You are on page 1of 72

Remedial Law

Civil Procedure
XXX XXX XXX
Annulment of judgment; direct recourse to this remedy
not allowed if other appropriate remedies are available. Petitioner tries to justify her failure to avail of the
Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 47 of the Rules of Court impose appropriate remedies on a promise of settlement.
the conditions for the availment of the remedy of However, such promise was not an excuse for petitioner’s
annulment of judgment, viz.: counsel not to lift the order of non-suit and to file a
petition for relief. Petitioner’s claim that she was present
Section 1. Coverage.- This Rule shall govern the when respondent bank’s counsel moved for the issuance of
annulment by the Court of Appeals of judgments or final the order of non-suit against her was not proven by any
orders and resolutions in civil actions of Regional Trial evidence. There was indeed a failure to show, to our
Courts for which the ordinary remedies of new trial, satisfaction, that petitioner could not have availed of the
appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies ordinary and appropriate remedies under the Rules. Thus,
are no longer available through no fault of the petitioner. she cannot resort to the remedy under Rule 47 of the
Rules; otherwise, she would benefit from her inaction or
Section 2. Groundsfor annulment. – The annulment may negligence. Spouses Oscar Arcenas and Dolores Arcenas
be based only on the grounds of extrinsic fraud and lack of vs. Queen City Development Bank and Court of Appeals
jurisdiction. (Nineteenth Division), G.R. No. 166819, June 16, 2010.

Extrinsic fraud shall not be a valid ground if it was Annulment of judgment; extrinsic fraud. Petitioner argues
availed of, or could have been availed of, in a motion for that when respondent bank’s counsel moved for the
new trial or petition for relief. issuance of the Order of non-suit against her and her
husband during the November 11, 2003 hearing, extrinsic
Section 1, Rule 47 provides that it does not allow a direct fraud was committed on them since respondent bank’s
recourse to a petition for annulment of judgment if other counsel concealed from the RTC that there was a
appropriate remedies are available, such as a petition for gentleman’s agreement for the settlement of the subject
new trial, appeal or a petition for relief. If petitioner fails civil cases. We are not persuaded. It bears stressing that
to avail of these remedies without sufficient justification, when petitioner’s counsel filed the Manifestation and
she cannot resort to the action for annulment of judgment Motion asking for reconsideration of the Order declaring
under Rule 47, for otherwise, she would benefit from her the Spouses Arcenas non-suited, the reason stated was
inaction or negligence. honest mistake or excusable negligence. To show such
mistake, he explained that since there was a pending
We found no reversible error committed by the CA in negotiation for settlement in Civil Case Nos. V-006-01-2002
dismissing the petition for annulment of judgment. The and V-072-07-2002, which were both pending in the same
Spouses Arcenas were declared non-suited for failure to court, and the parties had to come up with a settlement
appear at the pre-trial conference of Civil Case No. 072- for the hearing of Civil Case No. V-006-01-2002 scheduled
07-2002 on November 11, 2003, and respondent bank was on December 4, 2004, petitioner’s counsel then asked for
allowed to present evidence on its counterclaim on the postponement of the scheduled November 11, 2003
January 8, 2004. Such Order was received by the hearing set for the pre-trial conference of Civil Case No. V-
secretary of petitioner’s counsel on November 17, 2003. 072-07-2002 one day before the said date, because of
Petitioner did not move to set aside the RTC’s order of conflict of schedule and since he had in mind the
non-suit. While petitioner’s counsel claimed that he only December 4, 2003 deadline to submit the settlement.
learned of such Order of non-suit on December 4, 2003, Notably, petitioner’s counsel admitted that the date set
yet no motion to lift the order of non-suit was filed. for the submission of settlement in Civil Case No. V-072-
Notably, from December 4, 2003 to the scheduled hearing 07-2002 was indeed November 11, 2003; and that his
on January 8, 2004, petitioner did not take any remedial failure to attend the hearings and to file a motion for
action to lift the order of non-suit when she had the reconsideration of the declaration of petitioner as non-
opportunity to do so. In fact, petitioner and her counsel suited was because of his mistaken belief that respondent
did not also appear on the scheduled January 8, 2004 bank was earnestly seeking a settlement. There was
hearing wherein respondent bank presented evidence on nothing in the Manifestation and Motion which alluded the
its counterclaim and submitted the case for decision. It commission of extrinsic fraud to respondent bank’s
was only on January 14, 2004 when petitioner and her counsel. Moreover, since petitioner claimed that there
husband filed a pleading captioned as Manifestation and was extrinsic fraud committed by respondent bank’s
Motion, wherein they prayed for the reconsideration of the counsel, she could have filed a petition for relief under
Orders dated November 11, 2003 and January 8, 2004 and Rule 38 within the period provided for by the Rules of
for further pre-trial conference. The RTC denied such Court, but she did not. Section 2, Rule 47 clearly states
Manifestation and Motion in its Order dated March 9, 2004, that extrinsic fraud shall not be a valid ground for
as the same was filed beyond the reglementary period, annulment of order if it was availed of, or could have been
and such Order was received by petitioner on March 12, availed of, in a motion for new trial or petition for relief.
2004. Petitioner then filed with the CA a Petition for Thus, extrinsic fraud is effectively barred if it could have
annulment of order of non-suit under Rule 47 of the Rules been raised as a ground in an available remedial measure.
of Court on the ground of extrinsic fraud. The CA denied Spouses Oscar Arcenas and Dolores Arcenas vs. Queen
the petition as petitioner failed to avail of the appropriate City Development Bank and Court of Appeals
remedies provided by the Rules to which we agree. (Nineteenth Division), G.R. No. 166819, June 16, 2010
1
Remedial Law
the outcome of the case. Instead, they should give the
Annulment of order of non-suit; no forum shopping where necessary assistance to their counsel and exercise due
petitioner also files notice of appeal pertaining to decision diligence to monitor the status of the case for what is at
on the merits.Finally, we find no merit in respondent stake is ultimately their interest. Selwyn F. Lao, et al.
bank’s claim that petitioner committed forum shopping. vs. Special Plans, Inc., G.R. No. 164791, June 29, 2010
The issue brought before us is whether the CA correctly
dismissed petitioner’s petition for annulment of the Order Appeals; factual findings of trial court. Jurisprudence
dated November 11, 2003 declaring her non-suited for dictates that factual findings of the trial court, especially
failure to appear at the pre-trial conference of Civil Case when affirmed by the appellate court, are accorded the
No. V-072-07-2002. On the other hand, petitioner’s Notice highest degree of respect and are considered conclusive
of Appeal in Civil Case Nos. V-006-01-2002 and V-072-07- between the parties. A review of such findings by this
2002 pertained to the decision of the RTC rendered on the Court is not warranted except for highly meritorious
merits. Spouses Oscar Arcenas and Dolores Arcenas vs. circumstances when: (1) the findings of a trial court are
Queen City Development Bank and Court of Appeals grounded entirely on speculation, surmises or conjectures;
(Nineteenth Division), G.R. No. 166819, June 16, 2010 (2) a lower court’s inference from its factual findings is
manifestly mistaken, absurd or impossible; (3) there is
Appeals; effect of failure to appeal. In its Memorandum, grave abuse of discretion in the appreciation of facts; (4)
SPI prays that petitioners be ordered to pay 3% interest the findings of the appellate court go beyond the issues of
monthly as stipulated in the Contract for Lease, plus the case, or fail to notice certain relevant facts which, if
attorney’s fees. However, as SPI did not appeal the RTC properly considered, will justify a different conclusion; (5)
Decision before the appellate court, we cannot act on the there is a misappreciation of facts; (6) the findings of fact
same. It is well-settled that a party who has not appealed are conclusions without mention of the specific evidence
from a Decision cannot seek any relief other than what is on which they are based, are premised on the absence of
provided in the judgment appealed from. SPI did not evidence, or are contradicted by evidence on record.
appeal, thus it cannot obtain from the appellate court any None of the foregoing exceptions which would warrant a
affirmative relief other than those granted in the Decision reversal of the assailed decision obtains in this instance.
of the court below. It can only advance any argument that St. Joseph’s College, Sr., Josephini Ambatali, SFIC, and
it may deem necessary to defeat petitioners’ claim or to Rosalinda Tabugo vs. Jayson Miranda, represented by
uphold the Decision that is being disputed, and it can his father, Rodolfo S. Miranda, G.R. No. 182353, June
assign errors in its brief if such is required to strengthen 29, 2010
the views expressed by the court a quo. These assigned
errors, in turn, may be considered by the appellate court Appeals; “Fresh period rule” in “Neypes v. Court of
solely to maintain the appealed decision on other grounds, Appeals” not applicable to administrative appeal from
but not for the purpose of reversing or modifying the DENR regional office to DENR Secretary.
judgment in SPI’s favor and giving it other reliefs. TheissuebeforetheCourtofAppeals was whether the “fresh
period rule” laid down in Neypes applies to petitioner’s
We find on record that SPI’s counsel, with the concurrence case, i.e., that he had a fresh period of 15 days to appeal
of its Vice President, withdrew his appearance on RD Sampulna’s October 16, 2007 Order to the DENR
November 24, 2000. The RTC granted said withdrawal in Secretary, counted from her notice on September 12, 2007
its Order dated January 5, 2001. Subsequently, the case of the RD’s Order of September 6, 2007 denying her
was decided by the RTC and appealed by the petitioners to motion for reconsideration of the decision. The “fresh
the CA. In due time, the CA rendered judgment on the period rule” in Neypes declares:
same and petitioners filed this Petition for Review on
Certiorari. SPI did not interpose an appeal from the RTC To standardize the appeal periods provided in the
Decision nor from the CA Decision. After more than six Rulesand to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their
years, on September 13, 2007, a new law firm entered its cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period
appearance as counsel of SPI. SPI now claims that it was of 15 days within which to file the notice of appealin the
not able to appeal the Decision of the RTC and Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of the order
subsequently of the CA which failed to impose 3% monthly dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for
interest as provided in the Contract of Lease because it reconsideration.
never received said Decisions, considering that its counsel
has migrated to another country and that petitioners Henceforth, this “fresh period rule”
misled the courts about SPI’s address. We are not shallalsoapplytoRule40 governing appeals from the
persuaded. SPI failed to exercise due diligence in keeping Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional Trial Courts; Rule42
itself updated on the developments of the case. That its on petitions for review from the Regional Trial Courts to
erstwhile counsel has not communicated for a long period the Court of Appeals; Rule43 on appeals from quasi-
of time and has migrated abroad, should have cautioned it judicial agencies to the Court of Appeals; and Rule45
that something was amiss with the case. By that time, SPI governing appeals by certiorari to the Supreme Court. The
should have initiated moves to locate its counsel or to new rule aims to regiment or make the appeal period
inquire from the court on the progress of the case. It uniform, to be counted from receipt of the order denying
should have ensured that its address on record with the the motion for new trial, motion for reconsideration
court is updated and current. Thus, it has been equally (whether full or partial) or any final order or resolution.
stressed that litigants represented by counsel should not
expect that all they need to do is sit back, relax and await x x x. This pronouncement is not inconsistent with
2
Remedial Law
Rule41, Section3oftheRules which states that the appeal resolution of denial;” whereas if the decision is reversed,
shall be taken within 15 days from notice of judgment or the adverse party has a fresh 15-day period to perfect his
final order appealed from. The use of the disjunctive word appeal. Rule 41, Section 3 of the Rules of Court, as
“or” signifies disassociation and independence of one thing clarified in Neypes, being inconsistent with Section 1 of
from another. It should, as a rule, be construed in the Administrative Order No. 87, Series of 1990, it may not
sense in which it ordinarily implies. Hence, the use of apply to the case of petitioner whose motion for
“or” in the above provision supposes that the notice of reconsideration was denied. Julieta Panolino vs.
appeal may be filed within 15 days from notice of Josephine L. Tajala, G.R. No. 183616, June 29, 2010
judgment or within 15 days from notice of the “final
order,” which we already determined to refer to the x x x Appeals; late filing excused in interest of substantial
order denying the motion for a new trial or justice. It is settled that an appeal must be perfected
reconsideration. within the reglementary period provided by law;
otherwise, the decision becomes final and executory.
Neither does this new rule run counter to the spirit of Before the Supreme Court, a petition for review on
Section39ofBP129 which shortened the appeal period from certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil
30 days to 15 days to hasten the disposition of cases. The Procedure, as amended, must be filed within fifteen (15)
original period of appeal x x x remains and the days from notice of the judgment or final order or
requirement for strict compliance still applies.The fresh resolution appealed from, or of the denial of the
period of 15 days becomes significant only when a party petitioner’s motion for new trial or reconsideration filed in
opts to file a motion for reconsideration. In this manner, due time after notice of the judgment. Even then, review
the trial court which rendered the assailed decision is is not a matter of right, but of sound judicial discretion,
given another opportunity to review the case and, in the and may be granted only when there are special and
process, minimize and/or rectify any error of judgment. important reasons therefor. In the case at bar, the Docket
While we aim to resolve cases with dispatch and to have Division of the OSG received a copy of the CA decision on
judgments of courts become final at some definite time, November 7, 2007. It was not until February 1, 2008 or
we likewise aspire to deliver justice fairly. almost three (3) months however, that the OSG, for
petitioner, filed a petition for review on certiorari with
In this case, the new period of 15 days eradicates the this Court. The OSG pleads for understanding considering
confusion as to when the 15-day appeal period should be the scarcity of its lawyers and the inadvertence of the
counted–from receipt of notice of judgment x x x or from temporarily-designated OIC of Division XV in overlooking
receipt of notice of “final order” appealed from x x x. that the CA decision was adverse to PEZA.

To recapitulate, a party litigant may either file his While the Court realizes the OSG’s difficulty in having only
notice of appeal within 15 days from receipt of the three (3) lawyers working full time on its cases, the OSG
Regional Trial Court’s decision or file it within 15 days from could have easily asked for an extension of time within
receipt of the order (the “final order”) denying his motion which to file the petition. More importantly, as the
for new trial or motion for reconsideration. Obviously, the government agency tasked to represent the government in
new 15-day period may be availed of only if either motion litigations, the OSG should perform its duty with
is filed; otherwise, the decision becomes final and promptness and utmost diligence. However, upon careful
executory after the lapse of the original appeal period consideration of the merits of this case, the Court is
provided in Rule 41, Section 3. (emphasis and underscoring inclined to overlook this procedural lapse in the interest of
supplied; italics in the original) substantial justice. Although a party is bound by the acts
of its counsel, including the latter’s mistakes and
XXX XXX XXX negligence, a departure from this rule is warranted where
such mistake or neglect would result in serious injustice to
As reflected in the above-quoted portion of the decision in the client. Indeed, procedural rules may be relaxed for
Neypes, the “fresh period rule” shall apply to Rule40 persuasive reasons to relieve a litigant of an injustice not
(appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts to the Regional commensurate with his failure to comply with the
Trial Courts); Rule41 (appeals from the Regional Trial prescribed procedure. More so, when to allow the assailed
Courts to the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court); Rule42 decision to go unchecked would set a precedent that will
(appeals from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of sanction a violation of substantive law. Such is the
Appeals); Rule43 (appeals from quasi-judicial agencies to situation in this case. Philippine Economic Zone
the Court of Appeals); and Rule45 (appeals by certiorari to Authority, represented herein by Dir. Gen. Lilia B. De
the Supreme Court). Obviously, these Rules cover judicial Lima vs. Joseph Jude Carantes and all the other heirs of
proceedings under the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. Maximino Carantes, G.R. No. 181274. June 23, 2010

Petitioner’s present case is administrative in nature Appeals; Rule 45 petition may raise only questions of law.
involving an appeal from the decision or order of the DENR At the outset, we note that this recourse is a petition for
regional office to the DENR Secretary. Such appeal is review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.
indeed governed by Section 1 of Administrative Order No. Under Section 1 of the Rule, such a petition shall raise
87, Series of 1990. As earlier quoted, Section 1 clearly only questions of law which must be distinctly alleged in
provides that if the motion for reconsideration is denied, the appropriate pleading. In a case involving a question of
the movant shall perfect his appeal “during the remainder law, the resolution of the issue must rest solely on what
of the period of appeal, reckoned from receipt of the the law provides for a given set of facts drawn from the
3
Remedial Law
evidence presented. Stated differently, there should be concurrence of jurisdiction is not, however, to be taken as
nothing in dispute as to the state of facts; the issue to be
according to parties seeking any of the writs an absolute,
resolved is merely the correctness of the conclusion drawn
unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to which
from the said facts. Once it is clear that the issue invites
application therefor will be directed. There is after all a
a review of the probative value of the evidence presented,
hierarchy of courts. That hierarchy is determinative of
the question posed is one of fact. If the query requires a
the venue of appeals, and also serves as a general
reevaluation of the credibility of witnesses, or the determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the
existence or relevance of surrounding circumstances and extraordinary writs. A becoming regard for that judicial
their relation to each other, then the issue is necessarily
hierarchy most certainly indicates that petitions for the
factual. A perusal of the assignment of errors and the issuance of extraordinary writs against first level
discussion set forth by MSCI would readily show that the (“inferior”) courts should be filed with the Regional Trial
petition seeks a review of all the evidence presented Court, and those against the latter, with the Court of
before the RTC and reviewed by the CA; therefore, the Appeals. A direct invocation of the Supreme Court’s
issue is factual. Accordingly, the petition should be original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be allowed
dismissed outright, especially considering that the very only when there are special and important reasons
same factual circumstances in this petition have already therefor, clearly and specifically set out in the petition.
been ruled upon by the CA. Makati Sports Club, Inc. vs. This is [an] established policy. It is a policy necessary to
Cecile H. Cheng, et al., G.R. No. 178523, June 16, 2010 prevent inordinate demands upon the Court’s time and
attention which are better devoted to those matters
Appeals; withdrawal of appeal. Section 3, Rule 50 of the within its exclusive jurisdiction, and to prevent further
1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, provides: over-crowding of the Court’s docket. (Emphasis supplied.)

Sec. 3. Withdrawal of appeal. – An appeal may be The rationale for this rule is two-fold: (a) it would be an
withdrawn as of right at any time before the filing of imposition upon the precious time of this Court; and (b) it
appellee’s brief. Thereafter, the withdrawal may be would cause an inevitable and resultant delay, intended or
allowed in the discretion of the court. (underscoring otherwise, in the adjudication of cases, which in some
supplied) instances had to be remanded or referred to the lower
court as the proper forum under the rules of procedure, or
At the time petitioner moved to withdraw her appeal, as better equipped to resolve the issues because this Court
respondents had not yet filed their brief, hence, the grant is not a trier of facts. This Court thus reaffirms the
thereof by the appellate court was in order. Nelly Bautista judicial policy that it will not entertain direct resort to it
vs. Seraph Management Group, Inc., G.R. No. 174039, unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in the
June 29, 2010 appropriate courts, and exceptional and compelling
circumstances, such as cases of national interest and of
Certiorari; grave abuse of discretion. A special civil action serious implications, justify the availment of the
for certiorari, under Rule 65, is an independent action extraordinary remedy of writ of certiorari, calling for the
based on the specific grounds therein provided and will lie exercise of its primary jurisdiction. Exceptional and
only if there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy, and compelling circumstances were held present in the
adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. A petition following cases: (a) Chavez v. Romulo, on citizens’ right to
for certiorari will prosper only if grave abuse of discretion bear arms; (b) Government of [the] United States of
is alleged and proved to exist. “Grave abuse of America v. Hon. Purganan, on bail in extradition
discretion,” under Rule 65, has a specific meaning. It is proceedings; (c) Commission on Elections v. Judge
the arbitrary or despotic exercise of power due to passion, Quijano-Padilla, on government contract involving
prejudice or personal hostility; or the whimsical, arbitrary, modernization and computerization of voters’ registration
or capricious exercise of power that amounts to an evasion list; (d) Buklod ng Kawaning EIIB v. Hon. Sec. Zamora, on
or refusal to perform a positive duty enjoined by law or to status and existence of a public office; and (e) Hon.
act at all in contemplation of law. For an act to be struck Fortich v. Hon. Corona, on the so-called “Win-Win
down as having been done with grave abuse of discretion, Resolution” of the Office of the President which modified
the abuse of discretion must be patent and gross. Such is the approval of the conversion to agro-industrial area.
not the case here. Rudolfo I. Beluso vs. Commission on
Elections, et al., G.R. No. 180711. June 22, 2010 In the case at bench, petitioner failed to specifically and
sufficiently set forth special and important reasons to
Certiorari; hierarchy of courts. Primarily, although this justify direct recourse to this Court and why this Court
Court, the Court of Appeals and the Regional Trial Courts should give due course to this petitionin the first instance,
have concurrent jurisdiction to issue writs of certiorari, hereby failing to fulfill the conditions set forth in Heirs of
prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and BertuldoHinog v. Melicor. The present petition should have
injunction, such concurrence does not give the petitioner been initially filed in the Court of Appealsin strict
unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. In Heirs of observance of the doctrine on the hierarchy of courts.
BertuldoHinog v. Melicor, citing People v. Cuaresma, this Failure to do so is sufficient cause for the dismissal of this
Court made the following pronouncements: petition. Chamber of Real Estate and Builders
Associations, Inc. vs. The Secretary of Agrarian Reform,
This Court’s original jurisdiction to issue writs of G.R. No. 183409, June 18, 2010
certiorari is not exclusive. It is shared by this Court with
Regional Trial Courts and with the Court of Appeals. This Certiorari; nature and requisites. The special civil action
4
Remedial Law
for certiorari is intended for the correction of errors of remedy. Where an appeal is available, certiorari will not
jurisdiction only or grave abuse of discretion amounting to prosper, even if the ground therefore is grave abuse of
lack or excess of jurisdiction. Its principal office is only to discretion. Accordingly, when a party adopts an improper
keep the inferior court within the parameters of its remedy, his petition may be dismissed outright. Pertinent,
jurisdiction or to prevent it from committing such a grave therefore, to a resolution of the case at bar is a
abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of determination of whether or not an appeal or any plain,
jurisdiction. The essential requisites for a Petition for speedy and adequate remedy was still available to
Certiorari under Rule 65 are: (1) the writ is directed petitioners, the absence of which would warrant
against a tribunal, a board, or an officer exercising petitioners’ decision to seek refuge under Rule 65 of the
judicial or quasi-judicial functions; (2) such tribunal, Rules of Court. A perusal of the records will show that
board, or officer has acted without or in excess of petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration to the
jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting January 4, 2005 CA Decision, which was, however, denied
to lack or excess of jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal by the CA via a Resolution dated March 18, 2005. As
or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary manifested by petitioners, they received a copy of the
course of law. March 18, 2005 CA Resolution on March 28, 2005. Thus,
from March 28, 2005, petitioners had 15 days, or until
Excess of jurisdiction as distinguished from absence of April 12, 2005, to appeal the CA Resolution under Rule 45.
jurisdiction means that an act, though within the general Clearly, petitioners had an available appeal under Rule 45
power of a tribunal, board or officer, is not authorized and which, under the circumstances, was the plain, speedy
invalid with respect to the particular proceeding, because and adequate remedy. However, petitioners instead chose
the conditions which alone authorize the exercise of the to file a special civil action for certiorari, under Rule 65,
general power in respect of it are wanting. Without on April 18, 2005, which was 6 days after the reglementary
jurisdiction means lack or want of legal power, right or period under Rule 45 had expired. The fact that the
authority to hear and determine a cause or causes, petitioners used the Rule 65 modality as a substitute for a
considered either in general or with reference to a lost appeal is made plainly manifest by: a) its filing the
particular matter. It means lack of power to exercise said petition 6 days after the expiration of the 15-day
authority. Grave abuse of discretionimplies such reglementary period for filing a Rule 45 appeal; and b) its
capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is petition which makes specious allegations of “grave abuse
equivalent to lack of jurisdiction or, in other words, where of discretion.” But it asserts that the CA erred (1) when it
the power is exercised in an arbitrary manner by reason of declared that the petitioners failed in their undertakings
passion, prejudice, or personal hostility, and it must be so to provide drainage in accordance with the requirements
patent or gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive of the MOA; (2) when it declared that petitioners are
duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or solely culpable for the lack of an environmental
to act at all in contemplation of law. Chamber of Real compliance certificate, when it awarded temperate
Estate and Builders Associations, Inc. vs. The Secretary damages; and (3) when it ordered the automatic forfeiture
of Agrarian Reform, G.R. No. 183409, June 18, 2010 of the performance bond. These are mere errors of
judgment which would have been the proper subjects of a
Certiorari; not a substitute for lost appeal. Prefatorily, petition for review under rule 45. Artistica Ceramica,
the Court notes that petitioners filed a special civil action Inc., Ceralinda, Inc. Cyber Ceramics, Inc. and
for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Millennium, Inc. vs. Ciudad Del Carmen Homeowner’s
Procedure. As a rule, the remedy from a judgment or final Association, Inc. and Bukluran Purok II Residents’
order of the CA is appeal via petition for review under Rule Association, G.R. No. 167583-84, June 16, 2010
45 of the Rules of Court. In Mercado v. Court of Appeals,
this Court had again stressed the difference of the Certiorari; not available to correct errors of judgment.
remedies provided for under Rule 45 and Rule 65 of the While petitioners would insist that the CA committed
Rules of Court, to wit: grave abuse of discretion, this Court is of the opinion,
however, that the assailed Decision and Resolution of the
x x x [T]he proper remedy of the party aggrieved by a CA, granting the forfeiture of the performance bond
decision of the Court of Appeals is a petition for review among others, amount to nothing more than errors of
under Rule 45, which is not identical with a petition for judgment, correctible by appeal. When a court, tribunal,
review under Rule 65. Under Rule 45, decisions, final or officer has jurisdiction over the person and the subject
orders or resolutions of the Court of Appeals in any case, matter of the dispute, the decision on all other questions
i.e., regardless of the nature of the action or proceedings arising in the case is an exercise of that jurisdiction.
involved, may be appealed to us by filing a petition for Consequently, all errors committed in the exercise of said
review, which would be but a continuation of the jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment. Under
appellate process over the original case. On the other prevailing procedural rules and jurisprudence, errors of
hand, a special civil action under Rule 65 is an judgment are not proper subjects of a special civil action
independent action based on the specific ground therein for certiorari. If every error committed by the trial court
provided and, as a general rule, cannot be availed of as a or quasi-judicial agency were to be the proper subject of a
substitute for the lost remedy of an ordinary appeal, special civil action for certiorari, then trial would never
including that to be taken under Rule 45. x x x end and the dockets of appellate courts would be clogged
beyond measure. For this reason, where the issue or
One of the requisites of certiorari is that there be no question involved affects the wisdom or legal soundness of
available appeal or any plain, speedy and adequate the decision, not the jurisdiction of the court to render
5
Remedial Law
said decision, the same is beyond the province of a special petition for certiorari was evidently filed out of time, as
civil action for certiorari. Since petitioners filed the its filing was reckoned from the denial of the last motion.
instant special civil action for certiorari, instead of appeal The subject Motion to Dismiss was filed in an attempt to
via a petition for review, the petition should be dismissed. resurrect the remedy of a petition for certiorari, which
Artistica Ceramica, Inc., Ceralinda, Inc. Cyber Ceramics, had been lost long before its filing. Philippine National
Inc. and Millennium, Inc. vs. Ciudad Del Carmen Bank vs. The Intestate Estate of Francisco de Guzman,
Homeowner’s Association, Inc. and Bukluran Purok II represented by His Heirs: Rosalia, Eleuterio, Joe,
Residents’ Association, G.R. No. 167583-84, June 16, Ernesto, Harison, all surnamed De Guzman, and Gina De
2010 Guzman, G.R. No. 182507, June 16, 2010

Certiorari; not available to correct errors of judgment. Certiorari; requirement that tribunal, board or officer be
Nothing in the records of this case supports petitioner’s acting in a judicial or quasi-judicial capacity. In the case
bare assertion that the COMELEC rendered its assailed before this Court, the petitioner fails to meet the above-
Resolutions with grave abuse of discretion. Beluso alleged mentioned requisites for the proper invocation of a
grave abuse of discretion on the part of the COMELEC in Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. The Secretary of
perpetually disqualifying him to serve in any canvassing Agrarian Reform in issuing the assailed DAR AO No. 01-02,
board, yet failed to prove where the abuse existed. as amended, as well as Memorandum No. 88 did so in
Notably, the apparent thrust of Beluso’s petition is the accordance with his mandate to implement the land use
alleged error on the part of the COMELEC in drawing its conversion provisions of Republic Act No. 6657. In the
conclusions based on its findings and investigation. Thus, process, he neither acted in any judicial or quasi-judicial
in reality, what Beluso was questioning is the COMELEC’s capacity nor assumed unto himself any performance of
appreciation of evidence. At this point, however, it is not judicial or quasi-judicial prerogative. A Petition for
this Court’s function to re-evaluate the findings of fact of Certiorari is a special civil action that may be invoked only
the COMELEC, given its limited scope of its review power, against a tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial
which is properly confined only to issues of jurisdiction or functions. Section 1, Rule 65 of the 1997 Revised Rules of
grave abuse of discretion. Moreover, the arguments in the Civil Procedure is explicit on this matter, viz.:
petition and the issues alleged are only possible errors of
judgment, questioning the correctness of the COMELEC’s SECTION 1. Petition for certiorari. – When any tribunal,
rulings. Where the real issue involves the wisdom or legal board or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial
soundness of the decision – not the jurisdiction of the functions has acted without or in excess of its or his
court to render said decision – the same is beyond the jurisdiction, or with grave abuse of discretion amounting
province of a petition for certiorari under Rule 65. It is to lack or excess of jurisdiction, and there is no appeal,
well settled that a writ of certiorari may be issued only for nor any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the
the correction of errors of jurisdiction or grave abuse of ordinary course of law, a person aggrieved thereby may
discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. The file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging the
writ cannot be used for any other purpose, as its function facts with certainty and praying that judgment must be
is limited to keeping the inferior court within the bounds rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such
of its jurisdiction. The supervisory jurisdiction of this tribunal, board or officer.
Court to issue a certiorari writ cannot be exercised in
order to review the judgment of the lower court as to its A tribunal, board, or officer is said to be exercising
intrinsic correctness, either upon the law or the facts of judicial function where it has the power to determine
the case. Rudolfo I. Beluso vs. Commission on Elections, what the law is and what the legal rights of the parties
et al., G.R. No. 180711. June 22, 2010 are, and then undertakes to determine these questions
and adjudicate upon the rights of the parties. Quasi-
Certiorari; period for filing counted from denial of first judicial function, on the other hand, is “a term which
motion for reconsideration. In San Juan, the Court was applies to the actions, discretion, etc., of public
also confronted with the question of when the administrative officers or bodies x x x required to
reglementary period for filing a petition for certiorari shall investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold
be reckoned. Petitioner therein filed second and third hearings, and draw conclusions from them as a basis for
motions for reconsideration from the interlocutory order their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial
and when he filed the petition for certiorari with the CA, nature.” Before a tribunal, board, or officer may exercise
he counted the 60-day reglementary period from the judicial or quasi-judicial acts, it is necessary that there be
notice of denial of his third motion for reconsideration. He a law that gives rise to some specific rights of persons or
argued that, since there is no rule prohibiting the filing of property under which adverse claims to such rights are
a second or third motion for reconsideration of an made, and the controversy ensuing therefrom is brought
interlocutory order, the 60-day period should be counted before a tribunal, board, or officer clothed with power
from the notice of denial of the last motion for and authority to determine the law and adjudicate the
reconsideration. Having declared that the filing of a respective rights of the contending parties. The Secretary
second motion for reconsideration that merely reiterates of Agrarian Reform does not fall within the ambit of a
the arguments in the first motion is subject to denial, the tribunal, board, or officer exercising judicial or quasi-
Court held that the 60-day period for filing a petition for judicial functions. The issuance and enforcement by the
certiorari shall be reckoned from the trial court’s denial of Secretary of Agrarian Reform of the questioned DAR AO
the first motion for reconsideration, otherwise, indefinite No. 01-02, as amended, and Memorandum No. 88 were
delays will ensue. Applying the ruling in San Juan, the done in the exercise of his quasi-legislative and
6
Remedial Law
administrative functions and not of judicial or quasi- Forum shopping; no forum shopping where petitions have
judicial functions. In issuing the aforesaid administrative different causes of action and seek different reliefs.
issuances, the Secretary of Agrarian Reform never made Forum shopping consists of the filing of multiple suits
any adjudication of rights of the parties. As such, it can involving the same parties for the same cause of action,
never be said that the Secretary of Agrarian Reform had either simultaneously or successively, for the purpose of
acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or obtaining a favorable judgment. Thus, forum shopping
excess of jurisdiction in issuing and enforcing DAR AO No. may arise: (a) whenever as a result of an adverse decision
01-02, as amended, and Memorandum No. 88 for he never in one forum, a party seeks a favorable decision (other
exercised any judicial or quasi-judicial functions but than by appeal or certiorari) in another; or (b) if, after
merely his quasi-legislative and administrative functions. having filed a petition in the Supreme Court, a party files
Chamber of Real Estate and Builders Associations, Inc. another petition in the Court of Appeals, because he
vs. The Secretary of Agrarian Reform, G.R. No. 183409, thereby deliberately splits appeals “in the hope that even
June 18, 2010 as one case in which a particular remedy is sought is
dismissed, another case (offering a similar remedy) would
Dismissals; effect of adjudication on the merits unless still be open”; or (c) where a party attempts to obtain a
court declares otherwise. In any case, we agree with the writ of preliminary injunction from a court after failing to
CA’s conclusion that the trial court did not commit grave obtain the writ from another court. What is truly
abuse of discretion in denying petitioner’s Motion to important to consider in determining whether forum
Dismiss. However, we do not agree that the judgment of shopping exists or not is the vexation caused to the courts
dismissal in the first case was not on the merits. A ruling and the litigants by a party who accesses different courts
on a motion to dismiss, issued without trial on the merits and administrative agencies to rule on the same or related
or formal presentation of evidence, can still be a causes or to grant the same or substantially the same
judgment on the merits. Section 3 of Rule 17 of the Rules reliefs, in the process creating the possibility of conflicting
of Court is explicit that a dismissal for failure to comply decisions being rendered by the different fora upon the
with an order of the court shall have the effect of an same issue. The filing of identical petitions in different
adjudication upon the merits. In other words, unless the courts is prohibited, because such act constitutes forum
court states that the dismissal is without prejudice, the shopping, a malpractice that is proscribed and condemned
dismissal should be understood as an adjudication on the as trifling with the courts and as abusing their processes.
merits and is with prejudice. Philippine National Bank Forum shopping is an improper conduct that degrades the
vs. The Intestate Estate of Francisco de Guzman, administration of justice. Nonetheless, the mere filing of
represented by His Heirs: Rosalia, Eleuterio, Joe, several cases based on the same incident does not
Ernesto, Harison, all surnamed De Guzman, and Gina De necessarily constitute forum shopping. The test is
Guzman, G.R. No. 182507, June 16, 2010 whether the several actions filed involve the same
transactions and the same essential facts and
Execution of judgment; execution upon motion and effect circumstances. The actions must also raise identical
of failure to redeem. Petitioner, in essence, argues that causes of action, subject matter, and issues. Elsewise
the October 11, 1977 Decision was not timely executed stated, forum shopping exists where the elements of litis
because of respondent’s failure to secure the final pendentia are present, or where a final judgment in one
certificate of sale within 10 years from the entry of said case will amount to res judicata in the other.
judgment. This is erroneous. It is not disputed that
shortly after the trial court rendered the aforesaid Lokin has filed the petition for mandamus to compel the
judgment, respondent moved for execution which was COMELEC to proclaim him as the second nominee of CIBAC
granted by the trial court. On June 6, 1978, the subject upon the issuance of NBC Resolution No. 07-72
property was sold on execution sale. Respondent emerged (announcing CIBAC’s entitlement to an additional seat in
as the highest bidder, thus, a certificate of sale was the House of Representatives), and to strike down the
executed by the sheriff in her favor on the same day. As provision in NBC Resolution No. 07-60 and NBC Resolution
correctly held by the trial court, the October 11, 1977 No. 07-72 holding in abeyance “all proclamation of the
Decision was already enforced when the subject property nominees of concerned parties, organizations and
was levied and sold on June 6, 1978 which is within the coalitions with pending disputes shall likewise be held in
five-year period for the execution of a judgment by abeyance until final resolution of their respective cases.”
motion under Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court. It He has insisted that the COMELEC had the ministerial duty
is, likewise, not disputed that petitioner failed to redeem to proclaim him due to his being CIBAC’s second nominee;
the subject property within one year from the annotation and that the COMELEC had no authority to exercise
of the certificate of sale on TCT No. 480537. The discretion and to suspend or defer the proclamation of
expiration of the one-year redemption period foreclosed winning party-list organizations with pending disputes. On
petitioner’s right to redeem the subject property and the the other hand, Lokin has resorted to the petition for
sale thereby became absolute. The issuance thereafter of certiorari to assail the September 14, 2007 resolution of
a final certificate of sale is a mere formality and the COMELEC (approving the withdrawal of the nomination
confirmation of the title that is already vested in of Lokin, Tugna and Galang and the substitution by Cruz-
respondent. Thus, the trial court properly granted the Gonzales as the second nominee and Borje as the third
motion for issuance of the final certificate of sale. Jose nominee); and to challenge the validity of Section 13 of
dela Reyes vs. Josephine Anne B. Ramnani, G.R. No. Resolution No. 7804, the COMELEC’s basis for allowing
169135. June 18, 2010 CIBAC’s withdrawal of Lokin’s nomination.

7
Remedial Law
Applying the test for forum shopping, the consecutive 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, provides,
filing of the action for certiorari and the action for
mandamus did not violate the rule against forum shopping SEC. 9. When final injunction granted. – If after the trial
even if the actions involved the same parties, because of the action it appears that the applicant is entitled to
they were based on different causes of action and the have the act or acts complained of permanently enjoined,
reliefs they sought were different. Luis K. Lokin, Jr. vs. the court shall grant a final injunction perpetually
Commission on Elections, et al./Luis K. Lokin vs. restraining the party or person enjoined from the
Commission on Elections, et al., G.R. Nos. 179431- commission or continuance of the act or acts or confirming
32/G.R. No. 180443. June 22, 2010 the preliminary mandatory injunction.

Injunction; no prohibition against injunction to restrain Two (2) requisites must concur for injunction to issue: (1)
collection of local taxes. A principle deeply embedded in there must be a right to be protected and (2) the acts
our jurisprudence is that taxes being the lifeblood of the against which the injunction is to be directed are violative
government should be collected promptly, without of said right. Particularly, in actions involving realty,
unnecessary hindrance or delay. In line with this principle, preliminary injunction will lie only after the plaintiff has
the National Internal Revenue Code of 1997 (NIRC) fully established his title or right thereto by a proper
expressly provides that no court shall have the authority action for the purpose. To authorize a temporary
to grant an injunction to restrain the collection of any injunction, the complainant must make out at least a
national internal revenue tax, fee or charge imposed by prima facie showing of a right to the final relief.
the code. An exception to this rule obtains only when in Preliminary injunction will not issue to protect a right not
the opinion of the Court of Tax Appeals (CTA) the inesse. These principles are equally relevant to actions
collection thereof may jeopardize the interest of the seeking permanent injunction. Philippine Economic Zone
government and/or the taxpayer. Authority, represented herein by Dir. Gen. Lilia B. De
Lima vs. Joseph Jude Carantes and all the other heirs of
The situation, however, is different in the case of the Maximino Carantes, G.R. No. 181274. June 23, 2010
collection of local taxes as there is no express provision in
the LGC prohibiting courts from issuing an injunction to Injunction; requisites; discretion of trial court. Section 3,
restrain local governments from collecting taxes. Thus, in Rule 58, of the Rules of Court lays down the requirements
the case of Valley Trading Co., Inc. v. Court of First for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction, viz:
Instance of Isabela, Branch II, cited by the petitioner, we
ruled that: (a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief
demanded, and the whole or part of such relief consists in
Unlike the National Internal Revenue Code, the Local restraining the commission or continuance of the acts
Tax Code does not contain any specific provision complained of, or in the performance of an act or acts,
prohibiting courts from enjoining the collection of local either for a limited period or perpetually;
taxes. Such statutory lapse or intent, however it may be
viewed, may have allowed preliminary injunction where (b) That the commission, continuance or non-
local taxes are involved but cannot negate the procedural performance of the act or acts complained of during the
rules and requirements under Rule 58. litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant;
or
In light of the foregoing, petitioner’s reliance on the
above-cited case to support its view that the collection of (c) That a party, court, or agency or a person is doing,
taxes cannot be enjoined is misplaced. The lower court’s threatening, or attempting to do, or is procuring or
denial of the motion for the issuance of a writ of suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in
preliminary injunction to enjoin the collection of the local violation of the rights of the applicant respecting the
tax was upheld in that case, not because courts are subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render
prohibited from granting such injunction, but because the the judgment ineffectual.
circumstances required for the issuance of writ of
injunction were not present. Nevertheless, it must be Two requisites must exist to warrant the issuance of a writ
emphasized that although there is no express prohibition of preliminary injunction, namely: (1) the existence of a
in the LGC, injunctions enjoining the collection of local clear and unmistakable right that must be protected; and
taxes are frowned upon. Courts therefore should exercise (2) an urgent and paramount necessity for the writ to
extreme caution in issuing such injunctions. Angeles City prevent serious damage.
vs. Angeles Electric Corporation, G.R. No. 166134, June
29, 2010 In issuing the injunction, the RTC ratiocinated that:

Injunction; requisites. Injunction is a judicial writ, It is very evident on record that petitioner resorted and
process or proceeding whereby a party is directed either filed an urgent motion for issuance of a temporary
to do a particular act, in which case it is called a restraining order and preliminary injunction to stop the
mandatory injunction or to refrain from doing a particular scheduled auction sale only when a warrant of levy was
act, in which case it is called a prohibitory injunction. As issued and published in the newspaper setting the auction
a main action, injunction seeks to permanently enjoin the sale of petitioner’s property by the City Treasurer, merely
defendant through a final injunction issued by the court few weeks after the petition for declaratory relief has
and contained in the judgment. Section 9, Rule 58 of the been filed, because if the respondent will not be
8
Remedial Law
restrained, it will render this petition moot and academic. judgment in this case ineffectual.
To the mind of the Court, since there is no other plain,
speedy and adequate remedy available to the petitioner in “As an extraordinary remedy, injunction is calculated to
the ordinary course of law except this application for a preserve or maintain the status quo of things and is
temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary generally availed of to prevent actual or threatened acts,
injunction to stop the auction sale and/or to enjoin and/or until the merits of the case can be heard” (Cagayan de
restrain respondents from levying, annotating the levy, Oro City Landless Res. Assn. Inc. vs. CA, 254 SCRA 220)
seizing, confiscating, garnishing, selling and disposing at
public auction the properties of petitioner, or otherwise It appearing that the two essential requisites of an
exercising other administrative remedies against the injunction have been satisfied, as there exists a right on
petitioner and its properties, this alone justifies the move the part of the petitioner to be protected, its right[s] of
of the petitioner in seeking the injunctive reliefs sought ownership and possession of the properties subject of the
for. auction sale, and that the acts (conducting an auction
sale) against which the injunction is to be directed, are
Petitioner in its petition is questioning the assessment violative of the said rights of the petitioner, the Court has
or the ruling of the City Treasurer on the business tax and no other recourse but to grant the prayer for the issuance
fees, and not the local ordinance concerned. This being of a writ of preliminary injunction considering that if the
the case, the Court opines that notice is not required to respondent will not be restrained from doing the acts
the Solicitor General since what is involved is just a complained of, it will preempt the Court from properly
violation of a private right involving the right of ownership adjudicating on the merits the various issues between the
and possession of petitioner’s properties. Petitioner, parties, and will render moot and academic the
therefore, need not comply with Section 4, Rule 63 proceedings before this court.
requiring such notice to the Office of the Solicitor
General. As a rule, the issuance of a preliminary injunction rests
entirely within the discretion of the court taking
The Court is fully aware of the Supreme Court cognizance of the case and will not be interfered with,
pronouncement that injunction is not proper to restrain except where there is grave abuse of discretion committed
the collection of taxes. The issue here as of the moment by the court. For grave abuse of discretion to prosper as a
is the restraining of the respondent from pursuing its ground for certiorari, it must be demonstrated that the
auction sale of the petitioner’s properties. The right of lower court or tribunal has exercised its power in an
ownership and possession of the petitioner over the arbitrary and despotic manner, by reason of passion or
properties subject of the auction sale is at stake. personal hostility, and it must be patent and gross as
would amount to an evasion or to a unilateral refusal to
Respondents assert that not one of the witnesses perform the duty enjoined or to act in contemplation of
presented by the petitioner have proven what kind of right law. In other words, mere abuse of discretion is not
has been violated by the respondent, but merely enough.
mentioned of an injury which is only a scenario based on
speculation because of petitioner’s claim that electric Guided by the foregoing, we find no grave abuse of
power may be disrupted. discretion on the part of the RTC in issuing the writ of
injunction. Petitioner, who has the burden to prove grave
Engr. Abordo’s testimony reveals and even his Affidavit abuse of discretion, failed to show that the RTC acted
Exhibit “S” showed that if the auction sale will push thru, arbitrarily and capriciously in granting the injunction.
petitioner will not only lose control and operation of its Neither was petitioner able to prove that the injunction
facility, but its employees will also be denied access to was issued without any factual or legal justification. In
equipments vital to petitioner’s operations, and since only assailing the injunction, petitioner primarily relied on the
the petitioner has the capability to operate Petersville sub prohibition on the issuance of a writ of injunction to
station, there will be a massive power failure or blackout restrain the collection of taxes. But as we have already
which will adversely affect business and economy, if not said, there is no such prohibition in the case of local
lives and properties in Angeles City and surrounding taxes. Records also show that before issuing the
communities. injunction, the RTC conducted a hearing where both
parties were given the opportunity to present their
Petitioner, thru its witnesses, in the hearing of the arguments. During the hearing, AEC was able to show that
temporary restraining order, presented sufficient and it had a clear and unmistakable legal right over the
convincing evidence proving irreparable damages and properties to be levied and that it would sustain serious
injury which were already elaborated in the temporary damage if these properties, which are vital to its
restraining order although the same may be realized only operations, would be sold at public auction. As we see it
if the auction sale will proceed. And unless prevented, then, the writ of injunction was properly issued.
restrained, and enjoined, grave and irreparable damage
will be suffered not only by the petitioner but all its A final note. While we are mindful that the damage to a
electric consumers in Angeles, Clark, Dau and Bacolor, taxpayer’s property rights generally takes a back seat to
Pampanga. the paramount need of the State for funds to sustain
governmental functions, this rule finds no application in
The purpose of injunction is to prevent injury and the instant case where the disputed tax assessment is not
damage from being incurred, otherwise, it will render any yet due and demandable. Considering that AEC was able
9
Remedial Law
to appeal the denial of its protest within the period Moreover, the RTCs shall exercise original jurisdiction “in
prescribed under Section 195 of the LGC, the collection of the issuance of writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus,
business taxes through levy at this time is, to our mind, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction which may be
hasty, if not premature. The issues of tax exemption, enforced in any part of their respective regions” under
double taxation, prescription and the alleged retroactive Sec. 21 of BP 129.
application of the RRCAC, raised in the protest of AEC now
pending with the RTC, must first be resolved before the PAGCOR’s claim of jurisdiction of this Court over the
properties of AEC can be levied. In the meantime, AEC’s complaint in question heavily leans on Sec. 9 of PD 1869,
rights of ownership and possession must be respected. PAGCOR’s Charter, which provides:
Angeles City vs. Angeles Electric Corporation, G.R. No.
166134, June 29, 2010 Section 9. Regulatory Power.—The Corporation shall
maintain a Registry of the affiliated entities and shall
Jurisdiction; hierarchy of courts. Moreover, it is settled exercise all the powers, authority and responsibilities
that the normal rule is to strictly follow the hierarchy of vested in the Securities and Exchange Commission over
courts, thus: such affiliated entities x x x.

