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G.R. NO. 165922
FEBRUARY 26, 2010

Petitioner is a credit cooperative organized under Republic Act No. 6938 or the Cooperative Code of the
Philippines. Article 62(6) of RA 6938 exempts cooperatives from the payment of all court and sheriff's fees payable
to the Philippine Government for and in connection with all actions brought under this Code, or where such action
is brought by the Cooperative Development Authority before the court, to enforce the payment of obligations
contracted in favor of the cooperative.
In 2004, petitioner, as mortgagee, filed with the Clerk of Court of the RTC Baguio a petition to extrajudicially
foreclose a mortgage under Act 3135, as amended. Under Section 7(c) of Rule 141, as amended, petitions for
extrajudicial foreclosure are subject to legal fees based on the value of the mortgagees claim. Invoking Article 62
(6) of RA 6938, petitioner sought exemption from payment of the fees.
Whether petitioners application for extrajudicial foreclosure is exempt from legal fees under Article 62(6) of RA
No. The payment of legal fees is a vital component of the rules promulgated by this Court concerning pleading,
practice and procedure, it cannot be validly annulled, changed or modified by Congress. As one of the safeguards of
this Courts institutional independence, the power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice and procedure is now
the Courts exclusive domain.
The Supreme Court En Banc has recently ruled in Re: Petition for Recognition of the Exemption of the
Government Service Insurance System from Payment of Legal Fees on the issue of legislative exemptions from
court fees. The rule making power of this Court was expanded. The power to promulgate rules of pleading, practice
and procedure is no longer shared by this Court with Congress, more so with the Executive.
Petitioner is not the Cooperative Development Authority which can claim exemption only in actions to enforce
payments of obligations on behalf of cooperatives. The scope of the legal fees exemption Article 62(6) of RA 6938
grants to cooperatives is limited to two types of actions, namely: (1) actions brought under RA 6938; and (2)
actions brought by the Cooperative Development Authority to enforce the payment of obligations contracted in
favor of cooperatives.


G.R. NO. 175303
APRIL 11, 2012

Evelyn purchased a townhouse unit located at Paraaque. Eiji filed a complaint for the declaration of nullity of his
marriage with Evelyn on the ground of bigamy. The complaint was raffled to Makati RTC Branch 149.
During the pendency of the case, Eiji filed a Motion for the Issuance of a Restraining Order against Evelyn and an
Application for a Writ of a Preliminary Injunction. He asked that Evelyn be enjoined from disposing or
encumbering all of the properties registered in her name. Evelyn and her lawyer voluntarily undertook not to
dispose of the properties registered in her name during the pendency of the case, thus rendering Eijis application
and motion moot. On the basis of said commitment, the Makati RTC rendered the Order dated October 2, 1996.
Sometime in March 1997, Evelyn obtained a loan of P500,000.00 from Pacific Ace. To secure the loan, Evelyn
executed a real estate mortgage in favour of Pacific Ace over the Paraaque townhouse unit.
At the time of the mortgage, Eijis appeal in the nullity of marriage case was pending before the CA. The Makati
RTC had dissolved Eiji and Evelyns marriage, and had ordered the liquidation of their registered properties,
including the Paraaque townhouse unit, with its proceeds to be divided between the parties.
Deeming the mortgage as a violation of the Makati RTCs October 2, 1996 Order, Eiji filed a complaint for the
annulment of REM against Evelyn and Pacific Ace. The complaint was raffled to Paraaque RTC Branch 258.
The Paraaque RTC determined that the only issue before it is "whether Eiji has a cause of action against the
defendants and is entitled to the reliefs prayed for despite the fact that he is not the registered owner of the property
being a Japanese national." The Paraaque RTC explained that Eiji, as a foreign national, cannot possibly own the
mortgaged property.
Eiji appealed the trial courts decision. He emphasized that Evelyn had made a commitment to him and to the
Makati RTC that she would not dispose of, alienate, or encumber the properties registered in her name while the
case was pending. The CA annulled the REM executed by Evelyn in favor of Pacific Ace.
Whether the Paraaque RTC can rule on the issue of ownership, even as the same issue was already ruled upon by
the Makati RTC and is pending appeal in the CA.
No. The issue of ownership and liquidation of properties acquired during the cohabitation of Eiji and Evelyn has
been submitted for the resolution of the Makati RTC, and is pending appeal before the CA. The doctrine of judicial
stability or non-interference dictates that the assumption by the Makati RTC over the issue operates as an
"insurmountable barrier" to the subsequent assumption by the Paraaque RTC. By insisting on ruling on the same
issue, the Paraaque RTC effectively interfered with the Makati RTCs resolution of the issue and created the
possibility of conflicting decisions.

In addition, it is a familiar principle that when a court of competent jurisdiction acquires jurisdiction over the
subject matter of a case, its authority continues, subject only to the appellate authority, until the matter is finally and
completely disposed of, and that no court of co-ordinate authority is at liberty to interfere with its action. This
doctrine is applicable to civil cases, to criminal prosecutions, and to courts-martial. The principle is essential to the
proper and orderly administration of the laws; and while its observance might be required on the grounds of judicial
comity and courtesy, it does not rest upon such considerations exclusively, but is enforced to prevent unseemly,
expensive, and dangerous conflicts of jurisdiction and of the process.


G.R. NO. 188056
JANUARY 8, 2013

Petitioners were among the investors whom Celso G. Delos Angeles, Jr. and his associates in the Legacy Group
allegedly defrauded through the Legacy Group's "buy back agreement" that earned them check payments that were
dishonored. After their written demands for the return of their investments went unheeded, they initiated a number
of charges for syndicated estafa against Delos Angeles, Jr., et al. in the Office of the City Prosecutor of Davao City.
On March 18, 2009, the Secretary of Justice issued DOJ Order No. 182, directing all Regional State Prosecutors,
Provincial Prosecutors, and City Prosecutors to forward all cases already filed against Delos Angeles, Jr., et al. to
the Secretariat of the DOJ Special Panel in Manila for appropriate action.
Aggrieved by such turn of events, petitioners have directly come to the Court via petition for certiorari, prohibition
and mandamus, ascribing to respondent Secretary of Justice grave abuse of discretion in issuing DO No. 182. They
claim that DO No. 182 violated their right to due process, their right to the equal protection of the laws, and their
right to the speedy disposition of cases. They insist that DO No. 182 was an obstruction of justice and a violation of
the rule against enactment of laws with retroactive effect.
Did petitioners properly bring their petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus directly to the Court?
No. Petitioners have unduly disregarded the hierarchy of courts by coming directly to the Court with their petition
for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus without tendering therein any special, important or compelling reason to
justify the direct filing of the petition.
We emphasize that the concurrence of jurisdiction among the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals and the Regional
Trial Courts to issue the writs of certiorari, prohibition, mandamus, quo warranto, habeas corpus and injunction did
not give petitioners the unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. An undue disregard of this policy against
direct resort to the Court will cause the dismissal of the recourse.

The Court must enjoin the observance of the policy on the hierarchy of courts, and now affirms that the policy is
not to be ignored without serious consequences. The strictness of the policy is designed to shield the Court from
having to deal with causes that are also well within the competence of the lower courts, and thus leave time to the
Court to deal with the more fundamental and more essential tasks that the Constitution has assigned to it. The Court
may act on petitions for the extraordinary writs of certiorari, prohibition and mandamus only when absolutely
necessary or when serious and important reasons exist to justify an exception to the policy.


G.R. NO. 187456
JUNE 2, 2014

On October 19, 2006, petitioner Alabang Corporation (ADC) filed a complaint for injunction and damages against
respondent (AHVAI). The complaint alleged that ADC is the developer of Alabang Hills Village and owns parcels
of land that are yet to be sold. ADC learned that AHVAI started the construction of a multi-purpose hall and a
swimming pool without ADCs approval. Despite demand, AHVAI failed to desist from constructing the
In its answer with compulsory counterclaim, AHVAI claimed that ADC has no legal capacity to sue since its
existence as a registered corporate entity was revoked by the SEC on May 26, 2003. The RTC dismissed ADCs
complaint on the ground that the latter has no personality to file the same among others.
Whether or not ADC has the legal capacity to sue.
No, petitioner lacks capacity to sue. It no longer possesses juridical personality by reason of its dissolution and
lapse of the three-year grace period provided under Section 122 of the Corporation Code.
SEC. 122. Corporate liquidation. Every corporation whose charter expires by its own limitation
or is annulled by forfeiture or otherwise, or whose corporate existence for other purposes is
terminated in any other manner, shall nevertheless be continued as a body corporate for three (3)
years after the time when it would have been so dissolved, for the purpose of prosecuting and
defending suits by or against it and enabling it to settle and close its affairs, to dispose of and
convey its property and to distribute its assets, but not for the purpose of continuing the business





At any time during said three (3) years, said corporation is authorized and empowered to convey all
of its property to trustees for the benefit of stockholders, members, creditors, and other persons in

interest. From and after any such conveyance by the corporation of its property in trust for the
benefit of its stockholders, members, creditors and others in interest, all interest which the
corporation had in the property terminates, the legal interest vests in the trustees, and the beneficial











There is no dispute that petitioner's corporate registration was revoked on May 26, 2003. Based on the abovequoted provision of law, it had three years, or until May 26, 2006, to prosecute or defend any suit by or against it.
The subject complaint, however, was filed only on October 19, 2006, more than three years after such revocation.
In the present case, petitioner filed its complaint not only after its corporate existence was terminated but also
beyond the three-year period allowed by Section 122 of the Corporation Code. Thus, it is clear that at the time of
the filing of the subject complaint petitioner lacks the capacity to sue as a corporation. To allow petitioner to initiate
the subject complaint and pursue it until final judgment, on the ground that such complaint was filed for the sole
purpose of liquidating its assets, would be to circumvent the provisions of Section 122 of the Corporation Code.


G.R. NO. 203775
AUGUST 5, 2014

On 28 August 2012, the Supreme Court affirmed COMELEC Resolution cancelling the certificate of registration of
ABC Party-List which won in the party-list elections in the 2010 national elections. The disqualification of the
ABC Party-List resulted in the re-computation of the party-list allocations in the House of Representatives, in
which the COMELEC followed the formula outlined in the case of BANAT v. COMELEC.
The COMELEC then issued Minute Resolution No. 12-0859, in which it resolved:
5. TO PROCLAIM Alay Buhay Party-List as a winning party-list group in the May 10, 2010 Automated
National and Local Elections; and
6. TO DECLARE the First (1st) NOMINEE of Alay Buhay Party-List, as the FIRST (1st) SITTING
REPRESENTATIVE in the Party-List System of Representation in the House of Representatives in
accordance with the Order of Nominees.
Petitioners Association of Flood Victims, a non-profit and non-partisan organization in the process of formal
incorporation, and Hernandez filed with this Court a special civil action for certiorari and/or mandamus under Rule
65 of the Rules of Court. Petitioners assert that the COMELEC committed grave abuse of discretion when it issued
Minute Resolution No. 12-0859. Furthermore, petitioners pray for the issuance of a writ of mandamus to compel
publication of the COMELEC Minute Resolution No. 12-0859.

Whether or not petitioners have the legal capacity to sue.
No. Petitioners do not have legal capacity to sue. Under Sections 1 and 2 of Rule 3, only natural or juridical
persons, or entities authorized by law may be parties in a civil action, which must be prosecuted or defended in the
name of the real party in interest.
Petitioner Association of Flood Victims is an unincorporated association not endowed with a distinct personality of
its own. An unincorporated association, in the absence of an enabling law, has no juridical personality and thus,
cannot sue in the name of the association. Such unincorporated association is not a legal entity distinct from its
members. If an association, like petitioner Association of Flood Victims, has no juridical personality, then all
members of the association must be made parties in the civil action. In this case, other than his bare allegation that
he is the lead convenor of the Association of Flood Victims, petitioner Hernandez showed no proof that he was
authorized by said association.


G.R. NO. 183795
NOVEMBER 12, 2014

This is a case of unlawful detainer filed by petitioner Prudential Bank in its capacity as administrator of the Estate
of Juliana Diez Vda. De Gabriel (Estate). It is based on the ground of respondents failure to pay rentals and refusal
to vacate the subject property, which is allegedly part of the Estate.
In the Original Complaint filed before the MeTC, petitioner impleaded Amador A. Magdamit Jr. as respondent.
Instead of filing an Answer, Magdamit, Jr. filed a Notice of Special Appearance with Motion to Dismiss. Among
others, Magdamit, Jr. argued that (1) petitioner was not duly authorized through a Board Resolution to institute the
complaint, (2) he was not the occupant of the subject property but instead, his parents, as grantees or awardees of
Juliana Diez Vda. De Gabriel, and (3) the MeTC did not acquire jurisdiction over his person because the summons
was served at his former address in Paco, Manila.
The MeTC ruled in favor of petitioner. On appeal, the RTC set aside the decision of the MeTC and dismissed the
case for lack of jurisdiction over the person of the respondents. Aggrieved, petitioner filed an appeal via a petition
for review under Rule 42 of the Rules of Court before the CA but the CA denied the petition.
Whether or not the MeTC acquired jurisdiction over the person of the respondents.

No. Contrary to petitioners contention, respondents are not deemed to have voluntarily submitted to the courts
jurisdiction by virtue of filing an Answer or other appropriate responsive pleadings and by participating in the case.
The mandate under the Rules on Summary Proceedings that govern ejectment cases, is expeditious administration
of justice such that the filing of an Answer is mandatory. To give effect to the mandatory character and speedy
disposition of cases, the defendant is required to file an answer within 10 days from service of summons, otherwise,
the court, motu proprio, or upon motion of the plaintiff, shall render judgment as may be warranted by the facts
alleged in the complaint, limited to the relief prayed for by the petitioner.
The respondents act of filing their respective Answers with express reservation should not be construed as a waiver
of the lack of jurisdiction of the MeTC over their person because of non-service/defective/improper service of
summons and for lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Hence, sans voluntary submission to the courts
jurisdiction, filing an answer in compliance with the rules on summary procedure in lieu of obtaining an adverse
summary judgment does not amount to voluntary submission.


G.R. NO. 184333
APRIL 1, 2013

Petitioner Chu purchased on installment a Hitachi Excavator worth P900,000.00 from the respondent. He initially
paid P180,000.00 with the balance of P720,000.00 to be paid in installments through postdated checks. On March
29, 1999, petitioner again purchased 2 heavy equipments from the respondent on installment basis in the sum
of P1,000,000.00. Petitioner made a down payment with the balance payable in installments through postdated
checks. However, upon presentment of the checks for encashment, they were dishonored by the bank either by
reason of "closed account," "drawn against insufficient funds," or "payment stopped."
Respondent filed a complaint before the RTC Cebu for sum of money, replevin, attorneys fees and damages against
the petitioner. The RTC issued an Order allowing the issuance of a writ of replevin on the subject heavy
The sheriff proceeded at petitioners given address for the purpose of serving the summons, together with the
complaint, writ of replevin and bond. However, the latter was not there. The Sheriff then resorted to substituted
service by having the summons and the complaint received by a certain Rolando Bonayon, a security guard of the
Petitioner failed to file any responsive pleading, which prompted respondent to move for the declaration of
defendant in default. On January 12, 2000, the RTC issued an Order declaring defendant in default and, thereafter,
allowed respondent to present its evidence ex parte. The RTC rendered a Decision against the petitioner.

Whether the court of appeals committed a serious error in finding that the trial court acquired jurisdiction over the
person of the defendant.
Yes. Courts acquire jurisdiction over the plaintiffs upon the filing of the complaint. On the other hand, jurisdiction
over the defendants in a civil case is acquired either through the service of summons upon them or through their
voluntary appearance in court and their submission to its authority. It is to be noted that in case of substituted
service, there should be a report indicating that the person who received the summons in the defendant's behalf was
one with whom the defendant had a relation of confidence, ensuring that the latter would actually receive the
In the case at bar, the Sheriffs Return provides:
Respectfully returned to the Honorable Regional Trial Court, Branch 17, Cebu City, the Summons and writ issued
in the above-entitled case with the following information, to wit:
1. That the Summons, together with the complaint, writ of replevin and bond was received on December 7,
1999, by Rolando Bonayon, a security guard on defendant Sixto Chu at his given address who received and
signed receipt thereof.
Clearly, it was not shown that the security guard who received the summons in behalf of the petitioner was
authorized and possessed a relation of confidence that petitioner would definitely receive the summons. This is not
the kind of service contemplated by law. Thus, service on the security guard could not be considered as substantial
compliance with the requirements of substituted service.

G.R. NO. 178911
SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

In a letter, Flordelis B. Menzon, Regional Director of Pag-IBIG, requested the intervention of Executive Judge
Monsanto of the RTC on the alleged anomalous auction sale. Executive Judge Monsanto refrained from acting on
the letter considering that Eduardo, the mortgagor, is his relative. Instead he re-assigned Judge Usman of Branch
In an Order dated May 3, 2004 and captioned In the Matter of the Extra-judicial Foreclosure of Mortgage Filed by
the Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund), Judge Usman declared that on even date, RTC-Branch 28
conducted a hearing; that Atty. Cesar Lee argued on behalf of Pag-IBIG; and that Pascual Monsanto appeared on
behalf of Eduardo.

However, Judge Usman noted that no formal petition or complaint was actually filed which presents a judicial
issue; moreover, the acts complained of partake of administrative matter. Consequently, Judge Usman referred the
matter to the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) for further action.
Whether or not Branch 28 acquired jurisdiction over the subject matter.
No. There is no proper initiatory pleading filed. In this case, records show that no formal complaint or petition was
filed in court. The case was supposedly commenced through a letter of Pag-IBIG asking the intervention of
Executive Judge Monsanto on the alleged anomalous foreclosure sale conducted by De Guzman. However, said
letter could not in any way be considered as a pleading.
Section 1, Rule 6 of the Rules of Court defines pleadings as written statements of the respective claims and
defenses of the parties submitted to the court for appropriate judgment. To stress, Pag-IBIGs letter could not be
considered as a formal complaint or petition. First, the parties to the case were not identified pursuant to Section 1,
Rule 3 and Section 1, Rule 7. Second, the so-called claim or cause of action was not properly mentioned or
specified. Third, the letter miserably failed to comply with the requirements of Rule 7, Rules of Court. The letter
bore no caption; it was not even assigned a docket number; the parties were not properly identified; the allegations
were not properly set forth; no particular relief is sought; in fact, only the intervention of Executive Judge
Monsanto is requested; it was not signed by a counsel; and most of all, there is no verification or certification
against forum-shopping.
We have also noted that no docket fees were paid before the trial court. Section 1, Rule 141 of the Rules of Court
mandates that upon the filing of the pleading or other application which initiates an action or proceeding, the fees
prescribed therefor shall be paid in full.


