[G.R. NO. 183546 : September 18, 2009]
WILSON A. GO, Petitioner, v. HARRY A. GO, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
This is a Petition for Certiorariunder Rule 65 of the Rules of Court assailing the April 21, 2008 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 100100 which annulled the May 42 and July 4, 20073 Orders of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Valenzuela City, Branch 172 in Civil Case No. 179-V-06. In its July 4, 2008 Resolution,4 the Court of Appeals denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration.
On September 11, 2006, petitioner Wilson A. Go instituted an action5 for partition with accounting against private respondent Harry A. Go in the RTC of Valenzuela City. The case was raffled to Branch 172 and docketed as Civil Case No. 179-V-06.
Petitioner alleged that he and private respondent are among the five children of Spouses Sio Tong Go and Simeona Lim Ang; that he and private respondent are the registered co-owners of a parcel of land, with an area of 7,151 square meters located at Valenzuela City, Metro Manila, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. V-44555 issued on June 24, 1996 by the Registry of Deeds of Valenzuela, Metro Manila; that, upon mutual agreement between petitioner and private respondent, petitioner has possession of the Owner's Duplicate Copy of TCT No. V-44555; that on said land there are seven warehouses being rented out by private respondent to various businesses without proper authority from petitioner; that from March 2006 to September 2006, private respondent collected rentals thereon amounting to P1,697,850.00 without giving petitioner his one-half (1/2) share; that petitioner has repeatedly demanded payment of his rightful share in the rentals from private respondent to no avail; and that due to loss of trust and confidence in private respondent, petitioner has no recourse but to demand the partition of the subject land. Petitioner prayed that the RTC render judgment (a) ordering the partition of the subject land together with the building and improvements thereon in equal share between petitioner and private respondent; (b) directing private respondent to render an accounting of the rentals collected from the seven warehouses; (c) ordering the joint collection by petitioner and private respondent of the monthly rentals pending the resolution of the case; and (d) ordering private respondent to pay attorney's fees and the costs of suit.
In his answer,6 private respondent claimed that during the lifetime of their father, Sio Tong Go, the latter observed Chinese customs and traditions; that, for this reason, when Sio Tong Go acquired the subject land together with one Wendell Simsim on November 23, 1995, the title to the same was placed in the names of petitioner, private respondent and Simsim instead of his (Sio Tong Go's) name and that of his wife; that the interest of Simsim in the subject land was subsequently transferred in the names of petitioner and private respondent through the deed of extra-judicial settlement dated June 24, 1996; that the investment of their father flourished after businessmen started renting the warehouses built thereon; that during his lifetime, Sio Tong Go had control and stewardship of the business while petitioner and private respondent helped manage the business; that it was Sio Tong Go who entrusted the title to the subject land to petitioner for safekeeping and custody while the operations and management of the business were given to private respondent in accordance with the prevailing customs observed and practiced by their parents of Chinese origin; that the buildings and other improvements were sourced from the business and money of their parents and not from petitioner or private respondent; that partition is not proper because indivision was imposed as a condition by their father prior to his death; that the subject land cannot be partitioned without making the whole property unserviceable for the purpose intended by their parents; that partition will prejudice the rights of the other surviving siblings of Sio Tong Go and his surviving wife who depend on the rental income for their subsistence and to answer for the expenses in maintaining and preserving the subject land; that the amount of rental collection is only P228,000.00 per month or a total P1,596,000.00 for a period of six months and not P1,697,850.00 as alleged by petitioner; that the income must be offset with the payment for the debts of petitioner which were paid out from the rental income as well as the expenses for utilities and other costs of administration and preservation of the subject land; and that the issue of ownership must first be resolved before partition may be granted. Private respondent prayed that the complaint be dismissed; he counterclaimed for moral and exemplary damages, and attorney's fees.
