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Philippine Supreme Court Jurisprudence > Year 2011 > April 2011 Decisions > [G.R. No. 169292, April 13 :
2011] SPOUSES FRANCISCO DE GUZMAN, JR. AND AMPARO O. DE GUZMAN, PETITIONERS, VS. CESAR OCHOA
AND SYLVIA A. OCHOA, REPRESENTED BY ARACELI S. AZORES, AS THEIR ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, RESPONDENTS. :

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SECOND DIVISION
[G.R. No. 169292, April 13 : 2011]

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SPOUSES FRANCISCO DE GUZMAN, JR. AND AMPARO O. DE GUZMAN, PETITIONERS, VS.


CESAR OCHOA AND SYLVIA A. OCHOA, REPRESENTED BY ARACELI S. AZORES, AS THEIR
ATTORNEY-IN-FACT, RESPONDENTS.
DECISION
MENDOZA, J.:
This is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the August 11, 2005 Decision[1] of the Court of
Appeals (CA), in CA-GR. SP No. 89329, filed by petitioners, Spouses Francisco De Guzman, Jr. and
Amparo O. De Guzman (petitioners). In the assailed decision, the CA found no commission of grave
abuse of discretion when the public respondent therein, Judge Amelia A. Fabros (Judge Fabros),
Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court, Pasig City, Branch 160 (RTC), denied petitioners' second
motion to dismiss, in Civil Case No. 68896, an action for annulment of contract and damages.
The facts of the case have been succinctly summarized by the CA as follows:
On March 25, 2002, respondent spouses Cesar Ochoa and Sylvia Ochoa, through
respondent Araceli Azores, ostensibly acting as attorney-in-fact, commenced in the
Regional Trial Court (RTC) in Pasig City an action seeking the annulment of contract of
mortgage, foreclosure sale, certificate of sale and damages. The action, docketed as Civil
Case No. 68896 and entitled Cesar Ochoa and Sylvia A. Ochoa, etc. v. Josefa M.
Guevarra, et al., was raffled to Branch 160, presided by the respondent RTC Judge.
On May 22, 2002, the petitioners, as defendants in Civil Case No. 68896, filed a motion to
dismiss, alleging the sole ground that the complaint did not state a cause of action. The
petitioners' motion to dismiss was formally opposed by the private respondents.

DebtKollect Company, Inc.

On December 16, 2002, the respondent RTC Judge denied petitioners' motion to dismiss
and at the same time set Civil Case No. 68896 for pre-trial conference, directing the
parties to submit their respective pre-trial briefs.
On March 31, 2003, the petitioners filed a second motion to dismiss, alleging that the
certification against forum shopping attached to the complaint was not executed by the
principal parties (plaintiffs) in violation of Sec. 5, Rule 7, 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure,
rendering the complaint fatally defective and thus dismissible.
The private respondents opposed the second motion to dismiss.
On February 12, 2004, the respondent RTC Judge issued her first assailed order, denying
the second motion to dismiss, disposing thus:
xxx

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Division

Inasmuch as the records show that the pending incident is the second
motion to dismiss filed by the defendants, the same is hereby Denied for
lack of merit.
SO ORDERED.
On May 25, 2004. the petitioners filed their motion for reconsideration, but the
respondent RTC Judge denied the motion through her second assailed order dated
December 29, 2004, to wit:
Acting on the Motion for Reconsideration (of the Order dated February 12,
2004, filed by the defendant Spouses Francisco and Amparo De Guzman,
through counsel, on May 25, 2004, and after considering the grounds
stated therein in support of their motion, and finding no cogent reason to
warrant the reconsideration sought for, the motion is DENIED.

