In ejectment cases, demand to execute a new contract NOT a demand to vacate

The letter does not meet the requirements in the Rule 70, 2 and for that reason the MeTC did not acquire jurisdiction over this case. To begin with, contrary to the assertion in the letter, the lease contract between petitioner and private respondents' predecessor-in-interest, Go Co, was not terminated by the death of Go Co. The fact is that the parties in this case so regarded the contract and therefore continued the lease even after the death of Go Co in 1974. It was only in 1987, thirteen years later, when petitioner demanded the execution of a new contract on the ground that the lease had been terminated upon the death of the lessee. The letter in question also mentions violation of the lease contract by private respondent as ground for its termination. To be sure, an action for rescission of a contract of lease could have been brought under Art. 1659 of the Civil Code for violation of the lease contract, but no such action was instituted, which must be done in the RTC. Instead, what was brought was this action for ejectment which he filed in the MeTC. As such, the suit is subject to the requirement of Rule 70, 2 of the Rules of Court concerning the need for a demand to be made before a lessee may be considered a deforciant, unlawfully withholding possession from the owner of the land. Now, the demand must be either to pay the rents or to comply with the terms of the contract, as the case may be. But the letter of petitioner's attorney makes neither demand on private respondents. It does not demand that they comply with the stipulation prohibiting the lessee from subletting the land. Instead, the letter demands the execution of a new lease contract on the theory that the 1973 lease agreement has been terminated. As already explained, however, the 1973 contract was not terminated by the death of Go Co in 1974 because in fact it provides for the transfer of ownership of buildings built on the land upon the expiration of the lease in the year 2003. [G.R. No. 94516. December 6, 1996]