1

CASES SUMMARY FOR PROPERTY

TITLE I. CLASSIFICAITON OF PROPERTY

IMMOVABLE
PROPERTY
(415)
LEUNG YEE V. STRONG
MACHINERY
The building of strong materials in which the rice-cleaning machinery was installed by the
"Compañia Agricola Filipina" was real property, and the mere fact that the parties seem to
have dealt with it separate and apart from the land on which it stood in no wise changed its
character as real property. It follows that neither the original registry in the chattel mortgage
of the building and the machinery installed therein, not the annotation in that registry of the
sale of the mortgaged property, had any effect whatever so far as the building was
concerned.
PRC V. JARQUE Vessels are considered personal property under the civil law. Similarly under the common
law, vessels are personal property although occasionally referred to as a peculiar kind of
personal property. They are subject to mortgage agreeably to the provisions of the Chattel
Mortgage Law.

The only difference between a chattel mortgage of a vessel and a chattel mortgage of other
personalty is that it is not now necessary for a chattel mortgage of a vessel to be noted in the
registry of the register of deeds, but it is essential that a record of documents affecting the
title to a vessel be entered in the record of the Collector of Customs at the port of entry.
Otherwise a mortgage on a vessel is generally like other chattel mortgages as to its requisites
and validity.

In the case, the absence of the affidavit vitiates a mortgage as against creditors and
subsequent encumbrancers. As a consequence a chattel mortgage of a vessel wherein the
affidavit of good faith required by the Chattel Mortgage Law is lacking, is unenforceable
against third persons.
BERKENKOTTER V. CU
UNJIENG
IN RE: installation of the machinery and equipment in question in the central of the
Mabalacat Sugar Co., Inc., --converted them into real property by reason of their purpose;
2
incorporation therewith was permanent in character because, as essential and principal
elements of a sugar central, without them the sugar central would be unable to function or
carry on the industrial purpose for which it was established. Inasmuch as the central is
permanent in character, the necessary machinery and equipment installed for carrying on the
sugar industry for which it has been established must necessary be permanent.
The installation of a machinery and equipment in a mortgaged sugar central, in lieu of
another of less capacity, for the purpose of carrying out the industrial functions of the latter
and increasing production, constitutes a permanent improvement on said sugar central and
subjects said machinery and equipment to the mortgage constituted thereon.
DAVAO SAWMILL V.
CASTILLO
The cutting machines owned by davao sawmill are personal property.
The machinery only becomes immobilized if placed in a plant by the owner of the property or
plant. Immobilization cannot be made by a tenant, a usufructuary, or any person having only
a temporary right. The tenant, usufructuary, or temporary possessor acted as agent of the
owner of the premises; or he intended to permanently give away the property in favor of the
owner. Therefore, the machinery should be considered as Personal Property, since it was not
placed on the land by the owner of the said land.

..and besides the lease contract says “at the expiration of the contract, all the improvements
introduced by the lessee shall pass to the exclusive ownership by the lessor without any
obligation to pay the amount of the improvements on the said building”. If that is the only
provision it will be part of the exception to the exception. Exception to the exception if the
lessee promises to leave the improvements of the tenement to the lessor of the land after
the lease has expired. Everything that davao sawmill erected will become the property of the
lessor. But there is a proviso, “provided however that the machineries and accessories that
are not included as improvements will pass on to the lessor at the expiration of the lease.
This situation falls under number 2. Because the tenant did not promise to leave the
machines with the lessor upon the expiration of the contract. So, at the end of the day, the
sheriff can seize the personal properties.
MACHINERY AND MACHINERIES AND EQUIPMENTS WERE REAL PROPERTY. (not subject to replevin) When the
3
ENGINEERING V. CA sheriff repaired to the premises of respondent company, the machinery and equipment in
question appeared to be attached to the land, particularly to the concrete foundation of said
premises, in a fixed manner, in such a way that the former could not be separated from the
latter “without breaking the material or deterioration of the object.” Hence, in order to
remove said outfit, it became necessary, not only to unbolt the same, but, also, to cut some
of its wooden supports. Moreover, said machinery and equipment were “intended by the
owner of the tenement for an industry” carried on said immovable and tended “directly to
meet the needs of the said industry.” For these reasons, they were already immovable
property pursuant to paragraphs 3 and 5 of Article 415 of the Civil Code.
NAVARRO V. PINEDA Where a house stands on a rented land belonging to another person, it may be the
subject matter of a chattel mortgage as personal property if so stipulated in the document of
mortgage, and in an action by the mortgagee for the foreclosure, the validity of the chattel
mortgage cannot be assailed by one of the parties to the contract of mortgage.
Furthermore, although in some instances, a house of mixed materials has been considered as
a chattel between the parties and that the validity of
the contract between them, has been recognized, it has been a constant
criterion that with respect to third persons, who are not parties to the contract, and
specially in execution proceedings, the house is considered as immovable property.
CALTEX V. CBAA PUMPS AND TANKS PLACED BY LESSEE CALTEX ON THE GAS STATION ARE NOT REAL
PROPERTY but they were held as taxable as realty. because they are not placed by the owner
of the land, rather the placed by the lessee. It is not an immovable under par. 3 because they
can be separated without breaking. Nor under par. 1 because they are not adhered to the
land.

NOTE: The Supreme Court used the other law to determine whether or not the things are
immovable or movable. In this case, the pumps and tanks are still taxable as realty based on
the tax code. The said equipment and machinery, as appurtenances to the gas station
building or shed owned by Caltex (as to which it is subject to realty tax) and which fixtures are
necessary to the operation of the gas station, for without them the gas station would be
4
useless and which have been attached or affixed permanently to the gas station site or
embedded therein, are taxable improvements and machinery within the meaning of the
Assessment Law and the Real Property Tax Code.
BENGUET CORP V. CBAA TAILINGS DAM IS A REAL PROPERTY. It falls under 415 (a & b); it’s a construction ADHERED TO
SOIL which cannot be separated or detached without breaking the material or causing
destruction on the land upon which it is attached. Its immovable nature defines its character
as real property. Further, it is an IMPROVEMENT ON REAL PROPERTY because it is permanent
in character and enhances both the value and utility of Benguet’s mine (rule: PERMANENT
IMPROVEMENT is one intended to remain as long as the land to which it is annexed is still
used for the said purpose)
SERG’S PRODUCTS V. PCI MACHINERIES AND EQUIPMENT OF SERG ARE REAL PROPERTY IMMOBILIZED BY
DESTINATION BECAUSE THEY ARE ESSENTIAL AND PRINCIPAL ELEMENTS IN THE CHOCOLATE
MAKING INDUSTRY. (1) YES, the
machineries became real property by virtue of immobilization. The machineries were real
property under par. 5 of Art. 415 being that:
1) they were placed by SERG’S PRODUCTS, the owner of the tenement,
(2) they were intended for an industry, which in this case is the chocolate-making industry
and
(3) they were essential to said industry.


HOWEVER, the subject properties MAY BE SUBJECT TO WRIT OF REPLEVIN because serg is
ESTOPPED from denying the characterization of the subject machines as PERSONAL
PROPERTY as provided in their lease agreement. (RULE: contracting parties may validly
stipulate that a real prop be considered as personal. After agreeing to such stipulation, they
are consequently estopped from claiming otherwise. However, this is only good insofar as
contracting parties are concerned. While they are bound by the agreement, third person
acting in good faith are not affected by its stipulation characterizing the subject machinery as
personal)
5

the machineries can be the subject of a replevin because although they were real property by
nature, they became personal property by agreement.
SORIANO V. GALIT The foregoing provision of the Civil Code enumerates land and buildings separately. This can
only mean that a building is, by itself, considered immovable.[39] Thus, it has been held that

. . . while it is true that a mortgage of land necessarily includes, in the absence of stipulation
of the improvements thereon, buildings, still a building by itself may be mortgaged apart
from the land on which it has been built. Such mortgage would be still a real estate mortgage
for the building would still be considered immovable property even if dealt with separately
and apart from the land.[40] (emphasis and italics supplied)
In this case, considering that what was sold by virtue of the writ of execution issued by the
trial court was merely the storehouse and bodega constructed on the parcel of land covered
by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-40785, which by themselves are real properties of
respondents spouses, the same should be regarded as separate and distinct from the
conveyance of the lot on which they stand.
JG SUMMIT V. CA he prohibition in the Constitution applies only to ownership of land.[48] It does not extend to
immovable or real property as defined under Article 415 of the Civil Code. Otherwise, we
would have a strange situation where the ownership of immovable property such as trees,
plants and growing fruit attached to the land[49] would be limited to Filipinos and Filipino
corporations only.
MERALCO TOWERS constructed by NAPOCOR are PERSONAL PROPERTY for they were made on another
person’s land.

416—MOVABLE PROPERTY

SIBAL V. VALDEZ the sugar cane was personal property. Although par. 2 of Art. 415 of the Civil Code states that
growing crops, while they are attached to the land or form part of an immovable are immovable
property, par. 2 of Art. 416 state that real property which by any special provision of law is
6
considered as personalty.
The special provision of law in this case is found in the Chattel Mortgage Law. The Chattel
Mortgage Law fully recognizes that “growing crops” are personal property. Hence, for purposes of
attachment of property, execution of judgment and the Chattel Mortgage Law, growing crops or
ungathered products raised by early labor and cultivation are considered personal property. The
existence of a right on the growing crop is a mobilization by anticipation. Therefore, the sugar
cane, being personal property could not be subject of redemption.

LAUREL V. JUDGE ABROGAR The business of providing telecommunication or telephone service is likewise personal property
which can be the object of theft. interest in business was declared to be personal property since it
is capable of appropriation and not included in the enumeration of real properties. Article 414 of
the Civil Code provides that all things which are or may be the object of appropriation are
considered either real property or personal property. Business is likewise not enumerated as
personal property under the Civil Code. Just like interest in business, however, it may be
appropriated.


420—PROPERTY IN RELATION TO THE PERSON TO WHOM IT BELONGS

CITY OF MANILA V. GARCIA PUBLIC PLAZA it is not allowed to be leased because this is property of public dominion and
cannot be sold and cannot be subject of contract.
REPUBLIC V. LAT VDA. DE CASTILLO shores are properties of the public domain intended for public use (Article 420, Civil Code) and,
therefore, not registrable. Thus, it has long been settled that portions of the foreshore or of the
territorial waters and beaches cannot be registered. Their inclusion in a certificate of title does
not convert the same into properties of private ownership or confer title upon the registrant.

Lakeshore land or lands adjacent to the lake, like the lands in question must be differentiated
from foreshore land or that part of the land adjacent to the sea which is alternately covered and
left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides.
7

Such distinction draws importance from the fact that a
accretions on the bank of a lake, like Laguna de Bay, belong to the owners of the estate to which
they have been added (
while accretion on a sea bank still belongs to the public domain, and is not available for private
ownership until formally declared by the government to be no longer needed for public use
REPUBLIC V. GONZALES the number of users is not the yardstick indetermining whether property is properly reserved for
public use or public benefit. In the first place, Section 83 above speaks not only of use by a local
government but also of “quasi-public uses or purposes.” To constitute public use, the public in
general should have equal or common rights to use the land or facility involved on the same
terms, however limited in number the people who can actually avail themselves of it at a given
time.8 There is nothing in Proclamation No. 144 which excludes non-car-owners from using a
widened street or a parking area should they in fact happen to be driving cars; the opportunity to
avail of the use thereof remains open for the public in general. [Republic vs. Gonzales, 199 SCRA
788(1991)]
REPUBLIC V. CA, MORATO The land subject of free patent, after being declared part of CALAUAG BAY must be REVERTED
back to the state. While at the time of the grant, the land was not reached by the water, however,
due to gradual sinking of the land caused by natural calamities, the sea already invaded a portion
of the subject land. Article 420 provides that among the properties of public dominion are those
intended for public use such as..shores…
when the sea moved towards the estate and the tide invaded it, the invaded property BECAME
FORESHORE LAND and passed the same to the real m of the public domain. Thus, it must be
returned to public domain.
CHAVEZ V. PEA The RECLAIMED lands comprising the freedom islands are ALIENABLE LANSD OF PUBLIC DOMAIN.
The PEA may lease them but may not sell or transfer ownership thereof to private corporations
but only to Philippine citizens.
The SUBMERGED areas—remain INALIENABLE natural resources of public domain until classified
as alienable/disposable lands open to disposition and declared no longer needed for public
service.
8
Private corporations are prohibited from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public domain

MORANDARTE &FERBRERA V. CA Just as the old bed had been of public dominion before the abandonment, the new riverbed shall
likewise be of public dominion.—Rivers and their natural beds are undoubtedly properties of
public dominion (Art. 502 par. 1, Civil Code of the Philippines). Whether navigable or not, rivers
belong to the public and cannot be acquired by prescription (Com vs. Meneses, 38 O.G. 2839,
Paras, Civil Code, p. 328, Vol. II, 12th Edition). In fact, a stream located within private land is still
property of public dominion, even if the Torrens Title of the land does not show the existence of
said stream (Talion vs. Sec. of Public Works and Highways, L-24281, May 16, 1967; Paras, supra).
Correspondingly, Art. 462 of the same Civil Code provides: Art. 462. Whenever a river, changing
its course by natural causes, opens a new bed through a private estate, this bed shall become of
public dominion. The rule is the same that even if the new bed is on private property. The bed
becomes property of public dominion. Just as the old bed had been of public dominion before the
abandonment, the new riverbed shall likewise be of public dominion

Property of the public domain is incapable of registration and its inclusion in a title nullifies that
title.—It is well-recognized that if a person obtains a title under the Public Land Act which
includes, by oversight, lands which cannot be registered under the Torrens system, or when the
Director of Lands did not have jurisdiction over the same because it is a public domain, the
grantee does not, by virtue of the said certificate of title alone, become the owner of the land or
property illegally included. Otherwise stated, property of the public domain is incapable of
registration and its inclusion in a title nullifies that title. [Morandarte vs. Court of Appeals, 436
SCRA 213(2004)]
VILLARICO V. SARMIENTO The lot on which villarico’s alleged ‘right of way’ exists belongs to state or is a property of
public dominion. (the property was one for PUBLIC USE as it was for the use of the people as
passageway to the highway) considering that the LOT ON WHICH THE STAIRWAYS WERE
CONSTRUCTED IS A PROPERTY OF PUBLIC DOMINION. It cannot be burdened by a voluntary
easement of right of way in favor of a private individual. Thus, the latter cannot appropriate it for
himself. Verily, he cannot claim any right of possession over it.
9
DOMALSIN V. VALENCIANO Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer; The admission of petitioner in his Amended Complaint
that respondents started constructing a building within the Kennon Road road right-of-way
belies his claim that the lot in question is his; Neither the petitioner nor the respondents can
own nor possess the subject property the same being part of the public dominion.—It must be
made clear that the property subject of this case is a portion of the road-right-of way of Kennon
Road which is located in front of a parcel of land that petitioner bought by way of Deed of Waiver
and Quitclaim from Castillo Binay-an. The admission of petitioner in his Amended Complaint that
respondents started constructing a building within the Kennon Road road-right-of-way belies his
claim that the lot in question is his. In light of this exposition, it is clear that neither the petitioner
nor the respondents can own nor possess the subject property the same being part of the public
dominion. Property of public dominion is defined by Article 420 of the Civil Code as follows: ART.
420. The following things are property of public dominion: (1) Those intended for public use such
as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, banks, shores,
roadsteads, and other of similar character. (2) Those which belong to the State, without being for
public use, and are intended for some public service or for the development of the national
wealth.
Same; Same; As the land in controversy is a portion of Kennon Road which is for the use of the
people, there can be no dispute that same is part of public dominion.—Properties of public
dominion are owned by the general public. Public use is “use that is not confined to privileged
individuals, but is open to the indefinite public.” As the land in controversy is a portion of Kennon
Road which is for the use of the people, there can be no dispute that same is part of public
dominion. This being the case, the parties cannot appropriate the land for themselves. Thus, they
cannot claim any right of possession over it. This is clear from Article 530 of the Civil Code which
provides: ART. 530. Only things and rights which are susceptible of being appropriated may be the
object of possession.
Same; Same; The sole issue to be resolved in ejectment proceedings is the question as to who is
entitled to the physical or material possession of the premises or possession de facto.—
Ejectment proceedings are summary proceedings intended to provide an expeditious means of
protecting actual possession or right to possession of property. Title is not involved. The sole issue
10
to be resolved is the question as to who is entitled to the physical or material possession of the
premises or possession de facto.
Same; Same; Whatever may be the character of his possession, if he has in his favor prior
possession in time, he has the security that entitles him to remain on the property until a
person with a better right lawfully ejects him.—The Court of Appeals erred when it preferred the
present and actual possession of respondents vis-à-vis the prior possession of petitioner on the
ground that the parties do not and cannot own the lot in question. Regardless of the actual
condition of the title to the property, the party in peaceable, quiet possession shall not be thrown
out by a strong hand, violence or terror. Neither is the unlawful withholding of property allowed.
Courts willalways uphold respect for prior possession. Thus, a party who can prove prior
possession can recover such possession even against the owner himself. Whatever may be the
character of his possession, if he has in his favor prior possession in time, he has the security that
entitles him to remain on the property until a person with a better right lawfully ejects him.
Same; Same; Fact that the parties do not and cannot own the property under litigation does not
mean that the issue to be resolved is no longer priority of possession; The main thing to be
proven in an action for forcible entry is prior possession and that same was lost through force,
intimidation, threat, strategy and stealth so that it behooves the court to restore possession
regardless of title of ownership.—The fact that the parties do not and cannot own the property
under litigation does not mean that the issue to be resolved is no longer priority of possession.
The determining factor for one to be entitled to possession will be prior physical possession and
not actual physical possession. Since title is never in issue in a forcible entry case, the Court of
Appeals should have based its decision on who had prior physical possession. The main thing to
be proven in an action for forcible entry is prior possession and that same was lost through force,
intimidation, threat, strategy and stealth, so that it behooves the court to restore possession
regardless of title or ownership.
Same; Same; An action for forcible entry and detainer may be maintained only against one in
possession at the commencement of the action and not against one who does not in fact hold
the land.—An action of forcible entry and detainer may be maintained only against one in
possession at the commencement of the action, and not against one who does not in fact hold
11
the land. Under Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, the action may be filed against persons
unlawfully withholding or depriving possession or any person claiming under them. Considering
that respondents are the ones in present actual possession and are depriving petitioner of the
possession of the land in question, it is proper that they be the ones to be named defendants in
the case. The fact that Gloria Banuca was supposedly the one who first committed forcible entry
when she allegedly demolished the house of petitioner does not make her the proper party to be
sued because she is no longer in possession or control of the land in controversy.
Same; Same; Where forcible entry was made clandestinely, the one-year prescriptive period
should be counted from the time the person deprived of possession demanded that the
deforciant desist from such dispossession when the former learned thereof.—As regards the
timeliness of the filing of the case for forcible entry, we find that same was filed within the one-
year prescriptive period. We have ruled that where forcible entry was made clandestinely, the
one-year prescriptive period should be counted from the time the person deprived of possession
demanded that the deforciant desist from such dispossession when the former learned thereof.
As alleged by petitioner in the Amended Complaint, he was deprived of his possession over the
land by force, strategy and stealth. Considering that one of the means employed was stealth
because the intrusion was done by respondents without his knowledge and consent, the one-year
period should be counted from the time he made the demand to respondents to vacate the land
upon learning of such dispossession. [Domalsin vs. Valenciano, 480 SCRA 114(2006)]
MIAA V. CA AIRPORT LANDS AND BUILDINGS ARE PROPERITES OF PUBLIC DOMINION AND THEREFORE
OWNED BY THE STATE. 420 states that ‘roads, canals, rivers, torrents, PORTS and bridges
constructed by the state are properties of public dominion. The term ‘ports’ INCLUDES seaports
and airports.
they are devoted to public use
as properties of public dominion, airport lands are outside commerce of man. Any encumbrance,
levy on execution or auction sale thereof is VOID for being contrary to public policy
before airport lands/buildings may be encumbered, the president msut FIRST WITHDRAW it from
public use
unless he issues a PROCLAMATION WITHDRAWING it from public use, these properties remain
12
properties of public dominion and are inalienable.

PFDA V. CA Reclaimed lands are lands of the public domain and cannot, without Congressional fiat, be subject
of a sale, public or private.—The land on which the NFPC property sits is a reclaimed land, which
belongs to the State. In Chavez v. Public Estates Authority, 384 SCRA 152 (2002), the Court
declared that reclaimed lands are lands of the public domain and cannot, without Congressional
fiat, be subject of a sale, public or private. [Philippine Fisheries Development Authority vs. Court
of Appeals, 534 SCRA 490(2007)]
PFDA V. CBAA The fishing complexes are part of the PORT and are thus property of public dominion and hence,
are not taxable.
MIAA V. CITY OF PASAY Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) is not a government-owned or controlled
corporation but a government instrumentality which is exempt from any kind of tax from the
local governments.

The airport lands and buildings of Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) are properties of
public dominion intended for public use; and as such are exempt from real property tax under
Section 234(a) of the Local Government Code (LGC); Only those portions of the Ninoy Aquino
International Airport (NAIA) Pasay properties which are leased to taxable persons like private
parties are subject to real property tax by the City of Pasay [Manila International Airport
Authority vs. City of Pasay, 583 SCRA 234(2009)]
CITY OF PASIG V. RP properties owned by the Republic of the Philippines are exempt from real property tax “except
when the beneficial use thereof has been granted, for consideration or otherwise, to a taxable
person”—the portions of the properties not leased to taxable entities are exempt from real
estate tax while the portions of the properties leased to taxable entities are subject to real estate
tax.

Properties of public dominion are not only exempt from real estate tax, they are exempt from
sale at public auction—property of public dominion, which generally includes property
belonging to the State, cannot be subject of the commerce of man.—Article 420 of the Civil
13
Code classifies as properties of public dominion those that are “intended for public use, such as
roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State, banks, shores,
roadsteads” and those that “are intended for some public service or for the development of the
national wealth.” Properties of public dominion are not only exempt from real estate tax, they are
exempt from sale at public auction. In Heirs of Mario Malabanan v. Republic, 587 SCRA 172
(2009), the Court held that, “It is clear that property of public dominion, which generally includes
property belonging to the State, cannot be x x x subject of the commerce of man.”
Same; Same; Same; Same; Where the parcels of land owned by the Republic are not properties
of public dominion, portions of the properties leased to taxable entities are not only subject to
real estate tax, they can also be sold at public auction to satisfy the tax delinquency.—In the
present case, the parcels of land are not properties of public dominion because they are not
“intended for public use, such as roads, canals, rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by
the State, banks, shores, roadsteads.” Neither are they “intended for some public service or for
the development of the national wealth.” MPLDC leases portions of the properties to different
business establishments. Thus, the portions of the properties leased to taxable entities are not
only subject to real estate tax, they can also be sold at public auction to satisfy the tax
delinquency. In sum, only those portions of the properties leased to taxable entities are subject to
real estate tax for the period of such leases. Pasig City must, therefore, issue to respondent new
real property tax assessments covering the portions of the properties leased to taxable entities. If
the Republic of the Philippines fails to pay the real property tax on the portions of the properties
leased to taxable entities, then such portions may be sold at public auction to satisfy the tax
delinquency.
[City of Pasig vs. Republic, 656 SCRA 271(2011)]
FERNANDO V. ACUNA rivers and their natural beds are property of public dominion; In the absence of any provision of
law vesting ownership of the dried-up river bed in some other person, it must continue to
belong to the State.—Even assuming that Sapang Bayan was a dried-up creek bed, under Article
420, paragraph 1 and Article 502, paragraph 1 of the Civil Code, rivers and their natural beds are
property of public dominion. In the absence of any provision of law vesting ownership of the
dried-up river bed in some other person, it must continue to belong to the State. [Fernando, Jr.
14
vs. Acuna, 657 SCRA 499(2011)]

PATRIMONIAL PROPERTY AND CONVERSION OF PROPERTIES
OF PUBLIC DOMINION TO PATRIMONIAL PROPERTY
EFFECTS FO CONVERSION
ARTICLE 421-422

Cebu Oxygen v. Bercilles ISSUE: Whether or not Cebu Oxygen can validly own said land.
HELD: Yes. Under Cebu’s Charter (RA 3857), the city council “may close any city road, street or
alley, boulevard, avenue, park or square. Property thus withdrawn from public servitude may be
used or conveyed for any purpose for which other real property belonging to the City may be
lawfully used or conveyed.” Since that portion of the city street subject of Cebu Oxygen’s
application for registration of title was withdrawn from public use, it follows that such withdrawn
portion becomes patrimonial property which can be the object of an ordinary contract.
Article 422 of the Civil Code expressly provides that “Property of public dominion, when no
longer intended for public use or for public service, shall form part of the patrimonial property of
the State.”
Laurel v. Garcia pursuant, however, to R.A. No. 3990, he above "reserved" area was "ceded and transferred in full
ownership to the University of the Philippines subject to any existing concessions, if any."
When it ceded and transferred the property to UP, the Republic of the Philippines completely
removed it from the public domain and, more specifically, in respect to the areas covered by the
timber license of petitioner, removed and segregated it from a public forest; it divested itself of
its rights and title thereto and relinquished and conveyed the same to the UP; and made the
latter the absolute owner thereof, subject only to the existing concession.
International Hardwood v. UP he above "reserved" area was "ceded and transferred in full ownership to the University of the
Philippines subject to any existing concessions, if any."
When it ceded and transferred the property to UP, the Republic of the Philippines completely
removed it from the public domain and, more specifically, in respect to the areas covered by the
timber license of petitioner, removed and segregated it from a public forest; it divested itself of
15
its rights and title thereto and relinquished and conveyed the same to the UP; and made the
latter the absolute owner thereof, subject only to the existing concession.
Chavez v. PEA The RECLAIMED lands comprising the freedom islands are ALIENABLE LANSD OF PUBLIC DOMAIN.
The PEA may lease them but may not sell or transfer ownership thereof to private corporations
but only to Philippine citizens.
The SUBMERGED areas—remain INALIENABLE natural resources of public domain until classified
as alienable/disposable lands open to disposition and declared no longer needed for public
service.
Private corporations are prohibited from acquiring any kind of alienable land of the public
domain

RP v. Barandiaran the burden of proof ot overcome presumption of state ownership of lands of pub domain lies on
person applying for registration. Evidence must be inconvertible
T o prove that land subject of an application for registration is alienable, an applicant must
ESTABLISH EXISTENCE OF A POSITVE ACT OF GOVERNMENT (i.e. presidential proclamation, EO,
admin action, investigation reports of bureau of lands investigators, and a legislative act/statute.
The applicant may also secure a certification from the government that the lands applied for are
alienable and disposable)

Heirs of Malabanan v. RP Under the Civil Code that where lands of the public domain are patrimonial in character, they
are susceptible to acquisitive prescription.—It is clear under the Civil Code that where lands of
the public domain are patrimonial in character, they are susceptible to acquisitive prescription.
On the other hand, among the public domain lands that are not susceptible to acquisitive
prescription are timber lands and mineral lands. The Constitution itself proscribes private
ownership of timber or mineral lands.
Same; Land Registration Act; Prescription; Alienable and disposable lands are expressly declared
by the State to be no longer intended for public service or for the development of the national
wealth that the period of acquisitive prescription can begin to run. Such declaration shall be in
the form of a law duly enacted by Congress or a Presidential Proclamation in cases where the
16
President is duly authorized by law.—There must be an express declaration by the State that the
public dominion property is no longer intended for public service or the development of the
national wealth or that the property has been converted into patrimonial. Without such express
declaration, the property, even if classified as alienable or disposable, remains property of the
public dominion, pursuant to Article 420(2), and thus incapable of acquisition by prescription. It
is only when such alienable and disposable lands are expressly declared by the State to be no
longer intended for public service or for the development of the national wealth that the period
of acquisitive prescription can begin to run. Such declaration shall be in the form of a law duly
enacted by Congress or a Presidential Proclamation in cases where the President is duly
authorized by law.
Land Registration Act; Prescription; Public Land Act; If a public land is declared patrimonial by
law or proclamation, can the period of possession prior to such conversion be reckoned in
counting the period of prescription? No.—The limitation imposed by Article 1113 dissuades us
from ruling that the period of possession before the public domain land becomes patrimonial
may be counted for the purpose of completing the prescriptive period. Possession of public
dominion property before it becomes patrimonial cannot be the object of prescription according
to the Civil Code. As the application for registration under Section 14(2) falls wholly within the
framework of prescription under the Civil Code, there is no way that possession during the time
that the land was still classified as public dominion property can be counted to meet the
requisites of acquisitive prescription and justify registration. Are we being inconsistent in
applying divergent rules for Section 14(1) and Section 14(2)? There is no inconsistency. Section
14(1) mandates registration on the basis of possession, while Section 14(2) entitles registration
on the basis of prescription. Registration under Section 14(1) is extended under the aegis of the
Property Registration Decree and the Public Land Act while registration under Section 14(2) is
made available both by the Property Registration Decree and the Civil Code. [Heirs of Mario
Malabanan vs. Republic, 587 SCRA 172(2009)]

RECLAIMED LANDS
423
17

Zamboanga del Norte v.
Zamboanga City
In the case of state properties, properties for public service are of public dominion; this is not so
in the case of provinces, cities, etc., said properties for public service are patrimonial since they
are not for public use.

Title II. Ownership

LIMITATIONS
POJITO V. PAJUYO

- story of 2 squatters fighting over each other re: possession of a land
- held: if you allow the squatters to fight among themselves, there will be chaos all over the
country. Even though they are in pari delicto, we have to determine who has the right to
possess. Even though both of them have no right.
- Here, Y was the original possessor and they had an implied contract. When Y was out of
the city, Z was possessing it lawfully, as between the two of them. But when Y came back,
Z’s possession became unlawful.


DOCTRINE OF SELF-HELP
ARTICLE 429

People v. Narvaez n this case, the SC said, there is no need for an attack against one person to justify his act of
defending his property. It is enough that one’s property is being usurped, is being invaded under
429.
The problem here in Narvaez is he used unreasonable force and killed those people and he had to
be convicted
Camarines Norte c. Quezon The city of quezon CANNOT REMOVE THE BOUNDARY MARKERS or use ANY REASONABLE FORCE
because Quezon was NOT THE OWNER or lawful possessor of the subject property. (use of 429 is
not justified)
MWSS v. Act Theater CUTTING OFF OF WATER SUPPLY WAS NOT REASONABLY NECESSARY. the petitioner, as the
18
owner of the utility providing water supply to certain consumers including the respondent, had
the right to exclude any person from the enjoyment and disposal thereof. However, the exercise
of rights is not without limitations. Having the right should not be confused with the manner by
which such right is to be exercised. When a right is exercised in a manner which discards these
norms resulting in damage to another, a legal wrong is committed for which actor can be held
accountable.[9] In this case, the petitioner failed to act with justice and give the respondent what
is due to it when the petitioner unceremoniously cut off the respondent’s water service
connection.
UCPB v. Basco The respondent, for his part, avers that Article 429 of the New Civil Code does not give to the
petitioner bank the absolute right to exclude him, a stockholder and a depositor, from having
access to the bank premises, absent any clear and convincing evidence that his presence therein
posed an imminent threat or peril to its property and records, and the persons of its
customers/clients.
We agree with the respondent bank that it has the right to exclude certain individuals from its
premises or to limit their access thereto as to time, to protect, not only its premises and
records, but also the persons of its personnel and its customers/clients while in the premises.
After all, by its very nature, the business of the petitioner bank is so impressed with public
trust; banks are mandated to exercise a higher degree of diligence in the handling of its affairs
than that expected of an ordinary business enterprise.41 Banks handle transactions involving
millions of pesos and properties worth considerable sums of money. The banking business will
thrive only as long as it maintains the trust and confidence of its customers/clients. Indeed, the
very nature of their work, the degree of responsibility, care and trustworthiness expected of
officials and employees of the bank is far greater than those of ordinary officers and employees in
the other business firms.42 Hence, no effort must be spared by banks and their officers and
employees to ensure and preserve the trust and confidence of the general public and its
customers/clients, as well as the integrity of its records and the safety and well being of its
customers/clients while in its premises. For the said purpose, banks may impose reasonable
conditions or limitations to access by non-employees to its premises and records, such as the
exclusion of non-employees from the working areas for employees, even absent any imminent or
19
actual unlawful aggression on or an invasion of its properties or usurpation thereof, provided that
such limitations are not contrary to the law.43
It bears stressing that property rights must be considered, for many purposes, not as absolute,
unrestricted dominions but as an aggregation of qualified privileges, the limits of which are
prescribed by the equality of rights, and the correlation of rights and obligations necessary for the
highest enjoyment of property by the entire community of proprietors.44 I [United Coconut
Planters Bank vs. Basco, 437 SCRA 325(2004)]
Villafuerte v. CA Private respondents could not invoke the doctrine of self-help contained in Article 429 of the Civil
Code[6] reasoning that the doctrine finds no application when occupation was effected through
lawful means such as in this case where petitioners’ possession of the lots owned by private
respondents was effected through lease agreements;
Petitioners’ continued unauthorized occupation of private respondents’ properties may have
been illegal, however, it was incumbent upon private respondents to abide by the express
provision of Article 536 of the Civil Code requiring recourse to the proper court prior to ousting
petitioners from their (private respondents’) lots;
it was wrong for private respondents to fence their properties thereby putting to a halt the
operation of petitioners’ gasoline station. To this, we agree.
Article 536 of the Civil Code previously quoted explicitly provides for the proper recourse of one
who claims to be entitled to the possession of a thing. When private respondents personally took
it upon themselves to evict petitioners from their properties, which act was in clear contravention
of the law, they became liable “for all the necessary and natural consequences of *their+ illegal
act.”
PB Com v. Trazo The complaint clearly alleges a violation of respondent Trazo’s property rights with respect to her
checking account. Article 429 of the Civil Code provides that the owner or lawful possessor of the
thing has the right to exclude any person from the enjoyment and disposal thereof.

consequently, the complaint need not state that the property right alleged to have been violated
is found in Article 429 of the Civil Code, or that such violation entitled petitioner Trazo to
damages pursuant to Article 20 of the same Code, which provides a cause of action therefor.
20

In debiting the checking/current account of the plaintiff, without her knowledge, consent and
approval, defendants acted in a wanton, reckless and oppressive manner. Defendants PBCOM
and ROMEO G. DE LA ROSA had no cause nor reason to unilaterally order the debiting of
plaintiff’s account as it was her personal property and not of defendant PBCOM. *Philippine Bank
of Communications vs. Trazo, 500 SCRA 242(2006)]


ARTICLE 430
RIGHTS OF THE OWNER

Spouses Custodio v. CA The act of petitioners in constructing a fence within their lot is a valid exercise of their right as
owners, hence not contrary to morals, good customs or public policy. The law recognizes in the
owner the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those established
by law.16 It is within the right of petitioners, as owners, to enclose and fence their property.
Article 430 of the Civil Code provides that “(e)very owner may enclose or fence his land or
tenements by means of walls, ditches, live or dead hedges, or by any other means without
detriment to servitudes constituted thereon.”
At the time of the construction of the fence, the lot was not subject to any servitudes. There was
no easement of way existing in favor of private respondents, either by law or by contract. The fact
that private respondents had no existing right over the said passageway is confirmed by the very
decision of the trial court granting a compulsory right of way in their favor after payment of just
compensation. It was only that decision which gave private respondents the right to use the said
passageway after payment of the compensation and imposed a corresponding duty on petitioners
not to interfere in the exercise of said right.
Hence, prior to said decision, petitioners had an absolute right over their property and their act of
fencing and enclosing the same was an act which they may lawfully perform in the employment
and exercise of said right. To repeat, whatever injury or damage may have been sustained by
private respondents by reason of the rightful use of the said land by petitioners is damnum
21
absque injuria.17
A person has a right to the natural use and enjoyment of his own property, according to his
pleasure, for all the purposes to which such property is usually applied. As a general rule,
therefore, there is no cause of action for acts done by one person upon his own property in a
lawful and proper manner, although such acts incidentally cause damage or an unavoidable loss
to another, as such damage or loss is damnum absque injuria.18 When the owner of property
makes use thereof in the general and ordinary manner in which the property is used, such as
fencing or enclosing the same as in this case, nobody can complain of having been injured,
because the inconvenience arising from said use can be considered as a mere consequence of
community life [Custodio vs. Court of Appeals, 253 SCRA 483(1996)]
Aneco v. Landex Every owner has the right to enclose or fence his land or tenement by means of walls, ditches,
hedges or any other means—the right to fence flows from the right of ownership.—Article 430 of
the Civil Code gives every owner the right to enclose or fence his land or tenement by means of
walls, ditches, hedges or any other means. The right to fence flows from the right of ownership.
As owner of the land, Landex may fence his property subject only to the limitations and
restrictions provided by law. Absent a clear legal and enforceable right, as here, We will not
interfere with the exercise of an essential attribute of ownership.

We agree with the RTC and the CA that the complaint for injunction against Landex should be
dismissed for lack of merit. What is involved here is an undue interference on the property rights
of a landowner to build a concrete wall on his own property. It is a simple case of a neighbor,
petitioner Aneco, seeking to restrain a landowner, respondent Landex, from fencing his own land.
[Aneco Realty and Development Corporation vs. Landex Development Corporation, 560 SCRA
182(2008)]
Heirs of Limense v. De Ramos Joaquin Limense, as the registered owner of Lot 12-C, and his successors-in-interest, may enclose
or fence his land or tenements by means of walls, ditches, live or dead hedges, or by any other
means without detriment to servitudes constituted thereon.21
However, although the owner of the property has the right to enclose or fence his property, he
must respect servitudes constituted thereon. The question now is whether respondents are
22
entitled to an easement of right of way.
Petitioners contend that respondents are not entitled to an easement of right of way over Lot No.
12-C, because their Lot No. 12-D is not duly annotated at the back of TCT No. 96886 which would
entitle them to enjoy the easement, unlike Lot Nos. 12-A-1, 12-A-2, 12-A-3, 12-A-4, 12-A-5, and
12-A-6. Respondents, on the other hand, allege that they are entitled to an easement of right of
way over Lot No. 12-C, which has been continuously used as an alley by the heirs of Dalmacio
Lozada, the residents in the area and the public in general from 1932 up to the present. Since
petitioners are fully aware of the long existence of the said alley or easement of right of way, they
are bound to respect the same.

In the present case, the easement of right of way is discontinuous and apparent. It is
discontinuous, as the use depends upon the acts of respondents and other persons passing
through the property. Being an alley that shows a permanent path going to and from Beata
Street, the same is apparent.
Being a discontinuous and apparent easement, the same can be acquired only by virtue of a
title.24
In the case at bar, TCT No. 96886, issued in the name of Joaquin Limense, does not contain any
annotation that Lot No. 12-D was given an easement of right of way over Lot No. 12-C. However,
Joaquin Limense and his successors-in-interests are fully aware that Lot No. 12-C has been
continuously used and utilized as an alley by respondents and residents in the area for a long
period of time. [Heirs of the Late Joaquin Limense vs. Vda. De Ramos, 604 SCRA 599(2009)]

RIGHTS OF ACCESSION
Article 437

WHAT THE OWNER OWNS

NPC V. IBRAHIM The right of the landowner extends to such height or depth whee ti is possible for him to obtain
some benefit or enjoyment and it is extinguished beyong such limit as wehre there would be no
23
more interest protected by law.

In this case, Ibrahim could have dug upon their property motorized deep wells but he was
prevented from doing so by the authorities because of the tunnels undertah the surface of their
property. Thus, they have LEGAL INTEREST IN THE SUB-TERRAIN PORTION in so far as they could
have excavated the same for a deep well.

WITH RESPECT TO WHAT IS PRODUCED by the Property
ARTICLE 440-444

Tacas v. Tobon POSSESSION IN GOOD FAITH; TITLE OR MODE OF ACQUISITION.—According to article 433 of the
Civil Code, one who is not aware of a flaw in his title or mode of acquiring the ownership, is
deemed a possessor in good faith. And according to article 451 of the same Code, the possessor
in good faith acquires the fruits while his possession is not legally interrupted.
2.ID. ; ID. ; INTERRUPTION OF POSSESSION ; RETURN OF FRUITS.—But every possessor in good
faith becomes a possessor in bad faith from the moment he becomes aware that what he
believed to be true is not so. His possession is legally interrupted when he is summoned to the
trial, according to article 1945 of the Civil Code, and from that time he is obliged to return the
fruits received, for he ceases to be considered a possessor in good faith. [Tacas vs. Tobon, 53 Phil.
356(1929)]
Bachrach Motor v. Talisay-Silay by "civil fruits" the Civil Code understands one of three and only three things, to wit: the rent of a
building, the rent of land, and certain kinds of income.
As the bonus in question is not rent of a building or of land, the only meaning of "civil fruits" left
to be examined is that of "income."
Assuming that in broad juridical sense of the word "income" it might be said that the bonus in
question is "income" under article 355 of the Civil Code, it is obvious to inquire whether it is
derived from the land mortgaged by Mariano Lacson Ledesma to the appellant bank for the
24
benefit of the central; for it is not obtained from that land but from something else, it is not civil
fruits of that land, and the bank's contention is untenable.
It is to be noted that the said bonus bears no immediate, but only a remote accidental relation to
the land mentioned, having been granted as compensation for the risk of having subjected one's
land to a lien in favor of the bank, for the benefit of the entity granting said bonus.
Torbela v. Spouses Rosario Accession; The right of accession is recognized under Article 440 of the Civil Code.—The
accessory follows the principal. The right of accession is recognized under Article 440 of the Civil
Code which states that “*t+he ownership of property gives the right by accession to everything
which is produced thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or
artificially.”
Same; Same; Same; Whatever is built, planted, or sown on the land of another, and the
improvements or repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land; It is the owner of the
land who is allowed to exercise the option to acquire improvements because his right is older
and because, by the principle of accession, he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory
thing.—Whatever is built, planted, or sown on the land of another, and the improvements or
repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land. Where, however, the planter, builder, or
sower has acted in good faith, a conflict of rights arises between the owners and it becomes
necessary to protect the owner of the improvements without causing injustice to the owner of
the land. In view of the impracticability of creating what Manresa calls a state of “forced co-
ownership,” the law has provided a just and equitable solution by giving the owner of the land
the option to acquire the improvements after payment of the proper indemnity or to oblige the
builder or planter to pay for the land and the sower to pay the proper rent. It is the owner of the
land who is allowed to exercise the option because his right is older and because, by the principle
of accession, he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory thing.
Same; Same; Same; It is only if the owner chooses to sell his land, and the builder or planter
fails to purchase it where its value is not more than the value of the improvements, that the
owner may remove the improvements from the land.—The landowner has to make a choice
between appropriating the building by paying the proper indemnity or obliging the builder to pay
25
the price of the land. But even as the option lies with the landowner, the grant to him,
nevertheless, is preclusive. He must choose one. He cannot, for instance, compel the owner of
the building to remove the building from the land without first exercising either option. It is only if
the owner chooses to sell his land, and the builder or planter fails to purchase it where its value is
not more than the value of the improvements, that the owner may remove the improvements
from the land. The owner is entitled to such remotion only when, after having chosen to sell his
land, the other party fails to pay for the same.
Same; Same; Same; Following the rules of accession, civil fruits such as rents, belong to the
owner of the building.—Still following the rules of accession, civil fruits, such as rents, belong to
the owner of the building. Thus, Dr. Rosario has a right to the rents of the improvements on Lot
No. 356-A and is under no obligation to render an accounting of the same to anyone. In fact, it is
the Torbela siblings who are required to account for the rents they had collected from the lessees
of the commercial building and turn over any balance to Dr. Rosario. Dr. Rosario’s right to the
rents of the improvements on Lot No. 356-A shall continue until the Torbela siblings have chosen
their option under Article 448 of the Civil Code. And in case the Torbela siblings decide to
appropriate the improvements, Dr. Rosario shall have the right to retain said improvements, as
well as the rents thereof, until the indemnity for the same has been paid. [Torbela vs. Rasario,
661 SCRA 633(2011)]

WITH RESPECT TO IMMOVABLE PROPERTY
Accession Industrial (Building, Planting, Sowing)
ARTICLE 445

Bernardo v. Bataclan ACCESSION; LAND AND IMPROVEMENTS.—The Civil Code confirms certain time-honored
principles of the law of property. One of these is the principle of accession whereby the owner of
property acquires not only that which it produces but that which is united to it either naturally or
artificially. Whatever is built, planted or sown on the land of another, and the improvements or
repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land. Where, however, the planter, builder, or
sower has acted in good faith, a conflict of rights arises between the owners and it becomes
26
necessary to protect the owner of the improvements without causing injustice to the owner of
the land.
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; OPTION GRANTED TO OWNER OF LAND.— In view of the impracticability of
creating what Manresa calls a state of "forced coownership" (vol. 3, 4th ed., p. 213), the law has
provided a just and equitable solution by giving the owner of the land the option to acquire the
improvements after payment of the proper indemnity or to oblige the builder or planter to pay
for the land and the sower to pay the proper rent. It is the owner of the land who is allowed to
exercise the option because his right is older and because, by the principle of accession, he is
entitled to the ownership of the accessory thing. The, plaintiff, as owner of the land, chose to
require the defendant, as owner of the improvements, to pay for the land. When the latter failed
to pay for the land, he lost his right of retention. [Bernardo vs. Bataclan, 66 Phil. 598(1938)]

ARTICLE 447
. (1) Rules When Landowner Constructs or Plants on His Land With the Materials of Another
. (2) Rights and Obligations of the Owner of the Land Who Uses the Materials of Another

Pacific Farms v. Esguerra Right of accession with respect to immovable property; Article 447 of New Civil Cide appllied by
athology; Case at bar.—Although it does not appear from the records of this case that the land
upon which the six buildings were built is owned by the appellee, nevertheless, that the appellee
claims that it owns the six buildings constructed out of the lumber and construction materials
furnished by the appellant is judubitable. Therefore, applying article 447 by analogy, we perforce
consider the buildings as the principal and the lumber and construction materials that went into
their construction as the accessory. Thus the appellee, if it does own the six buildings, must bear
the obligation to pay for the value of the said materials; the appellant—which apparently has no
desire to remove the materials, and, even if it were minded to do so, cannot remove them
without necessarily damaginer the buildings—has the corresponding right to recover the value of
the unpaid lumber and construction materials. Wellestablished in jurisprudence is the rule that
compensation should be borne by the person who has been benef iled by the accession. No
doubt, the appellee benefied from the accession, i.e., from the lumber and materials that went
27
into the construction of the six buildings, It should therefore shoulder the compensation due to
the appellant as. unpaid furnisher of materials. Of course, the character of a buyer in prood faith
and for value, if really possessed by the appellee, could possibly exonerate it from making
compensation, But the appellee's stance that it is an innocent purchaser for value and in good
faith is open to grave doubt because of certain facts that cannot escape notice.

