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REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

NATIONAL CAPITAL JUDICIAL REGION


METROPOLITAN TRIAL COURT
SAN MATEO, RIZAL

FLORDELIZ G. CAYTON
Plaintiff,
CIVIL CASE No. SCA- 265-2019
For : Unlawful Detainer with
Damages
-VS-

MARLYN O. TORRES,
Defendant.
x--------------------------x

POSITION PAPER FOR THE PLAINTIFF

PLAINTIFF, through Counsel, unto this Honorable Court most respectfully


alleges:

PARTIES

1. Plaintiff is of legal age and allegedly a resident of #118 Ipil St., Marikina
Heights, Marikina City. She can be served with summons, orders and processes
of this Honorable Court through undersigned counsel at the office address
indicated below.

2. Defendant is presently residing at Blk. 41, Lot 19, Phase 2, Tierra Monte Subd.,
Brgy. Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal where she may be served summons, orders
and other processes of this Honorable Court. Defendant is illegally occupying
the leased premises located at the aforesaid address which is owned and still
registered under the name of plaintiff herein.

STATEMENT OF ANTECEDENT FACTS

3. Plaintiff is the absolute and registered owner of the leased premises, more
specifically identified as Blk. 41, Lot 19, Phase 2, Tierra Monte Subd., Brgy.
Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal, containing a total area of 115 sq.m., more or less,
as evidenced by the certified true copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT)
No. 256362 issued on February 13, 2019 by the Registry of Deeds of Marikina,
Metro Manila. (Exhibit “A”).

4. Plaintiff also declared the aforesaid property for tax purposes as evidenced by
certified true copy of the Tax Declaration TD No. 18-SM-015-03445. (“Exhibit
“B”).

5. Both the latest TCT and Tax Declaration are registered under the name of
plaintiff’s maiden name but since she was married sometime in March 1995,
she has been using her married name to identify herself as shown in her
Driver’s License and Voter’s ID. (Exhibit “C”) and her marriage contract (Exhibit
“D”).
6. Sometime on June 8, 2017, plaintiff, as FIRST PARTY, and defendant, as
SECOND PARTY, entered into a Contract of Lease (Exhibit “E”) covering the
premises to whereby the former lease out the subject premises to the latter for
a period ending on December 8, 2018, subject to renewal provided that an
increase of Php500.00 starting January 8, 2019 shall be due and 10% increase
after a year by January 8, 2020 shall then be due likewise. Most importantly,
the said Contract provided that:

“In case payment of rent is delayed, a grace period of 2 weeks will be granted,
otherwise this contract (shall) be mutually terminated. Second Party will
voluntarily vacate the premises within 2 weeks without any liabilities to the
FIRST PARTY.”

7. On January 8, 2019, plaintiff sent a letter to defendant which effectively


terminated the aforesaid Contract. (Exhibit “F”). In said letter, plaintiff
demanded that if defendant cannot comply with the provisions thereof, she has
to vacate the leased premises within 30 days from receipt thereof.

8. Due to defendant’s refusal to comply with the terms of the contract and her
continued illegal occupation of the leased premises, plaintiff herein filed a
complaint (No. 114-S-19_ against defendant for breach of contract before the
Barangay Lupon Tagapamayapa of Barangay Silangan, San Mateo, Rizal which
has territorial jurisdiction over the property. However, despite several
scheduled conferences, defendant failed to appear before the Lupon. Thus, a
Certificate to File Action was issued by the barangay Lupon secretary on March
15, 2019. (Exhibit “G”).

9. Notwithstanding the plaintiff’s demands, defendant ignored the same and


continues to illegally occupy and detain the leased premises without any legal
basis to do so. Because of this refusal to vacate, plaintiff has suffered actual
and moral damages due to the stress, anxiety and sleepless nights she has
suffered thinking on how to recover possession of her property.

10. Plaintiff filed the instant complaint. Hence, this Position Paper.

ISSUES

WHETHER OR NOT PLAINTIFF IS THE REGISTERED OWNER OF THE


PROPERTY SUBJECT OF THE CONTRACT OF LEASE; AND

WHETHER OR NOT PLAINTIFF IS ENTITLED TO THE POSSESSION OF


THE SAID PROPERTY.

