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PROPERTY LAW DOCTRINES

MOVABLE AND IMMOVABLE PROPERTIES

Case Doctrine
Sergs Products, Inc. vs. PCI  After agreeing to a contract stipulating that a real or
Leasing and Finance, Inc. immovable property be considered as personal or movable, a
G.R. No. 133705 party is estopped from subsequently claiming
August 22, 2000 otherwise. Hence, such property is a proper subject of a writ
of replevin obtained by the other contracting party.

Santos Evangelista vs. Alto  Parties to a deed of chattel mortgage may agree to consider a
Surety & Insurance Co. house as personal property for purposes of said contract.
G.R. No. L-11139 However, this view is good only insofar as the contracting
April 23, 1958 parties are concerned. It is based, partly, upon the principle
of estoppel. Neither this principle, nor said view, is applicable
to strangers to said contract.

Board of Assessment Appeals vs  The steel supports or towers of electric companies do not fall
Manila Electric Co. under paragraph (5) of Article 415 for they are not machines,
10 SCRA 68 etc., and even if they are, they are not intended for industry
1964 or works on the land in which they are constructed.

PROPERTY IN RELATION TO WHOM IT BELONGS

Case Doctrine
Manila International Airport  No one can dispute that properties of public dominion
Authority vs. Court of Appeals mentioned in Article 420 of the Civil Code, like ‘roads, canals,
495 SCRA 591 rivers, torrents, ports and bridges constructed by the State,’
are owned by the State. The term ‘ports’ includes seaports
and airports. The MIAA Airport Lands and Buildings constitute
a ‘port’ constructed by the State.
Chavez vs Public Estates  There must be a law or presidential
Authority proclamation officially classifying these reclaimed lands as
G.R. No. 133250 alienable and disposable if the law has reserved them for
July 9, 2002 some public or quasi-public use.

Almagro vs. Kwan  To qualify as foreshore land, it must be shown that the land
G.R. NO. 175806 lies between the high and low water marks and is alternately
Oct. 20, 2010 wet and dry according to the flow of the tide. The land's
proximity to the waters alone does not automatically make it
a foreshore land.
Province of Zamboanga Del  If the property is owned by the municipal corporation in its
Norte vs City of Zamboanga public and governmental capacity, the property is public and
G.R. No. L-24440 Congress has absolute control over it.
March 28, 1968  But if the property is owned in its private or proprietary
capacity then it is patrimonial and Congress has no absolute
control. The municipality cannot be deprived of it without
due process and payment of just compensation.
Yu Chang v. Republic  The classification of land is descriptive of its legal nature or
G.R. No. 171726 status and does not have to be descriptive of what the land
Feb. 23, 2011 actually looks like. The fact that the area within which the
subject parcels of land are located is being used for
residential and commercial purposes does not serve to
convert the subject parcels of land into agricultural land. It is
fundamental that before any land may be declassified from
the forest Group and converted into alienable or disposable
land for agricultural or other purposes, there must be a
positive act from the government.

OWNERSHIP

Case Doctrine
Del Fierro v. Seguiran  The first requisite in an accion reinvindicatoria requires that
G.R. No. 152141 the person who 60 claims that he has a better right to the
Aug. 8, 2011 property must first fix the identity of the land he is claiming
by describing the location, area and boundaries thereof.
Anent the second requisite, i.e., the claimant's title over the
disputed area, the rule is that a party can claim a right of
ownership only over the parcel of land that was the object of
the deed.
Barrientos v.Rapal  A person who occupies the land of another at the latter's
G.R. No. 169594 tolerance or permission, without any contract between them,
July 20, 2011 is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate
the same upon demand, failing which a summary action for
ejectment is the proper remedy against them.
German Management &  The doctrine of self-help can only be exercised at the time of
Services, Inc. v. CA actual or threatened dispossession, and not when possession
177 SCRA 495 has already been lost
1989
Republic of the Philippines v.  Rights to the sub-surface or sub-soil are indivisible, and,
Court of Appeals consequently, require a definitive and categorical
160 SCRA 228 classification.
National Power Corporation v.  The landowners’ right extends to such height or depth where
Ibrahim it is possible for them to obtain some benefit or enjoyment,
526 SCRA 149 and it is extinguished beyond such limit as there would be no
2007 more interest protected by law. In this case, the landowners
could have dug upon their property motorized deep wells but
were prevented from doing so by the authorities precisely
because of the construction and existence of the tunnels
underneath the surface of their property.
ACCESSION

