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PLEASANTVILLE DEVT CORP v CA FACTS: Edith Robillo purchased a parcel of land, Lot 9, from Pleasantville Devt Corporation in PleasantvilleSubdivision,

Bacolod City. Eldred Jardinico bought the rights to the lot from Robillo. At that time, Lot 9was vacant. Upon completing all payments and securing a TCT in his name, Jardinico discovered that improvementshad been introduced on Lot 9 by Wilson Kee, who had taken possession thereof.It appears that Kee bought on installment Lot 8from CT Torres Enterprises Inc (CTTEI), the real estate agent of Pleasantville.Under the Contract to Sell, Kee could and did possess the lot even before the completion of payments.Zenaida Octaviano, CTTEIs employee, was the one who mistakenly pointed out Lot 9 (instead of Lot 8) toKees wife. Thereafter, Kee built his residence, a store, an auto repair shop, and other improvements onthe lot.Jardinico confronted Kee after discovering that the latter was occupying Lot 9. Kee refused to vacate,hence Jardinico filed an ejectment suit with damages.RTC: Kee is a builder in bad faith. Assuming arguendo that Kee was acting in good faith, he was nonethelessguilty of unlawfully usurping the possessory right of Jardinico over Lot 9 from the time he was served withnotice to vacate said lot, and was thus liable for rental.CA: Kee was a builder in good faith, as he was unaware of the mix-up when he began construction of theimprovements. The erroneous delivery was due to the fault of CTTEI and thus imputable to Pleasantville, theprincipal. ISSUE: W/N Kee is a builder in good faith? YES HELD/RATIO:The roots of the controversy can be traced in the errors committed by CTTEI when it pointed the wrong lot toKee. Good faith consists in the belief of the builder that the land he is building on is his and he is ignorant of anydefect or flaw in his title. And as good faith is presumed, Pleasantville has the burden of proving bad faith on the part of Kee. At the time he built the improvements on Lot 9, Kee believed that the said lot was the one he bought. He wasnot aware that the lot delivered to him was not Lot 8. Pleasantville failed to prove otherwise.Violation of the Contract of Sale on Installment may not be the basis to negate the presumption that Kee wasa builder in good faith. Such violations have no bearing whatsoever on whether Kee was a builder in goodfaith, that is, on his state of mind at the time he built the improvements on Lot 9. These alleged violationsmay give rise to petitioners cause of action against Kee under the said contract (contractual breach) but may not be bases to negate the presumption that Kee was a builder in good faith. GARGANTOS V. CA FACTS: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. ISSUE:Whether or not an easement was established RULING: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. BOGO-MEDELLIN MILLING CO. INC. V CA FACTS: Magdaleno Valdez, Sr., father of herein private respondents Sergio Valdez etc. purchased from Feliciana Santillan a parcel of unregistered land with an area of one hectare, 34 ares and 16 centares, located in Barrio Dayhagon, Medellin, Cebu. He took possession of the property and declared it for tax purposes in his name. Prior to the sale, however, the entire length of the land from north to south was already traversed in the middle by railroad tracks owned by petitioner Bogo-Medellin Milling Co., Inc. (hereafter Bomedco). The tracks were used for hauling sugar cane from the fields to petitioners sugar mill. When Magdaleno Valdez, Sr. passed away in 1948, herein private respondents inherited the land. However, unknown to them, Bomedco was able to have the disputed middle lot which was occupied by the railroad tracks placed in its name in the Cadastral Survey of Medellin,

Cebu in 1965. The entire subject land was divided into three. However, Lot No. 954, the narrow lot where the railroad tracks lay, was claimed by Bomedco as its own and was declared for tax purposes in its name.It was not until 1989 when private respondents discovered the aforementioned claim of Bomedco on inquiry with the Bureau of Lands. Through their lawyer, they immediately demanded the legal basis for Bomedco's claim over Cadastral Lot No. 954 but their letter of inquiry addressed to petitioner went unheeded, as was their subsequent demand for payment of compensation for the use of the land., respondent heirs filed a Complaint for Payment of Compensation and/or Recovery of Possession of Real Property and Damages with Application for Restraining Order/Preliminary Injunction against Bomedco before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. Respondent heirs alleged that, before she sold the land to Valdez, Sr. in 1935, Santillan granted Bomedco, in 1929, a railroad right of way for a period of 30 years. When Valdez, Sr. acquired the land, he respected the grant. The right of way expired sometime in 1959 but respondent heirs allowed Bomedco to continue using the land because one of them was then an employee of the company.On the other hand, Bomedcos principal defense was that it was the owner and possessor of Cadastral Lot No. 954, having allegedly bought the same from Feliciana Santillan in 1929, prior to the sale of the property by the latter to Magdaleno Valdez, Sr. in 1935. It also contended that plaintiffs claim was already barred by prescription and laches because of Bomedcos open and continuous possession of the property for more than 50 years. ISSUE/ HELD: WON petitioner acquired ownership of the easement through prescription. NEGATIVE. 30-year extraordinary prescriptive period had not yet been complied and there was neither laches. RATIO DICIDENDI:Instead of indicating ownership of the lot, these receipts showed that all petitioner had was possession by virtue of the right of way granted to it. Were it not so and petitioner really owned the land, petitioner would not have consistently used the phrases central railroad right of way and sugar central railroad right of way in its tax declarations until 1963. Certainly an owner would have found no need for these phrases. A person cannot have an easement on his own land, since all the uses of an easement are fully comprehended in his general right of ownership.An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted on the corporeal immovable property of another, by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from doing, or must allow someone to do, something on his property, for the benefit of another thing or person. It exists only when the servient and dominant estates belong to two different owners. It gives the holder of the easement an incorporeal interest on the land but grants no title thereto. Therefore, an acknowledgment of the easement is an admission that the property belongs to another.Having held the property by virtue of an easement, petitioner cannot now assert that its occupancy since 1929 was in the concept of an owner. Neither can it declare that the 30-year period of extraordinary acquisitive prescription started from that year.The mere expiration of the period of easement in 1959 did not convert petitioners possession into an adverse one. Mere material possession of land is not adverse possession as against the owner and is insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent to possess as an owner. There should be a hostile use of such a nature and exercised under such circumstances as to manifest and give notice that the possession is under a claim of right.The only time petitioner assumed a legal position adverse to respondents was when it filed a claim over the property in 1965 during the cadastral survey of Medellin. Since then (1965) and until the filing of the complaint for the recovery of the subject land before the RTC of Cebu in 1989, only 24 years had lapsed. Since the required 30-year extraordinary prescriptive period had not yet been complied with in 1989, petitioner never acquired ownership of the subject land. Neither can petitioner find refuge in the principle of laches. It is not just the lapse of time or delay that constitutes laches. The essence of laches is the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, through due diligence, could or should have been done earlier, thus giving rise to a presumption that the party entitled to assert it had either abandoned or declined to assert it.Records show that respondent heirs only learned about petitioners claim on their property when they discovered the inscription for the cadastral survey in the records of the Bureau of Lands in 1989. Respondents lost no time in demanding an explanation for said claim in their letters to the petitioner dated March 1, 1989 and April 6, 1989. When petitioner ignored them, they instituted their complaint before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City on June 8, 1989.Petitioner contends that, even if it failed to acquire ownership of the subject land, it nevertheless became legally entitled to the easement of right of way over said land by virtue of prescription under Article 620 of the Civil Code:Continuous and apparent easements are acquired either by virtue of a title or by prescription of ten years.Under civil law and its jurisprudence, easements are either 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, an easement is continuous if its use is, or may be, incessant without the intervention of any act of man, like the easement of drainage; and it is discontinuous if it is used at intervals and depends on the act of man, like the easement of right of way.The easement of right of way is considered discontinuous because it is exercised only if a person passes or sets foot on somebody elses land. 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 only if and when a train operated by a person passes over another's property. In other words, the very exercise of the servitude depends upon the act or intervention of man which is the very essence of discontinuous easements.The presence of more or less permanent railroad tracks does not in any way convert the nature of an easement of right of way to one that is continuous. It is not the presence of apparent signs or physical indications showing the existence of an easement, but rather the manner of exercise thereof, that categorizes such easement into continuous or discontinuous. The presence of physical or visual signs only classifies an easement into apparent or non-apparent. Thus, a road (which reveals a right of way) and a window (which evidences a right to light and view) are apparent easements, while an easement of not building beyond a certain height is non-apparent.In this case, the presence of railroad tracks for the passage of petitioners trains denotes the existence of an apparent but discontinuous easement of right of way. And under Article 622 of the Civil Code, discontinuous easements, whether apparent or not, may be acquired only by title. Unfortunately, petitioner Bomedco never acquired any title over the use of the railroad right of way whether by 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 right of way can only be acquired by title and not by prescription.To be sure, beginning 1959 when the original 30-year grant of right of way given to petitioner Bomedco expired, its occupation and use of Cadastral Lot No. 954 came to be by mere tolerance of the respondent heirs. Thus, upon demand by said heirs in 1989 for the return of the subject land and the removal of the railroad tracks, or, in the alternative, payment of compensation for the use thereof, petitioner Bomedco which had no title to the land should have returned the possession thereof or should have begun paying compensation for its use. G.R. No. 175510 July 28, 2008. VALDEZ vs TABISULA Facts:Petitioner bought a 200 sq.m. portion of the 380 sq.m. property from the respondent with anabsolute deed of sale with pertinent portion stating that the petitioner will be provided 2 meter wideroad right-of-way on the western side of their lot but which is not included in this sale. Respondentssubsequently built a concrete wall on the western side of the subject property. Believing that that side isthe intended road right of way mentioned in the deed, petitioners, through their representative,reported the matter to the barangay for mediation and conciliation. Petitioners alleged that theypurchased the subject property on the strength of respondents assurance of providing them a roadright of way. They thus prayed that respondents be ordered to provide the subject property with a 2-meter wide easement and to remove the concrete wall blocking the same. Respondents, in their Answerwith Compulsory Counterclaim (for damages and attorneys fees), averred that the 2 -meter easementshould be taken from the western portion of the subject property and not from theirs; and petitionersand their family are also the owners of two properties adjoining the subject property, which adjoining properties have access to two public roads or highways the bigger one which adjoins P. Burgos St. onthe north, and the smaller one which abuts an existing barangay road on the north. Issue:Whether or not an easement is automatically granted? Held: The Court held an easement or servitude is "a real right constituted on anothers property,corporeal and immovable, by virtue of which the owner of the same has to abstain from doing or toallow somebody else to do something on his property for the benefit of another thing or person asstated in Art 613 of the Civil Code. An easement is established by law or by will of the owner hencecalled legal and voluntary easement, respectively. Although it stated in their deed of sale on the grant of provision of right of way but said easement is not included in the sale therefore it is not a disposition of real property. For it to be in effect a document stipulating a voluntary easement must be recorded in theRegistry of Property in order not to prejudice third parties.To be conferred a legal easement of right of way under Article 649, the following requisites mustbe complied with: (1) the property is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to

