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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. 146815   April 9, 2003 - HEIRS OF PEDRO, ET AL. v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III ET AL.

     
    PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

    THIRD DIVISION

    [G.R. No. 146815. April 9, 2003.]

    HEIRS OF PEDRO LAURORA and LEONORA LAURORA, Petitioners, v. STERLING TECHNOPARK III and S.P. PROPERTIES, INC., Respondents.

    D E C I S I O N


    PANGANIBAN, J.:


    The owners of a property have no authority to use force and violence to eject alleged usurpers who were in prior physical possession of it. They must file the appropriate action in court and should not take the law into their own hands.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    The Case


    Before us is a Petition for Review 1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, seeking to set aside the June 27, 2000 Decision 2 and the January 22, 2001 Resolution 3 of the Court of Appeals 4 (CA) in CA-GR SP No. 54667. The dispositive part of the Decision reads:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "WHEREFORE, the [P]etition is GRANTED and the RTC [D]ecision dated 06 May 1999 and the RTC [O]rder dated 03 August 1999 are hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and corollarily, the MCTC [D]ecision is AFFIRMED." 5

    The assailed Resolution denied petitioners’ Motion for Reconsideration.

    The Facts


    The factual antecedents are summarized by the CA as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    "In a [C]omplaint for Forcible Entry with Damages filed on 27 September 1997 before the Fifth Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Carmona and Gen. Mariano Alvarez, plaintiffs therein, . . . Pedro Laurora and Leonora Laurora [herein petitioners] alleged that they [were] the owners of Lot 1315-G, SWD-40763 of the Yaptinchay Estate with an area of 39,771 sq. meters and located in Carmona, Cavite. Pedro Laurora planted trees and has possessed the land up to the present. On 15 September 1997, [respondents] Sterling Technopark III and S.P. Properties, Inc. . . . through their Engr. Bernie Gatchalian bulldozed and uprooted the trees and plants, and with the use of armed men and by means of threats and intimidation, succeeded in forcibly ejecting [petitioners]. As a result of their dispossession, [petitioners] suffered actual damages in the amount of P3,000,000.00 and P10,000.00 as attorney’s fees.

    "In their [A]nswer to the [C]omplaint, [respondents] averred that [petitioners were] not the owners of the land because they disposed of it sometime in 1976 as shown by legal documents. On 02 April 1969, the Land Authority issued an order of award in favor of [petitioners], approving the application of Pedro Laurora to buy the subject Lot 1315-G from the government. On 01 March 1974, [petitioners] requested the Department of Agrarian Reform for the transfer of the lot to Juan Manaig. Favorably acted upon, the DAR issued a permit to transfer dated 03 June 1975 through its Regional Director Benjamin R. Estrellado. On 03 July 1975, Juan Manaig, as transferee and buyer, paid the required amount of P10,643.65 under Official Receipt No. 8304707 to the government as full payment for the transfer of said lot to him. On 26 March 1976, the [petitioners] as sellers and witnessed by their sons, Efren Laurora and Dominador Laurora, executed a ‘Kasulatan ng Paglilipatan ng Lupa’ transferring the land to Juan Manaig as buyer. On 11 June 1976, the [petitioners] again witnessed by their sons, Efren and Dominador, executed a `Kasulatan ng Bilihang Tuluyan’ or Deed of Sale wherein they sold Lot 1315-G including all improvements therein, in favor of Juan Manaig. The Deed of Absolute Sale was approved by the Department of Agrarian Reform on 14 June 1976 in ‘DAR Approval of Transfer of Rights’ signed by DAR Regional Director, Benjamin R. Estrellado. After the approval of the sale from the [petitioners] to Juan Manaig, the latter paid its real estate taxes. The tax declarations of the land in the name of its previous owners, Yaptinchays, were cancelled and transferred in the name of [petitioner] Pedro Laurora as owner-transferee. Thereupon, the heirs of the late ‘JUAN MANAIG’ sold the land to Golden Mile Resources Development Corporation which likewise sold it to [respondent] S. P. Properties, Inc.

    "After summary proceedings in the MCTC, . . ., a judgment was rendered dismissing the complaint. The case was elevated to the Regional Trial Court. In due course, the said court rendered a decision reversing the MCTC judgment. . . ." 6

    Ruling of the Court of Appeals


    The CA reversed the Regional Trial Court (RTC) and reinstated the Order of dismissal issued by the Municipal Circuit Trial Court (MCTC). It held that there was no evidence to support the claim of petitioners to the prior physical possession of the property. The evidence allegedly showed that they had already sold the land with the approval of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR). Accordingly, their subsequent entry into and possession of the land constituted plain usurpation, which could not be the source of any right to occupy it. Being planters in bad faith, they had no right to be reimbursed for improvements on the land, in accordance with Article 449 of the New Civil Code.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    Hence, this Petition. 7

    The Issue


    In their Memorandum, 8 petitioners raise this sole issue for our consideration:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

    ". . . [W]hether [p]rivate [r]espondent[s] ha[ve] a valid and legal right to forcibly eject petitioners from the premises despite their resistance and objection, through the use of arm[ed] men and by bulldozing, cutting, and destroying trees and plants planted by petitioners, without court order, to the damage and prejudice of the latter." 9

    The Court’s Ruling


    The Petition is meritorious.

