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G.R. No. 110427 meanwhile in the premises.

It may not be amiss to


February 24, 1997 point out in this connection that where there had been
more than one demand to vacate, the one-year period
The Incompetent, CARMEN CAIZA, represented for filing the complaint for unlawful detainer must be
by her legal guardian, AMPARO EVANGELISTA, reckoned from the date of the last demand, the reason
petitioner, vs. COURT OF APPEALS (SPECIAL FIRST being that the lessor has the option to waive his right
DIVISION), PEDRO ESTRADA and his wife, of action based on previous demands and let the
LEONORA ESTRADA, respondents. lessee remain meanwhile in the premises. Now, the
complaint filed by Caizas guardian alleges that the
Actions; Pleadings and Practice; What same was filed within one (1) year from the date of
determines the nature of an action as well as the first letter of demand dated February 3, 1990.
which court has jurisdiction over it are the Although this averment is not in accord with law
allegations of the complaint and the character of because there is in fact a second letter of demand to
the relief sought.It is axiomatic that what vacate, dated February 27, 1990, the mistake is
determines the nature of an action as well as which inconsequential, since the complaint was actually filed
court has jurisdiction over it, are the allegations of the on September 17, 1990, well within one year from the
complaint and the character of the relief sought. An second (last) written demand to vacate.
inquiry into the averments of the amended complaint
in the Court of origin is thus in order. Same; Same; Same; Same; Guardianship; A
judicial guardian is clothed with authority to
Same; Same; Ejectment; Unlawful Detainer; A withdraw the wards earlier express permission
complaint for unlawful detainer is sufficient if it given to third persons to occupy a certain
alleges that the withholding of possession or the property.The Estradas possession of the house
refusal to vacate is unlawful without necessarily stemmed from the owners express permission. That
employing the terminology of the law. permission was subsequently withdrawn by the owner,
Undoubtedly, a cause of action for desahucio has been as was her right; and it is immaterial that the
adequately set out. It is settled that in an action for withdrawal was made through her judicial guardian, the
unlawful detainer, to allege that the defendant is latter being indisputably clothed with authority to do
unlawfully withholding possession from the plaintiff is so. Nor is it of any consequence that Carmen Caiza
deemed sufficient, and a complaint for unlawful had executed a will bequeathing the disputed property
detainer is sufficient if it alleges that the withholding of to the Estradas; that circumstance did not give them
possession or the refusal to vacate is unlawful without the right to stay in the premises after demand to
necessarily employing the terminology of the law. vacate on the theory that they might in the future
become owners thereof, that right of ownership being
Same; Same; Same; Same; An owners act of at best inchoate, no transfer of ownership being
allowing another to occupy her house, rent-free, possible unless and until the will is duly probated.
does not create a permanent and indefeasible
right of possession in the latters favor.The Same; Same; Same; Same; Where the issue is
argument is arrant sophistry. Caizas act of allowing possession de facto, not de jure, the proper
the Estradas to occupy her house, rent-free, did not remedy is ejectment, not accion publiciana.In
create a permanent and indefeasible right of any case, the only issue that could legitimately be
possession in the latters favor. Common sense, and raised under the circumstances was that involving the
the most rudimentary sense of fairness clearly require Estradas possession by tolerance, i.e., possession de
that that act of liberality be implicitly, but no less facto, not de jure. It is therefore incorrect to postulate
certainly, accompanied by the necessary burden on the that the proper remedy for Caiza is not ejectment but
Estradas of returning the house to Caiza upon her accion publiciana, a plenary action in the RTC or an
demand. More than once has this Court adjudged that action that is one for recovery of the right to
a person who occupies the land of another at the possession de jure.
latters tolerance or permission without any contract
between them is necessarily bound by an implied Wills and Succession; A will is essentially
promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which ambulatoryat any time prior to the testators
a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy death, it may be changed or revoked, and until
against him. The situation is not much different from admitted to probate, it has no effect whatever
that of a tenant whose lease expires but who continues and no right can be claimed thereunder; An
in occupancy by tolerance of the owner, in which case owners intention to confer title in the future to
there is deemed to be an unlawful deprivation or persons possessing property by his tolerance is
withholding of possession as of the date of the demand not inconsistent with the formers taking back
to vacate. In other words, one whose stay is merely possession in the meantime for any reason
tolerated becomes a deforciant illegally occupying the deemed sufficient.A will is essentially ambulatory;
land or property the moment he is required to leave. at any time prior to the testators death, it may be
changed or revoked; and until admitted to probate, it
Same; Same; Same; Same; Where there had has no effect whatever and no right can be claimed
been more than one demand to vacate, the one- thereunder, the law being quite explicit: No will shall
year period for filing the complaint for unlawful pass either real or personal property unless it is proved
detainer must be reckoned from the date of the and allowed in accordance with the Rules of Court
last demand, the reason being that the lessor (ART. 838, id.). An owners intention to confer title in
has the option to waive his right of action based the future to persons possessing property by his
on previous demands and let the lessee remain tolerance, is not inconsistent with the formers taking
back possession in the meantime for any reason NARVASA, C.J.:
deemed sufficient. And that in this case there was
sufficient cause for the owners resumption of On November 20, 1989, being then ninety-four (94)
possession is apparent: she needed to generate
years of age, Carmen Caiza, a spinster, a retired
income from the house on account of the physical
pharmacist, and former professor of the College of
infirmities afflicting her, arising from her extreme age.
Chemistry and Pharmacy of the University of the
Guardianship; The ward has no right to Philippines, was declared incompetent by judgment 1 of
possession or control of his property during his the Regional Trial Court of Quezon City, Branch 107, 2 in
or her incompetency.Amparo Evangelista was a guardianship proceeding instituted by her niece,
appointed by a competent court the general guardian Amparo A. Evangelista. 3 She was so adjudged because
of both the person and the estate of her aunt, Carmen of her advanced age and physical infirmities which
Caiza. Her Letters of Guardianship dated December included cataracts in both eyes and senile dementia.
19, 1989 clearly installed her as the guardian over the Amparo A. Evangelista was appointed legal guardian of
person and properties of the incompetent CARMEN her person and estate.
CAIZA with full authority to take possession of the
property of said incompetent in any province or
Caiza was the owner of a house and lot at No. 61
provinces in which it may be situated and to perform
all other acts necessary for the management of her Tobias St., Quezon City. On September 17, 1990, her
properties **. By that appointment, it became guardian Amparo Evangelista commenced a suit in the
Evangelistas duty to care for her aunts person, to Metropolitan Trial Court (MetroTC) of Quezon City
attend to her physical and spiritual needs, to assure (Branch 35) to eject the spouses Pedro and Leonora
her well-being, with right to custody of her person in Estrada from said premises. 4 The complaint was later
preference to relatives and friends. It also became her amended to identify the incompetent Caiza as
right and duty to get possession of, and exercise plaintiff, suing through her legal guardian, Amparo
control over, Caizas property, both real and personal, Evangelista.
it being recognized principle that the ward has no right
to possession or control of his property during her
The amended Complaint 5 pertinently alleged that
incompetency. That right to manage the wards estate
plaintiff Caiza was the absolute owner of the property
carries with it the right to take possession thereof and
recover it from anyone who retains it, and bring and in question, covered by TCT No. 27147; that out of
defend such actions as may be needful for this kindness, she had allowed the Estrada Spouses, their
purpose. children, grandchildren and sons-in-law to temporarily
reside in her house, rent-free; that Caiza already had
Actions; Ejectment; Even when, in forcible entry urgent need of the house on account of her advanced
and unlawful detainer cases, the defendant age and failing health, "so funds could be raised to
raises the question of ownership in his pleadings meet her expenses for support, maintenance and
and the question of possession cannot be medical treatment;" that through her guardian, Caiza
resolved without deciding the issue of had asked the Estradas verbally and in writing to
ownership, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, vacate the house but they had refused to do so; and
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial that "by the defendants' act of unlawfully depriving
Courts nevertheless have the undoubted plaintiff of the possession of the house in question,
competence to resolve the issue of ownership they . . (were) enriching themselves at the expense of
only to determine the issue of possession.It
the incompetent, because, while they . . (were) saving
may be pointed out in relation to the Estradas
money by not paying any rent for the house, the
defenses in the ejectment action, that as the law now
stands, even when, in forcible entry and unlawful incompetent . . (was) losing much money as her house
detainer cases, the defendant raises the question of could not be rented by others." Also alleged was that
ownership in his pleadings and the question of the complaint was "filed within one (1) year from the
possession cannot be resolved without deciding the date of of first letter of demand dated February 3,
issue of ownership, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, 1990."
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts
nevertheless have the undoubted competence to In their Answer with Counterclaim, the defendants
resolve the issue of ownership ** only to determine declared that they had been living in Caiza's house
the issue of possession. since the 1960's; that in consideration of their faithful
service they had been considered by Caiza as her own
Same; Same; Parties; An ejectment case survives
family, and the latter had in fact executed a
the death of a party.To be sure, an ejectment case
survives the death of a party. Caizas demise did not holographic will on September 4, 1988 by which she
extinguish the desahucio suit instituted by her through "bequeathed" to the Estradas the house and lot in
her guardian. That action, not being a purely personal question.
one, survived her death; her heirs have taken her place
and now represent her interests in the appeal at bar. Judgment was rendered by the MetroTC on April 13,
1992 in Caiza's favor, 6 the Estradas being ordered to
PETITION for review on certiorari of a decision of the vacate the premises and pay Caiza P5,000.00 by way
Court of Appeals. of attorney's fees.
But on appeal, 8 the decision was reversed by the Three issues have to be resolved: (a) whether or not an
Quezon City Regional Trial Court, Branch 96. 9 By ejectment action is the appropriate judicial remedy for
judgment rendered on October 21, 1992, 10 the RTC recovery of possession of the property in dispute; (b)
held that the "action by which the issue of defendants' assuming desahucio to be proper, whether or not
possession should be resolved is accion publiciana, the Evangelista, as Caiza's legal guardian had authority to
obtaining factual and legal situation . . demanding bring said action; and (c) assuming an affirmative
adjudication by such plenary action for recovery of answer to both questions, whether or not Evangelista
possession cognizable in the first instance by the may continue to represent Caiza after the latter's
Regional Trial Court." death.

