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CUSTODIO TRICIA CRUZ JDCTR DLSU LAW


EXECUTION OF JUDGMENTS INVESTMENTS vs. CA FACTS: - Civil Case No. 116617 (instituted by Investments on July 7, 1978 in the CFI against TIP): The action was for the annulment of a chattel mortgage executed by Investments in TIP's favor covering five cigarette-making machines, which were about to be sold on foreclosure by the latter. - Initially a TRO was issued by the Court ex-parte enjoining the Sheriff from proceeding with the auction sale of the machines. But not long afterwards, the Trial Court promulgated an order denying Investments' application for a writ of injunction and dissolving the temporary restraining order. - Unable to obtain a reconsideration of the order, Investments brought the matter to the Court of Appeals on certiorari and prohibition. - RTC directed issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction against the threatened auction sale upon Investments' posting a bond in the amount of P75,000. - RTC dismissed Investment's petition and lifted the injunction. (May 15, 1979) - Investments filed a motion for reconsideration, at the hearing of which it argued for the reinstatement of the preliminary injunction since "the hearing on the merits of the main case below is about to be terminated." - CA then suggested that the injunction bond be increased to P650,000 to cover the principal obligation. The suggestion having been accepted by both parties, Investments accordingly filed a bond in the increased amount. The Court approved the bond on September 24, 1979 and issued a restraining order which in effect reinstated the injunction earlier granted. - CA promulgated a Resolution declaring that without prejudice to the early conclusion of the case in the Trial Court, it deemed the proceedings before it terminated because it had already "stopped the sale ... of the machines ... until final judgment shall have been rendered in Civil Case No, 116617. - The CoC caused entry of judgment in CA-G.R. No. SP-08253-R, but what was inadvertently entered was the dispositive portion of the previous resolution of May 15, 1979 dismissing the petition for certiorari, and no reference whatever was made to the subsequent resolutions of September 24 and December 12, 1979.

TIP filed with the RTC a motion for execution pending appeal; and with CA in CA-G.R. No. SP-08253-R a motion to lift the writ of preliminary injunction. Investments opposed both motions on the ground that the injunction issued by the CA against the holding of the auction sale was meant to subsist until "final in Civil Case No. 116617," and since the decision rendered in said case was not yet final and executory, said injunction was still in force. Investments theorizes that the judgment rendered by the Trial Court in said Civil Case No. 116617 on December 19, 1980 was not a "final judgment" because it was an appealable judgment and had, in fact, been appealed seasonably. TIP, for its part, asserts that that judgment was in truth a "final judgment" as the term is used in procedural law, even if appealable and hence, upon its rendition, the preliminary injunction of the Appellate Court expired, its life having precisely been fixed to endure until such judgment shall have been rendered.

ISSUE: final judgment v. final & executory judgment RULING: The parties do not dispute the fact that the injunction was to subsist "until final judgment shall have been rendered in Civil Case No. 116617." The point about which they differ is the meaning to be accorded to the term, "final judgment" in the context of Civil Case No. 116617. The concept of "final" judgment, as distinguished from one which has "become final" (or "executory" as of right [final and executory]), is definite and settled. A "final" judgment or order is one that finally disposes of a case, leaving nothing more to be done by the Court in respect thereto, e.g., an adjudication on the merits which, on the basis of the evidence presented at the trial, declares categorically what the rights and obligations of the parties are and which party is in the right; or a judgment or order that dismisses an action on the ground, for instance, of res adjudicata or prescription. Once rendered, the task of the Court is ended, as far as deciding the controversy or determining the rights and liabilities of the litigants is concerned. Nothing more remains to be done by the Court except to await the parties' next move (which among others, may consist of the filing of a motion for new trial or reconsideration, or the taking of an appeal) and ultimately, of course, to cause the execution of the judgment once it becomes "final" or, to use the established and more distinctive term, "final and executory."

