You are on page 1of 171

THIRD DIVISION

LOURDES L. ERISTINGCOL, - versus CA and RANDOLPH C. LIMJOCO,

G.R. No. 167702
March 20, 2009
DECISION

NACHURA, J.:
The facts, as narrated by the CA, are simple.
[Petitioner Lourdes] Eristingcol is an owner of a residential lot in Urdaneta Village (or
“village”), Makati City and covered by Transfer Certificate of Title No. 208586. On the other hand,
[respondent Randolph] Limjoco, [Lorenzo] Tan and [June] Vilvestre were the former president
and chairman of the board of governors (or “board”), construction committee chairman and
village manager of [Urdaneta Village Association Inc.] UVAI, respectively. UVAI is an
association of homeowners at Urdaneta Village.
[Eristingcol’s] action [against UVAI, Limjoco, Tan and Vilvestre] is founded on the
allegations that in compliance with the National Building Code and after UVAI’s approval of her
building plans and acceptance of the construction bond and architect’s fee, Eristingcol started
constructing a house on her lot with “concrete canopy directly above the main door and
highway”; that for alleged violation of its Construction Rules and Regulations (or “CRR”) on
“Set Back Line” vis-a-vis the canopy easement, UVAI imposed on her a penalty of P400,000.00
and barred her workers and contractors from entering the village and working on her property;
that the CRR, particularly on “Set Back Line,” is contrary to law; and that the penalty is
unwarranted and excessive.
On February 9, 1999, or a day after the filing of the complaint, the parties reached a
temporary settlement whereby UVAI, Limjoco, Tan and Vilvestre executed an undertaking which
allowed Eristingcol’s workers, contractors and suppliers to leave and enter the village, subject
only to normal security regulations of UVAI.
On February 26, 1999, UVAI, Limjoco, Tan and Vilvestre filed a motion to dismiss on
ground of lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of the action. They argued that it is the
Home Insurance Guaranty Corporation (or “HIGC”) which has jurisdiction over intra-corporate
disputes involving homeowners associations, pursuant to Exec. Order No. 535, Series of 1979,
as amended by Exec. Order No. 90, Series of 1986.

Opposing the motion, Eristingcol alleged, among others, that UVAI, Limjoco, Tan and
Vilvestre did not comply with the mandatory provisions of Secs. 4 and 6, Rule 15 of the 1997
Rules of Civil Procedure and are estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the [RTC] after
they voluntarily appeared therein “and embraced its authority by agreeing to sign an
Undertaking.”
On May 20, 1999, Eristingcol filed an amended complaint by (i) impleading Manuel
Carmona (or “Carmona”) and Rene Cristobal (or “Cristobal”), UVAI’s newly-elected president
and chairman of the board and newly-designated construction committee chairman, respectively, as
additional defendants and (ii) increasing her claim for moral damages against each petitioner
from P500,000.00 to P1,000,000.00.
On May 25, 1999, Eristingcol filed a motion for production and inspection of documents,
which UVAI, Limjoco, Tan, Vilvestre, Carmona and Cristobal opposed. The motion sought to
compel [UVAI and its officers] to produce the documents used by UVAI as basis for the imposition
of the P400,000.00 penalty on Eristingcol as well as letters and documents showing that UVAI had
informed the other homeowners of their violations of the CRR.
RTC:
Favored Eristingcol
for lack of merit, the defendants’ Motion to Dismiss is Denied
plaintiff’s motion to declare defendants in default and for contempt are Denied
ratiocinated that [UVAI, Limjoco, Tan and Vilvestre] may not assail its jurisdiction “after
they voluntarily entered their appearance, sought reliefs therein, and embraced its
authority by agreeing to sign an undertaking to desist from prohibiting (Eristingcol’s)
workers from entering the village.”
On June 7, 1999, Eristingcol filed a motion reiterating her earlier motion for
production and inspection of documents.
On June 8, 1999, [UVAI, Limjoco, Tan and Vilvestre] moved for partial
reconsideration of the order dated May 26, 1999. Eristingcol opposed the motion.
On March 24, 2001, the [RTC] issued an order granting Eristingcol’s motion for
production and inspection of documents, while on March 26, 2001, it issued an order
denying [UVAI’s, Limjoco’s, Tan’s and Vilvestre’s] motion for partial reconsideration.
On May 10, 2001, [UVAI, Limjoco, Tan and Vilvestre] elevated the dispute before
[the CA] via [a] petition for certiorari alleging that the [RTC] acted without jurisdiction in
issuing the orders of May 26, 1999 and March 24 and 26, 2001. 1[3]
1

CA:
issued the herein assailed Decision reversing the RTC Order and dismissing Eristingcol’s
complaint for lack of jurisdiction.
Issue:
Whether it is the RTC or the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) which has
jurisdiction over the subject matter of Eristingcol’s complaint.
Eristingcol explains that only respondent Limjoco was retained in the instant petition as her
discussions with UVAI and the other defendants revealed their lack of participation in the workstoppage order which was supposedly single-handedly thought of and implemented by Limjoco.

The foregoing clarification notwithstanding, the rest of the defendants should have been
impleaded as respondents in this petition considering that the complaint before the RTC,
where the petition before the CA and the instant petition originated, has yet to be amended.
Furthermore, the present petition maintains that it was serious error for the CA to have ruled that the
RTC did not have jurisdiction over a complaint for declaration of nullity of UVAI’s Construction Rules.
Clearly, UVAI and the rest of the defendants should have been impleaded herein as
respondents.
Section 4(a), Rule 45 of the Rules of Court, requires that the petition shall “state the full
name of the appealing party as petitioner and the adverse party as respondent, without
impleading the lower courts or judges thereof either as petitioners or respondents.” As the
losing party in defendants’ petition for certiorari before the CA, Eristingcol should have impleaded all
petitioners, the winning and adverse parties therein.
On this score alone, the present petition could have been dismissed outright. 2[5]
However, to settle the issue of jurisdiction, we have opted to dispose of this case on the
merits.
2

3[9] A scrutiny of the allegations contained in Eristingcol’s complaint reveals that the nature of the question subject of this controversy only superficially delves into the validity of UVAI’s 3 . designated as one for declaration of nullity.Despite her having dropped UVAI. In any event. XXX XXX XXX At the outset. for affirmative relief from that court. Eristingcol is adamant that the subject matter of her complaint is properly cognizable by the regular courts and need not be filed before a specialized body or commission. courts must look at the averments of the complaint or petition and the essence of the relief prayed for. admitted by Eristingcol in her complaint. held that the caption of the complaint is not determinative of the nature of the action. To determine the nature of an action and which court has jurisdiction. we note that the relationship between the parties is not in dispute and is. Nonetheless. on more than one occasion. Eristingcol asseverates that since the case before the RTC is one for declaration of nullity. Ostensibly. Eristingcol insists that her complaint against UVAI and the defendants was properly filed before the RTC as it prays for the declaration of nullity of UVAI’s Construction Rules and asks that damages be paid by Limjoco and the other UVAI officers who had inflicted injury upon her. we have. Well-settled in jurisprudence is the rule that in determining which body has jurisdiction over a case. SC: Eristingcol’s contention is wrong. Eristingcol submits that the RTC’s jurisdiction over the case was foreclosed by the prayer of UVAI and its officers. should determine which body has jurisdiction. in fact. we should consider not only the status or relationship of the parties. Eristingcol’s complaint. However. falls within the regular courts’ jurisdiction. the nature of the question that is the subject of controversy. but also the nature of the question that is the subject of their controversy. not just the status or relationship of the parties. including Limjoco. Lorenzo Tan (Tan) and June Vilvestre (Vilvestre) from this suit.

Significantly. a subpoena issued by that court in connection with Eristingcol’s application for a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO). Distinctly in point is China Banking Corp. took proper cognizance of the instant case. the privity of contract between UVAI and Eristingcol is palpable. the crux of Eristingcol’s complaint is UVAI’s supposed arbitrary implementation of its construction rules against Eristingcol. v. a member thereof. The SEC. specifically its construction rules. contractors. and suppliers to enter and exit the 4 5 . The complaint actually goes into the proper interpretation and application of UVAI’s by-laws. et al. On defendants’ supposed agreement to sign the Undertaking allowing Eristingcol’s workers. the conflict between the parties arose as Eristingcol. Essentially. et al.Construction Rules. despite the latter’s deft phraseology of its primary cause of action as a declaration of nullity of UVAI’s Construction Rules. Inc. thus: In this case. now wishes to be exempt from the application of the canopy requirement set forth in UVAI’s Construction Rules. In short. v. The factual milieu obtaining in Tijam and in the case at bench are worlds apart. admittedly a member of UVAI. the relationship between the parties in the instant case is well-established. As regards the defendants’ supposed embrace of the RTC’s jurisdiction by appearing thereat and undertaking to desist from prohibiting Eristingcol’s workers from entering the village. In stark contrast. We ruled. therefore. Court of Appeals. Sibonghanoy. defendants’ appearance before the RTC was pursuant to. Given this admitted relationship.5[16] is quite a long stretch. Eristingcol does not assail the height restriction of UVAI’s Construction Rules.’s (VGCCI’s) by-laws. As found by the CA. and in compliance with.4[10] which upheld the jurisdiction of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) over the suit and recognized its special competence to interpret and apply Valley Golf and Country Club. as she has readily complied therewith. the need for the SEC’s technical expertise cannot be over-emphasized involving as it does the meticulous analysis and correct interpretation of a corporation’s bylaws as well as the applicable provisions of the Corporation Code in order to determine the validity of VGCCI’s claims. suffice it to state that the invocation of the doctrine in Tijam.

In fine. as what actually transpired in Tijam. the land had an assessed value of P5. The counsel of the Ruenas asked for extension to file their Answer and was given until July 18. As shown in the tax declaration. No. based on the allegations contained in Eristingcol’s complaint. 3 Herein private . not the RTC.village. ERADEL. which became the trial court's basis for a partial judgment rendered on January 12. namely. In this agreement. Sometime in 1988. private respondent Bemardo Eradel2 entered and occupied petitioner's land covered by Tax Declaration No. petitioner and the. On June 16. Ruenas executed a compromise agreement. Petitioner appended to the complaint the aforementioned tax declaration. entered into a Compromise Agreement with herein petitioner. 1995. Surigao del Sur. Eusebio Avila. private respondent remained steadfast in his refusal to leave the land. Despite repeated demands. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila SECOND DIVISION G. but instead threatened him with bodily harm. and BERNARDO A. according to petitioner. vs. the petition is DENIED. respondents. located in Baras. it is the HLURB. which has jurisdiction over this case. SO ORDERED. the Ruenas through their counsel. private respondent refused. 2002 GABRIEL L. WHEREFORE. 1996. Apolinario and Inocencio Ruena. SP.COURT OF APPEALS. J. The Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. Costs against petitioner.: The pertinent facts are as follow. 131282 January 4. petitioner. petitioner filed before the RTC a complaint for Recovery of Possession and Ownership with Damages and Attorney's Fees against private respondent and two others.R. Inter alia. San Miguel.R. DUERO. the agreement stated that the Ruenas recognized and bound themselves to respect the ownership and possession of Duero. Gabriel Duero. HON. When petitioner politely informed private respondent that the land was his and requested the latter to vacate the land. this temporary settlement cannot be equated with full acceptance of the RTC’s authority. Meanwhile. A-16-13-302. QUISUMBING. Atty. No. 64642 is hereby AFFIRMED. 1995. premises considered.240.

the RTC denied the motion for reconsideration. 1996. who are indispensable parties. when private respondent filed with said court his Motion for Reconsideration And/Or Annulment of Judgment. However. judgment was rendered in his favor. In a Motion for Reconsideration of said order. All proceedings in "Gabriel L. filed a Motion for Intervention. since the value of the land was only P5. 1996. 1996. reiterating the same allegation in his Motion for New Trial. remained pending with the Office of the Regional Director of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Davao City.respondent Eradel was not a party to the agreement. grandchildren of Artemio who were claiming ownership of the land. 1997. and he was declared in default for failure to file his answer to the complaint. and private respondent was ordered to peacefully vacate and turn over Lot No. Meanwhile. Agusan del Sur . Josephine. The Court of Appeals gave due course to the petition. Artemio and Jury Laurente.5 Private respondent received a copy of the decision on May 25. On March 12. he could not be made to vacate the land. . The Court of Appeals decreed as follows: IN THE LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. all surnamed Laurente. 1997. et. On June 10. private respondent filed a Motion for New Trial. 4 Petitioner presented his evidence ex parte on February 13. which the RTC granted on January 28. Civil Case 1075" filed in the Court a quo. On July 24. 1996.1997. 1996.000 as attorney's fees and the cost of the suit. 1996. 537-D to petitioner.. Sr. Surigao del Sur. alleging that he has been occupying the land as a tenant of Artemio Laurente. were not impleaded. Bernardo Eradel. RED Conflict Case No. Eventually. He explained that he turned over the complaint and summons to Laurente in the honest belief that as landlord. maintaining that private respondent is not estopped from assailing the jurisdiction 'of the RTC. and its Orders and Writ of Execution and the turn over of the property to the Private Respondent by the Sheriff of the Court a quo. the Petition is GRANTED. He averred that unless there is a determination on who owned the land. an administrative case between petitioner and applicant-contestants Romeo.1065 Cad. al. On September 24. the latter had a better right to the land and was responsible to defend any adverse claim on it. petitioner filed a Motion for Execution. 1996. On November 22.240 and therefore it was under the jurisdiction of the municipal trial court. it was forwarded to the DENR Regional Office in Prosperidad. On October 8. The RTC denied the motion. private respondent alleged that the RTC had no jurisdiction over the case. Annex "E" of the petition. On January 22. Entry of Judgment was made of record and a writ of execution was issued by the RTC on February 27.. No pronouncement as to costs. pay petitioner P2. including its Decision.1997. since 1958. are declared null and void and hereby SET ASIDE. Duero vs. Ana Soledad and Virginia. 1996. On May 8. Sr.000 annual rental from 1988 up the time he vacates the land. private respondent filed before the RTC a Petition for Relief from Judgment. On February 18.1029. Branch 27 in Tandag. and P5. private respondent filed his petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals. the trial court denied the motion for new trial. He also averred that the judgment of the trial court was void inasmuch as the heirs of Artemio Laurente. the trial court issued an order denying the Petition for Relief from Judgment.

"Note: Subject for General Revision Effective 1994. respondent Court of Appeals discussed the facts on which its decision is grounded as well as the law and jurisprudence on the matter.12 Its action was neither whimsical nor capricious. II ..40 per sq. By "grave abuse of discretion" is meant such capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment which is equivalent to an excess or a lack of jurisdiction. petitioner pointed to Annex E9 of his petition which supposedly is the Certification issued by the Municipal Treasurer of San Miguel. III . we find that these annexes are both merely xerox copies. on page 5 of his petition.113." Petitioner also asked this Court to refer to Annex F. At the outset. however.98. 8 we find that to bolster the claim that the appellate court erred in holding that the RTC had no jurisdiction.THE LOWER COURT HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE SUBJECT MA TTER OF THE CASE.10 where he said the zonal value of the disputed land was P1.PRIVATE RESPONDENT WAS NOT THEREBY ESTOPPED FROM QUESTIONING THE JURISDICTION OF THE LOWER COURT EVEN AFTER IT SUCCESSFULLY SOUGHT AFFIRMATIVE RELIEF THEREFROM. While participation in all stages of a case before . we note that petitioner through counsel submitted to this Court pleadings that contain inaccurate statements. Was private respondent estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC? In this case. However.SO ORDERED. thus placing the computed value of the land at the time the complaint was filed before the RTC at P57. "Note: Subject for General Revision Effective 1994.. Nowhere does the document contain a notation. Thus. petitioner contends that respondent appellate court acted with grave abuse of discretion..THE FAlLURE OF PRIVATE RESPONDENT TO FILE HIS ANSWER IS JUSTIFIED... 11 But here we find that in its decision holding that the municipal court has jurisdiction over the case and that private respondent was not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC. The secondary issue is whether the Court of appeals erred in holding that private respondent's failure to file an answer to the complaint was justified.m. we are in agreement with the Court of Appeals that he was not.. Surigao." But it appears that Annex E of his petition is not a Certification but a xerox copy of a Declaration of Real Property. alleging that the Court of Appeals acted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or in excess of jurisdiction when it held that: I. The abuse of discretion must be so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or a virtual refusal to perform a duty enjoined by law. They are obviously without evidentiary weight or value. hence beyond the jurisdiction of the municipal court and within the jurisdiction of the regional trial court. 7 The main issue before us is whether the Court of Appeals gravely abused its discretion when it held that the municipal trial court had jurisdiction. . and that private respondent was not estopped from assailing the jurisdiction of the RTC after he had filed several motions before it..6 Petitioner now comes before this Court. specifically containing the notation. or to act at all in contemplation of law as where the power is exercised in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or hostility. Coming now to the principal issue.

Surigao del Sur. After the RTC still refused to reconsider the denial of private respondent's motion for relief from judgment. neither waiver nor estoppel shall apply to confer jurisdiction upon a court. but when the case. Republic Act 769117 amending BP 129 had become effective. Private respondent.. 13 we note that estoppel has become an equitable defense that is both substantive and remedial and its successful invocation can bar a right and not merely its equitable enforcement. Under these circumstances. a party may assail the jurisdiction of the court over the action at any stage of the proceedings and even on appeal. or even cured by their silence. thus: x x x The point simply is that when a party commits error in filing his suit or proceeding in a court that lacks jurisdiction to take cognizance of the same. barring highly meritorious and exceptional circumstances. .21 Precedents tell us that as a general rule. if misapplied. he raised for the first time the RTC's lack of jurisdiction. who did not do anything about the summons. He tried an alternative recourse. denied his motion for new trial as well as for relief from judgment. including invocation of its authority in asking for affirmative relief. 2. such act may not at once be deemed sufficient basis of estoppel. the action giving rise thereto must be unequivocal and intentional because. an unschooled farmer.22 Also. such that jurisdiction already belongs not to the RTC but to the MTC pursuant to said amendment. Recall that it was petitioner who filed the complaint against private respondent and two other parties before the said court. Again. Court of Appeals. It could have been the result of an honest mistake. Rule 9. thereby lulling the parties into believing that they pursued their remedies in the correct forum. or of divergent interpretations of doubtful legal provisions. hence he moved for reconsideration of the denial. one of the surviving heirs of Artemio Sr. The fundamental rule is that. Even if private respondent actively participated in the proceedings before said court. it is the duty of the court to dismiss an action 'whenever it appears that the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. was still before the RTC that ruled him in default. on legal grounds. For estoppel to apply. gave the summons to a Hipolito Laurente. continuous and uninterrupted possession as bona-fide tenant-lessee of the land. in the mistaken belief that since he was merely a tenant of the late Artemio Laurente Sr. But by then. For failure to answer the complaint.23 The Court of Appeals found support for its ruling in our decision in Javier vs. his landlord. the lack of jurisdiction of the court over an action cannot be waived by the parties. the same court denied his motion. estoppel ought to be applied with caution. This motion was again denied.20 The appellate court did not err in saying that the RTC should have declared itself barren of jurisdiction over the action. the doctrine of estoppel cannot still be properly invoked against him because the question of lack of jurisdiction may be raised at anytime and at any stage of the action.the trial court. but an issue of conferment as a matter of law.. we could not fault the Court of Appeals in overruling the RTC and in holding that private respondent was not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the regional trial court. and denied likewise his two motions for reconsideration. He filed before the RTC a Motion for Relief from Judgment. If any fault is to be imputed to a party taking such course of action.18But his motion was denied.' (Sec. the jurisdiction of a court is not a question of acquiescence as a matter of fact. In that motion he stated that he had by then the evidence to prove that he had a better right than petitioner over the land because of his long. private respondent questions the jurisdiction of RTC in Tandag. 14 Hence. it went on to issue the order for entry of judgment and a writ of execution.16 believing that the RTC had jurisdiction over his complaint.19 Further. He then filed a Motion for New Trial in the same court and explained that he defaulted because of his belief that the suit ought to be answered by his landlord. estoppel may become a tool of injustice. Under the rules. part of the blame should be placed on the court which shall entertain the suit. In his Motion for Reconsideration. private respondent was declared in default. not when the case was already on appeal. acquiescence or even by their express consent. Note that private respondent raised the issue of lack of jurisdiction. effectively bars a party by estoppel from challenging the court's jurisdiction. 15 In the present case.

such judgment may be impeached or annulled for lack of jurisdiction (Sec. Costs against petitioner .. Here. WHEREFORE.nêt Having determined that there was no grave abuse of discretion by the appellate court in ruling that private respondent was not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the RTC. are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. if it is later found that he has a legal right to till the land he now occupies as tenant-lessee. hence appeal therefrom by writ of error would be out of the question. we find that petitioner. given the circumstances in this case. if the RTC's order were to be sustained. . he would be evicted from the land prematurely. we need not tarry to consider in detail the second issue. Ibid). makes its decision a 'lawless' thing. while RED Conflict Case No. and the Writ of Execution it issued. 30. a farmer whose tenancy status is still pending before the proper administrative agency concerned. could have moved for dismissal of the case on jurisdictional grounds. The decision of the Regional Trial Court in Civil Case No. before he realized that the controversy was outside the RTC's cognizance but within the jurisdiction of the municipal trial court." 25 Since a decision of a court without jurisdiction is null and void. who is now the private respondent. [Emphasis ours.] 24 Indeed. the petition is DISMISSED. as its misapplication could result in a miscarriage of justice. who claims ownership of a parcel of land. Bernardo Eradel.1029 would remain unresolved. it could logically never become final and executory. the appellate court reiterated the doctrine that estoppel must be applied only in exceptional cases. Resort by private respondent to a petition for certiorari before the Court of Appeals was in order . Furthermore.. Suffice it to say that.1075 entitled Gabriel L. To hold him in estoppel as the RTC did would amount to foreclosing his avenue to obtain a proper resolution of his case. no error was committed on this score by respondent appellate court. This farmer. its Order that private respondent turn over the disputed land to petitioner. private respondent had justifiable reason in law not to file an answer.the trial court was duty-bound to take judicial notice of the parameters of its jurisdiction and its failure to do so. Defendant. SO ORDERED. In holding that estoppel did not prevent private respondent from questioning the RTC's jurisdiction. ought not to be penalized when he claims that he made an honest mistake when he initially submitted his motions before the RTC. The assailed decision of the Court of Appeals is AFFIRMED. Such eviction on a technicality if allowed could result in an injustice. within ten (10) years from the finality of the same. Rule 132. filed his complaint before a court without appropriate jurisdiction. Since the RTC had no jurisdiction over the case. But the farmer as defendant therein could not be expected to know the nuances of jurisdiction and related issues. ".1âwphi1. aside from the fact that he believed the suit was properly his landlord's concern.Rules of Court) Should the Court render a judgment without jurisdiction. Duero vs.

Manila.. 28254 and was mortgaged to the Social Security System (SSS) as security for their housing loan. HON. petitioners.: Before this Court is a petition for review on certiorari seeking the reversal of the decision 6[1] of the Court of Appeals dated December 29. COURT OF APPEALS. sometime in 1970. petitioner-spouses purchased a parcel of land from private respondent Lucky Homes. RENE GONZAGA and LERIO GONZAGA. Judge. Inc. 18. JR. represented by WILSON JESENA. situated in Iloilo and containing an area of 240 square meters. Petitioners then started the construction of their house. No. 144025. SP No. 1999 and its resolution dated June 1. Sixth Judicial Region. vs.R. as Manager.THIRD DIVISION [G. 2000 in CA-G. 2002] SPS. not on Lot No.. J. QUIRICO G. private 6 . DECISION CORONA. 19 under Transfer Certificate of Title (TCT) No.R. 54587.. Upon realizing its error. HON. The records disclose that. and LUCKY HOMES. 19 but on Lot No. Branch 36. Said lot was specifically denominated as Lot No. Iloilo City. 19. INC. DEFENSOR. Second Division. December 27. as private respondent mistakenly identified Lot No. 18 as Lot No. respondents. RTC.

1999. However. This prompted petitioners to file. 28254 which parcel of land has been properly indicated in the instruments and not Lot 18 as claimed by the plaintiff. they reflect the true intention of the parties. an action for reformation of contract and damages with the Regional Trial Court of Iloilo City. 1998. is no longer feasible considering that plaintiff is no longer the owner of Lot 19. 18. Conformably. In a decision rendered on December 29. On January 15.9[4] 7 8 9 .”8[3] On June 22. Plaintiff however failed to buy Lot 18 and likewise defaulted in the payment of his loan with the SSS involving Lot 19. Upon the other hand. relying mainly on the jurisprudential doctrine of estoppel as laid down in the case of Tijam vs. petitioners offered to swap Lot Nos. plaintiff will be unjustly enriching himself having in its favor both Lot 19 which was earlier mortgaged by him and subsequently foreclosed by SSS. a writ of execution was issued by the trial court. premised on the ground that the trial court had no jurisdiction to try and decide Civil Case No. This being the situation obtaining. The contracts being clear and unmistakable.000 as attorney’s fees. on September 17. defendant will be losing Lot 18 without any substitute therefore (sic). Thus. or the swapping of Lot 18 and Lot 19 as earlier proposed by the plaintiff. 1996. petitioners filed an urgent motion to recall writ of execution. 1998. “The logic and common sense of the situation lean heavily in favor of the defendant. T-29950 was cancelled and in lieu thereof TCT No. 18 and 19 and demanded from private respondent that their contract of sale be reformed and another deed of sale be executed with respect to Lot No. The pertinent conclusion of the trial court reads as follows: “Aware of such fact. 18 in order to widen their premises. After Lot No. through its general manager. Likewise. hence the same need no longer be reformed. 1999. the Court of Appeals denied the petition for annulment of judgment. the reformation of instruments. considering that their house was built therein.000 as moral damages and another P10. T-86612 (Exh. the plaintiff nonetheless continued to stay in the premises of Lot 18 on the proposal that he would also buy the same.respondent. alleging that the court a quo had no jurisdiction to try the case as it was vested in the Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB) pursuant to PD 957 (The Subdivision and Condominium Buyers Protective Decree). which was docketed as Civil Case No. Thereafter TCT No. Branch 36. Sibonghanoy. However. 17115. 19 was foreclosed by SSS and petitioners’ certificate of title was cancelled and a new one was issued in the name of SSS. petitioners continued with the construction of their house. Consequently. It is evident that what plaintiff had bought from the defendant is Lot 19 covered by TCT No. petitioners defaulted in the payment of their housing loan from SSS. petitioner-spouses filed before the Court of Appeals a petition for annulment of judgment. informed petitioners of such mistake but the latter offered to buy Lot No. on June 30. 17115. Lot No. even if allowed. on June 13. the trial court 7[2] rendered its decision dismissing the complaint for lack of merit and ordering herein petitioners to pay private respondent the amount of P10. private respondent refused. petitioners filed a new complaint against private respondent with the HLURB. besides the plaintiff failed to assail the contracts on mutual mistake. 19 was foreclosed. as well as Lot 18 where his house is presently standing. Thus. 1998. ‘9’) was issued in favor of SSS. Consequently Lot 19 was foreclosed and sold at public auction. otherwise.

Sibonghanoy. At the outset.16[11] PNOC Shipping and Transport 10 11 12 13 14 15 . Branch 36 of Iloilo City had no jurisdiction to decide Civil Case No. there is no need to delve into the propriety of the decision rendered by the trial court. Court of Appeals. or estoppel by deed or by record. x x x “It has been held that a party cannot invoke the jurisdiction of a court to secure affirmative relief against his opponent and.14[9] National Steel Corporation vs.” Tijam has been reiterated in many succeeding cases. or question that same jurisdiction x x x x [T]he question whether the court had jurisdiction either of the subject matter of the action or of the parties was not important in such cases because the party is barred from such conduct not because the judgment or order of the court is valid and conclusive as an adjudication. in Orosa vs. Thus we speak of estoppel in pais. Petitioners claim that the recent decisions of this Court have already abandoned the doctrine laid down in Tijam vs. Court of Appeals. the correctness of the judgment is not in issue here. this Court has consistently held that. contending that the Court of Appeals erred in dismissing the petition by applying the principle of estoppel. it should be stressed that petitioners are seeking from us the annulment of a trial court judgment based on lack of jurisdiction. even if the Regional Trial Court.10[5] We do not agree. and of estoppel by laches. Sibonghanoy:11[6] “A party may be estopped or barred from raising a question in different ways and for different reasons. In countless decisions.15[10] Province of Bulacan vs. after obtaining or failing to obtain such relief. Accordingly. Because it is not an appeal. Court of Appeals. As we held in the leading case of Tijam vs.13[8] Salva vs. Court of Appeals. active participation in the proceedings in the court which rendered the order or decision will bar such party from attacking its jurisdiction. 17115. repudiate.12[7] Ang Ping vs. while an order or decision rendered without jurisdiction is a total nullity and may be assailed at any stage. but for the reason that such a practice can not be tolerated –– obviously for reasons of public policy. Thus. petitioners filed this instant petition.Their subsequent motion for reconsideration having been denied. Court of Appeals.

In the case at bar. the petition for review is hereby DENIED. in utter disregard of the elementary principles of justice and good faith. in the proceedings before the trial court. petitioners never raised the issue of jurisdiction throughout the entire proceedings in the trial court. effectively estops such party from later challenging that same court’s jurisdiction. WHEREFORE. This Court frowns upon the undesirable practice of a party submitting his case for decision and then accepting the judgment but only if favorable.Corporation vs. Court of Appeals. 16 17 18 19 . 19[14] There is no denying that. It was only after the trial court rendered its decision and issued a writ of execution against them in 1998 did petitioners first raise the issue of jurisdiction ─ and it was only because said decision was unfavorable to them. which includes invoking the court’s authority to grant affirmative relief. 18[13] Public policy dictates that this Court must strongly condemn any double-dealing by parties who are disposed to trifle with the courts by deliberately taking inconsistent positions. Not even once did petitioners ever raise the issue of the court’s jurisdiction during the entire proceedings which lasted for two years. SO ORDERED. it was petitioners themselves who invoked the jurisdiction of the court a quo by instituting an action for reformation of contract against private respondents. they voluntarily and willingly submitted themselves to the jurisdiction of said court. in this case. They cannot be allowed to profit from their omission to the damage and prejudice of the private respondent. It appears that. It is now too late in the day for them to repudiate the jurisdiction they were invoking all along.17[12] this Court affirmed the rule that a party’s active participation in all stages of the case before the trial court. and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction if not. petitioners vigorously asserted their cause from start to finish. Petitioners should bear the consequence of their act. Petitioners thus effectively waived their right to question the court’s jurisdiction over the case they themselves filed. Instead.

: This is a petition for certiorari with a prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction filed by Arnel Escobal seeking the nullification of the remand by the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan of the records of Criminal Case No. an amended Information was filed with the RTC of Naga City. and moral and exemplary damages in the amount of ONE HUNDRED THIRTY-FIVE THOUSAND (P135. Jr. dated June 1. Philippines. February 5. assault and maul one Rodney Nueca and accused 2Lt Arnel Escobal armed with a caliber . Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan.. in the City of Naga. then and there. docketed as Criminal Case No. 124644. J. alias “Jun Bombita” with murder. respondents. willfully. the petitioner was conducting surveillance operations on drug trafficking at the Sa Harong Café Bar and Restaurant located along Barlin St. suffered actual and compensatory damages in the amount of THREE HUNDRED SIXTY-SEVEN THOUSAND ONE HUNDRED SEVEN & 95/100 ( P367.R. Philippine Currency. unlawfully and feloniously attack. 1990.20[1] 20 . Luisabel Alfonso-Cortez. Executive Clerk of Court IV of the Sandiganbayan. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Naga City. Nueca. a member of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine Constabulary. 1990. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court by virtue of the Presidential Waiver. conspiring and confederating together and mutually helping each other. mother of the deceased victim.. On February 6. FRANCIS GARCHITORENA. resulting in the death of one Rodney Rafael N.00) PESOS. HON.107. complainant LUZ N. Branch 21. with intent to kill. mortal and fatal wounds which caused his death. did. No. Naval. 1991. 2004] ARNEL ESCOBAL.SECOND DIVISION [G. Branch 21. 90-3184 to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Naga City. The accusatory portion of the amended Information reads: That on or about March 16. NUECA. Atty. Nueca. DECISION CALLEJO. 90-3184 charging the petitioner and a certain Natividad Bombita. SR. He somehow got involved in a shooting incident. and as a consequence thereof. Naga City. Branch 21. The petition at bench arose from the following milieu: The petitioner is a graduate of the Philippine Military Academy. Hon. petitioner. Philippine Currency.45 service pistol shoot said Rodney Nueca thereby inflicting upon him serious. 1990. David C. On March 16. as well as the Intelligence Group of the Philippine National Police. vs.95) PESOS.000. Luz N.

No. 1994.On March 19.D. he should now be reinstated.22[3] the petitioner. No. He alleged that he had served the 90-day preventive suspension and pleaded for compassionate justice.. When apprised of the said order. The petitioner posted bail and was granted temporary liberty. 1991. No. the RTC issued an Order preventively suspending the petitioner from the service under Presidential Decree No. 25[6] the PNP Region V Headquarters wrote Judge David C. 1847. the petitioner on June 25. 971. 6975. Naval requesting information on whether he issued an order lifting the petitioner’s suspension. He alleged that under R. having served the same. the court martial. Asuncion. 1992 Special Order No. 28[9] he argued 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 .A. had jurisdiction over criminal cases involving PNP members and officers. as amended by P. The RTC denied the motion on March 9. assisted by counsel. on February 22. and. Pending the resolution of the motion. 1994. et al. 1994. the petitioner filed a motion in the RTC for the lifting of the order of suspension. 1993. 1822 and Section 95 of R. preventively suspending the petitioner from the service until the case was terminated. 1991.A. On July 20. and the prosecution rested its case. Presidential Decree No. his suspension should last for only 90 days. The petitioner commenced the presentation of his evidence. Thus. the General Headquarters of the PNP issued on October 6. 1991. Thereafter. When arraigned on April 9. 408. 1993 requested the Chief of the PNP for his reinstatement.26[7] Trial thereafter proceeded. 91. while accused Bombita remained at large. pleaded not guilty to the offense charged. 21[2] The petitioner was arrested by virtue of a warrant issued by the RTC. Citing Republic of the Philippines v. the petitioner filed a Motion to Quash 23[4] the Information alleging that as mandated by Commonwealth Act No. he filed a Motion to Dismiss27[8] the case. not the RTC. On September 23. 24[5] in relation to Section 1. on December 23. The RTC did not reply. 6975.

the RTC issued an Order29[10] denying the motion to dismiss. It. (b) the offense was committed just after midnight. (c) the petitioner was drunk when the crime was committed. The trial court added that upon the enactment of R. however.A. No. he was at the Sa Harong Café Bar and Restaurant at Barlin St. The amendment consisted in the inclusion therein of an allegation that the offense charged was not committed by the petitioner in the performance of his duties/functions. they were able to show the following facts: (a) the petitioner was not wearing his uniform during the incident. The petitioner adduced in evidence the sworn statements of Benjamin Cariño and Roberto Fajardo who corroborated his testimony that he was on a surveillance mission on the aforestated date.”30[11] For his part. On October 28. the prosecution manifested that it was no longer presenting any evidence in connection with the petitioner’s motion. 7975. 1995. Naga City.. and. It reasoned that it had already rested its case. 7975. on March 15. 1994. Pulido. (e) the offense was committed in a beerhouse called “Sa Harong Café Bar and Restaurant. (3) thereof.A. and that its evidence showed that the petitioner did not commit the offense charged in connection with the performance of his duties as a member of the Philippine Constabulary. 31[12] On July 31. 29 30 31 32 33 . According to the prosecution.that since he committed the crime in the performance of his duties. In the preliminary hearing.m. No. ordered the conduct of a preliminary hearing to determine whether or not the crime charged was committed by the petitioner in relation to his office as a member of the PNP. the petitioner testified that at about 10:00 p. the Sandiganbayan had exclusive jurisdiction over the case. pursuant to Mission Order No. 1990. the trial court issued an Order declaring that the petitioner committed the crime charged while not in the performance of his official function. Asuncion33[14] and R. nor in relation to his office. 03-04 issued by Police Superintendent Rufo R. to conduct surveillance on alleged drug trafficking. (d) the petitioner was in the company of civilians. The trial court nevertheless ordered the prosecution to amend the Information pursuant to the ruling in Republic v. The amendatory law transferred the jurisdiction over the offense charged from the Sandiganbayan to the RTC since the petitioner did not have a salary grade of “27” as provided for in or by Section 4(a)(1).32[13] the issue had become moot and academic.

Atty. The RTC ordered the public prosecutor to file a Re-Amended Information and to allege that the offense charged was committed by the petitioner in the performance of his duties/functions or in relation to his office. which was enacted on March 30. the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan ordered the Executive Clerk of Court IV. It declared that based on the petitioner’s evidence. 1995 is hereby SET ASIDE and RECONSIDERED. Luisabel Alfonso-Cortez. 90-3184 to the 34 35 36 . he was on official mission when the shooting occurred. No. 1995.A. categorically and unequivocably admitted in her complaint filed with the People’s Law Enforcement Board (PLEB) that he was on an official mission when the crime was committed. through its Clerk of Court. 1995. the offense charged was committed by him in relation to his official functions.A. On November 24.R. through counsel. No.. Manila. to return the records of Criminal Case No.The petitioner filed a motion for the reconsideration 34[15] of the said order. 7975. He asserted that R. the RTC made a volte face and issued an Order reversing and setting aside its July 31. No. No. could not be applied retroactively. to the Sandiganbayan.A. 1994: (1) The City Prosecutor is hereby ordered to file a Re-Amended Information alleging that the offense charged was committed by the Accused in the performance of his duties/functions or in relation to his office. G. (2) After the filing of the Re-Amended Information. Asuncion. and. the complete records of this case. Conformably with R.36[17] On January 8. 7975. to thereafter transmit the same.35[16] The petitioner further alleged that Luz Nacario Nueca. 7975 and the ruling of the Supreme Court in Republic v. within fifteen (15) days from receipt hereof. 1996. It likewise considered Luz Nacario Nueca’s admission in her complaint before the PLEB that the petitioner was on official mission when the shooting happened. to wit: WHEREFORE. are hereby ordered transmitted immediately to the Honorable Sandiganbayan. reiterating that based on his testimony and those of Benjamin Cariño and Roberto Fajardo. as well as the complete records with the stenographic notes. conformably to R. He asserted that the trial court failed to consider the exceptions to the prohibition. this Court has found that the offense charged in the Information herein was committed by the accused in his relation to his function and duty as member of the then Philippine Constabulary. 180208. March 11. et al. the mother of the victim. for appropriate proceedings. 1995 Order. together with the transcripts of the stenographic notes taken during the entire proceedings herein. It concluded that the prosecution failed to adduce controverting evidence thereto. and it is hereby declared that after preliminary hearing. the Order dated July 31.

The jurisdiction of the court over criminal cases is determined by the allegations in the Information or the Complaint and the statute in effect at the time of the commencement of the action. the latter court should continue with the case and render judgment therein after trial. Upon the remand of the records. No.A. 1996. and the crime was committed while in the performance of his duties. the Office of the Special Prosecutor contends that the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan acted in accordance with law when he ordered the remand of the case to the RTC. Thus. the petitioner asserts. because under Section 7 of R.A. unless such statute provides for a retroactive application thereof. assailing the Order of the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan remanding the records of the case to the RTC. the petitioner filed a petition for certiorari. as amended by P. 7975 should not be applied retroactively.court of origin. by the time it resolved petitioner’s motion to dismiss on July 31. considering that the petitioner had a salary grade of “23. Branch 21. 1606. This is so. The Ruling of the Court The respondent Presiding Justice acted in accordance with law and the rulings of this Court when he ordered the remand of the case to the RTC. 1606 was still in effect. 1991. No. Under Section 4(a) of the decree. No. The private complainant agrees with the contention of the petitioner. 7975 had already taken effect. No. the Sandiganbayan had exclusive jurisdiction over the case against him as he was charged with homicide with the imposable penalty of reclusion temporal. R. 1995. 7975 provides that crimes committed by members and officers of the PNP with a salary grade below “27” committed in relation to office are within the exclusive jurisdiction of the proper RTC. 1606.D. the prosecution had already rested its case and the petitioner had commenced presenting his evidence in the RTC.A. 7975.39[20] 37 38 39 .38[19] Such jurisdiction of the court acquired at the inception of the case continues until the case is terminated. 7975 should be applied retroactively. the court of origin. The jurisdictional requirements must be alleged in the Information. only those cases where trial has not begun in the Sandiganbayan upon the effectivity of the law should be referred to the proper trial court. for the petitioner to continue presenting his evidence.D. 1861 and by R.A. In contrast. as amended by R. No. No.37[18] the RTC retained jurisdiction over the case. No. P. The threshold issue for resolution is whether or not the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan committed a grave abuse of his discretion amounting to excess or lack of jurisdiction in ordering the remand of the case to the RTC. Instead of adducing his evidence. the RTC set the case for trial on May 3. Although the Sandiganbayan had jurisdiction over the crime committed by the petitioner when the amended information was filed with the RTC. the amendment thus introduced by R. No.A. RTC of Naga City.D. following the rule on continuity of jurisdiction. He further asserts that although P. 7975.D. It reasoned that under P. The petitioner contends that when the amended information was filed with the RTC on February 6.” Furthermore. No. It asserts that R.A. the law should be given retroactive effect. No.

7691. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. No.D. It is not enough to merely allege in the Information that the crime charged was committed by the offender in relation to his office because that would be a conclusion of law. Metropolitan Trial Court. or their equivalent. the RTC had jurisdiction over the offense charged when on November 24. 1861. 7975 should not be applied retroactively has no legal basis. 129. In this case. even if the offender committed the crime charged in relation to his office but occupies a position corresponding to a salary grade below “27. (2) Other offenses or felonies committed by public officers and employees in relation to their office. 7975 is a substantive procedural law which may be applied retroactively.000.” He was charged with homicide punishable by reclusion temporal. No.40[21] However.D. for the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive jurisdiction under the said law over crimes committed by public officers in relation to their office. 1606 as amended by P. as amended. 129.Under Section 4(a) of P.D. as the case may be. No. No. as the case may be. the RTC had exclusive jurisdiction over the crime charged conformably to Sections 20 and 32 of Batas Pambansa Blg. with salary grade “23. it ordered the re-amendment of the Information to include therein an allegation that the petitioner committed the crime in relation to office. 7975 amending P. 1995. Municipal Trial Court.00 …. Hence. including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations. shall have exclusive jurisdiction over the case. 6758. It bears stressing that R.A. it is essential that the facts showing the intimate relation between the office of the offender and the discharge of official duties must be alleged in the Information. or PNP officers occupying the rank of superintendent or higher. whether simple or complexed with other crimes. Republic Act No.A.A. It bears stressing that R. the petitioner was a Police Senior Inspector. Section 2. exclusive jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper Regional Trial Court. The petitioner’s contention that R.” the proper Regional Trial Court or Municipal Trial Court. 3019. and Municipal Circuit Trial Court. the Sandiganbayan had exclusive jurisdiction in all cases involving the following: (1) Violations of Republic Act No. No. where the penalty prescribed by law is higher than prision correccional or imprisonment for six (6) years. pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 1379.42[23] 40 41 . No. The trial court erred when it ordered the elevation of the records to the Sandiganbayan. No. and Chapter II. Hence. 1606 was already in effect and under Section 2 of the law: In cases where none of the principal accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade “27” or higher. 41[22] The amended Information filed with the RTC against the petitioner does not contain any allegation showing the intimate relation between his office and the discharge of his duties. as prescribed in the said Republic Act No.A. or a fine of P6. Under the law. Title VII of the Revised Penal Code. as amended by Section 2 of R.

where the same arguments were found wanting in merit. The petitioner further insists that Presidential Decree (P. Branch 21.) No. 1861 over crimes committed by public officers in relation to their office. 124644 (Arnel Escobal vs. for your information. Nueca. dismissing his petition for the nullification of the remand of the records of Criminal Case No. as amended by P. should be applied. the issues raised by the petitioner had been adequately passed upon in the February 5. A careful perusal of the motion shows that the arguments presented in this motion are mere reiterations of the petitioner's arguments as contained in his previous pleadings.IN LIGHT OF ALL THE FOREGOING. David C.D. it is essential that the facts showing the intimate relation between the office of the offender and discharge of official duties must be alleged in the 42 43 . No pronouncement as to costs. 1606. 1995. The jurisdictional requirements must be alleged in the Information. ESCOBAL vs. Naval. G. or in relation to his office. No. 2004 Decision of the Court. Luz N. the law which was in effect at the time of the commission of the offense. Executive Clerk of Court IV of the Sandiganbayan. the petition is DISMISSED. Hon. SO ORDERED.D. He added that the same was adequately alleged in the Re-Amended information dated December 11. Francis Garchitorena. Furthermore. 90-3184 to the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Naga City. GARCHITORENA SPECIAL SECOND DIVISION Gentlemen: Quoted hereunder. 2004. Atty.D. Presiding Judge of the Regional Trial Court of Naga City. The petitioner asserts that the facts showing the intimate relation between the office of the offender and the discharge of official duties were sufficiently established during the preliminary investigation conducted by the trial court. 43[1] For the Sandiganbayan to have exclusive jurisdiction under Section 4(a) of P. The Hon. as ordered by the Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan. in his capacity as Presiding Justice of the Sandiganbayan. Luisabel Alfonso-Cortez. 1606. is a resolution of this Court dated DEC 8 2004. No. The Court reiterates that the jurisdiction of the court over criminal cases is determined by the allegations in the Information or the Complaint and the statute in effect at the time of the commencement of the action unless such statute provides for a retroactive application thereof. Branch 21. and that it was particularly stated that the offense charged was committed by the accused in the performance of his duties and/or functions.) Petitioner Arnel Escobal seeks a reconsideration of the Court's Decision dated February 5.R.

