228 SCRA 75



Chiao Long Tan claims to be the owner of a 1976 Isuzu Elf van.  As owner thereof,  petitioner  says  he  has  been  in  possession,  enjoyment,  and utilization of the van until his older brother, Tan Ban Yong, unlawfully took it away from him.

Petitioner relies on the fact:  

1.    That the van is registered under his name.   
2.    He claims to have bought the vehicle from isuzu balintawak;  
3.    That  he  sent  his  brother  to  pay  for  the  van  and  the  receipt  was issued in his name because it was his money that was used to pay for the vehicle;

4.    That he allowed his brother to use the vehicle because the latter was working for the company; 
5.    And  that  his  brother  later  refused  to  return  the  vehicle  and appropriated the same for himself.  

Private respondent on the other hand testifies:

1.    CLT Industries is the family business and it was under the name of petitioner  since  at  the  that  time,  he  was  leaving  for  the  US  and petitioner is the only Filipino left in the Philippines
2.    When the family business needed a vehicle, he asked petitioner to look  for  a  vehicle  and  gave  him  money  as  downpayment  for  an Isuzu Elf van
3.    After a month, he paid for the van by getting a loan from a friend

4.    As  much  as  the  receipt  was  placed  in  the  name  of  petitioner, private  respondent  allowed  the  registration  under  the  name  of petitioner
5.    There  was  also  agreement  that  he  would  use  the  vehicle  as  he paid for the same
All  the  abovementioned  allegations  of  private  respondent  has  been corroborated  by  witnesses.    The  trial  court  hence  ruled  in  favor  of  the private respondent and the CA affirmed this decision.


It is true that the judgment in a replevin suit must only resolve in whom is the right of possession.   Primarily, the action of replevin is possessory  in character  and  determines  nothing  more  than  the  right  of  possession.  However,  when  the  title  to  the  property  is  distinctly  put  in  issue  by  the defendant’s plea and by reason of this policy to settle in one action all the
conflicting  claims  of  the  parties  to  the  possession  of  the  property  in controversy,  the  question  of  ownership  may  be  resolved  in  the  same proceeding.  
Furthermore,  a  replevin  action  is  primarily  one  for  the  possession  of personalty,  yet  it  is  sufficiently  flexible  to  authorize  a  settlement  of  all equities   between   the   parties,   arising   or   growing   out   of   the   main
controversy.    Thus,  in  an  action  for  replevin  where  the  defendant  is adjudged to possession, he need not go to another forum to procure relief for the return of the replevied property or secure judgment for the value of the property in case the adjudged return thereof could not be had.