We rule that mandamus is a proper remedy to compel the issuance of a writ of possession. The purpose of mandamus is to compel the performance of a ministerial duty. A ministerial act is “one which an officer or tribunal performs in a given state of facts, in a prescribed manner, in obedience to the mandate of legal authority, without regard to or the exercise of his own judgment upon the propriety or impropriety of the act done.”
The issuance of a writ of possession is outlined in Section 7 of Act No. 3135, as amended by Act No. 4118, which provides:
SEC. 7. In any sale made under the provisions of this Act, the purchaser may petition the Court of First Instance of the province or place where the property or any part thereof is situated, to give him possession thereof during the redemption period, furnishing bond in an amount equivalent to the use of the property for a period of twelve months, to indemnify the debtor in case it be shown that the sale was made without violating the mortgage or without complying with the requirements of [this] Act. Such petition shall be made under oath and filed in form of an ex parte motion x x x and the court shall, upon approval of the bond, order that a writ of possession issue, addressed to the sheriff of the province in which the property is situated, who shall execute said order immediately.
During the period of redemption, the mortgagee is entitled to a writ of possession upon depositing the approved bond. When the redemption period expires without the mortgagor exercising his right of redemption, the mortgagor is deemed to have lost all interest over the foreclosed property, and the purchaser acquires absolute ownership of the property. The purchaser’s right is aptly described thus:
Consequently, the purchaser, who has a right to possession after the expiration of the redemption period, becomes the absolute owner of the property when no redemption is made. In this regard, the bond is no longer needed. The purchaser can demand possession at any time following the consolidation of ownership in his name and the issuance to him of a new TCT. After consolidation of title in the purchaser’s name for failure of the mortgagor to redeem the property, the purchaser’s right to possession ripens into the absolute right of a confirmed owner. At that point, the issuance of a writ of possession, upon proper application and proof of title becomes merely a ministerial function. Effectively, the court cannot exercise its discretion.
Therefore, the issuance by the RTC of a writ of possession in favor of the respondent in this case is proper. We have consistently held that the duty of the trial court to grant a writ of possession in such instances is ministerial, and the court may not exercise discretion or judgment x x x
With the consolidated title, the purchaser becomes entitled to a writ of possession and the trial court has the ministerial duty to issue such writ of possession. Thus, “the remedy of mandamus lies to compel the performance of [this] ministerial duty.”