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AMPIL) 11th week

Imperial Sia Plazo Noel De Los Santos Bleza Cimagala Bedural | 2D 2012|




The enjoyment of the plaintiff of an easement for the

maintenance of an irrigation aqueduct and a dam on the
lands of defendant for a period of more than 20 years
confers title thereto upon the plaintiff by virtue of
prescription and burdens the lands of the defendants with
a corresponding servitude.

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.)

The plaintiff is the owner of a tract of rice land which is
cultivated with the aid of water brought from a river through
an aqueduct which passes over the land of the defendants.
This was by virtue of an easement the use of which had been
with the plaintiff for more than thirty years. On the land of
the defendants there was a dam with a small gate or aperture
in its face which was used to control the flow of the water in
the aqueduct, by permitting a greater or less quantity to
escape in a drainage ditch, also on the land of the

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
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 thereof

One of the defendants completely destroyed the dam and let

all the water escape by the drainage ditch, so that none
flowed on the land of the plaintiff. At the time when the dam
was destroyed the plaintiff had some five cavanes of land
prepared to plant rice, but because of the escape of the
water resulting from the destruction of the dam he was
unable to raise his crop. Defendants claim that the plaintiff is
not the owner of any lands watered by the aqueduct of the
class known as padagat (rice lands planted in May). It was
also alleged that the plaintiff suffered no damage by the
destruction of the dam, because all the lands of plaintiff
which are cultivated with the aid of water from the aqueduct
are of the class known as binanbang (rice lands planted in
August or September), and the destruction of the dam in May
and the consequent failure of water in the aqueduct at that
period did not, and could not, damage the plaintiff or
interfere with the proper cultivation of his lands.

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.

Lastly, defendants say that that the evidence on record does

not establish the existence of the servitude in the lands of
the defendants in favor of the lands of the plaintiff
landowner for the maintenance of the aqueduct and dam in

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

ISSUE: W/N there was a valid servitude between the


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.

Save for the issue on the existence of the servitude, all other
allegations of defendants were outrightly disregarded as they
were clearly unmeritorious in light of the findings of fact.
However, the Court ruled that there was a valid easement in
light of the fact that the aqueduct and the dam had been in
existence for more than 30 years, during which time the
plaintif had exercised its use. It was alleged that no benefit
was granted to the plaintiff since his (plaintiff's) land is
situated higher than defendants' land. Moreover, even if
defendants had the right to open the gates of the dam to
prevent destructive overflow upon their land, this does not
give them the right to stop the flow of water altogether.

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.]


Imperial Sia Plazo Noel De Los Santos Bleza Cimagala Bedural | 2D 2012|

1) W/n easements may be alienated (sold) from the tenement

or mortgaged separately
2) W/n easement had been extinguished by merger.

the OLD Civil Code pertains to an instrument acknowledged

before a notary public. Prescription for a negative easement
only begins when there is a notarial prohibition by the
dominant estate. Respondents could have not acquired the
easement by prescription because they have not fulfilled this
requirement. Even assuming they have acquired it, the
easement no longer exists because the properties were
registered under the Torrens system without any annotation
or registration of the said easement.

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)

A Notarial prohibition is required to start the running of
prescription in a negative easement.

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.

Easement disputed here is the easement of light and view.
Plaintiffs wife has certain windows on her property which
open on the adjacent lot. It has been established that the
plaintiffs hasnt done any formal act prohibiting the owner of
the house of the adjacent house prohibiting them to make
any improvements. Plaintiff claims that period of prescription
started when those windows were made and acknowledge by
the owner of the adjacent lot. Defendant however claims
that there should be a formal act prohibiting them from doing
a certain act to trigger the prescriptive period.

