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1|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

ART. 613 on the ground that it is the HLURB which has


jurisdiction over the case.
1. G.R. No. 152440. January 31, 2005 On appeal, the Court of Appeals reversed the
lower court decision
FELICITACION B. BORBAJO, petitioner, vs. HIDDEN
VIEW HOMEOWNERS, INC., SPS. MARCELINA A. ISSUE:
SARCON, ELY D. SARCON, ROBERTO ALVAREZ, Whether respondents may legally prevent Borbajo
CORAZON NOMBRADO, and GILBERT ANDRALES, in from using and passing through the three (3) road
their personal capacities, respondents. lots within Hidden View Subdivision I

FACTS: RULING:

Jose C. Bontuyan (Bontuyan), Lucy Solon, No. As a registered co-owner(Petitioner) of the


Georgina Solon, Helen Solon and Vicente Solon, Jr. road lots, Borbajo is entitled to avail of all the
(the Solons) were the registered owners of a parcel attributes of ownership under the Civil Codejus
of agricultural land (Lot 10183-A), covering an area utendi, fruendi, abutendi, disponendi et
of 13,910 square meters as evidenced by Transfer vindicandi.[32] Article 428 of the New Civil Code is
Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 73709 of the Register of explicit that the owner has the right to enjoy and
Deeds of Cebu City. At the instance of Bontuyan, dispose of a thing, without other limitations than
the property was surveyed on 19 May 1991 to those established by law. A co-owner, such as
convert it into a subdivision. Meanwhile, in his own Borbajo, is entitled to use the property owned in
behalf and as attorney-in-fact of the Solons and common under Article 486 of the Civil Code.
following the subdivision scheme in the plan, Therefore, respondents cannot close the road lots
Bontuyan sold the resulting lots to different to prevent Borbajo from using the same.
individuals,as evidenced by the Deed of Absolute
Sale dated 18 June 1991. Among the lots sold are The court is bound by the value in law and the
the ones which later became the subject of this evidentiary weight of the titles in the name of
case, the three (3) road lots. The road lots were sold Borbajo. As long as the titles are not annulled,
to petitioner Felicitacion B. Borbajo. Using the Borbajo remains registered a co-owner and
advance payments of his lot purchasers, Bontuyan therefore her right to use the road lots subsists.
proceeded to develop a subdivision which was
later named Hidden View Subdivision I by its Likewise, with Borbajo as a registered co-owner
residents and homeowners. Later, he applied for of the road lots, it is utterly pointless to discuss
and secured from the Housing and Land Use whether she is entitled to the easement of right of
Regulatory Board (HLURB) a License to Sell. way. Both from the text of Article 649[36] of the Civil
Code and the perspective of elementary common
The residents and homeowners of Hidden View sense, the dominant estate cannot be the servient
Subdivision I heard reports to the effect that Borbajo estate at the same time. One of the characteristics
had purchased the entire subdivision from of an easement is that it can be imposed only on
Bontuyan through an oral agreement. They also the property of another, never on ones own
heard that they have no right to use the road lots, property. An easement can exist only when the
since the lots have already been registered in servient and the dominant estates belong to
Borbajos name. As a consequence, the Hidden different owners.[37]
View Homeowners, Inc. invited Borbajo to a
meeting. When confronted by the homeowners Borbajo, being a registered co-owner of the
about her claim that she had bought the three (3) road lots, is entitled to the injunctive relief.
subdivision from Bontuyan, Borbajo confirmed her
claim of ownership over the subdivision and the 2. G.R. No. 90596 April 8, 1991
road lots. She also told them that they have no right SOLID MANILA CORPORATION, petitioner,
regarding the road right-of-way.[12]On 10 August vs.
1997, the homeowners caused the construction of BIO HONG TRADING CO., INC. and COURT OF
a guardhouse at the entrance of Hidden View APPEALS, respondents.
Subdivision I and hired the services of a security
guard to prevent unauthorized persons and FACTS:
construction vehicles from passing through their
subdivision. The measures adversely affected the Petitioner is the owner of a parcel of land located in
residents of the subdivisions at the back, as well as Ermita, Manila, covered by Transfer Certificate of
Borbajo herself since her delivery trucks and heavy Title No. 157750 of the Register of Deeds of Manila.
equipment used in the construction of her housing The same lies in the vicinity of another parcel,
projects then on-going had been effectively registered in the name of the private respondent
prevented from passing through the road lots.[15] corporation under Transfer Certificate of Title No.
128784.
The trial court issued a TRO effective for seventy-two
(72) hours. After due hearing, it also granted The private respondent's title came from a prior
Borbajos application for a writ of preliminary owner, and in their deed of sale, the parties thereto
injunction. It denied respondents motion to dismiss reserved as an easement of way. As a
2|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

consequence, an annotation was entered in the a limitation on the title of the owner of the servient
private respondent's title. estate, specifically, his right to use (jus utendi).
As the petitioner indeed hastens to point out, the
The petitioner claims that ever since, it had (as well deed itself stipulated that "a portion thereof [of
as other residents of neighboring estates) made use the tenement] measuring NINE HUNDRED
of the above private alley and maintained and FOURTEEN SQUARE METERS, more or less, had
contributed to its upkeep, until sometime in 1983, been converted into a private alley for the
when, and over its protests, the private respondent benefit of the neighboring estates. . ."13 and
constructed steel gates that precluded precisely, the former owner, in conveying the
unhampered use. property, gave the private owner a discount on
On December 6, 1984, the petitioner commenced account of the easement, thus:
suit for injunction against the private respondent, to
have the gates removed and to allow full access to WHEREAS, to compensate for the foregoing, the
the easement. parties hereto agreed to adjust the purchase
price from THREE MILLION SEVEN HUNDRED NINETY
The trial court rendered judgment against the THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED FORTY PESOS
private respondent. (P3,790,440.) to THREE MILLION FIVE HUNDRED
THREE THOUSAND TWO HUNDRED FORTY PESOS
The private respondent appealed to the (P3,503,240.00)
respondent Court of Appeals.
Hence, and so we reiterate, albeit the private
Respondent Court of Appeals held that the respondent did acquire ownership over the
summary judgment was improper and that the property –– including the disputed alley –– as a
lower court erroneously ignored the defense set up result of the conveyance, it did not acquire the
by the private respondent that the easement in right to close that alley or otherwise put up
question had been extinguished. According to the obstructions thereon and thus prevent the public
Appellate Court, an easement is a mere limitation from using it, because as a servitude, the alley is
on ownership and that it does not impair the private supposed to be open to the public.
respondent's title, and that since the private
respondent had acquired title to the property, The Court is furthermore of the opinion, contrary
"merger" brought about an extinguishment of the to that of the Court of Appeals, that no genuine
easement. merger took place as a consequence of the sale
in favor of the private respondent corporation.
The petitioner submits that the respondent Court of According to the Civil Code, a merger exists
Appeals erred, because the very deed of sale when ownership of the dominant and servient
executed between the private respondent and the estates is consolidated in the same
previous owner of the property "excluded" the alley person.15 Merger then, as can be seen, requires
in question, and that in any event, the intent of the full ownership of both estates.
parties was to retain the "alley" as an easement
notwithstanding the sale. One thing ought to be noted here, however. The
servitude in question is a personal servitude, that is
ISSUE: to say, one constituted not in favor of a particular
1. Whether or not an easement exists on the tenement (a real servitude) but rather, for the
subject property benefit of the general public.
2. Whether or not the easement had been
extinguished by merger. Personal servitudes are referred to in the following
article of the Civil Code:
RULING:
1. YES. It is true that the sale did include the Art. 614. Servitudes may also be established for
alley. On this score, the Court rejects the the benefit of a community, or of one or more
petitioner's contention that the deed of sale persons to whom the encumbered estate does
"excluded" it, because as a mere right-of-way, it not belong.
can not be separated from the tenement and
maintain an independent existence. Thus: In a personal servitude, there is therefore no
Art. 617. Easements are inseparable from the "owner of a dominant tenement" to speak of, and
estate to which they actively or passively belong.9 the easement pertains to persons without a
Servitudes are merely accessories to the dominant estate,17 in this case, the public at
tenements of which they form part.10 Although large.
they are possessed of a separate juridical
existence, as mere accessories, they can not, Merger, as we said, presupposes the existence of
however, be alienated11 from the tenement, or a prior servient-dominant owner relationship, and
mortgaged separately. the termination of that relation leaves the
easement of no use. Unless the owner conveys
The fact, however, that the alley in question, as the property in favor of the public –– if that is
an easement, is inseparable from the main lot is possible –– no genuine merger can take place
no argument to defeat the petitioner's claims, that would terminate a personal easement.
because as an easement precisely, it operates as
3|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

2. NO. No genuine merger took place as a with an application for writ of preliminary
consequence of the sale in favor of the private mandatory injunction.
respondent corporation. According to the Civil
Code, a merger exists when ownership of the The trial court rendered a Decision in favor of
dominant and servient estates is consolidated in respondents.
the same person. Merger requires full ownership of
both estates. On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
Decision of the trial court.
Note that the servitude in question is a personal
servitude (established for the benefit of a ISSUE:
community, or of one or more persons to whom Whether respondents are entitled to the easement
the encumbered estate does not belong). In a of right of way on the property owned by
personal servitude, there is therefore no "owner of petitioners.
a dominant tenement" to speak of, and the
easement pertains to persons without a dominant RULING:
estate, in this case, the public at large. Thus,
merger could not have been possible. YES. Easement has been defined as an
encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the
ART. 614 benefit of another immovable belonging to a
different owner. The immovable in favor of which
1. G.R. No. 90596 April 8, 1991 the easement is established is called the dominant
SOLID MANILA CORPORATION, petitioner, estate; that which is subject thereto, the servient
vs. estate.4 In this case, the dominant estate is
BIO HONG TRADING CO., INC. and COURT OF respondents’ property, while the servient estate
APPEALS, respondents. (See digest above) belongs to petitioners.

Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil Code provide:


2. G.R. No. 151797 October 11, 2007
SPOUSES MANUEL MEJORADA AND ROSALINDA P. Art. 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of
MEJORADA, petitioners, vs. a real right may cultivate or use any immovable,
GLORIFICACION VERTUDAZO, SOL VERTUDAZO, SPS. which is surrounded by other immovables
JIMMY GALVIZO and GLOSITA T. GALVIZO, SPS. pertaining to other persons and without adequate
FERMIN CABRERA and ELLEN CABRERA, SPS. FELIXTO outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a
ARIATE and RENA ARIATE, and SPS. RAUL ARLALEJO right of way through the neighboring estates, after
and ARCILA ARLALEJO, respondents. payment of the proper indemnity. Xxx

FACTS: Art. 650. The easement of right of way shall be


established at the point least prejudicial to the
Glorificacion and Sol Vertudazo and their co- servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this
respondents established their permanent residence rule, where the distance from the dominant estate
on a 300-square meter lot located at Telaje, to a public highway may be the shortest.
Tandag, Surigao del Sur. Their property is
landlocked being bordered on all sides by different A legal or compulsory easement is that which is
lots. As an access route going to Quiñones Street constituted by law for public use or for private
and the public highway, they utilized a proposed interest. Pursuant to the above provisions, the owner
undeveloped barangay road on the south side of of an estate may claim a legal or compulsory right
their property owned by Rosario Quiñones. of way only after he has established the existence
of these four (4) requisites: (a) the estate is
In 1988, spouses Manuel and Rosalinda Mejorada, surrounded by other immovables and is without
petitioners, bought Rosario’s 646-square meter lot adequate outlet to a public highway; (b) after
adjacent to respondents’ property. Included payment of the proper indemnity; (c) the isolation
therein is an area measuring 55.5 square meters was not due to the proprietor’s own acts; and (d)
which serves as an adequate outlet to Quiñones the right of way claimed is at a point least
Street, now the subject of the present controversy. prejudicial to the servient estate.
For several years, respondents and the general
public have been using that area as a passageway Here, these four requisites have been satisfied.
to and from Quiñones Street.
First, as found by the Court of Appeals, there is no
On July 2, 1997, petitioners closed the passageway other road which respondents could use leading to
by building a new garage for their service jeep. Quiñones Street except the passageway on
Hence, respondents brought the matter to petitioners’ property.
the barangay concerned but no settlement was
reached by the parties. Respondents then filed a Second, respondents have offered to pay
complaint3 with the Regional Trial Court, Branch 27, petitioners proper indemnity for the easement of
Tandag, Surigao del Sur praying for a grant of way.
easement of right of way over petitioners’ property
4|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

Third, the Court of Appeals likewise found that the


isolation of respondents’ property was not due to RULING:
their acts.
No. . The law is explicit. It requires not any form of
Fourth, the easement is at the point least prejudicial prohibition, but exacts, in a parenthetical
to petitioners’ property. In fact, the area of the expression, for emphasis, the doing not only of a
easement which is 55.5 square meters is located at specific, particular act, but a formal act. The
the corner of petitioners’ landholding, hence, does following definitions are pertinent:
not cause them inconvenience in anyway. Formal—or pertaining to form, characterized by
one due form or order, done in due form with a
3. G.R. No. L-14116 June 30, 1960 solemnity regular; relating to matters of form. (C.
LAUREANA A. CID, petitioner, J. S. vol. 37, p. 115.)
vs. Act—In civil law, a writing which states in legal
IRENE P. JAVIER, MANUEL P. JAVIER, JOSEFINA P. form that a thing has been done, said or
JAVIER, FERNANDO P. JAVIER, JOSE P. JAVIER, agreed. (1 Bouvier's Law Dictionary, p. 150,
GUILLERMO P. JAVIER, ISIDORA P. JAVIER, BENJAMIN citing Marlin Report.)
P. JAVIER, and LEONOR CRISOLOGO, respondents.
From these definitions, it would appear that the
FACTS: phrase "formal act" would require not merely any
writing, but one executed in due form and/or with
The windows in question are admittedly in solemnity. That this is the intendment of the law
respondents' own building erected on their own lot. although not expressed in exact language is the
The easement, if there is any, is therefore a reason for the clarification2 made in Article 621 of
negative one.1 The alleged prohibition having been the new Civil Code which specifically requires the
avowedly made in 1913 or 1914, before the present prohibition to be in "an instrument acknowledged
Civil Code took effect, the applicable legal before a notary public". This is as it should be.
provision is Article 538 of the Spanish Civil Code Easements are in the nature of an encumbrance on
which provides: the servient estate. They constitute a limitation of
the dominical right of the owner of the subjected
Art. 538. In order to acquire by prescription the property. Hence, they can be acquired only by title
easements referred to in the next preceding article, and by prescription, in the case of positive
the time of the possession shall be computed, ... in easement, only as a result of some sort of invasion,
negative easements, from the day on which the apparent and continuous, of the servient estate. By
owner of the dominant estate has, by a formal act, the same token, negative easements can not be
forbidden the owner of the servient estate to acquired by less formal means. Hence, the
perform any act which would be lawful without the requirement that the prohibition (the equivalent of
easement. (Emphasis supplied.) the act of invasion) should be by "a formal act", "an
instrument acknowledged before a notary public."
As may be seen, the only question hinges on the
interpretation of the phrase "a formal act". The The Court of Appeals found as undisputed the fact
lower court and the Court of Appeals considered 'that plaintiffs' lot (dominant) as well as defendant's
any prohibition made by the owner of the lot (servient) are covered by Original Certificates of
dominant estate, be it oral or written, sufficient Title Nos. 7225 and 7545, respectively", both issued
compliance with the law. The Court of Appeals by the Register of Deeds of Ilocos Norte, in
declared: pursuance of the decrees of registration issued on
December 27, 1937, in Cadastral Case No. 51,
In the light of the foregoing decisions, (Cortes vs. Yu G.L.R.O. Cadastral Record No. 1212 of Laoag,
Tibo, 2 Phil., 26 and the decisions of the Supreme Ilocos Norte. Certified copies of these certificates of
Court of Spain therein cited), we agree with the trial title are found as Annexes "A" and "B", pages 77 to
court that the "formal act" of prohibition 80 inclusive of the Record on Appeal. In both of
contemplated by Art. 538 of the old Civil Code may them, it does not appear any annotation in respect
be either a written or verbal act. The decisions of to the easement supposedly acquired by
the Supreme Court of Spain above-quoted do not prescription which, counting the twenty (20) years
at all mention written but merely some act of from 1913 or 1914, would have already ripened by
prohibition. 1937, date of the decrees of registration.
Consequently, even conceding arguendo that
ISSUE: such an easement has been acquired, it had been
cut off or extinguished by the registration of the
whether the respondents Irene P. Javier, et al., servient estate under the Torrens System without the
owners of a building standing on their lot with easement being annotated on the corresponding
windows overlooking the adjacent lot, had certificate of title, pursuant to Section 39 of the
acquired by prescription an enforceable easement Land Registration Act.3
of light and view arising from a verbal prohibition to Wherefore, the decision of the Court of Appeals
obstruct such view and light, alleged to have been appealed from is hereby reversed.
made upon petitioner's predecessor-in-interest as
owner of the adjoining lot, both of which lots being 4. G.R. No. 175510 July 28, 2008
covered by Torrens titles.
5|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

SPOUSES VICTOR VALDEZ AND JOCELYN VALDEZ,


represented by their Attorney-In-Fact, VIRGILIO NO. An easement or servitude is "a real right
VALDEZ, Petitioners, constituted on another’s property, corporeal and
vs. immovable, by virtue of which the owner of the
SPOUSES FRANCISCO TABISULA AND CARIDAD same has to abstain from doing or to allow
TABISULA, Respondents. somebody else to do something on his property for
the benefit of another thing or person." 17 The
FACTS: statutory basis of this right is Article 613 of the Civil
Code which reads:
Petitioner-spouses Victor and Jocelyn Valdez
purchased via a January 11, 1993 Deed of Absolute Art. 613. An easement or servitude is an
Sale1 (the deed) from respondent-spouses encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the
Francisco Tabisula and Caridad Tabisula a 200 benefit of another immovable belonging to a
square meter (sq.m.) portion (the subject property) different owner.
of a 380 sq. m. parcel of land located in San
Fernando, La Union, which 380 sq.m. parcel of land. The immovable in favor of which the easement is
established is called the dominant estate; that
Respondents subsequently built a concrete wall on which is subject thereto, the servient estate.
the western side of the subject property.2 Believing
that that side is the intended road right of way There are two kinds of easements according to
mentioned in the deed, petitioners, through their source – by law or by the will of the owners. So
representative, reported the matter to the Article 619 of the Civil Code provides:
barangay for mediation and conciliation.
Respondents failed to attend the conferences Art. 619. Easements are established either by law or
scheduled by the barangay, however, drawing by the will of the owners. The former are called
petitioners to file in April 1999 or more than six years legal and the latter voluntary easements.
after the execution of the deed a Complaint for
Specific Performance with Damages3 against From the allegations in petitioners’ complaint, it is
respondents before the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of clear that what they seek to enforce is an alleged
San Fernando City, La Union. grant in the deed by respondents of an easement
reading: "they shall be provided a 2 ½ meters wide
Petitioners alleged that they purchased the subject road right-of-way on the western side of their lot but
property on the strength of respondents’ assurance which is not included in this sale."
of providing them a road right of way. They thus
prayed that respondents be ordered to provide the Article 1358 of the Civil Code provides that any
subject property with a 2½-meter wide easement transaction involving the sale or disposition of real
and to remove the concrete wall blocking the property must be in writing.18 The stipulation harped
same.4 upon by petitioners that they "shall be provided a 2
½ meters wide road right-of-way on the western
Respondents, in their Answer with Compulsory side of their lot but which is not included in this sale"
Counterclaim (for damages and attorney’s is not a disposition of real property. The proviso that
fees),5 averred that the 2 ½-meter easement should the intended grant of right of way is "not included in
be taken from the western portion of the subject this sale" could only mean that the parties would
property and not from theirs;6 and petitioners and have to enter into a separate and distinct
their family are also the owners of two properties agreement for the purpose.19 The use of the word
adjoining the subject property, which adjoining "shall," which is imperative or mandatory in its
properties have access to two public roads or ordinary signification, should be construed as
highways. merely permissive where, as in the case at bar, no
public benefit or private right requires it to be given
RTC of San Fernando dismissed petitioners’ an imperative meaning.20
complaint and granted respondents’ Counterclaim
by Decision. Besides, a document stipulating a voluntary
easement must be recorded in the Registry of
On appeal by petitioners, the Court of Appeals, by Property in order not to prejudice third parties. So
Decision of May 29, 2006,12 affirmed that of the trial Articles 708 and 709 of the Civil Code call for, viz:
court, it holding that the deed only conveyed
ownership of the subject property to petitioners, Art. 708. The Registry of Property has for its object
and that the reference therein to an easement in the inscription or annotation of acts and contracts
favor of petitioners is not a definite grant-basis of a relating to the ownership and other rights over
voluntary easement of right of way. immovable property.

ISSUE: Art. 709. The titles of ownership, or of other rights


Whether or not petitioner may demand the grant over immovable property, which are not duly
by respondents of an easement on the western side inscribed or annotated in the Registry of Property
of respondents’ lot. shall not prejudice third persons.

RULING:
6|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

Petitioners are neither entitled to a legal or Buenaventura Ondong and Benjamin Halasan, filed
compulsory easement of right of way. For to be with the Regional Trial Court, Davao City, Branch 14,
entitled to such kind of easement, the a complaint[4] against Cornelio B. Reta, Jr. for the
preconditions under Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil exercise of the right of right of first refusal under
Code must be established, viz: Presidential Decree No. 1517, injunction with
preliminary injunction, attorney’s fees and nullity of
Art. 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of amicable settlement.
a real right may cultivate or use any immovable,
which is surrounded by other immovables The plaintiffs claimed that they were tenants or
pertaining to other persons, and without adequate lessees of the land located in Barangay Sasa,
outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a Davao City, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title
right of way through the neighboring estates, after No. T-72594, owned by Reta; that the land has been
payment of the proper indemnity. converted by Reta into a commercial center; and
that Reta is threatening to eject them from the
xxxx land. They assert that they have the right of first
This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of refusal to purchase the land in accordance with
the immovable is due to the proprietor’s own acts. Section 3(g) of Presidential Decree No. 1517 since
(Underscoring supplied) they are legitimate tenants or lessees thereof.

They also claimed that the amicable settlement


Art. 650. The easement of right of way shall be executed between Reta and Ricardo Roble was
established at the point least prejudicial to the void ab initio for being violative of Presidential
servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this Decree No. 1517.
rule, where the distance from the dominant estate
to a public highway may be the shortest. On the other hand, Reta claimed that the land is
(Underscoring supplied) beyond the ambit of Presidential Decree No. 1517
since it has not been proclaimed as an Urban Land
Thus, to be conferred a legal easement of right of Reform Zone; that the applicable law is Batas
way under Article 649, the following requisites must Pambansa Blg. 25 for failure of the plaintiffs to pay
be complied with: (1) the property is surrounded by the rentals for the use of the land; and that the
other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a amicable settlement between him and Ricardo
public highway; (2) proper indemnity must be paid; Roble was translated to the latter and fully
(3) the isolation is not the result of the owner of the explained in his own dialect.
dominant estate’s own acts; (4) the right of way
claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the On March 8, 1994, the trial court rendered a
servient estate; and (5) to the extent consistent with decision dismissing the complaint and ordering the
the foregoing rule, the distance from the dominant plaintiffs to pay Reta certain sums representing
estate to a public highway may be the rentals that had remained unpaid.[5]
shortest.21 The onus of proving the existence of On April 6, 1994, plaintiffs appealed the decision to
these prerequisites lies on the owner of the the Court of Appeals.[6]
dominant estate,22 herein petitioners.
On December 9, 1998, the Court of Appeals
As found, however, by the trial court, which is promulgated a decision[7] affirming in toto the
supported by the Sketch23 (Exhibit "B"; Exhibit "1") of decision of the trial court.
the location of the lots of the parties and those
Hence, this appeal.[8]
adjoining them, a common evidence of the parties,
petitioners and their family are also the owners of ISSUE: Whether or not petitioners have the right of
two properties adjoining the subject property which first refusal under Presidential Decree No. 1517.
have access to two public roads or highways.24
RULING: The petition is without merit.
Since petitioners then have more than adequate
The area involved has not been proclaimed an
passage to two public roads, they have no right to
Urban Land Reform Zone (ULRZ). In fact, petitioners
demand the grant by respondents of an easement
filed a petition with the National Housing Authority
on the "western side of [respondents’] lot."
requesting that the land they were occupying be
declared as an ULRZ. On May 27, 1986, the request
5. EDILBERTO ALCANTARA, FLORENCIO VILLARMIA,
was referred to Mr. Jose L. Atienza, General
POLICARPIO OBREGON,+ RICARDO ROBLE,
Manager, National Housing Authority, for
ESCOLASTICA ONDONG, ESTEBAN RALLOS, HENRY
appropriate action.[9] The request was further
SESBINO, SERGIO SESBINO, MANUEL CENTENO,+
referred to acting mayor Zafiro Respicio, Davao
RENATO CRUZ, MARCELINO CENEZA, BUENAVENTURA
City, as per 2nd Indorsement dated July 1, 1986.[10]
ONDONG, and BENJAMIN HALASAN, petitioners, vs.
Clearly, the request to have the land proclaimed as
CORNELIO B. RETA, JR. respondent.
an ULRZ would not be necessary if the property was
FACTS: an ULRZ.

