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Perfecto Macababbad, Jr. et al. vs. Fernando Masirag, et al. G.R. No.

161237, January 14, 2009 Questions of Facts and Questions of Law A question of law arises when there is doubt as to what the law is on a certain state of facts while there is a question of fact when the doubt arises as to the truth or falsity of the alleged facts. A question of law may be resolved by the court without reviewing or evaluating the evidence. No examination of the probative value of the evidence would be necessary to resolve a question of law. The opposite is true with respect to questions of fact, which necessitate a calibration of evidence. Actions;Prescription In Crisostomo v. Garcia, this Court ruled that prescription may either be a question of law or fact; it is a question of fact when the doubt or difference arises as to the truth or falsity of an allegation of fact; it is a question of law when there is doubt or controversy as to what the law is on a given state of facts. The test of whether a question is one of law or fact is not the appellation given to the question by the party raising the issue; the test is whether the appellate court can determine the issue raised without reviewing or evaluating the evidence. Prescription, evidently, is a question of fact where there is a need to determine the veracity of factual matters such as the date when the period to bring the action commenced to run. Ingjug-Tiro v. Casals instructively tells us too that a summary or outright dismissal of an action is not proper where there are factual matters in dispute which require presentation and appreciation of evidence. In this cited case whose fact situation is similar to the present case, albeit with a very slight and minor variation, we considered the improvident dismissal of a complaint based on prescription and laches to be improper because the following must still be proven by the complaining parties: first, that they were the co-heirs and co-owners of the inherited property; second, that their co-heirs-co-owners sold their hereditary rights thereto without their knowledge and consent; third, that forgery, fraud and deceit were committed in the execution of the Deed of Extrajudicial Settlement and Confirmation of Sale since Francisco Ingjug who allegedly executed the deed in 1967 actually died in 1963, hence, the thumbprint found in the document could not be his; fourth, that Eufemio Ingjug who signed the deed of sale is not the son of Mamerto Ingjug, and, therefore, not an heir entitled to participate in the disposition of the inheritance; fifth, that respondents have not paid the taxes since the execution of the sale in 1965 until the present date and the land in question is still declared for taxation purposes in the name of Mamerto Ingjug, the original registered owner, as of 1998; sixth, that respondents had not taken possession of the land subject of the complaint nor introduced any improvement thereon; and seventh, that respondents are not innocent purchasers for value. A ruling on prescription necessarily requires an analysis of the plaintiffs cause of action based on the allegations of the complaint and the documents attached as its integral parts. A Page 1 of 7

motion to dismiss based on prescription hypothetically admits the allegations relevant and material to the resolution of this issue, but not the other facts of the case. Appeals Since the appeal raised mixed questions of fact and law, no error can be imputed on the respondents for invoking the appellate jurisdiction of the CA through an ordinary appeal. Rule 41, Sec. 2 of the Rules of Court provides: Modes of appeal. (a) Ordinary appeal - The appeal to the Court of Appeals in cases decided by the Regional Trial Court in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of appeal with the court which rendered the judgment or final order appealed from and serving a copy thereof upon the adverse party. In Murillo v. Consul,[44] this Court had the occasion to clarify the three (3) modes of appeal from decisions of the RTC, namely: (1) ordinary appeal or appeal by writ of error, where judgment was rendered in a civil or criminal action by the RTC in the exercise of original jurisdiction, covered by Rule 41; (2) petition for review, where judgment was rendered by the RTC in the exercise of appellate jurisdiction, covered by Rule 42; and (3) petition for review to the Supreme Court under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. The first mode of appeal is taken to the CA on questions of fact or mixed questions of fact and law. The second mode of appeal is brought to the CA on questions of fact, of law, or mixed questions of fact and law. The third mode of appeal is elevated to the Supreme Court only on questions of law. Laches Dismissal based on laches cannot also apply in this case, as it has never reached the presentation of evidence stage and what the RTC had for its consideration were merely the parties pleadings. Laches is evidentiary in nature and cannot be established by mere allegations in the pleadings. Without solid evidentiary basis, laches cannot be a valid ground to dismiss the respondents complaint. Non-joinder of Indispensable parties is not a Ground for a Motion to Dismiss In Domingo v. Scheer, this Court held that the proper remedy when a party is left out is to implead the indispensable party at any stage of the action. The court, either motu proprio or upon the motion of a party, may order the inclusion of the indispensable party or give the Page 2 of 7

plaintiff opportunity to amend his complaint in order to include indispensable parties. If the plaintiff to whom the order to include the indispensable party is directed refuses to comply with the order of the court, the complaint may be dismissed upon motion of the defendant or upon the court's own motion. Only upon unjustified failure or refusal to obey the order to include or to amend is the action dismissed.

