Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Ejectment ,statute of frauds, formalities of contracts

For purposes of legal research, readers may find useful the discussions/citations in the position paper below that I have prepared in an ejectment case which involved the issues of stature of frauds and formalities of contracts.


POSITION PAPER FOR THE PLAINTIFF

THE PLAINTIFF, by counsel, respectfully states:

I. PROPERTY INVOLVED.

The property subject matter of the instant ejectment case is the residential house and lot located at xxx., xxx Subd., xxx, xxx City, with an area of 240 sq. m. and covered by TCT No. xxx registered in the name of A, plaintiff in the instant ejectment case.

Attached as Annex “A” hereof is a certified true copy of the said TCT No. xxx to prove the ownership in fee simple by plaintiff A of the subject property.[1]

II. EJECTMENT COMPLAINT

The verified complaint for ejectment (unlawful detainer) filed by the herein plaintiff A …, thru her former counsel, Atty. Xxx, prayed for a judgment in favor of the said plaintiff and against the defendants B, et. al. directing the latter to (a) Vacate the aforesaid residential house and lot and to peacefully surrender the same to herein plaintiff; (b) Pay the plaintiff in the amount of Forty Eight Thousand Pesos (Php 48,000.00) for actual damages sustained as a result of loss of employment in Japan and for the monthly rent for the townhouse unit; (c) Pay the plaintiff in such amounts representing for the payment of moral and exemplary damages, as this Honorable Court, in its wise and sound discretion, may determine; (d) Pay the plaintiff in the amount of Php25,000.00 and Php2,000.00 per court appearance as Attorney’s fees; and (e) Pay the cost of the suit.

The allegations of the ultimate facts of the instant ejectment complaint are quoted hereinbelow:

“x x x.

1. That plaintiff is of legal age, Filipino and a resident of xxx Street, Unit xxx, xxx Subdivision, xxx City where she may be served with summons and other processes of this Honorable Court;

2. That defendants are all of legal age and are presently unlawfully residing at xxx Avenue, xxx Subdivision, xxx II, xxx City and may served with summons and other legal processes therein by this Honorable Court;

3. Plaintiff is the lawful owner of a parcel of land situated in the Municipality of xxx, Province of xxx evidenced by Transcript of Certificated of Title No. xxx issued by the Register of Deeds of xxx City, Metro Manila and more particularly described as: X x x x x.

4. It was solely out of the compassion and tolerance of the plaintiff, A which enabled all of the defendants to temporarily reside at her paraphernal property located at xxx Avenue, xxx Subdivision, xxx City. As members of the same family, complainant willingly allowed the defendants to briefly reside therein together with her minor child, K and eldest son, V while plaintiff continued her employment at Japan;

5. It was their understanding then that they were to reside therein by tolerance and rent-free, but as soon as the time comes that the plaintiff would need a residential unit for her or her immediate family’s need, all of the named defendants would necessarily vacate the premises and surrender the peaceful possession thereof to the plaintiff;

6. On September 7, 2006, plaintiff’s son got married. Necessarily and by reason of the fact that they do not have any other residential unit available, they required the defendants to vacate the premises and seek another place to stay. Unfortunately, this infuriated the defendants most specifically, defendant B who maintained that she was allegedly allowed to permanently reside therein, after having been allowed by the plaintiff to allegedly construct improvements, and to allegedly pay the necessary bills and dues of the household;

7. That by reason of the persistence of the defendants, they confronted the plaintiff’s son and forcibly asked him to vacate the residential unit. In order not to create any commotion and by reason of the delicate condition of his wife, they provisionally departed his mother’s residential house and lot;

8. All of the defendants are at present still occupying the residential house and lot and refuse to vacate and surrender the peaceful possession thereof to the plaintiff who immediately left Japan to console her son’s predicaments. She immediately asked the defendants to vacate the premises upon her return but (was) simply threatened (by the defendants) and was forcibly asked (by the defendants) to leave her property;

9. Plaintiff initially made an attempt to settle the matter amicably by filing a “Sumbong” (Complaint) before the Barangay Pamplona Dos Barangay Council against the defendants for unlawfully depriving her of the peaceful possession and enjoyment of her residential house and lot. She sought their assistance to peacefully lead away the said defendants and for the plaintiff to get back the physical possession of the house and lot rightfully belonging to her. X x x.

10. However, no amicable settlement was reached upon by the parties. In fact, they disregarded the initial notice sent by the Barangay and even ignored the scheduled meetings/dialogues before the Lupon. On a mediation proceedings on the matter, defendants unwaveringly manifested their refusal to vacate the premises before the Honorable Barangay Captain Romualda Villalon who mediated the parties;

11. Thus, on (17 November 2006), the Tanggapan ng Kapitan ng Barangay issued a Certification (Katibayan Upang Makadulog sa Hukuman) authorizing the plaintiff to file the appropriate action unto this Honorable Court stating that “walang nagawang pagaayos o pagkakasundo sa mga partido” was reached. x x x.

12. On an effort to settle the matter, plaintiff through the undersigned counsel transmitted through registered mail with return card a “Final Demand Letter to Vacate” dated 21 November 2006 addressed to all of the defendants to vacate the premises within FIFTEEN (15) days from receipt of the demand letter which defendants received on 23 November 2006. x x x.

13. On 28 November 2006, the undersigned counsel received a letter in response to the demand letter transmitted to the defendants. As a reply, the claimed counsel of the defendants with much regret informed the undersigned counsel that his clients cannot comply with the final demand to vacate the property located at No. xxx Avenue, xxx Subdivision, xxx City. X x x.

14. By reason of the defendant’s unjustified refusal to vacate the premises, plaintiff would be compelled to stay at the Philippines for a period of time and as a result would necessarily lose her employment. Plaintiff normally receives FORTY THOUSAND (Php40,000.00) a month as salary from her employment. Likewise as a result of the unlawful possession of the residential house and lot, plaintiff was constrained to rent a residential townhouse unit at xxx Subdivision for which the plaintiff is constrained to pay at a month rental of EIGHT THOUSAND (Php 8,000.00) pesos a month;

15. Defendants, who have been unlawfully possessing and occupying the subject parcel of land, and despite due notice and demand to vacate the same, unjustifiably failed and refused and continue to fail and refuse to vacated the said premises. Thus, due to defendant’s wanton disregard and deliberate violation of the plaintiff’s right to enjoy the rightful possession of her property, herein plaintiff has suffered and continuously suffers sleepless nights, serious anxiety and other similar sufferings from which entitle her to the recovery of damages in such amount as this Honorable Court, in its wise discretion, may determine;

16. By reason of the gross and evident bad faith of the defendants when they deliberately refused to vacate the aforesaid premises and by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition to the moral damages, plaintiff herein is duly entitled for the payment of exemplary damages in such amount, as this Honorable Court, in its wise discretion, may determine;

17. Due to defendants’ refusal to vacate the premises, plaintiff was constrained to engage the services of a legal counsel to protect her own rights, interests, and for whose services she agreed to pay the amount of TWENTY FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (Php25,000.00) as attorney’s fees plus Php2,000.00 per court appearance.

