daughter, in favor of the children of her sons, Benito, Alejandro and Jose (sixteen
grandchildren in all). The document reads: 1wph1.t

Benito Legarda y De la Paz, the son of Benito Legarda y Tuason, died [Manila] on June 17, 1933. He was survived by
his widow, Filomena Races, and their seven children: four daughters named Beatriz, Rosario, Teresa and Filomena and
three sons named Benito, Alejandro and Jose.
On July 12, 1939, the real properties left by Benito Legarda y Tuason were partitioned in three equal portions by his
daughters, Consuelo and Rita, and the heirs of his deceased son Benito Legarda y De la Paz who were represented by
Benito F. Legarda.
Filomena Legarda y Races died intestate and without issue on March 19, 1943. Her sole heiress was her mother,
Filomena Races Vda. de Legarda.

A mis hijos :
Dispongo que se reparta a todos mis nietos hijos de Ben, Mandu y Pepito, los bienes que he
heredado de mi difunta hija Filomena y tambien los acciones de la Destileria La Rosario'
recientemente comprada a los hermanos Values Legarda.
De los bienes de mi hija Filomena se deducira un tote de terreno que yo he 0donada a las Hijas de
Jesus, en Guipit
La case No. 181 San Rafael, la cede a mi hijo Mandu solo la casa; proque ella esta construida
sobre terreno de los hermanos Legarda Races. 1wph1.t

Mrs. Legarda executed on May 12, 1947 an affidavit adjudicating extrajudicially to herself the properties which she
inherited from her deceased daughter, Filomena Legarda. The said properties consist of the following: 1wph1.t
(a) Savings deposit in the National City Bank of New York with a credit balance of P3,699.63.
(b) 1,429 shares of the Benguet Consolidated Mining Company and a 1/7 interest in certain shares
of the San Miguel Brewery, Tuason & Legarda, Ltd., Philippine Guaranty Company, Insular Life
Assurance Company and the Manila Times.
(c) 1/7 of the properties described in TCT Nos. 80226, 80237 to 80243 (7 titles), 80260, 80261 and
57512 of the Manila registry of deeds.
1/21st of the properties covered by TCT Nos. 48164, 84714, 48201, 48202, 48205, 48203, 48206,
48160 and 48192 of the Manila registry of deeds;
1/21st of the property described in TCT No. 4475 of the registry of deeds of Rizal, now Quezon
City; 1/14th of the property described in TCT No. 966 of the registry of deeds of Baguio;
1/7th of the lot and improvements at 127 Aviles described in TCT No. 41862 of the Manila registry
of deeds; 1/7th of the lots and improvements at 181 San Rafael describe in TCT Nos. 50495 and
48161 of the Manila registry of deeds;
1/7th of the property described in TCT No. 48163 of the Manila registry of deeds (Streets);

(Sgd.) FILOMENA ROCES


LEGARDA
6 Marzo 1953
During the period from July, 1958 to February, 1959 Mrs. Legarda and her six surviving children partitioned the
properties consisting of the one-third share in the estate of Benito Legarda y Tuason which the children inherited in
representation of their father, Benito Legarda y De la Paz.
Mrs. Legarda died on September 22, 1967. Her will was admitted to probate as a holographic will in the order dated
July 16, 1968 of the Court of First Instance of Manila in Special Proceeding No. 70878, Testate Estate of Filomena
Races Vda. de Legarda. The decree of probate was affirmed by the Court of Appeals in Legarda vs. Gonzales, CAG.R. No. 43480-R, July 30,1976.
In the testate proceeding, Beatriz Legarda Gonzales, a daughter of the testatrix, filed on May 20, 1968 a motion to
exclude from the inventory of her mother's estate the properties which she inherited from her deceased daughter,
Filomena, on the ground that said properties are reservable properties which should be inherited by Filomena
Legarda's three sisters and three brothers and not by the children of Benito, Alejandro and Jose, all surnamed Legarda.
That motion was opposed by the administrator, Benito F. Legarda.
Without awaiting the resolution on that motion, Mrs. Gonzales filed on June 20, 1968 an ordinary civil action against her
brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces and her mother's estate for the purpose of securing a declaration that the said
properties are reservable properties which Mrs. Legarda could not bequeath in her holographic will to her grandchildren
to the exclusion of her three daughters and her three sons (See Paz vs. Madrigal, 100 Phil. 1085).

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 5 of 27


As already stated, the lower court dismissed the action of Mrs. Gonzales. ln this appeal under Republic Act No. 5440
she contends in her six assignments of error that the lower court erred in not regarding the properties in question as
reservable properties under article 891 of the Civil Code.
On the other hand, defendants-appellees in their six counter-assignments of error contend that the lower court erred in
not holding that Mrs. Legarda acquired the estate of her daughter Filomena] Legarda in exchange for her conjugal and
hereditary shares in the estate of her husband Benito Legarda y De la Paz and in not holding that Mrs. Gonzales
waived her right to the reservable properties and that her claim is barred by estoppel, laches and prescription.
The preliminary issue raised by the private respondents as to the timeliness of Mrs. Gonzales' petition for review is a
closed matter. This Court in its resolution of December 16, 1971 denied respondents' motion to dismiss and gave due
course to the petition for review.
In an appeal under Republic Act No. 5440 only legal issues can be raised under undisputed facts. Since on the basis of
the stipulated facts the lower court resolved only the issue of whether the properties in question are subject to reserva
troncal that is the only legal issue to be resolved in this appeal.
The other issues raised by the defendants-appellees, particularly those involving factual matters, cannot be resolved in
this appeal. As the trial court did not pass upon those issues, there is no ruling which can be reviewed by this Court.
The question is whether the disputed properties are reservable properties under article 891 of the Civil Code, formerly
article 811, and whether Filomena Races Vda. de Legarda could dispose of them in his will in favor of her grandchildren
to the exclusion of her six children.
Did Mrs. Legarda have the right to convey mortis causa what she inherited from her daughter Filomena to the
reservees within the third degree and to bypass the reservees in the second degree or should that inheritance
automatically go to the reservees in the second degree, the six children of Mrs. Legarda?
As will hereinafter be shown that is not a novel issue or a question of first impression. lt was resolved in Florentino vs.
Florentino, 40 Phil. 480. Before discussing the applicability to this case of the doctrine in the Florentino case and other
pertinent rulings, it may be useful to make a brief discourse on the nature of reserve troncal, also calledlineal, familiar,
extraordinaria o semi-troncal.
Much time, effort and energy were spent by the parties in their five briefs in descanting on the nature of reserve
troncal which together with the reserva viudal and reversion legal, was abolished by the Code Commission to prevent
the decedent's estate from being entailed, to eliminate the uncertainty in ownership caused by the reservation (which
uncertainty impedes the improvement of the reservable property) and to discourage the confinement of property within
a certain family for generations which situation allegedly leads to economic oligarchy, and is incompatible with the
socialization of ownership.

ART. 811. El ascendiente que heredare de su descendiente bienes que este hubiese adquirido por
titulo lucrative de otro ascendiente, o de un hermano, se halla obligado a reservas los que hubiere
adquirido por ministerio de la ley en favor de los parientes que eaten dentro del tercer grade y
pertenezcan a la linea de donde los bienes proceden
ART. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have
acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve
such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are
within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came.
In reserve troncal (1) a descendant inherited or acquired by gratuitous title property from an ascendant or from a
brother or sister; (2) the same property is inherited by another ascendant or is acquired by him by operation of law from
the said descendant, and (3) the said ascendant should reserve the said property for the benefit of relatives who are
within the third degree from the deceased descendant (prepositus) and who belong to the line from which the said
property came.
So, three transmissions are involved: (I) a first transmission by lucrative title (inheritance or donation) from an
ascendant or brother or sister to the deceased descendant; (2) a posterior transmission, by operation of law (intestate
succession or legitime) from the deceased descendant (causante de la reserve) in favor of another ascendant, the
reservor or reservista, which two transmissions precede the reservation, and (3) a third transmissions of the same
property (in consequence of the reservation) from the reservor to the reservees (reservatarios) or the relatives within
the third degree from the deceased descendant belonging to the line of the first ascendant, brother or sister of the
deceased descendant (6 Castan Tobenas Derecho Civil, Part l, 1960, 6th Ed., pp. 198-9).
If there are only two transmissions there is no reserve. Thus, where one Bonifacia Lacerna died and her properties
were inherited by her son, Juan Marbebe, upon the death of Juan, those lands should be inherited by his half-sister, to
the exclusion of his maternal first cousins. The said lands are not reservable property within the meaning of article 811
(Lacerna vs. Vda. de Corcino, l l l Phil. 872).
The persons involved in reserve troncal are (1) the ascendant or brother or sister from whom the property was received
by the descendant by lucrative or gratuitous title, (2) the descendant or prepositus (prepositus) who received the
property, (3) the reservor (reservista) the other ascendant who obtained the property from the (prepositus) by operation
of law and (4) the reserves (reservatario) who is within the third degree from theprepositus and who belongs to the (line
o tronco) from which the property came and for whom the property should be reserved by the reservor.
The reservees may be half-brothers and sisters (Rodriguez vs. Rodriguez, 101 Phil. 1098; Chua vs. Court of First
Instance of Negros Occidental, L-29901, August 31, 1977, 78 SCRA 412). Fourth degree relatives are not included
(Jardin vs. Villamayor, 72 Phil. 392).

The Code Commission regarded the reservas as remnants of feudalism which fomented agrarian unrest. Moreover,
the reserves, insofar as they penalize legitimate relationship, is considered unjust and inequitable.

The rationale of reserve troncal is to avoid "el peligro de que bienes poseidos secularmente por una familia pasen
bruscamente a titulo gratuito a manos extraas por el azar de los enlaces y muertes prematuras or impeder que, por
un azar de la vide personas extranas a una familia puedan adquirir bienes que sin aquel hubieran quedado en ella (6
Castan Tobenas Derecho Civil, Part l, 6th Ed., 1980, p. 203; Padura vs. Baldovino, 104 Phil. 1065).

However, the lawmaking body, not agreeing entirely with the Code Commission, restored the reserve troncal, a legal
institution which, according to Manresa and Castan Tobenas has provoked questions and doubts that are difficult to
resolve.

An illustration of reserve troncal is found in Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295. ln that case, Pedro Sablan inherited two
parcels of land from his father Victorians. Pedro died in 1902, single and without issue. His mother, Marcelina Edroso,
inherited from him the two parcels of land.

Reserva troncal is provided for in article 811 of the Spanish Civil Code, now article 891, which reads: 1wph1.t

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 6 of 27


It was held that the land was reservable property in the hands of Marcelina. The reservees were Pablo Sablan and
Basilio Sablan, the paternal uncles of Pedro Sablan, the prepositus. Marcelina could register the land under the Torrens
system in her name but the fact that the land was reservable property in favor of her two brothers-in-law, should they
survive her, should be noted in the title.
In another case, it appears that Maria Aglibot died intestate in 1906. Her one-half share of a parcel of conjugal land was
inherited by her daughter, Juliana Maalac. When Juliana died intestate in 1920, said one-half share was inherited by
her father, Anacleto Maalac who owned the other one-half portion.
Anacleto died intestate in 1942, survived by his second wife and their six children. lt was held that the said one-half
portion was reservable property in the hands of Anacleto Maalac and, upon his death, should be inherited by Leona
Aglibot and Evarista Aglibot, sisters of Maria and materna aunts of Juliana Maalac, who belonged to the line from
which said one-half portion came (Aglibot vs. Maalac 114 Phil. 964).
Other illustrations of reserva troncal are found in Florentino vs Florentino, 40 Phil. 480; Nieva and Alcala vs. Alcala and
Deocampo, 41 Phil. 915; Maghirang and Gutierrez vs. Balcita 46 Phil. 551; Lunsod vs. Ortega, 46 Phil. 664; Dizon vs.
Galang, 48 Phil. 601; Riosa vs. Rocha, 48 Phil. 737; Centeno vs. Centeno 52 Phil. 322; Velayo Bernardo vs. Siojo, 58
Phil. 89; Director of Lands vs. Aguas, 63 Phil. 279; Fallorfina vs. Abille, CA 39 O.G. 1784.
The person from whom the degree should be reckoned is the descendant, or the one at the end of the line from which
the property came and upon whom the property last revolved by descent. He is called the prepositus(Cabardo vs.
Villanueva. 44 Phil. 186, 190).
In the Cabardo case, one Cornelia Abordo inherited property from her mother, Basilia Cabardo. When Cornelia died,
her estate passed to her father, Lorenzo Abordo. ln his hands, the property was reservable property. Upon the death of
Lorenzo, the person entitled to the property was Rosa Cabardo, a maternal aunt of Cornelia, who was her nearest
relative within the third degree.
First cousins of the prepositus are in the fourth degree and are not reservees. They cannot even represent their parents
because representation is confined to relatives within the third degree (Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480).
Within the third degree, the nearest relatives exclude the more remote subject to the rule of representation. But the
representative should be within the third degree from the prepositus (Padura vs. Baldovino, 104 Phil. 1065).
Reserva troncal contemplates legitimate relationship. illegitimate relationship and relationship by affinity are excluded.
Gratuitous title or titulo lucrativo refers to a transmission wherein the recipient gives nothing in return such as donacion
and succession (Cabardo vs. Villanueva, 44 Phil. 186, 189-190, citing 6 Manresa, Codigo Civil, 7th Ed., 195 l, p. 360).
The reserva creates two resolutory conditions, namely, (1) the death of the ascendant obliged to reserve and (2) the
survival, at the time of his death, of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which the property came
(Sienes vs. E Esparcia l l l Phil. 349, 353).
The reservor has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to the resolutory condition that such
title is extinguished if the reservor predeceased the reservee. The reservor is a usufructuary of the reservable property.
He may alienate it subject to the reservation. The transferee gets the revocable and conditional ownership of the
reservor. The transferee's rights are revoked upon the survival of the reservees at the time of the death of the reservor
but become indefeasible when the reservees predecease the reservor. (Sienes vs. Esparcia, 111 Phil. 349, 353; Edroso
vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295; Lunsod vs. Ortega, 46 Phil. 664; Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480: Director of Lands vs.
Aguas, 63 Phil. 279.)

The reservor's title has been compared with that of the vendee a retro in a pacta de retro sale or to a fideicomiso
conditional.
The reservor's alienation of the reservable property is subject to a resolutory condition, meaning that if at the time of the
reservor's death, there are reservees, the transferee of the property should deliver it to the reservees. lf there are no
reservees at the time of the reservor's death, the transferee's title would become absolute. (Lunsod vs. Ortega, 46 Phil.
664; Gueco vs. Lacson, 118 Phil. 944; Mono vs. Nequia 93 Phil. 120).
On the other hand, the reserves has only an inchoate, expectant or contingent right. His expectant right would
disappear if he predeceased the reservor. lt would become absolute should the reservor predecease the reserves.
The reserves cannot impugn any conveyance made by the reservor but he can require that the reservable character of
the property be recognized by the purchaser (Riosa vs. Rocha 48 Phil. 737; Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295, 312-3;
Gueco vs. Lacson, 118 Phil. 944).
There is a holding that the renunciation of the reservee's right to the reservable property is illegal for being a contract
regarding future inheritance (Velayo Bernardo vs. Siojo, 58 Phil. 89, 96).
And there is a dictum that the reservee's right is a real right which he may alienate and dispose of conditionally. The
condition is that the alienation shall transfer ownership to the vendee only if and when the reserves survives the
reservor (Sienes vs. Esparcia, 111 Phil. 349, 353). 1wph1.t
The reservatario receives the property as a conditional heir of the descendant (prepositus) said property
merely reverting to the line of origin from which it had temporarily and accidentally stayed during
the reservista's lifetime. The authorities are all agreed that there being reservatarios that survive the reservists,
the latter must be deemed to have enjoyed no more than a than interest in the reservable property. (J. J. B. L.
Reyes in Cane vs. Director of Lands, 105 Phil. l5.)
Even during the reservista's lifetime, the reservatarios, who are the ultimate acquirers of the property, can
already assert the right to prevent the reservista from doing anything that might frustrate their reversionary
right, and, for this purpose, they can compel the annotation of their right in the registry of property even while
the (reservista) is alive (Ley Hipotecaria de Ultramar, Arts. 168, 199; Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295).
This right is incompatible with the mere expectancy that corresponds to the natural heirs of the reservista lt is
likewise clear that the reservable property is no part of the estate of the reservista who may not dispose of
them (it) by will, so long as there are reservatarios existing (Arroyo vs. Gerona, 58 Phil. 226, 237).
The latter, therefore, do not inherit from the reservista but from the descendant (prepositus) of whom
the reservatarios are the heirs mortis causa, subject to the condition that they must survive thereservista.
(Sanchez Roman, Vol. VI Tomo 2, p. 286; Manresa, Commentaries, Vol. 6, 6th Ed., pp. 274, 310, cited by J.
J.B.L. Reyes in Padura vs. Baldovino, L-11960, December 27, 1958, 104 Phil. 1065).
Hence, upon the reservista's death, the reservatario nearest to the prepositus becomes, "automatically and by
operation of law, the owner of the reservable property." (Cane vs. Director of Lands, 105 Phil. l5.)
In the instant case, the properties in question were indubitably reservable properties in the hands of Mrs. Legarda.
Undoubtedly, she was a reservor. The reservation became a certainty when at the time of her death the reservees or
relatives within the third degree of the prepositus Filomena Legarda were living or they survived Mrs. Legarda.

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 7 of 27


So, the ultimate issue in this case is whether Mrs. Legarda, as reservor, could convey the reservable properties by will
or mortis causa to the reservees within the third degree (her sixteen grandchildren) to the exclusion of the reservees in
the second degree, her three daughters and three sons. As indicated at the outset, that issue is already res
judicata or cosa juzgada.
We hold that Mrs. Legarda could not convey in her holographic will to her sixteen grandchildren the reservable
properties which she had inherited from her daughter Filomena because the reservable properties did not form part of
her estate (Cabardo vs. Villanueva, 44 Phil. 186, 191). The reservor cannot make a disposition mortis causa of the
reservable properties as long as the reservees survived the reservor.
As repeatedly held in the Cano and Padura cases, the reservees inherit the reservable properties from
theprepositus, not from the reservor.
Article 891 clearly indicates that the reservable properties should be inherited by all the nearest relatives within the third
degree from the prepositus who in this case are the six children of Mrs. Legarda. She could not select the reservees to
whom the reservable property should be given and deprive the other reservees of their share therein.
To allow the reservor in this case to make a testamentary disposition of the reservable properties in favor of the
reservees in the third degree and, consequently, to ignore the reservees in the second degree would be a glaring
violation of article 891. That testamentary disposition cannot be allowed.
We have stated earlier that this case is governed by the doctrine of Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480, a similar
case, where it was ruled: 1wph1.t
Reservable property left, through a will or otherwise, by the death of ascendant (reservista) together with his own
property in favor of another of his descendants as forced heir, forms no part of the latter's lawful inheritance nor of
the legitime, for the reason that, as said property continued to be reservable, the heir receiving the same as an
inheritance from his ascendant has the strict obligation of its delivery to the relatives, within the third degree, of the
predecessor in interest (prepositus), without prejudicing the right of the heir to an aliquot part of the property, if he
has at the same time the right of a reservatario (reserves).
ln the Florentino case, it appears that Apolonio Florentino II and his second wife Severina Faz de Leon begot two
children, Mercedes and Apolonio III. These two inherited properties from their father. Upon Apolonio III death in 1891,
his properties were inherited by his mother, Severina, who died in 1908. ln her will, she instituted her daughter
Mercedes as heiress to all her properties, including those coming from her deceased husband through their son,
Apolonio III.
The surviving children, begotten by Apolonio II with his first wife Antonia Faz de Leon and the descendants of the
deceased children of his first marriage, sued Mercedes Florentino for the recovery of their share in the reservable
properties, which Severina de Leon had inherited from Apolonio III which the latter had inherited from his father
Apolonio II and which Severina willed to her daughter Mercedes.
Plaintiff's theory was that the said properties, as reservable properties, could not be disposed of in Severina's will in
favor of Mercedes only. That theory was sustained by this Court.
It was held that the said properties, being reservable properties, did not form part of Severina's estate and could not be
inherited from her by her daughter Mercedes alone.
As there were seven reservees, Mercedes was entitled, as a reserves, to one-seventh of the properties. The other six
sevenths portions were adjudicated to the other six reservees.

