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G.R. No.

L-46000 March 18, 1985 attorney's fees' From this decision, the defendant filed an appeal with Branch Ill of
the Court of First Instance of Cebu. The case was designated as Civil Case No. R-
GLICERIO AGUSTIN (Deceased) as Administrator of the Intestate Estate of Susana 12430.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
Agustin, petitioner-plaintiff-appellant, vs. LAUREANO BACALAN and the PROVINCIAL
SHERIFF OF CEBU, respondents-defendants-appellees.chanrobles virtual law library Availing of Republic Act 6031 which does away with trials de novo in appeals before
it, the Court of First Instance rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which
GUTIERREZ, JR., J.: reads:
The precursor of this case was a complaint for ejectment with damages filed by WHEREFORE, based on all the foregoing considerations, the appealed judgment is
plaintiff-appellant Agustin, as adininistrator of the Intestate Estate of Susana Agustin, hereby set aside. Judgment is hereby required in favor of the defendant-chanrobles
against defendant-appellee Bacalan, before the City Court of virtual law library
Cebu.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
1. Ordering the plaintiff to pay.
Bacalan is a lessee of a one-door ground floor space in a building owned by the late
Susana Agustin. Due to nonpayment of rentals despite repeated demands an action a) P10,000.00 as moral damages;chanrobles virtual law library
to eject him was filed.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
b) P5,000.00 as exemplary damages; chanrobles virtual law library
In his complaint, the plaintiff-appellant prayed that the defendant-appellee be
ordered to immediately vacate the place in question, to pay plaintiff-appellant the c) P1,000.00 as attorney's fees; and
sum of P2,300.00 representing arrearages in rentals plus the corresponding rentals
2. With costs 0against plaintiff.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law
until he actually vacates the place, attorney's fees, expenses, and
library
costs.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
JUDGMENT REVERSED.
In his answer, the defendant-appellee included a counter-claim alleging that the
present action was "clearly unfounded and devoid of merits, as it is tainted with No appeal was taken by the plaintiff-appellant. The decision lapsed into finality and
malice and bad faith on the part of the plaintiff for the obvious reason that plaintiff became executory. A writ of execution was issued by virtue of which a notice to sell
pretty well knows that defendant does not have any rentals in arrears due to the at public auction real properties belonging to the estate of Susana Agustin was
estate of Susana Agustin, but notwithstanding this knowledge, plaintiff filed the issued by the Deputy Sheriff to satisfy judgment in the case. Plaintiff's counsel filed a
present action merely to annoy, vex, embarrass and inconvenience the defendant." motion for reconsideration, confessing his fault and giving the reason why he failed
He stated, "That by virtue of the unwarranted and malicious filing of this action by to perfect the appeal on time. The motion was
the plaintiff against the defendant, the latter suffered, and will continue to suffer, denied.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
actual and moral damages in the amount of no less than P50,000.00; P10,000.00 in
concept of exemplary damages. In addition, defendant has been compelled to retain Thereafter, with the aid of new counsel, the plaintiff-appellant filed a complaint with
the services of undersigned counsel to resist plaintiffs' reckless, malicious and Branch V, Court of First Instance of Cebu, against the defendant and the Deputy
frivolous claim and to protect and enforce his rights for which he obligated himself to Sheriff of Cebu for the declaration of the nullity of the above-cited decision of Branch
pay the further sum of P3,500.00 as attorney's fees."chanrobles virtual law library III, Court of First Instance of Cebu in the ejectment case on the ground that the
exercise of its appellate jurisdiction was null and void from the beginning for the
The City Court of Cebu subsequently rendered judgment dismissing the counterclaim following reasons:
and ordering the defendant to vacate the premises in question and to pay the
plaintiff the sum of P3,887.10 as unpaid back rentals and the sum of P150.00 as (a) It grants relief in the total sum of P16,000.00 (exclusive of costs) distributed thus:
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P10,000.00 as moral damages chanrobles virtual law library In fine, this Court believes that the present complaint fails to allege a valid cause of
action as the same is only a clear attempt at utilizing the remedy for the annulment
P5,000.00 as exemplary damageschanrobles virtual law library of the judgment rendered by this Court in Civil Case No. 12430 to offset the adverse
effects of failure to appeal.
P1,000.00 as attorney's fees
Plaintiff-appellant's motion for reconsideration was denied, prompting him to file an
which is clearly beyond the jurisdiction of the City Court of Cebu; Section 88 of the
appeal before the Court of Appeals, which, in a resolution, certified the same to us
Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended by Rep. Acts Nos. 2613 and 3828, limits the
on the ground that it involves pure questions of
jurisdiction of the city courts in civil cases to P10,000.00 as the maximum amount of
law.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
the demand (exclusive of interest and costs);chanrobles virtual law library
We ruled in Macabingkil v. People's Homesite and Housing Corporation (72 SCRA
(b) Moreover, said Decision (Annex "G") grants moral damages to the defendant in
326, citing Reyes v. Barretto-Datu, 94 Phil. 446, 448-449)-
the sum of P10,000.00 which constitutes a grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack of jurisdiction, there being no evidence to support it and the subject matter of Under our rules of procedure, the validity of a judgment or order of the court, which
the suit in Civil Case No. R-13504 being purely contractual where moral damages are has become final and executory, may he attacked only by a direct action or
not recoverable. proceeding to annul the same, or by motion in another case if, in the latter case, the
court had no jurisdiction to enter the order or pronounce the judgment (section 44,
A motion to dismiss was filed by the defendant on the grounds that the plaintiff has
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court). The first proceeding is a direct attack against the
no cause of action and that the court lacks jurisdiction to declare the nullity of a
order or judgment, because it is not incidental to, but is the main object of, the
decision of another branch of the Court of First Instance of
proceeding. The other one is the collateral attack, in which the purpose of the
Cebu.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
proceedings is to obtain some relief, other than the vacation or setting aside of the
While rejecting the second ground for the motion to dismiss, the court sustained the judgment, and the attack is only an incident. (I Freeman on Judgments, sec. 306,
defendant and ruled: pages 607-608.) A third manner is by a petition for relief from the judgment order as
authorized by the statutes or by the rules, such as those expressly provided in Rule
Clearly from a reading of the complaint, the plaintiff seeks the annulment of the 38 of the Rules of Court, but in this case it is to be noted that the relief is granted by
decision rendered by the Third Branch of this Court because the award exceeded the express statutory authority in the same action or proceeding in which the judgment
jurisdiction amount cognizable by the City Court of Cebu and the said Branch III of or order was entered ...
this Court has no jurisdiction to award the defendants herein (plaintiff in Civil Case
No. 12430) an amount more than P10,000.00;chanrobles virtual law library The question is thus poised, whether or not the present action for the annulment of
the judgment in the ejectment case is the proper remedy after it has become final
It is the considered opinion of this Court that this allegation of the herein plaintiff and executory.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
cannot be availed of as a ground for annulment of a judgment. It may perhaps, or at
most, be a ground for a petition for certiorari. But then, the remedy should be To this procedural dilemma, the solution lies in the determination of the validity of
availed of within the reglementary period to appeal. Nevertheless, even if the the judgment sought to be annulled, for against a void judgment, plaintiff-appellant's
plaintiff did take his cause by certiorari, just the same, it would have been recourse would be proper.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
futile....chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
There is no question as to the validity of the court's decision with respect to the issue
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library of physical possession of property, the defendant-appellee's right to the same having
been upheld. However, the plaintiff-appellant assails the money judgment handed

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down by the court which granted damages to the defendant-appellee. By reason ... An appellant who files his brief and submits his case to the Court of Appeals for
thereof, he seeks the declaration of the nullity of the entire decision, without questioning the latter's jurisdiction until decision is rendered
judgment.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library therein, should be considered as having voluntarily waives so much of his claim as
would exceed the jurisdiction of said Appellate Court; for the reason that a contrary
It is the plaintiff-appellant's contention that moral damages may not properly be rule would encourage the undesirable practice of appellants submitting their cases
awarded in ejectment cases, the only recoverable damages therein being the for decision to the Court of Appeals in expectation of favorable judgment, but with
reasonable compensation for use and occupancy of the premises and the legal intent of attacking its jurisdiction should the decision be unfavorable. ...
measure of damages being the fair rental value of the
property.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library Thus, by presenting his claim voluntarily before the City Court of Cebu, the
defendant-appellee submitted the same to the jurisdiction of the court. He became
Plaintiff-appellant loses sight of the fact that the money judgment was awarded the bound thereby. The amount of P10,000.00 being the jurisdictional amount assigned
defendant-appellee in the concept of a counterclaim. A defending party may set up a the City Court of Cebu, whose jurisdiction the defendant-appellee has invoked, he is
claim for money or any other relief which he may have against the opposing party in thereby deemed to have waived the excess of his claim beyond P10,000.00. It is as
a counterclaim (Section 6, Rule 6, Revised Rules of Court). And the court may, if though the defendant-appellee had set up a counterclaim in the amount of
warranted, grant actual, moral, or exemplary damages as prayed for. The grant of P10,000.00 only. May the Court of First Instance then, on appeal, award defendant-
moral damages, in the case at bar, as a counterclaim, and not as damages for the appellee's counterclaim beyond that amount?chanrobles virtual law library
unlawful detention of property must be upheld. However, the amount thereof is
another matter.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library The rule is that a counterclaim not presented in the inferior court cannot be
entertained in the Court of First Instance on appeal (Francisco, The Revised Rules of
Plaintiff-appellant raises the issue of whether or not the Court of First Instance may, Court in the Philippines, Vol. III, p. 26, citing the cases of Bernardo v. Genato, 11 Phil.
in an appeal, award the defendant-appellee's counterclaim in an amount exceeding 603 and Yu Lay v. Galmes, 40 Phil. 651). As explained in Yu Lay v. Galmes- "Upon an
or beyond the jurisdiction of the court of appeal to a court of first instance from the judgment of a justice of the peace, it is
origin.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library not possible, without changing the purpose of the appeal, to alter the nature of the
question raised by the complaint and the answer in the original action. There can be
It is well-settled that a court has no jurisdiction to hear and determine a set-off or
no doubt, therefore, of the scope of the doctrine laid down in the several decisions
counterclaim in excess of its jurisdiction (Section 5, Rule 5, Revised Rules of Court;
of the Court. Consequently, We hold that, upon an appeal to the Court of First
Ago v. Buslon, 10 SCRA 202). A counterclaim beyond the court's jurisdiction may only
Instance, the plaintiff as well as the defendant cannot file any pleading or allegation
be pleaded by way of defense, the purpose of which, however, is only to defeat or
which raises a question essentially distinct from that raised and decided in the justice
weaken plaintiff's claim, but not to obtain affirmative relief (Section 5, Rule 5,
of the peace court. "This rule was reiterated in cases from Ng Cho Cio v. Ng Diong (1
Revised Rules of Court). Nevertheless, the defendant-appellee, in the case at bar, set
SCRA 275) to Development Bank of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals (116 SCRA
up his claim in excess of the jurisdiction of the city court as a compulsory
636).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
counterclaim. What is the legal effect of such a move?chanrobles virtual law library
Thus, the defendant-appellee's counterclaim beyond P10,000.00, the jurisdictional
Pertinent to our disposition of this question is our pronouncement in the case of
amount of the city Court of Cebu, should be treated as having been deemed waived.
Hyson Tan, et al. v. Filipinas Compania de Seguros, et al., (G.R. No. L-10096, March
It is as though it has never been brought before trial court. It may not be entertained
23, 1956) later adopted in Pindangan Agricultural Co., Inc. v. Dans (6 SCRA 14) and
on appeal.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library
the later case of One Heart Club, Inc. v. Court of Appeals (108 SCRA 416) to wit:
The amount of judgment, therefore, obtained by the defendant-appellee on appeal,
xxx xxx xxxchanrobles virtual law library
cannot exceed the jurisdiction of the court in which the action began. Since the trial
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court did not acquire jurisdiction over the defendant's counterclaim in excess of the MODIFIED, Civil Case No. R-13462 is ordered DISMISSED insofar as the decision
jurisdictional amount, the appellate court, likewise, acquired no jurisdiction over the sought to be annulled upholds the defendant's right to possession of the disputed
same by its decisions or otherwise. Appellate jurisdiction being not only a property. The defendant's counterclaim for damages is GRANTED to the extent of
continuation of the exercise of the same judicial power which has been executed in TEN THOUSAND (P10,000.00) PESOS. The grant of SIX THOUSAND (P6,000.00) PESOS
the court of original jurisdiction, also presupposes that the original and appellate in excess of such amount is hereby declared NULL and VOID, for having been
courts are capable of participating in the exercise of the same judicial power (See 2 awarded beyond the jurisdiction of the court.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles
Am. Jur. 850; Stacey Cheese Company v. R.E. Pipkin, Appt. 155 NC 394, 71 S.E. 442, virtual law library
37 LRA 606) It is the essential criterion of appellate jurisdiction that it revises and
corrects the proceedings in a cause already instituted, and does not create that SO ORDERED.
cause (See 2 Am. Jur 850 citing Marbury v. Madison, 1 Cranch US, 137, 2 L. ed.
60).chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

It is, of course, a well-settled rule that when court transcends the limits prescribed
for it by law and assumes to act where it has no jurisdiction, its adjudications will be
utterly void and of no effect either as an estoppel or otherwise (Planas v. Collector of
Internal Revenue, 3 SCRA 395; Parades v. Moya, 61 SCRA 526). The Court of First
Instance, in the case at bar, having awarded judgment in favor of the defendant-
appellee in excess of its appellate jurisdiction to the extent of P6,000.00 over the
maximum allowable award of P10,000.00, the excess is null and void and of no
effect. Such being the case, an action to declare the nullity of the award as brought
by the plaintiff-appellant before the Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch V is a
proper remedy.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

The nullity of such portion of the decision in question, however, is not such as to
affect the conclusions reached by the court in the main case for ejectment. As held
in Vda. de Pamintuan v. Tiglao (53 Phil. 1) where the amount set up by the defendant
was not proper as a defense and it exceeded the inferior court's jurisdiction, it
cannot be entertained therein, but the court's jurisdiction over the main action will
remain unaffected. Consequently, the decision over the main action, in the case at
bar, must stand, best remembering that a counter-claim, by its very nature, is a
cause of action separate and independent from the plaintiff's claim against the
defendant.chanroblesvirtualawlibrarychanrobles virtual law library

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch III in Civil
Case No. R-12430 for ejectment is hereby DECLARED NULL AND VOID insofar as it
awards damages on the defendant-appellee's counterclaim in excess of P6,000.00
beyond its appellate jurisdiction. The decision in all other respects is AFFIRMED. The
order of the Court of First Instance of Cebu, Branch V dismissing Civil Case No. R-
13462 for declaration of nullity of judgment with preliminary injunction is hereby
4
G.R. No. 80739 August 20, 1992 gathered from said property from the time they took possession thereof until they
vacate the same; and 3) reimburse the petitioner the total cost of such accounting.
GRACIA R. JOVEN, petitioner,
vs. This resolution was reversed on appeal by the Regional Trial Court of Lucena City,
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. MANUEL A. PATRON, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of Branch 59, 2 which held that the court a quo had no jurisdiction over the ejectment
the RTC, Branch 59, Lucena City, Roberto Paguia & Fernando Lasala, respondents. case because of the issue of ownership raised therein and that, assuming such
jurisdiction, the decision had already become final and executory when the
De Castro & Cagampang Law Offices for petitioner. resolution dated July 11, 1986, was rendered. The petitioner elevated the case to the
respondent Court of Appeals, which sustained the assailed decision in toto. 3
Castillo, Laman, Tan & Pantaleon for private respondents.
She is now before us in this petition for review on certiorari, contending that the
Municipal Circuit Trial Court had jurisdiction over the ejectment case and that the
CRUZ, J.: private respondents were guilty of forcible entry on the subject premises for
occupying the same without judicial authorization.
The petitioner was the registered owner of three parcels of land which she
mortgaged in favor of the Development Bank of the Philippines. Upon the The petition has merit:
extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgage due to her failure to pay her loan, the
The respondents argue that the Municipal Circuit Trial Court had no jurisdiction over
properties were sold at public auction to DBP as the biggest bidder. A certificate of
the action for forcible entry on the principal ground that a question of ownership
sale was issued and annotated on the certificate of title on November 17, 1982.
was involved therein. This view does not jibe with the following observations from
After the expiration of the redemption period, no redemption having been made by Chief Justice Moran based on a consistent line of decisions from this Court: 4
the petitioner, DBP sold the subject properties to Roberto Paguia, one of the herein
It would be a mistake to suppose that an action involves a question of title merely
private respondents, through a deed of sale executed on December 17, 1985. On
because the plaintiff may allege in his complaint that he is the owner of the land. Just
January 30, 1986, Paguia took possession of the properties through his
as the plaintiff may introduce proof of his title in order to show the character of his
representative, Fernando Lasala, the other private respondent.
(sic) prior possession, so be may allege ownership in himself as a material and
Earlier, the petitioner had filed on December 3, 1985, an action before the Regional relevant fact in the case, and the insertion of such an allegation in the complaint
Trial Court of Lucena City (raffled later to Branch 55) for the annulment of the cannot by any possibility place the cause beyond the jurisdiction of the magistrate's
mortgage and its foreclosure. Named as defendants were DBP and the private court, provided it otherwise sufficiently appears that what the plaintiff really seeks is
respondents. Later, when her application for preliminary injunction and restraining the restoration of possession as against an intruder who has seized the property
order was denied, she lodged with the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Lucban- within the period of one year. Much less can the defendant in such an action defeat
Sampaloc complaint against the private respondents for forcible entry with a prayer the jurisdiction of the magistrate's court by setting up title in himself. In this
for writ of mandatory injunction. This was docketed as Civil Case No. 155. connection it should be borne in mind that the factor which defeats the jurisdiction
of the court of the justice of the peace is the necessity to adjudicate the question of
In a decision dated May 14, 1986, the case was dismissed for lack of jurisdiction. But title. The circumstance that proof of title is introduced at the hearing or that a claim
on May 29, 1986, the petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration, which was of ownership is made by either or both of the parties is not material
granted. In a resolution dated July 11, 1986, 1 the private respondents were ordered
to: 1) immediately restore and deliver possession of the subject properties to the This ruling is embodied in Sec. 33, (2), Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, which vests
petitioner; 2) render to the petitioner an accounting of all the fruits and products municipal courts with:

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Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer; bolsters the conclusion that the ejectment case did not involve the question of title
Provided, that when, in such cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership as this was the subject of the annulment case before the Regional Trial Court of
in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding Lucena City. The Rule on Summary Procedure was clearly applicable because the
the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership should be resolved only to determine ejectment case involved only the restoration of possession of the subject land and
the issue of possession. not its ownership.

It is true that before the petitioner instituted the action for forcible entry in the The respondent court also sustained the ruling of the Regional Trial Court that the
Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Lucban-Sampaloc, the case for annulment of the motion for reconsideration filed by the petitioner with the Municipal Circuit Trial
mortgage and foreclosure sale, which necessarily involves recovery of ownership, Court did not stop the running of the reglementary period to appeal because such
was already being litigated in the Regional Trial Court of Lucena City. Even so, the motion was a prohibited pleading under Section 15 (c) ** of the Rule on Summary
municipal court could, pending final adjudication of that case, exercise its jurisdiction Procedure. Its conclusion was that the Municipal Circuit Trial Court had already lost
to determine the right of possession (only) over the subject properties in the jurisdiction to issue the resolution dated July 11, 1986, because the decision sought
ejectment case. to be reconsidered had then become already final and executory.

The private respondents also contend that the Municipal Circuit Trial Court had no We do not agree. The Municipal Circuit Trial Court did not err in holding that the
jurisdiction over the complaint for forcible entry because; a) under Section 19 par. motion for reconsideration was not covered by the prohibition under Section 15 (c).
(2) of BP 129, as amended, the Regional Trial Court has exclusive original jurisdiction The motion prohibited by this section is that which seeks reconsideration of the
over all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property or any judgment rendered by the court after trial on the merits of the case. 5 The decision
interest therein; and b) under Section 1, par. A (1) of the Rule on Summary dismissing the petitioner's ejectment case for lack of jurisdiction was not an
Procedure, cases of forcible entry and detainer involving the question of ownership adjudication on the merits. Review thereof could therefore be sought by the
are expressly excluded from the summary jurisdiction of the municipal court. petitioner through her motion for reconsideration and this motion, which was not
pro forma, had the effect of suspending the running of the period to appeal.
Curiously, however, they also insist that an action for forcible entry and unlawful
detainer shall be governed by the Rule on Summary Procedure pursuant to Section Now, on the issue of possession:
36 of BP 129 and that the petitioner is now estopped from assailing the applicability
of that Rule. Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No. 4118, provides that in case of
extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage, the court *** may issue as a matter of course
There is no question that under Section 1, par. A (1), of the said Rule, the a writ of possession in favor of the purchaser even during the redemption period,
Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts provided that a proper motion has been filed, a bond is approved, and no third
have jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer except where the person is involved.
question of ownership is involved or where the damages or unpaid rentals sought to
be recovered by the plaintiff exceed P20,000.00 at the time of the filing of the Section 6 of the Act provides that where an extrajudicial sale is made, "redemption
complaint. * shall be governed by the provisions of sections four hundred and sixty-four to four
hundred and sixty-six, inclusive, of the Code of Civil Procedure, in so far as these are
However, it is incorrect to say that the question of ownership was involved in the not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act."
ejectment case filed by the petitioner simply because she alleged in her complaint
that she was the original owner of the subject properties. That the petitioner Sections 464-466 of the Code of Civil Procedure were superseded by Sections 25-27
instituted a separate action for the annulment of the mortgage is not a valid reason and Section 31 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, which in turn were replaced by
either for defeating the summary remedy of ejectment. On the contrary, it only Sections 29 to 31 and Section 35 of Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court.

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Section 35 provides that "if no redemption be made within twelve (12) months after non-redemption. The circumstance that the properties are still in the name of the
the sale, the purchaser, or his assignee, is entitled to a conveyance and the petitioner shows that DBP has also not yet obtained a new certificate of title in its
possession of property, . . . The possession of the property shall be given to the name. And neither does it appear that DBP, on the basis of its purchase of the lands
purchaser or last redemptioner by the same officer unless a third party is actually at the foreclosure sale, ever secured a writ of possession to authorize its entry into
holding the property adversely to the judgment debtor." the said lands.

To give effect to his right of possession, the purchaser must invoke the aid of the Not having done any of these, DBP had as yet not acquired any perfected right of
courts and ask for a writ of possession. He cannot simply take the law into his own possession that it could transfer to the private respondents. And as the petitioner
hands and enter the property without judicial authorization. 6 We have consistently continued in actual possession of the subject premises, she could undoubtedly
held that he need not bring a separate and independent suit for this purpose. 7 maintain an action for forcible entry against the private respondents when, not being
Nevertheless, it is essential that he ask for and be granted a writ of possession in armed with a court order or a writ of possession, they simply entered and took
order that he may be legally installed in the property he has bought. possession of the subject lands.

Section 63 (b) of P.D. 1529, otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree, The only issue in an action for forcible entry is the physical or material possession of
requires that in case of non-redemption, the purchaser at a foreclosure sale shall file real property, that is, possession de facto and not possession de jure. The philosophy
with the Register of Deeds either a final deed of sale executed by the person underlying this remedy is that irrespective of the actual condition of the title to the
authorized by virtue of the power of attorney embodied in the deed of mortgage or property, the party in peaceable quiet possession shall not be turned out by strong
his sworn statement attesting to the fact of non-redemption. The Register of Deeds hand, violence or terror. In affording this remedy of restitution, the statute seeks to
shall thereupon issue a new certificate in favor of the purchaser after the owner's prevent breaches of the peace and criminal disorder which might ensue from the
duplicate certificate shall have been previously delivered and canceled. withdrawal of the remedy. Another purpose is to discourage those persons who,
believing themselves entitled to the possession of the property, resort to force
In F. David Enterprises vs. Insular Bank of Asia and America, 8 this Court held: rather than to some appropriate action in the courts to assert their claims. 9

It is settled that the buyer in a foreclosure sale becomes the absolute owner of the Under Section 1, Rule 70, of the Rules of Court, there is forcible entry when one in
property purchased if it is not redeemed during the period of one year after the physical possession of a land or building is deprived of that possession by another
registration of the sale. As such, he is entitled to the possession of the said property through force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth. The words "by force,
and can demand it at any time following the consolidation ownership in his name intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth" include every situation or condition under
and the issuance to him of a new transfer certificate of title. The buyer can in fact which one person can wrongfully enter upon real property and exclude another, who
demand possession of the land even during the redemption period except that he has had prior possession thereof. To constitute the use of "force" as contemplated in
has to post a bond in accordance with Section 7 of Act No. 3135 as amended. No the above-mentioned provision, the trespasser does not have to institute a state of
such bond is required after the redemption period if the property is not redeemed. war. Nor is it even necessary that he use violence against the person of the party in
Possession of the land then becomes an absolute right of the purchaser as confirmed possession. The act of going on the property and excluding the lawful possessor
owner. Upon proper application and proof of title, the issuance of the writ of therefrom necessarily implies the exertion of force over the property, and this is all
possession becomes a ministerial duty of the court. (Emphasis supplied). that is necessary. 10
In the case at bar, there is no showing that after the lapse of the redemption period It is noted that the petitioner instituted the action for annulment of mortgage on
without the petitioner having redeemed the lands, DBP executed an affidavit of December 3, 1985, while the deed of sale in favor of the private respondent was
consolidation of ownership of the subject properties. Neither has it filed with the executed on December 17, 1985. Paguia cannot say that when he took possession of
Register of deeds a final deed of sale or a sworn statement attesting to the fact of the subject land on January 30, 1986, he was acting in good faith. Neither can be
7
claim that he had no knowledge of the pendency of that litigation because he was in of the injunction did not bar the petitioner from availing herself of the more
fact one of the defendants in that case. In any event, the fact that the titles were still appropriate remedy, to wit, the action for forcible entry. 13
in the name of the petitioner should have warned him of the need to ascertain the
status of the properties before he took possession of them. In sum, the respondent court erred when it affirmed the decision of the Regional
Trial Court declaring that the Municipal Circuit Trial Court had no jurisdiction over
The private respondents also assert that the institution of the ejectment case the ejectment case filed by the petitioner. We find that it had.
resulted in the splitting of a single cause of action into two, one for the recovery of
ownership and possession and the other for recovery of possession de facto. ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED and the resolution of the Municipal Circuit
Trial Court of Lucban, Sampaloc dated July 11, 1986, in Civil Case No. 155 is
In Drilon vs. Gaurana, 11 this Court held: REINSTATED. Costs against the private respondents.

It is true that a party may not institute more than one suit for a single cause of action SO ORDERED.
(Rule 2, Sec. 3, Revised Rules of Court) and if two or more complaints are brought for
different parts of a single cause of action, the filing of the first may be pleaded in
abatement of the other (Rule 2, Sec. 4 Revised Rules of Court). However, a forcible
entry or unlawful detainer action has an entirely different subject from that of an
action for reconveyance of title. What is involved in a forcible entry case is merely
the issue of material possession or possession de facto; whereas in an action for
reconveyance, ownership is the issue. So much so that the pendency of an action for
reconveyance of title over the same property does not divest the city or municipal
court of its jurisdiction to try the forcible entry or unlawful detainer case, nor will it
preclude or bar execution of judgment in the ejectment case where the only issue
involved is material possession or possession de facto (De la Cruz v. Court of Appeals,
133 SCRA 520 [1984]).

While there may be identity of parties and subject matter in the two actions, the
issues involved and the reliefs prayed for are not the same. In the annulment suit,
the issue is the validity of the mortgage and the subsequent foreclosure sale
whereas the issue in the ejectment case is whether, assuming the mortgage and
foreclosure sale to be valid, the private respondents have the right to take
possession of the property. In the former case, the relief prayed for is recovery of
ownership of the subject land while in the latter it is restoration of possession
thereof to the petitioner. Hence, the municipal court had jurisdiction to try the
ejectment case while the annulment suit was being litigated in the regional trial
court.

The contention that the petitioner was forum-shopping must also be rejected. As an
injunction cannot be a substitute for the other suits for recovery of possession, 12
such as an action for forcible entry or unlawful detainer and accion publiciana, denial

8
G.R. No. 76217 September 14, 1989 of Sitio Inarawan, San Isidro, Antipolo, Rizal and members of the Concerned Citizens
of Farmer's Association; that they have occupied and tilled their farmholdings some
GERMAN MANAGEMENT & SERVICES, INC., petitioner, twelve to fifteen years prior to the promulgation of P.D. No. 27; that during the first
vs. week of August 1983, petitioner, under a permit from the Office of the Provincial
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ERNESTO VILLEZA, respondents. Governor of Rizal, was allowed to improve the Barangay Road at Sitio Inarawan, San
Isidro, Antipolo, Rizal at its expense, subject to the condition that it shag secure the
G.R. No. L-76216 September 14, 1989
needed right of way from the owners of the lot to be affected; that on August 15,
GERMAN MANAGEMENT & SERVICES, INC., petitioner, 1983 and thereafter, petitioner deprived private respondents of their property
vs. without due process of law by: (1) forcibly removing and destroying the barbed wire
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ORLANDO GERNALE, respondents. fence enclosing their farmholdings without notice; (2) bulldozing the rice, corn fruit
bearing trees and other crops of private respondents by means of force, violence
Alam, Verano & Associates for petitioner. and intimidation, in violation of P.D. 1038 and (3) trespassing, coercing and
threatening to harass, remove and eject private respondents from their respective
Francisco D. Lozano for private respondents.
farmholdings in violation of P.D. Nos. 316, 583, 815, and 1028. 1

On January 7,1985, the Municipal Trial Court dismissed private respondents'


FERNAN, C.J.: complaint for forcible entry. 2 On appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo, Rizal,
Branch LXXI sustained the dismissal by the Municipal Trial Court. 3
Spouses Cynthia Cuyegkeng Jose and Manuel Rene Jose, residents of Pennsylvania,
Philadelphia, USA are the owners of a parcel of land situated in Sitio Inarawan, San Private respondents then filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. On
Isidro, Antipolo, Rizal, with an area of 232,942 square meters and covered by TCT No. July 24,1986, said court gave due course to their petition and reversed the decisions
50023 of the Register of Deeds of the province of Rizal issued on September 11, of the Municipal Trial Court and the Regional Trial Court. 4
1980 which canceled TCT No. 56762/ T-560. The land was originally registered on
The Appellate Court held that since private respondents were in actual possession of
August 5, 1948 in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Rizal as OCT No. 19, pursuant
the property at the time they were forcibly ejected by petitioner, private
to a Homestead Patent granted by the President of the Philippines on July 27, 1948,
respondents have a right to commence an action for forcible entry regardless of the
under Act No. 141.
legality or illegality of possession. 5 Petitioner moved to reconsider but the same was
On February 26, 1982, the spouses Jose executed a special power of attorney denied by the Appellate Court in its resolution dated September 26, 1986. 6
authorizing petitioner German Management Services to develop their property
Hence, this recourse.
covered by TCT No. 50023 into a residential subdivision. Consequently, petitioner on
February 9,1983 obtained Development Permit No. 00424 from the Human The issue in this case is whether or not the Court of Appeals denied due process to
Settlements Regulatory Commission for said development. Finding that part of the petitioner when it reversed the decision of the court a quo without giving petitioner
property was occupied by private respondents and twenty other persons, petitioner the opportunity to file its answer and whether or not private respondents are
advised the occupants to vacate the premises but the latter refused. Nevertheless, entitled to file a forcible entry case against petitioner. 7
petitioner proceeded with the development of the subject property which included
the portions occupied and cultivated by private respondents. We affirm. The Court of Appeals need not require petitioner to file an answer for due
process to exist. The comment filed by petitioner on February 26, 1986 has
Private respondents filed an action for forcible entry against petitioner before the sufficiently addressed the issues presented in the petition for review filed by private
Municipal Trial Court of Antipolo, Rizal, alleging that they are mountainside farmers
9
respondents before the Court of Appeals. Having heard both parties, the Appellate invoke the aid of the competent court, if the holder should refuse to deliver the
Court need not await or require any other additional pleading. Moreover, the fact thing."
that petitioner was heard by the Court of Appeals on its motion for reconsideration
negates any violation of due process. WHEREFORE, the Court resolved to DENY the instant petition. The decision of the
Court of Appeals dated July 24,1986 is hereby AFFIRMED. Costs against petitioner.
Notwithstanding petitioner's claim that it was duly authorized by the owners to
develop the subject property, private respondents, as actual possessors, can SO ORDERED.
commence a forcible entry case against petitioner because ownership is not in issue.
Forcible entry is merely a quieting process and never determines the actual title to
an estate. Title is not involved. 8

In the case at bar, it is undisputed that at the time petitioner entered the property,
private respondents were already in possession thereof . There is no evidence that
the spouses Jose were ever in possession of the subject property. On the contrary,
private respondents' peaceable possession was manifested by the fact that they
even planted rice, corn and fruit bearing trees twelve to fifteen years prior to
petitioner's act of destroying their crops.

Although admittedly petitioner may validly claim ownership based on the muniments
of title it presented, such evidence does not responsively address the issue of prior
actual possession raised in a forcible entry case. It must be stated that regardless of
the actual condition of the title to the property, the party in peaceable quiet
possession shall not be turned out by a strong hand, violence or terror. 9 Thus, a
party who can prove prior possession can recover such possession even against the
owner himself. Whatever may be the character of his prior possession, if he has in
his favor priority in time, he has the security that entitles him to remain on the
property until he is lawfully ejected by a person having a better right by accion
publiciana or accion reivindicatoria. 10

Both the Municipal Trial Court and the Regional Trial Court have rationalized
petitioner's drastic action of bulldozing and destroying the crops of private
respondents on the basis of the doctrine of self-help enunciated in Article 429 of the
New Civil Code. 11 Such justification is unavailing because the doctrine of self-help
can only be exercised at the time of actual or threatened dispossession which is
absent in the case at bar. When possession has already been lost, the owner must
resort to judicial process for the recovery of property. This is clear from Article 536 of
the Civil Code which states, "(I)n no case may possession be acquired through force
or intimidation as long as there is a possessor who objects thereto. He who believes
that he has an action or right to deprive another of the holding of a thing, must
10
G.R. No. 118284 July 5, 1996 the lot on which the duplex apartment stood. Because of this, the matter was
brought before the barangay court of conciliation. No amicable settlement having
SPOUSES MAMERTO REFUGIA and FELIZA PAYAD-REFUGIA, RODOLFO REFUGIA, and been reached between the parties, private respondents instituted an action for
CANDELARIA REFUGIA, petitioners, ejectment on October 20, 1993 in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Valenzuela, Branch
vs. 81.
COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES ARTURO REFUGIA and AURORA TIMBANG-REFUGIA,
respondents. On March 4, 1994, the court a quo rendered judgment dismissing the complaint for
ejectment based on its finding that herein petitioners are the lawful occupants of the
premises. Thus, it held that:

REGALADO, J.:p Like in any other ejectment suit, the pivotal issue is whether the defendants are
unlawfully with(h)olding possession of the premises in question. The question that
This is an appeal by certiorari from the decision 1 of respondent Court of Appeals in
perturbs the mind of the Court which is not fully explained by plaintiffs is whether
CA-G.R. No. 34647 promulgated on December 9, 1994 which reversed and set aside
the stay of the defendants in the premises was indeed by plaintiffs' tolerance alone.
the judgment 2 dated April 29, 1994 of the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela, Branch
From the evidence on hand the Court is more disposed to believe the position of the
172, in Civil Case No. 4347-V-94 affirming with some modifications the decision 3
defendants that it was Mamerto who bought the lot where the duplex apartment
rendered by the Metropolitan Trial Court of Valenzuela, Branch 81, in Civil Case No.
was constructed by plaintiff Arturo Refugia. As stated earlier, the amount of
6089 on March 4, 1994.
P20,000.00 was withdrawn on September 11, 1975, the date the Deed of Absolute
The records en bloc of the aforesaid cases show that private respondent-spouses Sale (Exhibits F and F-1) was executed. The consideration of the sale is for
Arturo Refugia and Aurora Timbang-Refugia are the registered owners of a parcel of P20,000.00. The fact that a two-door apartment was indeed constructed likewise
land and a duplex apartment building constructed thereon located at No. 16 regenerates the claim of defendants that they shall be co-owners of the lot and shall
Meriales Street, Marulas, Valenzuela, as evidenced by Transfer Certificate of Title No. dwell in one of the doors of said apartment. If the averment of plaintiffs that they
218979. Apparently, said title was issued pursuant to a Deed of Absolute Sale exclusively own the property is not to be trusted — what have motivated them to
executed on September 11, 1975 in favor of respondent Arturo Refugia, but the construct a two-door apartment instead of a single and a larger house? These facts
purchase price of P20,000.00 was reportedly advanced by his father, herein are small tributaries that lead us to the bigger lake of truth, that is, the stay of the
petitioner Mamerto Refugia. Thereafter, respondent Arturo Refugia obtained a defendants in the premises is not on the basis of mere tolerance.
housing loan from the Social Security System, using the land as collateral to secure
It may also be pointed out that the certification to file action (Exhibit E) issued by the
payment thereof. In 1976, after the construction of the duplex apartment building,
Barangay is for Land Dispute not for ejectment. (Emphasis ours) In the handwritten
herein petitioners immediately began to occupy one door while respondents stayed
transcripts of the proceedings in the barangay, it appears that this case is merely an
in the other unit.
off-shoot of a misunderstanding between plaintiff Aurora Refugia and her in-laws. It
It appears, however, that things did not turn out well between petitioners and was admitted by Aurora that she offered to pay the a mount of P20,000.00 but that
private respondents, especially between petitioner Feliza Refugia and her daughter- the defendants refused to accept the same. Then and there plaintiff Aurora said that
in-law, Aurora, such that in February of 1993, petitioners were told by private she would prefer to sell the unit to another and that out of the proceeds of the sale,
respondents to vacate the unit that they were occupying because, according to she will pay the defendants. These circumstances lead the Court to conclude that it is
private respondents, the family of one of their children who is married needed a not true that plaintiffs' daughter is in need of the premises.
place of their own. Petitioners refused to leave, claiming that they own the unit they
On appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela, Branch 172, in its aforementioned
are occupying by reason of the fact that it was actually Mamerto Refugia who bought
decision, affirmed with modification the judgment of the lower court by declaring
11
herein petitioners and private respondents co-owners of the lot and the two-door The Rule on Summary Procedure applies only in cases filed before the Metropolitan
apartment. Their motion for reconsideration having been denied, private Trial Court and Municipal Trial Courts, pursuant to Section 36 of Batas Pambansa Blg.
respondents duly filed a petition for review before respondent Court of Appeals. 129. Summary procedures have no application to cases before the Regional Trial
Courts. Hence, when the respondents appealed the decision of the Municipal Trial
On December 9, 1994, said respondent court rendered its questioned judgment Court to the Regional Trial Court, the applicable rules are those of the latter court.
which reversed and set aside the aforestated decisions of the Metropolitan Trial
Court and the Regional Trial Court, and thereafter ordered petitioners and their It is thus settled that a motion for reconsideration may be filed from a decision of the
privies to vacate the subject premises and to surrender possession thereof to private Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over decisions of the
respondents. In so ruling, respondent court declared that the Regional Trial Court, in inferior courts in ejectment cases. Accordingly, this argument of petitioners has to be
the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction over an ejectment case, had no authority to rejected.
resolve the issue of ownership and to declare herein petitioners as co-owners
because its power is limited only to a determination of the issue of possession, that There is nonetheless appreciable merit in their contention that the petition for
petitioners' bare allegation of ownership cannot prevail over the transfer certificate review was belatedly filed in the Court of Appeals. This is because in case of a
of title and deed of sale in favor of private respondents; and that petitioners have judgment or final order of the Regional Trial Court rendered in an appeal from the
been occupying the subject premises by mere tolerance. judgment or final order of an inferior court, the former may be appealed to the
Court of Appeals through a petition for review within fifteen days from receipt of
Hence, this petition wherein petitioners aver that respondent Court of Appeals said judgment or final order. If a motion for reconsideration is filed, the losing party
erred: (a) in giving due course to respondents' appeal despite the fact that it was has only the remaining period within which to file that petition for review. The filing,
filed beyond the fifteen (15) day reglementary period to appeal; (b) in disregarding therefore, of a motion for reconsideration has the effect of only suspending the
jurisprudence that factual findings of the trial court should not be disturbed on period to appeal. This rule has been clarified in the case of Lacsamana, et. al. vs. The
appeal; (c) in holding that petitioners' claim of co-ownership of the subject premises Honorable Second Special Cases Division of the Intermediate Appellate Court, et. al., 5
is a mere allegation unsupported by any concrete evidence; (d) in ruling that the as follows:
issue of ownership, as raised by petitioners, is foreign to the issue of possession in an
ejectment case; and (e) in reversing the decisions of both lower courts and ordering 3) APPEALS BY PETITION FOR REVIEW TO THE COURT OF APPEALS
petitioners' eviction from the disputed premises.
The final judgment or order of a regional trial court in an appeal from the final
Anent the first issue, petitioners contend that private respondents received a copy of judgment or order of a metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court and municipal
the decision of the Regional Trial Court on May 4, 1994 and thus they had until May circuit trial court, may be appealed to the Court of Appeals through a petition for
19, 1994 within which to file a petition for review before the Court of Appeals. review in accordance with Section 22 of BP No. 129 and Section 22 (b) of the Interim
However, private respondents filed instead a Motion for Reconsideration which was Rules, or to this Court through a petition for review on certiorari in accordance with
denied by the Regional Trial Court in its Order dated June 21, 1994. Petitioners argue Rule 45 of the Rules of Court and Section 25 of the Interim Rules. The reason for
that since the motion for reconsideration is a prohibited pleading under the Rule on extending the period for the filing of a record on appeal is also applicable to the filing
Summary Procedure and that the filing thereof did not interrupt the running of the of a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. The period for filing a petition for
prescriptive period, the petition for review which was filed by private respondents review is fifteen days. If a motion for reconsideration is filed with and denied by a
only on July 21, 1994 was already way beyond the 15-day reglementary period and regional trial court, the movant has only the remaining period within which to file a
should not have been given due course by respondent court. petition for review. Hence, it may necessary to file a motion with the Court of Appeals
for extension of time to file such petition for review. (Emphasis supplied).
In the case of Jakihaca vs. Aquino, et al., 4 this Court categorically ruled that:

12
It is not disputed that private respondents received a copy of the decision of the The main issue in this case demands the determination of whether the Metropolitan
Regional Trial Court of Valenzuela on May 4, 1994, and that their motion for Trial Court, as well as the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its appellate
reconsideration was filed with said court on the fifteenth day of the reglementary jurisdiction, have jurisdiction to resolve the issue of ownership in an action for
period to appeal, that is, May 19, 1994. In such a case, the rule is that the aggrieved unlawful detainer where the issue of possession cannot be resolved without deciding
party has only one day from receipt of the order denying the motion for the question of ownership. In the affirmative, it becomes necessary to delineate the
reconsideration within which to file a petition for review before the Court of extent and legal effect of such adjudication.
Appeals. 6 In the case at bar, private respondents received a copy of the order
denying their motion for reconsideration on July 6, 1994, and, without moving for Under Republic Act No. 296, or the Judiciary Act of 1948, as amended, the
extension of time, were able to file their petition for review only on July 21, 1994; jurisdiction of the then municipal and city courts over actions for forcible entry and
hence their appeal was not seasonably perfected. Strictly speaking, therefore, the unlawful detainer was defined as follows:
appeal should not have been given due course, following the pronouncement in the
Sec. 88. Original jurisdiction in civil cases. — . . . In forcible entry and detainer
case of Miranda vs. Guanzon, et al. 7 to the effect that the requirement regarding the
proceedings, the municipal judge or judge of the city court shall have original
perfection of an appeal within the reglementary period is not only mandatory but
jurisdiction, but the said municipal judge or city judge may receive evidence upon
jurisdictional.
the question of title therein, whatever may be the value of the property, solely for
This rule, however, has been relaxed in the latter case of Tijam, et al. vs. the purpose of determining the character and extent of possession and damages for
Sibonghanoy, et al. 8 where it was held that a party, after voluntarily submitting a detention. In forcible entry proceedings, he may grant preliminary injunctions, in
cause, is estopped from attacking the jurisdiction of the court simply because it accordance with the provisions of the Rules of Court, to prevent the defendant from
thereafter obtained an adverse decision on the merits. The Court explained therein committing further acts of dispossession against the plaintiff. (As amended by
that the "party is barred from such conduct not because the judgment or order of Republic Acts Nos. 2613 and 3828).
the court is valid and conclusive as an adjudication, but for the reason that such a
The law was subsequently amended by Republic Act No. 5967 13 which vested in the
practice cannot be tolerated — obviously for reasons of public policy." It will be
city courts special jurisdiction to resolve the issue of ownership in conjunction with
noted that the jurisdictional issue involved in the instant case was raised only for the
the issue of possession whenever the question of ownership is brought in issue by
first time in the present petition for review on certiorari. The lack or absence of
the pleadings, thus:
appellate jurisdiction was never questioned by petitioners either in their Comment 9
submitted with respondent court or in their Motion to Dismiss Appeal 10 which was Sec. 3. Besides the civil cases over which the City Courts have jurisdiction under
grounded solely on the fact that the petition for review filed before said court was Section eighty-eight of Republic Act Numbered Two hundred ninety-six, as amended,
not verified. it shall likewise have concurrent jurisdiction with the Court of First Instance over the
following:
Despite several opportunities to raise the issue of jurisdiction in the Court of
Appeals, petitioners did not challenge its appellate jurisdiction and did so only after xxx xxx xxx
an adverse decision was rendered against them. To be more precise, they raised the
issue of jurisdiction, for the nullification of the decision of the Court of Appeals, (c) In ejection cases where the question of ownership is brought in issue in the
when the case was already on appeal before this Court. They are now barred from pleadings. The issue of ownership shall therein be resolved in conjunction with the
doing so under the doctrine of estoppel by laches. 11 Additionally, having participated issue of possession.
actively in the proceedings before the appellate court, petitioners can no longer
This special jurisdiction of city courts was differentiated from the power ordinary
question its authority. 12
accorded the inferior courts to receive evidence of title only for the purpose of
determining the character or extent of the possession in dispute. This Court had the
13
occasion to apply and interpret the aforequoted statutory provision in Pelaez vs. It being clear, therefore, that in the main ejection case, . . . , the issue of ownership is
Reyes, et al. 14 which raised the issue of whether a decision of a city court in an involved as shown by the pleadings therein filed by the parties, and that under
ejectment case involving the question of ownership was appealable to the Regional Section 3 of Republic Act 5967, said city court exercised original jurisdiction over the
Trial Court or to the Court of Appeals, in this wise: same concurrently with the Court of First Instance of Misamis Oriental, the appeal of
respondents was rightly made by them to the Court of Appeals (Emphasis ours.)
In the light of these provisions, petitioner insists that respondents should have
appealed to the Court of First Instance. Specifically, his contention is that the However, on August 14, 1981, Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, or the Judiciary
inclusion of the issue of ownership in the pleadings did not change the character of Reorganization Act of 1980, was approved and it redefined the jurisdiction of the
the proceeding as an action of unlawful detainer over which city and municipal Court of Appeals, the Regional Trial Courts and the inferior courts. Specifically, the
courts have original exclusive jurisdiction. He claims that his contention is supported new law modified the power of inferior courts to resolve the issue of ownership in
by the very provision of Section 3, just quoted, to the effect that when ownership is forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, subject, however, to the qualification that
brought in issue in the pleadings in an ejection case before the city courts, said a resolution thereof shall not be for the purpose of determining the issue of
courts are to resolve the issue of ownership only "in conjunction with the issue of possession, to wit:
possession." In other words, he posits that since the action is one of unlawful
detainer, the main issue to be settled by the city court remains to be possession, and Sec. 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts and
that to resolve the issue of ownership "in conjunction with the issue of possession" is Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in Civil Cases. — Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal
not the same as resolving it in a judicial litigation where it is the sole issue. Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise.