Rule 3, Sec. 7 of the Rules of Court defines indispensable parties as those who are parties in interest without whom no final determination can be had of an action. They are those parties who possess such an interest in the controversy that a final decree would necessarily affect their rights so that the courts cannot proceed without their presence. A party is indispensable if his interest in the subject matter of the suit and in the relief sought is inextricably intertwined with the other parties interest. Action for reconveyance In an action for reconveyance, all the owners of the property sought to be recovered are indispensable parties. Thus, if reconveyance were the only relief prayed for, impleading petitioners Macababbad and the spouses Chua and Say would suffice. On the other hand, under the claim that the action is for the declaration of the nullity of extrajudicial settlement of estate and sale, all of the parties who executed the same should be impleaded for a complete resolution of the case. This case, however, is not without its twist on the issue of impleading indispensable parties as the RTC never issued an order directing their inclusion. Under this legal situation, particularly in light of Rule 3, Section 11 of the Rules of Court, there can be no basis for the immediate dismissal of the action. In relation with this conclusion, we see no merit too in the petitioners argument that the RTC ruling dismissing the complaint on respondents failure to implead indispensable parties had become final and executory for the CAs failure to rule on the issue. This argument lacks legal basis as nothing in the Rules of Court states that the failure of an appellate court to rule on an issue raised in an appeal renders the appealed order or judgment final and executory with respect to the undiscussed issue. A court need not rule on each and every issue raised, particularly if the issue will not vary the tenor of the Courts ultimate ruling. In the present case, the CA ruling that overshadows all the issues raised is what is stated in the dispositive portion of its decision, i.e., the order of the lower court dismissing the case is SET ASIDE and the case is remanded for further proceeding. Page 3 of 7

Philippine Basketball Association v Honorable Manuel B. Gaite GR. No. 170312, June 26, 2009 Remedial Law; Appeals Since the OP is essentially an administrative agency exercising quasi-judicial functions, its decisions or resolutions may be appealed to the CA through a petition for review under Rule 43 of the Rules of Court. Section 10, PD No. 871 directs that the decisions, orders, and rulings of the GAB may be appealed directly to the OP. This appellate procedure is provided as follows: Sec. 10. Appeals, orders, rulings and decisions of the Board. Orders, rulings and decisions of the Board on matters connected with or arising out of basketball may be appealed to the Office of the President, whose decision shall be final, within seventy-two (72) hours from receipt of the order, ruling or decision appealed from.

A petitioner wrongly filing a Rule 65 petition must show a clear entitlement to the jurisprudentially-recognized exceptions. These exceptions are: when public welfare and the advancement of public policy dictates; when the interests of substantial justice so require; and when the questioned order amounts to an oppressive exercise of judicial authority.

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PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES vs. PABLO AMODIA GR. No. 173791 APRIL 7, 2009 REMEDIAL LAW; APPEALS The factual findings of the trial court, its calibration of the testimonies of the witnesses, and its assessment of their probative weight are given high respect, if not conclusive effect, unless cogent facts and circumstances of substance were ignored, misconstrued or misinterpreted, which, if considered, would alter the outcome of the case. CRIMINAL LAW; MURDER; EVIDENCE We state in this regard that positive identification pertains essentially to proof of identity and not necessarily to the name of the assailant. A mistake in the name of the accused is not equivalent, and does not necessarily amount to, a mistake in the identity of the accused especially when sufficient evidence is adduced to show that the accused is pointed to as one of the perpetrators of the crime. In this case, the defenses line of argument is negated by the undisputed fact that the accuseds identity was known to both the eyewitnesses. CRIMINAL LAW; MURDER; EVIDENCE; ALIBI Alibi is a defense that comes with various jurisprudentially-established limitations. A first limitation fully applicable to this case is that alibi cannot overcome positive identification.[85]For the defense of alibi to prosper, evidence other than the testimony of the accused must be adduced. Evidence referred to in this respect does not merely relate to any piece of evidence that would support the alibi; rather, there must be sufficient evidence to show the physical impossibility (as to time and place) that the accused could have committed or participated in the commission of the crime. For alibi to be given evidentiary value, there must be clear and convincing evidence showing that at the time of the commission of the crime, it was physically impossible for the accused to have been at the situs criminis.

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