Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence


Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 1976 > June 1976 Decisions > G.R. No. L-30336 June 30, 1976 - FORTUNATO BANAYOS, ET AL. v. SUSANA REALTY, INC., ET AL.:




PHILIPPINE SUPREME COURT DECISIONS

SECOND DIVISION

[G.R. No. L-30336. June 30, 1976.]

FORTUNATO BANAYOS, CONSTANTE BANAYOS and FEDERICO BRINGAS, Petitioners, v. SUSANA REALTY, INC., HONORABLE AMADOR GOMEZ, in his capacity as Judge, Court of First Instance of Rizal, and NICANOR SALAYSAY, in his capacity as Provincial Sheriff of Rizal, Respondents.

Diosdado P. Peralta, for Petitioners.

Ramon A. Barcelona for Respondents.

SYNOPSIS


Respondent corporation, which is a registered owner of two parcels of land, sought the recovery thereof from petitioners, alleging that the latter thru strategy and stealth had occupied the premises for at least three years before the filing of the complaint. Respondent court rendered judgment ordering petitioners to vacate the premises and to remove therefrom the improvements introduced therein. Thereafter, petitioners filed a motion to set aside judgment and/or to dismiss on the ground that the court of first instance had no jurisdiction, it being an ejectment case and not an accion publiciana. Said motion, however was denied. In view thereof, petitioners filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with preliminary injunction to restrain respondent court from enforcing the writ of execution issued therein.

The Supreme Court, holding the case to be an accion publiciana as distinguished from a summary action for forcible entry and unlawful detainer and an accion reivindicacion, dismissed the petition.


SYLLABUS


1. COURTS; JURISDICTION; ALLEGATIONS OF COMPLAINT DETERMINES JURISDICTION. — The general rule is that what determines the jurisdiction of a particular court is the nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The averments therein and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted.

2. ID.; ID.; ID.; ALLEGATIONS IN ACCION PUBLICIANA; CASE AT BAR. — Where complaints alleges that defendants, by means of stealth and without the knowledge and consent of plaintiff-corporation, took possession of the premises in question, built their houses thereon, and occupied the same for a period of three (3) years prior to the filing of the complaint without any allegation of plaintiff’s prior physical possession, the same is an accion publiciana over which the Court of First Instance has jurisdiction.

3. ACTIONS; FORCIBLE ENTRY DISTINGUISHED FROM UNLAWFUL DETAINER. — A complaint for forcible entry, as distinguished from the of unlawful detainer, in order to vest jurisdiction upon the inferior court, must allege plaintiff’s prior physical possession of the property, as well as the fact that he was deprived of such possession by any of the means provided in Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, namely: force, intimidation, threats, strategy and stealth, "for if the dispossession did not take place by any of these means, the courts of first instance, not the municipal courts have jurisdiction."cralaw virtua1aw library

4. ID.; FORCIBLE ENTRY AND UNLAWFUL DETAINER ACCION PUBLICIANA AND ACCION DE REIVINDICACION, DISTINGUISHED. — The action for forcible entry may be brought where dispossession of real property has taken place by any of the means provided for in Section 1 of Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court, and in the case of unlawful detainer, where the possession is withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract express or implied. These two actions must be filed within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession with the municipal or city court These actions in their essence are mere quieting processes by virtue of which a party in possession of land may not be, by force, dispossessed of that land, the law restoring to him such possession in a summary manner, until the right of ownership can be tried in due course of law. They are, therefore, intended to provide an expeditious means of protecting actual possession of property. The aforesaid Rule 70 does not, however, cover all of the cases of dispossession of lands. Thus, whenever the owner is dispossessed by any other means than those mentioned, he may maintain his action in the Court of First Instance, and it is not necessary for him to wait until the expiration of twelve months before commencing an action to be repossessed or declared to be owner of the land (Gumiran v. Gumiran, 21 Phil. 174, 179). Courts of First Instance have jurisdiction over actions to recover possession of real property illegally detained, together with rents due and damages, even though one (1) year has not expired from the beginning of such illegal detention, provided the question of ownership of such property is also involved. In other words, if the party illegally dispossessed desires to raise the question of illegal dispossession as well as that of the ownership over the property, he may commence such action in the Court of First Instance immediately or at any time after such illegal dispossession. If he decides to raise the question of illegal dispossession only, and the action is filed more than one (1) year after such deprivation or withholding of possession, then the Court of First Instance will have original jurisdiction over the case. The former is an accion de reivindicacion while seeks the recovery of ownership as well as possession, while the latter refers to an accion publiciana, which is the recovery of the right to possess and is a plenary action in an ordinary proceedings in the Court of First Instance.