apublic highway; (2) proper indemnity must be paid; (3) the isolation is not the result of the owner of thedominant estates own acts; (4) the right of way claimed is at the point least prejudicial to the servientestate; and (5) to the extent consistent with the foregoing rule, the distance from the dominant estateto a public highway may be the shortest. The onus of proving the existence of these prerequisites lies onthe owner of the dominant estate.In the case at bar it has been found that neither of the above requirements were met. The Court affirmed the decision of the CA on the issue of easement. G.R. No. 149023 LEE vs CARREON Challenged in the instant Petition for Review on Certiorari1 are the Decision2 of the Court of Appeals dated March 12, 2001 and its Resolution dated June 21, 2001 in CA-G.R. CV No. 60511. Spouses Amadeo and Adelaida Carreon, respondents, are the owners of a house and Lots Nos. 8-B and 8-C located in Cebu City covered by Transfer Certificates of Title (TCT) Nos. 61049 and 56745, respectively, of the Registry of Deeds, same city. On the other hand, Anita Linda Rodriguez is the owner of Lot No. 6213-A-2 covered by TCT No. 93402. It is situated within the vicinity of respondent spouses lots. As there is no existing way from their property to the nearest road, respondents filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 22, Cebu City a complaint for easement of right of way against Rodriguez, docketed as Civil Case No. CEB-7426. During the pre-trial, the RTC found that there is another servient estate, owned by Mr. and Ms. Anselmo Jardin which could be used by respondents as a right of way. Respondents then filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Amended Complaint to include spouses Jardin as co-defendants, the latter being owners of Lots Nos. 6213-A-3, 6213-A-4 and 8-A located on the eastern side of respondents property. On June 9, 1989, the RTC issued an Order admitting the Amended Complaint. However, the lots of spouses Jardin were sold pendente lite to Leo Winston Brin Lee, petitioner. As a result, respondents filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Second Amended Complaint impleading petitioner as additional defendant. On September 10, 1993, the RTC granted the motion. After trial, the RTC rendered Judgment in favor of respondents and against petitioner, the dispositive portion of which reads: FOR ALL THE FOREGOING, judgment is hereby rendered for the plaintiffs as follows: 1. Ordering defendant Mr. Leo Winston Brin Lee to grant plaintiffs a right of way on the northern portion of his properties as indicated in Exh.9-Lee measuring "one-meter wide and thirteen meters long; 2. Ordering Mr. Leo Winston Brin Lee to demolish the fence/structure to the extent obstructing the right of way hereinabove constituted; 3. Ordering plaintiffs to solidarily pay defendant Lee the amount of THREE THOUSAND PESOS (P3,000.00) per sq. m. or a total of THIRTY NINE THOUSAND PESOS (P39,000.00) as payment of indemnity, on or before the complete establishment thereof; 4. Further ordering plaintiffs to solidarily pay defendant Lee the amount of TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P25,000.00) as the value of the wall/fence to be demolished likewise on or before the complete establishment of the easement; and 5. All counterclaims are hereby dismissed for lack of merit. NO PRONOUNCEMENT AS TO COSTS. SO ORDERED. On appeal by petitioner, the Court of Appeals, in its assailed Decision, affirmed the RTC Judgment, thus: WHEREFORE, premises considered, the present appeal is hereby DISMISSED, for lack of merit. The appealed Decision dated June 24, 1997 of the Regional Trial Court of Cebu City, Branch 22 in Civil Case No. CEB-7426 is hereby AFFIRMED. No pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED. Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied by the appellate court in its Resolution of June 21, 2001.

Hence, the present petition. Petitioner contends that respondents have an existing right of way; and that had the trial court considered certain testimonial evidence and respondents admissions, its conclusion and that of the Court of Appeals would have been different. Respondents, on the other hand, pray that the petition be denied for lack of merit. The issue for our resolution is whether the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that respondents are entitled to an easement of right of way on petitioners property. This issue is both factual and legal in nature. The conferment of a legal easement of right of way is governed by Articles 649 and 650 of the Civil Code reproduced as follows: 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. Should this easement be established in such a manner that its use may be continuous for all the needs of the dominant estate, establishing a permanent passage, the indemnity shall consist of the value of the land occupied and the amount of the damage caused to the servient estate. In case the right of way is limited to the necessary passage for the cultivation of the estate surrounded by others and for the gathering of its crops through the servient estate without a permanent way, the indemnity shall consist in the payment of the damage caused by such encumbrance. This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of the immovable is due to the proprietors own acts. 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. To be entitled to an easement of right of way, the following requisites should be met: 1. the dominant estate is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway (Art. 649, par. 1); 2. there is payment of proper indemnity (Art. 649, par. 1); 3. the isolation is not due to the acts of the proprietor of the dominant estate (Art. 649, last par.); and 4. the right of way claimed is 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 (Art. 650).3 All the above requisites are present here. As regards the first requisite, the parties agreed that respondents property is surrounded by the estates of other persons, including that of petitioner. The only dispute is whether respondents have an adequate outlet to the nearest road. The Court of Appeals held: x x x What defendant-appellant insists is that plaintiffs-appellees can use another outlet leading to the nearest road by traversing several small lots and thereafter use the northern portion of his property which he is willing to be the subject of a right of way. The trial court found that plaintiffs-appellees managed to reach the nearest road through any passage available, passing through several lots as they were unobstructed by any structure of fence. However, as correctly ruled by the court a quo, this is not the adequate outlet referred to by law.1wphi1 Plaintiffs-appellees have every right in accordance with law to formally demand for an adequate outlet sufficient for their needs. Moreover, the alternative route referred to by defendantappellant appears to be merely a proposed outlet, not yet in existence. x x x The second requisite is that payment of indemnity has been complied with. Respondents have consistently maintained that they are "willing to pay the area affected at a reasonable price that may be fixed by the Court."4 Anent the third requisite, records show that the isolation of respondents property is not due to their fault.1wphi1Actually, it is surrounded by estates of other persons, leaving respondents no adequate ingress or egress to a public highway.

