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PHILIPPINE GUARDIANS BROTHERHOOD, INC. (PGBI), represented by its Secretary-General GEORGE "FGBF GEORGE" DULDULAO, Petitioner, vs.

COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS, Respondent. FACTS For the upcoming May 2010 elections, the COMELEC en banc issued on October 13, 2009 Resolution No. 8679 deleting several party-list groups or organizations from the list of registered national, regional or sectoral parties, organizations or coalitions. Among the party-list organizations affected was PGBI. It was delisted because it failed to get 2% of the votes cast in 2004 and it did not participate in the 2007 elections. Nevertheless, the COMELEC stated in this Resolution that any national, regional sectoral party or organizations or coalitions adversely affected can personally or through its authorized representative file a verified opposition on October 26, 2009. Resolution No. 8679 was based on Section 6(8) of Republic Act No. 7941 (RA 7941), otherwise known as the Party-List System Act, provides: Section 6.Removal and/or Cancellation of Registration. The COMELEC may motuproprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition on any of the following grounds: x xxx (8) It fails to participate in the last two (2) preceding elections or fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two (2) preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered. PGBI filed its Opposition to Resolution No. 8679, but likewise sought, through its pleading, the admission ad cautelam of its petition for accreditation as a party-list organization under the Party-List System Act. Among other arguments, PGBI asserted that: The COMELEC denied PGBI s motion/opposition for lack of merit. ISSUE Whether there is legal basis for delisting PGBI. HELD No. The law is clear. The COMELEC may motuproprio or upon verified complaint of any interested party, remove or cancel, after due notice and hearing, the registration of any national, regional or sectoral party, organization or coalition if it: (a) fails to participate in the last two preceding elections or (b) fails to obtain at least two per centum (2%) of the votes cast under the party-list system in the two preceding elections for the constituency in which it has registered. The word "or" is a disjunctive term signifying disassociation and independence of one thing from the other things enumerated. It should, as a rule, be construed in the sense in which it ordinarily implies, as a disjunctive word. Thus, the plain, clear and unmistakable language of the law provides for two (2) separate reasons for delisting.

FRANCISCO N. VILLANUEVA, JR., petitioner, vs. THE HON. COURT OF APPEALS and ROQUE VILLADORES, respondents. FACTS It appears that petitioner Villanueva, Jr. filed a complaint for illegal dismissal against several parties, among them, IBC 13. When the labor arbiter ruled in favor of petitioner Villanueva, Jr., IBC 13 appealed to the National Labor Relations Commission (NLRC). As an appeal bond, IBC 13 filed Surety Bond No. G (16) 00136 issued by BF General Insurance Company, Inc. (BF) with the Confirmation Letter dated September 20, 1993 supposedly issued by BF s Vice-President. However, both documents were subsequently found to be falsified. The two complaints for falsification of public document were filed before the Manila City Prosecutor s Office. The charges against respondent Villadores and Atty. Eulalio Diaz III were dismissed by the City Prosecutor s Office which, however, found probable cause against the other respondents. Nonetheless, the Department of Justice affirmed the dismissal against Diaz but ordered the inclusion of respondent Villadores as an accused in the two criminal cases. Accordingly, the original informations were amended to include respondent Villadores among those charged. Following the arraignment of respondent Villadores, the private prosecutor, Rico and Associates, filed anew a Motion to Admit Amended Informations alleging damages sustained by private complainant, herein petitioner Villanueva, Jr., as a result of the crimes committed by the accused. The incident was referred to the City Prosecutor s Office by the trial court. The Motion was granted by the trial court and the amended informations were admitted. Respondent Villadores subsequently filed a Manifestation and/or Motion for Reconsideration but the same was denied. Thus, respondent Villadores filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. In a Decision dated June 22, 1998, the appellate court, acting thru its Eleventh Division, found that the trial court committed no grave abuse of discretion in admitting the amended informations and dismissed the petition of respondent Villadores. Subsequently, before Branch 41 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila, respondent Villadores moved for the disqualification of Rico and Associates as private prosecutor for petitioner Villanueva, Jr., in line with the following pronouncement of the appellate court in CA-G.R. SP No. 46103. Rico and Associates opposed said motion on the ground that the above-quoted pronouncement of the appellate court is a mere obiter dictum.On April 12, 2000, the appellate court rendered its now challenged decision which reversed and set aside the Orders of the trial court. The appellate court directed that the name of petitioner Villanueva, Jr., appearing as the offended party in Criminal Cases Nos. 94-138744-45 be stricken out from the records. ISSUE Whether or not the pronouncement of the appellate court in CA-G.R. SP No. 46103 to the effect that petitioner Villanueva, Jr. is not an offended party in Criminal Cases Nos. 94-138744-45 is obiter dictum.

