Possession to constitute a foundation of a

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Possession, to constitute a foundation of a prescriptive right, must be en concepto dueno, or, to use the common law equivalent of the term, that possession should be adverse, if not, such possessory acts, no matter how long, do not start the running of the period of prescription. 11 In Ramirez vs. Court of Appeals 12 where it was proven that the possessor of the property held the property by virtue of a contract of antichresis, the Supreme Court ruled thus: This court has on several occasions held that the antichretic creditor cannot ordinarily acquire by prescription the land surrendered to him by the debtor ( Trillana vs. Manansala, et al., 96 Phil. 865; Valencia vs. Acala, 42 Phil. 177; Barreto vs. Barreto, 3 Phil. 234). The petitioners are not possessors in the concept of owners. Thus, their possession cannot serve as a title for acquiring dominion (See Art. 540, Civil Code). In Republic vs. Court of Appeals , 6 involving the possession of the United States Navy of a particular property for recreational purposes only, the Supreme Court rejected any contention for prescription to . 1118 apply. The pertinent portions of the decision are as follows: The finding of respondent court revealed that, during the interim of 57 years from November 26, 1902 to December 17, 1959 (when the U.S. Navy possessed the area), the 11 Marcelo, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 131803, April 14, 1999, 105 SCAD 561 , 305 SCRA 800. 12 G.R. No. L-38185, September 24, 1986, 144 SCRA 292.
28 O bligatiOns and C OntraCts Text and Cases possessory rights of Baloy or his heirs were merely suspended and not lost by prescription, is supported by Exhibit “U,” a communication or letter No. 1108-63, dated June 24, 1963, which contains an official statement regarding the position of the Republic of the Philippines with regard to the status of the land in question. Said letter recognizes the fact that Domingo Baloy and/or his heirs, have been in continuous possession of said land since 1894 as attested by an “Informacion Possessoria” Title, which was granted by the Spanish Government. Hence, the disputed property is private land and this possession was only interrupted only by the occupation of the land by the U.S. Navy in 1945 for recreational purposes. However, the U.S. Navy eventually abandoned the premises. The heirs of the late Domingo P. Baloy, are presently in actual possession, and has been in possession since the abandonment by the U.S. Navy. A new recreation area is presently being used by the U.S. Navy personnel and such place is remote from the land in question. Clearly, the occupancy of the U.S. Navy was not in the concept of owner. It partakes of the character of commodatum. It cannot therefore militate against the title of Domingo Baloy and his successors-in-interest. One’s ownership of a thing may be lost through prescription by reason of another’s possession, provided that such possession is under a claim of ownership, and not where the possession is only intended to be transient, as in the case of the U.S. Navy’s occupation of the land concerned, in which case the owner is not divested of his title, however, it cannot be exercised in the meantime.

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