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1. Ang Yu Suncion v. CA G.R. No. 109125 , Dec. 2, 1994 Ang Yu Asuncion vs.

CA 238 SCRA 602 | 1994 FAC S On July 29, 1987, a Second Amended Complaint forSpecific Performance was filed by An !u Asuncion and "e# $ion , et al%, a ainst &obby Cu 'n(ien and Jose $an before t#e )e ional $rial Court of *anila% $#e plaintiffs were tenants or lessees of residential and commercial spaces owned by defendants in &inondo, *anila% On se+eral conditions defendants informed t#e plaintiffs t#at t#ey are offerin to sell t#e premises and are i+in t#em priority to ac,uire t#e same% -urin ne otiations, &obby Cu 'n(ien offered a price of P./ million w#ile plaintiffs made a counter of offer of P0/ million% Plaintiff t#ereafter as1ed t#e defendants to put t#eir offer in writin to w#ic# t#e defendants acceded% 2n reply to defendants3 letter, plaintiffs wrote, as1in t#at t#ey specify t#e terms and conditions of t#e offer to sell% 4#en t#e plaintiffs did not recei+e any reply, t#ey sent anot#er letter wit# t#e same re,uest%Since defendants failed to specify t#e terms and conditions of t#e offer to sell and because of information recei+ed t#at t#e defendants were about to sell t#e property, plaintiffs were compelled to file t#e complaint to compel defendants to sell t#e property to t#em% $#e court dismissed t#e complaint on t#e round t#at t#e parties did not a ree upon t#e terms and conditions of t#e proposed sale, #ence, t#ere was no contact of sale at all% On 5o+ember 10, 1996, t#e Cu 'n(ien spouses e7ecuted a -eed of Sale transferrin t#e property in ,uestion to &uen )ealty and -e+elopment Corporation% &uen )ealty, as t#e new owner of t#e sub(ect property, wrote to t#e lessees demandin t#e latter to +acate t#e premises% 2n its reply, it stated t#at &uen )ealty and -e+elopment Corporation brou #t t#e property sub(ect tot#e notice of lis pendens% !SS"# Can &uen )ealty be bound by t#e writ of e7ecution by +irtue of t#e notice of lis pendens8 R"$!NG 5o% An obli ation is a (uridical necessity to i+e, to do or not to do 9Art% 110., Ci+il Code:% $#e obli ation is upon t#e concurrence of t#e essential elements t#ereof, +i;< 9a: t#evinculum juris or (uridical tie w#ic# is t#e efficient cause establis#ed by t#e +arious sources of obli ations= 9b: t#e object w#ic# is t#e prestation or conduct, re,uired to obser+ed= and 9c: t#esubject-persons w#o, +iewed demandability of t#e obli ation are t#e acti+e 9obli e: and t#e passi+e 9obli or: sub(ects% Amon t#e sources of an obli ation is a contract 9Art% 1107:, w#ic# is a meetin of minds between two persons w#ereby one binds #imself, wit# respect to t#e ot#er, to i+e somet#in or to render some ser+ice% A contract under oes +arious sta es t#at include its ne otiation or preparation, its perfection and, finally, its consummation% 'ntil t#e contract is perfected, it cannot, as an independent source of obli ation, ser+e as a bindin (uridical relation% 2n sales, particularly, to w#ic# t#e case at benc# belon s, t#e contract is perfected w#en a person, called t#e seller, obli ates #imself, for a price certain, to deli+er and to transfer owners#ip of a t#in or ri #t to anot#er, called t#e buyer, o+er w#ic# t#e latter a rees% $#e re istration of lis pendens must be independently addressed in appropriate proceedin s% $#erefore, &uen )ealty cannot be #eld sub(ect to t#e writ of e7ecution issued by t#e respondent Jud e, let alone ousted

from t#e owners#ip and possession of t#e property, wit#out first bein duly afforded its day in court%

2% >ASCC +% CA
G.R. No. 105774 April 25, 2002

Lessons Applicable: Notice of Dishonor (Negotiable Instruments Law) A!"#:

March 17, 1981: Great Asian BOD approve a reso!"tion a"thori#in$ its %reas"rer an Genera! Mana$er, Arsenio &i' (iat, )r. *Arsenio+ to sec"re a !oan, not e,cee in$ 1M, -ro' Bancasia .e/r"ar0 10, 1981: Great Asian BOD approve a reso!"tion a"thori#in$ Great Asian to sec"re a isco"ntin$ !ine 2ith Bancasia in an a'o"nt not e,cee in$ (1M a!so $esignate$ Arsenio as the authori%e$ signator& to sign all
instruments, $ocuments an$ chec's necessar& to secure the $iscounting line

%an 3hon$ &in si$ne 1 s"ret0 a$ree'ents in -avor o- Bancasia Great Asian, thro"$h its %reas"rer an Genera! Mana$er Arsenio, si$ne 4 Dee s o- Assi$n'ent o- Receiva/!es *Dee s o- Assi$n'ent+, assi$nin$ to Bancasia 15 post ate chec4s: 9 chec4s 2ere pa0a/!e to Great Asian 5 2ere pa0a/!e to 6Ne2 Asian 7'p.6 5 2ere pa0a/!e to cash vario"s c"sto'ers o- Great Asian iss"e these post ate chec4s in pa0'ent -or app!iances an other 'erchan ise. Dee o- Assi$n'ents o- assi$n'ent: )an"ar0 11, 1981: 4 post8 ate chec4s o- (144,115.81 'at"rin$ March 17, 1981, 1 2ere ishonore )an"ar0 11, 1981: 4 post8 ate chec4s o- (511,819 'at"rin$ Apri! 1, 1981, a!! 4 2ere ishonore .e/r"ar0 11, 1981: 8 post ate chec4s o- (544,475 'at"rin$ Apri! 50, 1981, a!! 8 chec4s 2ere ishonore March 5, 1981: 1 post ate chec4s o- (1009 'at"rin$ March 18, 1981 a!so ishonore
Great Asian assi$ne the post ate chec4s to Bancasia at a isco"nt rate o- !ess than 14: othe -ace va!"e o- the chec4s