The Supreme Court is a court of last resort, and must so In view of the vestment to PAGCOR by PD 1869 of the
remain if it is to satisfactorily perform the functions powers, authority, and responsibilities of the SEC, PAGCOR
assigned to it by the fundamental charter and immemorial concludes that any decision or ruling it renders has to be
tradition. A direct invocation of this Court’s original brought to this Court via a petition for review based on
jurisdiction to issue said writs should be allowed only Sec. 6 of SEC’s Charter, PD 902-A, which reads:
when there are special and important reasons therefor,
clearly and specifically set out in the petition. This is The aggrieved party may appeal the order, decision or
established policy—a policy that is necessary to prevent ruling of the Commission sitting en banc to the Supreme
inordinate demands upon the Court’s time and attention Court by petition for review in accordance with the
which are better devoted to those matters within its pertinent provisions of the Rules of Court.
exclusive jurisdiction, and to prevent further over-
crowding of the Court’s docket. PAGCOR represented by This reasoning is flawed. A scrutiny of PD 1869
Atty. Carlos R. Bautista, Jr. vs. Fontana Development demonstrates that it has no procedure for the appeal or
Corporation, G.R. No. 187972, June 29, 2010 review of PAGCOR’s decisions or orders. Neither does it
make any express reference to an exclusive remedy that
Jurisdiction; Regional trial court has jurisdiction over can be brought before this Court. Even a review of PD
complaint for injunction against PAGCOR. On the 1869’s predecessor laws—PD 1067-A, 1067-B, 1067-C, 1399,
threshold issue of jurisdiction, PAGCOR insists lack of and 1632, as well as its amendatory law, RA 9487––do not
jurisdiction of the trial court over the complaint of FDC confer original jurisdiction to this Court to review
and, hence, all the processes and writs issued by said PAGCOR’s actions and decisions. PAGCOR, however, insists
court are null and void. It posits that the proper legal that this Court has jurisdiction over an action contesting
remedy of FDC is not through an injunction complaint its exercise of licensing and regulatory powers, i.e., the
before the trial court, but a petition for review on purely revocation of FDC’s license to operate a casino in CSEZ and
questions of law before this Court or an appeal to the that FDC’s complaint is a case of first impression.
Office of the President. It heavily relies on Sec. 9 of PD PAGCOR’s argument is bereft of merit.
1869, which states that PAGCOR “shall exercise all the
powers, authority and responsibilities vested in the A similar factual setting was presented by PAGCOR in
Securities and Exchange Commission,” and Sec. 6 of PD PAGCOR v. Viola, which involves the controversy between
902-A which provides for a petition for review to this Court PAGCOR and the Mimosa Regency Casino that operated
from SEC’s decisions. We are not convinced. inside the CSEZ. Mimosa filed a case for injunction and
prayed for the issuance of a TRO before the Pampanga RTC
Jurisdiction of a court over the subject matter of the when PAGCOR decided to close down the casino. In this
action is a matter of law and is conferred only by the case, PAGCOR likewise assailed the jurisdiction of the trial
Constitution or by statute. It is settled that jurisdiction is court by claiming that an original action before the CA is
determined by the allegations of the complaint or the the proper remedy. In PAGCOR v. Viola, we ruled that
petition irrespective of whether plaintiff is entitled to all PAGCOR, in the exercise of its licensing and regulatory
or some of the claims or reliefs asserted. A perusal of powers, has no quasi-judicial functions, as Secs. 8 and 9 of
FDC’s complaint in Civil Case No. 08-120338 easily reveals PD 1869 do not grant quasi-judicial powers to PAGCOR. As
that it is an action for injunction based on an alleged such, direct resort to this Court is not allowed. While we
violation of contract—the MOA between the parties—which allowed said recourse in Del Mar v. PAGCOR and Jaworski v.
granted FDC the right to operate a casino inside the Clark PAGCOR, that is an exception to the principle of hierarchy
Special Economic Zone (CSEZ). As such, the Manila RTC of courts on the grounds of expediency and the
has jurisdiction over FDC’s complaint anchored on Sec. 19, importance of the issues involved. More importantly, we
Chapter II of BP 129, which grants the RTCs original categorically ruled in PAGCOR v. Viola that cases involving
exclusive jurisdiction over “all civil actions in which the revocation of a license falls within the original jurisdiction
subject of the litigation is incapable of pecuniary of the RTC, thus:
estimation.” Evidently, a complaint for injunction or
breach of contract is incapable of pecuniary estimation. Having settled that PAGCOR’s revocation of MONDRAGON’s
10
Remedial Law
authority to operate a casino was not an exercise of quasi-
judicial powers then it follows that the case was properly Remand of case to the lower court for further reception of
filed before the Regional Trial Court. Hence, as the evidence is not necessary where the court is in a position
Regional Trial Court had jurisdiction to take cognizance of to resolve the dispute based on the records before it. On
the case, petitioner’s contention that the temporary many occasions, the Court, in the public interest and the
restraining order and the preliminary injunction by the expeditious administration of justice, has resolved actions
trial court are void must fail. PAGCOR represented by on the merits instead of remanding them to the trial court
Atty. Carlos R. Bautista, Jr. vs. Fontana Development for further proceedings, such as where the ends of justice
Corporation, G.R. No. 187972, June 29, 2010 would not be subserved by the remand of the case or
when public interest demands an early disposition of the
Jurisdiction; Supreme Court has no original jurisdiction case or where the trial court had already received all the
over petition for declaratory relief. Moreover,although the evidence of the parties. PAGCOR represented by Atty.
instant petition is styled as a Petition for Certiorari, in Carlos R. Bautista, Jr. vs. Fontana Development
essence, it seeks the declaration by this Court of the Corporation, G.R. No. 187972, June 29, 2010
unconstitutionality or illegality of the questioned DAR AO
No. 01-02, as amended, and Memorandum No. 88. It, Motions; notice of hearing not required for non-litigious
thus, partakes of the nature of a Petition for Declaratory motions. As to petitioner’s claim that the subject motion
Relief over which this Court has only appellate, not is defective for lack of a notice of hearing, the CA
original, jurisdiction. Section 5, Article VIII of the 1987 correctly ruled that the subject motion is a non-litigious
Philippine Constitution provides: motion. While, as a general rule, all written motions
should be set for hearing under Section 4, Rule 15 of the
Sec. 5. The Supreme Court shall have the following Rules of Court, excepted from this rule are non-litigious
powers: motions or motions which may be acted upon by the court
without prejudicing the rights of the adverse party. As
(1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting already discussed, respondent is entitled to the issuance
ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, and over of the final certificate of sale as a matter of right and
petitions for certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo petitioner is powerless to oppose the same. Hence, the
warranto, and habeas corpus. subject motion falls under the class of non-litigious
motions. At any rate, the trial court gave petitioner an
(2) Review, revise, reverse, modify, or affirm on opportunity to oppose the subject motion as in fact he
appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may filed a Comment/ Opposition on March 1, 2004 before the
provide, final judgments and orders of lower courts in: trial court. Petitioner cannot, therefore, validly claim
that he was denied his day in court. Jose delaReyes vs.
(a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity Josephine Anne B. Ramnani, G.R. No. 169135. June 18,
of any treaty, international or executive agreement, law, 2010
presidential decree, proclamation, order, instruction,
ordinance, or regulation is in question. (Emphasis Motions; Three-day notice rule. Furthermore, the RTC
supplied.) likewise erred in dismissing petitioner’s Omnibus Motion
for allegedly failing to comply with the three-day notice
With that, this Petition must necessarily fail because this requirement. The RTC found that the notice of hearing of
Court does not have original jurisdiction over a Petition for petitioner’s Omnibus Motion which was set to be heard on
Declaratory Relief even if only questions of law are 12 November 2004 was received by respondent on 9
involved. Chamber of Real Estate and Builders November 2004. The RTC held that the service of the
Associations, Inc. vs. The Secretary of Agrarian Reform, notice of hearing was one day short of the prescribed
G.R. No. 183409, June 18, 2010 minimum three days notice. We disagree. Section 4 of
Rule 15 provides that “[e]very written motion required to
Jurisdiction; Supreme Court may resolve complaint on the be heard and the notice of the hearing thereof shall be
merits rather than remand to trial court, where justice served in such a manner as to ensure its receipt by the
and equity require it. While it is the trial court that has other party at least three (3) days before the date of the
original jurisdiction over FDC’s complaint, PAGCOR hearing, unless the court for good cause sets the hearing
nevertheless prays that this Court “suspend the Rules and on shorter notice.” Thus, the date of the hearing should
directly decide the entire controversy in this proceeding be at least three days after receipt of the notice of
instead of remanding the same to the trial court.” hearing by the other parties. In this case, the petitioner’s
Omnibus Motion was set for hearing on 12 November 2004.
In the exercise of its broad discretionary power, we will Thus, to comply with the notice requirement, respondent
resolve FDC’s complaint on the merits, instead of should have received the notice of the hearing at least
remanding it to the trial court for further proceedings. three days before 12 November 2004, which is 9 November
Moreover, the dispute between the parties involves a 2004. Clearly, respondent’s receipt on 9 November 2004
purely question of law—whether the license or MOA was (Tuesday) of the notice of hearing of the Omnibus Motion
issued pursuant to PD 1869 or Sec. 5, EO 80, in relation to which was set to be heard on 12 November 2004 (Friday),
RA 7227, which does not necessitate a full blown trial. was within the required minimum three-days’ notice. As
Demands of substantial justice and equity require the explained by Retired Justice Jose Y. Feria in his book, Civil
relaxation of procedural rules. In Lianga Bay v. Court of Procedure Annotated, when the notice of hearing should
Appeals, the Court held: be given:
11
Remedial Law
pleadings in opposition to the motion. The Court held:
The ordinary motion day is Friday. Hence, the notice
should be served by Tuesday at the latest, in order that This Court has indeed held time and again, that under
the requirement of the three days may be complied with. Sections 4 and 5 of Rule 15 of the Rules of Court,
mandatory is the requirement in a motion, which is
If notice be given by ordinary mail, it should be actually rendered defective by failure to comply with the
received by Tuesday, or if not claimed from the post requirement. As a rule, a motion without a notice of
office, the date of the first notice of the postmaster hearing is considered pro forma and does not affect the
should be at least five (5) days before Tuesday. (Emphasis reglementary period for the appeal or the filing of the
supplied) Fausto R. Preysler vs. Manila South Coast requisite pleading.
Development Corporation, G.R. No. 171872, June 28,
2010 As an integral component of the procedural due
process, the three-day notice required by the Rules is not
Motions; Three-day notice rule; substantial compliance. In intended for the benefit of the movant. Rather, the
upholding the RTC Order denying petitioner’s Motion for requirement is for the purpose of avoiding surprises that
Reconsideration, the Court of Appeals relied mainly on may be sprung upon the adverse party, who must be given
petitioner’s alleged violation of the notice requirements time to study and meet the arguments in the motion
under Sections 4, 5, and 6, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court before a resolution of the court. Principles of natural
which read: justice demand that the right of a party should not be
affected without giving it an opportunity to be heard.
SECTION 4. Hearing of motion. – Except for motions
which the court may act upon without prejudicing the The test is the presence of opportunity to be heard, as
rights of the adverse party, every written motion shall be well as to have time to study the motion and meaningfully
set for hearing by the applicant. oppose or controvert the grounds upon which it is based. x
xx
Every written motion required to be heard and the
notice of the hearing thereof shall be served in such a A close perusal of the records reveal that the trial court
manner as to ensure its receipt by the other party at least gave petitioner ten days within which to comment on
three (3) days before the date of hearing, unless the court respondent’s Motion for Reconsideration. Petitioner filed
for good cause sets the hearing on shorter notice. its Opposition to the Motion on November 26, 2001. In its
14-page Opposition, it not only pointed out that the
SECTION 5. Notice of hearing. – The notice of hearing Motion was defective for not containing a notice of
shall be addressed to all parties concerned, and shall hearing and should then be dismissed outright by the
specify the time and date of the hearing which must not court; it also ventilated its substantial arguments against
be later than ten (10) days after the filing of the motion. the merits of the Motion and of the Supplemental Motion
for Reconsideration. Notably, its arguments were recited
SECTION 6. Proof of service necessary. – No written at length in the trial court’s January 8, 2002 Joint
motion set for hearing shall be acted upon by the court Resolution. Nevertheless, the court proceeded to deny the
without proof of service thereof. Motions on the sole ground that they did not contain any
notice of hearing.
The three-day notice rule is not absolute. A liberal
construction of the procedural rules is proper where the The requirement of notice of time and hearing in the
lapse in the literal observance of a rule of procedure has pleading filed by a party is necessary only to apprise the
not prejudiced the adverse party and has not deprived the other of the actions of the former. Under the
court of its authority. Indeed, Section 6, Rule 1 of the circumstances of the present case, the purpose of a notice
Rules of Court provides that the Rules should be liberally of hearing was served. (Emphasis supplied)
construed in order to promote their objective of securing
a just, speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action In this case, the Court of Appeals ruled that petitioner
and proceeding. Rules of procedure are tools designed to failed to comply with the three-day notice rule. However,
facilitate the attainment of justice, and courts must avoid the Court of Appeals overlooked the fact that although
their strict and rigid application which would result in respondent received petitioner’s Motion for
technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote Reconsideration six days after the scheduled hearing on 26
substantial justice. In Somera Vda. De Navarro v. Navarro, February 2004, the said hearing was reset three (3) times
the Court held that there was substantial compliance of with due notice to the parties. Thus, it was only on 6
the rule on notice of motions even if the first notice was August 2004, or more than five months after respondent
irregular because no prejudice was caused the adverse received a copy of petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration,
party since the motion was not considered and resolved that the motion was heard by the RTC. Clearly, respondent
until after several postponements of which the parties had more than sufficient time to oppose petitioner’s
were duly notified. Likewise, in Jehan Shipping Motion for Reconsideration. In fact, respondent did oppose
Corporation v. National Food Authority, the Court held that the motion when it filed its Motion to Dismiss dated 9
despite the lack of notice of hearing in a Motion for August 2004. In view of the circumstances of this case, we
Reconsideration, there was substantial compliance with find that there was substantial compliance with
the requirements of due process where the adverse party procedural due process. Instead of dismissing petitioner’s
actually had the opportunity to be heard and had filed Motion for Reconsideration based merely on the alleged
12
Remedial Law
procedural lapses, the RTC should have resolved the order of the court. The Court held, nonetheless, that a
motion based on the merits. Fausto R. Preysler vs. second motion can be denied on the ground that it is
Manila South Coast Development Corporation, G.R. No. merely a rehash or a mere reiteration of the grounds and
171872, June 28, 2010 arguments already passed upon and resolved by the court.
Philippine National Bank vs. The Intestate Estate of
Parties; indispensable party. Moreover, an indispensable Francisco de Guzman, represented by His Heirs: Rosalia,
party is one whose interest in the controversy is such that Eleuterio, Joe, Ernesto, Harison, all surnamed De
a final decree would necessarily affect his/her right, so Guzman, and Gina De Guzman, G.R. No. 182507, June
that the court cannot proceed without their presence. In 16, 2010
contrast, a necessary party is one whose presence in the
proceedings is necessary to adjudicate the whole Preliminary injunction; right in esse. We also find that the
controversy but whose interest is separable such that a character of possession and ownership by the respondents
final decree can be made in their absence without over the contested land entitles them to the avails of the
affecting them. In the instant case, the action for action. A right in esse means a clear and unmistakable
prohibition seeks to enjoin the city government of right. A party seeking to avail of an injunctive relief must
Parañaque from proceeding with its implementation of the prove that he or she possesses a right in esse or one that is
road construction project. The State is neither a necessary actual or existing. It should not be contingent, abstract,
nor an indispensable party to an action where no positive or future rights, or one which may never arise.
act shall be required from it or where no obligation shall
be imposed upon it, such as in the case at bar. Neither In the case at bar, respondents assert that their
would it be an indispensable party if none of its properties predecessor-in-interest, Pedro Vitalez, had occupied and
shall be divested nor any of its rights infringed. Office of possessed the subject lot as early as 1930. In 1964,
the City Mayor of Parañaque City, et al. vs. Mario D. Ebio respondent Mario Ebio secured a permit from the local
and His Children/Heirs namely, Arturo V. Ebio, Eduardo, government of Parañaque for the construction of their
et al., G.R. No. 178411, June 23, 2010 family dwelling on the said lot. In 1966, Pedro executed an
affidavit of possession and occupancy allowing him to
Pleadings; repetitive filing of identical motions. The Court declare the property in his name for taxation purposes.
finds insufferable petitioner’s repeated filing of Motions to Curiously, it was also in 1966 when Guaranteed Homes,
Dismiss raising the same ground. In the three previous Inc., the registered owner of Road Lot No. 8 (“RL 8″) which
Motions to Dismiss and in an omnibus motion for adjoins the land occupied by the respondents, donated RL
reconsideration, petitioner argued that the present case 8 to the local government of Parañaque. From these
was barred by prior judgment and that there was forum- findings of fact by both the trial court and the Court of
shopping. Correspondingly, the issues had been Appeals, only one conclusion can be made: that for more
repetitively passed upon and resolved by the court a quo. than thirty (30) years, neither Guaranteed Homes, Inc. nor
The motions were apparently filed for no other reason the local government of Parañaque in its corporate or
than to gain time and gamble on a possible change of private capacity sought to register the accreted portion.
opinion of the court or the judge sitting on the case. The Undoubtedly, respondents are deemed to have acquired
Motions to Dismiss were filed in a span of five years, the ownership over the subject property through prescription.
first one having been filed on June 1, 2000 and the last ¾ Respondents can assert such right despite the fact that
the subject motion ¾ on February 15, 2005, three years they have yet to register their title over the said lot. It
after petitioner filed its answer. In fact, since the first must be remembered that the purpose of land registration
Motion to Dismiss, three judges had already sat on the is not the acquisition of lands, but only the registration of
case and resolved the motions. By filing these motions, title which the applicant already possessed over the land.
petitioner had disrupted the court’s deliberation on the Registration was never intended as a means of acquiring
merits of the case. This strategy cannot be tolerated as it ownership. A decree of registration merely confirms, but
will entail inevitable delay in the disposition of the case. does not confer, ownership. Office of the City Mayor of
Parañaque City, et al. vs. Mario D. Ebio and His
Although the ground stated in the second Motion to Children/Heirs namely, Arturo V. Ebio, Eduardo, et al.,
Dismiss was forum-shopping and the subsequent motions G.R. No. 178411, June 23, 2010
included other grounds, nonetheless, all of these motions
raised a similar argument—that since the dismissal in the Procedural rules; liberal application not available in
first case is already final and executory and there is no absence of explanation for non-observance of rules.
reservation made by the court in its judgment that the Petitioners ask for leniency from this Court, asking for a
dismissal is without prejudice, the filing of the second liberal application of the rules. However, it is quite
case is barred. Therefore, the subsequent motions, being apparent that petitioners offer no explanation as to why
reiterations of the first motion, technically partook of the they did not appeal under Rule 45. Petitioners’ Petition,
nature of a motion for reconsideration of the interlocutory Reply and Memorandum are all silent on this point,
order denying the first Motion to Dismiss. This is not the probably hoping that the same would go unnoticed by
first time that the Court disallowed the repetitive filing of respondents and by this Court. The attempt to skirt away
identical motions against an interlocutory order. In a from the fact that the 15-day period to file an appeal
parallel case, San Juan, Jr. v. Cruz, the Court under Rule 45 had already lapsed is made even more
acknowledged that there is actually no rule prohibiting the apparent when even after the same was raised in issue by
filing of a pro forma motion against an interlocutory order respondents in their Comment and memorandum,
as the prohibition applies only to a final resolution or petitioners did not squarely address the same, nor offer
13
Remedial Law
any explanation for such omission. In Jan-Dec reglementary periods of appeal. We cite a few typical
Construction Corporation vs. Court of Appeals, this Court examples: In Ramos vs. Bagasao, 96 SCRA 395, we excused
explained why a liberal application of the rules cannot be the delay of four days in the filing of a notice of appeal
made to a petition which offers no explanation for the because the questioned decision of the trial court was
non-observance of the rules, to wit: served upon appellant Ramos at a time when her counsel
of record was already dead. Her new counsel could only
While there are instances where the extraordinary file the appeal four days after the prescribed
remedy of certiorari may be resorted to despite the reglementary period was over. In Republic vs. Court of
availability of an appeal, the long line of decisions denying Appeals, 83 SCRA 453, we allowed the perfection of an
the special civil action for certiorari, either before appeal appeal by the Republic despite the delay of six days to
was availed of or in instances where the appeal period had prevent a gross miscarriage of justice since the Republic
lapsed, far outnumbers the instances where certiorari was stood to lose hundreds of hectares of land alreadytitled in
given due course. The few significant exceptions are: (a) its name and had since then been devoted for educational
when public welfare and the advancement of public policy purposes. In Olacao v. National Labor Relations
dictate; (b) when the broader interests of justice so Commission, 177 SCRA 38, 41, we accepted a tardy appeal
require; (c) when the writs issued are null; and (d) when considering that the subject matter in issue had
the questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of theretofore been judicially settled, with finality, in
judicial authority. another case. The dismissal of the appeal would have had
the effect of the appellant being ordered twice to make
In the present case, petitioner has not provided any the same reparation to the appellee.
cogent explanation that would absolve it of the
consequences of its failure to abide by the Rules. Apropos The case at bench, given its own settings, cannot come
on this point are the Court’s observations in Duremdes v. close to those extraordinary circumstances that have
Duremdes: indeed justified a deviation from an otherwise stringent
rule. Let it not be overlooked that the timeliness of an
Although it has been said time and again that litigation appeal is a jurisdictional caveat that not even this Court
is not a game of technicalities, that every case must be can trifle with.
prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed procedure
so that issues may be properly presented and justly Withal, this Court must stress that the bare invocation of
resolved, this does not mean that procedural rules may “the interest of substantial justice” is not a magic wand
altogether be disregarded. Rules of procedure must be that will automatically compel this Court to suspend
faithfully followed except only when, for persuasive procedural rules. Indeed, in no uncertain terms, this
reasons, they may be relaxed to relieve a litigant of an Court has held that the said Rules may be relaxed only in
injustice commensurate with his failure to comply with ”exceptionally meritorious cases.” Petitioners have failed
the prescribed procedure. Concomitant to a liberal to show that this case is one of the exceptions. Artistica
application of the rules of procedure should be an effort Ceramica, Inc., Ceralinda, Inc. Cyber Ceramics, Inc. and
on the part of the party invoking liberality to adequately Millennium, Inc. vs. Ciudad Del Carmen Homeowner’s
explain his failure to abide by the rules. (Emphasis Association, Inc. and Bukluran Purok II Residents’
supplied.) Association, G.R. No. 167583-84, June 16, 2010

Similarly, in Republic v. Court of Appeals, this Court did Quo warranto; timeliness of petition. On the first issue,
not apply a liberal construction of the rules for failure of the Court finds that public respondent committed grave
petitioner to offer an explanation as to why the petition abuse of discretion in considering petitioner’s Petition for
was filed beyond the reglementary period provided for Quo Warranto filed out of time. Its counting of the 10-day
under Rule 45, to wit: reglementary period provided in its Rules [i.e., Rule 17 of
the 2004 Rules of the House of Representatives Electoral
Admittedly, this Court, in accordance with the liberal Tribunal] from the issuance of NBC Resolution No. 07-60 on
spirit pervading the Rules of Court and in the interest of July 9, 2007 is erroneous.
justice, has the discretion to treat a petition for certiorari
as having been filed under Rule 45, especially if filed To be sure, while NBC Resolution No. 07-60 partially
within the reglementary period for filing a petition for proclaimed CIBAC as a winner in the May, 2007 elections,
review.5 In this case, however, we find no reason to justify along with other party-list organizations, it was by no
a liberal application of the rules. The petition was filed measure a proclamation of private respondent himself as
well beyond the reglementary period for filing a petition required by Section 13 of RA No. 7941.
for review without any reason therefor.
Section 13.How Party-List Representatives are Chosen.
While this Court has in the past allowed the relaxing of the Party-list representatives shall be proclaimed by the
rules on the reglementary periods of appeal, it must be COMELEC based on the list of names submitted by the
stressed that there must be a showing of an extraordinary respective parties, organizations, or coalitions to the
or exceptional circumstance to warrant such liberality. COMELEC according to their ranking in said list.
Bank of America, NT & SA v. Gerochi, Jr. so instructs:
AT ALL EVENTS, this Court set aside NBC Resolution No. 07-
True, in few highly exceptional instances, we have 60 in Barangay Association for National Advancement and
allowed the relaxing of the rules on the application of the Transparency v.COMELEC after revisiting the formula for
14
Remedial Law
allocation of additional seats to party-list organizations. any future case between the same parties, even if the
Considering, however, that the records do not disclose the latter suit may involve a different claim or cause of
exact date of private respondent’s proclamation, the action.
Court overlooks the technicality of timeliness and rules on
the merits. Alternatively, since petitioner’s challenge goes Conclusiveness of judgment proscribes the relitigation in a
into private respondent’s qualifications, it may be filed at second case of a fact or question already settled in a
anytime during his term. previous case. The second case, however, may still
proceed provided that it will no longer touch on the same
Qualifications for public office are continuing fact or question adjudged in the first case. Conclusiveness
requirements and must be possessed not only at the time of judgment requires only the identity of issues and
of appointment or election or assumption of office but parties, but not of causes of action. The instant petition is
during the officer’s entire tenure. Once any of the denied on the ground of res judicata under the concept of
required qualifications is lost, his title may be seasonably conclusiveness of judgment. Ley Construction &
challenged. Milagros E. Amores vs. House of Development Corporation, et al. vs. Philippine
Representatives Electoral Tribunal and Emmanuel Joel Commercial & International Bank, et al., G.R. No.
J. Villanueva, G.R. No. 189600, June 29, 2010 160841, June 23, 2010

Res judicata; conclusiveness of judgment. The rule is that Res judicata; res judicata disregarded if rigid application
when material facts or questions, which were in issue in a would involve sacrifice of justice to technicality.
former action and were admitted or judicially determined, Nonetheless, bearing in mind the circumstances obtaining
are conclusively settled by a judgment rendered therein, in this case, we hold that res judicata should not be
such facts or questions become res judicata and may not applied as it would not serve the interest of substantial
again be litigated in a subsequent action between the justice. Proceedings on the case had already been delayed
same parties or their privies regardless of the form of the by petitioner, and it is only fair that the case be allowed
latter. Jurisprudence provides that the concept of res to proceed and be resolved on the merits. Indeed, we
judicata embraces two aspects. The first, known as “bar have held that res judicata is to be disregarded if its rigid
by prior judgment,” or “estoppel by verdict,” is the effect application would involve the sacrifice of justice to
of a judgment as a bar to the prosecution of a second technicality, particularly in this case where there was
action upon the same claim, demand or cause of action. actually no determination of the substantive issues in the
The second, known as “conclusiveness of judgment,” first case and what is at stake is respondents’ home.
otherwise known as the rule of auter action pendent, Philippine National Bank vs. The Intestate Estate of
ordains that issues actually and directly resolved in a Francisco de Guzman, represented by His Heirs: Rosalia,
former suit cannot again be raised in any future case Eleuterio, Joe, Ernesto, Harison, all surnamed De
between the same parties involving a different cause of Guzman, and Gina De Guzman, G.R. No. 182507, June
action. The bar by prior judgment requires the following 16, 2010
elements to be present for it to operate:
Special Proceedings
(1) A former final judgment that was rendered on the
merits; Habeas corpus; nature, objective, and requirements of
remedy. Essentially, a writ of habeascorpus applies to all
(2) The court in the former judgment had jurisdiction cases of illegal confinement or detention by which any
over the subject matter and the parties; and, person is deprived of his liberty. Rule 102 of the 1997
Rules of Court sets forth the procedure to be followed in
(3) Identity of parties, subject matter and cause of the issuance of the writ. The Rule provides:
action between the first and second actions.
RULE 102
In contrast, the elements of conclusiveness of judgment
are: HABEAS CORPUS

1. Identity of parties; and SECTION 1. To what habeas corpus extends. – Except as


otherwise expressly provided by law, the writ of habeas
2. Subject matter in the first and second cases. corpus shall extend to all cases of illegal confinement or
detention by which any person is deprived of his liberty,
Conclusiveness of judgment does not require identity of orby which therightful custody of any person is withheld
the causes of action for it to work. If a particular point or from the person entitled thereto.
question is in issue in the second action, and the judgment
will depend on the determination of that particular point SEC 2. Who may grant the writ. – The writ of habeas
or question, a former judgment between the same parties corpus may be granted by the Supreme Court, or any
will be final and conclusive in the second if that same member thereof, on any day and at any time, or by the
point or question was in issue and adjudicated in the first Court of Appeals or any member thereof in the instances
suit; but the adjudication of an issue in the first case is authorized by law, and if so granted it shall be enforceable
not conclusive of an entirely different and distinct issue anywhere in the Philippines, and may be made returnable
arising in the second. Hence, facts and issues actually and before the court or any member thereof, or before a Court
directly resolved in a former suit cannot again be raised in of First Instance, or any judge thereof for hearing and
15
Remedial Law
decision on the merits. It may also be granted by a Court he is not, the writ will be refused. Inquiry into the cause
of First Instance, or a judge thereof, on any day and at of detention will proceed only where such restraint exists.
any time, and returnable before himself, enforceable only If the alleged cause is thereafter found to be unlawful,
within his judicial district. then the writ should be granted and the petitioner
discharged. Needless to state, if otherwise, again the writ
xxxx will be refused. While habeas corpus is a writ of right, it
will not issue as a matter of course or as a mere
SEC. 4. When writ not allowed or discharge authorized. perfunctory operation on the filing of the petition.
– If it appears that the person alleged to be restrained of Judicial discretion is called for in its issuance and it must
his liberty is in the custody of an officer under process be clear to the judge to whom the petition is presented
issued by a court or judge or by virtue of a judgment or that, prima facie, the petitioner is entitled to the writ. It
order of a court of record, and that the court or judge had is only if the court is satisfied that a person is being
jurisdiction to issue the process, render the judgment, or unlawfully restrained of his liberty will the petition for
make the order, the writ shall not be allowed; or if the habeas corpus be granted. If the respondents are not
jurisdiction appears after the writ is allowed, the person detaining or restraining the applicant or the person in
shall not be discharged by reason of any informality or whose behalf the petition is filed, the petition should be
defect in the process, judgment, or order. Nor shall dismissed. Nurhida Juhuri Ampatuan vs. Judge Virgilio
anything in this rule be held to authorize the discharge of V. Macaraig, RTC, Manila Br., et al., G.R. No. 182497,
a person charged with or convicted of an offense in the June 29, 2010
Philippines, or of a person suffering imprisonment under
lawful judgment. Habeas corpus; restrictive custody of policeman by PNP is
not the detention or restraint contemplated by habeas
The objective of the writ is to determine whether the corpus. Petitioner contends that when PO1 Ampatuan was
confinement or detention is valid or lawful. If it is, the placed under the custody of respondents on 20 April 2008,
writ cannot be issued. What is to be inquired into is the there was yet no administrative case filed against him.
legality of a person’s detention as of, at the earliest, the When the release order of Chief Inquest Prosecutor Nelson
filing of the application for the writ of habeas corpus, for Salva was served upon respondents on 21 April 2008, there
even if the detention is at its inception illegal, it may, by was still no administrative case filed against PO1
reason of some supervening events, such as the instances Ampatuan. She also argues that the arrest on 14 April
mentioned in Section 4 of Rule 102, be no longer illegal at 2008 of PO1 Ampatuan in Shariff Kabunsuan was illegal
the time of the filing of the application. because there was no warrant of arrest issued by any
judicial authority against him. On the other hand,
Plainly stated, the writ obtains immediate relief for those respondents, in their Comment filed by the Office of the
who have been illegally confined or imprisoned without Solicitor General, argue that the trial court correctly
sufficient cause. The writ, however, should not be issued denied the subject petition. Respondents maintain that
when the custody over the person is by virtue of a judicial while the Office of the City Prosecutor of Manila had
process or a valid judgment. recommended that PO1 Ampatuan be released from
custody, said recommendation was made only insofar as
The most basic criterion for the issuance of the writ, the criminal action for murder that was filed with the
therefore, is that the individual seeking such relief is prosecution office is concerned and is without prejudice to
illegally deprived of his freedom of movement or placed other legal grounds for which he may be held under
under some form of illegal restraint. If an individual’s custody. In the instant case, PO1 Ampatuan is also facing
liberty is restrained via some legal process, the writ of administrative charges for Grave Misconduct. They cited
habeas corpus is unavailing. Fundamentally, in order to the case of Manalo v. Calderon, where this Court held that
justify the grant of the writ ofhabeas corpus, the restraint a petition for habeascorpus will be given due course only if
of liberty must be in the nature of an illegal and it shows that petitioner is being detained or restrained of
involuntary deprivation of freedom of action. In general, his liberty unlawfully, but a restrictive custody and
the purpose of the writ of habeas corpus is to determine monitoring of movements or whereabouts of police
whether or not a particular person is legally held. A prime officers under investigation by their superiors is not a form
specification of an application for a writ of habeas corpus, of illegal detention or restraint of liberty. The Solicitor
in fact, is an actual and effective, and not merely nominal General is correct.
or moral, illegal restraint of liberty. The writ of habeas
corpus was devised and exists as a speedy and effectual In this case, PO1 Ampatuan has been placed under
remedy to relieve persons from unlawful restraint, and as Restrictive Custody. Republic Act No. 6975 (also known as
the best and only sufficient defense of personal freedom. the Department of Interior and Local Government Act of
A prime specification of an application for a writ of habeas 1990), as amended by Republic Act No. 8551 (also known
corpus is restraint of liberty. The essential object and as the Philippine National Police Reform and
purpose of the writ of habeas corpusis to inquire into all Reorganization Act of 1998), clearly provides that
manner of involuntary restraint as distinguished from members of the police force are subject to the
voluntary, and to relieve a person therefrom if such administrative disciplinary machinery of the PNP. Section
restraint is illegal. Any restraint which will preclude 41(b) of the said law enumerates the disciplinary actions,
freedom of action is sufficient. In passing upon a petition including restrictive custody that may be imposed by duly
for habeas corpus, a court or judge must first inquire into designated supervisors and equivalent officers of the PNP
whether the petitioner is being restrained of his liberty. If as a matter of internal discipline. The pertinent provision
16
Remedial Law
of Republic Act No. 8551 reads: court may select.

Sec. 52 – x x x. However, the order of preference is not absolute for it


depends on the attendant facts and circumstances of each
xxxx case. Jurisprudence has long held that the selection of an
administrator lies in the sound discretion of the trial
4. The Chief of the PNP shall have the power to impose court. In the main, the attendant facts and circumstances
the disciplinary punishment of dismissal from the service; of this case necessitate, at the least, a joint
suspension or forfeiture of salary; or any combination administration by both respondent and Emilio III of their
thereof for a period not exceeding one hundred eighty grandmother’s, Cristina’s, estate. In the case of Uy v.
(180) days. Provided, further, That the Chief of the PNP Court of Appeals, we upheld the appointment by the trial
shall have the authority to place police personnel under court of a co-administration between the decedent’s son
restrictive custody during the pendency of a grave and the decedent’s brother, who was likewise a creditor of
administrative case filed against him or even after the the decedent’s estate. In the same vein, we declared in
filing of a criminal complaint, grave in nature, against Delgado Vda. de De la Rosa v. Heirs of Marciana Rustia
such police personnel. [Emphasis ours]. Vda. de Damian that:

Given that PO1 Ampatuan has been placed under [i]n the appointment of an administrator, the principal
restrictive custody, such constitutes a valid argument for consideration is the interest in the estate of the one to be
his continued detention. This Court has held that a appointed. The order of preference does not rule out the
restrictive custody and monitoring of movements or appointment of co-administrators, specially in cases where
whereabouts of police officers under investigation by their justice and equity demand that opposing parties or
superiors is not a form of illegal detention or restraint of factions be represented in the management of the estates,
liberty. Restrictive custody is, at best, nominal restraint a situation which obtains here.
which is beyond the ambit of habeascorpus. It is neither
actual nor effective restraint that would call for the grant Similarly, the subject estate in this case calls to the
of the remedy prayed for. It is a permissible precautionary succession other putative heirs, including another
measure to assure the PNP authorities that the police illegitimate grandchild of Cristina and Federico, Nenita
officers concerned are always accounted for. Since the Tañedo, but who was likewise adopted by Federico, and
basis of PO1 Ampatuan’s restrictive custody is the the two (2) siblings of respondent Isabel, Margarita and
administrative case filed against him, his remedy is within Emilio II. In all, considering the conflicting claims of the
such administrative process. Nurhida Juhuri Ampatuan putative heirs, and the unliquidated conjugal partnership
vs. Judge Virgilio V. Macaraig, RTC, Manila Br., et al., of Cristina and Federico which forms part of their
G.R. No. 182497, June 29, 2010 respective estates, we are impelled to move in only one
direction, i.e., joint administration of the subject estate.
Settlement of estates; appointment of administrator; In the matter of the Intestate Estate of Cristina
order of preference in the Rules is not absolute. Section Aguinaldo-Suntayl Emilio A.M. Suntay III vs. Isabel
6, Rule 78 of the Rules of Court lists the order of Cojuanco-Suntay, G.R. No. 183053, June 16, 2010
preference in the appointment of an administrator of an
estate: Settlement of estates; distribution of shares in estate;
where premature. Indeed, the factual antecedents of this
SEC. 6.When and to whom letters of administration case accurately reflect the basis of intestate succession,
granted. – If no executor is named in the will, or the i.e., love first descends, for the decedent, Cristina, did
executor or executors are incompetent, refuse the trust, not distinguish between her legitimate and illegitimate
or fail to give bond, or a person dies intestate, grandchildren. Neither did her husband, Federico, who, in
administration shall be granted: fact, legally raised the status of Emilio III from an
illegitimate grandchild to that of a legitimate child. The
(a) To the surviving husband or wife, as the case may peculiar circumstances of this case, painstakingly pointed
be, or next of kin, or both, in the discretion of the court, out by counsel for petitioner, overthrow the legal
or to such person as such surviving husband or wife, or presumption in Article 992 of the Civil Code that there
next of kin, requests to have appointed, if competent and exist animosity and antagonism between legitimate and
willing to serve; illegitimate descendants of a deceased.