HELD NO. The pronouncement of the appellate court in CA-G.R. SP No. 46103 is not an obiter dictum as it touched upon a matter clearly raised by respondent Villadores in his petition assailing the admission of the Amended Informations. Among the issues upon which the petition for certiorari in CAG.R. SP No. 46103 was anchored, was whether Francisco N. Villanueva, Jr. is the offended party. Argument on whether petitioner Villanueva, Jr. was the offended party was, thus, clearly raised by respondent Villadores. The body of the decision contains discussion on that point and it clearly mentioned certain principles of law.

Cynthia S. BOLOS, Petitioner V. Danilo T. BOLOS, Respondent FACTS On July 10, 2003, petitioner Cynthia Bolos filed a petition for the declaration of nullity of her marriage celebrated on February 14, 1980 to respondent Danilo Bolos under Article 36 of the Family Code. After trial on the merits, the RTC granted the petition for annulment in a Decision, dated August 2, 2006. A copy of said decision was received by Danilo on August 25, 2006. He timely filed the Notice of Appeal on September 11, 2006.In an order dated September 19, 2006, the RTC denied due course to this appeal for Danilo s failure to file the required motion for reconsideration or new trial, in violation of Section 20 of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages.On November 23, 2006, a motion to reconsider the denial of Danilo s appeal was likewise denied and on January 16, 2007, the RTC issued the order declaring its August 2, 2006 decision final and executory and granting the Motion for Entry of Judgment filed by Cynthia. Not in conformity, Danilo filed with the CA a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 seeking to annul the orders of the RTC as they were rendered with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction. The CA granted the petition and reversed and set aside the assailed orders of the RTC. The appellate court stated that the requirement of a motion for reconsideration as a prerequisite to appeal under Section 20 of the Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages did not apply in this case as the marriage between Cynthia and Danilo was solemnized on February 14, 1980 before the Family Code took effect. ISSUE Whether or notA.M. No. 02-11-10-SC entitled Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages, is applicable to this case. HELD No. The Rule on Declaration of Absolute Nullity of Void Marriages and Annulment of Voidable Marriages as contained in A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC which the Court promulgated on March 15, 2003, is explicit in its scope. Section 1 of the Rule, in fact, reads: Section 1. Scope This Rule shall govern petitions for declaration of absolute nullity of void marriages and annulment of voidable marriages under the Family Code of the Philippines. The Rules of Court shall apply suppletorily. The categorical language of A.M. No. 02-11-10-SC leaves no room for doubt. The coverage extends only to those marriages entered into during the effectivity of the Family Code which took effect on August 3, 1988. The rule sets a demarcation line between marriages covered by the Family Code and those solemnized under the Civil Code. A cardinal rule in statutory construction is that when the law is clear and free from any doubt or ambiguity, there is no room for construction or interpretation. There is only room for application. As the statute is clear, plain, and free from ambiguity, it must be given its literal meaning and applied without attempted interpretation. This is what is known as the plain-meaning rule or verba legis. It is expressed in the maxim, index animi sermo, or speech is the index of intention. Furthermore, there is the maxim verbalegis non estrecedendum, or from the words of a statute there should be no departure.

ARNEL SAGANA, Petitioner, vs. RICHARD A. FRANCISCO, Respondent FACTS On 13 December 1994, petitioner ArnelSagana filed a Complaint for Damages before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City. Petitioner alleged that on 20 November 1992, respondent Richard A. Francisco, with intent to kill and without justifiable reason, shot him with a gun hitting him on the right thigh. As a result, petitioner incurred medical expenses and suffered wounded feelings, and was compelled to engage the services of a lawyer, due to respondent s refusal to pay said expenses. The court s process servers tried to serve the summons to the respondent but to no avail. They were constantly told that the respondent does not live in the address given by the respondent. At the end, the process server left a copy of the summons to the respondent s brother, Michael Francisco. The petitioner filed a Motion to Declare Defendant in Default, alleging that despite service of summons, respondent still failed to file an Answer. On 16 February 1996, the trial court issued an Order finding that the summons was validly served to respondent through his brother, Michael. It thus declared respondent in default and allowed petitioner to present his evidence ex parte. Nonetheless, copies of all pleadings and court documents were furnished to respondent at No. 36 Sampaguita St. In the meantime, on 1 March 1996, Michael Francisco, through his counsel, Atty. Bernardo Q. Cuaresma, filed a Manifestation and Motion denying that he received the summons or that he was authorized to receive summons on behalf of his brother, respondent Richard Francisco. He alleged that the substituted service did not comply with Section 8, Rule 14 of the Rules of Court, since summons was not served at defendant s residence or left with any person who was authorized to receive it on behalf of the defendant. On 4 October 1996, the trial court issued an Order denying Michael Francisco s Manifestation and Motion for lack of merit. On 20 September 1999, the trial court rendered its Decision in favor of the petitioner. On 23 November 1999, respondent Richard A. Francisco filed a Notice of Appeal, claiming that he received a copy of the trial court s Decision on 9 November 1999 and that the same was contrary to the law, facts, and evidence, and praying that his appeal be given due course.On 5 June 2000, the Court of Appeals directed the parties to file their respective briefs, a copy of which was sent to respondent by registered mail at No. 36 Sampaguita St., Baesa, Quezon City. On 3 September 2002, respondent attended the preliminary conference; however the parties failed to reach an amicable settlement. Thus, on 13 August 2003, the Court of Appeals granted the appeal and setting aside the Decision of the trial court. The appellate court held that the service of summons was irregular and such irregularity nullified the proceedings before the trial court. Since it did not acquire jurisdiction over the person of the respondent, the trial court s decision was void. ISSUE Whether the substituted service of summons was validly made upon the respondent. HELD YES. However, the supreme court, do not intend this ruling to overturn jurisprudence to the effect that statutory requirements of substituted service must be followed strictly, faithfully, and fully, and that any substituted service other than that authorized by the Rules is considered ineffective. An overly strict application of the Rules is not warranted in this case, as it would clearly frustrate the spirit of the law as well as do injustice to the parties, who have been waiting for almost 15 years for a resolution of this case. We are not heedless of the widespread and flagrant practice whereby defendants actively attempt to frustrate the proper service of summons by refusing to give their names, rebuffing requests to sign for or receive documents, or eluding officers of the court. Sheriffs are not expected to be sleuths, and cannot be faulted where the defendants themselves engage in deception to thwart the orderly administration of justice.