Arsenio en orse a!! the 15 ishonore chec4s /0 si$nin$ his na'e at the /ac4 othe chec4s 8 ishonore chec4s /ore the en orse'ent o- Arsenio /e!o2 the sta'pe

na'e o- 6Great Asian ;a!es 3enter6 7 ishonore chec4s <"st /ore the si$nat"re o- Arsenio %he ra2ee /an4s ishonore the 15 chec4s on 'at"rit0 2hen eposite -or co!!ection /0 Bancasia, 2ith an0 o- the -o!!o2in$ as reason -or the ishonor: 6acco"nt c!ose 6 6pa0'ent stoppe 6 6acco"nt "n er $arnish'ent6 6ins"--icienc0 o- -"n s March 18, 1981: Bancasia=s !a20er,Att0. 7!a ia Re0es, sent /0 re$istere 'ai! to %an 3hon$ &in a !etter noti-0in$ hi' o- the ishonor an e'an in$ pa0'ent -ro' hi' )"ne 1>, 1981: Bancasia sent /0 persona! e!iver0 a !etter to %an 3hon$ &in Ma0 11, 1981: Great Asian -i!e a case /e-ore the 3.? -or inso!venc0 !istin$ Bancasia as one o- the cre itors o- Great Asian in the a'o"nt o- (1,145,>51.00 )"ne 15, 1981: Bancasia -i!e a co'p!aint -or co!!ection o- a s"' o- 'one0 a$ainst Great Asian an %an 3hon$ &in 3.?: -avore Bancasia or erin$ Great Asian an %an 3hon$ &in to pa0 <oint!0 an severa!!0 3A: e!ete att0. -ees
istinct ee o- assi$n'ent

?;;@7: ABN Bancasia an %an$ 3hon &in sho"! /e he! !ia/!e "n er the 3ivi! 3o e /eca"se it 2as a separate an

C7&D: D7;. A--ir'e 2ith Mo i-ication

As p!ain as a0!i$ht, the t2o /oar reso!"tions c!ear!0 a"thori#e Great Asian to sec"re a loan or discounting line -ro' Bancasia 3!ear!0, the isco"ntin$ arran$e'ents entere into /0 Arsenio "n er the Dee s oAssi$n'ent 2ere the ver0 transactions envisione in the t2o /oar reso!"tions oGreat Asian to raise -"n s -or its /"siness. %here is nothin$ in the Ne$otia/!e ?nstr"'ents &a2 or in the .inancin$ 3o'pan0 Act *o! or ne2+, that prohi/its Great Asian an Bancasia parties -ro' a optin$ the with recourse stip"!ation "ni-or'!0 -o"n in the Dee s o- Assi$n'ent. ?nstea o/ein$ ne$otiate , a ne$otia/!e instr"'ent 'a0 /e assi$ne . the en orse'ent oes not operate to 'a4e the -inance co'pan0 a ho! er in "e co"rse. .or its o2n protection, there-ore, the -inance co'pan0 "s"a!!0 reE"ires the assi$nor, in a separate an istinct contract, to pa0 the -inance co'pan0 in the event o- ishonor o- the notes or chec4s. *on!0 sec"rit0+ Other2ise, cons"'ers 2ho p"rchase app!iances on insta!!'ent, $ivin$ their pro'issor0 notes or chec4s to the se!!er, 2i!! have no e-ense a$ainst the -inance

co'pan0 sho"! the app!iances !ater t"rn o"t to /e e-ective As en orsee o- Great Asian, Bancasia ha the option to procee a$ainst Great Asian "n er theNe$otia/!e ?nstr"'ents &a2. Ca it so procee e , the Ne$otia/!e ?nstr"'ents &a2 2o"! have $overne BancasiaFs ca"se o- action. Bancasia, ho2ever, i not choose this ro"te. ?nstea , Bancasia eci e to s"e Great Asian -or /reach o- contract "n er the 3ivi! 3o e, a ri$ht that Bancasia ha "n er the e,press with recourse stip"!ation in
the Dee s o- Assi$n'ent.

Great Asian, a-ter pa0in$ Bancasia, is s"/ro$ate /ac4 as cre itor o- the receiva/!es. Great Asian can then procee a$ainst the ra2ers 2ho iss"e the chec4s. 7ven i- Bancasia -ai!e to $ive ti'e!0 notice o- ishonor, sti!! there 2o"! /e no pre<" ice 2hatever to Great Asian. @n er the Ne$otia/!e ?nstr"'ents &a2, notice o- ishonor is not reE"ire i- the ra2er has no ri$ht to e,pect or reE"ire the /an4 to honor the chec4, or i- the ra2er has co"nter'an e pa0'ent ?n the instant case, a!! the chec4s 2ere ishonore -or an0 o- the -o!!o2in$ reasons: 6acco"nt c!ose 6 6acco"nt "n er $arnish'ent6 6ins"--icienc0 o- -"n s6 ra2ers ha no ri$ht to e,pect or reE"ire the /an4 to honor the chec4s 6pa0'ent stoppe 6 ra2ers ha co"nter'an e pa0'ent Moreover, "n er co''on !a2, e!a0 in notice o- ishonor, 2here s"ch notice is reE"ire , ischar$es the ra2er on!0 to the e,tent o- the !oss ca"se /0 the e!a0. A$ain, 2e reiterate that this o/!i$ation o- Great Asian is separate an istinct -ro' its 2arranties as in orser "n er the Ne$otia/!e ?nstr"'ents &a2.3ivi! 3o e are app!ica/!e an not the Ne$otia/!e ?nstr"'ents &a2. separate Dee s o- Assi$n'ent 8 provisions o- the 3ivi! 3o e are app!ica/!e *NO% Ne$otia/!e ?nstr"'ents &a2+ Great AsianFs -o"r contracts assi$nin$ its -i-teen post ate chec4s to Bancasia e,press!0 stip"!ate the s"spensive con ition that in the event the ra2ers o- the chec4s -ai! to pa0, Great Asian itse!- 2i!! pa0 Bancasia %he stip"!ations in the ;"ret0 A$ree'ents "n enia/!0 'an ate the so!i ar0 !ia/i!it0 o- %an 3hon$ &in 2ith Great Asian Moreover, the stip"!ations in the ;"ret0 A$ree'ents are s"--icient!0 /roa , e,press!0 enco'passin$ 6all the notes, drafts, bills of exchange, overdraft and other obligations of every kind which the PRINCIPAL may now or may hereafter owe

the Creditor6 ?% $#e Office of t#e Solicitor >eneral +% Ayala land C#ec1 P#otos 2PA4. G.R. No. 200895