(b) If such surviving husband or wife, as the case may Nonetheless, it must be pointed out that judicial restraint
be, or next of kin, or the person selected by them, be impels us to refrain from making a final declaration of
incompetent or unwilling, or if the husband or widow, or heirship and distributing the presumptive shares of the
next of kin, neglects for thirty (30) days after the death of parties in the estates of Cristina and Federico, considering
the person to apply for administration or to request that that the question on who will administer the properties of
administration be granted to some other person, it may be the long deceased couple has yet to be settled. Our
granted to one or more of the principal creditors, if holding in Capistrano v. Nadurata on the same issue
competent and willing to serve; remains good law:

(c) If there is no such creditor competent and willing [T]he declaration of heirs made by the lower court is
to serve, it may be granted to such other person as the premature, although the evidence sufficiently shows who
17
Remedial Law
are entitled to succeed the deceased. The estate had observe, finally, that Castillo’s tardy appeal resulted in the
hardly been judicially opened, and the proceeding has not finality of the RTC’s dismissal even before January 30,
as yet reached the stage of distribution of the estate 2002. This result provides an additional reason to warrant
which must come after the inheritance is liquidated. the assailed actions of the COMELEC in dismissing her
appeal. Accordingly, the Court finds that the COMELEC’s
Section 1, Rule 90 of the Rules of Court does not depart assailed actions were appropriate and lawful, not tainted
from the foregoing admonition: by either arbitrariness or whimsicality. Minerva Gomez-
Castillo vs. Commission on Elections, et al., G.R. No.
Sec. 1.When order for distribution of residue is made. – 187231, June 22, 2010
x x x. If there is a controversy before the court as to who
are the lawful heirs of the deceased person or as to the Certiorari and mandamus; available in Supreme Court for
distributive shares to which each person is entitled under review of COMELEC resolutions in party-list case. The
the law, the controversy shall be heard and decided as in COMELEC posits that once the proclamation of the winning
ordinary cases. party-list organization has been done and its nominee has
assumed office, any question relating to the election,
No distribution shall be allowed until the payment of returns and qualifications of the candidates to the House
the obligations above mentioned has been made or of Representatives falls under the jurisdiction of the HRET
provided for, unless the distributees, or any of them, give pursuant to Section 17, Article VI of the 1987 Constitution.
a bond, in a sum to be fixed by the court, conditioned for Thus, Lokin should raise the question he poses herein
the payment of said obligations within such time as the either in an election protest or in a special civil action for
court directs. In the matter of the Intestate Estate of quo warranto in the HRET,not in a special civil action for
Cristina Aguinaldo-Suntayl Emilio A.M. Suntay III vs. certiorari in this Court. We do not agree. An election
Isabel Cojuanco-Suntay, G.R. No. 183053, June 16, 2010 protest proposes to oust the winning candidate from
office. It is strictly a contest between the defeated and
Other Proceedings the winning candidates, based on the grounds of electoral
frauds and irregularities, to determine who between them
Appeals; period to appeal order in election case is has actually obtained the majority of the legal votes cast
mandatory and jurisdictional. Section 8 of A.M. No. 07-4- and is entitled to hold the office. It can only be filed by a
15-SC provides that: candidate who has duly filed a certificate of candidacy
and has been voted for in the preceding elections. A
Section 8. Appeal. – An aggrieved party may appeal the special civil action for quo warranto refers to questions of
decision to the Commission on Elections within five days disloyalty to the State, or of ineligibility of the winning
after promulgation by filing a notice of appeal with the candidate. The objective of the action is to unseat the
court that rendered the decision with copy served on the ineligible person from the office, but not to install the
adverse counsel or party if not represented by counsel petitioner in his place. Any voter may initiate the action,
which is, strictly speaking, not a contest where the parties
Although Castillo had received the November 21, 2008 strive for supremacy because the petitioner will not be
order of the RTC on December 15, 2008, she filed her seated even if the respondent may be unseated.
notice of appeal only on December 23, 2008, or eight days
after her receipt of the decision. Her appeal was properly The controversy involving Lokin is neither an election
dismissed for being too late under the aforequoted rule of protest nor an action for quo warranto, for it concerns a
the COMELEC. Castillo now insists that her appeal should very peculiar situation in which Lokin is seeking to be
not be dismissed, because she claims that the five-day seated as the second nominee of CIBAC. Although an
reglementary period was a mere technicality, implying election protest may properly be available to one party-
that such period was but a trivial guideline to be ignored list organization seeking to unseat another party-list
or brushed aside at will. organization to determine which between the defeated
and the winning party-list organizations actually obtained
Castillo’s insistence is unacceptable. The period of appeal the majority of the legal votes, Lokin’s case is not one in
and the perfection of appeal are not mere technicalities which a nominee of a particular party-list organization
to be so lightly regarded, for they are essential to the thereby wants to unseat another nominee of the same
finality of judgments, a notion underlying the stability party-list organization. Neither does an action for quo
of our judicial system. A greater reason to adhere to this warranto lie, considering that the case does not involve
notion exists herein, for the short period of five days as the ineligibility and disloyalty of Cruz-Gonzales to the
the period to appeal recognizes the essentiality of time in Republic of the Philippines, or some other cause of
election protests, in order that the will of the electorate disqualification for her. Lokin has correctly brought this
is ascertained as soon as possible so that the winning special civil action for certiorari against the COMELEC to
candidate is not deprived of the right to assume office, seek the review of the September 14, 2007 resolution of
and so that any doubt that can cloud the incumbency of the COMELEC in accordance with Section 7 of Article IX-A
the truly deserving winning candidate is quickly removed. of the 1987 Constitution, notwithstanding the oath and
Contrary to Castillo’s posture, we cannot also presume the assumption of office by Cruz-Gonzales. The constitutional
timeliness of her appeal from the fact that the RTC gave mandate is now implemented by Rule 64 of the 1997 Rules
due course to her appeal by its elevating the protest to of Civil Procedure, which provides for the review of the
the COMELEC. The presumption of timeliness would not judgments, final orders or resolutions of the COMELEC and
arise if her appeal was actually tardy. It is not trite to the Commission on Audit. As Rule 64 states, the mode of
18
Remedial Law
review is by a petition for certiorari in accordance with Savings, on the other hand, claims in its Comment that,
Rule 65 to be filed in the Supreme Court within a limited even if Land Bank filed the case on time, the fact remains
period of 30 days. Undoubtedly, the Court has original and that the RTC dismissed the same for Land Bank’s failure to
exclusive jurisdiction over Lokin’s petitions for certiorari serve summons. Fortune Savings’ filing of another case—
and for mandamus against the COMELEC. Luis K. Lokin, Agrarian Case 2000-0155—cannot operate as a continuance
Jr. vs. Commission on Elections, et al./Luis K. Lokin vs. of Agrarian Case 99-0214 because it was an entirely
Commission on Elections, et al., G.R. Nos. 179431- different case altogether. Agrarian Case 2000-0155 did not
32/G.R. No. 180443. June 22, 2010. operate to revive Agrarian Case 99-0214 nor did it give to
Land Bank the benefit of having filed on time the action
Jurisdiction; Department of Agrarian Reform Adjudication that the DARAB Rules contemplated.
Board (DARAB) has no certiorari jurisdiction over orders of
Provincial Adjudicator. Jurisdiction over a subject matter Although the DAR is vested with primary jurisdiction under
is conferred by the Constitution or the law, and rules of the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Law of 1988 or CARL
procedure yield to substantive law. Otherwise stated, to determine in a preliminary manner the reasonable
jurisdiction must exist as a matter of law. Only a statute compensation for lands taken under the CARP, such
can confer jurisdiction on courts and administrative determination is subject to challenge in the courts. The
agencies; rules of procedure cannot. CARL vests in the RTCs, sitting as Special Agrarian Courts,
original and exclusive jurisdiction over all petitions for the
The DARAB assumed jurisdiction over the petition for determination of just compensation. This means that the
certiorari by virtue of Section 3, Rule VIII of the DARAB RTCs do not exercise mere appellate jurisdiction over just
New Rules of Procedure, which allows the filing of such compensation disputes. The RTC’s jurisdiction is not any
petition to assail an interlocutory order of the Provincial less “original and exclusive” because the question is first
Adjudicator. However, a month after the DARAB rendered passed upon by the DAR. The proceedings before the RTC
its decision, the Court, in DARAB v. Lubrica, declared that are not a continuation of the administrative
such apparent grant of authority to issue a writ of determination. Indeed, although the law may provide that
certiorariis not founded on any law. It declared that the decision of the DAR is final and unappealable, still a
neither the DARAB’s quasi-judicial authority nor its rule- resort to the courts cannot be foreclosed on the theory
making power justifies the self-conferment of authority. that courts are the guarantors of the legality of
Thus, the Court concluded that the DARAB has no administrative action. The taking of property under the
certiorari jurisdiction: CARL is a government exercise of the power of eminent
domain. Since the determination of just compensation in
In general, the quantum of judicial or quasi-judicial eminent domain proceedings is a judicial function, such
powers which an administrative agency may exercise is determination cannot be made to depend on the existence
defined in the enabling act of such agency. In other words, of administrative proceedings of a similar nature. Thus,
the extent to which an administrative entity may exercise even while the DARAB summary administrative hearing for
such powers depends largely, if not wholly, on the determination of just compensation is pending, the
provisions of the statute creating or empowering such interested party may file a petition for judicial
agency. The grant of original jurisdiction on a quasi- determination of the same. In another case, the Court
judicial agency is not implied. There is no question that allowed the filing with the trial court of a petition to fix
the legislative grant of adjudicatory powers upon the DAR, just compensation despite failure of the landowner to seek
as in all other quasi-judicial agencies, bodies and reconsideration of the DAR’s valuation.
tribunals, is in the nature of a limited and special
jurisdiction, that is, the authority to hear and determine a Consequently, Land Bank’s filing of Agrarian Case 2000-
class of cases within the DAR’s competence and field of 0155 after the dismissal without prejudice of Agrarian
expertise. In conferring adjudicatory powers and functions Case 99-0214 cannot be regarded as barred by the filing of
on the DAR, the legislature could not have intended to the latter case beyond the 15-day period prescribed under
create a regular court of justice out of the DARAB, Rule XIII, Section 11 of the DARAB Rules. The procedural
equipped with all the vast powers inherent in the exercise soundness of Agrarian Case 2000-0155 could not be made
of its jurisdiction. The DARAB is only a quasi-judicial body, dependent on the DARAB case, for these two proceedings
whose limited jurisdiction does not include authority over are separate and independent. Land Bank of the
petitions for certiorari, in the absence of an express grant Philippines vs. Fortune Savings and Loan Association,
in R.A. No. 6657, E.O. No. 229 and E.O. No. 129-A. Inc., represented by Philippine Deposit Insurance
Corporation, G.R. No. 177511, June 29, 2010 .
As intimated in Lubrica, petitioner should have filed the
petition for certiorari with the regular courts, and not Summary Procedure; Prohibition against filing of petition
with the DARAB. In the absence of a specific statutory for certiorari. Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, on forcible
grant of jurisdiction, the DARAB, as a quasi-judicial body entry and unlawful detainer cases, provides:
with limited jurisdiction, cannot exercise jurisdiction over
the petition for certiorari. Julian Fernandez vs. Rufino Sec. 13. Prohibited pleadings and motions.-The
D. Fulgueras, G.R. No. 178575, June 29, 2010 following petitions, motions, or pleadings shall not be
allowed:
Jurisdiction; Regional Trial Court, acting as Special 1. Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the
Agrarian Court, has original and exclusive jurisdiction over ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or
petitions for determination of just compensation. Fortune failure to comply with section 12;
19
Remedial Law
2. Motion for a bill of particulars; provide respondent IPI with adequate relief. At the proper
3. Motion for a new trial, or for reconsideration of a time, IPI has the right to appeal to the RTC, and in the
judgment, or for reopening of trial; meantime no injustice will be caused to it by waiting for
4. Petition for relief from judgment; the MCTC to completely finish resolving the ejectment
5. Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, suit. The proceedings before the MCTC being summary in
affidavits or any other paper; nature, the time and expense involved therein are
6. Memoranda; minimal. IPI has already raised the matter of improper
7. Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition service of summons in its Answer. The MCTC’s error/s, if
against any interlocutory order issued by the court; any, on any of the matters raised by respondent IPI can be
8. Motion to declare the defendant in default; threshed out during appeal after the MCTC has finally
9. Dilatory motions for postponement; resolved the ejectment case under summary procedure.
10. Reply;
11. Third-party complaints; As accurately pointed out by petitioner, Go v. Court of
12. Interventions. (Emphasis supplied) Appeals does not support the case of respondent IPI. The
factual milieu and circumstances of the said case do not
Although it is alleged that there may be a technical error fit with the present case. They are in fact the exact
in connection with the service of summons, there is no opposite of those in the present case before the court
showing of any substantiveinjustice that would be caused hearing the original ejectment case. Not only was there
to IPI so as to call for the disregard of the clear and an absence of any “indefinite suspension” of the
categorical prohibition of filing petitions for certiorari. It ejectment suit before the MCTC but likewise there was no
must be pointed out that the Rule on Summary Procedure, “procedural void” that would otherwise cause delay in the
by way of exception, permits only a motion to dismiss on summary and expeditious resolution thereof that
the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter transpired to warrant applicability of Go v. Court of
but it does not mention the ground of lack of jurisdiction Appeals. It is worth pointing out that in Go v. Court of
over the person. It is a settled rule of statutory Appeals the Supreme Court categorically upheld that “the
construction that the express mention of one thing implies purpose of the Rule on Summary Procedure is to achieve
the exclusion of all others. Expressio unius est exclusio an expeditious and inexpensive determination of cases
alterius. From this it can be gleaned that allegations on without regard to technical rules. Pursuant to this
the matter of lack of jurisdiction over the person by objective, the Rule prohibits petitions for certiorari, like a
reason of improper service of summons, by itself, without number of other pleadings, in order to prevent
a convincing showing of any resulting substantive unnecessary delays and to expedite the disposition of
injustice, cannot be used to hinder or stop the cases.” Considering that the petition for certiorari filed
proceedings before the MCTC in the ejectment suit. With before the CA is categorically prohibited, the CA should
more reason, such ground should not be used to justify the not have entertained the same but should have dismissed
violation of an express prohibition in the rules prohibiting it outright. Victorias Milling Company, Inc. vs. CA and
the petition for certiorari. IPI’s arguments attempting to International Pharmaceuticals, Inc., G.R. No. 168062,
show how the Rule on Summary Procedure or lack of rules June 29, 2010
on certain matters would lead to injustice are
hypothetical and need not be addressed in the present Venue; filing of election protest in improper venue not
case. Of primary importance here is that IPI, the real jurisdictional. It is well-settled that jurisdiction is
defendant in the ejectment case, filed its Answer and conferred by law. As such, jurisdiction cannot be fixed by
participated in the proceedings before the MCTC. the will of the parties; nor be acquired through waiver nor
enlarged by the omission of the parties; nor conferred by
The purpose of the Rule on Summary Procedure is to any acquiescence of the court. The allocation of
achieve an expeditious and inexpensive determination of jurisdiction is vested in Congress, and cannot be delegated
cases without regard to technical rules. In the present to another office or agency of the Government.
case, weighing the consequences of continuing with the
proceedings in the MCTC as against the consequences of The Rules of Court does not define jurisdictional
allowing a petition for certiorari, it is more in accord with boundaries of the courts. In promulgating the Rules of
justice, the purpose of the Rule on Summary Procedure, Court, the Supreme Court is circumscribed by the zone
the policy of speedy and inexpensive determination of properly denominated as the promulgation of rules
cases, and the proper administration of justice, to obey concerning pleading, practice, and procedure in all courts;
the provisions in the Rule on Summary Procedure consequently, the Rules of Court can only determine the
prohibiting petitions for certiorari. means, ways or manner in which said jurisdiction, as fixed
by the Constitution and acts of Congress, shall be
The present situation, where IPI had filed the prohibited exercised. The Rules of Court yields to the substantive law
petition for certiorari; the CA’s taking cognizance thereof; in determining jurisdiction. The jurisdiction over election
and the subsequent issuance of the writ of injunction contests involving elective municipal officials has been
enjoining the ejectment suit from taking its normal course vested in the RTC by Section 251, Batas Pambansa Blg. 881
in an expeditious and summary manner, and the ensuing (Omnibus Election Code). On the other hand, A.M. No. 07-
delay is the antithesis of and is precisely the very 4-15-SC, by specifying the proper venue where such cases
circumstance which the Rule on Summary Procedure seeks may be filed and heard, only spelled out the manner by
to prevent. The petition for certiorari questioning the which an RTC with jurisdiction exercises such jurisdiction.
MCTC’s interlocutory order is not needed here. The rules Like other rules on venue, A.M. No. 07-4-15-SC was
20
Remedial Law
designed to ensure a just and orderly administration of and @KA ENSO. These omissions were aggravated by the
justice, and is permissive, because it was enacted to CA finding that the PNP has yet to refer any case for
ensure the exclusive and speedy disposition of election preliminary investigation to the DOJ despite its
protests and petitions for quo warranto involving elective representation before the CA that it had forwarded all
municipal officials. pertinent and relevant documents to the DOJ for the filing
of appropriate charges against @KA DANTE and @KA ENSO.
Castillo’s filing her protest in the RTC in Bacoor, Cavite
amounted only to a wrong choice of venue. Hence, the Based on these considerations, we conclude that further
dismissal of the protest by Branch 19 constituted plain investigation and monitoring should be undertaken.While
error, considering that her wrong choice did not affect the significant leads have been provided to investigators, the
jurisdiction of the RTC. What Branch 19 should have done investigations by the PNP-CIDG, the AFP Provost Marshal,
under the circumstances was to transfer the protest to and even the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) have
Branch 22 of the RTC in Imus, Cavite, which was the been less than complete. The PNP-CIDG’s investigation
proper venue. Such transfer was proper, whether she as particularly leaves much to be desired in terms of the
the protestant sought it or not, given that the extraordinary diligence that the Rule on the Writ of
determination of the will of the electorate of Bacoor, Amparo requires. For this reason, we resolve to refer the
Cavite according to the process set forth by law was of the present case to the CHR as the Court’s directly
highest concern of our institutions, particularly of the commissioned agency tasked with the continuation of the
courts. Minerva Gomez-Castillo vs. Commission on investigation of the Burgos abduction and the gathering of
Elections, et al., G.R. No. 187231, June 22, 2010 evidence, with the obligation to report its factual findings
and recommendations to this Court. We take into
Writ of Amparo; requirement of extraordinary diligence. consideration in this regard that the CHR is a specialized
Considering the findings of the CA and our review of the and independent agency created and empowered by the
records of the present case, we conclude that the PNP and Constitution to investigate all forms of human rights
the AFP have so far failed to conduct an exhaustive and violations involving civil and political rights and to provide
meaningful investigation into the disappearance of Jonas appropriate legal measures for the protection of human
Burgos, and to exercise the extraordinary diligence (in the rights of all persons within the Philippines.
performance of their duties) that the Rule on the Writ of
Amparo requires. Because of these investigative Under this mandate, the CHR is tasked to conduct
shortcomings, we cannot rule on the case until a more appropriate investigative proceedings, including field
meaningful investigation, using extraordinary diligence, is investigations – acting as the Court’s directly
undertaken. commissioned agency for purposes of the Rule on the Writ
of Amparo – with the tasks of: (a) ascertaining the
From the records, we note that there are very significant identities of the persons appearing in the cartographic
lapses in the handling of the investigation – among them sketches of the two alleged abductors as well as their
the PNP-CIDG’s failure to identify the cartographic whereabouts; (b) determining based on records, past and
sketches of two (one male and one female) of the five present, the identities and locations of the persons
abductors of Jonas based on their interview of identified by State Prosecutor Velasco alleged to be
eyewitnesses to the abduction. This lapse is based on the involved in the abduction of Jonas, namely: T/Sgt. Jason
information provided to the petitioner by no less than Roxas (Philippine Army); Cpl. Maria Joana Francisco
State Prosecutor Emmanuel Velasco of the DOJ who (Philippine Air Force), M/Sgt. Aron Arroyo (Philippine Air
identified the persons who were possibly involved in the Force), and an alias T.L., all reportedly assigned with
abduction, namely: T/Sgt. Jason Roxas (Philippine Army), Military Intelligence Group 15 of Intelligence Service of
Cpl. Maria Joana Francisco (Philippine Air Force), M/Sgt. the AFP; further proceedings and investigations, as may be
Aron Arroyo (Philippine Air Force), and an alias T.L., all necessary, should be made to pursue the lead allegedly
reportedly assigned with Military Intelligence Group 15 of provided by State Prosecutor Velasco on the identities of
Intelligence Service of the AFP. No search and the possible abductors; (c) inquiring into the veracity of
certification were ever made on whether these persons Lipio’s and Manuel’s claims that Jonas was abducted by a
were AFP personnel or in other branches of the service, certain @KA DANTE and @KA ENSO of the CPP/NPA guerilla
such as the Philippine Air Force. As testified to by the unit RYG; (d) determining based on records, past and
petitioner, no significant follow through was also made by present, as well as further investigation, the identities and
the PNP-CIDG in ascertaining the identities of the whereabouts of @KA DANTE and @KA ENSO; and (e)
cartographic sketches of two of the abductors despite the undertaking all measures, in the investigation of the
evidentiary leads provided by State Prosecutor Velasco of Burgos abduction that may be necessary to live up to the
the DOJ. Notably, the PNP-CIDG, as the lead investigating extraordinary measures we require in addressing an
agency in the present case, did not appear to have lifted a enforced disappearance under the Rule on the Writ of
finger to pursue these aspects of the case. We note, too, Amparo. Edita T. Burgos vs. President Gloria Macapagal-
that no independent investigation appeared to have been Arroyo, et al./Edita T. Burgos vs. President Gloria
made by the PNP-CIDG to inquire into the veracity of Macapagal-Arroyo, et al./Edita T. burgos vs. Chief of
Lipio’s and Manuel’s claims that Jonas was abducted by a Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, Gen.
certain @KA DANTE and a certain @KA ENSO of the Hermogenes Esperon, Jr., et al., G.R. Nos.
CPP/NPA guerilla unit RYG. The records do not indicate 183711/183812/183713, June 22, 2010
whether the PNP-CIDG conducted a follow-up investigation
to determine the identities and whereabouts of @KA Dante Evidence
21
Remedial Law
1996. Correctly brushed aside by the Court of Appeals on
Burden of proof; party alleging fraud has burden of the ground, among others, that respondent had no
proof.Fraud is deemed to comprise anything calculated to participation in its preparation, we find said demand
deceive, including all acts, omissions, and concealment letter of little or no use to petitioner’s cause in view of its
involving a breach of legal or equitable duty, trust or non-presentation before the MeTC. However, much as it
confidence justly reposed, resulting in the damage to may now be expedient for petitioner to anchor his cause
another or by which an undue and unconscionable thereon, said demand letter was first introduced in the
advantage is taken of another.It is a question of fact that record only as an attachment to his reply to respondent’s
must be alleged and proved. It cannot be presumed and comment to the motion for reconsideration of the 14 July
must be established by clear and convincing evidence, not 2005 order issued by the RTC. The rule is settled,
by mere preponderance of evidence. The party alleging however, that points of law, theories, issues and
the existence of fraud has the burden of proof. On the arguments not brought to the attention of the trial court
basis of the above disquisitions, this Court finds that will not be and ought not to be considered by a reviewing
petitioner has failed to discharge this burden. No matter court, as these cannot be raised for the first time on
how strong the suspicion is on the part of petitioner, such appeal. Basic consideration of due process impels this
suspicion does not translate into tangible evidence rule. Hubert Nuñez vs. SLTEAS Phoenix Solutions, Inc.,
sufficient to nullify the assailed transactions involving the G.R. No. 180542, April 12, 2010.
subject MSCI Class “A” share of stock. Makati Sports
Club, Inc. vs. Cecile H. Cheng, et al., G.R. No. 178523, Appeal; computation of period where last day is Sunday or
June 16, 2010 legal holiday. Petitioner’s petition for review (under Rule
42) and motion for reconsideration before the appellate
Existence of fraud is question of fact. Fraud is deemed to court were filed well within the reglementary period for
comprise anything calculated to deceive, including all the filing thereof. It must be noted that petitioner
acts, omissions, and concealment involving a breach of received her copy of the RTC decision on April 13, 2007.
legal or equitable duty, trust or confidence justly reposed, Following the Rules of Court, she had 15 days or until April
resulting in the damage to another or by which an undue 28, 2007 to file her petition for review before the CA.
and unconscionable advantage is taken of another.It is a Section 1 of Rule 42 provides:
question of fact that must be alleged and proved. It
cannot be presumed and must be established by clear and Sec. 1. How appeal taken; time for filing.—A party
convincing evidence, not by mere preponderance of desiring to appeal from a decision of the Regional Trial
evidence. The party alleging the existence of fraud has Court rendered in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction
the burden of proof. On the basis of the above may file a verified petition for review with the Court of
disquisitions, this Court finds that petitioner has failed to Appeals, paying at the same time to the clerk of said court
discharge this burden. No matter how strong the suspicion the corresponding docket and other lawful fees, depositing
is on the part of petitioner, such suspicion does not the amount of P500.00 for costs, and furnishing the
translate into tangible evidence sufficient to nullify the Regional Trial Court and the adverse party with a copy of
assailed transactions involving the subject MSCI Class “A” the petition. The petition shall be filed and served within
share of stock. Makati Sports Club, Inc. vs. Cecile H. fifteen (15) days from notice of the decision sought to be
Cheng, et al., G.R. No. 178523, June 16, 2010 reviewed or of the denial of petitioner’s motion for new
trial or reconsideration filed in due time after judgment.
Civil Procedure Upon proper motion and the payment of the full amount of
the docket and other lawful fees and the deposit for costs
Actions; action for injunction. As a rule, actions for before the expiration of the reglementary period, the
injunction and damages lie within the jurisdiction of the Court of Appeals may grant an additional period of fifteen
RTC pursuant to Section 19 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129 (BP (15) days only within which to file the petition for review.
129), otherwise known as the “Judiciary Reorganization No further extension shall be granted except for the most
Act of 1980,” as amended by Republic Act (RA) No. 7691. compelling reason and in no case to exceed fifteen (15)
An action for injunction is a suit which has for its purpose days.
the enjoinment of the defendant, perpetually or for a
particular time, from the commission or continuance of a On April 20, 2007, petitioner filed before the CA, via
specific act, or his compulsion to continue performance of registered mail, her motion for extension of time to file
a particular act. It has an independent existence, and is the petition for review. She pleaded in her motion that she
distinct from the ancillary remedy of preliminary be granted an additional 15 days, counted from the expiry
injunction which cannot exist except only as a part or an of the reglementary period. Petitioner likewise attached
incident of an independent action or proceeding. In an to her motion postal money orders representing the docket
action for injunction, the auxiliary remedy of preliminary fees.
injunction, prohibitory or mandatory, may issue. Subic
Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. Merlino E. Rodriguez, et Fifteen days from April 28, 2007 would be May 13, 2007.
al., G.R. No. 160270, April 23, 2010. This was, however, a Sunday. May 14, 2007, the following
day, was a legal holiday—the holding of the national and
Appeal; argument raised for first time on appeal. local elections. Section 1 of Rule 22 states:
Petitioner had, of course, endeavored to establish that
respondent’s predecessors-in-interest had served him a Sec. 1. How to compute time.—In computing any period
demand to vacate the subject parcel as early as 31 July of time prescribed or allowed by these Rules, or by order
22
Remedial Law
of the court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the exposition. The requirements laid down in Section 13, Rule
act or event from which the designated period of time 43 are intended to aid the appellate court in arriving at a
begins to run is to be excluded and the date of just and proper conclusion of the case. However, we are of
performance included. If the last day of the period, as the opinion that despite its deficiencies petitioner’s
thus computed, falls on a Saturday, a Sunday, or a legal appellant’s brief is sufficient in form and substance as to
holiday in the place where the court sits, the time shall apprise the appellate court of the essential facts and
not run until the next working day. nature of the case as well as the issues raised and the laws
necessary for the disposition of the same.
Therefore, when petitioner filed her petition for review
with the appellate court on May 15, 2007, the same was This case involves voluminous records meriting a review on
well within the extended period for the filing thereof. the merits by the CA. Otherwise, the efforts of the
Alma B. Russel vs. Teofista Ebasan, et al., G.R. No. petitioners to protect their collateral in their judicial
184542, April 23, 2010. battle will lead to naught once they lose their remedy of
an appeal just because of procedural niceties. Adherence
Appeal; dismissal of appeal for technical defects in service to legal technicalities allows individual error to be
and form of brief. We agree that the CA had the suffered in order that justice in the maximum may be
discretion to dismiss petitioners’ appeal. The discretion, preserved. Nonetheless, “we should indeed welcome,” as
however, must be a sound one, to be exercised in Judge Learned Hand once wrote, “any efforts that help
accordance with the tenets of justice and fair play, having disentangle us from the archaisms that still impede our
in mind the circumstances obtaining in each case. Here, pursuit of truth”. Our ruling in Aguam v. Court of Appeals
we find that the failure to serve a copy of the appellant’s also bears recalling:
brief to two of the adverse parties was a mere oversight,
constituting excusable neglect. A litigant’s failure to Every party litigant must be afforded the amplest
furnish his opponent with a copy of his appeal brief does opportunity for the proper and just determination of his
not suffice to warrant dismissal of that appeal. In such an cause, free from the unacceptable plea of technicalities.
instance, all that is needed is for the court to order the Thus, dismissal of appeals purely on technical grounds is
litigant to furnish his opponent with a copy of his brief. frowned upon where the policy of the court is to
Anent the failure to append a copy of the assailed encourage hearings of appeals on their merits and the
judgment, instead of dismissing the appeal on that basis, rules of procedure ought not to be applied in a very rigid,
it is more in keeping with equity to simply require the technical sense; rules of procedure are used only to help
appellants to immediately submit a copy of the Decision of secure, not override substantial justice. It is a far better
the lower court rather than punish litigants for the and more prudent course of action for the court to excuse
reckless inattention of their lawyers. The purpose of a a technical lapse and afford the parties a review of the
subject index in an appellant’s/appellee’s brief obviates case on appeal to attain the ends of justice rather than
the court to thumb through a possibly lengthy brief page dispose of the case on technicality and cause a grave
after page to locate whatever else needs to be found and injustice to the parties, giving a false impression of speedy
considered, such as arguments and citations. In the case disposal of cases while actually resulting in more delay, if
at bar, notably, the appeal brief submitted to the CA not a miscarriage of justice.
consists only of 17 pages which the appellate court may
easily peruse to apprise it of what the case is all about and Trinidad Go, et al. vs. Vicente Velez Chavez, et al., G.R.
of the relief sought. Thus, the belated submission of the No. 182341, April 23, 2010.
subject index may be considered excusable. Our
discussion in Philippine Coconut Authority v. Corona Appeal; findings of fact of lower courts. However, a
International, Inc. is apropos: question involving the regularity of notarization as well as
the due execution of the subject sworn statement of
x x x the purpose of the brief is to present the court in Basilisa would require an inquiry into the appreciation of
coherent and concise form the point and questions in evidence by the trial court. It is not the function of this
controversy, and by fair argument on the facts and law of Court to review, examine and evaluate or weigh the
the case, to assist the court in arriving at a just and probative value of the evidence presented. A question of
proper conclusion. A haphazard and pellmell presentation fact would arise in such event. Settled is the rule that
will not do for the brief should be so prepared as to questions of fact cannot be raised in an appeal via
minimize the labor of the court in examination of the certiorari before the Supreme Court and are not proper for
record upon which the appeal is heard and determined. It its consideration. The rationale behind this doctrine is
is certainly, ‘the vehicle of counsel to convey to the court that a review of the findings of fact of the trial courts and
the essential facts of his client’s case, a statement of the the appellate tribunal is not a function this Court normally
questions of law involved, the law he should have applied, undertakes. The Court will not weigh the evidence all
and the application he desires of it by the court’. There over again unless there is a showing that the findings of
should be an honest compliance with the requirements the lower courts are totally devoid of support or are
regarding contents of appellant’s brief, and among which clearly erroneous so as to constitute serious abuse of
is that it should contain “a subject index of the matter in discretion. Although there are recognized exceptions to
the brief with a digest of the argument and page this rule, none exists in the present case to justify a
references.” departure therefrom. Alejandra S. Lazaro, et al. vs.
Modesta Agustin, et al., G.R. No. 152364, April 15,
We do not disagree with the appellate court’s above 2010.
23
Remedial Law
petitioners’ breach of the hierarchy of courts by coming
Appeal; findings of fact of lower courts generally binding directly to the Court to appeal the assailed issuances of
on Supreme Court; exceptions. It is a well-recognized the RTC via petition for review on certiorari. They should
principle that factual findings of the trial court are not have done so, bypassing a review by the Court of
entitled to great weight and respect by this Court, more so Appeals (CA), because the hierarchy of courts is essential
when they are affirmed by the appellate court. However, to the efficient functioning of the courts and to the
the rule is not without exceptions, such as: (1) when the orderly administration of justice. Their non-observance of
conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculations, the hierarchy of courts has forthwith enlarged the docket
surmises, and conjectures; (2) the inferences made are of the Court by one more case, which, though it may not
manifestly mistaken; (3) there is grave abuse of seem burdensome to the layman, is one case too much to
discretion; and (4) the judgment is based on the Court, which has to devote time and effort in poring
misapprehension of facts or premised on the absence of over the papers submitted herein, only to discover in the
evidence on record. Especially in criminal cases where end that a review should have first been made by the CA.
the accused stands to lose his liberty by virtue of his The time and effort could have been dedicated to other
conviction, the Court must be satisfied that the factual cases of importance and impact on the lives and rights of
findings and conclusions of the lower courts leading to his others. The hierarchy of courts is not to be lightly
conviction must satisfy the standard of proof beyond regarded by litigants. The CA stands between the RTC and
reasonable doubt. Anthony L. Ng vs. People of the the Court, and its establishment has been precisely to take
Philippines, G.R. No. 173905, April 23, 2010. over much of the work that used to be done by the Court.
Historically, the CA has been of the greatest help to the
Appeal; findings of fact of trial court. The issue of Court in synthesizing the facts, issues, and rulings in an
whether or not the accused acted in self-defense is orderly and intelligible manner and in identifying errors
undoubtedly a question of fact, and it is well entrenched that ordinarily might escape detection. The Court has thus
in jurisprudence that findings of fact of the trial court been freed to better discharge its constitutional duties
command great weight and respect unless patent and perform its most important work, which, in the words
inconsistencies are ignored or where the conclusions of Dean Vicente G. Sinco, “is less concerned with the
reached are clearly unsupported by evidence. In the decision of cases that begin and end with the transient
present case, we find no cogent reason to disturb the rights and obligations of particular individuals but is more
decision of the trial court, as modified by the CA. In intertwined with the direction of national policies,
debunking his claim, we quote with approval the ruling of momentous economic and social problems, the
the CA. delimitation of governmental authority and its impact
upon fundamental rights.” The need to elevate the
In the instant case, accused-appellant claims that there matter first to the CA is also underscored by the reality
was unlawful aggression on the part Robelyn Rojas when that determining whether the petitioners were real parties
the latter allegedly hit him with a spray gun. However, in interest entitled to bring this appeal against the denial
except this self-serving statement, no other evidence was by the RTC of the OSG’s motion for the issuance of a writ
presented to prove that indeed he was hit by Robelyn. of execution was a mixed question of fact and law. As
Accused-appellant failed to show where he was hit and such, the CA was in the better position to review and to
what injuries he sustained, if any. Moreover, his own determine. In that regard, the petitioners violate Section
defense witness Roden Macasantos did not see him being 1, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, which
hit by a spray gun. On the contrary, the prosecution has demands that an appeal by petition for review on
clearly shown that before Robelyn was stabbed, the two certiorari be limited to questions of law. Francisco
even discussed with each other and accused-appellant Alonso, et al. vs. Cebu Country Club, Inc., et al., G.R.
even shook hands with him. Moreover, if indeed it was No. 188471, April 20, 2010.
true that Robelyn was carrying a spray gun and tried to hit
him, accused-appellant, while he was in a supine position, Appeal; issue raised for first time on appeal. In its
could have easily just flaunted his knife to scare his petition for review with the CA, petitioners never put as
alleged attackers away. On the other hand, even if we an issue the alleged existence of a consummated sale
assume to be true that he was in a supine position when between the DAR and the petitioners under RA 6657. What
he thrust the knife at his attacker, it is however impossible petitioners questioned was SAC’s jurisdiction over
that the back of Robelyn would be hit, unless the latter determination of just compensation cases involving lands
could also fell (sic) on his back, which is again far from covered by RA 6657. Furthermore, petitioners insist that
reality. In a myriad of cases, it has been ruled that the LBP has no legal personality to institute a case for
location, number or seriousness of the stab or hack determination of just compensation against landowners
wounds inflicted on the victim are important indicia which with the SAC. It is only in the present petition for review
may disprove accused’s plea of self defense. In the that petitioners raised the alleged existence of a
instant case, it is clear that the victim was stabbed at the consummated sale between the DAR and petitioners.
back negating any indication that accused-appellant acted
in self defense. The argument that a consummated sale between the DAR
and petitioners existed upon petitioners’ acceptance of
The People of the Philippines vs. Benancio Mortera y the valuation made in the RARAD’s decision of 29 March
Belarmino, G.R. No. 188104, April 23, 2010. 2000 is an issue being raised for the first time. Section 15,
Rule 44 of the 1997 Rules of Court provides that the
Appeal; hierarchy of courts. The first refers to the appellant “may include in his assignment of errors any
24
Remedial Law
question of law or fact that has been raised in the court to the Court of Appeals and Rule 45 governing appeals by
below and which is within the issues framed by the certiorari to the Supreme Court. The new rule aims to
parties.” A perusal of the questions raised in the SAC and regiment or make the appeal period uniform, to be
the CA shows that the issue on the existence of a counted from receipt of the order denying the motion for
consummated sale between the DAR and petitioners was new trial, motion for reconsideration (whether full or
not among the issues therein. Hence, this issue is being partial) or any final order or resolution.
raised for the first time on appeal. It is a fundamental
rule that this Court will not resolve issues that were not xxxx
properly brought and ventilated in the lower courts.
Questions raised on appeal must be within the issues To recapitulate, a party litigant may either file his
framed by the parties and, consequently, issues not raised notice of appeal within 15 days from receipt of the
in the trial court cannot be raised for the first time on Regional Trial Court’s decision or file it within 15 days from
appeal. An issue, which was neither averred in the receipt of the order (the “final order”) denying his motion
complaint nor raised during the trial in the lower courts, for new trial or motion for reconsideration. Obviously, the
cannot be raised for the first time on appeal because it new 15-day period may be availed of only if either motion
would be offensive to the basic rule of fair play and is filed; otherwise, the decision becomes final and
justice, and would be violative of the constitutional right executory after the lapse of the original appeal period
to due process of the other party. Heirs of Lorenzo Vidad provided in Rule 41, Section 3. (Emphases ours.)
and Carmen Vidad, et al. vs. Land Bank of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 166461, April 30, 2010. In the case at bar, PCI Leasing filed a Motion for
Reconsideration of the RTC Order dated October 13, 2000,
Appeal; issue raised for first time on appeal; question of which dismissed Civil Case No. Q-00-40010. On January 4,
fact outside scope of Rule 45 appeal. We note at the 2001, the RTC rendered a Resolution, denying the Motion
outset that the objection on the delineation of the scope for Reconsideration. Said Resolution was received by PCI
and extent of the excess areas of TCT No. 722 came too Leasing on January 17, 2001. Therefore, PCI Leasing
late in the day; it is an issue that the Hacienda admits to should have filed its Notice of Appeal within 15 days from
have raised for the first time when it sought January 17, 2001 or until February 1, 2001. PCI Leasing
reconsideration of the CA decision. We significantly note, actually filed its Notice of Appeal on May 11, 2001 or 114
too, that this issue involves a question of fact whose days after receipt of the Resolution denying its Motion for
determination is improper in a Rule 45 proceeding before Reconsideration.
this Court. Hacienda Bigaa, Inc. vs. Epifanio V. Chavez,
et al., G.R. No. 174160, April 20, 2010. Contrary to the findings of the RTC, the period within
which to file the Notice of Appeal should not be reckoned
Appeal; notice of appeal; computation of period to file. from May 3, 2001, the date of receipt of the RTC
As regards the ruling of the Court of Appeals that the Resolution dated April 6, 2001, which denied the Ex Parte
appeal of PCI Leasing was filed out of time, the same was Motion for Reconsideration of PCI Leasing. The aforesaid
in concurrence with the findings of the RTC that the Ex Parte Motion for Reconsideration was already the
Notice of Appeal was filed one day late. On this matter, second attempt on the part of PCI Leasing to seek a
we hold that the conclusion of the RTC that PCI Leasing reconsideration of the RTC Order dated October 13, 2000,
belatedly filed its appeal was correct, but the premise dismissing Civil Case No. Q-00-40010. It is, thus, in the
therefor was evidently mistaken. In accordance with nature of a second motion for reconsideration. Under
Section 3, Rule 41 of the Rules of Court, an ordinary Section 5, Rule 37 of the Rules of Court, such motion for
appeal of a judgment by the RTC shall be taken within reconsideration is a prohibited pleading, which does not
fifteen (15) days from notice of the judgment or final toll the period within which an appeal may be taken, to
order appealed from. Said period shall be interrupted by wit:
a timely motion for new trial or reconsideration. In
Neypes v. Court of Appeals, the Court had the occasion to SEC. 5. Second motion for new trial. – A motion for new
clarify the rule regarding the period within which an trial shall include all grounds then available and those not
appeal may be taken should a motion for new trial or so included shall be deemed waived. A second motion for
reconsideration be filed. Thus: new trial, based on a ground not existing nor available
when the first motion was made, may be filed within the
To standardize the appeal periods provided in the Rules time herein provided excluding the time during which the
and to afford litigants fair opportunity to appeal their first motion had been pending.
cases, the Court deems it practical to allow a fresh period
of 15 days within which to file the notice of appeal in the No party shall be allowed a second motion for
Regional Trial Court, counted from receipt of the order reconsideration of a judgment or final order. (Emphasis
dismissing a motion for a new trial or motion for ours.)
reconsideration.
As PCI Leasing was not able to file the Notice of Appeal
Henceforth, this “fresh period rule” shall also apply to within the reglementary period allowed therefor, the RTC
Rule 40 governing appeals from the Municipal Trial Courts Order dated October 13, 2000, dismissing Civil Case No. Q-
to the Regional Trial Courts; Rule 42 on petitions for 00-40010, should be deemed final and executory. PCI
review from the Regional Trial Courts to the Court of Leasing and Finance, Inc. vs. Antonio C. Milan, et al.,
Appeals; Rule 43 on appeals from quasi-judicial agencies G.R. No. 151215, April 5, 2010.
25
Remedial Law

Appeal; notice of appeal; requirements. The Court of As held by this Court in Air Philippines Corporation v.
Appeals concluded that the Notice of Appeal involved pure Zamora:
questions of law on the basis of the statement therein that
the Order dated October 13, 2000, the Resolution dated [E]ven if a document is relevant and pertinent to the
January 4, 2001 and the Resolution dated April 6, 2001 of petition, it need not be appended if it is shown that the
the RTC would be appealed to the Court of Appeals on the contents thereof can also [be] found in another document
ground that the same were “contrary to the applicable already attached to the petition. Thus, if the material
laws and jurisprudence on the matter.” The Court of allegations in a position paper are summarized in a
Appeals was of the opinion that it would not have questioned judgment, it will suffice that only a certified
jurisdiction over the intended appeal since the same true copy of the judgment is attached.
should be raised to the Supreme Court via a Petition for
Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. Third, a petition lacking an essential pleading or part of
the case record may still be given due course or reinstated
We hold that the Court of Appeals was unreasonably hasty (if earlier dismissed) upon showing that petitioner later
in inferring its lack of jurisdiction over the intended submitted the documents required, or that it will serve
appeal of PCI Leasing. The above-stated conclusion of the the higher interest of justice that the case be decided on
Court of Appeals was simply uncalled for, notwithstanding the merits.
the said statement in the Notice of Appeal. Under Rule
41, Section 5 of the Rules of Court, a notice of appeal is Nevertheless, even if the pleadings and other
only required to indicate (a) the parties to the appeal, (b) supporting documents were not attached to the petition,
the final judgment or order or part thereof appealed from, the dismissal is unwarranted because the CA records
(c) the court to which the appeal is being taken, and (d) containing the promissory notes and the real estate and
the material dates showing the timeliness of the appeal. In chattel mortgages were elevated to this Court. Without a
usual court practice, a notice of appeal would consist of doubt, we have sufficient basis to actually and completely
one or two pages. Only after the specific issues and dispose of the case.
arguments of PCI Leasing are laid out in detail before the
Court of Appeals in the appropriate substantive pleading We must stress that cases should be determined on the
can it make a conclusion as to whether or not the issues merits, after all parties have been given full opportunity
raised therein involved pure questions of law. PCI Leasing to ventilate their causes and defenses, rather than on
and Finance, Inc. vs. Antonio C. Milan, et al., G.R. No. technicalities or procedural imperfections. In that way,
151215, April 5, 2010. the ends of justice would be served better. Rules of
procedure are mere tools designed to expedite the
Appeal; requirement to attach pleadings filed below; decision or resolution of cases and other matters pending
substantial compliance. We dwell first with the in court. A strict and rigid application of rules, resulting in
procedural issues before the main controversy. technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote
Respondents contend that the instant petition is substantial justice, must be avoided. In fact, Section 6 of
dismissible on the ground that NHA failed to attach Rule 1 states that the Rules shall be liberally construed in
pleadings filed in the RTC and the Court of Appeals as order to promote their objective of ensuring the just,
required under Section 4, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court speedy and inexpensive disposition of every action and
which partly provides: proceeding.

SEC. 4. Contents of petition. — The petition shall be National Housing Authority vs. Augusto Basa, Jr., Luz
filed in eighteen (18) copies, with the original copy Basa and Eduardo S. Basa, G.R. No. 149121, April 20,
intended for the court being indicated as such by the 2010.
petitioner, and shall x x x (d) be accompanied by a clearly
legible duplicate original, or a certified true copy of the Certiorari; available where denial of motion to dismiss is
judgment or final order or resolution certified by the clerk with grave abuse of discretion. Anent respondents’ claim
of court of the court a quo and the requisite number of that the RTC Order denying a motion to dismiss is a mere
plain copies thereof, and such material portions of the interlocutory order, thus, not appealable and may not be a
record as would support the petition; x x x. subject of a petition for certiorari filed by the petitioner
before the CA, the same is also not meritorious. While
In its petition, NHA attached the February 24, 2000 indeed, the general rule is that the denial of a motion to
Decision, the November 27, 2000 Amended Decision, and dismiss cannot be questioned in a special civil action for
the July 19, 2001 Resolution all of the Court of Appeals; certiorari, which is not intended to correct every
copies of the transfer certificates of title of the disputed controversial interlocutory ruling, and that the
properties; and the June 13, 1994 Order of the Quezon appropriate recourse is to file an answer and to interpose
City RTC ordering the reconstitution of the said titles. as defenses the objections raised in the motion, to
This Court finds that NHA substantially complied with the proceed to trial, and, in case of an adverse decision, to
requirements under Section 4 of Rule 45. The same elevate the entire case by appeal in due course, this rule
conclusion was arrived at by this Court in Development is not absolute. Even when appeal is available and is the
Bank of the Philippines v. Family Foods Manufacturing Co., proper remedy, the Supreme Court has allowed a writ of
Ltd. when it was faced with the same procedural certiorari (1) where the appeal does not constitute a
objection, thus: speedy and adequate remedy; (2) where the orders were
26
Remedial Law
also issued either in excess of or without jurisdiction or misapprehension of facts. These assigned errors, however,
with grave abuse of discretion; (3) for certain special constitute an attack on the correctness or soundness of
considerations, as public welfare or public policy; (4) the decision assailed and does not at all affect the
where in criminal actions, the court rejects rebuttal jurisdiction of the court to issue such decision. In other
evidence for the prosecution as, in case of acquittal, there words, they amount to no more than errors of judgment
could be no remedy; (5) where the order is a patent correctible by an appeal, not by a writ of certiorari that
nullity; and (6) where the decision in the certiorari case will issue only when there is no appeal, or any plain,
will avoid future litigations. In this case, we find that the speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
RTC committed grave abuse of discretion amounting to law.
lack of jurisdiction when it failed to consider the lack of
proof of authority of respondent Neri to file the action on XXX XXX
behalf of the corporation as we have discussed above. XXX XXX
Republic of the Philippines vs. Coalbrine International
Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 161838, April 7, 2010. As the petitioners now raise before this Court the same
errors of judgment already raised before and resolved by
Certiorari; grave abuse of discretion. Finally, we note that the CA, the dismissal of the present certiorari petition is
the instant petition was filed under Rule 65 of the 1997 in order for being the wrong remedy. Errors of judgment
Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, which requires the committed by the CA are reviewable by this Court via a
existence of grave abuse of discretion. Grave abuse of petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules
discretion exists where an act of a court or tribunal is of Court. Erroneous findings and conclusion do not render
performed with a capricious or whimsical exercise of the appellate court vulnerable to the corrective writ of
judgment equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. The abuse of certiorari. Nemesio Goco, et al. vs. Honorable Court of
discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 157449, April 6, 2010.
evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform
a duty enjoined by law, or to act at all in contemplation of Certiorari; not available against dismissal order from
law, as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and which appeal can be taken. Since an order of dismissal by
despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. the trial court is a final order from which an ordinary
No such grave abuse of discretion exists in this case to appeal under Rule 41 can be taken, the petitioners should
warrant issuance of the extraordinary writ of certiorari. have taken this avenue against the RTC order of
Mediserv, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals (Special Former 13th September 7, 1999 instead of resorting to a petition for
Division), et al., G.R. No. 161368, April 5, 2010. certiorari before the CA. Supreme Court Circular No. 2-90
is unequivocal in directing the dismissal of an
Certiorari; nature of remedy; available to correct only inappropriate mode of appeal:
errors of jurisdiction. The petitioners have twice
erroneously availed of the remedy of a certiorari petition, 4. Erroneous Appeals – An appeal taken to either the
first, before the CA against the RTC order dismissing its Supreme Court or the Court of Appeals by the wrong or
complaint for annulment of title, and second, before the inappropriate mode shall be dismissed.
Court against the CA’s decision thereon. Time and again,
we have discussed the nature of a certiorari petition – it is But rather than dismissing outright the petition, the CA,
intended to correct only errors of jurisdiction where the “in the interest of justice,” decided to treat it as an
court or tribunal has acted with grave abuse of discretion. appeal filed under Rule 41 and consider the errors raised
A writ of certiorari cannot be used for any other purpose; by the petitioners. As it turned out, however, the CA still
it cannot be used to resolve questions or issues beyond its ruled for the petition’s dismissal because it found that
competence such as errors of judgment. Certiorari will petitioners’ did not have any cause of action against
not be issued to cure errors by the trial court in its respondent Catlys and were not the real parties in
appreciation of the evidence of the parties, its conclusions interest. Nemesio Goco, et al. vs. Honorable Court of
anchored on the said findings, and its conclusions of law. Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 157449, April 6, 2010.

