G.R. No. 202370, September 23, 2013
JUAN SEVILLA SALAS, JR., Petitioner, v. EDEN VILLENA AGUILA, Respondent.
D E C I S I O N
WHEREFORE, foregoing premises being considered, the petitioner and the respondent are hereby directed to partition between themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, the following properties, without prejudice to the legitime of their legitimate child, Joan Jisselle Aguila Salas:chanrobles virtua1aw 1ibraryThe RTC held that pursuant to the Rules,14 even upon entry of judgment granting the annulment of marriage, the court can proceed with the liquidation, partition and distribution of the conjugal partnership of gains if it has not been judicially adjudicated upon, as in this case. The RTC found that the Discovered Properties are among the conjugal properties to be partitioned and distributed between Salas and Aguila. However, the RTC held that Salas failed to prove the existence of the Waived Properties.(1) A parcel of land registered in the name of Juan S. Salas married to Rubina C. Salas located in San Bartolome, Quezon City and covered by TCT No. N-259299-A marked as Exhibit “A” and its improvements;Thereafter, the Court shall confirm the partition so agreed upon by the parties, and such partition, together with the Order of the Court confirming the same, shall be recorded in the Registry of Deeds of the place in which the property is situated.
(2) A parcel of land registered in the name of Juan S. Salas married to Rubina C. Salas located in San Bartolome, Quezon City and covered by TCT No. N-255497 marked as Exhibit “B” and its improvements;
(3) A parcel of land registered in the name of Juan S. Salas married to Rubina Cortez Salas located in Tondo and covered by TCT No. 243373-Ind. marked as Exhibit “D” and its improvements.
1. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s decision ordering the partition of the parcels of land covered by TCT Nos. N-259299-A and N-255497 in Quezon City and as well as the property in Manila covered by TCT No. 243373 between petitioner and respondent.
2. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s decision in not allowing Rubina C. Cortez to intervene in this case18
A perusal of the record shows that the documents submitted by [Salas] as the properties allegedly registered in the name of [Aguila] are merely photocopies and not certified true copies, hence, this Court cannot admit the same as part of the records of this case. These are the following:chanrobles virtua1aw 1ibraryOn the other hand, Aguila proved that the Discovered Properties were acquired by Salas during their marriage. Both the RTC and the CA agreed that the Discovered Properties registered in Salas’ name were acquired during his marriage with Aguila. The TCTs of the Discovered Properties were entered on 2 July 1999 and 29 September 2003, or during the validity of Salas and Aguila’s marriage. In Villanueva v. Court of Appeals,23 we held that the question of whether the properties were acquired during the marriage is a factual issue. Factual findings of the RTC, particularly if affirmed by the CA, are binding on us, except under compelling circumstances not present in this case.24cralaw virtualaw library(1) TCT No. T-65876 – a parcel of land located at Poblacion, Nasugbu, Batangas, registered in the name of Eden A. Salas, married to Juan Salas Jr. which is cancelled by TCT No. T-105443 in the name of Joan Jiselle A. Salas, single;Moreover, [Aguila] submitted original copy of Certification issued by Ms. Erlinda A. Dasal, Municipal Assessor of Nasugbu, Batangas, certifying that [Aguila] has no real property (land and improvement) listed in the Assessment Roll for taxation purposes, as of September 17, 2008. Such evidence, in the absence of proof to the contrary, has the presumption of regularity. x x x.
(2) TCT No. T-68066 – a parcel of land situated in the Barrio of Landing, Nasugbu, Batangas, registered in the name of Eden A. Salas, married to Juan S. Salas Jr.
Suffice it to say that such real properties are existing and registered in the name of [Aguila], certified true copies thereof should have been the ones submitted to this Court. Moreover, there is also a presumption that properties registered in the Registry of Deeds are also declared in the Assessment Roll for taxation purposes.22
ART. 147. When a man and a woman who are capacitated to marry each other, live exclusively with each other as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or under a void marriage, their wages and salaries shall be owned by them in equal shares and the property acquired by both of them through their work or industry shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.Under this property regime, property acquired during the marriage is prima facie presumed to have been obtained through the couple’s joint efforts and governed by the rules on co-ownership.29 In the present case, Salas did not rebut this presumption. In a similar case where the ground for nullity of marriage was also psychological incapacity, we held that the properties acquired during the union of the parties, as found by both the RTC and the CA, would be governed by co-ownership.30 Accordingly, the partition of the Discovered Properties as ordered by the RTC and the CA should be sustained, but on the basis of co-ownership and not on the regime of conjugal partnership of gains.
