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(G.R. No. L-53798 November 8, 1988)
Arcadio Valentin constituted a Deed of Real Estate Mortgage on a two-storey residential
house and lot in favor of private respondent, Marina Buan, to secure a loan granted by the latter
to the former.
Valentin failed to pay the loan on its maturity period. Thus, Buan applied for an
extrajudicial foreclosure of mortgage which duly published and advertised. In the auction sale of
said mortgage, Buan was the winning bidder. Thereafter, the City Sheriff issued a Certificate of
Sale which was registered in the Registry of Deeds.
On the other hand, Valentin had a period of one (1) year from the date of registration
within which to redeem the mortgaged properties. However, Valentin failed to redeem the
property within the redemption period. Thus, a Final Bill of Sale was thereafter issued by the
City Sheriff. Buan, thereafter ask for the delivery of possession of the property from Valentin
but the latter failed to do so. So, Buan, filed before the court a "Petition for the Issuance of a Writ
of Possession" and this was not contested.
When Deputy Sheriff Atilano G. Nanquil tried to execute the writ of possession, he found
that petitioners were occupying the premises and refused to vacate the same, on the alleged claim
of Atty. Roxas that he bought the house and lot in question from Valentin in the amount of
P100,00.00. Atty. Roxas also told Sheriff Nanquil that he introduced improvements consisting of
one bungalow house and one store and that Valentin is no longer residing in the premises.
In view of the petitioners' refusal to abide by the writ of possession, private respondent
filed on a "Motion for Contempt" against Roxas and Guia. The petitioners filed with the
respondent court their answer thereto arguing that they cannot be held guilty of contempt of court
because they were not made parties to the main action. The respondent trial court, finding merit
in petitioners' position that they could not be declared in contempt, however they were ordered to
vacate the disputed house and lot within fifteen days from the receipt of the order.
Disagreeing with the portion of the order directing them to vacate the property,
petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration however, it was denied. Thus, petitioners filed the
instant petition for certiorari and prohibition on April 12, 1979. This Court issued a Temporary
Restraining Order on May 19, 1980.The petitioners maintain that the respondent court gravely
abused its discretion amounting to lack of jurisdiction in issuing the order complained of, upon
the theory that it was predicated upon a writ of possession which was ineffective as against them,
being third parties. Thus, the order is null and void. They also insist that the private respondent
should file an independent action to recover the property, otherwise, there will be a violation of
due process of law if they are not given their day in court to prove their adverse claim.
Whether or not petitioner Roxas indeed is a party actually holding the property adversely
to Valentin.
It will be recalled that Roxas' possession of the property was premised on its alleged sale
to him by Valentin for the amount of P100,000.00. Assuming this to be true, it is readily apparent
that Roxas holds title to and possesses the property as Valentin's transferee. Any right he has to
the property is necessarily derived from that of Valentin. As transferee, he steps into the latter's
shoes. Thus, in the instant case, considering that the property had already been sold at public
auction pursuant to an extrajudicial foreclosure, the only interest that may be transferred by
Valentin to Roxas is the right to redeem it within the period prescribed by law. Roxas is therefore
the successor-in-interest of Valentin, to whom the latter had conveyed his interest in the property
for the purpose of redemption [Rule 39, Sec. 29 (a) of the Revised Rules of Court; Magno v.
Viola, 61 Phil. 80 (1934); Rosete v. Prov. Sheriff of Zambales, 95 Phil. 560 (1954).]
Consequently, Roxas' occupancy of the property cannot be considered adverse to Valentin.

Thus, in Belleza v. Zandaga [98 Phil. 702 (1956)], the Court held that where the
purchaser in an execution sale has already received the definitive deed of sale, he becomes the
owner of the property bought and, as absolute owner, he is entitled to its possession and cannot
be excluded therefrom by one who merely claims to be a "successor-in-interest of the judgment
debtor," unless it is adjudged that the alleged successor has a better right to the property than the
purchaser at the execution sale. Stated differently, the purchaser's right of possession is
recognized only as against the judgment debtor and his successor-in-interest but not against
persons whose right of possession is adverse to the latter. The rule was reiterated in Guevara v.
Ramos [G.R. No. L-24358, March 31, 1971, 38 SCRA 194].
The rule in Belleza, although relating to the possession of property sold in execution sales
under what is now Sec. 35, Rule 39 of the Revised Rules of Court, is also applicable to the
possession of property sold at extrajudicial foreclosure sales pursuant to Sec. 6 of Act No. 3135
[see IFC Service Leasing and Acceptance Corp. v. Nera,supra]. Thus, as petitioner Roxas is not a
party holding the property adversely to Valentin, being the latter's successor-in-interest, there was
no bar to the respondent trial court's issuance of a writ of possession upon private respondent
Buan's application.
It does not matter that petitioner Roxas was not specifically named in the writ of
possession, as he merely stepped into the shoes of Valentin, being the latter's successor-ininterest. On the other hand, petitioner de Guia was occupying the house as Roxas' alleged tenant
Moreover, respondent court's decision granting private respondent Buan's petition for the
issuance of a writ of possession ordered the Provincial Sheriff of Zambales or any of his deputies
to remove Valentin or any person claiming interest under him" from the property. Undeniably,
petitioners fell under this category.
(G.R. No. 150470, August 6, 2008)


The instant Petition originated from a Petition for Reconstitution filed by the Spouses
Layos on with the San Pedro RTC and on the same day they instituted quieting of title case
before the Bian RTC. The Petition in for Reconstruction essentially contained the same
allegations made by the Spouses Layos in their Complaints in the injunction cases and quieting
of title case. However, in support of their prayer for the reconstitution of the original copy of
OCT No. 239 from their Owners Duplicate Certificate they alleged that Original Certificate of
Title No. 239 was lost and/or destroyed. Several parties filed their intervention and/or opposition
to the Petition for Reconstitution of the Spouses Layos. FEGDI and La Paz filed separate
Motions to Dismiss, which the Office of the Solicitor General supported in its Comment on the
Petition which the San Pedro RTC issued an Order dismissing the case.
The Spouses Layos filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals. The appellate court,
however, found no reversible error in the ruling of the lower court dismissing the Spouses Layos
Petition for Reconstitution. According to the Court of Appeals, the validity of OCT No. 239 of
the spouses Layos was already determined by the Supreme Court in its Decision in G.R. No.
120958, in which the Supreme Court categorically declared that the said certificate of title was a
forgery. The appellate court contradicted the Spouses Layos assertion that such declaration of
the Supreme Court in G.R. No. 120958 was merely an obiter dictum, for the same was a
resolution of one of the controverted issues and was part of the principal disquisition of the lower
court. Hence, dismissing the case and affirming the decision of the lower court.
The Spouses Layos moved for the reconsideration, but they failed to convince the Court
of Appeals to detract from its earlier ruling. Thus, the Spouses Layos, filed before this Court the
instant Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.

Whether or not the Court of Appeals erred in applying the principle of res judicata in the
instant case, when it declared that the ruling of this Honorable Supreme Court in G.R. No.
120958 is conclusive upon the issue of validity of the [Spouses Layos] O.C.T. No. 239.
The doctrine of res judicata lays down two main rules which may be stated as follows: (1)
The judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction on the merits concludes the litigation
between the parties and their privies and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit involving the
same cause of action either before the same or any other tribunal; and (2) any right, fact, or
matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily involved in the determination of an action
before a competent court in which a judgment or decree is rendered on the merits is conclusively
settled by the judgment therein and cannot again be litigated between the parties and their privies
whether or not the claims or demands, purposes, or subject matters of the two suits are the same.
These two main rules mark the distinction between the principles governing the two typical cases
in which a judgment may operate as evidence. In speaking of these cases, the first general rule
above stated, and which corresponds to the afore-quoted paragraph (b) of Section 47, Rule 39 of
the Rules of Court, is referred to as "bar by former judgment"; while the second general rule,
which is embodied in paragraph (c) of the same section and rule, is known as "conclusiveness of
The Resolution of this Court in Calalang v. Register of Deeds of Quezon City, provides
the following enlightening discourse on conclusiveness of judgment:
The doctrine res judicata actually embraces two different concepts: (1) bar by former
judgment and (b) conclusiveness of judgment.
The second concept conclusiveness of judgment states that a fact or question which
was in issue in a former suit and was there judicially passed upon and determined by a
court of competent jurisdiction, is conclusively settled by the judgment therein as far as
the parties to that action and persons in privity with them are concerned and cannot be
again litigated in any future action between such parties or their privies, in the same court
or any other court of concurrent jurisdiction on either the same or different cause of
action, while the judgment remains unreversed by proper authority. It has been held that
in order that a judgment in one action can be conclusive as to a particular matter in
another action between the same parties or their privies, it is essential that the issue be
identical. If a particular point or question is in issue in the second action, and the
judgment will depend on the determination of that particular point or question, a former
judgment between the same parties or their privies will be final and conclusive in the
second if that same point or question was in issue and adjudicated in the first suit (Nabus
vs. Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA 732 [1991]). Identity of cause of action is not required
but merely identity of issue.
Justice Feliciano, in Smith Bell & Company (Phils.), Inc. vs. Court of Appeals (197
SCRA 201, 210 [1991]), reiterated Lopez vs. Reyes (76 SCRA 179 [1977]) in regard to the
distinction between bar by former judgment which bars the prosecution of a second action upon
the same claim, demand, or cause of action, and conclusiveness of judgment which bars the
relitigation of particular facts or issues in another litigation between the same parties on a
different claim or cause of action.
In sum, conclusiveness of judgment bars the re-litigation in a second case of a fact or
question already settled in a previous case. The second case, however, may still proceed
provided that it will no longer touch on the same fact or question adjudged in the first case.
Conclusiveness of judgment requires only the identity of issues and parties, but not of causes of
It is on the ground of res judicata, in its second concept conclusiveness of judgment
that the Petition for Reconstitution of the Spouses Layos must be dismissed. As explained by the
Court of Appeals in its assailed Decision:

