8epubllc of Lhe Þhlllpplnes

SUÞkLML CCUk1
Manlla
1Pl8u ulvlSlCn

G.k. No. 77628 March 11, 1991
1CMAS LNCAkNACICN, peLlLloner,
vs.
1nL nCNCkA8LL CCUk1 CI AÞÞLALS and 1nL IN1LS1A1L LS1A1L CI 1nL LA1L
LUSL8IC DL SAGUN and 1nL nLIkS CI 1nL LA1L ANICL1A MAGSINC VIUDA DL
SAGUN,* respondenLs.

ILkNAN, !"#"$%
ÞresenLed for resoluLlon ln Lhe lnsLanL peLlLlon for revlew ls Lhe noL-so-usual quesLlon of
wheLher or noL peLlLloner ls enLlLled Lo a !"#$%"%& of an already exlsLlng easemenL of
rlghL-of-way. 8oLh Lhe Lrlal courL and Lhe AppellaLe CourL ruled LhaL peLlLloner ls noL so
enLlLled, hence Lhe recourse Lo Lhls CourL. We reverse.
1he facLs are undlspuLed.
ÞeLlLloner 1omas Lncarnaclon and prlvaLe respondenL Pelrs of Lhe laLe AnlceLa Magslno
vluda de Sagun are Lhe owners of Lwo ad[acenL esLaLes slLuaLed ln 8uco, 1allsay,
8aLangas. ** ÞeLlLloner owns Lhe domlnanL esLaLe whlch has an area of 2,390 square
meLers and bounded on Lhe norLh by Luseblo de Sagun and MamerLo Magslno, on Lhe
souLh by 1aal Lake, on Lhe LasL by lellno MaLlenzo and on Lhe WesL by Þedro MaLlenzo.
ÞrlvaLe respondenLs co-own Lhe 403-square-meLer servlenL esLaLe whlch ls bounded on
Lhe norLh by Lhe naLlonal Plghway (Laurel-1allsay Plghway), on Lhe SouLh by 1omas
Lncarnaclon, on Lhe LasL by MamerLo Magslno and on Lhe WesL by lellpe de Sagun. ln
oLher words, Lhe servlenL esLaLe sLands beLween Lhe domlnanL esLaLe and Lhe naLlonal
road.
Þrlor Lo 1960, when Lhe servlenL esLaLe was noL yeL enclosed wlLh a concreLe fence,
persons golng Lo Lhe naLlonal hlghway [usL crossed Lhe servlenL esLaLe aL no parLlcular
polnL. Powever, ln 1960 when prlvaLe respondenLs consLrucLed a fence around Lhe
servlenL esLaLe, a roadpaLh measurlng '( *$+$,- ./%& 0%# 01/2+ 0 *$+$, !"#$was
consLlLuLed Lo provlde access Lo Lhe hlghway. Cne-half meLer wldLh of Lhe paLh was
Laken from Lhe servlenL esLaLe and Lhe oLher one-half meLer porLlon was Laken from
anoLher loL owned by MamerLo Magslno. no compensaLlon was asked and non was
glven for Lhe porLlons consLlLuLlng Lhe paLhway.
1

lL was also abouL LhaL Llme LhaL peLlLloner sLarLed hls planL nursery buslness on hls land
where he also had hls abode. Pe would use sald paLhway as passage Lo Lhe hlghway for
hls famlly and for hls cusLomers.
ÞeLlLloner's planL nursery buslness Lhrough sheer hard work flourlshed and wlLh LhaL, lL
became more and more dlfflculL for peLlLloner Lo haul Lhe planLs and garden soll Lo and
from Lhe nursery and Lhe hlghway wlLh Lhe use of pushcarLs. ln !anuary, 1984, peLlLloner
was able Lo buy an owner-Lype [eep whlch he could use for LransporLlng hls planLs.
Powever, LhaL [eep could noL pass Lhrough Lhe roadpaLh and so he approached Lhe
servlenL esLaLe owners (AnlceLa vda. de Sagun and Llena 8omero vda. de Sagun) and
requesLed LhaL Lhey sell Lo hlm one and one-half (1 1/2) meLers of Lhelr properLy Lo be
added Lo Lhe exlsLlng paLhway so as Lo allow passage for hls [eepney. 1o hls uLLer
consLernaLlon, hls requesL was Lurned down by Lhe Lwo wldows and furLher aLLempLs aL
negoLlaLlon proved fuLlle.
ÞeLlLloner Lhen lnsLlLuLed an acLlon before Lhe 8eglonal 1rlal CourL of 8aLangas, 8ranch
6 (1anauan) Lo seek Lhe lssuance of a wrlL of easemenL of a rlghL of way over an
addlLlonal wldLh of aL leasL Lwo 3'4 *$+$,- over Lhe ue Saguns' 403-square-meLer parcel
of land.
2