A. 7975. a police senior inspector with salary grade "23. 46[4] was already in effect." was charged with homicide. Hence.A. (Sgd. 7691. No. amending P. No. The trial court erred when it ordered the elevation of the records to the Sandiganbayan because Republic Act (R. the motion for reconsideration is hereby DENIED for lack or merit. WHEREFORE.) LUDICHI YASAY-NUNAG Clerk of Court 44 45 46 . a felony punishable by reclusion temporal.) No. such court had jurisdiction over the offense charged. as amended by Section 2 of R. 129. conformably to Sections 20 and 32 of Batas Pambansa Blg. the RTC had exclusive jurisdiction over the crime charged. the facts showing the intimate relation between the petitioner's office and the discharge of his duties were not alleged in the amended Information. 1995. in the case at bar.D.Information.44[2] It is not enough to merely allege in the Information that the crime charged was committed by the offender in relation to his office because that would be a conclusion of law. 1606. Hence. 45[3] It bears stressing that. when the RTC ordered the re-amendment of the Information to include an allegation that the petitioner committed the crime in relation to his office on November 24. The petitioner. Very truly yours.

J. despite the promulgation by this Court of Decisions and Resolutions in two cases. Inc. x ----------------------------------------. 169914 April 18.: This Court is still continuously besieged by Petitions arising from the awarding of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) Project to the Philippine International Air Terminals Co. and its remarkable impact on the Philippine economy.2 which already resolved the more basic and immediate issues arising from the said award.R. two new Petitions concerning the NAIA IPT III Project are before this Court. DECISION CHICO-NAZARIO. petitioner. Nos. 174166 April 18. proposed master plans and development plans..R. The ADP submitted a Draft Final Report to the DOTC in December 1989.. capacity of existing facilities. Agan. Gingoyon. Jr. 155547. The study consisted of two parts: first.Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila EN BANC G. that the Court first recounts its factual and legal findings in Agan and Gingoyon to ascertain that its ruling in the Petitions at bar shall be consistent and in accordance therewith. Once more. Inc. Philippine International Air Terminals Co. vs. No. Philippine International Air Terminals Co. the substantial cost of its building.R. (G. MENDOZA and MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY. 2008 REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES. Jr. v. No. petitioner. however. It is only appropriate. respondents. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS. the expected high profits from its operations. presentation of the preliminary design of the passenger terminal building. (PIATCO). and second. COURT OF APPEALS and SALACNIB BATERINA. traffic forecasts. .x G. vs. SECRETARY LEANDRO R. HON. v. NAIA future requirements. 155001. The sheer magnitude of the project. and 155661) Already established and incontrovertible are the following facts in Agan: In August 1989. respondents. 1 and Republic v. consequently raised significant interest in the project from various quarters.. represented by the DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS and MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY. Agan. Inc. 2008 ASIA'S EMERGING DRAGON CORPORATION. the [Department of Trade and Communications (DOTC)] engaged the services of Aeroport de Paris (ADP) to conduct a comprehensive study of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and determine whether the present airport can cope with the traffic development up to the year 2010.

On February 13. the NEDA passed Board Resolution No. On January 5. 94-832 constituting the Prequalification Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC) for the implementation of the NAIA IPT III project. postponing the availment of the Bid Documents and the submission of the comparative bid proposals. 1996. The first envelope should contain the Prequalification Documents.000). 1 was issued. The alternative bidders were required to submit three (3) sealed envelopes on or before 5:00 p. Henry Sy. 1995. On March 27. 3 amending the Bid Documents. 1996.Technical Board favorably endorsed the project to the ICC . On June 20. 1995. (AEDC) which was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on September 15. in accordance with Sec. 1996.Some time in 1993. Interested firms were permitted to obtain the Request for Proposal Documents beginning June 28. the PBAC issued PBAC Bulletin No. On June 7. The proponent would be evaluated based on its ability to provide a minimum amount of equity to the project. PBAC Bulletin No. 1996. 1996. AEDC submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Government through the DOTC/[Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA)] for the development of NAIA International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) under a build-operate-and-transfer arrangement pursuant to RA 6957 as amended by RA 7718 (BOT Law). 1994. Sr. and the third envelope the Financial Proposal of the proponent. On October 5. the NEDA Investment Coordinating Council (NEDA ICC) . 4-A of RA 6957. 1996. A revised proposal.. upon submission of a written application and payment of a non-refundable fee of P50. and 21. the proponent shall include in its financial proposal an additional percentage of gross revenue share of the Government. 1994. was forwarded by the DOTC to NEDA on December 13. as amended. of September 20. 1993. Aside from the fixed Annual Guaranteed Payment. however. six business leaders consisting of John Gokongwei. On August 16.00 (US$2. the second envelope the Technical Proposal. as follows: . the DOTC issued Dept. and its capacity to secure external financing for the project. design. the PBAC issued PBAC Bulletin No. then DOTC Secretary Jose Garcia endorsed the proposal of AEDC to the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). 1996. operation. 1996. and maintenance phases of the project. Ramos to explore the possibility of investing in the construction and operation of a new international airport terminal. To signify their commitment to pursue the project. they formed the Asia's Emerging Dragon Corp. The Bid Documents issued by the PBAC provided among others that the proponent must have adequate capability to sustain the financing requirement for the detailed engineering. Order No. On December 2. The following amendments were made on the Bid Documents: a. 1996. 2 which approved the NAIA IPT III project. 1996.Cabinet Committee which approved the same.000. On July 23. on January 19.m. DOTC/MIAA caused the publication in two daily newspapers of an invitation for competitive or comparative proposals on AEDC's unsolicited proposal. 14. construction. George Ty and Alfonso Yuchengco met with then President Fidel V. Lucio Tan. Andrew Gotianun. 2 inviting all bidders to a pre-bid conference on July 29. subject to certain conditions.

It is difficult for Paircargo and Associates to meet the required minimum equity requirement as prescribed in Section 8. entitled "Answers to the Queries of PAIRCARGO as Per Letter Dated September 3 and 10. First 5 years 5. Proof of the availability of the project proponent and/or the consortium to provide the minimum amount of equity for the project. and ii. and/or operation and maintenance phases of the project as the case may be. design. The basis for the prequalification shall be the proponent's compliance with the minimum technical and financial requirements provided in the Bid Documents and the [Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR)] of the BOT Law. the PBAC issued Bid Bulletin No.5% iii. this capability shall be measured in terms of: i. Inc (Paircargo). and those charges which would be actually deemed Public Utility Fees could still be revised. e.3. Said amendments shall only cover items that would not materially affect the preparation of the proponent's proposal. a letter testimonial from reputable banks attesting that the project proponent and/or the members of the consortium are banking with them. In September 1996. Furthermore. The amount of the fixed Annual Guaranteed Payment shall be subject of the price challenge. For purposes of prequalification. In order to comply with . Amendments to the draft Concession Agreement shall be issued from time to time. The PBAC also clarified that the list of revenue sources contained in Annex 4.. that the project proponent and/or the members are of good financial standing. and have adequate resources. 11. Upon the request of prospective bidder People's Air Cargo & Warehousing Co.0% b. d. construction. Proponent may offer an Annual Guaranteed Payment which need not be of equal amount.i. 1996.0% ii. the Second Pre-Bid Conference was held where certain clarifications were made." Paircargo's queries and the PBAC's responses were as follows: 1. On August 29. The minimum amount of equity shall be 30% of the Project Cost. only the proposed Annual Guaranteed Payment submitted by the challengers would be revealed to AEDC. subject to approval by DOTC/MIAA.6. The project proponent must have adequate capability to sustain the financing requirement for the detailed engineering. and that the challengers' technical and financial proposals would remain confidential. 1996. Next 10 years 7. the PBAC warranted that based on Sec.2a of the Bid Documents was merely indicative and that other revenue sources may be included by the proponent. Rule 11 of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the BOT Law. the PBAC clarified that only those fees and charges denominated as Public Utility Fees would be subject to regulation. but payment of which shall start upon site possession. Next 10 years 10. depending on the outcome of PBAC's query on the matter with the Department of Justice. 5. c.4 of the Bid Documents considering that the capitalization of each member company is so structured to meet the requirements and needs of their current respective business undertaking/activities.

this equity requirement, Paircargo is requesting PBAC to just allow each member of
(sic) corporation of the Joint Venture to just execute an agreement that embodies a
commitment to infuse the required capital in case the project is awarded to the Joint
Venture instead of increasing each corporation's current authorized capital stock just for
prequalification purposes.
In prequalification, the agency is interested in one's financial capability at the time of
prequalification, not future or potential capability.
A commitment to put up equity once awarded the project is not enough to establish that
"present" financial capability. However, total financial capability of all member
companies of the Consortium, to be established by submitting the respective
companies' audited financial statements, shall be acceptable.
2. At present, Paircargo is negotiating with banks and other institutions for the extension
of a Performance Security to the joint venture in the event that the Concessions
Agreement (sic) is awarded to them. However, Paircargo is being required to submit a
copy of the draft concession as one of the documentary requirements. Therefore,
Paircargo is requesting that they'd (sic) be furnished copy of the approved negotiated
agreement between the PBAC and the AEDC at the soonest possible time.
A copy of the draft Concession Agreement is included in the Bid Documents. Any
material changes would be made known to prospective challengers through bid
bulletins. However, a final version will be issued before the award of contract.
The PBAC also stated that it would require AEDC to sign Supplement C of the Bid Documents
(Acceptance of Criteria and Waiver of Rights to Enjoin Project) and to submit the same with the
required Bid Security.
On September 20, 1996, the consortium composed of People's Air Cargo and Warehousing
Co., Inc. (Paircargo), Phil. Air and Grounds Services, Inc. (PAGS) and Security Bank Corp.
(Security Bank) (collectively, Paircargo Consortium) submitted their competitive proposal to the
PBAC. On September 23, 1996, the PBAC opened the first envelope containing the
prequalification documents of the Paircargo Consortium. On the following day, September 24,
1996, the PBAC prequalified the Paircargo Consortium.
On September 26, 1996, AEDC informed the PBAC in writing of its reservations as regards the
Paircargo Consortium, which include:
a. The lack of corporate approvals and financial capability of PAIRCARGO;
b. The lack of corporate approvals and financial capability of PAGS;
c. The prohibition imposed by RA 337, as amended (the General Banking Act) on the
amount that Security Bank could legally invest in the project;
d. The inclusion of Siemens as a contractor of the PAIRCARGO Joint Venture, for
prequalification purposes; and
e. The appointment of Lufthansa as the facility operator, in view of the Philippine
requirement in the operation of a public utility.

The PBAC gave its reply on October 2, 1996, informing AEDC that it had considered the
issues raised by the latter, and that based on the documents submitted by Paircargo and the
established prequalification criteria, the PBAC had found that the challenger, Paircargo, had
prequalified to undertake the project. The Secretary of the DOTC approved the finding of the
PBAC.
The PBAC then proceeded with the opening of the second envelope of the Paircargo
Consortium which contained its Technical Proposal.
On October 3, 1996, AEDC reiterated its objections, particularly with respect to Paircargo's
financial capability, in view of the restrictions imposed by Section 21-B of the General Banking
Act and Sections 1380 and 1381 of the Manual Regulations for Banks and Other Financial
Intermediaries. On October 7, 1996, AEDC again manifested its objections and requested that
it be furnished with excerpts of the PBAC meeting and the accompanying technical evaluation
report where each of the issues they raised were addressed.
On October 16, 1996, the PBAC opened the third envelope submitted by AEDC and the
Paircargo Consortium containing their respective financial proposals. Both proponents offered
to build the NAIA Passenger Terminal III for at least $350 million at no cost to the government
and to pay the government: 5% share in gross revenues for the first five years of operation,
7.5% share in gross revenues for the next ten years of operation, and 10% share in gross
revenues for the last ten years of operation, in accordance with the Bid Documents. However,
in addition to the foregoing, AEDC offered to pay the government a total of P135 million as
guaranteed payment for 27 years while Paircargo Consortium offered to pay the government a
total of P17.75 billion for the same period.
Thus, the PBAC formally informed AEDC that it had accepted the price proposal submitted by
the Paircargo Consortium, and gave AEDC 30 working days or until November 28, 1996 within
which to match the said bid, otherwise, the project would be awarded to Paircargo.
As AEDC failed to match the proposal within the 30-day period, then DOTC Secretary Amado
Lagdameo, on December 11, 1996, issued a notice to Paircargo Consortium regarding AEDC's
failure to match the proposal.
On February 27, 1997, Paircargo Consortium incorporated into Philippine International Airport
Terminals Co., Inc. (PIATCO).
AEDC subsequently protested the alleged undue preference given to PIATCO and reiterated
its objections as regards the prequalification of PIATCO.
On April 11, 1997, the DOTC submitted the concession agreement for the second-pass
approval of the NEDA-ICC.
On April 16, 1997, AEDC filed with the Regional Trial Court of Pasig a Petition for Declaration
of Nullity of the Proceedings, Mandamus and Injunction against the Secretary of the DOTC,
the Chairman of the PBAC, the voting members of the PBAC and Pantaleon D. Alvarez, in his
capacity as Chairman of the PBAC Technical Committee.
xxxx
On July 9, 1997, the DOTC issued the notice of award for the project to PIATCO.

On July 12, 1997, the Government, through then DOTC Secretary Arturo T. Enrile, and
PIATCO, through its President, Henry T. Go, signed the "Concession Agreement for the BuildOperate-and-Transfer Arrangement of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Passenger
Terminal III" (1997 Concession Agreement). x x x.
On November 26, 1998, the Government and PIATCO signed an Amended and Restated
Concession Agreement (ARCA). x x x.
Subsequently, the Government and PIATCO signed three Supplements to the ARCA. The First
Supplement was signed on August 27, 1999; the Second Supplement on September 4, 2000;
and the Third Supplement on June 22, 2001 (collectively, Supplements).
xxxx
Meanwhile, the MIAA which is charged with the maintenance and operation of the NAIA
Terminals I and II, had existing concession contracts with various service providers to offer
international airline airport services, such as in-flight catering, passenger handling, ramp and
ground support, aircraft maintenance and provisions, cargo handling and warehousing, and
other services, to several international airlines at the NAIA. x x x.
On September 17, 2002, the workers of the international airline service providers, claiming that
they stand to lose their employment upon the implementation of the questioned agreements,
filed before this Court a petition for prohibition to enjoin the enforcement of said agreements.
On October 15, 2002, the service providers, joining the cause of the petitioning workers, filed a
motion for intervention and a petition-in-intervention.
On October 24, 2002, Congressmen Salacnib Baterina, Clavel Martinez and Constantino
Jaraula filed a similar petition with this Court.
On November 6, 2002, several employees of the MIAA likewise filed a petition assailing the
legality of the various agreements.
On December 11, 2002, another group of Congressmen, Hon. Jacinto V. Paras, Rafael P.
Nantes, Eduardo C. Zialcita, Willie B. Villarama, Prospero C. Nograles, Prospero A. Pichay, Jr.,
Harlin Cast Abayon and Benasing O. Macaranbon, moved to intervene in the case as
Respondents-Intervenors. They filed their Comment-In-Intervention defending the validity of
the assailed agreements and praying for the dismissal of the petitions.
During the pendency of the case before this Court, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, on
November 29, 2002, in her speech at the 2002 Golden Shell Export Awards at Malacañang
Palace, stated that she will not "honor (PIATCO) contracts which the Executive Branch's legal
offices have concluded (as) null and void."3
The Court first dispensed with the procedural issues raised in Agan, ruling that (a) the MIAA service
providers and its employees, petitioners in G.R. Nos. 155001 and 155661, had the requisite standing
since they had a direct and substantial interest to protect by reason of the implementation of the
PIATCO Contracts which would affect their source of livelihood; 4 and (b) the members of the House of
Representatives, petitioners in G.R. No. 155547, were granted standing in view of the serious legal
questions involved and their impact on public interest. 5
As to the merits of the Petitions in Agan, the Court concluded that:

the Court declared in the same Resolution that: This Court. the fallo of the Court's Decision in Agan reads: WHEREFORE. The provisions under Sections 4. however. the Court denied with finality the Motions for Reconsideration of its 5 May 2003 Decision in Agan filed by therein respondents PIATCO and Congressmen Paras. Gingoyon (G. The Government and PIATCO conducted several rounds of negotiation regarding the NAIA 3 facilities. this Court rules that in view of the absence of the requisite financial capacity of the Paircargo Consortium.R. It also appears that arbitral proceedings were commenced before the International Chamber of Commerce International Court of Arbitration and the International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes. Republic v. being accessory contracts to the ARCA. which constitute a direct government guarantee expressly prohibited by.) It is these afore-quoted pronouncements that gave rise to the Petition in Gingoyon.002.In sum. et al. the award by the PBAC of the contract for the construction. The Government also declared that it had deposited the amount of P3.00 (3 Billion) in Cash with the Land Bank of the Philippines. representing the NAIA 3 terminal's assessed value for taxation purposes. operation and maintenance of the NAIA IPT III is null and void. together with an Application for Special Raffle seeking the immediate holding of a special raffle. 166429) According to the statement of facts in Gingoyon: After the promulgation of the rulings in Agan. the NAIA 3 facilities have remained in the possession of PIATCO. The Supplements. which amendments had the effect of converting the 1997 Concession Agreement into an entirely different agreement from the contract bidded upon. Further. the Government filed a Complaint for expropriation with the Pasay City Regional Trial Court (RTC). on 21 December 2004. Then.06 of the ARCA. The Government sought upon the filing of the complaint the issuance of a writ of possession authorizing it to take immediate possession and control over the NAIA 3 facilities.04(c) in relation to Section 1. although the Government has raised jurisdictional questions before those two bodies. The compensation must be just and in accordance with law and equity for the government can not unjustly enrich itself at the expense of PIATCO and its investors. is not unmindful of the reality that the structures comprising the NAIA IPT III facility are almost complete and that funds have been spent by PIATCO in their construction. 7 In a Resolution8 dated 21 January 2004. the Amended and Restated Concession Agreement and the Supplements thereto are set aside for being null and void. predecessor of respondent PIATCO. considering that the 1997 Concession Agreement contains material and substantial amendments. .. 6 Hence.9 Significantly. the 1997 Concession Agreement is similarly null and void for being contrary to public policy. it has to compensate respondent PIATCO as builder of the said structures.06 of the 1997 Concession Agreement and Section 4. the 1997 Concession Agreement.125. and respondents-intervenors.04(b) and (c) in relation to Section 1. among others. despite the avowed intent of the Government to put the airport terminal into immediate operation. are likewise null and void.10 (Emphasis ours. No. the BOT Law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations are also null and void. For the government to take over the said facility.000.

8974 (Rep. the RTC issued an Order directing the issuance of a writ of possession to the Government." and such amount to be deducted from the amount of just compensation due PIATCO as eventually determined by the RTC. the second now assailed before this Court. the market value of the property as stated in the tax declaration or the current relevant zonal valuation of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR). whereas in Rule 67. which appointed three (3) Commissioners to ascertain the amount of just compensation for the ." Also on the same day. In the 4 January 2005 Order. the RTC issued another Order designed to supplement its 21 December 2004 Order and the Writ of Possession. as the relevant standard for initial compensation. otherwise known as "An Act to Facilitate the Acquisition of Right-of-Way. the Government was directed "to maintain. Gingoyon). Second. preserve and safeguard" the NAIA 3 facilities or "perform such as acts or activities in preparation for their direct operation" of the airport terminal. Rule 67 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. the RTC made key qualifications to its earlier issuances. the Government is required only to make an initial deposit with an authorized government depositary. the Government is required to make immediate payment to the property owner upon the filing of the complaint to be entitled to a writ of possession. According to PIATCO. the Government was able to take possession over the NAIA 3 facilities immediately after the Writ of Possession was issued. 8974 and Section 10 of the Implementing Rules. particularly noting that "[t]he case record shows that [the Government has] deposited the assessed value of the [NAIA 3 facilities] in the Land Bank of the Philippines.343. 8974 and Rule 67. presided by respondent judge Hon. Citing the case of City of Manila v. an authorized depositary. to immediately release the amount of US$62. Act No.The case was raffled to Branch 117 of the Pasay City RTC. the RTC noted that its earlier issuance of its writ of possession was pursuant to Section 2. 8974 which provides. on 4 January 2005. the Government filed an Urgent Motion for Reconsideration. pending expropriation proceedings and full payment of just compensation. now assailed in the present petition. Under the statute." The very next day after the issuance of the assailed 4 January 2005 Order. Baclaran Branch (LBP-Baclaran). on the basis of Sections 4 and 7 of Rep. whichever is higher. Rule 67 prescribes that the initial deposit be equivalent to the assessed value of the property for purposes of taxation. First. Moreover. the Government was prohibited "from performing acts of ownership like awarding concessions or leasing any part of [NAIA 3] to other parties. Site or Location for National Government Infrastructure Projects and For Other Purposes" and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (Implementing Rules) had amended Rule 67 in many respects. the Government was directed to submit to the RTC a Certificate of Availability of Funds signed by authorized officials to cover the payment of just compensation. However. the RTC issued another Order. The RTC found these requisites present.175. and upon deposit made by the government of the amount equivalent to the assessed value of the property subject to expropriation. an amount which the RTC characterized as that which the Government "specifically made available for the purpose of this expropriation. it was observed that Republic Act No. it directed the Land Bank of the Philippines. Serrano. However. On the same day that the Complaint was filed. Accordingly. the RTC issued a Writ of Possession. as shown by the certification attached to their complaint. unlike Rep.77 to PIATCO. However. 8974). On 7 January 2005. Gingoyon (Hon. Act No. There are at least two crucial differences between the respective procedures under Rep. the RTC noted that it had the ministerial duty to issue the writ of possession upon the filing of a complaint for expropriation sufficient in form and substance. Henrick F. Act No. and the value of the improvements and/or structures using the replacement cost method. authorizing it to "take or enter upon the possession" of the NAIA 3 facilities. which was set for hearing on 10 January 2005. Act No. Third.

Considering that the NAIA 3 consists of structures and improvements. Act No. Gingoyon from taking further action on the expropriation case. 8974. the valuation thereof shall be determined using the replacements cost method. and other services that are integral to a modern-day international airport. Gingoyon. subject to the conditions above-stated. 8974. the implementation of Writ of Possession in favor of the Government over NAIA 3 is held in abeyance until PIATCO is directly paid the amount of P3 Billion. it denied these motions in an Omnibus Order dated 10 January 2005. Act No. particularly insofar as it requires the immediate payment by the Government of at least the proffered value of the NAIA 3 facilities to PIATCO and provides certain valuation standards or methods for the determination of just compensation. the Government filed a Motion for Inhibition of Hon." 5) The RTC is mandated to complete its determination of the just compensation within sixty (60) days from finality of this Decision. Any ruling in the present expropriation case must be conformable to the dictates of the Court as pronounced in the Agan cases. This is the third Order now assailed before this Court. Nonetheless. representing the proffered value of NAIA 3 under Section 4(c) of the law.NAIA 3 Complex. while the Omnibus Order affirmed the earlier dispositions in the 4 January 2005 Order. 8974 and its Implementing Rules. it excepted from affirmance "the superfluous part of the Order prohibiting the plaintiffs from awarding concessions or leasing any part of [NAIA 3] to other parties. . as prescribed under Section 10 of the Implementing Rules.11 The Court resolved the Petition of the Republic of the Philippines and Manila International Airport Authority in Gingoyon in this wise: In conclusion. The petition prayed for the nullification of the RTC orders dated 4 January 2005. such authority encompasses "the repair. (2) Rep. the Court summarizes its rulings as follows: (1) The 2004 Resolution in Agan sets the base requirement that has to be observed before the Government may take over the NAIA 3. Act No. the Government is authorized to start the implementation of the NAIA 3 Airport terminal project by performing the acts that are essential to the operation of the NAIA 3 as an international airport terminal upon the effectivity of the Writ of Possession. A concurrent prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction was granted by this Court in a Resolution dated 14 January 2005. (4) Applying Rep. (3) Applying Rep. the RTC is obliged to comply with the standards set under Rep. That same day. the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition under Rule 65 was filed on 13 January 2005. maintenance of the existing facilities and equipment. In doing so. The RTC heard the Urgent Motion for Reconsideration and Motion for Inhibition on 10 January 2005. that there must be payment to PIATCO of just compensation in accordance with law and equity. As prescribed by the Court. 8974 applies in this case. 7 January 2005. reconditioning and improvement of the complex. installation of new facilities and equipment. On the same day. provision of services and facilities pertaining to the facilitation of air traffic and transport. and for the inhibition of Hon. and 10 January 2005. Act No." Thus.

Gingoyon. upon the effectivity of the Writ of Possession. No pronouncement as to costs.000. The Order dated 7 January 2005 is AFFIRMED in all respects subject to the qualification that the parties are given ten (10) days from finality of this Decision to file.00). pending payment by petitioners to PIATCO of the amount of Three Billion Two Million One Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Pesos (P3.13 Motions for Partial Reconsideration of the foregoing Decision were filed by therein petitioners Republic and MIAA.002. to determine the just compensation to be paid to PIATCO by the Government. The provisions on commissioners under Rule 67 shall apply insofar as they are not inconsistent with Rep. Said orders are AFFIRMED with the following MODIFICATIONS: 1) The implementation of the Writ of Possession dated 21 December 2004 is HELD IN ABEYANCE.(6) There was no grave abuse of discretion attending the RTC Order appointing the commissioners for the purpose of determining just compensation. 2) Petitioners. 8974. Act No. 12 The decretal portion of the Court's Decision in Gingoyon thus reads: WHEREFORE. 3) RTC Branch 117 is hereby directed. its Implementing Rules. the Court finds no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the RTC to warrant the nullification of the questioned orders. as well as the three other parties who sought to intervene. are authorized [to] start the implementation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Pasenger Terminal III project by performing the acts that are essential to the operation of the said International Airport Passenger Terminal project. The Temporary Restraining Order dated 14 January 2005 is hereby LIFTED. (8) There is no basis for the Court to direct the inhibition of Hon. Takenaka Corporation. this Court denied with finality the Motion for Partial Reconsideration of therein petitioners and remained faithful to its assailed Decision based on the following ratiocination: Admittedly. the 2004 Resolution in Agan could be construed as mandating the full payment of the final amount of just compensation before the Government may be permitted to take over . namely. portions of these orders should be modified to conform with law and the pronouncements made by the Court herein.125. or the rulings of the Court in Agan. In a Resolution dated 1 February 2006. Nonetheless. and Congressman Baterina. (7) The Government shall pay the just compensation fixed in the decision of the trial court to PIATCO immediately upon the finality of the said decision. objections to the appointment of the commissioners decreed therein. All told. within sixty (60) days from finality of this Decision. if they so choose. the Petition is GRANTED in PART with respect to the orders dated 4 January 2005 and 10 January 2005 of the lower court. Asakihosan Corporation. representing the proffered value of the NAIA 3 facilities.

denied all the three motions for intervention of Asakihosan Corporation. There is no palpable due process violation that would militate the suspension of the procedural rule. an agency which enjoys corporate autonomy and possesses a legal personality separate and distinct from those of the National Government and agencies thereof whose budgets have to be approved by Congress.14 The Court. It is extremely improbable that the movants were unaware of the pendency of the present case before the Court. Whatever animosity the Government may have towards PIATCO does not acquit it from settling its obligations to the latter. as well as that as a taxpayer. Yet it was apparent in Mago that the movants therein were not impleaded despite being indispensable parties. Certainly. Moreover. However. acknowledging the public good that would result from the immediate operation of the NAIA 3. In contrast. To allow intervention at this juncture would be highly irregular. Act No. and is in accord with law and equity. Since this case originated from an original action filed before this Court. It is also observed that the interests of the movants-in-intervention may be duly litigated in proceedings which are extant before lower courts. 8974 and with equitable standards as well. As earlier noted. that allowed the Government to take possession of the NAIA 3 after payment of the proffered value of the facilities to PIATCO. particularly those which had already been previously affirmed by this Court.the NAIA 3. and the effect of the final order was to deprive the movants of their land. In this case.15 . There is no compelling reason to disregard the established rules and permit the interventions belatedly filed after the promulgation of the Court's Decision. hewing to the strict application of Rule 67. neither Takenaka nor Asahikosan stand to be dispossessed by reason of the Court's Decision. and Congressman Baterina. and ruled as follows: We now turn to the three (3) motions for intervention all of which were filed after the promulgation of the Court's Decision. Such a reading is substantially compliant with the pronouncement in the 2004 Agan Resolution. the Decision adopted an interpretation which is in consonance with Rep. Under Section 2. as the basis of his legal standing to intervene. they could not be considered as indispensable parties to the petition for certiorari. the requisite legal interest required of a party-in-intervention has not been established so as to warrant the extra-ordinary step of allowing intervention at this late stage. in the same Resolution. it should be noted that the amount which the Court directed to be paid by the Government to PIATCO was derived from the money deposited by the Manila International Airport Authority. Rule 19 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure the motion to intervene may be filed at any time before rendition of judgment by the court. the appropriate time to file the motions-in-intervention in this case if ever was before and not after resolution of this case. the claims of Takenaka and Asahikosan have not been judicially proved or conclusively established as fact by any trier of facts in this jurisdiction. he invokes his prerogative as legislator to curtail the disbursement without appropriation of public funds to compensate PIATCO. Takenaka and Asahikosan rely on Mago v. Instead. and had not even known of the existence of the case before the trial court. Takenaka Corporation. a situation that is obviously unfair. the Decision ultimately rejected such a construction. Court of Appeals wherein the Court took the extraordinary step of allowing the motion for intervention even after the challenged order of the trial court had already become final. the Government's position. and indeed none of them allege such lack of knowledge. All three (3) motions must be denied. would permit the Government to acquire possession over the NAIA 3 and implement its operation without having to pay PIATCO a single centavo. However. In the case of Representative Baterina.

the Petition of AEDC should be dismissed for lack of merit. re-bidding. being the recognized and unchallenged original proponent of the NAIA IPT III Project. agents. officer or person unlawfully neglects the performance of an act which the law specifically enjoins as a duty resulting from an office. their officers. HAS THE EXCLUSIVE. board. No. praying of this Court that: (1) After due hearing.17 At the crux of the Petition of AEDC is its claim that. – When any tribunal. TO THE EXCLUSION OF PETITIONER AEDC. representatives or persons or entities acting on their behalf. agents. CLEAR AND VESTED STATUTORY RIGHT TO THE AWARD OF THE NAIA-IPT III PROJECT. successors. being as it is. substantially and procedurally flawed. awarding or otherwise entering into any concession contract with PIATCO and other third parties for the operation of the NAIA-IPT III Project. 169914) Banking on this Court's declaration in Agan that the award of the NAIA IPT III Project to PIATCO is null and void. 16 AEDC bases its Petition on the following grounds: I. clear. Petition for mandamus. to formally award the NAIA-APT [sic] III PROJECT to Petitioner AEDC and to execute and formalize with Petitioner AEDC the approved Draft Concession Agreement embodying the agreed terms and conditions for the operation of the NAIA-IPT III Project and directing Respondents to cease and desist from awarding the NAIA-IPT Project to third parties or negotiating into any concession contract with third parties. (2) Pending resolution on the merits. OR TO AWARD THE PROJECT TO THIRD PARTIES. 3.Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation v. Asia's Emerging Dragon Corporation (AEDC) filed before this Court the present Petition for Mandamus and Prohibition (with Application for Temporary Restraining Order). and] III. speedy . BEING THE RECOGNIZED AND UNCHALLENGED ORIGINAL PROPONENT. a Temporary Restraining Order be issued enjoining Respondents. RESPONDENTS HAVE A STATUTORY DUTY TO PROTECT PETITIONER AEDC AS THE UNCHALLENGED ORIGINAL PROPONENT AS A RESULT OF THE SUPREME COURT'S NULLIFICATION OF THE AWARD OF THE NAIA-IPT III PROJECT TO PIATCO[. which reads – SEC. and there is no other plain. are likewise prayed for. Department of Transportation and Communications and Manila International Airport Authority (G. successors or representatives or persons or entities acting on their behalf from negotiating. Other relief and remedies. judgment be rendered commanding the Respondents. However. their officers. it has the exclusive. just and equitable under the premises.R. II. PETITIONER AEDC. or unlawfully excludes another from the use and enjoyment of a right or office to which such other is entitled. corporation. or station. and vested statutory right to the award thereof. SUBSTANTIVE INFIRMITY A petition for mandamus is governed by Section 3 of Rule 65 of the Rules of Civil Procedure. RESPONDENTS HAVE NO LEGAL BASIS OR AUTHORITY TO TAKE OVER THE NAIAIPT III PROJECT. trust.

Requisites for Unsolicited Proposals. and that the writ will not issue in cases where the right is doubtful. the Agency/LGU concerned has invited by publication. he shall be immediately be awarded the project. the mandamus petition must be dismissed. Unsolicited proposals. It is well-established in our jurisprudence that only specific legal rights are enforceable by mandamus. all the following conditions are met: (1) such projects involve a new concept or technology and/or are not part of the list of priority projects. on unsolicited proposals. clear and certain. b. Should the original proponent fail to match the lower price proposal submitted within the specified period. immediately or some other time to be specified by the court.1. That in the event another proponent submits a lower price proposal. 6957. in a newspaper of general circulation. In the event that another project proponent submits a price proposal lower than that submitted by the original proponent. that the right sought to be enforced must be certain and clear. to do the act required to be done to protect the rights of the petitioner. the contract shall be awarded to the tenderer of the lowest price. for three (3) consecutive weeks. devoted the entire Rule 10 to Unsolicited Proposals. Otherwise.20 as amended by Republic Act No. comparative or competitive proposals and no other proposal is received for a period of sixty (60) working days: Provided. pertinent portions of which are reproduced below – Sec. the project involves a new concept or technology and/or is not part of the list of priority projects. the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of Republic Act No.18 A rule long familiar is that mandamus never issues in doubtful cases. 7718. and (3) the government agency or local government unit has invited by publication. In varying language. Just as fundamental is the principle governing the issuance of mandamus that the duties to be performed must be such as are clearly and peremptorily enjoined by law or by reason of official station. the original proponent shall have the right to match the price within thirty (30) working days. and to pay the damages sustained by the petitioner by reason of the wrongful acts of the respondent. (2) no direct government guarantee. subsidy or equity is required. On the other hand. 4-A. the person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court. as amended by Republic Act No. 7718.19 The right that AEDC is seeking to enforce is supposedly enjoined by Section 4-A of Republic Act No. in a newspaper of general circulation. the principle echoed and reechoed is that legal rights may be enforced by mandamus only if those rights are well-defined. which provides – SEC. 10. if the original project proponent matches the submitted lowest price within the specified period. and c.and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. the latter shall have the right to match said price proposal within thirty (30) working days. alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered commanding the respondent. for three (3) consecutive weeks. . – Any Agency/LGU may accept unsolicited proposals on a negotiated basis provided that all the following conditions are met: a. That. further. It requires a showing of a complete and clear legal right in the petitioner to the performance of ministerial acts. subsidy or equity is required. 6957. In furtherance of the afore-quoted provision. comparative or competitive proposals and no other proposal is received for a period of sixty (60) working days. no direct government guarantee. – Unsolicited proposals for projects may be accepted by any government agency or local government unit on a negotiated basis: Provided.

.xxxx Sec. Acceptance means commitment of the Agency/LGU to pursue the project and recognition of the proponent as the "original proponent. all of which will be used in the Terms of Reference for the solicitation of comparative proposals. the agreement between the original proponent and the Agency/LGU of the contract terms. Invitation for Comparative Proposals. It shall indicate the time. The Agency/LGU and the original proponent shall negotiate in good faith. – The original proponent shall be required at the date of the first date of the publication of the invitation for comparative proposals to submit a bid bond equal to the amount and in the form required of the challengers. and the approval of the contract by the [Investment Coordination Committee (ICC)] or Local Sanggunian. Negotiation With the Original Proponent. the original proponent shall then be required to reformat and resubmit its proposal in accordance with the requirements of the Terms of Reference to facilitate comparison with the comparative proposals.6. shall advise the proponent in writing whether it accepts or rejects the proposal. A pre-bid conference shall be conducted ten (10) working days after the issuance of the tender/bidding documents.12. xxxx Sec.9.11. It shall likewise explicitly specify a time of sixty (60) working days reckoned from the date of issuance of the tender/bidding documents upon which proposals shall be received. The Agency/LGU shall validate the reformatted proposal if it meets the requirements of the TOR prior to the issuance of the invitation for comparative proposals. 2) evaluate the qualification of the proponent. no proposals shall be accepted. the Agency/LGU will no longer entertain other similar proposals until the solicitation of comparative proposals. Beyond said deadline. however. The Agency/LGU shall publish the invitation for comparative or competitive proposals only after ICC/Local Sanggunian issues a no objection clearance of the draft contract.7 of these IRR. The Agency/LGU shall: 1) appraise the merits of the project. 10. – The Agency/LGU is tasked with the initial evaluation of the proposal. Within this 60-day period. The invitation for comparative or competitive proposals should be published at least once every week for three (3) weeks in at least one (1) newspaper of general circulation. – Immediately after ICC/Local Sanggunian's clearance of the project. the Agency/LGU shall proceed with the in-depth negotiation of the project scope. which should not be earlier than the last date of publication. should there be unresolvable differences during the negotiations. is still contingent primarily on the approval of the appropriate approving authorities consistent with Section 2. Evaluation of Unsolicited Proposals. The implementation of the project." At this point. xxxx Sec. 10. Sec. the Agency/LGU. 10. implementation arrangements and concession agreement. and 3) assess the appropriateness of the contractual arrangement and reasonableness of the risk allocation. The Agency/LGU is given sixty (60) days to evaluate the proposal from the date of submission of the complete proposal. and place where tender/bidding documents could be obtained. the Agency/LGU shall have the option to reject the proposal and bid out the project. if the negotiation is successfully concluded. 10. On the other hand. However. The Agency/LGU and the proponent are given ninety (90) days upon receipt of ICC's approval of the project to conclude negotiations. Posting of Bid Bond by Original Proponent.

as amended by Republic Act No. if it was not disclosed in the Tender Documents. as amended by Republic Act No. the original proponent is recognized as such but no award is yet made to it. 6957. The right of the original proponent to match the best proposal within thirty (30) working days starts upon official notification by the Agency/LGU of the most advantageous financial proposal. The amendment also aims to harness the ingenuity of the private sector to come up with solutions to the country's infrastructure problems. 6957. Disclosure of the Price Proposal. – The Agency/LGU shall qualify the original proponent based on the provisions of Rule 5 hereof. within thirty (30) days from start of negotiation. The acceptance of the unsolicited proposal only precludes the agency/LGU from entertaining other similar proposals until the solicitation of comparative proposals. (Emphasis ours.16.13. 10.'" Upon acceptance then of the unsolicited proposal.21 It is irrefragable that Section 4-A of Republic Act No. the "acceptance" of the unsolicited proposal by the agency/LGU is limited to the "commitment of the [a]gency/LGU to pursue the project and recognition of the proponent as the 'original proponent. Nevertheless. regardless of to whom it shall subsequently award the same. The commitment of the agency/LGU upon acceptance of the unsolicited proposal is to the pursuit of the project. and Section 10 of its IRR. Under Section 10. then Senator (now President of the Republic of the Philippines) Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo explained the reason behind the proposed amendment that would later become Section 4-A of Republic Act No. The rights or privileges of an original proponent of an unsolicited proposal for an infrastructure project are never meant to be absolute. Simultaneous Qualification of the Original Proponent. Otherwise. The rights or privileges of an original proponent depends on compliance with the procedure and conditions explicitly provided by the statutes and their IRR. 7718: The object of the amendment is to protect proponents which have already incurred costs in the conceptual design and in the preparation of the proposal. xxxx Sec.Sec. However. accord certain rights or privileges to the original proponent of an unsolicited proposal for an infrastructure project. For consistency. The absurdity of such a situation becomes even more apparent when considering that the proposal is unsolicited by the Government. 7718. the evaluation criteria used for qualifying the original proponent should be the same criteria used for qualifying the original proponent should be the criteria used in the Terms of Reference for the challengers. 10. the government agency or local government unit (LGU) concerned may accept or reject the proposal outright.) In her sponsorship speech on Senate Bill No.6 of the IRR. 1586 (the precursor of Republic Act No. after which. 7718). . the original proponent's price proposal should be revealed upon the opening of the financial proposals of the challengers. none of these rights or privileges would justify the automatic award of the NAIA IPT III Project to AEDC after its previous award to PIATCO was declared null and void by this Court in Agan. – The disclosure of the price proposal of the original proponent in the Tender Documents will be left to the discretion of the Agency/LGU. the original proponent can hold the Government hostage and secure the award of the infrastructure project based solely on the fact that it was the first to submit a proposal. An unsolicited proposal is subject to evaluation. and which may have adopted an imaginative method of construction or innovative concept for the proposal. They are meant to encourage private sector initiative in conceptualizing infrastructure projects that would benefit the public.

and which shall be the same criteria to be used in the TOR for the challengers. Even at this point. In fact.Consistent in both the statutes and the IRR is the requirement that invitations be published for comparative or competitive proposals. Hence. then [the original proponent] shall. This is the extent of the protection that Legislature intended to afford the original proponent. is for the sole purpose of coming up with draft agreements. 1586: Senator Gonzales: xxxx The concept being that in case of an unsolicited proposal and nonetheless public bidding has been held. the original proponent has: (1) the right to match the lowest or most advantageous proposal within 30 working days from notice thereof. he must have been able to match the lowest or most advantageous proposal within the prescribed period. in case of unresolvable differences during the negotiations. As can be gleaned from the plain language of the statutes and the IRR. in the course of processing an unsolicited proposal. and a basis for exact comparison of bids. using evaluation criteria in accordance with Rule 524 of the IRR. it is mandatory that a public bidding be held before the awarding of the project. the same IRR provision even gives the concerned agency/LGU. Generally.9 of the IRR. "IF THERE IS A COMPETITIVE PROPOSAL. it shall enjoy preference in the awarding of the infrastructure project. The negotiations between the agency/LGU and the original proponent. The second right or privilege is contingent upon the actual exercise by the original proponent of the first right or privilege.25 These requirements ensure that the public bidding under Rule 10 of IRR on Unsolicited Proposals still remain in accord with the three principles in public bidding. 23 Its qualification shall be evaluated by the concerned agency/LGU. Before the project could be awarded to the original proponent. let us say. It is required to reformat and resubmit its proposal in accordance with the requirements of the TOR. 22 It must submit a bid bond equal to the amount and in the form required of the challengers. the option to reject the original proponent's proposal and just bid out the project. as supported by the exchange between Senators Neptali Gonzales and Sergio Osmeña during the Second Reading of Senate Bill No. THE ORIGINAL . with all things being equal. then it has the right to be awarded the project. 30 days from the date of bidding. as provided in Section 10. an opportunity for competition. be granted what is the equivalent of the right of first refusal by offering a bid which shall equal or better the bid of the winning bidder within a period of. 26 The special rights or privileges of an original proponent thus come into play only when there are other proposals submitted during the public bidding of the infrastructure project. there is no definite commitment made to the original proponent as to the awarding of the project. in effect. which shall be used in the Terms of Reference (TOR) for the solicitation of comparative proposals. Senator Osmeña: xxxx To capture the tenor of the proposal of the distinguished Gentleman. and (2) in the event that the original proponent is able to match the lowest or most advantageous proposal submitted. the original proponent is treated in much the same way as all other prospective bidders for the proposed infrastructure project. a subsequent paragraph has to be added which says. Therefore. which are: the offer to the public. when the original proponent is able to timely match the lowest or most advantageous proposal.

the said award was nullified and voided. if there is nobody who will submit a competitive proposal. A BOT project is defined as – A contractual arrangement whereby the project proponent undertakes the construction. The NAIA IPT III Project was proposed. AEDC failed to match the more advantageous proposal submitted by PIATCO by the time the 30-day working period expired on 28 November 1996." In other words. Such is a simplistic approach to a very complex problem that is the NAIA IPT III Project. SENATOR GONZALES: That is the idea.31 a fact that this Court cannot simply ignore. The project proponent operates the facility over a fixed term during which it is allowed to charge facility users appropriate tolls. and charges not exceeding those proposed in its bid or as negotiated and incorporated in the contract to enable the project proponent to recover its investment.30 In addition. without exercising its right to match the most advantageous proposal. x x x. then nothing is lost. Panganiban noted that "[T]here was effectively no public bidding to speak of. subjected to bidding. and the operation and maintenance thereof. President. then. This shall include a supply-and-operate situation which is a contractual arrangement whereby the supplier of . as if the bid of PIATCO never existed and the award of the project to PIATCO did not take place. In his separate opinion in Agan. including financing. The process and all proposals and bids submitted in participation thereof. But if somebody comes in with another proposal – and because it was the idea of the original proponent – that proponent now has the right to equal the terms of the original proposal. PIATCO is already close to finishing the building of the structures comprising NAIA IPT III. it cannot now lay claim to the award of the project. Everybody knows it. rentals. At the very least. Because it seems to me that it is utterly unfair for one who has conceived an idea or a concept. and operating and maintenance expenses in the project. were placed in doubt.29" (Emphasis ours. spent and invested in feasibility studies. fees. x x x. of a given infrastructure facility. therefore. and awarded as a build-operate-transfer (BOT) project. and it would be foolhardy for the Government to rely on them again. AEDC cannot insist that this Court turn back the hands of time and award the NAIA IPT III Project to it. the entire bidding process having been flawed and tainted from the very outset. former Chief Justice Artemio V. and not just PIATCO's. and the project is submitted to a public bidding.27 (Emphasis ours. Mr.) As already found by this Court in the narration of facts in Agan. and it is open and transparent.28 and.) In consideration of such a declaration that the entire bidding process was flawed and tainted from the very beginning. it may be declared that there was a failure of public bidding. The project proponent transfers the facility to the government agency or local government unit concerned at the end of the fixed term that shall not exceed fifty (50) years. then somebody will win on the basis of plans and specifications and concepts conceived by the original proponent. it would be senseless to re-open the same to determine to whom the project should have been properly awarded to. and the Concession Agreement executed with the latter was likewise void ab initio. The nullification of the award to PIATCO did not revive the proposal nor re-open the bidding.PROPONENT SHALL HAVE THE RIGHT TO EQUAL THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE COMPETITIVE PROPOSAL. in the drawing of plans and specifications. He should at least be given the right to submit an equalizing bid. the award of the concession to Paircargo's successor Piatco was void. The bidding process as to the NAIA IPT III Project was already over after the award thereof to PIATCO. even if eventually.

equipment and machinery for a given infrastructure facility. Hence.32 (Emphasis ours. Neither can this Court revert to the original proposal of AEDC and award to it only the unexecuted components of the NAIA IPT III Project. cannot restore AEDC to its status and rights as the project proponent. and never built any facility. AEDC's offer to reimburse the Government the amount it shall pay to PIATCO for the NAIA IPT III Project facilities. as aptly stated by former Chief Justice Panganiban. should not AEDC automatically be considered the winning bidder and therefore allowed to operate the facility? My answer is a stone-cold 'No. operate.) The original proposal of AEDC is for a BOT project. it may still recoup a capital investment of P9 billion plus a reasonable rate of return of investment. including financing. Again. and pay a guaranteed annual income to the Government upon operation of the NAIA IPT III. Why should it be allowed to automatically step in and benefit from the greed of another?33 The claim of AEDC to the award of the NAIA IPT III Project. It seems improbable at this point that the balance of the value of said facilities for which the Government is still obligated to pay PIATCO shall reach or exceed P6 billion. This is clearly no longer applicable or practicable under the existing circumstances. per the other terms of its original proposal. in his separate opinion in Agan: If the PIATCO contracts are junked altogether as I think they should be. financing. after the award thereof to PIATCO was set aside for being null and void. grounded solely on its being the original proponent of the project. as shall be determined in the ongoing expropriation proceedings before the RTC of Pasay City. never signed any contract. It must be stressed that the law requires the project proponent to undertake the construction of the project. which must again be subjected to competitive bidding. this "reimbursement arrangement" may even result in the unjust enrichment of AEDC. if the interest of the Government so requires. There is thus the possibility that the Government shall be required to pay PIATCO an amount less than P9 billion. then it shall acquire the NAIA IPT III facilities for a price less than its original proposal of P9 billion. is . It is undeniable that the physical structures comprising the NAIA IPT III Project are already substantially built. and there is almost nothing left for AEDC to construct. in which it undertook to build. AEDC would share a certain percentage of the gross revenues with. In exchange. In Gingoyon. otherwise. Moreover. If AEDC is to reimburse the Government only for the said amount. Yet.' AEDC never won the bidding. It will no longer include any undertaking to build or construct the structures. A change in the agreed value of the NAIA IPT III facilities already built cannot be done without a corresponding amendment in the other terms of the original proposal as regards profit sharing and length of operation. Whoever shall assume the obligation to operate and maintain NAIA IPT III and to subsequently transfer the same to the Government (in case the operation is not assumed by the Government itself) shall have to do so on terms and conditions that would necessarily be different from the original proposal of AEDC. AEDC offered to construct the NAIA IPT III facilities for $350 million or P9 billion at that time. the proferred value of the NAIA IPT III facilities was already determined to be P3 billion. and transfer to the Government the NAIA IPT III facilities. In its original proposal. is but a component of the construction of the structures and not the entirety thereof. thus. operates the facility providing in the process technology transfer and training to Filipino nationals. AEDC will be unjustly enriched at the expense of the Government. An amendment of the proposal of AEDC to address the present circumstances is out of the question since such an amendment would be substantive and tantamount to an entirely new proposal. the project could no longer be awarded to AEDC based on the theory of legal impossibility of performance.

for AEDC. following the approval of the NAIA IPT III Project by the National Economic Development Authority Board in a Resolution dated 13 February 1996. Jr. screening and eliminating nuisance comparative bids. investors and creditors." This Court cannot give much weight to said document considering that its existence and due execution have not been established. Neither does it have the legal personality to demand that the Government deliver or sell to it the NAIA IPT III facility despite the express willingness of AEDC to reimburse the Government the proferred amount it had paid PIATCO and complete NAIA IPT III facility at its own cost. which this Court already recognized in Gingoyon as owned by PIATCO. commitment of Respondent DOTC to target mid 1996 as the time frame for the formal award of the project and commencement of site preparation and construction activities with the view of a partial opening of the Terminal by the first quarter of 1998. b. just as AEDC has no legal right to the NAIA IPT III Project. It is not certified true by its supposed signatories. 6957. Sr. Pesayco. as amended by Republic Act No. which provided for the following commitments by the parties: a. which is undisputedly owned by the Republic through the Bases Conversion Development Authority (BCDA). Cecilia L. is in existence and duly executed. that the document attached as Annex "E" to the Petition of AEDC is a "certified photocopy of records on file. AEDC does not own the NAIA IPT III facility.specious and an apparent stretch in the interpretation of Section 4-A of Republic Act No. and Rule 10 of the IRR. In all. The commitments undertaken by the DOTC and AEDC in the Memorandum of Agreement may be simply summarized as a commitment to comply with the procedure and requirements provided in . It is not notarized. Even assuming for the sake of argument. or by any government agency having its custody. AEDC did not fund any portion of the construction of NAIA IPT III. for DOTC and Chairman Henry Sy. e. of an unidentified corporation. commitment of Petitioner AEDC to a fast track approach to project implementation and to commence negotiations with its financial partners.] d. Garcia. nor does AEDC own the land on which NAIA IPT III stands. commitment of Respondent DOTC to make appropriate arrangements through which the formal award of the project can be affected[. that the said Memorandum of Agreement. nothing that the Government has done or will do in relation to the project could possibly prejudice or injure AEDC. AEDC then does not possess any legal personality to interfere with or restrain the activities of the Government as regards NAIA IPT III. it does little to support the claim of AEDC to the award of the NAIA IPT III Project. the Corporate Secretary. 34 It is important to note. It is not even witnessed by anyone. 7718. Therefore. AEDC invokes the Memorandum of Agreement. however. which was entirely funded by PIATCO. commitment of Respondent DOTC and Petitioner AEDC to fast track evaluation of competitive proposals. it has no legal right over the NAIA IPT III facility. AEDC also does not have any kind of lien over NAIA IPT III or any kind of legal entitlement to occupy the facility or the land on which it stands. so it does not enjoy the presumption of regularity of a public document. It is certified as a photocopy of records on file by an Atty. corollarily. purportedly executed between the DOTC and AEDC on 26 February 1996. Secretary Jesus B. commitment of Respondent DOTC to pursue the project envisioned in the unsolicited proposal and commence and conclude as soon as possible negotiations with Petitioner AEDC on the BOT contract. c.

