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CONCEPT OF OWNERSHIP

1. HON. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II vs.


REINO ROSETE
G.R. No. L-48050. October 10, 1994
BELLOSILLO, J.

property he was occupying, including the


portion of about 200 sq.m. in question, to
a certain Reino Rosete. Thus petitioner
demanded the surrender of the same area
in dispute from Reino Rosete who
repeatedly refused to comply with the
demand.

FACTS:
Veridiano
instituted
a
complaint for forcible entry against Ben
Babol before the City Court of Olongapo
City (Civil Case No. 926). In that case,
petitioner alleged that Ben Babol without
express consent of plaintiff and without
lawful authority, through scheme, strategy
and stealth, forcibly entered a portion on
the southwestern part of Lot No. 1641, Ts308, with the assistance of hired helpers,
started construction of riprap along the
Kalaklan River perimeter of said portion of
land; said entry was further augmented by
removing plaintiff's chain link, fence with
galvanized iron posts embedded in
concrete,
likewise
destroying
plants
introduced by plaintiff by removing
existing BL (Bureau of Lands) monuments
thereon, and by these actions, defendant
started exercising illegal possession of
said portion of land which contains an area
of 200 sq.m., more or less. City Court of
Olongapo City dismissed the case for
forcible entry because the area in
question to be outside Lot 1641 of the
plaintiff." CFI dismissed the appeal and
affirmed the findings of the City Court.

After about 4 yrs. from the finality of the


dismissal of forcible entry case, petitioner
instituted a complaint for quieting of title
and
recovery
of
possession
with
damages(Civil Case No. 2203-0) against
Babol and Rosete. CFI dismissed the case
for quieting of title on the ground of res
judicata. Hence, this case.

Meanwhile, Babol (defendant in the


complaint for forcible entry) had sold the

HELD: NO. Civil Case No. 926 is a


complaint for forcible entry, where what is

VERIDIANO ARGUES THAT res judicata


cannot apply since there is no identity of
parties and causes of action between her
complaint for forcible entry and her
subsequent petition for quieting of title.
While ROSETE SUBMITS THAT there is
identity of parties in the two cases since
he is a successor in interest by title of the
defendant in the first case after the
commencement of the first action. On the
issue of identity of causes of action, he
simply states that neither of the two
cases, i.e., the complaint for forcible entry
and the subsequent petition for quieting of
title, alleges a cause of action.
ISSUE: WON the prior forcible entry case
can bar the subsequent action for quieting
of title.

at issue is prior possession, regardless of


who has lawful title over the disputed
property. Thus, the only issue in an action
for forcible entry is the physical or
material possession of real property, that
is, possession de facto and not possession
de jure. The philosophy underlying this
remedy is that irrespective of the actual
condition of the title to the property, the
party in peaceable quiet possession shall
not be turned out by strong hand, violence
or terror." And, a judgment rendered in a
case for recovery of possession is
conclusive only on the question of
possession and not on the ownership. It
does not in any way bind the title or affect
the ownership of the land or building.
On the other hand, while inaccurately
captioned as an action for "Quieting of
Title and Recovery of Possession with
Damages" is in reality an action to recover
a
parcel
of
land
or
an
accion
reivindicatoria under Art. 434 of NCC, and
should be distinguished from Civil Case
No. 926, which is an accion interdictal.
From the averments of the complaint in
Civil Case No. 2203-0, plaintiff therein
(petitioner herein) clearly sets up title to
herself and prays that respondent Rosete
be ejected from the disputed land and that
she be declared the owner and given
possession
thereof.
Certainly,
the
allegations partake of the nature of an
accion reivindicatoria.
In Civil Case No. 926 petitioner merely
claimed a better right or prior possession
over the disputed area without asserting

title thereto. It should be distinguished


from Civil Case No. 2203-0 where she
expressly alleged ownership, specifically
praying that she be declared the rightful
owner and given possession of the
disputed portion. Thus, this Court has
ruled that a judgment in forcible entry or
detainer case disposes of no other issue
than possession and declares only who
has the right of possession, but by no
means constitutes a bar to an action for
determination of who has the right or title
of ownership.
[NB: There was identity of parties since
what is required is not absolute but only
substantial identity of parties and Rosete
is a successor in interest of Babol by title
subsequent to the commencement and
termination of the first action. Hence,
there is actual, if not substantial, identity
of the parties between the two actions.
BUT STILL NO RES JUDICATA BEC. THERES
NO IDENTITY OF CAUSE OF ACTION.]
2. [G.R. Nos. 120784-85. January 24,
2001]
SPOUSES
WARLITO
BUSTOS
and
HERMINIA
REYES-BUSTOS,
petitioners, vs. COURT OF APPEALS,
SPOUSES
VENANCIO
VIRAY
and
CECILIA NUNGA-VIRAY, respondents.
PARDO, J.:
FACTS: Paulino Fajardo died intestate and
had four (4) children, namely: Manuela,
Trinidad, Beatriz and Marcial, all surnamed

Fajardo. The heirs executed an extrajudicial partition of the estate of Paulino


Fajardo. On the same date, Manuela sold
her share to Moses G. Mendoza, husband
of Beatriz by deed of absolute sale.
Trinidad was in physical possession of the
land. She refused to surrender the land to
her brother-in-law Moses, despite several
demands. Moses filed with the Court of
First Instance, Pampanga a complaint for
partition claiming the share of Manuela
which was sold to him. During the
pendency of the case for partition, Trinidad
Fajardo died. Her heirs executed an extrajudicial partition of the estate of Trinidad
Fajardo.
Lucio Fajardo Ignacio, son of
Trinidad sold part of the subject property
to spouses Viray.
RTC finally rendered a decision in favor of
Moses G. Mendoza. Moses sold the subject
land to spouses Butos.
Spouses Viray filed with the MTC an action
for unlawful detainer against spouses
Bustos, the buyers of Moses G. Mendoza,
who were in actual possession as lessees
of the husband of Trinidad, Francisco
Ignacio, of the subject land.
The municipal circuit trial court decided
the case in favor of spouses Viray.
Subsequently, the trial court issued writs
of execution and demolition, but were
stayed when spouses Bustos filed with the
RTC a petition for certiorari, prohibition
and injunction.

