You are on page 1of 15

Criminal Law

G.R. No. 193169 April 6, 2015

ROGELIO ROQUE, Petitioner,


vs.
PEOPLE OF THE PIDLIPPINES, Respondent.

Doctrine: In attempted or frustrated homicide, the offender must have the intent
to kill the victim.1wphi1 If there is no intent to kill on the part of the offender, he
is liable for physical injuries only. Vice-versa, regardless of whether the victim
only suffered injuries that would have healed in nine to thirty days, if intent to kill
is sufficiently borne out, the crime committed is frustrated homicide. Xxx. what
should be determinative of the crime is not the gravity of the resulting injury but
the criminal intent that animated the hand that pulled the trigger. 18

Facts:

Petitioner Rogelio Roque (petitioner) was charged with the crime of frustrated homicide.
Accused appellant fired at the victim twice.

Issues:

1. WON Rule 45 is an appropriate remedy. NO

2. WON the element of unlawful aggression was not satisfactorily proven since the
accused-appellant has not satisfactorily shown that the victim/private complainant
was indeed armed with a gun (Petitioner alleges it should serious physical injuries
only)

Ruling:

The Petition must be denied.

1. The errors petitioner imputes upon the CA all pertain to "appreciation of evidence" or
factual errors which are not within the province of a petition for review on certiorari
under Rule 45. Petitioner's assigned errors, requiring as they do a re-appreciation and
reexamination of the evidence, are evidentiary and factual in nature. 12 The Petition
must therefore be denied on this basis because "one, the petition for review thereby
violates the limitation of the issues to only legal questions, and, two, the Court, not
being a trier of facts, will not disturb the factual findings of the CA, unless they were
mistaken, absurd, speculative, conflicting, tainted with grave abuse of discretion, or
contrary to the findings reached by the court of origin," 13 which was not shown to be
the case here.

2. Petitioner is guilty of frustrated homicide and not merely of less serious physical
injuries as the latter insists. In attempted or frustrated homicide, the offender must
have the intent to kill the victim.1wphi1 If there is no intent to kill on the part of the
offender, he is liable for physical injuries only. Vice-versa, regardless of whether the
victim only suffered injuries that would have healed in nine to thirty days, if intent to
kill is sufficiently borne out, the crime committed is frustrated homicide (Arts. 263-
266).

Usually, the intent to kill is shown by the kind of weapon used by the offender and the parts
of the victim's body at which the weapon was aimed, as shown by the wounds inflicted.
Hence, when a deadly weapon, like a bolo, is used to stab the victim in the latter's abdomen,
the intent to kill can be presumed. It is worth highlighting that the victim received two
gunshot wounds in the head. Indeed the location of the wounds plus the nature of the
weapon used are ready indications that the accused-appellant's objective is not merely to
warn or incapacitate a supposed aggressor. Verily, had the accused-appellant been slightly
better with his aim, any of the two bullets surely would have killed him outright. Also, the
intent to kill is further exhibited by the fact that the accused-appellant even prevented
barangay officials from intervening and helping x x x the bleeding victim. Indeed, the fact
that Reynaldo Marquez was miraculously able to live through the ordeal and sustain only
modicum injuries does not mean that the crime ought to be downgraded from frustrated
homicide to less serious physical injuries. After all, as was mentioned above, what should be
determinative of the crime is not the gravity of the resulting injury but the criminal intent
that animated the hand that pulled the trigger.

Civil Law

G.R. No. 194642, April 06, 2015

NUNELON R. MARQUEZ, Petitioner, v. ELISAN CREDIT CORPORATION, Respondents.

Doctrine:

The rule under Article 1253 NCC that payments shall first be applied to the
interest and not to the principal shall govern if two facts exist: (1) the debt
produces interest (e.g., the payment of interest is expressly stipulated) and
(2) the principal remains unpaid. The exception is a situation covered under
Article 1176 NCC, i.e., when the creditor waives payment of the interest
despite the presence of (1) and (2) above. In such case, the payments shall
obviously be credited to the principal. Since the doubt in the present case
pertains to the application of the daily payments, Article 1253 shall apply.
Only when there is a waiver of interest shall Article 1176 become relevant.
A chattel mortgage, however, can only cover obligations existing at the
time the mortgage is constituted. Although a promise expressed in a
chattel mortgage to include debts that are yet to be contracted can be a
binding commitment that can be compelled upon, the security itself,
however, does not come into existence or arise until after a chattel
mortgage agreement covering the newly contracted debt is executed either
by concluding a fresh chattel mortgage or by amending the old contract
conformably with the form prescribed by the Chattel Mortgage Law

Facts:
Nunelon R. Marquez (petitioner) obtained a (first loan) from Elisan Credit Corporation.
Petitioner executed a chattel mortgage7 over a motor vehicle. The contract of chattel
mortgage provided among others, that the motor vehicle shall stand as a security for the
first loan and "all other obligations of every kind already incurred or which may hereafter be
incurred."8redarclaw

Both the petitioner and respondent acknowledged the full payment of the first
loan.9redarclaw

Subsequently, the petitioner obtained another loan (second loan) from the respondent.
The promissory note covering the second loan contained exactly the same terms and
conditions as the first promissory note.

