Sale of an undivided interest of a property only binds the co-owner only up to the portion of his/her interest; consequently he/she can only transfer ownership over the same to other parties.
The disputed property was originally owned by Honoria Aguinaldo. One half was inherited by Emilia Coronel together with her sons Benjamin, Catalino and Cerefino, all surnamed Coronel. The other half was inherited by Florentino Constantino and Aurea Buensuceso. Emilia sold her share of the lot to Jess C Santos and Priscilla Bernardo as evidenced by the “KASULATAN NG BILIHANG PATULUYAN.” Santos and Bernardo then sold it to the respondents. Petitioners built several constructions and improvements on the disputed lot. Respondents then filed a complaint for declaration of ownership, quieting of title and damages with prayer for writ of mandatory and/or prohibitory injunction with the trial court.
Whether or not the sale was valid? If yes, up to what extent?
YES, only up to ¼ share of the land inherited by Emilia and her sons. Emilia signed only in her behalf and not in representation of her three children thus the sale is only binding to her share. The subject property was co-owned, pro-indiviso by petitioner Emilia together with her petitioner sons. No proof was presented to show that the co-ownership that existed among the heirs of Ceferino and Catalino and herein petitioners as never been terminated. No evidence was presented to show that the three brothers were aware of the sale made by their mother. Since there was no partition made, Emilia is deemed to have sold only her share of the lot which is ¼ thereof. Consequently SC declared respondents as owner of ½ undivided portion of the original lot which they inherited plus ¼ share (of their ½) of petitioner Emilia Coronel.
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