Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1966 > January 1966 Decisions > G.R. Nos. L-21851 and L-21924-26 January 31, 1966 MARCOS ESCOBAR, ET AL. v. MODESTO R. RAMOLETE, ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

EN BANC

[G.R. Nos. L-21851 and L-21924-26. January 31, 1966.]

MARCOS ESCOBAR, ET AL., Petitioners, v. HON. MODESTO R. RAMOLETE, ET AL., Respondents.

Marcos Escobar for the petitioners.

Zozobrado & Baguia for the respondents.


SYLLABUS


1. PROHIBITION; DENIAL OF PETITION FOR BEING PREMATURELY FILED. — Where it is imperative to first receive further evidence to determine the validity of the new contract of lease entered into by the parties, the filing of the petition for prohibition, imputing grave abuse of discretion to respondent court and praying that a preliminary injunction be issued to restrain it from carrying out the trial of the case is deemed premature and should be denied.


D E C I S I O N


BAUTISTA ANGELO, J.:


Marcos Escobar and his wife obtained a judgment on April 24, 1961 before the Municipal Court of Cebu City against their tenants Inocencia Damalerio Vda. de Co, Chua Kaw, Prudencio Bulahan and Ong Giok in separate cases wherein the latter were allowed under certain conditions to continue occupying the premises in question for two years from the date the judgment shall have become final. This judgment became final and executory for lack of appeal on the part of either defendants.

On May 20, 1963, the Escobar spouses, thru counsel, sent a letter to each of the above four tenants informing them that since the two years granted to them to stay in the premises had already expired they were demanding their restitution with the warning that upon their failure to do so the spouses would ask for the execution of the judgment. This demand having been ignored, the Escobar spouses moved for the execution of the judgment, and on June 21, 1963 the municipal court granted the motion and issued the writ of possession prayed for against the tenants which the sheriff of Cebu tried to carry out.

Upon being notified of the writ of execution, tenant Prudencio Bulahan requested the spouses to allow him to continue in the premises paying the same rentals as usual, but the spouses refused and insisted in taking possession of the property. So, on August 5, 1963, Bulahan commenced an action against the spouses before the Court of First Instance of Cebu alleging that two months prior to the expiration of the original two-year contract of lease he and said spouses concluded a new and distinct contract of lease under the same terms and conditions so much so that they were allowed to remain in the premises upon payment of the rentals corresponding to June, 1963, making as co-party plaintiffs the other three tenants who were jointly sued with him in the ejectment case. Bulahan also prayed, pending decision on the case on the merits, that a writ of preliminary injunction be issued to stay the execution that was then being enforced against him by the sheriff. And upon his filing a bond of P1,000.00, the writ prayed for was issued on August 6, 1963.

The Escobar spouses upon being summoned in this new case immediately filed a motion to dissolve the injunction, filing at the same time their answer disputing the averment that a new contract of lease was entered into between them and Bulahan relative to the property in question. On August 24, 1963, after hearing the arguments of both parties on the motion to dissolve the injunction, respondent court deferred its resolution on the motion because it preferred to receive first the evidence on the merits of the case the hearing of which it set on September 10 and 11, 1963. The hearing, however, was not held due to certain postponements that were requested in the meantime, but before respondent court could proceed with the trial of the case that was set for October 7, 1963, the Escobar spouses interposed the present petition for prohibition before this Court imputing grave abuse of discretion to respondent court and praying that a preliminary injunction be issued to restrain it from carrying out the trial of the case set for October 7, 1963.

The petition was given due course and upon petitioner’s posting of a bond of P5,000.00 the injunction prayed for was issued.

Respondents in their answer reiterated the claim of Prudencio Bulahan that he had concluded a new and different contract of lease with petitioners which gave him the right to continue occupying the property in question and that because of the preliminary injunction issued by this Court upon petitioners’ request said Bulahan was ejected therefrom on November 2, 1963 even before the writ issued by respondent court has been dissolved as a result of which he suffered damages in the amount of P5,000.00.

The present petition was given due course in view of the claim of petitioners that the allegation of respondent Bulahan that a new contract of lease was concluded between them two months before the expiration of the original contract was false and as a result this Court issued the writ of preliminary injunction prayed for upon petitioners’ filing a bond in the amount of P5,000.00. It now appears, however, that claim is being disputed by respondent Bulahan for in effect that is the issue specifically involved in the complaint filed by Bulahan before respondent court wherein he prayed that said new contract of lease be declared valid, effective and binding and that petitioners be compelled to respect Bulahan’s right to the possession of the property for which reason Bulahan asked for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction in order that he may not be ejected from the premises.

In this connection, it should be noted that when petitioners requested that writ of injunction be dissolved precisely because they claimed that the alleged new contract of lease was false, respondent court decided to receive first evidence on that claim before acting on the motion for dissolution because it wanted to be sure first of its stand relative to its validity but was prevented from doing so because of the haste with which petitioners filed the present petition for prohibition. This is the same situation this Court is now confronted. It is imperative that it first determine if the claim of Bulahan that a new contract of lease was entered into between him and petitioners is true. But this matter cannot be determined without receiving the necessary evidence. Hence, under the present stage of the case, we consider the filing of this petition premature, since it is of importance that issue be first determined by respondent court. For these reasons, we are of the opinion that this petition has been improvidently filed.

Wherefore, petition is denied. This case is hereby remanded to respondent court so that it may continue hearing it in line with the findings we have herein reached. The injunction issued by this Court is hereby dissolved. Costs against petitioners.

Bengzon, C.J., Concepcion, Reyes, J.B.L., Barrera, Dizon, Regala, Bengzon, J.P. and Zaldivar, JJ., concur.

Makalintal, J., took no part.




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