Petitioner left an unpaid balance of twenty five thousand forty pesos


(P25,040.00).12redarclaw

Due to liquidity problems, the petitioner asked the respondent if he could pay in daily
installments (daily payments) until the second loan is paid. The respondent granted the
petitioner's request. redarclaw

Despite the receipt of more than the amount of the principal, the respondent filed a
complaint for judicial foreclosure of the chattel mortgage because the petitioner allegedly
failed to settle the balance of the second loan despite demand. The respondent further
alleged that pursuant to the terms of the promissory note, the petitioner's failure to fully pay
upon maturity triggered the imposition of the ten percent (10%) monthly penalty and
twenty-five percent (25%) attorney's fees.

Respondent applied for the issuance of a writ of replevin. The MTC issued the writ and by
virtue of which, the motor vehicle covered by the chattel mortgage was seized from the
petitioner and delivered to the respondent.

Issues: 1.Did the respondent act lawfully when it credited the daily payments against the
interest instead of the principal? (Which law should apply, Art. 1176 or 1253 of NCC?) YES
(Article 1253 should apply), but the court reduced the interest for being exorbitant.
2. Could the chattel mortgage cover the second loan? NO

Ruling:

We find the petition partly meritorious.

We rule that: (1) the respondent acted pursuant to law and jurisprudence when it credited
the daily payments against the interest instead of the principal; and (2) the chattel
mortgage could not cover the second loan.

Rebuttable presumptions; Article 1176 vis-a-vis Article 1253

There is a need to analyze and harmonize Article 1176 and Article 1253 of the Civil Code to
determine whether the daily payments made after the second loan's maturity should be
credited against the interest or against the principal.

Article 1176 provides


"The receipt of the principal by the creditor, without reservation with respect to the interest,
shall give rise to the presumption that said interest has been paid.

xxx."
On the other hand, Article 1253
"If the debt produces interest, payment of the principal shall not be deemed to have been
made until the interests have been covered."
The above provisions appear to be contradictory but they in fact support, and are in
conformity with, each other. Both provisions are also presumptions and, as such, lose their
legal efficacy in the face of proof or evidence to the contrary.

The promissory notes securing the first and second loan contained exactly the same terms
and conditions. They were mirror-image of each other except for the date and amount of
principal Thus, we see sufficient basis to believe that the petitioner knew or was aware of
such terms and conditions even assuming that the entries on the interest and penalty
charges were in blank when he signed the promissory note.

Moreover, we find it significant that the petitioner does not deny the genuineness and due
execution of the first promissory note. Only when he failed to pay the second loan did he
impugn the validity of the interest, penalty and attorney's fees. The CA and the RTC also
noted that the petitioner is a schooled individual, an engineer by profession, who, because
of these credentials, will not just sign a document in blank without appreciating the import of
his action.24redarclaw

These considerations strongly militate against the petitioner's claim that he did not consent
to and stipulated on the interest and penalty charges of the second loan. Thus, he did not
only fail to fully pay the second loan upon maturity; the loan was also subject to interest,
penalty and attorney's fees.

Article 1176 in relation to Article 1253

Article 1176 falls under Chapter I (Nature and Effect of Obligations) while Article 1253 falls
under Subsection I (Application of Payments), Chapter IV (Extinguishment of Obligations) of
Book IV (Obligations and Contracts) of the Civil Code.

The structuring of these provisions, properly taken into account, means that Article 1176
should be treated as a general presumption subject to the more specific presumption under
Article 1253. Article 1176 is relevant on questions pertaining to the effects and nature of
obligations in general, while Article 1253 is specifically pertinent on questions involving
application of payments and extinguishment of obligations.

A textual analysis of the above provisions yields the results we discuss at length below:

The presumption under Article 1176 does not resolve the question of whether the amount
received by the creditor is a payment for the principal or interest. Under this article the
amount received by the creditor is the payment for the principal, but a doubt arises on
whether or not the interest is waived because the creditor accepts the payment for the
principal without reservation with respect to the interest. Article 1176 resolves this doubt by
presuming that the creditor waives the payment of interest because he accepts payment for
the principal without any reservation.

On the other hand, the presumption under Article 1253 resolves doubts involving payment
of interest-bearing debts. It is a given under this Article that the debt produces interest. The
doubt pertains to the application of payment; the uncertainty is on whether the amount
received by the creditor is payment for the principal or the interest. Article 1253 resolves
this doubt by providing a hierarchy: payments shall first be applied to the interest; payment
shall then be applied to the principal only after the interest has been fully-paid.

Correlating the two provisions, the rule under Article 1253 that payments shall first be
applied to the interest and not to the principal shall govern if two facts exist: (1) the debt
produces interest (e.g., the payment of interest is expressly stipulated) and (2) the principal
remains unpaid.
The exception is a situation covered under Article 1176, i.e., when the creditor waives
payment of the interest despite the presence of (1) and (2) above. In such case, the
payments shall obviously be credited to the principal.

