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6. G.R. No. 149125 August 9, 2007 2.

It must be noted that the “new” pathway used by respondents,


Resurreccion Obra, petitioner vs Sps. Victoriano Badua, however, traversed the southern portion of petitioner’s property.
respondent 3. Sometime in 2001, petitioner constructed a fence on this portion of
her lot, which again restricted the use of respondents’ “new” pathway.
Facts: 4. Aggrieved and prejudiced by petitioner’s action, respondents filed a
1. The case arose from a Complaint for Easement of Right-of-Way filed Motion to Enforce the July 7, 2000 Decision of the RTC. They alleged
by respondents against Anacleto and Resurreccion Obra, Donato and that the Decision of the RTC dismissing the case was based on the
Lucena Bucasas, and Paulino and Crisanta Badua before the RTC. existence of a new pathway which they had been using since 1995.
Defendant Anacleto Obra of that case is the husband of the petitioner Thus, they asserted that petitioner was prohibited from closing said
now. passage.
> In that case, the respondents alleged that their residential houses, > The RTC granted the said motion.
erected on a lot commonly owned by them were located west of the > Petitioner Obra filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but it was rejected
properties of the Obras, Bucasases, and Baduas. Their only access to in the trial court Order.
the national highway was a pathway traversing the northern portion of 5. Clarifying its July 7, 2000 Decision, the trial court, in its March 20,
petitioner’s property and the southern portion of the properties of the 2001 Order, held that the dismissal of the complaint depended on
Bucasases and Baduas. The pathway was more than one meter wide petitioner’s representation that she was allowing respondents to use
and sixteen meters long. They claimed that this pathway had been the southern portion of her property as an alternative pathway. Since
established as early as 1955. In 1995, however, petitioner Obra the southern portion was an “agreed pathway,” petitioner could not
constructed a fence on the northern boundary of their property; thus, reduce its width; thus, the trial court ordered petitioner to remove the
blocking respondents’ access to the national highway. Respondents fence blocking the passage.
demanded the demolition of the fence, but petitioner refused.
> In her Answer, petitioner averred that respondents had not The Issue
established any easement of right-of-way either by law or agreement. Essentially, petitioner questions the propriety of the trial
She claimed that respondents failed to satisfy the requisites provided in court’s issuance of an order clarifying its final and executory decision
Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil Code in order to establish an easement and effectively establishing an easement on petitioner’s property
of right-of-way on the northern portion of her property. Moreover, she without proper adjudication.
alleged that respondents had another access as ingress and egress to
the public road other than the one traversing her property. The Court’s Ruling
> The spouses Badua and Bucasas, the other respondents, failed to file The petition is impressed with merit.
an answer; consequently, they were declared in default. With the 2000 decision of the RTC, the respondents claim that there
> The RTC dismissed the complaint and held that the respondents had been established an easement on the southern portion of the
“were not able to satisfy all the requisites needed for their claim of an petitioner’s property, but the petitioner asserts that the trial court’s
easement of right of way.” reference to the “new” pathway was merely a declaration of its
> It observed that when petitioner fenced the northern portion of her existence and not necessarily a creation of an easement of right-of-way.
property, respondents were able to use another pathway as ingress and We agree with petitioner’s postulation.
egress to the highway. It stated further that “the new pathway is more When the RTC dismissed the case in its July 7, 2000 Decision, it
than adequate” for respondents’ use. Thus, the applied easement of ruled that respondents had no cause of action against petitioner and
right-of-way on the northern portion of petitioner’s property was not her husband, Anacleto, because they failed to satisfy one of the four
allowed. The said Decision became final and executory. requisites for the entitlement of a right-of-way, namely—that the
dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and is without trial court, by issuing its March 20, 2001 Order directing petitioner to
adequate outlet to a public highway. The trial court took note of the remove the fence that limited respondents’ passage, effectively created
fact that the new pathway which incidentally traversed the southern a right-of-way on petitioner’s property in favor of respondents
portion of petitioner’s lot is an adequate outlet to a public highway. allegedly on the basis of a voluntary agreement between the parties.
While its body mentioned the existence of an alternative pathway This directive was in contravention of its July 7, 2000 Decision; thus, it
located south of petitioner’s lot, such was made only to emphasize that was null and void for having been issued outside of the court’s
respondents failed to satisfy the requirements for an easement of right- jurisdiction.
of-way. Granting for the sake of argument that the issue of voluntary easement
of right-of-way, subject of the assailed March 20, 2001 Order, was
Apparently, no pronouncement was ever made regarding the nature proper, relevant, and material to the issue of right-of-way as averred in
and legality of this “new” pathway; therefore, no easement was the complaint in Civil Case No. 5033, still, the conclusion that there was
established by the Court on petitioner’s property. Thus, their claim for an agreed or voluntary easement of right-of-way had no basis. The
a right-of-way on the southern portion had no basis. records of Civil Case No. 5033 do not reveal any agreement executed by
The parties and even the trial court were confined to the averments of the parties on the claimed right-of-way. Glaring is the fact that the
the complaint, and the answer and the issues joined by the major terms of the arrangement were not agreed upon by the parties, more
pleadings. It could not be disputed by respondents that there was no particularly, the payment of the proper indemnity. The evidence is not
mention at all of any right-of-way on the southern portion of ample enough to support the conclusion that there was a verbal
petitioner’s lot in the complaint nor any claim or prayer for the agreement on the right-of-way over the southern portion.
declaration of respondents’ entitlement to a right-of-way over the said More so, since a right-of-way is an interest in the land, any agreement
area. Thus, there was no joinder of issue on this matter and, therefore, creating it should be drawn and executed with the same formalities as a
the dismissal of the case cannot, by any stretch of imagination, be deed to a real estate, and ordinarily must be in writing. No written
construed to encompass any grant of right-of-way to respondents instrument on this agreement was adduced by respondents.
