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[Resources: New Civil Code, Jurado, Paras, and Notes of Atty.


Q: What are the limitations on ownership?

A: The Limitations upon the Right of Ownership are:
a.) General limitations imposed by the State for its benefit such
as the power eminent domain, the police power, and the
power of taxation;
b.) Specific limitations imposed by law, such as legal servitudes;
c.) Limitations imposed by the party transmitting the property
either by contract or will;
d.) Limitations imposed by the owner himself, such as voluntary
servitudes, mortgages, pledges, and lease rights; and
e.) Inherent limitations arising from conflict with other rights,
such as those caused by contiguity of property.
(The Constitutional prohibition regarding acquisition of private
land by aliens and other Constitutional limitations may be


Q: When is force in defense of property justified?

A: Force in defense of property (a.k.a. Doctrine of Self-Help) is
justified if the following requisites will concur: (Art. 429, NCC.)
a.) The force must be employed by the owner or lawful possessor
of the property;
b.) There must be an actual or threatened physical invasion or
usurpation of the property;
- Must not be a valid exercise of right or public function (not
available to squatters)
c.) The invasion or usurpation must be unlawful; and
d.) The force employed must be reasonably necessary to repel
the invasion or usurpation (least damage rule).
Available only when possession has not yet been lost, if
already lost resort to judicial process ,i.e., action to
- May be exercised by 3rd person negotiorum gestio

Q: The land of A were being flooded because B, the owner of
certain lands, in order to maintain a fishpond closed his (Bs) estat, thus
closing the outlet to the river of the water on As property. Does B have
the right to so fence his estate?
A: No, B had no right to prevent the outflow of the water from As
estate. While he had the right to fence his estate, still he should not
impair the servitudes or burdens constituted thereon. (Lunod v. Meneses,
11 phil. 128)

Art. 430: Every 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.

Q: As to third person, what is the limitation on ones right of
A: Art. 431: 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 So use your own as to not
injure that of another.
A principle that every person should so use his property as not
to cause damage or injury to others. (Lebayen v. A.S. Diaz
Electric Service Inc., 58 OG 4881)

Example from Paras: if Gloria owns a house on an isolated farm

in Lucena, she can burn said house; but if she owns one in
Manila, in a busy district where there are many houses, she
cannot burn the house in view of possible harm to others.


Q: What is the principle of state of necessity?

A: Principle of State of Necessity states that the owner of a thing has
no right to prohibit the interference of another with the same, if the
interference is necessary to avert an imminent danger and the threatened
damage, compared to the damage arising to the owner from the
interference, is much greater. The owner may demand from the person
benefited, indemnity for the damage to him. (Art. 432)
- Example from Paras: To prevent a fire from spreading and thus
burning valuable houses, firemen may dynamite or destroy barongbarongs between the fire and the shacks so as to stop the fire. The
owners of the barong-barongs have no right to interfere. However,
the owners of the buildings saved will have to compensate the
owners of the shacks destroyed.

Q: What are the two requirements to raise a disputable
presumption of ownership?
A: The Two Requirements to raise a Disputable Presumption of
Ownership are:
a. actual possession; and
b. claim of ownership (Art. 433)

A tenant, who admits his tenancy, cannot be presumed to be the

owner. Moreover, just because a person works on a parcel of land
does not necessary mean that he is the owner thereof, particularly if
he has not expressed the concept in which the land was being
worked upon by him. (Alano, et al. v. Ignacio, et al., L-16434, Feb.
28, 1962).


Q: What are the requisites in an action to recover?

A: The Requisites in an Action to Recover are: (Art. 434)
a. Property must be identified; and
- through a relocation survey and a title properly identifying
boundaries and location
- the boundaries of the land must be proved, so that if a
person fails to specify which portion of a parcel of land is the
portion he is supposed to have inherited, his action to
recover will necessarily fail.(Santiago v. Santos, 48 Phil.567)
- in cases of doubt as to the lands identity, the lower court
should require each party to present plans prepared by
some competent person.(Baloloy v. Edu, 20 Phil. 360)
- the description should be so definite that an officer of the
court might go to the locality where the land is situated and
definitely locate it. (Sambrano v. Arzaga and Longboy, 22
Phil. 130)
b. Plaintiff must rely on the strength of his title and not on
weakness of defendants title.
- right must be founded on positive title and not on lack or
insufficiency of defendants
- Ei incumbit probatio qui dicit, non qui negat: He who
asserts, not he who denied must prove.
- Among the evidence which may be presented by plaintiff to
show ownership are the following:
i. Torrens certificate (Reyes v. Borbon, 50 Phil.. 791)
Long and actual possession (Nolan v. Jalandoni, 23 Phil.
Occupation of the building for a long time without
paying rentals therefor (Gatdula v. Santos, 29 Phil. 1)


Q: What are the essential requisites of eminent domain?

A: The Essential Requisites of Eminent Domain are: (Art. 435)
a. Private property as the object of the expropriation;
b. The property is taken by the State or by competent authority;
c. The purpose of the taking is for public use;
d. The taking must be attended with due process of law; and
e. There is payment of just compensation.

Q: When can competent authority condemn or seize property
without compensation?
A: Art. 436- When any property is condemned or seized by competent
authority in the interest of health, safety or security, the owner thereof

shall not be entitled to compensation, unless he can show that such

condemnation or seizure is unjustified.
Q: What is the extent of the right of ownership of the owner of a
parcel of land?
A: Art. 437- The owner of a parcel of land is the owner of its surface
and of everything under it, and he can construct thereon any works or
make any plantations and excavations, which he may deem proper,
without detriment to servitudes and subject to special laws and
ordinances. He cannot complain of the reasonable requirements of aerial
- This is commonly referred to as Surface Right if a person owns a
piece of land, it is understood that he also owns its surface, up to
the boundaries of the land, with the right tomake thereon allowable
constructions, plantings, and excavations, subject to servitudes or
easements, special laws (like the Mining Law), ordinances, the
reasonable requirements of aerial navigation, and principles on
human relations and the prevention of injury to the rights of third

Q: What is Hidden treasure?

A: Art. 439- By treasure is understood, for legal purposes, any hidden
and unknown deposit of money, jewelry, or other precious objects, the
lawful ownership of which does not appear.


Q: To whom does a discovered hidden treasure belong?

A: General Rule: If the finder is the owner of the land, building, or
other property where it is found, the entire hidden treasure belongs to
him. (Art. 438 par. 1)
Exception: If the finder is not the owner or is a stranger (includes
the lessee or usufructuary), he is entitled to thereof. (Art 566)
Requisites: ( ACTA) a.) Discovery was made on the property
of Another, or of the State or any of its political subdivisions;
b.) Made by Chance; and c.) He is not a Trespasser or Agent
of the landowner. (Art. 438 par. 2)
Note: If the things found be of interest to science or the arts,
the State may acquire them at their just price, which shall be
divided in conformity with the rule stated. (Art. 438, last
If the finder is married, he or she gets one half of the treasure
or its value his or her spouse is entitled to share onehalf of
that share it being a conjugal property. (Art. 117, par. 4, FC)