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Prof. Joselito Guianan Chan's The Labor Code of the Philippines, Annotated Labor Standards & Social Legislation Volume I of a 3-Volume Series 2019 Edition (3rd Revised Edition)
 

 
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UNITED STATES SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

 
PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT JURISPRUDENCE
 

   
April-2003 Jurisprudence                 

  • A.C. No. 4984 April 1, 2003 - JULITO D. VITRIOLO, ET AL. v. FELINA DASIG

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1485 April 1, 2003 - FIDEL ISIP, JR. v. VALENTINO B. NOGOY

  • A.M. Nos. P-02-1620, P-02-1621, P-02-1622 & P-96-1194 April 1, 2003 - MELINDA F. PIMENTEL v. PERPETUA SOCORRO M. DE LEOZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1643 April 1, 2003 - DIMAS ABALDE v. ANTONIO ROQUE

  • G.R. No. 137782 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTURO R. NICOLAS

  • G.R. No. 138470 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARTEMIO GARCIA

  • G.R. No. 143084 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOSE TORELLOS

  • G.R. No. 148635 April 1, 2003 - MARILLA MAYANG CAVILE, ET AL. v. HEIRS OF CLARITA CAVILE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149453 April 1, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. PANFILO M. LACSON

  • A.M. No. 01-1-13-RTC April 2, 2003 - RE: Report on the Examination of the Cash and Accounts

  • A.M. No. P-02-1545 April 2, 2003 - ZENAIDA C. GUTIERREZ, ET AL. v. RODOLFO V. QUITALIG

  • G.R. No. 139412 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONALD CASTILLANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 149028-30 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO CABALLERO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149893 April 2, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MELCHOR RABAGO

  • A.C. No. 4958 April 3, 2003 - FIDEL D. AQUINO v. OSCAR MANESE

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1436 April 3, 2003 - JAIME C. TARAN v. JOSE S. JACINTO

  • A.M. No. P-02-1595 April 3, 2003 - TIMOTEO M. CASANOVA, JR. v. FELIZARDO P. CAJAYON

  • A.M. No. P-02-1650 April 3, 2003 - ZENAIDA REYES-MACABEO v. FLORITO EDUARDO V. VALLE

  • G.R. Nos. 111098-99 April 3, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PIO BISO

  • G.R. Nos. 143976 & 145846 April 3, 2003 - SPS. OSCAR and HAYDEE BADILLO v. ARTURO G. TAYAG, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 144444 April 3, 2003 - STATE INVESTMENT TRUST v. DELTA MOTORS CORP.

  • G.R. No. 150978 April 3, 2003 - POWTON CONGLOMERATE v. JOHNNY AGCOLICOL

  • G.R. No. 155875 April 3, 2003 - AGAPITO CRUZ FIEL, ET AL. v. KRIS SECURITY SYSTEMS, INC., ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-03-1482 April 4, 2003 - ILUMINADA SANTILLAN VDA. DE NEPOMUCENO v. NICASIO V. BARTOLOME

  • A.M. No. P-03-1690, MTJ-01-1363 & 01-12-02-SC April 4, 2003 - ESTRELLITA M. PAAS v. EDGAR E. ALMARVEZ

  • G.R. No. 108405 April 4, 2003 - JAIME D. VIERNES, ET AL. v. N;RC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 117020 April 4, 2003 - VIRON TRANSPORTATION CO. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 125938 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOEL JANSON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140756 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JUAN GONZALES ESCOTE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141631 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. FERDINAND FRANCISCO

  • G.R. No. 143135 April 4, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. DAMAYAN NG PUROK 14, INC.

  • G.R. No. 143779 April 4, 2003 - FRANCISCA L. MARQUEZ v. SIMEON BALDOZ

  • G.R. Nos. 145309-10 April 4, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VIRGILIO FLORES

  • G.R. Nos. 144476 & 144629 April 8, 2003 - ONG YONG, ET AL. v. DAVID. S. TIU, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149022 April 8, 2003 - CARMENCITA D. CORONEL v. ANIANO A. DESIERTO, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1428 April 9, 2003 - ARFRAN L. QUIÑONES v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1580 April 9, 2003 - RENE ESPINA v. JUAN A. GATO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-01-1630 April 9, 2003 - HEINZ R. HECK v. ANTHONY E. SANTOS

