G.R. No. L-12957, 24 March 1961, 1 SCRA 750


Lot 3368 originally belonged to Saturnino Yaeso. With his first wife, Teresa Ruales, he had four children named Agaton, Fernando, Paulina and Cipriana, while with his second wife, Andrea Gutang, he had an only son named Francisco. OCT No. 10275 covering Lot 3368, his inheritance, was issued in the name of Francisco. Because Francisco was a minor at the time, his mother administered the property.

When Francisco died single and without any descendant, his mother Andrea, as his sole heir, executed an EXTRAJUDICIAL SETTLEMENT AND SALE whereby, among other things, for and in consideration of the sum of P800.00 she sold the property in question to appellants. When thereafter said vendees demanded from Paulina Yaeso and her husband Jose Esparcia, the surrender of OOCT No. 10275 — which was in their possession — the latter refused. Thereafter, Cipriana and Paulina Yaeso, the surviving half-sisters of Francisco, and who as such had declared the property in their name, on January 1, 1951 executed a deed of sale in favor of the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes.


Whether or not the sale made by the reservista Andrea was void there being no right to dispose the same.


NO. The Court held that the reservista has the legal title and dominion to the reservable property but subject to a resolutory condition; that he is like a life usufructuary of the reservable property; that he may alienate the same but subject to reservation, said alienation transmitting only the revocable and conditional ownership of the reservists, the rights acquired by the transferee being revoked or resolved by the survival of reservatarios at the time of the death of the reservista. The sale made by Andrea Gutang in favor of appellees was, therefore, subject to the condition that the vendees would definitely acquire ownership, by virtue of the alienation, only if the vendor died without being survived by any person entitled to the reservable property. Inasmuch much as when Andrea Gutang died, Cipriana Yaeso was still alive, the conclusion becomes inescapable that the previous sale made by the former in favor of appellants became of no legal effect and the reservable property subject matter thereof passed in exclusive ownership to Cipriana.

On the other hand, it is also clear that the sale executed by the sisters Paulina and CiprianaYaeso in favor of the spouses Fidel Esparcia and Paulina Sienes was subject to a similar resolutory condition. The reserve instituted by law in favor of the heirs within the third degree belonging to the line from which the reservable property came, constitutes a real right which the reservee may alienate and dispose of, albeit conditionally, the condition being that the alienation shall transfer ownership to the vendee only if and when the reservee survives the person obliged to reserve. In the present case, CiprianaYaeso, one of the reservees, was still alive when Andrea Gutang, the person obliged to reserve, died. Thus the former became the absolute owner of the reservable property upon Andrea’s death.

*Case digest by Jan Robert M. Corre, LLB-IV, Andres Bonifacio College Law School, SY 2018-2019