relating to the southern portion owned by petitioner. In the light of the foregoing considerations, the assailed March 20, 2001
No Voluntary Easement of Right-of-Way and June 20, 2001 Orders are null, void, and without any legal effect.
The trial court, seemingly aware that it did not determine the WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The June 20, 2001 and March
legality of an easement of right-of-way over the pathway located south 20, 2001 Orders of the San Fernando City, La Union RTC, Branch 29 in
of petitioner’s property, nevertheless, concluded that the said passage Civil Case No. 5033 are hereby ANNULLED AND SET ASIDE.
was an agreed or voluntary easement of right-of-way which petitioner No costs.
should respect. SO ORDERED.
The trial court was in error.
It is a settled doctrine that a decision, after it becomes final,
becomes immutable and unalterable. Thus, the court loses jurisdiction
to amend, modify, or alter a final judgment and is left only with the
jurisdiction to execute and enforce it. Any amendment or alteration
which substantially affects a final and executory judgment is null and
void for lack of jurisdiction, including the entire proceedings held for
that purpose.
To recapitulate, the dismissal of Civil Case No. 5033 meant that no
easement was ever established on petitioner’s property. However, the
7. Valdez vs Tabisula The statutory basis of this right is Article 613 of the Civil Code which
Posted on July 1, 2013 by winnieclaire reads:
Art. 613. An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an
GR 175510, July 28, 2008 immovable for the benefit of another immovable belonging to a different
owner.
Facts: Spouses Victor and Jocelyn Valdez purchased from spouses The immovable in favor of which the easement is established is called
Francisco Tabisula and Caridad Tabisula a parcel of land. Contained in the dominant estate; that which is subject thereto, the servient estate.
the deed of sale is a stipulation that the Sps. Valdez ‘shall be provided a There are two kinds of easements according to source – by law or by
2 1/2 meters [sic] wide road right-of-way on the western side of their the will of the owners. So Article 619 of the Civil Code provides:
lot but which is not included in this sale’. Art. 619. Easements are established either by law or by the will of the
owners. The former are called legal and the latter voluntary easements.
Sps. Tabisula then built a concrete wall on the subject property. Feeling
From the allegations in Sps Valdez’ complaint, it is clear that what they
betrayed by said act of Sps. Tabisula based on the deed of sale’s
seek to enforce is an alleged grant in the deed by respondents of an
intended road right of way, Sps. Valdez reported the matter the brgy.
easement reading: “they shall be provided a 2 ½ meters wide road
Lupon but it was in vain which constrained Sps. Valdez to file a case for
right-of-way on the western side of their lot but which is not included
specific performance against the Tabisulas with the RTC.
in this sale.”
The Sps. Tabisula contended that : Article 1358 of the Civil Code provides that any transaction involving
the sale or disposition of real property must be in writing. The
1: Sps. Valdez and family also are the owners of two properties stipulation harped upon by petitioners that they “shall be provided a 2
adjoining the subject property, which adjoining properties have access ½ meters wide road right-of-way on the western side of their lot but
to two public roads ; and which is not included in this sale” is not a disposition of real property.
The proviso that the intended grant of right of way is “not included in
2: they could not have agreed to providing petitioners an easement “on this sale” could only mean that the parties would have to enter into a
the western side of their lot” as there exists a two-storey concrete separate and distinct agreement for the purpose. The use of the word
house on their lot where the supposed easement is to be located, which “shall,” which is imperative or mandatory in its ordinary signification,
was erected long before the subject property was sold to the Valdez’s; should be construed as merely permissive where, as in the case at bar,
thus , the easement should be taken from the western portion of the no public benefit or private right requires it to be given an imperative
subject property and not from theirs. meaning.
Besides, a document stipulating a voluntary easement must be
RTC dismissed the Sps. Valdez’s complain. On appeal, Sps. Valdez were recorded in the Registry of Property in order not to prejudice third
again turned down. parties. So Articles 708 and 709 of the Civil Code call for, viz:
Issue: WON the Sps. Valdez are entitled to the right of way as provided Art. 708. The Registry of Property has for its object the inscription or
for in the deed of sale annotation of acts and contracts relating to the ownership and other
rights over immovable property.
Ruling: The Sps. Valdez are not entitled to the right of way. Art. 709. The titles of ownership, or of other rights over immovable
An easement or servitude is “a real right constituted on another’s property, which are not duly inscribed or annotated in the Registry of
property, corporeal and immovable, by virtue of which the owner of the Property shall not prejudice third persons.
same has to abstain from doing or to allow somebody else to do Sps Valdez are neither entitled to a legal or compulsory easement of
something on his property for the benefit of another thing or person.” right of way. For to be entitled to such kind of easement, the
preconditions under Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil Code must be
established, viz:
Art. 649. The owner, or any person who by virtue of a real right may
cultivate or use any immovable, which is surrounded by other
immovables pertaining to other persons, and without adequate outlet
to a public highway, is entitled to demand a right of way through the
neighboring estates, after payment of the proper indemnity.
xxxx
This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of the immovable is
due to the proprietor’s own acts. (Underscoring supplied)
Art. 650. 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. (Underscoring supplied)
Thus, to be conferred a legal easement of right of way under Article
649, the following requisites must be complied with: (1) the property is
surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a
public highway; (2) proper indemnity must be paid; (3) the isolation is
not the result of the owner of the dominant estate’s own acts; (4) the
right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servient
estate; and (5) to the extent consistent with the foregoing rule, the
distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the
shortest. The onus of proving the existence of these prerequisites lies
on the owner of the dominant estate, herein Sps. Valdez.
Since the Sps. Valdez then have more than adequate passage to two
public roads, they have no right to demand the grant by the Sps.
Tabisula of an easement on the “western side of the Tabisula’s lot.”; it
appearing that the Sps. Valdez and their family are also the owners of
two properties adjoining the subject property which have access to two
public roads or highways.
8. PRIVATIZATION v LEGAZPI TOWERS receivables with Caruff, including the properties it acquired from the
foreclosure of Caruffs mortgage.