In the case at bar, the ruling of the Supreme Court in G.R. No. 120958 is conclusive upon
the issue of validity of the [Spouses Layos] OCT No. 239, inasmuch as the said issue has
already been mutually controverted by the parties and ruled upon with finality by the Supreme
Court no less, in favor of the invalidity of the [Spouses Layos] title.
(G.R. No. 157616. July 22, 20050)
Spouses Digos secured a loan from the International Exchange Bank to finance their
project for the construction of townhouses on their property in Quezon City. To secure the
payment of the loan, the spouses Digos executed a Real Estate Mortgage over the said property.
Because of the spouses Digos failure to pay the amortizations on their loan, the bank caused the
extrajudicial foreclosure of their real estate mortgage. Consequently, the property was sold at
public auction, with the bank as the highest bidder. The Certificate of Sale executed by the
sheriff was, thereafter, registered at the Office of the Register of Deeds.
On July 2, 1999, the spouses Digos wrote the bank, requesting for a period of six (6)
months from September 7, 1999 within which to redeem the property. However, the bank denied
the request. Then again spouses Digos wrote to the bank, pleading for an extension of at least
three (3) months to redeem the property. In a Letter to the spouses dated August 30, 1999, the
bank granted the spouses Digos a period of one month from September 8, 1999 (or until October
8, 1999) within which to redeem the property. However, the bank consolidated its title over the
property, and on September 19, 1999, the Register of Deeds issued TCT No. 206979 in the name
of the bank.
Instead of repurchasing the property on or before October 8, 1999, the spouses Digos
filed a Complaint against the bank with the RTC of Quezon City, for the nullification of the
extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate mortgage and sale at public auction and/or redemption
of the property, with a prayer for a temporary restraining order and a writ of preliminary
injunction to enjoin the bank from consolidating its title over the property.
The court held that it had no authority to extend the period for redemption, and since it
had already expired, the spouses had no more right to redeem the property; as such, the
defendant had the right to consolidate its title over the property, and had, in fact, been issued
TCT No. 206979. The court also declared that the spouses Digos had no right to demand that
they be allowed to redeem the property.
The spouses Digos failed to appeal the order; instead, they filed a petition for certiorari
with the CA, assailing the Order of the RTC. The CA dismissed the petition because it was filed
out of time. The petitioners then filed a motion for reconsideration thereof, which they later
withdrew via a motion. The CA then resolved to grant the motion; hence, the CA resolution
dismissing the petition became final and executory on May 7, 2001. Entry of judgment was
made of record.
Meanwhile, the bank sold the property to Isidro Perez and Narciso Ragua to whom the
Register of Deeds issued TCT No. 211888. The vendees caused the subdivision of the property
into eighteen (18) lots. The Register of Deeds issued titles for each subdivision lot in favor of
Perez and Ragua.
On June 4, 2001, the spouses Digos filed a Complaint with the RTC of Quezon City, this
time, against the bank, Perez and Ragua, for the cancellation and annulment of the extrajudicial
foreclosure of the real estate mortgage executed by them in favor of the bank, the sale at public
auction as well as the certificate of sale executed by the sheriff, and the Torrens title issued to
them. The spouses Digos prayed for a writ of preliminary injunction and a temporary restraining
The spouses Digos reiterated the allegations in their complaint in Civil Case No. Q-9938941 that they were not notified of the sale at public auction, and that the banks P4,500,000.00
bid for the property was unconscionably low compared to the prevailing market price of

Perez and Ragua filed a motion to dismiss on similar grounds of res judicata, splitting of
a single cause of action and forum shopping.
On June 29, 2001, the trial court issued an Order denying the motion, ruling that there
was no identity of issue in the two actions because, in the second complaint, the spouses Digos
assailed the legality of the extrajudicial foreclosure, on the sole ground that the bank had
unlawfully increased their obligation, contrary to the terms and conditions of the loan contract.
The court held that the causes of action in the two complaints were not identical: in the
first case, it was for the redemption of the mortgaged property, distinct and separate from their
cause of action in the second case which is rooted on the erroneous computation of the balance
of their loan account with the bank. The court also declared that in the first complaint, the
spouses Digos assailed the validity or regularity of the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real estate
mortgage and the sale at public auction. Consequently, the court concluded, the complaint was
not barred by res judicata; nor are they guilty of forum shopping.
The trial court denied the defendants motion for reconsideration. Hence, they filed a
petition for certiorari, prohibition and mandamus with the CA, alleging therein that the
respondent judge committed a grave abuse of his discretion amounting to excess or lack of
jurisdiction in denying their motion to dismiss the complaint.
On November 25, 2002, the CA rendered judgment dismissing the petition and affirming
the assailed orders. The appellate court declared that there was no identity of causes of action in
the two cases because the first action was one for injunction and redemption of the property,
whereas the second action was for the nullification of the extrajudicial foreclosure of the real
estate mortgage and the sale at public auction due to the erroneous computation of the balance on
the respondents account with the bank; hence, the spouses Digos were not estopped from filing
their second action. The petitioners filed a motion for a reconsideration of the said decision,
which the appellate court denied. Petitioners Isidro Perez and Narciso Ragua forthwith filed the
instant petition for review on certiorari,
Whether or not the judgment in Civil case No. Q-99-[38941] (Redemption Mortgage) is
res juducata to Civil Case No. Q-01-44227 (cancellation and annulment of Foreclosure sale)
The attempt of the respondents in their second complaint to avoid the application of the
principle of res judicata by claiming the nature of their account on the ground therefor and their
legal theory cannot prosper. Case law has it that where a right, question or fact is distinctly put
in issue and directly determined by a court of competent jurisdiction in a first case, between the
same parties or their privies, the former adjudication of that fact, right or question is binding on
the parties or their privies in a second suit irrespective of whether the causes of action are the
same. The ruling of the CA that the action of the private respondents and their legal theory in
their second complaint were different from their causes of action and legal theory in the first
complaint is not correct. A different cause of action is one that proceeds not only on a sufficiently
different legal theory, but also on a different factual footing as not to require the trial of facts
material to the former suit; that is, an action that can be maintained even if all disputed factual
issues raised in the plaintiffs original complaint are concluded in defendants favor.
In this case, the private respondents second complaint cannot be maintained without
trying the facts material to the first case, and the second case cannot be maintained if all the
disputed factual issues raised in the first complaint are considered in favor of the bank.
The principle of res judicata applies when the opportunity to raise an issue in the first
complaint exists but the plaintiff failed to do so. Indeed, if the pleading of a different legal
theory would have convinced the trial court to decide a particular issue in the first action which,
with the use of diligence the plaintiffs could have raised therein but failed to do so, they are
barred by res judicata. Nor do legal theories operate to constitute a cause of action. New legal
theories do not amount to a new cause of action so as to defeat the application of the principle of
res judicata.

Indeed, in Siegel v. Knott, it was held that the statement of a different form of liability is
not a different cause of action, provided it grows out of the same transaction or act and seeks
redress for the wrong. Two actions are not necessarily for different causes of action simply
because the theory of the second would not have been open under the pleadings in the first. A
party cannot preserve the right to bring a second action after the loss of the first, merely by
having circumscribed and limited theories of recovery opened by the pleadings in the first.
It bears stressing that a party cannot divide the grounds for recovery. A plaintiff is
mandated to place in issue in his pleading, all the issues existing when the suit began. A lawsuit
cannot be tried piecemeal. The plaintiff is bound to set forth in his first action every ground for
relief which he claims to exist and upon which he relied, and cannot be permitted to rely upon
them by piecemeal in successive action to recover for the same wrong or injury.
A party seeking to enforce a claim, legal or equitable, must present to the court, either by
the pleadings or proofs, or both, on the grounds upon which to expect a judgment in his favor.
He is not at liberty to split up his demands, and prosecute it by piecemeal or present only a
portion of the grounds upon which a special relief is sought and leave the rest to the presentment
in a second suit if the first fails. There would be no end to litigation if such piecemeal
presentation is allowed
(G.R. No. 157911 September 19, 2006)
Petitioners obtained a loan from the Manila Banking Corporation (respondent), secured
by a real estate mortgage over their property. When petitioners failed to pay, the mortgaged
property was extra-judicially foreclosed. Respondent was the winning bidder at the public
auction. Consequently, a Certificate of Sale was issued to the respondent.
Subsequently, instead of redeeming the property, petitioners filed a complaint for annulment of
the foreclosure sale of the property before the RTC. While the case was pending, the parties
entered into a compromise agreement. They agreed that petitioner will pay the remaining balance
of the loan and the property will be redeemed by them. Thereafter, respondent filed a Motion for
Issuance of Writ of Execution to enforce the compromise agreement which was adopted and
approved by the RTC Branch 165 which was granted by the same court.
On January 22, 1990, petitioners filed a Manifestation praying for deferment of the
enforcement of the writ of execution until July 31, 1990 because petitioners have a pending
proposal for the settlement of their judgment debt. The manifestation was with the conformity of
respondents. On January 24, 1990, RTC Branch 165 issued an Order granting the motion and
holding in abeyance the enforcement of the writ of execution until July 31, 1990. However, no
settlement was reached by the parties during the period. One year and four months later,
petitioners still failed to settle their judgment debt. Consequently, respondent filed on December
2, 1991 a Manifestation reiterating its motion for the issuance of a writ of execution. Thus the
court issued an Order granting the manifestation and directing the issuance of a writ of execution
to enforce the Decision dated January 30, 1987. However, petitioners filed a Notice of
Appeal but RTC Branch 165 denied it in its Order dated August 21, 2000 on the ground that an
order of execution is not appealable.
Thereafter, petitioners filed a six-page Petition for Review on Certiorari with this Court,
docketed as G.R. No. 144719, reiterating that the Decision dated January 30, 1987 can no longer
be executed on mere motion since it is more than five years old.
In a Resolution dated October 11, 2000, the First Division of this Court denied the
petition for violation of the rule on hierarchy of courts and failure to show special and important
reasons or exceptional and compelling circumstances that justify a disregard of the
rule. Petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the Court denied it with finality in its
Resolution dated December 11, 2000.
Since the Resolution in G.R. No. 144719 became final and executory on January 16,
2001, RTC Branch 165 issued a writ of execution on February 19, 2001 to enforce the Decision
dated January 30, 1987. On February 23, 2001, the Sheriff issued a Notice for Compliance of the
said writ.

