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FACTS: Respondents own a building with windows overlooking the adjacent lot, owned by the
petitioners. Allegedly, in 1913 or 1914, before the New Civil Code took effect, the predecessors-in-
interest of the petitioner were verbally prohibited by the respondent to obstruct view and light. When
the Court of Appeals adjudicated the case, it found out that the two estates are covered by Original
Certificates of Title, both issued by the Register of Deeds. The court further observed that in both of
the title, any annotation does not appear in respect to the easement supposedly acquired by
prescription which, counting the twenty (20) years from 1913 or 1914, would have already ripened by
1937, date of the decrees of registration.

ISSUE: Whether the 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, to petitioner's predecessor-in-interest as owner of the
adjoining lot, both of which lots being covered by Torrens titles.

RULING: Inasmuch as the alleged prohibition having been avowedly made in1913 or 1914, before
the present Civil Code took effect, the applicable legal provision is Article 538 of the Spanish Civil
Code which provides that negative easements are acquired, from the day on which the owner of the
dominant estate has, by a formal act, forbidden the owner of the servient estate to perform any act
which would be lawful without the easement.

The law requires not any form of prohibition, but exacts, in a parenthetical expression, for emphasis,
the doing not only of a specific, particular act, but a formal act. The phrase "formal act" would require
not merely any writing, but one executed in due form and/or with solemnity. That this is the
intendment of the law although not expressed in exact language is the reason for the clarification
made in Article 621 of the new Civil Code which specifically requires the prohibition to be in "an
instrument acknowledged before a notary public".

Easements are in the nature of an encumbrance on the servient estate. They constitute a limitation of
the dominical right of the owner of the subjected property. Hence, they can be acquired only by title
and by prescription, in the case of positive easement, only as a result of some sort of invasion,
apparent and continuous, of the servient estate. By the same token, negative easements cannot be
acquired by less formal means. Hence, the requirement that the prohibition (the equivalent of the act
of invasion) should be by "a formal act", "an instrument acknowledged before a notary public."

Conceding arguendo that such an easement has been acquired by prescription which, counting the
twenty (20) years from 1913 or 1914, would have already ripened by 1937, it had been cut off or
extinguished by the registration of the servient estate under the Torrens System without the
easement being annotated on the corresponding certificate of title, pursuant to Section 39 of the
Land Registration Act.

Facts: PLDT and RCA Communications Inc (which is not a party to this case but has contractual
relations with e parties) entered into an agreement where telephone messages, coming from the US
and received by RCA's domestic station could automatically be transferred to the lines of PLDT and
vice versa.

The Bureau of Telecommunications set up its own Government Telephone System (GTS) by renting the
trunk lines of PLDT to enable government offices to call private parties. One of the many rules
prohibits the use of the service for his private use.

Republic of the Philippines entered into an agreement with RCA for a joint overseas telephone service
where the Bureau would convey radio-telephone overseas calls received by the RCA's station to and
from local residents.
PLDT complained that the Bureau was violating the conditions for using the trunk lines not only for
the use of government offices but even to serve private persons or the general public. PLDT gave a
notice that if violations were not stopped, PLDT would sever the connections -which PLDT did.

Republic sued PLDT commanding PLDT to execute a contract, through the Bureau, for the use of the
facilities of defendant's telephone system throughout the Philippines under such terms and conditions
as the court finds it reasonable.

Issue: Whether or not Republic can command PLDT to execute the contract.

Held: No. The Bureau was created in pursuance of a state policy reorganizing the government offices
to meet the exigencies attendant upon the establishment of a free Gov't of the Phil.

When the Bureau subscribed to the trunk lines, defendant knew or should have known that their use
by the subscriber was more or less public and all embracing in nature.

The acceptance by the defendant of the payment of rentals, despite its knowledge that the plaintiff
had extended the use of the trunk lines to commercial purposes, implies assent by the defendant to
such extended use. Since this relationship has been maintained for a long time and the public has
patronized both telephone systems, and their interconnection is to the public convenience, it is too
late for the defendant to claim misuse of its facilities, and it is not now at liberty to unilaterally sever
the physical connection of the trunk lines.