July 31, 2013

ROLANDO M. MENDIOLA, (etitioner, )s* COMMERZ TRADING INT'L., INC., +espon$ent* D,!I#I-N CARPIO, J.: "he !ase "his petition for re)iew. assails the /0 0anuar& 20.2 Decision2 of the !ourt of Appeals in !A1 2*+* #( No* ..034.* "he !ourt of Appeals re)erse$ the 25 6a& 2004 Decision / of the +egional "rial !ourt, 7ranch 255, Las (ifias !it&, which affirme$ the 8 -ctober 2009 Decision3 of the 6etropolitan "rial !ourt, 7ranch 54, Las (ifias !it&, in a collection suit file$ b& petitioner +olan$o 6* I:)fen$iola against respon$ent !ommer% "ra$ing Int:l*, Inc* "he acts 2enicon, Inc* (2enicon) is a foreign corporation base$ in lori$a, ;nite$ #tates of America, which $esigns, pro$uces, an$ $istributes <patente$ surgical instrumentation focuse$ e=clusi)el& on laparoscopic surger&*< 5(etitioner, a ph&sician b& profession, entere$ into a contract with 2enicon to be its e=clusi)e $istributor of 2enicon laparoscopic instruments in the (hilippines, as e)i$ence$ b& a Distribution Agreement $ate$ .9 0ul& 2005* 8 (etitioner, in turn, entere$ into a 6emoran$um of Agreement (6-A)5 with respon$ent to facilitate the mar'eting an$ sale of 2enicon laparoscopic instruments in the (hilippines* ;n$er the 6-A, respon$ent woul$ be compensate$ for (.00,000*00 <for the use of respon$ent>s name, office, secretar&, in)oices, official receipts an$ facilities = = = for e)er& sale of a complete set of 2enicon laparoscopic instruments = = =*<9 +espon$ent sent a price ?uotation to (ampanga 6e$ical #pecialist @ospital, Inc* ((6#@I), which thereafter agree$ to purchase a 2enicon laparoscopic instrument for "wo 6illion #i= @un$re$ "housan$ (esos ((2,800,000*00)* "hen, petitioner or$ere$ the laparoscopic instrument from 2enicon, which in turn shippe$ the me$ical e?uipment to the (hilippines* +espon$ent un$ertoo' the release of the laparoscopic instrument from the 7ureau of !ustoms an$ subse?uentl& $eli)ere$ the same to (6#@I* (6#@I ma$e the following pa&ments to respon$ent: (.) (520,000*00 per (6#@I !hec' Aoucher No* 2339 $ate$ . ebruar& 2005, an$ to which respon$ent issue$ -fficial +eceipt No* ...39B an$ (2) (2,090,000*00 per (6#@I !hec' Aoucher No* 23.4 $ate$ 8 ebruar& 2005* rom the total amount of (2,800,000*00 pai$ b& (6#@I to respon$ent, the latter>s presi$ent 0oa?uin -rtega $e$ucte$ (.00,000*00 as respon$ent>s compensation for its ser)ices pursuant to the 6-A* +espon$ent remitte$ to petitioner (2,3/0,000*00 onl&, instea$ of (2,500,000*00*

Despite petitioner>s repeate$ $eman$s, respon$ent faile$ to remit the remaining balance of (50,000*00 from the procee$s of the sale of the laparoscopic instrument* !onse?uentl&, petitioner file$ a collection suit against respon$ent with the 6etropolitan "rial !ourt, 7ranch 54, Las (iCas !it& (6e"!)* In its Answer, respon$ent countere$ that petitioner ha$ no cause of action because it $i$ not owe petitioner an& amount* +espon$ent allege$ that the case was a pre1empti)e measure ta'en b& petitioner in anticipation of the collection suit respon$ent woul$ file for o)er pa&ment of the purchase price of the laparoscopic instrument* +espon$ent claime$ that the unremitte$ amount of (50,000*00 represente$ a portion of the (285,955*.3 ,=pan$e$ Aalue A$$e$ "a= (,AA") which was erroneousl& an$ ina$)ertentl& cre$ite$ or remitte$ b& respon$ent to petitioner>s account* "he 6e"! ren$ere$ its Decision of 8 -ctober 2009 in fa)or of petitioner* "he 6e"! hel$ that <respon$ent has no right to retain the (50,000*00 = = =* +espon$ent ha$ been $ul& compensate$ for its wor' $one* It is not its $ut& to pa& an& go)ernment ta=es in whate)er form because it is clearl& a responsibilit& of the bu&er*< 4 "he $ispositi)e portion of the 6e"! $ecision rea$s: D@,+, -+,, the !ourt hereb& ren$ers Eu$gment in fa)or of the plaintiff or$ering the $efen$ant to pa& plaintiff the sum of (50,000*00 as actual $amages plus .2F per annum beginning 0une, 2005 until the amount is full& pai$* "he $efen$ant is also or$ere$ to pa& plaintiff reasonable attorne&>s fees of (20,000*00 an$ costs of suit* #- -+D,+,D*.0 +espon$ent appeale$ to the +egional "rial !ourt, 7ranch 255, Las (iCas !it& (+"!)* In its 25 6a& 2004 Decision, the +"! sustaine$ the 6e"!, hol$ing that the 6-A is the law between the parties* ;n$er the 6-A, <there was no right or authorit& gi)en to respon$ent to retain a portion of the procee$s of an& sale course$ through or obtaine$ b& it for ta=ation purposes*<.. "he $ispositi)e portion of the +"! $ecision rea$s: D@,+, -+,, the foregoing consi$ere$, the herein appeal of the $efen$ant1appellant !ommer% "ra$ing International, Inc* is D,NI,D for lac' of merit* Accor$ingl&, the D,!I#I-N $ate$ 08 -ctober 2009 ren$ere$ b& the 6etropolitan "rial !ourt of Las (iCas !it&, 7ranch 54 in !i)il !ase No* 5835 is affirme$ in toto* #- -+D,+,D*.2 +espon$ent appeale$ to the !ourt of Appeals, which re)erse$ the +"! in its Decision of /0 0anuar& 20.2* @ence, this petition* "he +uling of the !ourt of Appeals "he !ourt of Appeals re)erse$ the +"! an$ rule$ in fa)or of respon$ent* "he !ourt of Appeals foun$ respon$ent, a AA"1registere$ entit&, as the sellerGimporter of the laparoscopic

instrument an$ thus, is the person liable for the pa&ment of the AA"* "he !ourt of Appeals hel$ that respon$ent <ma$e the sale to (6#@I, = = = an$ thus is liable for the pa&ment of ,AA" albeit respon$ent is, per the 6emoran$um of Agreement, onl& the mar'eter of the me$ical pro$uct*<./ Assuming that the importation of the laparoscopic instrument was the ta=able transaction, <it was not $ispute$ = = = that it was respon$ent which arrange$ the importation of the me$ical e?uipment from 2enicon in the ;*#*A* an$ un$ertoo' the processing an$ release of the same before the 7ureau of !ustoms*< .3 "he !ourt of Appeals li'ewise re)erse$ the +"!>s awar$ of interest an$ attorne&>s fees* "he $ispositi)e portion of the !ourt of Appeals> $ecision rea$s:

D@,+, -+,, the instant (etition is 2+AN",D* "he Decision $ate$ 25 6a& 2004 of the +egional "rial !ourt is +,A,+#,D an$ #," A#ID,* +espon$ent +olan$o 6* 6en$iola is hereb& -+D,+,D to reimburse the (etitioner the sum of (.45,955*.3 within fi)e (5) $a&s from receipt of finalit& of this $ecision* (etitioner is thereafter -+D,+,D to reflect the reimbursement in its ,AA" +eturn for the current ?uarter to be submitte$ to the 7ureau of Internal +e)enue an$ pa& the same to the latter>s authori%e$ collecting agenc& imme$iatel& within the ne=t monthl& pa& perio$ as pro)i$e$ un$er the NI+!* (etitioner an$ +espon$ent are -+D,+,D to submit their compliance thereto within fifteen (.5) $a&s from receipt of finalit& of this $ecision* #- -+D,+,D*.5 "he Issues (etitioner raises the following issues: .* Dhether respon$ent has the right to retain the balance of the procee$s of the sale in the amount of(50,000*00B an$ 2* Dhether petitioner is entitle$ to the awar$ of interest an$ attorne&>s fees* "he +uling of the !ourt De $en& the petition* "here is no $ispute that the (50,000*00 respon$ent withhel$ from petitioner forme$ part of the procee$s of the sale of the 2enicon laparoscopic instrument* +espon$ent, howe)er, claims that the (50,000*00 represents a portion of the total AA" $ue.8 from the 2enicon transaction which is allege$l& petitioner>s obligation un$er paragraph A of the 6-A which states: <All ta=esGe=penses an$ e=penses relate$ to 2enicon transactions shall be the responsibilit& of petitioner*< .5 7asic is the principle that a contract is the law between the parties, .9 an$ its stipulations are bin$ing on them, unless the contract is contrar& to law, morals, goo$ customs, public or$er or public polic&*.4 In$ee$, paragraph A of the 6-A obligates petitioner to pa& the ta=es $ue from the sale of the 2enicon laparoscopic instrument* (etitioner a$mits that he is the one

<responsible in the pa&ment of the ,AA" an$ not the respon$ent, who merel& acte$ as the mar'eter<20 of the 2enicon laparoscopic instrument* @ence, as between petitioner an$ respon$ent, petitioner bears the bur$en for the pa&ment of AA"* "he ?uestion now is whether respon$ent is authori%e$ un$er the 6-A to withhol$ a specific amount from the procee$s of the sale of the 2enicon laparoscopic instrument as ta= $ue from petitioner* "he 6-A is silent on this matter* "he 6-A $oes not e=pressl& allow respon$ent to collect or withhol$ from petitioner an& amount from the sale of the 2enicon laparoscopic instrument for ta=ation purposes* @owe)er, the same agreement (.) allows respon$ent to issue official receipts on which AA" shoul$ ha)e been compute$ an$ inclu$e$ in the purchase price, an$ (2) obligates petitioner to pa& an& ta= $ue on the sale* ;n$er the 6-A, petitioner re?ueste$ respon$ent <to use the latter>s name, office, secretar&, in)oice, official receipts an$ its facilities for the $istribution an$ sale of 2enicon pro$ucts in the (hilippines*<2. (etitioner, who is a ph&sician, ma$e such re?uest <solel& for ethical an$ personal reasons*<22 Accommo$ating an$ agreeing to petitioner>s re?uest, respon$ent, a AA"1registere$ entit&, issue$ -fficial +eceipt No* ...39 to e)i$ence the sale of the 2enicon laparoscopic instrument to (6#@I, an$ the pa&ment b& the latter of the purchase price* (6#@I, in turn, issue$ two chec's in fa)or of respon$ent totaling (2,800,000*00*2/ !learl&, base$ on respon$ent:s recor$s, it woul$ appear that (.) it recei)e$ (2,800,000*00 from (6#@I, which amount is subEect to AA" as foun$ b& its e=ternal au$itor an$ (2) it is the seller of the 2enicon laparoscopic instrument* "herefore, petitioner shoul$ pa& the AA" $ue on the sale, which woul$ be compute$ base$ on the official receipt issue$ b& respon$ent* "o hol$ otherwise clearl& operates to $efrau$ the* go)ernment of the correct amount of ta=es $ue on the sale, an$ contra)enes the !i)il !o$e pro)ision man$ating <e)er& person = = = to act with Eustice, gi)e e)er&one his $ue, an$ obser)e honest& an$ goo$ faith*< 23 Dhile b& agreement of the parties petitioner bears the economic bur$en for pa&ing the AA", the legal liabilit& to pa& the same to the 7I+ falls on respon$ent* "hus, since respon$ent, as the seller on recor$, will be liable for the pa&ment of the AA" base$ on the official receipt it issue$, we shall allow respon$ent to retain the (50,000*00 onl& for the purpose of pa&ing forthwith, if it has not $one so &et, this amount to the 7I+ as the estimate$ ta= $ue on the subEect sale* "here remains a $ispute on the computation of the correct amount of AA" because respon$ent allege$l& issue$ an official receipt 25 onl& in the amount of (520,000*00, instea$ of the (2,800,000*00 purchase price* !onsi$ering this, an$ the foregoing fin$ings, the 7I+ must be informe$ of this Decision for its appropriate action* De fin$ the resolution of the other issue unnecessar&* D@,+, -+,, we D,NH the petition* Let a cop& of this Decision be forwar$e$ to the 7ureau of Internal +e)enue for its appropriate action* #- -+D,+,D*

