Spouses Felix Baes & Rafaela Baes v CA and Republic of the Philippines
July 6, 1993
WON Baes owned Lot 1-B.
Art. 461, NCC
– River beds abandoned through NATURAL CHANGE ipso facto belong to owner whose lands are occupied by the new course in proportion to the are lost. Owners of the land adjoining the river bed have the right to acquire by paying its value (must not exceed value of new bed’s area)
If change is due to concessioners authorized by the Government, the concession may be granted to concessioners. No grant = land belongs to owners of land covered by the waters. Must not prejudice tge superior rights of third persons with sufficient title.
If a riparian owner is entitled to compensation for damage/loss due to natural reasons, there is no reson not to compensate when the change was effected through artificial means.
The loss was caused by a deliberate act of Government. The Government is obliged to compensate Baes for the loss.
However, Baes has already been compensated through the fair exchange of lots between him and the Government.