Unpaid furnisher of building materials may enforce right of reimbursement through execution of
the final judgment it obtained; Case at bar.—There being no separate registry of property for
buildings and no procedure provided by law for registering or annotating the claim of an unpaid
furnisher of materials, the furnisher of the building materials (creditor) is helpless to prevent the
sale of the property built from lumber construction materials it furnished. But certainly, because
it has a right, pursuant to article 447 of the New Civil Code, to reimbursement for the value of its
unpaid materials, the appellant could pursue any remedy available to it under the law in order to
enforce the said right. Thus, the creditor in question acted correctly in bringing an action against
the debtor (owner of building) and enforcing its right of reimbursement through the execution of
the final judgment it obtained in the said case against the six buildings in the possession 01 the
vendee of debtor who now stands to benefit therefrom. It follows, as a necessary corollary? that
the sale at public auction conducted by the defendant sheriff of the six buildings described in the
certificate of sale dated February 12, 1962, exhibit 7, was valid and effective. [Pacific Farms, Inc.
vs. Esguerra, 30 SCRA 684(1969)]
Heirs of Orosa v. Migrino It would appear that the public respondent premised its ruling solely on the belief that a cloud
had descended on the title over the real property which is the subject matter of LRC No. 2839 and
that this cloud had to be removed.
This justification does not persuade. Under Article 447 of the Civil Code,23 the plaintiff in an
action for quieting of title must at least have equitable title to or an interest in the real property
which is the subject matter of the action. Evidence of Goldenrod's capacity on this point is
inexistent because Goldenrod is not asserting a claim to the property.24 On the contrary, it had
admitted having alienated its interest in the land referred to as Lot 9 Psu-11411 Amd-2 to the
consortium. Thus, Goldenrod is not an interested party capable of instituting an action to quiet
28
title, either by intervening in LRC No. 2839 or by instituting a separate action. The right to
commence such a separate action pertains to its Vendee, if the latter wishes to defend the
validity of its 1987 purchase from Goldenrod and to hold the Vendor Goldenrod liable on its
warranty of title. [Heirs of Nicolas Y. Orosa vs. Migrino, 218 SCRA 311(1993)]

Rule When On the Land of a Person in Good Faith, Another Builds, Sows, or Plants in Bad Faith
ARTICLE 448
(both in good faith) s
- real landowner can appropriate the works for himself
- he can demand the BPS to buy the land

Ignacio v. Hilario RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS OF OWNER OF LAND AND OF OWNER OF IMPROVEMENTS.—The
owner of the building evicted in good faith on a land owned by another, is entitled to retain the
.possession of the land until he is paid. the value of his building, under article 453 of the Civil
Code. The owner of the land, upon the other hand, has the option, under article 361, either to
pay for the building or to sell his land to the owner of the building. But he cannot, as respondents
here did, refuse both to pay for the building and to sell the land and compel the owner of the
building to remove it from the land where it is erected. He is entitled to such remotion only when,
after having chosen to sell his land, the other party fails to pay for the same. [Ignacio vs. Hilario,
76 Phil. 605(1946)]
Tayag v. Yuseco ONCE THE LANDOWNER MAKES HIS CHOICE/OPTION, HE CAN NO LONGER CHANGE IT. in theory,
and speaking of ordinary ejectment cases, petitioners may be right; that is to say, if the lessee or
occupant has not built anything on the premises, payment of rent would be a valid and
satisfactory solution of the problem; but where the occupant has built on the land, especially
where said building is substantial and valuable, the courts even in ejectment cases are bound to
take cognizance of said fact and when they find that the construction or planting had been
effected in good faith, instead of dismissing the complaint and suggesting to the parties to
29
observe and follow the provisions of article 361 or article 448 of the old and the new Civil Code of
the Philippines, respectively, and if they cannot agree, to file a new action, not only to enforce or
defend the respective rights of the parties but to assess the value of the land and of the
improvement as well, the courts in order to avoid multiplicity of actions and to administer
practical and speedy justice may, as was done in this case, apply the provisions of the Civil Code
relative to builders specially since there is no question as to the ownership of the land as shown
by the certificates of title, and the ownership of the buildings. [Tayag vs. Yuseco and Court of
Appeals, 97 Phil. 712(1955)]
Ignao v. IAC 448 CAN APPLY IN A CO-OWENERHSIP AS WHEN THERE SI PARTITION AND THERE IS SOME KIND
OF ENCROACHMENT.

Co-ownership; Property; Art. 448, new Civil Code applies to property held in common once it is
partitioned.—In other words, when the co-ownership is terminated by a partition and it appears
that the house of an erstwhile co-owner has encroached upon a portion pertaining to another co-
owner which was however made in good faith, then the provisions of Article 448 should apply to
determine the respective rights of the parties.

Same; Same; When co-owned estate is partitioned, it is the co-owner whose portion is
encroached upon who has the option to sell that portion or buy the improvement.—Petitioner’s
second assigned error is however well taken. Both the trial court and the Appellate Court erred
when they peremptorily adopted the “workable solution” in the case of Grana vs. Court of
Appeals, and ordered the owner of the land, petitioner Florencio, to sell to private respondents,
Juan and Isidro, the part of the land they intruded upon, thereby depriving petitioner of his right
to choose. Such ruling contravened the explicit provisions of Article 448 to the effect that “(t)he
owner of the land xxx shall have the right to appropriate xxx or to oblige the one who built xxx to
pay the price of the land xxx.” The law is clear and unambiguous when it confers the right of
choice upon the landowner and not upon the builder and the courts.

Same; Same; Same.—Wherefore, the decision appealed from is hereby MODIFIED as follows:
30
Petitioner Florencio Ignao is directed within thirty (30) days from entry of judgment to exercise
his option to either appropriate as his own the portions of the houses of Juan and Isidro Ignao
occupying his land upon payment of indemnity in accordance with Articles 546 and 548 of the
Civil Code, or sell to private respondents the 101 square meters occupied by them at such price as
may be agreed upon. Should the value of the land exceed the value of the portions of the houses
that private respondents have erected thereon, private respondents may choose not to buy the
land but they must pay reasonable rent for the use of the portion of petitioner’s land as may be
agreed upon by the parties. In case of disagreement, the rate of rental and other terms of the
lease shall be determined by the trial court. Otherwise, private respondents may remove or
demolish at their own expense the said portions of their houses encroaching upon petitioner’s
land. [Ignao vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 193 SCRA 17(1991)]
Pecson v. CA Property; Ownership; Builder in Good Faith; Art. 448 of the Civil Code does not apply to a case
where the owner of the land is the builder, sower, or planter who then later loses ownership of
the land by sale or donation.—By its clear language, Article 448 refers to a land whose ownership
is claimed by two or more parties, one of whom has built some works, or sown or planted
something. The building, sowing or planting may have been made in good faith or in bad faith.
The rule on good faith laid down in Article 526 of the Civil Code shall be applied in determining
whether a builder, sower or planter had acted in good faith. Article 448 does not apply to a case
where the owner of the land is the builder, sower, or planter who then later loses ownership of
the land by sale or donation.

Same; Same; Same; The provision of Art. 448 on indemnity may be applied by analogy to a case
where one loses the ownership of the land on which he earlier built an apartment.—Elsewise
stated, where the true owner himself is the builder of works on his own land, the issue of good
faith or bad faith is entirely irrelevant. Thus in strict point of law, Article 448 is not apposite to the
case at bar. Nevertheless, we believe that the provision therein on indemnity may be applied by
analogy considering that the primary intent of Article 448 is to avoid a state of forced co-
ownership and that the parties, including the two courts below, in the main agree that Articles
448 and 546 of the Civil Code are applicable and indemnity for the improvements may be paid
31
although they differ as to the basis of the indemnity. [Pecson vs. Court of Appeals, 244 SCRA
407(1995)]
It is the current market value of the improvements which should be made the basis of
reimbursement to the builder in good faith.—The objective of Article 546 of the Civil Code is to
administer justice between the parties involved. In this regard, this Court had long ago stated in
Rivera vs. Roman Catholic Archbishop of Manila that the said provision was formulated in trying
to adjust the rights of the owner and possessor in good faith of a piece of land, to administer
complete justice to both of them in such a way as neither one nor the other may enrich himself of
that which does not belong to him. Guided by this precept, it is therefore the current market
value of the improvements which should be made the basis of reimbursement. A contrary ruling
would unjustly enrich the private respondents who would otherwise be allowed to acquire a
highly valued incomeyielding four-unit apartment building for a measly amount. Consequently,
the parties should therefore be allowed to adduce evidence on the present market value of the
apartment building upon which the trial court should base its finding as to the amount of
reimbursement to be paid by the landowner.

Same; Same; Same; Same; The right to retain the improvements while the corresponding
indemnity is not paid implies the tenancy or possession in fact of the land on which it is built,
planted or sown and retention of ownership of the improvements and, necessarily, the income
therefrom.—The trial court also erred in ordering the petitioner to pay monthly rentals equal to
the aggregate rentals paid by the lessees of the apartment building. Since the private respondents
have opted to appropriate the apartment building, the petitioner is thus entitled to the
possession and enjoyment of the apartment building, until he is paid the proper indemnity, as
well as of the portion of the lot where the building has been constructed. This is so because the
right to retain the improvements while the corresponding indemnity is not paid implies the
tenancy or possession in fact of the land on which it is built, planted or sown. The petitioner not
having been so paid, he was entitled to retain ownership of the building and, necessarily, the
income therefrom. [Pecson vs. Court of Appeals, 244 SCRA 407(1995)]
Pleasantville Dev’t. Corp. v. CA - Court agrees with the findings and conclusions of the Court of Appeals that Kee was a
32
builder in good faith. [Pleasantville Development Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 253
SCRA 10(1996)]
- Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and his
ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title.—Good faith consists in the belief of the builder
that the land he is building on is his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title. And
as good faith is presumed, petitioner has the burden of proving bad faith on the part of
Kee. At the time he built improvements on Lot 8, Kee believed that said lot was what he
bought from petitioner. He was not aware that the lot delivered to him was not Lot 8.
Thus, Kee’s good faith. Petitioner failed to prove otherwise.
-
Parilla v. Pilar - 448 DOES NOT APPLY IF THERE IS A LEASE CONTRACT. IT ONLY APPLIES TO BUILDERS IN
GOOD FAITH.
- Article 448 covers only cases in which the builders, sowers or planters believe
themselves to be owners of the land or, at least, have a claim of title thereto; A tenant
cannot be said to be a builder in good faith as he has no pretension to be owner [Parilla
vs. Pilar, 509 SCRA 420(2006)]
- t is the lessor who is given the option, upon termination of the lease contract, either to
appropriate the useful improvements by paying one-half of their value at that time, or
to allow the lessee to remove the improvements. [Parilla vs. Pilar, 509 SCRA 420(2006)].
This option solely belongs to the lessor as the law is explicit that “*s+hould the lessor
refuse to reimburse said amount, the lessee may remove the improvements, even though
the principal thing may suffer damage thereby.” It appears that the lessor has opted not
to reimburse.
Technogas v. CA - Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his, and
his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title.—There is no question that when petitioner
purchased the land from Pariz Industries, the buildings and other structures were already
in existence. The record is not clear as to who actually built those structures, but it may
well be assumed that petitioner’s predecessor-in-interest, Pariz Industries, did so. Article
527 of the Civil Code presumes good faith, and since no proof exists to show that the
33
encroachment over a narrow, needle-shaped portion of private respondent’s land was
done in bad faith by the builder of the encroaching structures, the latter should be
presumed to have built them in good faith. It is presumed that possession continues to be
enjoyed in the same character in which it was acquired, until the contrary is proved. Good
faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his, and his
ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title. Hence, such good faith, by law, passed on to
Pariz’s successor, petitioner in this case. Further, “(w)here one derives title to property
from another, the act, declaration, or omission of the latter, while holding the title, in
relation to the property, is evidence against the former.” And possession acquired in good
faith does not lose this character except in case and from the moment facts exist which
show that the possessor is not unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or
wrongfully. The good faith ceases from the moment defects in the title are made known
to the possessor, by extraneous evidence or by suit for recovery of the property by the
true owner.
- The builder, if sued by the aggrieved landowner for recovery of possession, could have
invoked the provisions of Art. 448 of the Civil Code.—Recall that the encroachment in the
present case was caused by a very slight deviation of the erected wall (as fence) which was
supposed to run in a straight line from point 9 to point 1 of petitioner’s lot. It was an error
which, in the context of the attendant facts, was consistent with good faith. Consequently,
the builder, if sued by the aggrieved landowner for recovery of possession, could have
invoke the provisions of Art. 448 of the Civil Code.
- Same; Same; Same; Builder can compel landowner to make a choice between the two
options: (1) to appropriate the building by paying the indemnity required by law, or (2)
sell the land to the builder.—The obvious benefit to the builder under this article is that,
instead of being outrightly ejected from the land, he can compel the landowner to make a
choice between the two options: (1) to appropriate the building by paying the indemnity
required by law, or (2) sell the land to the builder. The landowner cannot refuse to
exercise either option and compel instead the owner of the building to remove it from the
land.
34
- Petitioner is deemed to have stepped into the shoes of the seller in regard to all rights of
ownership over the immovable sold, including the right to compel the private
respondent to exercise either of the two options provided under Article 448 of the Civil
Code.—Upon delivery of the property by Pariz Industries, as seller, to the petitioner, as
buyer, the latter acquired ownership of the property. Consequently and as earlier
discussed, petitioner is deemed to have stepped into the shoes of the seller in regard to all
rights of ownership over the immovable sold, including the right to compel the private
respondent to exercise either of the two options provided under Article 448 of the Civil
Code.
- The supervening awareness of the encroachment by petitioner does not militate against
its right to claim the status of a builder in good faith.—In the context of the established
facts, we hold that petitioner did not lose its rights under Article 448 of the Civil Code on
the basis merely of the fact that some years after acquiring the property in good faith, it
learned about—and aptly recognized—the right of private respondent to a portion of the
land occupied by its building. The supervening awareness of the encroachment by
petitioner does not militate against its right to claim the status of a builder in good faith.
In fact, a judicious reading of said Article 448 will readily show that the landowner’s
exercise of his option can only take place after the builder shall have come to know of the
intrusion—in short, when both parties shall have become aware of it. Only then will the
occasion for exercising the option arise, for it is only then that both parties will have been
aware that a problem exists in regard to their property rights.
- The settlement may have recognized the ownership of private respondent but such
admission cannot be equated with bad faith.—From the foregoing, it is clear that
petitioner agreed only to the demolition of a portion of the wall separating the adjoining
properties of the parties—i.e. “up to the back of the building housing the machineries.”
But that portion of the fence which served as the wall housing the electroplating
machineries was not to be demolished. Rather, it was to “be subject to negotiation by
herein parties.” The settlement may have recognized the ownership of private respondent
but such admission cannot be equated with bad faith. Petitioner was only trying to avoid a
35
litigation, one reason for entering into an amicable settlement. [Tecnogas Philippines
Manufacturing Corp. vs. Court of Appeals, 268 SCRA 5(1997)]
RP v. Judge Ballocanag - A builder or planter in good faith is one who builds or plants on land with the belief that
he is the owner thereof, unaware of any flaw in his title to the land at the time he builds
or plants on it.—The courts in the reversion case overlooked the issue of whether Reyes,
vis-à-vis his improvements, is a builder or planter in good faith. In the instant case, the
issue assumes full significance, because Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code grant the
builder or planter in good faith full reimbursement of useful improvements and retention
of the premises until reimbursement is made. A builder or planter in good faith is one who
builds or plants on land with the belief that he is the owner thereof, unaware of any flaw
in his title to the land at the time he builds or plants on it.
- To order Reyes to simply surrender all of the fruit-bearing trees in favor of the State
would inequitably result in unjust enrichment of the State at the expense of Reyes, a
planter in good faith.—We are disposed to agree with the CA that Reyes was a planter in
good faith. Reyes was of the belief that he was the owner of the subject land; in fact, a
TCT over the property was issued in his name. He tilled the land, planted fruit trees
thereon, and invested money from 1970. He received notice of the Republic’s claim only
when the reversion case was filed on May 13, 1987. The trees are now full-grown and
fruit-bearing. To order Reyes to simply surrender all of these fruit-bearing trees in favor of
the State—because the decision in the reversion case declaring that the land is part of
inalienable forest land and belongs to the State is already final and immutable—would
inequitably result in unjust enrichment of the State at the expense of Reyes, a planter in
good faith. [Republic vs. Ballocanag, 572 SCRA 436(2008)]
- Options that Reyes may exercise under Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code have been
restricted by the terms of Agro-Forestry Farm Lease Agreement [AFFLA]; The only
equitable alternative would be to order the Republic to pay Reyes the value of the
improvements he introduced on the property.—The options that Reyes may exercise
under Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code have been restricted. It is no longer feasible
to permit him to remove the trees he planted. The only equitable alternative would be to
36
order the Republic to pay Reyes the value of the improvements he introduced on the
property. This is only fair because, after all, by the terms of the AFFLA, upon the expiration
of the lease or upon its cancellation if there be any violation or breach of its terms, all
permanent improvements on the land shall pass to the ownership of the Republic without
any obligation on its part to indemnify the lessee. [Republic vs. Ballocanag, 572 SCRA
436(2008)]
Sulo sa Nayon v. Nayong Pilipino Introduction of valuable improvements on the leased premises does not give the lessee the
right of retention and reimbursement which rightfully belongs to a builder in good faith—the
doctrine is that a lessee is neither a builder in good faith nor in bad faith that would call for the
application of Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code since his rights are governed by Article
1678.—In the case at bar, petitioners have no adverse claim or title to the land. In fact, as lessees,
they recognize that the respondent is the owner of the land. What petitioners insist is that
because of the improvements, which are of substantial value, that they have introduced on the
leased premises with the permission of respondent, they should be considered builders in good
faith who have the right to retain possession of the property until reimbursement by respondent.
We affirm the ruling of the CA that introduction of valuable improvements on the leased premises
does not give the petitioners the right of retention and reimbursement which rightfully belongs to
a builder in good faith. Otherwise, such a situation would allow the lessee to easily “improve” the
lessor out of its property. [Sulo sa Nayon Inc. vs. Nayong Pilipino Foundation, 576 SCRA
655(2009)]
Arangote v. Spouses Maglunob - The rights mentioned in Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code are applicable only to
builders in good faith and not to possessors in good faith; A builder in good faith is one
who, not being the owner of the land, builds on that land, believing himself to be its
owner and unaware of any defect in his title or mode of acquisition.—Petitioner cannot
be entitled to the rights under Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code, because the rights
mentioned therein are applicable only to builders in good faith and not to possessors in
good faith. Moreover, the petitioner cannot be considered a builder in good faith of the
house on the subject property. In the context that such term is used in particular
reference to Article 448 of the Civil Code, a builder in good faith is one who, not being the
37
owner of the land, builds on that land, believing himself to be its owner and unaware of
any defect in his title or mode of acquisition.
- the builder in good faith can compel the landowner to make a choice between
appropriating the building by paying the proper indemnity or obliging the builder to pay
the price of the land. The choice belongs to the owner of the land, a rule that accords
with the principle of accession, i.e., that the accessory follows the principal and not the
other way around. Even as the option lies with the landowner, the grant to him,
nevertheless, is preclusive. He must choose one. He cannot, for instance, compel the
owner of the building to instead remove it from the land. In order, however, that the
builder can invoke that accruing benefit and enjoy his corresponding right to demand
that a choice be made by the landowner, he should be able to prove good faith on his part
- In this case, the subject property waived and quitclaimed by Esperanza to the petitioner
and her husband in the Affidavit was only covered by a tax declaration in the name of
Esperanza. Petitioner did not even bother to look into the origin of the subject property
and to probe into the right of Esperanza to relinquish the same. Thus, when petitioner and
her husband built a house thereon in 1989 they cannot be considered to have acted in
good faith as they were fully aware that when Esperanza executed an Affidavit
relinquishing in their favor the subject property the only proof of Esperanza’s ownership
over the same was a mere tax declaration. This fact or circumstance alone was enough to
put the petitioner and her husband under inquiry. Settled is the rule that a tax declaration
does not prove ownership. It is merely an indicium of a claim of ownership. Payment of
taxes is not proof of ownership; it is, at best, an indicium of possession in the concept of
ownership. Neither tax receipts nor a declaration of ownership for taxation purposes is
evidence of ownership or of a right to possess realty when not supported by other
effective proofs.50
- With the foregoing, the petitioner is not entitled to the rights under Article 448 and 546
as the petitioner is not a builder and possessor in good faith. [Arangote vs. Maglunob,
579 SCRA 620(2009)]
Cabang v. Basay A family home cannot be established on property held in co-ownership with third persons.
38
[Cabang vs. Basay, 582 SCRA 172(2009)]

Navarez v. Alciso - Article 448 of the Civil Code is inapplicable in cases involving contracts of sale with right
of repurchase—it is inapplicable when the owner of the land is the builder, sower, or
planter; Where the true owner himself is the builder of the works on his own land, the
issue of good faith or bad faith is entirely irrelevant.—Article 448 is inapplicable in cases
involving contracts of sale with right of repurchase—it is inapplicable when the owner of
the land is the builder, sower, or planter. In Pecson v. Court of Appeals (244 SCRA 407
[1995]), the Court held that: Article 448 does not apply to a case where the owner of the
land is the builder, sower, or planter who then later loses ownership of the land by sale or
donation. This Court said so in Coleongco v. Regalado: Article 361 of the old Civil Code is
not applicable in this case, for Regalado constructed the house on his own land before he
sold said land to Coleongco. Article 361 applies only in cases where a person constructs a
building on the land of another in good or in bad faith, as the case may be. It does not
apply to a case where a person constructs a building on his own land, for then there can
be no question as to good or bad faith on the part of the builder. Elsewise stated, where
the true owner himself is the builder of the works on his own land, the issue of good faith
or bad faith is entirely irrelevant. [Narvaez vs. Alciso, 594 SCRA 60(2009)]
- The right of repurchase may be exercised only by the vendor in whom the right is
recognized by contract or by any person to whom the right may have been transferred”;
In a sale with right of repurchase, the applicable provisions are Articles 1606 and 1616 of
the Civil Code, not Article 448.—As the Court of Appeals correctly observed, the terms of
the 14 August 1981 Deed of Sale of Realty show that Bate and the Spouses Narvaez
entered into a sale with right of repurchase, where Bate transferred his right of
repurchase to Alciso. The Deed states that, “The SELLER (Bate) carries over the manifested
intent of the original SELLER of the property (Alciso) to buy back the same at a price under
such conditions as the present BUYERS (Spouses Narvaez) may impose.” Article 1601 of
the Civil Code states that, “Conventional redemption shall take place when the vendor
reserves the right to repurchase the thing sold, with the obligation to comply with the
39
provisions of Article 1616 and other stipulations which may have been agreed upon.” In
Gallar v. Husain (20 SCRA 186 *1967+), the Court held that “the right of repurchase may be
exercised only by the vendor in whom the right is recognized by contract or by any person
to whom the right may have been transferred.” In a sale with right of repurchase, the
applicable provisions are Articles 1606 and 1616 of the Civil Code, not Article 448.
- [Narvaez vs. Alciso, 594 SCRA 60(2009)]
Tuatis v. Escol - Amount to be refunded to the builder under Article 546; The amount to be refunded to
the builder under Article 546 of the Civil Code should be the current market value of the
improvement.
- Choice under Article 448 of the Civil Code belongs to the owner of the land is in accord
with the principle of accession; Landowner’s option is nevertheless preclusive;
Landowner cannot refuse to exercise either option and compel instead the owner of the
building to remove it from the land.— The raison d’être for this provision has been
enunciated thus: Where the builder, planter or sower has acted in good faith, a conflict of
rights arises between the owners, and it becomes necessary to protect the owner of the
improvements without causing injustice to the owner of the land. [Tuatis vs. Escol, 604
SCRA 471(2009)]
Fuentes v. Roca - sale of conjugal property without consent of the other spouse: VOID
- RIGHT OF POSSESSOR IN GOOD FAITH-- Possessor in Good Faith; He is deemed a
possessor in good faith, said Article 526 of the Civil Code, who is not aware that there
exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.—He is deemed a
possessor in good faith, said Article 526 of the Civil Code, who is not aware that there
exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw which invalidates it. As possessor in good
faith, the Fuentes spouses were under no obligation to pay for their stay on the property
prior to its legal interruption by a final judgment against them. What is more, they are
entitled under Article 448 to indemnity for the improvements they introduced into the
property with a right of retention until the reimbursement is made. [Fuentes vs. Roca, 618
SCRA 702(2010)]
Benedicto v. Villaflores - 448 APPLIES OT A DOUBLE SALE
40
- Under Article 448 of the Civil Code, a landowner is given the option to either
appropriate the improvement as his own upon payment of the proper amount of
indemnity, or sell the land to the possessor in good faith—relatedly, Article 546 provides
that a builder in good faith is entitled to full reimbursement for all the necessary and
useful expenses incurred; it also gives him right of retention until full reimbursement is
made.— It is not disputed that the construction of Antonio’s house was undertaken long
before the sale in favor of Filomena; that when Filomena bought the property from Maria,
Antonio’s house which he used as residence had already been erected on the property. As
explained by the CA: [Antonio] claims not being aware of any flaw in his title. He believed
being the owner of the subject premises on account of the Deed of Sale thereof in his
favor despite his inability to register the same. The improvement was, in fact, introduced
by Antonio prior to Filomena’s purchase of the land. x x x. Thus, we sustain the finding
that Antonio is a builder in good faith. Under Article 448, a landowner is given the option
to either appropriate the improvement as his own upon payment of the proper amount of
indemnity, or sell the land to the possessor in good faith. Relatedly, Article 546 provides
that a builder in good faith is entitled to full reimbursement for all the necessary and
useful expenses incurred; it also gives him right of retention until full reimbursement is
made.
Angeles v. Pascual Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and in his
ignorance of a defect or flaw in his title.—The provision contemplates a person building, or
sowing, or planting in good faith on land owned by another. The law presupposes that the land
and the building or plants are owned by different persons, like here. The RTC and CA found and
declared Angeles to be a builder in good faith. We cannot veer away from their unanimous
conclusion, which can easily be drawn from the fact that Angeles insists until now that he built his
house entirely on his own lot. Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is
building on is his and in his ignorance of a defect or flaw in his title. [Angeles vs. Pascual, 658
SCRA 23(2011)]
Torbela v. Spouses Rosario - The right of accession is recognized under Article 440 of the Civil Code.—The accessory
follows the principal. The right of accession is recognized under Article 440 of the Civil
41
Code
- Whatever is built, planted, or sown on the land of another, and the improvements or
repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land; It is the owner of the land who is
allowed to exercise the option to acquire improvements because his right is older and
because, by the principle of accession, he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory
thing.—Whatever is built, planted, or sown on the land of another, and the
improvements or repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land. Where,
however, the planter, builder, or sower has acted in good faith, a conflict of rights arises
between the owners and it becomes necessary to protect the owner of the
improvements without causing injustice to the owner of the land. In view of the
impracticability of creating what Manresa calls a state of “forced co-ownership,” the law
has provided a just and equitable solution by giving the owner of the land the option to
acquire the improvements after payment of the proper indemnity or to oblige the
builder or planter to pay for the land and the sower to pay the proper rent. It is the
owner of the land who is al lowed to exercise the option because his right is older and
because, by the principle of accession, he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory
thing.
- Same; Same; Same; It is only if the owner chooses to sell his land, and the builder or
planter fails to purchase it where its value is not more than the value of the
improvements, that the owner may remove the improvements from the land.—The
landowner has to make a choice between appropriating the building by paying the
proper indemnity or obliging the builder to pay the price of the land. But even as the
option lies with the landowner, the grant to him, nevertheless, is preclusive. He must
choose one. He cannot, for instance, compel the owner of the building to remove the
building from the land without first exercising either option. It is only if the owner
chooses to sell his land, and the builder or planter fails to purchase it where its value is
not more than the value of the improvements, that the owner may remove the
improvements from the land. The owner is entitled to such remotion only when, after
having chosen to sell his land, the other party fails to pay for the same.
42
- Same; Same; Same; Following the rules of accession, civil fruits such as rents, belong to
the owner of the building.—Still following the rules of accession, civil fruits, such as
rents, belong to the owner of the building. Thus, Dr. Rosario has a right to the rents of
the improvements on Lot No. 356-A and is under no obligation to render an accounting
of the same to anyone. In fact, it is the Torbela siblings who are required to account for
the rents they had collected from the lessees of the commercial building and turn over
any balance to Dr. Rosario. Dr. Rosario’s right to the rents of the improvements on Lot
No. 356-A shall continue until the Torbela siblings have chosen their option under Article
448 of the Civil Code. And in case the Torbela siblings decide to appropriate the
improvements, Dr. Rosario shall have the right to retain said improvements, as well as
the rents thereof, until the indemnity for the same has been paid. [Torbela vs. Rasario,
661 SCRA 633(2011)]
Communities v. Nanol - Article 448 of the Civil Code applies when the builder believes that he is the owner of
the land or that by some title he has the right to build thereon, or that, at least, he has a
claim of title thereto. Concededly, this is not present in the instant case. The subject
property is covered by a Contract to Sell hence ownership still remains with petitioner
being the seller. Nevertheless, there were already instances where this Court applied
Article 448 even if the builders do not have a claim of title over the property.
- The seller (the owner of the land) has two options under Article 448: (1) he may
appropriate the improvements for himself after reimbursing the buyer (the builder in
good faith) the necessary and useful expenses under Articles 546 and 548 of the Civil
Code; or (2) he may sell the land to the buyer, unless its value is considerably more than
that of the improvements, in which case, the buyer shall pay reasonable rent.


Effect of Building, Planting or Sowing in Bad Faith — Loss of Object Without Indemnity
ARTICLE 449-451

43
Congregation RVM v. CA Builders in Bad Faith; One who introduces improvements on a lot without the consent and
knowledge of the registered owner is a builder in bad faith.—What is actually at issue here is not
whether the petitioner could use Lot 5-B in question as a road, but rather whether the petitioner
could legally possess/occupy part of the said lot. As discussed earlier, petitioner has no right
whatsoever to possess and construct permanent structures on the questioned land owned by
respondents-spouses.

It cannot be denied that appellant never gained title to the subject land as it admits to not having
purchased the said lot (TSN, p. 81, November 9, 1992). Neither has appellant successfully shown
any right to introduce improvements on the said land (its claim of grant of perpetual use of the
same as a road lot and its right to build on a right of way both having been rejected above). This
being so, it follows that appellant was a builder in bad faith in that, knowing that the land did not
belong to it and that it had no right to build thereon, it nevertheless caused the improvements in
question to be erected.

“Next, appellant claims that granting that it was in bad faith, appellees and their predecessors-in-
interest were equally guilty of bad faith in allowing the construction of the improvements. This
bad faith on the part of the appellees and their predecessors-in-interest should, however, have
been proved at the hearing below, for in the absence of such proof, it must be presumed that
with the unlawful trespass upon the subject land, the buildings were commenced thereon
without the knowledge and consent of the owners thereof (Rivera vs. Archbishop of Manila, 40
Phil. 717). Again, We find such proof absent in the instant case.”
De Vera vs. CA Under the aforecited Articles 449 and 450, the landowner has three alternative rights, either:
1. to appropriate what has been built without any obligation to pay indemnity therefor; or
2. to demand the builder to remove what he had built; or
3. to compel the builder to pay the value of the land.
In any event, he (landowner) is entitled to be indemnified by the builder in bad faith, pursuant
to Article 451 supra.

44
In the case under consideration, private respondent Ricardo Ramos availed of the second
alternative,24 which option is legally feasible under the attendant facts and circumstances.
Pada-KIlario v. CA Possession; Persons who occupy the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission
cannot be considered possessors nor builders in good faith.—Considering that petitioners were
in possession of the subject property by sheer tolerance of its owners, they knew that their
occupation of the premises may be terminated any time. Persons who occupy the land of another
at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound
by an implied promise that they will vacate the same upon demand, failing in which a summary
action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them. Thus, they cannot be considered
possessors nor builders in good faith. It is well-settled that both Article 448 and Article 546 of the
New Civil Code which allow full reimbursement of useful improvements and retention of the
premises until reimbursement is made, apply only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., one who
builds on land with the belief that he is the owner thereof. Verily, persons whose occupation of a
realty is by sheer tolerance of its owners are not possessors in good faith.
Heirs Durano v. Uy - Ordinary acquisitive prescription, in the case of immovable property, requires
possession of the thing in good faith and with just title, for a period of ten years.—
Ordinary acquisitive prescription, in the case of immovable property, requires possession
of the thing in good faith and with just title, for a period often years. A possessor is
deemed to be “in good faith” when he is not aware of any flaw in his title or mode of
acquisition of the property. On the other hand, there is “just title” when the adverse
claimant came into possession of the property through one of the modes for acquiring
ownership recognized by law, but the grantor was not the owner or could not transmit
any right. The claimant by prescription may compute the ten-year period by tacking his
possession to that of his grantor or predecessor-in-interest.
- A buyer who could not have failed to know or discover that the land sold to him was in
the adverse possession of another is a buyer in bad faith.—A purchaser of a parcel of
land cannot close his eyes to facts which should put a reasonable man upon his guard,
such as when the property subject of the purchase is in the possession of persons other
than the seller. In the herein case, respondents were in open possession and occupancy of
45
the properties when Durano & Co. supposedly purchased the same from Cepoc.
Petitioners made no attempt to investigate the nature of respondents’ possession before
they ordered demolition in August 1970.
- Builders in Bad Faith; Remedies of the owner on whose land somebody has built in bad
faith.—Based on these provisions, the owner of the land has three alternative rights: (1)
to appropriate what has been built without any obligation to pay indemnity therefor, or
(2) to demand that the builder remove what he had built, or (3) to compel the builder to
pay the value of the land. In any case, the landowner is entitled to damages under Article
451, abovecited.
- Although Article 451 does not elaborate on the basis for damages that the owner of the
land may recover from a builder in bad faith, the Court perceives that it should reasonably
correspond with the value of the properties lost or destroyed as a result of the occupation
in bad faith, as well as the fruits (natural, industrial or civil) from those properties that the
owner of the land reasonably expected to obtain
Ravina v. Villa Abrille - for a person dealing with land registered in the name of and occupied by the seller
whose capacity to sell is restricted, such as by Articles 166 and 173 of the Civil Code or
Article 124 of the Family Code, he must show that he inquired into the latter’s capacity
to sell in order to establish himself as a buyer for value in good faith.
- If a voidable contract is annulled, the restoration of what has been given is proper.—
The relationship between the parties in any contract even if subsequently annulled must
always be characterized and punctuated by good faith and fair dealing. Hence, in
consonance with justice and equity and the salutary principle of non-enrichment at
another’s expense, we sustain the appellate court’s order directing Pedro to return to
petitioner spouses the value of the consideration for the lot covered by TCT No. T-88674
and the house thereon. However, this court rules that petitioners cannot claim
reimbursements for improvements they introduced after their good faith had ceased. As
correctly found by the Court of Appeals, petitioner Patrocinia Ravina made improvements
and renovations on the house and lot at the time when the complaint against them was
filed. Ravina continued introducing improvements during the pendency of the action.
46
Thus, Article 449 of the New Civil Code is applicable. It provides that, “(h)e who builds,
plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built, planted or sown
without right to indemnity.”


Reimbursement for Necessary Expenses to Preserve the Land
452-454

Martinez v. Baganus EJECTMENT; IMPROVEMEXTS MADE IN BAD FAITH.—Even though the defendant built and
planted on another's land in bad faith, since he was not unaware that a defect existed in his title
and mode of acquisition which invalidated it, still the plaintiff also acted in bad faith, for bad faith
is understood on the part of the owner whenever the act of building or planting was executed in
his presence, with his knowledge and tolerance and without objeetion. (Civil Code, arts. 433, 364,
par. 2.)
2.ID.; ID.; RIGHTS OF PARTIES.—When there has been bad faith, not only on the part of the
person who built, sowed, or planted on another's land, but also on the part of the owner thereof,
the rights of each shall be the same as if both had aeted in good faith, (Civil Code, art. 364, par. 1.)
3.ID.; IMPROVEMENTS MADE IN GOOD FAITH; COMPENSATION.—The owner of the'land on which
building, sowing, or planting is done in good faith shall have the right to appropriate as his own
the work, sowing, or planting after paying the indemnity mentioned in articles 453 and 454, or to
oblige the person who has built or planted to pay him the price of the land. (Civil Code, art. 361.)
Enriquez v. De Guzman 1.PROPERTY; IMPROVEMENTS; ARTICLES 361, 453, AND 454 OF THE CIVIL CODE CONSTRUED.—
The findings of fact and law of the trial judge in the lower court are made the findings of fact and
law in the appellate court. Accordingly, the rulings in the lower court (1) that in accordance with
the provisions of articles 453 and 454 in relation with article 361 of the Civil Code, the value of
the "indemnización" to be paid to the defendant should be fixed according to the necessary and
useful expenses incurred by him in introducing "las plantaciones en cuestión"; (2) that the
plaintiffs as the owner of the property have the right to make their own "las plantaciones hechas
47
por el demandado" upon payment in the form indicated in No. 1, the defendant having the right
to retain the land until the expenditures have been refunded; (3) that the defendant is obliged to
render a detailed and just account of the fruits and other profits received by him from the
property for their due application; and (4) that the value of the fruits received by the defendant
should first be applied to the payment of the "indemnización," and. in case that it exceeds the
value of the "indemnización," the excess shall be returned to the plaintiffs—are confirmed.

3.ID.; ID. ; ID.—Necessary expenses are those made for the preservation of the thing; those
without which the thing would deteriorate or be lost; those that augment the income of the
things upon which they are expended. Among the necessary expenditures are those incurred for
cultivation, production, and upkeep.
Geminiano v. CA Private respondents cannot be considered as possessors nor builders in good faith.—Being
mere lessees, the private respondents knew that their occupation of the premises would continue
only for the life of the lease. Plainly, they cannot be considered as possessors nor builders in good
faith.
Same; Same; Same; Article 448 of the Civil Code in relation to Article 546 of the same Code
which allows full reimbursement of useful improvements and retention of the premises until
reimbursement is made applies only to a possessor in good faith.—In a plethora of cases, this
Court has held that Article 448 of the Civil Code, in relation to Article 546 of the same Code, which
allows full reimbursement of useful improvements and retention of the premises until
reimbursement is made, applies only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., one who builds on land
with the belief that he is the owner thereof. It does not apply where one’s only interest is that of
a lessee under a rental contract; otherwise, it would always be in the power of the tenant to
“improve” his landlord out of his property.
Same; Same; Same; The right to indemnity under Article 1678 of the Civil Code arises only if the
lessor opts to appropriate the improvements.—It must be stressed, however, that the right to
indemnity under Article 1678 of the Civil Code arises only if the lessor opts to appropriate the
improvements. Since the petitioners refused to exercise that option, the private respondents
cannot compel them to reimburse the one-half value of the house and improvements. Neither
48
can they retain the premises until reimbursement is made. The private respondents’ sole right
then is to remove the improvements without causing any more impairment upon the property
leased than is necessary. [Geminiano vs. Court of Appeals, 259 SCRA 344(1996)]
Editha Alviola vs. CA Where a person’s occupation of a property was merely tolerated by another, the former’s
posture of having acquired the property by “occupation” for 20 years does not have any factual
or legal foundation.—Concededly, petitioners have been on the disputed portions since 1961.
However, their stay thereon was merely by tolerance on the part of the private respondents and
their predecessor-in-interest. The evidence shows that the petitioners were permitted by Victoria
Sanjoco Tinagan to build a copra dryer on the land when they got married. Subsequently,
petitioner Editha Alviola, claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of Agustin Tinagan, filed a
petition for partition demanding her share in the estate of the deceased Agustin Tinagan on
December 6, 1976. However, the petition was dismissed since it was brought only after the death
of Agustin Tinagan. This Court dismissed the petition for certiorari and mandamus filed by
petitioner Editha Alviola on August 9, 1982. It was on March 29, 1988, when private respondents
filed this complaint for recovery of possession against petitioners. Considering that the
petitioners’ occupation of the properties in dispute was merely tolerated by private respondents,
their posture that they have acquired the property by “occupation” for 20 years does not have
any factual or legal foundation.

Builders in Good Faith; To fall within the provision of Article 448 of the New Civil Code, the
construction must be of permanent character, attached to the soil with an idea of perpetuity;
but if it is of a transitory character or is transferable, there is no accession, and the builder must
remove the construction.—As correctly ruled by the respondent court, there was bad faith on the
part of the petitioners when they constructed the copra dryer and store on the disputed portions
since they were fully aware that the parcels of land belonged to Victoria Tinagan. And, there was
likewise bad faith on the part of the private respondents, having knowledge of the arrangement
between petitioners and Victoria Tinagan relative to the construction of the copra dryer and
store. Thus, for purposes of indemnity, Article 448 of the New Civil Code should be applied.
However, the copra dryer and the store, as determined by the trial court and respondent court,
49
are transferable in nature. Thus, it would not fall within the coverage of Article 448. As the
noted civil law authority, Senator Arturo Tolentino, aptly explains: “To fall within the provision of
this Article, the construction must be of permanent character, attached to the soil with an idea
of perpetuity; but if it is of a transitory character or is transferable, there is no accession, and
the builder must remove the construction. The proper remedy of the landowner is an action to
eject the builder from the land.” [Alviola vs. Court of Appeals, 289 SCRA 537(1998)]
Pada-Kilaro v. CA No law requires partition among heirs to be in writing and be registered in order to be valid;
The partition of inherited property need not be embodied in a public document so as to be
effective as regards the heirs that participated therein.—We hold that the extrajudicial partition
of the estate of Jacinto Pada among his heirs made in 1951 is valid, albeit executed in an
unregistered private document. No law requires partition among heirs to be in writing and be
registered in order to be valid. The requirement in Sec. 1, Rule 74 of the Revised Rules of Court
that a partition be put in a public document and registered, has for its purpose the protection of
creditors and the heirs themselves against tardy claims. The object of registration is to serve as
constructive notice to others. It follows then that the intrinsic validity of partition not executed
with the prescribed formalities is not undermined when no creditors are involved. Without
creditors to take into consideration, it is competent for the heirs of an estate to enter into an
agreement for distribution thereof in a manner and upon a plan different from those provided by
the rules from which, in the first place, nothing can be inferred that a writing or other formality is
essential for the partition to be valid. The partition of inherited property need not be embodied in
a public document so as to be effective as regards the heirs that participated therein. The
requirement of Article 1358 of the Civil Code that acts which have for their object the creation,
transmission, modification or extinguishment of real rights over immovable property, must
appear in a public instrument, is only for convenience, non-compliance with which does not affect
the validity or enforceability of the acts of the parties as among themselves.

Same; Same; Same; Neither does the Statute of Frauds under Article 1403 of the New Civil Code
apply because partition among heirs is not legally deemed a conveyance of real property.—And
neither does the Statute of Frauds under Article 1403 of the New Civil Code apply because
50
partition among heirs is not legally deemed a conveyance of real property, considering that it
involves not a transfer of property from one to the other but rather, a confirmation or ratification
of title or right of property that an heir is renouncing in favor of another heir who accepts and
receives the inheritance. The 1951 extrajudicial partition of Jacinto Pada’s estate being legal and
effective as among his heirs, Juanita and Maria Pada validly transferred their ownership rights
over Cadastral Lot No. 5581 to Engr. Paderes and private respondent, respectively. [Pada-Kilario
vs. Court of Appeals, 322 SCRA 481(2000)]

FORMS OF ACCESSION NATURAL
ARTICLE 457

Grande v. CA Alluvial deposits on registered land; Increment not automatically registered.—An accretion does
not automatically become registered land, just because the lot which receives such accretion is
covered by a Torrens title. Ownership of a piece of land is one thing; registration under the
Torrens system of that ownership is another. Ownership over the accretion received by the land
adjoining a river is governed by the Civil Code. Imprescriptibility of registered land is provided in
the registration law. Registration under the Land Registration and Cadastral Acts does not vest or
give title to the land, but merely confirms and, thereafter, protects the title already possessed by
the owner, making it imprescriptible by occupation of third parties. But to obtain this protection,
the land must be placed under the operation of the registration laws, wherein certain judicial
procedures have been provided. [Grande vs. Court of Appeals, 5 SCRA 524(1962)]
Zapata v. Director of Lands Accretion due to the effect of water current; Right of riparian owner not necessarily affected by
the erection of fish traps in the creek.—Where the accreted land had been formed gradually due
to the effect of the water current of the creek, the riparian owner may invoke the benefit of the
provisions of article 457 of the Civil Code to support his claim of title thereto. The fact that the
fish traps set up in the creek might have slowed down its current, and might have brought about
or caused the accretion, will not affect his ownership, in the absence of evidence, to show that
the setting up or erection of the fish traps was expressly intended to cause or bring about the
accretion. [Zapata vs. Director of Lands, 6 SCRA 335(1962)]
51
Agne v. Director of Lands Riparian owner acquires automatic ownership of the abandoned bed without need of any
formal act of acquisition.—It is thus clear under this provision that once the river bed has been
abandoned, the riparian owners become the owners of the abandoned bed to the extent
provided by this article. The acquisition of ownership is automatic. There need be no act on the
part of the riparian owners to subject the accession to their ownership, as it is subject thereto
ipso jure from the moment the mode of acquisition becomes evident, without the need of any
formal act of acquisition. Such abandoned river bed had fallen to the private ownership of the
owner of the riparian land even without any formal act of his will and any unauthorized occupant
thereof will be considered as a trespasser. The right in re to the principal is likewise a right in re to
the accessory, as it is a mode of acquisition provided by law, as the result of the right of accretion.
Since the accessory follows the nature of the principal, there need not be any tendency to the
thing or manifestation of the purpose to subject it to our ownership, as it is subject thereto ipso
jure from the moment the mode of acquisition becomes evident. [Agne vs. Director of Lands, 181
SCRA 793(1990)]
Agustin v. IAC All these requisites of accretion are present in this case.
Cagayan River did move year by year from 1919 to 1968 or for a period of 49 years. Within this
period, the alluviun (sic) deposited on the other side has become greater in area than the original
lands of the plaintiffs in both cases. Still the addition in every year is imperceptible in nature, one
could not discern it but can be measured after the lapse of a certain time. The testimonial
evidence in these cases that said Cagayan River moved eastward year by year is overwhelming as
against the denial of defendant Eulogio Agustin alone. Cesar Caronan, one time mayor of Solana,
Cagayan, said so. Arturo Taguian said so. Timoteo Melad said so. Francisco Ubina said so.
Geodetic Engineer Rigor impliedly said so when he testified that when Solana Cadastre was
executed in 1950 it overlapped portions of Tuguegarao Cadastre executed in 1919. This could not
have happened if that part of Tuguegarao Cadastre was not eroded by the overflow of the
Cagayan River. These testimonies cannot be destroyed by the denials of Vicente Cauilan, Marcelo
Agustin and Eulogio Agustin alone. x x x.” (p. 27, Rollo.)
The appellate court confirmed that the accretion on the western bank of the Cagayan River had
been going on from 1919 up to 1968 or for a period of 49 years. It was gradual and imperceptible.
52
Only when Lot No. 3351, with an original area of 5 hectares described in the free patent that was
issued to Macario Melad in June 1956, was resurveyed in 1968 did it become known that 6.6
hectares had been added to it. Lot No. 3351, covered by a homestead patent issued in June, 1950
to Pablo Binayug, grew from its original area of 18 hectares, by an additional 50 hectares through
alluvium as the Cagayan River gradually moved to the east. These accretions belong to riparian
owners upon whose lands the alluvial deposits were made (Roxas vs. Tuason, 9 Phil. 408; Director
of Lands vs. Rizal, 87 Phil. 806). The reason for this principle is because, if lands bordering on
streams are exposed to floods and other damage due to the destructive force of the waters, and
if by virtue of law they are subject to encumbrances and various kinds of easements, it is only just
that such risks or dangers as may prejudice the owners thereof should in some way be
compensated by the right of accretion (Cortes vs. City of Manila, 10 Phil. 567).
The private respondents’ ownership of the accretion to their lands was not lost upon the sudden
and abrupt change of the course of the Cagayan River in 1968 or 1969 when it reverted to its old
1919 bed, and separated or transferred said accretions to the other side (or eastern bank) of the
river. Articles 459 and 463 of the New Civil Code apply to this situation.
“Art. 459. Whenever the current of a river, creek or torrent segregates from an estate on its bank
a known portion of land and transfers it to another estate, the owner of the land to which the
segregated portion belonged retains the ownership of it, provided that he removes the same
within two years.”
“Art. 463. Whenever the current of a river divides itself into branches, leaving a piece of land or
part thereof isolated, the owner of the land retains his ownership. He also retains it if a portion of
land is separated from the estate by the current. (Emphasis supplied).
In the case at bar, the sudden change of course of the Cagayan River as a result of a strong
typhoon in 1968 caused a portion of the lands of the private respondents to be “separated from
the estate by the current.” The private respondents have retained the ownership of the portion
that was transferred by avulsion to the other side of the river. [Agustin vs. Intermediate
Appellate Court, 187 SCRA 218(1990)]
Vda. De Nazareno v. CA Requisites of Accretion.—In the case of Meneses v. CA, this Court held that accretion, as a mode
of acquiring property under Art. 457 of the Civil Code, requires the concurrence of these
53
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 (or sea); and (3) that the land where accretion
takes place is adjacent to the banks of rivers (or the sea coast). These are called the rules on
alluvion which if present in a case, give to the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers or
streams any accretion gradually received from the effects of the current of waters.

Claimants, not having met the first and second requirements of the rules on alluvion, cannot
claim the rights of riparian owner.—In Hilario v. City of Manila, this Court held that the word
“current” indicates the participation of the body of water in the ebb and flow of waters due to
high and low tide. Petitioners’ submission not having met the first and second requirements of
the rules on alluvion, they cannot claim the rights of a riparian owner.

The requirement that the deposit should be due to the effect of the current of the river is
indispensable.—In Republic v. CA, this Court ruled that the requirement that the deposit should
be due to the effect of the current of the river is indispensable. This excludes from Art. 457 of the
Civil Code all deposits caused by human intervention. Putting it differently, alluvion must be the
exclusive work of nature. Thus, in Tiongco v. Director of Lands, et al., where the land was not
formed solely by the natural effect of the water current of the river bordering said land but is also
the consequence of the direct and deliberate intervention of man, it was deemed a man-made
accretion and, as such, part of the public domain.

