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- Easement Right of Way

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

Several hacienda owners in Manapla, Occidental Negros, entered into a milling co
ntract with Miguel Osorio wherein the latter would build a sugar central of a mi
nimum capacity of 300 tons for the milling and grinding of all the sugar cane to
be grown by the hacienda owners who in turn would furnish the central with all
the cane they might produce in their estates for 30 years from the execution of
the contract. Later on, Osorio s rights and interests were acquired by the North N
egros Sugar Co., Inc.
2 years after, the current petitioners, Catalino Valderrama, Emilio Rodriguez, S
antos Urra et. al, made other milling contracts identical to the first one with
the North Negros Sugar, Co., Inc. The hacienda owners, however, could not furnis
h the central sufficient cane for milling as required by its capacity, so the No
rth Negros made other milling contracts with the various hacienda owners of Cadi
z, Occidental Negros. This prompted Valderrama et. al to each file a complaint a
gainst North Negros.

The CFI entered 1 single judgment for all of them, ruling in Valderrama et. al s f
avor finding that North Negros had no right to pass through the lands of the hac
ienda owners for the transportation of sugar cane not grown from their lands. Th
us the appeal to the SC.

Whether or not the easement of way established was restricted to transporting on
ly sugar cane from the hacienda owners lands

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

Since the easement is a voluntary, apparent, continuous easement of way in favor

of the corporation, it is contrary to the nature of the contract that it is onl
y limited to canes produced by the servient estates since it is a well settled r
ule that things serve their owner by reason of ownership and not by reason of ea
sement. The owners also cannot limit its use for there is nothing in the contrac
t prohibiting the central from obtaining other sources.

Transporting cane from Cadiz also does not make it more burdensome since what is
prohibited in Art. 543 of the CC is that in extending the road or in repairing
it, it should occupy a greater area or deposit excavations outside the granted 7
meters. This does not happen in this case when the North Negros transports suga
r cane from Cadiz, crossing the servient estates, since it continues to occupy t
he same area and the encumbrance is still the same regardless of the number of t
imes it passes through the estates.

Also the period of the easement is longer than the period of the milling contrac
ts, so even if the owners no longer desire to furnish the central canes for mill
ing, the North Negros still has the right to the easement for the remaining peri
od so the contention that it should be limited to the canes produced by the owne
rs has no basis.