Civil Code of the Philippines (Republic Act No. 386)
- PRELIMINARY TITLE
BOOK I PERSONS
- TITLE I CIVIL PERSONALITY
- TITLE II CITIZENSHIP AND DOMECILE
- TITLE III MARRIAGE
- TITLE IV LEGAL SEPARATION
- TITLE V RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE
TITLE VI PROPERTY RELATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE
- CHAPTER 1 General Provisions
- CHAPTER 2 Donations by Reason of Marriage
- CHAPTER 3 Paraphernal Property
CHAPTER 4 Conjugal Partnership of Gains
- SECTION 1 General Provisions
- SECTION 2 Exclusive Property of Each Spouse
- SECTION 3 Conjugal Partnership Property
- SECTION 4 Charges Upon and Obligation of the Conjugal Partnership
- SECTION 5 Administration of the Conjugal Partnership
- SECTION 6 Dissolution of the Conjugal Partnership
- SECTION 7 Liquidation of the Conjugal Partnership
- CHAPTER 5 Separation of Property of the Spouses and Administration of Property by the Wife During the Marriage
- CHAPTER 6 System of Absolute Community
- CHAPTER 7 System of Complete Separation of Property
- TITLE VII THE FAMILY
- TITLE VIII PATERNITY AND FILIATION
- TITLE IX SUPPORT
- TITLE X FUNERALS
- TITLE XI Parental Authority
- TITLE XII Care and Education of Children
- TITLE XIII Use of Surnames
- TITLE XIV ABSENCE
- TITLE XV EMANCIPATION AND AGE OF MAJORITY
- TITLE XVI CIVIL REGISTER
BOOK II PROPERTY, OWNERSHIP, AND ITS MODIFICATIONS
- TITLE I CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY PRELIMINARY PROVISIONS
TITLE II OWNERSHIP
- CHAPTER 1 Ownership in General
- CHAPTER 2 Right of Accession
- CHAPTER 3 Quieting of Title
- CHAPTER 4 Ruinous Buildings and Trees in Danger of Falling
- TITLE III CO-OWNERSHIP
- TITLE IV SOME SPECIAL PROPERTIES
- TITLE V POSSESSION
- TITLE VI USUFRUCT
TITLE VII EASEMENTS OF SERVITUDES
- CHAPTER 1 Easements in General
- SECTION 4 Modes of Extinguishment of Easements
CHAPTER 2 Legal Easements
- SECTION 1 General Provisions
- SECTION 2 Easements Relating to Waters
- SECTION 3 Easement of Right of Way
- SECTION 4 Easement of Party Wall
- SECTION 5 Easement of Light and View
- SECTION 6 Drainage of Buildings
- SECTION 7 Intermediate Distances and Works for Certain Constructions and Plantings
- SECTION 8 Easement Against Nuisance
- CHAPTER 3 Voluntary Easements
- TITLE VIII NUISANCE
- TITLE IX REGISTRY OF PROPERTY
BOOK III DIFFERENT MODES OF ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP
- Preliminary Provision
- TITLE I Occupation
- TITLE II Intellectual Creation
- TITLE III DONATION
TITLE IV SUCCESSION
- CHAPTER 1 General Provisions
- CHAPTER 2 Testamentary Succession
- CHAPTER 3 Legal or Intestate Succession
- CHAPTER 4 Provisions Common to Testate and Intestate Successions
- TITLE V PRESCRIPTION
BOOK IV Obligations and Contracts
TITLE I Obligations
- CHAPTER 1 General Provisions
- CHAPTER 2 Nature and Effect of Obligations
CHAPTER 3 Different Kinds of Obligations
- SECTION 1 Pure and Conditional Obligations
- SECTION 2 Obligations with a Period
- SECTION 3 Alternative Obligations
- SECTION 4 Joint and Solidary Obligations
- SECTION 5 Divisible and Indivisible Obligations
- SECTION 6 Obligations with a Penal Clause
- CHAPTER 4 Extinguishment of Obligations
- General Provisions
- SECTION 1 Payment or Perfomarmance
- SECTION 2 Loss of the Thing Due
- SECTION 3 Condonation or Remission of the Debt
- SECTION 4 Confusion or Merger of Rights
- SECTION 5 Compensation
- SECTION 6 Novation
TITLE II CONTRACTS
- CHAPTER 1 General Provisions
- CHAPTER 2 Essential Requisites of Contracts
- CHAPTER 4 Reformation of Instruments
- CHAPTER 5 Interpretation of Contracts
- CHAPTER 6 Rescissible Contracts
- CHAPTER 7 Voidable Contracts
- CHAPTER 8 Unenforceable Contracts
- CHAPTER 9 Void and Inexistent Contracts
- TITLE III NATURAL OBLIGATIONS
- TITLE IV ESTOPPEL
- TITLE V TRUSTS
TITLE VI SALES
- CHAPTER 1 Nature and Form of the Contract
- CHAPTER 2 Capacity to Buy or Sell
- CHAPTER 3 Effects of the Contract When the Thing Sold Has Been Lost
- CHAPTER 4 Obligations of the Vendor
- CHAPTER 5 Obligations of the Vendee
- CHAPTER 6 Actions for Breach of Contract of Sale of Goods
- CHAPTER 7 Extinguishment of Sal
- CHAPTER 8 Assignment of Credits and Other Incorporeal Rights
- CHAPTER 9 General Provisions
- TITLE VII BARTER OR EXCHANGE
TITLE VIII LEASE
- CHAPTER 1 General Provisions
- CHAPTER 2 Lease of Rural and Urban Lands
- CHAPTER 3 Work and Labor
- TITLE IX PARTNERSHIP
- TITLE X AGENCY
- TITLE XI LOAN
- TITLE XII DEPOSIT
- TITLE XIII ALEATORY CONTRACTS
- TITLE XIV COMPROMISES AND ARBITRATIONS
TITLE XV GUARANTY
- CHAPTER 1 Nature and Extent of Guaranty
- CHAPTER 2 Effects of Guaranty
- CHAPTER 3 Extinguishment of Guaranty
- CHAPTER 4 Legal and Judicial Bonds
- TITLE XVI PLEDGE, MORTGAGE AND ANTICHRESIS
- TITLE XVII EXTRA-CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS
- TITLE XVIII DAMAGES 1
- TITLE XII CONCURRENCE AND PREFERENCE OF CREDITS
- TITLE I Obligations
REPUBLIC ACT NO. 386 AN ACT TO ORDAIN AND INSTITUTE THE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES PRELIMINARY TITLE CHAPTER 1
Effect and Application of Laws
Article 1. This Act shall be known as the "Civil Code of the Philippines." (n)
Article 2. Laws shall take effect after fifteen days following the completion of their publication in the Official Gazette, unless it is otherwise
provided. This Code shall take effect one year after such publication. (1a)
Article 3. Ignorance of the law excuses no one from compliance therewith. (2)
Article 4. Laws shall have no retroactive effect, unless the contrary is provided. (3)
Article 5. Acts executed against the provisions of mandatory or prohibitory laws shall be void, except when the law itself authorizes their validity.
Article 6. Rights may be waived, unless the waiver is contrary to law, public order, public policy, morals, or good customs, or prejudicial to a third person with a right recognized by law. (4a) Article 7. Laws are repealed only by subsequent ones, and their violation or non-observance shall not be excused by disuse, or custom or
practice to the contrary.
When the courts declared a law to be inconsistent with the Constitution, the former shall be void and the latter shall govern.
Administrative or executive acts, orders and regulations shall be valid only when they are not contrary to the laws or the Constitution. (5a)
Article 8. Judicial decisions applying or interpreting the laws or the Constitution shall form a part of the legal system of the Philippines. (n)
Article 9. No judge or court shall decline to render judgment by reason of the silence, obscurity or insufficiency of the laws. (6)
Article 10. In case of doubt in the interpretation or application of laws, it is presumed that the lawmaking body intended right and justice to prevail.
Article 11. Customs which are contrary to law, public order or public policy shall not be countenanced. (n)
Article 12. A custom must be proved as a fact, according to the rules of evidence. (n)
Article 13. When the laws speak of years, months, days or nights, it shall be understood that years are of three hundred sixty-five days each;
months, of thirty days; days, of twenty-four hours; and nights from sunset to sunrise.
If months are designated by their name, they shall be computed by the number of days which they respectively have.
In computing a period, the first day shall be excluded, and the last day included. (7a)
Article 14. Penal laws and those of public security and safety shall be obligatory upon all who live or sojourn in the Philippine territory, subject to
the principles of public international law and to treaty stipulations. (8a)
Article 15. Laws relating to family rights and duties, or to the status, condition and legal capacity of persons are binding upon citizens of the
Philippines, even though living abroad. (9a)
Article 16. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is stipulated.
However, intestate and testamentary successions, both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the
intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions, shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration,
whatever may be the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. (10a)
Article 17. The forms and solemnities of contracts, wills, and other public instruments shall be governed by the laws of the country in which they
When the acts referred to are executed before the diplomatic or consular officials of the Republic of the Philippines in a foreign country, the
solemnities established by Philippine laws shall be observed in their execution.
Prohibitive laws concerning persons, their acts or property, and those which have for their object public order, public policy and good customs
shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated, or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. (11a)
Article 18. In matters which are governed by the Code of Commerce and special laws, their deficiency shall be supplied by the provisions of this Code. (16a)
Human Relations (n)
Article 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith.
Article 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same.
Article 21. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in manner that is contrary to morals, good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage.
Article 22. Every person who through an act of performance by another, or any other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground, shall return the same to him.
Article 23. Even when an act or event causing damage to another's property was not due to the fault or negligence of the defendant, the latter shall be liable for indemnity if through the act or event he was benefited.
Article 24. In all contractual, property or other relations, when one of the parties is at a disadvantage on account of his moral dependence, ignorance, indigence, mental weakness, tender age or other handicap, the courts must be vigilant for his protection.
Article 25. Thoughtless extravagance in expenses for pleasure or display during a period of acute public want or emergency may be stopped by order of the courts at the instance of any government or private charitable institution.
Article 26. Every person shall respect the dignity, personality, privacy and peace of mind of his neighbors and other persons. The following and similar acts, though they may not constitute a criminal offense, shall produce a cause of action for damages, prevention and other relief:
- Prying into the privacy of another's residence;
- Meddling with or disturbing the private life or family relations of another;
- Intriguing to cause another to be alienated from his friends;
- Vexing or humiliating another on account of his religious beliefs, lowly station in life, place of birth, physical defect, or other personal condition.
Article 27. Any person suffering material or moral loss because a public servant or employee refuses or neglects, without just cause, to perform his official duty may file an action for damages and other relief against the latter, without prejudice to any disciplinary administrative action that may be taken.
Article 28. Unfair competition in agricultural, commercial or industrial enterprises or in labor through the use of force, intimidation, deceit, machination or any other unjust, oppressive or highhanded method shall give rise to a right of action by the person who thereby suffers damage.
Article 29. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt, a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. Upon motion of the defendant, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt, the court shall so declare. In the absence of any declaration to that effect, it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground.
Article 30. When a separate civil action is brought to demand civil liability arising from a criminal offense, and no criminal proceedings are instituted during the pendency of the civil case, a preponderance of evidence shall likewise be sufficient to prove the act complained of.
Article 31. When the civil action is based on an obligation not arising from the act or omission complained of as a felony, such civil action may proceed independently of the criminal proceedings and regardless of the result of the latter.
Article 32. Any public officer or employee, or any private individual, who directly or indirectly obstructs, defeats, violates or in any manner impedes or impairs any of the following rights and liberties of another person shall be liable to the latter for damages:
- Freedom of religion;
- Freedom of speech;
- Freedom to write for the press or to maintain a periodical publication;
- Freedom from arbitrary or illegal detention;
- Freedom of suffrage;
- The right against deprivation of property without due process of law;
- The right to a just compensation when private property is taken for public use;
- The right to the equal protection of the laws;
- The right to be secure in one's person, house, papers, and effects against unreasonable searches and seizures;
- The liberty of abode and of changing the same;
- The privacy of communication and correspondence;
- The right to become a member of associations or societies for purposes not contrary to law;
- The right to take part in a peaceable assembly to petition the Government for redress of grievances;
- The right to be a free from involuntary servitude in any form;
- The right of the accused against excessive bail;
- The right of the accused to be heard by himself and counsel, to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation against him, to have a speedy and public trial, to meet the witnesses face to face, and to have compulsory process to secure the attendance of witness in his behalf;
- Freedom from being compelled to be a witness against one's self, or from being forced to confess guilt, or from being induced by a promise of immunity or reward to make such confession, except when the person confessing becomes a State witness;
- Freedom from excessive fines, or cruel and unusual punishment, unless the same is imposed or inflicted in accordance with a statute which has not been judicially declared unconstitutional; and
- Freedom of access to the courts.
In any of the cases referred to in this article, whether or not the defendant's act or omission constitutes a criminal offense, the aggrieved party has a right to commence an entirely separate and distinct civil action for damages, and for other relief. Such civil action shall proceed independently of any criminal prosecution (if the latter be instituted), and may be proved by a preponderance of evidence.
The indemnity shall include moral damages. Exemplary damages may also be adjudicated.
The responsibility herein set forth is not demandable from a judge unless his act or omission constitutes a violation of the Penal Code or other penal statute.
Article 33. In cases of defamation, fraud, and physical injuries a civil action for damages, entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action, may be brought by the injured party. Such civil action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution, and shall require only a preponderance of evidence.
Article 34. When a member of a city or municipal police force refuses or fails to render aid or protection to any person in case of danger to life or property, such peace officer shall be primarily liable for damages, and the city or municipality shall be subsidiarily responsible therefor. The civil action herein recognized shall be independent of any criminal proceedings, and a preponderance of evidence shall suffice to support such action.
Article 35. When a person, claiming to be injured by a criminal offense, charges another with the same, for which no independent civil action is granted in this Code or any special law, but the justice of the peace finds no reasonable grounds to believe that a crime has been committed, or the prosecuting attorney refuses or fails to institute criminal proceedings, the complaint may bring a civil action for damages against the alleged offender. Such civil action may be supported by a preponderance of evidence. Upon the defendant's motion, the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to indemnify the defendant in case the complaint should be found to be malicious.
If during the pendency of the civil action, an information should be presented by the prosecuting attorney, the civil action shall be suspended until the termination of the criminal proceedings.
Article 36. Pre-judicial questions, which must be decided before any criminal prosecution may be instituted or may proceed, shall be governed by rules of court which the Supreme Court shall promulgate and which shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this Code.
Article 37. Juridical capacity, which is the fitness to be the subject of legal relations, is inherent in every natural person and is lost only through death. Capacity to act, which is the power to do acts with legal effect, is acquired and may be lost. (n)
Article 38. Minority, insanity or imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, prodigality and civil interdiction are mere restrictions on capacity to act, and do not exempt the incapacitated person from certain obligations, as when the latter arise from his acts or from property relations, such as easements. (32a)
Article 39. The following circumstances, among others, modify or limit capacity to act: age, insanity, imbecility, the state of being a deaf-mute, penalty, prodigality, family relations, alienage, absence, insolvency and trusteeship. The consequences of these circumstances are governed in this Code, other codes, the Rules of Court, and in special laws. Capacity to act is not limited on account of religious belief or political opinion.
A married woman, twenty-one years of age or over, is qualified for all acts of civil life, except in cases specified by law. (n)
Article 40. Birth determines personality; but the conceived child shall be considered born for all purposes that are favorable to it, provided it be born later with the conditions specified in the following article. (29a)
Article 41. For civil purposes, the foetus is considered born if it is alive at the time it is completely delivered from the mother's womb. However, if the foetus had an intra-uterine life of less than seven months, it is not deemed born if it dies within twenty-four hours after its complete delivery from the maternal womb. (30a) Article 42. Civil personality is extinguished by death.
The effect of death upon the rights and obligations of the deceased is determined by law, by contract and by will. (32a)
Article 43. If there is a doubt, as between two or more persons who are called to succeed each other, as to which of them died first, whoever alleges the death of one prior to the other, shall prove the same; in the absence of proof, it is presumed that they died at the same time and there shall be no transmission of rights from one to the other. (33)
Article 44. The following are juridical persons:
- The State and its political subdivisions;
- Other corporations, institutions and entities for public interest or purpose, created by law; their personality begins as soon as they have been constituted according to law;
- Corporations, partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose to which the law grants a juridical personality, separate and distinct from that of each shareholder, partner or member. (35a)
Article 45. Juridical persons mentioned in Nos. 1 and 2 of the preceding article are governed by the laws creating or recognizing them.
Private corporations are regulated by laws of general application on the subject.
Partnerships and associations for private interest or purpose are governed by the provisions of this Code concerning partnerships. (36 and 37a)
Article 46. Juridical persons may acquire and possess property of all kinds, as well as incur obligations and bring civil or criminal actions, in conformity with the laws and regulations of their organization. (38a)
Article 47. Upon the dissolution of corporations, institutions and other entities for public interest or purpose mentioned in No. 2 of article 44, their property and other assets shall be disposed of in pursuance of law or the charter creating them. If nothing has been specified on this point, the property and other assets shall be applied to similar purposes for the benefit of the region, province, city or municipality which during the existence of the institution derived the principal benefits from the same. (39a)
CITIZENSHIP AND DOMECILE
Article 48. The following are citizens of the Philippines:
- Those who were citizens of the Philippines at the time of the adoption of the Constitution of the Philippines;
- Those born in the Philippines of foreign parents who, before the adoption of said Constitution, had been elected to public office in the Philippines;
- Those whose fathers are citizens of the Philippines;
- Those whose mothers are citizens of the Philippines and, upon reaching the age of majority, elect Philippine citizenship;
- Those who are naturalized in accordance with law. (n)
Article 49. Naturalization and the loss and reacquisition of citizenship of the Philippines are governed by special laws. (n)
Article 50. For the exercise of civil rights and the fulfillment of civil obligations, the domicile of natural persons is the place of their habitual residence. (40a)
Article 51. When the law creating or recognizing them, or any other provision does not fix the domicile of juridical persons, the same shall be understood to be the place where their legal representation is established or where they exercise their principal functions. (41a)
Requisites of Marriage
Article 52. Marriage is not a mere contract but an inviolable social institution. Its nature, consequences and incidents are governed by law and not subject to stipulation, except that the marriage settlements may to a certain extent fix the property relations during the marriage. (n)
Article 53. No marriage shall be solemnized unless all these requisites are complied with:
- Legal capacity of the contracting parties;
- Their consent, freely given;
- Authority of the person performing the marriage; and
- A marriage license, except in a marriage of exceptional character (Sec. 1a, art. 3613).
Article 54. Any male of the age of sixteen years or upwards, and any female of the age of fourteen years or upwards, not under any of the impediments mentioned in articles 80 to 84, may contract marriage. (2)
Article 55. No particular form for the ceremony of marriage is required, but the parties with legal capacity to contract marriage must declare, in the presence of the person solemnizing the marriage and of two witnesses of legal age, that they take each other as husband and wife. This declaration shall be set forth in an instrument in triplicate, signed by signature or mark by the contracting parties and said two witnesses and attested by the person solemnizing the marriage.
In case of a marriage on the point of death, when the dying party, being physically unable, cannot sign the instrument by signature or mark, it shall be sufficient for one of the witnesses to the marriage to sign in his name, which fact shall be attested by the minister solemnizing the marriage. (3)
Article 56. Marriage may be solemnized by:
- The Chief Justice and Associate Justices of the Supreme Court;
- The Presiding Justice and the Justices of the Court of Appeals;
- Judges of the Courts of First Instance;
- Mayors of cities and municipalities;
- Municipal judges and justices of the peace;
- Priests, rabbis, ministers of the gospel of any denomination, church, religion or sect, duly registered, as provided in article 92; and
- Ship captains, airplane chiefs, military commanders, and consuls and vice-consuls in special cases provided in articles 74 and 75. (4a)
Article 57. The marriage shall be solemnized publicly in the office of the judge in open court or of the mayor; or in the church, chapel or temple, as the case may be, and not elsewhere, except in cases of marriages contracted on the point of death or in remote places in accordance with article 72 of this Code, or in case of marriage referred to in article 76 or when one of the parents or the guardian of the female or the latter herself if over eighteen years of age request it in writing, in which cases the marriage may be solemnized at a house or place designated by said parent or guardian of the female or by the latter herself in a sworn statement to that effect. (5a)
Article 58. Save marriages of an exceptional character authorized in Chapter 2 of this Title, but not those under article 75, no marriage shall be solemnized without a license first being issued by the local civil registrar of the municipality where either contracting party habitually resides. (7a)
Article 59. The local civil registrar shall issue the proper license if each of the contracting parties swears separately before him or before any public official authorized to administer oaths, to an application in writing setting forth that such party has the necessary qualifications for contracting marriage. The applicants, their parents or guardians shall not be required to exhibit their residence certificates in any formality in connection with the securing of the marriage license. Such application shall insofar as possible contain the following data:
- Full name of the contracting party;
- Place of birth;
- Age, date of birth;
- Civil status (single, widow or widower, or divorced);
- If divorced, how and when the previous marriage was dissolved;
- Present residence;
- Degree of relationship of the contracting parties;
- Full name of the father;
- Residence of the father;
- Full name of the mother;
- Residence of the mother;
- Full name and residence of the guardian or person having charge, in case the contracting party has neither father
nor mother and is under the age of twenty years, if a male, or eighteen years if a female. (7a)
Article 60. The local civil registrar, upon receiving such application, shall require the exhibition of the original baptismal or birth certificates of the contracting parties or copies of such documents duly attested by the persons having custody of the originals. These certificates or certified copies of the documents required by this article need not to be sworn to and shall be exempt from the documentary stamp tax. The signature and official title of the person issuing the certificate shall be sufficient proof of its authenticity.
If either of the contracting parties is unable to produce his baptismal or birth certificate or a certified copy of either because of the destruction or loss of the original, or if it is shown by an affidavit of such party or of any other person that such baptismal or birth certificate has not yet been received though the same has been requested of the person having custody thereof at least fifteen days prior to the date of the application, such party may furnish in lieu thereof his residence certificate for the current year or any previous years, to show the age stated in his application or, in the absence thereof, an instrument drawn up and sworn to before the local civil registrar concerned or any public official authorized to solemnize marriage. Such instrument shall contain the sworn declaration of two witnesses, of lawful age, of either sex, setting forth the full name, profession, and residence of such contracting party and of his or her parents, if known, and the place and date of birth of such party. The nearest of kin of the contracting parties shall be preferred as witnesses, and in their default, persons well known in the province or the locality for their honesty and good repute.
The exhibition of baptismal or birth certificates shall not be required if the parents of the contracting parties appear personally before the local civil registrar concerned and swear to the correctness of the lawful age of said parties, as stated in the application, or when the local civil registrar shall, by merely looking at the applicants upon their personally appearing before him, be convinced that either or both of them have the required age. (8a)
Article 61. In case either of the contracting parties is a widowed or divorced person, the same shall be required to furnish, instead of the baptismal or birth certificate required in the last preceding article, the death certificate of the deceased spouse or the decree of the divorce court, as the case may be. In case the death certificate cannot be found, the party shall make an affidavit setting forth this circumstance and his or her actual civil status and the name and the date of the death of the deceased spouse.
In case either or both of the contracting parties, being neither widowed nor divorced, are less than twenty years of age as regards the male and less than eighteen years as regards the female, they shall, in addition to the requirements of the preceding articles, exhibit to the local civil registrar, the consent to their marriage, of their father, mother or guardian, or persons having legal charge of them, in the order mentioned. Such consent shall be in writing, under oath taken with the appearance of the interested parties before the proper local civil registrar or in the form of an affidavit made in the presence of two witnesses and attested before any official authorized by law to administer oaths. (9a)
Article 62. Males above twenty but under twenty-five years of age, or females above eighteen but under twenty-three years of age, shall be obliged to ask their parents or guardian for advice upon the intended marriage. If they do not obtain such advice, or if it be unfavorable, the marriage shall not take place till after three months following the completion of the publication of the application for marriage license. A sworn statement by the contracting parties to the effect that such advice has been sought, together with the written advice given, if any, shall accompany the application for marriage license. Should the parents or guardian refuse to give any advice, this fact shall be stated in the sworn declaration. (n)
Article 63. The local civil registrar shall post during ten consecutive days at the main door of the building where he has his office a notice, the location of which shall not be changed once it has been placed, setting forth the full names and domiciles of the applicants for a marriage license and other information given in the application. This notice shall request all persons having knowledge of any impediment to the marriage to advise the local registrar thereof. The license shall be issued after the completion of the publication, unless the local civil registrar receives information upon any alleged impediment to the marriage. (10a)
Article 64. Upon being advised of any alleged impediment to the marriage, the local civil registrar shall forthwith make an investigation, examining persons under oath. If he is convicted that there is an impediment to the marriage, it shall be his duty to withhold the marriage license, unless he is otherwise ordered by a competent court. (n)
Article 65. The local civil registrar shall demand the previous payment of fees required by law or regulations for each license issued. No other sum shall be collected, in the nature of a fee or tax of any kind, for the issuance of a marriage license. Marriage licenses shall be issued free of charge to indigent parties, when both male and female do not each own assessed real property in excess of five hundred pesos, a fact certified to, without cost, by the provincial treasurer, or in the absence thereof, by a statement duly sworn to by the contracting parties before the local civil registrar. The license shall be valid in any part of the Philippines; but it shall be good for no more than one hundred and twenty days from the date on which it is issued and shall be deemed cancelled at the expiration of said period if the interested parties have not made use of it. (11a)
Article 66. When either or both of the contracting parties are citizens or subjects of a foreign country, it shall be necessary, before a marriage license can be obtained, to provide themselves with a certificate of legal capacity to contract marriage, to be issued by their respective diplomatic or consular officials. (13a)
Article 67. The marriage certificate in which the contracting parties shall state that they take each other as husband and wife, shall also contain:
- The full names and domiciles of the contracting parties;
- The age of each;
- A statement that the proper marriage license has been issued according to law and that the contracting parties have the consent of their parents in case the male is under twenty or the female under eighteen years of age; and
- A statement that the guardian or parent has been informed of the marriage, if the male is between the ages of twenty and twenty-five years, and the female between eighteen and twenty-three years of age. (15a)
Article 68. It shall be the duty of the person solemnizing the marriage to furnish to either of the contracting parties one of the three copies of the marriage contract referred to in article 55, and to send another copy of the document not later than fifteen days after the marriage took place to the local civil registrar concerned, whose duty it shall be to issue the proper receipt to any person sending a marriage contract solemnized by him, including marriages of an exceptional character. The official, priest, or minister solemnizing the marriage shall retain the third copy of the marriage contract, the marriage license and the affidavit of the interested party regarding the solemnization of the marriage in a place other than those mentioned in article 57 if there be any such affidavit, in the files that he must keep. (16a)
Article 69. It shall be the duty of the local civil registrar to prepare the documents required by this Title, and to administer oaths to all interested parties without any charge in both cases.
The documents and affidavits filed in connection with applications for marriage licenses shall be exempt from the documentary stamp tax. (17a)
Article 70. The local civil registrar concerned shall enter all applications for marriage licenses filed with him in a register book strictly in the order in which the same shall be received. He shall enter in said register the names of the applicants, the date on which the marriage license was issued, and such other data as may be necessary. (18a)
Article 71. All marriages performed outside the Philippines in accordance with the laws in force in the country where they were performed, and valid there as such, shall also be valid in this country, except bigamous, polygamous, or incestuous marriages as determined by Philippine law. (19a)
Marriages of Exceptional Character
Article 72. In case either of the contracting parties is on the point of death or the female has her habitual residence at a place more than fifteen kilometers distant from the municipal building and there is no communication by railroad or by provincial or local highways between the former and the latter, the marriage may be solemnized without necessity of a marriage license; but in such cases the official, priest, or minister solemnizing it shall state in an affidavit made before the local civil registrar or any person authorized by law to administer oaths that the marriage was performed in articulo mortis or at a place more than fifteen kilometers distant from the municipal building concerned, in which latter case he shall give the name of the barrio where the marriage was solemnized. The person who solemnized the marriage shall also state, in either case, that he took the necessary steps to ascertain the ages and relationship of the contracting parties and that there was in his opinion no legal impediment to the marriage at the time that it was solemnized. (20)
Article 73. The original of the affidavit required in the last preceding article, together with a copy of the marriage contract, shall be sent by the person solemnizing the marriage to the local civil registrar of the municipality where it was performed within the period of thirty days, after the performance of the marriage. The local civil registrar shall, however, before filing the papers, require the payment into the municipal treasury of the legal fees required in article 65. (21)
Article 74. A marriage in articulo mortis may also be solemnized by the captain of a ship or chief of an airplane during a voyage, or by the commanding officer of a military unit, in the absence of a chaplain, during war. The duties mentioned in the two preceding articles shall be complied with by the ship captain, airplane chief or commanding officer. (n)
Article 75. Marriages between Filipino citizens abroad may be solemnized by consuls and vice-consuls of the Republic of the Philippines. The duties of the local civil registrar and of a judge or justice of the peace or mayor with regard to the celebration of marriage shall be performed by such consuls and vice-consuls. (n)
Article 76. No marriage license shall be necessary when a man and a woman who have attained the age of majority and who, being unmarried, have lived together as husband and wife for at least five years, desire to marry each other. The contracting parties shall state the foregoing facts in an affidavit before any person authorized by law to administer oaths. The official, priest or minister who solemnized the marriage shall also state in an affidavit that he took steps to ascertain the ages and other qualifications of the contracting parties and that he found no legal impediment to the marriage. (n)
Article 77. In case two persons married in accordance with law desire to ratify their union in conformity with the regulations, rites, or practices of any church, sect, or religion it shall no longer be necessary to comply with the requirements of Chapter 1 of this Title and any ratification so made shall merely be considered as a purely religious ceremony. (23)
Article 78. Marriages between Mohammedans or pagans who live in the non-Christian provinces may be performed in accordance with their customs, rites or practices. No marriage license or formal requisites shall be necessary. Nor shall the persons solemnizing these marriages be obliged to comply with article 92.
However, twenty years after approval of this Code, all marriages performed between Mohammedans or pagans shall be solemnized in accordance with the provisions of this Code. But the President of the Philippines, upon recommendation of the Secretary of the Interior, may at any time before the expiration of said period, by proclamation, make any of said provisions applicable to the Mohammedan and non-Christian inhabitants of any of the non-Christian provinces. (25a)
Article 79. Mixed marriages between a Christian male and a Mohammedan or pagan female shall be governed by the general provision of this Title and not by those of the last preceding article, but mixed marriages between a Mohammedan or pagan male and a Christian female may be performed under the provisions of the last preceding article if so desired by the contracting parties, subject, however, in the latter case to the provisions of the second paragraph of said article. (26)
Void and Voidable Marriages
Article 80. The following marriages shall be void from the beginning:
- Those contracted under the ages of sixteen and fourteen years by the male and female respectively, even with the consent of the parents;
- Those solemnized by any person not legally authorized to perform marriages;
- Those solemnized without a marriage license, save marriages of exceptional character;
- Bigamous or polygamous marriages not falling under article 83, number 2;
- Incestuous marriages mentioned in article 81;
- Those where one or both contracting parties have been found guilty of the killing of the spouse of either of them;
- Those between stepbrothers and stepsisters and other marriages specified in article 82. (n)
Article 81. Marriages between the following are incestuous and void from their performance, whether the relationship between the parties be legitimate or illegitimate:
- Between ascendants and descendants of any degree;
- Between brothers and sisters, whether of the full or half blood;
(3) Between collateral relatives by blood within the fourth civil degree. (28a) Article 82. The following marriages shall also be void from the beginning:
- Between stepfathers and stepdaughters, and stepmothers and stepsons;
- Between the adopting father or mother and the adopted, between the latter and the surviving spouse of the former, and between the former and the surviving spouse of the latter;
- Between the legitimate children of the adopter and the adopted. (28a)
Article 83. Any marriage subsequently contracted by any person during the lifetime of the first spouse of such person with any person other than such first spouse shall be illegal and void from its performance, unless:
- The first marriage was annulled or dissolved; or
- The first spouse had been absent for seven consecutive years at the time of the second marriage without the spouse present having news of the absentee being alive, or if the absentee, though he has been absent for less than seven years, is generally considered as dead and believed to be so by the spouse present at the time of contracting such subsequent marriage, or if the absentee is presumed dead according to articles 390 and 391. The marriage so contracted shall be valid in any of the three cases until declared null and void by a competent court. (29a)
Article 84. No marriage license shall be issued to a widow till after three hundred days following the death of her husband, unless in the meantime she has given birth to a child. (n)
Article 85. A marriage may be annulled for any of the following causes, existing at the time of the marriage:
- That the party in whose behalf it is sought to have the marriage annulled was between the ages of sixteen and twenty years, if male, or between the ages of fourteen and eighteen years, if female, and the marriage was solemnized without the consent of the parent, guardian or person having authority over the party, unless after attaining the ages of twenty or eighteen years, as the case may be, such party freely cohabited with the other and both lived together as husband and wife;
- In a subsequent marriage under article 83, number 2, that the former husband or wife believed to be dead was in fact living and the marriage with such former husband or wife was then in force;
- That either party was of unsound mind, unless such party, after coming to reason, freely cohabited with the other as husband or wife;
- That the consent of either party was obtained by fraud, unless such party afterwards, with full knowledge of the facts constituting the fraud, freely cohabited with the other as her husband or his wife, as the case may be;
- That the consent of either party was obtained by force or intimidation, unless the violence or threat having disappeared, such party afterwards freely cohabited with the other as her husband or his wife, as the case may be;
- That either party was, at the time of marriage, physically incapable of entering into the married state, and such incapacity continues, and appears to be incurable. (30a)
Article 86. Any of the following circumstances shall constitute fraud referred to in number 4 of the preceding article:
- Misrepresentation as to the identity of one of the contracting parties;
- Non-disclosure of the previous conviction of the other party of a crime involving moral turpitude, and the penalty imposed was imprisonment for two years or more;
- Concealment by the wife of the fact that at the time of the marriage, she was pregnant by a man other than her husband.
No other misrepresentation or deceit as to character, rank, fortune or chastity shall constitute such fraud as will give grounds for action for the annulment of marriage. (n)
Article 87. The action for annulment of marriage must be commenced by the parties and within the periods as follows:
- For causes mentioned in number 1 of article 85, by the party whose parent or guardian did not give his or her consent, within four years after attaining the age of twenty or eighteen years, as the case may be; or by the parent or guardian or person having legal charge, at any time before such party has arrived at the age of twenty or eighteen years;
- For causes mentioned in number 2 of article 85, by the spouse who has been absent, during his or her lifetime; or by either spouse of the subsequent marriage during the lifetime of the other;
- For causes mentioned in number 3 of article 85, by the sane spouse, who had no knowledge of the other's insanity; or by any relative or guardian of the party of unsound mind, at any time before the death of either party;
- For causes mentioned in number 4, by the injured party, within four years after the discovery of the fraud;
- For causes mentioned in number 5, by the injured party, within four years from the time the force or intimidation ceased;
- For causes mentioned in number 6, by the injured party, within eight years after the marriage. (31a)
Article 88. No judgment annulling a marriage shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of facts or by confession of judgment.
In case of nonappearance of the defendant, the provisions of article 101, paragraph 2, shall be observed. (n)
Article 89. Children conceived or born of marriages which are void from the beginning shall have the same status, rights and obligations as acknowledged natural children, and are called natural children by legal fiction.
Children conceived of voidable marriages before the decree of annulment shall be considered as legitimate; and children conceived thereafter shall have the same status, rights and obligations as acknowledged natural children, and are also called natural children by legal fiction. (n)
Article 90. When a marriage is annulled, the court shall award the custody of the children as it may deem best, and make provision for their education and support. Attorney's fees and expenses incurred in the litigation shall be charged to the conjugal partnership property, unless the action fails. (33a)
Article 91. Damages may be awarded in the following cases when the marriage is judicially annulled or declared void from the beginning:
- If there has been fraud, force or intimidation in obtaining the consent of one of the contracting parties;
- If either party was, at the time of the marriage, physically incapable of entering into the married state, and the other party was unaware thereof;
- If the person solemnizing the marriage was not legally authorized to perform marriages, and that fact was known to one of the contracting parties, but he or she concealed it from the other;
- If a bigamous or polygamous marriage was celebrated, and the impediment was concealed from the plaintiff by the party disqualified;
- If in an incestuous marriage, or a marriage between a stepbrother and a stepsister or other marriage prohibited by article 82, the relationship was known to only one of the contracting parties but was not disclosed to the other;
- If one party was insane and the other was aware thereof at the time of the marriage. (n)
Authority to Solemnize Marriages
Article 92. Every priest, or minister, or rabbi authorized by his denomination, church, sect, or religion to solemnize marriage shall send to the proper government office a sworn statement setting forth his full name and domicile, and that he is authorized by his denomination, church, sect, or religion to solemnize marriage, attaching to said statement a certified copy of his appointment. The director of the proper government office, upon receiving such sworn statement containing the information required, and being satisfied that the denomination, church, sect, or religion of the applicant operates in the Philippines, shall record the name of such priest or minister in a suitable register and issue to him an authorization to solemnize marriage. Said priest or minister or rabbi shall be obliged to exhibit his authorization to the contracting parties, to their parents, grandparents, guardians, or persons in charge demanding the same. No priest or minister not having the required authorization may solemnize marriage. (34a)
Article 93. Freedom of religion shall be observed by public officials in the issuance of authorization to solemnize marriages. Consequently, no public official shall attempt to inquire into the truth or validity of any religious doctrine held by the applicant or by his church. (n)
Article 94. The public official in charge of registration of priests and ministers shall cancel the authorization issued to a bishop, head, priest, rabbi, pastor or minister of the gospel of any denomination, church, sect, or religion, on his own initiative or at the request of any interested party, upon showing that the church, sect or religion whose ministers have been authorized to solemnize marriage is no longer in operation. The cancellation of the authorization granted to a priest, pastor or minister shall likewise be ordered upon the request of the bishop, head, or lawful authorities of the denomination, church, sect or religion to which he belongs. (35a)
Article 95. The public official in charge of registration of priests and ministers, with the approval of the proper head of Department, is hereby authorized to prepare the necessary forms and to promulgate regulations for the purpose of enforcing the provisions of this Title. Said official may also by regulations fix and collect fees for the authorization of priests and ministers to solemnize marriages. (36a)
Article 96. The existing laws which punish acts or omissions concerning the marriage license, solemnization of marriage, authority to solemnize marriages, and other acts or omissions relative to the celebration of marriage shall remain and continue to be in force.