00 or roughly P9.00. the mere fact thereof does not entitle it to the instant award of the NAIA IPT III Project.183. implement and complete the NAIA IPT III Project on or before 1998. Bases Conversion Development Authority. Inc. or as waiving. or non-compliance with. noticeably without mentioning that such commitment was to pursue the project specifically with AEDC. 7718. negotiated and entered into firm commitments with Ital Thai. xxxx . 6957. d. the tenth clause of the same document provided: 10. in the second clause. pre-qualified 46 design and contractor firms to assist in the NAIA-IPT III Project.000.37 AEDC further decries that: 24. And most significantly. Marubeni Corporation and Mitsui Corporation as equity partners. hired the services of GAIA South. It bears no commitment on the part of the DOTC to award the NAIA IPT III Project to AEDC.35 the DOTC affirmed its commitment to pursue. AEDC was aware that the said project would have to undergo public bidding. appointed a consortium of six (6) local banks as its financial advisor in June 1996. and e.38 While the Court may concede that AEDC. and requirements and procedures under. and there existed the possibility that another proponent may submit a more advantageous bid which it cannot match. the Paircargo Consortium had to show to the satisfaction of the PBAC that it had the ability to provide the minimum equity for the project in the amount of at least P2. the document includes express stipulations that negate any such government obligation.Rules 10 and 11 of the IRR. as the original proponent. It was a given business risk that AEDC knowingly undertook.36 it was emphasized that the DOTC shall pursue the project under Rules 10 and 11 of the IRR of Republic Act No. a.755. Additionally. the project shall be awarded to the other proponent and AEDC would then have no means to recover the costs and expenses it already incurred on its unsolicited proposal. Nothing in this Memorandum of Understanding shall be understood.000.00. b.095. Bureau of Immigration. Thus. This Court found Paircargo Consortium financially disqualified after striking down as incorrect the PBAC's assessment of the consortium's financial capability. incurring in the process tremendous costs and expenses. existing laws.000. relative to their particular requirements regarding the NAIA-IPT III [P]roject. the provisions of. to prepare the Project Description Report and to obtain the Environmental Clearance Certificate (ECC) for the NAIA-IPT III Project. allowing or authorizing the circumvention of. coordinated with the Airline Operators Association. interpreted or construed as permitting. already expended resources in its preparation and negotiation of its unsolicited proposal. On the contrary. Philippine Air Force. Likewise. In carrying out its commitments under the DOTC-AEDC MOU.650. c. in the first clause. the very defect upon which this Court nullified the award of the NAIA IPT III Project to PIATCO similarly taints the unsolicited proposal of AEDC. Bureau of Customs. rules and regulations. According to the Court's ratio in Agan: As the minimum project cost was estimated to be US$350. Petitioner AEDC undertook the following activities. in which case.000. as amended by Republic Act No.

xxxx Thus. it had then a paid-in capital of only P150. however. there could be no doubt that PIATCO is more qualified to operate the structure that PIATCO itself built and PIATCO's offer of P17. the ability of the bidder to undertake the project.00 or 30% of the project cost. The total net worth therefore of the Paircargo Consortium. for the same is an executive function rather than judicial. said bidder should be properly disqualified.55 that Paircargo Consortium was capable of investing in the NAIA IPT III Project. that AEDC is precisely making a new proposal befitting the current status of the NAIA IPT III Project. This Court must point out.000. and clear legal right to be enforced. for which the statutes and regulations have sufficiently provided standards and procedures for evaluation. the law requires the government agency to examine and determine the ability of the bidder to fund the entire cost of the project by considering the maximum amounts that each bidder may invest in the project at the time of pre-qualification. contrary to its own argument that it is merely invoking its original BOT proposal. there being no specific. we hold that Paircargo Consortium was not a qualified bidder. PROCEDURAL LAPSES . And it is not for this Court to evaluate AEDC's new proposal and assess whether it would truly be most beneficial for the Government. AEDC took pains to present to this Court that allowing it to take over and operate NAIA IPT III at present would be beneficial to the Government. an amount substantially less than the prescribed minimum equity investment required for the project in the amount of P2. like the Paircargo Consortium. with respect to the bidder's financial capacity at the pre-qualification stage. at the earliest opportunity.871.000.75 Billion in annual guaranteed payments to the Government is far better that AEDC's offer of P135 Million. AEDC is not entitled to a writ of mandamus. and even far less that what this Court prescribed as the minimum equity investment required for the project in the amount of P2.00 or 30% of the project cost.095.095. representing 15% of its entire net worth. would not be financially qualified to undertake the NAIA IPT III Project.871. the maximum amounts which the Paircargo Consortium may invest in the project fell short of the minimum amounts prescribed by the PBAC.384. Thus.55 or only 6. nor duty to be performed that is clearly and peremptorily enjoined by law or by reason of official station. 39 Pursuant to the above-quoted ruling. Thus the award of the contract by the PBAC to the Paircargo Consortium.755. Based on AEDC's own submissions to the Government. AEDC. the maximum amount that Security Bank could validly invest in the Paircargo Consortium is only P528.Thus. after considering the maximum amounts that may be validly invested by each of its members is P558.08% of the project cost.525. certain.755.00.40 which was less than the P558.000. is null and void. Considering that at the pre-qualification stage. Instead.656. if the maximum amount of equity that a bidder may invest in the project at the time the bids are submitted falls short of the minimum amounts required to be put up by the bidder. Hence. a disqualified bidder.384. It can even be said that if the award of the NAIA IPT III Project was merely a matter of choosing between PIATCO and AEDC (which it is not). AEDC had not sufficiently demonstrated that it would have been financially qualified to undertake the project at the time of submission of the bids.55. The purpose of pre-qualification in any public bidding is to determine.000.

66213.41 this Court elucidates that – Although Rule 65 does not specify any period for the filing of a petition for certiorari and mandamus.In addition to the substantive weaknesses of the Petition of AEDC. including AEDC. order or resolution sought to be assailed. without the same. The unreasonable delay in the filing of the petitioner's mandamus suit unerringly negates any claim that the application for the said extraordinary remedy was the most expeditious and speedy available to the petitioner. In Civil Case No. it must. petitions for prohibition and mandamus. It is this Decision that declared the award of the NAIA IPT III Project to PIATCO as null and void. AEDC revived its hope to acquire the NAIA IPT III Project when this Court promulgated its Decision in Agan on 5 May 2003. Irrefutably. such as in the instant case. However. 42 Reasonable time for filing a petition for mandamus should likewise be for the same period. AEDC filed the Petition at bar only 20 months after the promulgation of the Decision in Agan on 5 May 2003. 66213. AEDC prayed for: . The filing by the AEDC of its petition for mandamus 20 months after its supposed right to the project arose is evidently beyond reasonable time and negates any claim that the said petition for the extraordinary writ was the most expeditious and speedy remedy available to AEDC. In Cruz v. The same rule should apply to mandamus cases. then the award of the NAIA IPT III Project to PIATCO would still subsist and other persons would remain precluded from acquiring rights thereto. a Petition for the Declaration of Nullity of the Proceedings. be filed within a reasonable time. Another strong argument against the AEDC's Petition is that it is already barred by res judicata. can only be resorted to when there is no other plain. In Agan. (Emphasis ours. the said Petition also suffers from procedural defects. In certiorari cases. Mandamus and Injunction. It must be emphasized that under Sections 2 and 3. the AEDC instituted before the RTC of Pasig City Civil Case No. against the DOTC Secretary and the PBAC Chairman and members. nevertheless.43 it was noted that on 16 April 1997.) As the revised Rules now stand. the present claim of AEDC is rooted in the Decision of this Court in Agan. AEDC contends that the "reasonable time" within which it should have filed its petition should be reckoned only from 21 September 2005. the definitive rule now is that such reasonable time is within three months from the commission of the complained act. the date when AEDC received the letter from the Office of the Solicitor General refusing to recognize the rights of AEDC to provide the available funds for the completion of the NAIA IPT III Project and to reimburse the costs of the structures already built by PIATCO. Court of Appeals. The said Decision became final and executory on 17 February 2004 upon the denial by this Court of the Motion for Leave to File Second Motion for Reconsideration submitted by PIATCO. a petition for certiorari may be filed within 60 days from notice of the judgment. Rule 65 of the revised Rules of Civil Procedure. speedy and adequate remedy for the party in the ordinary course of law. It has been unmistakable that even long before said letter – especially when the Government instituted with the RTC of Pasay City expropriation proceedings for the NAIA IPT III on 21 December 2004 – that the Government would not recognize any right that AEDC purportedly had over the NAIA IPT III Project and that the Government is intent on taking over and operating the NAIA IPT III itself.

assisted by their respective counsel. the DOTC issued the notice of award for the NAIA IPT III Project to PIATCO on 9 July 1997. which could have led to untold consequences upon the business interests of the stakeholders in AEDC. Philippine International Air Terminals Company. respectfully state: 1. which petitioner requested. l) The President's direct intervention in the disposition of this mandamus case was a clear imposition that Petitioner AEDC had not choice but to accept. 66213 upon the execution by the parties of a Joint Motion to Dismiss. 66213. 1997 is not resolved in a manner favorable to the Government.000. n) On February 9. According to the Joint Motion to Dismiss – The parties. 1997 Concession Agreement. PIATCO shall be entitled to full reimbursement for all costs and expenses it incurred in order to obtain the NAIA IPT III BOT project in an amount not less than One Hundred Eighty Million Pesos (Php 180. AEDC then alleges that: k) On September 3.00). then Pres. x x x. Petitioner AEDC was constrained to agree to the signing of a Joint Motion to Dismiss and to the filing of the same in court. ("PIATCO") and the respondents have submitted to petitioner. through the Office of the Executive Secretary.000. Inc. 45 On 30 April 1999. This was apparently the reason why the President was determined to have AEDC's case dismissed immediately.44 Despite the pendency of Civil Case No. Joseph Ejercito Estrada convened a meeting with the members of the Board of Petitioner AEDC to convey his "desire" for the dismissal of the mandamus case filed by Petition AEDC and in fact urged AEDC to immediately withdraw said case. the RTC of Pasig City issued an Order dismissing with prejudice Civil Case No. It stipulated that in the event that the Civil Case filed by AEDC on April 16. a copy of the Concession Agreement which they executed for the construction and operation of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport International Passenger Terminal III Project ("NAIA IPT III Project). after the Amended and Restated Concession Agreement (hereinafter referred to as "ARCA") was signed without Petitioner AEDC's knowledge. . m) Unbeknownst to AEDC at that time was that simultaneous with the signing of the July 12. Malacañang. 1999. ii) the protection of Petitioner AEDC's right to match considering the void challenge bid of the Paircargo Consortium and the denial by DOTC-PBAC of access to information vital to the effective exercise of its right to match.i) the nullification of the proceedings before the DOTC-PBAC. Petitioner AEDC signed a Joint Motion to Dismiss upon the representation of the DOTC that it would provide AEDC with a copy of the 1997 Concession Agreement. The DOTC and PIATCO also executed on 12 July 1997 the 1997 Concession Agreement. including its decision to qualify Paircargo Consortium and to deny Petitioner AEDC's access to Paircargo Consortium's technical and financial bid documents. Thus. the DOTC and PIATCO executed a secret side agreement grossly prejudicial and detrimental to the interest of Government. 1998. iii) the declaration of the absence of any other qualified proponent submitting a competitive bid in an unsolicited proposal. To do otherwise was to take a confrontational stance against the most powerful man in the country then under the risk of catching his ire.

it becomes more than a mere contract binding upon the parties. (2) it must be a judgment or order on the merits. which arose in connection with the instant case. are as follows: (1) the former judgment or order must be final. on the other hand. whether criminal or civil. there was accordingly a judicial settlement of the controversy. the Order of the RTC of Pasig City dismissing Civil Case No. The Joint Motion to Dismiss stated that the parties were willing to settle the case amicably and. Estrada.47 Second. The Joint Motion to Dismiss. 3.2. Once an agreement is stamped with judicial approval. attorney's fees and other expenses they respectively incurred in connection with the instant case. arising in connection with the case. it has the force and effect of any other judgment. The parties agree to bear the costs. the parties have decided to amicably settle the instant case and jointly move for the dismissal thereof without any of the parties admitting liability or conceding to the position taken by the other in the instant case. in the same Order. of subject matter and of cause of action. moved for the dismissal thereof. Consequently. 49 Article 2037 of the Civil Code explicitly provides that a compromise has upon the parties the effect and authority of res judicata. the Order of the RTC of Pasig City. dismissing Civil Case No. whether criminal or civil. (Emphasis ours. on one hand. Because of the compromise agreement among the parties. whether criminal or civil. on the other hand. arising . 4. First. having the sanction of the court and entered as its determination of the controversy. avoid a litigation or put an end to one already commenced. and the Order. A scrutiny of the Joint Motion to Dismiss submitted to the RTC of Pasig City would reveal that the parties agreed to discharge one another from any and all liabilities. and the DOTC Secretary and PBAC. was issued on 30 April 1999. 66213. the latter being manifested by the meeting of the offer and the acceptance upon the thing and the cause which are to constitute the contract. (3) it must have been rendered by a court having jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties.) AEDC. and the respondents. identity of parties. however. and paragraph 2 in the afore-quoted Joint Motion to Dismiss to justify the non-application of the doctrine of res judicata to its present Petition. deemed a compromise agreement. It is undisputable that the parties entered into a compromise agreement. dated 30 April 1999. the RTC of Pasig City. between the first and second actions. defined as "a contract whereby the parties. Petitioner. the alleged fraud committed by the DOTC. hereby release and forever discharge each other from any and all liabilities. consequently. of the RTC of Pasig City was no less a judgment on the merits which may be annulled only upon the ground of extrinsic fraud. by making reciprocal concessions. and (4) there must be. in its concept as a bar by former judgment. once approved by the court is immediately executory and not appealable. on the other – released and forever discharged each other from any and all liabilities.46 All of the elements are present herein so as to bar the present Petition. It also contained a provision in which the parties – the AEDC. 66213 with prejudice. correctly granted the dismissal of Civil Case No. The elements of res judicata. 50 Thus. 66213 pursuant to the Joint Motion to Dismiss filed by the parties constitutes a judgment on the merits. that is. it is a contract perfected by mere consent. direct or indirect. it was rendered after a consideration of the evidence or stipulations submitted by the parties at the trial of the case. invokes the purported pressure exerted upon it by then President Joseph E.48" Essentially.

ultimately. even assuming arguendo. clear and convincing evidence. habeas corpus and injunction. there is. it was all the same relinquishing its right to file any suit against AEDC in connection with the same project. While it may be conceded that MIAA was not a respondent and did not participate in Civil Case No. the Petition of AEDC before the RTC of Pasig City was for the declaration of nullity of proceedings. There is an identity of cause of action because. There is an identity of subject matter because the two Petitions involve none other than the award and implementation of the NAIA IPT III Project. 66213. The RTC can exercise original jurisdiction over cases involving the issuance of writs of certiorari. it was an avowal that even if it was not accepting AEDC's stance. mandamus and injunction. There is an identity of parties. 66213 was initiated. and had the authority to evaluate the bids and award the project to the one offering the lowest or most advantageous bid. quo warranto. One who alleges any defect or the lack of a valid consent to a contract must establish the same by full. The respondents in the instant Petition are the DOTC. Estrada asserted his influence and intervened in Civil Case No. and the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA). The respondents in Civil Case No. For AEDC. in both Petitions. When Civil Case No. there is no question as to the jurisdiction of the RTC of Pasig City over the subject matter and parties in Civil Case No. 66213 before the RTC of Pasig City and the Petition now pending before this Court. there was no more need for the parties to admit to any liability considering that they already agreed to absolutely discharge each other therefrom. would result in the award of the said project to it. PBAC was then in charge of the NAIA IPT III Project. 52 And. prohibition. then MIAA has taken charge thereof. the DOTC Secretary. As early as in Civil Case No. considering that these were not essential to the said compromise. Furthermore. Logically also. Without any proof that such events did take place. AEDC already sought a declaration by the court of the absence of any other qualified proponent submitting a competitive bid for the NAIA IPT III Project. Conversely. at the moment each Petition was filed. Since the bidding is already over. without any residual right in the parties to litigate the same in the future.51 To recall. it was a declaration that even if it was not conceding to the Government's position. that the consent of AEDC to the compromise agreement was indeed vitiated. not merely by preponderance thereof. This allegation deserves scant consideration. Third. In both petitions. and of causes of action. That none of the parties admitted liability or conceded its position is without bearing on the validity or binding effect of the compromise agreement. 66213 are the DOTC Secretary and the PBAC Chairman and members. . 66213. AEDC attempts to evade the effects of its compromise agreement by alleging that it was compelled to enter into such an agreement when former President Joseph E.from the case. had authority over the NAIA IPT III Project. an identity of parties. and the structures comprising NAIA IPT III are now built. Lastly. without necessarily conceding to the other's position. such statements remain mere allegations that cannot be given weight. mandamus. for the Government. 66213. it may be considered a successor-in-interest of the PBAC. AEDC is asserting the violation of its right to the award of the NAIA IPT III Project as the original proponent in the absence of any other qualified bidders. the AEDC is the petitioner. which. 66213. This complete waiver was the reciprocal concession of the parties that puts to an end the present litigation. between Civil Case No. The RTC of Pasig City likewise had jurisdiction over the parties. with the voluntary submission by AEDC and proper service of summons on the DOTC Secretary and the PBAC Chairman and members. after AEDC was furnished with a copy of the 1997 Concession Agreement between the DOTC and PIATCO. it is clear that it has been the intention of the AEDC to name as respondents in their two Petitions the government agency/ies and official/s who. of subject matter. it was nonetheless waiving any legal entitlement it might have to sue the Government on account of the NAIA IPT III Project.

knowingly. 66213 was issued on 30 April 1999. without AEDC's knowledge.54 However. The Government then espoused that AEDC is not entitled to the award of the NAIA IPT III Project. or such proceeding was taken. 66213. which AEDC signed willingly. There is no proof that the DOTC and PIATCO willfully and deliberately suppressed and kept the information on the execution of the ARCA from AEDC. within which an action to annul a voidable contract may be brought. In this jurisdiction. 66213 is nothing more than an after-thought and a desperate attempt to escape the legal implications thereof. it cannot be said that there has been a fundamental change in the Government's position since Civil Case No. and that the extrinsic fraud. It is obvious that the assertion by AEDC of its vitiated consent to the Joint Motion to Dismiss Civil Case No. and ably assisted by legal counsel. does not affect AEDC's commitments and obligations under its judicially-approved compromise agreement in Civil Case No. which this Court subsequently upheld. and must be accompanied with affidavits showing the fraud. the Order of the RTC of Pasig City granting the Joint Motion to Dismiss filed by the parties in Civil Case No. fraud is never presumed. Section 3 thereof prescribes the periods within which the petition for relief must be filed: SEC. Each party must prove his own affirmative allegations. Republic. including the barring of its present Petition on the ground of res judicata. and the facts constituting the petitioner's good and substantial cause of action or defense. 53 The AEDC further claims that the DOTC committed fraud when. filed within sixty (60) days after the petitioner learns of the judgment. AEDC filed the present Petition only on 20 October 2005. That the Government eventually took such a position. In addition. both the 60-day and six-month reglementary periods within which to file a petition for relief should be reckoned from the date when the decision approving the compromise agreement was rendered because such judgment is considered immediately executory and entered on the date that it was approved by the court. a judicial compromise may be rescinded or set aside on the ground of fraud in accordance with Rule 38 of the Rules on Civil Procedure on petition for relief from judgment. accident.56 as applied to a judgment based on compromise. The Government still maintains the exact same position presently. That the Government eventually reversed its position on the validity of . The burden of proof lies on the party who would be defeated if no evidence were given on either side. mistake or excusable negligence relied upon. It is also irrelevant to the legal position of AEDC that the Government asserted in Agan that the award of the NAIA IPT III Project to PIATCO was void.then President Estrada was removed from office in January 2001. yet AEDC only spoke of the alleged fraud which vitiated its consent thereto in its Petition before this Court filed on 20 October 2005. 66213. the DOTC entered into an Amended and Restated Concession Agreement (ARCA) with PIATCO. contents and verification. and not more than six (6) months after such judgment or final order was entered. as the case may be. had already expired. which nullifies a compromise.55 Moreover. 3. The four-year prescriptive period.– A petition provided for in either of the preceding sections of this Rule must be verified. AEDC's allegations of fraud are unsubstantiated. once again. final order or other proceeding to be set aside. It is true that a judicial compromise may be set aside if fraud vitiated the consent of a party thereof. The burden of proving that there indeed was fraud lies with the party making such allegation. contrary to the allegation of AEDC. likewise invalidates the decision approving it. In the present case. Time for filing petition. According to this Court's ruling in Argana v. The fraud on the part of the DOTC purportedly also vitiated AEDC's consent to the compromise agreement. more than six years later.

the Senior Assistant General Manager and the Vice President of Finance of the Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) to immediately . 04-0876CFM by filing a Petition for Prohibition in Intervention (with Application for Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction). and violates the Civil Code and other laws. On 22 March 2006. The Republic sought reconsideration of the 27 October 2005 Order of the RTC of Pasay City. but granted as to the intervention of Alnas. as regards builders in good faith/bad faith. let a writ of execution be issued in this case directing the Sheriff of this court to immediately implement the Order dated January 4. Jr. neither PIATCO nor FRAPORT are entitled to compensation. No. 174166) As mentioned in Gingoyon. as affirmed by the Decision of the Supreme Court in G. Court of Appeals and Baterina (G. et al. However. Baterina. as well as the Complaint in Intervention of Manuel L. et al.R. On 27 March 2006. the RTC of Pasay City issued an Order admitting the Petition in Intervention of Baterina. Fortes. No. the RTC of Pasay City issued an Order and Writ of Execution. 57 On 27 October 2005. Baterina. violative of the Build-OperateTransfer Law. Alnas. 04-0876CFM. and the Answer in Intervention of Gina B. 2005. 2005 and January 10. Baterina also filed a Motion for Intervention in said case and sought reconsideration of the Decision therein. the instant Petition of AEDC should be dismissed. which. Ordering the General Manager. For the foregoing substantive and procedural reasons.R. et al. his Motion for Intervention was denied by this Court in a Resolution dated 1 February 2006. et al. on 19 December 2005.. arguing thus – A) Respondent PIATCO does not own Terminal III because BOT Contracts do not vest ownership in PIATCO. C) Article 1412(2) of the New Civil Code allows the Government to demand the return of what it has given without any obligation to comply with its promise. together with other members of the House of Representatives. D) The payment of compensation to PIATCO is unconstitutional. ET SEQ. the dispositive portion of which reads – WHEREFORE. 2005. B) Articles 448. As such.its award of the project to PIATCO is not inconsistent with its position that neither should AEDC be awarded the project. and Fortes. et al.. in an Omnibus Order dated 13 December 2005. et al. In the meantime. docketed as Case No. filed with the RTC of Pasay City a Motion to Declare in Default and/or Motion for Summary Judgment considering that the Republic and PIATCO failed to file an answer or any responsive pleading to their Petition for Prohibition in Intervention. Congressman Baterina. in the following manner: 1. of the New Civil Code. believe that the Government need not file expropriation proceedings to gain possession of NAIA IPT III and that PIATCO is not entitled to payment of just compensation. Republic of the Philippines v. 166429 in the above-entitled case dated December 19. sought intervention in Case No. the Court's Decision in Gingoyon was promulgated. do not apply to PIATCO's Construction of Terminal III. was denied by the RTC of Pasay City as regards the intervention of Baterina. expropriation proceedings for the NAIA IPT III was instituted by the Government with the RTC of Pasay City.

which the appellate court scheduled for hearing on 5 September 2006.000. 95539.125. Hence. the RTC of Pasay City directed PIATCO to receive the amount of P3. the RTC of Pasay City from implementing the questioned Orders.R. on 8 August 2006. No. No. in CA G. the RTC of Pasay City issued an Order denying the intervention of Baterina. Baclaran Branch. or "from otherwise causing payment and from further proceeding with the determination of just compensation in the expropriation case involved herein.000. by the RTC of Pasay City of its Orders dated 27 March 2006 and 15 June 2006 and Writ of Execution dated 27 March 2006.R. Baclaran Branch to immediately release the sum of P3. docketed as CA-G. the Republic already filed the present Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition With Urgent Application for a Temporary Restraining Order and/or Writ of Preliminary Injunction. dated 15 June 2006. on 26 August 2006. No. attributing to the Court of Appeals grave abuse of discretion in granting the TRO and seeking a writ of prohibition against the Court of Appeals to enjoin it from giving due course to Baterina's Petition in CA-G. No. on the same day. Baterina. 95539 with the Court of Appeals. or it is clarified that PIATCO categorically disputes the proferred value for NAIA Terminal 3. However. 95539. among other things. the Republic was all set to comply with the 9 August 2006 Order of the RTC of Pasay City. provided that the trial court shall issue an Order expressly authorizing the Republic to award concessions and lease portions of the NAIA IPT III to potential users. In a third Order.002. the RTC of Pasay City issued an Order. The following day. assailing the issuance." The TRO was to be effective for 30 days.125.000. Ordering the Branch Manager. in an Order. dated 9 August 2006.00 from the Land Bank of the Philippines.002. While the Urgent Motion to lift the TRO was still pending with the Court of Appeals. dated 27 March 2006 and 15 June 2006. in grave abuse of discretion. The Republic thus raises before this Court the following arguments: I THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO AN EXCESS OR LACK OF JURISDICTION WHEN IT GRANTED THE TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER. denying the Urgent Manifestation and Motion filed by the Republic in which it relayed willingness to comply with the Order and Writ of Execution dated 27 March 2006. meanwhile. and Fortes in Case No. denied the Motions for Reconsideration of its Order and Writ of Execution filed by the Government and Fortes. 2.00 from the above-mentioned Certificates of US Dollar Time Deposits with the Land Bank of the Philippines. et al.withdraw the amount of P3.002. the Court of Appeals.R.R. 95539. went before the Court of Appeals via a Petition for Certiorari and Prohibition (With Urgent Prayer for the Issuance of a Temporary Restraining Order and Writ of Preliminary Injunction). Two days later.125. dated 7 August 2006. Land Bank of the Philippines. . By 24 August 2006. issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) enjoining. the Republic filed with the Court of Appeals an Urgent Motion to Lift Temporary Restraining Order.58 The RTC of Pasay City. until such time that petitioner's motion to declare in default and motion for partial summary judgment shall have been resolved by the trial court. During the pendency of CA-G. 04-0876CFM.00 to PIATCO. Return of Service of the Writs shall be made by the Sheriff of this court immediately thereafter. the representatives of the Republic and PIATCO met before the RTC of Pasay City for the supposed payment by the former to the latter of the proferred amount. Baclaran Branch.

A.R.A. PRIVATE RESPONDENT FAILED TO DEMONSTRATE THAT HE IS ENTITLED TO THE INJUNCTIVE RELIEFS PRAYED FOR. B. PRIVATE RESPONDENT HAS LOST HIS STANDING AS AN INTERVENOR. THE TRO IS IN DIRECT CONTRAVENTION OF THIS COURT'S DECISION WICH HAD ATTAINED FINALITY. PIATCO HAS CATEGORICALLY DISPUTED THE PROFFERED VALUE FOR NAIA TERMINAL III. B. THE SAME HAS BECOME MOOT AND ACADEMIC. A. 2006.R. and (c) CA-G. 1. SP No. Other just and equitable reliefs are likewise prayed for. PRIVATE RESPONDENT HAS NO LEGAL STANDING. II THE REPUBLIC IS SUFFERING IRREPARABLE DAMAGE. 2. B. THIS HONORABLE COURT HAS RULED THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT HAS NO LEGAL STANDING. III THE COURT OF APPEALS MUST BE PROHIBITED FROM GIVING DUE COURSE TO A PETITION THAT IS DEFECTIVE IN FORM AND SUBSTANCE. 95539 be ORDERED DISMISSED. After both parties have been heard. 95539 and proceeding in said case such as hearing it on September 5. the preliminary injunction be MADE PERMANENT. a temporary restraining order and/or a writ of preliminary injunction be ISSUED restraining the Court of Appeals from implementing the writ of preliminary injunction in CA-G. (b) The Resolution date 24 August 2006 of the Court of Appeals be SET ASIDE.59 The Republic prays of this Court that: (a) Pending the determination of the merits of this petition. THE MOTION TO DECLARE IN DEFAULT AND/OR MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT HAS ALREADY BEEN RESOLVED. IV GRANTING ARGUENDO THAT PRIVATE RESPONDENT'S PETITION IS SUFFICIENT IN FORM AND SUBSTANCE. C. SP No. THIS HONORABLE COURT'S DECISION IN GINGOYON CONSTITUTES THE "LAW OF THE CASE". THE BOND POSTED IS INSUFFICIENT.60 .

On 4 September 2006, the Republic filed a Manifestation and Motion to Withdraw Urgent Motion to
Lift Temporary Restraining Order with the Court of Appeals stating, among other things, that it had
decided to withdraw the said Motion as it had opted to avail of other options and remedies. Despite
the Motion to Withdraw filed by the Government, the Court of Appeals issued a Resolution, dated 8
September 2006, lifting the TRO it issued, on the basis of the following –
In view of the pronouncement of the Supreme Court in the Gingoyon case upholding the right
of PIATCO to be paid the proferred value in the amount of P3,002,125,000.00 prior to the
implementation of the writ of possession issued by the trial court on December 21, 2004 over
the NAIA Passenger Terminal III, and directing the determination of just compensation, there is
no practical and logical reason to maintain the effects of the Temporary Restraining Order
contained in our Resolution dated August 24, 2006. Thus, We cannot continue restraining what
has been mandated in a final and executory decision of the Supreme Court.
WHEREFORE, Our Resolution dated 24 August 2006 be SET ASIDE. Consequently, the
Motion to Withdraw the Motion to Lift the Temporary Restraining Order is rendered moot and
academic.61
There being no more legal impediment, the Republic tendered on 11 September 2006 Land Bank
check in the amount of P3,002,125,000.00 representing the proferred value of NAIA IPT III, which
was received by a duly authorized representative of PIATCO.
On 27 December 2006, the Court of Appeals rendered a Decision in CA G.R. No. 95539 dismissing
Baterina's Petition.
The latest developments before the Court of Appeals and the RTC of Pasay City render the present
Petition of the Republic moot.
Nonetheless, Baterina, as the private respondent in the instant Petition, presented his own prayer that
a judgment be rendered as follows:
A. For this Honorable Court, in the exercise of its judicial discretion to relax procedural rules
consistent with Metropolitan Traffic Command v. Gonong and deem that justice would be better
served if all legal issues involved in the expropriation case and in Baterina are resolved in this
case once and for all, to DECLARE that:
i. TERMINAL 3, as a matter of law, is public property and thus not a proper object of
eminent domain proceedings; and
ii. PIATCO, as a matter of law, is merely the builder of TERMINAL 3 and, as such, it may
file a claim for recovery on quantum meruit with the Commission on Audi[t] for
determination of the amount thereof, if any.
B. To DIRECT the Regional Trial Court of Pasay City, Branch 117 to dismiss the expropriation
case;
C. To DISMISS the instant Petition and DENY The Republic's application for TRO and/or writ of
preliminary injunction for lack of merit;
D. To DECLARE that the P3 Billion (representing the proferred value of TERMINAL 3) paid to
PIATCO on 11 September 2006 as funds held in trust by PIATCO for the benefit of the

Republic and subject to the outcome of the proceedings for the determination of recovery on
quantum meruit due to PIATCO, if any.
E. To DIRECT the Solicitor General to disclose the evidence it has gathered on corruption,
bribery, fraud, bad faith, etc., to this Honorable Court and the Commission on Audit, and to
DECLARE such evidence to be admissible in any proceeding for the determination of any
compensation due to PIATCO, if any.
[F]. In the alternative, to:
i. SET ASIDE the trial court's Order dated 08 August 2006 denying Private
Respondent's motion for intervention in the expropriation case, and
ii. Should this Honorable Court lend credence to the argument of the Solicitor General in
its Comment dated 20 April 2006 that "there are issues as to material fact that require
presentation of evidence", to REMAND the resolution of the legal issues raised by
Private Respondent to the trial court consistent with this Honorable Court's holding in
the Gingoyon Resolution that "the interests of the movants-in-intervention
[meaning Takenaka, Asahikosan, and herein Private Respondent] may be duly
litigated in proceedings which are extant before the lower courts."62
In essence, Baterina is opposing the expropriation proceedings on the ground that NAIA IPT III is
already public property. Hence, PIATCO is not entitled to just compensation for NAIA IPT III. He is
asking the Court to make a definitive ruling on this matter considering that it was not settled in either
Agan or Gingoyon.
We disagree. Contrary to Baterina's stance, PIATCO's entitlement to just and equitable consideration
for its construction of NAIA IPT III and the propriety of the Republic's resort to expropriation
proceedings were already recognized and upheld by this Court in Agan and Gingoyon.
The Court's Decisions in both Agan and Gingoyon had attained finality, the former on 17 February
2004 and the latter on 17 March 2006.
This Court already made an unequivocal pronouncement in its Resolution dated 21 January 2004 in
Agan that for the Government of the Republic to take over the NAIA IPT III facility, it has to
compensate PIATCO as a builder of the structures; and that "[t]he compensation must be just and in
accordance with law and equity for the government cannot unjustly enrich itself at the expense of
PIATCO and its investors."63 As between the Republic and PIATCO, the judgment on the need to
compensate PIATCO before the Government may take over NAIA IPT III is already conclusive and
beyond question.
Hence, in Gingoyon, this Court declared that:
This pronouncement contains the fundamental premises which permeate this decision of the
Court. Indeed, Agan, final and executory as it is, stands as governing law in this case, and any
disposition of the present petition must conform to the conditions laid down by the Court in its
2004 Resolution.
xxxx
The pronouncement in the 2004 Resolution is especially significant to this case in two
aspects, namely: (i) that PIATCO must receive payment of just compensation

determined in accordance with law and equity; and (ii) that the government is barred
from taking over NAIA 3 until such just compensation is paid. The parties cannot be
allowed to evade the directives laid down by this Court through any mode of judicial action,
such as the complaint for eminent domain.
It cannot be denied though that the Court in the 2004 Resolution prescribed mandatory
guidelines which the Government must observe before it could acquire the NAIA 3 facilities.
Thus, the actions of respondent judge under review, as well as the arguments of the parties
must, to merit affirmation, pass the threshold test of whether such propositions are in accord
with the 2004 Resolution.64
The Court then, in Gingoyon, directly addressed the issue on the appropriateness of the Republic's
resort to expropriation proceedings:
The Government has chosen to resort to expropriation, a remedy available under the
law, which has the added benefit of an integrated process for the determination of just
compensation and the payment thereof to PIATCO. We appreciate that the case at bar is a
highly unusual case, whereby the Government seeks to expropriate a building complex
constructed on land which the State already owns. There is an inherent illogic in the resort to
eminent domain on property already owned by the State. At first blush, since the State already
owns the property on which NAIA 3 stands, the proper remedy should be akin to an action for
ejectment.
However, the reason for the resort by the Government to expropriation proceedings is
understandable in this case. The 2004 Resolution, in requiring the payment of just
compensation prior to the takeover by the Government of NAIA 3, effectively precluded it from
acquiring possession or ownership of the NAIA 3 through the unilateral exercise of its rights as
the owner of the ground on which the facilities stood. Thus, as things stood after the 2004
Resolution, the right of the Government to take over the NAIA 3 terminal was preconditioned
by lawful order on the payment of just compensation to PIATCO as builder of the structures.
xxxx
The right of eminent domain extends to personal and real property, and the NAIA 3 structures,
adhered as they are to the soil, are considered as real property. The public purpose for the
expropriation is also beyond dispute. It should also be noted that Section 1 of Rule 67 (on
Expropriation) recognizes the possibility that the property sought to be expropriated
may be titled in the name of the Republic of the Philippines, although occupied by
private individuals, and in such case an averment to that effect should be made in the
complaint. The instant expropriation complaint did aver that the NAIA 3 complex "stands on a
parcel of land owned by the Bases Conversion Development Authority, another agency of [the
Republic of the Philippines]."
Admittedly, eminent domain is not the sole judicial recourse by which the Government may
have acquired the NAIA 3 facilities while satisfying the requisites in the 2004 Resolution.
Eminent domain though may be the most effective, as well as the speediest means by
which such goals may be accomplished. Not only does it enable immediate possession
after satisfaction of the requisites under the law, it also has a built-in procedure through which
just compensation may be ascertained. Thus, there should be no question as to the propriety
of eminent domain proceedings in this case.

) The Court. if not enforced. followed by the issuance of the writ of possession in favor of the Government. the valuation of the improvements/structures are to be based using "the replacement cost method. as to the determination of the amount due PIATCO.)66 It was further settled in Gingoyon that the expropriation proceedings shall be held in accordance with Republic Act No. Such payment of the proffered value to the owner. . Act No." with Section 7 referring to the "implementing rules and regulations for the equitable valuation of the improvements and/or structures on the land. thus the amount subject to immediate payment should be limited to "the value of the improvements and/or structures as determined under Section 7. x x x (Emphasis ours. the NAIA 3 facilities. we are impelled to apply or construe these rules in accordance with the Court's prescriptions in the 2004 Resolution to achieve the end effect that the Government may validly take over the NAIA 3 facilities. the application of Rep. 8974. are real property owned by PIATCO." However.65 (Emphasis ours. 8974.Still. but it unquestionably requires at least some degree of payment to the private property owner before a writ of possession may issue. the proffered value of the property to be seized. the 2004 Resolution is effective not only as a legal precedent. and (2) the value of the improvements and/or structures as determined under Section 7. the Government is required to "immediately pay" the owner of the property the amount equivalent to the sum of (1) one hundred percent (100%) of the value of the property based on the current relevant zonal valuation of the [BIR]. As stated above. Insofar as this case is concerned. is precisely the schematic under Rep. The 2004 Resolution squarely recognized that right when it mandated the payment of just compensation to PIATCO prior to the takeover by the Government of NAIA 3. but as the source of rights and prescriptions that must be guaranteed. categorically recognized PIATCO's ownership over the structures it had built in NAIA IPT III. Act No. The fact that the Government resorted to eminent domain proceedings in the first place is a concession on its part of PIATCO's ownership. 8974 guarantees compliance with this bare minimum requirement.67 thus: Unlike in the case of Rule 67. 8974 will not contravene the 2004 Resolution. The 2004 Resolution does not particularize the extent such payment must be effected before the takeover. this Court ruled in Gingoyon that: Under Rep. the replacement cost is only one of the factors to be considered in determining the just compensation. the integrity and efficacy of the rulings of this Court will be severely diminished. also in Gingoyon. Act No. the property subject of expropriation. if no such right is recognized. Otherwise. And finally. at the very least. The utilization of Rep. in applying the laws and rules on expropriation in the case at bar. Act No. Indeed. which requires the payment of just compensation before any takeover of the NAIA 3 facilities by the Government." Under the present implementing rules in place. one which facially complies with the prescription laid down in the 2004 Resolution. xxxx Thus. to wit: There can be no doubt that PIATCO has ownership rights over the facilities which it had financed and constructed. in the resolution of this petition. then there should be no impediment for the Government to seize control of NAIA 3 through ordinary ejectment proceedings. the BIR zonal valuation cannot apply in this case. 8974. as it assures the private property owner the payment of.

taking into consideration the standards prescribed in Section 5 [of the law]. it is binding on all inferior courts and hence beyond their power and authority to alter or modify (Kabigting vs. the implementing agency shall immediately pay the owner of the property its proferred value. 1962). before the RTC of Pasay City. the Government alleged to have deposited the amount of P3 Billion earmarked for expropriation. and although such matters were directly referred to in the pleadings and were not actually or formally presented. Act No. L-15548.69 A ruling rendered on the first appeal. Act No. The making of the deposit. the Court sees no impediment to recognize this sum of P3 Billion as the proffered value under Section 4(b) of Rep. the Government is not strictly required to adhere to any predetermined standards.In addition to Rep. even if erroneous. and not Rep. 68 Gingoyon constitutes as the law of the case for the expropriation proceedings. 04-0876CFM. although its proffered value may later be subjected to judicial review using the standards enumerated under Section 5 of Rep. Act No. was undertaken under the erroneous notion that Rule 67. although no specific finding may have been made in reference thereto. Act No. 8974. the duty of the trial court is to ensure that such amount conforms not only to the law. After all. Acting Director of Prisons. Section 4(c) of Rep. and. and there is no existing valuation of the area concerned. and necessarily adjudicated. as well as the certainty of judicial determination of the propriety of the proffered value. 8974. such as Rep. Yet Rep. 70 The extensive excerpts from Gingoyon demonstrate and emphasize that the Court had already adjudged the issues raised by Baterina. it may no longer be disturbed or modified since it has become final long ago. Still. to immediately ascertain the value of the improvements and structures since such valuation is a matter for factual determination. in the initial determination of the proffered value. but to principles of equity as well. docketed as Case No. if the record of the . October 30. Act No. Law of the case has been defined in the following manner – By "law of the case" is meant that "whatever is once irrevocably established as the controlling legal rule or decision between the same parties in the same case continues to be the law of the case" so long as the "facts on which such decision was predicated continue to be the facts of the case before the court" (21 C. G. including the determination of the amount of the deposit. The general rule precluding the relitigation of material facts or questions which were in issue and adjudicated in former action are commonly applied to all matters essentially connected with the subject matter of the litigation. 8974. is the applicable law. which he either conveniently overlooked or stubbornly refused to accept. 8974 does provide relevant standards by which "proffered value" should be based.S. Act No. Thus. as regards the amount. or necessarily implied in the final judgment. Act No. And once the decision becomes final. 8974. Admittedly. 8974 states that "in case the completion of a government infrastructure project is of utmost urgency and importance. 8974. In filing the complaint for expropriation." The "proffered value" may strike as a highly subjective standard based solely on the intuition of the government. Act No. Thus.R.J. in ascertaining the ultimate amount of just compensation. it extends to questions necessarily involved in an issue. there is no way. the 2004 Resolution in Agan also mandated that the payment of just compensation should be in accordance with equity as well. Under this rule. but Rep. 330). at least for the present. 8974 permits an expedited means by which the Government can immediately take possession of the property without having to await precise determination of the valuation. representing the assessed value of the property. constitutes the law of the case.

