339 SCRA 52


During the lifetime of Iluminada Abiertas, she designated one of her sons, Rufo Distajo, to be the administrator of her parcels of land situated in Barangay Hipona, Pontevedra, Capiz. Iluminada then sold portions of her lot to her children, a certain lot was sold to Rufo. Likewise, the heirs of Justo Abiertas (Iluminada’s brother) also sold some lots to Rufo. When Iluminada died, Rufo’s brothers and sisters demanded possession of the lands owned by Rufo and his wife. Upon refusal, they filed a complaint for recovery of possession and partition. The trial court dismissed the complaint. The CA reversed the decision and ruled in favor of Rufo and his wife. Petitioner alleged, among others, that Rufo cannot acquire the parcels of land owned by Iluminada because the New Civil Code prohibits the administrators from acquiring properties under his administration.


Whether or not the prohibition under paragraph 2 of Article 1491 is absolute?


“Art. 1491. The following persons cannot acquire by purchase, even at a public or judicial auction, either in person or through the mediation of another:

(1) The guardian, the property of the person or persons who may be under guardianship;
(2) Agents, the property whose administration or sale may have been entrusted to them, unless the consent of the principal has been given;
(3) Executors and administrators, the property of the estate under administration;” x x x

Under paragraph (2) of the above article, the prohibition against agents purchasing property in their hands for sale or management is not absolute. It does not apply if the principal consents to the sale of the property in the hands of the agent or administrator. In this case, the deeds of sale signed by Iluminada Abiertas shows that she gave consent to the sale of the properties in favor of her son, Rufo, who was the administrator of the properties. Thus, the consent of the principal Iluminada Abiertas removes the transaction out of the prohibition contained in Article 1491(2).

*Case digest by Bryne Angelo M. Brillantes, JD-IV, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020.