Going now to the fourth requisite that the right of way claimed is at the point "least prejudicial" and "shortest distance" to the servient estate, the Court of Appeals held: "We find the same to be present in the case at bar." Moreover, it should be emphasized that what respondent spouses asked for was merely a one (1) meter wide pathway. The trial court found that this easement will only affect a small portion of petitioners lot which has a total area of 249 square meters.5 Only his fence will be affected, the damage of which respondent spouses are willing to pay.1wphi1 Verily, we find no cogent reason to disturb the Decision of the Court of Appeals affirming the Judgment of the trial court. WHEREFORE, we DENY the petition. The challenged Decision and Resolution of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. 60511 are AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner. Spouses Dela Cruz vs. Ramiscal GR #137882 Facts: Respondent Olga Ramiscal is the registered owner of a parcel of land located at the corner of 18th Avenue and Boni Serrano Avenue, Murphy, Quezon City. Petitioners SPS. ELIZABETH and ALFREDO DE LA CRUZ are occupants of a parcel of land, with an area of eighty-five square meters, located at the back of Ramiscal's property in the name of Concepcion de la Pena, mother of petitioner Alfredo de la Cruz.The subject matter of this case is a 1.10-meter wide by 12.60-meter long strip of land owned by respondent which is being used by petitioners as their pathway to and from 18th Avenue, the nearest public highway from their property. Petitioners had enclosed the same with a gate, fence, and roof.In 1976, respondent leased her property, including the building thereon, to Phil. Orient Motors. Phil. Orient Motors also owned a property adjacent to that of respondents. In 1995, Phil. Orient Motors sold its property to San Benito Realty. After the sale, Engr. Rafael Madrid prepared a relocation survey and location plan for both contiguous properties of respondent and San Benito Realty. It was only then that respondent discovered that the aforementioned pathway being occupied by petitioners is part of her property. Through her lawyer, respondent immediately demanded that petitioners demolish the structure constructed by them on said pathway without her knowledge and consent. Issue: Whether or not the petitioners are entitled to a voluntary or legal easement of right of way. Ruling: No. An easement or servitude is a real right, constituted on the corporeal immovable property of another, by virtue of which the owner has to refrain from doing, or must allow someone to do, something on his property, for the benefit of another thing or person. The statutory basis for this right is Article 613, in connection with Article 619, of the Civil Code. The conferment of a legal easement of right of way under Article 649 is subject to proof of the following requisites: (1) it is surrounded by other immovables and has no adequate outlet to a public highway; (2) payment of proper indemnity; (3) the isolation is not the result of its 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, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest. The first three requisites are not obtaining in the instant case. Taylor v Manila Electric Road (1910) FACTS: Plaintif David Taylor, 15 year old son of a mechanical engineer who was employed at Manila ElectricRoad, together with his 12 year old playmate Manuel, entered into the premises of the defendant on aSunday. When the person they intended to meet was not there, they instead wandered around the companys premises. They found themselves in a place where the company dump the cinders and ashes from the furnaces. They found some 20 or 30 brass fulminating caps scattered on the ground. Thesecaps were used in the explosion of blasting charges of dynamite and are considered explosive power.The boys picked all they could find and carried them home. On their way home, they met Jessie, 9 year old girl. The three of them went to the home of Manuel and made several experiments with the caps. Infailing to set an explosion, the boys opened the caps, Manuel lit the match and applied it on the yellowsubstance found inside the cap which was held by David. Jessie ran before the explosion yet received aslight cut in the neck. Manuels hands were burned while Davids right eyes was injured and had to be removed.It was found that David worked as a cabin boy and a mechanical draftsman. He was more matured physically and mentally than an average boy of his age.The defendant did not adopt measures to prohibit or prevent visitors from entering and walkingabout its premises unattended. Children are not prohibited from visiting the premises.David, by his father, filed an action for damages against defendant company.David alleges that the caps were found on defendants premises and its employees left them exposed despite the caps being explosive. He also invoked the doctrine of turntables whereinbecause of youth the intervention of plaintiffs act

between the negligent act of the defendant inlaving the caps exposed and the explosion which resulted in his injury should not be held to havecontributed in any way to the accident. ISSUEWhether the defendant company should be liable for the injury of David. HELD: NO.The Turntable doctrine does not apply. Instead the ruling in Railroad Company v Stout must be appliedwhere in it was stated that:1. The owner of the land is not liable to trespassers thereon for injuries sustained by them, not dueto his wanton or willful acts2. No exception to this rule exists in favor of children who are injured3. An invitation or license to cross the premises of another cannot be predicated on the mere factthat no steps have been taken to interfere with such practice. There is no difference between children and adults as to the circumstances that will warrant the inference of an invitation or a license to enter upon anothers premises.In an American case, a justice opined that Children wherever they go, must be expected to act uponchildlike instincts and impulses. Others who are chargeable with a duty to care and caution toward themmust calculate upon this and take precautions accordingly. The doctrine of implied invitation to visit the premise states that the owners of premises, whereon things attractive tochildren are exposed, or upon which the public are expressly or impliedly permitted to enter or upon which the owners knows or ought to know children are likely to roam about for pastime an in play, must calculate upon this and takeprecautions accordingly. Leaving tempting thing for children may be equivalent to an invitation to them tomake use of it. To hold otherwise would be to expose all children in the community to unknown perils and unnecessary danger at the whim of the owners or occupants of land upon which they might naturallyexpect to enter We hold that the entry of plaintiff upon defendants property without defendants express invitation would not have relieved defendant from responsibility for injuries incurred by plaintiff, withoutother fault on his part, is such were attributable to the negligence of the defendant.The defendant in leaving the caps exposed on its premises was not the proximate cause of theinjury received by the plaintiff, which therefore was not attributable to the negligence of thedefendant.Plaintiffs action in cutting open the detonating cap and putting a match to its contentswas the proximate cause of the explosion and the resultant injuries inflicted upon the plaintiff, and thatthedefendant therefore is not civilly responsible for the injuries incurred.In case of an adult, he can only recover damages from the negligence of another if he must have beenfree from fault. But such is not the case for infant of tender years.The care and caution required of a child is according to his maturity and capacity only, and this is to be determined in each case by the circumstances of the case.He was a boy of more than average intelligence, taller and more mature both mentally andphysically than most boys of 15He may not have known and probably did not know the precise nature of the explosionwhichmight be expected from the ignition of the contents of the cap, and of course he did not anticipatethe resultant injuries which he incurred; but he well knew that a more or less dangerous explosionmight be expected from his act, and yet he willfully, recklessly, and knowingly produced the explosion.The law fixes no arbitrary age at which a minor can be said to have the necessary capacity to understand and appreciate the nature and consequences of his own acts, so as to make it negligence on his part to fail to exercise due care and precaution in the commission of such acts; and indeed it would be impracticable and perhaps impossible so to do, for in the very nature of things thequestion of negligence necessarily depends on the ability of the minor to understand the character of hisown acts and their consequences He was sui juris in the sense that his age and his experience qualified him to understand andappreciate the necessity for the exercise of that degree of caution which would have avoided theinjury which resulted from his own deliberate act; and that the injury incurred by him must be heldto have been the direct and immediate result of his own willful and reckless act. Republic of the Philippines v. Leon Silim G.R. No. 140487. April 2, 2001 Facts:Spouses Silim and Mangubat donated a 5,600 sq. m parcel of land in favour of the Bureau of Public Schools, Malangas, Zamboanga del Sur. In the Deed of Donation, respondents imposed the condition that the said property should "be used exclusively and forever for school purposes only." This donation was accepted by Gregorio Buendia, the District Supervisor of BPS, through an Affidavit of Acceptance and/or Confirmation of Donation.A school building was constructed on the donated land. However, the Bagong Lipunan school building that was supposed to be allocated for the donated parcel of land could not be released since the government required that it be built upon a one (1) hectare parcel of land. To remedy this predicament Buendia was authorized to officially transact for the exchange of the old school site to a new and suitable location which would fit the specifications of the

