You are on page 1of 21

OFFICE OF THE COURT ADMINISTRATOR, complainant, vs. CELESTINA B.

CORPUZ, Clerk of Court IV,


Municipal Trial Court in Cities, Urdaneta City, Pangasinan, respondent.
DECISION
CARPIO, J.:
The Case
This administrative case for Ignorance of the Law, Abuse of Authority and Grave Misconduct against respondent
Celestina B. Corpuz originated from another administrative case, A.M. No. MTJ-99-1199 [1] entitled Francisco Lu vs.
Judge Orlando Ana F. Siapno, MTC-Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Domingo S. Lopez, Sheriff IV, RTC-Urdaneta,
Pangasinan, Branch 45 and Private Prosecutor Joselino A. Viray. In A.M. No. MTJ-99-1199, the Court, in its Decision
dated 6 July 2000,[2] directed the Court Administrator to institute an administrative case against respondent Celestina
Corpuz (Corpuz), Clerk of Court IV of the MTC-Urdaneta.[3]
The Facts
Francisco Lu (Lu) was the defendant in a civil case for ejectment [4] raffled to Judge Orlando Ana F.
Siapno[5] (Judge Siapno) and docketed as Civil Case No. 4112. On 7 September 1995, Judge Siapno rendered a
decision, the dispositive portion of which reads:
IN VIEW OF THE FOREGOING, judgment is rendered against Francisco Lu the following (sic):
1.

Ordering the defendant to immediately vacate the premises;

2.
The plaintiff may get the amount of P18,000.00 from the Office of the Municipal Treasurer, Urdaneta, Pangasinan,
representing back rentals since August, 1992;
3.

To pay attorneys fees in the amount of P10,000.00;

4.

In accordance with the Rules, let a Writ of Execution be issued. (Emphasis supplied).

Lus counsel received the decision on 13 September 1995. Lu filed a Notice of Appeal on the same day.
Meanwhile, on 11 September 1995, Corpuz issued a writ of execution. Sheriff Domingo S. Lopez [6] (Sheriff Lopez)
implemented the writ on the same date by forcibly ejecting Lu from the premises.
Lu elevated the case to the Regional Trial Court of Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Branch 47 (RTC-Branch 47). While
on appeal, RTC-Branch 47 issued a writ of preliminary mandatory injunction and declared void the writ of execution
earlier issued by the MTC-Urdaneta. On 5 February 1996, RTC-Branch 47 rendered a judgment modifying the MTC
decision by deleting the paragraph (I)n accordance with the Rules, let a Writ of Execution be issued.
Lu filed an administrative complaint against Judge Siapno, Sheriff Lopez, and Atty. Joselino A. Viray, [7] docketed
as A.M. OCA IPI No. 97-381-MTJ and re-docketed as A.M. No. MTJ-99-1199. Lu charged Judge Siapno with: (1)
gross incompetence in the performance of his duties for not dismissing Civil Case No. 4112; (2) gross ignorance of
the law for rendering a decision providing in its dispositive portion the issuance of a writ of execution without notice
and hearing; (3) abdication of official function; and (4) gross misconduct.
The Court,[8] in its Decision dated 6 July 2000, found Judge Siapno guilty of gross ignorance of the law for
declaring, in the dispositive portion, the immediate execution of his decision. The Court thus fined Judge

Siapno P5,000. The Court also found Sheriff Lopez guilty of gross abuse of authority and fined him P5,000. The
Court forwarded the charge against Atty. Joselino A.Viray to the Office of the Bar Confidant for appropriate action.
The Court directed the Office of the Court Administrator (OCA) to institute the appropriate administrative case
against Corpuz who was not impleaded in A.M. No. MTJ-99-1199. Thus, in the administrative complaint dated 10
August 2000, the OCA charged respondent Corpuz with Ignorance of the Law, Abuse of Authority and Grave
Misconduct.
On 11 September 2000, the Court required respondent Corpuz to comment on the administrative complaint
against her.
In her Comment dated 17 October 2000, Corpuz denies the charges against her. Corpuz alleges that she never
signed any court process or writ without instruction from her superior. She claims that Judge Siapno angrily told her
to implement the decision as it already directed the issuance of a writ of execution. She feared that Judge Siapno
might cite her for insubordination. Corpuz admits that she issued the writ of execution. However, Corpuz claims that
she issued the writ with the knowledge of Judge Siapno who instructed her to sign the writ. Corpuz further claims
that the stenographer had already typed the writ when it was presented to her for signature.
The Court referred the administrative case against Corpuz to Executive Judge Joven F. Costales (Investigating
Judge Costales) of the RTC-Urdaneta, Pangasinan, Branch 45, for investigation, report and recommendation.
Report and Recommendation of the Investigating Judge
During the investigation, Corpuz admitted that there were several instances when she issued writs of execution
immediately after Judge Siapno promulgated the decisions. Corpuz admitted that there were three ejectment cases
Civil Cases Nos. 4007, 4009, and 4124 - wherein the decisions and the writs of execution were signed,
promulgated and issued on the same dates but no one complained. Investigating Judge Costales deduced that
Judge Siapno did not force or coerce Corpuz into signing the writ of execution previously prepared by the
stenographer. There was no reason for Judge Siapno to force or coerce Corpuz into signing the writ of execution
because this was their practice as shown by the three ejectment cases Corpuz mentioned.
Investigating Judge Costales observed that Corpuz took literally what Judge Siapno declared in his Decision of
7 September 1995 that [I]n accordance with the Rules, let a Writ of Execution be issued. Investigating Judge
Costales believed that as second in command in the office, Corpuz should have guided or assisted her presiding
judge. Investigating Judge Costales opined that Corpuz should have read the rules and procedure regarding the
issuance of a writ of execution and could not simply reason out that she was doing a ministerial duty. Granting that
Corpuz was only a commerce graduate, Investigating Judge Costales believed that Corpuz should have taken her
position seriously by reading the basic laws to guide her work. Investigating Judge Costales recommended that
Corpuz be fined P2,000.
OCAs Report and Recommendation
The OCA agrees with the findings and recommendation of Investigating Judge Costales. The OCA opines that
the acts of signing and issuing a writ of execution without a motion for execution or a hearing prior to the issuance of
the writ indicate irresponsibility and incompetence. Having been a clerk of court for years, Corpuz should have been
conversant with the specific requirements of the Rules of Court on the signing and issuance of the writ of execution.
She occupies a very sensitive position that requires competence and efficiency to insure the publics confidence in
the administration of justice. The OCA likewise agrees with the recommendation of Investigating Judge Costales that
Corpuz be fined P2,000 for gross ignorance of the rules, with a warning that a repetition of the same or similar
offense will be dealt with more severely.
The Courts Ruling

