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V CA Digest

FACTS: Magdaleno Valdez, Sr., father of herein private respondents Sergio Valdez etc. purchased from
Feliciana Santillan a parcel of unregistered land with an area of one hectare, 34 ares and 16 centares, located
in Barrio Dayhagon, Medellin, Cebu. He took possession of the property and declared it for tax purposes in
his name. Prior to the sale, however, the entire length of the land from north to south was already traversed in
the middle by railroad tracks owned by petitioner Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. (hereafter Bomedco). The
tracks were used for hauling sugar cane from the fields to petitioners sugar mill. When Magdaleno Valdez,
Sr. passed away in 1948, herein private respondents inherited the land. However, unknown to them,
Bomedco was able to have the disputed middle lot which was occupied by the railroad tracks placed in its
name in the Cadastral Survey of Medellin, Cebu in 1965. The entire subject land was divided into three.
However, Lot No. 954, the narrow lot where the railroad tracks lay, was claimed by Bomedco as its own and
was declared for tax purposes in its name.

It was not until 1989 when private respondents discovered the aforementioned claim of Bomedco on inquiry
with the Bureau of Lands. Through their lawyer, they immediately demanded the legal basis for Bomedco's
claim over Cadastral Lot No. 954 but their letter of inquiry addressed to petitioner went unheeded, as was
their subsequent demand for payment of compensation for the use of the land.

, respondent heirs filed a Complaint for Payment of Compensation and/or Recovery of Possession of Real
Property and Damages with Application for Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction against Bomedco
before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. Respondent heirs alleged that, before she sold the land to Valdez,
Sr. in 1935, Santillan granted Bomedco, in 1929, a railroad right of way for a period of 30 years. When
Valdez, Sr. acquired the land, he respected the grant. The right of way expired sometime in 1959 but
respondent heirs allowed Bomedco to continue using the land because one of them was then an employee of
the company.

On the other hand, Bomedcos principal defense was that it was the owner and possessor of Cadastral Lot
No. 954, having allegedly bought the same from Feliciana Santillan in 1929, prior to the sale of the property
by the latter to Magdaleno Valdez, Sr. in 1935. It also contended that plaintiffs claim was already barred by
prescription and laches because of Bomedcos open and continuous possession of the property for more
than 50 years.

ISSUE/ HELD: WON petitioner acquired ownership of the easement through prescription. NEGATIVE. 30-
year extraordinary prescriptive period had not yet been complied and there was neither laches.


Instead of indicating ownership of the lot, these receipts showed that all petitioner had was possession by
virtue of the right of way granted to it. Were it not so and petitioner really owned the land, petitioner would
not have consistently used the phrases central railroad right of way and sugar central railroad right of
way in its tax declarations until 1963. Certainly an owner would have found no need for these phrases. A
person cannot have an easement on his own land, since all the uses of an easement are fully comprehended in
his general right of ownership.

An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted on the corporeal immovable property of another, by
virtue of which the owner has to refrain from doing, or must allow someone to do, something on his
property, for the benefit of another thing or person. It exists only when the servient and dominant estates
belong to two different owners. It gives the holder of the easement an incorporeal interest on the land but
grants no title thereto. Therefore, an acknowledgment of the easement is an admission that the property
belongs to another.

Having held the property by virtue of an easement, petitioner cannot now assert that its occupancy since
1929 was in the concept of an owner. Neither can it declare that the 30-year period of extraordinary
acquisitive prescription started from that year.
The mere expiration of the period of easement in 1959 did not convert petitioners possession into
an adverse one. Mere material possession of land is not adverse possession as against the owner and is
insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent to possess as an owner.There
should be a hostile use of such a nature and exercised under such circumstances as to manifest and give
notice that the possession is under a claim of right.

The only time petitioner assumed a legal position adverse to respondents waswhen it filed a claim over the
property in 1965 during the cadastral survey of Medellin. Since then (1965) and until the filing of the
complaint for the recovery of the subject land before the RTC of Cebu in 1989, only 24 years had lapsed.
Since the required 30-year extraordinary prescriptive period had not yet been complied with in 1989,
petitioner never acquired ownership of the subject land.

Neither can petitioner find refuge in the principle of laches. It is not just the lapse of time or delay that
constitutes laches. The essence of laches is the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length
of time, to do that which, through due diligence, could or should have been done earlier, thus giving rise to a
presumption that the party entitled to assert it had eitherabandoned or declined to assert it.

Records show that respondent heirs only learned about petitioners claim on their property when they
discovered the inscription for the cadastral survey in the records of the Bureau of Lands in 1989.
Respondents lost no time in demanding an explanation for said claim in their letters to the petitioner dated
March 1, 1989 and April 6, 1989. When petitioner ignored them, they instituted their complaint before the
Regional Trial Court of Cebu City on June 8, 1989.

Petitioner contends that, even if it failed to acquire ownership of the subject land, it nevertheless became
legally entitled to the easement of right of way over said land by virtue of prescription under Article 620 of
the Civil Code:

Continuous and apparent easements are acquired either by virtue of a title or by prescription of ten years.

Under civil law and its jurisprudence, easements are either continuous or discontinuous according to the
manner they are exercised, not according to the presence of apparent signs or physical indications of the
existence of such easements. Thus, an easement is continuous if its use is, or may be, incessant without the
intervention of any act of man, like the easement of drainage; and it is discontinuous if it is used at intervals
and depends on the act of man, like the easement of right of way.

The easement of right of way is considered discontinuous because it is exercised only if a person passes or
sets foot on somebody elses land. Like a road for the passage of vehicles or persons, an easement of right of
way of railroad tracks is discontinuous because the right is exercised only if and when a train operated by a
person passes over another's property. In other words, the very exercise of the servitude depends upon
the act or intervention of man which is the very essence of discontinuous easements.

