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G.R. No.


February 27, 1969

PHILIPPINE ASSOCIATION OF LABOR UNIONS (PAFLU) SOCIAL SECURITY SYSTEM EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION-PAFLU, AL FAJARDO AND ALL THE OTHER MEMBERS AND OFFICERS OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY AND EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION-PAFLU, petitioners, vs. THE SECRETARY OF LABOR, THE DIRECTOR OF LABOR RELATIONS and THE REGISTRAR OF LABOR ORGANIZATIONS, respondents. Cipriano Cid and Associates and Israel Bocobo for petitioners. Office of the Solicitor General Arturo A. Alafriz and Solicitor Camilo D. Quiason for respondents. CONCEPCION, C.J.: Petitioners pray for writs of certiorari and prohibition to restrain respondents, the Secretary of Labor, the Director of Labor Relations and the Registrar of Labor Organizations, from enforcing an order of cancellation of the registration certificate of the Social Security System Employees Association — hereinafter referred to as the SSSEA — which is affiliated to the Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions — hereinafter referred to as PAFLU — as well as to annul all proceedings in connection with said cancellation and to prohibit respondents from enforcing Section 23 of Republic Act No. 875. Petitioners, likewise, pray for a writ of preliminary injunction pending the final determination of this case. In their answer, respondents traversed some allegations of fact and the legal conclusions made in the petition. No writ of preliminary injunction pendente lite has been issued. It appears that on September 25, 1963, the Registration of Labor Organizations — hereinafter referred to as the Registrar — issued a notice of hearing, on October 17, 1963, of the matter of cancellation of the registration of the SSSEA, because of: 1. Failure to furnish the Bureau of Labor Relations with copies of the reports on the finances of that union duly verified by affidavits which its treasurer or treasurers rendered to said union and its members covering the periods from September 24, 1960 to September 23, 1961 and September 24, 1961 to September 23, 1962, inclusive, within sixty days of the 2 respective latter dates, which are the end of its fiscal year; and 2. Failure to submit to this office the names, postal addresses and non-subversive affidavits of the officers of that union within sixty days of their election in October (1st Sunday), 1961 and 1963, in conformity with Article IV (1) of its constitution and by-laws. in violation of Section 23 of Republic Act No. 875. Counsel for the SSSEA moved to postpone the hearing to October 21, 1963, and to submit then a memorandum, as well as the documents specified in the notice. The motion was granted, but, nobody appeared for the SSSEA on the date last mentioned. The next day, October 22, 1963, Manuel Villagracia, Assistant Secretary of the SSSEA filed with the Office of the Registrar, a letter dated October 21, 1963, enclosing the following: 1. Joint non-subversive affidavit of the officers of the SSS Employees' Association-PAFLU; 2. List of newly-elected officers of the Association in its general elections held on April 29, 1963; and 3. Copy of the amended constitution and by-laws of the Association.

Holding 1. That the joint non-subversive affidavit and the list of officers mentioned in the letter of Mr. Manuel Villagracia were not the documents referred to in the notice of hearing and made the subject matter of the present proceeding; and 2. That there is no iota of evidence on records to show and/or warrant the dismissal of the present proceeding. on October 23, 1963, the Registrar rendered a decision cancelling the SSSEA's Registration Certificate No. 1-IP169, issued on September 30, 1960. Soon later, or on October 28, 1963, Alfredo Fajardo, president of the SSSEA moved for a reconsideration of said decision and prayed for time, up to November 15, within which to submit the requisite papers and data. An opposition thereto having been filed by one Paulino Escueta, a member of the SSSEA, upon the ground that the latter had never submitted any financial statement to its members, said motion was heard on November 27, 1963. Subsequently, or on December 4, 1963, the Registrar issued an order declaring that the SSSEA had "failed to submit the following requirements to wit: 1. Non-subversive affidavits of Messrs. Teodoro Sison, Alfonso Atienza, Rodolfo Zalameda, Raymundo Sabino and Napoleon Pefianco who were elected along with others on January 30, 1962. 2. Names, postal addresses and non-subversive affidavits of all the officers who were supposedly elected on October (1st Sunday), of its constitution and by-laws. and granting the SSSEA 15 days from notice to comply with said requirements, as well as meanwhile holding in abeyance the resolution of its motion for reconsideration. Pending such resolution, or on December 16, the PAFLU, the SSSEA, Alfredo Fajardo "and all the officers and members" of the SSSEA commenced the present action, for the purpose stated at the beginning of this decision, upon the ground that Section 23 of Republic Act No. 875 violates their freedom of assembly and association, and is inconsistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; that it unduly delegates judicial power to an administrative agency; that said Section 23 should be deemed repealed by ILO-Convention No. 87; that respondents have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction and with grave abuse of discretion in promulgating, on November 19, 1963, its decision dated October 22, 1963, beyond the 30-day period provided in Section 23(c) of Republic Act No. 875; that "there is no appeal or any other plain, speedy and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law"; that the decision complained of had not been approved by the Secretary of Labor; and that the cancellation of the SSSEA's certificate of registration would cause irreparable injury. The theory to the effect that Section 23 of Republic Act No. 875 unduly curtails the freedom of assembly and association guaranteed in the Bill of Rights is devoid of factual basis. The registration prescribed in paragraph (b) of said section 1 is not a limitation to the right of assembly or association, which may be exercised with orwithout said registration. 2 The latter is merely a condition sine qua non for the acquisition of legal personality by labor organizations, associations or unions and the possession of the "rights and privileges granted by law to legitimate labor organizations". The Constitution does not guarantee these rights and privileges, much less said personality, which are mere statutory creations, for the possession and exercise of which registration is required to protect both labor and the public against abuses, fraud, or impostors who pose as organizers, although not truly accredited agents of the union they purport to represent. Such requirement is a valid exercise of the police power, because the activities in which labor organizations, associations and union of workers are engaged affect public interest, which should be protected. 3 Furthermore, the obligation

to submit financial statements, as a condition for the non-cancellation of a certificate of registration, is a reasonable regulation for the benefit of the members of the organization, considering that the same generally solicits funds or membership, as well as oftentimes collects, on behalf of its members, huge amounts of money due to them or to the organization. 4 For the same reasons, said Section 23 does not impinge upon the right of organization guaranteed in the Declaration of Human Rights, or run counter to Articles 2, 4, 7 and Section 2 of Article 8 of the ILO-Convention No. 87, which provide that "workers and employers, ... shall have the right to establish and ... join organizations of their own choosing, without previous authorization"; that "workers and employers organizations shall not be liable to be dissolved or suspended by administrative authority"; that "the acquisition of legal personality by workers' and employers' organizations, ... shall not be made subject to conditions of such a character as to restrict the application of the provisions" above mentioned; and that "the guarantees provided for in" said Convention shall not be impaired by the law of the land. In B.S.P. v. Araos, 5 we held that there is no incompatibility between Republic Act No. 875 and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Upon the other hand, the cancellation of the SSSEA's registration certificate would not entail a dissolution of said association or its suspension. The existence of the SSSEA would not be affected by said cancellation, although its juridical personality and its statutory rights and privileges — as distinguished from those conferred by the Constitution — would be suspended thereby. To be registered, pursuant to Section 23(b) of Republic Act No. 875, a labor organization, association or union of workers must file with the Department of Labor the following documents: (1) A copy of the constitution and by-laws of the organization together with a list of all officers of the association, their addresses and the address of the principal office of the organization; (2) A sworn statement of all the officers of the said organization, association or union to the effect that they are not members of the Communist Party and that they are not members of any organization which teaches the overthrow of the Government by force or by any illegal or unconstitutional method; and (3) If the applicant organization has been in existence for one or more years, a copy of its last annual financial report. Moreover, paragraph (d) of said-Section ordains that: The registration and permit of a legitimate labor organization shall be cancelled by the Department of Labor, if the Department has reason to believe that the labor organization no longer meets one or more of the requirements of paragraph (b) above; or fails to file with the Department Labor either its financial reportwithin the sixty days of the end of its fiscal year or the names of its new officers along with their non-subversive affidavits as outlined in paragraph (b) above within sixty days of their election; however, the Department of Labor shall not order the cancellation of the registration and permit without due notice and hearing, as provided under paragraph (c) above and the affected labor organization shall have the same right of appeal to the courts as previously provided.6 The determination of the question whether the requirements of paragraph (b) have been met, or whether or not the requisite financial report or non-subversive affidavits have been filed within the period above stated, is not judicial power. Indeed, all officers of the government, including those in the executive department, are supposed, to act on the basis of facts, as they see the same. This is

Tolentino. admittedly. motion for reconsideration of the Registrar's decision of October 23.. authority or right. the SSSEA had not filed the non-subversive affidavits of some of its officers — "Messrs. 11but. Justice Reyes (J. 69 Phil. It is true that the exercise of the Secretary's power under the Act necessarily involves thedetermination of some question of fact. section 2. 10 Then.specially true as regards administrative agencies given by law the power to investigate and render decisions concerning details related to the execution of laws the enforcement of which is entrusted thereto. there is nothing. Said period is prescribed in paragraph (c) 8 of Section 23. is still pending resolution. that. that . it is generally held to be directory only as to the time. not mandatory in nature — in the sense that. Sison. we have repeatedly held that legal provisions prescribing the period within which a decision should be rendered are directory. of the decision of the Registrar decreeing the cancellation of a registration certificate. In the language of Black: When a statute specifies the time at or within which an act is to be done by a public officer or body. not only that the present action is premature. Zalameda. controverted by respondents herein. however. as is expressly required by Republic Act No. Independently of the foregoing. which refers to the proceedings for the "registration" of labor organizations. Sabino and Pefianca" — although said organization avers that these persons "were either resigned or out on leave as directors or officers of the union". for the Secretary of Labor to approve or disapprove. Such. there is no law requiring the approval. 2056. In fact. but these functions. once the conditions therein specified are present. the office concerned "shall" have no choice but to issue the order of cancellation. constructions that no private person was anyway entitled to make because the bed of navigable streams is public property. Moreover. not only as an undue delegation of judicial power to the Secretary of Public Works but also for being unreasonable and arbitrary. 1963. by the Secretary of Labor. in consequence of his delay 9 — unless the intention to the contrary is manifest.A. and not mandatory. or shows that the designation of the time was intended as a limitation of power.) had occassion to say: The objections of the appellees to the constitutionality of Republic Act No. Again. are not tenable. In fact. this circumstance shows. although the officer who failed to comply with law may be dealt with administratively. is not the import of said paragraph (c). a judgment promulgated after the expiration of said period is not null and void. since petitioners. in the case at bar. This averment is. the 30-day period invoked by the petitioners is inapplicable to the decision complained of. moreover. which is governed by the abovequoted paragraph (d) of the same section. are merely incidental to the exercise of the power granted by law to clear navigable streams of unauthorized obstructions or encroachments. 2056. without specifying who had resigned and who were on leave. also. Commonwealth. andauthorities are clear that they are validly conferable upon executive officials provided the party affected is given opportunity to be heard. as yet. 2056) merely empowers the Secretary to remove unauthorized obstructions or encroachments upon public streams.7 It should be noted also. unless time is of the essence of the thing to be done. or the language of the statute contains negative words.L.B. associations or unions not to the "cancellation" of said registration. whether judicial or quasi-judicial. again. the language of paragraph (d) of Section 23. 449). It will be noted that the Act (R. Hence. speaking for this Court. Mr. suggests that. such as the existence of the stream and its previous navigable character. Atienza. and ownership thereof is not acquirable by adverse possession (Palanca vs.

IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING. with costs against the petitioners. on which we need not and do not express any opinion. as it is hereby dismissed. It is so ordered. 12 Indeed. in the absence of approval of the former.petitioners have failed to exhaust the administrative remedies available to them. lawphi 1. if the same were necessary. and the writs prayed for denied. the petition herein should be. they could ask the Secretary of Labor to disapprove the Registrar's decision or object to its execution or enforcement.nêt .

during all the time he was studying law in defendant university was awarded scholarship grants. . L-15127 May 30. and dismissing defendant's counter claim. To secure permission to take the bar he needed the transcripts of his records in defendant Arellano University.R. During all the school years in which plaintiff was studying law in defendant law college. I hereby waive my right to transfer to another school without having refunded to the University (defendant) the equivalent of my scholarship cash. J. Capistrano having severed his connection with defendant and having accepted the deanship and chancellorship of the College of Law of Abad Santos University.87. Voltaire Garcia for defendant-appellee.: Appeal by plaintiff Emeterio Cui from a decision of the Court of First Instance of Manila.. Before defendant awarded to plaintiff the scholarship grants as above stated. Capistrano. Sipin. plaintiff left the defendant's law college and enrolled for the last semester of his fourth year law in the college of law of the Abad Santos University graduating from the college of law of the latter university. G. This is the sum which plaintiff seeks to recover from defendant in this case. for insufficiency of proof thereon. As he could not take the bar examination without those transcripts.A. was the dean of the College of Law and legal counsel of the defendant university.033 87 which defendant refunded to him as above stated. with costs against the plaintiff. 1961 EMETERIO CUI. defendant-appellee. E. Francisco R. The defendant refused until after he had paid back the P1.G.033. for plaintiff-appellant. plaintiff paid to defendant the said sum under protest. he was made to sign the following contract covenant and agreement: "In consideration of the scholarship granted to me by the University.S. vs. Plaintiff enrolled for the last semester of his law studies in the defendant university but failed to pay his tuition fees because his uncle Dean Francisco R. In the language of the decision appealed from: The essential facts of this case are short and undisputed. for scholastic merit. ARELLANO UNIVERSITY. After finishing his preparatory law course plaintiff enrolled in the College of Law of the defendant from the school year 1948-1949. plaintiff-appellant. it appears conclusive that plaintiff. Plaintiff. The whole amount of tuition fees paid by plaintiff to defendant and refunded to him by the latter from the first semester up to and including the first semester of his last year in the college of law or the fourth year. Jr. After graduating in law from Abad Santos University he applied to take the bar examination. absolving defendant Arellano University from plaintiff's complaint. As established by the agreement of facts Exhibits X and by the respective oral and documentary evidence introduced by the parties. Plaintiff petitioned the latter to issue to him the needed transcripts. so that his semestral tuition fees were returned to him after the ends of semester and when his scholarship grants were awarded to him. No. CONCEPCION. Plaintiff finished his law studies in the defendant university up to and including the first semester of the fourth year. brother of the mother of plaintiff. before the school year 1948-1949 took up preparatory law course in the defendant University. is in total P1.

87. and that. that defendant herein received a copy of this memorandum. The lower court resolved this question in the affirmative. that the provisions thereof are advisory. full or partial." reading: 1. It is admitted that. It. aside from P2. School catalogs and prospectuses submitted to this. vis-a-vis the Bureau of Private Schools. not mandatory in nature." Moreover. that plaintiff asked the Bureau of Private Schools to pass upon the issue on his right to secure the transcript of his record in defendant University. constrained to pay. that the Bureau of Private Schools upheld the position taken by the plaintiff and so advised the defendant. upon the ground that the aforementioned memorandum of the Director of Private Schools is not a law. on August 16. on the subject of "Scholarship. and that. likewise.000 as attorney's fees. plaintiff was. and even recommended to said Bureau that it issue a written order directing the defendant to release said transcript of record. and P500 as expenses of litigation. colleges and universities. and did pay under protest. that the provisions of its contract with plaintiff are valid and binding and that the memorandum above-referred to is null and void. although the contractual provision "may be unethical. and P3.033. the Director of Private Schools issued Memorandum No. this notwithstanding. The amount in tuition and other fees corresponding to these scholarships should not be subsequently charged to the recipient students when they decide to quit school or to transfer to another institution. But to stipulate the condition that such scholarships are good only if the students concerned continue in the same school nullifies the principle of merit in the award of these scholarships. to the effect that they could not transfer to other schools since their credentials would not be released unless they would pay the fees corresponding to the period of the scholarships. P500 as exemplary damages. series of 1949. unless said refund were made.000 as moral damages. he brought this action for the recovery of said amount.00 as damages. defendant maintains in its brief that the aforementioned memorandum of the Director of Private Schools is null and void because said officer had no .(Sgd. Bureau show that some schools offer full or partial scholarships to deserving students — for excellence in scholarship or for leadership in extra-curricular activities. "so that the case may be presented to the court for judicial action. Such inducements to poor but gifted students should be encouraged.87.) Emeterio Cui". 38. yet it was more unethical for plaintiff to quit studying with the defendant without good reasons and simply because he wanted to follow the example of his uncle. Several complaints have actually been received from students who have enjoyed scholarships. When students are given full or partial scholarships. it is understood that such scholarships are merited and earned. namely. 2.033. it reserves the right to authorize such transfer.000 as attorney's fees. the latter refused to issue said transcript of records. 1949. Where the Bureau believes that the right of the student to transfer is being denied on this ground. 3. accordingly. said sum of P1. set up a counterclaim for P10. whereby the former waived his right to transfer to another school without refunding to the latter the equivalent of his scholarships in cash.000. Subsequently." addressed to "All heads of private schools. defendant reiterated the stand it took. P2. Scholarships should not be offered merely to attract and keep students in a school. The issue in this case is whether the above quoted provision of the contract between plaintiff and the defendant." As above stated. in order that he could take the bar examination in 1953. is valid or not. without being required to refund the sum of P1. In its answer.

s. Thus conceived it is not only inconsistent with sound policy but also good morals. 1941. 19 Ann. does not require scholars to reimburse the corresponding value of the scholarships if they transfer to other schools. In these institutions scholarships are granted not to attract and to keep brilliant students in school for their propaganda mine but to reward merit or help gifted students in whom society has an established interest or a first lien. Illinois Trust and Savings Bank.Y. The University of the Philippines which implements Section 5 of Article XIV of the Constitution with reference to the giving of free scholarships to gifted children.A. It is good customs. it should have not entered into a contract of waiver with Cui on September 10. 1949 is sound policy. We do not deem it necessary or advisable to consider as the lower court did. to sound morality or to civic honesty (Ritter vs. as applied to the law of contracts. The policy enunciated in Memorandum No. And finally. 180. Dec. If Arellano University understood clearly the real essence of scholarships and the motives which prompted this office to issue Memorandum No. courts are limited to a consideration of the Constitution. Mutual Life Ins. but courts consider the practices of government officials as one of the four factors in determining a public policy of the state. 38. 6. The aforesaid memorandum merely incorporates a sound principle of public policy. a court must find that the contract as to consideration or the thing to be done. Allen. 359). for. 38. the statutes. Off. 245 Ill. But what is morals? Manresa has this definition.R. Veazy vs. 811. the judicial decisions. So also with the leading colleges and universities of the United States after which our educational practices or policies are patterned. and its far reaching effects.) . transcend personal equations and demand a determination of the case from a high impersonal plane. Case 127. (Emphasis supplied. the court said: 'In determining a public policy of the state. The practice of awarding scholarships to attract students and keep them in school is not good customs nor has it received some kind of social and practical confirmation except in some private institutions as in Arellano University. hence. Gallaghere 64 L. Neither do we deem it essential to pass upon the validity of said Memorandum No. 139. or is inconsistent with sound policy and good morals or tends clearly to undermine the security of individual rights. to the defendant.authority to issue it. those generally accepted principles of morality which have received some kind of social and practical confirmation. Co. and the practice of government officers. the question whether plaintiff had sufficient reasons or not to transfer from defendant University to the Abad Santos University. 1949. Scholarship are awarded in recognition of merit not to keep outstanding students in school to bolster its prestige. in Gabriel vs. Heding vs. as alleged in your communication. The nature of the issue before us. s. we are of the opinion that the stipulation in question is contrary to public policy and. 169 U. In the case of Zeigel vs.. regardless of the same. As the Director of Private Schools correctly pointed. 1951 was void as against public policy. In the understanding of that university scholarships award is a business scheme designed to increase the business potential of an education institution. Exhibit B. p. which is a direct violation of our Memorandum and an open challenge to the authority of the Director of Private Schools because the contract was repugnant to sound morality and civic honesty. 173 N. null and void. operation. 67 we read: 'In order to declare a contract void as against public policy. Gazette Supp. Monte de Piedad. contravenes some established interest of society. out in his letter. or tendency is calculated to be prejudicial to the public welfare. It has been consistently held in America that under the principles relating to the doctrine of public policy. 1951. 38.' It might take more than a government bureau or office to lay down or establish a public policy.S. courts of justice will not recognize or uphold a transaction which its object. and because it had been neither approved by the corresponding department head nor published in the official gazette. There is one more point that merits refutation and that is whether or not the contract entered into between Cui and Arellano University on September 10.

1954. It is so ordered. as well as the costs.033. . the decision appealed from is hereby reversed and another one shall be entered sentencing the defendant to pay to the plaintiff the sum of P1. date of the institution of this case.WHEREFORE. with interest thereon at the legal rate from September 1. and dismissing defendant's counterclaim.87.

situated in the barrio of Di-it.G. plaintiff-appellee.I. having been advised that defendant's report . he presented in performance of his duty a report in which he recorded as real property belonging to said Francisco Madlonito a rectangular parcel of unirrigated land which was adjoined on the north by the land of Anacleto Condes. J. 1916 THE UNITED STATES. municipality of Tacloban of said province. A demurrer having been filed by defendant's counsel on the ground that the facts alleged in the complaint did not constituted the crime provided for and punished by said section 87 of Act No. and finding of the demurrer interposed to the complaint. may be reduced to the following: 1. in violation of law. Mateo P. by that of Ventura Viñas. Attorney-General Avanceña for appellee. evaluation. by that of Jose Guardino. or. on January 15. duly appointed and such. that several days afterwards. 1914.: These proceedings for violation of section 87 of Act No. 82. 82. PALACIO. charged with the duty of assessing real property. and having proceeded under orders of said assessor. and on the west. by woods. and criminally upon revising the assessment and in reassessing the property of Francisco Madlonito. municipality of Tacloban. were brought against the defendant. 1914. defendant having pleaded not guilty. in the Court of First Instance of Leyte by the following complaint filed therein by the fiscal on December 18. insisting upon the overruling of the demurrer interposed to the complaint. it measured 3 hectares 51 ares and 23 centiares in area. The evidence shows beyond all doubt that while defendant was serving as a deputy to the provincial assessor of Leyte. That the lower court erred in holding that the evidence adduced at trial proves defendant's guilt beyond all reasonable doubt. That the facts alleged in the complaint and proven at trial do not constitute the infraction provided for and punished by section 87 of Act No. to pay a fine of P100. knowing that the properties omitted were lawfully taxable. ARAULLO. unlawfully. Evidence was introduced by both the prosecution and the defense. the case came to trial. the provincial assessor. said Court of First Instance rendered judgment in which. in the municipality of Tacloban. 1915. as stated by the Attorney-General in his brief. P.. defendant-appellant. Palacio. Defendant has appealed from this judgment and has assigned thereto various errors which. MATEO P. 82. 2. and assessment of the properties of one Francisco Madlonito. he sentenced him to the penalty of forty days' imprisonment in the provincial jail. the only improvements consisting of 500 hemp plants. omit from the tax list certain real properties and improvements belonging to said Francisco Madlonito. Province of Leyte. The undersigned charges Mateo P. on the south. to suffer the corresponding subsidiary imprisonment and to pay the costs. in case of insolvency. to wit: Said accused. in the following month of October.R. in the following manner. he being then and there a deputy to the provincial assessor of Leyte. and finding the defendant guilty of the crime therein charged. Palacio with having violated section 87 of Act No. known as the Municipal Code. and. 1914. the Municipal Code. the same was overruled. given in the month of September. Antonio Belmonte for appellant. No. did wilfully. 82. situated in the barrio of Di-it. on or about the 26th day of September. vs. L-11002 January 17. and. on the east. to verify the measurement.

cacao and banana trees. as deputy to the provincial assessor. It was therefore apparent that in the tax list of real property which. and. sufficient opportunity and time to inform himself of exactly what the latter's property. when he intended to return. . on that given him at the time by the two laborers who measured the land and who assured him that said measurement was correct. therefore. that this latter was absent at the time and therefore defendant did not measure the property. they being in sight. a dwelling house of mixed material. In the second place. which property consisted of 12 hectares 66 ares and 42 centares of land and all the improvements mentioned. incur the first error assigned by defendant's counsel in his brief. he should not have relied on what the interest party himself. with respect to the house. it was found to measure 15 hectares 17 ares and 65 centiares in extent. deciding to postpone doing so until the 15th of January of the following year. on the east. form which verification and investigation it was disclosed that the land was larger by 12 hectares 66 ares and 42 centiares and that it contained many other improvements such as clumps of coconut. We therefore fail to understand and it has not been explained how said improvements could have been omitted from the report. because it was the same as that which has been pointed out to them by the owner of the land. Francisco Madlonito himself testified at the trial that he had furnished defendant with the same date and information which he subsequently gave to the provincial assessor and to the latter's other deputy when they both went to verify and investigate the defendant's work. Defendant endeavored in a way to explain this omission by attributing it to the fact that in making his report he relied upon the information furnished by Francisco Madlonito himself. He himself ought to have verified the correctness of the information and have informed himself of the true area of the land and of all the improvements thereon. nor upon the information which. it was ascertained that said land was unirrigated hemp or corn land. willfully omitted from his report and extensive portion of Francisco Madlonito's real property that he knew was lawfully taxable and which it was his duty to record in said document. nor can they serve to exonerate him as he claims because. Basilio Espejo and Ventura Viñas. which was to be measure and recorded in said report. with respect to the area.was false. under guidance of and in accordance with date furnished by the same Francisco Madlonito who had previously conducted and furnished information to defendant. constitute proof that defendant (exception made in so far as the house is concerned. with the exception of the 500 hemp plants specified in this report. Francisco Madlonito. in the first place. at the time he inspected and measured the lands. Francisco's brother. besides the 500 hemp plants mentioned in defendant's report. 9 cacao trees. The lower court did not. and having had. Defendant further explained that he also accepted the informations furnished by said laborers with respect to the improvements specified in said report as consisting of a plantation of hemp. nor how defendant could have failed to mentioned therein such a large tract of land as that of the 12 hectares above referred to. 24 coconut trees 5 years of age. consisted of. by that of Nicanor Dolina. 80 clumps of banana trees. proceeded in company with another deputy to remeasure and to make a new valuation and assessment of the same land. in order to include them in the report which it was his duty to render to the provincial assessor in fulfillment of the mission confined to him. on the south. Francisco Madlonito told him that it belonged to Emiliano. that it was polygonal in form and was adjoined on the north by the property of Anacleto Condes and Basilio Espejo. together with the circumstances of defendant's having passed the previous night in Francisco Madlonito's own house. This. by the land of Tomas Tabosa and a wood. for it might be true that it did belong to Francisco Madlonito's brother). that these men had told him that there were no other improvements except the hemp plantation and some banana trees of which he did not know how many there were. the improvements thereon consisting of a plantation of hemp. therefore. as a result of this proceeding on the part of said provincial assessor. and one coconut tree in bearing. and by a wood on the west. told him. was furnished him by the two laborers of whose services he availed himself for the actual performance of that labor. defendant was charged to prepare — that is. These explanations of the defendant are not satisfactory. the report presented by him — he had omitted real property belonging to Francisco Madlonito.

in reciting the duties of the provincial assessor. 2238 was passed. that the act committed by his client and which. by providing that all the real property." That section provides as follows: Any officer charged with the duty of assessing real property. was proven at trial. in amending said section in the manner aforementioned. Act No. or both. 1913. shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and punishable by a fine not exceeding one thousand pesos. and. and a specially authorized deputy of the provincial treasurer. Section 49 of the same Act. provided that someone representing the provincial board or better said. and Act No. those of his deputies. however. and section 4. and. establishes the procedure that must be followed where any municipality or any property owner does not agree with the assessment and valuation so made. provides that the real estate of the municipality shall be valued and assessed for taxation by a board. instead of the deputy to the provincial treasurer. taxable or subject to the land tax. In the two aforementioned Acts. in creating. he shall revise and correct the assessments and valuations of real property for the purpose of taxation. was the same as that of Act No. so that the aforementioned municipal board of assessors should consist of the municipal president the municipal treasurer and. finally. and . should be assessed. 2238. revise and correct. of a third member to be appointed by the provincial board. when directed by provincial board. 2238 provides in section 18 that all Acts or parts of Acts in conflict therewith are repealed. provides that. Nos. make a correct and just assessments and state the true value of the real property. existing in the municipalities of these Islands. any and all assessments and valuations for taxation. 82 and 1930 aforecited. As may be seen. Other sections of this Act confer upon the provincial assessor various powers in connection with the preparation of the lists of property subject to assessment. 1930. Said Act No. who shall willfully omit from the tax lists real property which he knows to be lawfully taxable. or imprisonment not exceeding two years. Section 2 of this Act provides that provincial assessors shall be allowed such number of deputies and clerks as shall be fixed by the provincial board with the approval of the Executive Secretary. the purpose of Act No. a provincial official. 2238 by expressly creating the office of provincial assessor for the revision and correction of assessments and valuations of real property declared in the municipalities — and to enable this official to take a direct and active part in preparing the lists of property subject to said tax. 82. when so directed. known as the Municipal Code. section 1 of which created the position of provincial assessor for each province containing municipalities organized under the provisions of the Municipal Code. in creating the office of provincial assessor and allowing him such number of deputies and clerks as shall be fixed by the provincial board with the approval of the Executive Secretary. as aforesaid. 82. 82. Said section 49 was amended by section 1 of Act No.Defendant's counsel alleges. and is virtually a complement of the same in so far as regards the declaration and assessment of taxable property. No. in the manner set forth in the Act. on February 11. and. in the discretion of the court. for this purpose and in order that the provincial board should exercise the necessary and proper supervision over acts of the municipalities relative to said tax. the municipal treasurer. does not constitute an infraction provided for and punished by section 87 of Act No. 82 and 1930. 1930. in section 49 thereof. consequently. Subsequently. should be a member of the municipal board of assessors — a purpose and object which are more accentuated in Act No. which board shall be known as the municipal board of assessors. to wit. Said Act 2238 is therefore intimately related to the two Acts Nos. in so far as relates to the assessment . to consist of the president. the municipal board of assessors.

strictly speaking. of which it is virtually a complement in so far as regards the organization of the service of making the lists for the complete and adequate collection to the tax on the real property in municipalities organized under said Act No. 82) to prepare." A simple perusal of Act No. and as the provincial assessor. to render every assistance in their power to the provincial assessor. and subject. unless it is manifest that the legislature so intended. 26. but also because this Act has done nothing but change the method and procedure provided in Act No. or his deputy. be maintained that section 87 of this latter Act should be considered as repealed. it is but reasonable to conclude that in passing a statute it was not intended to interfere with or abrogate any former law relating to same matter. nothing which may be said to be in conflict with said Act no. 726]. by means of the intervention which in said procedure is given to the provincial assessors. the Municipal Code. as aforesaid. 2238 is sufficient to show that it was not the intention of the legislature to cover all matters relative to the assessment and valuation of the taxable real property of the municipalities. the provincial board shall require each municipal council of the municipalities organized under the provisions of the Municipal Code (Act No.) As said Act No. and it appears evidently by the form and essence of the later law that it was the intention of the legislator to cover therein the whole of the subject. wilfully omits form the tax lists any real property which he knows to be lawfully taxable. or is in itself a provision. Furthermore. and flowing necessarily from the language used. or unless the reason for the earlier act is beyond peradventure removed. and such schedule. 82. the later act will not operate as a repeal of the earlier. there is. to proceed to revise and correct the assessments and valuations of real property. secretary and treasurer and all municipal employees. under the provisions of said section 87. but also clear and convincing. 2238. in such form and detail as the Executive Secretary may prescribe. wilfully makes any omission such as that aforestated. the latest law should be considered as a legal declaration that all that is comprised therein shall continue in force and that all that is not shall rejected and repealed. Hence. But that municipalities are not excluded from taking part in the proceedings is shown by the fact that section 9 of this Act No. 721. for determining the taxable real property in the municipalities and the value thereof. of Law. to the penalty specified in the judgment appealed from. It cannot. they can be reconciled. It also provides in section 13 that it shall be the duty of the municipal president. unless the repugnancy between the two is not only irreconcilable. . being charged with the duty of assessing real property. pp. Ency. and cases there cited [vol. 2238 provides that. when approved by the provincial board. 2238. and will not be decreed. is a public official or an official of the class referred to in section 87. as very properly said by defendant's counsel in his brief. in so far as it prescribes the penalty incurred by any official who. by any reasonable construction. the Act in question is closely related to Act No.and valuation of taxable real property in municipalities. unless the later act fully embraces the subject matter of the earlier. Repeals by implications are not favored. one of the rules of interpretation. a general schedule of the values of the different classes of land for the municipality which shall be forwarded to the provincial board for approval. and that it is a complete and perfect system. 489. in revising the assessment and preparing the tax list of real property. 82. As laws are presumed to be passed with deliberation and with full knowledge of all existing ones on the subject. every effort must be used to make all acts stand and if. p. 2238 provides no penalty for the provincial assessor or his deputy who. is that "when there are two laws on the same subject enacted on different dates. therefore. prior to directing the provincial assessor in accordance with the provisions thereof. not only for the reason above stated. and that the lower court did not err in sentencing defendant. it being immaterial whether he be a provincial or a municipal official (for it is sufficient that it be the duty of such official to assess real property) it is evident that the said penal provisions in force and is applicable to the provincial assessors and their deputies referred to in Act No. and Eng. shall serve the assessor as basis for the valuation and assessment. 82. (23 Am. because.

and that such omission might have been repaired by correcting the list or report by means of revision and new assessment made by the provincial assessor himself on his proceeding with the investigation of the misdemeanor committed by defendant. of any property which he knows to be lawfully taxable. . does not exempt the latter from liability. because what the law punished in said section 87 is the fact of the willful omission. by the official charged with the duty of assessing the real property in the tax list. because it constitutes in itself a false representation in that document and a fraud committed by the public official to prejudice of the Government or with intent to cause such prejudice. and the judgment appealed from being in accordance with the merits of the case and the law. So ordered.The fact that the cadastral survey of the municipality of Tacloban was to terminated at the time of the discovery of the omission made by the defendant in the report presented by him to the provincial assessor. with the costs against appellant. and it is immaterial whether said omission can or cannot subsequently be remedied. By reason of the foregoing. we hereby affirm the same.

