No. L-57259. October 13, 1983.
Main Topic – Rule 70.
Peran personally asked respondents, who has a house erected on the subject land, to remove the same and vacate the premises. The respondents refused so the petitioner filed a complaint for Forcible Entry and Illegal Detainer seeking the ejectment seeking the ejectment of the respondents on the grounds that (a) they are mere squatters (b) that they had prevented him from entering the property and deprived him of possession and (c) and that they were tolerating persons in getting soil and bringing about a gradual erosion of the land to his extreme prejudice.
Respondent denied the allegations and asserted that they are the lawful possessors for more than twenty (20) years of the said portion. The Municipal Circuit Court ordered the respondents to vacate, return the possession to petitioner and reimburse the petitioner for necessary expenses incurred. Reconsideration was also denied.
The Court of First Instance reversed the decision and dismissed the case on the ground that MCC had no jurisdiction over the case since it was filed beyond the one-year-period of limitation and the only issue in an illegal detainer case is physical possession. Reconsideration is also denied.
(1) Whether or not the Municipal Circuit Court had no jurisdiction over the case on the grounds that (a) the case was filed only on February 4,1979, which was well beyond the one-year-period of limitation and (b) respondent raises question of ownership
(a) No. Forcible Entry and Unlawful Detainer action must be brought within one year from the unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession. The one-year-period of limitation commences from the time of demand to vacate, and when several demands are made, the same is counted from the last letter of demand. Demand may either be personal or in writing.15 The demand to vacate having been made by petitioner in January 1979, and the ejectment suit having been instituted on February 8, 1979, the 2nd Municipal Circuit Court of Bulusan-Barcelona acted well within its jurisdiction in taking cognizance of the case.
(b) No. Respondents can lay no claim to the property even as a grand-daughter of Jose Evasco. Respondents may have been in possession of the portion they occupy prior to petitioner but they have not proved their title thereto, nor their right to possess the same.
Possession of their portion of the property was by mere tolerance of petitioner’s predecessors-in-interest, which, however, does not vest in them a right which they can assert against petitioner. Possession by tolerance is lawful, but this becomes illegal when, upon demand to vacate by the owner, the possessor refuses to comply with such demand.
Possession by tolerance is lawful, but this becomes illegal when, upon demand to vacate by the owner, the possessor refuses to comply with such demand.