Article 97. A petition for legal separation may be filed:
- For adultery on the part of the wife and for concubinage on the part of the husband as defined in the Penal Code; or
- An attempt by one spouse against the life of the other. (n)
Article 98. In every case the court must take steps, before granting the legal separation, toward the reconciliation of the spouses, and must be fully satisfied that such reconciliation is highly improbable. (n)
Article 99. No person shall be entitled to a legal separation who has not resided in the Philippines for one year prior to the filing of the petition, unless the cause for the legal separation has taken place within the territory of this Republic. (Sec. 2a, Act No. 2710).
Article 100. The legal separation may be claimed only by the innocent spouse, provided there has been no condonation of or consent to the adultery or concubinage. Where both spouses are offenders, a legal separation cannot be claimed by either of them. Collusion between the parties to obtain legal separation shall cause the dismissal of the petition. (3a, Act No. 2710)
Article 101. No decree of legal separation shall be promulgated upon a stipulation of facts or by confession of judgment.
In case of non-appearance of the defendant, the court shall order the prosecuting attorney to inquire whether or not a collusion between the parties exists. If there is no collusion, the prosecuting attorney shall intervene for the State in order to take care that the evidence for the plaintiff is not fabricated. (n)
Article 102. An action for legal separation cannot be filed except within one year from and after the date on which the plaintiff became cognizant of the cause and within five years from and after the date when such cause occurred. (4a, Act 2710)
Article 103. An action for legal separation shall in no case be tried before six months shall have elapsed since the filing of the petition. (5a, Act 2710)
Article 104. After the filing of the petition for legal separation, the spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other and manage their respective property.
The husband shall continue to manage the conjugal partnership property but if the court deems it proper, it may appoint another to manage said property, in which case the administrator shall have the same rights and duties as a guardian and shall not be allowed to dispose of the income or of the capital except in accordance with the orders of the court. (6, Act 2710)
Article 105. During the pendency of legal separation proceedings the court shall make provision for the care of the minor children in accordance with the circumstances and may order the conjugal partnership property or the income therefrom to be set aside for their support; and in default thereof said minor children shall be cared for in conformity with the provisions of this Code; but the Court shall abstain from making any order in this respect in case the parents have by mutual agreement, made provision for the care of said minor children and these are, in the judgment of the court, well cared for. (7a, Act 2710)
Article 106. The decree of legal separation shall have the following effects:
- The spouses shall be entitled to live separately from each other, but marriage bonds shall not be severed;
- The conjugal partnership of gains or the absolute conjugal community of property shall be dissolved and liquidated, but the offending spouse shall have no right to any share of the profits earned by the partnership or community, without prejudice to the provisions of article 176;
- The custody of the minor children shall be awarded to the innocent spouse, unless otherwise directed by the court in the interest of said minors, for whom said court may appoint a guardian;
- The offending spouse shall be disqualified from inheriting from the innocent spouse by intestate succession. Moreover, provisions in favor of the offending spouse made in the will of the innocent one shall be revoked by operation of law. (n)
Article 107. The innocent spouse, after a decree of legal separation has been granted, may revoke the donations by reason of marriage made by him or by her to the offending spouse. Alienation and mortgages made before the notation of the complaint for revocation in the Registry of Property shall be valid.
This action lapses after four years following the date the decree became final. (n)
Article 108. Reconciliation stops the proceedings for legal separation and rescinds the decree of legal separation already rendered.
The revival of the conjugal partnership of gains or of the absolute conjugal community of property shall be governed by article 195. (10a. Act 2710)
TITLE V RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE
Article 109. The husband and wife are obliged to live together, observe mutual respect and fidelity, and render mutual help and support. (56a)
Article 110. The husband shall fix the residence of the family. But the court may exempt the wife from living with the husband if he should live abroad unless in the service of the Republic. (58a)
Article 111. The husband is responsible for the support of the wife and the rest of the family. These expenses shall be met first from the conjugal property, then from the husband's capital, and lastly from the wife's paraphernal property. In case there is a separation of property, by stipulation in the marriage settlements, the husband and wife shall contribute proportionately to the family expenses. (n)
Article 112. The husband is the administrator of the conjugal property, unless there is a stipulation in the marriage settlements conferring the administration upon the wife. She may also administer the conjugal partnership in other cases specified in this Code.
(n) Article 113. The husband must be joined in all suits by or against the wife, except:
- When they are judicially separated;
- If they have in fact been separated for at least one year;
- When there is a separation of property agreed upon in the marriage settlements;
- If the administration of all the property in the marriage has been transferred to her, in accordance with articles 196 and 197;
- When the litigation is between the husband and wife;
- If the suit concerns her paraphernal property;
- When the action is upon the civil liability arising from a criminal offense;
- If the litigation is incidental to the profession, occupation or business in which she is engaged;
- In any civil action referred to in articles 25 to 35; and
- In an action upon a quasi-delict.
In the cases mentioned in Nos. 7 to 10, the husband must be joined as a party defendant if the third paragraph of article 163 is applicable. (n)
Article 114. The wife cannot, without the husband's consent acquire any property by gratuitous title, except from her ascendants, descendants, parents-in-law, and collateral relatives within the fourth degree. (n)
Article 115. The wife manages the affairs of the household. She may purchase things necessary for the support of the family, and the conjugal partnership shall be bound thereby. She may borrow money for this purpose, if the husband fails to deliver the proper sum. The purchase of jewelry and precious objects is voidable, unless the transaction has been expressly or tacitly approved by the husband, or unless the price paid is from her paraphernal property. (62a)
Article 116. When one of the spouses neglects his or her duties to the conjugal union or brings danger, dishonor or material injury upon the other, the injured party may apply to the court for relief.
The court may counsel the offender to comply with his or her duties, and take such measures as may be proper. (n)
Article 117. The wife may exercise any profession or occupation or engage in business. However, the husband may object, provided:
- His income is sufficient for the family, according to its social standing, and
- His opposition is founded on serious and valid grounds.
In case of disagreement on this question, the parents and grandparents as well as the family council, if any, shall be consulted. If no agreement is still arrived at, the court will decide whatever may be proper and in the best interest of the family. (n)
PROPERTY RELATIONS BETWEEN HUSBAND AND WIFE
Article 118. The property relations between husband and wife shall be governed in the following order:
- By contract executed before the marriage;
- By the provisions of this Code; and
- By custom. (1315a)
Article 119. The future spouses may in the marriage settlements agree upon absolute or relative community of property, or upon complete separation of property, or upon any other regime. In the absence of marriage settlements, or when the same are void, the system of relative community or conjugal partnership of gains as established in this Code, shall govern the property relations between husband and wife. (n)
Article 120. A minor who according to law may contract marriage, may also execute his or her marriage settlements; but they shall be valid only if the persons designated by law to give consent to the marriage of the minor take part in the ante-nuptial agreement. In the absence of the parents or of a guardian, the consent to the marriage settlements will be given by the family council. (1318a)
Article 121. In order that any modification in the marriage settlements may be valid, it must be made before the celebration of the marriage, subject to the provisions of Art. 191. (1319a)
Article 122. The marriage settlements and any modification thereof shall be governed by the Statute of Frauds, and executed before the celebration of the marriage. They shall not prejudice third persons unless they are recorded in the Registry of Property. (1321a)
Article 123. For the validity of marriage settlements executed by any person upon whom a sentence of civil interdiction has been pronounced, the presence and participation of the guardian shall be indispensable, who for this purpose shall be designated by a competent court, in accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court. (1323a)
Article 124. If the marriage is between a citizen of the Philippines and a foreigner, whether celebrated in the Philippines or abroad, the following rules shall prevail:
- If the husband is a citizen of the Philippines while the wife is a foreigner, the provisions of this Code shall govern their relations;
- If the husband is a foreigner and the wife is a citizen of the Philippines, the laws of the husband's country shall be followed, without prejudice to the provisions of this Code with regard to immovable property. (1325a)
Article 125. Everything stipulated in the settlements or contracts referred to in the preceding articles in consideration of a future marriage shall be rendered void and without effect whatever, if the marriage should not take place. However, those stipulations that do not depend upon the celebration of the marriage shall be valid. (1326a)
Donations by Reason of Marriage
Article 126. Donations by reasons of marriage are those which are made before its celebration, in consideration of the same and in favor of one or both of the future spouses. (1327)
Article 127. These donations are governed by the rules on ordinary donations established in Title III of Book III, except as to their form which shall be regulated by the Statute of Frauds; and insofar as they are not modified by the following articles. (1328a)
Article 128. Minors may make and receive donations in their ante-nuptial contract, provided they are authorized by the persons who are to give their consent to the marriage of said minors. (1329a)
Article 129. Express acceptance is not necessary for the validity of these donations. (1330)
Article 130. The future spouses may give each other in their marriage settlements as much as one-fifth of their present property, and with respect to their future property, only in the event of death, to the extent laid down by the provisions of this Code referring to testamentary succession. (1331a)
Article 131. The donor by reason of marriage shall release the property donated from mortgages and all other encumbrances upon the same, with the exception of easements, unless in the marriage settlements or in the contracts the contrary has been stipulated. (1332a)
Article 132. A donation by reason of marriage is not revocable, save in the following cases:
- If it is conditional and the condition is not complied with;
- If the marriage is not celebrated;
- When the marriage takes place without the consent of the parents or guardian, as required by law;
- When the marriage is annulled, and the donee acted in bad faith;
- Upon legal separation, the donee being the guilty spouse;
- When the donee has committed an act of ingratitude as specified by the provisions of this Code on donations in general. (1333a)
Article 133. Every donation between the spouses during the marriage shall be void. This prohibition does not apply when the donation takes effect after the death of the donor.
Neither does this prohibition apply to moderate gifts which the spouses may give each other on the occasion of any family rejoicing.
Article 134. Donations during the marriage by one of the spouses to the children whom the other spouse had by another marriage, or to persons of whom the other spouse is a presumptive heir at the time of the donation are voidable, at the instance of the donor's heirs after his death. (1335a)
Article 135. All property brought by the wife to the marriage, as well as all property she acquires during the marriage, in accordance with article 148, is paraphernal. (1381a)
Article 136. The wife retains the ownership of the paraphernal property. (1382)
Article 137. The wife shall have the administration of the paraphernal property, unless she delivers the same to the husband by means of a public instrument empowering him to administer it.
In this case, the public instrument shall be recorded in the Registry of Property. As for the movables, the husband shall give adequate security. (1384a)
Article 138. The fruits of the paraphernal property form part of the assets of the conjugal partnership, and shall be subject to the payment of the expenses of the marriage.
The property itself shall also be subject to the daily expenses of the family, if the property of the conjugal partnership and the husband's capital are not sufficient therefor. (1385a)
Article 139. The personal obligations of the husband can not be enforced against the fruits of the paraphernal property, unless it be proved that they redounded to the benefit of the family. (1386)
Article 140. A married woman of age may mortgage, encumber, alienate or otherwise dispose of her paraphernal property, without the permission of the husband, and appear alone in court to litigate with regard to the same. (n)
Article 141. The alienation of any paraphernal property administered by the husband gives a right to the wife to require the constitution of a mortgage or any other security for the amount of the price which the husband may have received. (1390a)
Conjugal Partnership of Gains
Article 142. By means of the conjugal partnership of gains the husband and wife place in a common fund the fruits of their separate property and the income from their work or industry, and divide equally, upon the dissolution of the marriage or of the partnership, the net gains or benefits obtained indiscriminately by either spouse during the marriage. (1392a)
Article 143. All property of the conjugal partnership of gains is owned in common by the husband and wife. (n)
Article 144. When a man and a woman live together as husband and wife, but they are not married, or their marriage is void from the beginning, the property acquired by either or both of them through their work or industry or their wages and salaries shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership. (n)
Article 145. The conjugal partnership shall commence precisely on the date of the celebration of the marriage. Any stipulation to the contrary shall be void. (1393)
Article 146. Waiver of the gains or of the effects of this partnership during marriage cannot be made except in case of judicial separation.
When the waiver takes place by reason of separation, or after the marriage has been dissolved or annulled, the same shall appear in a public instrument, and the creditors shall have the right which article 1052 grants them. (1394a)
Article 147. The conjugal partnership shall be governed by the rules on the contract of partnership in all that is not in conflict with what is expressly determined in this Chapter. (1395)
Exclusive Property of Each Spouse
Article 148. The following shall be the exclusive property of each spouse:
- That which is brought to the marriage as his or her own;
- That which each acquires, during the marriage, by lucrative title;
- That which is acquired by right of redemption or by exchange with other property belonging to only one of the spouses;
- That which is purchased with exclusive money of the wife or of the husband. (1396)
Article 149. Whoever gives or promises capital to the husband shall not be subject to warranty against eviction, except in case of fraud. (1397)
Article 150. Property donated or left by will to the spouses, jointly and with designation of determinate shares, shall pertain to the wife as paraphernal property, and to the husband as capital, in the proportion specified by the donor or testator, and in the absence of designation, share and share alike, without prejudice to what is provided in article 753. (1398a)
Article 151. If the donations are onerous, the amount of the charges shall be deducted from the paraphernal property or from the husband's capital, whenever they have been borne by the conjugal partnership. (1399a)
Article 152. If some credit payable in a certain number of years, or a life pension, should pertain to one of the spouses, the provisions of articles 156 and 157 shall be observed to determine what constitutes the paraphernal property and what forms the capital of the husband. (1400a)
Conjugal Partnership Property
Article 153. The following are conjugal partnership property:
- That which is acquired by onerous title during the marriage at the expense of the common fund, whether the acquisition be for the partnership, or for only one of the spouses;
- That which is obtained by the industry, or work, or as salary of the spouses, or of either of them;
- The fruits, rents or interests received or due during the marriage, coming from the common property or from the exclusive property of each spouse. (1401)
Article 154. That share of the hidden treasure which the law awards to the finder or the proprietor belongs to the conjugal partnership. (n)
Article 155. Things acquired by occupation, such as fishing and hunting, pertain to the conjugal partnership of gains. (n)
Article 156. Whenever an amount or credit payable in a certain number of years belongs to one of the spouses, the sums which may be collected by installments due during the marriage shall not pertain to the conjugal partnership, but shall be considered capital of the husband or of the wife, as the credit may belong to one or the other spouse. (1402)
Article 157. The right to an annuity, whether perpetual or of life, and the right of usufruct, belonging to one of the spouses shall form a part of his or her separate property, but the fruits, pensions and interests due during the marriage shall belong to the partnership.
The usufruct which the spouses have over the property of their children, though of another marriage, shall be included in this provision. (1403a)
Article 158. Improvements, whether for utility or adornment, made on the separate property of the spouses through advancements from the partnership or through the industry of either the husband or the wife, belong to the conjugal partnership.
Buildings constructed, at the expense of the partnership, during the marriage on land belonging to one of the spouses, also pertain to the partnership, but the value of the land shall be reimbursed to the spouse who owns the same. (1404a)
Article 159. Whenever the paraphernal property or the husband's capital consists, in whole or in part, of livestock existing upon the dissolution of the partnership, the number of animals exceeding that brought to the marriage shall be deemed to be of the conjugal partnership. (1405a)
Article 160. 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. (1407)
Charges Upon and Obligation of the Conjugal Partnership
Article 161. The conjugal partnership shall be liable for:
- 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;
- Arrears or income due, during the marriage, from obligations which constitute a charge upon property of either spouse or of the partnership;
- 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;
- Major or minor repairs upon the conjugal partnership property;
- The maintenance of the family and the education of the children of both husband and wife, and of legitimate children of one of the spouses;
- Expenses to permit the spouses to complete a professional, vocational or other course. (1408a)
Article 162. The value of what is donated or promised to the common children by the husband, only for securing their future or the finishing of a career, or by both spouses through a common agreement, shall also be charged to the conjugal partnership, when they have not stipulated that it is to be satisfied from the property of one of them, in whole or in part. (1409)
Article 163. The payment of debts contracted by the husband or the wife before the marriage shall not be charged to the conjugal partnership.
Neither shall the fines and pecuniary indemnities imposed upon them be charged to the partnership.
However, the payment of debts contracted by the husband or the wife before the marriage, and that of fines and indemnities imposed upon them, may be enforced against the partnership assets after the responsibilities enumerated in article 161 have been covered, if the spouse who is bound should have no exclusive property or if it should be insufficient; but at the time of the liquidation of the partnership such spouse shall be charged for what has been paid for the purpose above-mentioned. (1410)
Article 164. Whatever may be lost during the marriage in any kind of gambling, betting or game, whether permitted or prohibited by law, shall be borne by the loser, and shall not be charged to the conjugal partnership. (1411a)
Administration of the Conjugal Partnership
Article 165. The husband is the administrator of the conjugal partnership. (1412a)
Article 166. Unless the wife has been declared a non compos mentis or a spendthrift, or is under civil interdiction or is confined in a
leprosarium, the husband cannot alienate or encumber any real property of the conjugal partnership without the wife's consent. If
she refuses unreasonably to give her consent, the court may compel her to grant the same.
This article shall not apply to property acquired by the conjugal partnership before the effective date of this Code. (1413a)
Article 167. In case of abuse of powers of administration of the conjugal partnership property by the husband, the courts, on
petition of the wife, may provide for receivership, or administration by the wife, or separation of property. (n)
Article 168. The wife may, by express authority of the husband embodied in a public instrument, administer the conjugal
partnership property. (n) Article 169. The wife may also by express authority of the husband appearing in a public instrument, administer the latter's estate.
Article 170. The husband or the wife may dispose by will of his or her half of the conjugal partnership profits. (1414a)
Article 171. The husband may dispose of the conjugal partnership property for the purposes specified in articles 161 and 162. (1415a)
Article 172. The wife cannot bind the conjugal partnership without the husband's consent except in cases provided by law. (1416a)
Article 173. The wife may, during the marriage, and within ten years from the transaction questioned, ask the courts for the annulment of any contract of the husband entered into without her consent, when such consent is required, or any act or contract of the husband which tends to defraud her or impair her interest in the conjugal partnership property. Should the wife fail to exercise this right, she or her heirs, after the dissolution of the marriage, may demand the value of property fraudulently alienated by the husband. (n)
Article 174. With the exception of moderate donations for charity, neither husband nor wife can donate any property of the conjugal partnership without the consent of the other. (n)
Dissolution of the Conjugal Partnership
Article 175. The conjugal partnership of gains terminates:
- Upon the death of either spouse;
- When there is a decree of legal separation;
- When the marriage is annulled;
- In case of judicial separation of property under article 191. (1417a)
Article 176. In case of legal separation, the guilty spouse shall forfeit his or her share of the conjugal partnership profits, which shall be awarded to the children of both, and the children of the guilty spouse had by a prior marriage. However, if the conjugal partnership property came mostly or entirely from the work or industry, or from the wages and salaries, or from the fruits of the separate property of the guilty spouse, this forfeiture shall not apply.
In case there are no children, the innocent spouse shall be entitled to all the net profits. (n)
Article 177. In case of annulment of the marriage, the spouse who acted in bad faith or gave cause for annulment shall forfeit his or
her share of the conjugal partnership profits. The provision of the preceding article shall govern. (n)
Article 178. The separation in fact between husband and wife without judicial approval, shall not affect the conjugal partnership, except that:
- The spouse who leaves the conjugal home or refuses to live therein, without just cause, shall not have a right to be supported;
- When the consent of one spouse to any transaction of the other is required by law, judicial authorization shall be necessary;
- If the husband has abandoned the wife without just cause for at least one year, she may petition the court for a receivership, or administration by her of the conjugal partnership property, or separation of property. (n)
Liquidation of the Conjugal Partnership
Article 179. Upon the dissolution of the conjugal partnership, an inventory shall be formed, but such inventory shall not be necessary:
- If, after the dissolution of the partnership, one of the spouses should have renounced its effects and consequences in due time; or
- When separation of property has preceded the dissolution of the partnership. (1418a)
Article 180. The bed and bedding which the spouses ordinarily use shall not be included in the inventory. These effects, as well as the clothing for their ordinary use, shall be delivered to the surviving spouse. (1420)
Article 181. The inventory having been completed, the paraphernal property shall first be paid. Then, the debts and charges against the conjugal partnership shall be paid. (1422a)
Article 182. The debts, charges and obligations of the conjugal partnership having been paid; the capital of the husband shall be liquidated and paid to the amount of the property inventoried. (1423a)
Article 183. The deductions from the inventoried property having been made as provided in the two preceding articles, the remainder of said property shall constitute the credit of the conjugal partnership. (1424)
Article 184. The loss or deterioration of the movables belonging to either spouse, although through fortuitous event, shall be paid from the conjugal partnership of gains, should there be any.
Those suffered by real property shall not be reimbursable in any case, except those on paraphernal property administered by the husband, when the losses were due to his fault. He shall pay for the same. (1425a)
Article 185. The net remainder of the conjugal partnership of gains shall be divided equally between the husband and the wife or their respective heirs, unless a different basis of division was agreed upon in the marriage settlements. (1426a)
Article 186. The mourning apparel of the widow shall be paid for out of the estate of the deceased husband. (1427a)
Article 187. With regard to the formation of the inventory, rules for appraisal and sale of property of the conjugal partnership, and other matters which are not expressly determined in the present Chapter, the Rules of Court on the administration of estates of deceased persons shall be observed. (1428a)
Article 188. From the common mass of property support shall be given to the surviving spouse and to the children during the liquidation of the inventoried property and until what belongs to them is delivered; but from this shall be deducted that amount received for support which exceeds the fruits or rents pertaining to them. (1430)
Article 189. Whenever the liquidation of the partnership of two or more marriages contracted by the same person should be carried out at the same time, in order to determine the capital of each partnership all kinds of proof in the absence of inventories shall be admitted; and in case of doubt, the partnership property shall be divided between the different partnerships in proportion to the duration of each and to the property belonging to the respective spouses. (1431)
Separation of Property of the Spouses and Administration of Property by the Wife During the Marriage
Article 190. In the absence of an express declaration in the marriage settlements, the separation of property between spouses during the marriage shall not take place save in virtue of a judicial order. (1432a)
Article 191. The husband or the wife may ask for the separation of property, and it shall be decreed when the spouse of the petitioner has been sentenced to a penalty which carries with it civil interdiction, or has been declared absent, or when legal separation has been granted.
In case of abuse of powers of administration of the conjugal partnership property by the husband, or in case of abandonment by the husband, separation of property may also be ordered by the court, according to the provisions of articles 167 and 178, No. 3.
In all these cases, it is sufficient to present the final judgment which has been entered against the guilty or absent spouse. (1433a)
The husband and the wife may agree upon the dissolution of the conjugal partnership during the marriage, subject to judicial approval. All the creditors of the husband and of the wife, as well as of the conjugal partnership shall be notified of any petition for judicial approval or the voluntary dissolution of the conjugal partnership, so that any such creditors may appear at the hearing to safeguard his interests. Upon approval of the petition for dissolution of the conjugal partnership, the court shall take such measures as may protect the creditors and other third persons.
After dissolution of the conjugal partnership, the provisions of articles 214 and 215 shall apply. The provisions of this Code concerning the effect of partition stated in articles 498 to 501 shall be applicable. (1433a)
Article 192. Once the separation of property has been ordered, the conjugal partnership shall be dissolved, and its liquidation shall be made in conformity with what has been established by this Code.
However, without prejudice to the provisions of article 292, the husband and the wife shall be reciprocally liable for their support during the separation, and for the support and education of their children; all in proportion to their respective property.
The share of the spouse who is under civil interdiction or absent shall be administered in accordance with the Rules of Court. (1434a)
Article 193. The complaint for separation and the final judgment declaring the same, shall be noted and recorded in the proper registers of property, if the judgment should refer to immovable property. (1437)
Article 194. The separation of property shall not prejudice the rights previously acquired by creditors. (1438)
Article 195. The separation of property ceases:
- Upon reconciliation of the spouses, in case of legal separation;
- When the civil interdiction terminates;
- When the absent spouse appears;
- When the court, at the instance of the wife, authorizes the husband to resume the administration of the conjugal partnership, the court being satisfied that the husband will not again abuse his powers as an administrator;
- When the husband, who has abandoned the wife, rejoins her.
In the above cases, the property relations between the spouses shall be governed by the same rules as before the separation,
without prejudice to the acts and contracts legally executed during the separation.
The spouses shall state, in a public document, all the property which they return to the marriage and which shall constitute the
separate property of each.
This public document shall be recorded in the Registry of Property.
In the cases referred to in this article, all the property brought in shall be deemed to be newly contributed, even though all or some
may be the same which existed before the liquidation effected by reason of the separation. (1439a) Article 196. With the conjugal partnership subsisting, the administration of all classes of property in the marriage may be transferred by the courts to the wife:
- When she becomes the guardian of her husband;
- When she asks for the declaration of his absence;
- In case of civil interdiction of the husband.
The courts may also confer the administration to the wife, with such limitation as they may deem advisable, if the husband should become a fugitive from justice or be in hiding as a defendant in a criminal case, or if, being absolutely unable to administer, he should have failed to provide for administration. (1441a)
Article 197. The wife to whom the administration of all the property of the marriage is transferred shall have, with respect to said property, the same powers and responsibility which the husband has when he is the administrator, but always subject to the provisions of the last paragraph of the preceding article. (1442a)
System of Absolute Community
Article 198. In case the future spouses agree in the marriage settlements that the system of absolute community shall govern their property relations during marriage, the following provisions shall be of supplementary application.
Article 199. In the absence of stipulation to the contrary, the community shall consist of all present and future property of the spouses not excepted by law.
Article 200. Neither spouse may renounce any inheritance without the consent of the other. In case of conflict, the court shall decide the question, after consulting the family council, if there is any.
Article 201. The following shall be excluded from the community:
- Property acquired by gratuitous title by either spouse, when it is provided by the donor or testator that it shall not become a part of the community;
- Property inherited by either husband or wife through the death of a child by a former marriage, there being brothers or sisters of the full blood of the deceased child;
- A portion of the property of either spouse equivalent to the presumptive legitime of the children by a former marriage;
- Personal belongings of either spouse.
However, all the fruits and income of the foregoing classes of property shall be included in the community.
Article 202. Antenuptial debts of either spouse shall not be paid from the community, unless the same have redounded to the benefit of the family.
Article 203. Debts contracted by both spouses or by one of them with the consent of the other shall be paid from the community. If the common property is insufficient to cover common debts, the same may be enforced against the separate property of the spouses, who shall be equally liable.
Article 204. Debts contracted by either spouse without the consent of the other shall be chargeable against the community to the extent that the family may have been benefited thereby.
Article 205. Indemnities that must be paid by either spouse on account of a crime or of a quasi-delict shall be paid from the common assets, without any obligation to make reimbursement.
Article 206. The ownership, administration, possession and enjoyment of the common property belong to both spouses jointly. In case of disagreement, the courts shall settle the difficulty.
Article 207. Neither spouse may alienate or encumber any common property without the consent of the other. In case of unjustifiable refusal by the other spouse, the courts may grant the necessary consent.
Article 208. The absolute community of property shall be dissolved on any of the grounds specified in article 175.
Article 209. When there is a separation in fact between husband and wife, without judicial approval, the provisions of article 178 shall apply.
Article 210. Upon the dissolution and liquidation of the community, the net assets shall be divided equally between the husband and the wife or their heirs. In case of legal separation or annulment of marriage, the provisions of articles 176 and 177 shall apply to the net profits acquired during the marriage.
Article 211. Liquidation of the absolute community shall be governed by the Rules of Court on the administration of the estate of deceased persons.
System of Complete Separation of Property
Article 212. Should the future spouses agree in the marriage settlements that their property relations during marriage shall be based upon the system of complete separation of property, the following provisions shall supplement the marriage settlements. ARTICLE 213. Separation of property may refer to present or future property or both. It may be total or partial. In the latter case, the property not agreed upon as separate shall pertain to the conjugal partnership of gains.
Article 214. Each spouse shall own, dispose of, possess, administer and enjoy his or her own separate estate, without the consent of the other. All earnings from any profession, business or industry shall likewise belong to each spouse.
Article 215. Each spouse shall proportionately bear the family expenses.
CHAPTER 1 The Family as an Institution Article 216. The family is a basic social institution which public policy cherishes and protects. Article 217. Family relations shall include those:
- Between husband and wife;
- Between parent and child;
- Among other ascendants and their descendants;
- Among brothers and sisters.
Article 218. The law governs family relations. No custom, practice or agreement which is destructive of the family shall be recognized or given any effect. Article 219. Mutual aid, both moral and material, shall be rendered among members of the same family. Judicial and administrative officials shall foster this mutual assistance.
Article 220. In case of doubt, all presumptions favor the solidarity of the family. Thus, every intendment of law or facts leans toward the validity of marriage, the indissolubility of the marriage bonds, the legitimacy of children, the community of property during marriage, the authority of parents over their children, and the validity of defense for any member of the family in case of unlawful aggression.
Article 221. The following shall be void and of no effect:
- Any contract for personal separation between husband and wife;
- Every extra-judicial agreement, during marriage, for the dissolution of the conjugal partnership of gains or of the absolute community of property between husband and wife;
- Every collusion to obtain a decree of legal separation, or of annulment of marriage;
- Any simulated alienation of property with intent to deprive the compulsory heirs of their legitime.
Article 222. No suit shall be filed or maintained between members of the same family unless it should appear that earnest efforts toward a compromise have been made, but that the same have failed, subject to the limitations in article 2035.
The Family Home (n)
Article 223. The family home is the dwelling house where a person and his family reside, and the land on which it is situated. If constituted as herein provided, the family home shall be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment, except as provided in articles 232 and 243.
Article 224. The family home may be established judicially or extrajudicially.
Judicial Constitution of the Family Home
Article 225. The family home may be constituted by a verified petition to the Court of First Instance by the owner of the property, and by approval thereof by the court.
Article 226. The following shall be beneficiaries of the family home;
- The person establishing the same;
- His or her spouse;
- His or her parents, ascendants, descendants, brothers and sisters, whether the relationship be legitimate or otherwise, who are living in the family home and who depend upon him for support.
Article 227. The family home may also be set up by an unmarried person who is the head of a family or household.
Article 228. If the petitioner is married, the family home may be selected from the conjugal partnership or community property, or
from the separate property of the husband, or, with the consent of the wife, from her paraphernal property.
Article 229. The petition shall contain the following particulars:
- Description of the property;
- An estimate of its actual value;
- A statement that the petitioner is actually residing in the premises;
- The encumbrances thereon;
- The names and addresses of all the creditors of the petitioner and of all mortgagees and other persons who have an interest in the property;
- The names of the other beneficiaries specified in article 226.
Article 230. Creditors, mortgagees and all other persons who have an interest in the estate shall be notified of the petition, and given an opportunity to present their objections thereto. The petition shall, moreover, be published once a week for three consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation.
Article 231. If the court finds that the actual value of the proposed family home does not exceed twenty thousand pesos, or thirty thousand pesos in chartered cities, and that no third person is prejudiced, the petition shall be approved. Should any creditor whose claim is unsecured, oppose the establishment of the family home, the court shall grant the petition if the debtor gives sufficient security for the debt.
Article 232. The family home, after its creation by virtue of judicial approval, shall be exempt from execution, forced sale, or attachment, except:
- For nonpayment of taxes; or
- In satisfaction of a judgment on a debt secured by a mortgage constituted on the immovable before or after the establishment of the family home.
In case of insolvency of the person constituting the family home, the property shall not be considered one of the assets to be taken possession of by the assignee for the benefit of creditors.
Article 233. The order of the court approving the establishment of the family home shall be recorded in the Registry of Property.
Article 234. When there is danger that a person obliged to give support may lose his or her fortune because of grave mismanagement or on account of riotous living, his or her spouse, if any, and a majority of those entitled to be supported by him or by her may petition the Court of First Instance for the creation of the family home.
Article 235. The family home may be sold, alienated or encumbered by the person who has constituted the same, with the consent of his or her spouse, and with the approval of the court. However, the family home shall under no circumstances be donated as long as there are beneficiaries. In case of sale, the price or such portion thereof as may be determined by the court shall be used in acquiring property which shall be formed into a new family home. Any sum of money obtained through an encumbrance on the family home shall be used in the interest of the beneficiaries. The court shall take measures to implement the last two provisions.
Article 236. The family home may be dissolved upon the petition of the person who has constituted the same, with the written consent of his or her spouse and of at least one half of all the other beneficiaries who are eighteen years of age or over. The court may grant the petition if it is satisfactorily shown that the best interest of the family requires the dissolution of the family home.
Article 237. In case of legal separation or annulment of marriage, the family home shall be dissolved, and the property shall cease to be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment.
Article 238. Upon the death of the person who has set up the family home, the same shall continue, unless he desired otherwise in his will. The heirs cannot ask for its partition during the first ten years following the death of the person constituting the same, unless the court finds powerful reasons therefor.
Article 239. The family home shall not be subject to payment of the debts of the deceased, unless in his will the contrary is stated. However, the claims mentioned in article 232 shall not be adversely affected by the death of the person who has established the family home.
Extra-judicial Creation of the Family Home
Article 240. The family home may be extrajudicially constituted by recording in the Registry of Property a public instrument wherein a person declares that he thereby establishes a family home out of a dwelling place with the land on which it is situated.
Article 241. The declaration setting up the family home shall be under oath and shall contain:
- A statement that the claimant is the owner of, and is actually residing in the premises;
- A description of the property;
- An estimate of its actual value; and
- The names of the claimant's spouse and the other beneficiaries mentioned in article 226.
Article 242. The recording in the Registry of Property of the declaration referred to in the two preceding articles is the operative act which creates the family home. Article 243. The family home extrajudicially formed shall be exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment, except:
- For nonpayment of taxes;
- For debts incurred before the declaration was recorded in the Registry of Property;
- For debts secured by mortgages on the premises before or after such record of the declaration;
- For debts due to laborers, mechanics, architects, builders, material-men and others who have rendered service or furnished material for the prosecution of the building.
Article 244. The provisions of articles 226 to 228 and 235 to 238 are likewise applicable to family homes extrajudicially established.
Article 245. Upon the death of the person who has extrajudicially constituted the family home, the property shall not be liable for his debts other than those mentioned in article 243. However, he may provide in his will that the family home shall be subject to payment of debts not specified in article 243.
Article 246. No declaration for the extrajudicial establishment of the family home shall be recorded in the Registry of Property if the estimated actual value of the building and the land exceeds the amount stated in article 231.
Article 247. When a creditor whose claim is not mentioned in article 243 obtains a judgment in his favor, and he has reasonable grounds to believe that the family home of the judgment debtor is worth more than the amount mentioned in article 231, he may apply to the Court of First Instance for an order directing the sale of the property under execution.
Article 248. The hearing on the petition, appraisal of the value of the family home, the sale under execution and other matters relative to the proceedings shall be governed by such provisions in the Rules of Court as the Supreme Court shall promulgate on the subject, provided they are not inconsistent with this Code.
Article 249. At the sale under execution referred to in the two preceding articles, no bid shall be considered unless it exceeds the amount specified in article 231. The proceeds of the sale shall be applied in the following order:
- To the amount mentioned in article 231;
- To the judgment and the costs.
The excess, if any, belongs to the person constituting the family home.
Article 250. The amount mentioned in article 231 thus received by the person who has established the family home, or as much thereof as the court may determine, shall be invested in constitution of a new family home. The court shall take measures to enforce this provision.
Article 251. In case of insolvency of the person creating the family home, the claims specified in article 243 may be satisfied notwithstanding the insolvency proceedings.
If the assignee has reasonable grounds to believe that the actual value of the family home exceeds the amount fixed in article 231, he may take action under the provisions of articles 247, 248 and 249.
The Family Council (n)
Article 252. The Court of First Instance may, upon application of any member of the family, a relative, or a friend, appoint a family council, whose duty it shall be to advise the court, the spouses, the parents, guardians and the family on important family questions.
Article 253. The family council shall be composed of five members, who shall be relatives of the parties concerned. But the court may appoint one or two friends of the family.
Article 254. The family council shall elect its chairman, and shall meet at the call of the latter or upon order of the court.
PATERNITY AND FILIATION
Article 255. Children born after one hundred and eighty days following the celebration of the marriage, and before three hundred days following its dissolution or the separation of the spouses shall be presumed to be legitimate.
Against this presumption no evidence shall be admitted other than that of the physical impossibility of the husband's having access to his wife within the first one hundred and twenty days of the three hundred which preceded the birth of the child.
This physical impossibility may be caused:
- By the impotence of the husband;
- By the fact that the husband and wife were living separately, in such a way that access was not possible;
- By the serious illness of the husband. (108a)
Article 256. The child shall be presumed legitimate, although the mother may have declared against its legitimacy or may have been sentenced as an adulteress. (109)
Article 257. Should the wife commit adultery at or about the time of the conception of the child, but there was no physical impossibility of access between her and her husband as set forth in article 255, the child is prima facie presumed to be illegitimate if it appears highly improbable, for ethnic reasons, that the child is that of the husband. For the purposes of this article, the wife's adultery need not be proved in a criminal case. (n)
Article 258. A child born within one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the marriage is prima facie presumed to be legitimate. Such a child is conclusively presumed to be legitimate in any of these cases:
- If the husband, before the marriage, knew of the pregnancy of the wife;
- If he consented, being present, to the putting of his surname on the record of birth of the child;
- If he expressly or tacitly recognized the child as his own. (110a)
Article 259. If the marriage is dissolved by the death of the husband, and the mother contracted another marriage within three hundred days following such death, these rules shall govern:
- A child born before one hundred eighty days after the solemnization of the subsequent marriage is disputably presumed to have been conceived during the former marriage, provided it be born within three hundred days after the death of the former husband:
- A child born after one hundred eighty days following the celebration of the subsequent marriage is prima facie presumed to have been conceived during such marriage, even though it be born within three hundred days after the death of the former husband. (n)
Article 260. If after a judgment annulling a marriage, the former wife should believe herself to be pregnant by the former husband, she shall, within thirty days from the time she became aware of her pregnancy, notify the former husband or his heirs of that fact. He or his heirs may ask the court to take measures to prevent a simulation of birth.