Since the doubt in the present case pertains to the application of the daily payments, Article
1253 shall apply. Only when there is a waiver of interest shall Article 1176 become relevant.

Under this analysis, we rule that the respondent properly credited the daily payments to the
interest and not to the principal because: (1) the debt produces interest, i.e., the promissory
note securing the second loan provided for payment of interest; (2) a portion of the second
loan remained unpaid upon maturity; and (3) the respondent did not waive the payment of
interest.

The Chattel Mortgage could not cover the second loan.

The chattel mortgage could not validly cover the second loan. The order for foreclosure was
without legal and factual basis.

"In case the MORTGAGOR executes subsequent promissory note or notes either as a renewal
of the former note, as an extension thereof, or as a new loan, or is given any other kind of
accommodations such as overdrafts, letters of credit, acceptances and bills of exchange,
releases of import shipments on Trust Receipts, etc., this mortgage shall also stand as
security for the payment of the said promissory note or notes and/or
accommodations without the necessity of executing a new contract and this
mortgage shall have the same force and effect as if the said promissory note or
notes and/or accommodations were existing on the date thereof."40

In due time, the debtor settled the loan covered by the chattel mortgage. Subsequently, the
debtor again borrowed from the creditor. Due to financial constraints, the subsequent loan
was not settled at maturity.

On the issue whether the chattel mortgage could be foreclosed due to the debtor's failure to
settle the subsequent loan, we held that,

"[c]ontracts of security are either personal or real, x x x In contracts of real security, such as
a pledge, a mortgage or an antichresis, that fulfillment is secured by an encumbrance of
property in pledge, the placing of movable property in the possession of the creditor; in
chattel mortgage, by the execution of the corresponding deed substantially in the form
prescribed by law; x x x upon the essential condition that if the principal obligation
becomes due and the debtor defaults, then the property encumbered can be alienated for
the payment of the obligation, but that should the obligation be duly paid, then the
contract is automatically extinguished proceeding from the accessory character of
the agreement. As the law so puts it, once the obligation is complied with, then
the contract of security becomes, ipso facto, null and void."

While a pledge, real estate mortgage, or antichresis may exceptionally secure after-incurred
obligations so long as these future debts are accurately described, a chattel mortgage,
however, can only cover obligations existing at the time the mortgage is
constituted. Although a promise expressed in a chattel mortgage to include debts
that are yet to be contracted can be a binding commitment that can be compelled
upon, the security itself, however, does not come into existence or arise until
after a chattel mortgage agreement covering the newly contracted debt is
executed either by concluding a fresh chattel mortgage or by amending the old
contract conformably with the form prescribed by the Chattel Mortgage Law.
Refusal on the part of the borrower to execute the agreement so as to cover the after-
incurred obligation can constitute an act of default on the part of the borrower of the
financing agreement whereon the promise is written but, of course, the remedy of
foreclosure can only cover the debts extant at the time of constitution and during the life of
the chattel mortgage sought to be foreclosed."

The only obligation specified in the chattel mortgage contract was the first loan which the
petitioner later fully paid. By virtue of Section 3 of the Chattel Mortgage Law,47 the payment
of the obligation automatically rendered the chattel mortgage terminated; the chattel
mortgage had ceased to exist upon full payment of the first loan. Being merely an accessory
in nature, it cannot exist independently of the principal obligation.

The parties did not execute a fresh chattel mortgage nor did they amend the chattel
mortgage to comply with the Chattel Mortgage Law which requires that the obligation must
be specified in the affidavit of good faith. Simply put, there no longer was any chattel
mortgage that could cover the second loan upon full payment of the first loan. The order to
foreclose the motor vehicle therefore had no legal basis.

REMEDIAL LAW

G.R. No. 200018 April 6, 2015

CITYSTATE SAVINGS BANK, INC., Petitioner,


vs.
MAXIMIANO P. AGUINALDO, Respondent.

Doctrine: The inclusion of Syndica as additional defendant x x x is necessary for


the effective and complete resolution of the case and in order to accord all parties
the benefit of due process and fair play in just one proceeding. [Aguinaldo], in his
original complaint, sought to nullify TCT No. 151051 in the name of Citystate.
Unfortunately, during the pendency of the case, TCT No. 151051 was cancelled
and replaced by TCT No. 178346 in the name of Syndica. The non-inclusion of
Syndica, who has acquired rights or interest from the assailed title, will render
the relief originally sought in Civil Case No. 02-0107 incomplete, if not futile.
Thus, the need to amend the complaint to forestall any further need to institute
other actions or proceedings

Facts:

