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Rodolfo Noceda vs.

Court of Appeals
G.R. No. 119730 September 2, 1999
FACTS
In June 1981, private respondent Aurora Directo, petitioner Rodolfo Noceda, and
Maria Arbizo, daughter, grandson and widow respectively, of the late Celestino Arbizo,
who died in 1956, extra-judicially settled a parcel of land located in Cabangan, Zambales.
On the same date, Directo donated a portion of her share to Noceda. However, in August
1981, another extrajudicial settlement partition of the same land was executed. 3/5 went
to Maria Arbizo, while Directo and Noceda got only 1/5 each.
Sometime in 1981, Noceda constructed his huse on the land donated to him by
Directo. Directo then fenced her portion of the land alloted to her in the extrajudicial
settlement, excluding the donated portion. However, in 1985, Noceda removed the fence
earlier constructed by Directo, occupied the three huts and fenced the entire land of
Directo without her consent. Directo demanded Noceda to vacate her land, but the latter
refused. Private respondent then filed a complaint for recovery of possession and
ownerhip and rescission/annulment of donation against Noceda.
Petitioner argues that he did not usurp the property of respondent Directo since, to
date, the metes and bounds of the parcel of land left by their predecessor in interest,
Celestino Arbizo, are still undetermined since no final determination as to the exact areas
properly pertaining to the parties herein; hence they are still considered as co-owners
thereof.
ISSUE
W/N the successors-in-interest are still co-owners of the subject property.
RULING
No. The discrepancies between the two extra-judicial settlements executed by
Directo, Noceda and Maria Arbizo on June and August 1981 only meant that the latter
was intended to supersede the former.
The source of co-ownership among the heirs was intestate succession. 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. Partition, in
general, is the separation, division and assignment of a thing held in common among
those to whom it may belong.
The purpose of partition is to put an end to co-ownership. It seeks a severance of the
individual interest of each co-owner, vesting in each a sole estate in specific property and
giving to each one a right to enjoy his estate without supervision or interference from the
other.
And one way of effecting a partition of the decedents estate is by the heirs
themselves extra-judicially. The heirs of the late Celestino Arbizo entered into an extra-

judicial settlement of the estate on August 1981 and agreed to adjudicate among
themselves the property left by their predecessor-in-interest.
There is no co-ownership where portion owned is concretely determined and
identifiable, or ditinguishable, one from the other, or that dominion over each portion. A
partition legally made confers upon each heir the exclusive ownership of the property
adjudicated o him.