The presence of more or less permanent railroad tracks does not in any way convert the nature of an
easement of right of way to one that is continuous. It is not the presence of apparent signs or physical
indications showing the existence of an easement, but rather the manner of exercise thereof, that categorizes
such easement into continuous or discontinuous. The presence of physical or visual signs only classifies an
easement into apparent or non-apparent. Thus, a road (which reveals a right of way) and a window (which
evidences a right to light and view) are apparent easements, while an easement of not building beyond a
certain height is non-apparent.

In this case, the presence of railroad tracks for the passage of petitioners trains denotes the existence of an
apparent but discontinuous easement of right of way. And under Article 622 of the Civil Code, discontinuous
easements, whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by title. Unfortunately, petitioner Bomedco
never acquired any title over the use of the railroad right of way whether by law, donation, testamentary
succession or contract. Its use of the right of way, however long, never resulted in its acquisition of the
easement because, under Article 622, the discontinuous easement of a railroad right of way can only
be acquired by title and not by prescription.
To be sure, beginning 1959 when the original 30-year grant of right of way given to petitioner Bomedco
expired, its occupation and use of Cadastral Lot No. 954 came to be by mere tolerance of the respondent
heirs. Thus, upon demand by said heirs in 1989 for the return of the subject land and the removal of the
railroad tracks, or, in the alternative, payment of compensation for the use thereof, petitioner Bomedco which
had no title to the land should have returned the possession thereof or should have begun paying
compensation for its use.


G.R. No. L-37409

May 23, 1988

FACTS: Valisno bought the land from the defendant-appellees sister, Honorata The land adjoins that of the
appellee Felipe on the bank of the Pampanga River. Both parcels of land had been inherited by Honorata and
Felipe, from their father, Eladio Adriano. At the time of the sale of the land to Valisno, the land was irrigated
by water from the Pampanga River through a canal traversing the Felipes land.

Later on, Felipe levelled a portion of the irrigation canal so that the Valisno was deprived of the irrigation
water and prevented from cultivating his land.

The Valisno filed in the Bureau of Public Works and Communications a complaint for deprivation of water
rights. A decision was rendered Felipe to reconstruct the irrigation canal, Instead of restoring the irrigation
canal, the Felipe asked for a reinvestigation of the case by the same Bureau. A reinvestigation was granted.

In the meantime, plaintiff Valisno rebuilt the irrigation canal at his own expense because his need for water
to irrigate his watermelon fields was urgent.

He later filed a complaint for damages in the CFI of Nueva Ecija claiming that he suffered damages when he
failed to plant his fields that year (1960) for lack of irrigation water.

The Secretary of Public Works and Communications reversed the Bureaus decision by issuing a final
resolution dismissing Valisnos complaint. The Secretary held that Eladio Adrianos water rights which had
been granted in 1923 ceased to be enjoyed by him in 1936 or 1937, when his irrigation canal collapsed. His
non-use of the water right since then for a period of more than five years extinguished the grant by operation
of law, hence the water rightsdid not form part of his hereditary estate which his heirs partitioned among
themselves. Valisno, as vendee of the land which Honorata received from her fathers estate did not acquire
any water rights with the land purchased.

In his answer to the damage suit, Felipe admitted that he levelled the irrigation canal on his land, but he
averred: that neither his late father nor his sister Honorata possessed water rights for the land which she sold
to the appellant. He set up a counterclaim for damages.

The trial court held that the plaintiff had no right to pass through the defendants land to draw water from the
Pampanga River. It pointed out that under Section 4 of the Irrigation Law, controversies between persons
claiming a right to water from a stream are within the jurisdiction of the Secretary of Public Works and his
decision on the matter is final, unless an appeal is taken to the proper court within thirty days. The court may
not pass upon the validity of the decision of the Public Works Secretary collaterally.. It dismissed the
complaint and counterclaim.

The Valisnos MR of the decision was denied by the trial court. The plaintiff appealed to the CA which
certified the case to Us upon the legal question of whether the provisions of the Irrigation Act (Act No. 2152)
or those of the Civil Code should apply to this case.

ISSUE: WON Valiano has water rights over the irrigation canal

HELD: The appealed decision is SET ASIDE.


The existence of the irrigation canal on defendants land for the passage of water from the Pampanga River
to Honoratas land prior to and at the time of the sale of Honoratas land to the plaintiff was equivalent to a
title for the vendee of the land to continue using it as provided in Article 624 of the Civil Code:

Article 624. The existence of an apparent sign of easement between two estates, established or maintained by
the owner of both shall be considered,should either of them be alienated, as a title in order that he easement
may continue actively and passively, unless at the time, the ownership of the two estates is divided, the
contrary should be provided in the title of conveyance of either of them, or the sign aforesaid should be
removed before the execution of the deed.

This provision shall also apply in case of the division of a thing owned in common on by two or more
persons (Civil Code)

This provision was lifted from Article 122 of the Spanish Law of Waters which provided:

Article 122. Whenever a tract of irrigated land which previously received its waters from a single point is
divided through inheritance, sale or by virtue of some other title, between two or more owners, the owners of
the higher estates are under obligation to give free passage to the water as an easement of conduit for the
irrigation of the lower estates, and without right to any compensation therefore unless otherwise
stipulated in the deed of conveyance. (Art. 122, Spanish Law of Waters of August 3, 1866.)