In time, the spouses Bustos appealed the


decision to the Court of Appeals. Ca
affirmed the decision of RTC that Manuel is
the owner of land, but with modification
that premises considered, judgment is
hereby rendered in favor of the Virays.
ISSUE: whether petitioners (Bustos) could
be ejected from what is now their own
land.
HELD:
No.
Placing
petitioners
in
possession of the land in question is the
necessary and logical consequence of the
decision declaring them as the rightful
owners of the property. One of the
essential attributes of ownership is
possession. It follows that as owners of
the subject property, petitioners are
entitled to possession of the same. An
owner who cannot exercise the seven (7)
juses or attributes of ownership--the
right to possess, to use and enjoy, to
abuse or consume, to accessories, to
dispose or alienate, to recover or vindicate
and to the fruits--is a crippled owner.
In this case, the issue of possession is
intertwined with the issue of ownership.
In the unlawful detainer case, the Court of
Appeals affirmed the decision of the trial
court as to possession on the ground that
the decision has become final and
executory. This means that the petitioners
may be evicted.
In the accion
reinvindicatoria, the Court of Appeals
affirmed the ownership of petitioners over
the subject land.
Hence, the court

declared petitioners as the lawful owners


of the land.

Admittedly, the decision in the ejectment


case is final and executory. However, the
ministerial duty of the court to order
execution of a final and executory
judgment admits of exceptions. In Lipana
vs. Development Bank of Rizal, the
Supreme Court reiterated the rule once a
decision becomes final and executory, it is
the ministerial duty of the court to order
its execution, admits of certain exceptions
as in cases of special and exceptional
nature where it becomes imperative in the
higher interest of justice to direct the
suspension of its execution; whenever it is
necessary to accomplish the aims of
justice; or when certain facts and
circumstances
transpired
after
the
judgment became final which could render
the execution of the judgment unjust.
In the present case, the stay of execution
is warranted by the fact that petitioners
are now legal owners of the land in
question and are occupants thereof. To
execute the judgment by ejecting
petitioners from the land that they owned
would certainly result in grave injustice.
Besides, the issue of possession was
rendered moot when the court adjudicated
ownership to the spouses Bustos by virtue
of a valid deed of sale.
3. Heirs of Roman Soriano vs CA

Facts:
The case involves a parcel of land
originally owned by Adriano Soriano but
passed the property on to his heirs who
leased the property to Sps. David de Vera
and Consuelo Villasista for a period of 15
yrs with Roman Soriano, one of the heirs,
acting as caretaker of the property during
the period of the lease. After an
extrajudicial settlement, the lot was
divided into 2. Lot No. 60052 was assigned
to Lourdes, Candido and the heirs of
Dionisia while Lot No. 8459 was assigned
to Francisca, Librada, Elocadio and Roman.
Lot No. 60052 was sold by Lourdes,
Candido and the heirs of Dionisia to
petitioner spouses Braulio and Aquilina
Abalos
(hereinafter
referred
to
as
petitioners), while, Elocadio, Francisca and
Librada sold their three-fourths shares in
Lot No. 8459 also to petitioners.
The de Vera spouses ousted Roman
Soriano as caretaker and appointed Isidro
& Vidal Versoza as his subs. Roma filed for
reinstatement.
The
agrarian
court
authorized the ejectment of Roman but on
appeal, the decision was reversed by the
CA which became final and executory.
Prior to execution, the parties entered into
a post-decisional agreement whereby the
de Vera sps allowed Roman to sublease
the property until the termination.
Agreement was approved by agrarian
court.
Petitioners filed an application for
registration of title over Lot No. 60052 and

3/4 of Lot No. 8459. Application was


granted by the trial court acting as
registration court. On appeal, the CA
affirmed. Petition for review filed by
Roman was denied for lack of merit. It
appeared that
a day before
the
promulgation of the Land registration
court's decision, Roman, together with
Elocadio and Librada, filed with the RTC of
Lingayen an action for annulment of
document and/or redemption, ownership,
and damages. Petitioners filed a motion to
dismiss on the ground of res judicata,
pendency of another action, laches,
misjoinder of parties, and lack of
jurisdiction which was later denied by trial
court.
11 years after the approval of the postdecisional agreement between Roman
Soriano and the spouses de Vera for
reinstatement
and
reliquidation,
petitioners filed with the agrarian court a
motion for execution of said postdecisional agreement which allowed
Roman Soriano to sub-lease the property.
The motion prayed that petitioners be
placed in possession of the subject
property, jointly with Roman Soriano.
Issue:
WON the respondents, as owners, can
compel the lawful possessor of the land to
turn over possession
Held:

Possession and ownership are distinct


legal concepts. There is ownership when a
thing pertaining to one person is
completely subjected to his will in a
manner not prohibited by law and
consistent with the rights of others.
Ownership confers certain rights to the
owner, among which are the right to enjoy
the thing owned and the right to exclude
other persons from possession thereof. On
the other hand, possession is defined as
the holding of a thing or the enjoyment of
a right. Literally, to possess means to
actually and physically occupy a thing with
or without right. Possession may be had in
one of two ways: possession in the
concept of an owner and possession of a
holder. A person may be declared owner
but he may not be entitled to possession.
The possession may be in the hands of
another either as a lessee or a tenant. A
person may have improvements thereon
of which he may not be deprived without
due hearing. He may have other valid
defenses to resist surrender of possession.
A judgment for ownership, therefore, does
not necessarily include possession as a
necessary incident.
There is no dispute that private
respondents (petitioners below) title over
the land under litigation has been
confirmed with finality. As explained
above, however, such declaration pertains
only to ownership and does not
automatically
include
possession,
especially so in the instant case where
there is a third party occupying the said

parcel of land, allegedly in the concept of


an agricultural tenant.
While the issue of ownership of the subject
land has been laid to rest in the final
judgment of the land registration court,
the right of possession thereof is, as yet,
controverted. This is precisely what is put
in issue in the security of tenure case filed
by petitioners (private respondents below)
before the DARAB.
It is important to note that although
private respondents have been declared
titled owners of the subject land, the
exercise of their rights of ownership are
subject to limitations that may be imposed
by law. The Tenancy Act provides one such
limitation. Agricultural lessees are entitled
to security of tenure and they have the
right to work on their respective
landholdings
once
the
leasehold
relationship is established. Security of
tenure is a legal concession to agricultural
lessees which they value as life itself and
deprivation of their landholdings is
tantamount to deprivation of their only
means of livelihood. The exercise of the
right of ownership, then, yields to the
exercise of the rights of an agricultural
tenant.
4. Garcia v. CA
G.R. No. 133140
Facts:
Atty. Pedro V. Garcia sold a parcel of land
to their daughter Ma. Luisa Magpayo and

