CASE DIGSET: Del Rosario vs. Gerry Roxas Foundation

G.R. No. 170575: June 8, 2011




The petitioner Manuel del Rosario appears to be the registered owner of Lot 3-A of Psd-301974 located in Roxas City which is described in and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-18397 of the Registry of Deeds for the City of Roxas.

Sometime in 1991, the respondent, as a legitimate foundation, took possession and occupancy of said land by virtue of a memorandum of agreement entered into by and between it and the City of Roxas. Its possession and occupancy of said land is in the character of being lessee thereof.

In February and March 2003, the petitioners served notices upon the respondent to vacate the premises of said land.The respondent did not heed such notices because it still has the legal right to continue its possession and occupancy of said land.

On July 7, 2003, petitioners filed a Complaint for Unlawful Detainer against the respondent before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of Roxas City, docketed as Civil Case No. V-2391.

ISSUE: Whether there exists an unlawful detainer in this case


CIVIL LAW: Property Law, Unlawful Detainer

Taken in its entirety, the allegations in the Complaint establish a cause of action for forcible entry, and not for unlawful detainer.

"In forcible entry, one is deprived of physical possession of any land or building by means of force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth.""[W]here the defendants possession of the property is illegalab initio," the summary action for forcible entry (detentacion) is the remedy to recover possession.

In their Complaint, petitioners maintained that the respondent took possession and control of the subject property without any contractual or legal basis.Assuming that these allegations are true, it hence follows that respondents possession was illegal from the very beginning.Therefore, the foundation of petitioners complaint is one for forcible entry that is "the forcible exclusion of the original possessor by a person who has entered without right." Thus, and as correctly found by the CA, there can be no tolerance as petitioners alleged that respondents possession was illegal at the inception.

Corollarily, since the deprivation of physical possession,as alleged in petitioners' Complaint and as earlier discussed, was attended by strategy and force, this Court finds that the proper remedy for the petitioners was to file a Complaint for Forcible Entry and not the instant suit for unlawful detainer.