G.R. NO. 201816
APRIL 8, 2013

The late spouses Faustino and Genoveva Mesina, during their lifetime, bought from the spouses Fian two parcels of
land on installment.
Upon the death of the spouses Fian, their heirswhose names do not appear on the records, claiming ownership of
the parcels of land and taking possession of themrefused to acknowledge the payments for the lots and denied
that their late parents sold the property to the spouses Mesina. Meanwhile, the spouses Mesina passed away.
Notwithstanding repeated demands, the Heirs of Fian refused to vacate the lots and to turn possession over to the
heirs of the spouses Mesina.
The allegations of the Complaint on the parties read:

1. Plaintiffs are the HEIRS OF SPS. FAUSTINO S. MESINO and GENOVEVA S. MESINA, and represented
in this instance by NORMAN MESINA as shown by the Special Power of Attorneys x x x, of legal age,
married, Filipino, and a resident of Poblacion Albuera, Leyte, where he may be served with court orders,
notices, and other processes, while defendants are the HEIRS OF DOMINGO FIAN, SR., likewise of legal
ages, Filipinos, and residents of Poblacion Albuera, Leyte, and respresented in this instance of THERESA
FIAN YRAY, where she may be served with summons, court orders, notices, and other processes.
Thereafter, or on September 5, 2005, respondent Theresa filed a Motion to Dismiss the complaint, arguing that the
complaint states no cause of action and that the case should be dismissed for gross violation of Sections 1 and 2,
Rule 3 of the Rules of Court.
Whether the CA erred in affirming the order and resolution of the RTC in dismissing the case on the ground that the
complaint states no cause of action.
Yes. The non-joinder of indispensable parties is not a ground for the dismissal of an action. If the plaintiff refuses to
implead an indispensable party despite the order of the court, that court may dismiss the complaint for the
plaintiffs failure to comply with the order. The remedy is to implead the non-party claimed to be indispensable.
Non-joinder means the "failure to bring a person who is a necessary party or in this case an indispensable party into
a lawsuit." An indispensable party, on the other hand, is a party-in-interest without whom no final determination
can be had of the action, and who shall be joined either as plaintiff or defendant.
As such, this is properly a non-joinder of indispensable party, the indispensable parties who were not included in
the complaint being the other heirs of Fian, and not a failure of the complaint to state a cause of action.
Thus, the dismissal of the case for failure to state a cause of action is improper. What the trial court should have
done is to direct petitioner Norman Mesina to implead all the heirs of Domingo Fian, Sr. as defendants within a
reasonable time from notice with a warning that his failure to do so shall mean dismissal of the complaint.


G.R. NO. 193753
SEPTEMBER 26, 2012

Petitioner was the main contractor of the FOC Network Project of Globe Telecom in Mindanao. In connection with
the project, petitioner entered into a Sub-Contract Agreement with DMI, under which the latter was tasked to
undertake an underground open-trench work. Petitioner required DMI to give a bond, in the event that DMI fails to
perform its obligations under the Agreement. Thus, DMI secured surety and performance bonds, from respondent to

answer: (1) for the unliquidated portion of the downpayment, and (2) for the loss and damage that petitioner may
suffer, respectively, should DMI fail to perform its obligations under the Agreement. Under the bonds, respondent
bound itself jointly and severally liable with DMI.
During the course of excavation and restoration works, the DPWH issued a work-stoppage order against DMI after
finding the latters work unsatisfactory. However, respondent effectively denied petitioners claim on the ground
that the liability of its principal, DMI, should first be ascertained before its own liability as a surety attaches. Hence,
the instant complaint, premised on respondents liability under the surety and performance bonds secured by DMI.
The RTC dismissed the complaint without prejudice, for failure to implead DMI as a party defendant. It ruled that
before respondent could be held liable on the surety and performance bonds, it must first be established that DMI,
with whom petitioner had originally contracted, had indeed violated the Agreement. DMI, therefore, is an
indispensable party that must be impleaded in the instant suit.
Whether DMI is an indispensable party in this case.
No. The nature of the solidary obligation under the surety does not make one an indispensable party. An
indispensable party is a party-in-interest without whom no final determination can be had of an action, and who
shall be joined mandatorily either as plaintiffs or defendants. The presence of indispensable parties is necessary to
vest the court with jurisdiction, thus, without their presence to a suit or proceeding, the judgment of a court cannot
attain real finality. The absence of an indispensable party renders all subsequent actions of the court null and void
for want of authority to act, not only as to the absent parties but even as to those present.
In this case, DMI is not an indispensable party because petitioner can claim indemnity directly from respondent,
having made itself jointly and severally liable with DMI for the obligation under the bonds. Therefore, the failure to
implead DMI is not a ground to dismiss the case, even if the same was without prejudice.1wphi1Moreover, even
on the assumption that DMI was, indeed, an indispensable party, the RTC committed reversible error in dismissing
the complaint. Failure to implead an indispensable party is not a ground for the dismissal of an action, as the
remedy in such case is to implead the party claimed to be indispensable, considering that parties may be added by
order of the court, on motion of the party or on its own initiative at any stage of the action.


G.R. NO. 173946
JUNE 19, 2013

Petitioner filed a complaint for sum of money with a prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment
against the spouses Manuel and Lolita Toledo. Herein respondent filed an Answer dated 19 March 1998 but on 7
May 1998, she filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Amended Answer in which she alleged, among others, that her

husband and co-defendant, Manuel Toledo (Manuel), is already dead. As a result, petitioner filed a motion, dated 5
August 1999, to require respondent to disclose the heirs of Manuel. Petitioner then filed a Motion for Substitution
praying that Manuel be substituted by his children as party-defendants. It appears that this motion was granted by
the trial court in an Order dated 9 October 2000.
On 26 May 2004, the reception of evidence for herein respondent was cancelled upon agreement of the parties. On
24 September 2004, counsel for herein respondent was given a period of fifteen days within which to file a
demurrer to evidence.
However, on 7 October 2004, respondent instead filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, citing the following as
grounds: (1) that the complaint failed to implead an indispensable party or a real party in interest; hence, the case
must be dismissed for failure to state a cause of action; (2) that the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction over the
person of Manuel pursuant to Section 5, Rule 86 of the Revised Rules of Court; (3) that the trial court erred in
ordering the substitution of the deceased Manuel by his heirs; and (4) that the court must also dismiss the case
against Lolita Toledo in accordance with Section 6, Rule 86 of the Rules of Court.
The trial court, in an Order dated 8 November 2004, denied the motion to dismiss for having been filed out of time.
Aggrieved, respondent filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals granted the
Whether or not the Court acquired jurisdiction over Manuel Toledo.
No. Jurisdiction over the person of a defendant is acquired through a valid service of summons; trial court did not
acquire jurisdiction over the person of Manuel Toledo. In the case at bar, the trial court did not acquire jurisdiction
over the person of Manuel since there was no valid service of summons upon him, precisely because he was already
dead even before the complaint against him and his wife was filed in the trial court.
Whether or not the Estate of Manuel Toledo is an indispensable party.
No. An indispensable party is one who has such an interest in the controversy or subject matter of a case that a final
adjudication cannot be made in his or her absence, without injuring or affecting that interest. He or she is a party
who has not only an interest in the subject matter of the controversy, but "an interest of such nature that a final
decree cannot be made without affecting that interest or leaving the controversy in such a condition that its final
determination may be wholly inconsistent with equity and good conscience. It has also been considered that an
indispensable party is a person in whose absence there cannot be a determination between the parties already before
the court which is effective, complete or equitable." Further, an indispensable party is one who must be included in
an action before it may properly proceed.
Applying the foregoing pronouncements to the case at bar, it is clear that the estate of Manuel is not an
indispensable party to the collection case, for the simple reason that the obligation of Manuel and his wife,
respondent herein, is solidary. The collection case can proceed and the demands of petitioner can be satisfied by

respondent only, even without impleading the estate of Manuel. Consequently, the estate of Manuel is not an
indispensable party to petitioners complaint for sum of money.
Whether or not the trial court erred when it ordered the substitution of Manuel Toledo by his heirs.
Yes. Section 16, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, states:
Death of party;duty of counsel. Whenever a party to a pending action dies, and the claim is not thereby
extinguished, it shall be the duty of his counsel to inform the court within thirty (30) days after such death of the
fact thereof, and to give the name and address of his legal representative or representatives. x x x
The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to be substituted for the deceased, without requiring the appointment of
an executor or administrator x x x.
The court shall forthwith order said legal representative or representatives to appear and be substituted within a
period of thirty (30) days from notice.
Here, since Manuel was already dead at the time of the filing of the complaint, the court never acquired jurisdiction
over his person and, in effect, there was no party to be substituted.


G.R. NO. 188832
APRIL 23, 2014

Roldan purchased a parcel of land located in Maguindanao from one Ceres Caete. At the time of the purchase,
Villagracia occupied the parcel of land. Failing to settle with Vivencio at the barangay level, Roldan filed an action
to recover the possession of the parcel of land with respondent Fifth Sharia District Court.
In his petition, Roldan alleged that he is a Filipino Muslim; that he is the registered owner of the lot covered by
Transfer Certificate of Title No. 15633; and that Vivencio occupied his property, depriving him of the right to use,
possess, and enjoy it. He prayed that respondent Fifth Sharia District Court order Vivencio to vacate his property.
Vivencio failed to file his answer. Thus, Roldan moved that he be allowed to present evidence ex parte, which
motion respondent Fifth Sharia District Court.
Respondent Fifth Sharia District Court ruled that Roldan, as registered owner, had the better right to possess the
parcel of land. It ordered Vivencio to vacate the property, turn it over to Roldan, and pay P10,000.00 as moderate
damages and P5,000.00 as attorneys fees. It issued the notice of writ of execution to Vivencio,


On January 13, 2009, Vivencio filed a petition for relief from judgment with prayer for issuance of writ of
preliminary injunction. In his petition for relief from judgment, Vivencio cited Article 155, paragraph (2) of the
Code of Muslim Personal Laws of the Philippines and argued that Sharia District Courts may only hear civil
actions and proceedings if both parties are Muslims. Considering that he is a Christian, Vivencio argued that
respondent Fifth Sharia District Court had no jurisdiction to take cognizance of Roldans action for recovery of
possession of a parcel of land.
Respondent Fifth Sharia District Court ruled that Vivencio "intentionally waived his right to defend himself.
Whether a Sharia District Court has jurisdiction over a real action where one of the parties is not a Muslim.
No. Shari' a District Courts have no jurisdiction over real actions where one of the parties is not a Muslim.
Jurisdiction over the subject matter is "the power to hear and determine cases of the general class to which the
proceedings in question belong." This power is conferred by law, which may either be the Constitution or a statute.
Since subject matter jurisdiction is a matter of law, parties cannot choose, consent to, or agree as to what court or
tribunal should decide their disputes. If a court hears, tries, and decides an action in which it has no jurisdiction, all
its proceedings, including the judgment rendered, are void.
The law conferring the jurisdiction of Sharia District Courts is the Code of the Muslim Personal Laws of the
Philippines. Under Article 143 of the Muslim Code, Sharia District Courts have concurrent original jurisdiction
with "existing civil courts" over real actions not arising from customary contracts wherein the parties involved are
When ownership is acquired over a particular property, the owner has the right to possess and enjoy it. If the owner
is dispossessed of his or her property, he or she has a right of action to recover its possession from the
dispossessor. When the property involved is real, such as land, the action to recover it is a real action; otherwise, the
action is a personal action. In such actions, the parties involved must be Muslims for Sharia District Courts to
validly take cognizance of them.
When it became apparent that Vivencio is not a Muslim, respondent Fifth Sharia District Court should have motu
proprio dismissed the case. Under Rule 9, Section 1 of the Rules of Court, if it appears that the court has no
jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action based on the pleadings or the evidence on record, the court shall
dismiss the claim.
The application of the provisions of the Civil Code of the Philippines by respondent Fifth Sharia District Court
does not validate the proceedings before the court. Under Article 175 of the Muslim Code, customary contracts are
construed in accordance with Muslim law. Hence, Sharia District Courts apply Muslim law when resolving real
actions arising from customary contracts.

G.R. NO. 156185

SEPTEMBER 12, 2011



The Chus executed a deed of sale with assumption of mortgage involving their five parcels of land situated
Pampanga, registered in favor of Cunanan. They also executed a so-called side agreement, whereby they clarified
that Cunanan had paid only P1,000,000.00 to the Chus despite the Chus, as vendors, having acknowledged
receiving P5,161,090.00; that the amount of P1,600,000.00 was to be paid directly to Benito Co and to Security
Bank and Trust Company (SBTC) in whose favor the five lots had been mortgaged; and that Cunanan would pay
the balance of P2,561.90.00 within three months, with a grace period of one month subject to 3%/month interest on
any remaining unpaid amount.
Thereafter, the Chus executed a special power of attorney authorizing Cunanan to borrow P5,161,090.00 from any
banking institution and to mortgage the five lots as security, and then to deliver the proceeds to the Chus net of the
balance of the mortgage obligation and the downpayment.
Cunanan was able to transfer the title of the five lots to her name without the knowledge of the Chus, and to borrow
money with the lots as security without paying the balance of the purchase price to the Chus. She later transferred
two of the lots to Spouses Carloses. As a result, on March 18, 1988, the Chus caused the annotation of an unpaid
vendors lien on three of the lots. Nonetheless, Cunanan still assigned the remaining three lots to Cool Town Realty
on May 25, 1989 despite the annotation.
In February 1988, the Chus commenced Civil Case No. G-1936 in the RTC to recover the unpaid balance from
Spouses Cunanans. Five years later, the Chus amended the complaint to seek the annulment of the deed of sale with
assumption of mortgage and of the TCTs issued pursuant to the deed, and to recover damages. They impleaded
Cool Town Realty and the Office of the Registry of Deeds of Pampanga as defendants in addition to the Cunanans.
Considering that the Carloses had meanwhile sold the two lots to Benelda Estate in 1995, the Chus further amended
the complaint in Civil Case No. G-1936 to implead Benelda Estate as additional defendant.
On December 2, 1999, the Chus, the Cunanans, and Cool Town Realty entered into a compromise
agreement,whereby the Cunanans transferred to the Chus their 50% share in "all the parcels of land situated in
Pampanga" registered in the name of Cool Town Realty "for and in consideration of the full settlement of their
case." The RTC approved the compromise agreement.
On April 30, 2001, the petitioners herein brought another suit, Civil Case No. 12251, against the Carloses and
Benelda Estate, seeking the cancellation of the TCTs of the two lots in the name of Benelda Estate, and the issuance
of new TCTs in their favor, plus damages.
The Cunanans moved to dismiss the amended complaint based on two grounds, namely: (a) bar by prior judgment,
and (b) the claim or demand had been paid, waived, and abandoned. Benelda Estate likewise moved to dismiss the
amended complaint, citing as grounds: (a) forum shopping; (b) bar by prior judgment, and (c) failure to state a
cause of action. On their part, the Carloses raised affirmative defenses in their answer, namely: (a) the failure to
state a cause of action; (b) res judicata or bar by prior judgment; and (c) bar by statute of limitations.


Was Civil Case No. 12251 barred by res judicata although the compromise agreement did not expressly include
Benelda Estate as a party and although the compromise agreement made no reference to the lots now registered in
Benelda Estates name?
Yes. A compromise agreement is a contract whereby the parties, by making reciprocal concessions, avoid a
litigation or put an end to one already commenced. It encompasses the objects specifically stated therein, although
it may include other objects by necessary implication, and is binding on the contracting parties, being expressly
acknowledged as a juridical agreement between them. It has the effect and authority of res judicata upon the parties.
In the construction or interpretation of a compromise agreement, the intention of the parties is to be ascertained
from the agreement itself, and effect should be given to that intention. Thus, the compromise agreement must be
read as a whole.
There is no question that the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage covered all the five lots. To limit
the compromise agreement only to the three lots mentioned therein would contravene the avowed objective of Civil
Case No. G-1936 to enforce or to rescind the entire deed of sale with assumption of mortgage.
The petitioners were not at liberty to split their demand to enforce or rescind the deed of sale with assumption of
mortgage and to prosecute piecemeal or present only a portion of the grounds upon which a special relief was
sought under the deed of sale with assumption of mortgage, and then to leave the rest to be presented in another
suit; otherwise, there would be no end to litigation. Their splitting violated the policy against multiplicity of suits,
whose primary objective was to avoid unduly burdening the dockets of the courts. Their contravention of the policy
merited the dismissal of Civil Case No. 12251 on the ground of bar by res judicata.


G.R. NO. 150107
JANUARY 28, 2008

Jorge Valdez, respondent, was a former unit manager of Tokio Marine pursuant to a Unit Management Contract
entered into between them on August 16, 1977. On October 15, 1998, respondent filed with the Regional Trial
Court, Branch 35, Manila a complaint for damages against petitioners, docketed as Civil Case No. 98-91356. He
alleged therein that petitioners violated the terms of the Unit Management Contract by refusing to pay him, among
others, his "commissions," and bonuses.
Eventually, respondent filed with the trial court an "Urgent Ex Parte Motion For Authority To Litigate As Indigent
Plaintiff. On October 28, 1998, the trial court issued an Order, the pertinent portions of which read:
The Court hereby allows the plaintiff to litigate as pauper there being sufficient showing that he is an
indigent. He does not own any real property in the City of Manila or elsewhere.

The Court therefore directs the Clerk of Court to accept the complaint for filing without payment of filing
EIGHTY-THREE CENTAVOS (P615,672.83) which amount, however, shall constitute a lien upon any
judgment to be rendered in favor of the plaintiff.
On December 11, 1998, petitioners filed their separate motions to dismiss the complaint. On January 20, 1999, the
trial court issued an Order denying petitioners' motions to dismiss. They then filed motions for reconsideration, but
they were likewise denied. Petitioners contend that the Court of Appeals erred: (1) in denying their motion to
dismiss respondent's complaint in Civil Case No. 98-91356 for nonpayment of docket fees.
Whether or not the CA erred in denying the motion to dismiss for non-payment of docket fees.
No. The correct docket fees must be paid before courts can act on a petition or complaint. The exception to the rule
on payment of docket fees is provided in Section 21, Rule 3 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure, as amended,
SEC. 21. Indigent party. - A party may be authorized to litigate his action, claim or defense as an indigent if
the court, upon an ex parte application and hearing, is satisfied that the party is one who has no money or
property sufficient and available for food, shelter and basic necessities for himself and his family. x x x
The guidelines for determining whether a party qualifies as an indigent litigant are provided for in Section 19, Rule
141, of the Revised Rules of Court, which reads:
SEC. 19. Indigent litigants exempt from payment of legal fees. - INDIGENT LITIGANT (A) WHOSE
To be entitled to the exemption herein provided, the litigant shall execute an affidavit that he and his
immediate family do not earn a gross income abovementioned nor they own any real property with the fair
value aforementioned, supported by an affidavit of a disinterested person attesting to the truth of the
litigant's affidavit. The current tax declaration, if any, shall be attached to the litigant's affidavit.
The term "immediate family" includes those members of the same household who are bound together by ties of
relationship but does not include those who are living apart from the particular household of which the individual is
a member.


In the instant cases, petitioners maintain that respondent's ex parte motion to litigate as an indigent is defective
since it was not accompanied or supported by the affidavits of his children, the immediate members of his family.
The argument lacks merit. Section 19 clearly states that it is the litigant alone who shall execute the
affidavit. The Rule does not require that all members of the litigant's immediate family must likewise execute
sworn statements in support of the petition. Expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

G.R. NO. 204444

JANUARY 14, 2015

Briones filed a complaint for nullity of mortgage contract, promissory note, loan agreement, foreclosure of
mortgage, cancellation of TCT No. 290846 and damages against Cash Asia before the RTC Manila. This is because
he discovered that he purportedly executed the aforementioned documents in favour of Cash Asia in order to obtain
a loan from the latter. Briones claims that he never contracted any loans. Since the loans were left unpaid, Cash
Asia foreclosed his property.
Cash Asia filed a motion to dismiss praying for the outright dismissal of Brioness complaint on the ground of
improper venue. It pointed out that the venue stipulation in the subject contracts stated that all legal actions in
connection with the Real Estate Mortgage should be filed in Makati. The RTC denied Cash Asias motion to
dismiss. Upon appeal, the CA dismissed Brioness complaint. The CA concluded that Brioness complaint should
have been dismissed outright on the ground of improper venue.
Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the complaint on the ground of improper venue.
Yes. The general rule is that venue of real actions is the court which has jurisdiction over the area wherein the real
property is involved, or a portion thereof, is situated; while the venue for personal actions is the court which has
jurisdiction where the plaintiff or the defendant resides, at the election of the plaintiff. As an exception, the parties,
thru a written instrument, may either introduce another venue where actions arising from such instrument may be
filed, or restrict the filing of said actions in a certain exclusive venue.
Here, the venue stipulation found in the subject contracts is indeed restrictive in nature, considering that it
effectively limits the venue of the actions arising therefrom to the courts of Makati. However, it must be
emphasized that Brioness complaint directly assails the validity of the subject contracts, claiming forgery in their
execution. Given this circumstance, Briones cannot be expected to comply with the aforesaid venue stipulation as
his compliance would mean an implicit recognition of their validity.



