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1. GALANG VS REYES Art. 461.

River beds which are abandoned through the natural

change in the course of the waters ipso facto belong to the owners whose
DOCTRINE: Three key elements to prove to avail Art. 461: (1) the old lands are occupied by the new course in proportion to the area lost.
course of the creek, (2) the new course of the creek, and (3) the change of However, the owners of the lands adjoining the old bed shall have the
course of the creek from the old location to the new location by natural right to acquire the same by paying the value thereof, which value shall
occurrence. not exceed the value of the area occupied by the new bed.

FACTS: Spouses Conrado S. Reyes and Fe de Kastro Reyes (the If indeed a property was the former bed of a creek that changed
Reyeses) filed a case for the annulment of Original Certificate of Title its course and passed through the property of the claimant, then, pursuant
against spouses Crispin and Caridad Galang (the Galangs)with the to Article 461, the ownership of the old bed left to dry by the change of
Regional Trial Court, Antipolo, Rizal. The Reyeses alleged that they course was automatically acquired by the claimant. Before such a
owned two properties: (1) a subdivision project known as Ponderosa conclusion can be reached, the fact of natural abandonment of the old
Heights Subdivision (Ponderosa), and (2) an adjoining property covered course must be shown, that is, it must be proven that the creek indeed
by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) that the properties were separated changed its course without artificial or man-made intervention. Thus, the
by the Marigman Creek, which dried up sometime in 1980 when it claimant, in this case the Reyeses, must prove three key elements by clear
changed its course and passed through Ponderosa; that the Galangs, by and convincing evidence. These are: (1) the old course of the creek, (2)
employing manipulation and fraud, were able to obtain a certificate of the new course of the creek, and (3) the change of course of the creek
title over the dried up creek bed from the Department of Environment and from the old location to the new location by natural occurrence.
Natural Resources (DENR), through its Provincial Office (PENRO). The
Galangs denied that the land subject of the complaint was part of a creek In this regard, the Reyeses failed to adduce indubitable evidence
and countered that OCT was issued to them after they had complied with to prove the old course, its natural abandonment and the new course. In
the free patent requirements of the DENR, through the PENRO; that they the face of a Torrens title issued by the government, which is presumed
and their predecessor-in-interest had been in possession, occupation, to have been regularly issued, the evidence of the Reyeses was clearly
cultivation, and ownership of the land for quite some time; that the wanting. Uncorroborated testimonial evidence will not suffice to
property described under TCT No. 185252 belonged to Apolonio Galang, convince the Court to order the reconveyance of the property to them. In
their predecessor-ininterest, under OCT No. 3991; that the property was the case at bar, it is not clear whether or not the Marigman Creek
transferred in the names of the Reyeses through falsified document; that dried-up naturally back in 1980. Neither did private respondents submit
assuming ex gratia argumenti that the creek had indeed changed its any findings or report from the Bureau of Lands or the DENR Regional
course and passed through Ponderosa, the Reyeses had already claimed Executive Director, who has the jurisdiction over the subject lot,
for themselves the portion of the dried creek which adjoined and co- regarding the nature of change in the course of the creek’s waters.
existed with their property. Worse, what is even uncertain in the present case is the exact location
of the subject matter of dispute. Notably, private respondents failed to
ISSUE: W/N the Spouses Reyes could validly claim the subject land as submit during trial any convincing proof of a similar declaration by the
consequence of the dried Marigman creek. government that a portion of the Marigman Creek had already dried-up
and that the same is already considered alienable and disposable
RULING: NO. The law in this regard is covered by Article 461 of the agricultural land which they could acquire through acquisitive
Civil Code, which provides: prescription.

DOCTRINE: The provision relied upon is Article 440 of the New Civil RULING: NO. The provision relied upon is Article 440 of the New Civil
Code, which states that “[t]he ownership of property gives the right by Code, which states that “[t]he ownership of property gives the right by
accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is
incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially.” The incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially.” The
provision, however, does not apply in this case, considering that subject provision, however, does not apply in this case, considering that subject
lot is a foreshore land adjacent to the sea which is alternately covered and lot is a foreshore land adjacent to the sea which is alternately covered and
left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides. left dry by the ordinary flow of the tides. Such property belongs to the
public domain and is not available for private ownership until formally
FACTS: Angel Labrador and his co-respondents filed a complaint declared by the government to be no longer needed for public use.
against the spouses Pelagio and Perlita Gulla in the RTC of Iba, Zambales Respondents thus have no possessory right over the property unless upon
an accion publiciana. The complaint involved a 22,590- square-meter lot application, the government, through the then Bureau of Lands, had
covered by Original Certificate of Title (OCT) and the 562-square-meter granted them a permit. There is no question that no such permit was issued
lot abutting the titled property. According to the Labradors, the property or granted in favor of respondents. This being the case, respondents have
was declared for taxation purposes under their names and the no cause of action to cause petitioners’ eviction from the subject property.
corresponding taxes were paid thereon. In 1996, the spouses Gulla
occupied a portion of the property fronting the China Sea, as well as the
562-square-meter lot within the salvage area. The spouses Gulla then
constructed a house in the occupied property and fenced its perimeter. To
verify the exact location of the portion occupied by the spouses Gulla, a 3. EQUATORIAL REALTY DEVELOPMENT, INC. v.
verification survey of the land was in the presence of Pelagio Gulla. MAYFAIR THEATER, INC.
Geodetic Engineer Crisostomo A. Magarro reported that “Lot A
containing an area of 562 square meters is the claim of Pelagio Gulla, Sr.
which is outside the titled property of the Hrs. of Alejandro Labrador and Note that this case stemmed from a mother case. Also,
is within the Salvage Zone”. The spouses Gulla claimed that they had there is one concurring opinion (J. Melo) and two
been in possession of the Lot A in the sketch of Engr. Magarro, since dissenting opinions (J. Vitug and J. Sandoval-Gutierrez)
1984 and declared the property for taxation purposes under their names.
They argued also that since the property is located within the salvage
zone, it is res nullius, hence, could not have been acquired by the SUMMARY OF THE MOTHER CASE:
Labradors through accession under Article 440 of the New Civil
Code.The property was likewise declared for taxation purposes in their Carmelo & Bauermann, Inc (CBI) owned a parcel of land
names in 1994. The MTC, RTC, and CA ruled in favor of the Labradors with a two-storey building. CBI entered into a contract of
which the three stated that even if the land is of outside their property,
lease with Mayfair for a period of 20 years. Mayfair used
they have the “priority to use it”.
a portion of the building as a movie house named Maxim
ISSUE: W/N the respondents Labradors have the possessory right over Theater. Two years later, a second contract of lease
the foreshore land. allowed Mayfair to use another portion of the same
building for its Miramar Theater. Both lease agreements
granted Mayfair a right of first refusal to purchase the ERDI then filed a complaint against Mayfair for back
building. However, CBI sold the building to Equatorial rentals of the Maxim and Miramar Theaters.
Realty Development, Inc (ERDI) for Php 11.3 million.
The RTC ruled that the rescission of the sale with CBI did
Mayfair filed a complaint to annul the deed of absolute sale not grant ERDI any residual property rights. ERDI was not
before the RTC. The RTC ruled in favor of CBI. the rightful owner of the building and could not demand
any payment of back rentals from Mayfair.
The CA ruled in favor of Mayfair.

The SC ruled that the contract of sale between CBI and ISSUE: WON ERDI was entitled to back rental payments.
ERDI should be rescinded in this manner:

RULING: NO. The sale to ERDI may have been valid

1) CBI should return the Php 11.3 million to ERDI during inception but it was judicially rescinded before it
2) ERDI should return the property to CBI could be consummated.
3) CBI should allow Mayfair to purchase the property
for Php 11.3 million
ERDI never took actual control and possession of the
FACTS: property due to Mayfair’s timely objection to the sale (in
the mother case). In a contract of sale, the buyer acquires
After the decision of the SC in the mother case became ownership only upon delivery. The property was never
final and executory, it turned out that CBI could no longer properly delivered to ERDI.
be located. Mayfair deposited Php11.3M (less 847k as
withholding tax) to the Clerk of Court. Two documents Even when Mayfair paid rent to ERDI during the pendency
were issued by the RTC: a deed of reconveyance in favor of the mother case, it should not be deemed as recognition
of CBI and a deed of sale in favor of Mayfair. The Registry of ERDI as the rightful owner. Mayfair just had no better
of Deeds cancelled ERDI’s titles and issued new titles in choice, but to pay merely to avoid eviction.
favor of Mayfair.
ERDI was a buyer in bad faith because ERDI knew about
Upon review, the CA ruled that Mayfair had no right to the lease contracts between Mayfair and CBI.
deduct 847k as withholding tax. Mayfair should complete
the amount of Php11.3M to be turned over to ERDI. SC
affirmed the CA ruling.
ERDI was entitled to the Php11.3M that it paid to CBI, no Even if there was absence of actual delivery from CBI to ERDI, there
more, no less. ERDI could not rightfully collect rent money was constructive delivery when the deed of sale was executed,
pursuant to Article 1498.
from Mayfair.
Mayfair’s possession was by virtue of a juridical title under a contract
of lease, while ERDI’s possession was by virtue of ownership under
the contract of sale. Mayfair never claimed ownership, but only
CONCURRING OPINION – J. MELO: asserted its right pertaining to first refusal in probable purchase of the
property. Until the end, Mayfair was only a lessee (or tenant, holder,
Three observations usufructuary, borrower to use other legal terms).