government. Pursuant to this, Buendia and Teresita Palma entered into a Deed of Exchange whereby the donated lot was exchanged with the bigger lot owned by the latter. The Bagong Lipunan school buildings were constructed on the new school site and the school building previously erected on the donated lot was dismantled and transferred to the new location.The Silim spouses learned of the Deed of Exchange when thay learned that Vice-Mayor Wilfredo Palma was constructing a house on the donated property. They filed a complaint to annul the donation claiming that there was no valid acceptance made by the donee and that there was a violation of the condition in the donation. Issue:(1)Was there a valid acceptance based on Arts. 745 and 749 of the NCC? (2)Was the condition in the donation violated? Ruling:(1)Yes. There was a valid acceptance.The last paragraph of Art. 749 reads: If the acceptance is made in a separate instrument, the donor shall be notified thereof in an authentic form, and this step shall be noted in both instruments. The purpose of the formal requirement for acceptance of a donation is to ensure that such acceptance is duly communicated to the donor.Here, a school building was immediately constructed after the donation was executed. Respondents had knowledge of the existence of the school building. It was when the school building was being dismantled and transferred to the new site and when Vice-Mayor Wilfredo Palma was constructing a house on the donated property that respondents came to know of the Deed of Exchange. The actual knowledge by respondents of the construction and existence of the school building fulfilled the legal requirement that the acceptance of the donation by the donee be communicated to the donor.Under Art. 745, the law requires the donee to accept the donation personally, or through an authorized person with a special power for the purpose, or with a general and sufficient power; otherwise the donation shall be void.The respondents claim that the acceptance by Buendia of the donation was ineffective because of the absence of a special power of attorney from the Republic of the Philippines. The donation was made in favor of the Bureau of Public Schools. Such being the case, Buendias acceptance was authorized under Section 47 of the 1987 Administrative Code which states:SEC. 47. Contracts and Conveyances. Contracts or conveyances may be executed for and in behalf of the Government or of any of its branches, subdivisions, agencies, or instrumentalities, whenever demanded by the exigency or exigencies of the service and as long as the same are not prohibited by law.(2)No. The condition was not violated.The exclusivity of the purpose of the donation was not altered or affected when Buendia exchanged the lot for a much bigger one. It was in furtherance and enhancement of the purpose of the donation. The acquisition of the bigger lot paved the way for the release of funds for the construction of Bagong Lipunan school building which could not be accommodated by the limited area of the donated lot. GESTOPA VS. CA FACTS:Spouses Danlag own six parcels of land. To four parcels of land, they executed a donation mortis causa in favor of respondent Mercedes DanlagPilapil, reserving donor's rights to amend, cancel, or revoke the donation and to sell or encumber such properties. Years later, they executed another donation, this time inter vivos, to six parcels of land in favor of respondents, reserving their rights to the fruits of the land during their lifetime and for prohibiting the donee to sell or dispose the properties donated. Subsequently, the spouses sold 2 parcels to herein petitioners, spouses Gestopa, and eventually revoking the donation. Respondent filed a petition to quiet title, stating that she had already become the owner of the parcels of land. Trial Court ruled in favor of petitioners, but CA reversed. ISSUE:Whether the (second) donation was inter vivos or mortis causa. RULING:It was donation inter vivos. The spouses were aware of the difference between the two donations, and that they needed to execute another deed of donation inter vivos, since it has a different application to a donation mortis causa. Also, the court stated four reasons to the matter: (1) that the spouses donated the parcels of land out of love and affection, a clear indication of a donation inter vivos; (2) the reservation of a lifetime usufruct; (3) reservation of sufficient properties for maintenance that shows the intention to part with their six lot; and (4) respondent's acceptance, contained in the deed of donation. Once a deed of donation has been accepted, it cannot be revoked, except for officiousness or ingratitude, which the spouses failed to invoke.

MATEO v. LAGUA G.R. No. L-26270 October 30, 1969 FACTS: Cipriano Lagua was the original registered owner of 3 parcels of land situated in Asingan, Pangasinan. Sometime in 1917, Lagua and his wife Alejandra Dumlao, in a public instrument, donated Lots 998 and 6541 to their son Alejandro Lagua, in consideration of the latter's marriage to Bonifacia Mateo. Thereafter, the married couple took possession of the properties, but the Certificates of Title remained in the donor's name. After the death of Alejandro, Cipriano took possession of the subject property top which it continued the farming and portion thereof was given to Bonifacia and her daughter. When Bonifacia was demanding for the land, Cipriano refused to give it prompting Bonifacia to file for an action to claim the land which the court granted. However, the land remains to be in possession of Cipriano which later sold it to his son Gervacio. It was later found out by Bonifacia that the land was sold to Gervacio. Bonifacia filed an action to rescind the contract between Cipriano and Gervacio. The lower court decide in favor of Bonifacia. Upon appeal in CA it reversed the decision granting a portion of the subject land to Gervacio being it the legitime of then deceased Cipriano. Hence this appeal. ISSUE: whether or not the granting of the portion of the subject land it Gervacio, being him the legitime of Cipriano, is valid. HELD: Yes. The Court are in accord with the Court of Appeals that Civil Case No. 442 is not one exclusively for annulment or revocation of the entire donation, but of merely that portion thereof allegedly trenching on the legitime of respondent Gervasio Lagua;1 that the cause of action to enforce Gervasio's legitime, having accrued only upon the death of his father on 12 November 1958, the dispute has to be governed by the pertinent provisions of the new Civil Code; and that a donation proper nuptias property may be reduced for being inofficious. Contrary to the views of appellants (petitioners), donations proper nuptias (by reason of marriage) are without onerous consideration, the marriage being merely the occasion or motive for the donation, not its causa. Being liberalities, they remain subject to reduction for inofficiousness upon the donor's death, if they should infringe the legitime of a forced heir. QUILALA vs. ALCANTARA TOPIC: MAKING DONATIONG.R No.: 132681 December 3, 2001 ANG ACCEPTANCE OF

and onewitness on the left-hand margin. The donee and the otherwitness signed on the right hand margin. Surely, therequirement that the contracting parties and their witnessesshould sign on the left-hand margin of the instrument is notabsolute. The intendment of the law merely is to ensure thateach and every page of the instrument is authenticated bythe parties. The requirement is designed to avoid thefalsification of the contract after the same has already beenduly executed by the parties. Hence, a contracting partyaffixes his signature on each page of the instrument to certifythat he is agreeing to everything that is written thereon atthe time of signing.Simply put, the specification of the location of the signatureis merely directory. The fact that one of the parties signs onthe wrong side of the page does not invalidate the document.In the same vein, the lack of an acknowledgment by thedonee before the notary public does not also render thedonation null and void. The instrument should be treated inits entirety. It cannot be considered a private document inpart and a public document in another part. The fact that itwas acknowledged before a notary public converts the deedof donation in its entirety a public instrument. The fact thatthe donee was not mentioned by the notary public in theacknowledgment is of no moment. To be sure, it is theconveyance that should be acknowledged as a free andvoluntary act. In any event, the donee signed on the secondpage, which contains the Acknowledgment only. Her acceptance, which is explicitly set forth on the first page of the notarized deed of donation, was made in a public instrument. Petition granted. LUCENA GRAND CENTRAL TERMINAL, INC.vs. JAC LINER, INC. G.R. No. 148339. February 23, 2005 Facts: The City of Lucena enacted an ordinance which provides, inter alia, that: all buses, mini-buses and out-of-town passenger jeepneys shall be prohibited from entering the city and are hereby directed to proceed to the common terminal, for picking-up and/or dropping of their passengers; and (b) all temporary terminals in the City of Lucena are hereby declared inoperable starting from the effectivity of this ordinance. It also provides that all jeepneys, mini-buses, and buses shall use the grand central terminal of the city. JAC Liner, Inc. assailed the city ordinance as unconstitutional on the ground that, inter alia, the same constituted an invalid exercise of police power, an undue taking of private property,a violation of the constitutional prohibition against monopolies and the other terminals are public nuisances. ISSUE: WON the other terminals are public nuisances.

FACTS:On February 20, 1981, Catalina Quilala (donor) executed a"Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" in favor of VioletaQuilala (donee)over a parcel of land located in Sta. Cruz,Manila and registered in her name.The "Donation of Real Property Inter Vivos" consists of twopages. The first page contains the deed of donation itself, andis signed on the bottom portion by Catalina Quilala andVioleta Quilala, and two instrumental witnesses. The secondpage contains the Acknowledgment, which states merely thatCatalina Quilala personally appeared before the notary publicand acknowledged that the donation was her free andvoluntary act and deed. There appear on the lefthand marginof the second page the signatures of Catalina Quilala and oneof the witnesses, and on the right-hand margin the signaturesof Violeta Quilala and the other witnessOn November 7, 1983, Catalina Quilala died. Violeta Quilalalikewise died on May 22, 1984. Petitioner Ricky Quilalaalleges that he is the surviving son of Violeta Quilala.Meanwhile, respondents Gliceria Alcantara, LeonoraAlcantara, Ines Reyes and Juan Reyes, claiming to beCatalina's only surviving relatives within the fourth civildegree of consanguinity instituted an action for thedeclaration of nullity of the donation inter vivos, and for thecancellation of the TCT in the name of Violeta Quilala.The trial court rendered a decision declaring null and void thedeed of donation of real property inter vivos executed byCatalina Quilala in favor of Violeta Quilala. The trial courtfound that since it was acknowledged before a notary publiconly by the donor, Catalina, there was no acceptance byVioleta of the donation in a public instrument. The decisionwas affirmed by the CA. ISSUE: Whether or not the donation executed by Catalina infavor of Violeta is valid HELD:valid even if the acknowledgment was only signed by the donor Below the terms and stipulations of the donation, the donor,donee and their witnesses affixed their signature. However,the Acknowledgment appearing on the second pagementioned only the donor, Catalina Quilala. Thus, the trialcourt ruled that for Violeta's failure to acknowledge heracceptance before the notary public, the same was set forthmerely on a private instrument, i.e., the first page of theinstrument.We disagree.As provided for in Section 112, paragraph 2 of PD No. 1529,the second page of the deed of donation, on which theAcknowledgment appears, was signed by the donor

