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Modes of Acquiring Ownership

The modes of acquiring ownership are generally classified into two (2) classes, namely, the original
mode and the derivative mode.
A. Original modes are independent of any pre-existing or preceding title or right of another.
1) Occupation (Hunting, fishing, hidden treasure, abandoned movables “res nullius’’ but not “res
2) Creation or work (Book copyrights, patented inventions, trademarks, letters).
B. Derivative modes are when somebody else was the owns the property.
1) Succession (Inheritance)
2) Donation (Given gratuitously and accepted in a public instrument)
3) Prescription (adverse possession for the period of time required under the law)
4) Law (Accession, fruits naturally falling on adjacent land)
5) Tradition, as a consequence of certain contracts (like the contract of sale, barter, assignment, simple
loan or mutuum).

Rulings by the Supreme Court:

 That right or title must be completed by fulfilling certain conditions imposed by law.
Hence, ownership and real rights are acquired only pursuant to a legal mode or process. While
title is the juridical justification, mode is the actual process of acquisition or transfer
of ownership over a thing in question.||(Acap v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 118114, [December 7,
1995], 321 PHIL 381-394)

 . For while a contract of sale is perfected by the meeting of minds upon the thing which is the
object of the contract and upon the price, the ownership of the thing sold is not transferred to the
vendee until actual or constructive delivery of the property. Hence, the maxim non nudis pactis,
sed traditione dominia dominica rerum transferuntur (not mere agreements but tradition transfers
the ownership of things). (Heirs of Seraspi v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 135602, [April 28, 2000],
387 PHIL 306-314)

 Registration of a piece of land under the Torrens System does not create or vest title, because it
is not a mode of acquiring ownership. A certificate of title is merely an evidence of ownership or
title over the particular property described therein. (Hortizuela v. Tagufa, G.R. No. 205867,
[February 23, 2015])

 Petitioners' claim of ownership was based on the affidavit of Herminigildo. By itself, an affidavit
is not a mode of acquiring ownership, thus it cannot serve as the basis of ownership of the
petitioners. (Heirs of Dela Cruz v. Heirs of Quintos, Sr., G.R. No. 149692, [July 30, 2002], 434
PHIL 708-719)

Modes of Extinguishing Ownership:

A. Absolute extinguishment (all persons are affected):
1) Physical loss or destruction
2) Legal loss or destruction (when it goes out of the commerce of man)

B. Relative (only for certain persons for others may acquire their ownership):
1) law
2) succession (testate or intestate)
3) tradition (as a consequence of certain contracts)
4) donation
5) abandonment
6) destruction of the prior title or right (like expropriation, rescission, annulment, fulfillment of a resolutory