Caiza sought to have the Court of Appeals reverse the I


decision of October 21, 1992, but failed in that
attempt. In a decision 11 promulgated on June 2, 1993, It is axiomatic that what determines the nature of an
the Appellate Court 12 affirmed the RTC's judgment in action as well as which court has jurisdiction over it,
toto. It ruled that (a) the proper remedy for Caiza was are the allegations of the complaint and the character
indeed an accion publiciana in the RTC, not an accion of the relief sought. 18 An inquiry into the averments of
interdictal in the MetroTC, since the "defendants have the amended complaint in the Court of origin is thus in
not been in the subject premises as mere tenants or order. 19
occupants by tolerance, they have been there as a sort
of adopted family of Carmen Caiza," as evidenced by
The amended Complaint alleges: 20
what purports to be the holographic will of the plaintiff;
and (b) while "said will, unless and until it has passed
probate by the proper court, could not be the basis of 6. That the plaintif Carmen Caiza, is the sole and
defendants' claim to the property, . . it is indicative of absolute owner of a house and lot at No. 61 Scout
intent and desire on the part of Carmen Caiza that Tobias, Quezon City, which property is now the
defendants are to remain and are to continue in their subject of this complaint;
occupancy and possession, so much so that Caiza's
supervening incompetency can not be said to have xxx xxx xxx
vested in her guardian the right or authority to drive
the defendants out." 13 9. That the defendants, their children,
grandchildren and sons-in-law, were allowed to live
Through her guardian, Caiza came to this Court temporarily in the house of plaintif Carmen Caiza,
praying for reversal of the Appellate Court's judgment. for free, out of her kindness;
She contends in the main that the latter erred in (a)
holding that she should have pursued an accion 10. That the plaintif, through her legal guardian,
publiciana, and not an accion interdictal; and in (b) has duly notified the defendants, for them to
giving much weight to "a xerox copy of an alleged vacate the said house, but the two (2) letters of
holographic will, which is irrelevant to this case." 14 demand were ignored and the defendants refused
to vacate the same
In the responsive pleading filed by them on this Court's
requirement, 15 the Estradas insist that the case 11. That the plaintif, represented by her legal
against them was really not one of unlawful detainer; guardian, Amparo Evangelista, made another
they argue that since possession of the house had not demand on the defendants for them to vacate the
been obtained by them by any "contract, express or premises, before Barangay Captain Angelina A.
implied," as contemplated by Section 1, Rule 70 of the Diaz of Barangay Laging Handa, Quezon City, but
Rules of Court, their occupancy of the premises could after two (2) conferences, the result was negative
not be deemed one "terminable upon mere demand and no settlement was reached. A photocopy of the
(and hence never became unlawful) within the context Certification to File Action dated July 4, 1990,
of the law." Neither could the suit against them be issued by said Barangay Captain is attached,
deemed one of forcible entry, they add, because they marked Annex "D" and made an integral part
had been occupying the property with the prior consent hereof;
of the "real owner," Carmen Caiza, which "occupancy
can even ripen into full ownership once the holographic
12. That the plaintiff has given the defendants
will of petitioner Carmen Caiza is admitted to
more than thirty (30) days to vacate the house, but
probate." They conclude, on those postulates, that it is
they still refused to vacate the premises, and they
beyond the power of Caiza's legal guardian to oust
are up to this time residing in the said place;
them from the disputed premises.

13. That this complaint is filed within one (1) year


Carmen Caiza died on March 19, 1994, 16 and her
from the date of first letter of demand dated
heirs the aforementioned guardian, Amparo
February 3, 1990 (Annex "B") sent by the plaintiff
Evangelista, and Ramon C. Nevado, her niece and
to the defendants, by her legal guardian Amparo
nephew, respectively were by this Court's leave,
Evangelista;
substituted for her. 17
14. By the defendants' act of unlawfully depriving 5) that the action was filed within one (1) year from
the plaintiff of the possession of the house in the last demand to vacate.
question, they are enriching themselves at the
expense of the incompetent plaintif because, while Undoubtedly, a cause of action for desahucio has been
they are saving money by not paying any rent for adequately set out. It is settled that in an action for
the house, the plaintiff is losing much money as unlawful detainer, it suffices to allege that the
her house could not be rented by others; defendant is unlawfully withholding possession from
the plaintiff is deemed sufficient, 22 and a complaint for
15. That the plaintif's health is failing and she unlawful detainer is sufficient if it alleges that the
needs the house urgently, so that funds could be withholding of possession or the refusal to vacate is
raised to meet her expenses for her support, unlawful without necessarily employing the
maintenance and medical treatment; terminology of the law. 23

