The case at bar involves a dispute over the ownership of a lorcha (a kind of boat) named Leal. As found by the trial court, the lorcha formerly belonged to Francisco Elorriaga. After his death, his widow decided to sell the boat. After a series of sales, it eventually ended up with Pedro Endeisa. Meanwhile, Jesusa Laureano secured the attachment of the lorcha as being property of Luis Rivera. It was sold at public auction by the Sheriff Jose Taleon despite notice from Pedro Endeisa that the lorcha belonged to him. Hence, the present suit filed by Endeisa claiming ownership over the lorcha. Luis Rivera claims that he is the owner of the boat since he was the one in possession and not Endeisa.
Issue: Who is the rightful owner of the lorcha?
Held: Pedro Endeisa.
Luis Rivera indeed had possession of the lorcha at the time it was attached and sold. However, was no proof as to when the said possession commenced and how it was acquired. Paragraph 2 of Article 573 of the Code of Commerce states that the ownership of a vessel may be acquired by possession. However such possession must be in good faith, continued for three years, and with good title duly recorded. None of these requisites have been proven in favor of possession of Luis Rivera. Hence, Pedro Endeisa is entitled to the possession of the lorcha.