The same obligation shall devolve upon a widow who believes herself to have been left pregnant by the deceased husband, or upon the wife who believes herself to be pregnant by her husband from whom she has been legally separated. (n)
Article 261. There is no presumption of legitimacy or illegitimacy of a child born after three hundred days following the dissolution of the marriage or the separation of the spouses. Whoever alleges the legitimacy or the illegitimacy of such child must prove his allegation. (n)
Article 262. The heirs of the husband may impugn the legitimacy of the child only in the following cases:
- If the husband should die before the expiration of the period fixed for bringing his action;
- If he should die after the filing of the complaint, without having desisted from the same;
- If the child was born after the death of the husband. (112)
Article 263. The action to impugn the legitimacy of the child shall be brought within one year from the recording of the birth in the Civil Register, if the husband should be in the same place, or in a proper case, any of his heirs. If he or his heirs are absent, the period shall be eighteen months if they should reside in the Philippines; and two years if abroad. If
the birth of the child has been concealed, the term shall be counted from the discovery of the fraud. (113a) Article 264. Legitimate children shall have the right:
- To bear the surnames of the father and of the mother;
- To receive support from them, from their ascendants and in a proper case, from their brothers and sisters, in conformity with article 291;
- To the legitime and other successional rights which this Code recognizes in their favor. (114)
Proof of Filiation of Legitimate Children
Article 265. The filiation of legitimate children is proved by the record of birth appearing in the Civil Register, or by an authentic document or a final judgment. (115)
Article 266. In the absence of the titles indicated in the preceding article, the filiation shall be proved by the continuous possession of status of a legitimate child. (116)
Article 267. In the absence of a record of birth, authentic document, final judgment or possession of status, legitimate filiation may be proved by any other means allowed by the Rules of Court and special laws. (117a)
Article 268. The action to claim his legitimacy may be brought by the child during all his lifetime, and shall be transmitted to his heirs if he should die during his minority or in a state of insanity. In these cases the heirs shall have a period of five years within which to institute the action.
The action already commenced by the child is transmitted upon his death to the heirs, if the proceeding has not yet lapsed. (118)
Article 269. Only natural children can be legitimated. Children born outside wedlock of parents who, at the time of the conception of the former, were not disqualified by any impediment to marry each other, are natural. (119a)
Article 270. Legitimation shall take place by the subsequent marriage between the parents. (120a)
Article 271. Only natural children who have been recognized by the parents before or after the celebration of the marriage, or have been declared natural children by final judgment, may be considered legitimated by subsequent marriage.
If a natural child is recognized or judicially declared as natural, such recognition or declaration shall extend to his or her brothers or sisters of the full blood: Provided, That the consent of the latter shall be implied if they do not impugn the recognition within four years from the time of such recognition, or in case they are minors, within four years following the attainment of majority. (121a)
Article 272. Children who are legitimated by subsequent marriage shall enjoy the same rights as legitimate children. (122)
Article 273. Legitimation shall take effect from the time of the child's birth. (123a)
Article 274. The legitimation of children who died before the celebration of the marriage shall benefit their descendants. (124)
Article 275. Legitimation may be impugned by those who are prejudiced in their rights, when it takes place in favor of those who do
not have the legal condition of natural children or when the requisites laid down in this Chapter are not complied with. (128a)
Recognition of Natural Children
Article 276. A natural child may be recognized by the father and mother jointly, or by only one of them. (129)
Article 277. In case the recognition is made by only one of the parents, it shall be presumed that the child is natural, if the parent
recognizing it had legal capacity to contract marriage at the time of the conception. (130)
Article 278. Recognition shall be made in the record of birth, a will, a statement before a court of record, or in any authentic writing.
Article 279. A minor who may not contract marriage without parental consent cannot acknowledge a natural child, unless the
parent or guardian approves the acknowledgment or unless the recognition is made in a will. (n)
Article 280. When the father or the mother makes the recognition separately, he or she shall not reveal the name of the person with
whom he or she had the child; neither shall he or she state any circumstance whereby the other parent may be identified. (132a)
Article 281. A child who is of age cannot be recognized without his consent.
When the recognition of a minor does not take place in a record of birth or in a will, judicial approval shall be necessary.
A minor can in any case impugn the recognition within four years following the attainment of his majority. (133a)
Article 282. A recognized natural child has the right:
- To bear the surname of the parent recognizing him;
- To receive support from such parent, in conformity with article 291;
- To receive, in a proper case, the hereditary portion which is determined in this Code. (134) Article 283. In any of the following cases, the father is obliged to recognize the child as his natural child:
- In cases of rape, abduction or seduction, when the period of the offense coincides more or less with that of the conception;
- When the child is in continuous possession of status of a child of the alleged father by the direct acts of the latter or of his family;
- When the child was conceived during the time when the mother cohabited with the supposed father;
- When the child has in his favor any evidence or proof that the defendant is his father. (n) Article 284. The mother is obliged to recognize her natural child:
- In any of the cases referred to in the preceding article, as between the child and the mother;
- When the birth and the identity of the child are clearly proved. (136a)
Article 285. The action for the recognition of natural children may be brought only during the lifetime of the presumed parents, except in the following cases:
- If the father or mother died during the minority of the child, in which case the latter may file the action before the expiration of four years from the attainment of his majority;
- If after the death of the father or of the mother a document should appear of which nothing had been heard and in which either or both parents recognize the child.
In this case, the action must be commenced within four years from the finding of the document. (137a)
Article 286. The recognition made in favor of a child who does not possess all the conditions stated in article 269, or in which the requirements of the law have not been fulfilled, may be impugned by those who are prejudiced by such recognition. (137)
SECTION 2 Other Illegitimate Children
Article 287. Illegitimate children other than natural in accordance with article 269 and other than natural children by legal fiction are entitled to support and such successional rights as are granted in this Code. (n)
Article 288. Minor children mentioned in the preceding article are under the parental authority of the mother. (n)
Article 289. Investigation of the paternity or maternity of children mentioned in the two preceding articles is permitted under the circumstances specified in articles 283 and 284. (n)
Article 290. Support is everything that is indispensable for sustenance, dwelling, clothing and medical attendance, according to the social position of the family.
Support also includes the education of the person entitled to be supported until he completes his education or training for some profession, trade or vocation, even beyond the age of majority. (142a)
Article 291. The following are obliged to support each other to the whole extent set forth in the preceding article:
- The spouses;
- Legitimate ascendants and descendants;
- Parents and acknowledged natural children and the legitimate or illegitimate descendants of the latter;
- Parents and natural children by legal fiction and the legitimate and illegitimate descendants of the latter;
- Parents and illegitimate children who are not natural.
Brothers and sisters owe their legitimate and natural brothers and sisters, although they are only of the half-blood, the necessaries for life, when by a physical or mental defect, or any other cause not imputable to the recipients, the latter cannot secure their subsistence. This assistance includes, in a proper case, expenses necessary for elementary education and for professional or vocational training. (143a)
Article 292. During the proceedings for legal separation, or for annulment of marriage, the spouses and children, shall be supported from the conjugal partnership property. After the final judgment of legal separation, or of annulment of marriage, the obligation of mutual support between the spouses ceases. However, in case of legal separation, the court may order that the guilty spouse shall give support to the innocent one, the judgment specifying the terms of such order. (n)
Article 293. In an action for legal separation or annulment of marriage, attorney's fees and expenses for litigation shall be charged to the conjugal partnership property, unless the action fails. (n)
Article 294. The claim for support, when proper and two or more persons are obliged to give it, shall be made in the following order:
- From the spouse;
- From the descendants of the nearest degree;
- From the ascendants, also of the nearest degree;
- From the brothers and sisters.
Among descendants and ascendants the order in which they are called to the intestate succession of the person who has a right to claim support shall be observed. (144)
Article 295. When the obligation to give support falls upon two or more persons, the payment of the same shall be divided between them in proportion to the resources of each.
However, in case of urgent need and by special circumstances, the judge may order only one of them to furnish the support provisionally, without prejudice to his right to claim from the other obligors the share due from them.
When two or more recipients at the same time claim support from one and the same person legally obliged to give it, and the latter should not have sufficient means to satisfy all, the order established in the preceding article shall be followed, unless the concurrent obligees should be the spouse and a child subject to parental authority, in which case the latter shall be preferred. (145)
Article 296. The amount of support, in the cases referred to in the five numbers of article 291, shall be in proportion to the resources or means of the giver and to the necessities of the recipient. (146a)
Article 297. Support in the cases referred to in the preceding article shall be reduced or increased proportionately, according to the reduction or increase of the needs of the recipient and the resources of the person obliged to furnish the same. (147) ARTICLE 298. The obligation to give support shall be demandable from the time the person who has a right to receive the same needs it for maintenance, but it shall not be paid except from the date it is extrajudicially demanded.
Payment shall be made monthly in advance, and when the recipient dies, his heirs shall not be obliged to return what he has received in advance. (148a) Article 299. The person obliged to give support may, at his option, fulfill his obligation either by paying the allowance fixed, or by receiving and maintaining in his house the person who has a right to receive support. The latter alternative cannot be availed of in case there is a moral or legal obstacle thereto. (149a)
Article 300. The obligation to furnish support ceases upon the death of the obligor, even if he may be bound to give it in compliance with a final judgment. (150)
Article 301. The right to receive support cannot be renounced; nor can it be transmitted to a third person. Neither can it be compensated with what the recipient owes the obligor.
However, support in arrears may be compensated and renounced, and the right to demand the same may be transmitted by onerous or gratuitous title. (151)
Article 302. Neither the right to receive legal support nor any money or property obtained as such support or any pension or gratuity from the government is subject to attachment or execution. (n)
Article 303. The obligation to give support shall also cease:
- Upon the death of the recipient;
- When the resources of the obligor have been reduced to the point where he cannot give the support without neglecting his own needs and those of his family;
- When the recipient may engage in a trade, profession, or industry, or has obtained work, or has improved his fortune in such a way that he no longer needs the allowance for his subsistence;
- When the recipient, be he a forced heir or not, has committed some act which gives rise to disinheritance;
- When the recipient is a descendant, brother or sister of the obligor and the need for support is caused by his or her bad conduct or by the lack of application to work, so long as this cause subsists. (152a)
Article 304. The foregoing provisions shall be applicable to other cases where, in virtue of this Code or of any other law, by will, or by stipulation there is a right to receive support, save what is stipulated, ordered by the testator or provided by law for the special case. (153a)
Article 305. The duty and the right to make arrangements for the funeral of a relative shall be in accordance with the order established for support, under article 294. In case of descendants of the same degree, or of brothers and sisters, the oldest shall be preferred. In case of ascendants, the paternal shall have a better right.
Article 306. Every funeral shall be in keeping with the social position of the deceased.
Article 307. The funeral shall be in accordance with the expressed wishes of the deceased. In the absence of such expression, his religious beliefs or affiliation shall determine the funeral rites. In case of doubt, the form of the funeral shall be decided upon by the person obliged to make arrangements for the same, after consulting the other members of the family.
Article 308. No human remains shall be retained, interred, disposed of or exhumed without the consent of the persons mentioned in articles 294 and 305.
Article 309. Any person who shows disrespect to the dead, or wrongfully interferes with a funeral shall be liable to the family of the deceased for damages, material and moral.
Article 310. The construction of a tombstone or mausoleum shall be deemed a part of the funeral expenses, and shall be chargeable to the conjugal partnership property, if the deceased is one of the spouses.
Article 311. The father and mother jointly exercise parental authority over their legitimate children who are not emancipated. In case of disagreement, the father's decision shall prevail, unless there is a judicial order to the contrary.
Children are obliged to obey their parents so long as they are under parental power, and to observe respect and reverence toward them always.
Recognized natural and adopted children who are under the age of majority are under the parental authority of the father or mother recognizing or adopting them, and are under the same obligation stated in the preceding paragraph.
Natural children by legal fiction are under the joint authority of the father and mother, as provided in the first paragraph of this article. (154a)
Article 312. Grandparents shall be consulted by all members of the family on all important family questions. (n) Article 313. Parental authority cannot be renounced or transferred, except in cases of guardianship or adoption approved by the courts, or emancipation by concession.
The courts may, in cases specified by law, deprive parents of their authority. (n)
Article 314. A foundling shall be under the parental authority of the person or institution that has reared the same. (n)
Article 315. No descendant can be compelled, in a criminal case, to testify against his parents and ascendants. (n)
Effect of Parental Authority Upon the Persons of the Children
Article 316. The father and the mother have, with respect to their unemancipated children:
- The duty to support them, to have them in their company, educate and instruct them in keeping with their means, and to represent them in all actions which may redound to their benefit;
- The power to correct them and to punish them moderately. (155)
Article 317. The courts may appoint a guardian of the child's property, or a guardian ad litem when the best interest of the child so requires. (n)
Article 318. Upon cause being shown by the parents, the local mayor may aid them in the exercise of their authority over the child. If the child is to be kept in a children's home or similar institution for not more than one month, an order of the justice of the peace or municipal judge shall be necessary, after due hearing, where the child shall be heard. For his purpose, the court may appoint a guardian ad litem. (156a)
Article 319. The father and the mother shall satisfy the support for the detained child; but they shall not have any intervention in the regime of the institution where the child is detained. They may lift the detention when they deem it opportune, with the approval of the court. (158a)
Effect of Parental Authority on the Property of the Children
Article 320. The father, or in his absence the mother, is the legal administrator of the property pertaining to the child under parental authority. If the property is worth more than two thousand pesos, the father or mother shall give a bond subject to the approval of the Court of First Instance. (159a)
Article 321. The property which the unemancipated child has acquired or may acquire with his work or industry, or by any lucrative title, belongs to the child in ownership, and in usufruct to the father or mother under whom he is under parental authority and in whose company he lives; but if the child, with the parent's consent, should live independently from them, he shall be considered as emancipated for all purposes relative to said property, and he shall have over it dominion, usufruct and administration. (160)
Article 322. A child who earns money or acquires property with his own work or industry shall be entitled to a reasonable allowance from the earnings, in addition to the expenses made by the parents for his support and education. (n)
Article 323. The fruits and interest of the child's property referred to in article 321 shall be applied first to the expenses for the support and education of the child. After they have been fully met, the debts of the conjugal partnership which have redounded to the benefit of the family may be paid from said fruits and interest. (n)
Article 324. Whatever the child may acquire with the capital or property of the parents belongs to the latter in ownership and in usufruct. But if the parents should expressly grant him all or part of the profits that he may obtain, such profits shall not be charged against his legitime. (161)
Article 325. The property or income donated, bequeathed or devised to the unemancipated child for the expenses of his education and instruction shall pertain to him in ownership and usufruct; but the father or mother shall administer the same, if in the donation or testamentary provision the contrary has not been stated. (162)
Article 326. When the property of the child is worth more than two thousand pesos, the father or mother shall be considered a guardian of the child's property, subject to the duties and obligations of guardians under the Rules of Court. (n)
Extinguishment of Parental Authority
Article 327. Parental authority terminates:
- Upon the death of the parents or of the child;
- Upon emancipation;
- Upon adoption of the child;
- Upon the appointment of a general guardian. (167a)
Article 328. The mother who contracts a subsequent marriage loses the parental authority over her children, unless the deceased husband, father of the latter, has expressly provided in his will that his widow might marry again, and has ordered that in such case
she should keep and exercise parental authority over their children.
The court may also appoint a guardian of the child's property in case the father should contract a subsequent marriage. (168a)
Article 329. When the mother of an illegitimate child marries a man other than its father, the court may appoint a guardian for the
Article 330. The father and in a proper case the mother, shall lose authority over their children:
- When by final judgment in a criminal case the penalty of deprivation of said authority is imposed upon him or her;
- When by a final judgment in legal separation proceedings such loss of authority is declared. (169a)
Article 331. Parental authority is suspended by the incapacity or absence of the father, or in a proper case of the mother, judicially declared, and also by civil interdiction. (170)
Article 332. The courts may deprive the parents of their authority or suspend the exercise of the same if they should treat their children with excessive harshness or should give them corrupting orders, counsels, or examples, or should make them beg or abandon them. In these cases, the courts may also deprive the parents in whole or in part, of the usufruct over the child's property, or adopt such measures as they may deem advisable in the interest of the child. (171a)
Article 333. If the widowed mother who has contracted a subsequent marriage should again become a widow, she shall recover from this moment her parental authority over all her unemancipated children. (172)
CHAPTER 5 Adoption Article 334. Every person of age, who is in full possession of his civil rights, may adopt. (173a) Article 335. The following cannot adopt:
- Those who have legitimate, legitimated, acknowledged natural children, or natural children by legal fiction;
- The guardian, with respect to the ward, before the final approval of his accounts;
- A married person, without the consent of the other spouse;
- Non-resident aliens;
- Resident aliens with whose government the Republic of the Philippines has broken diplomatic relations;
- Any person who has been convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude, when the penalty imposed was six months'
imprisonment or more. (174a) Article 336. The husband and wife may jointly adopt. Parental authority shall, in such case, be exercised as if the child were their own by nature. (n)
Article 337. Any person, even if of age, may be adopted, provided the adopter is sixteen years older. (173a) Article 338. The following may be adopted:
- The natural child, by the natural father or mother;
- Other illegitimate children, by the father or mother;
- A step-child, by the step-father or step-mother. (n) Article 339. The following cannot be adopted:
- A married person, without the written consent of the other spouse;
- An alien with whose government the Republic of the Philippines has broken diplomatic relations;
- A person who has already been adopted. (n) Article 340. The written consent of the following to the adoption shall be necessary: (1) The person to be adopted, if fourteen years of age or over;
- The parents, guardian or person in charge of the person to be adopted. (n) Article 341. The adoption shall:
- Give to the adopted person the same rights and duties as if he were a legitimate child of the adopter;
- Dissolve the authority vested in the parents by nature;
- Make the adopted person a legal heir of the adopter;
- Entitle the adopted person to use the adopter's surname. (n) Article 342. The adopter shall not be a legal heir of the adopted person, whose parents by nature shall inherit from him. (177a) Article 343. If the adopter is survived by legitimate parents or ascendants and by an adopted person, the latter shall not have more
successional rights than an acknowledged natural child. (n)
Article 344. The adopter may donate property, by an act inter vivos or by will, to the adopted person, who shall acquire ownership thereof. (n) Article 345. The proceedings for adoption shall be governed by the Rules of Court insofar as they are not in conflict with this Code.
Article 346. The adoption shall be recorded in the local civil register. (179a)
Article 347. A minor or other incapacitated person may, through a guardian ad litem, ask for the rescission of the adoption on the
same grounds that cause the loss of parental authority. (n)
Article 348. The adopter may petition the court for revocation of the adoption in any of these cases:
- If the adopted person has attempted against the life of the adopter;
- When the adopted minor has abandoned the home of the adopter for more than three years;
- When by other acts the adopted person has definitely repudiated the adoption. (n)
Substitute Parental Authority (n)
Article 349. The following persons shall exercise substitute parental authority:
- Teachers and professors;
- Heads of children's homes, orphanages, and similar institutions;
- Directors of trade establishments, with regard to apprentices;
(6) The oldest brother or sister. Article 350. The persons named in the preceding article shall exercise reasonable supervision over the conduct of the child. Article 351. A general guardian or a guardian over the person shall have the same authority over the ward's person as the parents.
With regard to the child's property, the Rules of Court on guardianship shall govern.
Article 352. The relations between teacher and pupil, professor and student, are fixed by government regulations and those of
each school or institution. In no case shall corporal punishment be countenanced. The teacher or professor shall cultivate the best
potentialities of the heart and mind of the pupil or student.
Article 353. Apprentices shall be treated humanely. No corporal punishment against the apprentice shall be permitted.
Article 354. Grandparents and in their default the oldest brother or sister shall exercise parental authority in case of death or
absence of the child's parents. If the parents are living, or if the child is under guardianship, the grandparents may give advice and counsel to the child, to the parents or to the guardian. Article 355. Substitute parental authority shall be exercised by the grandparents in the following order:
- Paternal grandparents;
- Maternal grandparents.
Care and Education of Children
Article 356. Every child:
- Is entitled to parental care;
- Shall receive at least elementary education;
- Shall be given moral and civic training by the parents or guardian;
(4) Has a right to live in an atmosphere conducive to his physical, moral and intellectual development. Article 357. Every child shall:
- Obey and honor his parents or guardian;
- Respect his grandparents, old relatives, and persons holding substitute parental authority;
- Exert his utmost for his education and training;
- Cooperate with the family in all matters that make for the good of the same.
Article 358. Every parent and every person holding substitute parental authority shall see to it that the rights of the child are respected and his duties complied with, and shall particularly, by precept and example, imbue the child with highmindedness, love of country, veneration for the national heroes, fidelity to democracy as a way of life, and attachment to the ideal of permanent world peace.
Article 359. The government promotes the full growth of the faculties of every child. For this purpose, the government will establish, whenever possible:
- Schools in every barrio, municipality and city where optional religious instruction shall be taught as part of the curriculum at the option of the parent or guardian;
- Puericulture and similar centers;
- Councils for the Protection of Children; and
- Juvenile courts.
Article 360. The Council for the Protection of Children shall look after the welfare of children in the municipality. It shall, among other functions:
- Foster the education of every child in the municipality;
- Encourage the cultivation of the duties of parents;
- Protect and assist abandoned or mistreated children, and orphans;
- Take steps to prevent juvenile delinquency;
- Adopt measures for the health of children;
- Promote the opening and maintenance of playgrounds;
(7) Coordinate the activities of organizations devoted to the welfare of children, and secure their cooperation. Article 361. Juvenile courts will be established, as far as practicable, in every chartered city or large municipality. Article 362. Whenever a child is found delinquent by any court, the father, mother, or guardian may in a proper case be judicially
admonished. Article 363. In all questions on the care, custody, education and property of children the latter's welfare shall be paramount. No mother shall be separated from her child under seven years of age, unless the court finds compelling reasons for such measure.
TITLE XIII Use of Surnames (n) Article 364. Legitimate and legitimated children shall principally use the surname of the father.
Article 365. An adopted child shall bear the surname of the adopter.
Article 366. A natural child acknowledged by both parents shall principally use the surname of the father. If recognized by only one
of the parents, a natural child shall employ the surname of the recognizing parent.
Article 367. Natural children by legal fiction shall principally employ the surname of the father.
Article 368. Illegitimate children referred to in article 287 shall bear the surname of the mother.
Article 369. Children conceived before the decree annulling a voidable marriage shall principally use the surname of the father.
Article 370. A married woman may use:
- Her maiden first name and surname and add her husband's surname, or
- Her maiden first name and her husband's surname or
- Her husband's full name, but prefixing a word indicating that she is his wife, such as "Mrs."
Article 371. In case of annulment of marriage, and the wife is the guilty party, she shall resume her maiden name and surname. If she is the innocent spouse, she may resume her maiden name and surname. However, she may choose to continue employing her former husband's surname, unless:
- The court decrees otherwise, or
- She or the former husband is married again to another person.
Article 372. When legal separation has been granted, the wife shall continue using her name and surname employed before the legal separation. Article 373. A widow may use the deceased husband's surname as though he were still living, in accordance with article 370. Article 374. In case of identity of names and surnames, the younger person shall be obliged to use such additional name or
surname as will avoid confusion.
Article 375. In case of identity of names and surnames between ascendants and descendants, the word "Junior" can be used only
by a son. Grandsons and other direct male descendants shall either:
(1) Add a middle name or the mother's surname, or
(2) Add the Roman numerals II, III, and so on. Article 376. No person can change his name or surname without judicial authority. Article 377. Usurpation of a name and surname may be the subject of an action for damages and other relief. Article 378. The unauthorized or unlawful use of another person's surname gives a right of action to the latter. Article 379. The employment of pen names or stage names is permitted, provided it is done in good faith and there is no injury to
third persons. Pen names and stage names cannot be usurped. Article 380. Except as provided in the preceding article, no person shall use different names and surnames.
Provisional Measures in Case of Absence
Article 381. When a person disappears from his domicile, his whereabouts being unknown, and without leaving an agent to administer his property, the judge, at the instance of an interested party, a relative, or a friend, may appoint a person to represent him in all that may be necessary.
This same rule shall be observed when under similar circumstances the power conferred by the absentee has expired. (181a)
Article 382. The appointment referred to in the preceding article having been made, the judge shall take the necessary measures to safeguard the rights and interests of the absentee and shall specify the powers, obligations and remuneration of his representative, regulating them, according to the circumstances, by the rules concerning guardians. (182)
Article 383. In the appointment of a representative, the spouse present shall be preferred when there is no legal separation.
If the absentee left no spouse, or if the spouse present is a minor, any competent person may be appointed by the court. (183a)
Declaration of Absence
Article 384. Two years having elapsed without any news about the absentee or since the receipt of the last news, and five years in case the absentee has left a person in charge of the administration of his property, his absence may be declared. (184)
Article 385. The following may ask for the declaration of absence:
- The spouse present;
- The heirs instituted in a will, who may present an authentic copy of the same;
- The relatives who may succeed by the law of intestacy;
(4) Those who may have over the property of the absentee some right subordinated to the condition of his death. (185) Article 386. The judicial declaration of absence shall not take effect until six months after its publication in a newspaper of general circulation. (186a)
Administration of the Property of the Absentee
Article 387. An administrator of the absentee's property shall be appointed in accordance with article 383. (187a)
Article 388. The wife who is appointed as an administratrix of the husband's property cannot alienate or encumber the husband's property, or that of the conjugal partnership, without judicial authority. (188a)
Article 389. The administration shall cease in any of the following cases:
- When the absentee appears personally or by means of an agent;
- When the death of the absentee is proved and his testate or intestate heirs appear;
- When a third person appears, showing by a proper document that he has acquired the absentee's property by purchase or other title.
In these cases the administrator shall cease in the performance of his office, and the property shall be at the disposal of those who may have a right thereto. (190)
Presumption of Death
Article 390. After an absence of seven years, it being unknown whether or not the absentee still lives, he shall be presumed dead for all purposes, except for those of succession.
The absentee shall not be presumed dead for the purpose of opening his succession till after an absence of ten years. If he disappeared after the age of seventy-five years, an absence of five years shall be sufficient in order that his succession may be opened. (n)
Article 391. The following shall be presumed dead for all purposes, including the division of the estate among the heirs:
- A person on board a vessel lost during a sea voyage, or an aeroplane which is missing, who has not been heard of for four years since the loss of the vessel or aeroplane;
- A person in the armed forces who has taken part in war, and has been missing for four years;
- A person who has been in danger of death under other circumstances and his existence has not been known for four years. (n)
Article 392. If the absentee appears, or without appearing his existence is proved, he shall recover his property in the condition in which it may be found, and the price of any property that may have been alienated or the property acquired therewith; but he cannot claim either fruits or rents. (194)
Effect of Absence Upon the Contingent Rights of the Absentee
Article 393. Whoever claims a right pertaining to a person whose existence is not recognized must prove that he was living at the time his existence was necessary in order to acquire said right. (195)
Article 394. Without prejudice to the provision of the preceding article, upon the opening of a succession to which an absentee is called, his share shall accrue to his coheirs, unless he has heirs, assigns, or a representative. They shall all, as the case may be, make an inventory of the property. (196a)
Article 395. The provisions of the preceding article are understood to be without prejudice to the action of petition for inheritance or other rights which are vested in the absentee, his representatives or successors in interest. These rights shall not be extinguished save by lapse of time fixed for prescription. In the record that is made in the Registry of the real estate which accrues to the coheirs, the circumstance of its being subject to the provisions of this article shall be stated. (197)
Article 396. Those who may have entered upon the inheritance shall appropriate the fruits received in good faith so long as the absentee does not appear, or while his representatives or successors in interest do not bring the proper actions. (198)
EMANCIPATION AND AGE OF MAJORITY
Article 397. Emancipation takes place:
- By the marriage of the minor;
- By the attainment of majority;
- By the concession of the father or of the mother who exercise parental authority. (314)
Article 398. Emancipation treated of in No. 3 of the preceding article shall be effected in a public instrument which shall be recorded in the Civil Register, and unless so recorded, it shall take no effect against third persons. (316a)
Article 399. Emancipation by marriage or by voluntary concession shall terminate parental authority over the child's person. It shall enable the minor to administer his property as though he were of age, but he cannot borrow money or alienate or encumber real property without the consent of his father or mother, or guardian. He can sue and be sued in court only with the assistance of his father, mother or guardian. (317a)
Article 400. In order that emancipation by concession of the father or of the mother may take place, it is required that the minor be eighteen years of age, and that he give his consent thereto. (318)
Article 401. Emancipation is final or irrevocable. (319a)
Age of Majority
Article 402. Majority commences upon the attainment of the age of twenty-one years.
The person who has reached majority is qualified for all acts of civil life, save the exceptions established by this Code in special cases. (320a)
Article 403. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding article, a daughter above twenty-one but below twenty-three years of age cannot leave the parental home without the consent of the father or mother in whose company she lives, except to become a wife, or when she exercises a profession or calling, or when the father or mother has contracted a subsequent marriage. (321a)
Article 404. An orphan who is minor may, at the instance of any relative or other person, obtain emancipation by concession upon an order of the Court of First Instance. (322a)
Article 405. For the concession and approval referred to in the preceding article it is necessary:
- That the minor be eighteen years of age;
- That he consent thereto; and
- That the concession be deemed convenient for the minor.
The concession shall be recorded in the Civil Register. (323a)
Article 406. The provisions of article 399 are applicable to an orphan who has been emancipated according to article 404. The court will give the necessary approval with respect to the contracts mentioned in article 399. In litigations, a guardian ad litem for the minor shall be appointed by the court. (324a)
TITLE XVI CIVIL REGISTER Article 407. Acts, events and judicial decrees concerning the civil status of persons shall be recorded in the civil register. (325a) Article 408. The following shall be entered in the civil register:
(1) Births; (2) marriages; (3) deaths; (4) legal separations; (5) annulments of marriage; (6) judgments declaring marriages void from the beginning; (7) legitimations; (8) adoptions; (9) acknowledgments of natural children; (10) naturalization; (11) loss, or (12) recovery of citizenship; (13) civil interdiction; (14) judicial determination of filiation; (15) voluntary emancipation of a minor; and (16) changes of name. (326a)
Article 409. In cases of legal separation, adoption, naturalization and other judicial orders mentioned in the preceding article, it shall be the duty of the clerk of the court which issued the decree to ascertain whether the same has been registered, and if this has not been done, to send a copy of said decree to the civil registry of the city or municipality where the court is functioning. (n)
Article 410. The books making up the civil register and all documents relating thereto shall be considered public documents and shall be prima facie evidence of the facts therein contained. (n)
Article 411. Every civil registrar shall be civilly responsible for any unauthorized alteration made in any civil register, to any person suffering damage thereby. However, the civil registrar may exempt himself from such liability if he proves that he has taken every reasonable precaution to prevent the unlawful alteration. (n)
Article 412. No entry in a civil register shall be changed or corrected, without a judicial order. (n)
Article 413. All other matters pertaining to the registration of civil status shall be governed by special laws. (n)
PROPERTY, OWNERSHIP, AND ITS MODIFICATIONS
CLASSIFICATION OF PROPERTY
Article 414. All things which are or may be the object of appropriation are considered either:
- Immovable or real property; or
- Movable or personal property. (333)
Article 415. The following are immovable property:
- Land, buildings, roads and constructions of all kinds adhered to the soil;
- Trees, plants, and growing fruits, while they are attached to the land or form an integral part of an immovable;
- Everything attached to an immovable in a fixed manner, in such a way that it cannot be separated therefrom without breaking the material or deterioration of the object;
- Statues, reliefs, paintings or other objects for use or ornamentation, placed in buildings or on lands by the owner of the immovable in such a manner that it reveals the intention to attach them permanently to the tenements;
- Machinery, receptacles, instruments or implements intended by the owner of the tenement for an industry or works which may be carried on in a building or on a piece of land, and which tend directly to meet the needs of the said industry or works;
- Animal houses, pigeon-houses, beehives, fish ponds or breeding places of similar nature, in case their owner has placed them or preserves them with the intention to have them permanently attached to the land, and forming a permanent part of it; the animals in these places are included;
- Fertilizer actually used on a piece of land;
- Mines, quarries, and slag dumps, while the matter thereof forms part of the bed, and waters either running or stagnant;
- Docks and structures which, though floating, are intended by their nature and object to remain at a fixed place on a river, lake, or coast;
- Contracts for public works, and servitudes and other real rights over immovable property. (334a)
Article 416. The following things are deemed to be personal property:
- Those movables susceptible of appropriation which are not included in the preceding article;
- Real property which by any special provision of law is considered as personalty;
- Forces of nature which are brought under control by science; and
- In general, all things which can be transported from place to place without impairment of the real property to which they are fixed. (335a)
Article 417. The following are also considered as personal property:
- Obligations and actions which have for their object movables or demandable sums; and
- Shares of stock of agricultural, commercial and industrial entities, although they may have real estate. (336a)
Article 418. Movable property is either consumable or nonconsumable. To the first class belong those movables which cannot be used in a manner appropriate to their nature without their being consumed; to the second class belong all the others. (337)
CHAPTER 3 Property in Relation to the Person to Whom It Belongs Article 419. Property is either of public dominion or of private ownership. (338) Article 420. The following things are property of public dominion:
- Those intended for public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, banks, shores, roadsteads, and others of similar character;
- Those which belong to the State, without being for public use, and are intended for some public service or for the development of the national wealth. (339a)
Article 421. All other property of the State, which is not of the character stated in the preceding article, is patrimonial property. (340a)
Article 422. Property of public dominion, when no longer intended for public use or for public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of the State. (341a)
Article 423. The property of provinces, cities, and municipalities is divided into property for public use and patrimonial property.
Article 424. Property for public use, in the provinces, cities, and municipalities, consist of the provincial roads, city streets, municipal streets, the squares, fountains, public waters, promenades, and public works for public service paid for by said provinces, cities, or municipalities.
All other property possessed by any of them is patrimonial and shall be governed by this Code, without prejudice to the provisions of special laws. (344a)
Article 425. Property of private ownership, besides the patrimonial property of the State, provinces, cities, and municipalities, consists of all property belonging to private persons, either individually or collectively. (345a)
Provisions Common to the Three Preceding Chapters
Article 426. Whenever by provision of the law, or an individual declaration, the expression "immovable things or property," or "movable things or property," is used, it shall be deemed to include, respectively, the things enumerated in Chapter 1 and Chapter
Whenever the word "muebles," or "furniture," is used alone, it shall not be deemed to include money, credits, commercial securities, stocks and bonds, jewelry, scientific or artistic collections, books, medals, arms, clothing, horses or carriages and their accessories, grains, liquids and merchandise, or other things which do not have as their principal object the furnishing or ornamenting of a building, except where from the context of the law, or the individual declaration, the contrary clearly appears. (346a)
Ownership in General
Article 427. Ownership may be exercised over things or rights. (n)
Article 428. The owner has the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those established by law.
The owner has also a right of action against the holder and possessor of the thing in order to recover it. (348a)
Article 429. The owner or lawful possessor of a thing has the right to exclude any person from the enjoyment and disposal thereof. For this purpose, he may use such force as may be reasonably necessary to repel or prevent an actual or threatened unlawful physical invasion or usurpation of his property. (n)
Article 430. Every owner may enclose or fence his land or tenements by means of walls, ditches, live or dead hedges, or by any other means without detriment to servitudes constituted thereon. (388)
Article 431. The owner of a thing cannot make use thereof in such manner as to injure the rights of a third person. (n)
Article 432. The owner of a thing has no right to prohibit the interference of another with the same, if the interference is necessary to avert an imminent danger and the threatened damage, compared to the damage arising to the owner from the interference, is much greater. The owner may demand from the person benefited indemnity for the damage to him. (n)
Article 433. Actual possession under claim of ownership raises disputable presumption of ownership. The true owner must resort to judicial process for the recovery of the property. (n)
Article 434. In an action to recover, the property must be identified, and the plaintiff must rely on the strength of his title and not on the weakness of the defendant's claim. (n)
Article 435. No person shall be deprived of his property except by competent authority and for public use and always upon payment of just compensation.
Should this requirement be not first complied with, the courts shall protect and, in a proper case, restore the owner in his possession. (349a)
Article 436. When any property is condemned or seized by competent authority in the interest of health, safety or security, the owner thereof shall not be entitled to compensation, unless he can show that such condemnation or seizure is unjustified. (n) ARTICLE 437. The owner of a parcel of land is the owner of its surface and of everything under it, and he can construct thereon any works or make any plantations and excavations which he may deem proper, without detriment to servitudes and subject to special laws and ordinances. He cannot complain of the reasonable requirements of aerial navigation. (350a)
Article 438. Hidden treasure belongs to the owner of the land, building, or other property on which it is found.
Nevertheless, when the discovery is made on the property of another, or of the State or any of its subdivisions, and by chance, one-half thereof shall be allowed to the finder. If the finder is a trespasser, he shall not be entitled to any share of the treasure.
If the things found be of interest to science or the arts, the State may acquire them at their just price, which shall be divided in conformity with the rule stated. (351a)
Article 439. By treasure is understood, for legal purposes, any hidden and unknown deposit of money, jewelry, or other precious objects, the lawful ownership of which does not appear. (352)
Right of Accession
Article 440. The ownership of property gives the right by accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially. (353)
Right of Accession with Respect to What is Produced by Property
Article 441. To the owner belongs:
- The natural fruits;
- The industrial fruits;
- The civil fruits. (354)
Article 442. Natural fruits are the spontaneous products of the soil, and the young and other products of animals.
Industrial fruits are those produced by lands of any kind through cultivation or labor.
Civil fruits are the rents of buildings, the price of leases of lands and other property and the amount of perpetual or life annuities or other similar income. (355a)
Article 443. He who receives the fruits has the obligation to pay the expenses made by a third person in their production, gathering, and preservation. (356)
Article 444. Only such as are manifest or born are considered as natural or industrial fruits.
With respect to animals, it is sufficient that they are in the womb of the mother, although unborn. (357)
Right of Accession with Respect to Immovable Property
Article 445. Whatever is built, planted or sown on the land of another and the improvements or repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land, subject to the provisions of the following articles. (358)
Article 446. All works, sowing, and planting are presumed made by the owner and at his expense, unless the contrary is proved.