The dumping of boulders, soil and other filling materials into the creek and river bounding the
land, the same would still be part of the public domain.—In the case at bar, the subject land was
the direct result of the dumping of sawdust by the Sun Valley Lumber Co. consequent to its
sawmill operations. Even if this Court were to take into consideration petitioners’ submission that
the accretion site was the result of the late Antonio Nazareno’s labor consisting in the dumping of
boulders, soil and other filling materials into the Balacanas Creek and Cagayan River bounding his
land, the same would still be part of the public domain.

54
When Director of Lands has jurisdiction over the land.—As borne out by the administrative
findings, the controverted land is public land, being an artificial accretion of sawdust. [Vda. de
Nazareno vs. Court of Appeals, 257 SCRA 589(1996)]
Heirs of Navarro v. IAC Essential Requisites to Acquire Property by Accretion under Article 457; Accretion Distinguished
from Alluvium.—Accretion as a mode of acquiring property under said Article 457, requires the
concurrence of the following requisites: (1) that the accumulation 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 the accretion takes place is adjacent to the bank of the river. Accretion is the process
whereby the soil is deposited, while alluvium is the soil deposited on the estate fronting the river
bank; the owner of such estate is called the riparian owner. Riparian owners are, strictly
speaking, distinct from littoral owners, the latter being owners of lands bordering the shore of
the sea or lake or other tidal waters. The alluvium, by mandate of Article 457 of the Civil Code, is
automatically owned by the riparian owner from the moment the soil deposit can be seen but is
not automatically registered property, hence, subject to acquisition through prescription by third
persons.
Same; Same; Same; The disputed land is an accretion not on a river bank but on a sea bank.—
The disputed land, thus, is an accretion not on a river bank but on a sea bank, or on what used to
be the foreshore of Manila Bay which adjoined petitioners’ own tract of land on the northern
side. As such, the applicable law is not Article 457 of the Civil Code but Article 4 of the Spanish
Law of Waters of 1866.
Same; Same; Same; Laguna de Bay is a lake the accretion on which, by the mandate of Article 84
of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866, belongs to the owner of the land contiguous thereto.—
we categorically ruled that Laguna de Bay is a lake the accretion on which, by the mandate of
Article 84 of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866, belongs to the owner of the land contiguous
thereto.
Same; Same; Same; As part of the public domain, the disputed land is intended for public uses,
and so long as the land in litigation belongs to the national domain and is reserved for public
uses, it is not capable of being appropriated by any private person except through express
authorization granted in due form by a competent authority.—The instant controversy,
55
however, brings a situation calling for the application of Article 4 of the Spanish Law of Waters of
1866, the disputed land being an accretion on the foreshore of Manila Bay which is, for all legal
purposes, considered a sea. Article 4 of the Spanish Law of Waters of August 3, 1866 provides as
follows: “Lands added to the shores by accretions and alluvial deposits caused by the action of
the sea, form part of the public domain. When they are no longer washed by the waters of the
sea and are not necessary for purposes of public utility, or for the establishment of special
industries, or for the coast-guard service, the Government shall declare them to be the property
of the owners of the estates adjacent thereto and as increment thereof.” In the light of the
aforecited vintage but still valid law, unequivocal is the public nature of the disputed land in this
controversy, the same being an accretion on a sea bank which, for all legal purposes, the
foreshore of Manila Bay is. As part of the public domain, the herein disputed land is intended for
public uses, and “so long as the land in litigation belongs to the national domain and is reserved
for public uses, it is not capable of being appropriated by any private person, except through
express authorization granted in due form by a competent authority.” Only the executive and
possibly the legislative departments have the right and the power to make the declaration that
the lands so gained by action of the sea is no longer necessary for purposes of public utility or
for the cause of establishment of special industries or for coast guard services. Petitioners
utterly fail to show that either the executive or legislative department has already declared the
disputed land as qualified, under Article 4 of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866, to be the
property of petitioners as owners of the estates adjacent thereto. [Heirs of Emiliano Navarro vs.
Intermediate Appellate Court, 268 SCRA 74(1997)]
Bagaipo v. CA Where the decrease in a person’s land area and the corresponding expansion of another person’s
property were the combined effect of erosion and accretion respectively, Art. 461 of the Civil
Code is inapplicable.

Petitioner cannot claim ownership over the old abandoned riverbed because the same is
inexistent. The riverbed’s former location cannot even be pinpointed with particularity since the
movement of the Davao River took place gradually over an unspecified period of time, up to the
present.
56
Same; Same; Same; Requisites for Accretion to Benefit a Riparian Owner; In the absence of
evidence that the change in the course of the river was sudden or that it occurred through
avulsion, the presumption is that the change was gradual and was caused by alluvium and
erosion.

Registration does not protect the riparian owner against the diminution of the area of his land
through gradual changes in the course of the adjoining stream.—As to Lot 415-C, which petitioner
insists forms part of her property under TCT No. T-15757, it is well to recall our holding in C.N.
Hodges vs. Garcia, 109 Phil. 133, 135: . . . The fact that the accretion to his land used to pertain to
plaintiffs estate, which is covered by a Torrens certificate of title, cannot preclude him
(defendant) from being the owner thereof. Registration does not protect the riparian owner
against the diminution of the area of his land through gradual changes in the course of the
adjoining stream. Accretions which the banks of rivers may gradually receive from the effect of
the current become the property of the owners of the banks (Art. 366 of the old Civil Code; Art.
457 of the new). Such accretions are natural incidents to land bordering on running streams and
the provisions of the Civil Code in that respect are not affected by the Land Registration Act.

Siain Enterprises v. FF Cruz Recognition of the preferential right of the littoral (riparian) owner to the foreshore land
formed by accretion or alluvial deposits due to the action of the sea.—That rule in paragraph 32
is in consonance with article 4 of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866 which provides that, while
lands added to the shores by accretions and alluvial deposits caused by the action of the sea form
part of the public domain, such lands, when they are no longer washed by the waters of the sea
are not necessary for purposes of public utility, or for the establishment of special industries, or
for the coast guard service,” shall be declared by the Government “to be the property of the
owners of the estates adjacent thereto and as increment thereof.” In other words, article 4
recognizes the preferential right of the littoral (riparian according to paragraph 32) to the
foreshore land formed by accretions or alluvial deposits due to the action of the sea. The reason
for the preferential right is the same as the justification for giving accretions to the riparian owner
for the diminutions which his land suffers by reason of the destructive force of the waters. So, in
57
the case of littoral lands, he who loses by the encroachments of the sea should gain by its
recession.
Accretion; It bears noting that it was not the reclamation that brought the disputed foreshore
area into existense.— Such foreshore area existed even before F.F. Cruz undertook its
reclamation. It was “formed by accretions or alluvial deposits due to the action of the sea.”
Following Santulan, the littoral owner has preferential right to lease the same.
Ownership; For being a part of the public domain, ownership of the area could not be acquired
by Western Visayas Industrial Corporation (WESVICO).—Its preferential right remained,
however. Its move to have the contested land titled in its name, albeit a faux pas, in fact more
than proves its interest to utilize it.

New Regent v. Tanjuatco One who claims the right of accretion must show by preponderant evidence that he has met all
the conditions provided by law. Petitioner has notably failed in this regard as it did not offer any
evidence to prove that it has satisfied the foregoing requisites. [New Regent Sources, Inc. vs.
Tanjuatco, Jr., 585 SCRA 329(2009)]
Office of City Mayor v. Ebio Alluvial deposits along the banks of a creek do not form part of the public domain as the alluvial
property automatically belongs to the owner of the estate to which it may have been added.—
It is an uncontested fact that the subject land was formed from the alluvial deposits that have
gradually settled along the banks of Cut-cut creek. This being the case, the law that governs
ownership over the accreted portion is Article 84 of the Spanish Law of Waters of 1866, which
remains in effect, in relation to Article 457 of the Civil Code. Article 84 of the Spanish Law of
Waters of 1866 specifically covers ownership over alluvial deposits along the banks of a creek. It
reads: ART. 84. Accretions deposited gradually upon lands contiguous to creeks, streams, rivers,
and lakes, by accessions or sediments from the waters thereof, belong to the owners of such
lands. Interestingly, Article 457 of the Civil Code states: Art. 457. To the owners of lands adjoining
the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the
current of the waters. It is therefore explicit from the foregoing provisions that alluvial deposits
along the banks of a creek do not form part of the public domain as the alluvial property
automatically belongs to the owner of the estate to which it may have been added. The only
58
restriction provided for by law is that the owner of the adjoining property must register the
same under the Torrens system; otherwise, the alluvial property may be subject to acquisition
through prescription by third persons. [Offices of the City Mayor of Parañaque City vs. Ebio, 621
SCRA 555(2010)]

Land Adjoining Ponds and Lagoons
ARTICLE 458
Government v. Colegio De San Jose ponds and lagoons, and has therefore no application to the case at bar, which refers to a lake, a
lagoon being legally distinct in character from a lake.

OWNERSHIP AND PROPERTY.—The two parcels of land in litigation form an integral part of the
Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan belonging to the claimant Colegio de San Jose. These two parcels
of land continue to be the property of the claimant Colegio de San Jose though accidentally
inundated by the waters of Laguna de Bay.

LAW OF WATERS; ACCESSION.—Even supposing that the said two parcels of land have been
formed by accession or deposits of sediment by the waters of said Laguna de Bay, they still belong
to the aforesaid claimant Colegio de San Jose as owner of the land of the Hacienda de San Pedro
Tunasan, which borders on the said Laguna de Bay. (Art. 84, Law of Waters of August 3, 1866.)
4.ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—The provisions of the Law of Waters regulating the ownership and use of sea
waters are not applicable to the ownership and use of lakes, which are governed by special
provisions. [Government of the P. I. vs. Colegio de San Jose, 53 Phil. 423(1929)]

CHANGE OF COURSE OF RIVERS
ARTICLE 461

Baes v. CA If the reparian owner is entitled to compensation for the damage to or loss of his property due to
59
natural causes, there is all the more reason to compensate him when the change in the course of
the river is effected through artificial means.—If the riparian owner is entitled to compensation
for the damage to or loss of his property due to natural causes, there is all the more reason to
compensate him when the change in the course of the river is effected through artificial means.
The loss to the petitioners of the land covered by the canal was the result of a deliberate act on
the part of the government when it sought to improve the flow of the Tripa de Gallina creek. It
was therefore obligated to compensate the Baeses for their loss. [Baes vs. Court of Appeals, 224
SCRA 562(1993)]

WITH RESPECT TO MOVABLE PROPERTY
RULES IN CASE OF MIXTURE
ARTICLE 472

Santos v. Bernabe MIXTURE OF TWO SlMILAR THINGS; PROPORTIONAL RlGHT OF EACH OWNER.—There being no
means, in the instant case, to separate out of the palay attached and sold, the portion
corresponding to plaintiff S and that corresponding to defendant T, the rule prescribed in article
381 of the Civil Code for cases of this nature must be applied. Said rule is as follows: "If, by the
will of their owners, two things of identical or dissimilar nature are mixed, or if the mixture occurs
accidentally, if in the latter case the things cannot be separated without injury, each owner shall
acquire a right in the mixture proportionate to the part belonging to him, according to the value
of the things mixed or commingled." [Santos vs. Bernabe, 54 Phil. 19(1929)]

SPECIFICATION
474

Aguirre v. Pheng Effect of accession by specification.—It is clear that we have here a case of accession by specif
ication: Leonora :& Company, as purchaser acting in good faith, spending P11,299.00 for the
reconditioning of the tank which is later adjudged to belong to petitioner Aguirre. Although
ordinarily, therefore, Aguirre as owner of the tank, would be entitled to any accession thereto,
60
the rule is different where the works or improvements or the accession were made on the
property by one who acted in good faith (Art. 466 of the New Civil Code). He should reimburse to
Leonora :& Company the sum of P11,-299.00. [Aguirre vs. Pheng, 18 SCRA 18(1966)]


QUEITING OF TITLE
ARTICLE 476

Sapto v. Fabiana 1.SALE; AS BETWEEN THE PARTIES, SALE is VALID AND BINDING EVEN WITHOUT REGISTRATION;
PURPOSES OF REGISTRATION.—As between the parties to a sale, registration is not necessary to
make it valid and effective, for actual notice is equivalent to registration. "The purpose of
registration is merely to notify the interests of strangers to a given transaction, who may be
ignorant thereof, and the non-registration of the deed evidencing said transaction does not
relieve the parties thereto of their obligation thereunder." (Casica vs. Villaseca, L-9590, April 30,
1957). In the sale in question, no right of innocent third persons having been involved, the
conveyance between the appellee and his vendors, although not registered, is valid and binding
upon the latter as well as upon his heirs.
2.ID.; ID.; DELIVERY OF POSSESSION CONSUMMATES THE SALE; WHEN ACTION FOR
CONVEYANCE EQUlVALENT TO QUIET TlTLE.—In the case at bar, no enforcement of the contract
is needed, since the delivery of possession of the land sold consummated the sale and transferred
title to the purchaser, registration of the contract not being indispensable as between the parties.
Actually the action for conveyance was one to quiet title, i.e., to remove the cloud cast upon
appellee's ownership by the refusal of the appellants to recognize the sale made by their
predecessors. This action accrued only when appellants initiated their suit to recover the land.
3.ID.; ID.; ACTION TO QUIET TITLE, WHEN NOT PRESCRIPTIBLE.—Furthermore, it is an established
rule of American jurisprudence (made applicable in this jurisdiction by Art. 480 of the new Civil
Code) that actions to quiet title to property in the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible
Bucton v. Gabar Action to quiet title does not prescribe.— The real and ultimate basis of petitioners’ action is
their ownership of one-half of the lot coupled with their possession thereof, which entitles them
61
to a conveyance of the property. In Sapto, et al. vs. Fabiana, 103 Phil. 683, 686-87, this Court
explained that under the circumstances no enforcement of the contract is needed, since the
delivery of possession of the land sold had consummated the sale and transferred title to the
purchases, and that, actually, the action for conveyance is one to quiet title, i.e., to remove the
cloud upon the appellee’s ownership by the refusal of the appellants to recognize the sale made
by their predecessors. We held therein that it is an established rule of American jurisprudence
that actions to quiet title to property in the possession of the plaintiff are imprescriptible.

SPECIFIC PERFORMANCE CAN BE TREATED AS AN ACTION TO QUIET TITLE-- by the delivery of the
possession of the land, the sale was consummated and title was transferred to the appellee, that
the action is actually not for specific performance, since all it seeks is to quiet title, to remove the
cloud cast upon appellee’s ownership as a result of appellant’s refusal to recognize the sale made
by his predecessor, and that as plaintiff-appellee is in possession of the land, the action is
imprescriptible. Considering that the foregoing circumstances obtain in the present case, We hold
that petitioners’ action has not prescribed. *Bucton vs. Gabar, 55 SCRA 499(1974)+
Coronel v. IAC THE COURT WILL TREAT AN ACTION FOR RECOVERY OF POSSESSION OF LAND AS AN ACTION TO
QUIET TITLE PROVIDED IT HAS ALL THE REQUISITES OF QUEITING OF TITLE.

As lawful possessors and owners of the lot, their cause of action falls within the rule that an
action to quiet title to property in one’s possession is imprescriptible; Respondents1
undisturbed possession over 25 years gave them a continuing right to seek the aid of a court of
equity to determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party and the effect of his own
title; Statutory period of prescription may have commenced when respondents were made aware
of a claim adverse to them.—The counterclaim of the private respondents which was in effect a
reconveyance to them of their 1/3 undivided share over Lot No. 1950-A has not prescribed.
If at all, the private respondents’ right to quiet title, to seek reconveyance and to annul Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-75543 accrued only in 1975 when they were made aware of a claim
adverse to their own. It was only at that time that the statutory period of prescription may be
said to have commenced to run against them.
62

Fernandez v. CA - ALL THE REQUISITES FOR QUIETING OF TITLE ARE PRESENT.
- Prescription cannot be invoked in an action to quiet title to property in plaintiff’s
possession. s lawful possessor and owner of the disputed portion, her cause of action for
reconveyance which, in effect, seeks to quiet title to property in one’s possession is
imprescriptible
- The reason, We explained in Bucton v. Gabar, L-36359, January 31, 1974, 55 SCRA 499, is:
“x x x that while the owner in fee continues liable to an action, proceeding, or suit upon
the adverse claim, he has a continuing right to the aid of a court of equity to ascertain and
determine the nature of such claim and its effect on his title, or to assert any superior
equity in his favor. He may wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked
before taking steps to vindicate his right. But the rule that the statute of limitations is not
available as a defense of an action to remove a cloud from title can only be invoked by a
complainant when he is in possession. [Fernandez vs. Court of Appeals, 189 SCRA
780(1990)]
Mamadsual v. Moson in an action to quiet title the plaintiff "must" have legal or equitable title to, or interest in the real
property which is the subject matter of the action."9 It interpreted legal title to mean registered
ownership and equitable title to mean beneficial ownership.
It is not necessary that the person seeking to quiet his title is the registered owner of the property
in question.
In Chacon,10 this Court considered the action to be one for quieting of title where the plaintiffs
alleged ownership and actual possession since time immemorial of the property in question by
themselves and through their predecessors-in-interest, while defendants secured a certificate of
title over said property through fraud, misrepresentation and deceit.
Thus, "title" to property does not necessarily mean the original transfer certificate of title. It can
connote acquisitive prescription by possession in the concept of an owner thereof.11 Indeed, one
who has an equitable right or interest in the property may also file an action to quiet title under
the law.12
Since the action in this case is one to quiet title to property whereby petitioners claim to have
63
acquired title to the same by prescription, the property was thereby effectively withdrawn from
the public domain and became property of private ownership. Thus, the ruling of the trial court
that the action being one for reversion only the Solicitor General can institute the same has no
cogent basis. [Mamadsual vs. Moson, 190 SCRA 82(1990)]
Pingol v. CA - Although private respondents’ complaint before the trial court was denominated as one
for specific performance, it is in effect an action to quiet title.
- That a cloud has been cast on the title of the private respondents is indubitable. Despite
the fact that the title had been transferred to them by the execution of the deed of sale
and the delivery of the object of the contract, the petitioners adamantly refused to accept
the tender of payment by the private respondents and steadfastly insisted that their
obligation to transfer title had been rendered ineffective.
- A vendee in an oral contract to convey land who had made part payment thereof, entered
upon the land and had made valuable improvements thereon, is entitled to bring suit to
clear his title against the vendor who had refused to transfer the title to him. It is not
necessary that the vendee has an absolute title, an equitable title being sufficient to
clothe him with personality to bring an action to quiet title.
- Prescription thus cannot be invoked against the private respondents for it is aphoristic
that an action to quiet title to property in one’s possession is imprescriptible
Heirs of Olviga v. CA - An action for reconveyance of a parcel of land based on implied or constructive trust
prescribes in ten years from registration of the deed or date of issuance of certificate of
title; Rule applies only when plaintiff is not in possession of the property.— But this rule
applies only when the plaintiff is not in possession of the property, since if a person
claiming to be the owner thereof is in actual possession of the property, the right to seek
reconveyance, which in effect seeks to quiet title to the property, does not prescribe.
- Actual possession can wait until his possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before
taking steps to vindicate his right.— his undisturbed possession gives him a continuing
right to seek the aid of a court of equity to ascertain and determine the nature of the
adverse claim of a third party and its effect on his own title, which right can be claimed
only by one who is in possession.
64
Secuya v. Vda. De Selma In an action to quiet title, the plaintiffs or complainants must show a legal or an equitable title to,
or an interest in, the subject real property, and that the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding
that purportedly casts a cloud on their title is in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie
appearance of validity or legal efficacy.
Metrobank v. Alejo An action for quieting of title is filed only when there is a cloud on title to real property or any
interest therein.—Equally important, an action for quieting of title is filed only when there is a
cloud on title to real property or any interest therein. As defined, a “cloud on title is a semblance
of title which appears in some legal form but which is in fact unfounded.” In this case, the subject
judgment cannot be considered as a cloud on petitioner’s title or interest over the real property
covered by TCT No. V-41319, which does not even have a semblance of being a title.

It should be stressed that this case was instituted to ask for relief from the peremptory
declaration of nullity of TCT No. V-41319, which had been issued without first giving petitioner an
opportunity to be heard. Petitioner focused on the judgment in Civil Case No. 4930-V-96 which
adversely affected it, and which it therefore sought to annul. Filing an action for quieting of title
will not remedy what it perceived as a disregard of due process; it is therefore not an appropriate
remedy. [Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company vs. Alejo, 364 SCRA 812(2001)]
Portic v. Cristobal uieting of Title; Suits to quiet title are characterized as proceedings quasi in rem.—Suits to quiet
title are characterized as proceedings quasi in rem. Technically, they are neither in rem nor in
personam. In an action quasi in rem, an individual is named as defendant. However, unlike suits in
rem, a quasi in rem judgment is conclusive only between the parties.

While generally the registered owner of a property is the proper party to bring an action to quiet
title, the remedy may also be availed of by a person other than the registered owner.—Generally,
the registered owner of a property is the proper party to bring an action to quiet title. However, it
has been held that this remedy may also be availed of by a person other than the registered
owner because, in the Article reproduced above, “title” does not necessarily refer to the original
or transfer certificate of title. Thus, lack of an actual certificate of title to a property does not
necessarily bar an action to quiet title. As will be shown later, petitioners have not turned over
65
and have thus retained their title to the property. [Portic vs. Cristobal, 456 SCRA 577(2005)]
Calacala v. RP Unfortunately, the foregoing requisites are wanting in this case.
To start with, petitioners base their claim of legal title not on the strength of any independent
writing in their favor but simply and solely on respondent Republic’s failure to secure the
Certificate of Final Sale, execute an Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership and obtain a writ of
possession over the property in dispute within ten (10) years from the registration of the
Certificate of Sale.

For one, it bears stressing that petitioners’ predecessors-in-interest lost whatever right they had
over land in question from the very moment they failed to redeem it during the 1-year period of
redemption. Certainly, the Republic’s failure to execute the acts referred to by the petitioners
within ten (10) years from the registration of the Certificate of Sale cannot, in any way, operate to
restore whatever rights petitioners’ predecessors-in-interest had over the same.

With the reality that petitioners are not holders of any legal title over the property subject of this
case and are bereft of any equitable claim thereon, the very first requisite of an action to quiet
title, i.e., that the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real
property subject matter of the action, is miserably wanting in this case.
For another, and worse, petitioners never put in issue, as in fact they admit in their pleadings, the
validity of the Sheriff’s Certificate of Sale duly registered on 5 October 1982. On this score, the
second requisite of an action to quiet title, namely, that the deed, claim, encumbrance or
proceeding alleged to cast cloud on a plaintiff’s title is in fact invalid or inoperative despite its
prima facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy, is likewise absent herein.
Bank of Commerce v. San Pablo The case filed by the spouses San Pablo before the MTC is actually an action for quieting of title, a
real action, the jurisdiction over which is determined by the assessed value of the property.—The
mortgage of the subject property to the Bank of Commerce, annotated on the Spouses San
Pablo’s TCT, constitutes a cloud on their title to the subject property, which may, at first, appear
valid and effective, but is allegedly invalid or voidable for having been made without their
knowledge and authority as registered owners. We thus have established that the case filed by
66
the spouses San Pablo before the MTC is actually an action for quieting of title, a real action, the
jurisdiction over which is determined by the assessed value of the property. The assessed value of
the subject property located in Mandaue City, as alleged in the complaint, is P4,900.00, which
aptly falls within the jurisdiction of the MTC. [Bank of Commerce vs. San Pablo, Jr., 522 SCRA
713(2007)]
Rico v. Rufon Quieting of Title; Actions in Personam; A petition for the cancellation of notice of embargo is not
cadastral in nature but is an action to quiet title and/or remove cloud therefrom, under Articles
476, 478 and 481 of the Civil Code—it is an action in personam, one not directed against the
whole world.—Respondent judge should have caused actual service of notice to the plaintiffs in
Civil Case No. 32482. The petition for the cancellation of notice of embargo is not cadastral in
nature but is an action to quiet title and/or remove cloud therefrom, under Articles 476, 478 and
481 of the Civil Code. The petition challenged the notice of embargo issued in Civil Case No.
32482 and prayed that the annotations on the TCTs be cancelled. This would nullify the rights of
the adverse parties, specially the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 32482. Clearly, the petition for the
cancellation of the notice of embargo is an action in personam. It is not directed against the
whole world but only against the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 32482 although it concerns their right
to a specific property. [Rico vs. Rufon, 525 SCRA 477(2007)]
Butuin v. Caoleng - An action for reconveyance prescribes in ten years, the reckoning point of which is the
date of registration of the deed or the date of issuance of the certificate of title over the
property. [Heirs of Marcela Salonga Bituin vs. Caoleng, Sr., 529 SCRA 747(2007)]
- the person claiming to be the owner of the property is in actual possession thereof, the
right to seek reconveyance which in effect seeks to quiet title to the property, does not
prescribe
- Simple possession of a certificate of title is not necessarily conclusive to a holder’s genuine
ownership of property; The rule on indefeasibility of title cannot be used for the
perpetration of fraud against the legal owner. [Heirs of Marcela Salonga Bituin vs.
Caoleng, Sr., 529 SCRA 747(2007)]
Tandog v. Macapagal - A cloud which may be removed by suit to quiet title is not created by mere verbal or
parol assertion of ownership of or an interest in property—this rule is subject to
67
qualification, where there is a written or factual basis for the asserted right.— Thus, a
claim of right based on acquisitive prescription or adverse possession has been held to
constitute a removable cloud on title.
- While petitioners alleged that respondents’ claim of adverse possession is a cloud on their
(petitioners’) interest in the land, however, such allegation has not been proved. The
alleged falsified documents relied upon by respondents to justify their possession were
merely marked as exhibits but were never formally offered in evidence by petitioners. We
have consistently ruled that documents which may have been marked as exhibits during
the hearing, but which were not formally offered in evidence, cannot be considered as
evidence, nor can they be given any evidentiary value. [Tandog vs. Macapagal, 532 SCRA
550(2007)]
Clado-Reyes v. Spouses Limpe - Two Indispensable Requisites in order that an Action to Quiet Title Could Prosper.—
Under Articles 476 and 477 of the New Civil Code, there are two indispensable requisites
in order that an action to quiet title could prosper: (1) that the plaintiff or complainant has
a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of the action; and (2)
that the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud on his title
must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of
validity or legal efficacy.
- mere allegation is not evidence, and he who alleges has the burden of proving the
allegation with the requisite quantum of evidence.—To prove their case, petitioners
merely cited Section 4 of Article XIII of the 1987 Constitution and Section 2 of the
Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and stated that their title was founded upon those
provisions. They hardly argued on the matter. Neither was there positive evidence (1) that
their predecessor had legal title, i.e., a certificate of land transfer; (2) that the lot was an
agricultural lot and not a commercial one as contended by respondents; and (3) that they
are qualified beneficiaries under the Agrarian Reform Law. Time and again we have held
that a mere allegation is not evidence, and he who alleges has the burden of proving the
allegation with the requisite quantum of evidence.
- Realty tax payments constitute proof that the holder has a claim of title over the
68
property.—Although tax declarations or realty tax receipts are not conclusive evidence of
ownership, nevertheless, they are good indicia of possession in the concept of an owner,
for no one in his right mind would be paying taxes for a property that is not in his actual or
at least constructive possession. As we previously held, such realty tax payments
constitute proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property. [Clado-Reyes vs.
Limpe, 557 SCRA 400 (2008)]
Guaranteed Homes v. Heirs - respondents cannot make out a case for quieting of title since OCT No. 404 had already
been cancelled. Respondents have no title to anchor their complaint on.43 Title to real
property refers to that upon which ownership is based. It is the evidence of the right of
the owner or the extent of his interest, by which means he can maintain control and, as a
rule, assert right to exclusive possession and enjoyment of the property.
- Moreover, there is nothing in the complaint which specified that the respondents were in
possession of the property. They merely alleged that the occupants or possessors are
“others not defendant Spouses Rodolfo”45 who could be anybody, and that the property
is in actual possession of “a number of the Pascua heirs”46 who could either be the
respondents or the heirs of Cipriano.
- The other heirs of Pablo should have filed an action for reconveyance based on implied or
constructive trust within ten (10) years from the date of registration of the deed or the
date of the issuance of the certificate of title over the property.48 The legal relationship
between Cipriano and the other heirs of Pablo is governed by Article 1456 of the Civil
Code which provides that if a property is acquired through mistake or fraud, the person
obtaining it is, by force of law, considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of
the person from whom the property comes. [Guaranteed Homes, Inc. vs. Heirs of Maria P.
Valdez, 577 SCRA 441(2009)]
Lasquite v. Victory Hills An action for reconveyance based on an implied trust prescribes in 10 years; If the plaintiff, as the
real owner of the property also remains in possession of the property, the prescriptive period to
recover title and possession of the property does not run against him; Such an action for
reconveyance, if nonetheless filed, would be in the nature of a suit for quieting of title, an action
that is imprescriptible.
69
Acosta v. Salazar Torrens Title; Rarely will the court allow another person to attack the validity and
indefeasibility of a Torrens certificate, unless there is compelling reason to do so and only upon
a direct action filed in court proceeded in accordance with law.—To allow any individual, such as
the Salazars in this case, to impugn the validity of a Torrens certificate of title by the simple
expediency of filing an ex parte petition for cancellation of entries would inevitably erode the
very reason why the Torrens system was adopted in this country, which is to quiet title to land
and to put a stop forever to any question on the legality of the title, except claims that were
noted, at the time of registration, in the certificate, or which may arise subsequent thereto. Once
a title is registered under the Torrens system, the owner may rest secure, without the necessity of
waiting in the portals of the courts or sitting in the “mirador su casa” to avoid the possibility of
losing his land. Rarely will the court allow another person to attack the validity and indefeasibility
of a Torrens certificate, unless there is compelling reason to do so and only upon a direct action
filed in court proceeded in accordance with law.
[Acosta vs. Salazar, 591 SCRA 161(2009)]
Eland v. Garcia Quieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud upon or doubt or
uncertainty with respect to title to real property—originating in equity jurisprudence, its
purpose is to secure an adjudication that a claim of title to or an interest in property, adverse to
that of the complainant, is invalid, so that the complainant and those claiming under him may
be forever afterward free from any danger of hostile claim.— In an action for quieting of title,
the competent court is tasked to determine the respective rights of the complainant and other
claimants, ‘x x x not only to place things in their proper place, to make the one who has no rights
to said immovable respect and not disturb the other, but also for the benefit of both, so that he
who has the right would see every cloud of doubt over the property dissipated, and he could
afterwards without fear introduce the improvements he may desire, to use, and even to abuse
the property as he deems best xxx.

Verily, for an action to quiet title to prosper, two (2) indispensable requisites must concur,
namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real
property subject of the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance, or proceeding claimed to
70
be casting cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or inoperative despite its prima
facie appearance of validity or legal efficacy. [Eland Philippines, Inc. vs. Garcia, 613 SCRA
66(2010)]
Philiville v. Bonifacio The cloud on title consists of: (1) any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding; (2)
which is apparently valid or effective; (3) but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or
unenforceable; and (4) may be prejudicial to the title sought to be quieted. The fourth element is
not present in the case at bar.

While it is true that TCT No. C-314537 in the name of Eleuteria Rivera is an instrument that
appeared to be valid but was subsequently shown to be invalid, it does not cover the same
parcels of land that are described in petitioner’s titles. Foremost, Rivera’s title embraces a land
measuring 14,391.54 square meters while petitioner’s lands has an aggregate area of only 8,694
square meters. On the one hand, it may be argued that petitioner’s land could be subsumed
within Rivera’s 14,391.54-square meter property. Yet, a comparison of the technical descriptions
of the parties’ titles negates an overlapping of their boundaries.

An action to quiet title is characterized as a proceeding quasi in rem.56 In an action quasi in rem,
an individual is named a defendant and the purpose of the proceeding is to subject his interests
to the obligation or loan burdening the property. Actions quasi in rem deal with the status,
ownership or liability of a particular property but which are intended to operate on these
questions only as between the particular parties to the proceedings and not to ascertain or cut off
the rights or interests of all possible claimants. The judgment therein is binding only upon the
parties who joined in the action.57 [Phil-Ville Development and Housing Corporation vs.
Bonifacio, 651 SCRA 327(2011)]





71
TITLE III. CO-OWNERSHIP

DEFINITION—ARTICLE 484

Spouses Si v. CA - NO CO-OWNERHSIP EXISTS.
- Rule: under 484, there is co-ownership whenever ownership of undivided thing/right
belongs to different persons.
- NO CO-OWNERSHIP when the different portions owned by different people are already
concretely determined and separately identifiable, even if not yet technical described.
- IN THIS CASE:
a. lot in question had been extrajudicially partitioned between the 3 children
b. 3 deeds of sale were already executed
c. portions belonging to 3 children separately declared for taxation purposes
d. the fact that 3 portions are embraced in 1 cert of title DID NOT MAKE SAID PORITONS
DETERMINABLE, OR FROM THE OTHER, NOR THAT DOMINION OVER EACH PORITON
LESS EXCLUSIVE, in their respective owners.
- NO MORE RIGHT OF REDEMPTION. After the physical division of the lot among the co-
owners, the community ownership terminated, and the right of preemption or
redemption for each other was no longer available; There is no co-ownership when the
different portions owned by different people are already concretely determined and
separately identifiable, even if not yet technically described.
- CO-OWNERS WITH ACTUAL NOTICE OF THE SALE (of another co-owner’s share) ARE NOT
ENTITLED TO WRITTEN NOTICE.
Mercado-Fehr v. Fehr - Suite 204 was acquired during the parties’ cohabitation. It was purchased on installment
basis at the time when parties were already living together. Hence, it should be
considered as common property of both.
- 147 provides that such property shall be governed by the rules on co-ownership.
- 147 applies to unions of parties who are legally capacitated and not barred by any
impediment to contract marriage, but without the benefit of marriage, or whose marriage
72
is nonetheless void, as in the case at bar. This provision creates a co-ownership with
respect to the properties they acquire during their cohabitation.
- Property should be divided in accord with CO-OWNERSHIP.
Ocampo v. Ocampo - NO CO-OWERSHIP BETWEEN THE OCAMPO SIBLINGS
- Chief evidence of co-ownership of the lot is ismply the acknowledgment of co-ownerhsip
executed by fidela. This piece of docu evidence could not prevail. Apolonia failed to race
the successive transfers of ownership. Allegedly, it came from her parents but she never
presented proof of ownership of their parents. On the other hand, belen clearly traced the
basis of her alleged sole ownership and presented preponderant proof of her claim.
- DONATION INTERVIVOS TO BELEN IS VALID. It resulted to an effective transfer of title to
ehte property from the donor to the done. At the time of the execution of the
acknowledgment, the property had already been donated to Belen. The deed of donation,
which is the prior document is clearly inconsistent with the document relied upon by
apolonia.
- The effect of a mortgage by a co-owner shall be limited to the portion that may be
allotted to that person upon the termination of the co-ownership.—The Civil Code
provides that an essential requisite of a contract of mortgage is that the mortgagor be the
absolute owner of the thing mortgaged. Co-ownership cannot be presumed even if only a
portion of the property was mortgaged to Apolonia, because a co-owner may dispose only
of one’s interest in the ideal or abstract part of the undivided thing co-owned with others.
The effect of a mortgage by a co-owner shall be limited to the portion that may be allotted
to that person upon the termination of the co-ownership. In this case, Fidela mortgaged a
definite portion of the property and thus negated any acknowledgement of co-ownership.

Mere issuance of a certificate of title does not foreclose the possibility that the real property
may be under co-ownership with persons not named therein.—We are not unmindful of our
ruling that the mere issuance of a certificate of title does not foreclose the possibility that the real
property may be under co-ownership with persons not named therein. But given the
circumstances of this case, the claim of co-ownership by petitioners has no leg to stand on. Again,
73
we stress, Belen clearly traced the source of her sole ownership of the property in question and
thereby foreclosed the unproven and unsubstantiated allegation of co-ownership thereof.
[Ocampo vs. Ocampo, 427 SCRA 545(2004)]
Sanchez v. CA In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-owner to the other co-owners is fiduciary in
character and attribute.—In co-ownership, the relationship of such co-owner to the other co-
owners is fiduciary in character and attribute. Whether established by law or by agreement of the
co-owners, the property or thing held pro-indiviso is impressed with a fiducial nature so that each
co-owner becomes a trustee for the benefit of his co-owners and he may not do any act
prejudicial to the interest of his co-owners. Thus, the legal effect of an agreement to preserve the
properties in co-ownership is to create an express trust among the heirs as co-owners of the
properties. Co-ownership is a form of trust and every co-owner is a trustee for the others.

Same; Same; Co-owners; Rights; He may validly lease his undivided interest to a third party
independently of the other co-owners.—Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of an
undivided interest in the property the right to freely sell and dispose of it, i.e., his undivided
interest. He may validly lease his undivided interest to a third party independently of the other
co-owners. But he has no right to sell or alienate a concrete, specific or determinate part of the
thing owned in common because his right over the thing is represented by a quota or ideal
portion without any physical adjudication. [Sanchez vs. Court of Appeals, 404 SCRA 540(2003)]
Herrera v. Fangonil There is CO-OWNERHSIP. There was a mode of acquiring ownership—intestate succession..
property was still in the name of the spouses when it was mortgaged and when they died. Thus, it
was inherited automatically by the 7 children.

The fact that only 1 co-owner paid for the repurchase of the said property—OTHER CO-OWNERS
MUST REIMBURSE HER OF THE REPURCHASE PRICE.

Balus v. Balus The purpose of partition is to put an end to co-ownership.—Petitioner’s contention that he and
his siblings intended to continue their supposed co-ownership of the subject property contradicts
the provisions of the subject Extrajudicial Settlement where they clearly manifested their
74
intention of having the subject property divided or partitioned by assigning to each of the
petitioner and respondents a specific 1/3 portion of the same. Partition calls for the segregation
and conveyance of a determinate portion of the property owned in common. It seeks a severance
of the individual interests of each co-owner, vesting in each of them a sole estate in a specific
property and giving each one a right to enjoy his estate without supervision or interference from
the other. In other words, the purpose of partition is to put an end to co-ownership, an objective
which negates petitioner’s claims in the present case

- THE SUBJECT LAND DID NOT PASS INTO THE COMPULSORY HEIRS OF RUFO AT ANY GIVEN
POINT IN TIME. It was never inherited by the heirs.
- When the lot was mortgaged and foreclosed, title thereto was consolidated in the name
of the bank. the Bank acquired exclusive ownership of the contested lot during the
lifetime of Rufo.
- When it was bought by another person, the latter acquired full ownership thereof. There
was no more co-ownership of the said property. In the present case, since Rufo lost
ownership of the subject property during his lifetime, it only follows that at the time of his
death, the disputed parcel of land no longer formed part of his estate to which his heirs
may lay claim. Stated differently, petitioner and respondents never inherited the subject
lot from their father.
- Petitioner and respondents, therefore, were wrong in assuming that they became co-
owners of the subject lot. Thus, any issue arising from the supposed right of petitioner as
co-owner of the contested parcel of land is negated by the fact that, in the eyes of the law,
the disputed lot did not pass into the hands of petitioner and respondents as compulsory
heirs of Rufo at any given point in time. [Balus vs. Balus, 610 SCRA 178(2010)]
-
Pascual v. Ballesteros - THERE IS CO-OWNERSHIP. 3 names in 1 cert of title but only 1 technical description.
- WHEN THERE IS CO-OWNERSHIP—IF A CO-OWNER SELLS HIS IDEAL SHARE TO ANOTHER,
HE HAS TO INFORM THE OTHER CO-OWNERS RE: SALE. THE OTHER CO-OWNERS ARE
GIVEN THE RIGHT OF PRE-EMPTION OR REDEMPTION.
75
- The written notice requirement for purposes of the exercise of the right of redemption
is indispensable.—Article 1623 of the Civil Code succinctly provides that: Article 1623. The
right of legal pre-emption or redemption shall not be exercised except within thirty days
from the notice in writing by the prospective vendor, or by the vendor, as the case may
be. The deed of sale shall not be recorded in the Registry of Property, unless accompanied
by an affidavit of the vendor that he has given written notice thereof to all possible
redemptioners. The right of redemption of co-owners excludes that of adjoining owners.
(emphasis supplied) The indispensability of the “written notice requirement” for purposes
of the exercise of the right of redemption was explained by this Court in Barcellano v.
Bañas

SHARES IN BENEFITS AND CHARGES
ARTICLE 485

Jimenez v. Fernandez A property held in common, upon the death of a co-owner who died without any issue or heir,
shall be owned by the other co-owner. The portions belonging to each are presumed to be equal.

Petitioner Sulpicia Jimenez is entitled to the relief prayed for, declaring her to be the sole and
absolute owner of the land in question with right to its possession and enjoyment. Since her uncle
Carlos Jimenez died in 1936, his pro-indiviso share in the properties then owned in co-ownership
with his niece Sulpicia descended by intestacy to Sulpicia Jimenez alone because Carlos died
without any issue or other heirs. [Jimenez vs. Fernandez, 184 SCRA 190(1990)]
De Guia v. CA Co-ownership; A co-owner of an undivided parcel of land is an owner of the whole, and over
the whole he exercises the right of dominion but he is at the same time the owner of a portion
which is truly abstract; There is no co-ownership when the different portions owned by
different people are already concretely determined and separately identifiable even if not yet
technically described.—Under Article 484 of the Civil Code, “there is co-ownership whenever the
ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons.” A co-owner of an
undivided parcel of land is an “owner of the whole, and over the whole he exercises the right of
76
dominion, but he is at the same time the owner of a portion which is truly abstract.” On the other
hand, there is no co-ownership when the different portions owned by different people are
already concretely determined and separately identifiable, even if not yet technically described.
Same; Same; Same; Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against a third
person but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts exclusive
ownership of the property.—Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against
a third person, but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts
exclusive ownership of the property. In the latter case, however, the only purpose of the action is
to obtain recognition of the co-ownership. The plaintiff cannot seek exclusion of the defendant
from the property because as co-owner he has a right of possession. The plaintiff cannot recover
any material or determinate part of the property.
Same; Same; Same; Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the common
property unless a co-owner has repudiated the co-ownership under certain conditions.—Since a
co-ownership subsists between ABEJO and DE GUIA, judicial or extrajudicial partition is the proper
recourse. An action to demand partition is imprescriptible and not subject to laches. Each co-
owner may demand at any time the partition of the common property unless a co-owner has
repudiated the co-ownership under certain conditions. Neither ABEJO nor DE GUIA has
repudiated the co-ownership under the conditions set by law. [De Guia vs. Court of Appeals, 413
SCRA 114(2003)]
Mendoza v. CA Co-Ownership; Where there are two or more heirs, the whole estate of the decedent is, before
its partition, owned in common by such heirs.—In this case, the source of co-ownership among
the heirs was intestate succession. Where there are two or more heirs, the whole estate of the
decedent is, before its partition, owned in common by such heirs (Article 1078 of the Civil Code).
Petitioners’ co-ownership over Lot 3 was extinguished when it was subdivided into Lot 3-A and
Lot 3-B, which portions were concretely determined and technically described (see de la Cruz v.
Cruz, G.R. No. L-27759, April 17, 1970, 32 SCRA 307). Against the impetuous denial of petitioners
that Lot 3 has been partitioned (pp. 19, 96, 121, Rollo) is Exhibit A which is the Subdivision Plan of
Lot 3, (LRC) PSD-17370, dated September 7, 1961, duly approved by the Commissioner of Land
Registration.
77
Same; Same; Same; Redemption; If the property has been partitioned or an identified share has
been sold, then there is no longer any right of legal redemption.—We resolve the second issue
based on the previous discussion that the co-ownership has been extinguished. Article 1620 of
the Civil Code applies only if the co-ownership still exists. If the property has been partitioned or
an identified share has been sold, there is no longer any right of legal redemption. [Mendoza I vs.
Court of Appeals, 199 SCRA 778(1991)]

RIGHT TO BRING ACTION FOR EJECTMENT
ARTICLE 487
- if the plaintiff is ABC—Any one of them can eject X
- but if X is the plaintiff and he wants to eject ABC, he has to implead all ABC. Otherwise, the action will not prosper for failure
to implead an indispensable party.

