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CUREG VS.

IAC

G.R. No. 73465 September 7, 1989

LEONIDA CUREG, ROMEO, PEPITO, HERNANDO, MANUEL, ANTONIO AND ELPIDIO (ALL SURNAMED
CARNIYAN) petitioner,
vs.
INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, (4TH CIVIL CASES DIVISION), DOMINGO APOSTOL, SOLEDAD
GERARDO, ROSA GERARDO, NIEVES GERARDO, FLORDELIZA GERARDO, AND LILIA
MAQUINAD, respondent.
JAGUALING VS. CA

G.R. No. 94283 March 4, 1991

MAXIMO JAGUALING, ANUNCITA JAGUALING and MISAMIS ORIENTAL CONCRETE PRODUCTS,


INC.,petitioners,
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS (FIFTEENTH DIVISION), JANITA F. EDUAVE and RUDYGONDO
EDUAVE, respondents.

FACTS:

Eduave claims that she inherited a parcel of land from her parents, which later increased in size due to erosion
caused by typhoon Ineng. In 1973 Jagualing asked her permission to plant corn and bananas provided that they
prevent squatters to come to the area.

The land was the subject of a reconveyance case between Janita Eduave vs. Heirs of Antonio Factura which was
the subject of judgment by compromise in view of the amicable settlement of the parties. In the amicable settlement
the heirs of Antonio Factura (Jagualing), ceded a portion of the land with an area of 1,289 square meters more or
less to Eduave.

Later, Jagualing denied the claim of ownership of Eduave, and asserted that they are the real owners of the land
in litigation containing an area of 18,000 square meters more or less. According to them, they acquired the land
by acquisitive prescription since they have occupied the land since 1969. They presented tax declarations and
photos of actual occupation to prove claim of prescription.

Eduave filed an action to quiet title and/or remove a cloud over the property in question against Jagualing. RTC
dismissed the complaint for failure of Eduave to establish by preponderance of evidence their claim of ownership
over the land in litigation and that the land is a delta thus is part of public domain not susceptible of appropriation.

The CA found that the island was formed by the branching off of the river and subsequent thereto the accumulation
of alluvial deposits. Basing its ruling on Articles 463 and 465 of the Civil Code the Court of Appeals reversed the
decision of the trial court, declared private respondents as the lawful and true owners of the land subject of this
case and ordered petitioners to vacate the premises and deliver possession of the land to private respondents.

ISSUE:

Whether or not Jagualing acquired the island thru prescription?

HELD:

No.

From the evidence thus submitted, CA had sufficient basis for the finding that the property of Eduave actually
existed and was identified prior to the branching off or division of the river. The CA, therefore, properly applied
Article 463 of the Civil Code which allows the ownership over a portion of land separated or isolated by river
movement to be retained by the owner thereof prior to such separation or isolation. The parcel of land in question
is part of an island that formed in a non-navigable and non-flotable river; from a small mass of eroded or segregated
outcrop of land, it increased to its present size due to the gradual and successive accumulation of alluvial deposits.
In this regard the CA also did not err in applying Article 465 of the Civil Code. Under this provision, the island
belongs to the owner of the land along the nearer margin as sole owner thereof; or more accurately, because the
island is longer than the property of private respondents, they are deemed ipso jure to be the owners of that portion
which corresponds to the length of their property along the margin of the river.
It is well-settled that lands formed by accretion belong to the riparian owner. This preferential right is, under Article
465, also granted the owners of the land located in the margin nearest the formed island for the reason that they
are in the best position to cultivate and attend to the exploitation of the same. In fact, no specific act of possession
over the accretion is required. If, however, the riparian owner fails to assert his claim thereof, the same may yield
to the adverse possession of third parties, as indeed even accretion to land titled under the torrens system must
itself still be registered.

However, Jagualing failed to prove adverse possession of the land for the required period and their possession
cannot be considered in good faith since by their admission they have recognized Eduave’s ownership over the
land. Thus the land still belongs to Eduave.

Islands formed by accretion belong to the riparian owner nearest to its margin. However such accretion may be
lost to third parties thru prescription.
GOVERNMENT VS. COLEGIO DE SAN JOSE

G.R. No. L-30829 August 28, 1929

THE GOVERNMENT OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS, applicant-appellant,


vs.
COLEGIO DE SAN JOSE, ET AL., claimants.
COLEGIO DE SAN JOSE, appellee.