FACTS: Caruff Development Corporation owned several parcels of land Meanwhile, Caruff filed a case against PNB before the RTC of Manila,
along the stretch of Roxas Boulevard, Manila. Among them were Branch 2, whereby Caruff sought the nullification of PNBs foreclosure
contiguous lots covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) Nos. of its properties.[6] The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 85-29512.
120311, 120312, 120313, and 127649 (nowTCT No. 200760).
A Compromise Agreement[7] dated August 31, 1988 was later entered
Sometime in December 1975, Caruff obtained a loan from the into by Caruff, PNB, and the National Government thru APT. The parties
Philippine National Bank (PNB) to finance the construction of a 21- agreed, among other things, that Caruff would transfer and convey in
storey condominium along Roxas Boulevard.[2] The loan favor of the National Government, thru the APT, the lot covered by TCT
accommodation was secured by a real estate mortgage over three (3) No. 127649 (now TCT No. 200760), where it built the generating set
parcels of land covered by TCT Nos. 120311, 120312, and and sump pumps.
120313,[3] where Caruff planned to erect the condominium.
On September 9, 1988, the RTC rendered a Decision approving the
In 1979, Caruff started constructing a multi-storey building on the Compromise Agreement executed and submitted by the parties.
mortgaged parcels of land. Along with the other appurtenances of the Thus, by virtue of the Decision, the subject property was among those
building constructed by Caruff, it built a powerhouse (generating set) properties that were conveyed by Caruff to PNB and the National
and two sump pumps in the adjacent lot covered by TCT No. 127649 Government thru APT.
(now TCT No. 200760).
On July 5, 1989, respondent filed a case for Declaration of the existence
After the completion of the condominium project, it was constituted of an easement before the RTC of Manila, docketed as Spec. Proc. No.
pursuant to the Condominium Act (Republic Act No. 4726), as the 89-49563. Respondent alleged that the act of Caruff of constructing the
Legaspi Towers 300, Inc. powerhouse and sump pumps on its property constituted a voluntary
easement in favor of the respondent. It prayed, among other things,
However, for Caruffs failure to pay its loan with PNB, the latter
that judgment be rendered declaring the existence of an easement over
foreclosed the mortgage and acquired some of the properties of Caruff
the portion of the property covered by TCT No. 127649 (now TCT No.
at the sheriffs auction sale held on January 30, 1985.[4]
200760) that was being occupied by the powerhouse and the sump
Thereafter, Proclamation No. 50[5] was issued. It was aimed to promote pumps in its favor, and that the Register of Deeds of Manila annotate
privatization for the prompt disposition of the large number of non- the easement at the back of said certificate of title.[9]
performing assets of the government financial institutions, and certain
government-owned and controlled corporations, which have been In its Answer with Counterclaim and Cross-claim,[10] APT alleged that
found unnecessary or inappropriate for the government sector to respondent had no cause of action against it, because it was but a mere
maintain. It also provided for the creation of the Asset Privatization transferee of the land. It acquired absolute ownership thereof by virtue
Trust (APT). of the Compromise Agreement in Civil Case No. 85-2952, free from any
liens and/or encumbrances. It was not a privy to any transaction or
By virtue of Administrative Order No. 14 and the Deed of Transfer agreement entered into by and between Caruff, respondent, and the
executed by PNB, the National Government, thru the APT, became the bank. It further alleged that the continued use of the subject property
assignee and transferee of all its rights and titles to and interests in its by respondent and the condominium owners without its consent was
an encroachment upon its rights as absolute owner and for which it In the present case, neither type of easement was constituted over the
should be properly compensated. subject property.
In its allegations, respondent claims that Caruff constituted a voluntary
On January 12, 1995, after trial on the merits, the RTC rendered a easement when it constructed the generating set and sump pumps over
Decision[11] declaring the existence of an easement over the portion of the disputed portion of the subject property for its benefit. However, it
the land covered by TCT No. 127649 (TCT No. 200760 should be noted that when the appurtenances were constructed on the
CA AFFIRMED. subject property, the lands where the condominium was being erected
and the subject property where the generating set and sump pumps
were constructed belonged to Caruff. Therefore, Article 613 of the Civil