D E C I S I O N


ANTONIO, J.:


In this petition for Certiorari and Prohibition with Preliminary Injunction, the Court holds that on the basis of the allegations of the complaint in Civil Case No. 7373, 1 the aforesaid case could not be one of forcible entry or unlawful detainer within the exclusive competence of the municipal court, but an accion publiciana which is for the recovery of the right to possess and is a plenary action within the jurisdictional competence of respondent court.

The following facts may be gleaned from the records of this petition: The Susana Realty, Inc. (plaintiff in the court a quo), as the registered owner of two (2) parcels of land situated at Mandaluyong, Rizal, covered by Transfer Certificates of Title Nos. 28350 and 28351, sought the recovery of the possession of its properties, thus:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"3. That PLAINTIFF is the registered owner of two (20)parcels of land situated at Mandaluyong, Rizal, and more particularly described as follows:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"4. That DEFENDANTS, without the knowledge, much less the consent of herein PLAINTIFF, by means of strategy and stealth, entered the aforesaid premises, built their respective houses thereon and occupied the said lots for at least three (3) years prior to this date and are still occupying the same up to the present, . . .

"5. That the PLAINTIFF, upon learning of DEFENDANTS’ unlawful and illegal occupancy of its above-described lots, immediately, thru letters sent to each and everyone of them demanded that they vacate the respective portions of the lots they are occupying and remove therefrom any and all structures which they may have built thereon, but defendants have ignored plaintiff’s demands and have failed and refused, and still fail and refuse to vacate the premises they are occupying, up to the present;

"6. That the plaintiff intends to utilize these lots in the furtherance of its corporate purposes in order that they may yield a fair income, however, due to the presence of the defendants thereon and their continued refusal to vacate the premises, herein plaintiff has not been able to utilize said lots, to the great damage and prejudice of herein plaintiff;"

The plaintiff further alleged that as a result of the illegal occupancy, it has lost income conservatively estimated at about P27,600.00 per annum. Consequently, plaintiff prayed for judgment ordering defendants (petitioners) to (1) vacate the premises and remove therefrom whatever structures they may have built thereon, and, if they refuse to do so, ordering the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal to forcibly eject them and demolish the aforesaid structures, at the expense of petitioners; (2) pay damages to respondent corporation in the amount of P0.50 per month per square meter of the respective portions occupied by them, from the date of the filing of the complaint to the date the land is completely vacated; and (3) pay the costs of suit.

For filing their answer with counterclaim several years out of time, petitioners were declared in default. Their answer with counterclaim was stricken from the records on January 19, 1968. Respondent corporation was ordered to present its evidence against the defendants.

On July 9, 1968, respondent court rendered judgment ordering defendants (petitioners) to vacate the premises and remove whatever improvements they may have constructed thereon, and to pay back rentals from October 1, 1959 to June 30, 1968, within a period of thirty (30) days from the date of receipt of a copy of the decision. On August 14, 1968, petitioners filed an urgent ex parte motion for extension of time to appeal. On August 21, 1968, petitioners filed their notice of appeal, appeal bond and record on appeal. A motion to fix supersedeas bond was also filed by petitioners, respondent corporation having, on August 1, 1968, filed an ex parte motion for execution of the judgment on the ground that said judgment is immediately executory under Section 8, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, and the said motion having been granted by respondent court on August 13, 1968. On August 23, 1968, petitioners’ motion for extension of time to appeal was denied. On September 5, 1968, respondent corporation filed a motion to dismiss petitioners’ appeal, but said motion is still presently unresolved. On September 4, 1968, the writ of execution prayed for was issued commanding the Provincial Sheriff of Rizal to eject the petitioners from the premises and to remove therefrom the improvements they have introduced therein and to levy execution upon their properties to satisfy the judgment for the back rentals. Petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration, dated August 27, 1968, alleging that the order of August 13, 1968, granting the motion for immediate execution "modifies, amends and alters the decision of July 9, 1968 which ordered expressly that the same was executory only 30 days after receipt of copy thereof." On September 14, 1968, respondent court issued an order staying the execution of the decision until after the pending incidents in the case shall have been resolved.chanrobles virtual lawlibrary

