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Sps. Manuel & Victoria Salimbangon (Petitoners) vs. Sps. Santos & Erlinda Tan (Respondents) G.R. No.

185240 (January 20, 2010) Property; Easement Extinction of the easement of right of way upon consolidation in one person of the ownership of the dominant and the servient estates Facts: Heirs of Guillermo Ceniza executed an extra judicial declaration of heirs and partition, adjudicating and dividing the lot among themselves as follows: 1. for Benedicta lot A with a perpetual and gratuitous road right of way 1.50 m. wide boundary in favour of Lots B,E,& D; 2. for Eduardo, Lot B subjected to an easement for 1.5 m. wide also in favour of Lots A, D, & E 3. to Carlos Ceniza Lot C; 4. To Guillermo lot D subjected to an easement of 1.50 m wide in favour of Lot B & E; & 5. to Victoria Lot E, with easement of 1.5 m. wide in favour of Lot D. Lots A, B, & C were adjacent to the city street while Lots D & E were interior lots. To give the latter lots access, the heirs included in their extrajudicial partition an easement of right of way of a 3-meter wide alley between lots D & E that continued on lots A & B. This was annotated on the individual titles of the lots. However, the heirs modified the agreement on the easement of right of way because it resulted to unequal division of property. So they eliminated the easement of right of way along lots A, D, & E, instead imposed a 3-meter wide easement of right of way on lot B. Victoria who owned lot E swapped her lot with Benedicta who owned Lot A (adjacent to the street). A residential house was constructed on Lot A with two garages, one abutted the street while the other one is in the interior of lot A that used the alley of easement of right of way existing on Lot B to get to the street. Subsequently, Lots B, C, D & E were sold to Sps. Tan. They built improvements thereon that spilled to the easement area to which

the Salimbangon could no longer access. Hence, this case is filed. RTC uphold the right of way of the Salimbangons while CA reversed the decision of RTC. Issue: Whether or not CA erred in ruling that the easement of right of way established by the partition agreement among the heirs for the benefit of lot A has been extinguished. Ruling: When the heirs realized that it was not fair to take strips of 1.5 m form each Lots A. D. E & E for easement of right of way, the heirs executed a cancellation of annotation of right of way earlier agreed upon and in its place imposed a 3- meter wide easement of right of way solely on lot B. In establishing the new easement of right of way, the heirs intended to abandon the old one. Since this 3-meter alley on Lot B is directly connected to Lots D & E to the street it is also obvious that only the latter lots were its intended beneficiary. Thus, with the ownership of Lots B, C, D & E now consolidated in a common owner, Sps. Tans, the easement of right of way on Lot B may be said to have been extinguished by operation of law. Question: Heirs A, B, C, D, & E executed an extrajudicial partition for the lots left by their late father as follows: Lot 1 to A, Lot 2 to B, Lot 3 to C, Lot 4 to D & Lot 5 to E. Lots 1, 2, 4 & 5 were subjected to an easement of right of way to interior Lots 4 & 5 to give access to the road since Lots 1,2 & 3 are located adjacent to the street. The easement was duly annotated to the individual titles, however it was modified by the parties and in its place Lot 2 was solely subjected to an easement of right of way. Lots 2, 4 & 5 were later sold to Sps. X & Y who built improvements on the said lots that extended to the easement area. A filed a cases against the Sps. X & Y for their failure to use the old right of way. Was there extinction of the easement of right way since the ownership of the dominant & servient estates was consolidated in one person?

Modesto Apali (Petitioner) vs. Juliet Awisan (Respondent) G.R. No. 158385 Feb. 12, 2010 Quieting of Title A person occupying a parcel of land, by himself and through his predecessors-in-interest, enjoys the presumption of ownership. Anyone who desires to remove him form the property must overcome such presumption by relying solely on the strength of his claims rather than the weakness of the defense. Facts: Juliet Awisan (respondent) filed an action for quieting of title against Modesto Apali (petitioner) alleging that the latter occupied & encroached on the northern portion of her property and surreptitiously declared it in his name for tax purposes. Respondent claimed that the subject property was originally owned by her father who introduced improvements thereon as early as 1960. In his defense, petitioner denied the encroachment and asserted ownership over the subject property. He maintained that he and his ancestors or predecessors in interest have openly and continuously possessed the subject land since time immemorial. He contended that his own home had been standing on the property for the past 20 years and the area surrounding it was planted with crops. During the entire time, no one disturbed his ownership and possession thereof. Hence, in 1974 he declared the said land in his name for taxation purposes. RTC dismissed the complaint adjudging the petitioner as the owner and lawful possessor of the property which was reversed by CA hence this appeal. Issue: Who between the parties has the better right to the subject property? Ruling: We hold that as between the petitioner and the respondent, it is the petitioner who has the better claim or title to the subject property.

While the respondent merely relied on her tax declaration, petitioner was able to prove actual possession of the subject property coupled with his tax declaration. We have rule in several cases that possession, when coupled with a tax declaration, is a weighty evidence of ownership. It certainly is more weighty and preponderant than a tax declaration alone. xxx as the actual possessor under claim of ownership , he enjoys the presumption of ownership. Question: X accused Y of encroachment on his property, showing his proof of ownership a tax declaration over the subject property. Y in his defense contended that he & his ancestors and predecessors-ininterest have openly and continuously possessed the property since time immemorial. He even declared the said land in his name for taxation purposes. Between X & Y who has a better right over the said property?