G.R. NO. 213525
JANUARY 27, 2015

The Provincial Government of Antique and petitioner executed a memorandum of agreement concerning the life
insurance coverage of certain government employees. However, upon submission of vouchers to the COA for preaudit, the latter disallowed payment for lack of legal basis under the Local Government Code.
Petitioner filed its money claim in the COA but it was denied in its decision dated December 14, 2012. Petitioner
filed a motion for reconsideration on January 14, 2013 but it suffered the same fate. The denial of the motion for
reconsideration was received on July 14, 2014. Hence, on August 13, 2014, petitioner filed a petition for certiorari
under Rule 64. In a resolution dated August 19, 2014, the petition was dismissed by reason of late filing, nonsubmission of proof of service and verified declaration and also for failure to show grave abuse of discretion on the
part of respondents.
In its motion for reconsideration, petitioner insists that it filed the petition for certiorari within the reglementary
period following the fresh period rule in Neypes v. CA and that the petition included an affidavit of service in
compliance with Section 3, Rule 13 of the Rules of Court.
Whether or not petitioner complied with the rule on proof of service.
No. The petitioner claims that the affidavit of service attached to the petition for certiorari complied with the
requirement on proof of service. This claim is unwarranted.
Section 13 of Rule 13 requires that if the service is done by registered mail, proof of service shall consist of the
affidavit of the person effecting the mailing and the registry receipt, both of which must be appended to the paper
being served. A compliance with the rule is mandatory, such that there is no proof of service if either or both are not
Here, the petition for certiorari only carried the affidavit of service and cut print-outs of what appeared to be the
registry receipts and not their reproduction. The rule requires to be appended the registry receipts and not their
reproductions. Hence, the print-outs did not substantially comply with the rule.
Whether or not the fresh period rule applies to petition for certiorari under Rule 64.


No. Petitioner posits that the fresh period rule applies to Rule 64 because it is akin to a petition for review under
Rule 42. However, there is no parity between the petition for review under Rule 42 and the petition for certiorari
under Rule 64.
As to nature, Rule 42 governs appeal from judgment or final order rendered by the RTC in the exercise of its
appellate jurisdiction. Such appeal is on a question of fact, law or mixed. Rue 64 is similar to Rule 65. Questions of
fact cannot be raised except to determine whether the COMELEC or the COA were guilty of grave abuse of
Both also differs with respect to reglementary periods. In Rule 42, the aggrieved party is allowed 15 days to file the
petition for review from receipt of the assailed decision or from receipt of the denial of a motion for new trial or
reconsideration. In Rule 64, the petition is filed within 30 days from notice of judgment or final order. The filing of
a motion for new trial or reconsideration, if allowed under the procedural rules of the Commission concerned,
interrupts the period. Hence, should the motion be denied, the aggrieved party may file the petition within the
remaining period which shall in not be less than 5 days in any event, reckoned from the notice of denial.
The motion for reconsideration was filed on January 14, 2013 which was 31 days after receiving the decision of the
COA on December 14, 2012. Thus, pursuant to the Rules, it had 5 days from receipt of denial of its motion to file
the petition. It received the notice of denial on July 14, 2014 and had only until July 19, 2014 to file the petition. It
was already 25 days to late when it filed the petition on August 13, 2014.

G.R. NO. 192150

OCTOBER 1, 2014

Petitioner and his daughter Erlinda had a verbal exchange with Godofredo when the latter confronted petitioner of
intrusion to his property. In the course of the exchange, Erlinda hit Godofredo on the head with a hard object.
Petitioner joined by throwing a stone at Godofredos face, breaking the latters eyeglasses. Jervie came and pacified
the three and was hit in the hand with a bolo. The neighbours intervened not long after.
Godofredo and Jervie filed a complaint against petitioner before the barangay. They executed a Kasunduang Pagaayos but the same was not implemented because the building inspector failed to make the promised
recommendation to resolve the boundary dispute between the parties. Thus, the Office of the Barangay Captain
issued a Certificate to File an Action.
Petitioner was accordingly charged with Physical Injuries before the MTC. Both petitioner and Erlinda was also
charged with light threats. The MTC convicted petitioner of 2 counts of slight physical injuries. It absolved Erlinda
for the crime of light threats. The RTC affirmed the RTCs decision. The CA affirmed the RTCs decision and also
dismissed petitioners plea of self defense.


Petitioner contends that the certificate to file an action is invalid and inadmissible because it was not formally
Whether or not the MTC has jurisdiction over the criminal case in view of the alleged inadmissibility of the
Certification to File Action.
Yes. The Certification to File an Action issued by the Office of the Barangay is valid. Although initially the parties
agreed to settle the case, the Kasunduan that embodied the agreement was never implemented. No actual settlement
materialized as the building inspector failed to make his promised recommendation to settle the dispute. Thus, the
Barangay Captain was compelled to issue a Certification to File Action, indicating that the disputing parties did not
reach any settlement. The settlement of the case in the performance was conditioned on the recommendation of the
building inspector. With no such recommendation, no resolution of the conflict took place.
Also, the conciliation procedure is not a jurisdictional requirement and non-compliance cannot affect the
jurisdiction which the lower courts had already acquired over the subject matter and private respondents as
defendants therein.
Whether or not the certification to file action is admissible in evidence.
Yes. Section 34 of Rule 132 provides that the court cannot consider any evidence that has not been formally
offered. This rule however, admits of an exception. First, the evidence must have been duly identified by testimony
duly recorded and second, the evidence must have been incorporated in the records of the case.
In the present case, the requisites for the relaxation of the formal offer rule are present. Although the certification
was not formally offered, it was marked and attached to the records of the case. Petitioner never objected to
Godofredos testimony, particularly with the identification and marking of the certification.

G.R. NO. 197380
OCTOBER 8, 2014

Santos filed a complaint for annulment of sale and revocation of title against Gran and the Register of Deeds
Marikina before the RTC. Santos filed an amended complaint thereafter. The following averments are made in the
Amended Complaint;

That pursuant to a voidable [sic] and void documents, the second husband of the plaintiff succeed in
transferring the above TITLES in the name of MARIA DIVINAGRACIA SANTOS, who is the alleged
daughter of LAMBERTO C. SANTOS in violation of Article 1409, Par. 2 of the Civil Code;
That the said properties [were] transferred to the said defendant by a Deed of Sale (DOS) to the said
MARIA DIVINAGRACIA SANTOS through a void document considering that the seller is the alleged
mother of defendant is also the buyer of the said properties in favor of defendant;
That the titles that [were] issued in the name of MARIA DIVINAGRACIA SANTOS by virtue of the said
alleged voidable and void documents, should be annulled and cancelled as the basis of the transfer is
through void and voidable documents;
Gran filed a motion to dismiss which was granted. The RTC dismissed the complaint for its failure to state cause of
action considering that the deed of sale sought to be nullified was not attached. The CA sustained the dismissal of
Santoss amended complaint but on the ground of insufficiency of factual basis.
Santos moved for reconsideration and attached for the first time, the copy of the questioned deed of sale which she
claimed to have recently recovered. Santos prayed that the order of dismissal be set aside and the case be remanded
to the RTC for further proceedings.
Whether or not the dismissal of the amended complaint should be sustained.
Yes. In the case at bar, both the RTC and the CA were in one in dismissing the amended complaint but varied on the
grounds thereof. It is apparent that the CA based its dismissal on an incorrect ground.
Insufficiency of factual basis is not a ground for motion to dismiss. Rather, it is a ground which becomes available
only after the questions of fact have been resolved on the basis of stipulations, admissions or evidence presented by
the plaintiff. The procedural recourse to raise such ground is a demurrer to evidence taken only after the plaintiffs
presentation of evidence.
A pleading should state the ultimate facts essential to the rights of action or defense asserted, as distinguished from
mere conclusions of fact, or conclusions of law. General allegations that a contract is valid or is just, fair and
reasonable are mere conclusions of law. Likewise, allegations that a contract is void, voidable or illegal without
stating facts showing its invalidity are mere conclusions of law.
Hence, by merely stating a legal conclusion, the amended complaint presented no sufficient allegation upon which
the Court could grant the relief prayed for. Thus the pleading should be dismissed on the ground of failure to state
cause of action.


G.R. NO. 175507 October 8, 2014

Ramon Ching, Joseph Cheng and Jaime Cheng all alleged that they are the illegitimate children of Antonio Ching.
Ramon avers that he was the only child of Antonio with Lucina while the Chengs were fathered by Antonio with
housemaid, Mercedes.
Antonio owned several businesses including Po Wing properties. Antonio was murdered in 1996. Ramon allegedly
induced Mercedes and the Chengs to sign an agreement and waiver to Antonios estate. A year after Antonios
death, the police found Ramon to be its prime suspect.
On October 7, 1998, Mercedes and the Chengs filed a complaint (first case) for declaration of nullity of titles
against Ramon. They amended the complaint and impleaded Po Wing as defendant.. The amendment was for
annulment of agreement, waiver, extra-judicial settlement of estate and the certificates of title issued by virtue of
documents with prayer for TRO and writ of preliminary injunction. After responsive pleadings have been filed, Po
Wing filed a motion to dismiss which was granted by RTC Branch 6.
On April 19, 2002, Lucina and the Chengs filed a complaint (second case) for annulment of agreement, waiver,
extra-judicial settlement of estate and the certificates of title issued by virtue of documents with prayer for TRO and
writ of preliminary injunction. On November 11, 2002, the Chengs and Lucina filed a motion to dismiss the second
The motion to dismiss in the second complaint was granted. The dismissal of the second case was made without
prejudice. Ramon and Po Wing filed a motion for reconsideration and argued that the dismissal should have been
with prejudice under the two-dismissal rule in view of the first case.
During the pendency of the motion for reconsideration, the Chengs and Lucina filed a complaint (third case) for
disinheritance and declaration of nullity of agreement and waiver, affidavit of extra-judicial agreement, deed of
absolute sale and TCT with prayer for TRO and writ of preliminary injunction.
Whether the trial courts dismissal of the second case operated as a bar to the filing of a third case by reason of the
two dismissal rule.
No. The trial court dismissed the first case by granting the motion to dismiss filed by the defendants (Ramon and Po
Wing). Thus, when the Chengs filed the second case, they were merely refilling the same claim that had been
previously dismissed on the basis of lack of jurisdiction. When they moved to dismiss the second case, the motion
to dismiss can be considered as the first dismissal at the plaintiffs instance. When the third case was filed, there
was one prior dismissal at the instant of the plaintiffs and one prior dismissal at the instance of the defendants.
In all instances, Rule 17 governs the dismissals at the instance of the plaintiff and not of the defendant. Dismissals
upon the instance of the defendant are generally governed by Rule 16, which covers motions to dismiss.


As a general rule, dismissals under Section 1 of Rule 17 are without prejudice except when it is the second time that
the plaintiff caused its dismissal. Accordingly, for a dismissal to operate as an adjudication upon the merits, the
following requisites must be present;
a. There was a previous case that was dismissed by a competent court;
b. Both cases were based on or include the same claim;
c. Both notices for dismissal were filed by the plaintiff; and
d. When the motion to dismiss filed by the plaintiff was consented to by the defendant on the ground that the
latter paid and satisfied all the claims of the former.
Here, the first case was filed as an ordinary civil action. It was later amended to include new causes of action that
should have been adjudicated in a special proceeding. A motion to dismiss was inevitably filed by the defendant on
the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
Whether the filing of the third case constitutes forum shopping.
Yes. Forum shopping is the institution of two or more actions or proceedings involving the same parties for the
same cause of action, either simultaneously or successively, on the supposition that one or the other court would
make a favorable disposition.
To determine whether a party violated the rule against forum shopping, the most important factor to ask is whether
the elements of litis pendentia are present, or whether a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in
another; otherwise stated, the test for determining forum shopping is whether in the two (or more) cases pending,
there is identity of parties, rights or causes of action, and reliefs sought.
There is no question that there was an identity of parties, rights, and reliefs in the second and third cases. While it
may be true that the trial court already dismissed the second case when the third case was filed, it failed to take into
account that a motion for reconsideration was filed in the second case and, thus, was still pending. Considering that
the dismissal of the second case was the subject of the first certiorari case and this present petition for review, it can
be reasonably concluded that the second case, to this day, remains pending. Hence, when respondents filed the third
case, they engaged in forum shopping.
However, The rule on forum shopping will not strictly apply when it can be shown that (1) the original case has
been dismissed upon request of the plaintiff for valid procedural reasons; (2) the only pending matter is a motion
for reconsideration; and (3) there are valid procedural reasons that serve the goal of substantial justice for the fresh
new case to proceed.
The motion for reconsideration filed in the second case has since been dismissed and is now the subject of a
petition for certiorari. The third case filed apparently contains the better cause of action for the plaintiffs and is now
being prosecuted by a counsel they are more comfortable with. Substantial justice will be better served if
respondents do not fall victim to the labyrinth in the procedures that their travails led them.


G.R. NO. 156995

JANUARY 12, 2015

Petitioners were the co-owners of Lot No. 4236. In 1997, petitioners caused the relocation and verification survey
of said lot and the adjoining lots. The result showed that respondents had encroached on Lot No. 4236. When the
respondents refused to vacate the encroached portion and to surrender peaceful possession despite demands, the
petitioners commenced an action for unlawful detainer.
The MTC dismissed the case for lack of jurisdiction. It held that the action involved is essentially a boundary
dispute and should be properly resolved in an accion reinvindicatoria. On appeal, the RTC reversed the MTC
decision and remanded the case for further proceeding. Upon remand, the MTC dismissed the complaint and
counterclaim for lack of merit and ruled that petitioners failed to adduce clear and convincing evidence showing
that the respondents had encroached on their property. Again, petitioners appealed before the RTC. The RTC
ordered the petitioners to conduct a relocation survey. It reversed the MTCs decision. Respondents then appealed
before the CA. The CA reinstated the MTCs decision.
The CA concluded that by ordering the relocation survey in aid of its appellate jurisdiction, the RTC acted as a trial
court in complete disregard of Section 18, Rule 70 of the Rules of Court. The CA also declared that such action by
the RTC is unwarranted because it amounted to the reopening of the trial.
Whether or not the RTC violated Sec. 18 of Rule 70 of the Rules of Court.
Yes. Sec. 18 provides that the judgment or final order shall be appealable to the appropriate Regional Trial Court
which shall decide the same on the basis of the entire record of the proceedings had in the court of origin and such
memoranda and/or briefs as may be submitted by the parties or required by the Regional Trial Court.
16 17
The RTC violated the foregoing rule by ordering the conduct of the relocation and verification survey in aid of its
appellate jurisdiction and by hearing the testimony of the surveyor, for its doing so was tantamount to its holding
of a trial de novo. The violation was accented by the fact that the RTC ultimately decided the appeal based on the
survey and the surveyors testimony instead of the record of the proceedings had in the court of origin.
Whether the case was an ejectment case.
No. The boundary dispute must be resolved in the context of accion reinvindicatoria and not an ejectment case. The
boundary dispute is not about possession. It cannot be settled summarily under Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, the
proceedings under which are limited to unlawful detainer and forcible entry. In unlawful detainer, the defendant
unlawfully withholds the

possession of the premises upon the expiration or termination of his right to hold such possession under any
contract, express or implied. The defendants possession was lawful at the beginning, becoming unlawful only
because of the expiration or termination of his right of possession. In forcible entry, the possession of the defendant
is illegal from the very beginning, and the issue centers on which between the plaintiff and the defendant had the
prior possession de facto.
The allegations of petitioners complaint did not show that they permitted or tolerated respondents occupation or
how respondents entry had been effected. All that petitioners alleged was the respondents illegal use and
occupation of the property. As such, the action was not unlawful detainer.
G.R. NO. 168062
JUNE 29, 2010
On March 4, 2004, Victorias Milling, filed a complaint for unlawful detainer and damages against respondent IPI
before the MCTC. On March 10, 2004, the sheriff served the summons upon Danilo Maglasang, IPI's Human
Relations Department Manager.
On March 19, 2004, IPI filed its Answer with express reservation that said Answer should not be construed as a
waiver of the lack of jurisdiction of the MCTC over the person of IPI, for non-service of summons on the proper
person. It then filed an Omnibus Motion for Hearing of Affirmative Defenses raised in the Answer and moved for
the suspension of proceedings.
The MCTC issued an Order denying the suspension of the proceedings of the case sought by IPI. Thus IPI filed a
petition for certiorari with the CA, Cebu City to question the jurisdiction of the MCTC over its person.
The CA issued the assailed Resolution directing the parties to file simultaneously their respective memoranda on
the merits amplifying their positions and supporting their arguments with pertinent jurisprudence on the matter.
Whether or not the CA erred in issuing the assailed resolution.
Yes. Rule 70 of the Rules of Court, on forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, provides:
Sec. 13. Prohibited pleadings and motions.-The following petitions, motions, or pleadings shall not be allowed:
1. Motion to dismiss the complaint except on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter, or
failure to comply with section 12;
2. Motion for a bill of particulars;

3. Motion for a new trial, or for reconsideration of a judgment, or for reopening of trial;
4. Petition for relief from judgment;
5. Motion for extension of time to file pleadings, affidavits or any other paper;
6. Memoranda;
7. Petition for certiorari, mandamus, or prohibition against any interlocutory order issued by the court;
8. Motion to declare the defendant in default;
9. Dilatory motions for postponement;
10. Reply;
11. Third-party complaints;
12. Interventions.
Although it is alleged that there may be a technical error in connection with the service of summons, there is no
showing of any substantive injustice that would be caused to IPI so as to call for the disregard of the clear and
categorical prohibition of filing petitions for certiorari. It must be pointed out that the Rule on Summary Procedure,
by way of exception, permits only a motion to dismiss on the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter
but it does not mention the ground of lack of jurisdiction over the person. It is a settled rule of statutory
construction that the express mention of one thing implies the exclusion of all others. Expressio unius est exclusio
alterius. From this it can be gleaned that allegations on the matter of lack of jurisdiction over the person by reason
of improper service of summons, by itself, without a convincing showing of any resulting substantive injustice,
cannot be used to hinder or stop the proceedings before the MCTC in the ejectment suit. With more reason, such
ground should not be used to justify the violation of an express prohibition in the rules prohibiting the petition for
The present situation, where IPI had filed the prohibited petition for certiorari; the CA's taking cognizance thereof;
and the subsequent issuance of the writ of injunction enjoining the ejectment suit from taking its normal course in
an expeditious and summary manner, and the ensuing delay is the antithesis of and is precisely the very
circumstance which the Rule on Summary Procedure seeks to prevent. Considering that the petition
for certiorari filed before the CA is categorically prohibited, the CA should not have entertained the same but
should have dismissed it outright.