ARGUMENTS

1. The fact that ownership is still vested in the plaintiff and not in the National
Home Mortgage Finance Corporation (NHMFC) is clearly and indisputably
shown in the certified true copy of the Transfer Certificate of Title No. 256362
which defendant herself admits in her Answer. No amount of justification and
rationalization can defeat the face of the document itself which is the best
evidence of plaintiff’s ownership of the subject property.
2. Notwithstanding the allegation of fraud made by defendant regarding her
execution of the Contract of Lease, the fact remains that she was able to gain
possession of the subject property only by virtue of the said Contract as she
herself admitted in her Answer.

3. The aforesaid admission by defendant that she executed the Contract of Lease
is the best evidence that plaintiff has a cause of action since she did not dispute
the allegation that she has not paid rentals and is in breach of the said Contract
and that despite said breach/non-payment, she has detained the property and
refuses to vacate the leased premises. Her allegation that her continued
possession and occupation is justified by virtue of the Notice of Award by
NHMFC is misplaced since full ownership is not yet vested in the latter as
evidenced by the plaintiff’s name in the TCT.

4. By its very nature, an ejectment case (as in the instant case) only
resolves the issue of who has the better right of possession over the
property. The right of possession in this instance refers to actual possession,
not legal possession. While a party may later be proven to have the legal
right of possession by virtue of ownership, he or she must still
institute an ejectment case to be able to dispossess an actual
occupant of the property who refuses to vacate. In Mediran v.
Villanueva:1

“Juridically speaking, possession is distinct from ownership, and from this


distinction are derived legal consequences of much importance. In giving
recognition to the action of forcible entry and detainer the purpose of the law
is to protect the person who in fact has actual possession; and in case of
controverted right, it requires the parties to preserve the status quo until one
or the other of them sees fit to invoke the decision of a court of competent
jurisdiction upon the question of ownership. It is obviously just that the person
who has first acquired possession should remain in possession pending this
decision; and the parties cannot be permitted meanwhile to engage in a petty
warfare over the possession of the property which is the subject of dispute. To
permit this would be highly dangerous to individual security and disturbing to
social order. Therefore, where a person supposes himself to be the owner of a
piece of property and desires to vindicate his ownership against the party
actually in possession, it is incumbent upon him to institute an action to this
end in a court of competent jurisdiction; and he [cannot] be permitted, by
invading the property and excluding the actual possessor, to place upon the
latter the burden of instituting an action to try the property right.2

5. In ejectment cases, courts will only resolve the issue of ownership


provisionally if the issue of possession cannot be resolved without
passing upon it. In Co v. Militar:3

“We have, time and again, held that the only issue for resolution in an unlawful
detainer case is physical or material possession of the property involved,
independent of any claim of ownership by any of the party litigants. Moreover,
an ejectment suit is summary in nature and is not susceptible to circumvention
by the simple expedient of asserting ownership over the property.

1
37 Phil. 752 (1918) [Per J. Street, En Banc].
2
Id. at 757.
3
466 Phil. 217 (2004) [Per J. Ynares-Santiago, First Division].
In forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, even if the defendant raises
the question of ownership in his pleadings and the question of
possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of
ownership, the lower courts and the Court of Appeals, nonetheless,
have the undoubted competence to provisionally resolve the issue of
ownership for the sole purpose of determining the issue of
possession.

Such decision, however, does not bind the title or affect the ownership of the
land nor is conclusive of the facts therein found in a case between the same
parties upon a different cause of action involving possession.4”

6. In the case of EVERSLEY CHILDS SANITARIUM, represented by DR.


GERARDO M. AQUINO, JR. (now DR. PRIMO JOEL S. ALVEZ) CHIEF OF
SANITARIUM, Petitioner, vs. SPOUSES ANASTACIO PERLA
5
BARBARONA, Respondents, respondents anchor their right of
possession over the disputed property on TCT No. 5369859 issued in
their names. It is true that a registered owner has a right of possession
over the property as this is one of the attributes of ownership.6
Ejectment cases, however, are not automatically decided in favor of the party
who presents proof of ownership, thus:

“Without a doubt, the registered owner of real property is entitled to


its possession. However, the owner cannot simply wrest possession
thereof from whoever is in actual occupation of the property. To
recover possession, he must resort to the proper judicial remedy and,
once he chooses what action to file, he is required to satisfy the
conditions necessary for such action to prosper.