0% 5>@2 *PC, inc% +% APP

G.R. No. 184950 O !o"#$ 11, 2012

NGEI M%LTI&P%RPO'E COOPERATI(E INC. AND )ERNANCITO RON*%ILLO, (etitioners, )s* +ILIPINA' PALMOIL PLANTATION INC. AND DENNI' (ILLAREAL, +espon$ents* D,!I#I-N MENDOZA, J.: "his is a petition for re)iew on certiorari un$er +ule 35 of the +ules of !ourt assailing the 6a& 4, 2009 Decision.of the !ourt of Appeals (!A) in !A12*+* #( No* 44552 an$ its -ctober /, 2009 +esolution2 $en&ing the motion for reconsi$eration thereof* "he acts -n December 2, .499, the petitioner N2,I 6ulti1(urpose !ooperati)e Inc* (N2,I !oop), a $ul&1registere$ agrarian reform wor'ers> cooperati)e, was awar$e$ b& the Department of Agrarian +eform (DA+) /,448*8430 hectares of agricultural lan$ for palm oil plantations locate$ in +osario an$ #an rancisco, Agusan $el #ur* -n 6arch 5, .440, N2,I !oop entere$ into a lease agreement with respon$ent ilipinas (almoil (lantation, Inc* ( ((I), formerl& 'nown as ND! 2utrie (lantation, Inc*, o)er the subEect propert& commencing on #eptember 25, .499 an$ en$ing on December /., 2005* ;n$er the lease agreement, ((I (as lessee) shall pa& N2,I !oop (as lessor) a &earl& fi=e$ rental of 8/5*00 per hectare plus a )ariable component e?ui)alent to .F of net sales from .499 to .448, an$ IF from .445 to 2005*/ -n 0anuar& 24, .449, the parties e=ecute$ an A$$en$um to the Lease Agreement (A$$en$um) which pro)i$e$ for the e=tension of the lease contract for another 25 &ears from 0anuar& ., 2009 to December 20/2* "he A$$en$um was signe$ b& Antonio Da&$a&, !hairman of the N2,I !oop, an$ respon$ent Dennis Aillareal (Aillareal), the (resi$ent of ((I, an$ witnesse$ b& DA+ ;n$ersecretar& Artemio A$asa* "he annual lease rental remaine$ at 8/5*00 per hectare, but the pac'age of economic benefits for the bona fi$e members of N2,I !oop was amen$e$ an$ increase$, as follows: Hears !o)ere$ .449 J 2002 200/ J 2008 2005 J 20.. 20.2 J 20.8 20.5 J 202. 2022 J 2028 Amount ((er @ectare) (.,985*00 (2,/85*00 (2,985*00 (/,/85*00 (/,985*00 (3,/85*00

2025 J 20/. 20/2

(3,985*00 (5,/85*00

-n 0une 20, 2002, N2,I !oop an$ petitioner @ernancito +on?uillo (+on?uillo) file$ a complaint for the Nullification of the Lease Agreement an$ the A$$en$um to the Lease Agreement before the Department of Agrarian +eform A$Eu$ication 7oar$ (DA+A7) +egional A$Eu$icator of #an rancisco, Agusan $el #ur (+egional A$Eu$icator)* "he case was $oc'ete$ as DA+A7 !ase No* KIII (0/)J.58* "he petitioners allege$, among others, that the A$$en$um was null an$ )oi$ because Antonio Da&$a& ha$ no authorit& to enter into the agreementB that sai$ A$$en$um was appro)e$ neither b& the farm wor'er1beneficiaries nor b& the (resi$ential Agrarian +eform !ouncil ((A+!) ,=ecuti)e !ommittee, as re?uire$ b& DA+ A$ministrati)e -r$er (A*-*) No* 5, #eries of .445B that the annual rental an$ the pac'age of economic benefits were onerous an$ unEust to themB an$ that the lease agreement an$ the A$$en$um unEustl& $epri)e$ them of their right to till their own lan$ for an e=cee$ingl& long perio$ of time, contrar& to the intent of +epublic Act (+*A*) No* 8855, as amen$e$ b& +*A* No* 5405* In its Decision,5 $ate$ ebruar& /, 2003, the +egional A$Eu$icator $eclare$ the A$$en$um as null an$ )oi$ for ha)ing been entere$ into b& Antonio Da&$a& without the e=press authorit& of N2,I !oop, an$ for ha)ing been e=ecute$ in )iolation of the +ules un$er A*-* No* 5, #eries of .445* ((I file$ a motion for reconsi$eration* "he +egional A$Eu$icator, fin$ing merit in the sai$ motion, re)erse$ his earlier $ecision in an -r$er, $ate$ 6arch 22, 2003* @e $ismisse$ the complaint for the nullification of the A$$en$um on the groun$s of prescription an$ lac' of cause of action* "he +egional A$Eu$icator further opine$ that the A$$en$um was )ali$ an$ bin$ing on both the N2,I !oop an$ ((I an$, the petitioners ha)ing enEo&e$ the benefits un$er the A$$en$um for more than four (3) &ears before filing the complaint, were consi$ere$ to ha)e wai)e$ their rights to assail the agreement* "he petitioners mo)e$ for a reconsi$eration of the sai$ or$er but the +egional A$Eu$icator $enie$ it in the -r$er $ate$ April 29, 2003* -n appeal, the DA+A7 !entral -ffice ren$ere$ the -ctober 4, 2008 Decision* 8 It foun$ no re)ersible error on the fin$ings of fact an$ law b& the +egional A$Eu$icator an$ $ispose$ the case as follows: D@,+, -+,, premises consi$ere$, the instant Appeal is D,NI,D for lac' of merit an$ the assaile$ -r$er $ate$ 6arch 22, 2003 is hereb& affirme$* #- -+D,+,D*5 After their motion for reconsi$eration was $enie$, the petitioners appeale$ to the !A )ia a petition for re)iew un$er +ule 3/ of the +ules of !ourt* -n 6a& 4, 2009, the !A ren$ere$ the assaile$ $ecision uphol$ing the )ali$it& an$ bin$ing effect of the A$$en$um as it was freel& an$ )oluntaril& e=ecute$ between the parties, $e)oi$ of an& )ices of consent* "he !A sustaine$ its )ali$it& on the basis of the ci)il law principle of mutualit& of contracts that the parties were boun$ b& the terms an$ con$itions une?ui)ocall& e=presse$ in the a$$en$um which was the law between them*

