G.R. No. 202354, September 24, 2014
AMADA C. ZACARIAS, Petitioner, v. VICTORIA ANACAY, EDNA ANACAY, CYNTHIA ANACAY-GUISIC, ANGELITO ANACAY, JERMIL ISRAEL, JIMMY ROY ISRAEL AND ALL OTHER PERSONS CLAIMING AUTHORITY UNDER THEM, Respondents.
D E C I S I O N
VILLARAMA, JR., J.:
WHEREFORE, premises considered, judgment is, hereby, rendered in favor of defendants Victoria Anacay, Edna Anacay, Santiago Amerna, Raymond and Cynthia Guisic, Angelito Anacay and Myrlinda Yalo, and all persons acting under them, and against plaintiff Amada C. Zacarias, represented by her attorney-in-fact, Cesar C. Zacarias, the instant Complaint for ejectment with damages, Unlawful Detainer is, hereby, DISMISSED.
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the Decision of the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Silang-Amadeo dated October 8, 2010 is hereby REVERSED AND SET ASIDE and a new one is entered ordering the defendants and all claiming under their rights to: (1) vacate the subject property and surrender possession and control over the same to the plaintiff; Pay the sum of Two Thousand (P2,000.00) Pesos each as rentals or compensation for the use thereof starting from July 2008 until the same is paid in full, with interests thereon at twelve (12%) percent per annum; (2) pay the sum of Fifty Thousand (P50,000.00) Pesos, as moral damages; (3) pay the sum of Ten Thousand (P10,000.00) Pesos, as exemplary damages; and (4) pay the sum of Twenty Thousand (P20,000.00) Pesos, as attorney’s fees.
WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. Accordingly, the assailed Order dated August 22, 2011 rendered by the Regional Trial Court of Cavite, 4th Judicial Region, Branch 18, Tagaytay City is REVERSED and SET ASIDE. The Decision dated October 8, 2010 rendered by the Municipal Circuit Trial Court, Branch 17 is AFFIRMED.
(1) initially, possession of property by the defendant was by contract with or by tolerance of the plaintiff;In this case, the Complaint alleged the following:chanroblesvirtuallawlibrary
(2) eventually, such possession became illegal upon notice by plaintiff to defendant of the termination of the latter’s right of possession;
(3) thereafter, the defendant remained in possession of the property and deprived the plaintiff of the enjoyment thereof; and
(4) within one year from the last demand on defendant to vacate the property, the plaintiff instituted the complaint for ejectment.16cralawlawlibrary
3. Plaintiff is the owner of that parcel of land situated at Barangay Lalaan 1st , Silang, Cavite with an area of SEVEN HUNDRED SIXTY NINE (769) SQUARE METERS, and covered by Tax Declaration No. 18-026-01182 issued by the Municipal Assessor of Silang, Cavite. Copy of said tax declaration is hereto attached as Annex “B”;
4. Plaintiff was in lawful possession and control over the subject property. She had it planted to Bananas and other fruit bearing trees. However, sometime in May, 2007, she discovered that the defendants have entered the subject property and occupied the same;
5. Consequently, Plaintiff demanded that they leave the premises. The defendants requested for time to leave and she acceded to said request. The defendants committed to vacate the subject property by the end of May, 2008;
6. Inspite of several repeated demands, defendants unjustifiably refused to vacate the subject premises prompting the Plaintiff to seek the assistance of a lawyer who wrote them a FORMAL and FINAL DEMAND to vacate the premises and to pay reasonable compensation for their illegal use and occupancy of the subject property. A copy of the DEMAND LETTER is hereto attached as Annex “C”;
7. Plaintiff also referred this matter to the Lupon Tagapamayapa of Barangay Lalaan 1st for possible conciliation but to no avail as the defendants still refused to vacate the subject property. Thus, the said Barangay issued a CERTIFICATION TO FILE ACTION, as evidenced by a copy thereto attached as Annex “D”;
x x x x17chanrobleslaw
To justify an action for unlawful detainer, it is essential that the plaintiff’s supposed acts of tolerance must have been present right from the start of the possession which is later sought to be recovered. Otherwise, if the possession was unlawful from the start, an action for unlawful detainer would be an improper remedy. As explained in Sarona v. Villegas:chanroblesvirtuallawlibraryBut even where possession preceding the suit is by tolerance of the owner, still, distinction should be made.It is the nature of defendant’s entry into the land which determines the cause of action, whether it is forcible entry or unlawful detainer. If the entry is illegal, then the action which may be filed against the intruder is forcible entry. If, however, the entry is legal but the possession thereafter becomes illegal, the case is unlawful detainer.
If right at the incipiency defendant’s possession was with plaintiff’s tolerance, we do not doubt that the latter may require him to vacate the premises and sue before the inferior court under Section 1 of Rule 70, within one year from the date of the demand to vacate.
