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G.R.No.114348|NIAv.CourtofAppeals

FIRSTDIVISION
[G.R.No.114348.September20,2000.]
NATIONALIRRIGATIONADMINISTRATION, petitioner, vs. COURT OF
APPEALSandDICKMANGLAPUS,respondents.
TheSolicitorGeneralforpetitioner.
Atty.SimeonT.Agustinforprivaterespondent.
SYNOPSIS
Afreepatentoverthree(3)hectaresofland,situatedinbarrioBaybayog,Municipalityof
Alcala, Province of Cagayan, was issued in the name of respondent's predecessorin
interestVicenteManglapus.Thelandgrantprovided,amongothers,aconditionthatthe
landshallbesubjecttoallconditionsandpubliceasementsandservitudesrecognized
andprescribedbylawespeciallythosementionedinSections109,110,111,112,113
and 114 of Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended. Subsequently, respondent
Manglapus acquired the lot from Vicente Manglapus by absolute sale. Sometime in
1982, the NIA entered into a contract with Villamar Development Construction. Under
the contract, the NIA was to construct canals in Amulung, Cagayan and Alcala,
Cagayan. The NIA then entered a portion of Manglapus' land and made diggings and
fillingsthereon.ManglapusfiledwiththeRegionalTrialCourt,Tuguegarao,Cagayana
complaintfordamagesagainsttheNIA.ManglapusallegedthattheNIA'sdiggingsand
fillingsdestroyedtheagriculturaluseofhislandandthatnoreasonablecompensation
was paid for its taking. The trial court rendered a decision in favor of Manglapus
ordering the defendant to pay plaintiff the sum of One Hundred Fifty Thousand Six
Hundred Pesos (P150,600.00) and Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos as
compensatorydamages.Onappeal,theCourtofAppealsaffirmedintoto the decision
ofthetrialcourt.Hence,thepresentpetitionbytheNIA.
The Supreme Court granted the petition and set aside the decision of the trial court
awardingManglapusjustcompensation.AccordingtotheCourt,theTransferCertificate
ofTitleandtheOriginalCertificateofTitlecoveringthesubjectparceloflandcontained
areservationgrantingthegovernmentarightofwayoverthelandcoveredtherein.The
transfer certificate of title, on which both the trial court and Court of Appeals relied,
containedsuchareservation,andsaidreservation,unliketheotherprovisosimposedon
thegrant,wasnotlimitedbyanytimeperiodandthusisasubsistingcondition.
SYLLABUS

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1.
CIVILLAWPROPERTYEASEMENTOFARIGHTOFWAYTHETRANSFER
CERTIFICATE OF TITLE OF THE SUBJECT PARCEL OF LAND CONTAINED
RESERVATION GRANTING THE GOVERNMENT A RIGHT OF WAY OVER THE
LANDCOVEREDTHEREIN.WeagreewithNIAthattheTransferCertificateofTitle
and the Original Certificate of Title covering the subject parcel of land contained a
reservationgrantingthegovernmentarightofwayoverthelandcoveredtherein.The
transfer certificate of title, on which both the trial court and Court of Appeals relied,
contains such a reservation. It states that title to the land shall be: ". . . subject to the
provisions of said Land Registration Act and the Public Land Act, as well as those of
MiningLaws,ifthelandismineral,andsubject,furthertosuchconditionscontainedin
theoriginaltitleasmaybesubsisting."UndertheOriginalCertificateofTitle,therewas
a reservation and condition that the land is subject to "to all conditions and public
easements and servitudes recognized and prescribed by law especially those
mentionedinSections109,110,111,112,113and114,CommonwealthActNo.141,
asamended."Thisreservation,unliketheotherprovisosimposedonthegrant,wasnot
limited by any time period and thus is a subsisting condition. Section
112, Commonwealth Act No. 141, provides that lands granted by patent, "shall
further be subject to a right of way not exceeding twenty meters in width for public
highways, railroads, irrigationditches, aqueducts, telegraphs and telephone lines, and
similar works as the Government or any public or quasipublic service or enterprises,
includingminingorforestconcessionairesmayreasonablyrequireforcarryingontheir
business, with damages for the improvements only." We note that the canal NIA
constructedwasonlyeleven(11)metersinwidth.Thisiswellwithinthelimitprovided
bylaw.Manglapushasthereforenocausetocomplain.
TAIEcS

2.
ID. ID. ID. LEGAL EASEMENT OF RIGHT OF WAY EXISTS IN FAVOR OF
THEGOVERNMENTINCASEATBAR.Article619oftheCivilCodeprovidesthat,
"Easementsareestablishedeitherbylaworbythewilloftheowners.Theformerare
called legal and the latter voluntary easements." In the present case, we find and
declare that a legal easement of a rightofway exists in favor of the government. The
land was originally public land, and awarded to respondent Manglapus by free patent.
Therulingwouldbeotherwiseifthelandwereoriginallyprivateproperty,inwhichcase,
just compensation must be paid for the taking of a part thereof for public use as an
easementofarightofway.NeithercanManglapusarguethathewasatransfereeor
buyeringoodfaith.UndertheTorrenssystem,foronetobeabuyeringoodfaithand
for value, the vendee must see the transfer certificate of title and rely upon the same.
Here,theannotationonthetransfercertificateoftitleimposedonManglapusthedutyto
refertotheconditionsannotatedonthebackoftheoriginalcertificateoftitle.This,he
did not do. The law cannot protect him. Manglapus is a transferee with notice of the
liensannotatedinthetitle.

