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The Civil Code confirms certain time-honored principles of the law of property. One of these is the
principle of accession whereby the owner of property acquires not only that which it produces but that
which is united to it either naturally or artificially. (Art. 353.) Whatever is built, planted or sown on the
land of another, and the improvements or repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land (art.
358). Where, however, the planter, builder, or sower has acted in good faith, a conflict of rights arises
between the owners and it becomes necessary to protect the owner of the improvements without
causing injustice to the owner of the land. In view of the impracticability of creating what Manresa calls
a state of "forced coownership" (vol. 3, 4th ed., p. 213), the law has provided a just and equitable
solution by giving the owner of the land the option to acquire the improvements after payment of the
proper indemnity or to oblige the builder or planter to pay for the land and the sower to pay the proper
rent (art. 361). It is the owner of the land who is allowed to exercise the option because his right is older
and because, by the principle of accession, he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory thing (3
Manresa, 4th ed., p. 213). In the case before us, the plaintiff, as owner of the land, chose to require the
defendant, as owner of the improvements, to pay for the land.


In the instant case, respondents action for reconveyance will prosper, it being clear that the property,
wrongfully registered in the name of petitioner Durano III, has not passed to an innocent purchaser for
value. Since petitioners knew fully well the defect in their titles, they were correctly held by the Court of
Appeals to be builders in bad faith.
The Civil Code provides:
Art. 449. He who builds, plants or sows in bad faith on the land of another, loses what is built, planted or
sown without right of indemnity.
Art. 450. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, planted or sown in bad faith may
demand the demolition of the work, or that the planting or sowing be removed, in order to replace
things in their former condition at the expense of the person who built, planted or sowed; or he may
compel the builder or planter to pay the price of the land, and the sower the proper rent.
Art. 451. In the cases of the two preceding articles, the landowner is entitled to damages from the
builder, planter or sower.
Based on these provisions, the owner of the land has three alternative rights: (1) to appropriate what
has been built without any obligation to pay indemnity therefor, or (2) to demand that the builder
remove what he had built, or (3) to compel the builder to pay the value of the land.[32] In any case, the
landowner is entitled to damages under Article 451, abovecited.
We sustain the return of the properties to respondents and the payment of indemnity as being in accord
with the reliefs under the Civil Code.
The right of the owner of the land to recover damages from a builder in bad faith is clearly provided for
in Article 451 of the Civil Code. Although said Article 451 does not elaborate on the basis for damages,
the Court perceives that it should reasonably correspond with the value of the properties lost or

may be recovered when the court finds that some pecuniary loss has been suffered but its amount cannot. which is guaranteed by Article 451. under Article 2224 of the Civil Code: Temperate or moderate damages. which are more than nominal but less than compensatory damages. industrial or civil) from those properties that the owner of the land reasonably expected to obtain.destroyed as a result of the occupation in bad faith. from the nature of the case. it being clear that petitioners acts compelled respondents to litigate and incur expenses to regain rightful possession and ownership over the disputed property. as well as the fruits (natural. We also uphold the award of litigation expenses and attorneys fees. . be proved with certainty.Moreover. We sustain the view of the lower courts that the disparity between respondents affidavits and their tax declarations on the amount of damages claimed should not preclude or defeat respondents right to damages.