Edilberto Alcantara, Florencio Villarmia, Policarpio Presidential Decree No. 1517, otherwise known as
Obregon, Ricardo Roble, Escolastica Ondong, “The Urban Land Reform Act,” pertains to areas
Esteban Rallos, Henry Sesbino, Sergio Sesbino, proclaimed as Urban Land Reform Zones.[11]
Manuel Centeno, Renato Cruz, Marcelo Ceneza, Consequently, petitioners cannot claim any right
7|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

under the said law since the land involved is not an the situation which would allow the exercise of that
ULRZ. right, that is, the sale or intended sale of the land,
has not happened. P. D. No. 1517 applies where
To be able to qualify and avail oneself of the rights the owner of the property intends to sell it to a third
and privileges granted by the said decree, one party.[20]
must be: (1) a legitimate tenant of the land for ten
(10) years or more; (2) must have built his home on WHEREFORE, the Court DENIES the petition. The
the land by contract; and, (3) has resided Court AFFIRMS the decision of the Court of
continuously for the last ten (10) years. Obviously, Appeals[21] and the resolution denying
those who do not fall within the said category reconsideration thereof.
cannot be considered “legitimate tenants” and,
therefore, not entitled to the right of first refusal to ARTICLE 615
purchase the property should the owner of the land
decide to sell the same at a reasonable price within 1. BOGO-MEDELLIN MILLING CO., INC., petitioner,
a reasonable time.[12] vs. COURT OF APPEALS AND HEIRS OF MAGDALENO
VALDEZ SR., respondents.
Respondent Reta denies that he has lease
agreements with petitioners Edilberto Alcantara FACTS: The respondents in this case were the heirs of
and Ricardo Roble.[13] Edilberto Alcantara, on the Magdaleno Valdez Sr., who purchased an
other hand, failed to present proof of a lease unregistered parcel of land located in Cebu from
agreement other than his testimony in court that he Feliciana Santillan (seller). The land was possessed
bought the house that he is occupying from his by decedent who had also paid taxes thereon.
father-in-law.[14]
The heirs subsequently inherited the land. However,
Respondent Reta allowed petitioner Ricardo Roble a sugar company, Bogo-Medellin Milling Co. was
to use sixty-two (62) coconut trees for P186 from able to obtain title to Lot No. 954, the narrow lot
where he gathered tuba. This arrangement would where the railroad tracks (existent even prior to the
show that it is a usufruct and not a lease. Usufruct sale to decedent) lay. The lot was likewise declared
gives a right to enjoy the property of another with for tax purposes under the name of the company.
the obligation of preserving its form and substance,
unless the title constituting it or the law otherwise The heirs filed a complaint for Compensation
provides.[15] and/or Recovery of Possession of the lot claiming
Petitioner Roble was allowed to construct his house that Bomedco was granted by the seller of the lot a
on the land because it would facilitate his railroad right of way for a period of 30 years which
gathering of tuba. This would be in the nature of a had expired sometime in 1959 but that the heirs
personal easement under Article 614 of the Civil allowed Bomedco to continue using the land
Code.[16] because one of them was then an employee of the
company.
Whether the amicable settlement[17] is valid or not,
the conclusion would still be the same since the Bomedco, on the other hand, claimed that it was
agreement was one of usufruct and not of lease. the owner and possessor of the registered lot when
Thus, petitioner Roble is not a legitimate tenant as it bought the lot from seller in 1929 and that the
defined by Presidential Decree No. 1517. heirs were already barred by prescription and
laches because of Bomedco’s open and
As to the other petitioners, respondent Reta continuous possession of the property for more than
admitted that he had verbal agreements with 50 years.
them. This notwithstanding, they are still not the
legitimate tenants contemplated by Presidential The trial court rejected the evidence presented by
Decree No. 1517, who can exercise the right of first Bomedco (as it was only a Xerox copy of an
refusal. unsigned deed of Sale) but ruled that Bomedco
A contract has been defined as “a meeting of the had already acquired ownership of the property
minds between two persons whereby one binds through acquisitive prescription because it
himself, with respect to the other, to give something possessed the property in good faith for more
or to render some service.”[18] than10 years.

Clearly, from the moment respondent Reta This was reversed by the Court of Appeals which
demanded that the petitioners vacate the ruled that Bomedco only acquired an easement of
premises, the verbal lease agreements, which were right of way by unopposed and continuous use of
on a monthly basis since rentals were paid the land, but not ownership.
monthly,[19] ceased to exist as there was
termination of the lease. ISSUE:
Indeed, none of the petitioners is qualified to
1) Whether Bomedco had indeed acquired
exercise the right of first refusal under P. D. No. 1517.
ownership of the land through extraordinary
Another factor which militates against petitioners’ acquisitive prescription?
claim is the fact that there is no intention on the
part of respondent Reta to sell the property. Hence,
even if the petitioners had the right of first refusal,
8|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

2) Whether easement was continuous and thus railroad right of way was, according to them,
Bomedco had acquired title over the use of the continuous and apparent in nature. The more or
land? less permanent railroad tracks were visually
apparent and they continuously occupied the
RULING: subject strip of land from 1959 (the year the
easement granted by Feliciana Santillan to
1. NO. Bomedco only acquired an easement petitioner expired). Thus, with the lapse of the 10-
of right of way by unopposed and year prescriptive period in 1969, petitioner
continuous use of the land, but not supposedly acquired the easement of right of way
ownership, under Article 620 of the Civil over the subject land.
Code.
The easement of right of way is considered
The appellate court further ruled that discontinuous because it is exercised only if a
Bomedcos claim of a prior sale to it by Feliciana person passes or sets foot on somebody elses land.
Santillan was untrue. Its possession being in bad Like a road for the passage of vehicles or persons,
faith, the applicable prescriptive period in order to an easement of right of way of railroad tracks is
acquire ownership over the land was 30 years discontinuous because the right is exercised only if
under Article 1137 of the Civil Code. Adverse and when a train operated by a person passes over
possession of the property started only in 1965 when another's property. In other words, the very exercise
Bomedco registered its claim in the cadastral of the servitude depends upon the act or
survey of Medellin. Since only 24 years from 1965 intervention of man which is the very essence of
had elapsed when the heirs filed a complaint discontinuous easements.
against Bomedco in 1989, Bomedcos possession of
the land had not yet ripened into ownership. Under Article 622 of the Civil Code,
discontinuous easements, whether apparent or not,
And since there was no showing that may be acquired only by title. Unfortunately,
respondent heirs or their predecessor-in-interest was petitioner Bomedco never acquired any title over
ever paid compensation for the use of the land, the the use of the railroad right of way whether by law,
appellate court awarded compensation to them, donation, testamentary succession or contract. Its
to be computed from the time of discovery of the use of the right of way, however long, never
adverse acts of Bomedco. resulted in its acquisition of the easement because,
under Article 622, the discontinuous easement of a
An easement or servitude is a real right, railroad right of way can only be acquired by title
constituted on the corporeal immovable property and not by prescription.
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 A party is deemed to acquire title over the
another thing or person. It exists only when the use of the land if:
servient and dominant estates belong to two
different owners. It gives the holder of the easement (a) it had subsequently entered into a contractual
an incorporeal interest on the land but grants no right of way with the heirs for the continued use of
title thereto. Therefore, an acknowledgment of the the land under the principles of voluntary
easement is an admission that the property belongs easements; or
to another.
(b) it had filed a case against the heirs for
Having held the property by virtue of an conferment on it of a legal easement of right of
easement, Bomedco cannot now assert that its way under Article 629 of the Civil Code, then title
occupancy since 1929 was in the concept of an over the use of the land is deemed to exist.
owner. Neither can it declare that the 30- year
period of extraordinary prescription started from
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.
that year.

Moreover, the mere expiration of the period 2. EMETERIA LIWAG, Petitioner vs. HAPPY GLEN
of easement in 1959 did not convert petitioner’s LOOP HOMEOWNERS ASSOCIATION, INC.,
possession into an adverse one. Mere material Respondent
possession of land is not adverse possession as
against the owner and is insufficient to vest title, FACTS: Sometime in 1978, F.G.R. Sales, the original
unless such possession is accompanied by the developer of Happy Glen Loop, obtained a loan
intent to possess as an owner. from Ernesto Marcelo (Marcelo), the owner of T.P.
Marcelo Realty Corporation. To settle its debt after
1. Continuous and apparent easements are failing to pay its obligation, F.G.R. Sales assigned to
acquired either by virtue of a title or by Marcelo all its rights over several parcels of land in
prescription of ten years. the Subdivision, as well as receivables from the lots
already sold.
The trial court and the Court of Appeals
both upheld this view for the reason that the As the successor-in-interest, Marcelo represented to
lot buyers, the National Housing Authority (NHA)and
9|Article 613 – Article 656 – EASEMENTS or SERVITUDES

the Human Settlement Regulatory Commission In this case, the water facility is an encumbrance
(HSRC) that a water facility is available in the on Lot 11, Block 5 of the Subdivision for the benefit
subdivision. The said water facility has been the only of the community. It is continuous and apparent,
source of water of the residents for thirty (30) years. because it is used incessantly without human
intervention, and because it is continually kept in
In September 1995, Marcelo sold Lot 11, Block 5 to view by the overhead water tank, which reveals its
Hermogenes Liwag. As a result, Transfer Certificate use to the public.
of Title (TCT) No.C-350099 was issued to the latter.
Contrary to petitioners contention that the
In 2003, Hermogenes died. Petitioner, wife Emeteria existence of the water tank on Lot 11, Block 5 is
Liwanag of Hermogenes, subsequently wrote to the merely tolerated, we find that the easement of
respondent Association demanding the removal of water facility has been voluntarily established either
the overhead water tank over the parcel of land. by Marcelo, the Subdivision owner and developer;
or by F.G.R. Sales, his predecessor-in-interest and
The latter refused and filed a case before the the original developer of the Subdivision. For more
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board against T. than 30 years, the facility was continuously used as
P. Marcelo Realty Corporation, petitioner and the the residents sole source of water.[31] The Civil
surviving heirs of Hermogenes. Code provides that continuous and apparent
easements are acquired either by virtue of a title or
The HLURB ruling was in favor of the respondent by prescription of 10 years.
Association. One of the things it affirmed was the It is therefore clear that an easement of water
existence of an easement for water system/facility facility has already been acquired through
or open space on Lot 11, Block 5 of TCT No. C- prescription.
350099 wherein the deep well and overhead tank
are situated.
2.YES. It is considered an “open space.” The
ISSUE: decree makes no specific mention of areas
1. Whether or not an easement for water facility reserved for water facilities. Therefore, we resort to
exists on Lot 11, Block 5 of Happy Glen Loop statutory construction to determine whether these
Subdivision. areas fall under other similar facilities and amenities.
The basic statutory construction principle of
2. Whether or not Lot 11, Block 5 of the Happy Glen ejusdem generis states that where a general word
Loop is considered an “open space” as defined in or phrase follows an enumeration of particular and
P.D. 1216. specific words of the same class, the general word
or phrase is to be construed to include or to be
RULING: restricted to things akin to or resembling, or of the
1. NO. Easements or servitudes are encumbrances same kind or class as, those specifically mentioned.
imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of
another immovable belonging to a different owner,
Applying that principle, the Court found out Sec. 1
for the benefit of a community, or for the benefit of
of P.D. 1216 that the enumeration refers to areas
one or more persons to whom the encumbered
reserved for the common welfare of the
estate does not belong.
community.
The law provides that easements may be
Here, the water facility was undoubtedly
continuous or discontinuous and apparent or non-
established for the benefit of the community. Water
apparent. The pertinent provisions of the Civil Code
is a basic need in human settlements, without which
are quoted below:
the community would not survive. We therefore rule
that, based on the principle of ejusdem generis and
Art. 615. Easements may be continuous or
taking into consideration the intention of the law to
discontinuous, apparent or non-apparent.
create and maintain a healthy environment in
human settlements, the location of the water
Continuous easements are those the use of which is
facility in the Subdivision must form part of the area
or may be incessant, without the intervention of any
reserved for open space.
act of man.

Discontinuous easements are those which are used 3. SOLID MANILA CORPORATION, petitioner, vs.BIO
at intervals and depend upon the acts of man. HONG TRADING CO., INC. and COURT OF APPEALS,
respondents.
Apparent easements are those which are made
known and are continually kept in view by external FACTS:
signs that reveal the use and enjoyment of the
same. Solid Manila Corp. is the owner of a parcel of land
located in Ermita, Manila, covered by Transfer
Non-apparent easements are those which show no Certificate of Title No. 157750 of the Register of
external indication of their existence. Deeds of Manila. The same lies in the vicinity of
another parcel, registered under Bio Hong and the
10 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

vendor, 900 sqm of the lot was reserved as an 2) Whether or not the easement had been
easement of way. extinguished by merger.

There is no question that an easement, as


described in the deed of sale executed between RULING:
the private respondent and the seller, had been 1. NO. The sale included the alley. The Court rejects
constituted on the private respondent's property, the Solid's contention that the deed of sale
and has been in fact annotated at the back of "excluded" it, because as a mere right-of-way, it
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 128784. Specifically, cannot be separated from the tenement and
the same charged the private respondent as maintain an independent existence.
follows: "(6) That the alley shall remain open at all
times, and no obstructions whatsoever shall be Art. 617. Easements are inseparable from the estate
placed thereon; (7) That the owner of the lot on to which they actively or passively belong.9
which the alley has been constructed shall allow Servitudes are merely accessories to the tenements
the public to use the same, and allow the City to of which they form part.10 Although they are
lay pipes for sewer and drainage purposes, and possessed of a separate juridical existence, as mere
shall not [ask] for any indemnity for the use thereof. . accessories, they can not, however, be alienated11
. 8Its act, therefore, of erecting steel gates across from the tenement, or mortgaged separately.12
the alley was in defiance of these conditions and a
violation of the deed of sale, and, of course, the Hence, and so we reiterate, albeit the private
servitude of way. respondent did acquire ownership over the
The petitioner claims that ever since, it (along with property –– including the disputed alley –– as a
other residents of neighboring estates) made use of result of the conveyance, it did not acquire the
the above private alley and maintained and right to close that alley or otherwise put up
contributed to its upkeep, until sometime in 1983, obstructions thereon and thus prevent the public
when, and over its protests, the private respondent from using it, because as a servitude, the alley is
constructed steel gates that precluded supposed to be open to the public.
unhampered use.
2) NO. No genuine merger took place as a
consequence of the sale in favor of the private
On December 6, 1984, the petitioner commenced respondent corporation. According to the Civil
suit for injunction against the private respondent, to Code, a merger exists when ownership of the
have the gates removed and to allow full access to dominant and servient estates is consolidated in the
the easement. same person. Merger requires full ownership of both
estates.
The trial court ordered Bi Hong to open the gates
but the latter argued that the easement has been One thing ought to be noted here,
extinguished by merger in the same person of the however. The servitude in question is a personal
dominant and servient estates upon the purchase servitude, that is to say, one constituted not in favor
of the property from its former owner. of a particular tenement (a real servitude) but
rather, for the benefit of the general public.
CA reversed holding that an easement is a mere
Personal servitudes are referred to in the following
limitation on ownership and that it does not impair
article of the Civil Code:
the private respondent's title, and that since the
private respondent had acquired title to the
Art. 614. Servitudes may also be established for the
property, "merger" brought about an
benefit of a community, or of one or more persons
extinguishment of the easement.
to whom the encumbered estate does not
belong.16
Thus, Solid Manila Corporation went to the SC
In a personal servitude, there is therefore no "owner
alleging that the very deed of sale executed
of a dominant tenement" to speak of, and the
between the Bio Hong and the previous owner of
easement pertains to persons without a dominant
the property "excluded" the alley in question, and
estate,17 in this case, the public at large.
that in any event, the intent of the parties was to
retain the "alley" as an easement notwithstanding
In the case at bar, the defense of merger is, clearly,
the sale.
not a valid defense, indeed, a sham one, because
as we said, merger is not possible, and secondly,
[While the case was pending, Bio Hong asked the
the sale unequivocally preserved the existing
RTC to cancel the annotation in question, which it
easement. In other words, the answer does not, in
granted subject to the final outcome of the prior
reality, tender any genuine issue on a material fact
case.]
and cannot militate against the petitioner's clear
cause of action.
ISSUE:
ARTICLE 616
1) Whether or not easements may be alienated
(sold) from the tenement or mortgaged separately 1. ELISEO FAJARDO, JR., and MARISSA FAJARDO,
petitioners, vs. FREEDOM TO BUILD, INC., respondent.
11 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

FACTS: Freedom to Build Inc., an owner-developer Corporation, which has merely adjudged the
and seller of low-cost housing sold to petitioner- payment of damages in lieu of demolition. In the
spouses a house and lot in the De La Costa Homes, aforementioned case, however, the elaborate
in Barangka, Marikina, Metro Manila. The Contract mathematical formula for the determination of
to sell executed between the parties, contained a compensatory damages which takes into account
Restrictive Covenant providing certain prohibitions, the current construction cost index during the
to wit: immediately preceding 5 years based on the
weighted average of wholesale price and wage
“Easements. For the good of the entire community, indices of the National Census and Statistics Office
the homeowner must observe a two-meter and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is explicitly
easement in front. No structure of any kind (store, provided for in the Deed of Restrictions entered into
garage, bodega, etc.) may be built on the front by the parties. This unique and peculiar
easement. circumstance, among other strong justifications
therein mentioned, is not extant in the case at bar.
“Upward expansion. A second storey is not
prohibited. But the second storey expansion must In sum, the Court holds that since the extension
be placed above the back portion of the house constructed exceeds the floor area limits of the
and should not extend forward beyond the apex of Restrictive Covenant, petitioner spouses can be
the original building. required to demolish the structure to the extent that
it exceeds the prescribed floor area limits.
“Front expansion: 2nd Storey: No unit may be
extended in the front beyond the line as designed
and implemented by the developer in the 60 sq. m. Wherefore, the assailed decision of the Court of
unit. In other words, the 2nd floor expansion, in front, Appeals is AFFIRMED. No costs.
is 6 meters back from the front property line and 4
meters back from the front wall of the house, just as
provided in the 60 sq. m. units.”

The above restrictions were also contained in ARTICLE 617


Transfer Certificate of Title No. N-115384 covering
the lot issued in the name of petitioner-spouses. 1. SOLID MANILA CORPORATION, petitioner, vs.BIO
HONG TRADING CO., INC. and COURT OF APPEALS,
respondents.
The controversy arose when the petitioners despite
repeated demand from the respondent, extended
the roof of their house to the property line and FACTS: Solid Manila Corp. is the owner of a parcel
expanded the second floor of their house to a point of land located in Ermita, Manila, covered by
directly above the original front wall. Respondent Transfer Certificate of Title No. 157750 of the Register
filed before the RTC an action to demolish the of Deeds of Manila. The same lies in the vicinity of
unauthorized structures. another parcel, registered under Bio Hong and the
vendor, 900 sqm of the lot was reserved as an
easement of way.
The RTC rendered a judgment against the petitioner
ordering them to immediately demolish and
remove the extension of their expanded housing There is no question that an easement, as
unit that exceeds the limitations imposed by the described in the deed of sale executed between
Restrictive Covenant, otherwise the Branch Sheriff the private respondent and the seller, had been
of this Court will execute the this decision at the constituted on the private respondent's property,
expense of the defendants. and has been in fact annotated at the back of
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 128784. Specifically,
the same charged the private respondent as
On appeal, the CA affirmed the decision of the
follows: "(6) That the alley shall remain open at all
RTC. Hence, this petition for review.
times, and no obstructions whatsoever shall be
placed thereon; (7) That the owner of the lot on
ISSUE: Whether or not the for the lack of a specific which the alley has been constructed shall allow
provision, prescribing the penalty of the demolition the public to use the same, and allow the City to
in the “Restrictive Covenant” in the event of the lay pipes for sewer and drainage purposes, and
breach thereof, the prayer of the respondent to shall not [ask] for any indemnity for the use thereof. .
demolish the structure should fail. . 8Its act, therefore, of erecting steel gates across
the alley was in defiance of these conditions and a
RULING: The Court held that the argument of the violation of the deed of sale, and, of course, the
petitioner-spouses has no merit; Article 1168 of the servitude of way.
New Civil Code states that: “When the obligation
consists in not doing and the obligor does what has
been forbidden him, it shall be undone at his The petitioner claims that ever since, it (along with
expense.” other residents of neighboring estates) made use of
the above private alley and maintained and
This Court is not unaware of its ruling in Ayala contributed to its upkeep, until sometime in 1983,
Corporation vs. Ray Burton Development when, and over its protests, the private respondent
12 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

constructed steel gates that precluded


unhampered use. 2) NO. No genuine merger took place as a
consequence of the sale in favor of the private
On December 6, 1984, the petitioner commenced respondent corporation. According to the Civil
suit for injunction against the private respondent, to Code, a merger exists when ownership of the
have the gates removed and to allow full access to dominant and servient estates is consolidated in the
the easement. same person. Merger requires full ownership of both
estates.
The trial court ordered Bi Hong to open the gates
but the latter argued that the easement has been One thing ought to be noted here,
extinguished by merger in the same person of the however. The servitude in question is a personal
dominant and servient estates upon the purchase servitude, that is to say, one constituted not in favor
of the property from its former owner. of a particular tenement (a real servitude) but
rather, for the benefit of the general public.
CA reversed holding that an easement is a mere
Personal servitudes are referred to in the following
limitation on ownership and that it does not impair
article of the Civil Code:
the private respondent's title, and that since the
private respondent had acquired title to the
Art. 614. Servitudes may also be established for the
property, "merger" brought about an
benefit of a community, or of one or more persons
extinguishment of the easement.
to whom the encumbered estate does not
belong.16
Thus, Solid Manila Corporation went to the SC
In a personal servitude, there is therefore no "owner
alleging that the very deed of sale executed
of a dominant tenement" to speak of, and the
between the Bio Hong and the previous owner of
easement pertains to persons without a dominant
the property "excluded" the alley in question, and
estate,17 in this case, the public at large.
that in any event, the intent of the parties was to
retain the "alley" as an easement notwithstanding
In the case at bar, the defense of merger is, clearly,
the sale.
not a valid defense, indeed, a sham one, because
as we said, merger is not possible, and secondly,
[While the case was pending, Bio Hong asked the
the sale unequivocally preserved the existing
RTC to cancel the annotation in question, which it
easement. In other words, the answer does not, in
granted subject to the final outcome of the prior
reality, tender any genuine issue on a material fact
case.]
and cannot militate against the petitioner's clear
cause of action.
ISSUE:
ARTICLE 618
1) Whether or not easements may be alienated
(sold) from the tenement or mortgaged separately 1.) G.R. No. 201405, August 24, 2015

LIWAYWAY ANDRES, RONNIE ANDRES, AND PABLO B.


2) Whether or not the easement had been
FRANCISCO, Petitioners, v. STA. LUCIA REALTY &
extinguished by merger.
DEVELOPMENT, INCORPORATED, Respondent.

RULING: FACTS: Petitioners and Liza filed a Complaint 4 for


1. NO. The sale included the alley. The Court rejects Easement of Right-of-Way against respondent
the Solid's contention that the deed of sale before the RTC on November 28,2000. They alleged
"excluded" it, because as a mere right-of-way, it that they are co-owners and possessors for more
cannot be separated from the tenement and than 50 years of three parcels of unregistered
maintain an independent existence. agricultural land in Pag-asa, Binangonan, Rizal with
a total area of more or less 10,500 square meters
Art. 617. Easements are inseparable from the estate (subject property). A few years back, however,
to which they actively or passively belong.9 respondent acquired the lands surrounding the
Servitudes are merely accessories to the tenements subject property, developed the same into a
of which they form part.10 Although they are residential subdivision known as the Binangonan
possessed of a separate juridical existence, as mere Metropolis East, and built a concrete perimeter
accessories, they can not, however, be alienated11 fence around it such that petitioners and Liza were
from the tenement, or mortgaged separately.12 denied access from subject property to the nearest
public road and vice versa. They thus prayed for a
Hence, and so we reiterate, albeit the private right-of-way within Binangonan Metropolis East in
respondent did acquire ownership over the order for them to have access to Col. Guido Street,
property –– including the disputed alley –– as a a public road.
result of the conveyance, it did not acquire the
right to close that alley or otherwise put up RTC: The RTC granted the easement of right of way
obstructions thereon and thus prevent the public in favor of the petitioners. It then ratiocinated that
from using it, because as a servitude, the alley is based on Article 113724 of the Civil Code,
supposed to be open to the public. petitioners and Liza are considered owners of the
subject property through extraordinary prescription.
13 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

Having real right over the same, therefore, they are sold a portion of their land to Philippine Building
entitled to demand an easement of right-of-way Corporation. Included in such sale was half or 7.5
under Article 649 of the Civil Code. meters width of the Mangyan road. The said
corporation assigned its rights, with the consent of
The RTC further held that Pablo's testimony the Tuasons, to AdMU through a Deed of
sufficiently established: (1) that the subject property Assignment with Assumption of Mortgage. AdMU
was surrounded by respondent's property; (2) the later on sold to Maryknoll the western portion of the
area and location of the right-of-way sought; (3) land. Tuason developed their land which is now
the value of the land on which the right-of-way is to known as La Vista. On January, 1976, Ateneo and
be constituted which was P600.00 per square La Vista acknowledged the voluntary easement or
meter; and (4) petitioners and Liza's possession of a Mutual right of way wherein the parties would
the subject property up to the present time. allow the other to use their half portion of the
Manyan road (La Vista to use AdMU’s 7.5 meters of
CA: On appeal, respondent argued that petitioners the mangyan road and also the other way around.)
and Liza were neither able to prove that they were Ateneo auctioned off the property wherein Solid
owners nor that they have any real right over the Homes Inc., the developer of Loyola Grand Villas,
subject property intended to be the dominant was the highest bidder.
estate. In fact, the intended dominant estate was
declared under the name of Juanito Blanco et. al ADMU transferred not only the property, but also
for taxation purposes. Hence, they are not entitled the right to negotiate the easement on the road.
to demand an easement of right-of-way. At any However, La Vista did not want to recognize the
rate, they likewise failed to establish that the only easement thus they block the road using 6
route available from their property to Col. Guido cylindrical concrete and some guards over the
Street is through respondent's subdivision. The entrance of the road blocking the entrance of the
decision of the court a quo was reversed. residents of Loyola Grand Villas. Solid Homes Inc.
filed for injunction and La vista in turn filed a third
ISSUE: Whether petitioners are entitled to demand party complaint against AdMU. Some of the
an easement of right-of-way from respondent. - NO arguments of the petitioner were that Loyola
HELD: NO, the petitioners are not entitled. Under residents had adequate outlet to a public highway
Article 649 of the Civil Code, an easement of right- using other roads and also that AdMU has not yet
of-way may be demanded by the owner of an finalized the negotiation of the easement.
immovable or by any person who by virtue of a real ISSUE: 1.) Whether or not there is an easement of
right may cultivate or use the same. It must be right of way? – YES. 2.) Whether or not an adequate
stressed at the outset that contrary to petitioners' outlet to a highway can extinguish a voluntary
allegations, there is no showing that Carlos filed a easement? – NO.
claim of ownership over the subject property with
the DENR. His April 13, 1998 letter35 to the said office HELD: 1.) Yes, there was an easement of right of
which petitioners assert to be an application for the way. A legal or compulsory easement is that which
registration of such claim is actually just a request is constituted by law for public use or for private
for the issuance of certain documents and nothing interest. By express provisions of Arts. 649 and 650 of
more. Moreover, while Carlos indeed attempted to the New Civil Code, the owner of an estate may
declare the subject property for taxation purposes, claim a legal or compulsory right-of-way only after
his application, as previously mentioned, was he has established the existence of four (4)
denied because a tax declaration was already requisites, namely: (a) the estate is surrounded by
issued to the Blancos. other immovables and is without adequate outlet
to a public highway; (b) after payment of the
ARTICLE 619 proper indemnity; (c) the isolation was not due to
1.) [G.R. No. 95252. September 5, 1997.] the proprietor’s own acts; and (d) the right-of-way
claimed is at a point least prejudicial to the servient
LA VISTA ASSOCIATION, INC., Petitioner, v. COURT estate, and insofar as consistent with this rule, where
OF APPEALS, SOLID HOMES, INC., ATENEO DE the distance from the dominant estate to a public
MANILA UNIVERSITY, ROMULO VILLA, LORENZO highway may be shortest. A voluntary easement on
TIMBOL, EMDEN ENCARNACION, VICENTE CASIÑO, the other hand is constituted simply by will or
JR., DOMINGO REYES, PEDRO C. MERCADO, MARIO agreement of the parties. Hence, having
AQUINO, RAFAEL GOSECO, PORFIRIO CABALU, JR., established that there was indeed a previous
and ANTONIO ADRIANO, in their behalf and in agreement to constitute an easement, the
behalf of the residents of LOYOLA GRAND VILLAS, easement in the case at bar is a voluntary
INC., PHASES I AND II, Respondents. easement.