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* * * (A)n order or judgment is deemed final when it finally disposes of the pending action so that nothing more can be done with it in the trial court. In other words, a final order is that which gives an end to the litigation. When the order or judgment does not dispose of the case completely but leaves something to be done upon the merits, it is merely interlocutory. A final order or judgment finally disposes of, adjudicates, or determines the rights, or some right or right of the parties, either on the entire controversy or on some definite and separate branch thereof, and concludes them until it is reversed or set aside. Where no issue is left for future consideration, except the fact or compliance or non-compliance with the terms of the judgment or order, such judgment or order is final and appealable. Conversely, an order that does not finally dispose of the case, and does not end the Court's task of adjudicating the parties' contentions and determining their rights and liabilities as regards each other, but obviously indicates that other things remain to be done by the Court, is "interlocutory," e.g., an order denying a motion to dismiss under Rule 16 of the Rules, or granting a motion for extension of time to file a pleading, or authorizing amendment thereof, or granting or denying applications for postponement, or production or inspection of documents or things, etc. Unlike a "final" judgment or order, which is appealable, as above pointed out, an "interlocutory" order may not be questioned on appeal except only as part of an appeal that may eventually be taken from the final judgment rendered in the case. Now, a "final judgment" in the sense just described becomes final "upon expiration of the period to appeal therefrom if no appeal has been duly perfected" or, an appeal therefrom having been taken, the judgment of the appellate tribunal in turn becomes final and the records of the case are returned to the Court of origin. The "final" judgment is then correctly categorized as a "final and executory judgment" in respect to which, as the law explicitly provides, "execution shall issue as a matter of right." It bears stressing that only a final judgment or order, i.e., "a judgment or order that finally disposes of the action of proceeding" can become final and executory. There is no showing that the parties and their counsel intended to give the term "final judgment" a special signification, a meaning other than that accorded to it by law and established usage. Their agreement must therefore be construed to mean exactly what it says, that upon rendition by the Trial Court on December 9, 1981 of its judgment on the merits, i.e., its " final judgment," the life and effectivity of the preliminary injunction came to an end, regardless of the appealability of, or the actual taking of an appeal from said judgment. The petitioner's theory of the case, founded on its concept of a "final judgment" is erroneous and cannot be sustained. PETITION DISMISSED.

BF Co. v. Edsa Shangrila FACTS: - On July 26, 1993, petitioner BF Corporation brought suit to collect from respondents EDSA Shangri-La Hotel and Resort, Inc. (ESHRI), Rufo B. Colayco, Rufino T. Samaniego, Cynthia del Castillo, Kuok Khoon Chen, and Kuok Khoon Tsen the sum of P31,791,284.72, plus damages. The amount represents the alleged liability of respondents to petitioner for the construction of the EDSA Shangri-La Hotel on St. Francis Street, Mandaluyong City. - RTC rendered a decision in favor of petitioner and ordered respondents to pay. - Private respondents moved for a reconsideration of the decision. However, their motion was denied whereupon they appealed. - Pending disposition of the appeal, petitioner filed a motion for the execution of the decision in its favor which the trial court granted in its order dated January 21, 1997. - Private respondents assailed the order of execution pending appeal in a petition for certiorari which they filed in the CA. - In due time, petitioner filed a "Comment with Opposition to Preliminary Injunction." - CA issued a writ of preliminary injunction enjoining the trial court from carrying out its order of execution, upon the filing by respondents of a bond in the amount of P1 million. In a supplemental resolution issued on the same day, the appellate court issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction in PRs favor. - Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the two resolutions. - CA rendered a decision setting aside the trial court's order of execution pending appeal and denying petitioner's motion for reconsideration of its two resolutions dated March 7, 1997. It held that the trial court's reason for ordering execution pending appeal that "(petitioner's) viability as a

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building contractor is being threatened by (respondents') continued refusal to pay their obligations," did not justify such an order. ISSUE: execution before finality of judgment, only upon good reasons RULING: CA did not err in setting aside RTCs granting execution pending appeal. Execution pending appeal is not to be granted except for good reason to be stated in a special order. For the general rule is that only judgments which have become final and executory may be executed. In this case, the issuance of an order granting execution pending appeal is sought to be justified on the plea that the "respondents' dilatory appeal and refusal to pay petitioner the amount justly due it had placed petitioner in actual and imminent danger of insolvency." Philippine Bank of Communications v. Court of Appeals: It is significant to stress that private respondent Falcon is a juridical entity and not a natural person.Even assuming that it was indeed in financial distress and on the verge of facing civil or even criminal suits, the immediate execution of a judgment in its favor pending appeal cannot be justified as Falcon's situation may not be likened to a case of a natural person who be ill or may be of advanced age. Nor does the fact that petitioner filed a bond in the amount of P35 million justify the grant of execution pending appeal. The Court has held in a number of cases that the posting of a bond to answer for damages is not alone a sufficient reason for ordering execution pending appeal. Otherwise, execution pending appeal could be obtained through the mere filing of such a bond. CA decision AFFIRMED.

