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G.R. No.

196894 March 3, 2014

MEN$O&A, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 4 of the Rules of Court challen!in! the "a# $,
%&'' Decision
of the Court of (ppeals )C(*, in C(+,.R. SP No. &-./$+"IN, which affir0ed the
Septe01er %2, %&'&,
Octo1er 2, %&'&
and Nove01er /, %&'&
Orders of the Re!ional Trial Court,
Davao Cit#, 3ranch '4 )RTC+3r. '4*, in Civil Case No. --,'+%&'&, an action for Cancellation of
4ien. It is entitled 56E7" (!ro+Industrial Corporation v. The Re!istr# of Deeds for the Cit# of Davao.
Sheriff Ro1ert "edialdea. 6ohn 8 6ane Does. and all persons actin! under their directions.
This controvers# ste00ed fro0 various cases of collection for su0 of 0one# filed a!ainst So 9en!
9o:, the owner of various properties includin! two )%* parcels of land covered 1# TCT Nos. %/%/2
and %/%$&& )su1;ect properties*, which were attached 1# various creditors includin! the petitioners
in this case. (s a result, the levies were annotated on the 1ac: of the said titles.
Petitioners 6esus ,. Crisolo!o and Nannette 3. Crisolo!o )Spouses Crisolo!o* were the plaintiffs in
two )%* collection cases 1efore RTC, 3ranch ', Davao Cit# )RTC+3r. '*, doc:eted as Civil Case
Nos. %$,.'&+/. and %$,.''+/., a!ainst Ro1ert 4i0so, So 9en! 9oc, et al. Respondent 6E7" (!ro+
Industrial Corporation )6E7"* was the successor+in+interest of one S# Sen 3en, the plaintiff in
another collection case 1efore RTC, 3ranch ., Davao Cit# )RTC+3r. .*, doc:eted as Civil Case No.
%$,'-+/., a!ainst the sa0e defendants.
On Octo1er '/, '//., RTC+3r. . rendered its decision 1ased on a co0pro0ise a!ree0ent, dated
Octo1er ', '//., 1etween the parties wherein the defendants in said case were directed to transfer
the su1;ect properties in favor of S# Sen 3en. The latter su1se<uentl# sold the su1;ect properties to
one Nilda 4a0 who, in turn, sold the sa0e to 6E7" on 6une ', %&&&. Thereafter, TCT Nos. -%$2
and -%$2$ were eventuall# issued in the na0e of 6E7", 1oth of which still 1earin! the sa0e
annotations as well as the notice of lis pendens in connection with the other pendin! cases filed
a!ainst So 9en! 9o:.
( #ear thereafter, Spouses Crisolo!o prevailed in the separate collection case filed 1efore RTC+3r.
' a!ainst Ro1ert 4i0 So and So 9en! 9oc )defendants*. Thus, on 6ul# ', '///, the said
defendants were ordered to solidaril# pa# the Spouses Crisolo!o. 7hen this decision attained
finalit#, the# 0oved for e=ecution. On 6une ', %&'&, a writ was eventuall# issued.
(ctin! on the sa0e, the 3ranch Sheriff issued a notice of sale schedulin! an auction on (u!ust %$,
%&'&. The notice of sale included, a0on! others, the su1;ect properties covered 1# TCT Nos.
-%$2 and -%$2$, now, in the na0e of 6E7".
In the sa0e proceedin!s, 6E7" i00ediatel# filed its (ffidavit of Third Part# Clai0 and the >r!ent
"otion (d Cautela0. It pra#ed for the e=clusion of the su1;ect properties fro0 the notice of sale. In
an order, dated (u!ust %$, %&'&, however, the 0otion was denied. In turn, the Spouses Crisolo!o
posted a 1ond in order to proceed with the e=ecution.
To protect its interest, 6E7" filed a separate action for cancellation of lien with pra#er for the
issuance of a preli0inar# in;unction 1efore RTC+3r. '4, doc:eted as Civil Case No. --,'+%&'&. It
pra#ed for the issuance of a writ of preli0inar# in;unction to prevent the pu1lic sale of the su1;ect
properties covered in the writ of e=ecution issued pursuant to the rulin! of RTC+3r. '? the
cancellation of all the annotations on the 1ac: of the pertinent TCTs? and the issuance of a
per0anent in;unction order after trial on the 0erits. 5The Re!ister of Deeds of Davao Cit#, Sheriff
Ro1ert "edialdea, 6ohn and 6ane Does and all persons actin! under their direction5 were i0pleaded
as defendants.