The supervisory jurisdiction of a court over the issuance Certiorari; unavailing where appeal period has lapsed;
of a writ of certiorari cannot be exercised for the purpose exceptions. Petitioners are questioning a final decision of
of reviewing the intrinsic correctness of a judgment of the the CA by resorting to Rule 65, when their remedy should
lower court on the basis either of the law or the facts of be based on Rule 45. This case would normally have been
the case, or of the wisdom or legal soundness of the dismissed outright for failure of the petitioners to adopt
decision. Even if the findings of the court are incorrect, as the proper remedy. While ordinarily, certiorari is
long as it has jurisdiction over the case, such correction is unavailing where the appeal period has lapsed, there are
normally beyond the province of certiorari. Where the exceptions. Among them are (a) when public welfare and
error is not one of jurisdiction, but of an error of law or the advancement of public policy dictates; (b) when the
fact – a mistake of judgment – appeal is the remedy. broader interest of justice so requires; (c) when the writs
[Emphasis supplied.] issued are null and void; or (d) when the questioned order
amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial authority. In
In the two certiorari petitions the petitioners filed before the present case, the CA’s act of dismissing petitioners’
the CA and before the Court, they assailed rulings of the petition for certiorari and in finding the RTC’s Decision
lower courts by claiming that the findings and conclusions already final and executory in its entirety, despite the
of these courts were merely speculative and based on filing by the petitioners of a Notice of Appeal within 15
27
Remedial Law
days from their receipt of the February 7, 2001 RTC Order existing warrant of seizure and detention (dated 22 May
amending the said RTC Decision is an oppressive exercise 2002) issued by the BOC against the subject rice shipment.
of judicial authority. Hence, in the interest of substantial Thus, as far as the SBMA officers were concerned,
justice, we deem it wise to overlook the procedural exclusive jurisdiction over the subject shipment remained
technicalities. Associated Anglo-American Tobacco with the BOC, and the RTC had no jurisdiction over cases
Corporation, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. involving said shipment. Consequently, the SBMA officers
167237, April 23, 2010. refused to comply with the TRO issued by the RTC.
Considering the foregoing circumstances, we believe that
Contempt. Respondents filed a case for indirect contempt the SBMA officers may be considered to have acted in good
against Augusto L. Canlas, Atty. Francisco A. Abella, Jr., faith when they refused to follow the TRO issued by the
and Atty. Rizal V. Katalbas, Jr. for allegedly defying the RTC. The SBMA officers’ refusal to follow the court order
TRO issued by the RTC in connection with the complaint was not contumacious but due to the honest belief that
for injunction and damages previously filed by jurisdiction over the subject shipment remained with the
respondents. Contempt constitutes disobedience to the BOC because of the existing warrant of seizure and
court by setting up an opposition to its authority, justice detention against said shipment. Accordingly, these SBMA
and dignity. It signifies not only a willful disregard or officers should not be held accountable for their acts
disobedience of the court’s orders but such conduct as which were done in good faith and not without legal basis.
tends to bring the authority of the court and the Thus, we hold that the RTC Order dated 21 November 2002
administration of law into disrepute or in some manner to which found the SBMA officers guilty of indirect contempt
impede the due administration of justice. There are two for not complying with the RTC’s TRO should be
kinds of contempt punishable by law: direct contempt and invalidated. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs.
indirect contempt. Direct contempt is committed when a Merlino E. Rodriguez, et al., G.R. No. 160270, April 23,
person is guilty of misbehavior in the presence of or so 2010.
near a court as to obstruct or interrupt the proceedings
before the same, including disrespect toward the court, Dismissals; dismissal due to plaintiff’s fault. Section 3,
offensive personalities toward others, or refusal to be Rule 17 of the Rules of Court is the applicable rule in the
sworn or to answer as a witness, or to subscribe an instant case, which provision reads:
affidavit or deposition when lawfully required to do so.
Indirect contempt or constructive contempt is that which Sec. 3. Dismissal due to fault of plaintiff. — If, for no
is committed out of the presence of the court. Subic Bay justifiable cause, the plaintiff fails to appear on the date
Metropolitan Authority vs. Merlino E. Rodriguez, et al., of the presentation of his evidence in chief on the
G.R. No. 160270, April 23, 2010 complaint, or to prosecute his action for an unreasonable
length of time, or to comply with these Rules or any order
Contempt; indirect contempt. Section 3 of Rule 71 of the of the court, the complaint may be dismissed upon motion
Revised Rules of Civil Procedure includes, among the of the defendant or upon the court’s own motion, without
grounds for filing a case for indirect contempt, the prejudice to the right of the defendant to prosecute his
following: counterclaim in the same or in a separate action. This
dismissal shall have the effect of an adjudication upon the
Section 3. Indirect contempt to be punished after merits, unless otherwise declared by the court.
charge and hearing. –
Gomez v. Alcantara explains that “[t]he aforequoted
After charge in writing has been filed, and an provision enumerates the instances when a complaint may
opportunity given to the accused to be heard by himself or be dismissed due to the plaintiff’s fault: (1) if he fails to
counsel, a person guilty of any of the following acts may appear on the date for the presentation of his evidence in
be punished for contempt: chief on the complaint; (2) if he fails to prosecute his
action for an unreasonable length of time; or (3) if he fails
xxx to comply with the Rules or any order of the court. The
dismissal of a case for failure to prosecute has the effect
(b) Disobedience of or resistance to a lawful writ, of adjudication on the merits, and is necessarily
process, order, judgment or command of a court, or understood to be with prejudice to the filing of another
injunction granted by a court or judge, x x x action, unless otherwise provided in the order of dismissal.
Stated differently, the general rule is that dismissal of a
(c) Any abuse of or any unlawful interference with the case for failure to prosecute is to be regarded as an
process or proceedings of a court not constituting direct adjudication on the merits and with prejudice to the filing
contempt under Section 1 of this rule; of another action, and the only exception is when the
order of dismissal expressly contains a qualification that
(d) Any improper conduct tending, directly or indirectly, the dismissal is without prejudice.” Furthermore, in
to impede, obstruct or degrade the administration of Marahay v. Melicor, we pronounced that “[w]hile a court
justice; can dismiss a case on the ground of non prosequitur, the
real test for the exercise of such power is whether, under
xxx the circumstances, plaintiff is chargeable with want of due
diligence in failing to proceed with reasonable
When the TRO issued by the RTC was served upon the promptitude. In the absence of a pattern or scheme to
SBMA officers on 13 June 2002, there was already an delay the disposition of the case or a wanton failure to
28
Remedial Law
observe the mandatory requirement of the rules on the for dismissal for non-appearance, the courts should
part of the plaintiff, as in the case at bar, courts should consider lesser sanctions which would still amount into
decide to dispense with rather than wield their authority achieving the desired end.” PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc.
to dismiss.” Guided by the foregoing principles, we find vs. Antonio C. Milan, et al., G.R. No. 151215, April 5,
that the RTC grievously erred in dismissing Civil Case No. 2010.
Q-00-40010.
Ejectment; nature of action; summary action to protect
According to the RTC Order dated October 13, 2000, the right to possession without involvement of title. Petitioner
trial court dismissed the case filed by PCI Leasing in view is, finally, out on a limb in faulting the Court of Appeals
of the absence of the latter’s counsel at the hearing with failure to apply the first paragraph of Article 1676 of
scheduled for that day. PCI Leasing had also been the Civil Code of the Philippines in relation to the lease he
directed, on July 13, 2000, to “take the necessary steps to claims to have concluded with one Maria Ysabel
actively prosecute [its] case, otherwise, the same shall be Potenciano Padilla Sylianteng. In the absence of proof of
dismissed.” To our mind, the above circumstances do not his lessor’s title or respondent’s prior knowledge of said
constitute sufficient bases to warrant the conclusion that contract of lease, petitioner’s harping over the same
PCI Leasing had lost interest in prosecuting Civil Case No. provision simply amounts to an implied admission that the
Q-00-40010. premises occupied by him lie within the metes and bounds
of the subject parcel. Even then, the resolution of said
In its Motion for Reconsideration of the Order dated issue is clearly inappropriate since ejectment cases are
October 13, 2000, PCI Leasing explained that its counsel summary actions intended to provide an expeditious
merely came late during the hearing scheduled for the manner for protecting possession or right to possession
said date, arriving at the time when Judge Domingo-Regala without involvement of title. Moreover, if a defendant’s
was already dictating the order of dismissal. Said hearing mere assertion of ownership in an ejectment case will not
was not even for the presentation of the evidence in chief oust the MeTC of its summary jurisdiction, we fail to see
of PCI Leasing, where the latter’s presence would be why it should be any different in this case where
indispensable, but merely for the issuance of Alias petitioner merely alleged his lessor’s supposed title over
Summons. Incidentally, the Motion for Issuance of Alias the subject parcel. Hubert Nuñez vs. SLTEAS Phoenix
Summons filed by PCI Leasing is non-litigious in nature, Solutions, Inc., G.R. No. 180542, April 12, 2010.
which does not require a hearing under the Rules, as the
same could have been acted upon by the RTC without Execution; execution of judgment for specific acts;
prejudicing the rights of the respondents. All facts removal of improvements. In addition, Rule 39, Section
necessary for the determination of the motion are already 10, paragraphs (c) and (d), of the Rules of Court provides
specified therein or a matter of record and there was yet the procedure for execution of judgments for specific
no adverse party to dispute the same as the court had not acts, as follows:
even acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
respondents. It was serious error on the part of the trial SECTION 10. Execution of judgments for specific act.-
court to have denied the first motion for issuance of alias
summons for want of notice of hearing. It was also not x x x x
mandatory for the trial court to set the second motion for
hearing. Despite this, the RTC still dismissed the case and (c) Delivery or restitution of real property. – The officer
eventually denied the Motion for Reconsideration thereof. shall demand of the person against whom the judgment
While trial courts have the discretion to impose sanctions for the delivery or restitution of real property is rendered
on counsels or litigants for tardiness or absence at and all persons claiming rights under him to peaceably
hearings, such sanctions should be proportionate to the vacate the property within the three (3) working days, and
offense and should still conform to the dictates of justice restore possession thereof to the judgment obligee;
and fair play. otherwise, the officer shall oust all such persons
therefrom with the assistance, if necessary, of appropriate
Likewise, only a period of one month has passed since PCI peace officers, and employing such means as may be
Leasing was ordered by the RTC to actively pursue its reasonably necessary to retake possession, and place the
case, up to the time when Civil Case No. Q-00-40010 was judgment obligee in possession of such property. Any costs,
actually dismissed. It does not escape this Court’s notice damages, rents or profits awarded by the judgment shall
that PCI Leasing failed to successfully prosecute the case be satisfied in the same manner as a judgment for money.
for several months due to the difficulties it encountered in
locating respondents, who appeared to have a propensity (d) Removal of improvements on property subject of
for changing addresses and refusing to accept court execution. - When the property subject of execution
processes. Under these circumstances, the delay in the contains improvements constructed or planted by the
trial court proceedings was not entirely the fault of PCI judgment obligor or his agent, the officer shall not
Leasing. Verily, it can hardly be said that PCI Leasing destroy, demolish or remove said improvements, except
engaged in a pattern or scheme to delay the disposition of upon special order of the court, issued upon motion of the
Civil Case No. Q-00-40010 or committed a wanton failure judgment obligee after due hearing and after the former
to observe the mandatory requirement of the rules. On has failed to remove the same within a reasonable time
this score, Calalang v. Court of Appeals underscores that fixed by the court. (Emphasis supplied)
“[u]nless a party’s conduct is so negligent, irresponsible,
contumacious, or dilatory as to provide substantial grounds In Buñag v. Court of Appeals, we explained that a
29
Remedial Law
judgment for the delivery or restitution of property is and notice requirements of the extrajudicial foreclosure
essentially an order to place the prevailing party in sale, the same is unavailing. The rule is that it is the
possession of the property. If the defendant refuses to mortgagor who alleges absence of a requisite who has the
surrender possession of the property to the prevailing burden of establishing such fact. This is so because
party, the sheriff or other proper officer should oust him. foreclosure proceedings have in their favor the
No express order to this effect needs to be stated in the presumption of regularity and the burden of evidence to
decision; nor is a categorical statement needed in the rebut the same is on the party who questions it. Here,
decision that in such event the sheriff or other proper except for their bare allegations, respondents failed to
officer shall have the authority to remove the present any evidence to support them. In addition, NHA
improvements on the property if the defendant fails to do stated in its Comment to Motion for Leave of Court to
so within a reasonable period of time. The removal of the Intervene that it had complied with the publication of the
improvements on the land under these circumstances is Notice of Sheriff’s Sale in the Manila Times in the latter’s
deemed read into the decision, subject only to the issues dated July 14, 21 and 28, 1990. It also claimed that
issuance of a special order by the court for the removal of an Affidavit of Publication of said newspaper was attached
the improvements. Narciso Tumibay, et al. vs. Sps. as Annex “B” in the said comment. NHA also said that
Yolanda T. Sora, et al., G.R. No. 152016, April 13, 2010. respondents had been furnished with a copy of the Notice
of Sheriff’s Sale as shown at the bottom portion of said
Execution; execution pending appeal. Petitioners received notice. From all these, it would tend to show that
their copy of the February 7, 2001 Order on February 20, respondents’ aspersion of non-compliance with the
2001. They timely filed a notice of appeal on March 6, requirements of foreclosure sale is a futile attempt to
2001, or after 14 days. The appeal was duly perfected. salvage its statutory right to redeem their foreclosed
When an appeal had been duly perfected, execution of the properties, which right had long been lost by inaction.
judgment, whether wholly or partially, was not a matter of National Housing Authority vs. Augusto Basa, Jr., Luz
right, but of discretion provided good reasons therefor Basa and Eduardo S. Basa, G.R. No. 149121, April 20,
existed. The compelling grounds for the issuance of the 2010.
writ must be stated in a special order after due hearing.
Aside from the existence of good reasons, the rules also Extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage; publication
require that the motion for partial execution should have requirement; burden of proof. It is settled that for the
been filed while the trial court still had jurisdiction over purpose of extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage, the
the case. In the present case, the RTC’s May 9, 2002 party alleging non-compliance with the requisite
Order granting the issuance of the writ of execution failed publication has the burden of proving the same. In this
to state good reasons for the issuance of the writ. The case, respondents presented the testimony of a newsstand
RTC mistakenly deemed that the execution should issue as owner to prove that Ang Pinoy is not a newspaper of
a matter of right because it had held that part of its general circulation. However, this particular evidence is
September 14, 2001 Decision had become final and unreliable, as the same witness testified that he sells
executory. As previously discussed, the said proposition is newspapers in Quezon City, not in Caloocan City, and that
erroneous because the Decision in the present case is not he is unaware of Ang Pinoy newspaper simply because he is
properly severable. not selling the same and he had not heard of it. His
testimony states:
Furthermore, the motion for partial execution was filed
only on August 22, 2001, more than four months after the XXX XXX
appeal was perfected. “In appeals by notice of appeal, XXX XXX
the court loses jurisdiction over the case upon the
perfection of the appeals filed in due time and the Notwithstanding, petitioner could have easily produced
expiration of the time to appeal of the other parties.” the affidavit of publication and other competent evidence
Each party only has at most 15 days from their receipt of (such as the published notices) to refute respondents’
the final order to appeal it. Thus, when respondents filed claim of lack of publication of the notice of sale. In
their motion for partial execution the RTC no longer had Spouses Pulido v. Court of Appeals, the Court held:
jurisdiction over the case and it no longer had jurisdiction
to act on the said motion for partial execution. Aside While it may be true that the party alleging non-
from the fact that the appeal was filed on time and should compliance with the requisite publication has the burden
thus not have been dismissed in the assailed May 9, 2002 of proof, still negative allegations need not be proved
Order, the said Order, which also resolved the motion for even if essential to one’s cause of action or defense if they
partial execution, fell short of the requirements of Section constitute a denial of the existence of a document the
2, Rule 39, as previously discussed. Where the order of custody of which belongs to the other party.
execution is not in conformity with the rules, the same is
null and void. Therefore, the CA erred in not nullifying In relation to the evidentiary weight of the affidavit of
the May 9, 2002 Order. Associated Anglo-Americanpublication, the Court ruled in China Banking Corporation
Tobacco Corporation, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al.,v. Spouses Martir that the affidavit of publication executed
G.R. No. 167237, April 23, 2010. by the account executive of the newspaper is prima facie
proof that the newspaper is generally circulated in the
Extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage; burden of party place where the properties are located. In the present
alleging defect in publication and notice. As regards case, the Affidavit of Publication or Exhibit “8,” although
respondents’ allegation on the defect in the publication formally offered by petitioner, was excluded by the trial
30
Remedial Law
court for being hearsay. Petitioner never challenged the
exclusion of the affidavit of publication. Instead, In sum, petitioner failed to establish its compliance with
petitioner relies solely on the testimony of Deputy Sheriff the publication requirement under Section 3 of Act No.
Alberto Castillo to prove compliance with the publication 3135. Consequently, the questioned extrajudicial
requirement under Section 3 of Act No. 3135. However, foreclosure of real estate mortgage and sale are void.
there is nothing in such testimony to clearly and Philippine Savings Bank vs. Spouses Dionisio Geronimo,
convincingly prove that petitioner complied with the et al., G.R. No. 170241, April 19, 2010.
mandatory requirement of publication. When Sheriff
Castillo was asked how he knew that the notice of sale Extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage; registration of
was published, he simply replied that “during the auction sheriff’s certificate of sale; substantial compliance.
sale the mortgagee bank presented the affidavit of Indeed, the prevailing rule is that there is effective
publication.” Evidently, such an answer does not suffice registration once the registrant has fulfilled all that is
to establish petitioner’s claim of compliance with the needed of him for purposes of entry and annotation, so
statutory requirement of publication. On the contrary, that what is left to be accomplished lies solely on the
Sheriff Castillo’s testimony reveals that he had no personal register of deeds. The Court thus once held:
knowledge of the actual publication of the notice of sale,
much less the extent of the circulation of Ang Pinoy. Current doctrine thus seems to be that entry alone
Moreover, the Court notes that Ang Pinoy is a newspaper of produces the effect of registration, whether the
general circulation printed and published in Manila, not in transaction entered is a voluntary or an involuntary one,
Caloocan City where the mortgaged property is located, as so long as the registrant has complied with all that is
indicated in the excluded Affidavit of Publication. This is required of him for purposes of entry and annotation, and
contrary to the requirement under Section 3 of Act No. nothing more remains to be done but a duty incumbent
3135 pertaining to the publication of the notice of sale in solely on the register of deeds.
a newspaper of general circulation in the city where the
property is situated. Hence, even if the Affidavit of In the case under consideration, NHA presented the
Publication was admitted as part of petitioner’s evidence, sheriff’s certificate of sale to the Register of Deeds and
it would not support petitioner’s case as it does not clearly the same was entered as Entry No. 2873 and said entry
prove petitioner’s compliance with the publication was further annotated in the owner’s transfer certificate
requirement. Philippine Savings Bank vs. Spouses of title. A year later and after the mortgagors did not
Dionisio Geronimo, et al., G.R. No. 170241, April 19, redeem the said properties, respondents filed with the
2010. Register of Deeds an Affidavit of Consolidation of
Ownership after which the same instrument was
Extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage; publication presumably entered into in the day book as the same was
requirement; strict compliance. Once again, the Court annotated in the owner’s duplicate copy. Just like in DBP,
stresses the importance of the notice requirement, as Levin, Potenciano and Autocorp, NHA followed the
enunciated in Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, Inc. procedure in order to have its sheriff’s certificate of sale
v. Peñafiel, thus: annotated in the transfer certificates of title. There
would be, therefore, no reason not to apply the ruling in
The object of a notice of sale is to inform the public of said cases to this one. It was not NHA’s fault that the
the nature and condition of the property to be sold, and of certificate of sale was not annotated on the transfer
the time, place and terms of the sale. Notices are given certificates of title which were supposed to be in the
for the purpose of securing bidders and to prevent a custody of the Registrar, since the same were burned.
sacrifice [sale] of the property. The goal of the notice Neither could NHA be blamed for the fact that there were
requirement is to achieve a “reasonably wide publicity” of no reconstituted titles available during the time of
the auction sale. This is why publication in a newspaper of inscription as it had taken the necessary steps in having
general circulation is required. The Court has previously the same reconstituted as early as July 15, 1988. NHA did
taken judicial notice of the “far-reaching effects” of everything within its power to assert its right.
publishing the notice of sale in a newspaper of general
circulation. While it may be true that, in DBP, the Court ruled that “in
the particular situation here obtaining, annotation of the
In addition, the Court reminds mortgagees of their duty to disputed entry on the reconstituted originals of the
comply faithfully with the statutory requirements of certificates of title to which it refers is entirely proper
foreclosure. In Metropolitan Bank v. Wong, the Court and justified,” this does not mean, as respondents insist,
declared: that the ruling therein applies exclusively to the factual
milieu and the issue obtaining in said case, and not to
While the law recognizes the right of a bank to similar cases. There is nothing in the subject declaration
foreclose a mortgage upon the mortgagor’s failure to pay that categorically states its pro hac vice character. For in
his obligation, it is imperative that such right be exercised truth, what the said statement really conveys is that the
according to its clear mandate. Each and every current doctrine that entry in the primary book produces
requirement of the law must be complied with, lest, the the effect of registration can be applied in the situation
valid exercise of the right would end. It must be obtaining in that case since the registrant therein
remembered that the exercise of a right ends when the complied with all that was required of it, hence, it was
right disappears, and it disappears when it is abused fairly reasonable that its acts be given the effect of
especially to the prejudice of others. registration, just as the Court did in the past cases. In fact
31
Remedial Law
the Court there continued with this pronouncement: consolidation of titles in the buyer’s name, for failure of
the mortgagor to redeem, the writ of possession becomes
To hold said entry ineffective, as does the appealed a matter of right. Its issuance to a purchaser in an
resolution, amounts to declaring that it did not, and does extrajudicial foreclosure is merely a ministerial function.
not, protect the registrant (DBP) from claims arising, or The writ of possession issues as a matter of course upon
transactions made, thereafter which are adverse to or in the filing of the proper motion and the approval of the
derogation of the rights created or conveyed by the corresponding bond. The judge issuing the writ following
transaction thus entered. That, surely, is a result that is these express provisions of law neither exercises his
neither just nor can, by any reasonable interpretation of official discretion nor judgment. As such, the court
Section 56 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 be asserted as granting the writ cannot be charged with having acted
warranted by its terms. without jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. To
accentuate the writ’s ministerial character, the Court
National Housing Authority vs. Augusto Basa, Jr., Luz disallowed injunction to prohibit its issuance despite a
Basa and Eduardo S. Basa, G.R. No. 149121, April 20, pending action for annulment of mortgage or the
2010. foreclosure itself. National Housing Authority vs.
Augusto Basa, Jr., Luz Basa and Eduardo S. Basa, G.R.
Extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage; writ of possession. No. 149121, April 20, 2010.
Considering that the foreclosure sale and its subsequent
registration with the Register of Deeds were done validly, Forcible entry; element of prior possession. Then as now,
there is no reason for the non-issuance of the writ of petitioner argues that, aside from the admission in the
possession. A writ of possession is an order directing the complaint that the subject parcel was left idle and
sheriff to place a person in possession of a real or personal unguarded, respondent’s claim of prior possession is
property, such as when a property is extrajudicially clearly negated by the fact that he had been in occupancy
foreclosed. Section 7 of Act No. 3135 provides for the rule thereof since 1999. While prior physical possession is,
in the issuance of the writ of possession involving admittedly, an indispensable requirement in forcible entry
extrajudicial foreclosure sales of real estate mortgage, to cases, the dearth of merit in petitioner’s position is,
wit: however, evident from the principle that possession can be
acquired not only by material occupation, but also by the
Sec. 7. In any sale made under the provisions of this fact that a thing is subject to the action of one’s will or by
Act, the purchaser may petition the [Regional Trial Court] the proper acts and legal formalities established for
of the province or place where the property or any part acquiring such right. Because possession can also be
thereof is situated, to give him possession thereof during acquired by juridical acts to which the law gives the force
the redemption period, furnishing bond in an amount of acts of possession, e.g., donations, succession,
equivalent to the use of the property for a period of execution and registration of public instruments,
twelve months, to indemnify the debtor in case it be inscription of possessory information titles and the like, it
shown that the sale was made without violating the has been held that one need not have actual or physical
mortgage or without complying with the requirements of occupation of every square inch of the property at all
this Act. Such petition shall be made under oath and filed times to be considered in possession. In this case, the
in the form of an ex parte motion in the registration or subject parcel was acquired by respondent by virtue of the
cadastral proceedings if the property is registered, or in 4 June 1999 Deed of Assignment executed in its favor by
special proceedings in the case of property registered the Spouses Ong Tiko and Emerenciana Sylianteng.
under the Mortgage Law or under section one hundred and Although it did not immediately put the same to active
ninety-four of the Administrative Code, or of any other use, respondent appears to have additionally caused the
real property encumbered with a mortgage duly registered property to be registered in its name as of 27 February
in the office of any register of deeds in accordance with 2002 and to have paid the real property taxes due thereon
any existing law, and in each case the clerk of the court alongside the sundry expenses incidental thereto. Viewed
shall, upon the filing of such petition, collect the fees in the light of the foregoing juridical acts, it consequently
specified in paragraph eleven of section one hundred and did not matter that, by the time respondent conducted its
fourteen of Act Numbered Four Hundred and ninety-six, as ocular inspection in October 2003, petitioner had already
amended by Act Numbered Twenty-eight hundred and been occupying the land since 1999. Ordinarily reckoned
sixty-six, and the court shall, upon approval of the bond, from the date of actual entry on the land, the one year
order that a writ of possession issue, addressed to the period is counted from the time the plaintiff acquired
sheriff of the province in which the property is situated, knowledge of the dispossession when, as here, the same
who shall execute said order immediately. had been effected by means of stealth. Hubert Nuñez vs.
SLTEAS Phoenix Solutions, Inc., G.R. No. 180542, April
This provision of law authorizes the purchaser in a 12, 2010.
foreclosure sale to apply for a writ of possession during
the redemption period by filing an ex parte motion under Forcible entry; elements of cause of action. The rule is no
oath for that purpose in the corresponding registration or different in actions for forcible entry where the following
cadastral proceeding in the case of property with Torrens requisites are essential for the MeTC’s acquisition of
title. Upon the filing of such motion and the approval of jurisdiction over the case, viz.: (a) the plaintiffs must
the corresponding bond, the law also in express terms allege their prior physical possession of the property; (b)
directs the court to issue the order for a writ of they must assert that they were deprived of possession
possession. The time-honored precept is that after the either by force, intimidation, threat, strategy or stealth;
32
Remedial Law
and, (c) the action must be filed within one (1) year from issue is possession de facto and not possession de jure.
the time the owners or legal possessors learned of their The court, however, may tackle the issue of ownership or
deprivation of the physical possession of the property. As title, if raised, if this issue is indispensable in resolving the
it is not essential that the complaint should expressly issue of possession. Since Chavez raised the question of
employ the language of the law, it is considered a ownership or title in his answer, the issue of ownership
sufficient compliance of the requirement where the facts became a material consideration in the lower court’s
are set up showing that dispossession took place under inquiry into the character, nature and extent of the
said conditions. The one-year period within which to bring parties’ claimed possession. The MTC tackled the issue of
an action for forcible entry is generally counted from the prior possession by taking judicial notice of our factual
date of actual entry on the land, except that when the determination in De los Angeles that Zobel of Hacienda
entry is through stealth, the one-year period is counted Calatagan – Hacienda Bigaa’s predecessor-in-interest – had
from the time the plaintiff learned thereof. Even ousted Zoila de Chavez – Chavez’s predecessor-in-interest
prescinding from the fact that the parties had admitted – from the lots she occupied as a holder of government-
the MeTC’s jurisdiction, our perusal of the record shows issued fishpond permits. The MTC in this regard held –
that respondent’s 9 January 2004 amended complaint was
able to make out a cause of action for forcible entry [T]he court holds that the land now in litigation forms
against petitioner. As the registered owner of the subject part of the public dominion which properly belongs to the
parcel, respondent distinctly alleged that, by its State. Suffice it to say that when [respondent Chavez]
representatives and thru its predecessors-in-interest, it entered and occupied the [premises] on April 29, 1996, it
had been in possession of the subject parcel and had was in representation of the State being the successor-in-
exercised over the same all attributes of ownership, interest of Zoila de Chavez, a government fishpond
including the payment of realty taxes and other expenses; permittee and/or lessee. It should be recounted that
that an ocular inspection conducted in October 2003 Zoila de Chavez was in actual physical possession of the
revealed that petitioner and his co-defendants have land until she was ousted by Enrique Zobel by bulldozing
succeeded in occupying the property by means of stealth and flattening the area. (Emphasis supplied.)
and strategy; and, that its subsequent demands to vacate
had been unheeded by said interlopers. Considering that Zoila de Chavez’s ouster from the premises became the
the test for determining the sufficiency of the allegations basis of the MTC’s conclusion that she had prior possession
in the complaint is whether, admitting the facts alleged, as she could not have been ousted from the premises had
the court can render a valid judgment in accordance with she not been in prior possession. This point was reiterated
the prayer of the plaintiff, we find that the Court of in the present petition by Chavez who died pending the
Appeals correctly ruled that the MeTC had jurisdiction resolution of this case and has been substituted by his
over the case. Hubert Nuñez vs. SLTEAS Phoenix brother, Santiago V. Chavez. The respondent’s comment
Solutions, Inc., G.R. No. 180542, April 12, 2010. before us states:

Forcible Entry; question of ownership may be resolved by XXX XXX


court to determine issue of prior possession. Thus, to our XXX XXX
mind, the only real questions appropriate for resolution at
this stage of the case are: (1) Do the TCTs of Hacienda This argument on the direct issue of prior possession is
Bigaa have probative value in determining the issues of separate from the issue of ownership that Chavez raised as
ownership and possession of the disputed lots? (2) Is an issue determinative of possession. The issue of
Chavez – as successor-in-interest of government lessee or ownership shifts our determination to who, between the
fishpond permittee Zoila de Chavez – entitled to parties, has title and the concomitant right of possession
possession of these lots? In these lights, the resolution of to the disputed lots. Hacienda Bigaa, Inc. vs. Epifanio V.
this case hinges on the question of better title – who, Chavez, et al., G.R. No. 174160, April 20, 2010.
between the petitioner and the respondent, has the better
right of possession of the disputed lots. Are these issues Judgments; “Amended judgment” distinguished from
misplaced in a forcible entry case? To answer this, we “Supplemental judgment.” Both parties agree that the
hark back to the origins of the present case – a complaint February 7, 2001 Order increased the monetary awards in
for forcible entry that the MTC of Calatagan, Batangas the Decision, specifically, the amount of overage from
dismissed. Both the RTC and the CA subsequently affirmed P23,820.16 to P843,383.11 and the award of moral and
this dismissal. As a forcible entry suit, the threshold exemplary damages and attorney’s fees from P50,000.00
question presented is: was the prior possession of the then to P2,000,000.00. They however, differ on whether these
plaintiff (now petitioner) Hacienda Bigaa over the disputed changes constituted an amendment of the Decision or
lots sufficiently established to give it cause for the merely provided a supplement to the Decision. Petitioners
ejectment of then defendant (now respondent) Epifanio argue that the change constituted a substantial
Chavez? We recall in this regard that the MTC issued a amendment, which therefore makes the entire case
pre-trial order identifying the issues of (1) who has the reviewable on appeal, while respondents argue that the
better right of possession; and (2) res judicata. On the Order merely supplements the Decision which therefore
issue of possession, the MTC found the need to determine makes only the changes reviewable on appeal. They both
the question of title or ownership in passing upon the cite Esquivel v. Alegre which states:
question of possession after Chavez raised the issue of
ownership at that level. As a general rule in forcible entry There is a difference between an amended judgment
cases, ownership or title is inconsequential; the primordial and a supplemental judgment. In an amended and
33
Remedial Law
clarified judgment, the lower court makes a thorough judgments, the Court finds, after a through review of the
study of the original judgment and renders the amended records, that compelling circumstances are extant in this
and clarified judgment only after considering all the case, which clearly warrant the exercise of our equity
factual and legal issues. The amended and clarified jurisdiction. Relevantly, Barnes v. Padilla states an
decision is an entirely new decision which supersedes the exception to the rule on the finality of judgments in this
original decision. Following the court’s differentiation of wise:
a supplemental pleading from an amending pleading, it
can be said that a supplemental decision does not take the However, this Court has relaxed this rule in order to
place or extinguish the existence of the original. As its serve substantial justice considering (a) matters of life,
very name denotes, it only serves to bolster or adds liberty, honor or property, (b) the existence of special or
something to the primary decision. A supplement exists compelling circumstances, (c) the merits of the case, (d) a
side by side with the original. It does not replace that cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence
which it supplements. of the party favored by the suspension of the rules, (e) a
lack of any showing that the review sought is merely
In the present case, the dispositive portion of the February frivolous and dilatory, and (f) the other party will not be
7, 2001 Order was crafted in such a way that it initially unjustly prejudiced thereby.
evades a categorical classification into either of the
situations as described in the above-cited case. Hence, Invariably, rules of procedure should be viewed as mere
we further take into consideration that what plaintiffs tools designed to facilitate the attainment of justice.
filed was merely a Partial Motion for Reconsideration. It is Their strict and rigid application, which would result in
clear they were seeking a partial change in the original technicalities that tend to frustrate rather than promote
Decision. It follows that there were some parts of the substantial justice, must always be eschewed. Even the
Decision that they sought to remain unchanged. The RTC, Rules of Court reflects this principle. The power to
thus made a study of only a portion of its original Decision suspend or even disregard rules can be so pervasive and
and then amended the pertinent portion. The RTC compelling as to alter even that which this Court itself had
Decision was indeed, only partially amended. The already declared to be final.
February 7, 2001 Order cannot be considered as a
supplemental Decision because it cannot exist side by side In the instant case, the crux of the controversy involves
with the original pertinent portion on overage, damages the property of PCI Leasing, i.e., the sum of money
and attorney’s fees. The former replaced and superceded supposedly owed to it by the respondents. To our mind, it
the latter. Associated Anglo-American Tobacco will not serve the ends of substantial justice if the RTC’s
Corporation, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. dismissal of the case with prejudice on pure technicalities
167237, April 23, 2010. would be perfunctorily upheld by appellate courts likewise
on solely procedural grounds, unless the procedural lapses
Judgments; finality of judgments; relaxation of rule. committed were so gross, negligent, tainted with bad faith
Social Security System v. Isip reiterates the well- or tantamount to abuse or misuse of court processes. In
established doctrine regarding finality of judgments, thus: this instance, PCI Leasing would be left without any
judicial recourse to collect the amount of P2,327,833.33 it
A judgment becomes “final and executory” by operation loaned to the respondents. Corollarily, if PCI Leasing
of law. Finality becomes a fact when the reglementary would be forever barred from collecting the aforesaid
period to appeal lapses and no appeal is perfected within amount, respondent Antonio stands to be unjustly
such period. As a consequence, no court (not even this enriched at the expense of PCI Leasing. Thus, in order to
Court) can exercise appellate jurisdiction to review a case obviate the occurrence of the above-mentioned scenario,
or modify a decision that has became final. the Court finds it necessary to subject to judicial review
the RTC Order dated October 13, 2000, dismissing Civil
When a final judgment is executory, it becomes Case No. Q-00-40010. PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. vs.
immutable and unalterable. It may no longer be modified Antonio C. Milan, et al., G.R. No. 151215, April 5, 2010.
in any respect either by the court which rendered it or
even by this Court. The doctrine is founded on Judgments; ground not cited in challenged judgment.
considerations of public policy and sound practice that, at Respondent also argues that Ang Ladlad made untruthful
the risk of occasional errors, judgments must become final statements in its petition when it alleged that it had
at some definite point in time. nationwide existence through its members and affiliate
organizations. The COMELEC claims that upon verification
The doctrine of immutability and inalterability of a final by its field personnel, it was shown that “save for a few
judgment has a two-fold purpose: (1) to avoid delay in the isolated places in the country, petitioner does not exist in
administration of justice and thus, procedurally, to make almost all provinces in the country.” This argument that
orderly the discharge of judicial business and (2) to put an “petitioner made untruthful statements in its petition
end to judicial controversies, at the risk of occasional when it alleged its national existence” is a new one;
errors, which is precisely why courts exist. Controversies previously, the COMELEC claimed that petitioner was “not
cannot drag on indefinitely. The rights and obligations of being truthful when it said that it or any of its
every litigant must not hang in suspense for an indefinite nominees/party-list representatives have not violated or
period of time. failed to comply with laws, rules, or regulations relating to
the elections.” Nowhere was this ground for denial of
Notwithstanding the doctrine on immutability of final petitioner’s accreditation mentioned or even alluded to in
34
Remedial Law
the Assailed Resolutions. This, in itself, is quite curious, the grounds for a motion under this Rule appear to the
considering that the reports of petitioner’s alleged non- court to affect the issues as to only a part, or less than all
existence were already available to the COMELEC prior to of the matter in controversy, or only one, or less than all,
the issuance of the First Assailed Resolution. At best, this of the parties to it, the court may order a new trial or
is irregular procedure; at worst, a belated afterthought, a grant reconsideration as to such issues if severable without
change in respondent’s theory, and a serious violation of interfering with the judgment or final order upon the rest.
petitioner’s right to procedural due process. Ang Ladlad (Italics and emphasis supplied)
LGBT Party vs. Commission on Elections, G.R. No.
190582, April 8, 2010. Rule 36, Sec. 5. Separate judgments.-When more than
one claim for relief is presented in an action, the court, at
Judgments; not confined to what appears on face of the any stage, upon a determination of the issues material to
decision. We are not persuaded by the petitioners’ a particular claim and all counterclaims arising out of the
argument that, since the RTC decision to reconvey to transaction or occurrence which is the subject matter of
respondents the subject property did not expressly order the claim, may render a separate judgment disposing of
the removal of improvements thereon, the RTC cannot, by such claim. The judgment shall terminate the action with
order, reach these improvements and accordingly act to respect to the claim so disposed of and the action shall
enforce its decision. As a general rule, the writ of proceed as to the remaining claims.
execution should conform to the dispositive portion of the
decision to be executed; an execution is void if it is in It can be seen that when matters, issues or claims can
excess of and beyond the original judgment or award. The properly and conveniently be separately resolved, then
settled general principle is that a writ of execution must division is permitted, otherwise it is not. We see no
conform strictly to every essential particular of the hindrance in applying this thesis to the current situation.
judgment promulgated, and may not vary the terms of the In the present case, the matter of the release of the
judgment it seeks to enforce, nor may it go beyond the mortgaged property is material and intertwined with the
terms of the judgment sought to be executed. issue of the amount of overage as well as the issue on the
Nonetheless, we have held that a judgment is not confined amount of damages. It is difficult to separate these
to what appears on the face of the decision, but extends matters because a determination of the correct amount of
as well to those necessarily included therein or necessary overage would require the examination and computation
thereto. Thus, in Perez v. Evite, where the ownership of a of the entire account of deliveries and payments.
parcel of land was decreed in the judgment, the delivery Necessarily, upon re-examination of the subject account
of possession of the land was considered included in the during an appeal, the possibility of finding a shortage
decision where the defeated party’s claim to possession instead of an overage is present. And dependent on the
was based solely on his claim of ownership. In Baluyut v. result of the re-examination of the entire account is the
Guiao, we stressed that this rule fully conforms with Rule determination of the correctness of either the foreclosure
39, Section 47, paragraph (c) of the Rules of Court that or release of the mortgaged property. It follows that the
provides: ruling on the amount of damages and attorney’s fees, if
any, may also be affected by a re-examination of the
SECTION 47. Effect of judgments or final entire account.
orders. — The effect of a judgment or final order rendered
by a court of the Philippines, having jurisdiction to As the disposition of some inter-related issues in the
pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as follows: original RTC Decision were materially amended by the
February 7, 2001 RTC Order, these two issuances must be
x x x x taken in conjunction with each other. Together, these two
issuances form one integrated amended decision. Hence,
(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or an appeal from the February 7, 2001 RTC Order must be
their successors in interest, that only is deemed to have deemed to be an appeal from the whole integrated
been adjudged in a former judgment or final order which amended Decision. Associated Anglo-American Tobacco
appears upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which Corporation, et al. vs. Court of Appeals, et al.,G.R. No.
was actually and necessarily included therein or necessary 167237, April 23, 2010.
thereto. (Emphasis supplied.)
Judgments; res judicata; conclusiveness of judgment. As
Narciso Tumibay, et al. vs. Sps. Yolanda T. Sora, et al., framed above, the case before us inevitably brings to
G.R. No. 152016, April 13, 2010. memory the antecedent decided cases touching on the
ownership of the vast tract of land in Calatagan, Batangas,
Judgment; partial amended judgment; effect on appeal. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 722 in
Now what is the effect of this partial amendment? Is the the name/s of Ayala y Cia, Alfonso Zobel, Jacobo Zobel
subject RTC Decision divisible, such that a portion may be and Enrique Zobel and/or Hacienda Calatagan – the
considered already final and unappealable while another predecessors-in-interest of petitioner Hacienda Bigaa. We
portion may be considered as not yet final and ruled in the antecedent cases of Dizon, Ayala y Cia, and
unappealable? To answer this question we draw some light De los Angeles, that: (1) all expanded subdivision titles
from some provisions of the Rules of Court that permit issued in the name of Ayala y Cia, the Zobels and/or
divisions, to wit: Hacienda Calatagan covering areas beyond the true extent
of TCT No. 722 are null and void because they cover areas
Rule 37, Sec. 7. Partial new trial or reconsideration.- If belonging to the public domain; (2) Ayala y Cia and the
35
Remedial Law
Zobels of Hacienda Calatagan are mere usurpers of these Under this concept, the rule bars the re-litigation of
public domain areas; and that (3) these areas must revert particular facts or issues involving the same parties even if
to the Republic. Significantly, we declared in De los raised under different claims or causes of action.
Angeles that the Republic, as the rightful owner of the Conclusiveness of judgment finds application when a fact
expanded areas – portions of the public domain – has the or question has been squarely put in issue, judicially
right to place its lessees and permittees (among them passed upon, and adjudged in a former suit by a court of
Zoila de Chavez) in possession of the fishpond lots whose competent jurisdiction. The fact or question settled by
ownership and possession were in issue in the case. final judgment or order binds the parties to that action
(and persons in privity with them or their successors-in-
These antecedent cases lay to rest the issues of ownership interest), and continues to bind them while the judgment
and of possession as an attribute thereof, which we both or order remains standing and unreversed by proper
ruled to be in favor of the Republic and its lessees or authority on a timely motion or petition; the conclusively
permittees. The present case is a stark repetition of settled fact or question furthermore cannot again be
scenarios in these cases. The protagonists remain virtually litigated in any future or other action between the same
the same – with petitioner Hacienda Bigaa taking the place parties or their privies and successors-in-interest, in the
of its predecessors-in-interest Ayala y Cia and/or the same or in any other court of concurrent jurisdiction,
Zobels of Hacienda Calatagan, and respondent Epifanio V. either for the same or for a different cause of action.
Chavez taking the place of his predecessor-in-interest Thus, only the identities of parties and issues are required
Zoila de Chavez whose possession was under bona fide for the operation of the principle of conclusiveness of
authority from the Republic. Considering that in this case judgment.
the disputed lots are among those litigated in the
antecedent cases and the issues of ownership and While conclusiveness of judgment does not have the same
possession are again in issue, the principle of res judicata barring effect as that of a bar by former judgment that
inevitably must be considered and applied, if warranted. proscribes subsequent actions, the former nonetheless
estops the parties from raising in a later case the issues or
The doctrine of res judicata is set forth in Section 47 of points that were raised and controverted, and were
Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, which in its relevant part determinative of the ruling in the earlier case. In other
reads: words, the dictum laid down in the earlier final judgment
or order becomes conclusive and continues to be binding
Sec. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. — The between the same parties, their privies and successors-in-
effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a court of interest, as long as the facts on which that judgment was
the Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the predicated continue to be the facts of the case or incident
judgment or final order, may be as follows: before the court in a later case; the binding effect and
enforceability of that earlier dictum can no longer be re-
x x x x litigated in a later case since the issue has already been
resolved and finally laid to rest in the earlier case.
(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with Hacienda Bigaa, Inc. vs. Epifanio V. Chavez, et al.,G.R.
respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other No. 174160, April 20, 2010.
matter that could have been raised in relation thereto,
conclusive between the parties and their successors in Judgments; res judicata; conclusiveness of judgment. This
interest by title subsequent to the commencement of the case and the antecedent cases all involve the issue of
action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing ownership or better right of possession. In Ayala y Cia, we
and under the same title and in the same capacity; and affirmed an RTC decision that decreed:

(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered as follows:
their successors in interest, that only is deemed to have
been adjudged in a former judgment or final order which (a) Declaring as null and void Transfer Certificate of
appears upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which Title No. T-9550 (or Exhibit “24”) of the Register of Deeds
was actually and necessarily included therein or necessary of the Province of Batangas and other subdivision titles
thereto. issued in favor of Ayala y Cia and;or Hacienda de
Calatagan over the areas outside its private land covered
This provision comprehends two distinct concepts of res by TCT No. 722, which, including the lots in T-9550 (lots
judicata: (1) bar by former judgment and (2) 360, 362, 363 and 182) are hereby reverted to public
conclusiveness of judgment. Under the first concept, res dominion. (Emphasis supplied, italics in the original.)
judicata absolutely bars any subsequent action when the
following requisites concur: (a) the former judgment or Consequently, lots and their titles derived from the Ayala’s
order was final; (b) it adjudged the pertinent issue or and the Zobels’ TCT No. 722 not shown to be within the
issues on their merits; (c) it was rendered by a court that original coverage of this title are conclusively public
had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; domain areas and their titles will be struck down as
and (d) between the first and the second actions, there nullities. Thus, De los Angeles effectively annulled the
was identity of parties, of subject matter, and of causes of subdivision titles disputed in the case for being among the
action. Where no identity of causes of action but only “other subdivision titles” declared void for covering public
identity of issues exists, res judicata comes under the domain areas, and ordered their reversion to the Republic.
second concept – i.e., under conclusiveness of judgment. De los Angeles recognized, too, the right of the Republic’s
36
Remedial Law
lessees and public fishpond permittees (among them Zoila Section 1. Summary Judgment for claimant. A party
de Chavez, mother and predecessor-in-interest of Chavez) seeking to recover upon a claim, counterclaim, or cross-
to possess the fishpond lots in question because they claim or to obtain a declaratory relief may, at any time
derive their right of possession from the Republic – the after the pleading in answer thereto has been served,
rightful owner of these lots. move with supporting affidavits, depositions or admissions
for a summary judgment in his favor upon all or any part
We reject, based on these discussions, Hacienda Bigaa’s thereof.
position that there could be no res judicata in this case
because the present suit is for forcible entry while the Section 2. Summary Judgment for the defending party.
antecedent cases adverted were based on different causes A party against whom a claim, counterclaim or cross-claim
of action – i.e., quieting of title, annulment of titles and is asserted or a declaratory relief is sought may, at any
accion reinvindicatoria. For, res judicata, under the time, move with supporting affidavits, depositions or
concept of conclusiveness of judgment, operates even if admissions for a summary judgment in his favor as to all or
no absolute identity of causes of action exists. Res any part thereof.
judicata, in its conclusiveness of judgment concept,
merely requires identity of issues. We thus agree with the Section 3. Motion and proceedings thereon. The motion
uniform view of the lower courts – the MTC, RTC and the shall be served at least ten (10) days before the time
CA – on the application of res judicata to the present case. specified for the hearing. The adverse party may serve
Hacienda Bigaa, Inc. vs. Epifanio V. Chavez, et al., G.R. opposing affidavits, depositions, or admissions at least
No. 174160, April 20, 2010. three (3) days before the hearing. After the hearing, the
judgment sought shall be rendered forthwith if the
Judgments; stare decisis. What is more, in Autocorp Group pleadings, supporting affidavits, depositions and
v. Court of Appeals, the pertinent DBP ruling was applied, admissions on file, show that, except as to the amount of
thereby demonstrating that the said ruling in DBP may be damages, there is no genuine issue as to any material fact
applied to other cases with similar factual and legal and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
issues, viz: matter of law.

