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4223 August 19, 1908

NICOLAS LUNOD, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees, vs. HIGINO MENESES, defendant-appellant. TORRES, J.: FACTS Plaintiifs (Appellees) Nicolas Lunod and 7 others are owners of farmlands on the upper estates near a lake (Calalaran). Defendant-Appellant Higno Meneses is the owner of a fishpond and a strip of land in Paraanan adjoining said lake on one side and a river on the other. Paraan is the only outlet of water to the river from the lands of Lunod et al during rainy season. In 1901 Meneses converted the land in Paraan to a fishpond and by means of a dam and a bamboo net prevented the free passage of water through Paraan causing flood and damage of plantations in the upper estates. Lunod et al filed a complaint alleging that there exists in favor of their rice fields a statutory easement for more than 20 years before 1901 and praying that Meneses be ordered to remove the obstructions that impede the passage of water through Paraanan. TC ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. ISSUE: Whether Meneses can be permitted to obstruct the flow of waters through his lands NO RULING: NO. But Lunod cannot prevent the defendant from building works to prevent his lands against influx of waters. Where a statutory easement exists between adjoining estates, the owner of the lower lands must not construct any work that may impair or obstruct an easement which consists in receiving the waters which naturally, and without the intervention of man, descend from more elevated lands; neither shall the owner of the latter construct any work that may increase the easement. The Civil Code allows that every owner may enclose his property by means of walls, dikes, fences, or any other device, but his right is limited by the easement with which his estate is charged. Since the plaintiffs can not prevent the defendant from protecting his lands against the influx of salt water; but the defendant could never be permitted to obstruct the flow of the waters through his lands to the river during the heavy rains, when the high lands in Calalaran and the lake in said place are flooded, thereby impairing the right of the owners of the dominant estates; the court advised that it is perhaps useful and advantageous to all parties that Meneses be made to build a another dike in addition to the old dike between the lake of said place and the low lands in Paraanan, for the purpose of preventing the salt waters of the river flooding (at high tide) not only the lowlands in Paraanan but also the higher ones of Calalaran and its lake.

RIGHT OF ACCESSION G.R. No. 168800 April 16, 2009

NEW REGENT SOURCES, INC., Petitioner, vs. TEOFILO VICTOR TANJUATCO, JR., and VICENTE CUEVAS,* Respondents. QUISUMBING, J.: FACTS Petitioner NRSI filed a Complaint for Rescission/Declaration of Nullity of Contract, Reconveyance and Damages against respondent Tanjuatco and the Register of Deeds of Calamba. NRSI alleged that in 1994, it authorized Cuevas, its Chairman and President, to apply on its behalf, for the acquisition of two parcels of land by virtue of its right of accretion. Cuevas purportedly applied for the lots in his name by paying P82,400.38 to the Bureau of Lands.

On January2, 1995, Cuevas and his wife executed a Voting Trust Agreement over their shares of stock in the corporation. Then, pending approval of the application with the Bureau of Lands, Cuevas assigned his right to Tanjuatco for the sum of P85,000. On March 12, 1996, the Director of Lands released an Order, which approved the transfer of rights from Cuevas to Tanjuatco. Transfer Certificates of Titles were then issued in the name of Tanjuatco. NRSI anchors its claim over the lands subjects of this case on the right of accretion. It submitted in evidence, titles to four parcels of land, which allegedly adjoin the lots in the name of Tanjuatco.

ISSUES: Whether or not (1) The complaint for rescission/declaration of nullity of contract, reconveyance and damages against Tanjuanco may prosper NO (2) NRSI has claim over the subject property base on the right of accretion NO (3) Cuevas is an innocent purchaser in good faith YES RULING:

(1) An action for reconveyance is one that seeks to transfer property, wrongfully registered byanother, to its rightful and
legal owner. In an action for reconveyance, the certificate of title isrespected as incontrovertible. What is sought instead is the transfer of the property, specifically the title thereof, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in another persons name, to its rightful and legal owner, or to one with a better right. To warrant a reconveyance of the land, the following requisites must concur:(1) the action must be brought in the name of a person claiming ownership or dominical right over the land registered in the name of the defendant;(2) the registration of the land in the name of the defendant was procured through fraud or otherillegal means;(3) the property has not yet passed to an innocent purchaser for value; and(4) the action is filed after the certificate of title had already become final and incontrovertible but within four years from the discovery of the fraud, or not later than 10 years in the case of an implied trust. Petitioner failed to show the presence of these requisites. (2) Accretion as a mode of acquiring property under Article 457 of the Civil Code requires the concurrence of the following requisites: (1) that the deposition of soil or sediment be gradual and imperceptible;(2) that it be the result of the action of the waters of the river; and (3) that the land where accretion takes place is adjacent to the banks of rivers. It is not enough to be a riparian owner in order to enjoy the benefits of accretion. One whoclaims the right of accretion must show by preponderant evidence that he has met all the conditionsprovided by law. Petitioner has notably failed in this regard as it did not offer any evidence to provethat it has satisfied the foregoing requisites.Further, it is undisputed that Tanjuatco derived his title to the lands from Original Certificateof Title (OCT) registered in the name of the Republic of the Philippines. Said parcels of land formedpart of the Dried San Juan River Bed, which under Article 502 (1) of the Civil Code rightly pertains tothe public dominion. The Certification issued by the forester confirms that said lands were verified tobe within the Alienable and Disposable lands certified and declared as such on September 28, 1981.Clearly, the Republic is the entity which had every right to transfer ownership thereof to respondent. (3) Tanjuatcos titles were derived from Original Certificates of Title in the name of no less than the Republic of the Philippines. Hence, we cannot validly and fairly rule that in relying upon said title, Tanjuatco acted in bad faith. A person dealing with registered land may safely rely upon the correctness of the certificate of title issued therefor and the law will in no way oblige him to go behindthe certificate to determine the condition of the property. This applies even more particularly when the seller happens to be the Republic, against which, no improper motive can be ascribed. The law, no doubt, considers Tanjuatco an innocent purchaser for value. An innocent purchaser for value is one who buys the property of another, without notice that some other person has a right or interest in such property and pays the full price for the same, at the time of such purchase or before he has notice of the claims or interest of some other person in the property.