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GR No. 98045, June 26, 1996
Justice Romero

The subject of this controversy is a parcel of land situated in Telegrapo,

Puntod, Cagayan de Oro City. Said land was formed as a result of sawdust
dumped into the dried-up Balacanas Creek and along the banks of the
Cagayan river. Sometime in 1979, private respondents Jose Salasalan and
Leo Rabaya leased the subject lots on which their houses stood from one
Antonio Nazareno, petitioners' predecessor-in-interest. In the latter part of
1982, private respondents allegedly stopped paying rentals. As a result,
Antonio Nazareno and petitioners filed a case for ejectment with the
Municipal Trial Court of Cagayan de Oro City. A decision was rendered against
private respondents, which decision was affirmed by the Regional Trial Court
of Misamis Oriental. The respondents filed a case for annulment of judgment
before the Regional Trial Court of Misamis Oriental which dismissed the
same. When the judgment attained finality and is ready for execution, the
private respondents were ejected from portions of the subject lots they

Before he died, Antonio Nazareno caused the approval by the Bureau

of Lands perfecting his title over the accretion area being claimed by him.
Before the approved survey plan could be released to the applicant,
however, it was protested by private respondents before the Bureau of
Lands. After conducting several surveys and investigations, respondent
Regional Director of the Bureau of Lands Roberto Hilario rendered a decision
ordering the amendment of the survey plan in the name of Antonio Nazareno
by segregating therefrom the areas occupied by the private respondents
who, if qualified, may file public land applications covering their respective
portions. Antonio Nazareno filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied.
Respondent Director of Lands Abelardo Palad then ordered him to vacate the
portions adjudicated to private respondents and remove whatever
improvements they have introduced thereon. He also ordered that private
respondents be placed in possession thereof.

Upon the denial of the late Antonio Nazareno's motion for

reconsideration, petitioners Desamparado Vda. de Nazareno and Leticia
Tapia Nazareno, filed a case before the RTC, Branch 22 for annulment of the
following: order of investigation by respondent Gillera, report and
recommendation by respondent Labis, decision by respondent Hilario, order
by respondent Ignacio affirming the decision of respondent Hilario and order
of execution by respondent Palad. The RTC dismissed the complaint for
failure to exhaust administrative remedies which resulted in the finality of
the administrative decision of the Bureau of Lands. On appeal, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the decision of the RTC dismissing the complaint. Hence,
this petition.
Whether or not the subject land is a public land.
The Supreme court held that the land subject of the litigation forms
part of the public domain and then dismissed the petition later on for lack of
merit. Petitioners claim that the subject land is private land being an
accretion to his titled property, applying Article 457 of the Civil Code which
provides: 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. Citing 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 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.

For petitioners to insist on the application of these rules on alluvion to

their case, the above-mentioned requisites must be present. However, they
admit that the accretion was formed by the dumping of boulders, soil and

other filling materials on portions of the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan
River bounding their land. It cannot be claimed, therefore, that the
accumulation of such boulders, soil and other filling materials was gradual
and imperceptible, resulting from the action of the waters or the current of
the Balacanas Creek and the Cagayan River. 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.


9 PHIL 408 I GR No. 3788, December 21, 1907
Justice Torres


The land subject of this particular case is a estate owned by the said
Roxas, known as the Hacienda de San Pedro Macati, in accordance with the
provisions of the Land Registration Act; said hacienda was acquired by the
petitioner by inheritance under the will of his late father, Jose Bonifacio

Roxas. The property consists of four different parcels of land, irregular shape,
designated on the accompanying plan under the letters "A", "B", "C", and
"D", containing a total area of 17,615,105 square meters, and according to
the last assessment for the purpose of taxation assessed at P415,221.34, of
which P59,904 corresponded to the portion of said hacienda included within
the limits of the city of Manila and P256,769 corresponded to that portion
situated in the Province of Rozal. The building constructed of strong
materials, called the "Casa-Quinta" or "Casa de Ingenieros," belonging also
to said Roxas, is erected within parcel "C," occupying, together with its
appurtenances, an area of 8,430 square meters, and was assessed at
P98,557.34. It does not appear that said hacienda is mortgaged nor that any
person has any right to or any interest therein; and it is almost wholly
occupied at the present time, under lease, by about 429 tenants whose
names, residences, and postal addresses, as well as the residence of the
owner of the property and of his attorney in fact, are stated in the
application. Later on, rectifications are made in the boundaries of the
hacienda, the last of which represents a decrease of 1,446.70 square meters,
to be deducted from the original description.