Under the rule of stare decisis et non quieta movere, we are bound to follow in this case the doctrine of
theFlorentino case. That doctrine means that as long as during the reservor's lifetime and upon his death there are
relatives within the third degree of the prepositus regardless of whether those reservees are common descendants of
the reservor and the ascendant from whom the property came, the property retains its reservable character. The
property should go to the nearest reservees. The reservor cannot, by means of his will, choose the reserves to whom
the reservable property should be awarded.
The alleged opinion of Sanchez Roman that there is no reserva troncal when the only relatives within the third degree
are the common descendants of the predeceased ascendant and the ascendant who would be obliged to reserve is
irrelevant and sans binding force in the light of the ruling in the Florentino case.
It is contended by the appellees herein that the properties in question are not reservable properties because only
relatives within the third degree from the paternal line have survived and that when Mrs. Legarda willed the said
properties to her sixteen grandchildren, who are third-degree relatives of Filomena Legarda and who belong to the
paternal line, the reason for the reserva troncal has been satisfied: "to prevent persons outside a family from securing,
by some special accident of life, property that would otherwise have remained therein".
That same contention was advanced in the Florentino case where the reservor willed the reservable properties to her
daughter, a full-blood sister of the prepositus and ignored the other six reservors, the relatives of the half-blood of
the prepositus.
In rejecting that contention, this Court held that the reservable property bequeathed by the reservor to her daughter
does not form part of the reservor's estate nor of the daughter's estate but should be given to all the seven reservees or
nearest relatives of the prepositus within the third degree.
This Court noted that, while it is true that by giving the reservable property to only one reserves it did not pass into the
hands of strangers, nevertheless, it is likewise true that the heiress of the reservor was only one of the reservees and
there is no reason founded upon law and justice why the other reservees should be deprived of their shares in the
reservable property (pp. 894-5).
Applying that doctrine to this case, it results that Mrs. Legarda could not dispose of in her will the properties in question
even if the disposition is in favor of the relatives within the third degree from Filomena Legarda. The said properties, by
operation of Article 891, should go to Mrs. Legarda's six children as reservees within the second degree from Filomena
Legarda.
It should be repeated that the reservees do not inherit from the reservor but from the reservor but from the
prepositus, of whom the reservees are the heirs mortis causa subject to the condition that they must survive the
reservor (Padura vs. Baldovino, L-11960, December 27, 1958, 104 Phil. 1065).
The trial court said that the disputed properties lost their reservable character due to the non-existence of third-degree
relatives of Filomena Legarda at the time of the death of the reservor, Mrs. Legarda, belonging to the Legarda family,
"except third-degree relatives who pertain to both" the Legarda and Races lines.
That holding is erroneous. The reservation could have been extinguished only by the absence of reservees at the time
of Mrs. Legarda's death. Since at the time of her death, there were (and still are) reservees belonging to the second
and third degrees, the disputed properties did not lose their reservable character. The disposition of the said properties
should be made in accordance with article 891 or the rule on reserva troncal and not in accordance with the reservor's
holographic will. The said properties did not form part of Mrs. Legarda's estate. (Cane vs. Director of Lands, 105 Phil. l,
4).

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 8 of 27


WHEREFORE, the lower court's decision is reversed and set aside. lt is hereby adjudged that the properties inherited
by Filomena Roces Vda. de Legarda from her daughter Filomena Legarda, with all the fruits and accessions thereof,
are reservable properties which belong to Beatriz, Rosario, Teresa, Benito, Alejandro and Jose, all surnamed Legarda y
Roces, as reservees. The shares of Rosario L. Valdes and Benito F. Legarda, who died in 1969 and 1973, respectively,
should pertain to their respective heirs. Costs against the private respondents.
SO ORDERED.
G.R. No. L-14530
April 25, 1962
LEONA AGLIBOT, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees,
vs.
ANDREA ACAY MAALAC, ET AL., defendants-appellants.
Nemesio Balonso for plaintiff-appellees.
Ruperto G. Martin and Associates for dependants-appellants.
DIZON, J.:
Leona and Evarista Aglibot commenced the present action (Civil Case No. 1482) in the Court of First Instance of
Zambales on July 31, 1952 to recover from Andrea Acay Maalac and her children Ramona, Gregorio, Felix, Angela,
Juanita and Purisima, all surnamed Maalac the ownership and possession of a parcel of land situated in barrio
Namanaan, Municipality of San Antonio, Zambales, more particularly described in paragraph 2 of their complaint, and
damages.
Briefly stated, the allegations of the complaint are that the Aglibots inherited the property subject matter thereof from
their deceased niece Juliana Maalac; that upon the death of Anacleto Maalac, father of Juliana, the defendants took
possession of said property, claimed it as their own and had since then appropriated for themselves all the palay
annually harvested therefrom amounting to 30 cavanes; that nothwithstanding demands made upon said defendants by
the Aglibots, they had refused to surrender the property to the latter.1wph1.t
In their answer, after denying some material averments of the complaint, appellants alleged substantially the following
as affirmative defense: that the land in question was purchased from Esteban Garcia by the spouses Anacleto Maalac
and Maria Aglibot for P1,000.00; that when Maria Aglibot died, only P300.00 of this amount had been paid; that the
remaining P700.00 was paid to the vendor during the marriage of Anacleto Maalac and appellant Andrea Acay; that
Juliana Maalac, the only daughter of Anacleto and his first wife, died in 1920, while Anacleto died in 1942; that upon
his death, his widow, Andrea Acay, and their children acquired the property in question as his sole legal heirs. Their
answer likewise claimed the sum of P1,000.00 as attorney's fees by way of counterclaim. After due trial, upon the issue
thus joined, the lower court rendered judgement as follows: .
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING CONSIDERATIONS, the Court hereby renders judgment declaring the
plaintiffs owners pro-indiviso of one half (1/2) of the land covered by Original Certificate No. 10 described in
paragraph 2 of the amended complaint, ordering the defendants to deliver to the plaintiffs the possession of
the said one-half (1/2) of the property covered by said title; ordering the defendants jointly and severally to
deliver to the plaintiffs 15 cavanes of palay yearly as the share of the plaintiffs from the produce of the land or
its equivalent value at P10.00 a cavan from the date of the filing of the complaint until the said one-half (1/2)
portion of the property described in Original Certificate No. 10 is delivered to the plaintiffs and ordering the
defendants to pay the costs.
From the above judgment Andrea Acay and her children took the present appeal.
The evidence shows that, originally, the land in question belonged to the conjugal partnership of the spouses Anacleto
Maalac and Maria Aglibot, and was covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 10 of the Register of Deeds of
Zambales in the name of Anacleto Maalac, married to Maria Aglibot; that said spouses had an only child named
Juliana Maalac; that Maria Aglibot died on October 2, 1906; that on April 25, 1910, Anacleto Maalac married
appellant Andrea Acay with whom he had six children (the other appellants herein); that Juliana Maalac died intestate
on October 22, 1920, leaving no other relatives except her father, Anacleto Maalac, and her half brothers and sisters

already mentioned; that upon the death of Anacleto on June 2, 1942, his widow, Andrea Acay, and her six children took
possession of the parcel of land in controversy and since then have refused to surrender the ownership and possession
thereof to the appellees; that the land produces thirty cavanes of palay yearly.
On May 18, 1951, appellees Leona and Evarista Aglibot filed a verified petition in the Court of First Instance of
Zambales for the summary partition or distribution of the properties left by the deceased Juliana Maalac among her
rightful heirs (Special Proceeding No. 594). The court, after proper proceedings, issued an order dated October 30,
1951, the dispositive part of which reads as follows: .
Wherefore, the Court declares that the applicant Leona Aglibot and Evarista Aglibot are the only heirs within
the third degree of Juliana Maalac, and belonging to the same line from which these properties originally
belonged, that is, from Maria Aglibot, being the sisters of the latter; that the value of these properties does not
exceed six thousand pesos (P6,000); and that each of the applicants is entitled to receive and enter into
possession of one-half of the first five parcels and one-fourth of the last two, after paying such debts of the
estate if there be any and the proportionate expenses of this special proceedings, subject to the provisions
of Rule 74 of the Rules of Court. (Page 10, Rec. on App.).
After securing the decision abovequoted appellees made the unsuccessful demands upon appellants for the surrender
of the property in question to them, and subsequently filed the present action.
The main question to be resolved now is: Who is entitled to the land which Anacleto Maalac inherited from his
daughter, Juliana, as between appellees(sisters of Maria Aglibot, first wife of Anacleto Maalac), on the one hand, and
appellants (Anacleto's second wife and their children), on the other?.
It is clear from the facts of the case that the land in question is reservable property in accordance with the provisions of
Article 811 of the Spanish Civil Code (Art. 891 of the New Civil Code). Both parties now admit that the entire parcel
covered by Original Certificate of Title No. 10 belonged to the conjugal partnership of the spouses Anacleto Maalac
and Maria Aglibot; that upon the death of the latter on October 2, 1906, their only daughter, Juliana Maalac, inherited
one-half of the property, the other pertaining to her father as his share in the conjugal partnership; that upon the death
of Juliana Maalac on October 2, 1920 without leaving any descendant, her father inherited her one-half portion of said
property. In accordance with law, therefore, Anacleto Maalac was obliged to reserve the portion he had thus inherited
from his daughter, for the benefit of appellees, Leona and Evarista Aglibot, aunts of Juliana on the maternal side and
who are, therefore, her relative within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came.
Appellants' contention that the major portion of the purchase price of the land in question was paid to the original
owner, Esteban Garcia, after the death of Maria Aglibot is rendered clearly untenable not only by the lack of sufficient
evidence to this effect but also by the very significant circumstance that the property was titled in the name of Anacleto
Maalac "married to Maria Aglibot" circumstance that strongly indicates that said spouses had acquired full
ownership thereof during the lifetime of Maria Aglibot.
A Secondary question raised by appellants is to the effect that the lower court erred in ordering them, jointly and
severally, to deliver to appellees fifteen cavanes of palay yearly or pay their equivalent value of P10.00 a cavan, from
the date of the filing of the complaint. Considering the belief of appellants that the property in controversy formed part of
the estate of Anacleto Maalac and that upon the latter's death ownership thereof was transmitted to all his heirs,
subject to the usufructuary rights of the surviving spouse, Maria Acay, their contention not sufficiently rebutted that
only the latter enjoyed possession of the property since her husband's death and received the annual share pertaining
to the landlord seems to be reasonable and logical. She should be the only one, therefore, sentenced to pay the fifteen
cavanes of palay yearly from the date of the filing of the complaint.
The remaining contention of appellants that the lower court should have ordered appellees to refund to them 50% of
the annual realty tax paid on the property cannot be sustained, this matter having been raised by them for the first time
on appeal.
WHEREFORE, modified as above indicated, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs.

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 9 of 27


Bengzon, C.J., Padilla, Bautista Angelo, Labrador, Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera and Paredes, JJ., concur.

Salustia and her sister, Celedonia (daughter of Engracio Solivio and his second wife Josefa Fernandez), a teacher in
the Iloilo Provincial High School, brought up Esteban, Jr.

ELEMENTS : RESERVISTA
Salustia brought to her marriage paraphernal properties (various parcels of land in Calinog, Iloilo covered by 24 titles)
which she had inherited from her mother, Gregoria Celo, Engracio Solivio's first wife (p. 325, Record), but no conjugal
property was acquired during her short-lived marriage to Esteban, Sr.
G.R. No. 83484 February 12, 1990
CELEDONIA SOLIVIO, petitioner,
vs.
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and CONCORDIA JAVELLANA VILLANUEVA, respondents.
Rex Suiza Castillon for petitioner.
Salas & Villareal for private respondent.
MEDIALDEA, J.:
This is a petition for review of the decision dated January 26, 1988 of the Court of Appeals in CA GR CV No. 09010
(Concordia Villanueva v. Celedonia Solivio) affirming the decision of the trial court in Civil Case No. 13207 for partition,
reconveyance of ownership and possession and damages, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiff and against defendant:
a) Ordering that the estate of the late Esteban Javellana, Jr. be divided into two (2) shares: one-half for the
plaintiff and one-half for defendant. From both shares shall be equally deducted the expenses for the burial,
mausoleum and related expenditures. Against the share of defendants shall be charged the expenses for
scholarship, awards, donations and the 'Salustia Solivio Vda. de Javellana Memorial Foundation;'
b) Directing the defendant to submit an inventory of the entire estate property, including but not limited to,
specific items already mentioned in this decision and to render an accounting of the property of the estate,
within thirty (30) days from receipt of this judgment; one-half (1/2) of this produce shall belong to plaintiff;
c) Ordering defendant to pay plaintiff P5,000.00 as expenses of litigation; P10,000.00 for and as
attorney's fees plus costs.
SO ORDERED. (pp. 42-43, Rollo)
This case involves the estate of the late novelist, Esteban Javellana, Jr., author of the first post-war Filipino novel
"Without Seeing the Dawn," who died a bachelor, without descendants, ascendants, brothers, sisters, nephews or
nieces. His only surviving relatives are: (1) his maternal aunt, petitioner Celedonia Solivio, the spinster half-sister of his
mother, Salustia Solivio; and (2) the private respondent, Concordia Javellana-Villanueva, sister of his deceased father,
Esteban Javellana, Sr.
He was a posthumous child. His father died barely ten (10) months after his marriage in December, 1916 to Salustia
Solivio and four months before Esteban, Jr. was born.

On October 11, 1959, Salustia died, leaving all her properties to her only child, Esteban, Jr., including a house and lot in
La Paz, Iloilo City, where she, her son, and her sister lived. In due time, the titles of all these properties were transferred
in the name of Esteban, Jr.
During his lifetime, Esteban, Jr. had, more than once, expressed to his aunt Celedonia and some close friends his plan
to place his estate in a foundation to honor his mother and to help poor but deserving students obtain a college
education. Unfortunately, he died of a heart attack on February 26,1977 without having set up the foundation.
Two weeks after his funeral, Concordia and Celedonia talked about what to do with Esteban's properties. Celedonia
told Concordia about Esteban's desire to place his estate in a foundation to be named after his mother, from whom his
properties came, for the purpose of helping indigent students in their schooling. Concordia agreed to carry out the plan
of the deceased. This fact was admitted by her in her "Motion to Reopen and/or Reconsider the Order dated April 3,
1978" which she filed on July 27, 1978 in Special Proceeding No. 2540, where she stated:
4. That petitioner knew all along the narrated facts in the immediately preceding paragraph [that
herein movant is also the relative of the deceased within the third degree, she being the younger
sister of the late Esteban Javellana, father of the decedent herein], because prior to the filing of the
petition they (petitioner Celedonia Solivio and movant Concordia Javellana) have agreed to make
the estate of the decedent a foundation, besides they have closely known each other due to their
filiation to the decedent and they have been visiting each other's house which are not far away for
(sic) each other. (p. 234, Record; Emphasis supplied.)
Pursuant to their agreement that Celedonia would take care of the proceedings leading to the formation of the
foundation, Celedonia in good faith and upon the advice of her counsel, filed on March 8, 1977 Spl. Proceeding No.
2540 for her appointment as special administratrix of the estate of Esteban Javellana, Jr. (Exh. 2). Later, she filed an
amended petition (Exh. 5) praying that letters of administration be issued to her; that she be declared sole heir of the
deceased; and that after payment of all claims and rendition of inventory and accounting, the estate be adjudicated to
her (p. 115, Rollo).
After due publication and hearing of her petition, as well as her amended petition, she was declared sole heir of the
estate of Esteban Javellana, Jr. She explained that this was done for three reasons: (1) because the properties of the
estate had come from her sister, Salustia Solivio; (2) that she is the decedent's nearest relative on his mother's side;
and (3) with her as sole heir, the disposition of the properties of the estate to fund the foundation would be facilitated.
On April 3, 1978, the court (Branch II, CFI, now Branch 23, RTC) declared her the sole heir of Esteban, Jr. Thereafter,
she sold properties of the estate to pay the taxes and other obligations of the deceased and proceeded to set up
the "SALUSTIA SOLIVIO VDA. DE JAVELLANA FOUNDATION" which she caused to be registered in the Securities
and Exchange Commission on July 17,1981 under Reg. No. 0100027 (p. 98, Rollo).
Four months later, or on August 7, 1978, Concordia Javellana Villanueva filed a motion for reconsideration of the court's
order declaring Celedonia as "sole heir" of Esteban, Jr., because she too was an heir of the deceased. On October 27,
1978, her motion was denied by the court for tardiness (pp. 80-81, Record). Instead of appealing the denial, Concordia
filed on January 7, 1980 (or one year and two months later), Civil Case No. 13207 in the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo,

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 10 of 27


Branch 26, entitled "Concordia Javellana- Villanueva v. Celedonia Solivio" for partition, recovery of possession,
ownership and damages.

2. As regards the second incident [Motion for Declaration of Miss Celedonia Solivio as Sole Heir,
dated March 7, 1978], it appears from the record that despite the notices posted and the
publication of these proceedings as required by law, no other heirs came out to interpose any
opposition to the instant proceeding. It further appears that herein Administratrix is the only
claimant-heir to the estate of the late Esteban Javellana who died on February 26, 1977.

On September 3, 1984, the said trial court rendered judgment in Civil Case No. 13207, in favor of Concordia JavellanaVillanueva.

During the hearing of the motion for declaration as heir on March 17, 1978, it was established that
the late Esteban Javellana died single, without any known issue, and without any surviving parents.
His nearest relative is the herein Administratrix, an elder [sic] sister of his late mother who reared
him and with whom he had always been living with [sic] during his lifetime.