To uphold PLDT's contention is to subordinate the needs of the general public.


Facts: Sometime in 1978, NAPOCOR, without respondents' knowledge and consent, constructed
underground tunnels in the sub-terrain areas of the lands of the latter.These tunnels were discovered
only in 1992. The tunnels were being used by the NAPOCOR in their operations Because of the said
tunnels, the respondents were denied application of construction of deep well because it would pose
a health hazard to the community. RTC decided in favor of the respondent and ordered NPC to pay the
market value and damages. Petitioner asserts: the right to the subsoil does not extend beyond what
is necessary to enable them to obtain all the utility and convenience that such property can normally
give petitioners were still able to use the subject property even in the existence of the tunnels
underground tunnels are easements because there is no loss of title or possession

Issue: W/N respondents are owners of the sub-terrain, thereby entitling them to just compensation

Held: YES, they are still the owners of the sub-terrain portion of their land - the ownership of land
extend from the surface to the subsoil According to Art 437The owner of the parcel of land is the
owner of its surface and everything under it, and he can construct thereon any works or make ay
plantations and excavations which he may deem proper, without detriment to servitudes and subject
to special laws and ordinances. He cannot complain of the reasonable requirements of aerial
navigation. Contrary to the claim of petitioners, respondents were not able to enjoy the use of their
property because: they were not allowed to construct deep well in their lands because the tunnel may
cause hazard in the community

the value of the land was reduced and owners were even denied loan application because of the
The manner of the easement violates due process rights of the respondents as it did not go through
proper expropriation proceedings


General Rule: value of the property is based on the date of the filing of the complaint.The time of the
taking must coincide with the filing of the complaint.

Exception: value of the property is based on the date when it was taken and not the date of the
commencement of the expropriation proceedings:This is only applied to avoid giving undue
incremental advantage.Must be based on a legal taking

.Absent the consent, the taking during 1978 is not considered legal and to follow the 2nd rule would
be to agreeing with the scheme that was made by the petitioner.The basis of the computation must
be based on the value of the property in 1992 when the tunnels were discovered.


FACTS: Petitioner Crispino Salazar is the registered owner or Lot 433 situated in Tugo, Balanga,
Bataan. Her lot is bounded by Lot No. 361, NE; Sapang Tuyo, a public stream, SE; Lot 435, SW; and
Lot 433, NW. On the other hand private respondents ,Guillermo Gutierrez and Damaso Mendoza, are
the owners and lessee of Lot 433 respectively. Private Guillermo Gutierrez acquired Lot 433 by
inheritance which was registered under the Torrens Title way back May 4, 1927 and Transfer
Certificate of Title No. 1059 was issued in his name on June 11, 1928. No annotation of any lien or
encumbrance affecting the land appears on either title.

Before the controversy arose, Sapang Tuyo was the source of water for irrigation in its surrounding
estates. It delivers water through a dike which transversed Lots 431, 434, 433 and 436. A portion of
the dike passed through Lot 433 and branched into a canal which ran across Lot 433 to Lot 436.
Sometime in February 1953, private respondent Mendoza, who was then a lessee of Lot 433
demolished the said canal stopping the flow of water and deprived petitioner Salazar of the irrigation
facilities. She requested that the canal be rebuild so that the flow of water could be restored, however
her efforts were in vain prompting her to file the present suit for the damages she incurred.

CFI ruled in her favor, finding that the demolished canal had been in existence for more than thirty
years and that the big dike from which it extended had been constructed for the use of Lot 436 as
well as several other lots belonging to different owners, rendered judgment on April 10, 1956,
ordering the defendants to restore at their expense the canal in question, to connect it with the canal
found in Lot 436 and to cause the corresponding annotation of the encumbrance on Transfer
Certificate of Title 1059 covering Lot 433; and ordering the defendants to pay the plaintiff the sum of
P1,360 annually beginning the agricultural year 1956-1957 until the restoration of the canal, P4,700
as actual damages, P5,000 as moral damages and P1,000 as attorney's fees, plus costs. However,
decision was reversed on appeal, rendering that easement of aqueduct over Lot 433 is a voluntary
one and that upon registration, there was no annotation of said easement as a subsisting

Hence this review by certiorari.