  • G.R. No. 119255 April 9, 2003 - TOMAS K. CHUA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126968 April 9, 2003 - RICARDO BALUNUECO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128568 April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 132371 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANILO Q. SIMBAHON

  • G.R. No. 133003 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LAWRENCE MACAPANPAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141258 April 9, 2003 - TOMASA SARMIENTO v. SPS. LUIS & ROSE SUN-CABRIDO ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 141314 & 141369 April 9, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. REPRESENTED BY ENERGY REGULATORY BOARD v. MERALCO

  • G.R. No. 143004 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. DANTE CLIDORO

  • G.R. No. 143432 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. TERENCIO L. FUNESTO

  • G.R. No. 146034 April 9, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. LASTIDE A. SUBE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146815 April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147468 April 9, 2003 - SPS. EDUARDO & JOSEFINA DOMINGO v. LILIA MONTINOLA ROCES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147745 April 9, 2003 - MARIA BUENA OBRA v. SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM

  • G.R. No. 148727 April 9, 2003 - SPS. HERMOGENA AND JOSE ENGRESO v. NESTORIA DE LA CRUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 149038 April 9, 2003 - PHIL. AMERICAN GENERAL INSURANCE COMPANY v. PKS SHIPPING COMPANY

  • G.R. No. 149110 April 9, 2003 - NATIONAL POWER CORPORATION v. CITY OF CABANATUAN

  • G.R. No. 149422 April 10, 2003 - DEPARTMENT OF AGRARIAN REFORM v. APEX INVESTMENT AND FINANCING CORP.

  • G.R. No. 149578 April 10, 2003 - EVELYN TOLOSA v. NLRC, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143540 April 11, 2003 - JOEL G. MIRANDA v. ANTONIO C. CARREON, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 148138 April 11, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JOHNNY VIAJEDOR

  • A.M. No. P-02-1645 April 21, 2003 - GILBERT HOWARD M. ATIENZA v. JOSEPHINE V. DINAMPO

  • A.M. No. P-03-1695 April 21, 2003 - ARTEMIO H. QUIDILLA v. JUNAR G. ARMIDA

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1756 April 22, 2003 - AURORA S. GONZALES v. VICENTE A. HIDALGO

  • G.R. No. 127745 April 22, 2003 - FELICITO G. SANSON, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129163 April 22, 2003 - VOLTAIRE ARBOLARIO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 138650-58 April 22, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. IGNACIO SINORO

  • G.R. No. 140707 April 22, 2003 - NORGENE POTENCIANO, ET AL. v. DWIGHT "IKE" B. REYNOSO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146942 April 22, 2003 - CORAZON G. RUIZ v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 152329 April 22, 2003 - ALEJANDRO ROQUERO v. PHILIPPINE AIRLINES, INC.

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1763 April 24, 2003 - JOSE B. TIONGCO v. FLORENTINO P. PEDRONIO

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1770 April 24, 2003 - MELISSA E. MAÑO v. CAESAR A. CASANOVA

  • G.R. No. 123968 April 24, 2003 - URSULINA GANUELAS, ET AL. v. ROBERT T. CAWED, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137182 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ABDILA L. SILONGAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 137458-59 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JESUS G. BATOCTOY, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 137601 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WINCHESTER ABUT, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139230 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MANUEL DANIELA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 143672 April 24, 2003 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. GENERAL FOODS (PHILS.), INC.

  • G.R. No. 145915 April 24, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. VILMA Z. ALMENDRAS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147038 April 24, 2003 - RICHARD TEH v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-01-1370 April 25, 2003 - OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR v. AGUSTIN T. SARDIDO

  • G.R. No. 118749 April 25, 2003 - SPS LORENZO and LORENZA FRANCISCO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141187 April 28, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONNIE A. MACTAL

  • A.C. No. 5225 April 29, 2003 - SPS. WILFREDO & LYDIA BOYBOY v. VICTORIANO R. YABUT, JR.