We agree with the conclusions and recommendation of the OCA and Investigating Judge Costales.
There is no dispute that Lus counsel received the MTC decision on 13 September 1995 and filed a notice of
appeal on the same day. Corpuz issued the writ of execution on 11 September 1995. Sheriff Lopez implemented the
writ on the same day. In short, Corpuz issued the writ, and Sheriff Lopez implemented the same, at least two days
before Lus counsel received the MTC decision. Clearly, this is an improper procedure because the clerk of court
issued the writ of execution before the losing party received the decision. As held in Felongco v. Dictado,
[9]
reiterating the earlier case of Dy v. Court of Appeals,[10] the losing party must first receive notice of the judgment
before the court or its personnel can execute the judgment. The reason is that if such judgment is immediately
executed without prior notice to the losing party, then such a party has no remedy if the evidence or law does not
support the judgment.
Moreover, even if the MTC decision itself ordered that a writ of execution be issued, this does not mean that
notice of the motion for execution to the adverse party is unnecessary.[11] The court cannot direct the issuance of a
writ of execution motu proprio. This is what Section 8 of Rule 70[12] provides:
SEC. 8. Immediate execution of judgment. How to stay same. If judgment is rendered against the defendant, execution shall
issue immediately, unless an appeal has been perfected and the defendant to stay execution filed a sufficient bond, approved by
the justice of the peace or municipal court and executed to the plaintiff to enter the action in the Court of First Instance and to pay
the rents, damages, and costs accruing down to the time of the judgment appealed from, and unless, during the pendency of the
appeal, he deposits with the appellate court the amount of the rent due from time to time under the contract, if any, as found by
the judgment of the justice of the peace or municipal court to exist. xxx
All moneys so paid to the appellate court shall be deposited in the provincial or city treasury, and shall be held there until the final
disposition of the appeal, unless the court, by agreement of the interested parties, or in the absence of reasonable grounds of
opposition to a motion to withdraw, or justifiable reasons, shall decree otherwise. Should the defendant fail to make the payments
above prescribed from time to time during the pendency of the appeal, the appellate court, upon motion of the plaintiff, of which
the defendant shall have notice, and upon proof of such failure, shall order the execution of the judgment appealed from with
respect to the restoration of possession, but such execution shall not be a bar to the appeal taking its course until the final
disposition thereof on its merits. (Emphasis supplied).
Section 8, Rule 70 explicitly provides that although execution is immediately executory, judgment may be stayed
by perfecting an appeal, filing a supersedeas bond approved by the court and periodically paying the rents during the
pendency of the appeal. As explained in Kaw v. Judge Anunciacion, Jr.,[13] a party is not in a position to stay
execution unless he receives notice of the filing of a motion for execution. After all, a party has 15 days to perfect his
appeal and stay execution by filing a notice of appeal and supersedeas bond and periodically depositing the rentals.
Unless he receives notice of a motion for execution, he cannot take these steps to stay execution. While the MTC
decision authorized Corpuz to issue a writ of execution, its issuance prior to receipt by Lu of the decision was
precipitate and against all sense of fair play. Clearly, Corpuz abused her authority.
Corpuz worked with the MTC-Urdaneta in 1974 as clerk and became a clerk of court in 1979 up to her
retirement in 2002.[14] The fact that she was only a commerce graduate will not mitigate the offense or its penalty. As
clerk of court for about 23 years, Corpuz should have been conversant with the specific requirements of the Rules of
Court on the signing and issuance of the writ of execution.
As clerk of court, Corpuz occupies a very sensitive position that requires competence and efficiency to insure
the publics confidence in the administration of justice. A clerk of court is a role model for other court employees to
emulate in the performance of duties as well as in the conduct and behavior of a public servant. A clerk of court
cannot err without affecting the integrity of the court or the efficient administration of justice. [15] Corpuz failed to meet
these standards.
In his Report, Findings and Recommendation dated 23 October 2001, Investigating Judge Costales stated that
Corpuz is already 64 years old and soon she will be on compulsory retirement. [16] The OCA confirmed that Corpuz

compulsorily retired on 5 May 2002 but her retirement benefits were withheld because of pending administrative
cases.
WHEREFORE, we find the recommendations of Investigating Judge Joven F. Costales and the Office of the
Court Administrator well-taken. Respondent Celestina B. Corpuz is FINED Two Thousand Pesos (P2,000) for gross
ignorance of the Rules of Court and abuse of authority. This fine shall be deducted from her retirement benefits.
ELENITA I. BALAJONDA, petitioner, vs. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS (FIRST DIVISION) and MARICEL S.
FRANCISCO, respondents.
DECISION
TINGA, J.:
Whether or not the Commission on Elections has power to order the immediate execution of its judgment or
final order involving a disputed barangay chairmanship is at the heart of the present Petition for Certiorari[1] under
Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure.
On 16 July 2002, petitioner Elenita I. Balajonda (Balajonda) was proclaimed as the duly elected Barangay
Chairman (Punong Barangay), having won the office in the barangay elections held the previous day.[2] Her margin of
victory over private respondent Maricel Francisco (Francisco) was four-hundred twenty (420) votes. [3] Francisco duly
filed a petition for election protest, within ten (10) days from the date of proclamation, lodged with the Metropolitan
Trial Court (MeTC) of Quezon City, Branch 35.[4]
In answer to the protest, Balajonda alleged that Franciscos petition stated no cause of action and that the
allegations of electoral fraud and irregularities were baseless, conjectural, flimsy, frivolous, preposterous and mere
figments of the latters wild imagination. She also laid stress on the fact that although the grounds relied upon by
Francisco were violations of election laws, not a single person had been prosecuted for violation of the same.[5]
After the issues were joined, the MeTC ordered the revision of ballots in sixty-nine (69) ballot boxes, and
eventually, the ballots in thirty-nine (39) precincts were revised. [6] After trial, MeTC dismissed the protest with its
finding that Balajonda still led Francisco by four hundred eighteen (418) votes
acts:

07/16/02 Petitioner was proclaimed asthe duly elected Barangay Chairman havingwon in the
elections held the previous day.Her margin of victory over private respondentFrancisco was 420 votes. Francisco
duly filed a petition for election protest, within 10 daysfrom the date of proclamation in the MeTC of Quezon City.

I n a n s w e r , B a l a j o n d a a l l e g e d t h a t Franciscos petition stated no cause of actionand that the


allegations of electoral fraud
andi r r e g u l a r i t i e s we r e " b a s e l e s s , c o n j e c t u r a l , f l i m s y , f r i v o l o u s , p r e p o s t e r o u s a n d m e r e figm
ents of the latters wild imagination." Shealso stressed that although the grounds reliedupon by Francisco were
violations of electionl a w s , n o t a s i n g l e p e r s o n h a d b e e n prosecuted for violation
of the same.

MeTC:
D i s m i s s e d t h e p r o t e s t w i t h i t s finding that Balajonda still led Francisco by418 votes.

F r a n c i s c o a p p e a l e d t h e d e c i s i o n t o t h e COMELEC.

COMELEC

(02/02/04): Reversed the MeTC(granted appeal), finding that Francisco wonover Balajonda by 111 votes. It
annulled
thep r o c l a m a t i o n o f B a l a j o n d a , a n d d e c l a r e d F r a n c i s c o a s t h e d u l y e l e c t e d B a r a n g
a y Chairman. It ordered Balajonda to vacate in f a v o r o f F r a n c i s c o a n d t o c e a s e a n d d e s i s t from
performing the functions of the office.

B a l a j o n d a
f i l e d
a
M o t i o n
f o r Reconsideration while Francisco filed a
Motionfor Execution (02/05/04), praying for a writ of execution in accordance with Sec. 2(a),
Rule3 9 o f t h e R O C , wh i c h a l l o ws d i s c r e t i o n a r y execution of judgment upon good reasons to be
stated in the order.

Balajonda opposed the motion, arguing inthe main that under Sec. 2(a), Rule 39, only t h e j u d g m e n t o r f i n a l
o r d e r o f a t r i a l c o u r t may be the subject of discretionary executionpending appeal.

COMELEC
(11/26/04)
:
Granted the
motiona n d d i r e c t e d t h e i s s u a n c e o f a W r i t o f Execution, ordering Balajonda to cease
andd e s i s t f r o m d i s c h a r g i n g h e r f u n c t i o n s a s Barangay Chairman and relinquish said officeto
Francisco. Francisco ordered to post a bondof P50,000 which shall answer for
whateverdamage Balajonda will sustain by reason of s u c h e x e c u t i o n i f t h e f i n a l r e s o l u t i o n o f
t h e protest would decide that he is not entitled thereto. Order immediately executory.

Hence this petition.


Issue:
W h e t h e r o r n o t t h e C O M E L E C h a s t h e p o we r t o o r d e r t h e
i m m e d i a t e e x e c u t i o n o f i t s j u d g m e n t o r f i n a l o r d e r i n v o l v i n g a d i s p u t e d barangay chairmanshi
p?
Held/Ratio:
Yes

Batul v. Bayron (2003)


:
Affirmed a similarorder of the COMELEC First Division directingthe immediate execution of its own judgment.Despite
the silence of the COMELEC Rules of Procedure as to the procedure of the issuanceof a writ of execution
pending appeal, there isno reason to dispute the COMELECs authorityt o d o s o , c o n s i d e r i n g t h a t t h e
suppletory application of the ROC
is expressly authorizedby Sec. 1, Rule 41 of the COMELEC Rules
of P r o c e d u r e w h i c h p r o v i d e s t h a t a b s e n t a n ya p p l i c a b l e p r o v i s i o n s t h e r e i n t h e p e r t i n e n t provisio
ns of the ROC shall be applicable bya n a l o g y o r i n a s u p p l e t o r y c h a r a c t e r a n d effect.

However, Batul
is different from this casei n t h a t i n B a t u l t h e d e c i s i o n s u b j e c t o f t h e order of immediate execution
was renderedby the poll body in the exercise of its original jurisdiction while the decision in this case
waspromulgated in the exercise of its appellate jurisdiction. Still, there is no reason
to disposeo f t h i s p e t i t i o n i n a m a n n e r d i f f e r e n t f r o m B a t u l . T h e p u b l i c p o l i c y u n d e r l y i n g t
he
suppletory application
of Sec. 2(a), Rule 39 ist o o b v i a t e a h o l l o w v i c t o r y f o r t h e d u l y elected candidate as determined
by either thecourts or the COMELEC. Towards that end,
weh a v e c o n s i s t e n t l y e m p l o y e d l i b e r a l construction of procedural rules in electio
ncases to the end that the will of the people int h e c h o i c e o f p u b l i c o f f i c e r s m a y n o t b e defeated by
mere technical objections.