2.) No, an adequate outlet to a highway cannot


FACTS: The controversy in this case is regarding the extinguish a voluntary easement. The argument of
right of way in Manyan road. The road is a 15 meter petitioner LA VISTA that there are other routes to
wide road abutting Katipunan Avenue on the west, LOYOLA from Mangyan Road is likewise meritless, to
traverses the edges of La Vista Subdivision on the say the least. The opening of an adequate outlet to
north and of the Ateneo de Manila University a highway can extinguish only legal or compulsory
(AdMU) and Maryknoll College on the south. The easements, not voluntary easements like in the
said road was originally owned by the Tuasons who case at bar. The fact that an easement by grant
may have also qualified as an easement of
14 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

necessity does not detract from its permanency as HELD: 1.) No, the petitioners are not entitled to an
a property right, which survives the termination of easement of right of way. To be entitled to a
the necessity. compulsory easement of right of way, the
preconditions provided under Arts. 649 and 650 of
2.) G.R. No. 125339 June 22, 1998 the Civil Code must be established. These are: (1)
CRESENCIA CRISTOBAL, ROBERTO MAKIMKIM, that the dominant estate is surrounded by other
DAMASO MAKIMKIM, SPOUSES SALVADOR immovables and has no adequate outlet to a
HERMALINO and PONCIANA MAKIMKIM, MILAGROS public highway; (2) that proper indemnity has been
MAKIMKIM, REMEDIOS MAKIMKIM, SPOUSES paid; (3) that the isolation was not due to acts of
FRANCISCO ESTANISLAO and FLORDELIZA the proprietor of the dominant estate; (4) that the
MAKIMKIM, ERLINDA MAKIMKIM, JOSE MAKIMKIM right of way claimed is at a point least prejudicial to
and GINA MAKIMKIM, petitioners, the servient estate and, in so far as consistent with
vs. this rule, where the distance from the dominant
COURT OF APPEALS, CESAR LEDESMA, INC., SPOUSES estate to a public highway may be the shortest. The
JESUS C. PACIONE and LERMA B. PACIONE, burden of proving the existence of these
respondents. prerequisites lies on the owner of the dominant
estate.
FACTS: Petitioner Cristobal owned a house and lot In the present case, the first element is clearly
in Visayas Avenue Extension. Respondent Cesar absent. As found by the trial court and the Court of
Ledesma, Inc. on the other hand was the owner of Appeals, an outlet already exist, which is a path
the adjoining subdivision, which included the walk located at the left side of petitioners' property
disputed lots 1 and 2. Lots 1 and 2 were originally a and which is connected to a private road about
part of the private road. Upon the making of five hundred (500) meters long. The private road, in
Visayas Avenue as a public road, respondent Cesar turn, leads to Ma. Elena Street which is about 2.5
Ledesma, Inc. petitioned the exclusion of the two meters wide and, finally, to Visayas Avenue. This
disputed lots from the road. They were granted to outlet was determined by the court a quo to be
do so. Subsequently, Cesar Ledesma , Inc., sold sufficient for the needs of the dominants estate,
both lots to Macario Pacione in whose favor hence petitioners have no cause to complain that
transfer Certificates of Title were correspondingly they have no adequate outlet to Visayas Avenue.
issued. In turn, Macario Pacione conveyed the lots
to his son and dauhter-in-law, respondent spouses 2.) Yes, a path walk that is much longer, circuitous
Jesus and Lerma Pacione. and inconvenient can still be considered an
adequate outlet. The petitioners' concept of what is
When the Pacione spouses, who intended to build "adequate outlet" is a complete disregard of the
a house on Lot 1, Visited the property in 1987, they well-entrenched doctrine that in order to justify the
found out that a portion of the lot was being used a imposition of an easement of right of way there
passageway by petitioners to and from Visayas must be a real, not ficititious or artificial, necessity
Avenue. Accordingly, the spouses complained for it. Mere convenience for the dominant estate is
about the intrusion into their property to the not what is required by law as the basis for setting
Barangay Office. At the barangay conciliation up a compulsory easement. Even in the face of
proceeding, petitioners offered to pay for the use necessity, if it can be satisfied without imposing the
of a portion of Lot 1 as passageway but the easement, the same should not be imposed.
Pacione spouses rejected the offer. When the 3.) [G.R. NO. 173252 : July 17, 2009]
parties failed to arrive at an amicable settlement,
the spouses started enclosing Lot 1 with a concrete UNISOURCE COMMERCIAL AND DEVELOPMENT
fence. CORPORATION, Petitioner, v. JOSEPH CHUNG, KIAT
CHUNG and KLETO CHUNG, Respondents.
Petitioners prostested the enclosure alleging that
FACTS: Petitioner Unisource Commercial and
their property was bounded on all sides by
Development Corporation is the registered owner
residential houses belonging to different owners
of a parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate
and had no adequate outlet and inlet to Visayas
of Title (TCT) No. 1762534 of the Register of Deeds of
Avenue except through the property of the
Manila. The title contains a memorandum of
Paciones.
encumbrance of a voluntary easement which has
been carried over from the Original Certificate of
RTC and CA: The trial court dismissed the complaint Title of Encarnacion S. Sandico. The easement was
holding that one essential requisite of a legal constituted in favor of Francisco Hidalgo y
easement of right of way was not proved, i.e., the Magnifico. As Sandico's property was transferred to
absence of an alternative adequate way or outlet several owners, the memorandum of encumbrance
to a public highway, in this case, Visayas Avenue. of a voluntary easement in favor of Francisco M.
The CA affirmed the RTC’s decision. Hidalgo was consistently annotated at the back of
every title covering Sandico's property until TCT No.
ISSUE: 1.) Whether or not the petitioners are entitled 176253 was issued in petitioner's favor. On the other
to an easement of right of way. – NO. 2.) Whether hand, Hidalgo's property was eventually transferred
or not a path walk that is much longer, circuitous to respondents Joseph Chung, Kiat Chung and
and inconvenient is an adequate outlet. – YES. Cleto Chung.
15 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

On May 26, 2000, petitioner filed a Petition to extinguish only legal or compulsory easements, not
Cancel the Encumbrance of Voluntary Easement of voluntary easements like in the case at bar. The
Right of Way8 on the ground that the dominant fact that an easement by grant may have also
estate has an adequate access to a public road qualified as an easement of necessity does not
which is Matienza Street. Thereafter, the trial court detract from its permanency as a property right,
conducted an ocular inspection of the property. In which survives the termination of the necessity. A
a Decision dated August 19, 2002, the trial court voluntary easement of right of way, like any other
ordered the cancellation of the encumbrance of contract, could be extinguished only by mutual
voluntary easement of right of way. It found that agreement or by renunciation of the owner of the
the dominant estate has no more use for the dominant estate.
easement since it has another adequate outlet to a
public road which is Matienza Street. Neither can petitioner claim that the easement is
personal only to Hidalgo since the annotation
The CA reversed the RTC’s decision. The appellate
merely mentioned Sandico and Hidalgo without
court ruled that Article 631(3)13 of the Civil Code,
equally binding their heirs or assigns. That the heirs
which was cited by the trial court, is inapplicable
or assigns of the parties were not mentioned in the
since the presence of an adequate outlet to a
annotation does not mean that it is not binding on
highway extinguishes only legal or compulsory
them. Again, a voluntary easement of right of way
easements but not voluntary easements like in the
is like any other contract. As such, it is generally
instant case, which can be extinguished only by
effective between the parties, their heirs and
mutual agreement or by renunciation of the owner
assigns, except in case where the rights and
of the dominant estate.
obligations arising from the contract are not
ISSUE: Whether or not the easement can be transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by
extinguished because of the finding of that there is provision of law.
another adequate outlet to a public road. – NO.
4.) [G.R. NO. 149125 : August 9, 2007]

HELD: No, the petition should not prosper. As RESURRECCION OBRA, Petitioner, v. SPS.
defined, an easement is a real right on another's VICTORIANO BADUA & MYRNA BADUA, SPS.
property, corporeal and immovable, whereby the JUANITO BALTORES & FLORDELIZA BALTORES, SPS.
owner of the latter must refrain from doing or ISABELO BADUA & PRESCILA BADUA, SPS. JOSE
allowing somebody else to do or something to be BALANON & SHIRLEY BALANON, SPS. ORLANDO
done on his property, for the benefit of another BADUA & MARITA BADUA and SPS. LEONCIO BADUA
person or tenement. Easements are established & JUVY BADUA, Respondents.
either by law or by the will of the owner. The former
are called legal, and the latter, voluntary FACTS: The case arose from a Complaint for
easements. Easement of Right-of-Way filed by respondents
against Anacleto and Resurreccion Obra, Donato
and Lucena Bucasas, and Paulino and Crisanta
In this case, petitioner itself admitted that a
Badua. Respondents alleged that their residential
voluntary easement of right of way exists in favor of
houses, erected on a lot commonly owned by
respondents.
them were located west of the properties of the
Obras, Bucasases, and Baduas. Their only access to
In its petition to cancel the encumbrance of the national highway was a pathway traversing the
voluntary easement of right of way, petitioner northern portion of petitioner's property and the
alleged that "[t]he easement is personal. It was southern portion of the properties of the Bucasases
voluntarily constituted in favor of a certain and Baduas. The pathway was more than one
Francisco Hidalgo y Magnifico, the owner of [the meter wide and sixteen meters long. They claimed
lot] described as Lot No. 2, Block 2650." It further that this pathway had been established as early as
stated that "the voluntary easement of the right of 1955. In 1995, however, petitioner Obra constructed
way in favor of Francisco Hidalgo y Magnifico was a fence on the northern boundary of their property;
constituted simply by will or agreement of the thus, blocking respondents' access to the national
parties. It was not a statutory easement and highway. Respondents demanded the demolition
definitely not an easement created by such court of the fence, but petitioner refused.
order because '[the] Court merely declares the
existence of an easement created by the parties." Petitioner averred that respondents had not
In its Memorandum dated September 27, 2001, established any easement of right-of-way either by
before the trial court, petitioner reiterated that law or agreement. She claimed that respondents
"[t]he annotation found at the back of the TCT of failed to satisfy the requisites provided in Articles 649
Unisource is a voluntary easement." and 650 of the Civil Code in order to establish an
easement of right-of-way on the northern portion of
Having made such an admission, petitioner cannot her property. Moreover, she alleged that
now claim that what exists is a legal easement and respondents had another access as ingress and
that the same should be cancelled since the egress to the public road other than the one
dominant estate is not an enclosed estate as it has traversing her property.
an adequate access to a public road which is
The RTC ruled in favor of the petitioners. It stated in
Callejon Matienza Street. As we have said, the
its decision in Civil Case No. 5033 that "the new
opening of an adequate outlet to a highway can
pathway is more than adequate" for respondents'
16 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

use. Thus, the applied easement of right-of-way on and executed with the same formalities as a deed
the northern portion of petitioner's property was not to a real estate, and ordinarily must be in writing. No
allowed. The case was dismissed. written instrument on this agreement was adduced
by respondents.
It must be noted that the "new" pathway used by
respondents, however, traversed the southern 5.) [G.R. NO. 160725, September 12, 2008]
portion of petitioner's property. Sometime in 2001,
petitioner constructed a fence on this portion of her NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION, Petitioner, v.
lot, which again restricted the use of respondents' PUREFOODS CORPORATION, SOLID DEVELOPMENT
"new" pathway. Aggrieved and prejudiced by CORPORATION, JOSE ORTEGA, JR., SILVESTRE
petitioner's action, respondents filed on March 6, BAUTISTA, ALFREDO CABANDE, HEIRS OF VICTOR
2001 a Motion to Enforce the July 7, 2000 Decision TRINIDAD, AND MOLDEX REALTY INCORPORATED,
of the RTC. They alleged that the Decision of the Respondents.
RTC dismissing the case was based on the existence FACTS: Petitioner NAPOCOR, in order to construct
of a new pathway which they had been using since and maintain its Northwestern Luzon Project ,
1995. Thus, they asserted that petitioner was NAPOCOR had to acquire an easement if right-of-
prohibited from closing said passage. way over certain parcels of land situated in the
RTC granted the Motion to Enforce and later towns of Angat, San Rafael and San Ildefonso and
clarified its previous decision that the southern in the city of San Jose del Monte ---- all in the
portion was an "agreed pathway," petitioner could province of Bulacan.
not reduce its width; thus, the trial court ordered On November 5, 1997, NAPOCOR filed a special
petitioner to remove the fence blocking the civil action for eminent domain before the RTC of
passage. Malolos, Bulacan. The defendants were the vendors
ISSUE: Whether or not the RTC was correct in and vendees of the affected parcels of land.
ordering the removal of the fence blocking the The RTC then appointed commissioners to
passage in the southern portion of the lot. – NO. determine the valuation of the land. On May 18,
HELD: No the RTC was not correct. Apparently, no 2001, the commissioners who were appointed by
pronouncement was ever made regarding the the RTC submitted separate reports to the RTC. The
nature and legality of this "new" pathway; therefore, commissioners recommended that the
no easement was established by the Court on compensation due from NAPOCOR be based on
petitioner's property in Civil Case No. 5033. Thus, the fair market value of P 600.00/sq.m for the
their claim for a right-of-way on the southern properties belonging to Moldex and P 400.00/sq.m
portion had no basis. for the undeveloped and underdeveloped
properties belonging to the rest of the respondents.
The trial court erred, in clarifying its previous In the December 17, 2001, the RTC rendered its
decision, and in concluding that the said passage decision and fixed the amount of just
in the southern portion was an agreed or voluntary compensation based on the recommendation of
easement of right-of-way which petitioner should the commissioners.
respect. It is a settled doctrine that a decision, after
it becomes final, becomes immutable and NAPOCOR assailed the RTC’s valuations of the
unalterable. Thus, the court loses jurisdiction to properties. It claimed that only an easement fee,
amend, modify, or alter a final judgment and is left which should not exceed 10% of the declared
only with the jurisdiction to execute and enforce it. market value, should be paid to the respondents.
Any amendment or alteration which substantially NAPOCOR cites Section 3A, R.A. 6395, as
affects a final and executory judgment is null and amended and the implementing regulation of R.A.
void for lack of jurisdiction, including the entire No. 8974 in support of this argument. On November
proceedings held for that purpose. 7, 2003, the CA affirmed the RTCs decision.

Granting for the sake of argument that the issue of NAPOCOR, through the OSG, elevated the case to
voluntary easement of right-of-way, subject of the the SC via petition for review of certiorari.
assailed March 20, 2001 Order, was proper, ISSUE: Whether or not only an easement fee of 10%
relevant, and material to the issue of right-of-way as of the market value of the expropriated properties
averred in the complaint in Civil Case No. 5033, still, should be the just compensation that should be
the conclusion that there was an agreed or paid to the affected owners of the easement of
voluntary easement of right-of-way had no basis. right-of-way. - NO
The records of Civil Case No. 5033 do not reveal
any agreement executed by the parties on the HELD: No, the question of just compensation for an
claimed right-of-way. Glaring is the fact that the easement of right-of-way over a parcel of land that
terms of the arrangement were not agreed upon will be traversed by NAPOCOR's transmission lines
by the parties, more particularly, the payment of has already been answered in National Power
the proper indemnity. The evidence is not ample Corporation v. Manubay Agro-Industrial
enough to support the conclusion that there was a Development Corporation. In that case, the Court
verbal agreement on the right-of-way over the held that because of the nature of the easement,
southern portion. which will deprive the normal use of the land for an
indefinite period, just compensation must be based
More so, since a right-of-way is an interest in the on the full market value of the affected properties.
land, any agreement creating it should be drawn
17 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

While Section 3(a) of R.A. No. 6395, as amended, the property at the back of respondent’s land,
and the implementing rule of R.A. No. 8974 indeed opposed the construction of the perimeter wall as it
state that only 10% of the market value of the would enclose and render their property without
property is due to the owner of the property subject any adequate ingress and egress. They asked
to an easement of right-of-way, said rule is not respondent to give them an easement on the
binding on the Court. Well-settled is the rule that the eastern side of her property, which would be
determination of “just compensation” in eminent reciprocated with an easement by the owner of
domain cases is a judicial function. The court another adjacent estate. Respondent did not want
reiterated its ruling in Export Processing Zone to give them the easement on the eastern side of
Authority v. Dulay, that any valuation for just her property but, instead, offered to them the
compensation laid down in the statutes may serve disputed passageway, which offer they had
only as guiding principle or one of the factors in accepted.
determining just compensation but it may not
substitute the court’s own judgment as to what Issue: W/N Petitioners are entitled to a voluntary or
amount should be awarded and how to arrive at legal easement of right of way
such amount. The executive department or the
legislature may make the initial determinations but Ruling:
when a party claims a violation of the guarantee in
the Bill of Rights that private property may not be An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted
taken for public use without just compensation, no on the corporeal immovable property of another,
statute, decree, or executive order can mandate by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from
that its own determination shall prevail over the doing, or must allow someone to do, something on
court’s findings. Much less can the courts be his property, for the benefit of another thing or
precluded from looking into the “just-ness” of the person.
decreed compensation.
Petitioners herein failed to show by competent
6. SPA. DE LA CRUZ v. RAMISCAL evidence other than their bare claim that they
G.R. No. 137882 entered into an agreement with respondents. The
hands of this Court are tied from giving credence to
February 4, 2005 petitioners’ self-serving claim that such right of way
was voluntarily given them by respondent for the
following reasons:
Facts:
First, petitioners were unable to produce any shred
Respondent Olga Ramiscal is the registered owner of document evidencing such agreement. The Civil
of a parcel of land. Petitioner, Spa. Elizabeth and Code is clear that any transaction involving the sale
Alfredo De La Cruz are occupants of a parcel of or disposition of real property must be in writing.
land located at the back of Ramiscal’s property, Thus, the dearth of corroborative evidence opens
owned by the mother of Alfredo. The subject matter doubts on the veracity of the naked assertion of
of this case is a long strip of land owned by petitioners that indeed the subject easement of
respondent which is being used by petitioners as right of way was a voluntary grant from respondent.
their pathway to and from the nearest public
highway from their property. Second, as admitted by the petitioners, it was only
the foreman, Mang Puling, who talked with them
Respondent leased her property, including the regarding said pathway on the northern side of
building thereon, to Phil. Orient Motors. Phil. Orient respondent’s property. Thus, petitioner Elizabeth de
Motors also owned a property adjacent to that of la Cruz testified that she did not talk to respondent
respondent’s. Years later, Phil. Orient Motors sold its regarding the arrangement proposed to them by
property to San Benito Realty. It was only during the Mang Puling despite the fact that she often saw
relocation survey and location plan for both respondent. It is, therefore, foolhardy for petitioners
contiguous properties of respondent and San to believe that the alleged foreman of respondent
Benito Realty that respondent discovered that the had the authority to bind the respondent relating to
aforementioned pathway being occupied by the easement of right of way.
petitioners is part of her property.
Third, their explanation that said Mang Puling
Respondent filed a complaint, seeking the submitted said agreement to the Quezon City
demolition of the structure allegedly illegally Engineer’s Office, in connection with the
constructed by petitioners on her property. application for a building permit but said office
Respondent asserted in her complaint that could no longer produce a copy thereof, does not
petitioners have an existing right of way to a public inspire belief. Petitioners should have requested a
highway other than the current one they are using, subpoena duces tecum from said court to compel
which she owns. the Quezon City Engineer’s Office to produce said
document or to prove that such document is
Petitioners claimed that such use was with the indeed not available.
knowledge of respondent. They also alleged that
respondent initiated the construction on her
property of a motor shop known as Phil. Orient
Motors and they, as well as the other occupants of
18 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

The fact that the perimeter wall of the building on 1929 and that the heirs were already barred by
respondent’s property was constructed at a prescription and laches because of Bomedco’s
distance of 1.10 meters away from the property open and continuous possession of the property for
line, does not by itself bolster the veracity of more than 50 years.
petitioners’ story that there was indeed such an
The trial court rejected the evidence presented by
agreement. Further, as noted by the trial court, it
Bomedco (as it was only a Xerox copy of an
was Atty. Federico R. Onandia, counsel of Phil.
unsigned deed of Sale) but ruled that Bomedco
Orient Motors, who wrote petitioners on 25 August
had already acquired ownership of the property
1994 advising them that his client would close the
through acquisitive prescription because it
pathway along 18th Avenue, thereby implying that
possessed the property in good faith for more than
it was Phil. Orient Motors, respondent’s lessee, which
10 years. This was reversed by the Court of Appeals
tolerated petitioners’ use of said pathway.
which ruled that Bomedco only acquired an
easement of right of way by unopposed and
Likewise futile are petitioners’ attempts to show that continuous use of the land, but not ownership. .
they are legally entitled to the aforesaid pathway
under Article 649 of the Civil Code, to wit: Issue:

1) whether Bomedco had indeed acquired
Art. 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of ownership of the land through extraordinary
a real right may cultivate or use any immovable, acquisitive prescription?

which is surrounded by other immovables
pertaining to other persons, and without adequate 2) Whether easement was continuous and thus
outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a Bomedco had acquired title over the use of the
right of way through the neighboring estates, after land?
payment of the proper indemnity. Ratio/held:

The conferment of a legal easement of right of way 1. No. Bomedco only had a right of easement over
under Article 649 is subject to proof of the following the land as shown by tax receipts wherein it
requisites: (1) it is surrounded by other immovables declared, for several years, the property to be a
and has no adequate outlet to a public highway; “central railroad right of way” or “sugar railroad
(2) payment of proper indemnity; (3) the isolation is right of way” when it could have declared it to be
not the result of its own acts; (4) the right of way “industrial land” as it did for the years 1975 and
claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the 1985. Instead of indicating ownership of the lot,
servient estate; and (5) to the extent consistent with these receipts showed that all petitioner had was
the foregoing rule, where the distance from the possession by virtue of the right of way granted to it.
dominant estate to a public highway may be the X x x A person cannot have an easement on his
shortest.31 The first three requisites are not obtaining own land, since all of the uses of an easement are
in the instant case. fully comprehended in his general right of
ownership.
7. Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. v CA G.R. No. An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted
124699 July 31, 2003 on the corporeal immovable property of another,
by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from
NOTE: better if i-read ang fulltext 3 ka topics ang igo doing, or must allow someone to do something on
ani na case his property, for the benefit of another thing or
person. It exists only when the servient and
Facts: dominant estates belong to two different owners. It
The respondents in this case were the heirs of gives the holder of the easement an incorporeal
Magdaleno Valdez Sr., who purchased an interest on the land but grants no title thereto.
unregistered parcel of land located in Cebu from Therefore, an acknowledgment of the easement is
Feliciana Santillan (seller). The land was possessed an admission that the property belongs to another.
by decedent who had also paid taxes thereon. The Having held the property by virtue of an easement,
heirs subsequently inherited the land. However, a Bomedco cannot now assert that its occupancy
sugar company, Bogo-Medellin Milling Co. was since 1929 was in the concept of an owner. Neither
able to obtain title to Lot No. 954, the narrow lot can it declare that the 30- year period of
where the railroad tracks (existent even prior to the extraordinary prescription started from that year.
sale to decedent) lay. The lot was likewise declared
for tax purposes under the name of the company. Moreover, the mere expiration of the period of
easement in 1959 did not convert petitioner’s
The heirs filed a complaint for Compensation possession into an adverse one. Mere material
and/or Recovery of Possession of the lot claiming possession of land is not adverse possession as
that Bomedco was granted by the seller of the lot a against the owner and is insufficient to vest title,
railroad right of way for a period of 30 years which unless such possession is accompanied by the
had expired sometime in 1959 but that the heirs intent to possess as an owner.
allowed Bomedco to continue using the land
because one of them was then an employee of the 2. An easement is continuous if its use is, or may be,
company. Bomedco, on the other hand, claimed incessant without the intervention of any act of
that it was the owner and possessor of the man, like the easement of draineage and it is
registered lot when it bought the lot from seller in discontinuous if it is used at intervals and depends
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on the act of man, like the easement of right of the doing not only of a specific, particular act, but
way. a formal act. The phrase "formal act" would require
not merely any writing, but one executed in due
x x x an easement of right of way of railroad tracks is
form and/or with solemnity. That this is the
discontinuous because the right is exercised only if
intendment of the law although not expressed in
and when a train operated by a person passes over
exact language is the reason for the clarification
another’s property.
made in Article 621 of the new Civil Code which
A party is deemed to acquire title over the use of specifically requires the prohibition to be in "an
the land if:
a) it had subsequently entered into a instrument acknowledged before a notary public".
contractual right of way with the heirs for the
continued use of the land under the principles of Easements are in the nature of an encumbrance on
voluntary easements, or
b) it had filed a case the servient estate. They constitute a limitation of
against the heirs for conferment on it of a legal the dominical right of the owner of the subjected
easement of right of way (see orig case for the property. Hence, they can be acquired only by title
requirements) and by prescription, in the case of positive
easement, only as a result of some sort of invasion,
The point is, bomedco did not exercise any of the
apparent and continuous, of the servient estate. By
abovementioned options in order for it to acquire
the same token, negative easements can not be
title over the railroad right of way.
acquired by less formal means. Hence, the
ARTICLE 620 requirement that the prohibition (the equivalent of
the act of invasion) should be by "a formal act", "an
Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. v CA G.R. No.
instrument acknowledged before a notary public."
124699 July 31, 2003
ARTICLE 621 Conceding arguendo that such an easement has
been acquired by prescription which, counting the
1.LAUREANA A. CID vs. IRENE P. JAVIER, ET AL.
twenty (20) years from 1913 or 1914, would have
G.R. No. L-14116 ; June 30, 1960
already ripened by 1937, it had been cut off or
extinguished by the registration of the servient
Facts: estate under the Torrens System without the
easement being annotated on the corresponding
Respondents own a building with windows certificate of title, pursuant to Section 39 of the
overlooking the adjacent lot, owned by the Land Registration Act.
petitioners. Allegedly, in 1913 or 1914, before the
New Civil Code took effect, the predecessors-in- 2. G.R. No. 97039 April 24, 1992
interest of the petitioner were verbally prohibited by CONCORDIO ABELLANA, SR., et al., vs. HON. COURT
the respondent to obstruct view and light. When OF APPEALS, et al.,
the Court of Appeals adjudicated the case, it
found out that the two estates are covered by Facts: The petitioners who live on a parcel of land
Original Certificates of Title, both issued by the abutting the northwestern side of the Nonoc Homes
Register of Deeds. The court further observed that in Subdivision, sued to establish an easement of right
both of the title, any annotation does not appear in of way over a subdivision road which, according to
respect to the easement supposedly acquired by the petitioners, used to be a mere footpath which
prescription which, counting the twenty (20) years they and their ancestors had been using since time
from 1913 or 1914, would have already ripened by immemorial, and that, hence, they had acquired,
1937, date of the decrees of registration. through prescription, an easement of right of way
therein. The construction of a wall by the
ISSUE: Whether the owners of a building standing on respondents around the subdivision deprived the
their lot with windows overlooking the adjacent lot, petitioners of the use of the subdivision road which
had acquired by prescription an enforceable gives the subdivision residents access to the public
easement of light and view arising from a verbal highway. They asked that the high concrete walls
prohibition to obstruct such view and light, to enclosing the subdivision and cutting of their
petitioner's predecessor-in-interest as owner of the access to the subdivision road be removed and
adjoining lot, both of which lots being covered by that the road be opened to them.
Torrens titles.
The private respondents denied that there was a
HELD: Inasmuch as the alleged prohibition having pre-existing footpath in the place before it was
been avowedly made in 1913 or 1914, before the developed into a subdivision. They alleged
present Civil Code took effect, the applicable legal furthermore that the Nonoc Subdivision roads are
provision is Article 538 of the Spanish Civil Code not the shortest way to a public road for there is a
which provides that negative easements are more direct route from the petitioners' land to the
acquired, from the day on which the owner of the public highway.
dominant estate has, by a formal act, forbidden
the owner of the servient estate to perform any act The RTC decided in favour of petitioners and held
which would be lawful without the easement. that defendants Orlando P. Naya and Rosendo
Estoye, Jr. and the intervenors are hereby ordered
The law requires not any form of prohibition, but to demolish the subject fences or enclosures at the
exacts, in a parenthetical expression, for emphasis, dead ends of Road Lots 1 and 3 of the Nonoc
20 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