G.R. NO. 182075
SEPTEMBER 15, 2010


Respondent was appointed as agent of Philamlife. At the time of respondents resignation, Philamlife allegedly
discovered that respondent had an outstanding debit balance of P1,237,336.20, which he was obligated to settle and
liquidate pursuant to the Revised Agency Contract he signed at the time of his employment.
Philamlife sent three successive demand letters to respondent for the settlement of his outstanding debit account but
respondent requested that he be given time to review and settle his accountabilities as he was still trying to
reconcile his records.
When the parties failed to reach an agreement regarding the settlement of the outstanding debit balance, Philamlife
filed a complaint for collection of a sum of money against respondent before the RTC Manila.
On 30 October 2002, the RTC set the pre-trial conference on 3 and 17 December 2002. Respondent moved for the
postponement of the pre-trial to 14 January 2003 due to conflict of schedule, On 14 January 2003, the opposing
counsels agreed to amicably settle the case, prompting the RTC to reset the pre-trial to 8 May, 3 June and 1 July
2003. On 7 May 2003, respondent sent a telegram requesting for another postponement of the pre-trial scheduled on
the following day due to medical reasons.
On 3 June 2003, respondent failed to appear. Consequently, Philamlife manifested that respondent be declared in
default for failure to appear at the pre-trial. The RTC granted the manifestation and allowed Philamlife to present its
evidence on 1 July 2003.
It was only on the following day, 4 June, that the RTC received respondents motion for postponement of the 3 June
2003 hearing, which was mailed on 30 May 2003. Despite notice, respondent still failed to appear on the 28 August
2003 pre-trial. Philamlife was then allowed to present its evidence ex parte, which it did on that same hearing.
The trial court rendered judgment ordering respondent to pay Philamlife. Respondent elevated the case to the Court
of Appeals via petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court. On 28 September 2007, the Court of
Appeals reversed the trial courts decision
Whether or not the RTC erred in declaring respondent in default and allowing Philamlife to present its evidence ex
No. As the rule now stands, if the defendant fails to appear for pre-trial, a default order is no longer issued. Instead,
the trial court may allow the plaintiff to proceed with his evidence ex parte and the court can decide the case based
on the evidence presented by plaintiff.
Definitely, non-appearance of a party may only be excused for a valid cause. We see none in this case even if the
positions of the parties are given a second consideration. Respondent tries in vain to reason out that by allowing
Philamlife to present its evidence ex parte, his right to due process was denied.
"The essence of due process is to be found in the reasonable opportunity to be heard and submit any evidence one
may have in support of ones defense. Where the opportunity to be heard, either through verbal arguments or
pleadings, is accorded, and the party can present its side or defend its interest in due course, there is no denial of
procedural due process." Here, Respondent had been given more than enough time to present his evidence. The pre28

trial date was reset four (4) times for a total period of 6 months before the trial court allowed Philamlife to present
its evidence ex parte when respondent failed to appear on the scheduled date.


G.R. NO. 157583
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

Sometime in 1999, the Municipal Assessor of Mauban, Quezon issued 34 tax declarations on the buildings and
machinery comprising the Mauban Plant a coal-fired electric generation facility owned and operated by
respondent Quezon Power Philippines (QPL).
On March 16 and 23, 2001, QPL tendered to the Municipal Assessor the amount of P60,223,805.51 as first quarter
installment of the realty taxes on the plant, which the latter rejected. Hence, QPL filed a Complaint for
Consignation and Damages before the RTC against the defendants.
On January 28, 2002, Pulgar filed a Motion for Leave to Admit Answer-in-Intervention and Answer-in-Intervention
alleging, that as a resident and taxpayer of Quezon Province, he has an interest in the aggressive collection of realty
taxes against QPL. By way of counterclaim, he prayed for the award of moral damages and attorneys fees,
anchoring the same on the mindless disturbance of the forest and marine environment whereon the power plant of
[QPL] stands. Pulgars motion was initially granted and his Answer-in-Intervention was admitted.
The RTC dismissed the Civil Case for lack of jurisdiction in the absence of a payment of the tax assessed under
protest. Consequently, it also dismissed Pulgars motion for intervention since with the dismissal of the main case,
the same had no leg to stand on.
Whether or not the RTC erred in dismissing Pulgars motion for intervention as a consequence of the dismissal of
the main case.
No. Jurisdiction over an intervention is governed by jurisdiction over the main action. Accordingly, an intervention
presupposes the pendency of a suit in a court of competent jurisdiction.
Intervention is never an independent action, but is ancillary and supplemental to the existing litigation. Otherwise
stated, the right of an intervenor should only be in aid of the right of the original party. Where the right of the latter
has ceased to exist, there is nothing to aid or fight for; hence, the right of intervention ceases.


G.R. NO. 185145
FEBRUARY 5, 2014

Petitioners, spouses Afulugencia, filed a Complaint for nullification of mortgage, foreclosure, auction sale,
certificate of sale and other documents, with damages, against respondents Metrobank and Emmanuel L. Ortega
before RTC Malolos City, where it was docketed as Civil Case No. 336-M-2004 and assigned to Branch 7.
After the filing of the parties pleadings and with the conclusion of pre-trial, petitioners filed a Motion for Issuance
of Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad Testificandum7 to require Metrobanks officers to appear and testify as the
petitioners initial witnesses during the August 31, 2006 hearing for the presentation of their evidence-in-chief, and
to bring the documents relative to their loan with Metrobank, as well as those covering the extrajudicial foreclosure
and sale of petitioners land.
Metrobank filed an Opposition arguing that for lack of a proper notice of hearing, the Motion must be denied; that
being a litigated motion, the failure of petitioners to set a date and time for the hearing renders the Motion
ineffective and pro forma; that pursuant to Sections 1 and 6 of Rule 25 of the Rules, Metrobanks officers who are
considered adverse parties may not be compelled to appear and testify in court for the petitioners since they were
not initially served with written interrogatories; that petitioners have not shown the materiality and relevance of the
documents sought to be produced in court; and that petitioners were merely fishing for evidence.
The trial court issued an Order denying petitioners Motion for Issuance of Subpoena Duces Tecum Ad
Testificandum. The CA held that the trial court did not commit grave abuse of discretion in issuing the assailed
Orders; petitioners Motion is a litigated motion, especially as it seeks to require the adverse party, Metrobanks
officers, to appear and testify in court as petitioners witnesses. It held that a proper notice of hearing, addressed to
the parties and specifying the date and time of the hearing, was required, consistent with Sections 4 and 5, Rule 15
of the Rules. By failing to serve written interrogatories upon Metrobank, petitioners foreclosed their right to present
the banks officers as their witnesses.
Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in holding that the petitioners must first serve written interrogatories to
respondent banks officers before they can be subpoenaed
No. As a rule, in civil cases, the procedure of calling the adverse party to the witness stand is not allowed, unless
written interrogatories are first served upon the latter. This is embodied in Section 6, Rule 25 of the Rules, which
Sec. 6. Effect of failure to serve written interrogatories.
Unless thereafter allowed by the court for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice, a party not served
with written interrogatories may not be compelled by the adverse party to give testimony in open court, or to give a
deposition pending appeal.

One of the purposes of the above rule is to prevent fishing expeditions and needless delays; it is there to maintain
order and facilitate the conduct of trial. It will be presumed that a party who does not serve written interrogatories
on the adverse party beforehand will most likely be unable to elicit facts useful to its case if it later opts to call the
adverse party to the witness stand as its witness. Instead, the process could be treated as a fishing expedition or an
attempt at delaying the proceedings; it produces no significant result that a prior written interrogatories might bring.
In the present case, petitioners seek to call Metrobanks officers to the witness stand as their initial and main
witnesses, and to present documents in Metrobanks possession as part of their principal documentary evidence.
This is improper. Petitioners may not be allowed, at the incipient phase of the presentation of their evidence-inchief at that, to present Metrobanks officers who are considered adverse parties as well, based on the principle
that corporations act only through their officers and duly authorized agents as their main witnesses; nor may they
be allowed to gain access to Metrobanks documentary evidence for the purpose of making it their own. This is
tantamount to building their whole case from the evidence of their opponent. The burden of proof and evidence
falls on petitioners, not on Metrobank; if petitioners cannot prove their claim using their own evidence, then the
adverse party Metrobank may not be pressured to hang itself from its own defense.
It is true that under the Rules, a party may, for good cause shown and to prevent a failure of justice, be compelled to
give testimony in court by the adverse party who has not served written interrogatories. But what petitioners seek
goes against the very principles of justice and fair play; they would want that Metrobank provide the very evidence
with which to prosecute and build their case from the start. This they may not be allowed to do.

G.R. NO. 185145
FEBRUARY 5, 2014

Petitioners seek to reverse the decision in CA-G.R. SP No. 48033 promulgated on September 25, 2002, whereby the
CA directed the RTC to issue a special order of demolition to implement the immutable and unalterable judgment
of the RTC rendered on November 20, 1989.
This case emanated from the judicial partition involving a parcel of residential land in Laguna that siblings
Francisco Faylona and Gaudencia Faylona had inherited from their parents. Under the immutable and unalterable
judgment rendered on November 20, 1989, the heirs and successors-in-interest of Francisco Faylona, respondents
herein, would have the western portion of the property in litis, while the heirs and successors-in-interest of
Gaudencia Faylona its eastern half.
Thereafter, the heirs of Francisco filed with the court a quo a motion for execution to enforce and implement its
decision of November 20, 1989, as modified by this Court in its decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 25347.The court
likewise directed the defendants, more specifically the herein petitioners, to remove, within the period specified
therein, all their improvements which encroached on the western half.


Eventually, in an order dated January 28, 1998, the respondent court denied petitioners motion for extension of
time to remove their improvements. Thereafter, or on February 6, 1998, the same court issued a writ of execution.
On account of the sheriffs return, private respondents then filed with the court a quo on March 11, 1998 a Motion
for Issuance of Special Order of Demolition.
On March 19, 1998, or even before the respondent court could act on private respondents aforementioned motion
for demolition, petitioners filed a Motion to Defer Resolution on Motion for Demolition, this time alleging that they
have become one of the co-owners of the western half to the extent of 53.75 square meters thereof, purportedly
because one of the successors-in-interest of Francisco Faylona Jimmy Flores who was co-plaintiff of the private
respondents in the case, sold to them his share in the western half.
Whether or not the sale by respondent Jimmy Flores of his 1/4 share in the western portion of the 402-square meter
lot constituted a supervening event that rendered the execution of the final judgment against petitioners inequitable.
No. The contention of petitioners that the sale by Jimmy Flores to them of his 1/4 share in the western portion of
the 402-square meter lot under the deed of sale dated March 4, 1998 was a supervening event that rendered the
execution inequitable is devoid of merit. A supervening event consists of facts that transpire after the judgment
became final and executory, or of new circumstances that develop after the judgment attained finality, including
matters that the parties were not aware of prior to or during the trial because such matters were not yet in existence
at that time.
Although it is true that there are recognized exceptions to the execution as a matter of right of a final and immutable
judgment, one of which is a supervening event, such circumstance did not obtain herein. To accept their contention
would be to reopen the final and immutable judgment in order to further partition the western portion thereby
adjudicated to the heirs and successors-in-interest of Francisco Faylona for the purpose of segregating the portion
supposedly subject of the sale by Jimmy Flores. The reopening would be legally impermissible, considering that the
November 20, 1989 decision, as modified by the CA, could no longer be altered, amended or modified, even if the
alteration, amendment or modification was meant to correct what was perceived to be an erroneous conclusion of
fact or of law and regardless of what court, be it the highest Court of the land, rendered it. This is pursuant to the
doctrine of immutability of a final judgment, which may be relaxed only to serve the ends of substantial justice in
order to consider certain circumstances like: (a) matters of life, liberty, honor or property; (b) the existence of
special or compelling circumstances; (c) the merits of the case; (d) the cause not being entirely attributable to the
fault or negligence of the party favored by the suspension of the doctrine; (e) the lack of any showing that the
review sought is merely frivolous and dilatory; or (f) the other party will not be unjustly prejudiced by the
Verily, petitioners could not import into the action for partition of the property in litis their demand for the
segregation of the 1/4 share of Jimmy Flores. Instead, their correct course of action was to initiate in the proper
court a proceeding for partition of the western portion based on the supposed sale to them by Jimmy Flores.


G.R. NO. 180098
APRIL 2, 2014

Joseph Fauni Reyes took out two life insurance policies from Insular Life designating the petitioners as his
beneficiaries. On October 19, 1998, a charred body inside the trunk of a burnt car that Joseph owned. The
petitioners, believing that the body belonged to Joseph, filed a claim for death benefits. Insular denied the claim on
the grounds of Josephs alleged misrepresentation and concealment of material facts.
Insular Life filed against the petitioners a complaint for rescission of insurance contracts and damages before RTC
Makati. The RTC dismissed the complaint for insufficiency of evidence and ordered Insular Life to pay the
petitioners. Insular Life filed a notice of appeal with the RTC. Petitioners moved for the execution of the RTC
decision pending appeal, citing as ground Ofelias old age who was then 69 years old.
Upon posting of bond, the RTC issued a writ of execution in favor of the petitioners. Insular Life filed a petition for
certiorari before the CA seeking to nullify the writ of execution pending appeal. The CA ruled in favor of Insular
Life and annulled the writ of execution. It promulgated a decision on the main case affirming the RTC decision.
The CA also denied Insular Lifes motion for reconsideration. Subsequently, Insular Life filed a petition for review
on certiorari. It was denied with finality for lack of merit. An entry of judgment was entered on May 12, 2010.
Whether or not petitioners are entitled to execution pending appeal.
No. In the present case, the issue of the propriety of discretionary execution has already been rendered moot and
academic with our denial of Insular Lifes petition and issuance of the entry of judgment in G.R. No. 189605. This
means that our affirmation of the lower courts rulings on the main case has become final and executory.
Consequently, the issue of whether the petitioners are entitled to discretionary execution pending appeal no longer
presents any justiciable controversy. It becomes the RTCs ministerial duty to issue a writ of execution in favor of
the petitioners who are now entitled to execution as a matter of right.
In relation to this, Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court provides that a final and executory judgment or order
may be executed on motion within five years from the date of its entry. A judgment may also be enforced by action
after the lapse of five years and before it is barred by the statute of limitations. The revived judgment may then be
enforced by motion within five years from the date of its entry.

G.R. NO. 209672-74

JANUARY 14, 2015


Panay Railways auctioned the subject lots in Roxas City due to real property tax delinquencies. Petitioner Sia
emerged as highest Bodder and was issued a certificate of sale. Petitioner was not able to take possession thereof in
view of the refusal of the City Treasurer to issue the Final Bill of Sale despite the lapse of the one year redemption
period. The mayor of Roxas issued EO 08-97 which nullified the auction sale.
Petitioner filed a petition (SCA No. V-7075) for the annulment of EO 08-97, mandamus and damages against the
City Treasurer, the Mayor and the City Council of Roxas and Panay Railways before the RTC. The RTC ruled in
petitioners favour. Panay Railways appealed to the CA but it was denied outright. Thus, petitioner moved for
execution. This notwithstanding, the City Treasurer refused to issue the Final Bill of Sale, posting that petitioner
still had to settle the delinquent real property taxes. The RTC issued an order holding that petitioner cannot be held
liable for real property tax prior to the issuance of a Final Bill of Sale.
Petitioner moved for the delivery of the lots as they were being occupied by third parties, including respondents. A
writ of possession and writ of demolition were issued in petitioners favor.
Whether or not the writs of demolition and possession are null and void.
Yes. In this case, it is undisputed that the City Treasurer refused to issue the Final Bill of Sale n petitioners favor
despite finality of judgment in SCA No. V-7075. In view of such refusal, the City Treasurer should have been cited
in contempt in order to enforce obedience to the judgment. However, instead of doing so, the RTC granted
petitioners numerous motions resulting in the issuance of a writ of possession.
The judgment in SCA No. V-7075 sought to be enforced in this case only declared valid the auction sale. Since said
judgment did not order that the possession of the subject lots be vested unto petitioner, the RTC substantially varied
the terms of judgment and exceeded its authority in enforcing the same. Where the execution is not in harmony
with the judgment which gives it life and exceeds it, it has no validity. Had the petitioner pursued an action for
ejectment or reconveyance, the issuance of writs of possession and demolition would have been proper; but not in a
special civil action for mandamus, as in this case.


G.R. NO. 185734
JULY 3, 2013

Lim, Jr. filed a complaint for sum of money with prayer for the issuance of a writ of preliminary attachment before
the RTC, seeking to recover from respondents- Sps. Lazaro the sum of P2,160,000.00, which represented the
amounts stated in several dishonored checks issued by the latter to the former, as well as interests, attorneys fees,
and costs. The RTC granted the writ of preliminary attachment application and upon the posting of the
required P2,160,000.00 bond, 3 parcels of land situated in Bulacan, registered in the names of Sps. Lazaro, were
levied upon.

In their Answer with Counterclaim,Sps. Lazaro averred, among others, that Lim, Jr. had no cause of action against
them since: (a) Colim Merchandise (Colim), and not Lim, Jr., was the payee of the fifteen (15) Metrobank checks;
and (b) the PNB and Real Bank checks were not drawn by them, but by Virgilio Arcinas and Elizabeth Ramos,
respectively. While they admit their indebtedness to Colim, Sps. Lazaro alleged that the same had already been
substantially reduced on account of previous payments which were apparently misapplied. In this regard, they
sought for an accounting and reconciliation of records to determine the actual amount due. They likewise argued
that no fraud should be imputed against them as the aforesaid checks issued to Colim were merely intended as a
form of collateral. Hinged on the same grounds, Sps. Lazaro equally opposed the issuance of a writ of preliminary
Nonetheless, on September 22, 2006, the parties entered into a Compromise Agreement. The aforesaid compromise
agreement was approved by the RTC in its October 31, 2006 Decision and January 5, 2007 Amended Decision.
Subsequently, Sps. Lazaro filed an Omnibus Motion, seeking to lift the writ of preliminary attachment annotated on
the subject TCTs, which the RTC granted on March 29, 2007. It ruled that a writ of preliminary attachment is a
mere provisional or ancillary remedy, resorted to by a litigant to protect and preserve certain rights and interests
pending final judgment. Considering that the case had already been considered closed and terminated by the
rendition of the January 5, 2007 Amended Decision on the basis of the September 22, 2006 compromise agreement,
the writ of preliminary attachment should be lifted and quashed. Consequently, it ordered the Registry of Deeds of
Bulacan to cancel the writs annotation on the subject TCTs.
On July 10, 2008, the CA rendered the assailed decision, finding no grave abuse of discretion on the RTCs part. It
observed that a writ of preliminary attachment may only be issued at the commencement of the action or at any
time before entry of judgment. Thus, since the principal cause of action had already been declared closed and
terminated by the RTC, the provisional or ancillary remedy of preliminary attachment would have no leg to stand
on, necessitating its discharge.
Whether or not the writ of preliminary attachment was properly lifted.
No. By its nature, preliminary attachment, under Rule 57 of the Rules of Court (Rule 57), is an ancillary remedy
applied for not for its own sake but to enable the attaching party to realize upon the relief sought and expected to be
granted in the main or principal action; it is a measure auxiliary or incidental to the main action. As such, it is
available during its pendency which may be resorted to by a litigant to preserve and protect certain rights and
interests during the interim, awaiting the ultimate effects of a final judgment in the case. In addition, attachment is
also availed of in order to acquire jurisdiction over the action by actual or constructive seizure of the property in
those instances where personal or substituted service of summons on the defendant cannot be effected.
Records indicate that while the parties have entered into a compromise agreement which had already been approved
by the RTC in its January 5, 2007 Amended Decision, the obligations thereunder have yet to be fully complied with
particularly, the payment of the total compromise amount of P2,351,064.80. Hence, given that the foregoing debt
remains unpaid, the attachment of Sps. Lazaros properties should have continued to subsist.
The case at bench admits of peculiar character in the sense that it involves a compromise agreement. In fine, the
Court holds that the writ of preliminary attachment subject of this case should be restored and its annotation revived

in the subject TCTs, re-vesting unto Lim, Jr. his preferential lien over the properties covered by the same as it were
before the cancellation of the said writ. Lest it be misunderstood, the lien or security obtained by an attachment
even before judgment, is in the nature of a vested interest which affords specific security for the satisfaction of the
debt put in suit. Verily, the lifting of the attachment lien would be tantamount to an abdication of Lim, Jr.s rights
over Sps. Lazaros properties which the Court, absent any justifiable ground therefor, cannot allow.


