594 Phil. 399
x x x xPlaintiff prayed that the RTC, after trial, issue an Order --
- On 10 January 1953, Spouses Conrado and Miguela Gonzalez, bought, out of their conjugal funds, two (2) parcels of land (Lot No. 11 and Lot No. 13) which were then covered by TCT No. 19593/T-372. A Transfer Certificate of Title No. 31206 was issued under the name of one of their children, herein Defendant Zenaida B. Gonzalez. Copy of said Transfer Certificate of Title is hereto attached and marked as Annex "A";
- Thereafter, or on 14 August 1957, Spouses Conrado and Miguela Gonzalez bought the remaining lots described in TCT No. 19593/T-372. Again, the subject lots were placed under the name of herein Defendant Zenaida B. Gonzalez as shown by TCT Nos. 48477 and 48478. Copy of said Transfer Certificates of Titles are hereto attached and marked as Annexes "B" and "C," respectively;
- At the time the aforementioned Deeds of Sale were executed, the intention of the buyers is that herein defendant will only be considered as trustee while the Spouses Gonzalez, being the real buyers, hold the beneficial interest over the said properties;
- In fact, the improvements made on the subject lot, which likewise came from the spouses' conjugal funds, remain to be the residence of one of the brothers of herein parties, Asterio Gonzalez, and his family. Also, whenever Plaintiff and her family, or any other sibling, would visit the Philippines, they would stay in the said ancestral house;
- During the lifetime of Spouses Conrado and Miguela, and until the time of their death, there was never an intention on their part to have the subject properties transferred solely to Defendant Zenaida Gonzalez. The residential house built on the said land remains to be the ancestral house of the family;
- However, sometime in March 2005, plaintiff Medrano and her family went to the Philippines for a vacation. As always, they proceeded to their ancestral house in Instruccion, Sampaloc. But to her great surprise, they were not allowed to stay there, much less come in, as herein defendant claims sole ownership over the subject property, to the exclusion of the other siblings. To date, defendant continues to refuse plaintiff's entry to the said property despite several repeated demands;
- Defendant's claim is malicious, baseless and unfounded. As previously stated, the aforesaid properties were owned by their parents, Spouses Conrado and Miguela. As such, after the death of the latter, Plaintiff Estrella became a successor-in-interest by operation of law, to the extent of 1/7 of the entire property.
She also prayed that defendant be directed to pay her P200,000.00 as attorney's fees, P500,000.00 as moral damages, P500,000.00 as exemplary damages, litigation expenses, and the costs of suit.
- Declaring that 1/7 of the property described in Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 31206, 48477 and 48478, together with all the improvements thereon, belong to plaintiff Estrella Medrano;
- Ordering the partition of the afore-described properties;
- Directing the reconveyance and transfer of 1/7 part of the aforementioned property in the name of the plaintiff.
On July 9, 2007, defendant filed a Manifestation and Motion praying for a preliminary hearing on her defenses of prescription, laches, estoppel, and forum shopping. This was opposed by the plaintiff.
- Whether or not the properties covered by TCT Nos. 31206, 48477 and 48478 are owned by the parties' parents.
- Whether or not plaintiff is entitled to her 1/7 share of these three (3) properties with all the improvements thereon.
- Whether or not the partition of these properties should be ordered by the Court.
- Whether or not plaintiff is entitled to the reconveyance of her 1/7 share in the subject properties.
- Whether or not plaintiff is entitled to damages.
- Whether or not the Deed of Assignment filed by Carlos Gonzalez and counsel is a falsified document.
- Whether or not the pendency of this falsification case filed against Carlos Gonzalez and counsel would constitute a prejudicial question.
- Whether or not the plaintiff has a cause of action against the defendant.
- Whether or not prescription had already set in.
- Whether or not laches had set in.
- Whether or not this present complaint could prosper, it being a collateral attack to defendant's title.
- Whether or not plaintiff is guilty of forum shopping.
- Whether or not defendant is entitled to his counterclaim.
Considering that the question of whether or not this case had already prescribed hinges into the very issue of whether this case is an action for partition or an action for reconveyance, this Court is in the opinion that the issues raised can be best ventilated in the actual trial of this case.Defendant moved for reconsideration, but was again denied by the RTC in its Order dated October 16, 2007. Hence, this petition.