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JUANA DELA CRUZ, Defendant-Petitioner, -versusCIVIL CASE NO. L-12345 For: Ejectment
JANE DOE, Plaintiff-Respondent. x-------------------------------------------------------------------------x MEMORANDUM
COME NOW PLAINTIFF-RESPONDENT, through the undersigned counsel, unto this Honorable Supreme Court most respectfully submit and present this Memorandum in the above-titled case and aver that:
1. Plaintiff-Respondent Jane Doe is of legal age, single, and residing on 1010 Ginoo
Boulevard, Pasay City, where she may be served with legal processes and notices issued by this Honorable Court;
2. Defendant-Petitioner Juana Dela Cruz is of legal age and residing on 123 Binibini Street, Quezon City, and may be served with legal processes and other judicial notices thereto.
I. PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND
1. On February 11, 2008, herein Plaintiff-Respondent filed a Complaint for Ejectment dated
February 7, 2008 against Defendant-Petitioner;
2. On December 22, 2008, an Answer dated December 15, 2008 was filed by the Defendant-Petitioner; 3. On February 3, 2009, a Decision was rendered by Branch 1 of Metropolitan Trial Court
of Pasay City in favor of the Plaintiff-Respondent;
4. On August 6, 2009, a Motion for Reconsideration filed July 5, 2009 by DefendantPetitioner through legal counsel was denied by Judge Lorenzo Menzon of Branch 10 of the Regional Trial Court Pasay City; 5. On September 14, 2009, a Petition for Review dated September 9, 2009 was filed to the
Court of Appeals by Defendant-Petitioner;
6. On April 23, 2010, Plaintiff-Respondent through legal counsel filed a Comment dated April 19, 2010; 7. On May 13, 2010, as per Verification and Report from the Judicial Records Division
(JRD) no Reply was filed by the Defendant-Petitioner;
8. On May 21, 2010, a Resolution was rendered by the Court of Appeals denying
Defendant-Petitioner’s Prayer for Temporary Restraining Order (TRO);
9. Accordingly, the Honorable Court of Appeals ordered the parties to submit their respective Memoranda fifteen (15) days from notice, otherwise regardless whether or not Memoranda were filed, the petition shall be submitted for decision;
Hence, the filing of the instant Memorandum.
II. FACTUAL BACKGROUND
10. Plaintiff-Respondent seeks that a parcel of land located at 123 Binibini Street, Pasay be returned to her possession, but due to Defendant-Petitioner’s occupancy thereat, the former cannot claim possession which left her with the option of residing at 1010 Ginoo Boulevard, Pasay City. It is noteworthy to stress that Plaintiff-Respondent is the registered owner of the land subject under TCT No. 12345 of the Registry of Deeds of Pasay City. The property was sold to them by the now deceased original owners, Spouses Marcelo and Marcela del Pilar; 11. Defendant-Petitioner, on the other hand, is an alleged lessee of the original owners of the land since September 1955. They had repeatedly assailed the verbal contract of lease for more than 50 years; 12. Plaintiff-Respondent was not able to claim immediately the land for it was previously subject to a pending legal proceeding and that there was still no urgent necessity of using and occupying it. When the event came that Plaintiff-Respondent was able to enforce her right over the land, Defendant-Petitioner, despite earnest and peaceful efforts of the Plaintiff-Respondent still refused to vacate the land. This led her to seek help from the Barangay officials for mediation and/or conciliation in accordance with law. However, the Defendant-Petitioner still persistently occupied the land without heed to the serious and constant demand of the PlaintiffRespondent which rendered it unattainable to reach an agreement; 13. Due to the foregoing failure to claim the parcel of land attributed to the obstinate refusal of the Defendant-Petitioner, Plaintiff-Respondent was compelled to hire the services of a legal counsel to commence the enforcement of ejection under the wings of the courts of law.
III.ISSUES OF THE CASE A.) WHETHER OR NOT THE HONORABLE TRIAL COURT ACTED CORRECTLY IN DECIDING THIS UNLAWFUL DETAINER ACTION ON THE BASIS OF THE EVIDENCE OF OWNERSHIP AFTER DEFENDANT HAD RAISED IN DEFENSE THE LESSEE’S RIGHTS UNDER P.D. 1517, P.D. 2016, APD 1-12 – PASAY CITY; B.) WHETHER OR NOT AN UNLAWFUL DETAINER ACTION BARS THE BONA FIDE LESSEE’S RIGHT TO AVAIL THE PRIVILEGES AND BENEFITS PROVIDED BY SECTION 6 OF P.D. 1517;
C.) WHETHER OR NOT IN DETERMINING THE COVERAGE OF AREAS FOR PRIORITY DEVELOPMENT (APD), REFERENCE MUST BE HAD TO THE LIST OF THE STREETS SUBJECT TO THE ZONAL DEVELOPMENT AND NOT TO THE AREAS INCLUDED IN THE DELINEATION BY METES AND BOUNDS AS INDICATED IN THE PROCLAMATION ITSELF.
