CD: Catholic Vicar Apostolic v. CA

August 11, 2015 at 10:14 am (1988) (, , )

CATHOLIC VICAR APOSTOLIC v. CA
G.R. No. L-80294-95 September 21, 1988
Gancayco, J.

Doctrine:
The bailees’ failure to return the subject matter of commodatum to the bailor does not mean adverse possession on the part of the borrower. The bailee held in trust the property subject matter of commodatum.

Facts:
Catholic Vicar Apostolic of the Mountain Province (VICAR for brevity) filed an application for registration of title over Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4, said Lots being the sites of the Catholic Church building, convents, high school building, school gymnasium, school dormitories, social hall, stonewalls, etc. The Heirs of Juan Valdez and the Heirs of Egmidio Octaviano filed their Answer/Opposition on Lots Nos. 2 and 3, respectively, asserting ownership and title thereto since their predecessors’ house was borrowed by petitioner Vicar after the church and the convent were destroyed.. After trial on the merits, the land registration court promulgated its Decision confirming the registrable title of VICAR to Lots 1, 2, 3, and 4.

The Heirs of Juan Valdez appealed the decision of the land registration court to the then Court of Appeals, The Court of Appeals reversed the decision. Thereupon, the VICAR filed with the Supreme Court a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals dismissing his application for registration of Lots 2 and 3.

Issue:
Whether or not the failure to return the subject matter of commodatum constitutes an adverse possession on the part of the owner

Held:
No. The bailees’ failure to return the subject matter of commodatum to the bailor did not mean adverse possession on the part of the borrower. The bailee held in trust the property subject matter of commodatum.

Petitioner repudiated the trust by declaring the properties in its name for taxation purposes.

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