On April 23, 2007, petitioner filed a motion7 to require private respondent to deposit with the trial court petitioner's one-half (1/2) share in the rental collections from the date of the filing of the complaint on September 11, 2006 up to April 30, 2007, and every month thereafter as well as the rental collections from February 2006 to August 2006. On May 4, 2007, the trial court issued an order granting the motion not only with respect to the one-half (1/2) share prayed for but the entire monthly rental collections:
WHEREFORE, finding the instant motion to be well-taken, the defendant is hereby directed to deposit in Court within thirty (30) days from receipt hereof all the amounts collected by him from the lessees of the warehouses covered by the certificate of title in the names of the [petitioner] and [private respondent], and no withdrawal therefrom shall be allowed without the previous written authority of this Court.
Private respondent moved for reconsideration which was denied by the trial court in its July 4, 2007 Order. Aggrieved, he filed a Petition for Certiorariwith the Court Appeals attributing grave abuse of discretion on the trial court. On April 21, 2008, the Court of Appeals issued the assailed Decision which nullified and set aside the May 4 and July 4, 2007 Orders of the trial court:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the present petition is hereby GIVEN DUE COURSE and the writ prayed for accordingly GRANTED. The assailed Orders dated May 4 and July 4, 2007 issued by respondent court are hereby ANNULLED and SET ASIDE.
No pronouncement as to costs.
The Court of Appeals noted, citing the ruling in Maglucot-aw v. Maglucot,10 that an action for partition involves two phases. During the first phase, the trial court determines whether a co-ownership in fact exists while in the second phase the propriety of partition is resolved. Thus, until and unless the issue of co-ownership is definitely resolved, it would be premature to effect a partition of the subject property. Applying this principle by analogy, the appellate court concluded that the deposit of the monthly rentals with the trial court was premature considering that the issue of co-ownership has yet to be resolved:
The Court holds that with the issue of co-ownership, or to be precise, the nature and extent of private respondent's title on the subject real estate, i.e., whether as owner of one-half (1/2) share, or a co-owner along with the other heirs of the late Sio Tong Go, not having been resolved first, it was premature for the respondent court to act favorable on private respondent's motion to deposit in court all rentals collected from the date of death of the said decedent, which according to petitioner is the true owner of the property under co-ownership. Such relief may be granted during the second stage of the action for partition, after due trial and the court has been satisfied that indeed private respondent-movant is the owner of the full one-half (1/2) share, and not just of an equal share with the other siblings and their mother, the surviving wife of Sio Tong Go. For, if it turns out that the subject property is owned not just by petitioner and private respondent but all the heirs of the late Sio Tong Go, then the latter had to be included as parties in interest in the partition case, pursuant to Sec. 1, Rule 69. As co-owners entitled to a share in the property subject of partition, assuming the evidence at the trial proves the contention of petitioner, the other sibling and mother of petitioner and private respondent are indispensable parties to the suit. Indeed, the presence of all indispensable parties is a condition sine qua non for the exercise of judicial power. Without the presence of all the other heirs as plaintiffs, the trial court could not validly render judgment and grant relief in favor of the private respondent.
Moreover, assuming the veracity of the allegations raised in the answer by petitioner, it would appear that the real property sought to be partitioned is merely held in trust by petitioner and private respondent for the benefit of their deceased father, and the latter's surviving heirs who succeeded him in his estate after his death. Thus, all the co-heirs and persons having an interest in the property are indispensable parties; as such, an action for partition will not lie without the joinder of the said parties. The circumstance that the names of the other alleged co-owners and co-heirs do not appear in the certificate of title over the subject property is of no moment. It was held that the mere issuance of a certificate of title does not foreclose the possibility that the real property may be under co-ownership with persons not named therein.