On Concordia's motion, the trial court ordered the execution of its judgment pending appeal and required Celedonia to
submit an inventory and accounting of the estate. In her motions for reconsideration of those orders, Celedonia averred
that the properties of the deceased had already been transferred to, and were in the possession of, the 'Salustia Solivio
Vda. de Javellana Foundation." The trial court denied her motions for reconsideration.
In the meantime, Celedonia perfected an appeal to the Court of Appeals (CA GR CV No. 09010). On January 26, 1988,
the Court of Appeals, Eleventh Division, rendered judgment affirming the decision of the trial court in toto.Hence, this
petition for review wherein she raised the following legal issues:
1. whether Branch 26 of the RTC of Iloilo had jurisdiction to entertain Civil Case No. 13207 for partition and
recovery of Concordia Villanueva's share of the estate of Esteban Javellana, Jr. even while the probate
proceedings (Spl. Proc. No. 2540) were still pending in Branch 23 of the same court;
2. whether Concordia Villanueva was prevented from intervening in Spl. Proc. No. 2540 through extrinsic
fraud;
3. whether the decedent's properties were subject to reserva troncal in favor of Celedonia, his relative
within the third degree on his mother's side from whom he had inherited them; and
4. whether Concordia may recover her share of the estate after she had agreed to place the same in the
Salustia Solivio Vda. de Javellana Foundation, and notwithstanding the fact that conformably with said
agreement, the Foundation has been formed and properties of the estate have already been transferred to
it.
I. The question of jurisdiction
After a careful review of the records, we find merit in the petitioner's contention that the Regional Trial Court, Branch 26,
lacked jurisdiction to entertain Concordia Villanueva's action for partition and recovery of her share of the estate of
Esteban Javellana, Jr. while the probate proceedings (Spl, Proc. No. 2540) for the settlement of said estate are still
pending in Branch 23 of the same court, there being as yet no orders for the submission and approval of the
administratix's inventory and accounting, distributing the residue of the estate to the heir, and terminating the
proceedings (p. 31, Record).
It is the order of distribution directing the delivery of the residue of the estate to the persons entitled thereto that brings
to a close the intestate proceedings, puts an end to the administration and thus far relieves the administrator from his
duties (Santiesteban v. Santiesteban, 68 Phil. 367, Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank v. Escolin, et al., L27860, March 29, 1974, 56 SCRA 266).
The assailed order of Judge Adil in Spl. Proc. No. 2540 declaring Celedonia as the sole heir of the estate of Esteban
Javellana, Jr. did not toll the end of the proceedings. As a matter of fact, the last paragraph of the order directed the
administratrix to "hurry up the settlement of the estate." The pertinent portions of the order are quoted below:

xxxxxxxxx
2. Miss Celedonia Solivio, Administratrix of this estate, is hereby declared as the sole and legal heir
of the late Esteban S. Javellana, who died intestate on February 26, 1977 at La Paz, Iloilo City.
The Administratrix is hereby instructed to hurry up with the settlement of this estate so that it can
be terminated. (pp, 14-16, Record)
In view of the pendency of the probate proceedings in Branch 11 of the Court of First Instance (now RTC, Branch 23),
Concordia's motion to set aside the order declaring Celedonia as sole heir of Esteban, and to have herself (Concordia)
declared as co-heir and recover her share of the properties of the deceased, was properly filed by her in Spl. Proc. No.
2540. Her remedy when the court denied her motion, was to elevate the denial to the Court of Appeals for review on
certiorari. However, instead of availing of that remedy, she filed more than one year later, a separate action for the
same purpose in Branch 26 of the court. We hold that the separate action was improperly filed for it is the probate court
that has exclusive jurisdiction to make a just and legal distribution of the estate.
In the interest of orderly procedure and to avoid confusing and conflicting dispositions of a decedent's estate, a court
should not interfere with probate proceedings pending in a co-equal court. Thus, did we rule in Guilas v. Judge of the
Court of First Instance of Pampanga, L-26695, January 31, 1972, 43 SCRA 111, 117, where a daughter filed a separate
action to annul a project of partition executed between her and her father in the proceedings for the settlement of the
estate of her mother:
The probate court loses jurisdiction of an estate under administration only after the payment of all
the debts and the remaining estate delivered to the heirs entitled to receive the same. The finality
of the approval of the project of The probate court, in the exercise of its jurisdiction to make
distribution, has power to determine the proportion or parts to which each distributed is entitled. ...
The power to determine the legality or illegality of the testamentary provision is inherent in the
jurisdiction of the court making a just and legal distribution of the inheritance. ... To hold that a
separate and independent action is necessary to that effect, would be contrary to the general
tendency of the jurisprudence of avoiding multiplicity of suits; and is further, expensive, dilatory,
and impractical. (Marcelino v. Antonio, 70 Phil. 388)
A judicial declaration that a certain person is the only heir of the decedent is exclusively within the range of the
administratrix proceedings and can not properly be made an independent action. (Litam v. Espiritu, 100 Phil.
364)
A separate action for the declaration of heirs is not proper. (Pimentel v. Palanca, 5 Phil. 436)

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 11 of 27


partition by itself alone does not terminate the probate proceeding (Timbol v. Cano, 1 SCRA 1271, 1276, L15445, April 29, 1961; Siguiong v. Tecson, 89 Phil. pp. 28, 30). As long as the order of the distribution of the
estate has not been complied with, the probate proceedings cannot be deemed closed and terminated
Siguiong v. Tecson, supra); because a judicial partition is not final and conclusive and does not prevent the
heirs from bringing an action to obtain his share, provided the prescriptive period therefore has not elapsed
(Mari v. Bonilia, 83 Phil. 137). The better practice, however, for the heir who has not received his share, is to
demand his share through a proper motion in the same probate or administration proceedings, or for
reopening of the probate or administrative proceedings if it had already been closed, and not through an
independent action,which would be tried by another court or Judge which may thus reverse a decision or order
of the probate or intestate court already final and executed and re-shuffle properties long ago distributed and
disposed of. (Ramos v. Ortuzar, 89 Phil. 730, 741-742; Timbol v. Cano, supra; Jingco v. Daluz, L-5107, April
24, 1953, 92 Phil. 1082; Roman Catholic v. Agustines, L-14710, March 29, 1960, 107 Phil. 455, 460-461;
Emphasis supplied)
In Litam et al., v. Rivera, 100 Phil. 364, where despite the pendency of the special proceedings for the settlement of the
intestate estate of the deceased Rafael Litam the plaintiffs-appellants filed a civil action in which they claimed that they
were the children by a previous marriage of the deceased to a Chinese woman, hence, entitled to inherit his one-half
share of the conjugal properties acquired during his marriage to Marcosa Rivera, the trial court in the civil case declared
that the plaintiffs-appellants were not children of the deceased, that the properties in question were paraphernal
properties of his wife, Marcosa Rivera, and that the latter was his only heir. On appeal to this Court, we ruled that "such
declarations (that Marcosa Rivera was the only heir of the decedent) is improper, in Civil Case No. 2071, it being within
the exclusive competence of the court in Special Proceedings No. 1537, in which it is not as yet, in issue, and, will not
be, ordinarily, in issue until the presentation of the project of partition. (p. 378).
However, in the Guilas case, supra, since the estate proceedings had been closed and terminated for over three years,
the action for annulment of the project of partition was allowed to continue. Considering that in the instant case, the
estate proceedings are still pending, but nonetheless, Concordia had lost her right to have herself declared as co-heir
in said proceedings, We have opted likewise to proceed to discuss the merits of her claim in the interest of justice.
The orders of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 26, in Civil Case No. 13207 setting aside the probate proceedings in
Branch 23 (formerly Branch 11) on the ground of extrinsic fraud, and declaring Concordia Villanueva to be a co-heir of
Celedonia to the estate of Esteban, Jr., ordering the partition of the estate, and requiring the administratrix, Celedonia,
to submit an inventory and accounting of the estate, were improper and officious, to say the least, for these matters he
within the exclusive competence of the probate court.
II. The question of extrinsic fraud
Was Concordia prevented from intervening in the intestate proceedings by extrinsic fraud employed by Celedonia? It is
noteworthy that extrinsic fraud was not alleged in Concordia's original complaint in Civil Case No. 13207. It was only in
her amended complaint of March 6, 1980, that extrinsic fraud was alleged for the first time.
Extrinsic fraud, as a ground for annulment of judgment, is any act or conduct of the prevailing party
which prevented a fair submission of the controversy (Francisco v. David, 38 O.G. 714). A fraud
'which prevents a party from having a trial or presenting all of his case to the court, or one which
operates upon matters pertaining, not to the judgment itself, but to the manner by which such
judgment was procured so much so that there was no fair submission of the controversy. For
instance, if through fraudulent machination by one [his adversary], a litigant was induced to
withdraw his defense or was prevented from presenting an available defense or cause of action in
the case wherein the judgment was obtained, such that the aggrieved party was deprived of his
day in court through no fault of his own, the equitable relief against such judgment may be availed
of. (Yatco v. Sumagui, 44623-R, July 31, 1971). (cited in Philippine Law Dictionary, 1972 Ed. by
Moreno; Varela v. Villanueva, et al., 96 Phil. 248)

A judgment may be annulled on the ground of extrinsic or collateral fraud, as distinguished from
intrinsic fraud, which connotes any fraudulent scheme executed by a prevailing litigant 'outside the
trial of a case against the defeated party, or his agents, attorneys or witnesses, whereby said
defeated party is prevented from presenting fully and fairly his side of the case. ... The overriding
consideration is that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant prevented a party from having
his day in court or from presenting his case. The fraud, therefore, is one that affects and goes into
the jurisdiction of the court. (Libudan v. Gil, L-21163, May 17, 1972, 45 SCRA 17, 27-29; Sterling
Investment Corp. v. Ruiz, L-30694, October 31, 1969, 30 SCRA 318, 323)
The charge of extrinsic fraud is, however, unwarranted for the following reasons:
1. Concordia was not unaware of the special proceeding intended to be filed by Celedonia. She
admitted in her complaint that she and Celedonia had agreed that the latter would "initiate the
necessary proceeding" and pay the taxes and obligations of the estate. Thus paragraph 6 of her
complaint alleged:
6. ... for the purpose of facilitating the settlement of the estate of the late Esteban Javellana, Jr. at
the lowest possible cost and the least effort, the plaintiff and the defendant agreed that the
defendant shall initiate the necessary proceeding, cause the payment of taxes and other
obligations, and to do everything else required by law, and thereafter, secure the partition of the
estate between her and the plaintiff, [although Celedonia denied that they agreed to partition the
estate, for their agreement was to place the estate in a foundation.] (p. 2, Record; emphasis
supplied)
Evidently, Concordia was not prevented from intervening in the proceedings. She stayed away by choice. Besides, she
knew that the estate came exclusively from Esteban's mother, Salustia Solivio, and she had agreed with Celedonia to
place it in a foundation as the deceased had planned to do.
2. The probate proceedings are proceedings in rem. Notice of the time and place of hearing of the
petition is required to be published (Sec. 3, Rule 76 in relation to Sec. 3, Rule 79, Rules of Court).
Notice of the hearing of Celedonia's original petition was published in the "Visayan Tribune" on
April 25, May 2 and 9, 1977 (Exh 4, p. 197, Record). Similarly, notice of the hearing of her
amended petition of May 26, 1977 for the settlement of the estate was, by order of the court,
published in "Bagong Kasanag" (New Light) issues of May 27, June 3 and 10, 1977 (pp. 182-305,
Record). The publication of the notice of the proceedings was constructive notice to the whole
world. Concordia was not deprived of her right to intervene in the proceedings for she had actual,
as well as constructive notice of the same. As pointed out by the probate court in its order of
October 27, 1978:
... . The move of Concordia Javellana, however, was filed about five months after Celedonia Solivio
was declared as the sole heir. ... .
Considering that this proceeding is one in rem and had been duly published as required by law,
despite which the present movant only came to court now, then she is guilty of laches for sleeping
on her alleged right. (p. 22, Record)
The court noted that Concordia's motion did not comply with the requisites of a petition for relief from judgment nor a
motion for new trial.
The rule is stated in 49 Corpus Juris Secundum 8030 as follows:

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 12 of 27


Where petition was sufficient to invoke statutory jurisdiction of probate court and proceeding was in
rem no subsequent errors or irregularities are available on collateral attack. (Bedwell v. Dean 132
So. 20)
Celedonia's allegation in her petition that she was the sole heir of Esteban within the third degree on his mother's
side was not false. Moreover, it was made in good faith and in the honest belief that because the properties of Esteban
had come from his mother, not his father, she, as Esteban's nearest surviving relative on his mother's side, is the
rightful heir to them. It would have been self-defeating and inconsistent with her claim of sole heirshipif she stated in
her petition that Concordia was her co-heir. Her omission to so state did not constitute extrinsic fraud.
Failure to disclose to the adversary, or to the court, matters which would defeat one's own claim or
defense is not such extrinsic fraud as will justify or require vacation of the judgment. (49 C.J.S.
489, citing Young v. Young, 2 SE 2d 622; First National Bank & Trust Co. of King City v. Bowman,
15 SW 2d 842; Price v. Smith, 109 SW 2d 1144, 1149)
It should be remembered that a petition for administration of a decedent's estate may be filed by any "interested
person" (Sec. 2, Rule 79, Rules of Court). The filing of Celedonia's petition did not preclude Concordia from filing her
own.
III. On the question of reserva troncal
We find no merit in the petitioner's argument that the estate of the deceased was subject to reserva troncal and that it
pertains to her as his only relative within the third degree on his mother's side. The reserva troncalprovision of the Civil
Code is found in Article 891 which reads as follows:
ART. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have
acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve
such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are
within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came.
The persons involved in reserva troncal are:
1. The person obliged to reserve is the reservor (reservista)the ascendant who inherits by
operation of law property from his descendants.
2. The persons for whom the property is reserved are the reservees (reservatarios)relatives
within the third degree counted from the descendant (propositus), and belonging to the line from
which the property came.
3. The propositusthe descendant who received by gratuitous title and died without issue, making
his other ascendant inherit by operation of law. (p. 692, Civil Law by Padilla, Vol. II, 1956 Ed.)
Clearly, the property of the deceased, Esteban Javellana, Jr., is not reservable property, for Esteban, Jr. was not an
ascendant, but the descendant of his mother, Salustia Solivio, from whom he inherited the properties in question.
Therefore, he did not hold his inheritance subject to a reservation in favor of his aunt, Celedonia Solivio, who is his
relative within the third degree on his mother's side. The reserva troncal applies to properties inherited by an ascendant
from a descendant who inherited it from another ascendant or 9 brother or sister. It does not apply to property inherited
by a descendant from his ascendant, the reverse of the situation covered by Article 891.

Since the deceased, Esteban Javellana, Jr., died without descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, surviving
spouse, brothers, sisters, nephews or nieces, what should apply in the distribution of his estate are Articles 1003 and
1009 of the Civil Code which provide:
ART. 1003. If there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse,
the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the
following articles.
ART. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers or sisters, the
other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate.
The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by reason of
relationship by the whole blood.
Therefore, the Court of Appeals correctly held that:
Both plaintiff-appellee and defendant-appellant being relatives of the decedent within the third
degree in the collateral line, each, therefore, shall succeed to the subject estate 'without distinction
of line or preference among them by reason of relationship by the whole blood,' and is entitled onehalf (1/2) share and share alike of the estate. (p. 57, Rollo)
IV. The question of Concordia's one-half share
However, inasmuch as Concordia had agreed to deliver the estate of the deceased to the foundation in honor of his
mother, Salustia Solivio Vda. de Javellana (from whom the estate came), an agreement which she ratified and
confirmed in her "Motion to Reopen and/or Reconsider Order dated April 3, 1978" which she filed in Spl. Proceeding
No. 2540:
4. That ... prior to the filing of the petition they (petitioner Celedonia Solivio and movant Concordia
Javellana) have agreed to make the estate of the decedent a foundation, besides they have closely
known each other due to their filiation to the decedent and they have been visiting each other's
house which are not far away for (sic) each other. (p. 234, Record; Emphasis supplied)
she is bound by that agreement. It is true that by that agreement, she did not waive her inheritance in favor of
Celedonia, but she did agree to place all of Esteban's estate in the "Salustia Solivio Vda. de Javellana Foundation"
which Esteban, Jr., during his lifetime, planned to set up to honor his mother and to finance the education of indigent
but deserving students as well.
Her admission may not be taken lightly as the lower court did. Being a judicial admission, it is conclusive and no
evidence need be presented to prove the agreement (Cunanan v. Amparo, 80 Phil. 227; Granada v. Philippine National
Bank, L-20745, Sept. 2, 1966, 18 SCRA 1; Sta. Ana v. Maliwat, L-23023, Aug. 31, 1968, 24 SCRA 1018; People v.
Encipido, G.R.70091, Dec. 29, 1986, 146 SCRA 478; and Rodillas v. Sandiganbayan, G.R. 58652, May 20, 1988, 161
SCRA 347).
The admission was never withdrawn or impugned by Concordia who, significantly, did not even testify in the case,
although she could have done so by deposition if she were supposedly indisposed to attend the trial. Only her husband,
Narciso, and son-in-law, Juanito Domin, actively participated in the trial. Her husband confirmed the agreement
between his wife and Celedonia, but he endeavored to dilute it by alleging that his wife did not intend to give all, but
only one-half, of her share to the foundation (p. 323, Record).

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 13 of 27


The records show that the "Salustia Solivio Vda. de Javellana Foundation" was established and duly registered in the
Securities and Exchange Commission under Reg. No. 0100027 for the following principal purposes:

The Foundation has four (4) high school scholars in Guiso Barangay High School, the site of which
was donated by the Foundation. The School has been selected as the Pilot Barangay High School
for Region VI.

1. To provide for the establishment and/or setting up of scholarships for such deserving students as
the Board of Trustees of the Foundation may decide of at least one scholar each to study at West
Visayas State College, and the University of the Philippines in the Visayas both located in Iloilo
City.

The Foundation has a special scholar, Fr. Elbert Vasquez, who would be ordained this year. He
studied at St. Francis Xavier Major Regional Seminary at Davao City. The Foundation likewise is a
member of the Redemptorist Association that gives yearly donations to help poor students who
want to become Redemptorist priests or brothers. It gives yearly awards for Creative writing known
as the Esteban Javellana Award.

2. To provide a scholarship for at least one scholar for St. Clements Redemptorist Community for a
deserving student who has the religious vocation to become a priest.
3. To foster, develop, and encourage activities that will promote the advancement and enrichment
of the various fields of educational endeavors, especially in literary arts. Scholarships provided for
by this foundation may be named after its benevolent benefactors as a token of gratitude for their
contributions.
4. To direct or undertake surveys and studies in the community to determine community needs and
be able to alleviate partially or totally said needs.
5. To maintain and provide the necessary activities for the proper care of the Solivio-Javellana
mausoleum at Christ the King Memorial Park, Jaro, Iloilo City, and the Javellana Memorial at the
West Visayas State College, as a token of appreciation for the contribution of the estate of the late
Esteban S. Javellana which has made this foundation possible. Also, in perpetuation of his Roman
Catholic beliefs and those of his mother, Gregorian masses or their equivalents will be offered
every February and October, and Requiem masses every February 25th and October llth, their
death anniversaries, as part of this provision.