Such registration is however opposed by three different parties having

varying and adverse interests over the said land. First to oppose is Julia
Tuason, as regards the parcel marked "C," for the reason that two old
monuments which had separated their respective properties had been pulled
down and new ones erected without her consent, and in her opinion the
latter included a considerable portion of the land owned by her. Second is the
municipality of San Pedro alleging that the land occupied by the municipal
building and the public school had been in the possession of the town from
time immemorial, and that all the land occupied by roads, highways, lanes,
and public landing places belonged to the public domain and should be
excluded from registration in favor of the petitioner. The last party to oppose
is the attorney for Alejandro Aguirre and Consolacion Aguirre also filed
opposition to said application for registration alleging that the two parcels of
land owned by them had been improperly included within the bounds of said
hacienda in the parcel marked "C". Considering all the oppositions, the judge
presiding over the case rendered a decision overruling all the oppositions
and ordered the registration of the Hacienda of San Pedro Macati in favor of
Pedro Roxas, excluding the parcel of land occupied by the municipal building,
which the government has the right to use without the payment of rent

therefor, so long as the same is occupied by the said building or by another

in substitution thereof and used for the public good and for official purposes.
Julia Tuason, not satisfied with the judgment, moved for a new trial on the
ground that the same was contrary to law and to the weight of evidence but
such motion was again overruled.


Whether or not Julia Tuasons claim is predicated on a valid ground

considering that she was not a riparian owner in the eyes of the law to begin


The Supreme Court held that Julia Tuasons claim of ownership was not
really supported by evidence. The Court ruled that he record does not show
that the boundary of the land of Julia Tuason was inclosed by monuments
belonging to her or that the creek which divides the sitio or Island of Suavoy
from the land of the said hacienda is included within the respondent's land,
since in the bill of sale executed by the procurador general of the
Augustinian friars to Julia Tuason, no mention is made of monuments erected
thereon nor of any creek existing in the large tract of land purchased by her,
except that the land is situated in the barrio of Suavoy and that it is bounded
on two sides by the Hacienda of San Pedro Macati. Nor does the record show
that there was more land on the side of the hacienda, forming part of the
barrio or sitio of Suavoy, not included in the tract acquired by Tuason from
the Augustinian Fathers, and that said creek traversed said barrio from one
end to the other, or the respondent's land, in order to affirm on good grounds
that her land extended to the opposite bank of the aforesaid creek. From the
fact that the land of Julia Tuason was bounded on two sides by the Hacienda
of San Pedro Macati it does not follow that the strip of a few meters in width
on the bank of the creek above referred to belonged to her, there being no
evidence in support thereof, and if her statement were true, she would have

applied for a survey and demarcation of her property in accordance with the
area of the same stated in her title deed; and if she did not do so it must be
because she renounces its verification in this manner or for some other
In conclusion, the result of the evidence, as stated in the judgment
appealed from, does not maintain the claim of the respondent; on the
contrary, it has been shown in a convincing manner that the present natural
limit of both properties is the aforesaid creek; therefore, the opposition filed
by Julia Tuason is untenable. Thus, applying Article 366 of the Civil Code in
dealing with the right of accession to real property which states that The
accretions which banks of rivers may gradually receive from the effects of
the currents belong to the owners of the estates bordering thereon, Roxas is
still to be considered the lawful owner of the land in question because he
owns the estates bordering thereon and it is also just that the property by
accretion be accorded to him because he also bears the possible loss once
avulsion would have taken place.