HELD: NO,their operation is a legitimate business which, by itself, cannot be said to be injurious to the rights of property, health, or comfort of the community.But even assuming that terminals are nuisances due to their alleged indirect effects upon the flow of traffic, at most they are nuisance per accidens, not per se.Unless a thing is nuisance per se, however, it may not be abated via an ordinance, without judicial proceedings, as was done in the case at bar. DOMINICA CUTANDA V. HEIRS OF ROBERTO CUTANDA FACTS:Roberto Cutanda owned 2 parcels of land in Bohol, and upon his death, his children became owners of said land by inheritance. They left Bohol and established residence in Leyte. In 1988, they returned to Bohol hoping to work on the land that was left to them. However, they discovered that these lands were already in the possession of their relativesheirs of their uncles and aunts.Petitioners averred that the land in question is actually owned by their late uncle, Anastacio Cutanda, who died without children, and left the lands to his siblings, one of which was Roberto Cutanda. Furthermore, they claim rightful ownership of the land as they have been in open, contiguous, adverse, and uninterrupted possession of these for about 55 years.The trials court found for the Petitioners. However, the CA reversed the RTCs decision. ISSUE:Whether or not the rights of the heirs of Roberto Cutanda have already prescribed, thus, giving rightful ownership to the Petitioners? HELD:The action brought by the respondents to the court was one of accion publiciana to recover the right to possession and to be declared rightful owners of the land. Since the complaint actually put in issue the ownership of the land, it should thus be treated properly as an accion reinvindicatoria.Nevertheless, both have already prescribed as these rights are extinguished if not brought within 10 years from dispossession. Therefore, the petitioners have indeed acquired possession and ownership of the land in question by prescription, as the respondents failed to bring this action only 55 years later.

Imuan vs. Cereno, G.R. No. 167995, Sept. 11, 2009 Facts:Pablo contracted two marriages and all his children on both are already dead. The petitioners in the case are his grandchildren while the respondent is the husband of his daughter from his second marriage. Juana, Pablos second wife, together with her children continued to be in possession of the parcel of land owned by Pablo after his death. A joint affidavit was executed attesting that Pablo ceded the property in favor of Juana in the occasion of their marriage but the document was lost. Juana sold said parcel of land to the respondent which was registered in the register of deeds. The land area sold to respondents was divided by a barangay road. They built a house on one side and planted fruit-bearing trees on the other side. It is on the latters side where the petitioners took possession and built a nipa hut thereon. An ejectment case was filed by the respondents against petitioners but was later dismissed when the petitioners left the area.Petitioners now brought an action for reconveyance, damages, and annulment of deed of sale by Juana to the respondents. They contend that it was through their tolerance that Juana and her children constructed their house on the lot in dispute, that Pablo have not partitioned among his heirs his property and the sale made by Juana to respondents are null and void. Respondents invoke the ground that when Pablo married Juana the property was his exclusive property and donated such through propter nuptias when they married. Thus Juana, being the owner of said lot, validly made the sale to respondents who immediately took possession over the land and paid its realty tax. MTC ruled in favor of the petitioners however upon appeal CA ruled in favor of the respondents as it held that the respondents are in peaceful possession of said lot for 29 years which suffice to meet the requirement of 10-year period of open, public, and adverse possession in the concept of owner that the law on prescription requires. It ruled that petitioners are barred by latches from claiming ownership of the disputed property. Issue:Whether or not the petitioners are barred by latches and prescription in claiming their share of the property? Ruling:The Supreme Court ruled that the respondents have acquired the disputed property by acquisitive prescription. Prescription is another mode of acquiring ownership and other real rights over immovable property and is concerned with a lapse of time laid down by law where possession should be in the concept of an owner, public, peaceful, uninterrupted, and adverse. Possession is open when it is patent, visible, apparent, and notorious. It is continuous when uninterrupted, unbroken and not intermittent or occasional; exclusive when the adverse possessor can show exclusive dominion over the land and an appropriation of it to his own use and benefit; and notorious when it is so conspicuous that it is generally known and talked of by the public or the people in the neighborhood. The party who asserts ownership by adverse possession must prove the presence of the essential elements of acquisitive prescription. Ordinary acquisitive prescription requires possession in ood faith and a just title in 10 years while extraordinary acquisitive prescription involves uninterrupted adverse possession for 30 years without the need for good title and goodfaith.Respondents immediately took possession of the

property after buying it and diligently paid its realty tax. Even if the petitioners saw respondents built a house thereon and planted fruit- bearing trees, they did not raise objection on the respondents possession. Their inaction further made them guilty of latches since they live merely 100 meters away from the property to know of the respondents possession of said land. They only filed an action for reconveyance 29 years after the respondents peaceful possession over the property, the 10-year prescription period for ordinary acquisitive prescription has already lapsed. The SC affirmed the CA decision declaring the respondents as the rightful owner of the land in dispute. Navarro vs. Escobido, GR 153788, November 27, 2009 Facts: Private respondent (Karen Go) files a complaint with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of replevin against petitioner (Navarro) for the seizure of 2 motor vehicles under lease agreement. Petitioner maintains among others in the case at bar that the complaints were premature because no prior demand was made on him to comply with the provisions of the lease agreements before the complaints for replevin were filed. Issue: WON prior demand is a condition precedent to an action for a writ of replevin. Held: No. Petitioner erred in arguing that prior demand is required before an action for a writ of replevin is filed since we cannot liken a replevin action to an unlawful detainer.For a writ of replevin to issue, all that the applicant must do is to file an affidavit and bond, pursuant to Section 2, Rule 60 of the Rules, which states:Sec. 2. Affidavit and bond.The applicant must show by his own affidavit or that of some other person who personally knows the facts:(a) That the applicant is the owner of the property claimed, particularly describing it, or is entitled to the possession thereof;(b) That the property is wrongfully detained by the adverse party, alleging the cause of detention thereof according to the best of his knowledge, information, and belief;(c) That the property has not been distrained or taken for a tax assessment or a fine pursuant to law, or seized under a writ of execution or preliminary attachment, or otherwise placed under custodialegis, or if so seized, that it is exempt from such seizure or custody; and(d) The actual market value of the property.The applicant must also give a bond, executed to the adverse party in double the value of the property as stated in the affidavit aforementioned, for the return of the property to the adverse party if such return be adjudged, and for the payment to the adverse party of such sum as he may recover from the applicant in the action.The SC held that there is nothing in the afore-quoted provision which requires the applicant to make a prior demand on the possessor of the property before he can file an action for a writ of replevin. Thus, prior demand is not a condition precedent to an action for a writ of replevin.
OLEGARIO VS MARI GR NO. 147951 -Factual antecedents-As early as 1916, Juan Mari, the father of respondent, declared his ownership over a parcel of land in Nancasalan, Mangatarem for tax purposes. He took possession of the same by delineating the limits with a bamboo 5 6 fence, planting various fruit bearing trees and bamboos and
4