Further, the Foundation had constructed the Esteban S. Javellana Multi-purpose Center at the
West Visayas State University for teachers' and students' use, and has likewise contributed to
religious civic and cultural fund-raising drives, amongst other's. (p. 10, Rollo)
Having agreed to contribute her share of the decedent's estate to the Foundation, Concordia is obligated to honor her
commitment as Celedonia has honored hers.
WHEREFORE, the petition for review is granted. The decision of the trial court and the Court of Appeals are hereby
SET ASIDE. Concordia J. Villanueva is declared an heir of the late Esteban Javellana, Jr. entitled to one-half of his
estate. However, comformably with the agreement between her and her co-heir, Celedonia Solivio, the entire estate of
the deceased should be conveyed to the "Salustia Solivio Vda. de Javallana Foundation," of which both the petitioner
and the private respondent shall be trustees, and each shall be entitled to nominate an equal number of trustees to
constitute the Board of Trustees of the Foundation which shall administer the same for the purposes set forth in its
charter. The petitioner, as administratrix of the estate, shall submit to the probate court an inventory and accounting of
the estate of the deceased preparatory to terminating the proceedings therein.
SO ORDERED.

6. To receive gifts, legacies, donations, contributions, endowments and financial aids or loans from
whatever source, to invest and reinvest the funds, collect the income thereof and pay or apply only
the income or such part thereof as shall be determined by the Trustees for such endeavors as may
be necessary to carry out the objectives of the Foundation.
7. To acquire, purchase, own, hold, operate, develop, lease, mortgage, pledge, exchange, sell,
transfer, or otherwise, invest, trade, or deal, in any manner permitted by law, in real and personal
property of every kind and description or any interest herein.
8. To do and perform all acts and things necessary, suitable or proper for the accomplishments of
any of the purposes herein enumerated or which shall at any time appear conducive to the
protection or benefit of the corporation, including the exercise of the powers, authorities and
attributes concerned upon the corporation organized under the laws of the Philippines in general,
and upon domestic corporation of like nature in particular. (pp. 9-10, Rollo)
As alleged without contradiction in the petition' for review:
The Foundation began to function in June, 1982, and three (3) of its eight Esteban Javellana
scholars graduated in 1986, one (1) from UPV graduated Cum Laude and two (2) from WVSU
graduated with honors; one was a Cum Laude and the other was a recipient of Lagos Lopez award
for teaching for being the most outstanding student teacher.

RESERVATARIOS
G.R. No. L-13386
October 27, 1920
SEGUNDA MARIA NIEVA with her husband ANGEL ALCALA, plaintiffs-appellants,
vs.
MANUELA ALCALA and JOSE DEOCAMPO, defendants-appellees.
Eduardo Gutierrez Repide for appellants.
Felipe Agoncillo for appellees.
JOHNSON, J.:
This is an appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Tayabas, absolving the defendants
from all liability under the plaintiff's complaint, without any finding as to costs.
Juliana Nieva, the alleged natural mother of the plaintiff Segunda Maria Nieva, married Francisco Deocampo. Of said
marriage Alfeo Deocampo was born.
Julian Nieva died intestate on April 19, 1889, and her said son, Alfeo Deocampo, inherited from her, ab intestate, the
parcels of land described in Paragraphs V and X of the complaint.
Alfeo Deocampo died intestate and without issue on July 7, 1890. Thereupon the two parcels of land above-mentioned
passed to his father, Francisco Deocampo, by intestate succession. Thereafter Francisco Deocampo married the herein
defendant Manuela Alcala, of which marriage was born Jose Deocampo, the other defendant herein.

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 14 of 27


Francisco Deocampo died on August 15, 1914, whereupon his widow and son, the defendants herein, took possession
of the parcels of land in question, under the claim that the said son, the defendant Jose Deocampoo (a minor) had
inherited the same, ab intestate, from his deceased father.
On September 30, 1915, the plaintiff herein, claiming to be an acknowledged natural daughter of the said Juliana
Nieva, instituted the present action for the purposes of recovering from the defendants the parcels of land in question,
particularly described in Paragraphs V and X of the complaint, invoking the provisions of article 811 of the Civil Code.
The lower court held that, even granting, without deciding, that the plaintiff was an acknowledged natural daughter of
Juliana Nieva, she was not entitled to the property here in question because, in its opinion, an illegitimate relative has
no right to the reserva troncal under the provisions of article 811 of the Civil Code.
The first question presented by this appeal is, whether or not the plaintiff is an acknowledged natural daughter of the
deceased Juliana Nieva. It appears from the record that the said Juliana Nieva, while unmarried, gave birth to the
plaintiff on March 29, 1882, and that the plaintiff was duly baptized as her natural daughter, of unknown father (Exhibit
C, baptismal certificate); that the said Juliana Nieva nourished and reared her said child, the plaintiff herein; that the
plaintiff lived with her said mother until the latter was married to Francisco Deocampo; that the said mother treated the
plaintiff, and exhibited her publicly, as a legitimate daughter. (See testimony of Antero Gala, pp. 5-6; Prudencio de la
Cuesta, pp. 16-17; and Mamerto Palabrica, pp. 26-27, sten. notes.)
The foregoing facts, which are not controverted, are analogous to the facts in the case of Llorente vs. Rodriguez (3
Phil., 697, 699). Under the decision of this court in that case we are of the opinion and so decide, without rediscussing
here the law and legal principles involved, that the plaintiff Segunda Maria Nieva is an acknowledged natural daughter
of Juliana Nieva. (See also In re estate of Enriquez and Reyes, 29 Phil., 167.)
The other and more important question presented by this appeal is, whether or not an illegitimate relative within the
third degree is entitled to the reserva troncal provided for by article 811 of the Civil Code. That article reads as follows:
Any ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property acquired by the latter gratuitously from some
other ascendant, or from a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such of the property as he may have
acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from
which such property came.
The property here in question was inherited, by operation by law, by Francisco Deocampo from his son Alfeo
Deocampo, who, in turn, had inherited it, in the same manner, from his mother Juliana Nieva, the natural mother of the
plaintiff. The plaintiff is the natural sister of Alfeo Deocampo, and she belongs to the same line from which the property
in question came. Was Francisco Deocampo obliged by law to reserve said property for the benefit of the plaintiff, an
illegitimate relative within the third degree of Alfeo Deocampo? If he was, then, upon his death, the plaintiff, and not his
son the defendant Jose Deocampo, was entitled to the said property; if he was not, the plaintiff's action must
fail.1awph!l.net
There can be no question whatever but that, under said article 811 of the Civil Code, the plaintiff would be entitled to
the property in question if she were a legitimate daughter of Julian Nieva. (Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil., 295.) But in said
article 811 the legislator uses the generic terms "ascendant," "descendant," and "relatives," without specifying whether
or not they have to be legitimate. Does the legislator, then, refer to legitimate as well as to illegitimate relatives?
Counsel for the appellant, in a lengthy and carefully prepared brief, attempts to maintain the affirmative.
This question, so far as our investigation shows, has not been decided before by any court or tribunal. However,
eminent commentators on the Spanish Civil Code, who have devoted their lives to the study and solution of the intricate
and difficult problems that may arise under the provisions of that Code, have dealt with the very question now before
us, and are unanimous in the opinion that the provision of article 811 of the Civil Code apply only tolegitimate relative.
One of such commentators, undoubtedly the best known of them all, is Manresa. We believe we can do no better than
to adopt his reasons and conclusions, in deciding the question before us. In determining the persons who are obliged to
reserve under article 811, he says:

Is every ascendant, whether legitimate or not, obliged to reserve? Should the natural father or grandfather
reserve the properties proceeding from the mother or other natural ascendant? Article 811 does not
distinguish; it speaks of the ascendant, without attaching the qualification of legitimate, and, on the other
hand, the same reason that exists for applying the provision to the natural family exists for applying it to the
legitimate family. Nevertheless, the article in referring to the ascendant in an indeterminate manner shows
that it imposes the obligation to reserve only upon the legitimate ascendant.
Let us overlook for the moment the question whether the Code recognizes or does not recognize the
existence of the natural family, or whether it admits only the bond established by acknowledgement between
the father or mother who acknowledges and the acknowledged children. However it may be, it may be stated
as an indisputable truth, that in said Code, the legitimate relationship forms the general rule and the natural
relationship the exception; which is the reason why, as may be easily seen, the law in many articles speaks
only of children or parents, of ascendants or descendants, and in them reference is of course made of those
who are legitimate; and when it desires to make a provision applicable only to natural relationship, it does not
say father or mother, but natural father or natural mother; it does not say child, but natural child; it does not
speak of ascendants, brothers or parents in the abstract, but of natural ascendants, natural brothers or
natural parents. (See, for example, articles 294, 302, 809, 810, 846, 935, to 938, 944 and 945 and 946 to
955.)
Articles 809 and 810 themselves speak only of ascendants. Can it in any way be maintained that they refer to
legitimate as well as to natural ascendants? They evidently establish the legitime of the legitimate
ascendants included as forced heirs in number 2 of article 807. And article 811, and as we will see also
article 812, continues to treat of this same legitime. The right of the natural parents and children in the
testamentary succession in wholly included in the eighth section and is limited to the parents, other
ascendants of such class being excluded in articles 807, No. 3, and 846. Therefore, the place which article
811 occupies in the Code of proof that it refers only to legitimate ascendants. And if there were any doubt, it
disappears upon considering the text of article 938, which states that the provisions of article 811 applies to
intestate succession, which is just established in favor of the legitimate direct ascending line, the text of
articles 939 to 945, which treat of intestate succession of natural parents, as well as that of articles 840 to
847, treating of their testamentary succession, which do not allude directly or indirectly to that provision.
Lastly, the principle which underlies the exception which article 811 creates in the right to succeed neither
admits of any other interpretation. Whether the provision is due to the desire that the properties should not
pass, by reason of new marriage, out of the family to which they belonged, or is directly derived from the
system of the so-called "reserva troncal," and whether the idea of reservation or that of lineal rights
(troncalidad) predominate the patrimony which is intended to be preserved is that of the legitimate family.
Only to legitimate ascendants and descendants do article 968 et seq. of the Code refer, arising as they do
from the danger of second or subsequent marriage; only to legitimate parents do the special laws of Navarra,
Aragon, Vizcaya and Catalua concede the right to succeed with respect to lineal properties (bienes
troncales); only to the legitimate ascendants does article 811 impose the duty to reserve.
The convenience of amplifying the precept to natural parents and ascendants may be raised just as the
question whether it would be preferable to suppress it altogether may be raised; but in the realm of the
statute law there is no remedy but to admit that article 811, the interpretation of which should on the other
hand be strict was drafted by the legislator with respect only to legitimate ascendants. (Manresa, Codigo
Civil, vol. 6, 3d ed., pp. 249-250.)
The same jurist, in determining the persons in whose favor the reservation is established, says:
Persons in whose favor the reservation is established. This is one of the most delicate points in the
interpretation of article 811. According to this article, the reservation is established in favor of the parentswho
are within the third degree and belong to the line from which the properties came.
It treats of blood, relationship, which is applicable to questions on succession, according to articles 915 to
920. It could not be otherwise, because relationship by affinity is established between each spouse and the

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 15 of 27


family of the other, by marriage, and to admit it, would be to favor the transmission of the properties of the
family of one spouse to that of the other, which is just what this article intends to prevent.
It also treats of legitimate relationship. The person obliged to reserve it a legitimate ascendant who inherits
from a descendant property which proceeds from the same legitimate family, and this being true, there can
be no question, because the line from which the properties proceed must be the line of that family and only in
favor of that line is the reservation established. Furthermore, we have already said, the object is to protect the
patrimony of the legitimate family, following the precedents of the foral law. And it could not be otherwise.
Article 943 denies to legitimate parents the right to succeed the natural child and viceversa, from which it
must be deduced that natural parents neither have the right to inhering from legitimate ones; the law in the
article cited established a barrier between the two families; properties of the legitimate family shall never pass
by operation of law to the natural family. (Ibid. pp. 251-252.)
Scvola, after a very extended discussion of this same subject, arrives at the same conclusion as Manresa.
"La reserva del articulo 811 es privilegio de la familia legitima. (The reservation in article 811 is a privilege of
the legitimate family.)" (See Scvola, Codigo Civil, Vol. 14, pp. 211-224, 3401-305.)
Article 943, above referred to by Manresa, provides as follows:
A natural or legitimated child has no right to succeed ab intestate the legitimate children and relatives of the
father or mother who has acknowledged it; nor shall such children or relatives so inherit from the natural or
legitimated child.
To hold that the appellant is entitled to the property left by her natural brother, Alfeo Deocampo, by operation of law,
would be a fragrant violate of the express provision of the foregoing article (943).
For all of the foregoing reasons, the judgment of the lower court is hereby affirmed, without any finding as to costs. So
ordered.
G.R. No. L-28032 September 24, 1986
FRANCISCA TIOCO DE PAPA, MANUEL TIOCO, NICOLAS TIOCO and JANUARIO PAPA, plaintiffs-appellees,
vs.
DALISAY TONGKO CAMACHO, PRIMO TONGKO and GODOFREDO CAMACHO, defendants-appellants.
NARVASA, J.:
This case, which involves the application of Article 891 of the Civil Code on reserva troncal, was submitted for judgment
in the lower court by all the parties on the following "Stipulation of Facts and Partial Compromise":
1. They stipulate that the defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho and the plaintiffs, Francisco Tioco
de Papa, Manuel Tioco and Nicolas Tioco, are legitimate relatives, plaintiffs being said defendant's
grandaunt and granduncles.
2. They stipulate that plaintiffs and defendant Dalisay D. Tongo-Camacho have as a common
ancestor the late Balbino Tioco (who had a sister by the name of Romana Tioco), father of plaintiffs
and great grandfather of defendant. The family relationship of the parties is as shown in the chart
attached hereto as Annex 'A' and made an integral part of this stipulation.
3. They stipulate that Romana Tioco during her lifetime gratuitously donated four (4) parcels of land
to her niece Toribia Tioco (legitimate sister of plaintiffs), which parcels of land are presently covered
by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. A-64165, 64166 and 64167 of the Registry of Deeds of Manila,
copies of which are attached to this stipulation as Annexes 'B', 'B-l', and 'B-2'.

4. They stipulate that Toribia Tioco died intestate in l9l5, survived by her husband, Eustacio Dizon,
and their two legitimate children, Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon (mother of defendant Dalisay
D, Tongko-Camacho) and leaving the afore-mentioned four (4) parcels of land as the inheritance of
her said two children in equal pro-indiviso shares.
5. They stipulate that in 1928, Balbino Tioco died intestate, survived by his legitimate children by
his wife Marciana Felix (among them plaintiffs) and legitimate grandchildren Faustino Dizon and
Trinidad Dizon. In the partition of his estate, three (3) parcels of land now covered by Transfer
Certificates of Title Nos. 16545 and 16554 of the Registry of Deeds of Manila, copies of which are
attached hereto as Annexes 'C' and 'C-l', were adjudicated as the inheritance of the late Toribia
Tioco, but as she had predeceased her father, Balbino Tioco, the said three (3) parcels of land
devolved upon her two legitimate children Faustino Dizon and Trinidad Dizon in equal pro-indiviso
shares.
6. They stipulate that in 1937, Faustino Dizon died intestate, single and without issue, leaving his
one-half (1/2) pro-indiviso share in the seven (7) parcels of land above-mentioned to his father,
Eustacio Dizon, as his sole intestate heir, who received the said property subject to a reserva
troncal which was subsequently annotated on the Transfer Certificates of Title Annexes 'B', 'B-l', 'B2', 'C' and 'C-l'.
7. They stipulate that in 1939 Trinidad Dizon-Tongko died intestate, and her rights and interests in
the parcels of land abovementioned were inherited by her only legitimate child, defendant Dalisay
D. Tongko-Camacho, subject to the usufructuary right of her surviving husband, defendant Primo
Tongko.
8. They stipulate that on June 14, 1965, Eustacio Dizon died intestate, survived his only legitimate
descendant, defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho.
9. The parties agree that defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho now owns one-half (1/2) of all the
seven (7) parcels of land abovementioned as her inheritance from her mother, Trinidad DizonTongko.
10. Defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho also claims, upon legal advice, the other half of the
said seven (7) parcels of land abovementioned by virtue of the reserva troncal imposed thereon
upon the death of Faustino Dizon and under the laws on intestate succession; but the plaintiffs,
also upon legal advice, oppose her said claim because they claim three-fourths (3/4) of the onehalf pro-indiviso interest in said parcel of land, which interest was inherited by Eustacio Dizon from
Faustino Dizon, or three-eights (3/8) of the said parcels of land, by virtue of their being also third
degree relatives of Faustino Dizon.
11. The parties hereby agree to submit for judicial determination in this case the legal issue of
whether defendant Dalisay D. Tongko-Camacho is entitled to the whole of the seven (7) parcels of
land in question, or whether the plaintiffs, as third degree relatives of Faustino Dizon are
reservatarios (together with said defendant) of the one-half pro-indiviso share therein which was
inherited by Eustacio Dizon from his son Faustino Dizon, and entitled to three-fourths (3/4) of said
one-half pro-indiviso share, or three eights (3/8) of said seven (7) parcels of land, and, therefore, to
three-eights (3/8) of the rentals collected and to be collected by defendant Dalisay P. Tongko
Camacho from the tenants of said parcels of land, minus the expenses and/or real estate taxes
corresponding to plaintiffs' share in the rentals.
12. In view of the fact that the parties are close blood relatives and have acted upon legal advice in
pursuing their respective claims, and in order to restore and preserve harmony in their family
relations, they hereby waive all their claims against each other for damages (other than legal

