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Marione John C.

Seto

1. G.R. No. L-28870 September 6, 1985

AMADO D. TOLENTINO vs. SOCIAL SECURITY COMMISSION, GILBERTO


TEODORO and ANGEL PENANO (COURTS UNILATERAL ASSUMPTION OF
JURISDICTION)

Petitioner was employed as an Editorial Assistant in the SSS and later on appointed to 'Technical
Assistant' effective January 1, 1965.

On May, 1966, respondent Administrator filed charges against petitioner for dishonesty and
electioneering which petitioner answered and denied the charges against him.

On July 6, 1966, petitioner received a copy of a memorandum from the Acting Administrator of
the SSS informing him that his answer was not satisfactory and therefore, the charges against him
would be formally investigated by a committee. Petitioner was placed on preventive suspension
effective July, 1966.

On September 15, 1966, respondent Social Security Commission passed Resolution No. 1003
affirming the decision of respondent Administrator Gilberto Teodoro 'finding petitioner guilty of
dishonesty, as charged, and imposing upon him the penalty of dismissal from the service, effective
on the first day of his preventive suspension (July 6, 1966) with prejudice to reinstatement.'

On November 10, 1966, appellant Amado Tolentino filed with the Court of First Instance of Rizal
a petition for mandamus with preliminary mandatory injunction questioning the validity of
Resolution No. 1003.
Petitioner’s contended that Resolution No. 1003 of respondent Commission and the decision of
respondent Administrator is null and void and of no effect whatever, for lack of jurisdiction
because the power, nay, jurisdiction to decide administrative cases against civil service employees
like petitioner is vested by the Civil Service Act of 1959 and the Civil Service Rules exclusively
in the Civil Service Commissioner"
The Court of First Instance dismissed petitioner’s petition on June 5, 1967 and the motion for
consideration on August 12, 1967, contending that it has no jurisdiction over respondent Social
Security Commission, the latter being of the same rank as the former.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Social Security Commission has jurisdiction over administrative actions filed
before it against its own erring employees.
RULING:
No.

Jurisdiction over the subject matter is vested by law. It is not acquired by the consent or
acquiescence of the parties, nor the unilateral assumption thereof by any tribunal. The settled rule
is that jurisdiction of a court or tribunal is determined by the statute in force at the time of the
commencement of the action. And once acquired, jurisdiction continues, regardless of "subsequent
happenings", until the case is finally terminated.

The laws applicable under the circumstances are the Social Security Act of 1954 (R.A. 1161), as
amended by R.A. 2658 (which took effect June 18, 1960) and the Civil Service Act of 1959 (R.A.
2260).

At the time the questioned Resolution No. 1003 was promulgated and implemented dismissing
petitioner- appellant Amado Tolentino, the respondents-appellees Social Security Commission,
Gilberto Teodoro and Angel Penano did not have the power to hear and decide administrative and
disciplinary charges filed against erring employees of the Commission.

This because under section 33 of the Civil Service Act (Republic Act 2260) heretofore quoted,
before the amendments introduced therein by Republic Act No. 6040, the sole power to impose
disciplinary sanctions on civil service employees was vested exclusively in the Commissioner of
Civil Service. This is emphasized by the provisions of section 27 of the Civil Service Rules
requiring the Department Head concerned within 15 days from receipt of the complete record of
the case, to forward such record with his comment and recommendation to the Commissioner for
decision,

The Social Security Commission, as an agency of the government, may be considered a department
and respondent Gilberto Teodoro, its department head. Resolution No. 1003 may be treated as the
recommendation of the department head which may be submitted to the Civil Service Commission
for decision and/or appropriate action.
2. [G.R. No. L-27145. November 29, 1968.]

MARIQUITA LUNA vs. GERONIMO CARANDANG (CON TRACT)

Plaintiff, Mariquita Luna, and defendant, Geronimo Carandang, entered into a contract of lease for
a period of 10 years involving a parcel of agricultural land situated at Calapan, Oriental Mindoro.
The lessee, Carandang, failed or refused to pay in full the stipulated rent during the first two years
of the contract such that as of March 26, 1964, he owed the lessor unpaid rents in the amount of
P4,156.63.