(t the scheduled hearin! 1efore RTC+3r. '4 on Septe01er %%, %&'&, Spouses Crisolo!o@s counsel
appeared and filed in open court their Aer# >r!ent "anifestation <uestionin! the authorit# of the said
court to restrain the e=ecution proceedin!s in RTC+3r. '. 6E7" opposed it on the !round that
Spouses Crisolo!o were not parties in the case.
On Septe01er %4, %&'&, Spouses Crisolo!o filed an O0ni1us "otion pra#in! for the denial of the
application for writ or preli0inar# in;uction filed 1# 6E7" and as:in! for their reco!nition as parties.
No 0otion to intervene was, however, filed as the Spouses Crisolo!o 1elieved that it was
unnecessar# since the# were alread# the 6ohn and 6ane Does na0ed in the co0plaint.
In the Order, dated Septe01er %2, %&'&, RTC+3r. '4 denied Spouses Crisolo!o@s O0ni1us "otion
and !ranted 6E7"@s application for a writ of preli0inar# in;unction.
On Octo1er ', %&'&, Spouses Crisolo!o filed a Aer# >r!ent O0ni1us "otion 1efore RTC+3r. '4
pra#in! for reconsideration and the settin! aside of its Septe01er %2, %&'& Order. This was denied
in the RTC 3r.+'4@s Octo1er 2, %&'& Order for lac: of le!al standin! in court considerin! that their
counsel failed to 0a:e the written for0al notice of appearance. The cop# of this order was received
1# Spouses Crisolo!o on Octo1er %%, %&'&. It 0ust 1e noted, however, that on Octo1er %2, %&'&,
the# received another order, li:ewise dated Octo1er 2, %&'&, !ivin! 6E7" ti0e to co00ent on their
Aer# >r!ent O0ni1us "otion filed on Octo1er ', %&'&. In its Order, dated Nove01er /, %&'&,
however, RTC+3r. '4 a!ain denied the Aer# >r!ent "otion previousl# filed 1# Spouses Crisolo!o.
On Nove01er '%, %&'&, 6E7" 0oved to declare the 5defendants5 in default which was !ranted in
an order !iven in open court on Nove01er '/, %&'&.
Spouses Crisolo!o then filed their Aer# >r!ent "anifestation, dated Nove01er -&, %&'&, ar!uin!
that the# could not 1e dee0ed as defaultin! parties 1ecause the# were not referred to in the
pertinent 0otion and order of default.
On Nove01er '/, %&'&, Spouses Crisolo!o filed with the C( a petition for certiorari

under Rule $
of the Rules of Court assailin! the RTC+3r. '4 orders, dated Septe01er %2, %&'&, Octo1er 2, %&'&
and Nove01er /, %&'&, all of which denied their 0otion to 1e reco!niBed as parties. The# also
pra#ed for the issuance of a Te0porar# Restrainin! Order )TRO* andCor a 7rit of Preli0inar#
In its Resolution, dated 6anuar# $, %&'', the C( denied the application for a TRO, 1ut directed
Spouses Crisolo!o to a0end their petition. On 6anuar# '/, %&'', the Spouses Crisolo!o filed their
(0ended Petition
with pra#ers for the issuance of a TRO andCor writ of preli0inar# in;unction, the
annul0ent of the afore0entioned orders of RTC 3r. '4, and the issuance of an order dissolvin! the
writ of preli0inar# in;unction issued in favor of 6E7".
Pendin! disposition of the (0ended Petition 1# the C(, 6E7" filed a 0otion on Dece01er $, %&'&
1efore RTC+3r. '4 as:in! for the resolution of the case on the 0erits.
On 6anuar# '&, %&'', RTC+3r. '4 ruled in favor of 6E7", with the dispositive portion of its
statin! as followsD
7EEREFORE, in view of all the fore!oin!, ;ud!0ent is here1# rendered in favor of the plaintiff as
'. the preli0inar# writ of in;unction issued on Octo1er , %&'& is here1# 0ade per0anent?
