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351 Phil. 384

THIRD DIVISION

[ G.R. No. 119777, March 26, 1998 ]

THE HEIRS OF PEDRO ESCANLAR, FRANCISCO HOLGADO  AND  THE SPOUSES DR. EDWIN A. JAYME AND ELISA TAN-JAYME, PETITIONERS, VS. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS, GENEROSA MARTINEZ, CARMEN CARI-AN, RODOLFO CARI-AN, NELLY CHUA CARI-AN, FOR HERSELF AND AS GUARDIAN AD LITEM OF HER MINOR SON,  LEONELL C. CARI-AN, FREDISMINDA CARI-AN, THE SPOUSES PAQUITO CHUA AND NEY SARROSA-CHUA AND THE REGISTER OF DEEDS OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, RESPONDENTS.

[G.R. NO. 120690.  MARCH 26, 1998]

FRANCISCO HOLGADO AND HRS. OF PEDRO ESCANLAR, NAMELY BERNARDO, FELY, SONIA, LILY, DYESEBEL AND NOEMI ALL SURNAMED ESCANLAR PETITIONERS, VS., HON. COURT OF APPEALS, GENEROSA MARTINEZ, CARMEN CARI-AN, RODOLFO CARI-AN, NELLY CHUA CARI-AN, FOR HERSELF AND  AS  GUARDIAN  AD  LITEM  OF  HER  MINOR  SON, LEONELL C. CARI-AN AND FREDISMINDA CARI-AN, AND SP. PAQUITO CHUA AND NEY SARROSA CHUA AND REGISTER OF DEEDS OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, RESPONDENTS.

R E S O L U T I O N

ROMERO, J.:

Before this Court are the following motions: (a) [First] Motion[1] dated November 29, 1997, filed by petitioners heirs of Pedro Escanlar and Francisco Holgado; (b) Motion for Leave to File Second Motion for Partial Reconsideration and Clarification[2] dated February 9, 1998; and (c) Second Motion for Partial Reconsideration and Clarification[3] of even date, the latter two motions having been filed by petitioners Edwin and Elisa Jayme (the “Jaymes”). These motions all pertain to this Court’s decision[4] promulgated on October 23, 1997, the decretal portion of which states:

WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals under review is hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. The case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Negros Occidental, Branch 61 for petitioners and private respondents Cari-an or their successors-in-interest to determine exactly which 1/2 portion of Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617 will be owned by each party, at the option of petitioners. The trial court is DIRECTED to order the issuance of the corresponding certificates of title in the name of the respective parties and to resolve the matter of rental payments of the land not delivered to the Chua spouses subject to the rates specified above with legal interest from date of demand.”

wherein we ruled, inter alia, that the first sale to petitioners Francisco Holgado and the late Pedro Escanlar by the Cari-an heirs (the “Cari-ans”) of the one-half portions of Lots 1616 and 1617 pertaining to the share in the conjugal estate of their predecessor Victoriana Cari-an was valid while the subsequent conveyance of the same to respondents Paquito Chua and Ney Sarrosa-Chua (the “Chuas”) was not.

In particular, petitioners are seeking clarification of that part of the decision which states:

“5.           Recapitulating, we have held that the September 15, 1978 deed of sale of rights, interests and participations is valid and that the sellers-private respondents Cari-an were fully paid the contract price. However, it must be emphasized that what was sold was only the Cari-an’s hereditary shares in Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617 being held pro indiviso by them and is thus a valid conveyance only of said ideal shares. Specific or designated portions of land were not involved.
Consequently, the subsequent sale of 8 parcels of land, including Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617, to the spouses Chua is valid except to the extent of what was sold to petitioners in the September 15, 1978 conveyance. It must be noted, however, that the probate court in Special Proceeding No. 7-7279 desisted from awarding the individual shares of each heir because all the properties belonging to the estate had already been sold. Thus it is not certain how much private respondents Cari-an were entitled to with respect to the two lots, or if they were even going to be awarded shares in said lots.
The proceedings surrounding the estate of Nombre and Cari-an having attained finality for nearly a decade now, the same cannot be re-opened. The protracted proceedings which have undoubtedly left the property under a cloud and the parties involved in a state of uncertainty compels us to resolve it definitively.
The decision of the probate court declares private respondents Cari-an as the sole heirs by representation of Victoriana Cari-an who was indisputably entitled to half of the estate. There being no exact apportionment of the shares of each heir and no competent proof that the heirs received unequal shares in the disposition of the estate, it can be assumed that the heirs of Victoriana Cari-an collectively are entitled to half of each property in the estate. More particularly, private respondents Cari-an are entitled to half of Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617, i.e. 14, 675 square meters of Lot No. 1616 and 230,474 square meters of Lot No. 1617. Consequently, petitioners, as their successors-in-interest, own said half of the subject lots and ought to deliver the possession of the other half, as well as pay rents thereon, to the private respondents Ney Sarrosa Chua and Paquito Chua but only if the former (petitioners) remained in possession thereof.
The rate of rental payments to be made were given in evidence by Ney Sarrosa Chua in her unrebutted testimony on July 24, 1989: For the fishpond (Lot No. 1617) - From 1982 up to 1986, rental payment of P3,000.00 per hectare; from 1986-1989 (and succeeding years), rental payment of P10,000.00 per hectare. For the riceland (Lot No. 1616) - 15 cavans per hectare per year; from 1982-1986, P125.00 per cavan; 1987-1988, P175.00 per cavan; and 1989 and succeeding years, P200.00 per cavan. (Underscoring supplied).