1) Issues were already resolved in the mother case. Res judicata There could only be two instances when a lessee may legally suspend
payment: in case the lessor failed to make necessary repairs, or to
2. ERDI was trying to collect unjustified and unbelievably increased maintain the lessee in peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the
rentals by provoking a purely academic discussion of a non-applicable property leased.
provision of the Civil Code on rescissible contracts.
Because the contract of sale was rescissible and not void, rental value
3) To grant the petition is to reward bad faith, for ERDI has deprived should be granted to ERDI from July 30, 1978 to March 17, 1997.
respondent of the Mayfair’s property rights for twenty-three (23) years
and has forced it to defend its interests in case after case during that
lengthy period. Let the Court not encourage the continuation of crafty
tactics and to allow the further dissipation of scarce judicial time and


The contract of sale was not void ab initio. Since it was not a void Petitioner Philippine Village Hotel, Inc (PVHI for brevity,
contract, but a rescissible contract, the agreement between CBI and formerly known as Sulo sa Nayon, Inc) leased a portion of
ERDI validly transferred ownership from the time that the deed of sale
was executed (July 30, 1978) until the time that the SC decision in the
a parcel of land in Pasay City owned by respondent
mother case became final (March 17, 1997). Rental value should be Nayong Pilipino (NP), for a period of 21 years which meant
granted to ERDI from July 30, 1978 to March 17, 1997. that it would expire on May 1996. The lease was for the
construction and operation of a first-class hotel building to
be named “Philippine Village Hotel.” On March 1995,
PVHI sent a letter asking for the renewal of the contract for
DISSENTING OPINION – J. SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ: another 25 years. However, in January 2001, PVHI
defaulted in the payment of the monthly rental. Due to * Additional procedural issue: Whether MeTC had
PVHI’s refusal to pay the arrears and vacate the premises jurisdiction over the case.
despite several demands from NP, NP filed a complaint for
unlawful detainer before the MeTC. Ruling: Yes. Even if the demand letters from NP did not
explicitly ask PVHI to vacate, non-payment of the
The MeTC ruled in favor of NP and ordered PVHI to vacate outstanding balance would definitely result to PVHI being
the premises and to pay NP. ejected from the property.

The RTC modified the decision of the MeTC. It affirmed

that PVHI would have to pay NP, but it argued that PVHI
was a builder in good faith. NP could not demolish the 5. PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK v. DE JESUS
building as well as compel PVHI to vacate the premises.
The CA ruled that PVHI was not a builder in good faith.
Generoso De Jesus was the owner of a parcel of land in
Mamburao, Occidental Mindoro. Upon a verification
survey of the property, he discovered that 124 square
ISSUE: WON PVHI was a builder in good faith within the meters of the northern portion of his property was being
contemplation of Article 448, and thus entitled to encroached by PNB building. De Jesus sent two demand
reimbursement from NP pursuant to Article 546. letters to PNB, but PNB refused to vacate the area.

PNB asserted that it was never in bad faith. PNB acquired

RULING: NO. The SC ruled that the introduction of the lot and the building from Mayor Bienvenido Ignacio.
improvements (in this case, the hotel building) which The encroachment was already present when PNB got
costed more than the rent of the parcel of land could not hold of the property. To remedy the situation, Ignacio
be sustained as an argument to support that PVHI was a offered to sell the questionable portion to PNB, but the sale
builder in good faith. In the first place, PVHI admitted its did not materialize, because Ignacio mortgaged it to DBP.
status as a lessee and of NP as the lessor/owner. A De Jesus later acquired the title of the encroached land.
lessee could not simply make “significant” improvements
on a property with the end goal of depriving the lessor of The RTC ordered PNB to surrender the lot to De Jesus.
the rightful possession and ownership.
The CA sustained the decision of the RTC.
ISSUE: WON PNB was in good faith within the
contemplation of Articles 448, 449, and 450. 6. MACASAET v. MACASAET

RULING: NO. Good faith is an intangible and abstract

quality with no technical meaning or statutory definition, FACTS:
and it encompasses, among other things, an honest belief,
the absence of malice and the absence of design to Respondents in this case were spouses Vicente and
defraud or to seek an unconscionable advantage. It Rosario Macasaet (parents). Petitioners were their son
implies honesty of intention, and freedom from knowledge Ismael and their daughter-in-law Teresita Macasaet
of circumstances which ought to put the holder upon (children).
inquiry. The essence of good faith lies in an honest belief
in the validity of ones right, ignorance of a superior claim, The parents owned a parcel of land in Lipa City. According
and absence of intention to overreach another. to the parents, there was a verbal lease agreement that
the children would pay a monthly rent of Php500. Due to
the children’s refusal to pay, the parents filed an ejectment
Applied to possession, one is considered in good faith if
case against the children.
he is not aware that there exists in his title or mode of
acquisition any flaw which invalidates it. In the instant
The children denied the existence of any verbal lease
case, PNB was aware of the problematic situation of the
agreement. They said that the parents invited them to
lot when it was acquired from Ignacio. PNB could not
construct their residence and place of business on the
claim to be in good faith.
area so that they could all live near one another. The
children also claimed that the land was an advance grant
of inheritance from the parents and a dation in payment for

The MTCC ruled in favor of the parents. Even in the

absence of any verbal lease agreement, the MTCC stated
that the children were only in possession of the land by
mere tolerance of the parents. The children should
vacate. The ejectment case was sufficiently alleged and
duly proven.
evidence presented that it was a dation in payment for

The RTC ruled in favor of the parents, in the sense that the 7. Case title: Pleasantville Development Corporation vs. CA
parents were allowed to either appropriate the building
(upon reimbursement of the costs of improvements as per
Article 448 in relation to Articles 546 and 548) or oblige the Facts:
children to purchase the land.
Edith Robillo purchased from petitioner a parcel of land designated
The CA sustained the finding that the children occupied as Lot 9 in Bacolod City. respondent Eldred Jardinico bought the
the property by mere tolerance of the parents. However, rights to the lot from Robillo secured from the Register of Deeds of
it ruled that Article 448 was not applicable to the case. It Bacolod City in his name. He later discovered that improvements
should have been Article 1678 which should entitle the had been introduced on Lot 9 by respondent Wilson Kee, who had
children to half the value of all improvements made. taken possession thereof.

ISSUE: WON Article 1678 was the applicable law Kee bought on installment Lot 8 of the same subdivision from C.T.
Torres Enterprises, Inc. (CTTEI), the exclusive real estate agent of
petitioner. CTTEI through its employee, Zenaida Octaviano,
RULING: NO. Article 448 was applicable to the case since
accompanied Kee’s wife, Donabelle Kee, to inspect Lot 8.
the children were in good faith. They did not stay only due
Unfortunately, the parcel of land pointed by Octaviano was Lot
to mere tolerance of parents. It was out of parental love
9(bobo). Jardinico confronted him. The parties tried to reach an
and family solidarity. Because of this, the children were
entitled to useful expenses (Article 546). amicable settlement, but failed. When Kee refused to vacate Lot 9,
Jardinico filed with the Municipal Trial Court.
The awards granted on the basis of Article 1678 were
deleted. The case was remanded to lower court for the
determination of facts essential for the application of The MTCC held that the erroneous delivery of Lot 9 to Kee was
Article 448 in relation to Article 546. attributable to CTTEI. The RTC ruled that petitioner and CTTEI were
not at fault or were not negligent, there being no preponderant
Note: The land could not be considered as inheritance evidence to show that they directly participated in the delivery of
since the parents were still alive. There was also no Lot 9 to Kee. The appellate court ruled that Kee was a builder in
good faith, as he was unaware of the “mix-up” when he began
construction of the improvements on Lot 8. further ruled that the
erroneous delivery was due to the negligence of CTTEI, and that
Petitioner fails to persuade this Court to abandon the findings and
such wrong delivery was likewise imputable to its principal,
conclusions of the Court of Appeals that Kee was a builder in good
petitioner herein.