ISSUE: Code does not apply, since no true easement was constituted or existed,
because both properties were owned by Caruff.
Hence, the present petition assigning the following errors:
I Also, Article 624 of the Civil Code is controlling, as it contemplates a
situation where there exists an apparent sign of easement between two
THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN estates established or maintained by the owner of both.
AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE COURT A QUO IN FINDING In relation thereto, the Compromise Agreement, as approved
THAT [THE] PRESENCE OF THE GENERATOR SET by the court, clearly states, among other things, that:
(GENERATING SET) AND SUMP PUMPS CONSTITUES AN
EASEMENT. xxxx
2.0 That in consideration of the covenants
II hereunder stipulated, plaintiff [Caruff] Development
THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN Corporation (CDC), hereby terminates the instant case
AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE COURT A QUO IN against defendants Philippine National Bank (PNB)
DECLARING THE EXISTENCE OF AN EASEMENT OVER THE and the National Government/APT, and hereby:
PORTION OF LAND COVERED BY TCT NO. [200760] OCCUPIED
BY THE GENERATOR SET AND SUMP PUMPS NOS. 1 AND 2, 2.1 Assigns, transfers and conveys in favor of
PURSUANT TO ARTICLE 688 OF THE CIVIL CODE. defendant National government thru APT, CDCs rights,
title and interest in the Maytubig property, situated at
III the back of the Legaspi Towers 300 Condominium,
consisting of seven (7) contiguous lots with an
THE PUBLIC RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN aggregate area of 1,504.90 square meters, covered by
AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE COURT A QUO IN NOT the following Transfer Certificate of Title, viz: TCT No.
REQUIRING THE RESPONDENT-PETITIONER TO PAY ANY 23663 Pasay City Registry; TCT No. 142497 Metro
COMPENSATION TO PETITIONER, THE OWNER OF THE LAND, Manila 1 Registry; TCT No. 142141 Metro Manila 1
FOR THE USE OF ITS PROPERTY.[14] Registry; TCT No. 127649 Metro Manila 1 Registry; x x
x; all titles, free from any and all liens and
encumbrances, to be delivered, and the necessary
HELD: The petition is meritorious. papers and documents to be turned over/executed to
effect transfer in favor of the National
Government/APT, upon approval of this Compromise
Agreement; In the present case, there is no dispute as to who owns the subject
property and as to the fact that the National Government has been
x x x x.[17] deprived of the use thereof for almost two decades. Thus, it is but just
and proper that respondent should pay reasonable rent for the portion
of the subject property occupied by the generating set and sump
Thus, when the subject property was assigned to the National pumps, from the time respondent deprived the lawful owner of the use
Government thru the APT, no easement arose or was voluntarily thereof up to the present. To rule otherwise would be unjust
created from the transfer of ownership, considering that the parties, enrichment on the part of respondent at the expense of the
more particularly, Caruff, pledged that it was assigning, transferring, Government.
and conveying the subject property in favor of the National
Government thru the APT free from any and all liens and From the records, APT/PMO submitted, as part of its evidence, a
encumbrances. letter[21] dated June 18, 1992, wherein it fixed the monthly rental fee
Compromise agreements are contracts, whereby the parties undertake per square meter of the entire property at P56.25, or P1.81 per square
reciprocal obligations to resolve their differences, thus, avoiding meter per day. Hence, respondent should pay the National Government
litigation, or put an end to one already commenced.[18] As a contract, reasonable rent in the amount of P56.25 per square meter per month,
when the terms of the agreement are clear and explicit that they do not to be reckoned from August 28, 1989 up to the time when the
justify an attempt to read into it any alleged intention of the parties; the generating set and sump pumps are completely removed therefrom.
terms are to be understood literally, just as they appear on the face of
the contract.[19] Considering that Caruff never intended to transfer the REVERSED AND SET ASIDE.
subject property to PMO, burdened by the generating set and sump
pumps, respondent should remove them from the subject property. Legaspi Towers 300, Inc. is DIRECTED to REMOVE the generating set
and sump pumps 1 and 2 from the property covered by TCT No.
As regards PMOs claim for rent, respondent has been enjoying the use 200760 and to PAY reasonable rent at the rate of P56.25 per square
of the subject property for free from the time the rights over the meter/per month from August 28, 1989 until the same are completely
property were transferred and conveyed by Caruff to the National removed.
Government.