Reasons for the rule are that a judgment is an adjudication on all the matters which are essential to support it. it will be considered as having settled that matter as to all future actions between the parties and if a judgment necessarily presupposes certain premises. SO ORDERED. While it is true that when this Court. it also observed that the interests of the movantsin-intervention may be duly litigated in proceedings which are extant before the lower courts. including that of Baterina. 169914 is hereby DISMISSED for lack of merit. in no manner can the RTC of Pasay City in Case No. and b. No. His Petition-in-Intervention would only be a relitigation of matters that had been previously adjudicated by no less than the Highest Court of the land.R. And. in a Resolution dated 1 February 2006. they are as conclusive as the judgment itself. that the said movants-in-interest were assured of being allowed as intervenors or that the reliefs they sought as such shall be granted by the trial courts. The fate of their intervention still rests on their interest or legal standing in the case and the merits of their arguments. 04-0876CFM were already settled with finality in both Agan and Gingoyon. 04-0876CFM grant the reliefs he prayed for without departing from or running afoul of the final and executory Decisions of this Court in Agan and Gingoyon. dismissed the Motions for Intervention in Gingoyon. No. in view of the foregoing: a. 71 Since the issues Baterina wishes to raise as an intervenor in Case No.R. WHEREFORE. and that every proposition assumed or decided by the court leading up to the final conclusion and upon which such conclusion is based is as effectually passed upon as the ultimate question which is finally solved.former trial shows that the judgment could not have been rendered without deciding the particular matter. 174166 is hereby likewise DISMISSED for being moot and academic. No costs. however. This does not mean. The Petition in G. The Petition in G. EN BANC . then there is no point in still allowing his intervention.

BATERINA. MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY. and PHILIPPINE AIRLINES EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION (PALEA). CLARA. MARIFEL CONSTANTINO. THELMA INFANTE. MIASCOR AIRCRAFT MAINTENANCE CORPORATION. MANUEL ANTONIO B. CHERYLE MARIE ALFONSO. 2004] DEMOSTHENES P. WILLIAM VELASCO. AGAN. MARY JANE ONG. EUGENE ARADA. ARNOLD FELICITAS. respondents. MINETTE BRAVO. KAREN BRECILLA. WAYNE PLAZA. HAZNAH MENDOZA. JACINTO V. MARISSA GAYAGOY. in his capacity as Head of the Department of Public Works and Highways. PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL AIR TERMINALS CO. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS and SECRETARY LEANDRO M..R. NOGRALES.R. ZOILO HERICO. JR.. MARIETTA LINCHOCO. MACARANBON. MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY. REUNILLA. ARNOLD FELICITAS. INC. ROSEMARIE ANG. AILEEN SAPINA. and MIASCOR LOGISTICS CORPORATION. CATAHAN. ALDRIN BASTADOR. vs. MENDOZA. MANUEL CABOCAN AND NEDY LAZO. in his capacity as Head of the Department of Transportation and Communications. NANTES. RAUL MANGALIMAN. JOEL JUMAO-AS.. JANETTE CORDERO. MORY V. Respondents-Intervenors. NOEL BARTOLOME. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS. ROSEMARIE ANG. DNATA-WINGS AVIATION SYSTEMS CORPORATION.. MACROASIA-MENZIES AIRPORT SERVICES CORPORATION. JOSELITO REYES. DATUMANONG. CONRADO G. vs. JACQUELINE IGNACIO. PHILLIPS TAN. [G. LYNDON BAUTISTA. MACROASIA-EUREST SERVICES. ELIZABETH GRAY. respondents. MARIFEL CONSTANTINO. MARISSA GAYAGOY. REY AMPOLOQUIO. JANETTE CORDERO. REUEL E. JARAULA. EMILIO VELEZ. GINA ALNAS. FRANCIS AUGUSTO MACATOL. petitioners. JR. RAFAEL P. PICHAY. BOÑE.. CLAVEL A. Petitioners-in-Intervention. INC. ZIALCITA. in his capacity as Head of the Department of Transportation and Communications. FLORESTE ALCONIS.[G. No. ALEX GENERILLO. PROSPERO C. INC. 155547.. MIASCOR GROUNDHANDLING CORPORATION. NAGKAISANG MARALITA NG TAÑONG ASSOCIATION.. petitioners. ROLLY LORICO. MICHAEL ORTEGA. REY AMPOLOQUIO. LOLITA R. EDUARDO C. January 21. SECRETARY LEANDRO M. ELIZABETH . PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL AIR TERMINALS CO. ALLEN OLAÑO. ROLETTE DIVINE BERNARDO. MINETTE BRAVO. DIMAANO. RAMIL TAMAYO. No. and SECRETARY SIMEON A. PROSPERO A. BIENVENIDO C. RICHARD RAMIREZ. PARAS. HILARIO. ANDREW UY. 2003] SALACNIB F. DENNIS MANALO. MICHAEL MALIGAT. CHARLIE MENDOZA. MENDOZA.. EUGENE ARADA. ROLETTE DIVINE BERNARDO. GINA ALNAS. DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AND HIGHWAYS. Respondents-in-Intervention. ALEX GENERILLO. ALDRIN BASTADOR. ADOLFO. REMEDIOS P. January 21. WILLY BUYSON VILLARAMA. JOSE MARI B. HARLIN CAST ABAYON. CESAR ORTAL. KAREN BRECILLA. ERWIN CALAR. NENETTE BARREIRO. DIMALANTA. NOEMI YUPANO. HIZON. JOEL MANLANGIT. JOSEPH B. ROLANDO REYES. and BENASING O. MIASCOR CATERING SERVICES CORPORATION. Respondents-in-Intervention. DOMALAON. FLORESTE ALCONIS. ERWIN CALAR. 155001. MAMERTO S. NICHOLS MORALES. MARTINEZ and CONSTANTINO G. MIASCOR WORKERS UNION-NATIONAL LABOR UNION (MWU-NLU). INC. NIDA CAILAO. NOEL BARTOLOME. NIDA CAILAO. NENETTE BARREIRO.

RESOLUTION Puno. Respondents-in-Intervention. KAREN BRECILLA. JOEL JUMAO-AS. MARISSA GAYAGOY. ALFREDO B. WILLIAM VELASCO. TERESA V.: Before this Court are the separate Motions for Reconsideration filed by respondent Philippine International Air Terminals Co. 2003] CEFERINO C. PHILLIPS TAN. MARY JANE ONG. No. ARNOLD FELICITAS. 155661. NICHOLS MORALES. INC. WILLIAM VELASCO. NAGKAISANG MARALITA NG TAÑONG ASSOCIATION. MINETTE BRAVO. in his capacity as Head of the Department of Transportation and Communications... SALES. INC. Harlin Cast Abayon and Benasing O. NICHOLS MORALES. ERWIN CALAR. MICHAEL ORTEGA. Rafael P. ROLLY LORICO. HAZNAH MENDOZA. MANUEL CABOCAN AND NEDY LAZO. ALLEN OLAÑO. RICHARD RAMIREZ. JOEL MANLANGIT. LEONARDO DE LA ROSA. JOEL MANLANGIT. AILEEN SAPINA. CHARLIE MENDOZA. ANDREW UY. ANGELITO SANTOS. WAYNE PLAZA. RAMON M. ANDREW UY. LYNDON BAUTISTA. Respondents-in-Intervention. CHERYLE MARIE ALFONSO. respondents. vs. THELMA INFANTE. ROLANDO REYES. PHILIPPINE INTERNATIONAL AIR TERMINALS CO. WAYNE PLAZA. MA. MARIETTA LINCHOCO. CHARLIE MENDOZA.GRAY. RAMIL TAMAYO. REY AMPOLOQUIO. CESAR ORTAL. MENDOZA. DENNIS MANALO. ROLETTE DIVINE BERNARDO. Pichay. ALLEN OLAÑO. MICHAEL MALIGAT. MANILA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT AUTHORITY. (PIATCO). all members of the House of Representatives (Respondent Congressmen). MARIFEL CONSTANTINO. RAUL MANGALIMAN. LOPEZ. respondents-intervenors Jacinto V. January 21. MARIETTA LINCHOCO.. Nantes. NOEL BARTOLOME. Macaranbon. CESAR ORTAL. Jr. VALENCIA. 47[1] respondents-intervenors who are employees of PIATCO and other workers of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport International Passenger Terminal III (NAIA IPT III) (PIATCO Employees) 48[2] and respondents47 48 . THELMA INFANTE. ROSEMARIE ANG. Paras. DE LEON. ALDRIN BASTADOR. PHILLIPS TAN. FRANCIS AUGUSTO MACATOL. PALCON and SAMAHANG MANGGAGAWA SA PALIPARAN NG PILIPINAS (SMPP). RICHARD RAMIREZ. ZOILO HERICO. FLORESTE ALCONIS. JOSELITO REYES. JANETTE CORDERO. petitioners. Respondents-in-Intervention. EMILIO VELEZ. MICHAEL MALIGAT. GINA ALNAS. Willie Buyson Villarama. MA. Prospero A. [G. INC. RAUL MANGALIMAN. NOEMI YUPANO. Nograles. NENETTE BARREIRO. HAZNAH MENDOZA. NOEMI YUPANO. JACQUELINE IGNACIO. JOSELITO REYES.. LYNDON BAUTISTA. VIRGIE CATAMIN. GAERLAN. EMILIO VELEZ. ELIZABETH GRAY. Prospero C. NIDA CAILAO. ZOILO HERICO. EUGENE ARADA. J. JOEL JUMAO-AS. Respondents-in-Intervention. CHERYLE MARIE ALFONSO. Zialcita. SECRETARY LEANDRO M. NAGKAISANG MARALITA NG TAÑONG ASSOCIATION. RONALD SCHLOBOM. MICHAEL ORTEGA. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNICATIONS. Eduardo C. FRANCIS AUGUSTO MACATOL. ROLLY LORICO.. MANUEL CABOCAN AND NEDY LAZO. MARY JANE ONG. RAMIL TAMAYO. DENNIS MANALO. AILEEN SAPINA. LUISA M. DINA C.. ROLANDO REYES.R. ALEX GENERILLO. JACQUELINE IGNACIO. Inc.

the DOTC issued the notice of award for the NAIA IPT III project to the Paircargo Consortium. Respondent PIATCO. 1999. on July 12. this Court granted the said petitions and declared the 1997 Concession Agreement. (Security Bank) (collectively. (NMTAI) 49[3] of the Decision of this Court dated May 5. Inc. as amended by R. the Second Supplement on September 4. Briefly. ARCA and the Supplements collectively referred to as the PIATCO Contracts). After finding that the Paircargo Consortium submitted a bid superior to the unsolicited proposal of AEDC and after failure by AEDC to match the said bid. 2002. Paircargo Consortium).intervenors Nagkaisang Maralita ng Tañong Association. 1998. Inc. the proceedings. 1996 a consortium composed of the People’s Air Cargo and Warehousing Co. the ARCA and the Supplements and to prohibit the public respondents DOTC and MIAA from implementing them. 2003. the Government. 2003 decision and pray that the petitions be dismissed. various petitions were filed before this Court to annul the 1997 Concession Agreement. PIATCO prays that the Court should not strike down the entire 1997 Concession Agreement.. In a decision dated May 5. (PAGS) and Security Bank Corp. submitted their competitive proposal to the Prequalification Bids and Awards Committee (PBAC). On November 26. 2001 (collectively.A. and PIATCO. On September 17. 2003 declaring the contracts for the NAIA IPT III project null and void. and the Third Supplement on June 22. 6957. (Paircargo).. Hence. Air and Grounds Services. the 1997 Concession Agreement was superseded by the Amended and Restated Concession Agreement (ARCA) containing certain revisions and modifications from the original contract. In the alternative. the cases at bar should be referred to arbitration pursuant to the provisions of the ARCA. On September 20. the DOTC/MIAA invited the public for submission of competitive and comparative proposals to the unsolicited proposal of AEDC. Supplements) (the 1997 Concession Agreement. 50[4] In accordance with the BOT Law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (Implementing Rules). No. No. through then DOTC Secretary Arturo T. the ARCA and its supplements in light of their separability clause. signed the “Concession Agreement for the Build-Operate-and-Transfer Arrangement of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Passenger Terminal III” (1997 Concession Agreement). A series of supplemental agreements was also entered into by the Government and PIATCO. Henry T. 7718 (BOT Law). PIATCO-Employees pray that the 49 50 . On October 5. Go. through its President. respondent-Congressmen and respondents-intervenors now seek the reversal of the May 5. Enrile. 1997. (AEDC) submitted an unsolicited proposal to the Philippine Government through the Department of Transportation and Communication (DOTC) and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) for the construction and development of the NAIA IPT III under a build-operate-and-transfer arrangement pursuant to R. 2000. the ARCA and the Supplements null and void. Phil. RespondentCongressmen and NMTAI also pray that in the alternative. The First Supplement was signed on August 27. Inc.A. 1994. which later organized into herein respondent PIATCO. Asia’s Emerging Dragon Corp.

(b) whether the First Supplement created ten (10) new financial obligations on the part of the government. They continue to claim that the cases at bar raise factual questions which this Court is ill-equipped to resolve. they allege that although designated as petitions for certiorari and prohibition. 52[6] The factual issue of whether the NEDA-ICC approved the Supplements is hardly relevant. 51 52 . There is a question of fact when doubt or difference arises as to the truth or falsity of the facts alleged. they contend that the principle of hierarchy of courts precludes this Court from taking primary jurisdiction over them. All the operative facts were settled. hence. its Implementing Rules and other relevant legal principles on the basis of clearly undisputed facts. Rather. It did not rely on the presence or absence of NEDA-ICC approval of the Supplements. there is no need for a trial type determination of their truth or falsity by a trial court.Investment Coordinating Committee (NEDA-ICC) approved the Supplements. We reject the unyielding insistence of PIATCO Employees that the following factual issues are critical and beyond the capability of this Court to resolve. the BOT Law. On the other hand. they must be remanded to the trial court for reception of evidence. Even assuming that the cases at bar are special civil actions for certiorari and prohibition. the ARCA and the Supplements be declared valid and binding. It is clear in our Decision that the PIATCO contracts were invalidated on other and more substantial grounds.petitions be dismissed and remanded to the trial courts for trial on the merits or in the alternative that the 1997 Concession Agreement. viz: (a) whether the National Economic Development Authority. The interpretation of contracts and the determination of whether their provisions violate our laws or contravene any public policy is a legal issue which this Court may properly pass upon. the cases at bar are actually actions for nullity of contracts over which the trial courts have exclusive jurisdiction. they involve contractual provisions which are clear and categorical and need only to be interpreted. Lack of Jurisdiction Private respondents and respondents-intervenors reiterate a number of procedural issues which they insist deprived this Court of jurisdiction to hear and decide the instant cases on its merits. the last two issues do not involve disputed facts.51[5] Even a cursory reading of the cases at bar will show that the Court decided them by interpreting and applying the Constitution. We are not persuaded. and (c) whether the 1997 Concession Agreement departed from the draft Concession Agreement contained in the Bid Documents. hence. Further. I Procedural Matters a.

55[9] Capacity to sue deals with a situation where a person who may have a cause of action is disqualified from bringing a suit under applicable law or is incompetent to bring a suit or is under some legal disability that would prevent him from maintaining an action unless represented by a guardian ad litem. these three concepts are different although commonly directed towards ensuring that only certain parties can maintain an action. The determination of whether a person may institute an action or become a party to a suit brings to fore the concepts of real party in interest. litigants are required to repair to the trial courts at the first instance to determine the truth or falsity of these contending allegations on the basis of the evidence of the parties. capacity to sue and standing to sue. The suggested remand of the cases at bar to the trial court will stray away from this policy. a real party in interest is the party who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit or the party entitled to the avails of the suit. a strict application of the rule of hierarchy of courts is not necessary. Legal standing is relevant in the realm of public law. Further. this Court resolved to take primary jurisdiction over them. Legal Standing Respondent PIATCO stands pat with its argument that petitioners lack legal personality to file the cases at bar as they are not real parties in interest who are bound principally or subsidiarily to the PIATCO Contracts. As the cases at bar merely concern the construction of the Constitution. To the legally discerning. The rule on hierarchy of courts in cases falling within the concurrent jurisdiction of the trial courts and appellate courts generally applies to cases involving warring factual allegations. courts apply the doctrine of legal standing by determining whether the party has a direct and 53 54 55 56 . Cases which depend on disputed facts for decision cannot be brought immediately before appellate courts as they are not triers of facts. 56[10] In these cases. the interpretation of the BOT Law and its Implementing Rules and Regulations on undisputed contractual provisions and government actions. It goes without saying that when cases brought before the appellate courts do not involve factual but legal questions. 54[8] As defined in the Rules of Court. respondent PIATCO contends that petitioners failed to show any legally demandable or enforceable right to justify their standing to file the cases at bar. This choice of action follows the consistent stance of this Court to settle any controversy with a high public interest component in a single proceeding and to leave no root or branch that could bear the seeds of future litigation.Respondents’ corollary contention that this Court violated the hierarchy of courts when it entertained the cases at bar must also fail.53[7] b. For this reason. These arguments are not difficult to deflect. and as the cases concern public interest. In certain instances. courts have allowed private parties to institute actions challenging the validity of governmental action for violation of private rights or constitutional principles.

Over and above all these. would deprive them of their sources of livelihood. 61[15] It is also self evident that the petitioning service providers stand in imminent danger of losing legitimate business investments in the event the PIATCO Contracts are upheld. the BOT Law and its implementing rules which have not been 57 58 59 60 61 .57[11] Measured by this yardstick. the huge amount of investment to complete the project is estimated to be P13. hence. The petitioners in G. at stake is the build-operate-and– transfer contract of the country’s premier international airport with a projected capacity of 10 million passengers a year. MIAA shall not renew any expired concession agreement relative to any service or operation currently being undertaken at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Passenger Terminal I. this Court liberally granted legal standing to the petitioning members of the House of Representatives. except to the extent that the continuation of the existing services and operations shall lapse on or before the In-Service Date. this Court affirms its ruling that the petitioners have the requisite legal standing.personal interest in the controversy and whether such party has sustained or is in imminent danger of sustaining an injury as a result of the act complained of. profession. the ARCA provides: (d) For the purpose of an orderly transition.58[12] Considering the nature of the controversy and the issues raised in the cases at bar.000. which the petitioners and petitioners-intervenors denounce as unconstitutional and illegal.000. one's employment. or calling is a property right and is protected from wrongful interference. Under settled jurisprudence.00. 155001 and 155661 are employees of service providers operating at the existing international airports and employees of MIAA while petitioners-intervenors are service providers with existing contracts with MIAA and they will all sustain direct injury upon the implementation of the PIATCO Contracts. the primary issues posed in the cases at bar demand a discussion and interpretation of the Constitution. constitutional and other legal issues with far-reaching economic and social implications are embedded in the cases at bar.R. The 1997 Concession Agreement and the ARCA both provide that upon the commencement of operations at the NAIA IPT III. the application of the doctrine on legal standing necessarily involves a preliminary consideration of the merits of the case and is not purely a procedural issue. First. a standard which is distinct from the concept of real party in interest. NAIA Passenger Terminals I and II will cease to be used as international passenger terminals.59[13] Further. trade. Third.000. Second.60[14] Beyond iota of doubt. Nos. or extend any concession agreement which may expire subsequent hereto. the implementation of the PIATCO Contracts.

since they stand to lose their jobs should the government’s contract with PIATCO be declared null and void.. MIAA and the DPWH in their own capacities or as implementors of the PIATCO Contracts and not as a contract party or as representatives of the Government of the Republic of the Philippines. decent livelihood.passed upon by this Court in previous cases. the Court notes the bid of new parties to participate in the cases at bar as respondents-intervenors.. their Motions for Reconsideration-In-Intervention are denied for the rules cannot be relaxed to await litigants who sleep on their rights. It alleges that petitioners sued the DOTC. Failure to Implead an Indispensable Party PIATCO next contends that petitioners should have impleaded the Republic of the Philippines as an indispensable party.” 64[18] PIATCO’s allegations are inaccurate. They have not offered any worthy explanation to justify their late intervention. (1) the PIATCO Employees and (2) NMTAI (collectively. They can chart the future inflow of investment under the BOT Law. conscientious and honest government. namely. the New RespondentsIntervenors filed separate Motions for Reconsideration-In-Intervention alleging prejudice and direct injury. The separate petitions filed by the MIAA employees 65[19] and members of the House of Representatives66[20] alleged that “public respondents are impleaded herein because they either executed the PIATCO Contracts or are undertaking acts which are related to the PIATCO Contracts.”63[17] The Rules of Court govern the time of filing a Motion to Intervene. In any event. Rule 19 provides that a Motion to Intervene should be filed “before rendition of judgment. After the Court’s Decision. It then leapfrogs to the conclusion that the “absence of an indispensable party renders ineffectual all the proceedings subsequent to the filing of the complaint including the judgment.. c.” The New RespondentsIntervenors filed their separate motions after a decision has been promulgated in the present cases.. Consequently.. the New Respondents-Intervenors). on the other hand. Section 2. and to a good. opportunities for social advancement. The petitions clearly bear out that public respondents DOTC and MIAA were impleaded as parties to the PIATCO Contracts and not merely as their implementors. a sideglance at these late motions will show that they hoist no novel arguments. PIATCO employees claim that “they have a direct and personal interest [in the controversy]. 62 63 64 65 66 . Before writing finis to the issue of legal standing.”62[16] NMTAI. represents itself as a corporation composed of responsible tax-paying Filipino citizens with the objective of “protecting and sustaining the rights of its members to civil liberties.

In any event.000.69[23] In relation thereto. public respondents DOTC and MIAA were impleaded as parties to the case for having executed the contracts. the legal counsel of the Republic. As a further measure to achieve this intent.000. the Solicitor General. section 2. otherwise. it is also too late in the day for PIATCO to raise this issue. litigations shall be like a shore that knows no end. The debt portion of the project financing should not exceed 70% of the actual project cost. For this purpose. PIATCO cannot litigate issues on a piecemeal basis.4 of the Bid Documents.68[22] The evident intent of these standards is to protect the integrity and insure the viability of the project by seeing to it that the proponent has the financial capability to carry it out. it should have raised the issue at the onset of the proceedings as a ground to dismiss. the Bid Documents require in no uncertain terms: The minimum amount of equity to which the proponent’s financial capability will be based shall be thirty percent (30%) of the project cost instead of the twenty percent (20%) specified in Section 3. If PIATCO seriously views the non-inclusion of the Republic of the Philippines as an indispensable party as fatal to the petitions at bar. appeared in the cases at bar in representation of the interest of the government.01a of the draft concession agreement. and that they have adequate resources. More importantly. This is to correlate with the required debt-to-equity ratio of 70:30 in Section 2.6.They are interested and indispensable parties to this Petition.” 67[21] Thus. II Pre-qualification of PIATCO The Implementing Rules provide for the unyielding standards the PBAC should apply to determine the financial capability of a bidder for pre-qualification purposes: (i) proof of the ability of the project proponent and/or the consortium to provide a minimum amount of equity to the project and (ii) a letter testimonial from reputable banks attesting that the project proponent and/or members of the consortium are banking with them. At the pre-qualification stage.01 (a) of the ARCA provides: Section 2.00) while maintaining a debt-to-equity ratio of 70:30.01 Project Scope. it is most important for a bidder to show that it has the financial capacity to undertake the project by proving that it can fulfill the requirement on minimum amount of equity. The scope of the project shall include: (a) Financing the project at an actual Project cost of not less than Three Hundred Fifty Million United States Dollars (US$350. 67 68 69 . it maintains a certain debt-to-equity ratio for the project. that they are in good financial standing.

In peso and centavo terms. It cannot be overly emphasized that the rules require a minimum amount of equity to ensure that a bidder is not merely an operator or implementor of the project but an investor with a substantial interest in its success.  70 71 Project Loan Financing . at the time of pre-qualification. when it had to show that it had the ability to provide at least P2. the PBAC should have considered not only its financial statements but other factors showing its financial capability.provided that if the actual Project costs should exceed the aforesaid amount. The discontinuance of the project will irreparably damage public interest more than private interest. who are the ultimate beneficiaries of the project. Thirty percent (30%) of the cost must come in the form of equity or investment by the bidder itself. a showing by a bidder that at the time of pre-qualification its maximum funds available for investment amount to only 6. Concessionaire shall ensure that the debt-to-equity ratio is maintained. the guidelines provided in the Bid Documents are instructive: 3. It contends that in adjudging whether the Paircargo Consortium is a prequalified bidder. it is daylight clear that the Paircargo Consortium.384.55. In the cases at bar.4 FINANCING AND FINANCIAL PREQUALIFICATIONS REQUIREMENTS  Minimum Amount of Equity Each member of the proponent entity is to provide evidence of networth in cash and assets representing the proportionate share in the proponent entity.755. had a net worth equivalent to only 6. after applying the investment ceilings provided under the General Banking Act and considering the maximum amounts that each member of the consortium may validly invest in the project. the Paircargo Consortium had maximum funds available for investment to the NAIA IPT III Project only in the amount of P558.871. Anent this argument. Audited financial statements for the past five (5) years as a company for each member are to be provided. The huge disparity cannot be dismissed as of de minimis importance considering the high public interest at stake in the project. 70[24] Under the debt-to-equity restriction.71[25] By any reckoning.08% of the total estimated project cost. a bidder may only seek financing of the NAIA IPT III Project up to 70% of the project cost. The minimum equity requirement also guarantees the Philippine government and the general public. at the time of pre-qualification.000.3.095. PIATCO nimbly tries to sidestep its failure by alleging that it submitted not only audited financial statements but also testimonial letters from reputable banks attesting to the good financial standing of the Paircargo Consortium. that a bidder will not be indifferent to the completion of the project.00.08% of the project cost is insufficient to satisfy the requirement prescribed by the Implementing Rules that the project proponent must have the ability to provide at least 30% of the total estimated project cost.

e.Testimonial letters from reputable banks attesting that each of the members of the ownership entity are banking with them.. bids are submitted in accord with the prescribed terms. There can be no substantial or material change to the parameters of the project. prove compliance with the aforesaid requirement of minimum amount of equity in relation to the prescribed debt-to-equity ratio. at the time of pre-qualification.00. the schedule and amount of annual guaranteed payments. however. they maintain that there was no modification of the financial features of the project. its financial capability for the project cannot pass muster. Once the contract based on the bid most favorable to the government is awarded. including the essential terms and conditions of the contract bidded upon. engineering design. bidders formulate competing proposals which are evaluated to determine the bid most favorable to the government. Its submission of testimonial letters attesting to its good financial standing will not cure this failure. we again hold that given the glaring gap between the net worth of Paircargo and PAGS combined with the amount of maximum funds that Security Bank may invest by equity in a non-allied undertaking.72[26] It is beyond refutation that Paircargo Consortium failed to prove its ability to provide the amount of at least P2. Respondents insist that there were no substantial or material amendments in the 1997 Concession Agreement as to the technical aspects of the project. airline office rentals and porterage fees from the category of fees subject to MIAA regulation in the 1997 Concession Agreement does not constitute a substantial amendment as these fees are not really public utility fees. In sum. after the contract award. III 1997 Concession Agreement Again. A discussion of some of these changes to determine whether they altered the terms and conditions upon which the bids were made is again in order. If there were changes and the contracts end up unfavorable to government. In other words. conditions and parameters laid down by government and pursuant to the requirements of the project bidded upon. all that is left to be done by the parties is to execute the necessary agreements and implement them. In light of these parameters. we brightline the principle that in public bidding.. Paircargo Consortium. failed to show that it had the ability to provide 30% of the project cost and necessarily. i. the operations and maintenance budget. the said letters merely establish its credit worthiness or its ability to obtain loans to finance the project. or 30% of the estimated project cost.755.095. Modification on Fees and Charges to be collected by PIATCO PIATCO clings to the contention that the removal of the groundhandling fees.e. or the financial proposal of PIATCO. They do not. At best. PIATCO justifies the re-classification under the 1997 Concession Agreement on the ground that these fees are non-public utility revenues. the public bidding becomes a mockery and the modified contracts must be struck down. technical soundness. debt-to-equity ratio.000. operational and maintenance methods and procedures of the project or the technical proposal of PIATCO. a. minimum project cost. i. Further. in good financial standing and having adequate resources are to be provided. This equity cannot be satisfied through possible loans. 72 .

3 Mechanism for Adjustment of Fees and Charges 4. ..We disagree. 73[27] “[PIATCO] may make any adjustments it deems appropriate without need for the consent of GRP or any government agency. The removal of groundhandling fees.”74[28] In contrast. shall be contingent only on conformity of the adjustments to the said parametric formula. Provided that the adjustments shall be made effective only after the written express approval of MIAA. Provided. whether or not falling within the purview of public utility revenues. … The fees and charges to be regulated in the above manner shall consist of the following: .2.”75[29] The Bid Documents themselves clearly provide: 4. the draft Concession Agreement specifies these fees as part of Public Utility Revenues and can be adjusted “only once every two years and in accordance with the Parametric Formula” and “the adjustments shall be made effective only after the written express approval of the MIAA. further. airline office rentals and porterage fees from the category of “Public Utility Revenues” under the draft Concession Agreement and its re-classification to “Non-Public Utility Revenues” under the 1997 Concession Agreement is significant and has far reaching consequence. c) groundhandling fees. that MIAA’s approval. . 73 74 75 76 . In excluding these fees from government regulation.3. The 1997 Concession Agreement provides that with respect to Non-Public Utility Revenues.1 Periodic Adjustment in Fees and Charges Adjustments in the fees and charges enumerated hereunder.76[30] The plain purpose in re-classifying groundhandling fees. . the danger to public interest cannot be downplayed.. which include groundhandling fees. shall be allowed only once every two years in accordance with the parametric formula attached hereto as Annex 4. d) rentals on airline offices. .2f. . (f) porterage fees..2. airline office rentals and porterage fees as non-public utility fees is to remove them from regulation by the MIAA... airline office rentals and porterage fees..

subject to the written approval of MIAA. the draft Concession Agreement provides that MIAA reserves the right to regulate these new fees and charges if in its judgment the users of the airport shall be deprived of a free option for the services they cover. Series of 199379[33] as the “relevant provision of the 1997 Concession Agreement is practically identical with the draft Concession Agreement. 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 . PIATCO further argues that there is no substantial change in the 1997 Concession Agreement with respect to fees and charges PIATCO is allowed to impose which are not covered by Administrative Order No. it is PIATCO that wields the power to determine the judiciousness of the said fees and charges.” 80[34] We are not persuaded.”77[31] PIATCO then peddles the proposition that the said provision confers upon MIAA “full regulatory powers to ensure that PIATCO is charging non-public utility revenues at judicious rates. The agreement did not contain an equivalent provision allowing MIAA to reserve the right to regulate the adjustments of these new fees and charges. In the draft Concession Agreement the power was expressly lodged with the MIAA and any adjustment can only be done once every two years. Fairly read.83[37] PIATCO justifies the amendment by arguing that MIAA can establish terms before approval of new fees and charges.”78[32] To the trained eye. Under the draft Concession Agreement. inclusive of the mode for their adjustment. it is provided that “[PIATCO] shall at all times be judicious in fixing fees and charges constituting NonPublic Utility Revenues in order to ensure that End Users are not unreasonably deprived of services.82[36] In contrast. the MIAA merely retained the right to approve any imposition of new fees and charges which were not previously collected at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Passenger Terminal I. The changes are not insignificant specks as interpreted by PIATCO.We are not impressed by the effort of PIATCO to depress this prejudice to public interest by its contention that in the 1997 Concession Agreement governing Non-Public Utility Revenues. 81[35] Further. PIATCO may impose fees and charges other than those fees and charges previously imposed or collected at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Passenger Terminal I. the argument will not fly for it is obviously non sequitur. 1. under the 1997 Concession Agreement.

GRP shall be deemed to have elected to take over the Development Facility with the concomitant assumption of Attendant Liabilities. likewise under the terms and conditions of this Agreement.. to be substituted as concessionaire and operator of the Development Facility in accordance with the terms and conditions hereof. b.04 Assignment. the amendment diminished the authority of MIAA to protect the public interest in case of abuse by PIATCO. The deletion of MIAA’s reservation of its right to regulate the price adjustments of new fees and charges can have no other purpose but to dilute the extent of MIAA’s regulation in the collection of these fees. If the concession company should elect to designate an operator for the Development Facility.. either (i) take over the Development Facility and assume the Attendant Liabilities. GRP shall. or (ii) allow the Unpaid Creditors. (b) In the event Concessionaire should default in the payment of an Attendant Liability. (c) If GRP should. is unable to designate a qualified operator within the aforesaid period. allow the Unpaid Creditors to be substituted as concessionaire. and the default has resulted in the acceleration of the payment due date of the Attendant Liability prior to its stated date of maturity. by written notice. the latter shall form and organize a concession company qualified to take over the operation of the Development Facility. acting in good faith and with due diligence. A plain reading of the above provision shows that it spells out in limpid language the obligation of government in case of default by PIATCO on its loans.. if qualified. within one hundred eighty (180) Days from receipt of the joint written notice of the Unpaid Creditors and Concessionaire. There would have been no need for an amendment if there were no change in the power to regulate on the part of MIAA. If the concession company. Provided that if at the end of the 180-day period GRP shall not have served the Unpaid Creditors and Concessionaire written notice of its choice. The pertinent provisions of the 1997 Concession Agreement state: Section 4. or designate a qualified operator acceptable to GRP to operate the Development Facility. PIATCO alleges that Section 4. Assumption by the Government of the liabilities of PIATCO in the event of the latter’s default PIATCO posits the thesis that the new provisions in the 1997 Concession Agreement in case of default by PIATCO on its loans were merely meant to prescribe and limit the rights of PIATCO’s creditors with regard to the NAIA Terminal III. There can be no blinking from the fact that in case of PIATCO’s default. the concession company shall in good faith identify and designate a qualified operator acceptable to GRP within one hundred eighty (180) days from receipt of GRP’s written notice.04 of the 1997 Concession Agreement simply provides that PIATCO’s creditors have no right to foreclose the NAIA Terminal III.PIATCO’s stance is again a strained one.84[38] This obligation is not found in the draft Concession 84 . then GRP shall at the end of the 180-day period take over the Development Facility and assume Attendant Liabilities. . the government will assume PIATCO’s Attendant Liabilities as defined in the 1997 Concession Agreement. Again. the Unpaid Creditors and Concessionaire shall immediately inform GRP in writing of such default. We cannot concur.

87[41] We do not agree. as amended. The plea is bereft of merit. IV. if any. The contracts at bar which made a mockery of the bidding process cannot be upheld and must be annulled in their entirety for violating law and public policy.04(b) and (c).04 of the ARCA. They assert that section 4. As demonstrated. also maintain that the guarantee contained in the contracts. is an indirect guarantee allowed under the BOT Law. Bidders will no longer bid on the basis of the prescribed terms and conditions in the bid documents but will formulate their bid in anticipation of the execution of a future contract containing new and better terms and conditions that were not previously available at the time of the bidding. Section 1.04(b) and (c). They allege that these provisions merely provide for “compensation to PIATCO”86[40] in case of a government buy-out or takeover of NAIA IPT III. Direct Government Guarantee The respondents further contend that the PIATCO Contracts do not contain direct government guarantee provisions.06. which superseded sections 4. government would not be favored with the best bid. Article IV of the 1997 Concession Agreement. Article IV of the 1997 Concession Agreement should be related to Article 1. The respondents. Article I of the ARCA and its counterpart provision in the 1997 Concession Agreement define in no uncertain terms the meaning of “attendant liabilities. Article IV 88[42] of the ARCA should be read in conjunction with section 1. Section 4. the contracts were substantially amended after their award to the successful bidder on terms more beneficial to PIATCO and prejudicial to public interest.” They tell us of the amounts that the Government has to pay in the event respondent PIATCO defaults in its loan payments to its Senior Lenders and no 85 86 87 88 89 .Agreement and the change runs roughshod to the spirit and policy of the BOT Law which was crafted precisely to prevent government from incurring financial risk.89[43] in the same manner that sections 4.06. is but a “clarification and explanation” 85[39] of the securities allowed in the bid documents. The resulting contracts cannot be given half a life but must be struck down as totally lawless. If this flawed process would be allowed.04(c).06 of the same contract. particularly respondent PIATCO. Such a public bidding will not inure to the public good. PIATCO pleads that the entire agreement should not be struck down as the 1997 Concession Agreement contains a separability clause. public bidding will cease to be competitive and worse. Article I. In any event.

. interest. charges. including all interests. charges and expenses of any agents or trustees” of the Senior Lenders or any other persons or entities who have provided loans or financial facilities to respondent PIATCO in relation to NAIA IPT III. charges. This reading is consistent with section 4. all principal. contractors and sub-contractors. if greater. and further including amounts owed by Concessionaire to its suppliers.” 91[45] They further include amounts owed by respondent PIATCO to its “professional consultants and advisers.”90[44] These amounts include “without limitation. reimbursements. respondent PIATCO will not receive any amount less than sufficient to cover its debts. surcharges. 93[47] These provisions reject respondents’ contention that what the Government is obligated to pay. or advanced funds or provided financial facilities to Concessionaire [PIATCO] for the Project [NAIA Terminal 3].. suppliers. by acceleration or otherwise. associated fees. including all interest.04 of the ARCA itself which states that the Government “shall make a termination payment to Concessionaire [PIATCO] equal to the Appraised Value (as hereinafter defined) of the Development Facility [NAIA Terminal III] or the sum of the Attendant Liabilities. at the time of its turn 90 91 92 93 . penalties. in the event the Government is forced to prematurely take over NAIA IPT III as a result of respondent PIATCO’s default in the payment of its loan obligations to its Senior Lenders. is merely termination payment or just compensation for its takeover of NAIA IPT III.qualified transferee or nominee is chosen by the Senior Lenders or is willing to take over from respondent PIATCO. reimbursements and other related expenses.92[46] The counterpart provision in the 1997 Concession Agreement specifying the attendant liabilities that the Government would be obligated to pay should PIATCO default in its loan obligations is equally onerous to the Government as those contained in the ARCA. According to the 1997 Concession Agreement. indemnities. regardless of whether or not the value of NAIA IPT III. it would be liable to pay the following amounts as “attendant liabilities”: Section 1. whether payable at maturity. loaned. associated fees.06. fees and charges. A reasonable reading of all these relevant provisions would reveal that the ARCA made the Government liable to pay “all amounts .06 that what the Government would pay is the sum total of all the debts. loaned or advanced funds actually used for the Project. from time to time owed or which may become owing by Concessionaire [PIATCO] to Senior Lenders or any other persons or entities who have provided. that respondent PIATCO incurred in pursuance of the NAIA IPT III Project. Attendant Liabilities Attendant Liabilities refer to all amounts recorded and from time to time outstanding in the books of the Concessionaire as owing to Unpaid Creditors who have provided. in the event that respondent PIATCO defaults in the payment of its loans. contractors and subcontractors” as well as “fees. It is clear from said section 1... and other related expenses.” For sure.

The intention to permit indirect government guarantee is evident from the Senate deliberations on the amendments to the BOT Law. As we stressed in our Decision. subsidy or equity is required. 94[48] An example cited by then Senator Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. The BOT Law and its implementing rules provide that there are three (3) essential requisites for an unsolicited proposal to be accepted: (1) the project involves a new concept in technology and/or is not part of the list of priority projects. may actually be less than the amount of PIATCO’s debts. 95[49] It was repeatedly stressed in the deliberations that in allowing indirect government guarantee. 96[50] The failure to fulfill any of the requisites will result in the denial of the proposal.” This is not to hold. the law seeks to encourage both the government and the private sector to formulate reasonable and innovative government undertakings in pursuance of BOT projects. can the government be made liable for the debts of the project proponent as this would be tantamount to a direct government guarantee which is prohibited by the law. Such liability would defeat the very purpose of the BOT Law which is to encourage the use of private sector resources in the construction. the whole contract should not be nullified. Indeed.over to the Government. however. the project proponent was allowed to operate the upper floors of the structure as a commercial mall in order to recoup their investments. No. The scheme is a form of direct government guarantee for it is undeniable that it leaves the government no option but to pay the “attendant liabilities” in the event that the Senior Lenders are unable or unwilling to appoint a qualified nominee or transferee as a result of PIATCO’s default in the payment of its Senior Loans. one of the sponsors of R. in order to encourage private sector participation in development projects. or at least minimal. as amended. 7718. such as to authorize the project proponent to undertake related ventures within the project area. it is further provided that a direct government guarantee. is the Mandaluyong public market which was built under the Build-and-Transfer (“BT”) scheme wherein instead of the government paying for the transfer.” 97[51] In fine. (2) no direct government guarantee. the mere inclusion of a direct 94 95 96 97 . that indirect government guarantee is not allowed under the BOT Law. They rely on the separability clause in the PIATCO Contracts. subsidy or equity provision will “necessarily disqualify a proposal from being treated and accepted as an unsolicited proposal. and (3) the government agency or local government unit has invited by publication other interested parties to a public bidding and conducted the same. maintenance and/or operation of development projects with no. however. We are not persuaded. capital outlay on the part of the government. The respondents again urge that should this Court affirm its ruling that the PIATCO Contracts contain direct government guarantee provisions. this Court cannot depart from the legal maxim that “those that cannot be done directly cannot be done indirectly.A. In no way. The idea is to allow for reasonable government undertakings.

