SERAFIN TIJAM, ET AL., plaintiffs-appellees, vs.

MAGDALENO SIBONGHANOY alias GAVINO SIBONGHANOY and LUCIA BAGUIO, defendants, MANILA SURETY AND FIDELITY CO., INC. (CEBU BRANCH) bonding company and defendant-appellant. G.R. No. L-21450 April 15, 1968

FACTS: Spouses Serafin and Felicitas commenced a civil case against spouses Sibonghanoy to recover from them a sum of P1, 908.00 with legal interest. A writ of attachment was issued by the court against the defendants’ properties but the same was soon dissolved. After trial, the court rendered judgment in favor of the plaintiffs and after the same had become final and executor, the court issued a writ of execution against the defendants. The writ being unsatisfied, the plaintiffs moved for the issuance of the writ of execution against the Surety’s bond. Subsequently, the Surety moved to quash the writ on the ground that the same was issued without summary hearing. This was denied by the RTC. The Surety appealed in the CA, which was denied. This time, the surety just asked for an extension in order for them to file the motion for reconsideration. But instead of filing for a motion for reconsideration, it filed a motion to dismiss saying that by virtue of R.A. 296 which is the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1948, section 88 of which placed within the exclusive original jurisdiction of inferior courts all civil action where the value of the subject matter does not exceed P2,000.00. The Court of First Instance therefore has no jurisdiction over the case. The question of jurisdiction was filed by the Surety only 15 years from the time the action was commenced in the Court of First Instance. ISSUE: WON THE CASE SHOULD BE DISMISSED DUE TO THE LACK OF JURISDICTION HELD: No. After voluntarily submitting a cause and encountering an adverse decision on the merits, it is too late for the loser to question the jurisdiction or power of the court. The rule is that jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred upon the courts exclusive by law as by law and as the lack of it affect the very authority of the court to take cognizance of the case, the objection may be raised at any stage of the proceedings. However, considering the facts and circumstances of the present cases, a party may be barred by laches from involving this plea for the first time on appeal for the purpose of annulling everything done in the case. A party cannot invoke a court’s jurisdiction and later on deny it to escape a penalty.

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