WoN Kee is a builder in Good faith 8. Case Title: Reynante vs. Court of Appeals


Held: More than 50 years ago, petitioner Jose Reynante was

taken as tenant by Don Cosme Carlos, owner and father-in-law of
Yes. The court upheld the decision of the trial court which stated private respondents, over a fishpond located Meycauayan, Bulacan.
that petitioner and CTTEI could not successfully invoke as a defense During the tenancy, petitioner constructed a nipa hut where he and
the failure of Kee to give notice of his intention to begin his family lived and took care of the nipa palms. Petitioner
construction required under paragraph 22 of the Contract to Sell on harvested and sold said nipa palms without interference and
Installment and his having built a sari-sari store without the prior prohibition from anybody.
approval of petitioner required under paragraph 26 of said contract,
saying that the purpose of these requirements was merely to After Don Cosme Carlos’ death, his heirs (private
regulate the type of improvements to be constructed on the lot. respondents’ predecessors-in-interest) entered into a written
agreement denominated as “SINUMPAANG SALAYSAY NG
PAGSASAULI NG KARAPATAN whereby the latter for and in
Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is consideration of the sum of P200,000.00 turned over the fishpond
building on is his and his ignorance of any defect or flaw in his title he was tenanting to the respondents and surrendered all his rights
and as good faith is presumed, petitioner has the burden of proving therein as caretaker (“bantay-kasama at tagapamahala”). Petitioner
bad faith on the part of Kee. surrendered the fishpond and the two huts located therein to
respondents. Private respondents thereafter leased the said
At the time he built improvements on Lot 8, Kee believed that said fishpond. Petitioner continued to live in the nipa hut constructed by
lot was what he bought from petitioner. He was not aware that the him on lots 1 and 2.
lot delivered to him was not Lot 8. Thus, Kee’s good faith. Petitioner
failed to prove otherwise. Respondents formally demanded that the petitioner vacate
said portion since according to them petitioner had already been
indemnified. Respondents filed a complaint for forcible entry with Accretion benefits a riparian owner when the following requisites
preliminary mandatory injunction against petitioner alleging that are present: (1) that the deposit be gradual and imperceptible; (2)
the latter by means of strategy and stealth, took over the physical, that it resulted from the effects of the current of the water; and (c)
actual and material possession of lots 1 and 2 by residing in one of that the land where accretion takes place is adjacent to the bank of
the huts bordering the Liputan River. a river.

The MTC rendered its decision dismissing the complaint and

finding that petitioner had been in prior possession of lots 1 and 2.
Reynante has a better right to the accretion.
Private respondents appealed which was granted by RTC and
reversed the initial decision. The Court of appeals affirmed the
RTC’s decision.
9. AGUSTIN V. IAC G.R. Nos. 66075-76. July 5, 1990.
Issue: WoN the disputed lots belong to private respondents as a DOCTRINE: Essential requisites before accretion benefits
result of accretion. a riparian owner.—Accretion benefits a riparian owner
when the following requisites are present: (1) that the
deposit be gradual and imperceptible; (2) that it resulted
Ruling: from the effects of the current of the water; and (3) that the
land where accretion takes place is adjacent to the bank
No. The respondent Court of that Lots 1 & 2 were created by alluvial of a river .
formation and properties of the respondents by accretion.
However, failure of the respondents to register said accretion for Accretions belong to the riparian owners upon whose
more than 50 years subjected said accretion to acquisition through lands the alluvial deposits were made
prescription by third persons.

FACTS: The Cagayan River separates the towns of Solana on

“Art. 457. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers
the west and Tuguegarao on the east in the province of
belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects Cagayan. In 1925, an OCT was issued for land in the east of
of the current of the waters.” the Cagayan River owned by defendant-petitioner Eulogio
Agustin. As years went by, the Cagayan River moved gradually
eastwards, depositing silt (fine sand) on the western bank.
Such continued until 1968.In 1950, all lands west of the river
were included in Solana Cadastre. Among these occupying 2. (2) That it resulted from the effect of the current of
lands covered were plaintiffs-private respondents, Pablo the water; and
Binayug, who owns 13 lots, and Maria Melad, who owns 1 lot. 3. (3) That the land where accretion takes place is
Through the years, the Cagayan River eroded lands of the adjacent to the bank of a river.
Tuguegarao Cadastre on its eastern bank among which In the present case, all these requisites of accretion are present.
was defendant-petitioner Eulogio Agustin’s lot, depositing
the alluvium as accretion on the land possessed by Pablo
Binayug on the western bank. However, in 1968, after a big Accretions belong to the riparian owners upon whose lands the
flood, the Cagayan River changed its course, returned to its alluvial deposits were made. The reason for this principle is
1919 bed, and in the process, cut across the lands of Melan, because, if lands bordering on streams are exposed to floods
and the spouses Binayug and Ubina, whose lands were and other damage due to the destructive force of the waters,
transferred on the eastern side of the river. The Private and if by virtue of law they are subject to encumbrances and
respondents filed a complaint to recover said lots. TRIAL various kinds of easements, it is only just that such risks or
COURT: Commands the petitioner to vacate their lots of dangers as may prejudice the owners thereof should in some
Solana Cadastre together with its accretion in favor of the way be compensated by the right of accretion.
private respondents. IAC: Affirmed in toto the judgment of the
The private respondents’ ownership of the accretion to their
trial court. Declared that the lot in question had become part
lands was not lost upon the sudden and abrupt change of the
of private respondent’s estate as a result of accretion and
course of the Cagayan River in 1968 or 1969 when it reverted
that their ownership is not affected by the sudden and
to its old 1919 bed, and separated or transferred said accretions
abrupt change in the course of Cagayan River when it
to the other side (or eastern bank) of the river. Article 459 & 463
reverted to its old bed.
apply to this situation.

ISSUE: WON the land in question had become part of private

The sudden change of course of the Cagayan River as a result
respondent’s estate as a result of accretion.
of a strong typhoon in 1968 caused a portion of the lands of the
private respondent to be “separated from the estate by the
current.” The private respondents retained the ownership of the
portion that was transferred by avulsion to the other side of the
HELD: Yes. The petition is unmeritorious and must be denied. river.