Its definition in elastic terms underscores its allencompassing and comprehensive embrace. it is a key reason for invalidating the PIATCO Contracts. First. This right is an exercise of police power which is one of the inherent powers of the State. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution grants the State in times of national emergency the right to temporarily take over the operation of any business affected with public interest." 100[54] It consists of two essential elements. 98[52] There is no parity in the cited cases. a reading of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority v. and 98 99 100 101 . Second. it is an imposition of restraint upon liberty or property. the PIATCO contracts should be held valid as well. the issue of direct government guarantee was not considered by this Court when it held the JANCOM contract valid. For instance. Respondent PIATCO likewise claims that in view of the fact that other BOT contracts such as the JANCOM contract. These issue and sub-issues are clearly distinguishable and different. Police power has been defined as the "state authority to enact legislation that may interfere with personal liberty or property in order to promote the general welfare. yet. the Manila Water contract and the MRT contract had been considered valid. however. (2) whether there is a valid notice of award. It is a basic principle in law that cases with dissimilar facts cannot have similar disposition. Temporary takeover of business affected with public interest in times of national emergency Section 17. The compensation must be just and in accordance with law and equity for the government can not unjustly enrich itself at the expense of PIATCO and its investors.government guarantee in an unsolicited proposal is fatal to the proposal. the main issue is whether there is a perfected contract between JANCOM and the Government. JANCOM Environmental Corporation99[53] will show that its issue is different from the issues in the cases at bar. insistent. For the government to take over the said facility.101[55] It is and still is the “most essential. This Court. There is more reason to invalidate a contract if a direct government guarantee provision is inserted later in the contract via a backdoor amendment. and (3) whether the signature of the Secretary of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is sufficient to bind the Government. the power is exercised for the benefit of the common good. In the JANCOM case. Such an amendment constitutes a crass circumvention of the BOT Law and renders the entire contract void. it has to compensate respondent PIATCO as builder of the said structures. For one. is not unmindful of the reality that the structures comprising the NAIA IPT III facility are almost complete and that funds have been spent by PIATCO in their construction. The resolution of the issue hinged on the following: (1) whether the conditions precedent to the perfection of the contract were complied with. II.

respondent PIATCO’s reliance on the case of Heirs of Suguitan v. hence. 103[57] It is also settled that public interest on the occasion of a national emergency is the primary consideration when the government decides to temporarily take over or direct the operation of a public utility or a business affected with public interest.105[59] Again. City of Mandaluyong106[60] to justify its claim for reasonable compensation for the Government’s temporary takeover of NAIA IPT III in times of national emergency is erroneous. It is familiar knowledge that unlike the power of eminent domain. Monopoly Section 19. however. It is the State that prescribes such reasonable terms which will guide the implementation of the temporary takeover as dictated by the exigencies of the time. The nature and extent of the emergency is the measure of the duration of the takeover as well as the terms thereof. Article V of the ARCA provides that respondent PIATCO “shall be entitled to reasonable compensation for the duration of the temporary takeover by GRP. the State has the bounden duty to regulate monopolies to protect 102 103 104 105 106 . As we ruled in our Decision. Police power can not be diminished. Monopolies are not per se prohibited. which compensation shall take into account the reasonable cost for the use of the Terminal and/or Terminal Complex.”104[58] It clearly obligates the government in the exercise of its police power to compensate respondent PIATCO and this obligation is offensive to the Constitution. Article XII of the 1987 Constitution mandates that the State prohibit or regulate monopolies when public interest so requires. What was involved in Heirs of Suguitan is the exercise of the state’s power of eminent domain and not of police power.10(c). let alone defeated by any contract for its paramount consideration is public welfare and interest. this power of the State can not be negated by any party nor should its exercise be a source of obligation for the State. police power is exercised without provision for just compensation for its paramount consideration is public welfare. Section 5. just compensation was awarded. The cases at bar will not involve the exercise of the power of eminent domain. III. Given its susceptibility to abuse.illimitable”102[56] of the State’s powers.

the contracts would create a monopoly in the operation of an international commercial passenger airport at the NAIA in favor of PIATCO. Such regulation may be called for. On the other hand.R. The Court in assuming jurisdiction over the petitions at bar simply performed its constitutional duty as the arbiter of legal disputes properly brought before it. January 21. 2004] 107 108 109 .public interest.107[61] They insist that the Court must respect the findings of the said committees of the House of Representatives. The grant to respondent PIATCO of the exclusive right to operate NAIA IPT III should not exempt it from regulation by the government. Undeniably. especially in this instance when public interest requires nothing less. by taking cognizance of the cases at bar. Finally. a congressional investigation is conducted in aid of legislation. 154599. No. indeed the duty. The purpose of a judicial proceeding is to settle the dispute in controversy by adjudicating the legal rights and obligations of the parties to the case. There is a fundamental difference between a case in court and an investigation of a congressional committee. NAIA IPT III would be the only international passenger airport operating in the Island of Luzon. SO ORDERED. 109[63] Its aim is to assist and recommend to the legislature a possible action that the body may take with regard to a particular issue. Consequently. with the exception of those already operating in Subic Bay Freeport Special Economic Zone (“SBFSEZ”). those who have subsisting contracts beyond the In-Service Date of NAIA IPT III can not be arbitrarily or unreasonably treated. reviewed an action of a co-equal body. By virtue of the PIATCO contracts. The government has the right. 108[62] With due respect. respondent Congressmen and the respondents-in-intervention are DENIED with finality. this Court cannot treat the findings in a congressional committee report as binding because the facts elicited in congressional hearings are not subject to the rigors of the Rules of Court on admissibility of evidence. Part of this duty is to assure that respondent PIATCO’s exercise of its right does not violate the legal rights of third parties. EN BANC [G. the Respondent Congressmen assert that at least two (2) committee reports by the House of Representatives found the PIATCO contracts valid and contend that this Court. Clark Special Economic Zone (“CSEZ”) and in Laoag City. we cannot subscribe to their submission. We reiterate our ruling that while the service providers presently operating at NAIA Terminals I and II do not have the right to demand for the renewal or extension of their contracts to continue their services in NAIA IPT III. WHEREFORE. specifically as to whether or not to enact a new law or amend an existing one. considering the public interest at stake. the motions for reconsideration filed by the respondent PIATCO. to protect the interest of the public. especially in sensitive areas such as the operation of the country’s premier international airport.

By virtue of the above-cited provision. Section 493 of that law provides that “[t]he liga at the municipal. Article XI of said Constitution and By-Laws states: All other election matters not covered in this Article shall be governed by the “Liga Election Code” or such other rules as may be promulgated by the National Liga Executive Board in conformity with the provisions of existing laws.110[1] and respondent City Mayor’s Executive Order No. HON. city. 8039. 7160. a vice-president. JR. Series of 2002. and THE CITY COUNCIL OF MANILA. DECISION DAVIDE. the metropolitan Manila Chapter.J. 011.. vs. constitutes the duly elected presidents of highlyurbanized cities. The antecedents are as follows: Petitioner Liga ng mga Barangay National (Liga for brevity) is the national organization of all the barangays in the Philippines.114[5] Section 1. JOSE ATIENZA. and national levels directly elect a president. otherwise known as The Local Government Code of 1991. THE CITY MAYOR OF MANILA. third paragraph. and metropolitan political subdivision chapters.111[2] dated 15 August 2002 . metropolitan political subdivision. Article I of the Liga Election Code states: 110 111 112 113 114 . which must always conform to the provisions of the Constitution and existing laws. Series of 2002..: This petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court seeks the nullification of Manila City Ordinance No. provincial. which pursuant to Section 492 of Republic Act No. respondents. for being patently contrary to law. JR. the Liga adopted and ratified its own Election Code. and five (5) members of the board of directors. C. the Liga adopted and ratified its own Constitution and By-laws to govern its internal organization.113[4] Section 1. petitioner. provincial chapters.” All other matters not provided for in the law affecting the internal organization of the leagues of local government units shall be governed by their respective constitution and bylaws.2.THE LIGA NG MGA BARANGAY NATIONAL. 112[3] On 16 March 2000.

or even assumed. — Every Barangay shall be represented in the said Liga Chapters … by the Punong Barangay…or. Secretary. in writing.1 above was held. all the above concerned at least fifteen (15) days before the scheduled election meeting on the exact date. 8039. a function which was clearly beyond the ambit of the powers of the City Council. e. metropolitan or HUC/ICC Liga chapters. the functions of the Liga through legislation.2 Liga ng mga Barangay Provincial. time. shall notify.115[6] setting on 21 October 2002 the synchronized elections for highly urbanized city chapters. There shall be nationwide synchronized elections for the provincial. City Chapter The District Chapter representatives shall automatically become members of the Board and they shall elect from among themselves a President. among other things. The incumbent Liga chapter president concerned duly assisted by the proper government agency. for his signature and approval. upon being informed that the ordinance had been forwarded to the Office of the City Mayor. for the election of representatives of the District Chapters in the City Chapter of Manila and setting the elections for both chapters thirty days after the barangay elections.1. metropolitan. Treasurer. still unnumbered and yet to be officially released. On 28 June 2002. Auditor and create other positions as it may deem necessary for the management of the chapter. in his absence or incapacity. The assailed ordinance was later transmitted to respondent City Mayor Jose L. provincial. the Liga sent respondent Mayor of Manila a letter requesting him that said ordinance be vetoed considering that it encroached upon.g. and metropolitan chapters. providing. B. Metropolitan. shall convene all the duly elected Component City/Municipal Chapter Presidents and all the current elected Punong Barangays (for HUC/ICC) of the respective chapters in any public place within its area of jurisdiction for the purpose of reorganizing and electing the officers and directors of the provincial. Jr. HUC/ICC Chapters. Vice-President.. 3. Section 3 (A) and (B) of the assailed ordinance read: SEC. respondent City Council of Manila enacted Ordinance No. On 16 July 2002. place and requirements of the said meeting. Provincial/City/NCR/Regional Director. Representation Chapters. office or department. together with independent component city. and HUC/ICC chapters to be held on the third Monday of the month immediately after the month when the synchronized elections in paragraph 1. A. Atienza. such as the Liga Chapter of Manila. by the kagawad duly elected for the purpose among its members…. District Chapter All elected Barangay Chairman in each District shall elect from among themselves the President. The Liga thereafter came out with its Calendar of Activities and Guidelines in the Implementation of the Liga Election Code of 2002. Vice-President and five (5) members of the Board….116[7] 115 116 . Said president duly assisted by the government officer aforementioned. Series of 2002.

8039. the subject ordinance is an ultra vires act of the respondents and. it argued that the issuance of a temporary restraining order and/or preliminary injunction would be imperative to prevent the implementation of the ordinance and executive order. II WHETHER OR NOT THE RESPONDENT CITY MAYOR OF MANILA COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION WHEN HE ISSUED EXECUTIVE ORDER NO. and Executive Order No. should be declared null and void. 117 . 011. 8039 S. Hence. Hence. Series of 2002. AND THE ELECTIONS OF ALL OTHER CHAPTERS OF THE LIGA NG MGA BARANGAYS FOR THAT MATTER. in his capacity as a member of the Liga ng mga Barangay in the City Chapter of Manila. 8039 S. Series of 2002. 011 TO IMPLEMENT THE QUESTIONED CITY ORDINANCE NO. to implement the ordinance. On 12 September 2002. the provisions of the Local Government Code of 1991. in effect. as well as the elections of the Liga ng mga Barangay pursuant thereto. filed a Complaint in Intervention with Urgent Motion for the Issuance of Temporary Restraining Order and/or Preliminary Injunction. the Liga argues that City Ordinance No. Barangay Chairman Arnel Peña. through legislation. or even assume. signed and approved the assailed city ordinance and issued on 15 August 2002 Executive Order No. Series of 2002. As for its prayer for the issuance of a temporary restraining order. the Manila District Chapter elections would be held thirty days after the regular barangay elections. the petitioner cites as reason therefor the fact that under Section 5 of the assailed city ordinance. It also violated and curtailed the rights of the petitioner and intervenor. on 27 August 2002. for the Manila City Council to encroach upon. however. the Liga filed the instant petition raising the following issues: I WHETHER OR NOT THE RESPONDENT CITY COUNCIL OF MANILA COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK OF OR IN EXCESS OF JURISDICTION. WHEN IT ENACTED CITY ORDINANCE NO.Respondent Mayor. Accordingly. the functions of the Liga by prescribing. ARE BY LAW MANDATED TO BE GOVERNED BY THE LIGA CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS AND THE LIGA ELECTION CODE. as well as the other 896 Barangay Chairmen in the City of Manila. 2002. 117[8] He supports the position of the Liga and prays for the declaration of the questioned ordinance and executive order. 011. as such. In support of its petition. There exists neither rhyme nor reason. The assailed ordinance prescribing for an “indirect manner of election” amended. not to mention the absence of legal basis. to vote and be voted upon in a direct election. which provides for the election of the Liga officers at large. DESPITE THE FACT THAT SAID CHAPTER’S ELECTIONS. the manner of conducting the Liga elections other than what has been provided for by the Liga Constitution and By-laws and the Liga Election Code. contradict the Liga Election Code and are therefore invalid. 2002 PURPOSELY TO GOVERN THE ELECTIONS OF THE MANILA CHAPTER OF THE LIGA NG MGA BARANGAYS AND WHICH PROVIDES A DIFFERENT MANNER OF ELECTING ITS OFFICERS. to be null and void.

The City Council and City Mayor of Manila are not the “board” and “officer” contemplated in Rule 65 of the Rules of Court because both do not exercise judicial functions. articulation. for quo warranto). the immediate resolution of this petition is a must. according to the respondents. do not fall within the ambit of “judicial functions. the OSG posits that technical rules of procedure should be relaxed in the instant petition.A. and thus. and (4) the act sought to be enjoined is fait accompli. which are all akin to the present petition in the sense that the relief being sought therein is the declaration of the invalidity of the subject ordinance. they represent the same interest. Thus. the petitioner has transgressed the proscription against forum-shopping in filing the instant suit. (2) the petition should not be entertained by this Court in view of the pendency before the Regional Trial Court of Manila of two actions or petitions questioning the subject ordinance and executive order. or board exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. respectively. (3) the petitioner is guilty of forum shopping. grants original jurisdiction over cases of this nature to the Regional Trial Court (RTC). Section 496 (should be Section 491) of the Local Government Code of 1991 primarily intended that the Liga ng mga Barangay determine the representation of the Liga in the sanggunians for the immediate ventilation. however. On the other hand. Local political subdivisions are able to legislate only by virtue of a valid delegation of legislative power from the national legislature. as amended. the exigency of the present petition. 118 . Clearly. The enactment of the subject ordinance and issuance of the questioned executive order are legislative and executive functions. the two other cases. the petitioner failed to prove discernible compelling reasons attending the present petition that would warrant cognizance of the present petition by this Court. which has the force and effect of law. respectively. The respondents also asseverate that the petitioner cannot claim that it has no other recourse in addressing its grievance other than this petition for certiorari. and authority of the City Council and City Mayor of Manila. 129. which are local in origin. there are two cases pending before Branches 33 and 51 of the RTC of Manila (one is for mandamus. the petitioner may ask the RTC or the Court of Appeals the relief being prayed for before this Court. Thus. for declaratory relief) and three in the Court of Appeals (one is for prohibition. The respondents maintain that certiorari is an extraordinary remedy available to one aggrieved by the decision of a tribunal.118[9] It supports the petition of the Liga. arguing that the assailed city ordinance and executive order are clearly inconsistent with the express public policy enunciated in R. Moreover.” They are both within the prerogatives. calls for the relaxation of this rule. the respondents defend the validity of the assailed ordinance and executive order and pray for the dismissal of the present petition on the following grounds: (1) certiorari under Rule 65 of the Rules of Court is unavailing. cannot prevail against the decree. the enactments in question. On the issue of non-observance by the petitioners of the hierarchy-of-courts rule. the other. Although the parties in the other pending cases and in this petition are different individuals or entities. powers. Besides.On 25 October 2002. officer. They are mere agents vested with what is called the power of subordinate legislation. As a matter of fact. Furthermore. While Batas Pambansa Blg. the Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) filed a Manifestation in lieu of Comment. 7160. the petition failed to show with certainty that the respondents acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. No. and crystallization of issues affecting barangay government administration.

or any plain. or officer may exercise judicial or quasi-judicial acts. board. it is necessary that there be a law that gives rise to some specific rights of persons or property under which adverse 119 120 121 . board. and granting such incidental reliefs as law and justice may require. the respondents maintain that the same had become moot and academic in view of the elections of officers of the City Liga ng mga Barangay on 15 September 2002 and their subsequent assumption to their respective offices. Petition for certiorari. the following requisites must concur: (1) it must be directed against a tribunal. — When any tribunal. Thus. is “a term which applies to the actions. a person aggrieved thereby may file a verified petition in the proper court. discretion. Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure provides: SECTION 1. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law. Section 1. After due deliberation on the pleadings filed. we resolve to dismiss this petition for certiorari. speedy. and then undertakes to determine these questions and adjudicate upon the rights of the parties. or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. the petition for certiorari must be dismissed. or officer exercising judicial or quasi-judicial functions. A petition for certiorari under Rule 65 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure is a special civil action that may be invoked only against a tribunal. hold hearings.. of public administrative officers or bodies … required to investigate facts or ascertain the existence of facts. where the records show that during the pendency of the case certain events or circumstances had taken place that render the case moot and academic. speedy.With regard to petitioner's prayer for temporary restraining order and/ or preliminary injunction in its petition. board. on the other hand. (2) the tribunal. A respondent is said to be exercising judicial function where he has the power to determine what the law is and what the legal rights of the parties are. and there is no appeal. alleging the facts with certainty and praying that judgment be rendered annulling or modifying the proceedings of such tribunal. board or officer. this petition for certiorari with an application for provisional remedies must necessarily fail. board or officer exercising judicial or quasijudicial functions has acted without or in excess of its or his jurisdiction. the respondents neither acted in any judicial or quasi-judicial capacity nor arrogated unto themselves any judicial or quasi-judicial prerogatives. First. 120[11] Quasi-judicial function. or with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Elsewise stated. for a writ of certiorari to issue. etc.”121[12] Before a tribunal. or officer must have acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion amounting lack or excess of jurisdiction.119[10] Since the acts to be enjoined are now fait accompli. board. and (3) there is no appeal or any plain. and draw conclusions from them as a basis for their official action and to exercise discretion of a judicial nature. and adequate remedy in the ordinary course of law.

the enactment by the City Council of Manila of the assailed ordinance and the issuance by respondent Mayor of the questioned executive order were done in the exercise of legislative and executive functions. respectively. mandamus. presidential decree. habeas corpus and injunction) is not exclusive. modify. law. order. Second. As such. as this Court does not have original jurisdiction over a petition for declaratory relief even if only questions of law are involved. 123[14] Section 5. and over petitions for certiorari. or regulation is in question. On this score alone. As aptly stated in People v. international or executive agreement. We have held that this Court’s original jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari (as well as of prohibition. 5. or officer exercising judicial or quasijudicial functions. reverse. The Supreme Court shall have the following powers: (1) Exercise original jurisdiction over cases affecting ambassadors. or affirm on appeal or certiorari as the law or the Rules of Court may provide. certiorari will not lie. and the controversy ensuing therefrom is brought before a tribunal. even granting arguendo that the present petition is ripe for the extraordinary writ of certiorari. quo warranto. partakes of the nature of a petition for declaratory relief over which this Court has only appellate. 124[15] Third. although the instant petition is styled as a petition for certiorari. this petition must necessary fail. in essence. Article VIII of the Constitution provides: Sec. quo warranto. not original.claims to such rights are made. It. Cuaresma:125[16] 122 123 124 125 . final judgments and orders of lower courts in: (a) All cases in which the constitutionality or validity of any treaty. there is here a clear disregard of the hierarchy of courts. As correctly pointed out by the respondents. jurisdiction. or officer clothed with power and authority to determine the law and adjudicate the respective rights of the contending parties. thus. mandamus. board. (Italics supplied).122[13] The respondents do not fall within the ambit of tribunal. and habeas corpus. ordinance. board. other public ministers and consuls. but is concurrent with the Regional Trial Courts and the Court of Appeals in certain cases. prohibition. proclamation. No special and important reason or exceptional and compelling circumstance has been adduced by the petitioner or the intervenor why direct recourse to this Court should be allowed. instruction. it seeks the declaration by this Court of the unconstitutionality or illegality of the questioned ordinance and executive order. and not of judicial or quasi-judicial functions. (2) Review. revise.

and (2) it would cause an inevitable and resultant delay. such that 126 127 128 . For litis pendentia to exist. and (3) identity with respect to the two preceding particulars in the two cases. we shall reaffirm the judicial policy that this Court will not entertain direct resort to it unless the redress desired cannot be obtained in the appropriate courts. A direct invocation of the Supreme Court’s original jurisdiction to issue these writs should be allowed only when there are special and important reasons therefor. Vasquez. We reiterated therein that when an act of the legislative department is seriously alleged to have infringed the Constitution. with the Court of Appeals. or at least such parties as are representing the same interests in both actions. 126[17] the propensity of litigants and lawyers to disregard the hierarchy of courts in our judicial system by seeking relief directly from this Court must be put to a halt for two reasons: (1) it would be an imposition upon the precious time of this Court. and also serves as a general determinant of the appropriate forum for petitions for the extraordinary writs. (2) identity of rights asserted and reliefs prayed for. clearly and specifically set out in the petition. which in some instances had to be remanded or referred to the lower court as the proper forum under the rules of procedure. which would have greatly affected all local government units. and to prevent further over-crowding of the Court’s docket. what was sought to be nullified in the petition for certiorari and prohibition therein was an act of the President of the Philippines. We hesitate to rule that the petitioner and the intervenor are guilty of forum-shopping.This concurrence of jurisdiction is not. in the adjudication of cases. Besides. Aguirre128[19] is misplaced because the non-observance of the hierarchy-of-courts rule was not an issue therein. It is a policy necessary to prevent inordinate demands upon the Court’s time and attention which are better devoted to those matters within its exclusive jurisdiction. however. That hierarchy is determinative of the venue of appeals. to be taken as according to parties seeking any of the writs an absolute. or as better equipped to resolve the issues because this Court is not a trier of facts. who in our constitutional scheme is coequal with Congress.127[18] Petitioner’s reliance on Pimentel v. Forumshopping exists where the elements of litis pendentia are present or when a final judgment in one case will amount to res judicata in the other. calling for the exercise of its primary jurisdiction. A becoming regard of that judicial hierarchy most certainly indicates that petitions for the issuance of extraordinary writs against first level (“inferior”) courts should be filed with the Regional Trial Court. settling the controversy becomes the duty of this Court. As we have said in Santiago v. the reliefs being founded on the same facts. and those against the latter. intended or otherwise. the following requisites must be present: (1) identity of parties. unrestrained freedom of choice of the court to which application therefor0 will be directed. This is [an] established policy. Thus. There is after all a hierarchy of courts. The same is true when what is seriously alleged to be unconstitutional is an act of the President. and exceptional and compelling circumstances justify the availment of the extraordinary remedy of writ of certiorari.

She was appointed by then President Joseph Estrada on December 21. the petition is DISMISSED. even assuming that those five petitions are indeed pending before the RTC of Manila and the Court of Appeals. In the early part of 2000.2 On September 4. and as admitted by the respondents. 1999 as a student regent of UP. would amount to res judicata in the other case. petitioner. No. forum-shopping cannot be said to exist. respondents. petitioner discussed with President Estrada the renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex in UP Diliman. Serana was a senior student of the University of the Philippines-Cebu. vs. considering that the respondents failed to furnish this Court with copies of the said petitions. registered 129 . DECISION REYES. along with her brother. 2000 and ending on December 31.: CAN the Sandiganbayan try a government scholaran ** accused. we can only guess the causes of action and issues raised before those courts. na kapwa pinararatangan ng estafa ng pera ng bayan? The jurisdictional question is posed in this petition for certiorari assailing the Resolutions 1 of the Sandiganbayan. The Antecedents Petitioner Hannah Eunice D. Republic of the Philippines SUPREME COURT Manila THIRD DIVISION G. denying petitioner’s motion to quash the information and her motion for reconsideration. 2000.129[20] In the instant petition. regardless of which party is successful. J. Moreover. at ang kanyang kapatid. WHEREFORE. to serve a one-year term starting January 1. SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES. 162059 January 22. with her siblings and relatives. Fifth Division. 2008 HANNAH EUNICE D. A student of a state university is known as a government scholar.any judgment that may be rendered in the pending case.T. the parties in this case and in the alleged other pending cases are different individuals or entities.R. SO ORDERED. thus. SERANA. petitioner. 2000. R.. of swindling government funds? MAAARI bang litisin ng Sandiganbayan ang isang iskolar ng bayan.

SERANA. Estafa falling under Title X. defined and penalized under Paragraph 2(a). 2000 and misappropriated for their personal use and benefit. 2000. Section 2 (Crimes Committed by Public Officers). Inc. 5 The succeeding student regent. in Quezon City. a high-ranking public officer.00). SERANA requested the amount of FIFTEEN MILLION PESOS (P15..A. . or sometime prior or subsequent thereto. the Ombudsman. was the Office of the President. CONTRARY TO LAW. Metro Manila. Diliman. 6 On July 3. The renovation of Vinzons Hall Annex failed to materialize. a systemwide alliance of student councils within the state university. 3019. and Christine Jill De Guzman. and the latter relying and believing on said false pretenses and misrepresentation gave and delivered to said accused Land Bank Check No. (Underscoring supplied) Petitioner moved to quash the information. with intent to gain.3 One of the projects of the OSRFI was the renovation of the Vinzons Hall Annex. according to the information. Book II of the Revised Penal Code (RPC). committing the offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of her position. conspiring with her brother.000. Serana on October 25. She claimed that the Sandiganbayan does not have any jurisdiction over the offense charged or over her person. being then the Student Regent of the University of the Philippines. HANNAH EUNICE D. The source of the funds. 4 President Estrada gave Fifteen Million Pesos (P15.000." and for which purpose accused HANNAH EUNICE D. Book II of the RPC is not within the Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction.00) to the OSRFI as financial assistance for the proposed renovation. Philippine Currency. Philippines.with the Securities and Exchange Commission the Office of the Student Regent Foundation. (OSRFI). consequently filed a complaint for Malversation of Public Funds and Property with the Office of the Ombudsman.000. 91353 dated October 24. Secretary General of the KASAMA sa U. SERANA of the crime of Estafa. as amended committed as follows: That on October.000. Quezon City. the said accused failed and refused to do so to the damage and prejudice of the government in the aforesaid amount. found probable cause to indict petitioner and her brother Jade Ian D. a private individual.) No. 2000 in the amount of FIFTEEN MILLION PESOS (P15.9 It only has jurisdiction over crimes covered by Title VII. docketed as Criminal Case No. 2003. as amended by R. unlawfully and feloniously defraud the government by falsely and fraudulently representing to former President Joseph Ejercito Estrada that the renovation of the Vinzons Hall of the University of the Philippines will be renovated and renamed as "President Joseph Ejercito Estrada Student Hall. and despite repeated demands made upon the accused for them to return aforesaid amount. did then and there wilfully. Chapter II. Article 315 of the Revised Penal Code.7 The Information reads: The undersigned Special Prosecution Officer III. 8 It has no jurisdiction over the crime of estafa. after due investigation. 8249.000. above-named accused. 24. Serana for estafa.A. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. while in the performance of her official functions. hereby accuses HANNAH EUNICE D. in her capacity as UP student regent. JADE IAN D. which check was subsequently encashed by accused Jade Ian D. enumerates the crimes or offenses over which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. 27819 of the Sandiganbayan. Office of the Special Prosecutor. SERANA and JADE IAN D.00). Kristine Clare Bugayong. from the Office of the President.000. Chapter VI (Crimes Against Property).P. SERANA. Petitioner claimed that Republic Act (R. No.

It is extremely erroneous to hold that only criminal offenses covered by Chapter II. petitioner. is erroneous.12 It disputed petitioner’s interpretation of the law. petitioner was compensated. As a member of the BOR. she hads the general powers of administration and exerciseds the corporate powers of UP. Section 4(b) of R. Since it was not alleged in the information that it was among her functions or duties to receive funds. in view of the express provision of Section 4 of Republic Act No. From this provision.D.13 According to the Ombudsman. Book II of the Revised Penal Code are within the jurisdiction of this Court. or that the crime was committed in connection with her official functions. As correctly pointed out by the prosecution. 8249 which provides: Sec. In the same breath. that amount came from Estrada. hence. Based on Mechem’s definition of a public office. she was not a public officer since she merely represented her peers.000.) No.00. 4. not from the coffers of the government. the same is beyond the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan citing the case of Soller v. Even assuming that she received the P15. Sandiganbayan. Accused-movant’s claim that being merely a member in representation of the student body. petitioner’s stance that she was not compensated.A. It should be threshed out during a full-blown trial. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the charges against petitioner. 8249 provides that the Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other offenses committed by public officials and employees in relation to their office. Title VII. As a student regent.14 Sandiganbayan Disposition In a Resolution dated November 14. Compensation is not an essential part of public office. She further contended that she had no power or authority to receive monies or funds." thus. Section 4(b) of Presidential Decree (P. there is no single doubt that this Court has jurisdiction over the offense of estafa committed by a public official in relation to his office. compensation has been interpreted to include allowances. is of no moment. Parenthetically. iwas a public officer. in contrast to the other regents who held their positions in an ex officio capacity. 1606 clearly contains the catch -all phrase "in relation to office. she was never a public officer since she never received any compensation nor does she fall under Salary Grade 27. not a public officer. She addsed that she was a simple student and did not receive any salary as a student regent. Such power was vested with the Board of Regents (BOR) as a whole. not the government. By this definition.000. the Sandiganbayan denied petitioner’s motion for lack of merit. Jurisdiction – The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: (A) x x x .11 The Ombudsman opposed the motion. the prosecution countered that the source of the money is a matter of defense.She also argued that it was President Estrada. that was duped.10 Petitioner likewise posited that the Sandiganbayan had no jurisdiction over her person. Section 2.15 It ratiocinated: The focal point in controversy is the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over this case. 2003. despite her protestations.

instructors. this court finds that accused-movant’s contention that the same of P15 Million was received from former President Estrada and not from the coffers of the government. specifically including: xxxx (g) Presidents.(1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. any other provisions of law to the contrary notwithstanding. professors. to grant to them in its discretion leave of absence under such regulations as it may promulgate. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration. (Italics supplied) It is very clear from the aforequoted provision that the Sandiganbayan has original exclusive jurisdiction over all offenses involving the officials enumerated in subsection (g). 2004. and to remove them for cause after an investigation and hearing shall have been had. on recommendation of the President of the University. or board of trustees in the case of non-stock corporations. irrespective of their salary grades. Finally. This draws to fore the conclusion that being a member of such board. exclusively exercises the general powers of administration and corporate powers in the university. lecturers and other employees of the University. It is unmistakably evident that the Board of Regents of the University of the Philippines is performing functions similar to those of the Board of Trustees of a non-stock corporation. The board of directors or trustees. therefore. hours of service. as are consistent with the purposes of the university. is a matter a defense that should be properly ventilated during the trial on the merits of this case. 17 The motion was denied with finality in a Resolution dated February 4. otherwise classified as Grade "27" and higher. 16 On November 19. such as: 1) To receive and appropriate to the ends specified by law such sums as may be provided by law for the support of the university. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. directors or trustees. not contrary to law. 6758). 2003. to fix their compensation. or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. 18 Issue Petitioner is now before this Court. Is accused-movant included in the contemplated provision of law? A meticulous review of the existing Charter of the University of the Philippines reveals that the Board of Regents. 2) To prescribe rules for its own government and to enact for the government of the university such general ordinances and regulations. accused-movant undoubtedly falls within the category of public officials upon whom this Court is vested with original exclusive jurisdiction. because the primordial consideration in the inclusion of these officials is the nature of their responsibilities and functions. and 3) To appoint. is the governing body of the corporation. It is well-established in corporation law that the corporation can act only through its board of directors. to which accused-movant belongs. regardless of the fact that she does not occupy a position classified as Salary Grade 27 or higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. and such other duties and conditions as it may deem proper. contending that "THE RESPONDENT COURT COMMITTED GRAVE ABUSE OF DISCRETION AMOUNTING TO LACK AND/OR EXCESS OF JURISDICTION IN .

The reason is that it would be unfair to require the defendant or accused to undergo the ordeal and expense of a trial if the court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter or offense." 19 In her discussion. The following are a few examples of the exceptions to the general rule. v. 2 of Rule 41). Intermediate Appellate Court. she reiterates her four-fold argument below. In Lopez v. This general rule is subject to certain exceptions. Macadaeg (84 Phil. 20 Remedial measures as regards interlocutory orders. 22 In Newsweek. an order denying a motion to dismiss is merely interlocutory and cannot be subject of appeal until final judgment or order is rendered. . Our Ruling The petition cannot be granted. We would ordinarily dismiss this petition for certiorari outright on procedural grounds. the ordinary remedy of appeal cannot be plain and adequate. except that instead of filing an answer a plea is entered and no appeal lies from a judgment of acquittal. Wellestablished is the rule that when a motion to quash in a criminal case is denied. In Enriquez v. such as a motion to quash. Preliminarily. but for petitioners to go to trial. upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. thus: As a general rule. In De Jesus v. this Court granted the petition for prohibition and enjoined the respondent court from further proceeding in the case. or if the denial of the motion to dismiss or motion to quash is made with grave abuse of discretion or a whimsical and capricious exercise of judgment.NOT QUASHING THE INFORMATION AND DISMISING THE CASE NOTWITHSTANDING THAT IS HAS NO JURISDICTION OVER THE OFFENSE CHARGED IN THE INFORMATION. go to trial and if the decision is adverse. in denying the motion to dismiss or motion to quash. The same rule applies to an order denying a motion to quash. (b) petitioner is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27 and she paid her tuition fees.23 the Court clearly explained and illustrated the rule and the exceptions. upon the denial of a motion to quash based on lack of jurisdiction over the offense. then certiorari or prohibition lies. Garcia (19 SCRA 554). the denial of a motion to quash is not correctible by certiorari. Inc. not from the government. If the court. (Sec. are frowned upon and often dismissed. reiterate the issue on appeal from the final judgment. this Court granted the petition for certiorari and prohibition against the City Court of Manila and directed the respondent court to dismiss the case. (d) the funds in question personally came from President Estrada. 21 The evident reason for this rule is to avoid multiplicity of appeals in a single action. this Court granted the petition for prohibition and enjoined the respondent judge from taking cognizance of the case except to dismiss the same. without prejudice to reiterating the special defenses invoked in their motion to quash. 674). upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on improper venue. the remedy is not a petition for certiorari. namely: (a) the Sandiganbayan has no jurisdiction over estafa. City Judge (18 SCRA 616). The ordinary procedure to be followed in such a case is to file an answer. In such cases. (c) the offense charged was not committed in relation to her office. acts without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion. or is not the court of proper venue.

No. Section 2. No. No.A. Violations of Republic Act No. Section 4 of R. 3019 (The Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. integrity. 1606 was later amended by P.D. 4. 7975 approved on March 30. 1997 by R.A. 1606 expanded the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan was created by P. P. No. further altering the Sandiganbayan jurisdiction. that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.D. 1978. in turn. as amended.D.D. . No. The jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is set by P. which was again amended on February 5. and Chapter II. 1379.In Manalo v. 8249. based on the concept that public officers and employees shall serve with the highest degree of responsibility. as amended. No. 3019. 3019. as amended. As it now stands. as amended. 1606. In Yuviengco v. Mariano (69 SCRA 80). R. 8249 further modified the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.D. upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on the Statute of Frauds. 29 P. the order denying the motion to quash based on prescription was set aside on certiorari and the criminal case was dismissed by this Court. 1606 which was promulgated on December 10.27 We cannot bring ourselves to write this off as a mere clerical or typographical error. as amended). Title VII. 3019.D. No.D. No. In People v. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the following: Sec. Marcos on June 11. A brief legislative history of the statute creating the Sandiganbayan is in order. Ramos (83 SCRA 11). 25 She repeats the reference in the instant petition for certiorari26 and in her memorandum of authorities. No. other known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. in her motion to quash before the Sandiganbayan. We note that petitioner refers to Section 4 of the said law yet quotes Section 4 of P. No. No. 1486 was. No. loyalty and efficiency and shall remain at all times accountable to the people. No.D. this Court granted the petition for certiorari and dismissed the amended complaint. No. as amended. Jurisdiction. rather than R. We first address petitioner’s contention that the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan is determined by Section 4 of R. upon the denial of a motion to dismiss based on bar by prior judgment. 1995 made succeeding amendments to P.D. 1486.A. Republic Act No. 1606.D.A. Book II of the . 1606. Cariaso (72 SCRA 527). this Court granted the petition for certiorari and directed the respondent judge to dismiss the case. 1606. 1983. It is P. Dacuycuy (105 SCRA 668).A. No. It was promulgated to attain the highest norms of official conduct required of public officers and employees. as amended. 30 P. 1978. 28 Her claim has no basis in law. amended by P. 24 We do not find the Sandiganbayan to have committed a grave abuse of discretion. promulgated by then President Ferdinand E. It bears stressing that petitioner repeated this claim twice despite corrections made by the Sandiganbayan. this Court granted the petition for certiorari after the motion to quash based on double jeopardy was denied by respondent judge and ordered him to desist from further action in the criminal case except to dismiss the same. not by R. 1861 on March 23.A. No.The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: A. In Tacas v.

or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations. and " (5) All other national and local officials classified as Grade "27'" and higher under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. specifically including: " (a) Provincial governors. " (3) Members of the judiciary without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. 2. issued in 1986. vice-mayors. metropolitan trial court. C. . 6758). " (b) City mayor. " (4) Chairmen and members of Constitutional Commission. municipal trial court. or military and PNP officer mentioned above. 129. otherwise classified as Grade "27" and higher. and municipal circuit trial court. Civil and criminal cases filed pursuant to and in connection with Executive Order Nos. as the case may be. whether in a permanent. " (e) Officers of the Philippine National Police while occupying the position of provincial director and those holding the rank of senior superintended or higher. city treasurers. naval captains. "(c ) Officials of the diplomatic service occupying the position of consul and higher. state universities or educational institutions or foundations. " (f) City and provincial prosecutors and their assistants. engineers. at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. Other offenses of felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. and all officers of higher rank. assessors. " In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade "27'" or higher. B. and officials and prosecutors in the Office of the Ombudsman and special prosecutor. members of the sangguniang panlungsod. " (g) Presidents. acting or interim capacity. and other city department heads. as amended. assessors. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 989 (Republic Act No. and provincial treasurers. where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government. 1. 14 and 14-A. " (d) Philippine army and air force colonels. without prejudice to the provisions of the Constitution. and other city department heads. directors or trustees. exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional court. " (2) Members of Congress and officials thereof classified as Grade "27'" and up under the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989. vice-governors. as prescribed in the said Republic Act No. members of the sangguniang panlalawigan. pursuant to their respective jurisdictions as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. 6758. engineers.Revised Penal Code.

including those employed in government-owned or controlled corporations. all prosecutions for violation of the said law should be filed with the Sandiganbayan. gift or material or pecuniary advantage from any other person having some business. The word "close personal relation" shall . habeas corpus. resolutions or order of regional trial courts whether in the exercise of their own original jurisdiction or of their appellate jurisdiction as herein provided. at all times. accomplices or accessories with the public officers or employees. 14 and 14-A. request or contract with the government. R. and other ancillary writs and processes in aid of its appellate jurisdiction and over petitions of similar nature. 2. as the case may be. – (a) It shall be unlawful for any person having family or close personal relation with any public official to capitalize or exploit or take advantage of such family or close personal relation by directly or indirectly requesting or receiving any present. Family relation shall include the spouse or relatives by consanguinity or affinity in the third civil degree. through its special prosecutor. said civil action shall be transferred to the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court. as well as the implementing rules that the Supreme Court has promulgated and may thereafter promulgate. and the criminal case is hereafter filed with the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate court. be simultaneously instituted with. in which such public official has to intervene. deals not with the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan but with prohibition on private individuals. Section 4 of R. including quo warranto. transaction. relative to appeals/petitions for review to the Court of Appeals. shall represent the People of the Philippines. the criminal action and the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability shall. No." The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive appellate jurisdiction over final judgments. Prohibition on private individuals. prohibition. 2. otherwise the separate civil action shall be deemed abandoned.31 Pursuant to Section 10 of R.A.A. 1960. for consolidation and joint determination with the criminal action. arising or that may arise in cases filed or which may be filed under Executive Order Nos. No. 1. 3019 erroneously cited by petitioner. the filing of the criminal action being deemed to necessarily carry with it the filing of the civil action. however. 3019 does not contain an enumeration of the cases over which the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. 3019 is a penal statute approved on August 17. No. The said law represses certain acts of public officers and private persons alike which constitute graft or corrupt practices or which may lead thereto. injunctions.A. " In case private individuals are charged as co-principals. In all cases elevated to the Sandiganbayan and from the Sandiganbayan to the Supreme Court. 14 and 14-A. 3019. 1. except in cases filed pursuant to Executive Order Nos. and no right to reserve the filing such civil action separately from the criminal action shall be recognized: Provided. We quote: Section 4. " The Sandiganbayan shall have exclusive original jurisdiction over petitions for the issuance of the writs of mandamus. issued in 1986. the Office of the Ombudsman. In fact. " Any provisions of law or Rules of Court to the contrary notwithstanding." Upon the other hand. issued in 1986: Provided. That the jurisdiction over these petitions shall not be exclusive of the Supreme Court. No. and jointly determined in. " The procedure prescribed in Batas Pambansa Blg. shall apply to appeals and petitions for review filed with the Sandiganbayan. 129. the same proceeding by the Sandiganbayan or the appropriate courts. application. That where the civil action had heretofore been filed separately but judgment therein has not yet been rendered. certiorari. they shall be tried jointly with said public officers and employees in the proper courts which shall exercise exclusive jurisdiction over them. 32 R.A.

D. The Court held then: The National Parks Development Committee was created originally as an Executive Committee on January 14. Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over the offense of estafa. No. The rule is well-established in this jurisdiction that statutes should receive a sensible construction so as to avoid an unjust or an absurd conclusion. We note that in hoisting this argument. 1606. Relying on Section 4 of P. a government instrumentality. Ang isang batas ay marapat na bigyan ng kahulugan sa kanyang kabuuan sa ilalim ng prinsipyo na ang pinakamainam na interpretasyon ay ang mismong batas. petitioner isolated the first paragraph of Section 4 of P. the two statutes differ in that P.D. 36 Optima statuti interpretatrix est ipsum statutum. Plainly. Where there is ambiguity.37 the Court had occasion to explain that the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over an indictment for estafa versus a director of the National Parks Development Committee. such interpretation as will avoid inconvenience and absurdity is to be adopted. 1606. Every section. People. 1963.D. No. 33 Interpretatio talis in ambiguis semper fienda est.include close personal friendship. social and fraternal connections. (b) It shall be unlawful for any person knowingly to induce or cause any public official to commit any of the offenses defined in Section 3 hereof. petitioner’s interpretation lies in direct opposition to the rule that a statute must be interpreted as a whole under the principle that the best interpreter of a statute is the statute itself. for the development of the Quezon Memorial.A. No. and professional employment all giving rise to intimacy which assures free access to such public officer. petitioner contends that estafa is not among those crimes cognizable by the Sandiganbayan. estafa is one of those other felonies. No. Luneta and . 35 In other words. Section 4(B) of P. 1606. v. as amended. We see no plausible or sensible reason to exclude estafa as one of the offenses included in Section 4(bB) of P. without regard to the succeeding paragraphs of the said provision. In Perlas. defines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan while R. 1606. The jurisdiction is simply subject to the twin requirements that (a) the offense is committed by public officials and employees mentioned in Section 4(A) of P. No. Other offenses or felonies whether simple or complexed with other crimes committed by the public officials and employees mentioned in subsection a of this section in relation to their office. 1606. Kung saan mayroong kalabuan.D. Jr.D. Evidently. 1606 reads: B. ang pagpapaliwanag ay hindi dapat maging mahirap at katawa-tawa.D. 34 The intention of the legislator must be ascertained from the whole text of the law and every part of the act is to be taken into view. the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction over other felonies committed by public officials in relation to their office. No. as amended. and that (b) the offense is committed in relation to their office. as amended. 3019. provision or clause of the statute must be expounded by reference to each other in order to arrive at the effect contemplated by the legislature. In fine. defines graft and corrupt practices and provides for their penalties. No. ut evitetur inconveniens et absurdum.

1975 (Letter of Implementation No. Jr. Valencia were designated Chairman and ViceChairman respectively (E. by which for a given period. In Laurel v. Department of Natural Resources. Court of Appeals. Despite an attempt to transfer it to the Bureau of Forest Development. 1966. as estafa thru falsification punishable by penalties higher than prision correccional or imprisonment of six years. or a fine of P6. authority and duty. In Khan. original jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan. The Sandiganbayan’s jurisdiction over estafa was reiterated with greater firmness in Bondoc v. Petitioner UP student regent is a public officer. for a given period. authority. 39. on December 1. They simply cannot be taken cognizance of by the regular courts. and duty created and conferred by law. 1981). 830.40 the Court held that: A public office is the right. 64).41 the Court adopted the definition of Mechem of a public office: "A public office is the right. On January 9. v. no one can be said to have any vested right in an office or its salary (42 Am. Sec. It was later designated as the National Parks Development Committee (NPDC) on February 7. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power.38 Pertinent parts of the Court’s ruling in Bondoc read: Furthermore.000. It exists. it is not legally possible to transfer Bondoc’s cases to the Regional Trial Court.O. 3). including Bondoc. Marcos and Teodoro F. when it exists at all only because and by virtue of some law expressly or impliedly creating and conferring it (Mechem Ibid. the varied definitions and concepts are found in different statutes and jurisprudence.. the annual appropriations decrees listed NPDC as a regular government agency under the Office of the President and allotments for its maintenance and operating expenses were issued direct to NPDC (Exh. Excepting constitutional offices which provide for special immunity as regards salary and tenure. the NPDC has remained under the Office of the President (E. a joint trial would nonetheless not be possible. As already above intimated.39 The 1987 Constitution does not define who are public officers. Perlas. for the simple reason that the latter would not have jurisdiction over the offenses. 881).other national parks (Executive Order No. either fixed by law or enduring at the pleasure of the creating power. She does not receive any salary or remuneration as a UP student regent. In Aparri v. Sandiganbayan. We ruled that it is difficult to pin down the definition of a public officer. the inability of the Sandiganbayan to hold a joint trial of Bondoc’s cases and those of the government employees separately charged for the same crimes.O. Since 1977 to 1981. 1975). These crimes are within the exclusive. 30). or even an absolute right to hold office. has not altered the nature of the offenses charged. created and conferred by law. 1974 (E.O.] Sec. 10-A. Desierto. 1). dated July 27. an individual is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. No. Item Nos. Mrs. The right to hold a public office under our political system is therefore not a natural right. Office of the Ombudsman. an individual . This is not the first or likely the last time that We will be called upon to define a public officer. No. Jur. by which. issued pursuant to PD No.00. No. Rather. Petitioner also contends that she is not a public officer. committed by government employees in conspiracy with private persons. 69). 2. There is no such thing as a vested interest or an estate in an office. apart from the fact that even if the cases could be so transferred. 3). Imelda R. dated November 27. to be exercise by him for the benefit of the public ([Mechem Public Offices and Officers. 709.

indeed. Petitioner falls under the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan as she is placed there by express provision of law. or a motion to quash. It is axiomatic that jurisdiction is determined by the averments in the information. As the Sandiganbayan pointed out. her act was done in a private capacity and not in relation to public office. 51 More than that. No. and that her acts were not ratified by the governing body of the state university. It is not only the salary grade that determines the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan.44 Section 4(A)(1)(g) of P. She adds there was no Board Resolution issued by the BOR authorizing her to contract with then President Estrada. according to the Information.45 By express mandate of law. or managers of government-owned or controlled corporations.D. the Sandiganbayan would still not have jurisdiction over the offense because it was not committed in relation to her office. in no uncertain terms that petitioner. a regular tuition fee-paying student. An investment in an individual of some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. committing the offense in relation to her office and taking advantage of her position. 1606 explictly vested the Sandiganbayan with jurisdiction over Presidents. the BOR performs functions similar to those of a board of trustees of a non-stock corporation. a public officer as contemplated by P. According to petitioner. Moreover. the information alleged. The Sandiganbayan also has jurisdiction over other officers enumerated in P." 42 Petitioner claims that she is not a public officer with Salary Grade 27. philosophy. No. she had no power or authority to act without the approval of the BOR. jurisdiction is not affected by the pleas or the theories set up by defendant or respondent in an answer. 52 Otherwise. in fact.43 We held that while the first part of Section 4(A) covers only officials with Salary Grade 27 and higher. UP performs a legitimate governmental function by providing advanced instruction in literature. petitioner is. 49 Moreover. being then a student regent of U. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public. jurisdiction would become dependent almost entirely upon the whims of defendant or respondent.47 Delegation of sovereign functions is essential in the public office. and arts. it is merely incidental to the public office. UP is maintained by the Government and it declares no dividends and is not a corporation created for profit. it is well established that compensation is not an essential element of public office. she is. No.P. Petitioner likewise argues that even assuming that she is a public officer.D. In Geduspan v. 1606. 1606. to be exercised by him for the benefit of the public makes one a public officer. 53 In the case at bench. Petitioner falls under this category. its second part specifically includes other executive officials whose positions may not be of Salary Grade 27 and higher but who are by express provision of law placed under the jurisdiction of the said court. "while in the performance of her official functions.50 The offense charged was committed in relation to public office.48 The administration of the UP is a sovereign function in line with Article XIV of the Constitution. with intent to gain.D. The individual so invested is a public officer.is invested with some portion of the sovereign functions of the government. conspiring with her . state universities or educational institutions or foundations. 46 At most. Resultantly. the sciences.. This is likewise bereft of merit. directors or trustees. and giving professional and technical training. a motion to dismiss. People.