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 16 of 27


interest on plaintiffs' sore in the rentals which this Honorable Court may deem proper to award),
attorney's fees and expenses of litigation which shall be borne by the respective parties. 1
On the basis thereof, the lower Court declared the plaintiffs Francisco Tioco, Manuel Tioco and Nicolas Tioco, as well
as the defendant Dalisay Tongko-Camacho, entitled, as reservatarios, to one-half of the seven parcels of land in
dispute, in equal proportions, rendering judgment as follows:
... . Resolving, therefore, the legal question submitted by the parties, the court holds that plaintiffs
Francisca Tioco, Manuel Tioco and Nicolas Tioco are entitled to three-fourths (3/4) of one-half (1/2)
pro-indiviso shares or three-eights (3/8) of the seven (7) parcels of land involved in this action.
Consequently, they are, likewise, entitled to three-eights (3/8) of the rentals collected and to be
collected by the defendant Dalisay D. Tioco-Camacho from the tenants of the said parcels of land,
minus the expenses and/or real estate taxes corresponding to plaintiffs' share in the rentals.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, and inasmuch as the parties expressly waived all their claims
against each other for damages including attorney's fees and expenses of litigation other than the
legal interests on plaintiffs' share in the rentals, the court renders judgment adjudging the plaintiffs
entitled to three-eights (3/8) of the seven (7) parcels of land described in Transfer Certificate of Title
Nos. T-64165, T-64166, T-64167, T-16546 and T-16554 of the Registry of Deeds of Manila. The
defendant Dalisay D. Tioco-Camacho is hereby ordered to make an accounting of all rents
received by her on the properties involved in this action for the purpose of determining the legal
interests which should be paid to the plaintiffs on their shares in the rentals of the property in
question.
SO ORDERED. 2
Not satisfied, the defendant appealed to this Court.
The issue raised is whether, as contended by the plaintiffs-appellees and ruled by the lower Court, all relatives of
the praepositus within the third degree in the appropriate line succeed without distinction to the reservable property
upon the death of the reservista, as seems to be implicit in Art. 891 of the Civil Code, which reads:
Art. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have
acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve
such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are
within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came. (811),
or, as asserted by the defendant-appellant, the rights of said relatives are subject to, and should be determined by, the
rules on intestate succession.
That question has already been answered in Padura vs. Baldovino, 3 where the reservatario was survived by eleven
nephews and nieces of the praepositus in the line of origin, four of whole blood and seven of half blood, and the claim
was also made that all eleven were entitled to the reversionary property in equal shares. This Court, speaking through
Mr. Justice J.B.L. Reyes, declared the principles of intestacy to be controlling, and ruled that the nephews and nieces of
whole blood were each entitled to a share double that of each of the nephews and nieces of half blood in accordance
with Article 1006 of the Civil Code. Said the Court:
The issue in this appeal may be formulated as follows: In a case of reserva troncal, where the
onlyreservatarios (reservees) surviving the reservista, and belonging to the fine of origin, are
nephews of the descendant (prepositus), but some are nephews of the half blood and the others
are nephews of the whole blood, should the reserved properties be apportioned among
them equally, or should the nephews of the whole blood take a share twice as large as that of the
nephews of the half blood?

xxx xxx xxx


The case is one of first impression and has divided the Spanish commentators on the subject. After
mature reflection, we have concluded that the position of the appellants is correct. The reserva
troncal is a special rule designed primarily to assure the return of the reservable property to the
third degree relatives belonging to the line from which the property originally came, and avoid its
being dissipated into and by the relatives of the inheriting ascendant (reservista).
xxx xxx xxx
The stated purpose of the reserva is accomplished once the property has devolved to the specified
relatives of the line of origin. But from this time on, there is no further occasion for its application. In
the relations between one reservatario and another of the same degree there is no call for applying
Art. 891 any longer; wherefore, the respective share of each in the reversionary property should be
governed by the ordinary rules of intestate succession. In this spirit the jurisprudence of this Court
and that of Spain has resolved that upon the death of the ascendant reservista, the reservable
property should pass, not to all the reservatarios as a class but only to those nearest in degree to
the descendant (prepositus), excluding those reservatarios of more remote degree (Florentino vs.
Florentino, 40 Phil. 489-490; T.S. 8 Nov. 1894; Dir. Gen. de los Registros, Resol. 20 March 1905).
And within the third degree of relationship from the descendant (prepositus), the right of
representation operates in favor of nephews (Florentino vs. Florentino, supra).
Following the order prescribed by law in legitimate succession when there are relatives of the
descendant within the third degree, the right of the nearest relative, called reservatarios over the
property which the reservista (person holding it subject to reservation) should return to him,
excludes that of the one more remote. The right of representation cannot be alleged when the one
claiming same as a reservatario of the reservable property is not among the relatives within the
third degree belonging to the line from which such property came, inasmuch as the right granted by
the Civil Code in Article 811 is in the highest degree personal and for the exclusive benefit of
designated persons who are within the third degree of the person from whom the reservable
property came. Therefore, relatives of the fourth and the succeeding degrees can never be
considered as reservatarios, since the law does not recognize them as such.
In spite of what has been said relative to the right of representation on the part of one alleging his
right as reservatario who is not within the third degree of relationship, nevertheless there is right of
representation on the part of reservatarios who are within the third degree mentioned by law, as in
the case of nephews of the deceased person from whom the reservable property came. ... .
(Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480, 489-490) (Emphasis supplied) See also Nieva and Alcala
vs. Alcala and de Ocampo, 41 Phil. 915)
Proximity of degree and right of representation are basic principles of ordinary intestate
succession; so is the rule that whole blood brothers and nephews are entitled to a share double
that of brothers and nephews of half blood. If in determining the rights of the reservatarios inter se,
proximity of degree and the right of representation of nephews are made to apply, the rule of
double share for immediate collaterals of the whole blood should be likewise operative.
In other words, the reserva troncal merely determines the group of relatives reservatarios to whom
the property should be returned; but within that group, the individual right to the property should be
decided by the applicable rules of ordinary intestate succession, since Art. 891 does not specify
otherwise. This conclusion is strengthened by the circumstance that the reserva being an
exceptional case, its application should be limited to what is strictly needed to accomplish the
purpose of the law. As expressed by Manresa in his Commentaries (Vol. 6, 6th Ed., p. 250):

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 17 of 27


... creandose un verdadero estado excepcional del derecho, no debe ampliarse, sino mas bien
restringirse, el alcance del precepto, manteniendo la excepcion mientras fuere necesaria y
estuviese realmente contenida en la disposicion, y aplicando las reglas generales y fundamentales
del Codigo en materia de sucesi6n, en aquehos extremes no resueltos de un modo expreso, y que
quedan fuera de la propia esfera de accion de la reserva que se crea.

It will be seen that under the preceding articles, brothers and sisters and nephews and nieces
inherited ab intestato ahead of the surviving spouse, while other collaterals succeeded only after
the widower or widow. The present Civil Code of the Philippines merely placed the spouse on a par
with the nephews and nieces and brothers and sisters of the deceased, but without altering the
preferred position of the latter vis a vis the other collaterals.

The restrictive interpretation is the more imperative in view of the new Civil Code's hostility to
successional reservas and reversions, as exemplified by the suppression of the reserva viudal and
the reversion legal of the Code of 1889 (Art. 812 and 968-980).

xxx xxx xxx

Reversion of the reservable property being governed by the rules on intestate succession, the plaintiffs-appellees must
be held without any right thereto because, as aunt and uncles, respectively, of Faustino Dizon (thepraepositus), they
are excluded from the succession by his niece, the defendant-appellant, although they are related to him within the
same degree as the latter. To this effect is Abellana vs. Ferraris 4 where Arts. 1001, 1004, 1005 and 1009 of the Civil
Code were cited and applied:
Nevertheless, the trial court was correct when it held that, in case of intestacy nephews and nieces
of the de cujus exclude all other collaterals (aunts and uncles, first cousins, etc.) from the
succession. This is readily apparent from Articles 1001, 1004, 1005 and 1009 of the Civil Code of
the Philippines, that provide as follows:
Art. 1001. Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or widower, the latter
shall be entitle to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or their children to the
other half.
Art. 1004. Should the only survivors be brothers and sisters of the full blood, they shall inherit in
equal shares.
Art. 1005. Should brothers and sisters survive together with nephews and nieces who are the
children of the decedent's brothers and sisters of the full blood, the former shall inherit per capita,
and the latter per stirpes.
Art. 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers and sisters, the
other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate.
Under the last article (1009), the absence of brothers, sisters, nephews and nieces of the decedent
is a precondition to the other collaterals (uncles, cousins, etc.) being called to the succession. This
was also and more clearly the case under the Spanish Civil Code of 1889, that immediately
preceded the Civil Code now in force (R.A. 386). Thus, Articles 952 and 954 of the Code of 1889
prescribed as follows:
Art. 952. In the absence of brothers or sisters and of nephews or nieces, children of the former,
whether of the whole blood or not, the surviving spouse, if not separated by a final decree of
divorce shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased.
Art. 954. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters, nor children of brothers or sisters, nor a
surviving spouse, the other collateral relatives shall succeed to the estate of deceased.
The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by reason of the
whole blood.

We, therefore, hold, and so rule, that under our laws of succession, a decedent's uncles and aunts
may not succeed ab intestato so long as nephews and nieces of the decedent survive and are
willing and qualified to succeed. ...
This conclusion is fortified by the observation, also made in Padura, supra, that as to the reservable property,
thereservatarios do not inherit from the reservista, but from the descendant praepositus:
... . It is likewise clear that the reservable property is no part of the estate of the reservista, who
may not dispose of it by will, as long as there are reservatarios existing (Arroyo vs. Gerona, 58
Phil. 237). The latter, therefore, do not inherit from the reservista, but from the
descendant prepositus, of whom the reservatarios are the heirs mortis causa, subject to the
condition that they must survive thereservista. (Sanchez Roman, Vol. VI, Tomo 2, p. 286; Manresa,
Commentaries, Vol. 6, 6th Ed., pp. 274, 310) ... .
To the same effect is Cano vs, Director of Lands 5, where it was ruled that intestacy proceedings to determine the right
of a reservatarioare not necessary where the final decree of the land court ordering issuance of title in the name of
the reservista over property subject to reserva troncalIdentifies the reservatario and there are no other claimants to the
latter's rights as such:
The contention that an intestacy proceeding is still necessary rests upon the assumption that
thereservatario win succeed in, or inherit, the reservable property from the reservista. This is not
true. The reservatario is not the reservista's successor mortis causa nor is the reservable property
part of the reservista's estate; the reservatario receives the property as a conditional heir of the
descendant (prepositus), said property merely reverting to the line of origin from which it had
temporarily and accidentally strayed during the reservista's lifetime. The authorities are all agreed
that there beingreservatarios that survive the reservista, the matter must be deemed to have
enjoyed no more than a life interest in the reservable property.
It is a consequence of these principles that upon the death of
the reservista, the reservatario nearest to the prepositus (the appellee in this case)
becomes, automatically and by operation of law, the owner of the reservable property. As already
stated, that property is no part of the estate of thereservista, and does not even answer for the
debts of the latter. ... .
Had the reversionary property passed directly from the praepositus, there is no doubt that the plaintiffs-appellees would
have been excluded by the defendant-appellant under the rules of intestate succession. There is no reason why a
different result should obtain simply because "the transmission of the property was delayed by the interregnum of
the reserva;" 6 i.e., the property took a "detour" through an ascendant-thereby giving rise to the reservation before its
transmission to the reservatario.
Upon the stipulated facts, and by virtue of the rulings already cited, the defendant-appellant Dalisay Tongko-Camacho
is entitled to the entirety of the reversionary property to the exclusion of the plaintiffs-appellees.
WHEREFORE, the appealed judgment of the lower Court is reversed and set aside and the complaint is dismissed,
with costs against the plaintiffs-appellants.

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 18 of 27


SO ORDERED.

(Rollo, p. 29)

RIGHTS AND DUTIES


G.R. No. 68843-44 September 2, 1991
MARIQUITA O. SUMAYA and LAGUNA AGRO-INDUSTRIAL COCONUT COOPERATIVE, INC., petitioners,
vs.
THE HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, and AMADEO, SANCHO, DONATO, LUIS, ERASTO, LUISA,
JOSE and DOLORES, all surnamed BALANTAKBO, respondents.
Ceriaco A. Sumaya for petitioners.
Tomas P. Aonuevo for private respondents.
MEDIALDEA, J.:p
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court (now Court of Appeals) in
C.A. G.R. No. CV-01292-93, which affirmed the decision of the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) of
Laguna in the consolidated cases in Civil Case No. SC-956 1 and Civil Case No. SC-957. 2
The parties entered into a stipulation of facts in the court a quo, which is summarized as follows:
Raul Balantakbo inherited from two (2) different ascendants the two (2) sets of properties subject of this case: 1) A onethird (1/3) interest, pro-indiviso in a parcel of land situated in Dita, Lilio (Liliw) Laguna and described in paragraph 7 of
the complaint in Civil Case No. SC-956 from his father Jose, Sr., who died on January 28, 1945; and 2) A one-seventh
(1/7) interest pro-indiviso in ten (10) parcels of registered lands described in paragraph 6 of the complaint in Civil Case
No. SC-957 from his maternal grandmother, Luisa Bautista, who died on November 3, 1950.
On June 13, 1952, Raul died intestate, single, without any issue, and leaving only his mother, Consuelo Joaquin Vda.
de Balantakbo, as his sole surviving heir to the real properties above-mentioned.
On November 3, 1952, Consuelo adjudicated unto herself the above described properties in an Affidavit entitled
"Caudal Herederario del finado Raul Balantakbo" which provided, among others:

On December 21, 1959, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo sold the property described in Civil Case No. SC-956 to
Mariquita H. Sumaya. The sale was evidenced by a deed attached as Annex "C" to the complaint. The same property
was subsequently sold by Mariquita Sumaya to Villa Honorio Development Corporation, Inc., on December 30, 1963.
On January 23, 1967, Villa Honorio Development Corporation transferred and assigned its rights over the property in
favor of Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc. The documents evidencing these transfers were registered in the
Registry of Deeds of Laguna and the corresponding certificates of titles were issued. The properties are presently in the
name of Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc., 2/3 share and the remaining 1/3 share is in the name of Sancho
Balantakbo.
Also on December 30, 1963, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo sold the properties described in the complaint in
Civil Case No. SC-957 to Villa Honorio Development Corporation, Inc. The latter in turn transferred and assigned all its
rights to the properties in favor of Laguna Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc. which properties are presently in its
possession.
The parties admit that the certificates of titles covering the above described properties do not contain any annotation of
its reservable character.
On June 3, 1968, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo died.
On March 4, 1970, Amadeo, Sancho, Donato, Luis, and Erasto, all surnamed Balantakbo, brothers in full blood of Raul
Balantakbo and Luisa, Jose and Dolores, also all surnamed Balantakbo, surviving children of deceased Jose
Balantakbo, Jr., another brother of the first named Balantakbos, filed the above mentioned civil cases to recover the
properties described in the respective complaints which they claimed were subject to a reserva troncal in their favor.
The court a quo found that the two (2) cases varied only in the identity of the subject matter of res involved, the
transferees, the dates of the conveyances but involve the same legal question of reserva troncal. Hence, the
consolidation of the two (2) cases.
After trial, the court a quo rendered a joint decision in favor of the Balantakbos, the dispositive portion of which reads:

I. Que de mi legitimo matrimonio con mi difunto esposo, Jose Balantakbo, he tenido varios hijos,
entre ellos si difunto hijo, llamado Raul Balantakbo.
II. Que mi referido hijo Raul Balantakbo, fallencio el 13 de Junio de 1952, en la Ciudad de Pasay,
durante su minolia de edad sin dejar testamento alguno.
III. Que el finado Raul Balantakbo al morir no ha dejado descendiente alguno.
IV. Que soy la unica ascendiente superviviento de mi referido hijo Raul Balantakbo y por lo tanto
su unica heredera formosa, legitima y universal.
V. Que el finado Raul Balantakbo murio sin dejar deuda alguna.
VI. Que el finado al morir dejo propiedades consistentes en bienes inmuebles situados en la
Provincia de Laguna.
VII. Que dichas propriedades fueron a su vez adquiridas por el finado Raul Balantakbo per
herencia de su difunto padre, Jose Balantakbo, y de su tia abuela Luisa Bautista.
xxx xxx xxx

WHEREFORE, in both Civil Cases Nos. SC-956 and SC-957, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the
plaintiffs and against the defendants, as follows:
1. Ordering the defendant Laguna Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc. to convey to the plaintiffs
a) In Civil Case No. SC-956 the one-third (1/3) interest and ownership, pro-indiviso, in and
over the parcel of land described in paragraph three (3) sub-paragraph 1, of pages one (1) and
two (2) of this decision;
b) In Civil Case No. SC-957 the one-seventh (1/7) interest and ownership, pro-indiviso, in and
over the ten (10) parcels of land described in paragraph three (3), sub-paragraph 2, of pages two (2)
and three (3) of this decision;
c) The plaintiffs are to share equally in the real properties herein ordered to be conveyed to them by
the defendants with plaintiffs Luisa, Jose and Dolores, all surnamed Balantakbo, receiving one-third
(1/3) of the one share pertaining to the other plaintiffs who are their uncles:
2. Ordering the Laguna Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative, Inc. to account for and pay to the plaintiffs the
value of the produce from the properties herein ordered to be returned to the plaintiffs, said accounting and

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 19 of 27


payment of income being for the period from January 3, 1968 until date of reconveyance of the properties
herein ordered:

Consuelo stating the source of the properties thereby showing the reservable nature thereof was registered with the
Register of Deeds of Laguna, and this is sufficient notice to the whole world in accordance with Section 52 of the
Property Registration Decree (formerly Sec. 51 of R.A. 496) which provides:

3. In each of Civil Cases Nos. SC-956 and SC-957, defendants are to pay plaintiffs
a. One Thousand (P1,000.00) Pesos in litigation expenses.
b. Two Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos in attorney's fees.
4. Defendants are to pay the costs in each of Civil Cases Nos. SC-956 and 957.
xxx xxx xxx
(p. 46, Rollo)
This decision was appealed to the appellate court which affirmed the decision of the court a quo in toto. The motion for
reconsideration was denied (p. 65, Rollo) by the appellate court which found no cogent reason to reverse the decision.
This petition before Us was filed on November 12, 1984 with the petitioners assigning the following errors allegedly
committed by the appellate court:
I. The trial court erred in not finding defendants an (sic) innocent purchaser for value and in good
faith of the properties covered by certificates of title subject of litigation.
II. The trial court erred in finding it unnecessary to annotate the reservable interest of the reservee
in the properties covered by certificates of title subject of litigation.
III. The trial court erred in finding that the cause of action of the plaintiffs (private respondents) has
not yet prescribed.
IV. The trial court erred in awarding moral and actual damages in favor of the plaintiffs by virtue of
the institution of Civil Cases Nos. 956 and 957.
Petitioners would want this Court to reverse the findings of the court a quo, which the appellate court affirmed, that they
were not innocent purchasers for value. According to petitioners, before they agreed to buy the properties from the
reservor (also called reservista), Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo, they first sought the legal advice of their family
consultant who found that there was no encumbrance nor any lien annotated on the certificate of title coveting the
properties.