Homes Subdivision at their expense and to leave Petitioner filed in the Court of First Instance
them open for the use of the plaintiffs and the of Davao an action against Davao City to quiet title
general public, within fifteen (15) days from finality to her lot known as Lot 77-B-2, a portion of which
of this judgment. The complaint as against she claims to having been occupied illegally as
defendant Municipal Government of Talisay, Cebu part of Bolton Street, Davao City. The CFI, presided
is ordered dismissed. All counterclaims are ordered over by respondent Judge Hon. Vicente Cusi Jr.,
dismissed. No pronouncement as to costs. dismissed the case. Hence, this petition for certiorari
seeking a review of the Order of dismissal.
On appeal the CA rendered decision ordering the
Municipal Government of Talisay, Cebu, at its The complaint alleged that the action is to
option, may institute the proper action for quiet title and damages. But the complaint does
expropriation. not allege any cloud or doubt on the title, 'Transfer
Certificate of Title No. T-7000 of the Register of
Issue: WON the contention of the petitioner that the Deeds of the City of Davao, of the plaintiff to Lot
easement of right of way was acquired by No. 77-B-2. According to the complaint, when
prescription. plaintiff bought the said lot 77-B-2 from the original
owner in 1956, the Bolton Street was already
Ruling: NO. existing; that without ascertaining the monuments
along Bolton Street, she had her house constructed
on her said lot and built fence along said Bolton
Petitioners' assumption that an easement of right of
Street which she believed to be the boundary
way is continuous and apparent and may be
between her lot and said street and in line with
acquired by prescription under Article 620 of the
other offences already existing when she bought
Civil Code, is erroneous. The use of a footpath or
said lot. The petitioner has just discovered, after a
road may be apparent but it is not a continuous
relocation of the monuments of her lot, Lot No. 77-
easement because its use is at intervals and
B-2, that the Bolton Street of the defendant has
depends upon the acts of man. It can be exercised
encroached at least TWENTY-FIVE (25) SQUARE
only if a man passes or puts his feet over somebody
METERS with dimension of 2.5 meters by 10 meters.
else's land (4 Manresa 597; Haffman vs. Shoemaker,
Petitioner also discovered that Bolton Street was
71 SE 198, both cited on p. 454, Vol. 2, 6th Ed.,
delimited to nine (9) meters wide, but the proposed
Paras, Civil Code of the Philippines). Hence, a right
width was 15 meters Thus, petitioner filed this
of way is not acquirable by prescription
complaint in order to quiet her title to the said
(Cuaycong, et al, vs Benedicto, et al., 37 Phil. 781;
portion of 2.5 meters by 10 meters because the
Ronquillo, et al. vs. Roco, et al., 103 Phil. 84; Ayala
continued occupation of said portion by the
de Roxas vs. Case, 8 Phil. 197).
defendant has cast a cloud of doubt on the title of
the plaintiff over the portion of plaintiff's Lot No. 77-
Neither may petitioners invoke Section 29 of P.D.
B-2 now being occupied by Bolton Street.
957 which provides:
ISSUE: WON the lot owned by the petitioner is
Sec. 29. Right of Way to Public Road. — The owner
subject to a legal encumbrance of the public
or developer of a subdivision without access to any
highway. YES
existing public road or street must secure a right of
way to a public road or street and such right of way
RULING:
must be developed and maintained according to
the requirement of the government authorities
concerned. It appears on the face of the complaint that
Bolton Street has been where it is from time
immemorial. When the mother title of petitioner's
The above provision applies to the owner or
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T- 7000, which is
developer of a subdivision (which petitioners are
O.C.T. No. 638, was issued in 1911, it was issued
not) without access to a public highway.
subject to the provisions of Section 39 of Act 496
which reads:
ARTICLE 622
Section 39. Every person receiving a
1. Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. v CA G.R.
certificate of title in pursuance of a decree or
No. 124699 July 31, 2003
registration, and every subsequent purchasers of
registered land who takes a certificate of title for
2. ) G.R. No. L-33507 July 20, 1981 value in good faith shall hold the same free of all
encumbrances, except those noted on said
FE P. VELASCO, represented by ALFREDO certificate, and any of the following encumbrances
GONZALES, petitioner, which may be subsisting namely:
vs.
HON. VICENTE N. CUSI, JR. and THE CITY OF xxx xxx xxx
DAVAO, respondents.
Third. Any public highway, way, private way,
FACTS: ... or any government irrigation, canal, or
lateral thereof ...
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From the foregoing provision, Bolton Street Sometime in 1972, the Bicol Sugar
which is a public highway, already subsisting when Development Corporation (BISUDECO) constructed
O.C.T. No. 638 was issued, as this fact is apparent a road ("the disputed road") – measuring
too from the face of the complaint itself, is deemed approximately 7 meters wide and 2.9 kilometers
to have attached as a legal encumbrance to the lot long. The disputed road was used by BISUDECO in
originally registered lot No. 77, notwithstanding the hauling and transporting sugarcane to and from its
lack of an annotation thereof on O.C.T. No. 638. mill site and has thus become indispensable to its
Petitioner, therefore, cannot rely, as she almost sugar milling operations.
entirely does for the relief she seeks, on the
aforequoted provision, which she had repeatedly On April 19, 1993, BISUDECO filed a
cited but without making mention, perhaps Complaint against respondents (Ricefield owners)
conveniently, of the exception as expressly alleging that on March 27, 1993 and April 3, 1993,
provided in the later part of the legal provision respondents unjustifiably barricaded the disputed
invoked. road by placing bamboos, woods, placards and
stones across it, preventing petitioner’s and the
If from the undisputed fact Chat when Lot - other sugar planter’s vehicles from passing through
77 was registered, Bolton Street had already been a the disputed road, thereby causing serious damage
legal encumbrance on said lot, pursuant to Section and prejudice to petitioner.
39 of Act 496, contrary to petitioner's theory based
on the same legal provision but o committing the Petitioner alleged that BISUDECO
portion pertinent to the instant case, there can be constructed the disputed road pursuant to an
no gainsaying the fact that petitioner's lot, Lot No. agreement with the owners of the ricefields the
77-B-2, which admittedly was originally a part of Lot road traversed. The agreement provides that
No. 77, must have to remain subject to the same BISUDECO shall employ the children and relatives of
legal encumbrance of a public highway. the landowners in exchange for the construction of
the road on their properties. Petitioner contends
From her own allegations in her complaint, that through prolonged and continuous use of the
Bolton Street cannot be a discontinuous easement disputed road, BISUDECO acquired a right of way
as she claims it to be, which may not be acquired over the properties of the landowners, which right
by prescription. Nonetheless, whether the mode of of way in turn was acquired by it when it bought
acquisition of the easement that Bolton Street is, BISUDECO’s assets. Petitioner prayed that
would be only by virtue of title, as petitioner respondents be permanently ordered to restrain
contends, this is not material or of any from barricading the disputed road and from
consequence, in the present proceedings, once it obstructing its free passage.
indubitably appears as it does, from the allegations
of the complaint itself, that Bolton Street constituted On the part of the respondents, they denied
an easement of public highway on Lot No. 77, from having entered into an agreement with BISUDECO
which petitioner's lot was taken, when the said regarding the construction and the use of the
bigger lot was original registered. It remained as disputed road. They alleged that BISUDECO,
such legal encumbrance, as effectively as if it had surreptitiously and without their knowledge and
been duly noted on the certificate of title, by virtue consent, constructed the disputed road on their
of the clear and express provision of Section 39 of properties and has since then intermittently and
Act 496, it being admitted that at the time of the discontinuously used the disputed road for hauling
registration of Lot 77, the public highway was sugarcane despite their repeated protests.
already in existence or subsisting.
ISSUE: Whether or not an easement was
established.

RULING: NO.

The easement of right of way – the privilege


ARTICLE 624 of persons or a particular class of persons to pass
over another’s land, usually through one particular
1.) G.R. No. 172077 October 9, 2009 path or linen – is characterized as a discontinuous
easement because its use is in intervals and
BICOL AGRO-INDUSTRIAL PRODUCERS depends on the act of man. Because of this
COOPERATIVE, INC. (BAPCI), Petitioner, character, an easement of a right of way may only
vs. be acquired by virtue of a title.
EDMUNDO O. OBIAS, PERFECTO O. OBIAS, VICTOR
BAGASINA, ELENA BENOSA, MELCHOR BRANDES, Article 622 of the New Civil Code is the
ROGELIO MONTERO, PEDRO MONTERO, CLAUDIO applicable law in the case at bar, viz:
RESARI, PILAR GALON, ANTONIO BUISON,
PRUDENCIO BENOSA, JR., MARIA VILLAMER and Art. 622. Continuous non-apparent
ROBERTO PADUA, Respondent. easements, and discontinuous ones, whether
apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of
FACTS: a title.
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As to Acquisition by Title: Crucial to the exercised, not according to the presence of


petitioner’s cause was its burden of proving the apparent signs or physical indications of the
existence of the alleged agreement between existence of such easements. Hence, even if the
BISUDECO and respondents for the construction of road in dispute has been improved and maintained
the road. In this regard, the RTC found that over a number of years, it will not change its
petitioner failed to prove its existence, to wit: discontinuous nature but simply make the same
apparent. To stress, Article 622 of the New Civil
It is clear that the plaintiff failed to present Code states that discontinuous easements, whether
any concrete evidence to prove that there was apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of
such an agreement between BISUDECO and a title.
defendants.
On Laches and Estoppel: We hold the same
As to Acquisition by Prescription: Continuous view on the issue of acquisition of an easement of
and apparent easements are acquired either by right of way by laches. To our mind, settled
virtue of a title or by prescription of ten years. jurisprudence on the application of the principle of
estoppel by laches militates against the acquisition
Under civil law and its jurisprudence, of an easement of right of way by laches.
easements are either continuous or discontinuous
according to the manner they are exercised, not Laches is a doctrine in equity and our courts
according to the presence of apparent signs or are basically courts of law and not courts of equity;
physical indications of the existence of such equity, which has been aptly described as "justice
easements. Thus, easement is continuous if its use is, outside legality," should be applied only in the
or may be, incessant without the intervention of any absence of, and never against, statutory law;
act of man, like the easement of drainage; and it is Aeguetas nunguam contravenit legis. Based on this
discontinuous if it is used at intervals and depends principle, we find that the positive mandate of
on the act of man, like the easement of right of Article 622 of the Civil Code – the statutory provision
way. requiring title as basis for the acquisition of an
easement of a right of way – precludes the
The easement of right of way is considered application of the equitable principle of laches.
discontinuous because it is exercised only if a
person passes or sets foot on somebody else’s land. On the other hand, as to the issue of
Like a road for the passage of vehicles or persons, estoppel, this Court likewise agrees with the finding
an easement of right of way of railroad tracks is of the CA that petitioner did not present any
discontinuous because the right is exercised only if evidence that would show an admission,
and when a train operated by a person passes over representation or conduct by respondents that will
another's property. In other words, the very exercise give rise to estoppel.
of the servitude depends upon the act or
intervention of man which is the very essence of 2.) G.R. No. 147957 July 22, 2009
discontinuous easements.
PRIVATIZATION AND MANAGEMENT
The presence of more or less permanent OFFICE, Petitioner, vs.
railroad tracks does not, in any way, convert the LEGASPI TOWERS 300, INC., Respondent.
nature of an easement of right of way to one that is
continuous. It is not the presence of apparent signs
FACTS:
or physical indications showing the existence of an
easement, but rather the manner of
Caruff Development Corporation owned
exercise thereof, that categorizes such easement
several parcels of land along the stretch of Roxas
into continuous or discontinuous. The presence of
Boulevard, Manila. Sometime in December 1975,
physical or visual signs only classifies an easement
Caruff obtained a loan from the Philippine National
into apparent or non-apparent. Thus, a road (which
Bank (PNB) to finance the construction of a 21-
reveals a right of way) and a window (which
storey condominium along Roxas Boulevard. The
evidences a right to light and view) are apparent
loan accommodation was secured by a real estate
easements, while an easement of not building
mortgage over three (3) parcels of land, where
beyond a certain height is non-apparent.
Caruff planned to erect the condominium.
In this case, the presence of railroad tracks
for the passage of petitioner’s trains denotes the In 1979, Caruff started constructing a multi-
existence of an apparent but discontinuous storey building on the mortgaged parcels of land.
easement of right of way. And under Article 622 of Along with the other appurtenances of the building
the Civil Code, discontinuous easements, whether constructed by Caruff, it built a powerhouse
apparent or not, may be acquired only by title. (generating set) and two sump pumps in the
adjacent lot .
The conclusion is inevitable that the road in
dispute is a discontinuous easement After the completion of the condominium
notwithstanding that the same may be apparent. project, it was constituted pursuant to the
To reiterate, easements are either continuous or Condominium Act (Republic Act No. 4726), as the
discontinuous according to the manner they are Legaspi Towers 300, Inc.
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However, for Caruff’s failure to pay its loan Subsequently, the term of existence of APT
with PNB, the latter foreclosed the mortgage and expired. The Privatization and Management Office
acquired some of the properties of Caruff at the (PMO) substituted APT in its appeal.
sheriff’s auction sale.
CA affirmed RTC’s decision.
Thereafter, Proclamation No. 50 was issued.
It was aimed to promote privatization "for the Petitioner argues that the presence of the
prompt disposition of the large number of non- generator set and sump pumps does not constitute
performing assets of the government financial an easement. They are mere improvements and/or
institutions, and certain government-owned and appurtenances complementing the condominium
controlled corporations, which have been found complex, which has not attained the character of
unnecessary or inappropriate for the government immovability. They were placed on the subject
sector to maintain." It also provided for the creation property as accessories or improvements for the
of the Asset Privatization Trust (APT). general use and comfort of the occupants of the
condominium complex.
By virtue of Administrative Order No. 14 and
the Deed of Transfer executed by PNB, the National Petitioner posits that respondent failed to
Government, thru the APT, became the assignee present any evidence to prove the existence of the
and transferee of all its rights and titles to and necessary requisites for the establishment of an
interests in its receivables with Caruff, including the easement. There is no concrete evidence to show
properties it acquired from the foreclosure of that Caruff had a clear and unequivocal intention
Caruff’s mortgage. to establish the placing of the generator set and
sump pumps on the subject property as an
Meanwhile, Caruff filed a case against PNB easement in favor of respondent.
for the nullification of PNB’s foreclosure of its
properties. A Compromise Agreement dated For its part, respondent argues that it was
August 31, 1988 was later entered into by Caruff, the intention of Caruff to have a voluntary
PNB, and the National Government thru APT. The easement in the subject property and for it to
parties agreed, among other things, that Caruff remain as such even after the property was
would transfer and convey in favor of the National subsequently assigned to APT. It was Caruff who
Government, thru the APT, the lot where it built the constructed the generating set and sump pumps
generating set and sump pumps. on its adjacent property for the use and benefit of
the condominium adjoining it. Also, the manner in
On July 5, 1989, respondent filed a case for which the sump pumps were installed is permanent
Declaration of the existence of an easement in nature, since their removal and transfer to
before the RTC. Respondent alleged that the act of another location would render the same worthless
Caruff of constructing the powerhouse and sump and would cut off the supply of electricity and
pumps on its property constituted a voluntary water to the condominium and its owners.
easement in favor of the respondent. It prayed,
among other things, that judgment be rendered ISSUE: WON an easement was constituted on the
declaring the existence of an easement over the subject property. NO
portion of the property covered by TCT No. 127649
(now TCT No. 200760) that was being occupied by RULING:
the powerhouse and the sump pumps in its favor,
and that the Register of Deeds of Manila annotate
An easement or servitude is "a real right
the easement at the back of said certificate of title.
constituted on another’s property, corporeal and
immovable, by virtue of which the owner of the
APT alleged that respondent had no cause same has to abstain from doing or to allow
of action against it, because it was but a mere somebody else to do something on his property for
transferee of the land. It acquired absolute the benefit of another thing or person." The
ownership thereof by virtue of the Compromise statutory basis of this right is Article 613 of the Civil
Agreement, free from any liens and/or Code, which provides:
encumbrances. It was not a privy to any
transaction or agreement entered into by and
Art. 613. An easement or servitude is
between Caruff, respondent, and the bank. It
an encumbrance imposed upon an
further alleged that the continued use of the
immovable for the benefit of another
subject property by respondent and the
immovable belonging to a different owner.
condominium owners without its consent was an
encroachment upon its rights as absolute owner
The immovable in favor of which the
and for which it should be properly compensated.
easement is established is called the
dominant estate; that which is subject
RTC rendered a Decision declaring the
thereto, the servient estate.
existence of an easement over the portion of the
land
There are two sources of easements: by law
or by the will of the owners. Article 619 of the Civil
Code states:
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Art. 619. Easements are established rights, title and interest in the Maytubig property,
either by law or by the will of the owners. situated at the back of the Legaspi Towers 300
The former are called legal and the latter Condominium, consisting of seven (7) contiguous
voluntary easements. lots with an aggregate area of 1,504.90 square
meters, covered by the following Transfer
In the present case, neither type of Certificate of Title, viz: TCT No. 23663 – Pasay City
easement was constituted over the subject Registry; TCT No. 142497 – Metro Manila 1 Registry;
property. TCT No. 142141 – Metro Manila 1 Registry; TCT No.
127649 – Metro Manila 1 Registry; x x x; all titles, free
In its allegations, respondent claims that from any and all liens and encumbrances, to be
Caruff constituted a voluntary easement when it delivered, and the necessary papers and
constructed the generating set and sump pumps documents to be turned over/executed to effect
over the disputed portion of the subject property for transfer in favor of the National Government/APT,
its benefit. However, it should be noted that when upon approval of this Compromise Agreement; x x
the appurtenances were constructed on the subject x x.
property, the lands where the condominium was
being erected and the subject property where the Thus, when the subject property was
generating set and sump pumps were constructed assigned to the National Government thru the APT,
belonged to Caruff. Therefore, Article 613 of the no easement arose or was voluntarily created from
Civil Code does not apply, since no true easement the transfer of ownership, considering that the
was constituted or existed, because both properties parties, more particularly, Caruff, pledged that it
were owned by Caruff. was assigning, transferring, and conveying the
subject property in favor of the National
Also, Article 624 of the Civil Code is Government thru the APT "free from any and all liens
controlling, as it contemplates a situation where and encumbrances."
there exists an apparent sign of easement between
two estates established or maintained by the owner Compromise agreements are contracts,
of both. The law provides: whereby the parties undertake reciprocal
obligations to resolve their differences, thus,
Art. 624. The existence of an avoiding litigation, or put an end to one already
apparent sign of easement between two commenced. As a contract, when the terms of the
estates, established or maintained by the agreement are clear and explicit that they do not
owner of both, shall be considered, should justify an attempt to read into it any alleged
either of them be alienated, as a title in intention of the parties; the terms are to be
order that the easement may continue understood literally, just as they appear on the face
actively and passively, unless, at the time of the contract. Considering that Caruff never
the ownership of the two estates is divided, intended to transfer the subject property to PMO,
the contrary should be provided in the title burdened by the generating set and sump pumps,
of conveyance of either of them, or the sign respondent should remove them from the subject
aforesaid should be removed before the property.
execution of the deed. This provision shall
also apply in case of the division of a thing As regards PMO’s claim for rent, respondent
owned in common by two or more has been enjoying the use of the subject property
persons.16 for free from the time the rights over the property
were transferred and conveyed by Caruff to the
From the foregoing, it can be inferred that National Government.
when the owner of two properties alienates one of
them and an apparent sign of easement exists We have held that "[t]here is unjust
between the two estates, entitlement to it enrichment when a person unjustly retains a benefit
continues, unless there is a contrary agreement, or to the loss of another, or when a person retains
the indication that the easement exists is removed money or property of another against the
before the execution of the deed. fundamental principles of justice, equity and good
conscience." Article 22 of the Civil Code provides
In relation thereto, the Compromise that "[e]very person who, through an act or
Agreement, as approved by the court, clearly performance by another, or any other means,
states, among other things, that: acquires or comes into possession of something at
the expense of the latter, without just or legal
ground, shall return the same to him." The principle
x x x x 2.0 That in consideration of the
of unjust enrichment under Article 22 of the Civil
covenants hereunder stipulated, plaintiff [Caruff]
Code requires two conditions: (1) that a person is
Development Corporation (CDC), hereby
benefited without a valid basis or justification, and
terminates the instant case against defendants
(2) that such benefit is derived at another’s
Philippine National Bank (PNB) and the National
expense or damage.
Government/APT, and hereby:

In the present case, there is no dispute as to


2.1 Assigns, transfers and conveys in favor of
who owns the subject property and as to the fact
defendant National government thru APT, CDC’s
that the National Government has been deprived
25 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

of the use thereof for almost two decades. Thus, it is partition that embodied this easement of right of
but just and proper that respondent should pay way was annotated on the individual titles issued to
reasonable rent for the portion of the subject the heirs.
property occupied by the generating set and sump
pumps, from the time respondent deprived the Realizing that the partition resulted in an
lawful owner of the use thereof up to the present. unequal division of the property, the heirs
To rule otherwise would be unjust enrichment on the modified their agreement by eliminating the
part of respondent at the expense of the easement of right of way along Lots A, D, and E,
Government. and in its place, imposed a 3-meter wide alley,
an easement of right of way, that ran
From the records, APT/PMO submitted, as part exclusively along the southwest boundary of Lot
of its evidence, a letter dated June 18, 1992,
wherein it fixed the monthly rental fee per square B from Lots D and E to the street.
meter of the entire property at ₱56.25, or ₱1.81 per
square meter per day. Hence, respondent should Victoria (now petitioner Victoria
pay the National Government reasonable rent in Salimbangon) later swapped lots with Benedicta
the amount of ₱56.25 per square meter per month, with the result that Victoria became the owner of
to be reckoned from August 28, 1989 up to the time Lot A, one of the three lots adjacent to the city
when the generating set and sump pumps are street. Victoria and her husband (the
completely removed therefrom. Salimbangons) constructed a residential house on
this lot and built two garages on it. One garage
3.) G.R. No. 185240 : January 20, 2010 abutted the street while the other, located in the
interior of Lot A, used the alley or easement of right
SPS. MANUEL AND VICTORIA of way existing on Lot B to get to the street. Victoria
SALIMBANGON, Petitioners, v. SPS. SANTOS AND had this alley cemented and gated.
ERLINDA TAN, Respondents.
Subsequently, however, respondent spouses
FACTS: Santos and Erlinda Tan (the Tans) bought Lots B, C,
D, and E from all their owners. The Tans built
Guillermo Ceniza died intestate on July 11, improvements on Lot B that spilled into the
1951, leaving a parcel of land. Twenty years later easement area. They also closed the gate that the
on July 17, 1973 his children Benedicta, Guillermo, Salimbangons built. Unable to use the old right of
Jr., Victoria, Eduardo, and Carlos executed an way, the Salimbangons lodged a complaint with
extrajudicial declaration of heirs and partition, the City Engineer of Mandaue against the Tans. For
adjudicating and dividing the land among their part, the Tans filed an action with the Regional
themselves as follows: Trial Court (RTC) against the Salimbangons for the
extinguishment of the easement on Lot B.
1. To Benedicta T. Cabahug, Lot A subject to a
perpetual and grat[u]itous road right of way 1.50 m. RTC rendered judgment, upholding the
wide along its NW. boundary in favor of Lots B, E, Salimbangons easement of right of way over the
and D, of the subdivision; alley on Lot B, the lot that belonged to the Tans. The
court pointed out that the easement in this case
2. To Eduardo Ceniza, Lot B subject to a perpetual was established by agreement of the parties for the
and grat[u]itous road right of way 1.50 m. wide benefit of Lots A, D, and E. Consequently, only by
along its SW. boundary in favor of Lots A, D & E of mutual agreement of the parties could such
the subdivision; easement be extinguished.

3. To Carlos Ceniza, Lot C; CA reversed the RTC decision, extinguished


the easement of right of way established on the
alley in Lot B of the Tans, and denied the
4. To Guillermo Ceniza Jr., Lot D subject to a
Salimbangons claim for damages. The court ruled
perpetual and grat[u]itous road right of way 1.50 m.
that based on the testimony of one of the previous
wide along its NE. boundary in favor of Lot B and E
owners, Eduardo Ceniza, the true intent of the
of the subdivision; and
parties was to establish that easement of right of
way for the benefit of the interior lots, namely, Lots
5. To Victoria Ceniza, Lot E, subject to a perpetual
D and E. Consequently, when ownership of Lots B,
and grat[u]itous road right of way 1.50 m. wide
D, and E was consolidated into the Tans, the
along its SW. boundary in favor of Lot D of the
easement ceased to have any purpose and
subdivision.1
became extinct.