It is contended anew that the amount came from President Estrada’s private funds and not from the government coffers. We cannot agree.00). Ramos.brother. Ramos and warned that a repetition may warrant suspension or disbarment. the Court sustains the Sandiganbayan observation that the source of the P15.000. A review of his motion to quash. Ramos in connection with a criminal case.00). 2000 in the amount of Fifteen Million Pesos (P15. No. petitioner’s counsel. Under the information.000. Petitioner insists the charge has no leg to stand on. specifically Rule 10.56 We admonish petitioner’s counsel to be more careful and accurate in his citation." Again. the instant petition for certiorari and his memorandum." The Court stressed the importance of this rule in Pangan v. it is averred that "petitioner requested the amount of Fifteen Million Pesos (P15. 91353 dated October 24. The Court ruled that Atty. unveils the misquotation.55 where Atty Dionisio D. The information alleges that the funds came from the Office of the President and not its then occupant. Renato G. 57 The administration of justice would gravely suffer if lawyers do not act with complete candor and honesty before the courts.000. there was no grave abuse of discretion on the part of the Sandiganbayan when it did not quash the information based on this ground. Ramos resorted to deception by using a name different from that with which he was authorized. President Joseph Ejercito Estrada. from the Office of the President. did then and there wilfully. and the latter relying and believing on said false pretenses and misrepresentation gave and delivered to said accused Land Bank Check No.000. fairness and honesty to the Court. unlawfully and feloniously defraud the government x x x. SERANA." (Underscoring supplied) Clearly. A lawyer’s conduct before the court should be characterized by candor and fairness. 54 A lawyer owes candor. the petition is DENIED for lack of merit.02 of the Rules stating that "a lawyer shall not misquote or misrepresent. a private individual. 1606 as a quotation from Section 4 of R. 3019. dela Cruz. Ramos used the name Pedro D. No. JADE IAN D. SO ORDERED.D.000. Philippine Currency. We severely reprimanded Atty. As a parting note. We urge petitioner’s counsel to observe Canon 10 of the Code of Professional Responsibility. 58 WHEREFORE.A. .000 is a matter of defense that should be ventilated during the trial on the merits of the instant case.D. Source of funds is a defense that should be raised during trial on the merits. misrepresented his reference to Section 4 of P.

..... G.. No... No.. .-x G...versus - SANDIGANBAYAN and PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.. x..FIRST DIVISION RUPERTO A. 175457 Petitioner...........R.. 175482 . JR.. AMBIL....R. Respondent.

. 2011 x ......131[2] assailing the Decision132[3] promulgated  130 131 132 .... July 6. JR..J...versus - BERSAMIN. J........... Present: Petitioner.. SR.-x DECISION VILLARAMA.... Respondent.. APELADO... Ambil.....130[1] and petitioner Alexandrino R.ALEXANDRINO R....... Apelado Sr. and VILLARAMA. . CARPIO... C. CORONA... JJ. Jr.: Before us are two consolidated petitions for review on certiorari filed by petitioner Ruperto A........ Chairperson... DEL CASTILLO.. JR. Promulgated: PEOPLE OF THE PHILIPPINES.

President of the Eastern Samar Chapter of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP). were charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. the new President of the IBP. 2005 and Resolution133[4] dated November 8. Jr. for violation of Section 3(e) 136[7] of Republic Act (R. Loste. Upon reinvestigation. 10963 for murder. Jr. in an Information138[9] dated January 31.) No. Ambil. he recommended the dismissal of the complaint against petitioners. an accused in Criminal Case No. recommending the dismissal of the complaint as regards Balano and the amendment of the Information to include the charge of Delivering Prisoners from Jail 133 134 135 136 137 138 139 . Apelado. informed the Ombudsman that the IBP is no longer interested in pursuing the case against petitioners. to the Office of the Ombudsman. 25892. petitioners Ambil. the Office of the Ombudsman issued a Memorandum139[10] dated August 4. the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) recommended the filing of criminal charges against petitioner Ambil. 2000. In a Report 135[6] dated January 4. David B.on September 16. 3019. On September 22. The present controversy arose from a letter 134[5] of Atty. Jr. 2006 of the Sandiganbayan in Criminal Case No. Sr. 3019. Thus. praying for an investigation into the alleged transfer of then Mayor Francisco Adalim. 1999. together with SPO3 Felipe A. otherwise known as the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act. Balano. from the provincial jail of Eastern Samar to the residence of petitioner.A.A. 1999. 2000. then Governor Ruperto A. Eastern Samar Chapter. No. as amended.137[8] Nonetheless. and Alexandrino R.

and thereafter placed said detention prisoner (Mayor Francisco Adalim) under accused RUPERTO A.000. Province of Eastern Samar. by allowing said Mayor Adalim to stay at accused Ambil’s residence for a period of Eighty-Five (85) days. Presiding Judge. that Adalim’s transfer was justified considering the imminent threats upon his person and the dangers posed by his detention at the provincial jail. however. being then the Provincial Warden of Eastern Samar. both having been public officers. 140 141 142 . 10963. (RPC) against the remaining accused. for Murder. petitioners pleaded not guilty and posted bail. Eastern Samar. Bugtas. CONTRARY TO LAW. Jr. AMBIL. appointed and qualified as such. [the] above-named accused. by virtue of a warrant of Arrest issued by Honorable Arnulfo P. and for sometime prior [or] subsequent thereto. had sent numerous prisoners to the same jail where Mayor Adalim was to be held. conniving and confederating together and mutually helping x x x each other.[. manifest partiality and evident bad faith. and Alexandrino R. with deliberate intent. BAIL BOND RECOMMENDED: P30. Borongan. The Amended Information141[12] reads: That on or about the 6th day of September 1998. They reason. and within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court. petitioners admitted the allegations in the Information. thus accused in the performance of official functions had given unwarranted benefits and advantage to detainee Mayor Francisco Adalim to the prejudice of the government. JR. At the pre-trial. Ruperto A.00 each. committing the offense in relation to office.’s custody.142[13] On arraignment. Adalim’s sister. [in] the Municipality of Borongan. Ambil. as amended. unlawfully and criminally order and cause the release from the Provincial Jail of detention prisoner Mayor Francisco Adalim. According to petitioners. more or less which act was done without any court order. Apelado. did then and there wilfully. Juliana A. duly elected. Atty. Adalim-White.] being then the Provincial Governor of Eastern Samar. accused in Criminal Case No. RTC-Branch 2.under Article 156140[11] of the Revised Penal Code. Philippines.

AdalimWhite and Mayor Francisco C. petitioners presented three witnesses: petitioner Ambil. Adalim. she sought the alternative custody of Gov. Eastern Samar. Jr. after Provincial Warden and herein petitioner Apelado. She recounted how Mayor Adalim was arrested while they were attending a wedding in Sulat. Jr. White. He also noticed a prisoner. Adalim confirmed Atty. 144[15] For her part. He cites poor security in the provincial jail as the primary reason for taking personal custody of Adalim considering that the latter would be in the company of inmates who were put away by his sister and guards identified with his political opponents. Atty.. Adalim admitted staying at Ambil. Francisco Adalim introduced himself as the Mayor of Taft.145[16] Meanwhile. failed to guarantee the mayor’s safety. 1998 in connection with a murder case filed against him in the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Borongan. Atty. Eastern Samar. He confirmed his arrest on September 6.146[17] 143 144 145 146 . Jr. he called on his sister for help. Roman Akyatan. Petitioner Ambil.’s residence for almost three months before he posted bail after the charge against him was downgraded to homicide. his political rivals at the provincial jail. Eastern Samar. 1998. Sensing danger. testified that he was the Governor of Eastern Samar from 1998 to 2001. gesture to him with a raised clenched fist. Petitioners filed a Motion for Leave to File Demurrer to Evidence with Reservation to Present Evidence in Case of Denial 143[14] but the same was denied. Sr. At the trial. Juliana A. According to him. Jr. Ambil. it was upon the advice of Adalim’s lawyers that he directed the transfer of Adalim’s detention to his home. White’s account that he spotted inmates who served as bodyguards for.Consequently. or who are associated with. White stated that she is the District Public Attorney of Eastern Samar and the sister of Mayor Adalim. on September 6. the prosecution no longer offered testimonial evidence and rested its case after the admission of its documentary exhibits. According to Atty.

Jr. It observed that petitioner Ambil. No. did not personally verify any actual threat on Adalim’s life but relied simply on the advice of Adalim’s lawyers. According to him. First Division. Sr. It stressed that under the Rules. Petitioner claims that it is for this reason that he submitted to the governor’s order to relinquish custody of Adalim.Petitioner Apelado. in the latter’s capacity as a provincial jailer. 3019. Atty. 1998. no person under detention by legal process shall be released or transferred except upon order of the court or when he is admitted to bail. The court ruled that in moving Adalim to a private residence. Allegedly. only two guards were incharge of looking after 50 inmates. The Sandiganbayan also pointed out the availability of an isolation cell and nipa huts within the 10-meter-high perimeter fence of the jail 147 148 149 150 . White who informed him that he was under the governor.148[19] On September 16. each housing 25 inmates. there were several nipa huts within the perimeter for use during conjugal visits. while an isolation cell of 10 square meters was unserviceable at the time. He recalls that on September 6. Sr. testified that he was the Provincial Jail Warden of Eastern Samar. petitioners have conspired to accord him unwarranted benefits in the form of more comfortable quarters with access to television and other privileges that other detainees do not enjoy.150[21] The Sandiganbayan brushed aside petitioners’ defense that Adalim’s transfer was made to ensure his safety.147[18] Further. petitioner Apelado. described the physical condition of the jail to be dilapidated and undermanned.A. SPO3 Felipe Balano fetched him at home to assist in the arrest of Mayor Adalim. At the provincial jail. White was contesting the legality of Mayor Adalim’s arrest and arguing with the jail guards against booking him for detention. the Sandiganbayan. There were two cells in the jail. Also. petitioner was confronted by Atty. promulgated the assailed Decision149[20] finding petitioners guilty of violating Section 3(e) of R. 2005.

Petitioner Ambil. REPUBLIC ACT 6975 HAS THE AUTHORITY TO TAKE CUSTODY OF A DETENTION PRISONER. EVIDENT BAD FAITH OR GROSS INEXCUSABLE NEGLIGENCE IN THE CONTEXT OF SAID SECTION 3(e). the Sandiganbayan sentenced petitioner Ambil. Hence. advances the following issues for our consideration: I WHETHER OR NOT SECTION 3(e) REPUBLIC ACT NO. Sr. the present petitions. II WHETHER OR NOT A PUBLIC OFFICER SUCH AS PETITIONER IS A PRIVATE PARTY FOR PURPOSES OF SECTION 3(e). Jr. V WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER IS ENTITLED TO THE JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE OF FULFILLMENT OF A DUTY OR THE LAWFUL EXERCISE OF A RIGHT OR OFFICE.. In favor of petitioner Apelado. III WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER ACTED WITH DELIBERATE INTENT.which could have been used to separate Adalim from other prisoners. Finally. IV WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER AS PROVINCIAL GOVERNOR AND JAILER UNDER SECTIONS 1730 AND 1733. CHAPTER V.’s failure to turn over Adalim despite advice from Assistant Secretary Jesus Ingeniero of the Department of Interior and Local Government. VI . 3019. to an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment for nine (9) years. AS AMENDED. CHAPTER 45 OF THE ADMINISTRATIVE CODE OF 1917 AND SECTION 61. REPUBLIC ACT NO. Jr. MANIFEST PARTIALITY. Jr. APPLIES TO PETITIONER’S CASE BEFORE THE SANDIGANBAYAN. eight (8) months and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and four (4) months. ARTICLE III. AS AMENDED. 3019. it cited petitioner Ambil. Consequently. the court appreciated the incomplete justifying circumstance of obedience to a superior order and sentenced him to imprisonment for six (6) years and one (1) month to nine (9) years and eight (8) months.

151 152 153 154 . Meanwhile. III THE COURT A QUO’S BASIS IN CONVICTING BOTH ACCUSED AMBIL AND HEREIN PETITIONER OF HAVING GIVEN MAYOR ADALIM “UNWARRANTED BENEFITS AND ADVANTAGE TO THE PREJUDICE x x x OF THE GOVERNMENT IS. R. THE LATTER SHOULD BE ACCORDED FULL CREDIT FOR THE JUSTIFYING CIRCUMSTANCE UNDER PARAGRAPH 6.151[22] For his part.A. petitioner Apelado. II IN THE ABSENCE OF COMPETENT PROOF BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT OF CONSPIRACY BETWEEN ACCUSED AMBIL AND HEREIN PETITIONER. AT THE MOST. imputes the following errors on the Sandiganbayan: I THERE WAS MISAPPREHENSION OF FACTS AND/OR MISAPPLICATION OF THE LAW AND JURISPRUDENCE IN CONVICTING ACCUSED APELADO. and (2) Whether he is entitled to the justifying circumstance of obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose under Article 11(6)154[25] of the RPC. ARTICLE 11 OF THE REVISED PENAL CODE. petitioner Apelado.WHETHER OR NOT PETITIONER SHOULD HAVE BEEN ACQUITTED BECAUSE THE PROSECUTION EVIDENCE DID NOT ESTABLISH HIS GUILT BEYOND REASONABLE DOUBT.A. No. can be summed up into three: (1) Whether he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e). 3019. No. R.152[23] The issues raised by petitioner Ambil. EITHER AS PRINCIPAL OR IN CONSPIRACY WITH HIS CO-ACCUSED AMBIL.’s assignment of errors can be condensed into two: (1) Whether he is guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e). Jr. 3019. (2) Whether a provincial governor has authority to take personal custody of a detention prisoner. and (3) Whether he is entitled to the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty under Article 11(5) 153[24] of the RPC. Sr. Sr. SPECULATIVE.

Petitioner Apelado. . 3019 does not apply to his case because the provision contemplates only transactions of a pecuniary nature. Corrupt practices of public officers. For the State. petitioner Ambil. Since the law punishes a public officer who extends unwarranted benefits to a private person. he invokes immunity from criminal liability. After a careful review of this case.. a public officer. Jr.A. No. the Court finds the present petitions bereft of merit. Petitioners were charged with violation of Section 3(e) of R. 3. Sec. not to his person as a mayor. Ingeniero. petitioners have accorded undue preference to Adalim for liability to attach under the provision. petitioner avers that he cannot be held liable for extending a favor to Mayor Adalim. 3019 because the unwarranted benefit redounded. No. The OSP also reiterates petitioners’ lack of authority to take custody of a detention prisoner without a court order. It suggests further that petitioners were motivated by bad faith as evidenced by their refusal to turn over Adalim despite instruction from Asst. the Office of the Special Prosecutor (OSP) points out the absence of jurisprudence that restricts the application of Section 3(e).Fundamentally. No. Considering this.A. No. defends that he was merely following the orders of a superior when he transferred the detention of Adalim. on the other hand. argues that Section 3(e). Sr.A. or giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. Sr. the following shall constitute corrupt practices of any public officer and are hereby declared to be unlawful: xxxx (e) Causing any undue injury to any party. R. Hence. the OSP maintains that Adalim is deemed a private party for purposes of applying Section 3(e). Jr. petitioner believes himself entitled to the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty or lawful exercise of duty. advantage or preference in the discharge of . R. Further. but to his person as a detention prisoner accused of murder. R. Further. including the Government. Petitioner Apelado.A. it concludes that petitioners are not entitled to the benefit of any justifying circumstance.In addition to acts or omissions of public officers already penalized by existing law. The OSP explains that it is enough to show that in performing their functions. As well. denies allegations of conspiracy between him and petitioner Ambil. he claims good faith in taking custody of the mayor pursuant to his duty as a “Provincial Jailer” under the Administrative Code of 1917. 3019 or the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act which provides: Section. 3019 to transactions of a pecuniary nature.

administrative or judicial functions through manifest partiality. In order to hold a person liable under this provision. 3019. otherwise known as the AntiGraft and Corrupt Practices Act. This provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. including the government. otherwise classified as Grade ‘27’ and higher. Jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over public officers charged with violation of the Anti-Graft Law is provided under Section 4 of Presidential Decree No. 1606. Section 2. assessors. judicial or official functions. 6758). specifically including: (a) Provincial governors. where one or more of the accused are officials occupying the following positions in the government. acting or interim capacity. as amended.] xxxx 155 156 157 .his official. 1379. 156[27] as amended by R. of the Compensation and Position Classification Act of 1989 (Republic Act No. Title VII. 1606. Violations of Republic Act No. No. engineers and other provincial department heads[. whether in a permanent. vice-governors. and Chapter II.—The Sandiganbayan shall exercise exclusive original jurisdiction in all cases involving: a. 4.D. 8249. 155[26] As to the first element. or gave any private party unwarranted benefits. No. Jurisdiction. P. (2) he must have acted with manifest partiality. Book II of the Revised Penal Code. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. advantage or preference in the discharge of his functions. and (3) his action caused any undue injury to any party. the following elements must concur: (1) the accused must be a public officer discharging administrative. at the time of the commission of the offense: (1) Officials of the executive branch occupying the positions of regional director and higher. read as follows: SEC. as amended.A. Republic Act No. 157[28] The pertinent portions of Section 4. members of the sangguniang panlalawigan and provincial treasurers. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. there is no question that petitioners are public officers discharging official functions and that jurisdiction over them lay with the Sandiganbayan.

and municipal circuit trial court. xxxx Thus. Sr. through manifest partiality. for its part. evident bad faith or gross inexcusable negligence. petitioner Apelado. over whose position the Sandiganbayan has jurisdiction. Jr.” x x x 160[31] 158 159 160 .159[30] we defined “partiality. it imputes a dishonest purpose or some moral obliquity and conscious doing of a wrong. 6758. a breach of sworn duty through some motive or intent or ill will. Here. describes the three ways by which a violation of Section 3(e) of R. as prescribed in the said Republic Act No.” “Bad faith does not simply connote bad judgment or negligence. As to him. People. Jr. The same is true as regards petitioner Apelado. municipal trial court. Nonetheless. it partakes of the nature of fraud. The second element. a Certification 158[29] from the Provincial Government Department Head of the HRMO shows that his position as Provincial Warden is classified as Salary Grade 22. 3019 may be committed. it is only when none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to salary grade ‘27’ or higher shall exclusive jurisdiction be vested in the lower courts. was charged as a co-principal with Governor Ambil.” “bad faith” and “gross negligence” as follows: “Partiality” is synonymous with “bias” which “excites a disposition to see and report matters as they are wished for rather than as they are.In cases where none of the accused are occupying positions corresponding to Salary Grade ‘27’ or higher.” “Gross negligence has been so defined as negligence characterized by the want of even slight care. as the case may be. is beyond question. Accordingly. 129. pursuant to their respective jurisdiction as provided in Batas Pambansa Blg. metropolitan trial court. It is the omission of that care which even inattentive and thoughtless men never fail to take on their own property. the jurisdiction of the Sandiganbayan over petitioner Ambil.. acting or omitting to act in a situation where there is a duty to act. or military and PNP officers mentioned above. In Sison v. No. he was correctly tried jointly with said public officer in the proper court which had exclusive original jurisdiction over them – the Sandiganbayan. as amended.A. that is. exclusive original jurisdiction thereof shall be vested in the proper regional trial court. not inadvertently but wilfully and intentionally with a conscious indifference to consequences in so far as other persons may be affected. Sr.

Chapter 5 of R. 6975). No.In this case. Jr. No. order the act undone or re-done by his subordinate or he may even decide to do it himself.’s contention that he is authorized to transfer the detention of prisoners by virtue of his power as the “Provincial Jailer” of Eastern Samar. Powers of Local Chief Executives over the Units of the Philippine National Police. .A.162[33] An officer in control lays down the rules in the doing of an act. The provincial jails shall be supervised and controlled by the provincial government within its jurisdiction. Jr. whose expenses shall be subsidized by the National Government for not more than three (3) years after the effectivity of this Act.A. 28. he may. If they are not followed.” and the rules and regulations issued pursuant thereto. fire protection unit. In particular.163[34] 161 162 163 . and jail management personnel assigned in their respective jurisdictions shall be governed by the provisions of Republic Act Numbered Sixty-nine hundred seventy-five (R. There is no merit to petitioner Ambil. in his discretion.’s house. we find that petitioners displayed manifest partiality and evident bad faith in transferring the detention of Mayor Adalim to petitioner Ambil. otherwise known as “The Department of the Interior and Local Government Act of 1990. Section 28 of the Local Government Code draws the extent of the power of local chief executives over the units of the Philippine National Police within their jurisdiction: SEC.—The extent of operational supervision and control of local chief executives over the police force. Section 61. 6975 161[32] on the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology provides: Sec.The Jail Bureau shall exercise supervision and control over all city and municipal jails. Powers and Functions. The power of control is the power of an officer to alter or modify or set aside what a subordinate officer had done in the performance of his duties and to substitute the judgment of the former for that of the latter. 61.

and it shall be his duty to administer the same in accordance with law and the regulations prescribed for the government of provincial prisons. Essentially. cites Section 1731. but he does not lay down the rules.) 164 165 166 . but always in conformity with the law. supply proper food and clothing for the prisoners. under the direction of the provincial board and at the expense of the province. unless sooner separated.” 164[35] If the subordinate officers fail or neglect to fulfill their duties. the power of supervision means no more than the power of ensuring that laws are faithfully executed. On the contrary. Section 1731 provides: SEC. In a desperate attempt to stretch the scope of his powers. subordinates must be enjoined to act within the bounds of law. it is the provincial government and not the governor alone which has authority to exercise control and supervision over provincial jails. Jr. rules may be laid down on how the act should be done.On the other hand. in its discretion. the power of supervision means “overseeing or the authority of an officer to see to it that the subordinate officers perform their duties. In the event that the subordinate performs an act ultra vires. neither of said powers authorizes the doing of acts beyond the parameters set by law.—The governor of the province shall be charged with the keeping of the provincial jail. 1731. The immediate custody and supervision of the jail may be committed to the care of a jailer to be appointed by the provincial governor. Article III of the Administrative Code of 1917 on Provincial jails in support. though the provincial board may. The provincial governor shall. In any case. or that subordinate officers act within the law. Provincial governor as keeper of jail. and if so filled. nor does he have discretion to modify or replace them. except that he shall hold office only during the term of office of the appointing governor and until a successor in the office of the jailer is appointed and qualified. the official may take such action or step as prescribed by law to make them perform their duties. 165[36] The supervisor or superintendent merely sees to it that the rules are followed. petitioner Ambil. let the contract for the feeding of the prisoners to some other person. 166[37] Significantly. (Emphasis supplied. The position of jailer shall be regarded as within the unclassified civil service but may be filled in the manner in which classified positions are filled. the appointee shall be entitled to all the benefits and privileges of classified employees.

Asst. Jr.This provision survived the advent of the Administrative Code of 1987.-No person under detention by legal process shall be released or transferred except upon order of the court or when he is admitted to bail. Therefore. Ingeniero wrote: 06 October 1996 GOVERNOR RUPERTO AMBIL Provincial Capitol Borongan. 3. Besides. much less the governor. Sec. Rule 114 provides: SEC. as amended. administrative acts pertain only to those acts which are necessary to be done to carry out legislative policies and purposes already declared by the legislative body or such as are devolved upon it 167[38] by the Constitution. in the exercise of his administrative powers. Section 3. the only reference to a transfer of prisoners in said article is found in Section 1737168[39] under which prisoners may be turned over to the jail of the neighboring province in case the provincial jail be insecure or insufficient to accommodate all provincial prisoners. 1998 addressed to petitioner Ambil. Indubitably. What is clear from the cited provision is that the provincial governor’s duty as a jail keeper is confined to the administration of the jail and the procurement of food and clothing for the prisoners. not in the provincial government. This was amply clarified by Asst. After all. Ingeniero in his communication 169[40] dated October 6. Eastern Samar Dear Sir: 167 168 169 . No release or transfer except on court order or bail. Sec. the power to order the release or transfer of a person under detention by legal process is vested in the court. this provision has been superseded by Section 3. nowhere did said provision designate the provincial governor as the “provincial jailer.” or even slightly suggest that he is empowered to take personal custody of prisoners. However. the governor can only enforce the law but not supplant it. Rule 114 of the Revised Rules of Criminal Procedure. But again.

Edwin B. by causing his release from prison and detaining him instead at the house of petitioner Ambil. Docena. definitely. invoking Section 61 of RA 6975 as legal basis in taking custody of the accused municipal mayor is misplaced. 170[41] betray his unmistakable bias and the evident bad faith that attended his actions. R. No. (SGD. Rule 113 of the Rules of Court. 3019. Said section merely speaks of the power of supervision vested unto the provincial governor over provincial jails. In view of the foregoing. Please be guided accordingly. Jr. include the power to take in custody any person in detention. the Information specifically accused petitioners of giving unwarranted benefits and advantage to Mayor Adalim. Moreover. administrative or judicial functions. and the reports earlier received by this Department. advantage or preference in the discharge by the accused of his official. or (2) giving any private party any unwarranted benefits. not to mention his open and willful defiance to official advice in order to accommodate a former political party mate.” Said petitioner’s usurpation of the court's authority. Petitioner Ambil. Jr. which mandates that an arrested person be delivered to the nearest police station or jail. insisted on his supposed authority as a “provincial jailer. relative to your alleged action in taking into custody Mayor Francisco “Aising” Adalim of Taft. a public officer charged with murder. Likewise amply established beyond reasonable doubt is the third element of the crime.A. petitioner Ambil. If the report is true. INGENIERO Assistant Secretary Still. it is required that the act constituting the offense consist of either (1) causing undue injury to any party. that province. 10963.This has reference to the letter of Atty. it appears that your actuation is not in accord with the provision of Section 3. in order to hold a person liable for violation of Section 3(e). you are hereby enjoined to conduct yourself within the bounds of law and to immediately deliver Mayor Adalim to the provincial jail in order to avoid legal complications. In the case at hand. including the government. It does not. Very truly yours. 170 . As mentioned above. who has been previously arrested by virtue by a warrant of arrest issued in Criminal Case No.) JESUS I. Jr.

negates the applicability of Section 3(e).172[43] (Italics supplied. regarding petitioner Ambil.174[45] Meanwhile.173[44] we affirmed that a prosecution for violation of said provision will lie regardless of whether the accused public officer is charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions. Section 3(e) is not applicable to him allegedly because the last sentence thereof provides that the “provision shall apply to officers and employees of offices or government corporations charged with the grant of licenses. permits or other concessions” and he is not such government officer or employee. whether in the classified or unclassified or exemption service receiving compensation. Its reference to “any public officer” is without distinction or qualification and it specifies the acts declared unlawful. has obviously lost sight. No. It is a strained construction of the provision to read it as applying exclusively to public officers charged with the duty of granting licenses or permits or other concessions. Jr. We agree with the view adopted by the Solicitor General that the last sentence of paragraph [Section 3] (e) is intended to make clear the inclusion of officers and employees of officers (sic) or government corporations which. if he is not altogether unaware. as regards his first contention.’s second contention. Jr. 3019 defines a “public officer” to include elective and appointive officials and employees. However. Sandiganbayan. No.) In the more recent case of Cruz v. Section 3 cited above enumerates in eleven subsections the corrupt practices of any public officers (sic) declared unlawful. Sandiganbayan171[42] where we held that a prosecution for violation of Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft Law will lie regardless of whether or not the accused public officer is “charged with the grant of licenses or permits or other concessions.” Following is an excerpt of what we said in Mejorada. of our ruling in Mejorada v. it appears that petitioner Ambil. permanent or temporary. First. Second. 3019 in this case on two points. 171 172 173 174 . Section 2(b) of R.A.A. under the ordinary concept of “public officers” may not come within the term. the purported unwarranted benefit was accorded not to a private party but to a public officer. R.

choice or estimation above another. But considering that Section 3(e) of R. it suffices that the accused has given unjustified favor or benefit to another in the exercise of his official. Mayor Adalim is one. a private person simply pertains to one who is not a public officer. they accorded such privilege to Adalim. but as a detainee charged with murder.177[48] The word “unwarranted” means lacking adequate or official support. for purposes of applying the provisions of Section 3(e). 176[47] Thus. 3019 punishes the giving by a public officer of unwarranted benefits to a private party. No. unjustified. Thus. The term “party” is a technical word having a precise meaning in legal parlance 175[46] as distinguished from “person” which. No.’s residence. While a private party is more comprehensive in scope to mean either a private person or a public officer acting in a private capacity to protect his personal interest. in general usage.A. Moreover. administrative or judicial functions. the lawmakers opted to use “private party” rather than “private person” to describe the recipient of the unwarranted benefits. when petitioners transferred Mayor Adalim from the provincial jail and detained him at petitioner Ambil. benefit from some course of action. 3019. does the fact that Mayor Adalim was the recipient of such benefits take petitioners’ case beyond the ambit of said law? We believe not.178[49] 175 176 177 178 . “Advantage” means a more favorable or improved position or condition. Jr. refers to a human being. In the present case. benefit.even nominal from the government. R. not in his official capacity as a mayor. Evidently.A. profit or gain of any kind. In drafting the Anti-Graft Law. “Preference” signifies priority or higher evaluation or desirability. Adalim was a private party. unauthorized or without justification or adequate reason. advantage or preference for a reason. in order to be found guilty under the second mode.

such repair could not have exceeded the 85 days that Adalim stayed in petitioner Ambil. invokes the justifying circumstance of fulfillment of duty or lawful exercise of right or office. More importantly. Jr. two requisites must be satisfied: (1) the accused acted in the performance of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office.’s house. The latter was housed in much more comfortable quarters.’s case. Needless to state. a court order was still indispensable for his transfer. was free to move about the house and watch television. petitioners transferred Adalim and detained him in a place other than the provincial jail. The foregoing. even if Adalim could have proven the presence of an imminent peril on his person to petitioners. even if we treat Akyatan’s gesture of raising a closed fist at Adalim as a threat of aggression. Specifically. Petitioners readily extended these benefits to Adalim on the mere representation of his lawyers that the mayor’s life would be put in danger inside the provincial jail. petitioners were unable to establish the existence of any risk on Adalim’s safety. 179 . indeed. the resulting violation of the Anti-Graft Law did not proceed from the due performance of his duty or lawful exercise of his office.Without a court order. Yet. exceeded his authority when he ordered the transfer and detention of Adalim at his house. any person who acts in the fulfillment of a duty or in the lawful exercise of a right or office does not incur any criminal liability. petitioner Ambil. Under paragraph 5. however. and (2) the injury caused or the offense committed be the necessary consequence of the due performance of duty or the lawful exercise of such right or office. there were nipa huts within the perimeter fence of the jail which could have been used to separate Adalim from the rest of the prisoners while the isolation cell was undergoing repair. 179[50] Both requisites are lacking in petitioner Ambil. provided better nourishment. Jr. To be sure. In order for this justifying circumstance to apply. Jr. the same would still not constitute a special and compelling reason to warrant Adalim’s detention outside the provincial jail. the latter would not be alone in having unfriendly company in lockup. negates the application of the justifying circumstances claimed by petitioners. Jr. As we have earlier determined. Anyhow. Article 11 of the RPC. As the Sandiganbayan ruled. petitioner Ambil. For one.

In like manner, petitioner Apelado, Sr. invokes the justifying circumstance of obedience to an
order issued for some lawful purpose. Under paragraph 6, Article 11 of the RPC, any person who
acts in obedience to an order issued by a superior for some lawful purpose does not incur any
criminal liability. For this justifying circumstance to apply, the following requisites must be present: (1)
an order has been issued by a superior; (2) such order must be for some lawful purpose; and (3) the
means used by the subordinate to carry out said order is lawful. 180[51] Only the first requisite is
present in this case.
While the order for Adalim’s transfer emanated from petitioner Ambil, Jr., who was then
Governor, neither said order nor the means employed by petitioner Apelado, Sr. to carry it out was
lawful. In his capacity as the Provincial Jail Warden of Eastern Samar, petitioner Apelado, Sr. fetched
Mayor Adalim at the provincial jail and, unarmed with a court order, transported him to the house of
petitioner Ambil, Jr. This makes him liable as a principal by direct participation under Article 17(1) 181
[52] of the RPC.
An accepted badge of conspiracy is when the accused by their acts aimed at the same object,
one performing one part of and another performing another so as to complete it with a view to the
attainment of the same object, and their acts although apparently independent were in fact concerted
and cooperative, indicating closeness of personal association, concerted action and concurrence of
sentiments.182[53]
Conspiracy was sufficiently demonstrated by petitioner Apelado, Sr.’s willful cooperation in
executing petitioner Ambil, Jr.’s order to move Adalim from jail, despite the absence of a court order.
Petitioner Apelado, Sr., a law graduate, cannot hide behind the cloak of ignorance of the law. The
Rule requiring a court order to transfer a person under detention by legal process is elementary.
Truth be told, even petitioner governor who is unschooled in the intricacies of the law expressed
reservations on his power to transfer Adalim. All said, the concerted acts of petitioners Ambil, Jr. and
Apelado, Sr. resulting in the violation charged, makes them equally responsible as conspirators.

180

181

182

As regards the penalty imposed upon petitioners, Section 9(a) of R.A. No. 3019 punishes a
public officer or a private person who violates Section 3 of R.A. No. 3019 with imprisonment for not
less than six (6) years and one (1) month to not more than fifteen (15) years and perpetual
disqualification from public office. Under Section 1 of the Indeterminate Sentence Law or Act No.
4103, as amended by Act No. 4225, if the offense is punished by a special law, the court shall
sentence the accused to an indeterminate sentence, the maximum term of which shall not exceed the
maximum fixed by said law and the minimum shall not be less than the minimum term prescribed by
the same.
Thus, the penalty imposed by the Sandiganbayan upon petitioner Ambil, Jr. of imprisonment
for nine (9) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and four (4) months is in
accord with law. As a co-principal without the benefit of an incomplete justifying circumstance to his
credit, petitioner Apelado, Sr. shall suffer the same penalty.
WHEREFORE, the consolidated petitions are DENIED. The Decision of the Sandiganbayan in
Criminal Case No. 25892 is AFFIRMED WITH MODIFICATION. We find petitioners Ruperto A. Ambil, Jr.
and Alexandrino R. Apelado, Sr. guilty beyond reasonable doubt of violating Section 3(e), R.A. No. 3019.
Petitioner Alexandrino R. Apelado, Sr. is, likewise, sentenced to an indeterminate penalty of imprisonment
for nine (9) years, eight (8) months and one (1) day to twelve (12) years and four (4) months.
With costs against the petitioners.
SO ORDERED.
Republic of the Philippines
SUPREME COURT
Manila

THIRD DIVISION

CLARITA DEPAKAKIBO GARCIA,

G.R. No. 170122

Petitioner,

- versus -

SANDIGANBAYAN and REPUBLIC
OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondents.
x-----------------------------------------x
CLARITA DEPAKAKIBO GARCIA,
Petitioner,

G.R. No. 171381
- versus Present:

SANDIGANBAYAN and REPUBLIC
OF THE PHILIPPINES,
Respondents.

CARPIO, J., Chairperson,
CHICO-NAZARIO,
VELASCO, JR.,
LEONARDO-DE CASTRO,* and

*

Fourth Division.PERALTA. insofar as it likewise denied the petitioner’s motion to dismiss and/or quash Civil Case No.183[1] as reiterated in another Order dated August 26. each interposed by petitioner Clarita D. with application for injunctive relief. 2005 Resolution 184[2] of the Sandiganbayan. 2005. 170122. Promulgated: October 12. another forfeiture case involving the same parties but for different properties. No. 2009 x-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION VELASCO. petitioner seeks to nullify and set aside the August 5. JJ. Garcia. In the first petition for mandamus and/or certiorari. docketed as G. J. 0196.R. seeks to nullify and set aside the November 9. No. The second petition for certiorari.: The Case Before us are these two (2) consolidated petitions under Rule 65.R. 183 184 . 171381. Fourth Division. docketed as G. 2005 Order. 0193. both issued by the Sandiganbayan. which effectively denied the petitioner’s motion to dismiss and/or to quash Civil Case No.. JR. a suit for forfeiture commenced by the Republic of the Philippines against the petitioner and her immediate family.

The plunder charge. 0196 as Forfeiture II.005. Case No.980. 2004 a petition for the forfeiture of those properties. Civil Case No. this time to recover funds and properties amounting to PhP 202. herein petitioner Clarita.99. (RA) 1379. through the Office of the Ombudsman (OMB). but subsequent to the filing of Forfeiture I. 0196 would eventually be raffled also to the Fourth Division of the SB. covered substantially the same properties identified in both forfeiture cases. Civil Case No. his wife.55. After the filing of Forfeiture I.29 that retired Maj. the Garcias) had allegedly amassed and acquired. For convenience and clarity.005. Garcia.052. the following events transpired in relation to the case: 185 . was eventually raffled to the Fourth Division of the anti-graft court. as the parties’ pleadings seem to indicate. 2005 of another forfeiture case. This petition. docketed as Civil Case No. Docketed as Crim. the Republic. Gen.The Facts To recover unlawfully acquired funds and properties in the aggregate amount of PhP 143. 0196.272. 28107. Civil Case No. docketed as Civil Case No. Carlos F. 0193. the Information was raffled off to the Second Division of the SB.015. children Ian Carl. Juan Paulo and Timothy Mark (collectively. pursuant to Republic Act No. 0193 shall hereinafter be also referred to as Forfeiture I and Civil Case No. 2005 which placed the value of the property and funds plundered at PhP 303.185[3] filed with the Sandiganbayan (SB) on October 29. 0193 was followed by the filing on July 5. the OMB charged the Garcias and three others with violation of RA 7080 (plunder) under an Information dated April 5. Prior to the filing of Forfeiture II.

R. Earlier.189[7] On May 20.(1) The corresponding summons were issued and all served on Gen. Garcia at his place of detention. 165835 to nullify the writ of attachment SB issued in which case the SB should defer action on the forfeiture case as a matter of judicial courtesy. The OMB countered with a motion to expunge and to declare the Garcias in default. the Garcias moved for the transfer and consolidation of Forfeiture I with the plunder case which were respectively pending in different divisions of the SB. Garcia challenged before this Court. or on October 29. the SB issued a writ of attachment in favor of the Republic. No. No. the SB denied the motion to dismiss. The same resolution declared the Garcias in default. (3) Despite the standing default order. 165835. and set a date for the ex-parte presentation of the Republic’s evidence. 2005. the summons were duly served on respondent Garcias. Instead of an answer. declared the same motion as pro forma and hence without tolling effect on the period to answer.R. 2005. docketed as G. 2004. (2) By Resolution187[5] of January 20. 2005. To the OMB’s motion. 2005. the SB 4 th Division denied the motion for the reason that the forfeiture case is not the corresponding civil action for the recovery of civil liability arising from the criminal case of plunder. Per the Sheriff’s Return186[4] dated November 2. the Garcias filed a motion to dismiss on the ground of the SB’s lack of jurisdiction over separate civil actions for forfeiture. docketed as G. 186 187 188 189 . A second motion for reconsideration was also denied on February 23. pursuant to the prohibited pleading rule. the Garcias interposed an opposition in which they manifested that they have meanwhile repaired to the Court on certiorari. Another resolution188[6] denied the Garcias’ motion for reconsideration and/or to admit answer. an issuance which Gen. contending that such consolidation is mandatory under RA 8249.

For lack of proper and valid service of summons. the SB merely noted the motion in view of movants having been declared in default which has yet to be lifted. even after final judgment. mere declaration in default does not per se bar petitioner from challenging the [SB] 4th Division’s lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter of forfeiture I as the same can be raised anytime. 2005 and August 26 2005 that merely “Noted without action.R. 170122. Contrary to its August 26. any and all proceedings before the [SB] are null and void. [and her children’s] x x x persons. It is upon the foregoing factual antecedents that petitioner Clarita has interposed her first special civil action for mandamus and/or certiorari docketed as G. As the [SB] has not validly acquired jurisdiction over the petitioner’s [and her children’s] x x x persons.” hence refused to resolve petitioner’s motion to dismiss and/or to quash by virtue of petitioner’s prior default in that: A. 2005.(4) On July 26. they could not possibly be declared in default. No. By Order190[8] of August 5. and (b) that the consolidation is imperative in order to avoid possible double jeopardy entanglements. much less make them become the true “parties-litigants. the Garcias filed another motion to dismiss and/or to quash Forfeiture I on. the [SB] 4th Division could not have acquired jurisdiction over petitioner’s. raising the following issues: I. Even then. inter alia. C. 2005. Whether or not the [SB] 4 th Division acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion x x x in issuing its challenged order of August 5. In the absence of jurisdiction over the subject matter. 2005 rejection of petitioner’s motion for reconsideration of the first challenged order that the issue of jurisdiction raised therein had already been passed upon by [the 190 . contestants or legal adversaries” in forfeiture I. the following grounds: (a) the filing of the plunder case ousted the SB 4th Division of jurisdiction over the forfeiture case. nor can a valid judgment by default be rendered against them. B.

any penal conviction for forfeiture in this case cannot be enforced outside of the Philippines x x x. Garcia. the records clearly show that the grounds relied upon by petitioner in her motion to dismiss and/or to quash dated July 26.SB 4th Division’s] resolution of May 20. E. and to avoid possible conflicting decisions by 2 divisions of the [SB] on the matter of forfeiture as a penal sanction. 1379 [1955]) was impliedly repealed by the plunder law (RA No. the forfeiture law (RA No. In his return of July 13. Ian Carl. but as to those pertaining to the other respondents.191[9] (Emphasis added. 2005 were entirely different. In any event.) With respect to Forfeiture II. Based on orderly procedure and sound administration of justice. separate and distinct from the grounds set forth in petitioner’s manifestation and motion [to consolidate] dated April 15. it is imperative that the matter of forfeiture be exclusively tried in the main plunder case to avoid possible double jeopardy entanglements. D. the SB sheriff served the corresponding summons. the sheriff stated giving the copies of the summons to the OIC/Custodian of the PNP Detention Center who in turn handed them to Gen. Garcia acknowledged receiving the same. Being incompatible. the following events and proceedings occurred or were taken after the petition for Forfeiture II was filed: (1) On July 12. F. The general signed his receipt of the summons. 2005. Since the sought forfeiture includes properties purportedly located in the USA. G. the [SB] 4 th Division has been ousted of jurisdiction over the subject matter of forfeiture I upon the filing of the main plunder case against petitioner that mandates the automatic forfeiture of the subject properties in forfeiture cases I & II as a function or adjunct of any conviction for plunder. 2005. Juan Paolo & Timothy – but these copies will not guarantee it being served to the above-named (sic). but with the following qualifying note: “I’m receiving the copies of Clarita. 2005.” 191 . 7080 [1991]) with automatic forfeiture mechanism. 2005 that was denied by it per its resolution of May 20. 2005. Gen.

2005 and its Resolution of January 24. Based on orderly procedure and sound administration of justice. docketed as GR No. thru special appearance of counsel.(2) On July 26. By virtue of the plunder case filed with the [SB] Second Division that mandates the automatic forfeiture of unlawfully acquired properties upon conviction. the SB denied petitioner’s motion for partial reconsideration. 2005. the Republic filed its opposition with a motion for alternative service of summons. the [SB] ought to have dismissed forfeiture II for lack of jurisdiction over petitioner’s person x x x. the [SB] Fourth Division has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of forfeiture. 1379 [1955]) was impliedly repealed by the plunder law (RA No. Based on its own finding that summons was improperly served on petitioner. 2005. it is imperative that the matter of forfeiture be exclusively tried in the main plunder case to avoid possible 192 . The motion for alternative service would be repeated in another motion of August 25. To the above motion. Clarita and her children. 171381. the forfeiture law (RA No.192[10] From the last two issuances adverted to. the SB denied both the petitioner’s motion to dismiss and/or to quash and the Republic’s motion for alternative service of summons. 2005. Being incompatible. D. C. 2006. the SB 4th Division acted without or in excess of jurisdiction or with grave abuse of discretion in issuing its Joint Resolution dated November 9. Clarita has come to this Court via the instant petition for certiorari. 2006 denying petitioner’s motion to dismiss and/or to quash in that: A. (3) By Joint Resolution of November 9. B. On January 24. 7080 [1991]) with automatic forfeiture mechanism. As there submitted. filed a motion to dismiss and/or to quash Forfeiture II primarily for lack of jurisdiction over their persons and on the subject matter thereof which is now covered by the plunder case.

