G.R. No. 72873, 28 May 1987, 150 SCRA 259
Five brothers and sisters inherited in equal pro indiviso shares a parcel of land registered in ‘the name of their deceased parents under OCT No. 10977 of the Registry of Deeds of Tarlac. On March 15, 1963, one of them, Celestino Padua, transferred his undivided share of the herein petitioners for the by way of absolute sale.
One year later, on April 22, 1964, Eustaquia Padua, his sister, sold her own share to the same vendees, in an instrument denominated “Con Pacto de Retro Sale,” for the sum of P 440.00. By virtue of such agreements, the petitioners occupied, after the said sales, an area corresponding to two-fifths of the said lot, representing the portions sold to them.
On February 25, 1976, Mariano Padua, one of the five coheirs, sought to redeem the area sold to the spouses Alonzo, but his complaint was dismissed when it appeared that he was an American citizen .
On May 27, 1977, however, Tecla Padua, another co-heir, filed her own complaint invoking the same right of redemption claimed by her brother but was dismissed on the ground that the right had lapsed, not having been exercised within thirty days from notice of the sales in 1963 and 1964. Although there was no written notice, it was held that actual knowledge of the sales by the co-heirs satisfied the requirement of the law.
In reversing the trial court, the respondent court declared that the notice required by the said article was written notice and that actual notice would not suffice as a substitute.
WON actual knowledge satisfied the requirement of Article 1088 of the Civil Code.
Yes. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes that of adjoining owners. Under Article 1623, when a vendor sells real property, he must notify in writing his co-owners who may redeem the same within thirty (30) days from notice. The general rule is that written notice of the sale to all possible redemptioners is indispensable.
The 30 day period which is a condition precedent to the exercise of the right of legal redemption is counted from the written notice. In the case at bar the Court held that as an exception to the general rule the co-heirs who lived with the vendors in the same lot are deemed to have received actual notice of the sale.
The co-heirs are deemed to have received actual notice of the sale since the co-heirs, including Tecla Padua, lived on the same lot, which consisted of only 604 square meters, including the portions sold to the petitioners. Eustaquia herself, who had sold her portion, was staying in the same house with her sister Tecla, who later claimed redemption petition.
Moreover, the petitioners and the private respondents were close friends and neighbors whose children went to school together. The co-heirs in this case were undeniably informed of the sales although no notice in writing was given them. And there is no doubt either that the 30-day period began and ended during the 14 years between the sales in question and the filing of the complaint for redemption in 1977, without the co-heirs exercising their right of redemption. These are the justifications for this exception. Hence, they may no longer exercise their right of redemption.
*Case digest by April Rose B. Tuanda , JD – 4, Andres Bonifacio College, SY 2019 – 2020