SEMIRA v. CA- Forcible Entry
When the issue of possession cannot be decided independently of the question of ownership in an action for forcible entry, any pronouncement made affecting ownership is merely provisional and does not bar an action between the same parties involving title to the land.
Ms. Gutierez sold to Respondent Buenaventura An an 822sqm lot specifically designated by boundaries. Respondent then proceeded to occupy said lot within the boundaries.
Mr. Buenaventura got lucky with money and expanded. He subsequently purchased an adjacent lot with the size of 8,606 and another of 11,000 sqm. Not much later on, he then sold the original 822sqm lot to his nephew, Mr. Ramirez. The Deed indicated the same boundaries designated in the original sale from Gutierez to Buenaventura. Mr. Ramirez proceeded to occupy the lot according to the boundaries stated.
Seven years passed and Mr. Ramirez sold the 822 sqm lot to Mr. Semira according to the stated boundaries for a lump sum of P20,000. At this point, Mr Semira discovered that the actual size delimited by the boundaries was not 822sqm, but rather, 2200sqm. What a bonanza! Mr. Semira gleefully entered the lot according to its stated boundaries and built a rice mill.
Someone wasn’t pleased. Mr. Buenaventura, who occupied the adjacent lots, didn’t look to kindly upon the encroachment. He filed forcible entry, claiming that Mr. Semira forcibly occupied an additional 1,377 sqm. He asserts that Mr. Semira purchased an 822sqm lot, not a 2200sqm lot. The case went to court and during the pendancy of proceedings, Mr. Buenaventura obtained an OCT for the two lots surrounding that of Mr. Semira.
The MTC dismissed the forcible entry case against Mr Semira, stating that it had no jurisdiction to try cases on the issue of ownership. The RTC reversed and ruled for Buenaventura. CA affirmed the RTC decision.
Whether or not Mr. Semira rightfully owned 2200sqm of land designated by boundaries and not the 822sqm erroneously stated on the Deed. (this is a boundary vs area quandary)
Mr. Semira is entitled to 2200sqm designated by the boundary.
It is clear that the original “822sqm” lot was once owned by respondent Buenaventura; and that he sold same to his nephew, Cipriano Ramirez, in 1972 for the lump sum of P2,500.00. The "Kasulatan ng Bilihan ng Lupa" incorporated both the estimated area and the definite boundaries of the land; and, that private respondent's nephew in turn sold the lot to petitioner in 1979 with the very same boundaries mentioned in the deed of sale executed in his favor by his uncle Buenaventura An.
Petitioner Semira claims that owns the entire 2,200 square meters since it is the size of the lot he purchased as established boundaries. On the other hand, respondent Buenaventura insists that he only sold 822.5 square meters, therefore, his nephew Ramirez could not have transferred a bigger area to petitioner.
The SC sustained Mr. Semira as well as the MCTC’s decision. When land is sold for a lump sum and not on a per unit of measure or number, the boundaries of the land stated in the contract determine the effects and scope of the sale, not the area thereof. Hence, the Vendor Ramirez is obligated to deliver all the land included within the boundaries, regardless of whether the real area should be greater or smaller than that recited in the deed. The court stressed the point especially when the area is described in the vernacular as "humigit kumulang," that is, more or less.