Sec. 52. CONSTRUCTIVE NOTICE UPON REGISTRATION. Every conveyance, mortgage,


lease, lien attachment, order, judgment, instrument or entry affecting registered land shall, if
registered, filed or entered in the Office of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the
land to which it relates lies, be constructive notice to all persons from the time of such registering,
filing or entering.
Thus, in Gatioan v. Gaffud, G.R. No. L-21953, March 28, 1969, 27 SCRA 706, 712-713, cited in People v. Reyes, G.R.
Nos. 74226-27, July 27, 1989, 175 SCRA 597; Garcia v. CA and PNB v. CA, et al., G.R. Nos. L-48971 and L-40911,
both dated January 22, 1980, 95 SCRA 380 and Legarda and Prieto v. Saleeby, 31 Phil. 590, 600, We held:
When a conveyance has been properly recorded such record is constructive notice of its contents
and all interests, legal and equitable, included therein . . .
Under the rule of notice, it is presumed that the purchaser has examined every instrument of
record affecting the title. Such presumption is irrebuttable. He is charged with notice of every fact
shown by the record and is presumed to know every fact which an examination of the record would
have disclosed. This presumption cannot be overcome by proof of innocence or good faith.
Otherwise, the very purpose and object of the law requiring a record would be destroyed. Such
presumption cannot be defeated by proof of want of knowledge of what the record contains any
more than one may be permitted to show that he was ignorant of the provisions of the law. The rule
that all persons must take notice of the facts which the public record contains is a rule of law. The
rule must be absolute, any variation would lead to endless confusion and useless litigation. . . .
In the case of Bass v. De la Rama, 73 Phil. 682, 685, the rule was laid down that the mere entry of a document in the
day book without noting it on the certificate of title is not sufficient registration. However, that ruling was superseded by
the holding in the later six cases of Levin v. Bass, 91 Phil. 420. As explained in Garcia v. CA, et al., G.R. Nos. L-48971
and 49011, January 20, 1980, 95 SCRA 380, 388, which is the prevailing doctrine in this jurisdiction.
That ruling was superseded by the holding in the later six cases of Levin v. Bass, 91 Phil. 420,
where a distinction was made between voluntary and involuntary registration, such as the
registration of an attachment, levy upon execution, notice of lis pendens, and the like. In cases of
involuntary registration, an entry thereof in the day book is a sufficient notice to all persons even if
the owner's duplicate certificate of title is not presented to the register of deeds.
On the other hand, according to the said cases of Levin v. Bass, in case of voluntary registration of
documents an innocent purchaser for value of registered land becomes the registered owner, and,
in contemplation of law the holder of a certificate of title, the moment he presents and files a duly
notarized and valid deed of sale and the same is entered in the day book and at the same time he
surrenders or presents the owner's duplicate certificate of title covering the land sold and pays the
registration fees, because what remains to be done lies not within his power to perform. The
register of deeds is duty bound to perform it. (See Potenciano v. Dineros, 97 Phil. 196).

The court a quo found otherwise. Upon the death of the propositus, Raul Balantakbo, the reservista, Consuelo vda. de
Balantakbo caused the registration of an affidavit of self-adjudication of the estate of Raul, wherein it was clearly stated
that the properties were inherited by Raul from his father Jose, Sr., as regards the subject matter of Civil Case No. SC956 and from his maternal grandmother, Luisa Bautista, as regards the subject matter of Civil Case No. SC-957. The
court a quo further ruled that said affidavit was, in its form, declaration and substance, a recording with the Registry of
Deeds of the reservable character of the properties. In Spanish language, the affidavit clearly stated that the affiant,
Consuelo, was a lone-ascendant and heir to Raul Balantakbo, her son, who died leaving properties previously inherited
from other ascendants and which properties were inventoried in the said affidavit.

In this case, the affidavit of self adjudication executed by Consuelo vda. de Balantakbo which contained a statement
that the property was inherited from a descendant, Raul, which has likewise inherited by the latter from another
ascendant, was registered with the Registry of Property. The failure of the Register of Deeds to annotate the reservable
character of the property in the certificate of title cannot be attributed to Consuelo.

It was admitted that the certificates of titles covering the properties in question show that they were free from any liens
and encumbrances at the time of the sale. The fact remains however, that the affidavit of self-adjudication executed by

Moreover, there is sufficient proof that the petitioners had actual knowledge of the reservable character of the
properties before they bought the same from Consuelo. This matter appeared in the deed of sale (Exhibit "C") executed

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 20 of 27


by Consuelo in favor of Mariquita Sumaya, the first vendee of the property litigated in Civil Case No. SC-956, as
follows:
xxx xxx xxx
That, I (Consuelo, vendor) am the absolute and exclusive owner of the one-third (1/3) portion of the
above described parcel of land by virtue of the Deed of Extra-judicial Partition executed by the
Heirs of the deceased Jose Balantakbo dated December 10, 1945 and said portion in accordance
with the partition above-mentioned was adjudicated to Raul Balantakbo, single, to (sic) whom I
inherited after his death and this property is entirely free from any encumbrance of any nature or
kind whatsoever, . . . (p. 42, Rollo)
It was admitted though that as regards the properties litigated in Civil Case SC-957, no such admission was made by
Consuelo to put Villa Honorio Development on notice of the reservable character of the properties. The affidavit of selfadjudication executed by Consuelo and registered with the Registry would still be sufficient notice to bind them.
Moreover, the Court a quo found that the petitioners and private respondents were long time acquaintances; that the
Villa Honorio Development Corporation and its successors, the Laguna Agro-Industrial Coconut Cooperative Inc., are
family corporations of the Sumayas and that the petitioners knew all along that the properties litigated in this case were
inherited by Raul Balantakbo from his father and from his maternal grandmother, and that Consuelo Vda. de
Balantakbo inherited these properties from his son Raul.
The obligation to reserve rests upon the reservor, Consuelo Joaquin vda. de Balantakbo. Article 891 of the New Civil
Code on reserva troncal provides:
Art. 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have
acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such
property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the
third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came. (Emphasis supplied)
We do not agree, however, with the disposition of the appellate court that there is no need to register the reservable
character of the property, if only for the protection of the reservees, against innocent third persons. This was suggested
as early as the case of Director of Lands v. Aguas, G.R. No. 42737, August 11, 1936, 63 Phil. 279. The main issue
submitted for resolution therein was whether the reservation established by Article 811 (now Art. 891 of the New Civil
Code) of the Civil Code, for the benefit of the relatives within the third degree belonging to the line of the descendant
from whom the ascendant reservor received the property, should be understood as made in favor of all the relatives
within said degree and belonging to the line above-mentioned, without distinction legitimate, natural and illegitimate
ones not having the legal status of natural children. However, in an obiter dictum this Court stated therein:
The reservable character of a property is but a resolutory condition of the ascendant reservor's
right of ownership. If the condition is fulfilled, that is, if upon the ascendant reservor's death there are relatives
having the status provided in Article 811 (Art. 891, New Civil Code), the property passes, in accordance with this
special order of succession, to said relatives, or to the nearest of kin among them, which question not being
pertinent to this case, need not now be determined. But if this condition is not fulfilled, the property is released
and will be adjudicated in accordance with the regular order of succession. The fulfillment or non-fulfillment of
the resolutory condition, the efficacy or cessation of the reservation, the acquisition of rights or loss of the
vested ones, are phenomena which have nothing to do with whether the reservation has been noted or not in
the certificate of title to the property. The purpose of the notation is nothing more than to afford to the persons
entitled to the reservation, if any,
due protection against any act of the reservor, which may make it ineffective . . . (p. 292, Ibid)
Likewise, in Dizon and Dizon v. Galang, G.R. No. 21344, January 14, 1926, 48 Phil. 601, 603, this Court ruled that the
reservable character of a property may be lost to innocent purchasers for value. Additionally, it was ruled therein that

the obligation imposed on a widowed spouse to annotate the reservable character of a property subject of reserva
viudal is applicable to reserva troncal. (See also Edrozo v. Sablan, G.R. No. 6878, September 13, 1913, 25 Phil. 295).
Since these parcels of land have been legally transferred to third persons, Vicente Galang has lost
ownership thereof and cannot now register nor record in the Registry of Deeds their reservable
character; neither can he effect the fee simple, which does not belong to him, to the damage of
Juan Medina and Teodoro Jurado, who acquired the said land in good faith, free of all
incumbrances. An attempt was made to prove that when Juan Medina was advised not to buy the
land he remarked, "Why did he (Vicente Galang) not inherit it from his son?" Aside from the fact
that it is not clear whether this conservation took place in 1913 or 1914, that is, before or after the
sale, it does not arise that he had any knowledge of the reservation. This did not arise from the fact
alone that Vicente Galang had inherited the land from his son, but also from the fact that, by
operation of law, the son had inherited it from his mother Rufina Dizon, which circumstance, so far
as the record shows, Juan Medina had not been aware of. We do not decide, however, whether or
not Juan Medina and Teodoro Jurado are obliged to acknowledge the reservation and to note the
same in their deeds, for the reason that there was no prayer to this effect in the complaint and no
question raised in regard thereto.
Consistent with the rule in reserva viudal where the person obliged to reserve (the widowed spouse) had the obligation
to annotate in the Registry of Property the reservable character of the property, in reserva troncal, the reservor (the
ascendant who inherited from a descendant property which the latter inherited from another descendant) has the duty
to reserve and therefore, the duty to annotate also.
The jurisprudential rule requiring annotation in the Registry of Property of the right reserved in real property subject
of reserva viudal insofar as it is applied to reserva troncal stays despite the abolition of reserva viudal in the New Civil
Code. This rule is consistent with the rule provided in the second paragraph of Section 51 of P.D. 1529, which provides
that: "The act of registration shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as third persons are
concerned . . ." (emphasis supplied)
The properties involved in this case are already covered by a Torrens title and unless the registration of the limitation is
effected (either actual or constructive), no third persons shall be prejudiced thereby.
The respondent appellate court did not err in finding that the cause of action of the private respondents did not
prescribe yet. The cause of action of the reservees did not commence upon the death of the propositus Raul
Balantakbo on June 13, 1952 but upon the death of the reservor Consuelo Vda. de Balantakbo on June 3, 1968.
Relatives within the third degree in whose favor the right (or property) is reserved have no title of ownership or of fee
simple over the reserved property during the lifetime of the reservor. Only when the reservor should die before the
reservees will the latter acquire the reserved property, thus creating a fee simple, and only then will they take their
place in the succession of the descendant of whom they are relatives within the third degree (SeeVelayo Bernardo v.
Siojo, G.R. No. 36078, March 11, 1933, 58 Phil. 89). The reserva is extinguished upon the death of the reservor, as it
then becomes a right of full ownership on the part of the reservatarios, who can bring a reivindicatory suit therefor.
Nonetheless, this right if not exercised within the time for recovery may prescribe in ten (10) years under the old Code
of Civil Procedure (see Carillo v. De Paz, G.R. No. L-22601, October 28, 1966, 18 SCRA 467, 473) or in thirty years
under Article 1141 of the New Civil Code. The actions for recovery of the reserved property was brought by herein
private respondents on March 4, 1970 or less than two (2) years from the death of the reservor. Therefore, private
respondents' cause of action has not prescribed yet.
Finally, the award of one thousand pesos (P1,000.00) for actual litigation expenses and two thousand pesos
(P2,000.00) for attorney's fees is proper under Article 2208(2) of the New Civil Code. Private respondents were
compelled to go to court to recover what rightfully belongs to them.
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DENIED. The questioned decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court is AFFIRMED,
except for the modification on the necessity to annotate the reversable character of a property subject of reserva
troncal.
SO ORDERED.

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 21 of 27

G.R. No. L-34395 May 19, 1981


BEATRIZ L. GONZALES, petitioner,
vs.
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF MANILA (BRANCH V), SEE page 3
G.R. No. 6878
September 13, 1913
MARCELINA EDROSO, petitioner-appellant,
vs.
PABLO and BASILIO SABLAN, opponents-appellees.
Francisco Dominguez for appellant.
Crispin Oben for appellees.
ARELLANO, C.J.:
The subject matter of this appeal is the registration of certain property classified as required by law to be reserved.
Marcelina Edroso applied for registration and issuance of title to two parcels of land situated in the municipality of
Pagsanjan, Province of Laguna, one of 1 hectare 77 ares and 63 centares, and the other 1 hectare 6 ares and 26
centares. Two applications were filed, one for each parcel, but both were heard and decided in a single judgment.
Marcelina Edroso was married to Victoriano Sablan until his death on September 22, 1882. In this marriage they had a
son named Pedro, who was born on August 1, 1881, and who at his father's death inherited the two said parcels. Pedro
also died on July 15, 1902, unmarried and without issue and by this decease the two parcels of land passed through
inheritance to his mother, Marcelina Edroso. Hence the hereditary title whereupon is based the application for
registration of her ownership.
Two legitimate brothers of Victoriano Sablan that is, two uncles german of Pedro Sablan appeared in the case to
oppose the registration, claiming one of two things: Either that the registration be denied, "or that if granted to her the
right reserved by law to the opponents be recorded in the registration of each parcel." (B. of E., 11, 12.)
The Court of Land Registration denied the registration and the application appealed through a bill of exceptions.
Registration was denied because the trial court held that the parcels of land in question partake of the nature of
property required by law to be reserved and that in such a case application could only be presented jointly in the names
of the mother and the said two uncles of Pedro Sablan.
The appellant impugns as erroneous the first idea advanced (second assignment of error), and denies that the land
which are the subject matter of the application are required by law to be reserved a contention we regard as
indefensible.
Facts: (1) The applicant acquired said lands from her descendant Pedro Sablan by inheritance; (2) Pedro Sablan had
acquired them from his ascendant Victoriano Sablan, likewise by inheritance; (3) Victoriano Sablan had likewise
acquired them by inheritance from his ascendants, Mariano Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, they having been
adjudicated to him in the partition of hereditary property had between him and his brothers. These are admitted facts.
A very definite conclusions of law is that the hereditary title is one without a valuable consideration [gratuitous title], and
it is so characterized in article 968 of the Civil Code, for he who acquires by inheritance gives nothing in return for what
he receives; and a very definite conclusion of law also is that the uncles german are within the third degree of blood
relationship.
The ascendant who inherits from his descendant property which the latter acquired without a valuable
consideration from another ascendant, or from a brother or sister, is under obligation to reserve what he has
acquired by operation of law for the relatives who are within the third degree and belong to the line whence
the property proceeded. (Civil Code, art. 811.)

Marcelina Edroso, ascendant of Pedro Sablan, inherited from him these two parcels of land which he had acquired
without a valuable consideration that is, by inheritance from another ascendant, his father Victoriano. Having
acquired them by operation of law, she is obligated to relatives within the third degree and belong to the line of Mariano
Sablan and Maria Rita Fernandez, whence the lands proceeded. The trial court's ruling that they partake of the nature
property required by law to be reserved is therefore in accordance with the law.
But the appellant contends that it is not proven that the two parcels of land in question have been acquired by operation
of law, and that only property acquired without a valuable consideration, which is by operation of law, is required by law
to reserved.
The appellees justly argue that this defense was not alleged or discussed in first instance, but only herein. Certainly, the
allegation in first instance was merely that "Pedro Sablan acquired the property in question in 1882, before the
enforcement of the Civil Code, which establishes the alleged right required by law to be reserved, of which the
opponents speak; hence, prescription of the right of action; and finally, opponents' renunciation of their right, admitting
that it existed and that they had it" (p. 49).
However that be, it is not superflous to say, although it may be unnecessary, that the applicant inherited the two parcels
of land from her son Pedro, who died "unmarried and without issue." The trial court so held as a conclusion of fact,
without any objection on the appellant's part. (B. of E., 17, 20.) When Pedro Sablan died without issue, his mother
became his heir by virtue of her right to her son's legal portion under article 935 of the Civil Code:
In the absence of legitimate children and descendants of the deceased, his ascendants shall from him, to the
exclusion of collaterals.
The contrary could only have occurred if the heiress had demonstrated that any of these lands had passed into her
possession by free disposal in her son's will; but the case presents no testamentary provision that demonstrate any
transfer of property from the son to the mother, not by operation of law, but by her son's wish. The legal presumption is
that the transfer of the two parcels of land was abintestate or by operation of law, and not by will or the wish of the
predecessor in interest. (Act No. 190, sec. 334, No. 26.) All the provision of article 811 of the Civil Code have therefore
been fully complied with.
If Pedro Sablan had instituted his mother in a will as the universal heiress of his property, all he left at death would not
be required by law to be reserved, but only what he would have perforce left her as the legal portion of a legitimate
ascendant.
The legal portion of the parents or ascendants is constituted by one-half of the hereditary estate of the
children and descendants. The latter may unrestrictedly dispose of the other half, with the exception of what
is established in article 836. (Civil Code, art. 809.)
In such case only the half constituting the legal portion would be required by law to be reserved, because it is what by
operation of law could full to the mother from her son's inheritance; the other half at free disposal would not have to be
reserved. This is all that article 811 of the Civil Code says.
No error has been incurred in holding that the two parcels of land which are the subject matter of the application are
required by law to be reserved, because the interested party has not proved that either of them became her inheritance
through the free disposal of her son.
Proof testate succession devolves upon the heir or heiress who alleges it. It must be admitted that a half of Pedro
Sablan's inheritance was acquired by his mother by operation of law. The law provides that the other half is also
presumed to be acquired by operation of law that is, by intestate succession. Otherwise, proof to offset this
presumption must be presented by the interested party, that is, that the other half was acquired by the man's wish and
not by operation of law.

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 22 of 27


Nor is the third assignments of error admissible that the trial court failed to sustain the renunciation of the right
required by law to be reserved, which the applicant attributes to the opponents. Such renunciation does not appear in
the case. The appellant deduces it from the fact that the appellees did not contradict the following statement of hers at
the trial:

The Mortgage Law in force in Spain for thirty years went into effect, with the modifications necessary for its
adaptation, in the Antilles on May 1, 1880, and in the Philippines on December 1, 1889, thus commencing in
those regions the renovation of the law on real property, and consequently of agrarian credit.
The Civil Code went into effect in the Philippines in the same year, 1889, but on the eight day.