x x x
Petitioner's answer and the annexes attached thereto raise serious question on the right or interest of private respondent to seek segregation of the subject property to the extent of one-half (1/2) share thereof, and consequently, to receive rents or income of the property corresponding to such claimed one-half (1/2) share. That the rentals sought to be deposited in court is limited only to those collected following the death of their father only tends to support the position of petitioner that the subject real property is owned in common by the heirs of Sio Tong Go, and not just by petitioner and private respondent. It may also be noted that the complaint contains no categorical statement that private respondent, before the filing of the complaint, has in fact received such one-half (1/2) share out of the rentals collected from the lessees of the warehouses. Hence, respondent court's order for petitioner to deposit all rental income from the real estate subject of partition, which amounts to an accounting of rents and income pertaining to the co-owner share of private respondent prior to the determination of the question of co-ownership, constitutes grave abuse of discretion.11
Thereafter, the Court of Appeals denied petitioner's motion for reconsideration in Resolution dated July 4, 2008. Petitioner filed the instant Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the appellate court in nullifying the aforementioned orders of the trial court.
The Court notes that petitioner pursued the wrong remedy when he filed a Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65 from the adverse ruling of the Court of Appeals. The province of a Petition for Certiorari is strict and narrow for it is limited to questions of lack of or excess in jurisdiction, or grave abuse of discretion. The proper remedy should have been a Petition for Review under Rule 45. However, the Court, pursuant to the liberal spirit which pervades the Rules and given the substantial issue raised, shall treat the present petition as a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 since it was filed within the 15-day reglementary period prescribed under said rule.12
The sole issue is whether the Court Appeals erred when it nullified the order requiring private respondent to deposit the monthly rentals over the subject land with the trial court during the pendency of the action for partition and accounting.
Petitioner contends that the subject order is merely provisional and preservatory in character. It is intended to prevent the undue dissipation of the rental income until such time that the trial court shall determine who is lawfully entitled thereto. Rule 69 of the Rules of Court on partition does not preclude the trial court from issuing orders to protect and preserve the rights and interests of the parties while the main action for partition is being litigated. In this case, there is no dispute that the subject property is registered in the names of petitioner and private respondent, this being admitted by private respondent himself. Petitioner thus asserts that the trial court correctly ordered the deposit of the monthly rentals to safeguard the interests of the parties to this case.
Private respondent counters that assuming that the subject order is merely provisional in nature, such order needs a concrete ground to justify it. The fact that the title to the subject land is in the names of petitioner and private respondent does not automatically mean that there exists a co-ownership. The surrounding circumstances of this case support the contention that the subject land was bought by Sio Tong Go and the title thereto was placed in the names of his two sons, petitioner and private respondent, in observance of the Chinese customs and tradition. Private respondent emphasizes that petitioner began to claim his (petitioner's) alleged one-half (1/2) share in the rentals only after the death of their father on February 27, 2006 despite the fact that the subject land was bought way back on June 24, 1996. Petitioner's acquiescence for 10 years thus shows that he knew that the subject land was really owned by their father and was merely placed in their names. Further, the grant of the motion to deposit will unduly prejudice the whole family because they depend on the rental income for their living expenses as well as the costs of administration and preservation of the subject land. Also, petitioner failed to prove that there was an undue dissipation of the rental income by private respondent which would warrant the issuance of the subject order. Finally, the order to deposit the whole monthly rental income is erroneous because petitioner only prayed for the deposit of his alleged one-half (1/2) share therein and not the entirety thereof.
The petition is partly meritorious.
The appellate court held that the order granting petitioner's motion to deposit monthly rentals is premature because the question of co-ownership should first be resolved before said motion may be granted. However, as correctly argued by petitioner, the assailed order is merely preservatory or provisional in nature. It does not amount to an adjudication on the merits of the action for partition and accounting for the rentals are merely kept by the trial court until it is finally determined who is lawfully entitled thereto. Although the Rules of Court do not expressly provide for this kind of provisional relief, the Court has, in the past, sanctioned such practice pursuant to the court's general power to issue such orders conformable to law and justice13 and to adopt means necessary to carry its jurisdiction into effect.14
In The Province of Bataan v. Hon. Villafuerte, Jr.,15 the Court sustained the escrow order issued by the trial court over the lease rentals of the subject properties therein pending the resolution of the main action for annulment of sale and reconveyance. In upholding the authority of the trial court to issue such order, the Court ratiocinated thus:
In a manner of speaking, courts have not only the power to maintain their life, but they have also the power to make that existence effective for the purpose for which the judiciary was created. They can, by appropriate means, do all things necessary to preserve and maintain every quality needful to make the judiciary an effective institution of Government. Courts have therefore inherent power to preserve their integrity, maintain their dignity and to insure effectiveness in the administration of justice.