The deed of sale in favor of Valisno included the conveyance and transfer of the water rights and
improvements appurtenant to Honoratas property. By the terms of the Deed of Absolute Sale, the vendor
Honorata Adriano Francisco sold, ceded, conveyed and transferred to Dr. Nicolas Valisno allrights, title,
interest and participations over the parcel of land above- described, together with [irrigation equipment] and
the water rights and such other improvements appertaining to the property subject of this sale. According to
the Valisno, the water right was the primary consideration for his purchase of Honoratas property, for
without it the property would be unproductive.

Water rights, such as the right to use a drainage ditch for irrigation purposes, which are appurtenant to a
parcel of land, pass with the conveyance of the land, although not specifically mentioned in the
conveyance. The purchasers easement of necessity in a water ditch running across the grantors land cannot
be defeated even if the water is supplied by a third person

As an easement of waters in favor of Valisno has been established, he is entitled to enjoy it free from
obstruction, disturbance or wrongful interference, such as the Felipes act of levelling the irrigation canal to
deprive him of the use of water from the Pampanga River.
TAEDO v BERNAD- Extinguishment of
An easement continues by operation of law. Alienation of the D and S estates to different persons is not a
ground for extinguishment of easements absent a statement extinguishing it.

Antonio Cardenas (resp) is the original owner of 2 parcels of land (7501-A and 7501-B). He constructed an
apartment bldg in Lot A and in Lot B he constructed an apartment, house, bodega and a septic tank for
common use of the occupants of the two lots.

Cardenas sold Lot A and mortgaged Lot B to Eduardo Taedo (pet). He also agreed that should be decide to
sell Lot B he would sell it to Taedo. However, Cardenas sold Lot B to Spouses Sim (resp). Sim blocked the
sewage pipe connecting the building on Lot A to the septic tank. He also asked Tanedo to remove that
portion of his building encroaching Lot B.

Taedo filed an action for legal redemption and damages against resps. Cardenas admitted that he had agreed
to sell the lot to pet and claimed by way of cross claim against spouses Sim that the Deed of Sale he had
executed was only intended as an equitable mortgage. RTC dismissed the complaint and the cross claim.

Whether or not the right to continue to use the septic tank ceased upon the subdivision of the land and its
subsequent sale to different owners.

The alienation of the dominant and servient estates to different persons is not one of the grounds for the
extinguishment of an easement. On the contrary, use of the easement is continued by operation of law as
provided in Art 624 because no abolishment or extinguishment was provided in the deed of absolute sale.
Nor did Cardenas stop the use of the drain pipe and septic tanks before he sold the lots. Accordingly, the
spouses Sim cannot impair, in any manner, the use of the servitude.

RONQUILLO vs. ROCO- Easement of Right of

Easements of right of way may not be acquired by prescription because it is not a continuous easement.

Petitioners parcel of land was connected to the Naga Market Place and Igualdad St. by an easement of a
right of way through the land of the Respondents, which they have been using for more than 20 years. On
May 1953, however, respondents built a chapel right in the middle of the road, blocking their usual path to
the marketplace. One year after, by means of force, intimidation, and threats, the owners (respondents) of the
land where the easement was situated, planted wooden posts and fenced with barbed wires the road, closing
their right of way from their house to Igualdad St. and Naga public market.

Whether or not the easement of a right of way may be acquired by prescription?

Art. 620 of the CC provides that only continuous and apparent easements may be acquired by prescription.
The easement of a right of way cannot be considered continuous because its use is at intervals and is
dependent on the acts of man.

Minority Opinion (including the ponente):

Easements of right of way may already be acquired by prescription, at least since the introduction into this
jurisdiction of the special law on prescription through the Old Code of Civil Procedure, Act No. 190. Said
law, particularly, Section 41 thereof, makes no distinction as to the real rights which are subject to
prescription, and there would appear to be no valid reason, at least to the writer of this opinion, why the
continued use of a path or a road or right of way by the party, specially by the public, for ten years or more,
not by mere tolerance of the owner of the land, but through adverse use of it, cannot give said party a vested
right to such right of way through prescription.

The uninterrupted and continuous enjoyment of a right of way necessary to constitute adverse possession
does not require the use thereof every day for the statutory period, but simply the exercise of the right more
or less frequently according to the nature of the use. (17 Am. Jur. 972)
"It is submitted that under Act No. 190, even discontinuous servitudes can be acquired by prescription,
provided it can be shown that the servitude was actual, open, public, continuous, under a claim of title
exclusive of any other right and adverse to all other claimants'."


of Way
The convenience of the dominant estate is not the gauge for the grant of compulsory right of way but rather,
it should satisfy all four requisites (emphasis on 1st requisite- it should be merely for convenience but it must
be due to the fact that the dominant estate does not have an adequate outlet to a public highway.

Petitioners owned a lot wherein they started constructing their beach hotel. Before such construction, the
private respondent, in going to and from their respective properties and the provincial road, passed through a
passageway which traversed the petitioners property. As a result of the construction, this passageway,
including the alternative route, was obstructed. Private respondent filed for injunction plus damages. In the
same complaint the private respondents also alleged that the petitioner had constructed a dike on the beach
fronting the latters property without the necessary permit, obstructing the passage of the residents and local
fishermen, and trapping debris of flotsam on the beach. The private respondent also claim that the have
acquired the right of way through prescription. They prayed for the re-opening of the ancient road right of
way (what they called the supposed easement in this case) and the destruction of the dike. Petitioner
answered by saying that their predecessor in interests act of allowing them to pass was gratuitous and in
fact, they were just tolerating the use of the private respondents. CA ruled in favor of the private respondents.

1) Whether or not easement of right and way can be acquired through prescription?
2) Whether or not the private respondents had acquired an easement of right of way in the form of a
passageway, on the petitioners property?