1987 ANG PING and CARMEN PIMENTEL. and pay P3. reducing the P5. After a motion for reconsideration was denied and entry of judgment was made. 1979 or earlier when the respondents and their parents were leasing the premises from Uy Chaco Sons and Co. i. Intermediate Appellate Court. No.P. On July 5. Cesar Sangco in the ejectment case was valid. Instead of remanding the case for a re-promulgation of the same judgment. 1985. vs. et al. Inc. in the meantime. et al. The Urban Land Reform Law.. 1984.00 per month rentals to their pre-litigation level of P500. JR.000. The Regional Trial Court of Manila sustained the MTC findings that B. (Ang Ping.000.00 monthly rentals. 1983 decision of Judge J.: The issue in this petition is whether or not the execution of a final judgment in an ejectment case which has gone all the way to the Supreme Court may be stayed by a trial court on the ground of a supervening event. J.). this Court affirmed the decisions of the courts below as modified. (p.00 per month. GUTIERREZ. 25 is not applicable because (1) the monthly rental is more than then P300. RTC Judge Conrado T. pay P5.e. .R. 75860 September 17. the rate of monthly rentals agreed upon from June. In their petition for review filed with the Intermediate Appellate Court. Limcaoco partially granted a motion for reconsideration by reducing to P500.000. Branch 40. REGIONAL TRIAL COURT OF MANILA. been decided in their favor. respondents. 1984 when Judge J. The private respondents opposed the motion on the ground that a complaint for annulment of sale which they filed with the Regional Trial Court of Manila had. 70581. petitioners. 9. the decision was affirmed in toto on March 26. 1983. and JULIO and ZENAIDA KO. 1984. a finding impliedly accepted by the respondents when they abandoned this ground. we issued a resolution which reads in part: On October 25.G. the respondent questioned the validity of the October 25.. On appeal to the Regional Trial Court of Manila. 1981 until they vacate minus whatever payments may have been made in the meantime. 1517 was likewise not deemed applicable. the petitioners returned to the metropolitan trial court where they filed a motion for execution of the judgment. in G. the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila rendered judgment in an ejectment case filed by the petitioners Ang Ping and Carmen Pimentel against private respondents Julio Ko and Zenaida Ko.00 attorney's fees and costs. 1983 decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court on the ground that it was released only on January 24.00 rental covered by the law and (2) the respondents use the (sic) commercial reasons and not for a residence. P. On November 13. v. Rollo) We resolved affirmatively the issue of whether or not the October 25. R.00 a month in rentals from March 1. namely a decision by a regional trial court ordering the nullification of sale and title and granting legal redemption in favor of the private respondents. The trial court ordered the respondents to vacate the disputed premises. No. No.D. Cesar Sangco had already retired.

13911 declared null and void the sale by the earlier owner. while it is not necessary to resolve it.00) as of the effectivity of this Act . 25 nor P. p.00. applies. 15. T & C Corporation. . 5-6).P.00. As to the first two grounds the basic issue is whether or not B.. pp. respondents Julio and Zenaida Ko filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of the writ of execution in the ejectment case. No. the sale thereof to the latter is null and void and in fact filed a complaint for annulment thereof on that ground. Since neither B. Premises considered the court finds and so declares that plaintiffs have satisfactorily established their causes of action. The petitioners filed a motion to set aside and/or reconsider the decision.The Regional Trial Court of Manila in Civil Case No. expires at the end of every month and may be terminated on any month. effective 30 days thereafter. 25. considering that defendants are undeniably using the same for commercial purposes because it is there where they do business under the name of Johnson Blacksmith & Machine Shop.000. the motion for reconsideration was denied. 1517 are applicable. Moreover. as correctly pointed out by counsel for the plaintiff and as indicated by the plaintiff and as indicated by defendants' abandonment of this ground. the Metropolitan Trial Court of Manila denied the respondents' opposition and granted the motion for execution. 75-76) (Rollo. (2) plaintiffs' need of the leased premises is not for use as a residential unit as required by said law. Rollo. According to a manifestation filed September 1. 7 thereof according to which said law applies only to "All residential units the total monthly rental of which does not exceed three hundred pesos (P300. under Sec. 25 is applicable to this case. 1987. 2(b) of B.. The coverage of said law is defined in Sec. Going back to the ejectment case. On April 28. It is the preliminary injunction issued by Branch 40 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in Civil Case No. 5 of B." The undisputed fact is that at the time of the purchase of the premises in question defendants were paying a monthly rental of P500. No. it is even doubtful whether the leased premises may be considered as a residential unit under Sec.P. 1986. to the petitioners on grounds of equity under Article 19 of the Civil Code and ordered the petitioners to sell 190 square meters of the land they had purchased to the respondents upon Julio Ko's paying them P190. Plaintiff did so when it served notice of termination thereof dated February 20. whereupon the matter was raised to the Court of Appeals where the case is now pending.D. 86-35622 which is now before us. it is just as obvious that P. (Annex J.P. As to the third ground. The bases for the decision in the ejectment case are summarized by the Regional Trial Court of Manila as follows: Defendants contend that they cannot be ejected because: (1) they are subsisting lessees at the time of the purchase of the property in question by the plaintiffs from T & L Development Corporation.D. 1981. 1517 is likewise not applicable. No. the settled rule that a month to month contract of lease is a contract for a fixed period. but as an office and bodega. No.P. and (3) since they were not given an opportunity to exercise their right of first refusal before the leased premises were sold to the plaintiffs.

The principle enunciated in Ramirez v.On the other hand. thereby depriving the petitioners of the fruits of their legal victory through the implementation of the final and executory decision. namely: A The respondent court gravely abused its discretion and/or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the temporary restraining order of April 28. (pp. The petitioners raise two grounds for the allowance of their petition. Yet. the decision in Civil Case No. nullifying the sale in favor of petitioners Ang Ping and Carmen Pimentel is based on a finding that justice and equity would be served by allowing Julio and Zenaida Ko to buy the properties already sold to the petitioners. 13) B The respondent court committed grave abuse of discretion and/or acted without or in excess of jurisdiction in issuing the writ of preliminary injunction. 70581. The petitioners also point out that we were fully aware of the pending nullification and reconveyance case because the same was brought to our attention in G. We agree with the petitioners. denying petitioners' Motion to Dismiss and directing the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction to stop the implementation of the writ of execution issued by the MTC of Manila (Rollo. They claimed a right to priority in the purchase of the lot and the corresponding part of the building and on April 24. Among the findings in Civil Case No.78 in trust for Ang Ping for the redemption or repurchase of the lot and apartment door sold to Ang Ping and Carmen Pimentel. 1986 and the Order of May 16.00 for the premises. 139111. (2) The respondents have religiously paid the monthly rentals of P500. No. 139111 are: (1) Julio Ko has been operating his Johnson Blacksmith and Machine Shop in the disputed premises since 1965. p. 1981 deposited with Equitable Banking Corporation the amount of P192. Rono) The petitioners contend that the decision of Branch 9 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila in the nullification of sale and title and reconveyance case does not as yet confer on the respondents any enforceable right whereas this Court has already entered judgment in the ejectment case. 13 and 18. The court stated that there is nothing legally wrong in an owner of a leased property selling it without notifying the tenant. we denied a motion for reconsideration of our decision in the petition for review of the ejectment case.161. (3) The respondents were never informed that T & L Development Corporation intended to sell the premises. it found a failure of the owner and the buyers to observe honesty and good faith because other tenants were informed of the proposed sale but not Julio and Zenaida Ko. 1986. However.R. Bleza (106 SCRA 187) applies. We ruled in Ramirez: .

(Rollo. Rules of Court). (id. (Ramirez v. where the action was for forcible entry and the only issue involved was the material possession or possession de facto of the land under litigation. R184. an "accion publiciana". This is so because: The judgment rendered in an action for forcible entry or detainer shall be effective with respect to the possession only and in no case bind the title or affect the ownership of the land or building. The rationale is that forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases are summary proceedings designed to provide for an expeditious means of protecting actual possession or the right to possession of the property involved. Peñalosa v. (at p. p.. 59. Respondent judge of first instance acted with grave abuse of discretion in preventing the execution of the final and executory judgment of the municipal court in the ejectment case on the flimsy pretext that another possessory action was pending in his court involving the same land. ownership is the issue. 1981. 106 SCRA 187). Guarin. we had a similar ruling: We find no merit in petitioners' aforesaid submission. So much so that the pendency of an action for reconveyance of title over the same property does not divest the city or municipal court of its jurisdiction to try the forcible entry or unlawful detainer case. Such action which involves the title over the premises is entirely independent from forcible entry. 303).Moreover. Aquino was more emphatic in his concurrence: I concur. 7. The enforcement of that judgment would not cause "chaos and confusion". supra). L-45640. It does not admit of a delay in the determination thereof. does not preclude nor bar the execution of the judgment rendered in Civil Case No. July 30. An unlawful detainer action has an entirely different subject from that of an action for reconveyance of title. (Mabalot v. 22 Phil. Jr. The judgment of the municipal court is res judicata as to the issue of possession de facto but it not conclusive as to the title or ownership (Sec. Procedural technicality is therefore obviated and reliance thereon to stay . 194) Justice Ramon C. Tuason. whereas in an action for reconveyance. What is involved in unlawful detainer case is merely the issue of material possession or possession de facto. nor will it preclude or bar execution of judgment in the ejectment case where the only issue involved is material possession or possession de facto.) before the Court of First Instance of Oriental Mindoro. (Section 7. the pendency of Civil Case No. Rule 70. 121 SCRA 347). Madela. R436. at p. Bleza. Such judgment shall not bar an action between the same parties respecting title to the land or building nor shall it be held conclusive of the facts therein found in case between the same parties upon a different cause of action involving possession. where ownership is concededly the principal issue. Court of Appeals (133 SCRA 520). Possession and ownership of a parcel of land may be held by different persons. It is a "time procedure" designed to remedy the situation. 195). (Republic v. Rules of Court. In De la Cruz v. Rule 70. The winning party is entitled to the execution of the municipal court's final judgment as to possession.

A lower court is without supervisory jurisdiction to interpret or to reverse the judgment of the higher court.eviction from the property should not be tolerated and cannot override substantial justice. it has to speak with one voice." This is especially true where it is a Supreme Court decision or resolution which states with finality how the particular case before it has been resolved. this Court.L. Court of Appeals (85 SCRA 226): Respondent Court of Appeals really was devoid of any choice at all. 1970. "The delicate task of ascertaining the significance that attaches to a constitutional or statutory provision. 56 [1937] was cited. There is only one Supreme Court from whose decisions all other courts should take their bearings. 333) that "the only function of a lower court. Do the equities of the case warrant a disregard of established precedents? It is true that the private respondents would suffer painful consequences if they are ejected now only to be reinstated if they eventually win the nullification of sale case. this Court declared in Shioji v. The merits will have to be threshed out by the proper court on a full consideration of the evidence and the law upon which it is based. 961. To assure stability in legal relations and avoid confusion. it is the final arbiter of any justifiable controversy.B. Our decision here is limited to the execution of the decision in the ejectment case. 230-231). So much so that judgment must be executed immediately when it is in favor of the plaintiff in order to prevent further damages arising from loss of possession. This Tribunal having spoken. May 29. Barrera (L-31589. It is as simple as that. its duty was to obey. (Salinas v. As early as 1922. They have to defer and to submit. The Intermediate Appellate Court ruled that the promulgation of the trial court's decision was defective and ordered it repromulgated but this Court set aside the appellate decision and reinstated the metropolitan trial court and regional trial court decisions. We refrain from expressing any opinion on the merits of the decision in the nullification of sale and reconveyance of property case. an executive order. There is relevance to this excerpt from Barrera v. the petitioners are also suffering an injustice. The injunction was improperly issued. 34 SCRA 98). L26364. 1968. We ruled in Tugade v. However. .. (At pp. Court of First Instance of Manila [Branch VI]. has the last word on what the law is. July 31. 126 SCRA 167). 23 SCRA 948. binding on those occupying the lower ranks in the judicial hierarchy. is the ministerial one of issuing the order of execution. 65 Phil. What it says then should be definitive and authoritative. 122 SCRA 877). Consolacion. It could not have ruled in any other way on the legal question raised. 107. Navarro. logically and rightly. 527-528). by tradition and in our system of judicial administration.) The ensuing paragraph of the opinion in Barrera further emphasizes the point: Such a thought was reiterated in an opinion of Justice J. when the judgment of a higher court is returned to it.B. it is plain that the law is on the side of the petitioners. The ejectment case in their favor was decided as early as 1983. From the foregoing. It thus discharges a role no less crucial than that appertaining to the other two departments in the maintenance of the rule of law. The opinion of Justice Laurel in People v. (Dakudao v. a procedural norm or a municipal ordinance is committed to the judiciary. through the highest judicial organ. Reyes and further emphasized in these words: "Judge Gaudencio Cloribel need not be reminded that the Supreme Court." (ibid." (Justice J. Reyes spoke thus in Albert v.L. Vera. The regional trial court affirmed the decision. It does so with finality.) (at pp. Harvey (43 Phil.

No motion for extension of time to file a motion for reconsideration of this decision will be granted. the petition is hereby GRANTED.There being no final decision in the annulment of sale case. the petitioners have equal chances with the private respondents of also winning that case. The private respondents cannot claim to have overriding considerations of equity on their side. sufficient to stop the execution of a final judgment in the ejectment proceedings. 1986 of the respondent court are SET ASIDE. WHEREFORE. The orders dated April 28. The Metropolitan Trial Court is ORDERED to immediately execute the decision in the ejectment case. 1986 and May 16. .

R. only about a week before he filed the aforementioned complaint. was never furnished a copy of the decision in G. Esperidion Tolentino for and in his own behalf as plaintiff-appellant. G. and urges that the failure of service of a copy of the decision upon the late Severo Domingo was a denial of due process. that the dissenting opinion is the correct view of the case.: Appeal from the order of dismissal of the Court of First Instance of Nueva Ecija. right.L. for lack of cause of action. the plaintiff-appellant interposed the present appeal. Being represented by counsel. J. Assuming the truth of the allegation that Severo Domingo. or obligation. Rules of Court). 14.G. Santos Ongsiako. Sec. L-32776. 28 Phil.R. 3197. and adverse to those of appellant) was promulgated by this Court on 4 December 1930. Esperidion Tolentino. vs. et al. during the war. 1963 ESPERIDION TOLENTINO. the present case be heard as a proceeding coram nobis. 44). appears in Volume 55 of the Philippine Reports. on equitable grounds. it appears in the printed report of the case (55 Phil. for the enforcement of the dissenting opinion rendered in the case entitled "Severo Domingo. and asks that. and not upon the client (Palad vs. Rule 123. J. No. and should be enforced. REYES. service of the decision is made upon the latter by the clerk of the Supreme Court (Sec. denied due process of law. 250. because the issue sought to be reopened is res judicata. L-17938 April 30. and the unrebutted presumption is that the said official of this Court had regularly performed his duty (No. and alleges that plaintiff-appellant learned of the decision. No. and neither disposes of. Reyes and Senen Ceniza for defendants-appellees. it being sufficient to state that there is nothing to enforce in a dissenting opinion. that the decision of the majority of the Court was erroneous and unjust. 32776. dismissed the case. et al. in its Civil Case No. and. on motion of one of the several defendants.. 69 [m]. 361) that he was represented by Atty." The decision in said case (in favor of appellees' predecessors. starting on page 361. . Unfortunately. 334. Act 190. Appellant's alleged predecessor-in-interest was not. prays in the complaint that he filed with the lower court on 20 May 1959.. or destroyed. The plaintiff-appellant. Act 190). No. nor awards. therefore. defendants-appellees. Ramon Diokno. vs. anything. Cui. ADELA ONGSIAKO.R. appellant's predecessor-in-interest. Edmundo M. Appellant's position that the decision was erroneous and unjust is entirely untenable. which invalidates the decision. aside from its having stood unchallenged for 30 years. The ridiculous prayer to enforce a dissenting opinion requires no discussion. the records of said case were lost.. who died without having received a copy of the decision. plaintiff-appellant. since it affirms or overrules no claim. Not satisfied. Sec. The plaintiff-appellant claims to be the successor-interest of the late Severo Domingo. it merely expresses the views of the dissenter. ET AL. The court below. together with the dissenting opinion.B.

Wherefore, the parties respectfully pray that the foregoing stipulation of facts be admitted and approved by this Honorable Court, without prejudice to the parties adducing other evidence to prove their case not covered by this stipulation of facts.

Lastly, the appellant's claim that "the lower court erred in not allowing plaintiff-appellant's cause as a proceedingcoram nobis", is devoid of merit. The ancient common law writ of error coram nobis, now substantially obsolete even in common law jurisdictions (49 CJS 561), does not lie after affirmance of a judgment on writ of error on appeal (49 CJS 562); nor can it be grounded on facts already in issue and adjudicated on the trial (49 CJS 567). Moreover, the jurisdiction of a writ of error coram nobis lies exclusively in the court which rendered the judgment sought to be corrected (49 CJS 568), so that it should have been sought by appellants, if at all, in the Supreme Court, and not in the Court of First Instance. In the Philippines, no court appears to have ever recognized such writ, the rule in this jurisdiction being that public policy and sound practice demand that, at the risk of occasional errors, judgments of courts should become final and irrevocable at some definite date fixed by law.1 Interes rei publicae ut finis sit litium. The order of dismissal appealed from is affirmed. Costs against the appellant.

G.R. No. 74122 March 15, 1988 GUILLERMO NACTOR, SPS. ANSELMO & ELENA NACTOR, PRECILIANO NACTOR, JOSE NACTOR & GLORIA NACTOR assisted by her husband MANUEL CLAYTOS, petitioners, vs. INTERMEDIATE APPELLATE COURT, * HON. NICOLAS A. GEROCHI, JR., Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Makati, Branch 139 & SPS. CLARO & MAGDALENA MELCHOR respondents. PARAS, J.: This is a petition for review on certiorari seeking to set aside or reverse the decision of the Intermediate Appellate Court ***(now Court of Appeals) dated January 30,1986 in ACG.R. SPNo.07595 entitled Guillermo Nactor, et al. vs. Nicolas A. Gerochi, Jr. affirming the decision of the Regional Trial Court, National Capital Region, Br. 139 in Civil Case No. 9307 on June 4,1985, which in turn affirmed in toto the appealed decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court in Civil Case No. 25607 dated September 5,1984. Respondent Court of appeals dismissed the petition seeking to set aside the Omnibus Order of the Regional Trial Court not only because the decision of the said court had already become final but also because on the merits of said decision, the affirmance thereof was in complete accord both with the facts and the law on the matter. The antecedent facts of this case as found by the Metropolitan Trial Court are as follows: Sometime in 1962, the herein plaintiffs-respondents (Spouses Melchor) allowed Guillermo Nactor (one of the defendants-petitioners) to build a shanty on their property as at that time they were intending to go abroad. Guillermo Nactor occupied the premises without any contract and without any rental, but with the understanding that he would watch over the property of the plaintiffs so as to prevent squatters from entering the said property. Instead of complying with the said agreement, Guillermo Nactor allowed his relatives to build houses inside the said property without the knowledge and consent of the Melchor spouses, so that when the latter returned to the Philippines, they discovered that many people were squatting inside their property. Hence, they lost no time in demanding that Guillermo Nactor and his group vacate the property in question. When petitioners refused to vacate the premises, the Melchor spouses filed a complaint with the Barangay, which was later elevated to the Metropolitan Trial Court, Branch 64, Makati, Metro Manila. The trial court decided the case in favor of the Melchor spouses on September 5, 1984, the dispositive portion of the decision reading as follows: WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered ordering the defendants and any and all persons claiming right/title under them to vacate the lot at 7713 St. Paul Street, Barangay San Antonio Village, Makati, Metro Manila and surrender peaceful occupation and possession thereof to plaintiffs and to pay jointly and severally to the latter a monthly rental of P100.00 from the date of the filing of the complaint on 30 August 1983 until they finally vacate the premises and to demolish and/or transfer all the improvements they have introduced thereon. Defendants are likewise ordered to pay the Plaintiffs P2,000.00 as attorney's fees and litigation expenses plus costs of suit. (Rollo, p. 17) On appeal, the Regional Trial Court of Makati affirmed in toto the decision of the Metropolitan Trial Court on June 4,1985, with the following observations and conclusions:

After a careful perusal of the evidence on record and the supporting arguments proffered by plaintiffs-appellees in their memorandum, this court finds no cogent reason to disturb the decision of the Court a quo, to which reference is hereby made. Furthermore, as admitted by the defendants, particularly, defendant-appellant Guillermo Nactor, that his occupancy of the said land was by mere tolerance and generosity of plaintiffs-appellees, allowing him to have a temporary place to build his abode, while the couple-plaintiffs-appellees--were still abroad. Evidently, while the actual physical possession might have been temporarily transferred to defendant-appellant Guillermo Nactor as a caretaker thereof for almost 20 years, the legal and juridical possession thereof remains in the hands of plaintiffsappellees, more especially so that the land in question of within the protective mantle of indefeasibility of the torrens system. Acts merely tolerated, and those executed clandestinely and without the knowledge of the possessor of a thing or by violence, do not affect possession (Art. 537, New Civil Code; Mercedes vs. Go Bio, et al., 78 Phil. 279). Acts of possessory character executed in virtue of license or by mere tolerance of the owner shall not be available for the purpose of possession.' (Art. 1119, New Civil Code) (Emphasis supplied) To deny plaintiffs-appellees of their right to physically repossess the said land as uncontested and uncontroverted lawful owners thereof, would be tantamount to extending premium, if not license, to a pretender of lawful possession' arising only from the charity and benevolence of its owners. This Court, both in law and equity, under these antecedents, and after having extended benevolence to defendants-appellants for so long, should now allow plaintiffs the full enjoyment and use of their property. WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing, decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED IN TOTO, with costs against defendants-appellants. (pp. 17-18, Rollo). The defendants-petitioners moved for reconsideration on June 24,1985, which motion was denied by respondent Judge, in an Omnibus Order dated October 22,1985, for having been filed after the decision had become final and executory. Simultaneously, on motion of plaintiffs-appellees, a writ of execution was issued. The motion for reconsideration having been denied, defendants-petitioners filed a petition for review on certiorari on October 31, 1985 with the Court of Appeals. On January 30, 1986, the Court of Appeals affirmed the decision of the Regional Trial Court, the pertinent portion of the affirmance reading: The petition is thus without merit. Not only had the respondent Judge's decision become final, and beyond the respondent Judge's competence to vary, set aside or modify, but that on the merits of the said decision, the affirmance thereof by the respondent Judge is in complete accord both with the facts and the law applicable on the matter. No reversible error has, therefore, been committed.

this petition. JUNE 23 BEING A SUNDAY. the verification and the jurat (Rollo. p. 40-47. The resolution of November 10. 1986 for lack of merit. p. however. 56) respondents filed their comment dated June 30. the petitioners thru counsel filed their manifestations/explanation (Rollo. 1986. However. III THE DECISION ERRED IN NOT DISMISSING THE CASE FOR WANT OF JURISDICTION. 1986. A special power of attorney was attached thereto (Rollo. The latter was filed on July 3. 1986. the court required the private respondents to file a reply to the comments on the motion for early resolution filed by counsel for petitioners and petitioners to comment on the urgent ex-parte motion of private respondents to withdraw deposit. 1986. gave due course to the petition and required both parties to file their respective memoranda (Rollo. 114). II THE DECISION ERRED IN BINDING THEREIN THE DEFENDANTS IN THE FORCIBLE ENTRY CASE WHICH WAS PREVIOUSLY DISMISSED. Hence. In the resolution of June 3. 91). with costs. Annex "D"). On April 8. 100). petitioners filed their comment on the motion for early resolution while respondents filed their urgent ex-parte motion to withdraw deposit and [rayed that the amount be released through their authorized representative and attorney-in-fact (Rollo. Petitioners raised the following assignments of error: I THE DECISION ERRED IN RULING THAT THE MOTION FOR RECONSIDERATION FILED ON THE 24 OF JUNE 1985 IS ALREADY LATE BY ONE DAY. p. p. p. 22). the petition for review is hereby DISMISSED. In the Resolution of October 15. 68) stating that they are therewith submitting the attached Supplemental Reply to the comment of counsel for the respondents (Rollo. 1987 (Rollo. . 110). On that same date.1986 which motion was denied on March 21. 1986 (Rollo.1987. p. p. p. p. p. followed by another motion reiterating early conclusive resolution and/or final decision by the same respondents on March 23.WHEREFORE. 58). pp." The defendant-petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration dated February 22. 67). the court required the petitioners to file a reply to the comment of counsel for respondent (Rollo. p.1986 (Rollo. In the resolution dated June 11. 59). before petitioners could comply with said requirement which were filed on August 26. required the petitioners to comply with the rules by submitting to the court proof of service of the petition on the Intermediate Appellate Court and the adverse party and to sign the petition. 98).1987. On October 28. p. 23). Respondents filed their memorandum on December 15. THE PRECEDING DAY. p. and a motion for early conclusive resolution and/or final resolution on February 19. (Rollo. 1987 (Rollo. respondents filed an urgent Motion for Exigent Resolution and Refutal to the Petition for Review on certiorari (Rollo. 78. 107).1987 (Rollo.1986. the Second Division of this Court. before acting on the petition.

with reference to the performance of an act required by law or contract to be done at a certain time or within a certain limit of time. It will be noted. as the main grounds relied upon by . provided said day is neither a Sunday nor a legal holiday. 1985 is a Sunday. 1985 because the fifteenth day.. the first day shall be excluded. June 23. On the other hand. or day from which the time is reckoned. is to be excluded and the date of performance. resolutions. award judgment or decision appealed from: . however. 13. unless otherwise provided. Section 39 of the Judiciary Reorganization Act. Computation of time in computing any fixed period-of time. Thus. included. Pertinent thereto. Court of Appeals. the issues raised in this case are two fold: (1) as regards the timeliness of the motion for reconsideration filed and (2) the lack of cause of action on the part of the complainants and lack of jurisdiction to try the case on the part of the court a quo. it is understood that where the time refers to a period prescribed or allowed by the Rules of Court. this Court finds no cogent reason to alter its aforesaid decision sought to be reconsidered. and also in the Revised Administrative Code which likewise provides: Section 13. as authoritatively formulated by this Court. Accordingly. not only because said motion was purportedly filed late but also for lack of merit. 6 SCRA 281 [1962]. the last day should really be the next day. However.P. De las Alas v. 83 SCRA 200 [1978].. in said Order. resolution. . the Court ruled as follows: In passing though. and the last day included.. thru counsel. Petitioners contend that the motion for reconsideration was filed on time with the Regional Trial Court on June 24. B. Acting Director of Prisons. even a careful consideration of the grounds relied upon by defendants-appellants in their Motion for Reconsideration as well as the opposition thereto by plaintiffs-appellees. the period to perfect an appeal is extended ipso jure to the first working day immediately following. the rule on the computation of periods for filing of pleadings is now embodied in Article 13 of the Civil Code of the Philippines which provides: Art. that petitioners' motion for reconsideration was denied by the Regional Trial Court in its Omnibus Order. awards judgments.Otherwise stated. 129 provides: The period for appeal from final orders. There is merit in this contention. or by any other applicable statute.. or decisions of any court in all cases shall be fifteen (15) days counted from the notice of the final order. In computing a period. the computation of the appeal periods is to the effect that the first day shall be excluded but the last day of the period so computed is to be included unless it is a Sunday or a legal holiday in which event the time shall run until the end of the next day which is neither a Sunday nor a holiday (Kabigting v. Thus. The law cannot require compliance on a day when entities supposed to receive pleadings or documents are closed in view of the holiday. by an order of the court. the day or date. in said cases. in case the last day is a Sunday or a legal holiday.

no right to stay on the premises. but without compliance with the Rules on Forcible Entry cases among which are. with all the more reason have the rest of the defendants who are only occupying the property under him. On review. Sua. such fact was confirmed by the testimony of the principal defendant Guillermo Nactor. 25 SCRA 155-159 [1968]). All these notwithstanding. pp. a written demand to vacate which must be definite. Such allegation is untenable. While it is true that the instant case was tried by the court a quo on the basis of the unlawful detainer charge instead of forcible entry for the rest of the defendants excluding Guillermo. without any written consent and/or authority from them. proper relief may nevertheless be granted by the court if the facts alleged in the complaint and the evidence introduced so warrant (Ras v. Thus. 1984): It will likewise be noted that defendants. Petitioners allege that it is only Guillermo Nactor whose entrance into the premises was with the knowledge and consent of the plaintiffs who can be bound by the judgment in the unlawful detainer case but not the rest of the defendants whose occupancy was termed by the plaintiffs as unlawful and/or illegal. Aside from the findings of the trial court itself. 20). p. . (TSN dated May 9. the trial court in unmistakable language. It is obvious that they gained access to the property through him and occupied the same under his responsibility. petitioners would have this Court review the findings and conclusions of the court a quo which have been affirmed in toto not only by the Regional Trial Court but also by the Court of Appeals. included all the defendants and any and all persons claiming right/title under Guillermo Nactor. on the basis of technicalities obviously resorted to only for purposes of delay. You mean to tell the Honorable Court all the defendants in this case were allowed to silly in this place? A.defendants-appellants had been amply discussed in the decision of this Court in affirmance of the one rendered by the court a quo. the Court of Appeals was even more specific in denying the petition which seeks. to set aside aforesaid Order. all surnamed Nactor are the relatives of Guillermo Nactor who was the caretaker thereof. petitioners claim that the complaint is devoid of a sufficient cause of action and invests upon the court no jurisdiction to try and decide the case (Rollo. that there is no contract at all between the plaintiffs and defendants and that the occupation of the property by the latter was only by tolerance of the former." (Original Records. Consequently. Besides since the rest of the petitioners were on the property under the apparent protection of Guillermo. spouses Melchor told us that we can stay there so that nobody will stay in the place. They claim that such defendants should therefore be charged with forcible entry. 10-11). whose testimony was quoted in the decision of the court a quo as follows: Q. in ordering that the property be vacated and possession thereof surrendered peacefully to the plaintiffs. it is an elementary rule of procedure that what is controlling is not the caption of the case which does not materially alter the situation but the allegations therein that determine the nature of the action and even without the prayer for a specific remedy. if Guillermo Nactor has admittedly lost the right to stay on or occupy the property in question. not only because the decision of the Regional Trial Court has ostensibly become final but for lack of merit. Sir. an unlawful detainer case (and not necessarily one of forcible entry) may properly be used against them. Yes.

