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Republic of the Philippines

8th Judicial Region


MUNICIPAL TRIAL COURT IN CITIES
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ESTATE OF JULITA-DIOSO ENRIQUEZ,
Represented by GASPAR E. LLAMS, JR.
Plaintiff;
Civil Case No. 2015-03-CV-01
For:
-versusUNLAWFUL DETAINER
ILDEFREDO G. BRAVO,
Defendant.
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DECISION
Plaintiff alleges that it is the legal owner in fee simple of a parcel of
land designated as Lot No. 714-E, situated at Brgy. Kapangian, Tacloban
City, and more particularly described as follows:
A parcel of land (Lot 714-E of the sub. Plan Psd-08-00174, being a
portion of Lot 714 of Tacloban Cad., L.R.C. Cad. Rec. No. 1039), situated
in the Barangay Kapangi-an, City of Tacloban , Island of Leyte. Bounded
on the NE along line 2-3 by Lot 714-F of the sub. Plan; on the SE along
line 3-4 by Lot 714-A of the sub. Plan; on the SW along line 4-1 by
Mangonbangon River and on the NW along line 1-2 by Lot 714-I of the
sub. Plan. Beginning at apoint marked 1 on plan, being S. 39 deg. 38' E.,
221.32 m. from B.B.M. No. 9 of Tacloban Cadastre; thence N. 45 deg. 30'
E., 15.89 m. to point 2: thence S. 35 deg. 40' E., 8.20 m. to point 3; thence
S. 45 deg. 14' W., 14.16 m. to point 4; thence N. 47 deg. 51' W., 8.18 m. to
point of beginning; containing an area of of ONE HUNDRED TWENTY
TWO (122) Square meters, more or less. All points referred to are
indicated on the plan and are marked on the ground by P.S. Cyl. Conc.
Mons. 15X60 cm., bearings true; dec. 1 deg. 30' E., date of survey, May
1925 April 1928 and that of the sub. survey on March 16, 1981 and
approved on September 17, 1981.

Plaintiff claims that said land is registered under TCT No. T-25139 1
and declared for tax purposes under Tax Declaration No. 2012-02-002401548,2 both in the name of Ciriaco Enriquez. This property was redeemed
from the B.I.R. after it was levied for non-payment of realty taxes by the
plaintiff, Estate of Julita Dioso-Enriquez, and is now owned by it.
Moreover, plaintiff alleges that Encarnacion Enriquez-Llamas is the
legal owner in fee simple of a parcel of land designated as Lot No. 714-I,
situated at Brgy. Kapangian, Tacloban City (adjacent to Lot No. 714-E).
This land is covered by TCT No. T-25143 and declared under Tax
1
2

See Exhibit B
See Exhibit D
Page 1 of 6

Declaration No. 02400416, both in the name of Encarnacion Enriquez


Llamas.
Plaintiff claims that sometime in 1997, defendant implored and
earnestly requested from the plaintiff that he be allowed to construct his
residential house over the above-described property (Lot No. 714-E) being
newly married then to one of the siblings of the plaintiff, which by Christian
charity and generosity allowed defendant, but only temporarily, to construct
his residential house thereon only of light materials and subject to
ejectment upon notice.
According to plaintiff, he called the attention of the defendant, who
after many years, while starting to build his residential house of light
materials with permission of the plaintiff, later changed the said house into
a semi-permanent and concrete materials which was never the intention of
the grant. Various demands3 to vacate the above-described properties have
been made to defendant and his children, including a conciliation process
at Barangay 39, Tacloban City, but to no avail; hence, this suit.
Plaintiff prays that a judgment be issued ordering defendant and his
assigns to immediately vacate Lot No. 714-E (property described in
paragraph 5 of the Complaint), and turnover possession thereof to the
plaintiff. It also prays for payment of litigation expenses and damages.
On the other hand, defendant counters that the Estate of Julita DiosoEnriquez is not the legal owner in fee simple of Lot No. 714-E. It is
registered in the name of Ciriaco Enriquez -- as such Gaspar E. Llamas, Jr.
has no authority to sue for and in behalf of the latter. Besides, the alleged
redemption does not bestow and vest full ownership upon the Estate of
Julita Dioso-Enriquez. It is still part of the estate of Ciriaco Enriquez.
According to defendant, the fact that Lot No. 714-I is registered in the
name of Encarnacion Enriquez-Llamas, it follows that the share,
participation and rights of each sibling is the same as that of Gaspar E.
Llamas, Jr. Luz Enriquez-Llamas, the late wife of the defendant, was also a
sibling who owns the same shares, participation and rights over said parcel
of land which was inherited by her children with defendant. Being a coowner, Gaspar E. Llamas, Jr. cannot validly eject defendant and his family.
Defendant further claims that he started constructing said residential
house in the year 1997. The construction of said house started in the year
1994 at the instance of Encarnacion Enriquez-Llamas, who offered said
parcel of land to them as they were just newly married. The construction
was completed in the year 1995. From that year on until today, they are still
in peaceful possession, occupation and use of said land until Gaspar E.
Llamas, Jr. instituted this case as he is furious at defendant for instituting

