[G.R. No. 21206. September 22, 1924. ]
ANTONIO ABEJOLA, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. INOCENTES DAVID ET AL., Defendants-Appellees.
H. V. Bamberger in his own behalf.
Attorney-General Villa-Real for the Government.
1. REAL PROPERTY; POSSESSION; PAYMENT OF TAXES. — Continuous payment of land taxes since the year 1902 is a circumstance which may be taken into consideration in weighing the evidence as to the possession of the land.
D E C I S I O N
This is an action in ejectment, the plaintiff alleging that he is the owner of the land in question but that in the year 1913 the defendants took possession of the land illegally and still remain in such possession.
The defendants in their answer plead the statute of limitations and allege that they have been in possession of the land for over twenty years.
The trial court, in a well considered decision, found that the defendants had acquired title to the land by prescription and rendered a judgment in their favor declaring them the owners of the land. From this judgment the plaintiff appeals to this court.
Though the plaintiff’s title is recorded in the mortgage law registry, the case in reality presents only questions of fact. If the defendants had been in adverse possession for over ten years prior to the filing of the complaint, the plaintiff’s title is, of course, extinguished. Upon this point the evidence fully supports the judgment of the court below. Aside from the direct evidence showing that the defendants have been in possession for the period stated in their answer, there is also the significant circumstance that they declared the land for taxation in 1902 and have been paying taxes ever since, and that the plaintiff has never declared the land for taxation.
The judgment appealed from is affirmed, with the costs against the appellant. So ordered.
Street, Malcolm, Avanceña, Villamor and Romualdez, JJ., concur.