Undaunted by their previous setbacks, petitioners filed on March 6, 2001 in RTC Branch
165 an Omnibus Motion to quash the Writ of Execution insisting anew on their novation and
prescription theories. They also moved for consignation of the amount of their obligation under
the Letter dated June 7, 1991 of respondents Statutory Receiver.
On May 24, 2002, RTC Branch 167 rendered its Omnibus Order denying the Omnibus
Motion to quash the writ of execution and for consignation, as well as the motion to cite
petitioners in contempt and the ex parte motion for an order to divest petitioners title to
respondent. Accordingly, RTC Branch 167 issued a Writ of Execution on July 4, 2002. On July
23, 2002, the Sheriff issued the Notice for Compliance of the said writ.
Petitioners filed on July 26, 2002 a petition for certiorari with the CA. They reiterated
that the Decision dated January 30, 1987 cannot be executed by mere motion filed on February 1,
2000 since more than five years have elapsed. The CA denied the petition for certiorari. It held
that since the delays were occasioned by petitioners own initiative and for their own advantage,
the five-year period allowed for the enforcement of the judgment by motion have been
interrupted or suspended.
On November 13, 2002, petitioners filed a Motion for Reconsideration but the CA denied
it in its Resolution dated April 29, 2003. Hence, this petition.
Whether or not the CA erred in not recognizing that Prescription has set in in this case
considering that more than five (5) years, or more than ten (10) years, had elapsed since the
decision based on compromise agreement became final and executor.

The Court notes that the petition for certiorari before the CA should have been dismissed
outright since petitioners failed to file a motion for reconsideration from the RTC Omnibus Order
dated May 24, 2002. Section 1 of Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
SECTION 1. Petition for certiorari. When any tribunal, board or officer exercising
judicial or quasi-judicial functions has acted without or in excess of his jurisdiction, or
with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack of or excess of jurisdiction, and there is
no appeal, or any plain, speedy, and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of the
law, a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court, alleging
the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the
proceedings of such tribunal, board or officer, and granting such incidental reliefs as law
and justice may require.
The plain and adequate remedy referred to in the rule is a motion for reconsideration of
the assailed decision or order. The purpose for this requirement is to grant an opportunity for the
court or agency to correct any actual or perceived error attributed to it by the re-examination of
the legal and factual circumstances of the case without the intervention of a higher court. Thus,
the filing of a motion for reconsideration is a condition sine qua non to the institution of a special
civil action for certiorari.
While jurisprudence has recognized several exceptions to the rule, such as: (a) where the
order is a patent nullity, as where the court a quo has no jurisdiction; (b) where the questions
raised in the certiorari proceedings have been duly raised and passed upon by the lower court, or
are the same as those raised and passed upon in the lower court; (c) where there is an urgent
necessity for the resolution of the question and any further delay would prejudice the interests of
the Government or of the petitioner or the subject matter of the action is perishable; (d) where,
under the circumstances, a motion for reconsideration would be useless; (e) where petitioner was
deprived of due process and there is extreme urgency for relief; (f) where, in a criminal case,
relief from an order of arrest is urgent and the granting of such relief by the trial court is
improbable; (g) where the proceedings in the lower court are a nullity for lack of due process; (h)
where the proceedings was ex parte or in which the petitioner had no opportunity to object; and
(i) where the issue raised is one purely of law or where public interest is involved, none of these
exceptions apply here.

In the present case, the petitioners not only failed to explain their failure to file a motion
for reconsideration before the RTC, they also failed to show sufficient justification for dispensing
with the requirement. A motion for reconsideration is not only expected to be but would actually
have provided an adequate and more speedy remedy than the petition
for certiorari. Certiorari cannot be resorted to as a shield from the adverse consequences of
petitioners own omission to file the required motion for reconsideration.
In any case, even if petitioners procedural faux pas is ignored, their contentions on the
substantive aspect of the case fail to invite judgment in their favor.
Petitioners are barred from raising the issue on the prescription of execution of the
decision by mere motion under the principle of the law of the case, which is the practice of
courts in refusing to reopen what has been decided. It means that whatever is once irrevocably
established as the controlling legal rule or decision between the same parties in the same
case continues to be the law of the case, whether correct on general principles or not, so
long as the facts on which such decision was predicated continue to be the facts of the case
before the court.
The law of the case on the issue of prescription of the execution of the decision by mere
motion or applicability of Section 6, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court has been settled in the Order
dated March 20, 2000 of RTC Branch 165. Upon denial of petitioners motion for
reconsideration, they erroneously sought review with this Court which dismissed their petition
for review oncertiorari for violation of the rule on hierarchy of courts and for failure to show
special and important reasons or exceptional and compelling circumstances that justify a
disregard of the rule. This Courts Resolution became final and executory on January 16, 2001.
Thus, petitioners are bound thereby. The question of prescription has been settled with
finality and may no longer be resurrected by petitioners. It is not subject to review or
reversal in any court, even this Court.
The CA failed to consider this principle of law of the case, which is totally different from
the concept of res judicata. In Padillo v. Court of Appeals, the Court distinguished the two as
x x x Law of the case does not have the finality of the doctrine of res judicata, and applies
only to that one case, whereas res judicata forecloses parties or privies in one case by
what has been done in another case. In the 1975 case of Comilang v. Court of Appeals
(Fifth Division.), a further distinction was made in this manner:
The doctrine of law of the case is akin to that of former adjudication, but is more limited
in its application. It relates entirely to questions of law, and is confined in its operation to
subsequent proceedings in the same case. The doctrine of res judicata differs therefrom in that it
is applicable to the conclusive determination of issues of fact, although it may include questions
of law, and although it may apply to collateral proceedings in the same action or general
proceeding, it is generally concerned with the effect of an adjudication in a wholly independent
To elucidate further, res judicata or bar by prior judgment is a doctrine which holds that a
matter that has been adjudicated by a court of competent jurisdiction must be deemed to have
been finally and conclusively settled if it arises in any subsequent litigation between the same
parties and for the same cause. The four requisites for res judicata to apply are: (a) the former
judgment or order must be final; (b) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction
over the subject matter and the parties; (c) it must be a judgment or an order on the merits; and
(d) there must be, between the first and the second actions, identity of parties, of subject
matter and of cause of action. The fourth requisite is wanting in the present case. There is only
one case involved. There is no second independent proceeding or subsequent litigation between
the parties. The present petition concerns subsequent proceedings in the same case, with
petitioners raising the same issue long settled by a prior appeal.
As to petitioners arguments on the inequity of the acceleration clause of the Compromise
Agreement, respondents receivership as a supervening event, and novation of the Compromise
Agreement by the Letter dated June 7, 1991, the Court holds that these were raised as mere
afterthought. If petitioners sincerely believed in the merits of their arguments, they should have
raised them at the earliest opportunity and pursued their ultimate resolution. However,
petitioners did not.

Petitioners are barred from raising arguments concerning the inequity of the acceleration
clause of the Compromise Agreement since they only raised it for the first time before the CA in
their Petition for Certiorari in CA-G.R. SP No. 71849. To consider the argument raised
belatedly in a pleading filed in the appellate court, especially in the executory stage of the
proceedings, would amount to trampling on the basic principles of fair play, justice and due
In addition, after adopting and agreeing to the terms and conditions of the Compromise
Agreement, petitioners cannot be permitted to subsequently make a complete volte face and
attack the validity of the said agreement when they miserably failed to comply with its
provisions. Our law and policy do not sanction such a somersault. What's more, petitioners also
failed to comply with the reduced purchase amount and interest rate granted in the Letter dated
June 7, 1991. They can hardly evoke judicial compassion.
(G.R. No. 110263, July 20, 2001)
Petitioner Asiavest Merchant Bankers (M) Berhad is a corporation organized under the
laws of Malaysia while private respondent Philippine National Construction Corporation is a
corporation duly incorporated and existing under Philippine laws. Petitioner initiated a suit for
collection against private respondent, then known as Construction and Development Corporation
of the Philippines, before the High Court of Malaya in Kuala Lumpur entitled Asiavest
Merchant Bankers (M) Berhad v. Asiavest CDCP Sdn. Bhd. and Construction and Development
Corporation of the Philippines.
Petitioner sought to recover the indemnity of the performance bond it had put up in favor
of private respondent to guarantee the completion of the Felda Project and the nonpayment of the
loan it extended to Asiavest-CDCP Sdn. Bhd. for the completion of Paloh Hanai and Kuantan By
Pass; Project.
The High Court of Malaya (Commercial Division) rendered judgment in favor of the
petitioner and against the private respondent. Following unsuccessful attempts to secure payment
from private respondent under the judgment, petitioner initiated the complaint before RTC of
Pasig, Metro Manila, to enforce the judgment of the High Court of Malaya.
Private respondent sought the dismissal of the case via a Motion to Dismiss, contending
that the alleged judgment of the High Court of Malaya should be denied recognition or
enforcement since on in face, it is tainted with want of jurisdiction, want of notice to private
respondent, collusion and/or fraud, and there is a clear mistake of law or fact. Dismissal was,
however, denied by the trial court considering that the grounds relied upon are not the proper
grounds in a motion to dismiss under Rule 16 of the Revised Rules of Court.
Subsequently, private respondent filed its Answer with Compulsory Counter claims and
therein raised the grounds it brought up in its motion to dismiss. In its Reply filed, the petitioner
contended that the High Court of Malaya acquired jurisdiction over the person of private
respondent by its voluntary submission the courts jurisdiction through its appointed counsel.
Furthermore, private respondents counsel waived any and all objections to the High Courts
jurisdiction in a pleading filed before the court.
In due time, the trial court rendered its decision dismissing petitioners complaint.
Petitioner interposed an appeal with the Court of Appeals, but the appellate court dismissed the
same and affirmed the decision of the trial court.
Whether or not the CA erred in denying recognition and enforcement to the Malaysian
Court judgment.
Generally, in the absence of a special compact, no sovereign is bound to give effect
within its dominion to a judgment rendered by a tribunal of another country; however, the rules