Lots A, B, and C were adjacent to a city


The Salimbangons point out that the
street. But Lots D and E were not, they being interior
partition agreement among the heirs established in
lots. To give these interior lots access to the street,
their favor, as owners of Lot A, an easement of right
the heirs established in their extrajudicial partition
of way on Lot B from the interior of their lot to the
an easement of right of way consisting of a 3-meter
city street. Since theirs was an easement
wide alley between Lots D and E that continued on
established by agreement of the parties, only by
between Lots A and B and on to the street. The
26 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

mutual agreement could the same be common owner, namely, the Tans, then the
extinguished. easement of right of way on Lot B may be said to
have been extinguished by operation of law.
ISSUE: WON the easement of right of way
established by the partition agreement among the ARTICLE 627
heirs has been extinguished. -YES
1.) G.R. No. 171072 April 7, 2009
RULING:
GOLDCREST REALTY CORPORATION, Petitioner,
The true agreement of the heirs was for the vs.
establishment of an easement of right of way for CYPRESS GARDENS CONDOMINIUM
the benefit solely of the lots that did not have direct CORPORATION, Respondent.
access to the street, namely Lots D and E.
FACTS:
As originally constituted in that agreement,
each of Lots A and B was to contribute a strip of 1.5 Petitioner Goldcrest Realty Corporation
meters between them that when combined formed (Goldcrest) is the developer of Cypress Gardens, a
a 3-meter wide alley leading from Lots D and E to ten-storey building. Goldcrest executed a Master
the street. To the extent that Lots A and B retained Deed and Declaration of Restrictions which
the right to use the 1.5-meter portion that they constituted Cypress Gardens into a condominium
contributed to the establishment of the easement, project and incorporated respondent Cypress
the agreement gave their owners the right to use Gardens Condominium Corporation (Cypress) to
the common alley as well. As Eduardo testified, manage the condominium project and to hold title
however, the true intent of the heirs was to give Lots to all the common areas. Title to the land on which
D and E access to the street. Lots A and B did not the condominium stands was transferred to
need this alley since they were facing the street. Cypress. But Goldcrest retained ownership of the
two-level penthouse unit on the ninth and tenth
Consequently, when the owner of Lots D and floors of the condominium. Goldcrest and its
E also became the owner of Lot B, the easement of directors, officers, and assigns likewise controlled
right of way on Lot B became extinct by operation the management and administration of the
of law. The existence of a dominant estate and a Condominium until 1995.
servient estate is incompatible with the idea that
both estates belong to the same person. Following the turnover of the administration
and management of the Condominium to the
There is no question that when the heirs board of directors of Cypress in 1995, it was
realized that it was not fair to take strips of 1.5 discovered that certain common areas pertaining
meters from each of Lots A, D, and E for the to Cypress were being occupied and encroached
easement of right of way when these lots were upon by Goldcrest. Thus, in 1998, Cypress filed a
already small, the heirs executed a "Cancellation of complaint with damages against Goldcrest before
Annotation of Right of Way, etc." that cancelled the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board
the easement of right of way they earlier (HLURB), seeking to compel the latter to vacate the
established on Lots A, D, and E and in its place common areas it allegedly encroached on and to
imposed a 3-meter wide easement of right of way remove the structures it built thereon. Cypress
solely on Lot B. sought to remove the door erected by Goldcrest
along the stairway between the 8th and 9th floors,
Although the "cancellation" document did as well as the door built in front of the 9th floor
not say so, it was implicit that the changed location elevator lobby, and the removal of the cyclone
of the easement cancelled not only the 1.5-meter wire fence on the roof deck.
strip of easement imposed on Lot A of the
Salimbangons but also their right to use the new 3- Goldcrest averred that it was granted the
meter easement alley that lay entirely on Lot B. exclusive use of the roof deck’s limited common
Strictly speaking, if the Salimbangons insist that their area by Section 4(c) of the condominium’s Master
right as dominant estate under the original partition Deed. It likewise argued that it constructed the
agreement remains, then that would be partly on a contested doors for privacy and security purposes,
1.5-meter strip of their own Lot A and partly on the and that, nonetheless, the common areas
equivalent 1.5-meter strip on the side of Lot B, not occupied by it are unusable and inaccessible to
on the new 3-meter alley established entirely on Lot other condominium unit owners.
B.
The HLURB Arbiter ruled in favour of Cypress.
The point is that, obviously, in establishing The Arbiter found that Goldcrest enclosed and
the new easement of right of way, the heirs used the common area fronting the two elevators
intended to abandon the old one. Since this 3- on the ninth floor as a storage room. It was likewise
meter alley on Lot B directly connected Lots D and E discovered that Goldcrest constructed a
to the street, it is also obvious that only the latter lots permanent structure which encroached 68.01
were its intended beneficiary. And, with the square meters of the roof deck’s common area. It
ownership of Lots B, D, and E now consolidated in a was noted that Goldcrest failed to secure an
27 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

alteration approval for the said permanent (c) Exclusive use of the portion of the roof deck (not
structure. Thus, he required Goldcrest, among other shaded red in sheet 10 of Annex "B") by the
things, to: (1) remove the questioned structures, Penthouse unit on the roof deck.
including all other structures which inhibit the free
ingress to and egress from the condominium’s In this case, we find no cogent reason to
limited and unlimited common areas; (2) vacate overturn the similar finding of the HLURB, the Office
the roof deck’s common areas and to pay actual of the President and the Court of Appeals that
damages for occupying the same; and (3) pay an Goldcrest has no right to erect an office structure on
administrative fine for constructing a second the limited common area despite its exclusive right
penthouse and for making an unauthorized to use the same. We note that not only did
alteration of the condominium plan. Goldcrest’s act impair the easement, it also illegally
altered the condominium plan, in violation of
The HLURB Special Division modified the Section 2218 of Presidential Decree No. 957.
decision of the Arbiter. It held that Cypress has no
cause of action regarding the use of the roof The owner of the dominant estate cannot
deck’s limited common area because only violate any of the following prescribed restrictions
Goldcrest has the right to use the same. on its rights on the servient estate, to wit: (1) it can
only exercise rights necessary for the use of the
Aggrieved, Cypress appealed to the Office easement;20 (2) it cannot use the easement except
of the President. The Office of the President for the benefit of the immovable originally
dismissed the appeal and affirmed the ruling of the contemplated;21 (3) it cannot exercise the
HLURB. easement in any other manner than that previously
established;22 (4) it cannot construct anything on it
Cypress thereafter elevated the matter to which is not necessary for the use and preservation
the Court of Appeals, which partly granted its of the easement;23 (5) it cannot alter or make the
appeal. The appellate court noted that the right of easement more burdensome;24 (6) it must notify the
Goldcrest under Section 4(c) of the Master Deed for servient estate owner of its intention to make
the exclusive use of the easement covering the necessary works on the servient estate;25 and (7) it
portion of the roof deck appurtenant to the should choose the most convenient time and
penthouse did not include the unrestricted right to manner to build said works so as to cause the least
build structures thereon or to lease such area to convenience to the owner of the servient
third persons. Thus the appellate court ordered the estate.26 Any violation of the above constitutes
removal of the permanent structures constructed impairment of the easement.
on the limited common area of the roof deck.
Here, a careful scrutiny of Goldcrest’s acts
Goldcrest contended that since the roof shows that it breached a number of the
deck’s common limited area is for its exclusive use, aforementioned restrictions. First, it is obvious that
building structures thereon and leasing the same to the construction and the lease of the office
third persons do not impair the subject easement. structure were neither necessary for the use or
preservation of the roof deck’s limited area.
Cypress insists the said acts impair the Second, the weight of the office structure
subject easement because the same are already increased the strain on the condominium’s
beyond the contemplation of the easement foundation and on the roof deck’s common limited
granted to Goldcrest. area, making the easement more burdensome and
adding unnecessary safety risk to all the
condominium unit owners. Lastly, the construction
ISSUE: WON Goldencrest has the right to erect
of the said office structure clearly went beyond the
structures on the limited common areas. - NO
intendment of the easement since it illegally altered
the approved condominium project plan and
RULING:
violated Section 4 of the condominium’s
Declaration of Restrictions.
The limited common area of the roof deck is
specifically identified by Section 4(c) of the Master
ARTICLE 633
Deed.
1.) G.R. No. L-22733 September 25, 1968
Section 4(c) of the Master Deed, which
reads:
SALVADOR BENEDICTO (deceased). ROBERTO S.
BENEDICTO, petitioner,
Section 4. Limited Common Areas. Certain parts of
vs.
the common areas are to be set aside and
COURT OF APPEALS and VICENTE A.
reserved for the exclusive use of certain units and
HERAS, respondents.
each unit shall have appurtenant thereto as
exclusive easement for the use of such limited
FACTS:
areas:

The adjoining properties of the petitioner


and the respondent formerly belonged to one
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owner, MIRIAM R. HEDRICK, consisting of Lots Nos. 8, Sometime in 1941, the respondent
9, 10, 22, 23, and 24. demolished the entire building situated on its
property. Petitioner, on the otherhand, enclosed a
MIRIAM R. HEDRICK sold a portion of the portion of the property which prevented
above described property, particularly Lots Nos. 8, respondent to use the easement of way. Thus, the
9, 22 and 23 to CLARO M. RECTO, and retained for respondent filed an action to recover a portion of
herself Lots Nos. 10 and 24. land enclosed and walled by the petitioner
Salvador Benedicto, and to demand the reopening
At the time of the sale, the following of an easement of way between his real property
buildings were located in the respective properties and that of the petitioner.
of Claro M. Recto and Miriam R. Hedrick as
described in the Deed of Purchase-Sale: On the The trial court likewise found that the
parcels 2a (Lot No. 9) and 3a (Lot No. 10) two easement of way was found entirely within the
buildings (Chalets) of equal structure, configuration property of Benedicto, contrary to the stipulation in
and volume are constructed, both constructed of the deed of sale between Miriam R. Hedrick and
concrete and other strong materials, and on The Claro M. Recto that it should be between their
parcels 5a (Lot No. 23) and 6a (Lot No. 24), the properties, with each contributing an Equal portion
respective dependencies of said properties." of his property. According to the court, this was the
reason why Recto, Benedict's predecessor-in-
The sale to CLARO M. RECTO as evidenced interest, who had earlier asked to resurvey in
by the Purchase-Sale Agreement was subject to the accordance with the deed of sale, subsequently
following conditions: withdrew his motion, after finding that the
passageway was located entirely within his
property. The court directs both parties to
"SIXTH. That between the portion sold to Claro M.
contribute equally to the maintenance of a three-
Recto and that which is in the possession of Miriam
four-meter-wide passageway between their
R. Hedrick, there is a passage for vehicles, about
properties, with the property line running at the
three to four meters wide, which is roughly half or
middle of the passageway. It rejected Benedict's
equal parts on each of These portions and both
claim that the easement had been extinguished by
parts of this deed are each bound to respect the
nonuser and by the cessation of the necessity for a
right of the other to use all the extension of said
passageway.
passage for all the time and all the needs of each
of the two properties, the one sold hereby To Claro
M. Recto and the one that is in the possession of The Court of Appeals rendered a decision
Miriam R. Hedrick, being obligatory this pact for all affirming in toto the decision of the trial court.
those that later acquired by any title the mentioned
farms. The petitioner alleged that the easement
was originally constituted because the buildings
In the light of the irregular form of the property were erected on the respective properties of
described in the Certificate of Title mentioned in Miriam R. Hedrick and Claro M. Recto were
paragraph FIRST of this deed, both parties agree to adjoined each other only the back portions of the
practice a new measurement of said property in properties could be reached by their owners from
order that the dividing line between the portion San Marcelino street was through the
sold And that it remains in the domain of Miriam R. passageway. He claims that when the respondent
Hedrick falls in the middle of the passage described had his building demolished in 1941 the property
and alluded in the previous paragraph, and said gained direct access to San Marcelino street with
line will be perpendicular to the street San the result that since there has been no need for the
Marcelino. passageway. The petitioner argues further that it
could be assumed that since 1941 the passageway
ceased to be used "for certainly [the respondent]
This agreement of the parties, MIRIAM R. HEDRICK
could not be expected to be making 'detours' to
and CLARO M. RECTO, is annotated on the
reach San Marcelino Street when the frontage of
respective titles of the petitioner and respondent.
his property was now open In its entirety to San
Marcelino Street. "
The property purchased by CLARO M.
RECTO from MIRIAM R. HEDRICK became the
ISSUE: WON the the easement had been
subject of a series of transfers : a.) Sold by CLARO
extinguished by non-user and by the cessation of
M. RECTO to EMMANUEL CONTY; b.) Sold by
the necessity for a passageway. -NO
EMMANUEL CONTY TO SALVADOR BENEDICTO (the
petitioner),
RULING:
The property of MIRIAM R. HEDRICK became
the subject of a series of transfers: a.) Sold by Article 631 of the Civil Code provides in part:
MIRIAM R. HEDRICK to CHOW KWO HSIEN; b.) Sold
by CHOW KWO HSIEN to GENERAL SECURITY AND Art. 631. Easements are extinguished:
INVESTMENT CO; c.) Sold by GENERAL SECURITY
AND INVESTMENT CO. To VICENTE A. HERAS (the Xxx xxx xxx
respondent),
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(2) By nonuser for ten years, with respect to the transfer certificates of title issued in the series of
discontinuous easements, this period shall be transfers from Miriam R. Hedrick through to the
computed from the day on which they ceased to respondent Heras, and in the Transfer certificates of
be used; And, with respect to continuous title issued in the series of transfers from Claro M.
easements, from the day on which an act contrary Recto through the petitioner Benedicto.Since there
to the same took place; is nothing in the record that would point to a mutual
agreement between any of the predecessors-in-
(3) When either or both of the estates fall into interest between the petitioner and the respondent
such condition that the easement can not be themselves with respect to the discontinuance or
used; But it shall not be necessary for the use of the obliteration of the easement annotated on the
provisions of the preceding paragraph; . . . . titles, the continued existence of The easement
must be upheld and respected.
This provision was taken from article 546 of
the Civil Code of 1889, with the modification that The fact that the easement here is one of
the period of nonuser was reduced from 20 to 10 necessity does not detract from the conclusion we
years. have reached. For even assuming that with the
demolition of the house on Heras' property the
The petitioner argues at length that this case necessity for the passageway ceased (a point
is governed by the present Code, and that since 14 traversed by Heras who has demolished his house
years had elapsed from the time the building on exactly in order to build an apartment building in its
Heras' property was demolished in 1941 to 1955 place), still, as was Held in one case "The fact that
when this action was begun To be used because an easement [by grant] may also qualify as an
Heras' property had direct access to the street, the easement of necessity does not detract from its
easement must be deemed to have been permanence as a property right, which survives the
extinguished. termination of the necessity." Indeed, when the
easement in this case was established, the parties
unequivocally made provisions for their observance
For the purposes of this decision we do not
by all who in the future might succeed them in
find it necessary to determine whether the
dominion, and this is the reason the permanent
appropriate period of nonuser in this case is 20 or 10
character of the easement was annotated on
years. For one thing, there is no indubitable proof of
each and all of the Transfer certificates of title
nonuser. The petitioner merely assumes that the
passageway in question had not been in use since
1941 because the property of Heras has since ARTICLE 635
gained direct access to St. Marcellin's street with
the demolition of his house. For another, even if we 1. G.R. No. 194336 March 11, 2013
assume that the period of prescription based on PILAR DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Petitioner,
nonuser is 10 years, the very testimony of the vs.
petitioner Benedicto shows that it was only in 1946 RAMON DUMADAG, EMMA BACABAC, RONALDO
that he had the passageway walled in by NAVARRO, JIMMY PAGDALIAN, PAY DELOS SANTOS,
constructing a fence, and since the present action ARMANDO TRILLOS, FELICISIMO TRILLOS, ARCANGEL
Was filed in 1955, granting that article 631 of the FLORES, EDDIE MARTIN, PRESILLA LAYOG, CONRADO
Civil Code is applicable, the prescriptive period has CAGUYONG, GINA GONZALES, ARLENE PEDROSA,
not yet elapsed. JOCELYN ABELINO, ROQUE VILLARAZA, ROLANDO
VILLARAZA, CAMILO GENOVE, NILDA ROAYANA,
SUSAN ROAYANA, JUANCHO PANGANIBAN, BONG
Nor can presumptive renunciation by Heras
DE GUZMAN, ARNOLD ENVERSO, DONNA DELA
of the use of the said passageway be inferred. It
RAZA, EMELYN HAGNAYA, FREDDIE DE LEON,
would appear from the record that Heras began
RONILLO DE LEON, MARIO MARTINEZ, and PRECY
the construction of an apartment building on his
LOPEZ, Respondents.
parcel of land after the demolition of his house in
1941, and that although interrupted by World War II,
Facts: On July 1, 2002, petitioner filed a
construction was continued in 1955. Since it is
Complaint4 for accion publiciana with damages
patent from the Stipuation of facts that the
against respondents for allegedly building their
easement in question is mainly to vehicular
shanties, without its knowledge and consent, in its
passageway, the obvious need for such
5,613-square-meter property located at Daisy
passageway to the rear portion of the projected
Road, Phase V, Pilar Village Subdivision, Almanza,
apartment building negates any presumptive
Las Piñas City. It claims that said parcel of land,
renunciation on the part of Heras.
which is duly registered in its name under Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 481436 of the Register of
Moreover, the easement in this case is
Deeds for the Province of Rizal, was designated as
perpetual in character ("for all the time and all the
an open space of Pilar Village Subdivision intended
necessities of each one of the two properties, the
for village recreational facilities and amenities for
one sold by the present to Claro M. Recto and the
subdivision residents.
one that is in the possession of Miriam R. Hedrick ,
This covenant being obligatory for all those who
In their Answer with Counterclaim, respondents
subsequently acquired for any title the
denied the material allegations of the Complaint
aforementioned farms ") and was annotated on all
and briefly asserted that it is the local government,
30 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

not petitioner, which has jurisdiction and authority right, unless extinguished by causes provided by
over them. law.

On May 30, 2007, the trial court dismissed The Code defines easement as an encumbrance
petitioner’s complaint, finding that the land being imposed upon an immovable for the benefit of
occupied by respondents are situated on the another immovable belonging to a different owner
sloping area going down and leading towards the or for the benefit of a community, or of one or more
Mahabang Ilog Creek, and within the three-meter persons to whom the encumbered estate does not
legal easement; thus, considered as public property belong. There are two kinds of easement according
and part of public dominion under Article 5027of to source: by law or by will of the owners – the
the New Civil Code (Code), which could not be former are called legal and the latter voluntary
owned by petitioner. easement.17 A legal easement or compulsory
easement, or an easement by necessity constituted
The trial court opined that respondents have a by law has for its object either public use or the
better right to possess the occupied lot, since they interest of private persons.
are in an area reserved for public easement
purposes and that only the local government of Las
Piñas City could institute an action for recovery of Issue: 1. Whether or not the Land in question is
possession or ownership. part of public property.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, but the
same was denied by the trial court in its Order 2. Who is the proper party entitled to institute the
dated August 21, 2007.9 Consequently, petitioner case?
elevated the matter to the Court of Appeals which,
on March 5, 2010, sustained the dismissal of the
case. Held: 1. Petitioner used Article 630 of the Civil Code
as it provides the general rule that the owner of the
The appellate court ruled that the 3-meter area estate retains the ownership of the portion of the
being disputed is located along the creek which, in easement established, Article 635 says that
turn, is a form of a stream; therefore, belonging to “all matters concerning easements established for
the public dominion. It said that petitioner could not public or communal use shall be governed by the
close its eyes or ignore the fact, which is glaring in special laws and regulations relating thereto.” The
its own title, that the 3-meter strip was indeed applicable special laws are DENR A.O. No. 99 021
reserved for public easement. By relying on the TCT, dated June 11, 1999 which prescribed the
it is then estopped from claiming ownership and guidelines for the implementation of P.D. Nos. 705
enforcing its supposed right. Unlike the trial court, and 1067 which was issued for biodiversity
however, the CA noted that the proper party preservation, P.D. 1216 and P.D. 1067 or The Water
entitled to seek recovery of possession of the Code of the Philippines all of which states that such
contested portion is not the City of Las Piñas, but 3 meter allowance is reserved for public use.
the Republic of the Philippines, through the Office Therefore, it cannot be denied that the subject
of the Solicitor General (OSG), pursuant to Section land is public property.
101 of Commonwealth Act (C.A.) No. 141
(otherwise known as The Public Land Act). In relation to this, the Court held that respondents
have no better right to the property as the
The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner petitioners because it is public land.
was denied by the CA per Resolution dated
October 29, 2010, hence, this petition. In the case at bar, the applicability of DENR A.O.
No. 99-21 dated June 11, 1999, which superseded
Petitioner argues that although the portion of the DENR A.O. No. 97-0519 dated March 6, 1997 and
subject property occupied by respondents is within prescribed the revised guidelines in the
the 3-meter strip reserved for public easement, it still implementation of the pertinent provisions of
retains ownership thereof since the strip does not Republic Act (R.A.) No. 1273 and Presidential
form part of the public dominion. As the owner of Decree (P.D.) Nos. 705 and 1067, cannot be
the subject parcel of land, it is entitled to its lawful doubted. Inter alia, it was issued to further the
possession, hence, the proper party to file an action government’s program of biodiversity preservation.
for recovery of possession against respondents Aside from Section 2.1 above-quoted, Section 2.3 of
conformably with Articles 428 and 539 of Code. which further mandates:

The Court deny such statement. An easement or 2.3 Survey of Titled Lands:
servitude is a real right on another's property,
corporeal and immovable, whereby the owner of 2.3.1 Administratively Titled Lands:
the latter must refrain from doing or allowing
somebody else to do or something to be done on The provisions of item 2.1.a and 2.1.b shall be
his or her property, for the benefit of another person observed as the above. However, when these lands
or tenement; it is jus in re aliena, inseparable from are to be subdivided, consolidated or
the estate to which it actively or passively belongs, consolidated-subdivided, the strip of three (3)
indivisible, perpetual, and a continuing property meters which falls within urban areas shall be
31 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

demarcated and marked on the plan for easement T. Icasiano, for appellant.
and bank protection. R. Salinas, for appellee.

The purpose of these strips of land shall be noted in Facts: On the 14th of March, 1904, Nicolas Lunod,
the technical description and annotated in the title. Juan de la Vega, Evaristo Rodriguez, Fernando
Marcelo, Esteban Villena, Benito Litao, Ventura
2.3.3 Complex Subdivision or Consolidation Hernandez, and Casimiro Pantanilla, residents of
Subdivision Surveys for Housing/Residential, the town of Bulacan, province of the same name,
Commercial or Industrial Purposes: filed a written complaint against Higino Meneses,
alleging that they each owned and possessed farm
When titled lands are subdivided or consolidated- lands, situated in the places known as Maytunas
subdivided into lots for residential, commercial or and Balot, near a small lake named Calalaran; that
industrial purposes the segregation of the three (3) the defendant is the owner of a fish-pond and a
meter wide strip along the banks of rivers or streams strip of land situated in Paraanan, adjoining the said
shall be observed and be made part of the open lake on one side, and the River Taliptip on the other;
space requirement pursuant to P.D. 1216. that from time immemorial, and consequently for
more than twenty years before 1901, there existed
The strip shall be preserved and shall not be subject and still exists in favor of the rice fields of the
to subsequent subdivision. (Underscoring supplied) plaintiffs a statutory easement permitting the flow of
water over the said land in Paraanan, which
Certainly, in the case of residential subdivisions, the easement the said plaintiffs enjoyed until the year
allocation of the 3-meter strip along the banks of a 1901 and consisted in that the water collected
stream, like the Mahabang Ilog Creek in this case, is upon their lands and in the Calalaran Lake flow
required and shall be considered as forming part of through Paraanan into the Taliptip River.
the open space requirement pursuant to P.D. 1216
dated October 14, 1977.20 Said law is explicit: open From that year however, the defendant, without
spaces are "for public use and are, therefore, any right or reason, converted the land in
beyond the commerce of men" and that "[the] Paraanan into a fishpond and by means of a dam
areas reserved for parks, playgrounds and and a bamboo net, prevented the free passage of
recreational use shall be non-alienable public the water through said place into the Taliptip River,
lands, and non-buildable." that in consequence the lands of the plaintiff
became flooded and damaged by the stagnant
The Court suggests that petitioner should file waters, there being no outlet except through the
an action for mandamus to compel the local land in Paraanan; that their plantation were
government of Las Piñas City to enforce with destroyed, causing the loss and damages to the
reasonable dispatch the eviction of respondents extent of about P1,000, which loss and damage will
under R.A. 7279.WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. continue if the obstructions to the flow of the water
are allowed to remain, preventing its passage
2, As to the issue of who is the proper party entitled through said land and injuring the rice plantations
to institute a case with respect to the 3-meter of the plaintiffs.
strip/zone, We find and so hold that both the
Republic of the Philippines, through the OSG and They therefore asked that judgment be entered
the local government of Las Piñas City, may file an against the defendant, declaring that the said tract
action depending on the purpose sought to be of land in Paraanan is subject to a statutory
achieved. The former shall be responsible in case of easement permitting the flow of water from the
action for reversion under C.A. 141, while the latter property of the plaintiffs, and that, without
may also bring an action to enforce the relevant prejudice to the issuing of a preliminary injunction,
provisions of Republic Act No. 7279 (otherwise the defendant be ordered to remove and destroy
known as the Urban Development and Housing Act the obstructions that impede the passage of the
of 1992).24 Under R.A. 7279, which was enacted to waters through Paraanan, and that in future, and
uplift the living conditions in the poorer sections of forever, he abstain from closing in any manner the
the communities in urban areas and was envisioned aforesaid tract of land; that, upon judgment being
to be the antidote to the pernicious problem of entered, the said injunction be declared to be final
squatting in the metropolis,25 all local government and that the defendant be sentenced to pay to
units (LGUs) are mandated to evict and demolish the plaintiffs an indemnity of P1,000, and the costs
persons or entities occupying danger areas such as in the proceedings; that they be granted any other
esteros, railroad tracks, garbage dumps, riverbanks, and further equitable or proper remedy in
shorelines, waterways, and other public places such accordance with the facts alleged and proven.
as sidewalks, roads, parks, and playgrounds.
On the 29th of August, 1904, The defendant filed an
amended answer, denying each and everyone of
ARTICLE 637 the allegations of the complaint, and alleged that
no statutory easement existed nor could exist in
1. G.R. No. 4223 August 19, 1908 favor of the lands described in the complaint,
NICOLAS LUNOD, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees, permitting the waters to flow over the fish pond that
vs. he, together with his brothers, owned in the sitio of
HIGINO MENESES, defendant-appellant. Bambang, the area and boundaries of which were
32 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

stated by him, and which he and his brothers had the benefit of another estate belonging to a
inherited from their deceased mother. different owner, and the realty in favor of which the
easement is established is called the dominant
The court, on the 13th of March, 1907, entered estate, and the one charged with it the servient
judgment declaring that the plaintiffs were entitled estate.
to a decision in their favor, and sentenced the
defendant to remove the dam placed on the east It appears to have been clearly proven in this case
of the Paraanan passage on the side of the Taliptip that the lands owned by the plaintiffs in the
River opposite the old dam in the barrio of aforesaid barrio, as well as the small adjoining lake,
Bambang, as well as to remove and destroy the named Calalaran, are located in places relatively
obstacles to the free passage of the waters through higher than the sitio called Paraanan where the
the strip of land in Paraanan; to abstain in future, land and fish pond of the defendant are situated,
and forever, from obstructing or closing in any and which border on the Taliptip River; that during
manner the course of the waters through the said the rainy season the rain water which falls on he
strip of land. The request that the defendant be land of the plaintiffs, and which flows toward the
sentenced to pay an indemnity was denied, and small Calalaran Lake at flood time, has no outlet to
no ruling was made as to costs. the Taliptip River other than through the low land of
Paraanan: that the border line between Calalaran
The defendant excepted to the above judgment and Paraanan there has existed from time
and furthermore asked for a new trial which was immemorial a dam, constructed by the community
denied and also excepted to, and, upon approval for the purpose of preventing the salt waters from
of the bill of exceptions, the question was submitted the Taliptip River, at high tide, from flooding the
to this court. land in Calalaran, passing through the lowlands of
Paraanan; but when rainfall was abundant, one of
the residents was designated in his turn by the
Issue: Whether or Not Meneses has a right to block lieutenant or justice of the barrio to open the sluice
the passage or to construct works to prevent an gate in order to let out the water that flooded the
easement. -NO rice fields, through the land of Paraanan to the
above-mentioned river, that since 1901, the
defendant constructed another dam along the
Held: Article 552 of the Civil code provides: boundary of this fishpond in Paraanan, thereby
Lower estates must receive the waters impeding the outlet of the waters that flood the
which naturally and without the intervention fields of Calalaran, to the serious detriment of the
of man descend from the higher estates, as growing crops.
well as the stone or earth which they carry
with them. The lands of Paraanan being the lower are subject
Neither may the owner of the lower estates to the easement of receiving and giving passage to
construct works preventing this easement, the waters proceeding from the higher lands and
nor the one of the higher estate works the lake of Calalaran; this easement was not
increasing the burden. constituted by agreement between the interested
parties; it is of a statutory nature, and the law had
Article 563 of the said code reads also: imposed it for the common public utility in view of
The establishment, extent, form, and the difference in the altitude of the lands in the
conditions of the easements of waters to barrio Bambang.
which this section refers shall be governed
by the special law relating thereto in Higino Meneses, as the owner of the servient estate,
everything not provided for in this code. is obliged to give passage to and allow the flow of
the waters descending from the Calalaran Lake
The special law cited in the Law of Waters of August and from the land of the plaintiffs through his lands
3, 1866, article 111 of which, treating of natural in Paraanan for their discharge into the Taliptip
easements relating to waters, provides: River; and he is hereby ordered to remove any
Lands situated at a lower level are subject obstacle that may obstruct the free passage of the
to receive the waters that flow naturally, waters whenever there may be either a small or
without the work of man, from the higher large volume of running water through his lands in
lands together with the stone or earth which the sitio of Paraanan for their discharge into the
they carry with them. Taliptip River; and in future to abstain from
impeding, in any manner, the flow of the waters
coming from the higher lands.
Owner of the lower lands cannot erect works that
will impede or prevent such an easement or ARTICLE 641
charge, constituted and imposed by the law upon
his estate for the benefit of the higher lands 1. G.R. No. L-60219 June 29, 1984
belonging to different owners; neither can the latter BIENVENIDO AMISTOSO, petitioner,
do anything to increase or extend the easement. vs.
SENECIO ONG, EPIFANIA NERI & HON. PRESIDING
According to article 530 of the Civil Code, an JUDGE, ESTEBAN M. LISING OF THE COURT OF FIRST
easement is charge imposed upon one estate for
33 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

