A contract of lease was executed between Vipa Fernandez and Rafael Uy over a parcel of land for the amount of P3,000.00 per month, with a provision for a 10% increase every year thereafter.
Vipa died and Grace Joy, Vipa’s daughter, became the de facto administrator of the estate of Vipa.
In June 1998, Rafael Uy stopped paying the monthly rents.
A complaint for unlawful detainer was filed against Rafael. The Estate of Vipa claimed that despite repeated demands, Rafael refused to pay the rents due.
Judgment was rendered by the MTCC in favor of the Estate of Vipa and against Rafael.
On appeal, the RTC, in its Decision, reversed the MTCC’s Decision and, thus, dismissed the complaint for unlawful detainer filed by the Estate of Vipa.
The RTC opined that Grace Joy was actually the plaintiff in the case and not the Estate of Vipa. It then pointed out that Grace Joy failed to bring the dispute to the barangay for conciliation prior to filing the complaint for unlawful detainer.
The Estate of Vipa then filed a Petition for Review with the CA.
The CA granted the petition and Reversed the RTC decision. The subsequent MR was denied.
Hence, this appeal.
Whether there was lack of barangay conciliation prior to filing of the complaint for unlawful detainer with the MTCC.
Unlawful detainer cases are covered by the Rules on Summary Procedure. Section 5 of the 1991 Revised Rules on Summary Procedure provides that affirmative and negative defenses not pleaded in the answer shall be deemed waived, except lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter.
There was no need to refer the dispute between the parties herein to the barangay for conciliation pursuant to the Katarungang Pambarangay Law. It bears stressing that only individuals may be parties to barangay conciliation proceedings either as complainants or respondents. Complaints by or against corporations, partnerships or other juridical entities may not be filed with, received or acted upon by the barangay for conciliation. The Estate of Vipa, which is the complainant below, is a juridical entity that has a personality, which is separate and distinct from that of Grace Joy. Thus, there is no necessity to bring the dispute to the barangay for conciliation prior to filing of the complaint for unlawful detainer with the MTCC.