Does the right to a writ of possession prescribe?

            Petitioners assail the CA’s ruling that the issuance of a writ of possession does not prescribe.[48]  They maintain that Articles 1139,[49] 1149,[50] and 1150[51] of the Civil Code regarding prescriptive periods cover all kinds of action, which necessarily include the issuance of a writ of possession. Petitioners posit that, for purposes of the latter, it is the five-year prescriptive period provided in Article 1149 of the Civil Code which applies because Act No. 3135 itself did not provide for its prescriptive period. Thus, Veterans Bank had only five years from September 12, 1983, the date when the Certificate of Sale was issued in its favor, to move for the issuance of a writ of possession.[52]

            Respondent argues that jurisprudence has consistently held that a registered owner of the land, such as the buyer in an auction sale, is entitled to a writ of possession at any time after the consolidation of ownership.[53]

            We cannot accept petitioners’ contention.  We have held before that the purchaser’s right “to request for the issuance of the writ of possession of the land never prescribes.”[54]  “The right to possess a property merely follows the right of ownership,”[55] and it would be illogical to hold that a person having ownership of a parcel of land is barred from seeking possession thereof. In Calacala v. Republic of the Philippines,[56] the Republic was the highest bidder in the public auction but failed for a long period of time to execute an Affidavit of Consolidation and to seek a writ of possession.  Calacala insisted that, by such inaction, the Republic’s right over the land had prescribed, been abandoned or waived. The Court’s language in rejecting Calacala’s theory is illuminating:

[T]he Republic’s failure to execute the acts referred to by the petitioners within ten (10) years from the registration of the Certificate of Sale cannot, in any way, operate to restore whatever rights petitioners’ predecessors-in-interest had over the same.  For sure, petitioners have yet to cite any provision of law or rule of jurisprudence, and we are not aware of any, to the effect that the failure of a buyer in a foreclosure sale to secure a Certificate of Final Sale, execute an Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership and obtain a writ of possession over the property thus acquired, within ten (10) years from the registration of the Certificate of Sale will operate to bring ownership back to him whose property has been previously foreclosed and sold.  x x x

                x x x x

                Moreover, with the rule that the expiration of the 1-year redemption period forecloses the obligors’ right to redeem and that the sale thereby becomes absolute, the issuance thereafter of a final deed of sale is at best a mere formality and mere confirmation of the title that is already vested in the purchaser. x x x[57]

            Moreover, the provisions cited by petitioners refer to prescription of actions.  An action is “defined as an ordinary suit in a court of justice, by which one party prosecutes another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or the prevention or redress of a wrong.”[58]  On the other hand “[a] petition for the issuance of the writ, under Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended, is not an ordinary action filed in court, by which one party ‘sues another for the enforcement or protection of a right, or prevention or redress of a wrong.’  It is in the nature of an ex parte motion [in] which the court hears only one side. It is taken or granted at the instance and for the benefit of one party, and without notice to or consent by any party adversely affected.  Accordingly, upon the filing of a proper motion by the purchaser in a foreclosure sale, and the approval of the corresponding bond, the writ of possession issues as a matter of course and the trial court has no discretion on this matter.”[59]

http://sc.judiciary.gov.ph/jurisprudence/2011/march2011/168523.htm

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About Erineus

Ernesto O. Bendita. Born on December 28, 1965, Surallah, South Cotabato, Southern Mindanao, Philippines.
This entry was posted in Prescription, Question and Answers, Writ of Possession. Bookmark the permalink.

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