Cruz v. Oh (G.R. No. 234763. February 28, 2018)


CASE DIGEST: [G.R. No. 234763, February 28, 2018]. ATTY. FELIX CRUZ VERSUS SPOUSES OH CHI BIN AND MARIA CRUZ OH, OH CHU KIONG, AND/OR THEIR REPRESENTATIVES, AGENTS AND/OR ASSIGNS.

FACTS: A perusal of the complaint reveals that the allegations do not contain facts that would establish Atty. Felix Cruz's (Cruz) claim that he permitted or tolerated the occupation of the properties by respondents. The CA correctly observed that Cruz merely alleged his ownership of the subject properties, without stating a particular overt act indicative of his permission or tolerance of the occupancy of respondents.

HELD: In order to justify an action for unlawful detainer, the owner's permission or tolerance must be present at the beginning of the possession. Furthermore, the complaint must aver the facts showing that the inferior court has jurisdiction to try the case; for example, by describing how defendant's possession started or continued.

In ejectment proceedings, the courts resolve the basic question of who is entitled to physical possession of the premises, possession referring to possession de facto, and not possession de jure. It does not matter if a party's title to the property is questionable.

Based on the foregoing, the Court finds that the CA did not commit any reversible error in affirming the dismissal of the complaint for unlawful detainer filed by Cruz against respondents.

SUGGESTED READINGS:
[1] Heirs of Demetrio Melchor v. Melchor, 461 Phil. 437,445 (2003).
[2] Rivera-Calingasan, v. Rivera, 709 Phil. 583, 591 (2013).
[3] Barrientos v. Rapal, 669 Phil. 438, 444 (2011).

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