Statement Correcting False Information on CA Decision
Subject: CA Decision Does Not Question SU’s Ownership of Its Property
Issue Date: 18 March 2015
False information is being circulated misinterpreting a recent decision of the Court of Appeals (CA) on a case filed by Silliman University on Quieting of Title with prayers for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction.
The case stems from the illegal occupancy of a group of claimants of a Silliman property at the old archery range of the University.
It can be recalled that on September 9, 2001, some claimants surreptitiously and with ill intent entered the campus through the Chapel of Evangel in pairs and batches pretending to be churchgoers. But, instead of attending church, they actually proceeded to the opposite side of the campus where the archery range was situated and made an encampment there. Despite eager attempts by Silliman at negotiating with them, they refused to vacate the place claiming that they owned that parcel of land.
Earnest in its effort to affirm the validity of its ownership over its property and in order to peaceably evict the claimants, Silliman filed a case in court to ask the court to rule that its title to the occupied property is valid (this is an action for “Quieting of Title”) with prayer for a Temporary Restraining Order (against the illegal occupants) and a prayer for Preliminary Injunction (against the illegal occupants).
The prayers for Temporary Restraining Order and Preliminary Injunction were granted on October 20, 2001 and October 22, 2001, respectively, resulting in the eviction of the campers out of the campus. The main case for Quieting of Title, on the other hand, was ruled in favor of Silliman on November 13, 2009.
Aggrieved by the decision, the claimants elevated the case before the Court of Appeals by way of an appeal.
On December 11, 2013, the CA ruled dismissing the complaint for Quieting of Title for the reason that “surreptitiously entering, occupying, and refusing to leave” are not grounds for quieting of title. What the CA did was rule on a procedural matter without touching on the issue of ownership. The Court cited a similar case where the same grounds constituted forcible entry and did not warrant a quieting of titles.
And so, contrary to rumors that are being peddled around, the CA decision did not put into question nor cast any doubt on the ownership of Silliman over its property. It also did not affirm the claimants’ claim that they own the land.
Silliman is setting the record straight to prevent the use of these rumors to unduly influence innocent people. As in the past, the University upholds the rights of anyone to seek legal remedies in the court of law. ###