X x x. “ (end of quote)

The herein plaintiff adopts into this position paper, by incorporation and reference, all of the foregoing allegations in her verified Answer.

In controverting the instant ejectment complaint, the defendants B, et. al. raised the defense that plaintiff A had allegedly sold the property to B, without presenting any proof of the due execution and authenticity of any written/documented or oral contract or agreement to positively prove and substantiate the alleged transaction.

Further, the defendants B, et. al. in the instant ejectment case cited the pendency of the case of “B vs. A” before the Regional Trial Court, Branch xxx, of xxx City, for specific performance and damages, docketed as Civil Case No. xxx.

In the said RTC-level civil complaint, B (plaintiff in the said RTC-level case) prayed in her Amended Complaint as follows:

X x x.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that after due hearing judgment be rendered as to the principal cause of action:

a) Ordering defendant A to execute the deed of sale in favor of the plaintiff over the house and lot located at No. xxx Avenue, xxx Subdivision, xxx City and covered by the Transfer Certificate of Title No. xxx of the registry of Deeds of xxx City;

b) Ordering defendant A to pay plaintiff the following amount:

i) P300,000.00, as moral damages;

ii) P200,000.00, as exemplary damages;

iii) P100,000.00, as attorney’s fees; and

iv) To pay the costs of suit:

In the alternative, judgment be rendered:

a) Ordering defendant A to pay plaintiff the following sums:

i) P1,351,265.66 representing reimbursement to the plaintiff for the expenses of the renovations and Improvements, insurance premiums, real property taxes homeowners association dues and payment for compromise settlement on the property in question, plus legal interest thereof from the date of the filing of the complaint:

ii) P55,000.00, representing the funeral expenses of defendant A minor son, K, plus legal interest thereof from the filing of the complaint:

b) Ordering defendants A and V to pay plaintiff jointly and severally the following:

i) P1,414,928.20, representing reimbursement to the plaintiff for the payment of defendant V’s car, including the insurance thereof, as well as payment for the debts and loans incurred by defendant A son, herein defendant V, plus legal interest thereof from the filing of the complaint:

ii) P1,000,000.00 representing reimbursement to the plaintiff for the support of defendant A eldest son, herein defendant V:

iii) P2,105,000.00, representing rentals payments from August 2001 to October 2006 for the business xxx Enterprise, which was set up by the plaintiff for defendant V, plus legal interest thereof from the filing of the complaint:

iv) P100,000.00, as attorney’s fees.

Plaintiff prays for such other relief as may be just and equitable in the premises.

X x x. (end of quote).

For the record, in the said Civil Case No. xxx, A -Seiwa (defendant in the said RTC-level case and plaintiff in the instant ejectment case before this Court) and her husband K alleged in their original Answer[2] filed thru their former counsel, Atty. Xxx, the following basic legal and factual defenses:

X x x .

1. Defendants deny the allegations stated in paragraph 6 of the complaint. The truth of the matter being that no written nor oral arrangement was ever reached by the parties with respect to the sale or transfer of the paraphernal house and lot registered under the name of the Defendant A before she contracted marriage with defendant K;

2. Defendants resolutely maintain that no earnest efforts towards an amicable settlement were conducted between the parties. She was surprised to find out that the instant case was filed by the plaintiff and that inappropriate and dishonest measures were undertaken which evidently showed her ungratefulness and greediness towards her sister, defendant A.

3. Plaintiff has no legal right over the property of the defendant. Plaintiff was permitted by tolerance to stay at the property of the defendant as a mere transient. It is solely by reason of the compassion of the defendant towards her sister, the plaintiff herein and her brothers that they were permitted to stay at her paraphernal house and lot located at No. xxx Avenue, xxx Subdivision, xxx City. Along with them then was their biological mother, C who had predeceased this controversy and her ungrateful children, B, R and C. Defendant’s mother stood as the guardian of V, K1 and K2 as opposed to the allegation of the plaintiff that she agreed to the proposal that she would stand as the guardian of the children of the defendant which is self-serving in nature and cannot be substantiated by the plaintiff by evidence oral or documentary;

4. Defendant belies the allegation of the plaintiff that the former was required to stay at Japan most of the time having the resident status therein and being married to a Japanese national. To prove the contrary, defendant incorporates her Philippine Passports issued on March 1, 2006, February 14, 2001 and February 6, 2006 respectively x x x.. The annotations therein will show that defendant was at constant connections with her children, her mother, C and her paraphernal property;

5. xxx that defendant was never in default in meeting with her obligations as well as that of her children. She was a frequent vacationer here in the Philippines who at all times have shouldered the necessary payments for the obligations enumerated by the plaintiff upon her return and through her money transfers from Japan in order to pay these obligations;

6. This is the primary reason why the various receipts (various attachments supplied by the plaintiff in her complaint) are issued under the name of the defendant and significantly not under the name of the plaintiff precisely because these were in fact paid by the defendant or by the defendant’s child, V or by the plaintiff in a few instances using the money provided by the defendant;

7. Further, no contract express or implied would indicate the claimed allegation of the plaintiff that she was to permanently reside on the property of the defendant and introduce improvements thereon, pay the legal taxes due, and support the defendant’s son, V with his various obligations;

8. Significantly, the improvements introduced by the plaintiff were constructed without the knowledge or the express consent or authority of the defendant who is the registered owner of the house and lot as perused from the Transfer Certificate of Title No. xxx registered with the Registry of Deeds of xxx City. X x x.

9. The allegation that the defendant be required to sell her house and lot to the plaintiff by virtue of the supposed verbal communication does not have any legal or factual basis. It is relevant t point out that under Article 1403of the Civil Code of the Philippines, among the following contracts that are considered unenforceable are:

“(2) Those that do not comply with the statute of frauds as set forth in this number. In the following cases an agreement hereafter made shall be unenforceable by action, unless the same or some note or memorandum thereof, be in writing, and subscribed by the party charged, or his agent; evidence, therefore of the agreement cannot be received without the writing or as secondary evidence of its contents:

(b) A special promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another.

(e) An agreement for the leasing for a longer period than one year, or for the sale of real property or of an interest therein”. X x x.

10. Furthermore, the complaint merely alleges that defendant is liable to pay plaintiff for moral and exemplary damages. The operative or constructive facts making up the pleaded cause of action for damages were not stated in the complaint for which no credit should likewise be given thereto; x x x. (end of quote)

In their same Civil Case No. xxx, A and her spouse K raised the following counterclaim:

X x x.

By way of COUNTER-CLAIM, the foregoing paragraphs are herein repleaded and reproduced insofar as they are herein relevant, material and significant;

11. As a result of this present controversy, defendant was compelled to stay at the Philippines for a period of time and as a result lost her employment in Japan. Defendant receives a monthly equivalent of Forty Thousand Pesos (Php 40,000.00) a month as salary from her employment for which the plaintiff must be required to pay by way of actual damages. A copy of the Certificate of Possible Salary Payment, the Withholding Exemption Certificate of earned Income, and the Incumbency Certificate of the defendant are herein attached and made an integral part of this Answer with Counter-Claim x x x.

