Severino vs. Severino

G.R. No. L-18058 January 16, 1923


Fabiola Severino is a recognized natural daughter of the late Melencio Severino. She filed an action to compel the defendant Guillermo Severino to convey to her four parcels of land owned by her late father, or in default thereof to pay her the sum of P800,000 in damages for wrongfully causing said land to be registered in his own name.

During the lifetime of Melecio Severino the land was worked by the defendant, Guillermo Severino, his brother, as administrator for and on behalf of Melecio. After Melecio’s death, the defendant Guillermo Severino continued to occupy the land and in 1916, a parcel survey was made of the lands in the municipality of Silay, including the land here in question, and cadastral proceedings were instituted for the registration of the lands titles within the surveyed area.

In the cadastral proceedings the land in question was described as four separate lots. Roque Hofileña, lawyer for Guillermo, filed answers claiming the lots mentioned as the property of his client and that no opposition was presented in the proceedings to the claims of Guillermo Severino.

The court therefore decreed the title in his favor, which at this time, the plaintiff Fabiola Severino was a minor.

Whether Guillermo can be compelled to convey the land to Fabiola, even if there is already a title in Guillermo’s name.

Yes. The relations of an agent to his principal are fiduciary. Guillermo’s position as agent is analogous to that of a trustee and he cannot consistently, with the principles of good faith, be allowed to create in himself an interest in opposition to that of his principal or cestui que trust. Whatever a trustee does for the advantage of the trust estate inures to the benefit of the cestui que trust.

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