16. That because of defendants' refusal to vacate The Estradas' first proffered defense derives from a
the house at No. 61 Scout Tobias, Quezon City, the literal construction of Section 1, Rule 70 of the Rules of
plaintiff, through her legal guardian, was compelled Court which inter alia authorizes the institution of an
to go to court for justice, and she has to spend unlawful detainer suit when "the possession of any
P10,000.00 as attorney's fees. land or building is unlawfully withheld after the
expiration or termination of the right to hold
Its prayer 21
is quoted below: possession, by virtue of any contract, express or
implied." They contend that since they did not acquire
possession of the property in question "by virtue of any
WHEREFORE, in the interest of justice and the rule
contract, express or implied" they having been, to
of law, plaintif, Carmen Caiza, represented by
repeat, "allowed to live temporarily . . (therein) for free,
her legal guardian, Amparo Evangelista,
out of . . (Caiza's) kindness" in no sense could there
respectfully prays to this Honorable Court, to
be an "expiration or termination of . . (their) right to
render judgment in favor of plaintiff and against
hold possession, by virtue of any contract, express or
the defendants as follows:
implied." Nor would an action for forcible entry lie
against them, since there is no claim that they had
1. To order the defendants, their children, "deprived (Caiza) of the possession of . . (her
grandchildren, sons-in-law and other persons property) by force, intimidation, threat, strategy, or
claiming under them, to vacate the house and stealth.
premises at No. 6 1 Scout Tobias, Quezon City, so
that its possession can be restored to the
The argument is arrant sophistry. Caiza's act of
plaintif Carmen Caiza; and
allowing the Estradas to occupy her house, rent-free,
did not create a permanent and indefeasible right of
2. To pay attorney's fees in the amount of possession in the latter's favor. Common sense, and
P10,000.00; the most rudimentary sense of fairness clearly require
that that act of liberality be implicitly, but no less
3. To pay the costs of the suit. certainly, accompanied by the necessary burden on the
Estradas of returning the house to Caiza upon her
In essence, the amended complaint states: demand. More than once has this Court adjudged that
a person who occupies the land of another at the
latter's tolerance or permission without any contract
1) that the Estradas were occupying Caiza's house
between them is necessarily bound by an implied
by tolerance having been "allowed to live
promise that he will vacate upon demand, failing which
temporarily . . (therein) for free, out of . . (Caiza's)
a summary action for ejectment is the proper remedy
kindness;"
against him. 24 The situation is not much different from
that of a tenant whose lease expires but who continues
2) that Caiza needed the house "urgently" in occupancy by tolerance of the owner, in which case
because her "health . . (was) failing and she . . there is deemed to be an unlawful deprivation or
(needed) funds . . to meet her expenses for her withholding of possession as of the date of the demand
support, maintenance and medical treatment;" to vacate. 25 In other words, one whose stay is merely
tolerated becomes a deforciant illegally occupying the
3) that through her general guardian, Caiza land or property the moment he is required to
requested the Estradas several times, orally and in leave. 26 Thus, in Asset Privatization Trust vs. Court of
writing, to give back possession of the house; Appeals, 27 where a company, having lawfully obtained
possession of a plant upon its undertaking to buy the
4) that the Estradas refused and continue to refuse same, refused to return it after failing to fulfill its
to give back the house to Caiza, to her continuing promise of payment despite demands, this Court held
prejudice; and that "(a)fter demand and its repudiation, . . (its)
continuing possession . . became illegal and the
complaint for unlawful detainer filed by the The Estradas insist that the devise of the house to
. . (plant's owner) was its proper remedy. them by Caiza clearly denotes her intention that they
remain in possession thereof, and legally incapacitated
It may not be amiss to point out in this connection that her judicial guardian, Amparo Evangelista, from
where there had been more than one demand to evicting them therefrom, since their ouster would be
vacate, the one-year period for filing the complaint for inconsistent with the ward's will.
unlawful detainer must be reckoned from the date of
the last demand, 28 the reason being that the lessor A will is essentially ambulatory; at any time prior to the
has the option to waive his right of action based on testator's death, it may be changed or revoked; 30 and
previous demands and let the lessee remain until admitted to probate, it has no effect whatever and
meanwhile in the premises. 29 Now, the complaint filed no right can be claimed thereunder, the law being
by Caiza's guardian alleges that the same was "filed quite explicit: "No will shall pass either real or personal
within one (1) year from the date of the first letter of property unless it is proved and allowed in accordance
demand dated February 3, 1990." Although this with the Rules of Court" (ART. 838, id.). 31 An owner's
averment is not in accord with law because there is in intention to confer title in the future to persons
fact a second letter of demand to vacate, dated possessing property by his tolerance, is not
February 27, 1990, the mistake is inconsequential, inconsistent with the former's taking back possession
since the complaint was actually filed on September in the meantime for any reason deemed sufficient. And
17, 1990, well within one year from the second (last) that in this case there was sufficient cause for the
written demand to vacate. owner's resumption of possession is apparent: she
needed to generate income from the house on account
The Estradas' possession of the house stemmed from of the physical infirmities afflicting her, arising from her
the owner's express permission. That permission was extreme age.
subsequently withdrawn by the owner, as was her
right; and it is immaterial that the withdrawal was Amparo Evangelista was appointed by a competent
made through her judicial guardian, the latter being court the general guardian of both the person and the
indisputably clothed with authority to do so. Nor is it of estate of her aunt, Carmen Caiza. Her Letters of
any consequence that Carmen Caiza had executed a Guardianship 32 dated December 19, 1989 clearly
will bequeathing the disputed property to the Estradas; installed her as the "guardian over the person and
that circumstance did not give them the right to stay in properties of the incompetent CARMEN CANIZA
the premises after demand to vacate on the theory with full authority to take possession of the property of
that they might in future become owners thereof, that said incompetent in any province or provinces in which
right of ownership being at best inchoate, no transfer it may be situated and to perform all other acts
of ownership being possible unless and until the will is necessary for the management of her properties . .
duly probated. " 33 By that appointment, it became Evangelista's duty
to care for her aunt's person, to attend to her physical
Thus, at the time of the institution of the action and spiritual needs, to assure her well-being, with right
of desahucio, the Estradas had no legal right to the to custody of her person in preference to relatives and
property, whether as possessors by tolerance or friends. 34 It also became her right and duty to get
sufferance, or as owners. They could not claim the right possession of, and exercise control over, Caiza's
of possession by sufferance; that had been legally property, both real and personal, it being recognized
ended. They could not assert any right of possession principle that the ward has no right to possession or
flowing from their ownership of the house; their status control of his property during her incompetency. 35 That
as owners is dependent on the probate of the right to manage the ward's estate carries with it the
holographic will by which the property had allegedly right to take possession thereof and recover it from
been bequeathed to them an event which still has to anyone who retains it, 36 and bring and defend such
take place; in other words, prior to the probate of the actions as may be needful for this purpose. 37
will, any assertion of possession by them would be
premature and inefficacious. Actually, in bringing the action of desahucio,
Evangelista was merely discharging the duty to attend
In any case, the only issue that could legitimately be to "the comfortable and suitable maintenance of the
raised under the circumstances was that involving the ward" explicitly imposed on her by Section 4, Rule 96
Estradas' possession by tolerance, i.e., possession de of the Rules of Court, viz.:
facto, not de jure. It is therefore incorrect to postulate
that the proper remedy for Caiza is not ejectment Sec. 4. Estate to be managed frugally, and
but accion publiciana, a plenary action in the RTC or an proceeds applied to maintenance of ward. A
action that is one for recovery of the right to guardian must manage the estate of his ward
possession de jure. frugally and without waste, and apply the income
and profits thereof, so far as maybe necessary, to
II the comfortable and suitable maintenance of the
ward and his family, if there be any; and if such
income and profits be insufficient for that purpose,
the guardian may sell or encumber the real estate,
upon being authorized by order to do so, and apply the desahucio suit instituted by her through her
to such of the proceeds as may be necessary to guardian. 42 That action, not being a purely personal
such maintenance. one, survived her death; her heirs have taken her place
and now represent her interests in the appeal at bar.
Finally, it may be pointed out in relation to the
Estradas's defenses in the ejectment action, that as the WHEREFORE, the petition is GRANTED. The Decision of
law now stands, even when, in forcible entry and the Court of Appeals promulgated on June 2, 1993
unlawful detainer cases, the defendant raises the affirming the Regional Trial Court's judgment and
question of ownership in his pleadings and the question dismissing petitioner's petition for certiorari is
of possession cannot be resolved without deciding the REVERSED and SET ASIDE, and the Decision dated April
issue of ownership, the Metropolitan Trial Courts, 13, 1992 of the Metropolitan Trial Court of Quezon City,
Municipal Trial Courts, and Municipal Circuit Trial Courts Branch 35, in Civil Case No. 3410 is REINSTATED and
nevertheless have the undoubted competence to AFFIRMED. Costs against private respondents.
resolve "the issue of ownership . . only to determine
the issue of possession." 38 SO ORDERED.

III G.R. No. 151243

As already stated, Carmen Caiza passed away during April 30, 2008
the pendency of this appeal. The Estradas thereupon
moved to dismiss the petition, arguing that Caiza's
death automatically terminated the guardianship,
Amaparo Evangelista lost all authority as her judicial
guardian, and ceased to have legal personality to LOLITA R. ALAMAYRI, petitioner, vs. ROMMEL,
represent her in the present appeal. The motion is ELMER, ERWIN, ROILER and AMANDA, all
without merit. surnamed PABALE, respondents.