I n t h e i n s t a n t c a s e , t h e g o o d r e a s o n s enunciated in Ramas v. Comelec (286 SCRA189), to wit:


(1) the public interest involved orthe will of the electorate; (2) the shortness of t h e r e m a i n i n g p e r i o d , a n d ( 3 )
t h e l e n g t h o f t i m e t h a t t h e e l e c t i o n c o n t e s t h a s b e e n pending, is obtaining. Public
interest is bestserved if Francisco who actually received
theh i g h e s t n u m b e r o f v o t e s s h o u l d b e immediately be installed. It is likewise

truet h a t t h e r e m a i n i n g p e r i o d o r t h e u n e x p i r e d term is too short that to further prolong thetenure of


the protestee is a virtual denial of the right of the protestant, the duly elected barangay captain, to assume
office.

Considering that there are good reasonsfor the issuance of an Order of Execution, to wit: dictates of public
policy and the shortnesso f t h e r e m a i n i n g p e r i o d , t h e m o t i o n i s granted. Once more, Batul
instructs that the filingo f a m o t i o n f o r r e c o n s i d e r a t i o n o f t h e COMELECs resolution
with the COMELEC enbanc does not suspend the execution thereof.
EDUARDO JALANDONI (Deceased), Substituted by ROGELIA R. JALANDONI, BRENDA R. TAYAG, ARTHUR
JALANDONI, DEANNA J. FELICIANO and SUSAN R. JALANDONI, petitioners,
vs.
PHILIPPINE NATIONAL BANK and COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE OF NEGROS OCCIDENTAL, Silay City Branch
I, respondents.

AQUINO, J.:
May the judgment debtor's land, which was levied upon within five years from the entry of judgment, be sold at an
execution sale after the expiration of the ten-year period for enforcing the judgment? That legal issue arises under the
following facts:
On March 31, 1959 the Court of First Instance of Manila rendered a judgment ordering Eduardo Jalandoni to pay the
Philippine National Bank the sum of P63,297.53, together with daily interest of P12.57 from March 6, 1959 until fully
paid, and ten percent of the total amount due as attorney's fees, plus the costs (Civil Case No. 38393).
That judgment became final and executory. Within five years from the entry of judgment in that case, or on March
9,1964, the sheriff of Silay City, pursuant to an alias writ of execution, levied upon Lot No. 657-C of the Silay
cadastre, with an area of seventeen hectares, covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-1827, which was later
cancelled and replaced in 1969 by Transfer Certificate of Title No. T-3202 in the name of Eduardo Jalandoni.
The levy was annotated on TCT No. T-1827 and TCT No. 3202 in this manner:
Entry No. 2041 Notice of Embargo. ... issued by the City Sheriff of Silay City subjecting the
rights, interests and participations of Eduardo Jalandoni over the lot described in this title, to "levy
on execution in relation to Civil Case No. 38393 otherwise entitled Philippine National Bank,
Plaintiff vs. Eduardo Jalandoni, Defendant". Date of Instrument March 9, 1964 Date of
Inscription March 9, 1964 at 11:00 A. M.
No effort was made by the bank up to this time to have that land sold at public auction to satisfy the judgment against
Jalandoni.
On April 22, 1974, or more than ten years after the levy was made, Jalandoni filed with the Court of First Instance of
Negros Occidental at Silay City in the land registration proceeding, LRC Cadastral Record No. 86 for Lot No. 657-C,
a petition for the cancellation of the levy on the ground of prescription. The petition was opposed by the bank.
The lower court in its order of October 31, 1974 directed Jalandoni to ask the Manila court to quash the writ of
execution on the ground of prescription and thereafter to refile his petition in the lower court.
The said court also adverted to the rule that relief under section 112 of Act No. 496 can be granted only when there is
unanimity among the parties or there is no adverse claim or serious objection on the part of an interested party.

On May 20, 1975, Jalandoni filed in the same court an action to quiet title or for the cancellation of the notice of
embargo on the ground that, although more than ten years had elapsed from the time the levy was made, no
execution sale had been held and, therefore, the levy had become inefficacious and was a cloud on his title (Civil
Case No. 685).
The bank answered the complaint. After a pre-trial and the submission of memoranda, the trial court rendered a
decision dated June 15, 1977 dismissing the complaint. The heirs of Jalandoni (he died on January 20, 1977)
appealed to this Court under Republic Act No. 5440.
It should be borne in mind that an action upon a judgment must be brought within ten years from the time the right of
action accrues (Art. 1144, Civil Code). As clarified in the Rules of Court, that prescriptive period means that "a
judgment may be executed on motion within five (5) years from the date of its entry or from the date it becomes final
and executory" and "after the lapse of such time, and before it is barred by the statute of limitations, a judgment may
be enforced by action" (Sec. 6, Rule 39).
The Jalandoni heirs, in support of their contention that the levy cannot be enforced after the expiration in 1969 of the
ten-year period for enforcing the judgment, rely on the rule laid down in Ansaldo vs. Fidelity and Surety Co. of the P.I.,
88 Phil. 547, a 1951 case, that "properties levied upon by execution must be sold in public auction within the period
of ten years during which the judgment can be enforced by action" The reason for that rule is that an execution is
enforced (and therefore accomplished) by levy and sale, not by levy alone.
In the Ansaldo case, a writ of execution was issued by the Court of First Instance of Manila on April 11, 1933 and a
notice of levy was annotated on April 17, 1933 on the Torrens titles covering the lots of the judgment debtor, Angel A.
Ansaldo. No other step was taken by the judgment creditor on the writ of execution and levy.
More than fourteen years later, or on July 30, 1947, Jose Ma. Ansaldo, the heir of the judgment debtor, filed a petition
with the Court of First Instance of Manila for the cancellation of the levy in view of the inaction of the judgment
creditor. The latter opposed the petition.
The lower court granted it on the ground that the judgment creditor's right to enforce the judgment by execution had
prescribed This Court affirmed the lower court's order cancelling the levy annotated on Ansaldo's titles.
In passing, this Court noted that, although it was ruled in Government of the Philippines vs. Echaus, 71 Phil. 318 that
if 'there is a valid levy within the period prescribed by law, the execution sale may be enforced thereafter, the
execution sale in that case took place within the ten-year period from the entry of judgment.
In the Echaus case, the judgment was rendered in 1932, the writ of execution was issued and the levy was made in
1934, and the execution sale was held in 1939 or within the ten-year period.
On the other hand, in this case the trial court and the bank hold the view that the execution sale can be made beyond
the ten-year period for enforcing the judgment as long as the levy was effected within five years from the entry of
judgment as in the instant case.
They rely on the dictum that while section 6 of Rule 39 "limits the time within which a writ of execution may be issued
to enforce a judgment, it does not prescribe a period when the sale at public auction by the sheriff shall take place
after the issuance of the writ of execution and a valid levy made pursuant thereto" (Del Rosario vs. Yatco, L-18735,
December 29, 1966, 18 SCRA 1263). That dictum was based on the following ruling, also cited in theEchaus case:
The levy is the essential act by which the property is set apart for the satisfaction of the judgment
and taken into the custody of the law, and ... after it has been taken from the defendant, his interest
is limited to its application to the judgment, irrespective of the time when it may be sold (Southern
Cal. Lumber Co. vs. Hotel Co., 94 C. 217, 28 American State Reports 115).

