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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
March-1997 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. 51765 March 3, 1997 - REPUBLIC PLANTERS BANK v. ENRIQUE A. AGANA, SR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 93397 March 3, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99425 March 3, 1997 - ANTONIO RAMOS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 100487 & 100607 March 3, 1997 - ARTURO JULIANO v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 106581 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RENATO FLORES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 110419 March 3, 1997 - UERM-MEMORIAL MEDICAL CENTER, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114383 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL COREA

  • G.R. No. 116437 March 3, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PABLITO ANDAN

  • G.R. No. 117161 March 3, 1997 - RAMON INGLES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 120704 March 3, 1997 - BARTOLOME C. CARALE, ET AL. v. PAMPIO A. ABARINTOS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123321 March 3, 1997 - ROMAN CATHOLIC ARCHBISHOP OF MANILA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123361 March 3, 1997 - TEOFILO CACHO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125198 March 3, 1997 - MSCI-NACUSIP v. NWPC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 84449 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENEDICTO JAVIER, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 102876 March 4, 1997 - BATAAN SHIPYARD AND ENG’G CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118607 March 4, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JULITO FRANCO

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1335 March 5, 1997 - INOCENCIO BASCO v. LEO H. RAPATALO

  • G.R. No. 126576 March 5, 1997 - RICARDO M. ANGOBUNG v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 83598 March 7, 1997 - LEONCIA BALOGBOG, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 94994-95 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LILIBETH CACO

  • G.R. No. 106212 March 7, 1997 - PROGRESS HOMES, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108395 March 7, 1997 - HEIRS OF TEODORO GUARING, JR. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 108604-10 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FEDERICO A. BURCE

  • G.R. No. 113420 March 7, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 113905 March 7, 1997 - LEOPOLDO ALICBUSAN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116211 March 7, 1997 - MEYNARDO POLICARPIO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116512 March 7, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILLIAM O. CASIDO, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-96-1353 March 11, 1997 - DANILO B. PARADA v. LORENZO B. VENERACION

  • G.R. No. 127066 March 11, 1997 - REYNALDO O. MALONZO v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117169 March 12, 1997 - PHILTREAD WORKERS UNION, ET AL. v. NIEVES R. CONFESOR, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121917 March 12, 1997 - ROBIN CARIÑO PADILLA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 99301 & 99343 March 13, 1997 - VICTOR KIERULF, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 100333 March 13, 1997 - HILARIO MAGCALAS, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 103611 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR HERBIETO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107131 March 13, 1997 - NFD INT’L. MANNING AGENTS, INC. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 108454 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEDDY QUINAO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 109779 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. NESTOR MAÑOZCA

  • G.R. No. 110067 March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111478 March 13, 1997 - GEORGE F. SALONGA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 111567 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TEODORICO AVILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116123 March 13, 1997 - SERGIO NAGUIAT, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116228 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EPIFANIO GAYON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116352 March 13, 1997 - J. & D.O. AGUILAR CORP. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 116596-98 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LORENZO TOPAGUEN

  • G.R. No. 117266 March 13, 1997 - CONTEMPT PROCEEDINGS AGAINST VENTURA O. DUCAT, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 117955-58 March 13, 1997 - HERMINIGILDO TOMARONG, ET AL. v. ANTONIO C. LUBGUBAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119058 March 13, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ERLINDA VILLARAN

  • G.R. No. 120853 March 13, 1997 - RUDY ALMEDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122427 March 13, 1997 - BENJAMIN LAZA, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123881 March 13, 1997 - VIVA PRODUCTIONS, INC. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 91694 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. SABAS CALVO, JR., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 97626 March 14, 1997 - PHIL. BANK OF COMMERCE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 114387 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ALEJANDRO DEVILLERES

  • G.R. No. 120592 March 14, 1997 - TRADERS ROYAL BANK EMPLOYEES UNION v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121765 March 14, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RANDOLF B. MONTEALTO

  • G.R. No. 122646 March 14, 1997 - ADELIA C. MENDOZA v. ANGELITO C. TEH, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 112229 March 18, 1997 - RAYMOND PE LIM v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 114924-27 March 18, 1997 - DANTE NACURAY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119321 March 18, 1997 - CATALINO F. BAÑEZ, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Bar Matter No. 712 March 19, 1997 - PETITION OF AL ARGOSINO TO TAKE THE LAWYER’S OATH