While it is indeed well-established rule that the Civil Procedure; Judgments; Res Judicata; Words
relationship of guardian and ward is necessarily and Phrases; Res judicata literally means a
terminated by the death of either the guardian or the matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or
ward, 39 the rule affords no advantage to the Estradas. decided; a thing or matter settled by
Amparo Evangelista, as niece of Carmen Caiza, is one judgment.Res judicata literally means a matter
of the latter's only two (2) surviving heirs, the other adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a
being Caiza's nephew, Ramon C. Nevado. On their thing or matter settled by judgment. Res judicata lays
motion and by Resolution of this Court 40 of June 20, the rule that an existing final judgment or decree
1994, they were in fact substituted as parties in the rendered on the merits, and without fraud or collusion,
appeal at bar in place of the deceased, in accordance by a court of competent jurisdiction, upon any matter
with Section 17, Rule 3 of the Rules of Court, viz.: 41 within its jurisdiction, is conclusive of the rights of the
parties or their privies, in all other actions or suits in
the same or any other judicial tribunal of concurrent
Sec. 18. Death of a party. After a party dies and
jurisdiction on the points and matters in issue in the
the claim is not thereby extinguished, the court
first suit.
shall order, upon proper notice, the legal
representative of the deceased to appear and be
substituted for the deceased within a period of Same; Same; Same; Bar by prior judgment
thirty (30) days, or within such time as may be distinguished from conclusiveness of judgment;
granted. If the legal representative fails to appear Concepts of the doctrine of res judicata.The
within said time, the court may order the opposing doctrine of res judicata thus lays down two main rules
party to procure the appointment of a legal which may be stated as follows: (1) The judgment or
representative of the deceased within a time to be decree of a court of competent jurisdiction on the
specified by the court, and the representative shall merits concludes the parties and their privies to the
immediately appear for and on behalf of the litigation and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit
interest of the deceased. The court charges involving the same cause of action either before the
involved in procuring such appointment, if defrayed same or any other tribunal; and (2) Any right, fact, or
by the opposing party, may be recovered as matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily
costs. The heirs of the deceased may be allowed to involved in the determination of an action before a
be substituted for the deceased, without requiring competent court in which a judgment or decree is
the appointment of an executor or rendered on the merits is conclusively settled by the
administrator and the court may appoint judgment therein and cannot again be litigated
guardian ad litem for the minor heirs. between the parties and their privies whether or not
the claims or demands, purposes, or subject matters of
the two suits are the same. These two main rules mark
To be sure, an ejectment case survives the death of a
the distinction between the principles governing the
party. Caiza's demise did not extinguish
two typical cases in which a judgment may operate as
evidence. In speaking of these cases, the first general indeed a minor or an incompetent who has no capacity
rule above stated, and which corresponds to the afore- to care for himself and/or his properties; and, second,
quoted paragraph (b) of Section 47, Rule 39 of the who is most qualified to be appointed as his guardian.
Rules of Court, is referred to as bar by former The rules reasonably assume that the people who best
judgment; while the second general rule, which is could help the trial court settle such issues would be
embodied in paragraph (c) of the same section and those who are closest to and most familiar with the
rule, is known as conclusiveness of judgment. supposed minor or incompetent, namely, his relatives
living within the same province and/or the persons
Same; Same; Same; Conclusiveness of judgment caring for him.
bars the re-litigation in a second case of a fact or
question already settled in a previous case; Same; Same; Same; The burden of proving
Conclusiveness of judgment requires only the incapacity to enter into contractual relations
identity of issues and parties, but not of causes rests upon the person who alleges it; if no
of action.Conclusiveness of judgment bars the re- sufficient proof to this effect is presented,
litigation in a second case of a fact or question already capacity will be presumed. While both cases
settled in a previous case. The second case, however, involve a determination of Naves incompetency, it
may still proceed provided that it will no longer touch must be established at two separate times, one in 1984
on the same fact or question adjudged in the first case. and the other in 1986. A finding that she was
Conclusiveness of judgment requires only the identity incompetent in 1986 does not automatically mean that
of issues and parties, but not of causes of action. she was so in 1984. In Carillo v. Jaojoco, 46 Phil. 957,
960 (1924), the Court ruled that despite the fact that
Same; Appeals; Evidence; In general, the Court the seller was declared mentally incapacitated by the
of Appeals conducts hearings and receives trial court only nine days after the execution of the
evidence prior to the submission of the case for contract of sale, it does not prove that she was so
judgment; Only under exceptional circumstances when she executed the contract. Hence, the
may the court receive new evidence after having significance of the two-year gap herein cannot be
rendered judgment.It is true that the Court of gainsaid since Naves mental condition in 1986 may
Appeals has the power to try cases and conduct vastly differ from that of 1984 given the intervening
hearings, receive evidence and perform any and all period. Capacity to act is supposed to attach to a
acts necessary to resolve factual issues raised in cases person who has not previously been declared
falling within its original and appellate jurisdiction, incapable, and such capacity is presumed to continue
including the power to grant and conduct new trials or so long as the contrary be not proved; that is, that at
further proceedings. In general, however, the Court of the moment of his acting he was incapable, crazy,
Appeals conducts hearings and receives evidence prior insane, or out of his mind. The burden of proving
to the submission of the case for judgment. It must be incapacity to enter into contractual relations rests upon
pointed out that, in this case, Alamayri filed her Motion the person who alleges it; if no sufficient proof to this
to Schedule Hearing to Mark Exhibits in Evidence on 21 effect is presented, capacity will be presumed.
November 2001. She thus sought to submit additional
evidence as to the identity of Jose Pabale, not only PETITION for review on certiorari of the decision and
after CA-G.R. CV No. 58133 had been submitted for resolution of the Court of Appeals.
judgment, but after the Court of Appeals had already
promulgated its Decision in said case on 10 April 2001. CHICO-NAZARIO, J.:
The parties must diligently and conscientiously present
all arguments and available evidences in support of
Before this Court is a Petition for Review
their respective positions to the court before the case
on Certiorari 1 under Rule 45 of the Rules of Court filed
is deemed submitted for judgment. Only under
by petitioner Lolita R. Alamayri (Alamayri) seeking the
exceptional circumstances may the court receive new
reversal and setting aside of the Decision, 2 dated 10
evidence after having rendered judgment; otherwise,
April 2001, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No.
its judgment may never attain finality since the parties
58133; as well as the Resolution,3 dated 19 December
may continually refute the findings therein with further
2001 of the same court denying reconsideration of its
evidence.
aforementioned Decision. The Court of Appeals, in its
assailed Decision, upheld the validity of the Deed of
Remedial Law Special Proceedings; Absolute Sale, dated 20 February 1984, executed by
Guardianship; The objectives of an RTC hearing a Nelly S. Nave (Nave) in favor of siblings Rommel,
petition for appointment of a guardian under Elmer, Erwin, Roiler and Amanda, all surnamed Pabale
Rule 93 of the Rules of Court is to determine, (the Pabale siblings) over a piece of land (subject
first, whether a person is indeed a minor or an property) in Calamba, Laguna, covered by Transfer
incompetent who has no capacity to care for Certificate of Title (TCT) No. T-3317 (27604); and, thus,
himself and/or his properties; and second, who is reversed and set aside the Decision,4 dated 2
most qualified to be appointed as his guardian. December 1997, of the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of
The objectives of an RTC hearing a petition for Pasay City, Branch 119 in Civil Case No. 675-84-C. 5 The
appointment of a guardian under Rule 93 of the Rules 2 December 1997 Decision of the RTC declared null and
of Court is to determine, first, whether a person is void the two sales agreements involving the subject
property entered into by Nave with different parties, was amended to include [the Pabale siblings] as
namely, Sesinando M. Fernando (Fernando) and the party defendants. In an Order dated April 24, 1984,
Pabale siblings; and ordered the reconveyance of the the trial court denied [Naves] Motion to Dismiss
subject property to Alamayri, as Naves successor-in- prompting her to file a Manifestation and Motion
interest. stating that she was adopting the allegations in her
Motion to Dismiss in answer to [Fernandos]
There is no controversy as to the facts that gave rise to amended complaint.
the present Petition, determined by the Court of
Appeals to be as follows: Thereafter, [Nave] filed a Motion to Admit her
Amended Answer with Counterclaim and Cross-
This is a Complaint for Specific Performance with claim praying that her husband, Atty. Vedasto
Damages filed by Sesinando M. Fernando, Gesmundo be impleaded as her co-defendant, and
representing S.M. Fernando Realty Corporation including as her defense undue influence and fraud
[Fernando] on February 6, 1984 before the Regional by reason of the fact that she was made to appear
Trial Court of Calamba, Laguna presided over by as widow when in fact she was very much married
Judge Salvador P. de Guzman, Jr., docketed as Civil at the time of the transaction in issue. Despite the
Case No. 675-84-C against Nelly S. Nave [Nave], opposition of [Fernando] and [the Pabale siblings],
owner of a parcel of land located in Calamba, the trial court admitted the aforesaid Amended
Laguna covered by TCT No. T-3317 (27604). Answer with Counterclaim and Cross-claim.
[Fernando] alleged that on January 3, 1984, a
handwritten "Kasunduan Sa Pagbibilihan" (Contract Still unsatisfied with her defense, [Nave] and Atty.
to Sell) was entered into by and between him and Vedasto Gesmundo filed a Motion to Admit Second
[Nave] involving said parcel of land. However, Amended Answer and Amended Reply and Cross-
[Nave] reneged on their agreement when the latter claim against [the Pabale siblings], this time
refused to accept the partial down payment he including the fact of her incapacity to contract for
tendered to her as previously agreed because she being mentally deficient based on the
did not want to sell her property to him anymore. psychological evaluation report conducted on
[Fernando] prayed that after trial on the merits, December 2, 1985 by Dra. Virginia P. Panlasigui, M.
[Nave] be ordered to execute the corresponding A., a clinical psychologist. Finding the motion
Deed of Sale in his favor, and to pay attorneys unmeritorious, the same was denied by the court a
fees, litigation expenses and damages. quo.