  • A.M. No. MTJ-02-1453 April 29, 2003 - EDITHA PALMA GIL v. FRANCISCO H. LOPEZ, JR.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1615 April 29, 2003 - PEDRO MAGNAYE v. ERIBERTO R. SABAS

  • G.R. No. 119858 April 29, 2003 - EDWARD C. ONG v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 122363 April 29, 2003 - VICTOR G. VALENCIA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127002 April 29, 2003 - JEREMIAS L. DOLINO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 135394 April 29, 2003 - JOSE V. DELA RAMA v. FRANCISCO G. MENDIOLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 139841 April 29, 2003 - EMILIO C. VILLAROSA v. DEMOSTHENES L. MAGALLANES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141518 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CLARENCE ASTUDILLO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142015 April 29, 2003 - RURAL BANK OF STA. IGNACIA v. PELAGIA DIMATULAC

  • G.R. No. 147230 April 29, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. REYNALDO R. REMERATA

  • G.R. No. 150656 April 29, 2003 - MARGARITA ROMUALDEZ-LICAROS v. ABELARDO B. LICAROS

  • A.C. No. 4724 April 30, 2003 - GORETTI ONG v. JOEL M. GRIJALDO

  • A.M. No. CA-99-9-P April 30, 2003 - MAGTANGGOL GABRIEL v. VIRGINIA C. ABELLA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-00-1445 April 30, 2003 - MEDARDO M. PADUA v. IRENEO S. PAZ

  • A.M. No. P-02-1599 April 30, 2003 - LEANDRO T. LOYAO v. MAMERTO J. CAUBE, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-02-1600 April 30, 2003 - DOMINADOR. AREVALO, ET AL. v. EDGARDO S. LORIA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. P-03-1696 April 30, 2003 - CIVIL SERVICE COMMISSION v. ZENAIDA T. STA. ANA

  • A.M. RTJ No. 03-1761 April 30, 2003 - JOSE B. CUSTODIO v. JESUS V. QUITAIN

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1775 April 30, 2003 - ISAGANI A. CRUZ v. PHILBERT I. ITURRALDE

  • A.M. No. RTJ-03-1779 April 30, 2003 - JOVENCITO R. ZUÑO, ET AL. v. ARNULFO G. CABREDO

  • G.R. Nos. 107789 & 147214 April 30, 2003 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL. v. SANDIGANBAYAN ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 116326 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT LEE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 121211 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. RONETO DEGAMO

  • G.R. No. 121637 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. EDGARDO GREFALDIA

  • G.R. No. 125761 April 30, 2003 - SALVADOR P. MALBAROSA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126568 April 30, 2003 - QUIRINO GONZALES LOGGING CONCESSIONAIRE, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 126911 April 30, 2003 - PHIL. DEPOSIT INSURANCE CORP. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 127141 April 30, 2003 - SPS. EMMANUEL and MELANIE LANTIN v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128378 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROBERT GOMEZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 128512 & 128963 April 30, 2003 - DARIO P. BELONGHILOT v. RTC OF ZAMBOANGA DEL NORTE

  • G.R. No. 129090 April 30, 2003 - RICARDO B. GONZALES v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 129895 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ARMANDO C. DALAG

  • G.R. No. 134940 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. CATALINO MELENDRES

  • G.R. No. 138266 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. PEDRO CABRERA, JR.

  • G.R. No. 139876 April 30, 2003 - WILLIAM TIU and/or THE ROUGH RIDERS v. JULIO PASAOL, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 140753 April 30, 2003 - BENJAMIN S. SANTOS v. ELENA VELARDE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 141375 April 30, 2003 - MUNICIPALITY OF KANANGA v. FORTUNITO L. MADRONA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142435 April 30, 2003 - ESTELITA BURGOS LIPAT, ET AL. v. PACIFIC BANKING CORP., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 142591 April 30, 2003 - JOSEPH CHAN, ET AL. v. BONIFACIO S. MACEDA

  • G.R. Nos. 144445-47 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GENARO BIONG

  • G.R. No. 146099 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JIMMEL SANIDAD, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 146481 April 30, 2003 - ARTURO G. RIMORIN, SR. v. PEOPLE OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. 146685-86 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. BENJAMIN M. HILET

  • G.R. Nos. 146862-64 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. GAUDENCIO D. UMBAÑA

  • G.R. No. 146886 April 30, 2003 - DEVORAH E. BARDILLON v. BARANGAY MASILI of Calamba, Laguna

  • G.R. No. 146923 April 30, 2003 - BANK OF THE PHILIPPINE ISLANDS v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. 147033 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MARIO UMAYAM

  • G.R. Nos. 148394-96 April 30, 2003 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ROGER ELIARDA

  • G.R. No. 150179 April 30, 2003 - HEIRS OF WILLIAM SEVILLA, ET AL. v. LEOPOLDO SEVILLA, ET AL.