A.M. No. RTJ-10-2255
JANUARY 17, 2011

Complainants were the defendants in a civil action for Preliminary Injunction, Easement of Road Right of Way, and
Attorneys Fees, with prayer for a TRO, filed on July 2, 2009 by Obico before the RTC. The action was spawned by
the alleged threats of complainants to close the access road leading to Obicos property, where the latters bangus
farm is located. Obico claimed that, if the access road leading to her property was closed, she would be prevented
from harvesting her milkfish, causing massive fish kills, and leading to heavy financial losses on her part.
Complainants assert that the civil complaint was never raffled, and that no notice of raffle was ever served upon
them, yet the case went directly to Branch 43, where respondent judge is the acting presiding judge. He is also the
acting executive judge of RTC, Gingoog City. Complainants claim that this is violative of Section 4(c), Rule 58 of
the Rules of Court.
On July 7, 2009, respondent judge issued an Order directing the issuance of a TRO "effective seventy two (72)
hours from date of issue," without requiring Obico to put up a bond. Complainants allege that at that time, they
were not yet in receipt of the summons and copy of the complaint, as well as Obicos affidavit and bond.
Complainants claim that this is violative of Section 4(c) and (d) of Rule 58 of the Rules of Court.
On July 14, 2009, respondent judge issued an Order extending the 72-hour TRO, which had already expired, "for
another period provided that the total period should not exceed twenty days." Again, respondent judge failed to
require Obico to put up a bond even as complainants assert that it is already of judicial notice that a TRO under the
amended new rules has been elevated to the level of an injunction.
Whether or not Judge Abul erred in issuing the TRO and in extending the same.
Yes. If the matter is of extreme urgency and the applicant will suffer grave injustice and irreparable injury, the
executive judge of a multiple-sala court or the presiding judge of a single-sala court may issue ex parte a temporary
restraining order effective for only seventy-two (72) hours from issuance, but shall immediately comply with the
provisions of the next preceding section as to the service of summons and the documents to be served therewith.
Thereafter, within the aforesaid seventy-two (72) hours, the judge before whom the case is pending shall conduct a
summary hearing to determine whether the temporary restraining order shall be extended until the application for

preliminary injunction can be heard. In no case shall the total period of effectivity of the temporary restraining
order exceed twenty (20) days, including the original seventy-two hours provided herein.
In the event that the application for preliminary injunction is denied or not resolved within the said period, the
temporary restraining order is deemed automatically vacated. The effectivity of a temporary restraining order is not
extendible without need of any judicial declaration to that effect, and no court shall have authority to extend or
renew the same on the same ground for which it was issued.
The supposed extreme urgency of the issuance of the 72-hour TRO was belied by his setting of the required
summary hearing for the determination of the necessity of extending the 72-hour TRO to 20 days, one week after
the issuance thereof. Indeed, Section 5, Rule 58 is explicit that such summary hearing must be conducted within the
said 72-hour period. Notwithstanding the explanation of respondent judge that he could not set the required
summary hearing except on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, it should be noted that July 7, 2009, the date of the issuance
of the 72-hour TRO, was a Tuesday, yet respondent judge could have set the summary hearing on July 8, 2009, a
Wednesday. He failed to do so on the mistaken notion that, aside from his alleged hectic schedule, he could, at any
time, extend the 72-hour TRO for another period as long as the total period did not exceed 20 days.
What is more appalling is that respondent judge extended the 72-hour TRO, which had already and obviously
expired, into a full 20-day TRO. An already expired TRO can no longer be extended. Respondent judge should
have known that the TRO he issued in his capacity as an acting executive judge was valid for only 72 hours.
Beyond such time, the TRO automatically expires, unless, before the expiration of the said period, he, supposedly
in his capacity as presiding judge to whom the case was raffled, conducted the required summary hearing in order
to extend the TROs lifetime. Indubitably, a 72-hour TRO, issued by an executive judge, is a separate and distinct
TRO which can stand on its own, regardless of whether it is eventually extended or not.

G.R. NO. 182760
APRIL 10, 2013

Respondent married Marina on 22 July 1987. According to respondent, Marina went to Singapore sometime in
1994 and never returned since. There was never any communication between them. He tried to look for her, but he
could not find her. Several years after she left, one of their town mates in Luna, La Union came home from
Singapore and told him that the last time she saw his wife, the latter was already living with a Singaporean
In view of her absence and his desire to remarry, respondent filed with the RTC on 16 May 2002 a Petition for a
judicial declaration of the presumptive death and/or absence of Marina. The RTC granted respondents Petition.


Petitioner, through the OSG, appealed the foregoing Decision to the CA under Rule 42. According to petitioner,
respondent failed to conduct a search for his missing wife with the diligence required by law and enough to give
rise to a "well-founded" belief that she was dead.
The CA dismissed the appeal ruling that the hearing of a petition for the declaration of presumptive death is a
summary proceeding under the Family Code and is thus governed by Title XI thereof. Article 247 of the Family
Code provides that the judgment of the trial court in summary court proceedings shall be immediately final and
executory. The OSG filed a Motion for Reconsideration, but it was likewise denied. Petitioner now comes to this
Court through Rule 45.
Whether or not the OSG erred in appealing the RTCs Decision under Rule 42.
Yes. The remedy of a losing party in a summary proceeding is not an ordinary appeal, but a petition for certiorari.
By express provision of law, the judgment of the court in a summary proceeding shall be immediately final and
executory. As a matter of course, it follows that no appeal can be had of the trial court's judgment in a summary
proceeding for the declaration of presumptive death of an absent spouse under Article 41 of the Family Code. It
goes without saying, however, that an aggrieved party may file a petition for certiorari to question abuse of
discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction. Such petition should be filed in the Court of Appeals in accordance
with the Doctrine of Hierarchy of Courts. To be sure, even if the Court's original jurisdiction to issue a writ of
certiorari is concurrent with the RTCs and the Court of Appeals in certain cases, such concurrence does not sanction
an unrestricted freedom of choice of court forum. From the decision of the Court of Appeals, the losing party may
then file a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court with the Supreme Court. This is
because the errors which the court may commit in the exercise of jurisdiction are merely errors of judgment which
are the proper subject of an appeal.
When the OSG filed its notice of appeal under Rule 42, it availed itself of the wrong remedy. As a result, the
running of the period for filing of a Petition for Certiorari continued to run and was not tolled. Upon lapse of that
period, the Decision of the RTC could no longer be questioned. Consequently, petitioner's contention that
respondent has failed to establish a well-founded belief that his absentee spouse is dead may no longer be
entertained by this Court.


G.R. NO. 199133
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

Esperanza filed a complaint for recovery of possession with damages against Samuel before the RTC. Samuel
moved to dismiss the complaint on the following grounds: failure to state a cause of action; that the action was
barred by prior judgment; and lack of jurisdiction. The RTC denied the motion to dismiss and proceeded with pre38

trial and trial. The RTC ordered the respondent to return possession of the subject portion of the property to the
petitioner and to pay the petitioner.
In his appeal to the CA, among the grounds the respondent raised was the issue of the RTCs lack of jurisdiction
over the case. The CA agreed with the respondent and held that the petitioners failure to allege in her complaint the
assessed value of the disputed property warranted the complaints dismissal, although without prejudice, because
the courts jurisdiction over the case should be determined by the material allegations of the complaint.
Esperanza now argues that the Samuel is estopped from assailing the RTCs jurisdiction. Further, she argues that the
dismissal of her complaint was not warranted considering that she had a meritorious case as attached to her
complaint was a copy of a Declaration of Real Property indicating that the assessed value of the disputed property
is P20,790.00.
Is the CAs dismissal of the petitioners complaint for recovery of possession is erroneous and unwarranted?
Yes. It is well-settled that jurisdiction over a subject matter is conferred by law, not by the parties action or
conduct, and is, likewise, determined from the allegations in the complaint.
Generally, the court should only look into the facts alleged in the complaint to determine whether a suit is within its
jurisdiction. There may be instances, however, when a rigid application of this rule may result in defeating
substantial justice or in prejudice to a partys substantial right.
In the present case, we find reason not to strictly apply the above-mentioned general rule, and to consider the facts
contained in the Declaration of Real Property attached to the complaint in determining whether the RTC had
jurisdiction over the petitioners case. A mere reference to the attached document could facially resolve the question
on jurisdiction and would have rendered lengthy litigation on this point unnecessary.
Here, the petitioner failed to allege in her complaint the propertys assessed value. Attached, however, to the
petitioners complaint was a copy of a Declaration of Real Property showing that the subject property has a market
value of P51,965.00 and assessed value of P20,790.00. The CA was fully aware of this attachment but still
proceeded to dismiss the petitioners complaint.
Is Samuel estopped from assailing the RTCs decision?
No. Lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the case can always be raised anytime, even for the first time on
appeal, since jurisdictional issues, as a rule, cannot be acquired through a waiver or enlarged by the omission of the
parties or conferred by the acquiescence of the court. Thus, the respondent is not prevented from raising the
question on the courts jurisdiction in his appeal.

G.R. NO. 187174
AUGUST 28, 2013

On August 24, 2006, the MTCC rendered its Judgment finding Yalong guilty beyond reasonable doubt of the crime
of violation of BP 22. Yalong filed a Supplemental Motion for Reconsideration and Recall the Warrant of
Arrest dated October 15, 2006 which the MTCC treated as an original motion for reconsideration. The said motion
was, however, denied in an Order16 dated December 5, 2006.
Consequently, Yalong filed a Notice of Appeal dated January 2, 2007 which was denied due course in an Order
dated January 19, 2007, considering that the judgment against her was promulgated in absentia on account of her
unjustified absence.
Dissatisfied, Yalong filed a Petition for Relief from Order and Denial of Appeal which was dismissed in an
Order dated July 25, 2007 on the ground that Yalong had lost the remedies available to her under the law when she:
(a) failed to appear without justifiable reason at the scheduled promulgation of the MTCC Decision; (b) did not
surrender within 15 days from the date of such promulgation; (c) did not file a motion for leave of court to avail of
the remedies under the law; and (d) remained at large. Yalong moved for reconsideration which was, however,
denied in an Order dated October 25, 2007.
Aggrieved, Yalong filed a Petition for Certiorari with Petition for Bail before the RTC. The RTC denied Yalongs
certiorari petition. Yalong filed a motion for reconsideration on which was eventually denied in an Order May 27,
2008. As such, on June 26, 2008, she filed the subject petition for review before the CA.
The CA dismissed the subject petition for review on the ground that the "Order of the RTC was issued in the
exercise of its original jurisdiction where appeal by filing a notice of appeal with the RTC and not a petition for
review is the proper remedy.
Whether or not the CA properly dismissed the subject petition for review on the ground of improper appeal.
Yes. While the Rules of Court do not specifically state that the inappropriate filing of a petition for review instead
of a required notice of appeal is dismissible, Section 2(a), Rule 41 of the Rules nonetheless provides that appeals to
the CA in cases decided by the RTC in the exercise of its original jurisdiction shall be taken by filing a notice of
appeal with the latter court.
In the case at bar, records reveal that Yalong filed a petition for certiorari with the RTC and that the latter court
rendered a Resolution dated April 2, 2008 dismissing the same. It is fundamental that a petition for certiorari is an
original action and, as such, it cannot be gainsaid that the RTC took cognizance of and resolved the aforesaid
petition in the exercise of its original jurisdiction. Hence, based on the above-cited rule, Yalong should have filed a
notice of appeal with the RTC instead of a petition for review with the CA. As a consequence of Yalongs failure to


file a notice of appeal with the RTC within the proper reglementary period, the RTC Decision had attained finality
which thereby bars Yalong from further contesting the same.
Verily, jurisprudence dictates that the perfection of an appeal within the period and in the manner prescribed by law
is jurisdictional and non-compliance with such requirements is considered fatal and has the effect of rendering the
judgment final and executory. To be sure, the rules on appeal must be strictly followed as they are considered
indispensable to forestall or avoid unreasonable delays in the administration of justice, to ensure an orderly
discharge of judicial business, and to put an end to controversies. Though as a general rule, rules of procedures are
liberally construed, the provisions with respect to the rules on the manner and periods for perfecting appeals are
strictly applied and are only relaxed in very exceptional circumstances on equitable considerations, which are not
present in the instant case. As it stands, the subject petition for review was the wrong remedy and perforce was
properly dismissed by the CA.

G.R. NO. 196049
JUNE 26, 2013

Petitioner Fujiki is a Japanese national who married Marinay in the Philippines on 23 January 2004. The marriage
did not sit well with petitioners parents. Thus, Fujiki could not bring his wife to Japan where he resides.
Eventually, they lost contact with each other.
In 2008, Marinay met another Japanese, Maekara. Without the first marriage being dissolved, Marinay and Maekara
were married on 15 May 2008 in Quezon City.. Maekara brought Marinay to Japan but the latter suffered physical
abuse from Maekara. She left Maekara and started to contact Fujiki.
Fujiki and Marinay met in Japan and they were able to reestablish their relationship. In 2010, Fujiki helped Marinay
obtain a judgment from a family court in Japan which declared the marriage between Marinay and Maekara void on
the ground of bigamy. Fujiki filed a petition in the RTC entitled: "Judicial Recognition of Foreign Judgment (or
Decree of Absolute Nullity of Marriage)." Fujiki prayed that (1) the Japanese Family Court judgment be
recognized; (2) that the bigamous marriage between Marinay and Maekara be declared void ab initio and (3) for
the RTC to direct the Local Civil Registrar of Quezon City to annotate the Japanese Family Court judgment on the
Certificate of Marriage between Marinay and Maekara and to endorse such annotation to the NSO.
The RTC immediately issued an Order dismissing the petition. Apparently, the RTC took the view that only "the
husband or the wife," in this case either Maekara or Marinay, can file the petition to declare their marriage void,
and not Fujiki.
Whether a husband or wife of a prior marriage can file a petition to recognize a foreign judgment nullifying the
subsequent marriage between his or her spouse and a foreign citizen on the ground of bigamy.

Yes. Rule 108, Section 1 of the Rules of Court states:

Sec. 1. Who may file petition. Any person interested in any act, event, order or decree concerning the civil
status of persons which has been recorded in the civil register, may file a verified petition for the cancellation or
correction of any entry relating thereto, with the Regional Trial Court of the province where the corresponding civil
registry is located.
Fujiki has the personality to file a petition to recognize the Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the marriage
between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of bigamy because the judgment concerns his civil status as married
to Marinay. For the same reason he has the personality to file a petition under Rule 108 to cancel the entry of
marriage between Marinay and Maekara in the civil registry on the basis of the decree of the Japanese Family
There is no doubt that the prior spouse has a personal and material interest in maintaining the integrity of the
marriage he contracted and the property relations arising from it. There is also no doubt that he is interested in the
cancellation of an entry of a bigamous marriage in the civil registry, which compromises the public record of his
Whether the Regional Trial Court can recognize the foreign judgment in a proceeding for cancellation or correction
of entries in the Civil Registry under Rule 108 of the Rules of Court.
Yes. The interpretation of the RTC is tantamount to relitigating the case on the merits. Section 48(b), Rule 39 of the
Rules of Court provides that a foreign judgment or final order against a person creates a "presumptive evidence of a
right as between the parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title." Moreover, Section 48 of the
Rules of Court states that "the judgment or final order may be repelled by evidence of a want of jurisdiction, want
of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear mistake of law or fact."
A petition to recognize a foreign judgment declaring a marriage void does not require relitigation under a Philippine
court of the case as if it were a new petition for declaration of nullity of marriage. Philippine courts cannot presume
to know the foreign laws under which the foreign judgment was rendered. They cannot substitute their judgment on
the status, condition and legal capacity of the foreign citizen who is under the jurisdiction of another state. Thus,
Philippine courts can only recognize the foreign judgment as a fact according to the rules of evidence.
There is no reason to disallow Fujiki to simply prove as a fact the Japanese Family Court judgment nullifying the
marriage between Marinay and Maekara on the ground of bigamy. While the Philippines has no divorce law, the
Japanese Family Court judgment is fully consistent with Philippine public policy, as bigamous marriages are
declared void from the beginning under Article 35(4) of the Family Code. Bigamy is a crime under Article 349 of
the Revised Penal Code. Thus, Fujiki can prove the existence of the Japanese Family Court judgment in accordance
with Rule 132, Sections 24 and 25, in relation to Rule 39, Section 48(b) of the Rules of Court.
G.R. NO. 199199
AUGUST 27, 2013



Dolot, together with the parish priest of the Holy Infant Jesus Parish and the officers of Alyansa Laban sa Mina sa
Matnog (petitioners), filed a petition for continuing mandamus, damages and attorneys fees with the RTC of
Sorsogon, docketed as Civil Case No. 2011-8338. They protested the iron ore mining operations being conducted
by Antones Enterprises, Global Summit Mines Development Corporation and TR Ore in Barangays Balocawe and
Bon-ot Daco, located in the Municipality of Matnog.
The case was referred by the Executive Judge to the RTC of Sorsogon, Branch 53 being the designated
environmental court. The case was summarily dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
In dismissing the petition for lack of jurisdiction, the RTC, in its Order dated September 16, 2011, apparently relied
on SC Administrative Order No. 7 defining the territorial areas of the Regional Trial Courts in Regions 1 to 12, and
Administrative Circular No. 23-2008, designating the environmental courts to try and decide violations of
environmental laws committed within their respective territorial jurisdictions.
Whether the RTC-Branch 53 has jurisdiction to resolve Civil Case No. 2011-8338.
Yes. By virtue of B.P. Blg. 129 or the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980, jurisdiction over special civil actions
for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus is vested in the RTC. Particularly, Section 21(1) thereof.
A.O. No. 7 and Admin. Circular No. 23-2008 was issued pursuant to Section 18 of B.P. Blg. 129, which gave the
Court authority to define the territory over which a branch of the RTC shall exercise its authority. These
administrative orders and circulars issued by the Court merely provide for the venue where an action may be filed.
The Court does not have the power to confer jurisdiction on any court or tribunal as the allocation of jurisdiction is
lodged solely in Congress. It also cannot be delegated to another office or agency of the Government. Section 18 of
B.P. Blg. 129, in fact, explicitly states that the territory thus defined shall be deemed to be the territorial area of the
branch concerned for purposes of determining the venue of all suits, proceedings or actions.
At most, the error committed by the petitioners in filing the case with the RTC of Sorsogon was that of improper
venue. A.M. No. 09-6-8-SC or the Rules of Procedure for Environmental Cases specifically states that a special
civil action for continuing mandamus shall be filed with the RTC exercising jurisdiction over the territory where the
actionable neglect or omission occurred. Moreover, the action filed by the petitioners is not criminal in nature
where venue is an essential element of jurisdiction.


G.R. NO. 178288
AUGUST 15, 2012


Spouses Fortaleza obtained a loan from spouses Rolando and Amparo Lapitan in the amount of P1.2 million subject
to 34% interest per annum. As security, spouses Fortaleza executed on January 28, 1998 a Deed of Real Estate
Mortgage over their residential house and lot. When spouses Fortaleza failed to pay the indebtedness including the
interests and penalties, the creditors applied for extrajudicial foreclosure of the Real Estate Mortgage.
At the sale, the creditors son Dr. Raul Lapitan and his wife Rona emerged as the highest bidders with the bid
amount of P2.5 million.
The one-year redemption period expired without the spouses Fortaleza redeeming the mortgage. Thus, spouses
Lapitan executed an affidavit of consolidation of ownership and caused the cancellation of the TCT and the
registration of the subject property in their names. Despite the foregoing, the spouses Fortaleza refused spouses
Lapitans formal demand to vacate and surrender possession of the subject property.
The spouses Lapitan filed an ex parte petition for the issuance of writ of possession with the RTC of Calamba and
claimed that as registered owners, they were entitled to its possession. The RTC ordered the issuance of a writ of
possession. The Spouses Fortaleza moved for reconsideration, claiming that the subject property is their family
home and is exempt from foreclosure sale.
Whether or not the family home is exempt from execution.
No. Spouses Fortalezas argument that the subject property is exempt from forced sale because it is a family home
deserves scant consideration. As a rule, the family home is exempt from execution, forced sale or attachment.
However, Article 155(3) of the Family Code explicitly allows the forced sale of a family home "for debts secured
by mortgages on the premises before or after such constitution." In this case, there is no doubt that spouses
Fortaleza voluntarily executed on January 28, 1998 a deed of Real Estate Mortgage over the subject property which
was even notarized by their original counsel of record. And assuming that the property is exempt from forced sale,
spouses Fortaleza did not set up and prove to the Sheriff such exemption from forced sale before it was sold at the
public auction. Failure to do so would estop the party from later claiming the exemption. Certainly, reasonable time
for purposes of the law on exemption does not mean a time after the expiration of the one-year period for a
judgment debtor to redeem the property.
Whether or not the Spouses Fortaleza may exercise the right of redemption even after the expiration of the one year
No. The spouses Fortaleza neither filed an action nor made a formal offer to redeem the subject property
accompanied by an actual and simultaneous tender of payment. It is also undisputed that they allowed the one-year
period to lapse from the registration of the certificate of sale without redeeming the mortgage. For all intents and
purposes, spouses Fortaleza have waived or abandoned their right of redemption.