INSTANCE OF CAMARINES SUR, BRANCH


VI, respondents. (2) That since the case was filed on July 26, 1972.
Which was before the effectivity of PD NO. 424,
Facts: On July 27, 1981, petitioner as plaintiff, filed therefore, even if defendant's contention is correct
before the then Court of First Instance of Camarines — that the case involved water rights dispute — the
Sur, a conplaint for Recognition of Basement with old law on water applies and not the present water
Preliminary Injunction and Damages. The complaint code otherwise the Court shall lose jurisdiction
which was docketed in the a resaid Court as Civil contrary to the well-settled rule that once be lost;
Case No. P-153 among others alleged, that plaintiff
(now petitioner) and defendant Epifania Neri, (one (3) That the herein defendant can no longer raise
of the herein private respondents) are the owners of the question of plaintiff's right to the beneficial use
adjoining parcels of agricultural land situated in of irrigation water since the right to use had already
Cauayanan, Tinambac, Camarines Sur; that an been determined, decided and laid to rest when
irrigation canal traverses the land of defendant Neri the Department of Public Works, Transportation and
through which irrigation water from the Silmod River Communications awarded petitioner Water Rights
passes and flows to the land of the petitioner for the Grant after complying with all the legal
latter's beneficial use and that respondent Neri, requirements such as publication, payment of fees,
owner of the land on which said irrigatrion canal survey, investigation, etc.; and
exists and Senecio Ong, the cultivator of the said
property, despite repeated demands refused to (4) That the issue in the case at bar which was
recognize the rights and title of the petitioner to the erroneously overlooked by the respondent Judge
beneficial use of the water passing through the does not involve a determination of the right of the
aforesaid irrigation canal and to have petitioner's parties to the utilizatio conservation and protection
rights and/or claims annotated on the Certificate of of the parties' respective water rights, hence it does
Title of respondent Neri. Hence, the filing of the said not fan within the competence nor jurisdiction of
complaint. the National Water Resources Council.

In their Answer, private respondents denied the Private respondents contend that the assailed order
existence of any right on the part of the petitioner of dismissal was in order since a mere cursory
to the use of the canal mentioned in the complaint reading of the complaint shows that petitioner
nor any contract, much less any deed or claims for the right to use water coming from the
encumbrance on their property and assert that Silmod River and prays that his right to the utilization
they have not performed any act prejudicial to the thereof be respected and not be disturbed and/or
petitioner that will warrant the filing of the obstructed by the respondents. On its face then,
complaint against them. By way of affirmative and the dispute is on the use, conservation and
special defenses, private respondents alleged that protection of the right to water either by the
petitioner's complaint states no cause of action petitioner or by the private respondents.
and that the Court has no jurisdiction over the
same. Since the controversy hinges on the right to use and
protect the water from the Silmod River that passes
After petitioner has rested his case by a formal offer on the land of the private respondents to the
of his testimonial and documentary evidences, petitioner's property, the proper authority to
private respondents instead of presenting their determine such a controversy is the National Water
evidence, filed a motion to dismiss. In the said Resources Council which is vested with exclusive
motion, respondents contedn that the instant case, jurisdiction over such question pursuant to P.D. NOS.
involving as it does development, exploitation, 424 and 1067.
conservation and utilization of water resources falls
within the exclusive jursidiction of the National
Water Resources Council pursuant to P.D. NO. 424, Issue: 1. Whether or Not Amistoso has the right
Section 2(b) and Section 88 thereof. over the use of the canal. – YES.

Acting on private respondent's motion, respondent 2. Whether or Not National Water Resources
Judge dismissed petitioner's complaint for lack of Council has exclusive jurisdiction over the matter. –
jurisdiction in an Order dated January 14, 1981. NO.

Failing to obtain a favorable reconsideration of the


Order of dismissal, petitioner now comes before Us Held: From the foregoing stipulations, private
through the instant petition contending: respondents admit that petitioner, then plaintiff, has
an approved Water Rights Grant issued by the
(1) That the case at bar is not to settle any water Department of Public Works, Transportation and
dispute between the parties but a complaint which Communications. Private respondents, however,
calls purely for a determination of the right of the contend that the said grant does not pertain to the
plaintiff to have an established right amounting to beneficial use of irrigation water from Silmod River.
an easement annotated on the certificate of title of The records, however, do not show any other
the defendant, hence the question is judicial which irrigation water going to petitioner's property
may be taken cognizance of by the respondent passing thru respondents' lot aside from that
court; coming from the Silmod River. Respondents'
34 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

controversion of petitioner's right to irrigation water petitioners. The easement of aqueduct was for a
specifically from Silmod River is undoubtedly a lame period of fifty (50) years, which began with 1920-21
denial. crop year up to 1969-70 crop year. Prior to the
expiration of this period, Central, by means of
The record clearly discloses an approved Water separate letters, offered to lease from petitioners
Rights Grant in favor of Amistoso. The grant was the areas occupied by the canals. However,
made three (3) years before the promulgation of petitioners refused to entertain the offer of Central.
P.D. 1067 (Water Code of the Philippines). The water
rights grant partakes the nature of a document On June 22, 1970, Central filed its complaints
known as a water permit recognized under Article against petitioners before respondent Court of First
13 of P.D. 1067. the WATER RIGHTS GRANT of Instance of Negros Occidental. On July 20,1970,
Amistoso does not fall under "claims for a right to Central filed its complaints against Domingo
use water existing on or before December 31, 1974" Rodriguez, Inc. and First Farmers' Milling Co., Inc.,
which under P.D. 1067 are required to be registered docketed as Civil Cases Nos. 9472 and 9473,
with the National Water Resources Council within respectively, before the same court. In all these
two (2) years from promulgation of P.D. 1067, cases, Central prayed for the establishment of a
otherwise it is deemed waived and the use thereof legal easement of aqueduct on the parcels of land
deemed abandoned. owned by petitioners and for the issuance of writs of
The grant contradicts the erroneous findings of the preliminary injunction ex parte to restrain the
respondent Judge, and incontrovertibly entitles petitioners and/or their agents, representatives,
petitioner to the beneficial use of water from Silmod assigns, successors-in-interest from removing and/or
River. That right is now a. vested one and may no destroying the canals or otherwise from obstructing
longer be litigated as to bring petitioner's case the passage of water from the Imbang River to its
within the jurisdiction of the National Water mill, through the canals, during the pendency of
Resources Council. To resurrect that issue will be the litigation.
violative of the rule on res judicata. Amistoso is not
asking the court to grant him the right to use but to On June 30, 1970, respondent court ordered the
compel Neri to recognize that right and have the issuance of the writs of preliminary injunction with
same annotated on the latter’s TCT. The interruption respect to Civil Cases Nos. 9438, 9439, 9441, 9442,
of the free flow of water caused by the refusal to re- 9443, 9445 and 9446.
open the closed irrigation canal constituted
petitioner's cause of action in the court below, On July 20, 1970, respondent court ordered the
which decidedly do not fall within the domain of issuance of the writs of pre injunction as regards
the authority of the National Water Resources Civil Cases Nos. 9472 and 9473.
Council.
On July 27, 1970, petitioners filed a motion to
ARTICLE 646 dissolve the writs of preliminary injunction which was
opposed by Central in a motion dated August 21,
1. G.R. Nos. L-33868-76 October 18, 1990 1970. On December 10, 1970, respondent court
NILO LIZARES, NICOLAS LEDESMA, JAIME denied the motion to dissolve the writs of
CLAPAROLS, CARMITA C. BALCELLS, EDUARDO preliminary injunction.
CLAPAROLS, EULALIA C. ROSELLO, ENRIQUE YUSAY,
DOMINGO RODRIGUEZ, INC., FIRST FARMERS' On December 19, 1970, petitioners filed a motion
MILLING CO., INC., petitioners, for reconsideration thereof which was, however,
vs. denied on April 21, 1971 for lack of merit. Hence,
HON. CESAR A. KINTANAR, Judge of the Court of First the present petition.
Instance of Negros Occidental, and TALISAY-SILAY
MILLING CO., INC., respondents. On January 27, 1988, considering the length of time
that these cases have been pending with this
Facts: Private respondent Talisay-Silay Milling Co., Court, and to determine whether supervening
Inc. (Central) is the owner and operator of a sugar events have rendered these cases moot and
mill located in the Municipality of Talisay, Negros academic, We resolved to require the parties to
Occidental, manufacturing centrifugal sugar from move in the premises. On February 29, 1988 (p.
sugarcanes delivered to the mill by petitioners Nilo 600, Rollo) and June 23, 1988 (p. 603, Rollo),
Lizares, Nicolas Ledesma, Jaime Claparols ,Carmita petitioners manifested that no supervening events
C. Balcells, Eduardo Claparols, Eulalia C. Rogelio, have rendered these cases moot and academic.
Enrique Yusay, Domingo Rodriguez, Inc., and First
Farmers' Milling Co., Inc. pursuant to Identical milling Issue: Whether or Not respondent court committed
contracts executed between the former and the grave abuse of discretion in having issued the
latter. orders dated June 30, 1970 and July 20, 1970
directing the issuance of the writs of preliminary
Under the provisions of the milling contracts, Central injunction, the order dated December 10, 1970,
was granted, inter alia, an easement of aqueduct denying the motion to dissolve the writs of
on the parcels of land owned by petitioners for the preliminary injunction and the order dated April 21,
passage of water from the Imbang River to its sugar 1971 denying the motion for reconsideration.
mill. For this purpose, Central constructed concrete
water canals traversing the parcels of land of
35 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

Held: Petitioners have failed to show grave abuse of GUILLERMO GUTIERREZ, and DAMASO
discretion on the part of respondent court in issuing MENDOZA, respondents.
the questioned orders. Jaime L. Guerrero and Renato B. Bercades for
petitioner.
Petitioners allege that the cases of Bacolod-Murcia
Milling Co., Inc., et al. v. Capitol Subdivision, Inc., et Judgment was rendered by the Court of First
al. (G.R. No. L25887, July 26, 1966, 17 SCRA Instance of Bataan in favor of the plaintiff, Crispina
731), Angela Estate, Inc., et al, v. CFI of Negros Salazar, now petitioner; on appeal by the
Occidental, et al. (G.R. No. L-27084, July 31, 1968, 24 defendants, Guillermo Gutierrez and Damaso
SCRA 500) and Locsin, et al. v. Climaco, etc., et Mendoza, the Court of Appeals reversed and the
al. (G.R. No. L-27319, January 31, 1969, 26 SCRA 816) plaintiff elevated the case to us for review
constitute the leading jurisprudence in the issuance by certiorari.
of the writs of preliminary injunction in cases of
complaints praying for the declaration of legal Facts: Crispina Salazar is owner of a piece of land
easement. In answer thereto, Central asserts that (Lot 436 of the Cadastral Survey of Balanga)
the aforementioned decisions are inapplicable in situated in Tuyo, Balanga, Bataan, covered by
these, cases because they refer to legal easement Transfer Certificate of Title 1578 issued by the
of right of way. Register of Deeds of the said province, and
acquired by her from the Municipality of Balanga
The cases invoked by petitioners may be applied to on May 4, 1949. The lot is bounded on the northeast
this controversy only insofar as the general by Lot 361, on the southeast by Sapang Tuyo, on
principles on the issuance of a writ of preliminary the southwest by Lot 435, and on the northwest by
injunction reiterated therein are concerned, but not Lot 433.
with regard to the other principles enunciated
therein because they deal with legal easement of Lot 433 was registered under the Torrens system on
right of way whereas Our concern here is legal July 23, 1923, with Original Certificate of Title 2162.
easement of aqueduct. Ownership passed to respondent Guillermo
Gutierrez by inheritance in 1927, and Transfer
A preliminary injunction may be granted at any Certificate of Title No. 1059 was issued in his name
time after the commencement of the action and on June 11, 1928. No annotation of any lien or
before judgment, when it is established that the encumbrance affecting the land appears on either
plaintiff is entitled to the relief demanded, and the title.
whole or part of such relief consists in restraining the
commission or continuance of the acts complained Before the present controversy arose, Lot 436 and
of, or in the performance of an act or acts, either some of the surrounding estates, including Lot 433,
for a limited period or perpetually; that the were irrigated with water from Sapang Tuyo, a
commission or continuance of some act public stream, flowing through a dike that traversed
complained of during the litigation or the non- Lots 431, 434, 433 and 461. The portion of this dike
performance thereof would probably work injustice that passed through Lot 433 branched near the
to the plaintiff; or that the defendant is doing, boundary between this lot and Lot 434 into a canal
threatens, or is about to do, or is procuring or which ran across the rest of Lot 433 up to Lot 436. It
suffering to be done, some act probably in violation was with the water flowing through this canal that
of the plaintiff s rights respecting the subject of the Lot 436 used to be irrigated.
action, and tending to render the judgment
ineffectual. On February 24, 1953 respondent Damaso
Mendoza, a lessee of Lot 433, demolished the said
The purpose of this provisional remedy if to preserve canal, thereby stopping the flow of the water and
the status quo 2 of the things subject of the action depriving Crispina Salazar's Lot 436 of the irrigation
and/or the relation between the parties, in order to facilities which it had formerly enjoyed. Her requests
protect the right of the plaintiff respecting the that the canal be rebuilt and the water flow
subject of the action during the pendency of the restored having been turned down, Salazar
suit. Because, otherwise or if no preliminary commenced the present suit on March 2, 1953,
prohibitory injunction were issued, the defendant praying that these reliefs be granted her by the
may, before final judgment, do or continue the Court and that the defendants be ordered to pay
doing of the act which the plaintiff asks the court to her actual damages in the sum of P900, moral
restrain, and thus make ineffectual the final damages in the sum of P5,000, and P1,000 for
judgment rendered afterwards granting the relief attorney's fees, plus costs.
sought by the plaintiff.
The trial court issued a writ of preliminary injunction
We agree with respondent court that Central has as prayed for by the plaintiff, ordering the
sufficiently established the necessity of issuing writs defendants to restore the demolished portion of the
of preliminary injunction against petitioners. canal and to refrain from again demolishing the
same pending trial, but the writ was dissolved on
2. G.R. No. L-21727 May 29, 1970 March 9, 1953, upon a counterbond filed by the
CRISPINA SALAZAR, petitioner, defendants.
vs.
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After trial, the Court of First Instance of Bataan by the manner and form, in which the waters have
rendered judgment on April 10, 1956, ordering the been used.
defendants to restore at their expense the canal in
question, to connect it with the canal found in Lot The third requisite of Article 643 of the Civil Code
436 and to cause the corresponding annotation of refers to the matter of indemnity to the owner of the
the encumbrance on Transfer Certificate of Title servient estate. As correctly pointed out by the
1059 covering Lot 433; and ordering the defendants petitioner it would be nigh impossible now to
to pay the plaintiff the sum of P1,360 annually present actual proof that such indemnity has been
beginning the agricultural year 1956-1957 until the paid, considering the number of years that have
restoration of the canal, P4,700 as actual damages, elapsed since the easement had first come into
P5,000 as moral damages and P1,000 as attorney's existence and the subsequent changes in
fees, plus costs. ownership of the lots involved. It stands to reason,
however, that if the easement had continued for so
However, On July 26, 1963, decision was reversed long in fact, not only before Lot 433 was registered
on appeal, rendering that easement of aqueduct in 1923 but for thirty years thereafter, until cut off by
over Lot 433 is a voluntary one and that upon the respondents in 1953 the legal requirement in
registration, there was no annotation of said question must have been complied with.
easement as a subsisting encumbrance.
Hence this review by certiorari. The other requisite of Article 643 is that "the
proposed right of way is the most convenient and
the least onerous to third persons." The Court of
Issue: Whether appellate court erred in holding that Appeals stated that the petitioner has not
petitioner failed to comply with the requisites laid established this fact, and that "her own evidence
down by Article 643 in order to claim legal reveals that her lot is abutting Sapang Tuyo on its
easement set forth in Article 642 of the New Civil southern boundary, where from she can easily and
Code. directly draw the water necessary to irrigate her
land." This statement is an oversimplification.
Proximity or abutment of a piece of land to a
Held: On the first requisite of Article 643 — that the stream does not necessarily carry with it the
petitioner must prove that he can dispose of the conclusion that water may conveniently be drawn
water and that it is sufficient for the use for which it directly therefrom for irrigation.
is intended — there is the statement of the trial
court that the disputed canal had been in In the first place, the petitioner has pointed out in
existence since the Spanish regime, or at least prior her brief, without contradiction by the respondents,
to the original registration of Lot 433 in 1923, and that the portion of her land which abuts Sapang
that of the Court of Appeals itself confirmatory of Tuyo is precipice. Secondly, the trial court made an
this second alternative finding. If, as thus found, the ocular inspection of the premises and observed
petitioner had been using water from Sapang Tuyo that the eastern and northeastern portions of Lot
to irrigate Lot 436 since she acquired said lot in 436 are lower than the southwestern, western and
1949, as the Municipality of Balanga had been northwestern (the point where Lot 436 adjoins Lot
doing before her, and that such use had lasted 433) portions of the same. Finally, it would appear
continuously for at least thirty years, it is a fair from the observation made by the same court that
presumption that she had a right to do so and that the demolished canal is part of a system of conduits
the water she could dispose of was sufficient for the used to irrigate the lands of the petitioner and the
purpose. Indeed it would be a superfluity to require respondents as well as the surrounding estates
her to produce a permit from the proper authorities, belonging to other owners, and that this system of
for even without it the right had already become conduits is of a permanent nature.
vested both under Article 194 of the Spanish Law of
Waters and under Article 504 of the Civil Code, In any case the respondents are hardly in a position
which respectively state: to avail of the registration of Lot 433 in 1923 without
ART. 194. Any person who has enjoyed the corresponding registration of the easement on
the use of public waters for a term of twenty the title as an excuse to summarily terminate it thirty
years without objection on the part of the years thereafter. The original registered owner
authorities or of any third person, shall allowed the easement to continue in spite of such
continue in its enjoyment, even though he non-registration: the least that can be said is that he
may not be able to show that he secured either recognized its existence as a compulsory
proper permission. servitude on his estate or voluntarily agreed to its
establishment and continuance. And the
ART. 504. The use of public waters is respondent Guillermo Gutierrez, as the successor-in-
acquired: interest to the, said owner by inheritance, is not an
(1) By administrative concession; innocent third person who could plead the
(2) By prescription for ten years. absence of annotation on the title. Not only was he
aware of the existence of the easement when he
The extent of the rights and obligations of the use inherited the property in 1927, but he likewise
shall be that established, in the first case, by the allowed it to continue for twenty-six years after he
terms of the concession, and, in the second case, acquired title. He is bound both by the act of his
predecessor and by his own.
37 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

the dominant estate to establish by clear and


ARTICLE 649 convincing evidence the presence of all the
preconditions before his claim for easement of right
1. G.R. No. 180282 April 11, 2011 of way may be granted.
CRISPIN DICHOSO, JR., EVELYN DICHOSO VALDEZ,
and ROSEMARIE DICHOSO PE BENITO, Petitioners, To be entitled to an easement of right of way, the
vs. following requisites should be met: first, the
PATROCINIO L. MARCOS, Respondent. dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables
and has no adequate outlet to a public highway;
Facts: On August 2, 2002, petitioners filed a second, there is payment of proper indemnity; third,
Complaint for Easement of Right of Way against the isolation is not due to the acts of the proprietor
respondent Patrocinio L. Marcos. In their complaint, of the dominant estate; and fourth, the right of way
petitioners alleged that they are the owners of Lot claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the
No. 21553 of the Cadastral Survey of Laoag City; servient estate; and insofar as consistent with this
while respondent is the owner of Lot No. 1. As rule, where the distance from the dominant estate
petitioners had no access to a public road to and to a public highway may be the shortest.
from their property, they claimed to have used a
portion of Lot No. 1 in accessing the road since In the case at hand, the petitioners failed to show
1970. Respondent, however, blocked the sufficient factual evidence to satisfy the above-
passageway with piles of sand. Though petitioners enumerated requirements.
have been granted another passageway by the
spouses Benjamin and Sylvia Arce (Spouses Arce), Admittedly, they had been granted a right of way
the owners of another adjacent lot, the former through the other adjacent lot owned by the
instituted the complaint before the RTC and prayed Spouses Arce. In fact, other lot owners use the said
that they be granted a right of way over an area of outlet in going to and coming from the public
54 sqm of Lot 01 by paying the defendant the highway. Clearly, there is an existing outlet to and
amount ofP54,000.00, and that the right be from the public road.
annotated on defendant’s title. In addition to that,
the defendant will pay the plaintiffs the sum of However, petitioners claim that the outlet is longer
P30,000.00 as damages for attorney’s fees and and circuitous, and they have to pass through other
costs of suit. lots owned by different owners before they could
get to the highway. We find petitioners’ concept of
In the defendant’s answer, he denied that he what is “adequate outlet” a complete disregard of
allowed anybody to use Lot No. 1 as passageway. the well-entrenched doctrine that in order to justify
Moreover, he stated that petitioners’ claim of right the imposition of an easement of right of way, there
of way is only due to expediency and not necessity must be real, not fictitious or artificial, necessity for it.
for there already is an existing easement of right of Mere convenience for the dominant estate is not
way available to petitioners granted by the Spouses what is required by law as the basis of setting up a
Arce. Thus, there is no need to establish another compulsory easement. Even in the face of
easement over respondent’s property. necessity, if it can be satisfied without imposing the
easement, the same should not be imposed.
The RTC rendered a decision in favor of the
petitioners by finding that they had adequately As it shows, [petitioners] had been granted a right
established the requisites to justify an easement of of way through the adjacent estate of Spouses
right of way in accordance with Articles 649 and Arce before the complaint below was even filed.
650 of the Civil Code. Also, the trial court declared [Respondent] alleged that this right of way is being
petitioners in good faith as they expressed their used by the other estates which are similarly
willingness to pay proper indemnity. however, the situated as [petitioners]. [Petitioners] do not dispute
he CA reversed and set aside the RTC decision this fact. There is also a reason to believe that this
ruling that a right of way had already been granted right of way is Spouses Arce’s outlet to a public
by the sevient estate. Thus, there is no need to road since their property, as it appears from the
establish an easement over the respondent’s Sketch Map, is also surrounded by other estates. The
property. fact that Spouses Arce are not insisting on a right of
way through respondent’s property, although an
opening on the latter’s property is undoubtedly the
Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to most direct and shortest distance to P. Gomez St.
a grant of legal easement of right of way from their from the former’s property, bolsters our conviction
landlocked property through there is another that they have adequate outlet to the highway
passageway for them. which they are now likewise making available to
[petitioners].

Held: No. The petition is without merit. The convenience of the dominant estate has never
been the gauge for the grant of compulsory right of
An easement involves an abnormal restriction on way. To be sure, the true standard for the grant of
the property rights of the servient owner and is the legal right is “adequacy.” Hence, when there is
regarded as a charge or encumbrance on the already an existing adequate outlet from the
servient estate. It is incumbent upon the owner of dominant estate to a public highway, as in this
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case, even when the said outlet, for one reason or Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in ruling
another, be inconvenient, the need to open up that Sps. Carreon are entitled to an easement of
another servitude is entirely unjustified. right of way on petitioner’s property.

