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[G.R. No. 139767.

August 5, 2003]
FELIPE SY DUNGG, petitioner, vs. !UR" F APPEALS, #UAN A.
GA", $% &$s o''$($)* ()+)($t, )s R"! S&-.$'', L)+u/L)+u !$t, )%0
!ARLS G"1NG LINES, IN!., respondents.
D E ! I S I N
!ARPI, J.2
"&- !)s-
This petition for review on certiorari
[1]
assails the Decision
[2]
dated 14 May
1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-!"! #$ %o! 4&'&&( as well as the
"esolution dated 24 Au)ust 1999 denyin) the *otion for reconsideration! The
Court of Appeals dismissed outright the petition for certiorari( prohi+ition and
*anda*us filed +y petitioner ,elipe #y Dun)o) -.,elipe/0 a)ainst
respondents! The petition 1uestioned the propriety of the 2rder
[3]
dated 14
Au)ust 199& -.2rder/0 and the writ of preli*inary in4unction -.5rit/0 dated 1&
Au)ust 199& issued +y the "e)ional Trial Court of Ce+u( 6apu-6apu
City( 7ranch 83 -.trial court/0 in Civil Case %o! 8929-6!
"&- A%t-(-0-%ts
Tracin) the roots of this controversy( ,elipe alle)es
[4]
that he and his sister(
,ortune( a)reed to sell their lots in Can4ulao( Ce+u( throu)h their parents(
:uan 6! Dun)o) and ;**a #! Dun)o) -.#pouses Dun)o)/0! The #pouses
Dun)o) convinced other lot owners in Can4ulao to sell their lots either directly
to the* or to ,elipe and his sister! 2n 31 Dece*+er 199<( the #pouses
Dun)o) entered into a Contract to #ell -.Contract/0 with private respondent
Carlos A! othon) 6ines( =nc! -.othon) 6ines/0 coverin) several lots in
Can4ulao! The lots which the #pouses Dun)o) contracted to sell to othon)
6ines +elon)ed to various individuals as listed in the Contract>s Anne?
.A/
[8]
which specified the correspondin) appro?i*ate land areas of each
lot! A*on) these was 6ot 1931-, re)istered in the na*e of ,elipe and
covered +y Transfer Certificate of Title %o! 19389 of the "e)ister of Deeds of
6apu-6apu City! @nder the Contract( othon) 6ines was to pay on install*ent
+asis the purchase price of $<8(829(4'8!99 co*puted at $899 per s1uare
*eter! Thus( othon) 6ines paid a down pay*ent of $12(999(999!99! ,or
the +alance of $83(829(4'8!99(
[<]
othon) 6ines issued 18 postdated checAs
of $3(8<&(931!99 each +e)innin) on 31 :anuary 199' as pay*ent for 18
e1ual *onthly install*ents! othon) 6ines *ade )ood all the checAs( e?cept
the last 4 checAs dated 39 Dece*+er 199'( 31 :anuary 199&( 2& ,e+ruary
199& and 39 March 199&( which +ounced due to othon) 6ines> stop
pay*ent order!
,elipe alle)es further that as of 31 Dece*+er 199'( his parents had
delivered << parcels of land to othon) 6ines with a total area of 191(194!29
s1uare *eters valued at$89(882(199!99! ,elipe also states that as of the
sa*e date( othon) 6ines had paid $81(24&(348!99 in encashed checAs plus
the initial down pay*ent of $12(999(999!99! This left an overpay*ent
of $<9<(248!99 in the hands of the #pouses Dun)o)! ,elipe clai*s(
however( that despite othon) 6ines> stop pay*ent order of its last four
checAs( the #pouses Dun)o) still delivered in ,e+ruary 199&( & parcels of
land with a total land area of 11(899 s1uare *eters valued
at $8('98(999!99! A*on) those delivered was 6ot 1931-,! The #pouses
Dun)o) de*anded pay*ent for these & parcels of land( +ut othon) 6ines
refused to pay! The #pouses Dun)o) +eca*e frustrated with othon) 6ines>
co*plete silence on their de*ands for pay*ent( as well as the earlier stop
pay*ent order on the last 4 checAs! Thus( the #pouses Dun)o) infor*ed
othon) 6ines in a letter dated 1& :une 199& that they would no lon)er push
throu)h with their offer to sell the re*ainin) lots!