%. directin! herein defendant Re!istr# of Deeds of Davao Cit# where the su1;ect lands are
located, to cancel all e=istin! liens and encu01rances on TCT No. T+-%$2 and T+-%$2$
re!istered in the na0e of the plaintiff, and pa# the
-. cost of suit.
Spouses Crisolo!o then filed their O0ni1us "otion E= (1udanti ad Cautela0, as:in! RTC+ 3r. '4 to
reconsider the a1ove decision. 3ecause no 0otion for intervention was filed prior to the rendition of
the ;ud!0ent, a certificate, dated "arch '2, %&'', was issued declarin! the 6anuar# '&, %&''
decision final and e=ecutor#.
On "a# $, %&'', the C( eventuall# denied the (0ended Petition filed 1# Spouses Crisolo!o for lac:
of 0erit. It ruled that the writ of preli0inar# in;unction su1;ect of the petition was alread# fait acco0pli
and, as such, the issue of !rave a1use of discretion attri1uted to RTC+3r. '4 in !rantin! the relief
had 1eco0e 0oot and acade0ic. It further held that the failure of Spouses Crisolo!o to file their
0otion to intervene under Rule '/ rendered Rule $ inapplica1le as a vehicle to ventilate their
supposed ri!ht in the case.
Eence, this petition.
I. The Court of (ppeals erred in holdin! that the action for Cancellation of (nnotations 0a#
proceed even without notice to and i0pleadin! the part#Cies who caused the annotations, in
clear contravention of the rule on ;oinder of parties and 1asic due process.
II. The Court of (ppeals erred in appl#in! a ver# constrictive interpretation of the rules in
holdin! that a 0otion to intervene is the onl# wa# an otherwise real part# in interest could
III. The Court of (ppeals erred in den#in! our application for the issuance of a te0porar#
restrainin! order andCor a writ of preli0inar# in;unction.
IA. The Court of (ppeals erred in holdin! that the issues raised 1# petitioners 1efore it GhadH
1een 0ooted 1# the 6anuar# '&, %&'' decision of RTC 3ranch '4.
Spouses Crisolo!o su10it as error the C( affir0ation of the RTC+ 3r. '4 rulin! that the action for
cancellation 0a# proceed without the0 1ein! i0pleaded. The# alle!e deprivation of their ri!ht to due
process when the# were not i0pleaded in the case 1efore RTC+3r. '4 despite the clai0 that the#
stand, as indispensa1le parties, to 1e 1enefited or in;ured 1# the ;ud!0ent in the action for the
cancellation of annotations coverin! the su1;ect properties. The# cite ,onBales v. 6ud!e
a0on! others, as authorit#. In that case, the Court ruled that pursuant to Section '&. of
Presidential Decree )P.D.* No. '%/, notice 0ust 1e !iven to all parties in interest 1efore the court
0a# hear and deter0ine the petition for the cancellation of annotations on the certificates of title.
The Spouses Crisolo!o also <uestion the state0ent of the C( that their failure to file the 0otion to
intervene under Rule '/ 1efore RTC+3r. '4 1arred their participation in the cancellation proceedin!s.
The# put e0phasis on the court@s dut# to, at the ver# least, suspend the proceedin!s 1efore it and
have such indispensa1le parties i0pleaded.