12. Likewise and as a result of the unlawful possession by the plaintiff of the residential house and lot of the defendant, the latter was constrained to rent a residential townhouse unit at xxx Subdivision for which the defendant was constrained to pay a monthly rental of EIGHT THOUSAND (Php 8,000.00) pesos a month for which once again the plaintiff must be compelled to pay by way of actual damages. X x x.

13. By reason of this baseless complaint, defendant, A suffered and continuously suffers sleepless nights, serious anxiety and other similar sufferings from which entitles her to the recovery of damages in such amount as this Honorable Court, in its wise and sound discretion, may determine;

14. Also, by way of example or correction for the public good, in addition to the moral damages, defendants herein are duly entitled for the payment of exemplary damages in such amount, as this Honorable Court, in its wise discretion, may determine;

15. Lastly and by reason of the baseless and unfounded complaint, defendant was constrained to litigate this case and in order to protect their rights and interests was constrained to engage the services of counsel whom she was obligated to pay the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php 50,000.00). X x x. (end of quote)

Further, in the said Civil Case No. xxx, A and her spouse K (defendants therein) prayed for the following reliefs in their original Answer:

X x x.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is most respectfully prayed unto this Honorable Court to dismiss the instant complaint, as to the counter-claim, after due hearing be ordered to pay the defendant, B the following amounts:

· Forty Thousand Pesos (Php 40,000.00) respecting the monthly income lost by the defendant from her employment in Japan;

· Monthly rentals of Eight Thousand Pesos (Php 8,000.00) incurred and continually incurred by the defendant as a result of the refusal of the plaintiff to surrender the peaceful possession of the defendant’s paraphernal property;

· Moral and Exemplary damages in such amount as determined by this Honorable Court;

· Attorney’s fees in the amount of Fifty Thousand Pesos (Php 50,000.00)

Other reliefs just and equitable are likewise prayed for.

X x x. (end of quote)

For the record, the herein plaintiff A hereby adopts into this Position Paper, by incorporation and reference, all her foregoing allegations, counterclaims and prayers as stated in her original Answer in the said Civil Case No. xxx.

III. EVIDENCE FOR THE PLAINTIFF
IN THE INSTANT EJECTMENT CASE

In addition to the aforementioned Title of the herein plaintiff (TCT No. xxx, marked as Annex “A” hereof, supra), the plaintiff respectfully submits to this Honorable Court the following documentary evidence in support of her ejectment complaint against the defendants:

1. Annex “B” - Letter (re: Final Demand Letter To Vacate), dated November 21, 2006, addressed to B signed by Atty. Xxx, former counsel for A.

2. Annex “C” – Letter, dated November 8, 2006, addressed to B Herrera, et. al., and all persons claiming possession of the subject property owned by A, signed by Atty. Xxx. Tafalla, former counsel for A. It proves the jurisdictional demand made by the plaintiff to the defendants to vacate the subject property under Rule 70 and the earnest efforts of the plaintiff to exhaust all remedies before commencing the instant court action.

3. Annex “D” - Letter dated November 24, 2006, addressed to Atty. Xxx, former counsel for A, signed by Atty. Xxx of xxx Law Offices, counsel for B, et. al., denying and rejecting the demand of plaintiff B to vacate the subject property. It proves the recalcitrance of the defendants in ignoring and rejecting the extrajudicial demands of the plaintiff.

4. Annex “E” – “Patawag” issued by Barangay Pamplona II, dated November 13, 2006, addressed to A and B, et. al.. (Although defendant Maria xxx was not named therein, she had actual and constructive knowledge thereof, being an actual resident of the property under the control and subsidy of B; but Maria xxx chose not to voluntarily participate therein)

5. Annex “F” – “Katibayan Upang Makadulog sa Hukuman”, dated November 17, 2006, issued by the said Barangay addressed to A and B, et. Al.. It shows the failure of the defendants to settle with the plaintiff the instant ejectment controversy, thus, compelling the plaintiff to seek judicial redress.

6. Annex “G” – “Engagement Contract”, dated September 26, 2006, addressed to A, signed by her former Atty. Xxx, showing the expenses for professional fees incurred by the plaintiff in hiring the services of Atty. Xxx to protect her rights against the unjust acts of the defendants.

7. Annex “H” – Letter, dated April 15, 2007, addressed to Atty. Xxx, re: Notice of Termination of Lawyer-Client Relationship and Legal Services, signed by A and K.

8. Annex “I” – Letter, dated April 3, 2007, addressed to A and K thru N re: Attorney’s Fees, signed by Atty. Manuel Laserna Jr., current counsel for A.

9. Annex “J” – “Legal Retainership Agreement”, dated April 3, 2007, signed by N and the Laserna Cueva-Mercader Law Offices, thru Atty. Manuel Laserna, Jr., showing the litigation expenses incurred by A in hiring the legal services of the said law firm to protect her rights against the unjust acts of defendants B, et. al.

10. Annex “K” – Special Power of Attorney in favor of the Laserna Cueva Mercader Law Offices acting thru Atty. Manuel J. Laserna Jr. and/or Atty. Myrna C. Mercader, dated April 11, 2007, signed by A and K and authenticated by the Philippine Consulate in Tokyo, Japan.

11. Annex “L” - Special Power of Attorney in favor of V dated January 12, 2007, issued by A and notarized by Atty. Xxx in xxx City.

12. Annex “M” (with sub-markings)- “Appraisal Report”, dated October 27, 2006, on the subject property, issued by the xxx Co., Inc., with supporting documents, showing the fair marker value of the subject property and the improvements thereon. It proves the huge economic opportunity losses the plaintiff and her children are incurring by reason of the unjust act of the defendants in dispossessing the plaintiff of her subject property, which the plaintiff owns in fee simple as its lawful and registered owner.

13. Annex “N” - “Contract of Lease”, dated September 16, 2006 of the son of the plaintiff, V, who was harassed by defendants B, et. al. to move out of the subject property owned by his mother (herein plaintiff) A, thus, constraining him to lease a property in xxx City, at P8,000.00/month, where he and his wife could reside and where his mother could reside whenever she returns to the Philippines for vacations.

14. Annex “O” (with sub-markings) - Various proofs of payments caused to be paid/remitted by plaintiff A either directly or thru her duly authorized representatives, e.g. his son V, et. al., for the premiums of the fire insurance policies of the subject property, the various monthly dues, charges and fees caused to be paid by the plaintiff to the

15. xxx Homeowners Association as a member in good standing of the Association being a homeowner therein, and the various annual local real estate taxes caused to be paid by the plaintiff to the local government of xxx City, They disprove the claim of B that she was the one who had spent for all such expenses.

16. Annex “P” (with sub-markings) - Employment records of the plaintiff A as an employee in Japan, e.g., Incumbency Certificate, showing her incomes/salaries and financial capacity as such, as well as the Japan-based incomes that she had lost/waived for attending to the litigation of the pending cases involving her property in the Philippines.

