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Land Titles and Deeds Chapters 1 to 4 |Agcaoili | August December 2014|Page

Grande v. Court of Appeals


June 30, 1962
Ponente: Barrera, J.
Digest Maker: J. Ragragio

SUMMARY: Owners of a parcel of land filed a suit for


quieting of title and recovery of possession over a
portion of property that was added to the original
parcel of land via accretion. The defendants claim
ownership by acquisitive prescription, being in open,
continuous and undisturbed possession of the
property for over 30 years prior to the filing of this
case.
DOCTRINE: Alluvial deposits become part of the
property to which it becomes attached, and
ownership of the alluvial portion belongs to the
owner of the attached property. However, this land is
not automatically covered by the Torrens title of the
land owned prior to the accretion, and is considered
unregistered
land,
making
it
susceptible
to
acquisitive prescription.
FACTS: Petitioners Ignacio, Eulogia, Alfonso, Eulalia, and Sofia
Grande filed a suit for quieting of title and recovery of possession
over a parcel of land that came about through alluvial deposits
from the Cagayan River. Their original lot, defined in OCT No.
2982 (issued in 1934) provides their northeastern boundary as
the Cagayan River, from a survey conducted in 1930. It is to this
boundary that the accretion occurred. The Grandes allege that
they have been in possession of this property until 1948, when
defendants Domingo and Esteban Calalung entered the land on a
claim of ownership. On the issue of filing the case only in 1958,
the Grandes claim they could not acquire a copy of their title as
they could not afford a surveyor.

The Calalungs, on the other hand, claim to have been in open,


continuous, and undisturbed possession of the contested
property since 1933, and argue that they are now the owners of
the property through acquisitive prescription, since the case was
filed more than 30 years after they first took possession of the
property. The Calalungs had declared the property for taxation
purposes in 1944, and again in 1948 when the municipality
changed its name. The Calalungs allege that the only reason the
Grandes filed a case was because a survey commissioned by the
Calalungs inadvertently included a part of the property covered
by OCT No. 2982 - property which they readily ceded back to the
Grandes in 1958. Two owners of adjoining lots, Laman and
Bacani, both testified in support of the Calalungs.
The RTC ruled in favor of the Grandes, but the Court of Appeals
reversed the decision below and upheld the Calalungs argument
on acquisitive prescription.
ISSUES/HELD: WON the contested property can be acquired by
prescription
RATIO: The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Calalungs and
upheld the decision of the Court of Appeals.
The Supreme Court acknowledged that by Article 457 of the New
Civil Code and Article 366 of the Old Civil Code, the Grandes are
the owners of the alluvial property. However, this does not
operate to automatically include the alluvial property under OCT
No. 2892. While ownership is governed by the Civil Code,
imprescriptibility of registered land is provided in the registration
law. As the Grandes never sought to have the alluvial property
titled, it is considered unregistered land.
The Supreme Court upheld the findings of the Court of Appeals
on the possession of the Calalungs of the property since 19331934, openly, continuously and adversely, under a claim of

Land Titles and Deeds Chapters 1 to 4 |Agcaoili | August December 2014|Page


ownership up to the filing of the action in 1958. The Court
pointed out that it is the provisions of Act No. 190, particularly
Sec. 41, that governs this case, since the provisions of the Old
Civil Code were not yet in effect. Sec. 41 provides an acquisitive
prescriptive period of only ten years, meaning the Calalung
acquired ownership as early as 1943-1944.
DISPOSITIVE: Petition is denied, and CA decision is
upheld.