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[G.R. No. 43501. May 20, 1938. ]

JUANITO LIM, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. CONSUELO YBALLE, administratrix of the estate of Juan Lim Llin Uan, deceased, Defendant-Appellee.

Tomas Alonso for Appellant.

Teodoro Arnoco and Hipolito Alo for Appellee.


1. "RES ADJUDICATA" ; APPLICATION OF THE DOCTRINE. — The rule of res adjudicata applies only where there is a perfect identity of things, causes and persons in the two suits involved. Decisions of this court to this effect are numerous. Principal among these are those in De Ocampo v. Jenkins and Worcester (14 Phil., 681); Bowler v. Estate of Alvarez (23 Phil., 561); Donato v. Mendoza (25 Phil., 57); Solano v. Salvilla (29 Phil., 66); Isaac v. Padilla (31 Phil., 469); Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila v. Director of Lands (35 Phil., 339); Aquino v. Director of Lands (39 Phil., 860); and Chua Tan v. Del Rosario (57 Phil., 411).

2. ID.; ID. — In applying the doctrine of res adjudicata we must also inquire whether the final judgment in the former case was rendered (a) by a court of competent jurisdiction (b) upon the merits. This proposition admits of no controversy. (See Peñalosa v. Tuason, 22 Phil., 303; Bayot v. Zurbito, 39 Phil., 650; Ferrer v. Diaz and Diaz, 15 Phil., 219; 15 R. C. L., sec. 431, p. 965; 34 C. J., secs. 1193 et sec. pp. 774 et seq.) In the case at bar, it appears that the court below in civil case No. 9879 admitted lack of jurisdiction over the subject-matter of the suit and reserved to the plaintiff the right to bring another action.

3. ID.; ID. — A judgment or decree which expressly excepts or reserves from its operation specified rights or claims of the parties in suit, or the decision of questions in issue, or the right to take further proceedings in respect to certain matters, is not a bar to a subsequent action on the matters so reserved; but on the contrary the reservation itself becomes res adjudicata, and prevents the raising of any question as to the right to bring or maintain such subsequent suit. (34 C. J., p. 797.)



This is an appeal from the judgment of the second branch of the Court of First Instance of Cebu dismissing the plaintiff’s complaint in civil case No. 10227.

Two decisions of the Court of First Instance of Cebu are here involved. One was rendered in the case above-mentioned and the other in civil case No. 9879. This latter case arose out of a decision of the committee on claims and appraisals recognizing the right of the plaintiff to recover from the estate of the late Juan Lim Llin Uan, husband of the defendant administratrix, the sum of P1,960 representing rentals due for the occupation of land allegedly sold to said plaintiff by Lao Pen-Niu, mother of the deceased. The Court of First Instance of Cebu, Hon. Jose M. Hontiveros presiding, absolved the defendant from the plaintiff’s complaint. The plaintiff did not appeal. Instead, he brought a separate action, civil case No. 10227, his reason being that in case No. 1879 the court, to use its own language, did not possess "jurisdiccion para resolver lo que pide en la parte petitoria de la demanda, de que se ordenara la particion del terreno en ella descrito entre el demandante y la demandada y se nombrara un depositario del mismo, interin no se resuelva definitivamente esta causa", and these were precisely the things the plaintiff wanted done.

It appears from the complaint in this second case now before us, filed on March 20, 1934, that the spouses Joaquin Singson Lim Othong and Lao Pen-Niu acquired during marriage a parcel of land situated in the municipality of Balamban, Province of Cebu, described in paragraph 3 of said complaint and containing an area of 220,371 square meters. after the death of Joaquin Singson Lim Othong and during the absence from the Philippines of Lao Pen-Niu, their son Juan Lim Llin Uan secured the issuance in his own name of original certificate of title No. 15503 covering the parcel of land. In 1928, the widow Lao Pen-Niu, being in the Philippines at that time, sold to the plaintiff herein one-half of the lot (Exhibit A) and the said plaintiff in turn leased the same to Juan Lim Uan at a monthly rental of P40, executing a contract for the purpose (Exhibit B). From the time the contract of lease was entered into on August 9, 1928 until his death which occurred on March 25, 1933, Juan Lim Llin Uan never paid the rentals due to the plaintiff. Neither has the defendant administratrix done this after the death of her husband, although she has continued in possession thereof to the exclusion of the plaintiff and to his prejudice. The prayer of the complaint is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"Por tanto, al Juzgado pide que se dicte sentencia a su favor, declarando coproprietario pro indiviso del terreno descrita en esta demanda; que se cancele el titulo original, expedido a nombre de Juan Lim Llin Uan, expidiendo en su lugar los correspondientes titulos a favor del demandante y de la demandada, por las porciones que han de corresponderles en la subdivision de la propiedad descrita en dos partes iguales, perteneciendo la mitad al demandante y la otra mitad a la demandada en su capacidad de Administradora de los bienes del finado Juan Lim Llin Uan; que sea condenada la demandada a pagar los alquileres de P40 mensuales al demandante, desde el 9 de agosto de 1928 hasta la entrega del terreno arrendado; que, mientras este pendiente de decision la presente causa, se nombre un depositario del terreno pro indiviso; que sea condenada a pagar las costas del presente juicio; y por
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