Punsalan v. Boon Liat - A CO-OWNER CAN FILE AN ACTION FOR EJECTMENT AGAINST ANOTHER CO-OWNER.
- The action for recovery is not barred just because one of the respondents is a co-owner.
The action for recovery may be exercised not only against strangers but also against co-
owners themselves, when the latter performs acts for his exclusive benefit/ownership or
which are prejudicial to the right of the community ownership.
- The sale of ambergris was not valid because there was an agreement between the co-
owners not to sell the same without the consent of all.
De Guia v. CA A co-owner of an undivided parcel of land is an owner of the whole, and over the whole he
exercises the right of dominion but he is at the same time the owner of a portion which is truly
abstract; There is no co-ownership when the different portions owned by different people are
already concretely determined and separately identifiable even if not yet technically
described.—Under Article 484 of the Civil Code, “there is co-ownership whenever the ownership
of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons.” A co-owner of an undivided parcel of
land is an “owner of the whole, and over the whole he exercises the right of dominion, but he is
at the same time the owner of a portion which is truly abstract.” On the other hand, there is no
co-ownership when the different portions owned by different people are already concretely
78
determined and separately identifiable, even if not yet technically described.
Same; Same; Same; Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against a third
person but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts exclusive
ownership of the property.—Any co-owner may file an action under Article 487 not only against
a third person, but also against another co-owner who takes exclusive possession and asserts
exclusive ownership of the property. In the latter case, however, the only purpose of the action is
to obtain recognition of the co-ownership. The plaintiff cannot seek exclusion of the defendant
from the property because as co-owner he has a right of possession. The plaintiff cannot recover
any material or determinate part of the property.
Same; Same; Same; Each co-owner may demand at any time the partition of the common
property unless a co-owner has repudiated the co-ownership under certain conditions.—Since a
co-ownership subsists between ABEJO and DE GUIA, judicial or extrajudicial partition is the proper
recourse. An action to demand partition is imprescriptible and not subject to laches. Each co-
owner may demand at any time the partition of the common property unless a co-owner has
repudiated the co-ownership under certain conditions. Neither ABEJO nor DE GUIA has
repudiated the co-ownership under the conditions set by law. [De Guia vs. Court of Appeals, 413
SCRA 114(2003)]
Wee v. De Castro Co-Ownership; Article 487 of the Civil Code which provides that any one of the co-owners may
bring an action in ejectment covers all kinds of action for the recovery of possession, i.e.,
forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of possession (accion
publiciana), and recovery of ownership (accion de reivindicacion); A co-owner is not a necessary
party to an action for ejectment, for complete relief can be afforded even in his absence.—
Article 487 of the New Civil Code is explicit on this point: ART. 487. Any one of the co-owners may
bring an action in ejectment. This article covers all kinds of action for the recovery of possession,
i.e., forcible entry and unlawful detainer (accion interdictal), recovery of possession (accion
publiciana), and recovery of ownership (accion de reivindicacion). As explained by the renowned
civilist, Professor Arturo M. Tolentino: A co-owner may bring such an action, without the
necessity of joining all the other co-owners as co-plaintiffs, because the suit is deemed to be
instituted for the benefit of all. If the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone, such that he
79
claims possession for himself and not for the co-ownership, the action will not prosper. (Emphasis
added.) In the more recent case of Carandang v. Heirs of De Guzman, 508 SCRA 469 (2006), this
Court declared that a co-owner is not even a necessary party to an action for ejectment, for
complete relief can be afforded even in his absence.
Plasabas v. CA Any one of the co-owners may bring an action for ejectment; Article 487 of the Civil Code
covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of possession, including an accion publiciana and a
reivindicatory action; Any judgment of the court in favor of the plaintiff will benefit the other
co-owners, but if the judgment is adverse, the same cannot prejudice the rights of the
unimpleaded co-owners.—Article 487 of the Civil Code provides that any one of the co-owners
may bring an action for ejectment. The article covers all kinds of actions for the recovery of
possession, including an accion publiciana and a reivindicatory action. A co-owner may file suit
without necessarily joining all the other co-owners as co-plaintiffs because the suit is deemed to
be instituted for the benefit of all. Any judgment of the court in favor of the plaintiff will benefit
the other co-owners, but if the judgment is adverse, the same cannot prejudice the rights of the
unimpleaded co-owners. With this disquisition, there is no need to determine whether
petitioners’ complaint is one for ejectment or for recovery of title. To repeat, Article 487 of the
Civil Code applies to both actions.
Same; Same; The only exception to the rule that a party does not have to implead his co-owners
in an action for recovery of property is when the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone
who claims to be the sole owner and is, thus, entitled to the possession thereof.—Petitioners, in
their complaint, do not have to implead their co-owners as parties. The only exception to this rule
is when the action is for the benefit of the plaintiff alone who claims to be the sole owner and is,
thus, entitled to the possession thereof. In such a case, the action will not prosper unless the
plaintiff impleads the other co-owners who are indispensable parties.
Same; Same; Parties; The rule is settled that the non-joinder of indispensable parties is not a
ground for the dismissal of an action.—The trial and appellate courts committed reversible error
when they summarily dismissed the case, after both parties had rested their cases following a
protracted trial commencing in 1974, on the sole ground of failure to implead indispensable
parties. The rule is settled that the non-joinder of indispensable parties is not a ground for the
80
dismissal of an action. The remedy is to implead the non-party claimed to be indispensable.
Parties may be added by order of the court on motion of the party or on its own initiative at any
stage of the action and/or at such times as are just. If petitioner refuses to implead an
indispensable party despite the order of the court, the latter may dismiss the complaint/petition
for the plaintiff’s/peti-tioner’s failure to comply therewith. *Plasabas vs. Court of Appeals, 582
SCRA 686(2009)]

RIGHT TO REIMBURSEMENT
ARTICLE 488

Adille v. CA Co-ownership; Redemption; Redemption of the whole property by a co-owner will not make
him of all of it.—The right of repurchase may be exercised by a co-owner with respect to his
share alone. While the records show that the petitioner redeemed the property in its entirety,
shouldering the expenses therefor, that did not make him the owner of all of it. In other words, it
did not put to end the existing state of co-ownership.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Failure of all co-owners to redeem the property entitles the
vendee a retro to retain it and consolidate title thereto in his name; Redemption not a mode of
terminating a co-ownership.—The result is that the property remains to be in a condition of co-
ownership. While a vendee a retro, under Article 1613 of the Code, “may not be compelled to
consent to a partial redemption,” the redemption by one co-heir or co-owner of the property in
its totality does not vest in him ownership over it. Failure on the part of all the co-owners to
redeem it entitles the vendee a retro to retain the property and consolidate title thereto in his
name. But the provision does not give to the redeeming co-owner the right to the entire
property. It does not provide for a mode of terminating a co-ownership. [Adille vs. Court of
Appeals, 157 SCRA 455(1988)]
Petitioner is a trustee of the property on behalf of private respondents.—The petitioner must
then be said to be a trustee of the property on behalf of the private respondents. We agree with
the respondent Court of Appeals that fraud attended the registration of the property. The
petitioner’s pretension that he was the sole heir to the land in the affidavit of extrajudicial

81
settlement he executed preliminary to the registration thereof betrays a clear effort on his part to
defraud his brothers and sisters and to exercise sole dominion over the property. It is the view of
the respondent Court that the petitioner, in taking over the property, did so either on behalf of
his co-heirs, in which event, he had constituted himself a negotiorum gestor under Article 2144 of
the Civil Code, or for his exclusive benefit, in which case, he is guilty of fraud, and must act as
trustee, the private respondents being the beneficiaries, under the Article 1456. The evidence, of
course, points to the second alternative, the petitioner having asserted claims of exclusive
ownership over the property and having acted in fraud of his co-heirs. He cannot therefore be
said to have assumed the mere management of the property abandoned by his co-heirs, the
situation Article 2144 of the Code contemplates. In any case, as the respondent Court itself
affirms, the result would be the same whether it is one or the other. The petitioner would remain
liable to the private respondents, his co-heirs.
Same; Same; Same; Prescription; Prescription must be preceded by repudiation to terminate co-
ownership; Requisites.—Prescription, as a mode of terminating a relation of co-ownership, must
have been preceded by repudiation (of the co-ownership). The act of repudiation, in turn, is
subject to certain conditions: (1) a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership; (2) such an act of
repudiation is clearly made known to the other co-owners; (3) the evidence thereon is clear and
conclusive; and (4) he has been in possession through open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious
possession of the property for the period required by law.
Same; Same; Land registration; Torrens Title cannot cover up fraud; Registration not equivalent
to notice of repudiation.—It is true that registration under the Torrens system is constructive
notice of title, but it has likewise been our holding that the Torrens title does not furnish a shield
for fraud. It is therefore no argument to say that the act of registration is equivalent to notice of
repudiation, assuming there was one, notwithstanding the long-standing rule that registration
operates as a universal notice of title.
Civil Procedure; Prescription; While actions to enforce a constructive trust prescribe in ten years
from registration of the property, private respondents’ right commenced from actual discovery
of petitioner’s act of defraudation.—For the same reason, we cannot dismiss the private
respondents’ claims commenced in 1974 over the estate registered in 1955. While actions to
82
enforce a constructive trust prescribes in ten years, reckoned from the date of the registration of
the property, we, as we said, are not prepared to count the period from such a date in this case.
We note the petitioner’s sub rosa efforts to get hold of the property exclusively for himself
beginning with his fraudulent misrepresentation in his unilateral affidavit of extrajudicial
settlement that he is ‘‘the only heir and child of his mother Feliza with the consequence that he
was able to secure title in his name also.” Accordingly, we hold that the right of the private
respondents commenced from the time they actually discovered the petitioner’s act of
defraudation. According to the respondent Court of Appeals, they “came to know *of it+
apparently only during the progress of the litigation.” Hence, prescription is not a bar. *Adille vs.
Court of Appeals, 157 SCRA 455(1988)]
AGUILAR V. CA No co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership and that each co-owner may
demand at any time partition of the thing owned in common insofar as his share is
concerned.—Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in
the co-ownership, and that each co-owner may demand at any time partition of the thing owned
in common insofar as his share is concerned. Corollary to this rule, Art. 498 of the Code states
that whenever the thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be
allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds
accordingly distributed. This is resorted to (1) when the right to partition the property is invoked
by any of the co-owners but because of the nature of the property it cannot be subdivided or its
subdivision would prejudice the interests of the co-owners, and (b) the co-owners are not in
agreement as to who among them shall be allotted or assigned the entire property upon proper
reimbursement of the co-owners. In one case, this Court upheld the order of the trial court
directing the holding of a public sale of the properties owned in common pursuant to Art. 498 of
the Civil Code.
Same; Same; Same; Each co-owner of property held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the
whole property and may use and enjoy the same with no other limitations than that he shall
not injure the interests of his co-owners.—However, being a co-owner respondent has the right
to use the house and lot without paying any compensation to petitioner, as he may use the
property owned in common so long as it is in accordance with the purpose for which it is
83
intended and in a manner not injurious to the interest of the other co-owners. Each co-owner of
property held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and enjoy the
same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his co-owners, the
reason being that until a division is made, the respective share of each cannot be determined and
every co-owner exercises, together with his co-participants joint ownership over the pro indiviso
property, in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same.
Same; Same; Same; Co-ownership deemed terminated and the right to enjoy possession jointly
also ceased upon filing and the granting of action to compel the sale of the property and the
ejectment of respondent.—When petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the property
and the trial court granted the petition and ordered the ejectment of respondent, the co-
ownership was deemed terminated and the right to enjoy the possession jointly also ceased.
Thereafter, the continued stay of respondent and his family in the house prejudiced the interest
of petitioner as the property should have been sold and the proceeds divided equally between
them. To this extent and from then on, respondent should be held liable for monthly rentals until
he and his family vacate. [Aguilar vs. Court of Appeals, 227 SCRA 472(1993)]

RA 4726
CONDOMINIUM ACT

PERPENDICULAR CO-OWNERSHIP
ARTICLE 490
Sunset View v. Campos purchaser of a condominium unit becomes owner of the unit only upon full payment of its
purchase price.—The share of stock appurtenant to the unit will be transferred accordingly to the
purchaser of the unit only upon full payment of the purchase price at which time he will also
become the owner of the unit. Consequently, even under the contract, it is only the owner of a
unit who is a shareholder of the Condominium Corporation. Inasmuch as ownership is conveyed
only upon full payment of the purchase price, it necessarily follows that a purchaser of a unit who
has not paid the full purchase price thereof is not the owner of the unit and consequently is not a
shareholder of the Condominium Corporation.
84
Same, Same, Same, Same; Same; Ownership of a unit is a condition to become a shareholder in
the condominium corporation; “Separate interest” in a condominium, construed.—Pursuant to
the above statutory provision, ownership of a unit is a condition sine qua non to being a
shareholder in the condominium corporation. It follows that a purchaser of a unit who is not yet
the owner thereof for not having fully paid the full purchase price, is not a shareholder. By
necessary implication, the “separate interest” in a condominium, which entitles the holder to
become automatically a shareholder in the condominium corporation, as provided in section 2 of
the Condominium Act, can be no other than ownership of a unit. This is so because nobody can
be a shareholder unless he is the owner of a unit and when he ceases to be the owner, be also
ceases automatically to be a shareholder. [Sunset View Condominium Corp. vs. Campos, Jr., 104
SCRA 295(1981)]

ALTERATION
ARTICLE 491

Javier v. Javier TENANTS IN COMMON; CONSTRUCTION EXPENSES.—The defendants, tenants in common with
others of a tract of land, built a house thereon. Held, That they could not compel their cotenants
to share in the expense of such construction, though they tacitly consented thereto

It is claimed finally by the appellants that the case should be decided by an application of the
principles of law relating to the community of property. If by that it is meant that community of
property existed because the house was owned by the appellants and the land by the plaintiff,
the contention can not be maintained, for such a condition of affairs does not create a
community of property within the meaning of that term as it is used in title 3, book 2 of the Civil
Code. If, on the other hand, it is meant that community of property existed because the land itself
belonged to the heirs of Manuel Javier, and that two of the defendants were such heirs, it can be
said that the decision of the court below was fully as favorable to the appellants as it could be.
Article 397 of the Civil Code relates to improvements made upon the common property by one of
the coöwners. The burden of proof was on the appellants to show that the house was built with
85
the consent of their cotenants. Even if a tacit consent was shown this would not require such
cotenants to pay for the house [Javier vs. Javier, 6 Phil., 493(1906)]

RIGHTS REGARDING IDEAL SHARE
ARTICLE 493

Mercado v. Liwanag Co-ownership; Sale of an undivided aliquot share; To what portion the share is limited.—What a
co-owner may dispose of under Article 493 of the Civil Code is only his undivided aliquot share,
which shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him upon the termination of the
co-ownership. He has no right to divide the property into parts and then convey one part by
metes and bounds. [Mercado vs. Liwanag, 5 SCRA 472(1962)]
Acebedo v. Abesamis There is no doubt that an heir can sell whatever right, interest or participation he may have in the
property under administration.—This Court had the occasion to rule that there is no doubt that
an heir can sell whatever right, interest, or participation he may have in the property under
administration. This is a matter which comes under the jurisdiction of the probate court.
Same; Same; Same; Same; The right of an heir to dispose of the decedent’s property even if the
same is under administration is based on the Civil Code.—The right of an heir to dispose of the
decedent’s property, even if the same is under administration, is based on the Civil Code
provision stating that the possession of hereditary property is deemed transmitted to the heir
without interruption and from the moment of the death of the decedent, in case the inheritance
is accepted. Where there are however, two or more heirs, the whole estate of the decedent is,
before its partition, owned in common by such heirs.
Same; Same; Same; Same; The law does not prohibit a co-owner from selling, alienating or
mortgaging his ideal share in the property held in common.—The Civil Code, under the provisions
on co-owner-ship, further qualifies this right. Although it is mandated that each co-owner shall
have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and thus may
alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, the effect of
the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the portion
which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership. In other
86
words, the law does not prohibit a co-owner from selling, alienating or mortgaging his ideal share
in the property held in common. [Acebedo vs. Abesamis, 217 SCRA 186(1993)]
Bailon v. CA Even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will affect only his own share but not
those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the sale; Reason.— As early as 1923, this
Court has ruled that even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will affect only his
own share but not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the sale [Punsalan v.
Boon Liat, 44 Phil. 320 (1923)]. This is because under the aforementioned codal provision, the sale
or other disposition affects only his undivided share and the transferee gets only what would
correspond to his grantor in the partition of the things owned in common [Ramirez v. Bautista, 14
Phil. 528 (1909)]. Consequently, by virtue of the sales made by Rosalia and Gaudencio Bailon
which are valid with respect to their proportionate shares, and the subsequent transfers which
culminated in the sale to private respondent Celestino Afable, the said Afable thereby became a
co-owner of the disputed parcel of land as correctly held by the lower court since the sales
produced the effect of substituting the buyers in the enjoyment thereof [Mainit v. Bandoy, 14
Phil. 730 (1910)].
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the
consent of the other co-owners is not null and void; Proper action is the division of the common
property.—From the foregoing, it may be deduced that since a co-owner is entitled to sell his
undivided share, a sale of the entire property by one co-owner without the consent of the other
co-owners is not null and void. However, only the rights of the co-owner-seller are transferred,
thereby making the buyer a co-owner of the property. The proper action in cases like this is not
for the nullification of the sale or for the recovery of possession of the thing owned in common
from the third person who substituted the co-owner or co-owners who alienated their shares, but
the DIVISION of the common property as if it continued to remain in the possession of the co-
owners who possessed and administered it [Mainit v. Bandoy, supra.].
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Partition; The appropriate recourse of the co-owners who did
not consent to the sale of the entire property and the sale of the undivided shares of some of
the co-owners is partition.—Thus, it is now settled that the appropriate recourse of coowners in
cases where their consent were not secured in a sale of the entire property as well as in a sale
87
merely of the undivided shares of some of the co-owners is an action for PARTITION under Rule
69 of the Revised Rules of Court. Neither recovery of possession nor restitution can be granted
since the defendant buyers are legitimate proprietors and possessors in joint ownership of the
common property claimed [Ramirez V. Bautista, supra].
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Prescription; Interpretation; Article 494 of the Civil Code on co-
ownership, means that the action for partition is imprescriptible and cannot be barred by
prescription.—In the light of the attendant circumstances, defendant-appellee’s defense of
prescription is a vain proposition. Pursuant to Article 494 of the Civil Code, "(n)o co-owner shall
be obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Such co-owner may demand at anytime the partition of
the thing owned in common, insofar as his share is concerned.” In Budlong v. Bondoc *G.R. No. L-
27702, September 9, 1977, 79 SCRA 24], this Court has interpreted said provision of law to mean
that the action for partition is imprescriptible or cannot be barred by prescription. For Article 494
of the Civil Code explicitly declares: “No prescription shall lie in favor of a co-owner or co-heir so
long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.”
Same; Same; Same; Land Registration; Prescription will not lie in favor of the respondent as
against the petitioners who remain the registered owners of the disputed parcel of fancL—
Furthermore, the disputed parcel of land being registered under the Torrena System, the express
provision of Act No. 496 that "(n)o title to registered land in derogation to that of the registered
owner shall be acquired by prescription or adverse possession” is squarely applicable.
Consequently, prescription will not lie in favor of Afable as against the petitioners who remain the
registered owners of the disputed parcel of land.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Prescription is unavailing not only against the registered owner but
also equally against the latter’s hereditary successors; Reason: Pasion vs. Pasion case, not
applicable.— Reliance on the aforesaid Pasion case is futile. The ruling therein applies only
against transferees other than direct issues or heirs or to complete strangers. The rationale is
dear: If prescription is unavailing against the registered owner, it must be equally unavailing
against the latter’s hereditary successors, because they merely step into the shoes of the
decedent by operation of law (New Civil Code, Article 777; Old Civil Code, Article 657), the title or
right undergoing no change by its transmission mortis causa
88

Private respondent already had notice that the land was titled in the name of the six persons by
virtue of the certificate of title in his possession.—Even as the land here was misrepresented in
the deeds of sale as “unregistered”, the truth was that Afable already had notice that the land
was titled in the name of six persons by virtue of the Certificate of Title which was already in his
possession even before the sale. Such fact is apparent from his testimony before the court a quo.
[Bailon-Casilao vs. Court of Appeals, 160 SCRA 738(1988)]
Sps. Cruz v. Leis Redemption by a co-owner does not terminate the co-ownership nor give her title to the entire
land subject of the co-ownership.—Incidentally, there is no merit in petitioners’ contention that
Gertrudes’ redemption of the property from the Daily Savings Bank vested in her ownership over
the same to the exclusion of her co-owners. We dismissed the same argument by one of the
petitioners in Paulmitan vs. Court of Appeals, where one of the petitioners therein claimed
ownership of the entire property subject of the case by virtue of her redemption thereof after the
same was forfeited in favor of the provincial government for non-payment of taxes. We held,
however, that the redemption of the land “did not terminate the co-ownership nor give her title
to the entire land subject of the co-ownership.”
Sales; Land Titles; Husband and Wife; Conjugal Partnership of Gains; Where a parcel of land,
forming part of the undistributed properties of the dissolved conjugal partnership of gains, is
sold by a widow to a purchaser who merely relied on the face of the certificate of title thereto,
issued solely in the name of the widow, the purchaser acquires a valid title to the land even as
against the heirs of the deceased spouse.—Unfortunately for private respondents, however, the
property was registered in TCT No. 43100 solely in the name of “Gertrudes Isidro, widow,” Where
a parcel of land, forming part of the undistributed properties of the dissolved conjugal
partnership of gains, is sold by a widow to a purchaser who merely relied on the face of the
certificate of title thereto, issued solely in the name of the widow, the purchaser acquires a valid
title to the land even as against the heirs of the deceased spouse. The rationale for this rule is
that “a person dealing with registered land is not required to go behind the register to determine
the condition of the property. He is only charged with notice of the burdens on the property
which are noted on the face of the register or the certificate of title. To require him to do more is
89
to defeat one of the primary objects of the Torrens system.” *Cruz vs. Leis, 327 SCRA 570(2000)+
Del Campo v. CA Co-ownership; Mere fact that Salome purportedly transferred a definite portion of the co-
owned lot by metes and bounds to Soledad does not per se render the sale a nullity.—On the
first issue, it seems plain to us that the trial court concluded that petitioners could not have
acquired ownership of the subject land which originally formed part of Lot 162, on the ground
that their alleged right springs from a void sale transaction between Salome and Soledad. The
mere fact that Salome purportedly transferred a definite portion of the co-owned lot by metes
and bounds to Soledad, however, does not per se render the sale a nullity. This much is evident
under Article 493 of the Civil Code and pertinent jurisprudence on the matter.
Same; Same; Same; A co-owner has full ownership of his pro-indiviso share and has the right to
alienate, assign or mortgage it, and substitute another person in its enjoyment.—Salome’s right
to sell part of her undivided interest in the co-owned property is absolute in accordance with the
well-settled doctrine that a co-owner has full ownership of his pro-indiviso share and has the right
to alienate, assign or mortgage it, and substitute another person in its enjoyment. Since Salome’s
clear intention was to sell merely part of her aliquot share in Lot 162, in our view no valid
objection can be made against it and the sale can be given effect to the full extent.
Same; Same; Same; Since the co-owner/vendor’s undivided interest could properly be the
object of the contract of sale between the parties, what the vendee obtains by virtue of such a
sale are the same rights as the vendor had as co-owner.—We are not unaware of the principle
that a co-owner cannot rightfully dispose of a particular portion of a co-owned property prior to
partition among all the co-owners. However, this should not signify that the vendee does not
acquire anything at all in case a physically segregated area of the co-owned lot is in fact sold to
him. Since the co-owner/vendor’s undivided interest could properly be the object of the contract
of sale between the parties, what the vendee obtains by virtue of such a sale are the same rights
as the vendor had as co-owner, in an ideal share equivalent to the consideration given under their
transaction. In other words, the vendee steps into the shoes of the vendor as co-owner and
acquires a proportionate abstract share in the property held in common.
Same; Same; Same; Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided share, a sale of the entire
property by one co-owner will only transfer the rights of said co-owner to the buyer, thereby
90
making the buyer a co-owner of the property.—Based on the principle that “no one can give
what he does not have,” Salome, Consorcia and Alfredo could not legally sell the shares
pertaining to Soledad since a co-owner cannot alienate more than his share in the co-ownership.
We have ruled many times that even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will
affect only his own share but not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the sale.
Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided share, a sale of the entire property by one co-
owner will only transfer the rights of said co-owner to the buyer, thereby making the buyer a co-
owner of the property. [Del Campo vs. Court of Appeals, 351 SCRA 1(2001)]
Sanchez v. CA - 1/6 and 5/6 share case
- BOTH PARTIES ARE CO-OWNERS OF THE PROPERTY. But since there was no partition yet,
every co-owner may enjoy the entire property.
- Before the partition of a land or thing held in common, no individual or co-owner can
claim title to any definite portion thereof. All that the co-owner has is an ideal or abstract
quota or proportionate share in the entire land or thing.17
- Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of an undivided interest in the property the
right to freely sell and dispose of it, i.e., his undivided interest. He may validly lease his
undivided interest to a third party independently of the other co-owners.18 But he has no
right to sell or alienate a concrete, specific or determinate part of the thing owned in
common because his right over the thing is represented by a quota or ideal portion
without any physical adjudication.19
- Although assigned an aliquot but abstract part of the property, the metes and bounds of
petitioner’s lot has not been designated. As she was not a party to the Deed of Absolute
Sale voluntarily entered into by the other co-owners, her right to 1/6 of the property must
be respected. Partition needs to be effected to protect her right to her definite share and
determine the boundaries of her property. Such partition must be done without prejudice
to the rights of private respondent Virginia Teria as buyer of the 5/6 portion of the lot
under dispute. [Sanchez vs. Court of Appeals, 404 SCRA 540(2003)]
Heirs of Balite v. Lim Co-Ownership; The sale is valid, but only with respect to the aliquot share of the selling co-
owner.—Article 493 of the Civil Code gives the owner of an undivided interest in the property the
91
right to freely sell and dispose of such interest. The co-owner, however, has no right to sell or
alienate a specific or determinate part of the thing owned in common, because such right over
the thing is represented by an aliquot or ideal portion without any physical division. Nonetheless,
the mere fact that the deed purports to transfer a concrete portion does not per se render the
sale void. The sale is valid, but only with respect to the aliquot share of the selling co-owner.
Furthermore, the sale is subject to the results of the partition upon the termination of the co-
ownership. [Heirs of the Late Spouses Aurelio and Esperanza Balite vs. Lim, 446 SCRA 56(2004)]
Metrobank v. Pascual While the declaration of nullity of marriage severs their marital bond and dissolves the conjugal
partnership, the character of the properties acquired before such declaration continues to
subsist as conjugal properties until and after the liquidation and partition of the partnership—
pending its liquidation following its dissolution, the conjugal partnership of gains is converted
into an implied ordinary co-ownership between the spouses.—While the declared nullity of
marriage of Nicholson and Florencia severed their marital bond and dissolved the conjugal
partnership, the character of the properties acquired before such declaration continues to subsist
as conjugal properties until and after the liquidation and partition of the partnership. This
conclusion holds true whether we apply Art. 129 of the Family Code on liquidation of the conjugal
partnership’s assets and liabilities which is generally prospective in application, or Section 7,
Chapter 4, Title IV, Book I (Arts. 179 to 185) of the Civil Code on the subject, Conjugal Partnership
of Gains. For, the relevant provisions of both Codes first require the liquidation of the conjugal
properties before a regime of separation of property reigns. In Dael v. Intermediate Appellate
Court, we ruled that pending its liquidation following its dissolution, the conjugal partnership of
gains is converted into an implied ordinary co-ownership among the surviving spouse and the
other heirs of the deceased.

Real Estate Mortgage; In pre-liquidation scenario, Art. 493 of the Civil Code shall govern the
property relationship between the former spouses—a spouse has the right to mortgage or even
sell his or her own one-half undivided interest in the property even without the consent of the
other spouse.—In this pre-liquidation scenario, Art. 493 of the Civil Code shall govern the
property relationship between the former spouses, where: Each co-owner shall have the full
92
ownership of his part and of the fruits and benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore
alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when
personal rights are involved. But the effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the
co-owners, shall be limited to the portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the
termination of the co-ownership. (Emphasis supplied.) In the case at bar, Florencia constituted
the mortgage on the disputed lot on April 30, 1997, or a little less than two years after the
dissolution of the conjugal partnership on July 31, 1995, but before the liquidation of the
partnership. Be that as it may, what governed the property relations of the former spouses when
the mortgage was given is the aforequoted Art. 493. Under it, Florencia has the right to mortgage
or even sell her one-half (1/2) undivided interest in the disputed property even without the
consent of Nicholson. However, the rights of Metrobank, as mortgagee, are limited only to the
1/2 undivided portion that Florencia owned. Accordingly, the mortgage contract insofar as it
covered the remaining 1/2 undivided portion of the lot is null and void, Nicholson not having
consented to the mortgage of his undivided half.

Heirs of Co v. Gervacio Any disposition of the conjugal property after the dissolution of the conjugal partnership must
be made only after the liquidation; otherwise, the disposition is void.—It is clear that conjugal
partnership of gains established before and after the effectivity of the Family Code are governed
by the rules found in Chapter 4 (Conjugal Partnership of Gains) of Title IV (Property Relations
Between Husband And Wife) of the Family Code. Hence, any disposition of the conjugal property
after the dissolution of the conjugal partnership must be made only after the liquidation;
otherwise, the disposition is void.

Upon Marta’s death in 1987, the conjugal partnership was dissolved, pursuant to Article 175 (1)
of the Civil Code,15 and an implied ordinary co-ownership ensued among Protacio, Sr. and the
other heirs of Marta with respect to her share in the assets of the conjugal partnership pending a
liquidation following its liquidation.16 The ensuing implied ordinary co-ownership was governed
by Article 493 of the Civil Code,17 to wit:
“Article 493. Each co-owner shall have the full ownership of his part and of the fruits and
93
benefits pertaining thereto, and he may therefore alienate, assign or mortgage it, and even
substitute another person in its enjoyment, except when personal rights are involved. But the
effect of the alienation or the mortgage, with respect to the co-owners, shall be limited to the
portion which may be allotted to him in the division upon the termination of the co-ownership.”
(399)
Protacio, Sr., although becoming a co-owner with his children in respect of Marta’s share in the
conjugal partnership, could not yet assert or claim title to any specific portion of Marta’s share
without an actual partition of the property being first done either by agreement or by judicial
decree. Until then, all that he had was an ideal or abstract quota in Marta’s share.18 Nonetheless,
a co-owner could sell his undivided share; hence, Protacio, Sr. had the right to freely sell and
dispose of his undivided interest, but not the interest of his co-owners.19 Consequently, the sale
by Protacio, Sr. and Rito as co-owners without the consent of the other co-owners was not
necessarily void, for the rights of the selling co-owners were thereby effectively transferred,
making the buyer (Servacio) a co-owner of Marta’s share.20 This result conforms to the well-
established principle that the binding force of a contract must be recognized as far as it is legally
possible to do so (quando res non valet ut ago, valeat quantum valere potest).21 [Heirs of
Protacio Go, Sr. and Marta Barola vs. Servacio, 657 SCRA 10(2011)]

PARTITION
ARTICLE 494

Fabian v. Fabian "[A]lthough, as a general rule, an action for partition among co-heirs does not prescribe, this is
true only as long as the defendants do not hold the property in question under an adverse title
(Cordova vs. Cordova, L-9936, January 14, 1948). The statute of limitations operates, as in other
cases, from the moment such adverse title is asserted by the possessor of the property [Fabian vs.
Fabian, 22 SCRA 231(1968)]
Ceniza v. CA Co-ownership; Prescription; Prescription did not run in favor of Dabon’s heirs except from the
time that they repudiated the co-ownership and made the repudiation known to the other
coowners.—The trial court correctly ruled that since a trust relation and co-ownership were
94
proven to exist between the predecessors-in-interest of both petitioners and private
respondents, prescription did not run in favor of Dabon’s heirs except from the time that they
repudiated the co-ownership and made the repudiation known to the other co-owners, Restituto
and Jesus Ceniza (Cortes vs. Oliva, 33 Phil. 480).
Same; Same; Same; Possession; Trustee’s possession, not adverse and cannot ripen into
ownership; Requisites of Adverse Possession.—This Court has ruled in numerous cases involving
fiduciary relations that, as a general rule, the trustee’s possession is not adverse and therefore
cannot ripen into a title by prescription. Adverse possession requires the concurrence of the of
the following circumstances; a) that the trustee has performed unequivocal acts of repudiation
amounting to the ouster of the cestui que trust; b) that such positive acts of repudiation have
been made known to the cestui que trust; and c) that the evidence thereon should be clear and
conclusive. [Ceniza vs. Court of Appeals, 181 SCRA 552(1990)]
Bicarme v. CA Prescription; Imprescriptibility of an action for partition cannot be invoked when a co-owner
possessed the property as exclusive owner.—An action for partition implies that the thing is still
owned in common. If a co-owner or co-heir holds the property in exclusive adverse possession as
owner, asserting sole and exclusive dominion for the required period, he can acquire sole title to
it as against the co-heirs or co-owners. The imprescriptibility of an action for partition cannot thus
be invoked when one of the co-owners has possessed the property as exclusive owner, and for a
period sufficient to acquire it by prescription. From the moment one of the co-owners claims that
he is the absolute and exclusive owner of the properties and denies the others any share therein,
the question involved is no longer one of partition, but of ownership. (A. Tolentino, Civil Code of
the Phil., Ann., Vol. II, pp. 192-193; Bargayo v. Comumot, 40 Phil. 856, at p. 870). In this sense, the
trial court erred in saying that there can be no prescription (as a mode of acquiring title) in favor
of a co-owner/trustee.
Same; Same; Co-ownership; Payment of land taxes does not constitute repudiation of co-
ownership.—In the present case, Maria Bicarme disclaims the co-ownership by denying that
subject properties are the inherited properties. Other than the tax declarations in her name,
there is no written evidence that these were acquired/purchased from Sps. Placido Biduya and
Margarita Bose. Payment of land taxes does not constitute sufficient repudiation of the co-
95
ownership, as it is not an act adverse to Cristina’s rights. Moreover, Cristina, being a minor, until
she claimed her rights, was not even aware thereof. Neither did Maria make known her
repudiation to Cristina, because all along, Maria presumed her to be dead. Her refusal to share
with Cristina the yearly profits stemmed from Cristina’s failure to share in the yearly taxes.
Acquisitive prescription cannot therefore apply in this case. [Bicarme vs. Court of Appeals, 186
SCRA 294(1990)]
Delima v. CA Rules:
- An action to compel partition may be filed at anytime by any of the co-owners against
the actual possessor; No prescription shall run in favor of a coowner against his co-owners
or co-heirs so long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.
- From the moment one of the coowners claims that he is the absolute and exclusive
owner of the properties and denies the others any share therein, the question involved
is no longer one of partition but of ownership. In such case, the imprescriptibility of the
action for partition can no longer be invoked or applied when one of the co-owners has
adversely possessed the property as exclusive owner for a period sufficient to vest
ownership by prescription.
- Possession by a co-owner or co-heir is that of a trustee; Requisites before possession is
considered adverse to the cestui que trust amounting to a repudiation of the co-
ownership.—It is settled that possession by a co-owner or co-heir is that of a trustee. In
order that such possession is considered adverse to the cestui que trust amounting to
arepudiation of the co-ownership, the following elements must concur: 1) that the trustee
has performed unequivocal acts amounting to an ouster of the cestui que trust; 2) that
such positive acts of repudiation had been made known to the cestui que trust; and 3)
that the evidence thereon should be clear and conclusive.
- Same; Same; Same; Same; When a co-owner of the property in question executed a deed
of partition and on the strength thereof obtained the cancellation of the title in the
name of their predecessor and the issuance of a new one wherein he appears as the
new owner of the property, the statute of limitations started to run for the purposes of
the action instituted by the latter seeking a declaration of the existence of the co-
96
ownership and of their rights thereunder.— Since an action for reconveyance of land
based on implied or constructive trust prescribes after ten (10) years, it is from the date of
the issuance of such title that the effective assertion of adverse title for purposes of the
statute of limitations is counted.
- Same; Same; Same; Same; The issuance of new title constituted an open and clear
repudiation of the trust or co-ownership and the lapse of ten (10) years of adverse
possession by Galileo Delima from February 4, 1954 was sufficient to vest title in him by
prescription.—Evidence shows that TCT No. 2744 in the name of the legal heirs of Lino
Delima, represented by Galileo Delima, was cancelled by virtue of an affidavit executed by
Galileo Delima and that on February 4, 1954, Galileo Delima obtained the issuance of a
new title in his name numbered TCT No. 3009 to the exclusion of his co-heirs. The issuance
of this new title constituted an open and clear repudiation of the trust or co-ownership,
and the lapse of ten (10) years of adverse possession by Galileo Delima from February 4,
1954 was sufficient to vest title in him by prescription. As the certificate of title was notice
to the whole world of his exclusive title to the land, such rejection was binding on the
other heirs and started as against them the period of prescription. Hence, when
petitioners filed their action for reconveyance and/or to compel partition on February 29,
1968, such action was already barred by prescription. Whatever claims the other co-heirs
could have validly asserted before can no longer be invoked by them at this time.
Arturio Trinidad v. CA No prescription runs in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his or her co-owners or co-heirs,
so long as he or she expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.—Private respondents
have not acquired ownership of the property in question by acquisitive prescription. In a co-
ownership, the act of one benefits all the other co-owners, unless the former repudiates the co-
ownership. Thus, no prescription runs in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his or her co-
owners or co-heirs, so long as he or she expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.
Same; Same; Same; Same; A co-owner cannot acquire by prescription the share of the other co-
owners absent a clear repudiation of co-ownership duly communicated to the other co-
owners.— Furthermore, an action to demand partition is imprescriptible and cannot be barred by
laches (Del Banco vs. IAC, 156 SCRA 55 [1987]). On the other hand, an action for partition may be
97
seen to be at once an action for declaration of co-ownership and for segregation and conveyance
of a determinate portion of the property involved

In this particular case, it is undisputed that, prior to the action for partition, petitioner, in the
concept of a co-owner, was receiving from private respondents his share of the produce of the
land in dispute. Until such time, recognition of the co-ownership by private respondents was
beyond question. There is no evidence, either, of their repudiation, if any, of the co-ownership of
petitioner’s father Inocentes over the land. Further, the titles of these pieces of land were still in
their father’s name. Although private respondents had possessed these parcels openly since 1940
and had not shared with petitioner the produce of the land during the pendency of this case, still,
they manifested no repudiation of the co-ownership. [Trinidad vs. Court of Appeals, 289 SCRA
188(1998)]
Tomas Claudio v. CA ; Even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will affect only his own share but
not those of the other co-owners who did not consent to the sale; The proper action is not for
the nullification of the sale, or for the recovery of possession of the property owned in common
from the third person, but for division or partition of the entire property if it continued to
remain in the possession of the co-owners who possessed and administered it.—On the issue of
prescription, we have ruled that even if a co-owner sells the whole property as his, the sale will
affect only his own share but not those of the other coowners who did not consent to the sale.
Under Article 493 of the Civil Code, the sale or other disposition affects only the seller’s share pro
indiviso, and the transferee gets only what corresponds to his grantor’s share in the partition of
the property owned in common. Since a co-owner is entitled to sell his undivided share, a sale of
the entire property by one co-owner without the consent of the other coowners is not null and
void. However, only the rights of the coowner/seller are transferred, thereby making the buyer a
co-owner of the property. The proper action in a case like this, is not for the nullification of the
sale, or for the recovery of possession of the property owned in common from the third person,
but for division or partition of the entire property if it continued to remain in the possession of
the co-owners who possessed and administered it. Such partition should result in segregating the
portion belonging to the seller and its delivery to the buyer.
98
Same; Same; Same; In Budlong vs. Bondoc, Article 494 of the Civil Code has been interpreted to
mean that the action for partition is imprescriptible.—In the light of the foregoing, petitioner’s
defense of prescription against an action for partition is a vain proposition. Pursuant to Article
494 of the Civil Code, “no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership. Such co-
owner may demand at anytime the partition of the thing owned in common, insofar as his share
is concerned.” In Budlong vs. Bondoc, this Court has interpreted said provision of law to mean
that the action for partition is imprescriptible. It cannot be barred by prescription. For Article 494
of the Civil Code explicitly declares: “No prescription shall lie in favor of a co-owner or co-heirs as
long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.”

Santos v. Santos Prescription does not run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or his co-heirs so
long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.—Considering that there was no
proof that Ladislao Santos executed any “Combined Deed of Partition” in tandem with Eliseo
Santos, we rule that a co-ownership still subsists between the brothers over the Isidra property.
This being the case, we apply Article 494 of the Civil Code which states that, “prescription does
not run in favor of a co-owner or co-heir against his co-owners or his co-heirs so long as he
expressly or impliedly recognizes the co-ownership.” In Adile vs. Court of Appeals, it was held: “x x
x. Prescription, as a mode of terminating a relation of co-ownership, must have been preceded by
repudiation (of the co-ownership). The act of repudiation, in turn, is subject to certain conditions:
(1) a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership; (2) such an act of repudiation is clearly made known
to the other co-owners; (3) the evidence thereon is clear and conclusive; and (4) he has been in
possession through open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the property for the
period required by law.”
Partition; Same; Laches; An action to demand partition is imprescriptible or cannot be barred by
laches.—Penultimately, the action for partition is not barred by laches. An action to demand
partition is imprescriptible or cannot be barred by laches. Each co-owner may demand at any
time the partition of the common property. [Santos vs. Santos, 342 SCRA 753(2000)]
Austria v. Lichauco Co-Ownership; Property; There are two stages in every action for partition. The first phase is the
determination of whether a co-ownership in fact exists and a partition is proper, i.e., not
99
otherwise legally proscribed, and may be made by voluntary agreement of all the parties
interested in the property.—There are two stages in every action for partition. The first phase is
the determination of whether a co-ownership in fact exists and a partition is proper, i.e., not
otherwise legally proscribed, and may be made by voluntary agreement of all the parties
interested in the property. This phase may end either: (a) with a declaration that plaintiff is not
entitled to have a partition either because a co-ownership does not exist, or partition is legally
prohibited; or (b) with a determination that a co-ownership does in truth exist, partition is proper
in the premises, and an accounting of rents and profits received by the defendant from the real
estate in question is in order. In the latter case, the parties may, if they are able to agree, make
partition among themselves by proper instruments of conveyance, and the court shall confirm the
partition so agreed upon. The second phase commences when it appears that the parties are
unable to agree upon the partition directed by the court. In that event, partition shall be done for
the parties by the court with the assistance of not more than three (3) commissioners. This
second stage may well also deal with the rendition of the accounting itself and its approval by the
court after the parties have been accorded opportunity to be heard thereon, and an award for
the recovery by the party or parties thereto entitled of their just share in the rents and profits of
the real estate in question.
Same; Same; There is no question that a co-ownership exists between petitioner and
respondents—to this extent, the trial court was correct in decreeing partition in line with the
Civil Code provision that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership.— There is
no question that a co-ownership exists between petitioner and respondents. To this extent, the
trial court was correct in decreeing partition in line with the Civil Code provision that no co-owner
shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership. [Austria vs. Lichauco, 520 SCRA 401(2007)]
Herrera v. Fangonil Prescription applies to adverse, open, continuous and exclusive possession; Elements In Order
that a Co-owner’s Possession may be Deemed Adverse to the other Co-owners; Prescription
does not run in favor of a co-heir or coowner as long as he expressly or impliedly recognizes the
co-ownership and he cannot acquire by prescription the share of the other coowners absent a
clear repudiation of the co-ownership. [Fangonil-Herrera vs. Fangonil, 531 SCRA 486(2007)]
Monteroso v. CA Co-Ownership; Partition; Prescription; The right to seek partition is imprescriptible and cannot
100
be barred by laches; The only exception to the imprescriptibility of an action for partition
against a co-owner is when a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership.—What the appellate court
tried to convey is clear and simple: partition is the proper remedy available to Tirso who is a co-
owner of the subject properties by virtue of his being a compulsory heir, like siblings Soledad,
Reygula, and Benjamin, of Don Fabian. The right to seek partition is imprescriptible and cannot be
barred by laches. Consequently, acquisitive prescription or laches does not lie in favor of the
Cagampang spouses and against Tirso, the general rule being that prescription does not run
against a co-owner or co-heir. The only exception to the imprescriptibility of an action for
partition against a co-owner is when a co-owner repudiates the co-ownership. Thus, the appellate
court ruled that by invoking extinctive prescription as a defense, the lone exception against
imprescriptibility of action by a co-owner, the Cagampang spouses are deemed to have
contextually recognized the co-ownership of Tirso and must have repudiated such co-ownership
in order for acquisitive prescription to set in.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; An action for partition is at once an action for declaration of
co-ownership and for segregation and conveyance of a determinate portion of the properties.—
The fact that Tirso and the other compulsory heirs of Don Fabian were excluded from the
possession of their legitime and the enjoyment of the fruits thereof does not per se argue against
the existence of a co-ownership. While Tirso may not have expressly pleaded the theory of co-
ownership, his demand from, and act of initiating Civil Case No. 1332 against, the Cagampang
spouses for his share necessarily implies that he was asserting his right as co-owner or co-heir of
the properties unjustly withheld by the Cagampang spouses through the instrumentality of
simulated deeds of sale covering some of the hereditary properties. By asserting his right as a
compulsory heir, Tirso has effectively brought into the open the reality that the Cagampang
spouses were holding some of the subject properties in trust and that he is a co-owner of all of
them to the extent of his legal share or legitime thereon. Consequently, we are one with the trial
and appellate courts that partition is the proper remedy for compulsory or legal heirs to get their
legitime or share of the inheritance from the decedent. An action for partition is at once an action
for declaration of co-ownership and for segregation and conveyance of a determinate portion of
the properties involved.
101
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; As a matter of law, acquisitive prescription does not apply nor
set in against compulsory heirs insofar as their pro indiviso share or legitime is concerned,
unless said heirs repudiate their share.—Being a compulsory heir of Don Fabian, Tirso has the
right to compel partition of the properties comprising the intestate estate of Don Fabian as a
measure to get his hereditary share. His right as an heir to a share of the inheritance covers all the
properties comprising the intestate estate of Don Fabian at the moment of his death, i.e., on
October 26, 1948. Before partition and eventual distribution of Don Fabian’s intestate estate, a
regime of co-ownership among the compulsory heirs existed over the undivided estate of Don
Fabian. Being a co-owner of that intestate estate, Tirso’s right over a share thereof is
imprescriptible. As a matter of law, acquisitive prescription does not apply nor set in against
compulsory heirs insofar as their pro indiviso share or legitime is concerned, unless said heirs
repudiate their share. Contrary to petitioners’ stance, reconveyance is not the proper remedy
available to Tirso. Be it remembered in this regard that Tirso is not asserting total ownership
rights over the subject properties, but only insofar as his legitime from the intestate estate of his
father, Don Fabian, is concerned.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Acquisitive prescription, however, may still set in favor of a co-
owner, “where there exists a clear repudiation of the co-ownership, and the co-owners are
apprised of the claim of adverse and exclusive ownership.”—Acquisitive prescription, however,
may still set in favor of a co-owner, “where there exists a clear repudiation of the co-ownership,
and the co-owners are apprised of the claim of adverse and exclusive ownership.” In the instant
case, however, no extinctive or acquisitive prescription has set in against Tirso and other
compulsory heirs in favor of the Cagampang spouses because effective repudiation had not timely
been made against the former. As aptly put by the appellate court, the repudiation which must be
clear and open as to amount to an express disavowal of the co-ownership relation happened not
when the deeds of absolute sale were executed in 1939, as these could not have amounted to a
clear notice to the other heirs, but in 1961 when the Cagampang spouses refused upon written
demand by Tirso for the partition and distribution of the intestate estate of Don Fabian. Since
then, Tirso was deemed apprised of the repudiation by the Cagampang spouses.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Under the law on co-ownership, it behooves on the person
102
desiring to exclude another from the co-ownership to do the repudiating.—Tirso’s
acknowledgment of Pendejito and her children’s possession of Parcels S-1, S-2, S-3, and S-4
cannot be viewed as the required repudiation to bar Tirso from pursuing his right to seek
partition. Under the law on co-ownership, it behooves on the person desiring to exclude another
from the co-ownership to do the repudiating. Verily, the records do not show that Pendejito and
her children performed acts clearly indicating an intention to repudiate the co-ownership and
then apprising Tirso and other co-owners or co-compulsory heirs of such intention [Office of the
Court Administrator vs. Pardo, 553 SCRA 66(2008)]
Alano v. PDB Clearly, while the credit investigator conducted an ocular inspection of the property as well as a
“neighborhood checking” and found the subject property occupied by the mortgagor Lydia and
her children,53 he, however, failed to ascertain whether the property was occupied by persons
other than the mortgagor. Had he done so, he would have discovered that the subject property is
co-owned by petitioner and the heirs of his brother. Since Maunlad Savings and Loan Association,
Inc. was remiss in its duty in ascertaining the status of the property to be mortgaged and verifying
the ownership thereof, it is deemed a mortgagee in bad faith. Consequently, the real estate
mortgage executed in its favor is valid only insofar as the share of the mortgagor Lydia in the
subject property. We need not belabor that under Article 49354 of the Civil Code, a co-owner can
alienate only his pro indiviso share in the co-owned property, and not the share of his co-owners.
[Alano vs. Planter's Development Bank, 651 SCRA 766(2011)]
Heirs of Co v. Servacio See above.
Rizal v. Naredo There is co-ownership whenever the ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to
different persons; Pursuant to Article 494 of the Civil Code, no co-owner is obliged to remain in
the co-ownership, and his proper remedy is an action for partition under Rule 69 of the Rules of
Court.—Article 484 of the New Civil Code provides that there is co-ownership whenever the
ownership of an undivided thing or right belongs to different persons. Thus, on the one hand, a
co-owner of an undivided parcel of land is an owner of the whole, and over the whole he
exercises the right of dominion, but he is at the same time the owner of a portion which is truly
abstract. On the other hand, there is no co-ownership when the different portions owned by
different people are already concretely determined and separately identifiable, even if not yet
103
technically described. Pursuant to Article 494 of the Civil Code, no co-owner is obliged to remain
in the co-ownership, and his proper remedy is an action for partition under Rule 69 of the Rules of
Court, which he may bring at anytime in so far as his share is concerned. Article 1079 of the Civil
Code defines partition as the separation, division and assignment of a thing held in common
among those to whom it may belong. It has been held that the fact that the agreement of
partition lacks the technical description of the parties’ respective portions or that the subject
property was then still embraced by the same certificate of title could not legally prevent a
partition, where the different portions allotted to each were determined and became separately
identifiable. [Rizal vs. Naredo, 668 SCRA 114(2012)]