  • G.R. Nos. 100382-100385 March 19, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO TABACO

  • G.R. No. 111157 March 19, 1997 - ITOGON-SUYOC MINES, INC. v. OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117029 March 19, 1997 - PELTAN DEVELOPMENT, INC., ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121112 March 19, 1997 - FELICIDAD MIRANO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127325 March 19, 1997 - MIRIAM DEFENSOR SANTIAGO, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-95-1159 March 20, 1997 - COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. WILLIAM C. SEVILLO

  • G.R. No. 88684 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CESAR LACBANES

  • G.R. No. 95551 March 20, 1997 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. CONCEPCION S. ALARCON VERGARA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 107019 March 20, 1997 - FRANKLIN M. DRILON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116404 March 20, 1997 - FRANCISCO LUNA, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117218 March 20, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GERRY NALANGAN

  • G.R. No. 119599 March 20, 1997 - MALAYAN INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127456 March 20, 1997 - JESUS A. JARIOL, ET AL. v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. MTJ-96-1091 March 21, 1997 - WILFREDO NAVARRO v. DEOGRACIAS K. DEL ROSARIO

  • G.R. No. 107699 March 21, 1997 - ALEX JACOBO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116692 March 21, 1997 - SAMAR II ELECTRIC COOPERATIVE v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117097 March 21, 1997 - SAMAHAN NG OPTOMETRISTS SA PILIPINAS, ET AL. v. ACEBEDO INTL. CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118436 March 21, 1997 - HEIRS OF MANUEL A. ROXAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118836 March 21, 1997 - FEDERICO DORDAS, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122728 March 21, 1997 - CASIANO A. ANGCHANGCO, JR. v. OMBUDSMAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 123037 March 21, 1997 - TEODORO Q. PEÑA v. HRET, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. P-96-1184 March 24, 1997 - NBI, ET AL. v. RODOLFO TULIAO

  • G.R. No. 106588 March 24, 1997 - RAUL H. SESBREÑO v. CENTRAL BOARD OF ASSESSMENT APPEALS, ET AL.

  • Adm. Matter No. RTJ-89-318 March 25, 1997 - LUCIANA Vda. DE ARAGO v. PATERNO T. ALVAREZ

  • G.R. No. 96229 March 25, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GLORIOSA S. NAVARRO

  • G.R. No. 124137 March 25, 1997 - ROY M. LOYOLA v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126298 March 25, 1997 - PATRIA C. GUTIERREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 99032 March 26, 1997 - RICARDO A. LLAMADO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 101817 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FELIPE IMMACULATA

  • G.R. No. 107801 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROSARIA V. IGNACIO

  • G.R. No. 110613 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGAR VILLANUEVA

  • G.R. No. 113470 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO CORBES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 115951 March 26, 1997 - ZEBRA SECURITY AGENCY, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117378 March 26, 1997 - GIL CAPILI, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117408 March 26, 1997 - NATIONAL INVESTMENT AND DEV. CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117604 March 26, 1997 - CHINA BANKING CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 118332 March 26, 1997 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IRENEO PEREZ

  • G.R. No. 119528 March 26, 1997 - PAL, INC. v. CIVIL AERONAUTICS BOARD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121031 March 26, 1997 - ROSAURO I. TORRES v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122013 March 26, 1997 - JOSE C. RAMIREZ v. COMELEC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 124333 March 26, 1997 - NATIVIDAD P. ARAGON v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 119877 March 31, 1997 - BIENVENIDO ONGKINGCO, ET AL. v. NLRC, ET AL.

  •  




     
     

    G.R. No. 110067   March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    SECOND DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 110067. March 13, 1997.]

    MA. LINDA T. ALMENDRAS, Petitioner, v. THE COURT OF APPEALS, URCICIO TAN PANG ENG and FABIANA YAP, Respondents.

    Lito A. Mondragon for Petitioner.

    Santiago, Nalus & Associates Law Offices for Private Respondents.


    SYLLABUS


    1. REMEDIAL LAW; ACTIONS; APPEALS; MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION; WHERE THE LAST DAY OF FILING A MOTION WAS DECLARED A SPECIAL HOLIDAY, SAID MOTION MAY BE FILED WITHIN THE NEXT SUCCEEDING DAY; CASE AT BAR. — The preliminary question is whether petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was filed within the 15-day period prescribed by the Rules for filing such motion or appealing the decision of the Court of Appeals to this Court. It appears that a copy of the decision of the appellate court was served on petitioner’s counsel on February 10, 1993, so that she had until February 25 within which to file a motion for reconsideration. However, February 25, 1993 had been declared a special holiday in commemoration of the EDSA people power revolution. Hence, Petitioner, in accordance with Sec. 28 of the Administrative Code of 1987, had until the next day, February 26, 1993, to file her motion, which she did. Her motion was thus timely filed.