2n < :uly 199&( othon) 6ines filed a co*plaint for Specific Performance,
Damages with Writ of Preliminary Mandatory Injunction a)ainst the #pouses
Dun)o) to enforce the Contract! othon) 6ines faulted the #pouses Dun)o)
for non-delivery of so*e of the parcels of land in +reach of the
Contract! othon) 6ines alle)ed that while the total a*ount
of$81(24&(34&!2< paid to the #pouses Dun)o) corresponds to 192(49<!<9
s1uare *eters( the #pouses Dun)o) actually delivered to othon) 6ines only
199(<13!<9 s1uare *eters! othon) 6ines clai*ed that it paid an e?cess
of $941(&4&!99
[']
correspondin) to 1(&&3 s1uare *eters! To protect its
interest( othon) 6ines ordered the +anA to stop pay*ent on the re*ainin)
postdated checAs! othon) 6ines asAed the trial court to issue a writ of
preli*inary in4unction to restrain the #pouses Dun)o) fro* cancelin) the
Contract and fro* preventin) its representatives and vehicles fro* passin)
throu)h the properties su+4ect of the Contract! othon) 6ines offered to post
a +ond of $899(999!99 and consi)ned the$4(94&(989!99 representin) the
+alance of the purchase price!
Traversin) othon) 6ines> alle)ations( the #pouses Dun)o) contended
that it was othon) 6ines which +reached the Contract +y stoppin) pay*ent
on the last 4 checAs! The #pouses Dun)o) also char)ed othon) 6ines with
co*petin) with the* in ac1uirin) one of the lots su+4ect of the Contract! They
further countered that othon) 6ines violated a ver+al a)ree*ent +etween
the* not to develop the roads until after 39 :une 199&( the last day for the
#pouses Dun)o) to deliver and turn over the lots! The #pouses Dun)o)
opposed othon) 6ines> application for a writ of preli*inary in4unction on the
)round that othon) 6ines violated the ter*s of the Contract and the other
conte*poraneous a)ree*ents +etween the*!
7ased on the pleadin)s and affidavits presented +y the parties( the trial
court )ranted on 14 Au)ust 199& othon) 6ines> prayer for in4unction! The
dispositive portion of the 2rder readsB
WHEREFORE, in the light of the foregoing considerations, plaintiffs application for
the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction is GRA!E"# $onse%uently, after
the filing and appro&al of a 'ond in the amount of !hree Hundred !housand (esos
)(*++,+++#++,, let a writ of preliminary injunction issue, enjoining defendants, their
representati&es, or anyone acting in their 'ehalf- )a, from canceling the contract to
sell dated "ecem'er *., .//0- and )', from disallowing or pre&enting the entry and
e1it of plaintiffs &ehicles and those of its representati&es through 2ot .+*.3F and
other undeli&ered lots concerned#
456
7ased on this 2rder( the trial court issued the 5rit on 1& Au)ust 199&
which the sheriff served on the sa*e date!
,elipe assailed the 2rder and the 5rit in a special civil action for certiorari
+efore the Court of Appeals! The appellate court( however( dis*issed outri)ht
,elipe>s petition! The appellate court also denied on 24 Au)ust 1999 ,elipe>s
*otion for reconsideration! Thus( ,elipe filed the instant petition 1uestionin)
the propriety of the writ of preli*inary in4unction issued +y the trial court!
"&- Ru*$%gs o' t&- ".$)* !ou.t )%0 t&- !ou.t o' A++-)*s
=n )rantin) the 5rit( the trial court stated -
!here is no dispute that plaintiff has already paid defendants the amount
of (7.,895,*95#80 out of the total consideration of (07,78+,9:7#++# (laintiff has also
deposited with the Office of the $ler; of $ourt the amount of (9,+95,/7+#++, lea&ing
a 'alance of (.+,88*,.:0#:9#
(laintiff had already started the road de&elopment in the properties deli&ered to it# <n
other words, it has already spent much to de&elop the properties which form the 'ul;
of the parcels of land su'ject of the contract#
<ngress to and egress from plaintiffs de&elopment acti&ities lie on an undeli&ered
parcel of land# !hrough it pass the &ehicles, e%uipment, supplies and materials, as
well as the wor;ers, re%uired 'y the project# !he closure of this passage has
apparently stymied the de&elopment in the area#
A'out :5= of the properties are in the hands of plaintiff# Access to these properties is
under the control of defendants, the entrance 'eing located in 2ot .+*.3F, one of the
remaining undeli&ered lots# >ince the entrance gate has 'een closed 'y defendants, it
stri;es the mind of the court that 2ot .+*.3F and the other undeli&ered lots ha&e now,
in a manner of spea;ing, imprisoned the deli&ered properties#
<t is not therefore hard to see that the closure of the entrance gate has wor;ed to the
prejudice of plaintiff and will certainly jeopardi?e the de&elopment wor; in the
deli&ered properties# Elementary justice and the spirit of fair play thus dictate that the
status %uo ante, which is the situation 'efore the closure when plaintiffs