her husband Luisito Magpayo. The


Magpayos mortgaged the land to PBCom
to secure a loan. Days later, the title was
issued in favor of the Magpayos and a
Deed of Real Estate Mortgage was
registered and annotated in their title.
The Magpayos failed to pay their loan and
the
mortgage
was
foreclosed
and
auctioned with PBCom as the highest
bidder. The redemption period of the
foreclosed mortgage expired without the
Magpayos redeeming the same, hence,
title over the land was consolidated in
favor of PBCom which cancelled the
Magpayos title.
The Magpayos then filed a complaint with
the RTC seeking the nullification of the
foreclosure and the auction which was
dismissed for failure to prosecute. PBCom
then filed a petition for a writ of
possession which was granted. Upon
service of the writ of possession, Mrs.
Magpayos brother, Jose Ma. T. Garcia
(Garcia), who was in possession of the
land, refused to honor it and filed a motion
or Intervention which was denied.
Garcia the filed a suit against PBCom, the
Magpayos and the Sheriff for recovery of
realty alleging that he inherited the land
as one of the heirs of his mother and that
PBCom had no right over the property. In
its summary judgment, the lower court
held that the mortgage executed by the
Magpayo spouses in favor of PBCom was
void explaining that at the time that the
defendants Magpayo spouses executed

the mortgage in favor of the defendant


PBCom, the said spouses were not yet the
owners of the property. The Magpayo
spouses could not have acquired the said
property merely by the execution of the
Deed of Sale because the property was in
the possession of the plaintiff. The vendor,
Pedro V. Garcia, was not in possession and
hence could not deliver the property
merely by the execution of the document.
The CA reversed the decision o the RTC
ruling that at the time o the issuance of
the Deed of Sale, Garcia was not in
possession of the property. Also, the
vendor Atty. Garcia had control of the
property which was registered in his name
and that the deed of sale was likewise
registered,
then
the
sale
was
consummated and the Magpayos were
free to exercise the attributes of
ownership including the right to mortgage
the land.

possession is certainly not in the concept


of an owner.
Possession and ownership are distinct
legal concepts. Ownership exists when a
thing pertaining to one person is
completely subjected to his will in a
manner not prohibited by law and
consistent with the rights of others.
Ownership confers certain rights to the
owner, one of which is the right to dispose
of the thing by way of sale.
Possession may be had in one of two
ways: possession in the concept of an
owner and possession of a holder. "A
possessor in the concept of an owner may
be the owner himself or one who claims to
be so." On the other hand, "one who
possesses as a mere holder acknowledges
in another a superior right which he
believes to be ownership, whether his
belief be right or wrong.

Issue:
Whether Garcias possession
concept of an owner

is

in

Ruling:
No. Garcias possession which started only
in after the issuance of the writ of
possession in favor o PBCom could not
ripen into ownership. He has no valid title
thereto. His possession in fact was that of
an intruder, one done in bad faith (to
defeat PBCom's Writ of Possession). His

5. RODIL ENTERPRISES V. CA
[G.R. No. 129609. November 29, 2001]
RODIL ENTERPRISES, INC., petitioner, vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, CARMEN BONDOC,
TERESITA
BONDOC-ESTO,
DIVISORIA
FOOTWEAR and CHUA HUAY SOON,
respondents.
[G.R. No. 135537. November 29, 2001]

RODIL ENTERPRISES, INC., petitioner, vs.


IDES
O'RACCA
BUILDING
TENANTS
ASSOCIATION, INC., respondent.
FACTS:
Petitioner Rodil Enterprises is the lessee of
the Ides ORacca building (ORACCA) since
1959. It was a former alien property over
which the Republic acquired ownership by
virtue of RA 477. Rodil entered into a
sublease
contract
with
respondents
Bondoc, Bondoc-Esto, Divisoria Footware
and Chua Huay Soon, members of Oracca
Building
Tenants
Association,
Inc.
(ASSOCIAION).

On January 8, 1987, Rodil offered to


purchase the property.

On July 22, 1998, the Association


also offered to lease the same building
through Department of General Services
and Real Estate Property Management
( (DGSREPM) Pending action on the
purchase offer of Rodil, the Republic
granted Rodils request for the renewal of
the lease contract on Sept. 23, 1987 for 5
more years. The renewal contract however
was disapproved by the DGSREPM
secretary.

On October 1987, Rodil filed an


action to enjoin the Association from
collecting rentals from the occupants of
Oracca. This was granted by the trial court
and upheld by CA.

On May 18, 1992 Rodil signed a


renewal contract for 10 more years of

lease , which was approved by the DENR


Secretary. The Association filed a case to
set aside the renewal contract, but the
same was denied by the trial court. Rodil
then filed an action for unlawful detainer
against herein respondents. The MTC
upheld Rodils right to eject, which was
then upheld by the RTC. While the
consolidated appeals were pending, the
CA 2nd Division declared the renewal
contract between Rodil and the Republic
as null and void. Rodil moved for
reconsideration but the same was denied
which prompted it to file an action for
certiorari. The CA 4th division likewise set
aside the MTC and the RTCs decision and
dismissed the action of Rodil for unlawful
detainer.
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not the renewal contract
between Rodil and the Republic is valid.
2. Whether or not Rodil may validly eject
herein respondents even though the
former is not in actual possession of the
property
HELD:
1. Yes. The Owner has a right to enjoy and
dispose of a thing, without other
limitations than those established by law.
Every owner has the freedom of
disposition over his property. This is an
attribute of ownership. The Republic being
the owner of the disputed property enjoys
the prerogative to enter into a lease

contract with Rodil in the exercise of its jus


disponendi.
2. Yes. In an action for unlawful detainer,
the plaintiff need not have been in prior
physical possession. Respondents have
admitted that they have not entered into
any lease contract with the Republic and
that their continued occupation of the
subject property was merely by virtue of
acquiescence. Since the occupation of
respondents was merely tolerated by the
Republic, the right of possession of the
latter remained uninterrupted. It could
therefore alienate the same to anyone it
choose. Unfortunately for respondents, the
Republic chose to alienate the subject
premises to Rodil by virtue of a contract of
lease entered into on May 18, 1992.
Resultantly, the petitioner had the right to
file the action for unlawful detainer
against respondents as one from whom
possession
of
property
has
been
unlawfully withheld.
6. Isaguirre vs. De Lara
FACTS:
Apolonio
and
Rodolfo
de
Lara,
respondents, obtained several loans from
the Philippine National Bank. When she
encountered
financial
difficulties,
respondent approached petitioner Cornelio
M. Isaguirre for assistance. A document
denominated as Deed of Sale and Special
Cession of Rights and Interests was
executed by respondent and petitioner,
whereby the former sold a 250 square

meter portion of Lot No. 502, together


with the two-story commercial and
residential structure standing thereon, in
favor of petitioner, for and in consideration
of the sum of P5,000.
Apolonio and Rodolfo de Lara filed a
complaint against petitioner for recovery
of ownership and possession of the twostory building. However, the case was
dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner
filed a sales application over the subject
property on the basis of the deed of sale.
His application was approved, resulting in
the issuance of Original Certificate of Title,
in the name of petitioner.
Due to the overlapping of titles, petitioner
filed an action for quieting of title and
damages against respondent. After trial on
the merits, the trial court rendered
judgment, in favor of petitioner, declaring
him to be the lawful owner of the disputed
property.
However, the Court of Appeals reversed
the trial courts decision, holding that the
transaction entered into by the parties, as
evidenced by their contract, was an
equitable mortgage, not a sale. It was an
equitable mortgage because of the fact
that there was inadequacy of the
consideration agreed upon by the parties,
and that petitioner did not take steps to
confirm his rights or to obtain title over
the property for several years after the
execution of the deed of sale. As a
consequence of its decision, the appellate
court also declared Original Certificate