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

ISSUE: W/N plaintiffs have acquired the easement through

The Court clarified that mere act of opening one owns
window is an act of dominion not of easement. The easement
here is the (possible) prohibition of creating any
improvements on the property of the defendants (negative
easement) that may impede or limit the use of the window.
Thus, plaintiff is totally wrong in saying that prescription for
the easement starts to kick in when the window was made
and acknowledge by the adjacent owner. In fact, what is
needed in this situation is a formal act through a notarial
prohibition so that prescriptive period will start. The fact
that the defendant has not covered the windows of the
apellant/ plaintiff does not necessarily imply the recognition
of the acquisitive prescription of the alleged easement as this
might just be a result of a mere tolerance on the part of the

Notarial prohibition is required to start the running of
prescription. Also Registration of the Immovable without the
registration of the easement extinguishes the easement.
(Very limited facts in the original case)
FACTS: The easement in dispute here is an easement of light
and view, which is a negative easement. The respondents
Javier, et al are the owners of the building standing on their
lot with windows overlooking the adjacent lot. Respondents
have claimed that they had acquired by prescription an
enforceable easement of light and view arising from a verbal
prohibition to obstruct such view and light. The lower courts
have ruled in their favor.
Note: easement of light and view is continuous and apparent
so it is subject to prescription.

(2nd separate case)

Plaintiffs asked for a rehearing but was again denied! Plaintiff
mentions about their windows and watersheds to be apparent
easements, or just projitiendi and jus spillitiendi. The court
says that the plaintiffs are obviously confused between the
right exercised by owners and the rights provided in

ISSUES: W/N the respondents Irene P. Javier, et al., owners

of a building standing on their lot with windows overlooking
the adjacent lot, had acquired by prescription an enforceable
easement of light and view arising from a verbal prohibition
to obstruct such view and light, alleged to have been made
upon petitioners predecessor-in-interest as owner of the
adjoining lot, both of which lots being covered by Torrens

NOTE: the court discusses several cases which include the

issues regarding easement even after partition of the
tenement, windows on a party wall

Art538s requirement is a formal act and not just any
verbal or written act. Formal act contemplated in art538 in

Easements of right of way may not be acquired by

prescription because it is not a continuous easement.


Imperial Sia Plazo Noel De Los Santos Bleza Cimagala Bedural | 2D 2012|

Petitioners are owners of a parcel of land on the NW side of
Nonoc Subdivision, Cebu. They sued to establish an easement
of a right of way over a subdivision road, which they claim
theyve acquired through prescription since their ancestors
have been using these since time immemorial.

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)

They pray that the concrete wall surrounding the village be

taken down to allow easy access to the public highway.

"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'."

RTC found for the petitioners. CA reversed, averring that

road lots in subdivisions are private property and may only be
used as a public highway once acquired by the government
through donation, purchase or expropriation.

ISSUE: Whether or not the easement of a right of way may be
acquired by prescription?
HELD: No. 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.

Maria Florentino owned a house and a camarin (warehouse).
By a will, she transferred the house to Jose Florentino and
the warehouse to Maria Florentino. Maria sold the warehouse
to Amor. Amor then demolished the old warehouse in order to
build a new 2-storey structure. The problem is it will shut off
the light and air that come in through the window of the
adjacent house owned by Jose. Hence the latter files for
prohibition claiming there is a negative easement prohibiting
Amor from constructing any structure at any height that
would block the window. Amor counters that there is no
easement. Moreover, since the death of testator was before
the Civil Code took effect, the rules on easement do not

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.

W/N there is an easement prohibiting Amor from doing said
W/N the Civil Code may be applied
1. Yes. Easement are established by law or by will of the
owners or by title. Under Art. 624, there is title by the
doctrine of apparent sign. When the estate is subsequently
owned by two different persons and the service (it cannot
be an easement before the transfer) is not revoked in the
title nor removed, an easement is established.

ISSUE: 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.

The Cortez case cannot be invoked by Amor because it

involved acquisition by prescription. Art. 624 is acquisition by

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

2. Amor failed to prove that the death of the testator

occurred before the effectivity of the Old Civil Code. The
facts show that it happened after the effectivity of the said
code so the law on easement is already applicable. In any
case, even if we assume Amors supposition, the law on
easement was already integrated into the Spanish Law and in
fact, had been established by Jurisprudence.
Therefore, Amor is prohibitied from constructing
warehouse above the level of the window.