To lend flesh and blood to this legal aphorism, Rule 135 of the Rules of Court explicitly provides:
"Section 5. Inherent powers of courts ' Every court shall have power:
" . . . (g) To amend and control its process and orders so as to make them conformable to law and justice.
"Section 6. Means to carry jurisdiction into effect ' When by law jurisdiction is conferred on a court or judicial officer, all auxiliary writs, processes and other means necessary to carry it into effect may be employed by such court or officer, and if the procedure to be followed in the exercise of such jurisdiction is not specifically pointed out by law or by these rules, any suitable process or mode of proceeding may be adopted which appears conformable to the spirit of said law or rules." (Emphasis ours)
It is beyond dispute that the lower court exercised jurisdiction over the main action docketed as Civil Case No. 210-ML, which involved the annulment of sale and reconveyance of the subject properties. Under this circumstance, we are of the firm view that the trial court, in issuing the assailed escrow orders, acted well within its province and sphere of power inasmuch as the subject orders were adopted in accordance with the Rules and jurisprudence and were merely incidental to the court's exercise of jurisdiction over the main case, thus:
x x x
"In the ordinary case the courts can proceed to the enforcement of the plaintiff's rights only after a trial had in the manner prescribed by the laws of the land, which involves due notice, the right of the trial by jury, etc. Preliminary to such an adjudication, the power of the court is generally to preserve the subject matter of the litigation to maintain the status, or issue some extraordinary writs provided by law, such as attachments, etc. None of these powers, however, are exercised on the theory that the court should, in advance of the final adjudication determine the rights of the parties in any summary way and put either of them in the enjoyment thereof; but such actions taken merely, as means for securing an effective adjudication and enforcement of rights of the parties after such adjudication. Colby v. Osgood Tex. Civ. App., 230 S.W. 459;" (emphasis ours)
On this score, the incisive disquisition of the Court of Appeals is worthy of mention, to wit:
". . . Given the jurisdiction of the trial court to pass upon the raised question of ownership and possession of the disputed property, there then can hardly be any doubt as to the competence of the same court, as an adjunct of its main jurisdiction, to require the deposit in escrow of the rentals thereof pending final resolution of such question. To paraphrase the teaching in Manila Herald Publishing Co., Inc. v. Ramos (G.R. No. L-4268, January 18, 1951, cited in Francisco, Revised Rules of Court, Vol. 1, 2nd ed., p. 133), jurisdiction over an action carries with it jurisdiction over an interlocutory matter incidental to the cause and deemed essential to preserve the subject matter of the suit or to protect the parties' interest. x x x
"x x x the impugned orders appear to us as a fair response to the exigencies and equities of the situation. Parenthetically, it is not disputed that even before the institution of the main case below, the Province of Bataan has been utilizing the rental payments on the Baseco Property to meet its financial requirements. To us, this circumstance adds a more compelling dimension for the issuance of the assailed orders. . . ."
Applying the foregoing principles and considering the peculiarities of the instant case, the lower court, in the course of adjudicating and resolving the issues presented in the main suit, is clearly empowered to control the proceedings therein through the adoption, formulation and issuance of orders and other ancillary writs, including the authority to place the properties in custodia legis, for the purpose of effectuating its judgment or decree and protecting further the interests of the rightful claimants of the subject property.