Although the rule on redemption is liberally interpreted in favor of the original owner of the property, we cannot
apply the privilege of liberality to accommodate the spouses Forteza due to their negligence or omission to exercise
the right of redemption within the prescribed period without justifiable cause.

G.R. NO. 199283
JUNE 9, 2014

On January 9, 2001, the spouses Morales filed with RTC Quezon City a complaint for judicial foreclosure of a
house and lot. The Spouses Morales alleged that the Spouses Bartolome loaned P500,000.00 from them. To secure
their loan, the Spouses Bartolome mortgaged the property to the Spouses Morales.
In its decision dated December 22, 2009, the RTC ordered defendants to pay the Spouses Morales P500,000.00 plus
7% interest per month and costs of suit within 90 days but not more than 120 days from entry of
judgment. Defendants received a copy of the trial courts decision on January 29, 2010. On February 8, 2010,
defendants filed their motion for reconsideration of the trial courts decision. On May 25, 2010, the trial court
denied the motion for reconsideration, its amendment, and the request for a handwriting expert.
Defendants received a copy of the May 25, 2010 order on June 24, 2010. On August 11, 2010, defendants filed a
notice of appeal. On August 13, 2010, the trial court denied due course the notice of appeal for having been filed
out of time.
According to the trial court, defendants, through their counsel, received a copy of the order denying the motion for
reconsideration on June 24, 2010. Consequently, they had 15 days from June 24, 2010, or until July 9, 2010, to
appeal the trial courts decision. However, they filed their notice of appeal only on August 11, 2010, which was
beyond the 15-day period to appeal.
On September 24, 2010, defendants filed a petition for relief from judgment, blaming their 80-year-old lawyer who
failed to file the notice of appeal within the reglementary period. The trial court denied the petition for relief from
judgment. And held that the petition for relief was filed beyond 60 days from the finality of the trial courts
Whether or not the petition for relief from judgment was filed out of time.
Yes. This court agrees that the petition for relief from judgment was filed out of time. However, the trial court erred
in counting the 60-day period to file a petition for relief from the date of finality of the trial courts decision.
The petition must be filed within sixty (60) days after petitioner learns of the judgment, final order, or other
proceeding to be set aside, and not more than six (6) months after such judgment or final order was entered,

or such proceeding was taken. The double period required under Section 3, Rule 38 is jurisdictional and should be
strictly complied with. A petition for relief from judgment filed beyond the reglementary period is dismissed
Although petitioners filed a motion for reconsideration and amended motion for reconsideration, these motions
were pro forma for not specifying the findings or conclusions in the decision that were not supported by the
evidence or contrary to law. Their motion for reconsideration did not toll the 15-day period to appeal.
Petitioners cannot argue that the period to appeal should be counted from August 11, 2011, the day petitioners
personally received a copy of the trial courts decision. Notice of judgment on the counsel of record is notice to the
client. Since petitioners counsel received a copy of the decision on January 29, 2010, the period to appeal shall be
Thus, the decision became final 15 days after January 29, 2010, or on February 13, 2010. Petitioners had six (6)
months from February 13, 2010, or until August 12, 2010, to file a petition for relief from judgment. Since
petitioners filed their petition for relief from judgment on September 24, 2010, the petition for relief from judgment
was filed beyond six (6) months from finality of judgment. The trial court should have denied the petition for relief
from judgment on this ground.


G.R. NO. 159926
JANUARY 20, 2014
Bonier, then the President of Pinausukan, executed four real estate mortgages involving the petitioners land in
favor of respondent. When the unpaid obligation secured by the mortgages had ballooned, the Bank commenced
proceedings for the extrajudicial foreclosure of the mortgages. Two weeks thereafter, the sheriff issued the notice of
sheriffs sale, setting the public auction.
Learning of the impending sale of its property by reason of the foreclosure of the mortgages, Pinausukan, brought
against the Bank and the sheriff an action for the annulment of real estate mortgages in the RTC averring that
Bonier had obtained the loans only in his personal capacity. Pinausukan applied for the issuance of a temporary
restraining order or writ of preliminary injunction to enjoin the Bank and the sheriff from proceeding with the
extrajudicial foreclosure and the public auction.
The RTC dismissed the Civil Case for failure to prosecute. The order of dismissal attained finality. The sheriff
issued a notice of extrajudicial sale concerning the property of Pinausukan. The notice was received by Pinausukan
a week later. Claiming surprise over the turn of events, Pinausukan inquired from the RTC and learned that Atty.
Villaflor, its counsel of record, had not informed it about the order of dismissal issued. Pinausukan brought the
petition for annulment in the CA seeking the nullification of the order of October 31, 2002 dismissing Civil Case
No. 01-0300.


On July 31, 2003, the CA dismissed the petition for annulment, citing the failure to attach the affidavits of
witnesses attesting to and describing the alleged extrinsic fraud supporting the cause of action as required by
Section 4, Rule 47 of the Rules of Court; and observing that the verified petition related only to the correctness of
its allegations, a requirement entirely different and separate from the affidavits of witnesses required under Rule 47
of the Rules of Court.
Whether or not the CA erred in dismissing the petition for annulment.
No. Given the extraordinary nature and the objective of the remedy of annulment of judgment or final order,
Pinausukan must be mindful of and should closely comply with the following statutory requirements for the remedy
as set forth in Rule 47 of the Rules of Court.
The first requirement prescribes that the remedy is available only when the petitioner can no longer resort to the
ordinary remedies of new trial, appeal, petition for relief or other appropriate remedies through no fault of the
petitioner. The second requirement limits the ground for the action of annulment of judgment to either extrinsic
fraud or lack of jurisdiction. The third requirement sets the time for the filing of the action. The action, if based on
extrinsic fraud, must be filed within four years from the discovery of the extrinsic fraud; and if based on lack of
jurisdiction, must be brought before it is barred by laches or estoppel. The fourth requirement demands that the
petition should be verified, and should allege with particularity the facts and the law relied upon for annulment, as
well as those supporting the petitioners good and substantial cause of action or defense, as the case may be.
The procedural defect consisted in Pinausukans disregard of the fourth requirement mentioned earlier consisting in
its failure to submit together with the petition the affidavits of witnesses or documents supporting the cause of
action. Pinausukans failure to include the affidavits of witnesses was fatal to its petition for annulment.
The substantive defect related to the supposed neglect of Atty. Villaflor to keep track of the case, and to his failure
to apprise Pinausukan of the developments in the case. Verily, such neglect of counsel, even if it was true, did not
amount to extrinsic fraud because it did not emanate from any act of FEBTC as the prevailing party, and did not
occur outside the trial of the case. As a litigant, it should not entirely leave the case in the hands of its counsel, for it
had the continuing duty to keep itself abreast of the developments if only to protect its own interest in the litigation.
Consequently, it has only itself to blame.

G.R. NO. 199595
APRIL 2, 2014


TRY Foundation filed a Petition for the Issuance of New Title in Lieu of TCT No. 20970 T-22702 of the Office of
the Register of Deeds of Quezon City. It alleged that it is composed of the 2nd and 3rd generation heirs and
successors-in-interest to the first generation testamentary heirs of the late philanthropist Yangco who donated a
parcel of land. The property was registered in the name of PWCTUI.
PWCTUIs corporate term expired in September 1979. Five years thereafter, PWCTUI obtained a SEC Registration
and applied for the issuance of a new owners duplicate. TRY Foundation claimed that the expiration of PWCTUIs
corporate term effectively rescinded the donation. Being the heirs of the donor, TRY Foundation claimed that it is
entitled to petition for the issuance of a new title in their name pursuant to Section 108 of P.D. No. 1529.
The RTC granted TRY Foundations petition by ordering the cancellation of PWCTUIs TCT No. 20970 T-22702
and the issuance of a new title in the name of TRY Foundation. PWCTUI appealed to the CA but it denied the
appeal. PWCTUI filed a petition for review on certiorari but was denied. PWCTUI moved for reconsideration but
its motion was denied with finality in another Resolution dated September 15, 2010. An entry of judgment was
thereafter issued stating that the Court Resolution dated July 21, 2010 became final and executory on October 20,
On December 23, 2011, PWCTUI filed the "Prohibition & Certiorari and to Re-Open the Case with Prayer for
Issuance of TRO &/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction.
Whether or not the petition should be dismissed outright in view of the doctrine of immutability.
No. The doctrine admits the following exceptions: (1) the correction of clerical errors; (2) the so-called nunc pro
tunc entries which cause no prejudice to any party; (3) void judgments; and (4) whenever circumstances transpire
after the finality of the decision rendering its execution unjust and inequitable.
Here, the third exception is attendant. The RTC judgment in LRC Case and all proceedings taken in relation thereto
were void because the RTC did not acquire jurisdiction over the fundamental subject matter of TRY Foundations
petition for the issuance of a title which was in reality, a complaint for revocation of donation, an ordinary civil
action outside the ambit of Section 108 of P.D. No. 1529. TRY Foundation is actually seeking to recover the
possession and ownership of the subject property from PWCTUI and not merely the cancellation of PWCTUIs
TCT No. 20970 T-22702.
Foremost of which is the requirement on the service of summons for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the
persons of the defendants. Without a valid service of summons, the court cannot acquire jurisdiction over the
defendant, unless the defendant voluntarily submits to it. The payment of docket fees is another jurisdictional
requirement for an action for revocation which was absent in the suit filed by TRY Foundation.
The RTC, acting as a land registration court, should have dismissed the land registration case or re-docketed the
same as an ordinary civil action and thereafter ordered compliance with stricter jurisdictional requirements. Since
the RTC had no jurisdiction over the action for revocation of donation disguised as a land registration case, the
judgment in LRC Case is null and void. It cannot be the source of any right or the creator of any obligation. It can
never become final and any writ of execution based on it is likewise void.



G.R. NO. 154470-71 SEPTEMBER 24, 2012

RCBC was the registered owner of 7 CB bills. RCBC sold said bills to the BOC. The BOC sold the bills to PDB.
On April 15, 1994, the PDB in turn sold to the BOC Treasury Bills. Instead of delivering the Treasury Bills, PDB
delivered the 7 CB Bills to BOC. Nevertheless, PDB retained possession of the Detached Assignments which
evidenced the sale. On April 20, 1994, the BOC allegedly sold back to the PDB 3 of the 7 CB bills. In turn, PDB
sold the same to Bancap. On April 25, 1994, the BOC reacquired the 3 CB bills from Bancap. The 4 remaining CB
bills were sold to Capital which in turn sold the same to All-Asia. All-Asia transferred the 4 CB bills back to
RCBC. Thereafter, RCBC sold back to All-Asia one of the 4 CB bills. The BSP refused to release the amount of the
CB bill on maturity, the BOC purchased from All Asia that one bill. As the registered owner of the remaining three
CB bills, the RCBC sold them to IVI Capital and Insular Savings Bank. Again, when the BSP refused to release the
amount of this CB bill on maturity, the RCBC paid back its transferees, reacquired these three CB bills and sold
them to the BOC ultimately, the BOC acquired these three CB bills. All in all, the BOC acquired the first set of
seven CB bills.
Upon learning of the transfers involving the CB bills, the PDB informed the Officer-in-Charge of the BSPs
Government Securities Department, Lagrimas Nuqui, of the PDBs claim over these CB bills, based on the
Detached Assignments in its possession. The PDB requested the BSP to record its claim in the BSPs books,
explaining that its non-possession of the CB bills is "on account of imperfect negotiations thereof and/or subsequent
setoff or transfer. However, Nuqui denied the request.
Nuqui responded that the BSP was "not in a position at that point in time to determine who is and who is not the
holder in due course since it is not privy to all acts and time involving the transfers or negotiation" of the CB bills.
In light of these BSP responses and the impending maturity of the CB bills, the PDB filed with the RTC two
separate petitions for Mandamus, Prohibition and Injunction with prayer for Preliminary Injunction and Temporary
Restraining Order. BSP asked that an interpleader suit be allowed between and among the claimants to the subject
CB bills on the position that while it is able and willing to pay the subject CB bills face value, it is duty bound to
ensure that payment is made to the rightful owner. The RTC granted the BSPs motion to interplead.
Whether or not the remedy of interpleader filed by the BSP through its answer is proper.
Yes. What is quite unique in this case is that the BSP did not initiate the interpleader suit through an original
complaint but through its Answer.
The remedy of interpleader, as a special civil action, is primarily governed by the specific provisions in Rule 62 of
the Rules of Court and secondarily by the provisions applicable to ordinary civil actions. Indeed, Rule 62 does not

expressly authorize the filing of a complaint-in-interpleader as part of, although separate and independent from, the
answer. Similarly, Section 5, Rule 6, in relation to Section 1, Rule 9 of the Rules of Court does not include a
complaint-in-interpleader as a claim, a form of defense, or as an objection that a defendant may be allowed to put
up in his answer or in a motion to dismiss. This does not mean, however, that the BSPs "counter-complaint/crossclaim for interpleader" runs counter to general procedures.
Apart from a pleading, the rules allow a party to seek an affirmative relief from the court through the procedural
device of a motion. While captioned "Answer with counter complaint/cross-claim for interpleader," the RTC
understood this as in the nature of a motion, seeking relief which essentially consists in an order for the conflicting
claimants to litigate with each other so that "payment is made to the rightful or legitimate owner" of the subject CB


G.R. NO. 189571
JANUARY 21, 2015

Respondent established a pension loan product for bona fide veterans or their surviving spouses. As its clientele
usually do not have real estate or security to cover pension, respondent devised a program by charging a premium
in the form of a higher fee known as Credit Redemption Fund (CRF) from said borrowers. Special Trust Funds
were established for the pension loans of the veteran-borrowers. These funds were managed by respondents Trust
and Investment Department with respondent as beneficiary.
The BSP conducted an examination and held that respondents collection of premiums to guarantee payment of
outstanding loans violated Section 54 of RA 8791 which states that banks shall not directly engage in insurance
business as insurer. The Insurance Commission opined that CRF is a form of insurance.
Petitioners issued Monetary Board resolution No. 1139 directing respondents Trust and Investment Department to
return to the borrowers all the balances of the CRF. Respondents requested reconsideration but the same was
denied. Respondent then filed a petition for declaratory relief with the RTC Makati. The RTC granted respondents
petition for declaratory relief.
Whether or not the petition for declaratory relief is proper.
No. Declaratory relief is defined as an action by any person interested in a deed, will, contract, or other written
instrument, executive order or resolution, to determine any question of construction or validity arising from the
instrument, executive order or regulation, or statute; and for a declaration of his rights and duties thereunder. The
only issue that may be raised in such petition is the question of construction or validity of provisions in an
instrument or statute.

The decision of the BSP Monetary Board cannot be a proper subject matter for a petition for declaratory relief since
it was issued by the BSP Monetary Board in the exercise of its quasi-judicial powers or functions. The authority of
the petitioners to issue the questioned resolution emanated from its power to impose, at its discretion,
administrative sanctions, upon any bank for violation of any banking law.
Having established that the BSP Monetary Board is a quasi-judicial body exercising quasi-judicial functions, its
decision in the resolution cannot be the proper subject of declaratory relief. In the same manner that court decisions
cannot be the proper subjects of a petition for declaratory relief, decisions of quasi-judicial agencies cannot be
subjects of a petition for declaratory relief for the simple reason that if a party is not agreeable to a decision, it may
avail of the various remedies provided by the Rules of Court.


G.R. NO. 192957
SEPTEMBER 29, 2014

The late Emmanuel B. Moran, Jr. filed with the Consumer Arbitration Office (CAO) a verified complaint against
private respondent PGA Cars, Inc. pursuant to RA 7394, otherwise known as the Consumer Act of the Philippines.
The complaint alleged that the private respondent should be held liable for the product imperfections of a BMW car
which it sold to complainant.
CAO rendered a Decision in favor of complainant and ordered the private respondent to refund the purchase price
of the BMW car in addition to the payment of costs of litigation and administrative fines.
PGA Cars sought reconsideration of the Decision but the CAO denied the motion. Thus, the private respondent
appealed to the Secretary of DTI, the quasi-judicial agency designated by Article 165 of RA 7394 to entertain
appeals from the adverse decisions and orders of the CAO. However, the DTI Secretary dismissed the appeal of the
private respondent who then filed an appeal with the herein public respondent OP. On April 3, 2007, the OP granted
the appeal, reversed the DTI Secretarys Resolution, and dismissed the complaint. Complainant filed a motion for
reconsideration with the OP, but the OP denied said motion.
Complainant filed a petition for certiorari with the CA and alleged lack of jurisdiction on the part of the OP for
ruling on cases involving a violation of RA 7394. On March 13, 2009, the CA dismissed the petition for certiorari
on the ground that it was a wrong mode of appeal.
Private respondent argues that the CA was correct in denying the petition for certiorari since the OP has appellate
jurisdiction over the DTI based on the constitutional power of control of the OP over Executive Departments.
Is the CA correct in dismissing the petition for certiorari on the ground that petitioner resorted to a wrong mode of

No. The procedure for appeals to the OP is governed by Administrative Order No. 18, Series of 1987.
Parenthetically, Administrative Order (A.O.) No. 18 expressly recognizes an exception to the remedy of appeal to
the Office of the President from the decisions of executive departments and agencies. Under Section 1 thereof, a
decision or order issued by a department or agency need not be appealed to the Office of the President when there is
a special law that provides for a different mode of appeal.
In this case, a special law, RA 7394, likewise expressly provided for immediate judicial relief from decisions of the
DTI Secretary by filing a petition for certiorari with the proper court. Hence, private respondent should have
elevated the case directly to the CA through a petition for certiorari.
In filing a petition for certiorari before the CA raising the issue of the OPs lack of jurisdiction, complainant Moran,
Jr. thus availed of the proper remedy.

G.R. NO. 181760

OCTOBER 14, 2014

Regional Governor Hussin of of ARMM appointed Dr. Benito as Assistant Schools Division Superintendent of the
Department of Education in a temporary capacity. Dr. Benito was reappointed in a permanent capacity. To change
the status of Dr. Benitos appointment from temporary to permanent, Gussin requested the CSC for ARMM to attest
to Dr. Benitos permanent appointment. However, through Regional Director Buena, returned the appointment to
the Regional Governor. According to the regional office, Dr. Benito did not possess the career executive service
eligibility required for the position.
Dr. Benito claimed that it was the regional offices ministerial duty to attest to his appointment.
Whether or not a petition for mandamus is the property remedy to compel the CSC to attest to the appointment of
Yes. Under Rule 65, Section 3 of the Rules of Civil Procedure, a petition for mandamus may be filed when any
tribunal, corporation, board, officer, or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law
specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office, trust, or station. It may also be filed when any tribunal,
corporation, board, officer, or person unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to
which such other is entitled.
In the context of attestation of appointments in the civil service, this court has ruled that the Civil Service
Commission's attestation is a ministerial duty once it finds the appointee eligible for the position. The Commission
"is limited only to the non-discretionary authority of determining whether or not the person appointed meets all the
required conditions laid down by the law."