DECISION

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PARDO,J :
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Thiscaseisanappeal1fromthedecisionoftheCourtofAppeals2affirmingintotothe
decisionoftheRegionalTrialCourt,Branch04,Tuguegarao,Cagayan3rulinginfavorof
private respondent Dick Manglapus (hereinafter referred to as "Manglapus"), and
orderingpetitionerNationalIrrigationAdministration(hereinafter referred to as "NIA") to
payManglapusonehundredfiftythousandsixhundredpesos(P150,600.00),andfifty
thousand pesos (P50,000.00), as compensatory damages, five thousand pesos
(P5,000.00), as attorney's fees, and two thousand pesos (P2,000.00), as litigation
expensesandcosts.
First,therelevantfacts.
On June 28, 1963, a free patent over three (3) hectares of land, situated in barrio
Baybayog, municipality of Alcala, province of Cagayan was issued in the name of
respondent'spredecessorininterest,VicenteManglapus,andregisteredunderOriginal
Certificate of Title No. P24814, in his name. The land was granted to Vicente
Manglapus,4subjecttothefollowingprovisoexpresslystatedinthetitle:5
"TO HAVE AND TO HOLD the said tract of land, with the appurtenances
thereunto of right belonging unto the said VICENTE MANGLAPUS and to his
heirs and assigns forever, subject to the provisions of Sections 113, 121, 122
and124ofCommonwealthAct.No.141,asamendedwhichprovidethatexcept
infavoroftheGovernmentoranyofitsbranches,units,orinstitutions,theland
hereby acquired shall be inalienable and shall not be subject to encumbrance
foraperiodoffive(5)yearsfromthedateofthispatent,andshallnotbeliable
forthesatisfactionofanydebtcontractedpriortotheexpirationofthatperiod
that it shall not be encumbered, alienated, or transferred to any person,
corporation, association or partnership not qualified to acquire lands of the
publicdomainundersaidCommonwealthActNo.141,asamendedandthatit
shallnotbesubjecttoanyencumbrancewhatsoeverinfavorofanycorporation,
association or partnership except with the consent of the grantee and the
approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources and solely for
educational, religious or charitable purposes or for a right of wayand subject
finally to all conditions and public easements and servitudes recognized and
prescribed by law especially those mentioned in Sections 109, 110, 111, 112,
113 and 114 ofCommonwealth Act No. 141 as amended, and the right of the
Governmenttoadministerandprotectthetimberfoundthereonforatermoffive
(5) years from the date of this patent, provided, however, that the grantee or
heirs may cut and utilize such timber for his or their personal use (emphasis
ours)."
ACDTcE

Subsequently, respondent Manglapus acquired the lot from Vicente Manglapus by


absolutesale.
On July 18, 1974, the land was registered in Dick Manglapus' name under Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T26658 of the Register of Deeds for the Province of
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Cagayan.6Thelandisparticularlydescribedasfollows:7
"LotNo.3559,Pls497,withanareaof30,438squaremeters,andcoveredby
TRANSFER CERTIFICATE OF TITLE NO. T26658, and Tax Declaration No.
11985."

Sometimein1982,NIAenteredintoacontractwithVillamarDevelopmentConstruction.
Under the contract, NIA was to construct canals in Amulung, Cagayan and Alcala,
Cagayan.NIAthenenteredaportionofManglapus'landandmadediggingsandfillings
thereon.8
TheportionofManglapus'landenteredintobyNIAisdescribedasfollows:9
"InasketchpreparedbyNIA'semployeelabeledasNIAcanal"Lateral"D",with
anareaof7,880squaremeters,whichisaportionofLot3559,Pls497."

On March 14, 1991, Manglapus filed with the Regional Trial Court, Tuguegarao,
Cagayan a complaint for damages against NIA. 10 Manglapus alleged that NIA's
diggings and fillings destroyed the agricultural use of his land and that no reasonable
compensationwaspaidforitstaking.11
Despiteserviceofnoticeofthepretrialconference,12NIAdidnotappearatthepretrial
conference.13
OnDecember3,1991,thetrialcourtdeclaredNIAindefaultandreceivedManglapus'
evidenceexparte.14
On December 23, 1991, the trial court rendered a decision in favor of Manglapus,
thus:15
"WHEREFORE, and in consideration of the foregoing, the Court finds
preponderanceofevidenceinfavoroftheplaintiffandagainstthedefendant:

"1)
Ordering the defendant to pay plaintiff the sum of One Hundred Fifty
ThousandSixHundredPesos(P150,600.00)andFiftyThousand(P50,000.00)
Pesosascompensatorydamages
"2)
Ordering the defendant to pay to plaintiff the sum of Five Thousand
Pesos(P5,000.00)asattorney'sfeesandTwoThousandPesos(P2,000.00)as
litigationexpensesand
"3)

Topaythecostofthesuit.

