Limited determination of ownership to settle possession in ejectment cases

Well-settled is the rule that in an ejectment suit, the only issue is possession de facto or physical or material possession and not possession de jure. So that, even if the question of ownership is raised in the pleadings, as in this case, the court may pass upon such issue but only to determine the question of possession especially if the former is inseparably linked with the latter. It cannot dispose with finality the issue of ownership - such issue being inutile in an ejectment suit except to throw light on the question of possession. This is why the issue of ownership or title is generally immaterial and foreign to an ejectment suit. [G.R. No. 116854. November 19, 1996]