Imperial Sia Plazo Noel De Los Santos Bleza Cimagala Bedural | 2D 2012|


1) The Majority opinio committed a travesty on justice when
it ignored the evidence produced by Amor that the testators
death occurred before the effectivity of the Code.

of 300 tons for the milling and grinding of all the sugar cane
to be grown by the hacienda owners who in turn would
furnish the central with all the cane they might produce in
their estates for 30 years from the execution of the contract.
Later on, Osorios rights and interests were acquired by the
North Negros Sugar Co., Inc.

2) Hence, the law on easement will not apply. Moreover, the

Spanish Law and the Partidas provided for only three ways of
acquiring easements: 1) contract 2) testament 3)
prescription. There was no provision similar to the doctrine of
apparent sign.

2 years after, the current petitioners, Catalino Valderrama,

Emilio Rodriguez, Santos Urra et. al, made other milling
contracts identical to the first one with the North Negros
Sugar, Co., Inc. The hacienda owners, however, could not
furnish the central sufficient cane for milling as required by
its capacity, so the North Negros made other milling contracts
with the various hacienda owners of Cadiz, Occidental
Negros. This prompted Valderrama et. al to each file a
complaint against North Negros.

3) There is no doctrine established by the Spanish Tribunal

regarding the doctrine.
4) In this modern age of flourescent lights and air
conditioning devices, the easement of light and view would
be obsolete and deterrent to economic progress especially
when in the cities, buildings are side to side with each other.

The CFI entered 1 single judgment for all of them, ruling in

Valderrama et. als favor finding that North Negros had no
right to pass through the lands of the hacienda owners for the
transportation of sugar cane not grown from their lands. Thus
the appeal to the SC.


ISSUE: W/N the easement of way established was restricted

to transporting only sugar cane from the hacienda owners

(similar facts above) Sanz was the previous owner of a land
which he subdivided into several lots. One lot was sold to
Tengtio, whol sold to Uy Veza. Another lot with a house
constituted thereon was sold to Tan Yanon. A third portion
with a warehouse was sold to Gargantos. The problem arose
when latter asked from the Municipality for a permit to
demolish the warehouse in order to construct a higher one.
Yan Yung opposed for it would block his window and impair
his right of loght and view.

(the SC also made 1 judgment for all the 3 cases)
The contract entered into by each of the hacienda owners
contained a clause that granted the North Negros an
easement of way 7 meters wide for the period of 50 years
upon their properties for the construction of a railroad. The
owners allege ambiguity since it could permit the
transportation of sugar cane which they did not produce
which is contrary to their intent but the SC held that it is
clear that the easement was established for the benefit of all
producers and of the corporation as it is the intent of the
milling contract.

W/N an easement was established
Yes. Again, Art. 624 provides that when two adjoining estates
were formerly owned by one person who introduced
improvements on both such that the wall of the house
contructed on the first estate extends to the wall of the
warehouse on the second estate; and at the time of the sale
of the first estate, there existed on the aforementioned wall
of the house, doors, windows which serve as passages for
light and view, there being no provision in the deed of sale
that the easement of light and view will not be established,
the apparent sign of easement between the two estates is
established as a title.

Since the easement is a voluntary, apparent, continuous

easement of way in favor of the corporation, it is contrary to
the nature of the contract that it is only limited to canes
produced by the servient estates since it is a well settled rule
that things serve their owner by reason of ownership and not
by reason of easement. The owners also cannot limit its use
for there is nothing in the contract prohibiting the central
from obtaining other sources.
Transporting cane from Cadiz also does not make it more
burdensome since what is prohibited in Art. 543 of the CC is
that in extending the road or in repairing it, it should occupy
a greater area or deposit excavations outside the granted 7
meters. This does not happen in this case when the North
Negros transports sugar cane from Cadiz, crossing the
servient estates, since it continues to occupy the same area
and the encumbrance is still the same regardless of the
number of times it passes through the estates.


