G.R. No. 151967, 16 February 2005
Josefina Castillo was 24 years old when she and Eduardo Francisco got married on January 1983. The latter was then employed as Vice President in a Private Corporation. Josefina acquired two parcels of land where Imus Bank executed a deed of absolute sale in favor of Josefina, married to Eduardo. An affidavit of waiver was executed by Eduardo where he declared that prior to his marriage with Josefina, the latter purchased the land with her own savings and that he waived whatever claims he had over the property. When Josefina mortgaged the property for a loan, Eduardo affixed his marital conformity to the deed. In 1990, Eduardo who was then a General Manager, bought bags of cement from defendant but failed to pay the same. The latter filed a complaint for recovery and trial court rendered judgment against Eduardo. The court then issued a writ of execution and the sheriif issued a notice of levy on execution over the alleged property of Josefina for the recovery of the balance of the amount due under the decision of the trial court. Petitioner filed a third party claim over the 2 parcels of land in which she claimed as her paraphernal property.
Whether or not the subject property is the conjugal property of Josefina and Eduardo.
The Court ruled that petitioner failed to prove that she acquired the property with her personal funds before her cohabitation with Eduardo and that she was the sole owner. The Deed of Absolute Sale on record showed it was issued after her marriage. Their case fall under Article 148 and since they got married before the Family Code, the provision, pursuant to Art 256, can be applied retroactively if it does not prejudice vested rights. Petitioner likewise failed that she had any vested right.
Where the parties are in a void marriage due to a legal impediment that invalidates such marriage, Art 148 should be applied. In the absence of proof that the wife/husband has actually contributed money, property, or industry to the properties acquired during such union the presumption of co-ownership will not arise.
The petition was denied for lack of merit. The decision of CA that the property was conjugal was affirmed.
* Case digest by Marife G. Guige , LLB-1, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2017-2018