SANTIAGO ORTEGA v. ANDRES ORCINE

FACTS:

Petitioner wants to redeem the land he sold to Orcine, which the latter then sold to Esplana. When it was sold to Esplana, it was a mere rice field but the latter had subdivided it into lots and is actually being occupied by a private school. Petitioner invokes Art. 1622. He conceded that the land was rural when he sold it to Esplana but upon exercise if redemption, it was already urban. Hence, the reckoning point is at the time he seeks to exercise redemption.

ISSUE:

WON the petitioner can exercise the right of repurchase?

RULING:

No, the decision appealed from is affirmed with costs against Appellant. The provisions of law invoked by appellant read as follows:

 “Art. 1622. Whenever a piece of urban land which is so small and so situated that a major portion thereof cannot be used for any practical purpose within a reasonable time, having been bought merely for speculation, is about to be re-sold, the own-er of any adjoining land has a right of pre-emption at a reason-able price.  “If the re-sale has been per-fected, the owner of the adjoin-ing land shall have a right of redemption, also at a reasonable price.

 “When two or more owners of adjoining lands wish to exercise the right of pre-emption or re-demption, the owner whose intend-ed use of the land in question appears best justified shall be preferred.”

Even on the assumption that the land in controversy is urban, still Article 1622 of present Civil Code which is now invoked by appellant does not support his case. This Court has already em-phasized in previous cases, that an owner of urban land may not redeem an adjoining urban property where he does not allege in his complaint, much less prove at the trial, that the latter is so small and so situated that a major portion thereof cannot be used for any practical purpose within a reasonable time, having been bought merely for speculation. In Soriente vs. Court of Appeals.

Digest Credit: Karl Mark Felizardo Dayawon

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