Accretion benefits a riparian owner when the following

requisites are present:
1. (1) That the deposit be gradual and imperceptible;
Miscellaneous Sales Application over the property with the
Bureau of Lands, saying that he had been occupying the land
and that he already introduced improvements therein. Opposing
2003 - G.R. NO. 142595
his application, Celestial claimed that she has preferential right
over the land, basing it on her right of accession (citing Article
370 of the Spanish Civil Code and Art. 461 of the NCC), her
DOCTRINE: Art. 461, NCC. River beds which are abandoned long-term adverse possession, and her being the adjacent and
through the natural change in the course of the waters ipso facto riparian (situated on a bank of river) owner. On the issue of
belong to the owners whose lands are occupied by the new whether she owns the property, the Court said that it is of public
course in proportion to the area lost. However, the owners of dominion and is outside the commerce of men, therefore it is
the lands adjoining the old bed shall have the right to acquire not susceptible to private appropriation and acquisitive
the same by paying the value thereof, which value shall not prescription. She also could not invoke either of the Civil Code
exceed the value of the area occupied by the new bed. provisions because these are applicable only when the river
beds are abandoned through the natural change in the course
of the waters. There wasn’t even a change in the course
Article 461 provides for compensation for the loss of the land involved for the river just dried up.
occupied by the new bed since it is believed more equitable to
compensate the actual losers than to add land to those who
have lost nothing. Thus, the abandoned river bed is given to the FACTS: Cachopero filed a Miscellaneous Sales Application
owner of the land onto which the river changed its course (MSA) with the Bureau of Lands covering a 415 square meter
instead of the riparian owner. parcel of land located at Barrio 8, Midsayap, Cotabato and
formerly part of the Salunayan Creek in Katingawan, Midsayap.
He alleged that he had been occupying the land since 1968
Art. 461 and Art. 370 of the Spanish Civil Code are applicable whereon he built a residential house and introduced other
only when the river beds are abandoned through the natural improvements Celestial filed a protest against the MSA, saying
change in the course of the waters. The rules on alluvion do not that she has preferential right over the land subject thereof since
apply to man-made or artificial accretions nor to accretions to it is adjacent to, and is the only outlet from, her residential
lands that adjoin canals or esteros or artificial drainage systems. house.After an ocular inspection by the Bureau of Lands, it was
found out that the land was formerly part of the Salunayan
Creek, but has dried up because of the NIA’s construction of an
SUMMARY: Petitioner and her brother were in a dispute over irrigation canal. Cachopero’s application and her protest were
a parcel of land which was formerly a part of Salunayan Creek, denied because the local department of public works and
but has dried up because of the construction by the National highways and the municipal government may need the land in
Irrigation Administration. Cachopero earlier filed a the future. However, Cachopero was allowed to stay on the land
until such a time that the government needs the land for road- and disposable, the Court cited a case wherein it said, “The
expansion. Celestial filed an action for ejectment against her adverse possession which may be the basis of a grant of title or
brother, but they later reached a compromise. Cachopero filed confirmation of an imperfect title refers only to alienable or
a second MSA with the regional Department of Environment disposable portions of the public domain.”
and Natural Resources (DENR) covering the same property, but
this time he had the certification from the mayor and
indorsement from the district engineer that the land is no longer b) ACCESSION: Celestial cannot rely on Article 370 of the
needed by the government and that it is suitable for residential Spanish Civil Code and Art. 461 of the NCC. She claimed that
purposes.However, his application was dismissed and though at the time she bought it from Basadre, the said portion already
the regional director agrees that it’s residential land, he ordered dried up so that almost one-half of a house was already built,
for the sale of the land at a public auction because of the but she failed to allege when it really happened which would
conflicting interests of the parties.Cachopero tried to seek relief determine the applicable provision in her case. This would be
from the lower court, but it was denied. However, the Court of helpful in determining the applicable law.
Appeals granted his petition for certiorari and ordered the DENR
to process his MSA.
The Court explained that the rule in Art. 370 (‘The beds of rivers
which remain abandoned because the course of water has
ISSUES: Whether or not petitioner has a claim of ownership naturally changed belong to the owners of the riparian lands
over the land, based on her alleged long-time adverse throughout their respective lands.) has been abandoned with
possession and her right of accession the adoption of Art. 461. (See doctrine.) It Had the disputed
portion of the Salunayan Creek dried up after the present Civil
Code took effect, the subject land would clearly not belong to
HELD: (NO) petitioner or her predecessor-in-interest for the provision
contemplates an abandoned river bed due to natural change in
a) ADVERSE POSSESSION: A creek, like the Salunayan
the course of waters, but in her case, the subject land became
Creek, is a recess or arm extending from a river and
dry as a result of the construction of an irrigation canal.
participating in the ebb and flow of the sea. As such, under
Articles 420(1) 44 and 502(1) 45 of the Civil Code, the
Salunayan Creek, including its natural bed, is property of the
Both provisions pertain to situations where there has been a
public domain which is not susceptible to private appropriation
change in the course of a river, not where the river simply dries
and acquisitive prescription. Absent any declaration by the
up. In the instant Petition, it is not even alleged that the
government, that a portion of the creek has dried-up does not,
Salunayan Creek changed its course.
by itself, alter its inalienable character.Despite the fact that the
municipal government later certified that said land was alienable
11. Morandarte vs Court of Appeals commerce of man and beyond the authority of the BOL to dispose
436 SCRA 213 | G.R. No. 123586 | August 12, 2004 of.
8. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC. River and their natural
beds are undoubtedly properties of public dominion. Whether
Facts: navigable or not, rivers belong to the pblic and cannot be acquired
by prescription. Art 462 provides that “Whenever a river, changing
1. Petitioner Morandarte filed an application for free patent before the its course by natural causes, opens a new bed through a private
Bureau of Lands covering a parcel of land located at Sta. Filomena, estate, this bed shall become of public dominion.”
Dipolog Cirt with an arear of 4.5499 hectares and described as a 9. Upon appeal to the Supreme Court, The petitioners contend that the
portion of Lot 1038 of Dipolog Cadastre No. 85. Miputak River changed its course due to the closure of the river bed
2. The District Land Officer of the BOL approved the free patent through the construction of dikes by the Lacaya spouses, forcing the
application of Moradante and issued a free patent in his favor. The river to be diverted to the subject land.
register of deeds issued the corresponding Original Certificate of
Title of the said land in favor of the petitioner. Issue:
3. 10 years after the issuance of the OCT, respondent Republic of the
1. WON the portion of the land covered by an OCT that included the
Philippines, represented by the director of Lands filed before the
Miputak river and the government leased fishpond is void.
RTC a complaint for the annulment of title and reversion against the
petitioner. Ruling:
4. The Republic allege that the subject land includes a portion of the
Miputak River which cannot be validly awarded as it is outside the YES. The portion of the land covered by an OCT that included the
commerce of man and beyond the authority of the BOL to dispose Miputak river and the government leased fishpond is void..
of it.
5. Morandarte spouses denied the allegation of the complaint claiming Ratio:
that they were able to secure the title in accordance and in
1. It is a well-recognized that if a person obtains a title under the Public
compliance with the requirements of the law. They also allege that
Land Act which includes, by oversight, land which cannot be registered
the land is a portion of inherited property from Antonio L.
under the Torrens sustem, or when the Director of Lands did not have
Morandarte whose ownership therof is covered by a tax declaration. jurisdiction over the same because it is a public domain, the grantee does
They argued that the river changed its course brought about by the not, by virtue of the said certificate of title alone, become the owner of
fact that a portion of the Miputak River was leased by the BOL to a
the said land or property illegally included. Otherwise stated, property of
certain Aguido Realiza and then transferred to Virgilio Lacaya.
the public domain is incapable of registration and its inclusion in a title
They also allege that the inclusion of the Miputa River should not
nullifies that title.
render the title void; only the portion of the property covered by the
-The Morandarte spouses cannot seek refuge in their calim that
said river should be nullified. Antonio A. Morandarte, their predecessor-in-interest, was already the
6. The Respondent Lacaya spouses filed their complaint-in- owner of that portion of lot when the fishpond application to the BOF of
intervention alleging that they are holders of a fishpond lease
Aguido S. Realiza was approved in 1948 because Lot 1038 was still part
agreement with the Bureau of Fisheries covering a fishpond which
of the public domain. It was only in 1972, when Lot 1038 was declared
have been included in the title issued to the Morandarte spouses.
alienable or disposable property of the State.
7. The RTC rendered a decision, in favor of the Republic and the
lacaya spouses. Stating that the OCT was void due to the fact that 2. Accordingly, the portion traversed by the Miputak River and the
it includes a portion of the Miputak River which is outside the portion covered by the fishpond lease agreement of the Lacaya spouses
which were erroneously included in the Free Patent and OCT of the said that was not eroded increased the area to almost half a hectare and in
land should be reconveyed back to the state. 1970 the appellant started to plant bananas.
4. In 1973, the petitioners herein asked the permission of the private
3. The morandarte spouses also unsuccessfully harp on the respondents to plant corn and bananas provided that they prevent
inapplicability of Article 462 of the civil code by claiming that the quatters to come to the area.
change of course of the Miputak River was due to a man-made cause and 5. The private respondents engaged the services of a surveyor who
not by natural means. conducted a survey and places concrete monuments over the said land.
-They offered no data of evidence to substantiate this claim, other The appellant also paid taxis on the land in litigation, and mortgaged the
than the bare testimony of Beder Morandarte. General statements, which land to the Luzon Surety and Co for consideration of a loan.
are mere conculsions of law and not proofs, are unavailing and cannot 6. The private respondents after permit was granted to them, entered
suffice. into an agreement with Tagoloan Aggregates to extract sand and gravel.
-Neither is there evidence to corroborate the bare allegation of 7. The petitioner herein denied the claim of ownership of the private
petitions that the Lacaya spouses constructed dikes for the fishponds respondents and asserting that they are the real owners of the land. That
which caused the Miputak River to traverse the said land. during the typhoon in 1964 the river control was washed away causing
-What is significant is that the existing fishpond lease agreement the formation of an island, which is now the land in litigation. The
between the Lacaya spouses and BOF at the time of Morandarte’s petitioners started occupying the land in 1969 and paid land taxes as
application for free patent; in effect, proved that the area covering the evidenced by a tax declaration, tax receipts and tax clearances.
fishpond belongs to the Government and petitioners have no right 8. However, the Sketch Plan Prepared by Eng. Romeo Escalderon, shows
thereto. that the plaintiffs land was across the land in litigation, that one has to
cross a distance of about 68 meters of theh Tagoloan river to reach theh
land in litigation.
9. The RTC rendered a decision in favor of petitioners. The trial court
12. Jagualing v Court of Appeals dismissed the complaint for failure of the private respondents therein to
194 SCRA 607 | G.R. No. 94283 | March 4, 1991 establish by preponderance of evidence their claim of ownership. The
trial court, however, recognized the validity of petitioners’ possession
and gave them preferential rights to use and enjoy the property.
10. The CA rendered a decision in favor of the Private Respondents.
Facts: Basing it is ruling on articles 463 and 465, the court of appeals reversed
1. Private respondents (Spuses Eduave) filed with the RTC an action the decision of the trial court, declaring private respondents as the lawful
to quiet title and/or remove cloud over the property in question against and true owners of the land subject of this case.
2. Private respondent (Janita Eduave) claims that she inherited the land Issue:
from his father, Felomino Factura, and that she has acquired sole 1. WON the private respondents who has the actual possession of the
ownership of the property. That the land is declared for tax purposes. island has better rights thereto than the private respondent who is the
That since the death of her father on 1949, the appellant had been in owner of the land along the margin nearest the island.
possession of the property although the tax declaration remains in the
name of the deceased father. Ruling:
3. The subject land was eroded sometime in 1964 due to typhoon
Ineng. In 1966, due to the movement of the river deposits on the land NO. Private respondent does not acquire better rights thereto than the
private respondent who is the real owner of the subjet land.
Ratio: and possessed the said lot. In 1966, after executing an affidavit
1. The parcel of land in question is part of an island that formed in a declaring possession and occupancy, Pedro was able to obtain a tax
non-navigable and non-floatable river; from a small mass of eroded or declaration over the said property in his name. Since then,
segregated outcrop of land, it increased to its present size due to the respondents have been religiously paying real property taxes for the
gradual and successive accumulation of alluvial deposits.
said property.
-The court of appeals did not err in applying Article 465 that states
that the island belongs to the owner of the land along the nearer margin as Meanwhile, in 1961, respondent Mario Ebio married Pedro’s
sole owner thereof; or more accurately, because the island is longer than the
property of private respondents, they are deemed ipso jure to be the owners daughter, Zenaida. Upon Pedro’s advice, the couple established their
of that portion which corresponds to the length of their property along the home on the said lot. In April 1964 and in October 1971, Mario Ebio
margin of the river. secured building permits from the Parañaque municipal office for the
2. Regarding the adverse possession of the petitioners, it is well-settled construction of their house within the said compound. Pedro
that lands formed by accretion belong to the riparian owner. The preferential executed a notarized Transfer of Rights ceding his claim over the
right is, under Article 465, also granted the owners of land located in the entire parcel of land in favor of Mario Ebio. Subsequently, the tax
margin nearest the formed island for the reason that thehy are in the best
position to cultivate and attend to the exploitation of the same. In fact, no
declarations under Pedro’s name were cancelled and new ones were
specific act of possession over the accretion is required. If, however, the issued in Mario Ebio’s name.
riparian owner fails to assert his claim thereof, the same may yield to the
adverse possession of third parties, as indeed even accretion to land titled The Office of the Sangguniang Barangay of Vitalez passed
under the Torrens system must itself still be registered. Petitioners may Resolution No. 08, series of 199910 seeking assistance from the City
therefore acquire said property by adverse possession under the doctrine of Government of Parañaque for the construction of an access road
acquisitive prescription.
-Their possession can’t be considered to be in good faith since they
along Cut-cut Creek located in the said barangay. The proposed road
are presumed to notice of the status of private respondents as riparian owners will run from Urma Drive to the main road of Vitalez Compound
who have the preferential right to the island as recognized under the law under traversing the lot occupied by the respondents. When the city
Article 465. Hence they may only acquire ownership over the island only government advised all the affected residents to vacate the said area,
through uninterrupted adverse possession of thirty (30) years. Petitioners
have only been in possession of the property for only fifteen years. Hence, Ebio immediately registered their opposition thereto.
the island cannot be adjudicated in their favor.
City Administrator Noli Aldip sent a letter to the Ebio
13. Offices of the City Mayor of Parañaque City vs. Ebio ordering them to vacate the area within the next thirty (30) days, or
be physically evicted from the said property.