17. Annex “Q” (with sub-markings) – Proofs of various dollar remittances the plaintiff A had made from Japan to her son V and the defendant B for the support, sustenance, personal businesses and other expenses and costs of living of the son of the plaintiff, V, the burial of another son of the plaintiff, K, the upkeep and maintenance of the subject property, and all other related necessary expenses relative to the children of the plaintiff and to the subject property. They disprove the claim of the defendant B that she was the one financially supporting the living expenses, education, businesses, etc. of the children of the plaintiff or that she was the one spending for the maintenance of the subject property or that she was the one who funded the burial of the deceased K.

18. Annex “R” (with sub-markings) - Various business records of “xxx Enterprise” owned by the son of the plaintiff, V, which the plaintiff had helped fund and organize. They show the financial capacity of V to support himself, his wife, his business-related transactions, and his costs of living expenses, contrary to the claim of defendant B that she was the one who had funded the same.

19. Annex “S” - The passports of V showing his business travels abroad. They show the financial capacity, personal maturity, and business acumen of V as a businessman, contrary to the claim of defendant B that she was the one who was supporting the personal maintenance and business operations of V.

20. Annex “T” (with sub-markings) - Business records of xxx Enterprise and yyy Collection (registered in the names of defendants B and R), which the plaintiff A, as we well-earning Japan-based employee, had helped put up and fund at a time when the said B and R were basically penniless or under financial straits. Please note that the business names xxx and yyy were patterned after the names of the children of the plaintiff.

21. Annex “U” (with sub-markings) – Records of the checking account of V in Hongkong and Shanghai Bank (HSBC), showing that he had paid his business loans thru his said account, contrary to the claim of the defendant B that she was the she who paid such business loans of V.

22. Annex “V” (with sub-markings) - Business and financial records of xxx Management Inc., re: the purchase and full payment of a Mitsubishi Lancer vehicle made by the said corporation, whose major stockholders are the xxx Clan. The natural father of V belonged to the said Clan. The said records show that the amortizations for the said car were made and paid by the said Corporation and xxx Clan for the benefit of the latter and that the payments were made thru the account of the said corporation in BPI Family Bank, contrary to the claim of defendant B that she was the one who had paid for the said car.

23. Annex “W” (with sub-markings) – Records of the amicable settlement of Civil Case No. xxx (RTC Branch xxx, xxx City), entitled “Sps. N v. A (represented by her [late] mother C)”, involving the subject property. They prove that plaintiff A had paid for all the expenses (taxes, registration fees, etc.) related to the Deed of Exchange, the Compromise Agreement, and the registration of the titles involved therein, contrary to the claim of defendant B that she was the one who paid for all such expenses.

24. Annex “X” (with sub-markings) – Records of the amicable settlement of Civil Case xxx (RTC, Branch xxx, xxx City) which A filed against the University of Perpetual Help Hospital and its attending doctors to seek damages for the death of K, a son of the plaintiff A. The records show that the defendant B, as attorney in fact of A, received P600,000.00 from the University of Perpetual Help Hospital, et. al. as settlement money for the death of K (son of A) and showing that Atty. Xxx, counsel for B in the instant ejectment case, received 10% thereof as his fees. The said amount was used by B to renovate/improve and maintain the expenses for the subject property and/or other expenses relative to the children of A and to defray some of the litigation expenses of the said civil case. B made it appear claimed that the funds she used for the said purposes came from her own pockets.

25. Annex “Y” (with sub-markings) – Passports of A and her husband K, showing their various travels to the Philippines to care for and supervise A’s children in Metro Manila and to monitor their education, good conduct and businesses. They disprove the claim of B that A had abandoned her children to her care.

IV. APPLICABLE LAWS AND JURISPRUDENCE

A. STATUTE OF FRAUDS

The alleged contract of sale between the plaintiff A and the defendant B is unenforceable and cannot be raised as a valid legal and factual defense in the instant ejectment case, that is, assuming that such an agreement actually existed, an allegation which is vehemently denied by the plaintiff for being false, untrue and fabricated.

Under Art. 1403, Civil Code, the following contracts are unenforceable, unless they are ratified:

(1) Those entered into in the name of another person by one who has been given no authority or legal representation, or who has acted beyond his powers;

(2) Those that do not comply with the Statute of Fraud as set forth in this number. In the following cases an agreement hereafter made shall be unenforceable by action, unless the same, or some note or memorandum thereof, be in writing, and subscribed by the party charge, or by his agent; evidence, therefore, of the agreement cannot be received without the writing, or a secondary evidence of its contents:

(a) An agreement that by its terms is not to be performed within a year from the making thereof;

(b) A special promise to answer for the debt, default, or miscarriage of another;

(c) An agreement made in consideration of marriage, other than a mutual promise to marry;

(d) An Agreement for the sale of goods, chattels or things in action, at a price not less that five hundred pesos unless the buyer accept and receive part of such goods and chattels, or the evidences, or some of them, of such things in action, or pay at the time some part of the purchase money; but when a sale is made by auction and entry is made by the auctioneer in his sales book, at the time of the sale, of the amount and kind of property sold, terms of sale, price, names of the purchasers and person on whose account the sale is made, it is a sufficient memorandum;

(e) An agreement for the leasing for a longer period than one year, or for the sale of real property or of an interest therein;

(f) A representation as to the credit of a third person.

The Statute of Frauds was enacted for the purpose of preventing frauds. Under the Statute of Frauds, the only formality required is that the contract or agreement “must be in writing and subscribed by party charged or by his agent”. For example, a telegram advising a person to whom a verbal promise for the sale of land had been previously made to come at once in order to complete the purchase, but which telegram neither describes the property nor states the purchase price, and which is not signed by any person having authority to bind the seller, is not a sufficient memorandum of sale to satisfy the requirement of the statue.

Contracts infringing the Statute of Frauds are susceptible of ratification. According to Art. 1405 of the Civil Code, such contracts may be ratified either (1) by the failure to object to the presentation of oral evidence to prove the same, or (2) by the acceptance of benefits under them. Art. 1405 provides that contracts infringing the Statute of Frauds, referred to in No. 2 of article 1403, are “ratified by the failure to object to the presentation of oral evidence to prove the same, or by the acceptance of benefits under them”’ while Art. 1406 provides that when a contract is enforceable under the Statute of Frauds, and a public document is necessary for its registration in the Registry of Deeds, the parties may avail themselves of the right under article 1357.

The primordial aim of the provisions is to prevent fraud and perjury in the enforcement of obligations depending for their evidence upon the unassisted memory of witnesses (Shoemaker vs. La Tondeña, 68 Phil. 24). Although the said

provisions simply provides for the form or method by which contracts coming within its terms may be proved, nonetheless, the claimant must first prove the existence and due execution of such a contract, notwithstanding its formal defects, if any. (Conlu v. Araneta, 15 Phil. 387; Gallemit v. Tabiliran, 20 Phil. 241; Kuenzler & Streff v. Jiongco, 22 Phil. 111; Gomez v. Salcedo, [26 Phil. 485]; Domalagan v. Bolifer, 33 Phil. 471; Magalona v. Paratcim 59 Phil. 543).