    2. ID.; ID.; ID.; CASE REMANDED TO TRIAL COURT FOR FURTHER RECEPTION OF EVIDENCE. — The issue in this case is whether or not petitioner is entitled to a right of way through private respondents’ property. We hold that she has failed to prove that she has a right to the establishment of such an easement through private respondents’ property. In the case at bar, the trial court ruled that the easement should be constituted through the land of private respondents on the eastern side because it would be the shortest way to the provincial road, being only 17.45 meters long, compared to 149.22 meters if the easement was constituted on the Opone and Tudtud roads on the western and southern sides of petitioner’s land. On the other hand, as already pointed out, the Court of Appeals, in pointing to the longer way, considered the fact that this was already existing and does not preclude its use by other parties than the individual owners of Lot 1-A to Lot 1-G and the owners of the land on which the connecting Tudtud road is found. Although evidence concerning the condition of their estates has been presented by private respondents, it is impossible to determine with certainty which estate would be least prejudiced by the establishment of an easement for petitioner until these parties have been heard. Any decision holding them liable to bear the easement would not be binding on them since they are not parties to this action. Accordingly, the decisions of the Court of Appeals and of the Regional Trial Court should be set aside and this case remanded to the trial court so that private respondents may file a third-party complaint against the owners of servient estates through whose lands they believe the right of way sought by petitioner should be established and then prove their claim. On the basis of the evidence of all parties concerned the trial court should render a new decision.

    3. CIVIL LAW; EASEMENT; RIGHT OF WAY; CONSTRUED. — The owner of a landlocked property has the right to demand a right of way through the neighboring estates. The easement must be established at the point which is least prejudicial to the servient estate and, whenever possible, the shortest to the highway. If these two conditions exist on different properties, the land where establishment of the easement will cause the least prejudice should be chosen. Thus, it has been held that "where the easement may be established on any of several tenements surrounding the dominant estate, the one where the way is shortest and will cause the least damage should be chosen. However, if these two (2) circumstances do not concur in a single tenement, the way which will cause the least damage should be used, even if it will not be the shortest [2 ARTURO M. TOLENTINO, CIVIL CODE 374 (1974)]."


    D E C I S I O N


    MENDOZA, J.:


    This is a petition to review the decision of the Court of Appeals, reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court and dismissing petitioner’s complaint for the establishment of a right of way.

    Petitioner is the registered owner of a parcel of land, covered by TCT No. 91180 of the Register of Deeds of Cebu and designated as Lot-B of the subdivision plan Psd-163902, in Banilad, Cebu. The land is bounded on the north and on the east by lots owned by private respondents Tan Pang Eng and Fabiana Yap, on the south by the lot owned by Celedonio Bongo, and on the west by the properties of Tomas Opone and Zosimo Opone.

    About 9.74 meters of the western boundary of petitioner’s land abuts an existing private road, 6.00 meters wide, which passes through the lots of Tomas Opone, Vicente Lao, Manuel Opone, Luis Sison, and Silvestre Opone and leads to another private road located on the property of Bienvenido Tudtud which in turn connects to the provincial road.

    Sometime in September, 1987, private respondents began building a concrete wall on his property on the northern and eastern sides of petitioner’s lot. For this reason, petitioner wrote private respondents on September 15, 1987 offering to buy a portion of the latter’s lot, 17.45 meters long and 3 meters wide, so that petitioner could have access to the provincial road. But her request was denied by private respondents on the ground that there was an existing private road on the western side of petitioner’s property providing adequate outlet to the provincial road. Private respondents claimed that granting petitioner’s request would greatly reduce the value of his property, as the proposed right of way cuts across the middle of the property.

    Shortly thereafter, in January 1988, Celedonio Bongo also fenced his property, thus closing off the southern boundary of petitioner’s lot.

    On January 29, 1988, petitioner brought this action in the Regional Trial Court of Cebu, Branch 16 for the establishment of a right of way (CEB-6607) through private respondents’ land.