SO ORDERED.[2]
Aggrieved, petitioners elevated the order of denial to the CA via a petition for certiorari contending that
the RTC should have dismissed the complaint motu proprio since it was fatally defective. They pointed
out that the Verification and Certification of Non-Forum Shopping attached to the complaint was not
signed by Cesar Ochoa or Sylvia Ochoa but by Araceli S. Azores (Azores), who was acting as the
attorney-in-fact of Cesar Ochoa only. They invited the attention of the RTC to the fact that the powers
delegated to Azores did not include the authority to institute an action in court. Thus, according to the
petitioners, the denial by the RTC of their motion to dismiss was capricious, whimsical and arbitrary,
amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction and should be struck down as null and void.
On August 11, 2005, the CA denied the petition for lack' of merit. The CA, in its decision, agreed with
the RTC that following the omnibus motion rule, the defects of the complaint pointed out by the
petitioners were deemed waived when they failed to raise it in their first motion to dismiss.
Not in conformity, the petitioners filed this petition for review under Rule 45, anchored on this:
GROUND
THE COURT A QUO DECIDED A QUESTION OF SUBSTANCE IN A MANNER NOT IN
ACCORD WITH LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE WHEN IT REFUSED TO DISMISS, THE
COMPLAINT DESPITE THE FACT THAT IT WAS INDUBITABLY SHOWN AND
ESTABLISHED THAT THE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENT OF CERTIFICATION OF NONFORUM SHOPPING PURSUANT TO SECTION 5, RULE 7 OF THE RULES OF COURT
WAS NOT OBSERVED AND COMPLIED WITH SINCE THE SAME WAS NOT
ACCOMPLISHED PERSONALLY BY THE PURPORTED PLAINTIFFS THEREIN.
It is the position of the petitioners that the second motion to dismiss does not violate the Omnibus
Motion Rule under Section 8, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court because the issue raised in the second
motion was a question of jurisdiction. For said reason, the matter of the defective verification and
certification cannot be considered to have been waived when it was not interposed at the first instance.
Considering that the issue is jurisdictional, the RTC should have dismissed the complaint motu proprio.
The Court disagrees with the petitioners.
An order denying a motion to dismiss is an interlocutory order which neither terminates the case nor
finally disposes of it, as it leaves something to be done by the court before the case is finally decided on
the merits. As such, the general rule is that the denial of a motion to dismiss cannot be questioned in a
special civil action for certiorari which is a remedy designed to correct errors of jurisdiction and not
errors of judgment.[3]
Therefore, an order denying a motion to dismiss may only be reviewed in the ordinary course of law by
an appeal from the judgment after trial. The ordinary procedure to be followed in such cases is to file
an answer, go to trial, and if the decision is adverse, reiterate the issue on appeal from the final
judgment.[4]
Only in exceptional cases where the denial of the motion to dismiss is tainted with grave abuse of
discretion that the Court allows the extraordinary remedy of certiorari. By "grave abuse of discretion,"
we mean such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment that is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction.
The abuse of discretion must be grave as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary or despotic
manner by reason of passion or personal hostility, and must be so patent and gross as to amount to an
evasion of positive duty or to a virtual refusal-to perform the duty enjoined by or to .act all in
contemplation of law.[5]

April-2011 Jurisprudence
[G.R. No. 171406, April 04 : 2011] ASIAN
TERMINALS,
INC.,
PETITIONER,
VS.
MALAYAN
INSURANCE, CO., INC., RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 160949, April 04 : 2011] COMMISSIONER
OF
INTERNAL
REVENUE,
PETITIONER,
VS.
PL
MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL PHILIPPINES, INC.,
RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 158362, April 04 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. GILBERTO
VILLARICO, SR. @ "BERTING", GILBERTO VILLARICO,
JR., JERRY RAMENTOS, AND RICKY VILLARICO,
ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.
[G.R. No. 187534, April 04 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES,
PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
VS.
DIMA
MONTANIR, RONALD NORVA AND EDUARDO CHUA,
ACCUSED-APPELLANTS.
[G.R. No. 149193, April 04 : 2011] RICARDO B.
BANGAYAN, PETITIONER, VS. RIZAL COMMERCIAL
BANKING
CORPORATION
AND
PHILIP
SARIA,
RESPONDENTS,
[G.R. No. 190823, April 04 : 2011] DOMINGO
CARABEO, PETITIONER, VS.SPOUSES NORBERTO AND
SUSAN DINGCO, RESPONDENTS.
[A.M. No. P-11-2922 (formerly A.M. OCA IPI No. 031778-P), April 04 : 2011] MARY JANE ABANAG,
COMPLAINANT, VS. NICOLAS B. MABUTE, COURT APRIL
4, 2011 STENOGRAPHER I, MUNICIPAL CIRCUIT TRIAL
COURT (MCTC), PARANAS, SAMAR, RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 167022, April 04 : 2011] LICOMCEN
INCORPORATED,
PETITIONER,
VS.
FOUNDATION
SPECIALISTS, INC., RESPONDENT. [G.R. NO. 169678]
FOUNDATION SPECIALISTS, INC., PETITIONER, VS.
LICOMCEN INCORPORATED, RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 171497, April 04 : 2011] MARIA LOURDES