Although the Supreme Court has held in many cases that no particular form or language or instrument is necessary to constitute a memorandum or note in writing under the statute of frauds, nonetheless, such memorandum of note should be in the form of a document or writing, formal or informal, which had been written either for the purpose of furnishing evidence of the contract or for another purpose which satisfies all the statute’s requirements as to contents and signature would be sufficient.

In one case, the Supreme Court held that “a voucher or entry in an accountant’s book of account” purporting to show payment of a specified amount as consideration for the sale of leasehold right over a house “was, however, held insufficient where the same was not signed by the alleged vendor but merely by the accountant who claimed (without establishing) that he was the vendor’s agent” (Reyes vs. Lopez, 76 Phil. 568).

The settled rule is that the statute applies only to executory (Factoran vs. Laban, 81 Phil. 512; Cocjin vs. Libo, 91 Phil. 777), that is, a contract that has not been completed or executed yet. Performance, whether total or partial, takes a contact out of the operation of the statute. (Arroyo v. Azur, 76 Phil. 493; Hernandez v. Adal, 78 Phil. 196; Almirol vs. Monserrat, 48 Phil. 512; Robles vs. Lizarraga

Hermanos, 50 Phil. 387; Diama vs. Macalibo, I74 Phil. 70; Barcelona vs. Barcelona, 53 O.G. 373; Carbonnel v. Poncio, 55 O.G. 2415). Performance must be duly proved.

Examples of “performance” include: (a) a sale of real property which has been consummated by the “delivery of the property to the vendee” (Soriano v. Heirs of Magali, L-15133, July 31, 1963; Diama vs. Macalibo, supra); (b) or which has been “partially executed by payment of a part of the price” to the vendors “and the delivery” of the land to the vendees (Almirol vs. Lizarraga Hermanos, 50 Phil. 387).

In one case, it was held that the transaction is not taken out of the coverage of the statute of frauds by the “mere allegation that plaintiff had taken possession of the land as a tenant and that he had made substantial improvements thereon”, such allegation being an “insufficient basis for proving the oral contract had been executed or performed”. There must be an allegation to the effect that he had taken possession of the land in view of a supposed verbal contract he had with the defendant to purchase it, or that he has made improvements thereon because and as a consequence of said supposed contract to sell (Pascual vs. realty Investment, Inc. 91 Phil. 257).

Partial performance does not of itself exclude the application of the Statute of Frauds. Firstly, in order that a contract not to be performed within one year may be taken out of the operation of the statue, it must appear clearly that full or complete performance has been made by one party; nothing less will suffice, and if anything remains to be done after the expiration of the year besides the mere payment of money, the statute would apply (Babao vs. Perez, 54 O.G. 2888).

The doctrine of partial performance “cannot be invoked against the statute where the contract is vague, ambiguous and uncertain” in its terms and as to subject matter. For, obviously, there can be no partial performance until there is a “definite and complete agreement between the parties”. For the doctrine to be availed of, the parol agreement relied upon must be “certain, definite, clear, unambiguous, and unequivocal” in this terms and as to subject matter, aside from being fair, reasonable, and just in this provisions. This is so because “the doctrine is based on equity, and it would be inequitable to enforce an agreement that does not satisfy the above requirements” (Babao vs. Perez, Babao v. Perez, 54 OG 2888).

B. Forms of Contracts

The defense of the defendants that plaintiff A had allegedly sold the subject property to defendant B fails to meet and comply with the strict procedural and evidentiary requirements set forth in Articles 1358, et. seq. of the Civil Code as to the forms or formalities of a contract or an agreement.

Under Art. 1358, Civil Code, the following must appear in a public instrument:

(1) Acts and contracts which have for their object the creation, transmission, modification or extinguishment of real rights over immovable property; sales of real property or of an interest therein are governed by articles 1403, No. 2, and 1405;

(2) The cession, repudiation or enunciation of hereditary rights or of those of the conjugal partnership of gains;

(3) The power to administer property, or any other power which has for its object an act appearing or which should appear in a public document, or should prejudice a third person;

(4) The cession of actions or rights proceeding from an act appearing in a public document.

Although, as a general rule, contracts hall be obligatory, in whatever from they may have been entered into, yet there are certain contracts falling within the purview or scope of this rule which, by reason of their importance, should be executed in accordance with certain formalities in order to insure their efficacy and to protect the interests of the contracting parties as well as that of third persons. The Civil Code, recognizing this necessity, enumerates in Art. 1358 the different classes of contracts which must appear either in a public or in a private document, and grants in Art. 1357 a coercive power to the contracting parties by which they can reciprocally compel the observance of the required form.


Under Art. 1359, Civil Code, when, there having been a meeting of the minds of the parties to a contract, their true intention is not expressed in the instrument purporting to embody the agreement, by reason of mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct or accident, one of the parties may ask for the reformation of the instrument to the end that such true intention may be expressed. If mistake, fraud, inequitable conduct, or accident has prevented a meeting of the minds of the parties, the proper remedy is not reformation of the instrument but annulment of the contract.

C. EJECTMENT LAW AND CASES

The instant ejectment complaint fully complies with technical and substantive requirements of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court and with the relevant jurisprudence applicable thereto.

Thus, considering the summary nature of the instant ejectment suit, the same should be resolved by the Honorable Court on the merits in favor of the plaintiff A-Seiwa, regardless of the pendency of the RTC-level case filed by B.

The only issue in forcible entry and detainer cases is the physical possession of real property – possession de facto and not possession de jure (Gutierrez vs. Magat, 67 SCRA 262). The subject matter thereof merely is the material possession or possession de facto over the real property. The questions to be resolved simply are these: First, who had actual possession over the piece of real property? Second, was the possessor ousted therefrom within one year from the filing of the complaint by force, threat, strategy, or stealth? And lastly, does he ask for the restoration of his possession? Any controversy over ownership rights should be settled after the party who had the prior, peaceful and actual possession is returned to the property (Dizon vs. Concina, 30 SCRA 897).

The judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or detainer shall be effective with respect to the possession only and in no wise bind the title or affect the ownership of the land or building and that such judgment shall not bar an action between the same parties respecting title to the land or building, nor shall it be held conclusive of the fact therein found in a case between the same parties upon a different cause of action not involving possession.

Section 1, Rule 70 provides that 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.

Section 2, Rule 70 provides that, unless otherwise stipulated, such action by the lessor shall be commenced only after demand to pay or comply with the conditions of the lease and to vacate is made upon the lessee, or by serving written notice of such demand upon the person found on the premises, or by posting such notice on the premises if no person be found thereon, and the lessee fails to comply therewith after fifteen (15) days in the case of land or five (5) days in the case of buildings.

Under Sec. 3 of Rule 70, an ejectment case is a summary procedure, and that all actions for forcible entry and unlawful detainer, irrespective of the amount of damages or unpaid rentals sought to be recovered, shall be governed by the summary procedure hereunder provided.