In the absence of proof to the contrary, properties acquired while they lived together shall be presumed to have been obtained by their joint efforts, work or industry, and shall be owned by them in equal shares. For purposes of this Article, a party who did not participate in the acquisition by the other party of any property shall be deemed to have contributed jointly in the acquisition thereof if the former’s efforts consisted in the care and maintenance of the family and of the household.
Neither party can encumber or dispose by acts inter vivos of his or her share in the property acquired during cohabitation and owned in common, without the consent of the other, until after the termination of their cohabitation.
When only one of the parties to a void marriage is in good faith, the share of the party in bad faith in the co-ownership shall be forfeited in favor of their common children. In case of default of or waiver by any or all of the common children or their descendants, each vacant share shall belong to the respective surviving descendants. In the absence of descendants, such share shall belong to the innocent party. In all cases, the forfeiture shall take place upon termination of the cohabitation. (Emphasis supplied)
1 Under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.cralawnad
2Rollo, pp. 10-21. Penned by Associate Justice Romeo F. Barza with Associate Justices Noel G. Tijam and Edwin D. Sorongon, concurring.cralawnad
3 Id. at 31-32.cralawnad
4 Id. at 77-87. Penned by Judge Wilfredo De Joya Mayor.cralawnad
5 Id. at 59.cralawnad
6 Records, p. 21.cralawnad
7Rollo, pp. 61-70. Penned by Judge Elihu A. Ibañez.cralawnad
8 Id. at 70. The dispositive portion reads:chanrobles virtua1aw 1ibraryWHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered DECLARING THE NULLITY of the marriage of petitioner Eden Villena Aguila Salas and respondent Juan Sevilla Salas, Jr. which was celebrated on September 7, 1985 and the DISSOLUTION of their conjugal partnership of gains, if any.9 Id. at 71-72.cralawnad
10 Records, pp. 188-189.cralawnad
11 Id. at 174. TSN, 21 September 2007, p. 7.cralawnad
12Rollo, pp. 73-76.cralawnad
13 Id. at 87.cralawnad
14 Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages (A. M. No. 02-11-10-SC), Section 21.cralawnad
15Rollo, pp. 20-21. The dispositive portion of the Decision reads:chanrobles virtua1aw 1ibraryWHEREFORE, in light of the foregoing, the instant appeal is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. The appealed orders of the lower court dated September 26, 2008 and December 16, 2009 are hereby AFFIRMED.16 Id. at 31-32.cralawnad
17 Id. at 22-29.cralawnad
18 Id. at 44-45.cralawnad
19Lacbayan v. Samoy, Jr., G.R. No. 165427, 21 March 2011, 645 SCRA 677; Ocampo v. Ocampo, 471 Phil. 519 (2004) citing Heirs of Velasquez v. Court of Appeals, 382 Phil. 438 (2000) and Catapusan v. Court of Appeals, 332 Phil. 586 (1996).cralawnad
21 Rules of Court, Rule 133, Sec. 1.cralawnad
22Rollo, pp. 85-86.cralawnad
23 471 Phil. 394 (2004).cralawnad
24Land Bank of the Philippines v. Poblete, G.R. No. 196577, 25 February 2013, 691 SCRA 613 citing Montecillo v. Reynes, 434 Phil. 456 (2002).cralawnad
25Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 184589, 13 June 2013.cralawnad
26De Leon v. Rehabilitation Finance Corp., 146 Phil. 862 (1970) citing Litam v. Espiritu, 100 Phil. 364 (1956).cralawnad
27 Rules of Court, Rule 19, Sec. 1.cralawnad
28 G.R. No. 178044, 19 January 2011, 640 SCRA 178 citing Mercado-Fehr v. Bruno Fehr, 460 Phil. 445 (2003).cralawnad
29Valdes v. RTC, Branch 102, Quezon City, 328 Phil. 1289 (1996).cralawnad
30Buenaventura v. Court of Appeals, 494 Phil. 264 (2005).