Civil Law

Soledad Calicdan vs Silverio Cendaña

Can't share this digest on Facebook? Here's why.

image_printPrint this!

G.R. No. 155080 – 466 Phil. 894 – 422 SCRA 272 – Civil Law – Law on Property – Modes of Acquisition of Title – Acquisitive Prescription – Extraordinary Prescription

In 1947, Fermina Calicdan donated a parcel of land to Silverio Cendaña. The land was owned by Sixto Calicdan, her deceased husband. Fermina was the mother of Soledad Calicdan. In 1992, Soledad filed a case to recover the land from Silverio on the ground that the donation was void because (1) under the old Civil Code, Fermina cannot donate the property of her husband and (2) Silverio manipulated Fermina into making the donation. The trial court ruled in favor of Soledad. The Court of Appeals however reversed the findings of the trial court. The CA found that the donation was valid and that Silverio has already acquired the property through extraordinary prescription.

ISSUE: Whether or not Silverio Cendaña acquired title over the property.

HELD: Yes. The donation is void. The old Civil Code applies and under the old Civil Code, a surviving spouse only has usufructuary rights over the estate of his or her deceased spouse. HOWEVER, Silverio still acquired title over the subject property via acquisitive prescription.

Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights over immovable property. It is concerned with lapse of time in the manner and under conditions laid down by law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful, uninterrupted and adverse. Acquisitive prescription is either ordinary or extraordinary. Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession in good faith and with just title for ten years. In extraordinary prescription ownership and other real rights over immovable property are acquired through uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for thirty years without need of title or of good faith.

In this case, even though the donation was void and there is no evidence on record to prove Silverio’s “good faith”, nevertheless, his adverse possession of the land for more than 45 years aptly shows that he has met the requirements for extraordinary acquisitive prescription to set in.

The records show that the subject land is an unregistered land. When Soledad filed the instant case in 1992, Silverio was in possession of the land for 45 years counted from the time of the donation in 1947. This is more than the required 30 years of uninterrupted adverse possession without just title and good faith. Such possession was public, adverse and in the concept of an owner. Silverio fenced the land and built his house in 1949. His act of cultivating and reaping the fruits of the land was manifest and visible to all. He declared the land for taxation purposes and religiously paid the realty taxes thereon. Together with his actual possession of the land, these tax declarations constitute strong evidence of ownership of the land occupied by him.

Read full text

image_printPrint this!

Leave a Reply