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Petitioner, vs. SM PRIME HOLDINGS, INC. and FIRST ASIA REALTY DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION, Respondents. FACTS Respondents SM Prime Holdings, Inc. (SM Prime) and First Asia Realty Development Corporation (First Asia) are domestic corporations duly organized and existing under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. Both are engaged in the business of operating cinema houses, among others. The BIR sent First Asia and SM Prime four PAN for vat deficiency on cinema ticket sales for taxable year 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2003. The two corporations protested every time but the BIR denied all their protests which prompted them file a petition for review before the Court of Tax Appeals, consolidating all four into one petition on the ground that SM prime is a majority shareholder of First Asia. The First Division of the CTA rendered a Decision granting the Petition for Review.Resorting to the language used and the legislative history of the law, it ruled that the activity of showing cinematographic films is not a service covered by VAT under the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC) of 1997, as amended, but an activity subject to amusement tax under RA 7160, otherwise known as the Local Government Code (LGC) of 1991. The assessment notices issued by the BIR was ordered cancelled and set aside. Aggrieved, the CIR moved for reconsideration which was denied by the First Division. ISSUE Whether or not the gross receipts derived by operators or proprietors of cinema/theater houses from admission tickets are subject to VAT. HELD NO. A cursory reading of the provisions of Section 108 of the NIRC of 1997 clearly shows that the enumeration of the sale or exchange of services subject to VAT is not exhaustive.The words, including, similar services, and shall likewise include, indicate that theenumeration is by way of example only.Among those included in the enumeration is the lease of motion picture films, films, tapes and discs.This, however, is not the same as the showing or exhibition of motion pictures or films. Since the activity of showing motion pictures, films or movies by cinema/ theater operators or proprietors is not included in the enumeration, it is incumbent upon the court to the determine whether such activity falls under the phrase similar services.The intent of the legislature must therefore be ascertained in which case the legislature never intended operatorsor proprietors of cinema/theater houses to be covered by VAT.