To trace its source, the court's authority proceeds from its jurisdiction and power to decide, adjudicate and resolve the issues raised in the principal suit. Stated differently, the deposit of the rentals in escrow with the bank, in the name of the lower court, "is only an incident in the main proceeding." To be sure, placing property in litigation under judicial possession, whether in the hands of a receiver, and administrator, or as in this case, in a government bank, is an ancient and accepted procedure. Consequently, we find no cogency to disturb the questioned orders of the lower court and in effect uphold the propriety of the subject escrow orders. (emphasis ours)16
In another case, Bustamante v. Court of Appeals,17 private respondents filed a complaint against petitioners for recovery of possession with preliminary injunction over the subject lot with buildings thereon. Favorably acting on the application for a writ of preliminary injunction, the trial court required the petitioners to pay reasonable rent to private respondents and granted to the latter the right to collect rentals from the existing lessees of the subject lot and buildings. On review, the Court ruled, inter alia, that the vesting in private respondents of the right to collect rent from the existing lessees of the buildings is premature pending a final determination of who among the parties is the lawful possessor of the subject lot and buildings. The Court went on to state that "[t]he most prudent way to preserve the rights of the contending parties is to deposit with the trial court all the rentals from the existing lessees of the Buildings."18 Consequently, petitioners were ordered to deposit with the trial court all collections of rentals from the lessees of the buildings pending the resolution of the case.Ï‚Î·Î±Ã±rÎ¿blÎµÅ¡ Î½Î¹râ€ Ï…Î±l lÎ±Ï‰ lÎ¹brÎ±rÃ¿
As can be seen, the order to deposit the lease rentals with the trial court is in the nature of a provisional relief designed to protect and preserve the rights of the parties while the main action is being litigated. Contrary to the findings of the Court of Appeals, such an order may be issued even prior to the determination of the issue of co-ownership because it is precisely meant to preserve the rights of the parties until such time that the court finally determines who is lawfully entitled thereto. It does not follow, however, that the subject order in this case should be sustained. Like all other interlocutory orders issued by a trial court, the subject order must not suffer from the vice of grave abuse of discretion. As will be discussed hereunder, special and compelling circumstances constrain the Court to hold that the subject order was tainted with grave abuse of discretion.
At the outset, the Court agrees with private respondent that the RTC gravely abused its discretion when it ordered the deposit of the entire monthly rentals whereas petitioner merely asked for the deposit of his alleged one-half (1/2) share therein. Indeed, the court's power to grant any relief allowed under the law is, as general rule, delimited by the cardinal principle that it cannot grant anything more than what is prayed for because the relief dispensed cannot rise above its source.19 Here, petitioner categorically prayed for in his motion for deposit with the trial court of only one-half (1/2) of the monthly rentals during the pendency of the case.20 It was, therefore, highly irregular for the RTC to order the deposit of the entire monthly rentals. The RTC offered no reason for its departure from such a basic principle of law; its actuations, thus, constituted grave abuse of discretion.
This finding does not, however, fully dispose of this case. The question may be asked, if petitioner is not entitled to the deposit of the entire monthly rentals, is he then entitled to the deposit of his alleged one-half (1/2) share therein?cralawred
The Court answers in the negative.
