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BERNARDO v. BERNARDO | November 29, 1954 | Reyes, J.B.L. Petitioner falls short of this standard because he is a mere licensee.

As
Petitioner: Enrique Bernardo such, he is duty bound to protect and restore that possession to the real
Respondent: Crisostomo Bernardo and legitimate holders of the land upon demand.
Moreover, at the time the government acquired the estate, petitioner
BRIEF: The case involves the dispute as to who has the preferential right over the already parted with the house. Also, even before governments purchase,
acquisition of a lot the respondent who is the owner of the house standing on petitioner was told by the respondent to vacate the premises.
the said lot and has held the land in lawful tenancy, paying rents and taxes; or 2. Petitioners contention fails for two powerful reasons
the petitioner, who was allowed by the respondent out of deference and charity a. Section 7 of Act 1170 employs the terms actual bona fide settlers and
to gratuitously occupy the lot and live therein. Court decided that it was occupants plainly indicating that actual and bona fide are not
respondent. synonymous. Commonwealth Acts deleted the term actual and solely
used the word bona fide occupants thereby emphasizing the
FACTS: requirement that the prospective beneficiaries should be endowed
1. The Republic of the Philippines purchased from the Roman Catholic church the with legitimate tenure.
estate Capellania de Tamombong under the provisions of Section 1 of b. The term bona fide occupants was not designed to favor usurpers,
Commonwealth Act 5391 squatters and intruders, unmindful of the law or unlawful origin and
2. Respondent, Crisostomo, applied to the Rural Progress Administration for the character of their occupancy
purchase of the lot in question
3. Petitioner, Enrique, contested the application and claimed preferential right to RULING: Petition DISMISSED
such purchase.
a. Claims that the policy of the government had been to acquire the
landed estates for the benefit of their actual occupants as
exemplified in the Friar Lands Act
b. The words bona fide occupant employed in the Commonwealth Act
are equivalent to actual occupants
4. Respondent, on the other hand, avers and proves that
a. Lot was held by his deceased parents who continuously paid the
rentals due which he continued to pay when it was passed on to him.
b. House standing on the lot has been sold by petitioner to respondent
c. He only allowed Crisostomo, out of deference and charity, to
gratuituously occupy the lot and live therein since 1918.

ISSUE: Who has the preferential right over the lot? (RESPONDENT!)
RATIO:
1. Bona fide occupant
a. Meaning; Possessor in good faith
b. The essence of bona fides or good faith lies in the honest belief in the
i. Validity of ones right
ii. Ignorance of a superior claim, and
iii. Absence of intention to overreach another

1Act authorizes the expropriation or purchase of private lands and that lands
acquired thereunder should be subdivided into lots, for resale at reasonable
prices to their bona fide tenants or occupants.