G.R. No. 1511. July 26, 1905

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4 Phil. 604

[ G.R. No. 1511. July 26, 1905 ]




On January 15,1903, Miguel Pascual brought this action to recover
the possession of a certain tract of land unlawfully occupied by the
defendant, Macario Angeles, and for the payment of rent due, damages,
and costs. It was alleged in the complaint that the defendant, Angeles,
then held under a lease a certain tract of land 15 yards square in the
barrio of Uaua, municipality of San Jose de Navotas; that the land
formerly belonged to Ciriaca Pascual, his sister, from whom he
inherited it; that the defendant owed him 30 pesos for the use of the
land during the years 1899, 1900, and 1901 under the terms of the lease
written in Tagalog and attached to the complaint; that, demand having
been made upon the defendant for payment of the rent due for the first
two years, he asked for and obtained an extension; that by virtue of
this extension the lease was continued in force; that a subsequent
demand was made upon the defendant about the end of the year 1901 for
the payment of rent due and for the possession of the land; that the
defendant refused to do either; and that he had since been in the
wrongful possession of the land.

The defendant, Angeles, entered a general denial to the complaint.
He denied specifically under oath the genuineness and due execution of
the lease attached to the complaint, alleging as a special defense that
he was the actual occupant of the land claimed, and had been in
adverse, quiet, peaceful, public, and uninterrupted possession of the
same for more than thirty years, having during that period built houses
and planted trees thereon.

The court, after hearing the evidence, rendered judgment June 20,
1902, in favor of the defendant, with costs to the plaintiff. To this
judgment the plaintiff excepted on the ground that the findings of fact
and the conclusions of law contained in the judgment were against the
law and the weight of evidence, and thereupon presented a motion for a
new trial, alleging in support thereof that it was not necessary to
show that the land in question had been allotted to the plaintiff in
the partition of the estate of the deceased Ciriaca Pascual, since it
satisfactorily appeared that Macario Angeles had paid rent to plaintiff
under the lease in question, thus recognizing him as the lawful heir
and successor of Ciriaca Pascual. That there was no conflict between
the testimony of his witnesses Agustin Siangyo and Mariano Sengco,
because the rent paid in 1901 was due from previous years; that he had
sufficiently proved the identity of the land described in the complaint
with that referred to in the lease, both being in the same barrio of
Uaua, Navotas; that it had been shown that the camarin belonging to the
defendant was built upon the land involved in this case; that it did
not appear that another lease existed between the parties; that no
question had been raised during the trial as to the identity of the
land referred to in the complaint with that which was the subject of
the lease; that this point accordingly was not discussed. He finally
gave notice of his intention to appeal in case the motion for a new
trial was denied.

The motion for a new trial being denied, appellant ex- cepted and
presented his bill of exceptions, which was settled and certified to
this court by the court below.

In the lease of January 2, 1886, written in Tagalog (p. 15, bill of
exceptions), it is stated, among other things, that Ciriaca Pascual
thereby leased to Macario Angeles a tract of land 15 yards square in
the barrio of Uaua, San Jose de Navotas, for the sum of 10 pesos per
annum, from January to December; that the lessee could build thereon a
nipa but not a stone house, and could not devote the land to any but
residential purposes nor inclose the same with a stone wall without the
written consent of the owner; that the lessee could neither sell,
mortgage, sublet, nor make any alterations or improvements upon the
lot; that the wife and children of the lessee could not succeed him in
the occupation of the land under the lease; and that if the lessee
failed to comply with any of the provisions stipulated in the lease he
should forthwith return the land and in case of litigation pay the
expenses thereof. This lease appears to have been signed in the
presence of two witnesses, by Miguel Pascual in behalf of the owner,
Ciriaca Pascual, and by the lessee, Macario Angeles. As appears on page
10 of the bill of exceptions, Angeles admitted that his signature in
the lease was genuine.

The existence of the lease under which Macario Angeles held the land
in question having been proved, and it appearing that he failed to pay
rent for several years, a sufficient cause existed for the ejectment of
the tenant. (Judgments of the supreme court of Spain of April 19, 1873;
November 3, 1881; May 5, 1893, and others.)