ISSUE: Whether appellate court erred in holding that petitioner failed to comply with the requisites
laid down by Article 643 in order to claim legal easement set forth in Article 642 of the New Civil
RULING: On the first requisite of Article 643 that the petitioner must prove that he can dispose of
the water and that it is sufficient for the use for which it is intended there is the statement of the
trial court that the disputed canal had been in existence since the Spanish regime, or at least prior to
the original registration of Lot 433 in 1923, and that of the Court of Appeals itself confirmatory of this
second alternative finding. If, as thus found, the petitioner had been using water from Sapang Tuyo to
irrigate Lot 436 since she acquired said lot in 1949, as the Municipality of Balanga had been doing
before her, and that such use had lasted continuously for at least thirty years, it is a fair presumption
that she had a right to do so and that the water she could dispose of was sufficient for the purpose.
Indeed it would be a superfluity to require her to produce a permit from the proper authorities, for
even without it the right had already become vested both under Article 194 of the Spanish Law of
Waters and under Article 504 of the Civil Code, which respectively state:

ART. 194. Any person who has enjoyed the use of public waters for a term of twenty years
without objection on the part of the authorities or of any third person, shall continue in its
enjoyment, even though he may not be able to show that he secured proper permission.

ART. 504. The use of public waters is acquired:

(1) By administrative concession;

(2) By prescription for ten years.

The extent of the rights and obligations of the use shall be that established, in the first case, by the
terms of the concession, and, in the second case, by the manner and form, in which the waters have
been used.

The third requisite of Article 643 of the Civil Code refers to the matter of indemnity to the owner of
the servient estate. As correctly pointed out by the petitioner it would be nigh impossible now to
present actual proof that such indemnity has been paid, considering the number of years that have
elapsed since the easement had first come into existence and the subsequent changes in ownership
of the lots involved. It stands to reason, however, that if the easement had continued for so long in
fact, not only before Lot 433 was registered in 1923 but for thirty years thereafter, until cut off by the
respondents in 1953 the legal requirement in question must have been complied with.

The other requisite of Article 643 is that "the proposed right of way is the most convenient and the
least onerous to third persons." The Court of Appeals stated that the petitioner has not established
this fact, and that "her own evidence reveals that her lot is abutting Sapang Tuyo on its southern
boundary, where from she can easily and directly draw the water necessary to irrigate her land." This
statement is an oversimplification. Proximity or abutment of a piece of land to a stream does not
necessarily carry with it the conclusion that water may conveniently be drawn directly therefrom for
irrigation. In the first place, the petitioner has pointed out in her brief, without contradiction by the
respondents, that the portion of her land which abuts Sapang Tuyo is precipice. Secondly, the trial
court made an ocular inspection of the premises and observed that the eastern and northeastern
portions of Lot 436 are lower than the southwestern, western and northwestern (the point where Lot
436 adjoins Lot 433) portions of the same. Finally, it would appear from the observation made by the
same court that the demolished canal is part of a system of conduits used to irrigate the lands of the
petitioner and the respondents as well as the surrounding estates belonging to other owners, and that
this system of conduits is of a permanent nature.
OBRA v. SPS. BADUA et al


Respondents allege:

o That their residential houses, erected on a lot commonly owned by them situated in La
Union, were located west of the properties of the Obras, Bucasases, and Baduas

o Their only access to the national highway was a pathway traversing the northern
portion of Resurreccion Obras property and the southern portion of the properties of the
Bucasases and Baduas

o The pathway had been established as early as 1955

o In 1995, however, Obra constructed a fence on the northern boundary of their property,
thus, blocking respondents access to the national highway

o Respondents demanded the demolition of the fence, but Obra refused.

RTC: Dismissed the complaint. Respondents were not able to satisfy all the requisites needed
for their claim of an easement of right of way. When Obra fenced the northern portion of her
property, respondents were able to use another pathway as ingress and egress to the highway,
traversing the southern portion of Obras property. (2000 decision)

In 2001, Obra constructed a fence on the southern portion of her lot, which again restricted the
use of respondents new pathway.