ARTICLE 498
ESSENTIALLY INDIVISIBLE OBJECT

Aguilar v. CA Co-ownership; No co-owner shall be obliged to remain in the co-ownership and that each co-
owner may demand at any time partition of the thing owned in common insofar as his share is
concerned.—Article 494 of the Civil Code provides that no co-owner shall be obliged to remain in
the co-ownership, and that each co-owner may demand at any time partition of the thing owned
in common insofar as his share is concerned. Corollary to this rule, Art. 498 of the Code states
that whenever the thing is essentially indivisible and the co-owners cannot agree that it be
allotted to one of them who shall indemnify the others, it shall be sold and its proceeds
accordingly distributed. This is resorted to (1) when the right to partition the property is invoked
by any of the co-owners but because of the nature of the property it cannot be subdivided or its
subdivision would prejudice the interests of the co-owners, and (b) the co-owners are not in
agreement as to who among them shall be allotted or assigned the entire property upon proper
reimbursement of the co-owners. In one case, this Court upheld the order of the trial court
directing the holding of a public sale of the properties owned in common pursuant to Art. 498 of
the Civil Code.
Same; Same; Same; Each co-owner of property held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the
104
whole property and may use and enjoy the same with no other limitations than that he shall
not injure the interests of his co-owners.—However, being a co-owner respondent has the right
to use the house and lot without paying any compensation to petitioner, as he may use the
property owned in common so long as it is in accordance with the purpose for which it is
intended and in a manner not injurious to the interest of the other co-owners. Each co-owner of
property held pro indiviso exercises his rights over the whole property and may use and enjoy the
same with no other limitation than that he shall not injure the interests of his co-owners, the
reason being that until a division is made, the respective share of each cannot be determined and
every co-owner exercises, together with his co-participants joint ownership over the pro indiviso
property, in addition to his use and enjoyment of the same.
Same; Same; Same; Co-ownership deemed terminated and the right to enjoy possession jointly
also ceased upon filing and the granting of action to compel the sale of the property and the
ejectment of respondent.—When petitioner filed an action to compel the sale of the property
and the trial court granted the petition and ordered the ejectment of respondent, the co-
ownership was deemed terminated and the right to enjoy the possession jointly also ceased.
Thereafter, the continued stay of respondent and his family in the house prejudiced the interest
of petitioner as the property should have been sold and the proceeds divided equally between
them. To this extent and from then on, respondent should be held liable for monthly rentals until
he and his family vacate. [Aguilar vs. Court of Appeals, 227 SCRA 472(1993)]
Reyes v. Concepcion Co-ownership; Legal Redemption; A co-owner has no pre-emptive right to purchase the pro-
indiviso shares of his coowners. A co-owner's right to redeem may be invoked only after the
shares of the other co-owners are sold to a third party or a stranger to the co-ownership.—In
this jurisdiction, the legal provisions on coownership do not grant to any of the owners of a
property held in common a pre-emptive right to purchase the pro-indiviso shares of his co-
owners. Petitioners' reliance on Article 1620 of the New Civil Code is misplaced. x x x Article 1620
contemplates of a situation where a coowner has alienated his pro-indiviso shares to a stranger.
By the very nature of the right of "legal redemption", a co-owner's right to redeem is invoked only
after the shares of the other co-owners are sold to a third party or stranger to the co-ownership
[See Estrada v. Reyes, 33 Phil. 31 (1915)]. But in the case at bar, at the time petitioners filed their
105
complaint for injunction and damages against private respondents, no sale of the latter's pro-
indiviso shares to a third party had yet been made. Thus, Article 1620 of the New Civil Code finds
no application to the case at bar.
Same; Same; Same; Same; A co-owner may sell, alienate or mortgage his ideal share in the
property held in common, but the alienation or mortgage is limited to that portion that may be
allotted to him upon termination of the co-ownership.—The law does not prohibit a coowner
from selling, alienating or mortgaging his ideal share in the property held in common. The law
merely provides that the alienation or mortgage shall be limited only to the portion of the
property which may be allotted to him upon termination of the co-ownership and, as earlier
discussed, that the remaining co-owners have the right to redeem, within a specified period, the
shares which may have been sold to the third party. [Articles 1620 and 1623 of the New Civil
Code.]
Same; Same; Same; Partition; Respondent trial judge's order directing the holding of a public
sale of the subject properties and the distribution of the proceeds thereof among the co-
owners, was in accordance with law.—The sale of the property held in common referred to in
the above article is resorted to when (1) the right to partition the property among the co-owners
is invoked by any one of them but because of the nature of the property, it cannot be subdivided
or its subdivision [See Article 495 of the New Civil Code] would prejudice the interests of the co-
owners [See Section 5 of Rule 69 of the Revised Rules of Court] and (2) the co-owners are not in
agreement as to who among them shall be allotted or assigned the entire property upon
reimbursement of the shares of the other co-owners. Petitioners herein did not have justifiable
grounds to ignore the queries posed by respondent trial judge and to insist that hearings be
conducted in order to ascertain the reasonable price at which they could purchase private
respondents' pro-indiviso shares [Petitioners' "Compliance and Motion" dated February 27, 1981,
Annex "H" of the Petition; Rollo, pp. 57-60]. Since at this point in the case it became reasonably
evident to respondent trial judge that the parties could not agree on who among them would be
allotted the subject properties, the Court finds that respondent trial judge committed no grave
abuse of discretion in ordering the holding of a public sale for the subject properties (with the
opening bid pegged at P12.50 per square meter), and the distribution of the proceeds thereof
106
amongst the co-owners, as provided under Article 498 of the New Civil Code. [Reyes vs.
Concepcion, 190 SCRA 171(1990)]


Title IV. Some Special Properties – WATERS

ARTICLE 502-503
OWNERSHIP OF WATERS

Republic v. Lat Vda. De Castillo Resjudicata does not apply since the lots in litigation are of public domain.—Petitioner contends
"that 'Lbts 1 and 2, PSU-119166 had always formed part of the Taal Lake, washed and inundated
by the waters thereof. Consequently, the same were not subject to registration, being outside the
commerce of men; and that since the lots in litigation are of public domain (Art. 502), par. 4 Civil
Code) the registration court (of 1951) did not have jurisdiction to adjudicate said lands as private
property, hence, res judicata does not apply. (Rollo, pp. 37-38).
Same; Same; Ownership;Accretion;Lakeshore land or lands adjacent to the lake differentiated
from foreshore land or land adjacent to the sea.—Lakeshore land or lands adjacent to the lake,
like the lands in question must be differentiated from foreshore land or that part of the land
adjacent to the sea which is alternately covered and left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides
(Castillo, Law on Natural Resources, Fifth Edition, 1954, p. 67) Such distinction draws importance
from the fact that accretions on the bank of a lake, like Laguna de Bay, belong to the owners of
the estate to which they have been added (Gov't. v. Colegio de San Jose, 53 Phil. 423) while
accretion on a sea bank still belongs to the public domain, and is not available for private
ownership until formally declared by the government to be no longer needed for public use
(Ignacio v. Director of Lands, 108 Phil. 335 [1960]).
Same; Same; Same; Same; No accretion shown to exist in the case at bar.—But said distinction
will not help private respondents because there is no accretion shown to exist in the case at bar.
On the contrary, it was established that the occupants of the lots who were engaged in duck
raising filled up the area with shells and sand to make it habitable.
107
Same; Same; Same; Same; Mere Possession ofland does not by itselfdivest automatically the land
ofits public character.—The de-
288

288
SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
Republic vs. Vda. de Castillo
fense of long possession is likewise not available in this caae because, as already ruled by this
Court, mere possession of land does not by itself automatically diVest the land of its public
character [Republic vs. Vda. de Castillo, 163 SCRA 286(1988)]
Taleon v. Sec. of Public Works and
Communications
Streams inside titled land are not subject to appropriation.—Although a Torrens title is silent as
to the existence of any stream inside private land, that did not confer a right to the stream since it
is of a public nature and not subject to private. appropriation even by prescription. [Taleon vs.
Secretary of Public Works and Communications, 20 SCRA 69(1967)]
RP v. Candymaker Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA); Under R.A. No. 4850, approved on July 18, 1966,
lands located at and below the maximum lake level of elevation of the Laguna de Bay are public
lands which form part of the bed of said lake—such lands denominated as lakeshore areas are
linear strips of open space designed to separate incompatible element or uses, or to control
pollution/nuisance, and for identifying and defining development areas or zone, and have
environmental ecological significance and actual potential economic benefits.

the property subject of this application was alienable and disposable public agricultural land until
July 18, 1966. However, respondent failed to prove that it possesses registerable title over the
property. [Republic vs. Candy Maker, Inc., 492 SCRA 272(2006)]
Filinvest v. Flood Second, we recall the finding of the Housing and Land Use Arbiter that the Naga River has
remained heavily silted and undredged. Due to the heavy silting, the river could not take the
volume of water flowing into it, thus causing the flooding of the area.
Is petitioner liable for its failure to address the silting problem of the Naga River? We do not think
so. Article 502 of the Civil Code provides that rivers and their natural bed are of public dominion.
108
As Naga River is a public property, hence, it is the government which should address the
problem. [Filinvest Land, Inc. vs. Flood-Affected Homeowners of Meritville Alliance, 529 SCRA
790(2007)]
Fernando v. Acuna See above.

ARTICLE 504-506
USE OF PUBLIC WATERS

Honorio Bulao v. CA, et al., In the first case, the petitioners sought a judicial confirmation of their prior vested right under
Article 504 of the Civil Code to use the water of Anibungan Albay and Tajong Creeks to irrigate
their ricelands upstream. They also wanted to enjoin the private respondent from using the water
of the creeks at night to irrigate his riceland located downstream.

In the second case, the court was asked to prevent the Municipality of Pamplona from interfering
with the management of the Tanjay Waterworks System.
It was held in both cases that jurisdiction pertained to the National Water Resources Council as
the issues involved were the appropriation, utilization and control of water. [Bulao vs. Court of
Appeals, 218 SCRA 321(1993)]


Title V. Possession

Definition
ARTICLE 523
Equatorial Realty v. Mayfair That actual possession of the property was turned over by Carmelo to Equatorial is clear from the
fact that the latter received rents from Mayfair. Significantly, receiving rentals is an exercise of
actual possession. Possession, as defined in the Civil Code, is the holding of a thing or the
enjoyment of a right.16 It may either be by material occupation or by merely subjecting the thing
109
or right to the action of our will.17 Possession may therefore be exercised through one’s self or
through another.18 It is not necessary that the person in possession should mself be the occupant
of the property, the occupancy can be held by another in the name of the one who claims
possession. In the case at bench, Equatorial exercised possession over the disputed property
through Mayfair. When Mayfair paid its monthly rentals to Equatorial, the said lessee recognized
the superior right of Equatorial to the possession of the property. And even if Mayfair did not
recognize Equatorial superior right over the disputed property, the fact remains that Equatorial
was then enjoying the fruits of its possession.

At this juncture, it will be of aid to lay down the degrees of possession. The first degree is the
mere holding, or possession without title whatsoever, and in violation of the right of the owner.
Here, both the possessor and the public know that the possession is wrongful. An example of this
is the possession of a thief or a usurper of land. The second is possession with juridical title, but
not that of ownership. This is possession peaceably acquired, such that of a tenant, depositary, or
pledge. The third is possession with a just title, or a title sufficient to transfer ownership, but not
from the true owner. An example is the possession of a vendee of a piece of land from one who
pretends to be the owner but is in fact not the owner thereof. And the fourth is possession with a
just title from the true owner. This is possession that springs from ownership.19 Undoubtedly,
Mayfair’s possession is by virtue of juridical title under the contract of lease, while that of
Equatorial is by virtue of its right of ownership under the contract of sale. [Equatorial Realty
Development, Inc. vs. Mayfair Theater, Inc., 370 SCRA 56(2001)]

ARTICLE 524
How Possession Exercised
Jose De Luna v. CA The mere fact that Agustin Dequiña Sr. had declared the subject property for taxation purposes
from 1908 up to 1945 did not constitute possession thereof, nor is it proof of ownership in the
absence of Dequiña, Jr.’s actual possession of said property.—On the other hand, respondent
Dimaano, Jr. had failed to prove that Agustin Dequiña, Jr. possessed the property prior to his
possession, much less the ownership of the latter over said property. While Agustin Dequiña, Jr.
110
testified that he is a co-owner of the disputed property, there is nothing to support this self-
serving claim; neither does his testimony support the defense’s theory that he had prior
possession of the property. The mere fact that Agustin Dequiña, Sr. had declared the subject
property for taxation purposes from 1908 up to 1945 did not constitute possession thereof, nor is
it proof of ownership in the absence of Dequiña, Jr.’s actual possession of said property. *De Luna
vs. Court of Appeals, 212 SCRA 276(1992)]
ARTICLE 525
Concept of Holder Owner
Jose Garcia v. CA Ownership– and “Possession,– Distinguished; Ownership exists when a thing pertaining to one
person is completely subjected to his will in a manner not prohibited by law and consistent
with the rights of others while possession is defined as the holding of a thing or the enjoyment
of a right.–We stress again that possession and ownership are distinct legal concepts. Ownership
exists when a thing pertaining to one person is completely subjected to his will in a manner not
prohibited by law and consistent with the rights of others. Ownership confers certain rights to the
owner, one of which is the right to dispose of the thing by way of sale. Atty. Pedro Garcia and his
wife Remedios exercised their right to dispose of what they owned when they sold the subject
property to the Magpayo spouses. On the other hand, possession is defined as the holding of a
thing or the enjoyment of a right. Literally, to possess means to actually and physically occupy a
thing with or without right. Possession may be had in one of two ways: possession in the concept
of an owner and possession of a holder. “A possessor in the concept of an owner may be the
owner himself or one who claims to be so.– On the other hand, “one who possesses as a mere
holder acknowledges in another a superior right which he believes to be ownership, whether his
belief be right or wrong.– The records show that petitioner occupied the property not in the
concept of an owner for his stay was merely tolerated by his parents. [Garcia vs. Court of Appeals,
312 SCRA 180(1999)]
Mangahas v. CA Petitioner theorized that he entered into the possession of the land under controversy, sometime
in 1969, by virtue of a prior sale he inked with the spouses Rodil on December 7, 1969, and since
then, he has been in continuous occupation and possession in concepto de dueño up to the
present, enjoying the fruits thereof to the exclusion of all others, his right thereto being
111
evidenced by the “Kasulatan ng Pagtanggap ng Salapi” dated December 7, 1969.

‘In the computation of time necessary for prescription the following rules shall be observed:
(1) The present possessor may complete the period necessary for prescription by tacking his
possession to that of his grantor or predecessor in interest x x x.’
“The defendant-appellant’s grantor or predecessor in interest (Severo Rodil) took possession of
the property, subject matter of the litigation, on April 1955 (Exhibit ‘F’ for the plaintiff-appellees
and exhibit “5” for the defendant). Since the complaint in the case at bar was filed on February
25, 1985,23 the requirement of at least thirty years continuous possession has not been complied
with even if We were to tack Rodil’s period of possession. x x x”24
As found by the lower court below, petitioner had admitted,25 contrary to his disclaimer, that the
possession of the spouses Rodil, from whom he traces the origin of his supposed title,
commenced only in April 1955. Petitioner can not now feign ignorance of such judicial admission
which he has resolutely repudiated in his present petition.26 Acquisition of ownership under the
law on prescription cannot be pleaded in support of petitioner’s submission that subject land has
ipso jure become his private property. [Mangahas vs. Court of Appeals, 304 SCRA 375(1999)]

ARTICLE 526-527
GOOD FAITH/BAD FAITH

Tacas v. Tubon POSSESSION IN GOOD FAITH; TITLE OR MODE OF ACQUISITION.—According to article 433 of the
Civil Code, one who is not aware of a flaw in his title or mode of acquiring the ownership, is
deemed a possessor in good faith. And according to article 451 of the same Code, the possessor
in good faith acquires the fruits while his possession is not legally interrupted.
2.ID. ; ID. ; INTERRUPTION OF POSSESSION ; RETURN OF FRUITS.—But every possessor in good
faith becomes a possessor in bad faith from the moment he becomes aware that what he
believed to be true is not so. His possession is legally interrupted when he is summoned to the
trial, according to article 1945 of the Civil Code, and from that time he is obliged to return the
fruits received, for he ceases to be considered a possessor in good faith.
112
3.ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—"The decisions of xxxx held that good faith ceased when the answer to the
complaint was filed, taking this doctrine from the Partidas. By analogy, the service of the
summons, doubtless more certain- and more difficult to evade, is now admitted, according to
articles 451 and 1945 of the Code, and it is in this sense that the decisions of the Supreme Court
of xxxxx must be understood, all of them holding that even the possessor in good faith must
return the fruits received from the time the answer to the complaint was filed, that is, from the
time he became aware that he was in undue possession."
Embrado v. CA Burden of proving the status of a purchaser in good faith and for value lies upon him who asserts
that status.—It is worthy to note that Salimbagat and Cimafranca, as buyers of Eda Jimenez, have
not proved their status as purchasers in good faith and for value of the land which, in the first
place, Eda Jimenez had no right to sell. The burden of proving the status of a purchaser in good
faith and for value lies upon him who asserts that status. In discharging the burden, it is not
enough to invoke the ordinary presumption of good faith, i.e., that everyone is presumed to act in
good faith. The good faith that is here essential is integral with the very status which must be
proved.
Same; Same; Same; Findings that purchasers had knowledge of facts and circumstances with the
defects in the title of their vendors.—We agree with the trial court when it found that
Salimbagat and Cimafranca purchased the disputed lot from Eda and Santiago Jimenez with
knowledge of facts and circumstances which should have put them upon such inquiry and
investigation as might be necessary to acquaint them with the defects in the title of their vendor.
A purchaser cannot close his eyes to facts which should put a reasonable man on his guard and
then claim that he acted in good faith under the belief that there was no defect in the title of the
vendor. His mere refusal to believe that such defect exists, or his willful closing of his eyes to the
possibility of the existence of a defect in the vendor’s title will not make him an innocent
purchaser for value if afterwards it develops that the title is in fact defective, and it appears that
he had such notice of the defect as would have led to its discovery had he acted with the measure
of precaution which may reasonably be required of a prudent man in like situation. [Embrado vs.
Court of Appeals, 233 SCRA 335(1994)]
Editha Alviola v. CA f a party acknowledges in his tax declarations that the disputed portions belong to another, his
113
claim as owner thereof must fail.—Petitioners’ own evidence recognized the ownership of the
land in favor of Victoria Tinagan. In their tax declarations, petitioners stated that the house and
copra dryer are located on the land of Victoria S. Tinagan/Agustin Tinagan. By acknowledging that
the disputed portions belong to Victoria/Agustin Tinagan in their tax declarations, petitioners’
claim as owners thereof must fail.
Same; Where a person’s occupation of a property was merely tolerated by another, the
former’s posture of having acquired the property by “occupation” for 20 years does not have
any factual or legal foundation.—Concededly, petitioners have been on the disputed portions
since 1961. However, their stay thereon was merely by tolerance on the part of the private
respondents and their predecessor-in-interest. The evidence shows that the petitioners were
permitted by Victoria Sanjoco Tinagan to build a copra dryer on the land when they got married.
Subsequently, petitioner Editha Alviola, claiming to be the illegitimate daughter of Agustin
Tinagan, filed a petition for partition demanding her share in the estate of the deceased Agustin
Tinagan on December 6, 1976. However, the petition was dismissed since it was brought only
after the death of Agustin Tinagan. This Court dismissed the petition for certiorari and mandamus
filed by petitioner Editha Alviola on August 9, 1982. It was on March 29, 1988, when private
respondents filed this complaint for recovery of possession against petitioners. Considering that
the petitioners’ occupation of the properties in dispute was merely tolerated by private
respondents, their posture that they have acquired the property by “occupation” for 20 years
does not have any factual or legal foundation.
Same; Builders in Good Faith; To fall within the provision of Article 448 of the New Civil Code,
the construction must be of permanent character, attached to the soil with an idea of
perpetuity; but if it is of a transitory character or is transferable, there is no accession, and the
builder must remove the construction.—As correctly ruled by the respondent court, there was
bad faith on the part of the petitioners when they constructed the copra dryer and store on the
disputed portions since they were fully aware that the parcels of land belonged to Victoria
Tinagan. And, there was likewise bad faith on the part of the private respondents, having
knowledge of the arrangement between petitioners and Victoria Tinagan relative to the
construction of the copra dryer and store. Thus, for purposes of indemnity, Article 448 of the New
114
Civil Code should be applied. However, the copra dryer and the store, as determined by the trial
court and respondent court, are transferable in nature. Thus, it would not fall within the coverage
of Article 448. As the noted civil law authority, Senator Arturo Tolentino, aptly explains: “To fall
within the provision of this Article, the construction must be of permanent character, attached to
the soil with an idea of perpetuity; but if it is of a transitory character or is transferable, there is
no accession, and the builder must remove the construction. The proper remedy of the
landowner is an action to eject the builder from the land.” *Alviola vs. Court of Appeals, 289 SCRA
537(1998)]
DBP vs. CA Possessor in Good Faith; Words and Phrases; A possessor in good faith is one who is not aware
that there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw, which invalidates it.—A possessor
in good faith is one who is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of acquisition any flaw,
which invalidates it. Good faith is always presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the
part of a possessor rests the burden of proof. It was therefore incumbent on the PIÑEDAS to
prove that DBP was aware of the flaw in its title i.e. the nullity of the foreclosure. This, they failed
to do.

By law and jurisprudence, a mistake upon a doubtful or difficult question of law may properly
be the basis of good faith.—It may be argued that P.D. 27 was already in effect when DBP
foreclosed the property. However, the legal propriety of the foreclosure of the land was put into
question only after Opinion No. 92 series of 1978 of the Ministry of Justice declared that said land
was covered by P.D. 27 and could not be subject to foreclosure proceedings. The Opinion of the
Ministry of Justice was issued on July 5, 1978 or almost two months after DBP consolidated its
title to the property on March 10, 1978. By law and jurisprudence, a mistake upon a doubtful or
difficult question of law may properly be the basis of good faith.
Same; Same; Sales; When a contract of sale is void, the possessor is entitled to keep the fruits
during the period for which it held the property in good faith, which good faith ceases when an
action to recover possession of the property is filed against him and he is served summons
therefor.—In the case of Maneclang vs. Baun, we held that when a contract of sale is void, the
possessor is entitled to keep the fruits during the period for which it held the property in good
115
faith. Good faith of the possessor ceases when an action to recover possession of the property is
filed against him and he is served summons therefore. In the present case, DBP was served
summons on June 30, 1982. By that time, it was no longer in possession of the disputed land as
possession thereof was given back to the PIÑEDAS after the foreclosure of DBP was declared null
and void on February 22, 1982. Therefore, any income collected by DBP after it consolidated its
title and took possession of the property on May 30, 1978 up to February 22, 1982 belongs to
DBP as a possessor in good faith since its possession was never legally interrupted. [Development
Bank of the Philippines vs. Court of Appeals, 316 SCRA 650(1999)]

ARTICLE 532
HOW POSSESSION ACQUIRED

Somodio v. CA Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every
square meter of ground before it can be said that he is in possession.—Petitioner took
possession of the property sometime in 1974 when he planted the property to coconut trees, ipil-
ipil trees and fruit trees. In 1976, he started the construction of a building on the property. It is
immaterial that the building was unfinished and that he left for Kidapawan for employment
reasons and visited the property only intermittently. Possession in the eyes of the law does not
mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of ground before it can be said that
he is in possession (Ramos v. Director of Lands, 39 Phil. 175 [1918]). It is sufficient that petitioner
was able to subject the property to the action of his will.
Same; Same; Same; Forcible entry is merely a quieting process and never determines the actual
title to an estate.—Petitioner’s prior possession over the property, however, is not synonymous
with his right of ownership over the same. As earlier stated, resolution of the issue of possession
is far from the resolution of the issue of ownership. Forcible entry is merely a quieting process
and never determines the actual title to an estate [Somodio vs. Court of Appeals, 235 SCRA
307(1994)]
Equatorial Realty v. Mayfair - Ownership of the thing sold is a real right, which the buyer acquires only upon delivery
of the thing to him “in any of the ways specified in articles 1497 to 1501, or in any other
116
manner signifying an agreement that the possession is transferred from the vendor to
the vendee;” While the execution of a public instrument of sale is recognized by law as
equivalent to the delivery of the thing sold, such constructive or symbolic delivery, being
merely presumptive, is deemed negated by the failure of the vendee to take actual
possession of the land sold
- In the Law on Sales, delivery may be either actual or constructive, but both forms of
delivery contemplate “the absolute giving up of the control and custody of the property
on the part of the vendor, and the assumption of the same by the vendee.”
- The execution of a contract of sale as a form of constructive delivery is a legal fiction—it
holds true only when there is no impediment that may prevent the passing of the
property from the hands of the vendor into those of the vendee, and when there is such
impediment, “fiction yields to reality—the delivery has not been effected.”—Let us now
apply the foregoing discussion to the present issue. From the peculiar facts of this case, it
is clear that petitioner never took actual control and possession of the property sold, in
view of respondent’s timely objection to the sale and the continued actual possession of
the property. The objection took the form of a court action impugning the sale which, as
we know, was rescinded by a judgment rendered by this Court in the mother case.
[Equatorial Realty Development, Inc. vs. Mayfair Theater, Inc., 370 SCRA 56(2001)]
Dela Rosa v. Carlos the law does not require one in possession of a house to reside in the house to maintain his
possession.—On the other hand, Santiago and Teofila admit that the Spouses Dela Rosa visit the
Property. Visiting the Property on weekends and holidays is evidence of actual or physical
possession. Even if the Spouses Dela Rosa were already residing in Manila, they could continue
possessing the Property in Bulacan. The fact of their residence in Manila, by itself, does not result
in loss of possession of the Property in Bulacan. The law does not require one in possession of a
house to reside in the house to maintain his possession.
Same; Same; Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on
every square meter of the ground before he is deemed in possession.—In Somodio v. Court of
Appeals, which the Spouses Dela Rosa cited, the petitioner there began construction of a
structure on his lot. His employment, however, took him to Kidapawan, North Cotabato, and he
117
left the unfinished structure to the care of his uncle. He would visit the property every three
months or on weekends when he had time. The Court ruled that possession in the eyes of the law
does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square meter of the ground before he is
deemed in possession. There is no cogent reason to deviate from this doctrine. [Dela Rosa vs.
Carlos, 414 SCRA 226(2003)]
Pajuyo v. CA and Guevarra Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his feet on every square
meter of the ground before he is deemed in possession.—Pajuyo’s withdrawal of his permission
to Guevarra terminated the Kasunduan. Guevarra’s transient right to possess the property ended
as well. Moreover, it was Pajuyo who was in actual possession of the property because Guevarra
had to seek Pajuyo’s permission to temporarily hold the property and Guevarra had to follow the
conditions set by Pajuyo in the Kasunduan. Control over the property still rested with Pajuyo and
this is evidence of actual possession. Pajuyo’s absence did not affect his actual possession of the
disputed property. Possession in the eyes of the law does not mean that a man has to have his
feet on every square meter of the ground before he is deemed in possession. One may acquire
possession not only by physical occupation, but also by the fact that a thing is subject to the
action of one’s will. Actual or physical occupation is not always necessary. *Pajuyo vs. Court of
Appeals, 430 SCRA 492(2004)]

ARTICLE 538
Possession in Fact

Wong v. Carpio Possession; Case at bar; The sale a retro in favor of petitioner failed to pass the possession of the
property because there is an impediment—the possession exercised by private respondent.—It
should be stressed that “possession is acquired by the material occupation of a thing or the
exercise of a right, or by the fact that it is subject to the action of our will, or by the proper acts
and legal formalities for acquiring such right.” (Art. 531, Civil Code; Rizal Cement Co., Inc. vs.
Villareal, 135 SCRA 15 [1985]); and that the execution of a sale thru a public instrument shall be
equivalent to the delivery of the thing, unless there is stipulation to the contrary x x x. If,
however, notwithstanding the execution of the instrument, the purchaser cannot have the
118
enjoyment and material tenancy of the thing and make use of it herself, because such tenancy
and enjoyment are opposed by another, then delivery has not been effected. (Paras, Civil Code of
the Philippines, Vol. II, 1989 Ed., p. 400). Applying the above pronouncements on the instant case,
it is clear that possession passed from vendor William Giger to private respondent Manuel
Mercado by virtue of the first sale a retro (Exhibit A), and accordingly, the later sale a retro
(Exhibit 5) in favor of petitioner failed to pass the possession of the property because there is an
impediment—the possession exercised by private respondent. Possession as a fact cannot be
recognized at the same time in two different personalities except in the cases of co-possession.
Should a question arise regarding the fact of possession, the present possessor shall be preferred;
if there are two possessions, the one longer in possession, if the dates of possession are the
same, the one who presents a title; and if these conditions are equal, the thing shall be placed in
judicial deposit pending determination of its possession or ownership through proper
proceedings. (Art. 538, Civil Code).
[Wong vs. Carpio, 203 SCRA 118(1991)]
Cequena v. Bolante - Possession cannot be acquired through force or violence; To all intents and purposes, a
possessor, even if physically ousted, is still deemed the legal possessor.—We concede
that despite their dispossession in 1985, the petitioners did not lose legal possession
because possession cannot be acquired through force or violence.
- Ownership of immovable property is acquired by ordinary prescription through
possession for ten years. Being the sole heir of her father, respondent showed through his
tax receipt that she had been in possession of the land for more than ten years since 1932.
When her father died in 1930, she continued to reside there with her mother. When she
got married, she and her husband engaged in kaingin inside the disputed lot for their
livelihood.
- Tax receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation, when coupled with proof of
actual possession of the property, can be the basis of a claim for ownership through
prescription.—Respondent’s possession was not disturbed until 1953 when the
petitioners’ father claimed the land. But by then, her possession, which was in the concept
of owner—public, peaceful, and uninterrupted—had already ripened into ownership.
119
Furthermore she herself, after her father’s demise, declared and paid realty taxes, for the
disputed land. Tax receipts and declarations of ownership for taxation, when coupled with
proof of actual possession of the property, can be the basis of a claim for ownership
through prescription.
- Same; Same; Same; In the absence of actual public and adverse possession, the
declaration of the land for tax purposes does not prove ownership.—Tax declarations
and receipts are not conclusive evidence of ownership. At most, they constitute mere
prima facie proof of ownership or possession of the property for which taxes have been
- 218
-
- 218
- SUPREME COURT REPORTS ANNOTATED
- Cequeña vs. Bolante
- paid. In the absence of actual public and adverse possession, the declaration of the land
for tax purposes does not prove ownership.
- Same; Same; Same; Ownership cannot be acquired by mere occupation.—The
petitioners, despite thirty-two years of farming the subject land, did not acquire
ownership. It is settled that ownership cannot be acquired by mere occupation. Unless
coupled with the element of hostility toward the true owner, occupation and use,
however long, will not confer title by prescription or adverse possession. [Cequeña vs.
Bolante, 330 SCRA 216(2000)]

ARTICLE 540
POSSESSION THAT RIPENS TO OWNERSHIP

Marcelo v. CA Acquisitive prescription is a mode of acquiring ownership by a possessor through the requisite
lapse of time; In order to ripen into ownership, possession must be in the concept of an owner,
public, peaceful and uninterrupted.—Acquisitive prescription is a mode of acquiring ownership
by a possessor through the requisite lapse of time. In order to ripen into ownership, possession
120
must be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful and uninterrupted. Thus, mere possession
with a juridical title, such as, to exemplify, by a usufructuary, a trustee, a lessee, an agent or a
pledgee, not being in the concept of an owner, cannot ripen into ownership by acquisitive
prescription, unless the juridical relation is first expressly repudiated and such repudiation has
been communicated to the other party. Acts of possessory character executed due to license or
by mere tolerance of the owner would likewise be inadequate. Possession, to constitute the
foundation of a prescriptive right, must be en concepto de dueno, or, to use the common law
equivalent of the term, that possession should be adverse, if not, such possessory acts, no matter
how long, do not start the running of the period of prescription.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Acquisitive prescription of dominion and other real rights may be
ordinary or extraordinary.—Acquisitive prescription of dominion and other real rights may be
ordinary or extraordinary. Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession of things in good
faith and with just title for the time fixed by law without good faith and just title, acquisitive
prescription can only be extraordinary in character.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Ordinary acquisitive prescription demands that the possession be in
“good faith and with just title.”—Ordinary acquisitive prescription demands, as aforesaid, that
the possession be “in good faith and with just title.” The good faith of the possessor consists in
the reasonable belief that the person from whom the thing is received has been the owner
thereof and could thereby transmit that ownership. There is, upon the other hand, just title when
the adverse claimant comes into possession of the property through any of the modes recognized
by law for the acquisition of ownership or other real rights, but that the grantor is neither the
owner nor in a position to transmit the right. [Marcelo vs. Court of Appeals, 305 SCRA 800(1999)]
Mangahas v. CA Acquisition of ownership under the law on prescription cannot be pleaded in support of
petitioner’s submission that subject land has ipso jure become his private property.—As found
by the lower court below, petitioner had admitted, contrary to his disclaimer, that the possession
of the spouses Rodil, from whom he traces the origin of his supposed title, commenced only in
April 1955. Petitioner can not now feign ignorance of such judicial admission which he has
resolutely repudiated in his present petition. Acquisition of ownership under the law on
prescription cannot be pleaded in support of petitioner’s submission that subject land has ipso
121
jure become his private property. [Mangahas vs. Court of Appeals, 304 SCRA 375(1999)]
Cequena v. Bolante To settle the issue of ownership, we need to determine who between the claimants has proven
acquisitive prescription.22
Ownership of immovable property is acquired by ordinary prescription through’ possession for
ten years.23 Being the sole heir of her father, respondent showed through his tax receipt that she
had been in possession of the land for more than ten years since 1932. When her father died in
1930, she continued to reside there with her mother. When she got married, she and her
husband engaged in kaingin inside the disputed lot for their livelihood.24
Respondent’s possession was not disturbed until 1953 when the petitioners’ father claimed the
land. But by then, her possession, which was in the concept of owner—public, peaceful, and
uninterrupted25—had already ripened into ownership. Furthermore she herself, after her
father’s demise, declared and paid realty taxes for the disputed land. Tax receipts and
declarations of ownership for taxation, when coupled with proof of actual possession of the
property, can be the basis of a claim for ownership through prescription.26
In contrast, the petitioners, despite thirty-two years of farming the subject land, did not acquire
ownership. It is settled that ownership cannot be acquired by mere occupation.27 Unless coupled
with the element of hostility toward the true owner,28 occupation and use, however long, will
not confer title by prescription or adverse possession. Moreover, the petitioners cannot claim
that their possession was public, peaceful and uninterrupted. Although their father and brother
arguably acquired ownership through extraordinary prescription because of their adverse
possession for thirty-two years (1953-1985),29 this supposed ownership cannot extend to the
entire disputed lot, but must be limited to the portion that they actually farmed. [Cequeña vs.
Bolante, 330 SCRA 216(2000)]
Spouses Recto v. RP while this Court has held in a long line of cases that tax declarations or tax receipts are good
indicia of possession in the concept of owner, it does not necessarily follow that belated
declaration of the same for tax purposes negates the fact of possession, especially in the instant
case where there are no other persons claiming any interest in Lot 10739.” *Recto vs. Republic,
440 SCRA 79(2004)]
Heirs of Gamos v. Heirs of Frando Private persons may gain title to agricultural lands of the public domain by virtue of a public
122
grant, adverse possession (or prescription), accretion and in certain cases, reclamation.—
Private persons gain title to agricultural lands of the public domain by virtue of a public grant,
adverse possession (or prescription), accretion and—in certain cases—reclamation. One who
seeks to register one’s title has the burden of proving that it has been acquired through any of the
foregoing modes, by virtue of which the land has effectively been segregated from the public
domain.

The mere application for a patent, coupled with the fact of exclusive, open, continuous and
notorious possession for the required period is sufficient to vest in the applicant the grant
applied for.—The mere application for a patent, coupled with the fact of exclusive, open,
continuous and notorious possession for the required period is sufficient to vest in the applicant
the grant applied for. In sum, the application by Juliana Frando for a sales patent, coupled with
her open, exclusive, uninterrupted and notorious possession of the land applied for is, for all
purposes, equivalent to a patent already perfected and granted.
[Heirs of Cerila Gamos vs. Heirs of Juliano Frando, 447 SCRA 136(2004)]
Heirs of Crislogo v. Ranon - Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights over immovable
property—it is concerned with lapse of time in the manner and under conditions laid down by
law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful,
uninterrupted and adverse.—Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real
rights over immovable property. It is concerned with lapse of time in the manner and under
conditions laid down by law, namely, that the possession should be in the concept of an owner,
public, peaceful, uninterrupted and adverse. Possession is open when it is patent, visible,
apparent, notorious and not clandestine. It is continuous when uninterrupted, unbroken and not
intermittent or occasional; exclusive when the adverse possessor can show exclusive dominion
over the land and an appropriation of it to his own use and benefit; and notorious when it is so
conspicuous that it is generally known and talked of by the public or the people in the
neighborhood. The party who asserts ownership by adverse possession must prove the presence
of the essential elements of acquisitive prescription.
Same; Same; Same; Adverse Claims; A Notice of Adverse Claim does not constitute an effective
123
interruption of a person’s possession—civil interruption is produced by judicial summons to the
possessor. [
For civil interruption to take place, the possessor must have received judicial summons.—Both
Article 1123 and Article 1124 of the Civil Code underscore the judicial character of civil
interruption. For civil interruption to take place, the possessor must have received judicial
summons. None appears in the case at bar. The Notice of Adverse Claim which was filed by
petitioners in 1977 is nothing more than a notice of claim which did not effectively interrupt
respondents’ possession. Such a notice could not have produced civil interruption. We agree in
the conclusion of the RTC, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals, that the execution of the
Notice of Adverse Claim in 1977 did not toll or interrupt the running of the prescriptive period
because there remains, as yet, a necessity for a judicial determination of its judicial validity. What
existed was merely a notice. There was no compliance with Article 1123 of the Civil Code. What is
striking is that no action was, in fact, filed by petitioners against respondents. As a consequence,
no judicial summons was received by respondents. As aptly held by the Court of Appeals in its
affirmance of the RTC’s ruling, the Notice of Adverse Claim cannot take the place of judicial
summons which produces the civil interruption provided for under the law. In the instant case,
petitioners were not able to interrupt respondents’ adverse possession since 1962. The period
of acquisitive prescription from 1962 continued to run in respondents’ favor despite the Notice
of Adverse Claim. [Heirs of Marcelina Arzadon-Crisologo vs. Rañon, 532 SCRA 391(2007)]

ARTICLE 541
Presumption of Just Title

Cequena v. Bolante See above
Mario Titong v. CA A prescription title to real estate is not acquired by mere possession thereof under claim of
ownership for a period of ten years unless such possession was acquired con justo titulo y
buena fe (with color of title and good faith).—Petitioner’s claim that he acquired ownership over
the disputed land through possession for more than twenty (20) years is likewise unmeritorious.
While Art. 1134 of the Civil Code provides that “(o)wnership and other real rights over immovable
124
property are acquired by ordinary prescription through possession of ten years,” this provision of
law must be read in conjunction with Art. 1117 of the same Code. This article states that “x x x
(o)rdinary acquisitive prescription of things requires possession in good faith and with just title for
the time fixed by law.” Hence, a prescriptive title to real estate is not acquired by mere
possession thereof under claim of ownership for a period of ten years unless such possession was
acquired con justo titulo y buena fe (with color of title and good faith). The good faith of the
possessor consists in the reasonable belief that the person from whom he received the thing was
the owner thereof, and could transmit his ownership. For purposes of prescription, there is just
title when the adverse claimant came into possession of the property through one of the modes
recognized by law for the acquisition of ownership or other real rights but the grantor was not the
owner or could not transmit any right.
Same; Same; Same; Petitioners have not satisfactorily met the requirements of good faith and
just title.—Petitioners have not satisfactorily met the requirements of good faith and just title. As
aptly observed by the trial court, the plaintiff’s admitted acts of converting the boundary line
(Bugsayon River) into a ricefield and thereafter claiming ownership thereof were acts constituting
deprivation of the rights of others and therefore “tantamount to bad faith.” To allow petitioner to
benefit from his own wrong would run counter to the maxim ex dolo malo non oritur actio (no
man can be allowed to found a claim upon his own wrongdoing). Extraordinary acquisitive
prescription cannot similarly vest ownership over the property upon petitioner. Art. 1137 of the
Civil Code states that “(o)wnership and other real rights over immovables prescribe through
uninterrupted adverse possession thereof for thirty years, without need of title or of good faith.”
Petitioner’s alleged possession in 1962 up to September 1983 when private respondents entered
the property in question spanned twenty-one (21) years. This period of time is short of the thirty-
year requirement mandated by Art. 1137. [Titong vs. Court of Appeals (4th Division), 287 SCRA
102(1998)]

EXPENSES
ARTICLE 544-546
Pada-Kilario v. CA Considering that petitioners were in possession of the subject property by sheer tolerance of its
125
owners, they knew that their occupation of the premises may be terminated any time. Persons
who occupy the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract
between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that they will vacate the same upon
demand, failing in which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them.26
Thus, they cannot be considered possessors nor builders in good faith. It is well-settled that both
Article 44827 and Article 54628 of the New Civil Code which allow full reimbursement of useful
improvements and retention of the premises until reimbursement is made, apply only to a
possessor in good faith, i.e., one who builds on land with the belief that he is the owner
thereof.29 Verily, persons whose occupation of a realty is by sheer tolerance of its owners are not
possessors in good faith. Neither did the promise of Concordia, Esperanza and Angelito Pada that
they were going to donate the premises to petitioners convert them into builders in good faith for
at the time the improvements were built on the premises, such promise was not yet fulfilled, i.e.,
it was a mere expectancy of ownership that may or may not be realized.30 More importantly,
even as that promise was fulfilled, the donation is void for Concordia, Esperanza and Angelito
Pada were not the owners of Cadastral Lot No. 5581. As such, petitioners cannot be said to be
entitled to the value of the improvements that they built on the said lot. [Pada-Kilario vs. Court of
Appeals, 322 SCRA 481(2000)]
Chua v. CA There is no provision of law which grants the lessee a right of retention over the leased
premises on the ground that he made repairs on the premises—Article 448 of the Civil Code, in
relation to Article 546, which provides for full reimbursement of useful improvements and
retention of the premises until reimbursement is made, applies only to a possessor in good
faith, i.e., one who builds on a land in the belief that he is the owner thereof.—The appellate
court found petitioners guilty of bad faith in refusing to leave the premises. But petitioners
contend that they acted in good faith under the belief that they were entitled to an extension of
the lease because they had made repairs and improvements on the premises. This contention is
devoid of merit. The fact that petitioners allegedly made repairs on the premises in question is
not a reason for them to retain the possession of the premises. There is no provision of law which
grants the lessee a right of retention over the leased premises on that ground. Art. 448 of the Civil
Code, in relation to Art. 546, which provides for full reimbursement of useful improvements and
126
retention of the premises until reimbursement is made, applies only to a possessor in good faith,
i.e., one who builds on a land in the belief that he is the owner thereof. In a number of cases, the
Court has held that this right does not apply to a mere lessee, like the petitioners, otherwise, it
would always be in his power to “improve” his landlord out of the latter’s property. Art. 1678
merely grants to such a lessee making in good faith useful improvements the right to be
reimbursed one-half of the value of the improvements upon the termination of the lease, or, in
the alternative, to remove the improvements if the lessor refuses to make reimbursement. [Chua
vs. Court of Appeals, 301 SCRA 356(1999)]
Florentino v. Supervalue builders in Good Faith; To be entitled to reimbursement for improvements introduced on the
property, the party claiming must be considered a builder in good faith.—To be entitled to
reimbursement for improvements introduced on the property, the petitioner must be considered
a builder in good faith. Further, Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code, which allow full
reimbursement of useful improvements and retention of the premises until reimbursement is
made, apply only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., one who builds on land with the belief that he
is the owner thereof. A builder in good faith is one who is unaware of any flaw in his title to the
land at the time he builds on it. In this case, the petitioner cannot claim that she was not aware of
any flaw in her title or was under the belief that she is the owner of the subject premises for it is a
settled fact that she is merely a lessee thereof.
Same; Same; Lessees are not possessors or builders in good faith.—In Geminiano v. Court of
Appeals, 259 SCRA 344 (1996), this Court was emphatic in declaring that lessees are not
possessors or builders in good faith, thus: Being mere lessees, the private respondents knew that
their occupation of the premises would continue only for the life of the lease. Plainly, they cannot
be considered as possessors nor builders in good faith. In a plethora of cases, this Court has held
that Article 448 of the Civil Code, in relation to Article 546 of the same Code, which allows full
reimbursement of useful improvements and retention of the premises until reimbursement is
made, applies only to a possessor in good faith, i.e., one who builds on land with the belief that
he is the owner thereof. It does not apply where one’s only interest is that of a lessee under a
rental contract; otherwise, it would always be in the power of the tenant to “improve” his
landlord out of his property. [Florentino vs. Supervalue, Inc., 533 SCRA 156(2007)]
127
Daclig v. Macahilig Article 528 of the Civil Code provides that possession acquired in good faith does not lose this
character, except in a case and from the moment facts exist which show that the possessor is not
unaware that he possesses the thing improperly or wrongfully. Possession in good faith ceases
from the moment defects in the title are made known to the possessors, by extraneous
evidence or by suit for recovery of the property by the true owner. Whatever may be the cause
or the fact from which it can be deduced that the possessor has knowledge of the defects of his
title or mode of acquisition, it must be considered sufficient to show bad faith. Such interruption
takes place upon service of summons. [Daclag vs. Macahilig, 579 SCRA 556(2009)]
Heirs of Limense v. Ramos Good faith is always presumed, and upon him who alleges bad faith on the part of the possessor
rests the burden of proof.31 It is a matter of record that respondents’ predecessor-in-interest
constructed their residential building on Lot No. 12-D, adjacent to Lot No. 12-C, in 1932.32
Respondents’ predecessor-in-interest owned the 1/3 portion of Lot No. 12-C at the time the
property was donated to them by Dalmacio Lozada in 1932. The Deed of Donation executed by
the late Dalmacio Lozada, dated March 9, 1932, specifically provides that:
“I hereby grant, cede and donate in favor of Catalina Lozada married to Sotero Natividad, Isabel
Lozada married to Isaac “Limense and Salud Lozada married to Francisco Ramos, all Filipinos, of
legal age, the parcel of land known as Lot No. 12-C, in equal parts.33
The portions of Lot No. 12-D, particularly the overhang, covering 1 meter in width and 17 meters
in length; the stairs; and the concrete structures are all within the 1/3 share alloted to them by
their donor Dalmacio Lozada and, hence, there was absence of a showing that respondents acted
in bad faith when they built portions of their house on Lot No. 12-C.
Using the above parameters, we are convinced that respondents’ predecessors-in-interest acted
in good faith when they built portions of their house on Lot 12-C. Respondents being builders in
good faith, we shall now discuss the respective rights of the parties relative to the portions
encroaching upon respondents’ house.
Articles 448 and 546 of the New Civil Code provide:
“Art. 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown or planted in good
faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment
of the indemnity provided for in Articles 546 and 548, or to oblige the one who built or planted to
128
pay the price of the land, and the one who sowed, the proper rent. However, the builder or
planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is considerably more than that of the
building or trees. In such case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not
choose to appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon
the terms of the lease and, in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof.
Art. 546. Necessary expenses shall be refunded to every possessor; but only the possessor in
good faith may retain the thing until he has been reimbursed therefor.
Useful expenses shall be refunded only to the possessor in good faith with the same right of
retention, the person who has defeated him in the possession having the option of refunding the
amount of the expenses or of paying the increase in value which the thing may have acquired by
reason thereof.”
In Spouses Del Campo v. Abesia,34 this provision was applied to one whose house, despite having
been built at the time he was still co-owner, overlapped with the land of another. In that case,
this Court ruled: “The court a quo correctly held that Article 448 of the Civil Code cannot apply
where a co-owner builds, plants or sows on the land owned in common for then he did not build,
plant or sow upon the land that exclusively belongs to another but of which he is a co-owner. The
co-owner is not a third person under the circumstances, and the situation is governed by the rules
of co-ownership.
However, when, as in this case, the ownership is terminated by the partition and it appears that
the house of defendants overlaps or occupies a portion of 5 square meters of the land
pertaining to plaintiffs which the defendants obviously built in good faith, then the provisions
of Article 448 of the new Civil Code should apply. x x x”35
In other words, when the co-ownership is terminated by a partition, and it appears that the house
of an erstwhile co-owner has encroached upon a portion pertaining to another co-owner, but the
encroachment was in good faith, then the provisions of Article 448 should apply to determine the
respective rights of the parties. In this case, the co-ownership was terminated due to the transfer
of the title of the whole property in favor of Joaquin Limense.
Under the foregoing provision, petitioners have the right to appropriate said portion of the
house of respondents upon payment of indemnity to respondents, as provided for in Article 546
129
of the Civil Code. Otherwise, petitioners may oblige respondents to pay the price of the land
occupied by their house. However, if the price asked for is considerably much more than the
value of the portion of the house of respondents built thereon, then the latter cannot be
obliged to buy the land. Respondents shall then pay the reasonable rent to petitioners upon
such terms and conditions that they may agree. In case of disagreement, the trial court shall fix
the terms thereof. Of course, respondents may demolish or remove the said portion of their
house, at their own expense, if they so decide.36

The choice belongs to the owner of the land, a rule that accords with the principle of accession
that the accessory follows the principal and not the other way around.37 Even as the option lies
with the landowner, the grant to him, never-the-less, is preclusive. He must choose one. He
cannot, for instance, compel the owner of the building to instead remove it from the land.38
The obvious benefit to the builder under this article is that, instead of being outrightly ejected
from the land, he can compel the landowner to make a choice between two options: (1) to
appropriate the building by paying the indemnity required by law, or (2) to sell the land to the
builder.39

The raison d’être for this provision has been enunciated, thus:
“Where the builder, planter or sower has acted in good faith, a conflict of rights arises between
the owners, and it becomes necessary to protect the owner of the improvements without causing
injustice to the owner of the land. In view of the impracticability of creating a state of forced co-
ownership, the law has provided a just solution by giving the owner of the land the option to
acquire the improvements after payment of the proper indemnity, or to oblige the builder or
planter to pay for the land and the sower the proper rent. He cannot refuse to exercise either
option. It is the owner of the land who is authorized to exercise the option, because his right is
older, and because, by the principle of accession, he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory
thing.”40
In accordance with Depra v. Dumlao,41 this case must be remanded to the trial court to
determine matters necessary for the proper application of Article 448 in relation to Article 546.
130
Such matters include the option that petitioners would take and the amount of indemnity that
they would pay, should they decide to appropriate the improvements on the lots. [Heirs of the
Late Joaquin Limense vs. Vda. De Ramos, 604 SCRA 599(2009)]
Briones v. Macabagdal When a person builds in good faith on the land of another, Article 448 of the Civil Code
governs.—The conclusiveness of the factual findings notwithstanding, we find that the trial court
nonetheless erred in outrightly ordering petitioners to vacate the subject property or to pay
respondent spouses the prevailing price of the land as compensation. Article 527 of the Civil Code
presumes good faith, and since no proof exists to show that the mistake was done by petitioners
in bad faith, the latter should be presumed to have built the house in good faith. When a person
builds in good faith on the land of another, Article 448 of the Civil Code governs.
Same; Same; Same; The builder in good faith can compel the landowner to make a choice
between appropriating the building by paying the proper indemnity or obliging the builder to
pay the price of the land.—The above-cited article covers cases in which the builders, sowers or
planters believe themselves to be owners of the land or, at least, to have a claim of title thereto.
The builder in good faith can compel the landowner to make a choice between appropriating the
building by paying the proper indemnity or obliging the builder to pay the price of the land. The
choice belongs to the owner of the land, a rule that accords with the principle of accession, i.e.,
that the accessory follows the principal and not the other way around. However, even as the
option lies with the landowner, the grant to him, nevertheless, is preclusive. He must choose one.
He cannot, for instance, compel the owner of the building to remove the building from the land
without first exercising either option. It is only if the owner chooses to sell his land, and the
builder or planter fails to purchase it where its value is not more than the value of the
improvements, that the owner may remove the improvements from the land. The owner is
entitled to such remotion only when, after having chosen to sell his land, the other party fails to
pay for the same. [Briones vs. Macabagdal, 626 SCRA 300(2010)]
Torbela v. Spouses Rosario SEE ABOVE.