[Nave] filed a Motion to Dismiss averring that she [Nave] filed a motion for reconsideration thereof
could not be ordered to execute the corresponding asseverating that in Criminal Case No. 1308-85-C
Deed of Sale in favor of [Fernando] based on the entitled "People vs. Nelly S. Nave" she raised
following grounds: (1) she was not fully apprised of therein as a defense her mental deficiency. This
the nature of the piece of paper [Fernando] handed being a decisive factor to determine once and for
to her for her signature on January 3, 1984. When all whether the contract entered into by [Nave]
she was informed that it was for the sale of her with respect to the subject property is null and
property in Calamba, Laguna covered by TCT No. T- void, the Second Amended Answer and Amended
3317 (27604), she immediately returned to Reply and Cross-claim against [the Pabale siblings]
[Fernando] the said piece of paper and at the same should be admitted.
time repudiating the same. Her repudiation was
further bolstered by the fact that when [Fernando] Before the motion for reconsideration could be
tendered the partial down payment to her, she acted upon, the proceedings in this case was
refused to receive the same; and (2) she already suspended sometime in 1987 in view of the filing of
sold the property in good faith to Rommel, Elmer, a Petition for Guardianship of [Nave] with the
Erwin, Roller and Amanda, all surnamed Pabale Regional Trial Court, Branch 36 of Calamba,
[the Pabale siblings] on February 20, 1984 after the Laguna, docketed as SP No. 146-86-C with Atty.
complaint was filed against her but before she Vedasto Gesmundo as the petitioner. On June 22,
received a copy thereof. Moreover, she alleged that 1988, a Decision was rendered in the said
[Fernando] has no cause of action against her as he guardianship proceedings, the dispositive portion
is suing for and in behalf of S.M. Fernando Realty of which reads:
Corporation who is not a party to the alleged
Contract to Sell. Even assuming that said entity is
"Under the circumstances, specially since Nelly
the real party in interest, still, [Fernando] cannot
S. Nave who now resides with the Brosas
sue in representation of the corporation there
spouses has categorically refused to be
being no evidence to show that he was duly
examined again at the National Mental
authorized to do so.
Hospital, the Court is constrained to accept the
Neuro-Psychiatric Evaluation report dated April
Subsequently, [the Pabale siblings] filed a Motion 14, 1986 submitted by Dra. Nona Jean Alviso-
to Intervene alleging that they are now the land Ramos and the supporting report dated April
owners of the subject property. Thus, the complaint 20, 1987 submitted by Dr. Eduardo T. Maaba,
both of the National Mental Hospital and evidenced by a Deed of Absolute Sale, she should
hereby finds Nelly S. Nave an incompetent be substituted in his stead. In refutation, Atty.
within the purview of Rule 92 of the Revised Vedasto Gesmundo filed a Manifestation stating
Rules of Court, a person who, by reason of age, that what he executed is a Deed of Donation and
disease, weak mind and deteriorating mental not a Deed of Absolute Sale in favor of [Alamayri]
processes cannot without outside aid take care and that the same was already revoked by him on
of herself and manage her properties, March 5, 1997. Thus, the motion for substitution
becoming thereby an easy prey for deceit and should be denied.
exploitation, said condition having become
severe since the year 1980. She and her estate On July 29, 1997, the court a quo issued an Order
are hereby placed under guardianship. Atty. declaring that it cannot make a ruling as to the
Leonardo C. Paner is hereby appointed as her conflicting claims of [Alamayri] and Atty. Vedasto
regular guardian without need of bond, until Gesmundo. After the case was heard on the merits,
further orders from this Court. Upon his taking the trial court rendered its Decision on December
his oath of office as regular guardian, Atty. 2, 1997, the dispositive portion of which reads:
Paner is ordered to participate actively in the
pending cases of Nelly S. Nave with the end in
"WHEREFORE, judgment is hereby rendered as
view of protecting her interests from the
follows:
prejudicial sales of her real properties, from the
overpayment in the foreclosure made by Ms.
Gilda Mendoza-Ong, and in recovering her lost 1. Declaring the handwritten Contract to Sell
jewelries and monies and other personal dated January 3, 1984 executed by Nelly S.
effects. Nave and Sesinando Fernando null and void
and of no force and effect;
SO ORDERED."
2. Declaring the Deed of Absolute Sale dated
February 20, 1984 executed by Nelly S. Nave in
Both [Fernando] and [the Pabale siblings] did not
favor of the [Pabale siblings] similarly null and
appeal therefrom, while the appeal interposed by
void and of no force and effect;
spouses Juliano and Evangelina Brosas was
dismissed by this Court for failure to pay the
required docketing fees within the reglementary 3. Recognizing Ms. Lolita P. [Alamayri] as the
period. owner of the property covered by TCT No.
111249 of the land records of Calamba,
Laguna;
In the meantime, [Nave] died on December 9,
1992. On September 20, 1993, Atty. Vedasto
Gesmundo, [Naves] sole heir, she being an orphan 4. Ordering the [Pabale siblings] to execute a
and childless, executed an Affidavit of Self- transfer of title over the property in favor of Ms.
Adjudication pertaining to his inherited properties Lolita P. [Alamayri] in the concept of
from [Nave]. reconveyance because the sale in their favor
has been declared null and void;
On account of such development, a motion for the
dismissal of the instant case and for the issuance 5. Ordering the [Pabale siblings] to surrender
of a writ of execution of the Decision dated June 22, possession over the property to Ms. [Alamayri]
1988 in SP No. 146-86-C (petition for guardianship) and to account for its income from the time
was filed by Atty. Vedasto Gesmundo on February they took over possession to the time the same
14, 1996 with the court a quo. [The Pabale siblings] is turned over to Ms. Lolita [Alamayri], and
filed their Opposition to the motion on grounds that thereafter pay the said income to the latter;
(1) they were not made a party to the guardianship
proceedings and thus cannot be bound by the 6. Ordering [Fernando] and the [Pabale
Decision therein; and (2) that the validity of the siblings], jointly and severally, to pay Ms.
Deed of Absolute Sale executed by the late [Nave] [Alamayri]:
in their favor was never raised in the guardianship
case. a. attorneys fees in the sum of P30,000.00;
and
The case was then set for an annual conference.
On January 9, 1997, Atty. Vedasto Gesmundo filed a b. the costs.6
motion seeking the courts permission for his
substitution for the late defendant Nelly in the
S.M. Fernando Realty Corporation, still represented by
instant case. Not long after the parties submitted
Fernando, filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals,
their respective pre-trial briefs, a motion for
docketed as CA-G.R. CV No. 58133, solely to question
substitution was filed by Lolita R. Alamayre (sic)
the portion of the 2 December 1997 Decision of the
[Alamayri] alleging that since the subject property
RTC ordering him and the Pabale siblings to jointly and
was sold to her by Atty. Vedasto Gesmundo as
severally pay Alamayri the amount of P30,000.00 as right to the subject property as owner upon Naves
attorneys fees. death in accordance with the laws of succession. It
must be remembered that Atty. Gesmundo disputed
The Pabale siblings intervened as appellants in CA-G.R. before the RTC the supposed transfer of his rights to
CV No. 58133 averring that the RTC erred in declaring the subject property to Alamayri, but the court a
in its 2 December 1997 Decision that the Deed of quo refrained from ruling thereon.
Absolute Sale dated 20 February 1984 executed by
Nave in their favor was null and void on the ground In a Resolution, dated 19 December 2001, the Court of
that Nave was found incompetent since the year 1980. Appeals denied for lack of merit the Motions for
Reconsideration of Alamayri and Atty. Gesmundo.
The Court of Appeals, in its Decision, dated 10 April
2001, granted the appeals of S.M. Fernando Realty Hence, Alamayri comes before this Court via the
Corporation and the Pabale siblings. It ruled thus: present Petition for Review on Certiorari under Rule 45
of the Rules of Court, with the following assignment of
WHEREFORE, premises considered, the appeal filed errors:
by S. M. Fernando Realty Corporation, represented
by its President, Sesinando M. Fernando as well as I
the appeal interposed by Rommel, Elmer, Erwin,
Roller and Amanda, all surnamed Pabale, are THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING
hereby GRANTED. The Decision of the Regional Trial THAT THE FINDING THAT NELLY S. NAVE WAS
Court of Pasay City, Branch 119 in Civil Case No. INCOMPETENT IN SPECIAL PROCEEDING NO.
675-84-C is hereby REVERSED and SET ASIDE and 146-86-C ON JUNE 22, 1988 CANNOT
a new one rendered upholding the VALIDITY of the RETROACT TO AFFECT THE VALIDITY OF THE
Deed of Absolute Sale dated February 20, 1984. DEED OF SALE SHE EXECUTED ON FEBRUARY
20, 1984 IN FAVOR OF RESPONDENTS PABALES.
No pronouncements as to costs.7
II
Alamayri sought reconsideration of the afore-quoted
Decision of the appellate court, invoking the THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN HOLDING
Decision,8 dated 22 June 1988, of the RTC in the THAT THE DECISION IN SPECIAL PROCEEDING
guardianship proceedings, docketed as SP. PROC. No. NO. 146-86-C DATED JUNE 22, 1988 IS NOT
146-86-C, which found Nave incompetent, her BINDING ON RESPONDENTS PABALES.
condition becoming severe since 1980; and thus
appointed Atty. Leonardo C. Paner as her guardian. Said
III
Decision already became final and executory when no
one appealed therefrom. Alamayri argued that since
Nave was already judicially determined to be an THE COURT OF APPEALS ERRED IN DENYING
incompetent since 1980, then all contracts she PETITIONERS MOTION TO SCHEDULE HEARING
subsequently entered into should be declared null and TO MARK DOCUMENTARY EXHIBITS IN
void, including the Deed of Sale, dated 20 February EVIDENCE TO ESTABLISH THE IDENTITY OF
1984, which she executed over the subject property in JOSE PABALE AS THE FATHER OF RESPONDENTS
favor of the Pabale siblings. PABALES.9