A Motion to Set Aside Judgment and/or to Dismiss, dated September 24, 1968, was likewise filed by petitioners, on the ground that, the case being one for ejectment, respondent corporation committed a fatal error in not alleging thereof by petitioners by means of stealth, and, furthermore, again considering that this is an ejectment case, respondent Court of First Instance had no jurisdiction over the same. An Opposition thereto was filed by respondent corporation on October 1, 1968. On the same date, a motion for demolition was filed by the respondent corporation but the resolution thereof was deferred by respondent court. Petitioners’ motion of September 24, 1968 was denied by respondent court for lack of merit on March 11, 1969.

In the instant petition, it is alleged:jgc:chanrobles.com.ph

"38. That while it is true that whenever the allegations of a complaint fail to plead a complete case of forcible entry and detainer, the same is under the jurisdiction of the Court of First Instance (Tenorio v. Gomba, 81 Phil. 54), such ruling is not controlling in this case because the complaint at bar alleges ‘stealth and strategy’ as the causes of dispossession but said complaint does not contain any specific allegation as to when was the precise date the demand to vacate was made . . . 2

and that "the allegations in the complaint to the effect that the defendants, thru strategy and stealth, occupied the premises for at least three (3) years before the filing of said complaint did not convert the case into an accion publiciana inasmuch as mere occupation is not illegal per se for the same may be tolerated." 3

On the strength of the foregoing allegations, petitioners pray that this Court render judgment declaring respondent court to be without jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 7373 and nullifying all the proceedings taken thereunder, and in the interim to restrain the respondent court and the Provincial Sheriff from enforcing the writ of execution issued therein.

On June 26, 1970, this Court issued a writ of preliminary injunction restraining respondent court from issuing the special order of demolition prayed for.

The issue presented in the case at bar is — whether Civil Case No. 7373 is a forcible entry case, within the jurisdiction of the inferior courts, or an accion publiciana, within the jurisdiction of respondent Court of First Instance.

The general rule is that what determines the jurisdiction of a particular court is the nature of the action pleaded as appearing from the allegations in the complaint. The averments therein and the character of the relief sought are the ones to be consulted. 4

The complaint in the court below alleges that defendants, by means of stealth and without the knowledge and consent of plaintiff-corporation, took possession of the premises in question, built their houses thereon, and occupied the same for a period of three (3) years prior to the filing of the complaint. It appears that the allegation of stealth was what prompted petitioners to label the action as one for forcible entry and insist that jurisdiction over the same property pertains to the inferior courts. There is, however, no allegation of plaintiff’s prior physical possession.

We have consistently held that a complaint for forcible entry, as distinguished from that of unlawful detainer, in order to vest jurisdiction upon the inferior court, must allege plaintiff’s prior physical possession of the property, as well as the fact that he was deprived of such possession by any of the means provided in Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, namely: force, intimidation, threats, strategy and stealth, "for if the dispossession did not take place by any of these means, the courts of first instance, not the municipal courts, have jurisdiction." 5

We deem it advisable, at this point, to reiterate the essential differences between three kinds of actions for the recovery of possession of real property, namely: (1) the summary action for forcible entry and unlawful detainer; (2) the accion publiciana; and (3) the accion de reivindacion.

The action for forcible entry may be brought where dispossession of real property had taken place by any of the means provided for in Section 1 of Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court, and in the case of unlawful detainer, where the possession is withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract express or implied. These two actions must be filed within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession with the municipal or city court. These actions in their essence are mere quieting processes by virtue of which a party in possession of land may not be, by force, dispossessed of that land, the law restoring to him such possession in a summary manner, until the right of ownership can be tried in due course of law. They are, therefore, intended to provide an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or right to possession of property. The aforesaid Rule 70 does not, however, cover all of the cases of dispossession of lands. Thus, "whenever the owner is dispossessed by any other means than those mentioned he may maintain his action in the Court of First Instance, and it is not necessary for him to wait until the expiration of twelve months before commencing an action to be repossessed or declared to be owner of the land." 6 Courts of First Instance have jurisdiction over actions to recover possession of real property illegally detained, together with rents due and damages, even though one (1) year has not expired from the beginning of such illegal detention, provided the question of ownership of such property is also involved. In other words, if the party illegally dispossessed desires to raise the question of illegal dispossession as well as that of the ownership over the property, he may commence such action in the Court of First Instance immediately or at any time after such illegal dispossession. If he decides to raise the question of illegal dispossession only, and the action is filed more than one (1) year after such deprivation or withholding of possession, then the Court of First Instance will have original jurisdiction over the case. 7 The former is an accion de reivindicacion which seeks the recovery of ownership as well as possession, while the latter refers to an accion publiciana, which is the recovery of the right to possess and is a plenary action in an ordinary proceeding in the Court of First Instance. 8