We have held that [t]here is unjust enrichment when a person unjustly


retains a benefit to the loss of another, or when a person retains money
or property of another against the fundamental principles of justice,
equity and good conscience. Article 22 of the Civil Code provides that
[e]very person who, through an act or performance by another, or any
other means, acquires or comes into possession of something at the
expense of the latter, without just or legal ground, shall return the same
to him. The principle of unjust enrichment under Article 22 of the Civil
Code requires two conditions: (1) that a person is benefited without a
valid basis or justification, and (2) that such benefit is derived at
anothers expense or damage.[20]
9. BICOL AGRO-INDUSTRIAL PRODUCERS COOPERATIVE, INC. was then under Martial Law. Respondents likewise denied that the road
(BAPCI) vs. OBIAS, et al. has become a public road, since no public funds were used for its
construction and maintenance.
Facts:
The RTC ruled that petitioner failed to present any concrete
The Bicol Sugar Development Corporation (BISUDECO) was evidence to prove that there was an agreement between BISUDECO and
established at Himaao, Pili, Camarines Sur. In the same year, BISUDECO respondents for the construction of the disputed road. Moreover, it
constructed a road ("the disputed road") – measuring approximately 7 held that petitioner did not acquire the same by prescription.
meters wide and 2.9 kilometers long. The disputed road was used by
BISUDECO in hauling and transporting sugarcane to and from its mill The CA affirmed the finding of the RTC that there was no
site (Pensumil) and has thus become indispensable to its sugar milling conclusive proof to sufficiently establish the existence of an agreement
operations. between BISUDECO and respondents regarding the construction of the
disputed road. Moreover, the CA also declared that an easement of right
Respondents unjustifiably barricaded the disputed road by of way is discontinuous and as such cannot be acquired by prescription.
placing bamboos, woods, placards and stones across it, preventing
petitioner’s and the other sugar planter’s vehicles from passing through Issue:
the disputed road, thereby causing serious damage and prejudice to
petitioner. 1. Whether or not there is an existing agreement between
BISUDECO and Respondents
Petitioner alleged that BISUDECO constructed the disputed
road pursuant to an agreement with the owners of the ricefields the
2. Whether or not the principles of prescription, laches and
road traversed. The agreement provides that BISUDECO shall employ
estoppels is applicable in this case
the children and relatives of the landowners in exchange for the
construction of the road on their properties. Petitioner contends that
through prolonged and continuous use of the disputed road, BISUDECO Held:
acquired a right of way over the properties of the landowners, which
right of way in turn was acquired by it when it bought BISUDECO’s 1. No. In order for petitioner to acquire the disputed road as an
assets. Petitioner prayed that respondents be permanently ordered to easement of right-of-way, it was incumbent upon petitioner to show its
restrain from barricading the disputed road and from obstructing its right by title or by an agreement with the owners of the lands that said
free passage. road traversed.

