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Marie Alissandra Palencia


ALMARIO BEJAR (Deceased), as substituted by his heirs - CARMELITA BEJAR,

BENDIJO, and SUSANA B. CAMILO, Petitioners,

February 15, 2007 (Illegal Detainer Case)

Facts: This is a petition for review on certiorari, assailing the decision of the Court of Appeals.
On August 2, 2002, a complaint was filed in the MeTC, Branch 12, Manila by the late Almario
Bejar, who was later on substituted by his heirs, herein petitioners. The complaint was for illegal
detainer and damages against the respondent, Maricel Caluag. On December 21, 1981, Almario
Bejar sold one-half portion of his residential house to Fernando Mijares. On September 2, 1991,
the latter then sold the same portion of the house to Maricel Caluag. Subsequently, the plaintiff,
Bejar, became the owner in fee simple of the government land where his residential house was
built and he needs portion of the lot occupied by the respondent. Thus, on April 9, 2002, the
plaintiff sent a formal demand letter to the defendant that she will vacate that portion of the
house within 10 days from receipt of the demand letter. However, the defendant refused to
vacate said portion of the land to the damage and prejudice of the plaintiff. Instead, she filed a
motion to dismiss on the ground that MeTC has no jurisdiction since the case involves an issue
of ownership. MeTC then dismissed the case holding that the actual issue between the parties is
the enforceability of the subsequent sale by Fernando Mijares to respondent of the subject
property, and thus, it is within the RTC’s jurisdiction. On appeal, the RTC, Branch 47, Manila,
reversed the order of dismissal of the MeTC and held that the issue is which party has better
possession of the disputed property. The RTC then directed the MeTC to hear the case. The
respondent filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied so she filed a petition for review
with the Court of Appeals that reversed the RTC judgement. The appellate court held that the
allegations of the complaint do not make out a case for illegal detainer or forcible entry. The
petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but the Court of Appeals denied the same. Hence,
the instant petition.

Issue: Whether or not this is a case for illegal detainer under the jurisdiction of MeTC

Held: Yes. In unlawful detainer and forcible entry cases, the only issue to be determined is
which between the contending parties has better possession of the contested property. As per
Section 33 (2) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, amended by Section 3 of Republic Act No. 7691, the
ones that have exclusive original jurisdiction over these cases are the Municipal Trial Courts,
Metropolitan Trial Courts in Cities, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts. A suit for unlawful
detainer will prosper if the complaint sufficiently alleges that there is a withholding of possession
or refusal to vacate the property by a defendant. The cause of action arises from the expiration or
termination of the defendant’s right to continue possession which is upon plaintiff’s demand to
vacate the premises. The complaint for unlawful detainer must then be instituted within one year
from the date of the last demand. In the case at bar, all these incidents are present. Considering
that the allegations in Almario Bejar’s complaint show that it is one for illegal detainer, hence, it
is the MeTC Branch 12, Manila which has jurisdiction over the case.
TEOFILO D. ZOSA, JR., Respondent

September 2, 2005 (Forcible Entry Case)

Facts: This is a petition for reviews on certiorari filed by the petitioner, Demetria Garcia aainst
the respondent, Teofilo Zosa Jr., assailing the decision of Court of Appeals dated February 24,
1999 and resolution dated April 22, 1999.

On July 7, 1995, a complaint for forcible entry was filed by the Teofilo Zosa Jr., the respondent,
against Demetria Garcia, the petitioner, with the Metropolitan Trial (MTC) of Antipolo City. The
respondent contends that he bought the Lot. No. 2, Psu-215665 located in Tanag, Antipolo from
the petitioner on August 21, 1972, as shown by a Deed of Sale and that petitioner entered this lot
and constructed a house thereon, sometime in March 1995. He also contends that this was done
by means of force, stealth and strategy, depriving the respondent of his right of possession. But
the petitioner denied his allegations and claims that the lot is in her possession even before the
Second World War, and what she sold to the respondent was Lot No. 2, Psu-185191 where she
had her house constructed, not Lot No. 2, Psu-215665. The Deed of Sale relied upon by
respondent does not express the true intent of the parties. After due proceedings, the MTC
rendered its decision in favor of the plaintiff.

In holding that respondent has proved his cause of action, the MTC found that the lot subject of
controversy is the same lot where petitioner constructed her house. On appeal, the Regional Trial
Court (RTC) of Antipolo reversed the MTC Judgment and dismissed respondent’s complaint for
forcible entry, holding that the MTC has no jurisdiction over the case and that ownership is the
issue being raised. A question of possession cannot be settled without first deciding the issue of
ownership, and determining ownership of a property is beyond MTC’s jurisdiction.
Consequently, the respondent filed a petition for review with the Court of Appeals. Then, the CA
reversed the decision of the RTC and reinstated MTC’s decision. Petitioner filed a motion for
reconsideration, but was denied. Hence, the instant petition for review on certiorari.

Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in ruling that the MTC has jurisdiction over the
forcible entry case

Held: No. Section 33 of B.P. Blg. 129, provides that Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial
Court, and Municipal Trial Courts exercise exclusive original jurisdiction of forcible entry and
unlawful detainer cases, provided that when the defendant raises question of ownership in his
pleadings and question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the question of
ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession.
This should also be read together with Sec. 18, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure
which provides that the judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or detainer shall be
conclusive with respect to the possession only and shall not bind the title or affect the ownership
of the land or building. Such judgment shall not bar an action between the same parties
respecting title to the land or building. The judgment or final order shall be appealable to the
appropriate RTC which shall decide the same on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings
had in the court of origin and such memoranda and/or briefs may be submitted by the .

The Court of Appeals did not err in holding that the MTC has jurisdiction to hear and decide
Civil Case No. 2728 for forcible entry, notwithstanding the issue of ownership raised by
petitioner in her answer. Thus, the petition is denied.
FABELLA, Respondents.

May 2, 2006 (Illegal Detainer Case)

Facts: A complaint for unlawful detainer against respondent spouses was filed by the petitioner
spouses before the MTC, alleging that in November 1992, by virtue of a sales contract, petitioner
spouses acquired a residential lot and respondent spouses, without any color of title whatsoever
occupied the said lot by building their house in the same thereby depriving the former rightful
possession. There was a formal demand to vacate the premises sent on July 12, 1994 but it was
ignored. The respondent spouses contended that the complaint failed to state that petitioner had
prior physical possession of the property in dispute and in the alternative, claimed ownership
over the land on the ground that they possess the same for more than thirty years. The MTC
rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners and ordered respondents to vacate the property. On
appeal, the RTC affirmed the decision of the MTC. The Court of Appeals, on a petition for
review, reversed and set aside the decision of the RTC on the ground that petitioners failed to
make a case for unlawful detainer because they were not able to show that they had given the
private respondents the right to occupy the premises or that they had tolerated private
respondents’ possession of the same, which is a requirement in unlawful detainer cases. Also, the
allegations in the complaint lack jurisdictional elements of forcible entry which requires an
allegation of prior material possession. Thus, MTC has no jurisdiction over the case.

Issue: Whether or not the allegations of the complaint made out a case for unlawful detainer and
MTC has jurisdiction over the case.

Held: No. To justify an action for unlawful detainer, it is should be 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. The nature of defendant’s entry into the land
actually 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 but if the
entry is legal but the possession thereafter becomes illegal, the case is unlawful detainer. To vest
the court jurisdiction to effect the ejectment of an occupant, it is essential that the complaint
embodies 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. In the case at bar, the
allegations in petitioner spouses complaint did not contain any averment of fact that would
substantiate their 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. The failure of petitioners to allege the key
jurisdictional facts constitutive of unlawful detainer is fatal. Apparently, the complaint did not
satisfy the jurisdictional requirement of a valid cause for unlawful detainer. Thus, the MTC had
no jurisdiction over the case.
FLORA N. FLORES, represented by her Attorneys-In-Fact, JOSE NAVARRO and

July 4, 2008 (Forcible Entry Case)

Facts: This petition arose from a complaint filed by Flora N. Flores for forcible entry and
damages against spouses, Lucas and Zenaida Quitalig before the MTC in Bauang, La Union. The
subject property is an area of 200 sq.m. located in Taberna, Bauang, La Union Cadastre, which is
between Lot No. 4834, owned by the spouses Quitalig, and Lot No. 4835, owned by Flores. The
petitioner, Flores, alleged that the spouses Quitalig constructed a fence around the subject lot,
believing that it is theirs. The MTC dismissed the case and ruled in favor of the respondent, the
spouses Quitalig since they were able to show documentary and testamentary evidence that
proved their prior possession and ownership of the land, while the title that Flores has was
tainted with irregularity. Consequently, Flores appealed to the RTC Branch 33 in Bauang, La
Union. The reversed MTC’s decision since Flores was able to prove that she and her
predecessors-in-interest have been in possession of the subject lot since 1950, through tax
declarations under the names of her predecessors-in-interest and after finding out that the
spouses Quitalig’s documentary evidence was only prepared after the complaint was filed.
However, the RTC also held that issue on Flores' ownership cannot be appreciated in a case for
forcible entry and should be resolved in a separate action for the annulment of the adverted deed
of sale. This led to the filing of a petition for review with the CA by the spouses Quitalig. The
CA then reversed the RTC’s decision and dismissed the complaint of Flores for forcible entry.
Flores moved for reconsideration but was denied.