The day after my brother-in-law Pablo Sablan dies and was buried, his brother came to my house and said that those
rice lands were mine, because we had already talked about making delivery of them. (p. 91).
The other brother alluded to is Basilio Sablan, as stated on page 92. From the fact that Basilio Sablan said that the
lands belong to the appellant and must be delivered to her it cannot be deduced that he renounced the right required by
law to be reserved in such lands by virtue of the provisions of article 811 of the Civil Code, for they really belong to her
and must be delivered to her.
The fourth assignments of error set up the defense of prescription of the right of action. The appellant alleges
prescription of the opponent's right of action for requiring fulfillment of the obligation they attribute to her recording in
the property registry the right required by law to be reserved, in accordance with the provisions of the Mortgage Law;
and as such obligation is created by law, it prescribed in the time fixed in No. 2 of section 43 of Act No. 190. She adds:
"Prescription of the right alleged to the reserved by force of law has not been invoked." (Eight allegation.)
The appellant does not state in her brief what those provisions of the Mortgage Law are. Nor did she do so in first
instance, where she says only the following, which is quoted from the record: "I do not refer to the prescription of the
right required by law to be reserved in the property; I refer to the prescription of the right of action of those who are
entitled to the guaranty of that right for seeking that guaranty, for those who are entitled to that right the Mortgage Law
grants a period of time for recording it in the property registry, if I remember correctly, ninety days, for seeking entry in
the registry; but as they have not exercised that right of action, such right of action for seeking here that it be recorded
has prescribed. The right of action for requiring that the property be reserved has not prescribed, but the right of action
for guaranteeing in the property registry that this property is required by law to be reserved" (p. 69 of the record).
The appellees reply: It is true that their right of action has prescribed for requiring the applicant to constitute the
mortgage imposed by the Mortgage Law for guaranteeing the effectiveness of the required by law to be reserved; but
because that right of action has prescribed, that property has not been divested of its character of property required by
law to be reserved; that it has such character by virtue of article 8112 of the Civil Code, which went into effect in the
Philippine in December, 1889, and not by virtue of the Mortgage Law, which only went into effect in the country by law
of July 14, 1893; that from December, 1889, to July, 1893, property which under article 811 of the Civil Code acquired
the character of property reserved by operation of law was such independently of the Mortgage Law, which did not yet
form part of the positive legislation of the country; that although the Mortgage Law has been in effect in the country
since July, 1893, still it has in no way altered the force of article 811 of the Civil Code, but has operated to reinforce the
same merely by granting the right of action to the persons in whose favor the right is reserved by operation of law to
require of the person holding the property a guaranty in the form of a mortgage to answer for the enforcement, in due
time, of the right; that to lose the right of action to the guaranty is not to lose the right itself; that the right reserved is the
principal obligation and the mortgage the accessory obligation, and loss of the accessory does not mean loss of the
principal. (Fifth and sixth allegations.)
The existence of the right required by law to be reserved in the two parcels of land in question being indisputable, even
though it be admitted that the right of action which the Mortgage Law grants as a guaranty of final enforcement of such
right has prescribed, the only thing to be determined by this appeal is the question raised in the first assignment of
error, that is, how said two parcels of land can and ought to be registered, not in the property registry newly established
by the Mortgage Law, but in the registry newly organized by Act No. 496. But as the have slipped into the allegations
quoted some rather inexact ideas that further obscure such an intricate subject as this of the rights required to be
reserved in Spanish-Philippine law, a brief disgression on the most essential points may not be out of place here.
The Mortgage Law of July 14, 1893, to which the appellees allude, is the amended one of the colonies, not the first
enforced in the colonies and consequently in the Philippines. The preamble of said amended Mortgage Law states:

Two kinds of property required by law to be reserved are distinguished in the Civil Code, as set forth in article 968
thereof, where it says:
Besides the reservation imposed by article 811, the widow or widower contracting a seconds marriage shall be obliged
to set apart for the children and descendants of the first marriage the ownership of all the property he or she may have
required from the deceased spouse by will, by intestate succession, by gift, or other transfer without a valuable
consideration."
The Mortgage Law of Spain and the first law that went into effect in the Philippines on December 1, 189, do not contain
any provision that can be applied to the right reserved by article 811 of the Civil Code, for such right is a creation of the
Civil Code. In those laws appear merely the provisions intended to guarantee the effectiveness of the right in favor of
the children of the first marriage when their father or mother contracts a second marriage. Nevertheless, the holding of
the supreme court of Spain, for the first time set forth in the decision on appeal of November 8, 1894, has been
reiterated:
That while the provisions of articles 977 and 978 of the Civil Code that tend to secure the right required to be
reserved in the property refer especially to the spouses who contract second or later marriages, they do not
thereby cease to be applicable to the right establishes in article 811, because, aside from the legal reason,
which is the same in both cases, such must be the construction from the important and conclusive
circumstance that said provisions are set forth in the chapter that deals with inheritances in common, either
testate or intestate, and because article 968, which heads the section that deals in general with property
required by law to be reserved, makes reference to the provisions in article 811; and it would consequently be
contradictory to the principle of the law and of the common nature of said provisions not to hold them
applicable to that right.
Thus it was again stated in a decision on appeal, December 30, 1897, that: "As the supreme court has already
declared, the guaranties that the Code fixes in article 977 and 978 for the rights required by law to the reserved to
which said articles refer, are applicable to the special right dealt with in article 811, because the same principle exists
and because of the general nature of the provisions of the chapter in which they are found."
From this principle of jurisprudence it is inferred that if from December, 1889, to July, 1893, a case had occurred of a
right required to be reserved by article 811, the persons entitled to such right would have been able to institute, against
the ascendant who must make the reservation, proceedings for the assurance and guaranty that article 977 and 978
grant to the children of a first marriage against their father or mother who has married again. The proceedings for
assurance, under article 977; are: Inventory of the property subject to the right reserved, annotation in the property
registry of such right reserved in the real property and appraisal of the personal property; and the guaranty, under
article 978, is the assurance by mortgage, in the case of realty, of the value of what is validly alienated.
But since the amended Mortgage Law went into effect by law of July 14, 1893, in the Philippines this is not only a
principle of jurisprudence which may be invoked for the applicability to the right reserved in article 811 of the remedies
of assurance and guaranty provided for the right reserved in article 968, but there is a positive provision of said law,
which is an advantage over the law of Spain, to wit, article 199, which read thus:
The special mortgage for guaranteeing the right reserved by article 811 of the Civil Code can only be required
by the relatives in whose favor the property is to be reserved, if they are of age; if minors, it will be require by
the person who should legally represent them. In either case the right of the persons in whose favor the
property must be reserved will be secured by the same requisites as set forth in the preceding article (relative

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 23 of 27


to the right reserved by article 968 of the Civil Code), applying to the person obligated to reserve the right the
provisions with respect to the father.
In article 168 of the same law the new subsection 2 is added in connection with article 199 quoted, so that said article
168 reads as thus:
Legal mortgage is established:
1. . . .
2. In favor of the relatives to whom article 811 of the Civil Code refers, for the property required to be
reserved, upon the property of the person obliged to reserve it.
This being admitted, and admitted also that both the litigating parties agree that the period of ninety days fixed for the
right of action to the guaranty, that is, to require the mortgage that guarantees the effectiveness of the right required by
law to be reserved, has prescribed, it is necessary to lay down a principle in this matter. Now it should by noted that
such action has not prescribed, because the period of ninety days fixed by the Mortgage Law is not for the exercise of
the right of action of the persons entitled to the right reserved, but for the fulfillment of the obligation of the person who
must make the reservation.
Article 191 of the reads thus: "If ninety days pass without the father's instituting in court the proceeding to which the
foregoing article refers, the relatives themselves may demand fulfillment, etc., . . . applying, according to said article
199, to the person obligated to reserve the right the provisions with respect to the father."
Article 203 of the regulation for the application of the Mortgage Law says: "In the case of article 199 of the law the
proceedings to which article 190 thereof refers will be instituted within the ninety days succeeding the date of the date
of the acceptation of the inheritance by the person obligated to reserve the property; after this period has elapsed, the
interested parties may require the institution of such proceedings, if they are of age; and in any other case, their legal
representatives."
Thus it clearly appears that the lapse of the ninety days is not the expiration by prescription of the period for the right
must be reserved, but really the commencement thereof, enables them to exercise it at any time, since no limits is set
in the law. So, if the annotation of the right required by law to be reserved in the two parcels of land in question must be
made in the property registry of the Mortgage Law, the persons entitled to it may now institute proceedings to that end,
and an allegation of prescription against the exercise of such right of action cannot be sustained.
Since the applicant confesses that she does not allege prescription of the right of action for requiring that the property
be reserved, for she explicitly so stated at the trial, and as the case presents no necessity for the proceedings that
should be instituted in accordance with the provisions of the Mortgage Law, this prescription of the right of action
cannot take place, because such right of action does not exist with reference to instituting proceedings for annotation in
the registry of Act No. 496 of the right to the property required by law to be reserved. It is sufficient, as was done in the
present case, to intervene in the registration proceedings with the claim set up by the two opponents for recording
therein the right reserved in either parcel of land.
Now comes the main point in the appeal. The trial court denied the registration because of this finding set forth in its
decision:
Absolute title to the two parcels of land undoubtedly belongs to the applicant and the two uncles of the
deceased Pedro Sablan, and the application cannot be made except in the name of all of them in common.
(B. of E., p. 20.)

It must be remembered that absolute title consists of the rights to use, enjoy, dispose of, and recover. The person who
has in himself all these rights has the absolute or complete ownership of the thing; otherwise, the person who has the
right to use and enjoy will have the usufruct, and the person who has the rights of disposal and recovery the direct title.
The person who by law, act, or contract is granted the right of usufruct has the first two rights or using an enjoying, and
then he is said not to have the fee simple that is, the rights of disposal and recovery, which pertain to another who,
after the usufruct expires, will come into full ownership.
The question set up in the first assignment of error of the appellant's brief is this:
What are the rights in the property of the person who holds it subject to the reservation of article 811 of the
Civil Code?
There are not lacking writers who say, only those of a usufructuary, the ultimate title belonging to the person in whose
favor the reservation is made. If that were so, the person holding the property could not apply for registration of title, but
the person in whose favor it must be reserved, with the former's consent. This opinion does not seem to be admissible,
although it appears to be supported by decisions of the supreme court of Spain of May 21, 1861, and June 18, 1880,
prior to the Civil Code, and of June 22, 1895, somewhat subsequent to the enforcement thereof.
Another writer says: "This opinion only looks at two salient points the usufruct and the fee simple; the remaining
features of the arrangement are not perceived, but become obscure in the presence of that deceptive emphasis which
only brings out two things: that the person holding the property will enjoy it and that he must keep what he enjoys for
other persons." (Manresa, VII, 189.)
In another place he says: "We do not believe that the third opinion can now be maintained that is, that the surviving
spouse (the person obliged by article 968 to make the reservation) can be regarded as a mere usufructuary and the
descendants immediately as the owner; such theory has no serious foundation in the Code." (Ibid., 238.)
The ascendants who inherits from a descendants, whether by the latter's wish or by operation of law, requires the
inheritance by virtue of a title perfectly transferring absolute ownership. All the attributes of the right of ownership
belong to him exclusively use, enjoyment, disposal and recovery. This absolute ownership, which is inherent in the
hereditary title, is not altered in the least, if there be no relatives within the third degree in the line whence the property
proceeds or they die before the ascendant heir who is the possessor and absolute owner of the property. If there should
be relatives within the third degree who belong to the line whence the property proceeded, then a limitation to that
absolute ownership would arise. The nature and scope of this limitation must be determined with exactness in order not
to vitiate rights that the law wishes to be effective. The opinion which makes this limitation consist in reducing the
ascendant heir to the condition in of a mere usufructuary, depriving him of the right of disposal and recovery, does not
seem to have any support in the law, as it does not have, according to the opinion that he has been expressed in
speaking of the rights of the father or mother who has married again. There is a marked difference between the case
where a man's wish institutes two persons as his heirs, one as usufructuary and the other as owner of his property, and
the case of the ascendant in article 811 or of the father or mother in article 968. In the first case, there is not the
slightest doubt that the title to the hereditary property resides in the hereditary owner and he can dispose of and
recover it, while the usufructuary can in no way perform any act of disposal of the hereditary property (except that he
may dispose of the right of usufruct in accordance with the provisions of article 480 of the Civil Code), or any act of
recovery thereof except the limited one in the form prescribed in article 486 of the Code itself, because he totally lacks
the fee simple. But the ascendants who holds the property required by article 811 to be reserved, and the father of
mother required by article 986 to reserve the right, can dispose of the property they might itself, the former from his
descendant and the latter from his of her child in first marriage, and recover it from anyone who may unjustly detain it,
while the persons in whose favor the right is required to be reserved in either case cannot perform any act whatsoever
of disposal or of recovery.
Article 975 states explicitly that the father or mother required by article 9687 to reserve the right may dispose of the
property itself:

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 24 of 27


Alienation of the property required by law to be reserved which may be made by the surviving
spouse aftercontracting a second marriage shall be valid only if at his or her death no legitimate children or
descendants of the first marriage survive, without prejudice to the provisions of the Mortgage of Law.
It thus appears that the alienation is valid, although not altogether effective, but under a condition subsequent, to wit: "If
at his or her death no legitimate children or descendants of the first marriage survive."
If the title did not reside in the person holding the property to be reserved, his alienation thereof would necessarily be
null and void, as executed without a right to do so and without a right which he could transmit to the acquirer. The law
says that the alienation subsists (to subject is to continue to exist) "without prejudice to the provisions of the Mortgage
Law." Article 109 of this Law says:
The possessor of property subject to conditions subsequent that are still pending may mortgage or alienate it,
provided always that he preserve the right of the parties interested in said conditions by expressly reserving
that right in the registration.
In such case, the child or legitimate descendants of the first marriage in whose favor the right is reserved cannot
impugn the validity of the alienation so long as the condition subsequent is pending, that is, so long as the remarried
spouse who must reserve the right is alive, because it might easily happen that the person who must reserve the right
should outlive all the person in whose favor the right is reserved and then there would be no reason for the condition
subsequent that they survive him, and, the object of the law having disappeared, the right required to be reserved
would disappear, and the alienation would not only be valid but also in very way absolutely effective. Consequently, the
alienation is valid when the right required by law to be reserved to the children is respected; while the effects of the
alienation depend upon a condition, because it will or will not become definite, it will continue to exist or cease to exist,
according to circumstances. This is what the law establishes with reference to the reservation of article 968, wherein
the legislator expressly directs that the surviving spouse who contracts a second marriage shall reserve to the children
or descendants of the first marriage ownership. Article 811 says nothing more than that the ascendants must make the
reservation.
Manresa, with his recognized ability, summarizes the subject under the heading, "Rights and obligations during the
existence of the right required by law to be reserved," in these words:
During the whole period between the constitution in legal form of the right required by law to be reserved and the
extinction thereof, the relatives within the third degree, after the right that in their turn may pertain to them has
been assured, have only an expectation, and therefore they do not even have the capacity to transmit that expectation
to their heirs.
The ascendant is in the first place a usufructuary who should use and enjoy the things according to their nature, in the
manner and form already set forth in commenting upon the article of the Code referring to use and usufruct.
But since in addition to being the usufructuary he is, even though conditionally, the owner in fee simple of the property,
he can dispose of it in the manner provided in article 974 and 976 of the same Code. Doubt arose also on this point,
but the Direccion General of the registries, in an opinion of June 25, 1892, declared that articles 974 and 975, which
are applicable by analogy, for they refer to property reserved by law, reveal in the clearest manner the attitude of the
legislator on this subject, and the relatives with the third degree ought not to be more privileged in the right reserved in
article 811 than the children in the right reserved by article 975, chiefly for the reason that the right required to be
reserved carries with it a condition subsequent, and the property subject to those conditions can validly be alienated in
accordance with article 109 of the Mortgage Law, such alienation to continue, pending fulfillment of the condition." (Civil
Code, VI, 270.)
Another commentator corroborates the foregoing in every way. He says:

The ascendants acquires that property with a condition subsequent, to wit, whether or not there exists at the
time of his death relatives within the third degree of the descendants from whom they inherit in the line
whence the property proceeds. If such relatives exist, they acquire ownership of the property at the death of
the ascendants. If they do not exist, the ascendants can freely dispose thereof. If this is true, since the
possessor of property subject to conditions subsequent can alienate and encumber it, the ascendants may
alienate the property required by law to be reserved, but he will alienate what he has and nothing more
because no one can give what does not belong to him, and the acquirer will therefore receive a limited and
revocable title. The relatives within the third degree will in their turn have an expectation to the property while
the ascendant lives, an expectation that cannot be transmitted to their heirs, unless these are also within the
third degree. After the person who is required by law to reserve the right has died, the relatives may rescind
the alienation of the realty required by law to be reserved and they will complete ownership, in fee simple,
because the condition and the usufruct have been terminated by the death of the usufructuary. (Morell,
Estudios sobre bienes reservable, 304, 305.)
The conclusion is that the person required by article 811 to reserve the right has, beyond any doubt at all, the rights of
use and usufruct. He has, moreover, for the reasons set forth, the legal title and dominion, although under a condition
subsequent. Clearly he has, under an express provision of the law, the right to dispose of the property reserved, and to
dispose of is to alienate, although under a condition. He has the right to recover it, because he is the one who
possesses or should possess it and have title to it, although a limited and revocable one. In a word, the legal title and
dominion, even though under a condition, reside in him while he lives. After the right required by law to be reserved has
been assured, he can do anything that a genuine owner can do.
On the other hand, the relatives within the third degree in whose favor of the right is reserved cannot dispose of the
property, first because it is no way, either actually, constructively or formally, in their possession; and, moreover,
because they have no title of ownership or of the fee simple which they can transmit to another, on the hypothesis that
only when the person who must reserve the right should die before them will they acquire it, thus creating a fee simple,
and only then will they take their place in the succession of the descendants of whom they are relatives within the third
degree, that it to say, a second contingent place in said legitimate succession in the fashion of aspirants to a possible
future legacy. If any of the persons in whose favor the right is reserved should, after their rights has been assured in the
registry, dare to dispose of even nothing more than the fee simple of the property to be reserved his act would be null
and void, for, as was definitely decided in the decision on appeal of December 30, 1897, it is impossible to determine
the part "that might pertain therein to the relative at the time he exercised the right, because in view of the nature and
scope of the right required by law to be reserved the extent of his right cannot be foreseen, for it may disappear by his
dying before the person required to reserve it, just as may even become absolute should that person die."
Careful consideration of the matter forces the conclusion that no act of disposal inter vivos of the person required by
law to reserve the right can be impugned by him in whose favor it is reserved, because such person has all, absolutely
all, the rights inherent in ownership, except that the legal title is burdened with a condition that the third party acquirer
may ascertain from the registry in order to know that he is acquiring a title subject to a condition subsequent. In
conclusion, it seems to us that only an act of disposal mortis causa in favor of persons other than relatives within the
third degree of the descendants from whom he got the property to be reserved must be prohibited to him, because this
alone has been the object of the law: "To prevent persons outside a family from securing, by some special accident of
life, property that would otherwise have remained therein." (Decision of December 30, 1897.)
Practically, even in the opinion of those who reduce the person reserving the right to the condition of a mere
usufructuary, the person in whose favor it must be reserved cannot attack the alienation that may be absolutely made of
the property the law requires to be reserved, in the present case, that which the appellant has made of the two parcels
of land in question to a third party, because the conditional alienation that is permitted her is equivalent to an alienation
of the usufruct, which is authorized by article 480 of the Civil Code, and, practically, use and enjoyment of the property
required by law to be reserved are all that the person who must reserve it has during his lifetime, and in alienating the
usufruct all the usefulness of the thing would be transmitted in an incontrovertible manner. The question as to whether
or not she transmits the fee simple is purely academic, sine re, for it is not real, actual positive, as is the case of the
institution of two heirs, one a usufructuary and the other the owner, by the express wish of the predecessor in interest.