Aguinaldo claimed that he is the owner and possessor of a certain property. He discovered
that Mojica had fraudulently obtained a certificate of title in the latters name. Aguinaldo
filed a complaint for the nullification of TCT against Mojica. RTC declared TCT of Mojica null
and void.7 However, before Aguinaldo discovered the existence of the fraud TCT, Mojica had
already executed a real estate mortgage over the subject property in favor of Citystate
Savings Bank, Inc. (Citystate). Citystate extrajudicially foreclosed the and consequently
consolidated its title to the subject property. Aguinaldo filed a Complaint 10 for annulment of
title with the RTC against Citystate. Aguinaldo alleged that during the pendency of the case,
Citystate was able to secure a writ of possession; that Aguinaldo was thereafter evicted from
the subject property. He claimed that Citystate sold the subject property to Syndica Phil.
Corporation (Syndica). TCT was issued in the name of Syndica. 16
In the Amended Complaint, Aguinaldo impleaded Syndica as Citystate's co-defendant and
added the following allegations: (a) that Citystate filed a petition for the issuance of a Writ of
Possession; (b) that a writ of possession was illegally issued which resulted in Aguinaldo's
ejectment and the demolition of the latter's house; (c) that the said ejectment and
demolition resulted in actual damages amounting to P3,500,000.00, moral damages and
exemplary damages to Aguinaldo; and (d) that Citystate sold the subject property to Syndica
who acquired the same in bad faith. 17 Aguinaldo asserted that the amendments on the
complaint were necessary to afford complete relief to the parties.

RTC denied the motion to admit Aguinaldo's amended complaint on the ground that the
amendments substantially altered the cause of action and will only delay the resolution of
the case. CA allowed the amended complaint.

Issues: 1. WON the amended complaint may be admitted. YES

2. WON the legality of a writ of possession may be attacked in a nullification of title case
without violating the principle of res judicata. YES

Ruling:

The petition is denied.

Section 3, Rule 10 of the Rules of Court provides that:

SEC. 3. Amendments by leave of court. Except as provided in the next preceding section,
substantial amendments may be made only upon leave of court. But such leave may be
refused if it appears to the court that the motion was made with intent to delay. Orders of
the court upon the matters provided in this section shall be made upon motion filed in court,
and after notice to the adverse party, and an opportunity to be heard.

In this case, the CA allowed the amended complaint in order to grant complete relief to
Aguinaldo.1wphi1 The additional reliefs being sought in the amended complaint, i.e.,
nullification of TCT No. 178346 registered in the name of Syndica and restitution of the
house valued at P3,500,000.00, does not alter Aguinaldo's cause of action or the theory of
case. These are mere remedies to which Aguinaldo became entitled to as a result of the
alleged supervening events, which rendered the relief being sought in the original complaint
inadequate.

The Court notes that when the instant case was instituted, Aguinaldo's prayer was for the
nullification of Citystate's certificate of title. He claims that the property over which said title
was issued, is owned and possessed by him, while Citystate's certificate of title emanated
from another title, which had been adjudged a nullity for having been issued fraudulently.
However, during the pendency of the case for annulment of title against Citystate, several
intervening circumstances rendered the original relief sought by Aguinaldo inadequate.

The amended complaint effected no change in the cause of action, defense, or theory of the
case since it remained to be an action for the nullity of a title that was erroneously issued in
another's name.

While additional reliefs were sought in the amended complaint, these are merely remedies
to which [Aguinaldo] is entitled as a result of the supervening events which rendered the
relief sought in the original complaint inadequate.
There was no change in the cause of action, defense or theory of the case, in both the
original and the amended complaints, as the action is still for the annulment of title.

Second, the amendment of the complaint would not result in unnecessary delay. The
introduction of amendments to the complaint is proper at this particular instance to avert
any further delay in the resolution of the case.

The inclusion of Syndica as additional defendant x x x is necessary for the effective and
complete resolution of the case and in order to accord all parties the benefit of due process
and fair play in just one proceeding. [Aguinaldo], in his original complaint, sought to nullify
TCT No. 151051 in the name of Citystate. Unfortunately, during the pendency of the case,
TCT No. 151051 was cancelled and replaced by TCT No. 178346 in the name of Syndica. The
non-inclusion of Syndica, who has acquired rights or interest from the assailed title, will
render the relief originally sought in Civil Case No. 02-0107 incomplete, if not futile. Thus,
the need to amend the complaint to forestall any further need to institute other actions or
proceedings.28

In any case, a substantial alteration in the cause of action or defense is not a bar to amend
the original complaint so long as the amendment is not meant for delay. It is also quite
absurd that the party who filed the main case would himself resort to dilatory tactics to
prolong the disposition of his case. It is undoubtedly to Aguinaldo's interest that this case be
decided with dispatch, more so that they have already been evicted from the property.

G.R. Nos. 173148 April 6, 2015

ELSA DEGAYO, Petitioner,


vs.
CECILIA MAGBANUA-DINGLASAN, JOHNNY DINGLASAN, ASUNCION MAGBANUA-
PORRAS, MARIANO P ASCUALITO and AMADO JR., all surnamed
MAGBANUA, Respondents.

Doctrine:

Facts:

The present case involves a property dispute, which gave rise to two civil cases for
ownership and damages between conflicting claimants over a parcel of land located on the
northeastern bank of Jalaud River. The respondents Cecilia Magbanua-Dinglasan, Johnny
Dinglasan, Pascualito Magbanua, Mariano Magbanua, Asuncion Magbanua-Porras, Amado
Magbanua Jr. (respondents) initiated the first civil case against Nicolas Jarencio, Cesar
Jarencio, Myrna Olmo, Fredercio Sumvilla, Herminio Sumvilla, Perpetuo Larano and Angelo
Larano, the tenants (tenants) of Lot No. 861. Degayo, on the other hand, initiated the second
civil case, which eventually reached this Court via the present petition.

