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REPUBLIC VS CA (1978)

Petition: Petition for Review


Petitioner: Republic of the Philippines
Respondent: Court of Appeals, Afredo de Ocampo,
Oscar Anglo
Ponencia: Santos, J.

DOCTRINE:

Rules on perfection of appeals may and should be
relaxed where compelling reasons so warrant.

FACTS:
1. Both Republic and respondents Alfredo V. de Ocampo
and Oscar Anglo claim ownership over the same lots
located in Negros Occidental.
2. According to RP, said lots were bequeathed to the
Bureau of Education (now Bureau of Public Schools) on
September 21, 1926 by the late Esteban Jalandoni
through his will. Said land was already registered under
the Torrens System with the proper titles on the land to
prove it (OCT- of original owner, Meerkamp and
Company who then sold the land to Jalandoni evidenced
with a TCT).
3. In 1958, the Bureau of Public Schools, represented by
the Provincial Fiscal of Negros Occidental initiated a
forcible entry and detainer case against de Ocampo over
lands in question. Court of First Instance of Negros
Occidental dismissed the complaint and issued title to de
Ocampo.
4. Republic did not file any appeal after receiving said
decision on August 13, 1965. However, Republic later
filed with the trial court on December 28, 1965, a petition
to restrain Ocampo from enforcing the decision and to
grant the Republic to file for a motion for reconsideration
and/or appeal within the period granted.
5. On September 28, 1966, Republic filed an "Amended
Petition claiming that Ocampo employed fraudulent
means in acquiring the lands. However, trial court did not
find merit in this accusation (misrepresentation as to the
lands).
ISSUES:
1. Whether or not dismissal of Republics appeal by
CA was proper
- whether or not within the period prescribed by the
rules of court


PROVISION:
Section 6, Rule 41, of the Rules of Court (Record on
Appeal; Form and Contents)

RULING + RATIO:
1. NO, dismissal was not proper.
SC held that there was lack of jurisdiction on the part of
trial court (when they issued a decree of the land in the
name of de Ocampo) when they decided on the case
since the lands were registered in favor of Meerkamp
and Company before 1919.
SC also held that there are strong and substantial
allegations of fraudulent misrepresentations and
machinations employed by de Ocampo in securing his
title.
Thus, although Republic filed its appeal 6 days late from
the period provided by the court,
1. Republic received copy of decision
September 14, 1965
Republic can appeal until October 14, 1965
(30 days)
Republic can appeal until November 3,
1965 (20 day extension approved by lower
court)
2. Republic filed appeal on November 9, 1965 (6
days late)
AND that the court has repeatedly construed Section 6,
Rule 41, of the Rules of Court (Record on Appeal; Form
and Contents) as mandatory and jurisdictional in nature,
non-compliance with which justifies the dismissal of the
appeal,
affirming this appeal on the said ground would be an
injustice.
The rigid adherence to the rules on perfection of appeals
may and should be relaxed where compelling reasons
so warrant. The grounds invoked in this case not only
lack of jurisdiction but gross injustice itself more than
justify the exception considering further that the delay
in the perfection of the appeal involved six (6) days only.
THEREFORE, although the appeal was filed beyond the
period allowed by the Rules of Court, SC decided that
there were enough compelling reasons to relax this rule
in order to prevent injustice.