107 families to lose homes in May

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Sunday, April 6, 2014


MORE houses in Cebu City will be demolished next month.

Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 19 Judge Wilfredo Navarro has ordered 107 families on M. Velez St. in Barangay Capitol Site to immediately vacate lot 6085-A-1.

Navarro affirmed the ruling of the Municipal Trial Court in Cities (MTCC), which said the heirs of the late Mauricio Quijada “have a better right to possess the property.”

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“They (heirs of Mauricio Quijada) are entitled to the possession, enjoyment, disposition and recovery of said property to the exclusion of others,” the MTCC ruling said.

Court Sheriff El Cid Caballes confirmed he already served the writ of execution to the residents. They have until May 6 to voluntarily vacate the property.

Unlawful detainer suit

The case stemmed from the ejectment suit for unlawful detainer filed by
Mauricio Quijada Association Inc. against the illegal settlers before the MTCC.

The landowners said the residents entered their property without knowledge and consent. They asked the illegal settlers to leave, but the latter refused.
The illegal settlers, for their part, said the lot claimants failed to make a demand for them to vacate the property. The move is a requisite prior to the filing of an unlawful detainer suit, they said.

Some of the illegal settlers said they’ve been occupying and paying the taxes for the property for over 40 years.

They said the lot claimants should have filed a case for recovery of possession before the RTC.

They also said their stay on the property had the “consent and knowledge” of the City and the Capitol.

In its decision, the MTCC ordered the illegal settlers to “vacate and peacefully surrender” lot 6085-A-1 and to remove the improvements they built on the property.

The MTCC also ordered the illegal settlers to pay the landowners P10,000 as lawyer’s fee and P500 as monthly rent for the use of the property.

The rent is to be computed from April 29, 2009 until the illegal settlers vacate the property.

The illegal settlers appealed the MTCC ruling before the RTC.

They said the case was not filed by the real party in interest and that some of the defendants do not actually occupy the contested property.

They said the MTCC committed “grave and serious error” in declaring them as occupants of the property.

They also said the lower court was wrong in awarding the lot heirs the rent for the use of the property since that was not even alleged and prayed for in the complaint.

Navarro’s decision

In his decision, Judge Navarro ruled that the MTCC was correct in declaring that the right case to be filed is unlawful detainer in which the lower court has jurisdiction over such proceedings.

Navarro also held that unlawful detainer suit was filed by real parties in interest, who are the heirs or successors of the late Mauricio Quijada.

Citing the sketch plan, the judge noted that names of some illegal settlers appeared repeatedly in the document, indicating that they occupy more than one slot among the 283 slots, which had been subdivided.

Navarro also rejected the illegal settlers’ argument that the lot heirs failed to demand that they vacate the property prior to the filing of the suit.

“In any case, being ‘illegal settlers,’ or ‘squatters,’ it is too well-settled that defendants are not entitled to any demand as pre-requisite to the filing of the ejectment suit,” he said.

Navarro, however, deleted the award for rental to the lot heirs for lack of legal basis. (GMD)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 06, 2014.

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