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HEIRS OF REYES VS MIJARES The appellate court reversed the decision of the

410 SCRA 97 court a quo, ruling that, notwithstanding the


absence of Iganacia’s consent to the sale, the
FACTS: In 1960, Vicente Reyes married Ignacia same must be held valid in favor of respondent-
Aguilar but they had been separated de facto spouses because they were innocent purchasers
in1974. One of their conjugal properties is Lot for value.
No. 4349 B-2 and the apartment built thereon.
The said lot was registered in the name of Petitioner’s Contention (Heirs of Ignacia
Spouses Vicente Reyes and Ignacia Aguilar- Aguilar-Reyes)
Reyes. Vicente Reyes filed a petition for Petitioners filed the instant petition contending
administration and appointment of guardian that the assailed sale of Lot No. 4392-B-2 should
with the MTC . In the said petition, he be annulled because respondent spouses were
misrepresented that his wife, Ignacia, died on not purchasers in good faith.
March 12, 1982 and that he and their minor
children were her only heirs. Respondent’s Contention (Spouses Mijares)
Respondent spouses claimed that they are
The court appointed Vicente as guardian of their purchasers in good faith and that the sale was
minor children and subsequently authorized valid because it was duly approved by the court.
Vicente to sell the estate of Ignacia. On March
1,1983, respondent Spouses Cipriano and ISSUE: If the sale of the conjugal real property is
Florentina Mijares bought Lot No. 4349-B-2 for annullable, should it be annulled in its entirety or
P110,000. As a consequence of which, the only with respect to the share of the spouse who
certificate of title in the name of Vicente and did not give consent?
Ignacia Agilar-Reyes was cancelled and a new
title was issued in the name of respondent- RULING
spouses. These circumstances were discovered
by Ignacia sometime in 1984. The SC citing Paulino vs. Bucoy (131 Phil 790)
held that the plain meaning attached to the
Ignacia then sent a letter to respondent-spouses plain language of the law is that the contract, in
demanding the return of her 1⁄2 share in the lot. its entirety, executed by the husband without
Failing to settle the matter amicably, Ignacia the wife’s consent, may be annulled by the wife.
instituted a complaint for annulment of sale Had Congress intended to limit such annulment
against respondent-spouses and Vicente was in so far as the contract shall “prejudice” the
included as one of the defendants. wife, such limitation should have been spelled
out in the statute. To be underscored here is
In their answer, respondents claimed that they that upon the provisions of Articles 161, 162 and
are purchasers in good faith and that the sale 163 of the Civil Code, the conjugal partnership is
was valid because the same was duly approved liable for many obligations while the conjugal
by the court. After trial on the merits, the court partnership exists. Not only that. The conjugal
a quo rendered a decision declaring the sale of partnership is even subject to the payment of
Lot No.4349-B-2 void with respect to the share debts contracted by either spouse before the
of Ignacia. A motion for modification of the marriage, as those for the payment of fines and
decision was filed by Ignacia praying that the indemnities imposed upon them after the
sale be declared void in its entirety and that the responsibilities in Article 161 have been
respondent’s be ordered to reimburse the covered, if it turns out that the spouse who is
rentals collected on the apartments. bound thereby, “should have no exclusive
property or if it be insufficient.” These are the
The trial court granted the motion for considerations that go beyond the mere
modification. Both Ignacia and respondent- equitable share of the wife in the property.
spouses appealed to the Court of Appeals. These are reasons enough for the husband to be
Pending the appeal, Ignacia died and was stopped from disposing of the conjugal property
substituted by her compulsory heirs. without the consent of the wife. Even more
fundamental is the fact that the nullity is
decreed by the Code not on the basis of
prejudice but lack of consent of an
indispensable party to the contract under Article
166.

A sale or encumbrance of conjugal or


(community) property concluded after the
effectivity of the Family Code on August 3, 1988,
is governed by Article 124 of the same Code that
now treats such a disposition as void if done
without the conjoint consent of the spouses or,
in case of a spouse’s inability, the authority of
the court