Respondents denied having entered into an agreement with Easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an
BISUDECO regarding the construction and the use of the disputed road. immovable for the benefit of another immovable belonging to a
They alleged that BISUDECO, surreptitiously and without their different owner. By its creation, easement is established either by law
knowledge and consent, constructed the disputed road on their (in which case it is a legal easement) or by will of the parties (a
properties and has since then intermittently and discontinuously used voluntary easement). In terms of use, easement may either be
the disputed road for hauling sugarcane despite their repeated continuous or discontinuous. The easement of right of way – the
protests. Respondents claimed they tolerated BISUDECO in the privilege of persons or a particular class of persons to pass over
construction and the use of the road since BISUDECO was a another’s land, usually through one particular path or linen – is
government-owned and controlled corporation, and the entire country characterized as a discontinuous easement because its use is in
intervals and depends on the act of man. Because of this discontinuous if it is used at intervals and depends on the act of man,
character, an easement of a right of way may only be acquired by like the easement of right of way.
virtue of a title.
The easement of right of way is considered discontinuous because it is
Article 622 of the New Civil Code is the applicable law in the case at bar, exercised only if a person passes or sets foot on somebody else’s land.
viz: 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
Art. 622. Continuous non-apparent easements, and discontinuous ones, only if and when a train operated by a person passes over another's
whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a title. property. In other words, the very exercise of the servitude depends
upon the act or intervention of man which is the very essence of
It is clear that the plaintiff failed to present any concrete discontinuous easements.
evidence to prove that there was such an agreement between
BISUDECO and defendants. The presence of physical or visual signs only classifies an easement
into apparent or non-apparent. Thus, a road (which reveals a right of
The lower court correctly disbelieved the plaintiffs-appellants’ way) and a window (which evidences a right to light and view) are
contention that an agreement existed because there is simply no direct apparent easements, while an easement of not building beyond a
evidence to support this allegation. BAPCI submitted purely certain height is non-apparent.
circumstantial evidence that are not sufficiently adequate as basis for
the inference than an agreement existed. By themselves, the It has been held that the existence of a permanent railway does not
circumstances the plaintiffs-appellants cited – i.e., the employment of make the right of way a continuous one; it is only apparent. Therefore, it
sixteen (16) relatives of the defendants-appellants; the defendants- cannot be acquired by prescription. It was also been held that a right of
appellants’ unjustified silence; the fact that the existence of the passage over another's land cannot be claimed by prescription because
agreement is known to everyone, etc. – are events susceptible of this easement is discontinuous and can be established only by title.
diverse interpretations and do not necessarily lead to BAPCI’s desired
conclusion. In this case, the presence of railroad tracks for the passage
of petitioner’s trains denotes the existence of an apparent but
2. No. , "It is already well-established that a right of way is discontinuous easement of right of way. And under Article 622 of the
discontinuous and, as such, cannot be acquired by prescription." Civil Code, discontinuous easements, whether apparent or not, may be
acquired only by title. Unfortunately, petitioner Bomedco never
Continuous and apparent easements are acquired either by virtue acquired any title over the use of the railroad right of way whether by
of a title or by prescription of ten years. 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
Under civil law and its jurisprudence, easements are either right of way can only be acquired by title and not by prescription.
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, Easements are either continuous or discontinuous according
easement is continuous if its use is, or may be, incessant without the to the manner they are exercised, not according to the presence of
intervention of any act of man, like the easement of drainage; and it is apparent signs or physical indications of the existence of such
easements. Hence, even if the road in dispute has been improved and other hand, as to the issue of estoppel, this Court likewise agrees with
maintained over a number of years, it will not change its discontinuous the finding of the CA that petitioner did not present any evidence that
nature but simply make the same apparent. To stress, Article 622 of the would show an admission, representation or conduct by respondents
New Civil Code states that discontinuous easements, whether apparent that will give rise to estoppel.
or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a title.