In this case, respondent Dr. Benito availed himself of the correct remedy. Given his claim that he possesses the
required civil service eligibility for the position of Assistant Schools Division Superintendent, he correctly filed a
petition for mandamus to compel the Civil Service Commission to approve his appointment.
G.R. NO. 184980
MARCH 30, 2011
The Ombudsman charged Del Castillo, then Chief Accountant of the General Headquarters (GHQ) Accounting
Center of the AFP, with dishonesty, grave misconduct and conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service. The
Ombudsman alleged that Del Castillo made false statements in his Statement of Assets and Liabilities from 1996 to
2004 and that he acquired properties manifestly out of proportion to his reported salary.
The GHQ reassigned Del Castillo to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) Accounting Center. Through the same order,
petitioner Moro, then Chief Accountant of the Philippine Navy, took over the position of Chief Accountant of the
GHQ Accounting Center.
Meantime, on August 30, 2006 the Ombudsman placed Del Castillo under preventive suspension for six months
and eventually ordered his dismissal from the service.
Following the lapse of his six-month suspension, Del Castillo attempted to reassume his former post of GHQ Chief
Accountant. But, he was unable to do so since Moro declined to yield the position. Consequently, Del Castillo
filed a petition for quo warranto against Moro with the RTC. The RTC dismissed Del Castillo's petition. He filed a
motion for reconsideration but the same was also denied. Instead of appealing from the order of dismissal of his
action, Del Castillo filed a petition for certiorari with the CA. The CA reversed the RTC Decision.
Whether or not respondent Del Castillo is entitled to be restored to the position of Chief Accountant of the GHQ
Accounting Center that he once held.
No. An action for quo warranto under Rule 66 of the Rules of Court may be filed against one who usurps, intrudes
into, or unlawfully holds or exercises a public office. It may be brought by the Republic of the Philippines or by the
person claiming to be entitled to such office. In this case, it was Del Castillo who filed the action, claiming that he
was entitled as a matter of right to reassume the position of GHQ Chief Accountant after his preventive suspension
In quo warranto, the petitioner who files the action in his name must prove that he is entitled to the subject public
office. Otherwise, the person who holds the same has a right to undisturbed possession and the action for quo
warranto may be dismissed.
Here, Del Castillo brought the action for quo warranto in his name after the Ombudsman ordered his dismissal
from service. As explained above, that dismissal order was immediately executory even pending appeal.

Consequently, he has no right to pursue the action for quo warranto or reassume the position of Chief Accountant
of the GHQ Accounting Center.

G.R. NO. 210636
JULY 28, 2014
Respondent Raquel filed before the R TC-Caloocan a verified petition for writ of habeas corpus. The RTCCaloocan issued a writ of habeas corpus, ordering petitioner Tujan-Militante to bring the child to court. Despite
diligent efforts and several attempts, the Sheriff was unsuccessful in personally serving petitioner copies of the
habeas corpus petition and of the writ. Instead, the Sheriff left copies of the court processes at petitioners Caloocan
residence. Nevertheless, petitioner failed to appear at the scheduled hearings before the RTC-Caloocan.
Meanwhile, petitioner filed a Petition for Guardianship over the person of Criselda before the RTC-Quezon City.
Respondent filed a Motion to Dismiss the petition for guardianship on the ground of litis pendentia, among others.
Thereafter, respondent filed a criminal case for kidnapping against petitioner and her counsel. The RTC-Quezon
City granted respondents motion and dismissed the guardianship case due to the pendency of the habeas corpus
petition before RTC-Caloocan.
Raquel moved for the ex parte issuance of an alias writ of habeas corpus before the RTC-Caloocan, which was
granted by the trial court. The court directed the Sheriff to serve the alias writ upon petitioner at the Office of the
Assistant City Prosecutor of Quezon City. In compliance, the Sheriff served petitioner the Order as well as the Alias
Writ during the preliminary investigation of the kidnapping case.
Petitioner, by way of special appearance, moved for the quashal of the writ and prayed before the RTC Caloocan
for the dismissal of the habeas corpus petition, claiming, among others, that she was not personally served with
summons. Thus, as argued by petitioner, jurisdiction over her and Criseldas person was not acquired by the RTC
Whether or not the RTC Caloocan has jurisdiction over the habeas corpus petition filed by respondent and,
assuming arguendo it does, whether or not it validly acquired jurisdiction over petitioner and the person of Criselda.
Yes. The RTC-Caloocan correctly took cognizance of the habeas corpus petition. Subsequently, it acquired
jurisdiction over petitioner when the latter was served with a copy of the writ in Quezon City.
In the case at bar, what respondent filed was a petition for the issuance of a writ of habeas corpus under Section 20
of A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC and Rule 102 of the Rules of Court. Section 20. Petition for writ of habeas corpus.- A
verified petition for a writ of habeas corpus involving custody of minors shall be filed with the Family Court. The
writ shall be enforceable within its judicial region to which the Family Court belongs.

Respondent filed the petition before the family court of Caloocan City. Since Caloocan City and Quezon City both
belong to the same judicial region, the writ issued by the RTC-Caloocan can still be implemented in Quezon City.
Whether petitioner resides in the former or the latter is immaterial in view of the above rule.
Lastly, as regards petitioners assertion that the summons was improperly served, suffice it to state that service of
summons, to begin with, is not required in a habeas corpus petition, be it under Rule 102 of the Rules of Court or
A.M. No. 03-04-04-SC. As held in Saulo v. Cruz, a writ of habeas corpus plays a role somewhat comparable to a
summons, in ordinary civil actions, in that, by service of said writ, the court acquires jurisdiction over the person of
the respondent.


G.R. NO. 193652
AUGUST 5, 2014

Petitioner Christina mislead Marcelino into believing that she had an abortion when in fact she proceeded to
complete the term of her pregnancy. During this time, she intended to have the child adopted to avoid
embarrassment for having a second illegitimate son.
Christina gave birth to Baby Julian. She surrendered Baby Julian by way of a Deed of Voluntary Commitment to
the DSWD. Marcelino died without knowing about the birth of his son.
The DSWD declared Baby Julian as Legally Available for Adoption. Baby Julian was matched with the
spouses Medina of the Kaisahang Bahay Foundation. Supervised trial custody then commenced but Christina
changed her mind about the adoption and asked for the suspension of Baby Julians adoption proceedings.
The DSWD, through Atty. Segui, sent a Memorandum to DSWD Assistant Secretary Cabrera informing her that the
certificate declaring Baby Julian legally available for adoption had attained finality and effectively made Baby
Julian a ward of the State.
Christina filed a petition for the issuance of a writ of amparo before the RTC of Quezon City seeking to obtain
custody of Baby Julian from Atty. Segui, Atty. Escutin, Assistant Secretary Cabrera and Acting Secretary Celia C.
Yangco, all of the DSWD.
The RTC dismissed the petition for issuance of a writ of amparo without prejudice to the filing of the appropriate
action in court and held that Christina availed of the wrong remedy to regain custody of her child Baby Julian.
Whether a petition for a writ of amparo is the proper recourse.


No. The petition for a writ of amparo is a remedy available to any person whose right to life, liberty and security is
violated or threatened with violation by an unlawful act or omission of a public official or employee, or of a private
individual or entity. The writ shall cover extralegal killings and enforced disappearances or threats thereof.
As to what constitutes enforced disappearance, this Court enumerated the elements constituting enforced
disappearances to wit:

that there be an arrest, detention, abduction or any form of deprivation of liberty;


that it be carried out by, or with the authorization, support or acquiescence of, the State or a political


that it be followed by the State or political organizations refusal to acknowledge or give information on the
fate or whereabouts of the person subject of the amparo petition; and,


that the intention for such refusal is to remove subject person from the protection of the law for a prolonged
period of time.

In this case, Christina alleged that the respondent DSWD officers caused her enforced separation from Baby
Julian and that their action amounted to an enforced disappearance within the context of the Amparo rule. The
DSWD officers never concealed Baby Julians whereabouts. There is therefore, no enforced disappearance as
used in the context of the Amparo rule as the third and fourth elements are missing.
Christinas directly accusing the respondents of forcibly separating her from her child and placing the latter up for
adoption, supposedly without complying with the necessary legal requisites to qualify the child for adoption,
clearly indicates that she is not searching for a lost child but asserting her parental authority over the child and
contesting custody over him.


G.R. NO. 197174
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

Petitioner filed a petition for correction of entries in his certificate of live birth before the RTC and named
respondent Office of the Local Civil Registrar of Las Pias City as sole respondent. Petitioner alleged that he is the
illegitimate child of his parents Guillermo A. Onde and Matilde DC Pakingan, but his birth certificate stated that his
parents were married. His birth certificate also stated that his mothers first name is Tely and that his first name is
Franc Ler. He prayed that the following entries on his birth certificate be corrected as follows:



1) Date and place of marriage of his parents

December 23, 1983 Bicol Not married

2) First name of his mother



3) His first name

Franc Ler


The RTC dismissed the petition for correction of entries on the ground that it is insufficient in form and substance.
It ruled that the proceedings must be adversarial since the first correction is substantial in nature and would affect
petitioners status as a legitimate child. It was further held that the correction in the first name of petitioner and his
mother can be done by the city civil registrar under RA 9048.
(1) Whether the RTC erred in ruling that the correction on the first name of petitioner and his mother can be done
by the city civil registrar under R.A. No. 9048;
(2) Whether the RTC erred in ruling that correcting the entry on petitioners birth certificate that his parents were
married on December 23, 1983 in Bicol to not married is substantial in nature requiring adversarial proceedings;
(1) No. On the first issue, we agree with the RTC that the first name of petitioner and his mother as appearing
in his birth certificate can be corrected by the city civil registrar under R.A. No. 9048. The intent and effect
of said law is to exclude the change of first name from the coverage of Rules 103 (Change of Name) and
108 (Cancellation or Correction of Entries in the Civil Registry) of the Rules of Court, until and unless an
administrative petition for change of name is first filed and subsequently denied. The remedy and the
proceedings regulating change of first name are primarily administrative in nature, not judicial. Thus
petitioner can avail of this administrative remedy for the correction of his and his mothers first name.
(2) No. On the second issue, we also agree with the RTC in ruling that correcting the entry on petitioners birth
certificate that his parents were married on December 23, 1983 in Bicol to not married is a substantial
correction requiring adversarial proceedings. corrections of entries in the civil register including those on
citizenship, legitimacy of paternity or filiation, or legitimacy of marriage, involve substantial alterations.
Substantial errors in a civil registry may be corrected and the true facts established provided the parties
aggrieved by the error avail themselves of the appropriate adversary proceedings.

G.R. NO. 183152
JANUARY 21, 2015
Petitioners (Jaylo, Casto, Valenzona and Habalo) were officers of the PNP placed on special detail with the NBI.
The US Drug Enforcement Agency approached the NBI with information that there would be a sale of heroin in the

Philippines. Jaylo was assigned to conduct a buy-bust operation with the aid of US DEA undercover agent
Needham negotiated the purchase of heoin from Arrastia, Calanog and De Guzman. According to the prosecution,
Jaylo pointed his gun at De Guzman and two other operatives instructed Calanog and Manguera to lie face down.
When the car was already safely on its way, Jaylo and his men shot De Guzman and the others. They waited 15
minutes for the victims to bleed and loaded them to the vehicles under the ruse of bringing them to the hospital.
Then President Aquino created the Elma Committee. The Elma committee recommended the prosecution of Jaylo
for the killing of De Guzman and the others.
The Sandiganbayan found petitioners guilty of homicide. During the promulgation of the Sandiganbayans
judgment, none of the accused appeared despite notice. The court promulgated the Decision in absentia.
Counsel for petitioners filed a motion for partial reconsideration but the court ruled that the 15-day period from
promulgation of judgement had long lapsed without any of the accused giving justifiable cause for their absence.
Thus, petitioners have lost the remedies available under the Rules against the Sandiganbayans judgment of
conviction, including the filing of a motion for reconsideration.
Petitioner now argues that Section 6 of Rule 120 cannot diminish, increase or modify substantive rights like the
filing of a motion for reconsideration.
Whether or not the Sandiganbayan was correct in not taking cognizance of the motion for partial reconsideration.
Yes. Like an appeal, the right to file a motion for reconsideration is a statutory grant or privilege. As a statutory
right, the filing of a motion for reconsideration must strictly comply with the requisites laid down in the Rules of
Section 6. Rule 120 of the Rules of Court does not take away per se the right of the convicted accused to avail of
the remedies under the rules. It is the failure of the accused to appear without justifiable cause on the scheduled date
of promulgation of the judgment of conviction that forfeits their right to avail themselves of the remedies against
the judgment.
The accused who were absent during the promulgation may reverse the forfeiture of remedies available to them
against the judgment of conviction either by surrendering or filing a motion for leave of court to avail of the
remedies, stating the reasons for their absence within 15 days from the date of promulgation of judgment.
When the motion was filed, it did not operate to regain the standing of petitioners in court. For their failure to
regain standing, the decision of the Sandiganbayan attained finality.

G.R. NO. 196508
SEPTEMBER 24, 2014


On May 6, 1954, respondent Amelia Chan married Leon Basilio Chua in a civil ceremony. Amelia claimed that her
husband and the present petitioner, Leonardo A. Villalon, are one and the same person. During the subsistence of
his marriage to Amelia, Leon Basilio Chua, this time under the name of Leonardo A. Villalon, allegedly contracted
a second marriage with Erlinda Talde that took place on June 2, 1993.
Amelia, who was then living in the US could not personally file a case for bigamy in the Philippines. She requested
Benito Yao Chua and Wilson Go to commence the criminal proceedings against the petitioners.
During the pre-trial Atty. Apollo V. Atencia appeared in behalf of Amelia and formally filed his entry of appearance
as private prosecutor. Leonardo sought to disqualify Atty. Atencia and argued that Amelia could not be represented
in the bigamy case because she was not a party to the case, as she did not file the complaint-affidavit. He also
argued that Amelia had already waived her right to file a civil and criminal case against him and his co-defendant
The RTC granted Leonardos omnibus motion and Atty. Atencia was disqualified. In her petition for certiorari and
prohibition before the CA, Amelia alleged grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC when it proceeded with
the bigamy case without permitting the participation of Atty. Atencia as private prosecutor.
Whether or not the CA gravely erred when it ruled that the RTC committed grave abuse of discretion in
disqualifying Atty. Atencia as private prosecutor.
No. Section 16 of Rule 110 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure expressly allows an offended party to
intervene by counsel in the prosecution of the offense for the recovery of civil liability where the civil action for the
recovery of civil liability arising from the offense charged is instituted with the criminal action. The civil action
shall be deemed instituted with the criminal action, except when the offended party waives the civil action, reserves
the right to institute it separately or institutes the civil action prior to the criminal action.
In this case, the CA found no such waiver from or reservation made by the respondent. The fact that the
respondent, who was already based abroad, had secured the services of an attorney in the Philippines reveals her
willingness and interest to participate in the prosecution of the bigamy case and to recover civil liability from the
petitioners. Thus, the RTC should have allowed, and should not have disqualified, Atty. Atencia from intervening
in the bigamy case as the respondent, being the offended party, is afforded by law the right to participate through
counsel in the prosecution of the offense with respect to the civil aspect of the case.

G.R. NO. 199042
NOVEMBER 17, 2014


Petitioner Danilo Villanueva was charged with Illegal Possession of Dangerous Drugs.
The witnesses testimonies reveal that a Complaint was filed against Danilo Villanueva for allegedly shooting a
certain Brian Resco. After recording the incident in the police blotter, PO3 Jonathan Coralde, SPO3 Enrique de
Jesus, SPO2 Henry Martin and SPO1 Anthony Asiones, together with Resco, proceeded to the house of Villanueva.
They informed Villanueva about the Complaint lodged against him. They invited him to the police station. There,
he was subjected to a body search and, in the process, a plastic sachet of shabu was recovered from the left pocket
of his pants. PO3 Coralde marked the sachet and brought it to the National Police District Scene of the Crime
Operatives for examination.
The RTC convicted Danilo of the offense charged. The CA affirmed the ruling of the RTC.
Petitioner claims that his arrest does not fall within the purview of valid warrantless arrests, since it took place on
the day of the alleged shooting incident. Hence, to "invite" him to the precinct without any warrant of arrest was
illegal. The evidence obtained is, consequently, inadmissible.
Whether or not accused Danilo is estopped from questioning the legality of his arrest.
Yes. Accused-appellant is estopped from questioning the legality of his arrest. Accused-appellant was arrested
without a warrant. Section 5, Rule 113 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure, lays down the basic rules on
lawful warrantless arrests either by a peace officer or a private person, as follows:
Sec. 5. Arrest without warrant; when lawful. A peace officer or a private person may, without a warrant, arrest a
(a) When, in his presence, the person to be arrested has committed, is actually committing, or is attempting
to commit an offense;
(b) When an offense has just been committed and he has probable cause to believe based on personal
knowledge of facts or circumstances that the person to be arrested has committed it; and
(c) When the person to be arrested is a prisoner who has escaped from a penal establishment or place where
he is serving final judgment or is temporarily confined while his case is pending, or has escaped while
being transferred from one confinement to another.
The circumstances that transpired between accused-appellant and the arresting officer show none of the above that
would make the warrantless arrest lawful. Nevertheless, records reveal that accused-appellant never objected to the
irregularity of his arrest before his arraignment. He pleaded not guilty upon arraignment. He actively participated in
the trial of the case. Thus, he is considered as one who had properly and voluntarily submitted himself to the
jurisdiction of the trial court and waived his right to question the validity of his arrest.
Whether or not accused Danilo should be acquitted of the crime charged.

Yes. A waiver of an illegal arrest, however, is not a waiver of an illegal search. Records have established that both
the arrest and the search were made without a warrant. While the accused has already waived his right to contest the
legality of his arrest, he is not deemed to have equally waived his right to contest the legality of the search.
Jurisprudence is replete with pronouncements on when a warrantless search can be conducted. These searches
include: (1) search of a moving vehicle; (2) seizure in plain view; (3) customs search; (4) waiver or consented
search; (5) stop-and-frisk situation; (6) search incidental to a lawful arrest and (7) exigent and emergency
The search made was not among the enumerated instances. Certainly, it was not of a moving vehicle, a customs
search, or a search incidental to a lawful arrest. There could not have been a seizure in plain view as the seized item
was allegedly found inside the left pocket of accused-appellants pants. Neither was it a stop-and-frisk situation.
While this type may seemingly fall under the consented search exception, we reiterate that "consent to a search is
not to be lightly inferred, but shown by clear and convincing evidence.

G.R. NO. 209195
SEPTEMBER 17, 2014

Montero, a former employee of the Jimenezes executed sworn statements confessing his participation in the killing
of Ruby Rose Barrameda. He named petitioners Lope, Lennard, Robert and Eric as his co-conspirators. The People,
through the state prosecutors, charged petitioners and Montero for the killing of Ruby Rose.
Montero filed a motion for his discharge pursuant to RA 6981. The People also filed a motion to discharge Montero
as state witness. Jimenez opposed both motions. The RTC denied the motion to discharge Montero as state witness.
The judge ruled that the prosecution failed to clearly show that Montero was not the most guilty. He further held
that Monteros statements were not corroborated by the other evidence on record. Both Montero and the People
filed separate motions for reconsideration.
Jimenez avers that there is no necessity to discharge Montero as a state witness because the voluntary sworn
extrajudicial confessions of Montero are all in the possession of the prosecution which they could readily present in
court without discharging Montero. Jimenez also argues that a principal by direct participation (herein Montero) is
more guilty than the principal by inducement.
Whether or not the prosecution has complied with the requisites under Section 17, Rule 119 of the Revised Rule of
Criminal Procedure.