On May 26, 1964, the plaintiff-lessor commenced an action in the Court of First Instance of
Batangas against the defendant-lessee for rescission, with damages, of the contract of lease. The
rescissory action was grounded, principally, on the failure or refusal of the lessee to pay in full the
stipulated rent for about two years.
After trial, the lower court rendered its decision holding in favor of the plaintiff. However, the
court did not order the defendant to vacate the leased premises because the land is situated at
Calapan, Oriental Mindoro, where it had no jurisdiction. Accordingly, judgment was rendered
granting rescission of the contract of lease, with damages, consisting of unpaid rents as well as
future rents.
Plaintiff appealed to the Supreme Court contending that the Court of First Instance erred in finding
that it had no jurisdiction to order the defendant to vacate the leased premises.
ISSUE:
Whether the Court of First Instance had jurisdiction to order the defendant to vacate the leased
premises.
RULING:
Yes.
1.) The Court of First Instance has jurisdiction over suits involving title to, or possession
of, real estate wherever situated in the Philippines, subject to the rules on venue of actions;
2) Under Rule 4, Section 2, of the Rules of Court requiring that an action involving real
property shall be brought in the Court of First Instance of the province where the land lies
is a rule on venue of actions, which may be waived expressly or by implication. In the
case at bar, there was an implied waiver of improper venue of the action because the
defendant answered and went to trial without objecting to the improper venue; and
3) Rescission of the contract of lease necessarily requires, as a consequence thereof, the
return of the thing leased to the lessor. Hence, the judgment granting rescission of the
contract of lease should also have ordered the lessee to vacate and return the leased
premises to the lessor. The lower court having jurisdiction over the case for rescission
of the contract of lease and the restoration of possession of the land leased to the
lessor, and the defendant having impliedly waived the improper venue of the action,
said court could properly not only grant rescission of the contract of lease but also
order the defendant to vacate and return the leased premises to the plaintiff.

The contract of lease contained a stipulation "that the parties herein agreed that the Court of
Batangas shall have the exclusive jurisdiction to any case that may arise in this contract . . ." This
stipulation is void because the jurisdiction of the court is conferred by law and cannot be the
subject-matter of contracts. However, as pointed out, the Court of First Instance of Batangas had,
in accordance with law, jurisdiction over the case, and there was implied waiver of improper venue
by the defendant.
3. [G.R. No. L-30798. November 26, 1970.]

KAISAHAN NG MGA MANGGAGAWA SA LA CAMPANA vs. THE HON. WALFRIDO


DE LOS ANGELES and LA CAMPANA FOOD PRODUCTS, INC. (COMPROMISE)

On November 12, 1956, the CIR rendered that the management of the respondent La Campana
Starch & Coffee Factory guilty of unfair labor practice under Section 5 of Commonwealth Act No.
312, and for having dismissed the said workers and admitted new ones, without first securing
authority from this Court .

On October 27, 1965, the CIR issued an order allowing the issuance of a writ of execution against
the La Campana Starch and Coffee Factory, La Campana Gaugau Packing Co., La Campana
Coffee Factory, Inc., La Campana Food Products, Inc. and/or Ricardo Tantongco as the parties
against whom the reliefs and remedies delineated in the writ should be directed and implemented."
This motion was granted by the CIR on July 3, 1967, and, pursuant thereto, the Clerk of Court on
August 1, 1967, issued an amended writ of execution.

In compliance with the above writ, the Sheriff of Quezon City levied upon several parcels of land
(claimed by La Campana Food Products, Inc. to be exclusively registered in its name) and
scheduled their sale at public auction on November 10, 1967.

