Friday, March 30, 2012

Jocson vs. CA (170 SCRA 333)

FactsPetitioner Moises Jocson and respondent Agustina Jocson-Vasquez are the only surviving offsprings of the spouses Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete, while respondent Ernesto Vasquez is the husband of Agustina. Alejandra Poblete predeceased her husband without her intestate estate being settled. Subsequently, Emilio Jocson also died intestate on April 1, 1972. 

The present controversy concerns the validity of three (3) documents executed by Emilio Jocson during his lifetime. These documents purportedly conveyed, by sale, to Agustina Jocson-Vasquez what apparently covers almost all of his properties, including his one-third (1/3) share in the estate of his wife. Petitioner Moises Jocson assails these documents and prays that they be declared null and void and the properties subject matter therein be partitioned between him and Agustina as the only heirs of their deceased parents. 

Petitioner filed his original complaint (Record on Appeal, p. 27, Rollo) on June 20,1973 with the then Court of First Instance of Naic, Cavite (docketed as Civil Case No. TM- 531), and which was twice amended. In his Second Amended Complaint (pp. 47-58, Record on Appeal), herein petitioner assailed the evidence documents for being null and void. 

On appeal, the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. No. 63474-R rendered a decision (pp. 29-42, Rollo) and reversed that of the trial court's. 

IssueWhether or not the assailed properties are part of the conjugal partnership of property of their parents. 

HeldNO. It is thus clear that before Moises Jocson may validly invoke the presumption under Article 160 he must first present proof that the disputed properties were acquired during the marriage of Emilio Jocson and Alejandra Poblete. The certificates of title, however, upon which petitioner rests his claim is insufficient. The fact that the properties were registered in the name of "Emilio Jocson, married to Alejandra Poblete" is no proof that the properties were acquired during the spouses' coverture. Acquisition of title and registration thereof are two different acts. It is well settled that registration does not confer title but merely confirms one already existing.It may be that the properties under dispute were acquired by Emilio Jocson when he was still a bachelor but were registered only after his marriage to Alejandra Poblete, which explains why he was described in the certificates of title as married to the latter. There being no such proof, the condition sine qua non for the application of the presumption does not exist. Necessarily, We rule that the properties under Exhibit 3 are the exclusive properties of Emilio Jocson. 

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