HEIRS OF SEGUNDA MANINGDING V. CA | Heirs of BUAZON- Acquisitive Prescription
While prescription among co-owners cannot take place when the acts of ownership exercised are vague and uncertain, such prescription arises and produces all its effects when the acts of ownership do not evince any doubt as to the ouster of the rights of the other co-owners.
This case involved 2 parcels of land: a riceland and sugarland in Pangasinan. The heirs of Segunda claim that they own the disputed lands together with the Buazons.
The Buazons aver that:
1. Their father, Roque Buazon, acquired the land by virtue of a deed of donation propter nuptias.
2. Segunda Maningding, Maria Maningding, Juan Maningding and Roque Bauzon co-owned the lands as heirs of Ramon Roque. Roque Buazon allegedly repudiated the co-ownership of the sugarland in 1965 and repudiated it to himself… and later on, Juan and Maria Maningding renounced and quitclaimed their shares in the Riceland in favor of R. Buazon.
3. Subsequently, Roque Bauzon transferred the riceland to his son Luis Bauzon and the sugarland to his daughter Eriberta Bauzon (the respondents in this case), both transactions being evidenced by deeds of sale.
On 31 July 1979 Segunda Maningding died. Her heirs allegedly discovered the transfers made by Roque Bauzon in favor of his children only in 1986. Consequently, the heirs sought the partition of the properties as well as the accounting of the produce but were unsuccessful.
The trial court awarded both parcels to Segunda Maningding and Roque Bauzon as co-owners in equal shares after finding that Juan Maningding and Maria Maningding had already executed an Affidavit of Quitclaim and Renunciation. It rejected the deed of donation for failure to prove its due execution and authenticity and nullified the deed of sale by Roque Buazon to his children. It concluded that Roque Bauzon could not have validly conveyed both parcels as one-half (1/2) of each parcel rightfully belonged to Segunda Maningding and her heirs.
The CA reversed the ruling, declaring the donation and sales valid. Later on, the court reversed itself by declaring the donation void for failure to comply with the necessary requirements. However, it ruled that the properties belonged to Roque Bauzon by virtue of acquisitive prescription.
Whether or not Roque Bauzon acquired ownership over the subject properties by acquisitive prescription
Yes. While prescription among co-owners cannot take place when the acts of ownership exercised are vague and uncertain, such prescription arises and produces all its effects when the acts of ownership do not evince any doubt as to the ouster of the rights of the other co-owners.
In the instant case, Roque Bauzon possessed the subject parcels of land in the concept of owner by virtue of the donation propter nuptias. The possession was public as it was Roque Bauzon who personally tilled and cultivated the lots. The acts of reaping the benefits of ownership were manifest and visible to all. These acts were made more pronounced and public considering that the parcels of land are located in a municipality wherein ownership and possession are particularly and normally known to the community. Roque peacefully possessed the properties as he was never ousted therefrom nor prevented from enjoying their fruits. His possession was uninterrupted and in good faith because of his well-founded belief that the donation propter nuptias was properly executed and the grantors were legally allowed to convey their respective shares in his favor. He likewise appropriated to himself the whole produce of the parcels of land to the exclusion of all others.
As disclosed by the records, Roque Bauzon and his heirs possessed the property from 1948 to 1986 to the exclusion of petitioners who were never given their shares of the fruits of the properties, for which reason they demanded an accounting of the produce and the conveyance to them of their shares. Unfortunately they slept on their rights and allowed almost thirty-six (36) years to lapse before attempting to assert their right. Perforce, they must suffer the consequence of their inaction.
Note: The donation propter nuptias was effected as early as 21 April 1926. It was only in 1986 when the heirs of Segunda Maningding demanded partition of the properties and conveyance of the produce. Sixty (60) years have already elapsed. Even granting that Roque Bauzon possessed the properties only upon the death of his father in 1948, more than thirty (30) years have already passed. In either case, acquisitive prescription has already set in in favor of Roque Bauzon.