(s to the rulin! on the denial of their application for the issuance of a TRO or writ of preli0inar#
in;unction, Spouses Crisolo!o clai0 that their adverse interest, evinced 1# the annotations at the
1ac: of the certificates of title, warranted the issuance of a TRO or writ of preli0inar# in;unction
a!ainst 6E7"@s atte0pt to cancel the said annotations in violation of their funda0ental ri!ht to due
4astl#, Spouses Crisolo!o cast dou1t on the C( rulin! that the issues presented in their petition were
0ooted 1# the RTC+3r. '4 Decision, dated 6anuar# '&, %&''. Eavin! 1een rendered without
i0pleadin! indispensa1le parties, the said decision was void and could not have 0ooted their
In their Co00ent,
6E7" asserts that Spouses Crisolo!o@s failure to file a 0otion to intervene,
pleadin!s+in+intervention, appeal or annul0ent of ;ud!0ent, which were plain, speed# and ade<uate
re0edies then availa1le to the0, rendered recourse to Rule $ as i0proper? that Spouses Crisolo!o
lac:ed the le!al standin! to file a Rule $ petition since the# were not i0pleaded in the proceedin!s
1efore RTC+3r. '4? and that Spouses Crisolo!o were not indispensa1le parties since their ri!hts over
the properties had 1een rendered ineffective 1# the final and e=ecutor# Octo1er '/, '//. Decision of
RTC+3r. . which disposed unconditionall# and a1solutel# the su1;ect properties in favor of its
6E7" further ar!ues that, on the assu0ption that Section '&. of P.D. No. '%/ applies, no notice to
Spouses Crisolo!o was re<uired 1ecause the# were not real parties+in+interest in the case 1efore
RTC+3r. '4, or even if the# were, their non+participation in the proceedin!s was 1ecause of their
failure to properl# intervene pursuant to Rule '/? and, lastl#, that the case 1efore RTC+3r. '4
1eca0e final and e=ecutor# 1ecause Spouses Crisolo!os did not perfect an appeal therefro0, thus,
renderin! the issues in the C( petition 0oot and acade0ic.
In their Repl#,
Spouses Crisolo!o restate the applica1ilit# of Section '&. of P.D. No. '%/ to the
effect that an# cancellation of annotation of certificates of title 0ust 1e carried out 1# !ivin! notice to
all parties+in+interest. This the# forward despite their reco!nition of the 0ootness of their assertion
over the su1;ect properties, to witD
(!ain, we respect 6(IC@s position that 5the clai0s of su1se<uent attachin! creditors )includin!
petitioners@* have 1een rendered 0oot and acade0ic, and hence the entries in favor of said creditors
have no 0ore le!al 1asis and therefore 0ust 1e cancelled.5 3ut we li:ewise at least as: a 0odicu0
of respect 1# at least 1ein! notified and heard.
The Rulin! of the Court
The cru= of this controvers# is whether the C( correctl# ruled that RTC+3r. '4 acted without !rave
a1use of discretion in failin! to reco!niBe Spouses Crisolo!o as indispensa1le parties in the case for
cancellation of lien.
In this respect, the Court a!rees with Spouses Crisolo!o.
In an action for the cancellation of 0e0orandu0 annotated at the 1ac: of a certificate of title, the
persons considered as indispensa1le include those whose liens appear as annotations pursuant to
Section '&. of P.D. No. '%/,
to witD
Section '&.. (0end0ent and alteration of certificates. +No erasure, alteration or a0end0ent shall
1e 0ade upon the re!istration 1oo: after the entr# of a certificate of title or of a 0e0orandu0
thereon and the attestation of the sa0e 1# the Re!ister of Deeds, e=cept 1# order of the proper
Court of First Instance. ( re!istered owner or other person havin! an interest in re!istered propert#,
or, in proper cases, the Re!ister of Deeds with the approval of the Co00issioner of 4and
Re!istration, 0a# appl# 1# petition to the court upon the !round that the re!istered interests of an#
description, whether vested, contin!ent, e=pectant inchoate appearin! on the certificate, have
ter0inated and ceased? or that new interest not appearin! upon the certificates have arisen or 1een
created? or that an o0ission or error was 0ade in enterin! a certificate or 0e0orandu0 thereon, or
on an# duplicate certificate? = = = or upon an# other reasona1le !round? and the court 0a# hear and
deter0ine the petition after notice to all parties in interest, and 0a# order the entr# or cancellation of
a new certificate, the entr# or cancellation of a 0e0orandu0 upon a certificate, or !rant an# other
relief upon such ter0s and conditions, re<uirin! securit# or 1ond if necessar#, as it 0a# consider
In Southwestern >niversit# v. 4aurente,
the Court held that the cancellation of the annotation of an
encu01rance cannot 1e ordered without !ivin! notice to the parties annotated in the certificate of
title itself. It would, thus, 1e an error for a ;ud!e to contend that no notice is re<uired to 1e !iven to all
the persons whose liens were annotated at the 1ac: of a certificate of title.