uurlng Lhe Lrlal, Lhe aLLenLlon of Lhe lower courL was called Lo Lhe exlsLence of anoLher
exlL Lo Lhe hlghway, only elghLy (80) meLers away from Lhe domlnanL esLaLe. Cn
uecember 2, 1983, Lhe lower courL rendered [udgmenL dlsmlsslng peLlLloner's
complalnL. lL ruled:
lL ls clear, Lherefore, LhaL plalnLlff aL presenL has Lwo ouLleLs Lo Lhe
hlghway: one, Lhrough Lhe defendanLs' land on a one meLer wlde
passageway, whlch ls bounded on boLh sldes by concreLe walls and
second, Lhrough Lhe drled rlver bed elghLy meLers away. 1he plalnLlff has
an adequaLe ouLleL Lo Lhe hlghway Lhrough Lhe drled rlver bed where hls
[eep could pass.
1he reasons glven for hls clalm LhaL Lhe one-meLer passageway Lhrough
defendanLs' land be wldened Lo Lwo and one-half meLers Lo allow Lhe
passage of hls [eep, desLroylng ln Lhe process one of Lhe concreLe fences
and decreaslng defendanLs' already small parcel Lo only abouL 332.3
square meLers, [usL because lL ls nearer Lo Lhe hlghway by 23 meLers
compared Lo Lhe second access of 80 meLers or a dlfference of only 63
meLers and LhaL passage Lhrough defendanLs' land ls more convenlenL for
hls (plalnLlffs) buslness and famlly use are noL among Lhe condlLlons
speclfled by ArLlcle 649 of Lhe Clvll Code Lo enLlLle Lhe plalnLlff Lo a rlghL
of way for Lhe passage of hls [eep Lhrough defendanL's land.
3

Cn appeal, Lhe CourL of Appeals afflrmed Lhe declslon of Lhe Lrlal courL on !anuary 28,
1987 and re[ecLed peLlLloner's clalm for an addlLlonal easemenL.
ln susLalnlng Lhe Lrlal courL, Lhe CourL of Appeals oplned LhaL Lhe necesslLy lnLerposed
by peLlLloner was noL compelllng enough Lo [usLlfy lnLerference wlLh Lhe properLy rlghLs
of prlvaLe respondenLs. 1he AppellaLe CourL Look lnLo conslderaLlon Lhe presence of a
drled rlver bed only elghLy (80) meLers away from Lhe domlnanL esLaLe and con[ecLured
LhaL peLlLloner mlghL have acLually drlven hls [eep Lhrough Lhe rlver bed ln order Lo geL
Lo Lhe hlghway, and LhaL Lhe only reason why he wanLed a wlder easemenL Lhrough Lhe
ue Sagun's esLaLe was LhaL lL was more convenlenL for hls buslness and famlly needs.
AfLer evaluaLlng Lhe evldence presenLed ln Lhe case, Lhe CourL flnds LhaL peLlLloner has
sufflclenLly esLabllshed hls clalm for an addlLlonal easemenL of rlghL of way, conLrary Lo
Lhe concluslons of Lhe courLs 0 52/.
Whlle Lhere ls a drled rlver bed less Lhan 100 meLers from Lhe domlnanL LenemenL, LhaL
access ls grossly lnadequaLe. Cenerally, Lhe rlghL of way may be demanded: (1) when
Lhere ls absoluLely no access Lo a publlc hlghway, and (2) when, even lf Lhere ls one, lL ls
dlfflculL or dangerous Lo use or ls grossly lnsufflclenL. ln Lhe presenL case, Lhe rlver bed
rouLe ls Lraversed by a seml-concreLe brldge and Lhere ls no lngress nor egress from Lhe
hlghway. lor Lhe [eep Lo reach Lhe level of Lhe hlghway, lL musL llLerally [ump four (4) Lo
flve (3) meLers up. Moreover, durlng Lhe ralny season, Lhe rlver bed ls lmpassable due Lo
Lhe floods. 1hus, lL can only be used aL cerLaln Llmes of Lhe year. WlLh Lhe lnherenL
dlsadvanLages of Lhe rlver bed whlch make passage dlfflculL, lf noL lmposslble, lL ls lf
Lhere were no ouLleL aL all.
Where a prlvaLe properLy has no access Lo a publlc road, lL has Lhe rlghL of easemenL
over ad[acenL servlenL esLaLes as a maLLer of law.
4