In the decision in the Southern California Lumber case, the phrase "irrespective of the time when it may be sold"
means that after a levy has been made, the property levied upon may be sold even after the sixty-day period, which
is the term of the writ of execution, but that phrase does not mean that the execution sale could be held beyond the
ten-year period for enforcing the judgment.
In the Del Rosario case, the judgment was rendered in 1955, the writ of execution was issued in 1956 and a levy was
made on the land of the judgment debtor, Narciso del Rosario, which levy was annotated on his title and was
recorded in the registry of deeds. No execution sale was held.
In 1961, Del Rosario and the persons to whom he had mortgaged the land levied upon filed in court a petition to
cancel the levy on the ground that more than five years had already elapsed since the levy was made and no auction
sale had been held. Del Rosario contended that the judgment creditor's remedy was to file an action to revive the
judgment.
The trial court did not grant the petition. It ordered the judgment creditor to take steps that the land levied upon be
sold at an execution sale within sixty days. This Court affirmed that order of the trial court. It should be noted that the
said execution sale would take place within the ten-year prescriptive period for enforcing the judgment.
In the Del Rosario case, this Court cited the case of Quiambao vs. Manila Motor Co., Inc., 113 Phil. 431, which
reaffirmed the rule in the Ansaldo case that "a valid execution issued and levy made within the five-year period after
entry of the judgment may be enforced by sale of the property levied upon thereafter, provided the sale is made
within ten years after the entry of the judgment".
We hold that the trial court erred in not applying the ruling in the Ansaldo case which is on all fours with this case.
The employees of the bank were negligent. They did not require the sheriff to sell Jalandoni's land at public auction.
The bank is bound by its employees' negligence. This case should teach the responsible officers of the bank to be
more vigilant in exercising its rights and in supervising its employees. The law helps the diligent and vigilant, not
those who sleep on their rights.
For laches and neglect on the part of those, who, under the law are entitled to require of others the
fulfillment of their obligations, the statute of limitations has been enacted, which provides that such
rights prescribe after a certain period of time, in order that it may serve alike as a punishment for
those who do not know how to look after their own interests, and as a source of reassurance to
those who may have rested in the belief that their creditors had waived their rights, and also to
insure economic stability and the certainty of rights. (Villareal, J., in Lutero vs. Siuliong & Co., 54
Phil. 272, 280.)
We find that the "notice of embargo" annotated in 1964 on Jalandoni's title is no longer enforceable and has become
a cloud upon his title. Following the rule in the Ansaldo case, he and his heirs have a good cause of action under
article 476 of the Civil Code for the removal of that state encumbrance.
Moreover, article 478 of the Civil Code provides that "there may also be an action to quiet title or remove a cloud
therefrom when the contract, instrument or other obligation has been extinguished or has terminated, or has been
barred by extinctive prescription". (See sec. 112 of Act No. 496.)
A court of equity will remove a cloud cast upon title to property by a lien, interest, or title which has
become barred by reason of laches or the running of the statute of limitations. ...
Liens which were acquired by virtue of judgments or levies of execution, and which have become
barred by limitations or by delay in enforcing them, and sales based on such hens, have been held
to be removable as clouds. (65 Am Jur 2nd 163-164).

WHEREFORE, the trial court's decision is reversed and set aside. The register of deeds of Silay City is directed to
cancel the "Notice of Embargo" annotated on Jalandoni's title, TCT No. T-3202, covering Lot No. 657-C of the Silay
cadastre No costs.
Fiestan vs. Court of Appeals, and Developmentt Bank of the Philippines
185 SCRA 751
May 1990

FACTS:
For failure of petitioner spouses Dionisio Fiestan and Juanita Arconada (spouses Fiestan) to pay their
mortgage indebtedness to respondent Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), the latter was able
to acquire at a public auction sale on August 6, 1979 the parcel of land (Lot No. 2-B covered by TCT No.
T-13218) that the spouses Fiestan owned in Ilocos Sur after extrajudicial foreclosure of said property.
The Provincial Sheriff issued a certificate of sale that same day which was registered on September 28
in the Office of the Register of Deeds of Ilocos Sur. Earlier, or on September 26, spouses Fiestan also
executed a Deed of Sale in favor of DBP which was likewise registered on September 28, 1979. When
spouses Fiestan failed to redeem their parcel of land within the 1 year period which expired on
September 28, 1980, the Register of Deeds cancelled their title over the subject property and issued
TCT No. T-19077 to DBP upon the latters duly executed affidavit of consolidation of ownership.
On April 13, 1982, the DBP sold the lot to Francisco Peria, so the Register of Deeds of Ilocos Sur
cancelled DBPs title over said property and issued TCT No. T-19229 to Perias name, who later secured
a tax declaration for said lot and accordingly paid the taxes due thereon. He thereafter mortgaged said
lot to the PNB-Vigan Branch as security for his loan of P115,000.00. Since the spouses Fiestan were still
in possession of the property, the Provincial Sheriff ordered them to vacate the premises, but instead
of leaving, they filed a complaint in the RTC of Vigan, Ilocos Sur for annulment of sale, mortgage and
cancellation of transfer certificates of title against the DBP-Laoag City, PNB-Vigan Branch, Ilocos Sur,
Francisco Peria and the Register of Deeds of Ilocos Sur.
The lower court dismissed said complaint, declaring valid the extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the
mortgaged property in favor of the DBP and its subsequent sale to Francisco Peria as well as the real
estate mortgage constituted in favor of PNB-Vigan. The Court of Appeals likewise affirmed said
decision. The spouses Fiestan herein seek to annul the extrajudicial foreclosure sale of the mortgaged
property on the ground that the Provincial Sheriff conducted the foreclosure without first effecting a
levy on said property before selling the same at the public auction sale.
ISSUE:
Who has the right to acquire by purchase the subject property?
COURT RULING:
In denying the petition, the Supreme Court reiterated that the formalities of a levy, which the Provincial
Sheriff of Ilocos Sur allegedly failed to comply with, are not basic requirements before an extrajudicially
foreclosed property can be sold at public auction. The spouses Fiestan insisted that what prevails over
the case are par. (2) of Article 1491 and par. (7) of Article 1409 of the Civil Code which prohibits agents
from acquiring by purchase, even at a public or judicial auction either in person or through the
mediation of another, the property whose administration or sale may have been entrusted to them
unless the consent of the principal has been given. However, the Supreme Court ruled that the power
to foreclose is not an ordinary agency that contemplates exclusively the representation of the principal
by the agent but is primarily an authority conferred upon the mortgagee for the latter's own

protection, as provided under Section 5 of Act No 3135, as amended, which is a special law that must
prevail over the Civil Code which is a general law. Even in the absence of statutory provision, there is
authority to hold that a mortgagee, and in this case the DBP, may purchase at a sale under his
mortgage to protect his own interest or to avoid a loss to himself by a sale to a third person at a price
below the mortgage debt.
MERLINDA L. DAGOOC, Complainant,
vs.
ROBERTO A. ERLINA, Sheriff IV, RTC, Branch 40, Tandag, Surigao del Sur, Respondents.
RESOLUTION
CORONA, J.:
This is a complaint for misconduct and ignorance of the law filed by Merlinda L. Dagooc of Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao
del Sur, against deputy sheriff Roberto A. Erlina of the Regional Trial Court, Branch 40, Tandag, Surigao del Sur.
Complainant alleged that she was the plaintiff in Civil Case No. L-695 before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 28,
Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. The court rendered judgment by compromise agreement which immediately
became final and executory. Complainant moved for the execution of the decision and, on February 28, 2002, a writ
of execution was issued which was endorsed to respondent deputy sheriff Erlina for execution. The defendants,
however, could not pay the money judgment. Instead of levying on the properties of the defendants to satisfy the
judgment, however, sheriff Erlina asked them to execute promissory notes in favor of complainant which he asked the
latter to collect from the defendants. Complainant further alleged that respondent sheriff indicated in his return of
service that defendants were insolvent. But upon verification with the assessors office of Tandag, Surigao del Sur,
complainant discovered that defendants owned real properties, as evidenced by the real property field appraisal and
assessment sheet.
In his comment, respondent sheriff averred that he served a copy of the writ of execution on the defendants but they
could not pay the money judgment despite repeated demands. So he went to the residence of the defendants to levy
on some of their personal properties but he found them to be exempt from execution pursuant to Section 13, Rule 39
of the Rules of Court. He then went to the office of the provincial assessor to verify if the defendants owned real
properties which he could levy on. He alleged that he was given a certification that there was none. So he made a
return of service stating that defendants were insolvent. He denied calling up complainant for her to collect
defendants payment by means of promissory notes. But he advised her to secure an alias writ of execution so he
could eventually go after defendants real properties in Tandag, Surigao del Sur.
Facts: This is a complaint for misconduct and ignorance of the law filed by Merlinda L. Dagooc of
Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur, against deputy sheriff Roberto A. Erlina of the Regional Trial Court,
Branch 40, Tandag, Surigao del Sur.

Complainant alleged that she was the plaintiff in a civil case before the Regional Trial Court, Branch 28,
Diatagon, Lianga, Surigao del Sur. The court rendered judgment by compromise agreement which
immediately became final and executory. Complainant moved for the execution of the decision and, on
February 28, 2002, a writ of execution was issued which was endorsed to respondent deputy sheriff
Erlina for execution. The defendants, however, could not pay the money judgment. Instead of levying
on the properties of the defendants to satisfy the judgment, however, sheriff Erlina asked them to
execute promissory notes in favor of complainant which he asked the latter to collect from the
defendants. Complainant further alleged that respondent sheriff indicated in his return of service that
defendants were insolvent. But upon verification with the assessor's office of Tandag, Surigao del Sur,

complainant discovered that defendants owned real properties, as evidenced by the real property field
appraisal and assessment sheet.

