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DEWARA VS ALVERO

ELENITA M. DEWARA, represented by her Attorney-in-Fact, FERDINAND MAGALLANES, Petitioner,


versus SPOUSES RONNIE AND GINA LAMELA and STENILE ALVERO, Respondents.

Group 7 (Mahinay)

TOPIC: Presumption that property is CPG

RELEVANT PROVISIONS:
Art 160, CC - All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be
proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife.

Art 161, CC - The conjugal partnership shall be liable for:

(1) All debts and obligations contracted by the husband for the benefit of the conjugal partnership, and
those contracted by the wife, also for the same purpose, in the cases where she may legally bind the
partnership;

(2) Arrears or income due, during the marriage, from obligations which constitute a charge upon property
of either spouse or of the partnership;

(3) Minor repairs or for mere preservation made during the marriage upon the separate property of either
the husband or the wife; major repairs shall not be charged to the partnership;

(4) Major or minor repairs upon the conjugal partnership property;

(5) The maintenance of the family and the education of the children of both the husband and wife, and of
legitimate children of one of the spouses;

(6) Expenses to permit the spouses to complete a professional, vocational or other course.

FACTS: Eduardo Dewara (Eduardo) and petitioner Elenita Magallanes Dewara (Elenita) were married
before the enactment of the Family Code. They were separated-in-fact because Elenita went to work in
California, United States of America, while Eduardo stayed in Bacolod City.

On January 20, 1985, Eduardo, while driving a private jeep registered in the name of Elenita, hit
respondent Ronnie Lamela (Ronnie). Ronnie filed a criminal case for serious physical injuries through
reckless imprudence against Eduardo. The MTCC found Eduardo guilty.

The writ of execution on the civil liability was served on Eduardo, but it was returned unsatisfied
because he had no property in his name. Ronnie requested the City Sheriff to levy the lot in the name of
Elenita to satisfy the judgment on the civil liability of Eduardo.

Petitioner claimed that the levy on execution of thewas illegal because the said property was her
paraphernal or exclusive property and could not be made to answer for the personal liability of her
husband. Furthermore, as the registered owner of the property, she received no notice of the execution
sale. She sought the annulment of the sale and the annulment of the issuance of the new TCT in the
name of respondent spouses.

The RTC declared that said property was paraphernal in nature. Although it was sold to her by
her father and her aunt the sale was essentially a donation and was therefore gratuitous in
character because of the minimal and inadequate consideration.
CA reversed the decision of the RTC. The gross inadequacy of the price alone does not affect a
contract of sale, except that it may indicate a defect in the consent, or that the parties really
intended a donation or some other act or contract.

ISSUE: W/N the subject property is the paraphernal/exclusive property of Elenita

RULING: All property of the marriage is presumed to belong to the conjugal partnership, unless it be
proved that it pertains exclusively to the husband or to the wife. The separation-in-fact between the
husband and the wife without judicial approval shall not affect the conjugal partnership.

There is no dispute that the subject property was acquired by spouses Elenita and Eduardo during their
marriage. The legal presumption of the conjugal nature of the property applies to the lot in question.
The presumption that the property is conjugal property may be rebutted only by strong, clear,
categorical, and convincing evidence.

Elenita produced no other evidence to prove that the property is paraphernal aside from her
assertions. Elenita proffered no evidence of the market value or assessed value of the subject
property in 1975.
Gross inadequacy of the price does not affect a contract of sale, except as it may indicate a
defect in the consent, or that the parties really intended a donation or some other act or
contract.
o The records do not show that the consent of petitioners father and her aunt were
vitiated or that, in reality, they intended the sale to be a donation or some other
contract.

However, even after having declared that the lot is the conjugal property, it does not necessarily follow
that it may automatically be levied upon in an execution to answer for obligations.

The payment of indemnity in favor of Ronnie may be enforced against the partnership assets of spouses
Elenita and Eduardo after the responsibilities enumerated under Article 161 of the Civil Code have been
covered. The enumerated obligations should first be complied with before the conjugal partnership may
be held to answer for the liability adjudged against Eduardo.

JUDGEMENT: Decision of the CA is SET ASIDE, decision of RTC REINSTATED with MODIFICATIONS. The
conjugal properties of spouses Elenita Dewara and Eduardo Dewara shall be held to answer for the
judgment P72,598.70, plus an interest rate of twelve (12) percent per annum from the date of finality of
the decision of the Regional Trial Court after complying with the provisions of Article 161 of the Civil
Code.