In the present case, petitioner opted to file an ejectment case against


respondents. Ejectment cases - forcible entry and unlawful detainer
- are summary proceedings designed to provide expeditious means
to protect actual possession or the right to possession of the property
involved. The only question that the courts resolve in ejectment
proceedings is: who is entitled to the physical possession of the
premises, that is, to the possession de facto and not to the possession
de Jure. It does not even matter if a party's title to the property is
questionable. For this reason, an ejectment case will not necessarily
be decided in favor of one who has presented proof of ownership of
the subject property. Key jurisdictional facts constitutive of the
particular ejectment case filed must be averred in the complaint and
sufficiently proven.7 (Emphasis supplied)

Here, respondents alleged that their right of ownership was derived from their
predecessors-in-interest, the Spouses Gonzales, whose Decree No. 699021 was

4
Id. at 223-224, citing Spouses Antonio and Genoveva Balanon-Anicete and Spouses Andres and Filomena
Balanon-Mananquil v. Pedro Balanon, 450 Phil. 615 (2003) [Per J. Ynares-Santiago, First
Division]; Embrado v. Court ofAppeals, 303 Phil. 344 (1994) [Per J. Bellosillo, First Division];
and Republic v. Court of Appeals, 305 Phil. 611 (1994) [Per J. Bid in, En Banc].
5
G.R. No. 195814, April 4, 2018
6
ee Co v. Militar, 466 Phil. 217 (2004) [Per J. Ynares-Santiago, First Division].
7
Carbonilla v. Abiera, 639 Phil. 473, 481 (2010) [Per J. Nachura, Second Division] citing Go, Jr. v. Court
of Appeals, 415 Phil. 172, 183 (200 l) [Per J. Gonzaga-Reyes, Third Division] and David v. Cordova, 502
Phil. 626 (2005) [Per J. Tioga, Second Division].
issued on March 29, 1939.8 The Register of Deeds certified that there was no
original certificate of title or owner's duplicate issued over the property, or if
there was, it may have been lost or destroyed during the Second World War.
The heirs of the Spouses Gonzales subsequently executed a Deed of Full
Renunciation of Rights, Conveyance of Full Ownership and Full Waiver of Title
and Interest on March 24, 2004 in respondents' favor. Thus, respondent
Anastacio Barbarona succeeded in having Decree No. 699021 reconstituted on
July 27, 2004 and having TCT No. 53698 issued in respondents' names on
February 7, 2005.9

The Municipal and Regional Trial Courts referred to respondents'


Torrens title as basis to rule the ejectment case in their favor:

“The complaint in this case sufficiently ... establish[es] beyond doubt that
[the Spouses Barbarona] are the lawful owners of Lot 1936, situated at
Jagobiao, Mandaue City, as evidenced by Transfer Certificate of Title No.
53698 . . . . . .

A certificate of title is a conclusive evidence of ownership and as


owners, the [the Spouses Bnrbarona] are entitled to possession
of the property . . . .

This Court however cannot just simply closed (sic) its eyes into the fact
presented before the trial court that the subject lot owned by [the Spouses
Barbarona] is covered by a Torrens Certificate of Title. Until such time or
period that such title is rendered worthless, the same is BINDING UPON
THE WHOLE WORLD in terms of ownership10” (Emphasis ours)

7. In the instant case, defendants invoke their right as an awardee of the NHMFC
allegedly by virtue of the Notice of Award issued to them. However, the same
Notice of Award will not affect the fact of ownership by the plaintiff, considering
that a Notice of Award does not vest ownership. Without the said Notice of
Award, however, defendants have no other proof on which to anchor their
possessory claim. The said Notice of Award issued in their favor by the NHMFC
is insufficient to prove conveyance of property since no evidence was
introduced to prove that ownership over the property was validly transferred
to said NHMFC.

8. Moreover, a title under the Torrens system is always issued subject to the
annotated liens or encumbrances. Thus:

“Under the Torrens system of registration, the government is


required to issue an official certificate of title to attest to the fact that
the person named is the owner of the property described therein,
subject to such liens and encumbrances as thereon noted or what the
law warrants or reserves.”11 (Emphasis supplied)

9. There are three (3) remedies available to one who has been dispossessed of
property: (I) an action for ejectment to recover possession, whether for

8
Rollo, p. 258.
9
Id. at 259-262.
10
Id. at 107 and 117.
11
Republic v. Guerrero, 520 Phil. 296, 307 (2006) [Per J. Garcia, Second Division] citing Noblejas. LAND
TITLES AND DEEDS, 32 (1986).
unlawful detainer or forcible entry; (2) accion publiciana or accion plenaria de
posesion, or a plenary action to recover the right of possession; and (3) accion
reivindicatoria, or an action to recover ownership. 12