In this case, the petitioners failed to convincingly substantiate its charge of arbitrariness on the part of
Judge Fabros. Absent such showing of arbitrariness, capriciousness, or ill motive, the Court cannot but
sustain the ruling of the CA.
Section 8, Rule 15 of the Rules of Court defines an omnibus motion as a motion attacking a pleading,
judgment or proceeding. A motion to dismiss is an omnibus motion because it attacks a pleading, that
is, the complaint. For this reason, a motion to dismiss, like any other omnibus motion, must raise and
include all objections available at the time of the filing of the motion because under Section 8, "all
objections not so included shall be deemed waived." As inferred from the provision, only the following
defenses under Section 1, Rule 9, are excepted from its application: [a] lack of jurisdiction over the
subject matter; [b] there is another action pending between the same parties for the same cause (litis
pendentia); [c] the action is barred by prior judgment (res judicata); and [d] the action is barred by the
statute of limitations or prescription.
In the case at bench, the petitioners raised the ground of defective verification and certification of forum
shopping only when they filed their second motion to dismiss, despite the fact that this ground was
existent and available to them at the time of the filing of their first motion to dismiss. Absent any
justifiable reason to explain this fatal omission, the ground of defective verification and certification of
forum shopping was deemed waived and could no longer be questioned by the petitioners in their
second motion to dismiss.
Moreover, contrary to petitioners' assertion, the requirement regarding verification of a pleading is
formal, not jurisdictional. Such requirement is simply a condition affecting the form of the pleading, and
non-compliance with which does not necessarily render the pleading fatally defective. Verification is
simply intended to secure an assurance that the allegations in the pleading are true and correct and not
the product of the imagination or a matter of speculation, and that the pleading is filed in good faith. In
fact, the court may order the correction of the pleading if verification is lacking or act on the pleading
although it is not verified, if the attending circumstances are such that strict compliance with the rules
may be dispensed with in order that the ends of justice may thereby be served.[6]
Similarly, the rule requiring the submission of such certification of non-forum shopping, although
obligatory, is not jurisdictional.[7] The certification requirement is rooted in the principle that a partylitigant shall
not be allowed to pursue simultaneous remedies in different fora, as this Q practice is detrimental to an
orderly judicial procedure.[8]
As to whether the trial court should have dismissed the complaint motu proprio, the Court rules in the
negative. Section 5, Rule 7 of the Rules of Court is clear that failure to comply with the requirements on
the rule against forum shopping shall be cause for the dismissal of the case "upon motion and after
hearing."

TAMANI, CONCEPCION TAMANI, ESTRELLA TAMANI,


TERESITA TAMANI, AZUCENA SOLEDAD, DOLORES
GUERRERO, CRISTINA TUGADE DAMIETA MANSAANG,
MANUEL TAMANI, VALERIANA CASTRO, AURORA
SANTIAGO AND ROSARIO CASTILLO, PETITIONERS, VS.
ROMAN
SALVADOR
AND
FILOMENA
BRAVO,
RESPONDENTS.
[G. R. No. 164195, April 05 : 2011] APO FRUITS
CORPORATION
AND
HIJO
PLANTATION,
INC.,
PETITIONERS, VS. LAND BANK OF THE PHILIPPINES,
RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 178406, April 06 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. RONALDO
SALUDO, ACCUSED-APPELLANT.
[G.R. No. 189980, April 06 : 2011] PEOPLE OF THE
PHILIPPINES, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE, VS. ALBERTO
BACUS ALCUIZAR, DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.
[G.R. No. 169564, April 06 : 2011] AMES BEN L.
JERUSALEM PETITIONER, VS. KEPPEL MONTE BANK,
HOE ENG HOCK, SUNNY YAP AND JOSEFINA PICART,
RESPONDENTS.
[A.M. No. P-10-2791 (formerly A.M. No. 10-3-91RTC), April 06 : 2011] JUDGE RENATO A. FUENTES,
REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 17, DAVAO CITY,
COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. ROGELIO F. FABRO, BRANCH
CLERK OF COURT, SAME COURT, RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 170166, April 06 : 2011] JOE A. ROS AND
ESTRELLA AGUETE, PETITIONERS, VS. PHILIPPINE
NATIONAL BANK - LAOAG BRANCH, RESPONDENT.
[A.C. No. 7771, April 06 : 2011] PATRICIO GONE,
COMPLAINANT, VS. ATTY. MACARIO GA, RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 188715, April 06 : 2011] RODOLFO N.
REGALA, PETITIONER, VS. FEDERICO P. CARIN,
RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 163039, April 06 : 2011] HEIRS OF
FRANCISCO RETUYA, FELICITAS R. PINTOR, HEIRS OF
EPIFANIA R. SEMBLANTE, NAMELY, PREMILINO
SEMBLANTE, LUCIFINA S. TAGALOG, URSULINA S.
ALMACEN; HEIRS OF JUAN RETUYA, NAMELY, BALBINA
R. RODRIGUEZ, DOLORES R. RELACION, SINFOROSA R.
BASUBAS, TEOPISTA R. BASUBAS, FERNANDO RETUYA,
BALDOMERO RETUYA, TEOFILO RETUYA, LEONA
COLINA, FIDELA R. RAMIREZ, MARTINA R. ALBAO,
SEVERINA R. CABAHUG; HEIRS OF RAFAELA VILLAMOR;
ELIZABETH V. ALESNA; HEIRS OF QUINTIN RETUYA,
NAMELY, FELIMON RETUYA, SOFIA RETUYA, RUDOLFA
RETUYA AND ELISA RETUYA, PETITIONERS, VS.
HONORABLE COURT OF APPEALS, HON. ULRIC CAETE
AS PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL COURT
BRANCH 55, MANDAUE CITY, NICOLAS RETUYA; HEIRS
OF EULOGIO RETUYA, NAMELY, MIGUEL RETUYA,
RAMON RETUYA, GIL RETUYA, PIO RETUYA, MELANIO
RETUYA,
NICANOR
RETUYA,
LEONILA
RETUYA,
AQUILINA
RETUYA,
LUTGARDA
RETUYA
AND
PROCOPIO VILLANUEVA, RESPONDENTS.
[A.M. No. RTJ-11-2279 (Formerly OCA IPI No. 083041-RTJ ), April 06 : 2011] FLORENCE EBERSOLE DEL
MAR- SCHUCHMAN, COMPLAINANT, VS. JUDGE EFREN
M. CACATIAN, REGIONAL TRIAL COURT, BRANCH 35,
SANTIAGO CITY, ISABELA, RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 156684, April 06 : 2011] SPOUSES
ANTONIO AND FE YUSAY, PETITIONERS, VS. COURT OF
APPEALS, CITY MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL OF
MANDALUYONG CITY, RESPONDENTS.
[G.R. No. 171129, April 06 : 2011] ENRICO SANTOS,
PETITIONER, VS. NATIONAL STATISTICS OFFICE,
RESPONDENT.

WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED.


SO ORDERED.
Carpio, (Chairperson), Nachura, Peralta, and Abad, JJ., concur.
Endnotes:

[1]

Penned by Associate Justice Lucas P. Bersamin (now an Associate Justice of the Court),
with Associate Justice Andres B. Reyes and Associate Justice Celia C. Librea-Leagogo.
concurring; rollo, pp. 3S-43.
[2]

Id. at 96-97.

[3]

Rimbunan Hijau Group of Companies v. Oriental Wood Processing Corporation, 507


Phil. 631, 645 (2005).
[4]

Negros Merchants Enterprises, Inc. v. China Banking Corporation. G.R. No. 150918,
August 17, 2007, 530 SCRA 478, 485.
[5]

Supra note 3.

[6]

Mediserve, Inc. v. Court of Appeals (Special Former 13th Division) and Landheights
Development Corporation, 404 Phil. 981, 994-995 (2001). citing Shipside Incorporated v.
Court of Appeals.
[7]

Ateneo de Naga University v. Manalo, G.R. No. 160455, May 9, 2005, 458 SCRA 325,
336-337.
[8]

Torres v. Specialized Packaging Development Corporation, G.R. No. 149634, July 6,


2004. 433 SCRA 455,463.

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[G.R. No. 180173, April 06 : 2011] MICROSOFT


PHILIPPINES, INC., PETITIONER, VS. COMMISSIONER
OF INTERNAL REVENUE, RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 182967, April 06 : 2011] PHILIPPINE
NATIONAL RAILWAYS, PETITIONER, VS. KANLAON
CONSTRUCTION
ENTERPRISES
CO.,
INC.,
RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 169627, April 06 : 2011] ROSEMARIE
SALMA ARAGONCILLO-MOLOK, PETITIONER, VS. SITY
AISA BARANGAI MOLOK, RESPONDENT.
[G.R. No. 161204, April 06 : 2011] NATIONAL
HOUSING AUTHORITY, PETITIONER, VS. HON. VICENTE
Q. ROXAS (PRESIDING JUDGE OF REGIONAL TRIAL
COURT, QUEZON CITY, BRANCH 227,) REGISTER OF
DEEDS OF QUEZON CITY, LAND REGISTRATION
AUTHORITY, OFFICE OF THE CITY, DEPARTMENT OF
ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES, AND THE
COURT OF APPEALS, RESPONDENTS.
[G.R. No. 189457, April 07 : 2011] SUNRISE HOLIDAY
CONCEPTS, INC., Petitioner, vs. TERESA A. ARUGAY,
Respondent.
[G.R. No. 186070, April 11 : 2011] CLIENTLOGIC

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