No.) Per Resolution of the Court dated March 13. 28107—has already been filed and pending with another division of the SB. Case No. i. 193[11] (Emphasis added. G. The Court’s Ruling The petitions are partly meritorious.e. 0193 (Forfeiture I) and 0196 (Forfeiture II).double jeopardy entanglements and worse conflicting decisions by 2 divisions of the Sandiganbayan on the matter of forfeiture as a penal sanction. that the plunder case—Crim. Second Division of the SB. No. Case No. vis-à-vis Civil Case Nos. 171381 were consolidated. 170122 and G. first. Plunder Case in Crim. 2006.R. Or as petitioner puts it a bit differently..R. the filing of the main plunder case (Crim. summons against her have been ineffectively or improperly served and. 0193 and 0196 Petitioner maintains that the SB 4th Division has no jurisdiction over the subject matter of Forfeitures I and II as both cases are now covered or included in the plunder case against the Garcias. 193 . Case No. second. The core issue tendered in these consolidated cases ultimately boils down to the question of jurisdiction and may thusly be couched into whether the Fourth Division of the SB has acquired jurisdiction over the person of petitioner—and her three sons for that matter—considering that. 28107 Did Not Absorb the Forfeiture Cases in Civil Case Nos.

195[13] the civil liability for forfeiture cases does not arise from the commission of a criminal offense. Petitioner’s contention is untenable. thus depriving the 4th Division of the SB of jurisdiction over the civil cases.197[15] Thus “if the respondent [public official] is unable to show to 194 195 196 197 . petitioner would ascribe grave abuse of discretion on the SB 4 th Division for not granting its separate motions to dismiss the two forfeiture petitions and/or to consolidate them with the plunder case on the foregoing ground. 2005 Resolution. The action of forfeiture arises when a “public officer or employee [acquires] during his incumbency an amount of property which is manifestly out of proportion of his salary x x x and to his other lawful income x x x. thus: Such liability is based on a statute that safeguards the right of the State to recover unlawfully acquired properties. is flawed by the assumptions holding it together. with its automatic forfeiture mechanism in the event of conviction. Petitioner’s posture respecting Forfeitures I and II being absorbed by the plunder case. Sandiganbayan194[12] involving no less than petitioner’s husband questioning certain orders issued in Forfeiture I case. let it be stated at the outset that the SB has jurisdiction over actions for forfeiture under RA 1379. so petitioner claims.”196[14] Such amount of property is then presumed prima facie to have been unlawfully acquired. albeit the proceeding thereunder is civil in nature. Prescinding from these premises.28107). to obviate possible double jeopardy entanglements and colliding case dispositions. ousted the SB 4 th Division of its jurisdiction over the subject matter of the forfeiture cases. The inclusion of the forfeiture cases with the plunder case is necessary. And in response to what she suggests in some of her pleadings. the first assumption being that the forfeiture cases are the corresponding civil action for recovery of civil liability ex delicto. As correctly ruled by the SB 4 th Division in its May 20. We said so in Garcia v.

The Court. his immediate family and business associates. 3 199[17] the filing of forfeiture suits under RA 1379 which will proceed independently of any criminal proceedings. 198[16] x x x (Citations in the original. what is sought to be established is the commission of the criminal acts in furtherance of the acquisition of ill-gotten wealth. all that the court needs to determine.200[18] interpreted this provision as empowering the Presidential Commission on Good Government to file independent civil actions separate from the criminal actions. Executive Order No. Sandiganbayan. it being unnecessary to prove how he acquired said properties. albeit defining only the jurisdiction over cases involving ill-gotten wealth of former President Marcos.the satisfaction of the court that he has lawfully acquired the property in question. the forfeitable nature of the properties under the provisions of RA 1379 does not proceed 198 199 200 . as a second point. in Republic v. thus negating the notion that the crime of plunder charged in Crim. 4 of RA 7080. Case No. 28107 absorbs the forfeiture cases. then the court shall declare such property forfeited in favor of the State. authorizes under its Sec. that a forfeiture case under RA 1379 arises out of a cause of action separate and different from a plunder case. for purposes of establishing the crime of plunder. and by virtue of such judgment the property aforesaid shall become property of the State. As correctly formulated by the Solicitor General. accumulate or acquire illgotten wealth]. In a prosecution for plunder. by preponderance of evidence. Series of 1986. the Former Is Civil in Nature while the Latter Is Criminal It bears stressing. (EO) 14. In the language of Sec.” On the other hand. Forfeiture Cases and the Plunder Case Have Separate Causes of Action. under RA 1379 is the disproportion of respondent’s properties to his legitimate income. it is “sufficient to establish beyond reasonable doubt a pattern of overt or criminal acts indicative of the overall unlawful scheme or conspiracy [to amass.) Lest it be overlooked.

to repeat. After all. forfeiture in the plunder case requires the attendance of facts and circumstances separate and distinct from that in the forfeiture case. Between the two (2) cases. petitioner’s apprehension about the likelihood of conflicting decisions of two different divisions of the anti-graft court on the matter of forfeiture as a penal sanction is specious at best. As a necessary corollary. the decision of this Court in one does not have a bearing on the other. What the SB said in this regard merits approving citation: On the matter of forfeiture as a penal sanction. They refer to a situation where this Court’s Second Division may exonerate the respondents in the plunder case while the Fourth Division grant the petition for forfeiture for the same properties in favor of the state or vice versa. Moreover.from a determination of a specific overt act committed by the respondent public officer leading to the acquisition of the illegal wealth. 201[19] Given the foregoing considerations. Suffice it to say that the variance in the decisions of both divisions does not give rise to a conflict. refers to jeopardy of punishment for the same offense. Proceedings under RA 1379 are. given the variance in the nature and subject matter of the proceedings between the plunder case and the subject forfeiture cases. the filing of a case under that law is not barred by the conviction or acquittal of the defendant in Crim. 202 [20] suggesting that double jeopardy presupposes two separate criminal prosecutions. one who is sued under RA 1379 may be proceeded against for a criminal offense. Thus. there is no causal connection in the facts sought to be established and the issues sought to be addressed. Case 28107 collapses entirely. civil in nature. respondents argue that the division where the plunder case is pending may issue a decision that would collide or be in conflict with the decision by this division on the forfeiture case. Case 28107 for plunder. as a criminal law concept. As a result. petitioner’s thesis on possible double jeopardy entanglements should a judgment of conviction ensue in Crim. 201 202 . Double jeopardy.

We are not convinced. The forfeiture following a conviction in the plunder case will apply only to those ill-gotten wealth not recovered by the forfeiture case and vise (sic) versa. It has often been said that all doubts must be resolved against any implied repeal and all efforts should be exerted to harmonize and give effect to all laws and provisions on the same subject. RA 1379 aims to enforce the right of the State to recover the properties which were not lawfully acquired by the officer. This is on the assumption that the information on plunder and the petition for forfeiture cover the same set of properties. To be sure. aims to penalize the act of any public officer who by himself or in connivance with members of his family amasses. expressly or impliedly. Sandiganbayan Did Not Acquire Jurisdiction over the Persons of Petitioner and Her Children 203 . in that it does not make a crime the act of a public official acquiring during his incumbency an amount of property manifestly out of proportion of his salary and other legitimate income. both RA 1379 and RA 7080 can very well be harmonized. RA 7080 is a penal statute which. of RA 1379. at its most basic. RA 1379 is not penal in nature. The Court perceives no irreconcilable conflict between them. One can be enforced without nullifying the other. On the other hand. accumulates or acquires ill-gotten wealth in the aggregate amount of at least PhP 50 million. 203[21] RA 7080 Did Not Repeal RA 1379 Petitioner takes a different tack in her bid to prove that SB erred in not dismissing Forfeitures I and II with her assertion that RA 7080 impliedly repealed RA 1379. Nowhere in RA 7080 can we find any provision that would indicate a repeal.There is also no conflict even if the decisions in both cases result in an order for the forfeiture of the subject properties.

There is merit in petitioner’s contention. 204 . it is undisputed that summons for Forfeitures I and II were served personally on Maj. who is detained at the PNP Detention Center. Sec. who acknowledged receipt thereof by affixing his signature. such substituted services of summons were invalid for being irregular and defective. service may be effected (a) by leaving copies of the summons at the defendant’s residence with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein. It is basic that a court must acquire jurisdiction over a party for the latter to be bound by its decision or orders. thus: SEC. Valid service of summons. Gen. 7. Carlos Flores Garcia. Gen. However. petitioner argues that the SB did not acquire jurisdiction over her person and that of her children due to a defective substituted service of summons. 7. Garcia at the PNP Detention Center. 204[22] In the instant case. Rule 14 of the 1997 Revised Rules of Civil Procedure clearly provides for the requirements of a valid substituted service of summons. or (b) by leaving the copies at defendant’s office or regular place of business with some competent person in charge thereof.On the issue of lack of jurisdiction. It is also undisputed that substituted service of summons for both Forfeitures I and II were made on petitioner and her children through Maj. is the means by which a court acquires jurisdiction over a person.—If the defendant cannot be served within a reasonable time as provided in the preceding section [personal service on defendant]. by whatever mode authorized by and proper under the Rules. Substituted service.

as the service made through Maj.In Manotoc v.205[23] we broke down the requirements to be: (1) Impossibility of prompt personal service. we indicated therein that the sheriff must show several attempts for personal service of at least three (3) times on at least two (2) different dates. (2) Specific details in the return. i. Gen. Hence. Reasonable time being “so much time as is necessary under the circumstances for a reasonably prudent and diligent man to do.e. Garcia is detained. what the contract or duty requires that should be done. 205 206 . Gen. Moreover. i. no valid substituted service of summons was made. Garcia did not comply with the first two (2) requirements mentioned above for a valid substituted service of summons.] to the other party. From the foregoing requisites.e. the third requirement was also not strictly complied with as the substituted service was made not at petitioner’s house or residence but in the PNP Detention Center where Maj. conveniently.. it is apparent that no valid substituted service of summons was made on petitioner and her children. even if the latter is of suitable age and discretion. having a regard for the rights and possibility of loss. or on a competent person in charge of defendant’s office or regular place of business. the sheriff must describe in the Return of Summons the facts and circumstances surrounding the attempted personal service.. (3) Substituted service effected on a person of suitable age and discretion residing at defendant’s house or residence. Court of Appeals. the party relying on substituted service or the sheriff must show that defendant cannot be served promptly or there is impossibility of prompt service within a reasonable time.” 206[24] Moreover. if any[.

We cannot subscribe to the Republic’s views. admits of exceptions. 20. in which 207 . The Republic points to the various pleadings filed by petitioner and her children during the subject forfeiture hearings. assailing the jurisdiction of the court over his person. The inclusion in a motion to dismiss of other grounds aside from lack of jurisdiction over the person of the defendant shall not be deemed a voluntary appearance.—The defendant’s voluntary appearance in the action shall be equivalent to service of summons.The stringent rules on valid service of summons for the court to acquire jurisdiction over the person of the defendants. as when the party voluntarily submits himself to the jurisdiction of the court by asking affirmative relief. Rule 14 of the Revised Rules of Civil Procedure clearly provides: Sec. is not deemed to have appeared voluntarily before the court. a defendant who files a motion to dismiss. together with other grounds raised therein. Voluntary appearance.) Thus. 207[25] In the instant case. the Republic asserts that petitioner is estopped from questioning improper service of summons since the improvident service of summons in both forfeiture cases had been cured by their (petitioner and her children) voluntary appearance in the forfeiture cases. What the rule on voluntary appearance—the first sentence of the above-quoted rule— means is that the voluntary appearance of the defendant in court is without qualification. Special Appearance to Question a Court’s Jurisdiction Is Not Voluntary Appearance The second sentence of Sec. 20. (Emphasis ours. however.

the leading La Naval Drug Corp. Moreover. likewise. The pleadings filed by petitioner in the subject forfeiture cases. 2005 setting forth affirmative defenses with a claim for damages. Evidently. (b) motion for reconsideration and/or to admit answer. however. were filed by petitioner solely for special appearance with the purpose of challenging the jurisdiction of the SB over her person and that of her three children. and such is not constitutive of a voluntary submission to the jurisdiction of the court. even with a prayer to admit their attached Answer Ex Abundante Ad Cautelam dated January 22. Rule 14 of the 1997 Revised Rules on Civil Procedure. and (b) motion for partial reconsideration. Petitioner asserts therein that SB did not acquire jurisdiction over her person and of her three children for lack of valid service of summons through improvident substituted service of summons in both Forfeiture I and Forfeiture II. particularly the motions to dismiss. and (e) motion to dismiss and/or to quash Forfeiture I. (d) motion to consolidate forfeiture case with plunder case. Said case elucidates the current view in our jurisdiction that a special appearance before the court––challenging its jurisdiction over the person through a motion to dismiss even if the movant invokes other grounds––is not tantamount to estoppel or a waiver by the movant of his objection to jurisdiction over his person. (c) second motion for reconsideration. did not abandon her stance and defense of lack of jurisdiction due to improper substituted services of summons in the forfeiture cases. from the foregoing Sec. v.case he is deemed to have waived his defense of lack of jurisdiction over his person due to improper service of summons. 20. The foregoing pleadings. Petitioner filed the following pleadings in Forfeiture I: (a) motion to dismiss. do not show that she voluntarily appeared without qualification. And in Forfeiture II: (a) motion to dismiss and/or to quash Forfeiture II. This stance the petitioner never abandoned when she filed her motions for reconsideration. petitioner and her sons did not voluntarily appear before the SB constitutive of or equivalent to service of summons. And the other subsequent pleadings. 208 . Court of Appeals 208[26] applies to the instant case.

They are. No costs. Garcia and her three children. are VOID for lack of jurisdiction over their persons. And perforce. INCORPORATED. the SB did not acquire jurisdiction over the persons of petitioner and her children. The proceedings in Civil Case Nos. 0193 and 0196 before the Sandiganbayan. . the petitions for certiorari and mandamus are PARTIALLY GRANTED. Consequently. it is. vs. THIRD DIVISION [G. thus. are null and void for lack of jurisdiction. No. it cannot be said that petitioner and her three children voluntarily appeared before the SB to cure the defective substituted services of summons. insofar as they pertain to petitioner and her three children. imperative for the SB to serve anew summons or alias summons on the petitioner and her three children in order to acquire jurisdiction over their persons. For the forfeiture case to proceed against them.R. not estopped from questioning the jurisdiction of the SB over their persons nor are they deemed to have waived such defense of lack of jurisdiction. therefore. the proceedings in the subject forfeiture cases. September 16. petitioner. WHEREFORE. the order declaring them in default must be set aside and voided insofar as petitioner and her three children are concerned. JOSE M. Fourth Division has not acquired jurisdiction over petitioner Clarita D. The Sandiganbayan. Fourth Division. 2003] PLATINUM TOURS AND TRAVEL. insofar as petitioner and her three children are concerned. there being no valid substituted services of summons made. 133365. Thus. PANLILIO.Thus. SO ORDERED. respondent.

03 with legal interest. in October 1992. 1995. x x x We also leave it to the respondent Judge to decide whether he will return Civil Case No. On October 24.000 attorney’s fees and cost of suit. WHEREFORE. Galvez to solidarily pay Platinum actual damages of P 359. he should act on it as a separate case from Civil Case No. 1994. the trial court denied Panlilio’s motion for intervention: Submitted for resolution is Jose M. a writ of execution was issued on motion of Platinum. 941634. Platinum sought to collect payment for the airline tickets which PATC bought from it. P 50. rendered a judgment 211[3] by default in favor of Platinum and ordered PATC and Nelida G. private respondent Jose M.888.621. 1995. Galvez. Pursuant to the writ.48 to a certain Ma. Manila Polo Club Proprietary Membership Certificate No. with the consequent complete severance of the two (2) cases. (Platinum) filed a complaint for a sum of money with damages against Pan Asiatic Travel Corporation (PATC) and its president Nelida G. Galvez had executed in his favor a chattel mortgage over her shares of stock in the Manila Polo Club to secure her P1 million loan and that Galvez had already delivered to him the stock certificates valued at P5 million. 96-635 with Civil Case No. 94-1634 and denying petitioner’s motion for reconsideration. 96-635 to Branch 146 or keep it in his docket but should he opt for the latter. Panlilio’s Motion for Intervention dated May 31. 1996 and September 17. 1995. are ANNULLED and SET ASIDE. the respondent judge committed grave abuse of discretion in allowing the consolidation of Civil Case No. Panlilio claimed that. 94-1634. 2133 in the name of Nelida G. Rosario Khoo. respectively. the Regional Trial Court of Makati City. 94-1634. Galvez was levied upon and sold for P479.: Before us is a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court assailing the January 15. On February 10. On June 9. allowing the consolidation of Civil Case No. 94-1634. 1995. On June 2. 1994. 209 210 211 .DECISION CORONA. 1998 decision209[1] of the Court of Appeals which ruled that: xxx Consequently. 210[2] The facts follow: On April 27. Branch 62. 96-635 with Civil Case No. petitioner Platinum Tours and Travel Inc. 1996. J. the petition is partially granted and the assailed Orders dated July 23. The case was docketed as Civil Case No. Panlilio filed a motion to intervene in Civil Case No.

96-365 to Judge Tensuan in Branch 146. 96-365. Platinum. over the person of the defendants or over the issues framed in the pleadings. the July 23. the motion was denied by the Court of Appeals on April 2. has no jurisdiction to try Civil Case No. moved to reconsider the July 23. the trial court declared the execution sale null and void due to irregularities in the conduct thereof. 96-365. Platinum filed a motion for partial reconsideration of the decision of the Court of Appeals. On January 31. 1996 order allowing the consolidation of the two cases was annulled and set aside. praying that Civil Case No. as plaintiff in Civil Case No. Judge Diokno later issued an order. who was trying Civil Case No. It argues that. allowing the consolidation of the two cases and setting for hearing Panlilio’s application for a writ of preliminary attachment. or to keep it in his docket and decide it as a separate case. In the instant petition. The case was raffled to Branch 146 of the Regional Trial Court of Makati City 213[5]. 1996. 94-1634. Jurisdiction is the power and authority of the court to hear. and. among others. 1996 order of Judge Diokno allowing the consolidation of Civil Case No. Platinum filed a petition for certiorari at the Court of Appeals assailing. 94-1634. the Court of Appeals annulled the assailed order but left it to Judge Diokno to decide whether to return Civil Case No.212[4] On January 29. Panlilio filed against Galvez a collection case with application for a writ of preliminary attachment of the disputed Manila Polo Club shares. Judge Salvador Tensuan of Branch 146 granted the motion for consolidation on condition that Judge Roberto Diokno of Branch 62. 96-365 was likewise extinguished. In the meantime. 96-365 and Civil Case No. jurisdiction may either be over the nature of the action. 1996. (2) it will only delay or prejudice the adjudication of the rights of the original parties. 1998. 212 213 214 . 1996. Panlilio again attempted to intervene in Civil Case No. However. Branch 62. would not object thereto. 94-1634. 214[6] In general. over the subject matter. this time by incorporating in his complaint a motion to consolidate Civil Case No. when Judge Diokno’s July 23. On May 3. try and decide a case. 1996. dated July 23. 94-1634. 1998. 96-365 and Civil Case No. 1996 order of Judge Diokno but its motion was denied. RTC Branch 62’s basis for acquiring jurisdiction over Civil Case No. 1997. 94-1634.This Court has to deny the motion because (1) a decision had already been rendered in this case and that the only matters at issue is the propriety of the execution. docketed as Civil Case No. Platinum insists that the Makati RTC. In a decision dated January 15. We disagree. (3) the Intervenor’s rights may be fully protected in a separate action. On June 13. 96-365 be returned to Branch 146 or re-raffled to another RTC Branch of Makati.

Since jurisdiction is the power to hear and determine a particular case. 96-365 falls within the jurisdiction of the RTC of Makati.” Jurisdiction refers to the authority to decide a case. much less divest the court of the jurisdiction over the case. it wasted the precious time not only of the parties but also of this Court. where a court has jurisdiction over the person and the subject matter. as in the instant case. It is determined by the allegations of the complaint. SO ORDERED. 215[7] Jurisdiction over the person of the plaintiff is acquired from the time he files his complaint. it does not depend upon the regularity of the exercise by the court of that power or on the correctness of its decisions. did not affect the jurisdiction of the court which issued the said order. “Jurisdiction” should be distinguished from the “exercise of jurisdiction. 96-365 would unduly delay the final resolution of Civil Case No. 96-365. Branch 62. from proceeding with Civil Case No. 215 . if the former were retained by Branch 62. 94-1634. or by the coercive power of legal processes exerted over his person. irrespective of whether or not the plaintiff is entitled to recover upon all or some of the claims asserted therein. the parties would have been spared the trouble and the expense of seeking recourse from this Court.Jurisdiction over the nature of the action and subject matter is conferred by law. WHEREFORE. petition is hereby DENIED. while jurisdiction over the person of the defendant is acquired by his voluntary appearance in court and his submission to its authority. Any error that the court may commit in the exercise of its jurisdiction is merely an error of judgment which does not affect its authority to decide the case. made Platinum act with haste. 96-365 to Branch 146 or to decide the same as a separate case in his own sala. there is no doubt that Panlilio’s collection case docketed as Civil Case No. we find the instant petition premature and speculative. 96-365 and Civil Case No. the decision on all questions arising from the case is but an exercise of such jurisdiction. not the orders or the decision rendered therein. In so doing. The unfounded fear that Civil Case No. Moreover. All told. The fact that the Court of Appeals subsequently annulled Judge Diokno’s order granting the consolidation of Civil Case No. it is hereby directed to resolve the same with dispatch. Branch 62. 96-365. which in turn would have had one petition less in its docket. Should it decide to retain the case. We find no reversible error on the part of the Court of Appeals when it left to Judge Diokno of Branch 62 the discretion on whether to return Civil Case No. nothing legally prevents the RTC of Makati. Had Platinum waited until Judge Diokno decided on what to do with Civil Case No. In the case at bar. Accordingly. 94-1634.

in a Letter of Intent addressed to Manila Bankers Life Insurance Corporation. 1989 or on May 8. and that “(S)hould there be no substantial completion and 216 217 . J.THIRD DIVISION [G.: Before us is a petition for review on certiorari assailing the Decision216[1] dated March 26. 1988. Consequently. petitioner. 1989. 139791. 2003] MANILA BANKERS LIFE INSURANCE CORPORATION. December 12. EDDY NG KOK WEI. entitled “Eddy Ng Kok Wei vs. respondent.00.000.R. Mr. 1999 and Resolution217[2] dated August 5.00 for the purchase of a 46-square meter condominium unit (Unit 703) valued at P860.922. CV No.00. Manila Bankers Life Insurance Corporation”. The contract expressly states that the subject condominium unit “shall substantially be completed and delivered” to the respondent “within fifteen (15) months” from February 8. is a Singaporean businessman who ventured into investing in the Philippines. On November 29. 40504. Subsequently or on December 5. On January 16. 1990. 1988. respondent. executed a Contract to Sell in favor of the respondent. 1999 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. No. petitioner. petitioner. respondent paid 90% of the purchase price in the sum of P729. vs. DECISION SANDOVAL-GUTIERREZ. through its President. respondent. Antonio G. respondent paid petitioner a reservation fee of P50. Puyat. The factual antecedents as borne by the records are: Eddy Ng Kok Wei. expressed his intention to purchase a condominium unit at Valle Verde Terraces.830.R.

Makati City. Branch 150. Meanwhile. On October 5. 1990. One percent (1%) of the total amount plaintiff paid defendant. informed respondent of the substantial completion of his condominium unit. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff and against defendant. occupied the same. 1990. Mr. the trial court rendered a Decision 218[3] finding the petitioner liable for payment of damages due to the delay in the performance of its obligation to the respondent. 1991. during the pendency of the case. on July 5.000. through its Senior Assistant Vice-President. docketed as Civil Case No. Exasperated. respondent’s cause of action has been limited to his claim for damages. Meanwhile. upon receipt of petitioner’s notice of delivery dated May 31. in a Decision dated March 26. prompting respondent to file with the Regional Trial Court. 90-3440. petitioner. 2. affirmed in toto the trial court’s award of damages in favor of the respondent. Zavalla. Considering that the stipulated 15-month period was at hand. The dispositive portion reads: “WHEREFORE. On December 18. typhoon and steel and cement shortage).000. 1990 demanding payment for the damages he sustained. respondent returned to the Philippines sometime in April.000. P25. 218 . 1990. 1990.00 by way of attorney’s fees. petitioner issued another notice to move-in addressed to its building administrator advising the latter that respondent is scheduled to move in on August 22. the Court of Appeals. 3.00 as exemplary damages. 4. 1990. 1990. Mario G. But petitioner ignored such demand. and Cost of suit. the final turnover is reset to May 31. 1992. respondent returned to the Philippines only to find that his condominium unit was still unlivable. 1999. P50. P100. 1990. He found the unit still uninhabitable for lack of water and electric facilities.” On appeal. a penalty of 1% of the total amount paid (by respondent) shall be charged against (petitioner)”.fail(ure) to deliver the unit on the date specified. a complaint against the former for specific performance and damages. Thus. however. Once more. respondent finally accepted the condominium unit and on April 12. “SO ORDERED. respondent again flew back to Manila. In a letter dated April 5. ordering Manila Bankers Life Insurance Corporation to pay plaintiff Eddy Ng Kok Wei the following: 1. he was constrained to send petitioner a letter dated November 21. due to various uncontrollable forces (such as coup d‘ etat attempts.00 as moral damages.

In effect. On petitioner’s contention that the trial court has no jurisdiction over the instant case. Time and again. petitioner confirmed and ratified the trial court’s jurisdiction over this case. Section 1 (c) of Presidential Decree No. when adverse. we have ruled that “the factual findings of the trial court are given weight when supported by substantial evidence and carries more weight when affirmed by the Court of Appeals. liable to pay damages as a result thereof. 1999. petitioner’s active participation in the proceedings estopped it from assailing such lack of it. and that the Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s finding that petitioner incurred unreasonable delay in the delivery of the condominium unit to respondent. Petitioner contends that the trial court has no jurisdiction over the instant case. On petitioner’s claim that it did not incur delay. Cases involving specific performance of contractual and statutory obligations filed by buyers of subdivision lots or condominium units against the owner. 219 220 221 222 . as amended.Unsatisfied. petitioner failed to raise the question of jurisdiction before the trial court and the Appellate Court. petitioner filed a motion for reconsideration but was denied by the Appellate Court in a Resolution dated August 5.220[5] While it may be true that the trial court is without jurisdiction over the case. 1344. Certainly. x x x. Hence. broker or salesman. are indeed factual questions. suffice it to say that this is a factual issue.221[6] Here. 957. the National Housing Authority [now Housing and Land Use Regulatory Board (HLURB)] 219[4] shall have exclusive jurisdiction to hear and decide cases of the following nature: xxx “C. – In the exercise of its functions to regulate the real estate trade and business and in addition to its powers provided for in Presidential Decree No. and attacking it for lack of jurisdiction.” Pursuant to the above provisions. only if favorable. We have held that it is an undesirable practice of a party participating in the proceedings and submitting its case for decision and then accepting the judgment. it is now in estoppel and can no longer question the trial court’s jurisdiction. this petition for review on certiorari.” 222[7] Whether or not petitioner incurred delay and thus. dealer. developer. provides: “SECTION 1. We have consistently held that complaints for specific performance with damages by a lot or condominium unit buyer against the owner or developer falls under the exclusive jurisdiction of the HLURB. it is the HLURB which has jurisdiction over the instant case.

substituted by his widow ROSARIO ENRIQUEZ VDA. The assailed Decision dated March 26. EDUARDO M.The jurisdiction of this Court in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure. October 28. as amended. DE SANTIAGO. the petition is DENIED. 1999 of the Court of Appeals are hereby AFFIRMED IN TOTO. DECISION CALLEJO. not of fact. Costs against the petitioner. No. SANTIAGO. is limited to reviewing only errors of law. SECOND DIVISION [G. SR.R.223[8] These exceptions are not present here. WHEREFORE. respondent. J. SO ORDERED. vs. 1999 and Resolution dated August 5. 2003] GOVERNMENT SERVICE INSURANCE SYSTEM. unless the factual findings being assailed are not supported by evidence on record or the impugned judgment is based on a misapprehension of facts.. petitioner. 155206.: 223 .

6. CV No. & 4 – 2. 7 – 402 sq. 1. A Certificate of Sale (Annex “F. 10.747 sq. Zulueta and Soledad Ramos obtained various loans from defendant GSIS for (the) period September. 1. 1974 had been annotated and inscribed in TCT Nos.R. were already excluded from the foreclosure. 23-28) was issued by then Provincial Sheriff Nicanor D. 1.660 sq. Vol. 2 and 3 Block 11. Vol. 2002 of the Court of Appeals (CA) in CA-G. 1 to 13. 1. 4 and 6 (New Plan) Block VIII (Old Plan) Block X. 13 and 20 (New Plan) Block IV (Old Plan) Block VI. 4 –263 sq. Lot No.229. 3 Block 10. 3 –487 sq. On August 14. 12 Block 5. 7. 1957. are as follows: Deceased spouses Jose C. 8.m. 3. 10 Block 6. the mortgaged properties were sold at public auction by defendant GSIS submitting a bid price of P5. 6 Block 4. 2002 denying its motion for reconsideration. The antecedent facts of the case. 1.m. seeking to reverse and set aside the Decision 224[1] dated February 22. 1956. 2 Block 2. 29-31) was executed by defendant GSIS over Zulueta’s lots. April 4. 2. 37177 and 50356. 11 Block 2. 17. 15 Block 7. 3 and 10 (New Plan) Block V (Old Plan) Block VII. 12 and 20 (New Plan) Block VII (Old Plan) Block II.” Records. 1 to 11. 15. 1957. 3. and 13 (Old Plan) Block I. 6 (New Plan) Block XI (Old Plan) Block XII. 19 Block 1. 10. 1974. The Certificate of Sale dated August 14. The Zuluetas failed to pay their loans to defendant GSIS and the latter foreclosed the real estate mortgages dated September 25. 12 and 13 (New Plan) Block I (Old Plan) Block III. 7. 3.m.m. 5. 1. 1. were sold. 8. 50-H-5-C-9J-M-7. Not all lots covered by the mortgaged titles. 1 –-6. 3 and 4 Block 10. 3. 26105. 15. 1 Block 3. I.927. 1957 and October 15. 14 and 20 (New Plan) Block III (Old Plan) Block V. Ninety-one (91) lots were expressly excluded from the auction since the lots were sufficient to pay for all the mortgage debts. namely: LOT NO. 2. 6. 26 and 27 (New Plan) Block VI (Old Plan) Block VIII. Block No. Salaysay. 5 Block 11 (New). as culled from the assailed CA decision and that of the trial court. pp. Block No.m. including the lots. which as earlier stated. defendant GSIS sold the foreclosed properties to Yorkstown Development Corporation which sale was disapproved by the Office of the President of the Philippines. however. 4. 50-H-5-C-9-J-65-H-5. 4. 1980. Block No. 11 Block 9. March 6. 1 lots Nos.00 secured by real estate mortgages over parcels of land covered by TCT Nos. Lot No.117. 1957 in the total amount of P3. The sold properties were returned to defendant GSIS. 2 –4. 13 Block 5.Before the Court is the petition for review on certiorari filed by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS). 5. Lot No. Block No. 37177 and 50365. 5 Block 1. 6.” And the lots on “ADDITIONAL EXCLUSION FROM PUBLIC SALE” are “LOTS NO. Block 9.” Records. 5 (New Plan) Block X (Old Plan) Block ZXII. Lots Nos. 23 Block 3. 8 and 10 (Old Plan) Block II.000. 1975. 224 . 1956 to October. 5 Block 5. 2. 1. Block No. On March 6. 26105) are not covered by the mortgage contract due to sale to third parties and donation to the government: 50-H-5-C-9-J-65-H-8. 12 Block 1. 7. I. Road Lots Nos. an Affidavit of Consolidation of Ownership (Annex “G. with the following notations: “(T)he following lots which form part of this title (TCT No. 7.138 sq. pp.” On November 25. 5. 1.m.84.” In another “NOTE: The following lots in the Antonio Subdivision were already released by the GSIS and therefore are not included in this sale. 9. 26105. 62309 and its Resolution dated September 5. 2. 1.

1990. b. Spouses Alfeo and Nenita Escasa. wrote a demand letter dated May 11. 1. 1. 1. 12 and 15. as the plaintiff. 9 and 11. Block I. Block XII (Old Plan). 15. Lot 6. Lot Nos. e. Block V (Old Plan). 1990. m. 7. h. represented by Eduardo M. Lots 1. Block VII (Old Plan). Urbano. Lots 2. Upon the death of Santiago on March 6. TCT No. de Santiago. 10. and 13. Block II (Old Plan). 5. Block I (New Plan). Rosario Enriquez Vda. 1. 7. Lots 6. it began disposing the foreclosed lots including the excluded ones. After due trial. judgment is hereby rendered in favor of plaintiff and against the defendant: 1. the RTC rendered judgment against the petitioner ordering it to reconvey to the respondent. 26 and 27. Block X (Old Plan). Block 3. 14 and 20. de Santiago. Wenceslao B. 5. Subsequently. Block III (New Plan). Block X (New Plan). Block 2. the seventy-eight lots excluded from the foreclosure sale. Rosario Enriquez Vda. Lot 5. in substitution of her deceased husband Eduardo. Block III (Old Plan). Trinidad. n. 3. 23553 cancelled TCT No. Plaintiff Eduardo Santiago’s lawyer. Block VIII (New Plan).225[2] On May 7. Antonio Vic Zulueta. 32-33) to defendant GSIS asking for the return of the eighty-one (81) excluded lots.The Register of Deeds of Rizal cancelled the land titles issued to Yorkstown Development Corporation. 23554 cancelling TCT No. 2. 6. Block IV (New Plan).” Records. 8. filed its answer alleging inter alia that the action was barred by the statute of limitations and/or laches and that the complaint stated no cause of action. 5. Block V (New Plan). 13. Block I (Old Plan). Lot Nos. 7. Lot Nos. The dispositive portion of the RTC decision reads: WHEREFORE. Zulueta was substituted by Santiago as the plaintiff in the complaint a quo. Lot Nos. 1. 7. . 3. 4. all in the name of defendant GSIS. 6. 21924. Lot Nos. Manuel III and Sylvia G. TCT No. k. Gonzales and the heirs of Mamerto Gonzales moved to be included as intervenors and filed their respective answers in intervention. he was substituted by his widow. filed with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Pasig City. 13 and 20. 16 and 23. Branch 71. On July 2. Block VI (New Plan). 4 and 6. d. 3 and 10. Block XI (New Plan). 1989 (Annex “H. the petitioner. and Marciana P. l. Block VII (New Plan). Ordering defendant to reconvey to plaintiff the seventy-eight (78) lots released and excluded from the foreclosure sale including the additional exclusion from the public sale. 10. Block XII (Old Plan). Block VIII (Old Plan). Lot Nos. f. 12. 1996. 8 and 10. 21926. 21925. 8. Santiago. 7 and 12. c. g. a complaint for reconveyance of real estate against the GSIS. Atty. pp. I. 5. as defendant therein. and TCT No. i. j. 225 Lot Nos. 0. Subsequently. Block II (Old Plan). Lot Nos. 23552 was issued cancelling TCT No. namely: a. 1980. Block VI (Old Plan). Vol. On April 7. Lot Nos. representative Eduardo Santiago and then plaintiff Antonio Vic Zulueta executed an agreement whereby Zulueta transferred all his rights and interests over the excluded lots. After defendant GSIS had re-acquired the properties sold to Yorkstown Development Corporation.

Block 4. PT-12267/T-23554. Lots 1. and TCT No. THERE WAS NO SUFFICIENT GROUND TO SUPPORT SUCH CONCLUSION. 2. 17 and 22. Costs of suit. Lots 6 and 15. the petitioner maintains that it did not act in bad faith when it erroneously included in its certificate of sale. Lots 1. 1997 of Branch 71 of the Regional Trial Court of Pasig City is hereby AFFIRMED. Lots 13. Lot 6. t. Lots 5. v. if the seventy-eight (78) excluded lots could not be reconveyed. 28 and 29. 3. 4. 3 and 4. the herein appeal is DISMISSED for lack of merit. u. PT-12267/T-23554. Block 10. 11. PT-84913 under Entry No. Block 6. 13 and 24. PT-12267/T23554. Ordering defendant to pay plaintiff. Ordering the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City to cancel the Notices of Lis Pendens inscribed in TCT No. 12.o. Block 9. 3 and 5 (New). and subsequently consolidated the titles in its name over the seventy-eight lots (“subject lots”) that were excluded from the foreclosure sale. Block 8. s. Lots 10 and 16. Ordering the Registry of Deeds of Pasig City to cancel the land titles covering the excluded lots in the name of defendant or any of its successors-in-interest including all derivative titles therefrom and to issue new land titles in plaintiff’s name. the fair market value of each of said lots. The petitioner now comes to this Court alleging that: THE COURT OF APPEALS COMMITTED A REVERSIBLE ERROR IN RULING THAT A) PETITIONER WAS GUILTY OF BAD FAITH WHEN IN TRUTH AND IN FACT. The Decision of December 17. TCT No.227[4] The petitioner moved for a reconsideration of the aforesaid decision but the same was denied in the assailed CA Resolution of September 5. 2. premises considered. 2. PT-80342 under Entry No. Lots 1. 24. 2002. 81812 under Entry No. r. AND B) THERE WAS NO PRESCRIPTION IN THIS CASE. Block 11.226[3] The petitioner elevated the case to the CA which rendered the assailed decision affirming that of the RTC. There was no proof of bad faith nor 226 227 228 . q. Block 7.228[5] In its petition. p. Block 5. The dispositive portion of the assailed decision reads: WHEREFORE. 5.

1990. This Court is not a trier of facts. the petitioner thereby raised questions of facts in its petition.229[6] By assailing the findings of facts of the trial court as affirmed by the CA. more than fourteen years had already lapsed. still it could not legally claim ownership and absolute dominion over them because indefeasibility of title under the Torrens system does not attach to titles secured by fraud or misrepresentation. Marcos during the same year demonstrated a clear effort on its part to defraud the spouses Zulueta and appropriate for itself the subject properties. The petitioner’s arguments fail to persuade. Case law has it that the findings of the trial court especially when affirmed by the CA are binding and conclusive upon this Court. In this case. the seventy-eight lots excluded from the foreclosure sale because the petitioner had no such obligation under the pertinent loan and mortgage agreement. in failing to inform them when it entered into a contract of sale of the foreclosed properties to Yorkstown Development Corporation in 1980 as well as when the said sale was revoked by then President Ferdinand E. we find no reason to deviate therefrom. According to the petitioner. The petitioner likewise takes exception to the holding of the trial court and the CA that it (the petitioner) failed to apprise or return to the Zuluetas. The petitioner asserts that the action for reconveyance instituted by the respondent had already prescribed after the lapse of ten years from November 25. notwithstanding that these were expressly excluded from the foreclosure sale was the uniform ruling of the trial court and appellate court. As declared by the CA: The acts of defendant-appellant GSIS in concealing from the Zuluetas [the respondent’s predecessors-in-interest] the existence of these lots. an action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust prescribes in ten years from the time of its creation or upon the alleged fraudulent registration of the property. in failing to notify or apprise the spouses Zulueta about the excluded lots from the time it consolidated its titles on their foreclosed properties in 1975. is limited to reviewing only errors of law. Nonetheless. it bears emphasis that the jurisdiction of this Court in a petition for review on certiorari under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court.could fraud or malice be attributed to the petitioner when it erroneously caused the issuance of certificates of title over the subject lots despite the fact that these were expressly excluded from the foreclosure sale. when the action was instituted on May 7. that it acted in bad faith. 230[7] 229 . Although there are exceptions to the said rule. the respondent’s predecessors-in-interest. even if we indulged the petition and delved into the factual issues. That the petitioner acted in bad faith in consolidating ownership and causing the issuance of titles in its name over the subject lots. the petitioner contends that the same was already barred by prescription as well as laches. we find the petition barren of merit. as amended. Even if titles over the lots had been issued in the name of the defendant-appellant. Thus. It is well-settled that a holder in bad faith of a certificate of title is not entitled to the protection of the law for the law cannot be used as a shield for fraud. 1975 when the petitioner consolidated its ownership over the subject lots. The fraud committed by defendant-appellant in the form of concealment of the existence of said lots and failure to return the same to the real owners after their exclusion from the foreclosure sale made defendant-appellant holders in bad faith. At the outset.

is expected to exercise greater care and prudence in its dealings. or institutions like the petitioner. its act constituted gross negligence amounting to bad faith. as well as to mortgagees of the same character and description. At the least. 235[12] On the other hand. extended only to purchasers for value and in good faith. the petitioner executed an affidavit in consolidating its ownership and causing the issuance of titles in its name over the subject lots despite the fact that these were expressly excluded from the foreclosure sale. 236[13] 230 231 232 233 234 235 . indeed. regularly engaged in the business of lending money secured by real estate mortgages. Act [No. thus. By so doing. its failure to return them to the Zuluetas and even its attempt to sell them to a third party is proof of the petitioner’s intent to defraud the Zuluetas and appropriate for itself the subject lots. It cannot feign ignorance of the fact that the subject lots were excluded from the sale at public auction. by force of law. such discovery is deemed to have taken place upon the issuance of the certificate of title over the property. keeping in trust money belonging to their depositors. considered a trustee of an implied trust for the benefit of the person from whom the property comes. On the issue of prescription. The petitioner is not an ordinary mortgagee. 233[10] Due diligence required of banks extend even to persons. as found by the CA. the petitioner acted in gross and evident bad faith. Article 1456 of the Civil Code provides: Art. the petitioner’s acts of concealing the existence of these lots. including those involving registered lands. 231[8] The Court’s ruling in Rural Bank of Compostela v. which they should guard against loss by not committing any act of negligence which amounts to lack of good faith by which they would be denied the protective mantle of land registration statute. 234[11] In this case. than private individuals. an action for reconveyance of real property based on fraud prescribes in four years from the discovery of fraud. Further. like banks. 1456. the person obtaining it is. If property is acquired through mistake or fraud. should exercise more care and prudence in dealing even with registered lands. generally. the four-year period shall be counted therefrom. Registration of real property is a constructive notice to all persons and. It is a government financial institution and. An action for reconveyance based on implied or constructive trust prescribes in ten years from the alleged fraudulent registration or date of issuance of the certificate of title over the property.The Court agrees with the findings and conclusion of the trial court and the CA.] 496. CA232[9] is apropos: Banks. for their business is one affected with public interest.

the Court in Adille ratiocinated: It is true that registration under the Torrens system is constructive notice of title. In this case.” Accordingly.. The CA correctly cited the cases of Adille v. In ruling that the action had not yet prescribed despite the fact that more than ten years had lapsed between the date of registration and the institution of the action for reconveyance. It is therefore no argument to say that the act of registration is equivalent to notice of repudiation. [T]he prescriptive period of the action is to be reckoned from the time plaintiff-appellee (then Eduardo M. pp. as established by the CA. the general rule that the discovery of fraud is deemed to have taken place upon the registration of real property because it is “considered a constructive notice to all persons” does not apply in this case. the respondent actually discovered the fraudulent act of the petitioner only in 1989: . Court of Appeals.. While actions to enforce a constructive trust prescribes in ten years. we. For the same reason.238[15] where this Court reckoned the prescriptive period for the filing of the action for reconveyance based on implied trust from the actual discovery of fraud. Court of Appeals237[14] and Samonte v. only in 1989. 240[17] 236 237 238 239 240 . Santiago categorically testified (TSN of July 11. 1995. Santiago) had actually discovered the fraudulent act of defendant-appellant which was. as borne out by the records. are not prepared to count the period from such a date in this case. According to the respondent Court of Appeals. we cannot dismiss private respondents’ claims commenced in 1974 over the estate registered in 1955. reckoned from the date of the registration of the property. prescription is not a bar. The complaint for reconveyance was filed barely a year from the discovery of the fraud. they “came to know [of it] apparently only during the progress of the litigation. but it has likewise been our holding that the Torrens title does not furnish a shield for fraud. he and Antonio Vic Zulueta discussed it and he was given by Zulueta a special power of attorney to represent him to recover the subject properties from GSIS.The petitioner’s defense of prescription is untenable. assuming there was one. We note the petitioner’s sub rosa efforts to get hold of the property exclusively for himself beginning with his fraudulent misrepresentation in his unilateral affidavit of extrajudicial settlement that he is “the only heir and child of his mother Feliza with the consequence that he was able to secure title in his name [alone]. as we said. Plaintiff-appellee Eduardo M. we hold that the right of the private respondents commenced from the time they actually discovered the petitioner’s act of defraudation. 239[16] The above ruling was reiterated in the more recent case of Samonte. notwithstanding the long-standing rule that registration operates as a universal notice of title. As held by the CA.” Hence. 14-15) that he came to know that there were 91 excluded lots in Antonio Village which were foreclosed by the GSIS and included in its consolidation of ownership in 1975 when. in 1989.

JESUS GAPILANGO and JUAN FRESNILLO. The petitioner’s attempts to justify its omission by insisting that it had no such duty under the mortgage contract is obviously clutching at straw. The assailed Decision dated February 22. DECISION 241 . the petition is DENIED for lack of merit. through an act of performance by another.R. Costs against the petitioner. No. CV No. LORENZO AGUSTIN. the institution of the action for reconveyance in the court a quo in 1990 was thus well within the prescriptive period. respondents. 62309 are AFFIRMED IN TOTO. the petitioner is a holder in bad faith of certificates of title over the subject lots. 2002 and Resolution dated September 5. September 7. vs.241[18] Contrary to its claim. SO ORDERED. MANUEL PALANCA JR.Following the Court’s pronouncements in Adille and Samonte. Article 22 of the Civil Code explicitly provides that “every person who. 2002 of the Court of Appeals in CA-G. acquires or comes into possession of something at the expense of the latter without just or legal ground. The petitioner is not entitled to the protection of the law for the law cannot be used as a shield for frauds.” WHEREFORE.R. 151149. THIRD DIVISION [G. 2004] GEORGE KATON. shall return the same to him. Having acted in bad faith in securing titles over the subject lots. the petitioner unarguably had the legal duty to return the subject lots to the Zuluetas. or any other means. petitioner..