representati&es were a'le to pass through 2ot .+*.3F, 'e restored#
<nsofar as defendants threatened cancellation of the contract to sell, the $ourt has seen
that out of the total area of .*.,+9+#/7 s%uare meters co&ered 'y the contract,
plaintiff had already paid for .+8,9/0#0/ s%uare meters, and that it had
deposited (9,+95,/7+#++ to pay for some of the undeli&ered parcels# <t is 'ut fair that
such a mo&e 'e, in the meantime, disallowed#
4/6
=n dis*issin) outri)ht ,elipe>s petition for certiorari( prohi+ition and
*anda*us assailin) the trial court>s 2rder and the 5rit( the Court of Appeals
stated -
!he petition should 'e dismissed outright, the petitioner has no standing here# He
may 'e the owner of the lot in %uestion 'ut he is not a party litigant in the
case a %uo# His 'eing a son of defendant spouse in the lower court does not gi&e him
the capacity to sue# Of course, he is not without legal remedy to protect his interest#
4.+6
"&- Issu-
=n his Me*orandu*( ,elipe narrows the in1uiry to -
@AA (E!<!<OER BE "E(R<CE" OF H<> (RO(ER!A W<!HOD! "DE
(RO$E>> OF 2AW A" (AA@E! OF ED>! $O@(E>A!<O FOR !HE
BEEF<! OF (R<CA!E RE>(O"E!F
4..6
,elipe la*ents that the dis*issal of his petition resulted in the outri)ht
confiscation of his property for the private use of othon) 6ines( without due
process of law and 4ust co*pensation! ,elipe clai*s that in dis*issin) his
petition( the Court of Appeals effectively sustained the trial court>s 2rder
divestin) hi* of his ri)hts over 6ot 1931-,!
The 1uestion of whether othon) 6ines *ay de*and the turn over of the
parcels of land listed in Anne? .A/ of the Contract is not our concern here! The
issue in this petition is whether the Court of Appeals erred in dis*issin)
,elipe>s petition!
"&- !ou.t3s Ru*$%g
The petition is +ereft of *erit!
Dismissal by the Court of Appeals of
Felipes petition was proper.
,elipe co**itted a procedural +lunder in filin) a special civil action for
certiorari to assail the 2rder and the 5rit! ,elipe was not a party in Civil
Case %o! 8929-6! Ce could not( therefore( assail the writ of preli*inary
in4unction throu)h a petition for certiorari +efore the Court of Appeals! As
correctly pointed out +y the Court of Appeals( ,elipe does not possess the
re1uisite standin) to file such suit!
=n Ciudad Real v. Court of Appeals(
[12]
this Court ruled that there is )rave
a+use of discretion if the appellate court reco)niDes the standin) of a party(
not a liti)ant in the trial court proceedin)s( to 4oin a petition for certiorari! The
Court e?plainedB
Worse was the ruling of the respondent appellate court sanctioning the standing of
@agdiwang Realty $orporation to join said petition for certiorari# As the records
show, @agdiwang filed a @otion for <nter&ention on Euly .5, ./5/ in&o;ing its
alleged @emorandum of Agreement with "oGa Euana "e&elopment $orporation dated
Euly .7, ./58# !he trial court, howe&er, denied this motion and @agdiwang did not
%uestion the ruling in the appellate court# !he ruling thus, 'ecame final# After a'out
two )8, years or on August 8:, .//., @agdiwang again filed a @otion to >u'stitute
andHor Eoin as (artyH(laintiff relying on the same @emorandum of Agreement# !he
trial court similarly denied the motion, and the denial also attained finality as
@agdiwang did not further challenge its correctness# "espite the finality of the order
denying @agdiwangs inter&ention way 'ac; in ./5/, the respondent court in its
"ecision of August 8+, .//8 recogni?ed the standing of @agdiwang to assail in the
appellate court the $ompromise Agreement# Again, this ruling constitutes gra&e
a'use of discretion for @agdiwang was not a party in interest in $i&il $ase o# I3
*7*/*#
The wisdo* of this rulin) is all too apparent! =f a person not a party to an
action is allowed to file a certiorari petition assailin) an interlocutory order of
the trial court( such as an in4unctive order and writ( proceedin)s will +eco*e
unnecessarily co*plicated( e?pensive and inter*ina+le! ;ventually( this will
defeat the policy of our re*edial laws to secure party-liti)ants a speedy and
ine?pensive disposition of every action!
,elipe could have si*ply intervened
[13]
in the trial court proceedin)s to
ena+le hi* to protect or preserve a ri)ht or interest which *ay +e affected +y
such proceedin)s! A *otion to intervene *ay +e filed at any ti*e +efore
rendition of 4ud)*ent +y the trial court!
[14]
The purpose of intervention is not to
o+struct or unnecessarily delay the placid operation of the *achinery of
trial! The purpose is *erely to afford one( not an ori)inal party +ut possessin)
a certain ri)ht or interest in the pendin) case( the opportunity to appear and
+e 4oined so he could assert or protect such ri)ht or interest!