We are not impressed. Regardless of the juridical value of the significance petitioner xxx xxx xxx
is trying to thus draw from the rather peculiar language of the statute, We are of the
(2) Exclusive original jurisdiction over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer:
considered opinion that the evident import of Section 3 above is to precisely grant to
Provided, That when in such cases, the defendant raises the question of ownership
the city courts concurrent original jurisdiction with the courts of first instance over
in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding
the cases enumerated therein, which include "ejection cases where the question of
the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine
ownership is brought in issue in the pleading." To sustain petitioner's contention
the issue of possession.
about the meaning of the last phrase of paragraph (c) of said section regarding the
resolution of the issue of ownership "in conjunction with the issue of possession" is Subsequently, this Court promulgated its Interim Rules and Guidelines in the
to disregard the very language of the main part of the section which denotes implementation of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, Section 10 of which provides:
unmistakably a conferment upon the city courts of concurrent jurisdiction with the
courts of first instance over ejection cases in which ownership is brought in issue in 10. Jurisdiction in ejectment cases. — Metropolitan trial courts, municipal trial courts,
the pleadings. It is to Us quite clear that the fact that the issue of ownership is to be and municipal circuit trial courts, without distinction, may try cases of forcible entry
resolved "in conjunction with the issue of possession" simply means that both the and detainer even if the question of ownership is raised in the pleadings and the
issues of possession and ownership are to be resolved by the city courts. And the question of possession could not be resolved without deciding the issue of
jurisdiction is concurrent with the Courts of First Instance precisely because usually ownership, but the question of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the
questions of title are supposed to be resolved by superior courts. In other words, this issue of possession.
grant of special jurisdiction to city courts is to be distinguished from the power
These issuances changed the former rule under Republic Act No. 296 which merely
ordinarily accorded to municipal courts to receive evidence of title only for the
allowed inferior courts to receive evidence upon the question of title solely for the
purpose of determining the extent of the possession in dispute.
purpose of determining the extent and character of possession and damages for
detention, which thereby resulted in previous rulings of this Court to the effect that
14
if it appears during the trial that the principal issue relates to the ownership of the Under the original Rule, ejectment cases were covered by the summary rules only
property in dispute and any question of possession which may be involved where the unpaid rentals do not exceed P20,000.00 and no question of ownership is
necessarily depends upon the result of the inquiry into the title, then the jurisdiction involved. As presently formulated, however, all ejectment cases are now
of the municipal or city courts is lost and the action should be dismissed. With the unqualifiedly covered by the summary procedure, which necessarily implies that
enactment of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, the inferior courts now retain jurisdiction even if there is a need to resolve the issued of ownership, such fact will not deprive
over an ejectment case even if the question of possession cannot be resolved the inferior courts of jurisdiction over these cases.
without passing upon the issue of ownership, with the express qualification that such
issue of ownership shall be resolved only for the purpose of determining the issue of Subsequently, Republic Act No. 7691, entitled "An Act Expanding the Jurisdiction of
possession. In other words, the fact that the issues of ownership and possession de the Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial
facto are intricately interwoven will not cause the dismissal of the case for forcible Courts, Amending for the Purpose Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, otherwise known as the
entry and unlawful detainer on jurisdictional grounds. 'Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980'", was passed and took effect on April 15, 1994.
15
The jurisdiction of the inferior courts over forcible entry and unlawful detainer
The intendment of the law was reinforced by the revision of the former Rule on cases as defined under Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 was retained. In addition, they now
Summary Procedures involving special cases before the inferior courts, which was exercise limited original jurisdiction over civil actions involving title to, or possession
promulgated pursuant to Section 36 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. The old Rule, which of, real property or any interest therein depending on the assessed value and
took effect on August 1, 1983, stated that: location of the property.

Sec. 1. Scope — This Rule shall govern the procedure in the Metropolitan Trial Parenthetically, it might be argued that since inferior courts are anyway vested with
Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in the jurisdiction over real actions, then it can very well resolve the issue of ownership
following cases: raised in the ejectment case, under the conditions stated in Section 32(3) of Batas
Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7691. It must not be
A. Civil Cases overlooked, however, that proceedings in ejectment cases are summary in nature,
whereas actions for recovery of ownership require a full-blown trial on the merits.
(1) Cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer, except where the question of
The difference in the procedure in special civil actions, like ejectment, and in
ownership is involved, or where the damages or unpaid rentals sought to be
ordinary civil actions, such as accion reinvindicatoria, inveigh against the
recovered by the plaintiff exceed twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00) at the time of
consolidation of said cases or the joinder of the different causes of action involved. It
the filing of the complaint.
could also be violative under certain circumstances of the rule on permissive joinder
This Rule was revised pursuant to a resolution of the Court En Banc which took effect of causes of action since Section 6 of Rule 2 requires inter alia due observance of the
on November 15, 1991, and the aforequoted provision now reads as follows: rules on jurisdiction and joinder of parties, and that said causes of action arise out of
the same contract, transaction or relation between the parties.
Sec. 1. Scope. — This rule shall govern the summary procedure in the Metropolitan
Trial Courts, the Municipal Trial Courts in Cities, the Municipal Trial Courts, and the As the law on forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases now stands, even where the
Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in the following cases falling within their jurisdiction: defendant raises the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of
possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the
A. Civil Cases Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
nevertheless have the undoubted competence to resolve the issue of ownership
(1) All cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer, irrespective of the amount of
albeit only to determine the issue of
damages or unpaid rentals sought to be recovered. Where attorney's fees are 16
possession.
awarded, the same shall not exceed twenty thousand pesos (P20,000.00).

15
On the bases of the foregoing disquisitions, it is clear that prior to the effectivity of inferior court is lost and the ejectment case should be dismissed where the issue of
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, the jurisdiction of inferior courts was confined to receiving possession cannot be resolved without determining the issue of ownership. 18 In all
evidence of ownership in order to determine only the nature and extent of of these cases, the Court declared that inferior courts may only admit evidence and
possession, by reason of which such jurisdiction was lost the moment it became proof of ownership but they cannot adjudicate on the question of ownership.
apparent that the issue of possession was intricately interwoven with that of Conversely, in also not a few instances, the jurisdiction of the inferior courts to
ownership. The law, as revised, now provides instead that when the question of resolve the issue of ownership in order to determine the issue of possession was
possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of upheld by this Court. 19 Apparently, it could have been some imprecision in language
ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. On its face, or a misperception of the statutory text which generated the ostensible doctrinal
the new Rule on Summary Procedure was extended to include within the jurisdiction variance.
of the inferior courts ejectment cases which likewise involve the issue of ownership.
This does not mean, however, that blanket authority to adjudicate the issue of After due deliberation, we find and so hold that by virtue of the express mandate set
ownership in ejectment suits has been thus conferred on the inferior courts. forth in Section 33(2) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, inferior courts have jurisdiction to
resolve the question of ownership raised as an incident in an ejectment case where a
At the outset, it must here be stressed that the resolution of this particular issue determination thereof is necessary for a proper and complete adjudication of the
concerns and applies only to forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases where the issue of possession. Certain guidelines, however, must be observed in the
issue of possession is intimately intertwined with the issue of ownership. It finds no implementation of this legislative prescription, viz.:
proper application where it is otherwise, that is, where ownership is not in issue, or
where the principal and main issue raised in the allegations of the complaint as well 1. The primal rule is that the principal issue must be that of possession, and that
as the relief prayed for make out not a case for ejectment but one for recovery of ownership is merely ancillary thereto, in which case the issue of ownership may be
ownership. resolved but only for the purpose of determining the issue of possession. Thus, as
earlier stated, the legal provision under consideration applies only where the inferior
In the case of De la Santa vs. Court of Appeals, et al., 17 this Court, in making a court believes and the preponderance of evidence shows that a resolution of the
distinction between the reception of evidence and the resolution of the issue of issue of possession is dependent upon the resolution of the question of ownership.
ownership, held that the inferior court may look into the evidence of title or
ownership and possession de jure insofar as said evidence would indicate or 2. It must sufficiently appear from the allegations in the complaint that what the
determine the nature of possession. It cannot, however, resolve the issue of plaintiff really and primarily seeks is the restoration of possession. 20 Consequently,
ownership, that is, by declaring who among the parties is the true and lawful owner where the allegations of the complaint as well as the reliefs prayed for clearly
of the subject property, because the resolution of said issue would effect an establish a case for the recovery of ownership, and not merely one for the recovery
adjudication on ownership which is not sanctioned in the summary action for of possession de facto, or where the averments plead the claim of material
unlawful detainer. With this as a premise and taking into consideration the possession as a mere elemental attribute of such claim for ownership, 21 or where
amendment introduced by Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, it may be suggested that the issue of ownership is the principal question to be resolved, 22 the action is not
inferior courts are now conditionally vested with adjudicatory power over the issue one for forcible entry but one for title to real property.
of title or ownership raised by the parties in an ejectment suit.
3. The inferior court cannot adjudicate on the nature of ownership where the
Withal, it will be observed, that the passage of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 has relationship of lessor and lessee has been sufficiently established in the ejectment
spawned seemingly conflicting jurisprudence on the proper interpretation and case, 23 unless it is sufficiently established that there has been a subsequent change
application thereof. Thus, in several cases decided by the Court after the effectivity in or termination of that relationship between the parties. This is because under
of this law, regardless of whether the complaint for ejectment was filed with the Section 2(b), Rule 131 of the Rules of Court, the tenant is not permitted to deny the
inferior court prior thereto or otherwise, it was held that the jurisdiction of the
16
title of his landlord at the time of the commencement of the relation of landlord and technicalities or details of procedure which may cause unnecessary delays should
tenant between them. accordingly and carefully be avoided. 28

4. The rule in forcible entry cases, but not in those for unlawful detainer, is that a As a matter of judicial experience, there have been cases where persons who have
party who can prove prior possession can recover such possession even against the failed to adduce any legal ground for their continued stay on property belonging to
owner himself. Regardless of the actual condition of the title to the property and another have nonetheless managed to stave off eviction for several years through
whatever may be the character of his prior possession, if he has in his favor priority the improper use of procedural technicalities. 29 Conformably, if we were to allow
in time, he has the security that entitles him to remain on the property until he is the dismissal of an ejectment case for the reason that the question of ownership is
lawfully ejected by a person having a better right through an accion publiciana or incidentally involved in determining the question of possession, we are in effect
accion reivindicatoria. 24 Corollarily, if prior possession may be ascertained in some providing the defendants in ejectment cases with the opportunity to prolong their
other way, then the inferior court cannot dwell upon or intrude into the issue of occupancy of premises, over which they have ceased to have any valid possessory
ownership. right, during the time that an action for recovery of ownership, which involves a
more tedious and lengthy court proceeding, is actually pending in court.
5. Where the question of who has prior possession hinges on the question of who
the real owner of the disputed portion is, the inferior court may resolve the issue of It is indeed ironic that a forcible entry or unlawful detainer case which is intended to
ownership and make a declaration as to who among the contending parties is the be disposed of in summary fashion has oftentimes proved to be the most
real owner. 25 In the same vein, where the resolution of the issue of possession cumbersome and difficult to decide. It is thus about time that this situation be
hinges on a determination of the validity and interpretation of the document of title remedied if only to contribute to the solution of the worsening problem of court
or any other contract on which the claim of possession is premised, the inferior court congestion, by refusing to edify these cases by giving them a full-blown treatment in
may likewise pass upon these issues. This is because, and it must be so understood, all the courts in the judicial structure, and thereby save the courts the expenditure of
that any such pronouncement made affecting ownership of the disputed portion is precious time and energy which could otherwise be devoted to more significant and
to be regarded merely as provisional, hence, does not bar nor prejudice an action vital litigations. 30
between the same parties involving title to the land. 26 Moreover, Section 7, Rule 70
of the Rules of Court expressly provides that the judgment rendered in an action for With these considerations in mind, we now proceed to the merits of the present
forcible entry or unlawful detainer shall be effective with respect to the possession case. Petitioners claim to be co-owners of the subject premises on the basis of an
only and in no wise bind the title or affect the ownership of the land or building. alleged verbal agreement between the parties to subdivide the property, as well as
the payment made by petitioner Mamerto Refugia for the purchase of the lot in the
The interpretative rules we have herein adopted are not without justification. It is amount of P20,000.00. On the other hand, private respondents' property rights are
our considered opinion that they are more in keeping with the avowed objective of supported by sufficient documents and muniments of ownership, namely, the deed
actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer which have purposely been made of absolute sale, transfer certificate of title, and building permit in their names, the
summary in nature so that there may be a peaceful, speedy and expeditious means regularity in the issuance of which was never controverted nor put in issue by
of preventing an alleged illegal possessor of property from unjustly continuing his petitioners.
possession for a long time, thereby insuring the maintenance of peace and order in
the community, as, otherwise, the party illegally deprived of possession might feel The Metropolitan Trial Court and the Regional Trial Court are not in accord on
the despair of long waiting and decide, as a measure of self-protection, to take the whether to treat the P20,000.00 as a loan or as payment for petitioners' share in the
law into his hands and seize the same by force and violence. 27 And since the law subject premises, while respondent Court of Appeals believes that the same is
discourages continued wrangling over possession of property for they involve actually a loan. It bears significant notice that petitioners never refuted nor denied,
perturbation of social disorder which must be restored as promptly as possible, in any of their pleadings filed in this case from the court of origin and all the way up
to this Court, the allegation that private respondents gave P5,000.00 as partial
17
payment for the loan. No countervailing explanation was advanced by petitioners lessee or tenant whose term of lease has expired but whose occupancy continued by
why such payment was made to and accepted by them as such. tolerance of the owner. 36

Furthermore, the allegation of petitioners that there was a verbal agreement to It has further been held that such tolerance must be present right from the start of
subdivide the property between them and private respondents is self-serving and possession sought to be recovered, to categorize a cause of action as one of unlawful
evidentiarily baseless at this stage. In addition, their theory of an "implied trust" was detainer. 3 7 Here, it cannot be gainsaid that petitioners' possession was by mere
not raised in issue in the trial court and cannot therefore be raised for the first time tolerance of private respondents from the very beginning. At any rate, it has likewise
in the present petition. 31 At most, it was merely alluded to in petitioners' Rejoinder not been denied by herein petitioners that one of their sons also owns a residential
filed with the Court of Appeals, but petitioners never bothered to expound on or house where they can live.
substantiate the same. Consequently, it cannot now be raised as an assignment of
error in the present petition. Notwithstanding the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court, and the Metropolitan
Trial Court for the matter, to qualifiedly resolve the issue of ownership raised in the
In sum, and as held by respondent court, the Regional Trial Court "overstepped its present ejectment suit, but their findings thereon being devoid of basis in fact and in
bounds" in ruling that petitioners and private respondents are co-owners of the law, respondent Court of Appeals was fully justified in decreeing a reversal of their
property, which issue should be finally determined in the separate action for specific judgments.
performance reportedly pending between the parties. At this juncture, however, the
evidence conduces to a finding that private respondents are in possession of the WHEREFORE, the judgment appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in toto.
premises in the concept of and consequent to their being owners thereof. Even on
SO ORDERED.
such prima facie showing, therefore, private respondents can maintain the
ejectment case involved.

While it may be argued that petitioners were able to prove prior possession, such,
however, is not the issue involved in this action for unlawful detainer. An action for
unlawful detainer is different from a forcible entry case in that the former involves
an act of unlawfully withholding the possession of the land or building against or
from a landlord, vendor or vendee or other person after the expiration or
termination of the detainer's right to hold possession by virtue of a contract, express
or implied, 32 and neither is prior physical possession of the property by the plaintiff
necessary; 33 whereas in the latter, the main issue is one of priority of possession. 34

In the case at bar, petitioners failed to show that they were legally entitled to
continue occupying the unit in question. On the considerations hereinbefore
detailed, we agree with the position of respondent Court of Appeals that petitioners
would in effect be occupying the premises by mere tolerance. A person who
occupies the land of another at the latter's tolerance or permission, without any
contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will
vacate the same upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the
proper remedy against him. 35 The status of petitioners is analogous to that of a

18
FIRST DIVISION
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; MATTERS TO BE RESOLVED IN THE ACTION THEREFOR; RULE. — The
[G.R. No. 102693. September 23, 1992.] questions to be resolved in an action for forcible entry are: First, who had actual
possession over the piece of real property? Second, was the possessor ousted
SPOUSES AGOSTO MUÑOZ AND ROSARIO MUÑOZ, SPS. JESSIE (JESUS) CAGUIOA AND therefrom within one year from the filing of the complaint by force, threat, strategy
EMMA FUMAR, SPS. RICARDO LOPEZ AND APOLONIA FABIAN, ZACARIA MARCELINO, or stealth? And lastly, does the plaintiff ask for the restoration of his possession?
MR. CRISANTO CLARIN, MR. HONORIO YUMUL, MR. EDUARDO YUMUL, MRS. VICTORIA (Dizon v. Concina, Et Al., G.R. No. L-23756, December 27, 1969).
CAYANAN, MR. ALEXANDER FABIAN AND MR. DIOSDADO SANTOS, Petitioner, v. THE
HON. COURT OF APPEALS AND NICOLAS P. GARCIA, Respondents. 3. ID.; ID.; ID.; EFFECTS OF FAILURE TO ALLEGE THE TIME WHEN UNLAWFUL
DEPRIVATION TOOK PLACE. — There was no mention in the complaint nor in the
Public Attorney’s Office, for Petitioners. position paper of the private respondent that he or his co-owners were in prior
possession of the property. There was an allegation that the property "is presently
Jose P. Bondoc for Private Respondent. tenanted" but it did not state when the tenant started to possess the property.
While it is true that possession of the tenant is possession of the owner, the
SYLLABUS complaint failed to state that Loreta Garcia was in prior possession of the property at
the time of entry by the petitioners. And, while the complaint stated that the
1. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION; FORCIBLE ENTRY; DISTINGUISHED FROM
petitioners obtained possession of the premises through stealth, it failed to aver
UNLAWFUL DETAINER. — The summary actions for unlawful detainer and forcible
when this entry was accomplished or when the private respondent learned of such
entry may be distinguished from each other, as follows: "a. In forcible entry, the
entry. The failure of the private respondent to allege the time when unlawful
possession of the land by the defendant is unlawful from the beginning as he
deprivation took place is fatal because this will determine the start of the counting of
acquires possession thereof by force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth; while
the one year period for the filing of the summary action of forcible entry. When the
in unlawful detainer, the possession of the defendant is inceptively lawful but it
complaint fails to aver facts constitutive of forcible entry or unlawful detainer, as
becomes illegal by reason of the termination of his right to the possession of the
where it does not state how entry was effected or how and when dispossession
property under his contract with the plaintiff (Dikit v. Icasiano, 89 Phil. 44). "b. In
started, the action should either be accion publiciana or reinvindicatoria in the Court
forcible entry, the law does not require a previous demand for the defendant to
of First Instance (nor Regional Trial Court) (Sarona Et. Al. v. Villegas, Et Al., supra).
vacate the premises; but in unlawful detainer, the plaintiff must first make such
demand, which is jurisdictional in nature (Sec. 2; Medel v. Militante, 41 Phil. 44). "c).
4. ID.; ID.; ID.; CANNOT BE CONVERTED TO UNLAWFUL DETAINER BY THE FACT THAT
In forcible entry, the plaintiff must prove that he was in prior physical possession of
A DEMAND WAS MADE TO VACATE THE SUBJECT PREMISE. — The respondent
the premises until he was deprived thereof by the defendant; in unlawful detainer,
appellate court erred in holding that this case is one for unlawful detainer. It failed to
the plaintiff need not have been in prior physical possession (Maddamu v. Judge, 74
consider the basic distinction that in forcible entry, possession is illegal at the
Phil. 230; Aguilar v. Cabrera, 74 Phil. 666; Banayos v. Susana Realty, Inc., L-30336,
inception while in unlawful detainer, possession is legal until demand is made to
June 30, 1976; Pharma Industries, Inc. v. Pajarillaga, Et Al., L-53788, Oct. 17, 1980).
recover such possession or until the possessor does or fails to do an act which makes
"d. In forcible entry, the one-year period is generally counted from the date of actual
his continued possession of the premises illegal. The fact that a demand was made
entry on the land; in unlawful detainer, from the date of last demand (Sarona, Et. Al.
by the private respondent for the petitioners to vacate the subject premises cannot
v. Villegas, Et Al., L-22984, Mar. 27, 1968) or last letter of demand (DBP v. Canonoy,
change the nature of the latter’s possession of the property and convert the former’s
L-29422, Sept. 30, 1970; Calibayan v. Pascual, L-22645, Sept. 18, 1967; Racaza v.
action from forcible entry to one for unlawful detainer. The respondent appellate
Susana Realty, Inc., L-20330, Dec. 22, 1966). (Regalado, Florenz D., Remedial Law
court likewise erred in applying in this case the doctrine that — "a person who
Compendium, Vol. 1, 5th Revised Edition, pp. 503-504)
occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any
19
contract between them, is necessarily bound by the implied promise that he will remove their houses from the lot within fifteen (15) days from receipt of the letters
vacate upon demand, failing which, a summary action for ejectment is proper and that despite the demands made by him, the defendants refused to vacate their
remedy against them" — because, as We have said here, the possession by houses (pp. 21-22, CA Records).
defendants was illegal at the inception as alleged in the complaint, hence, there was
no tolerance. In their answer, (pp. 44-47, CA Records), the defendants denied the allegations of
Nicolas Garcia and alleged that the tenant, Loreto Garcia is already deemed the
5. ID.; ID.; ID.; NOT A PROPER ACTION TO CLAIM OWNERSHIP. — If the private owner of the land pursuant to P.D. 27. The answering defendants also invoked the
respondent is indeed the owner of the premises and that possession thereof was following alternative defenses, among others: (1) lack of jurisdiction on the part of
deprived from him for more than twelve years, he should present his claim before the Municipal Trial Court, the case being an accion publiciana which is exclusively
the Regional Trial Court in an accion publiciana or an accion reinvindicatoria and not cognizable by the Regional Trial Court; (2) no prior conciliation before the Lupong
before the Municipal Trial Court in a summary proceeding of unlawful detainer or Tagapayapa; (3) misjoinder of parties since defendants occupy lots distinct from each
forcible entry. For even if he is the owner, possession of the property cannot be other; (4) that the differently lots they are occupying form part of the shore of a
wrested from another who had been in possession thereof for more than twelve (12) navigable river and partly the shoulder of a public road, hence, of public ownership;
years through a summary action for ejectment. "Although admittedly petitioner may (5) that they are farmworkers of the lot, and are entitled to security of tenure on the
validly claim ownership based on the muniments of title it presented, such evidence land pursuant to Section 6 of RA 6657 and that they had erected their houses and
does not responsibly address the issue of prior actual possession raised in a forcible had continuously resided on the premises in issue since 1976 or for a period of
entry case. It must be stated that regardless of actual condition of the title to the twelve years before the filing of the complaint.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary
property, the party in peaceable quiet possession shall not be turned out by a strong
hand, violence or terror. Thus, a party who can prove prior possession CAN recover After the issues had been joined, the Municipal Circuit Trial Court heard the case
such possession even against the owner himself. Whatever may be the character of under the Rules on Summary Procedure and decided the case on the basis of the
his prior possession, if he has in his favor priority in time, he has the security that position papers of the parties.
entitles him to remain on the property until he is lawfully ejected by a person having
a better right by accion publiciana or accion reinvindicatoria. (German Management On December 7, 1988, the municipal court rendered a decision in favor of the
and Services Inc. v. CA, 76216-17, September 14, 1988, 177 SCRA 495, 499) plaintiff Nicolas Garcia, the dispositive portion of which states:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

DECISION "WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered, ordering:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

MEDIALDEA, J.:
1) The defendants and all persons claiming rights under them to remove their houses
This case has its origin from a complaint 1 for unlawful detainer filed by Nicolas P. from Lot 2790 of Subdivision Plan Cad. 378-D, Macabebe Cadastre, situated at
Garcia (herein respondent) on August 15, 1988 before the Municipal Circuit Trial Saplad David, Caduang Tete, Macabebe, Pampanga; and to surrender the possession
Court, Masantol-Macabebe, Masantol, Pampanga. The complainant alleged that he is of the same to the plaintiff;
a co-owner of an agricultural land identified as Lot No. 2790 of Subdivision Plan, Cad.
378-D, Macabebe, Cadastre, situated in the Barrio of Caduang Tete (Saplad David) of 2) Every defendant to pay to the plaintiff the sum of Five Thousand Pesos
the same municipality; that he and his co-owners acquired the lot by succession (P5,000.00) attorney’s fees; and
from their deceased father, Pedro B. Garcia who died on April 6, 1939; that the said
lot is tenanted by Loreto Garcia; that the defendants (herein petitioners) constructed 3) Every defendants to pay One Hundred Pesos (P100.00) reasonable monthly rental
their houses on a portion of the lot without the knowledge and consent of the of the land occupied by said defendants from the filing of the complaint on August
owners; that he sent letters of demand on June 6, 1988 asking the defendants to 15, 1988 up to the time the possession of the land occupied by said defendants is
20
vacated plus the costs." (pp. 72-73, CA Records).
Hence, this petition.
The Municipal Circuit Trial Court found that the plaintiff is one of the co-owners of
Lot 2790 of Subdivision Plan Cad. 378-D of Macabebe Cadastre, consisting of five (5) The principal question for resolution in this petition is whether or not the complaint
hectares. As such, he had every right to exercise his rights as owner and possessor of filed by the private respondent before the Municipal Circuit Trial Court was for the
the property and to demand the removal of defendants’ houses. The Municipal summary proceeding of forcible entry or unlawful detainer or an accion publiciana.
Court added that while the defendants assert that the premises is of public In the latter case, the Regional Trial Court and not the Municipal Trial Court has the
ownership considering that their houses occupy a part of a shore of a navigable river exclusive jurisdiction to hear and try the complaint.chanrobles virtualawlibrary
and part of the shoulder of the public road, this assertion runs counter to the very chanrobles.com:chanrobles.com.ph
claim of defendants that they are farmhands in the landholding for more than 12
years. Finally, the Municipal Court also held that since the issue involved in the case The petitioner is of the view that with the following allegations in the complaint, to
is mere possession and the defendants did not claim ownership, therefore, unlawful wit:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
detainer is the proper action for plaintiff’s recovery of possession.
"2. That the plaintiff is a co-owner of an agricultural land located at Saplad, David,
The defendants appealed to the Regional Trial Court which reversed the decision of Macabebe, Pampanga identified as lot no. 2790, of the Subdivision Plan, Cad. 378-D,
the municipal court and dismissed the complaint. The Regional Trial Court held Macabebe, Cadastre, . . .;
that:cralawnad
"x x x.
"From all the foregoing consideration, the Court finds that plaintiff-appellee fails to
establish his proof of prior physical possession over the land subject matter of this "4. That the aforesaid agricultural land is presently tenanted by one farmer in the
case where the respective houses of the defendants-appellants were erected, name of Loreto Garcia with an area of more than five (5) hectares;
considering that the case at bar only deals with possession de facto and not
possession de jure. The Court also believes that the subject matter of this Court is "5. That the defendants have constructed their houses on a portion of the said lot
beyond the jurisdiction of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court. no. 2790 without the knowledge and consent of his co-owners;

"WHEREFORE, premises considered, the decision of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court "6. That the plaintiff has sent the defendants demand letters dated June 6, 1988
of Macabebe, Masantol-Macabebe, Pampanga is hereby reversed. The said case is asking said defendants to remove their houses from the said lot within a period of
dismissed with costs against the plaintiff." (p. 82, CA Records) fifteen (15) days from their receipt of said letters, . . ." (pp. 21-22, Records).

On June 27, 1989, Nicolas Garcia filed a motion for reconsideration of the Regional the complaint which the private respondent filed before the municipal court was an
Trial Court’s decision. The reconsideration sought was denied by order of the same accion publiciana and not one for unlawful detainer as he had captioned it. An accion
court dated October 11, 1989. publiciana is exclusively cognizable by the Regional Trial Court and not by the
Municipal Court.
Nicolas Garcia filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals which rendered a
decision on August 6, 1991 in CA-G.R. SP No. 19154 reversing and setting aside the For his part, the private respondent alleged that the action which he filed before the
decision of the Regional Trial Court and reinstating the decision of the Municipal municipal court was an action for unlawful detainer. The demand to vacate dated
Circuit Trial Court. The reconsideration sought by the defendants before the June 6, 1988 which was served upon the petitioners was well within the one (1) year
appellate court was denied on November 11, 1991. period required by the rules for the filing of the summary action for unlawful
21
detainer the jurisdiction of which belongs to the municipal trial court.
The questions to be resolved in an action for forcible entry are: First, who had actual
The summary actions for unlawful detainer and forcible entry may be distinguished possession over the piece of real property? Second, was the possessor ousted
from each other, as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph therefrom within one year from the filing of the complaint by force, threat, strategy
or stealth? And lastly, does the plaintiff ask for the restoration of his possession?
"4. . . . (Dizon v. Concina, Et Al., G.R. No. L-23756, December 27, 1969).

"a. In forcible entry, the possession of the land by the defendant is unlawful from the There was no mention in the complaint nor in the position paper of the private
beginning as he acquires possession thereof by force, intimidation, threat, strategy respondent that he or his co-owners were in prior possession of the property. There
or stealth: while in unlawful detainer, the possession of the defendant is inceptively was an allegation that the property "is presently tenanted" but did not state when
lawful but it becomes illegal by reason of the termination of his right to the the tenant started to possess the property. While it is true that possession of the
possession of the property under his contract with the plaintiff (Dikit v. Icasiano, 89 tenant is possession of the owner, the complaint failed to state that Loreta Garcia
Phil. 44). was in prior possession of the property at the time of entry by the petitioners. And,
while the complaint stated that the petitioners obtained possession of the premises
"b. In forcible entry, the law does not require a previous demand for the defendant through stealth, it failed to aver when this entry was accomplished or when the
to vacate the premises; but in unlawful detainer, the plaintiff must first make such private respondent learned of such entry. The failure of the private respondent to
demand, which is jurisdictional in nature (Sec. 2; Medel v. Militante, 41 Phil. 44). allege the time when unlawful deprivation took place is fatal because this will
determine the start of the counting of the one year period for the filing of the
"c. In forcible entry, the plaintiff must prove that he was in prior physical possession summary action of forcible entry. When the complaint fails to aver facts constitutive
of the premises until he was deprived thereof by the defendant; in unlawful of forcible entry or unlawful detainer, as where it does not state how entry was
detainer, the plaintiff need not have been in prior physical possession (Maddamu v. effected or how and when dispossession started, the action should either be accion
Judge, 74 Phil. 230: Aguilar v. Cabrera, 74 Phil. 666; Banayos v. Susana Realty, Inc. L- publiciana or reinvindicatoria in the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court)
30336, June 30, 1976: Pharma Industries, Inc. v. Pajarillaga, Et. Al. L-53788, Oct. 17, (Sarona Et. Al., v. Villegas, Et Al., supra).
1980).
The respondent appellate court erred in holding that this case is one for unlawful
"d. In forcible entry, the one-year period is generally counted from the date of actual detainer. It failed to consider the basic distinction that in forcible entry, possession is
entry on the land; in unlawful detainer, from the date of last demand (Sarona, Et. Al. illegal at the inception while in unlawful detainer, possession is legal until demand is
v. Villegas, Et Al., L-22984, Mar. 27, 1968) or last letter of demand (DBP v. Canonoy, made to recover such possession or until the possessor does or fails to do an act
L-29422, Sept. 30, 1970; Calibayan v. Pascual, L-22645, Sept. 18, 1967; Racaza v. which makes his continued possession of the premises illegal. The fact that a
Susana Realty, Inc., L-20330, Dec. 22, 1966). (Regalado, Florenz D., Remedial Law demand was made by the private respondent for the petitioners to vacate the
Compendium, Vol. 1, 5th Revised Edition, pp. 503-504) subject premises cannot change the nature of the latter’s possession of the property
and convert the former’s action from forcible entry to one for unlawful detainer. The
The complaint subject of this case was captioned as "unlawful detainer." However, respondent appellate court likewise erred in applying in this case the doctrine that —
the private respondent alleged therein that from the start, the possession of the "a person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission,
petitioner was unlawful as it was stated that the defendants have constructed their without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by the implied promise
houses on the questioned premises stealthily, that is, without the knowledge and that he will vacate upon demand, failing which, a summary action for ejectment is
consent of his co-owners. This allegation clearly characterized the complaint as one proper remedy against them" — because, as We have said here, the possession by
for forcible entry and not for unlawful detainer.chanrobles.com : virtual law library defendants was illegal at the inception as alleged in the complaint, hence, there was
22
no tolerance. As explained in Sarona v. Villegas, G.R. No. L-22984, March 27, 1968, possession even from the owner. This rule however has no application in this case. It
22 SCRA 1257:chanrobles virtual lawlibrary is true that the private respondent in this case claimed that he is one of the co-
owners of the lot in question. However, he has not presented any evidence in
"But will this rule as to tolerance hold true in a case where there was forcible entry support of such claim of ownership by virtue of which he is entitled to its possession.
at the start, but the lawful possessor did not attempt to oust the intruder for over Moreover, he had not shown nor claimed in his complaint that he was in prior
one year, and only thereafter filed forcible entry suit following demand to vacate? possession of the property. On the contrary, it is the petitioners who claimed
possession of the property for more than twelve years.
"x x x.
If the private respondent is indeed the owner of the premises and that possession
"A close assessment of the law and the concept of the word ‘tolerance’ confirms our thereof was deprived from him for more than twelve years, he should present his
view heretofore expressed that such tolerance must be present right from the start claim before the Regional Trial Court in an accion publiciana or an accion
of possession sought to be recovered, to categorize a cause of action as one of reinvindicatoria and not before the Municipal Trial Court in a summary proceeding of
unlawful detainer — not of forcible entry. Indeed, to hold otherwise would espouse unlawful detainer or forcible entry. For even if he is the owners possession of the
a dangerous doctrine. And for two reasons. First. Forcible entry into the land is an property cannot be wrested from another who had been in possession thereof for
open challenge to the right of the possessor. Violation of that right authorizes the more than twelve (12) years through a summary action for ejectment.
speedy redress — in the inferior court — provided for in the rules. If one year from
the forcible entry is allowed to lapse before suit is filed, then the remedy ceases to "Although admittedly petitioner may validly claim ownership based on the
be speedy; and the possessor is deemed to have waived his right to seek relief in the muniments of title it presented, such evidence does not responsibly address the
inferior court. Second, if a forcible entry action in the inferior court is allowed after issue of prior actual possession raised in a forcible entry case. It must be stated that
the lapse of a number of years, then the result may well be that no action for forcible regardless of actual condition of the title to the property, the party in peaceable
entry can really prescribe. No matter how long such defendant is in physical quiet possession shall not be turned out by a strong hand, violence or terror. Thus, a
possession, plaintiff will merely make a demand, bring suit in the inferior court — party who can prove prior possession can recover such possession even against the
upon a plea of tolerance to prevent prescription to set in — and summarily throw owner himself. Whatever may be the character of his prior possession, if he has in
him out of the land. Such a conclusion is unreasonable. Especially if we bear in mind his favor priority in time, he has the security that entitles him to remain on the
the postulates that proceedings of forcible entry and unlawful detainer are summary property until he is lawfully ejected by a person having a better right by accion
in nature, and that the one year time bar to suit is but in pursuance of the summary publiciana or accion reinvindicatoria. (German Management and Services Inc. v. CA,
nature of the action. 76216-17, September 14, 1988, 177 SCRA 495, 499).

"It is well to remember that after the lapse of the one year period, suit must be ACCORDINGLY, the petition is GRANTED. The decision of the Court of Appeals is SET
started in the Court of First Instance in an accion publiciana. ASIDE and the decision of the Regional Trial Court of Macabebe, Pampanga is
REINSTATED.
It is also the contention of petitioners that private respondents’ claim of ownership
had no basis. He should have at least, introduced muniments of title to show the SO ORDERED.
extent and character of his possession. Moreover, mere allegations of ownership
does not ipso facto entitle a person to possession of the property claimed.