"SOORDERED."

OnJanuary27,1992,NIAfiledamotiontolifttheorderofdefaultdatedDecember3,
1991,andtosetasidetheaforequoteddecisionofDecember23,1991.16
On June 3, 1992, the trial court issued a resolution denying the motion for lack of
merit.17
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OnJuly17,1992,NIAfiledanoticeofappealtotheCourtofAppeals.18
On July 27, 1992, the trial court gave due course to the appeal and ordered the
transmissionoftheoriginalrecordstotheCourtofAppeals.19
On July 30, 1992, Manglapus filed a motion for execution of judgment with the trial
court.20
On August 7, 1992, the NIA through the Solicitor General filed an opposition to the
motionforexecution.21
OnAugust17,1992,thetrialcourtdeclaredthatsincethenoticeofappealofNIAwas
givenduecourse,themotionforexecutionwas"mootandacademic."22
OnMarch8,1994,theCourtofAppealspromulgateditsdecision,thedispositiveportion
ofwhichreads:23
"WHEREFORE, PREMISES CONSIDERED, the decision appealed from is
herebyAFFIRMEDintotoandtheappealisherebyDISMISSED.
"SOORDERED."

Hence,thisappeal.24
The sole issue is whether the NIA should pay Manglapus just compensation for the
takingofaportionofhispropertyforuseaseasementofarightofway.
WefindthatNIAisundernosuchobligation.Wesustaintheappeal.
WeagreewithNIAthattheTransferCertificateofTitle 25andtheOriginalCertificateof
Title 26 covering the subject parcel of land contained a reservation granting the
governmentarightofwayoverthelandcoveredtherein.27
Thetransfercertificateoftitle,onwhichboththetrialcourtandCourtofAppealsrelied,
containssuchareservation.Itstatesthattitletothelandshallbe:28
"...subjecttotheprovisionsofsaidLandRegistrationActandthePublicLand
Act,aswellasthoseofMiningLaws,ifthelandismineral,andsubject,further
tosuchconditionscontainedintheoriginaltitleasmaybesubsisting(emphasis
ours)."
AHcaDC

UndertheOriginalCertificateofTitle, 29therewasareservationandconditionthatthe
landissubjectto"toallconditionsandpubliceasementsandservitudesrecognizedand
prescribedbylawespeciallythosementionedinSections109,110,111,112,113and
114,Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended." This reservation, unlike the
otherprovisos30imposedonthegrant,wasnotlimitedbyanytimeperiodandthusisa
subsistingcondition.
Section112,CommonwealthActNo.141,providesthatlandsgrantedbypatent,
"shall further be subject to a right of way not exceeding twenty meters in
widthfor public highways, railroads,irrigationditches,aqueducts, telegraphs and
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telephone lines, and similar works as the Government or any public or quasi
public service or enterprises, including mining or forest concessionaires may
reasonably require for carrying on their business, with damages for the
improvementsonly(emphasisours)."

We note that the canal NIA constructed was only eleven (11) meters in width. This is
wellwithinthelimitprovidedbylaw.31Manglapushasthereforenocausetocomplain.
Article619oftheCivilCodeprovidesthat,"Easementsareestablishedeitherbylawor
by the will of the owners. The former are called legal and the latter voluntary
easements."Inthepresentcase,wefindanddeclarethatalegaleasementofarightof
wayexistsinfavorofthegovernment.Thelandwasoriginallypublicland,andawarded
torespondentManglapusbyfreepatent.Therulingwouldbeotherwiseifthelandwere
originallyprivateproperty,inwhichcase,justcompensationmustbepaidforthetaking
ofapartthereofforpublicuseasaneasementofarightofway.32
NeithercanManglapusarguethathewasatransfereeorbuyeringoodfaith.Underthe
Torrenssystem,foronetobeabuyeringoodfaithandforvalue,thevendeemustsee
the transfer certificate of title and rely upon the same. 33 Here, the annotation on the
transfer certificate of title imposed on Manglapus the duty to refer to the conditions
annotated on the back of the original certificate of title. This, he did not do. The law
cannotprotecthim.Manglapusisatransfereewithnoticeoftheliensannotatedinthe
title.
OnewhodealswithpropertyregisteredundertheTorrenssystemischargedwithnotice
ofburdensandclaimsthatareannotatedonthetitle.34
WHEREFORE,theCourtGRANTSthepetitionforreviewoncertiorari,andREVERSES
thedecisionoftheCourtofAppealsinCAG.R.CVNo.38835.
IN LIEU THEREOF, the Court SETS ASIDE the decision of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch IV, Tuguegarao, Cagayan in Civil Case No. 4266, and DISMISSES the
complaint.
Nocosts.
SOORDERED.
Davide,Jr.,C.J.,PunoandKapunan,JJ.,concur.
YnaresSantiago,J.,tooknopart.

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