SOLID HOMES, INC., Petitioner, vs. SPOUSES ANCHETA K. TAN and CORAZON DE JESUS TAN, Respondents. FACTS The respondents acquired a land sold by solid homes on April 7, 1980 from Joe Uy and Myrna Uy. It is a subdivision lot with an area of 1069 square meters located at Loyola Grand Villas Subdivision. From then on, respondents visited their property a number of times, only to find out the sad state of development thereat. There was no infrastructure and utility systems for water, sewerage, electricity and telephone, as announced in the approved plans and advertisements of the subdivision. Worse, squatters occupy their lot and its surrounding areas. In short, there has been no development at all. Accordingly, in a letter dated December 18, 1995, respondents demanded on petitioner to provide the needed utility systems and clear the area of squatters and other obstructions by the end of January, 1996 to enable them to start the construction of their house thereon and to allow other lot owners in the area a full access to and peaceful possession of their respective lots, conformably with P.D. No. 957 which requires an owner or developer of a subdivision project to develop the same within one year from the issuance of its license. Having received no reply from petitioner, respondents filed with the Field Office of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB). After due proceedings, the Housing and Land Use Arbiter, rendered judgment for the respondents by directing petitioner to perform its obligation to provide subdivision facilities in the subject premises and to rid the premises of squatters. In the alternative, at the option of complainants, to replace subject lot with a lot of similar size and with available facilities, located in the subject subdivision and to pay complainants P20,000.00 as and by way of attorney's fees. Dissatisfied, petitioner went on appeal to the HLURB Board of Commissioners, which, in a decision affirmed that of the Arbiter.From there, petitioner elevated the case to the Office of the President.In a decision, the O.P. affirmed with modification the appealed decision of the HLURB Board of Commissioners. The first paragraph of the decision appealed from was affirmed with the modification that in case Solid Homes, Inc. fails to replace subject lot with a lot of similar size and with available facilities located in the subdivision, because it had already sold or transferred all of its properties in the subdivision, it shall pay spouses Ancheta Tan and Corazon Tan the total amount received from them as purchase price, with legal rate of interest until fully paid. The respondents file a motion for reconsideration but the O.P. denied said motion. Both parties then went to the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals reaffirmed the decision of the HLURB on May 23, 2000subject to the modification that if there is no more available lot in Loyola Grand Villas to replace subject lot, Solid Homes, Inc. should pay the spouses Tan the current market value of their lot. ISSUES 1. Whether or not respondents right to bring the instant case against petitioner has already prescribed. 2. In the event respondents opt to rescind the contract, should petitioner pay them merely the price they paid for the lot plus interest or the current market value of the lot? HELD 1. No. The 10-year prescriptive period should not commence either on April 7, 1980, when petitioner originally sold the lot to spouses Uy; or in February, 1985, when the respondents thereafter bought the same lot from the Uy couple. Article 1144 of the Civil Code specifically states that the period of prescription of any action is reckoned only from the date the cause of action accrued and a cause of action arises when that which should have been done is not done, or that which should not have been done is done. The period should not be made to retroact to the date of execution of the contract on January 15, 1975 as claimed by the petitioner for at that time, there would be no way for the respondents to know of the violation of their rights. 2. Solid Homes Inc. should pay the respondents the current market value of the lot otherwise, petitioner would enrich themselves at the expense of herein lot owners when they sell the same

lot at the present market value. Article 1385 of the New Civil Code cannot be applied in this case because its literal import would lead to unjust, unfair and absurd results. After all, it is the function of courts to see to it that justice is dispensed, fairness is observed and absurdity prevented. Were we to follow the letter of Article 1385, we will in effect be paving the way to an absurd situation whereby subdivision developers who have reneged on their contractual and legal obligation to provide utility systems and facilities for the use of subdivision lot owners may themselves profit from their very own wrongs and shortcomings.

PEPSI - COLA PRODUCTS PHILIPPINES, INC.,Petitioner, vs. HONORABLE SECRETARY OF LABOR FACTS Sometime in June 1990, the Pepsi-Cola Employees Organization-UOEF (Union) filed a petition for certification election with the Med-Arbiter seeking to be the exclusive bargaining agent of supervisors of Pepsi-Cola Philippines, Inc. (PEPSI).On July 12, 1990, the Med-Arbiter granted the Petition, with the explicit statement that it was an affiliate of Union de ObrerosEstivadores de Filipinas together with two rank and file unions, Pepsi-Cola Labor Unity (PCLU) and Pepsi-Cola Employees Union of the Philippines (PEUP). On July 23, 1990, PEPSI filed with the Bureau of Labor Relations a petition to Set Aside, Cancel and/or Revoke Charter Affiliation of the Union on the grounds that (a) the members of the Union were managers and (b) a supervisor s union cannot affiliate with a federation whose members include the rank and file union of the same company. They alleged that it is in violation of Article 245 of the Labor Code (PD 442), as amended, by Republic Act 6715. The secretary of labor states that Article 245 of the New Labor Code does not preclude the supervisors union and the rank-and-file union from being affiliated with the same federation. On December 9, 1991, the Court resolved to dismiss the case for failure to sufficiently show that the questioned judgment of the MED-Arbiter and the order of the Secretary of Laborwere tainted with grave abuse of discretion. ISSUES Whether or not managerial employees can join the labor union of the rank and file. HELD NO. In applying the doctrine of necessary implication, we took into consideration the rationale that if these managerial employees would belong to or be affiliated with a Union there will be conflict of interests. The Union can also become company dominated with the presence of managerial employees in Union membership. Stated differently, in the collective bargaining process, managerial employees are supposed to be on the side of the employer, to act as its representatives, and to see to it that its interests are well protected. The employer is not assured of such protection if these employees themselves are union members. Collective bargaining in such a situation can become one-sided. It is the same reason that impelled this Court to consider the position of confidential employees as included in the disqualification found in Art. 245 as if the disqualification of confidential employees were written in the provision. 1.