Topic: Ownership Accession The records showed that the land is owned by Guaranteed
Homes, Inc. The same RL 8 appears to have been donated by the
Guaranteed Homes to the City Government of Parañaque and was
Sometime in 1930, Jose gave the land to his son, Pedro accepted by the then Mayor FLORENCIO BERNABE.
Vitalez. From then on, Pedro continuously and exclusively occupied
On the other hand, It is clear that since 1930, Ebio together otherwise, the alluvial property may be subject to acquisition
with their predecessor-in-interest, PEDRO VITALEZ have been in through prescription by third persons.
exclusive possession of the subject property and starting 1964 had
introduced improvements thereon as evidenced by their Hence, while it is true that a creek is a property of public
construction permits. Thus, even by extraordinary acquisitive dominion, the land which is formed by the gradual and imperceptible
prescription, Ebio have acquired ownership of the property in accumulation of sediments along its banks does not form part of the
question since 1930 even if the adjoining RL 8 was subsequently public domain by clear provision of law.
registered in the name of Guaranteed Homes.
From these findings of fact by both the trial court and the
Petitioners, however, argue that since the creek, being a
Court of Appeals, only one conclusion can be made: that for more
tributary of the river, is classified as part of the public domain, any
than thirty (30) years, neither Guaranteed Homes, Inc. nor the local
land that may have formed along its banks through time should also
government of Parañaque in its corporate or private capacity sought
be considered as part of the public domain.
to register the accreted portion. Undoubtedly, respondents Ebio are
deemed to have acquired ownership over the subject property
through prescription.
Who owns the lands adjoining Cutcut Creek particularly Road
Lot No. 8 and the accreted portion?

Held: RESPONDENTS EBIO owned the land.

Article 457 of the Civil Code states:

14. Lucasan vs PDIC
“Art. 457. To the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers
belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of Topic: Action To Quiet Title
the current of the waters.”
It is therefore explicit from the foregoing provisions that
alluvial deposits along the banks of a creek do not form part of the Petitioner Inocencio Y. Lucasan (Lucasan) and his wife
public domain as the alluvial property automatically belongs to the Julianita Sorbito were the owners of Lot situated in Bacolod City.
owner of the estate to which it may have been added. The only Pacific Banking Corporation (PBC) extended a P5,000.00 loan to
restriction provided for by law is that the owner of the adjoining Lucasan, with Carlos Benares as his co-maker. Lucasan and Benares
property must register the same under the Torrens system; failed to pay the loan when it became due and demandable.
Consequently, PBC filed a collection case with the RTC of Bacolod Held: NO. Lucasan did not satisfy the requisites of Action to Quiet
City. Title.
Lucasan failed to pay the monetary award; thus, to satisfy
the judgment, the RTC issued a writ of execution directing the sheriff “ART. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or
to effect a levy on the properties owned by Lucasan and sell the same any interest therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim,
at public auction. encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but
Lots were sold at public auction and were awarded to PBC as is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable,
the highest bidder. and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to
After 7 years, Lucasan, through counsel, wrote a letter to the remove such cloud or to quiet the title.
Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC), PBC’s receiver and
liquidator seeking the cancellation of the certificate of sale and An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being
offering to pay PBC’s claim against Lucasan. PDIC denied Lucasan’s cast upon title to real property or any interest therein.
request for the cancellation of the certificate of sale and offered ART. 477. The plaintiff must have legal or equitable title to, or
Lucasan then filed a petition denominated as declaratory interest in the real property which is the subject-matter of the action.
relief (action to quiet title) with the RTC of Bacolod City. He need not be in possession of said property.”

PDIC averred that an action to quiet title under Section 1 of To avail of the remedy of quieting of title, two (2) indispensable
Rule 63 may only be brought when there is a cloud on, or to prevent requisites must concur, namely: (1) the plaintiff or complainant has a
a cloud from being cast upon, the title to real property. It asseverated legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real property subject of
that a cloud on the title is an outstanding instrument record, claim, the action; and (2) the deed, claim, encumbrance or proceeding
encumbrance or proceeding which is actually invalid or inoperative, claimed to be casting a cloud on his title must be shown to be in fact
but which may nevertheless impair or affect injuriously the title to invalid or inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity or
property. legal efficacy. Stated differently, the plaintiff must show that he has
PDIC claimed that the notice of embargo was issued pursuant a legal or at least an equitable title over the real property in dispute,
to a writ of execution, while the certificate of sale was executed as a and that some deed or proceeding beclouds its validity or efficacy.
result of a public bidding.
PDIC asserted that Lucasan’s petition is nothing but a Admittedly, the subject parcels of land were levied upon by
disguised attempt to compel PDIC to resell the properties at a virtue of a writ of execution.
reduced price of P100,000.00.
Under the 1964 Rules of Court, which were in effect at that
Issue: WoN Lucasan can file an Action to quiet a title? time, the judgment debtor or redemptioner had the right to redeem
the property from PBC within twelve (12) months from the
registration of the certificate of sale. With the expiration of the 15. Lasquite vs Victory Hills, Inc.
twelve-month period of redemption and no redemption having been Summary: Petitioners were granted an OCT by DENR which was upheld by
RTC. Respondents, on the other hand, have their separate claim. CA
made, as in this case, the judgment debtor or the redemptioner lost
reversed. SC granted the petition. OCT was signed by the wrong secretary
whatever right he had over the land in question. (Sec of Agri and Commerce)
Lucasan admitted that he failed to redeem the properties In 1971, Jose Manahan executed a deed of quitclaim/assignment of rights in
within the redemption period, on account of his then limited financial favor of Conrado Lasquite. Lasquite applied for free patent over the lot.
situation. It was only in January 1997 or fifteen (15) years later that During pendency, he sold half of the lot to Andrade. 2 patents were granted
under their names, respectively.
he manifested his desire to reacquire the properties. Clearly thus, he
had lost whatever right he had over the said Lot. Certainly, Lucasan In 1983, (8)Prescillas questioned the grant of patenet. They claimed to have
no longer possess any legal or equitable title to or interest over the been in possession for long years. They filed for reconveyance and damages.
Another complaint for annulment of title and reconveyance and damages
subject parcels of land; hence, he cannot validly maintain an action
was filed by the Heirs of Manahan. They asserted title over the lost as
for quieting of title. successors. Victory Hill, likewise claimed the be the owner of the lot. Victory
traced its title which was according to them Manahan sold it to Rufino
Furthermore, Lucasan failed to demonstrate that the notice Hieras. And Hieras conveyed the lot to Spouses Angeles and Catalina
of embargo and the certificate of sale are invalid or inoperative. In Cayetano. Relocation survey was sought by Victory and subsequesntly,
fact, he never put in issue the validity of the levy on execution and of released a Report of the relocation survey issuing a free patent and OCT 380
to the petitioners.
the certificate of sale. It is clear, therefore, that the second requisite
for an action to quiet title is, likewise, absent. RTC upheld the title of petitioners. On appeal, CA set aside the ruling of RTC
and declared Victory Hills as the Absolute owner of the lands evidenced by
a patent signed by Sec of Agri and Commerce. Petitioners assail the validity
The remedy he had chosen cannot prosper because he failed
of OCT No. 380 as the source of respondents’ title. They fault the appellate
to satisfy the requisites provided for by law for an action to quiet title. court for according weight to the certificate of title even if it does not bear
Hence, the RTC rightfully dismissed Lucasan’s complaint. the signature of the Secretary of Agriculture and Natural Resources.

