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CMM DIGEST

Ongsiaco vs Ongsiaco March 30, 1957 Easement: Natural Drainage of Waters


(Property)

Ongsiako vs Ongsiako Plaintiff: Caridad Ongsiaco Defendant: Emilia Ongsiaco Ponente: Reyes FACTS: Mother of Caridad & Emilia Ongsiako executed a deed of donation inter vivos, donating to her children a piece of land. According to the mother, when she made the donation, a greater area was allotted to Ramon & Emilia because their shares were low lands through which flowed the excess water from higher estates. Later on, she learned that Ramon & Emilia started constructing dikes which impeded the natural flow of water coming from the higher estates. Hence, she executed a document revoking the donation in favor of Ramon and Emilia and adjudicated their revoked shares to Caridad as mojera and the rest in equal shares. ISSUE (the 3 issues in this case relate to the 3 causes of action): (1) WON the donation was effectively revoked by virtue of the document drawn by the mother. (2) (TOPICAL) WON there exists a cause of action for violation of right of legal easement of water. (3) WON there exists a cause of action for alleged fraudulent reduction of Caridads share. HELD: (1) No, the donation was not effectively revoked. (2) No more cause of action because it had already prescribed. (3) No, action had already prescribed. RATIO: (1) In order to set aside the donation, the revocation will only be effective upon court judgment or consent of the donee. In this case, there was neither a court judgment ordering the revocation, nor was there a consent of Ramon & Emilia. (2) The legal easement of water is classified as continuous, therefore subject to prescription by non-user for the period required by law. Under CC 631, easements are extinguished by nonuser for 10 years, which in the case of continuous easements, shall be counted from the day on which an act contrary to the same took place. In this case, the dike was constructed in 1937/1938 (before the war) and the action was only brought on 1951, way beyond the prescription period. Furthermore, Caridad cannot argue that the dams constitute a nuisance and by virtue of CC 698, lapse of time does not legalize any nuisance, therefore, her action does not prescribe. o First, the complaint does not set forth any fact which shows that the dam is a nuisance. o Even assuming arguendo that it is indeed nuisance, CC 631 which is a more particular law which applies to easements in particular will prevail over CC 698 which applied to

CMM DIGEST

Ongsiaco vs Ongsiaco March 30, 1957 Easement: Natural Drainage of Waters


(Property)

nuisances in general (simple rule in stat con: apply particular provisions over general ones). In such a case, action had already prescribed (3) Prescribed because more than 20 years had elapsed since the partition (prescription: 10 years after partition only).

JUDGMENT: COMPLAINT FOR ALL 3 CAUSES OF ACTION ARE DISMISSED.