petitioners claim that they fall within the protective mantle of P. 2284. In resume. PREMISES CONSIDERED. 1517 "Urban Land Reform" as per Proclamation Nos. that Guillermo Nactor and the rest of the defendants are occupying the property only by tolerance of the owners and that under whatever remedy private respondents may avail themselves of.D. pp. However. (Annexes "A" and "A-l.Still further. 1767 and 1967. 1967. to enforce their rights. The main thrust therefore. That the position of petitioners is totally devoid of merit. petitioners have to vacate the property because they have no right to stay therein. 28 & 29). petitioners did not dispute the fact that private respondents are the lawful owners of the property in question. has never been within the areas covered by "BOUNDARY DESCRIPTION PURSUANT TO PROCLAMATION NO. the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. of their objection is not on the merits of their claim but on the technicality that the nature of the action taken by the private respondents is erroneous. the records show that the property in question is outside the DECLARED URBAN LAND REFORM ZONE" (ULRZ). . No. is shown by the fact that the end result would be the same." as certified by the Human Settlements Regulation Commission. as amended by Proclamation No." Rollo. This Decision is immediately executory. and situated on the northeast side along Saint Paul Road.

or a total of P120. from an order of the Court of First Instance of Manila dated April 30. 1958.P. his distributable estate should be divided.000. Jr. oppositors-appellants. Bellis and Dorothy Bellis. PEOPLE'S BANK and TRUST COMPANY. (b) P120. Texas. 1964. in which he directed that after all taxes. 1äw phï1. Mallen by the delivery to her of shares of stock . 1964. Quijano and Arroyo for heirs-appellees W. approving the project of partition filed by the executor in Civil Case No. 1952. Henry A. in equal shares. Jr. Bellis. George Bellis (who pre-deceased him in infancy). MARIA CRISTINA BELLIS and MIRIAM PALMA BELLIS. ET AL. whom he divorced. Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman. born in Texas.00. Bellis.ñët The facts of the case are as follows: Amos G. Amos Bellis. Bellis executed a will in the Philippines. executor.ñët Subsequently. BELLIS. Mallen and to the three (3) illegitimate children. Vicente R. 1äwphï1. et al. preparatory to closing its administration. Amos G. and expenses of administration are paid for. who survived him. Cruz and Nazareno for heirs-appellees E. obligations. Alexander Bellis and Anna Bellis Allsman. Gibbs and Ozaeta for appellee A. Henry A.00 each in satisfaction of their respective legacies. Report of Administration and Project of Partition" wherein it reported. which it released from time to time according as the lower court approved and allowed the various motions or petitions filed by the latter three requesting partial advances on account of their respective legacies. as executor of the will.. U. EDWARD A." By his first wife. Violet Kennedy. J. in the following order and manner: (a) $240. R. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. Bellis. Bellis. vs. namely: Edward A. Bellis died a resident of San Antonio. and Dorothy E.. J. the satisfaction of the legacy of Mary E. Bellis.00 in the form of shares of stock to Mary E.R. heirs-appellees.: This is a direct appeal to Us..00 to his three illegitimate children. Maria Cristina Bellis. Mary E. Bellis.S.000. paid all the bequests therein including the amount of $240. 1967 TESTATE ESTATE OF AMOS G. B. J. he had three illegitimate children: Amos Bellis. The People's Bank and Trust Company. On January 8. Ozaeta. was "a citizen of the State of Texas and of the United States.000. Mallen. 37089 therein. His will was admitted to probate in the Court of First Instance of Manila on September 15. S. he had three legitimate children: Edwin G. Poblador. he had five legitimate children: Edward A.A. in trust. No. Paredes. Bellis. Amos G. or P40. the executor submitted and filed its "Executor's Final Account. the remainder shall go to his seven surviving children by his first and second wives. upon a question purely of law. Bellis. Macasaet and Jose D. et al. BELLIS. and finally. Walter S.. 1958. inter alia. On August 5.000. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis. Balonkita for appellee People's Bank & Trust Company. Bellis. Amos Bellis. L-23678 June 6. Walter S. Villena for oppositors appellants.00 to his first wife. BENGZON. Mallen. or on July 8.G. A. Allsman. by his second wife. various amounts totalling P40.00 each and (c) after the foregoing two items have been satisfied.. deceased. Mary E. Bellis. Miriam Palma Bellis.000.000. Edwin G. Bellis. Jr.

they never invoked nor even mentioned it in their arguments. (e) the intrinsic validity of the provisions of the will. compulsory heirs of the deceased. 2. 1964 by the executor. Nonetheless. 1963. In the present case. the same would not result in a reference back (renvoi) to Philippine law. on April 30. render applicable the national law of the decedent. nor even discuss. report and administration and project of partition.1 After the parties filed their respective memoranda and other pertinent pleadings.00 each or a total of P120. it should not be presumed different from ours. which in this case is Texas law. but would still refer to Texas law. both with respect to the order of succession and to the amount of successional rights and to the intrinsic validity of testamentary provisions.3Appellants' position is therefore not rested on the doctrine of renvoi.000. 1964. 16 of the Civil Code. the executor — pursuant to the "Twelfth" clause of the testator's Last Will and Testament — divided the residuary estate into seven equal portions for the benefit of the testator's seven legitimate children by his first and second marriages. As stated. L-16749.000.2 So that even assuming Texas has a conflict of law rule providing that the domiciliary system (law of the domicile) should govern. oppositors-appellants appealed to this Court to raise the issue of which law must apply — Texas law or Philippine law. of proof as to the conflict of law rule of Texas. They provide that — ART. interposed no opposition despite notice to him. Said doctrine is usually pertinent where the decedent is a national of one country. it is not disputed that the decedent was both a national of Texas and a domicile thereof at the time of his death. and a domicile of another. however. applied by this Court in Aznar v. it applied the national law of the decedent.00. In the project of partition.amounting to $240. On January 17. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis filed their respective oppositions to the project of partition on the ground that they were deprived of their legitimes as illegitimate children and. proof of service of which is evidenced by the registry receipt submitted on April 27. Maria Cristina Bellis and Miriam Palma Bellis in the amount of P40. 1039 of the Civil Code. Their respective motions for reconsideration having been denied by the lower court on June 11. 1964. and (d) the capacity to succeed. Jr. with regard to four items: (a) the order of succession. intestate and testamentary successions. and the legacies of Amos Bellis.000. Rather. therefore. Jr. 16. the parties do not submit the case on. Amos Bellis. whatever may he the nature of the property and regardless of the country wherein said property may be found. ART. issued an order overruling the oppositions and approving the executor's final account. Real property as well as personal property is subject to the law of the country where it is situated. shall be regulated by the national law of the person whose succession is under consideration. if Texas has a conflicts rule adopting the situs theory (lex rei sitae) calling for the application of the law of the place where the properties are situated. renvoi would arise. In this regard.. and Art. Article 16. (b) the amount of successional rights. since the properties here involved are found in the Philippines. In the absence. which did not provide for legitimes. in intestate or testamentary successions. Relying upon Art. 1964. 1039. . January 31. the doctrine of renvoi. they argue that their case falls under the circumstances mentioned in the third paragraph of Article 17 in relation to Article 16 of the Civil Code. Christensen Garcia.00. par. However. the lower court. Capacity to succeed is governed by the law of the nation of the decedent.

A. Bellis. the Philippine law on legitimes cannot be applied to the testacy of Amos G. The parties admit that the decedent. to the decedent's national law. 1039. Assuming that such was the decedent's intention in executing a separate Philippine will. Precisely. their acts or property. For it has specifically chosen to leave.. is illegal and void. while reproducing without substantial change the second paragraph of Art. and those which have for their object public order. 867. Wherefore. "notwithstanding the provisions of this and the next preceding article" when they incorporated Art. 2 of the Civil Code afore-quoted. Bellis. 870. It must have been their purpose to make the second paragraph of Art. the amount of successional rights. Congressdeleted the phrase. Appellants would also point out that the decedent executed two wills — one to govern his Texas estate and the other his Philippine estate — arguing from this that he intended Philippine law to govern his Philippine estate. Specific provisions must prevail over general ones. It is therefore evident that whatever public policy or good customs may be involved in our System of legitimes. Accordingly. U. 50 Phil. Congress has not intended to extend the same to the succession of foreign nationals. So ordered. Amos G. public policy and good customs shall not be rendered ineffective by laws or judgments promulgated. Brimo. Congress added a new provision. for his national law cannot be ignored in regard to those matters that Article 10 — now Article 16 — of the Civil Code states said national law should govern. which decrees that capacity to succeed is to be governed by the national law of the decedent. stating that — Prohibitive laws concerning persons. This is not correct. 16 a specific provision in itself which must be applied in testate and intestate succession. under Art. of the Civil Code. it would not alter the law. paragraph three. for as this Court ruled in Miciano v. . the order of the probate court is hereby affirmed in toto. par. or by determinations or conventions agreed upon in a foreign country. and that under the laws of Texas. a provision in a foreigner's will to the effect that his properties shall be distributed in accordance with Philippine law and not with his national law. 16 in the new.Appellants would however counter that Art. with costs against appellants. prevails as the exception to Art. inter alia. 17.S. since the intrinsic validity of the provision of the will and the amount of successional rights are to be determined under Texas law. 10 of the old Civil Code as Art. was a citizen of the State of Texas. 17 of the new Civil Code. As further indication of this legislative intent. 11 of the old Civil Code as Art. 16. there are no forced heirs or legitimes.

instead of the first. The facts.respondents. After the orators had delivered their respective pieces. Benevides 17. JOSE N. Jr. and the contestant receiving the lowest number got first prize. There were five judges of the competition. Imperial 10.. 1950 a benefit inter-collegiate oratorical contest was held in Naga City. 6.. Four days afterwards. L-4606 May 30. General 17. Then the grades were added. The contestants were eight. number 2 to the second best etc. and second honor to Emma Imperial. Court of First Instance of Camarines Sur. Grageda and Victoriano Yamson for respondents Judge Leuterio and Emma Imperial.R. 7. After a hearing. Judge. Ramon Felipe. 3. Jr. Karingal for petitioner. In an oratorical contest held in Naga. the Board of judges having voted as follows: Judge Nosce Imperial Buenavides General . etc. Camarines Sur.G. EMMA IMPERIAL. Six days later. and L. Ezequiel S. and over the objection of the other four judges of the contest. 5. and SOUTHERN LUZON COLLEGE. The issue in the litigation is whether the courts have the authority to reverse the award of the board of judges of an oratorical competition. giving number 1 to the best. J. Board of Judges. Upon refusal of the Board to amend their award. FELIPE. and Luis General. among them Nestor Nosce. alleging that one of the judges had fallen to error in grading her performance. petitioner. BENGZON. IMPERIAL. SR. There is no dispute about the facts: 1. down to number 8. as Chairman. which she therefore claimed. Jr. Emma asked the court of the first instance of that province to reversed that award. the court declared Emma Imperial winner of the first place.. resulting in her second place only. HON. No. the next second prize. Emma Imperial. the petitioner Ramon B. first honor was given by the board of five judges to Nestor Nosce. Hence this special civil action challenging the court's power to modify the board's verdict. B. LEUTERIO.: Statement of the case. she filed a complaint in the court of first instance. 1952 RAMON B. Emma Imperial addressed a letter to the Board of Judges protesting the verdict. Padilla and San Juan for respondent Southern Luzon College. On March 12. being the Chairman. vs. second price to Emma Imperial. At the contest the five judges were each furnished a blank form wherein he give the participants grades according to his estimate of their abilities. 4. the Chairman publicly announced their decision awarding first price to Nestor Nosce. third price to Menandro Benavides and fourth place to Luis General. Sr. represented by her guardian-ad-litem JUSTO V. and alleging that one of the Judges had committed a mathematical mistake. and after the judges had expressed their votes. The sums for the first four winners were: Nosce 10. Felipe. 2.

.. 12. the judge could not jot down the grades he thought the contestants deserved according to "Originality".. Rodriguez . the Chairman. But to us the important thing is Rodriguez' vote during and immediately after the affair.. It was discovered later that the form filed by Delfin Rodriguez.. because with 15 General got 96 instead of 95). Probably for the above reasons the board refused to "correct" the alleged error... "Stage Personality" etc. 2 to Benavides etc.. 11. His vote in Exhibit 3 definitely gave General place No.. It appearing that Nestor Nosce and Emma Imperial had tied for the first place.. (Mistakingly again. For the convenience of the judges the typewritten forms contained blank spaces in which..... and merely set down his conclusions giving one to Imperial. or placed No. Discussion. Prado . How? Under the caption "English" General was given by himself at first "14". broke the tie awarding first honors to Nosce and second honors to Imperial..... later increased to "15". "Pronunciation and Enunciation" and "Voice". 10. From such data he made up his vote. "English".. Imperial asserts that her total should be 95 instead of 94 and therefore should rank 3rd place in Rodriguez' vote. In other words what counted was the vote... he added the ratings of General (which were the same as Imperial with 14 under "English") and (mistakenly) reached 94 also... one of the Judges.. However if deductions are to be made from his recorded vote (Exhibit 3) one may infer that after the contest and before submitting his vote he decided to give General an edge over Imperial... gave Imperial and General the following ratings under the above headings.. "Timeliness".. that he was not disposed to break the tie between her and General and insisted that he wanted to give rank 3 to Imperial and rank 3 also to General. the same as General.. 3 and Imperial place No... Evidently because after he had added the ratings of Imperial and (erroneously) reached the sum of 94. . after the names of the rival orators and their respective orations.. "Stage Personality"... Rodriguez testified that he made a mistake in adding up Imperial's ratings. 3. we will concede for the moment that Delfin Rodriguez could have given 3 to Imperial to General...Felipe Sr..... And if she got 3 from Rodriguez. apparently with the consent of the board.. "English"...... 3 1 1 3 2 10 1 2 4 2 1 10 2 4 5 1 5 17 4 3 3 3 4 17 8..... with the result that she copped first place in the speaking joust... without specifying the ratings for "Voice".. Imperial 19-15-15-18-14-14 Total 94Place 4th General 19-15-15 or 14-19-14-14 Total 95-Place 3rd. Obias . . 9. her total vote should have been 9 instead of ten.. that she should have been given a total of 95. His calculations recorded on Exhibit 3 were not material. Although it would seem anomalous for one judge to give the same rank to two contestants. Moll .. So what did he also? He raised the 14 to 15 and thus gave general 95 to place him over Imperial's 94. 4. In fact the Chairman did not bother to fill out the blank spaces in his own form...

the fact that a particular action has had no precedent during a long period affords some reason for doubting the existence of the right sought to be enforced. Vol. May the matter be brought to the court to obtain a new award. If at all. Now. the respondent judge reasoned out that where there is a wrong there is a remedy and that courts of first instance are courts of general jurisdiction. Like the ancient tournaments of the Sword. Not against the other judges. Error and wrong do not mean the same thing. there was error on the part of one judge. Series 1950. reversing the decision of the board of judges? For more than thirty years oratorical tilts have been held periodically by schools and colleges in these islands. . By the way what is here in stated must not be understood as applying to those activities which the government has chosen to regulate with the creation of the Games and Amusements Board in Executive Order No. because their's was merely the privilege to compete for the prize. or as members of the board of judges afterwards. But then her action should be directed against the individual judge or judges who fraudulently or maliciously injured her. The other judges refuse to alter their verdict. No rights to the prizes may be asserted by the contestants. We observe that in assuming jurisdiction over the matter. Inter-collegiate oratorical competitions are of more recent origin.S. being loath to establish a new legal principle not in harmony with the generally accepted views thereon. No alibis. 392. The flaw in his reasoning lies in the assumption that Imperial suffered some wrong at the hands of the board of judges. especially where occasion for its assertion must have often arisen. "Wrong" as used in the aforesaid legal principle is the deprivation or violation of a right. at most.J. The participants are supposed to join the competition to contribute to its success by striving their utmost: the prizes are secondary. Members of this court have taken part in them either as contestants in their school days1. these tournaments of the Word apply the highest tenets of sportmanship: finally of the referee's verdict. it would be a different proposition. Incidentally. these school activities have been imported from the United States. Granting that Imperial suffered some loss or injury. that the ratings he gave the second place winner should have been such as would entitle her to first place. and courts are cautious before allowing it. 1012). no murmurs of protest. and that privilege did not ripen into a demandable right unless and until they were proclaimed winners of the competition by the appointed arbiters or referees or judges. p. one of the judges confesses he made a mistake. Yet no party ever presumed to invoke judicial intervention. This is one of them. As stated before. They know some (few) verdicts did not reflect the audience's preference and that errors have sometimes been ascribed to the award of the judges. If fraud or malice had been proven. We found in American jurisprudence no litigation questioning the determination of the board of judges. a contestant has no right to the prize unless and until he or she is declared winner by the board of referees or judges. (See C. 1. yet in law there are instances of "damnum absque injuria".The situation then is this: Days after a contest has been conducted and the winners announced. for it is unwritten law in such contests that the board's decision is final and unappealable.

that the judiciary has no power to reverse the award of the board of judges of an oratorical contest. . No costs. Wherefore the order in controversy is hereby set aside. In view of all the foregoing. For that matter it would not interfere in literary contests. beauty contests and similar competitions. we are of the opinion and so declare.Judgment.

[G.R. No. 132344. February 17, 2000] UNIVERSITY OF THE EAST, Petitioner, v. ROMEO A. JADER, Respondent. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO, J.: May an educational institution be held liable for damages for misleading a student into believing that the latter had satisfied all the requirements for graduation when such is not the case? This is the issue in the instant petition for review premised on the following undisputed facts as summarized by the trial court and adopted by the Court of Appeals (CA),1 to wit: "Plaintiff was enrolled in the defendants College of Law from 1984 up to 1988. In the first semester of his last year (School year 1987-1988), he failed to take the regular final examination in Practice Court I for which he was given an incomplete grade (Exhibits 2, also Exhibit H). He enrolled for the second semester as fourth year law student (Exhibit A) and on February 1, 1988 he filed an application for the removal of the incomplete grade given him by Professor Carlos Ortega (Exhibits H-2, also Exhibit 2) which was approved by Dean Celedonio Tiongson after payment of the required fee. He took the examination on March 28, 1988. On May 30, 1988, Professor Carlos Ortega submitted his grade. It was a grade of five (5). (Exhibits H-4, also Exhibits 2-L, 2-N). "In the meantime, the Dean and the Faculty Members of the College of Law met to deliberate on who among the fourth year students should be allowed to graduate. The plaintiffs name appeared in the Tentative List of Candidates for graduation for the Degree of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) as of Second Semester (1987-1988) with the following annotation: "JADER ROMEO A. Def. Conflict of Laws - x-1-87-88, Practice Court I - Inc., 1-87-88. C-1 to submit transcript with S.O. (Exhibits 3, 3-C-1, 3-C-2)." "The 35th Investitures & Commencement Ceremonies for the candidates of Bachelor of Laws was scheduled on the 16th of April 1988 at 3:00 oclock in the afternoon, and in the invitation for that occasion the name of the plaintiff
appeared as one of the candidates. (Exhibits B, B-6, B-6-A). At the foot of the list of the names of the candidates there appeared however the following annotation:

This is a tentative list. Degrees will be conferred upon these candidates who satisfactorily complete requirements as stated in the University Bulletin and as approved of the Department of Education, Culture and Sports (Exhibit B-7-A). "The plaintiff attended the investiture ceremonies at F. dela Cruz Quadrangle, U.E., Recto Campus, during the program of which he went up the stage when his name was called, escorted by her (sic) mother and his eldest brother who assisted in placing the Hood, and his Tassel was turned from left to right, and he was thereafter handed by Dean Celedonio a rolled white sheet of paper symbolical of the Law Diploma. His relatives took pictures of the occasion (Exhibits C to C-6, D-3 to D-11). "He tendered a blow-out that evening which was attended by neighbors, friends and relatives who wished him good luck in the forthcoming bar examination. There were pictures taken too during the blow-out (Exhibits D to D-1). "He thereafter prepared himself for the bar examination. He took a leave of absence without pay from his job from April 20, 1988 to September 30, 1988 (Exhibit G) and enrolled at the pre-bar review class in Far Eastern University (Exhibits F to F-2). Having learned of the deficiency he dropped his review class and was not able to take the bar examination."2

Consequently, respondent sued petitioner for damages alleging that he suffered moral shock, mental anguish, serious anxiety, besmirched reputation, wounded feelings and sleepless nights when he was not able to take the 1988 bar examinations arising from the latters negligence. He prayed for an award of moral and exemplary damages, unrealized income, attorneys fees, and costs of suit. In its answer with counterclaim, petitioner denied liability arguing mainly that it never led respondent to believe that he completed the requirements for a Bachelor of Laws degree when his name was included in the tentative list of graduating students. After trial, the lower court rendered judgment as follows: WHEREFORE, in view of the foregoing judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant ordering the latter to pay plaintiff the sum of THIRTY FIVE THOUSAND FOUR HUNDRED SEVENTY PESOS (P35,470.00) with legal rate of interest from the filing of the complaint until fully paid, the amount of FIVE THOUSAND PESOS (P5,000.00) as attorneys fees and the cost of suit. Defendants counterclaim is, for lack of merit, hereby dismissed. SO ORDERED.3 which on appeal by both parties was affirmed by the Court of Appeals (CA) with modification. The dispositive portion of the CA decision reads: WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing, the lower Courts Decision is hereby AFFIRMED with the MODIFICATION that defendant-appellee, in addition to the sum adjudged by the lower court in favor of plaintiff-appellant, is also ORDERED to pay plaintiff-appellant the amount of FIFTY THOUSAND (P50,000.00) PESOS for moral damages. Costs against defendant-appellee. SO ORDERED.4 Upon the denial of its motion for reconsideration, petitioner UE elevated the case to this Court on a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, arguing that it has no liability to respondent Romeo A. Jader, considering that the proximate and immediate cause of the alleged damages incurred by the latter arose out of his own negligence in not verifying from the professor concerned the result of his removal exam. The petition lacks merit. When a student is enrolled in any educational or learning institution, a contract of education is entered into between said institution and the student. The professors, teachers or instructors hired by the school are considered merely as agents and administrators tasked to perform the schools commitment under the contract. Since the contracting parties are the school and the student, the latter is not dutybound to deal with the formers agents, such as the professors with respect to the status or result of his grades, although nothing prevents either professors or students from sharing with each other such information. The Court takes judicial notice of the traditional practice in educational institutions wherein the professor directly furnishes his/her students their grades. It is the contractual obligation of the school to timely inform and furnish sufficient notice and information to each and every student as to whether he or she had already complied with all the requirements for the conferment of a degree or whether they would be included among those who will graduate. Although commencement exercises are but a formal ceremony, it nonetheless is not an ordinary occasion, since such ceremony is the educational institutions way of announcing to the whole world that the students included in the list of those who will be conferred a degree during the baccalaureate ceremony have satisfied all the requirements for such degree. Prior or subsequent to the ceremony, the school has the obligation to promptly inform the student of any problem involving the latters grades and performance and also most importantly, of the procedures for remedying the same.

Petitioner, in belatedly informing respondent of the result of the removal examination, particularly at a time when he had already commenced preparing for the bar exams, cannot be said to have acted in good faith. Absence of good faith must be sufficiently established for a successful prosecution by the aggrieved party in a suit for abuse of right under Article 19 of the Civil Code. Good faith connotes an honest intention to abstain from taking undue advantage of another, even though the forms and technicalities of the law, together with the absence of all information or belief of facts, would render the transaction unconscientious.5 It is the school that has access to those information and it is only the school that can compel its professors to act and comply with its rules, regulations and policies with respect to the computation and the prompt submission of grades. Students do not exercise control, much less influence, over the way an educational institution should run its affairs, particularly in disciplining its professors and teachers and ensuring their compliance with the schools rules and orders. Being the party that hired them, it is the school that exercises general supervision and exclusive control over the professors with respect to the submission of reports involving the students standing. Exclusive control means that no other person or entity had any control over the instrumentality which caused the damage or injury.6 The college dean is the senior officer responsible for the operation of an academic program, enforcement of rules and regulations, and the supervision of faculty and student services.7 He must see to it that his own professors and teachers, regardless of their status or position outside of the university, must comply with the rules set by the latter. The negligent act of a professor who fails to observe the rules of the school, for instance by not promptly submitting a students grade, is not only imputable to the professor but is an act of the school, being his employer. Considering further, that the institution of learning involved herein is a university which is engaged in legal education, it should have practiced what it inculcates in its students, more specifically the principle of good dealings enshrined in Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code which states: Art. 19. Every person must, in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his duties, act with justice, give everyone his due, and observe honesty and good faith. Art. 20. Every person who, contrary to law, wilfully or negligently causes damage to another, shall indemnify the latter for the same. Article 19 was intended to expand the concept of torts by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to provide specifically in statutory law.8 In civilized society, men must be able to assume that others will do them no intended injury that others will commit no internal aggressions upon them; that their fellowmen, when they act affirmatively will do so with due care which the ordinary understanding and moral sense of the community exacts and that those with whom they deal in the general course of society will act in good faith. The ultimate thing in the theory of liability is justifiable reliance under conditions of civilized society.9hools and professors cannot just take students for granted and be indifferent to them, for without the latter, the former are useless. Educational institutions are duty-bound to inform the students of their academic status and not wait for the latter to inquire from the former. The conscious indifference of a person to the rights or welfare of the person/persons who may be affected by his act or omission can support a claim for damages.10 Want of care to the conscious disregard of civil obligations coupled with a conscious knowledge of the cause naturally calculated to produce them would make the erring party liable.11 Petitioner ought to have known that time was of the essence in the performance of its obligation to inform respondent of his grade. It cannot feign ignorance that respondent will not prepare himself for the bar exams since that is precisely the immediate concern after graduation of an LL.B. graduate. It failed to act seasonably. Petitioner cannot just give out its students grades at any time because a student has to comply with certain deadlines set by the Supreme Court on the submission of requirements for taking the bar. Petitioners liability arose from its failure to promptly inform respondent of the result of an examination and in misleading the latter into believing that he had satisfied all requirements for the course. Worth quoting is the following disquisition of the respondent court:

470. If respondent was indeed humiliated by his failure to take the bar. he through whose agency the loss occurred must bear it. the amount of Five Thousand Pesos (P5. When one of two innocent parties must suffer.15 However. Dean Tiongson. respondent should have been responsible enough to ensure that all his affairs. Given these considerations. despite the knowledge that plaintiff-appellant failed in Practice Court I. there are also prerequisites of documentation and submission of requirements which the prospective examinee must meet. however. taking the bar examinations does not only entail a mental preparation on the subjects thereof. we hold that respondent should not have been awarded moral damages. Worse.00) as attorneys fees. Petitioner is ORDERED to PAY respondent the sum of Thirty-five Thousand Four Hundred Seventy Pesos (P35. We do not agree with the Court of Appeals findings that respondent suffered shock. he brought this upon himself by not verifying if he has satisfied all the requirements including his school records."It is apparent from the testimony of Dean Tiongson that defendant-appellee University had been informed during the deliberation that the professor in Practice Court I gave plaintiff-appellant a failing grade. A person should be protected only when he acts in the legitimate exercise of his right. with legal interest of 6% per annum computed from the date of filing of the complaint until fully paid. but not when he acts with negligence or abuse. are in order. Yet. enrolling in the bar review classes and not being able to take the bar exams. with more reason should abuse or bad faith make him liable. WHEREFORE . specifically those pertaining to his academic achievement. that is. and the costs of the suit. The award of moral damages is DELETED."12 Petitioner cannot pass on its blame to the professors to justify its own negligence that led to the delayed relay of information to respondent. defendant-appellee still did not inform plaintiff-appellant of his failure to complete the requirements for the degree nor did they remove his name from the tentative list of candidates for graduation.13 The modern tendency is to grant indemnity for damages in cases where there is abuse of right.00). did not explain how plaintiff-appellant Jader could have done something to complete his deficiency if defendant-appellee university did not exert any effort to inform plaintiff-appellant of his failing grade in Practice Court I. before preparing himself for the bar examination. Dean Tiongson reasons out that plaintiff-appellants name was allowed to remain in the tentative list of candidates for graduation in the hope that the latter would still be able to remedy the situation in the remaining few days before graduation day. while petitioner was guilty of negligence and thus liable to respondent for the latters actual damages. defendant-appellee university.000. At the very least.14 If mere fault or negligence in ones acts can make him liable for damages for injury caused thereby. Certainly. when he acts with prudence and in good faith. it behooved on respondent to verify for himself whether he has completed all necessary requirements to be eligible for the bar examinations. again included plaintiff-appellants name in the "tentative" list of candidates for graduation which was prepared after the deliberation and which became the basis for the commencement rites program. the assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. even when the act is not illicit. trauma and pain when he was informed that he could not graduate and will not be allowed to take the bar examinations. . we fail to see how respondent could have suffered untold embarrassment in attending the graduation rites. As a senior law student.

DAVIDE. petitioner.00. 24256 which affirmed in toto the 16 October 1939 Decision of Branch 38 (Lingayen) of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pangasinan in Civil Case No. that the complaint is baseless and unfounded and that as a result . he neither sought the consent and approval of her parents nor forced her to live in his apartment. HON. He thus claimed that he never proposed marriage to or agreed to be married with the private respondent. petitioner then visited the private respondent's parents in Bañaga. she accepted his love on the condition that they would get married. private respondent. Private respondent then prayed for judgment ordering the petitioner to pay her damages in the amount of not less than P45. No. petitioner. during a confrontation with a representative of the barangay captain of Guilig a day before the filing of the complaint.00. Bugallon. 97336 February 19. Dagupan City. J. JR. vs. he did not maltreat her. The complaint was docketed as Civil Case No. she sustained injuries. COURT OF APPEALS and MARILOU T. filed with the aforesaid trial court a complaint 2 for damages against the petitioner for the alleged violation of their agreement to get married. Filipino and a pretty lass of good moral character and reputation duly respected in her community. the latter courted and proposed to marry her. he maltreated and threatened to kill her. Corleto R. as a result of such maltreatment. petitioner's attitude towards her started to change.. in his Counterclaim.: This is an appeal by certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court seeking to review and set aside the Decision 1of the respondent Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. single. In his Answer with Counterclaim. is an Iranian citizen residing at the Lozano Apartments. 1993 GASHEM SHOOKAT BAKSH. The antecedents of this case are not complicated: On 27 October 1987. sometime in 20 August 1987. she was a virgin before she began living with him. they therefore agreed to get married after the end of the school semester. Insisting. a week before the filing of the complaint.R. no confrontation took place with a representative of the barangay captain. which was in October of that year. CV No. respondents. the petitioner is already married to someone living in Bacolod City. and granting her such other relief and remedies as may be just and equitable. attorney's fees and costs. Public Attorney's Office for petitioner. and finally.G. but only told her to stop coming to his place because he discovered that she had deceived him by stealing his money and passport. reimbursement for actual expenses amounting to P600. Pangasinan to secure their approval to the marriage. GONZALES.000. and is an exchange student taking a medical course at the Lyceum Northwestern Colleges in Dagupan City. the petitioner forced her to live with him in the Lozano Apartments. 16503. 3 petitioner admitted only the personal circumstances of the parties as averred in the complaint and denied the rest of the allegations either for lack of knowledge or information sufficient to form a belief as to the truth thereof or because the true facts are those alleged as his Special and Affirmative Defenses. Castro for private respondent. on the other hand. Guilig. 16503. petitioner repudiated their marriage agreement and asked her not to live with him anymore and. before 20 August 1987. without the assistance of counsel. She alleges in said complaint that: she is twenty-two (22) years old. Presented is the issue of whether or not damages may be recovered for a breach of promise to marry on the basis of Article 21 of the Civil Code of the Philippines.