The question of laches is addressed to the sound discretion of


the court and each case must be decided according to its particular
circumstances.

Philippines, which provides:

Art. 622. Continuous non-apparent easements, and discontinuous ones,


whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by virtue of a title.

The eminent jurist, former Senator Arturo M. Tolentino, opines


that this provision seeks to prevent the imposition of a burden on a
tenement based purely on the generosity, tolerance and spirit of
neighborliness of the owners thereof.

We applied the cited provision to the case in ruling that no


easement of right of way was acquired; based on the evidence
presented, the plaintiff-appellant failed to satisfactorily prove the
existence of an agreement evidencing any right or title to use the
disputed road. We additionally rejected the plaintiff-appellant’s
position that it had acquired the easement of right of way through
acquisitive prescription, as settled jurisprudence states that an
easement of right of way cannot be acquired by prescription.

We find that the positive mandate of Article 622 of the


Civil Code – the statutory provision requiring title as basis for the
acquisition of an easement of a right of way – precludes the
application of the equitable principle of laches.

This Court agrees with the CA. The fact that the law is
categorical that discontinuous easements cannot be acquired by
prescription militates against petitioner’s claim of laches. To stress,
discontinuous easements can only be acquired by title. On the
10. CASE DIGEST: Unisource Commercial and Development An easement is a real right on another’s property, corporeal and
Corporation v. Chung immovable, whereby the owner of the latter must refrain from doing or
allowing somebody else to do or something to be done on his property,
for the benefit of another person or tenement. These are established
FACTS either by law (legal easement) or by the will of the owner (voluntary
easement).
Unisource Commercial and Development Corporation is the registered
owner of a parcel of which contains a memorandum of encumbrance of (1) Petitioner itself admitted that the existing easement is voluntary.
a voluntary easement carried over from the OCT of Encarnacion S. The opening of an adequate outlet to a highway can extinguish only
Sandico declaring that Francisco Hidalgo has the right to open doors in legal or compulsory easements, not voluntary easements like in the
the course of his lot and to pass through the land of Encarnacion case at bar. The fact that an easement by grant may have also qualified
Sandico, until the bank of the estero that goes to the Pasig River, and as an easement of necessity does not detract from its permanency as a
towards the right of a Callejon. The annotation does not expressly property right, which survives the termination of the necessity. This
provide that it will be binding to the heirs and assigns of the parties. easement of right of way, like any other contract, could be extinguished
Furthermore, the property of Hidalgo was already subdivided. only by mutual agreement or by renunciation of the owner of the
dominant estate. (Art. 631,NCC)
The memorandum of encumbrance was consistently annotated at the
back of every title covering Sandico’s property until it was acquired by
the petitioner. Hidalgo’s property, on the other hand was eventually
transferred to respondents Joseph, Kia and Cleto all surnamed Chung. (2) A voluntary easement of right of way is like any other contract that
is generally effective between the parties, their heirs and assigns,
Petitioner filed a Petition to Cancel the Encumbrance of Voluntary except in case where the rights and obligations arising from the
Easement of Right of Way on the ground that the dominant estate has contract are not transmissible by their nature, or by stipulation or by
an adequate access to a public road which is Matienza Street which was provision of law.
granted but the trial court but eventually reversed by the Court of
Appeals.

