JAKIHACA V AQUINO
181 SCRA 67PARAS; January 12, 1990
Petition to review the decision and order of theRegional Trial Court of San Mateo, Rizal
- September 10, 1986 - Jesus Jakihaca filed anejectment suit against respondents Lilia Aquino andApolonio, Aquino, and Jose Toralde before the SanMateo RTC on account of the latter's refusal toremove their houses were allegedly illegallyconstructed on land owned by Jakihaca in San Mateowhich were done without his knowledge and consent.- The matter was initially referred to the BarangayCaptain of Ampid, San Mateo for conciliationprocesses pursuant to the requirements of P.D. No.1508. But due to repeated refusal of the Aquinos toappear before the Barangay Lupon, the LuponChairman and Secretary thereafter issued a"certification to file action."- November 3, 1986 – The Aquinos filed an answerwith special and affirmative defenses, arguing that:- There was a verbal contract of tenancybetween the Aquinos and Gloria Gener, theformer owner of the land in question.- They planted fruit-bearing trees on thesaid land along with rice and corn thereforethey cannot be ejected under the LandReform Law more particularly P.D. No. 1from the land which they had occupied andcultivated for more than ten (10) years withthe consent of the former owner Gener.- They said that there is no showing that thecase was first brought to the attention of the Ministry of Agrarian Reform forcertification that this case is proper for trialbefore the MTC.- December 22, 1987 – The MTC found that theAquinos were not tenants of either Gener nor Jakihaca and that they entered the land 10 or 20years earlier and built their house on the land withthe tolerance of Gener. The respondents were thenordered by the Court to remove the houses on theland and surrender possession to Jakihaca.- On appeal to the RTC, the case was dismissed onthe ground that the MTC acted without jurisdiction asthe complaint shows nothing when the verbaldemand to remove the houses on the lot of thepetitioner was made on the private respondents.- Jakihaca filed a motion for reconsideration with theMTC which was denied. Jakihaca alleged that theRTC erred in dismissing the case on the ground of the MTC’s lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter.- The Aquinos argued that the petition was filed outof time; that the petition was filed with the wrongcourt; that the Municipal Trial Court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action; andthat there was no allegation in the complaint of priorphysical possession of the land by the petitioner.
WON the RTC ruling was correct
a)With regard to the absence of allegation inthe complaint of prior physical possession of the land by Jakihaca
The records show that thecomplaint explicitly alleged that"plaintiff verbally asked thedefendants to remove their houseson the lot of the former but thelatter refused and still refuse to doso without just and lawfulgrounds."
Such is sufficient compliance withthe jurisdictional requirements, inaccordance with the doctrine laiddown in the case of Hautea v.Magallon where it was held that:"An allegation in an originalcomplaint for illegal detainer thatin spite of demands made by theplaintiff the defendants hadrefused to restore the land, isconsidered sufficient compliancewith the jurisdictional requirementof previous demand."b)As to whether or not the demand wasbrought within the one year period-As a general rule, jurisdiction overthe subject matter of a case maybe objected to at any stage of theproceeding even on appeal, butthis is not without exception.
It is not right for a party who hasaffirmed and invoked the jurisdiction of a court in a particularmatter to secure an affirmativerelief to afterwards deny that same jurisdiction to escape penalty.(
Tijam vs. Sibonghanoy
)c)As to the issue of lack of jurisdiction overthe subject matter
Petitioners, in their position paper,attached the report of Mr. Mainesof the Agrarian Office whichcategorically states that there is noevidence whatsoever to show thatthe subject land is devoted to theproduction of rice and corn; thatthe occupants are not sharing withthe present landowner, hence, theyare classified as illegal occupants.
That the subject land is nottenanted, not devoted to theproduction of palsy and/or corn,hence, not covered by P.D. No. 27or the Operation Land Transfer of the government.d)As to the contention that the petition wasfiled out of time
They allege that when petitionerreceived the decision of the RTC onApril 20,1988 and the appeal tothis Court was filed only on July 12,1988 or only after three months,such appeal was definitely outsidethe 15-day reglementary period