of comity, utility and convenience of nations have established a usage among civilized states by
which final judgments of foreign courts of competent jurisdiction are reciprocally respected and
rendered efficacious under certain conditions that may vary in different countries.
In this jurisdiction, a valid judgment rendered by a foreign tribunal may be recognized
insofar as the immediate parties and the underlying cause of action are concerned so long as it is
convincingly shown that there has been an opportunity for a full and fair hearing before a court
of competent jurisdiction; that the trial upon regular proceedings has been conducted, following
due citation or voluntary appearance of the defendant and under a system of jurisprudence likely
to secure an impartial administration of justice; and that there is nothing to indicate either a
prejudice in court and in the system of laws under which it is sitting or fraud in procuring the
A foreign judgment is presumed to be valid and binding in the country from which it
comes, until a contrary showing, on the basis of a presumption of regularity of proceedings and
the giving of due notice in the foreign forum Under Section 50(b), Rule 39 of the Revised Rules
of Court, which was the governing law at the time the instant case was decided by the trial court
and respondent appellate court, a judgment, against a person, of a tribunal of a foreign country
having jurisdiction to pronounce the same is presumptive evidence of a right as between the
parties and their successors in interest by a subsequent title. The judgment may, however, be
assailed by evidence of want of jurisdiction, want of notice to the party, collusion, fraud, or clear
mistake of law or fact. In addition, under Section 3(n), Rule 131 of the Revised Rules of Court, a
court, whether in the Philippines or elsewhere, enjoys the presumption that it was acting in the
lawful exercise of its jurisdiction. Hence, once the authenticity of the foreign judgment is proved,
the party attacking a foreign judgment, is tasked with the burden of overcoming its presumptive
In the instant case, petitioner sufficiently established the existence of the money judgment
of the High Court of Malaya by the evidence it offered. Petitioners sole witness, testified to the
effect that he is in active practice of the law profession in Malaysia; that he was connected with
Skrine and Company as Legal Assistant up to 1981; that private respondent, then known as
Construction and Development Corporation of the Philippines, was sued by his client, Asiavest
Merchant Bankers (M) Berhad, in Kuala Lumpur; that the writ of summons were served on
March 17, 1983 at the registered office of private respondent and on March 21, 1983 on Cora S.
Deala, a financial planning officer of private respondent for Southeast Asia operations; that upon
the filing of the case, Messrs. Allen and Gledhill, Advocates and Solicitors, with address at 24th
Floor, UMBC Building, Jalan Sulaiman, Kuala Lumpur, entered their conditional appearance for
private respondent questioning the regularity of the service of the writ of summons but
subsequently withdrew the same when it realized that the writ was properly served; that because
private respondent failed to file a statement of defense within two (2) weeks, petitioner filed an
application for summary judgment and submitted affidavits and documentary evidence in support
of its claim; that the matter was then heard before the High Court of Kuala Lumpur in a series of
dates where private respondent was represented by counsel; and that the end result of all these
proceedings is the judgment sought to be enforced.
In addition to the said testimonial evidence, petitioner also offered the documentary
evidence to support their claim.
Having thus proven, through the foregoing evidence, the existence and authenticity of the
foreign judgment, said foreign judgment enjoys presumptive validity and the burden then fell
upon the party who disputes its validity, herein private respondent, to prove otherwise. However,
private respondent failed to sufficiently discharge the burden that fell upon it to prove by clear
and convincing evidence the grounds which it relied upon to prevent enforcement of the
Malaysian High Court judgment.
G.R. No. 138322. October 2, 2001]
Rederick A. Recio, a Filipino, was married to Editha Samson, an Australian Citizen, in
Malabon, Rizal on March 1, 1987. They lived as husband and wife in Australia. However, an

Australian family court issued purportedly a decree of divorce, dissolving the marriage of
Rederick and Editha on May 18, 1989.
On January 12, 1994, Rederick married Grace J. Garcia where it was solemnized at Our
lady of Perpetual Help Church, Cabanatuan City. Since October 22, 1995, the couple lived
separately without prior judicial dissolution of their marriage. As a matter of fact, while they
were still in Australia, their conjugal assets were divided on May 16, 1996, in accordance with
their Statutory Declarations secured in Australia.
Grace filed a Complaint for Declaration of Nullity of Marriage on the ground of bigamy
on March 3, 1998, claiming that she learned only in November 1997, Redericks marriage with
Editha Samson.
Whether the decree of divorce submitted by Rederick Recio is admissible as evidence to
prove his legal capacity to marry petitioner and absolved him of bigamy.
The nullity of Redericks marriage with Editha as shown by the divorce decree issued
was valid and recognized in the Philippines since the respondent is a naturalized Australian.
However, there is absolutely no evidence that proves respondents legal capacity to marry
petitioner though the former presented a divorce decree. The said decree, being a foreign
document was inadmissible to court as evidence primarily because it was not authenticated by
the consul/ embassy of the country where it will be used.
Respondent contends that the burden to prove Australian divorce law falls upon
petitioner, because she is the party challenging the validity of a foreign judgment. He contends
that petitioner was satisfied with the original of the divorce decree and was cognizant of the
marital laws of Australia, because she had lived and worked in that country for quite a long
time. Besides, the Australian divorce law is allegedly known by Philippine courts; thus, judges
may take judicial notice of foreign laws in the exercise of sound discretion.
We are not persuaded. The burden of proof lies with the party who alleges the existence
of a fact or thing necessary in the prosecution or defense of an action. In civil cases, plaintiffs
have the burden of proving the material allegations of the complaint when those are denied by
the answer; and defendants have the burden of proving the material allegations in their answer
when they introduce new matters. Since the divorce was a defense raised by respondent, the
burden of proving the pertinent Australian law validating it falls squarely upon him.
It is well-settled in our jurisdiction that our courts cannot take judicial notice of foreign laws.
Like any other facts, they must be alleged and proved. Australian marital laws are not among
those matters that judges are supposed to know by reason of their judicial function. The power of
judicial notice must be exercised with caution, and every reasonable doubt upon the subject
should be resolved in the negative.
Thus, the Supreme Court remands the case to the Regional Trial Court of Cabanatuan
City to receive or trial evidence that will conclusively prove respondents legal capacity to marry
petitioner and thus free him on the ground of bigamy.
(G.R. No. 150270, November 26, 2008)
Generoso Bonifacio, acting as the attorney-in-fact of Purificacion de Joya and
companions, filed a complaint with the Office of the Mayor of Baguio City seeking the
demolition of a house built on a parcel of land located at Upper Quezon Hill, Baguio City. On
May 19, 1999, Domogan, then city mayor of Baguio City, issued Notice of Demolition against
spouses Rolando and Fidela Baniqued. Aggrieved, Rolando Baniqued filed a complaint for
prohibition with TRO/injunction before Branch 60 of the RTC in Baguio City. In his complaint,
Baniqued alleged that the intended demolition of his house was done without due process of law.

Baniqued argued that Article 536 of the Civil Code should be applied, so too are Section 28 of
Republic Act 7279, National Building Code or Presidential Decree (P.D.) No. 1096 and the 1991
Local Government Code which does not empower the mayor to order the demolition of anything
unless the interested party was afforded prior hearing and unless the provisions of law pertaining
to demolition are satisfied.
On June 7, 1999, the RTC enjoined the carrying out of the demolition of the house of
Baniqued and four (4) months later, the RTC granted the motion of petitioners and dismissed the
complaint of Baniqued. The latter moved for reconsideration which was opposed and on March
3, 2000, the RTC denied the motion. Baniqued appealed the decision of the RTC where the Court
of Appeals sustained Baniqued and held that the mayor, although an executive official, has also
been given the authority to hear controversies involving property rights in the exercise of his
quasi-judicial functions. Left with no other recourse, petitioners interposed the present appeal.
Whether or not the Court of Appeals gravely erred and abused its discretion in ruling that
the act of the City Mayor in issuing a notice of demolition is a quasi-judicial function.
Under existing laws, the office of the mayor is given powers not only relative to its
function as the executive official of the town. It has also been endowed with authority to hear
issues involving property rights of individuals and to come out with an effective order or
resolution thereon. In this manner, it exercises quasi-judicial functions. This power is obviously a
truism in the matter of issuing demolition notices and/or orders against squatters and illegal
occupants through some of its agencies or authorized committees within its respective
municipalities or cities.
There is no gainsaying that a city mayor is an executive official nor is the matter of
issuing demolition notices or orders not a ministerial one. But then, it cannot be denied as well
that in determining whether or not a structure is illegal or it should be demolished, property
rights are involved thereby needing notices and opportunity to be heard as provided for in the
constitutionally guaranteed right of due process. In pursuit of these functions, the city mayor has
to exercise quasi-judicial powers. Quasi-judicial function has been defined as applying to the
action discretion, etc. of public administrative officers or bodies, who are required to investigate
facts or ascertain the existence of facts, hold hearings, and draw conclusions from them, as a
basis for their official action, and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature (Midland Insurance
Corp. v. Intermediate Appellate Court, 143 SCRA 458 [1986]). Significantly, the Notice of
Demolition in issue was the result of the exercise of quasi-judicial power by the Office of the
(G.R. No. 140765. January 25, 2001)
Respondent State Properties Corporation filed a verified complaint for Recovery of
Property based on ownership with the RTC of Las Pias against Petitioner Gonzalo R. Gonzales
and his brothers and sisters, all heirs of the late Benito Gonzales. The complaint, accompanied
by an application for temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction, prayed that after
trial, the Court render judgment confirming its right to take and enjoy possession of the property
together with all improvements thereon to the exclusion of the heirs of Benito Gonzales,
inclusive of herein petitioner.
The case was raffled to Branch 253 of the Regional Trial Court of Las Pias and
summons was duly served on Petitioner Gonzalo Gonzales but petitioner filed an Omnibus
Motion other defendants therein did not receive any notice of raffle.
Private respondent filed a manifestation expressing that it interposed no objection to the
said Omnibus Motion. Petitioner Gonzalo Gonzales then filed his Answer.