Yes. In the discharge of an accused in order that he may be a state witness, the following conditions must be
present, namely:
(1) Two or more accused are jointly charged with the commission of an offense;
(2) The motion for discharge is filed by the prosecution before it rests its case;
(3) The prosecution is required to present evidence and the sworn statement of each proposed state witness
at a hearing in support of the discharge;
(4) The accused gives his consent to be a state witness; and
(5) The trial court is satisfied that:
a) There is absolute necessity for the testimony of the accused whose discharge is requested; b)
There is no other direct evidence available for the proper prosecution of the offense committed,
except the testimony of said accused;
c) The testimony of said accused can be substantially corroborated in its material points;
d) Said accused does not appear to be the most guilty; and,
e) Said accused has not atany time been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude.
No issues have been raised with respect to conditions (1), (2), (4), and 5(e). The parties dispute the compliance with
conditions (3) and 5(a) to (d).
In the present case, not one of the accused-conspirators, except Montero, was willing to testify on the alleged
murder of Ruby Rose and their participation in her killing. He alone is available to provide direct evidence of the
crime. That the prosecution could use the voluntary statements of Montero without his discharge as a state witness
is not an important and relevant consideration. To the prosecution belongs the control of its case and this Court
cannot dictate on its choice in the discharge of a state witness, save only when the legal requirements have not been
complied with.
Contrary to the CAs findings, a principal by inducement is not automatically the most guilty in a conspiracy. For
purposes of resolving a motion to discharge an accused as a state witness, what are controlling are the specific acts
of the accused in relation to the crime committed. We cannot also agree with Jimenez argument that a principal by
direct participation is more guilty than the principal by inducement as the Revised Penal Code penalizes the
principal by inducement only when the principal by direct participation has executed the crime.

G.R. NO. 204029
JUNE 4, 2014



Petitioners Avelina Rebusquillo and Salvador Orosco filed a Complaint for annulment and revocation of an
Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale dated before the RTC.
In 2001, Avelina was supposedly made to sign two documents by her daughter Emelinda Rebusquillo-Gualvez and
her son-in-law Domingo Gualvez, respondents in this case, on the pretext that the documents were needed to
facilitate the titling of the lot. It was only in 2003, so petitioners claim, that Avelina realized that what she signed
was an Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of respondents.
In their answer, respondents admitted that the execution of the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and the Deed of Sale
was intended to facilitate the titling of the subject property.
The RTC annulled the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication and the Deed of Absolute Sale executed by Avelina. Assailing
the trial courts decision, respondents interposed an appeal with the CA arguing that the Deed of Sale cannot be
annulled being a public document that has for its object the creation and transmission of real rights over the
immovable subject property.
The CA held that the RTC erred in annulling the Affidavit of Self-Adjudication simply on petitioners allegation of
the existence of the heirs of Eulalio, considering that issues on heirship must be made in administration or intestate
proceedings, not in an ordinary civil action.
Whether or not the RTC is justified to apply the exceptions provided in the second paragraph of Sec. 9, Rule 130.
Yes. Contrary to the appellate courts opinion, the fact that the questioned Deed of Absolute Sale was reduced to
writing and notarized does not accord it the quality of incontrovertibility otherwise provided by the parole evidence
rule. The form of a contract does not make an otherwise simulated and invalid act valid. The rule on parole
evidence is not, as it were, ironclad. Sec. 9, Rule 130 of the Rules of Court provides the exceptions: (a) An intrinsic
ambiguity, mistake or imperfection in the written agreement; (b) The failure of the written agreement to express
the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto; (c) The validity of the written agreement; or (d) The
existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the written
In the present case, the true intention of the parties in the execution of the Deed of Absolute Sale is immediately
apparent from respondents very own Answer to petitioners Complaint.


G.R. NO. 163654
OCTOBER 8, 2014


Armovit was issued by BPI Express Credit. She treated her British friends to lunch and handed to the waiter her
credit card to settle the bill, but the waiter soon returned to inform her that her credit card had been cancelled upon
verification with BPI Express Credit and would not be honored. As she did not then carry enough cash that day, her
guests were made to share the bill to her extreme embarrassment.
Outraged, Armovit called BPI Express Credit to verify the status of her credit card. She learned that her credit card
had been summarily cancelled for failure to pay her outstanding obligations. She vehemently denied having
defaulted on her payments. Thus, by letter dated February 3, 1993, she demanded compensation for the shame,
embarrassment and humiliation she had suffered.
Armovit sued BPI Express Credit for damages in the RTC, insisting that she had been a credit card holder in good
The RTC ruled in favor of Armovit and observed that the terms and conditions governing the issuance and use of
the credit card embodied in the application form had been furnished to her for the first time only on April 8, 1992,
or after her credit card privileges had already been suspended. Both parties appealed to the CA. The CA concurred
with the RTC and held that there is no merit in BPI Express Credits contention that the submission of a new
application form was a pre-requisite for the lifting of the suspension of her credit card, inasmuch as such condition
was not stated in a clear and unequivocal manner in its letter dated April 8, 1992.
Whether or not the CA erred in sustaining the award of damages in favor of Armovit.
No. Section 9.Evidence of written agreements. When the terms of an agreement have been reduced to writing, it
is considered as containing all the terms agreed upon and there can be, between the parties and their successors in
interest, no evidence of such terms other than the contents of the written agreement. However, a party may present
evidence to modify, explain or add to the terms of the written agreement if he puts in issue in his pleading:
(a) An intrinsic ambiguity, mistake, or imperfection in the written agreement;
(b) The failure of the written agreement to express the true intent and agreement of the parties thereto;
(c) The validity of the written agreement; or
(d) The existence of other terms agreed to by the parties or their successors in interest after the execution of the
written agreement.
The Court disagrees with the contentions of BPI Express Credit. The Terms and Conditions Governing the Issuance
and Use of the BPI Express Credit Card printed on the credit card application form spelled out the terms and
conditions of the contract between BPI Express Credit and its card holders, including Armovit. Such terms and
conditions determined the rights and obligations of the parties. Yet, a review of such terms and conditions did not
reveal that Armovit needed to submit her new application as the antecedent condition for her credit card to be taken
out of the list of suspended cards.

Considering that the terms and conditions nowhere stated that the card holder must submit the new application form
in order to reactivate her credit card, to allow BPI Express Credit to impose the duty to submit the new application
form in order to enable Armovit to reactivate the credit card would contravene the Parol Evidence Rule. Indeed,
there was no agreement between the parties to add the submission of the new application form as the means to
reactivate the credit card.


G.R. NO. 163654
OCTOBER 8, 2014

In their complaint for quieting of title and damages against Margarita Prodon, the respondents averred as the
plaintiffs that their parents, the late spouses Maximo S. Alvarez, Sr. and Valentina Clave, were the registered
owners of that parcel of land covered by Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No. 84797 of the Register of Deeds of
Manila; that their parents had been in possession of the property during their lifetime; that upon their parents
deaths, they had continued the possession of the property as heirs. Consequently, they prayed that the entry be
cancelled, and that Prodon be adjudged liable for damages.
In her answer, Prodon claimed that the late Maximo Alvarez, Sr. had executed on September 9, 1975 the deed of
sale with right to repurchase; that the deed had been registered with the Register of Deeds and duly annotated on
the title; that the late Maximo Alvarez, Sr. had been granted six months from September 9, 1975 within which to
repurchase the property; and that she had then become the absolute owner of the property due to its non-repurchase
within the given 6-month period.
During trial, the custodian of the records of the property attested that the copy of the deed of sale with right to
repurchase could not be found in the files of the Register of Deeds of Manila.
The RTC rendered judgment, finding untenable the plaintiffs contention that the deed of sale with right to
repurchase did not exist. The RTC concluded that the original copy of the deed of sale with right to repurchase had
been lost, and that earnest efforts had been exerted to produce it before the court. It believed Jose Camilons
testimony that he had handed the original to one Atty. Anacleto Lacanilao, but that he could not anymore retrieve
such original from Atty. Lacanilao because the latter had meanwhile suffered from a heart ailment and had been
recuperating.The CA reversed the RTCs Decision.
Whether or not the Best Evidence Rule is applicable to this case.
No. The Best Evidence Rule stipulates that in proving the terms of a written document the original of the document
must be produced in court. The rule excludes any evidence other than the original writing to prove the contents
thereof, unless the offeror proves: (a) the existence or due execution of the original; (b) the loss and destruction of

the original, or the reason for its non-production in court; and (c) the absence of bad faith on the part of the offeror
to which the unavailability of the original can be attributed.
The Best Evidence Rule applies only when the terms of a writing are in issue. When the evidence sought to be
introduced concerns external facts, such as the existence, execution or delivery of the writing, without reference to
its terms, the Best Evidence Rule cannot be invoked. In such a case, secondary evidence may be admitted even
without accounting for the original.
This case involves an action for quieting of title. The action for quieting of title may be based on the fact that a deed
is invalid, ineffective, voidable, or unenforceable. The terms of the writing may or may not be material to an action
for quieting of title, depending on the ground alleged by the plaintiff. For instance, when an action for quieting of
title is based on the unenforceability of a contract for not complying with the Statute of Frauds, Article 1403 of the
Civil Code specifically provides that evidence of the agreement cannot be received without the writing, or a
secondary evidence of its contents. There is then no doubt that the Best Evidence Rule will come into play.
It is not denied that this action does not involve the terms or contents of the deed of sale with right to repurchase.
The principal issue raised by the respondents as the plaintiffs, which Prodon challenged head on, was whether or
not the deed of sale with right to repurchase, duly executed by the late Maximo Alvarez, Sr., had really existed.


G.R. NO. 200055
SEPTEMBER 10, 2014

On March 20, 2004, two vehicles, driven by Jefferson Cham and insured with petitioner Standard, and the other
owned by respondent Arnold Cuaresma and driven by respondent Jerry B. Cuaresma, figured in an accident. The
damage on the vehicle driven by Cham was repaired, the cost of which was borne by petitioner. Cham then
executed a Release of Claim in favor of petitioner subrogating the latter to all his rights. Petitioner demanded the
payment of the sum spent on repairing the vehicle driven by Cham from respondents.
An Information was filed with the MeTC charging Cham of the crime of Reckless Imprudence Resulting in Damage
to Property. Finding that petitioner sufficiently proved its claims by preponderance of evidence, the MeTC ruled in
favor of petitioner. The RTC, however, reversed the ruling of the MeTC. On appeal, the CA likewise found that the
evidence proffered by petitioner is insufficient to support its averment of negligence and affirmed the RTC's
Petitioner contends that its failure to present SPO2 Felicisimo V. Cuaresma, the police investigator who prepared
the traffic accident report submitted in evidence, is not fatal to its cause of action.
Whether the traffic accident investigation report can be given probative weight.

No. The Traffic Accident Investigation Report cannot be given probative weight. For the Traffic Accident
Investigation Report to be admissible as prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated, the following requisites
must be present:
(a) that the entry was made by a public officer or by another person specially enjoined by law to do so; (b) that it
was made by the public officer in the performance of his duties, or by such other person in the performance of a
duty specially enjoined by law; and (c) that the public officer or other person had sufficient knowledge of the facts
by him stated, which must have been acquired by him personally or through official information.
Regrettably, in this case, petitioner failed to prove the third requisite cited above. While the Traffic Accident
Investigation Report was exhibited as evidence, the investigating officer who prepared the same was not presented
in court to testify that he had sufficient knowledge of the facts therein stated, and that he acquired them personally
or through official information. Neither was there any explanation as to why such officer was not presented.


G.R. NO. 198240
JULY 3, 2013
The Spouses Navarro died in 1958 and 1993. They left behind several parcels of land. They were survived by their
daughters Luisa Navarro Marcos, herein petitioner, and Lydia Navarro Grageda, and the heirs of their only son
Andres Navarro, Jr. The heirs of Andres, Jr. are the respondents herein.
Petitioner and her sister Lydia discovered that respondents are claiming exclusive ownership of the subject lot.
Respondents based their claim on the Affidavit of Transfer of Real Property dated May 19, 1954 where Andres, Sr.
donated the subject lot to Andres, Jr.
Believing that the affidavit is a forgery, the sisters, requested a handwriting examination of the affidavit. The PNP
handwriting expert PO2 Mary Grace Alvarez found that Andres, Sr.s signature on the affidavit and the submitted
standard signatures of Andres, Sr. were not written by one and the same person.
Thus, the sisters sued the respondents for annulment of the deed of donation before RTC Masbate. After the pretrial, respondents moved to disqualify PO2 Alvarez as a witness.
The RTC granted respondents motion and disqualified PO2 Alvarez as a witness. The RTC ruled that PO2
Alvarezs supposed testimony would be hearsay as she has no personal knowledge of the alleged handwriting of
Andres, Sr. The sisters sought reconsideration of the order but the RTC denied their motion. Aggrieved, the sisters
filed a petition for certiorari before the CA, which however, dismissed their petition. Hence, this appeal.

Whether or not PO2 Alvarez should be disqualified as a witness.
No. SEC. 49. Opinion of expert witness.The opinion of a witness on a matter requiring special knowledge, skill,
experience or training which he is shown to possess, may be received in evidence.
As a handwriting expert of the PNP, PO2 Alvarez can surely perceive and make known her perception to
others.1wphi1We have no doubt that she is qualified as a witness. She cannot be disqualified as a witness since she
possesses none of the disqualifications specified under the Rules. Respondents motion to disqualify her should
have been denied by the RTC for it was not based on any of these grounds for disqualification. The RTC rather
confused the qualification of the witness with the credibility and weight of her testimony.
Thus, we disagree with the RTC that PO2 Alvarezs testimony would be hearsay. Under Section 49, Rule 130 of the
Rules on Evidence, PO2 Alvarez is allowed to render an expert opinion, as the PNP document examiner was
allowed in Tamani. But the RTC already ruled at the outset that PO2 Alvarezs testimony is hearsay even before her
testimony is offered and she is called to the witness stand. Under the circumstances, the CA should have issued a
corrective writ of certiorari and annulled the RTC ruling.

G.R. NO. 191336
JANUARY 25, 2012

Montanez secured a loan payable in one year from the Miguel. Montanez gave his house in Caloocan as collateral.
Due to the Montanezs failure to pay the loan, the Miguel filed a complaint against the him before the Lupong
Tagapamayapa of Barangay San Jose, Rodriguez, Rizal.
The parties entered into a Kasunduang Pag-aayos wherein the Montanez agreed to pay his loan in installments in
the amount of P2,000 per month, and in the event the house and lot given as collateral is sold, he would settle the
balance of the loan in full. However, Montanez still failed to pay, and thus, the Lupong Tagapamayapa issued a
certification to file action in court in favor of the Miguel.
Miguel filed before the MeTC Makati, a complaint for Collection of Sum of Money. The MeTC ordered Montanez
to pay Miguel. Montanez appealed but the RTC affirmed the MeTC decision. Aggrieved, Montanez appealed to the
CA. The CA dismissed the complaint for sum and money without prejudice to the right to file the necessary action
to enforce the Kasunduan.


Whether or not a complaint for sum of money is the proper remedy for the petitioner, notwithstanding the
Kasunduang Pag-aayos
Yes. If one of the parties fails or refuses to abide by the compromise, the other party may either enforce the
compromise or regard it as rescinded and insist upon his original demand.
In the case at bar, the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law provides for a two-tiered mode of enforcement of an
amicable settlement, to wit: (a) by execution by the Punong Barangay which is quasi-judicial and summary in
nature on mere motion of the party entitled thereto; and (b) an action in regular form, which remedy is judicial.
However, the mode of enforcement does not rule out the right of rescission under Art. 2041 of the Civil Code. The
availability of the right of rescission is apparent from the wording of Sec. 417 itself which provides that the
amicable settlement "may" be enforced by execution by the lupon within six (6) months from its date or by action
in the appropriate city or municipal court, if beyond that period. The use of the word "may" clearly makes the
procedure provided in the Revised Katarungang Pambarangay Law directory or merely optional in nature.
When the respondent did not comply with the terms and conditions of the Kasunduang Pag-aayos, such noncompliance may be construed as repudiation because it denotes that the he did not intend to be bound by the terms
thereof, thereby negating the very purpose for which it was executed. Thus, petitioner has the option either to
enforce the Kasunduang Pag-aayos, or to regard it as rescinded and insist upon his original demand, in accordance
with the provision of Article 2041 of the Civil Code. Having instituted an action for collection of sum of money, the
petitioner obviously chose to rescind the Kasunduang Pag-aayos. As such, it is error on the part of the CA to rule
that enforcement by execution of said agreement is the appropriate remedy under the circumstances.


G.R. NO. 198075

In 1975, FKI bequeathed the subject land in favor of herein Makati Rotary Club by way of a conditional donation.
FKI and the respondent executed a Deed of Donation evidencing their consensus.
The Deed of Donation also stipulated that the amount of rent shall be the subject of mutual agreement and in case
of disagreement the matter shall be referred to a Board of three Arbitrators appointed and with powers in
accordance with the Arbitration Law of the Philippines, Republic Act 878.
FKI and respondent executed another contract of lease. The 2000 Lease Contract also contained an arbitration
clause enforceable in the event the parties come to disagreement about the" interpretation, application and
execution" of the lease. After the 2000 Lease Contract expired, FKI and respondent agreed to renew their lease for
another five (5) years which also contained an arbitration clause.


For petitioner then, the rental stipulations of both the 2000 Lease Contract and 2005 Lease Contract cannot be
enforced as they are clearly, in violation of the aforementioned threshold in the Deed of Donation and Amended
Deed of Donation.
Respondent filed an unlawful detainer case against the petitioner before the MeTC. In its Answer with Compulsory
Counterclaim, petitioner reiterated its objection over the rental stipulations of the 2005 Lease Contract for being
violative of the material conditions of the Deed of Donation and Amended Deed of Donation.
The MeTC rendered judgment in favor of the petitioner. The RTC reversed the MeTC and ordered the eviction of
the petitioner from the subject land. The CA affirmed the decision of the RTC.
Whether or not the MeTC, RTC and CA all erred in overlooking the arbitration clause incorporated in the 2005
lease contract.
Yes. The disagreement between the petitioner and respondent falls within the all-encompassing terms of the
arbitration clause of the 2005 Lease Contract. While it may be conceded that in the arbitration of such
disagreement, the validity of the 2005 Lease Contract, or at least, of such contracts rental stipulations would have
to be determined, the same would not render such disagreement non-arbitrable.
Arbitration before the Panel of Arbitrators is proper only when there is a disagreement between the parties as to
some provisions of the contract between them, which needs the interpretation and the application of that particular
knowledge and expertise possessed by members of that Panel. It is not proper when one of the parties repudiates the
existence or validity of such contract or agreement on the ground of fraud or oppression as in this case. The validity
of the contract cannot be subject of arbitration proceedings. Allegations of fraud and duress in the execution of a
contract are matters within the jurisdiction of the ordinary courts of law. These questions are legal in nature and
require the application and interpretation of laws and jurisprudence which is necessarily a judicial function.
Under the doctrine of separability, an arbitration agreement is considered as independent of the main contract.
Being a separate contract in itself, the arbitration agreement may thus be invoked regardless of the possible nullity
or invalidity of the main contract.
The petitioner, as early as in its Answer with Counterclaim had already apprised the MeTC of the existence of the
arbitration clause in the 2005 Lease Contract and of its desire to have the same enforced in this case. This act of
petitioner is enough valid invocation of his right to arbitrate. The fact that the petitioner and respondent already
under went through JDR proceedings before the RTC, will not make the subsequent conduct of arbitration between
the parties unnecessary or circuitous. The JDR system is substantially different from arbitration proceedings.