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#32

NAME OF THE CASE: FIORELLO JOSE VS ROBERTO ALFUERTO, GR NO. 169380, 26


NOVEMBER 2012

CAUSE OF ACTION: PETITION FOR REVIEW ON CERTIORARI

FACTS:

The dispute involves a parcel of land registered in the name of Rodolfo Chua Sing
located in San Dionisio, Paranaque City. Chua Sing purchased the land in 1991, he then
leased the property to petitioner Fiorello Jose. The Contract of Lease was neither notarized
nor registered with the Paranaque City Registry of Deeds.

The Lease Contract provided that the lessor transfers all its rights and prerogative
to evict occupants in favor of lessee which shall be responsible for all the expenses that may
be incurred without reimbursement from the lessor.

There are however occupants already occupying the property even before the lease
contract was executed. Soon after Chua Sing and petitioner signed the lease contract,
petitioner demanded in writing that the respondents vacate the property within 30 days
and that they pay monthly rental of P1,000.00 until they fully vacate the property.

Respondents refused to vacate and to pay rent. Petitioner then filed an ejectment
case against respondents before the Metropolitan Trial Court (MeTC) of Paranaque. When
Petitioner brought the case to the Barangay for conciliation, the Barangay issued a
Certification to File Action. Petitioner claimed that as lessee of the subject property, he had
the right to eject the respondents who unlawfully occupy the land.

Court of Appeals ruled that the respondents possession of the land was not by the
petitioner or his lessors tolerance. Having been in possession of the land for more than a
year, the respondents should not be evicted through an ejectment case. CA emphasized that
ejectment cases are summary proceedings where the only issue to be resolved is who has a
better right to the physical possession of a property. Petitioners claim is of accion
publiciana (for the recovery of the possession), wherein he asserts his right as a possessor
by virtue of a contract of lease. CA dismissed the ejectment case. Petitioner filed a motion
for reconsideration, which CA denied.

Issue:
Whether or not the Court can treat an ejectment case as an accion publiciana or
accion reivindicatoria (for the recovery of ownership).

Ruling:

The Court cannot treat an ejectment case as an accion publiciana or accion


reivindicatoria.

Ratio Decidendi:

Petitioner argues that assuming this case should have been filed as an action
publiciana or accion reivindicatoria, the Court should still resolve the case. However, the
Court cannot simply take the evidence presented before the MeTC in an ejectment case and
decide it as an accion publiciana or accion reivindicatoria for these cases are different and
not interchangeable.
An action for forcible entry is distinct from accion publiciana. Forcible entry must be
filed within one year after the unlawful dispossession while the latter must be filed a year
after the unlawful dispossession of the real property. Former is concerned with the issue of
the right to the physical possession of the real property while the latters subject of
litigation is the better right to possession over the real property. The former is filed in the
municipal trial court and summary action, while the latter is plenary action in the RTC.
The cause of action in the ejectment case is different from accion publiciana or
accion reivindicatoria. The ejectment case is brought before the proper inferior court to
recover physical possession only or possession de facto, not possession de jure. MeTCs
ruling is only to resolve the issue of the possession and therefore inconclusive. MeTC
resolves only possession de facto, ejectment cases are summary in nature, while accion
publiciana or accion reivindicatoria are plenary action. Hence petition is denied; CAs
decision dismissing the ejectment case was affirmed.