Meanwhile, private respondent filed a Motion for Service of Summons by Publication on

all the defendants therein, except Petitioner Gonzalo Gonzales, for the reason that their
residences could not be ascertained despite diligent inquiry. The Court granted the said motion
at the hearing on May 21, 1999.
Subsequently, private respondent received a Notice of Raffle from the Office of the Clerk
of Court of the Regional Trial Court of Las Pias enjoining private respondent to attend the raffle
of the case before the sala of herein public respondent. On the said date, the counsel of Petitioner
Gonzales and counsel of private respondent appeared but petitioners counsel opposed the
holding of the raffle on the ground that the other defendants were not duly notified of the raffle,
again invoking Administrative Circular No. 20-95. This was granted by public respondent in his
Order. Thus, private respondent filed a Motion for Reconsideration to which petitioner filed an
On August 30, 1999, public respondent issued the now assailed order which reconsidered
his July 30, 1999 Order. Thus, the instant case was set for regular raffle on September 8, 1999.
Hence, this Petition for Review on Certiorari assailing the Decision of the CA. In which
the CA affirmed the Order of the RTC of Las Pias City by setting the raffle of Civil Case No.
LP-99-0077 even without notice to some of the defendants therein.
Whether or not a case may be raffled, even when some of the parties could not be served
notice because their whereabouts are unknown.
In the present case, respondent was able to show that the whereabouts of the other
defendants were unknown, and that summons could not be served personally or by substituted
service. Hence, it cannot be required to serve such summons prior to or contemporaneous with
the notice of raffle. The raffle, therefore, may proceed even without notice to and the presence of
the said adverse parties.
Indeed, contrary to the argument of petitioner, allowing the raffle to proceed in a case like
this is not inconsistent with Section 5 of Rule 58, which reads as follows:
SEC. 5. Preliminary injunction not granted without notice; exception. No preliminary
injunction shall be granted without hearing and prior notice to the party or person sought
to be enjoined. If it shall appear from facts shown by affidavits or by the verified
application that great or irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the matter
can be heard on notice, the court to which the application for preliminary injunction was
made, may issue ex parte a temporary restraining order to be effective only for a period of
twenty (20) days from service on the party or person sought to be enjoined, except as
herein provided. Within the said twenty-day period, the court must order said party or
person to show cause, at a specified time and place, why the injunction should not be
granted, determine within the same period whether or not the preliminary injunction shall
be granted, and accordingly issue the corresponding order.
However, and subject to the provisions of the preceding sections, 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 he shall
immediately comply with the provisions of the next preceding section as to 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
Furthermore, petitioner makes much ado about the requirement of notice of raffle. In
ordinary suits, notice of a raffle is given to the parties in order to afford [them] a chance to be
heard in the assignment of their cases. According to Justice Feria, the raffle of cases is done in

open session with adequate notice, so that parties or their counsel will be prevented from
choosing judges to hear their case.
Petitioner has no ground to object, since he himself had been given notice prior to the
holding of the raffle. Furthermore, he has no standing to complain on behalf of the other parties,
because he does not claim to represent them.
In any event, the other defendants had been located and served summons. In fact, the
case was subsequently raffled on December 8, 1999, and a pretrial conducted on May 9, 2000.
The other defendants have not complained of any impropriety in the raffle. Their silence on this
question demonstrates the utter lack of merit of petitioners contention.
(G.R. No. 181274, G.R. No. 181274)
Respondents Joseph Jude Carantes, Rose Carantes and the heirs of Maximino Carantes
are in possession of a parcel of land located in Loakan Road, Baguio City. On June 20, 1997,
they obtained Certificate of Ancestral Land Claim over the land from the DENR. On the
strength of said CALC, respondents secured a building permit and a fencing permit from the
Building Official of Baguio City, Teodoro G. Barrozo. Before long, they fenced the premises
and began constructing a residential building thereon.
Soon, respondents received a letter from Digna D. Torres, the PEZA, informing them that
the house they built had overlapped PEZAs territorial boundary. Torres advised respondents to
demolish the same within sixty (60) days from notice. Otherwise, PEZA would undertake its
demolition at respondents expense.
Without answering PEZAs letter, respondents filed a petition for injunction, with prayer
for the issuance of a TRO and writ of preliminary injunction before the RTC of Baguio City was
granted and enjoined PEZA to cease and desist from threatening respondents with the demolition
of their house before respondents prayer for a writ of preliminary injunction can be heard. Also,
the RTC likewise issued an Order, which directed the parties to maintain the status quo pending
resolution of the case. Additionally, the RTC granted respondents petition and ordered the
issuance of a writ of injunction against PEZA.
The trial court ruled that respondents are entitled to possess, occupy and cultivate the
subject lots on the basis of their CALC. The court a quo explained that by the very definition of
an ancestral land under Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8371 or the Indigenous Peoples Rights Act of
1997, said lots have been segregated from lands of the public domain. As such, the rights of
respondents to the land are already vested in them and cannot be disturbed by Proclamation No.
1825, which included said land within the export processing zone of Baguio City.
On appeal, the CA affirmed the RTC ruling. The appellate court echoed the trial courts
declaration that the subject lots have been set aside from the lands of the public domain.
On February 1, 2008, the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG), as counsel for petitioner
PEZA, filed a Motion to Admit petition, with the present Petition attach. Petitioner challenges
the CA decision.
Whether petitioner can require respondents to demolish the structures they had built
within the territory of PEZA-BCEZ (Baguio City Economic Zone).
By specific provision of law, it is PEZA, through its building officials, which has
authority to issue building permits for the construction of structures within the areas owned or
administered by it, whether on public or private lands. Corollary to this, PEZA, through its
director general may require owners of structures built without said permit to remove such
structures within sixty (60) days. Otherwise, PEZA may summarily remove them at the expense
of the owner of the houses, buildings or structures.

As regards the issuance of fencing permits on ancestral lands, particularly within Baguio
City and the rest of the Cordilleras, DENR-Circular No. 03-90 (Rules on the Acceptance,
Identification, Evaluation, and Delineation of Ancestral Land Claims by the Special Task Force
Created by the Virtue of DENR Special Order Nos. 31 and 31-A both Series of 1990) prescribes
in Section 12:
SEC. 12. The Regional Land Management Services or the CENROs, through their
respective Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO), shall
prepare and submit to the Special Task Force a report on each and every application
surveyed and delineated. Thereafter, the Special Task Force after evaluating the reports,
shall endorse valid ancestral land claims to the Secretary through the Indigenous
Community Affairs Division, Special Concerns Office for the issuance of a Certificate of
Ancestral Land Claim. As soon as ancestral land claim is found to be valid and in
meritorious cases, the Special Task Force may recommend to the City/Municipal Mayors
Office the issuance of a fencing permit to the applicant over areas actually occupied at the
time of filing. (Emphasis supplied.)
This is the general rule. Considering, however, that in this case, a fencing permit is
issued complementary to a building permit and that within the premises of PEZA, it is the
Authority that may properly issue a building permit, it is only fitting that fencing permits be
issued by the Authority.
From the foregoing disquisition, it clearly appears that respondents likewise failed to
satisfy the second requisite in order that an injunction may issue: that the acts against which the
injunction is to be directed, are violative of said right. PEZA acted well within its functions
when it demanded the demolition of the structures which respondents had put up without first
securing building and fencing permits from the Authority. Thus, the petition is granted.
Respondents are hereby DIRECTED to demolish the residential building they had built within
the premises of PEZA within sixty (60) days from notice.
(G.R. No. 142731, June 8, 2006)
Petitioner, Far East Bank and Trust Company, granted a total of eight (8) loans to Noahs
Arc Merchandising. Per Certificate of Registration issued by the Department of Trade and
Industry , Noahs Ark is a single proprietorship owned by Mr. Albert T. Looyuko. The said
loans were evidenced by identical Promissory Notes all signed by Albert T. Looyuko, private
respondent Jimmy T. Go and one Wilson Go. Likewise, all loans were secured by real estate
mortgage constituted over a parcel of land registered in the names of Mr. Looyuko and herein
private respondent.
Petitioner, claiming that Noahs Ark defaulted in its obligations, extrajudicially
foreclosed the mortgage. The auction sale was set on April 14 1998 but on April 8 1998 private
respondent filed a complaint for damages with prayer for issuance of TRO and/or writ of
preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin the auction sale. In the Order dated April 10 1998 a
temporary restraining order was issued and in the same order the application for Preliminary
Injunction was set for hearing in the afternoon of the same day.
After hearing, the Order granted the application for preliminary injunction which shall
take effect upon posting of a bond. Private-respondent then filed a bond as required by the order.
Petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the aforementioned order which motion was denied on
the ground that the extrajudicial foreclosure was premature as to four (4) promissory notes.
After petitioners motion for reconsideration was denied in an order dated July 30, 1998,
petitioner filed a petition for certiorari with the Court of Appeals, praying that the orders dated
May 7, 1998 and July 30, 1998, granting the writ of preliminary injunction and denying the
motion for reconsideration, respectively, be annulled and set aside and the writ of preliminary
injunction be dissolved. Furthermore, petitioner asked to be allowed to proceed with the auction
sale of the property. The CA denied the petition for certiorari however, private respondent is
ordered to file an injunctive bond in the amount of P5,000,000.00.
Hence this petition.