The main issue in an action for forcible entry and detainer is one of priority of
possession. If the plaintiff can prove prior possession in himself, he may recover such
23
G.R. No. 169793 September 15, 2006 was docketed as CV-01-030. In his Answer, respondent alleged that he has been in
actual possession and occupation of a portion of the subject land since 1968 and that
VICTORIANO M. ENCARNACION, petitioner, the issuance of Free Patent and titles in the name of petitioner was tainted with
vs. irregularities.7
NIEVES AMIGO, respondent.
On October 24, 2001, the Municipal Trial Court in Cities rendered judgment, which
DECISION reads:

YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: WHERE[FO]RE, there being a preponderance of evidence, a JUDGMENT is hereby


rendered in favor of the plaintiff VICTORIANO M. ENCARNACION and against the
This petition for review assails the June 30, 2005 Decision1 of the Court of Appeals in
defendant NIEVES AMIGOE (sic) as follows:
CA-G.R. SP No. 73857, ordering the remand of Civil Case No. Br. 20-1194 to the
Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further proceedings. a) ORDERING the defendant to vacate the portion of the parcels of land described in
Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. T-256650 and T-256651 he is now occupying and
The antecedent facts are as follows:
surrender it to the plaintiff;
Petitioner Victoriano M. Encarnacion is the registered owner of Lot No. 2121-B-1,
b) ORDERING the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS
consisting of 100 square meters and covered by TCT No. T-256650; and Lot No.
(P5,000) as attorney's fees, and
2121-B-2 consisting of 607 square meters with TCT No. T-256651, located at District
1, National Hi-way, Cauayan, Isabela. Said two lots originally form part of Lot No. c) ORDERING the defendant to pay rentals equivalent [to] P500.00 per month from
2121, a single 707 square meter track of land owned by Rogelio Valiente who sold February, 2001 until the portion of the land occupied by him is surrendered to the
the same to Nicasio Mallapitan on January 18, 1982. On March 21, 1985, Mallapitan plaintiff.
sold the land to Victoriano Magpantay. After the death of the latter in 1992, his
widow, Anita N. Magpantay executed an Affidavit of Waiver 2 on April 11, 1995 COSTS against the defendant.
waving her right over the property in favor of her son-in-law, herein petitioner,
Victoriano Encarnacion. Thereafter, the latter caused the subdivision of the land into SO ORDERED.8
two lots3 and the issuance of titles in his name on July 18, 1996.4
On appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, ruled as follows:
Respondent Nieves Amigo allegedly entered the premises and took possession of a
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing the case on the ground that as
portion of the property sometime in 1985 without the permission of the then owner,
the Municipal Court had no jurisdiction over the case, this Court acquired no
Victoriano Magpantay. Said occupation by respondent continued even after TCT Nos.
appellate jurisdiction thereof. Costs against plaintiff-appellee.
T-256650 and T-256651 were issue to petitioner.
SO ORDERED.9
Consequently, petitioner, through his lawyer sent a letter 5 dated Febuary 1, 2001
demanding that the respondent vacate the subject property. As evidenced by the Aggrieved, petitioner filed a petition for review10 under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court
registry return receipt, the demand letter was delivered by registered mail to the before the Court of Appeals which promulgated the assailed Decision remanding the
respondent on February 12, 2001. Notwithstanding receipt of the demand letter, case to the Regional Trial Court. The dispositive portion thereof reads:
respondent still refused to vacate the subject property. Thereafter, on March 2,
2001, petitioner filed a complaint6 for ejectment, damages with injunction and WHEREFORE, premises considered, this case is hereby REMANDED to Branch 20,
prayer for restraining order with the Municipal Trial Court in Cities of Isabela which Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela for further proceedings.

24
No costs. restitution of such possession, together with damages and costs.14 Thus, if the
dispossession has not lasted for more than one year, an ejectment proceeding is
SO ORDERED.11 proper and the inferior court acquires jurisdiction. On the other hand, if the
dispossession lasted for more than one year, the proper action to be filed is an
Hence the present petition raising the sole issue:
accion publiciana which should be brought to the proper Regional Trial Court.
[WHETHER] THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE PROPER ACTION
After a careful evaluation of the evidence on record of this case, we find that the
IN THIS CASE IS ACCION PUBLICIANA AND NOT UNLAWFUL DETAINER AS
Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in holding that the proper action in
DETERMINED BY THE ALLEGATIONS IN THE COMPLAINT FILED BY PETITIONER. 12
this case is accion publiciana; and in ordering the remand of the case to the Regional
The petition lacks merit. Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further proceedings.

In this jurisdiction, the three kinds of actions for the recovery of possession of real Well settled is the rule that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of the
property are: action is determined by the allegations of the complaint at the time of its filing,
irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of
1. Accion interdictal, or an ejectment proceeding which may be either that for the claims asserted therein. What determines the jurisdiction of the court is the
forcible entry (detentacion) or unlawful detainer (desahucio), which is a summary nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The
action for recovery of physical possession where the dispossession has not lasted for averments therein and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be
more than one year, and should be brought in the proper inferior court; consulted.15 On its face, the complaint must show enough ground for the court to
assume jurisdiction without resort to parol testimony.16
2. Accion publiciana or the plenary action for the recovery of the real right of
possession, which should be brought in the proper Regional Trial Court when the From the allegations in the complaint, it appears that the petitioner became the
dispossession has lasted for more than one year; and owner of the property on April 11, 1995 by virtue of the waiver of rights executed by
his mother-in-law. He filed the complaint for ejectment on March 2, 2001 after his
3. Accion reinvindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion, which is an action for the
February 1, 2001 letter to the respondent demanding that the latter vacate the
recovery of ownership which must be brought in the proper Regional Trial Court.13
premises remained unheeded. While it is true that the demand letter was received
Based on the foregoing distinctions, the material element that determines the by the respondent on February 12, 2001, thereby making the filing of the complaint
proper action to be filed for the recovery of the possession of the property in this for ejectment fall within the requisite one year from last demand for complaints for
case is the length of time of dispossession. Under the Rules of Court, the remedies of unlawful detainer, it is also equally true that petitioner became the owner of the
forcible entry and unlawful detainer are granted to a person deprived of the subject lot in 1995 and has been since that time deprived possession of a portion
possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, thereof. From the date of the petitioner's dispossession in 1995 up to his filing of his
or a lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any complaint for ejectment in 2001, almost 6 years have elapsed. The length of time
land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right that the petitioner was dispossessed of his property made his cause of action beyond
to hold possession by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal the ambit of an accion interdictal and effectively made it one for accion publiciana.
representatives or assigns of any such lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person. These After the lapse of the one-year period, the suit must be commenced in the Regional
remedies afford the person deprived of the possession to file at any time within one Trial Court via an accion publiciana which is a suit for recovery of the right to
year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, an action in the possess. It is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better right of possession
proper Municipal Trial Court against the person or persons unlawfully withholding or of realty independently of title. It also refers to an ejectment suit filed after the
depriving of possession, or any person or persons claiming under them, for the expiration of one year from the accrual of the cause of action or from the unlawful
withholding of possession of the realty.17
25
Previously, we have held that if the owner of the land knew that another person was The RTC should have taken cognizance of the case. If the case is tried on the merits by
occupying his property way back in 1977 but the said owner only filed the complaint the Municipal Court without jurisdiction over the subject matter, the RTC on appeal
for ejectment in 1995, the proper action would be one for accion publiciana and not may no longer dismiss the case if it has original jurisdiction thereof. Moreover, the RTC
one under the summary procedure on ejectment. As explained by the Court: shall no longer try the case on the merits, but shall decide the case on the basis of the
evidence presented in the lower court, without prejudice to the admission of the
We agree with the Court of Appeals that if petitioners are indeed the owners of the amended pleadings and additional evidence in the interest of justice.19
subject lot and were unlawfully deprived of their right of possession, they should
present their claim before the regional trial court in an accion publiciana or an accion WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. The Decision of the Court of Appeals dated June
reivindicatoria, and not before the metropolitan trial court in a summary proceeding 30, 2005 in CA-G.R. SP No. 73857 ordering the remand of Civil Case No. Br. 20-1194
for unlawful detainer or forcible entry. For even if one is the owner of the property, to the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further proceedings, is
the possession thereof cannot be wrested from another who had been in physical or AFFIRMED.
material possession of the same for more than one year by resorting to a summary
action for ejectment.18 No costs.

Hence, we agree with the Court of Appeals when it declared that: SO ORDERED.

The respondent's actual entry on the land of the petitioner was in 1985 but it was
only on March 2, 2001 or sixteen years after, when petitioner filed his ejectment
case. The respondent should have filed an accion publiciana case which is under the
jurisdiction of the RTC.

However, the RTC should have not dismissed the case.

Section 8, Rule 40 of the Rules of Court provides:

SECTION 8. Appeal from orders dismissing case without trial; lack of jurisdiction. — If
an appeal is taken from an order of the lower court dismissing the case without a
trial on the merits, the Regional Trial Court may affirm or reverse it, as the case may
be. In case of affirmance and the ground of dismissal is lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter, the Regional Trial Court, if it has jurisdiction thereover, shall try the
case on the merits as if the case was originally filed with it. In case of reversal, the
case shall be remanded for further proceedings.

If the case was tried on the merits by the lower court without jurisdiction over the
subject matter, the Regional Trial Court on appeal shall not dismiss the case if it has
original jurisdiction thereof, but shall decide the case in accordance with the
preceding section, without prejudice to the admission of amended pleadings and
additional evidence in the interest of justice.

26
G.R. No. 87263 June 18, 1990 spouses Cecilia de Ramos and Cesar de Ramos and the title thereto of LDB had been
canceled and replaced by TCT No. T-89122 in the name of said Ramos spouses, who
SPOUSES FLAVIO DEMAMAY AND ESTELITA DEMAMAY, petitioners, have elected to file an unlawful detainer case against petitioners. The motion was
vs. granted.
COURT OF APPEALS, HON. SALVADOR P. DE GUZMAN, JR., LUZON DEVELOPMENT
BANK AND SPS. CESAR DE RAMOS AND CECILIA DE RAMOS, respondents. On August 8, 1986, petitioners filed an action against the Ramos spouses and LDB in
the Regional Trial Court of Laguna for annulment of sale, reconveyance of property
Ernesto M. Miaquez for petitioners. with damages. The suit was docketed as RTC Civil Case No. 1031-86.

Eusebio Navarro, Jr. for respondent LDB. On August 13, 1986, the Ramos spouses filed an action for unlawful detainer against
petitioners in the Municipal Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna docketed as Civil Case No.
Arnold Magparangalan for spouses Cesar de Ramos.
2405. Petitioners filed their answer with crass claim alleging among others the
pendency of the annulment case before the RTC. On motion of LDB the said cross
claim was dismissed. On June 29, 1987 a decision was rendered ordering petitioners to
GANCAYCO, J.: vacate the property in question within sixty (60) days from receipt thereof, to pay
attorney's fees in the amount of P2,000.00 and the cost of the suit. The counterclaim
The issue as to whether or not an action for annulment of sale, reconveyance or
was dismissed. Petitioners appealed the decision to the Regional Trial Court of Laguna
similar proceeding is a previous question before an action for ejectment or unlawful
but the same was affirmed. They filed a petition for review in the Court of Appeals
detainer may proceed is the focus of the dispute in this petition.
wherein on October 7, 1988 a decision was promulgated dismissing the petition with
Petitioners were the registered owners of a parcel of land located in Calamba, Laguna costs against petitioners.1 A motion for reconsideration filed by petitioners was denied
covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-35475 of the Register of Deeds of Laguna by the appellate court in a resolution dated March 2, 1989.
with an area of about 240 square meters. They mortgaged the same to the Luzon
Meanwhile the annulment case was dismissed by the trial court on the ground of res
Development Bank (LDB for short) for the sum of P10,000.00 payable in installments in
judicata. Petitioners appealed to the Court of Appeal wherein on September 21, 1988
five years beginning July 29, 1977. As petitioners defaulted in the payment of the loan
a decision was rendered setting aside the appealed order of dismissal and remanding
the LDB extra judicially foreclosed the mortgage on July 30, 1981 so the property was
the records to the lower court for further proceedings and adjudication on the merits.
sold at public auction to LDB as the highest bidder. Upon failure of the petitioners to 2
In said case the appellate court ruled that the petition for a writ of possession is not a
redeem the property within one year from the sale, title over the same was
bar to the prosecution of the annulment case.
consolidated in favor of LDB on September 13, 1982 so that petitioners' title was
canceled and TCT No. T-89122 was issued to LDB. Hence, the herein petition for review on certiorari wherein petitioners raise, as errors
allegedly committed by the appellate court in grave abuse of discretion, namely: (1)
On July 26, 1986, LDB filed in the Regional Trial Court of Laguna a petition for the
the failure to declare that the Municipal Trial Court has no jurisdiction over the
issuance of a writ of possession docketed as RTC SLRC Case No. 111-83-C. Petitioners
unlawful detainer case due to the failure to allege in the complaint that private
filed an opposition thereto. On February 26, 1986, the trial court issued an order
respondents Ramos spouses had prior physical possession of the property; and (2)
authorizing the Clerk of Court to issue the corresponding writ of possession which was
that the proceedings in said unlawful detainer case should be suspended pending the
returned unsatisfied. On June 20, 1986, LDB filed a motion for demolition which was
resolution of the action for annulment of the sale, reconveyance and damages
opposed by petitioners. Nevertheless the trial court granted the motion. A motion for
pending before the Regional Trial Court of Laguna.
reconsideration of said order was filed by petitioners wherein it was alleged that LDB
was no longer the owner of the property inasmuch as it had already sold the same to

27
On May 24, 1989 the petition was denied for failure of petitioners to sufficiently show proceedings in the ejectment case must be suspended until after the said annulment
that the respondent court had committed any reversible error in its questioned case is resolved by the Court.
judgment. A motion for reconsideration was filed by petitioners to which an
opposition was filed by private respondents. The parties were then required to submit The Court takes note of the fact that some lessees, realizing that the action for
their simultaneous memoranda. This requirement has been complied with by the unlawful detainer will be filed against them shortly, "jump the gun" on the lessor by
parties. going to court first. They institute, for instance, actions for consignation of rentals, or
for specific performance of alleged agreement for renewal of lease or as in this case
On the first issue, petitioners contend that as they continued to be in physical for annulment of the sale, etc.
possession of the property and in the absence of the jurisdictional allegation in the
complaint for unlawful detainer that private respondents had prior physical possession The advantage of having the question of possession of the leased premises
of the property the lower court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case. determined in such an ordinary action of consignation, breach of contract or
annulment of sale, instead of a summary ejectment suit, are obvious. The
In the questioned decision of the respondent court dated October 7, 1988, the proceedings are not summary, and presumably would take longer than an action for
following disquisition was made: unlawful detainer. The judgment against the lessee is not immediately executory and
there is no need to file a supersedeas bond to stay execution, and the remedy of
Under the provisions of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, an unlawful detainer case may preliminary mandatory injunction is not usually available to the lessor.
be filed by any landlord, vendor or vendee (like herein private respondents) against
whom the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration The question is, may the pendency of such an action for consignation or specific
or termination of the right to hold possession by virtue of any contract express or performance, or annulment of a sale, as in this case, be successfully pleaded in
implied. Petitioners' right to Possess the property in question terminated from the abatement of an action for unlawful detainer? This Court has invariably given a
moment they ceased to be the owners thereof and the transfer of said ownership to negative answer.
Luzon Development Bank. This was bolstered by the issuance of a writ of possession
turning over the possession thereof to the Bank, which in turn transferred its right of In Lim Si vs. Lim, 5 the lessee disagreed with the increased rental rate imposed by the
ownership or possession to private respondents, who in turn became the owners lessor and brought in the Court of First Instance (CFI) a suit for consignation of
thereof entitled to its possession with the issuance in their name of the title to the rentals praying that the court fix the rate thereof and he be authorized to remain in
property. the premises in the meantime. The lessor moved to dismiss, arguing that the issue
raised should not be resolved in an action of consignation but in an unlawful detainer
Premises considered. We find no reversible error of law or fact in the decision under suit. Later, the lessor did in fact file an ejectment action against the lessee. The trial
review. 3 court dismissed the action. In sustaining the dismissal this Court citing Pue, et al. vs.
Gonzales, 6 held that consignation —
We agree.
is not the proper proceedings to determine the relation between landlord and
It is true that in forcible entry cases the plaintiff must allege and prove that he was in tenant, the period of life of the lease of tenancy, the reasonableness of the amount
prior physical possession of the property in litigation until he was deprived thereof of rental, the right of the tenant to keep the premises against the will of the landlord,
by the defendant. However, in unlawful detainer cases, the plaintiff need not have etc. (which) questions should be decided in a case of ejectment or detainer.
been in prior physical possession of the property.
and ruled as follows:
The second issue is likewise devoid of merit. Pending in the Regional Trial Court
(RTC), Laguna is an action for the annulment of the sale to private respondent, the The principle ... exactly covers the point at issue, i.e., that the disagreement between
foreclosure of mortgage, reconveyance and damages. Petitioners claims that the a lessor and a lessee as to the amount of rent to be paid by a lessee cannot be
28
decided in an action of consignation but in that of forcible entry and unlawful
detainer that the lessor institutes when the lessee refuses to pay the lessor the rents
that he has fixed for the property. It may also be added that consignation is proper
when there is a debt to be paid, which the debtor desires to pay and which the
creditor refuses to receive, or neglects to receive, or cannot receive by reason of his
absence. The purpose of consignation is to have the obligation or indebtedness
extinguished. In the case at bar, plaintiff seeks to have the obligation determined and
fixed, hence his action should not be one of consignation.

For the foregoing reasons, we hold that plaintiff has no cause of action against
defendant under the facts alleged in his complaint; that consignation is not the
proper remedy; that it is the defendant who has the right or cause of against the
plaintiff because the latter refuses to pay the rents fixed but does not leave the
property; and that if the plaintiff claims that the amount of rents demanded by the
defendant is unreasonable and he desires to have it fixed judicially, he may set forth
the above facts as defenses in the action of ejectment filed by the defendant against
him. ...

The same ruling was rendered by this Court in Teodoro vs. Mirasol 7 where an action
for specific performance to compel the lessor to renew the lease was held to be a
proper defense in the ejectment suit. 8 In the same vein this Court held that an
action for reconveyance or action for reivindicatoria or quieting of title or injunction
or reformation may not be pleaded in abatement of an ejectment suit. 9

The case of Quiambao v. Osorio, 10 invoked by petitioners cannot support their


cause. In said case, the ejectment suit was sought to be suspended on the ground of
the pendency of an administrative case in the Office of the Land Authority where the
agreement of sale of the lot in question, on which respondents based their prior
possession, had already been canceled by the Land Authority. Thus, this Court held
the prudent course for the trial court to do is to hold the ejectment proceeding, until
after the determination of the administrative case. There is no analogy in the facts of
the said case with the present case.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED with costs against petitioners.

SO ORDERED.

29
G.R. No. L-53788 October 17, 1980 The defendant filed her answer, admitting the allegations on Par. 1, 2, & 3, and
denied the allegation in Par. 4, alleging that the defendant thru her representative
PHARMA INDUSTRIES, INC., petitioner, Alfredo del Rosario verbally agreed to the counsel of the plaintiff, that after
vs. recomputation of the amount demanded being enormous and unconscionable, the
HONORABLE MELITON PAJARILLAGA OF THE CITY COURT OF CABANATUAN CITY, latter should pay her obligation but contrary to the agreement to plaintiff thru
NUEVA ECIJA, BRANCH II, SERGIA A. DEL ROSARIO AND "JOHN DOE/S", respondents. counsel, did not honor the same and still continued the prosecution in this case, until
the decision was rendered by this Court, to the damage and prejudice of the
defendant, who is ready and able to pay her obligation; that defendant admitted the
ABAD SANTOS, J.: allegation in Par. 5 of the answer of the complaint, as far as the decision rendered
for consolidation, but denies the rest of the allegations, because of the agreement
Certiorari to review the actuations of the respondent judge in Civil Case No. 8126 of which was dishonored by the plaintiff; that defendant also admitted the allegations
the City Court of Cabanatuan which the plaintiff, the petitioner herein, initiated for in Par. 6, 7 & 8, but denies the allegation in Par. 9.
the purpose of ejecting the private respondents from a piece of land.
On November 28, 1979, the plaintiff filed a motion for judgment on the pleading, on
In a "Decision" dated January 7, 1980, the respondent judge dismissed the case for the ground that the defendant admitted all the material averments of the complaint
lack of jurisdiction. A motion to reconsider the dismissal was denied, hence the and does not tender at all an issue. The defendant filed an opposition to the motion
present petition. of judgment on the pleading, and a motion to dismiss, on the ground that this Court
has no jurisdiction, and that it is the Court of First Instance, which has jurisdiction
The facts and the law as understood by the respondent judge are set forth in his
over the action, (Roman Catholic Bishop of Cebu versus Mangaron, 6 Philippines 286,
"Decision" which is hereby reproduced in full:
291). The complaint filed by the plaintiff is for ejectment. There are three kinds of
This is a complaint for Ejectment filed by the plaintiff against the defendant. The action in ejecting a person from the land. It is clear in the complaint that the plaintiff
plaintiff in its complaint alleges that on November 12, 1977, the defendant Sergia A. is intending to eject the defendant from the land under the kind of ejectment,
del Rosario executed in favor of the plaintiff a Deed of Sale with Right to repurchase forcible entry or detainer, but it must be alleged in the complaint prior possession of
over a piece of land duly registered and situated at Cabanatuan City, together with the land by the plaintiff. But in the complaint it is alleged that the defendant is in
all improvements and which land is covered with TCT No. 12481, now TCT No. possession of the land and not the plaintiff, and therefore the complaint should be
35940, that the defendant Sergia del Rosario executed to exercise her right of for recovery of the right to possess the land, and the action should be filed in the
redemption in accordance with the Provision of Annex A, Deed of Sale with Right to Court of First Instance and not in this Court. The three kinds of action are the
Repurchase, which expired November 12, 1978, and despite notice to her, the following: (1) The summary action for forcible entry or detainer by denominated
plaintiff was constrained to file a petition for consolidation of ownership, Annex B; action interdictal, under the former law of procedure (Ley de Enjuiciamiento Civil)
that on April 3, 1979, the Honorable Virgilio D. Pobre-Yñigo, promulgated a decision which seeks the recovery of only physical possession, and is brought within one year
in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant, declaring the plaintiff to be the full in the Justice of the Peace Court; (2) The accion publiciana which is intended for the
owner of the property and ordering the Register of Deeds of Cabanatuan City, to recovery of the right to possess and is a plenary action in an ordinary civil
cancel the old title; and issue a new title, TCT No. L-35940 in the name of the proceeding, before the Court of First Instance and (3) Action de revindication which
plaintiff; that on June 8, 1979, the plaintiff sent a letter to the defendant and all seeks the recovery of ownership which of course included the Jus utendi and jus
person claiming ownership, to vacate the premises in question; that despite receipt fruendi also brought in the Court of First Instance. Of these three kinds of action
of Annex E, by the defendant on June 13, 1979, she failed and refused and still fails should be brought under No. 2 which is accion publiciana intended to recovery of the
to vacate the premises without justification. right to possess possession from the defendant, because it is the defendant who is in
possession of the premises. The Court in its opinion, held that the complaint must be

30
filed with the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija, because it is for a recovery of The mistake of the respondent judge in his belief that the cause of action is forcible
possession which is under the law, belong to the jurisdiction of the Court of First entry wherein it is necessary to alleged prior possession and forcible deprivation
Instance of Nueva Ecija. thereof. But as stated above, the cause of action in this case is for unlawful detainer
and it is sufficient to allege, as was done, that the defendant was unlawfully
WHEREFORE, judgement is hereby rendered, dismissing this case. withholding possession from the plaintiff. (See 3 Moran, Comments on the Rules of
Court, 302 [1970].)
We have to grant the petition. The proper remedy is ejectment under Rule 70 of the
Rules of Court and not accion publiciana. Sec. 1 of said Rule provides: Where the cause of action is unlawful detainer, prior possession is not always a
condition sine qua non. This is especially so where a vendee seeks to obtain
SECTION 1. Who may institute proceedings, and when. — Subject to the provisions
possession of the thing sold to him from the vendor. But if prior possession be
of the next succeeding section, a person deprived of the possession of any land or
insisted upon, Pharma Industries, Inc. had it before the suit for unlawful detainer was
building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a landlord, vendor,
filed. Art. 531 of the Civil Code provides: "Possession is acquired by the material
vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any land or building is
occupation of a thing or the exercise of a right, or by the fact that it is subject to the
unlawfully withheld, after the expiration or termination of the right to hold
action of our will, or by the proper acts and legal formalities established for acquiring
possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives
such right. (438a)" And according to Tolentino, "proper acts and formalities" refer
or assigns of any such landlord, vendor, vendee, or other persons, may, at any time
"to judicial acts, or the acquisition of possession by sufficient title, Inter vivos or
within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession,
mortis causa, onerous, or lucrative. These are acts to which the law gives the force of
bring an action in the proper inferior court against the person or persons unlawfully
acts of possession. Examples of these are donations, succession, whether intestate
withholding or depriving of possession, or any person or persons claiming under
or intestate, contracts, such a sale with right of repurchase, judicial possession,
them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages and costs. The
execution of judgments, such as when a sheriff, pursuant to a decision or order of
complaint must be verified.
the court, places certain parties in possession of property, execution and registration
It should be noted that the summary action provided above is one to obtain of public instruments, and the inscription of possessory information titles." (II Civil
possession only, filed in a municipal court within one year after the unlawful Code of the Philippines, 246-247 [1972],)
deprivation or withholding of possession complained of has taken place. It should
Pharma Industries, Inc. acquired possession when Sergia A. del Rosario executed in
also be noted that the remedy provides for two distinct causes of action: (1) forcible
its favor on November 12, 1977, the deed of sale with right to repurchase over the
entry in which the defendant's possession of the property is illegal ab initio, and (2)
land in question and the vendee's title was confirmed upon failure of the vendor to
unlawful detainer wherein the defendant's possession was originally lawful but
repurchase the property. (Annexes A-1, A-2, and A-3, Petition.)
ceased to be so by the expiration of his right to possess.
Private respondent states that subsequently on August 25, 1980, Civil Case No. 7326
The present case which is to obtain possession only is one for unlawful detainer
was filed in the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija to declare the deed of sale with
because Sergia A. del Rosario, the vendor a retro, failed to repurchase the property
the right to repurchase executed by Sergia A. del Rosario in favor of Pharma
and after the consolidation of title in favor of the vendee a retro had been
Industries, Inc. as an equitable mortgage. Such a suit, however, is not a bar to the
confirmed, she refused to vacate the property upon demand and after her right to
ejectment suit.
possess it had ceased to be lawful. That a demand to vacate was made on Sergia A.
del Rosario on June 13, 1979, and the action to eject was filed on October 22, 1979, WHEREFORE, finding the petition to be meritorious, it is hereby granted and, as
well within the one-year period, are borne by the record. prayed for, the respondent judge is hereby ordered to take cognizance of Civil Case
No. 8126 in his court and to resolve the petitioner's Motion for Judgment on the
Pleadings. No special pronouncement as to costs. SO ORDERED.
31
G.R. No. 93451 March 18, 1991 7. When plaintiff wanted to go inside his room in the following morning of
September 30, 1987 to fetch three (3) of his law books, which he needed to read in
LIM KIEH TONG, INC., petitioner, connection with a case he is handling, he was surprised to find out that the key given
vs. him could no longer fit the door lock which was then already changed;
THE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. JUDGE ROGELIO M. PIZARRO, Presiding Judge of
Branch 16 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, and REGINALDO Y. LIM, 8. Consequently, plaintiff had to buy three (3) new law books for which he incurred
respondents. expenses in the sum of Pl,253.00, if only to be able to prepare for his cases;

Balgos & Perez for petitioner. 9. Plaintiff was only able to contact defendant through its Officer-in-Charge, Mr.
Madamba, Lim & Tan for private respondent. Rafael Lim, the following day, October 1, 1987, but his request for him to be
provided with the appropriate key produced negative result, hence, this suit where
GANCAYCO, J.: plaintiff incurred expenses in the form of attorney's fees and costs of suit.
The issue of whether a complaint filed in the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila is ALLEGATIONS IN SUPPORT OF PRAYER FOR PRELIMINARY MANDATORY
one for forcible entry and detainer or one for specific performance is the center of INJUNCTION/RESTRAINING ORDER
this litigation.
10. Plaintiff repleads all the foregoing allegations by way of reference to form part of
The facts are not disputed as related by the respondent Court of Appeals in its the prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction;
questioned decision dated December 7, 1988 —
11. The failure and/or refusal of defendant to furnish plaintiff the appropriate key,
The record reveals that on October 23, 1987, the appellee, Reginaldo Y. Lim, had above-cited, constitutes a violation of the substantial rights of plaintiff, who has a
filed a complaint before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, in part, alleging, as clear and unmistakable right to the use and enjoyment of Room 301 of the building
follows: owned by defendant corporation, such that there is an urgent and paramount
necessity for the issuance of the writ of preliminary injunction/restraining order
3. Plaintiff and his family had for some time resided in Room 301 of the building
commanding defendant to furnish plaintiff the appropriate key in order to prevent
adverted to in the next preceding paragraph, until they transferred to their present
great and and/or irreparable damages and injury upon plaintiff.
residence at No. 3 Igdalig Street, Quezon City;
In conclusion, the said appellee prayed, as follows:
4. The said room 301 has thereafter been utilized by plaintiff as a place where he
keeps some of his important belongings, such as his law books, important PREMISES CONSIDERED, it is most respectfully prayed of the Honorable Court that a
documents, appliances, etc.; writ of preliminary mandatory injunction/restraining order commanding defendant
to provide plaintiff the appropriate key or a duplicate key to the lock of the main
5. The aforementioned building has only one common main door through which all
door of the building be immediately issued, and, after hearing the case on its merits,
the occupants of the various rooms therein, including that of plaintiff, can get in and
judgment be rendered in favor of plaintiff and against defendant ordering:
out therefrom;
l. the injunction prayed for in the complaint;
6. Accordingly, each and every occupant of any and all of the rooms of the building
including plaintiff has been given a key or a duplicate key to the doorlock by Rafael 2. defendant to pay plaintiff the sum of Pl,253.00 as actual compensatory damages;
Lim, the Officer-in-Charge of defendant corporation;
3. defendant to pay plaintiff the sum of P5,000.00 as and for attorney's fees; and

32
4. the cost of suit. On October 2, 1987, by reason of the unjustifiable ouster of private respondent from
said premises, he instituted Civil Case No. 122546 entitled Reginaldo Y. Lim vs. Rafael
Plaintiff prays for such other reliefs and/or remedies which the Honorable Court may Lim and Lim Kieh Tong & Co., Inc. before the Metropolitan Trial Court which was
deem just and proper in the premises. (p. 13, orig. rec.) raffled to Branch 25. Said complaint was denominated as an action for damages with
injunction despite the allegations contained therein . . .. The aforesaid case was
The opening paragraphs of the questioned decision relate what had happened in the
subsequently dismissed for lack of jurisdiction . . .
courts below:
On October 23, 1987, private respondent again instituted another action at the
This is a special civil action for certiorari under Rule 65, grounded on pure questions
Metropolitan Trial Court docketed as Civil Case No. 122775 which was raffled to
of law.
Branch 16. The complaint reiterated the same allegations . . .
The case is simplicity itself.
On November 2, 1987, a temporary restraining order was issued by respondent
The undisputed facts are as follows: judge pending trial on the merits, commanding petitioner to deliver the appropriate
keys to private respondent and allow him to enter the premises and occupancy of
Petitioner is a duly organized domestic corporation and is the owner of a building Room No. 301 of the building . . .
located at 1231 Piedad Street corner Benavidez Street, Manila;
On November 3, 1987, petitioners instituted the instant petition;
Public respondent is the Presiding Judge of the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 16;
On the same date after an ex-parte hearing, the Executive Judge of this Court, in
For sometime prior to the filing of this petition, Lim Eng Piao, father of private order to obviate any possible injustice pending the determination of the issuance of
respondent, occupied said premises as a dwelling unit at the above given address the injunctive writ, issued a temporary restraining order, enjoining the enforcement
together with all the members of his family. Lim Eng Piao subsequently died. Said of the temporary restraining order earlier issued by respondent judge and from
occupancy was continued by private respondent. Later, the latter was able to acquire further taking cognizance of said Civil Case No. 122775; . . .
a house and lot at No. 3 Igdalig Street, Quezon (sic). In spite of having transferred
residence, private respondent did not vacate Room 301 of the building in question. In ruling in favor of the private appellee, the appellee judge, in part, stated:
Instead, he utilized the same as a place where he keeps some of his important
In this case force was used by petitioner to deprive private respondent of the
belongings, papers, books, documents and appliances . . .
physical possession of Room 301 when the lock of the main door was changed
On or about September 1987, petitioner changed the lock of the common main door without his knowledge and consent.
of the building.
The issued (sic) involved is mere physical possession (possession de facto) and not
On the morning of September 30, 1987, private respondent tried to go to Room 301 juridical possession (possession de jure) nor ownership (Mercado vs. Go Bio, 78 Phil.
but found that the key given him could not fit and open the main door. As one of the 279; Masallo, vs. Cesar, 39 Phil. 134).
occupants of the building in question, private respondent demanded from
The purpose of forcible entry is that regardless of the actual condition of the title to
petitioner's officer-in-charge the delivery to him of the appropriate keys to the said
property, the party in peaceable and quiet possession shall not be turned out by
common main door so that he could enter the premises and be restored to
strong hand, violence or terror . . . In affording this remedy, breaches of the peace
possession of said Room No. 301 of the building, but his efforts proved futile as the
and criminal disorder would be minimized. A party out of possession must respect
officer in charge did not heed his demand . . .
and resort to the law alone to obtain what he claims is his. (Supia and Batioco vs.
Quintero and Ayala, 59 Phil. 312).

33
Considering that respondent judge found the applicability of the Rule in Summary can get in and out.1âwphi1 Accordingly, all occupants including private respondent
Procedure, the motion to dismiss was correctly denied. A motion to dismiss being were given a key to the main doorlock by petitioner.
one of the prohibited pleadings and motions under Section 15 of the 1983 Rules on
Summary Procedure. However, when private respondent wanted to go inside his room on September 30,
1987 to get three (3) of his lawbooks which he needed to read in connection with a
Hence, the petition must fail on this score alone. case he was then handling, he found that the key he possessed was no longer
compatible with the lock, i.e., the same was changed. Private respondent had to buy
Anent the second issue, petitioner contended that when the amount of damages three (3) new lawbooks for Pl,253.00 to prepare for his cases. He requested private
claimed is not specifically alleged in the complaint, jurisdiction over the case would respondent to provide him the appropriate key but his request was denied.
fall under the Regional Trial Courts, as the failure to so allege would characterize the Petitioner also alleges that he has a clear and unmistakable right to the use of said
subject matter as one which is incapable of pecuniary estimation. room entitling him to the writ of preliminary mandatory injunction to command
petitioner to provide him the appropriate key to the lock of the main building; and to
Petitioner's contentions is (sic) not well-taken.
pay damages in the amount of Pl,253.000, P5,000.00 attorney's fees and costs of the
In Singson vs. Aragon, 92 Phil. 514, the Supreme Court held that exemplary damages suit.
must be specified and if not, the municipal trial court could still grant it, if together
From the foregoing facts alleged in the complaint, the Court holds that the suit is one
with the other money claims, the amount of the total claim does not exceed
for forcible entry and detainer under Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. Private
P10,000.00 (now P20,000.00).
respondent retained the possession of Room 301 of petitioner's building which he
As to moral damages, the aforesaid ruling can likewise be made to apply. claimed to have the right to use and enjoy, but petitioner prevented him from
enjoying his right by depriving him of the right of egress and ingress through the
What confers jurisdiction on the inferior court in forcible entry and illegal detainer main door of the building. Through stealth, petitioner changed the key to the main
cases is NOT the amount of unpaid rentals or damages involved, but rather the door thus depriving private respondent of the possession of his rented room.
nature of the action because the rents or damages are only incidental to the main
action (Vichanco vs. Laurilla, L-13935, June 30, 1960).1 Any person deprived of possession of any land or building or part thereof, may file an
action for forcible entry and detainer in the proper inferior court against the person
An appeal was taken to the Court of Appeals. The appeal was dismissed for lack of unlawfully depriving or withholding possession from him4
merit.2 A motion for reconsideration filed by petitioner was denied in a resolution
dated May 9, 1990.3 This relief is not only available to a landlord, vendor, or vendee, but also to a lessee
or tenant or any other person against whom the possession of any land or building,
Hence, this petition for review the main thrust of which is that the action being one or a part thereof, is unlawfully withheld, or is otherwise unlawfully deprived
for specific performance the jurisdiction thereof is vested in the Regional Trial Court. possession thereof, within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or
withholding of possession.
The petition must fail.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. No costs.
A reading of the allegations of the complaint show that private respondent and his
family resided in Room 301 of the building of petitioner until they transferred to SO ORDERED.
their present residence at No. 3 Igdalig St., Quezon City. However, private
respondent retained possession of said room to keep his important belongings, such
as his law books, important documents, appliances, etc. The building has only one
common main door through which all the occupants of the various rooms therein
34
G.R. No. 77133 July 19, 1989 On November 26,1985, petitioners filed a complaint for ejectment against
Empaynado and attached thereto the certification to file action issued by the
SPOUSES MARCIANO BANDOY and SEGUNDINA BANDOY, petitioners, barangay captain. The case was filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court of Metro
vs. Manila, Quezon City and docketed as Civil Case No. XXXV-48898.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS and DOMINGO P. EMPAYNADO respondents.
In his answer, Empaynado admitted that he did not pay the rentals since July 1985
Gil S. San Diego for petitioners. but denied that there was a demand to vacate and pay made upon him by spouses
Marciano and Segundina Bandoy.
Benjamin G. Galima for private respondent.
After trial, judgment was rendered in favor of the spouses. The decision, dated
March 6, 1986 reads, in part:
MEDIALDEA, J.:
x x x.
This is an appeal by certiorari of the decision (pp. 27-31, Rollo) of the Court of
At any rate, the court is of the view that a demand to vacate before the barangay
Appeals dated January 13, 1987 in CA G.R. SP. No. 09391 entitled "Spouses Marciano
court is a substantial equivalent of the required extrajudicial demand to pay and
and Segundina Bandoy, Petitioners, vs. Hon. Luis L. Victor, in his capacity as Presiding
vacate required by the Rules of Court prior to the filing of an ejectment case in court.
Judge, Branch XCVI, RTC, and Domingo Empaynado, Respondents," which affirmed
the decision of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Region, Branch XCVI, x x x.
Quezon City, dismissing the herein petitioner's complaint for ejectment on the
ground of lack of jurisdiction due to the lack of demand to pay rentals and to vacate ACCORDINGLY, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff spouses Marciano
the premises. and Segundina Bandoy ordering the defendant Domingo Empaynado and all persons
claiming rights under him to vacate the residential house or extension thereof at the
The antecedent facts of the case are as follows: lot known as No. 88-D, Phase 4, Pook Amorsolo, U.P. Campus and to surrender the
same peacefully to the plaintiffs. The defendant is likewise required to pay all unpaid
Spouses Marciano and Segundina Bandoy herein petitioners, were lessees of a
rentals at the rate of P550.00 a month from July 1985 up to the time the defendant
residential house and lot owned by the University of the Philippines and located at
vacates the premises at bar; and to pay the plaintiff P700.00 as reasonable attorney's
No. 88-D, Phase 4, Pook Amorsolo, U.P. Campus, Quezon City.
fee and the costs of suit.
Sometime in April 1984, petitioners sublet certain spaces of the property to Eduardo
SO ORDERED. (pp. 21-22, Rollo)
Empaynado, herein private respondent, for a monthly rental of P550.00. Empaynado
failed to pay the rental for the month of July, 1985. Upon demand by petitioners, Domingo Empaynado appealed the decision to the Regional Trial Court which
Empaynado still failed and refused to pay. rendered a decision dated June 2, 1986 dismissing the case for ejectment for lack of
jurisdiction on the part of the trial court. The decision reads:
Petitioners brought the matter to the office of the barangay captain for settlement,
but to no avail. On August 20, 1985, a certification to file action against Domingo ACCORDINGLY, in the light of the foregoing disquisition, on the ground of lack of
Empaynado for ejectment and non-payment of house rentals including light and jurisdiction, the decision appealed from is hereby set aside and this case ordered
water (Annex "A" to the petition, p. 1 0, Rollo) was issued by the office of the dismissed, without pronouncement as to costs.
barangay captain.
SO ORDERED. (p. 25, Rollo)

35
Spouses Marciano and Segundina Bandoy filed a petition for review of the decision barangay level. It did not certify that all the requisites for the filing of an unlawful
of the Regional Trial Court to the Court of Appeals. In a decision promulgated on detainer case had been complied with.
January 14, 1987, the Court of Appeals dismissed the case also for lack of jurisdiction
on the part of the trial court. The decision reads, in part: In the case of Co Tiamco vs. Diaz, L-7, January 22, 1946 (75 Phil. 672), relied upon by
petitioners, there was no allegation in the complaint that a notice to quit or vacate
x x x. was made upon the defendants. However, during the presentation of evidence,
plaintiffs offered Exhibit "A" as evidence, which is a notice to quit alleged to have
And where the Metropolitan Trial Court did not acquire jurisdiction, the above been served upon defendants prior to the filing of the action. This was objected to by
jurisprudence would hold and all we can do is to dismiss the case for lack of the defendants and the objection was sustained by the trial court. The defendants
jurisdiction. filed with the Court of First Instance a petition for mandamus to compel the
municipal court judge to admit Exhibit "A". By virtue of a writ of mandamus issued by
WHEREFORE, there having been no error committed by the Regional Trial Court, the
the Court of First Instance, the evidence was admitted. In that case, it was held that:
petition for review is hereby DENIED.
even supposing without conceding, that the complaint is deficient (in not alleging the
SO ORDERED. (pp. 30-31, Rollo)
notice to quit) the deficiency was cured by the evidence. (P. 679, supra)
Not satisfied with the decision of the Court of Appeals, petitioners come to Us on a
But, the above case of Co Tiamco cannot be applied in this case. In the Co Tiamco
lone assignment of error, that:
case, it was proven that there was indeed a notice to quit or demand to vacate
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DENYING THE PETITION FOR REVIEW served upon the defendants. The notice to vacate was offered and admitted in
AND IN AFFIRMING THE RULING OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT THAT THE evidence. In the case at bar, the complaint was defective because of its failure to
METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT DID NOT ACQUIRE JURISDICTION OVER THE CASE. allege that there was a prior demand to vacate. The defect was not cured because
no evidence of a prior demand to vacate was presented in the trial court. The
It is the contention of petitioners that no further demand to vacate was made by affidavit of Empaynado relied upon by the trial judge to the effect that: "na ako ang
petitioners after the certification to file was issued by the Barangay captain for the tinutukoy ni Marciano Tamis Bandoy dahil di umano'y sa di magandang asal namin na
reason that the case was already certified for court action. Under this situation, any gusto niyang paalisin sa kanyang extension", does not prove that the spouses
further demand to vacate was merely repetitive and unnecessary. demanded that he vacate the premises. What Empaynado admitted in the said
affidavit was that the spouses intended to expel him out of the premises ("gusto
There is no merit in this contention.
niyang paalisin') but has not actually or definitely demanded that he vacate the
It is not disputed that the complaint contains no allegation that there was a prior premises. An intention to oust is different from an actually or definitely demanded to
demand to vacate made by the petitioners upon private respondent. It is a settled vacate. It is the latter which confers jurisdiction upon the municipal court.
rule that "where the complaint contains no allegation that a demand had been made
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DENIED. The decision of respondent Court of Appeals
upon the defendant to vacate the premises but only an allegation that a demand was
is affirmed. No costs.
made for payment of the rentals agreed upon, it is held that such allegation is
insufficient to confer jurisdiction upon a justice of the peace court" (Casilan vs. SO ORDERED.
Tomassi, et al., 10 SCRA 261, 264; Santos vs. Vivas, 96 Phil. 538, 540). The
certification issued by the office of the barangay captain is not conclusive as to the
jurisdiction of the court to which the case was subsequently filed. What was certified
by the barangay captain was that no settlement was reached by the parties in the

36
G.R. No. L-20330 December 22, 1966 more than one year after the alleged unlawful detainer.1 According to petitioner, the
first complaint for ejectment was dismissed on November 23, 1956, while the
ADOLFO RACAZA, petitioner, complaint in this case was not filed until February 19, 1958.
vs.
SUSANA REALTY, INC., respondent. Again, petitioner was ordered evicted; his counterclaim was thrown out for lack of
jurisdiction. It was held that petitioner's illegal possession should be deemed to have
Fortunato M. Ejercito for petitioner. started on December 17, 1957, when the second demand to vacate was made on
Bausa, Ampil and Associates and Alfredo G. Palacol for respondent. him, because the complaint in this case was not intended to revive the one
previously dismissed for lack of prosecution. Since the complaint was filed on
REGALA, J.:
February 19, 1958, jurisdiction over the case was properly acquired by the municipal
Petitioner is the lessee of a portion of a piece of land located at San Juan St., Pasay court. At the same time, it was held that the counterclaim was correctly dismissed as
City, and owned by respondent corporation. He started renting this portion of the lot the amount of the demand (P12,000) was beyond the jurisdiction of the municipal
in 1952 when his wife, Evarista P. Racaza, bought an unfinished house that had been court to grant.
built on it. On assurance of respondent that petitioner's family could stay on the land
Petitioner asked for a reconsideration and, failing to secure one, appealed to the
by paying a monthly rent of P15, petitioner finished the construction of the house
Court of Appeals. First, he contended that the municipal court did not have
and he and his family lived in it. On December 16, 1955, however, petitioner was
jurisdiction because by respondent's own evidence rents had not been paid since
asked to vacate the land because respondent needed it. The demand was followed
July, 1955 and it should be from this date that the one-year period should be
by the filing on February 10, 1956 of a complaint for ejectment in the Municipal
counted. Second, petitioner claimed that, instead of dismissing his counterclaim, the
Court of Pasay City. Petitioner and his family remained in the premises as the case
lower court should have assumed original jurisdiction over it, considering that
was dismissed for failure of respondent to proceed to trial.
evidence to support the counterclaim had been allowed without objection from the
On December 17, 1957, petitioner received another letter from respondent respondent.
demanding anew the surrender of the premises. On February 19, 1958, another
After stating that in actions for unlawful detainer, notice to vacate need not be
ejectment suit was filed against him, the complaint alleging that respondent needed
alleged but may merely be shown by evidence, the appellate court ruled that the one
the lot "for the purpose of constructing improvements thereon and for other uses
year period should not be counted from July, 1955 because the parties had
but that despite repeated demands petitioner refused to leave the premises.
stipulated that petitioner was up to date in the payment of rents. Neither should it
In his answer, petitioner denied that the lease was on a month-to-month basis and be reckoned from November 23, 19562 when the first demand to vacate was made
claimed that his understanding with respondent was that he would be allowed to because it was respondent's privilege, as lessor, to waive the right to bring an action
stay on the premises as long as he paid a monthly rent of P15. As counterclaim, based on the first demand. (Zobel v. Abreu, 98 Phil. 343 [1956]) Rather, the starting
petitioner demanded the payment of P12,000 which he said he had spent to finish point should be December 17, 1958 when the second demand to quit was made by
the construction of his house. respondent because, as held in Cruz vs. Atencio, G.R. No. L-11276, February 28,
1959,
After trial, the court ordered petitioner to vacate the premises and pay P15 a month
until he had done so, even as it dismissed his counterclaim for lack of merit. Where despite the lessee's failure to pay rent after the first demand, the lessor did
not choose to bring an action in court but suffered the lessee to continue occupying
Petitioner appealed to the Court of First Instance of Pasay, reiterating his the land for nearly two years, after which the lessor made a second demand, the
counterclaim. He asked for the dismissal of the complaint on the ground of lack of one-year period for bringing the detainer case in the justice of the peace court
jurisdiction of the municipal court to try it, claiming that the complaint was filed should be counted not from the day the lessee refused the first demand for payment
37
of rent but from the time the second demand for rents and surrender of possession against him even before the expiration of the fifteen or five days provided in Rule 70,
was not complied with. section 2.

