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SPOUSES BONIFACIO R. VALDEZ, JR. and VENIDA M.

VALDEZ,
vs. HON. COURT OF APPEALS, SPOUSES GABRIEL FABELLA
and FRANCISCA FABELLA, G..R. No. 132424 May 2,
2006

Under existing law and jurisprudence, there are three kinds of


actions available to recover possession of real property: (a) accion
interdictal; (b) accion publiciana; and (c) accion reivindicatoria.6

Accion interdictal comprises two distinct causes of action, namely,


forcible entry (detentacion) and unlawful detainer (desahuico).7 In
forcible entry, one is deprived of physical possession of real property
by means of force, intimidation, strategy, threats, or stealth whereas
in unlawful detainer, one illegally withholds possession after the
expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any
contract, express or implied.8 The two are distinguished from each
other in that in forcible entry, the possession of the defendant is
illegal from the beginning, and that the issue is which party has
prior de facto possession while in unlawful detainer, possession of
the defendant is originally legal but became illegal due to the
expiration or termination of the right to possess. 9

The jurisdiction of these two actions, which are summary in nature,


lies in the proper municipal trial court or metropolitan trial
court.10 Both actions must be brought within one year from the date
of actual entry on the land, in case of forcible entry, and from the
date of last demand, in case of unlawful detainer. 11 The issue in said
cases is the right to physical possession.
Accion publiciana is the plenary action to recover the right of
possession which should be brought in the proper regional trial
court when dispossession has lasted for more than one
year.12 It is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better
right of possession of realty independently of title.13 In other
words, if at the time of the filing of the complaint more than
one year had elapsed since defendant had turned plaintiff out
of possession or defendants possession had become illegal, the
action will be, not one of the forcible entry or illegal detainer,
butan accion publiciana. On the other hand, accion
reivindicatoria is an action to recover ownership also brought
in the proper regional trial court in an ordinary civil
proceeding.

VICTORIANO M. ENCARNACION vs. NIEVES AMIGO, G.R. No. 169793


September 15, 2006

In this jurisdiction, the three kinds of actions for the recovery of possession of real
property are:

1. Accion interdictal, or an ejectment proceeding which may be either


that for forcible entry (detentacion) or unlawful
detainer (desahucio), which is a summary action for recovery of
physical possession where the dispossession has not lasted for more
than one year, and should be brought in the proper inferior court;
2. Accion publiciana or the plenary action for the recovery of the real
right of possession, which should be brought in the proper Regional
Trial Court when the dispossession has lasted for more than one year;
and

3. Accion reinvindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion, which is an


action for the recovery of ownership which must be brought in the
proper Regional Trial Court.[13]

Based on the foregoing distinctions, the material element that determines the
proper action to be filed for the recovery of the possession of the property in this
case is the length of time of dispossession. Under the Rules of Court, the remedies
of forcible entry and unlawful detainer are granted to 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. These remedies afford the person deprived of the possession to file at any
time within one year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession,
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.[14] Thus, if the dispossession has not lasted for more than one year, an
ejectment proceeding is proper and the inferior court acquires jurisdiction. On the
other hand, if the dispossession lasted for more than one year, the proper action to
be filed is an accion publiciana which should be brought to the proper Regional
Trial Court.

After a careful evaluation of the evidence on record of this case, we find that
the Court of Appeals committed no reversible error in holding that the proper
action in this case is accion publiciana; and in ordering the remand of the case to
the Regional Trial Court of Cauayan, Isabela, Branch 20, for further proceedings.

Well settled is the rule that jurisdiction of the court over the subject matter of
the action is determined by the allegations of the complaint at the time of its filing,
irrespectiveof whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of
the claims asserted therein. What determines the jurisdiction of the 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.[15] On its face, the complaint must show enough ground for the
court to assume jurisdiction without resort to parol testimony.[16]

From the allegations in the complaint, it appears that the petitioner became
the owner of the property on April 11, 1995 by virtue of the waiver of rights
executed by his mother-in-law. He filed the complaint for ejectment on March 2,
2001 after his February 1, 2001 letter to the respondent demanding that the latter
vacate the premises remained unheeded. While it is true that the demand letter was
received by the respondent on February 12, 2001, thereby making the filing of the
complaint for ejectment fall within the requisite one year from last demand for
complaints for unlawful detainer, it is also equally true that petitioner became the
owner of the subject lot in 1995 and has been since that time deprived possession
of a portion thereof. From the date of the petitioners dispossession in 1995 up to
his filing of his complaint for ejectment in 2001, almost 6 years have elapsed. The
length of time that the petitioner was dispossessed of his property made his cause
of action beyond the ambit of an accion interdictal and effectively made it one
foraccion publiciana. After the lapse of the one-year period, the suit must be
commenced in the Regional Trial Court via an accion publiciana which is a suit for
recovery of the right to possess. It is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the
better right of possession of realty independently of title. It also refers to an
ejectment suit filed after the expiration of one year from the accrual of the cause of
action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty.[17]