Whether or not the private respondent was entitled to the TRO and writ of preliminary
Whether or not the TRO and writ of preliminary injunction were properly issued by
Judge Victorio.
On the first issue, this Court finds that private respondent was not entitled to the TRO and
the writ of preliminary injunction. Section 3 of Rule 58 of the Rules of Court provides the
grounds for the issuance of a preliminary injunction, to wit:
A preliminary injunction may be granted when it is established:
(a) That the applicant is entitled to the relief demanded, and the whole or part of such
relief consists in restraining the commission or continuance of the act or acts complained
of, or in requiring the performance of an act or acts, either for a limited period or
(b) That the commission, continuance or non-performance of the act or acts complained
of during the litigation would probably work injustice to the applicant; or
(c) That a party, court, agency or person is doing, threatening, or is attempting to do, or is
procuring or suffering to be done, some act or acts probably in violation of the rights of
the applicant respecting the subject of the action or proceeding, and tending to render the
judgment ineffectual.
Private respondent is not entitled to the relief of injunction against the extrajudicial
foreclosure and auction sale neither the extrajudicial foreclosure nor auction sale violative of
private respondents rights.
It is clear from the facts that FEBTC and Noahs Ark are both principal obligors and
creditors of each other. Their debts to each other both consist in a sum of money. The eight
promissory notes of Noahs Ark are all due; and the lease payments owed by FEBTC become
due each month. Noahs Arks debt is liquidated and demandable; and FEBTCs lease payments
are liquidated and are demandable every month as they fall due. Lastly, there is no retention or
controversy commenced by third persons over either of the debts.
Novation did not occur as private respondent argued. The Court has declared that a
contract cannot be novated in the absence of a new contract executed between the parties. The
legal compensation, which was acknowledged by FEBTC in its May 19, 1998 letter, occurred by
operation of law, as discussed above. As a consequence, it cannot be considered a new contract
between the parties. Hence, the loan agreement, as embodied in the promissory notes and the
real estate mortgage, subsists.
Since the compensation between the parties occurred by operation of law, FEBTC did not
waive Noahs Arks default. As a result of the absence of novation or waiver of default, FEBTC
is therefore not estopped from proceeding with the foreclosure.
Private respondent further argues in his memorandum that FEBTC was in bad faith when it
initiated the foreclosure proceedings because Noahs Ark had been requesting for accounting and
reconciliation of its account and the application of interest payment, and that there were on-going
negotiations with FEBTC for the settlement and restructuring of the loan obligation. From the
evidence on hand, it is clear that FEBTC was acting within its rights. Private respondent did not
present any other agreement signed by the parties subsequent to the promissory notes and
mortgage contract which can be considered as replacing, altering, or novating the contractual
rights between the parties. Even if Noahs Ark was trying to seek an accounting and
reconciliation of its account and even if it was trying to negotiate a restructuring of its loan
obligation, it cannot deny the fact that it had already defaulted on the entire loan obligation. This
gave FEBTC the right to exercise its contractual rights to foreclose on the security of the debt,
which in this case was the real estate mortgage subject of this case. FEBTC was therefore just
exercising its contractual rights when it initiated foreclosure proceedings and cannot be
considered to have acted in bad faith.
With regard to the second issue, this Court finds that the TRO and the writ of
preliminary injunction were improperly issued by Judge Victorio. First of all, on substantive

grounds, as discussed above, private respondent was not entitled to the TRO and the writ of
preliminary injunction.
Second, the issuance of the TRO was, on procedural grounds, irregular. Section 5, Rule 58
of the Rules of Civil Procedure provides:
Preliminary injunction not granted without notice; exception. No preliminary injunction
shall be granted without hearing and prior notice to the party or person sought to be
enjoined. If it shall appear from facts shown by affidavits or by the verified application
that great or irreparable injury would result to the applicant before the matter can be
heard on notice, the court to which the application for preliminary injunction was made,
may issue a temporary restraining order to be effective only for a period of twenty (20)
days from notice to the party or person sought to be enjoined. Within the said twenty-day
period, the court must order said party or person to show cause, at a specified time and
place, why the injunction should not be granted, determine within the same period
whether or not the preliminary injunction shall be granted, and accordingly issue the
corresponding order.
Judge Victorio, in an order dated April 14, 1998, issued a TRO for five days, then, in an
order dated April 15, 1998, extended it for fifteen more days, totaling twenty days. However, in
the first order, Judge Victorio excluded Saturdays and Sundays; and in the latter order he added
legal holidays to the exclusions. As quoted above, a TRO is effective only for a period of twenty
days from notice to the party sought to be enjoined. The rule does not specify that the counting
of the twenty-day period is only limited to working days or that Saturdays, Sundays and legal
holidays are excluded from the twenty-day period. The law simply states twenty days from
notice. Section 1, Rule 22 of the Rules of Court is pertinent, to wit:
How to compute time. In computing any period of time prescribed or allowed by these
Rules, or by order of the court, or by any applicable statute, the day of the act or event
from which the designated period of time begins to run is to be excluded and the date of
performance included. If the last day of the period, as thus computed, falls on a Saturday,
a Sunday, or a legal holiday in the place where the court sits, the time shall not run until
the next working day.
It is clear from the last sentence of this section that non-working days (Saturdays,
Sundays and legal holidays) are excluded from the counting of the period only when the last day
of the period falls on such days. The Rule does not provide for any other circumstance in which
non-working days would affect the counting of a prescribed period. Hence, Judge Victorio
exceeded the authority granted to lower courts, in Section 5, Rule 58 of the Rules of Court, when
he excluded non-working days from the counting of the twenty-day period.
In sum, private respondent was not entitled to the TRO nor to the preliminary injunction,
and the period granted in the TRO issued by Judge Victorio exceeded that prescribed in the Rules
of Court.
(G. R. N0. 102390 February 1, 2002)
The Union of Filipro Employees (UFE) declared a strike on account of alleged unfair
labor practices committed by Nestle Philippines, Inc. (Nestle) and put up a picket line in front of
the companys Cabuyao, Laguna factory. NLRC issued a TRO enjoining the UFE to desist from
blocking, barricading and obstructing the points of ingress and egress from Nestles Cabuyao
plant. To enforce the TRO, Nestle sought the assistance of the Philippine Constabulary and the
fire brigade of Cabuyao. Seeking to transfer its products from the Cabuyao factory to its
warehouse in Taguig during the strike, Nestle hired 6 cargo trucks from brothers Constancio and
Jesus Alimagno.
Alexander Asinas of the UFE and Francis Santos of Nestle agreed to constitute a panel to
discuss said transfer of products, as the matter was not overed by the TRO. However, in bad
faith, Santos instead ordered the PC to disperse the strikers at the barricades in front of the plant
gate so that the trucks can get out of the plant. The PC and the fire brigade began hitting the

strikers with truncheons and water cannons. With gate cleared, the cargo trucks began leaving the
Meanwhile, Dr. Vied Vemir Garcia Hemedez was on his way home from his masteral
class at the UP College of Public Health. He arrived at the Nestle factory while the dispersal was
ongoing so he stopped his car. At that time, the one of the cargo trucks, driven by Pacifico
Galasao, was leaving the Nestle compound at full speed. To avoid stones being thrown at his
direction, the truck driver drove in a crouching position. However, he lost control of the truck
and bumped the car of Dr. Hemedez. Pinned down by his overturned car, Dr. Hemedez asked
someone to inform his parents and pleaded for help from the people. While extricating Dr.
Hemedez from the overturned car, his mother and brothers repeatedly asked the help of PC
soldiers, specifically to unload the cargo truck to speed up the rescue, but said soldiers refused,
saying that the truck might get looted if they did so.
Dr. Hemedez was pulled out from under his car 2 hours later by his family members and
was rushed to the hospital, where he died shortly after arrival. Spouses Rogelio and Eliza
Hemedez, parents of Dr. Hemedez, sued Nestle, Jesus Alimagno, Francis Santos, Pacifico
Galasao, and PC/Capt. Rey Laada for damages.
After defendants filed their answers to the complaint, the Hemedez spouses served the
defendants a request for admission of the truth of the facts set forth in their complaint and the
genuineness of each of the documents appended thereto. Through their respective counsel,
defendants filed their verified answer to the request for admission. The Hemedez spouses moved
to strike out said answers and to declare the matters sought to be admitted as impliedly admitted,
contending that defendants themselves and not their counsel should personally answer the
request for admission.
The trial court issued an Order dated April 10, 1989 denying for lack of merit the
Hemedez spouses motion to strike out the defendants answers and/or declare the matters sought
to be admitted as impliedly admitted. It held that the grounds relied upon by plaintiffs counsel in
his motion were more formal than substantial for several reasons. First, by signing and
verifying the answer to the request for admission, the counsel of a defendant or defendants
reposed upon himself the same undertaking the defendant would have undertaken had he been
the one who verified the answer. Second, since the purpose of verification is merely to serve as
an assurance that the allegations in the pleading are true and correct and not the product of
imagination, and that the pleading is filed in good faith, the absence of verification is formal and
not jurisdictional. Third, the defendants were bound by the acts of the counsel of their choice.
Fourth, the generalizations made in the answer were expected because the plaintiffs requests for
admission were substantially identical with the allegations in their complaint.
On certiorari in the SC, the matter was referred to the CA. CA granted the motions to
strike out the answers subject of the requests for admission and declared each of the matters
requested to be impliedly admitted. It also remanded the case to the court a quo for proper
Whether or not the motion for reconsideration of the questioned Order of April 10, 1989 was
timely filed.
While the Court upholds the petitioners contention on the propriety of an answer to a request
for admission being filed by counsel, there is no merit in their contention on the late filing of private
respondents omnibus motion. It is indeed a fact that private respondents received a copy of the
questioned Order of April 10, 1989 on April 26, 1989 and that they filed the omnibus motion by
registered mail only on June 21, 1989 or fifty-six (56) days thereafter. Petitioners contend that the
omnibus motion should have been filed within the 15-day reglementary period as required by Section
39 of the Judiciary Reorganization Act of 1980. Suffice it to state that the Order sought to be
reconsidered by the lower court did not finally dispose of the merits of the case so that it should be
covered by the reglementary period stated in Section 39. That section speaks of final orders and not
interlocutory ones or those that leave something to be done by the court before the case is finally

decided on the merits. By denying the motion to strike out the answers of private respondents to
petitioners request for admission, the lower court did not terminate the proceedings. When it ruled
on the omnibus motion which petitioners believe was filed out of time, the lower court simply
disposed of a matter that was, in a manner of speaking, getting in the way of the expeditious
disposition of the case. Private respondents who should be most interested in the speedy disposition
of the case unfortunately and unwittingly caused its delay by a request for admission that only
achieved nothing but further delay in the proceedings.