issued in favor of petitioner to be null and


void. This Court affirmed the decision of
the Court of Appeals, we denied
petitioners motion for reconsideration
Respondent prays for the immediate
delivery of possession of the subject
property, which motion was granted.
Respondent moved for a writ of
possession. Petitioner opposed the motion,
asserting that he had the right of retention
over the property until payment of the
loan and the value of the improvements
he had introduced on the property.
Issue: Whether or not Petitioner has the
right to retain the property in questioned
despite remaining balanace is unpaid and
that there were improvements made?
Held: No. A mortgage is a contract entered
into in order to secure the fulfillment of a
principal obligation.[17] It is constituted by
recording the document in which it
appears with the proper Registry of
Property, although, even if it is not
recorded, the mortgage is nevertheless
binding between the parties.[18] Thus, the
only right granted by law in favor of the
mortgagee is to demand the execution
and the recording of the document in
which the mortgage is formalized.[19] As
a general rule, the mortgagor retains
possession of the mortgaged property
since a mortgage is merely a lien and title
to the property does not pass to the
mortgagee.[20] However, even though a
mortgagee does not have possession of
the property, there is no impairment of his

security since the mortgage directly and


immediately subjects the property upon
which it is imposed, whoever the
possessor may be, to the fulfillment of the
obligation for whose security it was
constituted.[21] If the debtor is unable to
pay his debt, the mortgage creditor may
institute an action to foreclose the
mortgage,
whether
judicially
or
extrajudicially, whereby the mortgaged
property will then be sold at a public
auction and the proceeds therefrom given
to the creditor to the extent necessary to
discharge the mortgage loan. Apparently,
petitioners contention that "[t]o require
[him] to deliver possession of the
Property to respondent prior to the full
payment of the latters mortgage loan
would be equivalent to the cancellation of
the mortgage" is without basis. Regardless
of its possessor, the mortgaged property
may still be sold, with the prescribed
formalities, in the event of the debtors
default in the payment of his loan
obligation..

[G.R. No. 116100. February 9, 1996]

A simple mortgage does not give the


mortgagee a right to the possession of the
property unless the mortgage should
contain some special provision to that
effect." Regrettably for petitioner, he has
not presented any evidence, other than
his own gratuitous statements, to prove
that the real intention of the parties was to
allow him to enjoy possession of the
mortgaged property until full payment of
the loan.

1.The plaintiff owns a parcel of land with a


two-door apartment erected thereon
situated at Interior P. Burgos St., Palingon,
Tipas, Taguig, Metro Manila. Said property
may be described to be surrounded by
other
immovables
pertaining
to
defendants herein. Taking P. Burgos
Streetas the point of reference, on the left
side, going to plaintiffs property, the row
of houses will be as follows: That of
defendants Cristino and Brigido Custodio,
then that of Lito and Maria Cristina Santos

7. CUSTODIO vs CA

SPOUSES
CRISTINO
and
BRIGIDA
CUSTODIO and SPOUSES LITO and MARIA
CRISTINA SANTOS, petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, HEIRS OF PACIFICO C.
MABASA and REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF
PASIG, METRO MANILA, BRANCH 181,
respondents.

REGALADO, J.:

Facts:
the original plaintiff Pacifico Mabasa died
during the pendency of this case and was
substituted by Ofelia Mabasa, his surviving
spouse [and children].

and then that of Ofelia Mabasa. On the


right side (is) that of defendant Rosalina
Morato and then a Septic Tank. As an
access to P. Burgos Street from plaintiffs
property,
there
are
two
possible
passageways.
The first passageway is
approximately one meter wide and is
about 20 meters distan(t) from Mabasas
residence to P. Burgos Street. Such path is
passing in between the previously
mentioned row of houses. The second
passageway is about 3 meters in width
and length from plaintiff Mabasas
residence to P. Burgos Street; it is about
26 meters.
In passing thru said
passageway, a less than a meter wide
path through the septic tank and with5-6
meters in length has to be traversed.

2.When said property was purchased by


Mabasa, there were tenants occupying the
premises and who were acknowledged by
plaintiff Mabasa as tenants.
However,
sometime in February, 1982. one of said
tenants vacated the apartment and when
plaintiff Mabasa went to see the premises,
he saw that there had been built an adobe
fence in the first passageway making it
narrower in width. Said adobe fence was
first constructed by defendants Santoses
along their property which is also along
the first passageway. Defendant Morato
constructed her adobe fence and even
extended said fence in such a way that
the entire passageway was enclosed. And
it was then that the remaining tenants of
said
apartment
vacated
the
area.

Defendant Ma. Cristina Santos testified


that she constructed said fence because
there was an incident when her daughter
was dragged by a bicycle pedalled by a
son of one of the tenants in said
apartment along the first passageway. She
also
mentioned
some
other
inconveniences of having (at) the front of
her house a pathway such as when some
of the tenants were drunk and would bang
their doors and windows. Some of their
footwear were even lost. x x x[

3. RTC ordered defendants Custodios and


Santoses to give heirs permanent access ingress and egress, to the public street,
and heirs to pay Custodios (P8,000) as
indemnity for the permanent use of the
passageway.

4. the heirs went to CA raising the sole


issue of whether or not the lower court
erred in not awarding damages in their
favor. CA affirmed RTC.

ISSUE:
1. whether or not the grant of right of way
to the heirs is proper
2. whether or not the award of damages is
in order

HELD:
1. No. heirs are already barred from
raising the same. they did not appeal from
the decision of the court a quo granting
private respondents the right of way,
hence they are presumed to be satisfied
with the adjudication therein. With the
finality of the judgment of the trial court
as to heirs, the issue of propriety of the
grant of right of way has already been laid
to rest.
For failure to appeal the decision of the
trial court to the Court of Appeals, heirs
cannot obtain any affirmative relief other
than those granted in the decision of the
trial court. That decision of the court
below has become final as against them
and can no longer be reviewed, much less
reversed, by this Court. The rule in this
jurisdiction is that whenever an appeal is
taken in a civil case, an appellee who has
not himself appealed may not obtain from
the appellate court any affirmative relief
other than what was granted in the
decision of the lower court. The appellee
can only advance any argument that he
may deem necessary to defeat the
appellants claim or to uphold the decision
that is being disputed, and he can assign
errors in his brief if such is required to
strengthen the views expressed by the
court a quo. These assigned errors, in turn,
may be considered by the appellate court
solely to maintain the appealed decision
on other grounds, but not for the purpose
of reversing or modifying the judgment in

the appellees favor and giving him other


affirmative reliefs.