The trial court gave full credit to the private respondent's testimony because. 1987 up to the present. to wit: 1. Condemning (sic) the defendant to pay the plaintiff the sum of twenty thousand (P20. 3.00 as moral damages. deceit and false pretenses. 2. 3.000. All other claims are denied.000. culture and traditions. Iranian citizen and resident (sic) of Lozano Apartment. (b) private respondent is not a woman of loose morals or questionable virtue who readily submits to sexual advances. That the plaintiff is (sic) an employee at Mabuhay Luncheonette . private respondent and her parents — in accordance with Filipino customs and traditions — made some preparations for the wedding that was to be held at the end of October 1987 by looking for pigs and chickens. Pangasinan. he prayed for an award of P5. she would not have had the temerity and courage to come to court and expose her honor and reputation to public scrutiny and ridicule if her claim was false. good customs. After trial on the merits. rendered on 16 October 1989 a decision 5 favoring the private respondent. applying Article 21 of the Civil Code. promised to marry private respondent. through machinations. (e) by reason of that deceitful promise. Dagupan City since September 1. 1986 up to the present and a (sic) high school graduate. he was unnecessarily dragged into court and compelled to incur expenses.000.00) pesos as moral damages. (f) petitioner did not fulfill his promise to marry her and (g) such acts of the petitioner. That the defendant is presently studying at Lyceum Northwestern. and has suffered mental anxiety and a besmirched reputation. Condemning further the defendant to play the plaintiff the sum of three thousand (P3. Bugallon. Dagupan City since July. 1. who is a foreigner and who has abused Philippine hospitality. (c) petitioner. inter alia. Dagupan City. 2. College of Medicine. 7 .thereof. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of the plaintiff and against the defendant. inviting friends and relatives and contracting sponsors.00 for miscellaneous expenses and P25. have offended our sense of morality. the dispositive portion of the decision reads: IN THE LIGHT of the foregoing consideration. That the plaintiff is single and resident (sic) of Bañaga. she allowed herself to be deflowered by him. After conducting a pre-trial on 25 January 1988. Fernandez Avenue. the trial court issued a Pre-Trial Order 4 embodying the stipulated facts which the parties had agreed upon.000. d) because of his persuasive promise to marry her. Guilig. Johhny Rabino introduced the defendant to the plaintiff on August 3. second year medicine proper.00) pesos at (sic) litigation expenses and to pay the costs. while the defendant is single. 4. 6 The decision is anchored on the trial court's findings and conclusions that (a) petitioner and private respondent were lovers.000. The petitioner was thus ordered to pay the latter damages and attorney's fees. 1986.00) pesos as atty's fees and two thousand (P2. the lower court. That the parties happened to know each other when the manager of the Mabuhay Luncheonette.

as stipulated by the parties at the pre-trial. attorney's fees. Still plaintiff continued to live with defendant and kept reminding him of his promise to marry her until he told her that he could not do so because he was already married to a girl in Bacolod City. her lawyer. CV No. respondent Court promulgated the challenged decision 10 affirming in toto the trial court's ruling of 16 October 1989. and they likewise allowed him to stay in their house and sleep with plaintiff during the few days that they were in Bugallon. It is uncontradicted that she was a virgin prior to her unfortunate experience with defendant and never had boyfriend. then only 21 years old when she met defendant who was already 29 years old at the time. they agreed to his proposal for him to marry their daughter. also claimed that after defendant had informed them of his desire to marry Marilou. and certainly would (sic) not have allowed "herself to be deflowered by the defendant if there was no persuasive promise made . Also on that occasion. Plaintiff's father. She is. as he wanted to meet her parents and inform them of their relationship and their intention to get married. defendant told plaintiffs parents and brothers and sisters that he intended to marry her during the semestral break in October. 1987. He later proposed marriage to her several times and she accepted his love as well as his proposal of marriage on August 20. were taken that day.R. does not appear to be a girl of loose morals. Bugallon. In sustaining the trial court's findings of fact. On 18 February 1991. a tricycle driver. In his Brief. 24256. and because plaintiff's parents thought he was good and trusted him. plaintiff. and even already invited many relatives and friends to the forthcoming wedding. digested by the respondent Court as follows: According to plaintiff. defendant started courting her just a few days after they first met.The above findings and conclusions were culled from the detailed summary of the evidence for the private respondent in the foregoing decision. litigation expenses and costs. That was the time plaintiff left defendant. he already looked for sponsors for the wedding. The photographs Exhs. When plaintiff and defendant later returned to Dagupan City. but defendant gave her some medicine to abort the fetus. a barrio lass "not used and accustomed to trend of modern urban life". defendant would tie plaintiff's hands and feet while he went to school. 8 Petitioner appealed the trial court's decision to the respondent Court of Appeals which docketed the case as CA-G. However. started preparing for the reception by looking for pigs and chickens. and thereafter consulted a lawyer who accompanied her to the barangay captain in Dagupan City. is that defendant is still single. 1987. in the early days of October. and he even gave her medicine at 4 o'clock in the morning that made her sleep the whole day and night until the following day. on which same day he went with her to her hometown of Bañaga. As a result of this live-in relationship. respondent Court made the following analysis: First of all. her godmother. 9 he contended that the trial court erred (a) in not dismissing the case for lack of factual and legal basis and (b) in ordering him to pay moral damages. Plaintiff. although the truth. and a barangay tanod sent by the barangay captain went to talk to defendant to still convince him to marry plaintiff. Pangasinan. "A" to "E" (and their submarkings) of defendant with members of plaintiff's family or with plaintiff. as described by the lower court. who claimed that she was a virgin at the time and that she never had a boyfriend before. but defendant insisted that he could not do so because he was already married to a girl in Bacolod City. 1987. they continued to live together in defendant's apartment. plaintiff became pregnant. went home to her parents.

which she declared was the reason why plaintiff resigned from her job at the restaurant after she had accepted defendant's proposal (pp. for otherwise. 1988). in order to satisfy his lust on her. petitioner filed the instant petition on 26 March 1991. 1988). 1987 (p. He criticizes the trial court for . and public policy. tsn May 18. communicated not only to her but also to her parents. and he has never maltreated her. unless there was (sic) some kind of special relationship between them? And this special relationship must indeed have led to defendant's insincere proposal of marriage to plaintiff. We cannot believe. Biology before he came to Dagupan City to study medicine. we agree with the lower court that plaintiff and defendant must have been sweethearts or so the plaintiff must have thought because of the deception of defendant. and (sic) Marites Rabino. good customs. 55-56. 21 of the Civil Code of the Philippines. and are even gravely and deeply derogatory and insulting to our women. he also lived with another woman in Bacolod City but did not marry that woman. tsn id. we are strongly convinced and so hold that it was defendant-appellant's fraudulent and deceptive protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff that made her surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and to live with him on the honest and sincere belief that he would keep said promise. "D" and "E". at least thrice. trustful country girl. at (sic) the town fiesta on February 27. 13 It is petitioner's thesis that said Article 21 is not applicable because he had not committed any moral wrong or injury or violated any good custom or public policy. at (sic) a beach party together with the manager and employees of the Mabuhay Luncheonette on March 3. 54. tsn id. he had a common-law wife in Bacolod City. 11 and then concluded: In sum. he has not professed love or proposed marriage to the private respondent. Would defendant have left Dagupan City where he was involved in the serious study of medicine to go to plaintiff's hometown in Bañ the defendant to marry her. 6-7.S. appellant does not appear to be a man of good moral character and must think so low and have so little respect and regard for Filipino women that he openly admitted that when he studied in Bacolod City for several years where he finished his B. to compensate for the moral damages and injury that he had caused plaintiff. Defendant in fact admitted that he went to plaintiff's hometown of Bañaga. innocent. defendant-appellant should indeed be made. Upon the other hand. under Art. In other words.). 1987 (p. that he felt so little compunction or remorse in pretending to love and promising to marry plaintiff. she would not have allowed herself to be photographed with defendant in public in so (sic) loving and tender poses as those depicted in the pictures Exhs. then. and on April 1. defendant's pretense that plaintiff was a nobody to him except a waitress at the restaurant where he usually ate. Pangasinan." In fact. and it was likewise these ( sic) fraud and deception on appellant's part that made plaintiff's parents agree to their daughter's livingin with him preparatory to their supposed marriage. coming as they do from a foreigner who has been enjoying the hospitality of our people and taking advantage of the opportunity to study in one of our institutions of learning. tsn March 7. therefore.). he raises therein the single issue of whether or not Article 21 of the Civil Code applies to the case at bar. as the lower court ordered him to do in its decision in this case. a young. It is not surprising. just like what he did to plaintiff. the owner of the restaurant where plaintiff was working and where defendant first proposed marriage to her. 1987 when he allegedly talked to plaintiff's mother who told him to marry her daughter (pp. also knew of this love affair and defendant's proposal of marriage to plaintiff. And as these acts of appellant are palpably and undoubtedly against morals. 12 Unfazed by his second defeat. 50. Bugallon. Bugallon.

Jr. There are. L-4875. unrep. absurb or impossible (Luna v. again. Sacay v. The mere breach of promise is not actionable. (8) When the findings of fact are conclusions without citation of specific evidence on which they are based (Ibid.. 74 Phil. the trial court erred in ruling that he does not posses good moral character. it is clear that questions of fact. 401 [1958]). Moreover. Finally. after the private respondent had filed her Comment to the petition and the petitioner had filed his Reply thereto. 93 Phil. It is not the function of this Court to analyze or weigh all over again the evidence introduced by the parties before the lower court. recognized exceptions to this rule. this Court gave due course to the petition and required the parties to submit their respective Memoranda. Asistio. (3) Where there is a grave abuse of discretion (Buyco v. (2) When the inference made is manifestly mistaken. are also raised. (9) When the facts set forth in the petition . 1957.. Villaseca. Alto Surety and Insurance Co. the latter court having heard the witnesses and having had the opportunity to observe closely their deportment and manner of testifying. (5) When the findings of fact are conflicting (Casica v. the private respondent should also be faulted for consenting to an illicit arrangement. and ignoring the fact that since he is a foreigner. to enumerate these exceptions: xxx xxx xxx (1) When the conclusion is a finding grounded entirely on speculation. People. Thus. L-9590 Ap. if considered. 103 Phil. He stresses that even if he had made a promise to marry. 257 [1953]). As may be gleaned from the foregoing summation of the petitioner's arguments in support of his thesis. went beyond the issues of the case and the same is contrary to the admissions of both appellate and appellee (Evangelista v. 15 Petitioner has miserably failed to convince Us that both the appellate and trial courts had overlooked any fact of substance or values which could alter the result of the case. his controversial "common law life" is now his legal wife as their marriage had been solemnized in civil ceremonies in the Iranian Embassy. Sosing. petitioner asseverates that even if it was to be assumed arguendo that he had professed his love to the private respondent and had also promised to marry her. Navarro. 1953). Sandiganbayan. might affect the result of the case. the subsequent failure to fulfill the same is excusable or tolerable because of his Moslem upbringing. (4) When the judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts (Cruz v. unless the trial court had plainly overlooked facts of substance or value which. Equally settled is the rule that only questions of law may be raised in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. he is not conversant with such Filipino customs. 15 [1942]). which they subsequently complied with. however. which boil down to the issue of the credibility of witnesses. 14 On 26 August 1991. Nov. 30. 142 SCRA 593 [1986]). 95 Phil. he then alludes to the Muslim Code which purportedly allows a Muslim to take four (4) wives and concludes that on the basis thereof. 27. Linatok. surmises or conjectures (Joaquin v. (7) The findings of the Court of Appeals are contrary to those of the trial court (Garcia v. traditions and culture.. in making its findings. 453 [1955]). It is the rule in this jurisdiction that appellate courts will not disturb the trial court's findings as to the credibility of witnesses. As an Iranian Moslem.liberally invoking Filipino customs. traditions and culture. he is not familiar with Catholic and Christian ways. As to his unlawful cohabitation with the private respondent. inMedina vs.) (6) When the Court of Appeals. 16 this Court took the time. 33 SCRA 622 [1970]. petitioner claims that even if responsibility could be pinned on him for the live-in relationship. such acts would not be actionable in view of the special circumstances of the case. Court of Appeals.).

good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. And now to the legal issue.). . Thus at one stroke. Under the present laws. Gutierrez. . the Commission has deemed it necessary. the factual findings of the trial and appellate courts must be respected. as the girl is above nineteen years of age. 17 Congress deliberately eliminated from the draft of the New Civil Code the provisions that would have made it so. though the grievous moral wrong has been committed. and though the girl and family have suffered incalculable moral damage. The existing rule is that a breach of promise to marry per se is not an actionable wrong. the well as in the petitioners main and reply briefs are not disputed by the respondents (Ibid. . and (10) The finding of fact of the Court of Appeals is premised on the supposed absence of evidence and is contradicted by the evidence on record (Salazar v.. It is this experience which has led to the abolition of rights of action in the so-called Heart Balm suits in many of the American states. from which We quote: The elimination of this chapter is proposed. That breach of promise to marry is not actionable has been definitely decided in the case of De Jesus vs. which leave so many victims of moral wrongs helpless. Neither can any civil action for breach of promise of marriage be filed. Syquia. which is designed to expand the concept of torts or quasi-delict in this jurisdiction by granting adequate legal remedy for the untold number of moral wrongs which is impossible for human foresight to specifically enumerate and punish in the statute books. the said Code contains a provision. Fully sensible that there are countless gaps in the statutes. 33 SCRA 242 [1970]). she and her parents would have such a right of action. But under the proposed article. 19 This notwithstanding. Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals. Consequently. Article 21. in the interest of justice. Therefore. 21 . The girl becomes pregnant. 18 The history of breach of promise suits in the United States and in England has shown that no other action lends itself more readily to abuse by designing women and unscrupulous men. 23. The reason therefor is set forth in the report of the Senate Committees on the Proposed Civil Code. she and her parents cannot bring action for damages. Petitioner has not endeavored to joint out to Us the existence of any of the above quoted exceptions in this case. there is no crime. would vouchsafe adequate legal remedy for that untold number of moral wrongs which it is impossible for human foresight to provide for specifically in the statutes. even though they have actually suffered material and moral injury. 20 As the Code Commission itself stated in its Report: But the Code Commission had gone farther than the sphere of wrongs defined or determined by positive law. to incorporate in the proposed Civil Code the following rule: Art. An example will illustrate the purview of the foregoing norm: "A" seduces the nineteen-year old daughter of "X". A promise of marriage either has not been made. if the forgoing rule is approved. or can not be proved.

22 In between these opposite spectrums are injurious acts which. We are of the opinion. also. respondent Court found that it was the petitioner's "fraudulent and deceptive protestations of love for and promise to marry plaintiff that made her surrender her virtue and womanhood to him and to live with him on the honest and sincere belief that he would keep said promise. Prior decisions of this Court clearly suggest that Article 21 may be applied in a breach of promise to marry where the woman is a victim of moral seduction.Article 2176 of the Civil Code. Article 21 fills that vacuum. the cherished possession of every single Filipina. false imprisonment and deceit. are to be governed by the Revised Penal Code while negligent acts or omissions are to be covered by Article 2176 of the Civil Code. there being fault or negligence. we find ourselves unable to say that petitioner is morally guilty of seduction. It is essential. In the general scheme of the Philippine legal system envisioned by the Commission responsible for drafting the New Civil Code. proof that he had. . 23 In the light of the above laudable purpose of Article 21. but international criminal acts as well such as assault and battery. and it was likewise these fraud and deception on appellant's part that made plaintiff's parents agree to their daughter's living-in with him preparatory to their supposed marriage. no intention of marrying her and that the promise was only a subtle scheme or deceptive device to entice or inveigle her to accept him and to obtain her consent to the sexual act. that where a man's promise to marry is in fact the proximate cause of the acceptance of his love by a woman and his representation to fulfill that promise thereafter becomes the proximate cause of the giving of herself unto him in a sexual congress. is a civil law concept while torts is an Anglo-American or common law concept. Such fault or negligence. Thus. in reality. that such injury should have been committed in a manner contrary to morals. It is even postulated that together with Articles 19 and 20 of the Civil Code. the private respondent surrendered her virginity. In the instant case. Quasi-delict. Thus. and as highly enlightened as a former high school teacher and a life insurance agent are supposed to be — when she became intimate with petitioner. The petitioner could not be held liable for criminal seduction punished under either Article 337 or Article 338 of the Revised Penal Code because the private respondent was above eighteen (18) years of age at the time of the seduction." 24 In short. in the absence of Article 21. then a mere apprentice pilot. . with certain exceptions. not only because he is approximately ten (10) years younger than the complainant — who was around thirty-six (36) years of age. in Hermosisima vs. Article 21 has greatly broadened the scope of the law on civil wrongs. not because of lust but because of moral seduction — the kind illustrated by the Code Commission in its example earlier adverted to. is limited to negligent acts or omissions and excludes the notion of willfulness or intent. intentional and malicious acts. it has become much more supple and adaptable than the Anglo-American law on torts. known in Spanish legal treatises as culpa aquiliana. Court of Appeals. if there is no pre-existing contractual relation between the parties. would have been beyond redress. because the . but. and so hold. however. could justify the award of damages pursuant to Article 21 not because of such promise to marry but because of the fraud and deceit behind it and the willful injury to her honor and reputation which followed thereafter. is called a quasi-delict and is governed by the provisions of this Chapter. 25 this Court denied recovery of damages to the woman because: . is obliged to pay for the damage done. which defines a quasi-delict thus: Whoever by act or omission causes damage to another. Torts is much broader than culpa aquiliana because it includes not only negligence. good customs or public policy.

Seduction. The following enlightening disquisition and conclusion were made in the said case: The Court of Appeals seem to have overlooked that the example set forth in the Code Commission's memorandum refers to a tort upon a minor who had been seduced. 123). and a mere proof of intercourse is insufficient to warrant a recovery. tit. persuasion or deception is the essence of the injury. 27 Phil. complainant "surrendered herself" to petitioner because. 662) xxx xxx xxx Over and above the partisan allegations. that in law is more than mere sexual intercourse. Jur.S. from 1958 to 1959. artful persuasions and wiles of the defendant.S. Such conduct is incompatible with the idea of seduction. the enticement. 595). 26 while this Court likewise hinted at possible recovery if there had been moral seduction. with repeated acts of intercourse.court of first instance found that. or a breach of a promise of marriage. recovery was eventually denied because We were not convinced that such seduction existed. in an action by the woman. U. a woman of adult age. it connotes essentially the idea of deceit. there is no seduction (43 Cent. 121. and the defendant merely affords her the needed opportunity for the commission of the act. par. (47 Am. and would be a reward for unchastity by which a class of adventuresses would be swift to profit. It has been emphasized that to allow a recovery in all such cases would tend to the demoralization of the female sex. without exacting early fulfillment of the alleged . 9 Phil. Accordingly it is not seduction where the willingness arises out of sexual desire of curiosity of the female. It has been ruled in the Buenaventura case (supra) that — To constitute seduction there must in all cases be some sufficient promise or inducementand the woman must yield because of the promise or other inducement. enticement. vs. for had the appellant been deceived. had she surrendered exclusively because of the deceit. Plainly there is here voluntariness and mutual passion. which are calculated to have and do have that effect. Buenaventura. "overwhelmed by her love" for him. The essential feature is seduction. Arlante. Court of Appeals. she would not have again yielded to his embraces. much less for one year. maintain intimate sexual relations with appellant. vs. In Tanjanco vs. and which result in her person to ultimately submitting her person to the sexual embraces of her seducer (27 Phil. the plaintiff-appellee. Dig. And in American Jurisprudence we find: On the other hand. persuasions and wiles. If she consents merely from carnal lust and the intercourse is from mutual desire. 56) She must be induced to depart from the path of virtue by the use of some species of arts. the fact stand out that for one whole year. superior power or abuse of confidence on the part of the seducer to which the woman has yielded (U. she "wanted to bind" him by having a fruit of their engagement even before they had the benefit of clergy.

there should be civil liability. Marcos. 28 Associate Justice Edgardo L. But when the sexual act is accomplished without any deceit or qualifying circumstance of abuse of authority or influence. pursuant to Article 1412(1) of the Civil Code and the doctrine laid down inBatarra vs. p. 1960. 1960. We are unable to agree with the petitioner's alternative proposition to the effect that granting. because here mutual lust has intervened). January 25. The latter even goes as far as stating that if the private respondent had "sustained any injury or damage in their relationship. opined that in a breach of promise to marry where there had been carnal knowledge. Take notice that she is a plain high school graduate and a mere employee . has knowingly given herself to a man. the action lies. Batarra vs. 51. but not if the intercourse was due to mutual lust. it cannot be said that there is an injury which can be the basis for indemnity. is in need of a man who can give her economic security. Paras. (Annex "C") or a waitress (TSN.promises of marriage. Her family is in dire need . L-14628. L-17248. because an act which would deceive a girl sixteen years of age may not constitute deceit as to an experienced woman thirty years of age. hence. According to him. it is primarily because of her own doing. 27 In his annotations on the Civil Code. 29. L-14733.. She is also interested in the petitioner as the latter will become a doctor sooner or later. 33 for: . Sept. if there be criminal or moral seduction. not necessarily in the legal sense. that he did promise to marry the private respondent. 1962). 1988) in a luncheonette and without doubt. . 30. together with "ACTUAL damages. 30 still subsists. and no other cause of action being alleged. if it is sufficient to deceive the woman under the circumstances. who recently retired from this Court. Piansay. Beatriz Galang vs. Bolifer. (Hermosisima vs. Court of Appeals. and would have cut short all sexual relations upon finding that defendant did not intend to fulfill his defendant did not intend to fulfill his promise. if the CAUSE be the promise to marry. we conclude that no case is made under article 21 of the Civil Code. The court. 56 (sic). . Marcos. . Sept. but in the vulgar sense of deception. Marcos. 471). . the latter is nevertheless also at fault. there can be no recovery of moral damages. Jr. such as the expenses for the wedding presentations (See Domalagon v. should there be any. hence recovery of moral damages will prosper.. 33 Phil. if there was seduction. Senator Arturo M. Jan. no error was committed by the Court of First Instance in dismissing the complaint. however. moral damages may be recovered: . but the woman. Tolentino 29 is also of the same persuasion: It is submitted that the rule in Batarra vs. 7 Phil. notwithstanding the incorporation of the present article 31 in the Code. for argument's sake. already of age. 30. Court of Appeals. 32 the private respondent cannot recover damages from the petitioner. Hence. and the EFFECT be the carnal knowledge. there is a chance that there was criminal or moral seduction. . The example given by the Code Commission is correct. If it be the other way around. et al. must weigh the degree of fraud. even if the act is not punishable under the criminal law and there should have been an acquittal or dismissal of the criminal case for that reason. . . But so long as there is a wrongful act and a resulting injury. . which is characterized by willfulness (sic). both parties are in pari delicto. Estopa vs. But so long as there is fraud. . (In other words.

in a similar offense or crime. from the very beginning. the instant petition is hereby DENIED. In fact. he was not at all moved by good faith and an honest motive. she eventually submitted to the petitioner in sexual congress not out of lust." 35 At most. regard for the private respondent on account of the latter's ignoble birth. in pari delicto with the petitioner. finding no reversible error in the challenged decision. more or less. It does not apply where one party is literate or intelligent and the other one is not.of financial assistance. Marrying with a woman so circumstances could not have even remotely occurred to him. beguile and deceive the poor woman into believing that indeed. Bough vs. he loved her and would want her to be his life's partner. has been interpreted as applicable only where the fault on both sides is. May 18. it is apparent that she had qualms of conscience about the entire episode for as soon as she found out that the petitioner was not going to marry her after all. WHEREFORE. (c. there should be no action by one against the other (Art. 37 We declared: Appellants likewise stress that both parties being at fault. entice. Petitioner clearly violated the Filipino's concept of morality and brazenly defied the traditional respect Filipinos have for their women. dishonorable employment. We should stress. . the private respondent may not have been impelled by the purest of intentions. (TSN.f. Pari delicto means "in equal fault. or where his consent to the transaction was itself procured by fraud. poverty and. as perceived by him. It is the solemn duty of parents to protect the honor of their daughters and infuse upon them the higher values of morality and dignity. inferior educational background. 40 Phil. but because of moral seduction. Obviously then. It is clear that he harbors a condescending. if not sarcastic. it could be conceded that she is merely in delicto. let it not be said that this Court condones the deplorable behavior of her parents in letting her and the petitioner stay together in the same room in their house after giving approval to their marriage. This rule. equal in guilt or in legal fault. 34 These statements reveal the true character and motive of the petitioner. therefore. his profession of love and promise to marry were empty words directly intended to fool. she left him. She is not. 1988). 51-53. Thus. 209). It can even be said that the petitioner committed such deplorable acts in blatant disregard of Article 19 of the Civil Code which directs every person to act with justice. Equity often interferes for the relief of the less guilty of the parties. His was nothing but pure lust which he wanted satisfied by a Filipina who honestly believed that by accepting his proffer of love and proposal of marriage. give everyone his due and observe honesty and good faith in the exercise of his rights and in the performance of his obligations. Cantiveros. with costs against the petitioner. The pari delicto rule does not apply in this case for while indeed. No foreigner must be allowed to make a mockery of our laws. And this predicament prompted her to accept a proposition that may have been offered by the petitioner. that while We find for the private respondent. equivalent. New Civil Code). 36 In Mangayao vs. however. dupe. however. pp. customs and traditions. where his transgression has been brought about by the imposition of undue influence of the party on whom the burden of the original wrong principally rests. she would be able to enjoy a life of ease and security. 1412. Lasud.

Please do not ask too many people about the reason why — That would only create a scandal." Plaintiff moved to strike it cut.000. decided to get married and set September 4. Paquing But the next day.00 as moral and exemplary damages. following their mutual promise of love. defendant-appellant. judgment was rendered ordering defendant to pay plaintiff P2.00 as attorney's fees. 1955. No. Francisco X. FRANCISCO X. ordered the parties and their attorneys to appear before it on August 23. PAKING Thereafter Velez did not appear nor was he heard from again. BENGZON. on August 2. 1964 BEATRIZ P. judgment and proceedings and motion for new trial and reconsideration. J. plaintiff-appellee. Sued by Beatriz for damages. Plaintiff adduced evidence before the clerk of court as commissioner. Velez and Beatriz P. 1955 "to explore at this stage of the proceedings the possibility of arriving at an amicable settlement. J. But the court. 1955.. 1954 as the big day. September 3. VELEZ. On September 2. P2.: The facts that culminated in this case started with dreams and hopes.00 as actual damages. and on April 29. Samson S. On June 21. Alcantara for plaintiff-appellee. 1954 Velez left this note for his bride-to-be: Dear Bet — Will have to postpone wedding — My mother opposes it. but terminated in frustration and." It added that should any of them fail to appear "the petition for relief and the opposition thereto will be deemed submitted for resolution.R. P25.P. followed by appropriate planning and serious endeavors. Jalandoni & Jamir for defendant-appellant. L-20089 December 26.500. he sent her the following telegram: NOTHING CHANGED REST ASSURED RETURNING VERY SOON APOLOGIZE MAMA PAPA LOVE . Am leaving on the Convair today. Velez filed no answer and was declared in default. Wassmer.000." .G. and the costs. WASSMER. 1955 defendant filed a "petition for relief from orders. complete public humiliation. what is worse. vs.

1955 in the court a quo defendant alleged excusable negligence as ground to set aside the judgment by default. A-1). it having been based on evidence adduced before the clerk of court. 1956.. 10. this Court pointed out that the procedure of designating the clerk of court as commissioner to receive evidence is sanctioned by Rule 34 (now Rule 33) of the Rules of Court. 5. 1955 but that defendant and his counsel had failed to appear. This time. is that "mere breach of a promise to marry" is not an actionable wrong. because the judgment sought to be set aside was null and void. Plaintiff manifested on June 15. In his petition of June 21. A. 1956 calling the parties and their attorneys to appear on July 13. Court of Appeals (L14628. 1960). 40 Phil. is not limitless for Article 21 of said Code provides that "any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner that is contrary to morals. 1954.) Defendant's affidavit of merits attached to his petition of June 21. October 30. Ramas. 3. Court of First Instance. which was subsequently issued (Exhs.On August 23. Indeed. 1955. In support of his "motion for new trial and reconsideration. The counsel stated that he would confer with defendant in Cagayan de Oro City — the latter's residence — on the possibility of an amicable element. Palisoc. 30. Biansay (L-14733. 1960. our ruling in Hermosisima vs. P. Another chance for amicable settlement was given by the court in its order of July 6. or a mere surplusage. 1960). 1955 defendant failed to appear before court. Sept. It must not be overlooked. L-3926. In Province of Pangasinan vs. Tarrachand Bros. L-14557. Vaswani vs. accident. must be duly supported by an affidavit of merits stating facts constituting a valid defense. C). mistake or excusable negligence. L-16519. the same did not have to be obtained for he was declared in default and thus had no standing in court (Velez vs. Oct. Specifically. his failure to marry the plaintiff as scheduled having been due to fortuitous event and/or circumstances beyond his control. On July 20. Now as to defendant's consent to said procedure. would contend that the affidavit of merits was in fact unnecessary." An affidavit of merits like this stating mere conclusions or opinions instead of facts is not valid. 1959). 1956 that the two weeks given by the court had expired on September 8. friends and acquaintances (Tsn. The reason given is that "there is no provision of the Civil Code authorizing" an action for breach of promise to marry. L-15800. on the following day his counsel filed a motion to defer for two weeks the resolution on defendants petition for relief. it was stated that defendant filed no answer in the belief that an amicable settlement was being negotiated. however. party drsrses and other apparel for the important occasion were . Alano vs. defendant's counsel informed the court that chances of settling the case amicably were nil. 1955 stated: "That he has a good and valid defense against plaintiff's cause of action. Defendant has appealed to this Court. October 30. Exh. Rule 38. Their wedding was set for September 4. December 29. Rules of Court. Invitations were printed and distributed to relatives." defendant asserts that the judgment is contrary to law. The court granted two weeks counted from August 25. however. A petition for relief from judgment on grounds of fraud. 30. Sept. Co Bun Kim. (Sec. as reiterated in Estopa vs. 1951. We pointed out that Congress deliberately eliminated from the draft of the new Civil Code the provisions that would have it so. (Cortes vs. however.. good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. 1954 plaintiff and defendant applied for a license to contract marriage. 1956 the court issued an order denying defendant's aforesaid petition." The record reveals that on August 23. 787. that the extent to which acts not contrary to law may be perpetrated with impunity.) Defendant. Instead. The bride-to-be's trousseau. 1962.

oppressive. But to formally set a wedding and go through all the abovedescribed preparation and publicity.. Surely this is not a case of mere breach of promise to marry." But he never returned and was never heard from again. with the above-indicated modification. " He enplaned to his home city in Mindanao. he wired plaintiff: "Nothing changed rest assured returning soon. with but two days before the wedding.000.." The argument is devoid of merit as under the above-narrated circumstances of this case defendant clearly acted in a "wanton .. Exh. As to exemplary damages. What defendant would really assert hereunder is that the award of moral and exemplary damages. E). . the lower court's judgment is hereby affirmed. As stated. with accessories. defendant contends that the same could not be adjudged against him because under Article 2232 of the New Civil Code the condition precedent is that "the defendant acted in a wanton.. Defendant urges in his afore-stated petition that the damages awarded were excessive. Dresses for the maid of honor and the flower girl were prepared." This Court's opinion.00. however. who was then 28 years old. should be totally eliminated. fraudulent. in the amount of P25. P15. with costs. was bought..00 as moral and exemplary damages is deemed to be a reasonable award. defendant. reckless.: simply left a note for plaintiff stating: "Will have to postpone wedding — My mother opposes it . Per express provision of Article 2219 (10) of the New Civil Code.000. 7-8). the day before the wedding. only to walk out of it when the matrimony is about to be solemnized. . reckless [and] oppressive manner. moral damages are recoverable in the cases mentioned in Article 21 of said Code. And then. and the next day. is that considering the particular circumstances of this case. Bridal showers were given and gifts received (Tsn. mere breach of promise to marry is not an actionable wrong. A matrimonial bed. No question is raised as to the award of actual damages. 6. PREMISES CONSIDERED.purchased (Tsn.. is quite different. This is palpably and unjustifiably contrary to good customs for which defendant must be held answerable in damages in accordance with Article 21 aforesaid. or malevolent manner.