ARTICLE 555
HOW POSSESSION IS LOST
131

US v. Rey Certainly the owner of the property can not be held to have abandoned the same until at least he
has some knowledge of the loss of its possession or of the loss of the thing.
Property can not be considered abandoned under the law and the possession left vacant for the
finder until the spes recuperandi is gone and the animus revertendi is finally given up.
he theory of abandonment on the part of the owners of the money stolen is fully refuted by the
fact that some weeks after the wreck of the said ship they sent men to the place of the wreck for
the purpose of recovering the property which belonged to them, which was on board the ship at
the time of her sinking. The mere fact that cargo is sunk with a ship wrecked at sea by no means
deprives the owner of said cargo of his property therein. The owner certainly still had the right to
reclaim such property and to recover the same if possible. If it should be recovered by others, the
real owner would be entitled to recover its value less the necessary expense of recovering the
same and carrying it shore by the most approved appliances for that purpose by others.
John Yu v. de Lara Abandonment which converts the thing into res nullius not applicable to land.—Abandonment
requires not only physical relinquishment of the thing but also a clear intention not to reclaim or
reassume ownership or enjoyment thereof. Abandonment which converts the thing into res
nullius, ownership of which may be acquired by occupation, can hardly apply to land, as to which
said mode of acquisition is not available (Article 714, Civil Code), let alone to registered land, to
which “no title x x x in derogation to that of the registered owner shall be acquired by
prescription or adverse possession” (Section 46, Act No. 496).
Same; Occupation of land at owner’s tolerance; Remedy where occupant fails to vacate upon
demand.—A person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission,
without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will
vacate upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against
him. [Yu vs. De Lara, 6 SCRA 785(1962)]
Catholic Vicar Apostolic v. CA Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession for ten years, but always with just title.
Extra-Ordinary Acquisitive prescription requires 30 years. Petitioner failed to meet the
requirements of both ordinary and extra-ordinary prescription.—Petitioner was in possession as
132
borrower in commodatum up to 1951, when it repudiated the trust by declaring the properties in
its name for taxation purposes. When petitioner applied for registration of Lots 2 and 3 in 1962, it
had been in possession in concept of owner only for eleven years. Ordinary acquisitive
prescription requires possession for ten years, but always with just title. Extraordinary acquisitive
prescription requires 30 years. x x x The Court of Appeals found that petitioner did not meet the
requirement of 30 years possession for acquisitive prescription over Lots 2 and 3. Neither did it
satisfy the requirement of 10 years possession for ordinary acquisitive prescription because of the
absence of just title. The appellate court did not believe the findings of the trial court that Lot 2
was acquired from Juan Valdez by purchase and Lot 3 was acquired also by purchase from
Egmidio Octaviano by petitioner Vicar because there was absolutely no documentary evidence to
support the same and the alleged purchases were never mentioned in the application for
registration.
Civil Law; Credit Transactions; Commodatum; Property; Adverse Possession; Adverse Claim;
Acquisitive Prescription; When petitioner borrowed the house of private respondents’
predecessors, and petitioner was allowed its free use, private respondents became bailors in
commodatum, and petitioner, the bailee. Private respondents were able to prove that their
predecessors’ house was borrowed by petitioner Vicar after the church and the convent were
destroyed. They never asked for the return of the house, but when they allowed its free use, they
became bailors in commodatum and the petitioner the bailee. The bailees’ failure to return the
subject matter of commodatum to the bailor did not mean adverse possession on the part of the
borrower. The bailee held in trust the property subject matter of commodatum. The adverse
claim of petitioner came only in 1951 when it declared the lots for taxation purposes. The action
of petitioner Vicar by such adverse claim could not ripen into title by way of ordinary acquisitive
prescription because of the absence of just title.

ARTICLE 559
RULE ON IRREINVIDICABILITY
Del Rosario v. Lucena JEWELRY AND PAWNSHOP CASE.
CONFLICT OF RlGHTS BETWEEN THE OWNER OF A THING AND THE CREDITOR PLEDGEE OF THE
133
SAME THING.—If the defendant accepted jewels in pledge from a third person in the name of
the owner thereof, without ascertaining if the latter had given the former an order or other
authority to pledge the jewels, the defendant is responsible for having accepted the pledge even
if in deciding- the matter she was improperly or falsely informed, and it would be neither just,
nor logical that the consequences of her deception, upon finding out her own error or the deceit
employed by a stranger, should fall on the owner of the jewels who, without any act of her own,
became the victim of a crime. The conflict between the owner of the movable property who lost
it or was deprived thereof illegally and the creditor who loaned money thereon and holds it in
pledge will not, as a general rule, be decided against the owner, to whom the Civil Code grants
right of action for the recovery thereof from whoever may be in possession. (Art. 464.) [Del
Rosario vs. Lucena Et Al., 8 Phil. 535(1907)]
Varela v. Finnick WHEN THERE WAS ALREADY DELIVERY OF THE CAR IN EXCHANGE FOR THE CHECK (which
bounced), the person already acquired full ownership thereof and may validly transfer the same
to a 3
rd
person. The contract between the two though is a VOIDABLE CONTRACT. (article 1506
applicable: where seller of goods has a voidbable titele, but his title has nto been avoided at the
time of the sale, the buyer acquires a good title to the goods, provided he buys them in good
faith, for value and without notice of the seller’s defect of title)

Arenas v. Raymundo 2.PLEDGE OF PROPERTY BELONGING TO ANOTHER; RIGHTS OF' THE PARTIES.—He who is not the
owner or proprietor of the property pledged or mortgaged to guarantee the fulfillment of a
principal obligation, can not legally constitute such a guaranty as may validly bind the property
in favor of his creditor, inasmuch as the creation of a pledge or mortgage amounts to an actual
transfer of ownership, on the part of the pledgor or mortgagor, of the property pledged or
mortgaged, or of the rights concerned in the guaranty. [Arenas vs. Raymundo., 19 Phil.
46(1911)]
Aznar v. Yapdiangco CAR AND SISTER CASE.
True owner has better right than buyer in good faith to possession of stolen car.—A person
unlawfully deprived of the possession of his personal property has a better right to the
possession thereof as against a buyer in good faith for value from a seller who had no title
134
thereto.

Rule under Art. 559, Civil Code; When owner may recover lost property from third persons.—
Under Article 559, Civil Code, the rule is to the effect that if the owner has lost a thing, or if he
has been unlawfully deprived of it, he has a right to recover it, not only from the finder, thief or
robber, but also from third persons who may have acquired it in good faith from such finder,
thief or robber. The said article establishes two exceptions to the general rule of
irrevindicability, to wit: when the owner (1) has lost the thing, or (2) has been unlawfully
deprived thereof. In these cases, the possessor cannot retain the thing as against the owner,
who may recover it without paying any indemnity, except when the possessor acquired it in a
public sale. [Aznar vs. Yapdiangco, 13 SCRA 486(1965)]
EDCA Publishing v. Santos Possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title.—It is the
contention of the petitioner that the private respondents have not established their ownership
of the disputed books because they have not even produced a receipt to prove they had bought
the stock. This is unacceptable. Precisely, the first sentence of Article 559 provides that “the
possession of movable property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title,” thus dispensing
with further proof.

Contract of sale is consensual; Ownership shall pass from the vendor to the vendee upon the
actual or constructive delivery of the thing sold.

Non-payment creates a right to demand payment or to rescind the contract, or to criminal
prosecution.—Non-payment only creates a right to demand payment or to rescind the contract,
or to criminal prosecution in the case of bouncing checks. But absent the stipulation above
noted, delivery of the thing sold will effectively transfer ownership to the buyer who can in turn
transfer it to another.
Same; Same; Same; Same; It would be unfair to make the respondents who acted in good faith,
bear the prejudice sustained by EDCA as a result of its own negligence.—It would certainly be
unfair now to make the private respondents bear the prejudice sustained by EDCA as a result of
135
its own negligence. We cannot see the justice in transferring EDCA’s loss to the Santoses who
had acted in good faith, and with proper care, when they bought the books from Cruz. [EDCA
Publishing & Distributing Corp. vs. Santos, 184 SCRA 614(1990)]
Ledesma v. CA Application of Art. 559; Private respondent was not unlawfully deprived of his property.—The
basic issue then in this case is whether private respondent was unlawfully deprived of the cars
when it sold the same to Rustico Consunji, through a person who claimed to be Jojo Consunji,
allegedly the latter’s son, but who nevertheless turned out to be Armando Suarez, on the faith
of a Manager’s Check with a face value of P101,000.00, dishonored for being altered, the correct
amount being only P101.00. Under this factual milieu, the respondent Court was of the opinion,
and thus held, that private respondent was unlawfully deprived of the car by false pretenses.
We disagree. There was a perfected unconditional contract of sale between private respondent
and the original vendee. The former voluntarily caused the transfer of the certificate of
registration of the vehicle in the name of the first vendee—even if the said vendee was
represented by someone who used a fictitious name—and likewise voluntarily delivered the
cars and the certificate of registration to the vendee’s alleged representative. Title thereto was
forthwith transferred to the vendee. The subsequent dishonor of the check because of the
alteration merely amounted to a failure of consideration which does not render the contract of
sale void, but merely allows the prejudiced party to sue for specific performance or rescission of
the contract, and to prosecute the impostor for estafa under Article 315 of the Revised Penal
Code. [Ledesma vs. Court of Appeals, 213 SCRA 195(1992)]
BPI Family Bank v. Franco FREEZING BPI ACCOUNT CASE.
The movable property mentioned in Article 559 of the Civil Code pertains to a specific or
determinate thing—a determinate or specific thing is one that is individualized and can be
identified or distinguished from others of the same kind.—BPI-FB’s argument is unsound. To
begin with, the movable property mentioned in Article 559 of the Civil Code pertains to a
specific or determinate thing. A determinate or specific thing is one that is individualized and
can be identified or distinguished from others of the same kind.
Same; Same; In this case, the deposit in Franco’s accounts consists of money which, albeit
characterized as a movable, is generic and fungible.—In this case, the deposit in Franco’s
136
accounts consists of money which, albeit characterized as a movable, is generic and fungible.
The quality of being fungible depends upon the possibility of the property, because of its nature
or the will of the parties, being substituted by others of the same kind, not having a distinct
individuality. [BPI Family Bank vs. Franco, 538 SCRA 184(2007)]

Title VI. Usufruct

ARTICLE 562-565
USUFRUCT IN GENERAL
Eleizegui v. Manila Lawn Tennis
Club
Usufruct is a right of superior degree to that which arises from a lease. It is a real right and
includes all the jus utendi and jus fruendi. Nevertheless, the utmost period for which a usufruct
can endure, if constituted in favor of a natural person, is the lifetime of the usufructuary (art. 513,
sec. 1); and if in favor of a juridical person, it can not be created for more than thirty years.
[Eleizegui vs. Manila Lawn Tennis Club, 2 Phil., 309(1903)]
Moralidad v. Pernes CHECK BELOW

ARTICLE 566-582
RIGHTS OF THE USUFRUCTUARY

Bachrach v. Seifert [566] USUFRUCT; STOCK DIVIDEND CONSIDERED CIVIL FRUIT AND BELONGS TO USUFRUCTUARY.—
Under the Massachusetts rule, a stock dividend is considered part of the capital and belongs to
the remainderman; while under the Pennsylvania rule, all earnings of a corporation, when
declared as dividends in whatever form, made during the lifetime of the usufructuary, belong to
the latter.
2.ID.; ID.—The Pennsylvania rule is more in accord with our statutory laws than the
Massachusetts rule. Under section 16 of our Corporation Law, no corporation may make or
declare any dividend except from the surplus profits arising from its business. Any dividend,
therefore, whether cash or stock, represents surplus profits. Article 471 of the Civil Code provides
137
that the usufructuary shall be entitled to receive all the natural, industrial, and civil fruits of the
property in usufruct. The stock dividend in question in this case is a civil fruit of the original
investment. The shares of stock issued in payment of said dividend may be sold independently of
the original shares, just as the offspring of a domestic animal may be sold independently of its
mother. [Bachrach vs. Seifert and Elianoff, 87 Phil. 483(1950)]
Orozco and Alcantara v. Araneta
[566]
DESCENT AND DISTRIBUTION ; FRUITS OF PROPERTY UNDER ADMINISTRATION; STOCK
DIVIDENDS.—Several thousand shares of stock in a corporation was, by will, given by the
deceased to one of his heirs in life usufruct, with the obligation to preserve said shares in favor of
the other heirs who were declared the naked owners thereof. Later, the corporation declared
stock dividends and the usufructuary received, as his proportionate portion, over 28,000
additional shares of stock. "Is a stock dividend fruit or income, which belongs to the usufructuary,
or is it capital or part of the corpus of the estate, which pertains to the remainderman?" Held: A
dividend, whether in the form of cash or stock, is income and, consequently, should go to the
usufructuary, taking into consideration that a stock dividend as well as a cash dividend can be
declared only out of profits of the corporation. [Del Saz Orozco and Alcantara vs. Araneta, et al.,
90 Phil. 399(1951)]
Perez v. CA [572] Petitioners assail the Court of Appeals’ Decision as “premature” and therefore null and void,
because prior to the promulgation of that Decision, private respondent-intervenor Vicente
Asuncion failed to furnish them with a copy of his brief the assignment of errors of which
allegedly “directly” affected their rights and interests.18 While it is true that petitioners were
deprived of the opportunity to contravene the allegations of the intervenor in his brief, that fact
can not result in the nullity of the Decision of the Court of Appeals.19 Vicente Asuncion
intervened pro interesse suo or “according to his interest.”20 Intervention pro interesse suo is a
mode of intervention in equity wherein a stranger desires to intervene for the purpose of
asserting a property right in the res, or thing, which is the subject matter of the litigation, without
becoming a formal plaintiff or defendant, and without acquiring control over the course of a
litigation, which is conceded to the main actors therein.21 In this case, intervenor Vicente
Asuncion aimed to protect his right as a usufructuary. Inasmuch as he has the same rights and
interests as petitioner Juan Perez, any judgment rendered in the latter’s favor entitled him to
138
assert his right as such usufructuary against his co-usufructuary. Should said intervenor claim his
share in the usufruct, no rights of the petitioners other than those of Juan Perez would be
prejudiced thereby. [Perez vs. Court of Appeals, 316 SCRA 43(1999)]
Alunan v. Veloso [574] USUFRUCT OF FUNGIBLE THING.—There can be a usufruct of a sum of money [Alunan vs. Veloso,
52 Phil. 545(1928)]
Moralidad v. Pernes Usufruct, in essence, is nothing else but simply allowing one to enjoy another’s property—it is
also defined as the right to enjoy the property of another temporarily, including both the jus
utendi and the jus fruendi, with the owner retaining the jus disponendi or the power to alienate
the same.—The Court is inclined to agree with the CA that what was constituted between the
parties herein is one of usufruct over a piece of land, with the petitioner being the owner of the
property upon whom the naked title thereto remained and the respondents being two (2) among
other unnamed usufructuaries who were simply referred to as petitioner’s kin. The Court,
however, cannot go along with the CA’s holding that the action for unlawful detainer must be
dismissed on ground of prematurity. Usufruct is defined under Article 562 of the Civil Code in the
following wise: ART. 562. Usufruct gives a right to enjoy the property of another with the
obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title constituting it or the law
otherwise provides. Usufruct, in essence, is nothing else but simply allowing one to enjoy
another’s property. It is also defined as the right to enjoy the property of another temporarily,
including both the jus utendi and the jus fruendi, with the owner retaining the jus disponendi or
the power to alienate the same.
Same; The term or period of the usufruct originally specified provides only one of the bases for
the right of a usufructuary to hold and retain possession of the thing given in usufruct.—We
disagree with the CA’s conclusion of law on the matter. The term or period of the usufruct
originally specified provides only one of the bases for the right of a usufructuary to hold and
retain possession of the thing given in usufruct. There are other modes or instances whereby the
usufruct shall be considered terminated or extinguished. For sure, the Civil Code enumerates such
other modes of extinguishment: ART. 603. Usufruct is extinguished: (1) By the death of the
usufructuary, unless a contrary intention clearly appears; (2) By expiration of the period for which
it was constituted, or by the fulfillment of any resolutory condition provided in the title creating
139
the usufruct; (3) By merger of the usufruct and ownership in the same person; (4) By renunciation
of the usufructuary; (5) By the total loss of the thing in usufruct; (6) By the termination of the
right of the person constituting the usufruct; (7) By prescription.
(in this case there was FULFILLMENT OF THE RESOLUTORY CONDITION. There was loss of
atmosphere of cooperation and there was bickering, thus USUFRUCT WAS EXTINGUISHED
because of the presence of the latter)

Same; By express provision of law, the usufructuaries do not have the right to reimbursement
for the improvements they may have introduced on the property.—The relationship between
the petitioner and respondents respecting the property in question is one of owner and
usufructuary. Accordingly, respondents’ claim for reimbursement of the improvements they
introduced on the property during the effectivity of the usufruct should be governed by
applicable statutory provisions and principles on usufruct. In this regard, we cite with approval
what Justice Edgardo Paras wrote on the matter: If the builder is a usufructuary, his rights will be
governed by Arts. 579 and 580. In case like this, the terms of the contract and the pertinent
provisions of law should govern (3 Manresa 215-216; se also Montinola vs. Bantug, 71 Phil. 449).
(Emphasis ours.) By express provision of law, respondents, as usufructuary, do not have the right
to reimbursement for the improvements they may have introduced on the property. We quote
Articles 579 and 580 of the Civil Code: Art. 579. The usufructuary may make on the property
held in usufruct such useful improvements or expenses for mere pleasure as he may deem
proper, provided he does not alter its form or substance; but he shall have no right to be
indemnified therefor. He may, however, remove such improvements, should it be possible to do
so without damage to the property. (Emphasis supplied.) Art. 580. The usufructuary may set off
the improvements he may have made on the property against any damage to the same.

Same; If the rule on reimbursement or indemnity were otherwise, then the usufructuary might
improve the owner out of his property.—Given the foregoing perspective, respondents will have
to be ordered to vacate the premises without any right of reimbursement. If the rule on
reimbursement or indemnity were otherwise, then the usufructuary might, as an author pointed
140
out, improve the owner out of his property. The respondents may, however, remove or destroy
the improvements they may have introduced thereon without damaging the petitioner’s
property.
Same; Equity; The disposition herein arrived is not only legal and called for by the law and facts
of the case—it is also right.—Out of the generosity of her heart, the petitioner has allowed the
respondent spouses to use and enjoy the fruits of her property for quite a long period of time.
They opted, however, to repay a noble gesture with unkindness. At the end of the day, therefore,
they really cannot begrudge their aunt for putting an end to their right of usufruct. The
disposition herein arrived is not only legal and called for by the law and facts of the case. It is also
right. [Moralidad vs. Parnes, 497 SCRA 532(2006)]

ARTICLE 583-602
OBLIGATIONS OF THE USUFRUCTUARY

Bislig Bay v. Government of Surigao
[597]
USUFRUCTURARY NOT OBLIGED TO PAY REALTY TAXES.
The road that was constructed by appellee belongs to the government by right of accession not
only because it is inherently incorporated or attached to the timber land leased to appellee but
also because upon the expiration of the concession, said road would ultimately pass to the
National government (Articles 440 and 445, new Civil Code; Tabotabo vs. Molero, 22 Phil., 418). In
the second place, while the road was constructed by appellee for, under the lease contract
entered into by the appellee and the government its use can also be availed of by the employees
of the government and by the public in general. Since the road in question cannot be considered
as an improvement which belongs to appellee, although in part it is for its benefit, it is clear that
the same cannot be subject of assessment within the meaning of section 2 of Commonwealth Act
No. 470. A real tax, being a burden upon the capital, should be paid by the owner of the land
and not by a usufructuary (Mercado vs. Rizal, 67 Phil., 608; Article 597, new Civil Code). Appellee
is but a partial usufructuary of the road in question. [Bisig Bay Lumber Co., Inc. vs. Prov. Govt. of
Surigao, 100 Phil. 303(1956)]
Board of Assessments v. Samar Improvements; Road is an improvement on the land.—There is no question that the road
141
Mining [597] constructed by respondent Samar on the public lands leased to it by the government is an
improvement.
Taxation; Road constructed by lessee on public land exempt from realty tax; Reasons.—It cannot
be disputed that the ownership of the road that was constructed by appellee belongs to the
government by right of accession not only because it is inherently incorporated or attached to the
timber land leased to appellee but also because upon the expiration of the concession, said road
would ultimately pass to the national government. Then while the road was constructed by
appellee primarily for its use and benefit, the privilege is not exclusive, for, under the lease
contract entered into by the appellee and the government, its use can also be availed of by the
employees of the government and by the public in general. In other words, the government has
practically reserved the rights to use the road to promote its varied activities.
Same; Realty tax to be paid by owner.—It is well settled that a real tax, being a burden upon the
capital, should be paid by the owner of the land and not by a usufructuary. [Board of Assessment
Appeals of Zamboanga del Sur vs. Samar Mining Company, Inc., 37 SCRA 734(1971)]
Mercado v. Real [597] PAYMENT OF LAND TAX; USUFRUCTUARY; NAKED OWNER.—Pursuant to the provision of article
505 of the Civil Code, the tax directly burdens the capital, that is, the real value of the property
and should be paid by the owner (Ong Lengco vs. Monroy, G. R. No. 19411, July 18, 1923). It is
contended, however, that under the second paragraph of the aforesaid article, if the usufructuary
should pay the tax, he would be entitled to reimbursement for the amount thereof only upon the
expiration of the usufruct, and the usufruct being still afoot, it is premature for the plaintiffs, as
usufructuaries who advanced the payment of the tax, to bring the action for the recovery of what
they paid. There is, however, no basis for this reasoning. The plaintiffs did not pay the tax. They
objected to this payment. They did not consent to the deduction thereof from their share in the
products, and much less to the application thereof to this payment which they believe they are
not bound to make. In fact they did not make the payment; the naked owners were the ones who
made it without their consent and with money belonging to them as their share of the fruits
coming to them in their capacity as usufructuaries. [Mercado vs. Rizal., 67 Phil. 608(1939)]
Hemedes v. CA [600] - A party to a contract cannot just evade compliance with his contractual obligations by the
simple expedient of denying the execution of such contract.
142
- The annotation of usufructuary rights in a certificate of title in favor of another does not
impose upon the mortgagee the obligation to investigate the validity of its mortgagor’s
title.—The annotation of usufructuary rights in favor of Justa Kausapin upon Maxima
Hemedes’ OCT does not impose upon R & B Insurance the obligation to investigate the
validity of its mortgagor’s title. Usufruct gives a right to enjoy the property of another with
the obligation of preserving its form and substance. The usufructuary is entitled to all the
natural, industrial and civil fruits of the property and may personally enjoy the thing in
usufruct, lease it to another, or alienate his right of usufruct, even by a gratuitous title, but
all the contracts he may enter into as such usufructuary shall terminate upon the
expiration of the usufruct.
- Same; Same; In a usufruct, only the jus utendi and jus fruendi over the property is
transferred to the usufructuary—the owner of the property maintains the jus
disponendi or the power to alienate, encumber, transform, and even destroy the
same.—Clearly, only the jus utendi and jus fruendi over the property is transferred to the
usufructuary. The owner of the property maintains the jus disponendi or the power to
alienate, encumber, transform, and even destroy the same. This right is embodied in the
Civil Code, which provides that the owner of property the usufruct of which is held by
another, may alienate it, although he cannot alter the property’s form or substance, or do
anything which may be prejudicial to the usufructuary. There is no doubt that the owner
may validly mortgage the property in favor of a third person and the law provides that, in
such a case, the usufructuary shall not be obliged to pay the debt of the mortga-gor, and
should the immovable be attached or sold judicially for the payment of the debt, the
owner shall be liable to the usufructuary for whatever the latter may lose by reason
thereof. [Hemedes vs. Court of Appeals, 316 SCRA 347(1999)]


ATICLE 603-612
EXTINGUISHMENT OF USUFRUCT
Chingen v. Arguelles [603] 1.WILLS; HEIRS; SURVIVING SPOUSE, RIGHTS OF; USUFRUCT.—The right of usufruct in the estate
143
of a deceased spouse to which the surviving widower is entitled, who is in addition an heir under
the will of his deceased wife, is not superior and he is not entitled to greater privileges than other
coheirs, because the object of the law is to equalize the condition of the heirs and that of the
surviving spouse with the right. of usuf ruct.
2.ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—The usufructuary right in one-half of the estate of a deceased person who
leaves neither legitimate ascendants nor descendants is extinguished ipso facto by the merger of
such usufructuary right and ownership in one person in whom concur the status of widower and
heir. (Art. 513, par. 3, Civil Code.)
3.ID.; lD.; ID.; ID.—The widower who receives his share as an heir under the will from one-half of
the estate of his deceased wife, without legitimate ascendants or descendants, has no right to
enjoy the usufruct of the other half of the property to the prejudice of his coheirs and the various
legatees under the will.

It is absurd and contrary to all justice that the plaintiff should receive his share as an heir under
the will from one-half of the estate and be further entitled to the usufruct of the other half to the
prejudice of his coheir and the various legatees under the will. There is no law or article of the
code which authorizes such an iniquitous privilege.
In any event the portion of the estate subject to usufruct must be claimed from the heir or heirs
in due time, and in the manner and form prescribed by law. [Chingen vs. Arguelles, 7 Phil.,
296(1907)]
Vda. de Aranas v. Aranas Usufruct; Administration; Enjoyment by a usufructuary of the properties of the testator or
administrator as a reward for his faithful and unselfish services rendered to him, is not
perpetual but only temporary; Testamentary proviso of testator must be respected and be
given effect until the death or refusal to act as such of the instituted
usufructuary/administrator; Fideicommissary substitution.—A cursory reading of the English
translation of the Last Will and Testament shows that it was the sincere intention and desire of
the testator to reward his nephew Vicente Aranas for his faithful and unselfish services by
allowing him to enjoy one-half of the fruits of the testator's third group of properties until
Vicente's death and/or refusal to act as administrator in which case, the administration shall pass
144
to anyone chosen by Carmelo Aranas among his sons and upon Carmelo's death, his sons will
have the power to select one among themselves. Vicente Aranas therefore as a usufructuary has
the right to enjoy the property of his uncle with all the benefits which result from the normal
enjoyment (or exploitation) of another's property, with the obligation to return, at the designated
time, either the same thing, or in special cases its equivalent. This right of Vicente to enjoy the
fruits of the properties is temporary and therefore not perpetual as there is a limitation namely
his death or his refusal. Likewise his designation as administrator of these properties is limited by
his refusal and/or death and therefore it does not run counter to Art. 870 of the Civil Code relied
upon by the petitioners. Be it noted that Vicente Aranas is not prohibited to dispose of the fruits
and other benefits arising from the usufruct. Neither are the naked owners (the other heirs) of
the properties, the usufruct of which has been given to Vicente Aranas prohibited from disposing
of said naked ownership without prejudice of course to Vicente's continuing usufruct. To void the
designation of Vicente Aranas as usufructuary and/or administrator is to defeat the desire and
the dying wish of the testator to reward him for his faithful and unselfish services rendered during
the time when said testator was seriously ill or bed-ridden. The proviso must be respected and be
given effect until the death or until the refusal to act as such of the instituted
usufructuary/administrator, after which period, the property can be properly disposed of, subject
to the limitations provided in Art. 863 of the Civil Code concerning a fideicommissary substitution.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Validity or invalidity of the usufructuary dispositions affect the
determination of heirs.—It is contended by petitioners that the ruling made by respondent court
dated November 17, 1977 was already final and not subject to correction as what was set aside
and to be reheard was only regarding the determination of additional heirs. Such contention is
not worthy of credence. Respondents in their memorandum allege and it is not disputed by
petitioners that the order of November 17, 1977 has not yet become final because it was received
only on January 12, 1978 by the counsel for respondent Vicente Aranas and the Motion for
Reconsideration and to declare testamentary and intestate heirs dated January 17, 1978 was filed
by the said respondent within the reglementary period. Besides the validity or invalidity of the
usufructuary dispositions would affect the determination of heirs.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Legacy; Usufructuary or administrator was instituted as a
145
remunerative legatee under the last will and testament—As to petitioners' allegation that the
order of July 16,1980 is without basis, the record shows that during the hearing of the urgent
motion for reconsideration and to declare testamentary and intestate heirs, it was proven
conclusively by the said respondent Vicente B. Aranas that he was instituted as a remunerative
legatee per mandate of the Last Will and Testament by way of usufructuary. Likewise the right of
the Roman Catholic Church as the other usufructuary legatee for the duration of the statutory
lifetime of a corporation, that is, 50 years from the date of the effectivity of said legacy, was also
established. [Vda. de Aranas vs. Aranas, 150 SCRA 415(1987)]
City of Manila v. Monte de Piedad
[603]
1.REALTY; INTEREST IN LAND; OCCUPATION UPON CONDITION.—The cession made in 1887 by the
city of Manila to the Monte de Piedad of an interest in certain land in the Plaza de Goiti gave that
institution the right to occupy the land so long as it was devoted to the purposes of a Monte de
Piedad.
2.ID.; ID.; FORFEITURE.—Such right was not forfeited by the fact that in 1901 the Monte de
Piedad claimed to be the absolute owner of the land.
3.ID.; ID.; ID.; ID.—Rules of law prevailing in the United States to the effect that such an act works
a forfeiture were not in force in these Islands in 1887.
4.ID.; POSSESSORY INFORMATION; INSCRIPTION OF ACTUAL INTEREST.—The possessory
information based upon the claim of ownership is cancelled in its entirety, preserving to the
institution the right to inscribe the possession of the interest which it actually has.
JOHNSON and CARSON, JJ., dissenting:
5.ID.; INTEREST IN LAND; OCCUPATION UPON CONDITION.—The cession of land made by the city
of Manila to the defendant was made for a particular purpose—that is to say, the defendant had
but a usufructuary interest in said land.
6.ID.; ID.; FORFEITURE.—When the defendant asserted or claimed title to said land, it thereby
renounced the usufructuary interest in said land.
7.ID.; ID.; ID.—When the defendant asserted that it owned the fee in said land instead of a
usufructuary interest simply, its possession became a tortious one and it thereby forfeited its
right under its original grant.
8.ID.; ID.; ID.; RENUNCIATION.—Any act on the part of a holder of a usufructuary interest, simply,
146
in lands hostile to the real interest of the owner of said lands, is a renunciation of said
usufructuary interest. [City of Manila vs. El Monte de Piedad, 5 Phil. 234(1905)]
Locsin v. Valenzuela [609] - Presidential Decree No. 27; Ownership over lands subjected to Operation Land Transfer
moved from the registered owner to the tenants; The tenants-farmers became owners of
the land they tilled as of the effective date of Presidential Decree No. 27, i.e., 21 October
1972.
- The lease rentals paid by the tenants-farmers prior to such full payment by the Land Bank
to the old landowner would be credited no longer as rentals but rather as amortization
payments of the price of the land.—Pending full payment of the cost of the land to the old
landowner by the Land Bank of the Philippines, the leasehold system was “provisionally
maintained” but the “lease rent-als” paid by the tenants-farmers prior to such full
payment by the Land Bank to the old landowner, would be credited no longer as rentals
but rather as “amortization payments” of the price of the land, the un-amortized portion
being payable by the Land Bank.
- Lot No. 2-C-A-3 having been declared part of the land reform area and subjected to
Operation Land Transfer the payment made on and after 21 October 1972 by the private
respondent tenants-farmers constituted amortization payments on the cost of the
land.—We believe and so hold that Lot No. 2-C-A-3 having been declared part of the land
reform area and subjected to Operation Land Transfer, the payments made on and after
21 October 1972 by the private respondent tenants-farmers constituted amortization
payments on the cost of the land that they were required to pay under Presidential
Decree No. 27. These payments, therefore, legally pertain to petitioners, the former
landowners as part of the compensation for the dominion over land of which they were
deprived by operation of Presidential Decree No. 27. Those payments can not be
characterized as rentals like those which had been paid to Helen Schon as usufructu-ary
prior to the promulgation of Presidential Decree No. 27 and prior to the effectivity of
Operation Land Transfer.
- Civil Law; Usufructuary; Court believes that the usufruct which had theretofore existed
as a jus in re aliena in favor of Helen Schon was effectively extinguished by Presidential
147
Decree No. 27.—We turn to the question of what rights, if any, were retained by Helen
Schon as a usufructuary, after the effectivity of Presidential Decree No. 27. We believe
that the usufruct which had theretofore existed as a jus in re aliena in favor of Helen
Schon was effectively extinguished by Presidential Decree No. 27. To hold, as private
respondent Helen Schon apparently urges, that her usufruct was not extinguished but
rather remained impressed upon the land passing on to the new owners, would obviously
defeat the very purpose of the land reform statute.
- Same; Same; Same; From the monies that she actually received from private respondent
tenants-farmers on and after 21 October 1972, respondent Helen Schon is entitled to
retain an amount equivalent to the legal interest on said amounts for every year that
the usufruct would by its own terms have continued to exist had it not been
extinguished by operation of Presidential Decree No. 27.—While the option or choice
belongs to petitioners, considering that Helen Schon had already received part of the
purchase price of the land previously owned by petitioners from private respondent
tenants-farmers, and in the interest of expeditious justice, we consider it the second
alternative that should be given effect. Thus, from the monies that she actually received
from private respondent tenants-farmers on and after 21 October 1972, respondent Helen
Schon is entitled to retain an amount equivalent to the legal interest on said amounts for
every year that the usufruct would by its own terms have continued to exist had it not
been extinguished by operation of Presidential Decree No. 27; the balance of such
amounts received by her shall be turned over to petitioners. [Locsin vs. Valenzuela, 194
SCRA 194(1991)]
Moralidad v. Pernes

Title VII. Easements or Servitudes

ARTICLE 613-619
DIFFERENT KINDS OF EASEMENTS
148
Borbajo v. Hidden View [613] - An easement can exist only when the servient and the dominant estates belong to
different owners.—Both from the text of Article 649 of the Civil Code and the perspective
of elementary common sense, the dominant estate cannot be the servient estate at the
same time. One of the characteristics of an easement is that it can be imposed only on the
property of another, never on one’s own property. An easement can exist only when the
servient and the dominant estates belong to different owners.
- Likewise, with Borbajo as a registered co-owner of the road lots, it is utterly pointless to
discuss whether she is entitled to the easement of right of way. Both from the text of
Article 64936 of the Civil Code and the perspective of elementary common sense, the
dominant estate cannot be the servient estate at the same time. [Borbajo vs. Hidden View
Homeowners, Inc., 450 SCRA 315(2005)]
- IN THIS CASE--Borbajo is one of the registered co-owners of the road lots along with
Bongo. As a registered co-owner of the road lots, Borbajo is entitled to avail of all the
attributes of ownership under the Civil Code—jus utendi, fruendi, abutendi, disponendi et
vindicandi.32 Article 428 of the New Civil Code is explicit that the owner has the right to
enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations than those established by law. A
co-owner, such as Borbajo, is entitled to use the property owned in common under Article
486 of the Civil Code. Therefore, respondents cannot close the road lots to prevent
Borbajo from using the same. [Borbajo vs. Hidden View Homeowners, Inc., 450 SCRA
315(2005)]
Solid Manila v. Bio Hong [617] Servitudes are merely accessories to the tenements of which they form part, and even if they
are possessed of a separate juridical existence, they cannot be alienated from the tenement or
mortgaged separately.—It is true that the sale did include the alley. On this score, the Court
rejects the petitioner’s contention that the deed of sale “excluded” it, because as a mere right-of-
way, it can not be separated from the tenement and maintain an independent existence. Thus:
Art. 617. Easements are inseparable from the estate to which they actively or passively belong.
Servitudes are merely accessories to the tenements of which they form part. Although they are
possessed of a separate juridical existence, as mere accessories, they can not, however, be
alienated from the tenement, or mortgaged separately.
149
Same; Same; The vendee of real property in which a servitude or easement exists, did not
acquire the right to close that servitude or put up obstructions thereon, to prevent the public
from using it.—As the petitioner indeed hastens to point out, the deed itself stipulated that “a
portion thereof [of the tenement] measuring NINE HUNDRED FOURTEEN SQUARE METERS, more
or less, had been converted into a private alley for the benefit of the neighboring estates . . .” and
precisely, the former owner, in conveying the property, gave the private owner a discount on
account of the easement, thus: WHEREAS, to compensate for the foregoing, the parties hereto
agreed to adjust the purchase price from THREE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY THOUSAND
FOUR HUNDRED FORTY PESOS (P3,790,440.) to THREE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED THREE
THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FORTY PESOS (P3,503,240.00) Hence, and so we reiterate, albeit the
private respondent did acquire ownership over the property—including the disputed alley—as a
result of the conveyance, it did not acquire the right to close that alley or otherwise put up
obstructions thereon and thus prevent the public from using it, because as a servitude, the alley is
supposed to be open to the public.

REGISTRATION OF A SERVIENT ESTATE WITHOUT THE ANNOTATION OF THE VOLUNTARY
EASEMENT EXTINGUISHES THE EASEMENT. (But legal easements need not be annotated)
Exception: unless the:
a. grantee of servient estate KNEW of the existence of the unrecorded easement or
b. there is an understanding/stipulation that the easement will continue to exist
Dela Cruz v. Ramiscal [619] - NO EASEMENT OF RIGHT OF WAY. The easement was not annotated in the title of the
servient estate; nor did the transferees had knowledge of the easement.
- EASEMENT OF RIGHT OF WAY CAN ONLY BE ACQUIRED BY TITLE AND NOT BY
PRESCRIPTION.
- An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted on the corporeal immovable property
of another, by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from doing, or must allow
someone to do, something on his property, for the benefit of another thing or person.
- under the above-quoted Article 649 of the Civil Code, it is the owner, or any person who
by virtue of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable surrounded by other
150
immovable pertaining to other persons, who is entitled to demand a right of way through
the neighboring estates. In this case, petitioners fell short of proving that they are the
owners of the supposed dominant estate. Nor were they able to prove that they possess a
real right to use such property. The petitioners claim to have acquired their property,
denominated as Lot 1-B-2, from Concepcion de la Peña, mother of defendant Alfredo de la
Cruz, who owns Lot 1-B-3, an adjacent lot. However, as earlier noted, the trial court found
that the title to both lots is still registered in the name of Concepcion de la Peña under TCT
No. RT-56958 (100547).37 Neither were petitioners able to produce the Deed of Sale
evidencing their alleged purchase of the property from de la Peña. Hence, by the bulk of
evidence, de la Peña, not petitioners, is the real party-in-interest to claim a right of way
although, as explained earlier, any action to demand a right of way from de la Peña’s part
will not lie inasmuch as by her own acts of building houses in the area allotted for a
pathway in her property, she had caused the isolation of her property from any access to a
public highway. [De la Cruz vs. Ramiscal, 450 SCRA 449(2005)]
RP V. PLDT
Unisource v. Chung [618] The opening of an adequate outlet to a highway can extinguish only legal or compulsory
easements, not voluntary easements; The fact that an easement by grant may have also
qualified as an easement of necessity does not detract from its permanency as a property right,
which survives the termination of the necessity.—Having made such an admission, petitioner
cannot now claim that what exists is a legal easement and that the same should be can-
_______________

* SECOND DIVISION.
231

VOL. 593, JULY 17, 2009
231
Unisource Commercial and Development Corporation vs. Chung
celled since the dominant estate is not an enclosed estate as it has an adequate access to a public
151
road which is Callejon Matienza Street. As we have said, the opening of an adequate outlet to a
highway can extinguish only legal or compulsory easements, not voluntary easements like in the
case at bar. The fact that an easement by grant may have also qualified as an easement of
necessity does not detract from its permanency as a property right, which survives the
termination of the necessity. A voluntary easement of right of way, like any other contract,
could be extinguished only by mutual agreement or by renunciation of the owner of the
dominant estate.
Same; A voluntary easement of right of way is like any other contract—it is generally effective
between the parties, their heirs and assigns, except in case where the rights and obligations
arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision
of law.—Neither can petitioner claim that the easement is personal only to Hidalgo since the
annotation merely mentioned Sandico and Hidalgo without equally binding their heirs or assigns.
That the heirs or assigns of the parties were not mentioned in the annotation does not mean that
it is not binding on them. Again, a voluntary easement of right of way is like any other contract. As
such, it is generally effective between the parties, their heirs and assigns, except in case where
the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by
stipulation or by provision of law. Petitioner cites City of Manila v. Entote (57 SCRA 497 [1974]) in
justifying that the easement should bind only the parties mentioned therein and exclude those
not so mentioned. However, that case is inapplicable since the issue therein was whether the
easement was intended not only for the benefit of the owners of the dominant estate but of the
community and the public at large. In interpreting the easement, the Court ruled that the clause
“any and all other persons whomsoever” in the easement embraces only “those who are privy to
the owners of the dominant estate, Lots 1 and 2 Plan Pcs-2672” and excludes “the indiscriminate
public from the enjoyment of the right-of-way easement.”

It is settled that the registration of the dominant estate under the Torrens system without the
annotation of the voluntary easement in its favor does not extinguish the easement—it is the
registration of the servient estate as free, that is, without the annotation of the voluntary
easement, which extinguishes the
152
232

easement.—We also hold that although the easement does not appear in respondents’ title over
the dominant estate, the same subsists. It is settled that the registration of the dominant estate
under the Torrens system without the annotation of the voluntary easement in its favor does not
extinguish the easement. On the contrary, it is the registration of the servient estate as free, that
is, without the annotation of the voluntary easement, which extinguishes the easement.
Same; If the dominant estate is divided between two or more persons, each of them may use
the easement in its entirety, without changing the place of its use, or making it more
burdensome in any other way.—The mere fact that respondents subdivided the property does
not extinguish the easement. Article 618 of the Civil Code provides that if the dominant estate is
divided between two or more persons, each of them may use the easement in its entirety,
without changing the place of its use, or making it more burdensome in any other way.
[Unisource Commercial and Development Corporation vs. Chung, 593 SCRA 230(2009)]
Liwag v. Happy Glen Loop [614] Easements; Easements or servitudes are encumbrances imposed upon an immovable for the
benefit of another immovable belonging to a different owner, for the benefit of a community,
or for the benefit of one or more persons to whom the encumbered estate does not belong.—
Easements or servitudes are encumbrances imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of
another immovable belonging to a different owner, for the benefit of a community, or for the
benefit of one or more persons to whom the encumbered estate does not belong. The law
provides that easements may be continuous or discontinuous and apparent or non-apparent.

The appellate court agreed with the OP that an easement for water facility existed on the subject
parcel of land and formed part of the open space required to be reserved by the subdivision
developer under P.D. 957 [

In this case, the water facility is an encumbrance on Lot 11, Block 5 of the Subdivision for the
benefit of the community. It is continuous and apparent, because it is used incessantly without
human intervention, and because it is continually kept in view by the overhead water tank, which
153
reveals its use to the public.
Contrary to petitioner’s contention that the existence of the water tank on Lot 11, Block 5 is
merely tolerated, we find that the easement of water facility has been voluntarily established
either by Marcelo, the Subdivision owner and developer; or by F.G.R. Sales, his predecessor-in-
interest and the original developer of the Subdivision. For more than 30 years, the facility was
continuously used as the residents’ sole source of water.31 The Civil Code provides that
continuous and apparent easements are acquired either by virtue of a title or by prescription of
10 years.32 It is therefore clear that an easement of water facility has already been acquired
through prescription. [Liwag vs. Happy Glen Loop Homeowners Association, Inc., 675 SCRA
744(2012)]

ARTICLE 620-626
Modes of Acquiring Easements

RP V. PLDT REAL PROPERTY MAY BE SUBJECTED TO AN EASEMENT OF RIGHT OF WAY THROUGH
EXPROPRIATION. The use of PLDT’s lines and services is similar to an easement of right of way.
Ronquillo v. Roco [620] 1.EASEMENTS; CLASSIFIED AND HOW THEY ARE ACQUIRED.—Under the Old as well as the New
Civil Code, easements may be continuous or discontinuous (intermittent), apparent or
nonapparent, discontinuous being those used at more or less long intervals and which depend
upon acts of man (Articles 532 and 615 of the Old and New Civil Codes, respectively). Continuous
and apparent easements are acquired either by title or prescription, continuous non-apparent
easements and discontinuous ones whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a
title. Articles 587 and 539, and 620 and 622 of the Old and New Civil Codes respectively.)
2.ID.; EASEMENT OF RIGHT OF WAY MAY NOT BE ACQUIRED THROUGH PRESCRIPTION.—Under
the provisions of Articles 537 and 539, and 620 and 622 of the Old and New Civil Codes,
respectively, the easement of right of way may not be acquired through prescription. [Ronquillo,
et al. vs. Roco, et al, 103 Phil. 84(1958)]
Laureana Cid v. Irene Javier [621] ACQUISITION OF NEGATIVE EASEMENT BY PRESCRIPTION; MEANING OF "FORMAL ACT" IN
ARTICLE 538, SPANISH CIVIL CODE.—The "formal act" required in Article 538 of the Spanish Civil
154
Code, by which the owner of the dominant estate, in order to effectively establish a negative
easement, should forbid the owner of the servient estate to perform any act which would be
lawful without the easement, refers to an instrument acknowledged before a notary public. That
this is the intendment of the law although not expressed in exact language is the reason for the
clarification made in Article 621 of the new Civil Code, which specifically requires the prohibition
to be in "an instrument acknowledged before a notary public."
2.ID.; ID.; EFFECT OF FAILURE TO HAVE THE EASEMENT ANNOTATED ON THE CERTIFICATE OF
TITLE.—Granting that in the instant case an easement of light and view was acquired by
prescription, it was cut off or extinguished by the registration of the servient estate under the
Torrens System without the easement being annotated on the corresponding certificate of title,
pursuant to Section 39 of the Land Registration Act. [Cid vs. Javier, et al., 108 Phil. 850(1960)]
Bogo-Medellin Milling v. CA [622] 2 ALLEGATIONS:
1. Acquisition of EASEMENT thru prescription—NOT ALLOWED because easement of right of
way is discontinuous easement which cannot be acquired by prescription
2. Acquisition of that STRIP OF LAND thru prescription—NOT ALLOWED because it was not
possessed in the concept of an owner.