  • G.R. Nos. 150820-21 April 30, 2003 - SPS. ANTONIO and GENOVEVA BALANON-ANICETE, ET AL. v. PEDRO BALANON

  • G.R. No. 154037 April 30, 2003 - IN THE MATTER OF THE PETITION FOR HABEAS CORPUS OF BENJAMIN VERGARA, ET AL.

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    G.R. No. 128568   April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 128568. April 9, 2003.]

    SPOUSES REYNALDO ALCARAZ and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ, Petitioners, v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, MENAS R. TANGGA-AN, VIRGINIA III YVETTE R. TANGGA-AN, CECIL T. VILLAFLOR, HERMES R. TANGGA-AN, VENUS R. TANGGA-AN, JUPITER R. TANGGA-AN, YVONNE T. FRI, VIVIEN R. TANGGA-AN and HON. JUDGE P. BURGOS and THE COURT OF APPEALS, Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    CORONA, J.:


    Before us is a petition for review of the decision 1 dated January 10, 1997 of the Court of Appeals 2 affirming the decision 3 dated June 26, 1995 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Cebu City, Branch 17, which in turn upheld the decision 4 dated January 5, 1995 of the Municipal Trial Court (MTC) of Cebu City, Branch 2, ordering the ejectment of the petitioner spouses from the house they were renting from respondents.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    On October 4, 1994, respondents Pedro Tangga-an, Menas Tangga-an, Virginia III Yvette Tangga-an, Cecil Villaflor, Hermes Tangga-an, Venus Tangga-an, Jupiter Tangga-an, Yvonne Fri and Vivien Tangga-an filed a complaint for unlawful detainer, with damages, docketed as Civil Case No. R-33928, against petitioner spouses Reynaldo Alcaraz and Esmeralda Alcaraz.

    The complaint alleged that the late Virginia Tangga-an (the spouse of respondent Pedro Tangaa-an and mother of the rest of the respondents) leased a residential building (house) located at Premier Street, Hipodromo, Cebu City to the petitioner spouses. The lease contract was limited to the use and occupancy of the said residential building and did not include the lot on which it was constructed because the said lot was then owned by the National Housing Authority (NHA). Under the contract, the petitioner spouses bound themselves for five years to pay Virginia a monthly rental of P4,000 beginning November 22, 1991. However, since November 1993, they failed to pay rent. Thus, as of October, 1994, they were in arrears in the amount of P48,000. Despite repeated demands by respondents to pay the rentals in arrears and to surrender the possession of the residential building, the petitioner spouses refused to vacate the same. Respondents sought to repossess the property for their own use and benefit.

    On the other hand, the petitioner spouses alleged that, on July 23, 1993, the ownership of the lot on which the house stood was transferred by the NHA to Virgilio and Angelita D. Tangga-an. Virgilio Tangga-an is the son of the late Virgilia Tangga-an and respondent Pedro Tangga-an, and the brother of the other respondents. Transfer Certificate of Title No. 125657 was consequently issued in the name of Virgilio Tangga-an. According to the petitioner spouses, the subsequent change in ownership of the lot and the house resulted in the cancellation of the contract of lease between respondents and petitioner spouses. Thereafter, they paid the rent to the new owners of the lot (Virgilio and Angelita) and not to respondents since the latter supposedly no longer had the legal right to collect rentals.

    On January 5, 1995, the MTC rendered a decision, the dispositive portion of which read:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    WHEREFORE, Judgment is entered by way of preponderance of evidence in favor of plaintiffs and against the defendants, Ordering the latter to vacate the premises immediately, including all those who are occupying the subject house in relation to them; They are also jointly ordered to pay the sum of P48,000 representing rental payment in arrears from November, 1993 up to October, 1994 and to update monthly payment of P4,000 thereafter until their vacation therefrom; They are saddled to pay attorney’s fees in the sum of P5,000 and litigation costs in the amount of P1,000.