Lolita was 24 years old and unmarried. At the time of her disappearance on April 14. Defendant is a married man and works as agent of the La Perla Cigar and Cigarette Factory. In English it reads: . BAUTISTA ANGELO. The facts as found by the trial court are: Plaintiffs are the parents. brothers and sisters of one Lolita Pe. The rumors about their love affairs reached the ears of Lolita's parents sometime. an unmarried woman. He used to stay in the town of Gasan. in connection with his aforesaid occupation. The plaintiffs even filed deportation proceedings against defendant who is a Chinese national. Lolita disappeared from said house. being aware of his marital status. Because of such fact and the similarity in their family name. a collateral relative of Lolita's father. They exchanged love notes with each other the contents of which reveal not only their infatuation for each other but also the extent to which they had carried their relationship. Said note. deliberately and in bad faith tried to win Lolita's affection. the lower court. J. in 1955. defendant became close to the plaintiffs who regarded him as a member of their family. Leodegario L. defendant-appellee. 1äw phï1. Pe for and in his own behalf as plaintiff-appellant. do not constitute a valid cause of action.ñët Plaintiffs brought this case on appeal before this Court on the ground that the issues involved are purely of law. even if true. after denying some allegations contained in the complaint.G. 1957. plaintiffs-appellants. defendant frequented the house of Lolita on the pretext that he wanted her to teach him how to pray the rosary.. However. compensatory. Marinduque. After trial. declared that defendant cannot be held liable for moral damages it appearing that plaintiffs failed to prove that defendant. her brothers and sisters checked up her thing and found that Lolita's clothes were gone. Lolita was staying with her brothers and sisters at their residence at 54-B España Extension. set up as a defense that the facts alleged therein.000. After she left. Defendant. L-17396 May 30. On April 14. exemplary and corrective damages in the amount of P94.00 exclusive of attorney's fees and expenses of litigation. written on a small slip of paper approximately 4" by 3" in size. Sometime in April. ALFONSO PE. vs. 1957. The affair between defendant and Lolita continued nonetheless. and since then defendant was forbidden from going to their house and from further seeing Lolita. plaintiffs found a note on a crumpled piece of paper inside Lolita's aparador. Sometime in 1952. 1957. after finding that defendant had carried on a love affair with one Lolita Pe. The two eventually fell in love with each other and conducted clandestine trysts not only in the town of Gasan but also in Boac where Lolita used to teach in a barrio school. 1962 CECILIO PE. Quezon City. Lolita was staying with her parents in the same town. So it rendered decision dismissing the complaint. Cecilio L. was in a handwriting recognized to be that of defendant's.: Plaintiffs brought this action before the Court of First Instance of Manila to recover moral. Mogol for defendant-appellee.R. No. Defendant was an adopted son of a Chinaman named Pe Beco. being a married man himself. ET AL.

not only without any desire on their part. but through a clever strategy. falling in love with defendant who is a married man. But in spite of the fact that plaintiffs have clearly established that in illicit affair was carried on between defendant and Lolita which caused great damage to the name and reputation of plaintiffs who are her parents. brothers and sisters. the court may not presume that it was the defendant who deliberately induced such relationship. Costs against appellee. Verily. that's Monday morning at 10 a." We disagree with this view. seduced the latter to the extent of making her fall in love with him. being a married man. The wrong he has caused her and her family is indeed immeasurable considering the fact that he is a married man. This is specially so with respect to Lolita. It is a possibility that the defendant and Lolita simply fell in love with each other. thru an ingenious scheme or trickery. and that's 13th of this month and we will have a date on the 14th. good customs and public policy as contemplated in Article 21 of the new Civil Code. no other conclusion can be drawn from this chain of events than that defendant not only deliberately. good customs or public policy shall compensate the latter for the damage. suppose I leave here on Sunday night. the two eventually fell in love with each other and conducted clandestine love affairs not only in Gasan but also in Boac where Lolita used to teach in a barrio school.m. The present action is based on Article 21 of the New Civil Code which provides: Any person who wilfully causes loss or injury to another in a manner which is contrary to morals. defendant was forbidden from going to their house and even from seeing Lolita. being an unmarried woman. Plaintiffs even filed deportation proceedings against defendant who is a Chinese national.00 as damages and P2. succeeded in winning the affection and love of Lolita to the extent of having illicit relations with her. the trial court said: "In the absence of proof on this point.Honey. When the rumors about their illicit affairs reached the knowledge of her parents.000. This is shown by the fact that defendant frequented the house of Lolita on the pretext that he wanted her to teach him how to pray the rosary. Reply Love The disappearance of Lolita was reported to the police authorities and the NBI but up to the present there is no news or trace of her whereabouts. Indeed.00 as attorney's fees and expenses of litigations. but also against their better judgment and in full consciousness of what it will bring to both of them. to any other conclusion than that it was he who. The circumstances under which defendant tried to win Lolita's affection cannot lead. carried on a love affair with Lolita Pe thereby causing plaintiffs injury in a manner contrary to morals. good customs and public policy. We cannot be unmindful of the uncertainties and sometimes inexplicable mysteries of the human emotions. the decision appealed from is reversed. WHEREFORE. the trial court considered their complaint not actionable for the reason that they failed to prove that defendant deliberately and in bad faith tried to win Lolita's affection Thus. Because of the frequency of his visits to the latter's family who was allowed free access because he was a collateral relative and was considered as a member of her family. There is no doubt that the claim of plaintiffs for damages is based on the fact that defendant. Defendant is hereby sentenced to pay the plaintiffs the sum of P5.000. defendant continued his love affairs with Lolita until she disappeared from the parental home. . Nevertheless. he has committed an injury to Lolita's family in a manner contrary to morals.

LIM SIO WAN..5 Lim Sio Wan described the appearance of Santos so that So could easily identify her. Respondents. CV No.G.648. The CA Decision modified the Decision dated November 15. some banks at times bend over backwards that they unwittingly expose themselves to great risks. DECISION VELASCO.14 The . (Metrobank). No.9 Thereafter. JR. FCC had deposited a money market placement for PhP 2 million with respondent Producers Bank.6 Later. 1983. and to give the check to one Deborah Dee Santos who would pick up the check.11 Earlier. Santos arrived at the bank and signed the application form for a manager’s check to be issued.49.: To ingratiate themselves to their valued depositors. J. 19981 in CA-G.597.12 Such deposit is evidenced by Official Receipt No.8 The check was cross-checked "For Payee’s Account Only" and given to Santos.4 On December 5. Allied Banking Corporation. 19932 of the Regional Trial Court (RTC). on September 21.7 The bank issued Manager’s Check No. representing the proceeds of Lim Sio Wan’s money market placement in the name of Lim Sio Wan.R. as payee. respondent Lim Sio Wan deposited with petitioner Allied Banking Corporation (Allied) at its Quintin Paredes Branch in Manila a money market placement of PhP 1.3 as evidenced by Provisional Receipt No. and PRODUCERS BANK. METROPOLITAN BANK AND TRUST CO. a person claiming to be Lim Sio Wan called up Cristina So.152. 1983.35 for a term of 31 days to mature on December 15. 6757.R. vs. 2008 ALLIED BANKING CORPORATION. 31756813 and a Letter dated September 21. an officer of Allied. 1983.158. et al. Santos was the money market trader assigned to handle FCC’s account. 1356 dated November 14. Petitioner. to issue a manager’s check representing the proceeds of the placement. 035669 for PhP 1. Branch 63 in Makati City rendered in Civil Case No.10 with the forged signature of Lim Sio Wan as indorser. The Case This Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 seeks to reverse the Court of Appeals’ (CA’s) Decision promulgated on March 18. 1983. and instructed the latter to pre-terminate Lim Sio Wan’s money market placement. 133179 March 27.. 1983 of Santos addressed to Angie Lazo of FCC. the manager’s check was deposited in the account of Filipinas Cement Corporation (FCC) at respondent Metropolitan Bank and Trust Co. 46290 entitled Lim Sio Wan v. The Facts The facts as found by the RTC and affirmed by the CA are as follows: On November 14. acknowledging receipt of the placement. 1983.

she withdrew her second placement from Allied.19 On December 9.22 When Lim Sio Wan’s second placement matured on January 9. Upon the presentment of the check. Sometime in February 1984. Summonses were duly served upon all the parties except for Santos. 1983 and was rolled-over until December 5. or more than six (6) months after funding the check. realizing that the promise that her money would be recovered would not materialize. Lim Sio Wan instructed So to roll-over the placement for another 30 days. Allied’s third party complaint against Metrobank was converted into a cross-claim and the latter’s fourth party complaint against FCC was converted into a third party complaint.25 Consequently. which reads: "All prior endorsements and/or lack of endorsement guaranteed. She denied giving any instructions and receiving the proceeds thereof.35 . 1983 as evidenced by a Letter dated October 25. So called Lim Sio Wan to ask for the latter’s instructions on the second placement. 198426 docketed as Civil Case No. Lim Sio Wan. 1983. 1984. 1983. sent a demand letter to Allied asking for the payment of the first placement. Metrobank stamped a guaranty on the check. Lim Sio Wan deposited with Allied a second money market placement to mature on January 9.23On January 24.15 When the placement matured.16 On December 5. along with Allied. Metrobank agreed to release the amount to FCC after the latter executed an Undertaking. who was no longer connected with Producers Bank. She desisted from further complaints when she was assured by the bank’s manager that her money would be recovered. the amount on the face of the check was credited to the account of FCC. 6757 against Allied to recover the proceeds of her first money market placement. 1983. 1983.placement matured on October 25.30 On May 15. the manager’s check in the name of Lim Sio Wan was deposited in the account of FCC."18 The check was sent to Allied through the PCHC. Allied funded the check even without checking the authenticity of Lim Sio Wan’s purported indorsement. FCC for its part filed a fifth party complaint29 against Producers Bank.32 Lim Sio Wan thereafter filed an amended complaint to include Metrobank as a party-defendant.20 On December 14.21 She was then informed that the placement had been pre-terminated upon her instructions. Metrobank filed a fourth party complaint28 against FCC. the same date that So received the phone call instructing her to pre-terminate Lim Sio Wan’s placement.24 Allied refused to pay Lim Sio Wan. purportedly representing the proceeds of FCC’s money market placement with Producers Bank. the Allied check was deposited with Metrobank in the account of FCC as Producers Bank’s payment of its obligation to FCC. To clear the check and in compliance with the requirements of the Philippine Clearing House Corporation (PCHC) Rules and Regulations.33 The RTC admitted the amended complaint despite the opposition of Metrobank.17 In other words. 1984. Thus. claiming that the latter had authorized the pre-termination of the placement and its subsequent release to Santos. 1984. Lim Sio Wan filed with the RTC a Complaint dated February 13. Allied filed a third party complaint27 against Metrobank and Santos. In turn. Later on. upon the maturity date of the first money market placement. 1984. Allied informed Metrobank that the signature on the check was forged.31 Thus. Lim Sio Wan went to Allied to withdraw it.34 Consequently. Metrobank withheld the amount represented by the check from FCC. promising to indemnify Metrobank in case it was made to reimburse the amount. FCC demanded the payment of the proceeds of the placement.

Judgment is rendered ordering and sentencing defendant-appellant Allied Banking Corporation to pay sixty (60%) percent and defendant-appellee Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company forty (40%) of the amount of P1. Ordering defendant Allied Bank to pay plaintiff the amount of P100.36 The Decision of the Court of Appeals Allied appealed to the CA. which in turn issued the assailed Decision on March 18. 1984 until fully paid. 1984 until fully paid.158.000. as follows: WHEREFORE.648.After trial.00 by way of moral damages. The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in absolving Producers Bank of any liability for the reimbursement of amount adjudged demandable. Likewise defendant Metrobank’s third-party complaint as against Filipinas Cement Corporation is DISMISSED.20 by way of attorney’s fees. the decision appealed from is MODIFIED. . The moral damages. Allied filed the instant petition. Ordering defendant Allied Banking Corporation to pay plaintiff the amount of P1. judgment is hereby rendered as follows: 1. Except as thus modified. attorney’s fees and costs of suit adjudged shall likewise be paid by defendant-appellant Allied Banking Corporation and defendant-appellee Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company in the same proportion of 60-40.158. SO ORDERED.49 plus 12% interest per annum from March 16.792. 3. Ordering defendant Allied Bank to pay plaintiff the amount of P173.37 Hence. Defendant Allied Bank’s cross-claim against defendant Metrobank is DISMISSED. 2.49 plus 12% interest per annum from March 16. the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. 1998. holding as follows: WHEREFORE. the RTC issued its Decision. and. 4. Filipinas Cement Corporation’s fourth-party complaint against Producer’s Bank is also DISMISSED. premises considered.648. The Issues Allied raises the following issues for our consideration: The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in holding that Lim Sio Wan did not authorize [Allied] to preterminate the initial placement and to deliver the check to Deborah Santos. Ordering defendant Allied Bank to pay the costs of suit. modifying the RTC Decision. SO ORDERED.

the factual findings of both courts are binding on this Court.43 Further.39 We also agree with the CA when it said that it could not disturb the trial court’s findings on the credibility of witness So inasmuch as it was the trial court that heard the witness and had the opportunity to observe closely her deportment and manner of testifying. the money market transaction between the petitioner and the private respondent is in the nature of a loan. A Question of Fact Allied questions the finding of both the trial and appellate courts that Allied was not authorized to release the proceeds of Lim Sio Wan’s money market placement to Santos. Articles 1953 and 1980 of the Civil Code provide: Art. N.38 The petition is partly meritorious. as follows: [A] money market is a market dealing in standardized short-term credit instruments (involving large amounts) where lenders and borrowers do not deal directly with each other but through a middle man or dealer in open market. Fixed. that the respective parties were negligent in the exercise of their obligations is also conclusive upon this Court. the finding of the RTC. the investor is a lender who loans his money to a borrower through a middleman or dealer. In a money market transaction. Fundamental and familiar is the doctrine that the relationship between a bank and a client is one of debtor-creditor. in Citibank. might affect the result of the case. (Formerly First National City Bank) v. 1980. savings. Unless the trial court had plainly overlooked facts of substance or value. we find that Allied is liable to Lim Sio Wan. and is bound to pay to the creditor an equal amount of the same kind and quality.A.44 .41 Thus.42 More succinctly. if considered. we defined a money market in Cebu International Finance Corporation v. and current deposits of money in banks and similar institutions shall be governed by the provisions concerning simple loan.The Honorable Court of Appeals erred in holding [Allied] liable to the extent of 60% of amount adjudged demandable in clear disregard to the ultimate liability of Metrobank as guarantor of all endorsement on the check. this Court has held that the matter of negligence is also a factual question. Art. Additionally. A person who receives a loan of money or any other fungible thing acquires the ownership thereof. Thus. this Court ruled that a money market placement is a simple loan or mutuum. we have ruled in a line of cases that a bank deposit is in the nature of a simple loan or mutuum. it being the collecting bank. When the CA affirms the findings of fact of the RTC. Allied clearly raises a question of fact. The Liability of the Parties As to the liability of the parties. which. In the case at bar. 1953. Court of Appeals.40 we find it best to defer to the trial court on matters pertaining to credibility of witnesses. Sabeniano. affirmed by the CA.

45 (Emphasis supplied." As commented by Arturo Tolentino: Payment made by the debtor to a wrong party does not extinguish the obligation as to the creditor. 1231 of the Civil Code enumerates the instances when obligations are considered extinguished. According to Allied: Failure on the part of the collecting bank to ensure that the proceeds of the check is paid to the proper party is.Lim Sio Wan. Other causes of extinguishment of obligations. Until any such event. Obligations are extinguished: (1) By payment or performance. (4) By the confusion or merger of the rights of creditor and debtor. is void. or through error induced by the fraud of a third person. rescission. Art. Such payment does not prejudice the creditor. 1240 of the Code states that "payment shall be made to the person in whose favor the obligation has been constituted. aside from being an efficient intervening cause. there is no question that the obligation of Allied to pay Lim Sio Wan had not been extinguished. however. or until the bank is released from its obligation as debtor. or upon maturity of the placement. or any person authorized to receive it. are governed elsewhere in this Code. thus: Art. if there is no fault or negligence which can be imputed to the latter. the payment to one who is not in fact his creditor. and prescription. or authorized to receive such payment. which thereby leads to the conclusion that it is . fulfillment of a resolutory condition. 1231. (5) By compensation. is entitled to payment upon her request. except as provided in Article 1241. the obligation of Allied to Lim Sio Wan remains unextinguished. Even when the debtor acted in utmost good faith and by mistake as to the person of his creditor. and accrual of interest is not suspended by it. or his successor in interest. also the last negligent act. x x x contributory to the injury caused in the present case. (Emphasis supplied. the bank still has an obligation to pay her at six percent (6%) interest from March 16. 1984 until the payment thereof. as creditor of the bank for her money market placement. We cannot. the present controversy would never have occurred. and without Metrobank’s guarantee. It points out that Metrobank guaranteed all prior indorsements inscribed on the manager’s check.) From the factual findings of the trial and appellate courts that Lim Sio Wan did not authorize the release of her money market placement to Santos and the bank had been negligent in so doing. (2) By the loss of the thing due. Allied claims that Metrobank is the proximate cause of the loss of Lim Sio Wan’s money. such as annulment.) Since there was no effective payment of Lim Sio Wan’s money market placement. (3) By the condonation or remission of the debt. (6) By novation. say outright that Allied is solely liable to Lim Sio Wan. Art.

it shall be accepted or paid. 65 of the Negotiable Instruments Law provides: Section 66. or both. But when the negotiation is by delivery only. or to any subsequent indorser who may be compelled to pay it. Allied avers that even if it had not issued the check payment. would the injury have resulted? If the answer is NO. the last .—Every person negotiating an instrument by delivery or by a qualified indorsement. in natural and continuous sequence. Warranty where negotiation by delivery.—Every indorser who indorses without qualification. Proximate cause is "that cause. Liability of general indorser. Section 66 in relation to Sec. and the necessary proceedings on dishonor be duly taken. and that if it be dishonored. then the event is the proximate cause. including a forged indorsement. To determine the proximate cause of a controversy. d) That he has no knowledge of any fact which would impair the validity of the instrument or render it valueless. (Emphasis supplied. Metrobank that is the proximate cause of the alleged loss of the plaintiff in the instant case. Section 65.the collecting bank. he will pay the amount thereof to the holder. a) The matters and things mentioned in subdivisions (a). there is an efficient supervening event if the event breaks the sequence leading from the cause to the ultimate result. Thus. The provisions of subdivision (c) of this section do not apply to persons negotiating public or corporation securities. as the case may be according to its tenor. warrants to all subsequent holders in due course. he engages that on due presentment.46 We are not persuaded. the question that needs to be asked is: If the event did not happen. the money represented by the check would still be lost because of Metrobank’s negligence in indorsing the check without verifying the genuineness of the indorsement thereon. other than bills and notes. And in addition. warrants: a) That the instrument is genuine and in all respects what it purports to be. the warranty extends in favor of no holder other than the immediate transferee. (b) and (c) of the next preceding section. and b) That the instrument is at the time of his indorsement valid and subsisting. b) That he has a good title of it. unbroken by any efficient intervening cause. which.) The warranty "that the instrument is genuine and in all respects what it purports to be" covers all the defects in the instrument affecting the validity thereof. produces the injury and without which the result would not have occurred. so forth. c) That all prior parties had capacity to contract. In the instant case."47 Thus.

in the cases cited above where the collecting bank is generally held liable.413. In Republic Bank v. we ruled in Associated Bank v. we held the collecting bank solely liable for the whole amount of the checks involved for having indorsed the same. including the forged indorsement itself. this general rule is subject to exceptions. and ultimately should be held liable therefor. While in Banco de Oro Savings and Mortgage Bank (Banco de Oro) v. . to wit: Both banks were negligent in the selection and supervision of their employees resulting in the encashment of the forged checks by an impostor.00 from PNB.. respondent CBC’s negligence contributed equally to the success of the impostor in encashing the proceeds of the forged checks. in two of the cases where the checks were negligently issued. We held in a line of cases that "a collecting bank which indorses a check bearing a forged indorsement and presents it to the drawee bank guarantees all prior indorsements. Equitable Banking Corporation. Ebrada. such losses are subject to mitigation by the courts. respondent Province contributed to the loss amounting to P203. Radio Philippines Network. While it is true that petitioner BPI’s negligence may have been the proximate cause of the loss. the Province of Tarlac can only recover fifty percent (50%) of P203. Court of Appeals that the issuing institution and the collecting bank should equally share the liability for the loss of amount represented by the checks concerned due to the negligence of both parties: The Court finds as reasonable. Due to the negligence of the Province of Tarlac in releasing the checks to an unauthorized person (Fausto Pangilinan). In effect.52 Similarly. from Traders Royal Bank.00 and shall be liable to the PNB for fifty (50%) percent thereof. It is liable on its warranties as indorser of the checks which were deposited by Fausto Pangilinan. in Bank of the Philippine Islands v.300. Associated Bank. Under these circumstances. Considering the comparative negligence of the two (2) banks. we rule that the demands of substantial justice are satisfied by allocating the loss of P2. Thus. Intermediate Appellate Courts. We also noted the relative negligence exhibited by two banks.49 the check was properly issued by the Bureau of Treasury. Inc.00 and the cost of litigation on a 60-40 ratio.215. Inc. Both banks were not able to overcome the presumption of negligence in the selection and supervision of their employees. we said that the drawee bank is liable for 60% of the amount on the face of the negotiable instrument and the collecting bank is liable for 40%. It was the gross negligence of the employees of both banks which resulted in the fraud and the subsequent loss.indorser will be liable for the amount indicated in the negotiable instrument even if a previous indorsement was forged. (See Phoenix Construction Inc. The collecting bank. v. shall be liable to PNB for fifty (50%) percent of P203.51 the checks were issued at the request of Radio Philippines Network. 148 SCRA 353 [1987]). One such exception is when the issuance of the check itself was attended with negligence. in allowing the retired hospital cashier to receive the checks for the payee hospital for a period close to three years and in not properly ascertaining why the retired hospital cashier was collecting checks for the payee hospital in addition to the hospital’s real cashier. the proportionate sharing of fifty percent-fifty percent (50%-50%).16 and the costs of the arbitration proceeding in the amount of P7.300. this Court held the institution issuing the check just as liable as or more liable than the collecting bank."48 However.250. Court of Appeals. In isolated cases where the checks were deposited in an account other than that of the payees on the strength of forged indorsements.300.00. 1avv phi 1 However. And in Traders Royal Bank v.50 Banco de Oro admittedly issued the checks in the name of the correct payees. we apply Article 2179 of the Civil Code to the effect that while respondent CBC may recover its losses.

which provides: "Every person who through an act of performance by another."58 . Adena Canlas. Allied correctly claims in its petition that Producers Bank should reimburse Allied for whatever judgment that may be rendered against it pursuant to Art. as ruled by the CA. where we ruled that "[t]here is unjust enrichment when a person unjustly retains a benefit to the loss of another. When Metrobank indorsed the check in compliance with the PCHC Rules and Regulations55 without verifying the authenticity of Lim Sio Wan’s indorsement and when it accepted the check despite the fact that it was cross-checked payable to payee’s account only. Here. can raise the real defense of forgery as against both banks.57 As to Producers Bank. In the instant case. FCC. is concurrent with that of Metrobank as the last indorser of the check.53 A reading of the facts of the two immediately preceding cases would reveal that the reason why the bank or institution which issued the check was held partially liable for the amount of the check was because of the negligence of these parties which resulted in the issuance of the checks. To reiterate. 22 of the Civil Code.54 In fact. there has been no conviction for any crime. had Allied exercised the diligence due from a financial institution. the same is correct. The liability of Allied." 1avv phi 1 The above provision of law was clarified in Reyes v. there would have been no issuance of indorsement had there been no check in the first place. Allied’s negligence must be considered as the proximate cause of the resulting loss.56 its negligent and cavalier indorsement contributed to the easier release of Lim Sio Wan’s money and perpetuation of the fraud. Associated Bank was also remiss in its duty to ascertain the genuineness of the payee’s indorsement. Such provision of law does not apply to civil liability arising from delict. As to the claim that there was unjust enrichment on the part of Producers Bank. Such liability on the part of the employer for the civil aspect of the criminal act of the employee is based on the conviction of the employee for a crime. Allied Bank’s argument that Producers Bank must be held liable as employer of Santos under Art. Art.having guaranteed the genuineness of all prior indorsements. 103 of the Revised Penal Code in the instant case. or when a person retains money or property of another against the fundamental principles of justice. having no participation in the negotiation of the check and in the forgery of Lim Sio Wan’s indorsement. In fact. however. the check would not have been issued and no loss of funds would have resulted. the trial court correctly found Allied negligent in issuing the manager’s check and in transmitting it to Santos without even a written authorization. Dr. 2180 pertains to the vicarious liability of an employer for quasi-delicts that an employee has committed. Both actions could have prevented the whole fraudulent transaction from unfolding. both banks cannot be adjudged as equally liable. shall return the same to him. or any other means. Given the relative participation of Allied and Metrobank to the instant case. equity and good conscience. Allied did not even ask for the certificate evidencing the money market placement or call up Lim Sio Wan at her residence or office to confirm her instructions. 2180 of the Civil Code is erroneous. including that of the chief of the payee hospital. the 60:40 ratio of the liabilities of Allied and Metrobank. must be upheld. One also cannot apply the principle of subsidiary liability in Art. acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just cause or legal ground. Hence. Lim.

thus. Producers Bank should reimburse Allied and Metrobank for the amounts the two latter banks are ordered to pay Lim Sio Wan. Lim Sio Wan’s money market placement in Allied Bank was pre-terminated and withdrawn without her consent. . the CA Decision is AFFIRMED.In Tamio v.49 plus 12% interest per annum from March 16.158. In other words. the courts have not acquired jurisdiction over her. the fact that the indorsement on the check was forged cannot be raised against FCC which was not a part in any stage of the negotiation of the check. we further clarified the principle of unjust enrichment. FCC was entitled to such payment. The liabilities of the parties are concurrent and independent of each other. premises considered. Ticson. therefore.648. the decision appealed from is AFFIRMED. Clearly. Based on the facts and circumstances of the case. the proceeds of the placement were deposited in Producers Bank’s account in Metrobank without any justification. attorney’s fees. SO ORDERED. there is unjust enrichment when (1) a person is unjustly benefited. and (2) such benefit is derived at the expense of or with damages to another. lavvphil It cannot be validly claimed that FCC. Producers Bank is hereby ordered to pay Allied and Metrobank the aforementioned amounts. Producers Bank’s indebtedness to FCC was extinguished. 46290 and the November 15.60 We. Except as thus modified. attorney’s fees and costs of suit adjudged shall likewise be paid by defendant-appellant Allied Banking Corporation and defendant-appellee Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company in the same proportion of 60-40. 1993 RTC Decision in Civil Case No. thereby benefitting the former. Thus. It must be remembered that FCC’s money market placement with Producers Bank was already due and demandable. The March 18. should be considered as having been unjustly enriched. WHEREFORE. moral damages. With such payment. Unfortunately. Producers Bank was unjustly enriched at the expense of Lim Sio Wan. we see that Santos could be the architect of the entire controversy. and costs of suit which Allied and Metrobank are adjudged to pay Lim Sio Wan based on a proportion of 60:40. Judgment is rendered ordering and sentencing defendant-appellant Allied Banking Corporation to pay sixty (60%) percent and defendant-appellee Metropolitan Bank and Trust Company forty (40%) of the amount of P1."59 In the instant case. the petition is PARTLY GRANTED. and not Producers Bank. the decision appealed from is MODIFIED. Moreover. Clearly. 1998 CA Decision in CA-G. CV No. Producers Bank must be held liable to Allied and Metrobank for the amount of the check plus 12% interest per annum. cannot ascribe to her liability in the instant case. The moral damages. there is no reason that the proceeds of Lim Sio Wans’ placement should be deposited in FCC’s account purportedly as payment for FCC’s money market placement and interest in Producers Bank. Additionally and by way of MODIFICATION. FCC was not unjustly enriched. thus: "Under Article 22 of the Civil Code. From the facts of the instant case. 6757 are AFFIRMED with MODIFICATION. 1984 until fully paid. as follows: WHEREFORE. Producers Bank’s payment thereof was justified. the fallo of which is reproduced.R. since summons had not been served on Santos. As earlier stated.

[G. 1992 an Information for libel against petitioner with the Regional Trial . ASUNCION. No. in his capacity as Presiding Judge of RTC. 1997] RHODORA M. promulgated on September 14. against Dr.‘ the Quezon City Prosecutor‘s Office filed on July 6. docketed as I.R. LEDESMA. No. This principle is explained in this Decision resolving a petition for review on certiorari of the Decision of the Court of Appeals. Jr. before the Quezon City Prosecutor‘s Office. Quezon City. the trial court is not bound by such resolution but is required to evaluate it before proceeding further with the trial.: When confronted with a motion to withdraw an information on the ground of lack of probable cause based on a resolution of the secretary of justice. respondents. however. vs. the bounden duty of the trial court is to make an independent assessment of the merits of such motion. [1] [2] The Antecedent Facts From the pleadings submitted in this case. a complaint for libel was filed by Dr. it is not binding on courts. DECISION PANGANIBAN. J. COURT OF APPEALS and HON. A trial court.R. petitioner herein. 1993 in CA-G.S. Juan F. MAXIMIANO C. Ledesma. the undisputed facts are as follows: Sometime in April 1992. 113216. Finding ‗sufficient legal and factual basis. 92-5433A. Having acquired jurisdiction over the case. SP No. 30832 which in effect affirmed an order of the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City denying the prosecution’s withdrawal of a criminal information against petitioner. September 5. Torres. While the secretary’s ruling is persuasive. Petitioner filed her counteraffidavit to the complaint. commits reversible error or even grave abuse of discretion if it refuses/neglects to evaluate such recommendation and simply insists on proceeding with the trial on the mere pretext of having already acquired jurisdiction over the criminal action. petitioner. Rhodora M.

in Quezon City. Metro Manila. Nuclear Medicine Section Dr. The Information filed by Assistant City Prosecutor Augustine A. which states in part. Cabral Director Subject: Return of all professional fees due Dr. Orestes P. unlawfully and feloniously send a letter addressed to Dr. amounting to at least P100. Director of Philippine Heart Center. 1991.90/month supposedly representing 20% of the total monthly professional fees. Philippine Heart Center. Records in the Nuclear Medicine Section will show that from January 1989 to January 1991. then and there. Philippines.116. Vestil reads: [3] [4] ―That on or about the 27th day of June 1991. to wit: ‗27June 1991 Dr. acting with malice. Nuclear Medicine Specialist/Consultant. Monzon..00 for the year 1990 alone. Rhodora M. and interpreted approximately a total of 1.Court of Quezon City.308 patients were seen. JR. Ledesma. The rest were divided equally between Dr. processed. Cabral. Respondents: Dr. a total of 2. Staff Consultant Dear Dr. Torres. wilfully. Of these.551 cases as against approximately 684 and 73 cases done by Dr. Torres respectively. JUAN F. said letter containing slanderous and defamatory remarks against DR. since January 31. this city. The burden of unfairness would have been lesser if there was an equal distribution of labor and the schedule of duties . and furnished the same to other officers of the said hospital.. I had officially supervised. 1989 until my resignation effective January 31. Esperanza I. Chief. this Center. the said accused. Jr.000. Monzon and Dr. East Avenue. 1989 to January 31. TORRES. Until my resignation I had received a monthly share of professional fees averaging P1. Juan F. This is to demand the return of all professional fees due me as a consultant in Nuclear Medicine. There was never any agreement between us three consultants that this should be the arrangement and I am certain that this was not with your approval. from January 31. Monzon and Dr. Esperanza I. Branch 104. Cabral. 1991. did. Torres.