The origin of petitioner's alleged one-half (1/2) share as co-owner of the subject land is conspicuously absent in the allegations in his complaint for partition and accounting before the trial court. Petitioner tersely stated that, as per the title of the subject land, he and private respondent are named as co-owners in equal shares. It was private respondent's answer to the complaint which brought to light the alleged origin of their title to the subject land. Private respondent claimed that the subject land was actually bought by their father but the title was placed in petitioner and private respondent's names in accordance with the customs and traditions of their parents who were of Chinese descent. Furthermore, it was their father who exercised control and ownership over the subject land as well as the warehousing business built thereon. Before the Court of Appeals, petitioner never refuted this claim by private respondent. Rather, petitioner insisted that the names in the title is controlling and, on its face, the existence of a co-ownership has been duly established, thus, entitling him to the deposit of his one-half (1/2) share in the monthly rentals in order to protect his interest during the pendency of the case. Curiously, after the Court of Appeals ruled in its April 21, 2008 Decision that the act of Sio Tong Go in placing in the names of his two children the title to the subject land merely created an implied trust for the benefit of Sio Tong Go and, upon his death, all his legal heirs pursuant to Article 144821 of the Civil Code, petitioner, in his motion for reconsideration, harped on a new theory through a process of deduction. For the first time on appeal, he claimed that the subject land was donated by their father to him and private respondent using the very same provision that the Court of Appeals relied on in concluding that an implied trust was created.22 Then, before this Court, petitioner sought to further amplify his new found theory of the case. In trying to explain why he did not demand the rental collections as early as the date of purchase of the subject land in 1996 and why he waited until the death of his father in 2006, he stated, again for the first time on appeal, that "while it may be true that petitioner did not seek the partition of the property and asked for his share in the rental collection when their father Sio Tong Go was still alive, it was but an act of courtesy and respect to their father, since the latter was still the one overseeing and supervising the business operation, and there was yet no danger and risk of abuse and dissipation of the rental collections since Sio Tong Go was still alive to control the rental collections and disbursements of the funds."23 In effect, petitioner admitted that his father had control and ownership of the subject land and the lease rentals collected therefrom thereby lending credence to private respondent's consistent claim that the subject land was actually bought by their father.Ï‚Î·Î±Ã±rÎ¿blÎµÅ¡ Î½Î¹râ€ Ï…Î±l lÎ±Ï‰ lÎ¹brÎ±rÃ¿
Prescinding from the foregoing, the Court cannot lightly brush aside petitioner's lack of forthrightness and candor reflected, as it were, in the shifting sands of his theory of the case. While initially in his complaint he anchored his alleged one-half (1/2) share based solely on the names appearing in the title of the subject land, petitioner's subsequent admissions (when confronted with private respondent's answer to the complaint) contradicted his previous allegations, thus, creating serious doubts as to the real extent of his lawful interest in the subject land. What emerges at this stage of the proceedings, albeit preliminary and subject to the outcome of the presentation of evidence during the trial on merits, is that the subject land was bought by Sio Tong Go and, upon his death, his interest therein passed on to his surviving spouse, Simeona Lim Ang, and their five children. Under the presumption that the subject land is conjugal property because it was bought during the marriage of Sio Tong Go and Simeona Lim Ang, and pursuant to the law on succession, petitioner's share, as one of the children, appears to be limited to 1/1224 of the monthly rentals. Thus, it is only to this extent that his alleged interest as co-owner should be protected through the order to deposit rental income. Consequently, under the prevailing equities of this case, the subject order requiring private respondent to deposit with the trial court the entire monthly rental income should be reduced to 1/12 of said income reckoned from the finality of this Decision and every month thereafter until the trial court finally determines who is lawfully entitled thereto.
The Court emphasizes that these are preliminary findings for the sole purpose of resolving the propriety of the subject order requiring the deposit of the monthly rentals with the trial court. The precise extent of the interest of the parties in the subject land will have to await the final determination by the trial court of the main action for partition after a trial on the merits. While ordinarily this Court does not interfere with the sound discretion of the trial court to determine the propriety and extent of the provisional relief necessitated by a given case, the afore-discussed special and compelling circumstances warrant a correction of the trial court's exercise of discretion based on the grave abuse of discretion standard. It is well to remember that the question often asked of this Court, that is, whether it is a court of law or a court of justice, has always been answered in that it is both a court of law and a court of justice.25 When the circumstances warrant, this Court shall not hesitate to modify the order issued by a trial court to ensure that it conforms to justice. The result reached here is but an affirmation of this long held and cherished principle.