    SO ORDERED. 5

    In ruling in favor of the respondents, the MTC held that the petitioner spouses clearly violated the contract of lease due to non-payment of rent. They failed to show that the subject house belonged to Virgilio alone. On the other hand, the respondents proved that, after the death of Virginia, they registered said house in the name of their trustees, co-respondents Hermes Tangga-an and his wife. Furthermore, considering that Virgilio’s claim of ownership over the lot was the subject of a pending litigation for annulment of deed of sale and reconveyance of property involving the Tangga-ans, the MTC ruled that it "cannot usurp to pass judgment on the issues, as well as the conflicting claims of the parties therein." 6

    On appeal, the RTC affirmed the decision of the MTC, and held that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    . . . [D]efendants failed to present any documentary evidence modifying or amending the contract of lease (Annex "C", complaint) to justify the transfer of payment of the monthly rental to Virgilio Tanga-an who claims only as the registered owner of the lot on which the leased house is located. It appears that Virgilio Tanga-an does not possess any proof of ownership of the rented house. Clearly, defendants had violated the lease agreement executed between them and the deceased lessor Virginia R. Tangga-an (sic) the predecessor in interest of Hermes Tangga-an and his wife as shown in the Tax Declaration of the said spouses (Annex "A", complaint) whose name appears under the space for previous owner by stopping payment of rental to the present owner despite the existence of the contract of lease which expires on November 22, 1996. The law on contracts basically states:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "Obligations arising from contracts have the force of law between the contracting parties and should be complied with in good faith." (Article 1159, New Civil Code of the Philippines).

    x       x       x 7

    In denying the petition for review and affirming the judgments of the courts a quo, the Court of Appeals ruled that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    We also concur with the holding of both courts that as heirs of Virginia Tangga-an, private respondents have the right to institute the action for ejectment, in accordance with Article 487 of the Civil Code; and that the claim of petitioner — that Virgilio Tangga-an owns the lot where the leased residential building stands and occupied by petitioners — is still the subject of a civil action for annulment of the sale of the lot before the Regional Trial Court of Cebu. It does not follow as a matter of course that whoever owns the lot owns the building in question. Ownership of the lot cannot change the nature and ownership of the building, which belongs to the plaintiffs as heirs of the late Virginia Tangga-an through Ernest Tangga-an and his wife. Respondent court correctly reasoned out that." . . defendants cannot hide over the cloak of Virgilio Tangga-an, his claim of ownership over the lot as far as the Court is concerned being irrelevant to this case . . . ." Most importantly, the action involving the question of ownership of the lot is not a lawful ground to suspend/abate the ejectment proceeding. The rationale of the rule being that an ejectment suit involves only the issue of material possession or possession de facto (San Pedro v. Court of Appeals, 235 SCRA 145, 150, and cases cited). 8

    Hence, this petition on the following assignments of error:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    I


    THE LEASE CONTRACT EXECUTED BY PETITIONERS WITH VIRGINIA TANGGA-AN, PLAINTIFFS’ PREDECESSOR-IN-INTEREST, COVERED NOT ONLY THE LAND, BUT ALSO THE IMPROVEMENT THEREON, INCLUDING THE BUILDING.

    II


    VIRGILIO TANGGA-AN, AS ONE OF THE HEIRS OF VIRGINIA, HAD THE SAME RIGHTS OVER THE PROPERTY AS THOSE OF THE OTHER HEIRS, THE PLAINTIFFS. HENCE, VIRGILIO MAY NOT BE EXCLUDED UNILATERALLY BY THE OTHER HEIRS IN HIS ENJOYMENT OF HIS HEREDITARY RIGHTS.

    III


    THE REGISTRATION OF THE LAND, INCLUDING THE IMPROVEMENTS THEREON, IN THE NAME OF VIRGILIO TANGGA-AN UNDER THE TORRENS SYSTEM IS INDEFEASIBLE AND MAY NOT BE ATTACKED COLLATERALLY IN THE PRESENT ILLEGAL DETAINER CASE. 9

    We rule in favor of the respondents.

    Section 16 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure provides that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    SEC. 16. Resolving defense of ownership. — When the defendant raises the defense of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession.

    The issue of ownership is precisely what the petitioner spouses raised to justify their non-payment of rent and to resist eviction from the house they leased from respondents. Being indispensable to the resolution of the issue of possession, we herein render a provisional ruling on ownership.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Petitioner spouses seek a dismissal of the case for lack of jurisdiction claiming that the only issue to be resolved is ownership over the house which is improper in an ejectment case. We disagree. The issue in the case at bar is whether the petitioner spouses, as lessees, were excused from paying the rent because of the change in the ownership of the land on which the rented house was built. The main question therefore is still the lawful possession of the subject premises by the petitioner spouses. To resolve it, a discussion of the ownership issue is necessary.