One day before the scheduled sale, the La Campana Food Products, Inc. filed With the CIR an
urgent motion for reconsideration of its order of July 3, 1967. A letter concerning this action of
the company was delivered to the Sheriff the following day, with the request that the sale be held
in abeyance until it received the decision of the CIR on its motion. The Sheriff, however, went
through with the sale just the same on the scheduled date. At the auction, the Kaisahan appeared
as the only bidder, and bought the parcels of land for P255,258.88.

Consequently, the La Campana Food Products, Inc. filed a complaint with the Court of First
Instance for annulment of sale with damages with preliminary injunction against the Kaisahan, the
Sheriff of Quezon City and the Register of Deeds of Quezon City.

The Kaisahan then filed the petition at bar, assailing the jurisdiction of the CFI of Quezon City to
take cognizance of the complaint of the La Campana Food Products, Inc., mainly on the ground
that a civil court cannot pass upon, alter, correct and/or modify a writ or decree emanating from
the Court of Industrial Relations and that the proper forum in which to quash a writ of execution
is the very court which issued the writ.

In the course of the consideration of the instant petition, this Court received a motion to dismiss
from the Kaisahan, dated October 2, 1969, ostensibly in representation and on behalf of the
aggrieved individual members thereof, on the ground that the parties, that is, the Kaisahan and the
La Campana Food Products, had entered into a compromise agreement settling all existing disputes
between them.

In this agreement, the Kaisahan admits and concedes among others that the Kaisahan was in default
in the court below. The Kaisahan therefore agreed to withdraw the jurisdiction issue now pending
before this Court; the respondent company, on the other hand, waives all claims for damages
against the union.

On November 15, 1969 some of the laborers directly affected by the adjudications made by the
CIR in the aforementioned cases filed a written manifestation with this Court through Atty.
Antonio B. Abad whereby they declared that they never authorized the said incumbent officers of
the Kaisahan to intervene or represent them in connection with the said decided labor cases. They,
therefore, prayed that the motion to dismiss filed by the union be denied.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the Court of First Instance has jurisdiction over an action predicated upon certain
irregularities in procedure allegedly committed by the Sheriff in the sale of certain properties where
such sale was made pursuant to a writ of execution issued by the Court of Industrial Relations.

RULING:

No.

The powers vested by law in the Court of Industrial Relations include those powers that generally
pertain to the courts of justice, and one of those, as stated more concretely by the Industrial Peace
Act, 8 is the power "To control, in the furtherance of justice, the conduct of its ministerial officers,
and of all other persons in any manner connected with a case before it, in every manner
appertaining thereto."

Within the framework of the facts heretofore mentioned, the Sheriff of Quezon City was
undoubtedly acting solely in his capacity as a ministerial officer of the CIR. If, therefore, he
commits any error in the procedure or mode of executing his ministerial duties, the power of
control of the CIR over him requires that any question regarding his actuations in executing the
court’s order resulting in prejudice to a party litigant should be ventilated with the same court.

Were we to sanction the taking by the CFI of jurisdiction over the complaint of the respondent
company, we will in effect be curtailing the effective exercise by the CIR of part of its powers
vested by law. Such a situation undoubtedly cannot be brought about unilaterally by this Court
without express grant of authority by Congress. The proper step, therefore, that the La Campana
Food Products, Inc. should have taken, being the party directly liable to respond to the
adjudications of the CIR of November 12, 1956 and February 18, 1957 — its liability thereunder
having been finally determined in the decision of the said court dated January 10, 1968 and
affirmed by us in G.R. L-29031, promulgated on June 25, 1968 — was to file with the CIR either
a motion or a separate action to set aside the said execution sale.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the compromise agreement submitted by the petitioner union as basis for the
motion to dismiss is a proper ground for the dismissal of the present petition.

RULING:

No.

The compromise agreement does not bar the prevailing individual members of the Kaisahan from
asking for the enforcement of the above-mentioned adjudications of the CIR. The admissions made
by the Kaisahan through its incumbent officers are pure matters of law which only the courts can
determine with conclusive effect.