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 25 of 27


If the person whom article 811 requires to reserve the right has all the rights inherent in ownership, he can use, enjoy,
dispose of and recover it; and if, in addition to usufructuary, he is in fact and in law the real owner and can alienate it,
although under a condition, the whole question is reduced to the following terms:
Cannot the heir of the property required by law to reserved, merely because a condition subsequent is annexed to his
right of disposal, himself alone register the ownership of the property he has inherited, when the persons in whose
favor the reservation must be made degree thereto, provided that the right reserved to them in the two parcels of land
be recorded, as the law provides?
It is well known that the vendee under pacto de retracto acquires all the rights of the vendor:
The vendee substitutes the vendor in all his rights and actions. (Civil Code, art. 1511.)
If the vendor can register his title, the vendee can also register this same title after he has once acquired it. This title,
however, in its attribute of being disposable, has a condition subsequent annexed that the alienation the purchaser
may make will be terminated, if the vendor should exercise the right granted him by article 1507, which says:
Conventional redemption shall take place when the vendor reserves to himself the right to recover the thing sold, with
the obligation to comply with article 1518, and whatever more may have been agreed upon," that is, if he recovers the
thing sold by repaying the vendee the price of the sale and other expenses. Notwithstanding this condition subsequent,
it is a point not at all doubtful now that the vendee may register his title in the same way as the owner of a thing
mortgaged that is to say, the latter with the consent of his creditor and the former with the consent of the vendor. He
may alienate the thing bought when the acquirer knows by well from the title entered in the registry that he acquires a
title revocable after a fixed period, a thing much more certain and to be expected than the purely contingent expectation
of the person in whose favor is reserved a right to inherit some day what another has inherited. The purpose of the law
would be defeated in not applying to the person who must make the reservation the provision therein relative to the
vendee under pacto de retracto, since the argument in his favor is the more power and conclusive; ubi eadem ratio,
eadem legis dispositivo.
Therefore, we reverse the judgment appealed from, and in lieu thereof decide and declare that the applicant is entitled
to register in her own name the two parcels of land which are the subject matter of the applicants, recording in the
registration the right required by article 811 to be reserved to either or both of the opponents, Pablo Sablan and Basilio
Sablan, should they survive her; without special findings as to costs.
Torres, Mapa, Johnson, Carson and Trent, JJ., concur
G.R. No. L-12957

March 24, 1961

CONSTANCIO SIENES, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellants,


vs.
FIDEL ESPARCIA, ET AL., defendants-appellees.
Proceso R. Remollo for plaintiffs-appellants.
Leonardo D. Mancao for defendants-appellees.
DIZON, J.:
Appellants commenced this action below to secure judgment (1) declaring null and void the sale executed by Paulina
and Cipriana Yaeso in favor of appellees, the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes; (2) ordering the Esparcia
spouses to reconvey to appellants Lot 3368 of the Cadastral Survey of Ayuquitan (now Amlan), Oriental Negros; and
(3) ordering all the appellees to pay, jointly and severally, to appellants the sum of P500.00 as damages, plus the costs

of suit. In their answer appellees disclaimed any knowledge or information regarding the sale allegedly made on April
20, 1951 by Andrea Gutang in favor of appellants and alleged that, if such sale was made, the same was void on the
ground that Andrea Gutang had no right to dispose of the property subject matter thereof. They further alleged that said
property had never been in possession of appellants, the truth being that appellees, as owners, had been in continuous
possession thereof since the death of Francisco Yaeso. By way of affirmative defense and counterclaim, they further
alleged that on July 30, 1951, Paulina and Cipriana Yaeso, as the only surviving heirs of Francisco Yaeso, executed a
public instrument of sale in favor of the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes, the said sale having been
registered together with an affidavit of adjudication executed by Paulina and Cipriana on July 18, 1951, as sole
surviving heirs of the aforesaid deceased; that since then the Esparcias had been in possession of the property as
owners.
After trial upon the issues thus joined, the lower court rendered judgment as follows:
IN VIEW OF ALL THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered declaring (1) that the sale of Lot No. 3368
made by Andrea Gutang to the plaintiff spouses Constancio Sienes and Genoveva Silay is void, and the
reconveyance prayed for by them is denied; (2) that the sale made by Paulina and Cipriana Yaeso in favor of
defendants Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes involving the same lot is also void, and they have no valid title
thereto; and (3) that the reservable property in question is part of and must be reverted to the estate of
Cipriana Yaeso, the lone surviving relative and heir of Francisco Yaeso at the death of Andrea Gutang as of
December 13, 1951. No pronouncement as to the costs.
From the above decision the Sienes spouse interposed the present appeal, their principal contentions being, firstly, that
the lower court erred in holding that Lot 3368 of the Cadastral Survey of Ayuquitan was a reservable property; secondly,
in annulling the sale of said lot executed by Andrea Gutang in their favor; and lastly, in holding that Cipriana Yaeso, as
reservee, was entitled to inherit said land.
There is no dispute as to the following facts:
Lot 3368 originally belonged to Saturnino Yaeso. With his first wife, Teresa Ruales, he had four children named Agaton,
Fernando, Paulina and Cipriana, while with his second wife, Andrea Gutang, he had an only son named Francisco.
According to the cadastral records of Ayuquitan, the properties left by Saturnino upon his death the date of which
does not clearly appear of record were left to his children as follows: Lot 3366 to Cipriana, Lot 3367 to Fernando, Lot
3375 to Agaton, Lot 3377 (southern portion) to Paulina, and Lot 3368 (western portion) to Francisco. As a result of the
cadastral proceedings, Original Certificate of Title No. 10275 covering Lot 3368 was issued in the name of Francisco.
Because Francisco was a minor at the time, his mother administered the property for him, declared it in her name for
taxation purposes (Exhs A & A-1), and paid the taxes due thereon (Exhs. B, C, C-1 & C-2). When Francisco died on
May 29, 1932 at the age of 20, single and without any descendant, his mother, as his sole heir, executed the public
instrument Exhibit F entitled EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT AND SALE whereby, among other things, for and in
consideration of the sum of P800.00 she sold the property in question to appellants. When thereafter said vendees
demanded from Paulina Yaeso and her husband Jose Esparcia, the surrender of Original Certificate of Title No. 10275
which was in their possession the latter refused, thus giving rise to the filing of the corresponding motion in the
cadastral record No. 507. The same, however, was denied (Exhs. 8 & 9).
Thereafter, or more specifically, on July 30, 1951, Cipriana and Paulina Yaeso, the surviving half-sisters of Francisco,
and who as such had declared the property in their name, on January 1, 1951 executed a deed of sale in favor of the
spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes (Exh. 2) who, in turn, declared it in their name for tax purposes and
thereafter secured the issuance in their name of Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-2141 (Exhs. 5 & 5-A).
As held by the trial court, it is clear upon the facts already stated, that the land in question was reservable property.
Francisco Yaeso inherited it by operation of law from his father Saturnino, and upon Francisco's death, unmarried and
without descendants, it was inherited, in turn, by his mother, Andrea Gutang. The latter was, therefore, under obligation

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 26 of 27


to reserve it for the benefit of relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which said property came, if
any survived her. The record discloses in this connection that Andrea Gutang died on December 13, 1951, the lone
reservee surviving her being Cipriana Yaeso who died only on January 13, 1952 (Exh. 10).

Petition for review of the decision of the respondent Court which dismissed the complaint of petitioners in Civil Case
No. 7839-A, entitled "Ignacio Frias Chua, et al. vs. Susana de la Torre, Administratrix of the Intestate Estate of
Consolacion de la Torre"

In connection with reservable property, the weight of opinion is that the reserve creates two resolutory conditions,
namely, (1) the death of the ascendant obliged to reserve and (2) the survival, at the time of his death, of relatives
within the third degree belonging to the line from which the property came (6 Manresa 268-269; 6 Sanchez Roman
1934). This Court has held in connection with this matter that the reservista has the legal title and dominion to the
reservable property but subject to a resolutory condition; that he is like a life usufructuary of the reservable property;
that he may alienate the same but subject to reservation, said alienation transmitting only the revocable and conditional
ownership of the reservists, the rights acquired by the transferee being revoked or resolved by the survival of
reservatarios at the time of the death of the reservista (Edroso vs. Sablan, 25 Phil. 295; Lunsod vs. Ortega, 46 Phil.
664; Florentino vs. Florentino, 40 Phil. 480; and Director of Lands vs. Aguas, 65 Phil. 279).

It appears that in the first marriage of Jose Frias Chua with Patricia S. Militar alias Sy Quio he sired three children,
namely: Ignacio, Lorenzo and Manuel, all surnamed Frias Chua. When Patricia S. Militar died, Jose Frias Chua
contracted a second marriage with Consolacion de la Torre with whom he had a child by the name of Juanita Frias
Chua. Manuel Frias Chua died without leaving any issue. Then in 1929, Jose Frias Chua died intestate leaving his
widow Consolacion de la Torre and his son Juanito Frias Chua of the second marriage and sons Ignacio Frias Chua
and Lorenzo Frias Chua of his first marriage. In Intestate Proceeding No. 4816, the lower court issued an order dated
January 15, 1931 1 adjudicating, among others, the one-half (1/2,) portion of Lot No. 399 and the sum of P8,000.00 in
favor of Jose Frias Chua's widow, Consolacion de la Torre, the other half of Lot No. 399 in favor of Juanito Frias Chua,
his son in the second marriage; P3,000.00 in favor of Lorenze Frias chua; and P1,550.00 in favor of Ignacio Frias,
Chua, his sons of the first marriage. By virtue of said adjudication, Transfer Certificate of Title No. TR-980
(14483) 2 dated April 28, 1932 was issued by the Register of Deeds in the names of Consolacion de la Torre and
Juanito Frias Chua as owners pro-indiviso of Lot No. 399.

The sale made by Andrea Gutang in favor of appellees was, therefore, subject to the condition that the vendees would
definitely acquire ownership, by virtue of the alienation, only if the vendor died without being survived by any person
entitled to the reservable property. Inasmuch much as when Andrea Gutang died, Cipriana Yaeso was still alive, the
conclusion becomes inescapable that the previous sale made by the former in favor of appellants became of no legal
effect and the reservable property subject matter thereof passed in exclusive ownership to Cipriana.
On the other hand, it is also clear that the sale executed by the sisters Paulina and Cipriana Yaeso in favor of the
spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes was subject to a similar resolutory condition. The reserve instituted by law
in favor of the heirs within the third degree belonging to the line from which the reservable property came, constitutes a
real right which the reservee may alienate and dispose of, albeit conditionally, the condition being that the alienation
shall transfer ownership to the vendee only if and when the reservee survives the person obliged to reserve. In the
present case, Cipriana Yaeso, one of the reservees, was still alive when Andrea Gutang, the person obliged to reserve,
died. Thus the former became the absolute owner of the reservable property upon Andrea's death. While it may be true
that the sale made by her and her sister prior to this event, became effective because of the occurrence of the
resolutory condition, we are not now in a position to reverse the appealed decision, in so far as it orders the reversion of
the property in question to the Estate of Cipriana Yaeso, because the vendees the Esparcia spouses did not
appeal therefrom.
WHEREFORE, the appealed decision as above modified is affirmed, with costs, and without prejudice to
whatever action in equity the Esparcia spouses may have against the Estate of Cipriana Yaeso for the reconveyance of
the property in question.

On February 27, 1952, Juanito Frias Chua of the second marriage died intestate without any issue. After his death, his
mother Consolacion de la Torre succeeded to his pro-indivisio share of Lot No. 399. In a week's time or on March 6,
1952, Consolacion de la Torre executed a declaration of heirship adjudicating in her favor the pro-indiviso share of her
son Juanito as a result of which Transfer Certificate of Title No. 31796 covering the whole Lot No. 399 was issued in her
name. Then on March 5, 1966, Consolacion de la Torre died intestate leaving no direct heir either in the descending or
ascending line except her brother and sisters.
In the "Intestate Estate of Consolacion de la Torre", docketed as Sp. Proc. No. 7839-A, the petitioners herein, Ignacio
Frias Chua, of the first marriage and dominador and Remedios Chua, the supposed legitimate children of the deceased
Lorenzo Frias Chua, also of the first marriage filed the complaint a quo 3 (subseqently segregated as a distinct suit and
docketed as Civil Case No. 7839-A) on May 11, 1966 before the respondent Court of First Instance of Negros
Occidental, Branch V, praying that the one-half (1/2) portion of Lot No. 399 which formerly belonged to Juanito Frias but
which passed to Consolacion de la Torre upon the latter's death, be declaredas a reservable property for the reason
that the lot in questionn was subject to reserval troncal pursuant to Article 981 of the New Civil Code, Private
respondent as administratrix of the estate of individually the complaint of petitioners 4
On July 29, 1986, the respondent Court rendered a decision dismissing the complaint of petitioner. Hence this instant.
The pertinent provision of reserva troncal under the New Civil Code provides:

EXTINCTION OF RESERVA TRONCAL


G.R. No. L-29901 August 31, 1977
IGNACIO FRIAS CHUA, DOMINADOR CHUA and REMEDIOS CHUA, petitioners,
vs.
THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, BRANCH V and SUSANA DE LA TORRE, in her
capacity as Administratrix of the Intestate Estate of Consolacion de la Torre, respondents.
Dominador G. Abaria and Primitivo Blanca for private respondent.
Rodrigo O. Delfinado for petitioners.
MARTIN, J.:

ART. 891. The ascendant who inheritts from his descendant any property which the latter may
have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendat, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve
such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are
within the third degree and belong to the line from which said property came.
Persuant to the foregoing provision, in order that a property may be impressed with a reservable character the following
requisites must exist, to wit: (1) that the property was acquired by a descendant from an asscendant or from a brother
or sister by gratuitous title; (2) that said descendant died without an issue; (3) that the property is inherited by another
ascendant by operation of law; and (4) that there are relatives within the third degree belonging to the line from which
said property came. 5 In the case before Us, all of the foregoing requisites are present. Thus, as borne out by the
records, Juanoito Frias Chua of the second marriage died intestate in 1952; he died withour leaving any issue; his proindiviso of 1/2 share of Lot No. 399 was acquired by his mother, Consolacion de la Torre died, Juannnito Frias Chua
who died intestate had relatives within the third degree. These relatives are Ignacio Frias Chua and Dominador Chua

RESERVA TRONCAL CASES : Page 27 of 27


and Remidios Chua, the suppose legitimate children of the deceased Lorenzo Frias Chua, who are the petitioners
herein.
The crux of the problem in instant petition is focused on the first requisit of reserva troncal whether the property in
question was acquired by Juanito Frias Chua from his father Jose Frias Chua, gratuitously or not. In resolving this
point, the respondent Court said:
It appears from Exh. "3", which is part of Exh. "D", that the property in question was not acquired by
Consolacion de la Torre and Juanito Frias Chua gratuitously but for a consideration, namely, that the
legatees were to pay the interest and cost and other fees resulting from Civil Case No. 5300 of this Court.
As such it is undeniable that the lot in question is not subject tot a reserva troncal, under Art. 891 of the New
Civil Code, and as such the plaintiff's complaint must fail.
We are not prepared to sustain the respondent Court's conclusion that the lot in question is not subject to areserva
troncal under Art. 891 of the New Civil Code. It is, As explained by Manresa which this Court quoted with approval
in Cabardo v. Villanueva, 44 Phil. 186, "The transmission is gratuitous or by gratuitous title when the recipient does not
give anything in return." It matters not whether the property transmitted be or be not subject to any prior charges; what
is essential is that the transmission be made gratuitously, or by an act of mere liberality of the person making it, without
imposing any obligation on the part of the recipient; and that the person receiving the property gives or does nothing in
return; or, as ably put by an eminent Filipino commentator, 6 "the essential thing is that the person who transmits it does
so gratuitously, from pure generosity, without requiring from the transferee any prestation." It is evident from the record
that the transmission of the property in question to Juanito Frias Chua of the second marriage upon the death of his
father Jose Frias Chua was by means of a hereditary succession and therefore gratuitous. It is true that there is the
order (Exh. "D") of the probate Court in Intestate Proceeding No. 4816 which estates in express terms;
2. Se adjudicada pro el presente a favor de Consolacion de la Torre, viuda, mayor de edad, y de su hiju,
Juanito Frias Chua, menor de edad, todos residente de San Enrique, Negros Occidental, I.F.,como herederos
del finado Jose Frias Chua Choo, estas propiadades:
14483
La parcela de terrenno concida por Lote No. 399 del Catsatro de la Carlota, Negros Occidental, de 191.954
metros cuadddrados y cubierto por el Certificado de Titulo No. 11759, en partes equales pro-indiviso; por con
la obligscion de pagar a las Standard Oil Co. of New York la deuda de P3971.20, sus intereses, costas y
demas gastos resultantes del asunto civil No. 5300de este jusgado
But the obligation of paying the Standard Oil Co. of New York the amount of P3,971.20 is imposed upon Consolacion
de la Torre and Juanito Frias Chua not personally by the deceased Jose Frias Chua in his last will and testament but by
an order of the court in the Testate Proceeding No.4816 dated January 15, 1931. As long as the transmission of the

property to the heirs is free from any condition imposed by the deceased himself and the property is given out of pure
generosity, itg is gratuitous. it does not matter if later the court orders one of the heirs, in this case Juanito Frias Chua,
to pay the Standare oil co. of New York the amount of P3,971.20. This does not change the gratuitous nature of the
transmission of the property to him. This being the case the lot in question is subject to reserva troncal under Art, 891 of
the New Civil Code.
It is contented that the distribution of the shares of the estate of Jose Frias Chua to the respondent heirs or legatees
was agreed upon by the heirs in their project of partition based on the last will and testament of Jose Frias Chua. But
petitioners claim that the supposed Last Will and Testament of Jose Frias Chua was never probated. The fact that the
will was not probated was admitted in paragraph 6 of the respondents' answer. 7 There is nothing mentioned in the
decision of the trial court in Civil Case No. 7839 A which is the subject of the present appeal nor in the order of January
15, 1931 of the trial court in the Testate Estate Proceeding No. 4816 nor in the private respondent's brief, that the Last
Will and Testament of Jose Frias Chua has ever been probated. With the foregoing, it is easy to deduce that if the Last
Will and Testament has in fact been probated there would have been no need for the testamentary heirs to prepare a
project of partition among themselves. The very will itself could be made the basis for the adjudication of the estate as
in fact they did in their project of partition with Juanito Frias Chua getting one-half of Lot 399 by inheritance as a sone of
the deceased Jose Frias Chua by the latter's second marriage.
According to the record, Juanito Frias Chua died on February 27, 1952 without any issue. After his death his mother
Consolation de la Torre succeeded to his one-half pro-indiviso share of Lot 399. This was, however, subject to the
condition that the property was reservable in character under Art. 891 of the Civil Code in favor of relatives within the
third degree of Jose Frias Chua from whom the property came. These relatives are the petitioner herein.
It is claimed that the complaint of petitioners to recover the one-half portion of Lot 399 which originally belonged to
Juanito Frias Chua has already prescribed when it was filed on May 11, 1966. We do not believe so. It must be
remembered that the petitioners herein are claiming as reservees did not arise until the time the reservor, Consolacion
de la Torre, died in March 1966. When the petitioners therefore filed their complaint to recover the one-half (1/2) portion
of Lot 399, they were very much in time to do so.
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside. The petitioners Ignacio Frias Chua,
Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua are declared owners of 1/2 undivided portion of Lot 399; and the Register of
Deeds of Negros Occidental is hereby ordered to cancel. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 31796 covering Lot No. 399
issued in the name of Consolacion de la Torre and to issue a new Certificate of Title in the names of Consolacion de la
Torre, 1/2 undivided portion; Ignacio Frias Chua, 1/4 undivided portion; and Dominador Chua and Remedios Chua, 1/4
undivided portion, of said lot. Without pronouncement as to costs.
SO ORDERED.