77 as amended by P. I had a part time appointment just like Dr. I suggest that a committee be formed to make an audit of the distribution of professional fees in this Section. let me stress that since professional fees vary according to the type of procedure done and since there was no equity of labor between us I am not settling for an equal percentage share. discredit and contempt upon the person of the said offended party. to his damage and prejudice. a ―Motion to Defer Arraignment‖ dated September 7. Thank you. TORRES. No. Dr. At this point.were strictly followed. Torres came for an hour every week. thereby casting dishonor. 911. Monzon came sporadically during the week while I was left with everything from training the residents and supervising the Techs to processing and interpreting the results on a regular basis. Let me state at this point6 that the actions of Dr. Director for Medical Services was simply a dummy to comply with administrative requirements rather than a guideline for strict compliance. I trust that your sense of professionalism will put a stop to this corruption. JR. I demand that I be indemnified of all professional fees due me on a case to case basis. the same are entirely false and untrue but were publicly made for no other purpose than to expose said DR. Both consultants have complete daily time records even if they did not come regularly.D.D. In the interest of fairness and to set a precedent for the protection of future PHC Nuclear Medicine Alumni I am calling your attention to the unfair and inhuman conditions I went through as a Consultant in that Section. the schedule of duties submitted monthly to the office of the Asst. when in truth and in fact. 1992 was filed by Prosecutor Tirso M. Torres and Dr. to public ridicule. No.‖ A petition for review of the resolution of Assistant City Prosecutor Vestil was filed by petitioner before the Department of Justice pursuant to P. Dr. The Department of Justice gave due course to the petition and directed the Quezon City prosecutor to move for deferment of further proceedings and to elevate the entire records of the case. Monzon and Dr. Let me make clear my intention of pursuing this matter legally should there be no favorable action in my behalf. [5] . Monzon are both unprofessional and unbecoming and are clearly violating the code of ethics of the medical profession and the Philippine Civil Service Rules and Regulations related to graft and corruption. as the accused very well knew.‘ and other words of similar import. Accordingly. As it was. Torres. JUAN F.

131). ruled that ‗A communication made in good faith upon any subject matter in which the party making the communication has an interest or concerning which he has a duty is privileged.. the Supreme Court. Moreover. 48 Phil. Ledesma was getting from complainants. in Ang vs. Calvo. Bustos. then Justice Secretary Franklin M. filed a Motion to Lift the Order dated September 9. They are mere manifestations of her earnest desire to pursue proper relief for the alleged injustice she got from complainants. private complainant. [6] [7] Without the consent or approval of the trial prosecutor. although it contains incriminatory or derogatory matter which. 1992 and scheduling petitioner’s arraignment on January 18. 1992. If she was motivated by malice and ill-will in sending the subject communication to the Director of the PHCA. through counsel. Since complainants and respondent are government employees. 37 Phil. the subject letter was written to bring to the attention of the Director of the Philippine Heart Center for Asia and other responsible authorities the unjust and unfair treatment that Dr. the trial court issued an Order setting aside its earlier Order of September 9. it is unbelievable that it took complainants one year to realize that the questioned letter subjected them to public and malicious imputation of a vice or . Drilon reversed the Quezon City investigating prosecutor. [9] In a resolution dated January 27. citing Santiago vs. On September 9. without the privilege. The same interpretation should be accorded the civil and administrative complaints which respondent filed against complainants. and the subject letter is a complaint to higher authorities of the PHCA on a subject matter in which respondent has an interest and in reference to which she has a duty to question the same is definitely privileged (US vs. Pertinent portions of Drilon’s ruling read: [10] ―From the circumstances obtaining. 1993 at two o’clock in the afternoon. 1992 and to Set the Case for Arraignment/Trial. 1993. 136 SCRA 455. Moreover. she would not have sent the second letter and filed the administrative and civil cases against complainants. [8] On January 8. 922. is a direct evidence of respondent‘s righteous disposition of following the rule of law and is a clear indication that her purpose was to seek relief from the proper higher authority who is the Director of PHCA. would be libelous and actionable. the trial court granted the motion and deferred petitioner’s arraignment until the final termination of the petition for review.. Castro. 1993. The follow-up letter sent by respondent to the director of the PHCA.Gavero before the court a quo.

1993. serious anxiety. 1993 filed by the accused through counsel is hereby denied. Gavero filed a Motion to Withdraw Information dated February 17. Mogul -- . In view of the foregoing. In the issuance of its order. moral shock and besmirched reputation . 1993. The trial judge denied this motion in his Order dated February 22. The claim that the case of Crespo vs. Mogul.‘ Petitioner’s motion for reconsideration was denied by the trial judge in the Order dated March 5. 1993. In a Resolution dated March 31. 151 SCRA 462. wounded feelings. the record shows that the court has issued an order suspending the proceedings pending the resolutions of the petitions for review by this Office. 129. Quezon City Trial Prosecutor Tirso year after they read the communication in question. It is the resolutions of the investigating prosecutor that are under review. It is beyond the ordinary course of human conduct for complainants to start feeling the effects of the alleged libelous letter . the instant cases are not being reinvestigated. the trial prosecutor of this court is hereby directed to prosecute the case following the guidelines and doctrine laid down by the Supreme Court in the case of Crespo vs. Inform this Office of the action taken within ten (10) days from receipt hereof. the appealed resolutions are hereby reversed.‘ In obedience to the above directive.‖ holding that it had no jurisdiction to overturn the doctrine laid down in Crespo vs. paragraph 1 of B. You are directed to withdraw the Informations which you filed in Court. [15] Respondent Court dismissed the petition ―for lack of merit.1993.‖ Aggrieved.P. as follows: [11] [12] ‗The motion of the trial prosecutor to withdraw the information in the above -entitled case is denied. 151 SCRA 462 is applicable to the instant case is unfounded. the court recognizes that the Secretary of Justice has the power and authority to review the resolutions of prosecutors who are under his control and supervision. as follows: [13] [14] ―Finding no cogent reason to justify the reconsideration of the ruling of this Court dated February 22. this Court referred the case to the Court of Appeals for proper determination and disposition pursuant to Section 9. Instead.omission. Mogul. Further. 1993.that of experiencing sleepless nights. the Motion for Reconsideration dated March 1. petitioner filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the Supreme Court. In the first place. attaching thereto the resolution of Secretary Drilon.

abet or promote abuse or even corruption among the ranks of investigating fiscals. 1993. It deprives the secretary of justice or the president of the power to control or review the acts of a subordinate official. It goes against the constitutional proscription that rules of procedure should not diminish substantive rights. dated February 22. It infringes on the constitutional separation of powers between the executive and judicial branches of the government. Its application may constitute or lead to denial of equal protection of laws. It is respectfully submitted that said case is not applicable because: 1. this recourse to this Court. 7. of respondent Judge Asuncion relied solely on the ‗Crespo vs. rests on the sound discretion of the trial court. Mogul‘ (151 SCRA 462) decision. 1993 and March 5. encourage. 6. 3. petitioner failed to make an assignment of errors against the appellate court. It deprives a person of his constitutional right to procedural due process. The Orders. dismissal. i. The Issues For unexplained reasons. It constitutes or it may lead to misuse or misapplication of ‗judicial power‘ as defined in the Constitution. 8. It does not subserve the purposes of a preliminary investigation because - . 5.. [16] Hence. It goes against the principle of non-delegation of powers. 4. any disposition of the case. 9.e.once a complaint or information has been filed in court. conviction or acquittal of the accused. Her counsel merely repeated the alleged errors of the trial court: [17] ―I. 10. It will lead to. It sets aside or disregards substantive and procedural rules. 2.

if not recognized. it is submitted that - 1. the Court will preliminarily address a procedural matter. On the assumption that ‗Crespo vs. when he denied the Motion to Withdraw Information since he had already deferred to. amounting to lack of jurisdiction.‖ In sum.(10. amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Hence. II. and 2.b) It subjects the government. provided: ―SEC. Respondent Judge Asuncion committed grave abuse of discretion. Mogul‘ is applicable. Contents of petition. respondent Judge Asuncion committed grave abuse of discretion.—The petition shall contain a concise statement of x x x the assignment of errors made in the court below x x x.a) It subjects a person to the burdens of an unnecessary trial. the authority of the Secretary of Justice. Prior to the effectivity of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure on July 1. (10. It contributes to the clogging of judicial dockets. The facts in ‗Crespo vs. when he relied solely on said case in denying the Motion to Withdraw Information. both the executive and the judiciary. the main issue in this petition is: Did Respondent Court commit any reversible error in affirming the trial court’s denial of the prosecution’s Motion to Withdraw Information? The Court’s Ruling The petition is impressed with merit.‖ . specially in cases where the investigating fiscal recommends no bail for the accused. 2. which governed appeals from the Court of Appeals to the Supreme Court. to unnecessary time and expenses attendant to an unnecessary trial. Mogul‘ are different from the instant case. 1997. We answer the above question in the affirmative. Preliminary Matter Before discussing the substance of this case.c) 11. and It has no statutory or procedural basis or precedent. (10. Section 2 of Rule 45.

1996. Review under this rule is unlike an appeal in a criminal case where the death penalty. For failure to follow this Rule. FOR STRICT COMPLIANCE. entitled ―Guidelines to be Observed in Appeals to the Court of Appeals and to the Supreme Court. ―review is not a matter of right but of sound discretion. We stressed this in Circular No.—It is therefore incumbent upon every attorney who would seek review of a judgment or order promulgated against his client to make sure of the nature of the errors he proposes to assign. The primary objective of a preliminary investigation is to free a respondent from the inconvenience. considering that under Section 4 of the same Rule. not of the trial court. Determination of Probable Cause Is an Executive Function The determination of probable cause during a preliminary investigation is judicially recognized as an executive function and is made by the prosecutor. 2-90. the Court — noting the importance of the substantial matters raised — decided to overlook petitioner’s lapse and granted due course to the petition per Resolution dated July 15.‖ Be that as it may. ignominy and stress of defending himself/herself in the course of a formal trial. with a warning that henceforth petitions which fail to specify an assignment of errors of the proper lower court may be denied due course motu proprio by this Court. whether these be of fact or of law. until the reasonable probability of his or her guilt has been passed upon in a more or less . expense.‖ We take this occasion to stress the need for precision and clarity in the assignment of errors.‖ as follows: ―4.A petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 requires a concise statement of the errors committed by the Court of Appeals. to follow scrupulously the requisites for appeal prescribed by law. the petition could have been dismissed by this Court motu proprio. only the issues raised therein by the petitioner will be passed upon by the Court. Erroneous Appeals. Under Rule 45. then upon such basis to ascertain carefully which Court has appellate jurisdiction. such that an erroneous specification of the issues may cause the dismissal of the petition. ever aware that any error or imprecision in compliance may well be fatal to his client‘s cause. x x x x e) Duty of counsel. reclusión perpetua or life imprisonment is imposed and where the whole case is opened for review. and finally.

summary proceeding by a competent officer designated by law for that purpose. judges would be unduly laden with the preliminary examination and investigation of criminal complaints instead of concentrating on hearing and deciding cases filed before their courts. vs. the Court distinguished the determination of probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest or a search warrant from a preliminary investigation proper in this wise: [20] “xxx Judges and prosecutors alike should distinguish the preliminary inquiry which determines probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest from a preliminary investigation proper which ascertains whether the offender should be held for trial or released.‖ Sound policy supports this distinction. xxx The determination of probable cause for the warrant of arrest is made by the Judge. It is part of the prosecutor‘s job. therefore. [18] Such investigation is not a part of the trial. Otherwise. rigors and embarrassment of trial-is the function of the prosecutor. whether xxx he should be subjected to the expense. Hence. such summary proceeding also protects the state from the burden of unnecessary expense and effort in prosecuting alleged offenses and in holding trials arising from false. no double jeopardy attaches. The second kind of preliminary investigation which is more properly called preliminary examination is judicial in nature and is lodged with the judge. We reiterate that preliminary investigation should be distinguished as to whether it is an investigation for the determination of a sufficient ground for the filing of the information or it is an investigation for the determination of a probable cause for the issuance of a warrant of arrest. Secondarily. A full and exhaustive presentation of the parties’ evidence is not required. Narvasa in Roberts. prefatory and cannot lead to a final. a dismissal of the charges as a result thereof is not equivalent to a judicial pronouncement of acquittal.‖ and that the proceedings therein are ―essentially preliminary. definite and . but only such as may engender a well-grounded belief that an offense has been committed and that the accused is probably guilty thereof. Jr. Court of Appeals stressed that the determination of the existence of probable cause properly pertains to the public prosecutor in the ―established scheme of things. The Separate Opinion of Mr. The first kind of preliminary investigation is executive in nature. [19] In declaring this function to be lodged in the prosecutor. By reason of the abbreviated nature of preliminary investigations. The preliminary investigation proper--whether xxx there is reasonable ground to believe that the accused is guilty of the offense charged and. frivolous or groundless charges. Chief Justice Andres R.

They have equally the legal duty not to prosecute when after an investigation they become convinced that the evidence adduced is not sufficient to establish a prima facie case. Neither has the Court any power to order the fiscal to prosecute or file an information within a certain period of time. He may or may not file the complaint or information. those of the fiscal‘s should normally prevail. Prosecuting officers under the power vested in them by law. The fiscal may re-investigate a case and subsequently move for the dismissal should the re-investigation show either that the defendant is innocent or that his guilt may not be established beyond reasonable doubt. Mogul. if he finds that the evidence relied upon by him is insufficient for conviction. those of the prosecutor should normally prevail: [23] ―x x x x The Courts cannot interfere with the fiscal‘s discretion and control of the criminal prosecution. since this would interfere with the fiscal‘s discretion and control of criminal prosecutions.‖ In the same case. It is not prudent or even permissible for a Court to compel the fiscal to prosecute a proceeding originally initiated by him on an information. the Court emphasized the cardinal principle that the public prosecutor controls and directs the prosecution of criminal offenses thus: [22] ―It is a cardinal principle that all criminal actions either commenced by complaint or by information shall be prosecuted under the direction and control of the fiscal. not only have the authority but also the duty of prosecuting persons who. according to whether the evidence in his opinion. Thus. and Courts that grant the same commit no error. It cannot be controlled by the complainant.authoritative judgment of the guilt or innocence of the persons charged with a felony or a crime. according to the evidence received from the complainant. a fiscal who asks for the dismissal of the case for insufficiency of evidence has authority to do so.‖ . x x x x. The institution of a criminal action depends upon the sound discretion of the fiscal. follow or not follow that presented by the offended party. the Court added that where there is a clash of views between a judge who did not investigate and a fiscal who conducted a reinvestigation.‖ [21] In Crespo vs. are shown to be guilty of a crime committed within the jurisdiction of their office. In a clash of views between the judge who did not investigate and the fiscal who did. or between the fiscal and the offended party or the defendant. is sufficient or not to establish the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. The reason for placing the criminal prosecution under the direction and control of the fiscal is to prevent malicious or unfounded prosecution by private persons.

reverse or modify their rulings. xxxx. x x x x The Chief State Prosecutor. or activity is entrusted to a chief of bureau. The scope of his power of supervision and control is delineated in Section 38. authority. which read: ―Section 3.‖ ―Supervision‖ and ―control‖ of a department head over his subordinates have been defined in administrative law as follows: [24] xxx .‖ xxx xxx ―Section 37. nullify. approve. Section 39. the Assistant Chief State Prosecutors. division or service. exercises the power of direct control and supervision over said prosecutors. or revoke any decision or action of said chief of bureau.— Supervision and control shall include authority to act directly whenever a specific function is entrusted by law or regulation to a subordinate. Book IV in relation to Section 5. and the State Prosecutors shall x x x perform such other duties as may be assigned to them by the Secretary of Justice in the interest of public service. office. Book IV of the Code: ―(1) Supervision and Control. 8.Appeal as an Exercise of the Justice Secretary’s Power of Control Over Prosecutors Decisions or resolutions of prosecutors are subject to appeal to the secretary of justice who. modify. Chapter 7. review. the same shall be understood as also conferred upon the proper Department Head who shall have authority to act directly in pursuance thereof. or to review. the Senior State Prosecutors. reverse or modify acts and decisions of subordinate officials or units. office. under the Revised Administrative Code.A. function. restrain the commission of acts. whenever a specific power. direct the performance of duty. duty. Title III of the Code gives the secretary of justice supervision and control over the Office of the Chief Prosecutor and the Provincial and City Prosecution Offices. The provisions of the existing law to the contrary notwithstanding. division or service.‖ Supplementing the aforequoted provisions are Section 3 of R. and 9. Chapter 2. 3783 and Section 37 of Act 4007. and who may thus affirm. paragraph 1. Chapter 8.

means the power of an officer to alter or modify or nullify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. finally. 5180. Court of Appeals. That where the resolution of the Provincial or City Fiscal or the Chief State Prosecutor is. only after administrative remedies are exhausted may judicial recourse be allowed.―In administrative law supervision means overseeing or the power or authority of an officer to see that subordinate officers perform their duties. on the other hand. it may be appealed to the secretary of justice.‖ . Thereafter. or. to cause the filing of an information in court against the respondent. the former may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform such duties. Control. the latter may. If the latter fail or neglect to fulfill them. based on the same sworn statements or evidence submitted without the necessity of conducting another preliminary investigation. authorize and direct the investigating fiscal concerned or any other fiscal or state prosecutor to cause or move for the dismissal of the case. modify or reverse resolutions of his subordinates pursuant to Republic Act No. specifically in Section 1 (d): [27] ―(d) x x x Provided. reversed by the Secretary of Justice. the secretary may affirm. The Court recognized in Crespo that the action of the investigating fiscal or prosecutor in the preliminary investigation is subject to the approval of the provincial or city fiscal or chief state prosecutor. as amended. the Court clarified that Crespo did not foreclose the power or authority of the secretary of justice to review resolutions of his subordinates in criminal cases. where he finds a prima facie case. upon review. where he finds that no prima faciecase exists.‖ Review as an act of supervision and control by the justice secretary over the fiscals and prosecutors finds basis in the doctrine of exhaustion of administrative remedies which holds that mistakes. and not directly by courts. abuses or negligence committed in the initial steps of an administrative activity or by an administrative agency should be corrected by higher administrative authorities. Appeal to the Secretary of Justice Is Not Foreclosed by the Ruling in Crespo In Marcelo vs. [25] [26] The justice secretary’s power of review may still be availed of despite the filing of an information in court. As a rule. In his discretion.

If the appellant (is) arraigned during the pendency of the appeal. 4. 7 dated January 25. the scope of appealable cases remained unchanged: ―SECTION 1. 318 dated August 28. shall not hold the filing of the information in court. Such appeals shall also be governed by these rules. 1992. -. D.Only resolutions of the Chief State Prosecutor/Regional State Prosecutor/Provincial or City Prosecutor dismissing a criminal complaint may be the subject of an appeal to the Secretary of Justice except as otherwise provided in Section 4 hereof.--x x x x . 223 dated August 11. provided the accused has not been arraigned.O. 4. 223. Duty of investigating fiscal. Exceptions.Pursuant thereto.--No appeal may be taken from a resolution of the Chief State Prosecutor/Regional State Prosecutor/Provincial or City Prosecutor finding probable cause except upon showing of manifest error or grave abuse of discretion. petitioner’s appeal to the secretary of justice was given due course on August 26. SEC. however. Notwithstanding the showing of manifest error or grave abuse of discretion. 7 was superseded by Department Order No. Section 4 provides an exception: appeals from resolutions finding probable cause upon a showing of manifest error or grave abuse of discretion are allowed. Circular No. no appeal shall be entertained where the appellant had already been arraigned. regardless of the imposable fine. pursuant to Department Order No.‖ Apart from the foregoing statutory and administrative issuances. 34 dated February 4.O. 45 dated February 2. No. the power of review of the secretary of justice is recognized also by Section 4 of Rule 112 of the Rules of Court: ―SEC. On June 30. x x x appeal shall be dismissed motu proprio by the Secretary of Justice. Non-Appealable Cases. Appeals from the resolutions of provincial/city prosecutors where the penalty prescribed for the offense charged does not exceed prisión correccional. 1990 governing appeals in preliminary investigation. 1992 pursuant to this Circular. 1992 and D. No. 1991 as amended by D. shall be made to the Regional State Prosecutors who shall resolve the appeals with finality. An appeal/motion for reinvestigation from a resolution finding probable cause. 1993. however. the Department of Justice promulgated Circular No. 1993. Appeals under Section 2 are limited to resolutions dismissing a criminal complaint.O. What May Be Appealed. In the present case. However. No.

It may. is not lost despite a resolution by the secretary of justice to withdraw the information or to dismiss the case. once acquired by the trial court. Jurisdiction. does not signify that the trial court is ipso facto bound by the resolution of the secretary of justice. Under this definition. however. he shall direct the fiscal concerned to file the corresponding information without conducting another preliminary investigation or to dismiss or move for dismissal of the complaint or information. [28] . Appeal Did Not Divest the Trial Court of Jurisdiction Where the secretary of justice exercises his power of review only after an information has been filed. Such power includes the determination of whether there has been a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction on the part of any branch or instrumentality of the government. the Secretary of Justice reverses the resolution of the provincial or city fiscal or chief state prosecutor.‖ This appeal rests upon the sound discretion of the secretary of justice arising from his power of supervision and control over the prosecuting arm of the government. a court is without power to directly decide matters over which full discretionary authority has been delegated to the legislative or executive branch of the xxx xxx If upon petition by a proper party. trial courts should defer or suspend arraignment and further proceedings until the appeal is resolved. It is not empowered to substitute its judgment for that of Congress or of the President. however. Such deferment or suspension. not on a substantial right on the part of the accused as claimed by petitioner. look into the question of whether such exercise has been made in grave abuse of discretion. Judicial Review of the Resolution of the Secretary of Justice Judicial power is defined under the 1987 Constitution as the duty of courts to settle actual controversies involving rights which are legally demandable and enforceable.

does not. Electoral Commission: [29] ―x x x [W]hen the judiciary mediates to allocate constitutional boundaries. Court of Appeals. a trial court nonetheless should make its own study and evaluation of said motion and not rely merely on the awaited action of the secretary. Court of Appeals. This is in truth all that is involved in what is termed ‗judicial supremacy‘ which properly is the power of the judicial review under the Constitution. which all required the trial court to make its own evaluation of the merits of the case. [30] The Marcelo and Martinez Cases Are Consistent In Marcelo vs. x x x. provided that such grant or denial is made from its own assessment and evaluation of the merits of the motion. Court of Appeals. Jr. Marcelo.‖ It is not the purpose of this Court to decrease or limit the discretion of the secretary of justice to review the decisions of the government prosecutors under him. In the words of Justice Laurel in Angara vs. Court of Appeals and the recent case of Roberts. allow the trial court to automatically dismiss the case or grant the withdrawal of the information upon the resolution of the secretary of justice. [31] In Martinez vs. which recognizes such power. vs. this Court overruled the grant of the motion to dismiss filed by the prosecuting fiscal upon the recommendation of [32] . although it is more prudent to wait for a final resolution of a motion for review or reinvestigation from the secretary of justice before acting on a motion to dismiss or a motion to withdraw an information. Martinez vs. whether before or after the arraignment of the accused. because granting the motion to dismiss or to withdraw the information is equivalent to effecting a disposition of the case itself. but only asserts the solemn and sacred obligation assigned to it by the Constitution to determine conflicting claims of authority under the Constitution and to establish for the parties in an actual controversy the rights which that instrument sources and guarantees to them. it does not in reality nullify or invalidate an act of the legislature. Rule 112. The trial court has the option to grant or deny the motion to dismiss the case filed by the fiscal. Section 4 of the Rules of Court. the secretary was merely advised to restrict such review to exceptionally meritorious cases. and whether after a reinvestigation or upon instructions of the secretary who reviewed the records of the investigation. This is precisely the import of Crespo. In Crespo. this Court ruled that.Judicial review of the acts of other departments is not an assertion of superiority over them or a derogation of their functions. however.

the secretary of justice because such grant was based upon considerations other than the judge’s own assessment of the matter. without making its own independent determination of the merits of the said resolution. the information. and considering that the issue of the correctness of the justice secretary’s resolution has been amply threshed out in petitioner’s letter. was precipitate in view of the pendency of private complainant’s appeal to the secretary of justice. No Grave Abuse of Discretion in theResolution of the Secretary of Justice In the light of recent holdings in Marcelo and Martinez. the secretary’s opinion was totally disregarded by the trial court. Mogul: Once a complaint or information is filed in court. the resolution of the secretary of justice. both decisions followed the rule in Crespo vs. in Martinez the dismissal of the criminal action was an ―erroneous exercise of judicial discretion‖ as the trial court relied hook. the trial judge did not perform his function of making an independent evaluation or assessment of the merits of the case. the motion to dismiss. the dismissal of the criminal action upon the favorable recommendation of the Review Committee. Despite the pronouncement in Marcelo that a final resolution of the appeal to the Department of Justice is necessary. Office of the City Prosecutor. Trial judges are thus required to make their own assessment of whether the secretary of justice committed grave abuse of discretion in granting or denying the appeal. Relying solely on the conclusion of the prosecution to the effect that there was no sufficient evidence against the accused to sustain the allegation in the information. based solely on his bare and ambiguous reliance on Crespo. In Marcelo. any disposition of the case such as its dismissal or its continuation rests on the sound discretion of the court. The trial court’s order is inconsistent with our repetitive calls for an independent and competent assessment of the issue(s) presented in the . separately and independently of the prosecution’s or the secretary’s evaluation that such evidence is insufficient or that no probable cause to hold the accused for trial exists. and even the exhaustive discussion in the motion for reconsideration – all of which were submitted to the court -the trial judge committed grave abuse of discretion when it denied the motion to withdraw the information. line and sinker on the resolution of the secretary. In contrast. They should embody such assessment in their written order disposing of the motion. In effect. The above-mentioned cases depict two extreme cases in complying with this rule.

We thus proceed to examine the substance of the resolution of the secretary of justice. The documents before the trial court judge clearly showed that there was no probable cause to warrant a criminal prosecution for libel. He failed to do so. these requisites must show prima facie a well-founded belief that a crime has been committed and that the accused probably committed it. (b) (c) (d) it must be malicious. this Court would normally remand the case to the trial judge for his or her independent assessment of the motion to withdraw the information. Thus. The records below have been reproduced and submitted to this Court for its appreciation. However. it must be given publicity. A cursory reading of the information . sufficient ground to grant the motion to withdraw the information. Had he complied with his judicial obligation. we have decided to make directly the independent assessment the trial court should have done. which contains a complete and faithful reproduction of the subject letter. the following requisites must concur: ―(a) it must be defamatory. the resolution of the secretary of justice. in fact.motion to dismiss. The trial judge was tasked to evaluate the secretary’s recommendation finding the absence of probable cause to hold petitioner criminally liable for libel. in order not to delay the disposition of this case and to afford the parties complete relief. and even the private complainant’s opposition to said motion. In every case for libel. The petitioner has attached as annexes to the present petition for review the information.‖ At the preliminary investigation stage. the prosecution’s motion for reconsideration of the trial court’s Order of February 22. a remand to the trial court serves no purpose and will only clog the dockets. he would have discovered that there was. 1993. Under the ―established scheme of things‖ in criminal prosecutions. He merely ruled to proceed with the trial without stating his reasons for disregarding the secretary’s recommendation. and the victim must be identifiable. The secretary reversed the finding of probable cause on the grounds that (1) the subject letter was privileged in nature and (2) the complaint was merely a countercharge.

although it contains incriminatory matter which. moral or social duty. The privileged nature of her letter overcomes the presumption of malice. petitioner’s letter was written to seek redress of proper grievance against the inaccurate distribution and payment of professional fees and against unfair treatment in the Nuclear Medicine Department of the Philippine Heart Center. Every defamatory imputation. if no good intention and justifiable motive for making it is shown. even if true. There is malice when the author of the imputation is prompted by personal ill will or spite and speaks not in response to duty but merely to injure the reputation of the person who claims to have been defamed. would be libelous and actionable. 354. Requirement of publicity. without the privilege. -. there is no libel. There is no malice when justifiable motive exists. In this case however. is privileged if made to a person having a corresponding interest or duty. if no good intention or justifiable motive for making it is shown. but to present her grievance to her superior. and the subject letter is a complaint x x x on a subject matter in which respondent has an . A private communication made by any person to another in the performance of any legal.immediately demonstrates a failure on the part of the complainant to establish the foregoing elements of libel. or concerning which he has a duty. Ledesma was getting from government employees. except in the following cases: 1. is presumed malicious. and xxx xxx‖ The rule on privileged communication is that a communication made in good faith on any subject matter in which the communicator has an interest. Petitioner’s letter was a private communication made in the performance of a moral duty on her part. Her intention was not to inflict an unjustifiable harm on the private complainant. We note that the information itself failed to allege the existence of malice. even if it be true. and in the absence of malice. Thus.Every defamatory imputation is presumed to be malicious. we agree with the ruling of the secretary of justice: [34] xxx ―x x x (T)he subject letter was written to bring to the attention of the Director of the Philippine Heart Center for Asia and other responsible authorities the unjust and unfair treatment that Dr. It is a qualified privileged communication under Article 354(1) of the Revised Penal Code which provides: [33] ―ART.

‖ In Alonzo. Hence. They are mere manifestations of her earnest desire to pursue proper relief for the alleged injustice she got from complainants.interest and in reference to which she has a duty to question the same is definitely privileged (US vs. If she was motivated by malice and ill-will in sending the subject communication to the Director of the PHCA. Judge Asuncion’s denial of the motion to withdraw the information and the reconsideration thereof was not only precipitate but manifestly erroneous. would be libelous and actionable. the settled rule is that. is a direct evidence of respondent‘s righteous disposition of following the rule of law and is a clear indication that her purpose was to seek relief from the proper higher authority xxx. 1992 or one year after June 27. but the estimation in which others hold him. It is obviously nothing more than a countercharge to give Complainant Torres a leverage against petitioner’s administrative action against him. there was no ―publicity‖ and the matter is clearly covered by paragraph 1 of Article 354 of the Penal Code. 136 SCRA 455. Ineluctably. after it has been written. The follow-up letter sent by respondent to the director of the PHCA. the Supreme Court.‖ In this case. such communication does not amount to publication within the meaning of the law on defamation. 1991. she would not have sent the second letter and filed the administrative and civil cases against complainants. Moreover. we note that the information against petitioner was filed only on July 27. The same interpretation should be accorded the civil and administrative complaints which respondent filed against complainants. [35] [36] [37] Further. in the discharge of his or her official duties. 37 Phil. she did not disseminate the letter and its contents to third persons. the date the letter was sent. when a public officer. 48 Phil. sends a communication to another officer or to a body of officers. who have a duty to perform with respect to the subject matter of the communication. This is further compounded by the fact that he did not . Publication in libel means making the defamatory matter. 922. without the privilege. ruled that ‗a communication made in good faith upon any subject matter in which the party making the communication has an interest or concerning which he has a duty is privileged although it contains incriminatory or derogatory matter which. in Ang vs. Castro. Calvo. Bustos. known to someone other than the person to whom it has been written. citing Santiago vs. The reason for such rule is that ―a communication of the defamatory matter to the person defamed cannot injure his reputation though it may wound his self-esteem. petitioner submitted the letter to the director of said hospital. A man’s reputation is not the good opinion he has of himself. 131).