Issue: Whether or not the sheriff is right in not levying the properties of the judgment debtor.

Held: The respondent sheriff did not know his duties and functions under Section 9, Rule 39 of the
Revised Rules of Court which clearly states how the execution of money judgments should be
made: Section 9. Execution of judgments for money, how enforced. ' (a) Immediate payment on
demand. ' The officer shall enforce an execution of a judgment for money by demanding from the
judgment obligor the immediate payment of the full amount stated in the writ of execution and all
lawful fees. The judgment obligor shall pay in cash, certified bank check payable to the judgment
obligee, or any other form of payment acceptable to the latter Dagooc objected because the
promissory notes of the defendants did not satisfy the money judgment in her favor. If the judgment
debtor cannot pay all or part of the obligation in cash, certified bank check or other mode of payment
acceptable to the judgment obligee, the money judgment shall be satisfied by levying on the
properties of the judgment debtor, to which the sheriff failed to do. Respondent sheriff ROBERTO A.
ERLINA of was found GUILTY of inefficiency and incompetence in the performance of his official duties.
G.R. No. L-56483: SOSTENES CAMPILLO, vs. COURT OF APPEALS and ZENAIDA DIAZVDA. DE SANTOS
1984 May 29, 129 scra 513Contract of Sale Efficacy Need to Register Sale in the Registry of Deeds PD 1529Tomas
de Vera was the owner of two parcels of land in Tondo, Manila. In 1961, de Vera soldthe lands to Simplicio Santos. Santos however did
not register the sale in the Registry of Deeds,which means that the land was still under de Veras name.On the other hand, de Vera
was indebted to Campillo. Campillo obtained a judgment for sum of money. De Veras 3 parcels of land, including those sold
to Santos were levied in 1962 in favor of Campillo. Campillo acquired the land and he was able to have the lands be registered
under his name.
ISSUE:
Who has better right over the property: Santos who first bought it w/o registering it or Campillo who subsequently purchased it at a
public auction and have it registered under hisname?
HELD:
Campillo has the right over the said properties. It is settled in this jurisdiction that a saleof real estate, whether made
as a result of a private transaction or of a foreclosure or executionsale, becomes legally effective against third persons only
from the date of its registration.Santos purchase of the two parcels of land may be valid but it is not enforceable against thirdpersons for
he failed to have it registered.Campillo is a purchaser in good faith as he was not aware of any previous sale for Santos
never caused the annotation of the sale.Section 51, PD No. 1529, otherwise known as the Property Registration Decree, provides
asfollows:"Section 51. Conveyance and other dealings by registered owner. -An owner of registeredland may convey,
mortgage, lease, charge or otherwise deal with the same in accordance withexisting laws. He may use such forms of deeds,
mortgages, leases or other voluntaryinstruments as are sufficient in law. But no deed, mortgage, lease or other voluntary
instrumentexcept a will purporting to convey or affect registered land shall take effect as a conveyance or bind the land, but shall operate
only as a contract between the parties and as evidence of authority to the Register of Deeds to make registration."The act of registration
shall be the operative act to convey or affect the land insofar as thirdpersons are concerned, and in all cases under this
Decree, the registration shall be made in theoffice of the Register of Deeds for the province or city where the land lies."The
purchaser (Campillo) in the execution sale of the registered land in suit, acquires such rightand interest as appears in
the certificate of title unaffected by prior lien or encumbrances notnoted therein. This must be so in order to preserve the
efficacy and conclusiveness of thecertificate of title which is sanctified under our Torrens system of land registration
G.R. No. 107282 March 16, 1994
THE MANILA REMNANT CO., INC., petitioner,
vs.
HON. COURT OF APPEALS, AND SPS. OSCAR C. VENTANILLA AND CARMEN GLORIA DIAZ, respondents.
Tabalingcos & Associates Law Office for petitioner.

Oscar C. Ventanilla, Jr. and Augusto Garmaitan for private respondents.

CRUZ, J.:
The present petition is an offshoot of our decision in Manila Remnant Co., Inc., (MRCI) v. Court of Appeals,
promulgated on November 22, 1990.
That case involved parcels of land in Quezon City which were owned by petitioner MRCI and became the subject of
its agreement with A.U. Valencia and Co., Inc., (AUVCI) by virtue of which the latter was to act as the petitioner's
agent in the development and sale of the property. For a stipulated fee, AUVCI was to convert the lands into a
subdivision, manage the sale of the lots, execute contracts and issue official receipts to the lot buyers. At the time of
the agreement, the president of both MRCI and AUVCI was Artemio U. Valencia.
Pursuant to the above agreement, AUVCI executed two contracts to sell dated March 3, 1970, covering Lots 1 and 2,
Block 17, in favor of spouses Oscar C. Ventanilla and Carmen Gloria Diaz for the combined contract price of
P66,571.00, payable monthly in ten years. After ten days and without the knowledge of the Ventanilla couple,
Valencia, as president of MRCI, resold the same parcels to Carlos Crisostomo, one of his sales agents, without any
consideration. Upon orders of Valencia, the monthly payments of the Ventanillas were remitted to the MRCI as
payments of Crisostomo, for which receipts were issued in his name. The receipts were kept by Valencia without the
knowledge of the Ventanillas and Crisostomo. The Ventanillas continued paying their monthly installments.
On May 30, 1973, MRCI informed AUVCI that it was terminating their agreement because of discrepancies
discovered in the latter's collections and remittances. On June 6, 1973, Valencia was removed by the board of
directors of MRCI as its president.
On November 21, 1978, the Ventanilla spouses, having learned of the supposed sale of their lots to Crisostomo,
commenced an action for specific performance, annulment of deeds, and damages against Manila Remnant Co.,
Inc., A.U. Valencia and Co., Inc., and Carlos Crisostomo. It was docketed as Civil Case No. 26411 in the Court of
First Instance of Quezon City, Branch
7-B.
On November 17, 1980, the trial court rendered a decision declaring the contracts to sell in favor of the Ventanillas
valid and subsisting, and annulling the contract to sell in favor of Crisostomo. It ordered the MRCI to execute an
absolute deed of sale in favor of the Ventanillas, free from all liens and encumbrances. Damages and attorney's fees
in the total amount of P210,000.00 were also awarded to the Ventanillas for which the MRCI, AUVCI, and Crisostomo
were held solidarily liable.
The lower court ruled further that if for any reason the transfer of the lots could not be effected, the defendants would
be solidarily liable to the Ventanillas for reimbursement of the sum of P73,122.35, representing the amount paid for
the two lots, and legal interest thereon from March 1970, plus the decreed damages and attorney's fees. Valencia
was also held liable to MRCI for moral and exemplary damages and attorney's fees.
From this decision, separate appeals were filed by Valencia and MRCI. The appellate court, however, sustained the
trial court in toto.
MRCI then filed before this Court a petition for certiorari to review the portion of the decision of the Court of Appeals
upholding the solidary liability of MRCI, AUVCI and Carlos Crisostomo for the payment of moral and exemplary
damages and attorney's fees to the Ventanillas.