(G.R. No. 167321, July 31, 2006)
Loreto Samia San Juan executed a Last Will and Testament naming Oscar Casa as
one of the devisees therein. Upon Loretos death on October 25, 1988, Atty. Teodorico A.
Aquino filed a petition for the probate of the will in the RTC of Quezon City. But, the probate
court issued an Order denying the entry of appearance of a law firm claiming to be the
representative of heirs of Casa, considering that Federico Casa, Jr. was not the executor or
administrator of the estate of the devisee, hence, cannot be substituted for the deceased as his
representative. Thereafter, the court issued an order directing Aquino to secure the appointment
of an administrator or executor of the estate of Oscar Casa in order that the appointee be
substituted in lieu of the said deceased.
In compliance with the order of the court, Epifanio San Juan filed a Motion to Declare
Appointment of Administrator As Inadequate or Insufficient. He maintained that the heirs
should present an administrator of the estate of Oscar Casa as the representative of the estate in
the case.
On December 2, 2003, the RTC issued an Order denying the motion of San Juan.
Contrary to its Order dated November 22, 2002, the court held that there was, after all, no need
for the appointment of an administrator or executor as substitute for the deceased devisee. It is
enough, the court declared, that a representative be appointed.
San Juan received a copy of the December 2, 2003 Order on December 15, 2003 and
filed, on December 30, 2003, a motion for reconsideration thereof. Alleging that the alleged heirs
of Oscar Casa did not file any petition for the appointment of an administrator of his estate;
hence, Federico Casa, Jr. is not qualified to be appointed as substitute for the deceased devisee.
San Juan pointed out that the December 2, 2003 Order of the probate court contravened its
August 14, 2002 and November 22, 2002 Orders.
The motion for reconsideration was denied on February 27, 2004 where the probate court
declared that it had carefully evaluated the arguments raised by the parties and found no
compelling ground or cogent reason to set aside its December 2, 2003 Order.
On May 7, 2004, San Juan filed a Motion to Admit his second motion for reconsideration dated
May 6, 2004, appending thereto the December 2, 2003 Order of the RTC.
On June 11, 2004, the probate court issued an order denying the second motion for
reconsideration of San Juan. It noted that the motion merely reiterated the same arguments in his
first motion for reconsideration which had already been passed upon. When San Juan received a
copy of the June 11, 2004 Order of the trial court, he filed, on July 23, 2004, a motion for
reconsideration thereof. Aquino opposed the motion, contending that it was, in fact, a third
motion for reconsideration, a prohibited pleading under Section 3, Rule 37 of the 1997 Rules of
Civil Procedure which was granted by the CA.
San Juan, now petitioner, filed a petition for certiorari with the CA on November
22, 2004 for the nullification of the orders issued by the probate court but dismiss by the court. A
Motion for reconsideration was filed but denied. Petitioner now seeks relief from this Court, via
a petition for review on certiorari, for the reversal of the resolutions of the appellate court
Whether or not the sixty-day period for filing a petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the
rules of courts is reckoned from notice of denial of the first motion for reconsideration of an

interlocutory order even though a second and third motion for reconsideration (which are not
prohibitive motions) of the same interlocutory order had been filed and ere later denied.
We agree with the ruling of the CA that the petition for certiorari filed by petitioner with
the CA on November 22, 2004 was filed beyond the 60-day period therefor. Petitioner received,
on March 18, 2004, the February 27, 2004 Order of the court denying his motion for
reconsideration of the December 2, 2003 Order. Petitioner had 60 days from March 18, 2004 or
until May 17, 2004 within which to file his petition for certiorari. However, petitioner filed his
petition for certiorari with the CA only on November 22, 2004.
The 60-day period should not be reckoned from petitioners receipt on June 11, 2004 of
the denial of his May 7, 2004 second motion for reconsideration. The 60-day period shall be
reckoned from the trial courts denial of his first motion for reconsideration, otherwise indefinite
delays will ensue.
We note that the parties articulated their stance in their respective pleadings not only on the
timeliness of the petition for certiorari in the CA but also on the validity of the assailed
December 2, 2003 Order of the trial court. Ordinarily, in view of the dismissal of the petition
because it was time-barred, the Court will no longer delve into and resolve the other issues raised
in the petition. However, in this case, we find it appropriate and necessary to resolve once and
for all the issue of whether there is a need for the appointment of an administrator of the estate of
Oscar Casa, or whether it is enough that he be substituted by his heirs.
(G.R. No. 181303, September 17, 2009)
Petitioners Carmen Danao Malana, et al. (Danao heirs) alleged to be the owners of a
land in Tugegarao which they inherited from Anastacio Danao. During the lifetime of Danao, he
allowed Consuelo Pauig (family member of Tappa) to build on and occupy the southern portion
of the subject property. Danao and Consuelo agreed that the latter would vacate the said land at
any time that Danao and his heirs might need it. Danao heirs claimed that respondents Benigno
Tappa, et al. continued to occupy the subject property even after Consuelos death, building their
residences thereon using permanent materials. Danao heirs also learned that Tappa, et al. was
claiming ownership over the subject property. Averring that they already needed it, Danao heirs
demanded that respondents vacate the same. The call was unheeded. Meanwhile, Danao heirs
referred their land dispute to the Lupong Tagapamayapa. During the conciliation proceedings,
respondents asserted that they owned the subject property and presented documents ostensibly
supporting their claim of ownership. The heirs opposed this, saying that the documents were
falsified and highly dubious. This notwithstanding, Tappa, et al. created a cloud upon the heirs
title to the property. Thus, the heirs filed a case for Reivindicacion, Quieting of Title, and
Damages in the RTC.
Did the judge commit grave abuse of discretion in motu proprio dismissing the complaint
for lack of jurisdiction?
No Grave Abuse of Discretion was committed by the Judge. Petition is dismissed. RTC
should remand the records to the MTC.
An action for declaratory relief should be filed by a person interested under a deed, awill,
a contract or other written instrument, and whose rights are affected by a statute, an executive
order, a regulation or an ordinance. The relief sought under this remedy includes the
interpretation and determination of the validity of the written instrument and the judicial
declaration of the parties rights or duties thereunder. Petitions for declaratory relief are governed
by Rule 63. Section 1 states that an action for the reformation of an instrument, to quiet title, and
to consolidate ownership in a sale with a right to repurchase may be brought under the RTC.

These remedies are considered similar to declaratory relief because they result in the
adjudication of the legal rights of the litigants, often without the need of execution. Whereas the
Rules of Court uses may, the amended Judicial Reorganization Act uses the word shall in
determining jurisdiction. JRA explicitly requires the MTC to exercise exclusive original
jurisdiction over all civil actions which involve title to or possession of real property where the
assessed value does not exceed P20,000 (OMM) or P50,000 (MM). In this case, the assessed
value of the subject property is only P410.00; therefore, the jurisdiction is with the MTC, not the
Further, an action for declaratory relief presupposes that there has been no actual breach
of the instruments involved or of rights arising thereunder. The purpose of an action for
declaratory relief is to secure an authoritative statement of the rights and obligations of the
parties under a statute, deed or contract for their guidance in the enforcement thereof, and not to
settle issues arising from an alleged breach thereof. Where the law or contract has already been
contravened prior to the filing of an action for declaratory relief, the courts can no longer assume
jurisdiction over the action. In the present case, the case for quieting of title was filed after
Danao heirs already demanded, and Tappa refused to vacate the subject property. Since the heirs
had already been deprived of the possession of their property, the proper remedy for them is the
filing of an accion publiciana or an accion reivindicatoria, not a case for declaratory relief. An
accion publiciana is a suit for the recovery of possession, filed one year after the occurrence of
the cause of action or from the unlawful withholding of possession of the realty. Jurisdiction over
such an action would depend on the value of the property involved. Given that the property is
only at P410.00, then the MTC, not the RTC, has jurisdiction over an action to recover the same.
(G.R. No. 125758. January 20, 2004)
RTC of Antipolo, Rizal, issued an Order granting the issuance of a second owners
duplicate copy of Original Certificate of Title (OCT) No. 4331 of the Registry of Deeds of Rizal,
in lieu of the lost copy of petitioner. But, private respondents filed in the same court an action for
Quieting of Title and Nullification and Cancellation of Title, praying in the main that an order
be issued directing the Register of Deeds of Rizal to cancel the owners duplicate copy which
was issued pursuant to the order of the Regional Trial Court of Antipolo, Rizal.
Thus, the petitioners averred that the private respondents had no cause of action against
them; that Branch 74 had no jurisdiction to annul and/or reverse an order of a co-equal court; and
that OCT No. 4331, on file with the Registry of Deeds of Pasig, Rizal, is subsisting, otherwise,
Branch 71 would not have ordered the issuance of a new duplicate OCT in lieu of that which was
irretrievably lost.
On September 25, 1995, the private respondents filed a Motion to Transfer Case to
Branch 71 in order to avoid any conflict of decision between two separate branches of this court
which are co-equal to each other. However, the petitioners opposed the motion and prayed that
the private respondents motion to transfer case be denied and an order be issued dismissing
outright the petition on the ground of lack of jurisdiction.
On October 24, 1995, Branch 74 issued an Order denying the petitioners prayer to
dismiss the case as well as the private respondents motion to transfer case Defendants prayer
for dismissal of this case is likewise denied.
The petitioners on December 4, 1995 filed with the Court of Appeals a petition for
certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeking to annul the order. On March 12, 1996,
the respondent Court rendered its herein assailed decision dismissing the petitioners petition for
certiorari. The petitioners motion for reconsideration of the aforesaid decision was, likewise,
denied by the respondent Court in an Order dated July 19, 1996. Hence, the present petition.
Whether or not the court erred in holding that the petition filed by private respondent in
Branch 74 of the RTC of Rizal, is for quieting of Tile and Cancellation of Original Certificate of