This case, having been filed more than one (1) year after private respondent’s deprivation of possession, is, therefore, actually an accion publiciana. 9

In connection with the question raised by petitioners on the property of the writ of execution issued by respondent court, it appears that there is a pending motion filed by petitioners for the reconsideration of the order granting the same, and that execution had been stayed by respondent court. Inasmuch as the motion is still unresolved, the same cannot be received in this petition for certiorari. Moreover, whether or not petitioner shall be permitted to appeal the decision in Civil Case No. 7373 is still under consideration by respondent court, as there is a pending motion filed by respondent corporation to dismiss appeal for having been filed out of time.chanrobles law library

WHEREFORE, the instant petition is hereby dismissed, and the writ of preliminary injunction issued by this Court on June 26, 1970 is hereby dissolved. No special pronouncement as to costs.

Fernando (Chairman), Barredo, Aquino and Martin, JJ., concur.

Concepcion, Jr., J., is on leave.

Martin, J., was designated to sit in the Second Division.

Endnotes:



1. Entitled "Susana Realty, Inc. versus Amado Reyes, Et. Al.

2. Amended Petition, p. 20.

3. Ibid., p. 21.

4. Pasagui, Et. Al. v. Villablanca, Et Al., G.R. No. L-21998, November 10, 1975, 68 SCRA 18.

5. Pasagui, Et. Al. v. Villablanca, Et Al., supra; Valderama Lumber Manufacturer’s Co., Inc. L.S. Sarmiento, 5 SCRA 287; Maddammu v. Judge of Municipal Court of Manila, 74 Phil. 230.

6. Gumiran v. Gumiran, 21 Phil. 174, 179. Cf. Medina, Et. Al. v. Valdellon, 63 SCRA 278.

7. Bishop of Cebu v. Mangaron, 6 Phil. 286; Catholic Church v. Tarlac and Victoria, 9 Phil. 450; Ledesma v. Marcos, 9 Phil. 618; Medina, Et. Al. v. Valdellon, supra.

8. Sec. 88, Rep. Act No. 296; Rule 70, Rules of Court Manila Railroad Co. v. Attorney General, 20 Phil. 523; Lim Cay v. Del, 55 Phil. 692; Central Azucarera de Tarlac v. De Leon, 56 Phil. 169; Navarro v. Aguila, 66 Phil. 604; Luna v. Carandang, 26 SCRA 306; Medina, Et. Al. v. Valdellon, supra; Pasagui, Et. Al. v. Villablanca, Et Al., supra.

9. Secs. 44[b] and 88, Rep. Act No. 296 and Sec. 1, Rule 70, Rules of Court; Buenaventura v. Phil. Trust Co., 105 Phil. 978; Firmeza v. David, 92 Phil. 733.




Back to Home | Back to Main


chanrobles.com



ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc.

ChanRobles Professional Review, Inc. : www.chanroblesprofessionalreview.com
ChanRobles On-Line Bar Review

ChanRobles Internet Bar Review : www.chanroblesbar.com
ChanRobles CPA Review Online

ChanRobles CPALE Review Online : www.chanroblescpareviewonline.com
ChanRobles Special Lecture Series

ChanRobles Special Lecture Series - Memory Man : www.chanroblesbar.com/memoryman





June-1976 Jurisprudence                 

  • G.R. No. L-27037 June 3, 1976 - EUSEBIO MERCADER v. URBANO GABAS

  • G.R. No. L-39326 June 3, 1976 - ANTONIO K. GO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • A.C. No. 598-MJ June 10, 1976 - MELCHOR TABANGIN v. EUFROCINO T. TAGAYUNA