Eere, undisputed is the fact that Spouses Crisolo!o@s liens were indeed annotated at the 1ac: of
TCT Nos. -%$2 and -%$2$. Thus, as persons with their liens annotated, the# stand to 1e
1enefited or in;ured 1# an# order relative to the cancellation of annotations in the pertinent TCTs. In
other words, the# are as indispensa1le as 6E7" itself in the final disposition of the case for
cancellation, 1ein! one of the 0an# lien holders.
(s indispensa1le parties, Spouses Crisolo!o should have 1een ;oined as defendants in the case
pursuant to Section 2, Rule - of the Rules of Court, to witD
SEC. 2. Co0pulsor# ;oinder of indispensa1le parties. I Parties in interest without who0 no final
deter0ination can 1e had of an action shall 1e ;oined either as plaintiffs or defendants.
The reason 1ehind this co0pulsor# ;oinder of indispensa1le parties is the co0plete deter0ination of
all possi1le issues, not onl# 1etween the parties the0selves 1ut also as re!ards other persons who
0a# 1e affected 1# the ;ud!0ent.
In this case, RTC+3r. '4, despite repeated pleas 1# Spouses Crisolo!o to 1e reco!niBed as
indispensa1le parties, failed to i0ple0ent the 0andator# i0port of the aforecited rule.
In fact, in Sps. Crisolo!o v. 6ud!e ,eor!e E. O0elio,
a related ad0inistrative case, the Court found
the trial ;ud!e !uilt# of !ross i!norance of the law when it disre!arded the clai0s of Spouses
Crisolo!o to participate. In part, the Court statedD
This is not the first ti0e 6ud!e O0elio has rendered a decision affectin! third parties@ interests,
without even notif#in! the indispensa1le parties. In the first disputed case, 6E7" (!ro+Industrial
Corporation v. Re!ister of Deeds, Sheriff "edialdea, 6ohn 8 6ane Does and all persons actin! under
their directions, 6ud!e O0elio failed to cause the service of proper su00ons upon the 6ohn and
6ane Does i0pleaded in the co0plaint. Even when Sps. Crisolo!o voluntaril# appeared in court to
1e reco!niBed as the 6ohn and 6ane Does, 6ud!e O0elio refused to ac:nowled!e their appearance
and ordered the stri:in! out of Sps. Crisolo!osJ pleadin!s. For this reason, the Investi!atin! 6ustice
reco00ended ad0onishin! 6ud!e O0elio for failin! to reco!niBe the Sps.Crisolo!o as
indispensa1le parties in that case.
= = = = = = = = =
Clearl#, the cancellation of the annotation of the sale without notif#in! the 1u#ers, Sps. Crisolo!o, is
a violation of the latter@s ri!ht to due process. Since this is the second ti0e that 6ud!e O0elio has
issued an order which fails to notif# or su00on the indispensa1le parties, we find 6ud!e O0elio
!uilt# of !ross i!norance of the law, with a warnin! that repetition of the sa0e or si0ilar act will 0erit
a stiffer penalt# in the future.
= = =
7EEREFORE, K 7e find 6ud!e ,eor!e E. O0elio ,>I4TL of four counts of the serious char!e of
!ross i!norance of the law for the followin! actsD )a* refusin! to reco!niBe Spouses 6esus ,.
Crisolo!o and Nannette 3. Crisolo!o as indispensa1le parties? K in violation of the latterJs ri!ht to
due process. (ccordin!l#, we i0pose upon 6ud!e ,eor!e E. O0elio the penalt# of fine of Fort#
Thousand Pesos )P4&,&&&.&&*, with a warnin! that repetition of the sa0e or si0ilar acts will 1e dealt
with 0ore severel#.
The trial court should have e=ercised prudence in den#in! Spouses Crisolo!o@s pleas to 1e
reco!niBed as indispensa1le parties. In the words of the Court, 56ud!e O0elio should 1e penaliBed
for failin! to reco!niBe Sps. Crisolo!o as indispensa1le parties and for re<uirin! the0 to file a 0otion
to intervene, considerin! that a si0ple perusal of the certificates of title would show Sps. Crisolo!o@s
adverse ri!hts 1ecause their liens are annotated at the 1ac: of the titles.5
This 0anifest disre!ard of the 1asic rules and procedures constitutes a !rave a1use of discretion.