    Main Issue:chanrob1es virtual 1aw library

    Physical Possession of the Land

    The only issue in forcible entry cases is the physical or material possession of real property — possession de facto, not possession de jure. 10 Only prior physical possession, not title, is the issue. 11 If ownership is raised in the pleadings, the court may pass upon such question, but only to determine the question of possession. 12

    The ownership claim of respondents upon the land is based on the evidence they presented. Their evidence, however, did not squarely address the issue of prior possession. Even if they succeed in proving that they are the owners of the land, 13 the fact remains that they have not alleged or proved that they physically possess it by virtue of such ownership. On the other hand, petitioners’ prior possession of the land was not disputed by the CA, which merely described it as usurpation. 14

    We stress that the issue of ownership in ejectment cases is to be resolved only when it is intimately intertwined with the issue of possession, 15 to such an extent that the question of who had prior possession cannot be determined without ruling on the question of who the owner of the land is. 16 No such intertwinement has been shown in the case before us. Since respondents’ claim of ownership is not being made in order to prove prior possession, the ejectment court cannot intrude or dwell upon the issue of ownership. 17

    Notwithstanding the actual condition of the title to the property, a person in possession cannot be ejected by force, violence or terror — not even by the owners. 18 If such illegal manner of ejectment is employed, as it was in the present case, the party who proves prior possession — in this case, petitioners — can recover possession even from the owners themselves. 19

    Granting arguendo that petitioners illegally entered into and occupied the property in question, respondents had no right to take the law into their own hands and summarily or forcibly eject the occupants therefrom.

    Verily, even if petitioners were mere usurpers of the land owned by respondents, still they are entitled to remain on it until they are lawfully ejected therefrom. Under appropriate circumstances, respondents may file, other than an ejectment suit, an accion publiciana — a plenary action intended to recover the better right to possess; 20 or an accion reivindicatoria — an action to recover ownership of real property. 21

    The availment of the aforementioned remedies is the legal alternative to prevent breaches of peace and criminal disorder resulting from the use of force by claimants out to gain possession. 22 The rule of law does not allow the mighty and the privileged to take the law into their own hands to enforce their alleged rights. They should go to court and seek judicial vindication.

    WHEREFORE, the Petition is GRANTED and the assailed Decision REVERSED and SET ASIDE. No costs.chanrob1es virtua1 1aw 1ibrary

    SO ORDERED.

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

    Endnotes:



    1. Rollo, pp. 10–22.

    2. Id., pp. 24–29.

    3. Rollo, p. 31.

    4. Special Seventh Division. Written by Justice Buenaventura J. Guerrero (Division chairman), concurred in by Justice Martin S. Villarama Jr. and Justice Mercedes Gozo-Dadole.

    5. Assailed CA Decision, p. 6; rollo, p. 29.

    6. Id., pp. 2–3 & 25–26.

    7. This case was deemed submitted for decision on November 13, 2001, upon the Court’s receipt of petitioners’ Memorandum signed by Atty. Franco L. Loyola. Respondents’ Memorandum, filed on November 12, 2001, was signed by Atty. Benjamin E. Mendoza.

    8. Rollo, pp. 123–142.

    9. Petitioners’ Memorandum, p. 5; rollo, p. 127.

    10. Go Jr. v. Court of Appeals, 362 SCRA 755, August 14, 2001; Amagan v. Marayag, 326 SCRA 581, February 28, 2000; Diu v. Ibajan, 322 SCRA 452, January 19, 2000; Carreon v. Court of Appeals, 353 Phil. 271, June 22, 1998; Dizon v. Court of Appeals, 332 Phil. 429, November 19, 1996; Hilario v. Court of Appeals, 329 Phil. 202, August 7, 1996.

    11. German Management and Services, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, 177 SCRA 495, September 14, 1989; Ganadin v. Ramos, 99 SCRA 613, September 11, 1980; Baptista v. Carillo, 72 SCRA 214, July 30, 1976.

    12. 16 of Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Court; Diu v. Ibajan, supra; Dizon v. Court of Appeals, supra.

    13. In their Memorandum, petitioners claim that the issue of ownership over the property "is still with the DARAB of Cavite."cralaw virtua1aw library

    14. Assailed CA Decision, p. 5; rollo, p. 28.

    15. Paz v. Reyes, 327 SCRA 605, March 9, 2000; Vda. de Cruz v. Court of Appeals, 363 Phil. 539, March 4, 1999.

    16. Refugia v. Court of Appeals, 327 Phil. 982, July 5, 1996.

    17. Id., p. 1006.

    18. Muñoz v. Court of Appeals, 214 SCRA 216, September 23, 1992; Joven v. Court of Appeals, 212 SCRA 700, August 20, 1992; German Management and Services, Inc. v. Court of Appeals, supra; Supia and Batioco v. Quintero and Ayala, 59 Phil. 312, December 23, 1933.

    19. Gener v. de Leon, 367 SCRA 631, October 19, 2001; Ceremonia v. Court of Appeals, 314 SCRA 731, September 21, 1999; Gachon v. Devera, 274 SCRA 540, June 20, 1997.

    20. Arcal v. Court of Appeals, 348 Phil. 813, January 26, 1998; Chico v. Court of Appeals, 348 Phil. 37, January 5, 1998; Ybañez v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 194 SCRA 743, March 6, 1991; Concepcion v. Presiding Judge Et. Al., 204 Phil. 564, December 15, 1982.

    21. Evadel Realty and Development Corporation v. Soriano, 357 SCRA 395, April 20, 2001; Vda. de Villanueva v. Court of Appeals, 351 SCRA 12, February 1, 2001; Bishop of Cebu v. Mangaron, 6 Phil. 286, June 1, 1906.

    22. Villaflor v. Reyes, 22 SCRA 392, January 30, 1968; Pitargue v. Sorilla, 92 Phil. 5, September 17, 1952.

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


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