1) NO. Easement of right of way is discontinuous thus it cannot be subject to acquisitive prescription.

2) NO. one may validly claim an easement of right of way when he has proven the: (1) the dominant estate is
surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway; (2) proper indemnity has
been paid; (3) the isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate; (4) the right of way
claimed is at point least prejudicial to the servient estate. The private respondent failed to prove that there is
no adequate outlet from their respective properties to a public highway; in fact the lower court confirmed that
there is another outlet for the private respondents to the main road (yet they ruled in favor of the private
respondents). Apparently, the CA lost sight of the fact that the convenience of the dominant estate was never
a gauge for the grant of compulsory right of way. There must be a real necessity and not mere convenience
for the dominant estate to acquire such easement. Also, the private respondents made no mention of their
intention to indemnify the petitioners. The SC also clarified that least prejudicial prevails over shortest
distance (so shortest distance isnt necessarily the best choice.)


Easement of Right of Way
An easement of right of way exists as a matter of law when a private property has no access to a public road
and the needs of such property determines the width of the easement which requires payment of indemnity
which consists of the value of the land and the amount of the damages caused.

Tomas Encarnacion is the owner of the dominant estate which is bounded on the north by the servient estates
of Eusebio de Sagun and Mamerto Masigno, on the south by a dried river and the Taal Lake. The servient
estate is bounded on the north by the National Highway.

Prior to 1960, persons going to the national highway would just cross the servient estate at no particular
point. In 1960, Sagun and Masigno enclosed their lands with a fence but provided a roadpath 25 meters long
and about 1 meter in width. At this time, Encarnacion started his plant nursery business on his land. When his
business flourished, it became more difficult to transfer the plants and garden soil through the use of a
pushcart so Encarnacion bought an owner-type jeep for transporting the plants. However, the jeep could not
pass through the roadpath so he approached Sagun and Masigno asking them if they would sell to him 1
meters of their property to add to the existing roadpath but the 2 refused the offer.
Encarnacion then instituted an action before the RTC to seek the issuance of a writ of easement of a right of
way over an additional width of at least 2 meters. The RTC dismissed the complaint for there is another
outlet, which is through the dried river bed. This was affirmed by the CA thus the case at bar.

Whether or not Encarnacion is entitled to an widening of an already existing easement of right-of-way

Encarnacion has sufficiently established his claim. Generally, a right of way may be demanded: (1) when
there is absolutely no access to a public highway, and (2) when, even if there is one, it is difficult or
dangerous to use or is grossly insufficient. In the case at bar, although there is a dried river bed, t it traversed
by a semi-concrete bridge and there is no egress or ingress from the highway. For the jeep to reach the level
of the highway, it must literally jump 4-5 meters up. And during rainy season, it is impassable due to the
floods. When a private property has no access to a public road, it has the right of easement over adjacent
servient estates as a matter of law. With the non-availability of the dried river bed as an alternative route, the
servient estates should accommodate the needs of the dominant estate. Art. 651 provides that the width of
the easement of right of way shall be that which is sufficient for the needs of the dominant estate To
grant the additional easement of right of way of 1 meters, Encarnacion must indemnify Sagun and
Masigno the value of the land occupied plus amount of the damages caused until his offer to buy the land is


CO.- Easement and Servitudes
Servitudes are merely accessories to the tenement of which they form part, and even if they are possessed of
a separate juridical existence, they cannot be alienated from the tenement or mortgaged separately.

Note: In a personal servitude, there is no "owner of a dominant tenement" to speak of, and the easement
pertains to persons without a dominant estate, in this case, the public at large. (Merger, which presupposes
ownership, is not possible.)

Solid Manila Corp. is the owner of a parcel of land located in Ermita. The same lies in the vicinity of another
parcel registered under Bio Hong Trading whose title came from a prior owner. In the deed of sale between
Bio Hong and the vendor, 900 sqm of the lot was reserved as an easement of way.
The construction of the private alley was annotated on Bio Hongs title stating among other things "(6) That
the alley shall remain open at all times, and no obstructions whatsoever shall be placed thereon; and (7) that
the owner of the lot on which the alley has been constructed shall allow the public to use the same, and allow
the City to lay pipes for sewer and drainage purposes, and shall not act (sic) for any indemnity for the use

The petitioner claims that ever since, it (along with other residents of neighboring estates) made use of the
above private alley and maintained and contributed to its upkeep, until sometime in 1983, when, and over its
protests, the private respondent constructed steel gates that precluded unhampered use.
On December 6, 1984, the petitioner commenced suit for injunction against the private respondent, to have
the gates removed and to allow full access to the easement.

The trial court ordered Bi Hong to open the gates but the latter argued that the easement has been
extinguished by merger in the same person of the dominant and servient estates upon the purchase of the
property from its former owner.

CA reversed holding that an easement is a mere limitation on ownership and that it does not impair the
private respondent's title, and that since the private respondent had acquired title to the property, "merger"
brought about an extinguishment of the easement.

Thus, Solid went to the SC alleging that the very deed of sale executed between the Bio Hong and the
previous owner of the property "excluded" the alley in question, and that in any event, the intent of the
parties was to retain the "alley" as an easement notwithstanding the sale.

[While the case was pending, Bio Hong asked the RTC to cancel the annotation in question, which it granted
subject to the final outcome of the prior case.]

1) Whether or not easements may be alienated (sold) from the tenement or mortgaged separately
2) Whether or not the easement had been extinguished by merger.