Respondents filed a Motion to Enforce the 2000 decision. They alleged that the decision of the
RTC dismissing the case was based on the existence of a new pathway. Thus, Obra was
prohibited from closing said passage.

RTC: Granted. The dismissal of the complaint in 2000 depended on Obras representation that she
was allowing respondents to use the southern portion of her property as an alternative pathway. This
made the southern portion a voluntary easement of right-of-way which Obra should respect. (2001

ISSUE: Can the RTC issue an order clarifying its 2000 decision, effectively establishing an easement
on Obras property? NO.
The dismissal of the case in 2000 meant that no easement was ever established on Obras property.
However, the trial court, by issuing its 2001 decision, effectively created a right-of-way on Obras
property in favor of respondents allegedly on the basis of a voluntary agreement between the parties.
This directive was in contravention of its 2000 decision. Thus, it was null and void for having been
issued outside of the courts jurisdiction. (immutability of judgment)

Nevertheless, the records of the 2000 case do not reveal any agreement executed by the parties on
the claimed right-of-way. Glaring is the fact that the terms of the arrangement were not agreed upon
by the parties, more particularly, the payment of the proper indemnity. The evidence is not ample
enough to support the conclusion that there was a verbal agreement on the right-of-way over the
southern portion.

Moreso, since a right-of-way is an interest in the land, any agreement creating it should be drawn and
executed with the same formalities as a deed to a real estate, and ordinarily must be in writing. No
written instrument on this agreement was adduced by respondents.


Facts: Fajardo was mayor in Baao, Camrines Sur when the municipal council passed the ordinance
that prohibits the construction of a building that blocks the view of the town plaza. Moreover, it
redirects the grant of permission to the mayor.

After his incumbency, Fajardo applied for a permit to build a building beside the gasoline station near
the town plaza. His request was repeatedly denied. He continued with the construction under the
rationale that he needed a house to stay in because the old one was destroyed by a typhoon.

He was convicted and ordered to pay a fine and demolish the building due to its obstructing view.

He appealed to the CA, which in turn forwarded the petition due to the question of the ordinances

Issue: Is the ordinance constitutional?

Held: No, petition granted. The ordinance doesnt state any standard that limits the grant of power to
the mayor. It is an arbitrary and unlimited conferment.

Ordinances which thus invest a city council with a discretion which is purely arbitrary, and which may
be exercised in the interest of a favored few, are unreasonable and invalid. The ordinance should
have established a rule by which its impartial enforcement could be secured. All of the authorities
cited above sustain this conclusion.

The ordinance is unreasonable and oppressive, in that it operates to permanently deprive appellants
of the right to use their own property; hence, it oversteps the bounds of police power, and amounts to
a taking of appellants property without just compensation.
While property may be regulated to the interest of the general welfare, and the state may eliminate
structures offensive to the sight, the state may not permanently divest owners of the beneficial use of
their property and practically confiscate them solely to preserve or assure the aesthetic appearance
of the community.

Fajardo would be constrained to let the land be fallow and not be used for urban purposes. To do this
legally, there must be just compensation and they must be given an opportunity to be heard.

An ordinance which permanently so restricts the use of property that it can not be used for any
reasonable purpose goes, it is plain, beyond regulation and must be recognized as a taking of the

The validity was also refuted by the Admin Code which states:

SEC. 2243. Certain legislative powers of discretionary character. The municipal council shall have
authority to exercise the following discretionary powers:

xxx xxx xxx

(c) To establish fire limits in populous centers, prescribe the kinds of buildings that may be
constructed or repaired within them, and issue permits for the creation or repair thereof, charging a
fee which shall be determined by the municipal council and which shall not be less than two pesos for
each building permit and one peso for each repair permit issued. The fees collected under the
provisions of this subsection shall accrue to the municipal school fund.

Since, there was absolutely no showing in this case that the municipal council had either established
fire limits within the municipality or set standards for the kind or kinds of buildings to be constructed
or repaired within them before it passed the ordinance in question, it is clear that said ordinance was
not conceived and promulgated under the express authority of sec. 2243 (c)



Petitioner is the registered owner of a parcel of land with an area of 130 sq.m. while
respondent is the owner of the property adjoining the lot of petitioner.