2. G.R. No. 149023 September 27, 2007 RULING: NO.


LEO WINSTON BRIN LEE, Petitioner,
vs. The conferment of a legal easement of right of way
SPOUSES AMADEO and ADELAIDA is governed by Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil
CARREON, Respondents. Code reproduced as follows:

FACTS: ART. 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of


a real right may cultivate or use any immovable,
Spouses Amadeo and Adelaida Carreon, which is surrounded by other immovables
respondents, are the owners of a house and Lots pertaining to other persons and without adequate
Nos. 8-B and 8-C located in Cebu City covered by outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a
Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. 61049 and right of way through the neighboring estates, after
56745, respectively, of the Registry of Deeds, same payment of the proper indemnity.
city.
Should this easement be established in such a
On the other hand, Anita Linda Rodriguez is the manner that its use may be continuous for all the
owner of Lot No. 6213-A-2 covered by TCT No. needs of the dominant estate, establishing a
93402. It is situated within the vicinity of respondent permanent passage, the indemnity shall consist of
spouses’ lots. the value of the land occupied and the amount of
the damage caused to the servient estate.
As there is no existing way from their property to the
nearest road, respondents filed with the Regional In case the right of way is limited to the necessary
Trial Court (RTC), Branch 22, Cebu City a complaint passage for the cultivation of the estate surrounded
for easement of right of way against Rodriguez, by others and for the gathering of its crops through
docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-7426. During the the servient estate without a permanent way, the
pre-trial, the RTC found that there is another servient indemnity shall consist in the payment of the
estate, owned by Mr. and Ms. Anselmo Jardin damage caused by such encumbrance.
which could be used by respondents as a right of This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of
way. Respondents then filed a Motion for Leave to the immovable is due to the proprietor’s own acts.
Admit Amended Complaint to include spouses
Jardin as co-defendants, the latter being owners of ART. 650. The easement of right of way shall be
Lots Nos. 6213-A-3, 6213-A-4 and 8-A located on the established at the point least prejudicial to the
eastern side of respondents’ property. On June 9, servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this
1989, the RTC issued an Order admitting the rule, where the distance from the dominant estate
Amended Complaint. to a public highway may be the shortest.

However, the lots of spouses Jardin were sold To be entitled to an easement of right of way, the
pendente lite to Leo Winston Brin Lee, petitioner. As following requisites should be met:
a result, respondents filed a Motion for Leave to 1. the dominant estate is surrounded by
Admit Second Amended Complaint impleading other immovables and has no adequate
petitioner as additional defendant. On September outlet to a public highway (Art. 649, par. 1);
10, 1993, the RTC granted the motion. 2. there is payment of proper indemnity (Art.
649, par. 1);
RULING OF THE RTC CEBU CITY 3. the isolation is not due to the acts of the
After trial, the RTC rendered Judgment in favor of proprietor of the dominant estate (Art. 649,
respondents and against petitioner, ordering Mr. last par.); and
Leo Winston Brin Lee to grant Sps. Carreon a right of 4. the right of way claimed is at the point
way on the northern portion of his properties least prejudicial to the servient estate; and
measuring "one-meter wide and thirteen meters insofar as consistent with this rule, where the
long; and ordering Mr. Leo Winston Brin Lee to distance from the dominant estate to a
demolish the fence/structure to the extent public highway may be the shortest (Art.
obstructing the right of way hereinabove 650).3
constituted. All the above requisites are present here.
WHEREFORE, The Supreme Court DENY the petition.
RULING OF THE COURT OF APPEALS The challenged Decision and Resolution of the
On appeal by petitioner, the Court of Appeals, in its Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 60511 are
assailed Decision, affirmed the RTC Judgment. AFFIRMED.
Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it
was denied by the appellate court in its Resolution 3. [G.R. No. 137882. February 04, 2005]
of June 21, 2001. SPS. ELIZABETH DE LA CRUZ and ALFREDO DE LA
Hence, the present petition. CRUZ, petitioners, vs. OLGA RAMISCAL
ISSUE: represented by ENRIQUE
MENDOZA, respondent.
39 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

The motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners


FACTS: met the same fate in the Resolution of the Court of
Appeals dated 05 March 1999.
Respondent Olga Ramiscal is the registered
owner of a parcel of land. Petitioner, Spa. Elizabeth Hence, the present petition for review.
and Alfredo De La Cruz are occupants of a parcel
of land located at the back of Ramiscal’s property,
owned by the mother of Alfredo. The subject matter ISSUE:
of this case is a long strip of land owned by
respondent which is being used by petitioners as Whether or not petitioners are entitled to a
their pathway to and from the nearest public voluntary or legal easement of right of way.
highway from their property.
RULING
Respondent leased her property, including
the building thereon, to Phil. Orient Motors. Phil. NO.
Orient Motors also owned a property adjacent to
that of respondent’s. Years later, Phil. Orient Motors An easement or servitude is a real right,
sold its property to San Benito Realty. It was only constituted on the corporeal immovable property
during the relocation survey and location plan for of another, by virtue of which the owner has to
both contiguous properties of respondent and San refrain from doing, or must allow someone to do,
Benito Realty that respondent discovered that the something on his property, for the benefit of
aforementioned pathway being occupied by another thing or person.[26] The statutory basis for
petitioners is part of her property. this right is Article 613, in connection with Article 619,
of the Civil Code, which states:
Respondent filed a complaint, seeking the Art. 613. An easement or servitude is an
demolition of the structure allegedly illegally encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the
constructed by petitioners on her property. benefit of another immovable belonging to a
Respondent asserted in her complaint that different owner.
petitioners have an existing right of way to a public The immovable in favor of which the easement is
highway other than the current one they are using, established is called the dominant estate; that
which she owns. which is subject thereto, the servient estate.
Art. 619. Easements are established either by law or
Petitioners claimed that such use was with by the will of the owners. The former are called
the knowledge of respondent. They also alleged legal and the latter voluntary easements.
that respondent initiated the construction on her Petitioners herein failed to show by
property of a motor shop known as Phil. Orient competent evidence other than their bare claim
Motors and they, as well as the other occupants of that they and their tenants, spouses Manuel and
the property at the back of respondent’s land, Cecilia Bondoc and Carmelino Masangkay,
opposed the construction of the perimeter wall as it entered into an agreement with respondent,
would enclose and render their property without through her foreman, Mang Puling, to use the
any adequate ingress and egress. They asked pathway to 18th Avenue, which would be
respondent to give them an easement on the reciprocated with an equivalent 1.50-meter wide
eastern side of her property, which would be easement by the owner of another adjacent
reciprocated with an easement by the owner of estate. The hands of this Court are tied from giving
another adjacent estate. Respondent did not want credence to petitioners self-serving claim that such
to give them the easement on the eastern side of right of way was voluntarily given them by
her property but, instead, offered to them the respondent Ramiscal.
disputed passageway, which offer they had
accepted. Likewise futile are petitioners attempts to show
that they are legally entitled to the aforesaid
RULING OF THE RTC pathway under Article 649 of the Civil Code, to wit:
Art. 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of
On 31 July 1997, the RTC handed down a Decision, a real right may cultivate or use any immovable,
giving probative weight to the evidence adduced which is surrounded by other immovables
by respondent. Judgment is hereby rendered in pertaining to other persons, and without adequate
favor of Olga Ramiscal and ordering the outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a
defendants to demolish the structure built by them right of way through the neighboring estates, after
along the pathway on the eastern side of plaintiffs payment of the proper indemnity.
property towards 18th Avenue, Murphy, Quezon The conferment of a legal easement of right of
City. way under Article 649 is subject to proof of the
following requisites: (1) it is surrounded by other
RULING OF CA immovables and has no adequate outlet to a
public highway; (2) payment of proper indemnity;
The Court of Appeals dismissed the appeal filed by (3) the isolation is not the result of its own acts; (4)
petitioners from the RTC decision for failure to file the right of way claimed is at the point least
brief within the reglementary period. 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
40 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

highway may be the shortest. The first three Gabriels to provide the right of way and to
requisites are not obtaining in the instant case. demolish the small house encroaching on the
easement. On August 1991, the Gabriels filed a
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The motion for reconsideration which was also denied.
Resolutions dated 11 September 1998 and 5 March Thus, they filed a petition for certiorari before the
1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. Court of Appeals.
68216 are AFFIRMED. The Decision dated 31 July
1997 of the Regional Trial Court is likewise UPHELD. On March 1992, the Court of Appeals dismissed the
petition and upheld the RTC's issuances. The
decision became final and executory on July 1992.
4. BRYAN U. VILLANUEVA, petitioner, vs. HON. TIRSO
D.C. VELASCO in his capacity as Presiding Judge of On January 1995, Judge Tirso Velasco of the RTC in
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 88, Quezon City issued an Alias Writ of Demolition. On
JULIO N. SEBASTIAN and SHIRLEY June 1995, the sheriff tried to demolish the small
LORILLA, respondents house pursuant to the writ. Petitioner filed a Third
Party Claim with Prayer to Quash Alias Writ of
[A] legal easement is one mandated by law, Demolition. He maintains that the writ of demolition
constituted for public use or for private interest, and could not apply to his property since he was not a
becomes a continuing property right. As a party to the civil case. His Third Party Claim with
compulsory easement, it is inseparable from the prayer to quash the writ of demolition was denied
estate to which it belongs, as provided for in said for lack of merit on August 16, 1995. The motion for
Article 617 of the Civil Code. The essential requisites reconsideration as well as the Supplemental Motion
for an easement to be compulsory are: (1) the for Reconsideration dated September 12, 1995
dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables were denied on October 19, 1995.
and has no adequate outlet to a public highway;
(2) proper indemnity. has been paid; (3) the Petitioner, thereafter, filed a petition for certiorari
isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor of the before the Court of Appeals, docketed as CA-G.R.
dominant estate; (4) the right of way claimed is at a SP No. 39166, asserting that the existence of the
point least prejudicial to the servient estate; and (5) easement of right of way was not annotated in his
to the extent consistent with the foregoing rule, title and that he was not a party to Civil Case No.
where the distance from the dominant estate to a Q-91-8703, hence the contract of easement
public highway may be the shortest. executed by the Gabriels in favor of the Espinolas
could not be enforced against him. The Court of
Appeals dismissed the petition for lack of merit and
FACTS denied the reconsideration.

Petitioner Bryan Villanueva is the registered owner Hence, this instant petition.
of the parcel of land covered by Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 127862 of the Register of ISSUE:
Deeds of Quezon City. He bought it from Pacific
Banking Corporation, the mortgagee of said Whether or not the easement on the property binds
property. The bank had acquired it from the petitioner.
spouses Maximo and Justina Gabriel at a public
auction on March 19, 1983. When petitioner bought RULING NO.
the parcel of land there was a small house on its
southeastern portion. It occupied one meter of the As correctly observed by the Court of Appeals,
two-meter wide easement of right of way the the easement in the instant petition is both (1)
Gabriel spouses granted to the Espinolas, an easement by grant or a voluntary easement,
predecessors-in-interest of private respondents, in a and (2) an easement by necessity or a
Contract of Easement of Right of Way. legal easement.
The trial court and the Court of Appeals have
Unknown to petitioner, even before he bought the declared the existence of said easement (right of
land, the Gabriels had constructed the way). This finding of fact of both courts below is
aforementioned small house that encroached conclusive on this Court.
upon the two-meter easement. Petitioner was also - The small house occupying one meter of the
unaware that private respondents, Julio Sebastian two-meter wide easement obstructs the
and Shirley Lorilla, had filed on May 8, 1991, Civil entry of private respondents' cement mixer
Case No. Q-91-8703, for easement, damages and and motor vehicle.
with prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction - One meter is insufficient for the needs of
and/or restraining order against the spouses private respondents.
Gabriel. As successors-in-interest, Sebastian and - It is well-settled that the needs of the
Lorilla wanted to enforce the contract of dominant estate determine the width of
easement. the easement.
- Conformably then, petitioner ought to
On May 1991, the trial court issued a temporary demolish whatever edifice obstructs
restraining order. On August 1991, it issued a writ of the easement in view of the needs of
preliminary mandatory injunction ordering the private respondents' estate.
41 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

highway. Respondents demanded the demolition


Petitioner's second proposition, that he is not bound of the fence, but petitioner refused.
by the contract of easement because the same
was not annotated in the title and that a notice In her Answer, petitioner averred that
of lis pendens of the complaint to enforce respondents had not established any easement of
the easement was not recorded with the Register of right-of-way either by law or agreement. She
Deeds, is obviously unmeritorious. claimed that respondents failed to satisfy the
- As already explained, it is in the nature of requisites provided in Articles 649 and 650 of the
legal easement that the servient estate (of Civil Code in order to establish an easement of
petitioner) is legally bound to provide the right-of-way on the northern portion of her property.
dominant estate (of private respondents in Moreover, she alleged that respondents had
this case) ingress from and egress to the another access as ingress and egress to the public
public highway. road other than the one traversing her property.

In this case, private respondents, Julio The spouses Badua and Bucasas failed to
Sebastian and Shirley Lorilla, initiated Civil Case No. file an answer; consequently, they were declared in
Q-91-8703 on May 8, 1991, against the original default.
owners, the spouses Maximo and Justina Gabriel.
Title in the name of petitioner was entered in the On July 7, 2000, after trial, the RTC rendered
Register of Deeds on March 24, 1995, after he a Decision dismissing the complaint. It held that
bought the property from the bank which had respondents "were not able to satisfy all the
acquired it from the Gabriels. Hence, the decision requisites needed for their claim of an easement of
in Civil Case No. Q-91-8703 binds petitioner. For, right of way." It observed that when petitioner
although not a party to the suit, he is a successor-in- fenced the northern portion of her property,
interest by title subsequent to the commencement respondents were able to use another pathway as
of the action in court. ingress and egress to the highway. It stated further
that "the new pathway is more than adequate"5 for
WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The respondents’ use. Thus, the applied easement of
assailed decision and resolution of the Court of right-of-way on the northern portion of petitioner’s
Appeals are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. property was not allowed. The said Decision
became final and executory.
5. G.R. No. 149125 RESURRECCION OBRA,
Petitioner, - versus - SPS. VICTORIANO BADUA & It must be noted that the "new" pathway
MYRNA BADUA, SPS. JUANITO BALTORES & used by respondents, however, traversed the
FLORDELIZA BALTORES, SPS. ISABELO BADUA & southern portion of petitioner’s property. Sometime
PRESCILA BADUA, SPS. JOSE BALANON & SHIRLEY in 2001, petitioner constructed a fence on this
BALANON, SPS. ORLANDO BADUA & MARITA BADUA portion of her lot, which again restricted the use of
respondents’ "new" pathway. Aggrieved and
and SPS. LEONCIO BADUA & JUVY BADUA
prejudiced by petitioner’s action, respondents filed
on March 6, 2001 a Motion to Enforce the July 7,
FACTS: 2000 Decision of the RTC. They alleged that the
Decision of the RTC dismissing the case was based
The case arose from a Complaint for on the existence of a new pathway which they had
Easement of Right-of-Way filed by respondents been using since 1995. Thus, they asserted that
against Anacleto and Resurreccion Obra, Donato petitioner was prohibited from closing said passage.
and Lucena Bucasas, and Paulino and Crisanta
Badua in Civil Case No. 5033 entitled Sps. Victoriano On March 20, 2001, the RTC granted the said
Badua and Myrna Badua, et al. v. Sps. Anacleto motion. Petitioner filed a Motion for
Obra and Resurreccion Obra, et al. before the RTC. Reconsideration, but it was rejected in the trial
Defendant Anacleto Obra was the husband of court’s June 20, 2001 Order.
petitioner. Respondents alleged that their
residential houses, erected on a lot commonly Clarifying its July 7, 2000 Decision, the trial court, in
owned by them and covered by Tax Declaration its March 20, 2001 Order, held that the dismissal of
No. 93-01900281 under Cadastral Lot No. 5518 the complaint depended on petitioner’s
situated in Galongen, Bacnotan, La Union, were representation that she was allowing respondents
located west of the properties of the Obras, to use the southern portion of her property as an
Bucasases, and Baduas. Their only access to the alternative pathway. Since the southern portion
national highway was a pathway traversing the was an "agreed pathway," petitioner could not
northern portion of petitioner’s property and the reduce its width; thus, the trial court ordered
southern portion of the properties of the Bucasases petitioner to remove the fence blocking the
and Baduas. The pathway was more than one passage.
meter wide and sixteen meters long. They claimed
that this pathway had been established as early as Hence, we have this petition.
1955. In 1995, however, petitioner Obra constructed
a fence on the northern boundary of their property; ISSUE:
thus, blocking respondents’ access to the national
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Petitioner questions the propriety of the trial court’s


issuance of an order clarifying its final and In the light of the foregoing considerations, the
executory decision and effectively establishing an assailed March 20, 2001 and June 20, 2001 Orders
easement on petitioner’s property without proper are null, void, and without any legal effect.
adjudication.
6. G.R. No. 72908 August 11, 1989
RULING: EUFEMIA PAJARILLO, CLAUDIO SUTERIO, JR., NYMIA
SUTERIO and MARILYN SUTERIO, petitioners,
The petition is impressed with merit. vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, THIRD CIVIL CASES
No Voluntary Easement of Right-of-Way DIVISION, SALUD SUTERIO and PEDRO MATIAS

The trial court, seemingly aware that it did not FACTS:


determine the legality of an easement of right-of-
way over the pathway located south of petitioner’s Perfecta Balane de Cordero died intestate
property, nevertheless, concluded that the said in 1945 and leaving a tract of 28 hectares of land
passage was an agreed or voluntary easement of with buildings and improvements in the Quezon
right-of-way which petitioner should respect. Province. On May 20, 1946, perfecta’s siblings
Juana and Felipe executed a public instrument
The trial court was in error. entitled “ Extra-judicial settlement of the estate of
the decease Perfecta Balane de Cordero.” In it
It is a settled doctrine that a decision, after it
they disposed that in according to Perfecta’s
becomes final, becomes immutable and
unalterable. Thus, the court loses jurisdiction to wishes and in consideration of love and affection,
amend, modify, or alter a final judgment and is left the said property be donated to private
only with the jurisdiction to execute and enforce it. respondent Salud Suterio de Matias, Perfecta’s
Any amendment or alteration which substantially niece, who will assume the
affects a final and executory judgment is null and encumbrance/obligation to the Philippine National
void for lack of jurisdiction, including the entire Bank in the amount of P 1,000. In the same
proceedings held for that purpose. document, the done accepted the donation in a
public instrument. The instrument was never
To recapitulate, the dismissal of Civil Case No. 5033 registered nor the title transferred to Salud’s name
meant that no easement was ever established on although she immediately took possession of the
petitioner’s property. However, the trial court, by
land. Sometime in 1951, Salud transferred the
issuing its March 20, 2001 Order directing petitioner
possession of the land to her mother Juana, who
to remove the fence that limited respondents’
was then staying with her brother Claudio and his
passage, effectively created a right-of-way on
petitioner’s property in favor of respondents family. During the period they were occupying the
allegedly on the basis of a voluntary agreement land, Claudio paid realty taxes thereon. On May 25,
between the parties. This directive was in 1956, Juana executed a deed of absolute sale
contravention of its July 7, 2000 Decision; thus, it was conveying the land to Claudio. Two years later,
null and void for having been issued outside of the Claudio had the land registered in his name.
court’s jurisdiction. Claudio died in 1961 and his mother in 1963. On
June 30, 1965, the private respondents Salud and
Granting for the sake of argument that the issue of Pedro Matias filed a complaint for the
voluntary easement of right-of-way, subject of the reconveyance of the property on the ground that
assailed March 20, 2001 Order, was proper, the deed of sale in favour of Claudio was fictitious
relevant, and material to the issue of right-of-way as
and the registration in his name was null and void.
averred in the complaint in Civil Case No. 5033, still,
Salud claimed that no compensation was paid by
the conclusion that there was an agreed or
voluntary easement of right-of-way had no basis. Claudio and that the transaction was deliberately
The records of Civil Case No. 5033 do not reveal concealed from her by her brother and the
any agreement executed by the parties on the defendants.
claimed right-of-way. Glaring is the fact that the
terms of the arrangement were not agreed upon
On April 17,1979, Judge Juan M. Montecillo of the
by the parties, more particularly, the payment of
Court of First Instance of Quezon rendered
the proper indemnity. The evidence is not ample
enough to support the conclusion that there was a judgment upholding the donation to the plaintiff
verbal agreement on the right-of-way over the and annulling the deed of sale and the registration
southern portion.1avvphi1 of the land in favor of Claudio Suterio, Sr. The
defendants were required to reconvey the land to
More so, since a right-of-way is an interest in the Salud Suterio even as their counterclaim was
land, any agreement creating it should be drawn dismissed for lack of evidence. 11 On appeal, the
and executed with the same formalities as a deed decision was affirmed in toto. The respondent court
to a real estate, and ordinarily must be in writing. No is now sought to be reversed in this petition
written instrument on this agreement was adduced for certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
by respondents.
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ISSUE: Whether or not the extra-judicial settlement It was also about that time that petitioner started his
was a donation. plant nursery business on his land where he also had
his abode. He would use said pathway as passage
to the highway for his family and for his customers.
HELD: Yes. Felipe and Juana had declared
themselves the heirs of Perfecta and the owners of Petitioner's plant nursery business through sheer
the property in question. As such, they were free to hard work flourished and with that, it became more
give the land to whomever they pleased and for and more difficult for petitioner to haul the plants
whatever reason they saw fit. Hence, if they choose and garden soil to and from the nursery and the
to respect Perfecta’s wishes and carry out her highway with the use of pushcarts. In January, 1984,
intentions by donating the land to Salud, there was petitioner was able to buy an owner-type jeep
no legal impediment to their doing so. There is no which he could use for transporting his plants.
However, that jeep could not pass through the
question that Felipe and Juana could have simply
roadpath and so he approached the servient
disregarded their sister’s sentiments and decided
estate owners (Aniceta Vda. de Sagun and Elena
not to donate the property to Salud. The fact that Romero Vda. de Sagun) and requested that they
they did not do this speaks well of their integrity and sell to him one and one-half (1 1/2) meters of their
their loyalty to their deceased sister. The extra- property to be added to the existing pathway so as
judicial settlement also reflects their own affection to allow passage for his jeepney. To his utter
for Salud which constituted the valid consideration consternation, his request was turned down by the
for their own act of liberality. two widows and further attempts at negotiation
proved futile.

ARTICLE 651 Petitioner then instituted an action before the


Regional Trial Court of Batangas, Branch 6
1. G.R. No. 77628 March 11, 1991 (Tanauan) to seek the issuance of a writ of
TOMAS ENCARNACION, petitioner, easement of a right of way over an additional
vs. width of at least two (2) meters over the De Saguns'
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS and THE 405-square-meter parcel of land.2
INTESTATE ESTATE OF THE LATE EUSEBIO DE SAGUN
and THE HEIRS OF THE LATE ANICETA MAGSINO During the trial, the attention of the lower court was
VIUDA DE SAGUN,* respondents. called to the existence of another exit to the
highway, only eighty (80) meters away from the
FACTS:
dominant estate. On December 2, 1985, the lower
court rendered judgment dismissing petitioner's
Petitioner Tomas Encarnacion and private
respondent Heirs of the late Aniceta Magsino Viuda complaint.
de Sagun are the owners of two adjacent estates
situated in Buco, Talisay, Batangas. ** Petitioner On appeal, the Court of Appeals affirmed the
owns the dominant estate which has an area of decision of the trial court on January 28, 1987 and
2,590 square meters and bounded on the North by rejected petitioner's claim for an additional
Eusebio de Sagun and Mamerto Magsino, on the easement.
south by Taal Lake, on the East by Felino Matienzo
and on the West by Pedro Matienzo. Private In sustaining the trial court, the Court of Appeals
respondents co-own the 405-square-meter servient opined that the necessity interposed by petitioner
estate which is bounded on the North by the was not compelling enough to justify interference
National Highway (Laurel-Talisay Highway), on the with the property rights of private respondents. The
South by Tomas Encarnacion, on the East by Appellate Court took into consideration the
Mamerto Magsino and on the West by Felipe de presence of a dried river bed only eighty (80)
Sagun. In other words, the servient estate stands meters away from the dominant estate and
between the dominant estate and the national conjectured that petitioner might have actually
road. driven his jeep through the river bed in order to get
to the highway, and that the only reason why he
Prior to 1960, when the servient estate was not yet wanted a wider easement through the De Sagun's
enclosed with a concrete fence, persons going to estate was that it was more convenient for his
the national highway just crossed the servient business and family needs.
estate at no particular point. However, in 1960
when private respondents constructed a fence ISSUE:
around the servient estate, a roadpath Whether or not the petitioner is entitled to an
measuring 25 meters long and about a meter additional easement of right of way.
wide was constituted to provide access to the
highway. One-half meter width of the path was RULING
taken from the servient estate and the other one-
half meter portion was taken from another lot Yes. While there is a dried river bed less than 100
owned by Mamerto Magsino. No compensation meters from the dominant tenement, that access is
was asked and non was given for the portions grossly inadequate. Generally, the right of way may
constituting the pathway.1
44 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

be demanded: (1) when there is absolutely no that she would give her right of way on her
access to a public highway, and (2) when, even if adjoining propert for 200.00 pesos per square
there is one, it is difficult or dangerous to use or is meter. After that, Yolanda constructed a house on
grossly insufficient. In the present case, the river bed the lot she bought using as her passageway to the
route is traversed by a semi-concrete bridge and public highway a portion of Anastacia s property.
there is no ingress nor egress from the highway. For When Yolanda offered to pay for the use of the
the jeep to reach the level of the highway, it must pathway Anastacia refused to accept the
literally jump four (4) to five (5) meters up. payment and barred Yolanda from passing through
Moreover, during the rainy season, the river bed is her property.
impassable due to the floods. Thus, it can only be
used at certain times of the year. With the inherent In February 1986 Yolanda purchased the other lot of
disadvantages of the river bed which make Antonio Quimen, Lot No. 1448-B-6-B, located
passage difficult, if not impossible, it is if there were directly behind the property of her parents who
no outlet at all. provided her a pathway gratis et amore between
their house, extending about nineteen (19) meters
Where a private property has no access to a public from the lot of Yolanda behind the sari-sari store of
road, it has the right of easement over adjacent Sotero, and Anastacias perimeter fence. The store is
servient estates as a matter of law. made of strong materials and occupies the entire
frontage of the lot measuring four (4) meters wide
Under Art. 651 of the CC, it is the needs of the and nine meters (9) long. Although the pathway
dominant property which ultimately determine the leads to the municipal road it is not adequate for
width of the easement of right of way. ingress and egress. The municipal road cannot be
reached with facility because the store itself
As petitioner’s business grew, so did the need for obstructs the path so that one has to pass through
the use of modern means of conveyance or the back entrance and the facade of the store to
transport. Petitioner should not be denied a reach the road.
passageway wide enough to accomodate his On 29 December 1987 Yolanda filed an action with
jeepney since that is a reasonable and necessary the proper court praying for a right of way through
aspect of the plant nursery business. Anastacia s property. An ocular inspection upon
instruction of the presiding judge was conducted
Since the easement to be established in favor of by the branch clerk of court. The report was that
petitioner is of a continuous and permanent nature, the proposed right of way was at the extreme right
the indemnity shall consist of the value of the land of Anastacias property facing the public highway,
occupied and the amount of the damage caused starting from the back of Soteros sari-sari store and
to the servient estate pursuant to Artcile 649 of the extending inward by one (1) meter to her property
CC. and turning left for about five (5) meters to avoid
the store of Sotero in order to reach the municipal
2) Quimen v. CA road and the way was unobstructed except for an
Facts: avocado tree standing in the middle