Issues: W/ respondent Victory is entitled to reconveyance. NO

Held: Petition Granted. Decision of RTC is reinstated.

Section 105 of Act No. 2874, the governing law when Homestead Patent No.
H-19562 was purportedly issued, speaks of who must sign the patents and
certificates granted pursuant to the Act:
l patents or certificates for lands granted under this Act shall be
prepared in the Bureau of Lands and shall issue in the name of the
Government of the Philippine Islands under the signature of the
Governor-General, countersigned by the Secretary of Agriculture and possession of the property does not run against him. In such a case, an
Natural Resources,
action for reconveyance, if nonetheless filed, would be in the nature of a
Section 47 of Act No. 496 or the Land Registration Act provides that a suit for quieting of title, an action that is imprescriptible.
certified true copy of an original certificate of title shall be admissible as The records reveal that it was only on January 11, 1994 or nearly 13 years
evidence in our courts and shall be conclusive as to all matters contained after OCT Nos. NP-197 and NP-198 were issued that respondent filed a
therein except as otherwise provided by the Act. Motion for Leave to Admit Complaint in Intervention and Complaint in
Thus, the evidentiary value of public documents must be sustained in the Intervention before the RTC. Nevertheless, respondent claimed to be in
absence of strong, complete and conclusive proof of its falsity or nullity. actual possession in concepto de dueno of a sizeable portion of Lot No.
Hence, it is plain to see that to give OCT No. 380 probative value in court 3050. Thus, the action assumed the nature of a suit to quiet title; hence,
would be to allow variance or an evasion or circumvention of the imprescriptible.
requirement laid down in Section 105 of Act No. 2874. In the case at bar, the
appellate court gave credence to the certified true copy of OCT No. 380 as
proof of ownership of respondents’ predecessor. Yet, it is readily apparent
from was signed by the Secretary of Agri and Commerce.

Other than paying taxes from 1994-1997, respondent has not shown that it
exercised dominion over Lot. In contrast, petitioner Lasquite has been
continuously paying taxes on the land since 1972, and has utilized the land
as a farm, planted fruit trees and raised goats. Petitioners have likewise built
structures and managed to entrust the property to the care of certain
individuals without any objection from respondent.

The established legal principle in actions for annulment or reconveyance of

title is that a party seeking it should establish not merely by a
preponderance of evidence but by clear and convincing evidence that the
land sought to be reconveyed is his. This is not to say of course that tax
receipts are evidence of ownership, since they are not, albeit they are good
indicia of possession in the concept of owner.

Secondary Issue: WON, claim of Victoria had prescribed. No.

An action for reconveyance based on an implied trust prescribes in 10 years.

The reference point of the 10-year prescriptive period is the date of
registration of the deed or the issuance of the title. The prescriptive period
applies only if there is an actual need to reconvey the property as when the
plaintiff is not in possession of the property.

However, if the plaintiff, as the real owner of the property also remains in
possession of the property, the prescriptive period to recover title and
16. Tandog vs Macapagal ISSUE: Whether or not the allegations of respondents are judicial
admissions, that can be considered as cloud to the interest of petitioners in
SUMMARY: Petitoners claim a certain land. When they applied for judicial the disputed property. No.
registration, they found out that respondents are occupying the land. Pets
filed for quieting title. RTC and CA favored respondents. SC, Denied. HELD: Petition Denied. CA decision is Affirmed.

DOCTRINE: A cloud which may be removed by suit to quiet title is not Supreme Court ruled in the negative.
created by mere verbal or parol assertion of ownership of or an interest in
property. This rule is subject to qualification, where there is a written or Article 476 of the Civil Code provides:
factual basis for the asserted right. Thus, a claim of right based on acquisitive Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest
prescription or adverse possession has been held to constitute a removable therein, by reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or
cloud on title. proceeding which is apparently valid or effective but is in truth and in fact
FACTS: invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to
said title, an action may be brought to remove such cloud or to quiet the
Petitioners claim that they and their predecessors-in-interest have been in title.
actual, open, continuous, exclusive, and notorious possession of the land
since time immemorial. They trace their rights to Casimiro Policarpio, An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title
unmarried, who died in 1945. to real property or any interest therein.

When petitioners decided to apply for the judicial registration of the As a general rule, a cloud which may be removed by suit to quiet title is not
property, they found that portions of the land have been occupied by created by mere verbal or parol assertion of ownership of or an interest in
spouses Calderon and Renato Macapagal(respondents). According to property. This rule is subject to qualification, where there is a written or
petitioners, spouses Calderon used falsified documents to justify their factual basis for the asserted right. Thus, a claim of right based on acquisitive
possession of the land which they sold to the government. For his part, prescription or adverse possession has been held to constitute a removable
Renato Macapagal applied for and was granted Free Patent. cloud on title.