Respondent caused the annotation of an adverse claim against 65 sq.m. of the property of
petitioner. The adverse claim was filed without any claim of ownership over the property.
Respondent was merely asserting the existing legal easement of lateral and subjacent support
at the rear portion of his estate to prevent the property from collapsing, since his property is
located at an elevated plateau of fifteen 15 feet above the level of petitioners property

Prior to the filing of the case, petitioner noticed a leak that caused the front portion of her
house to be slippery, she hired construction workers to see where the leak was coming from.
The workers had already started digging when police officers sent by respondent came and
stopped the workers from finishing their job..

In defiance, petitioner filed a complaint for damages with temporary restraining order/writ of
preliminary injunction.

Respondent alleged that the elevated part of Manuela homes (location of the property of
petitioner) were bulldozed, excavated, and transferred portions of the elevated land to the
lower portions of Manuela Homes. Thus, Manuela Homes became lower than Moonwalk Village
(location of the property of respondent).
Before the said excavation, respondent personally complained to Pilar Development
Corporation and was assured that an embankment will be retained at the boundary of Manuela
Homes and Moonwalk Village.

Manuela Homes retained the embankment consisting of soil and rocks. Respondent had the
open space riprapped with stones as reinforcement against any potential soil erosion,
earthquake, and possible digging by any person.

RTC rendered a decision in favor of the petitioner

On appeal, the CA reversed the decision of the trial court explaining that the purpose of the
annotation was to prevent petitioner from making injurious excavations on the subject embankment
as to deprive the residential house and lot of respondent of its natural support and cause it to
collapse. Respondent only asked that petitioner respect the legal easement already existing thereon.

ISSUE: Whether the easement of lateral and subjacent support exists on the subject
adjacent properties and, if it does, whether the same may be annotated at the back of the
title of the servient estate.

Article 437 of the Civil Code provides that the owner of a parcel of land is the owner of its
surface and of everything under it, and he can construct thereon any works, or make any
plantations and excavations which he may deem proper. However, such right of the owner
is not absolute and is subject to the following limitations: (1) servitudes or
easements, (2) special laws, (3) ordinances, (4) reasonable requirements of aerial
navigation, and (5) rights of third persons.

His reason for the annotation is only to prevent petitioner from removing the embankment or from
digging on the property for fear of soil erosion that might weaken the foundation of the rear portion of
his property which is adjacent to the property of petitioner.

An easement or servitude is an encumbrance imposed upon an immovable for the benefit

of another immovable belonging to a different owner. An easement is established either by
law or by will of the owners. The courts cannot impose or constitute any servitude where none
existed. They can only declare its existence if in reality it exists by law or by the will of the owners.
There are therefore no judicial easements.

Article 684 of the Civil Code provides that no proprietor shall make such excavations upon his land as
to deprive any adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support. An owner, by virtue
of his surface right, may make excavations on his land, but his right is subject to the limitation that he
shall not deprive any adjacent land or building of sufficient lateral or subjacent support. Between two
adjacent landowners, each has an absolute property right to have his land laterally supported by the
soil of his neighbor, and if either, in excavating on his own premises, he so disturbs the lateral
support of his neighbors land as to cause it, or, in its natural state, by the pressure of its own weight,
to fall away or slide from its position, the one so excavating is liable
In the instant case, an easement of subjacent and lateral support exists in favor of
respondent. It was established that the properties of petitioner and respondent adjoin each other.
The residential house and lot of respondent is located on an elevated plateau of fifteen (15) feet
above the level of petitioners property. The embankment and the riprapped stones have been in
existence even before petitioner became the owner of the property. It was proven that petitioner has
been making excavations and diggings on the subject embankment and, unless restrained, the
continued excavation of the embankment could cause the foundation of the rear portion of the house
of respondent to collapse, resulting in the destruction of a huge part of the family dwelling

An annotation of the existence of the subjacent and lateral support is no longer

necessary. It exists whether or not it is annotated or registered in the registry of property.
A judicial recognition of the same already binds the property and the owner of the same,
including her successors-in-interest. Otherwise, every adjoining landowner would come to court
or have the easement of subjacent and lateral support registered in order for it to be recognized and