G.R. No. 141882, 11 March 2005, 453 SCRA 211
The controversy involves a parcel of land registered in the name of conjugal partnership of Don Julian and Antonia (first wife). When Antonia died an action for partition of properties including the said land was filed. A compromise agreement was reached in which in the event of death of Don Julian the properties adjudicated to Josefa Teves and Emilio Teves shall be understood as including not only their ½ share which they inherited from their mother but also the legitimes and other successional rights which would correspond to them of the other half belonging to their father meaning, the properties selected and adjudicated to Julian Teves shall exclusively be adjudicated to the wife of second marriage. On the other hand the second wife took possession of the same land in controversy and entered a lease agreement with the spouse respondent which subsequently bought the same. While trying to register the deed of absolute sale, respondent discovered that it was registered in the name of the petitioner. Thus seeking declaration of nullity and cancellation of petitioner’s title. Trial court however dismissed the case but was reversed by the court of Appeals when it ruled that the adjudication in favor of the heirs from the second marriage became automatically operative upon the approval of the Compromise Agreement, thereby vesting them the right to validly dispose the lot in question in favor of the respondents.
Whether Don Julian had validly transferred ownership of the subject lot during his lifetime.
The lower court ruled that he had done so through the Supplemental Deed. The appellate court disagreed holding that the supplemental deed is not valid, containing as it does a prohibited preterition of Don Julian’s heirs from the second marriage. Petitioner contends that the ruling of the Court of Appeals is erroneous. The contention is well-founded. Don Julian did not execute a will since what he resorted to was a partition inter vivos making it premature if not irrelevant to speak of preterition prior to the death of Don Julian in the absence of a will depriving a legal heir of his legitime. Besides, there are other properties which the heirs from the second marriage could inherit from Don Julian upon his death. However, on the facts involving the proper transfer of title thru the supplemental deed, the appellate court was upheld in taking into consideration the process done in registering the land in the petitioner’s name where even if it be considered a donation inter vivos and the deed was in a public instrument, the absence of the acceptance by the donee in the same deed or even in a separate document is a glaring violation of the requirement. Thus court of appeals decision is affirmed.
*Case digest by Lindsay Arra Calapiz, LLB-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2018-2019