Petitioners filed with the RTC a complaint for quieting of title. Respondent While petitioners alleged that respondents’ claim of adverse possession is a
denied the allegation. She alleged that they bought the property, planted cloud on their (petitioners’) interest in the land, however, such allegation
crops and trees thereon, and paid corresponding realty taxes. has not been proved. The alleged falsified documents relied upon by
respondents to justify their possession were merely marked as exhibits but
-Not sure if relevant-They entered into a compromise agreement. were never formally offered in evidence by petitioners. We have
Petitioners acknoqledged his ownership over 18k m2 which was approved consistently ruled that documents which may have been marked as exhibits
by court. Petitioners presented their evidence. during the hearing, but which were not formally offered in evidence, cannot
be considered as evidence, nor can they be given any evidentiary value. It is
RTC granted the motion for demurrer to evidence of respondents and important that petitioners must first establish their legal or equitable title
dismissed the complaint. CA affirmed the decision of the lower Court. to, or interest in the real property that is the subject matter of the action.
Hence, this petition. Petitioners failed to do so.
considering the appointment of Atty. Millares to the
MCTC as a judge. However the said order returned to the
court with the annotations “Party-Deceased” and “Party
in Manila.” On the set hearing date again only the Spouses
19.) Case Digest – Saligumba v. Palanog (573 SCRA 8) Palanog were present along with counsel for the adverse
Facts: party Atty. Millares who hasn’t withdrawn his
On February 28, 1977 Spouses Palanog filed a appearance yet. This led to another resetting of the trial to
complaint for quieting of title with damages against the Oct. 25, 1984. Another order was again sent to Mrs.
Spouses Saligumba, before the RTC in Kalibo, Aklan. In Saligumba which was again returned to the court with the
their complaint the Palanog’s allege that they have been in annotation Party in Manila. The said scheduled trial was
actual, open, adverse and continuous possession as again reset to January 25, 1985 because of the failure of the
owners for more than 50 years of a parcel of land located adverse party to appear. The court now sent an order to
in Solido, Nabas, Aklan. They further alleged that the Ernesto Saligumba, Jr. at COA, PNB, Manila.
spouses Saligumba prevented them from entering and On Jan. 25, 1985 despite Atty. Millares’ motion for
residing on the subject premises and had destroyed the postponement the court proceeded with the trial and
barbed wires enclosing the land, thus they pray that they scheduled on June 3, 4, and 5 the presentation of evidences
be declared the true and rightful owners of the property. of the spouses Saligumba. However on 3 June 1985, only
During the pre-trial of the case Atty. Millares the spouses Palanogs and counsel appeared and upon motion
lawyer of the spouses Saligumba verbally asked the court of the spouses Palanog, spouses Saligumba were deemed
to delimit the said property. In consideration of the said to have waived the presentation of their evidence. On 3
motion the court appointed the Deputy Sheriff of Aklan, August 1987 after more than two years the court
Mr. Rizalino Go to delimit the property. During the considered the case submitted for decision and on Aug. 7
process the spouses Palanog and Saligumba and the son of the same year the court issued its decision in favour of
of the Saligumba’s (Ernesto Saligumba) were present. The the Palanog’s. On May of 1997 the Palanog’s asked for a
result of the said delimitation was presented before the writ of execution from the court which was denied
court and the spouses Palanog were given 10 days to because of the lapse of five years since the issuance of the
amend their complaint to conform to the report. On June decision. On May 9 of the same year Palanog filed for a
1, 1984 during the hearing only the spouses Palanog revival of judgement and she impleaded the heirs of the
appeared before the court leading to its resetting to Aug. spouses Saligumba in her complaint. The heirs opposed
15, 1984 in addition to that the court ordered spouses the same saying that the judgement is not binding on the
Saligumba to secure the services of another counsel heirs and that since there is no substitution during the trial
wherein the spouses Saligumba died during the pendency it was never properly notified of the death of the spouses
of the case. The RTC however still ruled in favour of the Saligumba until this action for revival of judgement.
Palanog’s which led us to our present case. The heirs cannot also now say that they were not
properly represented by counsel during the said
Issue: proceedings because Atty. Millares never withdrew his
Whether or not the RTC-Branch 3 Decision of 7 appearance from the records, thus any of his action as
August 1987 in Civil Case No. 2570 is null and void since Attorney of record is in representation of his client. The
there was no proper substitution of the deceased spouses heirs were also notified of the orders of the court through
Saligumba despite the trial court’s knowledge that the the order sent to Ernesto Saligumba, Jr.
deceased spouses Saligumba were no longer represented WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. We AFFIRM
by counsel? the Decision dated 24 May 2000 of the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 5, Kalibo, Aklan in Civil Case No. 5288.
Ruling: Costs against petitioners.
No, the said decision was not null and void since
the action was a quieting of title which according to SO ORDERED.
Section 1, Rule 87 is not extinguished when a party dies
for when a party dies the same still survives and is binding 20. Case Digest – Clado-Reyes v. Limpe (557 SCRA 400)
to the heirs of the deceased party. With that being the case Facts:
Section 17 must now be taken into consideration wherein The case is an action for quieting of title and
it is provided that “…After a party dies and the claim is reconveyance. Based on the claim of Nino Reyes that he
not thereby extinguished, the court shall order, upon through his predecessors-in-interest were in continuous
proper notice, the legal representative of the deceased to occupation of the subject property since 1945 and that they
appear and to be substituted for the deceased, within a were tenant farmers of the same land. They also claimed
period of thirty (30) days, or within such time as may be that the said property was transferred to them by the
granted…”. It must however be remembered that the former owner Felipe Garcia through a verbal agreement
opposing counsel Atty. Millares failed to properly notify and that the same was also evidenced by the Certification
the court of the death of the spouses Saligumba. For the issued in 1979 and the Pagpapatunay issued by Simeon
annotation which was attached to the orders sent by court Garcia the eldest son of Felipe Garcia. They also alleged
cannot qualify as a proper notice. Therefore the court that every time Julius Limpe would visit the property he
cannot now be faulted by the heirs for negligence because would say that he would bring the title upon his return.
Reyes was however astonished by the letter which they
received from Limpe asserting the latter’s ownership over on his title must be shown to be in fact invalid or
the property. inoperative despite its prima facie appearance of validity
In their answer Limpe alleges that they were the or legal efficacy. It must however be noted that the
legal owners of the property as evidenced by the Deed of petitioners failed to satisfy the requisites provided above
Exchange of Real Estate and Deed of Absolute sale considering that they merely cited Section 4 of Article XIII
between them and Farm-Tech Industries. To further of the 1987 Constitution and Section 2 of the
bolster their claim Limpe also presented TCT No. T- Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law and claimed that
199627, Tax Declaration Nos. 1517212 and 952913 and their title originated from it as evidenced by the
realty tax receipts14 of the lot, which were all registered Certification and Pagpapatunay. They also failed to
and declared in their names. provide any positive evidence that shows (1) that their
Because of the evidences presented the RTC and the predecessor had legal title, i.e., a certificate of land
CA both decided in favour of Limpe which led us to the transfer; (2) that the lot was an agricultural lot and not a
present case. commercial one as contended by respondents; and (3) that
they are qualified beneficiaries under the Agrarian Reform
Issue: Law. In the absence of the foregoing the claims of the
WHETHER THE PETITIONERS HAVE A CAUSE petitioners remains as allegations which is not supported
OF ACTION TO QUIET TITLE, RECONVEYANCE AND by evidence. Leading to the court givng more credence to
DAMAGES AGAINST RESPONDENTS ? the claims of the respondent who was able to present
evidence to support their claims. For the respondents
Ruling: presented evidence which clearly preponderates in their
No, an action for quieting of title originated in favor. First, the transfer certificate of title, tax declarations
equity jurisprudence to secure an adjudication that a claim and realty tax receipts were all in their names. Second,
of title to or an interest in property, adverse to that of the pursuant to the Torrens System, TCT No. RT-32498 (T-
complainant, is invalid, so that the complainant and those 199627) enjoys the conclusive presumption of validity and
claiming under him may be forever free from any danger is the best proof of ownership of the lot. Third, although
of hostile claim. With that being said there are two tax declarations or realty tax receipts are not conclusive
indispensable requisites in order that an action to quiet evidence of ownership, nevertheless, they are good indicia
title could prosper: (1) that the plaintiff or complainant has of possession in the concept of an owner, for no one in his
a legal or an equitable title to or interest in the real right mind would be paying taxes for a property that is not
property subject of the action; and (2) that the deed, claim, in his actual or at least constructive possession. As was
encumbrance or proceeding claimed to be casting cloud
previously held, such realty tax payments constitute proof
that the holder has a claim of title over the property.

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED for

utter lack of merit. The Decision dated February 20, 2004
and the Resolution dated June 9, 2004, of the Court of
Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 70170 are AFFIRMED.
c. Ordering the defendant Lomocso to reconvey the
properties in question Lot in favor of the plaintiffs
within 30 days from the finality of the decision in this
case and if they refuse, ordering the Clerk of Court of
this Honorable Court to execute the deed of
23. HEIRS OF VALERIANO S. CONCHA SR. VS. LUMOCSO reconveyance with like force and effect as if executed
540 SCRA 1 | G.R. No. 158121 | Dec 12, 2007 | Quieting of Title by the defendant[s] themselves;
d. Ordering defendant Lomocso to pay for the forest trees
FACTS: illegally cut plus damages;
1. Petitioners, heirs of spouses Dorotea and Valeriano Concha, Sr., e. Declaring the confiscated three flitches kept in the area
claim to be the rightful owners of a two-hectare portion of land, of the plaintiffs as property of the plaintiff they being
all situated in Cogon, Dipolog City. cut, collected and taken from the land possessed,
2. Siblings Lumocso are the patent holders and registered owners preserved, and owned by the plaintiffs.
of the subject lots. 7. Lumocso moved for the dismissal of the respective cases against
3. The records show that on August 6, 1997, Valeriano Sr. and his them on the same grounds of: (a) lack of jurisdiction of the RTC
children filed a complaint for Reconveyance and/or Annulment over the subject matters of the complaints; (b) failure to state
of Title with Damages against “Spouses Gregorio Lomocso and causes of action for reconveyance; (c) prescription; and (d)
Bienvenida Guya.” waiver, abandonment, laches and estoppel. On the issue of
4. They sought to annul Free Patent and the corresponding jurisdiction, respondents contended that the RTC has no
Original Certificate of Title issued in the name of “Gregorio jurisdiction over the complaints pursuant to Section 19(2)
Lumocso” of Batas Pambansa Blg. (B.P.) 129, as amended by R.A. No. 7691,
5. Concha alleged that: a) that on May 21, 1958, petitioners’ as in each case, the assessed values of the subject lots are less
parents acquired a 24-hectare parcel of land by homestead; b) than P20,000.00.
that since 1931, they “painstakingly preserved” the forest in the 8. RTC: The trial court denied the respective motions to dismiss of
24-hectare land, including the excess four (4) hectares “untitled respondents
forest land”; c) that they possessed this excess 4 hectares of land 9. CA: CA reversed the resolutions and order of the trial court.
“continuously, publicly, notoriously, adversely, peacefully” d)
that the Concha spouses have preserved the forest trees ISSUE:
standing in the subject lots to the exclusion of the Lumocso or Whether or not RTC has jurisdiction. NO
other persons from 1931 up to November 12, 1996 or January
1997 when respondents, “by force, intimidation, and stealth DISPOSITION: IN VIEW WHEREOF, the decision of the Court of Appeals
forcibly entered the premises, illegally cut, collected, and is hereby AFFIRMED that the RTC has no jurisdiction.
disposed” of trees; and j) that respondents’ free patents and the
corresponding OCTs were issued “on account of fraud, deceit, RULING:
bad faith and misrepresentation”; Jurisdiction over the subject matter is the power to hear and
6. Conchas prayed that judgment be rendered: determine cases of the general class to which the proceedings in
a. Declaring Free Patent and Original Certificate of Title question belong. It is conferred by law and an objection based on this
issued to defendants as null and void ab initio; ground cannot be waived by the parties. To determine whether a court
b. Declaring subject lot as private property of the
has jurisdiction over the subject matter of a case, it is important to d) That respondents and their predecessors-in-interest
determine the nature of the cause of action and of the relief sought. knew when they surreptitiously filed their respective
The trial court correctly held that the instant cases involve patent applications and were issued their respective
actions for reconveyance. An action for reconveyance respects the free patents and original certificates of title that the
decree of registration as incontrovertible but seeks the transfer of subject lots belonged to the petitioners;
property, which has been wrongfully or erroneously registered in other e) That respondents’ free patents and the corresponding
persons’ names, to its rightful and legal owners, or to those who claim to original certificates of titles were issued on account of
have a better right. There is no special ground for an action for fraud, deceit, bad faith and misrepresentation; and
reconveyance. It is enough that the aggrieved party has a legal claim on f) The land in question has not been transferred to an
the property superior to that of the registered owner and that the innocent purchaser.
property has not yet passed to the hands of an innocent purchaser for These cases may also be considered as actions to remove
value. cloud on one’s title as they are intended to procure the cancellation
The reliefs sought by the petitioners in the instant cases typify of an instrument constituting a claim on petitioners’ alleged title
an action for reconveyance. The following are also the common which was used to injure or vex them in the enjoyment of their
allegations in the three complaints that are sufficient to constitute causes alleged title.
of action for reconveyance, viz.: Being in the nature of actions for reconveyance or actions
a) That plaintiff Valeriano S. Concha, Sr. together with his to remove cloud on one’s title, the applicable law to determine
spouse Dorotea Concha have painstakingly which court has jurisdiction is Section 19(2) of B.P. 129, as
preserve[d] the forest standing in the area [of their 24- amended by R.A. No. 7691, viz.:
hectare homestead] including the four hectares “Section 19. Jurisdiction in Civil Cases.—Regional Trial
untitled forest land located at the eastern portion of Courts shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction:
the forest from 1931 when they were newly married, xxx
the date they acquired this property by occupation or (2) In all civil actions which involve the title to, or
possession; possession of, real property, or any interest therein, where
b) That spouses Valeriano S. Concha Sr. and Dorotea P. the assessed value of the property involved exceeds
Concha have preserved the forest trees standing in Twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) or for civil actions in
[these parcels] of land to the exclusion of the Metro Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty thousand
defendants Lomocso or other persons from 1931 up to pesos (P50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into
November 12, 1996 and January 1997 when and unlawful detainer of lands or buildings, original
defendants, by force, intimidation, and stealth, forcibly jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the Metropolitan
entered the premises, illegally cut, collected, disposed Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit
trees, Trial Courts;
c) That this claim is an assertion that the land is private x x x.”
land or that even assuming it was part of the public
domain, plaintiff had already acquired imperfect title In the cases at bar, the subject lots are situated in Cogon, Dipolog
thereto under Sec. 48(b) of [C.A.] No. 141[,] otherwise City and their assessed values are less than P20,000.00. Hence, the MTC
known as the Public Land Act[,] as amended by [R.A.] clearly has jurisdiction over the instant cases.
No. [7691];
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure; (2) the action had prescribed;
and (3) that the complaint is defective in many respects.
12. RTC: Denied INC’s motion to dismiss
13. CA: Dismissed INC’s petition. RTC did not commit grave abuse
of its discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction in
denying INC’s motion to dismiss.