On this score, the court overruled petitioner's first assignment of error. Accordingly, upon the expiration of the lease in this case, petitioner became a
deforciant unlawfully withholding possession of the property. There was no need for
But the court found merit in petitioner's other contention that evidence having been a demand to be served on him, except to negate any inference that respondent, as
admitted without objection from respondent, the Court of First Instance, pursuant to lessor, had agreed to an extension of the term of the lease under article 1687 of the
Rule 40, section 11, could take cognizance of the counterclaim in the exercise of its Civil Code.
original jurisdiction. Citing article 1678 of the Civil Code, the court held that
petitioner should be reimbursed one-half of what he had spent in building his house. This brings us to petitioner's next point. As earlier stated, petitioner was twice asked
While petitioner claimed that he had spent P12,000 for the improvement of his to quit the premises. The first was on December 16, 1955, but as pointed out in the
house, the appellate court found that the fair market value of the house was P7,000 beginning, the complaint filed afterwards was dismissed for non-suit. The second
and, on the basis of this amount, awarded P3,500 to petitioner. time he was asked to move out was on December 19, 1958. Petitioner insists that
respondent's cause of action must be deemed to have accrued on December 16,
Still not satisfied, petitioner asked the appellate court to reconsider its decision. 1955. But, as already stated, respondent's action is not based on non-profit of rent
When his motion was denied, he appealed to this Court. coupled with a demand; its action is based on the expiration of the term of the lease
and the demand made by it to vacate the premises merely evidences its
It is contended that respondent's complaint is defective and did not vest jurisdiction
determination not to extend the lease. Moreover, even if the action were based on
in the municipal court because it does not state the date when the alleged unlawful
non-payment of rent, the one-year period should be reckoned from the second
detainer started so as to afford a basis for determining whether the case was filed
notice, on the theory that respondent has the right to waive his action based on the
within a year from the accrual of the cause of action. In this connection, it is claimed
first demand and to let the lessee remain in the premises.
that, according to the evidence, petitioner stopped paying rents in July, 1955 and
that it should be from this date that the one-year period should be counted. Nor is there merit in petitioner's last point that he should have been allowed full
reimbursement for what he had spent by applying to this case article 448 of the Civil
To begin with, this case was brought not on the theory that petitioner, as lessee,
Code. It is now settled that article 448, in relation to article 546, applies only to
failed to pay rents, but on the theory that the lease had expired and that respondent
possessors in good faith and since lessees, like petitioner, are not possessors in good
had asked petitioner to vacate the land. Thus, the complaint states that respondent
faith, because they know that their occupation of the premises continues only during
needs the land but that despite his demands petitioner refused to vacate it. The
the life of the lease, they cannot recover the value of their improvements from the
averment that the lease was on a month-to-month basis is equivalent to an
lessor, much less retain the premises until they are reimbursed. Their rights are
allegation that the lease expired at the end of every month.3 It is therefore
governed by article 1678 which allows reimbursement of lessees up to one-half of
immaterial that rents had not been paid since July, 1955, since what made petitioner
the value of their useful improvements. (Lopez, Inc. vs. Philippine & Eastern Trading
liable for ejectment was the expiration of the lease. This being the case, demand to
Co., 98 Phil. 348 [1956]) The Court of Appeals correctly applied article 1678 to this
vacate was unnecessary. As this Court explained in Co Tiamco v. Diaz, 78 Phil. 672
case.
(1946), Rule 70, section 2 requires previous demand only when the action is "for
failure to pay rent due or to comply with the conditions of his lease." Where the WHEREFORE, the decision appealed from is affirmed, with costs against petitioner.
action is to terminate the lease because of the expiration of its term, no such
demand is necessary.4 In the latter case, upon the expiration of the term of the
lease, the landlord may go into the property and occupy it, and if the lessee refuses
to vacate the premises, an action for unlawful detainer may immediately be brought

38
G.R. No. 112734 July 7, 1994 before February 28, 1990. In the same letter, [petitioners] opted to allow the
defendant to continue occupying the leased premises provided he will agree to
SPOUSES NAZARIO P. PENAS, JR. represented by ELPIDIO R. VIERNES, ATTORNEY-IN- execute a new lease contract for a period of one (1) year at an increased monthly
FACT, petitioners, rental of Two Thousand Five Hundred Pesos (P2,500.00) Pesos, Philippine Currency,
vs. plus two (2) months deposit and, further, gave the [private respondent] up to
COURT OF APPEALS and LUPO CALAYCAY, respondents. February 28, 1990 to decide, otherwise judicial action for unlawful detainer against
the [private respondent] shall ensue. [Petitioners] later finally reduced the monthly
Mark Anthony B. Ploteña for petitioners.
rental to Two Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos, Philippine Currency, only.
David B. Agoncillo for private respondent.
[Private respondent] failed to abide by the demand of the [petitioners]. However, he
continued staying on the leased premises and effective March 1990, he deposited
the monthly rentals in the subject premises with the PNB in his name ITF (in trust for)
PADILLA, J.: spouses Lucila and Nazario Penas, Jr. under Account No. 688930. Prior to such
deposit, [private respondent] together with others, in a letter of March 26, 1990,
The only issue to be resolved in this ejectment case is whether or not the
informed the [petitioners], inter alia, that since [petitioners'] representative refused
Metropolitan Trial Court had jurisdiction over the complaint filed by herein
to accept the rentals, he will deposit the same with a reputable bank and he will
petitioner-spouses represented by their attorney-in-fact Elpidio R. Viernes.
[hold] the same intact for the [petitioners]. There was no instance that [petitioners]
The undisputed facts of the case as summed up by the trial court and adopted by manifested any desire to withdraw the same deposit in the bank.
respondent Court of Appeals are as follows:
On August 10, 1992, plaintiffs through counsel sent another letter to the defendant
Subject of this controversy [are the] premises identified as 24-B Scout Santiago to vacate the subject premises and to pay back rental arrearages in the sum of Two
Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, also identified as 26-B [South] D Street, Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos, Philippine Currency, per month from March 1990 in the
Quezon City. It was the object of a written lease contract executed by the late total sum of Sixty Thousand (P60,000.00) Pesos, Philippine Currency, which
Nazario Penas in favor of [private respondent] Lupo Calaycay on June 26, 1964, at an defendant failed to satisfy.
agreed monthly rental of One Hundred Ten (P110.00) Pesos, Philippine Currency.
Accordingly, on September 25, 1992, after the corresponding Certification to File
The written lease contract was on a month to month basis. Nazario Penas, Sr. died
Action was issued by Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, [petitioners] filed the
on February 5, 1976 and, thereafter, on June 15, 1976, an extra-judicial settlement
present suit for unlawful detainer on the grounds of termination of the month to
of his estate was executed by his surviving heirs, one of whom is his son, Nazario
month lease contract and failure of the defendant to execute a new lease agreement
Penas, Jr. Likewise, after the death of plaintiff's mother Concepcion P. Penas on
with increased rentals. [Petitioners] tried to impress the Court that after they [had]
March 2, 1985, her children including [petitioner] Nazario Penas, Jr. executed an
agreed [to] a new monthly rental of Two Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos, Philippine
extra judicial settlement of her estate. As time [went] on, the monthly rental on the
Currency, [private respondent] refused to enter into a new contract and insisted in
subject premises had been gradually increased by the [petitioners], the latest of
paying at a lower rate; that they gave defendant allowance of more than one (1) year
which was Six Hundred Ninety One and 20/100 (P691.20) Pesos, Philippine Currency.
within which to sign a new contract of lease but still he refused to do so; that even if
In a letter of January 18, 1990, [petitioner]-spouses Penas, through counsel notified conciliation before the barangay is unnecessary as [petitioners] reside abroad, their
the [private respondent] that effective March 1990, they were terminating the attorney-in-fact referred the case to the barangay level. (reference to Annexes
written month to month lease contract as they were no longer interested to renew omitted) 1
the same and demanded from the latter to vacate the premises in question on or

39
The parties were required to submit their respective position papers after which the merely assumes the new rental and cannot be ejected until he defaults in said
Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 33 of Quezon City rendered a decision dated 16 obligation and necessary demand is first made.
March 1993 dismissing herein petitioners' complaint for lack of jurisdiction. The trial
court based its decision on the finding that the complaint was filed more than one The facts of this case do not warrant a departure from said settled doctrine. It should
(1) year after private respondent began unlawfully occupying the premises. be noted that even if the private respondent was depositing rentals in trust for the
petitioners, what was being deposited were rentals at the old rate, which petitioners
On appeal to the Regional Trial Court, the trial court decision was upheld, the RTC were not bound to accept or withdraw. When private respondent elected to remain
ruling that herein petitioners' remedy was converted from an actio de mero hecho to in the premises after petitioners had sent him the letter of 18 January 1990 giving
an accion publiciana since more than one (1) year had elapsed from the demand him the option to vacate by 28 February 1990 or to sign a new lease contract for one
upon defendants to vacate. The Regional Trial Court concluded that herein (1) year at an increased rental rate of P2,500.00 (later reduced to P2,000.00) a
petitioners could initiate a proper complaint with the Regional Trial Court. month, he assumed the new rental rate and could be ejected from the premises only
upon default and by a proper demand from the petitioners. The demand was made
Respondent Court of Appeals in a decision * in CA G.R. SP No. 31480 dated 19 on 10 August 1992, followed by the action for unlawful detainer on 25 September
November 1993 upheld the RTC. The Court of Appeals ruled that since herein 1992.
petitioners were not collecting the rentals being deposited by private respondent,
there no longer was any lease contract between the parties for two (2) years since WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing, the decision of the Court of Appeals in CA G.R.
the first letter of petitioners to private respondent. The Court of Appeals thus agreed SP No. 31480 is hereby SET ASIDE and a new decision rendered:
that the proper remedy of the petitioners is to file an action for recovery of
possession in the Regional Trial Court. 1. Ordering private respondent Lupo Calaycay to immediately vacate the premises
located at 24-B Scout Santiago Street, Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City.
We do not agree with the decision of the Court of Appeals, and hence set it aside.
2. Ordering private respondent Lupo Calaycay to pay back rentals in the amount of
Petitioners correctly cite our ruling in Sy Oh v. Garcia 2 upholding the established rule Two Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos per month from March 1990 until he finally vacates
that the one (1) year period provided for in section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court the leased premises.
within which a complaint for unlawful detainer can be filed should be counted from
the LAST letter of demand to vacate, the reason being that the lessor has the right to 3. Ordering private respondent to pay Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos as
waive his right of action based on previous demands and let the lessee remain attorney's fees.
meanwhile in the premises. 3
Costs against private respondent.
In the present case, it is of note that the first demand letter addressed by petitioners
SO ORDERED.
to private respondent gave the latter the option to either vacate the premises on or
before 28 February 1990 or agree to execute a new lease contract for one (1) year at
an increased rental rate of P2,500 per month. In Vda. de Murga v. Chan 4 we held
that:

The notice giving the lessee the alternative either to pay the increased rental or
otherwise vacate the land is not the demand contemplated by the Rules of Court in
unlawful detainer cases. When after such notice, the lessee elects to stay, he thereby

40
G.R. No. 76656 December 11, 1992 Private respondents then filed an appeal with the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Quezon City. On March 29, 1985, respondent Judge George C. Macli-
SPOUSES EUTIQUIANO CLUTARIO and ARACELI CLUTARIO, petitioners, ing rendered a well-written decision reversing the MTC judgment. Respondent Judge
vs. ruled that petitioners' non-payment of rentals for more than three months and
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, HON. GEORGE C. MACLI-ING, RTC Judge of Quezon City, private respondents' genuine need for the leased premises are sufficient causes for
Branch C (100), and SPOUSES MELQUIADES GANDIA and MARIA V. GANDIA, petitioners' ejectment. The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads:
respondents.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the judgment appealed from is hereby REVERSED
and SET ASIDE, and in lieu thereof, another one is rendered and entered in favor of
the appellants and against the appellees:
ROMERO, J.:
1. Ordering the defendants-appellees and all persons claiming rights under them to
Private respondents, the Spouses Melquiades Gandia and Maria V. Gandia, are the
vacate the premises, identified as the Ground Floor of No. 56 Liberty Avenue,
owners of a two-storey residential apartment located at No. 56 Liberty St., Murphy,
Murphy, Cubao, Quezon City, and restore possession thereof to plaintiffs-appellants.
Cubao, Quezon City. Since 1961, while private respondents have been occupying the
upper storey of the house, petitioners have been staying on the ground floor by 2. Ordering defendants-appellees to pay rental arrearages from June, 1981, at the
virtue of a verbal lease agreement for a monthly rental of P150.00. rate of P150.00 per month, until such arrearages shall have been fully paid and the
premises vacated and possession thereof restored to plaintiffs-appellants.
On May 9, 1980, private respondents, through their counsel, wrote a letter to the
petitioners giving them ninety (90) days to vacate the premises. According to them, 3. Ordering defendants-appellees to pay P2,000.00 as and for attorney's fees; and to
due to their advanced age and failing health, they have decided to occupy the entire pay the costs.
apartment, including the ground floor leased to petitioners. Because petitioners did
not heed the demand letter, private respondents brought the matter to the SO ORDERED.4
Katarungan Pambarangay for settlement, but this did not meet with success.
Another demand letter was sent by private respondents to petitioners on January It was then petitioners' turn to impugn this judgment by filing a petition for review
20, 1981. before the Court of Appeals. In a decision dated September 18, 1986, 5 the
respondent Court of Appeals affirmed the RTC judgment but deleted the award of
In the meantime, it appears that from August 1980, petitioners were in arrears in the attorney's fees to private respondents. Petitioners elevated the case before this
payment of their rentals. On March 4, 1981, private respondents filed a complaint Court, on a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking the
for ejectment against petitioner Araceli Clutario1 before the Metropolitan Trial Court reversal of the Court of Appeals' decision affirming the RTC ruling that they can be
(MTC) of Quezon City citing the following two grounds: (1) their need for the ejected by their lessors, the private respondents.
premises; and (2) non-payment of rentals by petitioners from August 1980. Pending
the proceedings before the MTC, petitioners paid the back rentals from August 1980 The petition is without merit.
until May 1981.
B.P. Blg. 25 (1979), which was the governing law at the time of the filing of the
After trial, the MTC rendered judgment 2 on January 16, 1984 dismissing the complaint and which the parties had to rely on, provides, in section 5, six (6) grounds
complaint on the ground that private respondents "failed to support their causes of for ejectment.6 In seeking to oust petitioners from the leased premises, private
action with substantial evidence."3 respondents invoke two of those six grounds, namely: (1) arrears in payment of rent
for three (3) months at any one time;7 and (2) need of the lessors to repossess their
property for their own use or for the use of any immediate member of their family as

41
residential unit. 8 Petitioners contend that private respondents cannot avail of either Proof of any one of the factors enumerated in section 5 of B.P. Blg. 25 (1979) is
ground. sufficient cause for judicial ejectment of a lessee. Having proved one of such
grounds, i.e., arrears in payment of rent for three (3) months at any one time, private
No longer disputed is the rule that non-payment of rentals is a sufficient ground for respondents may legally eject petitioners without having to prove the other grounds
ejectment.9 Under sec. 5 (b) of B.P. Blg. 25 (1979), the arrears in rent payment must for ejectment. Nevertheless, to bolster their action for ejectment, private
be for at least three (3) months. Petitioners started defaulting on their payments in respondents invoked in their complaint a second ground for ejectment, namely, their
August 1980. On May 15, 1981, they paid P1,500.00 for their rents for the period need for the leased premises. 12
August 1980 to May 15 1981 at the rate of P150.00 per month. By then, they had
been in arrears for nine (9) months. However, petitioners contend that private Petitioners are bound by the established jurisprudence that under B.P. Blg. 25
respondents, by accepting the payment of the back rentals, waived their non- (1979), the need by the lessor of the leased premises for his own use or that of his
payment of rentals for more than three (3) months as a ground for ejectment. immediate family is a valid ground for ejectment. 13 They, however, submit that this
ground for ejectment is not available to private respondents who own, apart from
The contention is without merit. the disputed premises, three other apartment units located at Nos. 56-A, 56-B and
56-C Liberty St., Murphy, Cubao, Quezon City, at least one of which is allegedly
Case law is to the effect that the acceptance by the lessor of the payment by the
available for occupancy by private respondents.
lessee of the rentals in arrears does not constitute a waiver of the default in the
payment of rentals as a valid cause of action for ejectment.10 The Court notes that Indeed, for the lessor to be able to validly eject the lessee on the ground of need for
when petitioners paid the back rentals on May 15, 1981, private respondents had the leased property, it must be shown that there is no other available residential unit
already filed the complaint for ejectment earlier, to be specific, on March 4, 1981. to satisfy that need. 14 The non-availability must exist at the time of the demand by
The conduct of private respondents subsequent to their acceptance of the back the lessor on the lessee to vacate the property. 15 In the instant case, petitioners
rentals belies any intention to waive their right to eject petitioners as a result of the allege that the other apartment units of private respondents are vacant and available
latter's failure to pay the rent for more than three (3) months. They did not enter to the latter for occupancy.16 Private respondents deny this allegation, claiming that
into an amicable settlement with petitioners. Neither did they notify the trial court of the other units were occupied when they gave notice to the petitioners to vacate the
their intention to have the complaint dismissed. Instead, they participated actively in disputed premises, and remain so occupied until now.17 None of the three courts
the proceedings before the MTC during all the time that the case dragged on for which have already adjudicated on the controversy gave credence to petitioners'
almost three years. 11 When the MTC decided adversely against them, private allegation. The MTC which decided in petitioners' favor did not make a finding that
respondents appealed the judgment to the RTC. Not only have they participated the other apartment units of private respondents were available for occupancy by
earnestly in all subsequent proceedings even after they obtained favorable the latter. On the contrary, the respondent Court of Appeals ruled that "the other
judgments from the RTC and the Court of Appeals, but they have likewise been apartments of private respondents were tenanted." 18 The Court finds no cogent
consistent in their position that petitioners should be ejected, not only because they reason to disturb this finding.
need the leased premises, but also because of petitioners' default in the payment of
rentals for more than three (3) months. The MTC, in deciding in favor of petitioners, ruled that private respondents did not
need the disputed premises which is the ground floor of the apartment unit leased
In light of the surrounding circumstances of the case, as well as the prevailing to petitioners, because they were already occupying the upper floor of the unit. The
jurisprudence, the Court rules that the acceptance by private respondents of the relevant portion of the MTC decision reads:
petitioners-lessees' back rentals did not constitute a waiver or abandonment of their
cause of action for ejectment against the latter. On this score, the evidence is clear that the plaintiffs, though owners of the
residential house identified as No. 56 Liberty Avenue, Murphy, Quezon City,
occupying the upper floor thereof, are the only persons living on this upper floor of
42
the house. The only reason advanced by them for needing to repossess the ground In the case at bar, it appears that the decision of private respondents to occupy both
floor or lower part of the house occupied by the defendant, is because the plaintiffs the lower and upper portions of the property sprang not only from mere
are aging and sickly, as according to the plaintiffs' letter (Exh. "B") to the defendant, convenience, but from necessity as well, due to their advanced age and the poor
plaintiffs "personally need that lower portion of the house for personal use and health of respondent Melquiades Gandia. While the upper portion of the premises
occupancy since they are getting older and aggravated by their poor health, they get may have been sufficient to satisfy private respondents' residential needs in 1961
easily tired in going up and downstairs." Obviously, plaintiffs' need of the lower when they leased the lower portion to petitioners, it no longer sufficed in 1980 or
portion of the house is for convenience. It is the view of this Court that when the nineteen (19) years later, when they served the notice to vacate, their personal
framers of Batas Pambansa Blg. 25 included "need of the premises" as a ground for circumstances having drastically changed.
judicial eviction, personal convenience is not intended, because the law states clearly
that the repossession of the property for the use of the owner/lessor (or immediate WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED and the Decision of the Court of Appeals
member) must concur with the other requisites, one of which is that the owner / AFFIRMED.
lessor does not own any other residential unit.
SO ORDERED.
Plaintiffs' position therefore, on this ground, is not only weak but more so not in
accord with the spirit, intent and letter of Batas Pambansa Blg. 25. It may be true
that plaintiffs are sickly and aging but their physical condition is not a legal argument
to effect eviction of the-defendant. 19

The need for the leased premises by the lessor as a valid ground for ejectment has
already been given a liberal interpretation in Caudal v. Court of Appeals, 20 where it
was held that the conversion of the leased property into a servants' quarters was a
legitimate need within the purview of sec. 5 (c) of B.P. Blg. 25 (1979). The Court,
speaking through then Chief Justice Marcelo B. Fernan, made the following
statements:

Observe that the law does not strictly confine the meaning of the word "residence"
mainly for habitation purposes as restrictedly interpreted by petitioner. In a way, the
definition admits a measure of liberality, albeit limited, since a residence may also be
the site of a home industry, or a retail store or be used for business purposes so long
as it is principally used for dwelling purposes. The law in giving greater importance to
the abode being used principally for dwelling purposes, has set the limitation on the
maximum amount of capitalization to P5,000.00, which is small by present
standards.

Thus, if an abode can be used for limited business purposes, we see no reason why it
cannot be used as an abode for persons rendering services usually necessary or
desirable for the maintenance and enjoyment of a home and who personally minister
to the personal comfort and convenience of the members of the houses. 21

43
THIRD DIVISION 3. REMEDIAL LAW; SPECIAL CIVIL ACTION; UNLAWFUL DETAINER; PAYMENT OF BACK
RENTALS DO NOT AUTOMATICALLY RESTORE THE CONTRACT OF LEASE WITHOUT
[G.R. No. 50335. August 7, 1989.] LESSORS CONSENT; CASE AT BAR. — Respondent formally demanded from the
petitioner, the following: (a) to pay the back rentals, and (b) to vacate the premises.
FLORENTINO CURSINO, Petitioner, v. HON. PEDRO JL. BAUTISTA (District Judge, CFI, Undoubtedly, petitioner’s belated payments of his back rentals do not automatically
Branch III, Pasay City), HON. NICANOR J. CRUZ, JR. (Presiding Judge, Mun. Court of restore the contract of lease without private respondent’s consent. The terms of the
Parañaque, MM), and MARIA JAMES, Respondents. contract of lease have been violated and the lessor-owner has the unquestionable
right to withdraw from said contract or agreement whether oral or written. This
Court has consistently ruled that "It is the landlord’s demand for tenant to vacate the
premises, when the tenant has failed to pay the rents on time and tenant’s refusal or
failure to vacate, which make unlawful withholding of possession (Canaynay v.
SYLLABUS
Sarmiento, 79 Phil. 36 [1947]; Desbarats v. Vda. de Laureano, 18 SCRA 116 [1966];
Balucanag v. Francisco, 122 SCRA 498 (1983]). In fact, this Court stressed: "That
consent, no matter how long it may last makes lawful tenants possession. Only when
that consent is withdrawn and the owners demands tenant to leave the property is
1. CIVIL LAW; CONTRACTS; CONTRACT OF LEASE; EFFECT OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE the owner’s right of possession asserted and the tenant’s refusal or failure to move
NO. 20 ON ARTICLE 1673 OF THE CIVIL CODE; PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 20 out makes his possession unlawful because it is violative of the owner’s preferential
SUSPENDS PARAGRAPH I OF ARTICLE 1673 AS A GROUND FOR EJECTMENT NOT THE right of possession" (Canaynay v. Sarmiento, supra). In the case at bar, respondent-
OTHER PROVISIONS OF THE CIVIL CODE AND THE RULES OF COURT. — Under lessor did not consent to petitioner’s possession of the leased premises after the
Presidential Decree No. 20, it is very clear that only paragraph (1) of Article 1673 of latter’s default in the payment of the monthly rents. On the contrary, respondent
the Civil Code which refers to expiration of leases of dwelling unit or land for an demanded that petitioner pay the back rental and vacate the premises. The refusal
indefinite period, as ground for ejectment, is suspended but not the other provisions of the petitioner to vacate the premises after demand, makes his withholding of
of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court. In fact, this Court has categorically ruled that possession unlawful.
P.D. No. 20 suspended ejectment when the lease is for an indefinite period. It did not
suspend ejectment on other grounds like lack of payment of the rental stipulated
(Velez v. Avelino, 127 SCRA 602 (1984]).

DECISION
2. ID.; ID.; ID.; FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUISITE OF ARTICLE 1256 OF THE
CIVIL CODE (CONSIGNATION) BELIES LESSEE’S CLAIM OF NON-DEFAULT IN PAYMENT
OF RENTALS; CASE AT BAR. — Petitioner’s insistence that he has not defaulted in the
payment of rents because it was private respondent who refused to accept the
same, will not help the former. As ruled by this Court, "The failure of the owners to BIDIN, J.:
collect, or their refusal to accept the rentals are not valid defenses. Article 1256 of
the Civil Code provides that if the creditor to whom tender of payment has been
made refuses without just cause to accept it, the debtor shall be released from
responsibility by the consignation of the thing or sum due." (Velez v. Avelino, supra).
This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to reverse and set aside (a) the
Petitioner failed to comply with the requisite consignation.
decision of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal ** (now Regional Trial Court)

44
dated October 30, 1978 in Civil Case No. Pq-6364-P affirming in toto the decision of detainer dated December 27, 1977 was filed by respondent before the then
the then Municipal Court of Parañaque *** (now Metropolitan Trial Court) dated Municipal Court of Parañaque. After hearing, the court rendered its decision (Rollo,
April 17, 1978 in Civil Case No. 3809 entitled Maria James v. Florentino Cursino", pp. 32-38) dated April 17, 1978 in favor of private respondent (the plaintiff herein),
ordering defendant(herein petitioner) and all persons claiming under him to vacate the dispositive portion of which reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph
plaintiffs (herein private respondent) leased premises and to pay monthly rentals,
attorney’s fees and costs of suit, and (b) the order of the then Court of First Instance "WHEREFORE, Decision is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the
dated February 28, 1979 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. defendant, ordering the latter and all persons claiming under him to vacate plaintiffs
premises situated at 17 De Marzo Street, Baclaran, Parañaque, Metro Manila;
The factual background of this case as quoted from the decision of the Court of First ordering the defendant to pay plaintiff the amount of Pl00.00 representing rental for
Instance of Rizal, Branch III, Pasay City, is as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph the month of March and to pay the same monthly rental of P100.00 commencing
April, 1978 until such time that defendant and all persons claiming under him shall
"From the record of this case, it appears that plaintiff is the lawful owner and lessor have completely vacated plaintiffs premises; ordering the defendant to pay plaintiff
of the premises located at 4143 17 de Marzo St., Baclaran, Parañaque, leased by the amount of ONE THOUSAND (P1,000.00) PESOS as and for attorney’s fees and to
defendant at a monthly rental of Pl00.00, payable within the first five days of each pay the costs of this suit." (Rollo, p. 38)
month; that defendant defaulted in the payment of his monthly rental for the
months of October, November and December, 1977; that defendant sent two (2) Not satisfied with the decision, petitioner appealed to the then Court of First
postal money orders, both dated December 21, 1977, one bearing Money Order No. Instance of Rizal which on October 30, 1978, rendered a decision (Rollo, pp. 40-43)
1162-55 in the amount of P200.00 as payment for the months of October and affirming in toto the decision of the municipal court with double costs against
November, 1977, and the other bearing Money Order No. E-1162-56 in the amount petitioner.
of P100.00 for the December 1977 rental; that prior to the sending of said postal
money orders, plaintiff on December 14, 1977 demanded that defendant pay the Petitioner moved for the reconsideration of the decision (Rollo, p. 44-53), but the
back rental and vacate the premises at 4143 17 de Marzo St., Baclaran, Parañaque, same was denied with treble costs against petitioner in an order dated February 28,
‘within a period of five (5) days from receipt of this letter’ (Exh.’A’); that despite the 1979 (Rollo, pp. 54-55).
formal demand, defendant failed and refused to vacate the subject premises without
justifiable cause; that by reason thereof, plaintiff was constrained to secure the Hence, this instant petition filed on May 15, 1979 (Rollo, pp. 10-23).
services of counsel and incurred expenses in this litigation.
Petitioner submits the following reasons for the allowance of the
"The defendant contends that he has not defaulted in the payment of rents and that petition:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library
it was the plaintiff who refused to accept the same. As a matter of fact, defendant
claims that he sent Postal Money Order No. E-1162-55 dated December 21, 1977 in FIRST REASON
the amount of P200.00 as rental payment for the months of October and November
1977, and another Postal Money Order No. E-1162-56 also dated December 21, LIKE THE TRIAL COURT, RESPONDENT HON. PEDRO JL. BAUTISTA OF THE COURT OF
1977 in the amount of P100.00 for the December 1977 rental. It is further FIRST INSTANCE OF RIZAL, BRANCH III COMMITTED GRAVE ERROR IN THE
contended that since the lease of the subject dwelling place is only for Pl00.00 a INTERPRETATION AND APPLICATION OF SECTION 2, RULE 70, RULES OF COURT.
month, it is ‘protected under Section 1 and 4 of Presidential Decree No. 20.’" (Rollo,
pp. 40-41). SECOND REASON

Petitioner did not vacate the premises as demanded and so a complaint for unlawful RESPONDENT JUDGE BAUTISTA COMMITTED GRAVE ERROR IN RULING THAT IRE
45
PROVISIONS OF PRESIDENTIAL DECREE NO. 20, MORE SPECIFICALLY PARAGRAPHS 1 provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court. In fact, this Court has
and 4, ARE NOT APPLICABLE TO THE CASE AT BAR. categorically ruled that P.D. No. 20 suspended ejectment when the lease is for an
indefinite period. It did not suspend ejectment on other grounds like lack of payment
THIRD REASON of the rental stipulated (Velez v. Avelino, 127 SCRA 602 (1984]).

RESPONDENT JUDGE BAUTISTA COMMITTED GRAVE ERROR IN RULING THAT In the same manner, petitioner’s insistence that he has not defaulted in the payment
PARAGRAPH 2, ARTICLE 1673 OF THE CIVIL CODE OF THE PHILIPPINES IS THE of rents because it was private respondent who refused to accept the same, will not
APPLICABLE LAW IN THE CASE AT BAR." (Rollo, p.14) help the former. As ruled by this Court, "The failure of the owners to collect, or their
refusal to accept the rentals are not valid defenses. Article 1256 of the Civil Code
In a resolution dated June 20, 1979 (Rollo, p. 62), the petition was given due course provides that if the creditor to whom tender of payment has been made refuses
and both parties were required to submit simultaneous memoranda. On November without just cause to accept it, the debtor shall be released from responsibility by
5, 1979, respondent Maria James submitted her memorandum (Rollo, pp. 70-73), the consignation of the thing or sum due." (Velez v. Avelino, supra). Petitioner failed
while in a manifestation dated October 31, 1979 (Rollo, pp. 74-75), petitioner to comply with the requisite consignation.
adopted the petition as his memorandum. In the resolution of November 19, 1979
(Rollo, p. 77), the Court resolved to declare this case submitted for decision. But petitioner further argues that in spite of his payment of back rentals within five
days from receipt of the demand letter, private respondent filed the complaint for
The issue is whether or not respondent Maria James still has a cause of action ejectment which allegedly is contrary to the provision of Section 2, Rule 70 of the
against the petitioner after she received and accepted the rentals for October, Rules of Court.
November and December 1977 at the time of filing of the instant case. Otherwise
stated, is the possession of the lessee legitimized by the lessor’s acceptance of the Such argument is untenable.
payment of back rentals?
It will be recalled that private respondent formally demanded from the petitioner,
The answer is in the negative. the following: (a) to pay the back rentals, and (b) to vacate the premises.chanrobles
lawlibrary : rednad
Private respondent exercised two unquestionable prerogatives of the owner-lessor
when a tenant-lessee defaults in the payment of the rent, i.e., to demand that: (a) Petitioner was able to pay the back rentals but refused to vacate the premises.
the back rentals be paid, and (b) the premises be vacated. Undoubtedly, petitioner’s belated payments of his back rentals do not automatically
restore the contract of lease without private respondent’s consent. The terms of the
The records show that petitioner has defaulted in the payment of his rentals for the contract of lease have been violated and the lessor-owner has the unquestionable
months of October, November and December, 1977; that although he paid the same right to withdraw from said contract or agreement whether oral or written. This
on December 22, 1977 after receipt of private respondent’s demand letter, he has Court has consistently ruled that "It is the landlord’s demand for tenant to vacate the
not paid them on time, the due date being on the first five (5) days of each month premises, when the tenant has failed to pay the rents on time and tenant’s refusal or
(Rollo, p. 58); and that petitioner refused to vacate the premises on the ground that failure to vacate, which make unlawful withholding of possession (Canaynay v.
he is protected under Sections 1 and 4 of Presidential Decree No. 20 (Rollo, p. 41). Sarmiento, 79 Phil. 36 [1947]; Desbarats v. Vda. de Laureano, 18 SCRA 116 [1966];
Balucanag v. Francisco, 122 SCRA 498 (1983]). In fact, this Court stressed: "That
Under Presidential Decree No. 20, it is very clear that only paragraph (1) of Article consent, no matter how long it may last makes lawful tenants possession. Only when
1673 of the Civil Code which refers to expiration of leases of dwelling unit or land for that consent is withdrawn and the owners demands tenant to leave the property is
an indefinite period, as ground for ejectment, is suspended but not the other the owner’s right of possession asserted and the tenant’s refusal or failure to move
46
out makes his possession unlawful because it is violative of the owner’s preferential
right of possession" (Canaynay v. Sarmiento, supra). In the case at bar, respondent-
lessor did not consent to petitioner’s possession of the leased premises after the
latter’s default in the payment of the monthly rents. On the contrary, respondent
demanded that petitioner pay the back rental and vacate the premises. The refusal
of the petitioner to vacate the premises after demand, makes his withholding of
possession unlawful.

WHEREFORE, the assailed decision and order of the then Court of First Instance of
Rizal is Affirmed in toto.

47
G.R. No. 77648 August 7, 1989 Petitioner vs. Hon. Conrado T. Limcaoco, Presiding Judge, Regional Trial Court of
Manila, Branch Ederlina Navalta, et. al., respondents.
CETUS DEVELOPMENT, INC., petitioner,
vs. The following facts appear in the records:
COURT OF APPEALS and ONG TENG, respondents.
The private respondents, Ederlina Navalta, Ong Teng, Jose Liwanag, Leandro Canlas,
G.R. No. 77647 August 7, 1989 Victoria Sudario, and Flora Nagbuya were the lessees of the premises located at No.
512 Quezon Boulevard, Quiapo, Manila, originally owned by the Susana Realty. These
CETUS DEVELOPMENT, INC., petitioner, individual verbal leases were on a month-to month basis at the following rates:
vs. Ederlina Navalta at the rate of P80.50; Ong Teng at the rate of P96.10; Jose Liwanag
COURT OF APPEALS and EDERLINA NAVALTA, respondents. at the rate of P40.35; Leandro Canlas at the rate of P80.55; Victoria Sudario at the
rate of P50.45 and Flora Nagbuya at the rate of P80.55. The payments of the rentals
G.R. No. 77649 August 7, 1989
were paid by the lessees to a collector of the Susana Realty who went to the
CETUS DEVELOPMENT, INC., petitioner, premises monthly.
vs.
Sometime in March, 1984, the Susana Realty sold the leased premises to the
COURT OF APPEALS and JOSE LIWANAG, respondents.
petitioner, Cetus Development, Inc., a corporation duly organized and existing under
G.R. No. 77650 August 7, 1989 the laws of the Philippines. From April to June, 1984, the private respondents
continued to pay their monthly rentals to a collector sent by the petitioner. In the
CETUS DEVELOPMENT, INC., petitioner, succeeding months of July, August and September 1984, the respondents failed to
vs. pay their monthly individual rentals as no collector came.
COURT OF APPEALS and LEANDRO CANLAS, respondents.
On October 9, 1984, the petitioner sent a letter to each of the private respondents
G.R. No. 77651 August 7, 1989 demanding that they vacate the subject premises and to pay the back rentals for the
months of July, August and September, 1984, within fifteen (15) days from the
CETUS DEVELOPMENT, INC., petitioner,
receipt thereof. Immediately upon the receipt of the said demand letters on October
vs.
10, 1984, the private respondents paid their respective arrearages in rent which
COURT OF APPEALS and VICTORIA SUDARIO respondents.
were accepted by the petitioner subject to the unilateral condition that the
G.R. No.77652 August 7, 1989 acceptance was without prejudice to the filing of an ejectment suit. Subsequent
monthly rental payments were likewise accepted by the petitioner under the same
CETUS DEVELOPMENT, INC., petitioner, condition.
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and FLORA NAGBUYA respondents. For failure of the private respondents to vacate the premises as demanded in the
letter dated October 9, 1984, the petitioner filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Manila complaints for ejectment against the manner, as follows: (1) 105972-CV,
against Ederlina Navalta (2) 105973-CV, against Jose Liwanag; (3) 105974-CV, against
MEDIALDEA, J.: Flora Nagbuya; (4) 105975-CV, against Leandro Canlas; (5) 105976-CV, against
Victoria Sudario and (6) 105977-CV, against Ong Teng.
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision dated January 30, 1987 of
the Court of Appeals in CA-GR Nos. SP-07945-50 entitled, "Cetus Development, Inc.,
48
In their respective answers, the six (6) private respondents interposed a common SO ORDERED. (pp. 32-33, Rollo, G.R. No. 77647)
defense. They claimed that since the occupancy of the premises they paid their
monthly rental regularly through a collector of the lessor; that their non-payment of Not satisfied with the decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court, the petitioner
the rentals for the months of July, August and September, 1984, was due to the appealed to the Regional Trial Court of Manila and the same was assigned to Branch
failure of the petitioner (as the new owner) to send its collector; that they were at a IX thereof presided over by Judge Conrado T. Limcaoco (now Associate Justice of the
loss as to where they should pay their rentals; that sometime later, one of the Court of Appeals).lâwphî1.ñèt In its decision dated November 19, 1985, the Regional
respondents called the office of the petitioner to inquire as to where they would Trial Court dismissed the appeal for lack of merit.
make such payments and he was told that a collector would be sent to receive the
In due time, a petition for review of the decision of the Regional Trial Court was filed
same; that no collector was ever sent by the petitioner; and that instead they
by the petitioner with the Court of Appeals. Said petition was dismissed on January
received a uniform demand letter dated October 9, 1984.
30, 1987, for lack of merit.
The private respondents, thru counsel, later filed a motion for consolidation of the
Aggrieved by the decision of the Court of Appeals, petitioner now comes to Us in this
six cases and as a result thereof, the said cases were consolidated in the
petition, assigning the following errors:
Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila, Branch XII, presided over by Judge Eduardo S.
Quintos, Jr. On June 4, 1985, the trial court rendered its decision dismissing the six ASSIGNMENT OF ERRORS
cases, a pertinent portion of which reads, as follows:
I
The records of this case show that at the time of the filing of this complaint, the
rentals had all been paid. Hence, the plaintiff cannot eject the defendants from the RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION,
leased premises, because at the time these cases were instituted, there are no AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THE
rentals in arrears. CAUSE OF ACTION FOR UNLAWFUL DETAINER IN THESE CASES DID NOT EXIST WHEN
THE COMPLAINTS WERE FILED BECAUSE PRIVATE RESPONDENTS TENDERED, AND
The acceptance of the back rental by the plaintiff before the filing of the complaint, PETITIONER ACCEPTED, THE PAYMENT OF THE THREE (3) MONTHS RENTAL IN
as in these case, the alleged rental arrearages were paid immediately after receipt of ARREARS WITHIN THE FIFTEEN (15) DAY PERIOD FROM PRIVATE RESPONDENTS'
the demand letter, removes its cause of action in an unlawful detainer case, even if RECEIPT OF PETITIONER'S DEMAND LETTERS TO VACATE THE SUBJECT PREMISES
the acceptance was without prejudice. AND TO PAY THE RENTALS IN ARREARS.

x x x. II

Furthermore, the court has observed that the account involved which constitutes RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVEABUSE OF DISCRETION,
the rentals of the tenants are relatively small to which the ejectment may not lie on AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION COMMITTED A GRAVE WHEN IT ERRED IN
grounds of equity and for humanitarian reasons. AFFIRMING THE DISMISSAL OF THE COMPLAINTS IN THESE CASES
NOTWITHSTANDING THE EXISTENCE OF VALID GROUNDS FOR THE JUDICIAL
Defendants' counterclaim for litigation expenses has no legal and factual basis for
EJECTMENT OF PRIVATE RESPONDENT.
assessing the same against plaintiff.
III
WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered dismissing these cases, without
pronouncement as to costs. RESPONDENT COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION,
AMOUNTING TO LACK OF JURISDICTION, WHEN IT ERRED IN HOLDING THAT THESE
Defendants' counterclaim is likewise dismissed.