On November 22, 1990, this Court affirmed the decision by the Court of Appeals and declared the judgment of the
trial court immediately executory.
The Present Case
On January 25, 1991, the spouses Ventanilla filed with the trial court a motion for the issuance of a writ of execution
in Civil Case No. 26411. The writ was issued on May 3, 1991, and served upon MRCI on May 9, 1991.
In a manifestation and motion filed by MRCI with the trial court on May 24, 1991, the petitioner alleged that the
subject properties could not be delivered to the Ventanillas because they had already been sold to Samuel Marquez
on February 7, 1990, while their petition was pending in this Court. Nevertheless, MRCI offered to reimburse the
amount paid by the respondents, including legal interest plus the aforestated damages. MRCI also prayed that its
tender of payment be accepted and all garnishments on their accounts lifted.
The Ventanillas accepted the amount of P210,000.00 as damages and attorney's fees but opposed the
reimbursement offered by MRCI in lieu of the execution of the absolute deed of sale. They contended that the alleged
sale to Samuel Marquez was void, fraudulent, and in contempt of court and that no claim of ownership over the
properties in question had ever been made by Marquez.
On July 19, 1991, Judge Elsie Ligot-Telan issued the following order:
To ensure that there is enough amount to cover the value of the lots involved if transfer thereof to
plaintiff may no longer be effected, pending litigation of said issue, the garnishment made by the
Sheriff upon the bank account of Manila Remnant may be lifted only upon the deposit to the Court
of the amount of P500,000.00 in cash.
MRCI then filed a manifestation and motion for reconsideration praying that it be ordered to reimburse the Ventanillas
in the amount of P263,074.10 and that the garnishment of its bank deposit be lifted. This motion was denied by the
trial court in its order dated September 30, 1991. A second manifestation and motion filed by MRCI was denied on
December 18, 1991. The trial court also required MRCI to show cause why it should not be cited for contempt for
disobedience of its judgment.
These orders were questioned by MRCI in a petition for certiorari before the respondent court on the ground that they
were issued with grave abuse of discretion.
The Court of Appeals ruled that the contract to sell in favor of Marquez did not constitute a legal impediment to the
immediate execution of the judgment. Furthermore, the cash bond fixed by the trial court for the lifting of the
garnishment was fair and reasonable because the value of the lot in question had increased considerably. The
appellate court also set aside the show-cause order and held that the trial court should have proceeded under
Section 10, Rule 39 of the Rules of Court and not Section 9 thereof. 1
In the petition now before us, it is submitted that the trial court and the Court of Appeals committed certain reversible
errors to the prejudice of MRCI.
The petitioner contends that the trial court may not enforce it garnishment order after the monetary judgment for
damages had already been satisfied and the amount for reimbursement had already been deposited with the sheriff.
Garnishment as a remedy is intended to secure the payment of a judgment debt when a well-founded belief exists
that the erring party will abscond or deliberately render the execution of the judgment nugatory. As there is no such
situation in this case, there is no need for a garnishment order.
It is also averred that the trial court gravely abused its discretion when it arbitrarily fixed the amount of the cash bond
for the lifting of the garnishment order at P500,000.00.

MRCI further maintains that the sale to Samuel Marquez was valid and constitutes a legal impediment to the
execution of the absolute deed of sale to the Ventanillas. At the time of the sale to Marquez, the issue of the validity of
the sale to the Ventanillas had not yet been resolved. Furthermore, there was no specific injunction against the
petitioner re-selling the property.
Lastly, the petitioner insists that Marquez was a buyer in good faith and had a right to rely on the recitals in the
certificate of title. The subject matter of the controversy having passed to an innocent purchaser for value, the
respondent court erred in ordering the execution of the absolute deed of sale in favor of the Ventanillas.
For their part, the respondents argue that the validity of the sale to them had already been established even while the
previous petition was still pending resolution. That petition only questioned the solidary liability of MRCI to the
Ventanillas. The portion of the decision ordering the MRCI to execute an absolute deed of sale in favor of the
Ventanillas became final and executory when the petitioner failed to appeal it to the Supreme Court. There was no
need then for an order enjoining the petitioner from re-selling the property in litigation.
They also point to the unusual lack of interest of Marquez in protecting and asserting his right to the disputed
property, a clear indication that the alleged sale to him was merely a ploy of the petitioner to evade the execution of
the absolute deed of sale in their favor.
The petition must fail.
The validity of the contract to sell in favor of the Ventanilla spouses is not disputed by the parties. Even in the
previous petition, the recognition of that contract was not assigned as error of either the trial court or appellate court.
The fact that the MRCI did not question the legality of the award for damages to the Ventanillas also shows that it
even then already acknowledged the validity of the contract to sell in favor of the private respondents.
On top of all this, there are other circumstances that cast suspicion on the validity, not to say the very existence, of
the contract with Marquez.
First, the contract to sell in favor of Marquez was entered into after the lapse of almost ten years from the rendition of
the judgment of the trial court upholding the sale to the Ventanillas.
Second, the petitioner did not invoke the contract with Marquez during the hearing on the motion for the issuance of
the writ of execution filed by the private respondents. It disclosed the contract only after the writ of execution had
been served upon it.
Third, in its manifestation and motion dated December 21, 1990, the petitioner said it was ready to deliver the titles to
the Ventanillas provided that their counterclaims against private respondents were paid or offset first. There was no
mention of the contract to sell with Marquez on February 7, 1990.
Fourth, Marquez has not intervened in any of these proceedings to assert and protect his rights to the subject
property as an alleged purchaser in good faith.
At any rate, even if it be assumed that the contract to sell in favor of Marquez is valid, it cannot prevail over the final
and executory judgment ordering MRCI to execute an absolute deed of sale in favor of the Ventanillas. No less
importantly, the records do not show that Marquez has already paid the supposed balance amounting to P616,000.00
of the original price of over P800,000.00. 2
The Court notes that the petitioner stands to benefit more from the supposed contract with Marquez than from the
contract with the Ventanillas with the agreed price of only P66,571.00. Even if it paid the P210,000.00 damages to the
private respondents as decreed by the trial court, the petitioner would still earn more profit if the Marquez contract
were to be sustained.

We come now to the order of the trial court requiring the posting of the sum of P500,000.00 for the lifting of its
garnishment order.
While the petitioners have readily complied with the order of the trial court for the payment of damages to the
Ventanillas, they have, however, refused to execute the absolute deed of sale. It was for the purpose of ensuring their
compliance with this portion of the judgment that the trial court issued the garnishment order which by its term could
be lifted only upon the filling of a cash bond of P500,000.00.
The petitioner questions the propriety of this order on the ground that it has already partially complied with the
judgment and that it has always expressed its willingness to reimburse the amount paid by the respondents. It says
that there is no need for a garnishment order because it is willing to reimburse the Ventanillas in lieu of execution of
the absolute deed of sale.
The alternative judgment of reimbursement is applicable only if the conveyance of the lots is not possible, but it has
not been shown that there is an obstacle to such conveyance. As the main obligation of the petitioner is to execute
the absolute deed of sale in favor of the Ventanillas, its unjustified refusal to do so warranted the issuance of the
garnishment order.
Garnishment is a species of attachment for reaching credits belonging to the judgment debtor and owing to him from
a stranger to the litigation. 3 It is an attachment by means of which the plaintiff seeks to subject to his claim

property of the defendant in the hands of a third person or money owed by such third person or garnishee
to the defendant. 4 The rules on attachment also apply to garnishment proceedings.
A garnishment order shall be lifted if it established that:
(a) the party whose accounts have been garnished has posted a counterbond or has made the
requisite cash deposit; 5

(b) the order was improperly or irregularly issued 6 as where there is no ground for
garnishment 7 or the affidavit and/or bond filed therefor are defective or insufficient; 8
(c) the property attached is exempt from execution, hence exempt from preliminary
attachment 9 or
(d) the judgment is rendered against the attaching or garnishing creditor. 10
Partial execution of the judgment is not included in the above enumeration of the legal grounds for the discharge of a
garnishment order. Neither does the petitioner's willingness to reimburse render the garnishment order unnecessary.
As for the counterbond, the lower court did not err when it fixed the same at P500,000.00. As correctly pointed out by
the respondent court, that amount corresponds to the current fair market value of the property in litigation and was a
reasonable basis for determining the amount of the counterbond.
Regarding the refusal of the petitioner to execute the absolute deed of sale, Section 10 of Rule 39 of the Rules of
Court reads as follows:
Sec. 10. Judgment for specific act; vesting title If a judgment directs a party to execute a
conveyance of land, or to deliver deeds or other documents, or to perform any other specific act,
and the party fails to comply within the time specified, the court may direct the act to be done at the
cost of the disobedient party by some other person appointed by the court and the act when so
done shall have like effect as if done by the party. If real or personal property is within the
Philippines, the court in lieu of directing a conveyance thereof may enter judgment divesting the

title of any party and vesting it in others and such judgment shall have the force and effect of a
conveyance executed in due form of law.
Against the unjustified refusal of the petitioner to accept payment of the balance of the contract price, the remedy of
the respondents is consignation, conformably to the following provisions of the Civil Code:
Art. 1256. If the creditor to whom tender of payment has been made refuses without just cause to
accept it, the debtor shall be released from responsibility by the consignation of the thing or sum
due. . .
Art. 1258. Consignation shall be made by depositing the things due at the disposal of the judicial
authority, before whom the tender of payment shall be proved, in a proper case, and the
announcement of the consignation in other cases.
The consignation having been made, the interested parties shall also be notified thereof.
Art. 1260. Once the consignation has been duly made, the debtor may ask the judge to order the
cancellation of the obligation.
Accordingly, upon consignation by the Ventanillas of the sum due, the trial court may enter judgment canceling the
title of the petitioner over the property and transferring the same to the respondents. This judgment shall have the
same force and effect as conveyance duly executed in accordance with the requirements of the law.
In sum, we find that:
1. No legal impediment exists to the execution, either by the petitioner or the trial court, of an absolute deed of sale of
the subject property in favor of the respondent Ventanillas; and
2. The lower court did not abuse its discretion when it required the posting of a P500,000.00 cash bond for the lifting
of the garnishment order.
WHEREFORE, the petition is DENIED and the challenged decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED in toto, with
costs against the petitioner. It is so ordered.
ERNESTO C. DEL ROSARIO and DAVAO TIMBER CORPORATION, petitioners,
vs.
FAR EAST BANK & TRUST COMPANY1 and PRIVATE DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION OF THE PHILIPPINES, respondents.
DECISION
CARPIO MORALES, J.:
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Makati City, Branch "65" (sic) 2 having, by Decision3 of July 10, 2001, dismissed petitioners' complaint in
Civil Case No. 00-540 on the ground of res judicata and splitting of a cause of action, and by Order of September 24, 2001 4 denied their
motion for reconsideration thereof, petitioners filed the present petition for review on certiorari.
From the rather lengthy history of the present controversy, a recital of the following material facts culled from the records is in order.
On May 21, 1974, petitioner Davao Timber Corporation (DATICOR) and respondent Private Development Corporation of the Philippines
(PDCP) entered into a loan agreement under which PDCP extended to DATICOR a foreign currency loan of US $265,000 and a peso loan
of P2.5 million or a total amount of approximately P4.4 million, computed at the then prevailing rate of exchange of the dollar with the peso.