In $ismissing the petition, the !A ratiocinate$ that the fin$ings of fact of the +egional A$Eu$icator an$ the DA+A7 were supporte$ b& substantial e)i$ence* !iting the case of #ps* 0oson )* 6en$o%a,9 the !A hel$ that such fin$ings of the agrarian court being supporte$ b& substantial e)i$ence were conclusi)e an$ bin$ing on it* "he petitioners file$ a motion for reconsi$eration of the sai$ $ecision on the groun$s, among others, that the fin$ings of fact of the +egional A$Eu$icator were in conflict with those of the DA+A7 an$ were not supporte$ b& the e)i$ence on recor$B an$ that the conclusions of law were not in accor$ance with applicable law an$ e=isting Eurispru$ence* "he motion, howe)er, was $enie$ for lac' of merit b& the !A in its +esolution, $ate$ -ctober /, 2009* @ence, N2,I !oop an$ +on?uillo interpose the present petition before this !ourt anchore$ on the following 2+-;ND# (I) "@, @-N-+A7L, !-;+" - A((,AL# 2+AA,LH ,++,D IN N-" @-LDIN2 "@A" "@, A##AIL,D ADD,ND;6 I# A-ID A71INI"I-, "@, #A6, @AAIN2 7,,N ,K,!;",D DI"@-;" "@, !-N#,N" - -N, - "@, (A+"I,# "@,+,"- ((etitioner N2,I16(!), 7H +,A#-N - "@, A7#,N!, A;"@-+I"H "- ,K,!;", "@, #A6, 2IA,N 7H #AID (A+"H "- "@, #;7#!+I7IN2 INDIAID;AL (Da&$a&) AND "@, A!" "@A" "@, ADD,ND;6 DA# N,A,+ +A"I I,D 7H "@, 2,N,+AL 6,67,+#@I( - N2,I16(!* (II) "@, @-N-+A7L, !-;+" - A((,AL# ,++,D IN N-" @-LDIN2 "@A" "@, ADD,ND;6 "- L,A#, A2+,,6,N" I# N;LL AND A-ID -+ 7,IN2 !-N"+A+H "- LAD, 6-+AL#, 2--D !;#"-6#, AND (;7LI! (-LI!H* (III) "@, @-N-+A7L, !-;+" - A((,AL#, DI"@ 2+AA, A7;#, - DI#!+,"I-N A6-;N"IN2 "- LA!L -+ ,K!,## - 0;+I#DI!"I-N, #,+I-;#LH ,++,D IN @-LDIN2 "@A" "@, D,!I#I-N - "@, DA+A7 I# #;((-+",D 7H #;7#"AN"IAL ,AID,N!,* (IA) D@,"@,+ -+ N-" (,"I"I-N,+#> !A;#, - A!"I-N @A# (+,#!+I7,D*4 "he sole issue for the !ourt>s resolution is whether the !A committe$ re)ersible error of law when it affirme$ the $ecision of the DA+A7 which uphel$ the or$er of the +egional A$Eu$icator $ismissing the petitioners> complaint for the nullification of the A$$en$um* "he !ourt fin$s the petition bereft of merit* "he petitioners conten$ that the !A gra)el& erre$ in uphol$ing the )ali$it& of the A$$en$um* "he& allege that the &earl& lease rental of (8/5*00 per hectare stipulate$ in the A$$en$um was unconscionable because it )iolate$ the prescribe$ minimum rental rates un$er DA+ A*-* No* 5, #eries of .445 an$ +*A* No* /933 which man$ate that the lease rental shoul$

not be less than the &earl& amorti%ation an$ ta=es* "he& also argue that it constitutes an infringement on the polic& of the #tate to promote social Eustice for the welfare an$ $ignit& of farmers an$ farm wor'ers* +el&ing on the same A*-* No* 5, the petitioners further argue that the A$$en$um with another 25 &ears of e=tension perio$ was in)ali$ for lac' of appro)al b& the (A+! ,=ecuti)e !ommitteeB that Antonio Da&$a& ha$ no authorit& to enter into the A$$en$um on behalf of N2,I !oopB that the authorit& gi)en, if an&, was merel& for a re)iew of the lease agreement an$ to negotiate with ((I on the specific issue of lan$ lease rental through a negotiating panel or committee, to which Da&$a& was a memberB that Da&$a&>s act of signing for, an$ in behalf of, N2,I !oop being ultra )ires was null an$ )oi$B that it was Aicente lora who was authori%e$ to sign the A$$en$um as shown in +esolution No* ., #eries of .449B that the A$$en$um was not ratifie$ through the use of atten$ance sheets for meal an$ transportation allowanceB that neither $i$ N2,I !oop an$ its members ratif& the A$$en$um b& their receipt of its so1calle$ economic benefitsB an$ that their acceptance of the benefits un$er the agreement was not an in$ication of wai)er of their right to pursue their claims against ((I consi$ering their consistent actions to contest the subEect A$$en$um* "he respon$ents, on the other han$, posit in their !omment .0 an$ reiterate$ in their 6emoran$um.. that b& raising factual issues, the petitioners were see'ing a re)iew of the factual fin$ings of the +egional A$Eu$icator an$ the DA+A7 which is proscribe$ in a petition for re)iew un$er +ule 35 of the +ules of !ourt* "he& a$$ that the fin$ings of the sai$ a$ministrati)e agencies, ha)ing been sustaine$ b& the !A in the assaile$ $ecision an$ supporte$ b& substantial e)i$ence, shoul$ be respecte$* "he respon$ents further state that the !A correctl& rule$ that the A$$en$um was a )ali$ an$ bin$ing contract* "he& claim that the pac'age of economic benefits un$er the A$$en$um was not unconscionable or contrar& to public polic&* In$ee$, the issues raise$ in this petition are mainl& factual in nature* actual issues are not proper subEects of the !ourt>s power of Eu$icial re)iew* Dell1settle$ is the rule that onl& ?uestions of law can be raise$ in a petition for re)iew un$er +ule 35 of the +ules of !i)il (roce$ure*.2 It is, thus, be&on$ the !ourt>s Euris$iction to re)iew the factual fin$ings of the +egional A$Eu$icator, the DA+A7 an$ the !A as regar$s the )ali$it& an$ the bin$ing effect of the A$$en$um* Dhether or not the person who signe$ the A$$en$um on behalf of the N2,I !oop was authori%e$ to $o soB whether or not the N2,I !oop members ratifie$ the A$$en$umB whether or not the rental rates prescribe$ in the A$$en$um were unconscionabl& low so as to be illegal, an$ whether or not the N2,I !oop ha$ consistentl& assaile$ the )ali$it& of the A$$en$um e)en prior to the filing of the complaint with the +egional A$Eu$icator, are issues of fact which cannot be passe$ upon b& the !ourt for the simple reason that the !ourt is not a trier of facts* As hel$ in the recent case of !arpio )* #ebastian, ./ thus: = = = It bears stressing that in a petition for re)iew on certiorari, the scope of this !ourt>s Eu$icial re)iew of $ecisions of the !ourt of Appeals is generall& confine$ onl& to errors of law, an$ ?uestions of fact are not entertaine$* De eluci$ate$ on our fi$elit& to this rule, an$ we sai$: "hus, onl& ?uestions of law ma& be brought b& the parties an$ passe$ upon b& this !ourt in the e=ercise of its power to re)iew* Also, Eu$icial re)iew b& this !ourt $oes not e=ten$ to a ree)aluation of the sufficienc& of the e)i$ence upon which the proper = = = tribunal has