Anastacia Quimen, together with his 3 siblings TC’s findings: Yolanda’s property was situated at
(Sotero, Sulpicio, Antonio and sister Rufina), the back of her father’s property and held that
inherited a piece of property in Pandi, Bulacan. there existed an available space of about 19m long
Abutting the municipal road. The share of which could conveniently serve as a right of way
Anastacia, located at the extreme left, was between the boundary line and the house of
designated as Lot No. 1448-B- 1. It is bounded on Yolanda’ s father. The vacant space ended at the
the right by the property of Sotero designated as left back of the store which was made of strong
Lot. No. 1448-B-2. Adjoining Soteros property on the materials. Which explained why Yolanda requested
right are Lots Nos. 1448-B-3 and 1448-B-4 originally a detour to the lot of Anastacia and cut an
owned by Rufina and Sulpicio, respectively, but opening of one (1) meter wide and five (5) meters
which were later acquired by a certain Catalina long to serve as her right of way to the public
Santos. Located directly behind the lots of highway.
Anastacia and Sotero is the share of their brother CA’s finding: The proposed right of way of Yolanda,
Antonio designated as Lot No. 1448-B-C which the which is 1m wide and 5m long at the extreme right
latter divided into two (2) equal parts, now Lots Nos. of Anastacia’s property will cause the least
1448-B-6-A and 1448-B-6-B, each with an area of 92 prejudice and/or damage as compared to the
square meters. Lot No. 1448-B-6-A is located behind suggested passage through the property of
Anastacias Lot No. 1448-B-1, while Lot No. 1448-B-6- Yolanda’ s father which would mean destroying the
B is behind the property of Sotero, father of sari-sari store made of strong materials.
respondent Yolanda.
ISSUE: Whether or not the right of way proposed by
In February of 1982 Yolanda bought lot no. 1448-b- Yolonda is the least onerous/least prejudicial to the
6-a from her uncle Antonio through her aunt parties.
Anastacia ( acting as his administratrix). Yolanda
hesitant to purchase the lot because it has no Held:
access to the municipal road. But Anastacia,
Article 650 of the NCC explicitly states that “the
according to Yolanda, promised her that Anastacia
easement of right of way shall be established at the
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point least prejudicial to the servient estate and, against the petitioner by the private respondents on
insofar as consistent with this rule, where the September 2, 1982 before the then Court of First
distance from the dominant estate to a public Instance of Cebu. In their complaint, the private
highway may be the shortest.” respondents assailed the petitioner's closure of the
original passageway which they (private
IN EASEMENT OF RIGHT OF WAY that easement respondents) claimed to be an "ancient road right
where the way is shortest and will cause least of way" that had been existing before World War II
prejudice shall be chosen. However, if the two and since then had been used by them, the
circumstances do not concur in a single tenement, community, and the general public, either as
the way where damage will be least shall be used pedestrians or by means of vehicles, in going to
even if not the shortest route. This is so and coming from Lapu-Lapu City and other parts of
because least prejudice prevails over shortest the country. The private respondents averred that
distance. This means that the court is not bound to by closing the alleged road right of way in question,
establish what is the shortest distance; a longer way the petitioner had deprived them access to their
may be adopted to avoid injury to the servient properties and caused them damages. In the same
estate, such as when there are constructions or complainant, the private respondents likewise
walls which can be avoided by a round about way, alleged that the petitioner had constructed a dike
or to secure the interest of the dominant owner, on the beach fronting the latter's property without
such as when the shortest distance would place the the necessary permit, obstructing the passage of
way on a dangerous decline. the residents and local fishermen, and trapping
In applying Art. 650 of the New Civil Code, debris and flotsam on the beach. They also claimed
respondent Court of Appeals declared that the that the debris and flotsam that had accumulated
proposed right of way of Yolanda, which is one (1) prevented them from using their properties for the
meter wide and five (5) meters long at the extreme purpose for which they had acquired them.
right of petitioners property, will cause the least Petitioner’s contention: petitioner denied the
prejudice and/or damage as compared to the existence of an ancient road through its property
suggested passage through the property of and counter-averred, among others, that it and its
Yolanda s father which would mean destroying predecessors-in-interest had permitted the
the sari-sari store made of strong materials. Absent temporary, intermittent, and gratuitous use of, or
any showing that these findings and conclusion are passage through, its property by the private
devoid of factual support in the records, or are so respondents and others by mere tolerance and
glaringly erroneous, this Court accepts and adopts purely as an act of neighborliness. It justified the
them. As between a right of way that would walling in of its property in view of the need to
demolish a store of strong materials to provide insure the safety and security of its hotel and beach
egress to a public highway, and another right of resort, and for the protection of the privacy and
way which although longer will only require an convenience of its hotel patrons and guests. At any
avocado tree to be cut down, the second rate, the petitioner alleged, the private respondents
alternative should be preferred. were not entirely dependent on the subject
3) Costabella Corporation v. CA passageway as they (private respondents) had
another existing and adequate access to the
FACTS: public road through other properties. With respect
to the dike it allegedly constructed, the petitioner
It is admitted that the Costabella Corp. owns the stated that what it built was a breakwater on the
real estate properties designated as Lots Nos. 5122 foreshore land fronting its property and not a dike
and 5124 of the Cadastre, situated at Sitio Buyong, as claimed by the private respondents. Moreover,
Maribago, Lapu-Lapu City, on which it had contrary to the private respondents' accusation,
constructed a resort and hotel. The private the said construction had benefited the community
respondents, on the other hand, are the owners of especially the fishermen who used the same as
adjoining properties. Before the petitioner began mooring for their boats during low tide. The quantity
the construction of its beach hotel, the private of flotsam and debris which had formed on the
respondents, in going to and from their respective private respondents' beach front on the other hand
properties and the provincial road, passed through were but the natural and unavoidable
a passageway which traversed the petitioner's accumulations on beaches by the action of the
property. In 1981, the petitioner closed the tides and movement of the waves of the sea. The
aforementioned passageway when it began the petitioner's answer then assailed the private
construction of its hotel, but nonetheless opened respondents' complaint for its failure to implead as
another route across its property through which the defendants the owners of the other properties
private respondents, as in the past, were allowed to supposedly traversed by the alleged ancient road
pass. (Later, or sometime in August, 1982, when it right way, indispensable parties without whom no
undertook the construction of the second phase of final adjudication of the controversy could be
its beach hotel, the petitioner fenced its property rendered.
thus closing even the alternative passageway and
preventing the private respondents from traversing Now before us, the petitioner contends that the
any part of it.) decision of the respondent appellate court is grossly
erroneous and not in accord with the provisions of
As a direct consequence of these closures, an Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil Code on easements
action for injunction with damages was filed and the prevailing jurisprudence on the matter.
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The petition is meritorious. Hence, the private respondents' properties cannot


be said to be isolated, for which a compulsory
ISSUE: easement is demandable. Insofar therefore as
WON Costabella is obliged to open its properties for the Appellate Court declared the case to be
the use of the private respondents. proper as a controversy for a compulsory right of
way, this Court is constrained to hold that it was in
HELD: error.
No. Easement of right of way cannot be acquired Servitudes of right of way are an ancient concept,
by prescription and the respondents were not able which date back to the iter, actus, and via of the
to establish a valid claim of compulsory right. Romans. They are demanded by necessity, that is,
to enable owners of isolated estates to make full
It is already well-established that an easement of use of their properties, which lack of access to
right of way, as is involved here, is public roads has denied them. Under Article 649 of
discontinuous and as such cannot be acquired by the Civil Code, they are compulsory and hence,
prescription. Insofar therefore as legally demandable, subject to indemnity and the
the appellate court adhered to the foregoing concurrence of the other conditions above-
precepts, it stood correct. Unfortunately, after referred to.
making the correct pronouncement, the
respondent Appellate Court did not order the But while a right of way is legally demandable, the
reversal of the trial court's decision and the dismissal owner of the dominant estate is not at liberty to
of the complaint after holding that no easement impose one based on arbitrary choice. Under
had been validly constituted over the petitioner's Article 650 of the Code, it shall be established upon
property. Instead, the Appellate Court went on to two criteria: (1) at the point least prejudicial to the
commit a reversible error by considering the servient state; and (2) where the distance to a
passageway in issue as a compulsory easement public highway may be the shortest. According,
which the private respondents, as owners of the however, to one commentator, "least prejudice"
"dominant" estate, may demand from the petitioner prevails over "shortest distance." Yet, each case
the latter being the owner of the "servient" estate. must be weighed according to its individual merits,
and judged according to the sound discretion of
In case the right of way is limited to the necessary the court. "The court," says Tolentino, "is not bound
passage for the cultivation of the estate surrounded to establish what is the shortest; a longer way may
by others and for the gathering of its crops through be established to avoid injury to the servient
the servient estate without a permanent way, tenement, such as when there are constructions or
the indemnity shall consist in the payment of the walls which can be avoided by a roundabout way,
damage caused by such encumbrance. or to secure the interest of the dominant owner,
This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of such as when the shortest distance would place the
the immovable is due to the proprietor's own acts. way on a dangerous decline."

Art. 650. The easement of right of way shall be


established at the point least prejudicial to the 4) National Irrigation Administration v. CA
servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this
rule, where the distance from the dominant estate Facts:
to a public highway may be the shortest.
A free patent over three (3) hectares of land,
Based on the foregoing, the owner of the dominant situated in the province of Cagayan was issued in
estate may validly claim a compulsory right of way the name of Vicente Manglapus, and registered
only after he has established the existence of four under OCT No. P-24814. The land was granted
requisites, to wit: (1) the (dominant) estate is subject to the following proviso expressly stated in
surrounded by other immovable and is without the title:
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) "... that it shall not be subject to any encumbrance
the right of way claimed is at a point least whatsoever in favor of any corporation, association
prejudicial to the servient estate. Additionally, the or partnership except with the consent of the
burden of proving the existence of the foregoing grantee and the approval of the Secretary of
pre-requisites lies on the owner of the dominant Agriculture and Natural Resources and solely for
estate. educational, religious or charitable purposes or for
a right of way; and subject finally to all conditions
." Hence, when there is already an existing and public easements and servitudes recognized
adequate outlet from the dominant estate to a and prescribed by law especially those mentioned
public highway, even if the said outlet, for one in sections 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114 of
reason or another, be inconvenient, the need to Commonwealth Act No. 141 as amended, and the
open up another servitude is entirely unjustified. For right of the Government to administer and protect
to justify the imposition of an easement or right of the timber found thereon for a term of five (5) years
way, "there must be a real, not a fictitious or from the date of this patent, provided, however,
artificial necessity for it." that the grantee or heirs may cut and utilize such
timber for his or their personal use (underscoring
ours)."
47 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

Subsequently, respondent Manglapus acquired the The land was originally public land, and awarded
lot from Vicente Manglapus by absolute sale. On to respondent Manglapus by free patent. The ruling
July 18, 1974, the land was registered in Dick would be otherwise if the land were originally
Manglapus' name under Transfer Certificate of Title private property, in which case, just compensation
No. T-26658 of the Register of Deeds for the must be paid for the taking of a part thereof for
Province of Cagayan. public use as an easement of a right of way.
Sometime in 1982, NIA was to construct canals in
Amulung, Cagayan and Alcala, Cagayan. NIA 5) Floro vs. Llenado
then entered a portion of Manglapus' land and Facts:
made diggings and fillings thereon. Manglapus filed
a complaint for damages against NIA. Simeon Floro owned a piece of land known
as “Floro Park Subdivision” situated in Barangay
ISSUE: Saluysoy, Meycauayan, Bulacan. It has its own
Whether the NIA should pay Manglapus just egress and ingress to and from the McArthur
compensation for the taking of a portion of his Highway by means of its Road Lot 4 and the PNR
property for use as easement of a right of way. level crossing. Orlando A. Llenado, on the other
hand, was the registered owner of two parcels of
Held: land known as the “Llenado Homes”. Prior to its
purchase by Llenado from Francisco de Castro, the
When a land, originally public land is awarded to a land was known as the Emmanuel Homes
provate individual, a legal easement may be Subdivision, duly licensed and registered subdivision
constituted and thus no just compensation is in the name of Soledad Ortega. Bounded on the
required. It would be otherwise if the land were South by Palanas Creek, which separates it from the
originally private property, in which case, just Floro Park subdivision, and on the west by ricelands
compensation must be paid for the taking of a part belonging to Marcial Ipapo, Montaos and
thereof for public use as an easement of a right of Guevarra, the Llenado Homes does not have
way. existing road or passage to McArthur Highway.
The transfer certificate of title contains such a However, a proposed access road traversing the
reservation. It states that title to the land shall be: idle Riceland of Marcial Ipapo has been specifically
". . . subject to the provisions of said Land provided in the subdivision plan of Emmanuel
Registration Act and the Public Land Act, as well as Homes, which was duly approved by the defunct
those of Mining Laws, if the land is mineral, and Human Settlement Regulatory Commission.
subject, further to such conditions contained in the Llenados were permitted by Floros to use
original title as may be subsisting." Road Lots 4 and 5 of the Floro Park as a passage to
Under the Original Certificate of Title, there was a and from McArthur Highway. However, Floro
reservation and condition that the land is subject to discovered grave damage to the lots in question
"to all conditions and public easements and from the passage of heavy machinery and later
servitudes recognized and prescribed by law barricaded Road Lot 5 with a pile of rocks, wooden
especially those mentioned in Sections 109, 110, posts and adobe stones, preventing its use by
111, 112, 113 and 114, Commonwealth Act No. 141, Llenado. Llenado filed a complaint for easement of
as amended." This reservation, unlike the other Right of Way. During pendency of case, Orlando
provisos imposed on the grant, was not limited by Llenado died and was substituted by his wife,
any time period and thus is a subsisting condition. Wenifreda

On October 16, 1984, the trial court rendered


Section 112, Commonwealth Act No. 141, provides judgment dismissing the case and lifting the writ of
that lands granted by patent, preliminary mandatory injunction previously issued.
"shall further be subject to a right of way sot On appeal by Llenado, the appellate court set
exceeding twenty meters in width for public aside the decision of the trial court in a
highways, railroads,irrigation ditches, aqueducts, decision 12 promulgated on February 11, 1986
telegraphs and telephone lines, and similar works..."
Issues:

1. Whether or not there is an easement of right


We note that the canal NIA constructed was only of way?
eleven (11) meters in width. This is well within the 2. W/N they are entitled to compulsory
limit provided by law. Manglapus has therefore no servitude of right of way?
cause to complain.
Held:
Article 619 of the Civil Code provides that,
"Easements are established either by law or by the A legal easement cannot arise merely for the
will of the owners. The former are called legal and convenience of the dominant estate. The owner
the latter voluntary easements." In the present case, must prove that the easement is absolutely
we find and declare that a legal easement of a necessary and least restrictive on the servient
right-of-way exists in favor of the government. estate.
48 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

1.) It is not disputed that Floro granted the Llenados Occidental Negros, in order to obtain sufficient
verbal permission to pass through Floro Park. No cane to sustain the central; and this gave rise to the
such contract of easement of right of way was plaintiffs filing their complaint, alleging that the
perfected. Citing Dionisio v Ortiz, the use of Road easement of way, which each of them has
Lot 4 and 5 by Llenados during the month of March established in his respective hacienda, was only for
was by mere tolerance of Floro pending the the transportation through each hacienda of the
negotiation of the terms and conditions of the right
sugar cane of the owner thereof, while the
of way. Although such use was in anticipation of a
defendant maintains that it had the right to
voluntary easement of right of way, no such
contract as validly entered into by reason of the transport to its central upon the railroad passing
failure of the parties to agree on its terms and through the haciendas of the plaintiffs, not only the
conditions. Thus, Llenados cannot claim entitlement sugar cane harvested in said haciendas, but also
to a right of way through Floro Park on the basis of that of the hacienda owners of Cadiz, Occidental
voluntary easement. Negros.

2.) Preconditions under Articles 649 and 650 of NCC: The plaintiffs prayed the Court of First Instance of
Occidental Negros to pronounce judgment,
a. That the dominant estate is surrounded by other
holding that the defendant had no right, under the
immovable and has no adequate outlet to a public
highway easement or otherwise, to cause its locomotives
and wagons to run across the estates of the
b. After payment of proper indemnity plaintiffs for the purpose of transporting sugar cane
of any agriculturist of Cadiz, Occidental Negros.
c. That the isolation was not due to acts of
proprietor of the dominant estate The defendant answered the amended
d. The right of way claimed is at the point least complaints, admitting some allegations thereof and
prejudicial to the servient estate denying others. And as special defense, it alleged
that the plaintiffs respectively granted the
The burden of proving these pre-conditions lies on defendant, for the period of fifty years from the
the owner of the dominant estate. date of the aforesaid contracts, an easement of
First precondition is not met since there is an way 7 meters wide upon the lands of the plaintiffs
existing right of way over the Ipapo Property. for the construction and operation of a railroad for
Payment of proper indemnity was also not proven the transportation of sugar cane; that said
since there the complaint by Llenado did not easement of way was established without any
contain fixing of amount that he must pay to Floro restriction whatsoever, as regards the ownership of
in the event the easement of right of way be the cane to be transported over the said railroad;
constituted. Also, third requisite has not been met. that said contract was then in full force and effect
Moreover, in order to justify the imposition of and had never been annulled or modified.
the servitude of right of way, there must be a real,
After hearing the three cases, the trial court
not a fictitious or artificial necessity for it. Mere
entered one single judgment for all of them,
convenience for the dominant estate is not what is
holding that the defendant had no right to pass
required by lawas the basis for setting up a
compulsory easement. Even in the face of through the lands of the plaintiffs described in their
necessity, if it can be satisfied without imposing the amended complaints for the transportation of sugar
servitude, the same should not be imposed. This cane not grown from any of the haciendas of the
easement can also be established foe the benefit plaintiffs. From this judgment, the defendant
of tenement with an inadequate outlet, but not appealed.
when outlet is merely inconvenient.
The court ruled time and again that one may not ISSUE:
claim a legal easement merely out of
Whether or not the easement of way established
convenience. Convenience motivated Llenando to
was restricted to transporting only sugar cane from
abandon the Ipapo access road development and
pursue an access road through the Floro estate. He the hacienda owners’ lands.
was stacking the cards in his favor to the HELD:
unnecessary detriment of his neighbor. The court
refused to countenance his behavior. (the SC also made 1 judgment for all the 3 cases)
The contract entered into by each of the hacienda
Article 656
owners contained a clause that granted the North
1) Valderrama v. North Negros Sugar Co. Negros an easement of way 7 meters wide for the
period of 50 years upon their properties for the
Facts: construction of a railroad. The owners allege
Hacienda owners, who were up to that time ambiguity since it could permit the transportation of
customers of the central, could not furnish sufficient sugar cane which they did not produce which is
cane for milling, as required by the capacity of said contrary to their intent but the SC held that it is
central, the defendant made other milling clear that the easement was established for the
contracts with various hacienda owners of Cadiz,
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benefit of all producers and of the corporation as it


is the intent of the milling contract. March 1951, the defendants-appellants
constructed a house on their lot adjacent to Lots 1
and 2 of plaintiff-appellee in such a manner that
Since the easement is a voluntary, apparent,
the southern side of their house is exactly on the
continuous easement of way in favor of the
brick wall, the southern side of which is the
corporation, it is contrary to the nature of the
demarcation line between the plaintiff-appellee
contract that it is only limited to canes produced by
and the defendants-appellants, demolishing said
the servient estates since it is a well settled rule that
brick wall and built thereon the southern wall of
things serve their owner by reason of ownership and
their house with 3 windows. The house constructed
not by reason of easement. The owners also cannot
by the defendants-appellants is 2-½ meters longer
limit its use for there is nothing in the contract
than the length of roofing allowed in the above
prohibiting the central from obtaining other sources.
quoted Decree of Registration, and has an outer
roofing (eaves) of 1.20 meters, protruding over the
Transporting cane from Cadiz also does not make it property of the plaintiff-appellee which is .20 meters
more burdensome since what is prohibited in Art. wider than that allowed in the same Decree of
543 of the CC is that in extending the road or in Registration, and the rain water from the GI roofing
repairing it, it should occupy a greater area or falls about 3 meters inside Lots 1 and 2 of the
deposit excavations outside the granted 7 meters. plaintiff-appellee. The defendants-appellants also
This does not happen in this case when the North placed 3 windows each on the first and second
Negros transports sugar cane from Cadiz, crossing floors of their house on the side facing Lots 1 and 2
the servient estates, since it continues to occupy of plaintiff-appellee. From the time the defendants-
the same area and the encumbrance is still the appellants started to construct their house, the
same regardless of the number of times it passes plaintiff-appellee has repeatedly and continuously
through the estates. been demanding from the defendants-appellants
that the construction of their house be in
accordance with the easement, but the
Also the period of the easement is longer than the defendants-appellants refused to observe the
period of the milling contracts, so even if the owners easement and to close their windows. They also
no longer desire to furnish the central canes for prohibited the plaintiff-appellee from constructing a
milling, the North Negros still has the right to the party wall between points 1 and 2 of Lot 2 and
easement for the remaining period so the between points 2 and 3 and 4 of Lot 1.
contention that it should be limited to the canes
produced by the owners has no basis.
Purugganan filed a case prohibiting Paredes from
Article 676 proceeding with the construction of the roof, which
exceeds the allowed dimensions. Trial court, in a
Parungganan vs. Paredes
summary proceeding decided in favor of
FACTS: Purugganan.

Purugganan is the owner of a piece of residential Summary judgment is rendered in favor of the
lot adjacent to and bounded on the north by the plaintiff and against the defendants:
lot of Paredes. The lot of Purugganan is subject to
(a) Ordering the defendants to reconstruct the roof
an easement of drainage in favor of Paredes
and eaves of their house on the southern side now
annotated in the Decree of registration, which read
existing on their lot such that the falling water shall
in part:
not fall on curve into the lots of the plaintiff beyond
one meter from the boundary line and by 8-½
That the oppositor (Felisa Paredes) withdraws her meters in length and to remove the said protruding
opposition to the registration of the lots Nos. 1 and 2 eaves and roof;
of the applicant, and in compensation to said
(b) Ordering the herein defendants to reconstruct
withdrawal by the oppositor of her opposition, the
the wall of their house on the southern side either by
applicant agrees to respect an easement or
placing in two meters north of the boundary line if
servitude over a portion of the lots Nos. 1 and 2
they desired their windows on the first and second
which is EIGHT AND ONE HALF (8-½) meters in length
floors to continue to exist, or to permanently close
commencing from point 4 of Lot No. 2 and
the three windows on the second floor and such
stretching towards Lot No. 1 going Eastward, and
other openings or apertures facing the lot of the
the width is ONE (1) meter, in order that the rain
plaintiff;
water coming from the roofing of a house to be
constructed by the oppositor over the ruins of her (c) Ordering the defendants to comply with what is
brick wall now standing along the Northeastern ordered above in Pars. (a) and (b) within sixty (60)
boundary of Lot 1 shall fall into the land of the days from the finality of this judgment. Upon their
applicant. failure to do so the Provincial Sheriff of Abra is
50 | A r t i c l e 6 1 3 – A r t i c l e 6 5 6 – E A S E M E N T S o r S E R V I T U D E S

hereby authorized to implement this judgment and drainage is annotated on his Certificate of Title,
execute the acts mentioned in Pars. (a) and (b) subject to prescribed distances. But what
hereof, at the expense of the defendants: defendants-appellants have advanced as factual
issues are: (1) that they have not violated the
(d) Enjoining perpetually the herein defendants
prescribed distances of the easement of drainage;
from prohibiting the plaintiff from making such legal
and (2) that the easement of light and view was in
and lawful constructions on his lots up to the
existence since time imemorial. The first factual issue
boundary between plaintiff's lot and defendants'
was resolved by the report submitted by the
lot, provided always that such construction in
commissioner to which defendants-appellants have
whatever form, as a firewall, fence, etc., shall not
given their conformity. The second factual issue is
violate the casement of drainage in favor of the
immaterial to the disposition of the case because
defendants, and to conform with the provisions of
the servient estate was registered in 1951 without
Art. 675 of the New Civil Code; and
the easement of light and view being annotated
(e) Ordering the defendants from further on the title. Since the supposed easement of light
encroaching into plaintiff's lots and molesting the and view is not annotated on the title, it becomes
said plaintiff in the lawful exercise of dominion over immaterial whether such easement existed since
his own property. time immemorial. On this point, there is no need to
have a trial on the merits and a summary judgment
CA affirmed. would appear to be in order.
ISSUE:

Whether or not the easement of drainage refers to


the measure of the roofing?

HELD: No.

In an easement of receiving rainwater, the


distances prescribed in the decree of registration
should not correspond to the width and length of
the roof of the house but on the distance of the
rainwater falling inside the land of the servient
estate.

Paredes 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 Purugganan. Translated,
it means the easement of receiving water falling
from the roof which is an encumbrance imposed
on the land of Purugganan because the
encumbrance is not the roof itself but the rain water
falling inside the property of Purugganan. The report
submitted by the court-appointed commissioner
clearly shows that Paredes exceeded the
dimension allowed in the decree of registration.

Defendants-appellants argued that the summary


judgment of the lower court has no legal basis.
Summary judgment is employed as a method of
disposing a case when the pleadings, depositions,
admission and affidavits filed by the parties show
that there is no genuine issue as to any material
fact and that the movant is entitled to a judgment
as a matter of law (Section 3 of Rule 34). In the case
at bar the plaintiff-appellee's right to the reliefs
sought is dependent on the existence or non-
existence of the easement of drainage and of light
and view of favor of the defendants-appellants as
well as on the conditions attached to such
easements. There is no dispute that plaintiff-
appellee's property was registered in 1951 under
the Torrens System and that only the easement of