According to Alamayri, the Pabale siblings should be It is Alamayris position that given the final and
bound by the findings of the RTC in its 22 June 1988 executory Decision, dated 22 June 1988, of the RTC in
Decision in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C, having participated SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C finding Nave incompetent since
in the said guardianship proceedings through their 1980, then the same fact may no longer be re-litigated
father Jose Pabale. She pointed out that the RTC in Civil Case No. 675-84-C, based on the doctrine of res
explicitly named in its orders Jose Pabale as among judicata, more particularly, the rule on conclusiveness
those present during the hearings held on 30 October of judgment.
1987 and 19 November 1987 in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-
C. Alamayri thus filed on 21 November 2001 a Motion This Court is not persuaded.
to Schedule Hearing to Mark Exhibits in Evidence so
she could mark and submit as evidence certain Res judicata literally means "a matter adjudged; a
documents to establish that the Pabale siblings are thing judicially acted upon or decided; a thing or
indeed the children of Jose Pabale. matter settled by judgment." Res judicata lays the rule
that an existing final judgment or decree rendered on
Atty. Gesmundo, Naves surviving spouse, likewise filed the merits, and without fraud or collusion, by a court of
his own Motion for Reconsideration of the 10 April 2001 competent jurisdiction, upon any matter within its
Decision of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R. CV No. jurisdiction, is conclusive of the rights of the parties or
58133, asserting Naves incompetence since 1980 as their privies, in all other actions or suits in the same or
found by the RTC in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C, and his
any other judicial tribunal of concurrent jurisdiction on The second concept conclusiveness of judgment
the points and matters in issue in the first suit. 10 states that a fact or question which was in issue
in a former suit and was there judicially passed
It is espoused in the Rules of Court, under paragraphs upon and determined by a court of competent
(b) and (c) of Section 47, Rule 39, which read: jurisdiction, is conclusively settled by the judgment
therein as far as the parties to that action and
persons in privity with them are concerned and
SEC. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. The
cannot be again litigated in any future action
effect of a judgment or final order rendered by a
between such parties or their privies, in the same
court of the Philippines, having jurisdiction to
court or any other court of concurrent jurisdiction
pronounce the judgment or final order, may be as
on either the same or different cause of action,
follows:
while the judgment remains unreversed by proper
authority. It has been held that in order that a
xxxx judgment in one action can be conclusive as to a
particular matter in another action between the
(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, same parties or their privies, it is essential that the
with respect to the matter directly adjudged or as issue be identical. If a particular point or question
to any other matter that could have been raised in is in issue in the second action, and the judgment
relation thereto, conclusive between the parties will depend on the determination of that particular
and their successors in interest by title subsequent point or question, a former judgment between the
to the commencement of the action or special same parties or their privies will be final and
proceeding, litigating the same thing and under the conclusive in the second if that same point or
same title and in the same capacity; and question was in issue and adjudicated in the first
suit (Nabus vs. Court of Appeals, 193 SCRA 732
(c) In any other litigation between the same parties [1991]). Identity of cause of action is not required
or their successors in interest, that only is deemed but merely identity of issues.
to have been adjudged in a former judgment or
final order which appears upon its face to have Justice Feliciano, in Smith Bell & Company (Phils.),
been so adjudged, or which was actually and Inc. vs. Court of Appeals (197 SCRA 201, 210
necessarily included therein or necessary thereto. [1991]), reiterated Lopez vs. Reyes (76 SCRA 179
[1977]) in regard to the distinction between bar by
The doctrine of res judicata thus lays down two main former judgment which bars the prosecution of a
rules which may be stated as follows: (1) The judgment second action upon the same claim, demand, or
or decree of a court of competent jurisdiction on the cause of action, and conclusiveness of judgment
merits concludes the parties and their privies to the which bars the relitigation of particular facts or
litigation and constitutes a bar to a new action or suit issues in another litigation between the same
involving the same cause of action either before the parties on a different claim or cause of action.
same or any other tribunal; and (2) Any right, fact, or
matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily The general rule precluding the relitigation of
involved in the determination of an action before a material facts or questions which were in issue and
competent court in which a judgment or decree is adjudicated in former action are commonly applied
rendered on the merits is conclusively settled by the to all matters essentially connected with the
judgment therein and cannot again be litigated subject matter of the litigation. Thus, it extends to
between the parties and their privies whether or not questions necessarily implied in the final judgment,
the claims or demands, purposes, or subject matters of although no specific finding may have been made
the two suits are the same. These two main rules mark in reference thereto and although such matters
the distinction between the principles governing the were directly referred to in the pleadings and were
two typical cases in which a judgment may operate as not actually or formally presented. Under this rule,
evidence.11 In speaking of these cases, the first general if the record of the former trial shows that the
rule above stated, and which corresponds to the afore- judgment could not have been rendered without
quoted paragraph (b) of Section 47, Rule 39 of the deciding the particular matter, it will be considered
Rules of Court, is referred to as "bar by former as having settled that matter as to all future
judgment"; while the second general rule, which is actions between the parties and if a judgment
embodied in paragraph (c) of the same section and necessarily presupposes certain premises, they are
rule, is known as "conclusiveness of judgment." as conclusive as the judgment itself.12