Article 447. The owner of the land who makes thereon, personally or through another, plantings, constructions or works with the materials of another, shall pay their value; and, if he acted in bad faith, he shall also be obliged to the reparation of damages. The owner of the materials shall have the right to remove them only in case he can do so without injury to the work constructed, or without the plantings, constructions or works being destroyed. However, if the landowner acted in bad faith, the owner of the materials may remove them in any event, with a right to be indemnified for damages. (360a)
Article 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown or planted in good faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the indemnity provided for in articles 546 and 548, or to oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent. However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is considerably more than that of the building or trees. In such case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof. (361a)
Article 449. He who builds, plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built, planted or sown without right to indemnity. (362)
Article 450. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, planted or sown in bad faith may demand the demolition of the work, or that the planting or sowing be removed, in order to replace things in their former condition at the expense of the person who built, planted or sowed; or he may compel the builder or planter to pay the price of the land, and the sower the proper rent. (363a) Article 451. In the cases of the two preceding articles, the landowner is entitled to damages from the builder, planter or sower. (n)
Article 452. The builder, planter or sower in bad faith is entitled to reimbursement for the necessary expenses of preservation of the land. (n)
Article 453. If there was bad faith, not only on the part of the person who built, planted or sowed on the land of another, but also on the part of the owner of such land, the rights of one and the other shall be the same as though both had acted in good faith.
It is understood that there is bad faith on the part of the landowner whenever the act was done with his knowledge and without opposition on his part. (364a)
Article 454. When the landowner acted in bad faith and the builder, planter or sower proceeded in good faith, the provisions of article 447 shall apply. (n)
Article 455. If the materials, plants or seeds belong to a third person who has not acted in bad faith, the owner of the land shall answer subsidiarily for their value and only in the event that the one who made use of them has no property with which to pay.
This provision shall not apply if the owner makes use of the right granted by article 450. If the owner of the materials, plants or seeds has been paid by the builder, planter or sower, the latter may demand from the landowner the value of the materials and labor. (365a)
Article 456. In the cases regulated in the preceding articles, good faith does not necessarily exclude negligence, which gives right to damages under article 2176. (n)
Article 457. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters. (336)
Article 458. The owners of estates adjoining ponds or lagoons do not acquire the land left dry by the natural decrease of the waters, or lose that inundated by them in extraordinary floods. (367)
Article 459. Whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank a known portion of land and transfers it to another estate, the owner of the land to which the segregated portion belonged retains the ownership of it, provided that he removes the same within two years. (368a)
Article 460. Trees uprooted and carried away by the current of the waters belong to the owner of the land upon which they may be cast, if the owners do not claim them within six months. If such owners claim them, they shall pay the expenses incurred in gathering them or putting them in a safe place. (369a)
Article 461. River beds which are abandoned through the natural change in the course of the waters ipso facto belong to the owners whose lands are occupied by the new course in proportion to the area lost. However, the owners of the lands adjoining the old bed shall have the right to acquire the same by paying the value thereof, which value shall not exceed the value of the area occupied by the new bed. (370a)
Article 462. Whenever a river, changing its course by natural causes, opens a new bed through a private estate, this bed shall become of public dominion. (372a)
Article 463. Whenever the current of a river divides itself into branches, leaving a piece of land or part thereof isolated, the owner of the land retains his ownership. He also retains it if a portion of land is separated from the estate by the current. (374)
Article 464. Islands which may be formed on the seas within the jurisdiction of the Philippines, on lakes, and on navigable or floatable rivers belong to the State. (371a)
Article 465. Islands which through successive accumulation of alluvial deposits are formed in non-navigable and non-floatable rivers, belong to the owners of the margins or banks nearest to each of them, or to the owners of both margins if the island is in the middle of the river, in which case it shall be divided longitudinally in halves. If a single island thus formed be more distant from one margin than from the other, the owner of the nearer margin shall be the sole owner thereof. (373a)
Right of Accession with Respect to Movable Property
Article 466. Whenever two movable things belonging to different owners are, without bad faith, united in such a way that they form a single object, the owner of the principal thing acquires the accessory, indemnifying the former owner thereof for its value. (375)
Article 467. The principal thing, as between two things incorporated, is deemed to be that to which the other has been united as an ornament, or for its use or perfection. (376)
Article 468. If it cannot be determined by the rule given in the preceding article which of the two things incorporated is the principal one, the thing of the greater value shall be so considered, and as between two things of equal value, that of the greater volume.
In painting and sculpture, writings, printed matter, engraving and lithographs, the board, metal, stone, canvas, paper or parchment shall be deemed the accessory thing. (377)
Article 469. Whenever the things united can be separated without injury, their respective owners may demand their separation.
Nevertheless, in case the thing united for the use, embellishment or perfection of the other, is much more precious than the principal thing, the owner of the former may demand its separation, even though the thing to which it has been incorporated may suffer some injury. (378) Article 470. Whenever the owner of the accessory thing has made the incorporation in bad faith, he shall lose the thing incorporated and shall have the obligation to indemnify the owner of the principal thing for the damages he may have suffered.
If the one who has acted in bad faith is the owner of the principal thing, the owner of the accessory thing shall have a right to choose between the former paying him its value or that the thing belonging to him be separated, even though for this purpose it be necessary to destroy the principal thing; and in both cases, furthermore, there shall be indemnity for damages.
If either one of the owners has made the incorporation with the knowledge and without the objection of the other, their respective rights shall be determined as though both acted in good faith. (379a)
Article 471. Whenever the owner of the material employed without his consent has a right to an indemnity, he may demand that this consist in the delivery of a thing equal in kind and value, and in all other respects, to that employed, or else in the price thereof, according to expert appraisal. (380)
Article 472. If by the will of their owners two things of the same or different kinds are mixed, or if the mixture occurs by chance, and in the latter case the things are not separable without injury, each owner shall acquire a right proportional to the part belonging to him, bearing in mind the value of the things mixed or confused. (381)
Article 473. If by the will of only one owner, but in good faith, two things of the same or different kinds are mixed or confused, the rights of the owners shall be determined by the provisions of the preceding article.
If the one who caused the mixture or confusion acted in bad faith, he shall lose the thing belonging to him thus mixed or confused, besides being obliged to pay indemnity for the damages caused to the owner of the other thing with which his own was mixed. (382)
Article 474. One who in good faith employs the material of another in whole or in part in order to make a thing of a different kind, shall appropriate the thing thus transformed as his own, indemnifying the owner of the material for its value.
If the material is more precious than the transformed thing or is of more value, its owner may, at his option, appropriate the new thing to himself, after first paying indemnity for the value of the work, or demand indemnity for the material.
If in the making of the thing bad faith intervened, the owner of the material shall have the right to appropriate the work to himself without paying anything to the maker, or to demand of the latter that he indemnify him for the value of the material and the damages he may have suffered. However, the owner of the material cannot appropriate the work in case the value of the latter, for artistic or scientific reasons, is considerably more than that of the material. (383a)
Article 475. In the preceding articles, sentimental value shall be duly appreciated. (n)
Quieting of Title (n)
Article 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the title.
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real property or any interest therein.
Article 477. The plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to, or interest in the real property which is the subject matter of the action. He need not be in possession of said property.
Article 478. There may also be an action to quiet title or remove a cloud therefrom when the contract, instrument or other obligation has been extinguished or has terminated, or has been barred by extinctive prescription.
Article 479. The plaintiff must return to the defendant all benefits he may have received from the latter, or reimburse him for expenses that may have redounded to the plaintiff's benefit.
Article 480. The principles of the general law on the quieting of title are hereby adopted insofar as they are not in conflict with this Code.
Article 481. The procedure for the quieting of title or the removal of a cloud therefrom shall be governed by such rules of court as the Supreme Court shall promulgated.
Ruinous Buildings and Trees in Danger of Falling
Article 482. If a building, wall, column, or any other construction is in danger of falling, the owner shall be obliged to demolish it or to execute the necessary work in order to prevent it from falling.
If the proprietor does not comply with this obligation, the administrative authorities may order the demolition of the structure at the expense of the owner, or take measures to insure public safety. (389a)
Article 483. Whenever a large tree threatens to fall in such a way as to cause damage to the land or tenement of another or to travelers over a public or private road, the owner of the tree shall be obliged to fell and remove it; and should he not do so, it shall be done at his expense by order of the administrative authorities. (390a)
Article 484. There is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons.
In default of contracts, or of special provisions, co-ownership shall be governed by the provisions of this Title. (392)
Article 485. The share of the co-owners, in the benefits as well as in the charges, shall be proportional to their respective interests. Any stipulation in a contract to the contrary shall be void.
The portions belonging to the co-owners in the co-ownership shall be presumed equal, unless the contrary is proved. (393a)
Article 486. Each co-owner may use the thing owned in common, provided he does so in accordance with the purpose for which it is intended and in such a way as not to injure the interest of the co-ownership or prevent the other co-owners from using it according to their rights. The purpose of the co-ownership may be changed by agreement, express or implied. (394a)
Article 487. Any one of the co-owners may bring an action in ejectment. (n)
Article 488. Each co-owner shall have a right to compel the other co-owners to contribute to the expenses of preservation of the thing or right owned in common and to the taxes. Any one of the latter may exempt himself from this obligation by renouncing so much of his undivided interest as may be equivalent to his share of the expenses and taxes. No such waiver shall be made if it is prejudicial to the co-ownership. (395a)
Article 489. Repairs for preservation may be made at the will of one of the co-owners, but he must, if practicable, first notify his coowners of the necessity for such repairs. Expenses to improve or embellish the thing shall be decided upon by a majority as determined in article 492. (n)
Article 490. Whenever the different stories of a house belong to different owners, if the titles of ownership do not specify the terms under which they should contribute to the necessary expenses and there exists no agreement on the subject, the following rules shall be observed:
- The main and party walls, the roof and the other things used in common, shall be preserved at the expense of all the owners in proportion to the value of the story belonging to each;
- Each owner shall bear the cost of maintaining the floor of his story; the floor of the entrance, front door, common yard and sanitary works common to all, shall be maintained at the expense of all the owners pro rata;
- The stairs from the entrance to the first story shall be maintained at the expense of all the owners pro rata, with the exception of the owner of the ground floor; the stairs from the first to the second story shall be preserved at the expense of all, except the owner of the ground floor and the owner of the first story; and so on successively. (396)
Article 491. None of the co-owners shall, without the consent of the others, make alterations in the thing owned in common, even though benefits for all would result therefrom. However, if the withholding of the consent by one or more of the co-owners is clearly prejudicial to the common interest, the courts may afford adequate relief. (397a)
Article 492. For the administration and better enjoyment of the thing owned in common, the resolutions of the majority of the coowners shall be binding.
There shall be no majority unless the resolution is approved by the co-owners who represent the controlling interest in the object of the co-ownership.
Should there be no majority, or should the resolution of the majority be seriously prejudicial to those interested in the property owned in common, the court, at the instance of an interested party, shall order such measures as it may deem proper, including the appointment of an administrator.
Whenever a part of the thing belongs exclusively to one of the co-owners, and the remainder is owned in common, the preceding provision shall apply only to the part owned in common. (398)
Article 493. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. (399)
Article 494. No co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the thing owned in common, insofar as his share is concerned.
Nevertheless, an agreement to keep the thing undivided for a certain period of time, not exceeding ten years, shall be valid. This term may be extended by a new agreement.
A donor or testator may prohibit partition for a period which shall not exceed twenty years.
Neither shall there be any partition when it is prohibited by law.
No prescription shall run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership. (400a)
Article 495. Notwithstanding the provisions of the preceding article, the co-owners cannot demand a physical division of the thing owned in common, when to do so would render it unserviceable for the use for which it is intended. But the co-ownership may be terminated in accordance with article 498. (401a)
Article 496. Partition may be made by agreement between the parties or by judicial proceedings. Partition shall be governed by the Rules of Court insofar as they are consistent with this Code. (402) Article 497. The creditors or assignees of the co-owners may take part in the division of the thing owned in common and object to its being effected without their concurrence. But they cannot impugn any partition already executed, unless there has been fraud, or in case it was made notwithstanding a formal opposition presented to prevent it, without prejudice to the right of the debtor or assignor to maintain its validity. (403)
Article 498. Whenever the thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds distributed. (404)
Article 499. The partition of a thing owned in common shall not prejudice third persons, who shall retain the rights of mortgage, servitude or any other real rights belonging to them before the division was made. Personal rights pertaining to third persons against the co-ownership shall also remain in force, notwithstanding the partition. (405)
Article 500. Upon partition, there shall be a mutual accounting for benefits received and reimbursements for expenses made. Likewise, each co-owner shall pay for damages caused by reason of his negligence or fraud. (n)
Article 501. Every co-owner shall, after partition, be liable for defects of title and quality of the portion assigned to each of the other co-owners. (n)
SOME SPECIAL PROPERTIES
Ownership of Waters
Article 502. The following are of public dominion:
- Rivers and their natural beds;
- Continuous or intermittent waters of springs and brooks running in their natural beds and the beds themselves;
- Waters rising continuously or intermittently on lands of public dominion;
- Lakes and lagoons formed by Nature on public lands, and their beds;
- Rain waters running through ravines or sand beds, which are also of public dominion;
- Subterranean waters on public lands;
- Waters found within the zone of operation of public works, even if constructed by a contractor;
- Waters rising continuously or intermittently on lands belonging to private persons, to the State, to a province, or to a city or a municipality from the moment they leave such lands;
(9) The waste waters of fountains, sewers and public establishments. (407) Article 503. The following are of private ownership:
- Continuous or intermittent waters rising on lands of private ownership, while running through the same;
- Lakes and lagoons, and their beds, formed by Nature on such lands;
- Subterranean waters found on the same;
- Rain waters falling on said lands, as long as they remain within the boundaries;
- The beds of flowing waters, continuous or intermittent, formed by rain water, and those of brooks, crossing lands which are not of public dominion.
In every drain or aqueduct, the water, bed, banks and floodgates shall be considered as an integral part of the land of building for which the waters are intended. The owners of lands, through which or along the boundaries of which the aqueduct passes, cannot claim ownership over it, or any right to the use of its bed or banks, unless the claim is based on titles of ownership specifying the right or ownership claimed. (408)
The Use of Public Waters
Article 504. The use of public waters is acquired:
- By administrative concession;
- By prescription for ten years.
The extent of the rights and obligations of the use shall be that established, in the first case, by the terms of the concession, and, in the second case, by the manner and form in which the waters have been used. (409a)
Article 505. Every concession for the use of waters is understood to be without prejudice to third persons. (410)
Article 506. The right to make use of public waters is extinguished by the lapse of the concession and by non-user for five years. (411a)
The Use of Waters of Private Ownership
Article 507. The owner of a piece of land on which a spring or brook rises, be it continuous or intermittent, may use its waters while they run through the same, but after the waters leave the land they shall become public, and their use shall be governed by the Special Law of Waters of August 3, 1866, and by the Irrigation Law. (412a)
Article 508. The private ownership of the beds of rain waters does not give a right to make works or constructions which may change their course to the damage of third persons, or whose destruction, by the force of floods, may cause such damage. (413)
Article 509. No one may enter private property to search waters or make use of them without permission from the owners, except as provided by the Mining Law. (414a)
Article 510. The ownership which the proprietor of a piece of land has over the waters rising thereon does not prejudice the rights which the owners of lower estates may have legally acquired to the use thereof. (415)
Article 511. Every owner of a piece of land has the right to construct within his property, reservoirs for rain waters, provided he causes no damage to the public or to third persons. (416)
Article 512. Only the owner of a piece of land, or another person with his permission, may make explorations thereon for subterranean waters, except as provided by the Mining Law.
Explorations for subterranean waters on lands of public dominion may be made only with the permission of the administrative authorities. (417a)
Article 513. Waters artificially brought forth in accordance with the Special Law of Waters of August 3, 1866, belong to the person who brought them up. (418)
Article 514. When the owner of waters artificially brought to the surface abandons them to their natural course, they shall become of public dominion. (419)
Article 515. The owner of a piece of land on which there are defensive works to check waters, or on which, due to a change of their course, it may be necessary to reconstruct such works, shall be obliged, at his election, either to make the necessary repairs or construction himself, or to permit them to be done, without damage to him, by the owners of the lands which suffer or are clearly exposed to suffer injury. (420)
Article 516. The provisions of the preceding article are applicable to the case in which it may be necessary to clear a piece of land of matter, whose accumulation or fall may obstruct the course of the waters, to the damage or peril of third persons. (421)
Article 517. All the owners who participate in the benefits arising from the works referred to in the two preceding articles, shall be obliged to contribute to the expenses of construction in proportion to their respective interests. Those who by their fault may have caused the damage shall be liable for the expenses. (422)
Article 518. All matters not expressly determined by the provisions of this Chapter shall be governed by the Special Law of Waters of August 3, 1866, and by the Irrigation Law. (425a)
Article 519. Mining claims and rights and other matters concerning minerals and mineral lands are governed by special laws. (427a)
Trade-marks and Trade-names
Article 520. A trade-mark or trade-name duly registered in the proper government bureau or office is owned by and pertains to the person, corporation, or firm registering the same, subject to the provisions of special laws. (n)
Article 521. The goodwill of a business is property, and may be transferred together with the right to use the name under which the business is conducted. (n) Article 522. Trade-marks and trade-names are governed by special laws. (n)
Possession and the Kinds Thereof
Article 523. Possession is the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of a right. (430a)
Article 524. Possession may be exercised in one's own name or in that of another. (413a)
Article 525. The possession of things or rights may be had in one of two concepts: either in the concept of owner, or in that of the holder of the thing or right to keep or enjoy it, the ownership pertaining to another person. (432)
Article 526. He is deemed a possessor in good faith who is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.
He is deemed a possessor in bad faith who possesses in any case contrary to the foregoing.
Mistake upon a doubtful or difficult question of law may be the basis of good faith. (433a)
Article 527. Good faith is always presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of a possessor rests the burden of proof. (434)
Article 528. Possession acquired in good faith does not lose this character except in the case and from the moment facts exist which show that the possessor is not unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or wrongfully. (435a)
Article 529. It is presumed that possession continues to be enjoyed in the same character in which it was acquired, until the contrary is proved. (436)
Article 530. Only things and rights which are susceptible of being appropriated may be the object of possession. (437)
Acquisition of Possession
Article 531. Possession is acquired by the material occupation of a thing or the exercise of a right, or by the fact that it is subject to the action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for acquiring such right. (438a)
Article 532. Possession may be acquired by the same person who is to enjoy it, by his legal representative, by his agent, or by any person without any power whatever: but in the last case, the possession shall not be considered as acquired until the person in whose name the act of possession was executed has ratified the same, without prejudice to the juridical consequences of negotiorum gestio in a proper case. (439a)
Article 533. The possession of hereditary property is deemed transmitted to the heir without interruption and from the moment of the death of the decedent, in case the inheritance is accepted.
One who validly renounces an inheritance is deemed never to have possessed the same. (440)
Article 534. On who succeeds by hereditary title shall not suffer the consequences of the wrongful possession of the decedent, if it is not shown that he was aware of the flaws affecting it; but the effects of possession in good faith shall not benefit him except from the date of death of the decedent. (442)
Article 535. Minors and incapacitated persons may acquire the possession of things; but they need the assistance of their legal representatives in order to exercise the rights which from the possession arise in their favor. (443)
Article 536. In no case may possession be acquired through force or intimidation as long as there is a possessor who objects thereto. He who believes that he has an action or a right to deprive another of the holding of a thing, must invoke the aid of the competent court, if the holder should refuse to deliver the thing. (441a)
Article 537. Acts merely tolerated, and those executed clandestinely and without the knowledge of the possessor of a thing, or by violence, do not affect possession. (444)
Article 538. Possession as a fact cannot be recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the cases of copossession. Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be preferred; if there are two possessors, the one longer in possession; if the dates of the possession are the same, the one who presents a title; and if all these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper proceedings. (445)
Effects of Possession
Article 539. Every possessor has a right to be respected in his possession; and should he be disturbed therein he shall be protected in or restored to said possession by the means established by the laws and the Rules of Court.
A possessor deprived of his possession through forcible entry may within ten days from the filing of the complaint present a motion to secure from the competent court, in the action for forcible entry, a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to restore him in his possession. The court shall decide the motion within thirty (30) days from the filing thereof. (446a)
Article 540. Only the possession acquired and enjoyed in the concept of owner can serve as a title for acquiring dominion. (447)
Article 541. A possessor in the concept of owner has in his favor the legal presumption that he possesses with a just title and he cannot be obliged to show or prove it. (448a)
Article 542. The possession of real property presumes that of the movables therein, so long as it is not shown or proved that they should be excluded. (449)
Article 543. Each one of the participants of a thing possessed in common shall be deemed to have exclusively possessed the part which may be allotted to him upon the division thereof, for the entire period during which the co-possession lasted. Interruption in the possession of the whole or a part of a thing possessed in common shall be to the prejudice of all the possessors. However, in case of civil interruption, the Rules of Court shall apply. (450a)
Article 544. A possessor in good faith is entitled to the fruits received before the possession is legally interrupted.
Natural and industrial fruits are considered received from the time they are gathered or severed.
Civil fruits are deemed to accrue daily and belong to the possessor in good faith in that proportion. (451)
Article 545. If at the time the good faith ceases, there should be any natural or industrial fruits, the possessor shall have a right to a part of the expenses of cultivation, and to a part of the net harvest, both in proportion to the time of the possession.
The charges shall be divided on the same basis by the two possessors.
The owner of the thing may, should he so desire, give the possessor in good faith the right to finish the cultivation and gathering of the growing fruits, as an indemnity for his part of the expenses of cultivation and the net proceeds; the possessor in good faith who for any reason whatever should refuse to accept this concession, shall lose the right to be indemnified in any other manner. (452a)
Article 546. Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every possessor; but only the possessor in good faith may retain the thing until he has been reimbursed therefor.
Useful expenses shall be refunded only to the possessor in good faith with the same right of retention, the person who has defeated him in the possession having the option of refunding the amount of the expenses or of paying the increase in value which the thing may have acquired by reason thereof. (453a)
Article 547. If the useful improvements can be removed without damage to the principal thing, the possessor in good faith may remove them, unless the person who recovers the possession exercises the option under paragraph 2 of the preceding article. (n) ARTICLE 548. Expenses for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to the possessor in good faith; but he may remove the ornaments with which he has embellished the principal thing if it suffers no injury thereby, and if his successor in the possession does not prefer to refund the amount expended. (454)
Article 549. The possessor in bad faith shall reimburse the fruits received and those which the legitimate possessor could have received, and shall have a right only to the expenses mentioned in paragraph 1 of article 546 and in article 443. The expenses incurred in improvements for pure luxury or mere pleasure shall not be refunded to the possessor in bad faith, but he may remove the objects for which such expenses have been incurred, provided that the thing suffers no injury thereby, and that the lawful possessor does not prefer to retain them by paying the value they may have at the time he enters into possession. (445a)
Article 550. The costs of litigation over the property shall be borne by every possessor. (n)
Article 551. Improvements caused by nature or time shall always inure to the benefit of the person who has succeeded in recovering possession. (456)
Article 552. A possessor in good faith shall not be liable for the deterioration or loss of the thing possessed, except in cases in which it is proved that he has acted with fraudulent intent or negligence, after the judicial summons.
A possessor in bad faith shall be liable for deterioration or loss in every case, even if caused by a fortuitous event. (457a)
Article 553. One who recovers possession shall not be obliged to pay for improvements which have ceased to exist at the time he takes possession of the thing. (458)
Article 554. A present possessor who shows his possession at some previous time, is presumed to have held possession also during the intermediate period, in the absence of proof to the contrary. (459)
Article 555. A possessor may lose his possession:
- By the abandonment of the thing;
- By an assignment made to another either by onerous or gratuitous title;
- By the destruction or total loss of the thing, or because it goes out of commerce;
- By the possession of another, subject to the provisions of article 537, if the new possession has lasted longer than one year. But the real right of possession is not lost till after the lapse of ten years. (460a)
Article 556. The possession of movables is not deemed lost so long as they remain under the control of the possessor, even though for the time being he may not know their whereabouts. (461)
Article 557. The possession of immovables and of real rights is not deemed lost, or transferred for purposes of prescription to the prejudice of third persons, except in accordance with the provisions of the Mortgage Law and the Land Registration laws. (462a)
Article 558. Acts relating to possession, executed or agreed to by one who possesses a thing belonging to another as a mere holder to enjoy or keep it, in any character, do not bind or prejudice the owner, unless he gave said holder express authority to do such acts, or ratifies them subsequently. (463)
Article 559. The possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title. Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been unlawfully deprived thereof, may recover it from the person in possession of the same.
If the possessor of a movable lost or which the owner has been unlawfully deprived, has acquired it in good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor. (464a)
Article 560. Wild animals are possessed only while they are under one's control; domesticated or tamed animals are considered domestic or tame if they retain the habit of returning to the premises of the possessor. (465)
Article 561. One who recovers, according to law, possession unjustly lost, shall be deemed for all purposes which may redound to his benefit, to have enjoyed it without interruption. (466)
Usufruct in General
Article 562. Usufruct gives a right to enjoy the property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title constituting it or the law otherwise provides. (467)
Article 563. Usufruct is constituted by law, by the will of private persons expressed in acts inter vivos or in a last will and testament, and by prescription. (468)
Article 564. Usufruct may be constituted on the whole or a part of the fruits of the thing, in favor of one more persons, simultaneously or successively, and in every case from or to a certain day, purely or conditionally. It may also be constituted on a right, provided it is not strictly personal or intransmissible. (469)
Article 565. The rights and obligations of the usufructuary shall be those provided in the title constituting the usufruct; in default of such title, or in case it is deficient, the provisions contained in the two following Chapters shall be observed. (470)
Rights of the Usufructuary
Article 566. The usufructuary shall be entitled to all the natural, industrial and civil fruits of the property in usufruct. With respect to hidden treasure which may be found on the land or tenement, he shall be considered a stranger. (471)
Article 567. Natural or industrial fruits growing at the time the usufruct begins, belong to the usufructuary.
Those growing at the time the usufruct terminates, belong to the owner.
In the preceding cases, the usufructuary, at the beginning of the usufruct, has no obligation to refund to the owner any expenses incurred; but the owner shall be obliged to reimburse at the termination of the usufruct, from the proceeds of the growing fruits, the ordinary expenses of cultivation, for seed, and other similar expenses incurred by the usufructuary.
The provisions of this article shall not prejudice the rights of third persons, acquired either at the beginning or at the termination of the usufruct. (472)
Article 568. If the usufructuary has leased the lands or tenements given in usufruct, and the usufruct should expire before the termination of the lease, he or his heirs and successors shall receive only the proportionate share of the rent that must be paid by the lessee. (473)
Article 569. Civil fruits are deemed to accrue daily, and belong to the usufructuary in proportion to the time the usufruct may last. (474).
Article 570. Whenever a usufruct is constituted on the right to receive a rent or periodical pension, whether in money or in fruits, or in the interest on bonds or securities payable to bearer, each payment due shall be considered as the proceeds or fruits of such right.
Whenever it consists in the enjoyment of benefits accruing from a participation in any industrial or commercial enterprise, the date of the distribution of which is not fixed, such benefits shall have the same character.
In either case they shall be distributed as civil fruits, and shall be applied in the manner prescribed in the preceding article. (475)
Article 571. The usufructuary shall have the right to enjoy any increase which the thing in usufruct may acquire through accession, the servitudes established in its favor, and, in general, all the benefits inherent therein. (479)
Article 572. The usufructuary may personally enjoy the thing in usufruct, lease it to another, or alienate his right of usufruct, even by a gratuitous title; but all the contracts he may enter into as such usufructuary shall terminate upon the expiration of the usufruct, saving leases of rural lands, which shall be considered as subsisting during the agricultural year. (480)
Article 573. Whenever the usufruct includes things which, without being consumed, gradually deteriorate through wear and tear, the usufructuary shall have the right to make use thereof in accordance with the purpose for which they are intended, and shall not be obliged to return them at the termination of the usufruct except in their condition at that time; but he shall be obliged to indemnify the owner for any deterioration they may have suffered by reason of his fraud or negligence. (481)
Article 574. Whenever the usufruct includes things which cannot be used without being consumed, the usufructuary shall have the right to make use of them under the obligation of paying their appraised value at the termination of the usufruct, if they were appraised when delivered. In case they were not appraised, he shall have the right to return the same quantity and quality, or pay their current price at the time the usufruct ceases. (482)
Article 575. The usufructuary of fruit-bearing trees and shrubs may make use of the dead trunks, and even of those cut off or uprooted by accident, under the obligation to replace them with new plants. (483a)
Article 576. If in consequence of a calamity or extraordinary event, the trees or shrubs shall have disappeared in such considerable number that it would not be possible or it would be too burdensome to replace them, the usufructuary may leave the dead, fallen or uprooted trunks at the disposal of the owner, and demand that the latter remove them and clear the land. (484a)
Article 577. The usufructuary of woodland may enjoy all the benefits which it may produce according to its nature.
If the woodland is a copse or consists of timber for building, the usufructuary may do such ordinary cutting or felling as the owner was in the habit of doing, and in default of this, he may do so in accordance with the custom of the place, as to the manner, amount and season.
In any case the felling or cutting of trees shall be made in such manner as not to prejudice the preservation of the land.
In nurseries, the usufructuary may make the necessary thinnings in order that the remaining trees may properly grow.
With the exception of the provisions of the preceding paragraphs, the usufructuary cannot cut down trees unless it be to restore or improve some of the things in usufruct, and in such case shall first inform the owner of the necessity for the work. (485) ARTICLE
578. The usufructuary of an action to recover real property or a real right, or any movable property, has the right to bring the action and to oblige the owner thereof to give him the authority for this purpose and to furnish him whatever proof he may have. If in consequence of the enforcement of the action he acquires the thing claimed, the usufruct shall be limited to the fruits, the dominion remaining with the owner. (486)
Article 579. The usufructuary may make on the property held in usufruct such useful improvements or expenses for mere pleasure as he may deem proper, provided he does not alter its form or substance; but he shall have no right to be indemnified therefor. He may, however, remove such improvements, should it be possible to do so without damage to the property. (487)
Article 580. The usufructuary may set off the improvements he may have made on the property against any damage to the same.
Article 581. The owner of property the usufruct of which is held by another, may alienate it, but he cannot alter its form or substance, or do anything thereon which may be prejudicial to the usufructuary. (489)
Article 582. The usufructuary of a part of a thing held in common shall exercise all the rights pertaining to the owner thereof with respect to the administration and the collection of fruits or interest. Should the co-ownership cease by reason of the division of the thing held in common, the usufruct of the part allotted to the co-owner shall belong to the usufructuary. (490)
Obligations of the Usufructuary
Article 583. The usufructuary, before entering upon the enjoyment of the property, is obliged:
- To make, after notice to the owner or his legitimate representative, an inventory of all the property, which shall contain an appraisal of the movables and a description of the condition of the immovables;
- To give security, binding himself to fulfill the obligations imposed upon him in accordance with this Chapter. (491)
Article 584. The provisions of No. 2 of the preceding article shall not apply to the donor who has reserved the usufruct of the property donated, or to the parents who are usufructuaries of their children's property, except when the parents contract a second marriage. (492a)
Article 585. The usufructuary, whatever may be the title of the usufruct, may be excused from the obligation of making an inventory or of giving security, when no one will be injured thereby. (493)
Article 586. Should the usufructuary fail to give security in the cases in which he is bound to give it, the owner may demand that the immovables be placed under administration, that the movables be sold, that the public bonds, instruments of credit payable to order or to bearer be converted into registered certificates or deposited in a bank or public institution, and that the capital or sums in cash and the proceeds of the sale of the movable property be invested in safe securities.
The interest on the proceeds of the sale of the movables and that on public securities and bonds, and the proceeds of the property placed under administration, shall belong to the usufructuary.
Furthermore, the owner may, if he so prefers, until the usufructuary gives security or is excused from so doing, retain in his possession the property in usufruct as administrator, subject to the obligation to deliver to the usufructuary the net proceeds thereof, after deducting the sums which may be agreed upon or judicially allowed him for such administration. (494) Article 587. If the usufructuary who has not given security claims, by virtue of a promise under oath, the delivery of the furniture necessary for his use, and that he and his family be allowed to live in a house included in the usufruct, the court may grant this petition, after due consideration of the facts of the case.
The same rule shall be observed with respect to implements, tools and other movable property necessary for an industry or vocation in which he is engaged.
If the owner does not wish that certain articles be sold because of their artistic worth or because they have a sentimental value, he may demand their delivery to him upon his giving security for the payment of the legal interest on their appraised value. (495)
Article 588. After the security has been given by the usufructuary, he shall have a right to all the proceeds and benefits from the day on which, in accordance with the title constituting the usufruct, he should have commenced to receive them. (496)
Article 589. The usufructuary shall take care of the things given in usufruct as a good father of a family. (497)
Article 590. A usufructuary who alienates or leases his right of usufruct shall answer for any damage which the things in usufruct may suffer through the fault or negligence of the person who substitutes him. (498)
Article 591. If the usufruct be constituted on a flock or herd of livestock, the usufructuary shall be obliged to replace with the young thereof the animals that die each year from natural causes, or are lost due to the rapacity of beasts of prey.
If the animals on which the usufruct is constituted should all perish, without the fault of the usufructuary, on account of some contagious disease or any other uncommon event, the usufructuary shall fulfill his obligation by delivering to the owner the remains which may have been saved from the misfortune.
Should the herd or flock perish in part, also by accident and without the fault of the usufructuary, the usufruct shall continue on the part saved.
Should the usufruct be on sterile animals, it shall be considered, with respect to its effects, as though constituted on fungible things. (499a)
Article 592. The usufructuary is obliged to make the ordinary repairs needed by the thing given in usufruct.
By ordinary repairs are understood such as are required by the wear and tear due to the natural use of the thing and are indispensable for its preservation. Should the usufructuary fail to make them after demand by the owner, the latter may make them at the expense of the usufructuary. (500)
Article 593. Extraordinary repairs shall be at the expense of the owner. The usufructuary is obliged to notify the owner when the need for such repairs is urgent. (501)
Article 594. If the owner should make the extraordinary repairs, he shall have a right to demand of the usufructuary the legal interest on the amount expended for the time that the usufruct lasts.
Should he not make them when they are indispensable for the preservation of the thing, the usufructuary may make them; but he shall have a right to demand of the owner, at the termination of the usufruct, the increase in value which the immovable may have acquired by reason of the repairs. (502a)
Article 595. The owner may construct any works and make any improvements of which the immovable in usufruct is susceptible, or make new plantings thereon if it be rural, provided that such acts do not cause a diminution in the value of the usufruct or prejudice the right of the usufructuary. (503)
Article 596. The payment of annual charges and taxes and of those considered as a lien on the fruits, shall be at the expense of the usufructuary for all the time that the usufruct lasts. (504)
Article 597. The taxes which, during the usufruct, may be imposed directly on the capital, shall be at the expense of the owner.
If the latter has paid them, the usufructuary shall pay him the proper interest on the sums which may have been paid in that character; and, if the said sums have been advanced by the usufructuary, he shall recover the amount thereof at the termination of the usufruct. (505)
Article 598. If the usufruct be constituted on the whole of a patrimony, and if at the time of its constitution the owner has debts, the provisions of articles 758 and 759 relating to donations shall be applied, both with respect to the maintenance of the usufruct and to the obligation of the usufructuary to pay such debts.
The same rule shall be applied in case the owner is obliged, at the time the usufruct is constituted, to make periodical payments, even if there should be no known capital. (506)
Article 599. The usufructuary may claim any matured credits which form a part of the usufruct if he has given or gives the proper security. If he has been excused from giving security or has not been able to give it, or if that given is not sufficient, he shall need the authorization of the owner, or of the court in default thereof, to collect such credits.
The usufructuary who has given security may use the capital he has collected in any manner he may deem proper. The usufructuary who has not given security shall invest the said capital at interest upon agreement with the owner; in default of such agreement, with judicial authorization; and, in every case, with security sufficient to preserve the integrity of the capital in usufruct.
Article 600. The usufructuary of a mortgaged immovable shall not be obliged to pay the debt for the security of which the mortgage was constituted.
Should the immovable be attached or sold judicially for the payment of the debt, the owner shall be liable to the usufructuary for whatever the latter may lose by reason thereof. (509)
Article 601. The usufructuary shall be obliged to notify the owner of any act of a third person, of which he may have knowledge, that may be prejudicial to the rights of ownership, and he shall be liable should he not do so, for damages, as if they had been caused through his own fault. (511)
Article 602. The expenses, costs and liabilities in suits brought with regard to the usufruct shall be borne by the usufructuary. (512)
Extinguishment of Usufruct
Article 603. Usufruct is extinguished:
- By the death of the usufructuary, unless a contrary intention clearly appears;
- By the expiration of the period for which it was constituted, or by the fulfillment of any resolutory condition provided in the title creating the usufruct;
- By merger of the usufruct and ownership in the same person;
- By renunciation of the usufructuary;
- By the total loss of the thing in usufruct;
- By the termination of the right of the person constituting the usufruct;
- By prescription. (513a)
Article 604. If the thing given in usufruct should be lost only in part, the right shall continue on the remaining part. (514)
Article 605. Usufruct cannot be constituted in favor of a town, corporation, or association for more than fifty years. If it has been constituted, and before the expiration of such period the town is abandoned, or the corporation or association is dissolved, the usufruct shall be extinguished by reason thereof. (515a)
Article 606. A usufruct granted for the time that may elapse before a third person attains a certain age, shall subsist for the number of years specified, even if the third person should die before the period expires, unless such usufruct has been expressly granted only in consideration of the existence of such person. (516)
Article 607. If the usufruct is constituted on immovable property of which a building forms part, and the latter should be destroyed in any manner whatsoever, the usufructuary shall have a right to make use of the land and the materials.
The same rule shall be applied if the usufruct is constituted on a building only and the same should be destroyed. But in such a case, if the owner should wish to construct another building, he shall have a right to occupy the land and to make use of the materials, being obliged to pay to the usufructuary, during the continuance of the usufruct, the interest upon the sum equivalent to the value of the land and of the materials. (517)
Article 608. If the usufructuary shares with the owner the insurance of the tenement given in usufruct, the former shall, in case of loss, continue in the enjoyment of the new building, should one be constructed, or shall receive the interest on the insurance indemnity if the owner does not wish to rebuild.
Should the usufructuary have refused to contribute to the insurance, the owner insuring the tenement alone, the latter shall receive the full amount of the insurance indemnity in case of loss, saving always the right granted to the usufructuary in the preceding article. (518a)
Article 609. Should the thing in usufruct be expropriated for public use, the owner shall be obliged either to replace it with another thing of the same value and of similar conditions, or to pay the usufructuary the legal interest on the amount of the indemnity for the whole period of the usufruct. If the owner chooses the latter alternative, he shall give security for the payment of the interest. (519)
Article 610. A usufruct is not extinguished by bad use of the thing in usufruct; but if the abuse should cause considerable injury to the owner, the latter may demand that the thing be delivered to him, binding himself to pay annually to the usufructuary the net proceeds of the same, after deducting the expenses and the compensation which may be allowed him for its administration. (520)
Article 611. A usufruct constituted in favor of several persons living at the time of its constitution shall not be extinguished until the death of the last survivor. (521)
Article 612. Upon the termination of the usufruct, the thing in usufruct shall be delivered to the owner, without prejudice to the right of retention pertaining to the usufructuary or his heirs for taxes and extraordinary expenses which should be reimbursed. After the delivery has been made, the security or mortgage shall be cancelled. (522a)
EASEMENTS OF SERVITUDES
Easements in General
Different Kinds of Easements
Article 613. An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another immovable belonging to a different owner.