HELD: NO to both
1) The sale included the alley. The court rejected Solids contention that the alley was not included in the
sale. It was included but there was a limitation on its use-the easement. As a mere right of way, it cannot be
separated from the tenement and maintain an independent existence. (Art. 617)
Even though Bio Hong acquired ownership over the property including the disputed alley as a result of
the conveyance, it did not acquire the right to close that alley or otherwise put up obstructions thereon and
thus prevent the public from using it, because as a servitude, the alley is supposed to be open to the public.

2) No genuine merger took place as a consequence of the sale in favor of the private respondent corporation.
According to the Civil Code, a merger exists when ownership of the dominant and servient estates is
consolidated in the same person. Merger requires full ownership of both estates.
Note that The servitude in question is a personal servitude (established for the benefit of a community, or of
one or more persons to whom the encumbered estate does not belong). In a personal servitude, there is
therefore no "owner of a dominant tenement" to speak of, and the easement pertains to persons without a
dominant estate, in this case, the public at large. Thus, merger could not have been possible.

FLORO v. LLENADO- Legal Easement

A legal easement cannot arise merely for the convenience of the dominant estate. The owner must prove that
the easement is absolutely necessary and least restrictive on the servient estate.
Mr Floro owned the Floro Park Subdivision situated in Bulacan. The subdivision has its own access roads
from the MacArthur Highway through road lot 4. Another fellow, Llenado, owned the Llenado Homes
Subdivision. He obtained the same from Mr. de Castro, when it was known as the Emmanuel Homes
Subdivision, Llenado Homes was bounded on the south by the Palanas Creek, 5 which separates it from the
Floro Park Subdivision. To the west sat the ricelands belonging to Marcial Ipapo. The controversy brewed
since Llenado Homes did not have any passage to the MacArthur Highway. However, a proposed access road
passing the abandoned riceland of Marcial Ipapo has been specifically provided in the subdivision plan of the
former Emmanuel Homes Subdivision. This plan was approved by the HLURB.
Because the access road through the Ipapo Riceland did not exist yet, the Llenados sought, and were granted,
oral permission by the Floros to use Road Lots 4 and 5 of the Floro Park . At this point, remember that the
agreement was merely provisional as the parties were still drafting a contract.
Later, Floro discovered grave damage to the lots in question from the passage of heavy machinery. He then
barricaded Road Lot 5 with a pile of rocks, wooden posts and adobe stones. He essentially implied Llenados
to keep out off property.

Llenado pursued an easement claim with the RTC. The RTC denied the request. On appeal by LLenado, and
ordered that Mr. Floro remove the barricades. Mr. Floro went to the SC

Whether or not the requirements for legal easement existed to allow Llenado to claim the same against Mr.

As in the earlier case, the court held that to be entitled to a compulsory easement of right of way, the
preconditions provided under Arts. 649 and 650 of the Civil Code must be established. These include:
that the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway;
(2) that proper indemnity has been paid; (3) that the isolation was not due to acts of the proprietor of the
dominant estate; (4) that the right of way claimed is at a point least prejudicial to the servient estate and, in
so far as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be
the shortest.

For this case, it is apparent that the elements have not been met. The original subdivision development plan
presented by Llenado indicates an existing and prior agreement with Ms. Ipapo to create a right of way
through the abandoned Ipapo ricefield. Ipapo had long agreed to these terms but Llenado apparently thought
it too much work and cost to develop such road. It was easier for him to create an easement via the Floro

The court ruled time and again that one may not claim a legal easement merely out of convenience.
Convenience motivated Llenando to abandon the Ipapo access road development and pursue an access road
through the Floro estate. He was stacking the cards in his favor to the unnecessary detriment of his neighbor.
The court refused to countenance his behavior.

QUIMEN V. CA- Easement

When the easement may be established on any of several tenements surrounding the dominant estate, the one
where the way is shortest and will cause the least damage should be chosen. However, as elsewhere stated, if
these two (2) circumstances do not concur in a single tenement, the way which will cause the least damage
should be used, even if it will not be the shortest.

Anastacia Quimen, together with her 3 brothers and sister, inherited a piece of property in Bulacan. They
agreed to subdivide the property equally among themselves. The shares of Anastacia and 3 other siblings
were next to the municipal road. Anastacias was at the extreme left of the road while the lots on the right
were sold by her brothers to Catalina Santos. A portion of the lots behind Anastacias were sold by her (as her
brothers adminstratix) brother to Yolanda.

Yolanda was hesitant to buy the back property at first because it d no access to the public road. Anastacia
prevailed upon her by assuring her that she would give her a right of way on her adjoining property (which
was in front) for p200 per square meter.

Yolonda constructed a house on the lot she bought using as her passageway to the public highway a portion
of anastacias property. But when yolanda finally offered to pay for the use of the pathway anastacia refused
to accept the payment. In fact she was thereafter barred by Anastacia from passing through her property.

After a few years, Yolanda purchased another lot from the Quimens (a brother), located directly behind the
property of her parents who provided her a pathway gratis et amore between their house, extending about
19m from the lot of Yolanda behind the sari-sari store of one brother, and Anastacias perimeter fence.

In 1987, Yolanda filed an action with the proper court praying for a right of way through Anastacias
property. The proposed right of way was at the extreme right of Anastacias property facing the public
highway, starting from the back of the sari-sari store and extending inward by 1m to her property and turning
left for about 5m to avoid the store in order to reach the municipal road. The way was unobstructed except
for an avocado tree standing in the middle.

The trial court dismissed the complaint for lack of cause of action, explaining that the right of way through
the brothers property was a straight path and to allow a detour by cutting through Anastacias property
would no longer make the path straight. They held that it was more practical to extend the existing pathway
to the public road by removing that portion of the store blocking the path as that was the shortest route to the
public road and the least prejudicial to the parties concerned than passing through Anastacias property.