See Exhibits F and G with submarkings


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Civil Case No. 2011-08-58 for Revival of Judgment now on its execution
stage.
Defendant also argues that this case is dismissible on the ground of
prescription and laches as they have been in possession of the subject
property for more than two decades.
The Courts Ruling
The parties raised the following issues for consideration, to wit:
1. Whether defendant, Ildefredo Bravo should vacate from the land, and be
liable for attorneys fees, exemplary and litigation damages and per
appearance fees in compelling plaintiff to litigate; and
2. Whether plaintiff is authorized to file this present action.

At the outset, the Court finds that while in plaintiffs complaint, two
parcels of land, namely: Lot No. 714-E and Lot No. 714-I are mentioned,
only the property described in paragraph 5 of its complaint which is Lot No.
714-E is alluded to in its prayer for defendant to immediately vacate from.
This is seconded in the Judicial Affidavit of Gaspar E. Llamas, Jr., where as
an answer to Question No. 15, he said: I most respectfully pray that this
Honorable Court after due process, render Judgment in my favor and issue
an Order addressed to the defendant including his dependents and/or any
person acting for and his behalf including his assigns to immediately
vacate the premises of Lot No. 714-E, Psd-08-00174, Cad. Rec. No. 1039,
Tacloban Cadastre and voluntarily turn over possession thereof unto me.
Deliberately or unconsciously, plaintiffs complaint does not clearly establish
that it wanted to eject defendant from Lot No. 714-I. Hence, the Court need
not belabor such issue. The Court is bound only to respond to specific
claims contained in plaintiffs allegations and prayer which are supported by
evidence. At any rate, plaintiffs reply to defendants position paper made
this very clear when it stated that the mention of Lot No. 714-I is immaterial
but only used as a reference being located adjacent to each other.
Going into the subject lotLot No. 714-E, plaintiff claims that
defendants possession thereof was by mere tolerance of plaintiff. On this
wise, defendant argues that there is no allegation in the complaint why and
how Lot No. 714-E became part and parcel of the Estate of Julia DiosoEnriquez. There is no showing how Lot No. 714-E which is registered in the
name of Ciriaco Enriquez became part of her estate. Plaintiffs allegation
that the land was levied by the BIR for defaulted payments and later on
was redeemed by Julita Dioso-Enriquez who is now the owner thereof is
not supported with clear and convincing evidence.
Moreover, in his Answer, defendant counters that the Estate of Julita
Dioso-Enriquez is not the legal owner in fee simple of Lot No. 714-E. It is
registered in the name of Ciriaco Enriquez, as such Gaspar E. Llamas, Jr.
has no authority to sue for and in behalf of the latter. Besides, the alleged
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redemption does not bestow and vest full ownership upon the Estate of
Julita Dioso-Enriquez. It is still part of the estate of Ciriaco Enriquez.
Defendant likewise claims that for lapse of two decades of their use,
possession and occupation over said parcels of land peacefully, laches and
prescription will now lie and apply. The instant case should be dismissed
based on these grounds.
Generally, issue of ownership raised by defendant on the property in
dispute does not divest the jurisdiction of the first level court.
Section 16 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, as well as Section 33(2)
of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 as amended by Republic Act 7691, provide
that in actions of forcible entry and unlawful detainer:
SEC. 16. Resolving defense of ownership.When the defendant raises the
defense of ownership in his pleadings and the question of possession cannot be
resolved without deciding the issue of ownership, the issue of ownership shall be
resolved only to determine the issue of possession. (4a)

In Wilmon Auto Supply Corp. vs. Court of Appeals,4 the Supreme


Court said:
It may well be stressed xxx that as the law now stands, even when, in
forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, 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 Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal
Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts nevertheless have the undoubted
competence to resolve the issue of ownership x x x only to determine the issue
of possession.