2. No. CA erred in awarding damages in


favor of heirs. The award of damages has
no substantial legal basis. The damages
was based solely on the fact that the
original plaintiff, Pacifico Mabasa, incurred
losses in the form of unrealized rentals
when the tenants vacated the leased
premises by reason of the closure of the
passageway.
However, the mere fact that the plaintiff
suffered losses does not give rise to a
right to recover damages. To warrant the
recovery of damages, there must be both
a right of action for a legal wrong inflicted
by the defendant, and damage resulting to
the plaintiff therefrom.
Wrong without
damage, or damage without wrong, does
not constitute a cause of action, since
damages are merely part of the remedy
allowed for the injury caused by a breach
or wrong.
There is a material distinction between
damages and injury. Injury is the illegal
invasion of a legal right; damage is the
loss, hurt, or harm which results from the
injury; and damages are the recompense
or compensation awarded for the damage
suffered.
Thus, there can be damage
without injury in those instances in which
the loss or harm was not the result of a
violation of a legal duty. These situations
are often called damnum absque injuria. in

order that a plaintiff may maintain an


action for the injuries of which he
complains, he must establish that such
injuries resulted from a breach of duty
which the defendant owed to the plaintiff a concurrence of injury to the plaintiff and
legal responsibility by the person causing
it. The underlying basis for the award of
tort damages is the premise that an
individual was injured in contemplation of
law. Thus, there must first be the breach
of some duty and the imposition of liability
for that breach before damages may be
awarded; it is not sufficient to state that
there should be tort liability merely
because the plaintiff suffered some pain
and suffering)

deem an injury, the damage is regarded


as damnum absque injuria.

Many accidents occur and many injuries


are inflicted by acts or omissions which
cause damage or loss to another but
which violate no legal duty to such other
person, and consequently create no cause
of action in his favor. In such cases, the
consequences must be borne by the
injured person alone. The law affords no
remedy for damages resulting from an act
which does not amount to a legal injury or
wrong.

The act of petitioners in constructing a


fence within their lot is a valid exercise of
their right as owners, hence not contrary
to morals, good customs or public policy.
The law recognizes in the owner the right
to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without
other limitations than those established by
law. It is within the right of petitioners, as
owners, to enclose and fence their
property. Article 430 of the Civil Code
provides that (e)very owner may enclose
or fence his land or tenements by means
of walls, ditches, live or dead hedges, or
by any other means without detriment to
servitudes constituted thereon.

In other words, in order that the law will


give redress for an act causing damage,
that act must be not only hurtful, but
wrongful.
There must be damnum et
injuria. If, as may happen in many cases, a
person sustains actual damage, that is,
harm or loss to his person or property,
without sustaining any legal injury, that is,
an act or omission which the law does not

In the case at bar, although there was


damage, there was no legal injury.
Contrary to the claim of private
respondents, petitioners could not be said
to have violated the principle of abuse of
right. In order that the principle of abuse
of right provided in Article 21 of the Civil
Code can be applied, it is essential that
the following requisites concur: (1) The
defendant should have acted in a manner
that is contrary to morals, good customs
or public policy; (2) The acts should be
willful; and (3) There was damage or injury
to the plaintiff.

At the time of the construction of the


fence, the lot was not subject to any
servitudes. There was no easement of
way
existing
in
favor
of
private
respondents, either by law or by contract.

The fact that private respondents had no


existing right over the said passageway is
confirmed by the very decision of the trial
court granting a compulsory right of way
in their favor after payment of just
compensation. It was only that decision
which gave private respondents the right
to use the said passageway after payment
of the compensation and imposed a
corresponding duty on petitioners not to
interfere in the exercise of said right.
Hence, prior to said decision, petitioners
had an absolute right over their property
and their act of fencing and enclosing the
same was an act which they may lawfully
perform in the employment and exercise
of said right. To repeat, whatever injury or
damage may have been sustained by
private respondents by reason of the
rightful use of the said land by petitioners
isdamnum absque injuria.
A person has a right to the natural use and
enjoyment of his own property, according
to his pleasure, for all the purposes to
which such property is usually applied. As
a general rule, therefore, there is no cause
of action for acts done by one person upon
his own property in a lawful and proper
manner, although such acts incidentally
cause damage or an unavoidable loss to
another, as such damage or loss is
damnum absque injuria. When the owner
of property makes use thereof in the
general and ordinary manner in which the
property is used, such as fencing or
enclosing the same as in this case, nobody
can complain of having been injured,

because the inconvenience arising from


said use can be considered as a mere
consequence of community life.
The proper exercise of a lawful right
cannot constitute a legal wrong for which
an action will lie,although the act may
result in damage to another, for no legal
right has been invaded. One may use any
lawful means to accomplish a lawful
purpose and though the means adopted
may cause damage to another, no cause
of action arises in the latters favor. Any
injury or damage occasioned thereby is
damnum absque injuria. The courts can
give no redress for hardship to an
individual resulting from action reasonably
calculated to achieve a lawful end by
lawful means.
erein petitioners are already barred from
raising the same. Petitioners did not
appeal from the decision of the court a
quo granting private respondents the right
of way, hence they are presumed to be
satisfied with the adjudication therein.
With the finality of the judgment of the
trial court as to petitioners, the issue of
propriety of the grant of right of way has
already been laid to rest.
For failure to appeal the decision of the
trial court to the Court of Appeals,
petitioners cannot obtain any affirmative
relief other than those granted in the
decision of the trial court. That decision of
the court below has become final as
against them and can no longer be
reviewed, much less reversed, by this

Court. The rule in this jurisdiction is that


whenever an appeal is taken in a civil
case, an appellee who has not himself
appealed may not obtain from the
appellate court any affirmative relief other
than what was granted in the decision of
the lower court. The appellee can only
advance any argument that he may deem
necessary to defeat the appellants claim
or to uphold the decision that is being
disputed, and he can assign errors in his
brief if such is required to strengthen the
views expressed by the court a quo. These
assigned errors, in turn, may be
considered by the appellate court solely to
maintain the appealed decision on other
grounds, but not for the purpose of
reversing or modifying the judgment in the
appellees favor and giving him other
affirmative reliefs.
8. PACENCIO ABEJARON
NABASA and the CA

vs.