The other admissions made by the Kaisahan in the said agreement, to wit, that the notice of levy
of execution was unlawful and that the CFI of Quezon City has jurisdiction over the annulment
case filed by the corporation, are matters which the union cannot determine for itself since whether
or not the said levy of execution was unlawful depends on what the courts applying the law will
have to say about that issue; and, on the other hand, as to the jurisdiction of the CFI over the
annulment case, the same cannot plainly be conferred by the Kaisahan upon the said court since
only Congress can determine, apart from what the Constitution provides, which court has what
jurisdiction over what matters and subjects. Moreover, as we have stated earlier, the CFI of Quezon
City has no jurisdiction to take cognizance of the said annulment case.

The said compromise agreement, therefore, cannot be considered binding against the Kaisahan.
For the same reason, the corporation cannot also be considered bound by its pledge to waive its
claim for damages, if there be any due from the union arising out of the sale of the corporation’s
properties.
4. [G.R. NO. 156264 : September 30, 2004]

ALLIED DOMECQ PHIL., INC. vs. HON. SESINANDO E. VILLON et. al.;
(AGREEMENT, CONSENT OR ACQUIESCENCE OF ANY OR ALL OF THE PARTIES)

Petitioner ADPI entered into an exclusive distributorship agreement with Pedro Domecq, S.A., a
corporation organized and existing under the laws of Spain, engaged in the manufacture of wine
and brandy. Under the said agreement, Pedro Domecq, S.A. granted petitioner the sole and
exclusive right to import and distribute in the Philippines various Pedro Domecq, S.A. products
including "Fundador" brandy until May 17, 2000. Upon its expiration, the agreement is deemed
automatically extended for an indefinite period of time.

On April 12, 1999, Clark Liberty Warehouse, Inc. (Clark Liberty), herein private respondent, a
duly licensed duty-free shop operating in the Clark Special Economic Zone, imported 800 cases
or a total of 9,420 bottles of "Fundador" brandy.

Since the importation by respondent Clark Liberty was not covered by the BFAD Certificate of
Product Registration, the Bureau of Customs seized and impounded the shipment pursuant to
Customs Memorandum Circular No. 228-98, in relation to Sections 101 (K) and 2530 of the Tariff
and Customs Code. The imported brandy then became the subject of seizure proceedings before
the District Collector of Customs of the Port of Manila, docketed as S.I. No. 99-140.

Petitioner then filed a motion to intervene in S.I. No. 99-140 alleging, among others, that it
sustained damages caused by respondent Clark Liberty's illegal importation. However, the Bureau
of Customs District Collector failed to resolve the motion.

On October 8, 1999, petitioner filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Manila a complaint
for injunction and damages with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order (TRO)
and a writ of preliminary injunction. The complaint was raffled to Branch 23 of the Manila RTC,
docketed therein as Civil Case No. 99-95337.

On August 15, 2000, the trial court held that petitioner failed to prove that respondent Clark Liberty
engaged in unfair competition as there is no showing that it "employed deceit or otherwise
committed acts constituting bad faith;"3 that the bottles of "Fundador" brandy imported by
respondent are the "ones imported by plaintiff"4 and that these bottles "are not genuine, defective,
or of poor quality." Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was also denied by the RTC in its Order
dated December 28, 2000.

On March 16, 2001, petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals a special civil action for certiorari.
On May 27, 2002, the Court of Appeals ruled dismissing the petition for lack of jurisdiction. The
CA reasoned that respondent Clark Liberty is one of the duly licensed and authorized duty free
shops at the Clark Special Economic Zone since 1998 which sells imported grocery items
including liquors, appliances, household wares, etc. and is exclusively regulated by the Clark
Development Corporation, created by Republic Act No. 7227, known as the 'Bases Conversion
and Development Act of 1992.' Under Section 21 of this law, only the Supreme Court has
jurisdiction to grant injunctive relief to enjoin the implementation of the projects for the conversion
into alternative productive uses of the military reservation.

ISSUE:

Whether the Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over case pursuant to Section 21 of Republic Act
7227.

RULING:

Yes.