Previously, we have held that if the owner of the land knew that another person
was occupying his property way back in 1977 but the said owner only filed the
complaint for ejectment in 1995, the proper action would be one for accion
publiciana and not one under the summary procedure on ejectment. As explained
by the Court:

We agree with the Court of Appeals that if petitioners are indeed the
owners of the subject lot and were unlawfully deprived of their right of
possession, they should present their claim before the regional trial court in
an accion publiciana or an accion reivindicatoria, and not before the metropolitan
trial court in a summary proceeding for unlawful detainer or forcible entry. For
even if one is the owner of the property, the possession thereof cannot be wrested
from another who had been in physical or material possession of the same for
more than one year by resorting to a summary action for ejectment.[18]

accion publiciana is a plenary action for recovery of


possession in an ordinary civil proceeding, in order to
determine the better and legal right to possess,
independently of title

Besides, it must be emphasized that this case is one for recovery of possession, also
known as accion publiciana, which is a plenary action for recovery of possession in an
ordinary civil proceeding, in order to determine the better and legal right to possess,
independently of title.[10] The objective of the plaintiffs in accion publiciana is to
recover possession only, not ownership. However, where the parties raise the issue of
ownership, the courts may pass upon the issue to determine who between the parties
has the right to possess the property. This adjudication, however, is not a final and
binding determination of the issue of ownership; it is only for the purpose of resolving
the issue of possession where the issue of ownership is inseparably linked to the issue of
possession. The adjudication of the issue of ownership, being provisional, is not a bar to
an action between the same parties involving title to the property.

ALMARIO BEJAR vs. MARICEL CALUAG, G.R. No. 171277


February 15, 2007

By contrast, an accion publiciana, also known as accion plenaria de posesion,[4] is


a plenary action for recovery of possession in an ordinary civil proceeding in order
to determine the better and legal right to possess, independently of title.[5]

There are two distinctions between the summary ejectment suits (unlawful
detainer and forcible entry) and accion publiciana. The first lies in the period
within which each one can be instituted. Actions for unlawful detainer and forcible
entry must be filed within one year from the date possession is lost, while
an accion publiciana may be filed only after the expiration of that period but
within the period prescribed in the statute of limitations. The second distinction
involves jurisdiction. An accion publiciana may only be filed with the RTC, while
a complaint for unlawful detainer or forcible entry may only be filed with the first
level courts earlier mentioned.

An accion reinvidicatoria, unlike the three remedies previously discussed, involves


not only possession, but ownership of the property. The plaintiff in this action sets
up title in him and prays that he be declared the owner and be given possession
thereof.[6] Otherwise put, the plaintiff alleges ownership of real property and prays
for recovery of such ownership. Under Article 434 of the Civil Code, two things
must be alleged and proven in an accion reinvidicatoria: (1) the identity of the
property and (2) plaintiffs title to it. Sole and exclusive jurisdiction over cases
for accion reinvidicatoria is vested in the RTC.

G.R. No. 204626 June 9, 2014

PAUL P. GABRIEL, JR., IRENEO C. CALWAG, THOMAS L.


TINGGA-AN, and the Heirs of JULIET B. PULKERA, vs.
CARMELING CRISOLOGO

Accion Publiciana: its nature and purpose

Also known as accion plenaria de posesion, accion publiciana is an


ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better right of possession
of realty independently of title. It refers to an ejectment suit filed
after the expiration of one year from the accrual of the cause of
action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty.

The objective of the plaintiffs in accion publiciana is to recover


possession only, not ownership. When parties, however, raise the
issue of ownership, the court may pass upon the issue to determine
who between the parties has the right to possess the property. This
adjudication, nonetheless, is not a final and binding determination
of the issue of ownership; it is only for the purpose of resolving the
issue of possession, where the issue of ownership is inseparably
linked to the issue of possession. The adjudication of the issue of
ownership, being provisional, is not a bar to an action between the
same parties involving title to the property. The adjudication, in
short, is not conclusive on the issue of ownership.