The loan agreement provided, among other things, that DATICOR shall pay: (1) a service fee of one percent (1%) per annum (later increased
to six percent [6%] per annum) on the outstanding balance of the peso loan; (2) 12 percent (12%) per annum interest on the peso loan; and
(3) penalty charges of two percent (2%) per month in case of default.
The loans were secured by real estate mortgages over six parcels of land one situated in Manila (the Otis property) which was registered in
the name of petitioner Ernesto C. Del Rosario, and five in Mati, Davao Oriental and chattel mortgages over pieces of machinery and
equipment.
Petitioners paid a total of P3 million to PDCP, which the latter applied to interest, service fees and penalty charges. This left petitioners, by
PDCP's computation, with an outstanding balance on the principal of more than P10 million as of May 15, 1983.
By March 31, 1982, petitioners had filed a complaint against PDCP before the then Court of First Instance (CFI) of Manila for violation of the
Usury Law, annulment of contract and damages. The case, docketed as Civil Case No. 82-8088, was dismissed by the CFI.
On appeal, the then Intermediate Appellate Court (IAC) set aside the CFI's dismissal of the complaint and declared void and of no effect the
stipulation of interest in the loan agreement between DATICOR and PDCP.
PDCP appealed the IAC's decision to this Court where it was docketed as G.R. No. 73198.
In the interim, PDCP assigned a portion of its receivables from petitioners (the receivables) to its co-respondent Far East Bank and Trust
Company (FEBTC) under a Deed of Assignment dated April 10, 1987 5 for a consideration ofP5,435,000. The Deed of Assignment was later
amended by two Supplements.6
FEBTC, as assignee of the receivables, and petitioners later executed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) dated December 8, 1988
whereby petitioners agreed to, as they did pay FEBTC 7 the amount of P6.4 million as full settlement of the receivables.
On September 2, 1992, this Court promulgated its Decision in G.R. No. 73198 8 affirming in toto the decision of the IAC. It determined that
after deducting the P3 million earlier paid by petitioners to PDCP, their remaining balance on the principal loan was only P1.4 million.
Petitioners thus filed on April 25, 1994 a Complaint 9 for sum of money against PDCP and FEBTC before the RTC of Makati, mainly to recover
the excess payment which they computed to be P5.3 million10 P4.335 million from PDCP, and P965,000 from FEBTC. The case, Civil Case
No. 94-1610, was raffled to Branch 132 of the Makati RTC.
On May 31, 1995, Branch 132 of the Makati RTC rendered a decision 11 in Civil Case No. 94-1610 ordering PDCP to pay petitioners the sum
of P4.035 million,12 to bear interest at 12% per annum from April 25, 1994 until fully paid; to execute a release or cancellation of the
mortgages on the five parcels of land in Mati, Davao Oriental and on the pieces of machinery and equipment and to return the corresponding
titles to petitioners; and to pay the costs of the suit.
As for the complaint of petitioners against respondent FEBTC, the trial court dismissed it for lack of cause of action, ratiocinating that the
MOA between petitioners and FEBTC was not subject to this Court's Decision in G.R. No. 73198, FEBTC not being a party thereto.
From the trial court's decision, petitioners and respondent PDCP appealed to the Court of Appeals (CA). The appeal was docketed as CAG.R. CV No. 50591.
On May 22, 1998, the CA rendered a decision 13 in CA-G.R. CV No. 50591, holding that petitioners' outstanding obligation, which this Court
had determined in G.R. No. 73198 to be P1.4 million, could not be increased or decreased by any act of the creditor PDCP.
The CA held that when PDCP assigned its receivables, the amount payable to it by DATICOR was the same amount payable to assignee
FEBTC, irrespective of any stipulation that PDCP and FEBTC might have provided in the Deed of Assignment, DATICOR not having been a
party thereto, hence, not bound by its terms.
Citing Articles 215414 and 216315 of the Civil Code which embody the principle of solutio indebiti, the CA held that the party bound to refund
the excess payment of P5 million16 was FEBTC as it received the overpayment; and that FEBTC could recover from PDCP the amount
of P4.035 million representing its overpayment for the assigned receivables based on the terms of the Deed of Assignment or on the general
principle of equity.
Noting, however, that DATICOR claimed in its complaint only the amount of P965,000 from FEBTC, the CA held that it could not grant a relief
different from or in excess of that prayed for.

Finally, the CA held that the claim of PDCP against DATICOR for the payment of P1.4 million had no basis, DATICOR's obligation having
already been paid in full, overpaid in fact, when it paid assignee FEBTC the amount ofP6.4 million.
Accordingly, the CA ordered PDCP to execute a release or cancellation of the mortgages it was holding over the Mati real properties and the
machinery and equipment, and to return the corresponding certificates of title to petitioners. And it ordered FEBTC to pay petitioners the
amount of P965,000 with legal interest from the date of the promulgation of its judgment.
FEBTC's motion for reconsideration of the CA Decision was denied, and so was its subsequent appeal to this Court.
On April 25, 2000, petitioners filed before the RTC of Makati a Complaint 17 against FEBTC to recover the balance of the excess payment
of P4.335 million.18 The case was docketed as Civil Case No. 00-540, the precursor of the present case and raffled to Branch 143 of the
RTC.
In its Answer,19 FEBTC denied responsibility, it submitting that nowhere in the dispositive portion of the CA Decision in CA-G.R. CV No.
50591 was it held liable to return the whole amount of P5.435 million representing the consideration for the assignment to it of the
receivables, and since petitioners failed to claim the said whole amount in their original complaint in Civil Case No. 94-1610 as they were
merely claiming the amount of P965,000 from it, they were barred from claiming it.
FEBTC later filed a Third Party Complaint20 against PDCP praying that the latter be made to pay the P965,000 and the interests adjudged by
the CA in favor of petitioners, as well as the P4.335 million and interests that petitioners were claiming from it. It posited that PDCP should be
held liable because it received a consideration of P5.435 million when it assigned the receivables.
Answering21 the Third Party Complaint, PDCP contended that since petitioners were not seeking the recovery of the amount of P965,000, the
same cannot be recovered via the third party complaint.
PDCP went on to contend that since the final and executory decision in CA-G.R. CV No. 50591 had held that DATICOR has no cause of
action against it for the refund of any part of the excess payment, FEBTC can no longer re-litigate the same issue.
Moreover, PDCP contended that it was not privy to the MOA which explicitly excluded the receivables from the effect of the Supreme Court
decision, and that the amount of P6.4 million paid by petitioners to FEBTC was clearly intended as consideration for the release and
cancellation of the lien on the Otis property.
Replying,22 FEBTC pointed out that PDCP cannot deny that it benefited from the assignment of its rights over the receivables from
petitioners. It added that the third party claim being founded on a valid and justified cause, PDCP's counterclaims lacked factual and legal
basis.
Petitioners thereafter filed a Motion for Summary Judgment 23 to which FEBTC filed its opposition.24
By Order of March 5, 2001, the trial court denied the motion for summary judgment for lack of merit. 25
On July 10, 2001, the trial court issued the assailed Decision dismissing petitioners' complaint on the ground of res judicata and splitting of
cause of action. It recalled that petitioners had filed Civil Case No. 94-1610 to recover the alleged overpayment both from PDCP and FEBTC
and to secure the cancellation and release of their mortgages on real properties, machinery and equipment; that when said case was
appealed, the CA, in its Decision, ordered PDCP to release and cancel the mortgages and FEBTC to pay P965,000 with interest, which
Decision became final and executory on November 23, 1999; and that a Notice of Satisfaction of Judgment between petitioners and FEBTC
was in fact submitted on August 8, 2000, hence, the issue between them was finally settled under the doctrine of res judicata.
The trial court moreover noted that the MOA between petitioners and FEBTC clearly stated that the "pending litigation before the Supreme
Court of the Philippines with respect to the Loan exclusive of the Receivablesassigned to FEBTC shall prevail up to the extent not covered
by this Agreement." That statement in the MOA, the trial court ruled, categorically made only the loan subject to this Court's Decision in G.R.
No. 73198, hence, it was with the parties' full knowledge and consent that petitioners agreed to pay P6.4 million to FEBTC as consideration
for the settlement. The parties cannot thus be allowed to welsh on their contractual obligations, the trial court concluded.
Respecting the third party claim of FEBTC, the trial court held that FEBTC's payment of the amount ofP1,224,906.67 (P965,000 plus
interest) to petitioners was in compliance with the final judgment of the CA, hence, it could not entertain such claim because the Complaint
filed by petitioners merely sought to recover from FEBTC the alleged overpayment of P4.335 million and attorney's fees of P200,000.
Petitioners' motion for reconsideration26 of the July 10, 2001 decision of the trial court was denied by Order of September 24, 2001.

