LA VISTA ASSOCIATION, INC vs. CA- Easement of Right of Way
Like any other contractual stipulation, a voluntary easement cannot be extinguished except by voluntary recession of the contract establishing the servitude or renunciation by the owner of the dominant lots.
The controversy in this case is regarding the right of way in Manyan road. The road is a 15 meter wide road abutting Katipunan Avenue on the west, traverses the edges of La Vista Subdivision on the north and of the Ateneo de Manila University and Maryknoll College on the south. The said road was originally owned by the Tuasons sold a portion of their land to Philippine Building Corporation. Included in such sale was half or 7.5 meters width of the Mangyan road. The said corporation assigned its rights, with the consent of the tuasons, to AdMU through a Deed of Assignment with Assumption of Mortgage. Ateneo later on sold to Maryknoll the western portion of the land. Tuason developed their land which is now known as La Vista. On January, 1976, Ateneo and La Vista acknowledged the voluntary easement or a Mutual right of way wherein the parties would allow the other to use their half portion of the Manyan road (La Vista to use AdMU’s 7.5 meters of the mangyan road and also the other way around.) Ateneo auctioned off the property wherein Solid Homes Inc., the developer of Loyola Grand Villas, was the highest bidder.
ADMU transferred not only the property, but also the right to negotiate the easement on the road. However, La Vista did not want to recognize the easement thus they block the road using 6 cylindrical concrete and some guards over the entrance of the road blocking the entrance of the residents of Loyola Grand Villas. Solid Homes Inc. filed for injunction and La vista in turn filed a third party complaint against AdMU. Some of the arguments of the petitioner were that Loyola residents had adequate outlet to a public highway using other roads and also that AdMU has not yet finalized the negotiation of the easement.
ISSUES: Whether or not there is an easement of right of way?
There was a voluntary easement of right of way which was acknowledged on January 1976 by the Tuasons and Admu (the easement was established by PBC and the Tuasons but I don’t think I can find the details regarding it in the case… I just saw the one regarding “acknowledgement” between admu and the Tuasons.) Being such, the 4 requisites for a compulsory easement need not be met. And like any other contractual stipulation, the same cannot be extinguished except by voluntary recession of the contract establishing the servitude or renunciation by the owner of the dominant lots. In the case at bar, all the predecessors-in-interest of both parties recognized the existence of such easement and there was no agreement yet to revoke the same. The free ingress and egress along Mangyan Road created by the voluntary agreement is thus demandable.
The Court also emphasized that they are not creating an easement but merely declaring one (there no such thing as a judicial easement)