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WILMON AUTO SUPPLY V. CA

208 SCRA 108

FACTS:

Wilmon was the lessee of a commercial building and bodegas standing on a registered land owned in common by the Lacsons, Solinap, and Jarantilla. The leases were embodied in deeds wherein one of the clauses provided for a reservation of rights—the seller has the right to encumber or sell the property provided that the transferee would respect the lease of Wilmon. On a relevant date, after the expiration of the lease period, the premises were sold to Star Group Resources and Development. The latter instituted an action for unlawful detainer against Wilmon. Wilmon impugned Star’s right to eject them. It alleges that its right of preemption has been violated, as well as their leasehold rights, and that it was denied the option to extend the lease. These same propositions were also raised in the case it filed with the RTC. In the unlawful detainer cases, it was decided by the MTC that the case should proceed against some of the lessees but not with the others. The lessees filed a motion for reconsideration but it was denied. They filed a petition for certiorari and the RTC held in the end that the pendency of the case in the RTC didn't warrant suspension of the unlawful detainer case with the MTC.

HELD:

An ejectment suit cannot be suspended by an action filed with the RTC based on a tenant’s claim of his right of preemption was violated. The actions in the RTC didn't involve physical possession and on not a few occasions, that the case in the RTC was merely a ploy to delay disposition of the ejectment proceeding.

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