Subject property is registered in the name of Degayos deceased parents, spouses Marcelo
Olmo and Rosalia Labana. Lot No. 861 used to be bounded on the southwest by the Jalaud
River that serves to separate Dingle from Pototan Iloilo.

On the other side of Jalaud River, opposite Lot No. 861, lies a property collectively owned by
the respondents. The Jalauad River steadily changed its course and moved southwards
towards the banks of Pototan, where Lot No. 7328 lies, leaving its old riverbed dry.
Eventually, the course of the Jalaud River encroached on Lot No. 7328. As a result, Lot No.
7328 progressively decreased in size while the banks adjacent to Lot No. 861 gradually
increased in land area.

Degayo and the tenants believed that the area was an accretion to Lot No. 861. As a result,
her tenants, commenced cultivating and tilling that disputed area with corn and tobacco.

The respondents, on the other hand, argued that the disputed property was an abandoned
riverbed, which should rightfully belong to them to compensate for the erstwhile portion of
Lot No. 7328, over which the Jalaud River presently runs.

Respondents filed a complaint for ownership and damages against the tenants, with the RTC.
Degayo sought to intervene in Civil Case No. 16047 but her motion was denied. Degayo
initiated the present suit against the respondents for declaration of ownership with damages
involving the disputed parcel of land.

In her complaint, Degayo alleged to have acquired Lot No. 861 by inheritance by virtue of a
Quitclaim Deed and that she had been in possession of that land since 1954. She likewise
stressed that the area in dispute was an accretion to Lot No. 861.

Meanwhile, the court a quo found in favor of Degayo and declared the property in question
as an accretion to Lot No. 861. The respondents filed a motion for reconsideration but their
motion was denied. CA revered the decision.

Issues:

1. WON The CA erred in taking judicial notice of the RTC decision in Civil Case No. 16047,
which was not even presented during the hearing of the present case;

2. WON CA erred in declaring the RTC Branch 27 decision in Civil Case No. 16047 conclusive
upon Degayo when she was not even a party in the said Civil Case.

Whether the disputed property is as an abandoned riverbed or an accretion to Lot 861

Ruling:

We deny the petition for lack of merit.

The Decision in Civil Case No. 16047 constitutes res judicata.

Res judicataliterally means "a matter adjudged; a thing judicially acted upon or decided; a
thing or matter settled by judgment." It also refers to the "rule that a final judgment or
decree on the merits by a court of competent jurisdiction is conclusive of the rights of the
parties or their privies in all later suits on points and matters determined in the former
suit.13 It rests on the principle that parties should not to be permitted to litigate the same
issue more than once; that, when a right or fact has been judicially tried and determined by
a court of competent jurisdiction, or an opportunity for such trial has been given, the
judgment of the court, so long as it remains unreversed, should be conclusive upon the
parties and those in privity with them in law or estate.14
The most important purpose of res judicata is to provide repose for both the party litigants
and the public. As the Supreme Court has observed, "res judicata thus encourages reliance
on judicial decision, bars vexatious litigation, and frees the courts to resolve other disputes.

The doctrine of res judicata is set forth in Section 47 of Rule 39 of the Rules of Court, which
in its relevant part reads:

Sec. 47. Effect of judgments or final orders. The effect of a judgment or final order
rendered by a court of the Philippines, having jurisdiction to pronounce the judgment or final
order, may be as follows:

xxxx

(b) In other cases, the judgment or final order is, with respect to the matter directly
adjudged or as to any other matter that could have been raised in relation thereto,
conclusive between the parties and their successors in interest by title subsequent to
the commencement of the action or special proceeding, litigating for the same thing
and under the same title and in the same capacity; and

(c) In any other litigation between the same parties or their successors in interest,
that only is deemed to have been adjudged in a former judgment or final order which
appears upon its face to have been so adjudged, or which was actually and
necessarily included therein or necessary thereto.

This provision comprehends two distinct concepts of res judicata: (1) bar by former
judgment and (2) conclusiveness of judgment.

The first aspect is the effect of a judgment as a bar to the prosecution of a second action
upon the same claim, demand or cause of action. 18 In traditional terminology, this aspect is
known as merger or bar; in modern terminology, it is called claim preclusion. 19

The second aspect precludes the relitigation of a particular fact of issue in another action
between the same parties on a different claim or cause of action. This is traditionally known
as collateral estoppel; in modern terminology, it is called issue preclusion. 20

Conclusiveness of judgment finds application when a fact or question has been squarely put
in issue, judicially passed upon, and adjudged in a former suit by a court of competent
jurisdiction. The fact or question settled by final judgment or order binds the parties to that
action (and persons in privity with them or their successors-in-interest), and continues to
bind them while the judgment or order remains standing and unreversed by proper authority
on a timely motion or petition; the conclusively settled fact or question furthermore cannot
again be litigated in any future or other action between the same parties or their privies and
successors-in-interest, in the same or in any other court of concurrent jurisdiction, either for
the same or for a different cause of action. 21 Thus, only the identities of parties and issues
are required for the operation of the principle of conclusiveness of judgment. 22