WlLh Lhe non-avallablllLy of Lhe drled rlver bed as an alLernaLlve rouLe Lo Lhe hlghway,
we Lransfer our aLLenLlon Lo Lhe exlsLlng paLhway whlch sLraddles Lhe ad[olnlng
properLles of Lhe ue Sagun helrs and MamerLo Magslno.
1he courLs below have Laken agalnsL peLlLloner hls candld admlsslon ln open courL LhaL
he needed a wlder paLhway for Lhe convenlence of hls buslness and famlly. (1Sn, AugusL
2, 1983, pp. 24-26). We cannoL begrudge peLlLloner for wanLlng LhaL whlch ls
convenlenL. 8uL cerLalnly LhaL should noL deLracL from Lhe more presslng conslderaLlon
LhaL Lhere ls a real and compelllng need for such servlLude ln hls favor.
ArLlcle 631 of Lhe Clvll Code provldes LhaL "(L)he wldLh of Lhe easemenL of rlghL of way
shall be LhaL whlch ls sufflclenL for Lhe needs of Lhe domlnanL esLaLe, and may
accordlngly be changed from Llme Lo Llme." 1hls ls Laken Lo mean LhaL under Lhe law, lL
ls Lhe needs of Lhe domlnanL properLy whlch ulLlmaLely deLermlne Lhe wldLh of Lhe
passage. And Lhese needs may vary from Llme Lo Llme. When peLlLloner sLarLed ouL as a
planL nursery operaLor, he and hls famlly could easlly make do wlLh a few pushcarLs Lo
Low Lhe planLs Lo Lhe naLlonal hlghway. 8uL Lhe buslness grew and wlLh lL Lhe need for
Lhe use of modern means of conveyance or LransporL. Manual haullng of planLs and
garden soll and use of pushcarLs have become exLremely cumbersome and physlcally
Laxlng. 1o force peLlLloner Lo leave hls [eepney ln Lhe hlghway, exposed Lo Lhe elemenLs
and Lo Lhe rlsk of LhefL slmply because lL could noL pass Lhrough Lhe lmprovlsed
paLhway, ls sheer plgheadedness on Lhe parL of Lhe servlenL esLaLe and can only be
counLer-producLlve for all Lhe people concerned. ÞeLlLloner should noL be denled a
passageway wlde enough Lo accomodaLe hls [eepney slnce LhaL ls a reasonable and
necessary aspecL of Lhe planL nursery buslness.
We are well aware LhaL an addlLlonal one and one-half (1 1/2) meLers ln Lhe wldLh of
Lhe paLhway wlll reduce Lhe servlenL esLaLe Lo only abouL 342.3 square meLers. 8uL
peLlLloner has expressed wllllngness Lo exchange an equlvalenL porLlon of hls land Lo
compensaLe prlvaLe respondenLs for Lhelr loss. Þerhaps, lL would be well for
respondenLs Lo Lake Lhe offer of peLlLloner serlously.
S
8uL unless and unLll LhaL opLlon ls
consldered, Lhe law decrees LhaL peLlLloner musL lndemnlfy Lhe owners of Lhe servlenL
esLaLe lncludlng MamerLo Magslno from whose ad[olnlng loL 1/2 meLer was Laken Lo
consLlLuLe Lhe orlglnal paLh several years ago. Slnce Lhe easemenL Lo be esLabllshed ln
favor of peLlLloner ls of a conLlnuous and permanenL naLure, Lhe lndemnlLy shall conslsL
of Lhe value of Lhe land occupled and Lhe amounL of Lhe damage caused Lo Lhe servlenL
esLaLe pursuanL Lo ArLlcle 649 of Lhe Clvll Code whlch sLaLes ln parL:
ArL. 649. 1he owner, or any person who by vlrLue of a real rlghL may
culLlvaLe or use any lmmovable, whlch ls surrounded by oLher
lmmovables perLalnlng Lo oLher persons and wlLhouL adequaLe ouLleL Lo
a publlc hlghway, ls enLlLled Lo demand a rlghL of way Lhrough Lhe
nelghborlng esLaLes, afLer paymenL of Lhe proper lndemnlLy.
Should Lhls easemenL be esLabllshed ln such a manner LhaL lLs use may be
conLlnuous for all Lhe needs of Lhe domlnanL esLaLe, esLabllshlng a
permanenL passage, Lhe lndemnlLy shall conslsL of Lhe value of Lhe land
occupled and Lhe amounL of Lhe damage caused Lo Lhe servlenL esLaLe.
xxx xxx xxx
WnLkLICkL, |n conform|ty w|th the forego|ng d|scuss|on, the appea|ed dec|s|on of
the Court of Appea|s dated Ianuary 28, 1987 |s kLVLkSLD and SL1 ASIDL. Þet|t|oner
1omas Lncarnac|on |s hereby dec|ared ent|t|ed to an add|t|ona| easement of r|ght of
way of twenty-f|ve (2S) meters |ong by one and one-ha|f (1 1]2) meters w|de over the
serv|ent estate or a tota| area of 62.S square meters after payment of the proper
|ndemn|ty.
SC CkDLkLD.

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