Pacunio filed to nullify Ang’s purchase of a 9.8 hectare land from Udiaan. Pacunio alleged that he is the real heir of Udiaan, and that Ang purchased the subject land from an impostor. Ang denied their allegations, presented evidences, and argued that he even had to buy the land twice. The RTC denied Pacunio’s prayer on the ground that the evidence of their successional rights is lacking. CA affirmed RTC with modification that it distributed the land to persons that are not parties to the case.
Is the CA correct when it distributed the land to those not parties to the case?
No. Rule 3 Section 2: An action may only be instituted and prosecuted in the names of the real parties in interest. This must be material interest (benefited or injured by the judgment) not merely curiosity about the question of fact or law involved. Without material interest, one cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as a plaintiff.
How Pacunio can establish their material interest:
Under the law, however, respondents will only be deemed to have a material interest over the subject land if→if the right of representation provided under Article 970 in relation to Article 982 of the Civil Code is available to them. As correctly pointed out in the CA. In this situation, representatives will be called to the succession by the law and not by the person represented; For such right to be available to respondents, they would have to show first that their mother: (a) predeceased Udiaan; (b) is incapacitated to inherit; or (c) was disinherited, if Udiaan died testate.