Cases When Oral Partition Is Made Effective

In their complaint, the respondents averred that the land in issue was originally owned by Alipio Bangi (Alipio). After the death of Alipio, his children Eusebio, Jose, Espedita Bangi, entered into an oral partition of the land and as such, Eusebio inherited one third of the land. In 1943, their parents, Isidro and Genoveva, bought the one-third portion from Eusebio, as evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the latter.

In 1998, respondents learned that the title to the subject property, including the portion sold to Isidro and Genoveva, was transferred to herein petitioner Dominador, Primo, Ceasaria’s husband, Jose, and Emilio through a Deed of Absolute Sale dated August 10, 1995, supposedly executed by Alipio with the consent of his wife Ramona. Consequently, by virtue of the alleged Deed of Absolute Sale, TCT No. 47829 was issued. On November 21, 1995, Primo, Jose and Emilio executed another deed of absolute sale over the same property in favor of herein petitioners, TCT No. T-47829 was then cancelled and TCT No. T-48446 was issued in the names of herein petitioners.

The respondents claimed that the first deed of absolute sale is a forgery since Alipio died in 1918 while Ramona passed away on 1957. Likewise, the second deed of absolute Sale is also a forgery since Primo could not have signed the same on the said date since he died on January 29, 1972.

On the other hand, the petitioners maintain that the said sale of the one-third portion of the subject property was not valid. They insinuate that the subject property, at the time of the sale, was still owned in common by the heirs of Alipio; that Eusebio could not validly sell the one-third portion of the subject property as there was no partition yet among the heirs of Alipio.

Is the oral partition between the heirs of Alipio valid?

Partition is the separation, division and assignment of a thing held in common among those to whom it may belong. Every act which is intended to put an end to indivision among co-heirs and legatees or devisees is deemed to be a partition. Partition may be inferred from circumstances sufficiently strong to support the presumption. Thus, after a long possession in severalty, a deed of partition may be presumed.

On general principle, independent and in spite of the statute of frauds, courts of equity have enforced oral partition when it has been completely or partly performed.

Regardless of whether a parol partition or agreement to partition is valid and enforceable at law, equity will in proper cases, where the parol partition has actually been consummated by the taking of possession in severalty and the exercise of ownership by the parties of the respective portions set off to each, recognize and enforce such parol partition and the rights of the parties thereunder. Thus, it has been held or stated in a number of cases involving an oral partition under which the parties went into possession, exercised acts of ownership, or otherwise partly performed the partition agreement, that equity will confirm such partition and in a proper case decree title in accordance with the possession in severalty.


That there was no written memorandum of the partition among Alipio Bangi’s heirs cannot detract from appellee’s cause. It has been ruled that oral partition is effective when the parties have consummated it by the taking of possession in severalty and the exercise of ownership of the respective portions set off to each. Here, it is obvious that Eusebio took possession of his share and exercised ownership over it. Thus, the preponderant evidence points to the validity of the sale executed between Eusebio Bangi and Isidro Bangi on November 5, 1943 over the one-third portion of the property.

G.R. No. 185745, October 15, 2014

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