The immovable in favor of which the easement is established is called the dominant estate; that which is subject thereto, the servient estate. (530)
Article 614. Servitudes may also be established for the benefit of a community, or of one or more persons to whom the encumbered estate does not belong. (531)
Article 615. Easements may be continuous or discontinuous, apparent or nonapparent.
Continuous easements are those the use of which is or may be incessant, without the intervention of any act of man.
Discontinuous easements are those which are used at intervals and depend upon the acts of man.
Apparent easements are those which are made known and are continually kept in view by external signs that reveal the use and enjoyment of the same.
Nonapparent easements are those which show no external indication of their existence. (532)
Article 616. Easements are also positive or negative.
A positive easement is one which imposes upon the owner of the servient estate the obligation of allowing something to be done or of doing it himself, and a negative easement, that which prohibits the owner of the servient estate from doing something which he could lawfully do if the easement did not exist. (533)
Article 617. Easements are inseparable from the estate to which they actively or passively belong. (534)
Article 618. Easements are indivisible. If the servient estate is divided between two or more persons, the easement is not modified, and each of them must bear it on the part which corresponds to him.
If it is the dominant estate that is divided between two or more persons, each of them may use the easement in its entirety, without changing the place of its use, or making it more burdensome in any other way. (535)
Article 619. Easements are established either by law or by the will of the owners. The former are called legal and the latter voluntary easements. (536)
Modes of Acquiring Easements
Article 620. Continuous and apparent easements are acquired either by virtue of a title or by prescription of ten years. (537a)
Article 621. In order to acquire by prescription the easements referred to in the preceding article, the time of possession shall be computed thus: in positive easements, from the day on which the owner of the dominant estate, or the person who may have made use of the easement, commenced to exercise it upon the servient estate; and in negative easements, from the day on which the owner of the dominant estate forbade, by an instrument acknowledged before a notary public, the owner of the servient estate, from executing an act which would be lawful without the easement. (538a)
Article 622. Continuous nonapparent easements, and discontinuous ones, whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a title. (539)
Article 623. The absence of a document or proof showing the origin of an easement which cannot be acquired by prescription may be cured by a deed of recognition by the owner of the servient estate or by a final judgment. (540a)
Article 624. The existence of an apparent sign of easement between two estates, established or maintained by the owner of both, shall be considered, should either of them be alienated, as a title in order that the easement may continue actively and passively, unless, at the time the ownership of the two estates is divided, the contrary should be provided in the title of conveyance of either of them, or the sign aforesaid should be removed before the execution of the deed. This provision shall also apply in case of the division of a thing owned in common by two or more persons. (541a)
Article 625. Upon the establishment of an easement, all the rights necessary for its use are considered granted. (542)
Article 626. The owner of the dominant estate cannot use the easement except for the benefit of the immovable originally contemplated. Neither can he exercise the easement in any other manner than that previously established. (n)
Rights and Obligations of the Owners of the Dominant and Servient Estates
Article 627. The owner of the dominant estate may make, at his own expense, on the servient estate any works necessary for the use and preservation of the servitude, but without altering it or rendering it more burdensome.
For this purpose he shall notify the owner of the servient estate, and shall choose the most convenient time and manner so as to cause the least inconvenience to the owner of the servient estate. (543a) Article 628. Should there be several dominant estates, the owners of all of them shall be obliged to contribute to the expenses referred to in the preceding article, in proportion to the benefits which each may derive from the work. Any one who does not wish to contribute may exempt himself by renouncing the easement for the benefit of the others.
If the owner of the servient estate should make use of the easement in any manner whatsoever, he shall also be obliged to contribute to the expenses in the proportion stated, saving an agreement to the contrary. (544)
Article 629. The owner of the servient estate cannot impair, in any manner whatsoever, the use of the servitude.
Nevertheless, if by reason of the place originally assigned, or of the manner established for the use of the easement, the same should become very inconvenient to the owner of the servient estate, or should prevent him from making any important works, repairs or improvements thereon, it may be changed at his expense, provided he offers another place or manner equally convenient and in such a way that no injury is caused thereby to the owner of the dominant estate or to those who may have a right to the use of the easement. (545)
Article 630. The owner of the servient estate retains the ownership of the portion on which the easement is established, and may use the same in such a manner as not to affect the exercise of the easement. (n)
Modes of Extinguishment of Easements
Article 631. Easements are extinguished:
- By merger in the same person of the ownership of the dominant and servient estates;
- By nonuser for ten years; with respect to discontinuous easements, this period shall be computed from the day on which they ceased to be used; and, with respect to continuous easements, from the day on which an act contrary to the same took place;
- When either or both of the estates fall into such condition that the easement cannot be used; but it shall revive if the subsequent condition of the estates or either of them should again permit its use, unless when the use becomes possible, sufficient time for prescription has elapsed, in accordance with the provisions of the preceding number;
- By the expiration of the term or the fulfillment of the condition, if the easement is temporary or conditional;
- By the renunciation of the owner of the dominant estate;
- By the redemption agreed upon between the owners of the dominant and servient estates. (546a)
Article 632. The form or manner of using the easement may prescribe as the easement itself, and in the same way. (547a)
Article 633. If the dominant estate belongs to several persons in common, the use of the easement by any one of them prevents prescription with respect to the others. (548)
Article 634. Easements imposed by law have for their object either public use or the interest of private persons. (549)
Article 635. All matters concerning easements established for public or communal use shall be governed by the special laws and regulations relating thereto, and, in the absence thereof, by the provisions of this Title. (550)
Article 636. Easements established by law in the interest of private persons or for private use shall be governed by the provisions of this Title, without prejudice to the provisions of general or local laws and ordinances for the general welfare.
These easements may be modified by agreement of the interested parties, whenever the law does not prohibit it or no injury is suffered by a third person. (551a)
Easements Relating to Waters
Article 637. Lower estates are obliged to receive the waters which naturally and without the intervention of man descend from the higher estates, as well as the stones or earth which they carry with them.
The owner of the lower estate cannot construct works which will impede this easement; neither can the owner of the higher estate make works which will increase the burden. (552)
Article 638. The banks of rivers and streams, even in case they are of private ownership, are subject throughout their entire length and within a zone of three meters along their margins, to the easement of public use in the general interest of navigation, floatage, fishing and salvage.
Estates adjoining the banks of navigable or floatable rivers are, furthermore, subject to the easement of towpath for the exclusive service of river navigation and floatage.
If it be necessary for such purpose to occupy lands of private ownership, the proper indemnity shall first be paid. (553a)
Article 639. Whenever for the diversion or taking of water from a river or brook, or for the use of any other continuous or discontinuous stream, it should be necessary to build a dam, and the person who is to construct it is not the owner of the banks, or lands which must support it, he may establish the easement of abutment of a dam, after payment of the proper indemnity. (554)
Article 640. Compulsory easements for drawing water or for watering animals can be imposed only for reasons of public use in favor of a town or village, after payment of the proper indemnity. (555)
Article 641. Easements for drawing water and for watering animals carry with them the obligation of the owners of the servient estates to allow passage to persons and animals to the place where such easements are to be used, and the indemnity shall include this service. (556)
Article 642. Any person who may wish to use upon his own estate any water of which he can dispose shall have the right to make it flow through the intervening estates, with the obligation to indemnify their owners, as well as the owners of the lower estates upon which the waters may filter or descend. (557)
Article 643. One desiring to make use of the right granted in the preceding article is obliged:
- To prove that he can dispose of the water and that it is sufficient for the use for which it is intended;
- To show that the proposed right of way is the most convenient and the least onerous to third persons;
- To indemnify the owner of the servient estate in the manner determined by the laws and regulations. (558)
Article 644. The easement of aqueduct for private interest cannot be imposed on buildings, courtyards, annexes, or outhouses, or on orchards or gardens already existing. (559)
Article 645. The easement of aqueduct does not prevent the owner of the servient estate from closing or fencing it, or from building over the aqueduct in such manner as not to cause the latter any damage, or render necessary repairs and cleanings impossible.
Article 646. For legal purposes, the easement of aqueduct shall be considered as continuous and apparent, even though the flow of the water may not be continuous, or its use depends upon the needs of the dominant estate, or upon a schedule of alternate days or hours. (561)
Article 647. One who for the purpose of irrigating or improving his estate, has to construct a stop lock or sluice gate in the bed of the stream from which the water is to be taken, may demand that the owners of the banks permit its construction, after payment of damages, including those caused by the new easement to such owners and to the other irrigators. (562)
Article 648. The establishment, extent, form and conditions of the servitudes of waters, to which this section refers, shall be governed by the special laws relating thereto insofar as no provision therefor is made in this Code. (563a)
Easement of Right of Way
Article 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable, which is surrounded by other immovables pertaining to other persons and without adequate outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a right of way through the neighboring estates, after payment of the proper indemnity.
Should this easement be established in such a manner that its use may be continuous for all the needs of the dominant estate, establishing a permanent passage, the indemnity shall consist of the value of the land occupied and the amount of the damage caused to the servient estate.
In case the right of way is limited to the necessary passage for the cultivation of the estate surrounded by others and for the gathering of its crops through the servient estate without a permanent way, the indemnity shall consist in the payment of the damage caused by such encumbrance.
This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of the immovable is due to the proprietor's own acts. (564a)
Article 650. The easement of right of way shall be established at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest. (565)
Article 651. The width of the easement of right of way shall be that which is sufficient for the needs of the dominant estate, and may accordingly be changed from time to time. (566a)
Article 652. Whenever a piece of land acquired by sale, exchange or partition, is surrounded by other estates of the vendor, exchanger, or co-owner, he shall be obliged to grant a right of way without indemnity.
In case of a simple donation, the donor shall be indemnified by the donee for the establishment of the right of way. (567a)
Article 653. In the case of the preceding article, if it is the land of the grantor that becomes isolated, he may demand a right of way after paying a indemnity. However, the donor shall not be liable for indemnity. (n)
Article 654. If the right of way is permanent, the necessary repairs shall be made by the owner of the dominant estate. A proportionate share of the taxes shall be reimbursed by said owner to the proprietor of the servient estate. (n) Article 655. If the right of way granted to a surrounded estate ceases to be necessary because its owner has joined it to another abutting on a public road, the owner of the servient estate may demand that the easement be extinguished, returning what he may have received by way of indemnity. The interest on the indemnity shall be deemed to be in payment of rent for the use of the easement.
The same rule shall be applied in case a new road is opened giving access to the isolated estate.
In both cases, the public highway must substantially meet the needs of the dominant estate in order that the easement may be extinguished. (568a)
Article 656. If it be indispensable for the construction, repair, improvement, alteration or beautification of a building, to carry materials through the estate of another, or to raise therein scaffolding or other objects necessary for the work, the owner of such estate shall be obliged to permit the act, after receiving payment of the proper indemnity for the damage caused him. (569a)
Article 657. Easements of the right of way for the passage of livestock known as animal path, animal trail or any other, and those for watering places, resting places and animal folds, shall be governed by the ordinances and regulations relating thereto, and, in the absence thereof, by the usages and customs of the place.
Without prejudice to rights legally acquired, the animal path shall not exceed in any case the width of 75 meters, and the animal trail that of 37 meters and 50 centimeters.
Whenever it is necessary to establish a compulsory easement of the right of way or for a watering place for animals, the provisions of this Section and those of articles 640 and 641 shall be observed. In this case the width shall not exceed 10 meters. (570a)
Easement of Party Wall
Article 658. The easement of party wall shall be governed by the provisions of this Title, by the local ordinances and customs insofar as they do not conflict with the same, and by the rules of co-ownership. (571a)
Article 659. The existence of an easement of party wall is presumed, unless there is a title, or exterior sign, or proof to the contrary:
- In dividing walls of adjoining buildings up to the point of common elevation;
- In dividing walls of gardens or yards situated in cities, towns, or in rural communities;
(3) In fences, walls and live hedges dividing rural lands. (572) Article 660. It is understood that there is an exterior sign, contrary to the easement of party wall:
- Whenever in the dividing wall of buildings there is a window or opening;
- Whenever the dividing wall is, on one side, straight and plumb on all its facement, and on the other, it has similar conditions on the upper part, but the lower part slants or projects outward;
- Whenever the entire wall is built within the boundaries of one of the estates;
- Whenever the dividing wall bears the burden of the binding beams, floors and roof frame of one of the buildings, but not those of the others;
- Whenever the dividing wall between courtyards, gardens, and tenements is constructed in such a way that the coping sheds the water upon only one of the estates;
- Whenever the dividing wall, being built of masonry, has stepping stones, which at certain intervals project from the surface on one side only, but not on the other;
- Whenever lands inclosed by fences or live hedges adjoin others which are not inclosed.
In all these cases, the ownership of the walls, fences or hedges shall be deemed to belong exclusively to the owner of the property or tenement which has in its favor the presumption based on any one of these signs. (573)
Article 661. Ditches or drains opened between two estates are also presumed as common to both, if there is no title or sign showing the contrary.
There is a sign contrary to the part-ownership whenever the earth or dirt removed to open the ditch or to clean it is only on one side thereof, in which case the ownership of the ditch shall belong exclusively to the owner of the land having this exterior sign in its favor. (574)
Article 662. The cost of repairs and construction of party walls and the maintenance of fences, live hedges, ditches, and drains owned in common, shall be borne by all the owners of the lands or tenements having the party wall in their favor, in proportion to the right of each.
Nevertheless, any owner may exempt himself from contributing to this charge by renouncing his part-ownership, except when the party wall supports a building belonging to him. (575)
Article 663. If the owner of a building, supported by a party wall desires to demolish the building, he may also renounce his part-ownership of the wall, but the cost of all repairs and work necessary to prevent any damage which the demolition may cause to the party wall, on this occasion only, shall be borne by him. (576)
Article 664. Every owner may increase the height of the party wall, doing so at his own expense and paying for any damage which may be caused by the work, even though such damage be temporary.
The expenses of maintaining the wall in the part newly raised or deepened at its foundation shall also be paid for by him; and, in addition, the indemnity for the increased expenses which may be necessary for the preservation of the party wall by reason of the greater height or depth which has been given it.
If the party wall cannot bear the increased height, the owner desiring to raise it shall be obliged to reconstruct it at his own expense and, if for this purpose it be necessary to make it thicker, he shall give the space required from his own land. (577)
Article 665. The other owners who have not contributed in giving increased height, depth or thickness to the wall may, nevertheless, acquire the right of part-ownership therein, by paying proportionally the value of the work at the time of the acquisition and of the land used for its increased thickness. (578a)
Article 666. Every part-owner of a party wall may use it in proportion to the right he may have in the co-ownership, without interfering with the common and respective uses by the other co-owners. (579a)
Easement of Light and View
Article 667. No part-owner may, without the consent of the others, open through the party wall any window or aperture of any kind.
Article 668. The period of prescription for the acquisition of an easement of light and view shall be counted:
- From the time of the opening of the window, if it is through a party wall; or
- From the time of the formal prohibition upon the proprietor of the adjoining land or tenement, if the window is through a wall on the dominant estate. (n)
Article 669. When the distances in article 670 are not observed, the owner of a wall which is not party wall, adjoining a tenement or piece of land belonging to another, can make in it openings to admit light at the height of the ceiling joints or immediately under the ceiling, and of the size of thirty centimeters square, and, in every case, with an iron grating imbedded in the wall and with a wire screen.
Nevertheless, the owner of the tenement or property adjoining the wall in which the openings are made can close them should he acquire part-ownership thereof, if there be no stipulation to the contrary.
He can also obstruct them by constructing a building on his land or by raising a wall thereon contiguous to that having such openings, unless an easement of light has been acquired. (581a)
Article 670. No windows, apertures, balconies, or other similar projections which afford a direct view upon or towards an adjoining land or tenement can be made, without leaving a distance of two meters between the wall in which they are made and such contiguous property.
Neither can side or oblique views upon or towards such conterminous property be had, unless there be a distance of sixty centimeters.
The nonobservance of these distances does not give rise to prescription. (582a)
Article 671. The distance referred to in the preceding article shall be measured in cases of direct views from the outer line of the wall when the openings do not project, from the outer line of the latter when they do, and in cases of oblique view from the dividing line between the two properties. (583)
Article 672. The provisions of article 670 are not applicable to buildings separated by a public way or alley, which is not less than three meters wide, subject to special regulations and local ordinances. (584a)
Article 673. Whenever by any title a right has been acquired to have direct views, balconies or belvederes overlooking an adjoining property, the owner of the servient estate cannot build thereon at less than a distance of three meters to be measured in the manner provided in article 671. Any stipulation permitting distances less than those prescribed in article 670 is void. (585a)
Drainage of Buildings
Article 674. The owner of a building shall be obliged to construct its roof or covering in such manner that the rain water shall fall on his own land or on a street or public place, and not on the land of his neighbor, even though the adjacent land may belong to two or more persons, one of whom is the owner of the roof. Even if it should fall on his own land, the owner shall be obliged to collect the water in such a way as not to cause damage to the adjacent land or tenement. (586a)
Article 675. The owner of a tenement or a piece of land, subject to the easement of receiving water falling from roofs, may build in such manner as to receive the water upon his own roof or give it another outlet in accordance with local ordinances or customs, and in such a way as not to cause any nuisance or damage whatever to the dominant estate. (587)
Article 676. Whenever the yard or court of a house is surrounded by other houses, and it is not possible to give an outlet through the house itself to the rain water collected thereon, the establishment of an easement of drainage can be demanded, giving an outlet to the water at the point of the contiguous lands or tenements where its egress may be easiest, and establishing a conduit for
the drainage in such manner as to cause the least damage to the servient estate, after payment of the property indemnity. (583)
Intermediate Distances and Works for Certain Constructions and Plantings
Article 677. No constructions can be built or plantings made near fortified places or fortresses without compliance with the conditions required in special laws, ordinances, and regulations relating thereto. (589)
Article 678. No person shall build any aqueduct, well, sewer, furnace, forge, chimney, stable, depository of corrosive substances, machinery, or factory which by reason of its nature or products is dangerous or noxious, without observing the distances prescribed by the regulations and customs of the place, and without making the necessary protective works, subject, in regard to the manner thereof, to the conditions prescribed by such regulations. These prohibitions cannot be altered or renounced by stipulation on the part of the adjoining proprietors.
In the absence of regulations, such precautions shall be taken as may be considered necessary, in order to avoid any damage to the neighboring lands or tenements. (590a)
Article 679. No trees shall be planted near a tenement or piece of land belonging to another except at the distance authorized by the ordinances or customs of the place, and, in the absence thereof, at a distance of at least two meters from the dividing line of the estates if tall trees are planted and at a distance of at least fifty centimeters if shrubs or small trees are planted.
Every landowner shall have the right to demand that trees hereafter planted at a shorter distance from his land or tenement be uprooted.
The provisions of this article also apply to trees which have grown spontaneously. (591a)
Article 680. If the branches of any tree should extend over a neighboring estate, tenement, garden or yard, the owner of the latter shall have the right to demand that they be cut off insofar as they may spread over his property, and, if it be the roots of a neighboring tree which should penetrate into the land of another, the latter may cut them off himself within his property. (592)
Article 681. Fruits naturally falling upon adjacent land belong to the owner of said land. (n)
Easement Against Nuisance (n)
Article 682. Every building or piece of land is subject to the easement which prohibits the proprietor or possessor from committing nuisance through noise, jarring, offensive odor, smoke, heat, dust, water, glare and other causes.
Article 683. Subject to zoning, health, police and other laws and regulations, factories and shops may be maintained provided the least possible annoyance is caused to the neighborhood.
Lateral and Subjacent Support (n)
Article 684. No proprietor shall make such excavations upon his land as to deprive any adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support.
Article 685. Any stipulation or testamentary provision allowing excavations that cause danger to an adjacent land or building shall be void.
Article 686. The legal easement of lateral and subjacent support is not only for buildings standing at the time the excavations are made but also for constructions that may be erected.
Article 687. Any proprietor intending to make any excavation contemplated in the three preceding articles shall notify all owners of adjacent lands.
Article 688. Every owner of a tenement or piece of land may establish thereon the easements which he may deem suitable, and in the manner and form which he may deem best, provided he does not contravene the laws, public policy or public order. (594)
Article 689. The owner of a tenement or piece of land, the usufruct of which belongs to another, may impose thereon, without the consent of the usufructuary, any servitudes which will not injure the right of usufruct. (595)
Article 690. Whenever the naked ownership of a tenement or piece of land belongs to one person and the beneficial ownership to another, no perpetual voluntary easement may be established thereon without the consent of both owners. (596)
Article 691. In order to impose an easement on an undivided tenement, or piece of land, the consent of all the co-owners shall be required.
The consent given by some only, must be held in abeyance until the last one of all the co-owners shall have expressed his conformity.
But the consent given by one of the co-owners separately from the others shall bind the grantor and his successors not to prevent the exercise of the right granted. (597a)
Article 692. The title and, in a proper case, the possession of an easement acquired by prescription shall determine the rights of the dominant estate and the obligations of the servient estate. In default thereof, the easement shall be governed by such provisions of this Title as are applicable thereto. (598)
Article 693. If the owner of the servient estate should have bound himself, upon the establishment of the easement, to bear the cost of the work required for the use and preservation thereof, he may free himself from this obligation by renouncing his property to the owner of the dominant estate. (599)
Article 694. A nuisance is any act, omission, establishment, business, condition of property, or anything else which:
- Injures or endangers the health or safety of others; or
- Annoys or offends the senses; or
- Shocks, defies or disregards decency or morality; or
- Obstructs or interferes with the free passage of any public highway or street, or any body of water; or
(5) Hinders or impairs the use of property. Article 695. Nuisance is either public or private. A public nuisance affects a community or neighborhood or any considerable
number of persons, although the extent of the annoyance, danger or damage upon individuals may be unequal. A private nuisance is one that is not included in the foregoing definition. Article 696. Every successive owner or possessor of property who fails or refuses to abate a nuisance in that property started by a
former owner or possessor is liable therefor in the same manner as the one who created it.
Article 697. The abatement of a nuisance does not preclude the right of any person injured to recover damages for its past
Article 698. Lapse of time cannot legalize any nuisance, whether public or private.
Article 699. The remedies against a public nuisance are:
- A prosecution under the Penal Code or any local ordinance: or
- A civil action; or
(3) Abatement, without judicial proceedings. Article 700. The district health officer shall take care that one or all of the remedies against a public nuisance are availed of. Article 701. If a civil action is brought by reason of the maintenance of a public nuisance, such action shall be commenced by the
city or municipal mayor.
Article 702. The district health officer shall determine whether or not abatement, without judicial proceedings, is the best remedy
against a public nuisance.
Article 703. A private person may file an action on account of a public nuisance, if it is specially injurious to himself.
Article 704. Any private person may abate a public nuisance which is specially injurious to him by removing, or if necessary, by
destroying the thing which constitutes the same, without committing a breach of the peace, or doing unnecessary injury. But it is necessary:
- That demand be first made upon the owner or possessor of the property to abate the nuisance;
- That such demand has been rejected;
- That the abatement be approved by the district health officer and executed with the assistance of the local police; and
(4) That the value of the destruction does not exceed three thousand pesos. Article 705. The remedies against a private nuisance are:
- A civil action; or
- Abatement, without judicial proceedings.
Article 706. Any person injured by a private nuisance may abate it by removing, or if necessary, by destroying the thing which constitutes the nuisance, without committing a breach of the peace or doing unnecessary injury. However, it is indispensable that the procedure for extrajudicial abatement of a public nuisance by a private person be followed.
Article 707. A private person or a public official extrajudicially abating a nuisance shall be liable for damages:
- If he causes unnecessary injury; or
- If an alleged nuisance is later declared by the courts to be not a real nuisance.
REGISTRY OF PROPERTY
Article 708. The Registry of Property has for its object the inscription or annotation of acts and contracts relating to the ownership and other rights over immovable property. (605)
Article 709. The titles of ownership, or of other rights over immovable property, which are not duly inscribed or annotated in the Registry of Property shall not prejudice third persons. (606)
Article 710. The books in the Registry of Property shall be public for those who have a known interest in ascertaining the status of the immovables or real rights annotated or inscribed therein. (607)
Article 711. For determining what titles are subject to inscription or annotation, as well as the form, effects, and cancellation of inscriptions and annotations, the manner of keeping the books in the Registry, and the value of the entries contained in said books, the provisions of the Mortgage Law, the Land Registration Act, and other special laws shall govern. (608a)
DIFFERENT MODES OF ACQUIRING OWNERSHIP
Article 712. Ownership is acquired by occupation and by intellectual creation.
Ownership and other real rights over property are acquired and transmitted by law, by donation, by testate and intestate succession, and in consequence of certain contracts, by tradition.
They may also be acquired by means of prescription. (609a)
Article 713. Things appropriable by nature which are without an owner, such as animals that are the object of hunting and fishing, hidden treasure and abandoned movables, are acquired by occupation. (610)
Article 714. The ownership of a piece of land cannot be acquired by occupation. (n)
Article 715. The right to hunt and to fish is regulated by special laws. (611)
Article 716. The owner of a swarm of bees shall have a right to pursue them to another's land, indemnifying the possessor of the latter for the damage. If the owner has not pursued the swarm, or ceases to do so within two consecutive days, the possessor of the land may occupy or retain the same. The owner of domesticated animals may also claim them within twenty days to be counted from their occupation by another person. This period having expired, they shall pertain to him who has caught and kept them. (612a)
Article 717. Pigeons and fish which from their respective breeding places pass to another pertaining to a different owner shall belong to the latter, provided they have not been enticed by some article or fraud. (613a)
Article 718. He who by chance discovers hidden treasure in another's property shall have the right granted him in article 438 of this Code. (614)
Article 719. Whoever finds a movable, which is not treasure, must return it to its previous possessor. If the latter is unknown, the finder shall immediately deposit it with the mayor of the city or municipality where the finding has taken place.
The finding shall be publicly announced by the mayor for two consecutive weeks in the way he deems best.
If the movable cannot be kept without deterioration, or without expenses which considerably diminish its value, it shall be sold at public auction eight days after the publication.
Six months from the publication having elapsed without the owner having appeared, the thing found, or its value, shall be awarded to the finder. The finder and the owner shall be obliged, as the case may be, to reimburse the expenses. (615a)
Article 720. If the owner should appear in time, he shall be obliged to pay, as a reward to the finder, one-tenth of the sum or of the price of the thing found. (616a)
Article 721. By intellectual creation, the following persons acquire ownership:
- The author with regard to his literary, dramatic, historical, legal, philosophical, scientific or other work;
- The composer; as to his musical composition;
- The painter, sculptor, or other artist, with respect to the product of his art;
- The scientist or technologist or any other person with regard to his discovery or invention. (n)
Article 722. The author and the composer, mentioned in Nos. 1 and 2 of the preceding article, shall have the ownership of their
creations even before the publication of the same. Once their works are published, their rights are governed by the Copyright laws.
The painter, sculptor or other artist shall have dominion over the product of his art even before it is copyrighted.
The scientist or technologist has the ownership of his discovery or invention even before it is patented. (n)
Article 723. Letters and other private communications in writing are owned by the person to whom they are addressed and
delivered, but they cannot be published or disseminated without the consent of the writer or his heirs. However, the court may authorize their publication or dissemination if the public good or the interest of justice so requires. (n) Article 724. Special laws govern copyright and patent. (429a)
Nature of Donations
Article 725. Donation is an act of liberality whereby a person disposes gratuitously of a thing or right in favor of another, who accepts it. (618a)
Article 726. When a person gives to another a thing or right on account of the latter's merits or of the services rendered by him to the donor, provided they do not constitute a demandable debt, or when the gift imposes upon the donee a burden which is less than the value of the thing given, there is also a donation. (619)
Article 727. Illegal or impossible conditions in simple and remuneratory donations shall be considered as not imposed. (n)
Article 728. Donations which are to take effect upon the death of the donor partake of the nature of testamentary provisions, and shall be governed by the rules established in the Title on Succession. (620)
Article 729. When the donor intends that the donation shall take effect during the lifetime of the donor, though the property shall not be delivered till after the donor's death, this shall be a donation inter vivos. The fruits of the property from the time of the acceptance of the donation, shall pertain to the donee, unless the donor provides otherwise. (n)
Article 730. The fixing of an event or the imposition of a suspensive condition, which may take place beyond the natural expectation of life of the donor, does not destroy the nature of the act as a donation inter vivos, unless a contrary intention appears.
Article 731. When a person donates something, subject to the resolutory condition of the donor's survival, there is a donation inter vivos. (n) Article 732. Donations which are to take effect inter vivos shall be governed by the general provisions on contracts and obligations
in all that is not determined in this Title. (621)
Article 733. Donations with an onerous cause shall be governed by the rules on contracts and remuneratory donations by the provisions of the present Title as regards that portion which exceeds the value of the burden imposed. (622) Article 734. The donation is perfected from the moment the donor knows of the acceptance by the donee. (623)
CHAPTER 2 Persons Who May Give or Receive a Donation Article 735. All persons who may contract and dispose of their property may make a donation. (624) Article 736. Guardians and trustees cannot donate the property entrusted to them. (n) Article 737. The donor's capacity shall be determined as of the time of the making of the donation. (n) Article 738. Al those who are not specially disqualified by law therefor may accept donations. (625) Article 739. The following donations shall be void:
- Those made between persons who were guilty of adultery or concubinage at the time of the donation;
- Those made between persons found guilty of the same criminal offense, in consideration thereof;
- Those made to a public officer or his wife, descendants and ascendants, by reason of his office.
In the case referred to in No. 1, the action for declaration of nullity may be brought by the spouse of the donor or donee; and the
guilt of the donor and donee may be proved by preponderance of evidence in the same action. (n)
Article 740. Incapacity to succeed by will shall be applicable to donations inter vivos. (n)
Article 741. Minors and others who cannot enter into a contract may become donees but acceptance shall be done through their
parents or legal representatives. (626a)
Article 742. Donations made to conceived and unborn children may be accepted by those persons who would legally represent
them if they were already born. (627)
Article 743. Donations made to incapacitated persons shall be void, though simulated under the guise of another contract or
through a person who is interposed. (628)
Article 744. Donations of the same thing to two or more different donees shall be governed by the provisions concerning the sale of
the same thing to two or more different persons. (n)
Article 745. The donee must accept the donation personally, or through an authorized person with a special power for the purpose,
or with a general and sufficient power; otherwise, the donation shall be void. (630)
Article 746. Acceptance must be made during the lifetime of the donor and of the donee. (n)
Article 747. Persons who accept donations in representation of others who may not do so by themselves, shall be obliged to make
the notification and notation of which article 749 speaks. (631)
Article 748. The donation of a movable may be made orally or in writing.
An oral donation requires the simultaneous delivery of the thing or of the document representing the right donated.
If the value of the personal property donated exceeds five thousand pesos, the donation and the acceptance shall be made in
writing. Otherwise, the donation shall be void. (632a)
Article 749. In order that the donation of an immovable may be valid, it must be made in a public document, specifying therein the
property donated and the value of the charges which the donee must satisfy.
The acceptance may be made in the same deed of donation or in a separate public document, but it shall not take effect unless it is
done during the lifetime of the donor.
If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor shall be notified thereof in an authentic form, and this step shall be
noted in both instruments. (633)
Effect of Donations and Limitations Thereon
Article 750. The donation may comprehend all the present property of the donor, or part thereof, provided he reserves, in full ownership or in usufruct, sufficient means for the support of himself, and of all relatives who, at the time of the acceptance of the donation, are by law entitled to be supported by the donor. Without such reservation, the donation shall be reduced in petition of any person affected. (634a)
Article 751. Donations cannot comprehend future property.
By future property is understood anything which the donor cannot dispose of at the time of the donation. (635)
Article 752. The provisions of article 750 notwithstanding, no person may give or receive, by way of donation, more than he may give or receive by will.
The donation shall be inofficious in all that it may exceed this limitation. (636)
Article 753. When a donation is made to several persons jointly, it is understood to be in equal shares, and there shall be no right of accretion among them, unless the donor has otherwise provided.
The preceding paragraph shall not be applicable to donations made to the husband and wife jointly, between whom there shall be a right of accretion, if the contrary has not been provided by the donor. (637)
Article 754. The donee is subrogated to all the rights and actions which in case of eviction would pertain to the donor. The latter, on the other hand, is not obliged to warrant the things donated, save when the donation is onerous, in which case the donor shall be liable for eviction to the concurrence of the burden.
The donor shall also be liable for eviction or hidden defects in case of bad faith on his part. (638a)
Article 755. The right to dispose of some of the things donated, or of some amount which shall be a charge thereon, may be reserved by the donor; but if he should die without having made use of this right, the property or amount reserved shall belong to the donee. (639)
Article 756. The ownership of property may also be donated to one person and the usufruct to another or others, provided all the donees are living at the time of the donation. (640a)
Article 757. Reversion may be validly established in favor of only the donor for any case and circumstances, but not in favor of other persons unless they are all living at the time of the donation.
Any reversion stipulated by the donor in favor of a third person in violation of what is provided in the preceding paragraph shall be void, but shall not nullify the donation. (614a)
Article 758. When the donation imposes upon the donee the obligation to pay the debts of the donor, if the clause does not contain any declaration to the contrary, the former is understood to be liable to pay only the debts which appear to have been previously contracted. In no case shall the donee be responsible for the debts exceeding the value of the property donated, unless a contrary intention clearly appears. (642a)
Article 759. There being no stipulation regarding the payment of debts, the donee shall be responsible therefor only when the donation has been made in fraud of creditors.
The donation is always presumed to be in fraud of creditors, when at the time thereof the donor did not reserve sufficient property to pay his debts prior to the donation. (643)
Revocation and Reduction of Donations
Article 760. Every donation inter vivos, made by a person having no children or descendants, legitimate or legitimated by subsequent marriage, or illegitimate, may be revoked or reduced as provided in the next article, by the happening of any of these events:
- If the donor, after the donation, should have legitimate or legitimated or illegitimate children, even though they be posthumous;
- If the child of the donor, whom the latter believed to be dead when he made the donation, should turn out to be living;
- If the donor subsequently adopt a minor child. (644a)
Article 761. In the cases referred to in the preceding article, the donation shall be revoked or reduced insofar as it exceeds the portion that may be freely disposed of by will, taking into account the whole estate of the donor at the time of the birth, appearance or adoption of a child. (n)
Article 762. Upon the revocation or reduction of the donation by the birth, appearance or adoption of a child, the property affected shall be returned or its value if the donee has sold the same.
If the property is mortgaged, the donor may redeem the mortgage, by paying the amount guaranteed, with a right to recover the same from the donee.
When the property cannot be returned, it shall be estimated at what it was worth at the time of the donation. (645a)
Article 763. The action for revocation or reduction on the grounds set forth in article 760 shall prescribe after four years from the birth of the first child, or from his legitimation, recognition or adoption, or from the judicial declaration of filiation, or from the time information was received regarding the existence of the child believed dead.
This action cannot be renounced, and is transmitted, upon the death of the donor, to his legitimate and illegitimate children and descendants. (646a)
Article 764. The donation shall be revoked at the instance of the donor, when the donee fails to comply with any of the conditions which the former imposed upon the latter.
In this case, the property donated shall be returned to the donor, the alienations made by the donee and the mortgages imposed thereon by him being void, with the limitations established, with regard to third persons, by the Mortgage Law and the Land Registration laws.
This action shall prescribe after four years from the noncompliance with the condition, may be transmitted to the heirs of the donor, and may be exercised against the donee's heirs. (647a)
Article 765. The donation may also be revoked at the instance of the donor, by reason of ingratitude in the following cases:
- If the donee should commit some offense against the person, the honor or the property of the donor, or of his wife or children under his parental authority;
- If the donee imputes to the donor any criminal offense, or any act involving moral turpitude, even though he should prove it, unless the crime or the act has been committed against the donee himself, his wife or children under his authority;
- If he unduly refuses him support when the donee is legally or morally bound to give support to the donor. (648a)
Article 766. Although the donation is revoked on account of ingratitude, nevertheless, the alienations and mortgages effected before the notation of the complaint for revocation in the Registry of Property shall subsist.
Later ones shall be void. (649) Article 767. In the case referred to in the first paragraph of the preceding article, the donor shall have a right to demand from the donee the value of property alienated which he cannot recover from third persons, or the sum for which the same has been mortgaged.
The value of said property shall be fixed as of the time of the donation. (650)
Article 768. When the donation is revoked for any of the causes stated in article 760, or by reason of ingratitude, or when it is reduced because it is inofficious, the donee shall not return the fruits except from the filing of the complaint.
If the revocation is based upon noncompliance with any of the conditions imposed in the donation, the donee shall return not only the property but also the fruits thereof which he may have received after having failed to fulfill the condition. (651)
Article 769. The action granted to the donor by reason of ingratitude cannot be renounced in advance. This action prescribes within one year, to be counted from the time the donor had knowledge of the fact and it was possible for him to bring the action. (652)
Article 770. This action shall not be transmitted to the heirs of the donor, if the latter did not institute the same, although he could have done so, and even if he should die before the expiration of one year.
Neither can this action be brought against the heir of the donee, unless upon the latter's death the complaint has been filed. (653)
Article 771. Donations which in accordance with the provisions of article 752, are inofficious, bearing in mind the estimated net value of the donor's property at the time of his death, shall be reduced with regard to the excess; but this reduction shall not prevent the donations from taking effect during the life of the donor, nor shall it bar the donee from appropriating the fruits.
For the reduction of donations the provisions of this Chapter and of articles 911 and 912 of this Code shall govern. (654)
Article 772. Only those who at the time of the donor's death have a right to the legitime and their heirs and successors in interest may ask for the reduction or inofficious donations.
Those referred to in the preceding paragraph cannot renounce their right during the lifetime of the donor, either by express declaration, or by consenting to the donation.