Under Sec. 16 of Rule 70, when the defendant raises the defense of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be resolved only to determine the issue of possession. Under Sec. 18 of the Rule, the judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or detainer shall be conclusive with respect to the possession only and shall in no wise 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.

Sec. 17 of the Rule provides that if after trial the court finds that the allegations of the complaint are true, it shall render judgment in favor of the plaintiff for the restitution of the premises, the sum justly due as arrears of rent or as reasonable compensation for the use and occupation of the premises, attorney’s fees and costs. If it finds that said allegations are not true, it shall render judgment

for the defendant to recover his costs. If a counterclaim is established, the court shall render judgment for the sum found in arrears from either party and award costs as justice requires.

In view of the summary nature of an ejectment suit, Sec. 19 of Rule 70 provides that if judgment is rendered against the defendant, execution shall issue immediately upon motion, unless an appeal has been perfected and the defendant to stay execution files a sufficient supersedeas bond, approved by the Municipal Trial Court and executed in favor of the plaintiff to pay the rents, damages, and costs accruing down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and unless, during the pendency of the appeal, he deposits with the appellate court the amount of rent due from time to time under the contract, if any, as determined by the judgment of the Municipal Trial Court. In the absence of a contract, he shall deposit with the Regional Trial Court the reasonable value of the use and occupation of the premises for the preceding month or period at the rate determined by the judgment of the lower court on or before the tenth day of each succeeding month or period. The supersedeas bond shall be transmitted by the Municipal Trial Court, with the other papers, to the clerk of the Regional Trial Court to which the action is appealed. Under Sec. 21 of the Rule, the judgment of the Regional Trial Court against the defendant shall be immediately executory, without prejudice to a further appeal that may be taken therefrom.

The action for unlawful detainer is summary in nature (Devesa vs. Montecillo, 27 SCRA 822; Sarona vs. Villegas, 22 SCRA 1256). As such, it is inadequate for the ventilation of issues involving title or ownership of controverted real property. In an unlawful detainer case suit, while the court cannot adjudicate on the issue of ownership, it may receive evidence on possession de jure to determine the nature of possession (Consing vs. Jamandre, 64 SCRA 1).

It is fundamental principle in the law governing unlawful detainer cases that “a mere plea of title or ownership over the disputed land by the defendant cannot be used as a sound basis for dismissing an action for recovery of possession” because an action for recovery of possession can be maintained even against the very owner of the property (Prado vs. Calpo, et. al., G.R. No. L-19379, April 30, 1964, cited in Spouses medina and Bernal vs. Valdellon, 63 SCRA 278).

In actions of forcible entry and detainer, the main issue is possession de facto, independently of any claim of ownership or possession de jure that either party may se forth in his pleading. As incidents of the main issue of possession de facto, the inferior court can decide the questions of (a) whether or not the relationship between the parties is one of landlord and tenant; (b) whether or not there is a lease contract between the parties, the period of such lease contract and whether or not the lease contract has already expired; (c) the just and reasonable amount of the rent and the date when it will take effect; (d) the right of the tenant to keep the premises against the will of the landlord; and (e) if the defendant has built on the land a substantial and valuable building and there is no dispute between the parties as to the ownership of the land and the building, their rights according to the Civil Code. Defendants’ claim of ownership of the property from which plaintiff seeks to eject him is not sufficient to divest the inferior detainer. (Alvir vs. Vera, 130 SCRA 357).

An unlawful detainer is the act of unlawfully withholding the possession of the land or building against or from a landlord, vendor or vendee or other person after the expiration or termination of the detainer’s right to hold possession by virtue of a contract express or implied (Section 1, Rule 70, Rules of Court; Pharma Industries, Inc., vs. Pajarillaga, L-53788, October 17, 1980, 100 SCRA 339; Ching Pue vs. Gonzales, 87 Phil. 81 (1950); Lim Si vs. Lim, 98 Phil 868 (1956); Teodoro vs. Mirasol, 99 Phil. 150 (1956); Pardo de Tavera vs. Encarnacion, et. al., 22 SCRA 632 (1968).

An unlawful detainer action has an entirely different subject from that of an action for reconveyance of title. What is involved in unlawful detainer case is merely the issue of material possession or possession de facto; whereas in an action for reconveyance, ownership is the issue. So much so that the pendency of an action for reconveyance of title over the same property does not divest the city or municipal court of its jurisdiction to try the forcible entry or unlawful detainer case, nor will it preclude or bar execution of judgment in the ejectment case where the only issue involved is material possession or possession de facto (Ramirez vs. Bleza, L-45640, July 30, 1981, 106 SCRA 187).

This is so because the judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or detainer shall be effective with respect to the possession only and in no case 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 nor shall it be held conclusive of the facts therein found in a case of action not involving possession. The rationale is that forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases are summary proceedings designed to provide for an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or the right to possession of the property involved (Republic vs. Guarin, 81 SCRA 269). It does not admit of a delay in the determination thereof. It is “time procedure” designed to remedy the situation (Mabalot vs. Madela, Jr. 121 SCRA 347). Procedural technicality is therefore obviated and reliance thereon to stay eviction from the property should not be tolerated and cannot override substantial justice (Dakudao vs. Consolacion, 122 SCRA 877). So much so that judgment must be executed immediately when it is in favor of the plaintiff in order to prevent further damages arising from loss of possession (Salinas vs. Navarro 126 SCRA 167).

Well-settled is the rule that inferior courts may not be divested of its jurisdiction over ejectment cases “simply because the defendant sets up a claim of ownership over the litigated property” (Alilaya vs. Española, 107 SCRA 564; Dehesa vs. Macalalag, 81 SCRA 543; Castro vs. delos Reyes, 109 Phil. 64). Even where defendant in a detainer or forcible entry “alleges title to the property” in his answer, it is declared in a great number of cases that the trial court will not be divested of its jurisdiction by such allegations alone (Savinada v. Tuason, et. al., G.R. No. L-2132, May 30, 1949; Loo Soo v. Osorio, R.G. No. L-1364, May 30, 1951; Cruz v. Lunsang, G.R. No. L-2332, October 4, 1959; De Los Rey7es v. Elepanio, et al., G.R. No. L-3466, October 13, 1950; Mediran V. Villanueva, 37 Phil. 752).

Where the possession of defendant is “by tolerance” on the part of the plaintiff, or his predecessor, the possession or detainer becomes illegal from the time that there is a demand to vacate (Amis vs. Aragon, L-4684, April 28, 1951). It is not necessary that there be a formal agreement or contract of lease before an unlawful detainer suit may be filed against a possessor “by tolerance”. Neither is prior physical possession of the property by plaintiff necessary (Pangilinan vs. Aguilar, 43 SCRA 136; Pharma Industries, Inc. vs. Pajarillaga, 100 SCRA 339). When consent is withdrawn and owner demands tenants to leave the property, the owner’s right of possession is deemed asserted. (Philippine National Bank vs. Animas, 117 SCRA 735).

