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Macaria Torres vs. CA Case Digest


The amended complaint takes place of the original. Therefore, the admissions made in the original pleading, superseded by the amended complaint will be considered extrajudicial admission that must be alleged and proven in court.


Facts:

Margarita Torres was married to Claro Santillan, and they had two children: Vicente and Antonina. Antonina married and had six children. 

After the death of her husband, Margarita cohabited with Leon without the benefit of marriage, and they had a child, Macaria Torres. Subsequently, Leon and Margarita were married, and Macaria lived with and was reared by her parents. 

Lot 551 had been leased temporarily by the Government to Margarita who was the actual occupant of the lot. On December 13, 1910, the Director of Lands issued to Margarita a Sale Certificate over said lot, payable in 20 annual installments. 20 years before his death, Leon sold and transferred in a notarial deed his rights and interest to the ½ portion of the lot in favor of Macaria.

On June 6, 1953, about 22 years after the death of Margarita and 20 years after the death of Leon, Vicente Santillan executed an Affidavit claiming possession of Lot 551 and asking for the issuance of title in his name. A Transfer Certificate of Title was issued in the name of the legal heirs of Margarita.

Santillan and the children of Antonina filed a case of forcible entry against Macaria, alleging that the latter had entered a portion of the lot without their consent, constructed a house thereon and refused to vacate upon demand. 

Paragraph 3 of the original complaint states:

the plaintiffs and the defendant Macaria A. Bautista are the legal heirs and nearest of kins of Margarita Torres, who died in Tanza, Cavite on December 20, 1931. 

However, Santillan et. al amended the complaint, the underlined portion was deleted so that the statement simply read:

That the plaintiffs are the legal heirs and nearest of kin of Margarita Torres, who died at Tanza, Cavite, on December 20, 1931.

Macaria claimed to be a co-owner of the lot, being one of Margarita’s daughters. She instituted an action for partition of the lot, alleging that said lot was the conjugal property of Margarita and Leon, and that she is their legitimated child. The statement in the original complaint for ejectment, according to petitioner, is an admission of her legitimation and is controlling in the determination of her participation in the disputed property.

The Ejectment Case and the Partition Case were jointly tried and decided. The trial court ruled that the lot was Margarita’s paraphernal property and adjudicated 2/3 to her heirs by Claro Santillan and 1/3 to Macaria. Macaria’s share was later increased to 4/6, then reduced by the Court of Appeals to ½. The CA declared that she is not a legitimated child.


Issue:

Is the allegation in the original complaint that Macaria is a legal heir of Margarita an admission of Macaria's legitimation?


Held:

No. The Amended Complaint takes the place of the original. The latter is regarded as abandoned and ceases to perform any further function as a pleading. The original complaint no longer forms part of the record.

If petitioner had desired to utilize the original complaint she should have offered it in evidence. Having been amended, the original complaint lost its character as a judicial admission, which would have required no proof, and became merely an extrajudicial admission, the admissibility of which, as evidence, required its formal offer. Contrary to petitioner's submission, therefore there can be no estoppel by extrajudicial admission made in the original complaint, for failure to offer it in evidence. (Macaria Torres vs. CA, G.R. No. L-37420, July 31, 1984)

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