49
CASES ARE CLASSIC EXAMPLES TO CIRCUMVENT THE RENT CONTROL LAW. (pp. 164- As to whether this demand is merely a demand to pay rent or comply with the
165, Rollo, G.R. No. 77647) conditions of the lease or also a demand to vacate, the answer can be gleaned from
said Section 2. This section presupposes the existence of a cause of action for
The Court of Appeals defined the basic issue in this case as follows: whether or not unlawful detainer as it speaks of "failure to pay rent due or comply with the
there exists a cause of action when the complaints for unlawful detainer were filed conditions of the lease." The existence of said cause of action gives the lessor the
considering the fact that upon demand by petitioner from private respondents for right under Article 1659 of the New Civil Code to ask for the rescission of the
payment of their back rentals, the latter immediately tendered payment which was contract of lease and indemnification for damages, or only the latter, allowing the
accepted by petitioner. contract to remain in force. Accordingly, if the option chosen is for specific
performance, then the demand referred to is obviously to pay rent or to comply with
In holding that there was no cause of action, the respondent Court relied on Section
the conditions of the lease violated. However, if rescission is the option chosen, the
2, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, which provides:
demand must be for the lessee to pay rents or to comply with the conditions of the
Sec. 2. Landlord to proceed against tenant only after demand. — No landlord or his lease and to vacate. Accordingly, the rule that has been followed in our
legal representative or assign, shall be such action against a tenant for failure to pay jurisprudence where rescission is clearly the option taken, is that both demands to
rent due or to comply with the conditions of his lease, unless the tenant shall have pay rent and to vacate are necessary to make a lessee a deforciant in order that an
failed to pay such rent or comply with such conditions for a period of fifteen (15) ejectment suit may be filed (Casilan et al. vs. Tomassi, L-16574, February 28,1964, 10
days or five (5) days in case of building, after demand therefor, made upon qqqm SCRA 261; Rickards vs. Gonzales, 109 Phil. 423, Dikit vs. Icasiano, 89 Phil.
personally, or by serving written notice of such demand upon the person found on 44).lâwphî1.ñèt
the premises, or by posting such notice on the premises if no persons be found
Thus, for the purpose of bringing an ejectment suit, two requisites must concur,
thereon.
namely: (1) there must be failure to pay rent or comply with the conditions of the
It interpreted the said provision as follows: lease and (2) there must be demand both to pay or to comply and vacate within the
periods specified in Section 2, Rule 70, namely 15 days in case of lands and 5 days in
.....the right to bring an action of ejectment or unlawful detainer must be counted case of buildings. The first requisite refers to the existence of the cause of action for
from the time the defendants failed to pay rent after the demand therefor. It is not unlawful detainer while the second refers to the jurisdictional requirement of
the failure per se to pay rent as agreed in the contract, but the failure to pay the rent demand in order that said cause of action may be pursued.
after a demand therefor is made, that entitles the lessor to bring an action for
unlawful detainer. In other words, the demand contemplated by the above-quoted It is very clear that in the case at bar, no cause of action for ejectment has accrued.
provision is not a demand to vacate, but a demand made by the landlord upon his There was no failure yet on the part of private respondents to pay rents for three
tenant for the latter to pay the rent due if the tenant fails to comply with the said consecutive months. As the terms of the individual verbal leases which were on a
demand with the period provided, his possession becomes unlawful and the landlord month-to-month basis were not alleged and proved, the general rule on necessity of
may then bring the action for ejectment. (p. 28, , G.R. No. 77647) demand applies, to wit: there is default in the fulfillment of an obligation when the
creditor demands payment at the maturity of the obligation or at anytime
We hold that the demand required and contemplated in Section 2, aforequoted, is a thereafter. This is explicit in Article 1169, New Civil Code which provides that "(t)hose
jurisdictional requirement for the purpose of bringing an unlawful detainer suit for obliged to deliver or to do something incur in delay from the time the obligee
failure to pay rent or comply with the conditions of lease. It partakes of an judicially or extrajudicially demands from them the fulfillment of their obligation."
extrajudicial remedy that must be pursued before resorting for judicial action so Petitioner has not shown that its case falls on any of the following exceptions where
much so that when there is full compliance with the demand, there arises no demand is not required: (a) when the obligation or the law so declares; (b) when
necessity for court action. from the nature and circumstances of the obligation it can be inferred that time is of

50
the essence of the contract; and (c) when demand would be useless, as when the their rentals as the delay in paying the same was not imputable to them. Rather, it
obligor has rendered it beyond his power to perform. was attributable to petitioner's omission or neglect to collect.

The demand required in Article 1169 of the Civil Code may be in any form, provided Petitioner also argues that neither is its refused to accept the rentals a defense for
that it can be proved. The proof of this demand lies upon the creditor. Without such non-payment as Article 1256 provides that "[i]f the creditor to whom the tender of
demand, oral or written, the effects of default do not arise. This demand is different payment has been made refuses without just cause to accept it, the debtor shall be
from the demand required under Section 2, Rule 70, which is merely a jurisdictional released from responsibility by the consignation of the thing due." It bears emphasis
requirement before an existing cause of action may be pursued. that in this case there was no unjustified refusal on the part of petitioner or non-
acceptance without reason that would constitute mora accipiendi and warrant
The facts on record fail to show proof that petitioner demanded the payment of the consignation. There was simply lack of demand for payment of the rentals.
rentals when the obligation matured. Coupled with the fact that no collector was
sent as previously done in the past, the private respondents cannot be held guilty of In sum, We hold that respondent Court of Appeals did not commit grave abuse of
mora solvendi or delay in the payment of rentals. Thus, when petitioner first discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in its conclusion affirming the trial court's
demanded the payment of the 3-month arrearages and private respondents lost no decision dismissing petitioner's complaint for lack of cause of action. We do not
time in making tender and payment, which petitioner accepted, no cause of action agree, however, with the reasons relied upon.
for ejectment accrued. Hence, its demand to vacate was premature as it was an
exercise of a non-existing right to rescind. ACCORDINGLY, the petition for review on certiorari is hereby DENIED for lack of
merit and the decision dated January 30, 1987 of respondent Court of Appeals is
In contradistinction, where the right of rescission exists, payment of the arrearages hereby AFFIRMED.
in rental after the demand to pay and to vacate under Section 2, Rule 70 does not
extinguish the cause of action for ejectment as the lessor is not only entitled to SO ORDERED.
recover the unpaid rents but also to eject the lessee.

Petitioner correctly argues that acceptance of tendered payment does not constitute
a waiver of the cause of action for ejectment especially when accepted with the
written condition that it was "without prejudice to the filing of an ejectment suit".
Indeed, it is illogical or ridiculous not to accept the tender of payment of rentals
merely to preserve the right to file an action for unlawful detainer. However, this line
of argument presupposes that a cause of action for ejectment has already accrued,
which is not true in the instant case.

Petitioner likewise claims that its failure to send a collector to collect the rentals
cannot be considered a valid defense for the reason that sending a collector is not
one of the obligations of the lessor under Article 1654. While it is true that a lessor is
not obligated to send a collector, it has been duly established that it has been
customary for private respondents to pay the rentals through a collector. Besides
Article 1257, New Civil Code provides that where no agreement has been designated
for the payment of the rentals, the place of payment is at the domicile of the
defendants. Hence, it could not be said that they were in default in the payment of

51
G.R. No. 75676 August 29, 1990 pay petitioner P5,000.00 as attorney's fees and another P5,000.00 as moral and
exemplary damages.
MANUEL CO KENG KIAN, petitioner,
vs. Plaza Arcade, Inc. appealed to the Regional Trial Court which initially reversed the
HONORABLE INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT (Fourth Special Cases Division) and decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court, but on motion for reconsideration by
PLAZA ARCADE, Inc., respondents. petitioner, affirmed the dismissal of the ejectment case in its order of October 9,
1985. 1
Rogelio L. Orio for petitioner.
A petition for review was filed with the then Intermediate Appellate Court. In its
Perfecto V. Fernandez for private respondent. decision dated July 3, 1988 the Appellate Court overturned the appealed order of the
trial court which had earlier sustained the dismissal of the ejectment case. Motion
for reconsideration having been denied, the aforesaid decision of the Appellate
FERNAN, C.J.: Court was elevated to this Court on a petition for review on certiorari.

The legal issue raised in this petition is whether the notice to vacate required to be In reversing the dismissal order, the Appellate Court took the lower courts to task for
served on the lessee under Section 2, Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court in order taking a rather constricted view of Section 2, Rule 70, and declaring that the service
to confer jurisdiction on the Metropolitan Trial Court in an action for ejectment, may of demand letters to vacate on the lessee is strictly limited to the three (3) modes
be served by registered mail. enumerated therein. They failed to note the common practice of serving said notices
on the tenant by registered mail with return card so that the registry receipt and the
On February 23, 1982, a complaint for ejectment against petitioner Manuel Co Keng receipt thereof by the addressee through the return card could be presented in
Kian was filed by private respondent Plaza Arcade, Inc., alleging that despite the evidence to prove the fact of delivery, in the event of a litigation.
expiration of the written contract of lease over a portion of the ground floor of the
former Manila Times Building, petitioner refused to vacate the premises and to pay We agree and in our opinion the facts in the instant case indicate personal service on
the monthly rentals notwithstanding receipt of several letters of demand, the last of the lessee. In arriving at this conclusion, we have been greatly aided by respondent's
which was sent to petitioner by registered mail. citation of American cases which, by and large, represents a practical, if not realistic,
approach to the problem.
During the pendency of the trial before the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila or on
August 27, 1982, petitioner voluntarily vacated the disputed premises, turning over In the cases of Nunlist vs. Motter,2 and Gehring vs. Swoll 3 the Court held that where
the key to the clerk of court but without paying the accrued rent. the notice to leave the premises is transmitted by registered mail with a return card
and thereafter the receipt bearing the signature of the defendant was returned, a
On May 17, 1984, the inferior court rendered its judgment dismissing the ejectment prima facie case is established of the fact of delivery of said notice to the defendant
case for lack of jurisdiction. It refused to give probative value to the three letters of personally by the Postal Office Department although he refused to accept the same.
demand to vacate which were all sent to petitioner and which he refused to receive. 4
Indeed, notice by registered mail is considered an effective service on the person
The court held that since none of the demand letters was served (1) personally, or concerned. It cannot be avoided by the mere expediency of declining to accept
(2) by written notice of such demand upon a person found on the premises, or (3) by delivery after notification thereof. The service is deemed complete regardless of
posting such notice on the premises if no person can be found thereon pursuant to such refusal to accept if the addressee fails to claim his mail from the postal office
the provisions of Section 2, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, there was no valid demand. after the lapse of five (5) days from the date of the first notice of the postmaster. 5
If none was made, the case came within the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court
and not the Metropolitan Trial Court. Whereupon, it ordered Plaza Arcade, Inc. to

52
In conclusion, we stress that the notice to vacate the leased premises, required by
the Rules to be served on the tenant before a forcible entry or unlawful detainer
action can be commenced against him, may be served by registered mail. This is a
substantial compliance with the modes of service enumerated under Section 2, Rule
70 of the Revised Rules of Court.

At this juncture it bears repeating that actions for forcible entry and unlawful
detainer are summary in nature because they involve a disturbance of social order
which must be abated as promptly as possible without any undue reliance on
technical and procedural rules which only cause delays. In the ultimate analysis, it
matters not how the notice to vacate was conveyed, so long as the lessee or his
agent has personally received the written demand, whether handed to him by the
lessor, his attorney, a messenger or even a postman. The undisputed facts in the
instant case show that the Manila Times Publishing Company, through its manager,
had informed petitioner that Plaza Arcade Inc. was the new owner of the subject
building; that on October 18, 1979, a demand letter was sent to petitioner advising
him to leave the premises but petitioner refused to receive the letter; that a second
demand on January 12, 1981 elicited the same reaction; that a final demand dated
November 16, 1981 was sent to petitioner by registered mail which he again refused.
And even on the supposition that there was no personal service as claimed by
petitioner, this could only be due to petitioner's blatant attempts at evasion which
compelled the new landlord to resort to registered mail. The Court cannot
countenance an unfair situation where the plaintiff in an eviction case suffers further
injustice by the unwarranted delay resulting from the obstinate refusal of the
defendant to acknowledge the existence of a valid demand.

WHEREFORE, the petition is denied for lack of merit and the assailed decision of the
Court of Appeals reversing the dismissal order of the trial court is affirmed. Civil Case
No. 071279-CV is hereby ordered reinstated in the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Manila, Branch 7. This decision is immediately executory. Costs against petitioner.

So ordered.

53
G.R. No. 81015 July 4, 1991 Sometime in October, 1983, Victor and his wife left for Ontario, Canada and did not
return to the Philippines until February, 1985. They left the apartment in the care of
CRESENCIO VIRAY and BENJAMIN D. DE ASIS, petitioners, their son, Ramon.
vs.
HON. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT and RUSTICO VICTOR, respondents. Believing that the Victor spouses had abandoned the apartment — they having been
away for more than a year, and the place being occupied by Ramon Victor, an
Benjamin D. De Asis for petitioners. unauthorized stranger — De Asis brought suit in the Metropolitan Trial Court in
Efren L. Cordero for private respondent. December, 1984 to evict the latter. But as aforestated, the spouses returned in
February, 1985, and on their representation that they did not mean to give up the
apartment, the case was dismissed on joint motion of the parties dated March 12,
1985.2
NARVASA, J.:
It seems, however, that Rustico Victor did not re-occupy the apartment but
It is about a written lease agreement that the case at bar turns. The lease concerns continued to leave it in the care of his son, Ramon. Later, in the second week of
residential premises identified as Apartment A at 1836 Sulu Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila. October 1985, Ramon himself left for Canada. He asked his brother, Roldan, to look
Said lease was executed on April 1, 1981 by the owner of the place, Benjamin de after the place. But Roldan Victor did not actually move into the apartment; all he did
Asis, and Rustico Victor, as lessee.1 The agreement included stipulations (a) fixing the was to install a padlock at the main door, visit the place once a week, and sleep there
term of the lease and (b) governing the lessors right of repossession, viz.: occasionally.3

(a. Term of Lease) When De Asis learned of this state of affairs sometime in December, 1985, he went
to the place to see for himself if it was true. He saw there was nobody in the
2. The term of this lease shall be for a period of three (3) months and shall be apartment, but he could not get inside because it was locked. De Asis then caused
impliedly renewable from month to month under the same terms and conditions, the cutting off of the electrical and water service connections and, on the following
unless revised by the parties in writing with previous notice to each other of at least day, posted at the main door of the apartment a notice of termination of the lease,
fifteen (15) days. on the ground of abandonment and failure to pay rentals in accordance with the
contract. He could not serve the notice of termination directly on the lessee since he
(b. Repossession by Lessor)
did not know where the latter was.
7. Upon failure of the Lessee to comply with any of the terms and conditions of this
In the first week of January, 1986, De Asis returned to the apartment and noted that
lease, as well as such other terms and conditions which may be imposed by the
the termination notice he had posted at the door was no longer there. He posted
Lessor prior to and/or upon renewal of this lease agreement as provided in par. 2
another notice, this time announcing that he would repossess the place after five (5)
above, then the Lessor shall have the right, upon five (5) days written notice to the
days in order to secure it from fire, repair it to preserve its value, and inventory such
Lessee or in his absence, upon written notice posted at the entrance of the premises
of the lessee's things as were inside which might thereafter be claimed at his
leased, to enter and take possession of the said premises holding in his trust and
residence in Quezon City.4
custody and such possessions and belongings of the Lessee found therein after an
inventory of the same in the presence of a witness, all these acts being hereby De Asis also wrote on January 2, 1986 to the local barangay captain requesting his
agreed to by the Lessee as tantamount to his voluntary vacation of the leased presence at the premises on January 5, 1986 at which time he intended to open and
premises without the necessity of suit in court. repossess the apartment. On January 5, 1986, as announced, and in the presence of
the barangay authorities, De Asis had the door of the apartment opened by a
A duplicate original of the contract was given to the lessee, Rustico Victor.
54
carpenter, and hauled to his residence the things found inside after making an The Court gave the petition due course by Resolution dated June 28, 1989 and
inventory of them. Thereafter, he made repairs on the apartment at a cost of required the parties to submit memoranda. The petitioners submitted their
P13,108.00, and then leased it to Cresencio C. Viray.5 memorandum on August 23, 1989. No memorandum was filed by or in behalf of
Rustico Victor within the time appointed.
Not long afterwards an action of forcible entry was instituted in the Metropolitan
Trial Court against De Asis and his new lessee, Viray, by Roldan Victor in behalf and in It is indisputable that the parties' written agreement created a lease on a month-to-
the name of his father, Rustico. The action was docketed as Civil Case No. 11635-CV month basis. Such a lease, therefore, must be construed, by established doctrine, 10
and resulted in a judgment rendered on December 29, 1986 "against the defendants as providing a definite period and as terminable by notice at the end of any given
. . De Asis (owner-lessor) and Sgt. C. Viray (present occupant) ordering the said month.
defendants to restore plaintiff to the possession and enjoyment of the leased
premises at No. 1836-A Sulu Street, Sta. Cruz, Manila and to pay the costs of this It appears undisputed, too, that the lessor had posted a notice of termination of the
suit."6 The Metropolitan Trial Court ruled that Rustico Victor could not be deemed to lease at the doorway of the leased apartment and that notice had subsequently
have abandoned the premises, and even if he had, the apartment could not be been noted and removed by the lessee's representative. The giving of notice of
repossessed without Judicial action, the stipulation authorizing the lessor to do so termination in this manner is explicitly authorized by Section 2, Rule 70 of the Rules
being void as "against public policy and existing precedents." of Court, which pertinently provides that a demand by a landlord for payment of rent
or comply with the conditions of the lease and to vacate the premises may inter alia
De Asis and Viray appealed to the Regional Trial Court, without success. That Court be made "by posting such notice on the premises if no persons be found thereon."
rendered judgment on June 15, 1987, affirming that of the Metropolitan Trial Court.7
It adopted "by reference the findings of fact and conclusions of law . . . in the The lease having thus been licitly terminated, the lessee, Rustico Victor and his sons
Decision appealed from;" declared the findings to be "in strict accord with the became obliged to surrender the leased apartment to the lessor. They did not. They
evidence presented and the conclusions . . . so obviously correct that a detailed stayed away from the place and did not show up during the repossession undertaken
discussion would serve no useful purpose;" and directed "the court of origin to issue by the lessor, announced in advance through the posting of another notice on the
a writ of possession immediately in favor of the plaintiff and family, and to issue an door of the apartment.
order directing the immediate return of the personal belongings of plaintiff taken by
What the Victors eventually did was to bring a forcible entry suit against De Asis on
defendant Benjamin De Asis inside the apartment in question that were hauled
the theory that the stipulation in the lease contract authorizing repossession by the
and/or transported to his residence in Quezon City on April 15, 1987."
lessor without court action was void as contrary to public policy, and De Asis had
De Asis and Viray then appealed to the Court of Appeals. Their appeal met the same perpetrated the legally proscribed act of taking the law into his own hands.
fate. By judgment promulgated on November 27, 1987 by the Fifteenth Division, 8
The stipulation referred to does by its terms empower the lessor to repossess the
their petition for review was dismissed and the Regional Trial Court's decision
apartment extrajudicially. It states that —11
affirmed.
7. Upon failure of the Lessee to comply with any of the terms and conditions of this
It is to overturn these three adverse verdicts that De Asis and Viray are now before
lease, as well as such other terms and conditions which may be imposed by the
this Court. They ask this Court to rule favorably to them on two questions of law, viz.:
Lessor prior to and/or upon renewal of this lease agreement as provided in par. 2
(a) whether or not the posting in the premises, in the first week of December, 1985,
above, then the Lessor shall have the right, upon five (5) days written notice to the
of notice of termination of the lease had legally caused its cessation or
Lessee or in his absence, upon written notice posted at the entrance of the premises
extinguishment as of December 31, 1985; and (b) whether or not De Asis had "the
leased, to enter and take possession of the said premises holding in his trust and
legal and contractual right to repossess the premises" without and independently of
custody and such possessions and belongings of the Lessee found therein after an
prior judicial authority.9
55
inventory of the same in the presence of a witness, all these acts being hereby possession because of the termination of the term, the landlord can use force in
agreed to by the Lessee as tantamount to his voluntary vacation of the leased making re-entry and dispossessing the tenant.
premises without the necessity of suit in court.
Be this as it may, since the lessor (De Asis) had licitly and efficaciously terminated the
12
It is noteworthy that in an earlier case decided in 1975, Consing v. Jamandre, this month-to-month lease by notice, and had therefore acquired an affirmative right of
Court sustained the validity of a substantially Identical condition in a written lease action to judicially eject the lessee after giving notice to vacate, the existence of such
agreement, which read as follows:13 an affirmative right of action constitutes a valid defense against, and is fatal to any
action by the tenant who has been ousted otherwise than judicially to recover
9. That in case of the failure on the part of the SUB-LESSEE to comply with any of the possession. So has this Court had occasion to rule, with unassailable logic, it might be
terms and conditions thereof, the SUB-LESSEE hereby gives an authority to the SUB- added. In Apundar v. Andrin,16 this Court said:
LESSOR or to any of his authorized representatives to take possession of the leased
premises, including all its improvements thereon without compensation to the SUB- In Medel v. Militante (41 Phil. 526), we held that when the tenant denies his
LESSEE and without necessity of resorting to any court action but in which case the landlord's title this gives rise to a right of action on the part of the landlord to
SUB-LESSEE shall be duly advised in writing of her failure to comply with the terms recover immediate possession of the denied premises; and it follows as a necessary
and conditions of the contract by way of reminder before the takeover. corollary from this proposition that if the landlord acquires possession peacefully, as
in this case, by the mere act of reentry, the tenant cannot maintain an action to put
This Court ruled that the stipulation "is in the nature of a resolutory condition, for the landlord out. The existence of an affirmative right of action on the part of the
upon the exercise by the Sub-lessor of his right to take possession of the leased landlord to oust the tenant is fatal to the maintenance of any action by the tenant.
property, the contract is deemed terminated;" and that such a contractual provision Otherwise, the absurd result would follow that a tenant ousted under the
"is not illegal, there being nothing in the law prescribing such kind of agreement. 14 circumstances here revealed would be restored to possession only himself to be
immediately put out in a possessory action instituted by the landlord. To prevent
Similarly, there is considerable authority in American law upholding the validity of
circuity of action, therefore, we must recognize the affirmative right of action on the
stipulations of this nature.15
part of the landlord as a complete and efficacious defense to the maintenance of an
Although the authorities are not in entire accord, the better view seems to be, even action by the tenant. Circuitus est evitandus; et boni prejudices est lites dirimere, ne
in jurisdictions adopting the view that the landlord cannot forcibly eject a tenant lis ex lite oriatur.
who wrongfully holds without incurring civil liability, that nevertheless, where a lease
Another consideration based upon an Idea familiar to jurisprudence is equally
provides that if the tenants holds over after the expiration of his term, the landlord
decisive.1âwphi1 This is found in one of the implications of the familiar maxim, Ubi
may enter and take possession of the premises, using all necessary force to obtain
jus ibi remedium, the converse of which is of course equally true, namely: Nullum jus
the actual possession thereof, and that such entry should not be regarded as a
nullum remedium. Applying this idea to the case before us, it is manifest that
trespass, be sued for as such, or in any wise be considered unlawful, the landlord
inasmuch as the plaintiffs right of possession has been destroyed, the remedy is also
may forcibly expel the tenant upon the termination of the tenancy, using no more
necessarily taken away. Even under the language of the statute itself (Sec. 80, Code
force than is necessary, and will not be liable to the tenant therefor, such a condition
of Civ. Proc.), the action of unlawful detainer does not lie unless the property is
in a lease being valid.
unlawfully withheld from the plaintiff, which imports an actual present right of
. . . although there is contrary authority, the rule supported by a substantial number possession in him.
of cases is that despite the effect of forcible entry and detainer statutes, where a
Upon the view that the Court thus takes of the facts, the petition for review on
lease expressly gives a landlord a right to use such reasonable force as is necessary in
certiorari must be accorded merit and relief correspondingly granted to the
making re-entry and dispossessing a tenant, when the landlord becomes entitled to
petitioners.
56
WHEREFORE, the judgment of the Court of Appeals of November 27, 1987 in CA-G.R.
SP No. 12280, subject of the appeal, is REVERSED AND SET ASIDE, and another
rendered DISMISSING Civil Case No. 115635-CV of the Metropolitan Trial Court of
Manila (Branch 6). Costs against private respondent.

SO ORDERED.

57
G.R. No. L-35253 July 26, 1976 of the lease; the Company would return to the City the leased premises and the
building.
CITY OF MANILA, petitioner,
vs. The Company had borrowed as of December 10, 1931 the total amount of P700,000
COURT OF APPEALS and METROPOLITAN THEATER COMPANY, respondents. from the El Hogar Filipino, secured by a mortgage over the parcels of land involved in
the agreement between the City and the Company.
B.T. Dayaw S.M. Santiago, Jr. & Associates for petitioner.
On December 10, 1931 tie City and the Company entered into and executed a
Jalandoni Jamir & Associates for respondent Company. contract whereby the latter, for and in consideration of P1.00, resold re-assigned, re-
transferred and re-conveyed to the former the parcels of land together with the
theater building constructed thereon. Pursuant to the agreement the City
CASTRO, C.J: subsequently leased the same to the Company.

This is an appeal by way of certiorari from the decision of the Court of Appeals dated Ravaged during the last World War, the Metropolitan Theater Building could no
June 20, 1972 in CR-SP-W707-R, annulling the special order of execution of longer be devoted to theatrical performances.
September 30, 1971 and the writ issue order of December 29, 1971 in civil cases
The City then notified the Company of the termination of the contract and
78845 and 79907 of the Court of First Instance of Manila. This Court resolved to
demanded that the latter vacate and turn over the premises to the former. The
consider this appeal as a special civil action.
Company refused to do so; the City then filed an ejectment suit.
The petitioner City of Manila (hereinafter referred to as the City), commenced on
On March 19, 1970, during the pre-trial of civil case 78845, the presiding judge of
July 2, 1968 an action for unlawful detainer against the private respondent
Branch XXIII of the Court of First Instance of Manila suggested to the City the filing of
Metropolitan Theater Company (Company, for short) in civil case 172062 of the City
another complaint to recover possession of the land and building involved in the
Court of Manila, which, after due hearing, dismissed the case. From this dismissal the
unlawful detainer case.
City appealed on December 16, 1969 to the Court of First Instance of Manila where
the case was docketed as civil case 78845. On May 29, 1970 the City filed a complaint for rescission of contract with
receivership, docketed as civil case 79947, which the City asked in an ex parte
On January 9, 1929 the City and the Company entered into an agreement whereby
motion to be consolidated with the appealed case 78845. On June 1, 1975 the trial
for and in consideration of P1.00 the former sold, assigned and transferred to the
court approved the consolidation.
latter three parcels of land with a total area of 8,343.40 square meters; that the
building which the Company would construct thereon would be principally devoted After a joint trial of the appealed case and civil case 7,9947, the Court of First
to theatrical performances; that the Company was authorized to borrow money and Instance of Manila rendered on August 5, 1971 its decision declaring, among others,
mortgage the property as security; that upon completion of the theater, the that the City is entitled to recover from the Company the possession of the
Company would reconvey to the City the lots and building, subject to such Metropolitan Theater Building and the three lots on which it was constructed, and
encumbrances as might have been imposed thereon in connection with the ordering the Company to deliver the possession thereof to the City.
construction of the building, that the City after the reconveyance to it of the
property, would execute a contract of lease of the same property in favor of the On August 9, 1971 the City filed a motion for execution of the decision based on
Company for a period of 99 years at a yearly rental of P100 and the Company would Section 8 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court relative to judgment in illegal detainer and
pay annually the necessary amount to meet the obligations contracted for the forcible entry cans. On August 20, 1971 the Company filed its opposition to the said
construction of the building until they are fully paid; and that upon the termination motion, contending that the consolidated actions had become an accion publiciana

58
which could not be the subject of a motion for immediate execution under Section 8 The respondent Court rendered its decision on June 20, 1972 granting the writ of
of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. certiorari and prohibition, setting aside the special order of execution of September
30, 1971 of the trial court, and made permanent the preliminary injunction
On August 23, 1971 the Company filed its notice of appeal and cash bond, and on theretofore issued. From the said judgment, the City interposed this appeal (which
August 25, 1971 its record on appeal. this Court has considered as a special civil action), claiming that the respondent
Court of Appeals erred in disturbing the findings of fact of the trial court which are
On September 1, 1971 the City filed an amended motion for execution, reiterating its
supported by substantial evidence and substituting therefor its own conclusions
ground for execution pending appeal under Section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court,
which are based on speculations, surmises and conjectures, or which are manifestly
and adding another ground, which is the alleged "dilatory tactics and insolvency" of
mistaken or absurd; and that the respondent Court used the office of the writ of
the Company, under Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. On September 24,
certiorari and prohibition to set aside the findings of fact and conclusions made by
1971 the Company filed its opposition to the amended motion, denying the
the trial court in the exercise of its jurisdiction.
allegation that it is insolvent and that its appeal was intended merely to delay, and
praying that, in the event that the trial court should favorably consider the execution In its answer, the Company contends that the review sought must hinge solely on
pending appeal under Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, it be allowed to post a whether or not the Court of Appeals has committed errors of jurisdiction or grave
supersedeas bond to stay the execution under Section 3 of said Rule 39. On abuse of discretion, as distinguished from mere errors of judgment; That the first
September 30, 1971 the trial court issued a special order for the execution of its ground relied upon in the petition raises a question Of fact inasmuch as it seeks a
judgment dated August 5, 1971, upon the filing by the City of a bond in the amount review of the finding of fact of the Court of Appeals; and that the second ground is
of P30,000, pursuant to the provisions of Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules Court. devoid of merit since the Court of Appeals is vested by law with jurisdiction to issue
writs of certiorari and prohibition in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and can review
On October 4, 1971 the Company filed an urgent motion for reconsideration,
the order of execution of the trial court pending appeal. It likewise refuted the
contending that the City had no valid ground for execution pending appeal under
arguments adduced by the petitioner in support of the errors ally committed by the
Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, and reiterating its offer to post a
respondent Court, and prayed for the dismissal of the petition.
suspersedeas bond.
The cardinal issue in this case is Whether or not the respondent Court of Appeals
On December 29, 1971 the trial court issued an order denying the motion for
committed grave abuse of discretion when it set aside the special order of execution
reconsideration, approving the bond filed by the City, and directing the
issued by the trial court pending appeal. The petitioner's complaint that the Court of
implementation of the execution order of September 30, 1971.
Appeals made use of the writ of centiorari to set aside the order of execution would
The Company then filed on January 6, 1972 with the respondent Court of Appeals a hardly require discussion for it is settled that it can do so provided the trial co
special civil action for certiorari and prohibition, docketed as GR-00707-R, for the committed a grave abuse of discretion in issuing the order. 1
annulment of the special order of execution dated September 30, 1971 and the writ-
Section 2 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court which en tee the conditions in order that a
issue-order o f December 29, 1971. The respondent Court, in its resolution dated
judgment may be executed before the expiration of the time to appeal is hereunder
January 11, 1972, granted ex parte the writ of preliminary injunction applied for by
quoted:
the Company to stay the enforcement of the orders complained of, upon the filing of
a P2,000 bond, and required the City to answer the petition. On motion of the Prevailing party with notice to the adverse party the court may, in
its division order execution to issue before the expiration of the time to appeal upon
The City moved to have the writ of injunction dissolved, pointing out that the bond
good reasons to be stated in a special order. If a record on appeal is filed thereafter
was insufficient and that the act sought to be restrained had already become fait
the motion and the special order shall be included the rein.
accompli. The motion was denied; the City then filed its answer.

59
Of the three conditions required (to wit: (a) there must be a motion by the prevailing The trial court retains its discretion to issue an order of immediate execution
party with notice to the adverse party; (b) there must be good reasons for issuing pending appeal even when the losing party posts a supersedeas bond to stay
execution; and (e) the good reasons must be stated in a special order), only the execution. 7 It is necessary, however, in order that the trial court may disregard the
existence of good reasons is disputed. supersedeas bond, that there be special and compelling reasons justifying immediate
execution. 8 In the case before us where the Company offered to post a supersedeas
Even though the element that gives validity to an execution Pending appeal is the bond to stay immediate execution, the basic issue raised can be resolved by
existence of good reasons in support thereof, the statute, nevertheless, does not determining whether there are good, special and compelling reasons justifying the
determine, enumerate, or give examples of what may be considered good reasons to questioned order of execution. In such determination, the facts and circumstances
justify execution. What these good reasons are must therefore, necessarily be which impelled the court to act as it did and its own assessment of the equities are
addressed to the discretion of the court. entitled to considerable weight, for the issuance of the order of immediate execution
is within its sound discretion. 9
Inasmuch as the issuance of the writ of execution depends on the discretion of the
trial court, such issuance must necessarily be controlled by the judgment of the 1. The first ground given by the trial court to justify immediate execution contains
judge in accordance with his own conscience and by a sense of justice and equity, three concatenated special reasons, namely, the Company's insolvency, the risk of
free from the control of another's judgment or conscience. It must be so for forfeiture of the City's lots, and the prodigal if not anomalous, wastage of the rental
discretion implies the absence of a hard and fast rule. This Court has said that income of the Theater Building. Said the trial court:
discretion is the power exercised by a court to determine questions arising in the
trial of a case to which no strict law is applicable, but which from their nature and It is not disputed that the four (4) parcels of land on which the Metropolitan Theater
the circumstances of the case, are controlled by the personal judgment of the court. Building was construction are owned by plaintiff City of Manila; that said parcels of
2
It is the power which the law confers on public officials tp act officially under land with a total area of 8,343.40 square. meters covered by Transfer Certificates of
certain circumstances in accordance with their own judgment or conscience. 3 Title Nos. 368, 36813, 7138 were M18 were mortgaged on December 10, 1931 in
favor of El Hogar Filipino to answer for a principal indebtedness of P700,000.00
The discretion given by statute to issue execution pending appeal is not however which was used for the construction of the Metropolitan Theater building now of this
unconfined, vagrant, absolute, and arbitrary. Rather, it is sound discretion, for the case between the plaintiff and the defendant. After the building was adverely
court may grant such execution only when there are good reasons therefore, and damaged by the last war, 6e defendant Metropolitan Theater Company did not pay
which are to be stated in a special order. If in the mind of the court, taking into to El Hogar Filipino the annual amortizations provided for in the mortgage contract
consideration the facts and circumstances surraounding the case, good reasons exist, Defendant has not even paid in full the annual interests due the loan. The balance
the exercise of the power to issue immediate execution of the judgment cannot be sheet of the defendant shows that as of June 30, 1968 the indebtedness to the El
considered as grave abuse of discretion. 4 Provided there are good reasons for Hogar Filipino was P721,547.82 (Exh. R The income from the Metropolitan Theater
execution according to the judgment of the trial judge, such judgment should Building derived from the rents collected by the defendant from the various tenants
generally not be interfered with, modified, controlled, or inquired into by the for the year 1966-67 averaged P104,342.00 a year (Exh. C-2); Of this income only
appellate court; the latter should generally not substitute its way of thinking for that P49,045.92 was paid to El Hogar Filipino. The rest of the income was disbursed for
of the trial court, otherwise, the discretionary power given to the trial court would overhead expense including the directors' fees, officers' salaries, salaries and wages
have no meaning. The appellate court may, however, interfere with that discretion of employees, legal and audit fees, maintenance and repair (Exh. R-1, sheet 2, Exh. R-
lodged in the trial court only in case of grave abuse 5 or in case conditions have so far 2, sheet 4). There are no prospects that the indebtedness to El Hogar Filipino never
changed since the issuance of the order as to necessitate the intervention of the be paid if the defendant continues possessing the Metropolitan Theater Building as it
appellate court to protect the interests of the parties t contingenecies which were has done for the past 26 years. At any time it chooses to, El Hogar Filipino may
not or could have not been contemplated by the trial judge at the time of the exercise its right to foreclose the mortgage because of defendant's failure to pay the
issuance of the order. 6
60
annual amortizations on the mortgage loan. It is not right, fair or just that defendant exercise its right to foreclose the mortgage because of defendant's failure to pay the
Metropolitan Theater Company should be allowed to continue possessing the annual amortizations of the mortgage loan.
property in litigation during the pendency of this continue on appeal when the highly
valuable parcels of land on which the building in dispute is constructed belong to the Be that as it may, it does not clearly show the insolvency of the Metropolitan Theater
plaintiff City of Manila, which lands run the risk of being foreclosed any time by the Company. It may have the means, other than the income from the theater building,
mortgagee El Hogar Filipino because of defendant's failure to pay the annual with which. to meet its financial obligations.
amortizations agreed upon in the mortgage contract.
If the facts from which the trial court inferred the Company's insolvency were only
The City of Manila has made it of reward that it is willing to pay the mortgage debt to those recited by the Court of Appeals in the aforequoted paragraphs then we cannot
El Hogar Filipino. It has to do so to prevent a very valuable property from danger but agree with the appellate court that the insolvency of the Company has not bean
foreclosed The City of Manila is in a very much better financial position than the celebrity shown. But the Court of Appeals has omitted, and consequently failed to
defendent to pay the mortgage obligation. The fact that El Hogar Filipino has not appreciate, many other facts recited m the special order of execution, which clearly
chosen up to now to exercise its right of foreclosure does net change the fact that show that the Company is insolvent. It omitted and, disregarded the fact that the
there is danger of foreclosure and that El Hogar Filipino may exercise its right to do Company could not even pay in full the annual interest due due on the mortgage for
same at any time. If El Hogar Filipino foreclose the mortgage, the City on Manila 26 years, as a consequence of which the original loan of P700,000 had increased to
loses four (4) — parcels of valuable property containing a total area of 8,343.40 P721,547.82 10 It likewise omitted and failed to consider other factors appearing in
square meters. The defendant does not stand to lose much according to its the other portions of the record, to wit, that the balance sheet of the Company
managing director all the income that it rives from the building is eaten up by shows a total deficit of P1,261,851 as of December 31, 1967, as against the book
administration expenses, maintenance expenses, salaries of officers and employees, value of its capital of only P77,419.58; 11 that the Company has incurred in arrears in
partial payment of interests El Hogar Filipino and other necessary expenses. The City monthly dues and penalties that ran up to P439,019.11 from February 1967 to June
of Manila is entitled in justice and equity to the immediate possession of the 1968, inclusive; 12 that, as stated by the trial court, "There are no prospects that the
property in litigation so it can take steps to protect its interests on the building and indebtedness to El Hogar Filipino can ever be paid if the Defendant continues
the land and to prevent further damage. possessing the Metropolitan Theater Building as it has done for the past 26 years
after the last war."
It has been held that when judgment is in favor of the plaintiff it may be executed
immediately, to prevent further damage to him caused by the loss of his possession The Company, however, contends that the trial court has not categorically found
(Sumintac vs. Court, 74 Phil. 445). that the Company is insolvent This contention cannot be accorded credit inasmuch
as the insolvency of a party may be inferred from a number of circumstances on
In the decision complained of, the Court of Appeals discarded the first ground relied record. 13 If insolvency is the inability or the lack of means to pay one's debt, or the
upon by the trial court, to wit, that the Company is insolvent. Said the Court of condition of a person who is unable to pay his debts as they fall due, 14 then there is
Appeals: no doubt that the Company is insolvent for it has been unable to pay not only the
amortizations on the principal but also the full interests on the loan as they fell due,
From the evidence of respondent City of Manila that the income of the Metropolitan and that it is not in a position to pay the mortgage debt.
Theater Building for the yearn 1966-67 averaged P104,342.00 a year and of that
income. only P49,045.92 was paid to El Hogar Filipino, and that as of June 30, 1968, The Court of Appeals, however, not only disregard the facts on record when it stated
the indebtedness to the latter was P721,547.82, respondent court expressed the that the insolvency of the Company has not been clearly shown, but also aggravated
view that 'There are no prospects that the indebtedness to El Hogar Filipino can ever its error when it conjectured that the Company "may have means, other than the
be paid if the defendant (Metropolitan Theater Company) continues possessing the income from the theater building, with which to meet its financial obligations." The
Metropolitan Theater Building. ... At any time it chooses to, El Hogar Filipino may mere possibility that the Company may have means to pay its obligations cannot
61
outweigh the facts on record that clearly show that the Company is insolvent. The it desire to. The fact is that because the mortgaged has a right to foreclose whenever
Court of Appeals, in setting aside the conclusion of the trial court on this matter of it so chooses, the City runs the risk of losing its property given as security. As
the Company's insolvency, which, as has been shown, is based on the facts on between the City that would lose incalculably more and the Company which would
record, and substituting therefor its conjecture, committed grave abuse of lose practically nothing in case of foreclosure, the City must take more pains in
discretion, for "the findings of fact of the lower court cannot be disregarded except avoiding the foreclosure.
in the absence of substantial evidence to support it." 15 This Court has likewise sad
that "it is a fair statement of the governing principle to say that the appellate 2. The second ground given by the trial court to justify immediate execution is the
function is exhausted when there is found to be a rational basis for the result City's having pit up a bond of P30,000 to answer for the return of the property and
reached by the trial court." 16 damages in the event that it be finally adjudicated on appeal that the Company is
entitled to the possession of the property. The Court of Appeals did not likewise
It cannot be gainsaid that the insolvency of a defeated party, where it has been consider this as a good reason for execution pending appeal on the ground that the
clearly shown is a good and special reason for execution pending appeal. 17 action is not for a sum of money and that in the case of Rodriguez vs. Court of
Appeals 18 the filing of the bond w not by itself considered a good reason, for the
Compounding the Company's insolvency and as a result of its failure to pay its dilatory nature of the appeal was also considered by this Court.
obligations, is the risk of forfeiture of the City's valuable lots. The parcels of land on
which the Metropolitan Theater Building was constructed are the City's property, It is true that in Rodriguez vs. Court of Appeals, this Court considered, besides the
and that the Company, by agreement with the City, mortgaged these lots in favor of filing of the supersedeas bond alone or the dilatory nature of the appeal. That does
the El Hogar Filipino to answer for the principal indebtedness of P700,000 used for not mean, however, that the filing of the supersedeas bond al or the dilatory nature
the construction of the Metropolitan Theater Building. Inasmuch as the Company of the appeal alone, is not in itself a good and special reason for execution pending
has failed for 26 years after World War II to pay in full even the interests on the appeal. In the very same case relied upon by the Court of Appeals, this Court
indebtedness, let alone the amortizations on the principal, the El Hogar Filipino has approvingly quoted Moran, thus:
the right to foreclose the mortgage Should the mortgage be foreclosed the City will
lose its three parcels of land with a total area of 8,343.40 square meters, but the The element that gives validity to an order of execution is the existence of the good
Company, on the contrary, will not stand to lose much, for the money it spent in the reasons if they may be found distinctly somewhere in the record. In this connection it
construction of the Theater was borrowed from the mortgagee, and the income it has been held that the filing of bond by the successful party is a good reason for
derives from the building, according to the Company's managing director, is totally ordering excecution. That the appeal is being taken for purposes of delay is also a
eaten up by administration expenses, maintenance expenses, salaries of officers and good reason. (Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals, 105 Phil. 777, 780-781). 19
employees, sundry expenses and partial payments of the interest on the loan.
In Hacienda Navarra, Inc. vs. Labrador 20 the filing of bond alone was considered a
The Court of Appeals, however, rejected this ground, stating that the danger of good and special reason for ordering execution pending appeal. Said this Court:
foreclosure; according to the belief of the Company, is very remote. It said:
The filing of the bond required by the respondent judge in the order sought to be
The Metropolitan Theater Company entertained a strong belief that the danger that annulled constitutes a special ground authorizing the court to issue a writ of
El Hogar Filipino might foreclose on the property "is very remote," and cited the fact execution pending appeal, in conformity with the provisions of section 144 of the
that it has not even been ever hinted. Code of Civil Procedure.