A person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is “necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand”, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against them. The status of defendant is analogous to that of a lease continued by tolerance of the owner. In such a case, the unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession is to be counted from the date of the demand to vacate (Calubayan vs. Pascual, 21 SCRA 146; Canaynay vs. Sarmiento, 79 Phil. 36; Robles vs. San Jose, 52 O.G. 6193; Sarona vs. Villegas, 22 SCRA 1257, citing Montelibano vs. Hingaran Sugar Plantation, 63 Phil. 797, 802-803).

D. RECENT EJECTMENT JURISPRUDENCE

The plaintiff A further cites the following recent ejectment-related jurisprudence in support of her complaint.

In the case of HEIRS OF JACOBO BOLUS, et. al. vs. THE COURT OF APPEALS and SPOUSES RICARDO and GLICERIA JIMENEZ, Respondents, G. R. No. 107036, February 9, 1993, it was held ha on the issue of jurisdiction, the firmly settled principle is that a municipal court has jurisdiction over forcible entry or unlawful detainer cases even if the question of the ownership of the property is raised by the defendant. The exception is where the question of title is so involved in the ejectment case that it cannot be decided unless the title to the property is first ascertained.

In the case of CONCEPCION V. AMAGAN, et. al. vs. TEODORICO T. MARAYAG, respondent [G.R. No. 138377. February 28, 2000], it was held as a general rule, an ejectment suit cannot be abated or suspended by the mere filing before the regional trial court (RTC) of another action raising ownership of the property as an issue. As an exception, however, unlawful detainer actions may be suspended even on appeal, on considerations of equity, such as when the demolition of petitioners' house would result from the enforcement of the municipal circuit trial court (MCTC) judgment. Thus:

X x x.

Unlawful detainer and forcible entry suits under Rule 70 are designed to summarily restore physical possession of a piece of land or building to one who has been illegally or forcibly deprived thereof, without prejudice to the settlement of the parties' opposing claims of juridical possession in appropriate proceedings. It has been held that these actions "are intended to avoid disruption of public order by those who would take the law in their hands purportedly to enforce their claimed right of possession." [Vda [de Legaspi v. Avendaño, 79 SCRA 135, September 27, 1977, per Barredo, J.] In these cases, the issue is pure physical or de facto possession, and pronouncements made on questions of ownership are provisional in nature.

As a general rule, therefore, a pending civil action involving ownership of the same property does not justify the suspension of ejectment proceedings. "The underlying reasons for the above ruling were that the actions in the Regional Trial Court did not involve physical or de facto possession, and, on not a few occasions, that the case in the Regional Trial Court was merely a ploy to delay disposition of the ejectment proceeding, or that the issues presented in the former could quite as easily be set up as defenses in the ejectment action and there resolved." [Wilson Auto Supply Corp. v. Court of Appeals, 208 SCRA 108, April 10, 1992, per Narvasa, CJ. In this case, the Court also held:

"1. Injunction suits instituted in the RTC by defendants in ejectment actions in the municipal trial courts or other courts of the first level (Nacorda v. Yatco, 17 SCRA 920 (1966)) do not abate the latter; and neither do proceedings on consignation of rentals (Lim Si v. Lim, 98 Phil. 868 (1956), citing Pue et al. v. Gonzales, 87 Phil. 81, (1950)).

2. An "accion publiciana" does not suspend an ejectment suit against the plaintiff in the former (Ramirez v. Bleza, 106 SCRA 187 (1981)).

3. A "writ of possession case" where ownership is concededly the principal issue before the Regional Trial Court does not preclude nor bar the execution of the judgment in an unlawful detainer suit where the only issue involved is the material possession or possession de facto of the premises (Heirs of F. Guballa Sr. v. CA et al.; etc., 168 SCRA 518 (1988)).

4. An action for quieting of title to property is not a bar to an ejectment suit involving the same property (Quimpo v. de la Victoria, 46 SCRA 139 (1972)).

5. Suits for specific performance with damages do not affect ejectment actions (e.g., to compel renewal of a lease contract) (Desamito v. Cuyegkeng, 18 SCRA 1184 (1966); Pardo de Tavera v. Encarnacion, 22 SCRA 632 (1968); Rosales v. CFI, 154 SCRA 153 (1987); Commander Realty, Inc. v. CA, 161 SCRA 264 (1988)).

6. An action for reformation of instrument (e.g., from deed of absolute sale to one of sale with pacto de retro) does not suspend an ejectment suit between the same parties (Judith v. Abragan, 66 SCRA 600 (1975)).

7. An action for reconveyance of property or "accion reivindicatoria" also has no effect on ejectment suits regarding the same property (Del Rosario v. Jimenez, 8 SCRA 549 (1963); Salinas v. Navarro, 126 SCRA 167; De la Cruz v. CA, 133 SCRA 520 (1984); Drilon v. Gaurana, 149 SCRA 352 (1987); Ching v. Malaya, 153 SCRA 412 (1987); Philippine Feeds Milling Co., Inc. v. CA, 174 SCRA 108; Dante v. Sison, 174 SCRA 517 (1989); Guzman v. CA (annulment of sale and reconveyance), 177 SCRA 604 (1989); Demamay v. CA, 186 SCRA 608 (1990); Leopoldo Sy v. CA et al., (annulment of sale and reconveyance), GR No. 95818, Aug. 2, 1991).

8. Neither do suits for annulment of sale, or title, or document affecting property operate to abate ejectment actions respecting the same property (Salinas v. Navarro, 126 SCRA 167 (1983) - annulment of deed of sale with assumption of mortgage and/or to declare the same an equitable mortgage; Ang Ping v. RTC , 154 SCRA 153 (1987) - annulment of sale and title; Caparros v. CA, 170 SCRA 758 (1989) - annulment of title; Dante v. Sison, 174 SCRA 517 - annulment of sale with damages; Galgala v. Benguet Consolidated, Inc. , 177 SCRA 288 (1989) - annulment of document).

In the case of Tala Realty Services Corporation v. Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank [G.R. No. 129887. February 17, 2000], it was held that nothing is more settled than the rule that ejectment is solely concerned with the issue of physical or material possession of the subject land or building. However, if the issue of possession depends on the resolution of the issue of ownership which is sufficiently alleged in the complaint, the municipal trial court may resolve the latter [Refugia v. Court of Appeals, 258 SCRA 347,366 (1996)] although the resulting judgment would be conclusive only with respect to the possession but not the ownership of the property [Sec. 18, Rule 70, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure].