CA reversed and held that Yolanda was entitled to a right of way on Anastacias property. The court,
however, did not award damages to her and held that Anastacia was not in bad faith when she resisted the

Anastacia went to the SC alleging that her lot should be considered as a servient estate despite the fact that it
does not abut or adjoin the property of private respondent. She denies ever promising Yolonda a right of way.

Anastacia also argues that when Yolanda purchased the second lot, the easement of right of way she provided
was ipso jure extinguished as a result of the merger of ownership of the dominant and the servient estates in
one person so that there was no longer any compelling reason to provide private respondent with a right of
way as there are other surrounding lots suitable for the purpose.

She also strongly maintains that the proposed right of way is not the shortest access to the public road
because of the detour and that, moreover, she is likely to suffer the most damage as she derives a net income
of P600.00 per year from the sale of the fruits of her avocado tree, and considering that an avocado has an
average life span of seventy (70) years, she expects a substantial earning from it.
1) Whether or not there was a valid grant of an easement
2) Whether or not the right of way proposed by Yolonda is the least onerous/least prejudicial to the parties

HELD: YES to both

1) A right of way in particular is a privilege constituted by covenant or granted by law to a person or class of
persons to pass over anothers property when his tenement is surrounded by realties belonging to others
without an adequate outlet to the public highway. The owner of the dominant estate can demand a right of
way through the servient estate provided he indemnifies the owner thereof for the beneficial use of his

The conditions for a valid grant of an easement of right of way are:

(a) the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables without an adequate outlet to a public highway;
(b) the dominant estate is willing to pay the proper indemnity;
(c) the isolation was not due to the acts of the dominant estate; and,
(d) the right of way being claimed is at a point least prejudicial to the servient estate.

These elements were clearly present. The evidence clearly shows that the property of private respondent is
hemmed in by the estates of other persons including that of petitioner; that she offered to pay P200.00 per
square meter for her right of way as agreed between her and petitioner; that she did not cause the isolation of
her property; that the right of way is the least prejudicial to the servient estate. These facts are confirmed in
the ocular inspection report of the clerk of court, more so that the trial court itself declared that [t]he said
properties of Antonio Quimen which were purchased by plaintiff Yolanda Quimen Oliveros were totally
isolated from the public highway and there appears an imperative need for an easement of right of way to the
public highway.

2) Article 650 of the NCC explicitly states that the easement of right of way shall be established at the point
least prejudicial to the servient estate and, insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the
dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest.

The criterion of least prejudice to the servient estate must prevail over the criterion of shortest distance
although this is a matter of judicial appreciation. When the easement may be established on any of several
tenements surrounding the dominant estate, the one where the way is shortest and will cause the least
damage should be chosen. However, as elsewhere stated, if these two (2) circumstances do not concur in a
single tenement, the way which will cause the least damage should be used, even if it will not be the shortest.

TCs findings:
> Yolandas property was situated at the back of her fathers property and held that there existed an available
space of about 19m long which could conveniently serve as a right of way between the boundary line and the
house of Yolanda s father
> The vacant space ended at the left back of the store which was made of strong materials
> Which explained why Yolanda requested a detour to the lot of Anastacia and cut an opening of one (1)
meter wide and five (5) meters long to serve as her right of way to the public highway.

CAs finding:
> The proposed right of way of Yolanda, which is 1m wide and 5m long at the extreme right of Anastacias
property will cause the least prejudice and/or damage as compared to the suggested passage through the
property of Yolanda s father which would mean destroying the sari-sari store made of strong materials.
Absent any showing that these findings and conclusion are devoid of factual support in the records, or are so
glaringly erroneous, the SC accepts and adopts them. As between a right of way that would demolish a store
of strong materials to provide egress to a public highway, and another right of way which although longer
will only require an avocado tree to be cut down, the second alternative should be preferred.


Easement of Right of Way
Like any other contractual stipulation, a voluntary easement cannot be extinguished except by voluntary
recession of the contract establishing the servitude or renunciation by the owner of the dominant lots.

The controversy in this case is regarding the right of way in Manyan road. The road is a 15 meter wide road
abutting Katipunan Avenue on the west, traverses the edges of La Vista Subdivision on the north and of the
Ateneo de Manila University and Maryknoll College on the south. The said road was originally owned by the
Tuasons sold a portion of their land to Philippine Building Corporation. Included in such sale was half or 7.5
meters width of the Mangyan road. The said corporation assigned its rights, with the consent of the tuasons,
to AdMU through a Deed of Assignment with Assumption of Mortgage. Ateneo later on sold to Maryknoll
the western portion of the land. Tuason developed their land which is now known as La Vista. On January,
1976, Ateneo and La Vista acknowledged the voluntary easement or a Mutual right of way wherein the
parties would allow the other to use their half portion of the Manyan road (La Vista to use AdMUs 7.5
meters of the mangyan road and also the other way around.) Ateneo auctioned off the property wherein Solid
Homes Inc., the developer of Loyola Grand Villas, was the highest bidder.

ADMU transferred not only the property, but also the right to negotiate the easement on the road. However,
La Vista did not want to recognize the easement thus they block the road using 6 cylindrical concrete and
some guards over the entrance of the road blocking the entrance of the residents of Loyola Grand Villas.
Solid Homes Inc. filed for injunction and La vista in turn filed a third party complaint against AdMU. Some
of the arguments of the petitioner were that Loyola residents had adequate outlet to a public highway using
other roads and also that AdMU has not yet finalized the negotiation of the easement.

ISSUES: Whether or not there is an easement of right of way?