  • A.C. No. 1085 June 10, 1976 - DALTON WOODROW WORTHINGTON v. FELIPE FERNANDEZ

  • G.R. Nos. L-23587-88 June 10, 1976 - LUCAS RAMIREZ v. COURT OF APPEALS

  • G.R. Nos. L-34397-99 June 10, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. ANTONIO LIM

  • G.R. No. L-42257 June 14, 1976 - ILDEFONSO LACHENAL v. EMILIO V. SALAS

  • G.R. No. L-41750 June 16, 1976 - FRANCISCO R. SOTTO, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-28397 June 17, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. JAIME JOSE, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-26651 June 18, 1976 - COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE v. LINO GUTIERREZ

  • G.R. No. L-31095 June 18, 1976 - JOSE M. HERNANDEZ v. DEVELOPMENT BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-33007 June 18, 1976 - VICENTE MIRANDA v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-34038 June 18, 1976 - COLLECTOR OF CUSTOMS v. ONOFRE A. VILLALUZ, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35545 June 18, 1976 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. AMADO B. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-35767 June 18, 1976 - RAYMUNDO A. CRYSTAL v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36610 June 18, 1976 - REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. AMADO B. REYES, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-36929 June 18, 1976 - CHINESE YOUNG MEN’S CHRISTIAN ASSOC. OF THE PHIL., ET AL. v. VICTOR CHING, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-38482 June 18, 1976 - BATANGAS LAGUNA TAYABAS BUS COMPANY v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41334 June 18, 1976 - LUCIANO M. DAVID v. BIENVENIDO EJERCITO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41715 June 18, 1976 - ROSALIO BONILLA, ET AL. v. LEON BARCENA, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 343-MJ June 22, 1976 - CORAZON NEGRE v. FELIX A. RIVERA

  • G.R. No. L-28383 June 22, 1976 - C.M. HOSKINS & CO., INC. v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE

  • A.M. No. 69-MJ June 29, 1976 - HUSING LAO v. ESTEBAN T. BUMANGLAG

  • G.R. No. L-40948 June 29, 1976 - GREGORIO ESTRADA v. FRANCISCO CONSOLACION, ET AL.

  • A.M. No. 672-CJ June 30, 1976 - MAXIMA ROSALES v. FRANCISCO R. LLAMAS

  • A.M. No. 1150-MJ June 30, 1976 - AMPARO REDONDO v. RODOLFO B. DIMAANO

  • G.R. No. L-24545 June 30, 1976 - NATIONAL BREWERY, ET AL. v. SAN MIGUEL BREWERY, INC.

  • G.R. No. L-28357 June 30, 1976 - ELECTION REGISTRATION BOARD OF AGOO, LA UNION, ET AL. v. SANTIAGO RANADA, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30336 June 30, 1976 - FORTUNATO BANAYOS, ET AL. v. SUSANA REALTY, INC., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-30340 June 30, 1976 - CONSUELO AMUNATEGUE VDA. DE GENTUGAO v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-34100 June 30, 1976 - IN RE: CHAN YEN v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL.

  • G.R. Nos. L-34828-31 June 30, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. WILFREDO TESORERO

  • G.R. No. L-37148 June 30, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. MAURICIO SARILE

  • G.R. No. L-40527 June 30, 1976 - PEOPLE OF THE PHIL. v. HERMOGENES MARIANO, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-40658 June 30, 1976 - CRISOSTOMO ARANZANSO v. EUGENIO I. SAGNIT

  • G.R. No. L-40999 June 30, 1976 - BERNARDINA CANOY PONGASI, ET AL. v. COURT OF APPEALS, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41518 June 30, 1976 - GUERRERO’S TRANSPORT SERVICES, INC. v. BLAYLOCK TRANS. SERVICES EMP. ASSO.-KILUSAN, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-41612 June 30, 1976 - ROLANDO FLORES v. WORKMEN’S COMPENSATION COMMISSION, ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-42510 June 30, 1976 - LILIA D. SIMON v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43108 June 30, 1976 - PRAXEDES R. REYNALDO v. REPUBLIC OF THE PHIL., ET AL.

  • G.R. No. L-43469 June 30, 1976 - LUZON STEVEDORING CORP. v. JOSE REYES