Hence, the present petition.


In their Memorandum,27 petitioners proffer that, aside from the issue of whether their complaint is dismissible on the ground of res
judicata and splitting of cause of action, the issues of 1) whether FEBTC can be held liable for the balance of the overpayment of P4.335
million plus interest which petitioners previously claimed against PDCP in Civil Case No. 94-1610, and 2) whether PDCP can interpose as
defense the provision in the Deed of Assignment and the MOA that the assignment of the receivables shall not be affected by this Court's
Decision in G.R. No. 73198, be considered.
Stripped of the verbiage, the only issue for this Court's consideration is the propriety of the dismissal of Civil Case No. 00-540 upon the
grounds stated by the trial court. This should be so because a Rule 45 petition, like the one at bar, can raise only questions of law (and that
justifies petitioners' elevation of the case from the trial court directly to this Court) which must be distinctly set forth. 28
The petition is bereft of merit.
Section 47 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, on the doctrine of res judicata, reads:
Sec. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. The effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a court of the Philippines,
having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as follows:
xxxx
(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as to any other matter that could
have been raised in relation thereto, conclusive between the parties and their successors in interest by title subsequent to the
commencement of the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in the same
capacity; and
(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors in interest, that only is deemed to have been adjudged in a
former judgment or final order which appears upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which was actually and necessarily
included therein or necessary thereto. (Underscoring supplied)
The above-quoted provision lays down two main rules. Section 49(b) enunciates the first rule of res judicata known as "bar by prior
judgment" or "estoppel by judgment," which states that the judgment or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction on the merits concludes
the parties and their privies to the litigation and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit involving the same cause of action either before the
same or any other tribunal.29
Stated otherwise, "bar by former judgment" makes the judgment rendered in the first case an absolute bar to the subsequent action since
that judgment is conclusive not only as to the matters offered and received to sustain it but also as to any other matter which might have
been offered for that purpose and which could have been adjudged therein. 30 It is in this concept that the term res judicata is more commonly
and generally used as a ground for a motion to dismiss in civil cases. 31
The second rule of res judicata embodied in Section 47(c), Rule 39 is "conclusiveness of judgment." This rule provides that 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 claim or demand, purpose, or subject matter of the two suits is the same. 32 It refers to a situation where the
judgment in the prior action operates as an estoppel only as to the matters actually determined or which were necessarily included therein. 33
The case at bar satisfies the four essential requisites of "bar by prior judgment," viz:
(a) finality of the former judgment;
(b) the court which rendered it had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties;
(c) it must be a judgment on the merits; and
(d) there must be, between the first and second actions, identity of parties, subject matter and causes of action. 34

There is no doubt that the judgment on appeal relative to Civil Case No. 94-1610 (that rendered in CA-G.R. CV No. 50591) was a final
judgment. Not only did it dispose of the case on the merits; it also became executory as a consequence of the denial of FEBTC's motion for
reconsideration and appeal.35
Neither is there room to doubt that the judgment in Civil Case No. 94-1610 was on the merits for it determined the rights and liabilities of the
parties.36 To recall, it was ruled that: (1) DATICOR overpaid by P5.3 million; (2) FEBTC was bound to refund the excess payment but because
DATICOR's claim against FEBTC was only P965,000, the court could only grant so much as the relief prayed for; and (3) PDCP has no
further claim against DATICOR because its obligation had already been paid in full.
Right or wrong, that judgment bars another case based upon the same cause of action. 37
As to the requisite of identity of parties, subject matter and causes of action, it cannot be gainsaid that the first case, Civil Case No. 94-1610,
was brought by petitioners to recover an alleged overpayment of P5.3 million P965,000 from FEBTC and P4.335 million from PDCP.
On the other hand, Civil Case No. 00-540, filed by the same petitioners, was for the recovery of P4.335 million which is admittedly part of
the P5.3 million earlier sought to be recovered in Civil Case No. 94-1610. This time, the action was brought solely against FEBTC which in
turn impleaded PDCP as a third party defendant.
In determining whether causes of action are identical to warrant the application of the rule of res judicata, the test is to ascertain whether the
same evidence which is necessary to sustain the second action would suffice to authorize a recovery in the first even in cases in which the
forms or nature of the two actions are different. 38 Simply stated, if the same facts or evidence would sustain both, the two actions are
considered the same within the rule that the judgment in the former is a bar to the subsequent action.
It bears remembering that a cause of action is the delict or the wrongful act or omission committed by the defendant in violation of the
primary rights of the plaintiff.39
In the two cases, petitioners imputed to FEBTC the same alleged wrongful act of mistakenly receiving and refusing to return an amount in
excess of what was due it in violation of their right to a refund. The same facts and evidence presented in the first case, Civil Case No. 941610, were the very same facts and evidence that petitioners presented in Civil Case No. 00-540.
Thus, the same Deed of Assignment between PDCP and FEBTC, the first and second supplements to the Deed, the MOA between
petitioners and FEBTC, and this Court's Decision in G.R. No. 73198 were submitted in Civil Case No. 00-540.
Notably, the same facts were also pleaded by the parties in support of their allegations for, and defenses against, the recovery of the P4.335
million. Petitioners, of course, plead the CA Decision as basis for their subsequent claim for the remainder of their overpayment. It is well
established, however, that a party cannot, by varying the form of action or adopting a different method of presenting his case, or by pleading
justifiable circumstances as herein petitioners are doing, escape the operation of the principle that one and the same cause of action shall
not be twice litigated.40
In fact, authorities tend to widen rather than restrict the doctrine of res judicata on the ground that public as well as private interest demands
the ending of suits by requiring the parties to sue once and for all in the same case all the special proceedings and remedies to which they
are entitled.41
This Court finds well-taken then the pronouncement of the court a quo that to allow the re-litigation of an issue that was finally settled as
between petitioners and FEBTC in the prior case is to allow the splitting of a cause of action, a ground for dismissal under Section 4 of Rule
2 of the Rules of Court reading:
SEC. 4. Splitting of a single cause of action; effect of. If two or more suits are instituted on the basis of the same cause of action,
the filing of one or a judgment upon the merits in any one is available as a ground for the dismissal of the others.
(Emphasis and underscoring supplied)
This rule proscribes a party from dividing a single or indivisible cause of action into several parts or claims and instituting two or more actions
based on it.42 Because the plaintiff cannot divide the grounds for recovery, he is mandated to set forth in his first action every ground for relief
which he claims to exist and upon which he relies; he cannot be permitted to rely upon them by piecemeal in successive actions to recover
for the same wrong or injury.43
Clearly then, the judgment in Civil Case No. 94-1610 operated as a bar to Civil Case No. 00-540, following the above-quoted Section 4, Rule
2 of the Rules of Court.

A final word. Petitioners are sternly reminded that both the rules on res judicata and splitting of causes of action are based on the salutary
public policy against unnecessary multiplicity of suits interest reipublicae ut sit finis litium.44Re-litigation of matters already settled by a
court's final judgment merely burdens the courts and the taxpayers, creates uneasiness and confusion, and wastes valuable time and energy
that could be devoted to worthier cases.45
WHEREFORE, the Petition is DENIED. The assailed Decision of the RTC, Branch 143, Makati dismissing petitioners' complaint in Civil Case
No. 00-540 is AFFIRMED.