In the caser of Sps. Jimenez v. Patricia, Inc., [G.R. No. 134651. September 18, 2000], it was held that the rule is settled that although a question of jurisdiction may be raised at any time, even on appeal, the same must not result in a mockery of the tenets of fair play, such as where the issue was raised by petitioners for the first time only in a Petition for Review and only after an adverse decision was rendered by the Court of Appeals; and where petitioners participated actively in the proceedings before the MeTC [Refugia v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 118284, 5 July 1996, 258 SCRA 347, citing Rodriguez v. Court of Appeals, No. L-29264, 29 August 1969, 29 SCRA 419; Navoa v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 59255, 29 December 1995, 251 SCRA 545.] and invoked its jurisdiction with the filing of their answer, in seeking affirmative relief from it, in subsequently filing a notice of appeal before the RTC, and later, a Petition for Review with the Court of Appeals. Thus:

X x x. Be that as it may, we find no error in the MeTC assuming jurisdiction over the subject matter. A complaint for unlawful detainer is sufficient if it alleges that the withholding of possession or the refusal to vacate is unlawful without necessarily employing the terminology of the law. [Sumulong v. Court of Appeals, G.R. No. 108817, 10 May 1994, 232 SCRA 372; Pangilinan v. Aguilar, No. L-29275, 31 January 1972, 43 SCRA 136]. As correctly found by the appellate court, to which we agree, the allegations in the complaint sufficiently

established a cause of action for unlawful detainer. The complaint clearly stated how entry was effected and how and when dispossession started - petitioners were able to enter the subject premises as sublessees of Purisima Salazar who, despite the termination of her lease with respondent, continued to occupy the subject premises without any contract with it; thus, their stay was by tolerance of respondent.

X x x.

The status of petitioner spouses is akin to that of a lessee or a tenant whose term of lease has expired but whose occupancy has continued by tolerance of the owner. A person who occupies the land of another at the latter's forbearance or permission without any contract between them is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him. [Vda. De Catchuela v. Francisco, No. L-31985, 25 June 1980, 98 SCRA 172, citing Calubayan v. Pascual, No. L-22645, 18 September 1967, 21 SCRA 146; Yu v. de Lara, No. L-16084, 30 November 1962, 6 SCRA 785.]. X x x.

In the case of TERESITA VILLALUZ, CHIT ILAGAN, Spouses ADOR and TESS TABERNA and MARIO LLAMAS, petitioners, vs. THE HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS ** and SPOUSES REYNALDO AND ZENAIDA ANZURES, respondents, [G.R. No. 106214. September 5, 1997], it was held that the one-year reglamentary period under Section 1, Rule 70 for filing an unlawful detainer case is counted from the time of the "unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession". Such unlawful deprivation occurs upon expiration or termination of the right to hold possession. And such right legally expires or terminates upon receipt of the last demand to vacate [Sy Oh v. Hon. Garcia and Lim Chi v. Hon Garcia, 138 Phil. 777]. Thus:

X x x. In this case, although possession by petitioners (other than Villaluz) lasted beyond March 31, 1988 (the date they were supposed to vacate the premises in accordance with the agreement between petitioner Villaluz and private respondents), nevertheless their continued possession from April 1, 1988 up to the time they received the demand to vacate on February 23, 1989, is considered as possession by tolerance. Said petitioners are not lessees but their status is analogous to that of a lessee or tenant whose term of lease has expired but whose occupancy continued by tolerance of the owner. Their right of possession of the said property stems from their being employees of petitioner Villaluz who only allowed them to occupy the premises for a certain period. As such, their possession depends upon the possession of petitioner Villaluz. Having merely stepped into the shoes of the latter, said petitioners cannot acquire superior rights than that of petitioner Villaluz. It has been ruled, that "the person who occupies the land of another at the latter's tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate the same upon demand," otherwise the remedy of ejectment may be availed of to oust him from the premises. [ Refugia v. CA, 258 SCRA 347 (1996); Yu v. De Lara, 6 SCRA 785 (1962)]. In such case, the one year prescriptive period for filing the appropriate action to remedy the unlawful withholding of possession is to be counted from the date of receipt of the last demand to vacate [Calubayan v. Pascual, 215 SCRA 146] because it is only from that time that possession becomes illegal. 28 [ See Vda. de Prieto v. Reyes, 14 SCRA 430; Canaynay v. Sarmiento, 79 Phil. 36]. Accordingly, since the complaint for ejectment was instituted on July 12, 1989, or a mere four (4) months from the time of the last demand to vacate, the same was timely filed within the prescriptive period. X x x.

In the case of ORO CAM ENTERPRISES, INC., petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS, former Fourth Division and ANGEL CHAVES, INC., respondents [G.R. No. 128743. November 29, 1999], it was held that a judgment in an ejectment suit is binding not only upon the defendants in the suit but also against those not made parties thereto, if they are:

a) trespassers, squatters or agents of the defendant fraudulently
occupying the property to frustrate the judgment;

b) guests or other occupants of the premises with the permission of the defendant;

c) transferees pendente lite;

d) sublessee;

e) co-lessee; or

f) members of the family, relatives and other privies of the defendant.

[I Florenz D. Regalado, Remedial Law Compendium 793 (1997)]

The above doctrine expressly and properly applies to co-defendant MARIA xxx, who is an aunt of the defendants B, et. al. and who lives with them, who is under their direction, control, supervision, subsidy and assistance, and who had actual and constructive knowledge of the existence of the mandated Barangay conciliation and mediation proceedings but nonetheless impliedly waived her appearance thereto by not voluntarily appearing and participating therein despite such knowledge. The foregoing facts were not denied (in fact, admitted sub silencio) by the other defendants in their past pleadings in this case.

V. CONCLUSION

It is an established principle in law that one who comes in equity must come with clean hands. (Tala Realty Services Corporation vs. Banco Filipino Savings and Mortgage Bank, G.R. No. 137533, 22 November 2002, 392 SCRA 506). One who seeks equity must do equity, and he who comes into equity must come with clean hands”. He or she who has done inequity shall not have equity. The courts may deny equitable relief on the ground that the conduct and actions of a party are inequitable, unfair, dishonest, or fraudulent, or deceitful. (Miller vs. Miller, G.R. No. 149615, 29 August 2006; Abacus Security vs. Ampil, G.R. No. 160016, 27 February 2006, 483 SCRA 315.)

VI. PRAYER

WHEREFORE, premises considered, it is respectfully prayed that instant ejectment suit be decided in favor of the plaintiff A and against all of the defendants, ordering the defendants to VACATE and SURRENDER the de facto/material possession of the subject property to the plaintiff or her duly authorized legal representative/s, with awards of damages, litigation expenses, and costs of suit, as duly proved by the various documentary evidence attached to this Position Paper.

Las Pinas City, January 9, 2008.

LASERNA CUEVA MERCADER LAW OFFICES

New Counsel for Plaintiff

Unit 15, Star Arcade, C.V. Starr Ave.

Philamlife Village, Las Pinas City 1743

Tel/Fax 8742539, 8725443

MANUEL J. LASERNA JR.

Roll No. 33640, 4/27/85

IBP Lifetime Member No. 1907

IBP PPLM Chapter

PTR No. 9400055, 1/5/07, Las Pinas

MCLE Exemption No. II-000844 (3/31/07)



[1] Other than the notice of lis pendens filed by B in re: Civil Case No. xxx, which case is discussed in this position paper, the said Title of A contains no other annotations of any lien or encumbrance.

[2] Sps. A and K will file their Amended Answer to the Amended Complaint of B in the said RTC-level civil case as soon as the said Court shall have resolved their pending motion to compel B to first pay the mandated and jurisdictional additional docket and filing fees, per Rule 141, based on her new/additional financial and non-financial prayers as stated in her Amended Complaint.

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