A cursory examination of the foregoing averments readily shows that the private
respondents petition is indeed, as captioned, one for quieting of title and nullification and
cancellation of title. Thus, the private respondents assert therein that the issuance to petitioners
of a new owners duplicate copy of OCT No. 4331, which was procured by fraudulent
representation, casts a cloud on the titles of the private respondents and, therefore, should be
ordered cancelled. In Baricuatro, Jr. v. Court of Appeals, we held that:
[Q]uieting of title is a common law remedy for the removal of any cloud upon or doubt
or uncertainty with respect to title to real property. Originating in equity jurisprudence,
its purpose is to secure an adjudication that a claim of title to or an interest in
property, adverse to that of the complainant, is invalid, so that the complainant and those
claiming under him may be forever afterward free from any danger of hostile claim. In
an action for quieting of title, the competent court is tasked to determine the respective
rights of the complainant and other claimants, not only to place things in their proper
place, to make the one who has no rights to said immovable respect and not disturb the
other, but also for the benefit of both, so that he who has the right would see every cloud
of doubt over the property dissipated, and he could afterwards without fear introduce the
improvements he may desire, to use, and even to abuse the property as he deems best
(citation omitted). Such remedy may be availed of under the circumstances enumerated
in the Civil Code
ART. 476. Whenever there is a cloud on title to real property or any interest therein, by
reason of any instrument, record, claim, encumbrance or proceeding which is apparently
valid or effective but is in truth and in fact invalid, ineffective, voidable, or
unenforceable, and may be prejudicial to said title, an action may be brought to remove
such cloud or to quiet the title.
An action may also be brought to prevent a cloud from being cast upon title to real
property or any interest therein.
Verily, the private respondents complaint before Branch 74 seeks the removal of a cloud
from and an affirmation of their ownership over the disputed properties covered by the titles
issued subsequent to the cancellation of OCT No. 4331. Penultimate to the primary relief sought
is the private respondents prayer for the cancellation of the new owners duplicate copy of OCT
No. 4331 issued to the petitioners by virtue of the August 17, 1994 Order of Branch 71 in LRC
Case No. 93-1310. Hence, contrary to the petitioners asseveration, the private respondents
petition before Branch 74 makes out a case for quieting of title, and nullification and cancellation
of title, and not a mere annulment of a final order of the RTC as viewed under par. (2), Sec. 9,
B.P. Blg. 129. Under the circumstances, the case before Branch 74 was actually a real action,
affecting as it does title to or possession of real property, jurisdiction over which is clearly vested
in the Regional Trial Court as provided in par. (2), Sec. 19, B.P. Blg. 129.Thus, even the
petitioners allusion to paragraph 12 of the private respondents petition above, in support of their
claim that the main, if not the real, thrust of the private respondents petition is for nullification
of the order of Branch 71 on the ground of fraud, cannot be given serious consideration. We
have declared that under our system of pleading it is the duty of the courts to grant the relief to
which the parties are shown to be entitled by the allegations in their pleadings and the facts
proved at the trial, and the mere fact that they themselves misconstrued the legal effect of the
facts thus alleged and proved will not prevent the court from placing the just construction
thereon and adjudicating the issue accordingly.
(G.R. No. 126638. February 6, 2002)
Petitioner Rosanna Barba filed before the MCTC of Mexico, Pampanga, a complaint for
ejectment against private respondents over a parcel of land and the five-door apartment building
in Lagundi, Mexico, Pampanga.
Petitioner alleged that plaintiff is the owner of a building and lot located at Lagundi,
Mexico Pampanga, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 353973-R xxx; that the aforesaid

building has five (5) doors each occupied by each of the defendant; that the first-named
defendant is plaintiffs predecessor-in-interest while the second and third defendants are sisters
of the first-named defendant; that the fourth and fifth defendants were tolerated by the firstnamed to stay on the premises. that after title over the building and lot was issued in plaintiffs
favor on or about May 27, 1993, plaintiff notified the defendants to vacate the premises but they
refused and continue to refuse; that plaintiff xxx in separate letters xxx told each of the
defendants to vacate the premises within fifteen (15) days counted from receipt of the letter, xxx;
that, notwithstanding, receipt of the letters and the lapse of 15 days defendants refused and
continue to refuse to vacate the premises.
On April 5, 1994, the Municipal Circuit Trial Court rendered a decision in petitioners
On appeal, the Regional Trial Court reversed the decision of the MCTC and declared the
same as void for utter lack of jurisdiction. The RTC ruled that since the complaint filed before
the MCTC failed to allege prior possession by the plaintiff (petitioner), which allegation confers
jurisdiction, the case should have been dismissed motu proprio.
On October 31, 1995, the Court of Appeals, in its assailed decision, affirmed the
dismissal by the RTC of the ejectment case. However, the basis for such dismissal is different
from that articulated by the RTC. The Court of Appeals held that since there exists a genuine
issue of ownership which is inextricably linked to the issue of possession, the case should have
been dismissed for lack of jurisdiction.
Petitioner, thus, found her way to this Court through the present petition for review.
Whether or not the RTC and CA are correct in dismissing the case on the ground of lack
of jurisdiction of the MCTC at the case at bar.
The Court resolves to grant the petition. Notwithstanding that the dismissals on appeal
by the Regional Trial Court and the Court of Appeals were anchored on different grounds, such
dismissals were, nonetheless, both improper.
The Regional Trial Court dismissed the ejectment case for lack of jurisdiction because the
complaint failed to allege prior physical possession by the plaintiff (herein petitioner) and
deprivation of such possession by the defendants (herein private respondents) through force,
intimidation, strategy, or stealth. The RTC ruled that since it is the allegations in the complaint
which confer jurisdiction, the absence of such allegation of prior physical possession behooved
said court to desist from proceeding with the trial and to dismiss the case motu proprio.
We do not agree.
While it is true that in forcible entry and unlawful detainer cases, jurisdiction is
determined by the nature of the action as pleaded in the complaint, a simple allegation that
defendant is unlawfully withholding possession from plaintiff is sufficient. In an unlawful
detainer case, the defendants possession was originally lawful but ceased to be so by the
expiration of his right to possess. Hence, the phrase unlawful withholding has been held to
imply possession on the part of defendant, which was legal in the beginning, having no other
source than a contract, express or implied, and which later expired as a right and is being
withheld by defendant.
The allegations of petitioner in her complaint before the MCTC sufficiently make out a
case for unlawful detainer. Petitioner alleged ownership over the subject property as evidenced
by a transfer certificate of title in her name; she contended that upon the issuance of a certificate
of title in her name, she demanded, through counsel, that private respondents vacate the premises
within fifteen days from notice; and notwithstanding such demand, private respondents refused
to vacate the same. Although the phrase unlawfully withholding was not actually used by
petitioner in her complaint, the allegations therein nonetheless amount to an unlawful
withholding of the subject property by private respondents because they continuously refused to
vacate the premises even after petitioners counsel had already sent them notices to the effect.
Futhermore, the subject property was mortgaged to herein petitioner by private
respondent Teodora Garcia who had presumptive title to the said property by virtue of the

transfer certificate of title in her name. Upon failure of private respondent to redeem the
mortgage, the property was foreclosed and purchased by petitioner at public auction. A
certificate of sale and later on a transfer certificate of title were issued in her name. Thus,
petitioner acquired possession of the property when she was declared highest bidder at public
auction and a certificate of sale was issued in her favor. From the time that the property was sold
to petitioner as highest bidder, she acquired the right of possession over the same, possession
being one of the attributes of ownership. As new owner, petitioner had the right of action against
private respondents to recover possession of the property pursuant to Art. 428 of the Civil Code.
The Court has repeatedly emphasized that municipal trial courts, metropolitan trial courts
and municipal circuit trial courts now retain jurisdiction over ejectment cases even if the question
of possession cannot be resolved without passing upon the issue of ownership. In forcible entry
and unlawful detainer cases, even if the defendant raises the question of ownership in his
pleadings and the question of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the issue of
ownership, inferior courts, nonetheless, have the undoubted competence to provisionally resolve
the issue of ownership for the sole purpose of determining the issue of possession. Such decision,
however, does not bind the title or affect the ownership of the land or building, neither shall it bar
an action between the same parties respecting title to the land or building nor be held conclusive
of the facts therein found in a case between the same parties upon a different cause of action
involving possession. It was, thus, erroneous for the Court of Appeals to order the dismissal of
the unlawful detainer case because it was well within the competence and jurisdiction of the
municipal circuit trial court to resolve the issue of possession even if private respondents raised
the issue of ownership of subject property.