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[ GR No. 6375, Oct 19, 1911 ]



20 Phil. 360

[ G. R. No. 6375, October 19, 1911 ]




On the 12th of June, 1909, the plaintiff commenced  an action against the defendants in the Court of First Instance of the Province of Ilocos Norte, for the purpose of securing a  partition  of  four parcels of land located in the sitio of Rincon, pueblo of Bangui, Province of Ilocos Norte.

The defendants filed a general and special answer alleging that they were the exclusive owners of the first and second parcels  of land described in the complaint and that the said third and  fourth parcels  of land were in the possession of one Maximo Zales, and that they had no interest whatever in said  third and fourth parcels. The defendants further alleged that the parcels of land were not properly described in the complaint.

After hearing  the evidence adduced during the trial of the cause, the Hon. Dionisio Chanco, judge, found:

(a)  That  the  parcels of land  in  question  had already been divided and that a petition for the partition of said lands was not the proper remedy;

(b)  That the parcels of land described in the complaint did not coincide with the land described in the plan presented by the plaintiff; and

(c)  That  the  documentary evidence presented by  the defendants showed clearly that the defendants were entitled to the lands which they were actually possessing.

From that decision the plaintiff appealed to this court and made four assignments of error here, each of which presents questions of fact only.

During the trial of the cause  the plaintiff testified in his own behalf.  He said that in  the year 1869 the parcels of land which he had described in  his complaint had been,  by mutual agreement, divided between his  parents and  the parents of the defendants, and in support of his statement presented Exhibit A, which appears to  be an agreement between the respective parents of the plaintiff and the defendants, in  this action, with reference to the division  of certain parcels  of land located in the sitio of Bincon.  The parcels of land referred to in said  Exhibit A are not described with such a degree of particularity that we are able to determine whether the lands included in said agreement of partition are the lands  included in the complaint in the present action.  The plaintiff alleges that they are the same; there is no proof to the contrary, and we accept the fact.

From the documentary evidence adduced during the trial of the cause it appears that the parents of the plaintiff, on the 28th of May,  1870,  commenced an action against  the parents of the defendants, for the  purpose of recovering possession of a  parcel of  land located in the said sitio of Rincon, and that that cause was decided in favor of  the parents of the defendants.  However, there is nothing in the record which shows that the lands involved in said action, of the 28th of May, 1870, were the same lands involved in the present action.

Accepting the proof adduced by the plaintiff that a partition of the lands which he claims has already taken place, we find no reason in the record for  ordering a second partition of said lands.  If it be true that the plaintiff has  lost his portion  of the lands under said  partition and that  the same are in the possession  of either the defendants or other persons, he is not without  his remedy to  recover the same.

The evidence in the present case does not seem to identify the lands in question with that degree of certainly which should be required.  We can see no  reason  why persons who are claiming parcels of land  should not  be able to describe them by exact  metes and  bounds and  present a plan in accordance with such description, so that any person might go into the district where the said lands are located and actually determine in whose possession such lands are. In contest over the possession  of land the lower  court, in case of doubt  as to  the identity of the land, should require each party to present plans prepared by some competent person, to the end that the court may know the exact parcels of land to which the  evidence makes reference.  In  the absence of such  definite plans it is difficult to see how  the courts can decide the ownership and possession of real property.

After a full consideration of the evidence brought to this court we find no reason for modifying the judgment of the lower court; the  same is, therefore, hereby affirmed,  with costs.

Torres, Mapa,  Carson, and Moreland, JJ., concur.