Petition for Review on Certiorari rails against the Decision dated 6 March 2020 and the Resolution dated 20 January 2021 of the Court of Appeals (CA)
our ruling in this case is limited only to the issue of determining who between the parties has a better right to possession. This adjudication is not a final and binding determination of the issue of ownership.
Complaint for Unlawful Detainer and Damages filed by petitioner Marlene D. De Mesa against respondents Rudy D. Pulutan (Rudy) and Medy P. Bundalian (Medy) before the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC) of San Pablo City, Laguna
Petitioner avowed that she was the owner of the house and lot located in Barangay Sta. Maria Magdalena, San Pablo City and previously covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-61656
purchased the said realty from Amelia D. Pulutan (Amelia), the mother of respondents
TCT No. T-61656 was cancelled and a new certificate of title, TCT No. T-75686, was issued in petitioner's name
Having failed to pay rent when it fell due, Amelia was asked to vacate the premises. Instead of moving out, she requested petitioner to allow her to repurchase the property until 30 December 2009.
she acceded to Amelia's plea to stay therein out of pity and compassion
Upon Amelia's death on 24 October 2016, petitioner required Rudy to move out of the subject realty, but he refused to do so upon the advisement of Medy.
she was impelled to file the instant unlawful detainer case
For their part, respondents posited, inter alia, that: one, the contract between Amelia and petitioner was actually a real estate mortgage and not a sale as evidenced by Amelia's continued possession of the property until her death; and two, she remained as the owner of the subject house and lot considering that her contract with petitioner was "akin to an equitable mortgage."
the issue of ownership can be provisionally ruled upon in ejectment cases when the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of ownership
purported deed of sale was in sooth an equitable mortgage.
essential requisites of an equitable mortgage are present, namely: that the parties entered into a contract denominated as a contract of sale; and that their intention was to secure existing debt by way of a mortgage
Amelia's actual and continuous possession of the realty from the execution of the supposed sale in 2006 until her death in 2016
the Court holds that the instant Petition is bereft of merit. The CA's ruling must perforce be upheld.
With her Motion for Reconsideration having been denied by the CA through the challenged Resolution, petitioner now comes to this Court via the present Petition
the verdict herein is confined to the determination of who between the parties has a better right to possession of the subject realty.
It is a well-ensconced rule that an action for unlawful detainer is filed only for the purpose of recovering physical possession or possession de facto. Such action is summary in nature to provide for a peaceful, speedy, and expeditious means of preventing an alleged illegal possessor from unjustly continuing possession during the long period it would take to properly resolve the issue of ownership or one's right to possession (a.k.a. possession de jure)
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