Prescription; Possession, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be
possession under a claim of title, that is, it must be adverse.—There is no dispute that the
controversial strip of land has been in the continuous possession of petitioner since 1929. But
possession, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be possession under a claim
of title, that is, it must be adverse. Unless coupled with the element of hostility towards the true
owner, possession, however long, will not confer title by prescription.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Easement; An acknowledgement of the easement is an admission
that the property belongs to another.—An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted on
the corporeal immovable property of another, by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from
doing, or must allow someone to do, something on his property, for the benefit of another thing
or person. It exists only when the servient and dominant estates belong to two different owners.
It gives the holder of the easement an incorporeal interest on the land but grants no title thereto.
155
Therefore, an acknowledgment of the easement is an admission that the property belongs to
another.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Mere material possession of land is not adverse possession as against
the owner and is insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent
to possess as an owner.—The mere expiration of the period of easement in 1959 did not convert
petitioner’s possession into an adverse one. Mere material possession of land is not adverse
possession as against the owner and is insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is
accompanied by the intent to possess as an owner. There should be a hostile use of such a nature
and exercised under such circumstances as to manifest and give notice that the possession is
under a claim of right.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Acts of possessory character executed by virtue of license or
tolerance of the owner, no matter how long, do not start the running of the period of
prescription.—In the absence of an express grant by the owner, or conduct by petitioner sugar
mill from which an adverse claim can be implied, its possession of the lot can only be presumed to
have continued in the same character as when it was acquired (that is, it possessed the land only
by virtue of the original grant of the easement of right of way), or was by mere license or
tolerance of the owners (respondent heirs). It is a fundamental principle of law in this jurisdiction
that acts of possessory character executed by virtue of license or tolerance of the owner, no
matter how long, do not start the running of the period of prescription.

Easements are either continuous or discontinuous.—Under civil law and its jurisprudence,
easements are either continuous or discontinuous according to the manner they are exercised,
not according to the presence of apparent signs or physical indications of the existence of such
easements. Thus, an easement is continuous if its use is, or may be, incessant without the
intervention of any act of man, like the easement of drainage; and it is discontinuous if it is used
at intervals and depends on the act of man, like the easement of right of way.

In this case, the presence of railroad tracks for the passage of petitioner’s trains denotes the
existence of an apparent but discontinuous easement of right of way. And under Article 622 of
156
the Civil Code, discontinuous easements, whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by title.
Unfortunately, petitioner Bomedco never acquired any title over the use of the railroad right of
way whether by law, donation, testamentary succession or contract. Its use of the right of way,
however long, never resulted in its acquisition of the easement because, under Article 622, the
discontinuous easement of a railroad right of way can only be acquired by title and not by
prescription.

To be sure, beginning 1959 when the original 30-year grant of right of way given to petitioner
Bomedco expired, its occupation and use of Cadastral Lot No. 954 came to be by mere tolerance
of the respondent heirs. Thus, upon demand by said heirs in 1989 for the return of the subject
land and the removal of the railroad tracks, or, in the alternative, payment of compensation for
the use thereof, petitioner Bomedco which had no title to the land should have returned the
possession thereof or should have begun paying compensation for its use.

But when is a party deemed to acquire title over the useof such land (that is, title over the
easement of right of way)? In at least two cases, we held that if: (a) it had subsequently entered
into a contractual right of way with the heirs for the continued use of the land under the
principles of voluntary easements, or (b) it had filed a case against the heirs for conferment on it
of a legal easement of right of way under Article 629 of the Civil Code, then title over the use of
the land is deemed to exist. The conferment of a legal easement of right of way under Article 629
is subject to proof of the following:
(1) it is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway;
(2) payment of proper indemnity;
(3) the isolation is not the result of its own acts; and
(4) the right of way claimed is at the point least prejudi-cial to the servient estate, and, insofar as
consistent with this rule, the distance from the dominant estate to the highway is the shortest.43
None of the above options to acquire title over the railroad right of way was ever pursued by
petitioner despite the fact that simple resourcefulness demanded such initiative, considering
the importance of the railway tracks to its business. No doubt, it is unlawfully occupying and
157
using the subject strip of land as a railroad right of way without valid title yet it refuses to vacate
it even after demand of the heirs. Furthermore, it tenaciously insists on ownership thereof
despite a clear showing to the contrary. [Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 407
SCRA 518(2003)]
Fe Velasco v. Cusi [622] Easement of public highway; Public highway deemed a legal encumbrance to the lot originally
registered despite the absence of annotation on the title, as the highway was already subsisting
when the title was issued.—From the foregoing provision, Bolton Street which is a public
highway, already subsisting when O.C.T. No. 638 was issued, as this fact is apparent too from the
face of the complaint itself, is deemed to have attached as a legal encumbrance to the lot
originally registered Lot No. 77, notwithstanding the lack of an annotation thereof in O.C.T. No.
638. Petitioner, therefore, cannot rely, as she almost entirely does for the relief she seeks, on the
aforequoted provision, which she had repeatedly cited but without making mention, perhaps
conveniently, of the exception as expressly provided in the later part of the legal provision
invoked (Sec. 39, Act 496). [Velasco vs. Cusi, Jr., 105 SCRA 616(1981)]
Bicol Agro v. Tobias The easement of right of way is characterized as a discontinuous easement because its use is in
intervals and depends on the act of man, and because of this character, an easement of a right
of way may only be acquired by virtue of a title—thus, it is incumbent on one claiming such
easement to show its right by title or by an agreement with the owners of the land that the
road traversed.—An easement of right of way was succinctly explained by the CA in the following
manner, to wit: Easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the
benefit of another immovable belonging to a different owner. By its creation, easement is
established either by law (in which case it is a legal easement) or by will of the parties (a voluntary
easement). In terms of use, easement may either be continuous or discontinuous. The easement
of right of way—the privilege of persons or a particular class of persons to pass over another’s
land, usually through one particular path or linen—is characterized as a discontinuous easement
because its use is in intervals and depends on the act of man. Because of this character, an
easement of a right of way may only be acquired by virtue of a title. Article 622 of the New Civil
Code is the applicable law in the case at bar, viz.: “Art. 622. Continuous non-apparent easements,
and discontinuous ones, whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a title. Based
158
on the foregoing, in order for petitioner to acquire the disputed road as an easement of right-of-
way, it was incumbent upon petitioner to show its right by title or by an agreement with the
owners of the lands that said road traversed. [

It is already well-established that a right of way is discontinuous and, as such, cannot be
acquired by prescription.—Petitioner would have this Court re-examine Costabella Corporation v.
Court of Appeals (Costabella), 193 SCRA 333 (1991), where the Court held that, “It is already well-
established that a right of way is discontinuous and, as such, cannot be acquired by prescription.”
Petitioner contends that some recognized authorities share its view that an easement of right of
way may be acquired by prescription. Be that as it may, this Court finds no reason to re-examine
Costabella. This Court is guided by Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals (Bogo-
Medellin), 407 SCRA 518 (2003), involving the construction of a railroad track to a sugar mill. In
Bogo-Medellin, this Court discussed the discontinuous nature of an easement of right of way and
the rule that the same cannot be acquired by prescription.
Same; Same; Easements are either continuous or discontinuous according to the manner they
are exercised, not according to the presence of apparent signs or physical indications of the
existence of such easements.—Applying Bogo-Medellin to the case at bar, the conclusion is
inevitable that the road in dispute is a discontinuous easement notwithstanding that the same
may be apparent. To reiterate, easements are either continuous or discontinuous according to
the manner they are exercised, not according to the presence of apparent signs or physical
indications of the existence of such easements. Hence, even if the road in dispute has been
improved and maintained over a number of years, it will not change its discontinuous nature but
simply make the same apparent. To stress, Article 622 of the New Civil Code states that
discontinuous easements, whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a title.
[Bicol Agro-Industrial Producers Cooperative, Inc. (BAPCI) vs. Obias, 603 SCRA 173(2009)]
Tañedo v. Bernad [624] - petitioner’s right to continue to use the septic tank erected on a lot ceased upon the
subdivision of the land and its subsequent sale to different owners who do not have the
same interest.
- As can be seen from the above provisions, the alienation of the dominant and servient
159
estates to different persons is not one of the grounds for the extinguishment of an
easement. On the contrary, use of the easement is continued by operation of law.
- Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Absent a statement abolishing or extinguishing the
easement of drainage the use of the septic tank is continued by operation of law; The
new owners of the servient estate cannot impair the use of the servitude.—In the
instant case, no statement abolishing or extinguishing the easement of drainage was
mentioned in the deed of sale of Lot 7501-A to Eduardo Tañedo. Nor did Antonio
Cardenas stop the use of the drain pipe and septic tank by the occupants of Lot 7501-A
before he sold said lot to Eduardo Tañedo. Hence, the use of the septic tank is continued
by operation of law. Accordingly, the spouses Romeo and Pacita Sim, the new owners of
the servient estate (Lot 7501-B), cannot impair, in any manner whatsoever, the use of
the servitude. [Tañedo vs. Bernad, 165 SCRA 86(1988)]
Juan Gargantos v. Tan Yanon [624] EASEMENT OF LIGHT AND VIEW; TWO ADJOINING ESTATES FORMERLY OWNED BY ONE PERSON;
WHEN EXISTENCE OF DOORS AND WINDOWS IS EQUIVALENT TO A TITLE.—Where two adjoining
estates were formerly owned by just one person who introduced improvements on both such
that the wall of the house constructed on the first estate extends to the wall of the camarin on
the second estate; and at the time of the sale of the first estate, there existed on the
aforementioned wall of the house, doors and windows which serve as passages for light and view,
there being no provision in the deed of sale that the easement of light and view will not be
established, the case is covered by Article 624, New Civil Code, which provides that the existence
of an apparent sign of easement between two estates established by the proprietor of both,
shall be considered, if one of them is alienated, as a title so that the easement will continue
actively and passively, unless at the time the ownership of the estate is divided, the contrary is
stated in the deed of alienation of either of them, or the sign is made to disappear before the
instrument is executed. The existence of the doors and windows on the aforesaid wall of the
house is equivalent to a title, for the visible and permanent sign of an easement is the title that
characterizes its existence. But while the law declares that the easement is to "continue", the
easement actually arises for the first time only upon alienation of either estate, inasmuch as
before that time there is no easement to speak of, there being but one owner of both estates
160
(Article 613, N.C.C.).

We find that respondent Tan Yanon's property has an easement of light and view against
petitioner's property. By reason of this easement, petitioner cannot construct on his land any
building unless he erects it at a distance of not less than three meters from the boundary line
separating the two estates. [Gargantos vs. Tan Yanon and Court of Appeals, 108 Phil. 888(1960)]

ARGUMENT: The kernel of petitioner's argument is that respondent never acquired any easement
either by title or by prescription. Assuredly, there is no deed establishing an easement. Likewise,
neither petitioner nor his predecessors-in-interest have ever executed any deed whereby they
recognized the existence of the easement, nor has there been final judgment to that effect
Invoking our decision in Cortes vs. Yu-Tibo (2 Phil., 24), petitioner maintains that respondent has
not acquired an easement by prescription because he has never formally forbidden petitioner
from performing any act which would be lawful without the easement, hence the prescriptive
period never started. [Gargantos vs. Tan Yanon and Court of Appeals, 108 Phil. 888(1960)]

HELD:
NPC v. Spouses Campos Prescription as a mode of acquisition requires the existence of the following elements.—
Prescription as a mode of acquisition requires the existence of the following: (1) capacity to
acquire by prescription; (2) a thing capable of acquisition by prescription; (3) possession of the
thing under certain conditions; and (4) lapse of time provided by law. Acquisitive prescription may
either be ordinary, in which case the possession must be in good faith and with just title, or
extraordinary, in which case there is neither good faith nor just title. In either case, there has to
be possession which must be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful and uninterrupted.

Same; Same; Possession; Possession, under the Civil Code, to constitute the foundation of a
prescriptive right, must be possession under claim of title (en concepto de dueño).—It is a
fundamental principle of the law in this jurisdiction concerning the possession of real property
that such possession is not affected by acts of a possessory character which are “merely
161
tolerated” by the possessor, which are or due to his license (Civil Code, arts. 444 and 1942). This
principle is applicable not only with respect to the prescription of the dominium as a whole, but
to the prescription of right in rem. In the case of Cortes vs. Palanca Yu-Tibo (2 Phil. Rep., 24, 38),
the Court said: The provision of article 1942 of the Civil Code to the effect that acts which are
merely tolerated produce no effect with respect to possession is applicable as much to the
prescription of real rights as to the prescription of the fee, it being a glaring and self-evident error
to affirm the contrary, as does the appellant in his motion papers. Possession is the fundamental
basis of prescription. Without it no kind of prescription is possible, not even the extraordinary.
Consequently, if acts of mere tolerance produce no effect with respect to possession, as that
article provides, in conformity with article 444 of the same Code, it is evident that they can
produce no effect with respect to prescription, whether ordinary or extraordinary. This is true
whether the prescriptive acquisition be of a fee or of real rights, for the same reason holds in one
and the other case; that is, that there has been no true possession in the legal sense of the word.
(Citations omitted) Possession, under the Civil Code, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive
right, must be possession under claim of title (en concepto de dueño), or to use the common law
equivalent of the term, it must be adverse. Acts of possessory character performed by one who
holds by mere tolerance of the owner are clearly not en concepto de dueño, and such possessory
acts, no matter how long so continued, do not start the running of the period of prescription.

The petitioner’s claim that, under Article 620 of the Civil Code, it had already acquired by
prescription the easement of right-of-way over that portion of the subject property where its
wooden electric posts and transmission lines were erected is untenable.
In this case, the records clearly reveal that the petitioner’s possession of that portion of the
subject property where it erected the wooden posts and transmission lines was merely upon the
tolerance of the respondents. Accordingly, this permissive use by the petitioner of that portion of
the subject property, no matter how long continued, will not create an easement of right-of-way
by prescription. The case of Cuaycong vs. Benedicto15 is particularly instructive. In that case, the
plaintiffs for more than twenty years made use of the road that passed through the hacienda
owned by the defendants, being the only road that connected the plaintiffs hacienda to the public
162
road. The defendants closed the road in question and refused the use of the same unless a toll
was paid. The plaintiffs therein brought an action to enjoin the defendants from interfering with
the use of the road. In support of their action, the plaintiffs presented evidence tending to show
that they have acquired the right-of-way through the road by prescription.

Following the foregoing disquisition, the petitioner’s claim that it had acquired the easement of
right-of-way by prescription must perforce fail. As intimated above, possession is the
fundamental basis of prescription, whether ordinary or extraordinary. The petitioner never
acquired the requisite possession in this case. Its use of that portion of the subject property
where it erected the wooden poles and transmission lines was due merely to the tacit license and
tolerance of the respondents. As such, it cannot be made the basis of the acquisition of an
easement of right-of-way by prescription. [National Power Corporation vs. Campos, Jr., 405 SCRA
194(2003)]
Aneco Realty v. Landex - Every owner has the right to enclose or fence his land or tenement by means of walls,
ditches, hedges or any other means—the right to fence flows from the right of
ownership.—Article 430 of the Civil Code gives every owner the right to enclose or fence
his land or tenement by means of walls, ditches, hedges or any other means. The right to
fence flows from the right of ownership. As owner of the land, Landex may fence his
property subject only to the limitations and restrictions provided by law. Absent a clear
legal and enforceable right, as here, We will not interfere with the exercise of an essential
attribute of ownership
- The subject property ceased to be a road lot when its former owner (Fernandez
Hermanos, Inc.) sold it to appellant Aneco not as subdivision lots and without the
intention of pursuing the subdivision project. The law in point is Article 624 of the New
Civil Code, which provides:
- Art. 624. The existence of an apparent sign of easement between two estates,
established or maintained by the owner of both, shall be considered, should either of
them be alienated, as a title in order that the easement may continue actively and
passively, unless, at the time the ownership of the two estates is divided, the contrary
163
should be provided in the title of conveyance of either of them, or the sign aforesaid
should be removed before the execution of the deed. This provision shall also apply in
case of the division of a thing owned in common by two or more persons.
- Viewed from the aforesaid law, there is no question that the law allows the continued use
of an apparent easement should the owner alienate the property to different persons. It is
noteworthy to emphasize that the lot in question was provided by the previous owner
(Fernandez Hermanos, Inc.) as a road lot because of its intention to convert it into a
subdivision project. The previous owner even applied for a development permit over the
subject property. However, when the twenty-two (22) lots were sold to appellant Aneco, it
was very clear from the seller’s deed of sale that the lots sold ceased to be subdivision
lots. The seller even warranted that it shall undertake to extend all the necessary
assistance for the consolidation of the subdivided lots, including the execution of the
requisite manifestation before the appropriate government agencies that the seller is no
longer interested in pursuing the subdivision project. In fine, appellant Aneco knew from
the very start that at the time of the sale, the 22 lots sold to it were not intended as
subdivision units, although the titles to the different lots have yet to be consolidated.
Consequently, the easement that used to exist on the subject lot ceased when appellant
Aneco and the former owner agreed that the lots would be consolidated and would no
longer be intended as a subdivision project.
- Aneco cannot rely on the road lot under the old subdivision project of FHDI because it
knew at the time of the sale that it was buying ordinary lots, not subdivision lots, from
FHDI. This is clear from the deed of sale between FHDI and Aneco where FHDI manifested
that it was no longer interested in pursuing its own subdivision project. If Aneco wants to
transform its own lots into a subdivision project, it must make its own provision for road
lots. It certainly cannot piggy back on the road lot of the defunct subdivision project of
FHDI to the detriment of the new owner Landex. The RTC and the CA correctly dismissed
the complaint for injunction of Aneco for lack of merit. [Aneco Realty and Development
Corporation vs. Landex Development Corporation, 560 SCRA 182(2008)]
Goldcrest v. Cypress Gardens [625] easements; Restrictions on the owner of the dominant estate on its rights on the servient
164
estate.—The owner of the dominant estate cannot violate any of the following prescribed
restrictions on its rights on the servient estate, to wit: (1) it can only exercise rights necessary for
the use of the easement; (2) it cannot use the easement except for the benefit of the immovable
originally contemplated; (3) it cannot exercise the easement in any other manner than that
previously established; (4) it cannot construct anything on it which is not necessary for the use
and preservation of the easement; (5) it cannot alter or make the easement more burdensome;
(6) it must notify the servient estate owner of its intention to make necessary works on the
servient estate; and (7) it should choose the most convenient time and manner to build said
works so as to cause the least convenience to the owner of the servient estate. Any violation of
the above constitutes impairment of the easement. [Goldcrest Realty Corporation vs. Cypress
Gardens Condominium Corporation, 584 SCRA 440(2009)]
Privatization v. Legaspi Towers
[624]
There was no true easement constituted where both properties were owned by the same
person at the time of the alleged creation of the easement.—There are two sources of
easements: by law or by the will of the owners. Article 619 of the Civil Code states: Art. 619.
Easements are established either by law or by the will of the owners. The former are called legal
and the latter voluntary easements. In the present case, neither type of easement was
constituted over the subject property. In its allegations, respondent claims that Caruff constituted
a voluntary easement when it constructed the generating set and sump pumps over the disputed
portion of the subject property for its benefit. However, it should be noted that when the
appurtenances were constructed on the subject property, the lands where the condominium was
being erected and the subject property where the generating set and sump pumps were
constructed belonged to Caruff. Therefore, Article 613 of the Civil Code does not apply, since no
true easement was constituted or existed, because both properties were owned by Caruff.
Same; When the owner of two properties alienates one of them and an apparent sign of
easement exists between the two estates, entitlement to it continues, unless there is a contrary
agreement, or the indication that the easement exists is removed before the execution of the
deed.—Article 624 of the Civil Code is controlling, as it contemplates a situation where there
exists an apparent sign of easement between two estates established or maintained by the owner
of both. The law provides: Art. 624. The existence of an apparent sign of easement between two
165
estates, established or maintained by the owner of both, shall be considered, should either of
them be alienated, as a title in order that the easement may continue actively and passively,
unless, at the time the ownership of the two estates is divided, the contrary should be provided in
the title of conveyance of either of them, or the sign aforesaid should be removed before the
execution of the deed. This provision shall also apply in case of the division of a thing owned in
common by two or more persons. From the foregoing, it can be inferred that when the owner of
two properties alienates one of them and an apparent sign of easement exists between the two
estates, entitlement to it continues, unless there is a contrary agreement, or the indication that
the easement exists is removed before the execution of the deed. Thus, when the subject
property was assigned to the National Government thru the APT, no easement arose or was
voluntarily created from the transfer of ownership, considering that the parties, more
particularly, Caruff, pledged that it was assigning, transferring, and conveying the subject
property in favor of the National Government thru the APT “free from any and all liens and
encumbrances.” [Privatization and Management Office vs. Legaspi Towers 300, Inc., 593 SCRA
382(2009)]
Bicol Agro v. Obias [622]
ARTICLE 627, 630
RIGHTS AND OBLIGATIONS
Valderrama v. North Negros TRANSPORT OF WAGONS CONTAINING SUGAR CANES FROM OTHER ESTATES DID NOT MAKE THE
EASEMENT MORE BURDENSOME.
EASEMENT OF WAY.—In a contract establishing an easement of way in favor of a sugar company
for the construction of a railroad for the transportation of sugar cane from the servient estates to
the mill of said company, it is contrary to the nature of the contract to pretend that only sugar
cane grown in the servient estates can be transported on said railroad, because it is a well-settled
rule that things serve their owner by reason of ownership and not by reason of easement; that is
to say, that an easement having been established in favor of the sugar company, the owners of
the servient estates cannot limit its use to the transportation of their cane, there being no express
stipulation to that effect, for then there would be no need of the easement, since they could use
their estates as owners thereof.
166
3.ID.; ID.; ALTERATION OF EASEMENT.—In the case of an easement of way for the construction of
a railroad, the prohibition of the law (art. 543 of the Civil Code) against alteration of easement,
making it more burdensome, is not violated by causing to pass thereon wagons carrying goods
pertaining to persons who are not the owners of the servient estates and at all times the person
entitled to the easement may "please, for in such a case the easement continues to be the same.
Said legal prohibition has reference to that case wherein in extending the line or repairing or
using the same, a larger area of land is occupied, or excavations or materials deposited outside of
the area occupied by the easement. [Valderrama vs. North Negros Sugar Co., 48 Phil. 492(1925)]
Aneco Realty v. Landex See above

ARTICLE 631, 633
MODES OF EXTINGUISHMENT

Cabacungan v. Corrales [631] FOR A MERGER TO EXTINGUISH AN EASEMENT, THE MERGER MUST BE COMPLETE AND NOT
PARTIAL.
EXTINCTION OF EASEMENT BY MERGER IN THE SAME PERSON OF THE OWNERSHIP OF
DOMINANT AND SERVIENT EsTATES; EFFECT OF ACQUISITION OF PARTIAL INTEREST IN THE
SERVIENT ESTATE.—As defendant (owners of the dominant estate) have not become sole owners
of the servient estate, for they have acquired only a part interest therein, it cannot be said that
the ownership of the dominant and servient estates has been merged in the same person
pursuant to Article 631 of the New Civil Code.
And as to the matter of drainage, Article 674 of the New Civil Code specifically provides "that the
owner of a building shall be obliged to construct its roof or covering in such a manner that the
rain water shall fall on his own land or on a street or public place, and not on the land of his
neighbor, even though the adjacent land may belong to two or more persons, one of whom is the
owner of the proof." (Italics supplied.) [Cabacungan, et al., vs. Corrales, 95 Phil. 919(1954)]

Benedicto v. CA [631] CESSATION OF NECESSITY IS NOT A GROUND FOR EXTINGUISHMENT OF EASEMENT IF THE
EASEMENT IS A VOLUNTARY EASEMENT.
167
Easements; How extinguished.—Easements are extinguished: (a) By nonuser for ten years; with
respect to discontinuous easements, this period shall be computed from the day on which they
ceased to be used; and, with respect to continuous easements, from the day on which an act
contrary to the same took place; and (b) When either or both of the estates fall into such
condition that the easement cannot be used; but it shall revive if the subsequent condition of the
'estates or either of them should again permit its use, unless when the use becomes possible,
sufficient time for prescription has elapsed, in accordance with the provisions of the preceding
number, x x x (Art. 631, nos. 2 and 3, Civil Code).
Same; Where easement is perpetual in character; Case at bar.—The easement in the case at bar
is perpetual in character and was annotated on all the transfer certificates of title issued in the
series of transfers from Hedrick through to the respondent Heras, and in the transfer certificates
of title issued in the series of transfers from Recto through to the petitioner Benedicto. Since
there is no evidence that would point to a mutual agreement between any of the predecessors-
in-interest of the respondent nor between the petitioner, and the respondent themselves with
respect to the discontinuance or obliteration of the easement annotated on the titles, the
continued existence of the easement must be upheld and respected.

The fact that an easement by grant may have also qualified as an easement of necessity does
not detract from its permanency as a property right, which survives the termination of the
necessity

THERE WAS NO EXTINGUISHMENT BY NON-USE. Indubitable proof must be presented.
The petitioner argues at length that this case is governed by the present Code, and that since 14
years had elapsed from the time the building on Heras' property was demolished in 1941 to 1955
when this action was begun (during which period he assumes that the passageway ceased to be
used because Heras' property had direct access to the street), the easement must be deemed to
have been extinguished.
For the purposes of this decision we do not f ind it necessary to determine whether the
appropriate period of nonuser in this case is 20 or 10 years. For one thing, there is no indubitable
168
proof of nonuser. The petitioner merely assumes that the passageway in question had not been in
use since 1941 because the property of Heras has since gained direct access to San Marcelino
street with the demolition of his house. For another, even if we assume that the period of
prescription based on nonuser is 10 years, the very testimony of the petitioner Benedicto
shows. that it was only in 1946 that he had the passageway walled in by constructing a fence,
and since the present action was filed in 1955, granting that article 631 of the Civil Code is
applicable, the prescriptive period has not yet elapsed.
Nor can presumptive renunciation by Heras of the use of the said passageway be inferred. It
would appear from the record that Heras started the construction of an apartment building on his
parcel of land after the demolition of his house in 1941, and that although interrupted by World
War II, construction was continued in 1955. Since it is patent from the stipulation of facts that the
easement in question is mainly a vehicular passageway, the obvious need for such passageway to
the rear portion of the projected apartment building negates any presumptive renunciation on
the part of Heras. [Benedicto vs. Court of Appeals, 25 SCRA 145(1968)]
Tañedo v. Bernad [631] Extinguishment of easement; Alienation of the dominant and servient estates to different
persons is not one of the grounds for extinguishment of the easement.—As can be seen from
the above provisions, the alienation of the dominant and servient estates to different persons is
not one of the grounds for the extinguishment of an easement. On the contrary, use of the
easement is continued by operation of law.
Same; Same; Same; Same; Same; Absent a statement abolishing or extinguishing the easement
of drainage the use of the septic tank is continued by operation of law; The new owners of the
servient estate cannot impair the use of the servitude.—In the instant case, no statement
abolishing or extinguishing the easement of drainage was mentioned in the deed of sale of Lot
7501-A to Eduardo Tañedo. Nor did Antonio Cardenas stop the use of the drain pipe and septic
tank by the occupants of Lot 7501-A before he sold said lot to Eduardo Tañedo. Hence, the use of
the septic tank is continued by operation of law. Accordingly, the spouses Romeo and Pacita Sim,
the new owners of the servient estate (Lot 7501-B), cannot impair, in any manner whatsoever,
the use of the servitude. [Tañedo vs. Bernad, 165 SCRA 86(1988)]
Salimbangon v. Tan Easement of Right of Way; The existence of a dominant estate and a servient estate is
169
incompatible with the idea that both estates belong to the same person.—As originally
constituted in that agreement, each of Lots A and B was to contribute a strip of 1.5 meters
between them that when combined formed a 3-meter wide alley leading from Lots D and E to the
street. To the extent that Lots A and B retained the right to use the 1.5-meter portion that they
contributed to the establishment of the easement, the agreement gave their owners the right to
use the common alley as well. As Eduardo testified, however, the true intent of the heirs was to
give Lots D and E access to the street. Lots A and B did not need this alley since they were facing
the street. Consequently, when the owner of Lots D and E also became the owner of Lot B, the
easement of right of way on Lot B became extinct by operation of law. The existence of a
dominant estate and a servient estate is incompatible with the idea that both estates belong to
the same person. [Salimbangon vs. Tan, 610 SCRA 426(2010)]

ARTICLE 637, 648
EASEMENT RELATING TO WATERS

Banzon v. Banzon [642] 1.REGISTRATION OF LAND; EASEMENTS.—The registration of a piece of land under the Torrens
system extinguishes all the voluntary easements on said land, if they are not noted in the original
Torrens certificate of title.
2.ID.; ID.; VOLUNTARY EASEMENTS.—An irrigation canal opened in another person's land with the
knowledge and consent of the owner thereof is a voluntary easement.
3.COMPULSORY EASEMENT; USE OF WATERS.—It having been proven that the defendant, who
opened an irrigation canal on another person's land, obtained from the Bureau of Public Works a
grant of the use of a certain quantity of waters from a river sufficient to irrigate his lands; that the
passage opened is the most convenient and least onerous to third parties, and that he is willing to
indemnify the owner of the land, said defendant has the right to maintain said canal, upon
payment of the proper indemnity.

Gonzales v. Purificacion de Dios
[643]
FISHPOND COMES WITHIN CLASSIFICATION OF AGRICULTURAL LAND.—If a person who has
obtained from the Government a grant to use water from a river for irrigation was given the right
170
to construct a canal over the intervening lands of other private owners upon payment of
indemnity, no valid reason is seen for not granting the same privilege to the owner of a fishpond
who desires to draw water from a river for the use of his fishpond. A fishpond comes within the
classification of agricultural land and is regarded as an important source of revenue (Molina vs.
Rafferty, 38 Phil., 167).
2.ID.; ID.; LAW APPLICABLE.—Articles 557 and 558 of the Civil Code can be invoked in support of a
claim for an easement of water over the land of an adjoining owner so that claimant for
easement may have a source of water to irrigate his fishpond. Article 557 provides that "any
person who wishes to use upon his land any water of which he may have the control is entitled to
take it through the intervening estates, subject to the obligation of indemnifying the owners
thereof."
3.ID. ; ID. ; LAW CONSTRUED.—The phrase "of which he may have the control" should be
interpreted in connection with article 558 (1), which signifies that he has a right to dispose of the
water. This was interpreted to mean one who has obtained from the government a grant to use
water from a river (Gonzales vs. Banzon, 51 Phil., 15). The use to which the water may be applied
must be interpreted in the sense that the water must be sufficient for the use intended (558[1]).
And according to Manresa "Puede el agua solicitarse para cualquiera de los usos necesarios de la
vida." (4 Manresa, 3rd. Ed. 704).
4.ID.; ID.; FROM WHOM PERMIT OBTAINED.—Owner of fishpond may draw the water needed for
the fishpond if he has obtained the necessary permit to use the water from the Government. The
law requires that this permit be obtained from the Director of Public Works. [Gonzales vs. De
Dios, 88 Phil. 770(1951)]
Valisno v. Adriano [648] Civil Law; Easements and Servitudes; Land Titles; Existence of an apparent sign of easement
between two estates, maintained by the owner of both, shall be considered as a title.—The
existence of the irrigation canal on defendant’s land for the passage of water from the Pampanga
River to Honorata’s land prior to and at the time of the sale of Honorata’s land to the plaintiff was
equivalent to a title for the vendee of the land to continue using it, as provided in Article 624 of
the Civil Code: “Article 624. The existence of an apparent sign of easement between two estates,
established or maintained by the owner of both shall be considered, should either of them be
171
alienated, as a title in order that the easement may continue actively and passively, unless at the
time the ownership of the two estates is divided, the contrary should be provided in the title of
conveyance of either of them, or the sign aforesaid should be removed before the execution of
the deed. This provision shall also apply in case of the division of a thing owned in common by
two or more persons.” (Civil Code)
Same; Same; Same; Same; Water rights appurtenant to a parcel of land pass with the conveyance
of the land, although not specifically mentioned in the conveyance.—Water rights, such as the
right to use a drainage ditch for irrigation purposes, which are appurtenant to a parcel of land,
pass with the conveyance of the land, although not specifically mentioned in the conveyance. The
purchaser’s easement
of necessity in a water ditch running across the grantor’s land cannot be defeated even if the
water is supplied by a third person (Watson vs. French, 112 Me 371, 19 C J. 868–897). The fact
that an easement by grant may also have qualified as an easement of necessity does not detract
from its permanency as property right, which survives the determination of the necessity
(Benedicto vs. CA, 25 SCRA 145). As an easement of waters in favor of the appellant has been
established, he is entitled to enjoy it free from obstruction, disturbance or wrongful interference
(19 CJ 984), such as the appellee’s act of levelling the irrigation canal to deprive him of the use of
water from the Pampanga River.


ARTICLE 649, 657
EASEMENT OF RIGHT OF WAY

Costabella v. CA [649] An easement of right of way is discontinuous and as such cannot be acquired by prescription.—
It is already well-established that an easement of right of way, as is involved here, is
discontinuous and as such can not be acquired by prescription. Insofar therefore as the appellate
court adhered to the foregoing precepts, it stood correct. Unfortunately, after making the correct
pronouncement, the respondent Appellate Court did not order the reversal of the trial court’s
decision and the dismissal of the complaint after holding that no easement had been validly
172
constituted over the petitioner’s property. Instead, the Appellate Court went on to commit a
reversible error by considering the passageway in issue as a compulsory easement which the
private respondents, as owners of the “dominant” estate, may demand from the petitioner the
latter being the owner of the “servient” estate.
Same; Same; Same; The burden of proving the existence of the pre-requisites to validly claim a
compulsory right of way lies on the owner of the dominant estate.—The owner of the dominant
estate may validly claim a compulsory right of way only after he has established the existence of
four requisites, to wit: (1) the (dominant) estate is surrounded by other immovables and is
without adequate outlet to a public highway; (2) after payment of the proper indemnity; (3) the
isolation was not due to the proprietor’s own acts; and (4) the right of way claimed is at a point
least prejudicial to the servient estate. Additionally, the burden of proving the existence of the
foregoing prerequisites lies on the owner of the dominant estate.
Same; Same; Same; Convenience of the dominant estate is not a gauge for the grant of
compulsory right of way.—Here, there is absent any showing that the private respondents had
established the existence of the four requisites mandated by law. For one, they failed to prove
that there is no adequate outlet from their respective properties to a public highway. On the
contrary, as alleged by the petitioner in its answer to the complaint, and confirmed by the
appellate court, “there is another outlet for the plaintiffs (private respondents) to the main road.”
Thus, the respondent Court of Appeals likewise admitted that “legally the old road could be
closed.” Yet, it ordered the re-opening of the old passageway on the ground that “the existing
outlet (the other outlet) is inconvenient to the plaintiff.” On this score, it is apparent that the
Court of Appeals lost sight of the fact that the convenience of the dominant estate has never
been the gauge for the grant of compulsory right of way, To be sure, the true standard for the
grant of the legal right is “adequacy.” Hence, when there is already an existing adequate outlet
from the dominant estate to a public highway, even if the said outlet, for one reason or another,
be inconvenient, the need to open up another servitude is entirely unjustified. For to justify the
imposition of an easement or right of way, “there must be a real, not a fictitious or artificial
necessity for it.”
Same; Same; Same; While a right of way is legally demandable, the owner of the dominant
173
estate is not at liberty to impose one based on arbitrary choice.—But while a right of way is
legally demandable, the owner of the dominant estate is not at liberty to impose one based on
arbitrary choice. Under Article 650 of the Code, it shall be established upon two criteria: (1) at the
point least prejudical to the servient state; and (2) where the distance to a public highway may be
the shortest. According, however, to one commentator, “least prejudice” prevails over “shortest
distance.” Yet, each case must be weighed according to its individual merits, and judged
according to the sound discretion of the court. “The court,” says Tolentino, “is not bound to
establish what is the shortest; a longer way may be established to avoid injury to the servient
tenement, such as when there are constructions or walls which can be avoided by a roundabout
way, or to secure the interest of the dominant owner, such as when the shortest distance would
place the way on a dangerous decline.” *Costabella Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA
333(1991)]
Francisco v. IAC [649] Easements; Four requisites of compulsory easement of way.—In Bacolod-Murcia Milling Co., Inc.
v. Capital Subdivision, Inc., this Court held that a compulsory easement of way cannot be
obtained without the presence of four (4) requisites provided for in Articles 649 and 650 of the
Civil Code, which the owner of the dominant tenement must establish, to wit: “(1) That the
dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public
highway (Art. 649, par. 1); (2) After payment of proper indemnity (Art. 649, par. 1, end); (3) That
the isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate; and (4) That the right
of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate; and insofar as consistent
with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the
shortest. (Art. 650)”
Same; Same; Same; The third requisite had not been met since respondent had actually brought
about the condition; Case at bar.—The evidence is, therefore, persuasively to the effect that the
private respondent had been granted an adequate access to the public highway (Parada Road)
through the adjacent estate of Epifania Dila even as he was trying to negotiate a satisfactory
agreement with petitioner Francisco for another passageway through the latter’s property. If at
the time he filed suit against the petitioner, such access (through the property of Epifania Dila)
could no longer be used, it was because he himself had closed it off by erecting a stone wall on his
174
lot at the point where the passageway began for no reason to which the record can attest except
to demonstrate the isolation of his property alleged in his complaint. But the law makes it amply
clear that an owner cannot, as respondent has done, by his own act isolate his property from a
public highway and then claim an easement of way through an adjacent estate. The third of the
cited requisites: that the claimant of a right of way has not himself procured the isolation of his
property had not been met___indeed the respondent had actually brought about the contrary
condition and thereby vitiated his claim to such an easement. It will not do to assert that use of
the passageway through Lot 860-B was difficult or inconvenient, the evidence being to the
contrary and that it was wide enough to be traversable by even a truck, and also because it has
been held that mere inconvenience attending the use of an existing right of way does not justify a
claim for a similar easement in an alternative location [Francisco vs. Intermediate Appellate
Court, 177 SCRA 527(1989)]
Floro v. Llenado [649] To be entitled to a compulsory servitude of right of way under the Civil Code, the preconditions
provided under Articles 649 and 650 thereof must be established.—For the Llenados to be
entitled to a compulsory servitude of right of way under the Civil Code, the preconditions
provided under Articles 649 and 650 thereof must be established. These preconditions are: (1)
that the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a
public highway (Art. 649, par. 1); (2) after payment of proper indemnity (Art.649, par. 1); (3) that
the isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate (Art. 649, last par.);
and, (4) that the right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate; and
insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public
highway may be the shortest (Art. 650).
Same; Same; Burden of proving the existence of the prerequisites to validly claim a compulsory
right of way lies on the owner of the dominant estate

Mere convenience for the dominant estate is not what is required by law as the basis for setting
up a compulsory easement.—In order to justify the imposition of the servitude of right of way,
there must be a real, not a fictitious or artificial necessity for it. Mere convenience for the
dominant estate is not what is required by law as the basis for setting up a compulsory easement.
175
Even in the face of a necessity, if it can be satisfied without imposing the servitude, the same
should not be imposed. This easement can also be established for the benefit of a tenement with
an inadequate outlet, but not when the outlet is merely inconvenient. Thus, when a person has
already established an easement of this nature in favor of his tenement, he cannot demand
another, even if the first passage has defects which make passage impossible, if those defects can
be eliminated by proper repairs. [

- There being an existing right of way over the Ipapo property, the first requirement for a
grant of a compulsory easement of right of way over the Floro Park Subdivision has not
been met.
- In Talisay-Silay Milling Co. v. Court of First Instance of Negros Occidental,48 the Court
explained what is meant by payment or prepayment of the required indemnity under
Article 649 of the Civil Code, as follows:
- “x x x Prepayment, as we used the term means the delivery of the proper indemnity
required by law for the damage that might be incurred by the servient estate in the event
the legal easement is constituted. The fact that a voluntary agreement upon the extent of
compensation cannot be reached by the parties involved, is not an impediment to the
establishment of such easement. Precisely, the action of the dominant estate against the
servient estate should include a prayer for the fixing of the amount which may be due
from the former to the latter.”
- In the case at bench, no proof was presented by private respondent Llenado that he
complied with this requirement. The complaint for easement of right of way filed by him
in the lower court did not contain a prayer for the fixing of the amount that he must pay
Floro in the event that the easement of right of way be constituted. Thus, the existence of
the second requisite has likewise not been established.
- There can be no denying that the isolation of the Llenado Homes Subdivision is the doing
of its owner/developer/applicant. It appears that the access road indicated in the Plan of
the Emmanuel Homes Subdivision and the Llenado Homes Subdivision for which a right of
way over the Ipapo property was procured, was merely for the sake of securing an
176
approval of the proposed development plan. There were no proofs of actual work having
been done to construct a road, even just a dirt road, over the right of way that would
connect Road Lot 3 of the Llenado Homes Subdivision to the MacArthur Highway. Private
respondent Llenado admitted that the Ipapo riceland was no longer being cultivated and
there was already a fence made of adobe wall constructed on it.49 Indications are that it
has already been abandoned as a ricefield. There was no reason for private respondent’s
failure to develop the right of way except the inconvenience and expenses it would cost
him. Hence, the third requisite has not been met.
- If the servitude requested by private respondent Llenado is allowed, other subdivision
developers/owners would be encouraged to hastily prepare a subdivision plan with
fictitious provisions for access roads merely for registration purposes. Thereafter, said
developers could abandon their duly approved plans and, for whatever reason, open up
another way through another property under the pretext that they have inadequate
outlets to a public road or highway. Furthermore, if such practice were tolerated, the very
purpose for which Presidential Decree No. 957 was enacted, that is, to protect subdivision
buyers from unscrupulous subdivision owners/developers who renege on their duties to
develop their subdivisions in accordance with the duly approved subdivision plans, would
be defeated.
- The Court takes cognizance of the fact that, instead of developing the proposed access
road, private respondent Llenado applied for the conversion of Lot 14 of Block 6 into a
road lot to connect it with Road Lot 5 of the Floro Park Subdivision, citing as reason
therefor, that the amendment sought would create a “more adequate and practical
passage” from the Llenado Homes Subdivision to the MacArthur National Highway and
vice-versa. The “convenience” of using Road Lots 4 and 5 of the Floro Park Subdivision will
not suffice, however, to justify the easement in favor of private respondent.
- In order to justify the imposition of the servitude of right of way, there must be a real, not
a fictitious or artificial necessity for it. Mere convenience for the dominant estate is not
what is required by law as the basis for setting up a compulsory easement. Even in the
face of a necessity, if it can be satisfied without imposing the servitude, the same should
177
not be imposed.50 This easement can also be established for the benefit of a tenement
with an inadequate outlet, but not when the outlet is merely inconvenient. Thus, when a
person has already established an easement of this nature in favor of his tenement, he
cannot demand another, even if the first passage has defects which make passage
impossible, if those defects can be eliminated by proper repairs.51
- In the case of Ramos v. Gatchalian,52 the Court denied access to Sucat Road through
Gatchalian Avenue in view of the fact that petitioner had a road right of way provided by
the Sobrina Rodriguez Lombos Subdivision indicated as Lot 4133-G-12 in its subdivision
plan for the buyers of its lots, notwithstanding that said lot was still undeveloped and
inconvenient to petitioner. Even if Ramos, the petitioner therein, had “to pass through
other lots belonging to other owners, which are grassy and cogonal, as temporary
ingress/egress with great inconvenience particularly due to flood and mud,” the Court did
not allow the easement because it would run counter to existing jurisprudence that mere
convenience for the dominant estate does not suffice to serve as basis for the servitude.
This ruling was reiterated in Rivera v. Intermediate Appellate Court53 and Costabella
Corporation v. Court of Appeals.54
- As borne out by the records of this case, despite the closure of the subject road,
construction work at Llenado Homes Subdivision continued. The alternative route taken
by private respondent is admittedly inconvenient because he has to traverse several
ricelands and rice paddies belonging to different persons, not to mention that said
passage, as found by the trial court, is impassable during the rainy season. However,
private respondent has no one to blame but himself for not developing the proposed
access road through the Ipapo property. [Floro vs. Llenado, 244 SCRA 713(1995)]
Quimen v. CA [649] Where the easement may be established on any of several tenements surrounding the dominant
estate, the one where the way is shortest and will cause the least damage should be chosen but if
these two circumstances do not concur in a single tenement, the way which will cause the least
damage should be used, even if it will not be the shortest—the criterion of least prejudice to the
servient estate must prevail over the criterion of shortest distance.

