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13 Cursino v.

Bautista
GR. No. 50335 (1989)
J. Bidin/ Tita K
Subject Matter: Rule 70
Case Summary:
Private respondent leased her premises to petitioner. Petitioner defaulted in the payment of monthly rentals for October,
November, December. Private respondent demanded that petitioner pay the rental and vacate the premises. Petitioner paid the
rentals for October-December. However, petitioner refused to vacate the premises. Private respondent then filed a complaint for
unlawful detainer before the municipal court. Municipal court ruled in favor of the private respondent which was affirmed in toto by
the CFI. WON private respondent still has a cause of action against the petitioner after she received and accepted the rentals for
October-December at the time of filing of the instant case, the SC ruled in the affirmative.
Doctrine/s:
It is the landlord's demand for tenant to vacate the premises, when the tenant has failed to pay the rents on time and tenant's
refusal or failure to vacate, which make unlawful withholding of possession.

In this case, respondent did not consent to petitioner’s possession of the leased premises after the latter’s default in the payment of
the monthly rents. Respondent demanded that petitioner pay the back rental and vacate the premises. The refusal of the petitioner
to vacate the premises after demand, makes his withholding of possession unlawful.

Action Before SC: “This is a petition for certiorari to review the decision of the Court of First Instance”
Parties:
Petitioner FLORENTINO CURSINO

Respondent HON. PEDRO JL. BAUTISTA, (District Judge, CFI, Branch III, Pasay City), HON. NICANOR J. CRUZ,
JR. (Presiding Judge, Mun. Court of Parañaque, MM), and MARIA JAMES
Antecedent Facts:
1. Respondent Maria James her premises (house?) to petitioner at a monthly rental of P100.00, payable within the first five
days of each month.
2. Petitioner defaulted in the payment of his monthly rental for the months of October, November and December.
3. Subsequently, petitioner sent 2 postal money orders, one in the amount of P200.00 as payment for the months of October
and November, and the other amount of P100.00 for the December.
4. Prior to the sending of said postal money orders, respondent demanded that petitioner pay the back rental and vacate the
premises within a period of five (5) days.
5. Despite the formal demand, defendant failed and refused to vacate the subject premises without justifiable cause.
Municipal Court
1. Respondent filed complaint for unlawful detainer.
2. The court ruled in favor of respondent ordering petitioner to vacate the premises and pay the same monthly rental until
petitioner have completely vacated respondent’s premises.
Court of First Instance
1. Petitioner appealed to the CFI.
2. CFI affirmed in toto the decision of the municipal court.
3. MR was denied.
Issues:
1. WON respondent Maria James still has a cause of action against the petitioner after she received and accepted the rentals
for October, November and December at the time of filing of the instant case. - YES
Ratio:
Yes – Despite the acceptance of the rentals for October, November and December, respondent still had a cause of action when she
filed a complaint for unlawful detainer.
o According to the court, James exercised two unquestionable prerogatives of an owner-lessor when a tenant-lessee
defaults in the payment of the rent:
(a) to demand that the back rentals be paid, and
(b) to demand that the premises be vacated.
o The court pointed out that the records show that petitioner has defaulted in the payment of his rentals for the months
of October, November, and December, 1977 and that although he paid the same on December 22, 1977 after receipt of
respondents’ demand letter, he has not paid them on time (the due date being on the first 5 days of each month) and
that he refused to vacate the premises on the ground that he is protected under Sections 1 and 4 of Presidential
Decree No. 20.
 The court ruled that PD No. 20 is not applicable in this case because under said law, it is very clear that only paragraph (1) of
Article 1673 of the Civil Code (which refers to expiration of leases of dwelling unit or land for an indefinite period as ground for
ejectment) is suspended but not the other provisions of the Civil Code and the Rules of Court. PD No. 20 does not suspend
ejectment on other grounds like lack of payment of the rental stipulated.

 The SC rejected petitioner’s argument that in spite of his payment of back rentals with 5 days from receipt of the demand letter,
respondent still filed the complaint for ejectment which allegedly is contrary to the provision of Section 2, Rule 70 of the Rules
of Court.
o The court pointed out that respondent had demanded the following from petitioner: (a) to pay the back rentals, and (b)
to vacate the premises.
o While petitioner was able to pay the back rentals, he refused to vacate the premises.
o Petitioner’s belated payments of his back rentals do not automatically restore the contract of lease without
respondent’s consent.
o The terms of the contract of lease have been violated and the lessor-owner has the unquestionable right to withdraw
from said contract or agreement whether oral or written.

 According to the SC, it has consistently ruled that "It is the landlord's demand for tenant to vacate the premises, when the
tenant has failed to pay the rents on time and tenant's refusal or failure to vacate, which make unlawful withholding of
possession.
 That consent, no matter how long it may last makes lawful tenant's possession. Only when that consent is withdrawn and the
owner demands tenant to leave the property is the owner's right of possession asserted and the tenant's refusal or failure to
move out makes his possession unlawful because it is violative of the owner's preferential right of possession (Canaynay v.
Sarmiento).
o In this case, respondent did not consent to petitioner’s possession of the leased premises after the latter’s default in
the payment of the monthly rents.
o Respondent demanded that petitioner pay the back rental and vacate the premises.
o The refusal of the petitioner to vacate the premises after demand, makes his withholding of possession unlawful.

 The court also rejected petitioner’s insistence that he has not defaulted in the payment of rents because it was James who
refused to accept the same because as ruled by the SC, "The failure of the owners to collect, or their refusal to accept the
rentals are not valid defenses. Article 1256 of the Civil Code provides that if the creditor to whom tender of payment has been
made refuses without just cause to accept it, the debtor shall be released from responsibility by the consignation of the thing or
sum due."
o Cursino failed to comply with the requisite consignation.
Dispositive: Wherefore, the assailed decision and order of the then Court of First Instance of Rizal is Affirmed in toto.