constructing a house thereon. After a survey made in 1950, 8 Tax Declaration No. 8048 for the year 1951 specified the subject realty as a residential land with an area of 897 square meters and as having the following boundaries: North Magdalena Fernandez; South - Catalina Cacayorin; East Camino Vecinal; and West - Norberto Bugarin. In 1974, the subject realty was transferred to respondent, Pedro Mari, by virtue of a deed of sale. Meanwhile, in 1947, Wenceslao Olegario, the husband of Magdalena Fernandez and father of petitioner Arsenio 9 Olegario, filed a new tax declaration for a certain 50-square meter parcel of land, indicating the following boundaries: North - Cesario and Antonio Fernandez; South - Juan Mari; East Barrio Road; and West - Norberto Bugarin. Then on May 14, 1961, Wenceslao Olegario executed a "Deed of Quit-Claim of 10 Unregistered Property" in favor of Arsenio Olegario transferring to the latter inter alia the aforementioned 50square meter property. In the cadastral survey conducted from 1961 to 1962, the subject realty was identified as Lot Nos. 17526, 17553 and 14356 of the Mangatarem Cadastre. At this time, Wenceslao Olegario disputed Juan Maris claim over Lot Nos. 17526 and 17553. Hence, on the two corresponding survey notification 11 cards dated September 28, 1968, the claimant appeared as "Juan Mari v. Wenceslao Olegario". With regard to Lot No. 14356, the survey notification card named Juan Mari as the claimant. Sometime around 1988, respondent filed with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Regional Office in Pangasinan a protest against the petitioners because of their encroachment into the disputed realty. After investigation, said office decided in favor of the respondent and found the latter to be the owner of Lot Nos. 17526, 17553 and 14356. Petitioners did not appeal and the said decision became final and executory. In 1989, Arsenio Olegario caused the amendment of his tax 12 declaration for the 50-square meter property to reflect 1) an increased area of 341 square meters; 2) the Cadastral Lot No. 13 as 17526, Pls-768-D; and 3) the boundaries as: North-NE Lot 16385 & Road; South-NW-Lots 14363 & 6385, Pls-768-D; East-SE-Lot 17552, Pls-768-D and West-SW-Lot 14358, Pls768-D.
Proceedings before the Regional Trial Court In 1990, after discovering the amended entries in Arsenio Olegario's Tax Declaration No. 4107-R, respondent filed a complaint14 with the RTC of Lingayen, Pangasinan, for Recovery of Possession and Annulment of Tax Declaration No. 4107-R. Respondent alleged, inter alia, that Juan Mari, and subsequently his successor, was deprived by the Olegarios of the possession of portions of subject realty which respondent owned. Trial thereafter ensued. On October 13, 1995, the RTC rendered judgment in favor of the petitioners, viz: WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing considerations, judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. Declaring the defendants-Olegario the owners of Lots 17553 and 17526 of the Mangatarem cadastral survey. 2. Dismissing the plaintiff's Complaint on the ground of prescription of action and on the further ground that [he] failed to prove [his] ownership of any portion of the two lots mentioned in the next preceding paragraph (assuming arguendo that [his] action has not prescribed); 3. Ordering the plaintiff to pay the costs of this suit. No damages are awarded by the Court. SO ORDERED.15 Proceedings before the Court of Appeals

Respondent appealed to the CA which reversed the trial court's findings. The CA found respondent to have adduced stronger evidence of prior possession and ownership of the disputed realty. The dispositive portion of the CA Decision states: WHEREFORE, the trial court's Decision dated October 13, 1995 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE and a new one is hereby entered declaring appellant Pedro C. Mari represented by Lilia C. Mari-Camba the lawful owner of Lot Nos. 17526, 17553 and 14356 of the Mangatarem Cadastre, without pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED.16 Petitioners, without filing a motion for reconsideration of the CA Decision, thereafter filed the present petition for review. Issues Petitioners raise the following issues: 1. Whether or not there was failure on [the part of] the Court of Appeals to appreciate and give weight to the evidence presented by the petitioners; 2. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in its decision in adjudicating ownership of the said lots in favor of the respondent and [in] giving great weight to the respondents evidence; 3. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in its failure to declare the action as barred by laches; 4. Whether or not the Court of Appeals failed to find an[d] declare the petitioners as having acquired ownership of the disputed lots by acquisitive prescription; 5. Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in adjudicating the lot in favor of respondent and also [in] denying award of damages to petitioners.17 Petitioners' Arguments Petitioners contend that they have been in possession of the disputed lots since 1948 or thereabouts, or for more than 30 years already. Hence, they acquired ownership thereover by virtue of prescription. They also impute negligence or failure on the part of respondent to assert his alleged rights within a reasonable time. Respondent's Arguments On the other hand, respondent asserts that petitioners claim ownership over only a certain 50-square meter parcel of land, as evidenced by their tax declaration which consistently declared only such area. It was only in September 1989 that petitioners sought to expand the area of their claim to 341 square meters by virtue of a letter to the Provincial Assessor of Pangasinan. Hence, respondent asserts that prescription has not set in. Respondent also contends that petitioners' occupancy has been illegal from the point of inception and thus, such possession can never ripen into a legal status. Our Ruling The petition has no merit. Petitioners' Evidence is Weak Considering the conflicting findings of the RTC and the CA, a circumstance that constitutes an exception18 to the general rule that only questions of law are proper subjects of a petition under Rule 45, we shall assess and weigh the evidence adduced by the parties and shall resolve the questions of fact raised by petitioners. A study of the evidence presented by petitioners shows that the CA did not err in finding such evidence weaker than that of respondent. Arsenio Olegario testified that as early as 1937 their family had built a nipa house on the land where they lived. Yet he also testified that the former owner of the land was his mother, Magdalena Fernandez.19 Significantly, Magdalena Fernandez has never claimed and was never in possession or ownership of Lot Nos. 17553, 17526 and 14356. Petitioners evidence thus supports the conclusion that in 1937 they were in possession, not of Lot No. 17526, but of their mothers land, possibly 50 square meters of it, which is the approximate floor area of the house. Conversely, petitioners' evidence fails to clearly prove that in 1937 they were already occupying the

disputed lots. The records, in fact, do not show exactly when the Olegarios entered and started occupying the disputed lots. The evidence shows that a hollow block fence, an improvement introduced by the Olegarios in 1965, now exists somewhere along the disputed lots. Petitioners' claim that they were in possession of the disputed lots even prior to 1965 based on the existence of the bamboo fence on the boundary of their land preceding the existence of the hollow block fence, however, holds no water. The testimony of Marcelino Gutierrez shows that formerly there was a bamboo fence demarcating between the land of the Olegarios and the Maris and that in 1964 or 1965 a hollow block fence was constructed. He did not say, however, that the place where the hollow block fence was constructed was the exact same place where the bamboo boundary fence once stood. Even the testimony of Arsenio Olegario was ambiguous on this matter, viz: Q When was the [concrete] hollow block [fence] separating your property [from] the property of Juan Mari constructed? A It was constructed in 1965. Q Before the construction of that concrete hollow block fence between your land and the land of Juan Mari [in] 1965, what was the visible boundary between your land and the land of Juan Mari? A Bamboo fence, sir.20 Arsenio merely testified that a bamboo fence was formerly the visible boundary between his land and the land of Juan Mari; and that a concrete hollow block fence was constructed in 1965. His testimony failed to show that the concrete hollow block fence was constructed in the same position where the bamboo boundary fence once stood. On the other hand, there is ample evidence on record, embodied in Tax Declaration No. 9404 for the year 1947; the survey sketch plan of 1961; and the survey plan of 1992, that the boundary claimed by the Olegarios kept moving in such a way that the portion they occupied expanded from 50 square meters (in the land of his mother) to 377 square meters.21 Viewed in relation to the entire body of evidence presented by the parties in this case, these documents cannot plausibly all be mistaken in the areas specified therein. As against the bare claim of Arsenio22 that his predecessor merely made an inaccurate estimate in providing 50 square meters as the area claimed by the latter in 1947 in the tax declaration,23 we find it more plausible to believe that each of the documents on record stated the true area measurements of the parties' claims at the particular time each document was executed.1avvphi1 As correctly found by the CA, the earliest that petitioners can be considered to have occupied the disputed property was in 1965 when the concrete hollow block fence was constructed on the disputed lots. Ownership and Prescription As previously mentioned, respondent's predecessor, Juan Mari, had declared the disputed realty24 for tax purposes as early as 1916. The tax declarations show that he had a two storey house on the realty. He also planted fruit bearing trees and bamboos thereon. The records25 also show that the 897-square meter property had a bamboo fence along its perimeter. All these circumstances clearly show that Juan Mari was in possession of subject realty in the concept of owner, publicly and peacefully since 1916 or long before petitioners entered the disputed realty sometime in 1965. Based on Article 538 of the Civil Code,26 the respondent is the preferred possessor because, benefiting from his father's tax declaration of the subject realty since 1916, he has been in possession thereof for a longer period. On the other hand, petitioners acquired joint possession only sometime in 1965. Despite 25 years of occupying the disputed lots, therefore, petitioners did not acquire ownership. Firstly, they had no just title. Petitioners did not present any document to show how the titles over Lot Nos. 17526 and 17533 were transferred to them, whether from respondent, his predecessor, or any other person.27 Petitioners, therefore, could not acquire the disputed real property by ordinary prescription through possession for 10 years. Secondly, it is settled that ownership cannot be acquired by mere occupation. Unless coupled with the element of hostility towards the true owner, occupation and use, however long, will not confer title by prescription or adverse possession. 28 In other words, possession, to constitute the foundation of a prescriptive right, must be possession under claim of title, that is, it must be adverse. 29lawphil Petitioners' acts of a possessory character - acts that might have been merely tolerated by the owner - did not constitute possession. No