3231. the proper party in the annulment of patents or titles acquired through fraud is the State. In addition. ordered the inspection. Puerto Princesa. The Antecedent Facts The CA narrates the antecedent facts as follows: “On August 2. the dismissal of such cases appropriately ends useless litigations. Aborlan. Verily. herein [P]etitioner [George Katon] filed a request with the District Office of the Bureau of Forestry in Puerto Princesa. It affirmed the RTC’s dismissal of his Complaint in Civil Case No. assailing the December 8. “WHEREFORE. it appears that his action is already barred by laches because he slept on his alleged right for almost 23 years from the time the original certificate of title has been issued to respondent Manuel Palanca. Palawan. 1582. thus. which consists of approximately 18 hectares. The Case Before us is a Petition for Review242[1] under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court. not on the grounds relied upon by the trial court. located in Tagpait. J. investigation and survey of the land subject of the petitioner’s request for eventual conversion or reclassification from forest to agricultural land. Palawan. 242 243 244 245 . What he had during the time he requested for the re-classification of the land was the privilege of applying for the patent over the same upon the land’s conversion from forest to agricultural. The assailed Decision disposed as follows: “Assuming that petitioner is correct in saying that he has the exclusive right in applying for the patent over the land in question. 10-C of Aborlan. denied the Motion for Reconsideration filed by petitioner. per BF Map LC No. the petition is hereby DISMISSED. Jr. Palawan. lack of jurisdiction or failure to state a cause of action clearly appear from the complaint filed with the trial court. and thereafter for George Katon to apply for a homestead patent.: Where prescription. Palawan. the Bureau of Forestry District Office. No pronouncement as to cost. 2001 Resolution244[3] of the Court of Appeals in CA-GR SP No. 57496. for the re-classification of a piece of real property known as Sombrero Island. even if the case has been elevated for review on different grounds. “Thereafter. on the other hand.PANGANIBAN. 2000 Decision243[2] and the November 20.. the petitioner’s action is deemed misplaced as he really does not have any right to assert or protect. 1963.”245[4] The assailed Resolution. Said property is within Timberland Block of LC Project No. or after 35 years from the time the land was certified as agricultural land. but because of prescription and lack of jurisdiction. the action may be dismissed motu proprio by the Court of Appeals.

that since the subject land was no longer needed for forest purposes. Jr. G-7089 on March 3. Palanca said that petitioner never filed any homestead application for the island. [R]espondent Juan Fresnillo filed a homestead patent application for a portion of the island comprising 8. favorably endorsed the request of [R]espondents Manuel Palanca Jr. Manila. “On the other hand. “Petitioner assails the validity of the homestead patents and original certificates of title covering certain portions of Sombrero Island issued in favor of respondents on the ground that the same were obtained through fraud. R III-342-65 was issued authorizing Deputy Public Land Surveyor Eduardo Salvador to survey ten (10) hectares of Sombrero Island for the respondents. Survey Authority No.J. 246 . claims that he himself requested for the reclassification of the island in dispute and that on or about the time of such request. like planting of additional coconut trees. [R]espondent Manuel Palanca. Utleg informed the Director of Lands. “The application for conversion of the whole Sombrero Island was favorably endorsed by the Forestry District Office of Puerto Princesa to its main office in Manila for appropriate action.84 hectares of Sombrero Island. 1965. Clemente Magdayao and Jesus Gapilango and Juan Fresnillo were included in the endorsement as co-applicants of the petitioner. the same is therefore certified and released as agricultural land for disposition under the Public Land Act. “Records show that on November 8. On December 10. In addition. The names of Felicisimo Corpuz. “According to Mandocdoc.5 hectares.“Gabriel Mandocdoc (now retired Land Classification Investigator) undertook the investigation. a second endorsement was issued by Palawan District Officer Diomedes De Guzman with specific instruction to survey vacant portions of Sombrero Island for the respondents consisting of five (5) hectares each. (alleged overseer of petitioner) who went to the island from time to time to undertake development work. Director of Forestry R.3 hectares. and Lorenzo Agustin. During said survey. [R]espondent Lorenzo Agustin filed a homestead patent application for a portion of the subject island consisting of an area of 4. Jr. 1965. Petitioner prays for the reconveyance of the whole island in his favor. On November 22. 1996. Records also reveal that [R]espondent Jesus Gapilango filed a homestead application on June 8. Jr. Palanca and Gapilango already occupied their respective areas and introduced numerous improvements. On December 23. 1972. the island was uninhabited but the respondents insist that they already had their respective occupancy and improvements on the island. 1965. “Petitioner contends that the whole area known as Sombrero Island had been classified from forest land to agricultural land and certified available for disposition upon his request and at his instance. Jr. [R]espondent Manuel Palanca. 145927 and OCT No. his brother Rodolfo Katon (deceased) and his cousin. was issued Homestead Patent No. then Asst. Mr. However. 1990. then [l]and investigator of the District Land Office. for authority to survey on November 15. Lucio Valera. Palawan. “In a letter dated September 23. [R]espondents Fresnillo. Puerto Princesa. there were no actual occupants on the island but there were some coconut trees claimed to have been planted by petitioner and [R]espondent Manuel Palanca. 1977 246[5] with an area of 6. Respondents deny that Gabriel Mandocdoc undertook the inspection and survey of the island. Respondent Manuel Palanca.L. inspection and survey of the area in the presence of the petitioner. Palanca denies that he is a mere overseer of the petitioner because he said he was acting for himself in developing his own area and not as anybody’s caretaker.

he never acquired title to that land. they also filed a Motion to Dismiss on the ground of the alleged defiance by petitioner of the trial court’s Order to amend his Complaint so he could thus effect a substitution by the legal heirs of the deceased. The CA added that the annulment and cancellation of a homestead patent and the reversion of the property to the State were matters between the latter and the homestead grantee. Respondent Gapilango. “In the instant case. Unless and until the government takes steps to annul the grant. 1999 Motion for Reconsideration. Ruling of the Court of Appeals Instead of limiting itself to the allegation of grave abuse of discretion. In his Petition for Certiorari before the CA. It agreed with petitioner that the trial court had acted without jurisdiction in perfunctorily dismissing his September 10. 247 .” 247[6] Respondents filed their Answer with Special and/or Affirmative Defenses and Counterclaim in due time. The Motion to Dismiss was granted by the RTC in its Order dated July 29. the homesteader’s right thereto stands. he was already barred by laches for having slept on his right for almost 23 years from the time Respondent Palanca’s title had been issued. In the Assailed Resolution. Petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration of the July 29. “Respondents contend that the petitioner has no legal capacity to sue insofar as the island is concerned because an action for reconveyance can only be brought by the owner and not a mere homestead applicant and that petitioner is guilty of estoppel by laches for his failure to assert his right over the land for an unreasonable and unexplained period of time. On June 30. 1999. petitioner seeks to nullify the homestead patents and original certificates of title issued in favor of the respondents covering certain portions of the Sombrero Island as well as the reconveyance of the whole island in his favor. Hence. The petitioner claims that he has the exclusive right to file an application for homestead patent over the whole island since it was he who requested for its conversion from forest land to agricultural land. 1999. 1999. Finally. he never applied for a homestead patent under the Public Land Act. the CA ruled on the merits. petitioner charged the trial court with grave abuse of discretion on the ground that the denied Motion was his first and only Motion for Reconsideration of the aforesaid Order.“Respondents aver that they are all bona fide and lawful possessors of their respective portions and have declared said portions for taxation purposes and that they have been faithfully paying taxes thereon for twenty years. for being a third and prohibited motion. granting arguendo that petitioner had the exclusive right to apply for a patent to the land in question. on the erroneous ground that it was a third and prohibited motion when it was actually only his first motion. 1999 Order was denied by the trial court in its Resolution dated December 17. It held that while petitioner had caused the reclassification of Sombrero Island from forest to agricultural land. the CA acknowledged that it had erred when it ruled on the merits of the case.

it ruled that prescription had already barred the action for reconveyance. petitioner’s action was brought 24 years after the issuance of Palanca’s homestead patent. it appears from the submission (Annex “F” of the Complaint) of petitioner himself that Respondents Fresnillo and Palanca had been occupying six hectares of the island since 1965. and for reversion of the land to the public domain. First. as follows: “Upon another review of the case. 2000 Decision.” 250[9] 248 249 250 . the Court concedes that it may indeed have lost its way and been waylaid by the variety. to hear the case. His action was filed beyond the 30-year prescriptive period under Articles 1141 and 1137 of the Civil Code. The CA even corrected itself in its November 20.Nonetheless. this Petition. often confusing. because he neither held title to it nor even applied for a homestead patent. First Issue: Propriety of Ruling on the Merits This is not the first time that petitioner has taken issue with the propriety of the CA’s ruling on the merits. the Complaint was dismissed motu proprio by the challenged Resolution of the CA Special Division of five members – with two justices dissenting – pursuant to its “residual prerogative” under Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court. From the allegations of the Complaint. Rule 9 of the 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure in resolving the Petition on an issue not raised in the Petition?”249[8] The Court’s Ruling The Petition has no merit. Finally. complexity and seeming importance of the interests and issues involved in the case below. five in all. or 33 years before he took legal steps to assert his right to the property. Second. Hence. It reiterated that only the State could sue for cancellation of the title issued upon a homestead patent. petitioner raises the following issues: “1. the apparent reluctance of the judges. Is the Court of Appeals correct in resolving the Petition for Certiorari based on an issue not raised (the merits of the case) in the Petition? “2.248[7] Issues In his Memorandum. He raised it with the appellate court when he moved for reconsideration of its December 8. Under the Public Land Act. and the volume of the conflicting. such action should have been taken within ten years from the issuance of the homestead certificate of title. submissions bearing on incidental matters. We stand corrected. 2001 Resolution. the appellate court opined that petitioner clearly had no standing to seek reconveyance of the disputed land. Is the Court of Appeals correct in invoking its alleged ‘residual prerogative’ under Section 1.

According to him. Petitioner has confused what the CA adverted to as its “residual prerogatives” under Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court with the “residual jurisdiction” of trial courts over cases appealed to the CA. any motu proprio dismissal would amount to a violation of the right of the plaintiff to be heard. Larin252[11] we explained thus: “x x x [T]he motu proprio dismissal of a case was traditionally limited to instances when the court clearly had no jurisdiction over the subject matter and when the plaintiff did not appear during trial. as follows: 251 252 253 . Such writ does not include a review of the evidence. and Section 3. Except for qualifying and expanding Section 2. Suffice it to say that the appellate court indeed acted ultra jurisdictio in ruling on the merits of the case when the only issue that could have been. (3) res judicata and (4) prescription are evident from the pleadings or the evidence on record. and was in fact. the amendatory 1997 Rules of Civil Procedure brought about no radical change. Second Issue: Dismissal for Prescription and Lack of Jurisdiction Petitioner next submits that the CA erroneously invoked its “residual prerogatives” under Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court when it motu proprio dismissed the Petition for lack of jurisdiction and prescription. the court shall motu proprio dismiss the claim or action. Outside of these instances. “residual jurisdiction” is embodied in Section 9 of Rule 41 of the Rules of Court. as in this case. when there is another cause of action pending between the same parties for the same cause. of the Revised Rules of Court. may still validly exercise even after perfection of an appeal. a court may motu proprio dismiss a claim when it appears from the pleadings or evidence on record that it has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. (2) litis pendentia. Rule 17.”253[12] (Italics supplied) On the other hand. Hence. x x x. defenses and objections not pleaded either in a motion to dismiss or in the answer are deemed waived. In the four excepted instances. except when (1) lack of jurisdiction over the subject matter. Under Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court. failed to prosecute his action for an unreasonable length of time or neglected to comply with the rules or with any order of the court. In Gumabon v.That explanation should have been enough to settle the issue. The CA’s Resolution on this point has rendered petitioner’s issue moot.251[10] more so when no determination of the merits has yet been made by the trial court. Under the new rules. or where the action is barred by a prior judgment or by statute of limitations. It follows that such powers are not possessed by an appellate court. raised was the alleged grave abuse of discretion committed by the trial court in denying petitioner’s Motion for Reconsideration. in the exercise of its original jurisdiction. there is no need to discuss it further. residual prerogative refers to the power that the trial court. Rule 9. Settled is the doctrine that the sole office of a writ of certiorari is the correction of errors of jurisdiction.

This stage is reached upon the perfection of the appeals by the parties or upon the approval of the records on appeal. therefore. the court may issue orders for the protection and preservation of the rights of the parties which do not involve any matter litigated by the appeal. approve compromises. the trial court still retains its so-called residual jurisdiction to issue protective orders. the court loses jurisdiction over the case upon the perfection of the appeals filed in due time and the expiration of the time to appeal of the other parties. 254[13] In either instance. permit appeals of indigent litigants. approve compromises. order execution pending appeal. “In appeals by record on appeal. – A party’s appeal by notice of appeal is deemed perfected as to him upon the filing of the notice of appeal in due time.“SEC. on residual jurisdiction under Rule 41. To be sure. the CA had the excepted instances in mind when it dismissed the Complaint motu proprio “on more fundamental grounds directly bearing on the lower court’s lack of jurisdiction” 256[15] and for prescription of the action. when a court has no jurisdiction over the subject matter. and allow the withdrawal of the appeal. What the CA referred to as residual prerogatives were the general residual powers of the courts to dismiss an action motu proprio upon the grounds mentioned in Section 1 of Rule 9 of the Rules of Court and under authority of Section 2 of Rule 1 255[14] of the same rules. the court loses jurisdiction only over the subject matter thereof upon the approval of the records on appeal filed in due time and the expiration of the time to appeal of the other parties. the only power it has is to dismiss the action. effect thereof. pending the disposition of the case on appeal. “In either case. Undeniably. order execution pending appeal in accordance with Section 2 of Rule 39. “In appeals by notice of appeal. but prior to the transmittal of the original records or the records on appeal. The CA’s motu proprio dismissal of petitioner’s Complaint could not have been based. “A party’s appeal by record on appeal is deemed perfected as to him with respect to the subject matter thereof upon the approval of the record on appeal filed in due time. 9. and allow withdrawal of the appeal.257[16] 254 255 256 257 . Indeed. prior to the transmittal of the original record or the record on appeal. Perfection of appeal. such order of dismissal was not one for the protection and preservation of the rights of the parties.” (Italics supplied) The “residual jurisdiction” of trial courts is available at a stage in which the court is normally deemed to have lost jurisdiction over the case or the subject matter involved in the appeal. permit appeals of indigent litigants.

alternatively. Fresnillo and Gapilango as well as Homestead Patent No.. 1965. did the Complaint sufficiently allege an action for declaration of nullity of the free patent and certificate of title or. trust. G-7089 in the name of Respondent Palanca. in connivance with his co-[respondent]. 145927 and OCT No. [petitioner’s] cousin. 262[21] The question is. [despite being] fully aware that [Petitioner] KATON had previously applied or requested for re-classification and certification of the same land from forest land to agricultural land which request was favorably acted upon and approved as mentioned earlier. and the filing of Homestead Patent Applications in the names of [respondents]. are ipso facto null and void and of no effect whatsoever.1. 258[17] In his Complaint for “Nullification of Applications for Homestead and Original Certificate of Title No. Lorenzo Agustin. among others. and (2) ordering the director of the Land Management Bureau to reconvey the Sombrero Island to petitioner.Jurisdiction over the subject matter is conferred by law and is determined by the allegations in the complaint and the character of the relief sought. x x x fraudulently and in bad faith: 2.] having been done fraudulently and in bad faith. for reconveyance? Or did it plead merely for reversion? 258 259 260 261 262 . first degree cousins.” 261[20] Thereupon. Lorenzo Agustin. the same constituted another clear case of fraud and misrepresentation. without the knowledge of [petitioner.” 260[19] xxx xxx xxx “x x x. a clear case of intrinsic fraud and misrepresentation. x x x. That on November 10. G-7089 in the name of [Respondent] Manuel Palanca Jr. for a judgment (1) nullifying the homestead patent applications of Respondents Agustin. 145927 and OCT No. In stating in his application for homestead patent that he was applying for the VACANT PORTION of Sombrero Island where there was none. Respondent] Manuel Palanca Jr. G-7089 and for Reconveyance of Title.”259[18] petitioner averred: “2. x x x made the request for authority to survey as a pre-requisite to the filing of an application for homestead patent in his name and that of his Co-[Respondent] Agustin. interdependence and intimacy is guilty of intrinsic fraud [sic]. petitioner prayed. That the issuance of Homestead Patent No.3. [Respondent Palanca] on account of his blood relation. “3. By a wrongful act or a willful omission and intending the effects with natural necessity arise knowing from such act or omission. xxx xxx xxx 2. Jesus Gapilango and Juan Fresnillo[.

and (2) that the defendant illegally dispossessed the plaintiff of the property. the nullity arises not from fraud or deceit. and who consequently prays for its annulment. if admitted. the complaint must contain the following allegations: 1) that the contested land was privately owned by the plaintiff prior to the issuance of the assailed certificate of title to the defendant. but from the fact that the director of the Land Management Bureau had no jurisdiction to bestow title. hence.267[26] In the present case. over which the trial court could have exercised jurisdiction.266[25] Therefore. the issued patent or certificate of title was void ab initio.264[23] In an alternative action for reconveyance. would entitle the plaintiff to recover title to the disputed land: (1) that the plaintiff was the owner of the land. hence. the certificate of title is also respected as incontrovertible. does not state a cause of action.The Complaint did not sufficiently make a case for any of such actions. a complaint must allege two facts that. 270 [29] 263 264 265 266 267 268 269 270 . the defendant who acquired the property through mistake or fraud is bound to hold and reconvey to the plaintiff the property or the title thereto. such complaint must be dismissed. 268 [27] that it had never been privately titled in his name. 265[24] As with an annulment of title. 263 [22] In these cases. he acknowledged that the disputed island was public land. but the transfer of the property or title thereto is sought to be nullified on the ground that it was wrongfully or erroneously registered in the defendant’s name. In an action for nullification of title or declaration of its nullity. and 2) that the defendant perpetuated a fraud or committed a mistake in obtaining a document of title over the parcel of land claimed by the plaintiff. 269[28] This Court has held that a complaint by a private party who alleges that a homestead patent was obtained by fraudulent means. and that he had not applied for a homestead under the provisions of the Public Land Act. nowhere in the Complaint did petitioner allege that he had previously held title to the land in question. On the contrary.

as a party-plaintiff. not being the real party in interest. Indeed.Neither can petitioner’s case be one for reversion. 274[33] As it is. 272[31] Thus. the case should still be dismissed for being time-barred. 276[35] a defense raised by respondents in their Answer. after approval by the director of the Land Management Bureau of the former’s final proof of homestead patent. 273[32] A mere homestead applicant. 280[39] It is not disputed that a 271 272 273 274 275 276 277 278 279 280 . 275[34] Consequently.277[36] Section 2 of Rule 3 of the Rules of Court 278[37] ordains that every action must be prosecuted or defended in the name of the real party in interest. has no cause of action in a suit for reconveyance. who stands to be benefited or injured by the judgment in the suit. 279[38] Finally. assuming that petitioner is the proper party to bring the action for annulment of title or its reconveyance. one who has no right or interest to protect has no cause of action by which to invoke. when the plaintiff admits in the complaint that the disputed land will revert to the public domain even if the title is canceled or amended. to which the property will revert. with the result that the land thereby covered would again form part of the public domain. and the proper party who may bring action is the government. the jurisdiction of the court. the action is for reversion. Section 101 of the Public Land Act categorically declares that only the solicitor general or the officer in his stead may institute such an action. but also because of the utter absence of a cause of action. 271[30] A private person may not bring an action for reversion or any other action that would have the effect of canceling a free patent and its derivative title. the dismissal of the Complaint is proper not only because of lack of jurisdiction. vested rights over the land applied for under a homestead may be validly claimed only by the applicant.

Pacific Commission House. Feb. 84 SCRA 705). or otherwise established by the evidence. Jan. is as indefeasible as one issued under a judicial registration proceeding one year from its issuance. Rules of Court). Bambao v. issued under an administrative proceeding pursuant to a homestead patent. Mathis.284[43] the Court has held that when the plaintiff’s own complaint shows clearly that the action has prescribed. such action may be dismissed even if the defense of prescription has not been invoked by the defendant.282[41] It must likewise be stressed that Palanca’s title -. provided. 100 SCRA 250. Robles. the suit was brought way past ten years from the date of the issuance of the Certificate. or where a defendant has been declared in default (PNB v. as where no statement thereof is found in the pleadings (Garcia v. 27 SCRA 766. 28. 1958. Ericta. Sorongan. NDC. 821). What is essential only. if and when they are able to do so. Dioso. is that the facts demonstrating the lapse of the prescriptive period be otherwise sufficiently and satisfactorily apparent on the record. the CA did not err in dismissing the present case. Rule 16).285[44] we also explained thus: "x x x [T]rial courts have authority and discretion to dismiss an action on the ground of prescription when the parties' pleadings or other facts on record show it to be indeed time-barred. 15. McQuaid. Rule 16.homestead patent and an Original Certificate of Title was issued to Palanca on February 21. et al. Intermediate Appellate Court283[42] ruled that a certificate of title. 1977. 50 O. 5.G. Chua Lamco v. v. or even if the defense has not been asserted at all. 1958. or even if the ground is alleged after judgment on the merits. Clearly. Gegato. either in the averments of the plaintiff's complaint.which attained the status of indefeasibility one year from the issuance of the patent and the Certificate of Title in February 1977 -. or an answer which sets up such ground as an affirmative defense (Sec. Ybanez v. Alunan.. 281 [40] while the Complaint was filed only on October 6. In Aldovino v. and it may do so on the basis of a motion to dismiss (Sec. Perez. In Gicano v. as in a motion for reconsideration (Ferrer v. however. Sison v. as in this case. Cordova. 16 SCRA 270). 1961. 287 281 282 283 284 285 286 287 . 1998. Convets.f. that the land covered by it is disposable public land. Jan. After all."286[45] (Italics supplied) Clearly then. PNB v. 28. 32 SCRA 529. 136 SCRA 408). Inc. 97. 97 Phil. to repeat. courts must endeavor to settle entire controversies before them to prevent future litigations. Cordova v. Lednicky. Sinaon v. 14. the prescriptive period for reconveyance of fraudulently registered real property. 1. 1954. (Francisco v.is no longer open to review on the ground of actual fraud. Feb.

The dismissal of the Complaint in Civil Case No. 3231 is SUSTAINED on the grounds of lack of jurisdiction. SO ORDERED. PECSON. EN BANC ROMULO F. G. and the assailed Resolution AFFIRMED. failure to state a cause of action and prescription. 182865 . Petitioner.R. the Petition is hereby DENIED. Costs against petitioner.[46] WHEREFORE. No.

Promulgated: December 24. LEONARDO-DE CASTRO.Present: PUNO.. QUISUMBING.. C. JJ. . REYES. DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR AND LOCAL GOVERNMENT and LYNDON A. VELASCO. and BRION. COMMISSION ON ELECTIONS. TINGA. AUSTRIA-MARTINEZ.J. Respondents. J. CHICO-NAZARIO.: . 2008 x --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------x DECISION BRION. JR. CARPIO MORALES. CUNANAN.versus - YNARES-SANTIAGO. CORONA. NACHURA. CARPIO. AZCUNA.

Soon thereafter. Angeles City. in relation with Rule 65 of the Revised Rules of Court – seeks to set aside and annul the Resolution dated May 21. garnering a total of 12. of the execution pending appeal of its Decision in the election contest between Pecson and the private respondent Lyndon A. the proclaimed winner in the 2007 mayoralty election in Magalang. Pecson. docketed as EPE No. 2007. 2007. Cunanan received a copy of the Decision on November 26. Cunanan was proclaimed the winning candidate. Branch 56. 2007 and filed a Notice of Appeal the day after. The RTC issued on November 27. 2008 of the Commission on Elections en banc (COMELEC) in SPR 60-2007. on the other hand. On May 17. or a margin of 61 votes. Pecson filed an election protest. Cunanan took his oath and assumed the position of Mayor of Magalang. 07-51. Province of Pampanga in the May 2007 elections.This petition for certiorari – filed by Romulo F.758 – a vote margin of 1. Rule 14 of the Rules of Procedure in Election Contests before the Courts Involving Elective Municipal and Barangay Officials289[2] (Rules) allows this remedy. Pampanga. filed on November 28.139. On November 23.592 votes as against Pecson’s 12. Cunanan (Cunanan). The RTC ruled that Pecson received a total of 14. THE ANTECEDENTS Pecson and Cunanan were candidates for the mayoralty position in the Municipality of Magalang.897 votes as against Cunanan’s 13. 288 289 .288[1] The assailed Resolution nullified the grant (via a Special Order) by the Regional Trial Court (RTC). 2008 an Order noting the filing of the notice of appeal and the payment of appeal fee and directing the transmittal of the records of the case to the Electoral Contests Adjudication Department (ECAD) of the COMELEC. Pecson (Pecson) under Rule 64. 2007 an Urgent Motion for Immediate Execution Pending Appeal.531. with the RTC. claiming that Section 11. the RTC rendered a Decision in Pecson’s favor.

It is settled jurisprudence that execution pending appeal in election cases should be granted “to give as much recognition to the worth of a trial judge’s decision as that which is initially ascribed by the law to the proclamation by the board of canvassers.e. considered far superior circumstance that convinces the Court to grant protestant’s motion. a vindication when the term of office is about to expire or has expired. in granting execution pending appeal the Court is being true to its bounden duty to uphold the exercise of constitutional rights and gives flesh to the mandate of the people. the Court is more inclined to uphold and give effect to and actualize the mandate of the electorate of Magalang. resorted to by unscrupulous politicians who would render nugatory the people’s verdict against them and persist in continuing in an office they very well know they have no legitimate right to hold. meaning.139 votes. The Special Order states the following reasons: 1.e. Pampanga which is the fruit of the exercise of the constitutional right to vote and a procedural remedy.” . 2007 (Special Order) but suspended.. Comelec. if not invariably. In the case of Navarosa v.” The Court holds that this wisp of judicial wisdom of the Supreme Court enunciated in the Gahol case and subsequent cases citing it is borne by the recognition that the decision of the trial court in an election case is nothing but the court upholding the mandate of the voter. To the mind of the Court.897 votes as against protestee’s 13. thus: Public policy underlies it. 3.758 votes or a plurality of 1. which has as its source no other than the exercise of the constitutional right to vote. The foregoing is. to obviate a hollow victory for the duly elected candidate. the Court gave an additional justification for allowing execution pending appeal of decisions of trial courts. pursuant to the Rules. The result of the judicial revision show[s] that the protestant garnered 14. While it is true that the protestee can avail of the remedy of appeal before the COMELEC. x x x. i. The victory of the protestant is clearly and manifestly established by the rulings and tabulation of results made by the Court x x x. as far as the Court is concerned. the Supreme Court held that “In the Gahol case. “The well known delay in the adjudication of election protests often gave the successful contestant a mere pyrrhic victory. 2. In the words of Chief Justice Cesar Bengzon. x x x [S]omething had to be done to strike the death blow at the pernicious grab-the-proclamation-prolong-theprotest technique often.” A primordial public interest is served by the grant of the protestant’s motion. Public interest and the will of the electorate must be respected and given 4.The RTC granted Pecson’s motion for execution pending appeal via a Special Order dated December 3.. the Court is more convinced that between upholding the mandate of the electorate of Magalang. the actual issuance of the writ of execution for twenty (20) days. i.

Expectedly, Cunanan moved to reconsider the Order, arguing that the RTC gravely abused its
discretion: (1) in ruling that there were good reasons to issue a writ of execution pending appeal; and
(2) in entertaining and subsequently granting the motion for execution pending appeal despite the
issuance of an order transmitting the records of the case.

Thereupon, Cunanan filed with the COMELEC a Petition for Application of Preliminary
Injunction with Prayer for Status Quo Ante Order/Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) with Prayer for
Immediate Raffle. He argued in his petition that: (1) the RTC Decision did not clearly establish
Pecson’s victory or his (Cunanan’s) defeat – a requirement of Section 11, Rule 14 of the Rules;
among other reasons, the number of votes the RTC tallied and tabulated exceeded the number of
those who actually voted and the votes cast for the position of Mayor, and (2) the RTC had
constructively relinquished its jurisdiction by the issuance of the Order dated November 27, 2007
directing the transmittal of the records of the case.

The Second Division of the COMELEC issued on January 4, 2008 a 60-day TRO directing: (1)
the RTC to cease and desist from issuing or causing the issuance of a writ of execution or
implementing the Special Order; and (2) Cunanan to continue performing the functions of Mayor of
Magalang.

In his Answer and/or Opposition, with Prayer for Immediate Lifting of TRO, Pecson argued
that: (1) preliminary injunction cannot exist except as part or incident of an independent action, being
a mere ancillary remedy that exists only as an incident of the main proceeding; (2) the “petition for
application of preliminary injunction,” as an original action, should be dismissed outright; and (3)
Cunanan is guilty of forum shopping, as he filed a motion for reconsideration of the Special Order
simultaneously with the petition filed with the COMELEC.

The COMELEC’s Second Division denied Cunanan’s petition in a Resolution dated March 6,
2008. It ruled that: (1) the resolution of the motion for execution pending appeal is part of the residual
jurisdiction of the RTC to settle pending incidents; the motion was filed prior to the expiration of the

period to appeal and while the RTC was still in possession of the original record; and (2) there is good
reason to justify the execution of the Decision pending appeal, as Pecson’s victory was clearly and
manifestly established. Ruling on the alleged defect in the RTC count, the Second Division ruled:
[A]fter a careful scrutiny of the Decision, We found that the error lies in the trial
court’s computation of the results. In its Decision, the trial court, to the votes obtained
by the party (as per proclamation of the MBOC), deducted the votes per physical count
after revision and deducted further the invalid/nullified ballots per the trial court’s
appreciation and thereafter added the valid claimed ballots per the trial court’s
appreciation, thus:

Votes obtained per proclamation of the MBOC (-) Votes per physical count (-)
Invalid or nullified ballots (+) Valid claimed ballots = Total Votes Obtained

The formula used by the trial court is erroneous as it used as its reference the
votes obtained by the parties as per the proclamation of the MBOC. It complicated an
otherwise simple and straightforward computation, thus leading to the error. The correct
formula should have been as follows:

Total Number of Uncontested Ballots (+) Valid Contested Ballots (+) Valid Claimed
Ballots = Total Votes Obtained

Using this formula and applying the figures in pages 744 and 745 of the trial
court’s Decision, the results will be as follows:

For the Petitioner Cunanan
Total Number of Uncontested Ballots

9,656

Add: Valid Contested Ballots
Add: Valid Claimed Ballots
Total Votes of Petitioner

2,058
36
11,750

For the Private Respondent (Pecson)
Total Number of Uncontested Ballots

9,271

Add: Valid Contested Ballots
Add: Valid Claimed Ballots
Total Votes of Petitioner

2,827
39
12,134

Using the correct formula, private respondent still obtained a plurality of the votes
cast and enjoys a margin of 384 votes over the petitioner. Although not as wide as the
margin found by the trial court, We are nevertheless convinced that the victory of private
respondent has been clearly established in the trial court’s decision for the following
reasons:

First, the error lies merely in the computation and does not put in issue the
appreciation and tabulation of votes. The error is purely mathematical which will
not involve the opening of ballot boxes or an examination and appreciation of
ballots. It is a matter of arithmetic which calls for the mere clerical act of
reflecting the true and correct votes of the candidates.

Second, the error did not affect the final outcome of the election protest as
to which candidate obtained the plurality of the votes cast.

We are likewise convinced that the assailed order states good or special reasons
justifying the execution pending appeal, to wit:

(1) The victory of the protestant was clearly and manifestly established;
(2)

Execution pending appeal in election cases should be granted to give as
much recognition to the worth of a trial judge’s decision as that which is
initially ascribed by the law to the proclamation by the board of canvassers;

(3) Public interest and the will of the electorate must be respected and given
meaning; and
(4) Public policy underlies it, as something had to be done to strike the death
blow at the pernicious grab-the-proclamation-prolong-the-protest technique
often, if not invariably resorted to by unscrupulous politicians.

Such reasons to Our mind constitute superior circumstances as to warrant the
execution of the trial court’s decision pending appeal.

Pecson thus asked for the issuance of a writ of execution via an Ex-Parte Motion. Despite
Cunanan’s opposition, the RTC granted Pecson’s motion and issued the writ of execution on March
11, 2008. Pecson thereafter assumed the duties and functions of Mayor of Magalang.

In the end. and overweighs the reasons asserted by the RTC in its Special Order. but also in confusion in running the affairs of the government. It added that at a stage when the decision of the trial court has yet to attain finality. on the one hand. This situation (i.” It noted too that the Second Division already cast a doubt on the correctness of the number of votes obtained by the parties after the trial court’s revision. and the right to appeal.The Assailed Resolution On Cunanan’s motion. the balance should tilt in favor of non-disruption of government service. Between two presumptive winners. resulting not only in the disruption of public service. it however nullified the March 11. according to the COMELEC. both the protestee and the protestant are to be considered “presumptive winners. the resolution of the pending appeal becomes all the more important. 2008 writ of execution on the ground that the RTC could no longer issue the writ because it had lost jurisdiction over the case after transmittal of the records and the perfection of the appeals of both Cunanan and Pecson (to be accurate. the COMELEC en banc ruled that it was not convinced of the good reasons stated by the RTC in its Special Order. a subsequent reversal too of the RTC Decision also results in the unseating of the protestant. the lapse of Pecson’s period to appeal). It affirmed the authority of the RTC to order execution pending appeal. The execution of the RTC Decision pending appeal would necessarily entail the unseating of the protestee. requires a balancing act. On the propriety of executing the RTC Decision pending appeal. The Petition and the Prayer for the issuance of a Status Quo Order . including the Commission’s authority to review the decision of the trial court. on the other. It ruled that recognition of the worth of a trial judge’s decision. considering the pending appeal of the election protest to the Commission and public service being the prime consideration. the series of turnover of the seat of power from one presumptive winner to another) cannot but cause irreparable damage to the people of Magalang. thus. the COMELEC en banc issued its Resolution dated May 21.e. and not every invocation of public interest will suffice to justify an execution pending appeal. public interest is best served when he who was really voted for the position is proclaimed and adjudged as winner with finality.. 2008 reversing the ruling of the Second Division insofar as it affirmed the RTC’s findings of good reasons to execute the decision pending appeal.

He claimed that: (1) the Department of Interior and Local Government already recognized (based on the issuance of the assailed Resolution) Cunanan’s assumption of office even if the assailed Resolution had not attained finality. in the decision sought to be executed. the court.In imputing grave abuse of discretion to the COMELEC en banc. while still in possession of the original records. 11. Such reasons must: (1) constitute superior circumstances demanding urgency that will outweigh the injury or damage should the losing party secure a reversal of the judgment on appeal. order the execution of the decision in an election contest before the expiration of the period to appeal. Execution pending appeal shall not issue without prior notice and hearing. at its discretion. – On motion of the prevailing party with notice to the adverse party. Pecson argues that: (1) the RTC Decision clearly showed Pecson’s victory. Pecson asked. The remedy of executing court decisions pending appeal in election contests is provided under the Rules as follows: SEC. for the issuance of a Status Quo Order. (b) If the court grants execution pending appeal. Execution pending appeal . a Status Quo Order must immediately issue. an aggrieved party shall have twenty working days from notice of the special order within which to secure a restraining order or status quo order from the Supreme Court of the Commission on . subject to the following rules: (a) There must be a motion by the prevailing party with three-day notice to the adverse party. THE COURT’S RULING We find the petition meritorious. and (3) the RTC correctly found the presence of the requisites for execution pending appeal. in a special order. (2) the reasons for the reversal of the RTC Decision practically render impossible a grant of an execution pending appeal. Threatened to be unseated. and (2) be manifest. There must be good reasons for the execution pending appeal. that the defeat of the protestee or the victory of the protestant has been clearly established. may. The court. must state the good or special reasons justifying the execution pending appeal. as interim relief. and (2) in order to prevent grave and irreparable injury to Pecson and the perpetuation of a travesty of justice.

During such period. the writ of execution pending appeal shall be stayed. grave abuse of discretion is such “capricious and whimsical exercise of judgment as is equivalent to lack of jurisdiction. Rule 39. This en banc ruling is now before us. or an exercise of judgment so patent and gross as to amount to an evasion of a positive duty or to a virtual refusal to perform the duty enjoined. or to act in a manner not at all in contemplation of law. The corresponding writ of execution shall issue after twenty days. Our review of a COMELEC ruling or decision is via a petition for certiorari. if no restraining order or status quo order is issued. 290[3] This remedy is not new. 291[4] the remedy may be resorted to pursuant to the suppletory application of the Rules of Court. 07-4-15-C) has done is to give the availability of the remedy the element of certainty. At the heart of the present controversy is the question of whether there has been compliance with the standards required for an execution pending appeal in an election contest. making the remedy an exception rather than the rule. No.Elections. but the COMELEC en banc held a contrary view and nullified the execution pending appeal. or [an] exercise of power in an arbitrary and despotic manner by reason of passion or personal hostility. specifically its Section 2.M. This is a limited review on jurisdictional grounds. specifically of the question on whether the COMELEC has jurisdiction. the even greater superior circumstances standard) for execution pending appeal under the Rules of Court. or whether the assailed order or resolution is tainted with grave abuse of discretion amounting to lack or excess of jurisdiction. Significantly. Correctly understood.” 293[6] 290 291 292 293 . The Second Division of the COMELEC supported the RTC’s ruling. the RTC found all these requisites present. 292[5] What the Rules (A. the Rules similarly apply the good reason standard (in fact. As heretofore cited. Under prevailing jurisprudence.

The writ of execution issued by the RTC is a mere administrative enforcement medium of the Special Order – the main order supporting Pecson’s motion for the issuance of a writ of execution. The RTC cannot legally issue the implementing writ within this limited period for two reasons: (1) the cited .e. The writ itself cannot and does not assume a life of its own independent from the Special Order on which it is based. In the present case. its nullification does not carry with it the nullification of the Special Order. as any ruling we shall render would serve no practical purpose. nothing will thereafter prevent the RTC from issuing another writ. We see no merit in Cunanan’s argument. Certainly. Cunanan argues in his Comment that this ruling has become final and executory because Pecson did not question it in the present petition. the RTC could no longer issue the writ because of the lapse of the period for appeal. the reality is that if and when we ultimately affirm the validity of the Special Order. to all intents and purposes. In Cunanan’s view. been nullified and rendered ineffective.. This is clearly evident from the cited provision of the Rules which does not require the issuance of the implementing writ within the above limited jurisdictional period. not for the issuance of the writ itself. and because the RTC no longer held the records of the election contest which had then been transmitted to the ECAD-COMELEC. The COMELEC ruled in this regard that the writ of execution the RTC issued on March 11. it can no longer be implemented since the means (obviously referring to the writ the RTC issued on March 11. we must first dwell on the writ the RTC issued. Another legal reality is that the COMELEC is wrong in its ruling that the RTC could no longer actually issue the writ on March 11. 2008) of executing the RTC decision (i. That the RTC is still in possession of the records and that the period to appeal (of both contending parties) must have not lapsed are important for jurisdictional purposes if the issue is the authority of the RTC to grant a Special Order allowing execution pending appeal. seating Pecson as Mayor of Magalang) has. they are requisite elements for the exercise by the RTC of its residual jurisdiction to validly order an execution pending appeal.Because this case is essentially about the implementation of an RTC decision pending appeal. This consequence does not of course hold true in the reverse situation – the nullification of the Special Order effectively carries with it the nullification of its implementing writ and removes the basis for the issuance of another implementing writ. 2008 was void. the finality of this aspect of the COMELEC ruling renders the issue of the nullification of the Special Order moot and academic. 2008 because it no longer had jurisdiction to do so after the appeal period lapsed and after the records were transmitted to the ECAD-COMELEC.

What comes out clearly from this examination of the COMELEC ruling is that it looked at the wrong material considerations when it nullified the RTC’s Special Order. and (2) the mandatory immediate transmittal of the records to the ECAD of the COMELEC under Section 10 of the Rules. a party should await a COMELEC final ruling on the protest case? Effectively. the balance should tilt in favor of continuity or non-disruption of public service. To be sure. this reasoning effectively prevents a winner (at the level of the courts) of an election protest from ever availing of an execution pending appeal. it gives too much emphasis to the COMELEC’s authority to decide the election contest and the losing party’s right to appeal. on its own.twenty-day waiting period under Section 11(b). We additionally note that “disruption of public service” necessarily results from any order allowing execution pending appeal and is a concern that this Court was aware of when it expressly provided the remedy under the Rules. What is there to execute pending appeal if. 294[7] On the substantive issue of whether a writ of execution pending appeal should issue. and the need for continuity of public service. hence. We likewise cannot support its “balancing act” view that essentially posits that given the pendency of the appeal and the lack of finality of a decision in the election protest. Rule 14 of the Rules 294 . as the COMELEC suggested. the unseating of the protestee. the COMELEC cannot. render ineffective a rule of procedure we established by formulating its own ruling requiring a final determination at its level before an RTC decision in a protest case can be implemented. As Pecson correctly argued. They are the wrong considerations because they are not the standards outlined under Section 11. the execution pending appeal should be denied. we do not agree with the COMELEC’s view that there are “two presumptive winners” prior to its ruling on the protest case. Such disruption is therefore an element that has been weighed and factored in and cannot be per se a basis to deny execution pending appeal. the “two presumptive winners” and the “balancing act” views negate the execution pending appeal that we have categorically and unequivocally recognized in our rulings and in the Rules we issued.

as Cunanan pointed out. it did not review the intrinsic merits of the RTC Decision – issues that properly belong to the appeal that is currently pending. as it failed to accurately and completely appreciate the Second Division’s findings. on its face. the Second Division’s corrected view of the RTC count confirmed. that the RTC computation suffered from a facial defect that did not affect the final results. thus showing Pecson’s clear victory under the RTC Decision. no less than the Second Division cast a doubt on the correctness of the number of votes obtained by the parties after the revision of ballots when the Second Division proposed a mathematical formula to correct the RTC count. if totally summed up. The Second Division properly recognized. We disagree once more with the COMELEC en banc in this conclusion. the COMELEC noted that the Second Division could not have corrected the RTC count. Its examination of the RTC Decision was only for this limited purpose and this was what it did. as the petition before it was one for certiorari while the correction of errors in computation properly pertained to the resolution of Cunanan’s pending appeal. shows that Pecson garnered more valid votes than Cunanan after the revision of ballots. the votes for Pecson and Cunanan. however. the use of wrong considerations in arriving at a decision constitutes grave abuse of discretion. rather than contradicted or placed in doubt. At the same time. no more no less. the RTC formula would necessarily exceed the total number of votes cast for mayor because it counted some votes twice. To the COMELEC. analyzed it. and found the error to be merely mathematical. it did not review the RTC’s appreciation of the ballots on revision. Significantly. It merely found that the defect Cunanan noted was actually inconsequential with respect to the results. Specifically. the Second Division looked into the purported error. According to the COMELEC. 295[8] The proper consideration that the COMELEC made relates to the correctness of the RTC’s Decision in light of the Rules’ requirement that the victory of the protestant and the defeat of the protestee be clearly established for execution pending appeal to issue. In making this finding. the conclusion that Pecson won. 295 . Duly alerted. In other words. the Second Division was guided by the rule that one of the requisites for an execution pending appeal is a clear showing in the decision of the protestant’s victory and the protestee’s defeat.against which the validity of a Special Order must be tested. The RTC Decision. all these showed that the correctness of the RTC Decision in favor of Pecson was far from clear and cannot support an execution pending appeal. exceeded the total number of valid votes for mayor.

and (3) public policy – something had to be done to deal a death blow to the pernicious grab-the-proclamation-prolong-the-protest technique often. resulting as they do from a judicial evaluation of the ballots and after full-blown adversarial proceedings. gives the protestant an empty or hollow victory in a long drawn-out legal battle. Unfortunately. One year and six months has lapsed since the May 2007 election. (2) public interest and/or respect for and giving meaning to the will of the electorate. however. specifically: (1) the need to give as much recognition to the worth of a trial judge’s decision as that which is initially given by the law to the proclamation by the board of canvassers. To be sure. A striking feature of the present case is the time element involved. 296[9] Some petitions before us involving election contests have been in fact dismissed for being moot. thus. We have time and again noted the well known delay in the adjudication of election contests that. more often than not. given the available appellate remedies and the recourses available through special civil actions. The election protest. resorted to by unscrupulous politicians who would render nugatory the people’s verdict against them. if not invariably. there is nothing definite in the horizon on who will finally be declared the lawfully elected mayor. we reiterate here our consistent ruling that decisions of the courts in election protest cases. while already decided at the RTC level. A combination. of the reasons the RTC cited. the term for mayor consists of only three (3) years. the Special Order cited good and special reasons that justified an execution pending appeal. to our mind. the term for the contested position having long expired before the final ruling on the merits came. the COMELEC en banc simply glossed over the RTC’s cited reasons and did not fully discuss why these reasons were not sufficient to justify execution pending appeal. justifies execution of the RTC Decision pending appeal. is still at the execution-pending-appeal stage and is still far from the finality of any decision on the merits. less than two years are left of the elected mayor’s term. Also. 297[10] In the present case.Other than the clarity of Pecson’s victory under the RTC Decision. should at least be given similar worth and recognition as decisions of the board of 296 297 .

of the case. In light of all these considerations.canvassers. such as the shortness of the term of the contested elective office. SO ORDERED.298[11] This is especially true when attended by other equally weighty circumstances of the case. WHEREFORE. Specifically. we conclude that the COMELEC erred in nullifying the RTC’s Special Order in a manner sufficiently gross to affect its exercise of jurisdiction. premises considered. it committed grave abuse of discretion when it looked at wrong considerations and when it acted outside of the contemplation of the law in nullifying the Special Order. we GRANT the petition and accordingly ANNUL the assailed COMELEC Resolution. 298 .