The Motion to Withdraw the Information dated February 17. No costs. WHEREFORE. .explain his grounds for his denial inasmuch as he did not make an independent assessment of the motion or the arguments in the resolution of the secretary of justice. ironically. or to the directive in Marcelo and Martinez where this Court required trial courts to make an independent assessment of the merits of the motion. All in all. the assailed Decision is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE. Mogul upon which. 1993 filed before the trial court is GRANTED. he supposedly rested his action. such rash action did not do justice to the sound ruling in Crespo vs.

filed a complaint for partition of a piece of land. 1950. Sarmiento and Apolonia P. in Trece Martires City[5] in Civil Case No. an illegitimate child did not have successional rights. CATIBAYAN. of the Court of Appeals[3] in CA – G. Sarmiento and Apolonia P.[G. who died in 1946. Record No. with Francisco Arguelles as their common father. which should be applied since Francisco Arguelles died in 1949. After trial. COURT OF APPEALS and SIMON ARGUELLES. and disposing thus: "In view of all the foregoing. 1999] VIRGINIA P. 21877 issued on September 1. dated May 30. 1989 and the Resolution[2] dated January 4. seeking to set aside the Decision[1] dated October 26.R. Regional Trial Court. 1949 and Emilia Pineli.L. 96740. with an area of 1. they and private respondent Simon Arguelles are co-owners of the 1/2 portion of Lot No.75. Petitioners claim that as granddaughters of Francisco Arguelles.R. in Naic. Under the old Civil Code. of Branch XV. as the only heirs of the late Francisco Arguelles. 926. 11750. Catibayan. 21877. 779 square meters. No.R. reversing the Decision[4]. March 25.. before the effectivity of the New Civil Code. Petitioners are sisters. G.O. who died on May 2. Cavite. NC . But according to private respondent. Francisco Arguelles.: At bar is a Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Revised Rules of Court. plaintiffs Virginia P. 8340. vs. was allegedly an illegitimate child of his father. Private respondent Simon Arguelles is a half brother of Leogarda. CV NO. respondents. 926 of the Naic Estate. Catibayan and defendant Simon Arguelles are hereby ordered to partition among themselves the one-half portion of lot No. . DECISION PURISIMA. more particularly described as Lot No. 1991. petitioners are not the legal heirs of Francisco Arguelles because their (petitioners‟) mother. covered by TCT No. Leogarda Arguelles. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. their parents being Tiburcio Pangilinan and Leogarda Arguelles. 1941 to co-owners. Cavite. 1986. and Emilia Pineli who were not married. 926 of the Naic Estate. pertaining to the deceased Francisco Arguelles. The antecedent facts that matter are as follows: Virginia P. petitioners. located in Naic. Leogarda was the daughter of Francisco Arguelles who died on February 18. Francisco Arguelles and Petrona Reyes. 926. J. the lower court came out with a decision ordering the parties herein to partition among themselves subject portion of Lot No. SARMIENTO and APOLONIA P. the petitioners herein.

posing as issues: ―I. WHETHER THE BORN OUT OF SUCH MARRIAGE IS LEGITIMATE OR NOT. Without pronouncement as to costs. II. The Lower Court erred in holding that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli were legally married and that Leogardo (sic) Arguelles was their legitimate daughter. 1989. The Lower Court erred in not holding that the cause of action of the plaintiffsappellees if any. No pronouncement is made as to costs. 1991. judgment is hereby entered REVERSING the decision appealed from and DISMISSING the complaint for judicial partition.”[6] Dissatisfied therewith. – The following presumptions are satisfactory if uncontradicted. and II.‖[8] With the denial of their Motion For Reconsideration on January 4. but may be contradicted or overcome by other evidence: . the Court of Appeals handed down its judgment.‖[9] The pivotal issue for determination is: whether or not the petitioners offered sufficient evidence to substantiate their submission that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli were legally married. Disputable presumptions. is hereby dismissed. III. petitioners found their way to this court via the present Petition. theorizing that: “I.The counterclaim. had already prescribed. Section 3 (aa) of Rule 131 of the Revised Rules of Court provides: “Section 3.‖[7] On October 26. The Lower Court erred in ordering the partition of the property involved in this case among the plaintiffs-appellees and the defendant-appellant. the private respondents went to the Court of Appeals on a Petition for Review. reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court of origin and disposing as follows: ―WHEREFORE. for lack of merit. WHETHER OR NOT A MAN AND A WOMAN WHO LIVED TOGETHER AS HUSBAND AND WIFE ARE PRESUMED MARRIED. SO ORDERED. SO ORDERED.

and its pages 20 to 22 containing entries from July 3. Assistant Treasurer Lucila Lucero admitted later[16] on the witness stand that she signed the said certificate prepared by a certain Consuelo Pangilinan.”[11] While it is true that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli cohabited as husband and wife. 1917 to May 1918 do not reflect the names of Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli. Borromeo[12]. the records of marriage of Naic are intact.[17] . no evidence adduced by defendant Arguelles to rebut this presumption. Rule 131. 5 (bb). 220. Cavite. The said records were brought and examined before the trial court. 1949.[14] Records reveal that petitioners tried to justify the non-presentation of the marriage certificate of Francisco and Emilia by submitting a certification issued by Assistant Treasurer Lucila Lucero of Naic. to the effect that: “the Marriage Certificate of Francisco Arguelles married to Emilia Pineli on the 18th day of August. The presumption is that „A man and a woman deporting themselves as husband and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage (sic) (Sec. Rules of Court). In this case. without verifying its correctness. to be in fact married. and as such no certified copy of Marriage could be issued to the parties concerned. the mother of private respondent.[13] In the case under consideration. Civil Code).”[15] However. the presumption of marriage. In reality. Cavite. x x x x‖ Guided by the aforecited provision of law. the trial court ratiocinated: “The fact that no marriage certificate of Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli was submitted in evidence does not lead to the conclusion that the said parties were not legally married and that Leogarda was their illegitimate child. His deceased wife was Petrona Reyes.[10] Every intendment of law or facts leans toward the validity of marriage and the legitimacy of children (Art. The defendant admitted that his father and Emilia Pineli lived and cohabited together as husband and wife.x x x x (aa) That a man and a woman deporting themselves as husbands and wife have entered into a lawful contract of marriage. indicating that he died a widower on February 18. the death certificate of Francisco Arguelles contained the word ―none‖ opposite the phrase ―surviving spouse‖. So also. In People vs. on which the trial court premised its decision. is no longer available due to destruction of the records during the Japanese occupation. even staying in the same house where he was also residing. Neither did he attempt to show that Francisco and Emilia could not validly marry each other because of some legal impediments to their marriage. private respondent Simon Arguelles testified that the said cohabitation was without the benefit of marriage. 1918 at Naic. has been sufficiently offset. this Court held that persons living together in apparent matrimony are presumed absent any counter presumption or evidence special to the case.

In Trinidad vs. without introducing any evidence to prove the mrriage theorized upon. in the first place.[20]. Pertinent records show that the petitioners failed to substantiate their theory that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli were married. But petitioners. 21877. show the status of Francisco Arguelles as ―widower‖. which may be explained by the fact that Virginia Sarmiento and Apolonia Catibayan were only 6 and 5 years old. Her omission only serves to bolster the proposition that she had no right to protect. there is no conceivable reason why Emilia never exerted any effort to correct the mistake in the description of Francisco‟s status in the certificate of title as „widower‟ knowing that she would not be able to transmit any part of the property to her heirs upon her death if the error was not corrected.”[19] Consequently.”[21] Evidently. Virginia P. with the presumption of marriage sufficiently overcome. As aptly reasoned out by the respondent court: “x x x Not one of the three witnesses for plaintiffs ever declared having observed that Francisco and Emilia acted as husband and wife. b) the couple‘s public and open cohabitation as husband and wife after the alleged wedlock. c) the birth and baptismal certificate of children born during such union. It then became the burden of the petitioners. petitioners relied mainly on the legal presumption that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli were married. this Court ruled that as proof of marriage may be presented: a) testimony of a witness to the matrimony. were legally married. and d) the mention of such nuptial in subsequent documents. Tiburcio Pangilinan testified mainly on the fact that he is the father of the plaintiffs and husbands of the late Leogarda Arguelles who was the daughter of Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli. the same could have been easily cured by presenting a petition for correction in the proper court. et al. Catibayan. the available records of marriage contradict the allegation that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli were legally married. 21877 covering Lot 926 as well as the reconstituted TCT No. did not present anybody who witnessed the marriage ceremony of Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli. If it is true.[18] On this point. The rest of his testimony touched on the certifIcate of tittle covering Lot 926 which Emilia allegedly delivered two weeks before she died but was later on taken from him by defendant. the onus probandi of private respondent shifted to the petitioners. Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli. to prove that their deceased grandparents. If there was a mistake in indicating in the title Francisco‟s status as a widower. because she was not legally married to Francisco.Then too. Rt19055. TCT No. respectively. to whom the burden of proving the fact of marriage shifted. that the certificate of title was in the possession of Emilia Pineli and was given to him (Tiburcio) before her death. when Emilia Pineli died and were then too young to perceive the nature of whatever the relationship existed Francisco and Emilia. Sarmiento and Apolonia P. Court of Appeals. . the respondent court said: ―x x x Emilia would not have allowed Francisco Arguelles to place the property in his name alone as widower if in fact they were legally married to each other. as Tiburcio Pangilinan testified. What is more. Plaintiffs on their part did not testify that Francisco Arguelles and Emilia Pineli lived together as husband and wife.

1989. the totality of evidence for the private respondents preponderates over petitioners. we are of the ineluctable conclusion. such birth certificate may be used to show the alleged marriage. in the present Petition. of the Court of Appeals AFFIRMED. and so hold. as a whole. We are concluded by the factual findings of the Court of Appeals. as earlier pointed out. WHEREFORE. that the Court of Appeals erred not in reversing the decision of the Regional Trial Court a quo. the Petition is DENIED and the assailed Decision. shows the legitimate status of Leogarda Arguelles. petitioners rely heavily on the legal presumption of marriage which. dated October 26.‘ Preponderant evidence means that. .[23] Concededly.[24] Compared with the evidence introduced by the private respondent.In a belated attempt to establish the legitimacy of Leogarda Arguelles. 1991. the evidence adduced by one side outweighs that of the adverse party. has been effectively rebutted. No pronouncement as to costs. Premises studiedly considered. that the birth certificate[22] of Leogardo Arguelles which they allegedly presented during the trial below. petitioner have theorized for the first time. and Resolution dated January 4. But be that as it may.

and the said Victory Liner bus with body number 512 and bearing plate No. GANCAYCO. respectively. SPOUSES LEONISA GALI and JESUS GALI and COURT OF APPEALS. Corazon Diaz-Leus. DRA. vs. 1972. as maximum. which required medical attendance and incapacitated her from performing her customary labor for a period of not more than 9 days. 1988 HEIRS OF THE LATE DOCTOR CORAZON DIAZ-LEUS. rules and regulations and the weather conditions. HERNANI MELVIDA. and CLARISSA LEUS.. ALMARIO ROSAS. unlawfully and feloniously drive and operate their respective motor vehicles along the North Expressway (Marcelo H. to pay the legal heirs of Dra. No. Leonisa Gali from performing her customary labor and required her medical attendance for a period of more than 30 days and also inflicting slight physical injuries on Leonisa Payumo. being then the chauffeurs and the persons in charge of Plymouth car bearing plate No. J. did then and there wilfully. Corazon Diaz-Leus and Florencio Carbilledo the sum of P12. LEUS. JR. Jesus Gali and the Victory Liner Bus Lines Inc. each.00 as funeral and death expenses. to the damage and prejudice of their owners. CEZAR LEUS. to TWO (2) YEARS and FOUR (4) MONTHS of prision correccional. respondents. respectively.. her husband. 1 Upon arraignment Rosas and Melvida entered a plea of not guilty and after trial a decision was rendered by the trial court. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. petitioners. 27-55 PUB Caloocan City 1972. carelessness and imprudence the said Plymouth car bearing plate No.000. Leus the amount of P14.: Almario Rosas and Hernani Melvida were charged of the crime of Reckless Imprudence resulting in Double Homicide. in a negligent. 99-OW-Caloocan City 1971 and a Victory Liner bus with body number 512 and bearing plate No. CORAZON D. as minimum. namely. and without taking the necessary precaution to avoid injuries to persons and damage to property. without due regard to traffic laws. Leonisa Gali. cross the island. which directly caused the death of the said Dra. LEUS and children.G. to the damage and prejudice of the legal heirs of the said deceased Dra. thereby inflicting on DRA. and incapacitated the said Mrs. Contrary to law. 77716 February 17. INC.00. in the municipality of Meycauayan.000. Philippines. with the accessory penalties prescribed by law. the said accused Hernani Melvida and Almario C. and further causing damages to the said Plymouth car and the said Victory liner Bus. province of Bulacan. Rosas. the dispositive portion of which reads — FOR ALL THE FOREGOING. Corazon Diaz-Leus and Florencio Carbilledo Y Canhagas.. and move onto the lane for the opposite traffic.R. passenger of the said Victory Liner bus. 27-55 PUB Caloocan City 1972 to hit and bump the said Plymouth car. Serious and Slight Physical Injuries and Damage to Property allegedly committed in the following manner: That on or about the 30th day of June. careless and imprudent manner. VICTORY LINER. passengers of the said Plymouth car. Florencio Carbilledo Y Canhagas and Mrs. serious physical injuries. to indemnity (sic) the legal heirs of the deceased Dra. CLETO P. causing by such negligence. the Court finds the accused Hernani Melvida guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the offense charged and he is hereby sentenced to suffer imprisonment of an indeterminate penalty of from SIX (6) MONTHS of arresto mayor. Corazon Diaz-Leus and Florencio Carbilledo Y Canhagas. to pay the said legal heirs of . 99-OWL-Caloocan City 1971 driven by the said accused Hernani Melvida to swerve to its left. Del Pilar Highway) towards opposite directions in the said municipality.

2 From said decision Cleto Leus and his children as legal heirs appealed to the Court of Appeals only with respect to the civil aspect. Appellee Rosas who was properly traversing his own lane should not be expected to anticipate and/or foresee that a private car coming from the North lane would be thrown to his path. 1972. he is hereby acquitted of the offense charged. The stubborn and undisputed facts reveal that appellee Rosas was driving his bus on his own lane of the highway going south when the Plymouth car suddenly encroached on his (Rosas) lane in front of its path after crossing the wise grassy strip of land separating the North and the South lane of the expressway. without subsidiary imprisonment in case of insolvency. a vehicular accident happened along the North Expressway. The car was driven by accused Hernani Melvida and the passengers were the victim Mrs. travelling South towards Manila in an imprudent and negligent manner without due regard to traffic rules and regulations and to the weather condition which was then stormy. are subsidiarily liable for damages. Even. Corazon Diaz-Leus. 3 They also contend that the Victory Liner and Jesus Gali owners of the colliding vehicles. The Plymouth car driven by accused came from a Quezon City hospital and was on its way home to Bulacan taking the North Expressway. With costs. the bus driven by accused Rosas overtook the car of Dr. For failure to establish the guilt of accused Almario Rosas beyond reasonable doubt. Leonisa Gali and the deceased Dra.000. had the Plymouth car remained on its proper lane collision would not have occurred. assuming as alleged that appellee Rosas was driving at a very fast speed. 27-55 PUBCaloocan City 1972 was driven by accused Almario Rosas. The proximate . traversing the grassy island which separates the North and the South lanes of the Expressway until it reached a portion of the left lane more or less two (2) feet from the asphalted portion of the south lane on the left side facing South going to Manila as shown in Exhibit 'C'. 'C-2' and 'C-3' when it was bumped on the rear portion by a Victory Liner bus and dragged about 50 meters off the cemented road to the grassy island where it was crash-landed on by the front portion of said Victory Liner bus. and to pay the costs.00 as moral damages. Accused Melvida drove the car at a fast speed and in a negligent manner causing it to swerve to the left. Thereafter it was held — Upon review of the whole records WE find as the lower court did that the accident in question cannot be attributed to any negligence of appellee Rosas. A Plymouth car bearing plate No. wife of complainant Atty.the amount of P200. 99-OWL-Caloocan City figured in the accident. The said bus when it overtook the car of Dr. Corazon Diaz-Leus was pinned to death inside the car together with another passenger Carbilledo. The vital issue raised to the Court of Appeals is whether or not accused-appellee Almario Rosas could still be held civilly liable despite his acquittal in the criminal case. Cleto Leus and Florencio Carbilledo. It also appears that before the accident. Said bus bearing plate No. As a result of the vehicular accident. San Diego was running at a fast speed thus creating a 'whizzing sound'. Romeo San Diego which was running at the speed of 80 kilometers per hour. The Court of Appeals made the following finding of facts: The facts adduced from the evidence presented by the prosecution shows that in the afternoon of June 30. Dra.

2745). according to said final judgment. WHEREFORE. 3.G. The deceased Dra. the decision appealed from is hereby AFFIRMED in all other respects. 49 SCRA 497.(Faraon vs. The collision which resulted in the destruction of the Plymouth car had not been due to any negligence on appellee Rosas part. (c). . Rule III. the rule that--extinction of the penal action does not carry with it extinction of the civil.96 net yearly income multiplied by 14 years. People vs.96 a year and deduction of P200. or P9. As a consequence. unless the extinction proceeds from a declaration in a (sic) initial judgment that the fact from which the civil might arise did not exist. It was a fortuitous event which appellee Rosas could not prevent.010. Priela G. 48 O. Leus was 59 years of age when she died. No.869. Tan vs. In the computation of the amount recoverable by the heirs of the victim of tort.. vs. (c). Appellant's also alleged that the lower court committed error in not considering the loss of earning capacity of the deceased Dra. Phil. . it follows necessarily that his acquittal in the criminal action carries with it the extinction of the civil responsibility arising therefrom.00 a month as necessary expenses to the creation of such income is reasonable. The decision appealed from which is final and executory as regards its criminal phase. . August 2. 1973). but also declared that the collision. swerving to its left and intruding into the south-bound lane. .(Cf. Leus in the amount of P200. May 25. 12521-CR. In the case at bar. Since appellants' civil action is predicated upon accused alleged negligence. According to appellants. with the modification as to the award of damages. And. L-23129. Standard Vacuum Oil Co.44. At such age the normal life expectancy is 14 years. appellee Melvida is hereby ordered to pay complainant--appellants additional sum of P9. which resulted in the destruction of appellants' car. since appellants appeal on the civil aspect is predicated upon appellee Rosas negligence which does not exist. In view thereof. the sum of P1.000. Rules of Court) does not apply to the present instance. 4 .00 covering the year 1971 and for six (6) months from January to June 1972 and an average earnings in business for the years 1971 and 1972. Air Lines. . (Davila vs. We believe that the award of damages for the death of Dra.cause of the accident is the Plymouth car's leaving its proper (north) lane.' . The case falls squarely under the exception that . the civil action to recover damages is barred. Rules of Court). CA-G. which does not exist. has not only acquitted accused. according to the formula (2/ 3 x [80-301 adopted by the Supreme Court in the case of Villa Rey transit Inc.R.R. Then to.. Court of Appeals. . It is only the net earnings lease expenses necessary in the creation of such earnings or income and less living and other incidental expenses. Henson. had not been due to any negligence on his part. the earnings after computing was P904. it follows that his acquittal in the criminal case carries with it the extinction of his civil liability and therefore the offended parties.44 is the amount which should be awarded to appellants. Leus. 1968. herein appellants may no longer appeal and recover damages from said appellee Rosas.00 without interest is reasonable and We find no justification to modify. It has been held that where the judgment of acquittal in a criminal prosecution for arson through reckless imprudence states that the offense was caused by fortuitous event. (Sec-3. the deceased as a doctor had an average earning of P600. 31 SCRA 511 on the basis of the American Expectancy Table of Mortality or the Actualrial (sic) Combined Experience Table of Morality. the loss of the entire earnings is not considered.869. (Sec. The amount of P704. 24 SCRA 582).

or employees in the discharge of their duties. P. the following requisites must exist. this Court stated in Rotea vs. Since Rosas is absolved from any act of negligence which in effect prevents further recovery of any damages. If in a criminal case the judgment of acquittal is based upon reasonable doubt. the same is likewise true with respect to his employer victory Liner. 5 where it was held — Moreover. 495 that the court has no other function than to render decision based upon the indemnity awarded in the criminal case and has no power to amend or modify it even if in its opinion an error has been committed in the decision. but also with regard to its amount. 109 Phil. . (1) That an employee has committed a mime in the discharge of his duties. is conclusive upon the employer in an action for the enforcement of the latter's subsidiary liability not only with regard to the civil liability.' (115 SCRA. persons and corporations engaged in any kind of industry for felonies committed by their servants. Art. Diaz-Leus in accordance with Article 29 of the Civil Code which provides-Art. 103 of the Revised Penal Code provides. Since petitioner's appeal on the civil aspect is predicated upon Rosas' alleged negligence which has been found not to exist. Seneris. This being the case. it has been invariably held that a judgment of conviction sentencing a defendant employer to pay an indemnity in the absence of any collusion between the defendant and the offended party. Inc. the court may require the plaintiff to file a bond to answer for damages in case the complaint should be found to be malicious. When the accused in a criminal prosecution is acquitted on the ground that his guilt has not been proved beyond reasonable doubt. pupils. which at most would have been only subsidiarily liable. The subsidiary liability established in the next preceding article shall also apply to employers. unnecessary and would only unduly prolong the agony of the victim. Upon motion of the defendant. Petitioner also invokes the ruling of this Court in Paman vs. Such action requires only a preponderance of evidence. 29. Halili. teachers. Nor can the spouses Jesus Gali and Leonisa Gali as employers of respondent Hernani Melvida be subsidiarily liable. apprentices. this Court must likewise uphold the Court of Appeals' ruling that Rosas' acquittal in the criminal case carries with it the extinction of his civil liability which bars herein petitioners from recovering damages from Rosas.Petitioner now comes before this Court raising the legal issue whether or not the trial court should be ordered to determine the civil liability of Rosas and subsidiary civil liability of the owners of the car and the bus to the heirs of Dra. a civil action for damages for the same act or omission may be instituted. workmen. The findings of the Court of Appeals were a complete exoneration of Rosas. the court shall so declare. therefore. A separate and independent action is. In the absence of any declaration to that effect. In order that employers may be held liable under the above-quoted provision of law. it may be inferred from the text of the decision whether or not the acquittal is due to that ground. 715).

and uses his automobile for private purposes. as the sugar industry. one which employs much labor and capital and is a distinct branch of trade.(2) that said employee is insolvent and has not satisfied his civil liability. Industry has been defined as any department or branch of art. They are not engaged in any kind of industry. the petition is DENIED. 6 The preceding requisites are not present in the case of the Gali spouses." 8 WHEREFORE. occupation or business. . the Gali spouses cannot be held subsidiarily liable. especially. he is not also subsidiarily liable to the plaintiff for the damages to the latter's car caused by the reckless imprudence of his insolvent driver. 7 Thus. As We stated in a previous case: "Where the defendant is admittedly a private person who has no business or industry. No costs. and (3) that the employer is engaged in some kind of industry.

SCA 1759.. Branch 21. an action for ―Injunctive Relief‖ docketed as Civil Case No. 191408 upon which TCT No. 191408 from Juanito Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu. petitioner. [1] [2] [3] Sometime in February 1997. No.[G. SP No. Respondent sought a declaration that he was merely an agent of his mother.641. Unicapital Realty Inc. Mariano D. respondent Rafael Jose Consing.79 alleged to have been initially paid by PBI. respondent.443 square meter lot situated in Imus. which was previously covered by TCT No. DECISION YNARES-SANTIAGO. and therefore was not under any obligation to PBI and to the other defendants on the various transactions involving TCT No. Branch 68. 687599 in the name of Cecilia de la Cruz. 7668-00 denying respondent’s motion for deferment of arraignment. 687599. Jaime Martires. PBI purchased the questioned lot. Inc. represented to Plus Builders. in Criminal Case No. 148193. JR. seeking to set aside the May 31. PBI came to know that Juanito Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu never sold said lot to respondent and his mother and that TCT No. 687599 was based is not on file with the Register of Deeds. and his mother. Unicapital Inc. 2001 order of the Regional Trial Court of Imus. In August 1999.. Martinez. Relying on the representations of respondent and his mother. Cecilia de la Cruz and 20 other John Does. Despite written and verbal demands. which reversed and set aside the January 23. [4] In April 1999. 63712. Cavite. 2003] PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. Cavite and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No.369. 2001 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Jr. Cecilia de la Cruz. PBI was ousted from the possession of the disputed lot by Juanito Tan Teng and Po Willie Yu. respondent filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City.: JOSE Before us is a petition for review under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.R. vs. J.R. respondent and his mother refused to return the amount of P13. (PBI) that they are the true and lawful owners of a 42. against PBI. On July 22. January 16. PBI discovered that respondent and his mother did not have a valid title over the subject lot. 1999. [5] . Cecilia de la Cruz. They further represented that they acquired said lot. RAFAEL CONSING.

filed the instant petition seeking the reversal of the May 31. and his mother with the RTC of Imus. SCA 1759 and 99-95381. 2000 order of the trial court and permanently enjoining it from proceeding with the arraignment and trial of the criminal case until the civil cases for Injunctive Relief and for Damages and Attachment shall have been finally decided. On January 27. 2001. the trial court denied respondent’s motion. 2000. filed against the respondent. The prejudicial question must be determinative of the case before the court but the jurisdiction to try and resolve the question must be lodged in another court or tribunal. the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein. 1999. the pendency of Civil Case Nos.‖ docketed as Civil Case No. 2000.. PBI filed against respondent and his mother a complaint for ―Damages and Attachment. 2000. [11] [12] On May 31. for Injunctive Relief and for Damages and Attachment. represented by the Solicitor General.e. i. The issue to be resolved in this petition is whether or not the pendency of Civil Case Nos. respondent filed a motion to defer arraignment on the ground of prejudicial question. SCA 1759 and 99-95381. Cavite. is a prejudicial question justifying the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document. [9] A motion for reconsideration thereof was likewise denied on February 27. and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal.On October 13. 2001. the People of the Philippines. with Branch 12 of the Regional Trial Court of Manila. Hence. 2001 decision of the Court of Appeals. SCA 1759. A prejudicial question is defined as that which arises in a case. [10] Respondent filed a petition for certiorari with prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or writ of preliminary injunction with the Court of Appeals seeking to enjoin the arraignment and trial of the estafa through falsification case. [6] [7] On January 21. The Court of Appeals granted respondent’s prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order in a resolution dated March 19. a decision was rendered setting aside the January 27. Jr. a criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document was filed against respondent Rafael Jose Consing. Respondent filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of forum shopping and pendency of Civil Case No. 9995381. 2001. [8] On April 7. It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately .

SCA 1759 for Injunctive Relief is irrelevant to the guilt or innocence of the respondent in the criminal case for estafa through falsification of public document. An agent or any person may be held liable for conspiring to falsify public documents. the civil case does not involve a prejudicial question. a ruling of the court in the civil case that PBI should not be paid the purchase price plus damages will not necessarily . (2) in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil action. Stated differently. while in Civil Case No. SCA 1759 for Injunctive Relief is whether or not respondent merely acted as an agent of his mother. the determination of the issue involved in Civil Case No. It must appear not only that the civil case involves the same facts upon which the criminal prosecution would be based. the resolution of PBI’s right to be paid damages and the purchase price of the lot in question will not be determinative of the culpability of the respondent in the criminal case for even if PBI is held entitled to the return of the purchase price plus damages. Cecilia de la Cruz. If the resolution of the issue in the civil action will not determine the criminal responsibility of the accused in the criminal action based on the same facts. Hence. [13] If both civil and criminal cases have similar issues or the issue in one is intimately related to the issues raised in the other. the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined. for Damages and Attachment. or there is no necessity that the civil case be determined first before taking up the criminal case. we find no prejudicial question that would justify the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case. then a prejudicial question would likely exist. Even if respondent is declared merely an agent of his mother in the transaction involving the sale of the questioned lot. the question is whether respondent and his mother are liable to pay damages and to return the amount paid by PBI for the purchase of the disputed lot. The issue in Civil Case No. the following requisites must be present: (1) the civil case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution would be based. provided the other element or characteristic is satisfied. Likewise. For a civil action to be considered prejudicial to a criminal case as to cause the suspension of the criminal proceedings until the final resolution of the civil action. 9995381.connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. therefore. [14] In the case at bar. but also that the resolution of the issues raised in the civil action would be necessarily determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused. it does not ipso facto follow that respondent should be held guilty of estafa through falsification of public document. he cannot be adjudged free from criminal liability. and (3) jurisdiction to try said question must be lodged in another tribunal.

the petitioner was accused in a criminal case for violation of Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code. however. The trial court denied the suspension of the criminal case on the ground that no prejudicial question exist. entirely separate and distinct from the criminal action shall proceed independently of the criminal prosecution. 33. Inc. may the offended party recover damages twice for the same act or omission charged in the criminal action. 1957. the act of respondent judge in issuing the orders referred to in the instant petition was not made with ―grave abuse of discretion. 56042 for violation of paragraph 2 of Article 319 of the Revised Penal Code. Petitioner moved that the arraignment and trial of the criminal case be held in abeyance on the ground that the civil case was a prejudicial question. fraud and physical injuries. . and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. 34 and 2176 of the Civil Code. therefore. [15] Thus. . People. In no case. in Rojas v. the fact remains that both the crime charged in the information in the criminal case and the eleventh cause of action in the civil case are based upon fraud. the independent civil action may be brought by the offended party. (i) That. a prejudicial question is involved in this case. It shall proceed independently of the criminal action and shall require only a preponderance of evidence. neither is there a prejudicial question if the civil and the criminal action can. 9-U-6565 was ―free from all liens and encumbrances‖ will not determine the criminal liability of the accused in the said Criminal Case No. one of the causes of action of which consisted of petitioner having executed a chattel mortgage while the previous chattel mortgage was still valid and subsisting. even granting for the sake of argument.absolve respondent of liability in the criminal case where his guilt may still be established under penal laws as determined by other evidence. in the cases provided in Articles 32. on February 20. a civil action for damages. Moreover.‖ . . Section 3 of the Revised Rules on Criminal Procedure. for executing a new chattel mortgage on personal property in favor of another party without consent of the previous mortgagee. proceed independently of each other. according to law. hence both the civil and criminal cases could proceed independently of the other pursuant to Article 33 of the new Civil Code which provides: ―In cases of defamation. the offended party filed a civil case for termination of management contract. the resolution of which was necessary before the criminal proceedings could proceed. We affirmed the order of the trial court and ruled that: [16] … the resolution of the liability of the defendant in the civil case on the eleventh cause of action based on the fraudulent misrepresentation that the chattel mortgage the defendant executed in favor of the said CMS Estate. Thereafter. Under Rule 111.‖ (j) That. that his D-6 ―Caterpillar‖ Tractor with Serial No.

Branch 21 is ORDERED to proceed with the arraignment and trial in Criminal Case No. 99-95381. SP No.In the instant case. it will not operate as a prejudicial question that will justify the suspension of the criminal case at bar. in view of all the foregoing. WHEREFORE. 63712 is REVERSED and SET ASIDE.R. . The May 31. Civil Case No. 2001 decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. 7668-00. for Damages and Attachment on account of the alleged fraud committed by respondent and his mother in selling the disputed lot to PBI is an independent civil action under Article 33 of the Civil Code. Cavite. the instant petition is GRANTED. The permanent injunction issued by the Court of Appeals is LIFTED and the Regional Trial Court of Imus. As such.