Petitioners would have this Court take a second look at its supposed automatic award to the Chuas of the other halves representing the late Guillermo Nombre’s shares in Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617 on the grounds that: (a) these other halves have never been the subject of the present litigation or the double sale complained of by petitioners; and (b) there are certain undivided interests in these other halves which have been conveyed by some Nombre heirs to Escanlar who in turn sold the same to the Jaymes. In other words, the Jaymes, according to petitioners, are actually entitled to the one-half portions of Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617 previously sold by the Cari-ans to Escanlar and Holgado and the validity of which have been upheld by this Court plus certain portions of the other halves of the same lots sold this time by some Nombre heirs to Escanlar. For these reasons, petitioners argue that there is no basis at all in fact and in law for the Court to award the entire one-half portions of the said lots to the Chuas, as well as to charge the Jaymes rental payments thereon.

Upon closer scrutiny and re-examination of the records, the Court is convinced that there is merit in the above contentions. It is a fact that the other ideal one-half shares of the late Guillermo Nombre in Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617 have never been entirely sold to the Chuas because some of the Nombre heirs who are composed of the descendants of Guillermo Nombre’s brothers and sisters[5] likewise sold their undivided shares to Escanlar who in turn conveyed them to the Jaymes. All these transactions are duly evidenced by several deeds of sale[6] and a Memorandum of Agreement[7] dated August 31, 1984, whose validity and authenticity have not been impugned by any party. As a matter of fact, there were also some shares which were not conveyed at all to either Chuas or Jaymes. In any event, these sales by the Nombre heirs to Escanlar whose interests were eventually acquired by the Jaymes had the effect of increasing the latter’s ownership beyond the one-half portions of the subject lots originally sold by the Cari-ans. Correspondingly, the Chuas are entitled only to those portions as have been conveyed to them which actually amount to less than the one-half participation of Guillermo Nombre in each of said lots. More particularly, these are the ideal shares which they have acquired from Lazaro Nombre, Victorio Madalag, Domingo Campillanos, and Sofronio Campillanos by virtue of the September 21, 1982 deed of sale, as well as from Felicidad Nombre, Potencia Brillas, and Enrique Campillanos, through instruments other than said deed.

In view of the foregoing findings, it necessarily follows that there is no justification for the Jaymes to be compelled to turn over one-half of Lot No. 1616 and one-half of Lot No. 1617, and be held liable to pay the Chuas rentals with respect to those portions. On the contrary, we find it equitable instead to hold the Chuas answerable for reasonable rentals to the extent of their possession of portions of Lot Nos. 1616 and 1617 which now properly belong to the Jaymes by virtue of the above findings.

ACCORDINGLY, the Court hereby resolves to GRANT the above motions of petitioners heirs of Pedro Escanlar and Francisco Holgado, as well as that of the spouses Edwin A. Jayme and Elisa T. Jayme. The decision of this Court dated October 23, 1997, insofar as it awarded one-half of Lot No. 1616 and one-half of Lot No. 1617 to the spouses Paquito and Ney Sarrosa-Chua, and which made the spouses Jayme liable for rental payments thereon, is VACATED and SET ASIDE. In lieu thereof, a new one is entered to read as follows:

WHEREFORE, the petitions are hereby GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals under review is hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE. The case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court of Negros Occidental, Branch 61, for petitioners and private respondents or their successors-in-interest to determine exactly the portions which will be owned by each party in accordance with the foregoing resolution, at the option of petitioners. The trial court is likewise DIRECTED to order the issuance of the corresponding certificates of title in the name of the respective parties and to determine how much rentals the Chuas have to pay the Jaymes from the time the former possessed, if they did at all, the portions pertaining to the latter up to the time the same are restored.”

SO ORDERED.

Narvasa, C.J. (Chairman), Kapunan and Purisima, JJ., concur.




[1] Rollo, pp. 418-421.

[2] Ibid., pp. 426-427.

[3] Id., pp. 428-435.

[4] Id., pp. 291-311.

[5] These are: Sotero Nombre, Hermogenes Nombre, Luis Nombre, Vidal Nombre, Juliana Nombre-Campillanos, and Maria Nombre-Madalag. One sister, Manuela Nombre, appeared not to have sold her rights at all in Guillermo Nombre’s estate.

[6] Motion for Partial Reconsideration filed by the Jaymes, Annexes “B” to “G”, Rollo, pp. 327-403.

[7] Ibid., pp. 414-415.

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