“Don’t Cast Us To The Streets” | Villanueva v. Canlas

Jose Villanueva, plaintiff-appellee, vs. Juan Canlas, defendant-appellant.

Juan is occupying the house at 596 Isabel, Sampaloc, Manila, at a monthly rental of P100. Jose filed a complaint in CFI Manila seeking the restitution of the property, alleged that Juan failed to pay the rents for 2 months. Jose need the premises for his personal use, and the Juan refused to leave. Juan even threatened to physically harm Jose.

MTC: Favored Plaintiff Jose. Juan to vacate and pay rents.
CFI Manila: Affirmed MTC decision.

Appellant JoseDefendant Juan
Juan failed to pay the rents for 2 months.
Need the premises for his personal use.
Ouster’s reason is to charge me of unlawful and unconscionable rent.
It will be tantamount to casting him to the streets.

Is the termination made by Jose after a verbal lease agreement valid?

Court: No period of time having been agreed upon in the verbal contract of lease as the facts of the case show, the duration of the contract must, according to the Civil Code, be on a month to month basis, that is, terminating at the end of each month. (Tacit Renewal)

Appellant: Lower court erred in not applying Commonwealth Act No. 689.

Court and Defendant: Commonwealth Act No. 689 was enacted on October 15, 1945, about two months after plaintiff’s cause of action had arisen. Since said act is not retroactive, as defendant’s counsel himself admitted, it is not applicable in this case.

When does a lease cease? Upon demand or upon expiration of term? The latter.

Defendant: Demand was not made
Court: Immaterial. Although the evidence shows that plaintiff did really make such a demand. “A lease ceases upon the expiration of its term without the necessity of any notice to the tenant who thenceforth becomes a deforciant.” (Co Tiamco vs. Diaz, 75 Phil., 672.) “The lease shall terminate without necessity of a special notice, upon the expiration of the term.”(Domingo Vda. de Buhay vs. Cobarrubias, 76 Phil,, 213.)

Does the Defendant’s defense: “It will be tantamount to casting him to the streets”  lie (acceptable)? No.

We can not close our eyes to the stark realities of the prevailing situation, deplorable after effects of the last war. But defendant’s plea does not raise a legal question within the proper cognizance of tribunals. It rather raises a political question. The burden of such solution or remedy lies primarily on the shoulders of Congress, the policy-making agency of the State. If the defendant feels that he is a victim of social injustice, the Constitution opens the doors for him to petition Congress for proper legislative remedy.

Decision: The lower court’s decision is affirmed

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