Jurisdiction is the authority to hear and determine a cause. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is
the power to hear and determine the general class to which the proceedings in question
belong. Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law and not by the consent or
acquiescence of any or all of the parties or by erroneous belief of the court that it exists. Basic
is the rule that jurisdiction over the subject matter is determined by the cause or causes of action
as alleged in the complaint. But where the actual issues are evident from the records of the case,
then jurisdiction over the subject matter need not depend upon the literal averments in the
complaint, but on the law as applied to established facts.

In this case, there is no question that respondent Clark Liberty is a registered enterprise of
the Clark Special Economic Zone and is primarily regulated by R.A. No. 7227, otherwise
known as the Bases Conversion and Development Act of 1992.

The underlying purpose of the Legislature in enacting R.A. No. 7227 is provided by Section 2, it
is hereby declared the policy of the Government to accelerate the sound and balanced conversion
into alternative productive uses of the Clark and Subic military reservations and their extensions,
to raise funds by the sale of portions of Metro Manila military camps and to apply said funds
for the development and conversion to productive civilian use of the lands covered under the
1947 Military Bases Agreement between the Philippines and the United States of America, as
amended.

The establishment, registration, and operation of respondent Clark Liberty and the other
enterprises within the Clark Special Economic Zone are projects (involving the private sector)
which convert Clark Air Base, a military reservation, "into productive uses." In this connection,
Section 21 of R.A. No. 7227 provides:

"SEC. 21. Injunction and Restraining Order. - The implementation of the projects for the
conversion into alternative productive uses of the military reservations are urgent and necessary
and shall not be restrained or enjoined except by an order issued by the Supreme Court of the
Philippines."

Verily, the Court of Appeals did not err when it dismissed CA-G.R. SP No. 63802 for want of
jurisdiction.
5. [G.R. No. 136588. July 20, 2000.]
REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. PILAR ESTIPULAR (AQUIESCENCE OF THE
COURT)

Petitioner, Pilar Estipular, filed a Petition for Reconstitution before the Regional Trial Court of La
Union. She declared that she [was] the only surviving legal heir of the late Fermin Estipular, who
died intestate in Caba, La Union.
"On June 15, 1994, the RTC ordered that a Notice of Hearing be published for two successive
issues of the Official Gazette and be posted at the main entrance of the Municipal Building
of Caba, La Union at least thirty (30) days from the initial hearing set for September 8, 1994
(Records, p. 8). However, the National Printing Office advised the lower court to reschedule its
original date of hearing as it could not meet the schedule of publication.
"The initial hearing materialized on December 7, 1994. The petitioner and the public prosecutor
appeared [i]n such hearing. The case was called to invite private oppositors to come forthwith, but
nobody registered his/her opposition. Due to the absence of the counsel for the petitioner, the latter
was allowed to establish jurisdictional facts at the next hearing date, January 24, 1995. On the
latter date, the petitioner presented the jurisdictional facts with the corresponding documentary
requirements prescribed by law. When the Exhibits were offered in evidence, the Public Prosecutor
never interposed any objection, hence, all the exhibits were admitted.
The RTC rendered it’s decision finding the petition to be well-taken and supported by evidence.
Hence, granting the petition.
The petitioner appealed to the CA contending that respondent failed to the comply with the
requisites provided by Republic Act No. 26 as it requires the posting of the Notice of Hearing at
the main entrance of the provincial building, not just on municipal building.
However, the CA rendered it’s decision affirming in toto the decision of the RTC. The CA ruled
that it is a settled rule that proceedings for judicial reconstitution of certificates of title are
proceedings in rem. Thus, Notice of Hearing by proper publication is sufficient to clothe the court
with jurisdiction. The purpose of such publication is to apprise the whole world that such a petition
has been filed and that whoever is minded to oppose it for good cause may do so within thirty (30)
days before the date set by the court for hearing the petition. It is the publication of such notice
that brings in the whole world as a party in the case and vests the court with jurisdiction to hear
and decide it. Since there was a valid publication of the Notice of Hearing in the Official Gazette,
then it is sufficient to vest jurisdiction upon the court to hear and determine the petition.
ISSUE:

Whether or not supposed substantial compliance with the requirements of Republic Act No. 26 is
sufficient to confer jurisdiction on the trial court over the case."
RULING:
No.