The donees, devisees and legatees, who are not entitled to the legitime and the creditors of the deceased can neither ask for the reduction nor avail themselves thereof. (655a)
Article 773. If, there being two or more donations, the disposable portion is not sufficient to cover all of them, those of the more recent date shall be suppressed or reduced with regard to the excess. (656)
Article 774. Succession is a mode of acquisition by virtue of which the property, rights and obligations to the extent of the value of the inheritance, of a person are transmitted through his death to another or others either by his will or by operation of law. (n)
Article 775. In this Title, "decedent" is the general term applied to the person whose property is transmitted through succession, whether or not he left a will. If he left a will, he is also called the testator. (n)
Article 776. The inheritance includes all the property, rights and obligations of a person which are not extinguished by his death.
(659) Article 777. The rights to the succession are transmitted from the moment of the death of the decedent. (657a) Article 778. Succession may be:
- Legal or intestate; or
- Mixed. (n)
Article 779. Testamentary succession is that which results from the designation of an heir, made in a will executed in the form
prescribed by law. (n)
Article 780. Mixed succession is that effected partly by will and partly by operation of law. (n)
Article 781. The inheritance of a person includes not only the property and the transmissible rights and obligations existing at the
time of his death, but also those which have accrued thereto since the opening of the succession. (n)
Article 782. An heir is a person called to the succession either by the provision of a will or by operation of law.
Devisees and legatees are persons to whom gifts of real and personal property are respectively given by virtue of a will. (n)
SUBSECTION 1. Wills in General
Article 783. A will is an act whereby a person is permitted, with the formalities prescribed by law, to control to a certain degree the disposition of this estate, to take effect after his death. (667a)
Article 784. The making of a will is a strictly personal act; it cannot be left in whole or in part to the discretion of a third person, or accomplished through the instrumentality of an agent or attorney. (670a)
Article 785. The duration or efficacy of the designation of heirs, devisees or legatees, or the determination of the portions which they are to take, when referred to by name, cannot be left to the discretion of a third person. (670a)
Article 786. The testator may entrust to a third person the distribution of specific property or sums of money that he may leave in general to specified classes or causes, and also the designation of the persons, institutions or establishments to which such property or sums are to be given or applied. (671a)
Article 787. The testator may not make a testamentary disposition in such manner that another person has to determine whether or not it is to be operative. (n)
Article 788. If a testamentary disposition admits of different interpretations, in case of doubt, that interpretation by which the disposition is to be operative shall be preferred. (n)
Article 789. When there is an imperfect description, or when no person or property exactly answers the description, mistakes and omissions must be corrected, if the error appears from the context of the will or from extrinsic evidence, excluding the oral declarations of the testator as to his intention; and when an uncertainty arises upon the face of the will, as to the application of any of its provisions, the testator's intention is to be ascertained from the words of the will, taking into consideration the circumstances under which it was made, excluding such oral declarations. (n)
Article 790. The words of a will are to be taken in their ordinary and grammatical sense, unless a clear intention to use them in another sense can be gathered, and that other can be ascertained.
Technical words in a will are to be taken in their technical sense, unless the context clearly indicates a contrary intention, or unless it satisfactorily appears that the will was drawn solely by the testator, and that he was unacquainted with such technical sense. (675a)
Article 791. The words of a will are to receive an interpretation which will give to every expression some effect, rather than one which will render any of the expressions inoperative; and of two modes of interpreting a will, that is to be preferred which will prevent intestacy. (n)
Article 792. The invalidity of one of several dispositions contained in a will does not result in the invalidity of the other dispositions, unless it is to be presumed that the testator would not have made such other dispositions if the first invalid disposition had not been made. (n)
Article 793. Property acquired after the making of a will shall only pass thereby, as if the testator had possessed it at the time of making the will, should it expressly appear by the will that such was his intention. (n)
Article 794. Every devise or legacy shall cover all the interest which the testator could device or bequeath in the property disposed of, unless it clearly appears from the will that he intended to convey a less interest. (n)
Article 795. The validity of a will as to its form depends upon the observance of the law in force at the time it is made. (n)
SUBSECTION 2. Testamentary Capacity and Intent
Article 796. All persons who are not expressly prohibited by law may make a will. (662)
Article 797. Persons of either sex under eighteen years of age cannot make a will. (n)
Article 798. In order to make a will it is essential that the testator be of sound mind at the time of its execution. (n)
Article 799. To be of sound mind, it is not necessary that the testator be in full possession of all his reasoning faculties, or that his mind be wholly unbroken, unimpaired, or unshattered by disease, injury or other cause.
It shall be sufficient if the testator was able at the time of making the will to know the nature of the estate to be disposed of, the proper objects of his bounty, and the character of the testamentary act. (n)
Article 800. The law presumes that every person is of sound mind, in the absence of proof to the contrary.
The burden of proof that the testator was not of sound mind at the time of making his dispositions is on the person who opposes the probate of the will; but if the testator, one month, or less, before making his will was publicly known to be insane, the person who maintains the validity of the will must prove that the testator made it during a lucid interval. (n)
Article 801. Supervening incapacity does not invalidate an effective will, nor is the will of an incapable validated by the supervening of capacity. (n) Article 802. A married woman may make a will without the consent of her husband, and without the authority of the court. (n)
Article 803. A married woman may dispose by will of all her separate property as well as her share of the conjugal partnership or absolute community property. (n)
SUBSECTION 3. Forms of Wills
Article 804. Every will must be in writing and executed in a language or dialect known to the testator. (n)
Article 805. Every will, other than a holographic will, must be subscribed at the end thereof by the testator himself or by the testator's name written by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction, and attested and subscribed by three or more credible witnesses in the presence of the testator and of one another.
The testator or the person requested by him to write his name and the instrumental witnesses of the will, shall also sign, as aforesaid, each and every page thereof, except the last, on the left margin, and all the pages shall be numbered correlatively in letters placed on the upper part of each page.
The attestation shall state the number of pages used upon which the will is written, and the fact that the testator signed the will and every page thereof, or caused some other person to write his name, under his express direction, in the presence of the instrumental witnesses, and that the latter witnessed and signed the will and all the pages thereof in the presence of the testator and of one another.
If the attestation clause is in a language not known to the witnesses, it shall be interpreted to them. (n)
Article 806. Every will must be acknowledged before a notary public by the testator and the witnesses. The notary public shall not be required to retain a copy of the will, or file another with the office of the Clerk of Court.(n)
Article 807. If the testator be deaf, or a deaf-mute, he must personally read the will, if able to do so; otherwise, he shall designate two persons to read it and communicate to him, in some practicable manner, the contents thereof. (n)
Article 808. If the testator is blind, the will shall be read to him twice; once, by one of the subscribing witnesses, and again, by the notary public before whom the will is acknowledged. (n)
Article 809. In the absence of bad faith, forgery, or fraud, or undue and improper pressure and influence, defects and imperfections in the form of attestation or in the language used therein shall not render the will invalid if it is proved that the will was in fact executed and attested in substantial compliance with all the requirements of article 805. (n)
Article 810. A person may execute a holographic will which must be entirely written, dated, and signed by the hand of the testator himself. It is subject to no other form, and may be made in or out of the Philippines, and need not be witnessed. (678, 688a)
Article 811. In the probate of a holographic will, it shall be necessary that at least one witness who knows the handwriting and signature of the testator explicitly declare that the will and the signature are in the handwriting of the testator. If the will is contested, at least three of such witnesses shall be required.
In the absence of any competent witness referred to in the preceding paragraph, and if the court deem it necessary, expert testimony may be resorted to. (619a)
Article 812. In holographic wills, the dispositions of the testator written below his signature must be dated and signed by him in order to make them valid as testamentary dispositions. (n)
Article 813. When a number of dispositions appearing in a holographic will are signed without being dated, and the last disposition has a signature and a date, such date validates the dispositions preceding it, whatever be the time of prior dispositions. (n)
Article 814. In case of any insertion, cancellation, erasure or alteration in a holographic will, the testator must authenticate the same by his full signature. (n)
Article 815. When a Filipino is in a foreign country, he is authorized to make a will in any of the forms established by the law of the country in which he may be. Such will may be probated in the Philippines. (n)
Article 816. The will of an alien who is abroad produces effect in the Philippines if made with the formalities prescribed by the law of the place in which he resides, or according to the formalities observed in his country, or in conformity with those which this Code prescribes. (n)
Article 817. A will made in the Philippines by a citizen or subject of another country, which is executed in accordance with the law of the country of which he is a citizen or subject, and which might be proved and allowed by the law of his own country, shall have the same effect as if executed according to the laws of the Philippines. (n)
Article 818. Two or more persons cannot make a will jointly, or in the same instrument, either for their reciprocal benefit or for the benefit of a third person. (669)
Article 819. Wills, prohibited by the preceding article, executed by Filipinos in a foreign country shall not be valid in the Philippines, even though authorized by the laws of the country where they may have been executed. (733a)
SUBSECTION 4. -Witnesses to Wills
Article 820. Any person of sound mind and of the age of eighteen years or more, and not blind, deaf or dumb, and able to read and write, may be a witness to the execution of a will mentioned in article 805 of this Code. (n)
Article 821. The following are disqualified from being witnesses to a will:
- Any person not domiciled in the Philippines;
- Those who have been convicted of falsification of a document, perjury or false testimony. (n)
Article 822. If the witnesses attesting the execution of a will are competent at the time of attesting, their becoming subsequently incompetent shall not prevent the allowance of the will. (n)
Article 823. If a person attests the execution of a will, to whom or to whose spouse, or parent, or child, a devise or legacy is given by such will, such devise or legacy shall, so far only as concerns such person, or spouse, or parent, or child of such person, or any one claiming under such person or spouse, or parent, or child, be void, unless there are three other competent witnesses to such will. However, such person so attesting shall be admitted as a witness as if such devise or legacy had not been made or given. (n)
Article 824. A mere charge on the estate of the testator for the payment of debts due at the time of the testator's death does not prevent his creditors from being competent witnesses to his will. (n)
SUBSECTION 5. Codicils and Incorporation by Reference
Article 825. A codicil is supplement or addition to a will, made after the execution of a will and annexed to be taken as a part thereof, by which disposition made in the original will is explained, added to, or altered. (n)
Article 826. In order that a codicil may be effective, it shall be executed as in the case of a will. (n)
Article 827. If a will, executed as required by this Code, incorporates into itself by reference any document or paper, such document or paper shall not be considered a part of the will unless the following requisites are present:
- The document or paper referred to in the will must be in existence at the time of the execution of the will;
- The will must clearly describe and identify the same, stating among other things the number of pages thereof;
- It must be identified by clear and satisfactory proof as the document or paper referred to therein; and
- It must be signed by the testator and the witnesses on each and every page, except in case of voluminous books of account or inventories. (n)
SUBSECTION 6. Revocation of Wills and Testamentary Dispositions Article 828. A will may be revoked by the testator at any time before his death. Any waiver or restriction of this right is void. (737a) Article 829. A revocation done outside the Philippines, by a person who does not have his domicile in this country, is valid when it
is done according to the law of the place where the will was made, or according to the law of the place in which the testator had his domicile at the time; and if the revocation takes place in this country, when it is in accordance with the provisions of this Code. (n) Article 830. No will shall be revoked except in the following cases:
- By implication of law; or
- By some will, codicil, or other writing executed as provided in case of wills; or
- By burning, tearing, cancelling, or obliterating the will with the intention of revoking it, by the testator himself, or by some other person in his presence, and by his express direction. If burned, torn, cancelled, or obliterated by some other person, without the express direction of the testator, the will may still be established, and the estate distributed in accordance therewith, if its contents, and due execution, and the fact of its unauthorized destruction, cancellation, or obliteration are established according to the Rules of Court. (n)
Article 831. Subsequent wills which do not revoke the previous ones in an express manner, annul only such dispositions in the prior wills as are inconsistent with or contrary to those contained in the later wills. (n)
Article 832. A revocation made in a subsequent will shall take effect, even if the new will should become inoperative by reason of the incapacity of the heirs, devisees or legatees designated therein, or by their renunciation. (740a)
Article 833. A revocation of a will based on a false cause or an illegal cause is null and void. (n)
Article 834. The recognition of an illegitimate child does not lose its legal effect, even though the will wherein it was made should be revoked. (741)
SUBSECTION 7. Republication and Revival of Wills
Article 835. The testator cannot republish, without reproducing in a subsequent will, the dispositions contained in a previous one which is void as to its form. (n) Article 836. The execution of a codicil referring to a previous will has the effect of republishing the will as modified by the codicil. (n) Article 837. If after making a will, the testator makes a second will expressly revoking the first, the revocation of the second will
does not revive the first will, which can be revived only by another will or codicil. (739a)
SUBSECTION 8. Allowance and Disallowance of Wills Article 838. No will shall pass either real or personal property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court.
The testator himself may, during his lifetime, petition the court having jurisdiction for the allowance of his will. In such case, the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court for the allowance of wills after the testator's a death shall govern.
The Supreme Court shall formulate such additional Rules of Court as may be necessary for the allowance of wills on petition of the testator.
Subject to the right of appeal, the allowance of the will, either during the lifetime of the testator or after his death, shall be conclusive as to its due execution. (n)
Article 839. The will shall be disallowed in any of the following cases:
- If the formalities required by law have not been complied with;
- If the testator was insane, or otherwise mentally incapable of making a will, at the time of its execution;
- If it was executed through force or under duress, or the influence of fear, or threats;
- If it was procured by undue and improper pressure and influence, on the part of the beneficiary or of some other person;
- If the signature of the testator was procured by fraud;
- If the testator acted by mistake or did not intend that the instrument he signed should be his will at the time of affixing his signature thereto. (n)
Institution of Heir
Article 840. Institution of heir is an act by virtue of which a testator designates in his will the person or persons who are to succeed him in his property and transmissible rights and obligations. (n)
Article 841. A will shall be valid even though it should not contain an institution of an heir, or such institution should not comprise the entire estate, and even though the person so instituted should not accept the inheritance or should be incapacitated to succeed.
In such cases the testamentary dispositions made in accordance with law shall be complied with and the remainder of the estate shall pass to the legal heirs. (764)
Article 842. One who has no compulsory heirs may dispose by will of all his estate or any part of it in favor of any person having capacity to succeed.
One who has compulsory heirs may dispose of his estate provided he does not contravene the provisions of this Code with regard to the legitime of said heirs. (763a)
Article 843. The testator shall designate the heir by his name and surname, and when there are two persons having the same names, he shall indicate some circumstance by which the instituted heir may be known.
Even though the testator may have omitted the name of the heir, should he designate him in such manner that there can be no doubt as to who has been instituted, the institution shall be valid. (772)
Article 844. An error in the name, surname, or circumstances of the heir shall not vitiate the institution when it is possible, in any other manner, to know with certainty the person instituted.
If among persons having the same names and surnames, there is a similarity of circumstances in such a way that, even with the use of other proof, the person instituted cannot be identified, none of them shall be an heir. (773a)
Article 845. Every disposition in favor of an unknown person shall be void, unless by some event or circumstance his identity becomes certain. However, a disposition in favor of a definite class or group of persons shall be valid. (750a)
Article 846. Heirs instituted without designation of shares shall inherit in equal parts. (765)
Article 847. When the testator institutes some heirs individually and others collectively as when he says, "I designate as my heirs A and B, and the children of C," those collectively designated shall be considered as individually instituted, unless it clearly appears that the intention of the testator was otherwise. (769a)
Article 848. If the testator should institute his brothers and sisters, and he has some of full blood and others of half blood, the inheritance shall be distributed equally unless a different intention appears. (770a)
Article 849. When the testator calls to the succession a person and his children they are all deemed to have been instituted simultaneously and not successively. (771)
Article 850. The statement of a false cause for the institution of an heir shall be considered as not written, unless it appears from the will that the testator would not have made such institution if he had known the falsity of such cause. (767a)
Article 851. If the testator has instituted only one heir, and the institution is limited to an aliquot part of the inheritance, legal succession takes place with respect to the remainder of the estate.
The same rule applies if the testator has instituted several heirs, each being limited to an aliquot part, and all the parts do not cover the whole inheritance. (n)
Article 852. If it was the intention of the testator that the instituted heirs should become sole heirs to the whole estate, or the whole free portion, as the case may be, and each of them has been instituted to an aliquot part of the inheritance and their aliquot parts together do not cover the whole inheritance, or the whole free portion, each part shall be increased proportionally. (n)
Article 853. If each of the instituted heirs has been given an aliquot part of the inheritance, and the parts together exceed the whole inheritance, or the whole free portion, as the case may be, each part shall be reduced proportionally. (n)
Article 854. The preterition or omission of one, some, or all of the compulsory heirs in the direct line, whether living at the time of the execution of the will or born after the death of the testator, shall annul the institution of heir; but the devises and legacies shall be valid insofar as they are not inofficious.
If the omitted compulsory heirs should die before the testator, the institution shall be effectual, without prejudice to the right of representation. (814a)
Article 855. The share of a child or descendant omitted in a will must first be taken from the part of the estate not disposed of by the will, if any; if that is not sufficient, so much as may be necessary must be taken proportionally from the shares of the other compulsory heirs. (1080a)
Article 856. A voluntary heir who dies before the testator transmits nothing to his heirs.
A compulsory heir who dies before the testator, a person incapacitated to succeed, and one who renounces the inheritance, shall transmit no right to his own heirs except in cases expressly provided for in this Code. (766a)
Substitution of Heirs
Article 857. Substitution is the appointment of another heir so that he may enter into the inheritance in default of the heir originally instituted. (n)
Article 858. Substitution of heirs may be:
- Simple or common;
- Brief or compendious;
- Reciprocal; or
- Fideicommissary. (n)
Article 859. The testator may designate one or more persons to substitute the heir or heirs instituted in case such heir or heirs should die before him, or should not wish, or should be incapacitated to accept the inheritance. A simple substitution, without a statement of the cases to which it refers, shall comprise the three mentioned in the preceding
paragraph, unless the testator has otherwise provided. (774)
Article 860. Two or more persons may be substituted for one; and one person for two or more heirs. (778)
Article 861. If heirs instituted in unequal shares should be reciprocally substituted, the substitute shall acquire the share of the heir
who dies, renounces, or is incapacitated, unless it clearly appears that the intention of the testator was otherwise. If there are more
than one substitute, they shall have the same share in the substitution as in the institution. (779a) Article 862. The substitute shall be subject to the same charges and conditions imposed upon the instituted heir, unless and testator has expressly provided the contrary, or the charges or conditions are personally applicable only to the heir instituted. (780)
Article 863. A fideicommissary substitution by virtue of which the fiduciary or first heir instituted is entrusted with the obligation to preserve and to transmit to a second heir the whole or part of the inheritance, shall be valid and shall take effect, provided such substitution does not go beyond one degree from the heir originally instituted, and provided further, that the fiduciary or first heir and the second heir are living at the time of the death of the testator. (781a)
Article 864. A fideicommissary substitution can never burden the legitime. (782a)
Article 865. Every fideicommissary substitution must be expressly made in order that it may be valid.
The fiduciary shall be obliged to deliver the inheritance to the second heir, without other deductions than those which arise from
legitimate expenses, credits and improvements, save in the case where the testator has provided otherwise. (783)
Article 866. The second heir shall acquire a right to the succession from the time of the testator's death, even though he should die before the fiduciary. The right of the second heir shall pass to his heirs. (784) Article 867. The following shall not take effect:
- Fideicommissary substitutions which are not made in an express manner, either by giving them this name, or imposing upon the fiduciary the absolute obligation to deliver the property to a second heir;
- Provisions which contain a perpetual prohibition to alienate, and even a temporary one, beyond the limit fixed in article 863;
- Those which impose upon the heir the charge of paying to various persons successively, beyond the limit prescribed in article 863, a certain income or pension;
- Those which leave to a person the whole or part of the hereditary property in order that he may apply or invest the same according to secret instructions communicated to him by the testator. (785a)
Article 868. The nullity of the fideicommissary substitution does not prejudice the validity of the institution of the heirs first designated; the fideicommissary clause shall simply be considered as not written. (786)
Article 869. A provision whereby the testator leaves to a person the whole or part of the inheritance, and to another the usufruct, shall be valid. If he gives the usufruct to various persons, not simultaneously, but successively, the provisions of article 863 shall apply. (787a)
Article 870. The dispositions of the testator declaring all or part of the estate inalienable for more than twenty years are void. (n)
Conditional Testamentary Dispositions and Testamentary Dispositions With a Term
Article 871. The institution of an heir may be made conditionally, or for a certain purpose or cause. (790a)
Article 872. The testator cannot impose any charge, condition, or substitution whatsoever upon the legitimes prescribed in this Code. Should he do so, the same shall be considered as not imposed. (813a)
Article 873. Impossible conditions and those contrary to law or good customs shall be considered as not imposed and shall in no manner prejudice the heir, even if the testator should otherwise provide. (792a)
Article 874. An absolute condition not to contract a first or subsequent marriage shall be considered as not written unless such condition has been imposed on the widow or widower by the deceased spouse, or by the latter's ascendants or descendants.
Nevertheless, the right of usufruct, or an allowance or some personal prestation may be devised or bequeathed to any person for the time during which he or she should remain unmarried or in widowhood. (793a)
Article 875. Any disposition made upon the condition that the heir shall make some provision in his will in favor of the testator or of any other person shall be void. (794a)
Article 876. Any purely potestative condition imposed upon an heir must be fulfilled by him as soon as he learns of the testator's death.
This rule shall not apply when the condition, already complied with, cannot be fulfilled again. (795a)
Article 877. If the condition is casual or mixed, it shall be sufficient if it happen or be fulfilled at any time before or after the death of the testator, unless he has provided otherwise.
Should it have existed or should it have been fulfilled at the time the will was executed and the testator was unaware thereof, it shall be deemed as complied with.
If he had knowledge thereof, the condition shall be considered fulfilled only when it is of such a nature that it can no longer exist or be complied with again. (796)
Article 878. A disposition with a suspensive term does not prevent the instituted heir from acquiring his rights and transmitting them to his heirs even before the arrival of the term. (799a)
Article 879. If the potestative condition imposed upon the heir is negative, or consists in not doing or not giving something, he shall comply by giving a security that he will not do or give that which has been prohibited by the testator, and that in case of contravention he will return whatever he may have received, together with its fruits and interests. (800a)
Article 880. If the heir be instituted under a suspensive condition or term, the estate shall be placed under administration until the condition is fulfilled, or until it becomes certain that it cannot be fulfilled, or until the arrival of the term.
The same shall be done if the heir does not give the security required in the preceding article. (801a)
Article 881. The appointment of the administrator of the estate mentioned in the preceding article, as well as the manner of the administration and the rights and obligations of the administrator shall be governed by the Rules of Court. (804a)
Article 882. The statement of the object of the institution, or the application of the property left by the testator, or the charge imposed by him, shall not be considered as a condition unless it appears that such was his intention.
That which has been left in this manner may be claimed at once provided that the instituted heir or his heirs give security for compliance with the wishes of the testator and for the return of anything he or they may receive, together with its fruits and interests, if he or they should disregard this obligation. (797a)
Article 883. When without the fault of the heir, an institution referred to in the preceding article cannot take effect in the exact manner stated by the testator, it shall be complied with in a manner most analogous to and in conformity with his wishes.
If the person interested in the condition should prevent its fulfillment, without the fault of the heir, the condition shall be deemed to have been complied with. (798a)
Article 884. Conditions imposed by the testator upon the heirs shall be governed by the rules established for conditional obligations in all matters not provided for by this Section. (791a)
Article 885. The designation of the day or time when the effects of the institution of an heir shall commence or cease shall be valid.
In both cases, the legal heir shall be considered as called to the succession until the arrival of the period or its expiration. But in the first case he shall not enter into possession of the property until after having given sufficient security, with the intervention of the instituted heir. (805)
Article 886. Legitime is that part of the testator's property which he cannot dispose of because the law has reserved it for certain heirs who are, therefore, called compulsory heirs. (806)
Article 887. The following are compulsory heirs:
- Legitimate children and descendants, with respect to their legitimate parents and ascendants;
- In default of the foregoing, legitimate parents and ascendants, with respect to their legitimate children and descendants;
- The widow or widower;
- Acknowledged natural children, and natural children by legal fiction;
- Other illegitimate children referred to in article 287.
Compulsory heirs mentioned in Nos. 3, 4, and 5 are not excluded by those in Nos. 1 and 2; neither do they exclude one another.
In all cases of illegitimate children, their filiation must be duly proved.
The father or mother of illegitimate children of the three classes mentioned, shall inherit from them in the manner and to the extent established by this Code. (807a)
Article 888. The legitime of legitimate children and descendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estate of the father and of the mother.
The latter may freely dispose of the remaining half, subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided. (808a)
Article 889. The legitime of legitimate parents or ascendants consists of one-half of the hereditary estates of their children and descendants.
The children or descendants may freely dispose of the other half, subject to the rights of illegitimate children and of the surviving spouse as hereinafter provided. (809a)
Article 890. The legitime reserved for the legitimate parents shall be divided between them equally; if one of the parents should have died, the whole shall pass to the survivor.
If the testator leaves neither father nor mother, but is survived by ascendants of equal degree of the paternal and maternal lines, the legitime shall be divided equally between both lines. If the ascendants should be of different degrees, it shall pertain entirely to the ones nearest in degree of either line. (810)
Article 891. The ascendant who inherits from his descendant any property which the latter may have acquired by gratuitous title from another ascendant, or a brother or sister, is obliged to reserve such property as he may have acquired by operation of law for the benefit of relatives who are within the third degree and who belong to the line from which said property came. (871)
Article 892. If only one legitimate child or descendant of the deceased survives, the widow or widower shall be entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate. In case of a legal separation, the surviving spouse may inherit if it was the deceased who had given cause for the same.
If there are two or more legitimate children or descendants, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate children or descendants.
In both cases, the legitime of the surviving spouse shall be taken from the portion that can be freely disposed of by the testator. (834a)
Article 893. If the testator leaves no legitimate descendants, but leaves legitimate ascendants, the surviving spouse shall have a right to one-fourth of the hereditary estate.
This fourth shall be taken from the free portion of the estate. (836a)
Article 894. If the testator leaves illegitimate children, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-third of the hereditary estate of the deceased and the illegitimate children to another third. The remaining third shall be at the free disposal of the testator. (n)
Article 895. The legitime of each of the acknowledged natural children and each of the natural children by legal fiction shall consist
of one-half of the legitime of each of the legitimate children or descendants.
The legitime of an illegitimate child who is neither an acknowledged natural, nor a natural child by legal fiction, shall be equal in every case to four-fifths of the legitime of an acknowledged natural child.
The legitime of the illegitimate children shall be taken from the portion of the estate at the free disposal of the testator, provided that in no case shall the total legitime of such illegitimate children exceed that free portion, and that the legitime of the surviving spouse must first be fully satisfied. (840a)
Article 896. Illegitimate children who may survive with legitimate parents or ascendants of the deceased shall be entitled to one-fourth of the hereditary estate to be taken from the portion at the free disposal of the testator. (841a)
Article 897. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate children or descendants, and acknowledged natural children, or natural children by legal fiction, such surviving spouse shall be entitled to a portion equal to the legitime of each of the legitimate children which must be taken from that part of the estate which the testator can freely dispose of. (n)
Article 898. If the widow or widower survives with legitimate children or descendants, and with illegitimate children other than acknowledged natural, or natural children by legal fiction, the share of the surviving spouse shall be the same as that provided in the preceding article. (n)
Article 899. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate parents or ascendants and with illegitimate children, such surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-eighth of the hereditary estate of the deceased which must be taken from the free portion, and the illegitimate children shall be entitled to one-fourth of the estate which shall be taken also from the disposable portion. The testator may freely dispose of the remaining one-eighth of the estate. (n)
Article 900. If the only survivor is the widow or widower, she or he shall be entitled to one-half of the hereditary estate of the deceased spouse, and the testator may freely dispose of the other half. (837a)
If the marriage between the surviving spouse and the testator was solemnized in articulo mortis, and the testator died within three months from the time of the marriage, the legitime of the surviving spouse as the sole heir shall be one-third of the hereditary estate, except when they have been living as husband and wife for more than five years. In the latter case, the legitime of the surviving spouse shall be that specified in the preceding paragraph. (n)
Article 901. When the testator dies leaving illegitimate children and no other compulsory heirs, such illegitimate children shall have a right to one-half of the hereditary estate of the deceased.
The other half shall be at the free disposal of the testator. (842a)
Article 902. The rights of illegitimate children set forth in the preceding articles are transmitted upon their death to their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate. (843a)
Article 903. The legitime of the parents who have an illegitimate child, when such child leaves neither legitimate descendants, nor a surviving spouse, nor illegitimate children, is one-half of the hereditary estate of such illegitimate child. If only legitimate or illegitimate children are left, the parents are not entitled to any legitime whatsoever. If only the widow or widower survives with parents of the illegitimate child, the legitime of the parents is one-fourth of the hereditary estate of the child, and that of the surviving spouse also one-fourth of the estate. (n)
Article 904. The testator cannot deprive his compulsory heirs of their legitime, except in cases expressly specified by law.
Neither can he impose upon the same any burden, encumbrance, condition, or substitution of any kind whatsoever. (813a)
Article 905. Every renunciation or compromise as regards a future legitime between the person owing it and his compulsory heirs is void, and the latter may claim the same upon the death of the former; but they must bring to collation whatever they may have received by virtue of the renunciation or compromise. (816)
Article 906. Any compulsory heir to whom the testator has left by any title less than the legitime belonging to him may demand that the same be fully satisfied. (815)
Article 907. Testamentary dispositions that impair or diminish the legitime of the compulsory heirs shall be reduced on petition of the same, insofar as they may be inofficious or excessive. (817)
Article 908. To determine the legitime, the value of the property left at the death of the testator shall be considered, deducting all debts and charges, which shall not include those imposed in the will.
To the net value of the hereditary estate, shall be added the value of all donations by the testator that are subject to collation, at the time he made them. (818a)
Article 909. Donations given to children shall be charged to their legitime.
Donations made to strangers shall be charged to that part of the estate of which the testator could have disposed by his last will.
Insofar as they may be inofficious or may exceed the disposable portion, they shall be reduced according to the rules established by this Code. (819a)
Article 910. Donations which an illegitimate child may have received during the lifetime of his father or mother, shall be charged to his legitime.
Should they exceed the portion that can be freely disposed of, they shall be reduced in the manner prescribed by this Code. (847a)
Article 911. After the legitime has been determined in accordance with the three preceding articles, the reduction shall be made as follows:
- Donations shall be respected as long as the legitime can be covered, reducing or annulling, if necessary, the devises or legacies made in the will;
- The reduction of the devises or legacies shall be pro rata, without any distinction whatever. If the testator has directed that a certain devise or legacy be paid in preference to others, it shall not suffer any reduction until the latter have been applied in full to the payment of the legitime.
- If the devise or legacy consists of a usufruct or life annuity, whose value may be considered greater than that of the disposable portion, the compulsory heirs may choose between complying with the testamentary provision and delivering to the devisee or legatee the part of the inheritance of which the testator could freely dispose. (820a)
Article 912. If the devise subject to reduction should consist of real property, which cannot be conveniently divided, it shall go to the devisee if the reduction does not absorb one-half of its value; and in a contrary case, to the compulsory heirs; but the former and the latter shall reimburse each other in cash for what respectively belongs to them.
The devisee who is entitled to a legitime may retain the entire property, provided its value does not exceed that of the disposable portion and of the share pertaining to him as legitime. (821)
Article 913. If the heirs or devisees do not choose to avail themselves of the right granted by the preceding article, any heir or devisee who did not have such right may exercise it; should the latter not make use of it, the property shall be sold at public auction at the instance of any one of the interested parties. (822)
Article 914. The testator may devise and bequeath the free portion as he may deem fit. (n)
Article 915. A compulsory heir may, in consequence of disinheritance, be deprived of his legitime, for causes expressly stated by law. (848a)
Article 916. Disinheritance can be effected only through a will wherein the legal cause therefor shall be specified. (849)
Article 917. The burden of proving the truth of the cause for disinheritance shall rest upon the other heirs of the testator, if the disinherited heir should deny it. (850)
Article 918. Disinheritance without a specification of the cause, or for a cause the truth of which, if contradicted, is not proved, or which is not one of those set forth in this Code, shall annul the institution of heirs insofar as it may prejudice the person disinherited; but the devises and legacies and other testamentary dispositions shall be valid to such extent as will not impair the legitime. (851a)
Article 919. The following shall be sufficient causes for the disinheritance of children and descendants, legitimate as well as illegitimate:
- When a child or descendant has been found guilty of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her spouse, descendants, or ascendants;
- When a child or descendant has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation has been found groundless;
- When a child or descendant has been convicted of adultery or concubinage with the spouse of the testator;
- When a child or descendant by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence causes the testator to make a will or to change one already made;
- A refusal without justifiable cause to support the parent or ascendant who disinherits such child or descendant;
- Maltreatment of the testator by word or deed, by the child or descendant;
- When a child or descendant leads a dishonorable or disgraceful life;
- Conviction of a crime which carries with it the penalty of civil interdiction. (756, 853, 674a)
Article 920. The following shall be sufficient causes for the disinheritance of parents or ascendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate:
- When the parents have abandoned their children or induced their daughters to live a corrupt or immoral life, or attempted against their virtue;
- When the parent or ascendant has been convicted of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her spouse, descendants, or ascendants;
- When the parent or ascendant has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation has been found to be false;
- When the parent or ascendant has been convicted of adultery or concubinage with the spouse of the testator;
- When the parent or ascendant by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence causes the testator to make a will or to change one already made;
- The loss of parental authority for causes specified in this Code;
- The refusal to support the children or descendants without justifiable cause;
- An attempt by one of the parents against the life of the other, unless there has been a reconciliation between them. (756, 854, 674a)
Article 921. The following shall be sufficient causes for disinheriting a spouse:
- When the spouse has been convicted of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her descendants, or ascendants;
- When the spouse has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment of six years or more, and the accusation has been found to be false;
- When the spouse by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence cause the testator to make a will or to change one already made;
- When the spouse has given cause for legal separation;
- When the spouse has given grounds for the loss of parental authority;
- Unjustifiable refusal to support the children or the other spouse. (756, 855, 674a)
Article 922. A subsequent reconciliation between the offender and the offended person deprives the latter of the right to disinherit, and renders ineffectual any disinheritance that may have been made. (856)
Article 923. The children and descendants of the person disinherited shall take his or her place and shall preserve the rights of compulsory heirs with respect to the legitime; but the disinherited parent shall not have the usufruct or administration of the property which constitutes the legitime. (857)
Legacies and Devises
Article 924. All things and rights which are within the commerce of man be bequeathed or devised. (865a)
Article 925. A testator may charge with legacies and devises not only his compulsory heirs but also the legatees and devisees.
The latter shall be liable for the charge only to the extent of the value of the legacy or the devise received by them. The compulsory heirs shall not be liable for the charge beyond the amount of the free portion given them. (858a)
Article 926. When the testator charges one of the heirs with a legacy or devise, he alone shall be bound.
Should he not charge anyone in particular, all shall be liable in the same proportion in which they may inherit. (859)
Article 927. If two or more heirs take possession of the estate, they shall be solidarily liable for the loss or destruction of a thing devised or bequeathed, even though only one of them should have been negligent. (n)
Article 928. The heir who is bound to deliver the legacy or devise shall be liable in case of eviction, if the thing is indeterminate and is indicated only by its kind. (860)
Article 929. If the testator, heir, or legatee owns only a part of, or an interest in the thing bequeathed, the legacy or devise shall be understood limited to such part or interest, unless the testator expressly declares that he gives the thing in its entirety. (864a)
Article 930. The legacy or devise of a thing belonging to another person is void, if the testator erroneously believed that the thing pertained to him. But if the thing bequeathed, though not belonging to the testator when he made the will, afterwards becomes his, by whatever title, the disposition shall take effect. (862a)
Article 931. If the testator orders that a thing belonging to another be acquired in order that it be given to a legatee or devisee, the heir upon whom the obligation is imposed or the estate must acquire it and give the same to the legatee or devisee; but if the owner of the thing refuses to alienate the same, or demands an excessive price therefor, the heir or the estate shall only be obliged to give the just value of the thing. (861a)
Article 932. The legacy or devise of a thing which at the time of the execution of the will already belonged to the legatee or devisee shall be ineffective, even though another person may have some interest therein.
If the testator expressly orders that the thing be freed from such interest or encumbrance, the legacy or devise shall be valid to that extent. (866a)
Article 933. If the thing bequeathed belonged to the legatee or devisee at the time of the execution of the will, the legacy or devise shall be without effect, even though it may have subsequently alienated by him.
If the legatee or devisee acquires it gratuitously after such time, he can claim nothing by virtue of the legacy or devise; but if it has been acquired by onerous title he can demand reimbursement from the heir or the estate. (878a) Article 934. If the testator should bequeath or devise something pledged or mortgaged to secure a recoverable debt before the execution of the will, the estate is obliged to pay the debt, unless the contrary intention appears.
The same rule applies when the thing is pledged or mortgaged after the execution of the will.
Any other charge, perpetual or temporary, with which the thing bequeathed is burdened, passes with it to the legatee or devisee.
Article 935. The legacy of a credit against a third person or of the remission or release of a debt of the legatee shall be effective
only as regards that part of the credit or debt existing at the time of the death of the testator.
In the first case, the estate shall comply with the legacy by assigning to the legatee all rights of action it may have against the
debtor. In the second case, by giving the legatee an acquittance, should he request one.
In both cases, the legacy shall comprise all interests on the credit or debt which may be due the testator at the time of his death.
Article 936. The legacy referred to in the preceding article shall lapse if the testator, after having made it, should bring an action
against the debtor for the payment of his debt, even if such payment should not have been effected at the time of his death.
The legacy to the debtor of the thing pledged by him is understood to discharge only the right of pledge. (871)
Article 937. A generic legacy of release or remission of debts comprises those existing at the time of the execution of the will, but
not subsequent ones. (872)
Article 938. A legacy or devise made to a creditor shall not be applied to his credit, unless the testator so expressly declares.
In the latter case, the creditor shall have the right to collect the excess, if any, of the credit or of the legacy or devise. (837a)
Article 939. If the testator orders the payment of what he believes he owes but does not in fact owe, the disposition shall be
considered as not written. If as regards a specified debt more than the amount thereof is ordered paid, the excess is not due, unless a contrary intention appears.
The foregoing provisions are without prejudice to the fulfillment of natural obligations. (n)
Article 940. In alternative legacies or devises, the choice is presumed to be left to the heir upon whom the obligation to give the
legacy or devise may be imposed, or the executor or administrator of the estate if no particular heir is so obliged.
