Fernando v Acuna

August 22, 2017 | Author: Sonia Mae C. Balbaboco | Category: Ownership, Lawsuit, Politics, Government, Justice
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PROPERTY 1 Art. 420 – Properties of Public Dominion FERNANDO et.al vs ACUNA et al., FACTS: A parcel of land was registered in the names of Spouses Jose Fernando and Lucila Tinio and spouses Antonia Fernando and Felipe Galvez. When they died inestestate, the property remained undivided. The heirs and successors-in-interest, herein petitioners (Jose and Zoilo Fernando, Norma Fernando Banares, Rosario Fernando Tangkencgo, heirs of Tomas Fernando, heirs of Guillermo Fernando, heirs of Iluminada Fernando and heirs of Germogena Fernando) failed to agree on the division of the subject property. Thus, except for the heirs of Germogena Fernando, filed a Complaint for partition against the heirs of Germogena Fernando praying that the subject property be partitioned into 8 equal parts corresponding to the hereditary interest of each group of heirs. In his Complaint in intervention, 1998, respondent Leon Acuna averred that the portion of the property identified as Lot 1303 was already adjudicated the petitioners' predecessor-in-interest. He likewise claimed the portion identified as Lot 1302 was also already adjudicated to other people as well. TC found that Lot 1302 was already titled in the names of third persons. With respect to Lot 1303 TC found out that the November 1929 decision was never executed and has already prescribed. TC ordered the reversion of Lot 1303 to the ownership of spouses Jose Fernando and Lucila Tinio and spouses Antonia Fernando and Felipe Galvez and allowed the partition of Lot 1303 among petitioners as successors-in-interest of said registered owners. Excluded from the partition, however, were the portions of the property which petitioners admitted had been sold or transferred to Ruperta Sto. Domingo Villasenor and respondent Acuna. With respect to Sapang Bayan, TC found that the same had not been alleged in the pleadings nor raised as an issue during the pre-trial conference. Also, according to the trial court, the parties failed to clearly show whether Sapang Bayan was previously a dry portion of either Lot 1302 or Lot 1303. Neither was there any proof that Sapang Bayan was a river that just dried up or that it was an accretion which the adjoining lots gradually received from the effects of the current of water. It was likewise not established who were the owners of the lots adjoining Sapang Bayan. The trial court concluded that none of the parties had clearly and sufficiently established their claims over Sapang Bay. All the parties, with the except Acuna, elevated this case to the CA which REVERSED and SET ASIDE the desicsion. Hence, plaintiffs and defendants in the court to SC for review. ISSUE: Can the petitioners validly claim the ownership of the Sapang Bayan? HELD: NO. CA erred in ruling that the principle of accretion is applicable. the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the principle of accretion is applicable ("to the owners of lands adjoining the banks of rivers belong the accretion which they gradually receive from the effects of the current of the waters." Art. 457, CC) The character of the Sapang Bayan property was not shown to be of the nature that is being referred to in the provision which is an accretion known as alluvion. In fact the parties could not agree how Sapang Bayan came about. Whether it was a gradual deposit received from the river current or a dried-up creek bed connected to the main river could not be ascertained. Even assuming that Sapang Bayan was a dried-up creek bed, under Article 420, paragraph 1 and Article 502, of the CC, rivers and their natural beds are property of public dominion. In the absence of any provision of law vesting ownership of the dried-up river bed in some other person, it must continue to belong to the State. In Republic v. Court of Appeals Court ruled that lots were portions of the bed of the Meycauayan river and are therefore classified as property of the public domain under Article 420. They are not open to registration under the Land Registration act. Furthermore, in Celestial v. Cachopero, the Court similarly ruled that a dried-up creek bed is property of public dominion: A creek, like the Salunayan Creek, is a recess or arm extending from a river and participating in the ebb and flow of the sea. As such,

PROPERTY 2 Art. 420 – Properties of Public Dominion under Article 420 the Salunayan Creek, including its natural bed, is property of the public domain which is not susceptible to private appropriation and and acquisitive prescription. And, absent any declaration by the government, that a portion of the creek has dried-up does not, by itself, alter its inalienable character. Therefore, on the basis of the law and jurisprudence on the matter, Sapang Bayan cannot be adjudged to any of the parties in this case.


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