CHIAO LIONG TAN V. COURT OF APPEALS
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.