If the heir, legatee or devisee, who may have been given the choice, dies before making it, this right shall pass to the respective heirs.
Once made, the choice is irrevocable.
In the alternative legacies or devises, except as herein provided, the provisions of this Code regulating obligations of the same kind
shall be observed, save such modifications as may appear from the intention expressed by the testator. (874a)
Article 941. A legacy of generic personal property shall be valid even if there be no things of the same kind in the estate.
A devise of indeterminate real property shall be valid only if there be immovable property of its kind in the estate.
The right of choice shall belong to the executor or administrator who shall comply with the legacy by the delivery of a thing which is
neither of inferior nor of superior quality. (875a)
Article 942. Whenever the testator expressly leaves the right of choice to the heir, or to the legatee or devisee, the former may give
or the latter may choose whichever he may prefer. (876a)
Article 943. If the heir, legatee or devisee cannot make the choice, in case it has been granted him, his right shall pass to his heirs;
but a choice once made shall be irrevocable. (877a)
Article 944. A legacy for education lasts until the legatee is of age, or beyond the age of majority in order that the legatee may
finish some professional, vocational or general course, provided he pursues his course diligently.
A legacy for support lasts during the lifetime of the legatee, if the testator has not otherwise provided.
If the testator has not fixed the amount of such legacies, it shall be fixed in accordance with the social standing and the
circumstances of the legatee and the value of the estate.
If the testator or during his lifetime used to give the legatee a certain sum of money or other things by way of support, the same
amount shall be deemed bequeathed, unless it be markedly disproportionate to the value of the estate. (879a)
Article 945. If a periodical pension, or a certain annual, monthly, or weekly amount is bequeathed, the legatee may petition the
court for the first installment upon the death of the testator, and for the following ones which shall be due at the beginning of each period; such payment shall not be returned, even though the legatee should die before the expiration of the period which has commenced. (880a)
Article 946. If the thing bequeathed should be subject to a usufruct, the legatee or devisee shall respect such right until it is legally extinguished. (868a) Article 947. The legatee or devisee acquires a right to the pure and simple legacies or devises from the death of the testator, and transmits it to his heirs. (881a)
Article 948. If the legacy or devise is of a specific and determinate thing pertaining to the testator, the legatee or devisee acquires the ownership thereof upon the death of the testator, as well as any growing fruits, or unborn offspring of animals, or uncollected income; but not the income which was due and unpaid before the latter's death.
From the moment of the testator's death, the thing bequeathed shall be at the risk of the legatee or devisee, who shall, therefore, bear its loss or deterioration, and shall be benefited by its increase or improvement, without prejudice to the responsibility of the executor or administrator. (882a)
Article 949. If the bequest should not be of a specific and determinate thing, but is generic or of quantity, its fruits and interests from the time of the death of the testator shall pertain to the legatee or devisee if the testator has expressly so ordered. (884a)
Article 950. If the estate should not be sufficient to cover all the legacies or devises, their payment shall be made in the following order:
- Remuneratory legacies or devises;
- Legacies or devises declared by the testator to be preferential;
- Legacies for support;
- Legacies for education;
- Legacies or devises of a specific, determinate thing which forms a part of the estate;
- All others pro rata. (887a)
Article 951. The thing bequeathed shall be delivered with all its accessories and accessories and in the condition in which it may be upon the death of the testator. (883a)
Article 952. The heir, charged with a legacy or devise, or the executor or administrator of the estate, must deliver the very thing bequeathed if he is able to do so and cannot discharge this obligation by paying its value.
Legacies of money must be paid in cash, even though the heir or the estate may not have any.
The expenses necessary for the delivery of the thing bequeathed shall be for the account of the heir or the estate, but without prejudice to the legitime. (886a)
Article 953. The legatee or devisee cannot take possession of the thing bequeathed upon his own authority, but shall request its delivery and possession of the heir charged with the legacy or devise, or of the executor or administrator of the estate should he be authorized by the court to deliver it. (885a)
Article 954. The legatee or devisee cannot accept a part of the legacy or devise and repudiate the other, if the latter be onerous.
Should he die before having accepted the legacy or devise, leaving several heirs, some of the latter may accept and the others may repudiate the share respectively belonging to them in the legacy or devise. (889a)
Article 955. The legatee or devisee of two legacies or devises, one of which is onerous, cannot renounce the onerous one and accept the other. If both are onerous or gratuitous, he shall be free to accept or renounce both, or to renounce either. But if the testator intended that the two legacies or devises should be inseparable from each other, the legatee or devisee must either accept or renounce both.
Any compulsory heir who is at the same time a legatee or devisee may waive the inheritance and accept the legacy or devise, or renounce the latter and accept the former, or waive or accept both. (890a)
Article 956. If the legatee or devisee cannot or is unwilling to accept the legacy or devise, or if the legacy or devise for any reason should become ineffective, it shall be merged into the mass of the estate, except in cases of substitution and of the right of accretion. (888a)
Article 957. The legacy or devise shall be without effect:
- If the testator transforms the thing bequeathed in such a manner that it does not retain either the form or the denomination it had;
- If the testator by any title or for any cause alienates the thing bequeathed or any part thereof, it being understood that in the latter case the legacy or devise shall be without effect only with respect to the part thus alienated. If after the alienation the thing should again belong to the testator, even if it be by reason of nullity of the contract, the legacy or devise shall not thereafter be valid, unless the reacquisition shall have been effected by virtue of the exercise of the right of repurchase;
- If the thing bequeathed is totally lost during the lifetime of the testator, or after his death without the heir's fault. Nevertheless, the person obliged to pay the legacy or devise shall be liable for eviction if the thing bequeathed should not have been determinate as to its kind, in accordance with the provisions of article 928. (869a)
Article 958. A mistake as to the name of the thing bequeathed or devised, is of no consequence, if it is possible to identify the thing which the testator intended to bequeath or devise. (n)
Article 959. A disposition made in general terms in favor of the testator's relatives shall be understood to be in favor of those nearest in degree. (751)
Legal or Intestate Succession
Article 960. Legal or intestate succession takes place:
- If a person dies without a will, or with a void will, or one which has subsequently lost its validity;
- When the will does not institute an heir to, or dispose of all the property belonging to the testator. In such case, legal succession shall take place only with respect to the property of which the testator has not disposed;
- If the suspensive condition attached to the institution of heir does not happen or is not fulfilled, or if the heir dies before the testator, or repudiates the inheritance, there being no substitution, and no right of accretion takes place;
- When the heir instituted is incapable of succeeding, except in cases provided in this Code. (912a)
Article 961. In default of testamentary heirs, the law vests the inheritance, in accordance with the rules hereinafter set forth, in the legitimate and illegitimate relatives of the deceased, in the surviving spouse, and in the State. (913a)
Article 962. In every inheritance, the relative nearest in degree excludes the more distant ones, saving the right of representation when it properly takes place.
Relatives in the same degree shall inherit in equal shares, subject to the provisions of article 1006 with respect to relatives of the full and half blood, and of article 987, paragraph 2, concerning division between the paternal and maternal lines. (912a)
SUBSECTION 1. Relationship
Article 963. Proximity of relationship is determined by the number of generations. Each generation forms a degree. (915)
Article 964. A series of degrees forms a line, which may be either direct or collateral.
A direct line is that constituted by the series of degrees among ascendants and descendants.
A collateral line is that constituted by the series of degrees among persons who are not ascendants and descendants, but who
come from a common ancestor. (916a)
Article 965. The direct line is either descending or ascending.
The former unites the head of the family with those who descend from him.
The latter binds a person with those from whom he descends. (917)
Article 966. In the line, as many degrees are counted as there are generations or persons, excluding the progenitor.
In the direct line, ascent is made to the common ancestor. Thus, the child is one degree removed from the parent, two from the
grandfather, and three from the great-grandparent.
In the collateral line, ascent is made to the common ancestor and then descent is made to the person with whom the computation is
to be made. Thus, a person is two degrees removed from his brother, three from his uncle, who is the brother of his father, four
from his first cousin, and so forth. (918a)
Article 967. Full blood relationship is that existing between persons who have the same father and the same mother.
Half blood relationship is that existing between persons who have the same father, but not the same mother, or the same mother,
but not the same father. (920a)
Article 968. If there are several relatives of the same degree, and one or some of them are unwilling or incapacitated to succeed, his portion shall accrue to the others of the same degree, save the right of representation when it should take place. (922) Article 969. If the inheritance should be repudiated by the nearest relative, should there be one only, or by all the nearest relatives
called by law to succeed, should there be several, those of the following degree shall inherit in their own right and cannot represent the person or persons repudiating the inheritance. (923)
SUBSECTION 2. Right of Representation
Article 970. Representation is a right created by fiction of law, by virtue of which the representative is raised to the place and the degree of the person represented, and acquires the rights which the latter would have if he were living or if he could have inherited. (942a)
Article 971. The representative is called to the succession by the law and not by the person represented. The representative does not succeed the person represented but the one whom the person represented would have succeeded. (n)
Article 972. The right of representation takes place in the direct descending line, but never in the ascending.
In the collateral line, it takes place only in favor of the children of brothers or sisters, whether they be of the full or half blood. (925)
Article 973. In order that representation may take place, it is necessary that the representative himself be capable of succeeding
the decedent. (n)
Article 974. Whenever there is succession by representation, the division of the estate shall be made per stirpes, in such manner
that the representative or representatives shall not inherit more than what the person they represent would inherit, if he were living or could inherit. (926a) Article 975. When children of one or more brothers or sisters of the deceased survive, they shall inherit from the latter by
representation, if they survive with their uncles or aunts. But if they alone survive, they shall inherit in equal portions. (927)
Article 976. A person may represent him whose inheritance he has renounced. (928a)
Article 977. Heirs who repudiate their share may not be represented. (929a)
SECTION 2 Order of Intestate Succession SUBSECTION 1. Descending Direct Line
Article 978. Succession pertains, in the first place, to the descending direct line. (930)
Article 979. Legitimate children and their descendants succeed the parents and other ascendants, without distinction as to sex or
age, and even if they should come from different marriages.
An adopted child succeeds to the property of the adopting parents in the same manner as a legitimate child. (931a)
Article 980. The children of the deceased shall always inherit from him in their own right, dividing the inheritance in equal shares.
Article 981. Should children of the deceased and descendants of other children who are dead, survive, the former shall inherit in their own right, and the latter by right of representation. (934a) Article 982. The grandchildren and other descendants shall inherit by right of representation, and if any one of them should have
died, leaving several heirs, the portion pertaining to him shall be divided among the latter in equal portions. (933)
Article 983. If illegitimate children survive with legitimate children, the shares of the former shall be in the proportions prescribed by article 895. (n) Article 984. In case of the death of an adopted child, leaving no children or descendants, his parents and relatives by
consanguinity and not by adoption, shall be his legal heirs. (n)
SUBSECTION 2. Ascending Direct Line
Article 985. In default of legitimate children and descendants of the deceased, his parents and ascendants shall inherit from him, to
the exclusion of collateral relatives. (935a)
Article 986. The father and mother, if living, shall inherit in equal shares.
Should one only of them survive, he or she shall succeed to the entire estate of the child. (936)
Article 987. In default of the father and mother, the ascendants nearest in degree shall inherit.
Should there be more than one of equal degree belonging to the same line they shall divide the inheritance per capita; should they
be of different lines but of equal degree, one-half shall go to the paternal and the other half to the maternal ascendants. In each line the division shall be made per capita. (937)
SUBSECTION 3. Illegitimate Children
Article 988. In the absence of legitimate descendants or ascendants, the illegitimate children shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased. (939a)
Article 989. If, together with illegitimate children, there should survive descendants of another illegitimate child who is dead, the former shall succeed in their own right and the latter by right of representation. (940a)
Article 990. The hereditary rights granted by the two preceding articles to illegitimate children shall be transmitted upon their death to their descendants, who shall inherit by right of representation from their deceased grandparent. (941a)
Article 991. If legitimate ascendants are left, the illegitimate children shall divide the inheritance with them, taking one-half of the estate, whatever be the number of the ascendants or of the illegitimate children. (942, 841a)
Article 992. An illegitimate child has no right to inherit ab intestato from the legitimate children and relatives of his father or mother; nor shall such children or relatives inherit in the same manner from the illegitimate child. (943a) Article 993. If an illegitimate child should die without issue, either legitimate or illegitimate, his father or mother shall succeed to his entire estate; and if the child's filiation is duly proved as to both parents, who are both living, they shall inherit from him share and share alike. (944a)
Article 994. In default of the father or mother, an illegitimate child shall be succeeded by his or her surviving spouse who shall be entitled to the entire estate.
If the widow or widower should survive with brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, she or he shall inherit one-half of the estate, and the latter the other half. (945a)
SUBSECTION 4. Surviving Spouse
Article 995. In the absence of legitimate descendants and ascendants, and illegitimate children and their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, the surviving spouse shall inherit the entire estate, without prejudice to the rights of brothers and sisters, nephews and nieces, should there be any, under article 1001. (946a)
Article 996. If a widow or widower and legitimate children or descendants are left, the surviving spouse has in the succession the same share as that of each of the children. (834a)
Article 997. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate parents or ascendants, the surviving spouse shall be entitled to one-half of the estate, and the legitimate parents or ascendants to the other half. (836a)
Article 998. If a widow or widower survives with illegitimate children, such widow or widower shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance, and the illegitimate children or their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, to the other half. (n)
Article 999. When the widow or widower survives with legitimate children or their descendants and illegitimate children or their descendants, whether legitimate or illegitimate, such widow or widower shall be entitled to the same share as that of a legitimate child. (n)
Article 1000. If legitimate ascendants, the surviving spouse, and illegitimate children are left, the ascendants shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance, and the other half shall be divided between the surviving spouse and the illegitimate children so that such widow or widower shall have one-fourth of the estate, and the illegitimate children the other fourth. (841a)
Article 1001. Should brothers and sisters or their children survive with the widow or widower, the latter shall be entitled to one-half of the inheritance and the brothers and sisters or their children to the other half. (953, 837a)
Article 1002. In case of a legal separation, if the surviving spouse gave cause for the separation, he or she shall not have any of the rights granted in the preceding articles. (n)
SUBSECTION 5. Collateral Relatives
Article 1003. If there are no descendants, ascendants, illegitimate children, or a surviving spouse, the collateral relatives shall succeed to the entire estate of the deceased in accordance with the following articles. (946a) Article 1004. Should the only survivors be brothers and sisters of the full blood, they shall inherit in equal shares. (947) Article 1005. Should brothers and sisters survive together with nephews and nieces, who are the children of the descendant's
brothers and sisters of the full blood, the former shall inherit per capita, and the latter per stirpes. (948)
Article 1006. Should brother and sisters of the full blood survive together with brothers and sisters of the half blood, the former shall be entitled to a share double that of the latter. (949) Article 1007. In case brothers and sisters of the half blood, some on the father's and some on the mother's side, are the only
survivors, all shall inherit in equal shares without distinction as to the origin of the property. (950)
Article 1008. Children of brothers and sisters of the half blood shall succeed per capita or per stirpes, in accordance with the rules laid down for brothers and sisters of the full blood. (915) Article 1009. Should there be neither brothers nor sisters nor children of brothers or sisters, the other collateral relatives shall
succeed to the estate.
The latter shall succeed without distinction of lines or preference among them by reason of relationship by the whole blood. (954a)
Article 1010. The right to inherit ab intestato shall not extend beyond the fifth degree of relationship in the collateral line. (955a)
SUBSECTION 6. The State
Article 1011. In default of persons entitled to succeed in accordance with the provisions of the preceding Sections, the State shall
inherit the whole estate. (956a)
Article 1012. In order that the State may take possession of the property mentioned in the preceding article, the pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court must be observed. (958a) Article 1013. After the payment of debts and charges, the personal property shall be assigned to the municipality or city where the
deceased last resided in the Philippines, and the real estate to the municipalities or cities, respectively, in which the same is situated. If the deceased never resided in the Philippines, the whole estate shall be assigned to the respective municipalities or cities where the same is located.
Such estate shall be for the benefit of public schools, and public charitable institutions and centers, in such municipalities or cities. The court shall distribute the estate as the respective needs of each beneficiary may warrant.
The court, at the instance of an interested party, or on its own motion, may order the establishment of a permanent trust, so that only the income from the property shall be used. (956a)
Article 1014. If a person legally entitled to the estate of the deceased appears and files a claim thereto with the court within five years from the date the property was delivered to the State, such person shall be entitled to the possession of the same, or if sold, the municipality or city shall be accountable to him for such part of the proceeds as may not have been lawfully spent. (n)
Provisions Common to Testate and Intestate Successions
Right of Accretion
Article 1015. Accretion is a right by virtue of which, when two or more persons are called to the same inheritance, devise or legacy, the part assigned to the one who renounces or cannot receive his share, or who died before the testator, is added or incorporated to that of his co-heirs, co-devisees, or co-legatees. (n)
Article 1016. In order that the right of accretion may take place in a testamentary succession, it shall be necessary:
- That two or more persons be called to the same inheritance, or to the same portion thereof, pro indiviso; and
- That one of the persons thus called die before the testator, or renounce the inheritance, or be incapacitated to
receive it. (928a) Article 1017. The words "one-half for each" or "in equal shares" or any others which, though designating an aliquot part, do not identify it by such description as shall make each heir the exclusive owner of determinate property, shall not exclude the right of accretion.
In case of money or fungible goods, if the share of each heir is not earmarked, there shall be a right of accretion. (983a)
Article 1018. In legal succession the share of the person who repudiates the inheritance shall always accrue to his co-heirs. (981)
Article 1019. The heirs to whom the portion goes by the right of accretion take it in the same proportion that they inherit. (n)
Article 1020. The heirs to whom the inheritance accrues shall succeed to all the rights and obligations which the heir who
renounced or could not receive it would have had. (984)
Article 1021. Among the compulsory heirs the right of accretion shall take place only when the free portion is left to two or more of
them, or to any one of them and to a stranger.
Should the part repudiated be the legitime, the other co-heirs shall succeed to it in their own right, and not by the right of accretion.
Article 1022. In testamentary succession, when the right of accretion does not take place, the vacant portion of the instituted heirs, if no substitute has been designated, shall pass to the legal heirs of the testator, who shall receive it with the same charges and obligations. (986)
Article 1023. Accretion shall also take place among devisees, legatees and usufructuaries under the same conditions established for heirs. (987a)
SECTION 2 Capacity to Succeed by Will or by Intestacy Article 1024. Persons not incapacitated by law may succeed by will or ab intestato.
The provisions relating to incapacity by will are equally applicable to intestate succession. (744, 914)
Article 1025. In order to be capacitated to inherit, the heir, devisee or legatee must be living at the moment the succession opens,
except in case of representation, when it is proper.
A child already conceived at the time of the death of the decedent is capable of succeeding provided it be born later under the
conditions prescribed in article 41. (n)
Article 1026. A testamentary disposition may be made to the State, provinces, municipal corporations, private corporations,
organizations, or associations for religious, scientific, cultural, educational, or charitable purposes.
All other corporations or entities may succeed under a will, unless there is a provision to the contrary in their charter or the laws of
their creation, and always subject to the same. (746a)
Article 1027. The following are incapable of succeeding:
- The priest who heard the confession of the testator during his last illness, or the minister of the gospel who extended spiritual aid to him during the same period;
- The relatives of such priest or minister of the gospel within the fourth degree, the church, order, chapter, community, organization, or institution to which such priest or minister may belong;
- A guardian with respect to testamentary dispositions given by a ward in his favor before the final accounts of the guardianship have been approved, even if the testator should die after the approval thereof; nevertheless, any provision made by the ward in favor of the guardian when the latter is his ascendant, descendant, brother, sister, or spouse, shall be valid;
- Any attesting witness to the execution of a will, the spouse, parents, or children, or any one claiming under such witness, spouse, parents, or children;
- Any physician, surgeon, nurse, health officer or druggist who took care of the testator during his last illness;
- Individuals, associations and corporations not permitted by law to inherit. (745, 752, 753, 754a)
Article 1028. The prohibitions mentioned in article 739, concerning donations inter vivos shall apply to testamentary provisions. (n)
Article 1029. Should the testator dispose of the whole or part of his property for prayers and pious works for the benefit of his soul, in general terms and without specifying its application, the executor, with the court's approval shall deliver one-half thereof or its proceeds to the church or denomination to which the testator may belong, to be used for such prayers and pious works, and the other half to the State, for the purposes mentioned in article 1013. (747a)
Article 1030. Testamentary provisions in favor of the poor in general, without designation of particular persons or of any community, shall be deemed limited to the poor living in the domicile of the testator at the time of his death, unless it should clearly appear that his intention was otherwise.
The designation of the persons who are to be considered as poor and the distribution of the property shall be made by the person appointed by the testator for the purpose; in default of such person, by the executor, and should there be no executor, by the justice of the peace, the mayor, and the municipal treasurer, who shall decide by a majority of votes all questions that may arise. In all these cases, the approval of the Court of First Instance shall be necessary.
The preceding paragraph shall apply when the testator has disposed of his property in favor of the poor of a definite locality. (749a)
Article 1031. A testamentary provision in favor of a disqualified person, even though made under the guise of an onerous contract, or made through an intermediary, shall be void. (755)
Article 1032. The following are incapable of succeeding by reason of unworthiness:
- Parents who have abandoned their children or induced their daughters to lead a corrupt or immoral life, or attempted against their virtue;
- Any person who has been convicted of an attempt against the life of the testator, his or her spouse, descendants, or ascendants;
- Any person who has accused the testator of a crime for which the law prescribes imprisonment for six years or more, if the accusation has been found groundless;
- Any heir of full age who, having knowledge of the violent death of the testator, should fail to report it to an officer of the law within a month, unless the authorities have already taken action; this prohibition shall not apply to cases wherein, according to law, there is no obligation to make an accusation;
- Any person convicted of adultery or concubinage with the spouse of the testator;
- Any person who by fraud, violence, intimidation, or undue influence should cause the testator to make a will or to change one already made;
- Any person who by the same means prevents another from making a will, or from revoking one already made, or who supplants, conceals, or alters the latter's will;
- Any person who falsifies or forges a supposed will of the decedent. (756, 673, 674a)
Article 1033. The cause of unworthiness shall be without effect if the testator had knowledge thereof at the time he made the will, or if, having known of them subsequently, he should condone them in writing. (757a)
Article 1034. In order to judge the capacity of the heir, devisee or legatee, his qualification at the time of the death of the decedent shall be the criterion.
In cases falling under Nos. 2, 3, or 5 of article 1032, it shall be necessary to wait until final judgment is rendered, and in the case falling under No. 4, the expiration of the month allowed for the report.
If the institution, devise or legacy should be conditional, the time of the compliance with the condition shall also be considered. (758a)
Article 1035. If the person excluded from the inheritance by reason of incapacity should be a child or descendant of the decedent and should have children or descendants, the latter shall acquire his right to the legitime.
The person so excluded shall not enjoy the usufruct and administration of the property thus inherited by his children. (761a)
Article 1036. Alienations of hereditary property, and acts of administration performed by the excluded heir, before the judicial order of exclusion, are valid as to the third persons who acted in good faith; but the co-heirs shall have a right to recover damages from the disqualified heir. (n)
Article 1037. The unworthy heir who is excluded from the succession has a right to demand indemnity or any expenses incurred in the preservation of the hereditary property, and to enforce such credits as he may have against the estate. (n)
Article 1038. Any person incapable of succession, who, disregarding the prohibition stated in the preceding articles, entered into the possession of the hereditary property, shall be obliged to return it together it its accessions.
He shall be liable for all the fruits and rents he may have received, or could have received through the exercise of due diligence. (760a)
Article 1039. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent. (n)
Article 1040. The action for a declaration of incapacity and for the recovery of the inheritance, devise or legacy shall be brought within five years from the time the disqualified person took possession thereof. It may be brought by any one who may have an interest in the succession. (762a)
SECTION 3 Acceptance and Repudiation of the Inheritance Article 1041. The acceptance or repudiation of the inheritance is an act which is purely voluntary and free. (988)
Article 1042. The effects of the acceptance or repudiation shall always retroact to the moment of the death of the decedent. (989) Article 1043. No person may accept or repudiate an inheritance unless he is certain of the death of the person from whom he is to inherit, and of his right to the inheritance. (991)
Article 1044. Any person having the free disposal of his property may accept or repudiate an inheritance.
Any inheritance left to minors or incapacitated persons may be accepted by their parents or guardians. Parents or guardians may repudiate the inheritance left to their wards only by judicial authorization. The right to accept an inheritance left to the poor shall belong to the persons designated by the testator to determine the
beneficiaries and distribute the property, or in their default, to those mentioned in article 1030. (992a)
Article 1045. The lawful representatives of corporations, associations, institutions and entities qualified to acquire property may accept any inheritance left to the latter, but in order to repudiate it, the approval of the court shall be necessary. (993a) Article 1046. Public official establishments can neither accept nor repudiate an inheritance without the approval of the government.
Article 1047. A married woman of age may repudiate an inheritance without the consent of her husband. (995a)
Article 1048. Deaf-mutes who can read and write may accept or repudiate the inheritance personally or through an agent. Should
they not be able to read and write, the inheritance shall be accepted by their guardians. These guardians may repudiate the same
with judicial approval. (996a)
Article 1049. Acceptance may be express or tacit.
An express acceptance must be made in a public or private document.
A tacit acceptance is one resulting from acts by which the intention to accept is necessarily implied, or which one would have no
right to do except in the capacity of an heir.
Acts of mere preservation or provisional administration do not imply an acceptance of the inheritance if, through such acts, the title or capacity of an heir has not been assumed. (999a) Article 1050. An inheritance is deemed accepted:
- If the heirs sells, donates, or assigns his right to a stranger, or to his co-heirs, or to any of them;
- If the heir renounces the same, even though gratuitously, for the benefit of one or more of his co-heirs;
- If he renounces it for a price in favor of all his co-heirs indiscriminately; but if this renunciation should be gratuitous, and the co-heirs in whose favor it is made are those upon whom the portion renounced should devolve by virtue of accretion, the inheritance shall not be deemed as accepted. (1000)
Article 1051. The repudiation of an inheritance shall be made in a public or authentic instrument, or by petition presented to the court having jurisdiction over the testamentary or intestate proceedings. (1008)
Article 1052. If the heir repudiates the inheritance to the prejudice of his own creditors, the latter may petition the court to authorize them to accept it in the name of the heir.
The acceptance shall benefit the creditors only to an extent sufficient to cover the amount of their credits. The excess, should there be any, shall in no case pertain to the renouncer, but shall be adjudicated to the persons to whom, in accordance with the rules established in this Code, it may belong. (1001)
Article 1053. If the heir should die without having accepted or repudiated the inheritance his right shall be transmitted to his heirs. (1006)
Article 1054. Should there be several heirs called to the inheritance, some of them may accept and the others may repudiate it. (1007a)
Article 1055. If a person, who is called to the same inheritance as an heir by will and ab intestato, repudiates the inheritance in his capacity as a testamentary heir, he is understood to have repudiated it in both capacities.
Should he repudiate it as an intestate heir, without knowledge of his being a testamentary heir, he may still accept it in the latter capacity. (1009)
Article 1056. The acceptance or repudiation of an inheritance, once made, is irrevocable, and cannot be impugned, except when it was made through any of the causes that vitiate consent, or when an unknown will appears. (997)
Article 1057. Within thirty days after the court has issued an order for the distribution of the estate in accordance with the Rules of Court, the heirs, devisees and legatees shall signify to the court having jurisdiction whether they accept or repudiate the inheritance.
If they do not do so within that time, they are deemed to have accepted the inheritance. (n)
Executors and Administrators
Article 1058. All matters relating to the appointment, powers and duties of executors and administrators and concerning the administration of estates of deceased persons shall be governed by the Rules of Court. (n)
Article 1059. If the assets of the estate of a decedent which can be applied to the payment of debts are not sufficient for that purpose, the provisions of articles 2239 to 2251 on Preference of Credits shall be observed, provided that the expenses referred to in article 2244, No. 8, shall be those involved in the administration of the decedent's estate. (n)
Article 1060. A corporation or association authorized to conduct the business of a trust company in the Philippines may be appointed as an executor, administrator, guardian of an estate, or trustee, in like manner as an individual; but it shall not be appointed guardian of the person of a ward. (n)
Article 1061. Every compulsory heir, who succeeds with other compulsory heirs, must bring into the mass of the estate any property or right which he may have received from the decedent, during the lifetime of the latter, by way of donation, or any other gratuitous title, in order that it may be computed in the determination of the legitime of each heir, and in the account of the partition. (1035a)
Article 1062. Collation shall not take place among compulsory heirs if the donor should have so expressly provided, or if the donee should repudiate the inheritance, unless the donation should be reduced as inofficious. (1036)
Article 1063. Property left by will is not deemed subject to collation, if the testator has not otherwise provided, but the legitime shall in any case remain unimpaired. (1037)
Article 1064. When the grandchildren, who survive with their uncles, aunts, or cousins, inherit from their grandparents in representation of their father or mother, they shall bring to collation all that their parents, if alive, would have been obliged to bring, even though such grandchildren have not inherited the property.
They shall also bring to collation all that they may have received from the decedent during his lifetime, unless the testator has provided otherwise, in which case his wishes must be respected, if the legitime of the co-heirs is not prejudiced. (1038)
Article 1065. Parents are not obliged to bring to collation in the inheritance of their ascendants any property which may have been donated by the latter to their children. (1039)
Article 1066. Neither shall donations to the spouse of the child be brought to collation; but if they have been given by the parent to the spouses jointly, the child shall be obliged to bring to collation one-half of the thing donated. (1040)
Article 1067. Expenses for support, education, medical attendance, even in extraordinary illness, apprenticeship, ordinary equipment, or customary gifts are not subject to collation. (1041)
Article 1068. Expenses incurred by the parents in giving their children a professional, vocational or other career shall not be brought to collation unless the parents so provide, or unless they impair the legitime; but when their collation is required, the sum which the child would have spent if he had lived in the house and company of his parents shall be deducted therefrom. (1042a)
Article 1069. Any sums paid by a parent in satisfaction of the debts of his children, election expenses, fines, and similar expenses shall be brought to collation. (1043a)
Article 1070. Wedding gifts by parents and ascendants consisting of jewelry, clothing, and outfit, shall not be reduced as inofficious except insofar as they may exceed one-tenth of the sum which is disposable by will. (1044)
Article 1071. The same things donated are not to be brought to collation and partition, but only their value at the time of the
donation, even though their just value may not then have been assessed.
Their subsequent increase or deterioration and even their total loss or destruction, be it accidental or culpable, shall be for the benefit or account and risk of the donee. (1045a)
Article 1072. In the collation of a donation made by both parents, one-half shall be brought to the inheritance of the father, and the other half, to that of the mother. That given by one alone shall be brought to collation in his or her inheritance. (1046a)
Article 1073. The donee's share of the estate shall be reduced by an amount equal to that already received by him; and his coheirs shall receive an equivalent, as much as possible, in property of the same nature, class and quality. (1047)
Article 1074. Should the provisions of the preceding article be impracticable, if the property donated was immovable, the co-heirs shall be entitled to receive its equivalent in cash or securities, at the rate of quotation; and should there be neither cash or marketable securities in the estate, so much of the other property as may be necessary shall be sold at public auction.
If the property donated was movable, the co-heirs shall only have a right to select an equivalent of other personal property of the inheritance at its just price. (1048)
Article 1075. The fruits and interest of the property subject to collation shall not pertain to the estate except from the day on which the succession is opened.
For the purpose of ascertaining their amount, the fruits and interest of the property of the estate of the same kind and quality as that subject to collation shall be made the standard of assessment. (1049)
Article 1076. The co-heirs are bound to reimburse to the donee the necessary expenses which he has incurred for the preservation of the property donated to him, though they may not have augmented its value.
The donee who collates in kind an immovable which has been given to him must be reimbursed by his co-heirs for the improvements which have increased the value of the property, and which exist at the time the partition if effected.
As to works made on the estate for the mere pleasure of the donee, no reimbursement is due him for them; he has, however, the right to remove them, if he can do so without injuring the estate. (n)
Article 1077. Should any question arise among the co-heirs upon the obligation to bring to collation or as to the things which are subject to collation, the distribution of the estate shall not be interrupted for this reason, provided adequate security is given. (1050)
Partition and Distribution of the Estate
SUBSECTION 1. Partition
Article 1078. Where there are two or more heirs, the whole estate of the decedent is, before its partition, owned in common by such heirs, subject to the payment of debts of the deceased. (n)
Article 1079. Partition, in general, is the separation, division and assignment of a thing held in common among those to whom it may belong. The thing itself may be divided, or its value. (n)
Article 1080. Should a person make partition of his estate by an act inter vivos, or by will, such partition shall be respected, insofar as it does not prejudice the legitime of the compulsory heirs.
A parent who, in the interest of his or her family, desires to keep any agricultural, industrial, or manufacturing enterprise intact, may avail himself of the right granted him in this article, by ordering that the legitime of the other children to whom the property is not assigned, be paid in cash. (1056a)
Article 1081. A person may, by an act inter vivos or mortis causa, intrust the mere power to make the partition after his death to any person who is not one of the co-heirs.
The provisions of this and of the preceding article shall be observed even should there be among the co-heirs a minor or a person subject to guardianship; but the mandatary, in such case, shall make an inventory of the property of the estate, after notifying the co-heirs, the creditors, and the legatees or devisees. (1057a)
Article 1082. Every act which is intended to put an end to indivision among co-heirs and legatees or devisees is deemed to be a partition, although it should purport to be a sale, and exchange, a compromise, or any other transaction. (n)
Article 1083. Every co-heir has a right to demand the division of the estate unless the testator should have expressly forbidden its partition, in which case the period of indivision shall not exceed twenty years as provided in article 494. This power of the testator to prohibit division applies to the legitime.
Even though forbidden by the testator, the co-ownership terminates when any of the causes for which partnership is dissolved takes place, or when the court finds for compelling reasons that division should be ordered, upon petition of one of the co-heirs. (1051a)
Article 1084. Voluntary heirs upon whom some condition has been imposed cannot demand a partition until the condition has been fulfilled; but the other co-heirs may demand it by giving sufficient security for the rights which the former may have in case the condition should be complied with, and until it is known that the condition has not been fulfilled or can never be complied with, the partition shall be understood to be provisional. (1054a)
Article 1085. In the partition of the estate, equality shall be observed as far as possible, dividing the property into lots, or assigning to each of the co-heirs things of the same nature, quality and kind. (1061) Article 1086. Should a thing be indivisible, or would be much impaired by its being divided, it may be adjudicated to one of the heirs, provided he shall pay the others the excess in cash.
Nevertheless, if any of the heirs should demand that the thing be sold at public auction and that strangers be allowed to bid, this must be done. (1062)
Article 1087. In the partition the co-heirs shall reimburse one another for the income and fruits which each one of them may have received from any property of the estate, for any useful and necessary expenses made upon such property, and for any damage thereto through malice or neglect. (1063)
Article 1088. Should any of the heirs sell his hereditary rights to a stranger before the partition, any or all of the co-heirs may be subrogated to the rights of the purchaser by reimbursing him for the price of the sale, provided they do so within the period of one month from the time they were notified in writing of the sale by the vendor. (1067a)
Article 1089. The titles of acquisition or ownership of each property shall be delivered to the co-heir to whom said property has been adjudicated. (1065a)
Article 1090. When the title comprises two or more pieces of land which have been assigned to two or more co-heirs, or when it covers one piece of land which has been divided between two or more co-heirs, the title shall be delivered to the one having the largest interest, and authentic copies of the title shall be furnished to the other co-heirs at the expense of the estate. If the interest of each co-heir should be the same, the oldest shall have the title. (1066a)
SUBSECTION 2. Effects of Partition
Article 1091. A partition legally made confers upon each heir the exclusive ownership of the property adjudicated to him. (1068)
Article 1092. After the partition has been made, the co-heirs shall be reciprocally bound to warrant the title to, and the quality of,
each property adjudicated. (1069a)
Article 1093. The reciprocal obligation of warranty referred to in the preceding article shall be proportionate to the respective
hereditary shares of the co-heirs, but if any one of them should be insolvent, the other co-heirs shall be liable for his part in the same proportion, deducting the part corresponding to the one who should be indemnified. Those who pay for the insolvent heir shall have a right of action against him for reimbursement, should his financial condition
Article 1094. An action to enforce the warranty among heirs must be brought within ten years from the date the right of action accrues. (n) Article 1095. If a credit should be assigned as collectible, the co-heirs shall not be liable for the subsequent insolvency of the
debtor of the estate, but only for his insolvency at the time the partition is made.
The warranty of the solvency of the debtor can only be enforced during the five years following the partition.
Co-heirs do not warrant bad debts, if so known to, and accepted by, the distributee. But if such debts are not assigned to a co-heir,
and should be collected, in whole or in part, the amount collected shall be distributed proportionately among the heirs. (1072a)
Article 1096. The obligation of warranty among co-heirs shall cease in the following cases:
- When the testator himself has made the partition, unless it appears, or it may be reasonably presumed, that his intention was otherwise, but the legitime shall always remain unimpaired;
- When it has been so expressly stipulated in the agreement of partition, unless there has been bad faith;
- When the eviction is due to a cause subsequent to the partition, or has been caused by the fault of the distributee of the property. (1070a)
SUBSECTION 3. Rescission and Nullity of Partition Article 1097. A partition may be rescinded or annulled for the same causes as contracts. (1073a) Article 1098. A partition, judicial or extra-judicial, may also be rescinded on account of lesion, when any one of the co-heirs
received things whose value is less, by at least one-fourth, than the share to which he is entitled, considering the value of the things
at the time they were adjudicated. (1074a) Article 1099. The partition made by the testator cannot be impugned on the ground of lesion, except when the legitime of the compulsory heirs is thereby prejudiced, or when it appears or may reasonably be presumed, that the intention of the testator was otherwise. (1075)
Article 1100. The action for rescission on account of lesion shall prescribe after four years from the time the partition was made. (1076)
Article 1101. The heir who is sued shall have the option of indemnifying the plaintiff for the loss, or consenting to a new partition. Indemnity may be made by payment in cash or by the delivery of a thing of the same kind and quality as that awarded to the plaintiff.