While conclusiveness of judgment does not have the same barring effect as that of a bar by
former judgment that proscribes subsequent actions, the former nonetheless estops the
parties from raising in a later case the issues or points that were raised and controverted,
and were determinative of the ruling in the earlier case. 23 In other words, the dictum laid
down in the earlier final judgment or order becomes conclusive and continues to be binding
between the same parties, their privies and successors-in-interest, as long as the facts on
which that judgment was predicated continue to be the facts of the case or incident before
the court in a later case; the binding effect and enforceability of that earlier dictum can no
longer be re-litigated in a later case since the issue has already been resolved and finally
laid to rest in the earlier case.24

In the present case, it is beyond dispute that the judgment in Civil Case No. 16047 has
attained finality in view of the tenants abandonment of their appeal to the CA. Moreover,
records show that that decision was adjudicated on the merits, i.e., it was rendered after a
consideration of the evidence or stipulations submitted by the parties at the trial of the
case25 by a court which had jurisdiction over the subject matter and the parties.

We likewise find that there is an identity of parties in Civil Case No. 16047 and the present
case. There is identity of parties where the parties in both actions are the same, or there is
privity between them, or they are "successors-in-interest by title subsequent to the
commencement of the action, litigating for the same thing and under the same title and in
the same capacity.26 Absolute identity of parties is not required, shared identity of interest is
sufficient to invoke the coverage of this principle.27 Thus, it is enough that there is a
community of interest between a party in the first case and a party in the second case even
if the latter was not impleaded in the first case.28

It is not disputed that respondents were the plaintiffs in Civil Case No. 16047. Degayo,
however insists that she is not bound by the decision in Civil Case No. 16047 as she was not
made a party in that case. We, however, refuse to subscribe to this technical interpretation
of the Rules. In Torres v. Caluag, 29 we held that a real litigant may be held bound as a party
even if not formally impleaded because he had his day in court and because her substantial
rights were not prejudiced

In the present case, Degayo had the fullest opportunity to ventilate her accretion claim Civil
Case No. 16047. In her testimony, she asserted that she inherited Lot No. 861 from her
parents and that she has been in possession of that parcel of land since 1954. 30 She further
stressed that the disputed parcel of land has been occupied and tilled by her tenants and
that it was the result of the gradual and continuous deposit of the river. 31 Notably, these are
the same allegations that Degayo asserted in the present case, which have been previously
considered and evaluated by the RTC Branch 27 in Civil Case No. 16047.

Likewise, there exists a community of interest between Degayo and her tenants, who were
respondents in Civil Case No. 16047. One test to determine substantial identity of interest
would be to see whether the success or failure of one party materially affects the other. 32 In
the present case, Degayo is suing for the ownership of the disputed land. Degayos rights
over the disputed land is predicated on the same defenses that his alleged tenants
interposed in Civil Case No. 16047, that is, their perceived rights which emanated from the
disputed accretion to Lot No. 861. The interests of Degayo and the tenants in relation to the
two cases are inextricably intertwined in that both their claims emanate from a singular
fundamental allegation of accretion. Moreover, Degayo and the respondents are litigating
the same properties subject of the antecedent cases inasmuch as they claim better right of
ownership. Degayo even admitted this in her petition wherein she stated that "the land
subject of Civil Case No. 16047 is the same property subject of the case at bench. 33 "

Notably, the ownership of the disputed parcel of land has been unequivocally settled in Civil
Case No. 16047.In ruling that the subject parcels of land belong to the respondents, the RTC
Branch 27 in Civil Case No. 16047 opined that the claim of accretion has no valid
basis.34 What really happened was that the Jalaud River naturally changed its course and
moved southward. As a result, it abandoned its previous bed and encroached upon a portion
of Lot No. 7328. It further held that the claim of accretion could not be sustained because
the 26,419 sqm. portion is ostensibly within the metes and bounds of Lot No. 7328, owned
and registered in the name of the respondents. 35 On the other hand, the 26,106 sqm. portion
refers to an abandoned river bed, and is thus governed by Article 461 of the Civil Code,
which states that River beds which are abandoned through the natural change in the course
of the waters ipso facto belong to the owners whose lands are occupied by the new course in
proportion to the area lost.

The fact that the present cause of action is based on an accretion claim does not prevent the
application of res judicata. For, res judicata, under the concept of conclusiveness of
judgment, operates even if no absolute identity of causes of action exists. Res judicata, in its
conclusiveness of judgment concept, merely requires identity of issues. We thus agree with
the uniform view of the CA on the application of conclusiveness of judgment to the present
case. The CA may take judicial notice of

Civil Case No. 16047.