ISSUES

 WON the can be cancelled by the petitioners who owns the


servient estate on the ground that that the dominant estate has an
adequate access to a public road
 WON the easement is binding only between Hidalgo and
Sandico since the annotation did not expressly provides the intention to
bind their heirs and assigns.
RULING
11. SPS. MANUEL AND VICTORIA SALIMBANGON, Petitioners, vs. SPS. ISSUE: Whether or not the easement of right of way established by the
SANTOS AND ERLINDA TAN, Respondents. partition agreement among theheirs for the benefit of Lot A has been
extinguished.
G.R. No. 185240 : January 20,
HELD: Yes. An easement established by agreement of the parties could be
extinguished only by mutualagreement. However, since the agreement of the heirs
FACTS: Petitioner Victoria Salimbangon, together with her brothers and sister, was to give Lots D and E access to the street, theeasement of right of way on
inherited the subject property from her father. Lot B became extinct by operation of law when the ownership of Lots
B, D,and E was consolidated in a common owner, namely, the Tans. The
They divided the lot into Lot A, B, C, D, and E. Lots A, B, and C were adjacent to a city existence of a dominant estate and aservient estate is incompatible with the
street while D and E were interior lots. To give these interior lots access to the idea that both estates belong to the same person.
street, the heirs established in their extrajudicial partition an easement of right of
way that ran exclusively along the southwest boundary of Lot B from Lots D and E
to the street.

Petitioner Victoria became the owner of Lot A and constructed therein a residential
house and two garages. The other portions were sold by petitioner’s co-
heirs to the Tan’s. The Tans built improvements on Lot B that spilled into the
easement area.

They also closed the gate that the Salimbangons built. Unable to use the old
right of way, the Salimbangons lodged a complaint with the City
Engineer of Mandaue against the Tans, while the Tan’s filed an action with
the Regional Trial Courtfor the extinguishment of the easement on Lot B and
damages with application for preliminaryinjunction.

The RTC upheld the Salimbangons easement of right of way over the
alley on Lot B, the lot that belonged to the Tans.

The court pointed out that the easement was established by agreement
of the parties, hence only by mutual agreement of the parties could such easement
be extinguished.

Both parties appealed to the Court of Appeals which reversed the RTC
decision on the ground that when ownership of Lots B, D, and E
was consolidated into the Tans, the easement ceased to have any
purpose and became extinct.
ISSUES: Whether or not the easement of lateral and subjacent
support exists on the subject adjacent properties and, if it does,
12. Case Digest: Castro vs. Monsod whether the same may be annotated at the back of the title of the
G.R. No. 183719 : February 2, 2011 servient estate.

MARGARITA F. CASTRO, Petitioner, v. NAPOLEON A. MONSOD, HELD:


Respondent.
CIVIL LAW: Easement
NACHURA, J.:
Article 684 of the Civil Code provides that no proprietor shall make
FACTS: such excavations upon his land as to deprive any adjacent land or
building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support. An owner, by virtue
Petitioner is the registered owner of a parcel of land located on Garnet of his surface right, may make excavations on his land, but his right is
Street, Manuela Homes, Pamplona, Las Piñas City. Respondent, on the subject to the limitation that he shall not deprive any adjacent land or
other hand, is the owner of the property adjoining the lot of petitioner, building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support. Between two
located on Lyra Street, Moonwalk Village, Phase 2, Las Piñas City. adjacent landowners, each has an absolute property right to have his
land laterally supported by the soil of his neighbor, and if either, in
In 2000, respondent caused the annotation of an adverse claim against excavating on his own premises, he so disturbs the lateral support of
sixty-five (65) sq.m. of the property of petitioner. The adverse claim his neighbor’s land as to cause it, or, in its natural state, by the pressure
was filed without any claim of ownership over the property. of its own weight, to fall away or slide from its position, the one so
Respondent was merely asserting the existing legal easement of lateral excavating is liable. Here, the residential house and lot of respondent is
and subjacent support at the rear portion of his estate. located on an elevated plateau of fifteen (15) feet above the level of
petitioner’s property; hence, an easement of subjacent and lateral
Petitioner averred that when she bought the property from Manuela support exists in favor of respondent.
Homes in 1994, there was no annotation or existence of any easement
over the property. However, respondent’s assertion that he has an adverse claim over the
65 sq.m. property of petitioner is misplaced since he does not have a
The trial court ratiocinated that the adverse claim of respondent was claim over the ownership of the land. The annotation of an adverse
non-registrable considering that the basis of his claim was an easement claim over registered land under Section 70 of Presidential Decree
and not an interest adverse to the registered owner, and neither did he 1529 requires a claim on the title of the disputed land. Therefore, an
contest the title of petitioner. annotation of the existence of the subjacent and lateral support is no
longer necessary.
On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the trial court and ruled that
while respondent’s adverse claim could not be sanctioned because it
did not fall under the requisites for registering an adverse claim, the
same might be duly annotated in the title as recognition of the existence
of a legal easement of subjacent and lateral support. The purpose of the
annotation was to prevent petitioner from making injurious
excavations.