x x x x
A close assessment of the law and the concept of the word “tolerance” confirms our view heretofore expressed that such tolerance must be present right from the start of possession sought to be recovered, to categorize a cause of action as one of unlawful detainer - not of forcible entry. Indeed, to hold otherwise would espouse a dangerous doctrine. And for two reasons: First. Forcible entry into the land is an open challenge to the right of the possessor. Violation of that right authorizes the speedy redress – in the inferior court - provided for in the rules. If one year from the forcible entry is allowed to lapse before suit is filed, then the remedy ceases to be speedy; and the possessor is deemed to have waived his right to seek relief in the inferior court. Second, if a forcible entry action in the inferior court is allowed after the lapse of a number of years, then the result may well be that no action of forcible entry can really prescribe. No matter how long such defendant is in physical possession, plaintiff will merely make a demand, bring suit in the inferior court – upon a plea of tolerance to prevent prescription to set in - and summarily throw him out of the land. Such a conclusion is unreasonable. Especially if we bear in mind the postulates that proceedings of forcible entry and unlawful detainer are summary in nature, and that the one year time-bar to suit is but in pursuance of the summary nature of the action. (Italics and underscoring supplied)
Indeed, to vest the court jurisdiction to effect the ejectment of an occupant, it is necessary that the complaint should embody such a statement of facts as brings the party clearly within the class of cases for which the statutes provide a remedy, as these proceedings are summary in nature. The complaint must show enough on its face the court jurisdiction without resort to parol testimony.
The jurisdictional facts must appear on the face of the complaint. When the complaint fails to aver facts constitutive of forcible entry or unlawful detainer, as where it does not state how entry was affected or how and when dispossession started, the remedy should either be an accion publiciana or an accion reivindicatoria in the proper regional trial court. Thus, in Go, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, petitioners filed an unlawful detainer case against respondent alleging that they were the owners of the parcel of land through intestate succession which was occupied by respondent by mere tolerance of petitioners as well as their deceased mother. Resolving the issue on whether or not petitioners’ case for unlawful detainer will prosper, the court ruled:chanroblesvirtuallawlibraryPetitioners alleged in their complaint that they inherited the property registered under TCT No. C-32110 from their parents; that possession thereof by private respondent was by tolerance of their mother, and after her death, by their own tolerance; and that they had served written demand on December, 1994, but that private respondent refused to vacate the property. x x xIn the instant case, the allegations in the complaint do not contain any averment of fact that would substantiate petitioners’ claim that they permitted or tolerated the occupation of the property by respondents. The complaint contains only bare allegations that “respondents without any color of title whatsoever occupies the land in question by building their house in the said land thereby depriving petitioners the possession thereof.” Nothing has been said on how respondents’ entry was effected or how and when dispossession started. Admittedly, no express contract existed between the parties. This failure of petitioners to allege the key jurisdictional facts constitutive of unlawful detainer is fatal. Since the complaint did not satisfy the jurisdictional requirement of a valid cause for unlawful detainer, the municipal trial court had no jurisdiction over the case. It is in this light that this Court finds that the Court of Appeals correctly found that the municipal trial court had no jurisdiction over the complaint. (Emphasis supplied.)
It is settled that one whose stay is merely tolerated becomes a deforciant illegally occupying the land the moment he is required to leave. . The appellate court, in full agreement with the MTC made the conclusion that the alleged tolerance by their mother and after her death, by them, was unsubstantiated. x x x
The evidence revealed that the possession of defendant was illegal at the inception and not merely tolerated as alleged in the complaint, considering that defendant started to occupy the subject lot and then built a house thereon without the permission and consent of petitioners and before them, their mother. xxx Clearly, defendant’s entry into the land was effected clandestinely, without the knowledge of the owners, consequently, it is categorized as possession by stealth which is forcible entry. As explained in Sarona vs. Villegas, cited in Muñoz vs. Court of Appeals [224 SCRA 216 (1992)] tolerance must be present right from the start of possession sought to be recovered, to categorize a cause of action as one of unlawful detainer not of forcible entry x x x.
x x x x
1Rollo, pp. 30-43. Penned by Associate Justice Mariflor P. Punzalan Castillo and concurred in by Associate Justices Franchito N. Diamante and Edwin D. Sorongon.
2 Id. at 100-107. Penned by Acting Presiding Judge Emma S. Young.
3 Id. at 66-87. Penned by Presiding Judge Ma. Victoria N. Cupin-Tesorero.
4 Records, pp. 1-6.
5 Id. at 54-56.
6Rollo, p. 87.
7 Id. at 107.
8 Records, p. 202.
9 Id. at 203-209, 212-229.
10Rollo, p. 42.
11Pagadora v. Ilao, G.R. No. 165769, December 12, 2011, 662 SCRA 14, 30.
12 SECTION 1. Who may institute proceedings, and when. - Subject to the provisions of the next succeeding section, a person deprived of the possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives or assigns of any such lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person, may, at any time within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, bring an action in the proper Municipal Trial Court against the person or persons unlawfully withholding or depriving of possession, or any person or persons claiming under them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages and costs.
13Pagadora v. Ilao, supra note 11, at 30-31, citing Delos Reyes v. Odones, G.R. No. 178096, March 23, 2011, 646 SCRA 328, 334 and Sarmienta v. Manalite Homeowners Association, Inc. (MAHA), G.R. No. 182953, October 11, 2010, 632 SCRA 538, 545-546.
14Del Rosario v. Sps. Manuel, 464 Phil. 1053, 1057 (2004).
15 604 Phil. 59, 66 (2009).
16 As cited in Canlas v. Tubil, 616 Phil. 915, 925 (2009).
17 Records, pp. 2-3.
18Canlas v. Tubil, supra note 16, at 924, citing Valdez v. Court of Appeals, 523 Phil. 39, 46 (2006).
19 Id. at 47-51.
20Sales v. Barro, 594 Phil. 116, 123 (2008), citing Figueroa v. People, 580 Phil. 58, 76 (2008).
21Metropolitan Bank & Trust Company v. Alejo, 417 Phil. 303, 318 (2001).