The fact that the Company entertained said tenuous belief cannot negate the In People's Bank vs. San Jose 21 this Court also held that the filing of a bond by the
mortgagee's right to foreclose whenever it so desires. Neither can such belief serve prevailing party is a good and special reason for ordering execution pending
as a guaranty that the mortgagee will not foreclose nor will it bar foreclosure should appeal.22

62
The Court of Appeals also expressed the fear that should the trial court's judgment Pursuant to the contract between the City and the Company, the latter, in the words
be reversed on appeal the damages that may arise from its execution pending appeal of the Court of Appeals, is obliged to pay annually the necessary amount to meet the
may not be fully compensated, without however stating the nature of the said obligations contracted for the construction of the building until they are fully paid." It
damages. Will said damages not be the fair and reasonable value of the use and appears that the Company's income from the building is the only source of what it
occupation of the property or the amount of rentals received by the Company from pays to the El Hogar Filipino, for in its memorandum, the Company says that it is the
the building? Is the P30,000 bond not sufficient for said rentals? If it is insufficient, duty of the petitioner to repair the building so that it could "generate enough
should the Court of Appeals not have ordered the amount to be increased? income to cover fully the amortizations due to El Hogar Filipino as they fell due."
Ordinary diligence and prudence dictate that whatever income is derived from the
From what has been said, it is thus clear that the Court of Appeals erred in not theater should be primarily and principally devoted to the payment of the
considering the City's posting a bond as a good and special reason to justify indebtedness. The wastage of the income will ultimately result in non- payment of
execution pending appeal. the indebtedness, and this will be to the prejudice and damage of the City which
must pay the obligation or the outstanding balance thereof, if it does not want to
3. The third ground given by the trial court in the special order of execution is that
lose its lots which were mortgaged. If the present possessor cannot channel such
the expenses of administering the building would be very much less if the City of
income to the payment of the indebtedness, should not the City which ultimately has
Manila were in possession of the building. The reason is that the City will not have to
to pay the indebtedness if the Company fails to pay it not be given an opportunity to
pay directors' fees, officers' salaries, salaries and wages of employees, and legal and
do so? Would it be equitable to allow the present possessor to waste the income,
audit fees, since the City of Manila has already the necessary facilities, personnel and
and let the City ultimately suffer tremendous damages on account of such waste?
employees to maintain and administer the building. This ground was rejected, the
Court of Appeals saying that "we cannot bring ourselves to believe that it is The Company, to support the decision of the Court of Appeals, likewise contends
justifiable reason for the immediate execution of the judgment of a respondent that the refusal of the trial court to accept the supersedeas bond to stop execution is
court Moreover it is speculative, without any proof whatsoever." sufficient to taint the order of execution with arbitrariness and constitutes grave
abuse of discretion.
It will be noted that the Court of Appeals did not doubt the fact that more than one-
half of the average yearly income of the building is spent for directors and We do not think so. It is well settled that even upon the filing of the supersedeas
employees salaries, fees and services. Out of the yearly income of P104,342 only bond, the losing party is not entitled as a matter of right to a suspension of the
P49,045.92 was paid to El Hogar Filipino. In the appreciation of the trial judge, excecution Section 3 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court merely empowers the Court to
although he did not explicitly say so, such expenses were a wastage of the income, order such suspension in the exercise of its sound discretion. 23 The acceptance and
for if it were not so, why did the trial court say that "There are no prospects that the approval of i supersedeas bond to stay execution lies within the discretion of the
indebtedness to El Hogar Filipino can ever be paid if the defendant continue s court. 24 Hence, the trial court may disregard the supersedeas bond and order
possessing the Metropolitan Theater Building as it has done for the past 26 years immediate execution provided there are special and compelling reasons justifying
after the last war"? The Court of Appeals hesitated to say whether to prevent this execution, which reasons obtain in this case. 25
wastage was a good reason for execution pending appeal.
Another reason given to support the decision complained of is that execution
We do think that under the facts, circumstances and equities in the instant case, to pending appeal cannot be justified because the supposed right of the City to
prevent such wastage of income so that considerably more of the income can be immediate repossession of the property to prevent further loss caused by
channelled to the payment of the indebtedness is a compelling reason to justify dispossession is the core of the controversy and the merit of such claim is under
immediate execution. appeal. Anent this matter suffice it to say that in determining whether execution
should be stayed or not, the merits of a case, which should not be determined in

63
advance of the appeal, are of no moment Thus this Court said in Mapua vs. David 26
that:

The reason by petitioner to maintain that the stay granted by the respondent court is
a grave abuse of discretion is the merits of their own case. They allege that
defendant has absolutely no right to possession and has, therefore, no defense
whatsoever. But the merits of the case should not be determined at this state of the
proceedings in advance of the appeal taken by both parties from the judgment
rendered by respondent court in the principal case.

In conclusion, all the reasons given by the trial court in ordering the execution of its.
order pending appeal, despite the Company's offer to fire a supersedeas bond to
stay execution, are compelling enough to warrant immediate execution. 27

If the same cogent reasons are considered in the light of the fact that the
Metropolitan Theater building is no longer devoted to the primary purpose for which
it was intended, that is, to theatrical performances, they would outweight the
security offered by the supersedeas bond which was rejected by the trial court.

We hold that the Court of Appeals, in substituting its judgment for the statutory
discretion soundly and judiciously exercised by the trial court in issuing the
questioned Social Order of Execution, acted with grave abuse of discretion.

ACCORDINGLY, the decision of the Court of Appeals dated June 20, 1972 in G.R. SP-
00707-R is set aside, and the order of the trial court of December 29, 1971 directing
the implementation of its execution order of September 30, 1971, is maintained,
with costs against the Company.

64
G.R. No. L-44806 March 31, 1977 Juanito Peña, the owner of the apartment, filed in the Court of First Instance a
motion dated July 9, 1976 for immediate execution of the city court's judgment. He
BIENVENIDO ONCE, petitioner, invoked, as grounds, Once's alleged failure to file a supersedeas bond and the
vs. supposed untenantable condition of the apartment.
HON. CARLOS Y. GONZALES, Presiding Judge of the Court of First Instance of Iloilo
Branch VI; PROVINCIAL SHERIFF of Iloilo, and JUANITO PEÑA, respondents. Bienvenido Once, through his lawyer, Marietta J. Homena Valencia, an employee of
the Citizens Legal Assistance Office (CLAO), opposed the motion for execution. Once
Rosario R. Rapanut (Citizens Legal Assistance Office), for petitioner. alleged that he had deposited the current rentals; that the apartment occupied by
him was not in danger or collapsing, that the building was stable, as shown by the
Raymundo Magat for private respondent.
fact that the owner, Peña, and his family occupied the apartment adjoining the door
leased to Once; that, if repairs were needed, all the occupants of the building should
vacate it, and that the commissioner, who reported on the condition of the building,
AQUINO, J.:têñ.£îhqw⣠was not competent to assess its tenantable condition since he is not an engineer but
a court interpreter.
The city court of Iloilo City, in a decision dated April 29, 1976, ordered Bienvenido
Once to vacate an apartment in a building owned by Juanita Peña and to pay a Executive Judge Valerio V. Rovira granted the motion for execution in this terse order
monthly rental of P290 until the premises have been vacated, plus P1,000 as of August 9, 1976, which reads:
attorney's fees. It was not indicated in the decision when the payment of the
monthly rental should commence. No back rentals were adjudged (Civil Case No It appearing that the defendant has not filed the supersedeas bond and considering
11312). the provisions of section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, let a writ of execution issue
to effect the ejectment of the defendant from the premises.
Bienvenido Once filed a motion for reconsideration. He alleged that he had been
occupying the apartment (one of the four doors of the said building made of cement Bienvenido Once filed a motion for reconsideration. He reiterated his contention
hollow blocks and wood, with galvanized iron roofing) since 1966; that he was the that the execution was improper because he had deposited in court the current
only one singled out for ejectment; that the commissioner's report on the alleged rentals. He cited the rule that a supersedeas bond is not necessary in case the tenant
dilapidated condition of the building was not set for hearing, that he occupied the had deposited in court the rentals due (Mischiener vs. Barrios, 76 Phil. 55; Bagtas vs.
apartment as residence and for use as a carinderia which allegedly was his sole Tan, 93 Phil. 804).
means of livelihood, and that he should be given a preference to reoccupy the
The lower court denied the motion. It issued a writ of execution dated September
apartment after the completion of the repairs.
21, 1976. Bienvenido Once filed a motion for suspension of the execution. He
The city court denied the motion in its order of June 2, 1976. Bienvenido Once offered to file a supersedeas bond. He stressed that he had occupied the apartment
appealed. He deposited in the city court on June 17, 1976 P580 as rentals for April for ten years and that his ejection was in contravention of Presidential Decree No.
and May, 1976, Official Receipt No. 4763496. In the Court of First Instance, he 20. The motion was denied.
deposited P290 on July 16, 1976 as rental for June, 1976, Official Receipt No.
On October 14, 1976 Bienvenido Once, through three CLAO lawyers, filed in this
1257740; P290 on August 11, 1976 as rental for July, 1976, Official Receipt No.
Court the instant special civil actions of certiorari and prohibition in order to set
1977508, and P290 on September 9, 1976, as rental for August, 1976, Official
aside the order and writ of execution. A temporary restraining order was issued by
Receipt No. 198832.
this Court but before it could be implemented Bienvenido Once was constrained to
vacate the apartment in litigation.

65
The issue is whether the lower court erred in ordering execution of the city court's
judgment pending appeal.

We hold that the lower court committed a patent error in ordering execution of the
city court's judgment on the ground that Bienvenido Once did not file a supersedeas
bond. No such bond was necessary because no back rentals were adjudged in the
city court's judgment. The attorney's fees of P1,000 need not be covered by a
supersedeas bond. (De Laureano vs. Adil, L-43345, July 29, 1976, 72 SCRA 148, 155).

Once's timely deposit of the rentals for April, May, June, July and August, 1976
stayed the execution of the judgment pending appeal. In such a situation, no
supersedeas bond was required to stay execution of the city court's judgment. (Sison
vs. Bayona, 109 Phil. 557, 561).

Consequently, the order of execution was groundless. It was not justified under
section 8, Rule 70 of the Rule of Court. Section 8 requires a supersedeas bond only if
there are accrued rentals in arrears. It dispenses with that bond if the defeated
tenant deposits in court the rentals due from time to time. The execution proceeding
already mentioned is void.

It may be noted that according to Once's manifestation of March 22, 1977, the lower
court in its decision of February 5, 1977 reversed the city court's judgment and
ordered that Once be allowed to reoccupy the leased premises.

WHEREFORE, the lower court's orders of August 9 and September 14, 1976 are set
aside with costs against respondent Peña .

SO ORDERED.

66
A.M. No. MTJ-93-892 October 25, 1995 Trial Court to pay the rents covering the period of thirteen (13) months from May 6,
1992, up to June 6, 1993, and the sum of Fifteen Thousand Pesos (P15,000.00) for
SAN MANUEL WOOD PRODUCTS, INC., complainant, attorney's fees, damages, and costs accruing down to the time of judgment appealed
vs. from. During the pendency of the appeal, defendant shall deposit with the Court the
JUDGE RAMON B. TUPAS and CITY SHERIFF FIDEL CASUYON, both of 2nd Municipal further amount of monthly rental due from time to time for the reasonable value of
Trial Court in Cities, Davao City, respondents. the use and occupation of the premises.

The supersedeas bond is ordered transmitted with the records of this case to the
Clerk of Court of the Regional Trial Court, Davao City, to which the action is appealed
PUNO, J.:
from (sic).
In a sworn Complaint,1 dated October 29, 1993, San Manuel Wood Products, Inc.,
SO ORDERED.
charged Judge Ramon B. Tupas and City Sheriff Fidel Casuyon, both of the 2nd
Municipal Trial Court in Cities (Branch II), Davao City, with grave partiality, serious On September 3, 1993, complainant deposited with the clerk of court the sum of
misconduct, abuse of authority and/or ignorance of the law. Eight Thousand Pesos (P8,000.00), the rentals due from June 6, 1993 to October 5,
1993.7
Complainant is the defendant in an unlawful detainer case, docketed as Civil Case
No. 424-B-92.2 The records disclose that the plaintiffs filed a "Supplemental Motion for Execution
Pending Appeal," dated June 30, 1993, in the MTCC. The supplemental motion was
On June 3, 1993, respondent judge rendered a decision3 in Civil Case No. 424-B-92,
opposed by complainant in its "Comment or Opposition to Supplemental Motion for
in favor of the plaintiffs therein and against herein complainant. The parties received
Execution Pending Appeal," dated July 14, 1993.
their copies of the decision on June 14, 1993.4
On August 11, 1993, respondent judge issued a special order,8 granting plaintiffs'
Within the reglementary period to appeal, the plaintiffs filed a "Motion for
motion for a writ of execution pending appeal. The impugned special order reads:
Immediate Execution," dated June 21, 1993, of the MTCC decision. The motion was
opposed by complainant. This has reference to the Motion for Immediate Execution and Supplemental Motion
for Execution Pending Appeal filed by plaintiffs within the period to appeal, citing
On June 24, 1993, while the motion for immediate execution was pending in the
among others, the compelling reasons why immediate execution be granted. Copies
MTCC, complainant filed a "Notice of Appeal and Approval of Cash/Supersedeas
of plaintiffs' motions were furnished to counsel for defendant and the latter filed its
Bond"5 to stay the execution of the June 3, 1993 Decision. The notice of appeal and
opposition thereto.
the supersedeas bond were approved by respondent judge in an Order, 6 dated July
16, 1993, thus: xxx xxx xxx

ORDER Plaintiffs alleged in their motion for immediate execution, supplemental motion for
execution pending appeal and supplemental allegations on the motion for
Notice of Appeal in the above-entitled case having been filed within due time, let the
immediate execution the following reasons, to wit:
records of this case be forwarded to the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, in degree
(sic) of appeal. That lessor is authorized by law, upon the expiration of the lease, to eject the tenant,
to repossess his property for his own use, or for the use of any members of his
The supersedeas bond in the sum of Forty-One Thousand Pesos (P41,000.00) in cash
families, under paragraph (c) of BP Blg. 877 (Rental Law). Similarly, a land-owner
executed to the plaintiff is hereby APPROVED to enter action (sic) in the Regional
67
bonafide intention to cultivate the land personally thru employment of machineries, SO ORDERED.
section 50 (a) RA 1149, as amended by RA 2268, and that defendant, which already
owned more than ten hectares, is prohibited from acquiring the lot in question. That The foregoing special order was received by complainant on September 7, 1993. The
renders defendants' appeal dilatory. plaintiffs received their copies on September 7 and 8, 1993.

xxx xxx xxx In compliance with the August 11, 1993 Special Order, the plaintiffs posted a bond of
P100,000.00. The bond was approved by respondent judge in an Order, dated
To hold that, in the present case, the mere filing of the notice of appeal, and the September 8, 1993.9 On its part, complainant moved for a reconsideration of the
filing or deposit of cash bond with the clerk of court has automatically deprived the August 11, 1993 Special Order and the September 8, 1993 Order and requested the
trial court of its jurisdiction over this case, would be to practically nullify the clerk of court to hold in abeyance the implementation of the writ of execution.
discretionary power granted said court by section 2, Rule 39, to order, upon good Respondent judge failed to act on the motion for reconsideration.
reasons, the execution of its judgment before the expiration of the time to appeal;
because in all cases, the judgment debtor may, on the very day the judgment is On September 10, 1993, respondent City Sheriff Fidel Casuyon served the writ to
rendered or notified to him, file notice of appeal and deposit of P60.00 as cash bond complainant. It was returned unsatisfied. 10
with the clerk of
Complainant now accuses respondent judge of grave partiality, serious misconduct,
court . . . .
abuse of authority and/or ignorance of the law for issuing the August 11, 1993
b) plaintiffs as shown in the complaint are badly in need of the land for legitimate Special Order and the September 8, 1993 Order.
needs as they are only renting lots and houses where they are presently residing, as
Complainant contends that, upon perfection of its appeal on July 16, 1993, (sic)
per the affidavit of merit attached to plaintiffs' motion.
respondent judge lost its jurisdiction over the case. Thus, the Special Order, dated
After a careful perusal of plaintiffs' motion for execution pending appeal and the August 11, 1993, ordering the issuance of the writ of execution pending appeal, is
opposition thereof (sic), the Court is of the view that, indeed, the special reasons null and void. Complainant argues, further, that the issuance of the July 16, 1993
alleged by plaintiffs are meritorious. Order should be considered as a denial of the motion for execution pending appeal
filed by the plaintiffs.
The filing of the Notice of Appeal by the defendant has no other justifiable reasons
than to frustrate the decision of the Court and that the defendant's continued stay in Furthermore, complainant points out that the rule governing execution of judgment
the premises renders the decision illusory. in ejectment cases is Section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, not Section 2 of Rule
39, the provision relied upon by respondent judge. Complainant also assails the
Premises considered, let, therefore, issue a writ of execution pending appeal under immediate implementation of the writ of execution by respondent City Sheriff.
Section 2 of Rule 39, upon plaintiffs' filing of a bond which this Court fixed at One
Hundred Thousand pesos (P100,000.00) to answer for any lawful obligations that In their joint Comment, 11 dated March 10, 1994, respondents aver that the motion
maybe (sic) adjudged against plaintiffs, if any, later on. (emphasis supplied) for execution pending appeal was filed on June 21, 1993, three (3) days before the
filing of the Notice of Appeal and Approval of Cash/Supersedeas Bond. Hence,
Resolution of plaintiffs' supplemental allegations on motion for immediate execution respondent judge insists he had not lost jurisdiction to act on the motion for
filed on August 11, 1993, on the ground that defendant has failed to pay or deposit execution. Allegedly, complainant deposited the supersedeas bond but not the
the rentals for the periods from June 7, 1993 to July 6, 1993, and from July 7, 1993 to accruing rentals as directed in the judgment. In view of complainant's failure to
August 6, 1993, is hereby withheld as the matter can be appropriately addressed to deposit the rentals due, respondent judge claims that the appeal had not been
the appellate court for its consideration and resolution. perfected.

68
Respondents aver, further, that complainant refused to sign the writ and even September 3, 1993 to the Clerk of Court, RTC, Davao City to cover the rental due
constructed three (3) houses on the subject lot despite the issuance of the writ of from June 6, 1993 to October 5, 1993.
execution. They charge that the appeal is a dilatory tactic of the complainant. Finally,
they claim that complainant is guilty of forum shopping when it filed an action before The rule is:
the Regional Trial Court of Davao City, assailing the validity of the respondent judge's
Should the defendant fail to make the payments above prescribed from time to time
August 11, 1993 Special Order and the September 8, 1993 Order.
during the pendency of the appeal, the appellate court, upon motion of the plaintiff,
Considering the allegations in the joint comment of the respondents, we required of which the defendant shall have notice, and upon proof of such failure shall order
complainant to file its reply. 12 It did not file any reply. We referred the present the execution of the judgment appealed from with respect to the restoration of
administrative complaint at bar to the Court Administrator for evaluation, report and possession, but such execution shall not be a bar to the appeal taking its course until
recommendation. 13 In a Memorandum, dated May 5, 1995, the Office of the Court the final disposition thereof on its merits. (emphasis supplied)
Administrator found the complaint meritorious. The relevant portion of the
Judge Tupas had, therefore, NO jurisdiction and authority to issue his Special Order
memorandum reads:
of August 11, 1993; He should have dismissed all of the plaintiffs' motion for
xxx xxx xxx execution pending appeal because Section 8, Rule 70 and not Section 2, Rule 39 is
what is applicable as this is an ejectment case.
It is well settled that to stay the immediate execution in an ejectment proceeding, it
is required that the defendant must (a) perfect his appeal; (b) file the supersedeas It is only the appellate court — the RTC for ejectment cases — which can order the
bond and (c) periodically deposit the rentals falling due during the pendency of the issuance of the writ of execution pending appeal but only for the EXPLICIT reason
appeal. that the periodic rentals as found in the inferior court decision were not paid, with
notice and hearing mandated.
As to the perfection of the appeal, with the advent of BP 129, it is now settled that
the perfection of appeal is upon the expiration of the last day to appeal by ANY party It does not appear that Judge Tupas acted out of malice or a corrupt motive but
contrary to Judge Tupas' thinking that he has to approve the Notice of Appeal. rather a misapprehension of the law on ejectment.

Since both plaintiffs and defendant (complainant in this case) received their As for Sheriff Casuyon, it appears that the writ was returned unsatisfied.
respective copies of the decision on June 14, 1993, the last day to appeal was June Complainant's general manager refused to sign the same. While he may have agreed
29, 1993 and, by operation of law, the appeal of complainant was perfected on June to a formal delineation of the boundaries, this was because the complainant was
30, 1993, it having filed its Notice of Appeal on June 24, 1993. buying time as it had planned to purchase the lot in question but failed.

The complainant deposited with the Clerk of Court, MTCC, Davao City the correct In view of all the foregoing, it is respectfully recommended that: (a) Retired Judge
amount of P41,000 to cover the rentals for thirteen (13) months at P2,000.00 a Ramon B. Tupas, MTCC, Branch 2, Davao City, be FINED the amount of P10,000.00,
month and (a)ttorney's fees of P15,000.00. . . . . for Gross Ignorance of the Law; (b) the said amount be TAKEN from the P20,000.00
withheld from his terminal leave credits by virtue of Resolution of the Court, dated
It is clear that immediate execution was thus stayed. February 2, 1994, and (c) the charges against Sheriff Casuyon be dismissed the same
being without merit.
Complainant, however, did not deposit periodically — in this case, monthly — (the)
P2,000.00 a month (rental) with the Clerk of Court. This is clear from complainant's We agree with the legal disquisition of the Office of the Court Administrator.
own Annex "C" which shows that the amount of P8,000.00 was paid only on

69
This is an ejectment case, hence, the applicable rule is Section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules In stark contrast, under section 8 of Rule 70, it is not necessary to show good reasons
of Court. It states: for the immediate execution of the judgment against the
14
defendant. The judgment is executed immediately in favor of the plaintiff, as a
Sec. 8. Immediate execution of judgment. How to stay the same. — If judgment is matter of right, to prevent further damage arising from the loss of possession. 15
rendered against the defendant, execution shall issue immediately, unless an appeal
has been perfected and the defendant, to stay execution, files a sufficient bond, It is settled that to stay the execution of judgment of an inferior court, the losing
approved by the municipal or city court and executed to the plaintiff to enter the defendant in an ejectment case must: (a) perfect his appeal; (b) file a supersedeas
action in the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial Court) and to pay the rents, bond; and (c) make a periodic deposit of the rentals due or the reasonable
damages and costs accruing down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and compensation for the use and occupation of the property during the pendency of
unless, during the pendency of the appeal, he deposits with the appellate court the the appeal. These requisites must concur. 16
amount of rent due from time to time under the contract, if any, as found by the
judgment of the municipal or city court to exist. In the case at bar, complainant filed his appeal on time and deposited the required
supersedeas bond in the inferior court, but it failed to comply with the third requisite
All money so paid to the appellate court shall be deposited in the provincial or city as related above. As borne by the records, the rentals accruing for the months of
treasury, and shall be held there until the final disposition of the appeal, unless the June, July and August were deposited only on September 3, 1993. Upon its failure to
court, by agreement of the interested parties, or in the absence of reasonable meet the third requisite prescribed under the rules, the plaintiffs have the right to
grounds of opposition to a motion to withdraw, or for justifiable reasons, shall move for execution of the judgment appealed from. The order of execution,
decree otherwise. Should the defendant fail to make the payments above prescribed however, has to be issued by the appellate court, in this case the Regional Trial
from time to time during the pendency of the appeal, the appellate court, upon Court, since the respondent judge had lost his jurisdiction over the ejectment case
motion of the plaintiff, of which the defendant shall have notice, and upon proof of after the appeal to the RTC had been perfected. 17 In disregarding the rules and
such failure, shall order the execution of the judgment appealed from with respect settled jurisprudence, the respondent judge showed gross ignorance, albeit without
to the restoration of possession, but such execution shall not be a bar to the appeal any malice or corrupt motive.
from taking its course until the final disposition thereof on its merits. . . . (emphasis
supplied) We now come to the immediate implementation of the writ of execution in Civil
Case No. 424-B-92 by respondent Sheriff Fidel Casuyon. The records show that the
Respondent judge missed the foregoing rule when it applied Section 2, Rule 39 of the August 11, 1993 Special Order, granting the motion for immediate execution, was
Rules of Court. It reads: received by complainant on September 7, 1993. The writ of execution was issued on
September 9, 1993. 18 The following day, the writ was served by respondent sheriff
Sec. 2 Execution pending appeal — On motion of the prevailing party with notice to against the complainant.
the adverse party the court may, in its discretion, order execution to issue even
before the expiration of the time to appeal, upon good reasons to be stated in a We have ruled that "the immediate enforcement of a writ of ejectment execution is
special order. If a record on appeal is filed thereafter, the motion and the special carried out by giving the defendant a notice of such writ and making a demand that
order shall be included therein. defendant comply therewith within a reasonable period, normally from three (3) to
five (5) days, and it is only after such period that the sheriff enforces the writ by the
It ought to be mentioned that Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, applies to bodily removal of the defendant and his personal belongings. 19 This was disregarded
execution pending appeal in ordinary civil actions. This rule requires good reasons by respondent sheriff. Thus, respondent sheriff should be sternly warned for his
before a writ of execution can be issued in favor of the prevailing party. Its issuance infraction to avoid a repetition of similar arbitrariness on his part. 20
is subject to the sound discretion of the court and is usually not favored because it
affects the rights of the parties which are yet to be ascertained on appeal. IN VIEW WHEREOF, judgment is hereby rendered:

70
1. Holding respondent Judge Ramon B. Tupas administratively liable for gross
ignorance of the rules. Accordingly, he is ordered to pay a fine of Five Thousand
Pesos (P5,000.00); and

2. Warning respondent Sheriff Fidel Casuyon against committing similar violations of


the rules in implementing the writ of execution.

Let a copy of this decision be attached to the personal records of Sheriff Fidel
Casuyon.

SO ORDERED.

71
G.R. No. 100626 November 29, 1991 The petitioner assails the action of the respondent court and contends that decisions
of the regional trial court in cases exclusively cognizable by inferior courts and are
CITY OF MANILA, represented by Mayor Gemiliano C. Lopez, Jr., petitioner, final and executory under RA 6031. Thus:

vs. Sec. 1. . . .

HON. COURT OF APPEALS and THE ARMY & NAVY CLUB, INC., respondents. In cases falling under the exclusive original jurisdiction of municipal and city courts
which are appealed to the courts of first instance, the decision of the latter shall be
The Chief Legal Officer for petitioner.
final: Provided, That the findings of facts contained in said decision are supported by
Ramon A. Gonzales for private respondent. substantial evidence as basis thereof, and the conclusions are not clearly against the
law and jurisprudence; in cases falling under the concurrent jurisdictions of the
CRUZ, J.: municipal and city courts with the courts of first instance, the appeal shall be made
directly to the Court of Appeals whose decision shall be final: Provided, however,
Respondent Court of Appeals is faulted in this action for certiorari for having set
that the Supreme Court in its direction may, in any case involving a question of law,
aside the order of execution dated June 10, 1991, and the writ of execution issued by
upon petition of the party aggrieved by the decision and under rules and conditions
Judge Wilfredo Reyes of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in Civil Case No. 9156335.
that it may prescribe, require by certiorari that the case be certified to it for review
and determination, as if the case had been brought before it on appeal. (Emphasis
This was a complaint for unlawful detainer filed by the City of Manila against private supplied.)
respondent Army and Navy Club for violation of the lease agreement between them
The respondents argue on the other hand that under BP 129, decisions of the
over a parcel of land on Roxas Boulevard in the said city. A summary judgment in
regional trial court in cases originating from and within the exclusive jurisdiction of
favor of the petitioner was rendered by the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila 1 and
the metropolitan or municipal trial courts are not final but subject to appeal in a
seasonably elevated to the Regional Trial Court. To stay its execution, ANC filed a
petition for review to the Court of Appeals. Such decisions cannot be executed
supersedes bond in the amount of P2,700,000.00, which was approved by Judge
where the period of time for the defendant to perfect his appeal has not yet expired.
Reyes. 2 He subsequently affirmed the appealed judgment on June 7, 1991. 3
Thus:
On June 10, 1991, the petitioner filed an ex parte motion for execution on the
Sec. 22. (BP 129) — Appellate jurisdiction. — Regional Trial Courts shall exercise
ground that the judgment had already become final and executory under RA 6031.
appellate jurisdiction over all cases decided by Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal
Judge Reyes granted the motion the same day 4 and at 4:00 o'clock that afternoon
Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in their respective territorial
the writ of execution was served on ANC.
jurisdiction. Such cases shall be decided on the basis of the entire record of the
ANC moved to quash the writ on June 11, 1991, but hours later, sensing that the proceedings had in the court of origin and such memoranda and/or briefs as may be
motion could not be acted upon, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Courts. The decision of the
the Court of Appeals. RTC in such cases shall be appealable by petition for review to the Intermediate
Appellate Court which may give it due course only when the petition shows prima
On July 3, 1991, that court issued the questioned decision, 5 prompting the filing of facie that the lower court has committed an error of fact or law that will warrant a
the present petition for certiorari. reversal or modifications of the decision or judgment sought to be reviewed.
(Emphasis supplied.)

72
It is useful at this point to review the distinction between a "final" judgment and one In effect, both laws recognize that such judgments are "final" in the sense that they
which has become "final and executory." finally dispose of, adjudicate, or determine the rights of the parties in the case. But
such judgments are not yet "final and executory" pending the expiration of the
In PLDT Employees Union v. PLDT Free Telephone Workers Union, 6 the Court reglementary period for appeal. During that period, execution of the judgment
observed: cannot yet be demanded by the winning party as a matter of right.
. . . (A)n order or judgment is deemed final when it finally disposes of the pending In the present case, the private respondent had up to June 25, 1991, to appeal the
action so that nothing more can be done with it in the trial court. In other words, a decision of the regional trial court. The motion for execution was filed by the
final order is that which gives an end to the litigation . . . when the order or judgment petitioner on June 10, 1991, before the expiration of the said reglementary period.
does not dispose of the case completely but leaves something to be done upon the As the decision had not yet become final and executory on that date, the motion was
merits, it is merely interlocutory. premature and should therefore not have been granted. Contrary to the petitioner's
contention, what the trial court authorized was an execution pending appeal.
The case of Antonio v. Samonte 7 elaborated on this matter thus:
While it is true that execution pending appeal is allowed under Rule 39, Sec. 2, of the
A final order of judgment finally disposes of, adjudicates, or determines the rights, or
Rules of Court, this provision must be strictly construed, being an exception to the
some right or rights of the parties, either on the entire controversy or on some
general rule. The reason allowing this kind of execution must be of such urgency as
definite and separate branch thereof, and concludes them until it is reversed or set
to outweigh the injury or damage of the losing party should it secure a reversal of
aside . . .Where no issue is left for future consideration, except the fact of
the judgment on appeal. Absent any such justification, the order of execution must
compliance or non-compliance with the terms of the judgment or order, such
be struck down as flawed with grave abuse of discretion. 9
judgment or order is final and appealable.
We see no such justification in the case before us.
By contrast, in Investments, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 8 we declared:
It is worth remarking that as the case was not tried under the Rule on Summary
Now, a "final judgment" in the sense just described becomes final "upon expiration
procedure, the writ of execution did not even fall under the following Section 18
of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has been duly perfected" or, an
thereof :
appeal therefrom having been taken, the judgment of the appellate tribunal in turn
becomes final and the records of the case are returned to the Court of origin. The d) Sec. 18. Appeal. — The judgment or final order, including that rendered under
"final" judgment is then correctly categorized as a "final and executory judgment" in Section 5 hereof, shall be appealable to the appropriate regional trial court which
respect to which, as the law explicitly provides, "execution shall issue as a matter of shall decide the same on the basis of the records, in accordance with Section 22 of
right." It bears stressing that only a final judgment or order, i.e., "a judgment or Batas Pambansa Blg. 129. The decision of the regional trial court in such civil cases
order that finally dispose of the action of proceeding" can become final and shall be immediately executory.
executory.
To stay the execution, a supersedes bond is necessary except where one has already
A judgment becomes "final and executory" by operation of law. Finality of judgment been filed in the lower court. This bond continues to be effective if the judgment of
becomes a fact upon the lapse of the reglementary period to appeal if no appeal is the regional trial court is appealed. But during the pendency of the appeal, the
perfected. In such a situation, the prevailing party is entitled to a writ of execution, defendant-appellant must continue to depositing with the appellate court the
and issuance thereof is a ministerial duty of the court. payments required in the appealed judgment. The rentals accruing during the
pendency of the appeal must be deposited on or before the date stipulated, if there
Both RA 6031 and BP 129 provide that decisions of the regional trial court in its
is one, and in the absence thereof, on or before the dates provided for in Sec. 8 of
appellate capacity may be elevated to the Court of Appeals in a petition for review.

73
Rule 70. Failure to make such deposits or payments is ground for execution of the remedies and the danger of failure of justice without merit that usually determines
judgment. 10 the propriety of certiorari. 13

Since the private respondent in the case at bar has filed a supersedeas bond and the While appeal is normally employed to question an order or writ which varies the
stipulated rental is yearly, 11 execution may issue only when it fails to make the terms of the decision being executed, it is nevertheless not the sole and exclusive
yearly deposit of the rental, and after notice and hearing. Such default has not yet remedy. The special civil action of certiorari and prohibition under Rule 65 was
been established. available to the private respondent on the allegation that the regional trial court, in
issuing the writ of execution, committed grave abuse of discretion and acted beyond
The Court notes with disapproval the arbitrary manner in which Sheriff Dominador its jurisdiction and that the ordinary remedy of appeal was inadequate.
Cacpal and Deputy Sheriff Reynaldo Cordero acted in delivering possession of the
leased premises to the petitioner. The evidence shows that they enforced the writ of The last question to be resolved is, assuming that the decision of the regional trial
execution on the same date they received it, forcibly taking out movables from the court had already become "final and executory," could the said court order its
said premises, including chandeliers, furniture and furnishings, music organs, stereo execution?
components, lighting fixtures and computers. They turned off the water, cut off the
electricity and disconnected the telephones. They also unreasonably prevented ANC The rule is that if the judgment of the metropolitan trial court is appealed to the
members from entering the premises to get their personal belongings. regional trial court and the decision of the latter is itself elevated to the Court of
Appeals, whose decision thereafter became final, the case should be remanded
Cacpal and Cordero are hereby sternly reprimanded and warned that a repetition of through the regional trial court to the metropolitan trial court for execution. 14 The
similar arbitrariness will be dealt with more severely. Their conduct was a clear only exception is the execution pending appeal, which can be issued by the regional
violation of the requirement that: trial court under Sec. 8 of Rule 70 or the Court of Appeals or the Supreme Court
under Sec. 10 of the same Rule.
Under the Rules of Court the immediate enforcement of a writ of ejectment
execution is carried out by giving the defendant notice of such writ, and making a As previously observed, the petitioner has shown no weighty justification for the
demand that defendants comply therewith within a reasonable period, normally application of the exception. Hence, the respondent court committed no error in
from three (3) to five (5) days, and it is only after such period that the sheriff reversing the Regional Trial Court of Manila and annulling the writ of execution
enforces the writ by the bodily removal of the defendant and his personal belonging. issued by it on June 10, 1991, pending appeal of its decision.
12
ACCORDINGLY, the petition is DISMISSED, and the challenged decision of the Court
On the issue of the propriety of a special civil action for certiorari to assail an order of of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto. No costs.
execution pending appeal, this Court has held that —
SO ORDERED.
. . . Although Sec. 1, Rule 66 of the Rules of Court provides that the special civil action
of certiorari may only be invoked when "there is no appeal, nor any plain, speedy
and adequate remedy in the (ordinary) course of law" this rule is not without
exception. The availability of the ordinary course of appeal does not constitute
sufficient ground to prevent a party from making use of the extraordinary remedy of
certiorari where the appeal is not an adequate remedy or equally beneficial, speedy
and sufficient. It is the inadequacy — not the mere absence of all other legal

74
G.R. No. L-57348 May 16, 1985 rent is due; and the lease shall commence on the day that this decision shall have
become final.
FRANCISCO DEPRA, plaintiff-appellee,
vs. From the foregoing judgment, neither party appeal so that, ff it were a valid
AGUSTIN DUMLAO, defendant-appellant. judgment, it would have ordinarily lapsed into finality, but even then, DEPRA did not
accept payment of rentals so that DUMLAO deposited such rentals with the
Roberto D. Dineros for plaintiff-appellee. Municipal Court.