    The petitioner spouses insist that the courts a quo erred in not finding that Virgilio Tangga-an became the new owner not only of the lot but also of the residential house. They claim that, before she died, Virginia, the original owner of the subject house, waived and ceded her rights over the land in favor of Virgilio. The said transfer allegedly included the subject house because, pursuant to Article 440 of the Civil Code, "the ownership of the property gives the right of accession to everything which is produced thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially." They also maintain that the NHA executed a deed of sale of both the house and the lot in favor of Virgilio. According to the petitioner spouses, the tax declaration over the house in the name of respondent Hermes Tangga-an, as trustee of the other respondents, was self-serving and had no probative value compared to the certificate of title over the lot in the name of Virgilio Tangga-an.

    We find no merit in petitioners’ arguments.

    Pursuant to Section 1, Rule 45 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure, a petition for review before this Court should only raise questions of law. In the absence of showing that the case falls under one of the exceptions, 10 factual findings of the Court of Appeals are conclusive on the parties and not reviewable by this Court. And they carry even more weight when the Court of Appeals affirms the factual findings of the trial court. As such, this Court is not duty-bound to analyze and weigh all over again the evidence already considered in the proceedings below. 11

    The courts a quo were unanimous in holding that the petitioner spouses failed to substantiate their factual averment that Virgilio not only acquired the lot but also the house. After examining the records, we found nothing to disprove the facts determined by the lower courts. All the petitioner spouses presented was Virgilio’s uncertified xerox copy of the certificate of title over the lot. No document was ever shown evidencing cession of the subject house in Virgilio’s favor. Virgilio’s title could not be used to prove ownership over the house built on said lot as it carried no reference at all to the house. A building by itself is a real or immovable property distinct from the land on which it is constructed 12 and therefore can be a separate subject of contracts.

    On the other hand, the respondents proved that, as compulsory heirs of Virginia, they were the rightful owners of the subject house. They presented a tax declaration in the name of their trustees, co-respondent Hermes Tangga-an and his wife, which tax declaration sufficiently evidences their co-ownership and acquisition of title following the death of the decedent Virginia. We have ruled that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Although tax declarations or realty tax payment of property are not conclusive evidence of ownership, nevertheless, they are good indicia of possession in the concept of owner for no one in his right mind would be paying taxes for a property that is not in his actual or at least constructive possession. They constitute at least proof that the holder has a claim of title over the property. The voluntary declaration of a piece of property for taxation purposes manifests not only one’s sincere and honest desire to obtain title to the property and announces his adverse claim against the State and all other interested parties, but also the intention to contribute needed revenues to the Government. Such an act strengthens one’s bona fide claim of acquisition of ownership. 13

    One of the factual issues raised by the petitioner spouses concerns the alleged waiver and cession of Virginia’s rights over the house and lot to Virgilio. But the petitioner spouses did not mention any consideration received by Virginia for the waiver of the house, in effect making said waiver a donation thereof to Virgilio. However, in order for a donation of real property like a house to be valid, a public instrument duly signed by the donor and accepted by the donee (which acceptance must be known to the donor while alive) must be executed. 14 Moreover, said donation must not impair the legitime of the forced heirs of the donor in order for the same not to be inofficious. 15 In the case at bar, no such public instrument was presented. Neither was it explained why said waiver did not impair the rights of the other compulsory heirs of Virginia.

    To support their argument that the house necessarily became Virgilio’s property as a result of the acquisition of the lot on which the same was built, the petitioner spouses invoke the principle that the accessory follows the principal. Being an accessory, the house is necessarily owned by the owner of the lot on which it is built.

    There is no need, however, to disturb and analyze the applicability of this well-entrenched principle because the petitioner spouses are estopped from raising the same. Both parties knew that their contract pertained only to the lease of the house, without including the land. The contract states: "1. That the lessor is the owner of a building of mixed materials situated at Premier St., Mabolo, Hipodromo, Cebu City." 16 At the time of the perfection of the contract, the petitioner spouses, as lessees, were aware that the NHA, and not Virginia, the lessor, owned the land on which the rented house stood yet they signed the same, obliged themselves to comply with the terms thereof for five years and performed their obligations as lessees for two years.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Now they assume a completely different legal position. They claim that the lease contract ceased to be effective because Virgilio’s assumption of ownership of the land stripped the respondents of ownership of the building. They argue that, under Article 440 of the Civil Code, Virgilio’s title over the lot necessarily included the house on the said lot, thus automatically canceling the contract.