Petitioners contend that the aforecited case of DBP is As can be deduced from the above provisions, summary
not apropos to the case at bar. Allegedly, in DBP, the bank judgment is a procedural devise resorted to in order to
not only paid the registration fees but also presented the avoid long drawn out litigations and useless delays. When
owner’s duplicate certificate of title. We find no merit in the pleadings on file show that there are no genuine issues
petitioner’s posture x x x. of facts to be tried, the Rules of Court allows a party to
obtain immediate relief by way of summary judgment.
xxxx That is, when the facts are not in dispute, the court is
allowed to decide the case summarily by applying the law
Like in DBP v. Acting Register of Deeds of Nueva Ecija, to the material facts. Conversely, where the pleadings
the instrument involved in the case at bar, is a sheriff’s tender a genuine issue, summary judgment is not proper.
certificate of sale, We hold now, as we held therein, that A genuine issue is such fact which requires the
the registrant is under no necessity to present the owner’s presentation of evidence as distinguished from a sham,
duplicates of the certificates of title affected, for fictitious, contrived or false claim.
purposes of primary entry, as the transaction sought to be
recorded is an involuntary transaction. Here, we find the existence of genuine issues which
removes the case from the coverage of summary
xxxx judgment. The variance in the allegations of the parties
in their pleadings is evident. Petitioner anchors his
x x x Such entry is equivalent to registration. Injunction complaint for sum of money and/or judicial foreclosure on
would not lie anymore, as the act sought to be enjoined the alleged real estate mortgage over the subject property
had already become a fait accompli or an accomplished allegedly entered into by Comandante in behalf of her
act. parents to secure payment of a loan amounting to
P1,118,228.00. To support this claim, petitioner attached
Moreover, respondents’ stand on the non-applicability of to his complaint (1) the SPA alleged to have been executed
the DBP case to other cases, absent any statement thereof by the Diazes; (2) the Real Estate Mortgage Contract
to such effect, contravenes the principle of stare decisis pertaining to the amount of P1,118,228.00; and, (3) a
which urges that courts are to apply principles declared in Promissory Note. Comandante, in her Answer to
prior decisions that are substantially similar to a pending petitioner’s Amended Complaint, assailed the validity and
case. National Housing Authority vs. Augusto Basa, Jr., due execution of the abovementioned documents. She
Luz Basa and Eduardo S. Basa, G.R. No. 149121, April asserted that the same were not duly, knowingly and
20, 2010. validly executed by her and that it was petitioner who
prepared all of them. Also, although she admitted owing
Judgments; summary judgment; improper when there is petitioner, same was not an absolute admission as she
genuine issue as to material facts. Rule 35 of the Rules of limited herself to an obligation amounting only to
Court provides for summary judgment, the pertinent P600,000.00 inclusive of charges and interests. She
provisions of which are the following: likewise claimed that such obligation is her personal
obligation and not of her parents. The Diazes, for their
37
Remedial Law
part, also denied that they executed the SPA authorizing to a judgment as a matter of law. A summary judgment is
their daughter to mortgage their property to petitioner as proper if, while the pleadings on their face appear to raise
well as having any obligation to the latter. issues, the affidavits, depositions, and admissions
presented by the moving party show that such issues are
Clearly, there are genuine issues in this case which require not genuine.
the presentation of evidence. For one, it is necessary to
ascertain in a full blown trial the validity and due Since we have limited the issues to the damages claimed
execution of the SPA, the Real Estate Mortgage and the by the parties, summary judgment has been properly
Promissory Notes because the determination of the rendered in this case. Manuel Bungcayao, Sr., et al. vs.
following equally significant questions depends on them, Fort Ilocandia Property Holdings and Development
to wit: (1) Are the Diazes obligated to petitioner or is the Corporation, G.R. No. 170483, April 19, 2010.
obligation a purely personal obligation of Comandante?
and, (2) Is the sum of P1,118,228.00 as shown in the Real Judgments; true intent and meaning obtained by reading
Estate Mortgage and the Promissory Note, the amount decision in its entirety. We find that the petitioners
which is really due the petitioner? misread the ruling in Nazareno v. Court of Appeals when
they understood the ruling to mean that in all cases, a
To stress, trial courts have limited authority to render declaration of ownership does not include a declaration of
summary judgments and may do so only when there is the right to possession. What Nazareno actually holds is
clearly no genuine issue as to any material fact. When the that adjudication of ownership would include the delivery
facts as pleaded by the parties are disputed or contested, of possession if the defeated party has not shown any right
proceedings for summary judgment cannot take the place to possess the land independently of his rejected claim of
of trial. From the foregoing, it is apparent that the trial ownership. This ruling, as understood in its correct sense,
court should have refrained from issuing the summary fully applies to the present case, as there is no allegation,
judgment but instead proceeded to conduct a full blown much less any proof, that the petitioners have any right to
trial of the case. In view of this, the present case should possess the improvements on the land independently of
be remanded to the trial court for further proceedings and their claim of ownership of the subject property. Thus,
proper disposition according to the rudiments of a regular the respondents have full right to possession of the
trial on the merits and not through an abbreviated subject property. We remind the petitioners that we do
termination of the case by summary judgment. Atty. not allow the piecemeal interpretation of our Decision as a
Pedro M. Ferrer vs. Spouses Alfredo Diaz, et al., G.R. means to advance one’s case. To get the true intent and
No. 165300, April 23, 2010. meaning of a decision, no specific portion thereof should
be isolated and read in this context; the decision must be
Judgments; summary judgment; when proper. Section 1, considered in its entirety. Read in this manner, the
Rule 35 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides: respondents’ right to possession of the subject property
fully follows. Narciso Tumibay, et al. vs. Sps. Yolanda T.
Section 1. Summary Judgment for claimant. - A party Sora, et al., G.R. No. 152016, April 13, 2010.
seeking to recover upon a claim, counterclaim, or cross-
claim or to obtain a declaratory relief may, at any time Jurisdiction; court acquires no jurisdiction over permissive
after the pleading in answer thereto has been served, counterclaim for non-payment of docket fees. The rule in
move with supporting affidavits, depositions or admissions permissive counterclaim is that for the trial court to
for a summary judgment in his favor upon all or any part acquire jurisdiction, the counterclaimant is bound to pay
thereof. the prescribed docket fees. Any decision rendered
without jurisdiction is a total nullity and may be struck
Summary judgment has been explained as follows: down at any time, even on appeal before this Court. In
this case, respondent did not dispute the non-payment of
Summary judgment is a procedural device resorted to in docket fees. Respondent only insisted that its claims were
order to avoid long drawn out litigations and useless all compulsory counterclaims. As such, the judgment by
delays. When the pleadings on file show that there are no the trial court in relation to the second counterclaim is
genuine issues of fact to be tried, the Rules allow a party considered null and void without prejudice to a separate
to obtain immediate relief by way of summary judgment, action which respondent may file against petitioner.
that is, when the facts are not in dispute, the court is Manuel Bungcayao, Sr., et al. vs. Fort Ilocandia Property
allowed to decide the case summarily by applying the law Holdings and Development Corporation, G.R. No.
to the material facts. Conversely, where the pleadings 170483, April 19, 2010.
tender a genuine issue, summary judgment is not proper.
A “genuine issue” is such issue of fact which requires the Jurisdiction; Court of Appeals has certiorari and appellate
presentation of evidence as distinguished from a sham, jurisdiction over adjudications of National Water Resources
fictitious, contrived or false claim. Section 3 of the said Board. Since the appellate court has exclusive appellate
rule provides two (2) requisites for summary judgment to jurisdiction over quasi-judicial agencies under Rule 43 of
be proper: (1) there must be no genuine issue as to any the Rules of Court, petitions for writs of certiorari,
material fact, except for the amount of damages; and (2) prohibition or mandamus against the acts and omissions of
the party presenting the motion for summary judgment quasi-judicial agencies, like petitioner, should be filed
must be entitled to a judgment as a matter of law. A with it. This is what Rule 65 of the Rules imposes for
summary judgment is permitted only if there is no genuine procedural uniformity. The only exception to this
issue as to any material fact and a moving party is entitled instruction is when the law or the Rules itself directs
38
Remedial Law
otherwise, as cited in Section 4, Rule 65. The appellate court, it is non sequitur to hold that the Court of Appeals
court’s construction that Article 89 of PD 1067, which has no appellate jurisdiction over petitioner’s judgments,
reads: orders, resolutions or awards. It is settled that the list of
quasi-judicial agencies specifically mentioned in Rule 43 is
ART. 89. The decisions of the [NWRB] on water not meant to be exclusive. The employment of the word
rights controversies may be appealed to the [RTC] of the “among” clearly instructs so.
province where the subject matter of the controversy is
situated within fifteen (15) days from the date the party BF Northwest Homeowners Association v. Intermediate
appealing receives a copy of the decision, on any of the Appellate Court, a 1987 case cited by the appellate court
following grounds: (1) grave abuse of discretion; (2) to support its ruling that RTCs have jurisdiction over
question of law; and (3) questions of fact and law judgments, orders, resolutions or awards of petitioner, is
(emphasis and underscoring supplied), no longer controlling in light of the definitive instruction
of Rule 43 of the Revised Rules of Court.
is such an exception, is erroneous. Article 89 of PD 1067
had long been rendered inoperative by the passage of BP XXX XXX
129. Aside from delineating the jurisdictions of the Court XXX XXX
of Appeals and the RTCs, Section 47 of BP 129 repealed or
modified: In fine, certiorari and appellate jurisdiction over
adjudications of petitioner properly belongs to the Court
x x x. [t]he provisions of Republic Act No. 296, of Appeals. National Water Resources Board (NWRB) vs.
otherwise known as the Judiciary Act of 1948, as A.L. Ang Network, Inc., G.R. No. 186450, April 14,
amended, of Republic Act No. 5179, as amended, of the 2010.
Rules of Court, and of all other statutes, letters of
instructions and general orders or parts thereof, Jurisdiction; determined by allegations of the complaint.
inconsistent with the provisions of this Act x x x. (emphasis Designed to provide an expeditious means of protecting
and underscoring supplied) actual possession or the right to possession of the property
involved, there can be no gainsaying the fact that
The general repealing clause under Section 47 “predicates ejectment cases fall within the original and exclusive
the intended repeal under the condition that a substantial jurisdiction of first level courts by express provision of
conflict must be found in existing and prior acts.” Section 33 of Batas Pambansa Blg. 129, in relation to Sec.
1, Rule 70 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. In addition
In enacting BP 129, the Batasang Pambansa was presumed to being conferred by law, however, a court’s jurisdiction
to have knowledge of the provision of Article 89 of P.D. No. over the subject matter is determined by the allegations
1067 and to have intended to change it. The legislative of the complaint and the character of the relief sought,
intent to repeal Article 89 is clear and manifest given the irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to
scope and purpose of BP 129, one of which is to provide a recover all or some of the claims asserted therein. In
homogeneous procedure for the review of adjudications of much the same way that it cannot be made to depend on
quasi-judicial entities to the Court of Appeals. More the exclusive characterization of the case by one of the
importantly, what Article 89 of PD 1067 conferred to the parties, jurisdiction cannot be made to depend upon the
RTC was the power of review on appeal the decisions of defenses set up in the answer, in a motion to dismiss or in
petitioner. It appears that the appellate court gave a motion for reconsideration. Hubert Nuñez vs. SLTEAS
significant consideration to the ground of “grave abuse of Phoenix Solutions, Inc., G.R. No. 180542, April 12,
discretion” to thus hold that the RTC has certiorari 2010.
jurisdiction over petitioner’s decisions. A reading of said
Article 89 shows, however, that it only made “grave abuse Jurisdiction; enumeration of quasi-judicial agencies in
of discretion” as another ground to invoke in an ordinary Rule 43 is not exclusive. While Section 9 (3) of BP 129 and
appeal to the RTC. Indeed, the provision was unique to Section 1 of Rule 43 of the Rules of Court does not list
the Water Code at the time of its application in 1976. The petitioner as “among” the quasi-judicial agencies whose
issuance of BP 129, specifically Section 9 (Jurisdiction of final judgments, orders, resolutions or awards are
the Court of Appeals, then known as Intermediate appealable to the appellate court, it is non sequitur to
Appellate Court), and the subsequent formulation of the hold that the Court of Appeals has no appellate
Rules, clarified and delineated the appellate and certiorari jurisdiction over petitioner’s judgments, orders,
jurisdictions of the Court of Appeals over adjudications of resolutions or awards. It is settled that the list of quasi-
quasi-judicial bodies. Grave abuse of discretion may be judicial agencies specifically mentioned in Rule 43 is not
invoked before the appellate court as a ground for an meant to be exclusive. The employment of the word
error of jurisdiction. “among” clearly instructs so. National Water Resources
Board (NWRB) vs. A.L. Ang Network, Inc., G.R. No.
XXX XXX 186450, April 14, 2010.
XXX XXX
Jurisdiction; lack of jurisdiction may be raised at any stage
While Section 9 (3) of BP 129 and Section 1 of Rule 43 of of proceedings; void judgment. The general rule is that
the Rules of Court does not list petitioner as “among” the dismissal of a case for lack of jurisdiction may be raised at
quasi-judicial agencies whose final judgments, orders, any stage of the proceedings since jurisdiction is conferred
resolutions or awards are appealable to the appellate by law. The lack of jurisdiction affects the very authority
39
Remedial Law
of the court to take cognizance of and to render judgment in-fact of Revelen Srivastava, G.R. No. 165133, April 19,
on the action; otherwise, the inevitable consequence 2010.
would make the court’s decision a “lawless” thing. Since
the RTC has no jurisdiction over the complaint filed, all Motions; motion for issuance of alias summons is non-
the proceedings as well as the Decision of 17 June 2002 litigious in nature. Incidentally, the Motion for Issuance of
are void. The complaint should perforce be dismissed. Alias Summons filed by PCI Leasing is non-litigious in
Sps. Joselina Alcantara and Antonio Alcantara, et al. vs. nature, which does not require a hearing under the Rules,
Brigida L. Nido, as attorney-in-fact of Revelen as the same could have been acted upon by the RTC
Srivastava, G.R. No. 165133, April 19, 2010. without prejudicing the rights of the respondents. All facts
necessary for the determination of the motion are already
Jurisdiction; MTC jurisdiction over ejectment case. specified therein or a matter of record and there was yet
Section 33 of Batas Pambansa Bilang 129, as amended by no adverse party to dispute the same as the court had not
Republic Act No. 7691 provides: even acquired jurisdiction over the person of the
respondents. It was serious error on the part of the trial
Section 33. Jurisdiction of Metropolitan Trial Courts, court to have denied the first motion for issuance of alias
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts in summons for want of notice of hearing. It was also not
Civil Cases. – Metropolitan Trial Courts, Municipal Trial mandatory for the trial court to set the second motion for
Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts shall exercise: hearing. PCI Leasing and Finance, Inc. vs. Antonio C.
Milan, et al., G.R. No. 151215, April 5, 2010.
xxx
Parties; action for reversion of public land can be
(3) Exclusive original jurisdiction in all civil actions instituted only by State. In her Comment, private
which involve title to, possession of, real property, or any respondent asserts that petitioners have no personality to
interest therein where the assessed value of the property question the validity of the sales patent and the original
or interest therein does not exceed Twenty thousand pesos certificate of title issued in her name. She maintains that
(P20,000.00) or, in civil actions in Metro Manila, where only the government, through the [Office of the Solicitor
such assessed value does not exceed Fifty thousand pesos General], may file an action for reversion on the ground of
(P50,000.00) exclusive of interest, damages of whatever fraud, deceit, or misrepresentation. As to the second
kind, attorney’s fees, litigation expenses and costs: x x x issue, private respondent claims that petitioners’
annulment suit has prescribed pursuant to Section of
In Geonzon Vda. de Barrera v. Heirs of Vicente Legaspi, Presidential Decree No. 1529. At the outset, we must
the Court explained: point out that petitioners’ complaint questioning the
validity of the sales patent and the original certificate of
Before the amendments introduced by Republic Act No. title over Lot No. 47 is, in reality, a reversion suit. The
7691, the plenary action of accion publiciana was to be objective of an action for reversion of public land is the
brought before the regional trial court. With the cancellation of the certificate of title and the resulting
modifications introduced by R.A. No. 7691 in 1994, the reversion of the land covered by the title to the State.
jurisdiction of the first level courts has been expanded to This is why an action for reversion is oftentimes
include jurisdiction over other real actions where the designated as an annulment suit or a cancellation suit.
assessed value does not exceed P20,000, P50,000 where
the action is filed in Metro Manila. The first level courts Coming now to the first issue, Section 101 of the Public
thus have exclusive original jurisdiction over accion Land Act clearly states:
publiciana and accion reivindicatoria where the assessed
value of the real property does not exceed the aforestated SEC. 101. All actions for the reversion to the
amounts. Accordingly, the jurisdictional element is the Government of lands of the public domain or
assessed value of the property. improvements thereon shall be instituted by the Solicitor
General or the officer acting in his stead, in the proper
Assessed value is understood to be “the worth or value courts, in the name of the Republic of the Philippines.
of property established by taxing authorities on the basis
of which the tax rate is applied. Commonly, however, it Even assuming that private respondent indeed acquired
does not represent the true or market value of the title to Lot No. 47 in bad faith, only the State can institute
property.” reversion proceedings, pursuant to Section 101 of the
Public Land Act and our ruling in Alvarico v. Sola. Private
The appellate court correctly ruled that even if the persons may not bring an action for reversion or any action
complaint filed with the RTC involves a question of which would have the effect of canceling a land patent
ownership, the MTC still has jurisdiction because the and the corresponding certificate of title issued on the
assessed value of the whole lot as stated in Tax basis of the patent, such that the land covered thereby
Declaration No. 09-0742 is P4,890. The MTC cannot be will again form part of the public domain. Only the OSG
deprived of jurisdiction over an ejectment case based or the officer acting in his stead may do so. Since the title
merely on the assertion of ownership over the litigated originated from a grant by the government, its
property, and the underlying reason for this rule is to cancellation is a matter between the grantor and the
prevent any party from trifling with the summary nature grantee. Similarly, in Urquiaga v. CA, this Court held that
of an ejectment suit. Sps. Joselina Alcantara and there is no need to pass upon any allegation of actual
Antonio Alcantara, et al. vs. Brigida L. Nido, as attorney- fraud in the acquisition of a title based on a sales patent.
40
Remedial Law
Private persons have no right or interest over land quandary would result if the decision were otherwise as
considered public at the time the sales application was those who were deemed impleaded by their self-appointed
filed. They have no personality to question the validity of representatives would certainly claim denial of due
the title. We further stated that granting, for the sake of process.” Section 12, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court defines
argument, that fraud was committed in obtaining the a class suit, as follows:
title, it is the State, in a reversion case, which is the
proper party to file the necessary action. Sec. 12. Class suit. – When the subject matter of the
controversy is one of common or general interest to many
In this case, it is clear that Lot No. 47 was public land persons so numerous that it is impracticable to join all as
when Andrada filed the sales patent application. Any parties, a number of them which the court finds to be
subsequent action questioning the validity of the award of sufficiently numerous and representative as to fully
sales patent on the ground of fraud, deceit, or protect the interests of all concerned may sue or defend
misrepresentation should thus be initiated by the State. for the benefit of all. Any party in interest shall have the
The State has not done so and thus, we have to uphold the right to intervene to protect his individual interest.
validity and regularity of the sales patent as well as the
corresponding original certificate of title issued based on From the foregoing definition, the requisites of a class suit
the patent. Vicente Cawis, etc., et al. vs. Hon. Antonio are: 1) the subject matter of controversy is one of
Cerilles, et al., G.R. No. 170207, April 19, 2010. common or general interest to many persons; 2) the
parties affected are so numerous that it is impracticable
Parties; class suit; adequacy of representation. Indeed, in to bring them all to court; and 3) the parties bringing the
MVRS Publications, Inc. v. Islamic Da’wah Council of the class suit are sufficiently numerous or representative of
Philippines, Inc., we observed that an element of a class the class and can fully protect the interests of all
suit or representative suit is the adequacy of concerned. In Mathay v. The Consolidated Bank and Trust
representation. In determining the question of fair and Company, the Court held that:
adequate representation of members of a class, the court
must consider (a) whether the interest of the named party An action does not become a class suit merely because
is coextensive with the interest of the other members of it is designated as such in the pleadings. Whether the suit
the class; (b) the proportion of those made a party, as it so is or is not a class suit depends upon the attending facts,
bears, to the total membership of the class; and (c) any and the complaint, or other pleading initiating the class
other factor bearing on the ability of the named party to action should allege the existence of the necessary facts,
speak for the rest of the class. Previously, we held in to wit, the existence of a subject matter of common
Ibañes v. Roman Catholic Church that where the interests interest, and the existence of a class and the number of
of the plaintiffs and the other members of the class they persons in the alleged class, in order that the court might
seek to represent are diametrically opposed, the class suit be enabled to determine whether the members of the
will not prosper. It is worth mentioning that a class are so numerous as to make it impracticable to bring
Manifestation of Desistance, to which the previously them all before the court, to contrast the number
mentioned Affidavit of Desistance was attached, was filed appearing on the record with the number in the class and
by the President of the National Printing Office Workers to determine whether claimants on record adequately
Association (NAPOWA). The said manifestation expressed represent the class and the subject matter of general or
NAPOWA’s opposition to the filing of the instant petition in common interest. (Emphases ours.)
any court. Even if we take into account the contention of
petitioners’ counsel that the NAPOWA President had no Here, the petition failed to state the number of [National
legal standing to file such manifestation, the said pleading Printing Office] employees who would be affected by the
is a clear indication that there is a divergence of opinions assailed Executive Order and who were allegedly
and views among the members of the class sought to be represented by petitioners. It was the Solicitor General,
represented, and not all are in favor of filing the present as counsel for respondents, who pointed out that there
suit. There is here an apparent conflict between were about 549 employees in the NPO. The 67 petitioners
petitioners’ interests and those of the persons whom they undeniably comprised a small fraction of the NPO
claim to represent. Since it cannot be said that employees whom they claimed to represent.
petitioners sufficiently represent the interests of the Subsequently, 32 of the original petitioners executed an
entire class, the instant case cannot be properly treated Affidavit of Desistance, while one signed a letter denying
as a class suit. Atty. Sylvia Banda, et al. vs.. Eduardo R. ever signing the petition, ostensibly reducing the number
Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 166620, April 20, 2010. of petitioners to 34. We note that counsel for the
petitioners challenged the validity of the desistance or
Parties; class suit; requisites. Before proceeding to withdrawal of some of the petitioners and insinuated that
resolve the substantive issues, the Court must first delve such desistance was due to pressure from people “close to
into a procedural matter. Since petitioners instituted this the seat of power.” Still, even if we were to disregard the
case as a class suit, the Court, thus, must first determine affidavit of desistance filed by some of the petitioners, it
if the petition indeed qualifies as one. In Board of is highly doubtful that a sufficient, representative number
Optometry v. Colet, we held that “[c]ourts must exercise of NPO employees have instituted this purported class
utmost caution before allowing a class suit, which is the suit. A perusal of the petition itself would show that of
exception to the requirement of joinder of all the 67 petitioners who signed the
indispensable parties. For while no difficulty may arise if Verification/Certification of Non-Forum Shopping, only 20
the decision secured is favorable to the plaintiffs, a petitioners were in fact mentioned in the jurat as having
41
Remedial Law
duly subscribed the petition before the notary public. In
other words, only 20 petitioners effectively instituted the XXX XXX XXX
present case. Atty. Sylvia Banda, et al. vs.. Eduardo R. XXX
Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 166620, April 20, 2010.
The pronouncement in G.R. No. 130876 renders beyond
Parties; personality to file petition. As to respondents’ dispute that the non-execution of the judgment would not
claim that petitioner Republic of the Philippines was not a adversely affect the petitioners, who now hold no right
party to the civil case subject of this petition since whatsoever in Lot No. 727-D-2. Otherwise put, they are
Administrator Quindoza was the sole defendant therein not the proper parties to assail the questioned orders of
and, thus, has no personality to file this petition, their the RTC, because they stand to derive nothing from the
claim is not persuasive. Notably, Administrator Quindoza execution of the judgment against Cebu Country Club.
was sued for damages for certain acts that he allegedly Every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name
committed while he was the Zone Administrator of the of the real party in interest, unless otherwise authorized
Bataan Export Processing Zone. Therefore, the complaint by law or the rules. A real party in interest is one who
is in the nature of suit against the State, and the Republic stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the
has the personality to file the petition. Republic of the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of the suit.
Philippines vs. Coalbrine International Philippines, et “Interest” within the meaning of the rule means material
al., G.R. No. 161838, April 7, 2010. interest, an interest in issue and to be affected by the
decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the
Parties; real parties in interest. Notably, respondent Neri question involved, or a mere incidental interest. The rule
signed the verification/certification as one of the refers to a real or present substantial interest, as
plaintiffs. However, we find that respondent Neri is not a distinguished from a mere expectancy; or from a future,
real party-in- interest. Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of contingent, subordinate, or consequential interest. One
Civil Procedure provides: having no right or interest to protect cannot invoke the
jurisdiction of the court as a party-plaintiff in an action.
SEC. 2. Parties-in interest. – A real party-in-interest is Thus, an appeal, like this one, is an action to be
the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the prosecuted by a party in interest before a higher court. In
judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of order for the appeal to prosper, the litigant must of
the suit. Unless otherwise authorized by law or these necessity continue to hold a real or present substantial
Rules, every action must be prosecuted or defended in the interest that entitles him to the avails of the suit on
name of the real party-in-interest. appeal. If he does not, the appeal, as to him, is an
exercise in futility. So it is with the petitioners!
And “interest,” within the meaning of the rule, means
material interest, an interest in issue and to be affected In contrast, the Government, being the legal owner of Lot
by the decree, as distinguished from mere interest in the No. 727-D-2, is the only party adversely affected by the
question involved, or a mere incidental interest. Cases denial, and is the proper party entitled to assail the
construing the real party-in-interest provision can be more denial. However, its manifest desistance from the
easily understood if it is borne in mind that the true execution of the decision effectively barred any challenge
meaning of real party-in-interest may be summarized as against the denial, for its non-appeal rendered the denial
follows: An action shall be prosecuted in the name of the final and immutable. Francisco Alonso, et al. vs. Cebu
party who, by the substantive law, has the right sought to Country Club, Inc., et al., G.R. No. 188471, April 20,
be enforced. The RTC based its conclusion that 2010.
respondent Neri had a cause of action against petitioner
on the allegations in the complaint. The CA, however, did Parties; real party in interest in action for annulment of
not rule on the matter despite the fact that it was raised certificates of title. Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court
in petitioner’s petition for certiorari filed before it and states:
merely said that there was no necessity to discuss such
issue after deciding the other grounds raised in the Sec. 2. Parties in interest. – A real party in interest is
petition. We find the RTC in error. A reading of the the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the
allegations in the complaint shows that the acts judgment in the suit, or the party entitled to the avails of
complained of and said to have been committed by the suit. Unless otherwise authorized by law or these
petitioner against respondents have solely affected the Rules, every action must be prosecuted or defended in the
hotel’s operations where respondent Neri was the hotel’s name of the real party in interest.
Managing Director and whose interest in the suit was
incidental. Thus, we find that respondent Neri has no This provision has two requirements: 1) to institute an
cause of action against petitioner. Consequently, the action, the plaintiff must be the real party in interest; and
plaintiff in this case would only be respondent Coalbrine. 2) the action must be prosecuted in the name of the real
Republic of the Philippines vs. Coalbrine International party in interest. Interest within the meaning of the Rules
Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 161838, April 7, 2010. of Court means material interest or an interest in issue to
be affected by the decree or judgment of the case, as
Parties; real parties in interest. In G.R. No. 130876, the distinguished from mere curiosity about the question
Court found that the petitioners did not validly acquire involved. One having no material interest to protect
ownership of Lot No. 727-D-2, and declared that Lot No. cannot invoke the jurisdiction of the court as the plaintiff
727 D-2 legally belonged to the Government, thus: in an action. When the plaintiff is not the real party in
42
Remedial Law
interest, the case is dismissible on the ground of lack of commence the action. Nemesio Goco, et al. vs.
cause of action. An action for annulment of certificates of Honorable Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 157449,
title to property into the issue of ownership of the land April 6, 2010.
covered by a Torrens title and the relief generally prayed
for by the plaintiff is to be declared as the land’s true Parties; standing, relaxation of rule. The respondents
owner. The real party in interest in such action therefore likewise allege that the petitioners had failed to show that
is the person claiming title or ownership adverse to that of they had sustained, or is in danger of sustaining any
the registered owner. The case of Tankiko v. Cezar has substantial injury as a result of the implementation of
illustrated for us the application of this principle in the Republic Act No. 9716. The respondents, therefore,
following manner: conclude that the petitioners lack the required legal
standing to question the constitutionality of Republic Act
It is evident that respondents are not the real parties in No. 9716. This Court has paved the way away from
interest. Because they admit that they are not the owners procedural debates when confronted with issues that, by
of the land but mere applicants for sales patents thereon, reason of constitutional importance, need a direct focus of
it is daylight clear that the land is public in character and the arguments on their content and substance. The
that it should revert to the State. This being the case, Supreme Court has, on more than one occasion, tempered
Section 101 of the Public Land Act categorically declares the application of procedural rules, as well as relaxed the
that only the government may institute an action to requirement of locus standi whenever confronted with an
recover ownership of a public land. important issue of overreaching significance to society.