Case Doctrine
Aquino vs. Aguilar  The SC ruled that the term ―”builder in good faith” as used in
G.R. No. 182754 reference to Article 448 of the Civil Code, refers to one who,
June 29, 2015 not being the owner of the land, builds on that land believing
himself to be its owner and unaware of the land, builds on
that land, believing himself to be its owner and unaware of
the defect in his title or mode of acquisition. The essence of
good faith lies in an honest belief in the validity of one‘s right,
ignorance of a superior claim, and absence of intention to
overreach another.
Mercado v. CA  To be deemed a builder in good faith, it is essential that a
162 SCRA 75, 85 person asserts title to the land on which he builds, i.e., it is
1988 essential that he be a possessor in concept of owner and that
he be unaware that there exists in his title or mode of
acquisition any flaw which invalidates it.

CO-OWNERSHIP

Case Doctrine
Cruz vs Catapang  The following requisites need to be established before a
G.R. No. 164110, person becomes entitled to demand the compulsory
February 12, 2008 easement of right of way: 1) an immovable is surrounded by
other immovables belonging to other persons, and is without
adequate outlet to a public highway; 2) Payment of proper
indemnity by the owner of the surrounded immovable; 3) the
isolation of the immovable is not due to its owner's acts; and
4) the proposed easement of right of way is established at the
point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and insofar as
consistent with this rule, where the distance of the dominant
estate to a public highway may be the shortest.

POSSESSION

Republic vs Jacob  Possession is broader than occupation because it includes


495 SCRA 529 constructive possession. Unless, therefore, the law adds the
2006 word "occupation," it seeks to delimit the all-encompassing
effect of constructive possession. Taken together with the
words "continuous," "exclusive" and "notorious," the word
"occupation" seems to highlight the facts that for an applicant
to qualify, her possession of the property must not be a mere
fiction.
 Actual possession of a land consists in the manifestation of
acts of dominion of such a nature as a party would naturally
exercise over her own property. A mere casual cultivation of
portions of land by the claimant does not constitute sufficient
basis for a claim of ownership. Such possession is not
exclusive and notorious as it gives rise to a presumptive grant
from the State.
EDCA Publishing vs Santos  “Theory of Irrevindicability”: The possession of movable
134 SCRA 614 property acquired in good faith is equivalent to a title.
1990 Nevertheless, one who has lost any movable or has been
unlawfully deprived thereof, may recover it from the person
in possession of the same. If the possessor of a movable lost
or of which the owner has been unlawfully deprived has
acquired it in good faith at a public sale, the owner cannot
obtain its return without reimbursing the price paid therefor.

JOSE B. AZNAR  The said article establishes two exceptions to the general rule
vs. of irrevindicability, to wit, when the owner (1) has lost the
RAFAEL YAPDIANGCO thing, or (2) has been unlawfully deprived thereof. In these
cases, the possessor cannot retain the thing as against the
owner, who may recover it without paying any indemnity,
except when the possessor acquired it in a public sale.

EASEMENT

Case Doctrine
Alicia Reyes vs Spouses Ramos  The following requisites need to be established before a
G.R. No. 194488 person becomes entitled to demand the compulsory
February 11, 2015 easement of right of way: 1) an immovable is surrounded by
other immovables belonging to other persons, and is without
adequate outlet to a public highway; 2) Payment of proper
indemnity by the owner of the surrounded immovable; 3) the
isolation of the immovable is not due to its owner's acts; and
4) the proposed easement of right of way is established at the
point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and insofar as
consistent with this rule, where the distance of the dominant
estate to a public highway may be the shortest.
Demetria De Guzman vs.  In easement of right of way, there is no alienation of the land
Filinvest Development occupied. Payment of the value of the land for permanent use
Corporation of the easement does not mean an alienation of the land
G.R. No. 191710 occupied. In fact under the law and unlike in purchase of a
January 14, 2015 property, should the right of way no longer be necessary
because the owner of the dominant estate has joined it to
another abutting on a public highway, and the servient estate
demands that the easement be extinguished, the value of the
property received by the servient estate by way of indemnity
shall be returned in full to the dominant estate. This only
reinforces the concept that the payment of indemnity is
merely for the use of the right of way and not for its
alienation.
Unisource Commercial vs  The opening of an adequate outlet toa highway can
Chung extinguish only legal or compulsory easements, not voluntary
593 SCRA 530 easements. The fact that an easement by grant may have also
2009 qualified as an easement of necessity does not detract from
its permanency as a property right, which survives
the termination of the necessity.