    Section 2, Rule 131 of the Rules of Court provides as a conclusive presumption that:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Sec. 2. Conclusive presumptions. — The following are instances of conclusive presumptions:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    (a) Whenever a party has, by his own declaration, act, or omission, intentionally and deliberately led another to believe a particular thing true, and to act upon such belief, he cannot, in any litigation arising out of such declaration, act or omission, be permitted to falsify it;

    x       x       x


    After recognizing the validity of the lease contract for two years, the petitioner spouses are barred from alleging the automatic cancellation of the contract on the ground that the respondents lost ownership of the house after Virgilio acquired title over the lot.

    We also note that the petitioner spouses rescinded the contract of lease without judicial approval. Due to the change in ownership of the land, the petitioner spouses decided to unilaterally cancel the contract because Virgilio supposedly became the new owner of the house after acquiring title to the lot. They alleged that there was no reason anymore to perform their obligations as lessees because the lessor had ceased to be the owner of the house. But there is nothing in their lease contract that allows the parties to extrajudicially rescind the same in case of violation of the terms thereof. Extrajudicial rescission of a contract is not possible without an express stipulation to that effect. 17 What the petitioner spouses should have done was to file a special civil action for interpleader for the claimants to litigate their claims and to deposit the rentals in court.

    The petitioner spouses aver that their payments to Virgilio beginning November, 1993 were payments made in good faith to a person in possession of the credit, in consonance with Article 1242 of the Civil Code. 18 This therefore released them from their obligation. They claim that Virgilio collected the rentals in his capacity as a co-owner. Being a son of Virginia, he was also entitled to the rent of the subject house. We disagree. Virgilio collected the rentals not as a co-owner but as the alleged sole owner of the subject house. The petitioner spouses themselves admitted that Virgilio claimed sole ownership of the house and lot. It would be incongruous for them to now assert payment in good faith to a person they believed was collecting in behalf of his co-heirs after admitting that they paid rent to Virgilio as the sole owner thereof.

    Hence, for violating the terms of the lease contract, i.e., payment of rent, respondents can legally demand the ejectment of the petitioner spouses.

    WHEREFORE, the decision dated January 10, 1997 of the Court of Appeals is hereby AFFIRMED. With costs against the petitioners.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

    Puno, Panganiban, Sandoval-Gutierrez and Carpio Morales, JJ., concur.

    Endnotes:



    1. Penned by Associate Justice Artemon Luna, and concurred in by Associate Justices Ramon Barcelona and Maximiano Asuncion; Rollo, pp. 29–33.

    2. Twelfth Division.

    3. Penned by Judge Jose P. Burgos; Court of Appeals Records, pp. 34–36.

    4. Penned by Judge Olegario Sarmiento, Jr.; Court of Appeals Records, pp. 120–122.

    5. Court of Appeals Records, p. 33.

    6. Court of Appeals Records, p. 121.

    7. Court of Appeals, Records, pp. 35–36.

    8. Rollo, pp. 32–33.

    9. Id., pp. 14–15.

    10. See Martinez v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 123547, May 21, 2001.

    11. Romago Electric Co., Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 333 SCRA 291, 301 [2000]; Borromeo v. Sun, 317 SCRA 176, 182 [1999].

    12. Article 415 of the Civil Code.

    13. Director of Lands v. Court of Appeals, 308 SCRA 317, 324–325 [1999]; Republic v. Court of Appeals, 258 SCRA 712, 720–721 [1996].

    14. Article 749, Civil Code.

    15. Article 752, Civil Code.

    16. Court of Appeals Records, p. 19.

    17. Article 1191, Civil Code.

    18. Art. 1242, Civil Code; Payment made is good faith to any person in possession of the credit shall release the debtor.

    G.R. No. 128568   April 9, 2003 - SPS. REYNALDO and ESMERALDA ALCARAZ v. PEDRO M. TANGGA-AN, ET AL.


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