Veil D. Hechanova for defendant-appellant. On July 15,1974, DEPRA filed a Complaint for Quieting of Title against DUMLAO
before the then Court of First Instance of Iloilo, Branch IV (Trial Court), involving the
very same 34 square meters, which was the bone of contention in the Municipal
MELENCIO-HERRERA, J.: Court. DUMLAO, in his Answer, admitted the encroachment but alleged, in the main,
that the present suit is barred by res judicata by virtue of the Decision of the
This is an appeal from the Order of the former Court of First Instance of Iloilo to the Municipal Court, which had become final and executory.
then Court of Appeals, which the latter certified to this instance as involving pure
questions of law After the case had been set for pre-trial, the parties submitted a Joint Motion for
Judgment based on the Stipulation of Facts attached thereto. Premised thereon, the
Plaintiff-appellee, Francisco Depra, is the owner of a parcel of land registered under Trial Court on October 31, 1974, issued the assailed Order, decreeing:
Transfer Certificate of Title No. T3087, known as Lot No. 685, situated in the
municipality of Dumangas, Iloilo, with an area of approximately 8,870 square meters. WHEREFORE, the Court finds and so holds that the thirty four (34) square meters
Agustin Dumlao, defendant-appellant, owns an adjoining lot, designated as Lot No. subject of this litigation is part and parcel of Lot 685 of the Cadastral Survey of
683, with an approximate area of 231 sq. ms. Dumangas of which the plaintiff is owner as evidenced by Transfer Certificate of Title
No. 3087 and such plaintiff is entitled to possess the same.
Sometime in 1972, when DUMLAO constructed his house on his lot, the kitchen
thereof had encroached on an area of thirty four (34) square meters of DEPRA's Without pronouncement as to costs.
property, After the encroachment was discovered in a relocation survey of DEPRA's
SO ORDERED.
lot made on November 2,1972, his mother, Beatriz Depra after writing a demand
letter asking DUMLAO to move back from his encroachment, filed an action for Rebutting the argument of res judicata relied upon by DUMLAO, DEPRA claims that
Unlawful Detainer on February 6,1973 against DUMLAO in the Municipal Court of of the Decision of the Municipal Court was null and void ab initio because its
Dumangas, docketed as Civil Case No 1, Said complaint was later amended to include jurisdiction is limited to the sole issue of possession, whereas decisions affecting
DEPRA as a party plain. plaintiff. lease, which is an encumbrance on real property, may only be rendered by Courts of
First Instance.
After trial, the Municipal Court found that DUMLAO was a builder in good faith, and
applying Article 448 of the Civil Code, rendered judgment on September 29, 1973, Addressing out selves to the issue of validity of the Decision of the Municipal Court,
the dispositive portion of which reads: we hold the same to be null and void. The judgment in a detainer case is effective in
respect of possession only (Sec. 7, Rule 70, Rules of Court). 1 The Municipal Court
Ordering that a forced lease is created between the parties with the plaintiffs, as
over-stepped its bounds when it imposed upon the parties a situation of "forced
lessors, and the defendants as lessees, over the disputed portion with an area of
lease", which like "forced co-ownership" is not favored in law. Furthermore, a lease is
thirty four (34) square meters, the rent to be paid is five (P5.00) pesos a month,
an interest in real property, jurisdiction over which belongs to Courts of First
payable by the lessee to the lessors within the first five (5) days of the month the
75
Instance (now Regional Trial Courts) (Sec. 44(b), Judiciary Act of 1948; 2 Sec. 19 (2) to oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who
Batas Pambansa Blg. 129). 3 Since the Municipal Court, acted without jurisdiction, its sowed, the proper rent.
Decision was null and void and cannot operate as res judicata to the subject
complaint for Queting of Title. Besides, even if the Decision were valid, the rule on However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is
res judicata would not apply due to difference in cause of action. In the Municipal considerably more than that of the building or trees. In such case, he shall pay
Court, the cause of action was the deprivation of possession, while in the action to reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to appropriate the building
quiet title, the cause of action was based on ownership. Furthermore, Sec. 7, Rule 70 or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms of the lease
of the Rules of Court explicitly provides that judgment in a detainer case "shall not and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof (Paragraphing
bar an action between the same parties respecting title to the land. " 4 supplied)

Conceded in the Stipulation of Facts between the parties is that DUMLAO was a Pursuant to the foregoing provision, DEPRA has the option either to pay for the
builder in good faith. Thus, encroaching part of DUMLAO's kitchen, or to sell the encroached 34 square meters
of his lot to DUMLAO. He cannot refuse to pay for the encroaching part of the
8. That the subject matter in the unlawful detainer case, Civil Case No. 1, before the building, and to sell the encroached part of his land, 5 as he had manifested before
Municipal Court of Dumangas, Iloilo involves the same subject matter in the present the Municipal Court. But that manifestation is not binding because it was made in a
case, the Thirty-four (34) square meters portion of land and built thereon in good void proceeding.
faith is a portion of defendant's kitchen and has been in the possession of the
defendant since 1952 continuously up to the present; ... (Emphasis ours) However, the good faith of DUMLAO is part of the Stipulation of Facts in the Court of
First Instance. It was thus error for the Trial Court to have ruled that DEPRA is
Consistent with the principle that our Court system, like any other, must be a dispute "entitled to possession," without more, of the disputed portion implying thereby that
resolving mechanism, we accord legal effect to the agreement of the parties, within he is entitled to have the kitchen removed. He is entitled to such removal only when,
the context of their mutual concession and stipulation. They have, thereby, chosen a after having chosen to sell his encroached land, DUMLAO fails to pay for the same. 6
legal formula to resolve their dispute to appeal ply to DUMLAO the rights of a In this case, DUMLAO had expressed his willingness to pay for the land, but DEPRA
"builder in good faith" and to DEPRA those of a "landowner in good faith" as refused to sell.
prescribed in Article 448. Hence, we shall refrain from further examining whether
the factual situations of DUMLAO and DEPRA conform to the juridical positions The owner of the building erected in good faith on a land owned by another, is
respectively defined by law, for a "builder in good faith" under Article 448, a entitled to retain the possession of the land until he is paid the value of his building,
"possessor in good faith" under Article 526 and a "landowner in good faith' under under article 453 (now Article 546). The owner of the land, upon the other hand, has
Article 448. the option, under article 361 (now Article 448), either to pay for the building or to
sell his land to the owner of the building. But he cannot as respondents here did
In regards to builders in good faith, Article 448 of the Civil Code provides: refuse both to pay for the building and to sell the land and compel the owner of the
building to remove it from the land where it erected. He is entitled to such remotion
ART. 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built sown or planted in only when, after having chosen to sell his land. the other party fails to pay for the
good faith, same (italics ours).

shall have the right We hold, therefore, that the order of Judge Natividad compelling defendants-
petitioners to remove their buildings from the land belonging to plaintiffs-
to appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of the
respondents only because the latter chose neither to pay for such buildings nor to
indemnity provided for in articles 546 and 548, or
sell the land, is null and void, for it amends substantially the judgment sought to be

76
executed and is. furthermore, offensive to articles 361 (now Article 448) and 453 Our own Code Commission must have taken account of the objections to Article 361
(now Article 546) of the Civil Code. (Ignacio vs. Hilario, 76 Phil. 605, 608[1946]). of the Spanish Civil Code. Hence, the Commission provided a modification thereof,
and Article 448 of our Code has been made to provide:
A word anent the philosophy behind Article 448 of the Civil rode.
ART. 448. The owner of the land on which anything has been built, sown or planted
The original provision was found in Article 361 of the Spanish Civil Code; which in good faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his own the works, sowing or
provided: planting, after payment of the indemnity provided for in articles 546 and 548, or to
oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who
ART. 361. The owner of land on which anything has been built, sown or planted in
sowed, the proper rent. However, the builder or planter cannot be obliged to buy
good faith, shall have the right to appropriate as his own the work, sowing or
the land if its value is considerably more than that of the building or trees. In such
planting, after the payment of the indemnity stated in Articles 453 and 454, or to
case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the owner of the land does not choose to
oblige the one who built or planted to pay the price of the land, and the one who
appropriate the building or trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree
sowed, the proper rent.
upon the terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms
As will be seen, the Article favors the owner of the land, by giving him one of the two thereof.
options mentioned in the Article. Some commentators have questioned the
Additional benefits were extended to the builder but the landowner retained his
preference in favor of the owner of the land, but Manresa's opinion is that the
options.
Article is just and fair.
The fairness of the rules in Article 448 has also been explained as follows:
. . . es justa la facultad que el codigo da al dueno del suelo en el articulo 361, en el
caso de edificacion o plantacion? Algunos comentaristas la conceptuan injusta, y Where the builder, planter or sower has acted in good faith, a conflict of rights arises
como un extraordinario privilegio en favor de la propiedad territorial. Entienden que between the owners, and it becomes necessary to protect the owner of the
impone el Codigo una pena al poseedor de buena fe y como advierte uno de los improvements without causing injustice to the owner of the land. In view of the
comentaristas aludidos 'no se ve claro el por que de tal pena . . . al obligar al que impracticability of creating a state of forced co-ownership, the law has provided a
obro de buena fe a quedarse con el edificio o plantacion, previo el pago del terreno just solution by giving the owner of the land the option to acquire the improvements
que ocupa, porque si bien es verdad que cuando edifico o planto demostro con este after payment of the proper indemnity, or to oblige the builder or planter to pay for
hecho, que queria para si el edificio o plantio tambien lo es que el que edifico o the land and the sower to pay for the proper rent. It is the owner of the land who is
planto de buena fe lo hizo en la erronea inteligencia de creerse dueno del terreno authorized to exercise the option, because his right is older, and because, by the
Posible es que, de saber lo contrario, y de tener noticia de que habia que comprar y principle of accession, he is entitled to the ownership of the accessory thing. (3
pagar el terreno, no se hubiera decidido a plantar ni a edificar. La ley obligandole a Manresa 213; Bernardo vs. Bataclan, 37 Off. Gaz. 1382; Co Tao vs. Chan Chico, G.R.
hacerlo fuerza su voluntad, y la fuerza por un hecho inocente de que no debe ser No. 49167, April 30, 1949; Article applied: see Cabral, et al vs. Ibanez [S.C.] 52 Off.
responsable'. Asi podra suceder pero la realidad es que con ese hecho voluntario, Gaz. 217; Marfori vs. Velasco, [C.A.] 52 Off. Gaz. 2050). 8
aunque sea inocente, se ha enriquecido torticeramente con perjuicio de otro a quien
es justo indemnizarle, WHEREFORE, the judgment of the trial Court is hereby set aside, and this case is
hereby ordered remanded to the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo for further
En nuestra opinion, el Codigo ha resuelto el conflicto de la manera mas justa y proceedings consistent with Articles 448 and 546 of the Civil Code, as follows:
equitativa y respetando en lo possible el principio que para la accesion se establece
en el art. 358. 7 1. The trial Court shall determine

a) the present fair price of DEPRA's 34 square meter area of land;


77
b) the amount of the expenses spent by DUMLAO for the building of the kitchen; two-year period, or upon default by DUMLAO in the payment of rentals for two (2)
consecutive months, DEPRA shall be entitled to terminate the forced lease, to
c) the increase in value ("plus value") which the said area of 34 square meters may recover his land, and to have the kitchen removed by DUMLAO or at the latter's
have acquired by reason thereof, and expense. The rentals herein provided shall be tendered by DUMLAO to the Court for
payment to DEPRA, and such tender shall constitute evidence of whether or not
d) whether the value of said area of land is considerably more than that of the
compliance was made within the period fixed by the Court.
kitchen built thereon.
c) In any event, DUMLAO shall pay DEPRA an amount computed at Ten Pesos
2. After said amounts shall have been determined by competent evidence, the
(P10.00) per month as reasonable compensation for the occupancy of DEPRA's land
Regional, Trial Court shall render judgment, as follows:
for the period counted from 1952, the year DUMLAO occupied the subject area, up
a) The trial Court shall grant DEPRA a period of fifteen (15) days within which to to the commencement date of the forced lease referred to in the preceding
exercise his option under the law (Article 448, Civil Code), whether to appropriate paragraph;
the kitchen as his own by paying to DUMLAO either the amount of tile expenses
d) The periods to be fixed by the trial Court in its Precision shall be inextendible, and
spent by DUMLAO f or the building of the kitchen, or the increase in value ("plus
upon failure of the party obliged to tender to the trial Court the amount due to the
value") which the said area of 34 square meters may have acquired by reason
obligee, the party entitled to such payment shall be entitled to an order of execution
thereof, or to oblige DUMLAO to pay the price of said area. The amounts to be
for the enforcement of payment of the amount due and for compliance with such
respectively paid by DUMLAO and DEPRA, in accordance with the option thus
other acts as may be required by the prestation due the obligee.
exercised by written notice of the other party and to the Court, shall be paid by the
obligor within fifteen (15) days from such notice of the option by tendering the No costs,
amount to the Court in favor of the party entitled to receive it;
SO ORDERED.
b) The trial Court shall further order that if DEPRA exercises the option to oblige
DUMLAO to pay the price of the land but the latter rejects such purchase because, as
found by the trial Court, the value of the land is considerably more than that of the
kitchen, DUMLAO shall give written notice of such rejection to DEPRA and to the
Court within fifteen (15) days from notice of DEPRA's option to sell the land. In that
event, the parties shall be given a period of fifteen (15) days from such notice of
rejection within which to agree upon the terms of the lease, and give the Court
formal written notice of such agreement and its provisos. If no agreement is reached
by the parties, the trial Court, within fifteen (15) days from and after the termination
of the said period fixed for negotiation, shall then fix the terms of the lease, provided
that the monthly rental to be fixed by the Court shall not be less than Ten Pesos
(P10.00) per month, payable within the first five (5) days of each calendar month.
The period for the forced lease shall not be more than two (2) years, counted from
the finality of the judgment, considering the long period of time since 1952 that
DUMLAO has occupied the subject area. The rental thus fixed shall be increased by
ten percent (10%) for the second year of the forced lease. DUMLAO shall not make
any further constructions or improvements on the kitchen. Upon expiration of the

78
G.R. No. L-48050 October 10, 1994 by plaintiff by removing existing BL (Bureau of Lands) monuments thereon, and by
these actions, defendant started exercising illegal possession of said portion of land
FELICIDAD JAVIER, petitioner, which contains an area of 200 square meters, more or less. 1
vs.
HON. REGINO T. VERIDIANO II, Presiding Judge, Branch I, Court of First Instance of On 7 November 1972 the City Court of Olongapo City, Br. 4,2 dismissed Civil Case No.
Zambales and REINO ROSETE, respondents. 926 on the ground that "it appears to the Court that the Bureau of Lands has
considered the area in question to be outside Lot 1641 of the plaintiff. . . ." 3 The
Cesar E. Palma for petitioner. Decision of the City Court of Olongapo City became final and executory on 30 April
1973 when the then Court of First Instance of Zambales and Olongapo City, Br. 3, 4
Saturnino V. Bactad for private respondent.
dismissed the appeal and affirmed the findings and conclusions of the City Court
holding that appellant (herein petitioner) failed to give sufficient evidence to prove
that the area in question was within the boundaries of Lot No. 1641. 5
BELLOSILLO, J.:
Subsequently, on 17 December 1973, petitioner was granted Miscellaneous Sales
Petitioner Felicidad Javier questions before us the order of a regional trial court Patent No. 5548 and issued Original Certificate of Title No. P-3259 covering Lot No.
citing the final decision of the city court previously dismissing her complaint for 1641. Meanwhile, Ben Babol who was the defendant and appellee in the complaint
forcible entry, and on the basis thereof, dismissed her petition to quiet title on the for forcible entry had sold the property he was occupying, including the portion of
ground of res judicata. We summon the time-honored remedies accion interdictal, about 200 square meters in question, to a certain Reino Rosete. Thus petitioner
accion publiciana and accion reivindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion to resolve the demanded the surrender of the same area in dispute from Reino Rosete who
issues presented in the petition. repeatedly refused to comply with the demand.

It appears that on 25 January 1963, petitioner filed a Miscellaneous Sales Application On 29 June 1977, or after about four (4) years from the finality of the dismissal of
for Lot No. 1641, Ts-308 of the Olongapo Townsite Subdivision, Lower Kalaklan, Civil Case No. 926, petitioner instituted a complaint for quieting of title and recovery
Olongapo City, with the District Land Officer, Bureau of Lands, Olongapo City. of possession with damages against Ben Babol and Reino Rosete before the then
Sometime in December 1970, alleging that she was forcibly dispossessed of a portion Court of First Instance of Zambales and Olongapo City, docketed as Civil Case No.
of the land by a certain Ben Babol, she instituted a complaint for forcible entry 2203-0, alleging in pars. 2 and 3 therein that —
before the City Court of Olongapo City, docketed as Civil Case No. 926, stating in
pars. 2 and 3 therein that — . . . plaintiff is the absolute owner in fee simple of a parcel of land identified as Lot
No. 1641, Ts-308, Olongapo Townsite Subdivision . . . covered by Original Certificate
. . . plaintiff is the true, lawful and in actual, prior physical possession of a certain of Title No. P-3259, issued by the Register of Deeds for the province of Zambales. . . .
parcel of land situated at Lower Kalaklan, City of Olongapo, said lot being designated Sometime in December,
as Lot No. 1641, Ts-308 of the Olongapo Townsite Subdivision since 1961 and up to 1970, and until present, defendants, relying on an application filed on December 23,
the present time, until the day and incidents hereinafter narrated. . . . Sometime on 1969, with the Bureau of Lands, however have squatted, illegally occupied and
December 12, 1970, the defendant, without express consent of plaintiff and without unlawfully possessed the southwestern portion of plaintiff's above-described
lawful authority, through scheme, strategy and stealth, forcibly entered a portion on property of about 200 square meters, then by defendant BEN BABOL and now by
the southwestern part of Lot No. 1641, Ts-308, with the assistance of hired helpers, defendant REINO ROSETE, the former having sold the entirety of his property to the
started construction of riprap along the Kalaklan River perimeter of said portion of latter, including the portion in question. . . . 6
land; said entry was further augmented by removing plaintiff's chain link, fence with
galvanized iron posts embedded in concrete, likewise destroying plants introduced

79
Instead of filing a responsive pleading, therein defendant Reino Rosete (private Petitioner's argument that there is no identity of parties between the two actions is
respondent herein) moved to dismiss the complaint on the ground of res judicata. without merit. We have repeatedly ruled that for res judicata to apply, what is
Defendant Ben Babol did not file any pleading. required is not absolute but only substantial identity of parties. 11 It is fundamental
that the application of res judicata may not be evaded by simply including additional
In its Order dated 27 January 1978,7 the then Court of First Instance of Zambales, Br. parties in a subsequent litigation. In fact we have said that there is still identity of
1,8 sustained the argument of Rosete and granted his motion to dismiss. Thereafter, parties although in the second action there is one party who was not joined in the
petitioner's motion for reconsideration was denied.9 Hence, this petition for review first action, if it appears that such party is not
on certiorari. a necessary party either in the first or second action, 12 or is a mere nominal party. 13
Thus, Sec. 49, par. (b), Rule 39, Rules of Court, provides that ". . . the judgment or
Petitioner contends that res judicata cannot apply in the instant case since there is
order is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other matter that
no identity of parties and causes of action between her complaint for forcible entry,
could have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties and their
which had long become final and executory, and her subsequent petition for quieting
successors in interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the action or
of title. She argues that private respondent Reino Rosete, who invokes the defense
special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in the
or res judicata, was never impleaded in the forcible entry case, which is an action in
same capacity."
personam; neither was he a purchaser pendente lite who, perhaps, could have validly
invoked the defense of res judicata. With regard to the cause of action, she In the case at bench, it is evident that private respondent Reino Rosete is a successor
maintains that there is no identity of causes of action since the first case was for in interest of Ben Babol by title subsequent to the commencement and termination
forcible entry, which is merely concerned with the possession of the property, of the first action. Hence, there is actual, if not substantial, identity of the parties
whereas the subsequent case was for quieting of title, which looks into the between the two actions. But, there is merit in petitioner's argument that there is no
ownership of the disputed land. identity of causes of action between Civil Case
No. 926 and Civil Case No. 2203-0.
Private respondent however submits that there is identity of parties in the two cases
since he is a successor in interest by title of the defendant in the first case after the Civil Case No. 926 is a complaint for forcible entry, where what is at issue is prior
commencement of the first action. On the issue of identity of causes of action, he possession, regardless of who has lawful title over the disputed property. 14 Thus,
simply states that neither of the two cases, i.e., the complaint for forcible entry and "[t]he only issue in an action for forcible entry is the physical or material possession
the subsequent petition for quieting of title, alleges a cause of action. Thus, private of real property, that is, possession de facto and not possession de jure. The
respondent continues, both cases have to be dismissed. philosophy underlying this remedy is that irrespective of the actual condition of the
title to the property, the party in peaceable quiet possession shall not be turned out
Time and again it has been said that for res judicata to bar the institution of a
by strong hand, violence or terror." 15 And, a judgment rendered in a case for
subsequent action the following requisites must concur: (1) There must be a final
recovery of possession is conclusive only on the question of possession and not on
judgment or order; (2) The court rendering the judgment must have jurisdiction over
the ownership. It does not in any way bind the title or affect the ownership of the
the subject matter; (3) The former judgment is a judgment on the merits; and, (4)
land or building. 16
There is between the first and second actions identity of parties, of subject matter
and of causes of action. 10 The presence of the first three requirements and the On the other hand, Civil Case No. 2203-0 while inaccurately captioned as an action
identity of subject matter in the fourth requirement are not disputed. Hence, the for "Quieting of Title and Recovery of Possession with Damages" is in reality an
only issues remaining are whether as between Civil Case No. 926 and Civil Case No. action to recover a parcel of land or an accion reivindicatoria under Art. 434 17 of the
2203-0 there is identity of parties and of causes of action which would bar the Civil Code, and should be distinguished from Civil Case No. 926, which is an accion
institution of Civil Case No. 2203-0. interdictal. From the averments of the complaint in Civil Case No. 2203-0, plaintiff
therein (petitioner herein) clearly sets up title to herself and prays that respondent
80
Rosete be ejected from the disputed land and that she be declared the owner and of possession, but by no means constitutes a bar to an action for determination of
given possession thereof. Certainly, the allegations partake of the nature of an accion who has the right or title of ownership. 23
reivindicatoria. 18
And, applying the ruling of the Court En Banc in Quimpo v. De la Victoria, 24 even if
19
The doctrine in Emilia v. Bado, , decided more than twenty-five years ago, is still we treat Civil Case No. 2203-0 as a petition to quiet title, as its caption suggests, still
good law and has preserved the age-old remedies available under existing laws and it has a cause of action different from that for ejectment. Consequently, there being
jurisprudence to recover possession of real property, namely accion interdictal, no identity of causes of action between Civil Case No. 926 and Civil Case No. 2203-0,
which is the summary action for forcible entry (detentacion) where the defendant's the prior complaint for ejectment cannot bar the subsequent action for recovery, or
possession of the property is illegal ab initio, or the summary action for unlawful petition to quiet title.
detainer (desahuico) where the defendant's possession was originally lawful but
ceased to be so by the expiration of his right to possess, both of which must be WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Order dated 27 January 1978 of the then
brought within one year from the date of actual entry on the land, in case of forcible Court of First Instance of Zambales, Br. I, with station in Olongapo City, dismissing
entry, and from the date of last demand, in case of unlawful detainer, in the proper Civil Case No. 2203-0, and its subsequent Order denying reconsideration of the
municipal trial court or metropolitan trial court; 20 accion publiciana which is a dismissal are REVERSED and SET ASIDE.
plenary action for recovery of the right to possess and which should be brought in
The Clerk of Court is directed to remand the records immediately to the court of a
the proper regional trial court when the dispossession has lasted for more than one
quo and the latter to proceed with the trial of Civil Case No. 2203-0 with deliberate
year; and, accion reivindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion which seeks the recovery
dispatch. This decision is immediately executory.
of ownership and includes the jus utendi and the jus fruendi brought in the proper
regional trial court. SO ORDERED.

Accion reivindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion is thus an action whereby plaintiff


alleges ownership over a parcel of land and seeks recovery of its full possession. 21 It
is different from accion interdictal or accion publiciana where plaintiff merely alleges
proof of a better right to possess without claim of title. 22

In Civil Case No. 926 petitioner merely claimed a better right or prior possession over
the disputed area without asserting title thereto. It should be distinguished from Civil
Case No. 2203-0 where she expressly alleged ownership, specifically praying that she
be declared the rightful owner and given possession of the disputed portion. Hence,
in Civil Case No. 926 petitioner merely alleged that she was "the true, lawful
(possessor) and in actual, prior physical possession" of the subject parcel of land,
whereas in Civil Case
No. 2203-0 she asserted that she was "the absolute owner in fee simple" of the
parcel of land "covered by Original Transfer Certificate of Title No. P-3259." The
complaint in Civil Case No. 2203-0 definitely raises the question of ownership and
clearly gives defendants therein notice of plaintiff's claim of exclusive and absolute
ownership, including the right to possess which is an elemental attribute of such
ownership. Thus, this Court has ruled that a judgment in forcible entry or detainer
case disposes of no other issue than possession and declares only who has the right
81
G.R. No. 117389 May 11, 1995 On appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City rendered judgment on 26
March 1993 modifying the MTC decision by ordering Oblea to pay rentals only from
ROMEO V. OBLEA and RAMON S. MELENCIO, petitioners, 2 March 1988, but sustaining the MTC in other respects.
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS and JUAN S, ESTEBAN, respondents. On 3 June 1993, the registered owners4 sold the disputed lot to petitioner Oblea.
Afterwards, Oblea together with Ramon Melencio, Pura Melencio and Wilfredo Wico
and Mariabelle Wico filed before the Regional Trial Court an action for quieting of
title against Esteban, docketed as Civil Case No. 1536. They contended that the
BELLOSILLO, J.:
deeds of sale executed by Mauricio Ramos in favor of Juan Esteban and by Ursula
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision of the Court of Appeals Melencio in favor of Mauricio Ramos were a nullity.
dismissing the petition for certiorari and prohibition and denying the prayer for a
The ejectment case, Civil Case No. 10588, was in the meantime appealed to the
writ of preliminary injunction against the order of 6 April 1994 of the Regional Trial
Court of Appeals by way of petition for review, which petition was dismissed by the
Court of Cabanatuan City, Br. 27, which lifted and cancelled the temporary
appellate court on 2 July 1993. Upon remand of the records to the court of origin,
restraining order issued by Judge Lydia B. Hipolito of the Municipal Trial Court of
and on motion of Esteban, the prevailing party, MTC Judge Hipolito directed
Cabanatuan City, Br. 9. 1
execution and issued the corresponding writ to enforce the final and executory
The controverted lot, designated as Lot 1, Block 2, was formerly a part of a mother judgment in the ejectment suit.
lot covered by TCT No. 26604 of the Register of Deeds of Cabanatuan City,
The execution was however thwarted when petitioners Romeo Oblea and Ramon
containing an area of 83,325 square meters and registered in the names of Manuel
Melencio filed another petition before the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City
Melencio (1/3), Pura Melencio (1/3) and Wilfredo Wico and Mariabelle M. Wico
for certiorari and prohibition with application for a temporary restraining order and
(1/3). Subsequently, TCT No. 26604 was cancelled and in lieu thereof TCT No. 65031
preliminary injunction, docketed as Civil Case No. 1676-AF. On 22 November 1993
was issued in the name of petitioner Ramon S. Melencio who became a co-owner
the Executive Judge thereof issued a temporary restraining order to stop the
with Pura Melencio and the Wicos by virtue of a deed of sale executed in his favor by
enforcement of the writ of execution issued by Judge Hipolito. On 6 April 1994
his now deceased father Manuel Melencio.
however Judge Adriano I. Tuason, Acting Presiding Judge of Br. 27, lifted and
On 6 June 1958 subject lot was bought by private respondent Juan S. Esteban from canceled the restraining order earlier issued, thus paving the way for the execution
Mauricio Ramos who claimed to have acquired the property from Ursula Melencio, of the judgment in the ejectment case.
the alleged administratrix of the estate of Manuel and Pura Melencio. 2
Undeterred by the reversal, petitioners elevated their case to the appellate court
Meanwhile, petitioner Romeo V. Oblea leased a building located on the subject lot which on 27 September 1994 dismissed their appeal, the reason being that the
from a certain Marius Esteban, an alleged son of private respondent Juan S. Esteban. eviction case had long become final and executory and that the various actions taken
Oblea eventually bought from Marius the lot on which the building stood.3 As a by petitioners were merely designed to delay execution.
consequence, on 4 July 1991 Esteban filed an ejectment suit against petitioner Oblea
We agree with respondent Court of Appeals.
in the Municipal Trial Court of Cabanatuan City docketed as Civil Case No. 10588. On
3 April 1992, the case was decided by Judge Romeo G. Mauricio in favor of Esteban The main argument of petitioners is that in view of the subsequent sale of the
and against petitioner Oblea who was ordered to vacate the premises and pay rental controversial lot to them on 3 June 1993, and under the mistaken notion of
arrears from January 1983, as well as litigation expenses and attorney's fees in the "doctrine of supervening event," they have acquired a better right of possession and
total sum of P8,000.00.

82
ownership. Hence, they argue that with this "supervening event," the judgment
evicting them can no longer be enforced.

The argument is untenable. It must be stressed that the sole issue in an action for
unlawful detainer is physical or material possession, i.e., possession de facto and not
possession de jure. This is settled doctrine. Resultantly, the pendency of an action for
quieting of title before the Regional Trial Court does not divest the city or municipal
trial court of its jurisdiction to proceed with the ejectment case over the same
property. The subsequent acquisition of ownership by petitioners is not a
supervening event that will bar the execution of the judgment in said unlawful
detainer case, the fact remaining that when judgment was rendered by the MTC in
the ejectment case, petitioner Oblea was a mere possessor of the subject lot.

Similarly, the fact that petitioners instituted a separate action for quieting of title is
not a valid reason for defeating the execution of the summary remedy of ejectment.
On the contrary., it bolsters the conclusion that the eviction case did not deal with
the issue of ownership which was precisely the subject matter of the action for
quieting of title before the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan City. 5 With the finality
of the decision in the ejectment case, execution in favor of the prevailing party has
become a matter of right; its implementation mandatory. It cannot be avoided. 6

In fine, the Court of Appeals did not commit reversible error in upholding the order
of 6 April 1994 which lifted the temporary restraining order enjoining the
implementation of the writ of execution in favor of private respondent Esteban.
Simply put, the petition is a desperate attempt on the part of petitioners to unduly
prolong the litigation of an issue which has been settled and should have been long
laid to rest.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED. Costs against petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

83
G.R. No. 99846 May 22, 1995 1. the defendant and those claiming rights under her to vacate the premises in
question and restore possession to plaintiff;
BELEN CRUZ and HON. LUCIANO G. ELIZAGA, in his capacity as Presiding Judge of
Branch 101 RTC — Bulacan, petitioners, 2. the defendant to pay plaintiff actual damages in the amount of P2,000.00
vs. exclusive of expenses in case of appeal;
FE ESPERANZA LEABRES, respondent.
3. the defendant to pay the sum of P5,000.00 for and as attorney's fees plus P300.00
as court appearance fees for every court attendance of herein plaintiff's retained
counsel; and
ROMERO, J.:
4. the costs of suit.
This is a petition for review on certiorari of the decision1 of the Court of Appeals
dated April 30, 1991 which (1) annulled and set aside the injunction order of Judge Further, the counterclaim of defendant is hereby dismissed for lack of merit.
Luciano G. Elizaga of the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan in Civil Case No. 624-M-88,
and (2) ordered the Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan, Bulacan to reinstate the SO ORDERED.
writ of execution in Civil Case No. 87-1377.
Petitioner appealed the decision to the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan, docketed as
The facts show that private respondent Fe Esperanza Leabres acquired a parcel of Civil Case No. 193-M-88. On June 14, 1988, the said court rendered its decision
land with a two-door apartment on December 31, 1981 from its registered owners, affirming in toto the decision of the Municipal Court.
the spouses Roque David and Concordia Regoso. The latter executed a Deed of
Petitioner received the aforesaid decision on June 22, 1988 and on July 8, 1988, she
Absolute Sale in favor of private respondent and a corresponding Transfer Certificate
filed her motion for reconsideration, which was denied on September 6, 1988.
of Title was issued in her name. No lis pendens or encumbrance of whatever form or
nature was annotated at the back of the title. Petitioner Belen Cruz Regoso, widow On September 21, 1988, petitioner filed a notice of appeal but the same was denied.
of Concordia Regoso's father was an occupant of one of the units of the said The decision having become final and executory, the Regional Trial Court of Bulacan,
apartment at the time of the sale and continues to occupy the same up to the Branch 22 issued an order dated October 5, 1988 remanding the case to the court of
present. origin.

On September 26, 1986, private respondent asked petitioner to vacate the unit she On November 23, 1988, petitioner filed a civil action for the rescission of the sale
was occupying because private respondent needed to use it. Petitioner refused to between the spouses Roque David and Concordia Regoso and Fe Esperanza Leabres
vacate the same and, as a consequence, private respondent filed a complaint for with damages and preliminary injunction with the RTC of Bulacan docketed as Civil
ejectment with the Municipal Trial Court of Bulacan, branch I, docketed as Civil Case Case No. 624-M-88. On September 5, 1989, upon motion of private respondent, the
No. 87-1377. Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan issued an order for the execution of its
judgment. The RTC issued a restraining order dated November 24, 1989 enjoining
On March 28, 1988, the Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan rendered judgment,
the Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan, from issuing a writ of execution of the
the dispositive portion of which reads:
ejectment case.
WHEREFORE, with all the foregoing, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the
On January 8, 1990, the RTC of Bulacan issued the assailed order for the issuance of
plaintiff ordering:
a writ of preliminary injunction, the dispositive portion of which reads as follows:

WHEREFORE, the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for is hereby granted and
84
1. The Presiding Judge of Branch I of the Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan, donation's between spouses made during marriage shall be void and which prohibits
Bulacan is enjoined from taking further action in the implementation of its decision the husband and wife from selling their property to each other.
dated March 8, 1988 in Civil Case No. 87-1377 entitled "Fe Esperanza Leabres vs.
Belen Regoso"; and Since the "Kasulatan" could not have validly transferred the property in favor of
Maximo Regoso, the court held that he could not, in turn, sell the same in favor of
2. If a writ of execution has already been issued, the ex-oficio Provincial Sheriff of his daughter Concordia Regoso-David because the transfer to him was void.
Bulacan or any of her Deputies is enjoined from enforcing/implementing any writ of
execution issued in connection with the aforementioned MTC case and not to molest When the case was appealed to the Court of Appeals by the Heirs of Maximo
or otherwise disturb plaintiff in the peaceful enjoyment and possession of the Regoso, the same was dismissed by the appellate court on January 30, 1990.
property in question until further orders from this court.
The Heirs of Maximo Regoso then filed a petition for review on certiorari with this
SO ORDERED. Court docketed as G.R. No. 91879. We denied the said petition in a Decision
promulgated on July 6, 1992; hence the RTC decision of November 14, 1988
At this juncture, certain antecedent facts have become material. On February 14, declaring the property in question as paraphernal property of the petitioner is now
1969, petitioner purchased a parcel of land from the spouses Emmanuel Galang and final.
Rosalina Villegas. Petitioner caused the registration of the Deed of Sale, and
accordingly, Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-108088 was issued in the name of Meanwhile, Civil Case No. 624-M-88 for rescission was filed on November 23, 1988
Belen Cruz married to Maximo Regoso. by petitioner with the RTC of Bulacan, the same court which issued the now assailed
order of injunction.
In July 1969, petitioner was made to sign a "Kasulatan ng Pagwawalang-bahala ng
Karapatan" renouncing whatever rights she had in her property and transferred the After said order was issued, private respondent filed a petition for certiorari with the
same to her husband and Maximo Regoso. Court of Appeals. On April 30, 1991, the appellate court annulled and set aside the
injunction order and ordered the Municipal Trial Court of Bulacan to reinstate the
A new Transfer Certificate of Title was then issued in the name of Maximo Regoso writ of execution of the ejectment case against petitioner.
married to Belen Cruz-Regoso. On October 23, 1979, he sold the property to the
spouses Roque David and Concordia Regoso, who in turn sold the property to private Hence, this petition.
respondent Leabres on December 31, 1981. The two-door apartment standing on
Petitioner argues that when the Court of Appeals rendered the decision appealed
the said property was constructed out of the conjugal funds of petitioner and
from, it failed to consider the supervening facts that occurred before and after the
Maximo Regoso. One door was leased since 1972 while the other was occupied by
Municipal Trial Court of Meycauayan, Branch I issued a writ of execution and that
petitioner up to the present.
these facts, if properly considered and evaluated, would result in a decision in her
While her husband was still alive, petitioner filed a case against him with the RTC of favor.
Malolos, Bulacan on October 12, 1981 for partition with accounting and damages. He
We find the petition meritorious.
died on January 17, 1985 while the case was pending.
The principal issue to be resolved here is whether or not the Regional Trial Court of
On November 14, 1988, the court rendered a decision2 in said case finding that the
Bulacan acted in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in
subject property now being litigated is paraphernal, and the improvement thereon
granting the writ of preliminary injunction which enjoined implementation of the
(the two-door apartment), conjugal. The said court also found that the "Kasulatan"
writ of execution issued by the Municipal Court.
executed in July 1969 is a nullity as it runs counter to the pertinent provisions of the
Civil Code, namely Article 1333 and Article 14904 which provides, respectively, that all
85
Petitioner admits that the ejectment suit against her became final and executory on SO ORDERED.
September 21, 1988. However, she argues that the facts and circumstances that
occurred before and after the Municipal Court judgment make the case an exception
to Sec. 1, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court5 where the prevailing party is entitled as a
matter of right to the issuance of a writ of execution.

In Lee v. De Guzman Jr.,6 we said:

It is well-settled that when after a judgment has become final and executory, facts
and circumstances transpire which render its execution impossible or unjust, the
interested party may ask a competent court to stay its execution or prevent its
enforcement.

In Lipana v. Development Bank of Rizal,7 we enumerated the exceptions to the


general rule:

The rule that once a decision becomes final and executory, it is the ministerial duty
of the court to order its execution, admits of certain exceptions as in cases of special
and exceptional nature where it becomes imperative in the higher interest of justice
to direct the suspension of its execution (Vecine vs. Geronimo, 59 O.G. 579);
whenever it is necessary to accomplish the aims of justice (Pascual vs. Tan, 85 Phil.
164); or when certain facts and circumstances transpired after the judgment became
final which could render the execution of the judgment unjust (Cabrias vs. Adil, 135
SCRA 354).

In the instant case, the stay of execution of the judgment ejecting petitioner from
where she is staying is warranted by the fact that the transfer to her husband of the
said property and his subsequent sale thereof to his son-in-law and daughter had
been earlier declared null and void. To execute the judgment by ejecting petitioner
would result in an injustice, considering that the decision of November 14, 1988
declaring the property in question as her paraphernal property has already become
final.

Accordingly, respondent Judge did not gravely abuse his discretion in issuing the
assailed injunction order which was necessary to preserve the status quo between
the parties while the action for rescission of the sale was still being tried.

WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is hereby REVERSED and SET
ASIDE.

86
G.R. No. 83959 April 8, 1991 On June 29, 1979, petitioner filed with the Court of First Instance (now Regional Trial
Court) of Bulacan a petition for relief from judgment and order with prayer for
RUPERTO DE GUZMAN, petitioner preliminary injunction to restrain the enforcement of the writ of execution issued.
vs. On the date set for the hearing for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction,
THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FIFTEENTH DIVISION) and DR. petitioner filed with the same trial court a petition for certiorari, prohibition and
FORTUNATO V. CORREA, respondents. mandamus with restraining order, injuction and damages against private
respondent, docketed as Special Civil Action SM-960. Pending resolution of said
Romeo R. Bringas for petitioner.
petition, a restraining order was issued and petitioner was ordered to post an
Public Attorney's Office for private respondent.
injunction bond and to deposit rentals. Acting on said petition, the trial court
declared null and void, the proceedings held in Civil Case No. 183 and ordered the
dismissal of the case in view of the lack of the requisite demand under Section 2,
Rule 70, Rules of Court.
MEDIALDEA, J.:
Subsequently, private respondent again filed with the Municipal Trial Court of Angat,
The instant petition for review on certiorari seeks to set aside the decision of the Bulacan, another ejectment case against petitioner, this time docketed as Civil Case
Court of Appeals dated May 11, 1988 (p. 17. Rollo) in CA-G.R. SP No. 11639 entitled No. 286. The trial court, in a decision dated October 16, 1984, ordered petitioner to
"Ruperto de Guzman vs. Hon. Gualberto J. dela Llana, Regional Trial Court, Branch vacate the leased premises; to pay private respondent a monthly rental in the
16, Malolos, Bulacan and Fortunato V. Correa," and its resolution dated June 22, amount of P175.00 starting May 1977 until petitioner vacates the premises with 14%
1988, denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration of said decision which interest per annum until fully paid; to pay private respondent the sum of P10,000.00
sustained the judgment of the Regional Trial Court, which in turn, affirmed an earlier as moral damages, P5,000.00 as exemplary damages, P5,000.00 as attorney's fees
decision of the Municipal Trial Court of Angat, Bulacan ordering the ejectment of and costs of the proceedings.
herein petitioner (p. 25, Rollo).
On November 14, 1984, petitioner filed in Special Civil Action No. SM-960, which was
The factual backdrop of the case is as follows: reassigned to Regional Trial Court, Branch 16, Malolos, Bulacan after the judicial
reorganization, a petition for contempt with restraining order and injunction to
Petitioner was the tenant of the late Teodora Villarama, mother of herein private
prevent the execution of the above decision. This petition was considered by said
respondent, over a rice mill and a warehouse located in Angat, Bulacan. After the
court as a petition for certiorari, prohibition and restraining order with damages, and
expiration of the written lease contract on April 29, 1975, private respondent
on the same date, it issued an order restraining the execution of the decision until
allegedly took over the management of the premises and orally agreed with
further orders (p. 21, Rollo)
petitioner that the lease over said premises shall be on a month to month basis.
Petitioner continued to occupy the premises but he failed to pay the monthly rentals Meanwhile, petitioner's appeal from the aforesaid decision docketed as Civil Case
for May and June, 1977. Subsequently, private respondent notified petitioner that he No. 7903-M was also raffled to the same branch of the Regional Trial Court, presided
was terminating their agreement and demanded from petitioner the return of the by then Judge Gualberto dela Llana, who, in a decision dated April 11, 1986,
subject premises. Because of petitioner's failure to comply with his demand, private sustained the judgment of the Municipal Trial Court.
respondent filed an ejectment case against the former before the Municipal Trial
Court of Angat, Bulacan docketed as Civil Case No. 183. On June 29, 1978, the trial After petitioner's motion for reconsideration of the April 11, 1986 decision was
court rendered a decision in favor of private respondent and on December 28, 1978, denied, he filed with the Court of Appeals, a petition for certiorari, prohibition and
the trial court issued an order declaring the said decision final and executory. mandamus wherein he alleged that, in affirming the decision of the Municipal Trial
Court, the Regional Trial Court acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to
87
lack of jurisdiction or, was without or, in excess of jurisdiction, considering that Civil Municipal Court was rendered without or in excess of its jurisdiction or with grave
Case No. 286 should have been dismissed on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction, litis abuse of discretion. True, the petition was granted and the first ejectment case was
pendencia, and lack of cause of action. dismissed. However, its dismissal in SM-960 cannot be pleaded as a bar to the
second ejectment case as the dismissal was only due to non-compliance with the
In a decision dated May 11, 1988, respondent court dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdictional requisite of demand under Section 2, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. The
merit (Annex "A", p. 17, Rollo). In dismissing the petition, respondent court held that fact that petitioner was ready and willing to return the leased premises and to have
the decision of the Regional Trial Court in Special Civil Action No. SM-960 was not an the deposited rentals delivered to the private respondent in said SM-960 provided
adjudication on the merits as the dismissal of Civil Case No. 183 was by reason of private respondent submits a quitclaim executed by all the other heirs of the lessor,
lack of demand as required in Section 2, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, hence the Teodora Villarama, cannot prevent respondent from taking the proper legal action to
Municipal Trial Court had no jurisdiction. Accordingly, it said that litis pendencia obtain whatever cause of action he may have against petitioner. The matter of
cannot act as a bar to a new complaint when the judge who took cognizance of the disposition of rentals in SM-960 is a personal undertaking of petitioner that is distinct
former complaint was disqualified by reason of lack of jurisdiction over the subject and separable from the issue in said case. It is, therefore, incorrect for petitioner to
matter thereof and in order that the defense of litis pendencia may be set up, it is argue that said court still had jurisdiction over the matter which bars other courts
necessary that the judge who took cognizance of the first case should also have from taking cognizance. SM-960 is already a terminated case. Thus, neither can the
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the same. Respondent court also found out defense of litis pendencia be pleaded.
that the written lease contract was never renewed up to the death of the mother of
private respondent. This being so, it ruled that said contract automatically expired at Equally untenable is petitioner's argument that private respondent did not have a
the end of the period covered without need of demand. It also held that petitioner cause of action against him because the written lease contract was between him and
failed to show by what right he continued to occupy the premises as private the deceased mother of the former. Private respondent holds absolute title over the
respondent owned the premises by virtue of TCT No. 178491, issued to him on subject premises by virtue of TCT No. 178491 issued to him in February 9, 1973.
February 9, 1973. With the denial of his motion for reconsideration, petitioner is now Clearly then, the essential elements of a valid cause of action existed in favor of
before this Court for a review of the above adverse decision. private respondent namely: 1) his right to demand from petitioner payment of rent
for the use and occupation of the premises; 2) the correlative obligation of petitioner
Contending once again that the decision of the Municipal Trial Court in the second to pay rent; 3) the act of petitioner in refusing to pay rent and vacate the premises in
ejectment case which was affirmed by the Regional Trial Court and respondent court violation of said right. Petitioner's argument that he is not unlawfully withholding
was rendered without or in excess of jurisdiction, petitioner alleged that the possession of the leased premises from private respondent and that he has acted in
premises and the deposited rentals were the same matters pending disposition in good faith as an officious manager under the concept of negotiorum qestio, entitled
Special Civil Action No. SM-960 before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 16 of to an honorium of P200.00 a month from May, 1980 until the proper parties, the
Malolos, Bulacan where the motions filed by private respondent for the delivery to successors-in-interest of Teodora Villarama, or her estate receive the property was
him of the deposited rentals were denied by the Regional Trial Court. He argued that correctly brushed aside by respondent Court of Appeals. Indeed, if this Court were to
the Municipal Court, therefore, did not have jurisdiction to pre-empt the former sustain said claim, it would bring about the anomalous and absurd situation wherein
court from disposing of those matters and to reverse the Regional Trial Court's petitioner would continue occupying and enjoying the leased premises while getting
rulings to the effect that the estate of the late Teodora Villarama was entitled to paid for it.
receive the premises and the rentals.
Petitioner further claims that the Regional Trial Court did not have jurisdiction to
This contention is entirely devoid of merit, if not misleading.1âwphi1 It must be decide the appeal because he had abandoned the same when he failed to set aside
stressed that Special Civil Action No. SM-960 was an independent action brought to the decision rendered in the second ejectment case, which was given due course by
annul or modify the proceedings held in the first ejectment case and to restrain the the issuance of a restraining order. He said that the appeal (Civil Case No. 7903,) was
enforcement of the writ of execution on the ground that the decision of the
88
originally assigned to the Regional Trial Court Branch X but was consolidated with The petitioner failed to rebut the propriety of the award of attorney's fees before
SM-960 without any order of consolidation and it was decided without notice for the Municipal Trial Court on the ground that private respondent was compelled to
oral arguments or to file memoranda in lieu thereof. incur expenses to protect his interest as a result of petitioner's failure to vacate the
premises (Article 2208 (2) Civil Code). The simple allegation that private respondent
This claim deserves scant consideration. Under the pretext of having filed a petition was represented by a brother-in-law does not prove anything.
for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus and contempt (which is false because what
petitioner filed in SM-960 was a petition for contempt with restraining order and ACCORDINGLY, the petition is hereby DENIED and the questioned decision is
injunction; p. 76, Rollo), he now professed to have abandoned the appeal he had AFFIRMED but with the modification that the award of moral and exemplary
perfected earlier. Petitioner's inconsistent positions unraveled his true intention and damages be deleted. Costs against petitioner.
that was to delay the early execution of the decision in the second ejectment case.
Even assuming that he filed said petition in SM-960, said remedy was ineffective to SO ORDERED.
obtain relief from the effects of the decision in the second ejectment case
considering that SM-960 was already terminated.