base$ its $etermination* It is aphoristic that a re1e=amination of factual fin$ings cannot be $one through a petition for re)iew on certiorari un$er +ule 35 of the +ules of !ourt because as earlier state$, this !ourt is not a trier of factsB it re)iews onl& ?uestions of law* "he #upreme !ourt is not $ut&1boun$ to anal&%e an$ weigh again the e)i$ence consi$ere$ in the procee$ings below* .3 In the present case, the !ourt fin$s no cogent reason to $epart from the aforementione$ settle$ rule* "he DA+A7 ma$e the following fin$ings, )i%: "his 7oar$ fin$s that the sai$ <A$$en$um to the Lease Agreement< is )ali$ an$ bin$ing to both parties* Dhile the complainant impugns the )ali$it& of the <A$$en$um< base$ on the groun$ that !hairman Da&$a& was not authori%e$ b& the !ooperati)e to enter into the Agreement, base$ on the recor$s, a series of +esolution was ma$e authori%ing the !hairman to enter into the sai$ <A$$en$um*< 2ranting en arguen$o that !hairman Da&$a& was not authori%e$ to enter into the sai$ Agreement, the fact remains that the terms an$ stipulations in the A$$en$um ha$ been obser)e$ an$ enforce$ b& the parties for se)eral &ears* 7oth parties ha)e benefite$ from the sai$ contract* If in$ee$ !hairman Da&$a& was not authori%e$ to enter into sai$ Agreement, wh& $oes the !ooperati)e ha)e to wait for four (3) &ears to impugn the )ali$it& of the !ontract* "hus, the A$Eu$icator a ?uo is correct in his fin$ings that: As alrea$& $iscusse$ in the assaile$ -r$er, whate)er proce$ural $efects that ma& ha)e atten$e$ the final e=ecution of the a$$en$um, these are consi$ere$ wai)e$ an$Gor implie$l& accepte$ or consente$ to b& !omplainants when its 2eneral assembl& ratifie$ its e=ecution an$ li)e$ with for the ne=t four (3) &ears* urther the A$Eu$icator a ?uo is correct in his fin$ings that: It has to be impresse$ once more, that the !omplaint is reall& one for the cancellation of the A$$en$um to the original lease agreement* "he negotiations that le$ to its e=ecution is in fact a re1negotiation of the ol$ lease contract, an$ not a negotiate$ original lease re?uiring the appro)al of the (A+! ,=ecuti)e !ommittee* "he re1negotiation that culminate$ in the e=ecution of the a$$en$um re?uires onl& the recommen$ation of the (A+!!-6 an$ the DA+, (A- No* 5, #1.445)* It cannot be gainsai$, therefore, that both (A+!!-6 an$ the DA+ after a long an$ te$ious re1negotiation ha$ no 'nowle$ge of such re1negotiation, but for reasons un'nown, both ha)e 'ept their peace, thus, allowing the a$$en$um to be ratifie$, enforce$ an$ implemente$* -n the other han$, the arguments, that sai$ a$$en$um being )oi$ ab initio ma& be assaile$ at an&time cannot be conce$e$* irst, because sai$ a$$en$um has not been officiall& or legall& $eclare$ as a nullit&* It is not nullifie$ Eust because a subse?uent resolution of the !oop 7oar$ abrogate$ the A$$en$um* "o annul a !ontract cannot be $one unilaterall&, in fact the reason wh& this case was file$* -n the contrar&, ha)ing been forge$ in .449, complainants waite$ until 2002 to assail its )ali$it&, an$ in the meantime, their action to $o so ha$ prescribe$ pursuant to #ection 29 of +A /933, the law go)erning leasehol$* "he other assigne$ allege$ errors ha)ing been full& $iscusse$ in the assaile$ -r$er of 6arch 22, 2003, the same nee$ no longer be tra)erse$* in$ing no re)ersible error on the fin$ing of facts an$ law ma$e b& the A$Eu$icator a ?uo this 7oar$ hereb& affirms the -r$er $ate$ 6arch 22, 2003* .5