The Resolution of this Court in Calalang v. Register of Another case, Oropeza Marketing Corporation v. Allied
Deeds provides the following enlightening discourse on Banking Corporation, further differentiated between
conclusiveness of judgment: the two rules of res judicata, as follows:

The doctrine res judicata actually embraces two There is "bar by prior judgment" when, as
different concepts: (1) bar by former judgment and between the first case where the judgment was
(b) conclusiveness of judgment. rendered and the second case that is sought to be
barred, there is identity of parties, subject Rule 93 of the Rules of Court governs the proceedings
matter, and causes of action. In this instance, for the appointment of a guardian, to wit:
the judgment in the first case constitutes an
absolute bar to the second action. Otherwise put,
the judgment or decree of the court of competent
jurisdiction on the merits concludes the litigation
Rule 93
between the parties, as well as their privies, and
constitutes a bar to a new action or suit involving
the same cause of action before the same or other APPOINTMENT OF GUARDIANS
tribunal.

But where there is identity of parties in the first


and second cases, but no identity of causes of SECTION 1. Who may petition for appointment of
action, the first judgment is conclusive only as to guardian for resident. Any relative, friend, or
those matters actually and directly controverted other person on behalf of a resident minor or
and determined and not as to matters merely incompetent who has no parent or lawful guardian,
involved therein. This is the concept of res or the minor himself if fourteen years of age or
judicata known as "conclusiveness of over, may petition the court having jurisdiction for
judgment." Stated differently, any right, fact, or the appointment of a general guardian for the
matter in issue directly adjudicated or necessarily person or estate, or both, of such minor or
involved in the determination of an action before a incompetent. An officer of the Federal
competent court in which judgment is rendered on Administration of the United States in the
the merits is conclusively settled by the judgment Philippines may also file a petition in favor of a
therein and cannot again be litigated between the ward thereof, and the Director of Health, in favor of
parties and their privies whether or not the claim, an insane person who should be hospitalized, or in
demand, purpose, or subject matter of the two favor of an isolated leper.
actions is the same.13
SEC. 2. Contents of petition. A petition for the
In sum, conclusiveness of judgment bars the re- appointment of a general guardian must show, so
litigation in a second case of a fact or question already far as known to the petitioner:
settled in a previous case. The second case, however,
may still proceed provided that it will no longer touch (a) The jurisdictional facts;
on the same fact or question adjudged in the first case.
Conclusiveness of judgment requires only the identity
(b) The minority or incompetency rendering the
of issues and parties, but not of causes of action.
appointment necessary or convenient;

Contrary to Alamayris assertion, conclusiveness of


(c) The names, ages, and residences of the
judgment has no application to the instant Petition
relatives of the minor or incompetent, and of
since there is no identity of parties and issues between
the persons having him in their care;
SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C and Civil Case No. 675-84-C.

(d) The probable value and character of his estate;