matter how long tolerated possession is continued, it does not start the running of the prescriptive period.30 Mere material possession of land is not adverse possession as against the owner and is insufficient to vest title, unless such possession is accompanied by the intent to possess as an owner. There should be a hostile use of such a nature and exercised under such circumstance as to manifest and give notice that the possession is under a claim of right.31 Petitioners have failed to prove that their possession was adverse or under claim of title or right. Unlike respondent, petitioners did not have either the courage or forthrightness to publicly declare the disputed lots as owned by them for tax purposes. Tax declarations "prove that the holder has a claim of title over the property. Aside from manifesting a sincere desire to obtain title thereto, they announce the holder's adverse claim against the state and other interested parties".32 Petitioners' omission, when viewed in conjunction with respondent's continued unequivocal declaration of ownership over, payment of taxes on and possession of the subject realty, shows a lack of sufficient adverseness of the formers possession to qualify as being one in the concept of owner. The only instance petitioners assumed a legal position sufficiently adverse to respondent's ownership of the disputed properties was when they declared Lot No. 17526 for tax purposes in their name in 1989.33 Since then and until the filing of the complaint for recovery of possession in 1990, only one year had elapsed. Hence, petitioners never acquired ownership through extraordinary prescription of the subject realty. On the other hand, being the sole transferree of his father, respondent showed through his tax declarations which were coupled with possessory acts that he, through his predecessor, had been in possession of the land for more than 30 years since 1916. "Open, exclusive and undisputed possession of alienable public land for the period prescribed by law creates the legal fiction whereby the land, upon completion of the requisite period - ipso jureand without the need of judicial or other sanction, ceases to be public land and becomes private property."34Ownership of immovable property is acquired by extraordinary prescription through possession for 30 years. 35 For purposes of deciding the instant case, therefore, the possession by respondent and his predecessor had already ripened into ownership of the subject realty by virtue of prescription as early as 1946. Laches Petitioners cannot find refuge in the principle of laches. It is not just the lapse of time or delay that constitutes laches. The essence of laches is the failure or neglect, for an unreasonable and unexplained length of time, to do that which, through due diligence, could or should have been done earlier, thus giving rise to a presumption that the party entitled to assert it had earlier abandoned or declined to assert it. The essential elements of laches are: (a) conduct on the part of the defendant, or of one under whom he claims, giving rise to the situation complained of; (b) delay in asserting complainant's rights after he had knowledge of defendant's acts and after he has had the opportunity to sue; (c) lack of knowledge or notice by defendant that the complainant will assert the right on which he bases his suit and (d) injury or prejudice to the defendant in the event the relief is accorded to the complainant.36 In the instant case, the second and third elements are missing. Petitioners had notice and knew all along the position of the respondent and his predecessor Juan Mari - they were standing pat on his ownership over the subject realty. This stand of respondent and his predecessor was recorded and clearly visible from the notification survey cards.37 From 1968, the date of the cards, until 1989 there was nothing to indicate any change in the position of any of the parties. Moreover, that respondent had not conceded ownership and possession of the land to petitioners is clear also from the fact that Pedro Mari continued to declare the entire 897-square meter property in his name and pay taxes for the entire area after his father transferred the property to him. On the other hand, it was petitioners who suddenly changed their position in 1989 by changing the area of the property declared in their name from 50 square meters to 341 square meters and specifying the details to make it appear that the tax declaration for the 50-square meter property pertained to Lot No. 17526. As previously discussed, it was only at this point, in 1989, that it can be clearly stated that petitioners were making their claim of ownership public and unequivocal and converting their possession over Lot No. 17526 into one in the concept of owner. Upon discovery of this clear and unequivocal change in status of petitioners position over the disputed land respondent immediately acted. He filed in 1990 the complaint for recovery of possession and nullification of tax declaration. Hence, we find no laches in the instant case.

In conclusion, we find no reversible error on the part of the CA in recognizing the ownership and right of possession of respondent over Lot Nos. 17526, 17553 and 14356. There is, thus, also no basis for an award of damages and attorneys fees in favor of petitioners. WHEREFORE, the instant petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the Court of Appeals dated April 18, 2001 is AFFIRMED.

G.R. No. 180542

April 12, 2010

HUBERT NUEZ, Petitioner, vs. SLTEAS PHOENIX SOLUTIONS, INC., through its representative, CESAR SYLIANTENG Respondent, DECISION PEREZ, J.: The determination of the jurisdiction of first level courts over ejectment cases is at the heart of this Petition for Review on Certiorari filed pursuant to Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which seeks the nullification and setting aside of the 31 July 2007 Decision rendered by the Special Twelfth 1 Division of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. SP No. 91771. The Facts The subject matter of the instant suit is a 635.50 square meter parcel of land situated at Calle Solana, Intramuros, Manila and registered in the name of respondent SLTEAS Phoenix Solutions, Inc. under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 87556 of the Manila City Registry of Deeds. Despite having acquired the same thru the 4 June 1999 Deed of Assignment executed in its favor by the Spouses Ong Tiko and 2 Emerenciana Sylianteng, it appears that respondent was constrained to leave the subject parcel idle and unguarded for some time due to important business concerns. In October 2003, an ocular inspection conducted by respondents representatives revealed that the property was already occupied by petitioner Hubert Nuez and 21 other 3 individuals. Initially faulting one Vivencia Fidel with unjustified refusal to heed its verbal demands to vacate the subject parcel, respondent filed its 5 December 2003 complaint for forcible entry which was docketed as Civil Case No. 177060 before Branch 4 of the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of 4 Manila. Additionally impleading petitioner and the rest of the occupants of the property, respondent filed its 9 January 2004 amended complaint, alleging, among other matters, that thru its representatives and predecessors-in-interest, it had continuously possessed the subject realty, over which it exercised all attributes of ownership, including payment of real property taxes and other sundry expenses; that without the benefit of any lease agreement or possessory right, however, petitioners and his co-defendants have succeeded in occupying the property by means of strategy and stealth; and, that according to reliable sources, the latter had been in occupancy of the same parcel since 1999. Together with the ejectment of the occupants of the subject premises, respondent prayed for the grant of its claims for reasonable 5 rentals, attorneys fees, litigation expenses and the costs. Specifically denying the material allegations of the foregoing amended complaint in his 14 February 2004 Answer, petitioner averred that the property occupied by him is owned by one Maria Ysabel Potenciano Padilla Sylianteng, with whom he had concluded a subsisting lease agreement over the same, and that, in addition to respondents lack of cause of action against him, the MeTC had no jurisdiction over the case for lack of prior demand to vacate and referral of the controversy to the barangay authorities for a possible amicable 6 settlement. Likewise questioning the MeTCs jurisdiction over the case, the rest of the defendants filed a Motion to 7 Dismiss which they adopted as their answer subsequent to its 27 February 2004 denial upon the finding that a sufficient cause of action can be gleaned from the allegations of the 8 complaint.

After an ocular inspection conducted on 9 June 2004, it appears that the MeTC concluded that the crowding of the residential units on the subject parcel rendered the determination of its exact metes and bounds 9 impossible. Unable to present his lessors title, petitioner also appears to have agreed to the use of TCT No. 87556 as basis for determining the exact measurement of respondents 10 property. With the parties further failure to abide by their agreement to cause a survey of the property thru an impartial surveyor from the Office of the City Assessor or City Engineer, the record shows that respondent submitted a survey plan prepared by Geodetic Engineer Joseph Padilla who determined that petitioner was, indeed, occupying a portion of 11 the subject parcel. Relying on said report, the MeTC went on 12 to render a Decision dated 23 November 2004, resolving the complaint in the following wise: Wherefore, premises considered, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against all the defendants and ordering the latter to: 1. vacate the subject premises located at Lot 11, Block 45, Solana St., Intramuros, Manila; 2. for each [defendant], to pay Php5,000.00 a month counted from October 2003 until defendants vacate the subject property; 3. to pay Php15,000.00 as and for attorneys fees; and 4. to pay the costs of suit.
13

