Kinds of Possessory Actions

What are the kinds of actions to recover possession of real property? There are 3 kinds of real actions to recover possession of real property, namely: accion interdictal, accion publiciana, and accion reivindicatoria. The remedies are discussed below. (1) Accion Interdictal It is an action for ejectment to recover possession, whether for unlawful detainer or forcible entry[1]. It refers to the recovery of physical or actual possession only through a special civil action[2]. In forcible entry, one is deprived of physical possession of real property by means of force, intimidation, strategy, threats, or stealth whereas in unlawful detainer, one illegally withholds possession after the expiration or termination of his right to hold possession under any contract, express or implied. The two are distinguished from each other in that in forcible entry, the possession of the defendant is illegal from the beginning, and that the issue is which party has prior de facto possession while in unlawful detainer, possession of the defendant is originally legal but became illegal due to the expiration or termination of the right to possess[3]. The jurisdiction of these two actions, which are summary in nature, lies in the proper municipal trial court or metropolitan trial court. Both actions must be brought within one year from the date of actual entry on the land, in case of forcible entry, and from the date of last demand, in case of unlawful detainer[4]. (2) Accion Publiciana This action proposes to recover the right to possess and is a plenary action in an ordinary civil proceeding[5]. Accion publiciana is the plenary action to recover the right of possession which should be brought in the proper regional trial court when dispossession has lasted for more than one year. It is an ordinary civil proceeding to determine the better right of possession of realty independently of title. In other words, if at the time of the filing of the complaint more than one year had elapsed since defendant had turned plaintiff out of possession or defendant's possession had become illegal, the action will be, not one of the forcible entry or illegal detainer, but an accion publiciana[6]. (3) Accion Reivindicatoria It is an action to recover ownership also brought in the proper regional trial court in an ordinary civil proceeding[7]. Accion reivindicatoria or accion de reivindicacion is, thus, an action whereby the plaintiff alleges ownership over a parcel of land and seeks recovery of its full possession. It is a suit to recover possession of a parcel of land as an element of ownership. The judgment in such a case determines the ownership of the property and awards the possession of the property to the lawful owner. It is different from accion interdictal or accion publiciana where plaintiff merely alleges proof of a better right to possess without claim of title[8]. [1] Eversley Childs Sanitarium v. Spouses Perlabarbarona, G.R. No. 195814, April 4, 2018. [2] Penta Pacific Realty Corporation v. Ley Construction and Development Corporation, G.R. No. 161589, November 24, 2014. [3] Heirs of Yusingco v. Busilak, G.R. No. 210504, January 24, 2018. [4] Id. [5] Penta Pacific Realty Corporation v. Ley Construction and Development Corporation, supra. [6] Heirs of Yusingco v. Busilak, supra. [7] Id. [8] Id.

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