Requirements for Reconstitution of Title Are Mandatory and Jurisdictional.

Jurisdiction over the subject matter or nature of the action is conferred only by the Constitution or
by law. It cannot be (1) granted by the agreement of the parties; (2) acquired, waived, enlarged or
diminished by any act or omission of the parties; or (3) conferred by the acquiescence of the courts.
10 Republic Act No. 26 11 lays down the special requirements and procedure that must be followed
before jurisdiction may be acquired over a petition for reconstitution of title.

In Section 13 of said Act, it provides among others that the Court shall cause a notice of the
petition, filed under the preceding section, to be published, at the expense of the petitioner, twice
in successive issues of the Official Gazette, and to be posted on the main entrance of the
provincial building and of the municipal building of the municipality or city in which the land is
situated, at least thirty days prior to the date of hearing.

These requirements are mandatory and compliance with them is jurisdictional as provided in
Republic v. Court of Appeals, GR No. 127969, June 25, 1999.

In the present case, it is undisputed that the Notice of Hearing of respondent’s Petition for
Reconstitution was not posted at the main entrance of the provincial building. Clearly, the trial
court did not acquire jurisdiction over the case.

It must be emphasized that under the law, the publication of a notice of hearing in the Official
Gazette is not enough. The posting of said notice at the main entrances of both the municipal and
the provincial building is another equally vital requisite. The purposes of the stringent and
mandatory character of the legal requirements of publication, posting and mailing are to safeguard
against spurious and unfounded land ownership claims, to apprise all interested parties of the
existence of such action, and to give them enough time to intervene in the proceeding. 17

The publication of the Notice of Hearing in the Official Gazette does not justify the respondent’s
failure to comply with the legal requirement of posting the Notice at the main entrance of both the
municipal and the provincial buildings. The principle of substantial compliance cannot be
applied to the present case, as the trial court’s acquisition of jurisdiction over the Petition
hinged on a strict compliance with the requirements of the law.ch

True, the root of this failure may be traced to the June 15, 1994 Order of the trial court, which
failed to include a directive that the Notice of Hearing be posted at the main entrance of the
provincial building. However, this oversight cannot excuse noncompliance with the requirements
of RA No. 26. Under the circumstances, it is clear that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction
over the case because of its own lapse, which respondent failed to cure.
6. G.R. No. 176020, September 29, 2014

HEIRS OF TELESFORO JULAO vs. SPOUSES ALEJANDRO AND MORENITA DE


JESUS (SILENCE, WAIVER OR FAILURE TO OBJECT)

Sometime in the 1960’s, Telesforo Julao filed before the Department of Environment and Natural
Resources (DENR), Baguio City, two Townsite Sales Applications (TSA), TSA No. V-2132 and
TSA No. V-6667.7 Upon his death on June 1, 1971, his applications were transferred to his heirs.

On April 30, 1979, Solito Julao (Solito) executed a Deed of Transfer of Rights, transferring his
hereditary share in the property covered by TSA No. V-6667 to respondent spouses Alejandro and
Morenita De Jesus.

On March 15, 1996, the DENR issued an Order rejecting the application of Telesforo on TSA No.
V-6667 for violation with established policy in the disposition [of] public lands in the City of
Baguio. The TSA No. V-2132 was approved and given to the heirs of Telesforo. Consequently,
Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. P-2446, covering a 641-square meter property, was issued
in favor of the heirs of Telesforo.

On March 2, 1999, petitioners representing themselves to be the heirs of Telesforo, filed before
the Regional Trial Court (RTC), a Complaint for Recovery of Possession of Real Property, against
respondent spouses. Petitioners alleged that they are the true and lawful owners of a 641-square
meter parcel of land located at Naguilian Road, Baguio City, covered by OCT No. P-2446; that
the subject property originated from TSA No. V-2132; that respondent spouses house encroached
on 70 square meters of the subject property.