There was a voluntary easement of right of way which was acknowledged on January 1976 by the Tuasons
and Admu (the easement was established by PBC and the Tuasons but I dont think I can find the details
regarding it in the case I just saw the one regarding acknowledgement between admu and the Tuasons.)
Being such, the 4 requisites for a compulsory easement need not be met. And like any other contractual
stipulation, the same cannot be extinguished except by voluntary recession of the contract establishing the
servitude or renunciation by the owner of the dominant lots. In the case at bar, all the predecessors-in-interest
of both parties recognized the existence of such easement and there was no agreement yet to revoke the
same. The free ingress and egress along Mangyan Road created by the voluntary agreement is thus

The Court also emphasized that they are not creating an easement but merely declaring one (there no such
thing as a judicial easement)
Personal Easement
Construction of a house on the lot of another to facilitate the utilization of usufruct may constitute as
personal easement pursuant to Article 614.

Edilberto Alcantara et. al. filed with the RTC, Davao City a complaint against Cornelio B. Reta, Jr. for the
exercise of the right of first refusal under Presidential Decree No. 1517, injunction with preliminary
injunction, attorney's fees and nullity of amicable settlement.

Alcantara et. al. claimed that they were tenants or lessees of the land; that the land has been converted by
Reta into a commercial center; and that Reta is threatening to eject them from the land. They assert that they
have the right of first refusal to purchase the land in accordance with Section 3(g) of Presidential Decree No.
1517 since they are legitimate tenants or lessees thereof.

They also claimed that the amicable settlement executed between Reta and Ricardo Roble was void ab initio
for being violative of Presidential Decree No. 1517.

Whether petitioners have the right of first refusal under Presidential Decree No. 1517.

No right of first refusal. The area involved has not been proclaimed an Urban Land Reform Zone (ULRZ). In
fact, Alcantara et. al. filed a petition with the National Housing Authority requesting that the land they were
occupying be declared as an ULRZ. On May 27, 1986, the request was referred to Mr. Jose L. Atienza,
General Manager, National Housing Authority, for appropriate action. The request was further referred to
acting mayor Zafiro Respicio, Davao City, as per 2nd Indorsement dated July 1, 1986. Clearly, the request to
have the land proclaimed as an ULRZ would not be necessary if the property was an ULRZ.

Presidential Decree No. 1517, otherwise known as "The Urban Land Reform Act," pertains to areas
proclaimed as Urban Land Reform Zones.11 Consequently, petitioners cannot claim any right under the said
law since the land involved is not an ULRZ.

To be able to qualify and avail oneself of the rights and privileges granted by the said decree, one must be:
(1) a legitimate tenant of the land for ten (10) years or more; (2) must have built his home on the land by
contract; and, (3) has resided continuously for the last ten (10) years. Obviously, those who do not fall within
the said category cannot be considered "legitimate tenants" and, therefore, not entitled to the right of first
refusal to purchase the property should the owner of the land decide to sell the same at a reasonable price
within a reasonable time.

Respondent Reta allowed petitioner Ricardo Roble to use sixty-two (62) coconut trees for P186 from where
he gathered tuba. This arrangement would show that it is a usufruct and not a lease. Usufruct gives a right to
enjoy the property of another with the obligation of preserving its form and substance, unless the title
constituting it or the law otherwise provides.
Petitioner Roble was allowed to construct his house on the land because it would facilitate his gathering of
tuba. This would be in the nature of a personal easement under Article 614 of the Civil Code.
Whether the amicable settlement is valid or not, the conclusion would still be the same since the agreement
was one of usufruct and not of lease. Thus, petitioner Roble is not a legitimate tenant as defined by
Presidential Decree No. 1517.
Villanueva vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 143286 April 14, 2004
FACTS: On 13 October 1988, Eusebia Retuya filed a complaint before the trial court against her husband
Nicolas Retuya, Pacita Villanueva and Nicolas son with Pacita, Procopio Villanueva. Eusebia sought the
reconveyance from Nicolas and Pacita of several properties (subject properties), claiming that such are her
conjugal properties with Nicolas. Plaintiff Eusebia, is the legal wife of defendant Nicolas, having been
married on October 7, 1926. Out of the lawful wedlock, they begot five (5) children. Spouses Retuya resided
at Mandaue City. During their marriage, they acquired real properties and all improvements situated in
Mandaue City, and Consolacion, Cebu. Nicolas is the co-owner of a parcel of land situated in Mandaue City
which he inherited from his parents Esteban Retuya and Balbina Solon as well as the purchasers of
hereditary shares of approximately eight (8) parcels of land in Mandaue City. Some of the properties earn
income from coconuts leased to corporations

In 1945, Nicolas no longer lived with his legitimate family and cohabited with defendant, Pacita Villanueva,
wherein Procopio Villanueva, is their illegitimate son. Nicolas, then, was the only person who received the
income of the properties. Pacita, from the time she started living in concubinage with Nicolas, has no
occupation. She had no properties of her own from which she could derive income. From the time Nicolas
suffered stroke until the present, his illegitimate son is already the one who has been receiving the income of
his properties

Settlement between parties was asked but not met. Trial court in favor of Eusebia Natuya. Petitioners
appealed. Eusebia died, and was then substituted by her heirs. CA upheld trial courts decision

ISSUE: Whether or not the subject properties acquired during the marriage between Eusebia and Procopio
are conjugal

HELD: YES, they are conjugal. Petition denied; decision of CA affirmed

RATIO: The Family Code provisions on conjugal partnerships govern the property relations between Nicolas
and Eusebia even if they were married before the effectivity of Family Code.