505 SCRA 828 | G.R. No. 168943 | Oct 27, 2006 | Quieting of Title Whether or not the action for quieting of title and/or accion
reinvindicatoria has prescribed. NO.
1. It was alleged that Enrique Santos was the owner of 936-square- DISPOSITION: IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING, the petition is
meter parcel of land in Tandang Sora, Quezon City. DENIED. The decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. Cost against
2. He had been in possession of the owner’s duplicate of said title INC.
and had been in continuous, open, adverse and peaceful
possession of the property. RULING:
3. He died on February 9, 1970 and was survived by his wife, Alicia On the issue of prescription of action, petitioner avers that the
Santos, and their other children. action of respondents is one to quiet title and/or accion reinvindicatoria,
4. Thereafter, the heirs took peaceful and adverse possession of and that respondents asserted ownership over the property and sought
the property, and of the owner’s duplicate of the said land. the recovery of possession of the subject parcel of land. It insists that the
5. When the Office of the Register of Deeds of Quezon City was very nature of the action presupposes that respondents had not been in
burned on June 11, 1988, the original copy of the said title was actual and material possession of the property, and that it was petitioner
burned as well. The Register of Deeds had the title reconstituted which had been in possession of the property since 1984 when it
based on the owner’s duplicate. acquired title thereon. The action of respondent prescribed in ten years
6. Sometime in February 1996, Santos learned that INC was from 1984 when petitioner allegedly dispossessed respondents, in
claiming ownership over the property. accordance with Article 555(4) of the New Civil Code. The contention of
7. INC insisted that those TCTs were not among the titles issued by petitioner has no merit. The nature of an action is determined by the
the Register of Deeds of Quezon city and even if the Register of material allegations of the complaint and the character of the relief
Deeds issued said titles, it was contrary to law. sought by plaintiff, and the law in effect when the action was filed
8. The father of Santos, during his lifetime, and his heirs, after his irrespective of whether he is entitled to all or only some of such relief. As
death, never encumbered or disposed the property. gleaned from the averments of the complaint, the action of respondents
9. In 1996, Santos had the property fenced but INC deprived them was one for quieting of title under Rule 64 of the Rules of Court, in
of the final use and enjoyment of their property. relation to Article 476 of the New Civil Code. The latter provision
10. The siblings Santos, filed a complaint for Quieting of Title reads:
and/or Accion Reinvindicatoria before RTC. “Art. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real
11. INC moved to dismiss Santos’ complaint on the following property or any interest therein, by reason of any
grounds: (1) Santos failed to faithfully comply with the instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding
procedural requirements set forth in Section 5, Rule 7 of the which is apparently valid or effective but is, in truth and in
fact, invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable, and
may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought property in actual and material possession thereof may file an accion
to remove such cloud or to quiet the title. reinvindicatoria against another seeking ownership over a parcel of land
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being including jus vindicandi, or the right to exclude defendants from the
cast upon title to real property or any interest therein.” possession thereof. In this case, respondents filed an alternative
A cloud is said to be a semblance of a title, either legal or reinvindicatory action claiming ownership over the property and the
equitable, or a cloud of an interest in land appearing in some legal form cancellation of TCT No. 321744 under the name of petitioner. In fine,
but which is, in fact, unfounded, or which it would be inequitable to they sought to enforce their jus utendiand jus vindicandi when petitioner
enforce. An action for quieting of title is imprescriptible until the claimed ownership and prevented them from fencing the property.
claimant is ousted of his possession. Since respondents were in actual or physical possession of
The owner of a real property, as plaintiff, is entitled to the relief the property when they filed their complaint against petitioner on
of quieting of title even if, at the time of the commencement of his action, October 24, 2001, the prescriptive period for the reinvindicatory
he was not in actual possession of real property. After all, under Article action had not even commenced to run, even if petitioner was able
477 of the New Civil Code, the owner need not be in possession of the to secure TCT No. 321744 over the property in 1984. The reason for
propery. If on the face of TCT No. 321744 under the name of plaintiff, its this is that
invalidity does not appear but rests partly in pais, an action for quieting “x x x one who is in actual possession of a piece of land
of title is proper. claiming to be the owner thereof may wait until his
In the present case, respondents herein, as plaintiffs below, possession is disturbed or his title is attacked before taking
alleged in their complaint, that their father, Enrique Santos, was the steps to vindicate his right, the reason for the rule being,
owner of the property based on TCT No. 57272 issued on July 27, 1961; that his undisturbed possession gives him a continuing
and that, after his death on February 9, 1970, they inherited the right to seek the aid of a court of equity to ascertain and
property; Enrique Santos, during his lifetime, and respondents, after the determine the nature of the adverse claim of a third party
death of the former, had been in actual, continuous and peaceful and its effect on his own title, which right can be claimed
possession of the property until 1994 when petitioner claimed only by one who is in possession.”
ownership based on TCT No. 321744 issued on September 18, 1984 and
barred respondents from fencing their property.
Petitioner’s claim that it had been in actual or material
possession of the property since 1984 when TCT No. 321744 was issued
in its favor is belied by the allegations in the complaint that respondents
had been in actual and material possession of the property since 1961
up to the time they filed their complaint on October 24, 2001.
Admittedly, respondents interposed the alternative
reinvindicatory action against petitioner. An accion
reinvindicatoria does not necessarily presuppose that the actual and
material possession of the property is on defendant and that plaintiff
seeks the recovery of such possession from defendant. It bears stressing
that an accion reinvindicatoria is a remedy seeking the recovery of
ownership and includes jus possidendi, jus utendi, and jus fruendi as well.
It is an action whereby a party claims ownership over a parcel of land
and seeks recovery of its full possession. Thus, the owner of real