If a new partition is made, it shall affect neither those who have not been prejudiced nor those have not received more than their just share. (1077a)
Article 1102. An heir who has alienated the whole or a considerable part of the real property adjudicated to him cannot maintain an action for rescission on the ground of lesion, but he shall have a right to be indemnified in cash. (1078a)
Article 1103. The omission of one or more objects or securities of the inheritance shall not cause the rescission of the partition on the ground of lesion, but the partition shall be completed by the distribution of the objects or securities which have been omitted. (1079a)
Article 1104. A partition made with preterition of any of the compulsory heirs shall not be rescinded, unless it be proved that there was bad faith or fraud on the part of the other persons interested; but the latter shall be proportionately obliged to pay to the person omitted the share which belongs to him. (1080)
Article 1105. A partition which includes a person believed to be an heir, but who is not, shall be void only with respect to such person. (1081a)
General Provisions Article 1106. By prescription, one acquires ownership and other real rights through the lapse of time in the manner and under the conditions laid down by law.
In the same way, rights and conditions are lost by prescription. (1930a)
Article 1107. Persons who are capable of acquiring property or rights by the other legal modes may acquire the same by means of
Minors and other incapacitated persons may acquire property or rights by prescription, either personally or through their parents,
guardians or legal representatives. (1931a) Article 1108. Prescription, both acquisitive and extinctive, runs against:
- Minors and other incapacitated persons who have parents, guardians or other legal representatives;
- Absentees who have administrators, either appointed by them before their disappearance, or appointed by the courts;
- Persons living abroad, who have managers or administrators;
- Juridical persons, except the State and its subdivisions.
Persons who are disqualified from administering their property have a right to claim damages from their legal representatives whose
negligence has been the cause of prescription. (1932a)
Article 1109. Prescription does not run between husband and wife, even though there be a separation of property agreed upon in
the marriage settlements or by judicial decree.
Neither does prescription run between parents and children, during the minority or insanity of the latter, and between guardian and
ward during the continuance of the guardianship. (n)
Article 1110. Prescription, acquisitive and extinctive, runs in favor of, or against a married woman. (n)
Article 1111. Prescription obtained by a co-proprietor or a co-owner shall benefit the others. (1933)
Article 1112. Persons with capacity to alienate property may renounce prescription already obtained, but not the right to prescribe
in the future.
Prescription is deemed to have been tacitly renounced when the renunciation results from acts which imply the abandonment of the
right acquired. (1935)
Article 1113. All things which are within the commerce of men are susceptible of prescription, unless otherwise provided. Property
of the State or any of its subdivisions not patrimonial in character shall not be the object of prescription. (1936a)
Article 1114. Creditors and all other persons interested in making the prescription effective may avail themselves thereof
notwithstanding the express or tacit renunciation by the debtor or proprietor. (1937)
Article 1115. The provisions of the present Title are understood to be without prejudice to what in this Code or in special laws is
established with respect to specific cases of prescription. (1938) Article 1116. Prescription already running before the effectivity of this Code shall be governed by laws previously in force; but if since the time this Code took effect the entire period herein required for prescription should elapse, the present Code shall be applicable, even though by the former laws a longer period might be required. (1939)
Prescription of Ownership and Other Real Rights
Article 1117. Acquisitive prescription of dominion and other real rights may be ordinary or extraordinary.
Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession of things in good faith and with just title for the time fixed by law. (1940a)
Article 1118. Possession has to be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful and uninterrupted. (1941)
Article 1119. Acts of possessory character executed in virtue of license or by mere tolerance of the owner shall not be available for
the purposes of possession. (1942)
Article 1120. Possession is interrupted for the purposes of prescription, naturally or civilly. (1943)
Article 1121. Possession is naturally interrupted when through any cause it should cease for more than one year.
The old possession is not revived if a new possession should be exercised by the same adverse claimant. (1944a)
Article 1122. If the natural interruption is for only one year or less, the time elapsed shall be counted in favor of the prescription. (n)
Article 1123. Civil interruption is produced by judicial summons to the possessor. (1945a)
Article 1124. Judicial summons shall be deemed not to have been issued and shall not give rise to interruption:
- If it should be void for lack of legal solemnities;
- If the plaintiff should desist from the complaint or should allow the proceedings to lapse;
(3) If the possessor should be absolved from the complaint. In all these cases, the period of the interruption shall be counted for the prescription. (1946a) Article 1125. Any express or tacit recognition which the possessor may make of the owner's right also interrupts possession.
Article 1126. Against a title recorded in the Registry of Property, ordinary prescription of ownership or real rights shall not take
place to the prejudice of a third person, except in virtue of another title also recorded; and the time shall begin to run from the
recording of the latter.
As to lands registered under the Land Registration Act, the provisions of that special law shall govern. (1949a)
Article 1127. The good faith of the possessor consists in the reasonable belief that the person from whom he received the thing
was the owner thereof, and could transmit his ownership. (1950a)
Article 1128. The conditions of good faith required for possession in articles 526, 527, 528, and 529 of this Code are likewise
necessary for the determination of good faith in the prescription of ownership and other real rights. (1951)
Article 1129. For the purposes of prescription, there is just title when the adverse claimant came into possession of the property
through one of the modes recognized by law for the acquisition of ownership or other real rights, but the grantor was not the owner
or could not transmit any right. (n)
Article 1130. The title for prescription must be true and valid. (1953)
Article 1131. For the purposes of prescription, just title must be proved; it is never presumed. (1954a)
Article 1132. The ownership of movables prescribes through uninterrupted possession for four years in good faith.
The ownership of personal property also prescribes through uninterrupted possession for eight years, without need of any other
With regard to the right of the owner to recover personal property lost or of which he has been illegally deprived, as well as with respect to movables acquired in a public sale, fair, or market, or from a merchant's store the provisions of articles 559 and 1505 of this Code shall be observed. (1955a)
Article 1133. Movables possessed through a crime can never be acquired through prescription by the offender. (1956a)
Article 1134. Ownership and other real rights over immovable property are acquired by ordinary prescription through possession of
ten years. (1957a)
Article 1135. In case the adverse claimant possesses by mistake an area greater, or less than that expressed in his title,
prescription shall be based on the possession. (n) Article 1136. Possession in wartime, when the civil courts are not open, shall not be counted in favor of the adverse claimant. (n) Article 1137. Ownership and other real rights over immovables also prescribe through uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for
thirty years, without need of title or of good faith. (1959a) Article 1138. In the computation of time necessary for prescription the following rules shall be observed:
- The present possessor may complete the period necessary for prescription by tacking his possession to that of his grantor or predecessor in interest;
- It is presumed that the present possessor who was also the possessor at a previous time, has continued to be in possession during the intervening time, unless there is proof to the contrary;
- The first day shall be excluded and the last day included. (1960a)
Prescription of Actions
Article 1139. Actions prescribe by the mere lapse of time fixed by law. (1961)
Article 1140. Actions to recover movables shall prescribe eight years from the time the possession thereof is lost, unless the
possessor has acquired the ownership by prescription for a less period, according to articles 1132, and without prejudice to the
provisions of articles 559, 1505, and 1133. (1962a)
Article 1141. Real actions over immovables prescribe after thirty years.
This provision is without prejudice to what is established for the acquisition of ownership and other real rights by prescription. (1963)
Article 1142. A mortgage action prescribes after ten years. (1964a)
Article 1143. The following rights, among others specified elsewhere in this Code, are not extinguished by prescription:
(1) To demand a right of way, regulated in article 649;
- To bring an action to abate a public or private nuisance. (n) Article 1144. The following actions must be brought within ten years from the time the right of action accrues:
- Upon a written contract;
- Upon an obligation created by law;
- Upon a judgment. (n) Article 1145. The following actions must be commenced within six years: (1) Upon an oral contract;
- Upon a quasi-contract. (n) Article 1146. The following actions must be instituted within four years:
- Upon an injury to the rights of the plaintiff;
- Upon a quasi-delict;
However, when the action arises from or out of any act, activity, or conduct of any public officer involving the exercise of powers or authority arising from Martial Law including the arrest, detention and/or trial of the plaintiff, the same must be brought within one (1) year. (As amended by PD No. 1755, Dec. 24, 1980.)
Article 1147. The following actions must be filed within one year:
- For forcible entry and detainer;
- For defamation. (n)
Article 1148. The limitations of action mentioned in articles 1140 to 1142, and 1144 to 1147 are without prejudice to those specified in other parts of this Code, in the Code of Commerce, and in special laws. (n) Article 1149. All other actions whose periods are not fixed in this Code or in other laws must be brought within five years from the
time the right of action accrues. (n)
Article 1150. The time for prescription for all kinds of actions, when there is no special provision which ordains otherwise, shall be counted from the day they may be brought. (1969) Article 1151. The time for the prescription of actions which have for their object the enforcement of obligations to pay principal with
interest or annuity runs from the last payment of the annuity or of the interest. (1970a)
Article 1152. The period for prescription of actions to demand the fulfillment of obligation declared by a judgment commences from the time the judgment became final. (1971) Article 1153. The period for prescription of actions to demand accounting runs from the day the persons who should render the same cease in their functions.
The period for the action arising from the result of the accounting runs from the date when said result was recognized by agreement of the interested parties. (1972)
Article 1154. The period during which the obligee was prevented by a fortuitous event from enforcing his right is not reckoned against him. (n)
Article 1155. The prescription of actions is interrupted when they are filed before the court, when there is a written extrajudicial demand by the creditors, and when there is any written acknowledgment of the debt by the debtor. (1973a)
Obligations and Contracts
CHAPTER 1 General Provisions Article 1156. An obligation is a juridical necessity to give, to do or not to do. (n) Article 1157. Obligations arise from:
- Acts or omissions punished by law; and
- Quasi-delicts. (1089a)
Article 1158. Obligations derived from law are not presumed. Only those expressly determined in this Code or in special laws are demandable, and shall be regulated by the precepts of the law which establishes them; and as to what has not been foreseen, by the provisions of this Book. (1090)
Article 1159. Obligations arising from contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties and should be complied with in good faith. (1091a)
Article 1160. Obligations derived from quasi-contracts shall be subject to the provisions of Chapter 1, Title XVII, of this Book. (n)
Article 1161. Civil obligations arising from criminal offenses shall be governed by the penal laws, subject to the provisions of article 2177, and of the pertinent provisions of Chapter 2, Preliminary Title, on Human Relations, and of Title XVIII of this Book, regulating damages. (1092a)
Article 1162. Obligations derived from quasi-delicts shall be governed by the provisions of Chapter 2, Title XVII of this Book, and by special laws. (1093a)
Nature and Effect of Obligations
Article 1163. Every person obliged to give something is also obliged to take care of it with the proper diligence of a good father of a
family, unless the law or the stipulation of the parties requires another standard of care. (1094a)
Article 1164. The creditor has a right to the fruits of the thing from the time the obligation to deliver it arises. However, he shall
acquire no real right over it until the same has been delivered to him. (1095)
Article 1165. When what is to be delivered is a determinate thing, the creditor, in addition to the right granted him by article 1170,
may compel the debtor to make the delivery.
If the thing is indeterminate or generic, he may ask that the obligation be complied with at the expense of the debtor.
If the obligor delays, or has promised to deliver the same thing to two or more persons who do not have the same interest, he shall
be responsible for any fortuitous event until he has effected the delivery. (1096)
Article 1166. The obligation to give a determinate thing includes that of delivering all its accessions and accessories, even though
they may not have been mentioned. (1097a)
Article 1167. If a person obliged to do something fails to do it, the same shall be executed at his cost.
This same rule shall be observed if he does it in contravention of the tenor of the obligation. Furthermore, it may be decreed that
what has been poorly done be undone. (1098)
Article 1168. When the obligation consists in not doing, and the obligor does what has been forbidden him, it shall also be undone at his expense. (1099a)
Article 1169. Those obliged to deliver or to do something incur in delay from the time the obligee judicially or extrajudicially demands from them the fulfillment of their obligation.
However, the demand by the creditor shall not be necessary in order that delay may exist:
- When the obligation or the law expressly so declare; or
- When from the nature and the circumstances of the obligation it appears that the designation of the time when the thing is to be delivered or the service is to be rendered was a controlling motive for the establishment of the contract; or
- When demand would be useless, as when the obligor has rendered it beyond his power to perform.
In reciprocal obligations, neither party incurs in delay if the other does not comply or is not ready to comply in a proper manner with what is incumbent upon him. From the moment one of the parties fulfills his obligation, delay by the other begins. (1100a)
Article 1170. Those who in the performance of their obligations are guilty of fraud, negligence, or delay, and those who in any manner contravene the tenor thereof, are liable for damages. (1101)
Article 1171. Responsibility arising from fraud is demandable in all obligations. Any waiver of an action for future fraud is void. (1102a)
Article 1172. Responsibility arising from negligence in the performance of every kind of obligation is also demandable, but such liability may be regulated by the courts, according to the circumstances. (1103)
Article 1173. The fault or negligence of the obligor consists in the omission of that diligence which is required by the nature of the obligation and corresponds with the circumstances of the persons, of the time and of the place. When negligence shows bad faith, the provisions of articles 1171 and 2201, paragraph 2, shall apply.
If the law or contract does not state the diligence which is to be observed in the performance, that which is expected of a good father of a family shall be required. (1104a)
Article 1174. Except in cases expressly specified by the law, or when it is otherwise declared by stipulation, or when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk, no person shall be responsible for those events which could not be foreseen, or which, though foreseen, were inevitable. (1105a)
Article 1175. Usurious transactions shall be governed by special laws. (n)
Article 1176. The receipt of the principal by the creditor without reservation with respect to the interest, shall give rise to the presumption that said interest has been paid.
The receipt of a later installment of a debt without reservation as to prior installments, shall likewise raise the presumption that such installments have been paid. (1110a)
Article 1177. The creditors, after having pursued the property in possession of the debtor to satisfy their claims, may exercise all the rights and bring all the actions of the latter for the same purpose, save those which are inherent in his person; they may also impugn the acts which the debtor may have done to defraud them. (1111)
Article 1178. Subject to the laws, all rights acquired in virtue of an obligation are transmissible, if there has been no stipulation to the contrary. (1112)
Different Kinds of Obligations
Pure and Conditional Obligations
Article 1179. Every obligation whose performance does not depend upon a future or uncertain event, or upon a past event unknown to the parties, is demandable at once.
Every obligation which contains a resolutory condition shall also be demandable, without prejudice to the effects of the happening of the event. (1113)
Article 1180. When the debtor binds himself to pay when his means permit him to do so, the obligation shall be deemed to be one with a period, subject to the provisions of article 1197. (n)
Article 1181. In conditional obligations, the acquisition of rights, as well as the extinguishment or loss of those already acquired, shall depend upon the happening of the event which constitutes the condition. (1114)
Article 1182. When the fulfillment of the condition depends upon the sole will of the debtor, the conditional obligation shall be void. If it depends upon chance or upon the will of a third person, the obligation shall take effect in conformity with the provisions of this Code. (1115)
Article 1183. Impossible conditions, those contrary to good customs or public policy and those prohibited by law shall annul the obligation which depends upon them. If the obligation is divisible, that part thereof which is not affected by the impossible or unlawful condition shall be valid.
The condition not to do an impossible thing shall be considered as not having been agreed upon. (1116a)
Article 1184. The condition that some event happen at a determinate time shall extinguish the obligation as soon as the time expires or if it has become indubitable that the event will not take place. (1117)
Article 1185. The condition that some event will not happen at a determinate time shall render the obligation effective from the moment the time indicated has elapsed, or if it has become evident that the event cannot occur.
If no time has been fixed, the condition shall be deemed fulfilled at such time as may have probably been contemplated, bearing in mind the nature of the obligation. (1118)
Article 1186. The condition shall be deemed fulfilled when the obligor voluntarily prevents its fulfillment. (1119)
Article 1187. The effects of a conditional obligation to give, once the condition has been fulfilled, shall retroact to the day of the constitution of the obligation. Nevertheless, when the obligation imposes reciprocal prestations upon the parties, the fruits and interests during the pendency of the condition shall be deemed to have been mutually compensated. If the obligation is unilateral, the debtor shall appropriate the fruits and interests received, unless from the nature and circumstances of the obligation it should be inferred that the intention of the person constituting the same was different.
In obligations to do and not to do, the courts shall determine, in each case, the retroactive effect of the condition that has been complied with. (1120)
Article 1188. The creditor may, before the fulfillment of the condition, bring the appropriate actions for the preservation of his right.
The debtor may recover what during the same time he has paid by mistake in case of a suspensive condition. (1121a)
Article 1189. When the conditions have been imposed with the intention of suspending the efficacy of an obligation to give, the following rules shall be observed in case of the improvement, loss or deterioration of the thing during the pendency of the condition:
- If the thing is lost without the fault of the debtor, the obligation shall be extinguished;
- If the thing is lost through the fault of the debtor, he shall be obliged to pay damages; it is understood that the thing is lost when it perishes, or goes out of commerce, or disappears in such a way that its existence is unknown or it cannot be recovered;
- When the thing deteriorates without the fault of the debtor, the impairment is to be borne by the creditor;
- If it deteriorates through the fault of the debtor, the creditor may choose between the rescission of the obligation and its fulfillment, with indemnity for damages in either case;
- If the thing is improved by its nature, or by time, the improvement shall inure to the benefit of the creditor;
- If it is improved at the expense of the debtor, he shall have no other right than that granted to the usufructuary. (1122)
Article 1190. When the conditions have for their purpose the extinguishment of an obligation to give, the parties, upon the fulfillment of said conditions, shall return to each other what they have received.
In case of the loss, deterioration or improvement of the thing, the provisions which, with respect to the debtor, are laid down in the preceding article shall be applied to the party who is bound to return.
As for the obligations to do and not to do, the provisions of the second paragraph of article 1187 shall be observed as regards the effect of the extinguishment of the obligation. (1123)
Article 1191. The power to rescind obligations is implied in reciprocal ones, in case one of the obligors should not comply with what is incumbent upon him.
The injured party may choose between the fulfillment and the rescission of the obligation, with the payment of damages in either case. He may also seek rescission, even after he has chosen fulfillment, if the latter should become impossible.
The court shall decree the rescission claimed, unless there be just cause authorizing the fixing of a period.
This is understood to be without prejudice to the rights of third persons who have acquired the thing, in accordance with articles 1385 and 1388 and the Mortgage Law. (1124)
Article 1192. In case both parties have committed a breach of the obligation, the liability of the first infractor shall be equitably tempered by the courts. If it cannot be determined which of the parties first violated the contract, the same shall be deemed extinguished, and each shall bear his own damages. (n)
SECTION 2 Obligations with a Period Article 1193. Obligations for whose fulfillment a day certain has been fixed, shall be demandable only when that day comes. Obligations with a resolutory period take effect at once, but terminate upon arrival of the day certain.
A day certain is understood to be that which must necessarily come, although it may not be known when.
If the uncertainty consists in whether the day will come or not, the obligation is conditional, and it shall be regulated by the rules of the preceding Section. (1125a) Article 1194. In case of loss, deterioration or improvement of the thing before the arrival of the day certain, the rules in article 1189
shall be observed. (n)
Article 1195. Anything paid or delivered before the arrival of the period, the obligor being unaware of the period or believing that the obligation has become due and demandable, may be recovered, with the fruits and interests. (1126a) Article 1196. Whenever in an obligation a period is designated, it is presumed to have been established for the benefit of both the
creditor and the debtor, unless from the tenor of the same or other circumstances it should appear that the period has been
established in favor of one or of the other. (1127) Article 1197. If the obligation does not fix a period, but from its nature and the circumstances it can be inferred that a period was intended, the courts may fix the duration thereof.
The courts shall also fix the duration of the period when it depends upon the will of the debtor.
In every case, the courts shall determine such period as may under the circumstances have been probably contemplated by the parties. Once fixed by the courts, the period cannot be changed by them. (1128a) Article 1198. The debtor shall lose every right to make use of the period:
- When after the obligation has been contracted, he becomes insolvent, unless he gives a guaranty or security for the debt;
- When he does not furnish to the creditor the guaranties or securities which he has promised;
- When by his own acts he has impaired said guaranties or securities after their establishment, and when through a fortuitous event they disappear, unless he immediately gives new ones equally satisfactory;
- When the debtor violates any undertaking, in consideration of which the creditor agreed to the period;
- When the debtor attempts to abscond. (1129a)
ARTICLE 1199. A person alternatively bound by different prestations shall completely perform one of them.
The creditor cannot be compelled to receive part of one and part of the other undertaking. (1131)
Article 1200. The right of choice belongs to the debtor, unless it has been expressly granted to the creditor.
The debtor shall have no right to choose those prestations which are impossible, unlawful or which could not have been the object
of the obligation. (1132)
Article 1201. The choice shall produce no effect except from the time it has been communicated. (1133)
Article 1202. The debtor shall lose the right of choice when among the prestations whereby he is alternatively bound, only one is
Article 1203. If through the creditor's acts the debtor cannot make a choice according to the terms of the obligation, the latter may
rescind the contract with damages. (n)
Article 1204. The creditor shall have a right to indemnity for damages when, through the fault of the debtor, all the things which are
alternatively the object of the obligation have been lost, or the compliance of the obligation has become impossible.
The indemnity shall be fixed taking as a basis the value of the last thing which disappeared, or that of the service which last became
Damages other than the value of the last thing or service may also be awarded. (1135a)
Article 1205. When the choice has been expressly given to the creditor, the obligation shall cease to be alternative from the day
when the selection has been communicated to the debtor.
Until then the responsibility of the debtor shall be governed by the following rules:
- If one of the things is lost through a fortuitous event, he shall perform the obligation by delivering that which the creditor should choose from among the remainder, or that which remains if only one subsists;
- If the loss of one of the things occurs through the fault of the debtor, the creditor may claim any of those subsisting, or the price of that which, through the fault of the former, has disappeared, with a right to damages;
- If all the things are lost through the fault of the debtor, the choice by the creditor shall fall upon the price of any one
of them, also with indemnity for damages.
The same rules shall be applied to obligations to do or not to do in case one, some or all of the prestations should become impossible. (1136a)
Article 1206. When only one prestation has been agreed upon, but the obligor may render another in substitution, the obligation is called facultative.
The loss or deterioration of the thing intended as a substitute, through the negligence of the obligor, does not render him liable. But once the substitution has been made, the obligor is liable for the loss of the substitute on account of his delay, negligence or fraud.
Joint and Solidary Obligations
Article 1207. The concurrence of two or more creditors or of two or more debtors in one and the same obligation does not imply that each one of the former has a right to demand, or that each one of the latter is bound to render, entire compliance with the prestation. There is a solidary liability only when the obligation expressly so states, or when the law or the nature of the obligation requires solidarity. (1137a)
Article 1208. If from the law, or the nature or the wording of the obligations to which the preceding article refers the contrary does not appear, the credit or debt shall be presumed to be divided into as many shares as there are creditors or debtors, the credits or debts being considered distinct from one another, subject to the Rules of Court governing the multiplicity of suits. (1138a)
Article 1209. If the division is impossible, the right of the creditors may be prejudiced only by their collective acts, and the debt can be enforced only by proceeding against all the debtors. If one of the latter should be insolvent, the others shall not be liable for his share. (1139)
Article 1210. The indivisibility of an obligation does not necessarily give rise to solidarity. Nor does solidarity of itself imply indivisibility. (n)
Article 1211. Solidarity may exist although the creditors and the debtors may not be bound in the same manner and by the same periods and conditions. (1140)
Article 1212. Each one of the solidary creditors may do whatever may be useful to the others, but not anything which may be prejudicial to the latter. (1141a)
Article 1213. A solidary creditor cannot assign his rights without the consent of the others. (n)
Article 1214. The debtor may pay any one of the solidary creditors; but if any demand, judicial or extrajudicial, has been made by one of them, payment should be made to him. (1142a)
Article 1215. Novation, compensation, confusion or remission of the debt, made by any of the solidary creditors or with any of the solidary debtors, shall extinguish the obligation, without prejudice to the provisions of article 1219.
The creditor who may have executed any of these acts, as well as he who collects the debt, shall be liable to the others for the share in the obligation corresponding to them. (1143)
Article 1216. The creditor may proceed against any one of the solidary debtors or some or all of them simultaneously. The demand made against one of them shall not be an obstacle to those which may subsequently be directed against the others, so long as the debt has not been fully collected. (1144a)
Article 1217. Payment made by one of the solidary debtors extinguishes the obligation. If two or more solidary debtors offer to pay, the creditor may choose which offer to accept.
He who made the payment may claim from his co-debtors only the share which corresponds to each, with the interest for the payment already made. If the payment is made before the debt is due, no interest for the intervening period may be demanded.
When one of the solidary debtors cannot, because of his insolvency, reimburse his share to the debtor paying the obligation, such share shall be borne by all his co-debtors, in proportion to the debt of each. (1145a)
Article 1218. Payment by a solidary debtor shall not entitle him to reimbursement from his co-debtors if such payment is made after the obligation has prescribed or become illegal. (n)
Article 1219. The remission made by the creditor of the share which affects one of the solidary debtors does not release the latter from his responsibility towards the co-debtors, in case the debt had been totally paid by anyone of them before the remission was effected. (1146a)
Article 1220. The remission of the whole obligation, obtained by one of the solidary debtors, does not entitle him to reimbursement from his co-debtors. (n)
Article 1221. If the thing has been lost or if the prestation has become impossible without the fault of the solidary debtors, the obligation shall be extinguished.
If there was fault on the part of any one of them, all shall be responsible to the creditor, for the price and the payment of damages and interest, without prejudice to their action against the guilty or negligent debtor.
If through a fortuitous event, the thing is lost or the performance has become impossible after one of the solidary debtors has incurred in delay through the judicial or extrajudicial demand upon him by the creditor, the provisions of the preceding paragraph shall apply. (1147a)
Article 1222. A solidary debtor may, in actions filed by the creditor, avail himself of all defenses which are derived from the nature of the obligation and of those which are personal to him, or pertain to his own share. With respect to those which personally belong to the others, he may avail himself thereof only as regards that part of the debt for which the latter are responsible. (1148a)
Divisible and Indivisible Obligations
Article 1223. The divisibility or indivisibility of the things that are the object of obligations in which there is only one debtor and only one creditor does not alter or modify the provisions of Chapter 2 of this Title. (1149)
Article 1224. A joint indivisible obligation gives rise to indemnity for damages from the time anyone of the debtors does not comply with his undertaking. The debtors who may have been ready to fulfill their promises shall not contribute to the indemnity beyond the corresponding portion of the price of the thing or of the value of the service in which the obligation consists. (1150)
Article 1225. For the purposes of the preceding articles, obligations to give definite things and those which are not susceptible of partial performance shall be deemed to be indivisible.
When the obligation has for its object the execution of a certain number of days of work, the accomplishment of work by metrical units, or analogous things which by their nature are susceptible of partial performance, it shall be divisible.
However, even though the object or service may be physically divisible, an obligation is indivisible if so provided by law or intended by the parties.
In obligations not to do, divisibility or indivisibility shall be determined by the character of the prestation in each particular case. (1151a)
Obligations with a Penal Clause
Article 1226. In obligations with a penal clause, the penalty shall substitute the indemnity for damages and the payment of interests in case of noncompliance, if there is no stipulation to the contrary. Nevertheless, damages shall be paid if the obligor refuses to pay the penalty or is guilty of fraud in the fulfillment of the obligation.
The penalty may be enforced only when it is demandable in accordance with the provisions of this Code. (1152a)
Article 1227. The debtor cannot exempt himself from the performance of the obligation by paying the penalty, save in the case where this right has been expressly reserved for him. Neither can the creditor demand the fulfillment of the obligation and the satisfaction of the penalty at the same time, unless this right has been clearly granted him. However, if after the creditor has decided to require the fulfillment of the obligation, the performance thereof should become impossible without his fault, the penalty may be enforced. (1153a)
Article 1228. Proof of actual damages suffered by the creditor is not necessary in order that the penalty may be demanded. (n)
Article 1229. The judge shall equitably reduce the penalty when the principal obligation has been partly or irregularly complied with by the debtor. Even if there has been no performance, the penalty may also be reduced by the courts if it is iniquitous or unconscionable. (1154a)
Article 1230. The nullity of the penal clause does not carry with it that of the principal obligation.
The nullity of the principal obligation carries with it that of the penal clause. (1155)
Extinguishment of Obligations
General Provisions Article 1231. Obligations are extinguished:
- By payment or performance;
- By the loss of the thing due;
- By the condonation or remission of the debt;
- By the confusion or merger of the rights of creditor and debtor;
- By compensation;
- By novation.
Other causes of extinguishment of obligations, such as annulment, rescission, fulfillment of a resolutory condition, and prescription, are governed elsewhere in this Code. (1156a)
Payment or Performance
Article 1232. Payment means not only the delivery of money but also the performance, in any other manner, of an obligation. (n)
Article 1233. A debt shall not be understood to have been paid unless the thing or service in which the obligation consists has been completely delivered or rendered, as the case may be. (1157)
Article 1234. If the obligation has been substantially performed in good faith, the obligor may recover as though there had been a strict and complete fulfillment, less damages suffered by the obligee. (n)
Article 1235. When the obligee accepts the performance, knowing its incompleteness or irregularity, and without expressing any protest or objection, the obligation is deemed fully complied with. (n)
Article 1236. The creditor is not bound to accept payment or performance by a third person who has no interest in the fulfillment of the obligation, unless there is a stipulation to the contrary.
Whoever pays for another may demand from the debtor what he has paid, except that if he paid without the knowledge or against the will of the debtor, he can recover only insofar as the payment has been beneficial to the debtor. (1158a)
Article 1237. Whoever pays on behalf of the debtor without the knowledge or against the will of the latter, cannot compel the creditor to subrogate him in his rights, such as those arising from a mortgage, guaranty, or penalty. (1159a)
Article 1238. Payment made by a third person who does not intend to be reimbursed by the debtor is deemed to be a donation, which requires the debtor's consent. But the payment is in any case valid as to the creditor who has accepted it. (n)
Article 1239. In obligations to give, payment made by one who does not have the free disposal of the thing due and capacity to alienate it shall not be valid, without prejudice to the provisions of article 1427 under the Title on "Natural Obligations." (1160a)
Article 1240. Payment shall be made to the person in whose favor the obligation has been constituted, or his successor in interest, or any person authorized to receive it. (1162a)
Article 1241. Payment to a person who is incapacitated to administer his property shall be valid if he has kept the thing delivered, or insofar as the payment has been beneficial to him.
Payment made to a third person shall also be valid insofar as it has redounded to the benefit of the creditor. Such benefit to the creditor need not be proved in the following cases:
- If after the payment, the third person acquires the creditor's rights;
- If the creditor ratifies the payment to the third person;
- If by the creditor's conduct, the debtor has been led to believe that the third person had authority to receive the payment. (1163a)
Article 1242. Payment made in good faith to any person in possession of the credit shall release the debtor. (1164)
Article 1243. Payment made to the creditor by the debtor after the latter has been judicially ordered to retain the debt shall not be valid. (1165)
Article 1244. The debtor of a thing cannot compel the creditor to receive a different one, although the latter may be of the same value as, or more valuable than that which is due.
In obligations to do or not to do, an act or forbearance cannot be substituted by another act or forbearance against the obligee's will. (1166a)
Article 1245. Dation in payment, whereby property is alienated to the creditor in satisfaction of a debt in money, shall be governed by the law of sales. (n)
Article 1246. When the obligation consists in the delivery of an indeterminate or generic thing, whose quality and circumstances have not been stated, the creditor cannot demand a thing of superior quality. Neither can the debtor deliver a thing of inferior quality. The purpose of the obligation and other circumstances shall be taken into consideration. (1167a)
Article 1247. Unless it is otherwise stipulated, the extrajudicial expenses required by the payment shall be for the account of the debtor. With regard to judicial costs, the Rules of Court shall govern. (1168a)
Article 1248. Unless there is an express stipulation to that effect, the creditor cannot be compelled partially to receive the prestations in which the obligation consists. Neither may the debtor be required to make partial payments.
However, when the debt is in part liquidated and in part unliquidated, the creditor may demand and the debtor may effect the payment of the former without waiting for the liquidation of the latter. (1169a)
Article 1249. The payment of debts in money shall be made in the currency stipulated, and if it is not possible to deliver such currency, then in the currency which is legal tender in the Philippines.
The delivery of promissory notes payable to order, or bills of exchange or other mercantile documents shall produce the effect of payment only when they have been cashed, or when through the fault of the creditor they have been impaired.
In the meantime, the action derived from the original obligation shall be held in the abeyance. (1170)
Article 1250. In case an extraordinary inflation or deflation of the currency stipulated should supervene, the value of the currency at
the time of the establishment of the obligation shall be the basis of payment, unless there is an agreement to the contrary. (n)
Article 1251. Payment shall be made in the place designated in the obligation.
There being no express stipulation and if the undertaking is to deliver a determinate thing, the payment shall be made wherever the
thing might be at the moment the obligation was constituted.
In any other case the place of payment shall be the domicile of the debtor.
If the debtor changes his domicile in bad faith or after he has incurred in delay, the additional expenses shall be borne by him.
These provisions are without prejudice to venue under the Rules of Court. (1171a)
SUBSECTION 1. Application of Payments
Article 1252. He who has various debts of the same kind in favor of one and the same creditor, may declare at the time of making the payment, to which of them the same must be applied. Unless the parties so stipulate, or when the application of payment is made by the party for whose benefit the term has been constituted, application shall not be made as to debts which are not yet due.
If the debtor accepts from the creditor a receipt in which an application of the payment is made, the former cannot complain of the same, unless there is a cause for invalidating the contract. (1172a)
Article 1253. If the debt produces interest, payment of the principal shall not be deemed to have been made until the interests have been covered. (1173)
Article 1254. When the payment cannot be applied in accordance with the preceding rules, or if application can not be inferred from other circumstances, the debt which is most onerous to the debtor, among those due, shall be deemed to have been satisfied.
If the debts due are of the same nature and burden, the payment shall be applied to all of them proportionately. (1174a)
SUBSECTION 2. Payment by Cession
Article 1255. The debtor may cede or assign his property to his creditors in payment of his debts. This cession, unless there is stipulation to the contrary, shall only release the debtor from responsibility for the net proceeds of the thing assigned. The agreements which, on the effect of the cession, are made between the debtor and his creditors shall be governed by special laws. (1175a)
SUBSECTION 3. Tender of Payment and Consignation
Article 1256. If the creditor to whom tender of payment has been made refuses without just cause to accept it, the debtor shall be
released from responsibility by the consignation of the thing or sum due.
Consignation alone shall produce the same effect in the following cases:
- When the creditor is absent or unknown, or does not appear at the place of payment;
- When he is incapacitated to receive the payment at the time it is due;
- When, without just cause, he refuses to give a receipt;
- When two or more persons claim the same right to collect;
- When the title of the obligation has been lost. (1176a)
Article 1257. In order that the consignation of the thing due may release the obligor, it must first be announced to the persons
interested in the fulfillment of the obligation.
The consignation shall be ineffectual if it is not made strictly in consonance with the provisions which regulate payment. (1177)
Article 1258. Consignation shall be made by depositing the things due at the disposal of judicial authority, before whom the tender
of payment shall be proved, in a proper case, and the announcement of the consignation in other cases.
The consignation having been made, the interested parties shall also be notified thereof. (1178)
Article 1259. The expenses of consignation, when properly made, shall be charged against the creditor. (1179)
Article 1260. Once the consignation has been duly made, the debtor may ask the judge to order the cancellation of the obligation.
Before the creditor has accepted the consignation, or before a judicial declaration that the consignation has been properly made,
the debtor may withdraw the thing or the sum deposited, allowing the obligation to remain in force. (1180)
Article 1261. If, the consignation having been made, the creditor should authorize the debtor to withdraw the same, he shall lose
every preference which he may have over the thing. The co-debtors, guarantors and sureties shall be released. (1181a)
Loss of the Thing Due
Article 1262. An obligation which consists in the delivery of a determinate thing shall be extinguished if it should be lost or destroyed without the fault of the debtor, and before he has incurred in delay.
When by law or stipulation, the obligor is liable even for fortuitous events, the loss of the thing does not extinguish the obligation, and he shall be responsible for damages. The same rule applies when the nature of the obligation requires the assumption of risk. (1182a)
Article 1263. In an obligation to deliver a generic thing, the loss or destruction of anything of the same kind does not extinguish the obligation. (n)
Article 1264. The courts shall determine whether, under the circumstances, the partial loss of the object of the obligation is so important as to extinguish the obligation. (n)
Article 1265. Whenever the thing is lost in the possession of the debtor, it shall be presumed that the loss was due to his fault, unless there is proof to the contrary, and without prejudice to the provisions of article 1165. This presumption does not apply in case of earthquake, flood, storm, or other natural calamity. (1183a)
Article 1266. The debtor in obligations to do shall also be released when the prestation becomes legally or physically impossible without the fault of the obligor. (1184a)
Article 1267. When the service has become so difficult as to be manifestly beyond the contemplation of the parties, the obligor may also be released therefrom, in whole or in part. (n)
Article 1268. When the debt of a thing certain and determinate proceeds from a criminal offense, the debtor shall not be exempted from the payment of its price, whatever may be the cause for the loss, unless the thing having been offered by him to the person who should receive it, the latter refused without justification to accept it. (1185)
Article 1269. The obligation having been extinguished by the loss of the thing, the creditor shall have all the rights of action which the debtor may have against third persons by reason of the loss. (1186)
Condonation or Remission of the Debt
Article 1270. Condonation or remission is essentially gratuitous, and requires the acceptance by the obligor. It may be made expressly or impliedly.
One and the other kind shall be subject to the rules which govern inofficious donations. Express condonation shall, furthermore, comply with the forms of donation. (1187)
Article 1271. The delivery of a private document evidencing a credit, made voluntarily by the creditor to the debtor, implies the renunciation of the action which the former had against the latter.
If in order to nullify this waiver it should be claimed to be inofficious, the debtor and his heirs may uphold it by proving that the delivery of the document was made in virtue of payment of the debt. (1188)
Article 1272. Whenever the private document in which the debt appears is found in the possession of the debtor, it shall be presumed that the creditor delivered it voluntarily, unless the contrary is proved. (1189)
Article 1273. The renunciation of the principal debt shall extinguish the accessory obligations; but the waiver of the latter shall leave the former in force. (1190)
Article 1274. It is presumed that the accessory obligation of pledge has been remitted when the thing pledged, after its delivery to the creditor, is found in the possession of the debtor, or of a third person who owns the thing. (1191a)
Confusion or Merger of Rights
Article 1275. The obligation is extinguished from the time the characters of creditor and debtor are merged in the same person. (1192a)
Article 1276. Merger which takes place in the person of the principal de