FELIX

PUNO, J.:
Petitioner Abejaron filed this petition for
review on certiorari to annul the
respondent
court's
Decision
and
Resolution reversing the trial court's
decision and declaring respondent Nabasa
the owner of the subject lot.
Facts: Petitioner Abejaron avers that he is
the actual and lawful possessor and
claimant of a 118-square meter portion of
a 175-square meter residential lot in
Silway, General Santos City described as
Block 5, Lot 1. In 1945, petitioner Abejaron

and his family started occupying the 118square meter land. At that time, the land
had not yet been surveyed. They fenced
the area and built thereon a family home
with nipa roofing and a small store. In
1949, petitioner improved their abode to
become a two-storey house .This house,
which stands to this day, occupies a
portion of Lot 1, Block 5 and a portion of
the adjoining Lot 2. Lot 2 belongs to
petitioners daughter, Conchita AbejaronAbellon. In 1950, the small store was
destroyed and in its stead, petitioner
Abejaron built another store which stands
up to the present. In 1951, he planted five
coconut trees on the property in
controversy.
Petitioner's wife, Matilde
Abejaron, harvested coconuts from these
trees. Petitioner Abejaron also planted
banana and avocado trees. He also put up
a pitcher pump. All this time that the
Abejarons introduced these improvements
on the land in controversy, respondent
Nabasa did not oppose or complain about
the improvements. Knowing that the
disputed land was public in character,
petitioner declared only his house, and not
the disputed land, for taxation purposes.
In 1955, respondent Nabasa resided on
the remaining 57-square meter portion of
Lot 1, Block 5.
Before 1974, employees of the Bureau of
Lands surveyed the area in controversy.
Abejaron merely watched them do the
survey and did not thereafter apply for
title of the land on the belief that he could
not secure title over it as it was

government property.
Without his
knowledge and consent, however, Nabasa
"clandestinely, willfully, fraudulently, and
unlawfully applied for and caused the
titling in his name" of the entire Lot 1,
Block 5, including petitioner Abejaron's
118-square meter portion. Petitioner
imputes bad faith and fraud on the part of
Nabasa because in applying for and
causing the titling in his name of Lot 1,
Nabasa represented himself to be the
actual and lawful possessor of the entire
Lot 1, Block 5, including petitioner
Abejaron's 118-square meter portion
despite knowledge of Abejaron's actual
occupation and possession of said portion.
On September 24, 1974, Nabasa was
issued Original Certificate of Title pursuant
to Free Patent covering Lot 1, Block 5. As
the title included petitioner Abejarons
118-square meter portion of the lot, his
son, Alejandro Abejaron filed a protest
with the Bureau of Lands which was
dismissed for their failure to attend the
hearings.
On March 12, 1982, petitioner Abejaron
filed against respondent Nabasa an action
for reconveyance with damages seeking
reconveyance of his 118-square meter
portion of Lot 1, Block 5; which was ruled
in favor of him. Respondent Nabasa's
motion for reconsideration having been
denied, he appealed to the Court of
Appeals. On April 26, 1988, the Court of
Appeals rendered a decision in favor of
respondent Nabasa. Petitioner Abejaron
filed a motion for reconsideration of the

Court of Appeals decision which was


denied. Hence, this petition for review on
certiorari
Issue 1: Does petitioner Abejaron has
satisfied the conditions specified in Sec.
48(b) of the Public Land Act, as amended
by R.A. No. 1942?
Held 1: No. Sec. 48(b) of the Public Land
Act, as further amended by P.D. No. 1073,
now reads:
"(b) Those who by themselves or through
their predecessors-in-interest have been in
open, continuous, exclusive and notorious
possession and occupation of agricultural
lands of the public domain, under a bona
fide claim of acquisition or ownership,
since
June
12,
1945,
or
earlier,
immediately preceding the filing of the
application for confirmation of title,
except when prevented by wars or force
majeure.
Those shall be conclusively
presumed to have performed all the
conditions essential to a Government
grant and shall be entitled to a certificate
of title under the provisions of this
chapter."
In the present case, as petitioner
Abejaron's 30-year period of possession
and occupation required by the Public
Land Act, as amended by R.A. 1942 ran
from 1945 to 1975, prior to the effectivity
of P.D. No. 1073 in 1977, the requirement
of said P.D. that occupation and
possession should have started on June
12, 1945 or earlier, does not apply to him.

Petitioner's evidence does not constitute


the "well-nigh incontrovertible" evidence
necessary to acquire title through
possession and occupation of the disputed
land at least since January 24, 1947 as
required by Sec. 48(b) of the Public Land
Act, as amended by R.A. 1942. The basic
presumption is that lands of whatever
classification belong to the State and
evidence of a land grant must be "wellnigh
incontrovertible."
As
petitioner
Abejaron has not adduced any evidence of
title to the land in controversy, whether by
judicial
confirmation
of
title,
or
homestead, sale, or free patent, he cannot
maintain an action for reconveyance.
Issue 2: WON petitioner can ask for
reconveyance?
Held 2: No. An action for reconveyance of
a property is the sole remedy of a
landowner whose property has been
wrongfully or erroneously registered in
another's name after one year from the
date of the decree so long as the property
has not passed to an innocent purchaser
for value The action does not seek to
reopen the registration proceeding and set
aside the decree of registration but only
purports to show that the person who
secured the registration of the property in
controversy is not the real owner thereof.
Fraud is a ground for reconveyance. For
an action for reconveyance based on fraud
to prosper, it is essential for the party
seeking reconveyance to prove by clear
and convincing evidence his title to the
property and the fact of fraud.

In the case at bench, petitioner does not


claim to be the owner of the disputed
portion. Admittedly, what he has is only a
"preferential right" to acquire ownership
thereof by virtue of his actual possession
since January 1947. . . Title to alienable
public lands can be established through
open,
continuous,
and
exclusive
possession for at least thirty (30) years. . .
Not being the owner, petitioner cannot
maintain the present suit.
Persons who have not obtained title to
public lands could not question the titles
legally issued by the State. In such cases,
the real party in interest is the Republic of
the Philippines to whom the property
would revert if it is ever established, after
appropriate proceedings, that the free
patent issued to the grantee is indeed
vulnerable to annulment on the ground
that the grantee failed to comply with the
conditions imposed by the law. Not being
an applicant, much less a grantee,
petitioner cannot ask for reconveyance."
PRINCIPLE OF SELF-HELP AND STATE
NECESSITY
9.
GERMAN
SERVICES, INC.