772 otherwise known as the AntiSquatting Law. at Lapu-Lapu City. entitled: "People of the Philippines v. to her damage and prejudice because despite repeated demands the said accused failed and refused.. docketed as Civil Case No. 1 In that case.: This is a special civil action of certiorari to set aside orders of respondent Judge Rumoldo R. Hence. denying petitioners oral motion for the suspension of their arraignment in Criminal Case No.G. Lot No. J. and Rosita T. 13250 of Rosita T. The case had been filed in 1990 by petitioners." concerns the ownership of Lot No. The case. Criminal Case No. 2247-L and entitled "Anselmo Taghoy and Vicente Apa versus Felixberto Tigol. 1993. HON. therefore. had to enter their plea (not guilty) to the charge. 1993. 012489. Tigol and the partition of the lot in question among them and private respondent Rosita T. in Civil Case No. On September 2. Fernandez of the Regional Trial Court. Petitioners. MANUEL APA and LEONILO JACALAN. Petitioners moved for the suspension of their arraignment on the ground that there was a prejudicial question pending resolution in another case being tried in Branch 27 of the same court. Tigol. the trial court denied the petitioners' motion and proceeded with their arraignment. conspiring. vs. Philippines and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. CELSO V. 012489 is a prosecution for violation of P. 1993. is a prejudicial question justifying suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case against petitioners. unlawfully and feloniously take advantage of the absence or tolerance of the said owner by occupying or possessing a portion of her real property. without the knowledge and consent of the owner. Tigol as heirs of Filomeno and Rita Taghoy. et al. petitioners. ESPINOSA. 2247-L. Isabelo Apa. petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration but their motion was denied by the court in its order dated September 21. 13250. 3635-B. The information alleges: That on February 1990. and SPS.R.D. 112381 March 20. 1993 when the criminal case for squatting was filed against them. Manuel Apa and Dionisio Jacalan]. 3635-B. confederating and mutually helping with one another. as they still fail and refuse to vacate the premises abovementioned. which was pending. Lapulapu City. FERNANDEZ. this petition. 3635-B of Opon Cadastre. in Agus. or prior thereto. The only issue in this case is whether the question of ownership of Lot No. and ROSITA TAGHOY TIGOL. Manuel Apa and Leonilo Jacalan. HON. Jr. Branch 54. whereon they constructed their respective residential houses against the will of Rosita Tigol. RUMOLDO R. On August 25. ROSITA TIGOL. JR. FELIXBERTO TIGOL. the above-named accused [herein petitioners Isabelo Apa." as well as their motion for reconsideration. respondents. petitioners seek a declaration of the nullity of TCT No. covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. three years before May 27. No. which acts of the said accused have deprived the latter of the use of a portion of her land. situated in Agus Lapulapu City. . 1995 ISABELO APA. did then and there wilfully. MENDOZA.

012489 until the question of ownership in Civil Case No. the court trying the civil case rendered a decision nullifying TCT No. e. To justify suspension of the criminal action. Since this is the question in the civil case. . Ownership is thus the pivotal question. 2 Rule 111. As already noted. 2247-L has been resolved with finality and thereafter proceed with the trial of the criminal case if the civil case is decided and terminated adversely against petitioners. 3 Private respondents argues that even the owner of a piece of a land can be ejected from his property since the only issue in such a case is the right to its physical possession. such resolution will be determinative of the guilt or innocence of petitioners in the criminal case. ROSITA TIGOL" petitioners occupied or took possession of a portion of "herproperty" by building their houses thereon and "deprived [her] of the use of portion of her land to her damage and prejudice. they cannot be found guilty of squatting because they are as much entitled to the use and occupation of the land as are the private respondent Rosita T. — The two (2) essential elements of a prejudicial questions are: (a) the civil action involves an issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the criminal action. But in the case at bar. In fact it appears that on February 23. of this question would necessarily be determinative of petitioners criminal liability for squatting. the information alleges that "without the knowledge and consent of the owner. he has given up its temporary possession. 13250 of private respondent and her husband and declared the lot in question to be owned in common by the spouses and the petitioners as inheritance from their parents Filomeno and Rita Taghoy. 13250. they contend. 1994. A prejudicial question is a question which is based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that its resolution is determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused. is the issue in Civil Case 2247-L now pending in Branch 27 of the RTC at Lapulapu City. the question is whether petitioners occupied a piece of land not belonging to them but to private respondent and against the latter's will. Elements of prejudicial question. While private respondents claim that the decision in that case is not yet final because they have filed a motion for new trial. Otherwise he should dismiss the criminal case. no such agreement is asserted by private respondent. he can also be prosecuted under the Anti-Squatting Law. The resolution.We hold that it is. Tigol and her family. he has let his property to the plaintiff. In the criminal case. the proceedings in the criminal case must in the meantime be suspended. Now the ownership of the land in question. Consequently. §5 provides: Sec.g. and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. The contention misses the case is the essential point that the owner of a piece of land can be ejected only if for some reason.. if petitioners are co-owners of the lot in question. it must appear not only that the civil case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution is based but also that the decision of the issue or issues raised in the civil case would be decisive of the guilt or innocence of the accused. therefore. Surely. WHEREFORE. known as Lot 3635-B of the Opon cadastre covered by TCT No. 6. the petition is GRANTED and respondent judge is ordered to SUSPEND the proceedings in Criminal Case No. the point is that whatever may be the ultimate resolution of the question of ownership. Rather private respondent claims the right to possession based on her claim of ownership.

23971[1] and CA-G. petitioner. on July 20. With respect to petitioner. 1990. when she learned about petitioner’s marriage to Santella. vs. COURT OF APPEALS. [4] On the basis of a complaint-affidavit filed by private respondent sometime in June 1990.R.[8] After the prosecution rested its case in the criminal case for bigamy. . petitioner was already married to private respondent. private respondent added that he committed an act of falsification by stating in his marriage contract with Santella that he was still single. 1988. respondents. They did not live together after the marriage although they would meet each other regularly. 1989. an information charging petitioner with bigamy was filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Quezon City on August 9. November 29. 126746. Not long after private respondent gave birth to a girl on April 21.R.[6] Meanwhile.[7] On November 8. 1990. petitioner filed in the RTC of Quezon City an action for the annulment of his marriage to private respondent on the ground that he was forced to marry her.[5] This case was docketed as Criminal Case No. private respondent also filed with the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) an administrative case against petitioner and Santella for the revocation of their respective engineering licenses on the ground that they committed acts of immorality by living together and subsequently marrying each other despite their knowledge that at the time of their marriage. Q-90-14409. The facts of the case are as follows: Petitioner Arthur Te and private respondent Liliana Choa were married in civil rites on September 14. 1990. while his marriage with private respondent was subsisting.: Before us is a petition for review on certiorari which seeks to reverse the Decision of the Court of Appeals Tenth Division. SP No. 1990. SP No. dated 31 August 1994 in CA-G. 2000] ARTHUR TE. He alleged that private respondent concealed her pregnancy by another man at the time of their marriage and that she was psychologically incapacitated to perform her essential marital obligations. DECISION KAPUNAN. petitioner stopped visiting her. 1996 denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. 26178[2] and the Resolution dated October 18. petitioner contracted a second marriage with a certain Julieta Santella (Santella).[3] On May 20. and LILIANA CHOA. No.R. petitioner filed a demurrer to evidence with leave of court and motion to inhibit the trial court judge for showing antagonism and animosity towards petitioner’s counsel during t he hearings of said case. J.[G.

[16] Neither did the appellate court find grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Board’s Order denying petitioner’s motion to suspend proceedings in the administrative case on the ground of prejudicial question. SP No. the Court of Appeals. The appellate court upheld the RTC’s denial of the motion to inhibit due to petitioner’s failure to show any concrete evidence that the trial court judge exhibited partiality and had prejudged the case. for (1) exhibiting antagonism and animosity towards petitioner’s co unsel. respectively of the RTC of Quezon City. contending that the Board gravely abused its discretion in: (1) failing to hold that the resolution of the annulment case is prejudicial to the outcome of the administrative case pending before it. Judge Cezar C. [13] petitioner filed with the Court of Appeals another petition for certiorari.[15] The Court of Appeals likewise affirmed the RTC’s denial of the demurrer to evidence filed by petitioner for his failure to set forth persuasive grounds to support the same. (3) disregarding and failing to comply with the appropriate guidelines for judges promulgated by the Supreme Court.[14] The two petitions for certiorari were consolidated since they arose from the same set of facts. Peralejo. 26178. SP No. considering that the prosecution was able to adduce evidence showing the existence of the elements of bigamy. a motion to suspend the proceedings therein in view of the pendency of the civil case for annulment of his marriage to private respondent and criminal case for bigamy in Branches 106 and 98. Respondent court held that no prejudicial . (2) violating the requirements of due process by denying petitioner’s [motion for reconsideration and] demurrer to evidence even before the filing of the same. alleging grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court judge. This case was docketed as CA-G.R. 1990 which stated that the same could not be granted because the prosecution had sufficiently established a prima facie case against the accused. 23971. Tenth Division.The trial court denied petitioner’s demurrer to evidence in an Order dated November 28.[9] The RTC also denied petitioner’s motion to inhibit for lack of legal basis. and (3) making an overly-sweeping interpretation that Section 32 of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Regulation and Practice of Professionals does not allow the suspension of the administrative proceeding before the PRC Board despite the pendency of criminal and/or administrative proceedings against the same respondent involving the same set of facts in other courts or tribunals. where the administrative case for the revocation of his engineering license was pending. and (4) ruling that in a criminal case only ―prima facie evidence‖ is sufficient for conviction of an accused. rendered the assailed decision in the consolidated petitions.[11] Petitioner also filed with the Board of Civil Engineering of the PRC (PRC Board). On 31 August 1994. This petition was docketed as CA-G. (2) not holding that the continuation of proceedings in the administrative case could render nugatory petitioner’s right against self-incrimination in this criminal case for bigamy against him.[10] Petitioner then filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for certiorari.R. 1991. It also ruled that the denial of petitioner’s motion to suspend the proceedings on the ground of prejudicial question was in accord with law. [12] When the Board denied the said motion in its Order dated July 16.

[21] The rationale behind the principle of suspending a criminal case in view of a prejudicial question is to avoid two conflicting decisions. [19] The petition has no merit.[22] The Court of Appeals did not err when it ruled that the pendency of the civil case for annulment of marriage filed by petitioner against private respondent did not pose a . petitioner filed the instant petition raising the following issues: I PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED A SERIOUS ERROR IN REFUSING TO SUSPEND THE LEGAL [CRIMINAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE] PROCEEDINGS DESPITE THE PENDENCY OF THE CIVIL CASE FOR DECLARATION OF NULLITY OF MARRIAGE.[20] A prejudicial question has been defined as one based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. and for it to suspend the criminal action. III PUBLIC RESPONDENT COMMITTED A SERIOUS LEGAL ERROR IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE TRIAL JUDGE A QUO SHOULD HAVE INHIBITED HIMSELF.question existed since the action sought to be suspended is administrative in nature. II PUBLIC RESPONDENT GRAVELY ABUSED ITS DISCRETION AND COMMITTED AN ERROR OF LAW IN NOT HOLDING THAT THE DEMURRER TO EVIDENCE SHOULD HAVE BEEN GIVEN DUE COURSE. Q-90-6205 for annulment of petitioner’s marriage to private respondent has rendered the issue of the propriety of suspending both the criminal case for bigamy before the RTC of Quezon City. the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined. Branch 98 and the administrative case for revocation of petitioner’s engineering license before the PRC Board moot and academic. the Court shall discuss the issue of prejudicial question to emphasize the guarding and controlling precepts and rules. it must appear not only that said case involves facts intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution would be based but also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil case.[18] Hence. While the termination of Civil Case No. and the other action involved is a civil case.[17] Petitioner thereafter filed a motion for reconsideration of the decision of the Court of Appeals but the same was denied.

The ruling in People vs. The prevailing rule is found in Article 40 of the Family Code. because all that is required for the charge of bigamy to prosper is that the first marriage be subsisting at the time the second marriage is contracted. for this must be submitted to the judgment of competent courts and only when the nullity of a marriage is so declared can it be held as void. under the law. because a declaration that their marriage was void ab initiowould necessarily absolve him from criminal liability. Thus. The outcome of the civil case for annulment of petitioner’s marriage to private respondent had no bearing upon the determination of petitioner’s innocence or guilt in the criminal case for bigamy. Neither did the filing of said civil case for annulment necessitate the suspension of the administrative proceedings before the PRC Board.[27] we held that: Parties to a marriage should not be permitted to judge for themselves its nullity. which was already in effect at the time of petitioner’s marriage to private respondent in September 1988. is untenable. Mendoza[24] and People vs. under the law. their marriage was. a marriage. Aragon[25] cited by petitioner that no judicial decree is necessary to establish the invalidity of a marriage which is void ab initio has been overturned.[23] Petitioner’s argument that the nullity of his marriage to private respondent had to be resolved first in the civil case before the criminal proceedings could continue.prejudicial question which would necessitate that the criminal case for bigamy be suspended until said civil case is terminated. As discussed above. even one which is void or voidable. Said article states that the absolute nullity of a previous marriage may not be invoked for purposes of remarriage unless there is a final judgment declaring such previous marriage void. shall be deemed valid until declared otherwise in a judicial proceeding. [28] It is clear from the foregoing that the pendency of the civil case for annulment of petitioner’s marriage to private respondent did not give rise to a prejudicial question which warranted the suspension of the proceedings in the criminal case for bigamy since at the time of the alleged commission of the crime. Relova. We have previously ruled that there is no prejudicial question where one case is administrative and the other is civil. the concept of prejudicial question involves a civil and a criminal case.[29] Furthermore. still valid and subsisting. Section 32 of the Rules and Regulations Governing the Regulation and Practice of Professionals of the PRC Board expressly provides that the administrative proceedings before it shall not be suspended notwithstanding the existence of a criminal and/or civil case against the respondent involving the same facts as the administrative case: The filing or pendency of a criminal and/or civil cases in the courts or an administrative case in another judicial body against an examinee or registered professional involving the same facts as in the administrative case filed or to . [26] InLandicho vs. and so long as there is no such declaration the presumption of marriage exists.

the Court of Appeals did not find any grave abuse of discretion on the part of the trial court. and for cohabiting with Santella without the benefit of marriage. the signatures therein were not properly identified and there was no showing that the requisites of a valid marriage were complied with. and second. Petitioner claims that the original copy of marriage contract between him and private respondent was not presented. It must also be noted that the allegations in the administrative complaint before the PRC Board are not confined to the issue of the alleged bigamous marriage contracted by petitioner and Santella.[31] We are not persuaded. It has been held that the appellate court will not review in a special civil action for certiorari the prosecution’s evidence and decide in advance that such evidence has or has not yet established the guilt of the accused beyond reasonable doubt. and unless petitioner presents evidence to rebut the same. and that there was no witness presented to show that a second marriage ceremony participated in by him ever took place.[30] The existence of these other charges justified the continuation of the proceedings before the PRC Board. arguing that the prosecution failed to establish the existence of both the first and second marriages beyond reasonable filed before the Board shall neither suspend nor bar the proceeding of the latter case. The Board shall proceed independently with the investigation of the case and shall render therein its decision without awaiting for the final decision of the courts or quasi-judicial body. Petitioner also contends that the Court of Appeals erred in upholding the trial court’s denial of his demurrer to evidence in the criminal case for bigamy.[33] In view of the trial court’s finding that a prima facie case against petitioner exists.[34] The Court also finds it necessary to correct petitioner’s misimpression that by denying his demurrer to evidence in view of the existence of a prima facie case against him. the prosecution established a prima facie case for bigamy against the petitioner. As correctly held by the Court of Appeals. which based its denial of the demurrer on two grounds: first. and its ruling on the matter shall not be disturbed in the absence of a grave abuse of such discretion. Petitioner is also charged with immoral conduct for continued failure to perform his obligations as husband to private respondent and as father to their child. his proper recourse is to adduce evidence in his defense. the order of the RTC denying the demurrer was not an adjudication on the merits but merely an evaluation of the sufficiency of the prosecution’s evidence to determine whether or not a full -blown trial would be necessary to resolve the case. petitioner’s allegations in the demurrer were insufficient to justify the grant of the same. He alleges further that the original copy of the marriage contract between him and Santella was not presented. that no proof that he signed said contract was adduced. such would be the . The grant or denial of a demurrer to evidence is left to the sound discretion of the trial court. [32] In this case. the trial court was already making a pronouncement that he is liable for the offense charged.[35] The RTC’s observation that there was a prima facie case against petitioner only meant that the prosecution had presented sufficient evidence to sustain its proposition that petitioner had committed the offense of bigamy.

trustee or counsel. creditor or otherwise. Disqualification of judges. in the exercise of his sound discretion.[38] this Court held that while bias and prejudice have been recognized as valid reasons for the voluntary inhibition of a judge under Section 1. or in which he has presided in any inferior court when his ruling or decision is the subject of review. First. when petitioner manifested that he was going to file a demurrer to evidence. or in which he is related to either party within the sixth degree of consanguinity or affinity. Rule 137.[37] In People of the Philippines vs. for just and valid reasons other than those mentioned above. It was precisely because of such finding that the trial court denied the demurrer. or his wife or child. guardian. petitioner contends that his motion to inhibit Judge Peralejo in Criminal Case No. A judge may. Third. without the written consent of all parties in interest. There should be clear and convincing evidence to prove the charge of bias and partiality. Said provision of law states: Section 1. the judge said such motion was dilatory and would be denied even though the motion for reconsideration had not yet been filed. the decision to inhibit himself lay within the sound discretion of Judge Peralejo. According to petitioner. We agree with the appellate court that the grounds raised by petitioner against Judge Peralejo did not conclusively show that the latter was biased and had prejudged the case. the judge’s hostile attitude towards petitioner’s counsel as shown in the foregoing instances justified the grant of his motion to inhibit. Lastly.[36] Said declaration by the RTC should not be construed as a pronouncement of petitioner’s guilt. the rudimentary rule is that the mere suspicion that a judge is partial is not enough. Second. administrator. legatee. computed according to the rules of the civil law. Q-90-14409 should have been granted since said judge exhibited partiality and bias against him in several instances.conclusion. signed by them and entered upon the record. or in which he has been executor. the judge characterized the same as dilatory and declared that he would deny the same. is pecuniarily interested as heir. in order that petitioner may present evidence in his defense and allow said court to resolve the case based on the evidence adduced by both parties. or to counsel within the fourth degree. disqualify himself from sitting in the case. Court of Appeals.[39] Furthermore. . when petitioner’s counsel manifested that he had just recovered from an accident and was not physically fit for trial. the judge commented that counsel was merely trying to delay the case and required said counsel to produce a medical certificate to support his statement. Rule 137 of the Revised Rules of Court. when petitioner manifested that he would file a motion for reconsideration of the denial of his motion to suspend the proceedings in said case. – No judge or judicial officer shall sit in any case in which he. since the grounds raised by petitioner in his motion to inhibit are not among those expressly mentioned in Section 1.

Such requirement was evidently imposed upon petitioner’s counsel to ensure that the resolution of the case was not hampered by unnecessary and unjustified delays. in keeping with the judge’s duty to disposing of the court’s business promptly. Neither was there anything unreasonable in the requirement that petitioner’s counsel submit a medical certificate to support his claim that he suffered an accident which rendered him unprepared for trial. The test for determining the propriety of the denial of said motion is whether petitioner was deprived a fair and impartial trial. it was not mandatory that the judge inhibit himself from hearing and deciding the case.Thus. [40] The instances when Judge Peralejo allegedly exhibited antagonism and partiality against petitioner and/or his counsel did not deprive him of a fair and impartial trial. . the denial by the judge of petitioner’s motion to suspend the criminal proceeding and the demurrer to evidence are in accord with law and jurisprudence. the petition is hereby DENIED for lack of merit. This Court does not find any abuse of discretion by respondent judge in denying petitioner’s motion to inhibit.[41] WHEREFORE. As discussed earlier.

SP No. Respondents.. and VILLARAMA. Petitioner... petitioner received summons to appear before the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo City.JOSELITO R.. promulgated on 20 March 2006. before the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City.. J.. No....: The Case Before the Court is a petition for review[1] assailing the Decision[2] of the Court of Appeals.** JJ. PIMENTEL and PEOPLE Promulgated: OF THE PHILIPPINES... Chairperson. Pimentel (petitioner).x 13. September 2010 x.R.. The Antecedent Facts The facts are stated in the Court of Appeals‘ decision: On 25 October 2004.. 91867. docketed as Criminal Case No...... which was raffled to Branch 223 (RTC Quezon City).. PIMENTEL... BERSAMIN. G.. 172060 Present: CARPIO.. PERALTA..... Branch 72 (RTC Antipolo) for the pre-trial .. ....... On 7 February 2005. in CA-G. Maria Chrysantine Pimentel y Lacap (private respondent) filed an action for frustrated parricide against Joselito R. Q-04-130415....... JR.. J. DECISION CARPIO...* ABAD....versus - MARIA CHRYSANTINE L..R......

. The RTC Quezon City ruled: WHEREFORE.[4] Petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration.[5] the RTC Quezon City denied the motion. for lack of merit. assailing the 13 May 2005 and 22 August 2005 Orders of the RTC Quezon City. Q-04-130415 are the injuries sustained by respondent and whether the case could be tried even if the validity of petitioner‘s marriage with respondent is in question. the outcome of Civil Case No. In its 22 August 2005 Order. Pimentel v. 04-7392 (Maria Chrysantine Lorenza L. DENIED. 04-7392 would have a bearing in the criminal case filed against him before the RTC Quezon City. Joselito Pimentel) for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage under Section 36 of the Family Code on the ground of psychological incapacity. The Decision of the Trial Court The RTC Quezon City issued an Order dated 13 May 2005[3] holding that the pendency of the case before the RTC Antipolo is not a prejudicial question that warrants the suspension of the criminal case before it.and trial of Civil Case No. The RTC Quezon City held that the issues in Criminal Case No. Petitioner asserted that since the relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in parricide. petitioner filed an urgent motion to suspend the proceedings before the RTC Quezon City on the ground of the existence of a prejudicial question. Petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with application for a writ of preliminary injunction and/or temporary restraining order before the Court of Appeals. on the basis of the foregoing. SO ORDERED. the Motion to Suspend Proceedings On the [Ground] of the Existence of a Prejudicial Question is. On 11 February 2005.

it would be immaterial to the criminal case because prior to the declaration of nullity. the issue in the civil action for annulment of marriage is whether petitioner is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations. Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure[6] provides: Section 7. the marriage is still subsisting. . The Issue The only issue in this case is whether the resolution of the action for annulment of marriage is a prejudicial question that warrants the suspension of the criminal case for frustrated parricide against petitioner. The Ruling of this Court The petition has no merit. Elements of Prejudicial Question. On the other hand. The Court of Appeals ruled that in the criminal case for frustrated parricide. Civil Case Must be Instituted Before the Criminal Case Section 7. The Court of Appeals ruled that even if the marriage between petitioner and respondent would be declared void. The Court of Appeals ruled that all that is required for the charge of frustrated parricide is that at the time of the commission of the crime. the Court of Appeals dismissed the petition. the issue is whether the offender commenced the commission of the crime of parricide directly by overt acts and did not perform all the acts of execution by reason of some cause or accident other than his own spontaneous desistance. the alleged acts constituting the crime of frustrated parricide had already been committed.The Decision of the Court of Appeals In its 20 March 2006 Decision.The elements of a prejudicial question are: (a) the previously instituted civil action involves . Petitioner filed a petition for review before this Court assailing the Court of Appeals‘ decision.

In this case. Q-04-130415 for pre-trial and trial on 14 February 2005. the resolution of the civil action is not a prejudicial question that would warrant the suspension of the criminal action. 04-7392 was dated 4 November 2004 and was filed on 5 November 2004. It was raffled to RTC Quezon City on 25 October 2004 as per the stamped date of receipt on the Information. It is a question based on a fact distinct and separate from the crime but so intimately connected with it that it determines the guilt or innocence of the accused. the requirement of Section 7. The RTC Quezon City set Criminal Case No.[8] Respondent‘s petition[9] in Civil Case No. and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal. Rule 111 of the 2000 Rules on Criminal Procedure was not met since the civil action was filed subsequent to the filing of the criminal action. 04-7392 on 7 February 2005. There is a prejudicial question when a civil action and a criminal action are both pending.[10] A prejudicial question is defined as: x x x one that arises in a case the resolution of which is a logical antecedent of the issue involved therein. Annulment of Marriage is not a Prejudicial Question in Criminal Case for Parricide issue similar or intimately related to the issue raised in the subsequent criminal action and (b) the resolution of such issue determines whether or not the criminal action may proceed. Petitioner was served summons in Civil Case No. and for it to suspend the criminal action. As such. it must appear not only that said case involves facts . The rule is clear that the civil action must be instituted first before the filing of the criminal action. the Information[7] for Frustrated Parricide was dated 30 August 2004. Clearly. the civil case for annulment was filed after the filing of the criminal case for frustrated parricide. and there exists in the civil action an issue which must be preemptively resolved before the criminal action may proceed because howsoever the issue raised in the civil action is resolved would be determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused in the criminal case.

he was still married to respondent.‖[13] The relationship between the offender and the victim distinguishes the crime of parricide from murder[14] or homicide. Court of Appeals[17] that ―the judicial declaration of the nullity of a marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity retroacts to the date of the celebration of the marriage insofar as the vinculum between the spouses is concerned x x x. in case the petition in Civil Case No. We cannot accept petitioner‘s reliance on Tenebro v. even if the marriage between petitioner and respondent is annulled.[16] At the time of the commission of the alleged crime.[11] The relationship between the offender and the victim is a key element in the crime of parricide. The issue in the civil case for annulment of marriage under Article 36 of the Family Code is whether petitioner is psychologically incapacitated to comply with the essential marital obligations.[15] However.‖ First. the issue is whether he performed all the acts of execution which would have killed respondent as a consequence but which. or any of his ascendants or descendants. petitioner could still be held criminally liable since at the time of the commission of the alleged crime. In this case. whether legitimate or illegitimate. mother. since petitioner was charged with frustrated parricide. the issue . or child. The subsequent dissolution of their marriage. In short.intimately related to those upon which the criminal prosecution would be based but also that in the resolution of the issue or issues raised in the civil case. the relationship between the offender and the victim is not determinative of the guilt or innocence of the accused. Further. petitioner and respondent were married. the issue in the annulment of marriage is not similar or intimately related to the issue in the criminal case for parricide. The issue in parricide is whether the accused killed the victim. or his spouse. will have no effect on the alleged crime that was committed at the time of the subsistence of the marriage. 047392 is granted. nevertheless.[12] which punishes any person ―who shall kill his father. did not produce it by reason of causes independent of petitioner‘s will. the guilt or innocence of the accused would necessarily be determined.

SP No.R. 91867. we DENY the petition. Second. The trial in Criminal Case No.‖[18] In fact. There was no issue of prejudicial question in that case. although void ab initio. WHEREFORE. 04-7392 is not determinative of the guilt or innocence of petitioner in the criminal case. .‖[19] In view of the foregoing. the Court upholds the decision of the Court of Tenebro is the effect of the judicial declaration of nullity of a second or subsequent marriage on the ground of psychological incapacity on a criminal liability for bigamy. may still produce legal consequences. the Court declared in that case that ―a declaration of the nullity of the second marri age on the ground of psychological incapacity is of absolutely no moment insofar as the State‘s penal laws are concerned. We AFFIRM the 20 March 2006 Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Q-04-130415 may proceed as the resolution of the issue in Civil Case No. the Court ruled in Tenebro that ―[t]here is x x x a recognition written into the law itself that such a marriage.

(question ) is a logical antecedent of the issued involved in said case. We held in connection with this subject that the question claimed to be prejudicial in nature must be determinative of the case before the court. the relief prayed being for this Court "to order the Hon. 228). with the obligation on their part to return the money on January. February 17. 1963. in the sense that it must be first resolved before the proceedings in the criminal case for estafa may proceed. the respondent judge committed a grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. . and that jurisdiction to try and resolve said question must be lodged in another tribunal.00 with which to purchase for him a fishing boat known as "Basnig". 6636 against Jimenez in the Court of First Instance of Quezon contesting the validity of a certain receipt signed by them on October 26. however. The issue to be decided is whether the determination of the issue raised in the civil case mentioned heretofore is a prejudicial question. A prejudicial question has been define to be one which arises in a case. J. and the further sum of P240. JIMENEZ. Court of Cavite Province to proceed with the case and to order the Hon. Jimenez vs. HON. and the cognizance of which pertains to another tribunal (Encyclopedia Juridical Española. the action is for the issuance of a writ of mandamus. 1963 in case they were unable to buy the fishing boat. The petition now before Us is one for certiorari predicated upon the proposition that in issuing the order just mentioned. Aragon. Their complaint alleged that they had never received any amount from Jimenez and that their signatures on the questioned receipt were secured by means of fraud. they filed a motion in the aforementioned criminal action to suspend proceedings therein on the ground that the determination of the issue involved in Civil Case No. 1954. Barrera for petitioner. TM-235 of the Court of First Instance of Cavite respondents Ofelia V. No. Several days later. No. Court at Quezon Province to dismiss the civil case". Averia. ALBERTO V. respondents. deceit and intimidation employed by him.00 with which to purchase for him a fishing boat and its accessories.000. the accused filed Civil Case No. Alfredo I.00 as agent's commission.R. Tang and Estefania de la Cruz Olanday were charged with estafa. AVERIA. to the damage and prejudice of Jimenez. David F. Judge of the Court of First Instance of Cavite and OFELIA V. G. it will be readily seen that the alleged prejudicial question is not determinative of the guilt or innocence of the parties charged with estafa. vs. to return the aforesaid amounts on January 30. 6636 of the Court of First Instance of Quezon was a prejudicial question. Applying the above considerations to the instance case. 30. 1968 MANUEL R. 1962 (Annex "A" of the present petition) wherein they acknowledged having received from him the sum of P20.: In Criminal Case No.R. The respondent judge granted the motion in an order dated October 18. on their part. petitioner. L-5930. In People vs. with the obligation. Raya and Raul A. they misappropriated the amount aforesaid. having received from Manuel Jimenez the sum of P20. Properly. Manalo for respondents. L-22759 March 29.G.000. p. 1963 in case they should fail to buy the fishing boat. the resolution of which. the information filed alleging that. DIZON. Before arraignment. TANG and ESTEPANIA DE LA CRUZ OLANDAY.

A claim to this effect is properly a matter of defense to be interposed by the party charged in the criminal proceeding. they misappropriated the money and refused or otherwise failed to return it to him upon demand. to the degree required by law. raising therein the issue that he had not received from the latter the amount alleged to have been misappropriated. Were We to sanction the theory advanced by the respondents Tang and De la Cruz Olanday and adopted by the respondent judge. with the result that the order complained of suspending the proceedings therein until after Civil Case No. and that. . 6636 of the Court of First Instance of Quezon has been resolved is hereby set aside. The contention of the private respondents herein would be tenable had they been charged with falsification of the same receipt involved in the civil action. duress or intimidation.000. With cost against the respondent except the respondent judge.00 with which to buy for him a fishing boat. instead of doing so. that they had actually received from the complaint the sum of P20.because even on the assumption that the execution of the receipt whose annulment they sought in the civil case was vitiated by fraud. judgment is hereby rendered ordering the respondent Court of First Instance of Cavite to proceed without undue delay with the trial of Criminal Case No. WHEREFORE. TM-235. it being the easiest thing for the accused to block the proceedings by the simple expedient of filing an independent civil action against the complainant. their guilt could still be established by other evidence showing. there would hardly be a case for estafa that could be prosecuted speedily.