Sections 1 and 2, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court provide:
Section 1. Who may institute proceedings and when. – Subject to the provisions of the next succeeding section, a person deprived of the possession of any land or building by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or stealth, or a lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person against whom the possession of any land or building is unlawfully withheld after the expiration or termination of the right to hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or implied, or the legal representatives or assigns of any such lessor, vendor, vendee, or other person, may, at any time within one (1) year after such unlawful deprivation or withholding of possession, bring an action in the proper Municipal Trial Court against the person or persons unlawfully withholding or depriving of possession, or any person or persons claiming under them, for the restitution of such possession, together with damages and costs.
Section 2. Lessor to proceed against lessee only after demand. – Unless otherwise stipulated, such action by the lessor shall be commenced only after demand to pay or comply with the conditions of the lease and to vacate is made upon the lessee, or by serving written notice of such demand upon the person found on the premises, or by posting such notice on the premises if no person be found thereon, and the lessee fails to comply therewith after fifteen (15) days in the case of land or five (5) days in the case of buildings.
Respondent alleged in his complaint that petitioners occupied the subject property by his mere tolerance. While tolerance is lawful, such possession becomes illegal upon demand to vacate by the owner and the possessor by tolerance refuses to comply with such demand.19 Respondent sent petitioners a demand letter dated December 1, 1999 to vacate the subject property, but petitioners did not comply with the demand. A person who occupies the land of another at the latter’s tolerance or permission, without any contract between them, is necessarily bound by an implied promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy against him.20 Under Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, the one-year period within which a complaint for unlawful detainer can be filed should be counted from the date of demand, because only upon the lapse of that period does the possession become unlawful.21 Respondent filed the ejectment case against petitioners on March 29, 2000, which was less than a year from December 1, 1999, the date of formal demand. Hence, it is clear that the action was filed within the one-year period prescribed for filing an ejectment or unlawful detainer case.