MANAGEMENT

&

vs.
HON.
COURT
OF
ERNESTO VILLEZA

APPEALS

and

G.R. No. L-76216 September 14, 1989

GERMAN MANAGEMENT & SERVICES,


INC.
vs.
HON.
COURT
OF
ORLANDO GERNALE

APPEALS

and

FERNAN, C.J.:
FACTS:
Spouses Cynthia Cuyegkeng and Manuel
Rene Jose (Sps. Jose) were residents of
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA who own
a 232, 942 square meters of land in Sitio
Inarawan, San Isidro, Antipolo, Rizal. They
executed a special power of attorney (SPA)
authorizing German Management Services
(GMS) to develop their property into a
residential subdivision. Consequently, GMS
obtained a Development Permit from the
Human
Settlements
Regulatory
Commission for said development. Finding
that part of the property was occupied by
Villeza and Gernale (private respondents)
and 20 other persons, GMS advised the
occupants to vacate the premises but the
latter
refused.
Nevertheless,
GMS
proceeded with the development of the
subject property which included the
portions occupied and cultivated by
private respondents. (Note: GMS acted
without a court order.)
Private respondents filed an action for
forcible entry against GMS before MTC
Antipolo, Rizal. They are mountainside
farmers of Sitio Inarawan, San Isidro,
Antipolo, Rizal and members of the

Concerned
Citizens
of
Farmer's
Association. Among others, they allege
that GMS deprived them of their property
without due process of law by: (1) forcibly
removing and destroying the barbed wire
fence enclosing their farmholdings without
notice; (2) bulldozing the rice, corn fruit
bearing trees and other crops of private
respondents by means of force, violence
and intimidation, in violation of P.D. 1038
and
(3)
trespassing,
coercing
and
threatening to harass, remove and eject
private respondents from their respective
farmholdings in violation of P.D. Nos. 316,
583, 815, and 1028.
MTC dismissed
private
respondents'
complaint for forcible entry. On appeal,
RTC sustained the dismissal. Private
respondents then filed a petition for
review with the CA which reversed the
decisions of the MTC and RTC. It held that
since private respondents were in actual
possession of the property at the time
they were forcibly ejected by GMS, private
respondents have a right to commence an
action for forcible entry regardless of the
legality or illegality of possession. GMS
filed an MR but it was denied. Hence, this
recourse.
ISSUE: Whether or not the doctrine of selfhelp is applicable in the instant case?
( Art. 429, CC)
HELD: NO, the doctrine of self-help is not
applicable in the instant case.

In the case at bar, it is undisputed that at


the time GMS entered the property,
private respondents were already in
possession thereof . There is no evidence
that the spouses Jose were ever in
possession of the subject property. On the
contrary, private respondents' peaceable
possession was manifested by the fact
that they even planted rice, corn and fruit
bearing trees 12-15 years prior to GMS's
act of destroying their crops.
Although admittedly GMS may validly
claim ownership based on the muniments
of title it presented, such evidence does
not responsively address the issue of prior
actual possession raised in a forcible entry
case. It must be stated that regardless of
the actual condition of the title to the
property, the party in peaceable quiet
possession shall not be turned out by a
strong hand, violence or terror. Thus, a
party who can prove prior possession can
recover such possession even against the
owner himself. Whatever may be the
character of his prior possession, if he has
in his favor priority in time, he has the
security that entitles him to remain on the
property until he is lawfully ejected by a
person having a better right by accion
publiciana or accion reivindicatoria.
Both the MTC and RTC have rationalized
GMS's drastic action of bulldozing and
destroying
the
crops
of
private
respondents on the basis of the doctrine of
self-help enunciated in Article 429, CC.
Such justification is unavailing because
the doctrine of self-help can only be

exercised at the time of actual or


threatened dispossession which is absent
in the case at bar. When possession has
already been lost, the owner must resort
to judicial process for the recovery of
property. This is clear from Article 536 of
the Civil Code which states, "(I)n no case
may possession be acquired through force
or intimidation as long as there is a
possessor who objects thereto. He who
believes that he has an action or right to
deprive another of the holding of a thing,
must invoke the aid of the competent
court, if the holder should refuse to deliver
the thing."
10. Caisip v People
G.R. No. L-28716 November 18, 1970
Facts: The complainant Gloria Cabalag is
the wife of Marcelino Guevarra who
cultivated a parcel of land known as Lot
105-A of Hacienda Palico situated in sitio
Bote-bote, barrio Tampisao, Nasugbu,
Batangas. The said parcel of land used to
be tenanted by the deceased father of the
complainant. Hacienda Palico is owned by
Roxas y Cia. and administered by Antonio
Chuidian. The overseer of the said
hacienda is Felix Caisip, one of the
accused herein.
On May 17, 1958 Roxas y Cia filed a
forcible entry case against Guevarra. The
court decided in favour of Roxas y Cia and
issued a writ of execution. The return of
the writ showed that possession of Lot
105-A was turned over to the owner thru

Caisip and that Guevarra and Cabalag


were given 20 days from June 6, 1959 to
vacate the premises.
On June 15, 1959, some trouble occurred
between the complainant and Caisip
regarding the cutting of sugar cane on Lot
105-A. The following day June 16, 1959,
the complainant allegedly again entered
the premises of Lot 105-A and refused to
be driven out by Felix Caisip. It further
appears that due to the tenacious attitude
of Gloria Cabalag to remain in the
premises, Caisip sought the help of the
chief of police of Nasugbu who advised
him to see Deputy Sheriff Aquino about
the matter. The latter, however, informed
Caisip that he could not act on the request
to eject Gloria Cabalag and to stop her
from what she was doing without a proper
court order. The chief of police assigned
the accused (police officers) Ignacio
Rojales and Federico Villadelrey.
On June 17, 1959, at about 5:00 p.m.,
Gloria Cabalag was seen weeding the
portion of Lot 105-A which was a ricefield.
Appellant Caisip approached her and bade
her to leave, but she refused to do so,
alleging that she and her husband had the
right to stay there and that the crops
thereon belong to them. She having stuck
to this attitude, even when he threatened
to call the police, Caisip went to his codefendants,
Sgt.
Rojales
and
Cpl.
Villadelrey. Rojales told Gloria, who was
then in a squatting position, to stop
weeding. As Gloria insisted on her right to
stay in said lot, Rojales grabbed her right

hand and, twisting the same, wrested


therefrom the trowel she was holding.
Thereupon, Villadelrey held her left hand
and, together with Rojales, forcibly
dragged her northward - towards a
forested area, as Caisip stood nearby, with
a drawn gun.
Issue: Whether Article 429 of the Civil
Code applies in the present case.
Held: NO. For having been given 20 days
from June 6, 1959, within which to vacate
Lot 105-A, complainant did not, on June
17, 1959 - or within said period - invade or
usurp said lot. She had merely remained in
possession thereof, even though the
hacienda owner may have become its copossessor. Appellants did not "repel or
prevent in actual or threatened ... physical
invasion or usurpation." They expelled
Gloria from a property of which she and
her husband were in possession even
before the action for forcible entry was
filed against them on May 17, 1958,
despite the fact that the Sheriff had
explicitly authorized them to stay in said
property up to June 26, 1959, and had
expressed the view that he could not oust
them therefrom on June 17, 1959, without
a judicial order therefore.
It is urged, that, by weeding and refusing
to leave Lot 105-A, Gloria had committed
a crime in the presence of the policemen,
despite the aforementioned 20-day period,
which, appellants claim, the sheriff had no
authority to grant. This contention is
manifestly untenable, because: (1) said

