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Victoriano Encarnacion vs Nieves Amigo, GR No.

169793,September 15, 2006

Posted by Pius Morados on November 29, 2011
(Civil Procedure Jurisdiction, Real Action, Actions for recovery of Real Property)
Facts: On April 11, 1995, petitioner became the owner of a parcel of land by virtue of a waiver of rights
executed by his mother-in-law, which he thereafter subdivided into two lots.
Sometime in 1985, respondent allegedly entered the premise and took possession of a portion of the property
without the permission of the predecessor-in-interest of the said property.
On March 2, 2001, petitioner filed a complaint for ejectment (unlawful detainer) with the MTC after his February
1, 2001 letter to the respondent demanding that the latter vacate the premises remained unheeded. The letter
was received by the respondent on February 12, 2001.
Respondent alleged that he has been in actual possession and occupation of a portion of the subject land
since 1968.
The MTC rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiff, but the RTC dismissed the case on appeal, on the ground
that the MTC has no jurisdiction over the case. Hence the latter acquired no appellate jurisdiction over thereof.
Petitioner filed a petition for review before the Court of Appeals, which remanded the case to the RTC for the
proper action.
Issue: WON the proper action in this case is unlawful detainer.
Held: No.
The three kinds of actions for recovery of real property are:

Accion interdictal, or an ejectment proceeding which may be either forcible or unlawful detainer, which is
a summary action for recovery of physical possession where the dispossession has not lasted for more
than one year, and should be brought with the MTC.
Accion publiciana or the plenary action for the recovery of the real right of possession, which should be
brought in the RTC when the dispossession has lasted for more than one year.
Accion reinvindicatoria, which is an action for the recovery of ownership which must be brought in the
The remedies of forcible entry and unlawful detainer are granted to a person deprived of the possession of any
land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person
against whom the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of
the right to hold possession by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives or assigns
of any such lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person. If the dispossession has not lasted for more than one
year, an ejectment proceeding is proper and the proper MTC acquires jurisdiction. On the other hand, if the
dispossession lasted for more than one year, the proper action to be filed is an accion publiciana which should
be brought to the proper RTC.
Petitioner became the owner of the subject lot in 1995 and has been since that time deprived possession of a
portion thereof. From the date of the petitioners dispossession in 1995 up to his filing of his complaint for
ejectment in 2001, almost 6 years have elapsed. The length of time that the petitioner was dispossessed of his
property made his cause of action beyond the ambit of an accion interdictal and effectively made it one

for accion publiciana. After the lapse of the one-year period, the suit must be commenced in the RTC via
an accion publiciana which is a suit for recovery of the right to possess.
Note: The RTC should have taken cognizance of the case. If the case is tried on the merits by the Municipal
Court without jurisdiction over the subject matter, the RTC on appeal may no longer dismiss the case if it has
original jurisdiction thereof. Moreover, the RTC shall no longer try the case on the merits, but shall decide the
case on the basis of the evidence presented in the lower court, without prejudice to the admission of the
amended pleadings and additional evidence in the interest of justice