To stay its execution, ANC filed a supersedeas bond in the amount of P2,700,000 which was approved by Judge Reyes. He subsequently affirmed the appealed judgment. On June 10, 1991, petitioner filed an ex parte motion for execution on the ground that the judgment had already become final and executory under RA 6031. Judge Reyes granted the motion the same day and at 4:00 o'clock that afternoon the writ of execution was served on ANC. ANC moved to quash the writ on June 11, 1991, but hours later, sensing that the motion could not be acted upon, filed a petition for certiorari and prohibition with the CA. Respondent CA set aside the order of execution dated June 10, 1991, and the writ of execution issued by Judge Wilfredo Reyes.

ISSUE: discretionary executions - when stayed RULING: A judgment becomes final and executory by operation of law. Finality of judgment becomes a fact upon the lapse of the reglamentary period to appeal if no appeal is perfected. In such a situation, the prevailing party is entitled to a writ of execution, and issuance thereof is a ministerial duty of the court. Both RA 6031 and BP 129 provide that decisions of the regional trial court in its appellate capacity may be elevated to the Court of Appeals in a petition for review. In effect, both laws recognize that such judgments are "final" in the sense that they finally dispose of, adjudicate, or determine the rights of the parties in the case. But such judgments are not yet "final and executory" pending the expiration of the reglementary period for appeal. During that period, execution of the judgment cannot yet be demanded by the winning party as a matter of right. In the present case, the private respondent had up to June 25, 1991, to appeal the decision of the RTC. The motion for execution was filed by the petitioner on June 10, 1991, before the expiration of the said reglementary period. As the decision had not yet become final and executory on that date, the motion was premature and should therefore not have been granted. Contrary to the petitioner's contention, what the trial court authorized was an execution pending appeal. While it is true that execution pending appeal is allowed under Rule 39, Sec. 2, of the Rules of Court, this provision must be strictly construed, being an exception to the general rule. The reason allowing this kind of execution must be of such urgency as to outweigh the injury or damage of the losing party should it secure a reversal of the judgment on appeal. Absent any such justification, the order of execution must be struck down as flawed with grave abuse of discretion.

City of Manila v. CA FACTS: - This was a complaint for unlawful detainer filed by the City of Manila against private respondent Army and Navy Club (ANC) for violation of the lease agreement between them over a parcel of land on Roxas Boulevard in the said city. A summary judgment in favor of the petitioner was rendered by the MTC and seasonably elevated to the RTC.

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To stay the execution, a supersedeas bond is necessary except where one has already been filed in the lower court. This bond continues to be effective if the judgment of the regional trial court is appealed. But during the pendency of the appeal, the defendant-appellant must continue to depositing with the appellate court the payments required in the appealed judgment. The rentals accruing during the pendency of the appeal must be deposited on or before the date stipulated, if there is one, and in the absence thereof, on or before the dates provided for in Sec. 8 of Rule 70. Failure to make such deposits or payments is ground for execution of the judgment. Since the private respondent in the case at bar has filed a supersedeas bond and the stipulated rental is yearly, execution may issue only when it fails to make the yearly deposit of the rental, and after notice and hearing. Such default has not yet been established. On the same day, respondent judge issued an order that said notice of appeal be "given due course" and directing that the records of the case be forwarded to the Court of Appeals. Private respondents filed a motion for execution pending appeal alleging that they are now moving that a writ of execution be issued pending appeal to enforce judgment of CA and for this purpose hereby offers to post a bond in such amount that the CA may deem adequate to answer for all damages that the plaintiff may suffer by reason of the execution prayed for pursuant to said Section 2 of Rule 39 and jurisprudence. Respondent judge, over the opposition filed by herein petitioner, issued an order granting the motion for execution pending appeal, the defendants having filed a bond in the amount of P330,000.00 posted by the Domestic Insurance Company of the Philippines. It also granted a period up to April 27, 1989 within which the plaintiff may "file a counterbond to stay the implementation of the Writ of Execution to be issued." Petitioner's MFR was denied by the RTC OTG that "an offer of a bond for immediate execution of judgment is a good ground for execution pending appeal" and "execution pending appeal may be granted as long as movant files a good and sufficient surety."