On appeal, the foregoing decision was affirmed in toto in the 14 July 2005 Order issued by the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of 14 Manila in Civil Case No. 05-112490. Dissatisfied with said Order, petitioner elevated the case to the Court of Appeals by way of a petition for review filed pursuant to Section 1, Rule 42 15 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Finding that the allegations in respondents amended complaint sufficiently made out a cause of action for forcible entry against petitioner, the Court of Appeals rendered the herein assailed decision, dismissing said petition for review upon the following findings and conclusions: Parenthetically, although the dispossession took place more than one year from the illegal entry of petitioner and his codefendants, knowledge of the same was only acquired by petitioner in 2003 when the ocular inspection was made. While ordinarily, the one-year prescriptive period should be reckoned from the date of the actual entry on the land, the same however, does not hold true when entry was made through stealth, in which case, the one year period is counted from the time the plaintiff learned thereof. Neither may petitioner seek refuge in the alleged demand letter dated 31 July 1996 sent by respondents counsel which sought his ouster from the subject premises. Not only was the existence of this letter immaterial to the issue of illegal entry into the subject premises but the same cannot bind respondent who has no participation therein. Moreover, it also bears stressing that not once did petitioner refute the lack of knowledge on the part of respondent of the alleged lease contract and their usurpation of the disputed property. Verily, granting that a lease contract truly existed, respondents lack of knowledge of the lease contract and the failure to register the same in the Register of Deeds cannot bind third parties like respondent and therefore, withhold respondents right to institute the action for ejectment. As to the identity of the premises occupied by petitioner Nuez, We find that the RTC committed no reversible error in admitting the evidence of respondent which consists of the plan prepared by Geodetic Engineer Padilla. Suffice it to state that petitioner, during the proceedings below, agreed to secure an impartial survey from the Assessors Office or the Office of the City Engineer. However, when he took no action after failing to obtain the survey from said offices, his consequent failure to secure, on his own, the services of an impartial surveyor to determine and rebut respondents allegation, he

did so on his own accord and had no other person but himself 16 to blame. The Issues Upon receipt of the Court of Appeals 4 November 2007 Resolution denying his motion for reconsideration of the 17 aforequoted decision, petitioner filed the petition at bench on the following grounds: I THE COURTS HAVE NO JURISDICTION TO TRY THE INSTANT CASE CONSIDERING THAT THE ELEMENTS OF FORCIBLE ENTRY ARE NOT PRESENT AND ADDITIONALLY THERE IS A QUESTION OF OWNERSHIP. II THE PETITIONER SHOULD NOT VACATE THE LEASED PREMISES CONSIDERING THAT THERE IS AN EXISTING LEASE CONTRACT WITH THE OWNER WHICH IS IN VIOLATION OF THE PROVISION OF ARTICLE 1671 OF THE 18 NEW CIVIL CODE. The Courts Ruling We find the petition bereft of merit. Designed to provide an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or the right to possession of the property 19 involved, there can be no gainsaying the fact that ejectment cases

entry cases, the dearth of merit in petitioners position is, however, evident from the principle that possession can be acquired not only by material occupation, but also by the fact that a thing is subject to the action of one's will or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for acquiring such right.34 Because possession can also be acquired by juridical acts to which the law gives the force of acts of possession, e.g., donations, succession, execution and registration of public instruments, inscription of possessory information titles and the like, it has been held that one need not have actual or physical occupation of every square inch of the property at all times to be considered in possession.351avvphi1 In this case, the subject parcel was acquired by respondent by virtue of the 4 June 1999 Deed of Assignment executed in its favor by the Spouses Ong Tiko and Emerenciana Sylianteng. Although it did not immediately put the same to active use, respondent appears to have additionally caused the property to be registered in its name as of 27 February 200236 and to have paid the real property taxes due thereon37 alongside the sundry expenses incidental thereto. Viewed in the light of the foregoing juridical acts, it consequently did not matter that, by the time respondent conducted its ocular inspection in October 2003, petitioner had already been occupying the land since 1999. Ordinarily reckoned from the date of actual entry on the land, the one year period is counted from the time the plaintiff acquired knowledge of the dispossession when, as here, the same had been effected by means of stealth.38 Petitioner had, of course, endeavored to establish that respondents predecessors-in-interest had served him a demand to vacate the subject parcel as early as 31 July 1996.39 Correctly brushed aside by the Court of Appeals on the ground, among others, that respondent had no participation in its preparation, we find said demand letter of little or no use to petitioners cause in view of its non -presentation before the MeTC. However, much as it may now be expedient for petitioner to anchor his cause thereon, said demand letter was first introduced in the record only as an attachment to his reply to respondents comment to the motion for reconsideration of the 14 July 2005 order issued by the RTC.40 The rule is settled, however, that points of law, theories, issues and arguments not brought to the attention of the trial court will not be and ought not to be considered by a reviewing court, as these cannot be raised for the first time on appeal.41 Basic consideration of due process impels this rule.42 A similar dearth of merit may be said of the exceptions petitioner continues to take against the MeTCs reliance on the survey plan prepared by Geodetic Engineer Joseph Padilla to the effect that that the premises occupied by petitioner lies within the metes and bounds of respondents property. As mere allegation is not evidence, 43 the rule is settled that plaintiff has the burden of proving the material allegations of the complaint which are denied by the defendant, and the defendant has the burden of proving the material allegations in his case where he sets up a new matter.44 Given the parties failure to make good on their agreement to cause a survey of the property thru an impartial surveyor from the Office of the City Assessor or City Engineer, respondents submission of said report was evidently for the purpose discharging the onus of proving petitioners encroachment on the subject parcel, as alleged in the complaint. As the party asserting the contrary proposition, petitioner cannot expediently disparage the admissibility and probative value of said survey plan to compensate for his failure to prove his own assertions. Petitioner is, finally, out on a limb in faulting the Court of Appeals with failure to apply the first paragraph of Article 1676 of the Civil Code of the Philippines45 in relation to the lease he claims to have concluded with one Maria Ysabel Potenciano Padilla Sylianteng. In the absence of proof of his lessors title or respondents prior knowledge of said contract of lease, petitioners harping over the same provision simply amounts to an implied admission that the premises occupied by him lie within the metes and bounds of the subject parcel. Even then, the resolution of said issue is clearly inappropriate since ejectment cases are summary actions intended to provide an expeditious manner for protecting possession or right to possession without involvement of title.46 Moreover, if a defendants mere assertion of ownership in an ejectment case will not oust the MeTC of its summary jurisdiction, 47 we fail to see why it should be any different in this case where petitioner merely alleged his lessors supposed title over the subject parcel. WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.

fall within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of first level courts 20 by express provision of Section 33 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, in relation to Sec. 1, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. 21 In addition to being conferred by law,22 however, a courts jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the allegations of the complaint23 and the character of the relief sought,24 irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover all or some of the claims asserted therein.25 In much the same way that it cannot be made to depend on the exclusive characterization of the case by one of the parties,26 jurisdiction cannot be made to depend upon the defenses set up in the answer, in a motion to dismiss or in a motion for reconsideration.27 The rule is no different in actions for forcible entry where the following requisites are essential for the MeTCs acquisition of jurisdiction over the case, viz.: (a) the plaintiffs must allege their prior physical possession of the property; (b) they must assert that they were deprived of possession either by force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth; and, (c) the action must be filed within one (1) year from the time the owners or legal possessors learned of their deprivation of the physical possession of the property.28 As it is not essential that the complaint should expressly employ the language of the law, it is considered a sufficient compliance of the requirement where the facts are set up showing that dispossession took place under said conditions.29 The one-year period within which to bring an action for forcible entry is generally counted from the date of actual entry on the land, except that when the entry is through stealth, the one-year period is counted from the time the plaintiff learned thereof.30 Even prescinding from the fact that the parties had admitted the MeTCs jurisdiction,31 our perusal of the record shows that respondents 9 January 2004 amended complaint was able to make out a cause of action for forcible entry against petitioner. As the registered owner of the subject parcel, respondent distinctly alleged that, by its representatives and thru its predecessors-in-interest, it had been in possession of the subject parcel and had exercised over the same all attributes of ownership, including the payment of realty taxes and other expenses; that an ocular inspection conducted in October 2003 revealed that petitioner and his co-defendants have succeeded in occupying the property by means of stealth and strategy; and, that its subsequent demands to vacate had been unheeded by said interlopers.32 Considering that the test for determining the sufficiency of the allegations in the complaint is whether, admitting the facts alleged, the court can render a valid judgment in accordance with the prayer of the plaintiff,33 we find that the Court of Appeals correctly ruled that the MeTC had jurisdiction over the case. Then as now, petitioner argues that, aside from the admission in the complaint that the subject parcel was left idle and unguarded, respondents claim of prior possession is clearly negated by the fact that he had been in occupancy thereof since 1999. While prior physical possession is, admittedly, an indispensable requirement in forcible