No identity of parties

(e) The name of the person for whom letters of


SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C was a petition filed with the
guardianship are prayed.
RTC by Atty. Gesmundo for the appointment of a
guardian over the person and estate of his late wife
Nave alleging her incompetence. The petition shall be verified; but no defect in the
petition or verification shall render void the
issuance of letters of guardianship.
A guardian may be appointed by the RTC over the
person and estate of a minor or an incompetent, the
latter being described as a person "suffering the SEC. 3. Court to set time for hearing. Notice
penalty of civil interdiction or who are hospitalized thereof. When a petition for the appointment of a
lepers, prodigals, deaf and dumb who are unable to general guardian is filed, the court shall fix a time
read and write, those who are of unsound mind, even and place for hearing the same, and shall cause
though they have lucid intervals, and persons not reasonable notice thereof to be given to the
being of unsound mind, but by reason of age, disease, persons mentioned in the petition residing in the
weak mind, and other similar causes, cannot, without province, including the minor if above 14 years of
outside aid, take care of themselves and manage their age or the incompetent himself, and may direct
property, becoming thereby an easy prey for deceit other general or special notice thereof to be given.
and exploitation."14
SEC. 4. Opposition to petition. Any interested
person may, by filing a written opposition, contest
the petition on the ground of majority of the supposed minor or incompetent is actually capacitated
alleged minor, competency of the alleged to enter into contracts, so as to preserve the validity of
incompetent, or the unsuitability of the person for said contracts and keep the supposed minor or
whom letters are prayed, and may pray that the incompetent obligated to comply therewith.
petition be dismissed, or that letters of
guardianship issue to himself, or to any suitable Hence, it cannot be presumed that the Pabale siblings
person named in the opposition. were given notice and actually took part in SP. PROC.
No. 146-86-C. They are not Naves relatives, nor are
SEC. 5. Hearing and order for letters to issue. At they the ones caring for her. Although the rules allow
the hearing of the petition the alleged incompetent the RTC to direct the giving of other general or special
must be present if able to attend, and it must be notices of the hearings on the petition for appointment
shown that the required notice has been given. of a guardian, it was not established that the RTC
Thereupon the court shall hear the evidence of the actually did so in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C.
parties in support of their respective allegations,
and, if the person in question is a minor or Alamayris allegation that the Pabale siblings
incompetent it shall appoint a suitable guardian of participated in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C rests on two
his person or estate, or both, with the powers and Orders, dated 30 October 198715 and 19 November
duties hereinafter specified. 1987,16 issued by the RTC in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C,
expressly mentioning the presence of a Jose Pabale,
xxxx who was supposedly the father of the Pabale siblings,
during the hearings held on the same dates. However,
SEC. 8. Service of judgment. Final orders or the said Orders by themselves cannot confirm that Jose
judgments under this rule shall be served upon the Pabale was indeed the father of the Pabale siblings and
civil registrar of the municipality or city where the that he was authorized by his children to appear in the
minor or incompetent person resides or where his said hearings on their behalf.
property or part thereof is situated.
Alamayri decries that she was not allowed by the Court
A petition for appointment of a guardian is a special of Appeals to submit and mark additional evidence to
proceeding, without the usual parties, i.e., petitioner prove that Jose Pabale was the father of the Pabale
versus respondent, in an ordinary civil case. siblings.
Accordingly, SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C bears the title: In
re: Guardianship of Nelly S. Nave for Incompetency, It is true that the Court of Appeals has the power to try
Verdasto Gesmundo y Banayo, petitioner, with no cases and conduct hearings, receive evidence and
named respondent/s. perform any and all acts necessary to resolve factual
issues raised in cases falling within its original and
Sections 2 and 3 of Rule 93 of the Rules of Court, appellate jurisdiction, including the power to grant and
though, require that the petition contain the names, conduct new trials or further proceedings. In general,
ages, and residences of relatives of the supposed however, the Court of Appeals conducts hearings and
minor or incompetent and those having him in their receives evidence prior to the submission of the case
care, so that those residing within the same province for judgment.17 It must be pointed out that, in this case,
as the minor or incompetent can be notified of the time Alamayri filed her Motion to Schedule Hearing to Mark
and place of the hearing on the petition. Exhibits in Evidence on 21 November 2001. She thus
sought to submit additional evidence as to the identity
of Jose Pabale, not only after CA-G.R. CV No. 58133 had
The objectives of an RTC hearing a petition for
been submitted for judgment, but after the Court of
appointment of a guardian under Rule 93 of the Rules
Appeals had already promulgated its Decision in said
of Court is to determine, first, whether a person is
case on 10 April 2001.
indeed a minor or an incompetent who has no capacity
to care for himself and/or his properties; and, second,
who is most qualified to be appointed as his guardian. The parties must diligently and conscientiously present
The rules reasonably assume that the people who best all arguments and available evidences in support of
could help the trial court settle such issues would be their respective positions to the court before the case
those who are closest to and most familiar with the is deemed submitted for judgment. Only under
supposed minor or incompetent, namely, his relatives exceptional circumstances may the court receive new
living within the same province and/or the persons evidence after having rendered judgment;18 otherwise,
caring for him. its judgment may never attain finality since the parties
may continually refute the findings therein with further
evidence. Alamayri failed to provide any explanation
It is significant to note that the rules do not necessitate
why she did not present her evidence earlier. Merely
that creditors of the minor or incompetent be likewise
invoking that the ends of justice would have been best
identified and notified. The reason is simple: because
served if she was allowed to present additional
their presence is not essential to the proceedings for
evidence is not sufficient to justify deviation from the
appointment of a guardian. It is almost a given, and
general rules of procedure. Obedience to the
understandably so, that they will only insist that the
requirements of procedural rules is needed if the
parties are to expect fair results therefrom, and utter on Naves competency in 1984, when she executed the
disregard of the rules cannot justly be rationalized by Deed of Sale over the subject property in favor the
harking on the policy of liberal Pabale siblings.
construction.19 Procedural rules are tools designed to
facilitate the adjudication of cases. Courts and litigants In SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C, the main issue was whether
alike are thus enjoined to abide strictly by the rules. Nave was incompetent at the time of filing of the
And while the Court, in some instances, allows a petition with the RTC in 1986, thus, requiring the
relaxation in the application of the rules, this, we appointment of a guardian over her person and estate.
stress, was never intended to forge a bastion for erring
litigants to violate the rules with impunity. The liberality
In the cross-claim of Nave and Atty. Gesmundo against
in the interpretation and application of the rules applies
the Pabale siblings in Civil Case No. 675-84-C, the issue
only to proper cases and under justifiable causes and
was whether Nave was an incompetent when she
circumstances. While it is true that litigation is not a
executed a Deed of Sale of the subject property in
game of technicalities, it is equally true that every case
favor of the Pabale siblings on 20 February 1984,
must be prosecuted in accordance with the prescribed
hence, rendering the said sale void.
procedure to insure an orderly and speedy
administration of justice.20
While both cases involve a determination of Naves
incompetency, it must be established at two separate
Moreover, contrary to Alamayris assertion, the Court of
times, one in 1984 and the other in 1986. A finding that
Appeals did not deny her Motion to Schedule Hearing
she was incompetent in 1986 does not automatically
to Mark Exhibits in Evidence merely for being late. In
mean that she was so in 1984. In Carillo v.
its Resolution, dated 19 December 2001, the Court of
Jaojoco,22 the Court ruled that despite the fact that the
Appeals also denied the said motion on the following
seller was declared mentally incapacitated by the trial
grounds:
court only nine days after the execution of the contract
of sale, it does not prove that she was so when she
While it is now alleged, for the first time, that the executed the contract. Hence, the significance of the
[herein respondents Pabale siblings] participated in two-year gap herein cannot be gainsaid since Naves
the guardianship proceedings considering that the mental condition in 1986 may vastly differ from that of
Jose Pabale mentioned therein is their late father, 1984 given the intervening period.
[herein petitioner Alamayri] submitting herein
documentary evidence to prove their filiation, even
Capacity to act is supposed to attach to a person who
though admitted in evidence at this late stage,
has not previously been declared incapable, and such
cannot bind [the Pabale siblings] as verily, notice to
capacity is presumed to continue so long as the
their father is not notice to them there being no
contrary be not proved; that is, that at the moment of
allegation to the effect that he represented them
his acting he was incapable, crazy, insane, or out of his
before the Calamba Court.21
mind.23 The burden of proving incapacity to enter into
contractual relations rests upon the person who alleges
As the appellate court reasoned, even if the evidence it; if no sufficient proof to this effect is presented,
Alamayri wanted to submit do prove that the Jose capacity will be presumed.24
Pabale who attended the RTC hearings on 30 October
1987 and 19 November 1987 in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C
Nave was examined and diagnosed by doctors to be
was the father of the Pabale siblings, they would still
mentally incapacitated only in 1986, when the RTC
not confirm his authority to represent his children in
started hearing SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C; and she was
the said proceedings. Worth stressing is the fact that
not judicially declared an incompetent until 22 June
Jose Pabale was not at all a party to the Deed of Sale
1988 when a Decision in said case was rendered by the
dated 20 February 1984 over the subject property,
RTC, resulting in the appointment of Atty. Leonardo C.
which was executed by Nave in favor of the Pabale
Paner as her guardian. Thus, prior to 1986, Nave is still
siblings. Without proper authority, Jose Pabales
presumed to be capacitated and competent to enter
presence at the hearings in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C
into contracts such as the Deed of Sale over the
should not bind his children to the outcome of said
subject property, which she executed in favor of the
proceedings or affect their right to the subject property.
Pabale siblings on 20 February 1984. The burden of
proving otherwise falls upon Alamayri, which she
Since it was not established that the Pabale siblings dismally failed to do, having relied entirely on the 22
participated in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C, then any June 1988 Decision of the RTC in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-
finding therein should not bind them in Civil Case No. C.
675-84-C.
Alamayri capitalizes on the declaration of the RTC in its
No identity of issues Decision dated 22 June 1988 in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C
on Naves condition "having become severe since the
Neither is there identity of issues between SP. PROC. year 1980."25 But there is no basis for such a
No. 146-86-C and Civil Case No. 675-84-C that may bar declaration. The medical reports extensively quoted
the latter, by conclusiveness of judgment, from ruling in said Decision, prepared by: (1) Dr. Nona Jean Alviso-
Ramos, dated 14 April 1986,26 and (2) by Dr. Eduardo T. All told, there being no identity of parties and issues
Maaba, dated 20 April 1987,27 both stated that upon between SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C and Civil Case No.
their examination, Nave was suffering from "organic 675-84-C, the 22 June 1988 Decision in the former on
brain syndrome secondary to cerebral arteriosclerosis Naves incompetency by the year 1986 should not bar,
with psychotic episodes," which impaired her by conclusiveness of judgment, a finding in the latter
judgment. There was nothing in the said medical case that Nave still had capacity and was competent
reports, however, which may shed light on when Nave when she executed on 20 February 1984 the Deed of
began to suffer from said mental condition. All they Sale over the subject property in favor of the Pabale
said was that it existed at the time Nave was examined siblings. Therefore, the Court of Appeals did not
in 1986, and again in 1987. Even the RTC judge was commit any error when it upheld the validity of the 20
only able to observe Nave, which made him realize that February 1984 Deed of Sale.
her mind was very impressionable and capable of
being manipulated, on the occasions when Nave visited WHEREFORE, premises considered, the instant
the court from 1987 to 1988. Hence, for this Court, the Petition for Review is hereby DENIED. The Decision,
RTC Decision dated 22 June 1988 in SP. PROC. No. 146- dated 10 April 2001, of the Court of Appeals in CA-G.R.
86-C may be conclusive as to Naves incompetency CV No. 58133, is hereby AFFIRMED in toto. Costs
from 1986 onwards, but not as to her incompetency in against the petitioner Lolita R. Alamayri.
1984. And other than invoking the 22 June 1988
Decision of the RTC in SP. PROC. No. 146-86-C, Alamayri
SO ORDERED.
did not bother to establish with her own evidence that
Nave was mentally incapacitated when she executed
the 20 February 1984 Deed of Sale over the subject
property in favor of the Pabale siblings, so as to render
the said deed void.