period was granted in the presence of the


hacienda
owner's
representative,
appellant Caisip, who, by not objecting
thereto, had impliedly consented to or
ratified the act performed by the sheriff;
(2) Gloria and her husband were thereby
allowed to remain, and had, in fact,
remained, in possession of the premises,
perhaps together with the owner of the
hacienda or his representative, Caisip; (3)
the act of removing weeds from the
ricefield was beneficial to its owner and to
whomsoever the crops belonged, and,
even if they had not authorized it, does
not constitute a criminal offense; and (4)
although Gloria and her husband had been
sentenced to vacate the land, the
judgment against them did not necessarily
imply that they, as the parties who had
tilled it and planted thereon, had no rights,
of any kind whatsoever, in or to the
standing crops, inasmuch as "necessary
expenses shall be refunded to every
possessor," (5) and the cost of cultivation,
production and upkeep has been held to
partake of the nature of necessary
expenses.
11. People
Pletcha

of

the

Philippines

vs.

G.R. No.19029. June 27, 1977.


Bison, J.
Doctrine: The use of such necessary force
to protect proprietary or possessory rights
constitutes a justifying circumstance
under our penal laws.

Facts: Tito Pletcha is a farmer who owns a


land which he has been cultivating for
19years. A private corporation sought to
take over the aforementioned land by
fencing 4 hectares of his property. Such
fencing was without authority or court
order. Because of this, Pletcha fought-off
the take over and resisted the company.
This forced the company to file a case for
grave coercion against Pletcha in the
Municipal
Court of Murcia,
Negros
Occidental.
Pletcha invokes the protective mantle of
Article 429 of the Civil Code which gives
him the right to use reasonable force to
exclude any person threatening his
exclusive ownership over the land.
The People asks for affirmance on the
ground that the appellant should not have
taken the law into his own hands but
rather have the courts decide the case.
Issue: Whether or not Pletcha can properly
invoke Article 429.
Held: Yes. The principle of self-help
authorizes the lawful possessor to use
force not only to prevent a threatened
unlawful invasion or usurpation thereof; it
is sort of self-defense. It is lawful to repel
force by force. He who merely uses force
to defend his possession does not possess
by force. The use of such necessary force
to protect proprietary or possessory rights
constitutes a justifying circumstance
under our penal laws.

The appellant need not rush to court to


seek redress before reasonably resisting
the invasion of property. The situation
required immediate action and Article 429
gave him the self-executory mechanics of
self-defense and self-reliance.
USE INURING RIGHTS TO THIRD
PERSONS AND SURFACE RIGHTS
12. G.R. No. 74761 November 6, 1990
NATIVIDAD
V.
ANDAMO
and
EMMANUEL R. ANDAMO, petitioners,
vs.
INTERMEDIATE
APPELLATE
COURT
(First Civil Cases Division) and
MISSIONARIES OF OUR LADY OF LA
SALETTE, INC., respondents.
FERNAN, C.J.:
FACTS:
1.
Petitioner spouses Emmanuel and
Natividad Andamo are the owners of a
parcel of land situated in Biga, Silang,
Cavite which is adjacent to that of private
respondent, Missionaries of Our Lady of La
Salette, Inc., a religious corporation.
2.
Within the land of respondent
corporation, waterpaths and contrivances,
including
an
artificial
lake,
were
constructed, which allegedly inundated
and eroded petitioners' land, caused a
young
man
to
drown,
damaged
petitioners' crops and plants, washed
away costly fences, endangered the lives

of petitioners and their laborers during


rainy and stormy seasons, and exposed
plants and other improvements to
destruction.
3.
In July 1982, petitioners instituted a
criminal action before RTC against officers
and directors of herein respondent
corporation (Musngi, Sapuay and Mallillin),
for destruction by means of inundation
under Article 324 of the Revised Penal
Code.
4.
Subsequently, on February 22,
1983, petitioners filed another action
against
respondent
corporation
for
damages with prayer for the issuance of a
writ of preliminary injunction before the
same court.
5.
Hearings were conducted including
ocular inspections on the land. The trial
court issued an order suspending further
hearings in Civil Case No, TG-748 until
after judgment in the related Criminal
Case.
6.
The trial court issued on the
disputed order dismissing Civil Case for
lack of jurisdiction, as the criminal case
which was instituted ahead of the civil
case was still unresolved. Said order was
anchored on the provision of Section 3 (a),
Rule III of the Rules of Court which
provides that "criminal and civil actions
arising from the same offense may be
instituted separately, but after the
criminal action has been commenced the
civil action cannot be instituted until final

judgment has been


criminal action.

rendered

in

the

7.
Petitioners appealed from that
order to the Intermediate Appellate Court.
Appellate Court promulgated a decision
affirming the questioned order of the trial
court.
8.
Petitioners contend that the trial
court and the Appellate Court erred in
dismissing Civil Case since it is predicated
on a quasi-delict.
ISSUE: whether a corporation, which has
built through its agents, waterpaths, water
conductors and contrivances within its
land, thereby causing inundation and
damage to an adjacent land, can be held
civilly liable for damages under Articles
2176 and 2177 of the Civil Code on quasidelicts such that the resulting civil case
can proceed independently of the criminal
case.
HELD: YES.

A careful examination of the aforequoted


complaint shows that the civil action is
one under Articles 2176 and 2177 of the
Civil Code on quasi-delicts. All the
elements of a quasi-delict are present, to
wit: (a) damages suffered by the plaintiff,
(b) fault or negligence of the defendant, or
some other person for whose acts he must
respond; and (c) the connection of cause
and effect between the fault or negligence
of the defendant and the damages
incurred by the plaintiff.
Clearly, from petitioner's complaint, the
waterpaths and contrivances built by
respondent corporation are alleged to
have inundated the land of petitioners.
There is therefore, an assertion of a causal
connection between the act of building
these waterpaths and the damage
sustained by petitioners. Such action if
proven constitutes fault or negligence
which may be the basis for the recovery of
damages.

It must be stressed that the use of one's


property is not without limitations. Article
431 of the Civil Code provides that "the
owner of a thing cannot make use thereof
in such a manner as to injure the rights of
a third person." SIC UTERE TUO UT
ALIENUM
NON
LAEDAS.
Moreover,
adjoining landowners have mutual and
reciprocal duties which require that each
must use his own land in a reasonable
manner so as not to infringe upon the
rights and interests of others. Although we
recognize the right of an owner to build
structures on his land, such structures
must be so constructed and maintained
using all reasonable care so that they
cannot
be
dangerous
to
adjoining
landowners and can withstand the usual
and expected forces of nature. If the
structures cause injury or damage to an
adjoining landowner or a third person, the
latter can claim indemnification for the
injury or damage suffered.

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