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IV. Certificate of Title.


G. R. No. 189755, July 04, 2012

In 1978, F. G. R. Sales, the original developer of Happy Glen Loop, loaned from Ernesto Marcelo, owner
of T. P. Marcelo Realty Corporation. The former failed to settle its debts with the latter, so, he assigned
all his rights to Marcelo over several parcels of land in the Subdivision including the receivables from the
lots already sold. As the successor-in-interest, Marcelo represented to lot buyers, the National Housing
Authority (NHA) and the Human Settlement Regulatory Commission (HSRC) that a water facility is
available in the subdivision. The said water facility has been the only source of water of the residents for
thirty (30) years. In September 1995, Marcelo sold Lot 11, Block 5 to Hermogenes Liwag. As a result,
Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. C-350099 was issued to the latter. In 2003, Hermogenes died.
Petitioner, wife of Hermogenes, subsequently wrote to the respondent Association demanding the
removal of the over headwater tank over the parcel of land. The latter refused and filed a case before
the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board against T. P. Marcelo Realty Corporation, petitioner and the
surviving heirs of Hermogenes. The HLURB ruling was in favor of the respondent Association. One of the
things it affirmed was the existence of an easement for water system/facility or open space on Lot 11,
Block 5 of TCT No. C-350099 wherein the deep well and overhead tank are situated. However, on appeal
before the HLURB Board of Commissioners, the Board found that Lot 11, Block 5 was not an open space.

Whether or not Lot 11, Block 5 of the Happy Glen Loop is considered an “open space” as defined in P. D.

Yes, the aforementioned parcel of land is considered an “open space.”

The Court used the basic statutory construction principle of ejusdem generis to determine whether the
area falls under “other similar facilities and amenities” since P. D. 1216 makes no specific mention of
areas reserved for water facilities.

Ejusdem generis - states that where a general word or phrase follows an enumeration of particular and
specific words of the same class, the general word or phrase is to be construed to include or to be
restricted to things akin to or resembling, or of the same kind or class as, those specifically mentioned.
Applying that principle, the Court found out that the enumeration refers to areas reserved for the
common welfare of the community. Therefore, the phrase “other similar facilities and amenities” should
be interpreted in like manner. It is without a doubt that the facility was used for the benefit of the
community. Water is a basic necessity, without which, survival in the community would be impossible.