This action arises out of the contract of lease and presupposes in
the lessor a right to the ownership or possession of the property. For
this reason he can not be compelled to prove his title thereto. The
tenant can not deny the title of his landlord at the time of the
commencement of the relation of landlord and tenant between them. (Sec.
333 of the Code of Civil Procedure; judgments of the supreme court of
Spain of December 6, 1882, and October 12, 1889,)

Those in the actual possession of land under a claim of ownership,
right of usufruct, or any other right entitling them to the use of the
same may maintain an action for ejectment against a wrongful possessor.

Miguel Pascual, as testamentary heir of his sister, was in the
actual and adverse possession of a tract of land in Uaua, Navotas, of
which the land in question was a part. His possession dated from the
death of the testatrix, who must have died prior to April 7, 1894, when
her executor asked for and obtained a copy of her will executed in
January of the same year. The plaintiff was,recognized by the lessee,
Macario Angeles, as such owner and lawful possessor and as heir and
successor to the deceased Ciriaca Pascual. Angeles paid him rent for
the land from the time of the death of the former lessor until the year
1898, as shown by the record. It was not until the year 1901, when he
decided to keep the land, that defendant refused to pay rent for that
and the two preceding years, 1899 and 1900.

If the juridical personality of the deceased testatrix is
transmitted to the heir and the latter is considered as identified with
his devisor, to whose rights, actions, and obligations, not
extinguished by her death, he succeeded, then there is no doubt that
the plaintiff, as testamentary successor of his deceased sister
Ciriaca, as appears from the will on page 17 of the bill of exceptions,
had a right to oust the defendant, Angeles, for failure to pay the
stipulated rent. (Art. 659 of the Civil Code; judgments of the supreme
court of Spain of February 10, 1879; September 13, 1882, and January
28, 1892.)

Miguel Pascual is now vested with the rights of the lessor. To him,
as successor of the deceased, Angeles had been paying rent from 1894 to
1898. Angeles is now barred from questioning the rights of the deceased
owner of the land and much less Pascual’s capacity and rights in the
lease, under her will, which is the only basis of his judicial claim.
(Sec. 333 of the Code of Civil Procedure,)

Again, the defendant can not question the genuineness and due
execution of the written lease, a copy of which appears on page 15 of
the bill of exceptions. He himself recognized it and it was admitted in
evidence during the trial, the court stating that it established a fact
relating to the question at issue. (Bill of exceptions, p. 11.) The
presumption, therefore, is that the contract was executed for a good
and sufficient consideration. (Sec. 334, par. 36, of the Code of Civil

As to the identity of the land referred to in the complaint, it may
be said that this was fully established not only by the lease and the
evidence introduced at the trial but by defendant’s answer as well. He
stated that he had not been in possession of the land in question as
tenant but as owner, and that his possession covered a period of more
than thirty years. This shows that both parties agree that there is but
one certain tract of land in dispute.

It is an established fact that Macario Angeles used the land, and is
at present in possession thereof, under the terms of the lease.
Therefore his defense can not be sustained. There is no proof to
support it. On the contrary, the defendant has contradicted himself. He
stated that the action arising out of the lease had been extinguished
one year after the execution of the contract. He gives no reason,
however, for it. This shows that he occupied the land as tenant and not
as owner.

In an action for ejectment no questions can be raised or decided
incidentally tending to defeat the title or right of possession
evidenced by the documents introduced by plaintiff. (Judgments of the
supreme court of Spain dated June 16, 1883, and April 21, 1884.)

For the foregoing reasons we are of opinion that the plaintiff is
entitled to recover, and that the judgment of the court below should be
accordingly reversed, giving the defendant thirty days within which to
vacate the land wrongfully occupied by him and to return the same to
Miguel Pascual, at the end of which period, in case of his failure to
vacate, he may be ejected. The defendant is further ordered to pay to
the plaintiff all the rent due with costs. After the expiration of
twenty days let judgment be entered in accordance herewith, and let the
case be remanded to the court below for execution. So ordered.

Arellano C. J., Mapa, Johnson, and Carson, JJ., concur.
Willard, J.,did not sit in this case.

Date created: April 25, 2014


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