A.) The court committed no error in deciding that an unlawful detainer action be
enforced upon herein Defendant-Petitioner despite the assailed contention of the former under P.D. 1517 and P.D. 2016. B.) There is no bar in this instant case for an unlawful detainer to avail the benefits and privileges provided by Section 6 P.D. 1517 provided it is applicable.
C.) The determination of the scope and limitation of Areas for Priority Development
shall be based on the list of specific areas prescribed by the proclamation.
A.)It is necessary to emphasize that the Plaintiff-Respondent is the bona fide owner of the parcel of land located at 123 Binibini Street, Pasay City under TCT No, 12345 of the Register of Deeds of Pasay City. In the Philippines, the presentation of a valid certificate of title of the real property is a conclusive evidence of ownership of the person whose name the certificate of title is entitled to.
Under Section 47 of the Land Registration Act, or Act No. 496, it provides that “the original certificates in the registration book, any copy thereof duly certified under the signature of the clerk, or of the register of deeds of the province or city where the land is situated, and the seal of the court, and also the owner’s duplicate certificate, shall be received as evidence in all the courts of the Philippine Islands and shall be conclusive as to all matters contained therein except so far as otherwise provided in this Act.” Recognized jurisprudence also uphold the significance of a certificate of title in proving valid ownership of a land. In the decision of the case of Spouses Pascual v. Spouses Coronel, the ponente cited two cases which highlight the significance of a valid certificate of title in claiming ownership over a land. It was held that “…in the recent case of Umpoc v. Mercado, the Court declared that the trial court did not err in giving more probative weight to the TCT in the name of the decedent vis--vis the contested unregistered Deed of Sale. Later in Arambulo v. Gungab, the Court held that the registered owner is preferred to possess the property subject of the unlawful detainer case. The age-old rule is that the person who has a Torrens Title over a land is entitled to possession thereof.” The ruling of Dizon v. Court of Appeals was also used as basis for this argument. It was stated that a certificate of title is conclusive evidence of ownership and the questionability of the title is immaterial in an ejectment suit. Futhermore, Article 428 of the New Civil Code enumerates the rights of an owner. “The owner has the right to enjoy and dispose of a thing, without other limitations other than those established by law. The owner has right of action against the holder and possessor of the thing in order to recover it.” It is indubitable that the certificate of title of 123 Binibini Street, Pasay City under TCT No. 12345 which is registered in the Register of Deeds of Pasay City entitles Petitioner-Respondent the right to exercise the aforementioned rights, specifically, in this instant case, the right of action against the holder and possessor of the thing in order to recover the land.
The contention of the Defendant-Petitioner that the verbal lease agreement they had made with the now deceased original owners Marcelo and Marcela Del Pilar for over 50 years shall entitle them to the privileges under P.D. 1517 and P.D. 2016 (Annex “A” and “B”, respectively) is untenable. It is expressly stated that Section 6 of P.D. 1517 grants lessees the right of first refusal before they may be ejected from a land, but this is only feasible under certain conditions. It is an indispensable qualification that the land is included in the list of Areas for Priority Development (APD) before an owner can be granted of the right of first refusal. The land subject of this case is clearly not included in the specific areas enumerated in the list of APD. To reiterate the Court of Appeals decision in CA-G.R. No. CV 12345: “Insofar as the property in litigation, appellant Jane Doe is, consequently, correct in objecting to appellee’s exercise of the right of first refusal granted under Section 6 of Presidential Decree No. 1517. The fact that it is not included in the areas for priority development specifically identified under Proclamation No. 1967 indicates that appellee have no cause of action for annulment of sale, reconveyance, and preliminary injunction against appellants.”
