G. R. No. 120941
April 18, 1997
E C I S I O N
and IGNACIO RANESES, ET AL.,
This is a
petition for review under Rule 45 of
the Rules of Court to set aside the decision of the Court of Appeals in
CA G.R. No. 40738-CV entitled Nena de Guzman v. Ignacio Raneses,
Raneses and Hon. Lilian Dinulos-Pamontongan, which affirmed the
of Branch 76 of the Regional Trial Court of San Mateo, Rizal, ordering
petitioner to vacate the premises subject of the petition.
The facts show that on
6, 1988, an ejectment case, dated April 15, 1988 and docketed as Civil
Case No. 717, was filed by private respondents Isagani and Ignacio
against petitioner Nena de Guzman before the Municipal Trial Court of
It was alleged that in 1986, petitioner, through stealth, unlawfully
a house within the 4.5 hectare lot owned by private respondents in
San Mateo, Rizal.
Despite receipt of two demand letters from private respondents,
refused to vacate the premises. On July 27, 1988, a summons and a copy
of the complaint were served on petitioner through her daughter Nancy
Guzman, a person of sufficient age and discretion. When petitioner
to file her answer within the reglementary period, private respondents
moved for summary judgment.
On August 17, 1988, a judgment by default was rendered by Municipal
Court Judge Apolinar T. Antazo ordering petitioner to vacate the
lots and to pay the private respondents P2,000.00 as attorney's fees
the costs of suit.
On October 18, 1988, the Municipal Trial Court issued a Writ of
against the petitioner. On October 27, 1988, petitioner's counsel filed
a Motion for Reconsideration and/or to Set Aside the Decision. The
Trial Court denied the Motion and granted the Writ of Execution. On
19, 1989, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court of San Mateo,
Rizal a Petition for Relief from Judgment, Injunction and Damages,
as Civil Case No. 540-SM. Petitioner argued that she was denied due
of law because the summons was not properly served on her.
Allegedly, the deputy sheriff resorted to substituted service of
without exerting any effort to find the petitioner. She also assailed
jurisdiction of the Municipal Trial Court to try the forcible entry
on the ground that the complaint was filed two years after her alleged
unlawful entry into the premises. On February 23, 1989, private
filed their answer to the petition. After giving due course to the
the Regional Trial Court, on July 10, 1992, rendered its decision
petitioner's contention that the service of summons was improper and
ejectment suit was filed out of time. It ruled that to enable the
Trial Court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the petitioner
substituted service of summons, it is necessary to show the
of personal service which should be explained in the proof of service.
It also found undisputed that the forcible entry case was filed two
after the alleged occupation of the land through stealth by petitioner;
hence, the action has prescribed.
Trial Court further received evidence
on the ownership of the disputed lot.
It held that the evidence showed that petitioner acquired her "rights"
to the property by purchase from persons who were mere tenants on the
while private respondents' claim over the property was supported by
proofs of ownership.
Thus, it ordered petitioner to vacate the lot in dispute.
Within the reglementary period, petitioner,
counsel, filed her appeal with the Court of Appeals contending that:
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN DECIDING THE
OF THE CASE AT ONCE WITHOUT ISSUING ANY PRIOR ORDER SETTING ASIDE THE
OF THE MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT.chanrobles virtual law library
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT
FORCIBLE ENTRY CASE [PRINCIPAL ACTION] FILED BY THE APPELLEES AFTER IT
DECLARED THAT THE SAID ACTION WAS FILED OUT OF TIME AND THAT THE LOWER
COURT HAD NO JURISDICTION OVER THE SAME.chanrobles virtual law library
THE TRIAL COURT ERRED IN RESOLVING THE
OF OWNERSHIP AND DECLARING THAT APPELLEES ARE THE OWNERS OF THE
SUBJECT OF THE EJECTMENT SUIT AND THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO ITS
POSSESSION.chanrobles virtual law library
On January 24,
1995, the Court of Appeals sustained
the decision of the Regional Trial Court. It held that: (1) petitioner
chose the wrong remedy when it filed its petition for relief from
for there was no indication of fraud, accident, mistake or excusable
on her petition which would merit relief from the decision of the
Trial Court. It ruled that petitioner's proper remedy was appeal, and
it did not do so, the decision of the Municipal Court became final and
and (2) petitioner failed to prove her ownership or any right to
the disputed lot for her predecessor-in-interest was a mere squatter.
Petitioner's Motion for Reconsideration was denied in a
dated June 27, 1955. Hence, this appeal with the following assignments
THE RESPONDENT COURT DECIDED A
SUBSTANCE NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW AND THE APPLICABLE DECISIONS OF THIS
COURT IN NOT RULING THAT THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT ERRED IN NOT
THE FORCIBLE ENTRY CASE (PRINCIPAL ACTION) AFTER IT DECLARED THAT THE
ACTION WAS FILED OUT OF TIME AND THAT THE LOWER COURT HAD NO
OVER THE SAME.chanrobles virtual law library
THE RESPONDENT COURT DECIDED A
SUBSTANCE NOT IN ACCORD WITH LAW OR THE APPLICABLE DECISION OF THE
COURT IN AFFIRMING THE DECISION OF THE REGIONAL TRIAL COURT ON THE
OF POSSESSION OVER THE SUBJECT PROPERTY.
The petition is
It is clear that
petitioner was denied due process
as she was not properly summoned before the Municipal Trial Court
judgment against her. It is also indubitable on the face of the
for forcible entry that the action had already prescribed. The
dated April 15, 1988 alleged that petitioner entered the property by
sometime in 1986. We have ruled that "forcible entry and unlawful
are quieting processes and the one-year time bar to the suit is in
of the summary nature of the action.
The one year period is counted from the time the entry by stealth was
by the defendant.
After the lapse of the one-year period, the remedy of the party
of a land is to file an "accion publiciana."
Consequently, the respondent court committed reversible error when it
the ruling of the Regional Trial Court upholding the claim of ownership
of the private respondents.cralaw
IN VIEW WHEREOF,
the Decision of the respondent
Court of Appeals is SET ASIDE. The Complaint docketed as Civil Case No.
717 filed in the Municipal Trial Court of San Mateo, Rizal is ordered
Mendoza and Torres, Jr., JJ.,
Decision penned by Associate Justice V.C. Serafin Guingona and
in by Associate Justices Arturo B. Buena and Ramon A. Barcelona, 3rd
Presided by Judge Apolinar Antazo.
Complaint, Rollo, pp. 42-44.
Municipal Trial Court Decision, p. 1; Rollo, p. 45.
Petition for Relief from Judgment, p. 2; Rollo, p. 40.
Regional Trial Court Decision, pp. 2-4, Rollo, pp. 54-55.
Regional Trial Court Decision, p. 4; Rollo, p. 55.
TCT No. 150081, Exhibit "7"; TCT No. 150082, Exhibit "8"; TCT No.
Exhibit "9"; N-31041, Exhibit "10".
Sec. 3, Rule 38, Revised Rules of Court.
Court of Appeals Decision, p. 3; Rollo, p. 29.
De Leon v. CA, 245 SCRA 166, 173 .
Section 1, Rule 70 Revised Rules of Court.
De Leon, op cit., p. 174.