The taking of judicial notice is a matter of expediency and convenience for it fulfills the
purpose that the evidence is intended to achieve, and in this sense, it is equivalent to
proof.36 Generally, courts are not authorized to "take judicial notice of the contents of the
records of other cases even when said cases have been tried or are pending in the same
court or before the same judge. 37 " While the principle invoked is considered to be the
general rule, this rule is not absolute. There are exceptions to this rule. In the case of
Tiburcio v PHHC,38 this Court, citing Justice Moran, stated:

"In some instance, courts have taken judicial notice of proceedings in other causes, because
of their close connection with the matter in the controversy. Thus, in a separate civil action
against the administrator of an estate arising from an appeal against the report of the
committee on claims appointed in the administration proceedings of the said estate, to
determine whether or not the appeal was taken on time, the court took judicial notice of the
record of the administration proceedings. Courts have also taken judicial notice of previous
cases to determine whether or not the case pending is a moot one or whether or not a
previous ruling is applicable in the case under consideration."

Moreover, Degayos objection to the action of CA on this matter is merely technical because
Degayo herself repeatedly referred to the Civil Case No. 16047 in her pleadings in Civil Case
No. 18328and even in her appellees brief before the CA and her petition for review before
this Court. In particular, in her complaint, she stated that her motion to intervene in Civil
Case No. 16047, which was denied by the Court. 39 The existence of that case was likewise
jointly stipulated by that parties in Civil Case No. 18328 40 and mentioned by the court a
quoin its decision.41 In her appellees brief as well, Degayo expressly referred to Civil Case
No. 16047. In particular, she stated:

"The said Civil Case No. 16047 was for recovery of ownership and possession with damages
over the property subject of the instant case filed by the herein defendants-appellants
against [the tenants]"

She also referred to the decision in Civil Case No. 16047 in her appellees brief. She
mentioned: "In Civil Case No. 16047, the Court had ordered the deposit of 50% of the net
produce of the disputed portion that pertains to the owner, thus depriving the plaintiff of her
share of not less than Php 4,000.00 a year starting 1986, to the damage of plaintiff."

There was thus no denial of the existence and the decision in Civil Case No.
16047.1wphi1 In fact, Degayo stated on record her full knowledge of Civil Case No. 16047
and clearly and frequently referred to it in her pleadings, and sufficiently designated it by
name, parties, cause of action and docket number from the court a quo, to the CA and even
before this Court. Under the circumstances, the CA could certainly take judicial notice of the
finality of a judgment in Civil Case No. 16047. There was no sense in relitigating issues that
have already been passed upon in a previous civil case. That was all that was done by the
CA in decreeing the dismissal. Certainly such an order is not contrary to law. As we aptly
stated in Republic v. CA,42 citing Justice Edgardo L. Paras:

"A court will take judicial notice of its own acts and records in the same case, of facts
established in prior proceedings in the same case, of the authenticity of its own records of
another case between the same parties, of the files of related cases in the same court, and
of public records on file in the same court. In addition judicial notice will be taken of the
record, pleadings or judgment of a case in another court between the same parties or
involving one of the same parties, as well as of the record of another case between different
parties in the same court. " Lastly, there is another equally compelling consideration.
Degayo undoubtedly had recourse to a remedy which under the law then in force could be
availed of, which is to file a petition for certiorari with the CA. It would have served the cause
of justice better, not to mention the avoidance of needless expense on her part and the
vexation to which the respondents were subjected if she did reflect a little more on the
matter.

With the conclusion that Civil Case No. 16047 constitutes resjudicata on the present case,
we see no reason to engage in a discussion on the factual issues raised by the petitioner for
they have been passed upon and considered in Civil Case No. 16047.

WHEREFORE, premises considered, we DENY the petition for lack of merit. Costs against the
petitioner.

SO ORDERED.

CIVIL LAW

G.R. No. 196592 April 6, 2015

SPOUSES JUVY MARANO and MARIA LUISA G. MARANO, Petitioners,


vs.
PRYCE GASES, INCORPORATED, Respondent.

Doctrine: Respondents complaint for cancellation of certificate of title cannot


simply be dismissed. Well-settled is the rule that the issue of validity of a Torrens
title, whether fraudulently issued or not, may be posed only in an action brought
to impugn or annul it.31 Section 48 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 32 clearly
provides that a certificate of title can never be the subject of a collateral attack; it
cannot be altered, modified, or cancelled except in a direct proceeding instituted
in accordance with law. Thus, the present respondent has, in fact, resorted to
proper procedure in filing a direct action to attack or impugn the petitioners
certificate of title. But to allow the pendency of the reivindicatory action and the
cancellation of certificate of title case in two different courts would not subserve
the orderly administration of justice as the subject cases involve a common
question of fact, i.e. the issue of validity of the petitioners' certificate of title. In
this situation, consolidation is the proper procedure to prevent confusion, avoid
multiplicity of suits, and save the parties, as well as the courts, time and from
incurring unnecessary cost and expense.33

Facts:
Petitioners filed a free patent application. Thereafter, OCT was issued.

