G.R. No. 104482, 22 January 1996


Lazardo Tañedo executed a notarized deed of absolute sale in favor of his eldest brother, Ricardo Tañedo, and the latter’s wife, Teresita Barera. Private respondents recorded the Deed of Sale in their favor in the Registry of Deeds and the corresponding entry was made in Transfer Certificate of Title No. 166451.

On January 13, 1981, Lazaro executed another notarized deed of sale in favor of private respondent. In February 1981, Ricardo learned that Lazaro sold the same property to his children, petitioners herein, through a deed of sale dated December 29, 1980.

Petitioners on July 16, 1982, filed a complaint for rescission (plus damages) of the deeds of sale executed by Lazardo in favor of private respondents covering the property inherited by Lazaro from his father. Petitioners claimed that their father, Lazaro, executed an “Absolute Deed of Sale” dated December 29, 1980.


1. Is the sale of a future inheritance valid?
2. Was the subsequent execution on January 13, 1981 (and registration with the Registry of Property) of a deed of sale covering the same property to the same buyers valid?


1. No.

We hereby categorically rule that, pursuant to Article 1347 of the Civil Code, “(n)o contract may be entered into upon a future inheritance except in cases expressly authorized by law.”

Consequently, said contract made in 1962 is not valid and cannot be the source of any right nor the creator of any obligation between the parties.

Hence, the “affidavit of conformity” dated February 28, 1980, insofar as it sought to validate or ratify the 1962 sale, is also useless and, in the words of the respondent Court, “suffers from the same infirmity.” Even private respondents in their memorandum concede this.

2. Yes.

Article 1544 of the Civil Code governs the preferential rights of vendees in cases of multiple sales, as follows:
Art. 1544. If the same thing should have been sold to different vendees, the ownership shall be transferred to the person who may have first taken possession thereof in good faith, if it should be movable property.
Should it be immovable property, the ownership shall belong to the person acquiring it who in good faith first recorded it in the Registry of Property.

Should there be no inscription, the ownership shall pertain to the person who in good faith was first in the possession; and, in the absence thereof, to the person who presents the oldest title, provided there is good faith.

The property in question is land, an immovable, and following the above-quoted law, ownership shall belong to the buyer who in good faith registers it first in the registry of property. Thus, although the deed of sale in favor of private respondents was later than the one in favor of petitioners, ownership would vest in the former because of the undisputed fact of registration. On the other hand, petitioners have not registered the sale to them at all.

*Case digest by Nikki P. Ebillo, JD-4, Andres Bonifacio Law School, SY 2019-2020