    Zosimo Opone subsequently closed off the western side of petitioner’s property by erecting a fence on his lot, with the result that petitioner’s property became inaccessible.

    After trial, the trial court rendered judgment for petitioner, granting her a right of way through 57.35 square meters of private respondents’ property, upon payment by her of P11,470.00 as indemnity. Although there was a private road on the western and southern sides of her lot, the trial court ruled that the easements were constituted for the owners of the lots through which the private road passes and petitioner would have to negotiate with them individually to be allowed to use the private road herself. Moreover, the road had been closed on petitioner’s western boundary by Zosimo Opone.

    Private respondents appealed. On January 29, 1993, the Court of Appeals rendered its decision, reversing the trial court and holding that the road around petitioner’s lot on its western and southern boundaries was an adequate outlet for petitioner to the provincial road. This private road has a width of 6.0 meters, which allows the passage of a cargo truck, and a length of only 149 meters. Although the road is a private one, the appellate court ruled that the designation of the beneficiaries of the easement in the titles of the lots was neither specific nor exclusive, that there was no reason for petitioner not to negotiate with Zosimo Opone before bringing this case, and that the closure by Zosimo Opone of the western side of petitioner’s lot was contrary to P.D. No. 1529, 50 because it was done without the approval of the Regional Trial Court as required therein. In any event, it was held that mere inconvenience to the petitioner in negotiating with numerous parties for whose benefit the easement was established was not a reason for granting petitioner an easement through private respondents’ property.

    Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but her motion was denied for having been filed late and for lack of merit. Hence this petition.

    The preliminary question is whether petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was filed within the 15-day period prescribed by the Rules for filing such motion or appealing the decision of the Court of Appeals to this Court. It appears that a copy of the decision of the appellate court was served on petitioner’s counsel on February 10, 1993, so that she had until February 25 within which to file a motion for reconsideration. However, February 25, 1993 had been declared a special holiday in commemoration of the EDSA people power revolution. Hence, Petitioner, in accordance with 28 of the Administrative Code of 1987, had until the next day, February 26, 1993, to file her motion, which she did. Her motion was thus timely filed.

    Petitioner contends that the appellate court erred in dismissing her complaint because both the Opone and Tudtud roads are private roads which were built for the benefit only of those lots through which the roads pass and, as such, cannot be considered adequate outlets within the contemplation of Art. 649 of the Civil Code. The roads not being adequate outlets, Tan was bound under the law to open up a right of way for her through his property.

    The issue in this case is whether or not petitioner is entitled to a right of way through private respondents’ property. We hold that she has failed to prove that she has a right to the establishment of such an easement through private respondents’ property.

    There is no dispute that the road abutting the western boundary of petitioner’s lot, known as the Opone road, is an existing, passable, private road which connects to another road, the Tudtud road, on the southern side of petitioner’s lot. This road leads to the Cebu-Banilad Cadre Provincial Road located on the eastern side of petitioner’s lot.

    It appears that the lots traversed by the private road originally constituted only one lot, that is, Lot 1 of the subdivision plan PSU-89847, registered under TCT No. 55684 in the name of the Opone siblings. In May 1979, this lot was subdivided into seven lots, namely, Lot 1-A to Lot 1-G. A right of way was constituted running almost the entire length of the eastern boundary of all these lots, beginning with Lot 1-G, which belongs to Zosimo Opone, through Lot 1-A which belongs to Silvestre Opone. The servitude was annotated on the transfer certificates of title covering the seven lots, the annotations reading substantially as follows:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    subject to a road right-of-way from point 1 to point 4 passing through lots 1-A to 1-G which is on the eastern side.

    Petitioner’s property abuts 9.74 meters of the aforesaid right of way. As already stated, the Opone road connects to another right of way on the property of Bienvenido Tudtud (the Tudtud road). This right of way was constituted on July 4, 1983 by Bienvenido Tudtud in favor of the individual owners of Lot 1-A to Lot 1-G by virtue of an instrument entitled "Easement of Right of Way" 1 which document reads in part:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Now, THEREFORE, for and in consideration of the above premises and as a gesture of his love and service to his fellowmen particularly his neighbors, the SERVIENT ESTATE hereby and these presents, agree, allow and permit the DOMINANT ESTATE to establish and have a permanent easement of right-of-way over his property described under paragraph 1 hereof but limited to a portion situated throughout the whole length of the southern side thereof as indicated in the plan hereto attached as Annex "A,." . . (Emphasis added)

    In holding that petitioner’s right of way should be constituted on the properties on the western and southern boundaries of petitioner’s lot, instead of through the land of private respondents as the trial court ruled, the Court of Appeals pointed to the fact that the Tudtud and the Opone roads already constitute permanent easements. It held that although the Tudtud easement was constituted by naming the owners of the individual lots, the annotation of the easement nevertheless categorically states that the easement is established "as a gesture of [Bienvenido Tudtud’s] love and service to his fellowmen," which, the appellate court interpreted to mean for the benefit of the public in general.

