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GR. No. 182252, August 03, 2016

Sereno, C.J


Respondent Sy So, Chinese, was married to a certain Jose Ang. The respondent
adopted a child without undergoing the legal process of adoption, though this was
not done in the formal proper. The adopted child (Jose Norberto Ang) was the
petitioner. Respondent's husband died during a war. She later on acquired new
property (10th Avenue lot) in Caloocan City. She registered it under the name of
the petitioner, who was then was still minor, due to their tradition being as a
Chinese. Sy So, acquired another property (10th Avenue lot) which is also located
in Caloocan City and she also registered it under her adopted son's name.

Eight buildings were erected in the said lot at the expense of respondent. The
petitioner and the respondent lived there for more than 30 years. Sy So, alleged to
have kept the land titles under her possession and was never shown to anyone,
though she procure a photocopy of such title to the petitioner for the prospective
tenants. Without the knowledge of Sy So, petitioner filed a Petition for the
Issuance of Second Owner's Duplicate Certificate of Title. He later sold 11th
avenue lot which was covered by a TCT.

Petitioner's counsel demand the collection of money for tax purposes, demanded the
payment of monthly rent and ordered the respondent to vacate the premises after
three months. Petitioner filed an ejectment suits against the respondent for non-
payment of rentals, but the suits was dismissed and affirmed.

Meanwhile, respondent filed with RTC a case for transfer of trusteeship to one Tony
Ang from the petitioners on the ground of gross ingratitude and dispectfulness and
breach of trust. She alleged that she bought the two lands and constructed the
apartment doors at her own expense. Thus, there was an implied trust over the
properties in question. She prayed for the cancellation of name of petitioner. She
also asked for nullification of sale with damages. In his answer, Norberto argued
that Sy So, was a plain housewife, that the lands were acquired by her from their
foster father, and the expenses for the erection of apartments was derived from the
sale of their foster father's properties. He also alleged that after attaining the
age of majority, he took possession of the properties and allowed the respondent to
stay without paying rent. Ergo, he shouldered the payment of taxes on the land.

RTC dimissed the case. It ruled that there was no implied trust. It reasoned that
respondent Sy So did not intend to have the beneficial interest of the properties,
but to make her wards the beneficiaries, and when Sy So gave the subject properties
to Jose Norberto, who was her child, though not legally adopted. no implied trust
was created. Sy So appealed to CA. She invoked that petitioner could not be
considered as her child due to the lack of undergoing the proper adoption
proceedings. Petitioner countered the fact the appealed case should have been
dismissed since the respondent, being a Chinese citizen, could not own real
property in the Philippines. It stated in the 1987 Philippine Constitution the
proscription of aliens from owning private lands except in cases of hereditary
succession. He alleged that the case involved a prohibited collateral attack
against his title claimed that the action was barred by laches.

CA partially granted the appeal. It ruled that there was an implied trust, but
since the petitioner did not legally adopted the petitioner, these was no
relationship created between the parties, so the disputable presumption of an
implied trust as stated in Article 1448 is inapplicable.