FACTS:

During the months of September to November every year, the waters of Laguna de Bay cover a long strip of land
along the eastern border of the two parcels of land in question. The claimant Colegio de San Jose contends that
the parcels of land are a part of the Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan belonging it, which has been in possession
thereof since time immemorial by means of its tenants or lessees and farmers. In contrast, the Government
contends that the said two parcels of land belong to the public domain, and its evidence tends to prove that they
have always been known as the shores of Laguna de Bay. The CFI rendered a decision in favor of Colegio de
San Jose ordering the registration of the 2 parcels of land in accordance with law. Both admitted that the strip was
formerly covered by water but since the Bay receded, it was now uncovered. The government tried to apply Art.
458 which states the adjoin estate (the College) does not acquire the land left dry by the natural decrease of the
waters.

ISSUES:

Whether or not Art. 458 is applicable.

Whether or not the property in question belongs to the public domain as a part of the bed of Laguna de Bay.

HELD:

No. Article 367 (now Art.458) provides that “the owners of estates bordering on ponds or lagoons, do not acquire
the land left dry by the natural decrease of the waters, nor lose those inundated by them in extraordinary floods.”
The provision refers to ponds and lagoons, and has therefore no application to the present case, which refers to
a lake, a lagoon being legally distinct in character from a lake. Instead, Art.77 of the Spanish Law of Waters should
apply, which provides: “Lands accidentally inundated by the waters of lakes, or by creeks, rivers or other streams
shall continue to be the property of their respective owners.” Therefore, they must belong to Colegio de San Jose
as part of Hacienda de San Pedro Tunasan, which was originally owned by it.
CELESTIAL VS. CACHOPERO

G.R. No. 142595 October 15, 2003

RACHEL C. CELESTIAL, petitioner,


vs.
JESSE CACHOPERO, respondent

FACTS:
Petitioner Rachel Celestial is the sister of defendant Jesse Cachopero. They had a dispute over a piece of land
which was a dried-up creek, as Cachopero was trying to obtain a Miscellaneous Sales Application (MSA) to the
Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) alleging that he had been the owner of that land
whereon he built a house and other improvements. However, Celestial protests that she has preferential right over
the land because it is adjacent to and is the only outlet from her house. According to the Bureau of Land, the land
in dispute was a creek and is therefore outside the commerce of man. The first MSA was denied by the Municipal
Trial Court (MTC) prompting Cachopero to obtain another MSA which was granted by the DENR. Due to conflicting
interests of the parties, the land in dispute must be sold in a public auction.

ISSUE:
Whether or not the land in question owned by one of the parties when it is classified as outside the commerce of
man

HELD:

No. A dried up creek is property of public dominion and not susceptible to acquisitive prescription
As for Celestial‘s claim of ownership over the subject land, admittedly a dried-up bed of the Salunayan Creek,
based on (1) her alleged long term adverse possession and that of her predecessor-in-interest, Marcelina Basadre,
even prior to October 22, 1966, when she purchased the adjoining property from the latter, and (2) the right of
accession under Art. 370 of the Spanish Civil Code of 1889 and/or Article 461 of the Civil Code, the same must
fail.
Since property of public dominion is outside the commerce of man and not susceptible to private appropriation
and acquisitive prescription, the adverse possession which may be the basis of a grant of title in the confirmation
of an imperfect title refers only to alienable or disposable portions of the public domain. It is only after the
Government has declared the land to be alienable and disposable agricultural land that the year of entry, cultivation
and exclusive and adverse possession can be counted for purposes of an imperfect title.
BAES VS. CA

G.R. No. 108065 July 6, 1993

SPOUSES FELIX BAES AND RAFAELA BAES, petitioners,


vs.
THE COURT OF APPEALS AND REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.

FACTS:

In 1962, the Government dug up a canal on a private estate in order to streamline the Tripa de Gallina creek (in
other words, there was a mand-made change of river course). Said private estate was acquired by petitioner Baes,
and was subdivided in to three lots. It was lot 2958-C which was totally occupied by the canal so the Government
in exchange granted him a lot near but not contiguous to C. The old river bed was filled up by soil from Lot C.
Petitioner now claims ownership over the old river bed on the basis of Article 461 which says that abandoned river
beds belong to the riparian owners whose land is occupied by the new course of water.

ISSUE:
Whether or not Article 461 applies

RULING:
YES!
If the riparian owner is entitled to compensation for the damage to or loss of his property due to natural causes,
there is all the more reason to compensate him when the change in the course of the river is effected through
artificial means. The loss to the petitioners of the land covered by the canal was the result of a deliberate act on
the part of the government when it sought to improve the flow of the Tripa de Gallina creek. It was therefore
obligated to compensate the Baeses for their loss.

We find, however, that the petitioners have already been so compensated. Felix Baes was given Lot 3271-A in
exchange for the affected Lot 2958-B through the Deed of Exchange of Real Property dated June 20, 1970. This
was a fair exchange because the two lots were of the same area and value and the agreement was freely
entered into by the parties.