Issue: Whether the CA erred in holding that petitioner failed to present adequate proof to
establish the identity of the subject lot and, thus, also failed to show that the subject lot is within
the metes and bounds of her land, thereby precluding the CA from determining the issue of
forcible entry

Held: Yes. Apparently, the MTC erred when it examined the issue of ownership and focused on
the flawed title of Flores over the property. It failed to appreciate the preponderance of evidence
to reasonably conclude that Flores and her predecessors-in-interest were in actual possession of
the subject property until 2004 when respondents, through stealth or strategy, entered and
claimed it as part of their land. The CA also erred. The lot in question is between Lot No. 4834,
owned by the spouses Quitalig, and Lot No. 4835, owned by Flores and her predecessors-in-
interest. It was clear that Flores was in physical possession of the subject lot before the spouses
Quitalig entered and fenced it in 2004. What is important in this type of cases is determining who
is entitled to the physical possession of the property. Thus, any of the parties who can prove prior
possession de facto may recover such possession even from the owner himself. In any case, the
RTC correctly ruled that the issue of ownership can be properly resolved in another proceeding
and in a more appropriate forum. The decision of CA is reversed and set aside, and RTC’s
decision is reinstated.
VILLANUEVA, petitioners,
LANIZA D. JUAN, respondent.

June 17, 2008 (Forcible Entry Case)

Facts: This is a Petition for Review on Certiorari filed by petitioners Ading Quizon, Ben
Zablan Peter Simbulan and Silvestre Villanueva to reverse and set aside the decision of the CA
and its resolution dated 15 March 2005 and the 24 January 2006, respectively, ruling that the
petitioners did forcibly entered and dispossessed respondent Laniza Juan (Juan) of her property.
The respondent contended that she acquired a parcel of land in Sitio Bullhorn, Aranguen, Capas,
Tarlac from Melencio Nuguid by virtue of a Deed of Sale executed on 11 December 1996 and
then claimed that the petitioners conspired and entered a portion of her property through the use
of force and intimidation, destroying her wooden fence as well as the fruit-bearing trees and rice
plantation found therein. However, the petitioners, Quizon and Zablan insisted that they are the
lawful owners and possessors of said property and it was the respondent who invaded their
property. Upon ocular inspection, the MCTC found that the subject property occupied by
petitioners Quizon and Zablan were outside the property sold by Nuguid to respondent and so,
the MTC rendered a decision in favor of the petitioners. On appeal, the RTC also affirmed
decision of the MTC. Consequently, respondent filed a motion for reconsideration with the RTC.
It initially affirmed MTC’s decision but reversed it when it found that the petitioners have ousted
the respondent of her possession and the destruction of her plants therein. Motion for
Reconsideration filed by petitioners was denied by the RTC. Dissatisfied, the petitioners brought
the case to the CA but CA affirmed RTC’s decision.

Issue: Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the RTC Decision awarding
possession of the subject property to respondent.

Held: Yes. Two allegations are mandatory for the municipal court to acquire jurisdiction in
actions for forcible entry. First, the plaintiff must allege his prior physical possession of the
property. Second, he must also allege that he was deprived of his possession by any of the means
provided for in Section 1, Rule 70 of the Revised Rules of Court, namely: force, intimidation,
threats, strategy, and stealth. During the ocular inspection, the MCTC was able to inquire from
Nuguid the location of the land he supposedly sold to respondent and found that the lot upon
which the two adjacent houses of petitioner Quizon stood was not included in the property
Nuguid sold to respondent. On the same occasion, the MCTC also learned that petitioners
Quizon and Zablan were already occupying the subject premises long before the alleged sale.
The findings of the RTC and the Court of Appeals were mainly based on the stipulation of facts
that petitioners Simbulan and Villanueva were with petitioners Quizon and Zablan when the
latter two forcibly entered the subject property and destroyed respondent’s plants. The testimony
of Nuguid undeniably established that the property subject of said sale is different from the
subject property possessed and occupied by petitioner Quizon. It was never proven that the
subject property occupied by petitioners Quizon and Zablan encroached upon or overlapped the
property bought by respondent from Nuguid. Thus, the petition is granted and the decision of
CA and its resolution are reversed and set aside.