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Case Digest on SGMC Realty Corporation v. Office Of The President G.R. NO.

126999 (August 30, 2000)

November 10, 2010

FACTS: On October 23, 1995, petitioner got a copy of the decision of the Board of Commissioner of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board. Petitioner filed an appeal to the Office of the President on November 20, 1995, but this was denied for having been filed outside of the required period. Petitioner argues that the period for appeal is actually 30 days pursuant to the Rules of Procedure of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board and Administrative Order No. 18, Series of 1987. HELD: The SC ruled that the 30-day period of appeal is subject to the qualification that there are no other statutory periods of appeal applicable. Section 15 of Presidential Decree No. 957 and Section 2 of P.D. No. 1344 provide that the decision of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board shall become final after the lapse of 15 days from the date of its receipt. The period of appeal of 30 days in the Rules of Procedure of the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board is invalid for being in conflict with Presidential Decree Nos. 957 and 1344.

Paat vs CA, GR No. 111107, 10 January 1997, 266 SCRA 167

24 Feb FACTS The truck of private respondent Victoria de Guzman was seized by the DENR personnel while on its way to Bulacan because the driver could not produce the required documents for the forest product found concealed in the truck. Petitioner Jovito Layugan, CENRO ordered the confiscation of the truck and required the owner to explain. Private respondents failed to submit required explanation. The DENR Regional Executive Director Rogelio Baggayan sustained Layugans action for confiscation and ordered the forfeiture of the truck. Private respondents brought the case to the DENR Secretary. Pending appeal, private respondents filed a replevin case before the RTC against petitioner Layugan and Baggayan. RTC granted the same. Petitioners moved to dismiss the case contending, inter alia, that private respondents had no cause of action for their failure to exhaust administrative remedies. The trial court denied their motion. Hence, this petition for review on certiorari. Petitioners aver that the trial court could not legally entertain the suit for replevin because the truck was under administrative seizure proceedings.

ISSUE Whether or not the instant case falls within the exception of the doctrine. HELD The Court held in the negative. The Court has consistently held that before a party is allowed to seek the intervention of the court, it is a pre-condition that he should have availed of all the means of administrative processed afforded him. Hence, if a remedy within the administrative machinery can still be resorted to by giving the administrative officer concerned every opportunity to decide on a matter that comes within his jurisdiction then such remedy should be exhausted first before courts judicial power can be sought. The premature invocation of court intervention is fatal to ones cause of action. The doctrine is a relative one and its flexibility is called upon by the peculiarity and uniqueness of the factual and circumstantial settings of a case. Hence, it is disregarded (1) when there is violation of due process, (2) when the issue involved is purely a legal question, (3) when the administrative action is patently illegal amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction, (4) when there is estoppels on the part of the administrative agency concerned, (5) when there is irreparable injury, (6) when the respondent is a department secretary whose acts as an alter ego of the President bears the implied and assumed approval of the latter, (7) when to require exhaustion of administrative remedies would be unreasonable, (8) when it would amount to nullification of a claim, (9) when the subject matter is a private land in land case proceedings, (10) when the rule does not provide a plain, speedy and adequate remedy, and (11) when there are circumstances indicating the urgency of judicial intervention.