178
As between a right of way that would demolish a store of strong materials to provide egress to a
public highway, and another right of way which although longer will only require an avocado tree
to be cut down, the second alternative should be preferred.—In applying Art. 650 of the New Civil
Code, respondent Court of Appeals declared that the proposed right of way of Yolanda, which is
one (1) meter wide and five (5) meters long at the extreme right of petitioner’s property, will
cause the least prejudice and/or damage as compared to the suggested passage through the
property of Yolanda’s father which would mean destroying the sari sari store made of strong
materials. Absent any showing that these findings and conclusion are devoid of factual support in
the records, or are so glaringly erroneous, this Court accepts and adopts them. As between a right
of way that would demolish a store of strong materials to provide egress to a public highway, and
another right of way which although longer will only require an avocado tree to be cut down, the
second alternative should be preferred. [Quimen vs. Court of Appeals, 257 SCRA 163(1996)]
Sta. Maria vs. CA [649] Civil Law; Property; Easements; Requirements for an estate to be entitled to a compulsory
servitude of right of way under the Civil Code.—All told, the findings of fact of both courts
satisfied the following requirements for an estate to be entitled to a compulsory servitude of right
of way under the Civil Code, to wit: 1. the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables
and has no adequate outlet to a public highway (Art. 649, par. 1); 2. there is payment of proper
indemnity (Art. 649, par. 1); 3. the isolation is not due to the acts of the proprietor of the
dominant estate (Art. 649, last par.); and 4. the right of way claimed is at the point least
prejudicial to the servient estate; and insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from
the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest (Art. 650).
Same; Same; Same; Where there are several tenements surrounding the dominant estate, and
the easement may be established on any of them, the one where the way is shortest and will
cause the least damage should be chosen.—Under Article 650 of the Civil Code, the easement of
right of way shall be established at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and, insofar
as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway
may be the shortest. Where there are several tenements surrounding the dominant estate, and
the easement may be established on any of them, the one where the way is shortest and will
cause the least damage should be chosen. The conditions of “least damage” and “shortest
179
distance” are both established in one tenement—petitioners’ property.
Same; Same; Same; The needs of the dominant estate determine the width of the easement.—
As to the “daang tao” at the back of private respondents’ property, it must be stressed that under
Article 651 the width of the easement of right of way shall be that which is sufficient for the
needs of the dominant estate, and may accordingly be changed from time to time. Therefore, the
needs of the dominant estate determine the width of the easement. The needs of private
respondents’ property could hardly be served by this “daang tao” located at the back and which is
bordered by a fishpond. [Sta. Maria vs. Court of Appeals, 285 SCRA 351(1998)]
Villanueva v. Velasco [649] At the outset, we note that the subject easement (right of way) originally was voluntarily
constituted by agreement between the Gabriels and the Espinolas. But as correctly observed by
the Court of Appeals, the easement in the instant petition is both (1) an easement by grant or a
voluntary easement, and (2) an easement by necessity or a legal easement. A legal easement is
one mandated by law, constituted for public use or for private interest, and becomes a continuing
property right.14 As a compulsory easement, it is inseparable from the estate to which it belongs,
as provided for in said Article 617 of the Civil Code. The essential requisites for an easement to be
compulsory are: (1) the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate
outlet to a public highway; (2) proper indemnity has been paid; (3) the isolation was not due to
acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate; (4) the right of way claimed is at a point least
prejudicial to the servient estate; and (5) to the extent consistent with the foregoing rule, where
the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest.15 The trial court
and the Court of Appeals have declared the existence of said easement (right of way). This finding
of fact of both courts below is conclusive on this Court,16 hence we see no need to further
review, but only to re-affirm, this finding. The small house occupying one meter of the two-meter
wide easement obstructs the entry of private respondents’ cement mixer and motor vehicle. One
meter is insufficient for the needs of private respondents. It is well-settled that the needs of the
dominant estate determine the width of the easement.17 Conformably then, petitioner ought to
demolish whatever edifice obstructs the easement in view of the needs of private respondents’
estate.
Petitioner’s second proposition, that he is not bound by the contract of easement because the
180
same was not annotated in the title and that a notice of lis pendens of the complaint to enforce
the easement was not recorded with the Register of Deeds, is obviously unmeritorious. As already
explained, it is in the nature of legal easement that the servient estate (of petitioner) is legally
bound to provide the dominant estate (of private respondents in this case) ingress from and
egress to the public highway. [Villanueva vs. Velasco, 346 SCRA 99(2000)]
Dela Cruz v. Ramiscal [649] Did respondent voluntarily accord petitioners a right of way?
We rule in the negative. Petitioners herein failed to show by competent evidence other than their
bare claim that they and their tenants, spouses Manuel and Cecilia Bondoc and Carmelino
Masangkay, entered into an agreement with respondent, through her foreman, Mang Puling, to
use the pathway to 18th Avenue, which would be reciprocated with an equivalent 1.50-meter
wide easement by the owner of another adjacent estate. The hands of this Court are tied from
giving credence to petitioners’ self-serving claim that such right of way was voluntarily given them
by respondent for the following reasons:
First, petitioners were unable to produce any shred of document evidencing such agreement. The
Civil Code is clear that any transaction involving the sale or disposition of real property must be in
writing.27 Thus, the dearth of corroborative evidence opens doubts on the veracity of the naked
assertion of petitioners that indeed the subject easement of right of way was a voluntary grant
from respondent. Second, as admitted by the petitioners, it was only the foreman, Mang Puling,
who talked with them regarding said pathway on the northern side of respondent’s property.
Thus, petitioner Elizabeth de la Cruz testified that she did not talk to respondent regarding the
arrangement proposed to them by Mang Puling despite the fact that she often saw
respondent.28 It is, therefore, foolhardy for petitioners to believe that the alleged foreman of
respondent had the authority to bind the respondent relating to the easement of right of way.
Third, their explanation that said Mang Puling submitted said agreement to the Quezon City
Engineer’s Office, in connection with the application for a building permit but said office could no
longer produce a copy thereof, does not inspire belief. As correctly pointed out by the trial
court,29 petitioners should have requested a subpoena duces tecum from said court to compel
the Quezon City Engineer’s Office to produce said document or to prove that such document is
indeed not available.
181
The fact that the perimeter wall of the building on respondent’s property was constructed at a
distance of 1.10 meters away from the property line, does not by itself bolster the veracity of
petitioners’ story that there was indeed such an agreement

Likewise futile are petitioners’ attempts to show that they are legally entitled to the aforesaid
pathway under Article 649 of the Civil Code,
The conferment of a legal easement of right of way under Article 649 is subject to proof of the
following requisites: (1) it is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a
public highway; (2) payment of proper indemnity; (3) the isolation is not the result of its own acts;
(4) the right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate; and (5) to the
extent consistent with the foregoing rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a
public highway may be the shortest.31 The first three requisites are not obtaining in the instant
case.

rom petitioner Elizabeth de la Cruz’s own admission, Lot 1-B-1 was intended by the owner,
Concepcion de la Peña, to serve as an access to a public highway for the occupants of the interior
portion of her property.35 Inasmuch as petitioners have an adequate outlet to a public highway
(Boni Serrano Avenue), they have no right to insist on using a portion of respondent’s property as
pathway towards 18th Avenue and for which no indemnity was being paid by them.
Petitioner Elizabeth de la Cruz claimed before the trial court that although there was indeed a
portion of land allotted by Concepcion de la Peña to serve as their ingress and egress to Boni
Serrano Avenue, petitioners can no longer use the same because de la Peña had constructed
houses on it. As found by the trial court, the isolation of petitioners’ property was due to the acts
of Concepcion de la Peña, who is required by law to grant a right of way to the occupants of her
property

We hasten to add that under the above-quoted Article 649 of the Civil Code, it is the owner, or
any person who by virtue of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable surrounded by other
immovable pertaining to other persons, who is entitled to demand a right of way through the
182
neighboring estates. In this case, petitioners fell short of proving that they are the owners of the
supposed dominant estate. Nor were they able to prove that they possess a real right to use such
property. The petitioners claim to have acquired their property, denominated as Lot 1-B-2, from
Concepcion de la Peña, mother of defendant Alfredo de la Cruz, who owns Lot 1-B-3, an adjacent
lot. However, as earlier noted, the trial court found that the title to both lots is still registered in
the name of Concepcion de la Peña under TCT No. RT-56958 (100547).37 Neither were
petitioners able to produce the Deed of Sale evidencing their alleged purchase of the property
from de la Peña. Hence, by the bulk of evidence, de la Peña, not petitioners, is the real party-in-
interest to claim a right of way although, as explained earlier, any action to demand a right of way
from de la Peña’s part will not lie inasmuch as by her own acts of building houses in the area
allotted for a pathway in her property, she had caused the isolation of her property from any
access to a public highway. [De la Cruz vs. Ramiscal, 450 SCRA 449(2005)]
Napocor v. Manubay [649] - How much just compensation should be paid for an easement of a right of way over a
parcel of land that will be traversed by highpowered transmission lines? Should such
compensation be a simple easement fee or the full value of the property?
- The acquisition of an easement of right of way falls within the purview of the power of
eminent domain.—Granting arguendo that what petitioner acquired over respondent’s
property was purely an easement of a right of way, still, we cannot sustain its view that it
should pay only an easement fee, and not the full value of the property. The acquisition of
such an easement falls within the purview of the power of eminent domain. This
conclusion finds support in similar cases in which the Supreme Court sustained the award
of just compensation for private property condemned for public use.
- In eminent domain or expropriation proceedings, the just compensation to which the
owner of a condemned property is entitled is generally the market value; Meaning of
Market Value; Such amount is not limited to the assessed value of the property or to the
schedule of market values determined by the provincial or city appraisal committee.
[National Power Corporation vs. Manubay Agro-Industrial Development Corporation, 437
SCRA 60(2004)]
Woodridge v. ARB Construction The transfer of ownership from the subdivision owner-developer to the local government is not
183
[649] automatic but requires a positive act from the owner-developer before the city or municipality
can acquire dominion over the subdivision roads. Therefore, until and unless the roads are
donated,17 ownership remains with the owner-developer.18
Since no donation has been made in favor of any local government and the title to the road lot is
still registered in the name of ARB, the disputed property remains private.
This is not to say that ARB may readily exclude petitioners from passing through the property. As
correctly pointed out by the Court of Appeals, the circumstances clearly make out a case of legal
easement of right of way. It is an easement which has been imposed by law and not by the parties
and it has “for (its) object either public use or the interest of private persons.”19
To be entitled to a legal easement of right of way, the following requisites must concur: (1) the
dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public
highway; (2) payment of proper indemnity; (3) the isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor
of the dominant estate and (4) the right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the
servient estate.20
The appellate and trial courts found that the properties of petitioners are enclosed by other
estates without any adequate access to a public highway except the subject road lot which leads
to Marcos Alvarez Avenue.21 Although it was shown that the shortest distance from the
properties to the highway is toward the east across a creek, this alternative route does not
provide an adequate outlet for the students of the proposed school. This route becomes marshy
as the creek overflows during the rainy season and will endanger the students attending the
school.
All told, the only requisite left unsatisfied is the payment of proper indemnity. In the case of a
legal easement, Article 649 of the Civil Code prescribes the parameters by which the proper
indemnity may be fixed. Since the intention of petitioners is to establish a permanent passage,
the second paragraph of Article 649 of the Civil Code particularly applies:
“Art. 649. x x x x x x x x x
Should this easement be established in such a manner that its use may be continuous for all the
needs of the dominant estate, establishing a permanent passage, the indemnity shall consist of
the value of the land occupied and the amount of the damage caused to the servient estate. x x
184
x.” (Emphasis supplied)
On that basis, we further hold that the appellate court erred in arbitrarily awarding indemnity for
the use of the road lot.
The Civil Code categorically provides for the measure by which the proper indemnity may be
computed: value of the land occupied plus the amount of the damage caused to the servient
estate. Settled is the rule in statutory construction that “when the law is clear, the function of the
courts is simple application.”23 Thus, to award the indemnity using factors different from that
given by the law is a complete disregard of these clear statutory provisions and is evidently
arbitrary. This the Court cannot countenance. The Civil Code has clearly laid down the parameters
and we cannot depart from them. Verba legis non est recedendum. [Woodridge School, Inc. vs.
ARB Construction Co., Inc., 516 SCRA 176(2007)]
Obra v. Badua [649] No Voluntary Easement of Right-of-Way
The trial court, seemingly aware that it did not determine the legality of an easement of right-of-
way over the pathway located south of petitioner’s property, nevertheless, concluded that the
said passage was an agreed or voluntary easement of right-of-way which petitioner should
respect.
The trial court was in error.
It is a settled doctrine that a decision, after it becomes final, becomes immutable and
unalterable.14 Thus, the court loses jurisdiction to amend, modify, or alter a final judgment and is
left only with the jurisdiction to execute and enforce it. Any amendment or alteration which
substantially affects a final and executory judgment is null and void for lack of jurisdiction,
including the entire proceedings held for that purpose.15
To recapitulate, the dismissal of Civil Case No. 5033 meant that no easement was ever established
on petitioner’s property. However, the trial court, by issuing its March 20, 2001 Order directing
petitioner to remove the fence that limited respondents’ passage, effectively created a right-of-
way on petitioner’s property in favor of respondents allegedly on the basis of a voluntary
agreement between the parties. This directive was in contravention of its July 7, 2000 Decision;
thus, it was null and void for having been issued outside of the court’s jurisdiction.

185
Granting for the sake of argument that the issue of voluntary easement of right-of-way, subject of
the assailed March 20, 2001 Order, was proper, relevant, and material to the issue of right-of-way
as averred in the complaint in Civil Case No. 5033, still, the conclusion that there was an agreed or
voluntary easement of right-of-way had no basis. The records of Civil Case No. 5033 do not reveal
any agreement executed by the parties on the claimed right-of-way. Glaring is the fact that the
terms of the arrangement were not agreed upon by the parties, more particularly, the payment of
the proper indemnity. The evidence is not ample enough to support the conclusion that there was
a verbal agreement on the right-ofway over the southern portion.
More so, since a right-of-way is an interest in the land, any agreement creating it should be drawn
and executed with the same formalities as a deed to a real estate, and ordinarily must be in
writing.16 No written instrument on this agreement was adduced by respondents. [Obra vs.
Badua, 529 SCRA 621(2007)]
St. Michael v. Masaito [649] It will suffice under Art. 649 of the Civil Code that “any person who by virtue of a real right may
cultivate or use any immovable which is surrounded by other immovables pertaining to other
persons and without adequate outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a right of way.”—
The trial court erred when it ruled that the school, not being the registered owner of the subject
lot, is not a real party-in-interest. It will suffice under Art. 649 of the Civil Code that “any person
who by virtue of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable which is surrounded by other
immovables pertaining to other persons and without adequate outlet to a public highway, is
entitled to demand a right of way.” Clearly, the school is a real party-in-interest since it has
established a right to use the passageway for the benefit of its students. More importantly, the
records reveal that petitioners-spouses are the owners of the lot where the school is located and
they are the incorporators, trustees, and officers of St. Michael. They are also authorized to
represent the corporation in the complaint and subsequent actions. Thus, petitioners are real
parties-in-interest and we rule that the dismissal of the complaint is patently erroneous and
bereft of any legal basis. Petitioners must be allowed to pursue their case before the trial court.

The photographs (Annexes “A-1”28 and Annex “A-2”29 of the Complaint) showing the school
building and adjoining areas easily reveal that it is bounded by other immovable properties, which
186
explains why it only has one entry and exit point. Without the right-of-way on Lot 4, Block 7 of
Citihomes, the school has no adequate access to a public highway. [St. Michael School of Cavite,
Inc. vs. Masaito<br/>Development Corporation<br/>, 547 SCRA 263(2008)]
NPC v. Suarez In issue in the present petition is whether petitioner, the National Power Corporation, in its
acquisition of an easement of right of way (aerial) over a parcel of land, only a fee, not the full
value of the land, must be paid. [National Power Corporation vs. Suarez, 568 SCRA 232(2008)]

Just Compensation; Taking; Considering the nature and effect of the installation of power lines,
the limitations on the use of the land for an indefinite period would deprive respondent of normal
use of the property.—Granting arguendo that what petitioner acquired over respondent’s
property was purely an easement of a right of way, still, we cannot sustain its view that it should
pay only an easement fee and not the full value of the property. The acquisition of such an
easement falls within the purview of the power of eminent domain. This conclusion finds support
in similar cases in which the Supreme Court sustained the award of just compensation for private
property condemned for public use. x x x True, an easement of right of way transmits no rights
except the easement itself, and respondent retains full ownership of the property. The acquisition
of such easement is, nevertheless, not gratis. As correctly observed by the CA, considering the
nature and the effect of the installation of power lines, the limitations on the use of the land for
an indefinite period would deprive respondent of normal use of the property. For this reason, the
latter is entitled to payment of a just compensation, which must be neither more nor less than
the monetary equivalent of the land. [National Power Corporation vs. Suarez, 568 SCRA
232(2008)]
NPC v. Benjamin Ong Co [649] Section 3A of Republic Act No. 6395, as amended, substantially provides that properties which
will be traversed by transmission lines will only be considered as easements and just
compensation for such right of way easement shall not exceed 10 percent of the market value; As
held in National Power Corporation v. Manubay Agro-Industrial Development Corporation, 437
SCRA 60 (2004), the taking of property was purely an easement of a right of way, but we
nevertheless ruled that the full market value should be paid instead of an easement fee.—Section
3A of R.A. No. 6395, as amended, substantially provides that properties which will be traversed by
187
transmission lines will only be considered as easements and just compensation for such right of
way easement shall not exceed 10 percent of the market value. However, this Court has
repeatedly ruled that when petitioner takes private property to construct transmission lines, it is
liable to pay the full market value upon proper determination by the courts. In National Power
Corporation v. Manubay Agro-Industrial Development Corporation, 437 SCRA 60 (2004), we held
that the taking of property was purely an easement of a right of way, but we nevertheless ruled
that the full market value should be paid instead of an easement fee. This Court is mindful of the
fact that the construction of the transmission lines will definitely have limitations and will
indefinitely deprive the owners of the land of their normal use. The presence of transmission lines
undoubtedly restricts respondent’s use of his property. Petitioner is thus liable to pay respondent
the full market value of the property. [National Power Corporation vs. Co, 578 SCRA 234(2009)]
Dichoso v. Marcos [649] It must be stressed that, by its very nature, and when considered with reference to the
obligations imposed on the servient estate, an easement involves an abnormal restriction on the
property rights of the servient estate. It is incumbent upon the owner of the dominant estate to
establish by clear and convincing evidence the presence of all preconditions before his claim for
easement of right of way may be granted.—It must be stressed that, by its very nature, and when
considered with reference to the obligations imposed on the servient estate, an easement
involves an abnormal restriction on the property rights of the servient owner and is regarded as a
charge or encumbrance on the servient estate. It is incumbent upon the owner of the dominant
estate to establish by clear and convincing evidence the presence of all the preconditions before
his claim for easement of right of way may be granted. Petitioners failed in this regard.
Same; Same; We find petitioners’ concept of what is “adequate outlet” a complete disregard of
the well-entrenched doctrine that in order to justify the imposition of an easement of right of
way, there must be real, not fictitious or artificial, necessity for it. Mere convenience for the
dominant estate is not what is required by law as the basis of setting up a compulsory
easement.—Petitioners claim that the outlet is longer and circuitous, and they have to pass
through other lots owned by different owners before they could get to the highway. We find
petitioners’ concept of what is “adequate outlet” a complete disregard of the well-entrenched
doctrine that in order to justify the imposition of an easement of right of way, there must be real,
188
not fictitious or artificial, necessity for it. Mere convenience for the dominant estate is not what is
required by law as the basis of setting up a compulsory easement. Even in the face of necessity, if
it can be satisfied without imposing the easement, the same should not be imposed.
Same; Same; The convenience of the dominant estate has never been the gauge for the grant of
compulsory right of way. To be sure, the true standard for the grant of the legal right is
“adequacy.” Hence, when there is already an existing adequate outlet from the dominant estate
to a public highway, as in this case, even when the said outlet, for one reason or another, be
inconvenient, the need to open up another servitude is entirely unjustified.—The convenience of
the dominant estate has never been the gauge for the grant of compulsory right of way. To be
sure, the true standard for the grant of the legal right is “adequacy.” Hence, when there is already
an existing adequate outlet from the dominant estate to a public highway, as in this case, even
when the said outlet, for one reason or another, be inconvenient, the need to open up another
servitude is entirely unjustified.
Same; Same; This court refused to grant the easement prayed for even if petitioner had to pass
through lots belonging to other owners, as temporary ingress and egress, which lots were grassy,
cogonal, and greatly inconvenient due to flood and mud because such grant would run counter to
the prevailing jurisprudence that mere convenience for the dominant estate does not suffice to
serve as basis for the easement.—And in Ramos, Sr. v. Gatchalian Realty, Inc., 154 SCRA 703
(1987), this Court refused to grant the easement prayed for even if petitioner had to pass through
lots belonging to other owners, as temporary ingress and egress, which lots were grassy, cogonal,
and greatly inconvenient due to flood and mud because such grant would run counter to the
prevailing jurisprudence that mere convenience for the dominant estate does not suffice to serve
as basis for the easement. [Dichoso, Jr. vs. Marcos, 647 SCRA 495(2011)]
NPC v. Heirs of Sangkay The Court of Appeals’ restrictive construal of Section 3(i) of R.A. No. 6395 as exclusive of tunnels
was obviously unwarranted, for the provision applies not only to development works easily
discoverable or on the surface of the earth but also to subterranean works like tunnels—when
the law does not distinguish, so must we not, and when the language of the statute is plain and
free from ambiguity, and expresses a single, definite, and sensible meaning, that meaning is
conclusively presumed to be the meaning that the Congress intended to convey.—A cursory
189
reading shows that Section 3(i) covers the construction of “works across, or otherwise, any
stream, watercourse, canal, ditch, flume, street, avenue, highway or railway of private and public
ownership, as the location of said works may require.” It is notable that Section 3(i) includes no
limitation except those enumerated after the term works. Accordingly, we consider the term
works as embracing all kinds of constructions, facilities, and other developments that can enable
or help NPC to meet its objectives of developing hydraulic power expressly provided under
paragraph (g) of Section 3. The CA’s restrictive construal of Section 3(i) as exclusive of tunnels was
obviously unwarranted, for the provision applies not only to development works easily
discoverable or on the surface of the earth but also to subterranean works like tunnels. Such
interpretation accords with the fundamental guideline in statutory construction that when the
law does not distinguish, so must we not. Moreover, when the language of the statute is plain
and free from ambiguity, and expresses a single, definite, and sensible meaning, that meaning is
conclusively presumed to be the meaning that the Congress intended to convey. [National
Corporation vs. Heirs of Macabangkit Sangkay, 656 SCRA 60(2011)]
Juana Complex v. Fil Estate [649] JCHA, et al. argue that La Paz Road has attained the status and character of a public road or
burdened by an apparent easement of public right of way. They point out that La Paz Road is the
widest road in the neighborhood used by motorists in going to Halang Road and in entering the
SLEX-Halang toll gate and that there is no other road as wide as La Paz Road existing in the
vicinity. For residents of San Pedro, Laguna, the shortest, convenient and safe route towards SLEX
Halang is along Rosario Avenue joining La Paz Road. [

In the present case, the Court finds the allegations in the complaint sufficient to establish a cause
of action. First, JCHA, et al.’s averments in the complaint show a demandable right over La Paz
Road. These are: (1) their right to use the road on the basis of their allegation that they had been
using the road for more than 10 years; and (2) an easement of a right of way has been constituted
over the said roads. There is no other road as wide as La Paz Road existing in the vicinity and it is
the shortest, convenient and safe route towards SLEX Halang that the commuters and motorists
may use. Second, there is an alleged violation of such right committed by Fil-Estate, et al. when
they excavated the road and prevented the commuters and motorists from using the same. Third,
190
JCHA, et al. consequently suffered injury and that a valid judgment could have been rendered in
accordance with the relief sought therein.
[Juana Complex I Homeowners Association, Inc. vs. Fil-Estate Land, Inc., 667 SCRA 440(2012)]
HEIRS OF MALFORE V. DIRECTOR
OF FORESTRY
1.PUBLIC LAND LAW; RESERVATION ALONG BANKS OF RIVERS FOR PERMANENT TIMBERLAND.—
Section 90 of Commonwealth Act 141, as amended by Republic Act 1273, which imposes a
reservation of forty meters wide along the bank on each side of any river or stream for the
purpose of reserving- the same as permanent timberland of the Government, is applicable only to
lands of the public domain subsequently acquired by a private person or entity through any of the
modes provided under said Act, and not to those sought to be registered as lands of private
ownership under the provisions of the Cadastral Law or the Land Registration Act.
2.PRIVATE LANDS; SERVITUDE WHICH A PRIVATE PROPERTY OWNER MAY BE COMPELLED TO
RECOGNIZE IN FAVOR OF THE GOVERNMENT.—The only servitude which a private property
owner is required to recognize in favor of the Government under Section 39 of the Land
Registration Act, is the easement of a "public highway, way, private way established by law, or
any government canal or lateral thereof," where the certificate of title does not state that the
boundaries thereof have been determined. But, even in these cases, it is necessary that the
easement should have been previously "established by law," which implies that the same should
have been pre-existing at the time of the registration of the land in order that the registered
owner may be compelled to respect it. Where the casement is not pre-existing, and is sought to
be imposed after the land has been registered under the Land Registration Act, proper
expropriation proceedings should be had, and just compensation paid to the registered owner
thereof. For it is elementary that public use may not be imposed on private property without
proper expropriation proceedings and payment of just compensation made to the owner.
Encarnacion v. CA [651] THE WIDTH OF THE EASEMETN OF RIGHT OF WAY SHALL BE THAT WHICH SI SUFFICIENT FOR THE
NEEDS OF THE DOMINANT ESTATE.


ARTICLE 658, 666
PARTY WALL
191
Case v. Heirs of Tuazon [658] EASEMENTS; PRESUMPTIONS WITH RESPECT TO PARTY WALLS.—The legal presumption of the
existence of an easement of a party wall is limited to the three cases contained in article 572 of
the Civil Code, and is that of juris tantum; this must be accepted unless the contrary should
appear from the title deeds of the adjoining properties, that is to say, that the entire wall in
question belongs to one of the property owners, or, while there is no exterior sign to destroy such
presumption and to support a presumption against the party wall. (Art. 573, Civil Code.) [Case vs.
Heirs of Tuason., 14 Phil. 521(1909)]
Lao v. Heirs of Alburo [658] 1.EASEMENTS; PARTY WALLS.—The easement of party walls is presumed in a wall separating two
adjoining buildings, unless there is a title, some exterior indication, or proof to the contrary. (Art.
572, Civil Code.)
2.ID.; ID.—A wall separating two adjoining buildings, built on the land on which one of these
buildings stands, is not a party wall when there is a drain along its top to carry away the water
from the roof and eaves of the building belonging to the owner of the land on which the wall is
erected; and also when a part of the wall is covered by the roof of the said building, the
construction of which demonstrates that the wall belongs exclusively to the owner of the building
of which it forms part. The fact that some of the timbers of the adjoining building were
surreptitiously inserted in the disputed wall is not sufficient to warrant a finding that the wall was
thereby converted into a party wall, because there are various indications that it belongs
exclusively to the owner of the building, which conflict with the claim of an easement of party
walls.

These exterior signs contrary to the existence of a partywall easement cannot be offset by the
circumstance that the disputed wall projects into Calle Juan Luna 74 centimeters farther than the
applicants' building, and neither can the fact that the face of this projecting wall is on the same
street line as the objectors' building, for the reason that,
in view of the said signs contrary to the existence of the easement of party wall, the projection of
the wall does not prove that it was a party wall belonging in common to the applicants and the
objectors and that the latter shared in the ownership thereof.
The objectors have not proved that a part or one-half of the wall in litigation was erected on the
192
land that belonged to the deceased Lorenza Alburo. The fact that the owners of the objectors'
property may have surreptitiously inserted some of the timbers or joists of their building in the
wall belonging to the applicants is not enough to convert this latter into a party wall, when there
are so many exterior signs to indicate the exclusive ownership of the wall and to conflict with the
existence of the easement that the objectors endeavor to establish. The wall in litigation is f ully
proven by the record to belong exclusively to the applicants. [Lao and De los Santos vs. Heirs of
Alburo., 33 Phil. 48(1915)]
Valenzuela v. Unson [658] PARTY WALLS; PRESUMPTION.—Held: Under the facts stated in the opinion, that the wall in
question is a party wall and belongs to the petitioners and objectors jointly. When there is no title
or exterior marks or proof to the contrary, there is a presumption that the dividing wall between
two adjoining properties is a party wall.
[Valenzuela vs. Unson., 32 Phil. 19(1915)]

ARTICLE 667-673
EASEMENT OF LIGHT AND VIEW

Cortez v. Yu Tibo [668] 1.REAL PROPERTY; EASEMENTS; LIGHT AND AIR.—The easement of light in the case of windows
opened in one's own wall is negative, and can not be acquired by prescription except where
sufficient time of possession has elapsed after the owner of the dominant estate, by a formal act,
has prohibited the owner of the servient estate from doing something which would be lawful but
for the easement.
2.ID.; ID.; ID.—Different doctrines are applicable to the acquisition of easements in favor of
windows opened in one's own wall and of those opened in a party wall. In the latter case the
express or implied consent of the part owner affords a basis for the acquisition of a prescriptive
title.
3.ID.; ID.; ID.—Different doctrines are applicable to the acquisition of casements in favor of
windows opened in one's own wall and those opened in the wall of a neighbor; in the latter
case prescription commences to run from the date of the opening of the windows and ripens into
title when the specified time has elapsed without opposition on the part of the owner of the wall.
193
4.ID.; ID.; ID.—The judgment of the supreme court of Spain of February 7, 1896, is distinguishable
on the ground that the easement there in question, created by the owner of both dominant and
servient estates, was positive because it consisted of the active enjoyment of the light as opposed
to mere tolerance on the part of an adjoining owner of windows opened in one's own wall.
5.ID.; ID.; ID.—With reference to the law of easements of light and air there is no distinction to be
made between ordinance windows and others.
6.ID.; ID.; ID.—A, watershed protecting a window from sun and rain is a mere accessory thereto
and follows the condition of the window itself.
7.ID.; ID.; VIEW.—Article 582 of the Civil Code, pertaining to easement of view from windows,
balconies, or similar projections, has no application to a protecting shed over a window.
8.ID.; ID.; ID.—Article 585 of the Civil Code is applicable only to cases in which an easement has
been acquired and can not be cited in support of a contention that an easement exists. [Cortes vs.
Yu-Tibo, 2 Phil., 24(1903)]
Severina Choco v. Santamaria [669] 1.REALTY; EASEMENTS; LIGHT, AIR, AND VIEW.—Windows with direct views, or balconies or any
similar openings projecting over the estate of a neighbor, can not be made if there is not a
distance of at least 2 meters between the wall in which they are built and the said estate. Neither
can side nor oblique views be opened over said property, unless there is a distance of 60
centimeters. (Art. 582, Civil Code.)
2.ID.; ID.; ID.—The owner of a wall which is not a party wall, adjoining another's estate, may make
in it windows or openings to admit light, at the height of the ceiling joists or immediately under
the ceiling, of the dimensions of 30 centimeters square and, in any case, with an iron grate
embedded in the wall and a wire screen. (Art. 581, Civil Code.) [Choco vs. Santamaria., 21 Phil.
132(1911)]
Soriano v. Sterberg [670] 1.CIVIL PROCEDURE; EASEMENTS; PRESCRIPTION OF ACTION.—S constructed a house less than 2
meters from the dividing line between the lot on which the building stands and the lot of his
neighbor. Held: That the plaintiff's right of action under article 582 of the Civil Code accrued in
1905 when the windows in the defendant's house were opened and that in accordance with
Chapter III of the Code of Civil Procedure his action has prescribed.
2.ID. ; ID. ; ID.—The subject of easements is thoroughly covered in Cortes vs. Yu-Tibo ([1903], 2
194
Phil., 24) and Fabie vs. Lichauco ([1908], 11 Phil., 14), but there is here no question of easement.
The point here presented is one relating to prescription of action. [Soriano vs. Sternberg., 41 Phil.
210(1920)]
Masongsong v. Flores [672] 1.Easements of Light and View; Civil Code, Articles 582 and 584 Construed; Private Alley Open to
the Public, whether Falling within Provisions of Article 582 or Article 584.— A private alley open
to the public, falls within the exception provided by article 584 of the Civil Code making article
582 thereof concerning easements of light and air, inapplicable to buildings separated by a public
thoroughfare.
244
244 PHILIPPINE REPORTS ANNOTATED
Masongsong vs. Flores
2.Id. ; Id. ; Id.—A private alley open to the public is as much public as a public alley, for anyone
can travel the first who has occa-sion to, and no more can be said of the latter. [Masongsong vs.
Flores, 57 Phil., 243(1932)]

ARTICLE 674-676
DRAINAGE OF BUILDINGS

Cabacungan v. Corrales [674] See above
Purugganan v. Paredes [674] Easements; Drainage or easement of receiving water falling from roofs; Encumbrance refers to
rainwater falling from roof of dominant estate on servient estate; Case at bar.—The appellants
have made a mistake in applying the distances prescribed in the Decree of Registration to the
roofing of their house. They failed to comprehend the meaning of the phrase “servidumbre de
vertiente de los tejados” constituted on the land of the appellee. Translated, it means the
easement of receiving water falling from the roof which is an encumbrance imposed on the land
of the appellee. Consequently, the distances prescribed in the Decree of Registration should not
correspond to the width and length of the roof of the appellants’ house but to the distance of the
rain water falling inside the land of the appellee because the encumbrance is not the roof itself
but the rain water falling inside the property of the said appellee.
195
Same; Same; Construction of roofs of dominant estate longer than distances allowed in Decree of
Registration of servient estate; Case at bar.—The report submitted by the Commissioner
appointed by the lower court to make an ocular inspection of the premises involved shows that
the eaves of the house of the appellants juts 98 centimeters inside the property of the appellee
and measures 8 meters and 20 centimeters in length; that during ordinary rain the water falling
from the eaves of the appellants’ house fall within one meter from the boundary line of the
appellee’s property and during heavy rains more than one meter from said boundary line. The
foregoing findings and observations of the Commissioner weaken the appellants’ disclaimer that
they did not violate the conditions of the easement of drainage of the appellee. There is such a
violation because the roof of the appellants protrudes by 98 centimeters over the property of the
appellee, so that during a heavy rainfall the propulsion of the water would go far as one meter
over the property of the latter. Obviously, the appellants violated the conditions of the easement
of drainage of the appellee.
Same; Easement of light and view; Extinguishment; Failure to have easement annotated on
certificate of title; Effect of.—If there are easement or other rights appurtenant to a parcel of
registered land which for any reason have failed to be registered, such easement or rights shall
remain so appurtenant notwithstanding such failure, and shall be held to pass with the land until
cut off or extinguished by the registration of the servient estate or in any other manner. An
easement is cut off or extinguished by the registration of the servient estate under the Torrens
System without the easement being annotated on the corresponding certificate of title, pursuant
to Sec. 39 of the Land Registration Act (Act 496). [Purugganan vs. Paredes, 69 SCRA 69(1976)]

ARTICLE 684
LATERAL AND SUBJACENT SUPPORT
Ngo Sin Sing v. Li Seng Giap These requisites for Quasi-delict are attendant in the instant case. The tortious act was the
excavation done without observing the proper safeguards. Although the trial court stated that
petitioner as land owner had every right to excavate on his own land, such right is not absolute as
to deprive the adjacent owner sufficient lateral support pursuant to Article 684, New Civil Code,
which states that:
196
“No proprietor shall make such excavation upon his land as to deprive any adjacent land or
building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support.”
For the damage caused to the respondent, petitioners and Contech are jointly liable as they are
joint tort-feasors. [Cadalin vs. Court of Appeals, 572 SCRA 625(2008)]
Castro v. Monsod The owner of a parcel of land is the owner of its surface and of everything under it, and he can
construct thereon any works, or make any plantations and excavations which he may deem
proper.—Article 437 of the Civil Code provides that the owner of a parcel of land is the owner of
its surface and of everything under it, and he can construct thereon any works, or make any
plantations and excavations which he may deem proper. However, such right of the owner is not
absolute and is subject to the following limitations: (1) servitudes or easements, (2) special laws,
(3) ordinances, (4) reasonable requirements of aerial navigation, and (5) rights of third persons.
Same; Same; Easements; An easement is established either by law or by will of the owners.—An
easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of another
immovable belonging to a different owner. There are two kinds of easements according to
source. An easement is established either by law or by will of the owners. The courts cannot
impose or constitute any servitude where none existed. They can only declare its existence if in
reality it exists by law or by the will of the owners. There are therefore no judicial easements.
Same; Same; Same; An owner, by virtue of his surface right, may make excavations on his land,
but his right is subject to the limitation that he shall not deprive any adjacent land or building
of sufficient lateral or subjacent support.—. Between two adjacent landowners, each has an
absolute property right to have his land laterally supported by the soil of his neighbor, and if
either, in excavating on his own premises, he so disturbs the lateral support of his neighbor’s land
as to cause it, or, in its natural state, by the pressure of its own weight, to fall away or slide from
its position, the one so excavating is liable.

In the instant case, an easement of subjacent and lateral support exists in favor of respondent. It
was established that the properties of petitioner and respondent adjoin each other. The
residential house and lot of respondent is located on an elevated plateau of fifteen (15) feet
above the level of petitioner’s property. The embankment and the riprapped stones have been in
197
existence even before petitioner became the owner of the property. It was proven that petitioner
has been making excavations and diggings on the subject embankment and, unless restrained,
the continued excavation of the embankment could cause the foundation of the rear portion of
the house of respondent to collapse, resulting in the destruction of a huge part of the family
dwelling.30

We sustain the CA in declaring that a permanent injunction on the part of petitioner from making
injurious excavations is necessary in order to protect the interest of respondent. However, an
annotation of the existence of the subjacent and lateral support is no longer necessary. It exists
whether or not it is annotated or registered in the registry of property. A judicial recognition of
the same already binds the property and the owner of the same, including her successors-in-
interest. Otherwise, every adjoining landowner would come to court or have the easement of
subjacent and lateral support registered in order for it to be recognized and respected. [Castro vs.
Monsod, 641 SCRA 486(2011)]

ARTICLE 688-693
VOLUNTARY EASEMENT

North Negros Sugar v. Hidalgo [688] PRIVATE ROAD OPEN TO PUBLIC USE.—When a private road has been thrown open to public use,
no action for trespass is maintainable against any person who desires to make use thereof;
consequently, an injunction suit likewise does not lie. "Private roads, except where laid out under
constitutional provisions authorizing the condemnation of private property for a private use, are
public roads in the sense that they are open to all who see fit to use them, and it is immaterial
that the road is subject to gates and bars, or that it is merely a cul de sac. Being thus considered
as a public road, it necessarily follows that the owner of the land through which the road is laid
out cannot maintain an action of trespass against any person using it." [North Negros Sugar Co.
vs. Hidalgo, 63 Phil. 664(1936)]
Trias v. Araneta [688] Prohibition against establishment of factories in residential area; Effect of zoning ordinance.—The
sellers of subdivision lots may validly insert in their contracts of sale a prohibition against the
198
establishment of factories in the district where the lots are located, The existence of a zoning
ordinance prohibiting factories in the area is immaterial.

Such prohibition is similar to other conditions imposed by sellers of subdivision lots upon
purchasers thereof, in and around Manila. It is in reality an easement,1 which every owner of real
estate may validly impose under Art. 594 of the Civil Code or under Art. 688 of the New Civil
Code, which provides that "the owner of a piece of land may establish thereon the easements
which he may deem suitable, x x x provided he does not contravene the law, public policy or
public order".

Now, it is proper for Tuason & Co., Inc. (thru Araneta, Inc.) to oppose the elimination of the
condition from the certificate of title, because, if it is erased, a purchaser who gets a new
certificate of title without the annotation, will hold the lot free from the encumbrance, and might
build a factory there.2 As declared by sec. 39 of Act 496 as amended, "every purchaser of
registered land x x x shall hold the same free from all encumbrances except those noted in said
certificate." [Trias vs. Gregorio Araneta, Inc., 15 SCRA 241(1965)]
La Vista v. CA [691] asement; A legal or compulsory easement is that which is constituted by law for public use or for
private interest. A voluntary easement on the other hand is constituted simply by will or
agreement of the parties.—A legal or compulsory easement is that which is constituted by law for
public use or for private interest. By express provisions of Arts. 649 and 650 of the New Civil
Code, the owner of an estate may claim a legal or compulsory right-of-way only after he has
established the existence of four (4) requisites, namely, (a) the estate is surrounded by other
immovables and is without adequate outlet to a public highway; (b) after payment of the proper
indemnity; (c) the isolation was not due to the proprietor’s own acts; and, (d) the right-of-way
claimed is at a point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and insofar as consistent with this
rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest. A
voluntary easement on the other hand is constituted simply by will or agreement of the parties.
Same; Same; When the court says that an easement exists, it is not creating one. For, even an
injunction cannot be used to create one as there is no such thing as a judicial easement. The court
199
merely declares the existence of an easement created by the parties.—Resultantly, when the
court says that an easement exists, it is not creating one. For, even an injunction cannot be used
to create one as there is no such thing as a judicial easement. As in the instant case, the court
merely declares the existence of an easement created by the parties. Respondent court could not
have said it any better—It must be emphasized, however, that We are not constituting an
easement along Mangyan Road, but merely declaring the existence of one created by the
manifest will of the parties herein in recognition of autonomy of contracts

From the facts of the instant case it is very apparent that the parties and their respective
predecessors-in-interest intended to establish an easement of right-of-way over Mangyan Road
for their mutual benefit, both as dominant and servient estates. This is quite evident when: (a)
the Tuasons and the Philippine Building Corporation in 1949 stipulated in par. 3 of their Deed of
Sale with Mortgage that the “boundary line between the property herein sold and the adjoining
property of the VENDORS shall be a road fifteen (15) meters wide, one-half of which shall be
taken from the property herein sold to the VENDEE and the other half from the portion adjoining
belonging to the vendors”; (b) the Tuasons in 1951 expressly agreed and consented to the
assignment of the land to, and the assumption of all the rights and obligations by ATENEO,
including the obligation to contribute seven and one-half meters of the property sold to form part
of the 15-meter wide roadway; (c) the Tuasons in 1958 filed a complaint against MARYKNOLL and
ATENEO for breach of contract and the enforcement of the reciprocal easement on Mangyan
Road, and demanded that MARYKNOLL set back its wall to restore Mangyan Road to its original
width of 15 meters, after MARYKNOLL constructed a wall in the middle of the 15-meter wide
roadway; (d) LA VISTA President Manuel J. Gonzales admitted and clarified in 1976, in a letter to
ATENEO President Fr. Jose A. Cruz, S.J., that “Mangyan Road is a road fifteen meters wide, one-
half of which is taken from your property and the other half from the La Vista Subdivision. So that
the easement of a right-of-way on your 7 1/2 m. portion was created in our favor and likewise an
easement of right-of-way was created on our 7 1/2 m. portion of the road in your favor”; (e) LA
VISTA, in its offer to buy the hillside portion of the ATENEO property in 1976, acknowledged the
existence of the contractual right-of-way as it manifested that the mutual right-of-way between
200
the Ateneo de Manila University and La Vista Homeowners’ Association would be extinguished if
it bought the adjacent ATENEO property and would thus become the owner of both the dominant
and servient estates; and, (f) LA VISTA President Luis G. Quimson, in a letter addressed to the
Chief Justice, received by this Court on 26 March 1997, acknowledged that “one-half of the whole
length of (Mangyan Road) belongs to La Vista Assn., Inc. The other half is owned by Miriam
(Maryknoll) and the Ateneo in equal portions”;

These certainly are indubitable proofs that the parties concerned had indeed constituted a
voluntary easement of right-of-way over Mangyan Road and, like any other contract, the same
could be extinguished only by mutual agreement or by renunciation of the owner of the dominant
estate. Thus respondent Court of Appeals did not commit a reversible error when it ruled that—
Concerning the pivotal question posed herein on the existence of an easement, we are of the
belief, and thus hereby hold that a right-of-way was properly appreciated along the entire route
of Mangyan Road. Incidentally, the pretense that the court a quo erred in holding that Mangyan
Road is the boundary road between La Vista and Ateneo (page 31, Appellant’s Brief) does not
raise any critical eyebrow since the same is wholly irrelevant to the existence of a servitude
thereon from their express admission to the contrary (paragraph 1, Answer).
One’s attention should rather be focused on the contractual stipulations in the deed of sale
between the Tuason Family and the Philippine Building Corporation (paragraph 3, thereof) which
were incorporated in the deed of assignment with assumption of mortgage by the Philippine
Building Corporation in favor of Ateneo (first paragraph, page 4 of the deed) as well as in the deed
of sale dated October 24, 1976 when the property was ultimately transferred by Ateneo to
plaintiff-appellee. Like any other contractual stipulation, the same cannot be extinguished except
by voluntary rescission of the contract establishing the servitude or renunciation by the owner of
the dominant lots, more so when the easement was implicitly recognized by the letters of the La
Vista President to Ateneo dated February 11 and April 28, 1976 (page 22, Decision; 19 Ruling Case
Law 745).
The free ingress and egress along Mangyan Road created by the voluntary agreement between
Ateneo and Solid Homes, Inc., is thus legally demandable (Articles 619 and 625, New Civil Code)
201
with the corresponding duty on the servient estate not to obstruct the same so much so that—
When the owner of the servient tenement performs acts or constructs works impairing the use of
the servitude, the owner of the dominant tenement may ask for the destruction of such works
and the restoration of the things to their condition before the impairment was committed, with
indemnity for damages suffered (3 Sanchez Roman 609). An injunction may also be obtained in
order to restrain the owner of the servient tenement from obstructing or impairing in any manner
the lawful use of the servitude (Resolme v. Lazo, 27 Phil. 416; 417; 418).” (Commentaries and
Jurisprudence on the Civil Code of the Philippines, by Tolentino, Volume 2, 1963 edition, page
320)21
Resultantly, when the court says that an easement exists, it is not creating one. For, even an
injunction cannot be used to create one as there is no such thing as a judicial easement. As in the
instant case, the court merely declares the existence of an easement created by the parties. [La
Vista Association, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals, 278 SCRA 498(1997)]
Rivera v. IAC [688] Notwithstanding the existence of a city ordinance, the petitioners do not have an unquestioned
right over the one-half portion of the Mangyan Road. In the case of Ramos, Sr. v. Gatchalian
Realty, Inc. (154 SCRA 703 [1987]), this Court had the occasion to explain: “xxx To allow the
petitioner access to Sucat Road through Gatchalian Avenue inspite of a road right of way provided
by the petitioner’s subdivision for its buyers simply because Gatchalian Avenue allows petitioner
a much greater ease in going to and coming from the main thoroughfare is to completely ignore
what jurisprudence has consistently maintained through the years regarding an easement of a
right of way, that ‘mere convenience for the dominant estate is not enough to serve as its basis.’
To justify the imposition of this servitude, there must be a real, not a fictitious or artificial,
necessity for it.”

The petitioners’ position is not impressed with merit. The deed of sale was executed on
September 6, 1979, many years after the wall built in the middle of the Mangyan Road had been
drawn back to its present position. Undoubtedly, Dr. Lourdes R. Quisumbing the then president of
the Maryknoll College Foundation, Inc. who entered into the contract of sale with the petitioners
could not have considered the one-half (1/ 2) portion of the Mangyan Road as part of the
202
Maryknoll College Campus. And to construe the one-half (1/2) portion of the Mangyan Road as
“inside the Maryknoll College Campus” would be odd and whimsical.
The provisions of the deed of sale with mortgage are clear. It is the well-settled rule in the
interpretation of a contract that if its terms are clear, the literal meaning of the stipulations shall
control (Government Service Insurance System v. Court of Appeals, 145 SCRA 311 [1986]).
Maryknoll College granted a right of way over the one-half (1/2) portion of the Mangyan Road
only for utilities particularly electric, telephone, water, sewerage, and drainage. It was a grant for
specific purposes only. It did not grant a road right of way over that particular portion of the road.
Maryknoll however provided a road right of way inside the Maryknoll College Campus “in the
event the La Vista Subdivision Association refuses VENDEE-MORTGAGORS (the petitioners) access
to the other half portion of the road owned by said association.” And with regard to this
provision, Maryknoll did not fail in its obligation to provide a road right of way inside its campus.
To support this point, the private respondent submitted a manifestation showing that there are
two (2) roads located within the Maryknoll College Campus leading from the petitioners’ lot to
Katipunan Avenue. This, petitioners did not refute. If indeed the petitioners have been granted a
road right of way, such right should have been asserted against Maryknoll College and not La
Vista which is actually not a party to the contract. [Rivera vs. Intermediate Appellate Court, 169
SCRA 307(1989)]
Unisource v. Chung The opening of an adequate outlet to a highway can extinguish only legal or compulsory
easements, not voluntary easements; The fact that an easement by grant may have also qualified
as an easement of necessity does not detract from its permanency as a property right, which
survives the termination of the necessity.—Having made such an admission, petitioner cannot
now claim that what exists is a legal easement and that the same should be cancelled since the
dominant estate is not an enclosed estate as it has an adequate access to a public road which is
Callejon Matienza Street. As we have said, the opening of an adequate outlet to a highway can
extinguish only legal or compulsory easements, not voluntary easements like in the case at bar.
The fact that an easement by grant may have also qualified as an easement of necessity does not
detract from its permanency as a property right, which survives the termination of the necessity.
A voluntary easement of right of way, like any other contract, could be extinguished only by
203
mutual agreement or by renunciation of the owner of the dominant estate.
Same; A voluntary easement of right of way is like any other contract—it is generally effective
between the parties, their heirs and assigns, except in case where the rights and obligations
arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by provision of
law.—Neither can petitioner claim that the easement is personal only to Hidalgo since the
annotation merely mentioned Sandico and Hidalgo without equally binding their heirs or assigns.
That the heirs or assigns of the parties were not mentioned in the annotation does not mean that
it is not binding on them. Again, a voluntary easement of right of way is like any other contract. As
such, it is generally effective between the parties, their heirs and assigns, except in case where
the rights and obligations arising from the contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by
stipulation or by provision of law. Petitioner cites City of Manila v. Entote (57 SCRA 497 [1974]) in
justifying that the easement should bind only the parties mentioned therein and exclude those
not so mentioned. However, that case is inapplicable since the issue therein was whether the
easement was intended not only for the benefit of the owners of the dominant estate but of the
community and the public at large. In interpreting the easement, the Court ruled that the clause
“any and all other persons whomsoever” in the easement embraces only “those who are privy to
the owners of the dominant estate, Lots 1 and 2 Plan Pcs-2672” and excludes “the indiscriminate
public from the enjoyment of the right-of-way easement.”
Same; Land Titles; It is settled that the registration of the dominant estate under the Torrens
system without the annotation of the voluntary easement in its favor does not extinguish the
easement—it is the registration of the servient estate as free, that is, without the annotation of
the voluntary easement, which extinguishes the easement.—We also hold that although the
easement does not appear in respondents’ title over the dominant estate, the same subsists. It is
settled that the registration of the dominant estate under the Torrens system without the
annotation of the voluntary easement in its favor does not extinguish the easement. On the
contrary, it is the registration of the servient estate as free, that is, without the annotation of the
voluntary easement, which extinguishes the easement.
Same; If the dominant estate is divided between two or more persons, each of them may use the
easement in its entirety, without changing the place of its use, or making it more burdensome in
204
any other way.—The mere fact that respondents subdivided the property does not extinguish the
easement. Article 618 of the Civil Code provides that if the dominant estate is divided between
two or more persons, each of them may use the easement in its entirety, without changing the
place of its use, or making it more burdensome in any other way. [Unisource Commercial and
Development Corporation vs. Chung, 593 SCRA 230(2009)]
Ortigas v. Feati Bank tthe resolution of the Municipal Council of Mandaluyong declaring Lots Nos. 5 and 6, among
others, as part of the commercial and industrial zone of the municipality, prevailed over the
building restrictions imposed by plaintiff-appellant on the lots in question [Ortigas & Co., Limited
Partnership vs. Feati Bank and Trust Co., 94 SCRA 533(1979)]