The lack of an approved order for the consolidation of his appeal and that of SM-960
did not also affect the jurisdiction of the Regional Trial Court to decide the appeal. It
must be stressed that these remedies are distinct and separate in nature and
purpose. Basically, petitioner's appeal from the decision in the second ejectment
case involved a review of said decision on the merits while SM-960 was intended to
correct the jurisdictional error of the Municipal Trial Court, in taking cognizance of
the first ejectment case and to compel dismissal of the same by reason of said error.

Lastly, petitioner assails the appealed decision as requiring him to pay double rent
and also to pay rent from 1980 when he was ready to turn over the premises to the
legal representative of the late Teodora Villarama. He further questioned the award
of moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees as contrary to prevailing
jurisprudence in ejectment cases.

The matter of payment of double rent is utterly baseless.1âwphi1 The injunction


bond which was required of petitioner in Special Civil Action No. SM-960 was
cancelled in the decision rendered in said case, dated January 11, 1980 (see
Resolution on Motion for Reconsideration, pp. 25-26, Rollo). However, the affirmed
award of moral and exemplary damages is erroneous. The only damages that can be
recovered in an ejectment suit are the fair rental value or the reasonable
compensation for the use and occupation of the real property (Felisida vs. Judge
Villanueva, No. 60372, October 29, 1985, 139 SCRA 431; Reyes vs. CA, L-28466,
March 27, 1971, 38 SCRA 138; Ramirez vs. Chit, L-22032, December 26, 1967, 21
SCRA 1364).

89
G.R. No. 116665 March 20, 1996 4. The cost of this suit.

MELQUIADES D. AZCUNA, JR., petitioner, The counter-claim of the defendant is hereby Dismissed, for lack of merit.
vs.
COURT OF APPEALS, ET. AL., respondents. SO ORDERED.

Petitioner now comes to the Court via the instant petition not to contest his ouster
from the leased premises nor the amount monthly rental he was adjudged to pay
FRANCISCO, J.:p until he vacates the same, but only to take particular exception to respondent CA's
decision insofar as it affirmed the municipal trial court's award of P3,000.00 per day
Under a one (1) year lease contract commencing on July 1, 1992 and ending on June as damages (sub-paragraph 2 of the dispositive portion just quoted). It is petitioner's
30, 1993 but renewable upon agreement, herein petitioner Azcuna, Jr., as lessee, claim that such award, in addition to the fair rental value or reasonable
occupied three (3) units (C, E and F) of the building owned by private respondent compensation for the use and occupation of the premises (sub-paragraph 1), is
Barcelona's family. Came expiration date of the lease without an agreed renewal improper in the light of the doctrine enunciated in the cases of "Felesilda v.
thereof and coupled by petitioner's failure to surrender the leased units despite Villanueva,"1 "Shoemart, Inc. v. CA"2 and "Hualam Construction and Development
private respondent's demands, private respondent filed before the Municipal Trial Corp. v. CA"3 cited by petitioner, that "the only damages that can be recovered in an
Court an ejectment case against petitioner. Judgment of that inferior court, affirmed ejectment suit are the fair rental value or the reasonable compensation for the use
in its entirety by the Regional Trial Court and herein public respondent Court of and occupation of the real property. Other damages must be claimed in an ordinary
Appeals on subsequent appeals taken by petitioner, favored private respondent, the action".
decretal portion of which reads:
Petitioner's reliance on such doctrine is misplaced, inasmuch as the "Felesilda,"
PREMISES CONSIDERED, judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff, "Shoemart" and "Hualam" cases dealt with additional damages and charges other
Ernesto E. Barcelona, ordering the defendant Melquiades D. Azcuna, Jr., and all than liquidated damages, defined as ". . . those agreed upon by the parties to a
persons claiming rights under him to vacate the premises known as Units C, E and F, contract, to be paid in case of breach thereof ".4 Here, the municipal trial court, in
in the building owned by plaintiff's family located along Congressional Avenue, making the "P3,000.00 per day" award, was merely enforcing what was stipulated
Quezon City. Defendant is likewise ordered to pay the following: upon in black and white by private respondent-lessor and petitioner-lessee
appearing in paragraph 10 of the lease contract which reads:
1. The sum of P25,000.00 monthly as rental for continued use by defendant of the
three (3) units of leased premises in question starting July 1, 1993 less the amount That after the termination of the Lease, the LESSEE shall peaceably deliver to the
that have been deposited or given by the defendant to the plaintiff up to such time LESSOR the leased premises vacant and unencumbered and in good tenantable
the defendant and all persons claiming rights under him finally vacate the aforesaid conditions minus the ordinary wear and tear. In case the LESSEE's failure or inability
premises; to do so, LESSOR has the right to charge the LESSEE P1,000.00 per day as damages
without prejudice to other remedies which LESSOR is entitled in the premise.
2. The further sum of P3,000.00 per day, by way of damages for his failure to turn
(Emphasis supplied).
over peacefully the three (3) commercial spaces to the plaintiff from July 1, 1993
until such time the defendant and all persons claiming rights under him vacate the This is clearly an agreement for liquidated damages — entitling private respondent
premises; to claim a stipulated amount by way of damages (correctly totalling P3,000.00 per
day as there were three (3) units being leased by petitioner) over and above other
3. The further sum of P5,000.00 by way of attorney's fees; and
damages still legally due him, i.e., the fair rental value for the use and occupation of

90
the property as provided for in Section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. The freedom
of the contracting parties to make stipulations in their contract provided they are not
contrary to law, morals, good customs, public order or public policy is so settled, and
the Court finds nothing immoral or illegal with the indemnity/penalty clause of the
lease contract (paragraph 10) which does not appear to have been forced upon or
fraudulently foisted on petitioner. Petitioner cannot now evade further liability for
liquidated damages, for "after entering into such an agreement, petitioner cannot
thereafter turn his back on his word with a plea that on him was inflicted a penalty
shocking to the conscience and impressed with iniquity as to call for the relief sought
on the part of a judicial tribunal."5

The controlling case here is, as correctly invoked by private respondent, "Gozon v.
Vda. de Barrameda"6 which involved similar facts and the same issue raised by herein
petitioner. There, the then Court of First Instance of Rizal affirmed the judgment of
the then justice of the peace court of Caloocan in a detainer case ordering
defendant-appellant Barrameda to pay complainant Gozon the sum of P1,622.43 as
rentals due up to July 3, 1958 plus P5,000.00 as liquidated damages, and costs.
Appellant Barrameda likewise assailed the propriety of the P5,000.00 award in
addition to the rentals. The Court upheld the then CFI's affirmatory decision by
disposing of appellant Barrameda's protestation in this wise:

This Court has often stated that inferior courts have exclusive jurisdiction over cases
of forcible entry and detainer regardless of the value of damages demanded. It has
also ruled that the damages that may be recovered in actions for ejectment are
those equivalent to a reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the
premises by defendant. Nonetheless, this latter legal proposition is not pertinent to
the issue raised in the instant case because here, the damage sought to be recovered
had previously been agreed to by lessee (in the contract of lease) and imposed by
lessor by way of damages. Besides, nobody can affirm that the liquidated amount of
damages stipulated in the lease contract was not due to occupation or loss of
possession of the premises and non-compliance with the contract. (Emphasis
supplied).

WHEREFORE, the instant petition for review by way of certiorari is hereby DENIED.

SO ORDERED.

91
G.R. No. 123555 January 22, 1999 the termination, expiration or cancellation of this Contract, with full power and
authority to open, enter, repossess, secure, enclose, fence and otherwise take full
PROGRESSIVE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, INC., petitioner, and complete physical possession and control of the leased premises and its
vs. contents without resorting to court action and/or to summarily disconnect electrical
COURT OF APPEALS and WESTIN SEAFOOD MARKET, INC. respondents. and/or water services thereof, and that LESSEE hereby irrevocably empowers
LESSOR, his authorized agents, employees and/or representatives to take inventory
and possession of whatever equipment, furniture, articles, merchandise, appliances,
BELLOSILLO, J.: etc., found therein belonging to LESSEE, consignors and/or to any other persons and
to place the same in LESSOR's warehouse or any other place at LESSOR's discretion
May the lessee which instituted before the Metropolitan Trial Court an action for for safekeeping; charging LESSEE the corresponding storage fees therefor; that in
forcible entry with damages against its lessor file a separate suit with the Regional case LESSEE fails to claim-said equipment, furniture, articles, merchandise,
Trial Court against the same lessor for moral and exemplary damages plus actual and appliances, etc. from storage and simultaneously liquidate any liability with LESSOR
compensatory damages based on the same forcible entry? within seven (7) days from date of said transfer to LESSOR's warehouse, LESSOR is
likewise hereby expressly authorized and empowered by LESSEE to dispose of said
On grounds of litis pendencia and forum-shopping petitioner invokes established
property/properties in a public sale through a Notary Public of LESSOR's choice and
jurisprudence that a party cannot by varying the form of action or adopting a
to apply the proceeds thereof to whatever liability and/or indebtedness LESSEE may
different method of presenting his case evade the principle that the same cause of
have to LESSOR plus reasonable expenses for the same, including storage fees, and
action shall not be litigated twice between the same parties or their privies. 1
the balance, if any, shall be turned over to LESSEE; that LESSEE hereby expressly
Petitioner therefore prays for reversal of the decision of the Court of Appeals dated
agrees that any or all acts performed by LESSOR, his authorized agents, employees
27 May 1995, as well as its Resolution dated 17 January 1996 denying
and/or representatives under the provisions of this Section may not be the subject of
reconsideration, which upheld the denial by the Regional Trial Court of petitioner's
any petition for a Writ of Preliminary Injunction or Mandatory Injunction in court,
motion to dismiss private respondent's damage suit.
and that LESSOR and/or his authorized agents, employees, and/or representatives
The antecedents: On 27 May 1991 petitioner leased to private, respondent Westin shall be free from any civil and/or criminal liability or responsibility whatsoever
Seafood Market, Inc., a parcel of land with a commercial building thereon located at therefor.
Aranet Center, Cubao, Quezon City, for a period of nine (9) years and three (3)
TERMINATION OF LEASE
months, i.e., from 2 January 1989 to 30 April 1998, with a monhtly rental of
approximately P600,000.00. The contract contained, among others, the following 26. Upon-the automatic termination of this lease contract, as the case may be,
pertinent terms and conditions: LESSEE shall immediately vacate and redeliver physical possession of the leased
premises, including the keys appertaining thereto, to LESSOR in good, clean and
EFFECT OF VIOLATIONS
sanitary condition, reasonable wear and tear excepted, devoid of all occupants,.
25. LESSEE hereby agrees that all the provisions contained in this Contract shall be equipment, furnitures articles, merchandise, etc., belonging to LESSEE or to any
deemed as conditions, as-well as covenants, and that this Contract shall be other person except those belonging to LESSOR; that should LESSEE fail to comply
automatically terminated and cancelled without resorting to court action should with this provision, LESSOR is hereby given the same rights and power to proceed
LESSEE violate any or all said conditions, including the payment of Rent, CUSA and against LESSEE as expressly granted in the immediately; preceding section.
other charges indicated in the FLP when due within the time herein stipulated and in
Private respondent failed to pay rentals despite several demands by petitioner. As of
any such cases, LESSEE hereby irrevocably appoints LESSOR, its authorized agents,
19 October 1992 the arrearages amounted to P8,608,284.66. Admittedly, non-
employees and/or representatives as his duly authorized attorney-in-fact, even after
payment of rentals constituted breach of their contract; thus, pursuant to the
92
express authority granted petitioner under the above-quoted Secs. 25 and 26 of the This agreement was incorporated in the order of the court dated 22 December 1992
3
lease agreement, petitioner on 31 October 1992 repossessed the leased premises, which in effect terminated for all intents and purposes the incident on the issuance
inventoried the movable properties found within and owned by private respondent of a preliminary writ of injunction.
and scheduled public auction for the sale of the movables on 19 August 1993 with
notice to private respondent. Private respondent did not comply with its undertaking to deposit with the
designated bank the amount representing its back rentals. Instead, with the forcible
On 26 November 1992 private respondent filed with the Metropolitan Trial Court of entry case still pending with the MeTC, private respondent instituted on 9 June 1993
Quezon City a complaint against petitioner for forcible entry with damages and a another action for damages against petitioner with the Regional Trial Court of
prayer for a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction. 2 The Quezon City. The case was raffled to Branch 101 presided over by Judge Pedro T.
case was raffled to Branch 40 presided over by Judge Guillermo L. Loja Jr. who issued Santiago. 4
a temporary restraining order enjoining petitioner from selling private respondent's
properties at a public auction. Petitioner filed a motion, to dismiss the damage suit on the ground of litis pendencia
and forum shopping. On 2 July 1993, instead of ruling on the motion, Judge Santiago
On 9 December 1992 Judge Loja inhibited himself from trying the case and directed issued an order archiving the case pending the outcome of the forcible entry case
its transfer to Branch 34 presided over by Judge Joselito SD Generoso. Soon after, being heard at the MeTC for the reason that "the damages is (sic) principally
petitioner filed an urgent motion for the inhibition of Judge Generoso and the anchored on whether or not the defendants (petitioner herein) have committed
immediate reraffle of the case arguing that the summary transfer of the case to forcible entry." 5 On 2 August 1993 petitioner moved for reconsideration of the order
Judge Generoso was irregular as it was not done by raffle. and reiterated its motion to dismiss the suit for damages.

The motion was granted and the case went to Branch 36 presided over by Judge Before petitioner's motion to dismiss could be resolved, private respondent filed
Francisco D. Villanueva. Thereafter, on 22 December 1992, at the continuation of the with the RTC on 18 August 1993 an amended complaint for damages. On 14
hearing on the issuance of a writ preliminary mandatory injunction, the parties September 1993 it also filed an Urgent Ex-Parte Motion for the Issuance of a
agreed, among others, on the following: (a) private respondent would deposit with Temporary Restraining Order and Motion for the Grant of a Preliminary Prohibitory
the Philippine Commercial and Industrial Bank in the name of the Metropolitan Trial and Preliminary Mandatory Injunction. On the very same day, Judge Santiago issued
Court, Branch 36, the amount of P8,000,000.00 to guarantee the payment of its back an order (a) denying petitioner's motion to dismiss, (b) admitting private
rentals; (b) petitioner would defer the sale of the personal properties of the Westin respondent's amended complaint, and (c) granting private respondent's application
Seafood Market, Inc., until a final settlement of the case had been arrived, at; (c) for a temporary restraining order against petitioner.
petitioner shall allow private respondent to retrieve all the perishable goods from
inside the leased premises like frozen meat, vegetables and fish, all properly Thus, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a special civil action for certiorari and
receipted for; (d) petitioner shall allow three (3) maintenance personnel of private prohibition on the ground that Judge Santjago acted in excess of his jurisdiction
respondent to enter the premises at reasonable working hours to maintain the and/or committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in
restaurant equipment; and (e) the parties shall negotiate for the restoration of the admitting, the amended complaint of private respondent and issuing a restraining
premises to private respondent, and if no settlement be arrived at on or before order against petitioner; in allowing private respondent to engage in forum
January 8, 1993, the hearing on the merits of the case shall proceed and the shopping; and, taking cognizance of the action; for damages despite lack of
disposition of the amount deposited representing the rental arrearages shall be left jurisdiction. 6
to the. discretion of the court.
But the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition due to the failure of petitioner to file
a motion for reconsideration of Judge Santiago's order of 14 September 1993 which,
it explained, was a prerequisite to the institution of a petition for certiorari and

93
prohibition. It also found that the elements of litis pendencia were lacking to justify pendency of another action for forcible entry and damages earlier filed by the same
the dismissal of the action for damages with the RTC because despite the pendency lessee against the same lessor before the Metropolitan Trial Court.
of the forcible entry case with the MeTC the only damages recoverable thereat were
those caused by the loss of the use and occupation of the property and not the kind Sec. 1 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court provides that any person deprived of the
of damages being claimed before the RTC which had no direct relation to loss of possession of any land or building by force, indimidation, threat, strategy or stealth,
material possession. It clarified that since the damages prayed for in the amended or against whom thepossession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld, may
complaint with the RTC were those caused by the alleged high-handed manner with bring an action in the proper Municipal Trial Court against the person or persons
which petitioner reacquired possession of the leased premises and the sale of unlawfully withholding or depriving of possession, together with damages and costs.
private respondent's movables found therein, the RTC and not the MeTC had The mandate under this rule is categorical: that all cases for forcible entry or
jurisdiction over the action of damages. 7 unlawful detainer shall be filed before the Municipal Trial Court which shall include
not only the plea for restoration of possession but also all claims for damages and
Petitioner, aggrieved by the decision of the appellate court, filed the instant petition costs arising therefrom. Otherwise expressed, no claim for damages arising out of
for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court alleging that it erred in forcible entry or unlawful detainer may be filed separately and independently of the
(a) finding that petitioner failed to avail of its plain, speedy and adequate remedy of claim for restoration of possession.
a prior motion for reconsideration with the RTC; (b) ruling that, the trial judge did not
act with grave abuse of discretion in taking cognizance of the action for damages and This is consistent with the principle laid down in Sec. 1, par. (e), of Rule 16 of the
injunction despite the pendency of the forcible entry case with the MeTC; and, (c) Rules of Court which states that the pendency of another action between the same
ruling that private respondent did not commit forum shopping since the causes of parties for the same cause is a ground for dismissal of an action. Res adjudicata
action before the RTC and MeTC were not identical with each other. requires that there must be between the action sought to be dismissed and the
other action the following elements: (a) identity of parties or at least such as
There is merit in the petition. While generally a motion for reconsideration must first representing the same interest in both actions; (b) identity of rights asserted and
be filed before resorting to certiorari in order to give the lower court an opportunity relief prayed for, the relief being founded on the same facts; and, (c) the identity in
to correct the errors imputed to it 8 this rule admits of exceptions and is not the two (2) preceding particulars should be such that any judgment which may be
intended to be applied without considering the circumstances of the case. 9 The filing rendered on the other action will, regardless of which party is successful, amount to
of the motion for reconsideration before availing of the remedy of certiorari is not res adjudicata in the action under
sine qua non when the issue raised is one purely of law, 10 or where the error is consideration. 13

patent or the disputed order is void, 11 or the questions raised on certiorari are the
same as those already squarely presented to and passed upon by the lower court It is likewise basic under Sec. 3 of Rule 2 of the Revised Rules of Court, as amended,
that a party may not institute more than one suit for a single cause of action. Under
In its motion for dismissal of the action for damages with the RTC petitioner raised Sec. 4 of the same Rule, if two or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same
the ground that another action for forcible entry was pending at the MeTC between cause of action, the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is
the same parties involving the same matter and cause of action. Outrightly rejected available as a ground for the dismissal of the other or others. "Cause of action" is
by the RTC, the same issue was elevated by petitioner on certiorari before the Court defined by Sec. 2 of Rule 2 as the act of omission by which a party violates a right of
of Appeals. Clearly, under the prevailing circumstance, any motion for another. 14 These premises obtaining, there is no question at all that private
reconsideration of the trial court would have been a pointless exercise. 12 respondent's cause of action in the forcible entry case and in the suit for damages is
the alleged illegal retaking of possession of the leased premises by the lessor,
We now turn to the issue of whether an action for damages filed with the Regional petitioner herein, from which all legal reliefs arise. Simply stated, the restoration of
Trial Court by the lessee against the lessor should be dismissed on the ground of possession and demand for actual damages in the case before the MeTC and the

94
demand for damages with the RTC both arise from the same cause of action, i.e., the 3.05 Consequently, defendants should be enjoined from continuing with their illegal
forcible entry by petitioner into the least premises. acts and be ordered to vacate the Subject Premises and restore possession thereof,
together with its contents, to plaintiff.
A comparative study of the two (2) complaints filed by private respondent against
petitioner before the two (2) trial courts shows that not only are the elements of res xxx xxx xxx
adjudicata present, at least insofar as the claim for actual and compensatory
damages is concerned, but also that the claim for damages — moral and exemplary 4.07 Considering that defendants' act of forcibly grabbing possession of the Subject
in addition to actual and compensatory — constitutes splitting a single cause of Premises from plaintiff is illegal and null and void, defendant should be adjudged
action. Since this runs counter to the rule against multiplicity of suits, the dismissal of liable to plaintiff for all the aforedescribed damages which plaintiff incurred as a
the second action becomes imperative. result thereof.

The complaint for forcible entry contains the following pertinent allegations — The amended complaint for damages filed by private respondent alleges basically
the same factual circumstances and issues as bases for the relief prayed for, to wit:
2.01 On 02 January 1989, plaintiff entered, into a contract of lease with defendant
PDC over a property designated as Ground Floor, Seafood Market (hereinafter 4. On May 28, 1991, plaintiff and defendant PDC entered into a Contract of Lease for
"Subject Premises") situated at the corner of EDSA, corner MacArthur Street, a period of ten years or from January 2, 1989 up to April 30, 1998 over a property
Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City, for a period of ten (10) years from 02 January designated as Ground Floor, Seafood Market (hereinafter referred to as Subject
1989 to 30 April 1998. Premises) situated at the corner of EDSA corner McArthur Street, Araneta Center,
Cubao, Quezon City. A copy of the lease contract is attached hereto as Annex "A".
2.02 Immediately after having acquired actual physical possession of the Subject
Premises, plaintiff established and now operates thereon the now famous Seafood 5. Immediately thereafter, plaintiff took over actual physical possession of Subject
Market Restaurant. Since then, plaintiff had been in actual, continuous, and peaceful Premises, and established thereon the now famous "Seafood Market Restaurant."
physical possession of the Subject Premises until 31 October 1992.
xxx xxx xxx
xxx xxx xxx
7 On October 31, 1992 at around 8:30 p.m., defendant PDC, without the benefit of
3.02 Plaintiff, being the lessee of the Subject Premises, is entitled to the peaceful any writ of possession or any lawful court order and with the aid of approximately
occupation and enjoyment of the Subject Premises to the exclusion of all others, forty (40) armed security guards and policemen under the supervision of defendant
including defendants herein. Tejam, forcibly entered the subject premises through force, intimidation, threats and
stealth and relying on brute force and in a thunderboltish manner and against
3.03 Defendants' resort to strong arms tactics to forcibly wrest possession of the plaintiff's will, unceremoniously drew away all of plaintiff's men out of the subject
Subject Premises from plaintiff and maintain possession thereof through the use of premises, thereby depriving herein plaintiff of its actual, physical and natural
force, threat, strategy and intimidation by the use of superior number of men and possession of the subject premises. The illegal, high-handed manner and gestapo like
arms amounts to the taking of the law into their own hands. take-over by defendants of subject premises is more particularly described as
follows: . . .
3.04 Thus, defendants' act of unlawfully evicting out plaintiff from the Subject
Premises it is leasing from defendant PDC and depriving it of possession thereof 8. To date, defendants continue to illegally possess and hold the Subject Premises,
through the use of force, threat, strategy and intimidation should be condemned and including all the multi-million improvements, fixtures and equipment therein owned
declared illegal for being contrary; to public order and policy. by plaintiff, all to the damage and prejudice of plaintiff. The actuations of defendants
constitute an unlawful appropriation, seizure and taking of property against the will

95
and consent of plaintiff. Worse, defendants are threatening to sell at public auction and all such rights should be alleged in a single complaint as constituting one single
and without the consent of plaintiff and without lawful authority, the multi-million cause of action. 15 In a forcible entry case, the real issue is the physical possession of
fixtures and equipment of plaintiff and at prices way below the market value thereof. the real property. The question of damages is merely secondary or incidental, so
Plaintiff hereby attaches as Annex "B" the letter from defendants dated August 6, much so that the amount thereof does not affect the jurisdiction of the court. In
1993 addressed to plaintiff, informing the latter that the former intends to sell at an other words, the unlawful act of a deforciant in taking possession of a piece of land
auction on August 19, 1993 at 2:00 p.m. properties of the plaintiff presently in by means of force and intimidation against the rights of the party actually in
defendants' possession. possession thereof is a delict or wrong, or a cause of action that gives rise to two (2)
remedies, namely, the recovery of possession and recovery of damages arising from
xxx xxx xxx the loss of possession, but only to one action. For obvious reasons, both remedies
cannot be the subject of two (2) separate and independent actions, one for recovery
12. Defendants' unlawful takeover of the premises constitutes a violation of its
of posssession only, and the other, for the recovery of damages. That would
obligation under Art. 1654 of the New Civil Code requiring the lessor to maintain the
inevitably lead to what is termed in law as splitting up a cause of action. 16 In David v.
lessee in peaceful and adequate enjoyment of the lease for the entire duration of
de la Cruz 17 we observed —
the contract. Hence, plaintiff has filed the present suit for the recovery of damages
under Art. 1659 of the New Civil Code. . . . Herein tenants have but one cause of action against their landlord, their illegal
ejectment or removal from their landholdings, which cause of action however
Restated in its bare essentials, the forcible entry case has one cause of action,
entitles them to two (2) claims or remedies — for reinstatement of damages. As both
namely, the alleged unlawful entry by petitioner into the leased premises out of
claims arise from the same cause of action, they should be alleged in a single
which three (3) reliefs (denominated by private respondent as is causes of action)
complaint.
arose: (a) the restoration by the lessor (petitioner herein) of the possession of the
leased premises to the lessee; (b) the claim for actual damages due to the losses A claim cannot be divided in such a way that a part of the amount of damages may
suffered by private respondent such as the deterioration of perishable foodstuff be recovered in one case and the rest, in another. 18 In Bacharach v. Icarangal 19 we
stored inside the premises and the deprivation of the use of the premises causing explained that the rule was aimed at preventing repeated litigations betweent the
loss of expected profits; and, (c) the claim for attoney's fees and cost of suit. same parties in regard to the same subject of the controversy and to protect the
defendant from unnecessary vexation. Nemo debet bis vexari pro una et eadem
On the other hand, the complaint for damages prays for a monetary award
causa.
consisting of (a) moral damages of P500,000.00 and exemplary damages of another
P500,000.00; (b) actual damages of P20,000,000.00 and compensatory damages of What then is the effect of the dismissal of the other action? Since the rule is that all
P1,000,000.00 representing unrealized profits; and, (c) P200,000.00 for attorney's such rights should be alleged in a single complaint, it goes without saying that those
fees and costs, all based on the alleged forcible takeover of the leased premises by not therein included cannot be the subject of subsequent complaints for they are
petitioner. Since actual and compensatory damages were already prayed for in the barred forever. 20 If a suit is brought for a part of a claim, a judgment obtained in that
forcible entry case before the MeTC, it is obvious that this cannot be relitigated in action precludes the plaintiff from bringing a second action for the residue of the
the damage suit before the RTC by reason of res adjudicata. claim, notwithstanding that the second form of action is not identical with the first or
different grounds for relief are set for the second suit. This principle not only
The other claims for moral and exemplary damages cannot also succeed considering
embraces what was actually determined, but also extends to every matter which the
that these sprung from the main incident being heard before the MeTC.
parties might have litigated in the case. 21 This is why the legal basis upon which
Jurisprudence is unequivocal that when a single delict or wrong is committed — like
private respondent anchored its second claim for damages, i.e., Art. 1659 in relation
the unlawful taking or detention of the property of the another — there is but one
to Art. 1654 of the Civil Code, 22 not otherwise raised and cited by private
single cause of action regardless of the number of rights that may have been violated,
respondent in the forcible entry case, cannot be used as justification for the second
96
suit for damages. We note, not without some degree of displeasure, that by filing a City. By its admission of a pending forcible entry case, it is obvious that private
second suit for damages, private respondent was not only able to press a claim for respondent was indulging in forum shopping. While private respondent conveniently
moral and exemplary damages which by its failure to allege the same in its suit failed to inform the RTC that it had likewise sought damages in the MTC on the basis
before the MeTC foreclosed its right to sue on it, but it was also able to obtain from of the same forcible entry, the fact remains that it precisely did so, which stratagem
the RTC, by way of another temporary restraining order, a second reprieve from an was being duplicated in the second case. This is a compelling reason to dismiss the
impending public auction sale of its movables which could not anymore secure from second case.
the MeTC before which the matter of the issuance of a preliminary writ of injunction
was already closed. WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED. The questioned Decision of the Court of
Appeals dated 27 September 1995 and the Order of the Regional Trial Court of
The foregoing discussions provide sufficient basis to petitioner's charge that private Quezon City dated 24 September 1993 are REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Regional
respondent and its counsel in the trial courts committed forum shopping. In Trial Court of Quezon City is directed to dismiss Civil Case No. Q-93-16409, "Westin
Crisostomo v. Securities and Exchange Commission 23 we ruled — Seafood Market, Inc. v. Progressive Development Corporation, et al.," and the
Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City to proceed with the proper disposition of
There is forum-shopping whenever, as a result of an adverse opinion in one forum, Civil Case No. 6589, "Westin Seafood Market, Inc. v. Progressive Development
party seeks a favorable opinion (other than by appeal or certiorari) in another. The Corporation, et al.," with dispacth considering the summary nature of the case.
principle applies . . . with respect to suits filed in the courts . . . in connection with Treble costs against private respondent.1âwphi1.nêt
litigations commenced in the court . . . in anticipation of an unfavorable . . . ruling
and a favorable case where the court in which the second suit was brought, has no SO ORDERED.
jurisdiction.

This Court likewise elucidated in New Pangasinan Review, Inc. v. National Labor
Relations Commission 24 that there is forum-shopping when the actions involve the
same transactions, the same essential facts and circumstances. The reason behind
the proscription of forum shopping is obvious. This unnecessarily burdens our courts
with heavy caseloads, unduly taxes the manpower and financial resources of the
judiciary and trifles with and mocks our judicial processes, thereby adversely
affecting the efficient administration of justice. This condemnable conduct has
prompted the Court to issue circulars 25 ordering among others that a violation
thereof shall be cause for the dismissal of the case or cases without prejudice to the
taking of appropriate action against the counsel or party concerned.

The records ineluctably show that the complaint lodged, by private respondent with
the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City contained no certification of non-forum
shopping. When petitioner filed a motion to dismiss the case raising among others
the ground of forum shopping it pointed out the absence of the required
certification. The amended complaint, as well as the second and third amended
complaints, attempted to rectify the error by invariably stating that there was no
other action pending between the parties involving the same causes of action
although there was actually a forcible entry case pending before the MTC of Quezon
97
[G.R. No. 117051. January 22, 1996] as moral damages, P500,000.00 as exemplary damages, P75,000.00 as attorneys fees
and that he be given all other remedies just and equitable.
FRANCEL REALTY CORPORATION, petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and FRANCISCO T.
SYCIP, respondents. In its resolution dated February 24, 1993, the MTC ruled that the answer was filed
out of time on the ground that it was filed more than ten days after the service of
DECISION summons.[2] On March 17, 1993, however, it dismissed the complaint for lack of
jurisdiction. The MTC held that the case was cognizable by the HLURB. But it also
MENDOZA, J.:
ordered petitioner to pay private respondent P10,000.00 as moral damages,
Petitioner Francel Realty Corporation filed a complaint for unlawful detainer against P10,000.00 as exemplary damages, P3,000.00 as attorneys fees, and to pay costs.
private respondent Francisco T. Sycip. The case was filed in the Municipal Trial Court
On appeal the Regional Trial Court affirmed the decision of the MTC. It held that the
(MTC) of Bacoor, Cavite.
case was exclusively cognizable by the HLURB which had jurisdiction not only over
In its complaint, petitioner alleged that it had executed a Contract to Sell to private complaints of buyers against subdivision developers but also over actions filed by
respondent Lot 16, Building No. 14 of the Francel Townhomes, at 22 Real Street, developers for the unpaid price of the lots or units.
Maliksi, Bacoor, Cavite, for P451,000.00. The Contract to Sell provides inter alia that
Petitioner filed a petition for review in the Court of Appeals, alleging that:
in case of default in the payment of two or more installments, the whole obligation
will become due and demandable and the seller will then be entitled to rescind the (a) The amounts of damages prayed for by the private respondent in his Answer are
contract and take possession of the property; the buyer will vacate the premises enormous and way beyond the jurisdiction of the inferior court; and
without the necessity of any court action and the downpayment will be treated as
earnest money or as rental for the use of the premises. Petitioner alleged that (b) Since the inferior court and the respondent court ruled that it has no jurisdiction
private respondent failed to pay the monthly amortization of P9,303.00 since over this case, then it has no reason, much more jurisdiction to award damages in
October 30, 1990 despite demands to update his payments and to vacate the excess of the P20,000.00 jurisdiction of the inferior Court.[3]
premises, the latest of which was the demand made in the letter dated September
26, 1992, and that because of private respondents unjust refusal to vacate, The appellate court dismissed the petition, holding that the MTC had jurisdiction
petitioner was constrained to engage the services of counsel. Petitioner prayed that over cases of forcible entry and unlawful detainer, regardless of the amount of
private respondent be ordered to vacate the premises and pay a monthly rental of damages on unpaid rentals sought to be recovered in view of 1A(1) of the Revised
P9,303.00 beginning October 30, 1990 until he shall have vacated the premises, and Rule on Summary Procedure.[4]
P25,000.00 as attorneys fees plus appearance fee of P 1,000.00 per hearing and
Petitioner moved for reconsideration. It contended that since the MTC had ruled
expenses of litigation.
that it had no jurisdiction over this case, then it had no jurisdiction either to grant
On November 9, 1992, private respondent moved to dismiss the complaint but his the counterclaim for damages in the total sum of P23,000.00. Its motion was,
motion was denied by the MTC. On January 20, 1993 he filed his answer, [1] in which however, denied for lack of any cogent reason to reverse the appellate courts
he alleged that he had stopped paying the monthly amortizations because the resolution of June 15, 1994.[5]
townhouse unit sold to him by petitioner was of defective construction. He alleged
Hence this petition for review on certiorari.
that he had in fact filed a complaint for unsound real estate business practice in the
Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB Case No. REM-07-9004-80) against It is important to first determine whether the MTC has jurisdiction over petitioners
petitioner. Private respondent prayed that petitioner be ordered to pay P500,000.00 complaint. For if it has no jurisdiction, then the award of damages made by it in its
decision is indeed without any basis. It is only if the MTC has jurisdiction of the

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subject matter of the action that it is necessary to determine the correctness of the amortizations for the sale of the subdivision lot is necessarily tied up to the
award of damages, including attorneys fees. complaint against the plaintiff and it affects the rights and correlative duties of the
buyer of a subdivision lot as regulated by NHA pursuant to P.D. 957 as amended. It
Petitioners complaint is for unlawful detainer. While generally speaking such action must accordingly fall within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the said Board, and
falls within the original and exclusive jurisdiction of the MTC, the determination of We find that the motion to dismiss was properly granted on the ground that the
the ground for ejectment requires a consideration of the rights of a buyer on regular court has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the complaint.
installment basis of real property. Indeed private respondent claims that he has a
right under P.D. No. 957, 23 to stop paying monthly amortizations after giving due Accordingly, we hold that the MTC correctly held itself to be without jurisdiction over
notice to the owner or developer of his decision to do so because of petitioners petitioners complaint. But it was error for the MTC to grant private respondents
alleged failure to develop the subdivision or condominium project according to the counterclaim for damages for expenses incurred and inconveniences allegedly
approved plans and within the time for complying with the same. The case thus suffered by him as a result of the filing of the ejectment case.[7]
involves a determination of the rights and obligations of parties in a sale of real
estate under P.D. No. 957. Private respondent has in fact filed a complaint against Pursuant to Rule 6, 8 a party may file a counterclaim only if the court has jurisdiction
petitioner for unsound real estate business practice with the HLURB. to entertain the claim. Otherwise the counterclaim cannot be filed.[8]

This is, therefore, not a simple case for unlawful detainer arising from the failure of Even assuming that the MTC had jurisdiction, however the award of damages to
the lessee to pay the rents, comply with the conditions of a lease agreement or private respondent must be disallowed for the following reasons:
vacate the premises after the expiration of the lease. Since the determinative
(1) The MTC decision itself stated that the answer with its counterclaim was filed out
question is exclusively cognizable by the HLURB, the question of the right of
of time or more than 10 days from private respondents receipt of summons. In
petitioner must be determined by the agency.
effect, therefore, private respondent did not make any counterclaim.
Petitioners cause of action against private respondent should instead be filed as a
(2) Moreover, a reading of the MTC decision showed no justification for the award of
counterclaim in HLURB Case No. REM-07-9004-80 in accordance with Rule 6, 6 of the
moral and exemplary damages and attorneys fees. As held in Buan v.
Rules of Court which is of suppletory application to the 1987 HLURB Rules of
Camaganacan,[9] an award of attorneys fees without justification is a conclusion
Procedure per 3 of the same. In the case of Estate Developers and Investors
without a premise, its basis being improperly left to speculation and conjecture. It
Corporation v. Antonio Sarte and Erlinda Sarte[6] the developer filed a complaint to
should accordingly be stricken out. With respect to the award of moral and
collect the balance of the price of a lot bought on installment basis, but its complaint
exemplary damages, the record is bereft of any proof that petitioner acted
was dismissed by the Regional Trial Court for lack of jurisdiction. It appealed the
maliciously or in bad faith in filing the present action which would warrant such an
order to this Court. In dismissing the appeal, we held:
award.[10]
The action here is not a simple action to collect on a promissory note; it is a
WHEREFORE, the decision of the Court of Appeals is REVERSED and the complaint
complaint to collect amortization payments arising from or in connection with a sale
against private respondent is DISMISSED. The private respondents counterclaim is
of a subdivision lot under PD. Nos. 957 and 1344, and accordingly falls within the
likewise DISMISSED.
exclusive original jurisdiction of the HLURB to regulate the real estate trade and
industry, and to hear and decide cases of unsound real estate business practices. SO ORDERED.
Although the case involving Antonio Sarte is still pending resolution before the
HLURB Arbiter, and there is as yet no order from the HLURB authorizing suspension
of payments on account of the failure of plaintiff developer to make good its
warranties, there is no question to Our mind that the matter of collecting
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