10. Although both ejectment and accion publiciana are actions specifically to
recover the right of possession, they have two (2) distinguishing differences.
The first is the filing period. Ejectment cases must be filed within one (I) year
from the date of dispossession. If the dispossession lasts for more than a year,
then an accion publiciana must be filed. The second distinction concerns
jurisdiction. Ejectment cases, being summary in nature, are filed with the
Municipal Trial Courts. Accion publiciana, however, can only be taken
cognizance by the Regional Trial Court.13

11. In the instant case, plaintiff filed an action for unlawful detainer before this
Honorable Court which undoubtedly has jurisdiction over the case since
plaintiff’s cause of action makes a case for ejectment through unlawful
detainer. It asserts that defendant entered possession through the Contract of
Lease which defendant admitted.

12. Jurisdiction over subject matter is conferred by the allegations stated in the
complaint. A requisite for a valid cause of action in an unlawful detainer case
is that possession must be originally lawful, and such possession must have
turned unlawful only upon the expiration of the right to possess. It must be
shown that the possession was initially lawful; hence, the basis of such lawful
possession must be established. Plaintiff has shown that although possession
by defendant at the start was lawful due to the Contract of Lease, the same
has become unlawful due to the non-payment of rent and breach of the
provisions of the said Contract. Hence, there is a cause of action for unlawful
detainer.

13. The allegation that NHMFC was able to acquire the property through extra-
judicial foreclosure and annotate a certificate of sale at the back of the TCT
covering the subject property does not alter the fact that the title is still
registered in the name of plaintiff herein, albeit there is an encumbrance or
lien as contained in such annotation.

14. It must be stressed that the aforesaid annotation at the back of the TCT does
not automatically vest ownership and possession in the NHMFC for there are
still procedural steps that need to be taken and complied with by the latter
(mortgagee) in order to transfer and vest complete/full ownership in it.

15. At this juncture, suffice it to state that plaintiff was never informed and notified
of such extra-judicial foreclosure and thus, has a valid ground for its
cancellation or annulment in the proper proceedings. However, it is reiterated
that before the title is transferred and consolidated under the name of NHMFC,
the ownership remains with the plaintiff herein.

16. Due to the absence of proper notices of demand and the extra-judicial
foreclosure, plaintiff never knew and was not made aware of the arrangements
and negotiations by and between defendant’s spouse and NHMFC. The
issuance of a Notice of Award by the NHMFC and defendants is thus immaterial
and irrelevant in determining who has the right to possession in this case since
12
See Bejar v. Caluag, 544 Phil. 774, 779 (2007) [Per J. Sandoval-Gutierrez, First Division].
13
See Bejar v. Caluag, 544 Phil. 774, 779-780 (2007) [Per J. Sandoval-Gutierrez, First Division].
as between the name registered in the title and the Notice of Award, the one
whose name is registered in the title (plaintiff) has the better right to
possession. Defendant’s remedy is to demand NHMFC to enforce its lien or
encumbrance and consolidate its alleged acquisition by having the TCT
transferred in its own name.

17. In summary, it should be reiterated that before the title is transferred and
consolidated in the name of NHMFC, plaintiff as the registered owner thereof
is entitled to possession of the subject property and defendants have no right
to detain the property and/or deprive plaintiff of its possession merely by virtue
of the Notice of Award issued by NHMFC.

PRAYER

WHEREFORE, based on the foregoing premises, plaintiff prays that this


Honorable Court ORDER defendant to vacate the premises and surrender or
return the possession of subject property to plaintiff herein as the registered owner
thereof and ORDER defendant to pay plaintiff the unpaid rentals from December
9, 2018 up to the time she vacates the property plus Php50,000.00 as moral
damages and Php35,000.00 as attorney’s fees and costs of suit.

Plaintiff also prays for other just and equitable relief.


Quezon City for Pasig City.
November 26, 2019

ATTY.NONNATUS P. CHUA
Counsel for the Plaintiff
Rm. 406, S. Medalla Bldg.
EDSA cor. Gen. MacArthur St.,
Araneta Center, Cubao, Quezon City
PTR No. 7785304/ 07-19-2019 / Makati City
IBP Lifetime Roll No. 012419 /O.R. no. 961392
Date of Enrollment 1-28-2014
Roll of Attorneys No. 35618
MCLE Compliance No. V-0013279/3-11-2016
Telephone: 09478208607/09273696101
EMAIL: nonnatuschua@yahoo.com