In another case the High Court has held that, relatedly, the fact that
during the trial of the case in the inferior court evidence was presented
which tended to establish ownership, did not deprive said court of
jurisdiction to determine who had prior possession, and whether that prior
possession was disturbed.5
The only exception to the above rule is where the question of de
facto possession cannot be determined properly without settling the de jure
possession and ownership because the latter is inseparably linked with the
former.6 It has been held that:
xxx inferior courts may not be divested of their jurisdiction over ejectment
cases simply because the defendant sets up a claim of ownership over the
litigated property. But where the question of possession cannot be resolved
without passing upon the issue of ownership, because the latter is
4

208 SCRA 108, 121 (1992)


Vencilao vs. Camarenta, 29 SCRA 473, 479-481 (1969)
6
Guzman vs. CA, 177 SCRA 604, 616 (1989); citing Andres vs. Soriano, 101 Phil. 848 (1957);
Castro vs. De los Reyes, 109 Phil. 64 (1960); Alvir vs. Vera, 130 SCRA 357 (1984); De la Santa
vs. CA, 140 SCRA 33 (1985)
5

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inseparably linked with the former, the case must be dismissed, for the
inferior court loses jurisdiction over the same. 7 (emphasis added)

According to the High Court: In other words, if it appears during the


trial that the principal issue relates to the ownership of the property in
dispute and any question of possession which may be involved necessarily
depends upon the result of the inquiry into the title, the jurisdiction of the
inferior court is lost and the action should be dismissed. 8
In this case, the Court finds that there is a need to settle the issue of
ownership of the subject lot, and the Court cannot determine who has the
better right of possession of the subject property, without first resolving who
owns the same as they are inseparably linked with each other.
On one hand, plaintiff claims that it is the owner of the subject land by
virtue of a Certificate of Redemption annotated in the title of the land. On
the other hand, defendant argues that such certificate does not mean
plaintiff has become the absolute or automatic owner of the property. True
enough, the annotation only states that -- The lien in favor of the Internal
Revenue is hereby release(d). The Memorandum of Encumbrances shows
that the lien in favor of the Bureau of Internal Revenue is to guarantee the
payment of the estate and inheritance taxes.
Moreover, defendants claim of prescription and laches cannot be set
aside because their possession was first allowed by Encarnacion EnriquezLlamas, who until now, there is no showing that the said person or her
representative has asked defendant to vacate the premises. As pointed by
defendant, plaintiffs claim that he is authorized by the Heirs of
Encarnacion-Llamas to institute this case is belied by the attached Special
Power of Attorney which involves another person, Alfredo C. Pachecos, Jr.
The Secretarys Certificate attached in plaintiffs Answer to Defendants
Counterclaim did not cure this defect because said certificate only specifies
the lot number as Lot No. 714-I which as pointed earlier, is immaterial to
the case at hand.
The weakness of plaintiffs claim that it tolerated defendant to
possess the subject property is revealed in the allegation in paragraph 7 of
its complaint which states that defendant sometime in 1997 implored and
earnestly requested from the plaintiff that he be allowed to construct his
residential house over the above-described property (Lot No. 714-E) being
newly married then to one of the siblings of the plaintiff. This statement
implies that plaintiff refers to Gaspar E. Llamas, Jr., which should not be
the case because the real plaintiff here is the Estate of Julita DiosoEnriquez, not its representative, Gaspar E. Llamas, Jr. Moreover, in 1997,
Gaspar is not yet the representative of plaintiff because his appointment as
7

De la Cruz vs. CA, 133 SCRA 520, 528 (1984); also Consignado vs. CA, 207 SCRA 305
(1992)
8
Alvir vs. Vera, 130 SCRA 361
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executor was only made on October 24, 2001, as shown in plaintiffs Annex
A.
Indeed, the failure of the plaintiff to sufficiently establish, first, the
authority of Gaspar Llamas, Jr. to represent Ciriaco Enriquez, the
registered owner of the subject lot; second, its ownership over the
property, which is determinant to the issue of whether or not it has the
better right of possession over the defendant; and third, the circumstances
as to how and when plaintiff tolerated defendants possession on the
subject property, shall warrant the dismissal of this case for lack of cause of
action and lack of jurisdiction.
WHEREFORE, this case is ordered DISMISSED.
IN CHAMBERS, this 25 October 2016, at Tacloban City.

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Presiding Judge

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