In State Prosecutors II Co0ilan! and 4a!0an v. 6ud!e "edel 3elen,
the Court held as ine=cusa1le
a1use of authorit# the trial ;ud!e@s 5o1stinate disre!ard of 1asic and esta1lished rule of law or
procedure.5 Such level of i!norance is not a 0ere error of ;ud!0ent. It a0ounts to 5evasion of a
positive dut# or to a virtual refusal to perfor0 a dut# en;oined 1# law, or to act at all in conte0plation
of law,5
or in essence, !rave a1use of discretion a0ountin! to lac: of ;urisdiction.
Needless to sa#, ;ud!es are e=pected to e=hi1it 0ore than ;ust a cursor# ac<uaintance with statutes
and procedural laws. The# 0ust :now the laws and appl# the0 properl# in !ood faith as ;udicial
co0petence re<uires no less.
Despite the clear e=istence of !rave a1use of discretion on the part of RTC+3r. '4, 6E7" asserts
technical !rounds on wh# the C( did not err in dis0issin! the petition via Rule $. It states thatD
a* The Crisolo!os could have used other availa1le re0edies such as intervention under Rule
'/, an appeal of the ;ud!0ent, or even an annul0ent of ;ud!0ent, which are, 1# all 0eans,
plain, speed# and ade<uate re0edies in the ordinar# course of law?
1* The Crisolo!os lac: le!al standin! to file the Rule $ petition since the# were not
i0pleaded in the 3ranch '4 case.
The rule is that a petition for certiorari under Rule $ is proper onl# if there is no appeal, or an# plain
speed#, and ade<uate re0ed# in the ordinar# course of law.
In this case, no ade<uate recourse, at that ti0e, was availa1le to Spouses Crisolo!o, e=cept
resortin! to Rule $.
(lthou!h Intervention under Rule '/ could have 1een availed of, failin! to use this re0ed# should
not pre;udice Spouses Crisolo!o. It is the dut# of RTC+3r. '4, followin! the rule on ;oinder of
indispensa1le parties, to si0pl# reco!niBe the0, with or without an# 0otion to intervene. Throu!h a
cursor# readin! of the titles, the Court would have noticed the adverse ri!hts of Spouses Crisolo!o
over the cancellation of an# annotations in the su1;ect TCTs.
Neither will appeal prove ade<uate as a re0ed# since onl# the ori!inal parties to an action can
Eere, Spouses Crisolo!o were never i0pleaded. Eence, the# could not have utiliBed
appeal as the# never possessed the re<uired le!al standin! in the first place.
(nd even if the Court assu0es the e=istence of the le!al standin! to appeal, it 0ust 1e re0e01ered
that the <uestioned orders were interlocutor# in character and, as such, Spouses Crisolo!o would
have to wait, for the review 1# appeal, until the rendition of the ;ud!0ent on the 0erits, which at that
ti0e 0a# not 1e co0in! as speed# as practica1le. 7hile waitin!, Spouses Crisolo!o would have to
endure the denial of their ri!ht, as indispensa1le parties, to participate in a proceedin! in which their
indispensa1ilit# was o1vious. Indeed, appeal cannot constitute an ade<uate, speed# and plain
The sa0e is also true if recourse to (nnul0ent of 6ud!0ent under Rule 42 is 0ade since this
re0ed# presupposes a final ;ud!0ent alread# rendered 1# a trial court.
(t an# rate, the re0ed# a!ainst an interlocutor# order, not su1;ect of an appeal, is an appropriate
special civil action under Rule $, provided that the interlocutor# order is rendered without or in
e=cess of ;urisdiction or with !rave a1use of discretion. Onl# then is certiorari under Rule $ allowed
to 1e resorted to.
This ta:es particular relevance in this case where, as previousl# discussed, RTC+3r. '4 acted with
!rave a1use of discretion in not reco!niBin! Spouses Crisolo!o as indispensa1le parties to the
pertinent action.