Valencia v. CA FACTS: - On July 6, 1984, petitioner filed Civil Case No. 7554-M of the RTC Bulacan for the rescission of a lease contract over a 24 hectare fishpond in Paombong, Bulacan, with a prayer for a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction against private respondents. - Private respondents filed an answer with a counterclaim for damages. - During the pendency of the case, as found by the trial court, the lease contract expired and the defendants therein peacefully surrendered the fishpond to therein plaintiff. - Consequently, in its decision dated November 29, 1988, the court a quo declared that the plaintiff's prayer for rescission of contract had become moot and academic and the only remaining issue for adjudication was the matter of damages claimed by the defendants. On that score, the trial court awarded P100,000 as moral damages and P50,000 as exemplary damages to each defendant and further ordered plaintiff to pay P30,000.00 as attorney's fees, aside from the costs of suit. - Petitioner claims that defendant Bagtas acknowledged in writing his receipt of a copy of said decision on January 3, 1989. On the other hand, petitioner received a copy of the decision on January 10, 1989, and filed a notice of appeal on January 16, 1989.

ISSUE: discretionary executions - when stayed RULING: Under the present procedure, an appeal is perfected upon the expiration of the last day to appeal by any party. It is not perfected on the date the notice of appeal was filed. In the present case, the defendants had up to January 18, 1989 within which to appeal and the plaintiff had up to January 25, 1989. The motion for execution was filed by defendants on January 17, 1989, before the expiration of the last day to appeal by any of the parties. The fact that plaintiff filed a notice of appeal on January 16, 1989 did not, as already stated, result in the perfection of the appeal. Despite plaintiff's having filed his notice of appeal, defendants, had they been so minded, could still have availed of the right, up to their last day to appeal which was January 18, 1989, to also file their notice of appeal or to file a motion for new trial or to move for execution (which they did) since plaintiffs appeal had not yet been perfected. Both under the former and present procedural governance on appeals, a notice of appeal does not require the approval of the trial court, and its act of giving "due course" thereto, or seeming approval thereof, does not affect the rule as to when an appeal is deemed perfected.

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Conformably with Section 2, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, in order that there may be a discretionary issuance of a writ of execution pending appeal the following requisites must be satisfied: (a) There must be a motion by the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party; (b) There must be a good reason for issuing the writ of execution; and (c) The good reason must be stated in a special order. In the case at bar, the ground relied upon by the trial court in allowing the immediate execution, as stated in its order of March 20, 1989, is the filing of a bond by private respondents. The rule is now settled that the mere filing of a bond by the successful party is not a good reason for ordering execution pending appeal. The exercise of the power to grant or deny immediate or advance execution is addressed to the sound discretion of the court. However, the existence of good reasons is principally what confers such discretionary power. Absent any such good reason, the special order of execution must be struck down for having been issued with grave abuse of discretion. The courts look with disfavor upon any attempt to execute a judgment which has not acquired a final character. Section 2 of Rule 39 which authorizes the discretionary execution of judgments, being an exception to the general rule, must be restrictively construed. It would not be a sound rule to allow indiscriminately the execution of a money judgment, even if there is a sufficient bond. That petitioner could have resorted to a supersedeas bond to prevent execution pending appeal, as suggested by the two lower courts, is not to be held against him. The filing of such bond does not entitle him to the suspension of execution as a matter of right. It cannot, therefore, be categorically considered as a plain, speedy and adequate remedy. Hence, no rule requires a losing party so circumstances to adopt such remedy in lieu or before availment of other remedial options at hand. Furthermore, a rational interpretation of Section 3, Rule 39 should be that the requirement for a supersedeas bond presupposes that the case presents a presumptively valid occasion for discretionary execution. Otherwise, even if no good reason exists to warrant advance execution, the prevailing party could unjustly compel the losing party to post a supersedeas bond through the simple expedient of filing a motion for, and the trial court improvidently granting, a writ of execution pending appeal although the situation is violative of Section 2, Rule 39. This could not have been the intendment of the rule, hence petitioner's action for certiorari in respondent court is PROPER. PETITION GRANTED.