x x x x Hence, in Del Mar v. Philippine Amusement and Gaming


Corporation (PAGCOR) and Jaworski v. PAGCOR, this Court
Under Section 2, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, every sanctioned momentary deviation from the principle of the
action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the hierarchy of courts, and took original cognizance of cases
real party in interest. It further defines a “real party in raising issues of paramount public importance. The
interest” as one who stands to be benefited or injured by Jaworski case ratiocinates:
the judgment in the suit. x x x The interest of the party
must be personal and not one based on a desire to Granting arguendo that the present action cannot be
vindicate the constitutional right of some third and properly treated as a petition for prohibition, the
unrelated party. transcendental importance of the issues involved in this
case warrants that we set aside the technical defects and
Clearly, a suit filed by a person who is not a party in take primary jurisdiction over the petition at bar. One
interest must be dismissed. Thus, in Lucas v. Durian, the cannot deny that the issues raised herein have potentially
Court affirmed the dismissal of a Complaint filed by a pervasive influence on the social and moral well being of
party who alleged that the patent was obtained by this nation, specially the youth; hence, their proper and
fraudulent means and, consequently, prayed for the just determination is an imperative need. This is in
annulment of said patent and the cancellation of a accordance with the well-entrenched principle that rules
certificate of title. The Court declared that the proper of procedure are not inflexible tools designed to hinder or
party to bring the action was the government, to which delay, but to facilitate and promote the administration of
the property would revert. Likewise affirming the justice. Their strict and rigid application, which would
dismissal of a Complaint for failure to state a cause of result in technicalities that tend to frustrate, rather than
action, the Court in Nebrada v. Heirs of Alivio noted that promote substantial justice, must always be eschewed.
the plaintiff, being a mere homestead applicant, was not (Emphasis supplied)
the real party in interest to institute an action for
reconveyance. Anent the locus standi requirement, this Court has already
uniformly ruled in Kilosbayan v. Guingona, Tatad v.
x x x x Executive Secretary, Chavez v. Public Estates Authority and
Bagong Alyansang Makabayan v. Zamora, just to name a
Verily, the Court stressed that “if the suit is not brought few, that absence of direct injury on the part of the party
in the name of or against the real party in interest, a seeking judicial review may be excused when the latter is
motion to dismiss may be filed on the ground that the able to craft an issue of transcendental importance. In
complaint states no cause of action.” [Emphasis supplied.] Lim v. Executive Secretary, this Court held that in cases of
transcendental importance, the cases must be settled
The petitioners demand the annulment of respondent promptly and definitely, and so, the standing requirements
Catlys’ titles because they allege that these included may be relaxed. This liberal stance has been echoed in
portions belonging to the Municipality of Calapan. This the more recent decision on Chavez v. Gonzales.
allegation is a clear recognition of the Municipality’s
superior interest over the lot. In instituting the action for Given the weight of the issue raised in the instant
annulment of respondent Catlys’ titles, what the petition, the foregoing principles must apply. The beaten
petitioners are asserting is a right that is not personal to path must be taken. We go directly to the determination
them, but to that of the local government. That they are of whether or not a population of 250,000 is an
lessees who were granted by the Municipality of Calapan indispensable constitutional requirement for the creation
the option to purchase the portion they occupy does not of a new legislative district in a province. Senator
suffice to constitute as parties with material interest to Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III and Mayor Jesse Robredo,
43
Remedial Law
G.R. No. 189793, April 7, 2010. statement that she was authorized by the corporate
secretary to file the case on behalf of Coalbrine as she
Pleadings; certification of non-forum shopping. The Court claimed. More importantly, while she testified that she
has consistently held that the requirement regarding was authorized by the corporate secretary, there was no
verification of a pleading is formal, not jurisdictional. showing that there was a valid board resolution
Such requirement is simply a condition affecting the form authorizing the corporate secretary to file the action, and
of the pleading, non-compliance with which does not to authorize respondent Neri to file the action. In fact,
necessarily render the pleading fatally defective. such proof of authority had not been submitted even
Verification is simply intended to secure an assurance that belatedly to show subsequent compliance. Thus, there
the allegations in the pleading are true and correct, and was no reason for the relaxation of the rule. Republic of
not the product of the imagination or a matter of the Philippines vs. Coalbrine International Philippines,
speculation, and that the pleading is filed in good faith. et al., G.R. No. 161838, April 7, 2010.
The court may order the correction of the pleading if
verification is lacking or act on the pleading although it is Pleadings; certification on non-forum shopping. The
not verified, if the attending circumstances are such that second violation concerns the omission of a sworn
strict compliance with the rules may be dispensed with in certification against forum shopping from the petition for
order that the ends of justice may thereby be served. On review on certiorari. Section 4, Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules
the other hand, the lack of certification against non-forum of Civil Procedure requires that the petition for review
shopping is generally not curable by mere amendment of should contain, among others, the sworn certification on
the complaint, but shall be a cause for the dismissal of the the undertakings provided in the last paragraph of Section
case without prejudice. The same rule applies to 2, Rule 42 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, viz:
certifications against non-forum shopping signed by a
person on behalf of a corporation which are Section 2. xxx
unaccompanied by proof that said signatory is authorized
to file the complaint on behalf of the corporation. In The petitioner shall also submit together with the
Philippine Airlines, Inc. v. Flight Attendants and Stewards petition a certification under oath that he has not
Association of the Philippines (FASAP), we ruled that only theretofore commenced any other action involving the
individuals vested with authority by a valid board same issues in the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals or
resolution may sign the certificate of non-forum shopping different divisions thereof, or any other tribunal or
on behalf of a corporation. We also required that proof of agency; if there is such other action or proceeding, he
such authority must be attached. Failure to provide a must state the status of the same; and if he should
certificate of non-forum shopping is sufficient ground to thereafter learn that a similar action or proceeding has
dismiss the petition. Likewise, the petition is subject to been filed or is pending before the Supreme Court, the
dismissal if a certification was submitted unaccompanied Court of Appeals, or different divisions thereof, or any
by proof of signatory’s authority. While there were other tribunal or agency, he undertakes to promptly
instances where we have allowed the filing of a certificate inform the aforesaid courts and other tribunal or agency
against non-forum shopping by someone on behalf of a thereof within five (5) days therefrom. (n)
corporation without the accompanying proof of authority
at the time of its filing, we did so on the basis of a special Only petitioner Tomas V. Alonso has executed and signed
circumstance or compelling reason. Moreover, there was a the sworn certification against forum shopping attached to
subsequent compliance by the submission of the proof of the petition. Although neither of his co-petitioners –
authority attesting to the fact that the person who signed Mercedes V. Alonso and Asuncion V. Alonso – has joined the
the certification was duly authorized. certification, Tomas did not present any written express
authorization in his favor authorizing him to sign the
XXX XXX certification in their behalf. The signing of the
XXX XXX certification by only one of the petitioners could not be
presumed to reflect the personal knowledge by his co-
In the present case, the RTC, in denying petitioner’s petitioners of the filing or non-filing of any similar action
motion to dismiss the complaint when the latter raised or claim. Hence, the failure of Mercedes and Asuncion to
respondent Neri’s lack of authority to sign the sign and execute the certification along with Tomas
certification, found that respondent Neri testified that she warranted the dismissal of their petition. Francisco
was the Managing Director of the Bataan Hilltop Hotel Alonso, et al. vs. Cebu Country Club, Inc., et al., G.R.
which was being leased by respondent Coalbrine, and that No. 188471, April 20, 2010.
she was authorized by the Corporate Secretary to file the
case. Notably, while the matter of lack of authority was Pleadings; certification of non-forum shopping; substantial
raised by petitioner in its petition for certiorari filed with compliance through subsequent submission.
the CA, it chose not to tackle the issue after disposing of Unquestionably, there is sufficient jurisprudential basis to
the other issues raised therein. hold that Landheights has substantially complied with the
verification and certification requirements. We have held
We cannot agree with the RTC’s reasoning and find the in a catena of cases with similar factual circumstances
certification signed by respondent Neri to be defective. that there is substantial compliance with the Rules of
The authority of respondent Neri to file the complaint in Court when there is a belated submission or filing of the
the RTC had not been proven. First, the certification secretary’s certificate through a motion for
against non-forum shopping did not even contain a reconsideration of the Court of Appeals’ decision
44
Remedial Law
dismissing the petition for certiorari. In Ateneo de Naga be barred in the future if not set up in the answer to the
University v. Manalo, this Court acknowledged that it has complaint in the same case. Any other counterclaim is
relaxed, under justifiable circumstances, the rule permissive. The Court has ruled that the compelling test
requiring the submission of these certifications and has of compulsoriness characterizes a counterclaim as
applied the rule of substantial compliance under compulsory if there should exist a logical relationship
justifiable circumstances with respect to the contents of between the main claim and the counterclaim. The Court
the certification. It also conceded that if this Court has further ruled that there exists such a relationship when
allowed the belated filing of the certification against conducting separate trials of the respective claims of the
forum shopping for compelling reasons in previous rulings, parties would entail substantial duplication of time and
with more reason should it sanction the timely submission effort by the parties and the court; when the multiple
of such certification though the proof of the signatory’s claims involve the same factual and legal issues; or when
authority was submitted thereafter. The Court is aware of the claims are offshoots of the same basic controversy
the necessity for a certification of non-forum shopping in between the parties. The criteria to determine whether
filing petitions for certiorari as this is required under the counterclaim is compulsory or permissive are as
Section 1, Rule 65, in relation to Section 3, Rule 46 of the follows:
Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended. When the
petitioner is a corporation, the certification should (a) Are issues of fact and law raised by the claim and by
obviously be executed by a natural person to whom the the counterclaim largely the same?
power to execute such certification has been validly
conferred by the corporate board of directors and/or duly (b) Would res judicata bar a subsequent suit on
authorized officers and agents. Generally, the petition is defendant’s claim, absent the compulsory rule?
subject to dismissal if a certification was submitted
unaccompanied by proof of the signatory’s authority. (c) Will substantially the same evidence support or refute
However, we must make a distinction between non- plaintiff’s claim as well as defendant’s counterclaim?
compliance with the requirements for certificate of non-
forum shopping and verification and substantial (d) Is there any logical relations between the claim and
compliance with the requirements as provided in the Rules the counterclaim?
of Court. The Court has allowed the belated filing of the
certification on the justification that such act constitutes A positive answer to all four questions would indicate that
substantial compliance. In Roadway Express, Inc. v. CA, the counterclaim is compulsory.
the Court allowed the filing of the certification fourteen
(14) days before the dismissal of the petition. In Uy v. In this case, the only issue in the complaint is whether
Land Bank of the Philippines, the Court reinstated a Manuel, Jr. is authorized to sign the Deed of Assignment,
petition on the ground of substantial compliance even Release, Waiver and Quitclaim in favor of respondent
though the verification and certification were submitted without petitioner’s express approval and authority. In an
only after the petition had already been originally Order dated 6 November 2003, the trial court confirmed
dismissed. In Havtor Management Phils. Inc. v. NLRC, we the agreement of the parties to cancel the Deed of
acknowledged substantial compliance when the lacking Assignment, Release, Waiver and Quitclaim and the return
secretary’s certificate was submitted by the petitioners as of P400,000 to respondent. The only claim that remained
an attachment to the motion for reconsideration seeking was the claim for damages against respondent. The trial
reversal of the original decision dismissing the petition for court resolved this issue by holding that any damage
its earlier failure to submit such requirement. In the suffered by Manuel, Jr. was personal to him. The trial
present case, Landheights rectified its failure to submit court ruled that petitioner could not have suffered any
proof of Mr. Dickson Tan’s authority to sign the damage even if Manuel, Jr. entered into an agreement
verification/certification on non-forum shopping on its with respondent since the agreement was null and void.
behalf when the required document was subsequently
submitted to the Court of Appeals. The admission of these Respondent filed three counterclaims. The first was for
documents, and consequently, the reinstatement of the recovery of the P400,000 given to Manuel, Jr.; the second
petition itself, is in line with the cases we have cited. In was for recovery of possession of the subject property;
such circumstances, we deem it more in accord with and the third was for damages. The first counterclaim was
substantive justice that the case be decided on the merits. rendered moot with the issuance of the 6 November 2003
Mediserv, Inc. vs. Court of Appeals (Special Former 13th Order confirming the agreement of the parties to cancel
Division), et al., G.R. No. 161368, April 5, 2010. the Deed of Assignment, Release, Waiver and Quitclaim
and to return the P400,000 to respondent. Respondent
Pleadings; compulsory counterclaim distinguished from waived and renounced the third counterclaim for
permissive counterclaim. A compulsory counterclaim is damages. The only counterclaim that remained was for
any claim for money or any relief, which a defending party the recovery of possession of the subject property. While
may have against an opposing party, which at the time of this counterclaim was an offshoot of the same basic
suit arises out of, or is necessarily connected with, the controversy between the parties, it is very clear that it
same transaction or occurrence that is the subject matter will not be barred if not set up in the answer to the
of the plaintiff’s complaint. It is compulsory in the sense complaint in the same case. Respondent’s second
that it is within the jurisdiction of the court, does not counterclaim, contrary to the findings of the trial court
require for its adjudication the presence of third parties and the Court of Appeals, is only a permissive
over whom the court cannot acquire jurisdiction, and will counterclaim. It is not a compulsory counterclaim. It is
45
Remedial Law
capable of proceeding independently of the main case. Pleadings; verification; substantial compliance. Contrary
Manuel Bungcayao, Sr., et al. vs. Fort Ilocandia Property to respondents’ assertion, NHA’s verification conforms to
Holdings and Development Corporation, G.R. No. the rule. Section 4, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court states:
170483, April 19, 2010.
SEC. 4. Verification. – Except when otherwise
Pleadings; explanation for service by registered mail; specifically required by law or rule, pleadings need not be
when omission excused. As to the CA’s dismissal of the under oath, verified or accompanied by affidavit.
petition for review on the ground that petitioner failed to
attach a written explanation for non-personal filing, the A pleading is verified by an affidavit that the affiant has
Court finds the same improper. Iligan City, where read the pleading and that the allegations therein are true
petitioner resides and where her counsel holds office, and and correct of his personal knowledge or based on
Cagayan de Oro City, where the concerned division of the authentic records.
CA is stationed, are separated by a considerable distance.
The CA, in the exercise of its discretion, should have A pleading required to be verified which contains a
realized that it was indeed impracticable for petitioner to verification based on “information and belief,” or upon
personally file the petition for review in Cagayan De Oro “knowledge, information and belief,” or lacks a proper
City. Given the obvious time, effort and expense that verification, shall be treated as an unsigned pleading.
would have been spent in the personal filing of the
pleadings in this case, the written explanation why service The reason for requiring verification in the petition is to
had not been done personally, as required by Section 11 of secure an assurance that the allegations of a pleading are
Rule 13, may be considered as superfluous. Alma B. true and correct; are not speculative or merely imagined;
Russel vs. Teofista Ebasan, et al.,G.R. No. 184542, April and have been made in good faith. To achieve this
23, 2010. purpose, the verification of a pleading is made through an
affidavit or sworn statement confirming that the affiant
Pleadings; filing by registered mail; date of mailing has read the pleading whose allegations are true and
considered date of filing. Petitioner’s motion for correct of the affiant’s personal knowledge or based on
reconsideration was likewise filed on time. She received a authentic records.
copy of the June 18, 2007 CA Resolution on July 18, 2007.
Under Section 1 of Rule 52, she had 15 days from notice, The General Manager of NHA verified the petition as
or until August 2, 2007, to file a motion for follows:
reconsideration. Petitioner filed by registered mail her
motion for reconsideration on July 27, 2007. The fact of 3. I have read the allegations contained therein and
mailing on the said date is proven by the registry return that the same are true and correct to the best of my own
receipt, the affidavit of service, and the certification of personal knowledge.
the Office of the Postmaster of Iligan City. Section 3, Rule
13 of the Rules of Court provides that if a pleading is filed A reading of the above verification reveals nothing
by registered mail, then the date of mailing shall be objectionable about it. The affiant confirmed that he had
considered as the date of filing. It does not matter when read the allegations in the petition which were true and
the court actually receives the mailed pleading. Thus, in correct based on his personal knowledge. The addition of
this case, as the pleading was filed by registered mail on the words “to the best” before the phrase “of my personal
July 27, 2007, within the reglementary period, it is knowledge” did not violate the requirement under Section
inconsequential that the CA actually received the motion 4 of Rule 7, it being sufficient that the affiant declared
in October of that year. Alma B. Russel vs. Teofista that the allegations in the petition are true and correct
Ebasan, et al., G.R. No. 184542, April 23, 2010. based on his personal knowledge. National Housing
Authority vs. Augusto Basa, Jr., Luz Basa and Eduardo S.
Pleadings; verification; defective verification excused. Basa, G.R. No. 149121, April 20, 2010.
Relative to the defective verification, the Court excuses
the same. The purpose of the verification is to secure an Pleadings; verification and certification of non-forum
assurance that the allegations in the petition have been shopping; substantial compliance by subsequent
made in good faith, or are true and correct and not merely submission. Under Rule 46, Section 3, paragraph 3 of the
speculative. The requirement is simply a condition 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, petitions for
affecting the form of pleadings and non-compliance certiorari must be verified and accompanied by a sworn
therewith is neither jurisdictional nor does it render the certification of non-forum shopping. The primary question
pleading fatally defective. Here, the perceived defect is that has to be resolved in this case is whether the
excusable and does not justify a dismissal of the petition. verification and certification of non-forum shopping,
In any case, petitioner, in her subsequent pleading, erroneously signed by counsel, may be cured by
submitted a corrected verification. The same degree of subsequent compliance. Generally, subsequent
liberality should apply to petitioner’s failure to attach a compliance with the requirement of a certification of non-
copy of the complaint and answer filed before the MTCC in forum shopping does not excuse a party from failure to
her petition for review. After all, petitioner substantially comply in the first instance. A certification of the
complied with the requirement when she filed her plaintiff’s counsel will not suffice for the reason that it is
amended petition. Alma B. Russel vs. Teofista Ebasan, et the petitioner, and not the counsel, who is in the best
al., G.R. No. 184542, April 23, 2010. position to know whether he actually filed or caused the
filing of a petition. A certification against forum shopping
46
Remedial Law
signed by counsel is a defective certification that is justice. Our rules of procedure are designed to facilitate
equivalent to non-compliance with the requirement and the orderly disposition of cases and permit the prompt
constitutes a valid cause for the dismissal of the petition. disposition of unmeritorious cases which clog the court
However, there are instances when we treated compliance dockets and do little more than waste the courts’ time.
with the rule with relative liberality, especially when These technical and procedural rules, however, are
there are circumstances or compelling reasons making the intended to ensure, rather than suppress, substantial
strict application of the rule clearly unjustified. In the justice. A deviation from their rigid enforcement may thus
case of Far Eastern Shipping Company v. Court of Appeals, be allowed, as petitioners should be given the fullest
while we said that, strictly, a certification against forum opportunity to establish the merits of their case, rather
shopping by counsel is a defective certification, the than lose their property on mere technicalities. We held
verification, signed by petitioner’s counsel in said case, is in Ong Lim Sing, Jr. v. FEB Leasing and Finance Corporation
substantial compliance inasmuch as it served the purpose that:
of the Rules of informing the Court of the pendency of
another action or proceeding involving the same issues. Courts have the prerogative to relax procedural rules of
We then explained that procedural rules are instruments in even the most mandatory character, mindful of the duty to
the speedy and efficient administration of justice which reconcile both the need to speedily put an end to
should be used to achieve such end and not to derail it. In litigation and the parties’ right to due process. In
Sy Chin v. Court of Appeals, we categorically stated that numerous cases, this Court has allowed liberal
while the petition was flawed as the certification of non- construction of the rules when to do so would serve the
forum shopping was signed only by counsel and not by the demands of substantial justice and equity.
party, such procedural lapse may be overlooked in the
interest of substantial justice. Finally, the Court has also Trinidad Go, et al. vs. Vicente Velez Chavez, et al., G.R.
on occasion held that the party need not sign the No. 182341, April 23, 2010.
verification; a party’s representative, lawyer or any person
who personally knows the truth of the facts alleged in the Procedural rules; liberal construction. It is settled that
pleading may sign the verification. liberal construction of the rules may be invoked in
situations where there may be some excusable formal
Here, the verification and certification of non-forum deficiency or error in a pleading, provided that the same
shopping was signed by petitioner’s counsel. Upon receipt does not subvert the essence of the proceeding and
of the resolution of the Court of Appeals dismissing her connotes at least a reasonable attempt at compliance with
petition for non-compliance with the rules, petitioner the rules. After all, rules of procedure are not to be
submitted, together with her motion for reconsideration, a applied in a very rigid, technical sense; they are used only
verification and certification signed by her in compliance to help secure substantial justice. Mediserv, Inc. vs. Court
with the said rule. We deem this to be sufficient of Appeals (Special Former 13th Division), et al. G.R. No.
compliance especially in view of the merits of the case, 161368, April 5, 2010.
which may be considered as a special circumstance or a
compelling reason that would justify tempering the hard Procedural rules; liberal application. In sum, the Court
consequence of the procedural requirement on non-forum finds that the CA erred in dismissing petitioner’s appeal.
shopping. Krizia Katrina Ty-De Zuzuarregui vs. The Hon. The appellate court should have been more prudent in
Joselito C. Villanueva, et al., G.R. No. 183788, April 5, computing the reglementary period for the filing of
2010. petitions. The CA could have been more liberal in the
application of the Rules considering that, in this case, the
Procedural rules; abuse of judicial process. We lament MTCC and the RTC arrived at conflicting rulings,
that the petitioners, by instituting the present petition, necessitating a thorough review of the merits of the case.
has effectively delayed the full execution of the final and This is in keeping with the principle that rules of
executory RTC judgment. In doing so, they deprived the procedure are mere tools designed to facilitate the
winning respondents of the fruits of the judgment, and attainment of justice and that strict and rigid application
made a mockery of the RTC judgment that has stood of rules which would result in technicalities that tend to
scrutiny all the way to our level. We have always frowned frustrate rather than promote substantial justice must
upon any scheme to prolong litigations and we view the always be avoided. It is a far better and wiser course of
present dispute as an unwarranted effort to avoid the action for the Court to excuse a technical lapse and afford
implementation of a judgment painstakingly arrived at. the parties a conscientious review of the case in order to
We cannot countenance, and in fact, condemn this kind of attain the ends of justice, rather than dispose of it on a
abuse of judicial process. Thus, we deem it fit to impose technicality and cause grave injustice to the parties,
treble costs against the petitioners. Narciso Tumibay, et giving a false impression of speedy disposal of cases which
al. vs. Sps. Yolanda T. Sora, et al., G.R. No. 152016, actually results in more delay, if not in an outright
April 13, 2010. miscarriage of justice. Alma B. Russel vs. Teofista
Ebasan, et al.,G.R. No. 184542, April 23, 2010.
Procedural rules; liberal application. Facing up to all
these objections and admitting the mistakes committed, Temporary restraining order. Until the propriety of
the Gos beseech liberality in the application of the rules. granting an injunction, temporary or perpetual, is
Even if clearly their counsel committed a number of determined, the court (i.e., the RTC in this case) may
palpable mistakes which, as a general rule should bind the issue a temporary restraining order. A TRO is an
client, we shall grant the petition in the interest of interlocutory order or writ issued by the court as a
47
Remedial Law
restraint on the defendant until the propriety of granting case at bench. In Opida, we did not fail to notice the
an injunction can be determined, thus going no further in “malicious,” “sadistic” and “adversarial” manner of
its operation than to preserve the status quo until that questioning by the trial judge of the accused therein,
determination. A TRO is not intended to operate as an including their defense witness. In Opida, the accused
injunction pendente lite, and should not in effect never admitted the commission of the crime, and so the
determine the issues involved before the parties can have burden of proof remained with the prosecution. The
their day in court. Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority vs. People of the Philippines vs. Benancio Mortera y
Merlino E. Rodriguez, et al., G.R. No. 160270, April 23, Belarmino, G.R. No. 188104, April 23, 2010.
2010.
Other Proceedings
Trial; requirement of impartial judge. Citing the foregoing
as basis, the accused argues that Judge Jesus Carbon, Jr. Actions; forum shopping in agrarian case. Petitioners also
displayed his hostility towards him and condemned him submit that LBP is guilty of forum shopping because after
even before the defense could rest its presentation of LBP invoked the jurisdiction of the SAC of Santiago City,
evidence. By saying that he was “just making a story,” the Isabela, and obtained a Temporary Restraining Order
judge already concluded his guilt during trial. The Court is (TRO), LBP filed a petition for certiorari with the DARAB
not unaware of the case of Tabuena v. Sandiganbayan, (DSCA No. 0213) to prevent the execution of the Order of
where it was written: the RARAD. The DARAB eventually issued a TRO, and later,
a writ of preliminary injunction, directed against the
The Court has acknowledged the right of a trial judge to implementation of the RARAD’s decision. Petitioners’
question witnesses with a view to satisfying his mind upon argument is mislaid.
any material point which presents itself during the trial of
a case over which he presides. But not only should his In Canuto, Jr. v. National Labor Relations Commission, we
examination be limited to asking clarificatory questions, held that forum shopping is manifest whenever a party
the right should be sparingly and judiciously used; for the “repetitively avail[s] of several judicial remedies in
rule is that the court should stay out of it as much as different courts, simultaneously or successively, all
possible, neither interfering nor intervening in the conduct substantially founded on the same transactions and the
of trial… hardly in fact can one avoid the impression that same essential facts and circumstances, and all raising
the Sandiganbayan had allied itself with, or to be more substantially the same issues either pending in, or already
precise, had taken the cudgels for the prosecution in resolved adversely by, some other court.” It has also been
proving the case against Tabuena and Peralta…. The “cold defined as “an act of a party against whom an adverse
neutrality of an impartial judge” requirement of due judgment has been rendered in one forum of seeking and
process was certainly denied Tabuena and Peralta when possibly getting a favorable opinion in another forum,
the court, with its overzealousness, assumed the dual role other than by appeal or the special civil action of
of magistrate and advocate… A substantial portion of the certiorari, or the institution of two or more actions or
TSN was incorporated in the majority opinion not to focus proceedings grounded on the same cause on the
on “numbers” alone, but more importantly to show that supposition that one or the other court would make a
the court questions were in the interest of the prosecution favorable disposition.” Considered a pernicious evil, it
and which thus depart from the common standard of adversely affects the efficient administration of justice
fairness and impartiality. (emphasis added) since it clogs the court dockets, unduly burdens the
financial and human resources of the judiciary, and trifles
The situation in the case at bench is, however, different. with and mocks judicial processes. In Veluz v. Court of
As correctly pointed out by the Court of Appeals, although Appeals, we held:
the trial judge might have made improper remarks and
comments, it did not amount to a denial of his right to due There is forum shopping when, in the two or more cases
process or his right to an impartial trial. Upon perusal of pending, there is identity of parties, rights or causes of
the transcript as a whole, it cannot be said that the action and relief sought. Forum shopping exists where the
remarks were reflective of his partiality. They were not elements of litis pendentia are present or when a final
out of context. Not only did the accused mislead the judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the
court by initially invoking a negative defense only to claim other. For litis pendentia to exist, the following requisites
otherwise during trial, he was also not candid to his own must be present:
lawyer, who was kept in the dark as to his intended
defense. The accused having admitted the killing, a 1. Identity of parties, or at least such parties
reverse order of trial could have proceeded. As it turned as those representing the same interests in both actions;
out, the prosecution undertook to discharge the burden of
proving his guilt, when the burden of proof to establish 2. Identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed
that the killing was justified should have been his. Most for, the reliefs being founded on the same facts;
probably, the trial judge was peeved at the strategy he
adopted. The trial judge cannot be faulted for having 3. Identity with respect to the two preceding
made those remarks, notwithstanding the sarcastic tone particulars in the two cases, such that any judgment that
impressed upon it. The sarcasm alone cannot lead us to may be rendered in the pending case, regardless of which
conclude that the trial judge “had taken the cudgels for party is successful, would amount to res judicata in the
the prosecution. The invocation of Opida fails to persuade other case.
us either. The facts therein are not at all fours with the
48
Remedial Law
Reviewing the facts of this case, the SAC, after hearing
the parties regarding the propriety of issuing the b) An appeal fee of Five Hundred Pesos (P500.00) shall
injunctive writ against the execution of the RARAD’s be paid by the appellant within the reglementary period to
decision, found that it had no jurisdiction to resolve the the DAR Cashier where the Office of the Adjudicators is
matter. Hence, LBP filed a petition for certiorari with the situated. x x x
DARAB (DSCA No. 0213) seeking the issuance of a TRO and
preliminary injunction. It is thus seen that there is no Non-compliance with the above-mentioned requisites
forum shopping because the SAC had no jurisdiction on the shall be a ground for dismissal of the appeal.
issuance of an injunctive writ against the RARAD’s
decision. As the SAC had no jurisdiction over such matter, Both Notices of Appeal stated that the petitioners were
any ruling it renders is void and of no legal effect. Thus, appealing the decision “on the grounds of questions of fact
LBP’s act of filing the petition for certiorari with the and of law,” which we find sufficient statement of the
DARAB, which has the correct jurisdiction for the remedy ground for appeal under Section 2(a), Rule XIII of the
sought, does not amount to forum shopping. Heirs of DARAB Rules. While the notices omitted to state that “the
Lorenzo Vidad and Carmen Vidad, et al. vs. Land Bank of decision would cause grave and irreparable damage and
the Philippines, G.R. No. 166461, April 30, 2010. injury to the appellant,” we find such punctilious fidelity
to the language of the DARAB Rules unnecessary. Surely by
Appeal; notice of appeal; substantial compliance in appealing the Decision of the Regional Adjudicator, the
agrarian case. Guided by the foregoing principles, we find petitioners were already manifesting that they will be
that the Notices of Appeal substantially complied with all damaged by the assailed decision. Requiring a literal
that is required under the 1994 DARAB Rules. The application of the rules when its purpose has already been
following provisions are instructive in making this served is oppressive superfluity. It must be stressed that
conclusion: the purpose of the notice of appeal is not to detail one’s
objections regarding the appealed decision; that is the
Rule XIII purpose of the appellants’ memorandum. In the context
of a DARAB case, the notice of appeal serves only to
APPEALS inform the tribunal or officer that rendered the appealed
decision (i.e., the Regional Adjudicator) of the timeliness
Section 1. Appeal to the Board. a) An appeal may be of the appeal and of the general reason for the appeal,
taken from an order, resolution or decision of the and to prepare the records thereof for transmission to the
Adjudicator to the Board by either of the parties or both, appellate body (i.e., the DARAB). Petitioners’ Notices of
orally or in writing, within a period of fifteen (15) days Appeal contain everything that is necessary to serve these
from the receipt of the order, resolution or decision purposes. Another important consideration is the fact that
appealed from, and serving a copy thereof on the adverse petitioners were obviously not assisted by counsel in the
party, if the appeal is in writing. filing of the Notices of Appeal. Only the parties were
signatories thereto; Atty. Mena’s signature was missing,
b) An oral appeal shall be reduced into writing by the which gives credence to petitioners’ assertion that they
Adjudicator to be signed by the appellant, and a copy had already terminated the services of their counsel at
thereof shall be served upon the adverse party within ten that time. Their new counsel, Atty. Dauphine B. Go, DAR-
(10) days from the taking of the oral appeal. Legal Counsel, entered her appearance only on March 13,
2003, or several days after the Notices of Appeal were
Section 2. Grounds. The aggrieved party may appeal to filed. The Regional Adjudicator is also correct when she
the Board from a final order, resolution or decision of the ruled that she has no power to determine if the appeal is
Adjudicator on any of the following grounds: frivolous and intended merely for delay. Such matters are
for the appellate body to determine after it has studied
a) That errors in the findings of fact or the appellant’s brief or the appeal memorandum. The
conclusions of laws were committed which, if not body which rendered the appealed decision should not
corrected, would cause grave and irreparable damage and pass upon the question of whether the appeal was taken
injury to the appellant; manifestly for delay because such determination belongs
to the appellate body. For the lower body to do so would
b) That there is a grave abuse of discretion on constitute a review of its own judgment and a mockery of
the part of the Adjudicator; or the appellate process. This principle is applicable to
agrarian disputes by virtue of Section 8, Rule XIII of the
c) That the order, resolution or decision is DARAB Rules which states that the Board (not the Regional
obtained through fraud or coercion. Adjudicator) has the power to impose reasonable
penalties, including fine or censure, on parties who file
xxxx frivolous or dilatory appeals. The implication is that since
the Board is the one which has the power to punish, it is
Section 5. Requisites and Perfection of the Appeal. a) also the one which has the power to decide if there has
The Notice of Appeal shall be filed within the been a violation. The Regional Adjudicator has no such
reglementary period as provided for in Section 1 of this power. She must allow the appeal if it is timely and
Rule. It shall state the date when the appellant received compliant with the reglementary requirements. It has
the order or judgment appealed from and the proof of been held that when an appeal is filed on time, the
service of the notice to the adverse party; and approval of a notice of appeal is a ministerial duty of the
49
Remedial Law
court or tribunal which rendered the decision. Regional whether the elements of litis pendencia are present, or
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, et al. vs. Court of whether a final judgment in one case will amount to res
Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 165155, April 13, 2010. judicata in another. For the principle of res judicata to
apply, the following elements must be present: (1) the
Certiorari; exhaustion of administrative remedies in judgment sought to bar the new action must be final; (2)
agrarian case. At this juncture, we must point out that the decision must have been rendered by a court having
while respondents bewail petitioners’ lack of strict jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties; (3)
adherence to procedural rules, they also failed to observe the disposition of the case must be a judgment on the
some rules. It is evident from the records that merits; and (4) there must be as between the first and
respondents filed two motions for reconsideration after second actions, identity of parties, subject matter, and
the August 5, 2003 Order of the Regional Adjudicator. This cause of action. In the present case, the second element
is prohibited under Section 12, Rule VIII of DARAB Rules, is wanting.
which provides that only one motion for reconsideration
shall be allowed. Moreover, respondents failed to exhaust Under Section 5(c), Rule 3 of the Comelec Rules of
administrative remedies when they filed their petition for Procedure, any motion to reconsider a decision,
certiorari before the CA, instead of the Board. The DARAB resolution, order or ruling of a division shall be resolved by
Rules state that: the Commission en banc except motions on interlocutory
orders of the division which shall be resolved by the
Rule XIV division which issued the order. When the COMELEC,
Second Division issued the September 4, 2009 Order, the
Judicial Review appeal of respondent’s election protest was still pending
resolution by the COMELEC en banc. Clearly, the
Section 1. Certiorari to the Court of Appeals. Any September 4, 2009 Order of the COMELEC, Second Division
decision, order, resolution, award or ruling of the Board on granting execution pending resolution of the motion for
any agrarian dispute or on any matter pertaining to the reconsideration is in the nature of an interlocutory order –
application, implementation, enforcement, interpretation one which does not dispose of the case completely but
of agrarian reform laws or rules and regulations leaves something to be decided upon. Therefore, in
promulgated thereunder, may be brought within fifteen accordance with the Comelec Rules of Procedure, any
(15) days from receipt of a copy thereof, to the Court of motion to reconsider such interlocutory order of the
Appeals by certiorari. division shall be resolved by the division which issued it.
Otherwise stated, the Extremely Urgent Motion for
An aggrieved party can only resort to judicial review after Reconsideration filed by petitioner to question the
it has invoked the authority of the Board. Judicial review September 4, 2009 Order issued by the COMELEC, Second
is not provided for orders, rulings, and decisions of Division had to be resolved also by the Second Division,
adjudicators. It is stated in Section 1, Rule II that the not by the COMELEC en banc. Since the COMELEC en banc
Board has primary and exclusive, original and appellate had no jurisdiction over petitioner’s Extremely Urgent
jurisdiction over agrarian disputes involving agrarian laws Motion for Reconsideration, its January 20, 2010
and their implementing rules and regulations. If Resolution does not amount to res judicata in relation to
respondents were strict adherents to procedural rules, the present petition.
they should have followed Section 2(b) of Rule XIII which
provides for an appeal to the Board on the ground of grave Notably, in the certificate of forum shopping of Saludaga’s
abuse of discretion on the part of the adjudicator. Petition before us, he disclosed that an Extremely Urgent
Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, et al. vs. Motion for Reconsideration of the September 4, 2009
Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 165155, April 13, Order is also pending before the COMELEC en banc. Even
2010. then, the mere filing of a separate case, as in the original
action for certiorari and prohibition filed by petitioner in
Election case; forum shopping. Forum shopping is the G.R. No. 189431, after filing a responsive pleading in the
institution of two (2) or more suits in different courts, other case, does not necessarily constitute forum
either simultaneously or successively, in order to ask the shopping. To reiterate, there is forum shopping when as a
courts to rule on the same or related causes and/or to result of an adverse decision in one (1) forum, or in
grant the same or substantially the same reliefs. There is anticipation thereof, a party seeks favorable opinion in
forum shopping when as a result of an adverse decision in another forum through means other than appeal or
one (1) forum, or in anticipation thereof, a party seeks certiorari. Clearly, there is no forum shopping in this case
favorable opinion in another forum through means other to warrant an outright dismissal of the petition in G.R. No.
than appeal or certiorari. Under paragraph 2, Section 5, 189431. Mayor Quintin B. Saludaga vs. Commission on
Rule 7 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended, if Elections, et al., G.R. Nos. 189431 & 191120, April 7,
the acts of the party or his counsel clearly constitute 2010.
willful and deliberate forum shopping, the same shall be
ground for summary dismissal with prejudice and shall Election case; motion for execution pending resolution of
constitute direct contempt, as well as a cause for motion for reconsideration. On May 3, 2007, the Supreme
administrative sanctions. Court promulgated A.M. No. 07-4-15-SC or the Rules of
Procedure in Election Contests Before the Courts Involving
In determining whether a party violated the rule against Elective Municipal and Barangay Officials. Section 11(a),
forum shopping, the most important factor to ask is Rule 14 of said rules sets the criteria for execution
50
Remedial Law
pending appeal as follows: b. Stay for a period of not more than ten (10) days from
the filing of the Motion for Execution, the elevation of the
SEC. 11. Execution pending appeal. – On motion of the case to the Commission En Banc, in order to resolve said
prevailing party with notice to the adverse party, the Motion for Execution. Upon the expiration of the ten-day
court, while still in possession of the original records, may, period, the Division shall immediately certify and elevate
at its discretion, order the execution of the decision in an the case, together with all the records, to the Commission
election contest before the expiration of the period to En Banc for appropriate action. (Emphasis supplied).
appeal, subject to the following rules:
Prior to the filing of a motion for reconsideration of a
(a) There must be a motion by the prevailing party with decision or resolution issued by a division of the COMELEC
three-day notice to the adverse party. Execution pending or during the pendency of such motion for reconsideration
appeal shall not issue without prior notice and hearing. but before the case is certified or elevated to the
There must be good reasons for the execution pending COMELEC en banc, the motion for execution may be acted
appeal. The court, in a special order, must state the good upon by the division that issued the decision or resolution.
or special reasons justifying the execution pending appeal. Under Item 6(a), a division of the COMELEC may choose to
Such reasons must: elevate both the main action and the motion for execution
to the COMELEC en banc. Item 6(b), on the other hand,
(1) constitute superior circumstances demanding contemplates a situation where the division decides to
urgency that will outweigh the injury or damage should rule on the motion for the execution of its decision or
the losing party secure a reversal of the judgment on resolution. In the latter, the division may defer the
appeal; and elevation of the case to the Commission en banc in order
to resolve the motion. After the lapse of ten (10) days
(2) be manifest, in the decision sought to be executed, from the filing of the motion for execution, however, the
that the defeat of the protestee or the victory of the division shall immediately certify and elevate the case,
protestant has been clearly established. together with all the records – including the motion for
execution – to the Commission en banc for appropriate
By analogy, this standard is also applicable in the grant of action. This describes the second scenario when the
execution pending resolution of the motion for COMELEC en banc may rule on a motion for execution
reconsideration of a decision, resolution, order or ruling of pending the resolution of the motion for reconsideration
a division of the COMELEC. of a decision or resolution of a division. In the case at
hand, respondent filed a motion for execution of the
Petitioner assails the September 4, 2009 Order for three Resolution dated August 12, 2009 on August 13, 2009.
(3) reasons. First, the Second Division of the COMELEC Thus, the Second Division of COMELEC had only until
failed to certify and elevate the records of the case upon August 23, 2009 to resolve the same. In the Order dated
the lapse of ten (10) days in accordance with Item 6(b) of September 4, 2009, Presiding Commissioner Ferrer, acting
Comelec Resolution No. 8654. Second, the September 4, for the Second Division, justifies the delay in the
2009 Order was signed by the Presiding Commissioner resolution of the motion for execution by saying that it
alone. Lastly, respondent’s Motion for Execution Pending was in the interest of fair play that he required petitioner
Motion for Reconsideration does not satisfy the criteria in to file a comment. The Presiding Commissioner posits that
A.M. No. 07-4-15-SC. We shall tackle each objection the 10-day period is reckoned from the day the Second
separately. Division received petitioner’s comment on September 1,
2009.
On August 4, 2009, the COMELEC promulgated COMELEC
Resolution No. 8654 for the purpose of adopting rules on We cannot agree. In accordance with the express provision
the payment of COMELEC appeal fees and on the of the law, the ten (10) days within which a division of the
disposition of motions for reconsideration of decisions, COMELEC may suspend elevating the case to the
resolutions and orders on election protest cases, appeal Commission en banc is to be counted from the filing of the
cases and special relief cases of a division to conform to motion for execution. The language of the law is clear,
our ruling in Aguilar v. COMELEC and Insoy. plain and too simple to invite a different interpretation.
Moreover, nowhere in COMELEC Resolution No. 8654 does it
Item 6 of Comelec Resolution No. 8654 provides: say that a comment is required, much less, indispensable
before the division may rule on a motion for execution.
6. If a motion for the execution of the decision or ter the lapse of the 10-day period, the only power (and
resolution of the Division is filed prior to the filing of a duty) that a division has is to certify and elevate the case,
Motion for Reconsideration, or within two days after the together with all the records, to the Commission en banc,
filing of the Motion for Reconsideration and the case was for appropriate action. Hence, upon the lapse of the 10-
not yet certified to or elevated to the Commission en day period or after August 23, 2009, the Second Division no
banc, the Division may, at its own discretion: longer had jurisdiction to rule on respondent’s motion for
execution. Having done so, the September 4, 2009 Order
a. Certify and elevate the case, together with the is void for having been issued by the COMELEC, Second
Motion for Execution as part of the records of the case, to Division without jurisdiction.
the Commission En Banc within the two day period as
prescribed in Section 5, Rule 19 of the Rules of Court. Indeed, even if said Order was promulgated within 10 days
from the filing of the motion for execution, it would still
51
Remedial Law
be void because Presiding Commissioner Ferrer alone banc, as the case may be – not to the Presiding
signed it. justify the Presiding Commissioner’s action, Commissioner. To be sure, a writ of execution pending
public respondent COMELEC invokes Section 6 (d), Rule 2 resolution of the motion for reconsideration of a decision
of the Comelec Rules of Procedure which provides, of the division is not granted as a matter of right such that
its issuance becomes a ministerial duty that may be
SEC. 6. Powers and Duties of the Presiding dispensed even just by the Presiding Commissioner. Mayor
Commissioner.-The powers and duties of the Presiding Quintin B. Saludaga vs. Commission on Elections, et al.,
Commissioner of a Division when discharging its functions G.R. Nos. 189431 & 191120, April 7, 2010.
in cases pending before the Division shall be as follows:
Election case; questions of fact addressed to COMELEC.
xxxx Finally, in his Verified Motion for Reconsideration,
petitioner raised factual issues, specifically, on the
(d) To sign interlocutory resolutions, orders or rulings appreciation of votes and the discrepancy in the number
and temporary restraining orders in cases already assigned of votes credited to each candidate in four (4) precincts.
to the Division; However, the appreciation of contested ballots and
election documents involves a question of fact best left to
x x x x. the determination of the COMELEC, a specialized agency
tasked with the supervision of elections all over the
However, this provision has been qualified by the country. After all, it is the constitutional commission
amendment introduced by the Commission en banc as vested with the exclusive original jurisdiction over
reflected in the Excerpts of its regular en banc meeting election contests involving regional, provincial and city
held on December 5, 1996. The relevant portion of the officials, as well as appellate jurisdiction over election
Excerpts reads: protests involving elective municipal and barangay
officials. Hence, we deem it proper to remand this case
3) The ponente in the preceding two paragraphs shall to the COMELEC en banc, in order that it may resolve
prepare interlocutory orders for signature of the Chairman petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the Resolution
or Division Chairman. Orders of substance, however, shall dated August 12, 2009 on the merits. Mayor Quintin B.
be referred to the Division/En Banc for clearance. Saludaga vs. Commission on Elections, et al., G.R. Nos.
(Emphasis supplied.) 189431 & 191120, April 7, 2010.

An order resolving a motion for execution is one (1) such Jurisdiction; exemption from CARL is matter within
order of substance that requires more than the lone primary jurisdiction of DAR Secretary. Petitioners also
imprimatur of the Division Chairman. This is so because raise for the first time in the entire proceedings of this
execution pending resolution of the motion for case that respondents had presented to the Regional
reconsideration may issue only upon good or special Adjudicator an entirely spurious and fabricated DAR Order
reasons contained in a special order. To reiterate, such exempting respondents’ landholdings from the coverage of
reasons must: (1) constitute superior circumstances CARP. It will be recalled that the Regional Adjudicator’s
demanding urgency that will outweigh the injury or decision below is based on the assumption that
damage should the losing party secure a reversal of the respondents’ landholdings are exempt from CARP
judgment on appeal; and (2) be manifest, in the decision coverage, hence the obligation on the part of petitioners
sought to be executed, that the defeat of the protestee or to pay lease rentals. Petitioners maintain that they only
the victory of the protestant had been clearly established. discovered the spurious nature of the exemption order
These stringent requirements demand more than a cursory during the pendency of their appeal to this Court. They
evaluation of a motion for execution pending presented several certificates from various DAR offices
reconsideration. Hence, the need to refer such order for stating that the latter have no record of the said
clearance by the Division or the COMELEC en banc, as the exemption order in favor of respondents. If such
case may be. exemption order is indeed fabricated, their possession of
CLTs and EPs should be respected, thus they should be held
This amendment is reflected in Item 6, COMELEC under no obligation to pay rentals to respondents. Thus,
Resolution No. 8654 which identifies the division as the they seek the nullification of the exemption order on the
one (1) in possession of the discretion to either: (1) certify ground that it is counterfeit. On the other hand,
and elevate the case, together with the motion for respondents assert that the validity of the exemption
execution, to the Commission en banc within the two-day order had already been settled in the annulment case filed
period prescribed in Section 5, Rule 19 of the Comelec by petitioners against respondents in 1994, docketed as
Rules of Procedure, or (2) stay, for a period of not more DARAB Case No. 602-B-94. They likewise maintain that the
than ten (10) days from the filing of a motion for issue involves factual matters which are not within the
execution, the elevation of the case to the Commission en province of the Supreme Court.
banc, in order to resolve said motion. Alternatively, upon
the expiration of the 10-day period, the decision may DARAB Case No. 602-B ’94 is a complaint for annulment of
immediately certify and elevate the case, together with the regional director’s order, which granted respondents’
all the records, to the Commission en banc for appropriate petition for the exemption of their landholdings from the
action. e discretion to allow execution pending coverage of the CARP. In that case, petitioners assailed
reconsideration belongs to the division that rendered the the validity of the order on the ground that they were not
assailed decision, order or resolution, or the COMELEC en given an opportunity to present controverting evidence
52
Remedial Law
and that the title of petitioners to the land was not Philippines, G.R. No. 166461, April 30, 2010.
registered within the period prescribed by law. Their
complaint was dismissed on the ground of lack of Jurisdiction; seizure and forfeiture proceedings within
jurisdiction. The provincial adjudicator, as later affirmed exclusive original jurisdiction of Bureau of Customs.
by the DARAB and the CA, ruled that only the Agrarian Petitioner alleges that the RTC of Olongapo City has no
Reform Secretary has appellate jurisdiction over the jurisdiction over the action for injunction and damages
exemption orders issued by a regional director. Petitioners filed by respondents on 11 June 2002 as said action is
filed a petition for review before this Court but it was not within the exclusive original jurisdiction of the BOC
timely filed. Hence, a resolution was issued where the pursuant to Section 602 of Republic Act No. 1937,
case was deemed closed and terminated. Entry of otherwise known as the “Tariff and Customs Code of the
judgment was made on September 6, 2002. Philippines,” as amended. Section 602 provides, thus:

Contrary to respondents’ arguments, there was never any Sec. 602. Functions of the Bureau.- The general duties,
ruling regarding the validity or authenticity of the powers and jurisdiction of the bureau shall include:
exemption order. What was ruled upon, and became final,
was that the exemption order cannot be reviewed by the xxx
provincial adjudicator or DARAB since exclusive appellate
jurisdiction rests in the Office of the DAR Secretary. Thus, g. Exercise exclusive original jurisdiction over seizure
it appears that petitioners’ right to question the and forfeiture cases under the tariff and customs laws.
authenticity of the exemption order in the proper forum
has not yet been foreclosed. The instant case, however, is Petitioner contends that the imported 2,000 bags of rice
not the proper place to bring the issue of authenticity. were in the actual physical control and possession of the
Exemption from the comprehensive agrarian reform law is BOC as early as 25 October 2001, by virtue of the BOC
an administrative matter the primary jurisdiction over Subic Port Hold Order of even date, and of the BOC
which has been lodged with the DAR Secretary. Moreover, Warrant of Seizure and Detention dated 22 May 2002. As
the issue of authenticity is entirely factual. Since this was such, the BOC had acquired exclusive original jurisdiction
never raised below, we have no basis on record to rule on over the subject shipment, to the exclusion of the RTC.
the authenticity of the exemption order. Regional We agree with petitioner.
Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, et al. vs. Court of
Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 165155, April 13, 2010. It is well settled that the Collector of Customs has
exclusive jurisdiction over seizure and forfeiture
Jurisdiction; remand to Court of Appeals to receive proceedings, and regular courts cannot interfere with his
evidence and determine just compensation. In Land Bank exercise thereof or stifle or put it at naught. The
of the Philippines v. Spouses Banal, we remanded the case Collector of Customs sitting in seizure and forfeiture
to the SAC for further reception of evidence because the proceedings has exclusive jurisdiction to hear and
trial court based its valuation upon a different formula determine all questions touching on the seizure and
and did not conduct any hearing for the reception of forfeiture of dutiable goods. Regional trial courts are
evidence. The mandatory application of the devoid of any competence to pass upon the validity or
aforementioned guidelines in determining just regularity of seizure and forfeiture proceedings conducted
compensation has been reiterated recently in Land Bank of by the BOC and to enjoin or otherwise interfere with these
the Philippines v. Lim and Land Bank of the Philippines v. proceedings. Regional trial courts are precluded from
Heirs of Eleuterio Cruz, where we also ordered the remand assuming cognizance over such matters even through
of the cases to the SAC for the determination of just petitions for certiorari, prohibition or mandamus.. Verily,
compensation strictly in accordance with the applicable the rule is that from the moment imported goods are
DAR regulations. Thus, the remand of the case is actually in the possession or control of the Customs
necessary for the parties to present their evidence, as we authorities, even if no warrant for seizure or detention
are not a trier of facts. had previously been issued by the Collector of Customs in
connection with the seizure and forfeiture proceedings,
Considering, however, that the land was acquired in 1989 the BOC acquires exclusive jurisdiction over such imported
and the only surviving petitioner is now an octogenarian goods for the purpose of enforcing the customs laws,
and is in need of urgent medical attention, we find these subject to appeal to the Court of Tax Appeals whose
special circumstances justifying in the acceleration of the decisions are appealable to this Court. As we have
final disposition of this case. This Court deems it best pro clarified in Commissioner of Customs v. Makasiar, the rule
hac vice to commission the CA as its agent to receive and that RTCs have no review powers over such proceedings is
evaluate the evidence of the parties. The CA’s mandate is anchored upon the policy of placing no unnecessary
to ascertain the just compensation due in accordance with hindrance on the government’s drive, not only to prevent
this Decision, applying Section 17 of RA 6557 and smuggling and other frauds upon Customs, but more
applicable DAR regulations. As explained in Land Bank of importantly, to render effective and efficient the
the Philippines v. Gallego, Jr., the remand of cases before collection of import and export duties due the State,
this Court to the CA for the reception of further evidence which enables the government to carry out the functions it
is not a novel procedure. It is sanctioned by Section 6, has been instituted to perform. Subic Bay Metropolitan
Rule 46 of the Rules of Court. In fact, the Court availed of Authority vs. Merlino E. Rodriguez, et al., G.R. No.
this procedure in quite a few cases. Heirs of Lorenzo 160270, April 23, 2010.
Vidad and Carmen Vidad, et al. vs. Land Bank of the
53
Remedial Law
Jurisdiction; Special Agrarian Court has original and RTCs into an appellate jurisdiction would be contrary to
exclusive jurisdiction over just compensation cases under Sec. 57 and therefore would be void. Thus, direct resort to
CARL. Petitioners insist that the RARAD, in exercising the SAC by private respondent is valid.
quasi-judicial powers, has concurrent jurisdiction with the
[Special Agrarian Court] in just compensation cases. In fact, RA 6657 does not make DAR’s valuation absolutely
Hence, the RARAD’s decision, being a final determination binding as the amount payable by LBP. A reading of Section
of the appraisal of just compensation by the DARAB, 18 of RA 6657 shows that the courts, and not the DAR,
should be appealed to this Court and not the SAC. For its make the final determination of just compensation. It is
part, LBP insists that the RARAD/DARAB decision is merely well-settled that the DAR’s land valuation is only
a preliminary valuation, since the courts have the ultimate preliminary and is not, by any means, final and conclusive
power to decide the question on just compensation. upon the landowner or any other interested party. The
courts will still have the right to review with finality the
The procedure for the determination of just compensation determination in the exercise of what is admittedly a
under RA 6657, as summarized by this Court in Land Bank judicial function.
of the Philippines v. Spouses Banal, commences with LBP
determining the value of the lands under the land reform It must be emphasized that the taking of property under
program. Using LBP’s valuation, the DAR makes an offer to RA 6657 is an exercise of the State’s power of eminent
the landowner through a notice sent to the landowner, domain. The valuation of property or determination of just
pursuant to Section 16(a) of RA 6657. In case the compensation in eminent domain proceedings is essentially
landowner rejects the offer, the DAR adjudicator conducts a judicial function which is vested with the courts and not
a summary administrative proceeding to determine the with administrative agencies. When the parties cannot
compensation for the land by requiring the landowner, the agree on the amount of just compensation, only the
LBP and other interested parties to submit evidence as to exercise of judicial power can settle the dispute with
the just compensation for the land. A party who disagrees binding effect on the winning and losing parties. On the
with the decision of the DAR adjudicator may bring the other hand, the determination of just compensation in the
matter to the RTC designated as a Special Agrarian Court RARAD/DARAB requires the voluntary agreement of the
for final determination of just compensation. parties. Unless the parties agree, there is no settlement of
the dispute before the RARAD/DARAB, except if the
Contrary to petitioners’ argument, the aggrieved party fails to file a petition for just
PARAD/RARAD/DARAB do not exercise concurrent compensation on time before the RTC. LBP thus correctly
jurisdiction with the SAC in just compensation cases. The filed a petition for determination of just compensation
determination of just compensation is judicial in nature. with the SAC, which has the original and exclusive
The original and exclusive jurisdiction of the SAC in just jurisdiction in just compensation cases under RA 6657.
compensation cases is not a novel issue. This has been DAR’s valuation, being preliminary in nature, could not
extensively discussed in Land Bank of the Philippines v. have attained finality, as it is only the courts that can
Belista, to wit: resolve the issue on just compensation. Consequently, the
SAC properly took cognizance of LBP’s petition for
XXX XXX determination of just compensation. Heirs of Lorenzo
XXX   XXX Vidad and Carmen Vidad, et al. vs. Land Bank of the
Philippines, G.R. No. 166461, April 30, 2010.
We do not agree with petitioners’ submission that the SAC
erred in assuming jurisdiction over the petition for Parties; Land Bank of the Philippines has personality to file
determination of just compensation filed by LBP after the agrarian case before Special Agrarian Court. Petitioners
RARAD rendered its 29 March 2000 decision. In Land Bank submit that LBP has no legal personality and has no cause
of the Philippines v. Court of Appeals, we had the occasion of action to institute the agrarian case before the SAC.
to rule that the SAC acquired jurisdiction over the action Petitioners argue that LBP cannot on its own, separate and
for the determination of just compensation even during independent of DAR, file an original action for
the pendency of the DARAB proceedings, for the following determination of just compensation against the RARAD and
reason: petitioners, because it is a usurpation of the exclusive
authority of DAR to initiate and prosecute expropriation
It is clear from Sec. 57 that the RTC, sitting as a Special proceedings. Petitioners thus insist that in land acquisition
Agrarian Court, has “original and exclusive jurisdiction cases, the only real parties-in-interest are the landowners
over all petitions for the determination of just and the government, the latter acting through the DAR.
compensation to landowners.” This “original and excusive” We do not agree.
jurisdiction of the RTC would be undermined if the DAR
would vest in administrative officials original jurisdiction Section 18 of RA 6657 states:
in compensation cases and make the RTC an appellate
court for the review of administrative decisions. Thus, Sec. 18. Valuation and Mode of Compensation. — The
although the new rules speak of directly appealing the LBP shall compensate the landowner in such amount as
decision of adjudicators to the RTCs sitting as Special may be agreed upon by the landowner and the DAR and
Agrarian Courts, it is clear from Sec. 57 that the original the LBP x x x, or as may be finally determined by the court
and exclusive jurisdiction to determine such cases is in the as the just compensation for the land.
RTCs. Any effort to transfer such jurisdiction to the
adjudicators and to convert the original jurisdiction of the This provision clearly states that there should be a
54
Remedial Law
consensus among the landowner, the DAR, and the LBP on of all, we have to point out that the confusion in this case
the amount of just compensation. Therefore, LBP is not was brought about by respondents themselves when they
merely a nominal party in the determination of just included in their complaint two defendants who were
compensation. RA 6657 directs LBP to pay the DAR’s land already dead. Instead of impleading the decedent’s heirs
valuation only if the landowner, the DAR and LBP agree on and current occupants of the landholding, respondents
the amount of just compensation. The DAR proceedings filed their complaint against the decedents, contrary to
are but preliminary, and becomes final only when the the following provision of the 1994 DARAB Rules of
parties have all agreed to the amount of just Procedure:
compensation fixed by the DAR. However, should a party
disagree with the amount fixed by DAR, then the RULE V
jurisdiction of the SAC may be invoked for the purpose.
PARTIES, CAPTION AND SERVICE OF PLEADINGS
There is likewise no merit in petitioners’ allegation that
LBP lacks locus standi to file a case with the SAC, separate SECTION 1. Parties in Interest. Every agrarian case must
and independent from the DAR. In Heirs of Roque F. be initiated and defended in the name of the real party in
Tabuena v. Land Bank of the Philippines, we ruled that the interest. x x x
LBP is an indispensable party in expropriation proceedings
under RA 6657, and thus, has the legal personality to A real party in interest is defined as “the party who stands
question the determination of just compensation, to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit, or
independent of the DAR: the party entitled to the avails of a suit.” The real parties
in interest, at the time the complaint was filed, were no
LBP is an agency created primarily to provide financial longer the decedents Avelino and Pedro, but rather their
support in all phases of agrarian reform pursuant to respective heirs who are entitled to succeed to their rights
Section 74 of Republic Act (RA) No. 3844 and Section 64 of (whether as agricultural lessees or as farmers-
RA No. 6657. It is vested with the primary responsibility beneficiaries) under our agrarian laws. They are the ones
and authority in the valuation and compensation of who, as heirs of the decedents and actual tillers, stand to
covered landholdings to carry out the full implementation be removed from the landholding and made to pay back
of the Agrarian Reform Program. It may agree with the rentals to respondents if the complaint is sustained. Since
DAR and the land owner as to the amount of just respondents failed to correct their error (they did not
compensation to be paid to the latter and may also amend the erroneous caption of their complaint to include
disagree with them and bring the matter to court for the real parties-in-interest), they cannot be insulated
judicial determination. from the confusion which it engendered in the proceedings
below. But at any rate, notwithstanding the erroneous
Once an expropriation proceeding for the acquisition of caption and the absence of a formal substitution of
private agricultural lands is commenced by the DAR, the parties, jurisdiction was acquired over the heirs of Avelino
indispensable role of LBP begins, which clearly shows that and Pedro who voluntarily participated in the proceedings
there would never be a judicial determination of just below. This Court has ruled that formal substitution of
compensation absent respondent LBP’s participation. parties is not necessary when the heirs themselves
Logically, it follows that respondent is an indispensable voluntarily appeared, participated, and presented
party in an action for the determination of just evidence during the proceedings. Regional Agrarian
compensation in cases arising from agrarian reform Reform Adjudication Board, et al. vs. Court of Appeals,
program; as such, it can file an appeal independently of et al., G.R. No. 165155, April 13, 2010.
DAR.
Procedural rules; liberal construction in agrarian cases.
Hence, in Land Bank of the Philippines v. AMS Farming There is nothing sacred about the forms of pleadings or
Corporation, we ruled that LBP is a real party-in-interest processes, their sole purpose being to facilitate the
which could file its own appeal in agrarian reform cases, application of justice to the rival claims of contending
to wit: parties. Hence, pleadings as well as procedural rules
should be construed liberally. Dismissal of appeals purely
XXX XXX on technical grounds is frowned upon because rules of
XXX XXX procedure should not be applied to override substantial
justice. Courts must proceed with caution so as not to
It is thus beyond question that LBP has the legal deprive a party of statutory appeal; they must ensure that
personality to file the petition for determination of just all litigants are granted the amplest opportunity for the
compensation with the SAC. Heirs of Lorenzo Vidad and proper and just ventilation of their causes, free from
Carmen Vidad, et al. vs. Land Bank of the technical constraints. If the foregoing tenets are followed
Philippines,G.R. No. 166461, April 30, 2010. in a civil case, their application is made more imperative
in an agrarian case where the rules themselves provide for
Parties; real party in interest in agrarian case. liberal construction, thus:
Respondents claim, and the CA has ruled, that the March
5, 2003 Notice of Appeal (filed by the second group) was a Rule I
“forgery” and thus void, because it bore signatures above
the names of the deceased Avelino and Pedro, which were General Provisions
obviously not written by the decedents themselves. First
55
Remedial Law
Section 2. Construction. These Rules shall be liberally the termination of this contract, without the necessity of
construed to carry out the objectives of the agrarian prior notice, otherwise a thirty (30) days prior written
reform program and to promote just, expeditious, and notice shall be observed.
inexpensive adjudication and settlement of agrarian cases,
disputes or controversies. Nissan argues that the failure of United’s security guards
to report for duty on two occasions, without justifiable
xxx cause, constitutes a violation of the provisions of the
service contract, sufficient to entitle Nissan to terminate
Section 3. Technical Rules Not Applicable. The Board the same without the necessity of a 30-day prior notice.
and its Regional and Provincial Adjudicators shall not be We hold otherwise.
bound by technical rules of procedure and evidence as
prescribed in the Rules of Court, but shall proceed to hear As the Metropolitan Trial Court of Las Piñas City stated in
and decide all agrarian cases, disputes or controversies in its decision, Nissan did not adduce any evidence to
a most expeditious manner, employing all reasonable substantiate its claim that the terms of the contract were
means to ascertain the facts of every case in accordance violated by United. What Nissan failed to do is to point
with justice and equity. out or indicate the specific provisions of the service
contract which were violated by United as a result of the
Rule VIII latter’s lapses in security. In so failing, Nissan’s act of
unilaterally terminating the contract constitutes a breach
Proceedings before the Adjudicators and the Board thereof, entitling United to collect actual damages.
Nissan North Edsa Operating Under the name Motor
Section 1. Nature of Proceedings. The proceedings Carriage, Inc. vs. United Philippine Scout, G.R. No.
before the Board or its Adjudicators shall be non-litigious 179470, April 20, 2010.
in nature. Subject to the essential requirements of due
process, the technicalities of law and procedure and the “Admission against interest” distinguished from
rules governing the admissibility and sufficiency of “Declaration against interest.” At the outset, it bears to
evidence obtained in the courts of law shall not apply. point out that it is wrong for petitioners to argue that
Basilisa’s alleged sworn statement is a declaration against
Regional Agrarian Reform Adjudication Board, et al. vs. interest. It is not a declaration against interest. Instead, it
Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 165155, April 13, is an admission against interest. Indeed, there is a vital
2010. distinction between admissions against interest and
declarations against interest. Admissions against interest
Evidence are those made by a party to a litigation or by one in
privity with or identified in legal interest with such party,
Best Evidence Rule; when not applicable. Petitioner and are admissible whether or not the declarant is
Nissan insists that no judgment can properly be rendered available as a witness. Declarations against interest are
against it, as respondent United failed, during the trial of those made by a person who is neither a party nor in
the case, to offer in evidence the service contract upon privity with a party to the suit, are secondary evidence,
which it based its claim for sum of money and damages. and constitute an exception to the hearsay rule. They are
As a result, the decisions of the lower courts were mere admissible only when the declarant is unavailable as a
postulations. Nissan asserts that the resolution of this witness. In the present case, since Basilisa is respondents’
case calls for the application of the best evidence rule. predecessor-in-interest and is, thus, in privity with the
latter’s legal interest, the former’s sworn statement, if
Nissan’s reliance on the best evidence rule is misplaced. proven genuine and duly executed, should be considered
The best evidence rule is the rule which requires the as an admission against interest. Alejandra S. Lazaro, et
highest grade of evidence to prove a disputed fact. al. vs. Modesta Agustin, et al., G.R. No. 152364, April
However, the same applies only when the contents of a 15, 2010.
document are the subject of the inquiry. In this case, the
contents of the service contract between Nissan and Burden of proof. Hacienda Bigaa contends that the rulings
United have not been put in issue. Neither United nor in the antecedent cases on the nullity of its subdivision
Nissan disputes the contents of the service contract; as in titles should not apply to the present case because the
fact, both parties quoted and relied on the same provision titles – TCT Nos. 44695 and 56120 – have not been
of the contract (paragraph 17) to support their respective specifically declared void by court order and must be
claims and defenses. Thus, the best evidence rule finds no given probative value. It likewise posits that Chavez
application here. The real issue in this case is whether or failed to introduce evidence before the MTC that the land
not Nissan committed a breach of contract, thereby subject matter of the suit is the same land covered by the
entitling United to damages in the amount equivalent to decision of the Supreme Court in the antecedent cases.
30 days’ service. We rule in the affirmative. We reject this contention in light of our holding in the
Ayala y Cia and De los Angeles cases that apart from those
At the heart of the controversy is paragraph 17 of the expressly litigated and annulled, all “other subdivision
service contract, which reads: titles” over the excess areas of Hacienda Calatagan must
be nullified for covering unregisterable lands of the public
However, violations committed by either party on the domain that must revert to the Republic. To reiterate,
provisions of this Contract shall be sufficient ground for lots and their titles derived from the Ayala’s and the
56
Remedial Law
Zobels’ TCT No. 722 not shown to be within the original failed to allege, much less prove, sufficient facts to show
coverage of this title are conclusively public domain areas that the limitation of the NPO’s budget to its own income
and their titles will be struck down as nullities. What couldwould indeed lead to the abolition of the position, or
have saved Hacienda Bigaa, as successor-in-interest of the removal from office, of any employee. Neither did
Ayalas and the Zobels, is competent evidence that the petitioners present any shred of proof of their assertion
subdivision titles in its possession do not fall within the that the changes in the functions of the NPO were for
excess areas of TCT No. 722 that are null and void because political considerations that had nothing to do with
they are lands of the public domain. improving the efficiency of, or encouraging operational
economy in, the said agency. Atty. Sylvia Banda, et al.
Hacienda Bigaa however failed to discharge this burden. vs.. Eduardo R. Ermita, et al., G.R. No. 166620, April
Therefore, the Court of Appeals, citing Ayala y Cia and De 20, 2010.
los Angeles, correctly held that –
Entries in the course of business. The CA of course places
x x x [S]uffice it to state that as heretofore shown, the no value on the Consolidated Billing Statement that Land
Supreme Court took cognizance of the fact that Zoila de Bank would have adduced in evidence had the RTC granted
Chavez’s fishpond permit is within the land covered by the its motion for reconsideration and reopened the hearing.
cited decision. Moreover, the Supreme Court has shifted Apparently, both courts believe that Land Bank needed to
the burden of proof in this regard to Zobel or Ayala y Cia present in evidence all original documents evidencing
when it declared that, “Clearly, the burden of proof lies every transaction between Land Bank and Monet to prove
on respondent Zobel and other transferees to show that the current status of the latter’s loan accounts. But a
his subdivision titles are not among the unlawful expanded bank statement, properly authenticated by a competent
subdivision titles declared null and void by the said 1965 bank officer, can serve as evidence of the status of those
judgment.” (Emphasis supplied.) accounts and what Monet and the Tagles still owe the
bank. Under Section 43, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court,
Hacienda Bigaa, Inc. vs. Epifanio V. Chavez, et al., G.R. entries prepared in the regular course of business are
No. 174160, April 20, 2010. prima facie evidence of the truth of what they state. The
billing statement reconciles the transaction entries
Burden of proof; party must prove allegations. A similar entered in the bank records in the regular course of
dearth of merit may be said of the exceptions petitioner business and shows the net result of such transactions.
continues to take against the MeTC’s reliance on the Entries in the course of business are accorded unusual
survey plan prepared by Geodetic Engineer Joseph Padilla reliability because their regularity and continuity are
to the effect that that the premises occupied by petitioner calculated to discipline record keepers in the habit of
lies within the metes and bounds of respondent’s property. precision. If the entries are financial, the records are
As mere allegation is not evidence, the rule is settled that routinely balanced and audited. In actual experience, the
plaintiff has the burden of proving the material allegations whole of the business world function in reliance of such
of the complaint which are denied by the defendant, and kind of records. Parenthetically, consider a borrower who
the defendant has the burden of proving the material takes out a loan of P10,000.00 from a bank and executes a
allegations in his case where he sets up a new matter. promissory note providing for interests, charges, and
Given the parties’ failure to make good on their penalties and an undertaking to pay the loan in 10 monthly
agreement to cause a survey of the property thru an installments of P1,000.00. If he pays the first five months
impartial surveyor from the Office of the City Assessor or installments but defaults in the rest, how will the bank
City Engineer, respondent’s submission of said report was prove in court that the debtor still owes it P5,000.00 plus
evidently for the purpose discharging the onus of proving interest? The bank will of course present the promissory
petitioner’s encroachment on the subject parcel, as note to establish the scope of the debtor’s primary
alleged in the complaint. As the party asserting the obligations and a computation of interests, charges, and
contrary proposition, petitioner cannot expediently penalties based on its terms. It must then show by the
disparage the admissibility and probative value of said entries in its record how much it had actually been paid.
survey plan to compensate for his failure to prove his own This will in turn establish how much the borrower still
assertions. Hubert Nuñez vs. SLTEAS Phoenix Solutions, owes it. The bank does not have to present all the
Inc., G.R. No. 180542, April 12, 2010. receipts of payment it issued to all its clients during the
entire year, thousands of them, merely to establish the
Burden of proof on party making allegation. This brings us fact that only five of them, rather than ten, pertains to
to the second ground raised in the petition – that the borrower. The original documents need not be
Executive Order No. 378, in allowing government agencies presented in evidence when it is numerous, cannot be
to secure their printing requirements from the private examined in court without great loss of time, and the fact
sector and in limiting the budget of the NPO to its income, sought to be established from them is only the general
will purportedly lead to the gradual abolition of the NPO result. Monet and the Tagles can of course dispute the
and the loss of security of tenure of its present employees. bank’s billing statements by proof that the bank had
In other words, petitioners avow that the reorganization of exaggerated what was owed it and that Monet had made
the NPO under Executive Order No. 378 is tainted with bad more payments than were reflected in those statements.
faith. The basic evidentiary rule is that he who asserts a They can do this by presenting evidence of those greater
fact or the affirmative of an issue has the burden of payments. Notably, Monet and the Tagles have
proving it. A careful review of the records will show that consistently avoided stating in their letters to the bank
petitioners utterly failed to substantiate their claim. They how much they still owed it. But, ultimately, it is as much
57
Remedial Law
their obligation to prove this disputed point if they deny is not absolute and may be rebutted by clear and
the bank’s statements of their loan accounts. Land Bank convincing evidence to the contrary. Moreover, not all
of the Philippines vs. Monet’s Export and Manufacturing notarized documents are exempted from the rule on
Corp., et al., G.R. No. 184971, April 19, 2010. authentication. Thus, an affidavit does not automatically
become a public document just because it contains a
Notarized document; effect and purpose of notarization. notarial jurat. The presumptions that attach to notarized
The Court further agrees with the ruling of the RTC that: documents can be affirmed only so long as it is beyond
dispute that the notarization was regular.
The testimony of [the notary public] Atty. Angel Respicio
did not suffice to rebut the evidence of the appellees Petitioners rely heavily on the presumption of regularity
considering his admission that the affidavit was already accorded by law to notarized documents. While indeed, a
thumbmarked when presented to him by one who claimed notarized document enjoys this presumption, the fact that
to be Basilisa Santos and whom, the witness said he did a deed is notarized is not a guarantee of the validity of its
not know personally. Further, what makes the documents contents. As earlier discussed, the presumption is not
suspect is the fact that it was subscribed on the same date absolute and may be rebutted by clear and convincing
as the financial statement of Alejandra Santos. evidence to the contrary. The presumption cannot be
made to apply to the present case because the regularity
It may not be amiss to point out, at this juncture, that the in the execution of the sworn statement was challenged in
principal function of a notary public is to authenticate the proceedings below where its prima facie validity was
documents. When a notary public certifies to the due overthrown by the highly questionable circumstances
execution and delivery of a document under his hand and under which it was supposedly executed, as well as the
seal, he gives the document the force of evidence. testimonies of witnesses who testified on the
Indeed, one of the purposes of requiring documents to be improbability of execution of the sworn statement, as well
acknowledged before a notary public, in addition to the as on the physical condition of the signatory, at the time
solemnity which should surround the execution and the questioned document was supposedly executed. The
delivery of documents, is to authorize such documents to trial and appellate courts were unanimous in giving
be given without further proof of their execution and credence to the testimonies of these witnesses. The Court
delivery. A notarial document is by law entitled to full has repeatedly held that it will not interfere with the trial
faith and credit upon its face. Courts, administrative court’s determination of the credibility of witnesses,
agencies and the public at large must be able to rely upon unless there appears on record some fact or circumstance
the acknowledgment executed before a notary public and of weight and influence which has been overlooked or the
appended to a private instrument. Hence, a notary public significance of which has been misinterpreted. The reason
must discharge his powers and duties, which are impressed for this is that the trial court was in a better position to do
with public interest, with accuracy and fidelity. A notary so, because it heard the witnesses testify before it and
public should not notarize a document unless the persons had every opportunity to observe their demeanor and
who signed the same are the very same persons who deportment on the witness stand. Considering the
executed and personally appeared before him to attest to foregoing, the Court finds no reason to reverse the rulings
the contents and truth of what are stated therein. In the of the MTCC, the RTC and the CA. Although the questioned
instant case, the notary public should have exercised sworn statement is a public document having in its favor
utmost diligence in ascertaining the true identity of the the presumption of regularity, such presumption was
person executing the said sworn statement. However, the adequately refuted by competent witnesses. Alejandra S.
notary public did not comply with this requirement. He Lazaro, et al. vs. Modesta Agustin, et al., G.R. No.
simply relied on the affirmative answers of the person 152364, April 15, 2010.
appearing before him attesting that she was Basilisa
Santos; that the contents of the sworn statement are true; Presumptions; regularity in the performance of official
and that the thumbmark appearing on the said document duty. Petitioner’s invocation of the presumption of
was hers. However, this would not suffice. He could have regularity in the performance of official duty on the part
further asked the person who appeared before him to of Sheriff Castillo is misplaced. While posting the notice
produce any identification to prove that she was indeed of sale is part of a sheriff’s official functions, the actual
Basilisa Santos, considering that the said person was not publication of the notice of sale cannot be considered as
personally known to him, and that the thumbmark such, since this concerns the publisher’s business. Simply
appearing on the document sought to be notarized was not put, the sheriff is incompetent to prove that the notice of
affixed in his presence. But he did not. Thus, the lower sale was actually published in a newspaper of general
courts did not commit any error in not giving evidentiary circulation. The Court further notes that the Notice of
weight to the subject sworn statement. Alejandra S. Extra-Judicial Sale, prepared and posted by Sheriff
Lazaro, et al. vs. Modesta Agustin, et al., G.R. No. Castillo, does not indicate the newspaper where such
152364, April 15, 2010. notice would be published. The space provided where the
name of the newspaper should be was left blank, with only
Notarized document; presumption of regularity may be the dates of publication clearly written. This omission
rebutted. Settled is the rule that generally, a notarized raises serious doubts as to whether there was indeed
document carries the evidentiary weight conferred upon it publication of the notice of sale. Philippine Savings Bank
with respect to its due execution, and documents vs. Spouses Dionisio Geronimo, et al., G.R. No. 170241,
acknowledged before a notary public have in their favor April 19, 2010.
the presumption of regularity. However, this presumption
58
Remedial Law
Proof beyond reasonable doubt. While petitioner admits States of America. Hence, this document has no probative
to his civil liability to Asiatrust, he nevertheless does not value. Sps. Joselina Alcantara and Antonio Alcantara, et
have criminal liability. It is a well-established principle al. vs. Brigida L. Nido, as attorney-in-fact of Revelen
that person is presumed innocent until proved guilty. To Srivastava, G.R. No. 165133, April 19, 2010.
overcome the presumption, his guilt must be shown by
proof beyond reasonable doubt. Thus, we held in People v. 2009
Mariano that while the principle does not connote absolute
certainty, it means the degree of proof which produces Action; forcible entry. There is forcible entry or desahucio
moral certainty in an unprejudiced mind of the culpability when one is deprived of physical possession of land or
of the accused. Such proof should convince and satisfy building by means of force, intimidation, threat, strategy
the reason and conscience of those who are to act upon it or stealth. The basic inquiry centers on who has the prior
that the accused is in fact guilty. The prosecution, in this possession de facto. The plaintiff must prove that he was
instant case, failed to rebut the constitutional innocence in prior possession and that he was deprived thereof.
of petitioner and thus the latter should be acquitted.
Anthony L. Ng vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. In the instant case, respondents’ house was constructed in
173905, April 23, 2010. 1983 and they had prior physical possession until they
were deprived thereof by petitioners. To substantiate their
Proof of public or official record kept in foreign country; claims, respondents submitted the affidavit, dated
general power of attorney. On 25 March 1994, Revelen September 20, 2002, of Carlos C. Menil and Lolito S. Bito,
executed a General Power of Attorney constituting who witnessed the demolition of respondents’ house
respondent as her attorney-in-fact and authorizing her to during the latter’s absence. Mr. Menil and Mr. Bito attested
enter into any and all contracts and agreements on that they saw petitioner Rogelio personally supervising the
Revelen’s behalf. The General Power of Attorney was demolition of respondents’ house, and that he erected a
notarized by Larry A. Reid, Notary Public in California, concrete fence enclosing the area where the house
U.S.A. Unfortunately, the General Power of Attorney formerly stood. Petitioners failed to refute the foregoing
presented as “Exhibit C” in the RTC cannot also be the allegations except with bare denials.
basis of respondent’s written authority to sell the lot.
Section 25, Rule 132 of the Rules of Court provides: While petitioners hold title to the subject property where
the house was located, the sole issue in forcible entry
Sec. 25. Proof of public or official record. — An official cases is who had prior possession de facto of the disputed
record or an entry therein, when admissible for any property. In Dy, the Court held that these are summary
purpose, may be evidenced by an official publication proceedings intended to provide an expeditious means of
thereof or by a copy attested by the officer having the protecting actual possession or right of possession of
legal custody of the record, or by his deputy, and property. Title is not involved; that is why it is a special
accompanied, if the record is not kept in the Philippines, civil action with a special procedure. Spouses Rogelio F.
with a certificate that such officer has the custody. If the Lopez and Teotima G. Lopez vs. Samuel R. Espinosa and
office in which the record is kept is in a foreign country, Angelita S. Espinosa, G.R. No. 184225, September 4,
the certificate may be made by a secretary of embassy or 2009
legation consul general, consul, vice consul, or consular
agent or by any officer in the foreign service of the Action; nature. Basic is the legal principle that the nature
Philippines stationed in the foreign country in which the of an action is determined by the material averments in
record is kept, and authenticated by the seal of his office. the complaint and the character of the relief sought.
Undeniably, Gregorio’s civil complaint, read in its entirety,
In Teoco v. Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company, quoting is a complaint based on quasi-delict under Article 2176, in
Lopez v. Court of Appeals, we explained: relation to Article 26 of the Civil Code, rather than on
malicious prosecution. Zenaida R. Gregorio vs. Court of
From the foregoing provision, when the special power Appeals, et al. G.R. No. 179799, September 11, 2009.
of attorney is executed and acknowledged before a notary
public or other competent official in a foreign country, it Action; reconveyance. An action for reconveyance or
cannot be admitted in evidence unless it is certified as accion reivindicatoria has no effect and can exist at the
such in accordance with the foregoing provision of the same time as ejectment cases involving the same
rules by a secretary of embassy or legation, consul property. This is because the only issue to be resolved in
general, consul, vice consul, or consular agent or by any an unlawful detainer case is physical or material
officer in the foreign service of the Philippines stationed in possession of the property involved, independent of any
the foreign country in which the record is kept of said claim of ownership by any of the parties involved.
public document and authenticated by the seal of his Ejectment cases are designed to summarily restore
office. A city judge-notary who notarized the document, physical possession to one who has been illegally deprived
as in this case, cannot issue such certification. of such possession, without prejudice to the settlement of
the parties’ opposing claims of juridical possession in
Since the General Power of Attorney was executed and appropriate proceedings. The question of ownership may
acknowledged in the United States of America, it cannot only be provisionally ruled upon for the sole purpose of
be admitted in evidence unless it is certified as such in determining who is entitled to possession de facto.
accordance with the Rules of Court by an officer in the Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas
foreign service of the Philippines stationed in the United (IEMELIF), Inc. vs. Nataniel B. Juane/Nataniel B. Juane
59
Remedial Law
Vs. Iglesia Evangelisca Metodista En Las Islas Filipinas Appeal; improper. The implication of such improper appeal
(IEMELIF), Inc, G.R. No. 172447, September 18, 2009. is that the notice of appeal did not toll the reglementary
period for the filing of a petition for certiorari under Rule
Appeal; COMELEC appeal fee. iI is undisputed that 65, the proper remedy in the instant case. This means that
Batalla had already perfected his appeal by paying the private respondent has now lost her remedy of appeal
required appeal fees. He paid the PhP 1,000 appeal fee to from the May 31, 2005 Order of the RTC. Recardo S.
the trial court on February 22, 2008 within the five-day Silverio, Jr. vs. Court of Appeals and Nelia S. Silverio-
period from receipt of the decision and the additional PhP Dee, G.R. No. 178933. September 16, 2009
3,200 appeal fee to the Comelec Cash Division on March 5,
2008 or within 15 days from the filing of his notice of Appeal; NLRC appeal bond. It behooves the Court to give
appeal. It is, thus, clear that Batalla had perfected his utmost regard to the legislative and administrative intent
appeal by complying with the appeal requirements. to strictly require the employer to post a cash or surety
Ernesto Batalla vs. Commission on Elections and Teodoro bond securing the full amount of the monetary award
Bataller, G.R. No. 184268, September 15, 2009. within the 10 day reglementary period. Nothing in the
Labor Code or the NLRC Rules of Procedure authorizes the
Appeal; COSLAP. all appeals from orders, resolutions or posting of a bond that is less than the monetary award in
decisions of the COSLAP should be taken to the Court of the judgment, or would deem such insufficient posting as
Appeals under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. If a petition sufficient to perfect the appeal.
for certiorari under Rule 65 is the prescribed remedy due
to grave abuse of discretion or lack of jurisdiction, the While the bond may be reduced upon motion by the
same should also be brought to the Court of Appeals, as employer, this is subject to the conditions that (1) the
the said court cannot be bypassed without running afoul of motion to reduce the bond shall be based on meritorious
the doctrine of judicial hierarchy. In this case, respondents grounds; and (2) a reasonable amount in relation to the
did not timely appeal the COSLAP decision to the Court of monetary award is posted by the appellant, otherwise the
Appeals via Rule 43, and instead filed a petition for filing of the motion to reduce bond shall not stop the
certiorari under Rule 65, although with the Regional Trial running of the period to perfect an appeal. The
Court, a body that is co-equal with the COSLAP. Only later qualification effectively requires that unless the NLRC
did they file a petition for certiorari with the appellate grants the reduction of the cash bond within the 10 day
court assailing the trial court’s dismissal of their petition. reglementary period, the employer is still expected to
post the cash or surety bond securing the full amount
We find that the Court of Appeals correctly held that within the said 10-day period. If the NLRC does eventually
respondents’ remedy from the decision of the COSLAP was grant the motion for reduction after the reglementary
to file a petition for certiorari under Rule 65, as they period has elapsed, the correct relief would be to reduce
assailed the lack of jurisdiction of said body over the the cash or surety bond already posted by the employer
dispute. However, the petition should have been filed within the 10-day period. Andrew Jame Mcburne vs.
before the Court of Appeals and not the trial court. In Eulalio Ganzon, et al., G.R. Nos. 178034 & 178117/G.R.
other words, while respondents availed of the correct Nos. 186984-85/G.R. No. 179319, September 18, 2009.
remedy, they sought the same from the wrong court. This
mistake would have rendered the assailed COSLAP decision Appeal; PARAB. Given the above perspective, the CA acted
final and executory, were it not for its patent nullity and correctly and certainly within its sound discretion when it
invalidity. Joaquin Ga, Jr., et al. vs. Spouses Antonio denied, in its amended decision, petitioner’s petition for
Tabungan, et al., G.R. No. 182185, September 18, 2009. certiorari to nullify the PARAD’s decision. Under the
grievance procedure set forth in the DARAB Rules of
Appeal; exhaustion of administrative remedies. Prior Procedure, PARAD Alegario’s decision was appealable to
exhaustion of administrative remedies may be dispensed the DARAB Proper. The CA’s appellate task comes later––to
with and judicial action may be validly resorted to review the case disposition of the DARAB Proper when
immediately: (a) when there is a violation of due process; properly challenged. Rosita A. Montanez vs. Provincial
(b) when the issue involved is purely a legal question; (c) Agrarian Reform Adjudicator (PARAD), et al., G.R. No.
when the administrative action is patently illegal 183142, September 17, 2009.
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction; (d) when there
is estoppel on the part of the administrative agency Appeal; right. Time and again, it has been held that the
concerned; (e) when there is irreparable injury; (f) when right to appeal is not a constitutional right, but a mere
the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an statutory privilege. Hence, parties who seek to avail
alter ego of the President bear the implied and assumed themselves of it must comply with the statutes or rules
approval of the latter; (g) when to require exhaustion of allowing it. To reiterate, perfection of an appeal in the
administrative remedies would be unreasonable; (h) when manner and within the period permitted by law is
it would amount to a nullification of a claim; (i) when the mandatory and jurisdictional. The requirements for
subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings; perfecting an appeal must, as a rule, be strictly followed.
(j) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and Such requirements are considered indispensable
adequate remedy; or (k) when there are circumstances interdictions against needless delays and are necessary for
indicating the urgency of judicial intervention. Sps. the orderly discharge of the judicial business. Failure to
Leonardo and Milagros Chua vs. Hon. Jacinto G. Ang, et perfect the appeal renders the judgment of the court final
al., G.R. No. 156164, September 4, 2009. and executory. Just as a losing party has the privilege to
file an appeal within the prescribed period, so does the
60
Remedial Law
winner also have the correlative right to enjoy the finality Declatory relief. Declaratory relief is defined as an action
of the decision. Thus, the propriety of the monetary by any person interested in a deed, will, contract or other
awards of the Labor Arbiter is already binding upon this written instrument, executive order or resolution, to
Court, much more with the Court of Appeals. Andrew determine any question of construction or validity arising
Jame Mcburne vs. Eulalio Ganzon, et al., G.R. Nos. from the instrument, executive order or regulation, or
178034 & 178117/G.R. Nos. 186984-85/G.R. No. statute; and for a declaration of his rights and duties
179319, September 18, 2009. thereunder. The only issue that may be raised in such a
petition is the question of construction or validity of
Arrest; legality. To be sure, the legality of an arrest provisions in an instrument or statute.
affects only the jurisdiction of the court over the person
of the accused, hence, any defect therein may be deemed The requisites of an action for declaratory relief are: (1)
cured when, as here, the accused voluntarily submitted to there must be a justiciable controversy between persons
the jurisdiction of the trial court. An illegal arrest is thus whose interests are adverse; (2) the party seeking the
not a sufficient cause for setting aside a valid judgment relief has a legal interest in the controversy; and (3) the
rendered upon a sufficient complaint after a trial free issue is ripe for judicial determination.
from error. Elmer Diamante y Sioson, et al. vs. People of
the Philippines, G.R. No. 180992, September 4, 2009. The Court rules that the City of Naga properly resorted to
Bonifacio Dolera y Tejada vs. People of the Philippines, the filing of an action for declaratory relief.
G.R. No. 180693, September 4, 2009.
In the instant case, the controversy concerns the
Arrest; warrantless. We stress at the outset that the construction of the provisions of Republic Act No. 305 or
petitioner failed to question the legality of his warrantless the Charter of the City of Naga. Specifically, the City of
arrest. The established rule is that an accused may be Naga seeks an interpretation of Section 2, Article I of its
estopped from assailing the legality of his arrest if he Charter, as well as a declaration of the rights of the
failed to move for the quashing of the Information against parties to this case thereunder.
him before his arraignment. Any objection involving the
arrest or the procedure in the court’s acquisition of To recall, Section 2, Article I of Republic Act No. 305
jurisdiction over the person of an accused must be made defines the territory of the City of Naga, providing that
before he enters his plea; otherwise the objection is the City shall comprise the present territorial jurisdiction
deemed waived. of the Municipality of Naga. By virtue of this provision, the
City of Naga prays that it be granted the right to
In any event, we carefully examined the records and now administratively control and supervise Plaza Rizal, which is
hold that the warrantless arrest conducted on the undisputedly within the territorial jurisdiction of the City.
petitioner was valid. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Rules on Province of Camarines Sur, represented by Governor
Criminal Procedure lists the situations when a person may Luis Raymund F. Villafuerte, Jr. vs. Hon. Court of
be arrested without a warrant. Paragraph (a) of Section 5, Appeals and City of Naga, represented by Mayor Jesse
Rule 113 is commonly known as an in flagrante delicto M. Robredo, G.R. No. 175064, September 18, 2009.
arrest. For a warrantless arrest of an accused caught in
flagrante delicto to be valid, two requisites must concur: Demurrer to evidence. Demurrer to evidence authorizes a
(1) the person to be arrested must execute an overt act judgment on the merits of the case without the defendant
indicating that he has just committed, is actually having to submit evidence on his part, as he would
committing, or is attempting to commit a crime; and (2) ordinarily have to do, if plaintiff’s evidence shows that he
such overt act is done in the presence or within the view is not entitled to the relief sought. Demurrer, therefore, is
of the arresting officer. an aid or instrument for the expeditious termination of an
action, similar to a motion to dismiss, which the court or
After carefully evaluating the evidence in its totality, we tribunal may either grant or deny.
hold that the prosecution successfully established that the
petitioner was arrested in flagrante delicto. Gilbert The Court has recently established some guidelines on
Zalameda vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. No. when a demurrer to evidence should be granted, thus:
183656, September 4, 2009.
A demurrer to evidence may be issued when, upon the
Declaratory relief. Since petitioners averred in the facts and the law, the plaintiff has shown no right to
Complaint that they had already been deprived of the relief. Where the plaintiff’s evidence together with such
possession of their property, the proper remedy for them inferences and conclusions as may reasonably be drawn
is the filing of anaccion publiciana or an accion therefrom does not warrant recovery against the
reivindicatoria, not a case for declaratory relief. An accion defendant, a demurrer to evidence should be sustained. A
publiciana is a suit for the recovery of possession, filed demurrer to evidence is likewise sustainable when,
one year after the occurrence of the cause of action or admitting every proven fact favorable to the plaintiff and
from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. indulging in his favor all conclusions fairly and reasonably
An accion reivindicatoria is a suit that has for its object inferable therefrom, the plaintiff has failed to make out
one’s recovery of possession over the real property as one or more of the material elements of his case, or when
owner. Carmen Danao Malana, et al. vs. Benigno Tappa, et there is no evidence to support an allegation necessary to
al., G.R. No. 181303. September 17, 2009 his claim. It should be sustained where the plaintiff’s
evidence is prima facie insufficient for a recovery. Joanie
61
Remedial Law
Surposa Uy vs. Jose Ngo Chua, G.R. No. 183965, Philippines Vs. Roldan Arcosiba alias “Entoy”, G.R. No.
September 18, 2009. 181081. September 4, 2009

Evidence; alibi. Regarding appellants’ defense of alibi, Evidence; denial. Courts generally view the defense of
the same cannot prevail over the positive identification of denial with disfavor due to the facility with which an
appellants as perpetrators of the crime charged. For alibi accused can concoct it to suit his or her defense. As
to prosper, it is not enough for the appellants to prove evidence that is both negative and self-serving, this
that they were somewhere else when the crime was defense cannot attain more credibility than the
committed. They must further demonstrate that it was testimonies of prosecution witnesses who testify clearly,
physically impossible for them to have been at the scene providing thereby positive evidence on the various aspects
of the crime at the time of its commission. People of the of the crime committed. Gilbert Zalameda vs. People of
Philippines vs. Antonio Ortiz, et al., G.R. No. 179944, the Philippines, G.R. No. 183656, September 4, 2009.
September 4, 2009.
Evidence; non-presentation of informant. The settled rule
Evidence; alibi. While alibi is considered weak and is that the presentation of an informant in an illegal drugs
unavailing, it acquires significance where no proper case is not essential for conviction nor is it indispensable
identification of the assailant has been made. People of for a successful prosecution because his testimony would
the Philippines vs. Aristo Villanueva, G.R. No. 178543, be merely corroborative and cumulative. Moreover,
September 4, 2009. informants are usually not presented in court because of
the need to hide their identities and preserve their
Evidence; credibility of witness. It is well settled that the invaluable service to the police. Gilbert Zalameda vs.
evaluation of the credibility of witnesses and their People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 183656, September
testimonies is a matter best undertaken by the trial court 4, 2009.
because of its unique opportunity to observe the witnesses
firsthand and to note their demeanor, conduct, and Evidence; rape. By the peculiar nature of rape cases,
attitude under grilling examination. These are important conviction thereon most often rests solely on the basis of
in determining the truthfulness of witnesses and in the offended party’s testimony, if credible, natural,
unearthing the truth, especially in the face of conflicting convincing, and consistent with human nature and the
testimonies. For, indeed, the emphasis, gesture, and normal course of things. Accordingly, the Court has
inflection of the voice are potent aids in ascertaining the consistently adhered to the following guiding principles in
witness’ credibility, and the trial court has the opportunity the review of similar cases, to wit: (1) an accusation for
and can take advantage of these aids. These cannot be rape can be made with facility; while the accusation is
incorporated in the record so that all that the appellate difficult to prove, it is even more difficult for the accused,
court can see are the cold words of the witness contained albeit innocent, to disprove; (2) considering that, in the
in transcript of testimonies with the risk that some of nature of things, only two persons are usually involved in
what the witness actually said may have been lost in the the crime of rape, the testimony of the complainant must
process of transcribing. As correctly stated by an American be scrutinized with extreme care; and (3) the evidence for
court, “There is an inherent impossibility of determining the prosecution must succeed or fall on its own merits,
with any degree of accuracy what credit is justly due to a and cannot be allowed to derive strength from the
witness from merely reading the words spoken by him, weakness of the evidence for the defense.
even if there were no doubt as to the identity of the
words. However artful a corrupt witness may be, there is Corollary to the foregoing principles is the rule that the
generally, under the pressure of a skillful cross- credibility of the victim is always the single most
examination, something in his manner or bearing on the important issue in prosecution for rape. Withal, in passing
stand that betrays him, and thereby destroys the force of upon the credibility of witnesses, the highest degree of
his testimony. Many of the real tests of truth by which the respect must be accorded to the findings of the trial
artful witness is exposed in the very nature of things court. People of the Philippines vs. Domingo Araojo,
cannot be transcribed upon the record, and hence they G.R. No. 185203, September 17, 2009.
can never be considered by the appellate court. People
of the Philippines vs. Mariano Sapigao, Jr., G.R. No. Evidence; rape. In reviewing rape cases, this Court is
178485, September 4, 2009. guided by three principles, to wit: (1) an accusation of
rape can be made with facility; it is difficult to prove but
Evidence; credibility of witness. Rape is generally more difficult for the person accused, though innocent, to
unwitnessed and oftentimes, the victim is left to testify disprove; (2) in view of the intrinsic nature of the crime of
for herself. Thus, in resolving rape cases, the victim’s rape where only two persons are usually involved, the
credibility becomes the primordial consideration. If a testimony of the complainant must be scrutinized with
victim’s testimony is straightforward, convincing and extreme caution; and (3) the evidence for the prosecution
consistent with human nature and the normal course of must stand or fall on its own merits and cannot draw
things, unflawed by any material or significant strength from the weakness of the evidence for the
inconsistency, it passes the test of credibility and the defense.
accused may be convicted solely on the basis thereof. To
ensure that justice is meted out, extreme care and As a result of these guiding principles, the credibility of
caution is required in weighing the conflicting testimonies the complainant becomes the single most important issue.
of the complainant and the accused. People of the If the testimony of the victim is credible, convincing and
62
Remedial Law
consistent with human nature and the normal course of judgments or orders of courts must become final at some
things, the accused may be convicted solely on the basis definite time fixed by law. Otherwise, there will be no end
thereof. Allan Dizon vs. People of the Philippines, G.R. to litigations, thus negating the main role of courts of
No. 170342, September 18, 2009. justice to assist in the enforcement of the rule of law and
the maintenance of peace and order by settling justiciable
Evidence; rape. In an attempt to discredit the victim’s controversies with finality. Vicente Dacanay, in his
testimony, appellant points out certain discrepancies in capacity as administrator of the Testate Estate of Tereso
her testimony, such as the exact time they went to the D. Fernandez vs. Hon. Raphael Prastora Sr., etc., et al.,
farm of Naty Astor. Such discrepancy is trifling. The G.R. No. 150664, September 3, 2009.
gravamen of rape is carnal knowledge of a woman under
any of the circumstances provided by law. Thus, the Judgment; finality. The petition cannot be granted. It
precise time when the rape took place has no substantial seeks a review of a matter that has been settled with
bearing on its commission. As such, the date or time need finality by the trial court. Settled is the rule that once a
not be stated with absolute accuracy. decision acquires finality, it becomes immutable and
unalterable. Thus, despite containing erroneous
The victim cannot be expected to store methodically in conclusions of fact or law, it can no longer be modified.
her memory the sordid details of a rape incident and, Joaquin P. Obieta vs. Edward Cheok, G.R. No. 170072.
when called to testify in court, give a completely detailed September 3, 2009.
and accurate account of the harrowing experience she
suffered. Thus, minor inconsistencies in the narration are Judgment; finality. Petitioner’s mere filing of the Motion
generally given liberal appreciation by the trial court. for Reduction of Bond did not suffice to perfect his appeal.
People of the Philippines vs. Lorenzo Oliva y Rosela, As correctly found by the appellate court, petitioner filed
G.R. No. 187043. September 18, 2009 a Motion for Reduction of Bond dated June 24, 1999 (which
was received by the appellate court on June 28, 1999)
Evidence; totality of circumstances. The Court, in a long alleging financial constraints without showing “substantial
line of cases, has reiterated the totality of circumstance compliance with the Rules” or demonstrating a willingness
test set forth in People v. Teehankee, Jr., which dictates to abide by the [R]ules by posting a partial bond.” That
that the following factors be considered in determining petitioner questioned the computation of the monetary
the reliability of the out-of-court identification made by a award - basis of the computation of the amount of appeal
witness, i.e., (1) the witness’ opportunity to view the bond did not excuse it from posting a bond in a reasonable
criminal at the time of the crime; (2) the witness’ degree amount or what it believed to be the correct amount.Since
of attention at the time of the crime; (3) the accuracy of no exceptional circumstances obtain in the present case
any prior description given by the witness; (4) the level of warranting the relaxation of the Rules, the Labor Arbiter’s
certainty demonstrated by the witness at the Decision had become final and executory. The Heritage
identification; (5) the length of time between the crime Hotel of Manila vs. National Labor Relations Commission,
and the identification; and (6) the suggestiveness of the Rufino C. Rañon II, and Ismael C. Villa, G.R. No. 180478-
identification procedure. 79, September 3, 2009.