It is well to emphasi%e that the abo)e1?uote$ factual fin$ings an$ conclusions of the DA+A7 affirming those of the +egional A$Eu$icator were sustaine$ b& the !A in the assaile$ $ecision* "he !ourt is in accor$ with the !A when it wrote: In appeals in agrarian cases, the onl& function of this !ourt is to $etermine whether the fin$ings of fact of the Department of Agrarian +eform A$Eu$ication 7oar$ (DA+A7) are supporte$ b& substantial e)i$ence J it cannot ma'e its own fin$ings of fact an$ substitute the same for the fin$ings of the DA+A7* An$ substantial e)i$ence has been $efine$ to be such rele)ant e)i$ence as a reasonable min$ might accept as a$e?uate to support a conclusion an$ its absence is not shown b& stressing that there is contrar& e)i$ence on recor$, $irect or circumstantialB an$ where the fin$ings of the agrarian court are supporte$ b& substantial e)i$ence, such fin$ings are conclusi)e an$ bin$ing on the appellate court* .8 !onsi$ering that the fin$ings of the +egional A$Eu$icator an$ the DA+A7 are uniform in all material respects, these fin$ings shoul$ not be $isturbe$* 6ore so in this case where such fin$ings were sustaine$ b& the !A for being supporte$ b& substantial e)i$ence an$ in accor$ with law an$ Eurispru$ence* Aeril&, the factual fin$ings of a$ministrati)e officials an$ agencies that ha)e ac?uire$ e=pertise in the performance of their official $uties an$ the e=ercise of their primar& Euris$iction are generall& accor$e$ not onl& respect but, at times, e)en finalit& if such fin$ings are supporte$ b& substantial e)i$ence* .5 "he factual fin$ings of these ?uasi1Eu$icial agencies, especiall& when affirme$ b& the !A, are bin$ing on the !ourt* "he recogni%e$ e=ceptions to this rule are: (.) when there is gra)e abuse of $iscretionB (2) when the fin$ings are groun$e$ on speculationB (/) when the inference ma$e is manifestl& mista'enB (3) when the Eu$gment of the !ourt of Appeals is base$ on a misapprehension of factsB (5) when the factual fin$ings are conflictingB (8) when the !ourt of Appeals went be&on$ the issues of the case an$ its fin$ings are contrar& to the a$missions of the partiesB (5) when the !ourt of Appeals o)erloo'e$ un$ispute$ facts which, if properl& consi$ere$, woul$ Eustif& a $ifferent conclusionB (9) when the facts set forth b& the petitioner are not $ispute$ b& the respon$entB an$ (4) when the fin$ings of the !ourt of Appeals are premise$ on the absence of e)i$ence an$ are contra$icte$ b& the e)i$ence on recor$* .9 None of these circumstances is obtaining in this case* "he !ourt un$erstan$s the pre$icament of these farmer1beneficiaries of N2,I !oop* ;n$er the pre)ailing circumstances, howe)er, it cannot sa)e them from the conse?uences of the bin$ing lease agreement, the A$$en$um* "he petitioners, ha)ing freel& an$ willingl& entere$ into the A$$en$um with ((I, cannot an$ shoul$ not now be permitte$ to renege on their compliance un$er it, base$ on the supposition that its terms are unconscionable* "he contract must bin$ both contracting partiesB its )ali$it& or compliance cannot be left to the will of one of them*.4 It is basic that a contract is the law between the parties* -bligations arising from contracts ha)e the force of law between the contracting parties an$ shoul$ be complie$ with in goo$ faith* ;nless the stipulations in a contract are contrar& to law, morals, goo$ customs, public or$er or public polic&, the same are bin$ing as between the parties* 20 "he !ourt ?uotes with appro)al the ruling of the !A on this matter, to wit: In$ee$, the terms an$ con$itions between the parties une?ui)ocall& e=presse$ in the A$$en$um must go)ern their contractual relations for these ser)e as the terms of the agreement, which are bin$ing an$ conclusi)e on them*

!onse?uentl&, petitioners cannot unilaterall& change the tenor of the terms an$ con$itions of the A$$en$um or cancel it altogether after ha)ing gone through the solemnities an$ formalities for its perfection* In fact, the A$$en$um ha$ been consummate$ upon performance b& the parties of the prestations an$ after the& ha$ alrea$& reape$ the mutual benefits arising from the contract* 6utualit& is one of the characteristics of a contract, an$ its )ali$it& or performance or compliance cannot be left to the will of onl& one of the parties* It is a long establishe$ $octrine that the law $oes not relie)e a part& from the effects of an unwise, foolish, or $isastrous contract, entere$ into with all the re?uire$ formalities an$ with full awareness of what he was $oing* 2.(;n$erscoring supplie$) It must be stresse$ that the A$$en$um was foun$ to be a )ali$ an$ bin$ing contract* "he petitioners faile$ to show that the A$$en$um>s stipulate$ rental rates an$ economic benefits )iolate$ an& law or public polic&* "he A$$en$um shoul$, therefore, be gi)en full force an$ effect, without preEu$ice to a renegotiation of the terms of the leasehol$ agreement in accor$ance with the pro)isions of A$ministrati)e -r$er No* 5, #eries of .445, go)erning their A$$en$um, as regar$s the contracting proce$ures an$ fi=ing of lease rental in lan$s plante$ to palm oil trees, specificall&: IA* (-LI!I,# AND 2-A,+NIN2 (+IN!I(L,# === D* +enegotiation of the amount of lease rental shall be un$erta'en b& the parties e)er& fi)e (5) &ears, subEect to the recommen$ation of the (A+!!-6 an$ re)iew b& the DA+* Lease rental on the lease$ lan$s ma& be renegotiate$ b& the contracting parties e)en prior to the termination of the contract on the following groun$s: (a) $omestic inflation rate of se)en percent (5F) or moreB (b) $rop in the worl$ prices of the commo$it& b& at least twent& percent (20F)B an$ (c) other )ali$ reasons* ,* An& conflict that ma& arise from the implementation of the lease contract shall be referre$ to the (A+!!-6 b& an& of the contracting parties for me$iation an$ resolution* In the e)ent of failure to resol)e the issue, an& of the parties ma& file an action with the Department of Agrarian +eform A$Eu$ication 7oar$ (DA+A7) for a$Eu$ication pursuant to #ection 50 of +*A* No* 8855* Anent the issue of prescription, #ection /9 of +*A* No* /933 ("he Agricultural Lan$ +eform !o$e), the applicable law to agricultural leasehol$ relations, pro)i$es: #ection /9* #tatute of Limitations 1 An action to enforce an& cause of action un$er this !o$e shall be barre$ if not commence$ within three &ears after such cause of action accrue$* (;n$erscoring supplie$) -n the basis of the afore?uote$ pro)ision, the petitioners: cause of action to ha)e the A$$en$um, an agricultural leasehol$ arrangement between N2,I !oop an$ ((I, $eclare$ null an$ )oi$ has alrea$& prescribe$* "o recall, the A$$en$um was e=ecute$ on 0anuar& 24, .449 an$ the petitioners tile$ their complaint with the +egional A$Eu$icator on 0une 20, 2002, or more than four &ears after the cause of action accrue$* ,)i$entl&, prescription has alrea$& set in* Inasmuch as the )ali$it& of the A$$en$um was sustaine$ b& the !A as $e)oi$ of an& )ice or $efect, Article .3.0 of the !i)il !o$e on imprescriptibilit& of actions for $eclaration of ine=istence of contracts, relie$ upon b& the petitioners, is not applicable*

-n a final note, the petitioners faulte$ the !A for failure to re1assess the facts of the case $espite the conflicting fin$ings of the +egional A$Eu$icator an$ the DA+A7* #uch imputation of error $eser)es no merit because, in truth an$ in fact, no such conflict e=ists* !ontrar& to the petitioners: claim, both tribunals $eclare$ the )ali$it& of the A$$en$um being in e=istence for se)eral &ears an$ on the basis that the petitioners ha$ enEo&e$ the benefits accor$e$ un$er it, an$ both raise$ the groun$ of prescription of the petitioners: cause of action pursuant to #ection /9, +*A* No* /933* All tol$, the !ourt, after a careful re)iew of the recor$s, fin$s no re)ersible error in the assaile$ $ecision of the !A * D@,+, -+,, the petition is D,NI,D* #- -+D,+,D*