Sunday, December 04, 2011

Eugenio Feliciano, et al. vs. Pedro Canoza, et al., G.R. No. 161746, September 1, 2010.

Prescription. Petitioners argue that the CA erroneously treated the action they filed at the trial court as one (1) for annulment of the extrajudicial settlement and applied the four (4)-year prescriptive period in dismissing the same. They contend that the action they filed was one (1) for Declaration of Nullity of Documents and Titles, Recovery of Real Property and Damages, and as such, their action was imprescriptible pursuant to Article 1410 of the Civil Code. 

Respondents, for their part, maintain that the CA did not err in holding that the deed of extrajudicial partition executed without including some of the heirs, who had no knowledge of the partition and did not consent thereto, is merely fraudulent and not void. They stress that the action to rescind the partition based on fraud prescribes in four (4) years counted from the date of registration, which is constructive notice to the whole world. 

We affirm the ruling of the CA. As the records show, the heirs of Doroteo and Esteban did not participate in the extrajudicial partition executed by Salina with the other compulsory heirs, Leona, Maria and Pedro. Undeniably, the said deed was fraudulently obtained as it deprived the known heirs of Doroteo and Esteban of their shares in the estate. A deed of extrajudicial partition executed without including some of the heirs, who had no knowledge of and consent to the same, is fraudulent and vicious. Hence, an action to set it aside on the ground of fraud could be instituted. Such action for the annulment of the said partition, however, must be brought within four (4) years from the discovery of the fraud. Eugenio Feliciano, et al. vs. Pedro Canoza, et al., G.R. No. 161746, September 1, 2010.

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