What is prohibited by Art. 543 is that in extending the line or
repairing or using the same, a larger area of land is occupied
or excavations or materials deposited are outside the area
occupied not by causing wagons to pass just because of a
change of ownership of the objects being transported.

Also the period of the easement is longer than the period of

the milling contracts, so even if the owners no longer desire
to furnish the central canes for milling, the North Negros still
has the right to the easement for the remaining period so the

Several hacienda owners in Manapla, Occidental Negros,
entered into a milling contract with Miguel Osorio wherein
the latter would build a sugar central of a minimum capacity


Imperial Sia Plazo Noel De Los Santos Bleza Cimagala Bedural | 2D 2012|

contention that it should be limited to the canes produced by

the owners has no basis.

or to those who may have a right to the use of the



When a positive easement is constituted, the servient owner
is prevented from impairing the use of such by the dominant

When Florete closed the entrance of the canal and

demolished portions of the main dike it impaired the use of
the servitude by the dominant estates.
Additional Facts: (in case he asks; this case has a lot of

One witness almost drowned

One witness saved a woman, who while picking

shells fell into the canal

2 witnesses took a bath in the canal, 1 when he was

still a child, the other when he was still single

Canal is used by residents for salt-making using

plastic bags, which is in competition with Marsal &
Co. in the production of salt

the canal is a source of salt water, it is fresh and

clean since the tide changes from the Iloilo River
while the fishpond is stagnant and polluted

before the closure of the dikes, there were no floods

in the vicinity

tube to be buried: 10-inch rubber tube

o for the 1st 100 meters = 3 meters wide
o 200 meters = 2 meters

depth of canal:
o high tide or rainy season = main canal =
meter; canal that traverses school = 2
o ordinary days = no water

Florete only caused the canal to be deeper


Marsal & Co., Inc., and Marcelino Florete, Sr. is the present
owner of the land adjoining the Iloilo River up to the
adjacent lot where the L. Borres Elem. School is located.
There existed a main canal from the Iloilo River which passes
through the Marsal property and thru a canal that traverses
the school property going towards Lot 2344. Marsal & Co.
closed the dike entrance and later on demolished the
portions of the main dike connecting the main canal to the
canal running thru the school grounds. This closure caused
flooding in the premises of the school and its vicinity because
the canal serves as outlet of rain or flood water that empties
into the river. This prompted the school and barangay
officials to complain to higher authorities about the closure
of the canal. When Florete was about to bury a pipe in lieu of
an open canal, he was prevented from doing so by the district
supervisor, Javellana, thus he instituted a complaint for
recovery of damages for allegedly denying his access to the
use of the canal to his property.


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.

The RTC ruled in favor of Javellana thus Florete appealed to

the IAC which reversed the decision thus the case at bar.

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.

ISSUE: W/N an easement was established in favor of the

school property
A positive easement of water-right-of-way was constituted on
the property of Florete as the servient estate in favor of the
L. Borres Elementary School and the nearby lands as
dominant estates since it has been in continuous use for no
less than 15 years by the school fishpond as well as by the
nearby adjacent lands.

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.

As a positive easement, Florete had no right to terminate the

use of the canal without violating Art. 629 of the CC which
provides that The owner of the servient estate cannot
impair, in any manner whatsoever, the use of the servitude.
Nevertheless if by reason of the place originally assigned or
of the manner established for the use of the easement, the
same should become very inconvenient to the owner of the
servient estate, or should prevent him from making any
important works, repairs or improvements thereon, it may
be charged at his expense, provided he offers another place
or manner equally convenient and in such a way that no
injury is caused thereby to the owner of the dominant estate

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.


Imperial Sia Plazo Noel De Los Santos Bleza Cimagala Bedural | 2D 2012|

ISSUE: W/N the right to continue to use the septic tank

ceased upon the subdivision of the land and its subsequent
sale to different owners.

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.

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.

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.


Construction of a house on the lot of another to facilitate
the utilization of usufruct may constitute as personal
easement pursuant to Article 614.

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.

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.

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.

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.
ISSUE: 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
To be able to qualify and avail oneself of the rights and
privileges granted by the said decree, one must be: (1) a