To prevent any undue suggestiveness in the identification Judgment; void. A judgment void for want of jurisdiction
process, it was held that the correct way is to: first, is no judgment at all. It cannot be the source of any right
present a series of photographs to the witness, not solely or the creator of any obligation. All acts performed
the photograph of the suspect; and second, when showing pursuant to it and all claims emanating from it have no
a group of pictures to the witness, the arrangement and legal effect. Hence, it can never become final, and any
display of said photographs should give no suggestion writ of execution based on it is void. It may be said to be a
whatsoever which one of the pictures belongs to the lawless thing that can be treated as an outlaw and slain on
suspect. The photographic identification must be free sight, or ignored wherever and whenever it exhibits its
from any impermissible suggestions that would single out a head. Joanie Surposa Uy vs. Jose Ngo Chua, G.R. No.
person to the attention of the witness making the 183965, September 18, 2009.
identification. However, as held in Teehankee, Jr., the
burden to prove that the out-of-court identification was Jurisdiction; acquisition. Courts acquire jurisdiction over
unduly suggestive rests on the accused. Edgar Mercado vs. the plaintiffs upon the filing of the complaint. On the
People of the Philippines, G.R. No. 161902, September other hand, jurisdiction over the defendants in a civil case
11, 2009. is acquired either through the service of summons upon
them or through their voluntary appearance in court and
Judgment; finality. Once a judgment attains finality, it their submission to its authority. The service of summons is
becomes immutable and unalterable. A final and executory a vital and indispensable ingredient of due process. As a
judgment may no longer be modified in any respect, even rule, if defendants have not been validly summoned, the
if the modification is meant to correct what is perceived court acquires no jurisdiction over their person, and a
to be an erroneous conclusion of fact or law and regardless judgment rendered against them is null and void.
of whether the modification is attempted to be made by
the court rendering it or by the highest court of the land. As a rule, summons should be personally served on the
This is the doctrine of finality of judgment. It is grounded defendant. In case of a domestic private juridical entity,
on fundamental considerations of public policy and sound the service of summons must be made upon an officer who
practice that, at the risk of occasional errors, the is named in the statute (i.e., the president, managing
63
Remedial Law
partner, general manager, corporate secretary, treasurer, of personal service. It is an extraordinary method since it
or in-house counsel), otherwise, the service is insufficient. seeks to bind the respondent or the defendant to the
The purpose is to render it reasonably certain that the consequences of a suit even though notice of such action
corporation will receive prompt and proper notice in an is served not upon him but upon another to whom the law
action against it or to insure that the summons be served could only presume would notify him of the pending
on a representative so integrated with the corporation proceedings.
that such person will know what to do with the legal
papers served on him. However, if the summons cannot be The Court requires that the Sheriff’s Return clearly and
served on the defendant personally within a reasonable convincingly show the impracticability or hopelessness of
period of time, then substituted service may be resorted personal service. Proof of service of summons must (a)
to. indicate the impossibility of service of summons within a
reasonable time; (b) specify the efforts exerted to locate
Nonetheless, the impossibility of prompt personal service the defendant; and (c) state that the summons was served
must be shown by stating that efforts have been made to upon a person of sufficient age and discretion who is
find the defendant personally and that such efforts have residing in the address, or who is in charge of the office or
failed. This is necessary because substituted service is in regular place of business, of the defendant. It is likewise
derogation of the usual method of service. It is a method required that the pertinent facts proving these
extraordinary in character and hence may be used only as circumstances be stated in the proof of service or in the
prescribed and in the circumstances authorized by statute. officer’s return. The failure to comply faithfully, strictly
The statutory requirements of substituted service must be and fully with all the foregoing requirements of
followed strictly, faithfully and fully, and any substituted substituted service renders the service of summons
service other than that authorized by statute is considered ineffective. Alexander Tam Wong vs. Catherine Factor-
ineffective. Koyoma, G.R. No. 183802, September 17, 2009.

In Orion Security Corporation v. Kalfam Enterprises, Inc., Jurisdiction; HLURB. The provisions of P.D No. 957 were
this Court held that in case of substituted service, there intended to encompass all questions regarding subdivisions
should be a report indicating that the person who received and condominiums. The intention was to provide for an
the summons in the defendant’s behalf was one with appropriate government agency, the HLURB, to which all
whom the defendant had a relation of confidence ensuring parties – buyers and sellers of subdivision and
that the latter would actually receive the summons. B.D. condominium units – may seek remedial recourse. The law
Long Span Builders, Inc. vs. R.S. Ampeloquio Realty recognized, too, that subdivision and condominium
Development Inc., G.R. No. 169919, September 11, development involves public interest and welfare and
2009. should be brought to a body, like the HLURB, that has
technical expertise. In the exercise of its powers, the
Jurisdiction; acquisition. Summons is a writ by which the HLURB, on the other hand, is empowered to interpret and
defendant is notified of the action brought against him or apply contracts, and determine the rights of private
her. In a civil action, jurisdiction over the defendant is parties under these contracts. This ancillary power,
acquired either upon a valid service of summons or the generally judicial, is now no longer with the regular courts
defendant’s voluntary appearance in court. When the to the extent that the pertinent HLURB laws provide.
defendant does not voluntarily submit to the court’s
jurisdiction or when there is no valid service of summons, Viewed from this perspective, the HLURB’s jurisdiction
any judgment of the court, which has no jurisdiction over over contractual rights and obligations of parties under
the person of the defendant, is null and void. subdivision and condominium contracts comes out very
clearly. But hand in hand with this definition and grant of
Where the action is in personam, i.e., one that seeks to authority is the provision on criminal penalties for
impose some responsibility or liability directly upon the violations of the Decree, provided under the Decree’s
person of the defendant through the judgment of a court, Section 39, heretofore quoted. Significantly, nothing in
and the defendant is in the Philippines, the service of P.D. No. 957 vests the HLURB with jurisdiction to impose
summons may be made through personal or substituted the Section 39 criminal penalties. What the Decree
service in the manner described in Sections 6 and 7, Rule provides is the authority of the HLURB to impose
14 of the Revised Rules of Court. administrative fines under Section 38, as implemented by
the Rules Implementing the Subdivision and Condominium
It is well-established that a summons upon a respondent or Buyer’s Protective Decree.
a defendant must be served by handing a copy thereof to
him in person or, if he refuses to receive it, by tendering it The Implementing Rules, for their part, clarify that “The
to him. Personal service of summons most effectively implementation and payment of administrative fines shall
ensures that the notice desired under the constitutional not preclude criminal prosecution of the offender under
requirement of due process is accomplished. The essence Section 39 of the Decree.” Thus, the implementing rules
of personal service is the handing or tendering of a copy of themselves expressly acknowledge that two separate
the summons to the defendant himself. remedies with differing consequences may be sought
under the Decree, specifically, the administrative remedy
Under our procedural rules, service of summons in person and criminal prosecution.
of defendants is generally preferred over substituted
service. Substituted service derogates the regular method Unless the contrary appears under other provisions of law
64
Remedial Law
(and in this case no such provision applies), the jurisdiction; (b) where the questions raised in the
determination of the criminal liability lies within the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed
realm of criminal procedure as embodied in the Rules of upon by the lower court, or are the same as those raised
Court. Section 2, Rule 112 of these Rules provide that the and passed upon in the lower court; (c)where there is an
prerogative to determine the existence or non-existence urgent necessity for the resolution of the question and any
of probable cause lies with the persons duly authorized by further delay would prejudice the interests of the
law; as provided in this Rule, they are (a) Provincial or City Government or of the petitioner; (d) where, under the
Prosecutors and their assistants; (b) Judges of the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be
Municipal Trial Courts and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts; useless; (e) where petitioner was deprived of due process
(c) National and Regional State Prosecutors; and (d) other and there is an extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a
officers as may be authorized by law. Sps. Leonardo and criminal case, relief from an order of arrest is urgent and
Milagros Chua vs. Hon. Jacinto G. Ang, et al., G.R. No. the grant of such relief by the trial court is improbable;
156164, September 4, 2009. (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity
for lack of due process; (h) where the proceedings were ex
Minute resolutions. When a minute resolution denies or parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to
dismisses a petition for failure to comply with formal and object; or (i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or
substantive requirements, the challenged decision, where public interest is involved. Sps. Leonardo and
together with its findings of fact and legal conclusions, are Milagros Chua vs. Hon. Jacinto G. Ang, et al., G.R. No.
deemed sustained. But what is its effect on other cases? 156164, September 4, 2009.

With respect to the same subject matter and the same Motion; motion to inhibit. While the rule allows judges, in
issues concerning the same parties, it constitutes res the exercise of sound discretion, to voluntarily inhibit
judicata. However, if other parties or another subject themselves from hearing a case, it provides that the
matter (even with the same parties and issues) is involved, inhibition must be based on just or valid reasons. In prior
the minute resolution is not binding precedent. Thus, in cases interpreting this rule, the most recent of which is
CIR v. Baier-Nickel, the Court noted that a previous case, Philippine Commercial International Bank v. Spouses Wilson
CIR v. Baier-Nickel involving the same parties and the Dy Hong Pi, etc., et al., the Court noted that the mere
same issues, was previously disposed of by the Court thru imputation of bias or partiality is not enough ground for
a minute resolution dated February 17, 2003 sustaining the inhibition, especially when the charge is without basis.
ruling of the CA. Nonetheless, the Court ruled that the Acts or conduct clearly indicative of arbitrariness or
previous case “ha(d) no bearing” on the latter case prejudice has to be shown. Extrinsic evidence must further
because the two cases involved different subject matters be presented to establish bias, bad faith, malice, or
as they were concerned with the taxable income of corrupt purpose, in addition to palpable error which may
different taxable years. be inferred from the decision or order itself. Stated
differently, the bare allegations of the judge’s partiality
Besides, there are substantial, not simply formal, will not suffice in the absence of clear and convincing
distinctions between a minute resolution and a decision. evidence to overcome the presumption that the judge will
The constitutional requirement under the first paragraph undertake his noble role of dispensing justice in
of Section 14, Article VIII of the Constitution that the facts accordance with law and evidence, and without fear or
and the law on which the judgment is based must be favor. Verily, for bias and prejudice to be considered valid
expressed clearly and distinctly applies only to decisions, reasons for the involuntary inhibition of judges, mere
not to minute resolutions. A minute resolution is signed suspicion is not enough. Jimmy L. Barnes a.k.a. James
only by the clerk of court by authority of the justices, Barnes vs. Teresita C. Reyes, et al., G.R. No. 179583,
unlike a decision. It does not require the certification of September 3, 2009.
the Chief Justice. Moreover, unlike decisions, minute
resolutions are not published in the Philippine Reports. Motion; motion to dismiss. In a motion to dismiss for
Finally, the proviso of Section 4(3) of Article VIII speaks of failure to state a cause of action, the focus is on the
a decision. Indeed, as a rule, this Court lays down sufficiency, not the veracity, of the material allegations.
doctrines or principles of law which constitute binding The test of sufficiency of facts alleged in the complaint
precedent in a decision duly signed by the members of the constituting a cause of action lies on whether or not the
Court and certified by the Chief Justice. court, admitting the facts alleged, could render a valid
verdict in accordance with the prayer of the complaint.
Accordingly, since petitioner was not a party in G.R. No. And to sustain a motion to dismiss for lack of cause of
148680 and since petitioner’s liability for DST on its health action, it must be shown that the claim for relief in the
care agreement was not the subject matter of G.R. No. complaint does not exist, rather than that a claim has
148680, petitioner cannot successfully invoke the minute been defectively stated, or is ambiguous, indefinite, or
resolution in that case (which is not even binding uncertain. Alice Vitangcol and Norberto Vitangcol vs.
precedent) in its favor. Philippine Health Providers, Inc. New Vista Properties, Inc., et al., G.R. No. 176014,
vs. Commissioner of Internal Revenue, G.R. No. September 17, 2009.
167330, September 18, 2009.
Motion to dismiss; lack of cause of action. The Rules of
Motion; motion for reconsideration. A prior motion for Court defines “cause of action” as the act or omission by
reconsideration is unnecessary: (a) where the order is a which a party violates a right of another. It contains three
patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no elements: (1) a right existing in favor of the plaintiff; (2) a
65
Remedial Law
correlative duty on the part of the defendant to respect despite the denial of De Guzman’s motion for
that right; and (3) a breach of the defendant’s duty. It is, reconsideration, we still entertained his Omnibus Motion,
thus, only upon the occurrence of the last element that a which was actually a second motion for reconsideration.
cause of action arises, giving the plaintiff a right to file an Eventually, we reconsidered our earlier decision and
action in court for recovery of damages or other relief. remanded the case to the Sandiganbayan for reception
and appreciation of petitioner’s evidence. In that case, we
Lack of cause of action is, however, not a ground for a said that if we would not compassionately bend backwards
dismissal of the complaint through a motion to dismiss and flex technicalities, petitioner would surely experience
under Rule 16 of the Rules of Court, for the determination the disgrace and misery of incarceration for a crime which
of a lack of cause of action can only be made during he might not have committed after all. Also in Astorga v.
and/or after trial. What is dismissible via that mode is People, on a second motion for reconsideration, we set
failure of the complaint to state a cause of action. Sec. aside our earlier decision, re-examined the records of the
1(g) of Rule 16 of the Rules of Court provides that a case, then finally acquitted Benito Astorga of the crime of
motion may be made on the ground “that the pleading Arbitrary Detention on the ground of reasonable doubt.
asserting the claim states no cause of action.” And in Sta. Rosa Realty Development Corporation v.
Amante,[by virtue of the January 13, 2004 En Banc
The rule is that in a motion to dismiss, a defendant Resolution, the Court authorized the Special First Division
hypothetically admits the truth of the material allegations to suspend the Rules, so as to allow it to consider and
of the ultimate facts contained in the plaintiff’s resolve respondent’s second motion for reconsideration
complaint. When a motion to dismiss is grounded on the after the motion was heard on oral arguments. After a re-
failure to state a cause of action, a ruling thereon should, examination of the merits of the case, we granted the
as rule, be based only on the facts alleged in the second motion for reconsideration and set aside our
complaint. However, this principle of hypothetical earlier decision. Sr. Inspector Jerry Valeroso vs. Court of
admission admits of exceptions. Among others, there is no Appeals and People of the Philippines, G.R. No.
hypothetical admission of conclusions or interpretations of 164815, September 3, 2009
law which are false; legally impossible facts; facts
inadmissible in evidence; facts which appear by record or Parties; indispensable parties. The petitioner did not join
document included in the pleadings to be unfounded; the People of the Philippines as a party in his action for
allegations which the court will take judicial notice are certiorari in the Court of Appeals. He thereby ignored that
not true; and where the motion to dismiss was heard with the People of the Philippines were indispensable parties
submission of evidence which discloses facts sufficient to due to his objective being to set aside the trial court’s
defeat the claim. Alice Vitangcol and Norberto Vitangcol order dated May 23, 2001 that concerned the public aspect
vs. New Vista Properties, Inc., et al., G.R. No. 176014, of Criminal Case No. 95-145703. The omission was fatal
September 17, 2009. and already enough cause for the summary rejection of his
petition for certiorari.
Motion; motive to intervene. The purpose of
intervention is to enable a stranger to an action to become The petitioner did not also obtain the consent of the
a party to protect his interest, and the court, incidentally, Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) to his petition for
to settle all conflicting claims. The spouses Vaca are not certiorari. At the very least, he should have furnished a
strangers to the action. Their legal interest in the copy of the petition for certiorari to the OSG prior to the
litigation springs from the sale of the subject property by filing thereof, but even that he did not do. Thereby, he
petitioner in their favor during the pendency of this case. violated Section 35(l), Chapter 12, Title III of Book IV of
As transferee pendente lite, the spouses Vaca are the Executive Order No. 292 (The Administrative Code of
successors-in-interest of the transferor, the petitioner, 1987), which mandates the OSG to represent “the
who is already a party to the action. Thus, the applicable Government in the Supreme Court and the Court of
provision is Section 19, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, Appeals in all criminal proceedings; represent the
governing transfers of interest pendente lite. Associated Government and its officers in the Supreme Court, the
Bank (now United Overseas Bank [Phils.]) vs. Spouses Court of Appeals, and all other courts or tribunals in all
Rafael and Monaliza Pronstroller/Spouses Eduardo and civil actions and special proceedings in which the
Ma. Pilar Vaca (Intervenors), G.R. No. 148444, Government or any officer thereof in his official capacity
September 3, 2009. is a party.”

Motion; second motion for reconsideration. The Letter- Although the petition for certiorari bore the conformity of
Appeal is actually in the nature of a second motion for the public prosecutor (i.e., Assistant City Prosecutor
reconsideration. While a second motion for Danilo Formoso of Manila), that conformity alone did not
reconsideration is, as a general rule, a prohibited suffice. The authority of the City Prosecutor or his
pleading, it is within the sound discretion of the Court to assistant to appear for and represent the People of the
admit the same, provided it is filed with prior leave Philippines was confined only to the proceedings in the
whenever substantive justice may be better served trial court. Jowett K. Golango vs. Jone B. Fung, G.R.
thereby. No. 157952, September 8, 2009.

This is not the first time that this Court is suspending its Parties; real party in interest. The AREM was executed by
own rules or excepting a particular case from the Antonio, with the marital consent of Matilde. Since the
operation of the rules. In De Guzman v. Sandiganbayan, mortgaged property is presumed conjugal, she is obliged
66
Remedial Law
principally under the AREM. It is thus she, following Art. precludes another action for annulment of auction sale.
1397 of the Civil Code vis a vis Sec. 2 of Rule 3 of the Rules
[11] Hence, the September 8, 1986 decision of the RTC
of Court, who is the real party in interest, hence, the Branch 93 in LRC Case No. Q-3458(86) barred the
action must be prosecuted in her name as she stands to be institution of Civil Case No. Q-50553. The RTC Branch 104
benefited or injured in the action. should have dismissed the latter on the ground of res
judicata. Spouses Hu Chuan Hai and Leonica Lim Hu vs.
Assuming that Matilde is indeed incapacitated, it is her Spouses Renato Unico and Maria Aurora J. Unico, G.R.
legal guardian who should file the action on her behalf. No. 146534, September 18, 2009.
Not only is there no allegation in the complaint, however,
that respondents have been legally designated as Res judicata. Res judicata exists when the following
guardians to file the action on her behalf. The name of elements are present: (a) the former judgment must be
Matilde, who is deemed the real party in interest, has not final; (b) the court that rendered it had jurisdiction over
been included in the title of the case, in violation of Sec. the parties and the subject matter; (c) it must be a
3 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court. Equitable PCI Bank, Inc judgment on the merits; and (d) there must be — between
(now known as Banco De Oro-EPCI, Inc.) vs. Heirs of the first and the second actions — identity of parties,
Antonio C. Tiu, et al., G.R. No. 178529, September 4, subject matter, and cause of action.
2009.
Emphasis must be given to the fact that CA-G.R. No. 92474
Parties; substitution. According to Section 16, Rule 3 of was dismissed based on pure technicalities and not on the
the Revised Rules of Court, a counsel, within 30 days from merits, to wit: (1) therein petitioners’ (now private
his client’s death, is duty-bound to inform the court of respondent’s) counsels failed to indicate their respective
such fact, and to submit the name/s and address/es of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) Official Receipt
deceased client’s legal representative/s. Thereafter, the numbers, in violation of Bar Matter No. 1132; (2) the
court shall order, forthwith, the appearance of and Petition did not contain an affidavit of service, as required
substitution by the deceased party’s legal representative/s by Section 13, Rule 13 and Section 5, Rule 43, of the Rules
within another period of 30 days from notice. of Procedure, as proof that copy of the said Petition had
been served on the adverse party; (3) the Petition does
We emphasize that the purpose behind Section 16, Rule 3 not contain any explanation of why a personal service
of the Revised Rules of Procedure is the protection of the upon therein private respondent (now petitioner) was not
right to due process of every party to a litigation who may resorted to pursuant to Section 11, Rule 13; and therein
be affected by the intervening death. The deceased petitioners failed to furnish the Ombudsman and the
litigant is himself or herself protected, as he/she Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) with a copy of their
continues to be properly represented in the suit through Petition.
the duly appointed legal representative of his estate. The
spirit behind the general rule requiring a formal Clearly from the foregoing, the dismissal of CA-G.R. SP No.
substitution of heirs is “not really because substitution of 92474 was based on sheer technicality. Since no judgment
heirs is a jurisdictional requirement, but because non- on the merits was rendered after consideration of the
compliance therewith results in the undeniable violation evidence or stipulation submitted by the parties at the
of the right to due process of those who, though not duly trial of the case, it falls short of one of the essential
notified of the proceedings, are substantially affected by requisites of res judicata, that the judgment should be
the decision rendered therein.” Edwino A. Torres one on the merits. Edgardo H. Catindig vs. People of the
(deceased), represented and substitute by Alfonso P. Philippines, et al., G.R. No. 183141, September 18,
Torres III, et al., G.R. No. 177836, September 4, 2009. 2009.

Provisional relief. The order to deposit the lease rentals Res judicata. The doctrine of res judicata is a rule that
with the trial court is in the nature of a provisional relief pervades every well- regulated system of jurisprudence
designed to protect and preserve the rights of the parties and is founded upon two grounds embodied in various
while the main action is being litigated. Contrary to the maxims of the common law, namely: (1) public policy and
findings of the Court of Appeals, such an order may be necessity, which makes it in the interest of the State that
issued even prior to the determination of the issue of co- there should be an end to litigation, interest reipublicae
ownership because it is precisely meant to preserve the ut sit finis litium, and (2) the hardship of the individual
rights of the parties until such time that the court finally that he should be vexed twice for the same cause, nemo
determines who is lawfully entitled thereto. It does not debet bis vexari pro eadem causa.
follow, however, that the subject order in this case should
be sustained. Like all other interlocutory orders issued by For res judicata, to serve as an absolute bar to a
a trial court, the subject order must not suffer from the subsequent action, the following requisites must concur:
vice of grave abuse of discretion. As will be discussed (1) there must be a final judgment or order; (2) the court
hereunder, special and compelling circumstances constrain rendering it must have jurisdiction over the subject matter
the Court to hold that the subject order was tainted with and the parties; (3) it must be a judgment or order on the
grave abuse of discretion. Wilson A. Go vs. Harry A. Go, merits; and (4) there must be, between the two cases,
G.R. No. 183546, September 18, 2009. identity of parties, subject matter, and causes of action.
Joanie Surposa Uy vs. Jose Ngo Chua, G.R. No. 183965,
Res judicata. The decision of a land registration court in a September 18, 2009.
petition for consolidation of ownership and registration
67
Remedial Law
Rule 45. Clearly, a party may directly appeal to this Court
from a decision or final order or resolution of the trial (9) When the facts set forth in the petition as well as in
court on pure questions of law. A question of law lies, on the petitioners’ main and reply briefs are not disputed by
one hand, when the doubt or difference arises as to what the respondents; and
the law is on a certain set of facts; a question of fact
exists, on the other hand, when the doubt or difference (10) When the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are
arises as to the truth or falsehood of the alleged facts. premised on the supposed absence of evidence and
Here, the facts are not disputed; the controversy merely contradicted by the evidence on record.
relates to the correct application of the law or
jurisprudence to the undisputed facts. Joanie Surposa Uy As a rule, only questions of law are entertained by this
vs. Jose Ngo Chua, G.R. No. 183965, September 18, Court in petitions for review on certiorari under Rule 45. It
2009. is not our function to analyze or weigh all over again the
evidence presented. It is a settled doctrine that in a civil
Rule 45. The proper remedy of a party aggrieved by a case, final and conclusive are the factual findings of the
decision of the Court of Appeals is a petition for review trial court, but only if supported by clear and convincing
under Rule 45, which is not identical to a petition for evidence on record.
certiorari under Rule 65. Rule 45 provides that decisions,
final orders or resolutions of the Court of Appeals in any In this case, the findings of the Court of Appeals are
case, i.e., regardless of the nature of the action or contrary to the findings of the RTC. Hence, a review
proceedings involved, may be appealed to us by filing a thereof is in order. Manila Electric Company vs. Aguida
petition for review, which would be but a continuation of Vda. De Santiago, G.R. No. 170482, September 4, 2009;
the appellate process over the original case. Thus, see also Malayan Insurance Co., Inc. vs. Jardine Davies
petitioner should have filed a petition for review under Transport Services, Inc. and Asian Terminals, Inc., G.R.
Rule 45 instead of a special civil action for certiorari under No. 181300, September 18, 2009.
Rule 65.
Rule 45. It is well-settled that the proper recourse of an
Petitioner’s argument that a petition for certiorari is the aggrieved party to assail the decision of the Court of
proper remedy since the CA had no jurisdiction to Appeals is to file a petition for review on certiorari under
entertain the petition for certiorari filed before it as the Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The Rules precludes
petition was filed beyond the 60-day period for filing the recourse to the special civil action of certiorari if appeal,
same deserves scant consideration. There is no reason why by way of a petition for review is available, as the
such issue could not have been raised on appeal. Emcor, remedies of appeal and certiorari are mutually exclusive
Incorporated vs. Ma. Lourdes D. Sienes, G.R. No. and not alternative or successive.
152101, September 8, 2009.
For a writ of certiorari to issue, a petitioner must not only
Rule 45. Well-settled is the rule that the Supreme Court is prove that the tribunal, board or officer exercising judicial
not a trier of facts. When supported by substantial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess
evidence, the findings of fact of the Court of Appeals are of jurisdiction but must also show that he has no plain,
conclusive and binding on the parties and are not speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
reviewable by this Court, unless the case falls under any of law. Certiorari cannot be used as a substitute for a lost
the following recognized exceptions: appeal. Though there are instances when certiorari was
granted despite the availability of appeal, none of these
(1) When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on recognized exceptions was shown to be present in the case
speculation, surmises and conjectures; at bar. Tacloban Far East Marketing Corporation, et al.
vs. The Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No. 182320,
(2) When the inference made is manifestly mistaken, September 11, 2009.
absurd or impossible;
Rule 47. Annulment of Judgment under Rule 47 of the
(3) Where there is a grave abuse of discretion; Rules of Court is a recourse equitable in character and
allowed only in exceptional cases where the ordinary
(4) When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other
facts; appropriate remedies are no longer available through no
fault of petitioner. Section 2 of the said Rule provides that
(5) When the findings of fact are conflicting; the annulment may be based only on the grounds of
extrinsic fraud and lack of jurisdiction, although
(6) When the Court of Appeals, in making its findings, went jurisprudence recognizes denial of due process as an
beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to additional ground. City Government of Tagaytay vs. Hon.
the admissions of both appellant and appellee; Eleuterio F. Guerrero, etc. et al./Ameurfina Melencio-
Herrera, et al. vs. Hon. Eleuterio F. Guerrero, etc., et
(7) When the findings are contrary to those of the trial al., G.R. Nos. 140743 & G.R. No. 140745/G.R. No.
court; 141451-52, September 17, 2009.

(8) When the findings of fact are conclusions without Rule 47. In this case, the Melencios allege extrinsic fraud
citation of specific evidence on which they are based; on the part of petitioner City of Tagaytay for its failure to
68
Remedial Law
implead them in Civil Case No. TG-1196. They allege that certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to prosper,
they are indispensable parties to the case, considering TACC must show that (1) the LLDA acted without or in
that have vested rights to protect, being purchasers of the excess of its jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion
subject parcels of land. Sadly, this contention does not amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction and (2) there is
persuade. no appeal or a plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the
ordinary course of law.
Extrinsic fraud refers to any fraudulent act of the
prevailing party in the litigation which is committed The plain and adequate remedy referred to in Section 1 of
outside of the trial of the case, whereby the unsuccessful Rule 65 is a motion for reconsideration of the assailed
party has been prevented from exhibiting fully his case, by decision. The purpose of this requirement is to enable the
fraud or deception practiced on him by his opponent. The court or agency to rectify its mistakes without the
fraud or deceit cannot be of the losing party’s own doing, intervention of a higher court. To dispense with this
nor must such party contribute to it. The extrinsic fraud requirement, there must be a concrete, compelling, and
must be employed against it by the adverse party, who, valid reason for the failure to comply with the
because of some trick, artifice, or device, naturally requirement. Petitioner may not arrogate to itself the
prevails in the suit. It affects not the judgment itself but determination of whether a motion for reconsideration is
the manner in which the said judgment is obtained. necessary or not.[29]

Extrinsic fraud is also present where the unsuccessful In the present case, TACC did not file a motion for
party has been prevented by his opponent from exhibiting reconsideration of the 4 September 2003 Order. TACC also
fully his case by keeping the former away from court or failed to show sufficient compelling and valid reason to
giving him a false promise of a compromise; or where the dispense with the requirement of filing a motion for
defendant never had knowledge of the suit, having been reconsideration. Hence, we agree with the Court of
kept in ignorance by the acts of the plaintiff; or where an Appeals that the petition for certiorari was prematurely
attorney fraudulently or without authority assumed to filed before it. The Alexandra Condominium Corporation
represent a party and connived at his defeat; or where the vs. Laguna Lake Development Authority, G.R. No.
attorney regularly employed corruptly sold out his client’s 169228. September 11, 2009
interest to the other side. The overriding consideration is
that the fraudulent scheme of the prevailing litigant Rule 65; requisites. For a Petition for Certiorari under
prevented a party from having his day in court. Rule 65 of the Rules of Court to prosper, the following
requisites must be present: (1) the writ is directed against
In the instant case, we find that the action or inaction of a tribunal, a board or an officer exercising judicial or
the City of Tagaytay does not amount to extrinsic fraud. quasi-judicial functions; (2) such tribunal, board or officer
The City of Tagaytay is not the prevailing party in the has acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave
assailed decision. Moreover, the Melencios were not totally abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of
without fault in protecting their interest. They were aware jurisdiction; and (3) there is no appeal or any plain,
of the pendency of Civil Case No. TG-1196, as shown by speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of
their filing of a motion to intervene in the case. When law.
their motion was denied by the trial court, they no longer
pursued their cause. City Government of Tagaytay vs. There is grave abuse of discretion “when there is a
Hon. Eleuterio F. Guerrero, etc. et al./Ameurfina capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is
Melencio-Herrera, et al. vs. Hon. Eleuterio F. Guerrero, equivalent to lack of jurisdiction, such as where the power
etc., et al., G.R. Nos. 140743 & G.R. No. 140745/G.R. is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic manner by reason
No. 141451-52, September 17, 2009. of passion or personal hostility, and it must be so patent
and gross so as to amount to an evasion of positive duty or
Rule 47. The remedy of annulment of judgment cannot be to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined or to act
availed of in criminal cases. Francisco R. Llamas, et al. at all in contemplation of law.”
vs. The Honorable Court of Appeals, et al., G.R. No.
149588, September 29, 2009. On the other hand, Rule 45 of the Rules of Court pertains
to a Petition for Review on Certiorari, whereby “a party
Rule 65; grave abuse. Grave abuse of discretion implies desiring to appeal by certiorari from a judgment, final
capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment amounting order or resolution of the x x x the Regional Trial Court x x
to lack of jurisdiction, or arbitrary and despotic exercise x, may file with the Supreme Court a verified petition for
of power because of passion or personal hostility. It must review on certiorari. The petition may include an
be as patent and gross as to amount to an evasion or application for a writ of preliminary injunction or other
refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. It is absent in provisional remedies and shall raise only questions of law,
this case. Kei Marie and Bianca Angelica both surnamed which must be distinctly set forth.”
Abrera, minors, represented by their parents Evelyn C.
Abrera, et al. vs. Hon. Romeo F. Barza, in his capacity as A perusal of the petition referred to the Court of Appeals
Presiding Judge of Regional Trial Court, Branch 61, lays bare the fact that the same was undoubtedly a
Makati City and College Assurance Plan Philippines, Inc., Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the
G.R. No. 171681. September 11, 2009 Rules of Court. Not only does the title of the Petition
indicate it as such, but a close reading of the issues and
Rule 65; motion for reconsideration. For a petition for allegations set forth therein also discloses that it involved
69
Remedial Law
pure questions of law. A question of law arises when there procedural rules, such as: (a) matters of life, liberty,
is doubt as to what the law is on a certain state of facts. honor or property; (b) the existence of special or
For a question to be one of law, the same must not involve compelling circumstances; (c) the merits of the case; (d) a
an examination of the probative value of the evidence cause not entirely attributable to the fault or negligence
presented by the litigants or any of them. The resolution of the party favored by the suspension of the rules; (e) a
of the issue must rest solely on what the law provides on lack of any showing that the review sought is merely
the given set of circumstances. The Court of Appeals, frivolous and dilatory; and (f) the fact that the other party
thus, could not fault Camarines Sur for failing to allege, will not be unjustly prejudiced thereby.
much less prove, grave abuse of discretion amounting to
lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of the RTC when Herein, BPI instituted Civil Case No. 03-281 before the RTC
such is not required for a Petition for Review on Certiorari. to recover the amount it had lent to Dando, plus interest
and penalties thereon, clearly, a matter of property. The
Likewise, the doctrine that certiorari cannot be resorted substantive right of BPI to recover a due and demandable
to as a substitute for the lost remedy of appeal applies obligation cannot be denied or diminished by a rule of
only when a party actually files a Petition forCertiorari procedure, more so, since Dando admits that he did avail
under Rule 65 in lieu of a Petition for Review under Rule himself of the credit line extended by FEBTC, the
45, since the latter remedy was already lost through the predecessor-in-interest of BPI, and disputes only the
fault of the petitioning party. In the instant case, amount of his outstanding liability to BPI. To dismiss Civil
Camarines Sur actually filed a Petition for Review under Case No. 03-281 with prejudice and, thus, bar BPI from
Rule 45; the Court of Appeals only mistook the same for a recovering the amount it had lent to Dando would be to
Petition for Certiorari under Rule 65. Province of unjustly enrich Dando at the expense of BPI.
Camarines Sur, represented by Governor Luis Raymund
F. Villafuerte, Jr. vs. Hon. Court of Appeals and City of The counsel of BPI invokes “heavy pressures of work” to
Naga, represented by Mayor Jesse M. Robredo, G.R. No. explain his failure to file the Pre-Trial Brief with the RTC
175064, September 18, 2009. and to serve a copy thereof to Dando at least three days
prior to the scheduled Pre-Trial Conference. True, in Olave
Rule 65; availability of appeal. Considering that an appeal v. Mistas, we did not find “heavy pressures of work” as
was still available as a remedy for the assailed Orders of sufficient justification for the failure of therein
the RTC, and that the case did not fall within the respondents’ counsel to timely move for pre-trial.
exceptions, the filing of the petition for certiorari was an However, unlike the respondents in Olave, the failure of
attempted substitute for an appeal, after respondent BPI to file its Pre-Trial Brief with the RTC and provide
failed to avail itself of the latter remedy. Necessarily, it Dando with a copy thereof within the prescribed period
must be noted that the petition for certiorari was filed on under Section 1, Rule 18 of the Rules of Court, was the
August 28, 2007 when the questioned RTC Orders had first and, so far, only procedural lapse committed by the
already attained finality. The Order became final when bank in Civil Case No. 03-281. BPI did not manifest an
respondent Financiera received the RTC Order of June 18, evident pattern or scheme to delay the disposition of the
2007 denying the former’s motion for reconsideration on case or a wanton failure to observe a mandatory
June 29, 2007. Instead of filing a notice of appeal within requirement of the Rules. In fact, BPI, for the most part,
the reglementary period lasting until July 14, 2007, exhibited diligence and reasonable dispatch in prosecuting
respondent filed a petition for certiorari, way beyond the its claim against Dando by immediately moving to set Civil
reglementary period. Hence, the CA had no jurisdiction to Case No. 03-281 for Pre-Trial Conference after its receipt
decide the said petition for certiorari. Simeon M. Valdez of Dando’s Answer to the Complaint; and in
vs. Financiera Manila Inc., G.R. No. 183387, September instantaneously filing a Motion for Reconsideration of the
29, 2009. 10 October 2003 Order of the RTC dismissing Civil Case No.
03-281.
Rules of procedure; deportation. Deportation proceedings
are administrative in character, summary in nature, and Accordingly, the ends of justice and fairness would be best
need not be conducted strictly in accordance with the served if the parties to Civil Case No. 03-281 are given the
rules of ordinary court proceedings. The essence of due full opportunity to thresh out the real issues and litigate
process is simply an opportunity to be heard, or as applied their claims in a full-blown trial. Besides, Dando would not
to administrative proceedings, an opportunity to explain be prejudiced should the RTC proceed with the hearing of
one’s side or an opportunity to seek reconsideration of the Civil Case No. 03-281, as he is not stripped of any
action or ruling complained of. As long as the parties are affirmative defenses nor deprived of due process of law.
given the opportunity to be heard before judgment is Bank of the Philippine Islands vs. Domingo R. Dando,
rendered, the demands of due process are sufficiently G.R. No. 177456, September 4, 2009.
met. Carlos T. Go., Sr. vs. Luis T. Ramos/Jimmy T. Go vs.
Luis T. Ramos/Hon. Alipio F. Fernandez, etc., et al. vs. Rule of procedure; relaxation. While it is true that the
Jimmy T. Go a.k.a. Jaime T. Gaisano, G.R. No. Court may treat a Petition for Certiorari as having been
167569/G.R. No. 167570/G.R. No. 171946, September filed under Rule 45 in the interest of substantial justice,
4, 2009. the present petition could not be given the same leniency
because it was filed beyond the 15-day reglementary
Rules of procedure; relaxation. In Sanchez v. Court of period within which to file a petition for review on
Appeals, the Court restated the reasons that may provide certiorari. The records of the case show that petitioners
justification for a court to suspend a strict adherence to received a copy of the January 24, 2008 Resolution of the
70
Remedial Law
Court of Appeals denying the motion for reconsideration Spouses Leonardo and Iluminada Goli-Cruz, et al., G.R.
on February 5, 2008. Instead of filing a petition for review No. 172217, September 18, 2009.
on certiorari within 15 days from receipt thereof,
petitioners waited for two months before filing the instant Unlawful detainer. In the instant case, respondent’s
petition. Accordingly, the decision of the Court of Appeals allegations in the complaint clearly make a case for an
had already become final and executory and beyond the unlawful detainer, essential to confer jurisdiction on the
purview of this Court to act upon. The inescapable MTC over the subject matter. Respondent alleged that she
conclusion is that the present petition was filed belatedly was the owner of the land as shown by Original Certificate
to make up for a lost appeal. of Title No. 111999 issued by the Register of Deeds of
Pampanga; that the land had been declared for taxation
Search; warrantless. When an arrest is made, it is purposes and she had been paying the taxes thereon; that
reasonable for the arresting officer to search the person petitioners’ entry and construction of their houses were
arrested in order to remove any weapon that the latter tolerated as they are relatives; and that she sent on
might use in order to resist arrest or effect his escape. January 12, 2004 a letter demanding that petitioners
Otherwise, the officer’s safety might well be endangered, vacate the property but they failed and refused to do so.
and the arrest itself frustrated. In addition, it is entirely The complaint for unlawful detainer was filed on June 9,
reasonable for the arresting officer to search for and seize 2004, or within one year from the time the last demand to
any evidence on the arrestee’s person in order to prevent vacate was made.
its concealment or destruction.
It is settled that as long as these allegations demonstrate a
Moreover, in lawful arrests, it becomes both the duty and cause of action for unlawful detainer, the court acquires
the right of the apprehending officers to conduct a jurisdiction over the subject matter. This principle holds,
warrantless search not only on the person of the suspect, even if the facts proved during the trial do not support the
but also in the permissible area within the latter’s reach. cause of action thus alleged, in which instance the court –
Otherwise stated, a valid arrest allows the seizure of after acquiring jurisdiction – may resolve to dismiss the
evidence or dangerous weapons either on the person of action for insufficiency of evidence. Rodolfo “Rudy”
the one arrested or within the area of his immediate Canlas, et al. vs. Iluminada Tubil, G.R. No. 184285,
control. The phrase “within the area of his immediate September 25, 2009.
control” means the area from within which he might gain
possession of a weapon or destructible evidence. A gun on Writ of habeas corpus. A petition for the issuance of a writ
a table or in a drawer in front of one who is arrested can of habeas corpus is a special proceeding governed by Rule
be as dangerous to the arresting officer as one concealed 102 of the Revised Rules of Court. The objective of the
in the clothing of the person arrested. Sr. Inspector Jerry writ is to determine whether the confinement or detention
Valeroso vs. Court of Appeals and People of the is valid or lawful. If it is, the writ cannot be issued. What
Philippines, G.R. No. 164815. September 3, 2009 is to be inquired into is the legality of a person’s detention
as of, at the earliest, the filing of the application for the
Search; plain view. The “plain view doctrine” may not be writ of habeas corpus, for even if the detention is at its
used to launch unbridled searches and indiscriminate inception illegal, it may, by reason of some supervening
seizures or to extend a general exploratory search made events, such as the instances mentioned in Section 4 of
solely to find evidence of defendant’s guilt. The doctrine Rule 102, be no longer illegal at the time of the filing of
is usually applied where a police officer is not searching the application.
for evidence against the accused, but nonetheless
inadvertently comes across an incriminating object. Sr. Once a person detained is duly charged in court, he may
Inspector Jerry Valeroso vs. Court of Appeals and People no longer question his detention through a petition for
of the Philippines, G.R. No. 164815. September 3, 2009 issuance of a writ of habeas corpus. His remedy would be
to quash the information and/or the warrant of arrest duly
Unlawful detainer. The necessary allegations in a issued. The writ of habeas corpus should not be allowed
complaint for ejectment are set forth in Section 1, Rule 70 after the party sought to be released had been charged
of the Rules of Court. Petitioners alleged that the former before any court. The term “court” in this context
owner (Estanislao, their predecessor) allowed respondents includes quasi-judicial bodies of governmental agencies
to live on the land. They also stated that they purchased authorized to order the person’s confinement, like the
the property on December 15, 1999 and then found Deportation Board of the Bureau of Immigration. Likewise,
respondents occupying the property. Yet they demanded the cancellation of his bail cannot be assailed via a
that respondents vacate only on March 2, 2001. It can be petition for habeas corpus. When an alien is detained by
gleaned from their allegations that they had in fact the Bureau of Immigration for deportation pursuant to an
permitted or tolerated respondents’ occupancy. order of deportation by the Deportation Board, the
Regional Trial Courts have no power to release such alien
Based on the allegations in petitioners’ complaint, it is on bail even in habeas corpus proceedings because there is
apparent that such is a complaint for unlawful detainer no law authorizing it.
based on possession by tolerance of the owner.[19]It is a
settled rule that in order to justify such an action, the Given that Jimmy has been duly charged before the Board,
owner’s permission or tolerance must be present at the and in fact ordered arrested pending his deportation,
beginning of the possession. Such jurisdictional facts are coupled by this Court’s pronouncement that the Board was
present here. Spouses Lydia Flores-Cruz, et al. vs. not ousted of its jurisdiction to continue with the
71
Remedial Law
deportation proceedings, the petition for habeas corpus is
rendered moot and academic. This being so, we find it
unnecessary to touch on the other arguments advanced by
respondents regarding the same subject. Carlos T. Go., Sr.
vs. Luis T. Ramos/Jimmy T. Go vs. Luis T. Ramos/Hon.
Alipio F. Fernandez, etc., et al. vs. Jimmy T. Go a.k.a.
Jaime T. Gaisano, G.R. No. 167569/G.R. No.
167570/G.R. No. 171946, September 4, 2009.

72