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ACQUISITION OF PRIVATE LANDS OR ABANDONED RIVERBEDS BY RIGHT OF ACCRETION OR ACCESSION

1. OWNERSHIP OF ABANDONED RIVER BEDS BY RIGHT OF ACCESSION

> River beds which are abandoned through the natural change in the course of waters ipso facto belongs to the owners whose lands are occupied by the new course in proportion to the area lost
> However, the owners of the lands adjoining the old bed, shall have the right to acquire the same by paying the value thereof—which value shall not exceed the value of the area occupied by the new bed
> Requisites for the application of Article 61
o The change must be sudden in order that the old river may be identified
o The changing of the course must be more or less permanent, and not temporary overflowing of another’s land

o The change of the river must be natural
o There must be definite abandonment by the government
o The river must continue to exist, that is, it must not completely dry up or disappear

2. OWNERSHIP BY RIGHT OF ACCRETION

> Article 457 of CC provides that 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
> Adopted from the Law Of The Waters which provided that the accretion resulting from the gradual deposit by or sedimentation from the waters belongs to the owners of the land bordering on streams, torrents, lakes, or rivers
> Three requisites—
o That the deposit be gradual and imperceptible
o That it be made through the effects of the current of the water
o That the land where accretion takes place is adjacent to the banks of rivers
> In the absence of evidence that the change in the course of the river was sudden or that it occurred through avulsion, the presumption is that the change was gradual and caused by accretion and erosion

i. ALLUVION MUST BE THE EXCLUSIVE WORK OF NATURE

> Requirement that the deposit should be due to the effects of the current of the river is indispensable
> A riparian owner then doesn’t acquire the additions to his land caused by special works expressly intended or designed to bring about accretion

ii. REASON FOR THE LAW ON ACCRETION

> Right to any land or alluvion deposited by the river is to compensate the riparian owner of the danger of loss that he suffers because of the location of his land

3. ACCRETION DOESN’T AUTOMATICALLY BECOME REGISTERED LAND

> The accretion doesn’t become automatically registered land just because the lot which receives it is covered by the Torrens title thereby making the alluvial property imprescriptible
> Akin to the principle that an unregistered land purchased by the registered owner of the adjoining land does not, by extension, become ipso facto registered land
> The accretion doesn’t automatically become registered land just because the land which receives such accretion is covered by a Torrens title. As such, it must be placed under the operation of the Torrens system.

4. ALLUVIAL FORMATION ALONG THE SEASHORE FORMS PART OF THE PUBLIC DOMAIN

> Alluvial formation along the seashore form part of the public domain and therefore, not open to the acquisition by adverse possession by private persons
> Outside the commerce of man, unless otherwise provided by either the executive or legislative branch of the government
> The adjoining registered owner of the foreshore land cannot claim ownership by right of accretion
> The state shall only grant these lands to the adjoining owners only when they are no longer needed for the purposes mentioned therein
> Ignacio v. Director of Lands: a bay is part of the sea, being a mere indention of the same