[G.R. No. 7048. January 12, 1912. ]
THE MUNICIPALITY OF MONCADA, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. PIO CAJUIGAN ET AL., Defendants-Appellants.
Thomas D. Aitken, for Appellants.
Attorney-General Villamor, for Appellee.
1. FORCIBLE REENTRY. — The use of force in obtaining reentry of leased property on account of arrears in rent on the part of the tenant, is illegal. Possession must be obtained by legal methods.
2. ID.; FORFEITURE OF SUBSEQUENT RENTS. — Upon forcible reentry of leased premises for failure of tenant to pay rents, the landlord forfeits all rights to further rent, penalties, etc., under the lease.
3. ID.; RIGHT TO COLLECT RENT IN ARREARS. — Forcible reentry does not estop a landlord from collecting rent in arrears.
4. ID.; TRESPASS "QUARE CLAUSUM FREGIT;" DAMAGES. — Rights to damages accruing to a tenant evicted without due process of law, where the latter does not obtain or seek a reentry, are limited to the simple trespass, and can not include mesne profits.
5. ID.; ID.; FIXTURES. — The evicted tenant can recover the value of fixtures placed on the leased property.
6. ID.; ID.; SUBSEQUENT RENTS. — Upon forcible reentry, rent ceases to accrue on the execution of the act.
7. ID.; BOND; LIABILITY OF SURETIES. — Where the conditions of a bond are fully understood by the sureties and are legal, they will be held liable in accordance therewith for any violation of the contract made by their principal.
8. ID.; LIABILITY OF TENANT’S SURETIES FOR RENT IN ARREARS. — The liability of the tenant’s bondsmen extends up to the time of his forcible ouster by the landlord.
9. EVIDENCE; PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE DEFINED. — By preponderance of evidence is not necessarily meant the greater number of witnesses. It does not consist merely in the greater numerical array of witnesses, but means the weight, credit, and the value of the aggregate evidence on either side.
10. ID.; PREPONDERANCE RESULTING FROM LARGER ARRAY OF WITNESSES. — Under certain conditions, preponderance may result from the testimony of the larger number of witnesses. One witness, for example, may testify to a certain fact or state of facts, and a number of witnesses of equal candor, fairness, intelligence, and truthfulness, having no greater interest in the result of the suit and equally well corroborated by the other evidence in the case, may testify to the contrary. In such a case, the preponderance may be said to be determined by the greater number.
D E C I S I O N
This case comes before us on appeal from a judgment of the Court of First Instance of the Province of Tarlac, the Honorable Julio Llorente presiding, condemning the defendants, the first as principal and the other three as sureties, to pay the plaintiff the sum of P1,855, together with penalties, interest, and costs.
The municipality of Moncada and the defendant, Pio Cajuigan, entered into a contract of lease whereby the plaintiff leased to this defendant certain fish ponds situated within the jurisdiction of that municipality for the term embracing July 1, 1908, to June 30, 1909, for which this defendant agreed to pay P3,710, in quarterly installments. By virtue of this lease, the fish ponds were duly delivered into the possession of the defendant Cajuigan by the plaintiff, and he forthwith began placing therein nets, corrals, and other accessories necessary for the conduct of a fishery. The lessee failing to meet his payments as provided in the contract of lease, petitioned for and received an extension, first until October 1, 1908, and second until November 30 of the same year.
The defendant Cajuigan claims that on this last-mentioned date he tendered to the municipal treasurer the sum of P1,855, but was told to return on December 2 as he, the treasurer, was then very busy; that he returned on said date and again tendered this money, which was refused. The plaintiff denies that either of these tenders was ever made by the defendant.
The lease was declared rescinded by the municipal council on November 30, 1908, and on or about the sixth day of the following month the plaintiff, through its officials, entered the property and ejected the defendant and his tenants. Subsequently thereto and on February 15, 1910, this complaint was filed by the plaintiff, wherein judgment was asked against the defendant Pio Cajuigan as principal, and Florentino Sugui, Juan Isla, and Antero Alegado as sureties, for the sum of P3,710, together with penalties, interest, and costs. The plaintiff further asked the court to deciare that the property of the sureties described in the complaint be sold to satisfy the judgment thus asked in case it was not satisfied otherwise. The defendants, after specifically denying all the allegations in paragraphs 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 of the complaint, alleged as a special defense that the failure to pay the rents as stipulated in the lease was not due to the fault of the defendant, but to that of the plaintiff, inasmuch as the plaintiff, through its treasurer, agreed to accept on December 2 the amount then due, but that when the tender was made, said treasurer re