    To begin with, the owner of a landlocked property has the right to demand a right of way through the neighboring estates. 2 The easement must be established at the point which is least prejudicial to the servient estate and, whenever possible, the shortest to the highway. 3 If these two conditions exist on different properties, the land where establishment of the easement will cause the least prejudice should be chosen. Thus, it has been held that "where the easement may be established on any of several tenements surrounding the dominant estate, the one where the way is shortest and will cause the least damage should be chosen. However, . . . if these two (2) circumstances do not concur in a single tenement, the way which will cause the least damage should be used, even if it will not be the shortest. [2 ARTURO M. TOLENTINO, CIVIL CODE 374 (1974)]" 4

    In the case at bar, the trial court ruled that the easement should be constituted through the land of private respondents on the eastern side because it would be the shortest way to the provincial road, being only 17.45 meters long, compared to 149.22 meters if the easement was constituted on the Opone and Tudtud roads on the western and southern sides of petitioner’s land.chanroblesvirtual|awlibrary

    On the other hand, as already pointed out, the Court of Appeals, in pointing to the longer way, considered the fact that this was already existing and does not preclude its use by other parties than the individual owners of Lot 1-A to Lot 1-G and the owners of the land on which the connecting Tudtud road is found.

    The way may be longer and not the most direct way to the provincial road, but if the establishment of the easement in favor of petitioner on this road will cause the least prejudice, then the easement should be constituted there. This seems to be reasoning of the Court of Appeals. However, this can only be determined if the several lot owners (i.e., the Opones and their buyers and those of Bienvenido Tudtud) are before the court, for the determination of the point least prejudicial to the owners of servient estates (if there are two or more possible sites for an easement) requires a comparative evaluation of the physical conditions of the estates. It is not possible to determine whether the estates which would be least prejudiced by the easement would be those of the owners of the Opone and Tudtud properties because they have not been heard. Although evidence concerning the condition of their estates has been presented by private respondents, it is impossible to determine with certainty which estate would be least prejudiced by the establishment of an easement for petitioner until these parties have been heard. Any decision holding them liable to bear the easement would not be binding on them since they are not parties to this action.

    Accordingly, the decisions of the Court of Appeals and of the Regional Trial Court should be set aside and this case remanded to the trial court so that private respondents may file a third-party complaint against the owners of servient estates through whose lands they believe the right of way sought by petitioner should be established and then prove their claim. On the basis of the evidence of all parties concerned the trial court should render a new decision.

    WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals and that of the Regional Trial Court are SET ASIDE and this case is REMANDED to the Regional Trial Court for further proceedings in accordance with this decision.

    SO ORDERED.

    Regalado, Romero, Puno and Torres, Jr., JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Records, p. 117.

    2. Art. 649. "The owner, or any person who by virtue of a real right may cultivate or use any immovable, which is surrounded by other immovables pertaining to other persons and without adequate outlet to a public highway, is entitled to demand a right of way through the neighboring estates, after payment of the proper indemnity.

    "Should this easement be established in such a manner that its use may be continuous for all the needs of the dominant estate, establishing a permanent passage, the indemnity shall consist of the value of the land occupied and the amount of the damage caused to the servient estate.

    "In case the right of way is limited to the necessary passage for the cultivation of the estate surrounded by others and for the gathering of its crops through the servient estate without a permanent way, the indemnity shall consist in the payment of the damage caused by such encumbrance.

    "This easement is not compulsory if the isolation of the immovable is due to the proprietor’s own acts."cralaw virtua1aw library

    3. Art. 650. "The easement of right of way shall be established at the point least prejudicial to the servient estate, and, insofar as consistent with this rule, where the distance from the dominant estate to a public highway may be the shortest."cralaw virtua1aw library

    4. Quimen v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 112331, May 29, 1996.

    G.R. No. 110067   March 13, 1997 - LINDA T. ALMENDRAS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.




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