B.) The Plaintiff-Respondent’s argument in this issue is intimately connected with the
preceding argument. Defendant-Petitioner vigorously assails that there is no bar to the availability of the privileges and benefits conferred to bona fide lessee whenever there is an unlawful detainer action. It is however true. But this is subject to circumstances that may qualify a lessee to the privileges and benefits under Section 6 of P.D. No. 1516 such as the right of first refusal. Unfortunately, the land possessed by the Defendant-Petitioner does not fall under the ambit of Section 6 of P.D. No. 1517. Therefore, the Defendant-Petitioner has no cause of action in this issue. C.) The third issue questions the coverage of the APD prescribed by the proclamation, whether or not it refers to the list of streets subject to the Zonal Development or to the areas included in the delineation of the metes and bounds indicated. Reiteration is therefore necessary to lay emphasis on the decision of the Court of Appeals that in the List of Areas for Priority Development (APD’s), labeled as the South Sector of Pasay City, the area for priority development was defined as Tramo Lines along Barangays San Isidro, San Roque, and Santa Clara. It was thereafter specifically enumerated the list of covered subareas (please refer to Annex “C” for diagram) which are the following: 1) F. Victor, 2) Ventanilla Street, c) Juan Luna Street, d) D. Jorge Street, e) Viscarra Street, f) Conchita Street, g) Dolores Street, h) Leonardo Street, i) Alvarez Street, j) Basilio Street, k) Rodriguez Street, and i) Villa Barbara. “There is consequently no gainsaying the fact that with its Binibini Street location, the property in litigation is not included among the sites identified as Areas for Priority Development in Pasay City.”The mere fact that the list does not include Binibini Street necessarily implies that it is deemed excluded from it. Citing Solanada Enterprises v. Court of Appeals, it made a profound analysis of Section 6 of P.D. 1517 (as found in Annex “A” of this Memorandum) based on statutory construction: “We agree. A close reading of Proclamation No. 1967 reveals that, before a preemptive right can be exercised, the disputed land should be situated in an area declared to be both an APD and a ULRZ.
An urban tenant's right of first refusal is set forth in Section 6, PD 1517, as follows: Sec. 6. Land Tenancy in Urban Land Reform Areas. Within the Urban Zones[,] legitimate tenants who have resided on the land for ten years or more [,] who have built their homes on the land[,] and residents who have legally occupied the lands by contract, continuously for the last ten years shall not be dispossessed of the land and shall be allowed the right of first refusal to purchase the same within a reasonable time and at reasonable prices, under terms and conditions to be determined by the Urban Zone Expropriation and Land Management Committee created by Section 8 of this Decree. Proclamation No. 1967 further delimited the areas or zones wherein this preemptive right could be availed of viz.:
WHEREAS, Proclamation No. 1893 was issued on 11 September 1979, pursuant to Section 4 of P.D. No. 1517, declaring the entire Metropolitan Manila area as Urban Land Reform Zone. WHEREAS, It is now necessary and appropriate to identify specific sites covered by urban land reform in Metropolitan Manila for purposes of making specific the applicability of P.D. Nos. 1517, 1640 and 1642 and of LOI No. 935. NOW, THEREFORE, I, FERDINAND E. MARCOS, President of the Philippines, by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution and existing laws, and in relation to Proclamation No. 1893 declaring the entire Metropolitan Manila area as an Urban Land Reform Zone, and LOI 935, hereby amend Proclamation No. 1893 by declaring 244 sites in Metropolitan Manila as Areas for Priority Development and Urban Land Reform Zones as described in the attached annex. “The provisions of P.D. Nos. 1517, 1640 and 1642 and of LOI No. 935 shall apply only to the above[-]mentioned Areas of Priority Development and Urban Land Reform Zones. xxx xxx xxx” The aforecited whereas clauses express a clear intent to limit the operation of PD 1517 to specific areas declared to be located in both an APD and a ULRZ. The conjunctive and in the last sentence of the quoted provision confirms this intention. And in statutory construction implies conjunction, joinder or union. As understood from the common and usual meaning of the conjunction and, the provisions of PD 1517 apply only to areas declared to be located within both an APD and a ULRZ.” With the foregoing recognized jurisprudence said, the Defendant-Petitioner’s action would necessarily lead to futility for no cause of action.
PRAYER WHEREFORE, premise considered, it respectfully prayed for that this Honorable Supreme Court that Defendant-Petitioner’s prayer for writ of injunction be DENIED for having no cause of action and the petition DISMISSED for being clearly unmeritorious. Other just and equitable relief under the foregoing are likewise being prayed for. Respectfully submitted. Makati City for Manila City, Philippines. April 8, 2011.
AZURIN BUHAIN BONTUYAN AND ARICAYOS LAW OFFICES Counsel for Plaintiff-Respondent 10th Floor, New Building, Makati Avenue, Makati City
ATTY. PAOLO COELHO IBP Lifetime No. 67891; 5/10/2005 PTR No. 44568; 1/10/2011 Roll of Attorney No. 2005-001023 MCLE Compliance No. III – 000899
Copy Furnished: ATTY. JEFFREY A. ARCHER Counsel for Petitioner Unit 1200, Tall Building Condominium, Espana, Manila
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