As a final note, private respondent raised a collateral matter regarding the lack of jurisdiction of the RTC over this case for failure to implead indispensable parties, i.e., all the legal heirs of Sio Tong Go. The records indicate that on August 16, 2007, Simeona Lim Ang filed a motion26 to intervene although it is not clear whether the trial court has acted on this motion and whether the other legal heirs have similarly intervened in this case. At any rate, the Court cannot rule on this issue because the present case is limited to the propriety of the subject order granting the motion to deposit monthly rentals. The proper forum to thresh out this issue, if the parties so desire, is the trial court where the main action is pending.
WHEREFORE, the petition is PARTIALLY GRANTED. The April 21, 2008 Decision and July 4, 2008 Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 100100 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The May 4 and July 4, 2007 Orders of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela City, Branch 172 in Civil Case No. 179-V-06 are SET ASIDE and a new Order is entered directing private respondent to deposit 1/12 of the monthly rentals collected by him from the buildings on TCT No. V-44555 with the trial court from the finality of this Decision and every month thereafter until it is finally adjudged who is lawfully entitled thereto.
Costs against petitioner.
1 Rollo, pp. 36-49. Penned by Associate Justice Martin S. Villarama, Jr. and concurred in by Associate Justices Noel G. Tijam and Myrna Dimaranan Vidal.
2 Records, p. 193. Penned by Judge Floro P. Alejo.
3 Id. at 219.
4 Rollo, p. 50.
5 Records, pp. 1-10.
6 Id. at 15-21.
7 Id. at 189-192.
8 Id. at 193.
9 Rollo, p. 48.
10 385 Phil. 720 (2000).
11 Rollo, pp. 46-48.
12 Philippine Journalists, Inc. v. National Labor Relations Commission, G.R. No. 166421, September 5, 2006, 501 SCRA 75, 87-88.
13 Rules of Court, Rule 135, Section 5.
14 Id., id., Section 6.
15 419 Phil. 907 (2001).
16 Id. at 916-919.
17 430 Phil. 797 (2002).
18 Id. at 810.
19 See Potenciano v. Court of Appeals, 104 Phil. 156, 160 (1958).
20 Petitioner prayed thus in his April 23, 2007 Motion before the trial court:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that the defendant be ordered to deposit with this Honorable Court his rental collection from the date of the filing of this complaint on 11 September 2006 up to April 30, 2007 and every month thereafter plaintiff's one-half (1/2) share in such rental collections, let alone the rental collections made by defendant from February 2006 to August 2006.
21 Art. 1448. There is an implied trust when property is sold, and the legal estate is granted to one party but the price is paid by another for the purpose of having the beneficial interest of the property. The former is the trustee, while the latter is the beneficiary. However, if the person to whom the title is conveyed is a child, legitimate or illegitimate, of the one paying the price of the sale, no trust is implied by law, it being disputably presumed that there is a gift in favor of the child.
22 See third sentence, Article 1448, Civil Code. Petitioner argued thus:
It is respectfully submitted and pointed out however, that the very same Article 1448 of the Civil Code, when read in full, will even bolster the position of the private respondent, that the deceased, Sio Tong Go intended that the property was voluntarily given as a gift to his two (2) sons (petitioner and private respondent), such that no implied trust was created, but a unilateral, unequivocal and unconditional assignment of rights, ownership and dominion over the said property, as and by way of a gift to the recipient-beneficiaries (petitioner and respondent) as shown by the act of Sio Tong Go in registering the subject property in the names of his (2) sons. No other rational and contrary conclusion can be drawn therefrom. (CA rollo, pp. 262-263)
23 Rollo, pp. 193. (Italics supplied)
24 One-half (1/2) interest goes to the estate of Sio Tong Go and the other half to Simeona Lim Ang. The one-half (1/2) interest of the estate is then divided by 6 (Simeona plus five children) to arrive at 1/12.
25 Valarao v. Court of Appeals, 363 Phil. 495, 510 (1999).
26 Records, pp. 245-246.