3ased on the a1ove, recourse to the C( via Rule $ would have alread# 1een proper, e=cept for one
last issue, that is, Spouses Crisolo!o@s le!al standin! to file the sa0e. 6E7" cites D3P v.
where the Court heldD
The petition for certiorari under Rule $, however, is not availa1le to an# person who feels in;ured 1#
the decision of a tri1unal, 1oard or officer e=ercisin! ;udicial or <uasi ;udicial functions. The Mperson
a!!rieved@ under Section ' of Rule $ who can avail of the special civil action of certiorari pertains
onl# to one who was a part# in the proceedin!s 1efore the court a <uo, or in this case 1efore the
CO(. To hold otherwise would open the courts to nu0erous and endless liti!ations.
>nder nor0al circu0stances, 6E7" would 1e correct in their aver0ent that the lac: of le!al
standin! on the part of Spouses Crisolo!o in the case 1efore RTC+3r. '4 prevents the latter@s
recourse via Rule $.
This case, however, is an e=ception. In 0an# instances, the Court has ruled that technical rules of
procedures should 1e used to pro0ote, not frustrate the cause of ;ustice. Rules of procedure are
tools desi!ned not to thwart 1ut to facilitate the attain0ent of ;ustice? thus, their strict and ri!id
application 0a#, for !ood and deservin! reasons, have to !ive wa# to, and 1e su1ordinated 1#, the
need to aptl# dispense su1stantial ;ustice in the nor0al cause.
3e it noted that the effect of their non+participation as indispensa1le parties is to preclude the
;ud!0ent, orders and the proceedin!s fro0 attainin! finalit#. Ti0e and a!ain, the Court has ruled
that the a1sence of an indispensa1le part# renders all su1se<uent actions of the court null and void
for want of authorit# to act, not onl# as to the a1sent parties 1ut even to those present.
Conse<uentl#, the proceedin!s 1efore RTC+3r. '4 were null and void includin! the assailed orders,
which 0a# 1e 5i!nored wherever and whenever it e=hi1its its head.5
To turn a 1lind e#e to the said nullit# and, in turn, rule as i0proper the recourse to Rule $ 1# the
lac: of le!al standin! is to prolon! the denial of due process to the persons whose interests are
indispensi1le to the final disposition of the case. It will onl# result in a protracted liti!ation as
Spouses Crisolo!o will 1e forced to rel# on a petition for the annul0ent of ;ud!0ent 1efore the C(
)as the last re0ainin! re0ed#*, which 0a# a!ain reach this Court.1wphi1 To prevent 0ultiplicit# of suits
and to e=pedite the swift ad0inistration of ;ustice, the C( should have applied li1eralit# 1# stri:in!
down the assailed orders despite the lac: of le!al standin! on the part of Spouses Crisolo!o to file
the Rule $ petition 1efore it. 3esides, this lac:in! re<uire0ent, of which Spouses Crisolo!o were
not even at fault, is precisel# the reason wh# this controvers# arose.
(ll told, the C( erred in dis0issin! the a0ended petition filed 1efore it and in not findin! !rave a1use
of discretion on the part of RTC+3r. '4.
7EEREFORE, the petition is ,R(NTED. The "a# $, %&'' Decision of the Court of (ppeals is
N>44IFIED and SET (SIDE. The Septe01er %2, %&'&, Octo1er 2, %&'& and Nove01er /, %&'&
Orders of the Re!ional Trial Court, 3ranch '4, Davao Cit#, are li:ewise N>44IFIED and SET (SIDE.
Civil Case No. --,'+%&'& is here1# RE"(NDED to the trial court for further proceedin!s. The
respondent is ordered to i0plead all parties whose annotations appear at the 1ac: of Transfer
Certificate of Title Nos. -%$2 and -%$2$.
(ssociate 6ustice
(ssociate 6ustice
(ssociate 6ustice
(ssociate 6ustice
(ssociate 6ustice
( T T E S T ( T I O N
I attest that the conclusions in the a1ove Decision had 1een reached in consultation 1efore the case
was assi!ned to the writer of the opinion of the CourtJs Division.
(ssociate 6ustice
Chairperson, Third Division