Respondent spouses filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of prescription, which the RTC
denied for lack of merit. Thus, they filed an Answer contending that they are the true and lawful
owners and possessors of the subject property; that they acquired the said property from petitioners
brother, Solito; and that contrary to the claim of petitioners, TSA No. V-6667 and TSA No. V-
2132 pertain to the same property.

On August 10, 2001, the RTC rendered a Decision47 in favor of petitioners. The RTC found that
although petitioners failed to prove their allegation that Solito was not an heir of Telesforo, 48they
were nevertheless able to convincingly show that Telesforo filed with the DENR two applications,
covering two separate parcels of land, and that it was his first application, TSA No. V-2132, which
resulted in the issuance of OCT No. P-2446. And since what Solito transferred to respondent
spouses was his hereditary share in the parcel of land covered by TSA No. V-6667, respondent
spouses acquired no right over the subject property, which was derived from a separate application,
TSA No. V-2132.

Aggrieved, respondent spouses elevated the case to the CA.


On December 4, 2006, the CA reversed the ruling of the RTC. The CA found the Complaint
dismissible on two grounds: (1) failure on the part of petitioners to identify the property sought to
be recovered; and (2) lack of jurisdiction. The CA noted that petitioners failed to pinpoint the
property sought to be recovered. In fact, they did not present any survey plan to show that
respondent spouses actually encroached on petitioners’ property. Moreover, the CA was not fully
convinced that the two applications pertain to two separate parcels of land since respondent
spouses were able to present evidence to refute such allegation. The CA likewise pointed out that
the Complaint failed to establish that the RTC had jurisdiction over the case as petitioners failed
to allege the assessed value of the subject property.

ISSUE:

Whether or not the RTC acquire jurisdiction over the case.

RULING:

No.

The assessed value must be alleged in the complaint to determine which court has
jurisdiction over the action.

Jurisdiction as we have said is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in the
complaint, which contains the concise statement of the ultimate facts of a plaintiff's cause of
action.ralawred

Section 19(2) of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, as amended by Republic Act No. 7691, provide that
in Jurisdiction in Civil Cases the Regional Trial Courts shall exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction in all civil actions which involve the title to, or possession of, real property, or any
interest therein, where the assessed value of the property involved exceeds twenty thousand pesos
(P20,000.00) or for civil actions in Metro Manila, where such value exceeds Fifty thousand
pesos (P50,000.00) except actions for forcible entry into and unlawful detainer of lands or
buildings, original jurisdiction over which is conferred upon the Metropolitan Trial Courts,
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts.

Based on the foregoing, it is clear that in an action for recovery of possession, the assessed value
of the property sought to be recovered determines the court’s jurisdiction.cralawred

In this case, for the RTC to exercise jurisdiction, the assessed value of the subject property must
exceed P20,000.00. Since petitioners failed to allege in their Complaint the assessed value of the
subject property, the CA correctly dismissed the Complaint as petitioners failed to establish that
the RTC had jurisdiction over it. In fact, since the assessed value of the property was not alleged,
it cannot be determined which trial court had original and exclusive jurisdiction over the case.
Furthermore, contrary to the claim of petitioners, the issue of lack of jurisdiction was raised by
respondents in their Appellant’s Brief. And the fact that it was raised for the first time on appeal is
of no moment. Under Section 1, Rule 9 of the Revised Rules of Court, defenses not pleaded either
in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived, except for lack of jurisdiction, litis
pendentia, res judicata, and prescription, which must be apparent from the pleadings or the
evidence on record. In other words, the defense of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter may
be raised at any stage of the proceedings, even for the first time on appeal. In fact, the court
may motu proprio dismiss a complaint at any time when it appears from the pleadings or the
evidence on record that lack of jurisdiction exists.