Article 105 of the Family Code explicitly mandates that the Family Code shall apply to conjugal partnerships
established before the Family Code without prejudice to vested rights already acquired under the Civil Code
or other laws. Thus, under the Family Code, if the properties are acquired during the marriage, the
presumption is that they are conjugal. The burden of proof is on the party claiming that they are not conjugal.
This is counter-balanced by the requirement that the properties must first be proven to have been acquired
during the marriage before they are presumed conjugal.

Nicolas and Eusebia were married on 7 October 1926. Nicolas and Pacita started cohabiting in 1936. Eusebia
died on 23 November 1996. Pacita and Nicolas were married on 16 December 1996. Petitioners themselves
admit that Lot No. 152 was purchased on 4 October 1957. The date of acquisition of Lot No. 152 is clearly
during the marriage of Nicolas and Eusebia.

Since the subject properties, including Lot No. 152, were acquired during the marriage of Nicolas and
Eusebia, the presumption under Article 116 of the Family Code is that all these are conjugal properties of
Nicolas and Eusebia.
CA- Easement and Just Compensation
When a land, originally public land is awarded to a provate individual, a legal easement may be constituted
and thus no just compensation is required. It would be otherwise if the land were originally private property,
in which case, just compensation must be paid for the taking of a part thereof for public use as an easement
of a right of way.

A free patent over three (3) hectares of land, situated in the province of Cagayan was issued in the name of
Vicente Manglapus, and registered under OCT No. P-24814. The land was granted subject to the following
proviso expressly stated in the title:

"... it shall not be subject to any encumbrance whatsoever in favor of any corporation, association or
partnership except with the consent of the grantee and the approval of the Secretary of Agriculture and
Natural Resources and solely for educational, religious or charitable purposes or for a right of way; and
subject finally to all conditions and public easements and servitudes recognized and prescribed by law
especially those mentioned in sections 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114 of Commonwealth Act No. 141 as

Subsequently, respondent Manglapus acquired the lot from Vicente Manglapus by absolute sale.
Sometime in 1982, NIA was to construct canals in Amulung, Cagayan and Alcala, Cagayan. NIA then
entered a portion of Manglapus' land and made diggings and fillings thereon. Manglapus filed a complaint
for damages against NIA.

Whether or not the NIA should pay Manglapus just compensation for the taking of a portion of his property
for use as easement of a right of way.

The transfer certificate of title contains such a reservation. It states that title to the land shall be:
". . . subject to the provisions of said Land Registration Act and the Public Land Act, as well as those of
Mining Laws, if the land is mineral, and subject, further to such conditions contained in the original title as
may be subsisting."

Under the Original Certificate of Title, there was a reservation and condition that the land is subject to "to all
conditions and public easements and servitudes recognized and prescribed by law especially those mentioned
in Sections 109, 110, 111, 112, 113 and 114, Commonwealth Act No. 141, as amended." This reservation,
unlike the other provisos imposed on the grant, was not limited by any time period and thus is a subsisting

Section 112, Commonwealth Act No. 141, provides that lands granted by patent,
"shall further be subject to a right of way sot exceeding twenty meters in width for public highways,
railroads,irrigation ditches, aqueducts, telegraphs and telephone lines, and similar works..."
We note that the canal NIA constructed was only eleven (11) meters in width. This is well within the limit
provided by law. Manglapus has therefore no cause to complain.

Article 619 of the Civil Code provides that, "Easements are established either by law or by the will of the
owners. The former are called legal and the latter voluntary easements." In the present case, we find and
declare that a legal easement of a right-of-way exists in favor of the government.

The land was originally public land, and awarded to respondent Manglapus by free patent. The ruling would
be otherwise if the land were originally private property, in which case, just compensation must be paid for
the taking of a part thereof for public use as an easement of a right of way.
Choco v. Santamaria 21 Phil. 132


The defendant in the building of his house, has made several openings and windows in the walls of the house
on both sides overlooking then property of the plaintiff; that at the time the defendant was building his house,
and the windows and the openings were being made, the plaintiffs protested, and later on and in the year
1905made written protest and demand on the defendant, and the defendant received the written protest and
referred it to his counsel, who, from the evidence, appears to have suggested an amicable and adjustment of
the matter, but the adjustment was not made,and this action was brought. The Trial Court rendered judgment
in favor of the plaintiffs,Severina and Flora Choco, and against the defendant, Isidro Santamaria, forever
prohibiting the opening of the window stated, which must be closed, and forever prohibiting the opening of
the windows and openings marked, which must be closed or made to conform to the requirements of law
with regard to dimensions and an iron grate embedded in the wall, with the costs of the action.


Whether or not the lower court erred by not ordering in his judgment the final and perpetual closing of the
large window opened in the balcony of the back part of the appellee's house and that, though the appellant's
lot can be seen through the window, it is not contiguous to the latter's property.


To judge from the photographic views, it opens on the boundary line between the said lot and that the
appellee and is situated perpendicularly above a part of the wall that belongs to the appellants. This opinion
is corroborated by the testimony of the defendant's witness who took the said photographs, in so far as he
said that "a part of
the window in question is in front of the plaintiffs' property, since between it and theplaintiffs' property there
does not intervene the distance required by law that of two meters in the first case, and 60 centimeters in
the second, therefore, its opening is a manifest violation of the provisions of article 582 of the Civil Code
which reads as follows:
Windows with direct views, or balconies or any similar openings projecting over the estate of the neighbor,
cannot be made if there is not a distance of, at least, 2 meters between the wall in which they are built and
said estate. Neither can side nor oblique views be opened over said property, unless there is a distance of

Because of the lack of the distance required by law, the window in question must be closed, and
consequently the judgment appealed from should be modified in this sense, as regards this window.