[18]
=ndeed( ,elipe
could have easily 4oined his parents as defendants in resistin) the clai* of
othon) 6ines!
A resolution affir*in) the Court of Appeals> outri)ht dis*issal of ,elipe>s
petition for these reasons would have +een sufficient! %evertheless( we dee*
it +est to address the propriety of the issuance +y the trial court of the writ of
preli*inary in4unction +efore writin) finis to this petition!
Issuance of writ of preliminary inunction
was also proper.
$reli*inary in4unction is an order )ranted at any sta)e of an action( prior to
the 4ud)*ent or final order( re1uirin) a party( court( a)ency or person to
perfor* or to refrain fro* perfor*in) a particular act or acts!
[1<]
A preli*inary
in4unction( as the ter* itself su))ests( is merely temporary( su+4ect to the final
disposition of the principal action! =ts purpose is to preserve the status quo of
the *atter su+4ect of the action to protect the ri)hts of the plaintiff durin) the
pendency of the suit! 2therwise( if no preli*inary in4unction is issued( the
defendant *ay( +efore final 4ud)*ent( do the act which the plaintiff is seeAin)
the court to restrain! This will *aAe ineffectual the final 4ud)*ent that the
court *ay afterwards render in )rantin) relief to the plaintiff!
[1']
The issuance of a writ of preli*inary in4unction rests entirely within the
discretion of the court and is )enerally not interfered with e?cept in cases of
*anifest a+use!
[1&]
The assess*ent and evaluation of evidence in the issuance
of the writ of preli*inary in4unction involve findin)s of facts ordinarily left to the
trial court for its conclusive deter*ination!
[19]
5e find that there was ade1uate 4ustification for the issuance of the
assailed writ of preli*inary in4unction! There is no dispute that the #pouses
Dun)o) entered into the Contract with othon) 6ines which included 6ot
1931-, owned +y ,elipe! ,elipe ad*itted that he authoriDed his parents to
sell this lot! Ce also ad*itted that his parents had delivered to othon) 6ines
6ot 1931-, alon) with other parcels of land! Cowever( the #pouses Dun)o)
threatened to cancel the Contract and to deny othon) 6ines passa)e
throu)h 6ot 1931-, alle)edly due to non-pay*ent of the su+se1uent
install*ents!
=n applyin) for the 5rit( othon) 6ines sou)ht to restrain in the *eanti*e
the #pouses Dun)o) fro* cancelin) the Contract in order not to render the
4ud)*ent ineffectual! othon) 6ines also sou)ht to preserve its ri)ht of way
throu)h 6ot 1931-, to *aintain access to the other parcels of land previously
delivered +y the #pouses Dun)o) to othon) 6ines!
A careful readin) of the trial court>s assailed 2rder discloses that the 5rit
en4oined the cancelation of the Contract on the +asis of othon) 6ines>
su+stantial perfor*ance of the Contract! The trial court also en4oined the
closure of the entrance )ate in 6ot 1931-, to preserve the status quo ante!
@nder #ection 3( "ule 8&
[29]
of the 199' "ules on Civil $rocedure( a
preli*inary in4unction is proper when the plaintiff appears entitled to the relief
de*anded in the co*plaint! The trial court found that othon) 6ines had
already paid $81(24&(34&!2< out of the total consideration
of $<8(829(4'8!99! othon) 6ines also consi)ned with the court an
additional$4(94&(989!99 leavin) a +alance of $19(223(1'<!'4! The trial court
liAewise found that '&E of the properties were already in the possession of
othon) 6ines! Moreover( the statusquo( which is the last actual peacea+le
uncontested status that preceded the controversy(
[21]
was that othon)
6ines had access to the lots su+4ect of the Contract throu)h the entrance )ate
in 6ot 1931-,! That is why othon) 6ines co**enced construction of its pier
and the develop*ent of the roads within the parcels of land covered +y the
Contract! The issuance of the 5rit would no dou+t preserve the
status quo +etween the #pouses Dun)o) and othon) 6ines that e?isted
prior to the filin) of the case! 5e a)ree with the trial court that the
status quo should +e *aintained until the issue on the parties> respective
ri)hts and o+li)ations under the Contract is deter*ined after the trial!
Clearly( in issuin) the 5rit( the trial court did not forthwith deprive ,elipe of
his ownership of 6ot 1931-,! %either did the 5rit have the effect of oustin)
,elipe fro* possession of the lot! The trial court did not rule on the *erits of
the case so as to a*ount to a deprivation or confiscation of property without
due process of law or 4ust co*pensation! There was no ad4udication on the
ri)htful possession or ownership of the contested parcels of land su+4ect of
the Contract! The trial court issued the in4unction only as a preventive re*edy
to protect durin) the pendency of the action othon) 6ines> ri)ht to a final and
effective relief!
41EREFRE( the petition is D;%=;D for lacA of *erit!
S RDERED.