Petitioners filed an ejectment complaint 6 against Pryce Gases, Incorporated (respondent)


alleging that the latter illegally entered the subject lot and constructed a building thereon.
MTC granted the petitioners complaint, 8 but RTC reversed the MTC decision on appeal. On
further appeal, the CA remanded the case to the MTC for trial as a reivindicatory action
under the ordinary rules of civil procedure. In the interim, the respondent, filed a protest on
the free patent application filed by the petitioners. Thereafter, DENR rendered a decision
recommending the filing of reversion proceedings against the petitioners, which decision
became final and executory. However, no reversion proceedings were instituted against the
petitioners.12

Thereafter, Petitioners filed an action13 to quiet title against the respondent with the RTC. A
month later, the respondent filed a complaint 15 for reconveyance against the petitioners
before the same RTC. The petitioners moved to dismiss the respondents complaint, but the
RTC denied their motion.16

The respondent later moved to amend its complaint from reconveyance to the cancellation
of the petitioners certificate of title. The petitioners again moved to dismiss the
respondents amended complaint on the ground of litis pendentia in view of the then
pending reivindicatory action with the MTC. 17 The RTC dismissed the petitioners motion. The
petitioners moved for reconsideration but their motion was likewise denied by the RTC. 19 The
petitioners questioned the RTCs March 6, 2006 resolution in a petition for certiorari with the
CA.

In the reivindicatory action at the MTC, the latter court rendered a decision ruling in the
respondents favour; it declared the respondent as the owner of the subject lot and, thus,
entitled to the possession thereof. The petitioners appealed the MTCs decision to the
RTC.21 In the same year, the CA, acting on the petition for certiorari filed by the petitioners,
rendered a decision22 affirming the RTCs resolution that dismissed the petitioners motion to
dismiss. The CA held that no litis pendentia exists between the reivindicatory action (then
pending before the MTC) and the amended complaint for cancellation of certificate of title
filed by the respondent with the RTC. The petitioners moved to reconsider the CAs decision
but their motion was denied,23 hence, the filing of the present petition for review on
certiorari with this Court.

Issue: WON respondents complaint for cancellation of title should be dismissed because
the question of validity of the certificate of title issued in their names over the subject lot is
already being litigated in the reivindicatory action case that is pending appeal before the
RTC.

Ruling:

We find merit in the present petition and resolve to reverse and set aside the assailed
decision of the CA.

In this jurisdiction, there are three kinds of actions to recover possession of real property,
namely: (1) actions for forcible entry or unlawful detainer, also denominated as accion
interdictal, which are summary in nature and seek to recover only physical possession
(possession de facto) of the property, (2) an accion publiciana, which is a plenary action to
recover the right to possess the property, without claim of title, and (3) an accion
reivindicatoria (or accion de reivindicacion) or a reivindicatory action, which is a plenary
action to recover not only possession of, but also ownership of the real property. 24
Since a reivindicatory action includes a claim of title or ownership, the court must
necessarily inquire into the circumstances surrounding the plaintiffs acquisition of his or her
title to the real property sought to be recovered. 25 The petitioners point out that the MTC in
the subject reivindicatory case already conducted a full-blown trial on the issue of validity of
their claim of ownership and had, in fact, ruled that their certificate of title is inoperative and
has no binding effect. They argue that for the RTC to conduct another full-blown trial in the
cancellation of title case on the same issue would, in effect, nullify the MTCs decision in the
reivindicatory case.26

Instead of ordering the dismissal of the respondents complaint for cancellation of certificate
of title, we find that the consolidation of the reivindicatory action and the cancellation of
certificate of title case to be the appropriate remedy in the present situation. Consolidation
is proper when two or more actions pending, not necessarily, before the same court involve
a common question of law or fact. 27 In such cases, the court may: order a joint hearing or
trial of any or all the matters in issue in the actions, order all the actions consolidated, and
make such orders concerning the proceedings therein for the purpose of avoiding
unnecessary costs and delay.28

Considering that the validity of the petitioners certificate of title is the crucial issue in both
the reivindicatory action pending appeal before the RTC and the cancellation of certificate of
title case filed by the respondent, these two cases should be consolidated in order to avoid
the possibility of rendering conflicting decisions and for the orderly administration of
justice.29 And since the issue of validity of the petitioners certificate of title has been
subjected to a full-blown trial before the MTC and is now the subject of appeal before the
RTC, allowing the cancellation of certificate of title case to proceed independently and
separately would be needlessly circuitous and would necessarily delay the resolution of the
present issue.30

Also, we note that the respondents complaint for cancellation of certificate of title cannot
simply be dismissed. Well-settled is the rule that the issue of validity of a Torrens title,
whether fraudulently issued or not, may be posed only in an action brought to impugn or
annul it.31 Section 48 of Presidential Decree No. 1529 32 clearly provides that a certificate of
title can never be the subject of a collateral attack; it cannot be altered, modified, or
cancelled except in a direct proceeding instituted in accordance with law. Thus, the present
respondent has, in fact, resorted to proper procedure in filing a direct action to attack or
impugn the petitioners certificate of title. But to allow the pendency of the reivindicatory
action and the cancellation of certificate of title case in two different courts would not
subserve the orderly administration of justice as the subject cases involve a common
question of fact, i.e. the issue of validity of the petitioners' certificate of title. In this
situation, consolidation is the proper procedure to prevent confusion, avoid multiplicity of
suits, and save the parties, as well as the courts, time and from incurring unnecessary cost
and expense.33